Friday, February 16, 2007

Free Speech Out The Window In Germany?

From the IHT comes this article about a neo-Nazi in Germany who was just sentenced to 5 years in prison for denying the Holocaust.

A far-right activist was convicted of incitement and sentenced to the maximum five years in prison Thursday for anti-Semitic activities, including contributing to a Web site dedicated to Holocaust denial.

The activist, Ernst Zundel, was deported to his native Germany from Canada in 2005. He has also lived in Tennessee. He and his supporters have argued that he is a peaceful campaigner who has been denied his right to free speech.

If you are new to this blog, I want to preface my comments before I get too involved with this post.

No one can say that I have not been supportive of Israel. In fact, one can easily say that I have been highly critical of its enemies, to the point of denouncing the vast majority of them. I have done so time and time again over the past two years that I have been blogging. Just search the archives, and you''ll see. I'll also say that this guy is certainly wrong in his assessment. There has been so much verifiable proof throughout the years after WWII, his argument is not sound. I know too many people that are in the know and have read way too many accounts of that era, to believe otherwise.

As wrong as he is about this historic event and as deplorable as I find him to be, I firmly believe he is right about being denied his right to free speech. What purpose does it serve to throw someone in jail for a faulty belief system? I mean come on now. Where did he offend someone?

If he had threatened someone that was Jewish, I'd understand. If he had hurt or called for Jews to be hurt in anyway, I'd understand. But does showing one's ignorance call for a jail term? How can we as decent people reject the ridiculous complaints of other religious or ethnic groups, for feeling offended at little to nothing, and yet allow ourselves to watch this kind of gross injustice without "crying foul"?

This solves nothing, except giving these people more attention than they deserve.


Greg said...

That's nothing, LAS. The EU Parliament is reportedly considering a law that would ban blasphemy against religion. I am not joking. Will try to find link.

I'm also in favor of letting the idiots say whatever they want. That way (1) we know who the idiots are, and (2) we can tell our kids, "See what idiots say?"

LASunsett said...


Always remember this:

No one is completely worthless. Ar very least, they can serve as a bad example.