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Holocaust Denial

Holocaust Denial Austrian writer and Holocaust denier Gerd Honsik.

The National Socialism Prohibition Act of 1947 (Verbotsgesetz) prohibits Holocaust denial. Nevertheless, such facts occasionally arise in the Austrian media space. Thus, in June 2009, the court sentenced the Austrian writer Gerd Honsik to five years in prison for Holocaust denial. The prosecution demanded that the 68-year-old author of the book "Hitler Innocent?" be sentenced to 20 years. However, due to the writer's advanced age, the court commuted the sentence.

A few years earlier, in 2006, Austria convicted the right-wing English historian David Irving, sentencing him to three years in prison. The 67-year-old Englishman admitted his guilt, but stressed that since 1989, when he made the statement, his views had changed and now he did not deny the existence of the gas chambers. Irving's arrest warrant was indeed issued back in 1989 by a court in Vienna, when during one of his speeches he stated that the Nazi regime had not used gas chambers. The historian also shocked the public with the theory that the Kristallnacht of November 9, 1938, which began the extermination of the Jews in Germany, was not initiated by the Nazis at all, and that Hitler was actually protecting the Jews.

In February 2017, a court in the Austrian city of Feldkirch also sentenced a 53-year-old resident for violating anti-Nazi laws regarding Holocaust denial: she left a comment on a Facebook group post, writing that the honoring Holocaust victims member was spreading lies. After complaining to the police, the police visited the woman's house. On the entrance to the bathroom, the policemen found a sign that read "This Hitlerite needs a clean restroom."

The woman said the sign was a joke, and her lawyer insisted that his client was "a simple housewife" and was unaware of the criminal responsibility for denying Nazi crimes. She apologized for the comment, saying that she had been misled by a certain documentary. The court eventually gave her a seven-month suspended sentence and a fine of 1,200 euros.

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