Throughout the Western world people are being prosecuted for writing about World War II and the Holocaust. Historians, researchers, authors, and publishers are being fined, imprisoned, placed under gag orders, expelled from their native countries, and denied entry into others. Those who are prosecuted are routinely prevented from mounting an effective defense, because witnesses who testify on their behalf often find themselves arrested. In some cases, even the defense lawyers are prosecuted!
Countries that have laws that limit the scope and substance of World War II and Holocaust research include France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, and Spain.1 These laws make it a crime for anyone, regardless of their credentials or the factual basis of their views, to question or revise any aspect of the history of World War II or the Holocaust in a manner that goes beyond the somewhat arbitrary standards established by the governments of those countries.2
Although there are no laws in the United States that criminalize Holocaust and World War II history, some of our nation’s most prestigious legal minds have backed a proposed law intended to do just that.
Why should you, why should any of us, be concerned that certain areas of historical research have been criminalized?