Austria sent a message to deniers of the Holocaust today when they sentenced David Irving to three years in prison for denying that the Holocaust took place. The message is very simple: Don't deny that the Holocaust happened while you are in Austria.
The New York Times stated that the law he was charged under is from 1992, which applies to "whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast or other media." The Times also mentioned that "Mr. Irving's trial came during a period of intense debate in Europe over freedom of expression, after European newspapers printed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that set off deadly protests worldwide."
Sounds like the Times is attempting to make Mr. Irving's denial of the Holocaust into a free speech issue. I hope they, nor anyone else, goes there. It's a pity that there has to be a law in Austria or anywhere else that explicitly enforces something like this. Wouldn't it be wonderful if people didn't let their prejudices get in the way of historical fact? I find it unfortunate and ignorant that anyone would dare to deny the Holocaust in the first place. Those pesky facts, always getting in the way, aren't they?