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Holocaust denier begins jail term in Australia

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*He suggested only 2,007 people could have been killed at the camp.

Researchers estimate that between 1.1 million and 1.5 million people—mainly Jews—were killed at Auschwitz by the Nazis. In total, 6 million Jews were killed in the genocide.*

I've often wondered why 6 million? Where did that figure come from? Oops not supposed to ask that question, am I?

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"In their verdict, the judges of the Federal Court said the case was not about the Holocaust but about whether Toben had complied with orders of the court."

I'm sure it will be necessary for some to know of this difference, but it's a very important distinction nonetheless. And anyway three months isn't a long time, and he'll probably find some people with similar 'interests' in there. I doubt it'll take away any of his clear hatred and prejudice, though.

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I've often wondered why 6 million? Where did that figure come from?

A calculated estimate, perhaps? Not rocket science.

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Red Cross documentation, often used by holocaust deniers, states approximately 60,000 persons of Jewish ancestry went missing during WWII. I guess adding a couple of 0's makes the number a bit more compelling.

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It is a sad commentary on our times that any one, merely for the purpose of being obnoxious or contentious, can dispute what are basically undeniable historical facts. Where does it end? Let's say --- merely for the sake of argument --- that no atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and that the city was damaged due to someone lighting a cigarette inside an ammunition storage bunker. And that a total of 882 people were slightly injured. Who is to prove me wrong? The photographs? The US government reports? Sorry those are lies and I can fabricate my own counter arguments.

In the pond of intellectual discourse, Holocaust deniers are true bottom feeders.

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What? Thats seriously BS a person should be able to write whatever they want to write no matter what the content nor right or wrong.

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Toben participated in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2006 conference

As did David Duke. The history of collaboration between the Nazis and Islamists continues.

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About the numbers, Hitler's final solution of the Jewish Problem was a lot more than just Auschwitz. It was Bergen-Belsen, Sobibor and Buchenwald in addition to many other places. It was unleashing the SD execution squads who followed behind the German Armies as they invaded Russia and Eastern Europe.

While respecting people's rights to freedom of speech, shxt-stirring clowns such as Tobin deserve imprisonment not for their views but because they see themselves above the law.

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as much as I hate what this guy said, I think it is really distasteful, but I am even more disgusted that he would get arrested for it. I mean who knows, really if we have been correct all these years?

Shame on Oz.

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"Wow this is a real big surprise. I am one of those who thinks ,"freedom of speech not matter what is said"."

So its ok to insight violence, or riots, or to abuse people, or to lie? Words have consequences. In the name of freedom of speech these groups will use any method they can to convince the thick, uneducated or disaffected. Holocaust deniers would see the whole thing happen again.

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skip: the man was arrested and sentenced to time in prison because he broke the law, not because of what he said. It's like the issue of the burqini in France the other day -- the woman was ejected from the grounds because she broke pool rules, not technically because of what she wore to break them.

"In the pond of intellectual discourse, Holocaust deniers are true bottom feeders"

Agreed, as are people who deny any atrocities like the death tolls of the atomic bombings (or the reasons for dropping them), those committed by Imperial Japan preceding and during WWII, etc. etc. The scale may be smaller but the denial is the same.

Still, at what point does it cease to be freedom of speech and become classified as a crime? Now, how a person ACTS based on their beliefs, and this man tried to go above the law, is another story. Absolute scum to deny the holocaust and other crimes against humanity, I agree, but again....

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Why is it when the holocaust is discussed no one mentiones the 6+ million poles, gypsies and other "undesirables" that the Nazis killed in addition to the Jews? The holocaust is twice the mostrosity everyone thinks it is, and those who deny it insult the humanity not only the Jews but everyone else who perished. That said, I, and American, do not believe in "thought crimes" or the curtailing of freedom of speech. Let the odious and their lies be despised by all right thinking people. That is enough.

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dontpanic: All human rights have limits in so much as they infringe on other human rights; insighting violence, threats, libel/slander, purjury and the like are crimes for good reason and do not fall under "freedom of speech". But a bright line must be drawn to preclude any future tyranny. If you would fight these lies do so with your own voice, with your own freedom of speech. Shout them down, drown them out, and riddicule them into impotence.

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I was just asking the innocent question 'why 6 million'? Why noy 6.5 million or 5.5 million? Everything about the holocaust seems to be set in stone. Of course the Jews suffered terribly but they haven't a monopoly on suffering. Why is it when the holocaust is discussed no one mentiones the 6+ million poles, gypsies and other "undesirables" that the Nazis killed in addition to the Jews? Why indeed? What about the millions who were murdered by Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot ... Has anyone heard of the Armenian Genocide? Don't put Toben in jail. Prove categorically that he is wrong.

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In their verdict, the judges of the Federal Court said the case was not about the Holocaust but about whether Toben had complied with orders of the court.

The court said don't do X and he did X. Simple.

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smithinjapan:people who deny any atrocities like the death tolls of the atomic bombings (or the reasons for dropping them), those committed by Imperial Japan preceding and during WWII, etc. etc. The scale may be smaller but the denial is the same.

There is a big difference. There is no law specifically condemns those denials you mentioned, except the Holocaust. Unfortunately, in many western countries, which are dominated by the Jew influence, made this law of anti-Semite. You have no right to criticise Jews publicly. It's againt the law.

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The court said don't do X and he did X. Simple.

How very Japanese of you. I don't usually make such comments, but from my personal, depressing experience this is what I have come to believe. Which do you value more: justice or order?

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Take notice you neo-japan, ultimate world victims and Nanking Deniers, If you lived in a civilized, first rate nation, you could actually be Jailed for spouting off those "Innocent Japan" white-washed history views...

You are just lucky that the U.S. was so good to you... Thank your lucky stars... By the grace of MY forefathers, there go thee...

You're welcome for your freedom, even though you never did anything to earn it....!

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If you lived in a civilized, first rate nation, you could actually be Jailed for spouting off those "Innocent Japan" white-washed history views...

Just like the US is ALWAYS innocent and never provokes anyone? Right!

Your forefather were responsible for other deaths or were they just necessary to GI Joe job done?

You're welcome for your freedom, even though you never did anything to earn it....!

And I gather YOU did something to secure that?

People should be able to say what they want. Denying the holocaust is just stupid. It happened and nothing can change that so why bring attention. The other side though needs to stop whining whenever they hear something said they don't like. They have such a big chip on their shoulders that any comment can be construed as anti-Semitic.

The estimates in Europe are around 11 million. 5 million of those you never hear about much and never hear whining from.

In Asia, the "holocaust" committed by IJA was MUCH greater in numbers and that's something you don't hear thrust in the news all the time. I wonder why? Perhaps being uncivilized as you call us means we don't spend entire lives reliving someone else's past.

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To paraphrase Voltaire, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." It's a sad day when anyone is put in jail for exercising free speech.

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BobbieWickham, actually if you went to trouble of looking it up for yourself, you'd see that the 6 million is a rounded up number. There are various estimates of the actual death toll ranging from 5.1 to 5.95 million Jews, but with the consensus edging towards 6 million. It's not set in stone, as you suggest. Nobody can give you the exact number but a nice round 6 is easier to remember than 5.95, isn't it?

Same with the holocaust denial business. Toben was sentenced for breaching a court order to refrain from publishing material which "vilifies Jewish people" namely implying Jewish people offended by Holocaust denial were of "limited intelligence", but if you instead simply imply he was jailed for holocaust denial you can hear people crying out for censoring freedom of speech.

And in Germany he is wanted not for denying holocaust but for "racial and xenophobic crimes" and was in the past jailed for "defaming the dead".

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Same with the holocaust denial business. Toben was sentenced for breaching a court order to refrain from publishing material which "vilifies Jewish people" namely implying Jewish people offended by Holocaust denial were of "limited intelligence", but if you instead simply imply he was jailed for holocaust denial you can hear people crying out for censoring freedom of speech.

I'm not sure this changes anything. I support his right to spout his racist nonsense in the same way I support the right of the KKK to march: with disgust and reluctance, but assurance that free speech must remain so. It is too dangerous to do otherwise. The Voltaire quote is apt.

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JoeBigs - There cant be complete freedom of speech when what is said incites hatred, or violence, or perpetuates lies. Thats why Toben was barred from publishing his materials in the first place. Thats not the state suppressing free speech, its good policing.

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JoeBigs - There cant be complete freedom of speech when what is said incites hatred, or violence, or perpetuates lies. Thats why Toben was barred from publishing his materials in the first place. Thats not the state suppressing free speech, its good policing.

And who determines what are lies and what is the truth? Where is the line between "inciting hatred" and legitimate criticism? Would you hand this power to the government?

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To paraphrase Voltaire, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." It's a sad day when anyone is put in jail for exercising free speech.

One of the great urban myths. He didn't say that.

Toben is a completely deluded lunatic but you are right, it is a sad day when people are jailed for voicing an opinion.

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One of the great urban myths. He didn't say that.

That's the first time I've heard that. Can you back this up?

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PleasureGelf Thanks for that. I have checked the figures and "estimated" is the word that keeps coming up. My main point is that the Jews aren't the only people to have suffered. Calling a person a 'Holocaust denier' is much the same as calling someone a 'Facist' or a 'Homophobe' when we don't like what they are saying. It's not a rational argument.

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Calling a person a 'Holocaust denier' is much the same as calling someone a 'Facist' or a 'Homophobe' when we don't like what they are saying. It's not a rational argument.

... only, he is a 'Holocaust denier'. Am I missing something here?

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You can't criticise gays. You can't have a facist form of government. And you can't deny the holocaust.

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I can't? I can if I want. Well, at least the first and third. I could have a facist newsletter I suppose, but you cross the line at formenting revolution, I'd think. My only hope is that most would despise me for it.

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You're so right. Good night.

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Triumvere - "And who determines what are lies and what is the truth? Where is the line between "inciting hatred" and legitimate criticism? Would you hand this power to the government?"

Nope, governments are collections of vested interests, thats why democracies have an independant judiciary. Let the courts decide, as they did in the Toben case.

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An independent judiciary... If not ideal, the best that could be hoped for. But the legislature sets the laws and the prevailing political climate may set the tone. I have been highly disturbed by some of the decisions handed down in Canada under the name of "human rights" (as if the "right to not be offended" was such, and the right to free speech was not). Canada of all places... Et tu, Canada? I place my faith in the Constitution.

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It seems to me the thought police are on patrol. We need some statistics on who has suffered the most and judge Sotomayor can deem who is most worthy of a public handout.

Sidenote: If this man would have turned his hate into a religion he would not be in prison.

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While I don't agree with the man, I do not believe it is a crime to say stuff, even if it did or did not happen! This is a violation of our modern idea of free speech in developed countries. This reminds me of when people were punished for saying the world was not flat or that the earth was not the center of the universe. If he believes it is true, then so be it. If someone decided to go all conspiracy theorist and said that is was the US government that took down the twin towers or that the two bombs in Japan were just some bad accident, they should be free to do so.

The court said don't do X and he did X. Simple.

Only a fool would think the courts are always right. Yeah, not following the law will get you in trouble, but think of how often a person has been thrown in jail or worse for something we take for granted now.

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Only a fool would think the courts are always right. Yeah, not following the law will get you in trouble, but think of how often a person has been thrown in jail or worse for something we take for granted now.

Icewind007,

The courts are OFTEN right, and without a legal system, and the means to enforce the laws, what kind of system would you have? Of course mistakes will be made, but Australia's system isn't that bad compared to many systems in the world.

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Hence the word "paraphrase". Thanks for the original quote.

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I cant believe someone was jailed for this. Of course, what he wrote was crazy and horrible, but that shouldnt make it a crime because it is just his thoughts. How far will this policing of thoughts go? I mean technically anything could be interpretted as offensive and hateful. This is a crazy, oppressive law. Unfortunately it sounds like other Western countries are going or about to go down this same oppressive path of thought control. I don`t see anything good coming out of this.

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Thought CRIMINAL!!!!

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ok,

I think unfortunatly they should have jsut let it go..

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"Holocaust denier"

Of course the Nazis never killed anyone.

@jesssicaaa - I agree.

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JoeBigs - "Was that right? Was it right to arrest someone because of what he said? The government at the time thought it was"

If I remember correctly Jesus wasnt inciting racial hatred, oppression, or denying the greatest crime the world has ever seen.

Your example is a nonsense, the Sanhedrin Trial wasnt conducted by an independant court under a democracy, rather it was an impromptue religious court predesposed to handing Jesus over to a despotic foreign occupier. How is that relevent to what happened in Australia?

Remember Toben broke laws passed by a democratically elected government, operating within its constitution, enforced by the court. Sometimes words are not harmless and Toben is finding out he is responsible for what he has said.

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The quote was actually made by someone who believed that that is what he would have said.

That is not "paraphrasing". He actually never said anything remotely like it. It was said by someone who believed he WOULD say something like that according to his beliefs.

So Triumvere, the "original quote" is not from Voltaire or even the afore mentioned "paraphrased version." A bit of research will point you in the right direction. It's not difficult.

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JoeBigs - "Does it matter if the court was a Democracy, Theocracy, Monarchy, Autocracy or a Constitutional monarchy"

Well first of all, it isnt the court thats a democracy, its the system of government. In Australia the courts operate independantly of the government of the day to enforce laws passed by representatives elected by its people. So yes, it does matter.

"No he was not, what he was charged with was; Blasphemy, a charge that carried the death penalty"

So by linking Tobens incitement of racial hatred, oppression and subsequent breach of the court order to the trial of Jesus, you are somehow saying they are both acts of supression of open dialogue? I think youre very misguided. Racial hatred and oppression is a crime against the person, not an ideal. Would you next suggest that the Police, by stopping two people fighting in the street are censoring free expression?

Engaging in open honest dialogue and safely exchanging ideas and opinions is free speech. Attempts to marginalise or suppress someone on the basis of race, gender, or religion is an attack on the person and is quite rightly a crime. Toben was told to stop and he didnt, so he's paying the price. Justice has been done.

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It's amazing to me that in this day and age; people are being convicted on something they say. What happened to freedom of speech? They criticize Turkey because publicly insulting government or army can get you in jail. Apparently insulting Jews in most any country can get you in jail too. I read anything I found about Jews in WW2 and there is no concrete evidence that 6mil was killed. I saw a documentary by Jewish activist who goes to austwich death camp and finds out that it was totally destroyed after the war and rebuilt by Russians. Now they show tourists how Nazis were exterminating Jews by poison gasses and so on, not even mentioning that it was rebuilt.

I know the truth doesn't need protection from the law. I don't believe invading forces had any reason to stick to the truth and say they have no idea how many Jews were killed or the reason for their death was disease related or not. I am no way defending Nazis, but also don't believe that they killed that many Jews at all. Number was exaggerated by invading forces. And I don’t believe saying that should get you in jail.

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Damien... Your skepticism is very noble but it flies in the face of overwhelming historical evidence, starting with the detailed bills the German railways submitted to the Third Reich for transporting Jews from all over the continent to the death camps in southwestern Poland. If it's a fabrication, why does the German government so openly admit to the six million figure? And why did this government allocate money and a huge space to build a Holocaust memorial and museum in the center of Berlin? Isn't that taking faux guilt a little bit too far?

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Beelzebub, German government wasn't the same government that lost the war. Overwhelming evidence was put together by allied forces, just like the new German government. Noone had any reason to defend Nazis and doing that would make you one of them.

I hate to sound like I'm defending nazis. There's no doubt that they were brutal. There is though lack of evidence for 6 mil number. No bones, nothing! wallets and watches they found was in hundreds of thousands, but not millions, and some of them survived. What happens when you pu tmany people in same place for long time with no medical care. They die from sickness. Well surely nazis to blame for that too, but still better than systematic killings in ovens and with poison gas. There are people out there who's searching the truth, and they have no other reason than really finding the truth, some are jews.

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Insane! And how is "anti-Semitic" even a word?? If I dont like Jews for whatever reason, it deosnt make me anti-Semitic, it just means I dont like them. The same as if I don't like Christians or Muslims.

Very dissapointed in this.

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Fredrick Toben—who is wanted in Germany on charges of denying the Holocaust

Wow this is a real big surprise. I am one of those who thinks ,"freedom of speech not matter what is said".

I can not even imagine sending someone to jail for what they believe and this is really sad in my book. Censoring and silencing those who believe other wise is terrible.

If someone says, "birds are gods" and to eat them is a terrible sin. Is it not up to us ,"the people" to decide if that person is correct? Or do we leave it to the State to decide.

No matter how insane someones beliefs are, I do not believe that the State has the right to silence them.

Sad for all nations to censor thought! Real sad........

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dontpanic at 05:10 PM JST - 14th August So its ok to insight violence, or riots, or to abuse people, or to lie? Words have consequences. In the name of freedom of speech these groups will use any method they can to convince the thick, uneducated or disaffected. Holocaust deniers would see the whole thing happen again.

What is the difference between the Nazis or the Communist censoring the people and this story? In both regimes you had to hold your tongue if not you went to jail.

There is no difference between either.

To try and defend this is, is the same as defending other regimes who did (and do) the same.

Over all very sad....

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mindovermatter at 08:54 PM JST - 14th August Take notice you neo-japan, ultimate world victims and Nanking Deniers, If you lived in a civilized, first rate nation, you could actually be Jailed for spouting off those "Innocent Japan" white-washed history views... You are just lucky that the U.S. was so good to you... Thank your lucky stars... By the grace of MY forefathers, there go thee... You're welcome for your freedom, even though you never did anything to earn it....!

Wow such hate, so the question must be asked.....Do you believe in freedom of speech or is the State allowed to take that right when it feels like it?

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dontpanic at 10:37 PM JST - 14th August JoeBigs - There cant be complete freedom of speech when what is said incites hatred, or violence, or perpetuates lies. Thats why Toben was barred from publishing his materials in the first place. Thats not the state suppressing free speech, its good policing.

Do not mistake me for a religious person, which I am not by any stretch of the imagination. But I will use religion as an example.

Now I ask you, who does deem what is right and what is wrong to say? Let us use Christianity as an example. Jesus was suppose to have been at odds with the government at the time because of his beliefs.

The heads of the government had him arrested because they said he was a Blasphemer. Then they tried to make him take everything he said back. But, when he did not he was murdered.

Was that right? Was it right to arrest someone because of what he said? The government at the time thought it was.

So I ask, what is the difference, censorship is censorship.

What is next, re-education camps because the State does not like what you think?

eresay at 10:55 PM JST - 14th August One of the great urban myths. He didn't say that.

You are correct, but it is reported that he did say,"I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write."

I would not call it an urban myth, just a misunderstanding. The quote was actually made by someone who believed that that is what he would have said.

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dontpanic at 10:43 PM JST - 15th August If I remember correctly Jesus wasnt inciting racial hatred, oppression, or denying the greatest crime the world has ever seen.

No he was not, what he was charged with was;

Blasphemy, a charge that carried the death penalty.

Sedition, because he was under mining the rule of the clergy by speaking his mind again them.

He was also accused of claiming to be able to destroy the Herod the Great's Temple.

He was considered a radical and an anarchist by the Government in power at the time.

dontpanic at 10:43 PM JST - 15th August Your example is a nonsense, the Sanhedrin Trial wasnt conducted by an independant court under a democracy, rather it was an impromptue religious court predesposed to handing Jesus over to a despotic foreign occupier. How is that relevent to what happened in Australia?

Does it matter if the court was a Democracy, Theocracy, Monarchy, Autocracy or a Constitutional monarchy (Australia falls under this power is vested from the Queen to Parliament).

Censorship is censorship. In 2002 Toben was found guilty of the charge "vilified Jewish people". He was ordered to remove all offensive material from his site. But when he did not (7 years later) he was held in contempt of court.

But, here is a question, if this is not censorship then what is it. In my book, this case stemmed from the Government attempting to censor someones thought (as sick as they maybe).

Government does not have to right to create laws of censorship. What is next thought monitoring? I am one of those people that holds that all men/women have the right to speak their minds.

As long as they do not scream,"fire" in a crowded theater. That is criminal....

But speaking ones opinion is not.....

dontpanic at 10:43 PM JST - 15th August Remember Toben broke laws passed by a democratically elected government, operating within its constitution, enforced by the court. Sometimes words are not harmless and Toben is finding out he is responsible for what he has said.

Now, my argument is for freedom of speech it has always been. I believe that all peoples of the world should have the right to speak their minds. All forms of censorship should be abolished.

Now, the Australian Constitution does not protect Freedom of Speech or the press I understand that. The government can arrest anyone that violates any of their laws.

Does this make it right to arrest someone for expressing his/her opinions? In my book, no it does not.

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