Monday, February 20, 2006

Austria [and Germany] are special cases

I have been doing a lot of media interviews from Rome. The issue keeps coming up: are Germany and Austria special cases in terms of Nazi/Holocaust denial laws?

As I have said all along, I think the answer is yes. Their history -- plus the fact that places such as Austria have not really come to a full reckoning with that past -- gives denial as well as the use of Nazi like symbols, e.g. swastika, a special resonance.

Therefore, the fact that Irving had to say in court, as he just has, I was wrong, there were gas chambers etc. is important, not for normal folks, but for his neo-Nazi supporters.

I don't think for a minute that they will now say 'Eureka, I have seen the light and now that Irving says there were gas chambers I believe it too.'

Rather they will say: 'Irving had no choice. He was forced to do this.'

Then when Irving returns to the UK and recants -- as I believe he will -- they will say, 'Exactly as we said.'

More later. Going to get a strong cup of Italian coffee... that may be a redundancy.

1 comment:

me said...

It has been and still is my impression as well that Irving will recant after he has left Austrian soil. But - he will have a hard time to do it because he has been somewhat specific about certain documents which allegedly changed his mind about the Holocaust. When switching back to his old - and genuine - position, he has to explain some issues very elaborately to his following.

Well, maybe he suddenly discovers that he already had discovered some other documents back in 19-whatever which make him do a U-turn again ...