Polish Professor Tried for Revisionism

ThoughtCrime: 11/16/99
Published: 1998-11-16

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

A professor of history was put on trial for having written a book that calls into question the theory that the Nazis had developed a systematic plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Dariusz Ratajczak, 37, argued that he was innocent. He claims that his book merely summarizes the opinions of revisionist historians. Ratajczak notes that his own views are not necessarily in line with all of those presented in his aptly named book, Dangerous Themes.

In yet another example of the pervasiveness of thought crimes legislation throughout Europe, prosecutors have accused Ratajczak of violating a law banning public denial of Nazi crimes. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.

Ratajczak announced "Historical revisionism is a historical and social fact," in his opening statement to the court. Ratajczak asserts in his book that gas chambers at Nazi concentration camps were used for delousing and not for mass murder. Ratajczak was also dragged into court for estimating that 3 million Jews died in the Holocaust and not 6 million.

According to excerpts reprinted in newspapers, the book calls testimony from eyewitnesses "useless" and describes researchers of Nazi crimes as "followers of the religion of Holocaust" who impose on others "a false image of the past."

Ratajczak himself is today being treated as a heretic. For daring to question the Holocaust orthodoxy, Ratajczak was suspended from his position at the Historical Institute of the University of Opole after a commission investigating Nazi crimes in Poland complained to prosecutors about his book.

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Author(s): CODOH News
Title: Polish Professor Tried for Revisionism, ThoughtCrime: 11/16/99
Published: 1998-11-16
First posted on CODOH: Nov. 14, 1998, 6 p.m.
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