Let me say from the outset; I'm with Bishop Richard Williamson on this. There was no holocaust, (or Holocaust, as my computer software insists) and six million Jews were not murdered by the Third Reich. These two statements of mine are irrefutable truths, yet their utterance could get me thrown in the slammer in half the countries of the EU.
Why, they could in the right circumstances even get me extradited for trial in Sweden, a country which heroically kept the Third Reich supplied with iron ore, even as the last victims of the Nazi genocide were being murdered.
What? I admit that there was murder and genocide (or Genocide, as my spell-check wants me to call it) but almost in the same breath, insist that there was no holocaust? How is this possible? Well, if you turn historical events into current political dogmas, (believed even by my computer) you are thereby creating a sort of secular, godless religion, which becomes mandatory for all who wish to participate in public life. Yet dogmas, by definition, are so simplistic and crude that they are usually not merely wrong, but are also probably so.
It is an offence in German law to say that six million Jews did not die in the holocaust. Very well then. I am a criminal in Germany. For efficient though the Nazis were, they were not so clinically precise as to kill six million Jews -- not a Jew more, or not a Jew less.
As it happens, the figure 'six million' was originally a round-estimate of the total numbers of concentration camp victims of the Third Reich: this was then turned by popular perception, aided by activists such as the Simon Weisenthal Centre, into the Jewish death toll.
However, there is not even a scientific or documentary basis for this number. Its enduring appeal -- the digit six, with the six zeros which follow it -- depends upon a fairly basic human predilection for numerological magic. It is, very likely, a subconsciously appealing version of the diabolical, 666.
Moreover, there certainly was no holocaust. For if the word is to have any literal validity at all, it must be related to its actual meaning, which comes from the Greek words holos, 'whole', and caust, 'fire'. Most Jewish victims of the Third Reich were not burnt in the ovens in Auschwitz. They were shot by the hundreds of thousands in the Lebensraum of the east, or were worked or starved to death in a hundred other camps, across the Reich.
This programme was begun informally by Nazi armies in 1941, and only took organised form after the Wannsee conference in January 1942. Thus was born one of the most satanic operations in world history, in which millions of Jews were murdered. To be sure, you can use the term holocaust to describe these events, but only as a metaphor.
However, to turn that metaphor into a political dogma, a denial of which can result in imprisonment, is to create a religio-penal code of which Torquemada would have approved.
Now, I've done an extensive internet search on Bishop Williamson, and I truly have no idea what he actually said about the Third Reich; though he is everywhere called a 'holocaust denier', as if this term has some universal meaning.
It hasn't. I'm a holocaust denier; but I also believe that the Nazis planned the extermination of the Jewish people, as far as their evil hands could reach. And because the Nazis lost, the free-speech party won. So, this means that the bishop can believe, and even publicly state, if he wants, that Auschwitz was an ice-cream parlour and the SS was a dance troupe.
That is the nature of free speech. Any one of us should be able to declare any old counter-factual and even offensive nonsense, without being sent to jail, provided we preach hatred for no one. It's a free and equal world.
Or is it?
Across Europe, there are countless Islamic madrasahs, in which imams regularly preach hatred for Jews, and where the holocaust is routinely denied.
Which member-state of the EU will pursue such conveyors of hate, or seek the extradition of an imam who says that the holocaust was a Zionist hoax? None of them. We know this.
For the EU has tolerated the creation of an informal historiographical apartheid. So, on the one hand, a single, eccentric (and possibly deranged) Christian bishop may be hounded for his demented historical beliefs: but on the other, there is a deafening silence over the widespread and virulent distortion of the 'holocaust' by Islamic preachers.
If Bishop Williamson has an agenda, it is so bonkers as to rank alongside that of The Lunar Cheese Society.
Yet he, and other Christian cranks like him, could even be imprisoned for their stated beliefs, as other 'men of God', working to an infinitely more sinister and far more politically inspired agenda, are simultaneously ignored.
This disparity is now effectively an EU policy.
You can reasonably call such double-standards many things, but the words 'rational', 'wise' or 'consistent' are not among them. 'Suicidal' and 'insane', however, certainly are.