Denying the Holocaust is not a crime in Spain, but as a Pedro Varela re-discovered this week, the sale of writing that argues for Jewish genocide will still get you time in prison.
Varela, who owns a bookshop in Catalonia’s capital, is already notorious for being the first person to be jailed for similar crimes in Spain following the reform of the Penal Code in 1996. On that occasion, he received a five-year sentence, reduced to six months on appeal to the Supreme Court.
This time, Judge Estela Pérez Franco was able to bring the full weight of the law to bear on Varela, ordering the confiscation of all the books implicated in the crime and other neo-Nazi materials including a bust of Hitler, an iron swastika and military paraphernalia.
Handing down the sentence, Franco said Varela’s literature “blames the world’s ills on the Jews; claims that black people are inferior; says that the best way to respect races is segregation and that mixing races will bring about the end of civilization.”
This case comes after a recent rise in anti-Semitism in Spain, as I wrote about in a previous blog here.