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Holocaust Denial

March 29, 1994

* In reference to your editorial, "A Decision That Denies Reality," March 18:

The Times has supported the use of judicial force against those who deny the Holocaust. Shame on you.

Those who deny the Holocaust may be scum--but in this country at least, doesn't the First Amendment mandate protection precisely for speech that we hate? Isn't refutation of false beliefs far more effective and appropriate than muzzling those who speak them? Aren't those who criminalize others' opinions, even Nazi opinions, really the ones doing Adolf's work?

What a piteous day, when a leading American newspaper finds it expedient to repudiate freedom of speech, that most sacred principle of our democracy! The persecutors of Salman Rushdie must feel vindicated, now that our hypocrisy has been confirmed.

NEAL DONNER

Los Angeles

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