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February 17, 2006

Comments

radek

There's a bit of a mistranslation here (not surprising from Reuters who tend to screw up EE stuff all the time) since apparantly, according to "Rzeczpospolita" and "Gazeta Wyborcza" those 'researchers' (sic) are still coming. From the Gazeta article it looks to me like Meller was speaking in a private capacity, not stating the view of the government.

The Polish government is perfectly within its rights to deny visas to these folks based just on the fact that they're being annoying. I say that as someone who shares your views on freedom of speech, even regarding ugly crap like Holocaust denial. And as far as playing into the hands of those who say there's a double standard at work, I don't see why anyone should care. As recent events show, it doesn't matter how open or 'neutral' the West (and the European East) acts, it will still get accused of being anti-Muslim.

Also, the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum issued a statement that anyone can get access to its archives, but those who deny the Holocaust are not allowed on the grounds, since it is technically a cementary.

Finally, the last part of that article shows the ignorance of these supposed researchers. The 6 million weren't killed/burned at Aushwitz, only about 1 million were. The other 5 million were killed in other camps and other circumstances. And if you divide that 15 yrs by 6, you get a right answer.

Abiola

"The Polish government is perfectly within its rights to deny visas to these folks based just on the fact that they're being annoying."

Indeed it is, but that doesn't mean exercising that right wouldn't be conceding a needless propaganda victory even so - just look at what banning Farrakhan from entering the UK has done to his reputation amongst certain sections of black opinion in the country.

"I don't see why anyone should care. As recent events show, it doesn't matter how open or 'neutral' the West (and the European East) acts, it will still get accused of being anti-Muslim."

Well sure, but it isn't so much Muslims outside Europe or those within who are always on the lookout for "Islamophobia" I'm concerned about, but the "reasonable" majority which is always tempted to split the difference whenever faced with polarized alternatives; these are precisely the sorts of people who are most easily swayed by posturing on the part of free-speech "martyrs" claiming to be "oppressed" by the "pro-Zionist establishment" [sic].

"Also, the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum issued a statement that anyone can get access to its archives, but those who deny the Holocaust are not allowed on the grounds, since it is technically a cementary."

In so far as this museum is public property, I still say that's a lousy reason to ban anyone from visiting it: one shouldn't have to pass a thoughtcrime exam to step foot inside any public facility. If it's a private establishment, then of course those who run it are perfectly free to setup any criteria for entry they please, however bizarre.

Randy McDonald

"In so far as this museum is public property, I still say that's a lousy reason to ban anyone from visiting it: one shouldn't have to pass a thoughtcrime exam to step foot inside any public facility."

Eh. I doubt very much that I'd let people who mocked/denied my grandmother and her sufferings visit her grave if I could deny them that privilege.

Ross

{Eh. I doubt very much that I'd let people who mocked/denied my grandmother and her sufferings visit her grave if I could deny them that privilege.}

What if they had successfully spread a rumour that you grandmother wasn't dead, that you were trying to milk the sympathy from her ficticious death to advance some nefarious plot, and large numbers of people were taking your refusal to have the grave examined as proof that the rumour was true?

The reason holocaust deniers and trivialisers are despised is precisely because the evidence has been so well documented that we can now assume that people who are denying it are either idiots or have ulterior motives. The Iranian government wants to imply that it is because Europe's commitment to free speech ends where where jewish interests begin, Poland should not play into Iran's hands.

Abiola

"Eh. I doubt very much that I'd let people who mocked/denied my grandmother and her sufferings visit her grave if I could deny them that privilege."

If you were using the funds of the rest of the public - including those of the Holocaust deniers - to maintain her grave, then no, your wishes shouldn't be allowed to count, no matter how offensive you feel it is. General non-discriminatory access to publicly funded properties is a *right*, not a "privilege" to be dispensed only to the "right-thinking".

Jim

"In so far as this museum is public property, I still say that's a lousy reason to ban anyone from visiting it:"

This is Polish public property; foreigners, Iranians for instance, have no right of access at all. So right-thinking doesn't come into the question. Indeed, that doesn't mean that Holocaust deniers should be denied access. They should be encouraged, and then displayed in cages at the entrance.

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