The Inquisition of free expression in the European Union.

Truth needs no law to support it. Truth is self-evident to all. Truth withstands re-examination. Truth survives questions. Throughout history, from Galileo to Zundel, only lies and liars have resorted to the courts to enforce adherence to dogma.

Sylvia Stolz at her illegal speech.

Sylvia Stolz at her illegal speech.

Sylvia Stolz, 51, was convicted for inciting racial hatred when she denied that there was sufficient evidence for the Holocaust in a 2012 speech at an anti-censorship congress in Switzerland. She has been sentenced to 20 months in prison.

In footage that was recorded at the event and which was used during her trial, Stolz made  references to the “so-called Holocaust”, denied that the Holocaust had ever been legally defined or proven, and contested whether there was any solid evidence that the Nazis intended to wholly or partially destroy European Jews.

A Swiss lawyer filed a criminal complaint three months after the event, accusing Stolz of transgressing race law. Yet she argued during her trial that she was exercising her right to free speech.

Judge Martin Rieder rejected Stolz’s claim that she was protected by her rights to freedom of speech. He told the court that  hardly any other event in world history had been so thoroughly researched and examined as the extermination of Jews in Europe, and said that Mein Kampf served as evidence for Adolf Hitler’s intentions to eradicate European Jews and other sections of society.

In 2008, Stolz was sentenced on the same charge and served three years and three months in a prison in Bavaria in a conviction related to her legal defence of the infamous Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, who was convicted himself of the crime in 2007.

During Zundel’s initial trial, she repeatedly denied the Holocaust in court and signed off a legal document with « Heil Hitler. » Stolz was barred from practising law after her first conviction.

Her husband is also a Holocaust denier and has also served time in prison for the offence.

Laws concerning Holocaust denial varies throughout Europe. In 2007, the European Union approved legislation that made Holocaust denial a crime punishable by up to three years in prison, but also gave individual countries the option to not enforce the law if such a prohibition did not exist in their own laws. There is currently no specific legislation outlawing Holocaust denial in the UK, or the Nordic countries.

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