The European Court of Human Rights on Nazi and Soviet Past in Central and Eastern Europe
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The article demonstrates how references to Nazi and Soviet past are perceived and evaluated by the European Court of Human Rights. Individual cases concerning Holocaust and Nazism, which the Court has examined so far, are compared here to judgments rendered with regard to Communist regime. The article proves that the Court treats more leniently state interference with freedom of expression when memory about Nazism and Holocaust is protected than when a post–Communist state wants to preserve a critical memory about the regime. The authors of the article agree with the attitude of the Court which offers a wide margin of appreciation to states restrictively treating references to Nazism and Holocaust, including comparisons to the Holocaust, Nazism or fascism used as rhetorical devices. At the same time they postulate that other totalitarian systems should be treated by the Court equally.
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The research was conducted as part of the project “Memory Laws in European and Comparative Perspective (MELA)” funded by HERA.
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