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John Simkin

Nazism and the German People

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I regret that such an inquiry - in the public domain - is simply not possible at this time, not in the English-speaking world and I have no doubt the prospect of it is even more remote within Germany.

Nonsense.

Academic inquiry into the lack of resistance to the Hitler dictatorship is widespread within Germany and Europe.

http://www.gdw-berlin.de/index-e.php

http://www.ghwk.de/engl/kopfengl.htm

Sid doesn't wish to discuss such matters he merely wishes to deny the holocaust

Your hectoring response, Andy, illustrates my point perfectly.

I rest my case.

On this issue you have no "case"

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I regret that such an inquiry - in the public domain - is simply not possible at this time, not in the English-speaking world and I have no doubt the prospect of it is even more remote within Germany.

Nonsense.

Academic inquiry into the lack of resistance to the Hitler dictatorship is widespread within Germany and Europe.

http://www.gdw-berlin.de/index-e.php

http://www.ghwk.de/engl/kopfengl.htm

Sid doesn't wish to discuss such matters he merely wishes to deny the holocaust

Your hectoring response, Andy, illustrates my point perfectly.

I rest my case.

On this issue you have no "case"

Neither do nearly 20,000 Germans each year, Andy, according to an astonishing diary entry by David Irving, drawing on this report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine

Indeed, "no case" sums up their situation with grim precision.

Irving writes:

the German Government has quietly admitted that over the last twelve months it prosecuted over 18,000 Germans for offences of "right-wing extremism," of which only a few hundred involved actual violence: i.e. they prosecuted over seventeen thousand thought-crimes -- people unwitting displaying the old swastika emblem, or even worse, National Socialist ideas, and perhaps even "denying the H."

As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recently pointed out in a courageous editorial, most of these new criminal records have been sprung on ordinary citizens blissfully unaware of the criminality of their actions and thoughts, because the tame German media are too cowardly to report any of these cases - even the major trials like those involving the revisionists Ernst Zündel and Germar Rudolf.

These absurd laws themselves are protected by fresh layers of other, even more absurd, laws making it impossible even for court-appointed attorneys to provide an adequate and conscientious defence to those accused under the thought-crime laws. Any German or Austrian lawyer who does, can be -- and frequently is -- himself ordered arrested by the judge, for having associated himself with these criminal thoughts and deeds. Zündel's court-appointed defence attorney Sylvia Stolz made herself unpopular with the prosecutor for "hampering the prosecution," and is now to be prosecuted for so hampering. Go figure, as the Americans say.

More than once my chosen Austrian lawyer, Dr Herbert Schaller, arrived in the Vienna prison with fresh horror tales from Zündel's Mannheim courtroom -- the judge Meinertzhagen had warned him that if he asked certain questions of the court, or made certain defence motions, he too would be arrested.

I remember that in January 1993, when I was tried in Munich under Germany's laws for the suppression of free speech, one of my three lawyers turned up apologetically on the morning of the hearing apologizing that he could not continue to act for me, as the Munich Bar Association had threatened him with dismissal -- i.e. the end of his career -- if he did. He showed me their actual letter. I was fined thirty thousand deutschmarks, around twenty thousand dollars, for uttering a single sentence which the Polish authorities now belatedly admit was true.

Edited by Sid Walker

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Your willingness to both quote and support convicted holocaust deniers and renowned Nazi sympathisers confirms two things - firstly my suspicion that you spend a great deal of time squirreling around unhistorical and politically nauseating areas of the internet, and secondly that on this issue you have "no case" :lol:

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Hi Sid,

how about pondering this quotation: " The technique of infamy is to start two lies at once. and set people arguing which one is true" a bit and then taking it seriously for a change?

I sometimes watch German TV and especially the newsreports and there were lengthy reports about all the trials mentioned in Irving's text.

Happ Easter

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Your willingness to both quote and support convicted holocaust deniers and renowned Nazi sympathisers confirms two things - firstly my suspicion that you spend a great deal of time squirreling around unhistorical and politically nauseating areas of the internet, and secondly that on this issue you have "no case" :lol:

Hi Andy

I am sorry that quoting from David Irving's site causes you such offence.

Contrary to what you may think, I have no desire to cause you unnecessary distress or to forment a spiteful spat on the forum.

I spent a little time trying to find another source for this story - in the pro civil liberties English media, for example. After all, if nearly 20,000 people were prosecuted within a single year in Scotland - or Australia - because of their opinions or things that they say, one might expect the mainstream English media to cover the story. If not the Guardian, at least the New Statesman... one might think!

We do live in a democracy, don't we? Freedom of speech is one of the great trophies that western nations can now enjoy, thanks to the sacrifices made by our people in times past (such as every member of my own family that was of fighting age in 1940). Is that correct or not?

Unfortunately, as far as I could find, no-one on the left seems to touch the story. Consequently, the prosecution of many thousands in an advanced European nation, for 'crimes' that would be constitutionally protected activities in the USA - goes unreported. Did anyone else know such large numbers were involved? I, for one, did not. How many are jailed? What are the consequences of conviction in terms of employment, travel etc?

In the absence of apparent alternatives, I feel it's acceptable to cite a source that does exist in the English language media. If you can show me another one, I'm happy to use it instead. It's the issue that matters to me.

I am not, incidentally, lionizing all these people who have been prosecuted. I don't know what they did to be prosecuted. That's the point.

It seems to me this is a matter worthy of discussion. Modern civilized societies (normally) care about their citizens. It's true that for better of for worse, they find reasons to incarcerate some of them in correctional institutions or mete out some other form of punishment. But this itself is not (in every other case I can think of) to be suffered in silence. It's (usually) acceptable - and accepted - that there should be discussion about WHY people are prosecuted in large numbers - and WHETHER that's really a good thing.

So here's a simple question Andy - do you believe that these mass prosecutions in Germany should not be discussed at all?

And here's a challenge... if you agree with me that the matter should be open for discussion, please cite a mainstream English language source (leftish if possible, as like you, I typically prefer the Guardian to the Telegraph :lol: ) that covers this remarkable story in equivalent detail to David Irving's article. I'll be happy to cite that source in future (not the Irving article) when discussing the story. After all, Irving's very name seems to send some people into apoplexy. My interest is to discuss the underlying issues. The fewer distractions, the better, IMO.

Hi Sid,

how about pondering this quotation: " The technique of infamy is to start two lies at once. and set people arguing which one is true" a bit and then taking it seriously for a change?

I sometimes watch German TV and especially the newsreports and there were lengthy reports about all the trials mentioned in Irving's text.

Happ Easter

Hi Ulrike and a Happy Easter to you too.

I don't quite understand your initial suggestion - excuse my poor comprehension.

You say "I sometimes watch German TV and especially the newsreports and there were lengthy reports about all the trials mentioned in Irving's text."

I'm not sure what that means. Are you saying that the German mass media does frequently cover the story about the mass prosecution of Germans over illegal thoughts and statements?

If so, is the case of the accused ever given an airing in the German media - or are they deemed to have "no case"?

Another question… this time a hypothetical.

Suppose a German teacher on this forum, working in Germany, were to encounter this discussion, then take my side in the debate. Would that person’s job be secure? Would they risk imprisonment?

I'd like to get some sense of what these "crimes" really are that are responsible, apparently, for the proecution of a very large number of human beings in the heart of Europe in the 21st century.

If they were all people, for example, who provocatively shriek Nazi slogans outside synagogues… well, the purist in me might prefer they have free speech, but the realist would accept they probably got what is coming to them. In any case, I would find their activity distasteful and that would diminish my sympathy for their plight.

On the other hand, if their ranks include substantial numbers of people who simply debate the facts of history in public places, such as this web forum, then I have no sympathy at all for those who persecute and lock them up - and this repressive behaviour would be an outrage, IMO.

Furthermore, I believe it would be the most profound betrayal for liberals and progressives in the west to wash their hands of the matter and pretend this gross injustice simply isn’t happening.

Given moves that are in progress to make "hate crime" laws Europe-wide and even worldwide - the failure of liberal, progressive or radical historians to sound the alarm about this would suggest that they have not learnt from history at all. Silence in such circumstances, IMO, is a betrayal of key ideals on which modern western civilization was founded.

One final point, to show that I don't just spend my time perusing Nazi propaganda, as Andy seems to believe.

I can't allow a discussion of German-language TV to pass without mentioning my own favourite show: Inspector Rex. Do you watch it too? We get it on the Special Broadcasting Service here in Australia, with sub-titles. Rex is an excellent role model, although not as intelligent as my own dog. But I am biased. :rolleyes:

Edited by Sid Walker

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There is a debate going on in Germany about laws referring to the denial of the Holocuast and the trails were covered by the German media (left and right). If a teacher joined the forum arguing for the end of these laws s/he would face no problems whatsoever.

For me, personally, it is more important to talk about the Holocaust, the mechanism, ideology and propaganda behind it than about e.g. the Irving trial(s).

All those who were arrested and sentenced knew they were breaking laws and living in a democracy all of them should have known how laws are made or better existing ones are changed. I have never heard of Irving or Zündel writing a petition or turning to their MPs to argue their cases. But then they do nor really believe in democracy, free speech for all (including foreigners, Jews, homosexuals etc.), do they!?

As far as I know do they support the German neo-nazis which follow a double strategy: standing for elections and at the same times organising gangs and underground groups which are responsible of a growing number of vicious hate crimes.

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There is a debate going on in Germany about laws referring to the denial of the Holocuast and the trails were covered by the German media (left and right). If a teacher joined the forum arguing for the end of these laws s/he would face no problems whatsoever.

For me, personally, it is more important to talk about the Holocaust, the mechanism, ideology and propaganda behind it than about e.g. the Irving trial(s).

All those who were arrested and sentenced knew they were breaking laws and living in a democracy all of them should have known how laws are made or better existing ones are changed. I have never heard of Irving or Zündel writing a petition or turning to their MPs to argue their cases. But then they do nor really believe in democracy, free speech for all (including foreigners, Jews, homosexuals etc.), do they!?

As far as I know do they support the German neo-nazis which follow a double strategy: standing for elections and at the same times organising gangs and underground groups which are responsible of a growing number of vicious hate crimes.

Ulrike

How were the laws in question enacted?

I understand they are a legacy of Germany's post-war occupation era (of course, some might say that never ended). In other words, these restrictions on free speech did not pass through the Bundestag like most 'normal' German laws in place today.

Like the laws currently used by the Israeli Government to restrict the free speech and travel freedoms of Mordechai Vanunu (peace activist, international hero and winner of the Right Livlihood Award)... they are actually relics of a pre-democratic colonial/occupation era.

Please correct me if I'm wrong about that.

Regarding the possibility of changing the laws... I regret, Ulrike, that the debate would not be fair under present circumstances. Do you really believe it would be? Apart from anything else, only certain types of advocacy would be permissable under current laws. For instance, any suggestions that the Holocaust should be debated to help ascertain the truth would presumably be grounds for arrest under regulations currently in place (as The Truth is already known).

If Germans really prefer not to have free speech, that's their choice, I guess. I don't believe, however, the option of having it has bver been put to them in the post 1945 period.

A close parallel, IMO, is the US bases in Britain or Australia. These are also legacies of World War Two.

In theory, we could vote in Governments that reject the bases and ask - if necessary instruct - the American Government to withdraw its troops. In reality, it is as unlikely as a moon with purple and orange stripes. Given the bias and power of the mass media and spookdom in Australia and Britain, no significant and 'electable' political party would dare put up such a platform. Any that did would cop the kind of hammering that Tony Benn attracted during his bid for the Labour Party Deputy Leadership in Britain - or that Gough Whitlam copped in the election following his sacking by the Governor General.

I'm not, in saying this, claiming that getting US bases out of Britain or Australia is inherently impossible - or that the peculiar laws against free speech in Germany can never be repealed.

I do, however, believe that claiming "it's a democracy - people get the government and laws they vote for" is an impoverished level of analysis. It contains a germ of truth - but without further qualification, it borders on the misleading.

Edited by Sid Walker

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These laws are no legacy of the occupation era, they were passed by the German Bundestag and tested and confirmed by the German Supreme Court without any interference of the occupational powers.

The debate about repealing laws concerning e.g. the display of Nazi symbols actually was started by our attorney general.

I do believe our system is a democratic one, but then - I agree - I am biased because I am German and maybe I have never noticed that I did not have to right to freedom of speech or that other human rights had a higher priority.

Edited by UlrikeSchuhFricke

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There is a debate going on in Germany about laws referring to the denial of the Holocuast and the trails were covered by the German media (left and right). If a teacher joined the forum arguing for the end of these laws s/he would face no problems whatsoever.

For me, personally, it is more important to talk about the Holocaust, the mechanism, ideology and propaganda behind it than about e.g. the Irving trial(s).

All those who were arrested and sentenced knew they were breaking laws and living in a democracy all of them should have known how laws are made or better existing ones are changed. I have never heard of Irving or Zündel writing a petition or turning to their MPs to argue their cases. But then they do nor really believe in democracy, free speech for all (including foreigners, Jews, homosexuals etc.), do they!?

As far as I know do they support the German neo-nazis which follow a double strategy: standing for elections and at the same times organising gangs and underground groups which are responsible of a growing number of vicious hate crimes.

I agree on all the points you make Ulrike.

Europeans do indeed appear to possess a rather more mature conception of democracy and free speech than Americans and apparently Australians do.

Amongst all the unpleasant collection of Nazis and charlatans Sid Walker has seen fit to defend on this forum over a long period of time - Leuchter, Zundel, Irving, Faurisson et al , not one of them believes in free speech, all of them are or have been active in far right (often illegal) neo nazi activities which seek to end all democracy, human rights and free speech in the countries they target.

It would be naive in the extreme to believe that Sid was posting on this forum out of a high minded committment to democracy, human rights and free speech. It is quite clear however that he has a different agenda - not only does he seek to rehabilitate National Socialism to political respectability through his repeated holocaust denial, but he also wishes to challenge sensible mature legislation in countries like Germany and Austria designed to protect democracy from the ravings and prejudices of the lunatic Right.

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