Holocaust denial should not come under free speech

Germany’s passing on legislation regarding holocaust denial has been present for some time. However, other countries, including the UK, fail to identify the impacts of allowing this practice to continue.  We cannot be expected to honour those who gave their lives to the war, but hypocritically decide that it is acceptable to allow people to deny that the holocaust happened. Despite free speech being considered a human right, this should not be considered a part of it. The harm which it could cause to those who were forced into labour in these camps and risked their lives is unprecedented. These people are forced to deal with the memory of these events, but face denial of their trauma even existing to begin with. Many people state that it is because of the incomprehensible nature of the events that some refuse to accept it, however the proof is overwhelming, and the existence of the laws in Germany proves the gravity of the denials.

Such ideas as are possessed by these deniers are less mentioned in recent times as the people who argue for it are not taken seriously in historical debates due to the overwhelming evidence and reasoned arguments against them. However, it does not mean that the words hurt less to these people, or that they are not negatively impactful. It is important to be reminded of the atrocities of the genocide that occurred, and that the victims should be honoured, rather than their memory being destroyed by the supporters of this deeply disturbing modern day embodiment of anti-Semitism. 

Emily Gerber