Vincent Reynouard, in prison for his writings, on the freedom of expression

A message from Vincent Reynouard regarding the freedom of expression
(version française ici).

The courageous petition launched in my behalf by Paul-Eric Blanrue again brings up the matter of limits to freedom of expression. In the name of what, exactly, might such limits be imposed? To answer this crucial question, let’s ask ourselves: why, in general, is freedom ever limited? [1] The image of a fence with a sign on it reading « Forbidden: danger” seems to me the best of answers: the purpose of limiting freedom is to protect.

First of all comes the protection of the individual, the integrity of his body, his life, his reputation and, in some societies where religion is prominent, his soul. Hence all laws against calls to violence, incitement to murder, insults, defamation, invasion of privacy and also, in certain societies, blasphemy and heresy.

Then, on a more general level, comes the protection of society as guarantor of the common good, therefore of civil peace and the lives of citizens. Thus justification is offered for laws against subversion, whether direct (calls to revolt…) or indirect (promotion of ideas adverse to the reigning ideology).

Naturally these restrictive laws, which reflect a people’s culture, will be liable to vary according to time and place. Moreover, the problem of excess of power may arise. Still, such abuse as occurs never calls into question the principle itself. That is why I do not condemn, per se, the existence of laws limiting freedom, including that of expression. But it is essential to prevent excesses of power, and to speak out against them when they happen.

Are the so-called « anti-revisionist » laws unjust? That is the question here. Several arguments have been put forth in support of the answer “no”.

I shall quickly dismiss the first of these, which consists in invoking the « suffering » of victims who should be protected from intolerable affronts. This argument might be of some worth if the revisionists denied the existence of anti-semitic persecution under Hitler and likened the concentration lager to holiday camps. But that is not at all so. Contrary to the message conveyed in the media, the revisionists are not « deniers »; if they denounce the lies of the official version, they try at the same time to discover and explain what really happened. And in this truer history, the victims’ suffering remains tragically present.

A second argument offered to justify antirevisionist laws consists in asserting that the « revisionist enterprise (…) is anti-semitism, which is not an opinion but an offence ». [2]

To begin, I shall reply that if the link between revisionism and anti-semitism were so plain to see, so obvious, then there would have been no need, in France for example, for an antirevisionist law; the 1972 statute punishing racism (and thus anti-semitism) would have sufficed.

In reality, that link is so unobvious that it takes some clever reasoning to assert its existence. This reasoning, as I have heard it several times from the mouths of lawyers speaking against us in our court cases (I think especially of barristers Korman and Lorach), can be summed up as follows:

« For centuries, anti-Semites have conveyed the image of Jews who would lie and use dishonest schemes in order to steal money and, in so doing, become the most powerful people on Earth (cf. the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion). That is exactly the message of Holocaust deniers, because they say the Jews are lying with their Shoah stories, that they are mighty enough to impose this lie of theirs on the whole world and then take advantage of it to steal money from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, etc. Conclusion: Holocaust denial is a modern form of traditional anti-semitism. With today’s anti-semites, it’s no longer: ‘Death to the Jews!’, but rather: ‘The Jews didn’t die!’; the end goal, however, is the same. »

In this line of reasoning, one sentence is crucial: « They say the Jews are lying with their Shoah stories. » Indeed. But what if, in effect, the Shoah is just a myth? What’s to be said of those who have steadily avoided any debate for over 30 years in order to be able to go on telling their tales? Are they not witting liars? What’s to be said of the laws passed nearly all over Europe to protect this historical lie, and this one alone? Are they not proof of the power of certain Jewish lobbies? And what of the billions paid to Israel by Germany in “reparations” for the (alleged) genocide? Doesn’t it all add up to an enormous swindle?

It’s there to see: the case made for the anti-revisionist laws by their Jewish advocates is based wholly on the reality of the (alleged) « Holocaust ». If that reality becomes the subject of a lively debate, the case collapses like any house of cards. Therefore, before making it, they ought to allow free research and a free confrontation of points of view. An open and fair debate about the (alleged) « Holocaust » should be permitted.

However, it is precisely that peremptory argument which is used to forbid not just any debate, but also any public expression of revisionist arguments. Consequently, the situation is this: we are told that the « Holocaust » is historical truth and that to deny it amounts to anti-semitism. But anti-semitism is an offence, therefore disputing the reality of the “Holocaust » must be prohibited.

Stripped of all those intermediate steps, the argument becomes: “the ‘Holocaust’ is a reality, there is no discussing that; therefore those who want to discuss it must be condemned. » This is totally – frightfully – arbitrary.

A third argument in favour of antirevisionist laws consists in saying that questioning of the « Holocaust » aims at re-establishing National Socialism.

Doubtless. But if, indeed, the Shoah is only a slander, then the people who are accused of it and, more generally, the regime so accused must be rehabilitated on this point. It’s only right.

I shall be told in reply that the revisionist undertaking seeks, ultimately, an overall rehabilitation of National Socialism, so as to pave the way again for that ideology.

­— Must I infer from this that, once rid of the number 1 charge against it, Hitlerism would exert an irresistible appeal on the masses, so positive an ideology would it then be?

— Good God, no!, will come the retort. With or without the Shoah, Nazism remains a hateful ideology by its imperialism, its contempt for others and its absolute denial of individual freedom.

— Then what are you afraid of? Since that ideology is such a horror, why are you afraid that people might let it be restored? And then, especially as, with or without the Shoah, National Socialism remains indefensible, why this law making it an offence to question the existence of crimes against humanity?

It’s plain to see: far from justifying the existence of the Gayssot Act, this third argument turns against those who let it loose. For in the end it shows that for the anti-revisionists, it’s a question of defending – protecting – not a historical truth but rather a political « truth » that serves as their weapon in an ideological struggle. The alleged « Holocaust » ensures that it will never be possible to hold a serene and fair debate allowing people objectively to compare the relative appropriateness of liberal ideals and Fascist ideals. With history locked shut, political discussion is locked shut. A glaring example of abuse of power!

This leaves a fourth argument, Zionist in essence. « In denying the Holocaust”, we are told, “you want to undermine the legitimacy of Israel, and thus make a new ‘Holocaust’ possible. »

First, let me emphasise that these geopolitical considerations have no right intervening in a controversy that, by its nature, stands exclusively within the area of History. The Germans either did or did not exterminate the Jews between 1941 and 1945. It’s one or the other, and the correct answer cannot depend on current events in the Middle East. In this debate, it’s the historian who must answer, not the geopolitical specialist and still less the Zionist.

I’ll add, however, that the truth about the alleged « Holocaust » will necessarily have repercussions in the Middle East. Since the year 1945 (indeed, since 1942) the Zionists have been using the Allies’ war lies to support their projects. It’s no accident that Israel emerged less than two years after the end of the great Nuremberg trial, which made the myth official. With no Shoah, Israel wouldn’t have seen the light of day. That being the case, with the collapse of the myth the Jewish State will, necessarily, collapse.

Will there consequently be a new « Holocaust »? I don’t think so, although there will certainly, inevitably be instances where things get out of hand in Palestine. But what would you expect? One cannot, with impunity, maintain a situation of injustice for more than 60 years running… Some day or other there will be a price to pay. Personally, I think the Jews will gain much in evacuating Israel peacefully rather than staying on doggedly till the day – the inevitable day – their expulsion comes about.

Even though it may seem cynical, I’ll state here that, all things considered, the victory of revisionism would be a lesser evil for the Zionists.

The conclusion of all this? It’s that nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies the so-called antirevisionist laws. They are only abuses of power perpetrated by individuals afraid of certain geopolitical and political discussions. Individuals hoping to maintain, for as long as possible, a status quo that’s to their own liking.

For the moment, the peoples of the Western world condone, wittingly or not, this myth. They accept it because they see or feel, vaguely, that the New World Order, guarantor of their hedonistic impulses, finds in the « Holocaust » a weapon enabling it to prevent thoroughly any bothersome discussion and thus, any traumatic calling into question.

No matter that it’s a slander proffered against millions of people (from Hitler to Pope Pius XII, along with bodies like the Red Cross); no matter that this slander is also the source of the ongoing tragedy of an entire people: the Palestinian people. « I’ve got Internet, my laptop, my flat screen TV, etc., that’s where I place my ideals in life. As for the rest, I just hope that, with time, everything will turn out all right and everyone else can enjoy my standard of living… »

This near-universal indifference must not, however, weigh down on us. For our duty is to stand up to the lies, the injustice and the slander. We must therefore act without concern for success or failure. We must ceaselessly repeat: the alleged homicidal « gas chambers » in the wartime German camps did not exist, the « Holocaust » is a myth, the « six million » a delirious estimate and the antirevisionist laws an abuse of power unworthy of an enlightened society.

People find fault with me for being a « desperado », for asserting my traditional Catholicism and my National Socialism. Most of them have never read me. They know neither what my Catholicism is nor what my National Socialism is. Let them start by reading me. Afterwards we can discuss things in the concrete.

The forces we’re fighting against are very powerful. But as they’re grounded in lies, their feet are made of clay. Take the example of repression: thanks to a tailor-made law the mighty can hunt us down, put us on trial, convict us, steal our money, tear us from our families and throw us between four grim walls. At the moment, with the people an accomplice by their approval or fearful silence, this mode of action may well appear frighteningly efficient.

But the day when, subsequent to external events, minds change and taboos falter, the treatment we’ve received thus far will bear powerful witness for us and against them. People will look back at today and say: “What?! They had only their pens; they demanded a fair debate to pit the two arguments against each other and you, you who had millions, you with your radio and television networks, newspapers and cinema, you hunted them down, convicted them, ruined them, threw them in prison, tore them from their families?!  – They were anti-semites, Fascists, Nazis, you say? Oh dear! But an argument’s worth doesn’t depend on the person who makes it: its value, if any, is intrinsic.  – They threatened public safety, did they? Oh dear! Amidst the din from your televisions and the rest, their voices weren’t a cry or even a whisper, but a mere murmur. But for you, that murmur was too much. You must really have feared the power of their message to react that way. However, only the truth has any power. That’s enough for me to conclude who, in this matter, was telling the truth. »

That is why, today, we have to suffer. Contrary to what some think, our suffering is not in vain; it’s like seeds that we sow.

Tomorrow, the harvest will be plentiful.

Vincent Reynouard

Prison of Forest, Belgium, August 18, 2010

_________________________________________
[1] I speak here of freedom in the modern sense of the word, that is, individual freedom grounded in the Rights of Man, according to which there is no such thing as human nature, the individual constructing himself each day in line with his own will, a will which, in order to find expression, must be guaranteed essential freedoms.

[2] Argument developed once again recently by the barrister of the “Association of sons and daughters of Jews deported from France”, Mr Didier Bouthors, before the Cour de Cassation, France’s highest court (see the French Catholic daily La Croix, May 10, 2010).

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Une réponse à “Vincent Reynouard, in prison for his writings, on the freedom of expression

  1. All genocides are unconscionable. While Jews have been the victims of most holocausts throughout history (Babylonian, Assyrian, Greek, Roman, The Crusades, the English Expulsion, the Spanish Inquisition and the Nazi Holocaust), many others have been persecuted and murdered despite their innocence. One might have suspected that after witnessing six million innocent Jewish men, women and children exterminated in our parent’s generation, that the world would acquire a taste for tolerance. This has obviously not occurred. Since the Holocaust, we have seen genocide in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. We continue to find it easier to hate than to trust and value our neighbors. We continue to believe that we own the correct path to redemption or that our values supersede those of others.

    Yet, for the Shoah (Holocaust), debate is pointless. Captured German war records prove that millions of innocent Jews (and tens of thousands of others) were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany – mostly in gas chambers. These facts have been proven repeatedly through countless thesis and dissertation research papers. Virtually every PhD in the world will stake their career on these known Holocaust FACTS. Despite this knowledge, Holocaust deniers ply their mendacious poison everywhere, especially with young people on the Internet. The deniers have only one agenda – to distort the truth in a way that promotes antagonism against the object of their hatred (Jews), or to deny the culpability of their ancestors and heroes. The inherent danger is that vulnerable young minds might accept this inaccurate revision for veracity.

    Museums and mandatory public education are appropriate tools to dispel bigotry, especially racial and ethnic hatred. Books and films can also establish the veracity of genocides, such as recent Holocaust films. They help to tell the true story of the perpetrators of genocide; and they reveal the abject terror, humiliation and degradation resulting from such blind loathing and prejudice. We must disclose the cruelty and horror of genocide to combat the deniers’ virulent and inaccurate historical revision. By doing this, we protect vulnerable future generations from making the same mistakes.

    Whenever we stand up to those who deny or minimize genocide we send a critical message to the world. Only when we learn to value the differences among us will humanity mature and begin to reach its potential. As we continue to live in an age of genocide and ethnic cleansing, we must repel the broken ethics of our ancestors, or risk a dreadful repeat of past transgressions. A world that continues to allow genocide requires ethical remediation. We must show the world that religious, racial, ethnic and gender persecution is wrong; and that tolerance is our progeny’s only hope. Only through such efforts can we reveal the true horror of genocide and promote the triumphant spirit of humankind.

    Charles Weinblatt
    Author, Jacob’s Courage
    http://jacobscourage.wordpress.com/

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