serious

David Irving arrested in Austria.

UK revisionist historian David Irving has been arrested in Austria under laws against denying the Holocaust, according to the BBC.

Mr Irving was detained after a routine check on a motorway [in Austria] last Friday by police acting on a 1989 arrest warrant issued by a Vienna court, police said.

There are two obvious reactions, of course. One is to be very uncomfortable with the freedom-of-speech implications of arresting someone for their views. The other is to be very pleased that a corrupt and dishonest old fascist is in trouble. Unfortunately, I think I have to plump for the former. This is a shame, as schadenfreude is one of my favourite feelings.
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I'm completely on the freedom-of-speech front. Mr Irving said what he wanted to say, and lost spectacularly in court when he tried to sue someone for libel when they said he was a liar. I think that worked out well in the end. Rather than saying he committed thoughtcrime (well, thought-connected-to-open-mouth-crime), his views were shown to be ridiculous, inconsistent, and wrong. No martyrship for him, in the UK at least.
That was absolutely the right way round, yes. He did largely convict himself on that one.
This gentleman can't seem to be able to decide whether he is a holocaust denier or not! I always thought you needed to know what your views were first before you express them! First this guy sues someone for saying he is a holocaust denier, then he starts saying Jews weren't systematically executed. Hmmmm...

(Sorry I seem to be using all of your message boards to rant on today but I have had a lot of caffeine and am very hyperactive!)
He's changed what he says at various points. He's a slippery customer. What makes him notable is that he's also a very good researcher and has dug a lot of interesting stuff out of the archives. He hasn't always been honest about it, though, and his own political views shine through.

A few years ago he sued the author and publishers of a book which alleged that he'd distorted his source materials to justify his view that there was no Holocaust in the usual sense - that the deaths in the death camps were were not the result of a purposeful campaign of murder. His case was dramatically unsuccessful. The publisher - Penguin - refused to roll over and instead hired a barrister and a history professor to refute his case, with the result that the judge came down entirely on the defendants's side.

There's an article about him here.
I stand by what I said previously though, if he is stupid enough not to get a definite argument one way or another in the first place, especially since this is a controversial topic, he deserves what he's got for sheer idiocy. But I am of the opinion that people should have complete freedom of speech, otherwise it makes us lot no better than Nazis
Eh, can't we have both reactions? I think it's a bad thing that Austria has such limits on freedom of speech, that they should be abolished and that no-one should be arrested under them... I'm just less upset than I might be, that's all.
I'm with you on this. My ideal result would be for him to suffer horribly in prison while some sensible non-fascist person challenges Austria's laws and wins, and for Irving to get no compensation on the grounds he's an utter cunt.
Compensation? From Austria? My mum and grandad are still waiting for compensation for what was stolen from them before they fled the country in 1938.

Grandad died in 1963. Mum in March of this year. It goes to any heirs, but the disgusting thing is how the Austrians are waiting and hoping families will die out and so not have to be compensated. (for some value of compensation - usually a token amount). And of course how those who suffered were left to die without it, many in bad circumstances.
My friend Alan lived in Vienna for a year teaching English. He didn't like it very much (I suppose this is compared to Prage and Bratislava, where he'd taught before). He didn't find it a friendly or welcoming place. Quite the reverse, in fact. And most of the museums and art galleries are overrated too, apparently.
What was he going to up to in Austria? It's worrying that someone with his obvious ability is on the wrong side of the fence. There is a considerable neo-nazi movement in Europe at the moment and it's not so bad that the authorities are being strict.
He was going to speak at a political meeting.

I agree with the authorities being strict, but I have problems with certain tactics.
What I *really* want to see is the editor of the Sun interned on Terror charges... I think I can cope with feeling conflicted for that.

ION, the concept of "revisionist historians" always seems to be an oxymoron (for the common usage of 'revisionist', at least).
Well, yes. To an extent being revisionist (or, at least, deciding when to be revisionist) is part of a historian's job description. So saying that he is revisionist on a particular topic is informative, but describing him unqualifiedly as revisionist isn't really a criticism.
It wouldn't surprise me to hear that he likes to give that impression himself. There's a story about him stopping in the first town he went through, the first time he went to Germany, as he was eager to get his first real German pair of jackboots.
H'm...here in Canada we don't have laws against denying the Holocaust, but we do have laws against incitement to hatred. (Initially racial hatred, but due to the way the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been read, it's expanded to cover any form of hate speech.) This leads to barking right wingers in the US claiming that Canada is setting up concentration camps and criminalizing the Bible.
I was meaning to ask my sister about the intent aspect to these matters at the weekend. GIven that the second of those articles was over a year ago, have the fears been realised or are Canada's preachers still in business?
Sadly, still very much in business. Quoting the Babble, even the bits that used to justify saying homosexuals should be burned at the stake after being buggered with red-hot pokers, was explicitly protected in Bill C-250 (the legislation that extended the hate speech laws to cover sexual identity.)
Holocaust-denying is, however, at least possible to frame as incitement to religious hatred. It's implying that all Jews who talk about the Holocaust are liars. It's extremely anti-Semitic. It could also be construed as attempting to pervert the course of justice - claiming that several million murders did not in fact happen, and that the war criminals convicted on those grounds are not guilty - and falsifying evidence, albeit not strictly in a court of law.