Campaign Against Antisemitism heralds ‘the first conviction in the UK over Holocaust denial’ after antisemite loses case
An antisemitic blogger who posted grossly offensive songs online calling Auschwitz a “theme park” and denying the Holocaust, Alison Chabloz, has lost the appeal against her conviction.
Alison Chabloz, 55, claimed Anne Frank’s diary was faked and said lyrics such as Auschwitz holy temple is a theme park just for fools,” were created out of love for the Jewish people.
Chabloz said she wanted to free Jews “from this atrocity propaganda.”
She was convicted of three counts of sending by a public communications network an offensive, indecent or menacing message or material after a trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last May.
Today judge Christopher Hehir upheld the convictions and said: “She is a Holocaust denier.”
“She is manifestly antisemitic and utterly obsessed with what she perceives to be the wrongdoing of the Jews and their disproportionate influence in politics, the media and banking in particular.
“She appears to us quite simply to have lost all sense of perspective.’
Referring to one of the songs, entitled ‘I Like The Story As It Is – Satire’, the judge said: “It blames Jews for their suffering and brands them as thieves, liars and usurpers.
“That is woven into sickening Holocaust related references to shrunken heads, soap, lampshades and smoke coming from crematorium chimneys.”
Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “This is the first conviction in the UK over Holocaust denial on social media”
He said Chabloz’s “actions defending the Nazis and claiming that the Holocaust was a fraud seek to defile” the sacrifice of those who fought in the Second World War.
“This sentence sends a strong message that in Britain, Holocaust denial and antisemitic conspiracy theories will not be tolerated.”
“Alison Chabloz is a remorseless and repulsive antisemite who has spent years obsessively inciting others to hate Jews, principally by claiming that the Holocaust was a hoax perpetrated by Jews to defraud the world.
“Other antisemites who believe that they can abuse the Jewish community online with impunity should take note.”
The judge sitting with magistrates at Southwark Crown Court added: “We unhesitatingly reject the appellant’s evidence that this song was at least in part motivated by a benevolent desire to free Jewish people from the shackles of “atrocity propaganda” about the Holocaust.
“We are sure that she wrote and performed it because she hates Jews.
“What is particularly repellent is that the song is sung in a spiteful parody of a Yiddish or similar accent, and is set to the tune of a celebrated Hebrew song, Hava Nagila.”
Referring to another song, (((Survivors))), judge Hehir said: “We consider that it is by no means excessive to describe this song as disgusting.
“It makes tasteless references to a number of identifiable Holocaust victims or survivors.
“It’s currency includes jovial reference to Dr Josef Mengele, the Auschwitz physician notorious for his sadistic experiments on Jewish and other children, to the bodies of babies being burnt and to the death, in a concentration camp, of one particular child Anne Frank.
“Shortly after seeking to extract humor from her death, the suggestion that her celebrated diary was not actually her work, and the supposed financial wrongdoings of her father and the charity established in her name, the song moves on to a denunciation of bankers and warmongers.
“A central theme of this song is that the Jews exploit the Holocaust for financial gain.
“We therefore affirm the appellant’s convictions on all three charges,” concluded the judge.
Earlier James Mulholland, QC, for the Crown, said proper academic discussion of history was protected under European Convention of Human Rights but Chabloz’s songs could not be considered reasoned criticism.
“Being a poor historian, a one-sided or one-eyed historian is not an offence,” explained the barrister.
Judge Hehir agreed, saying: “Of course Holocaust denial is not a crime in this jurisdiction.”
Mr Mulholland replied: “It is the manner in which that is done or whether or not it is proper analysis.”
He said speech likely to threaten justice, peace and non-discrimination was not covered by Article 10 (of the ECHR).
“This jurisdiction recognised formally that war crimes were committed by the Nazis in World War Two.
“If something is grossly offensive, simply describing it as satire cannot obscure that or obviate it. The assertion that Auschwitz is a “holy temple” is a deliberate attack.”
Adrian Davies, for Chabloz, said the original prosecution had been as strange one given that Chabloz was charged with embedding a link on her blog to recordings of her songs that had been uploaded by someone else.
“The whole thrust of the charge against her is that by merely pointing out that this song had already been published to YouTube, she is mens rea.”
Mr Davies argued that those who chose to view the videos would be at “either end of the spectrum,”
“Someone looking for material with a view to prosecution can be taken to know what kind of material they are going to find. Those gathering the evidence represent the other end of the spectrum of opinion.
“The prospect of some random person accessing it would be minimal given the amount of content on YouTube.”
Mr Davies added: “She obviously feels very passionately about the subject.
“It would be a very, very strong thing to say that a criminal penalty should be imposed on someone for singing in polemical terms about matters for which she feels so strongly, especially given the very limited nature of the subject of the charges against her.
“However offensive Mrs Chabloz’s lyrics might have been to some, they do not cross the line into grossly offensive and she ought, on that account, be acquitted.
“There is a very high hurdle to be jumped to show that she has gone beyond what she is entitled do.”
Chabloz told the court: “My songs are not a product of hate, they are a product of love, trying to free them from this atrocity propaganda.”
Mr Mulholland asked: “Do you believe that Jews, as a group, are more likely to lie?”
Chabloz replied: “In their holy scripture, the Talmud, it is even encouraged. In the Talmud there are verses that say Jews who lie are following their religious duties.
“These are song lyrics, these are not a PhD thesis – they are silly songs.”
Mr Mulholland replied: “They are silly songs? They are songs designed to abuse.”
Chabloz replied: “These are songs that nobody was obliged to listen to.”
She insisted that she was not a member of the far-right, claiming that she was pro-Palestinian and a “Holocaust revisionist.”
In one of the songs, the ex-music teacher sings about the ‘Holohoax’ before asking: “Did the Holocaust even happen, was it just a bunch of lies?”
Mr Mulholland questioned her on the subject of ethnicity, asking: “Is it fair to say that you take the view that this country, being British, belongs to the whites?”
“Um, I take the view that Europe is a civilization and white Europeans have the right to fight to defend their civilization and their culture.”
“Do you consider Jewish people to be white?” asked the QC.
“Some of them certainly look white,” replied Chabloz, “I don’t consider Jews to be a race.”
Chabloz, of Charlesworth, Glossop, Derbyshire, denied but was convicted of three counts of sending by a public communications network an offensive, indecent or menacing message or material.
She was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years and banned from posting on social media for a year.
Judge Hehir upheld the convictions on all three counts.