Austrian Gerd Honsik sentenced to 5 years
ThoughtCrime: 04/28/09
Published: 2009-04-28

"Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death."
George Orwell

Gerd Honsik was sentenced to five years in prison by a Vienna court that found him guilty of "Wiederbetätigung"— "reengaging" in Nazi era beliefs. The crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

While living in Spain from the early 1990s to evade a previous Austrian prison sentence, Honsik published several articles disputing that the Nazis killed millions of Jews at Auschwitz and other concentration camps during World War II. Honsik, 67 who wrote the book Acquittal for Hitler? in 1988, defended himself by arguing that he did not deny the existence of all the gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps.

Authorities arrested Honsik in Spain in October 2007 and subsequently extradited him.

After his lawyer, Herbert Schaller, pointed out that it was not Honsik but "fine and righteous foreigners" who had first denied the existence of gas chambers, the prosecutor said he would consider whether to also indict Schaller under Austria's law banning National Socialist activities.

In 1992, an Austrian court passed an 18-month prison term against Honsik for denying the crimes committed by Hitler's regime. Before starting his sentence, Honsik fled to Spain, but he was eventually extradited in 2007. Both the prosecution and the defendant plan to appeal the verdict and sentence, Austrian press agency reported. The public prosecutor found the sentence too mild.

Austria has the most repressive laws limiting freedom of expression with regard to the Holocaust story in Europe.


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Author(s): CODOH News
Title: Austrian Gerd Honsik sentenced to 5 years, ThoughtCrime: 04/28/09
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Published: 2009-04-28
First posted on CODOH: April 26, 2009, 7 p.m.
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