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United States

Making Holocaust Denial Illegal

March 22, 2016

    In 1945, President Dwight Eisenhower predicted that there would be people who would attempt to deny the Holocaust, therefore he arranged press to come and document parts of the Holocaust.  There are many anti-semitic people in America but denying the Holocaust takes anti-semitism to a whole new level.  Holocaust Denial should not be legalized in America because it is disrespectful, illegal in Israel, and harmful.
    We commemorate the six million Jews whose lives were taken away, but we also praise the few survivors left who helped keep the Jewish religion thriving. People who deny the Holocaust are considered anti-semitic or even Neo-Nazi. They hope to prove that the holocaust never happened or was over exaggerated, which is very insulting towards the survivors. David Irving, a man accused for being a Holocaust denier, said “[t]hat in a few years time no one will believe this particular legend (Holocaust) anymore. They will say, as I do, that atrocities were committed. Yes, hundreds of thousands of people were killed, but there were no factories of death” When Irving says that ‘hundreds of thousand of people were killed,’ he is minimizing the degree of deaths (David Irving, Speech in Portland, OR). He also stated that the Holocaust will be forgotten in a few years and that there were no such thing as concentration camps.  By basically saying ‘just a couple’ of Jews died and how they will be forgotten along with the Holocaust is very disrespectful to the lives that were lost and to the survivors who lived through it all.
    The Holocaust took place in Germany and Eastern Europe. After escaping Europe, most immigrants took a boat to America or Israel and had a somewhat normal life there. Holocaust Denial is illegal in Israel and Germany but it is legal in America. A great deal of countries in Europe have made denial illegal,  “[t]he countries that have laws making holocaust denial a crime are almost entirely those that were directly affected: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania,” all the countries listed have been afflicted by the Holocaust (Quora). I believe that by making Holocaust Denial illegal in Europe is their way of apologizing even though they can never fully apologize for what they did. Germany witnessed the Holocaust first hand and can tell the story to other generations and do not want anti-semitism to prevent that. Israel, along with America, witnessed the aftermath and the scarred lives who tried to find ‘home’ again. 
    Holocaust deniers believe that their words should be supported by the freedom of speech, “[t]he First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition” so if a person were to deny the Holocaust, they have freedom of speech to back them up (Cornell University). I strongly believe that the First Amendment has boundaries. What you say is always protected by freedom of speech but when it can be very hurtful towards other people’s beliefs, you have passed the borderline.  Some strongly feel that what they say should be protected by freedom of speech. I believe that once you hurt people in a religion or an individual, you lose that protection.
    Holocaust denial is a form of Anti-semitism. This generation of children will need to tell their children the stories of the struggle their ancestors went through to keep the Jewish religion alive and striving. Holocaust denial should be illegal in America and all over the world because it is disrespectful, illegal in Israel, and harmful.  Coming from the perspective of a survivor's granddaughter, I believe that holocaust denial should be illegal in America and all over the world out of respect for my family and six million others.

Work Cited
"First Amendment." Cornell University. Web.
"Representative Quotes from Holocaust Deniers." ADL. Web.
"Why Is Holocaust Denial a Crime in Some Countries?" Quora. Ed. Graeme Shimmin. 14 Sept. 2013. Web.
"Neo-Nazi." Southern Poverty Law Center. Web.


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