Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Anthony J Lomenzo
writes Friday, April 9, 1999
THE ARREST of Dr. Frederick Toben is a serious matter for those staunch advocates, myself decidedly included, of free expression and the right of dissent. The thing to note in the Toben case is that his arrest stems for those 'activities' NOT committed in Germany but rather the ramifications of his Australian website 'Adelaide', being viewed 'within' Germany, mirror site or otherwise. Think about that!
In effect, any folks who have a dissenting view in re the Holocaust ranging from 'it never happened' to questioning parts of it or taking serious issue with the 'accepted' facets of it can place these comments on the Internet OR Usenet newsgroup(s) 'but' if that website or newsgroup is available for viewing in Germany and not blocked for whatever reason (or an unknown generated mirror site), then that person could be subject to arrest as soon as they set foot on German soil. Or, at present, three other nations which have such freedom of speech and right of dissent restrictions.
It is a ramification that has far reaching international consequences and makes a mockery of 'true' free expression and right of dissent by those nations (four at present with others mulling it over) which seemingly advocate such precious freedoms for their citizens yet make their freedom of expression and right of dissent 'exceptions' so blatantly one sided as to form a forced fed dogma of legislated thought. Those who know my writings know that I have defended the historical presence of the Holocaust based on my own study and research both in the USA and Germany itself (1969-72) but to the extent that historical research is an ON-GOING process and thus the unescapable conclusion that history is rarely written in stone. It 'is' subject to historical revision and part and parcel of 'that' process is the absolute right of free expression and unhampered right of dissent so that new findings can be brought to the table and considered. Indeed dissected and analyzed for either its veracity or its worthlessness.
When David Irving challenged the yea braying 'scholars' in re the 'Hitler Diaries' some years ago and he in fact warned various and sundry that they were entertaining highly questionable data, he was scoffed at and ridiculed UNTIL independent analysis proved the 'Hitler Diaries' to be an utterly bogus forgery. Various world historians groused mightily (read: envy with a capital 'E' ) that David Irving was the first Western historian to get his hands on the subsequent 'Goebbels Diaries' plates post Glastnost and yet when he prepares to publish his views and the manuscript is already accepted for publication by St. Martin's Press in the United States, a world 'haven' as they say for freedom of expression and/or dissenting view, St. Martin's Press caves in to external pressure because a small but vociferous minority coupled no doubt with the usual PC adherents do not care for Irving's 'unacceptable' conclusions.
My question then (and my subsequent public defense of Irving) is the same as now, viz., if it's David Irving today who gets the boot and the muzzle, or indeed Fred Toben just this week, then WHO tomorrow where one's opinions, findings and conclusions seemingly don't 'fit' into the 'accepted' norm? Or dogma. Or, worse, proffered agenda via force of law. Any issue. Any theme. Any basic right to simply say 'I disagree.' What's next? Mandated thought legislation in a 'Supreme Being'---or, conversely, none at all? Think about it. And reflect on history itself!