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Old 01-10-2006, 09:29 PM   #76
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alright, well it seems like you guys have already agreed to disagree.

but I still have a question. In your last few posts hiphop you've made it seem like the purpose of the law is not in the interest of national security (ie preventing a resurance of nazism or something), but to protect the feelings of concentration camp survivors. I don't know if protecting the feelings of a small percentage of the population is a legitimate basis for such a restrictive law. I don't mean to sound like an insensitive ass (I'm half-Jewish, had many relatives who were killed in the Holocaust, etc)...And then you go on to comment on how "funny" it is that Americans are so afraid of Communism. Communism which has been responsible for millions and millions of deaths in the past century (far more than the Nazis surely...although not in the US of course), and which until quite recently was a far greater threat to the US and world in general than I think Nazism is in Austria in the 21st century. That's just the feeling I get but feel free to correct me regarding the extent to which Nazi supporters are still present in Austria.

Also I think it's interesting that you fear the Nazis could return and take over at any moment with complete disregard for the democratic process...but the idea that this law could be extended or abused for more sublte, seemingly less sinister purposes such as punishing political opponents is completely absurd and would never happen.

I do understand where you're coming from by the way...
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:14 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
alright, well it seems like you guys have already agreed to disagree.

but I still have a question. In your last few posts hiphop you've made it seem like the purpose of the law is not in the interest of national security (ie preventing a resurance of nazism or something), but to protect the feelings of concentration camp survivors. I don't know if protecting the feelings of a small percentage of the population is a legitimate basis for such a restrictive law. I don't mean to sound like an insensitive ass (I'm half-Jewish, had many relatives who were killed in the Holocaust, etc)...And then you go on to comment on how "funny" it is that Americans are so afraid of Communism. Communism which has been responsible for millions and millions of deaths in the past century (far more than the Nazis surely...although not in the US of course), and which until quite recently was a far greater threat to the US and world in general than I think Nazism is in Austria in the 21st century. That's just the feeling I get but feel free to correct me regarding the extent to which Nazi supporters are still present in Austria.

Also I think it's interesting that you fear the Nazis could return and take over at any moment with complete disregard for the democratic process...but the idea that this law could be extended or abused for more sublte, seemingly less sinister purposes such as punishing political opponents is completely absurd and would never happen.

I do understand where you're coming from by the way...
I´d say the purpose of the whole law is also national security interest, whether the part that forbids to deny the holocaust is not only to protect the interest of the survivors (even if this is the most important point, like I pointed out when I said that law is to protect the victims) but also the interest of Austrians who are not holocaust survivors.

example: I´m not Jewish, not half-Jewish and not related to any Jewish family as far as I know. I could find a holocaust survivor to talk with, but I´m not related to anyone (as far as I know). so one could say, why am I interested in that? The reply is easy, because my relatives were deeply affected by the war. My grandfather was missed in Russia. And my grandmother, when she was still alive, was still thinking of the friends she had lost in the war when she was 80 years old. Because when she was in her 20ies, she studied and she had many friends. After WW II, 7 out of 10 of the people she knew were either dead or missed.

A whole generation or two of Germans and Austrians have suffered from that war. So it is not only a law to protect the obvious victms, the holocaust survivors, but also to protect an Austrian like me! I have nothing to do whatsoever with WW II, but when the holocaust is denied, I have the feeling that all the war and these bad times and the losses we had to suffer are ridiculed.

It is not only about protecting the small percentage of holocaust survivors, but also to protect the collective memory of the majority. So I think it is a legitimate basis for a restrictive law.

My comments in regard to Communism had to do with the article I posted, I don´t know if I have made the connection clear enough. This is an article written by T.P. Carroll from the Middle East Intelligence Bulletin, and comments on the political views of people imprisoned in Turkey (and the comments are different from the ones made by Amnesty International; AI understands to be more protective towards the prisoners).

Nazis have complete disregard for the democratic process. I´m not saying it can happen very easily, but if they were allowed, it could happen that they gain more power. just to remind you, Hitler did not seem to care a lot about democracy. Sure, we live in a world with checks and balances now and the situation is not the same it once was after WW I. But have you ever seen how fast a dictatorship can rise? After a coup d´etat for example? It just takes one day.

That said, apparently it has become more fashionable to treat immigrants as harshly as the police thinks it fits. Nationalist tendencies? You want a laugh? The Haider party (and over 20% voted for them a couple of years ago) uses slogans like "Don´t make Vienna another Chicago" (they talk about the crime rates then and why we need a stronger police) - and these are just harmless - we see the whole concept of national socialism in their publicity, even if it is hidden. I also don´t care if they call it national socialism or neo-conservative liberalism. The strategies are the same, their policies are based on hate and class differences. If you lived here, you would actually see it!

Its the "brave citizens go to work, the others are beggars, and who wants to be a beggar" or "you are not entitled to any social benefit" or "we are brave and true Austrians (whereas the others are not)" mentality, mixed with Neuro Linguistic Programming (apparently its fashionable for politicians to do communication courses now in order to lie or beat around the bush without the society noticing) and Anti-Semitism. So there is enough room here for such views. Well, democracy. Haider himself owns land that apparently did not belong to his family before of WW II. You see? I´m not comparing Haider´s party to the NSDAP now. Anyway, there are a couple of similar ideas. And frankly, I don´t know what these RATS would say and do if we did not have the anti-Nazi law.

The breeding ground for such ideas is there. To some extent, the breeding ground for fascist ideas is also there in the U.S... the difference is that our past generations have seen how truly slaughterous these kind of ideas can be.
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Old 01-11-2006, 03:55 AM   #78
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Protecting the collective memory, in principle it sounds Orwellian even though it may be applied with the best of intentions.

If police racism is as abundant as you claim then I do not think that a correlation to holocaust denial exists.
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