Monday, November 26, 2007

Why shouldn’t Oxford Union debate with fascists?

Head of the neo-fascist British National Party, Nick Griffin, and loony historian David Irving (photo) are debating at the prestigious Oxford Union tonight. Many on the knee-jerk Left get upset.

Protests flooded in to the offices of the Oxford Union before the debate demanding that ‘Fascists should not be given a platform.’ Why, they say, should Holocaust deniers and generally nasty fascist types like Griffin and Irving be allowed to air their disgusting views?

For instance, high profile human rights activist Peter Tatchell writes at the Harry’s Place blog that:

I am instinctively pro-free speech and against bans and censorship, but I also believe in defending human rights and the right of minority communities to be spared prejudice and intimidation…

Griffin has a conviction for inciting racial hatred….. David Irving was branded by a British judge in 2006 as “a racist, an anti-Semite and an active Holocaust denier.”
The issue basically comes down to this question: Are fascists entitled to free speech? Or are some people so threatening and dangerous – especially to minority race, sexuality and faith communities – that it is legitimate to limit their freedom of expression?

I met Tatchell once, and he is a brave and principled guy. But if that is his central argument, then I do not think it is a very good one.

For a start, everyone is entitled to free speech. If not then free speech does not really exist: when some have the right of free speech and others do not, then that is ‘privileged’ speech’, which is not ‘free’ at all.

By banning these people from airing their views you make them ‘special’ – they can, do and will claim that they are being ‘victimized’, and this can be used by them to try and win over a few more to their side. Why give them such a gift?

Tatchell also says that these people are ‘dangerous’. But what he really means is that what they say is dangerous – and so they should be shut up. That way the danger will just go away. Won’t it?

That argument patronizes the Oxford University students who will be subjected to the ‘dangerous’ words of Irving and Griffin. Ideas are only ‘dangerous’ or effective if they are contain some kind of truth, and in conditions which help them thrive. Irving’s historical work has been successfully ridiculed and proved to be false (see previous post) in a court of law and in the court of public opinion. So when he tries to debate these ‘ideas’ – that Auschwitz was not a ‘death camp’, for instance - then it will not be too difficult to discredit him.

That would not have been possible, if the Oxford Union had given in to ‘No Platform’ arguments, which are a favourite of the SWP and ‘liberals’ who no longer believe in free speech at all.

It shows a massive cultural shift among liberals in the UK and much of the West when words and ideas, per se, are seen as dangerous weapons. As late as 15 years ago I remember being at university where those – mainly conservatives - who wanted to ban this and that, and censor this and that, were laughed at. Not any more they aren’t. In fact, the liberal left has taken over the cause for censorship and bans.

But we are not so vulnerable as individuals that we need protecting from words, from speech. If the West had a bit more confidence in itself then it would not be banning, or trying to ban, fascists and Islamo-fascists from spouting their rubbish.

It’s only a very insecure culture that would be afraid of a few idiots like Griffin and Irving.

Irving speech called off in Warsaw, the beatroot, May 2007


Anonymous said...

Should a science teacher provide a platform for the flat earth society or for the biblical view of creation when it’s clear that these views have no basis in science?

No scientific body of evidence exits to suggest that one race is superior to another, so what’s the logic of indulging a racist?

I don’t need to debate anyone on the existence of the Holocaust having walked through Majdanek.

I agree with free speech, it’s just that you are not automatically entitled to the podium of your choice. Who gets the podium is usually a subjective decision on the part of those who own the podium. If common sense suggests that your participants are less interested in debate and more interested in propagation of their ideas then you have to act accordingly.

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

I think it would be a very good idea to get flat earthers in on a science lesson. It would show what kind of arguments Copernicus and others had to go through, for instance. I like reading scientific history because it shows just that. We take a lot for granted.

So yep – bring on the flat earthers!

And it’s best to write comments on word before posting, as blogger is being a bit strange, and you might lose a gem.

Anonymous said...

BR: By banning these people from airing their views ... claim that they are being ‘victimized’, and this can be used by them to try and win over a few more to their side. Why give them such a gift?

I don't think their claiming victim status wins them new adherents as much as giving them public forums.

Anonymous said...

jannowak57: No scientific body of evidence exits to suggest that one race is superior to another, so whats the logic of indulging a racist?

That depends how you define 'superiority'. If one defined it as better performance in tasks necessary in the conditions under which the given race evolved, then indeed one race could turn out to be superior to another. I suppose polar bears outperform grizzlies in the "hunt a seal" test. In fact, for any measure involved in defining some kind of 'superiority', it is rather unlikely that the influence of selection under different conditions balances out as exactly zero. I suppose neither polar nor grizzly bears had to ride bikes in their natural environment, but it would be somewhat surprising if they showed _exactly_ the same ability in that respect.

beatroot said...

That depends how you define 'superiority'.

It also depends on how you define 'race'. There is one human race, and that's it - add yeah, we play chess better than monkeys. So what?

Frank Partisan said...

The publicity from the discussion of free speech, only makes the auto wreck worse. Let them debate.

In Minnesota Zionist groups secretly pressured St. Thomas College, to take away an invitation to Desmond Tutu to speak. When it was made public, the school invited him back. In the mean time the professor who recommended Tutu was demoted. Tutu won't speak until the teacher gets his position back.

Banning Irving and Griffin makes the discussion shift from anti-Semitism and racism to free speech. Now Tutu is accused of hate speech as well.

Unknown said...

maybe some linguistics will help here, for the act of communication does not only consist of the message that is uttered. as far as i know, mr. griffin and mr. irving have not been denied the possibility of exposing their ideas here and there, and even to write them down and publish and sell them as books, so the appeal to freedom of speech should not apply. then, it is important to consider the context, the moment and place in which those ideas are exposed. it is not the same to deny the holocaust at a bnp meeting than at the "prestigious oxford union", for in the second case such theory may be added with some kind of... academic-support content?

debating implies the existence of two more-or-less equally levelled ideas, one of which will prevail when analyzed in detail and despite its being confronted to the attacks of the other. since you take for granted the holocaust-happening position will be the "winning" one, aren't you actually the patronizing one? also, creationists' lack of respect for science and holocaust-deniers' lack of respect for history may not be a flaw but a dangerous trap for anybody confronting them from the common sense and the knowledge...

but we are still missing one character in this comedy: the listeners, those to whom the message is addressed. let me quote from lee bollinger's introductory speech to mahmoud ahmadinejad in columbia university: "For the illiterate and ignorant, this [the denial of the Holocaust] is dangerous propaganda. When you come to a place like this, this makes you, quite simply, ridiculous. You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated." let me add the president of iran may have had an agenda. and that he will have made sure the "illiterate and ignorant" know he exposed his ideas in such a prestigious tribune.

beatroot said...

So the update of the debate was sadly predictable. No Platform SWP etc held a sit in in the debating chamber, with hundreds more outside. Scuffles with Union officials. Griffin and Irving had to give their answers from a different room. Lots of screamin and shoutin (fascists out!’, etc).

In other words, a farce. Now that has given fascists a propaganda coup. If they had been allowed to debate then logic and historical truth would have made them look very stupid. As it is they were made to look like the beacon of free speech (that is what you will see in their newspaper). They will also say that ‘they are afraid of hearing the truth’. Etc.

Debate is better than shutting people up.

beakerkin said...


The basic problem is that this only comes into play when far right speakers go to a University. The worlds foremost anti semite, Norman
Finkelstein seems to be booked every other day.

Moreover, one has an army of communist parasites spreading the same bigotry at any large University. One can find the usual flat earth mindless Communist bobble head talking points in any class room. A larger question is how 1% of the population is exponentially over represented in faculty hires. It seems like the old Bolshevik network is alive and well and needs to be dismantled.

Tutu's anti semitism is a well established fact for over two decades. However, anti-semitism is and has always been at the heart of Communism since its inception. How does a single language end up banned in Communist Cuba, the USSR,
Eithiopia and elsewhere? One hint, the language starts with the letter

beakerkin said...


I am for free speech. I am against the creation of academic gulags. Moreover,given the historic abuses of
Communists with history and scholarship they should not be allowed in education at all.

Anonymous said...

The price of free speech is that it is free to all. If you don't like what racists/communists/Catholics/Darwinists have to say, don't listen to them. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous that sneakerskin calls the son of Holocaust survivors an anti-Semite.

Booked everyday? More like denied free speech as a professor -- zapped out of DePaul (Catholic much to my embarassment and shame) University because of pressure from Alan Dershowitz and his ilk.

Thus DePaul becomes an academic gulag.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that anyone's speech, short of that calling for present breach of the peace, should be banned. By doing this, the precedent is set to start banning not merely "offensive," but simply "unpopular" (to certain classes) speech: global warming is a hoax, homosexual behavior should be illegal, or the Prophet Muhammad is a pedophile, being three examples of recent censorship of "unpopular" views, both official and unofficial.

On the other hand, there is no obligation to give clear nutjobs and haters a bullhorn. Let Irving and Griffin sputter all they want at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, but don't invite them to speak at Oxford.

sonia said...


No scientific body of evidence exits to suggest that one race is superior to another.

Read this.

Unknown said...

sonia, the author of that article lives in a town called chevy chase (check it out:

if that hasn't disqualified him yet, the article itself probably will. i mean, i really don't care if all humans are not exactly the same. i just believe they should be treated the same. but you don't really sow the idea of a genetic basis for intelligence from an alleged 20% relation between brain size and iq, do you?

beatroot said...

IQ does not equal intelligence in any meaningful sense.

And whites seem to feel OK about being told that they have higher than average scores to an African...but they get less keen when they discover that those from Asia generally out score whites.

So how does it feel, you whiteys to be called inferior to Asians? Do ya dig it?

Anonymous said...

It's a fact, not an insult, that persons of East Asian descent are more intelligent than all other racial groups. Being caucasian, I have no problem with it.

Anonymous said...

I should have said "persons of East Asian descent as a group are more intelligent than all other racial groups." There are always individual outliers.

beatroot said...

Actually, no pychologist who measures IQ (and we are talking about IQ scores, not necessarily intelligence, which is a very slippery concept) would claim that you can tell someone's IQ just by looking at him.

Taken collectivly, 'Asians' get a mean average score higher than white Europeans, for instance. But you can't tell where any white or Asian will be on that statistical spread.

There is also correlation between class and IQ. There is also a correlation between rural/urban and IQ. And so on...

So a very poor farmer's son from pakistan - on average - scores less well than a boy from an educated home in Deli, Hong Kong (or) Manchester, England.

So 'race' (of which there is only one among humans) is not a factor by itself in predicting IQ scores (let alone intelligence).

Anonymous said...

beatroot: It also depends on how you define 'race'. There is one human race, and that's it

That's not it , that's only a slogan.

beatroot: add yeah, we play chess better than monkeys. So what?

The differences between polar and grizzly bears are not so deep as those between humans and monkeys. These bears can crossbreed, and the hybrid is fertile.

beatroot: And whites seem to feel OK about being told that they have higher than average scores to an African...but they get less keen when they discover that those from Asia generally out score whites.

Actually the fact of the Asian-white differences is not very controversial. How many examples can you find, in the last 20 years, of people being publicly villified, losing their jobs etc. for discussing that? Compare that to the fate of the people who dare to openly mention black-white differences.

Actually, no pychologist who measures IQ (and we are talking about IQ scores, not necessarily intelligence, which is a very slippery concept) would claim that you can tell someone's IQ just by looking at him.

Sure. But you can draw statistically significant inferences. If you test 500 Asians and 500 whites, coming from families of similar affluence and education, you get more Asians in the top 100 scorers.

There is also correlation between class and IQ. There is also a correlation between rural/urban and IQ. And so on... So a very poor farmer's son from pakistan - on average - scores less well than a boy from an educated home in Deli, Hong Kong (or) Manchester, England.

Such things can be controlled for in the statistics. You can compare people coming from similar backgrounds.

So 'race' (of which there is only one among humans) is not a factor by itself in predicting IQ scores (let alone intelligence).

You write about 'whites', and then you claim there is only one 'race'? You can use a different name for such subpopulations if you prefer, but: 1) belonging to such a group can with good probability be determined from appearance (show me your face and I can tell you in which part of the globe your ancestors lived thousands of years ago), and, 2) there are statistically significant differences between the groups in some kinds of IQ tests. This is not some overall 'superiority', but you can expect, for example, differences in success rate for some job applications, even if judged on merit only.

Anonymous said...

IQ tests show similar results between races during childhood, which then differs as people grow older = social effects.

And Beetroot, maybe you think fascists should be allowed to have a platform, but why are you publicising their efforts on here ffs??

michael farris said...

As a longtime teacher, I just know too much about testmaking, testing and how people respond to tests to take any argument based on IQ tests seriously.

Anonymous said...

As a longtime teacher in Poland, I know that half of any Poles who did better on any test than they were expected to do were cheating and that half the Poles who did worse than expected were cheating badly.

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

'White' and other external differences are phenotypical not genotypical...therefor it is not racial, and so this is rhetoric but science. Don't pretend to know what you are talking about when you obviously don't.

beakerkin said...

Speaking of low IQ's, Geez once again proves his idiocy. Finkelstein has been fired from four universities for
lack of scholarship, abuse of coworkers and students. 90% of his material is identical to that of Holocaust deniers.

His real claim to fame is that he is the first Communist in the history of the USA to be denied tenure with zero
scholarship. Actually, he should write his own book with Kovel, Chomsky and other blathering idiots
called the Communist anti-semie hustle. All of the above are Communists and merely cater to the most rabid of anti-semites.

Communists are in not Jews, Americans or Poles in any description. They are a cancer upon the human condition and are loyal
only to their failed genocidal philosophy.

Oddly the one group with the clearest record of sedition, treason, deception and crimes against humanity think they are the moral arbiters of justice.

One more thing, Finkelstein's mother whom he presents as an ordinary Holocaust survivor was a hardened Stalinist. Any comments made by Stalinists are worthless.
His father was called a fellow traveler but in all probability was also a hardened Communist.

Finkelstein's message is identical to that of Irving in substance.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that beakerkin point of view really hits the nail on the head in so far as we already tolerated a lot of idiocy in the same vain as the fascist and holocaust denier that we’re focusing on at this instant. The political correctness faction is highly selective with respect to which idiocy is tolerated and which must be censored. This also breaks down to geographical areas in the western world when you compare US and European campuses and note different sets of rules to the game. It seems a repeat of history where certain power groups tried to force their orthodoxies on universities to stifle opinions not in sync with their own. For centuries universities had to deal with this kind of thing, the Catholic Church, monarchies and totalitarian regimes etc.
Certainly we shouldn’t dignify the lunatic fringe with a podium, but some balance needs to be restored. Being stifled by leftist orthodoxy should not be easier to accept then any of the other attempts kill intellectual freedom in an academic institution.
Can the modern day students be so sheepish as to accept this intellectual tyranny

Brad Zimmerman said...

Not letting Irving (in particular) speak at all would be wrong. No sensible person is saying he shouldn't be able to not speak at all. It's just that he shouldn't be invited to speak at otherwise respectable venues.

Just because Irving and, really, everyone has the right to free speech does not mean that we have to automatically invite them to do so when someone puts together a conference. That's the same reason why there's no point in hearing from a "flat earth" person: clearly this person is an idiot and needs a few science lessons or to just look at a couple of photos from space and that's it. If they still defend their views, great for them... but what makes anyone think we have to listen to them? They have a right to speak and I have the right to plug my ears.

If the government were to tell Irving: you can't speak! ...that's wrong.

When everyone tells Irving: shut your damn mouth and go away! ...That's our preference.

So, if he wants to speak, have him put together his own conference with some luminaries from the KKK, a couple NSDAP-supporters (try in Leipzig), a few hardcore BNP people, etc. They'll have their conference, normal people can laugh at them and respectable institutions like Oxford can have reasonable debates without worrying that they aren't giving some nutter the chance to speak.

Anonymous said...

Please be so kind as to specify which book(s) and publications of Finkelstein's, jannowak57, you find fault with in terms of scholarship. What is it that he says is idiotic? Where does he deny the Holocaust? Please provide even so much as one citation in his work of such denial. Have you ever read anything of his to this point in time?

If "leftist orthodoxy" reigns in the US, then it seems that Finkelstein would not have been targeted at so many universities. Why have so many other professors who have dared to challenge Israel's militarism (please note Finkelstein does not deny Israel's statehood) been persecuted including many Jews? Indeed, it seems that Jewish professors have borne the brunt of the assault.

Anonymous said...

And I should also note that it was refreshing to see that sneakerskin did not "ditto" his main man Alan Dershowitz (next to Rudy Ghouliani) who made a lawyerly accusation that Finkelstein saw his mother as being "a capo."

Please note, too, that Finkelstein's parents were from Poland.


beatroot said...

I din;t know that about Finkelstein's parents....interesting. Though, for non US readers, this guy is simply not an issue and many will be confused about who this guy is evn. But he certainly gets Beakywahtsit excited. But then again, Beajy is still living during the Cold War era, so he is gonna get excited about quite a few thungs, me thinks...

Anonymous said...

Actually, Finkelstein's work and travails have garnered attention in the Polish press (how widely I dunno) and has had his articles appear in Rzeczpospolita and elsewhere.

Then again, I would be interested in more info about the political backgrounds of Finkelstein's parents. I doubt, however, that his mother was a "hardened Stalinist" as claimed by sneakerskin.

beakerkin said...


Here we go again with your gross stupidity. It is impossible for a communist to get fired in FOUR Universities. Finkelstein was fired FOUR times for mental instability, abusing his coworkers and lack of scholarship.

The actual criteria used in Universities are peer reviewed articles, not books. Finkelstein has zero peer reviewed articles.
Moreover, Finkelsteins books contain zero original scholarship.
Furthermore, the scholars he quotes
have been on record flatly stating that Finkelstein has misquoted them
and that his books are worthless.

In fact Finkelstein did try to intervene in the tenure process for
a genuine scholar Daniel Goldhagen.
How one critiques sources in German, Hebrew and Arabic when one does not read any of those languages is a mystery.

Obviously, a person who call Ellie Wiesel a professional Jew and has claimed certain Jewish leaders look
like Der Sturmer caricatures is a rabid anti semite. Finkelstein used the same technique as Holocaust deniers and 9-11 conspiracy freaks in selecting a minor point in a Wiesel book makes him a fraud. Finkelstein's insane contention about Kant in Yiddish were disproven and irrelevant.

Finkelstein does work with Ernst Zundel, a genuine Nazi and his message is identical. If Geez was interested he could easily locate this information.


Apparently you are an ostritch and live in denial with the genocide and crimes commited by Communists.
Would you be as charitable with a nut who espoused Roehm styled Nazism as you are with Trotskyite fools and grade B mentally disturbed Communist fools in Venezuela. Inform me how brand x of this insanity is immune from a historical examination of the record.

beatroot said...

"there you go again with your gross stupidity...'. Imagine starting an argument like that?

Beakthing - get some manners...

Anonymous said...

SneakerSkin, did you graduate with a PhD from Princeton? Finkelstein did. My guess is that you flunked out of a community college if you even made it that far.

Your claim that he has zero peer reviewed articles is amply refuted on his website. And there are more criteria than peer reviewed articles. And at DePaul any claim of a lack of peer reviewed articles was not even noted in his evaluation. You just repeat and ditto ditto ditto the nonsense you greedily intake and regurgitate from others of your ilk.

It's not surprising that charlatans like Dershowitz claim he was misquoted. Again, anybody who wants to spend some time exploring these claims and counterclaims can check Finkelstein's website. Or look into any of the youtube videos -- there are many.

And Finkelstein was not *fired* from four universities. Your repeated falsehoods are evidence of your Stalinist style. I imagine he made a pretty penny when he resigned from DePaul.

Your other charges aren't even worth refuting.

Bottom line, please show me one, just one, direct quote from Finkelstein in which he denies the Holocaust.

And show me some real proof his mother was a "hardened Stalinist."

But better yet, why don't you spend your time more usefully by trying to get your main man Rudy Gholiani nominated? Please work harder for him instead of wasting your time regurgitating drivel.

beakerkin said...


Continue reading the facts about Finkelstein. Finkelstein has been fired by Hunter, NYU as well as another University in NYC.

Now we see a mindless sort in true form. The comments here have nothing to do with Guliani or my education.You do not have the facts and they speak for themselves.

His record shows zero peer reviewed
articles. Books are not the basis for granting tenure. I suggest you
keep on reading. Moreover, this was cited in his previous terminations
in addition to abuse of coworkers and students.

Keep on doing research about his PHD in Princeton. You will find his
mental instability is well documented there as well. It was not granted in the usual manner.

Alan Dershowitz is an actual scholar with a wide body of peer reviewed articles. He teaches in a top ranked school and has never been termiinated. Moreover, the record also shows Dershowitz is to the far left and is a civil liberterian. He is not nor has ever
been a Communist. Your comments about Dershowitz reek of ignorance and probable anti-semitism.

The facts about Finkelstein's terminations, communist parents, lack of scholarship, inability to
read German, Hebrew or Arabic, zero
original reseach, misuse of quotes,
rebuke from scholars he quoted, abuse of coworkers, colaberation with actual Nazis and crank antics
are easily found on the web.

Start off with his being fired at three Universities in NYC. This is
a feat of monumental proportions for a Communist in higher Ed. The fact that you have zero clue about these matters shows your general ignorance. Finkelstein was terminated from De Paul and the alleged resignation was merely a way for a disgraced employee to save face. Many companies pay embarassments severance pay to fired employees to avoid costly law

FYI Get used to saying President Guliani.

Your next intelligent comment will
be your first.

Anonymous said...

I looked at your website some time back. How do you have time to make all these ridiculous dittohead comments given all the time you spend either in your cubicle or at Hooters?

Still, since I am so ignorant and plainly incapable of navigating the internet without your help, please provide one url with a direct quote from Finkelstein where he explicitly denies the Holocaust. And provide me another url where you can prove that his mother was a "hardened Stalinist."

Finally, after last night's debate debacle, I am afraid that Ghouliani won't even get the Republican nomination. And I do so want him to get it!

beakerkin said...


I am not in the special education business so you will have to do your own dirty work. The facts about Finkelstein are widely available on the net. You can look
at his responses to the comments.

As I am on the road I have plenty of time to do as I please. Hooters was a great place if you ignore the food. It should only be visited to drink an
adult beverage unless one is driving.

As far as Rudy is concerned you will get your wish. When Rudy is President where will you go North Korea, Cuba, Zimbabwe or to live in Hugo's Commie Blunderland.

Maybe if far left types like the Troskyites in North Dakota would promise to emigrate for good it will boost the turnout.

Anonymous said...

What a pathetic cop out, diddleydupakin.

You cannot back up your claims about Finkelstein being a "Holocaust denier" and his mother being a "hardened communist" and you know it.

As far as your taste in dining and women is concerned, I needn't say more aside that you really should ask that one girl out. Try not to invite her to Hooters, though.

And Rudy. He's gone down the shitter. Much to my regret.

beatroot said...

I am not in the special education business so you will have to do your own dirty work. The facts about Finkelstein are widely available on the net.

You just lost the argument, Tweakypants. The reason you won't try and find an example is because you are afraid that there is no example.

When and if you do find an example then let ne know and your argument will have credibility.


Anonymous said...

Spanish Nazi camp 'survivor' lied

Spanish Holocaust survivors are outraged by Mr Marco's admission
A leading representative of Holocaust survivors in Spain has admitted to being "an impostor".
Enric Marco told Spanish TV he was never held in the Nazi concentration camp of Flossenburg as he had claimed for nearly 30 years.

Mr Marco, 84, was head of the Amical de Mauthausen group, named after the camp in Austria where the Nazis held most of their Spanish political prisoners.

His lies were discovered by a historian researching his story.

Mr Marco admitted: "I wasn't in a concentration camp. I was held in captivity and the Nazis did impose penalties on me. But that does not exonerate me from being an impostor."

The lie began in 1978. It seemed I was getting more attention and could better publicise the suffering of the many people who passed through the concentration camps

Enric Marco

He addressed the Spanish parliament in January, at a moving event marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

"When we arrived in the concentration camps... they stripped us, their dogs bit us, their spotlights dazzled us," he said.

"They put the men on one side and the women and children on the other; the women formed a circle and defended their children with their bodies," he added.

More recently Mr Marco attended a ceremony in the Ravensbruck concentration camp in Germany.

'Lie began in 1978'

But on the very day Mr Marco was re-elected president of Amical de Mauthausen, it emerged that he had lied about his past.

Historian Benito Bermejo had noticed inconsistencies in Mr Marco's account while researching Spanish prisoners' experiences in the Nazi death camps.

"He said strange things that did not correspond to the general historical facts," Mr Bermejo told the Efe news agency.

Mr Marco recently visited the Ravensbruck camp
"For example, that he had been arrested and handed over to the Gestapo in Marseille in 1941."

"In that year Marseille was an area of France not under occupation, and normally the Spanish republicans were not handed over to the Germans - that happened later," he said.

Real survivors had been having their doubts, too. Mr Marco had always avoided entering into too much detail when recounting his experiences to them.

On Wednesday he decided to come clean.

"The lie began in 1978," Mr Marco told Efe.

"It seemed I was getting more attention and could better publicise the suffering of the many people who passed through the concentration camps," he admitted, insisting there was no evil intent behind the fabrication.


But Holocaust survivors in Spain are outraged.

Neus Catala, a survivor of the Ravensbruck camp, said Enric Marco was a "traitor".

The stance he took was "an insult to the memory of the dead", she told Efe.

"More than 7,000 Spaniards went to the concentration camps, and most of them died there."

Despite Mr Marco's claim to be raising awareness of the Holocaust, Mr Bermejo warns that his lies could have the opposite effect.

"The danger exists that people who deny the reality of the Nazi camps... might exploit this and tell us that no testimony about the Holocaust has any value," he said.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.


beatroot said...

You honestly lost me, on that one....???

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