Friday, June 11, 2010

How about letting historians make fools of themselves?

Back in February of this year when the Leftist coalition was still in government in Hungary it passed a law that made the denial of the Holocaust a crime. It is really quite extraordinary that this was not a crime throughout the Communist period but the post-Communist government felt the need for making it so.

Not to be outdone, the new Right-wing government of FIDESZ on its own has passed an amendment to the Criminal Code.
According to the new legislation, those denying, casting doubts on, or depreciating the crimes committed by the Communist regime will be facing from one to three years behind bars.
There are two aspects to this. One is the equation of Communist and Nazi crimes, which is entirely right and proper. The Russian Communist Party does not like it, according to this article, but then they wouldn't, would they.

The other aspect is the legal one. The idea that historical debates and discussions should be decided in courts of law is preposterous. Let them make fools of themselves, if they want, but let us continue arguing the truth. On the other hand, the Hungarians are entirely logical. If the denial of Nazi crimes is illegal then the denial of Communist crimes should be as well. It might be worth remembering every time some idiot suggests that other countries should introduce legislation that criminalizes Holocaust denial.

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