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Posted Monday, August 17, 1998


Traditional Enemies of Free Speech Step up Assault on Global Internet Community

Jewish Jurists Fight Holocaust Denial

GOVERNMENTS must outlaw Holocaust revisionism in order to fight a hi-tech, well-financed movement that denies the Holocaust ever occurred, a group of Jewish legal experts said yesterday [August 2, 1998].

An international conference of Jewish jurists, held in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, warned that the international revisionist movement, using the Internet and an orchestrated propaganda campaign, could warp the historical memory of younger generations.

The denial movement has a historical institute which is reviewing history and whose real aim is to deny the Holocaust, said Itzhak Nener, an Israeli who is deputy president of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists. "They have tremendous sums of money."

The Nazis murdered 50,000 of Thessaloniki's Jews during the Holocaust, destroying the once-thriving community.


Today, about 1,000 Jews live in the city. During World War II, Nazi Germany rounded up about six million Jews and exterminated them at death camps.

One aim of the conference is to convince more countries to pass legislation outlawing Holocaust denial. Several European countries, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Luxembourg already have such legislation. But Nener and his colleagues said the relevant punishment was too lenient, and more countries should crack down on people claiming the Nazi slaughter of Jews never took place.

Holocaust revisionists have been consistently active in the US and Canada, where they have aired their views on the Internet. "This growing group is using websites to make amazingly ridiculous claims, like that they measured the gas chambers and found they were not big enough for people," said Isidor Wolfe, a lawyer from Vancouver, Canada.

The International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists will hold conferences in more than 20 other European nations to lobby for more anti-revisionism laws.

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