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> Holocaust Denier GUILTY
Politaca
post Feb 21 2006, 03:54 PM
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Yesterday the worlds most notorious Holocaust denier, David Irving, was sentenced to three years imprisonment in Austria for denying the Holocaust. Irving had been banned from the country after he spoke out against the historical accounts of the Holocaust. Specifically, Irving denied that gas chambers were used to kill millions of Jews. The 1992 law under which he was convicted applies to anyone who "denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast or other media."

Questions for debate:

Should a government have the right to punish an individual that questions a widely accepted historical account?

Are people like Irving a danger to society?
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Politaca
post Feb 22 2006, 03:52 PM
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QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Feb 21 2006, 05:30 PM)
Uhh, too bad the original post did not contain the following information, which I believe is very relevant to this discussion.

Mr. Irving testified to a court of three judges and eight jurors that in fact he had revised his position on genocide.  He had lately been convinced by the evidence, that he had been mistaken, that indeed, at Auschwitz and other camps, Jews had been slain by the millions. Before that, Mr. Irving, a historian who has published many books, contended that what had happened at Auschwitz was that a lot of prisoners had succumbed not to poison gas, but to diseases, like typhus.


Now things get complicated...
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He brought the book to court with him and was, it seemed to me, trying to market the book and himself while at court. He claims to have had a change of heart and now believes that there were gas chambers that killed the jews Yet I can't understand how he wasn't exposed to the SAME information that convinced him to change his mind back in the 80's when he was making money off of his theories. What new findings were not there in the 80's concerning the holocaust and the role of the gas chambers?
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Doclotus
post Feb 22 2006, 03:59 PM
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Should a government have the right to punish an individual that questions a widely accepted historical account?
Theoretically, no. As a liberal I find the idea repugnant. But, I will admit some empathy for Vermillion's points about context in the countries in which the laws exist. In spite of that, I think the dialogue is productive. As Victoria pointed out, the best way to expose a lie is to get it out in the open.

Are people like Irving a danger to society?
Because the man has some ethos, perhaps. That simply makes the liar a little more daring. Ideas always have some inherent danger, and there will always be those less intellectually inclined that embrace them. In the end, though, the value lies in the dialogue. Allowing "deniers" to spout their ideas keeps the holocaust alive in the hearts and minds of everyone. Otherwise the greatest fear regarding history can become manifest: we can repeat it.
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TruthMarch
post Feb 22 2006, 04:04 PM
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One thing I'd like to know: Why don't the Jewish groups, or anyone else for that matter, simply display the true evidence that people like Irving are lying? Why, if what Irving says is untrue, then wouldn't people love to humiliate and mock him by making him eat his own words? Why not refute his allegations with evidence rather than sending him to jail? Obviously the official story is a lie. When I'm telling the truth, I have no need to make laws to make sure what I'm saying remains true. If I lie, I'd like to have laws that make it illegal to question my lies. Wake up people. Truth needs to crutches. If Irving is lying, then refute him and leave him alone.
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moif
post Feb 22 2006, 05:11 PM
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QUOTE(Renger @ Feb 22 2006, 04:37 PM)
QUOTE(Lesly @ Feb 22 2006, 03:53 PM)
My argument (really a question), which you conveniently failed to include quoting me, stands: “How is a denier more dangerous than a militant group that has a history of backing up anti-Semitic language with violent action.”

As for Hamas I haven’t stopped hoping, but saying they will amend their manifesto and failing to follow up on that promise doesn’t convey “the first steps towards moderation.” The comparison between Irving and Hamas is essentially about speech. While words and ideas have potential to harm society how can anyone, under any circumstance, flummox the harm Holocaust denying speech can cause with the harm violent militancy does cause. That type of “logic” doesn’t add up.
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Lesly, I know your question was directed against Vermillion, maybe I can put in my two cents. money.gif money.gif

In theory you are right; it does seem strange that European countries, with their freedom of expression and freedom of speech, are so strict and uncompromising towards Holocaust denial, but you must not forget that this atrocity has left deep scars in a lot of European societies after the ending of WWII. Maybe it is more like an emotional reaction than a purely logical reaction. In my country there is still a strong sense of shame about what happened during 1940-1945. In no way the role the Dutch played during the razzias can be justified. We all know what happened, still feel shame and we cannot repay all those people who suffered or lost their lives and the lives of family members and friends in the death-camps. Because of this the Holocaust takes up a special place in our society and mentality. This whole issue is highly emotional and touchy, that's why it is somewhat placed outside the sphere of freedom of expression and speech. It is an attitude caused by our own shamefull history and it has been a part of our collective memory ever since.
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Okay... but then how do you justify your support for the freedom of expression that has produced the Muhammed drawings?

Do we only extend that freedom to subjects that touch our hearts... or do we extend it to all people?

I think this is a fair point... and its the only point raised by the Muslims that I happen to sympathise with. Why should the Holocaust be so completely forbidden that even to publically doubt it happened is a crime?

I can't see how some people's feelings need to be protected like this whilst other people's (and there's quite a lot of them) should be disregarded. Why?
These laws are not going to bring back those members of my family who disapeared in the 'Holocaust that never happened'. Nor do I feel any sort of satisfaction that Irvin has been punished for expressing an opinion. He ought to have been charged with inciting racial hatred.

Freedom of expression should be a fundamental right to all people, in all matters.

There should be no exceptions.


edited to add:

QUOTE(TruthMarch @ Feb 22 2006, 05:04 PM)
One thing I'd like to know: Why don't the Jewish groups, or anyone else for that matter, simply display the true evidence that people like Irving are lying? Why, if what Irving says is untrue, then wouldn't people love to humiliate and mock him by making him eat his own words?
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They have, Many times.


This post has been edited by moif: Feb 22 2006, 05:13 PM
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Carlsen
post Feb 22 2006, 05:13 PM
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QUOTE(TruthMarch @ Feb 22 2006, 05:04 PM)
One thing I'd like to know: Why don't the Jewish groups, or anyone else for that matter, simply display the true evidence that people like Irving are lying? Why, if what Irving says is untrue, then wouldn't people love to humiliate and mock him by making him eat his own words? Why not refute his allegations with evidence rather than sending him to jail? Obviously the official story is a lie. When I'm telling the truth, I have no need to make laws to make sure what I'm saying remains true. If I lie, I'd like to have laws that make it illegal to question my lies. Wake up people. Truth needs to crutches. If Irving is lying, then refute him and leave him alone.
*


I wasn't going to take part in this discussion, but I can't let remarks like this stand (although I am sure others also will respond appropiately).

The fact of the matter is, "TruthMarch", that there are abundant amounts of evidence out there that proves the holocaust did in fact happen, and that people like Irving are "wrong" (I, like most rationel people, know that people like Irving are intentionally lying to serve their own political purpose, but his motives are irrelevant). I don't support the jailing of people like him, that is simply indefensible, but that such laws exist doesn't mean the holocaust is a lie. In Denmark its perfectly legal to deny the holocaust ever took place, yet the "official" story doesn't seem to have any problems being accepted. I would venture that there are far fewer holocausts-deniers in Denmark per capita than there is in Germany or France, yet we don't have any laws to suppress dissenters.

Furthermore, I find the discussion about whether 1 million or 10 million people were gassed to death, that some holocaust apologizers like to engage in, unacceptable from a moral standpoint. Are killing 1 million people a lesser crime than killing 10 million or 20 million people? The only individuals that can have an in interest in constantly trying to question the number of casulties are neo-nazies and their ilk, because they try to use it to somehow make Hitler look better, and that is also a good description of Irving. I, and probably many other people I would hope, wouldn't think any better of the nazies, had nobody been killed in their camps - rounding up innocent people and using them as slave labour, because they happen to be jews, communists or just opposed to the nazi regime in some way, is enough to be worthy of my utter contempt and hatred - and my support of a violent response to rectify the situation.

This post has been edited by Carlsen: Feb 22 2006, 05:19 PM
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TruthMarch
post Feb 22 2006, 05:25 PM
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I've never said the holocaust didn't happen. I certainly never claimed that Jews weren't made to suffer in WW2. But there is no concrete evidence that there were systematic murders in any 'gas chambers'. None. The Russians made the holes in the ceiling. After the war. The Jewish people even say so themselves. Did Jews get murdered? Of course. Did they suffer? Uh yes. Did they lose everything in their world? Yes. Did they get systematically gassed with zyklon-b in a room which lacks any zyklon-b evidence/residue? No. Why do I say that? Because the delousing facility still has blue walls from repeated zyklon-b usage. Why this topic scares apparently sane people is beyond me. Jewish holocaust deniers deserve jail? Then lobby people to arrest the Japanese government for denying their atrocity at Nanking. If you're serious and not just a fool, you would all demand justice for the Chinese who were made to systematically suffer. Failing to do so places people into the international social garbage plateau, where selected similar atrocities are placed above others. It's the whole deal or it means nothing. How can someone say it's wrong to hit blacks but fine to hit whites? It's duplicit and we know it. No difference between the holocaust and nanking.
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Jaime
post Feb 22 2006, 05:27 PM
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TOPIC REMINDER:

Should a government have the right to punish an individual that questions a widely accepted historical account?

Are people like Irving a danger to society?


If you see off-topic or inflammatory comments, please report them and do not respond. Thanks.
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smorpheus
post Feb 22 2006, 05:56 PM
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QUOTE(TruthMarch @ Feb 22 2006, 09:25 AM)

I've never said the holocaust didn't happen. I certainly never claimed that Jews weren't made to suffer in WW2. But there is no concrete evidence that there were systematic murders in any 'gas chambers'. None. The Russians made the holes in the ceiling. After the war. The Jewish people even say so themselves. Did Jews get murdered? Of course. Did they suffer? Uh yes. Did they lose everything in their world? Yes. Did they get systematically gassed with zyklon-b in a room which lacks any zyklon-b evidence/residue? No. Why do I say that? Because the delousing facility still has blue walls from repeated zyklon-b usage. 
*



Truthmarch, you continue to restate complete fiction with absolutely no facts or data to back you up. Please provide sources for these wild accusations which attempt to rewrite history written off of the tens of thousands of personal testimonials from Nazis, Allies, and Prisoners, here's an article that looks deeply into this assertation you are making:

http://www.nizkor.org/features/qar/qar01.html

Here's the quote you are paraphrasing:
QUOTE
1. What proof exists that the Nazis practiced genocide or deliberately killed six million Jews?

The IHR says (original, Samisdat, and revised versions combined):

    None. The only evidence is the postwar testimony of individual "survivors." This testimony is contradictory, and no "survivor" claims to have actually witnessed any gassing. There are no contemporaneous documents and no hard evidence whatsoever: no mounds of ashes, no crematoria capable of disposing of millions of corpses, no piles of clothes, no human soap, no lamp shades made of human skin, no records, no credible demographic statistics.


Here's just a small sampling of the complete and utter demolition of this absurd statement from that article:

QUOTE
# "No mounds of ashes" is an internal contradiction. In an article in the journal published by the same IHR that publishes these Q&A, the Journal's editor reported that a Polish commission in 1946 found human ash at the Treblinka death camp to a depth of over twenty feet. This article is available on The IHR's web site.

(Apparently some survivors claimed that the corpses were always thoroughly cremated. Because uncremated human remains were mixed with the ash, the editor suggested that the testimonies were false. Amazingly, he had no comment on how a twenty-foot layer of human ashes came to be there in the first place. Perhaps he felt that to be unworthy of mention.)

There are also piles of ashes at Maidanek. At Auschwitz-Birkenau, ashes from cremated corpses were dumped into the rivers and swamps surrounding the camp, and used as fertilizer for nearby farmers' fields.

# "No crematoria" capable of disposing of millions of corpses? Absolutely false, the crematoria were more than capable of the job, according to both the Nazis' own internal memos and the testimony of survivors. Holocaust-deniers deliberately confuse civilian, funeral-home crematoria with the huge industrial ovens of the death camps.


I think Vermillion, that perhaps you can see that if people like Irving are jailed, then that puts these ideas unneccesarily into the underground. The ideas are absurd, and easily disproved to anyone without any sort of alterior agenda.

I'll restate my earlier affirmation that I strongly believe that pushing these ideas into underground makes them more appealing to people like TruthMarch. We need to put them on a pedestal to ridicule.

Jailing Irving also has the alterior motive of giving the Deniers too much press and making him a martyr. It also rallies free speech advocates to the Denier's sides, putting them in a position they simply don't deserve(Do you know how much it kills me inside to be effectively arguing on the same side as Truthmarch?) I think that even accepting your arguments for the supression of this type of speech, there are too many drawbacks to doing so in the real world.

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Vermillion
post Feb 22 2006, 06:46 PM
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QUOTE(TruthMarch @ Feb 22 2006, 05:25 PM)
I've never said the holocaust didn't happen. I certainly never claimed that Jews weren't made to suffer in WW2. But there is no concrete evidence that there were systematic murders in any 'gas chambers'. None. The Russians made the holes in the ceiling. After the war. The Jewish people even say so themselves.


Well now.

I guess it falls to me to show you the error of your ways.


Let me start by saying, without exaggeration, that you are completely, utterly and staggeringly wrong. Wrong with a capital W, wrong in so enormous and vast a manner that I can only assume you have made literally no attempt to ever learn anything about the topic at hand.


You say there is no evidence that there was systematic murder in any gas chambers. Well, not only is there concrete evidence, there is VAST AMOUNTS of concrete evidence. Staggering, mutually supporting reams of proof from dozens of different sources using a dozen different methods.

Let us start with the most obvious:
-The Gas chambers themselves.

Yes they exist, though they were partially destroyed by the retreating germans in an attempt to hide their crime, they did a pretty poor job. You make the staggeringly wrong claim that 'the jews' admit the Russians made holes in the ceilings after the war. Firstly, please find me ANY source anywhere to back up that absurdly fasle statement. Secondly, if the holes in the ceilings were made after the war, then why do they appear in wartime pictures of the camp? Why do their appear in the original design blueprints of the chambers?

We have unimpeachable forensic proof from the gas chambers, Zyclon-b residue in the walls, we also have hundreds of the mobile gas vans used by the Nazis, purpose built with only one possible use. We have pictures taken from the day of liberation which include a vast pile of empty Zyklon-B canisters over 10 feet high.


-Next, we have the Nazis record keeping.

The Nazis were quite meticulous about the number of people they killed, we have exact death rated in the death camps for 1943 and early 1944. (By Mid 1944 things were starting to fall apart, and some of those record were destroyed) We know exactly how many were killed, we know excatly the weight of hair and gold fillings recovered. Personal items of value were removed and inventoried, and were distributed to the troops. We have the memorandum from Hitler statng that the Waffen SS should get priority for these items. We have train schedules and inventories of people arriving at the camps, how many alive, how many arrived dead. We have letters from the commanders of the Einsatzgruppen writing about numbers shot and killed. We have requests to increase crematoria capacity it Birkinau because people were being gassed faster than they could burned. This is all in chapter and verse, almost all of it came up at the Nuremburg trials, and (most importantly) all has been corroborated by Nazis who were present.

-Which brings us to the next bit of proof: Eyewitness testimony.

We don’t have a couple of shady Jews who are telling some things they saw. We have the corroborated testimony of tens of thousands of survivors, and not just Jews but Homosexuals and communists. We have testimony of survivors, but we also have testimony of Kapos and Senior prisoners, usually non-Jewish prisoners who did the dirty jobs like removing the bodies from the gas chambers after death. We have tens of thousand of people who survived the system, all saying the same thing about what they went through and what they saw and experienced, including Jews and non-Jews.

But if you are one of those nut-jobs who thinks the ‘testemony’ is all some massive Jewish conspiracy (and ignore the non-Jewish survivors) we also have the testimony of American, Soviet and British soldiers who discovered the camps. We have now-unsealed secret reports from Soviet Commissars to higher command and Stalin himself about what they saw, written at the time in the field.

But just in case you think the international Jewish conspiracy (whatever that is) got to all those people too, we have the testimony of the ONE group we can be sure the Jews did not influence, the Nazis themselves. Camp guards, members of SS Totemkopf, camp doctors and nurses, up to and including the Commandant of Auyswitz-Birkinau himself, Rudolf Hoess. What does this man, SS-Obersturmbannführer and personal friend of Eichmann have to say about Aushwitz?

“I have been constantly associated with the administration of concentration camps since 1934, serving at Dachau until 1938; then as Adjutant in Sachsenhausen from 1938 to 1 May 1940, when I was appointed Commandant of Auschwitz.. I commanded Auschwitz until 1 December 1943, and estimate that at least 2,500,000 victims were executed and exterminated there by gassing and burning, and at least another half million succumbed to starvation and disease making a total dead of about 3,000,000. This figure represents about 70 or 80 percent of all persons sent to Auschwitz as prisoners, the remainder having been selected and used for slave labor in the concentration camp industries; included among the executed and burned were approximately 20,000 Russian prisoners of war (previously screened out of prisoner-of-war cages by the Gestapo) who were delivered at Auschwitz in Wehrmacht transports operated by regular Wehrmacht officers and men.”


Hoess is not the only Nazi to confirm this of course, there have been hundreds, all telling the same thing, some speaking with a great deal of pride in their accomplishments. Among them is none other than the Reich Economics Minister, Albert Speer, who spoke following his trial about the Holocaust and its methodology.


-But wait, there’s more. We have the planning documents and origins of the Holocaust.

On January, 20, 1942, Reinhard Heydrich, Himmler's second in command of the SS organization, convened a conference in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee. At the meeting, 15 top Nazi bureaucrats and members of the SS met to coordinate the "Final Solution" in which the Nazis would attempt to exterminate the 11 million Jews of Europe and the Soviet Union. The exact minutes of the conference were kept, in which they discussed the means by which the Jews would be killed, in what order and within what limits if any.

They actually discussed other less extreme options first, like forced emigration and sterilisation, but these were dismissed as being impractical and insufficiently permanent. They discussed what would be done with half-Jews, and Jews married to Aryan Germans. They laid out in great detail their plans for the extermination of European Jewry. We have it all, confirmed by every single surviving member of the meeting at the end of the war.


-Oh but wait, I’m not done. We have the planning and experimentation for killing methodology.

Nobody knew how exactly to kill the Jews, shootings were expensive and caused mental collapse in some soldiers, and the Gas vans were not large enough in scale. So a series of well documented tests were doe on prisoners of war and the handicapped. Most of these experiments took place in Occupied Belarus in late 1941. Dynamite was tried, then various different kinds of chemicals, the requirements (which are all documented) were very specific, a repeatable method of killing large number of people at once, if necessary in a confined space. Zyklon B was one of the later gasses tried, and its success was referred to Heydrich, who then took it to the Wansee conference. We have the notes, expectations and orders as well as test results for all these trials, as well as the testimony of the surviving Germans who took part.


-Lastly, we have the intent and motive, provided by none other than Herr Hitler himself… These are direct quotes, taken from his speeches or from Mein Kampf itself:

"Once I really am in power, my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews. As soon as I have the power to do so, I will have gallows built in rows - at the Marienplatz in Munich, for example - as many as traffic allows.

Then the Jews will be hanged indiscriminately, and they will remain hanging until they stink; they will hang there as long as the principles of hygiene permit. As soon as they have been untied, the next batch will be strung up, and so on down the line, until the last Jew in Munich has been exterminated. Other cities will follow suit, precisely in this fashion, until all Germany has been completely cleansed of Jews."


Better still:

I came to the conclusion that a campaign against the Jews would be as popular as it would be successful. There are few Germans who have not been vexed with the behavior of Jews or else have not suffered losses through them in some way or other. Disproportionately to their small number they account for an immense share of the German national wealth, which can just as easily be put to profitable use for the state and the general public as could the holdings of the monasteries, bishops, and nobility.
"Once the hatred and the battle against the Jews have been really stirred up, their resistance will necessarily crumble in the shortest possible time. They are totally defenseless, and no one will stand up to protect them. I will be their destruction”



Or how about this one from Himmler himself:

It is a hard, tough task which demands the commitment of the whole person without regard to any difficulties that may arise. You will be given details by Sturmbannfuehrer Eichmann of the RSHA who will come to see you in the near future. The department taking part will be informed at the appropriate time. The Jews are the eternal enemies of the German people and must be exterminated. All Jews we can reach now, during the war, are to be exterminated without exception. If we do not succeed in destroying the biological basis of Jewry, some day the Jews will annihilate the German Volk.




So, rather than, what Truthmarch said, that there is NO evidence of gas chambers, there is in fact VOLUMINOUS proof of gas chambers, more proof than anyone with two brain cells to rub together could ever need. To even stand up in a public place and make such a comment shows off what can only be described as a staggering ignorance of the topic, one might even go so far as to presume a wilful and intentional ignorance.

There is not a reputable Historian on the planet who denies the holocaust either in substance, methodology or scale. That is because it is a matter of historical fact, proven over and over and over again in a dozen different ways.




SO, for those of you who have said in this thread that there is no need to protect the Holocaust through law, that the truth will always win out over lies, I give you Exhibit A: TruthMarch
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Vibiana
post Feb 22 2006, 06:58 PM
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QUOTE(Vermillion @ Feb 22 2006, 06:46 PM)
SO, for those of you who have said in this thread that there is no need to protect the Holocaust through law, that the truth will always win out over lies, I give you Exhibit A: TruthMarch
*



Thank you. I have not participated in this thread because I was not sure if I could do so without losing it completely, so I thank you for your meticulous and informative response.

TruthMarch ... three-fourths of Europe's Jewish population perished because of the Nazis. Quibbling over how they were killed seems not only pointless, but an out-and-out insult to their memories. They are dead, whether they were shot, gassed, starved or worked to death -- all four of which were manners of death in the camps.

How dare you spit on their graves. I pity you for your audacity.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Feb 22 2006, 07:03 PM
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QUOTE(Vermillion @ Feb 22 2006, 01:46 PM)
So, rather than, what Truthmarch said, that there is NO evidence of gas chambers, there is in fact VOLUMINOUS proof of gas chambers, more proof than anyone with two brain cells to rub together could ever need. To even stand up in a public place and make such a comment shows off what can only be described as a staggering ignorance of the topic, one might even go so far as to presume a wilful and intentional ignorance.

There is not a reputable Historian on the planet who denies the holocaust either in substance, methodology or scale. That is because it is a matter of historical fact, proven over and over and over again in a dozen different ways.

SO, for those of you who have said in this thread that there is no need to protect the Holocaust through law, that the truth will always win out over lies, I give you Exhibit A: TruthMarch
*



Vermillion, I think you have rather proven the opposite. You have successfully driven home the truth, which is plain for everyone to see. It might be exhausting, but it's much more effective than demanding silence and driving such statements underground.

In my opinion the only reason to suppress speech is the clear and present danger test. One would be yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre, as others having indicated...another might be inciting violence, IF it there is a high likelihood that the speech will result in violence. That isn't the case here.

I understand that Europe has a different history than we do, but they have had a very long time to sort this one out.

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Trouble
post Feb 22 2006, 07:11 PM
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QUOTE
Should a government have the right to punish an individual that questions a widely accepted historical account?


No, challenging the status quo is a sign of health in society

QUOTE
Are people like Irving a danger to society?
*


Absolutely not. What a silly question. There should be more people out there like him. Challenging accepted ideas is a good way at testing historical accuracy. Attaching stigma to these people not only stifles intellectual thought, it sets a tone of silence that is very unproductive.


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loreng59
post Feb 22 2006, 07:23 PM
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I have never joined in these discussions because they are futile.

I will side with the majority and say that we should let the morons spew their filth and ignorance for all to us.

The most damning proof of the denial is from the Nazis that tried and convicted. Not one of them ever used the claim of it 'didn't happen' as a defense. Personally if accused of crime that hadn't occurred it would be my first line of defense.

But I understand European country's laws, I just don't agree. If I want to be free to speak my mind, then even those I hate must have the same right. Otherwise who's to say what is the next category that is considered off limits?
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duderino
post Feb 22 2006, 07:28 PM
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It's a little scary that people like him ARE out there, but I agree that it is good for people/society in general to question even widely-held beliefs. The problems start when doubters turn into demagogues. For example, the line between being a Holocaust-doubter and a whacky anti-Semite is not always a clear one. Some of their rhetoric tends to overlap. For example, both types believe that Hitler and the NAZIs were delousing people to keep lice etc. from spreading. Both also believe that many of the decimated people that were found dead suffered from lice- and other infestation-induced sickness, rather than tests or deliberate starving by the NAZIs.

A sad irony is that because no one ever doubts what a monster Stalin was- including killing way more people than the NAZIs via starvation and 'purges'- yet he gets no press for being more ruthless than Hitler! Maybe if these doubters would go away or be quiet/converted, we could all focus on agreeing that murderous dictators are bad for the world!
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Vermillion
post Feb 22 2006, 07:48 PM
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QUOTE(duderino @ Feb 22 2006, 07:28 PM)
It's a little scary that people like him ARE out there, but I agree that it is good for people/society in general to question even widely-held beliefs. The problems start when doubters turn into demagogues. For example, the line between being a Holocaust-doubter and a whacky anti-Semite is not always a clear one.


Actually, the line is quite clear. To be a holocaust doubter, you are either staggeringly ignorant of the history ignorant to the level of never having picked up a single book on the topic, or you are an anti-Semite.

QUOTE
For example, both types believe that Hitler and the NAZIs were delousing people to keep lice etc. from spreading.


And both are staggerinlg wrong, having an opinion that defies all evidence and even common sense.

That was the whole pojnt of my above post. You CANNOT doubt the holocaust without either being legendarily stupid, or having another agenda. There is no Option C.


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Dontreadonme
post Feb 23 2006, 12:53 AM
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Should a government have the right to punish an individual that questions a widely accepted historical account?

I always knew that there were laws such as this in place in European countries, but I had never given them much thought until this episode. I am quite astounded that a nation that would call itself a western democracy would have a law that reads, “whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast or other media.”
The government of a free nation should have no right to place a restriction on free speech and thought in this manner.

Are people like Irving a danger to society?
I find myself in total agreement with Vermillion when he states: To be a holocaust doubter, you are either staggeringly ignorant of the history ignorant to the level of never having picked up a single book on the topic, or you are an anti-Semite.
In either case, these people are not a danger to society. If stupid people were outlawed, this would be a very lonely planet.
Although I have not lived through or suffered the effects of the Jewish holocaust, I am hard pressed to understand how an idiot spouting ignorance, whether on street corner with a sandwich board or a website like IHR.
Expressing an idea, no matter how repugnant should never be grounds for imprisonment of proven history should likewise not be grounds for incarceration
QUOTE(TruthMarch Yesterday @ 01:50 PM)
And this is where my mind is a bit further ahead than most everyone else. I see things in a clear light, from all perspectives, not just the my-myself-and I perspective, which Americans usually do

Actually, given the dissolution of your sources by Vermillion and others, I might submit that this is not quite the case.
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KivrotHaTaavah
post Feb 23 2006, 05:43 AM
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TruthMarch:

Kurt Mobius, police battalion officer who served at Chelmno, the first operational death camp [from testimony given by him on 8 November 1961]:

"I would also like to say that it did not at all occur to me that these orders could be unjust. It is true that I know that it is also the duty of the police to protect the innocent, but I was then of the conviction that the Jews were not innocent but guilty. I believed the propaganda that all Jews were criminals and subhumans and that they were the cause of Germany’s decline after the first World War. The thought that one should disobey or evade the order to participate in the extermination of the Jews did not therefore enter my mind at all..."

And then there's the testimony of SS General Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski, which includes his concluding comments on the connection between Nazi ideology and the genocidal slaughter perpetrated by the Einsatzgruppen in the Soviet Union [http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/01-07-46.htm]:
QUOTE
"COL. TAYLOR [USA]: Are you generally familiar with the operations of the so-called Einsatzgruppen of the SD?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.

COL. TAYLOR: Did these units play any important part in largescale anti-Russian operations?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: No.
<snip>
***

COL. POKROVSKY [USSR]: What do you know of the activities of Einsatzgruppe B?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Einsatzgruppe B was located in Smolensk, and operated in precisely the same way as all the other Einsatzgruppen. One heard everywhere in conversation that the Jews were being rounded up and sent to ghettos.

***

COL. POKROVSKY: If I understood you correctly, you replied to a question of my colleague, the American Prosecutor, by saying that the struggle against the partisan movement was a pretext for destroying the Slav and Jewish population?

VON DEM BACH-ZELEWSKI: Yes.

<snip>

Need I go on?

And to address your claims re the death camps, as Daniel Goldhagen so correctly reports in his Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans And The Holocaust, the Nazis went from firing squads and mobile gas vans, to death camps like Chelmno, precisely and only because of the psychological strain that the shooting and the gas vans put on those doing the killing [and witness Witness Ohlendorf's above report of the "immense burden to bear"].

And you can read about Chelmno here:

http://weber.ucsd.edu/~lzamosc/gchelmno.html

To all:

Now, to answer the question re whether Irving is dangerous, well, I would simply submit that in answering that question, one need only consider again:

"I would also like to say that it did not at all occur to me that these orders could be unjust. It is true that I know that it is also the duty of the police to protect the innocent, but I was then of the conviction that the Jews were not innocent but guilty. I believed the propaganda that all Jews were criminals and subhumans and that they were the cause of Germany’s decline after the first World War. The thought that one should disobey or evade the order to participate in the extermination of the Jews did not therefore enter my mind at all..."

"I am of a different opinion. If for years, for decades, a doctrine is preached to the effect that the Slav race is an inferior race, that the Jews are not even human beings, then an explosion of this sort is inevitable."

Now ask yourself the question, why is Mr. Irving denying the Holocaust? Is to humanize the Jews among us? Or is it the opposite? There's your answer.

Now, to answer the first question, let me first say that there is more to the matter than is asked and/or implied by the question. Which is to say that this is about something more than mere history. All I will otherwise report is that obscenity is not constitutionally protected speech, and Mr. Irving's statements are beyond the merely obscene.


Edited to remove quotation that violated forum Rules regarding citations lengths. Please familiarize yourself with them. -Jaime

This post has been edited by Jaime: Feb 23 2006, 12:30 PM
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Bikerdad
post Feb 23 2006, 05:58 AM
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QUOTE(Dontreadonme @ Feb 22 2006, 07:53 PM)
Should a government have the right to punish an individual that questions a widely accepted historical account? 
 
I always knew that there were laws such as this in place in European countries, but I had never given them much thought until this episode. I am quite astounded that a nation that would call itself a western democracy would have a law that reads, “whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast or other media.” 
The government of a free nation should have no right to place a restriction on free speech and thought in this manner. 

Once again, we have a repeat of a misconception here expressed by others. None of the Holocaust Denial laws prohibit people from believing that the Holocaust didna happen. The laws are not contrary to freedom of conscience, although they are contrary to freedom of the press, as they are limiting the dissemination of Holocaust denial.
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Delvy
post Feb 23 2006, 09:46 AM
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QUOTE(Politaca @ Feb 21 2006, 03:54 PM)
Should a government have the right to punish an individual that questions a widely accepted historical account?

Are people like Irving a danger to society?
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1) Under normal circumstances no, but these are not normal circumstances. The laws in question in this matter were brought in by democratic regimes in order to stop the repeatition of the actions and the furtherance of the ideals that caused the Second World War and the horrors that were contained within the Nazi regime and it's deathcamps. The laws are present to stop the revisionist movement from lessening the terror of the crime and from trying to grind away at the reality of a situation which fewer each year now remember first hand. If the law was the other way round and was designed to protect those who spoke out to decry the crimes that the state permitted, as I have been given to understand the current situation is in Turkey with relation to the "Armenian genocide", then I would be more concerned. It should be said they do leave a bad taste in my mouth but I do understand why they exist - in elation to the Holocaust anyway.

2) Is a liar a danger to society? In most cases no. However when the lies have an agenda tied into them? Quite possibly. A scientist who falsified their drug trials is quite possibly a direct physical threat to individuals within that society. A historian who falsifies records and is extremely selective in his choice of documents in order to further his own agenda and political tendancies is also a danger; not in a physical way but in ideas and ideas often have more power than anything else in our world.

This post has been edited by Delvy: Feb 23 2006, 10:04 AM
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Vermillion
post Feb 24 2006, 05:28 PM
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I have to say, I am still waiting for a response from Truthmarch. After making his rather staggering claims, and then stating he was smarter than everyone else and thnking god that he is homs-schooling his kids (shudder) I think this is a pretty important issue.

In particular as Truthmarch is serving as a case study for this entire debate. Many People on this board have said if you confront ignorance it will go away. I have maintained no, people who tend to believe these falsehoods simply turn up their noses at the truth, and ignore it. They walk away and still continue believing their errors, because aknowledging the truth would mean admitting they were wrong.

Thus the need for special protection under the law, because in cases like this, the truth is just not powerful enough.

Truthmarch? care to respond?

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