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Published by: News24

Anton Harber | Hate Speech Bill: Sharp scalpel needed to deal with hate speech not a blunt chainsaw4

October 6, 2021

David Irving was an English historian who was discredited mainly during the 1970s when he claimed that Adolf Hitler had not ordered the extermination of the Jews, nor had he known about the Holocaust.

But when, in the late 1980s, he began to espouse Holocaust denial openly, he was charged in Austria – where Holocaust denialism is a criminal offence – and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. The sentence was reduced on appeal to time served – 13 months.

The trial projected him into the headlines, and he became infamous as the world’s best-known Holocaust denier. From then on, he became a poster child for racist extremists and spent the next few years travelling the world, spreading these views to right-wing audiences.

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