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Penalizing Holocaust Denial: A View from Europe

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Chapter Summary

In the United States, the essential differences between the European and the American understanding of the free speech doctrine lead to distrust of and even objections to every single court trial or a custodial sentence for a Holocaust denier in Europe. This chapter introduces the fundamental arguments raised in the European discourse in favor of penalizing Holocaust denial. The basic difficulty that occurs while discussing the idea of penalizing Holocaust denial concerns the attempt to define the concept in legal terms. German law regulates the issue of penalizing Holocaust denial in a complex way. The creation of the Council of Europe is inextricably linked to the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust. The issue of Holocaust denial and its penalization is of a profound significance for Europe. The antisemitic motivation for spreading Holocaust denial is the most convincing reason for the need to punish negationists for their words.

Keywords: Council of Europe; Europe; German law; Holocaust Denial; United States



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