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So if Ahmadinejad shows up and denies the Holocaust will he be charged like David Irving in Austria???

Excellent question, MKL. Does anyone know if there are any exceptions to that law, or is it absolute?

I think the idiot from Teheran would still have diplomatic immunity since he's the official head of state.

Appeasing Dictators: A Proud German Tradition Continues

Appeasing dictators by Germany is actually a rather new development. Germans used to vote their own dictators into office. Appeasing the greatest dictator of all time was done by others.

The World Cup is a sports event and no political meeting. I guess there simply is no possible way to prevent him from coming according to law.

And while he is here, it may indeed improve our relationship towards Iran. Its not going to hurt, so why not give it a try.

It's all coming back to me now ..


And now guess where the world cup finals take place?
The olympia-stadion of 1936 has been restored and renewed a few years ago, and I recall the journalists saying its even more impressive than before.

Myself, have steadfastly avoided nottsee comparos. Specifically regards Germany [though it is quite common among the American left (in description of the American right/Bush & Cheney)]. I don't much care for looking back, living in denunciation. So yes, I'm engaging in a cheap slight. But one that welled up in me reading this post. And now? I am thoroughly chilled.

"And while he is here, it may indeed improve our relationship towards Iran. Its not going to hurt, so why not give it a try"

Because while it is true that much of the rest of Europe has always been just as anti-Semitic as Germany, only that latter nation was chiefly responsible for murdering the great majority of the Jews people in Europe; and because for Germany to welcome a man who has not only denied the truth of the Holocaust but also has vowed to destroy the Jewish state is yet one more sign that, in reality, Germany has learned very little over the last sixty years whatever her claims to the contrary might be.

Well, what goes around comes around. A couple of years ago, the single most inspired and heroically hilarious political cartoon ever to be seen by human eyes dealt with the Germans and their amazing failure to deal with reality. It was absolutely biblical in its genius. For those of us who need a good laugh to end the week-end, it was the NY Post cover on 2/14/03 showing the "Axis of weasels", featuring France and Germany. I can't seem to make my computer copy it to this site, so you'll have to look it up for yourself. That cover could just as well be reproduced today. Nothing ever changes for those nations determined to live in the unregretted past. Hehehehe.


He will not be allowed to come here due to friendship or great sympathy. Its simply a matter of law. And such matters are respected here.


Is there truly a law here that states that a maniac like Ahmadinejad must be allowed to attend the World Cup? Besides, it sounded pretty much like an invitation from Schaeuble to me--anybody you can invite, can also be uninvited.

According to this statement found in "Die Zeit", there are legal options.

Für Bayerns Innenminister Günther Beckstein ist ein Besuch des iranischen Präsidenten bei der Fußball-WM nur schwer vorstellbar. "Das einfachste wäre natürlich, ihn nicht einreisen zu lassen", sagte Beckstein am Samstag bei der CSU-Vorstandssitzung im oberfränkischen Bad Staffelstein. Diese Frage müsse aber die Bundesregierung entscheiden.

Of course, I am no expert in German law.

You will see how much respect for laws will be left in Germany after some possible big deals with Iran sow up on the horizon.

@James W.

The question is not if there is a law allowing somebody like Ahmadinejad to come attend the World Cup, the question is if there is a law forbidding him to come. Strangely enough a law was never passed which excluded antisemitic morons with ambitions to conquer the world from coming to a football match.

That doesn't mean that politicians or the people are happy to see him come. Even Schaeuble himself said that his visit wouldn't be simple because of the things he said, which are unacceptable.

Merion got the point, there is no law forbidding him to come. Heads of states dont even need a visum to come. And is it really such a big deal? He may come, watch a match, and leave. So what?

which economical laws are you talking about?

Dear David's Medienkritik Readers:

It is with great regret that I will be unable to attend this summer's festival of international sport in Berlin. As much as I would love to, I find that my super busy schedule will not allow me. Continuing Dolph Baby's final solution has been my life long dream. And we here in Tehran are working feverishly towards that goal.



Well if Germany feels, despite its objections to the Iranian leader's mad rants, that it is necessary to be a good host then perhaps it should take the full consequences. Football is important here in Germany and if the country feels that being oblidged to be a good host compromises their international position, then I am sure everyone would understand if Germany decided to lay down their role as important negotiators this year and allowed their role to be taken over by another European country that sees the importance in democracy after their terrible past.

My suggestion: Poland.

Anyone object to this compromise?

Thanks Merion. It just seemed to me that Dave made this a legal issue, and according to the link from Elmo, it just may be...

Holocaust denial is a serious crime in Germany, punishable with a prison term of up to five years.

Dave, I think it would be a big deal if the Iranian prez were to come.

Does this law only apply when the denial occurs within German borders?

I guess it only applies within german borders, since otherwise many arab leaders would have some difficulties visiting germany ;)

Sports and politics should be separated, if the world cup was in south africa, he would have wanted to go there too (as long as he really intends to do so)

German law is irrelevant since President Ahmadinejad enjoys diplomatic and political immunity while travelling the world. Even if he denies the holocaust in Germany he can't be charged.
I doubt he will really attend the World Cup, but if he does he should be treated like any other President of an importing trading partner of Germany. There is no reason to discriminate this man, just because he has a controversial opinion about some historic events.

I know it's off thread, but I just have to thank the editors of SPON for their amusing coverage of the Italian election. They've been entertaining me all day long. From their opening announcement of the exit poll results we're so familiar with in our own recent elections, predicting, of course, an "overwhelming victory" for Prodi to the latest muttering about a "Wahlkrimi," they've been as cute and precious as I've ever seen them - a virtual parody of themselves. Way to go, guys!

Germany doesn't have the right to prosecute breaks of its laws in another country. In that country the laws of that country are valid and only those. Imagine you're saying something, which would violate the §130 StGB and the next day some police men are standing in front of your door and are telling you, that you violated German laws and therefore they demand your extradition and the US has decided to humor them?
As a citizen of another country you normally have absolutely no idea what is legal or illegal in another country. You assume that it is the same as in your country but that's not a certainty.


They took the predictions of the pollsters. Not there fault that they were way off of the real outcome.

"I doubt he will really attend the World Cup, but if he does he should be treated like any other President of an importing trading partner of Germany. There is no reason to discriminate this man, just because he has a controversial opinion about some historic events."
Yes, J.T., thats the spirit. As long as he is an "important trading partner" it doesn't matter at all what he does or says. Perfect example of german hypocriticism. No wonder Michael Moore was so successfull here ("Do as I say, not like I do").
After all the genocide in Sudan can't be that bad if germany is still very happy to deal with it, can it?

David Irving was arrested while visiting Austria...

Good point MKL; however, I think, as J.T. has stated, that all this would be trumped by diplomatic immunity in Ahmadinejad's case--unfortunately.

The argument of there being no law to prevent Ahmadinejad from coming is just a lame excuse for spinelessness. All it would take is for the government to say:
"Anyone who believes that the Holocaust is a myth and that Israel should be wiped off the map is not welcome."
He would get the message, and that would suffice.

For those who argue that it is the duty of the host to welcome everyone, even those who have a different opinion about the existence of Israel and the Holocaust, please send me your address, and I will try to arrange for a neonazi to come to your home to watch the games with you.

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