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Monday, February 20, 2006

Irving to be jailed by Austria's history police

Extreme Right-wing British historian David Irving has plead guilty to one count of denying the Holocaust, a crime in Austria, reports the International Herald-Tribune. Conviction is almost certain, and the penalty may amount to as many as ten years in prison.

Ten years in prison.

I feel like writing it about ten times. I would be disgusted even if the historian's "crime" actually were denying the historical fact of the Holocaust.

But it isn't. Dr. Irving was on trial for questioning the extent of the Holocaust, arguing among other things, that the Nazis didn't actually use gas chambers and that Hitler had little knowledge of the German state’s “final solution.”

Putting aside for a moment the fact that Dr. Irving's Ph.D. in history should be ceremonially taken out and used to clean up after animals at the Vienna zoo, jailing this man for his thought crimes is a human rights violation of the first order.

But let me go down on record as predicting that you'll see little in the way of street demonstrations in Austria defending this “historian's” rights to question orthodoxy. Indeed, it strikes me as one of the dramatic inconsistencies of many left-leaning organizations that their members will set themselves on fire in public squares to protest amnesty for Chile's ex right-wing dictator Pinochet and demand humane treatment of such groups as Kurdish Marxist terrorists in Turkey but won't lift a finger to object to this sort of thing.

As evidence, I offer Amnesty International's news feed on "freedom of expression" issues. What you will find on there: concerns about excessive use of force on Haitian demonstrators, a piece urging Columbia's right-wing government to practice free and fair elections, an "Urgent Action" report on the U.S.'s *gasp* force-feeding of certain of its detainees who are practicing their freedom of expression by hunger striking.

What you won't find? Any mention of this right-wing historian's facing jail time for arguing down the number of Holocaust deaths.

I suppose that, if certain Austrian historians come out tomorrow saying that the actual Jewish death toll in the Holocaust was 20 million, anyone who turns around and then argues for a more rational figure may be jailed.



Anonymous Mike Myers said...

David Irving does not have a Ph.D in History.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Mike Myers said...

In fact, I should probably add that there are only about 20-30 professional Holocaust "revisionists" in the entire world and not one of them is an accredited historian.

But yes, of course, keep them out of cells....

12:16 AM  
Blogger Tanner said...

Fair enough. In absence of a Ph.D. to deface, may we settle upon cermonially using the pages of his books to line the floors of the monkey cages?

9:04 AM  

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