Police in Barcelona Close down Pedro Varela’s Europa Bookstore

Published: 2016-07-10

We awaken now to the news that the Catalonian police in Barcelona have closed down the bookstore Europa belonging to Pedro Varela by an order of the Ninth District Court in Barcelona, ​​apparently, as reported in several Spanish newspapers, "for allegedly producing, re-producing, distributing and selling material that promotes hatred and discrimination. For more than seven hours, the Mossos (Catalonian police) raided the bookstore, located in the Gracia district and the headquarters of the publishing house and the home of the local owner Pedro Varela in a town called del Vallès."

Pedro Varela

He is charged with distributing books and organizing conferences in his Europa Bookstore that imparted anti-Semitic content and ideas that contest details of the Jewish genocide committed by the National Socialist regime in Germany during the Second World War.

There are two warnings that can be read in Varela’s Europe Bookstore, one  detailing  that the history books about the events in World War II, are a collection of books, and I quote, "- that- represent this tumultuous period collecting the thoughts and  ideologies through the texts written by the witnesses  or collecting the opinions of historians who have dealt with World War II from the most varied viewpoints, including those that have resulted from their studies  in a politically incorrect view of our recent history. "

He continues, again I quote:

"So Europa Bookstore wants to inform you that this place makes available to the public these books purely for the scientific and technical purpose of providing the studious, the researcher, philosopher or critic some tools to work with, that are not commonly offered today. The Europa Bookstore does not necessarily share the views of the authors of the books it sells nor seek to disseminate ideas that are contrary to human dignity.”

Such warning note should not be necessary in a country where freedom of inquiry and speech is allowed, however, customers of this bookstore are treated with utmost care and protection by the Barcelona authorities, so a banned book might not lie between his hands that can carry harmful knowledge to their weak intellectual minds about events that occurred more than seventy years ago.

The second warning notice found in the store is much shorter and is signed by Varela himself, which warns potential consumers regarding some of the types of literature that is on offer, these collection of books have been removed from the stock shelves and are now in backroom and cannot be sold unless authorized by the client and his lawyer or "any administrative authority, police, ministerial, prosecutor, or court expressly for that title"; This document is dated February 2, 2015.

Varela was traveling with his youngest daughter when the police raid of his bookstore and apartment had occurred and so he has not been arrested yet, at the moment that this article is being written, on charges of selling books that promote hatred, although, and this is very interesting, no Spanish newspaper I was able to consult specifies what is interpreted under the law   as “the promotion of hate.” According to press reports including the Spanish daily El País, Pedro Varela will have to appear before the authorities and will likely be arrested.

Manuel Canduela, leader of National Democracy, among other figures of the Spanish right, has expressed his disgust. Canduela said that "selling books can never be a crime in a democracy."

That's exactly what suddenly makes no sense. Varela has already been tried and convicted previously under the argument of the Spanish prosecutor Miguel Angel Aguilar, who argued that "We do not judge ideas, but the spread of the doctrine of hatred" and thus referred to the sale and possession of this “prohibited literature”. However one cannot deny, even for a moment, that when the State determines what may or may not be read, what  ideas are good or not for you and gives itself the task of  “protecting" you, the reader, it is not only condemnatory behavior but  also totalitarian and therefore undemocratic.

 

Additional information about this document

Author(s) Roberto Hernández
Title Police in Barcelona Close down Pedro Varela’s Europa Bookstore
Sources http://www.elmundo.es/cataluna/2016/07/08/57801d9e46163f28158b4658.html http://elpais.com/diario/2010/01/30/catalunya/1264817245_850215.html http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2016/07/08/catalunya/1467997659_740259.html
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Dates published: 2016-07-10, first posted on CODOH: July 10, 2016, 5:59 a.m., last revision: n/a
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