On Spreading Hate

Aryeh Tuchman monitors today’s emanations of anti-Semitism, so he claims. And since revisionism is considered by most as an anti-Semitic activity, I had to come into his focus sooner or later.

Already in February 2011 he reported about my attempts at getting back to my wife and daughter in the U.S. When I found out about this around that time while waiting seemingly endlessly in Mexico to be allowed to go home, I decided that I had bigger fish to fry and hence ignored him.

Just a few days ago, Mr. Tuchman trained his eyes once more on me with a post bearing the title “Holocaust denier Germar Rudolf spreads hate from Pennsylvania”. That’s strong stuff. The post itself has nothing in it about anything that I am supposed to spread, though. Plus it has a few incorrect claims which I addressed in brief comments posted beneath Tuchman’s article. This resulted in an exchange with Tuchman right there, at some point of which he used “common parlance” as a justification to talk about “racial hatred” in connection with my most recent conviction for my revisionist writings in Germany. The problem is that I wasn’t indicted, tried or sentenced for racial hatred. Neither the prosecution nor the court ever uttered a word about my having said or written anything racist or anti-Semitic. If they could have done it, they surely would have done it. But there simply is nothing of that kind in my writings for which I was indicted. German penal law doesn’t require items to be racist or anti-Semitic in order to ban them. Opposing the government-endorsed version of history suffices completely.

When I stated in one of my comments that I have a hard time finding a permanent home because people like Mr. Tuchman “keep pushing me around,” he responded as follows:

“I’m sorry if you’re having a hard time settling down. But I’m not the one who chose to publish material that could run afoul of Germany’s anti-racism laws, or to flee the country rather than face the consequences; that was you. It was also your choice subsequently to continue publishing on topics that you knew had gotten you in legal trouble before. […] Seems like most of your problems stem from your own choices and some bad luck with government bureaucracies, not from me or ‘people like me’ (Jews? Bloggers?) pushing you around.”

With “people like Mr. Tuchman,” by the way, I am referring to anyone who refers to peaceful dissidents as haters or persons spreading hate, whether they let deeds follow their words or not, and no matter what their religious, ethnic, political or other affiliation. Tuchman’s assumption I could mean Jews with that shows his own navel perspective, his persecutorial paranoia.

And here is my reaction to Tuchman’s thoughtless usage of “common parlance” and his blaming the victim of persecution, which I entered on June 6 as a response to Mr. Tuchman beneath his last comment, but which he has so far not posted:

Mr. Tuchman, “common parlance” is exactly the problem of your post. Just because a lot of people talk nonsense doesn’t mean it therefore makes sense. Since Jews most certainly are NOT a race (many of them are actually ethnic Germans, as you probably are as well, judging by your last name), any acts or statements subjectively perceived as anti-Jewish cannot per se be racist (unless the perpetrator claims Jews to be a race, which I have never done). My acts, which the court considered capable of fomenting negative feelings toward Jews, cannot possibly have incited anyone to *racial* hatred. For the rest of your statement, allow me to deliberate: Just because a government does something does not mean it is legal or even legitimate. Claiming this would amount to you endorsing the acts of Germany’s government from 1933 to 1945. I’m sure you don’t. So the proof lies in the pudding.

If a government enacts laws which are illegal under its own constitution and which are also in violation of international law, then it is not the person running afoul of those laws who is responsible for the acts of persecution subsequently suffered. In fact, the German Constitutional High Court *admitted* in writing in 2009 that the very §130 I was sentenced for is indeed in violation of the German constitution. I quote: “In general, restrictions to the freedom of opinion are permissible only on the basis of general laws according to art. 5, para. 2, alternative 1, [German] Basic Law [Germany’s surrogate constitution]. A law restricting opinions is an inadmissible special law, if it is not formulated in a sufficiently open way and is directed right from the start only against certain convictions, attitudes, or ideologies. […] the regulation of art. 130, para. 4, German Penal Code is not a general law […]” (Press release of 4 Nov. 2009, based on case # 1 BvR 2150/08.) They rubber-stamped that law anyway, arguing that exceptions to the prohibition of exceptional laws are permitted in exceptional cases. Talking about dialectic sophistry, here you have a pinnacle of it. With that kind of “exceptional laws” Hitler reigned quite “successfully” for many years. That’s exactly why the postwar German constitution outlaws exceptions – only for the Freislers of today to allow them back in through the backdoor. Resistance fighters against Hitler’s rule “by exception,” who subsequently suffered persecution, are heroes for most people, probably for you as well. So why suddenly turn things upside down, when the shoe is on the other foot?

And as to your contribution to this: First of all, you have the wrong focus. Not ostracized, marginalized, powerless individuals like me are a threat worth constant monitoring. Governments with all their power are the main threat to all our liberties for all of us, like the above-mentioned decision of the German Constitutional High Court, or the U.S. government’s gutting of our civil liberties ever since 9/11. By beating up on the victims of government persecution, as you are doing with your polemical post about me, you are exacerbating the problem by legitimizing such persecution and the gutting of our civil liberties.

Second, one can incite people to hatred by making derogatory, unjustified remarks about a person. Falsely claiming publicly that somebody is spreading hatred is one way of achieving this, as this will potentially exposes the thusly accused to the disdain, if not hatred, of those reading the message. I have asked you separately to indicate where exactly I am spreading hatred, as you claim with your post’s headline. The content of your post makes no allusions to any hatred spread by me. So far you have not answered my question. Should you do so, please do me the favor and don’t use “common parlance,” like saying that certain historical claims are automatically considered to be hateful by the vast majority. That’s the same logic as saying that everybody should eat scat, because billions of flies cannot be wrong; or that we all should jump down a cliff, because thousands of lemmings cannot be wrong. Hateful speech manifests itself not in its contents (as long as it doesn’t advocate the extra-legal infringement on other persons’ civil rights), but in a demeaning style and a hateful, derogatory vocabulary. Show me where I have done that, toward Jews or anyone else. Just because I disagree with you on aspects of the Holocaust doesn’t mean I spread hate (allegedly against Jews, Poles, Communists, Homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and what have you). Because if that is how it’s defined, I could claim the same: Since you disagree with me on aspects of the Holocaust, this means that you spread hate (against Germans, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Christians, Palestinians, Muslims, Arabs, and what have you). Either a logical argument can be applied universally, or it is worthless.

Finally, acts of incitement to hatred can be gauged by their societal effects. Let’s make a thought experiment: What happens if a Jew stands up in front of an average audience and announces that he is a Jew and wants to talk about his views as a Jew? And now, contrast this to what happens if a Holocaust revisionist stands up in front of an average audience and announces that he is a Holocaust revisionist and wants to talk about his views as a Holocaust revisionist? I don’t think I have to explain to you what will happen in both cases. So how come there is such a huge difference in the audience’s reaction? Hence, has the world been incited to hatred against Jews, or to hatred against Holocaust revisionists? It is obvious that the latter is the case. And who, ever since the end of WWII, has perpetrated with impunity this incitement to hatred against persons endeavoring in the standard academic activity of revising historiography? The answer to that question is complex and multifaceted. Suffice it to say here that many powerful groups and individuals have been and still are engaged in this nefarious activity.

To summarize, Mr. Tuchman: You are a part of the problem. You howl with the wolves, blame the victims, and expose them with your writings to even more disdain and hatred.