In many countries of the European Union (EU), denying the Holocaust and other crimes committed by Nazis is punishable by law. Not so with denying the crimes perpetrated by Communists. In fact, many EU delegates, being dyed-in-the-wool leftists from way back when, are never happy and sometimes quite ornery when the topic comes up. For them, admitting to the crimes routinely and massively committed by Communist regimes is tantamount to admitting that they, the western European leftists, were in fact deniers and collaborators.
But some people – and some nations – do not forget. iDNES reports that six former Soviet satellites – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria – sent the European Commission a letter urging a ban on denying the crimes perpetrated by Communist regimes. The Czech foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg, stressed that all totalitarian regimes must be judged by the same standards and that denying Communist crimes is equivalent to denying Nazi crimes.
I am curious how the European Commission will handle this minefield. On the one hand, it is true that banning certain forms of speech is not a solution. In the United States, this would be a major First Amendment issue, and the Supreme Court would likely strike it down. (Even so, can you imagine the righteous hoopla instantly raised by the Obama regime and its supporters if this issue ever came up here?) On the other hand, on a continent chock-full of collaborators (many of them in the leading EU echelons), it may be good, and perhaps necessary, to have some kind of reminder that their perennial desire to deny the crimes committed by their ideological soulmates is – shall we say? – verboten.