Sunday, June 4, 2017

Estonia: Far-right politician vows to legalize Holocaust denial

Via JTA:
Georg Kirsberg
An Estonian nationalist politician vowed in his election campaign to decriminalize Holocaust denial and instead penalize those who would downplay the Soviet domination of the country. 
Georg Kirsberg, who is running for a lawmaker’s seat for the Conservative People’s Party in Estonia’s elections in October, was quoted Wednesday by the Estonian National Broadcasting Company. 
“We will decriminalize Holocaust denial and enter a correct teaching of the history of the Third Reich,” Kirsberg said. 
His far-right party supports revoking the citizenship and deporting what it defines as “Russians hostile to Estonia” – a reference to ethnic Russians or speakers of that language living in Estonia, including most of the country’s Jews. Last month, the party, which was founded in 2012 and currently has seven out of 101 seats in the Estonian parliament, submitted a bill proposing such deportations. It is likely to be defeated. The party also supports a ban on the construction of new mosques and Eastern Orthodox churches. 
Doing away with Estonia’s laws against denying the Holocaust is however not an official party position, Martin Helme, the party’s leader, told the broadcasting authority. 
“He does not claim that it is the party’s position, it is only the thought of one person,” Helme said. Asked whether the party plans to sanction Kirsberg over his comment, Helme said he “sees no reason to do this.”
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