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Holocaust Denial: David Irving Goes to Jail

British historian, author, and renowned Holocaust denier David Irving was sentenced to three years in Austria in February of 2006 after his November 2005 arrest for "trivializing the Holocaust," a crime of speech in Austria. A warrant for his arrest was issued by the Austrian government in 1989 after Irving made comments in speeches and lectures denying the Holocaust. He is on record calling the Auschwitz gas chambers a "fairy tale," and questioned the logistical problems that would stem from a government plan to liquidate all of Europe's Jews.

In Austria, Holocaust denial is punishable by up to ten years in prison, but Irving's defense asked for leinency, while Irving himself pleaded guilty. He claimed to have changed his views on the Holocaust in the 17 years between when the warrant was issued and the trial.

However, the prosecution, an eight-person jury, claimed the change in position was nothing more than a tactic, and Irving was still a neo-Nazi icon around the world. Irving was originally arrested while entering southern Austria, despite being barred from entering the country.


See also: Irving V. Lipstadt

Sources: The Guardian (February 2006)