The Senate of Italy has approved a bill that punishes Holocaust denial, taking it a step forward in turning it into law (another vote by the Italian Chamber of Deputies is required for this purpose).
On the day of the Senate vote, the prominent Italian daily Corriere della Sera featured an op-ed by Giorgio Sacerdoti, lawyer and jurist, president of the Milan Center of Jewish Contemporary Documentation and member of the Council of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (UCEI).
“To deny the Holocaust is not to express an opinion on history. Usually it represents a lie with racist if not a subversive purpose, a barely disguised apology of crime. The law is intended to contrast this danger,” wrote Sacerdoti, stressing why the new bill is necessary. This new law follows one which has been voted on at the European level.
“Usually, those who commit apology of crime, exalt their perpetrators. However, in the case of Holocaust denial, those who spread it in bad faith, absolving the perpetrators (who exactly 70 years ago were found guilty by the Nuremberg Tribunal, before a court of men, but also of history) accuse the victims and their descendants of making up the persecutions, in a deceitful and hateful way,” he points out.
Satisfaction with the approval of the bill was expressed by the president of the UCEI Renzo Gattegna.
“The bill will represent an essential instrument in the fight against every form of hatred, without being detrimental to freedom of expression and historical research. This is a victory for all.”