Laws Against Holocaust Denial

Laws Against Holocaust Denial
   Holocaust denial is illegal in a number of European nations. Many countries also have broader laws that criminalize genocide denial. In addition, the European Union has issued a directive to combat racism and xenophobia, which makes provision for member states criminalizing Holocaust denial, with a maximum prison sentence of between one and three years. In addition, the Council of Europe’s 2003 Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cyber Crime, which concerns the prosecution of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems, includes an article entitled “Denial, Gross Minimization, Approval or Justification of Genocide or Crimes against Humanity,” although this does not have the status of law. Of the countries that ban Holocaust denial, a number (Austria, Germany, and Romania) were among the perpetrators of the Holocaust, and many of these also ban other elements associated with Nazism. The following is the status of Holocaust denial country by country where such laws are applicable: • Belgium: Holocaust denial was made illegal in 1995.
   • Czech Republic: In addition to Holocaust denial, the negation of purported communist atrocities was made illegal in 2001.
   • European Union: While the European Union has not prohibited Holocaust denial outright, a maximum term of three years in jail is optionally available to all member nations for “denying or grossly trivializing crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.”
   • France: The Gayssot Act, voted for on 13 July 1990, makes it illegal to question the existence of the category of crimes against humanity as defined in the London Charter of 1945, on the basis of which Nazi leaders were convicted by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1945–1946. When the act was challenged by Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, the Human Rights Committee upheld it as a necessary means to counter possible anti-Semitism.
   • Germany: Volksverhetzung (incitement of the people) is a concept in German criminal law that bans the incitement of hatred against a segment of the population. It often applies in (although is not limited to) trials relating to Holocaust denial in Germany. In addition, laws outlaw various symbols such as the swastika and Schutzstaffel (SS) runes.
   • Israel: A law to criminalize Holocaust denial was passed by the Knesset on 8 July 1986.
   • Liechtenstein: Although not specifically outlining National Socialist crimes, Item 5 of Section 283 of the criminal code prohibits the denial of genocide.
   • Luxembourg: Article 457–3 of the Criminal Code, Act of 19 July 1997 outlaws Holocaust denial and denial of other genocides. The punishment is imprisonment for between eight days and six months and/or a fine.
   • The Netherlands: While Holocaust denial is not explicitly illegal, the courts consider it a form of spreading hatred and therefore an offense. According to the Dutch public prosecution office, offensive remarks are only punishable by Dutch law if they equate to discrimination against a particular group. Article 137 of Dutch law stipulates “He who in public, orally, in writing or image, deliberately offends a group of people because of their race, their religion or beliefs, or their hetero- or homosexual orientation, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding one year or a third category fine.”
   • Poland: In addition to Holocaust denial, the denial of communist crimes is punishable by law.
   • Portugal: Although denial of the Holocaust is not expressly illegal in Portugal, Portuguese law prohibits genocide denial.
   • Romania: Emergency Ordinance No. 31 of 13 March 2002 prohibits Holocaust denial. It was ratified on 6 May 2006. The law also prohibits racist, fascist, and xenophobic symbols, uniforms, and gestures, proliferation of which is punishable with imprisonment from between six months to five years.
   • Russian Federation: Russia does not have laws pertaining to Holocaust denial but its penal code provides for the investigation and prosecution of crimes motivated by racial, ethnic, or religious bias.
   • Spain: Genocide denial was illegal until the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that the words “deny or” were unconstitutional in its judgment of 7 November 2007. As a result, Holocaust denial is legal, although justifying the Holocaust or any other genocide is an offense punishable by imprisonment in accordance with the constitution.
   • Switzerland: Holocaust denial is not expressly illegal, but the denial of genocide and other crimes against humanity is a punishable offence.
   • United States and Great Britain: Holocaust denial is not criminalized in the United States because of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It is also not an offence in the United Kingdom, although laws against libel or inciting racial hatred may apply.

Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Laws against Holocaust denial — Holocaust denial is illegal in a number of European countries. Many countries also have broader laws against libel or inciting racial hatred, as do a number of countries that do not specifically have laws against Holocaust denial, such as Canada… …   Wikipedia

  • Holocaust Denial —    This is the claim that the genocide of the Jews during World War II did not occur at all or that the Holocaust did not happen in the way historians have recorded it. Holocaust deniers reject the claim that Nazi Germany had a deliberate policy… …   Historical dictionary of the Holocaust

  • Holocaust denial — Antisemitism Part of Jewish history …   Wikipedia

  • HOLOCAUST DENIAL — In one sense, Holocaust denial began during World War II, as the Nazis tried to carry out their mass murder of Jews in secret and in many cases returned to the sites of destruction to destroy the evidence, plow the camps under or dig up and burn… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Criticism of Holocaust denial — criticizes claims to the effect that the genocide of Jews during World War II usually referred to as the Holocaust[1] did not occur in the manner or to the extent described by current scholarship. Key elements of such claims are the rejection of… …   Wikipedia

  • Denial of the Armenian Genocide — is the assertion that the Armenian Genocide did not occur in the manner or to the extent described by scholarship. The Armenian Genocide is widely acknowledged outside Turkey to have been one of the first modern, systematic genocides, [Ferguson,… …   Wikipedia

  • The Holocaust — Holocaust and Shoah redirect here. For other uses, see Holocaust (disambiguation) and Shoah (disambiguation). Selection on …   Wikipedia

  • Armenian Genocide denial — Armenian Genocide Background Armenians in the Ottoman Empire …   Wikipedia

  • Nanking Massacre denial — Nanking Massacrev · d · e Battl …   Wikipedia

  • Persecution of homosexuals in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust — Memorial to gay and lesbian victims of National Socialism in Cologne. Its inscription reads: Totgeschlagen – Totgeschwiegen (Struck Dead – Hushed Up). In the 1920s, homosexual people in Germany, particularly in Berlin, enjoyed a higher level of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.