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Saying the unsayable: denying the Holocaust in media debates in Austria and the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict
Issue number1
Volume3
Number of pages28
Pages (from-to)13-40
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

After 1945 and the end of WWII, denying the Holocaust became an explicit taboo in most European countries. More specifically, in Austria, denying the Holocaust in public implies legal consequences: the so-called Verbotsgesetz persecutes any public utterances which even insinuate National Socialist ideology (utterances, symbols, songs, images) and the Holocaust denial. Naturally, it remains difficult for the courts to substantiate any accusations and to prove that somebody has actually uttered Holocaust denial if the meanings are only implied, inferred, or alluded to. Thus, in spite of such explicit sanctions, politicians of the far-right have found many coded and implicit discursive-pragmatic practices and devices of denying the Holocaust, even during parliamentary debates and official speeches. In my paper, I compare the “discourses about Holocaust denial” in Austria and the UK, in two case studies: the first one relates to the controversy about some utterances of Barbara Rosenkranz who stood as candidate of the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) for election to Austrian Presidency in April 2010. Secondly, I focus on the debates triggered by Nick Griffin from the British extreme right party BNP, in and after his appearance in the prominent BBC 1 weekly show Question Time, in 2009. I apply the Discourse-Historical Approach in CDA for the detailed analysis of such recurring debates and foreground the patterns of a globalised politics of denial.