Scrapbookpages Blog

November 12, 2011

Can a person be sent to prison for denying the Dachau gas chamber?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:33 am

Today, I am answering a comment made by a regular reader of my blog.  In the comment, “skeptic” wrote that “it’s in the literature that no gassings took place at Dachau, so a good case could be made [for denying the Dachau gas chamber].”

Germany is the main country where Holocaust denial trials have taken place, but the defendant in a Holocaust denial trial in Germany is not permitted to make a case for his beliefs.

Holocaust denial comes under Section 130 of the German Basic Law.  Under this law, historical “facts” of World War II and the Holocaust are “offenkundig” or manifestly obvious and self-evident, so the “facts” do not need to be proved in court. There is no defense against denying the “facts” of the Holocaust. If you are accused of a violation of Section 130, your attorney is not permitted to defend you.  German attorney Sylvia Stolz served 3 years in prison for trying to defend a Holocaust denier client.

Here is a quote from this website which points out that Germans who denied the Dachau gas chamber were sent to prison:

On 13 January 2003, Attorney Horst Mahler pointed out that under the decree of Offenkundigkeit or  “manifest obviousness” as contained in the Basic Law, Germans who deny the existence of homicidal gas chambers at Dachau, like those who had denied their existence at Ravensbrück, Mauthausen, Bergen-Belsen, Flossenbürg, Sachsenhausen and Theresienstadt, have been sentenced to long prison sentences.  The concept of  Offenkundigkeit, which the Federal Republic borrowed from the Moscow show trials and the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, allows the court or tribunal to convict defendants of without having to prove that a crime occurred.  In the case of the alleged mass murders of Jews in homicidal gas chambers, the IMF simply decreed that the existence of such devices for mass murder during the War was “common knowledge” or “manifestly obvious” and therefore did not have to be proven with documentary, empirical or forensic evidence.