German politicians recently said they want to make Holocaust denial a crime across the EU during their country's six-month term as head of the bloc. The issue stirred many DW-WORLD.DE readers to share their thoughts.
Germany's proposal provokes questions on freedom of speech
The following comments reflect the views of our readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.
Some people deny that Jesus is the Lord. Some say there is no such thing as global warming. Some say the Holocaust did not happen. Making it a crime to have a different opinion is awful. It seems to me that saying anything against Jews is a crime already. Saying anything against Hitler was a crime in those days. Are we going in that direction again? I am very disturbed, actually mad. - Trudy Miller , US
The government has no right to tell people how to think. -- Richard Spurgeon , US
It is almost criminal to try to curtail and legislate the freedom of other people over a German-Jewish confrontation that happened prior to the existence of the EU. With this intent Germany, is writing a sure ticket for sectarian violence in Europe, to say the least. One cannot legislate history, but one can make sure that history does not repeat itself. -- Hans Reuther-Fix
I am Jewish. Some of my relatives were killed in 1941 in Kiev. It might surprise you that I am strongly against the proposed law. I believe making Holocaust denial a crime is potentially harmful and will make many people think that perhaps there is some truth to it if it is restricted. I've already heard some people say, "If it is the truth, how come it is forbidden to discuss it?" Not to mention that it will put us, the Jews, into a "special" category again, which is very undesirable. Instead, I suggest a broader law against presenting fabricated or fraudulent evidence on historic events. This will be a fair and much more efficient filter against political extremists of all kinds. And in the case of Holocaust deniers (who usually use forged arguments), it will not only get them punished, but also make sure they don't have any followers. -- Vadim Berman
Can remembrance be reconciled with free speech?
Truth needs no laws to support it. Truth can withstand examination time and again. Throughout history, only lies and liars have resorted to the courts to enforce adherence to dogma. -- Michael Davis
In a free country, every person should have freedom of speech, no matter how senseless their opinions are, including freedom of religion. -- Else Buegge-Wood
Jesus-denial was a crime in the 15th century, so Holocaust denial can be a crime in 21st century. After all, every faith persecutes its heretics. -- Kazimierz
A total rejection of the Holocaust should be made a crime in the EU, because it is part of European history in a broad sense. Even though the Holocaust was planned and executed by the Nazi-regime in Germany between 1936-1945, the lessons of this crime against humanity, and the responsibility for not allowing such atrocities to happen again, is international. By making a denial of the Holocaust a crime, we also give the victims of the Holocaust the sole control over their own painful memories, and history. They will have the final say on the crime committed against them. -- Jansen