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Jones, Jeremy --- "Holocaust Denial: 'Clear and Present' Racial Vilification" [1994] AUJlHRights 10; (1994) 1(1) Australian Journal of Human Rights 169

Holocaust Denial: "Clear and Present" Racial Vilification

Jeremy Jones[1]

There is at present a vigorous public debate concerning the merits of federal legislation providing redress to the victims of racial vilification and recognising the specific problem of racial violence. It is not my purpose in this paper to enter into the debate concerning the desirability of or most appropriate sanctions contained in any legislation. However, it is my vital concern that legislation is both framed and understood in a way which would ensure that pernicious and dangerous forms of racial vilification are unambiguously covered by the laws. In this paper I argue that Holocaust Denial is a type of racial vilification that should be covered by any sensible anti-racist legislation.

Walter Reich, writing on "the perverse ingenuity" of those who claim the Holocaust never happened, stated

"The primary motivation for most deniers is anti-Semitism, and for them the Holocaust is an infuriatingly inconvenient fact of history. After all, the Holocaust has generally been recognized as one of the most terrible crimes that ever took place, and surely the very emblem of evil in the modern age. If that crime was a direct result of anti-semitism taken to its logical end, then anti-Semitism itself, even when expressed in private conversation, is inevitably discredited amongst most people. What better way to rehabilitate anti-Semitism, making anti-Semitic arguments seem once again respectable in civilized discourse and even make it acceptable for governments to pursue anti-Semitic policies than by convincing the world that the great crime for which anti-Semitism was blamed simply never happened - indeed, that it was nothing more than a frame-up invented by the Jews, and propagated by them through their control of the media?"[2]

Deborah E Lipstadt, Associate Professor of Religion at Emory University in Atlanta, wrote[3]

"For the deniers, what happened to the Jews is beside the point. The central factor for them is that Jews are not victims but victimizers. They 'stole' billions in reparations; they destroyed Germany's good name by spreading the 'myth' of the Holocaust; they duped the world and won international sympathy because of what they claimed had been done to them.".

Holocaust Deniers underlying contention is that Jewish people are dishonest, deceitful and perpetrators of massive fraud, and their arguments directly vilify Jewish Australians.Deniers imply that those who survived the death sentence placed on them by Nazism are liars or psychologically unstable. Historians are either part of the conspiracy or too frightened to stand up to the conspirators. The German people, the entire western world and any who seek to oppose tolerance of Jews are depicted as victims and innocents.

That Holocaust denial is a serious matter has been shown by the actions of four European countries in passing laws prohibiting Holocaust denial and the European parliament has specifically drawn attention to its use by neo-Nazi groups which confront democracy.[4]

Its resolution, "emphasising the insidious nature of revisionist theories, some of which go so far as to claim that the Holocaust did not take place", considered as "essential" a number of measures, including

"the adoption by Member States of appropriate legislation condemning any denial of the genocide perpetrated during the Second World War and any justification and attempt at rehabilitation of the regimes and institutions which were responsible for and parties to it".

In his monograph "Denial of the Holocaust: An Issue of Law",5 international lawyer and Chairman of the Standing Council on Central and East European Jewry of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Dr Stephen Roth argues that, in most jurisdictions, "those who regard the legal restriction of holocaust denial as politically desirable and urgent " will find "a special law" to be the "most desirable course of action" and the one most likely to be "legally effective"[5]. This is because experience internationally has been that courts have not consistently reflected the Judgement at the 17th Chambre Correctionelle of Paris, 3 July 1981, in the case of French "denial activist" Professor Robert Faurisson, when it noted:

"In accusing the Jews publicly of being guilty of a particularly odious lie and of a gigantic swindle ... Robert Faurisson could not be unaware that his words would arouse in his very large audience feelings of contempt, of hatred and of violence towards the Jews in France ...".

Roth observes

"Of course, even denial statements, pure and simple, made without any reference to a Jewish invention or fabrication, will appear highly antisemitic to anyone who reads them in their political context. There is often strong circumstantial evidence that will indicate the Author's antisemitic motive. But that is not always the case. The technique of the Holocaust-denier is reminiscent of the skill of the card-sharp: "Now you see it, now you don't." In such situations, the decision on whether to prosecute or convict will depend on the correct assessment by the prosecution authorities or the judges of the denier's arriere-pensee. Since this is too feeble a legal basis for the suppression of the dangerous evil of Holocaust denial, some states have adopted specific and explicit legal measures against it."

In Switzerland, the law states

"Whoever ..... publicly through utterances, writings, gestures, assaults or in any other form injures the honour of a person or group of persons for reason of their race or their belonging to an ethnic or religious group or for one of these reasons defames the memory of deceased persons, or, for the same reason, grossly minimises or seeks to dispute genocide or other crimes against humanity........ shall be punished by imprisonment or a fine."[6]

French law is that a punishment of imprisonment between one month and one year, or a fine of 2,000 FF to 300,000 FF, or both,

"shall be applied to anyone who contests, by any of the means set out in Article 23[7]the existence of one or several crimes against humanity as defined in Article 6 of the Statute of the International Military Tribunal annexed to the London Agreement of 8 August 1945 and which were committed either by members of an organisation declared criminal in the application of Article 9 of the said Statute, or by a person found guilty of such crimes by a French or international court."[8]

In Austria, it is an offence

" if in print, over the radio or through another medium or otherwise in a public manner accessible to many people" a person "denies, grossly trivialises, approves or seeks to justify the national socialist genocide or other national socialist crimes against humanity"[9]

and the Federal Republic of Germany's Criminal Code states

"If the memory of a deceased person is blackened, the surviving relatives indicated in 77(2) shall be entitled to file a formal complaint. If the crime was committed by the distribution of writings (11(3), by making such writings accessible to the public, or in a meeting, or by broadcasting a programme on the radio, no formal complaint shall be required if the deceased lost his life as a victim of National Socialism or any other form of despotism and tyranny, and the defamation is connected therewith. However, the crime cannot be prosecuted upon official intervention if the person entitled to file a formal complaint objects to the prosecution. The objection may not be withdrawn."[10]

The respected comparative study of antisemitism across national boundaries, the Institute of Jewish Affairs' Antisemitism World Report, 1993[11] , included the following observation :

"denial of the Holocaust - misleadingly referred to as 'revisionism', which lends it a legitimacy it does not deserve - remained an important common denominator for both overtly and covertly antisemitic groups and individuals."

In this country, Holocaust Denial has become the single most important theme linking the disparate and competing forces of racist extremism. In the 1993 Annual Report of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, this author noted

"`Holocaust Denial' continued to be at the cutting edge of antisemitism, and continued to be treated relatively benevolently by much of the media. 1993 was the first year in which teachers of the history of the Nazi genocide and related subjects reported questioning by students as to the actual occurrence of a Nazi Holocaust and comments intimating a belief that Holocaust deniers had elements of validity. Given the enormous efforts by Holocaust deniers during the year in review, aimed in the short-term at having questions raised by members of the younger generations, this is perhaps unsurprising and a cause for very serious concern. The Holocaust deniers have sought to promote themselves as one side of a debate on a matter of alleged historic dispute, appealing to a sentiment opposing "politically correct" ideas and also appealing to small "l" liberals who often seem willing to justify a platform for what is presented as merely an alternative viewpoint. . . . In May, the main synagogue in Perth was extensively daubed with Holocaust denial slogans and hate mail often included the claim. Letters published in various newspapers which were unambiguously antisemitic often included Holocaust denials and regularly extended the denial to include the rationalisation that, e.g. the Holocaust as currently understood is a "chestnut, the sole purpose of which is the political and financial bolstering" of Israel. . . . In a particularly offensive gesture, unknown persons placed leaflets claiming that the Holocaust, and in particular the use by Nazis of Gas Chambers, is a myth, on the windscreens of cars of patrons attending a Sydney performance of a play based on the experience of the family of Holocaust survivors who live in New Zealand. Many of the recipients of the leaflets were Jewish, including a number of Holocaust survivors. Media outlets around Australia also reported receiving copies of this material."

In the period January - September 1994, Australians have witnessed letters disputing facts of the Holocaust in The Australian[12], The Goulburn Post[13], The Illawarra Mercury[14], The Sunday Mail (Brisbane)[15], Newsweekly[16], Daily Telegraph Mirror[17], Sun-Herald[18] , heard an interview in which Holocaust Denial was put forward as fact on 2SER-FM[19] and an interviewee on ABC Radio's "That's history" program claim that Holocaust history was "the other side" to Holocaust Denial[20].

In Adelaide, a group calling itself Australians For Free Speech held a rally at which Holocaust denial was a major theme[21] and emanating from racist organisations and individuals were a number of incidents including the publication of Holocaust Denial in The Strategy[22], material timed to coincide with the opening of the film Schindler's List in Adelaide[23], distributed in the street and mailed to individuals and organisations in Adelaide and Melbourne[24], regular Holocaust denials in the publications of the Australian League of Rights, an attack on the Holocaust masquerading as a review of Schindler's List in the mass-produced National Reporter[25], the magazine Truth Missions and its successor, The Adelaide Institute, a journal seemingly obsessed with Holocaust denying sent to Jewish individuals and institutions as well as media outlets and the broadcast in a northern New South Wales surf club of a video described in publicity as exposing "the Holocaust myth".

Additionally, during the first nine months of 1994 there were instances of cassette tapes containing a "proof" that the Holocaust is a Jewish invention, placed in letter-boxes in Launceston[26], letters reportedly sent by a self-declared former SS member asking "How much longer does the Australian government and the media intend to feed the people this sickening Holocaust filth?"[27], letters and newsletters denying that the Nazis had perpetrated Genocide were received by Jewish individuals in their private homes and at work addresses on a number of occasions throughout the year, a Jewish person was lectured on why there is no reason to accept that there was a Holocaust, during the course of a professional consultation and abusive telephone calls during which the Jewish individuals who answered their telephones were told that there was no Holocaust and the Jewish people would eventually suffer from enraged non-Jews when this truth became known. In another incident, columnist Beatrice Faust reported she had received Holocaust denial hate mail at her Melbourne home[28] .

Some of the perpetrators of these actions were perhaps unwitting accomplices in the campaigns of organised racist groups, but more often than not the perpetrators had a clear agenda of either causing hurt and distress to Jews or , through vilification, aiming to bring all Jews into contempt and disrepute.

The reality of active and vigorous antisemitic organisations and individuals as a factor present in Australia is recognised by all serious observers of racism in this country. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has logged an average of over 170 incidents of anti-Jewish racist violence (as defined in the report of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's National Inquiry Into Racist Violence) each year that it has been keeping national records[29], including over 200 in 1993.

In the first decades after World War II, even antisemites generally realised that the claim that the Holocaust was a Jewish invention was so ludicrous as to be a handicap, rather than a stepping-stone, to acceptance. But as fewer and fewer eye-witnesses remain alive and as deconstructionist philosophies encourage a cynicism concerning even the existence of "facts", antisemites have seen new possibilities for rewriting the past in a manner which both whitewashes Nazi crimes and vilifies Jews.

The first Australian group which threw itself with gusto into Holocaust Denial was the Australian Civil Liberties Union, which bears no relation to, but benefits due to confusion with, various regional and national Councils for Civil Liberties.

The founder of the ACLU, John Bennett, staked his claim in the front ranks of Australian (and international) Holocaust Denial with his publicity campaign, in 1979, on behalf of Arthur Butz's Hoax of the Twentieth Century.[30] Butz, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Northwestern University, published his pseudo-academic work in 1976, through the Historical Review Press in Surrey, England. Within a short time span it became a handbook for anti-semites, and its themes became the staples for the US-based Institute of Historical Review.

Butz and other Deniers' arguments were well-summarised thus by Dr. John Foster:

"there was no plan in Nazi Germany to exterminate the Jews; the camps served a dual function, as internment camps for Jews and others who were considered a threat to national security, and as labour camps; the gassing of Jews was a myth; Zyklon B was a disinfecting agent used exclusively for delousing prisoners; those Jews who died did so as a result of hunger and disease. The Holocaust was a myth, a deliberate hoax, contrived by an unholy alliance of Communists and Zionists in an elaborate conspiracy to create sympathy and extort money for the cause of Israel and Jewish Communism."[31]

The Institute of Historical Review and similar pseudo-academic bodies try hard to disguise their true unacademic intentions. Although the Nazi Holocaust is the single most researched, analysed , interpreted and debated matter of modern, if not world, history, they allege that there is no historic discussion of the Holocaust and all they are doing is exercising a right to indulge in historical enquiry. But while it is legitimate, for example, to debate for example the merits of the Keating government's administration, it is ludicrous to argue that Paul Keating is not (in October 1994), Prime Minister of Australia, and while a great deal of research takes place on the exact number of victims of the Nazi genocide, their places of murder, the origin of the "Final Solution" and the exact method of murder, it is another thing altogether to allege for example that Auschwitz did not house an Extermination camp. Rather than adopt sound scientific methods of observing reality and then, by means of investigation based on reasoned hypotheses, seek to explain what happened, Deniers seek to use "science" to disprove observed facts, just as it is apparently possible to misuse aerodynamics to "prove" that butterflies can not fly. But as is clear, the Deniers' misuse of research and science has an identifiable agenda.

Dr Frank Knopfelmacher wrote that the arguments put forward by Butz and Bennett constituted

"a group-libel against an easily identifiable and traditionally stigmatised section of the population, which exceeds in ferocity and depth of malice anything that has happened in the field of ethnic animadversion in this country at least since World War II.".[32]

The effect of the Deniers such as Bennett, Butz and Irving is, as Knopfelmacher noted, to clearly imply

"that the Jewish people are witting and, rarely, unwitting accomplices in a conspiracy to extort, to lie and to kill, in order to acquire a counterfeit crown of martyrdom to be used for personal and political gain".

Bennett, then secretary of the Victorian Council for Civil Liberties, claims to have accepted the historical truth of the Holocaust before encountering "revisionism", but after reading the Butz book "it was as if the blinders had been lifted from my eyes".[33] He took up Holocaust-denial as a personal crusade, writing articles and letters for publication arguing these theme and distributing samples of "revisionism" to opinion leaders, libraries and the media. Despite the availability of many well-researched works contradicting the major planks of Butz's theses, Bennett was able to present himself to colleagues, associates and the public as a person motivated by genuine concerns about correcting the historical record.

Senator Gareth Evans, speaking in debate in the Australian Senate on a motion to take note of the historical evidence determining the Holocaust occurred and affirming that it is "a major task for any civilised people is to prevent such events happening again", said the following:

"A few years ago I was encouraged by some of those whom I believed at the time to be motivated by a spirit of genuine intellectual inquiry to look at some of those so-called revisionist writings and, in particular, the work of that Chicago academic -if he might be so described - A. R.. Butz, whose book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century has become and remains something of a bible of revisionists." He went on to say that Butz's writing on Anne Frank had repulsed him, and that "any mortal who has any sensitivity at all could not possibly take seriously that kind of rubbish and that kind of account."[34]

In the same debate, Senators Peter Baume, Colin Mason and Barney Cooney all referred to the attempts by the Deniers to influence the public, with Senator Baume, in introducing the motion, stressing

"it is desirable that the Senate asserts the accuracy of the evidence of history, not least because of revisionist interpretations that would have us believe that there was no holocaust, no gas chambers, no 'final solution', no mass crematoria, and that no systematic program of extermination, and that Jewish deaths occurred only in the usual course of hostile occupation."[35]

That the matter was discussed in the Australian Senate may be evidence that the Deniers, even if rejected, had been noticed.

Bennett has included promotions of books written by the Deniers and approval for their views in a number of editions of his annual handbook on legal rights[36] and letters on ACLU letterhead have been published regularly putting forward one or another of the revisionists themes.

The Australian League of Rights, identified in the Report of the National Inquiry Into Racist Violence conducted by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (1991) as "undoubtedly the most influential and effective, as well as the best organised and most substantially financed racist organisation in Australia" has been denying the Holocaust occurred for many years[37]. Until relatively recently, this was merely an undistinguished subordinate argument appearing in a plethora of anti-Jewish and other racist statements in their journals.

League of Rights supporters, together with Nazi apologists and others who believed themselves to be beneficiaries of any public odium afflicting Jews, were a ready audience and support group for the productions of the "Institute for Historical Review". The League of Rights regularly reprints and distributes Holocaust Denials in its journals and both promotes and sells imported books and videos of this type of antisemitism.[38]

While the books promoted by Bennett have rarely gained popular attention, English author David Irving has large audiences for his esoteric writings on World War II history and used this fact to preach the lies of Holocaust Deniers to a wider audience. The importance of David Irving to international racism was commented upon by the authors of the Antisemitism World Report 1993, in their terms

"Holocaust denial developments in 1992 can more or less be traced by following the travels of Irving in particular. Fortunately, a number of countries either banned his entry or deported him once he had entered, signifying a greater awareness of the danger he represents and a greater willingness to take action to prevent his activities"

During two well-publicised speaking tours of Australia, Irving has played on the "controversial" nature of his works[39] and, after the dreadfully misreported decisions by two federal Immigration Ministers not to take special action required for Mr Irving to be permitted entry to Australia despite his criminal conviction in Germany and deportation from Canada, was given numerous Australian platforms in 1993 and 1994.

Until recently, Irving claimed that he could not say one way or another whether the Holocaust occurred. Like Bennett, Irving attributes his conviction that Jews have perpetrated mass fraud on the international community to one book, in his case, The Leuchter Report, a pseudo-scientific "proof" that Zyklon-B was not used to murder human beings in Auschwitz. (Using Irving's endorsement, Bennett, League of Rights members and supporters, and other Deniers have sought to give this report wide publicity, and have scored occasional media coups.[40])

The Australian government's decision not to grant David Irving permission to enter Australia in 1993 or 1994 was based in immigration law and it is not the purpose of this paper to canvass the political merits of the decisions. What is of direct relevance to this paper is whether or not David Irving would have committed an offence,under existing atate and/or mooted federal law if he had entered Australia, a matter which obviously is relevant to the Ministers' decisions without necessarily constituting the basis for them.

In considering this matter we are fortunate to be able to move beyond hypothesis, given that Irving's supporters have distributed a video of the speech which was allegedly to be given by the English writer.

The video, The Search for Truth in History has Mr Irving deliver a monologue on the evils of his perceived enemies. It is my contention that, had the writer delivered this speech in Australia, he would have been in breach of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act (1977) as 20C (1) states

"it is unlawful for a person, by a public act, to incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on the grounds of the race of the person or members of the group";

and that the distribution and broadcast of the video of the speech is similarly in breach of the Act, as broadcasting the video and selling the video are clearly covered by the definition of "Public Act" in section 20B(a) of the Act. It is also arguable that similar laws in other jurisdictions were relevant to this case.

The central thesis of the speech is that the Holocaust is a "myth" which is protected by a conspiracy which has a vested interest in maintaining belief in this myth. During the speech, Irving refers to the Nazi genocide variously as an "historical legend", a "blood lie" on the German people, a myth on which "the Jewish people have been dining out on ... for the last 50 years", "the lie", a cause for German people to become "pretty steamed up" and something with "the quality of a religion, almost".

He describes the academic debate on the Holocaust as one in which he is part of a school of "independent historians, should we say the non-Jewish historians" and claims that survivor testimony is "a matter for psychological examination" or "psychiatric examination".

He identifies a number of beneficiaries of this historic fraud, including the Jewish people who "have been dining out on the Holocaust" and Holocaust survivors, a group he accuses of mass delusion and who he claims gain status due to proximity to horror. The many false, offensive and misleading statements contained in the speech and introduction contribute to the secondary thesis that Jews and/or those with a vested interest in aiding and abetting Jews are acting in a manner directly opposed to the interests of the German people and others.

Viewers of the video are asked to accept that there is a conspiracy, essentially consisting of and acting for Jews, which has blackmailed Germany financially, the Christian world morally and the Western world politically. It is difficult to conclude other than that the speech spreads contempt towards Jews in Australia, seriously vilifies Jews and has the potential to incite individuals who have become "steamed up" to engaged in physical anti-Jewish activities. Viewers are left in no doubt that it is a matter of honour and courage to stand up to the evil propagators of the "Myth" of the Holocaust, under the direction of David Irving.

An Adelaide propogator of Holocaust Denial, Frederick Toben, submitted the video for broadcast on Adelaide Community and Educational Television (ACE-TV) earlier this year. The Board of ACE-TV, in a media release issued on August 12, stated that David Irving's "So-called Search For Truth is merely a denigration of the Holocaust" and that the staion would not "be used to incite racial accromony (sic)". The Catholic Multicultural Office in Adelaide, expressing the unanimous request of "Archbishop Leonard Faulkner and the directors of all Catholic agencies in Adelaide" to not broadcast "this repugnant and hurtful material" argued "the showing of such blatantly anti-Semitic propaganda makes anyone involved a participant in crimes of violence" eventuating from "the pool of hatred" the video helped to grow.

Anti-Jewish vilification has come, in recent years, from pre-Nazi racists such as the League of Rights, Australian remnants of East and Central European Fascist groups, cultural and religious antisemites from Lebanon, from South America, from England and from some seeking to find roots for post-USSR national identities. While not a factor in most of the often-heated debates concerning events in the Middle East, blatant antisemitism, including Holocaust Denial, has occasionally been expressed in Australia by extreme opponents of Israel. John Bennett, claimed his key political motivation for seeking to "expose" the Holocaust comes from his perception of the debate on the Middle East saying, in his address to the 1980 convention of the Institute for Historical Review, that the reason he "became involved in the world-wide debate about the Holocaust, is that it is, as Zionist Jews say 'Israel's number one propaganda weapon'."

Not long after the Sydney-based Arabic-language newspaper An Nahar was censored by the Australian Press Council for publishing extracts from the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion and defending these notorious forgeries on the grounds of historical accuracy, one of their most prominent contributors, recognized community leader Dr. Anice Morsey, later appointed an Ethnic Affairs commissioner by the Victorian government, under the title "Forgetfulness" wrote

". . . Zionism fabricated and convinced the world with [a story] that there was mass killing of the Jews in furnaces and gas chambers, and even convinced the world that Germany alone killed six million Jews, while the truth is that those Jews who were killed numbered only 600,000, and they were not killed in the gas chambers as was suggested, but they were killed in the conquest's battles or because they participated in the fifth column and they worked as spies in Germany, Poland and France . . . Zionism convinced the whole world of a disaster that did not occur, and sought to gain the sympathy of the world. . .they placed the world in a position of self-defence and feeling of guilt to such an extent that the Israeli state drains off[41] from the new Germany materialistically. . . ."[42]

Under New South Wales law discussed above, one complaint has been dealt with which included Holocaust denial as a matter of concern. The Arabic language newspaper An Nahar, in its issue of July 16, 1992, included an article with the title "His blood is upon us and our Children", which was an attack on Christians who have sought constructive relations with Jews. The article included the charge that "the presumed holocaust was disproved by great writers and historians of the second world war events" and that Jews aimed to "blackmail the world physically for generations to come, and to draw pity from some countries, making them feel guilty".

The outcome of the complaint about the article, lodged by the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies, was the publication of an apology and subsequent extracts from the Catholic Bishops' Conference 1992 "Guidelines for Catholic-Jewish Relations", which included in its statement of purpose dealing with the problem of "denials of the Holocaust" in Australia. The apology included reference to comments which vilified Jews , which must be understood to include the Holocaust denial.

Michael Schmidt wrote that neo-Nazis denounce legal measures used against Holocaust deniers in Germany as examples of "the suppression of freedom of speech in this so-called democracy". Basing his comments on unparalleled research of the aims and methods of European racists, Schmidt commented

"The argument is insidious, as their invocation of democratice senticments is completely insincere. The neo-Nazis would like nothing more than the immediate abolition of democracy. But when their freedom to spread malicious propaganda is endangered, they demand freedom of expression as their democratic right. In this too they misinterpret democracy, for the German Constitution also guarantees protection from public harassment - a matter of course in most democratic states, where human dignity is another fundamental right.

Free speech absolutists such as the American Noam Chomsky - who is by no means right-wing - defend as a basic right the freedom of speech in which anyone can say absolutely anything. Their position unintentionally supports the strategies of terrorism; and the effects of unchecked hate propaganda is something we simply cannot ignore, particularly we Germans, who have already once endured the destruction of our liberal institutions by fascist extremists. Freedom of expression is not endangered when Nazis are forbidden their slanderous lies. A neo-Nazi is not punished for saying: "I like National Socialism. I hate Jews and intellectuals." Opinions cannot be forbidden. However, if he says, "There was no Holocaust. Stop with the historical lies, with the inventions of world Jewry," then he is liable to be punished by the state for using speech to manufacture new hate."[43]

Governments have a responsibility to provide citizens with recourse when they are subjected to racial vilification and against those who incite violence, discrimination or persecution. Holocaust denial is a form of racism which is present in Australia, has a specific role in furthering agendas of hatred and has been recognised in other jurisdictions as a serious issue. Those who administer racial vilification laws must be aware of the necessity of recognising that Holocaust denial is, for the racist of today, as potent a weapon as charges of deicide and witchcraft in past times.


[1]Jeremy Jones, the Director of the Sydney Office of Australia/Israel Publications and the Executive Vice-President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, written in a personal capacity.

[2] W Reich, "Erasing the Holocaust", New York Times Book Review, July 11, 1993.

[3]Patterns of Prejudice"(Vol. 26, Nos. 1&2, 1992)

[4]The European Parliament, on April 21, 1993 passed a Resolution on the resurgence of racism and xenophobia in Europe and the danger of right-wing extremist violence (A3-0127/93)

[5]Dr Stephen Roth, Denial of the holocaust: An Issue of Law presented to the World Jewish Congress Governing Board Meeting, 7-9 February, 1994, at which this author was present representing the Australian Jewish community.

[6]Article 261b The Penal Code 21 December 1937)

[7] "Speeches, cries or threats uttered in public places or meetings or by writing, printed matter, drawings, engravings, paintings, emblems, pictures or any other medium for writing words or pictures sold, distributed, offered for sale or exhibited in public places or meetings, or any media of audio-visual communications"

[8]French Law no 90-615 of 13 July 1990 concerning the suppression of all racist, antisemitic or xenophobic acts. Translation courtesy Roth, above.

[9]Austrian Law N0. 148: Federal law- amendment of the Prohibition Law, 1992, Bundesgesetzblatt (BGBl) no. 57/1992 of March 19, 1992. Translation by Dr Stephen Roth.

[10] Twenty-first Law Modifying the Criminal Code of June 13, 1985.

[11]Tony Lerman and Howard Spier (general editors), Antisemitism World Report 1993, Institute of Jewish Affairs in association with the World Jewish Congress, London, 1993

[12]January 22, signed David Irving

[13]January 5, signed Jim Shanks

[14]January 11, signed Jim Shanks

[15] January 23, signed Werner Schmidlin

[16] March 26, signed Sheila Adams

[17]April 8, signed Geoff Muirden of the Australian Civil Liberties Union

[18]April 10, signed Geoff Muirden of the Australian Civil Liberties Union

[19]May 5, with David Irving

[20]Radio National, August 12.

[21] August 12.

[22]January 1994 issue

[23] February 10

[24]February 17 and 22.

[25]Volume 1, No 3 (undated, approx. March 1994)

[26]At least two distributions, in January and April, have received publicity

[27]Melbourne, February 4

[28]The Australian, January 15, 1994

[29]1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994

[30] According to Stephen Stratford, in The New Zealand Jewish Chronicle, January 1980, Bennett "sent 2,000 copies of a four-page pamphlet stating his case to MPs and the media" and distributed 200 free copies of Butz's book."

[31]Foster, J., "Fabricating History", in Liberman S. (ed). Anti-semitism and Human Rights. Australian Institute of Jewish Affairs, Melbourne, 1985.

[32] The Age March 29, 1979

[33]Spotlight, March 3, 1980

[34]Senate Hansard, August 23, 1985, pp233-234

[35]Ibid, pp230-231

[36]The 1984 edition was withdrawn from sale as endorsers of earlier editions, which did not contain "revisionism", objected to being linked with this Bennett crusade

[37]Reference to "the myth concerning the six million Jews who were allegedly murdered" is found in New Times, February 28, 1958.

[38] In his 1965 Dissent monograph, Voices of Hate, K. D. Gott noted that the League promoted a book by "notorious Hungarian Jew-hater, Louis Marschalko" by saying "This book is definitely worth having if only to read the chapter 'What Has Become of Six Million Jews', in which the author proves conclusively that the story of the 6,000,000 murdered Jews is one of the great propaganda hoaxes of all time . . . "

[39] His 1986 tour was ostensibly undertaken to launch the paperback version of his book Uprising on the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, published by Veritas, the publisher and distributor of a range of racist books.

[40] The Leuchter Report is a discredited pseudo-scientific document arguing that Jews could not have been gassed to death in Concentration/Extermination Camps. Its promoters receive occasional publicity, eg on Howard sattler's Perth 6PR radio programme on February 2, 1990, when the broadcaster interviewed Leuchter and spoke of "the so-called Holocaust"

[41]Using an Arabic term generally used for "sucking blood"

[42]An Nahar, October 8, 1982, translation from the Arabic

[43] Michael Schmidt The New Reich: Violent Extremism in Unified Germany and Beyond Hutchinson London 1993

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