Vienna to London: From Irving’s Diary
The commandant himself, the prison
governor, opens the door at 7 a.m., snaps almost imperceptibly to attention, and
says: "Mr Irving, we are deeply ashamed that this is happening. We do not agree
with this at all...” ...I take another call, from... Agence France Presse... I
feed him some safe lines... I stress that I am not a Holocaust denier; people
who say the opposite have clearly never read my books of the last 15 years...
Letter From David Irving -
'Mel Gibson Was Right!' 12-22-6
Historian David Irving Released 12-20-06
Austrian Court Confirms
British Historian Guilty Of Thought Crimes 9-6-6
Sent from Prison: Excerpt from Irving's
War - Sunday, June 4, 2006
from Political Prisoner David Irving Vienna, April 12, 2006, Thursday
Should Respectable Historians Attend and Speak at Conferences Hosted by David
David Irving Fires Lawyer & Suffers Further Harassment
From Cairo to Vienna,
Lady Michele’s Visit to David Irving
Prisoner David Irving, Held in Solitary, is Unrepentant on WW II Views
Free Speech is the Heart of Democracy
Irving Loses Again by Joseph Sobran February 21,
Gone Wild: The Persecution of David Irving
Letter from Political Prisoner David
Irving: Defiant & Determined
The David Irving Story -- by George Kadar, American Free Press Reporter
David Irving Arrested in Austria
David Irving's Final
Address in the London Libel Trial
Historian Irving Says He's
Been Object of Campaign of Vilification
New Letter From David Irving - 'Mel Gibson Was
Thank you....your kind
thought is much appreciated, especially as we lost our home and everything
on March 20, as a result of Austria's kidnapping me. But now that nightmare
I just checked back
into London a few hours ago after two days still held in a police jail in
Vienna after being released from the main Vienna prison when our appeal was
upheld on Wednesday December 21. I have the fine oratory of my 84 year old
defence lawyer Dr Herbert Schaller to thank for the unexpected victory in
the appeal court.
I spent over 400 days
in solitary confinement in Austria's oldest prison, sentenced in February to
three years' jail for an opinion I expressed in two talks seventeen years
ago. Not nice.
However we shall
now gird ourselves for a fresh legal battle in Austria, (1) to overthrow my
deportation order, and (2) to put Austria before the UN Court of Human
The enemy are spitting
with rage, and -- with one final quote uttered by me to the Agence France
Presse ("Mel Gibson was right!") in a phone interview in the midst of a
final police interrogation -- I was out of there and, belatedly, on a plane
to London. It got in around 10 pm this evening, too late for all the TV
shows that had lined up. But we have made a great dent in "their" cause, and
had a real victory for Real History.
More soon, and you'll
find my website back on line shortly.
David Irving (now back
writing in London) pp Focal Point Publications
"Deep down, I believe
that a little anti-Semitism is a good thing for the Jews - reminds us who we
are." --Jay Lefkowitz (NYT Magazine. Feb.12, 1995. Page 65).
--Jay Lefkowitz is now
Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy.
Editorial Director 253 West 72nd street Suite1711 New York, NY 10023
Historian David Irving Released
Dear Free Speech Supporter:
Political prisoner David Irving held
in an Austrian jail for the past 13 months has been released on probation.
The Austrian Appeals Court cut his three year sentence for a speech delivered in
1989 questioning some aspects of the Hollywood version of World War II, to one
year (time served) and two years of probation.
“The appeals court in Vienna had heard
calls for both a reduction and increase in the three-year sentence. Irving was
convicted in February in a case that sparked international debate about the
limits of freedom of speech. In 1989 he spoke in Austria denying the existence
of gas chambers at Auschwitz. … Irving on Wednesday welcomed his release and
said he was "fit and well". The 68-year-old said he would urge an academic
boycott of historians from Germany and Austria until the nations stopped jailing
historians. ‘I was put in prison for three years for expressing an opinion 17
years ago,’ he said. … But his lawyer, Herbert Schaller, said: ‘He is free, and
he can leave, and he will leave.’" (BBC News, December 20, 2006) “We're
organising his press conference here in central London,” Lady Michele Renouf,
the British historian’s press spokesman told CAFÉ from London this morning.
“David Irving is completely free now,” she said. “We expect that his release and
paperwork will processed and that he may return to London as early as tonight.”
One slight glitch, she said, was a heavy
fog blanketing much of England. “Would you believe his delay is being delayed by
fog? There are no domestic flights in or out of Southern England and few from
Mr. Irving had expressed a strong desire
to be home for Christmas. Sounding a sour and vindictive note was Lord Janner.
The “vice-president of the World Jewish Congress and president of the
Commonwealth Jewish Council, said: ‘I am sorry that he did not serve out his
full term, and I hope he will remain in Austria and not return to the United
Kingdom, where he will not be welcome.’" (BBC News, December 20, 2006) “Mr.
Irving’s release is the result of more than a year of protests, letters to
Austrian authorities, letters to the editor and protests organized by Lady
Michele Renouf in London and CAFÉ in Ottawa,” said Paul Fromm,” Director of the
Canadian Association for Free Expression. “It’s a tribute to hundreds of free
speech supporters in Canada, America, Europe and Australia who wrote those
letters of protest to Austrian authorities and kept up the pressure. Equally
important, I believe, the recent conference in Tehran skewered Western hypocrisy
about free speech. Ironically one of the few places on earth where scholars
could meet to question the so-called holocaust account of World War II was
Tehran. Despite the West’s breast beating about its commitment to human rights,
the outspoken Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad pointed out that writers and
scholars were in Western prisons for merely questioning aspects of the new state
religion of Holocaust.” Lady Michele Renouf was a featured speaker at the Tehran
Conference and is on the key organizing committee planning a future conference.
News Front Page World
Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 December
2006, 14:49 GMT
Holocaust denier to be
David Irving says he has changed his
views on the Holocaust An Austrian court has ruled that UK historian David
Irving - jailed for denying the Holocaust - should be released on probation. The
appeals court in Vienna had heard calls for both a reduction and increase in the
three-year sentence. Irving was convicted in February in a case that sparked
international debate about the limits of freedom of speech. In 1989 he spoke in
Austria denying the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz, though he later said
he was "mistaken". Irving on Wednesday welcomed his release and said he was "fit
and well". The 68-year-old said he would urge an academic boycott of historians
from Germany and Austria until the nations stopped jailing historians. "I was
put in prison for three years for expressing an opinion 17 years ago," he said.
Intense debate The BBC's Kerry Skyring in Vienna said the presiding judge
converted the remaining two years of Irving's jail term to a provisional
sentence, upholding his appeal. The conditions of the probation are not yet
known, including whether Irving will be able to leave Austria.
COUNTRIES WITH LAWS AGAINST HOLOCAUST
DENIAL Austria Belgium Czech Republic France Germany Israel Lithuania Poland
Romania Slovakia Switzerland
Timeline: David Irving Denying the
Holocaust But his lawyer, Herbert Schaller, said: "He is free, and he can leave,
and he will leave." Irving is expected to be released from custody later on
Wednesday. Both the prosecution and defence had challenged the length of the
sentence. The crime carries a prison term of up to 10 years. The 1992 law
targets "whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the
National Socialist genocide". Irving's release on probation has dismayed Jewish
groups. Lord Janner, vice-president of the World Jewish Congress and president
of the Commonwealth Jewish Council, said: "I am sorry that he did not serve out
his full term, and I hope he will remain in Austria and not return to the United
Kingdom, where he will not be welcome." Asked about Irving's comments about
historians being put in prison, Lord Janner said: "I do not believe that he was
put in prison because he was a historian. And historians should be treated in
the same way as anyone else."
Irving was arrested in November last
year on a motorway in southern Austria. He was visiting to give a lecture to a
far-right student fraternity. The conviction had sparked intense debate, with
supporters saying it was fully justified but opponents arguing it undermined the
right of freedom of speech. At the initial trial, Irving had said it was
"ridiculous" he was being tried for expressing an opinion and that he had
changed his views on the Holocaust.
Visit the Canadian Association for Free
Austrian Court Confirms
British Historian Guilty Of Thought Crimes
VIENNA (AFP)--- An Austrian court has
upheld a guilty verdict imposed on British historian David Irving for denying
the existence of the Holocaust, the Austrian Press Agency (APA) reported Monday.
Another court has yet to rule on
Irving's appeal of his three-year prison sentence, which he is now serving in a
Vienna jail. This ruling is not expected for at least two months.
Irving, 68, has been in jail since a
one-day trial on February 20 at which he pleaded guilty to a charge dating from
1989 of denying the Holocaust of European Jewry. But Irving insisted at the
trial that he no longer questioned the existence of gas chambers at the Nazi's
Auschwitz concentration camp.
Irving was also on trial for saying the
November 1938 Kristallnacht pogrom against the Jews was not the work of the
Nazis, but of "unknown" people who had dressed up as storm troopers, and that
Adolf Hitler had in fact protected the Jews.
He was found guilty on all three counts
by an eight-person jury.
The first court confirmed the guilty
verdict in a closed-door session August 29, APA said.
Irving was prosecuted under an Austrian
law targeting those who "deny the genocide by the National Socialists or other
National Socialist crimes against humanity." Austria is among 11 countries that
have laws against denying the Holocaust, in which some six million Jews were
slaughtered by Nazi Germany during WWII.
Irving has become notorious worldwide
for attempting to establish, against the evidence, that Hitler was not party to
the Holocaust, that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz and that the number
of Jews slain by the Nazis was greatly exaggerated.
In 2000, Irving lost his fortune when he
lost a high-profile libel case against US historian Deborah Lipstadt whom he had
sued when she called him a Holocaust denier.
David Irving, the controversial British
historian, is the author of numerous books on military history and World War II,
including several international bestsellers.
On November 11, 2005, he was arrested
during a visit in Austria for the “thought crime” – committed in 1989 (!) – of
having referred to “mythical” gas chambers at Auschwitz . Denied bail, he was
held in jail until his trial on February 20, 2006, when a court in Vienna
sentenced him to three years in prison for having “denied the Holocaust.”
Since his sentencing, his prison address
Gef. Nr. 70306
In the aftermath of the trial,
newspapers, political leaders and intellectuals around the world spoke out
against the sentence, as well as against the laws in Europe under which he and
other dissidents have been imprisoned and fined for “Holocaust denial” (The only
voices of approval were the predictable Zionist ones.)
While Irving is the most prominent
“thought criminal” in the western world today, his case is by no means unique.
In several European countries, as well as in Israel, “Holocaust denial” is a
crime. The list of those who have been imprisoned, fined or forced into exile
for expressing skepticism about the official Holocaust story is a long one, and
includes Robert Faurisson, Roger Garaudy and Georges Theil in France, Siegfried
Verbeke in Belgium, Jürgen Graf and Gaston-Armand Amaudruz in Switzerland, and
Günter Deckert, Hans Schmidt and Fredrick Toben in Germany .
David John Cawdell Irving was born on
March 24, 1938, in Essex, England, the son of a Royal Navy Commander. After
education at London University, he spent a year working in a steel mill in
Germany, where he perfected his fluency in the language. (He later also learned
to speak very good Spanish.)
His first book, The Destruction of
Dresden, was published in 1963, when he was 25 years old. This was
followed by many others, including The Mare's Nest: The Secret Weapons of
the Third Reich, The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe,
The German Atomic Bomb, The War Between the Generals and
The Trail of the Fox, a best-selling biography of Field Marshall
His books have appeared in a range of
languages. Several have been serialized in prominent periodicals. He has
contributed articles to some 60 British and foreign periodicals including the
Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Express in Britain, and
Stern and Der Spiegel in Germany.
Irving has a track record of uncovering
startling new facts about supposedly well-known episodes of history. Much of his
effectiveness has been due to his extensive reliance on primary source
materials, such as diaries, original documents and so forth, from both official
archives and private sources. He is disdainful of scholars who engage in what he
calls inter-historian incest, and who thereby help to keep alive myths left over
from Second World War propaganda.
“Most of Irving's books,” the
Washington Post once noted, “are big, solid works... All are well written,
exciting, fun to read, and all contain new information based on sensational
This fiercely independent and
iconoclastic historian is widely acknowledged – even by adversaries – as an
eminent authority on World War II, Hitler and Third Reich Germany . British
historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, writing in the Sunday Times of London,
once declared: “No praise can be too high for Irving’s indefatigable scholarly
industry.” He also called Irving one of the “few guides I would entirely trust …
indefatigable in pursuit of the evidence, fearless in face of it, sound in
judgment ...” Another prominent British historian, A.J.P. Taylor, wrote: “David
Irving is a patient researcher of unrivalled industry and success."
Professor Gordon Craig of Stanford
University, writing in 1996 in The New York Review of Books, remarked:
“The fact is that he [Irving] knows more about National Socialism than most
professional scholars in his field, and students of the years 1933–1945 owe more
than they are always willing to admit to his energy as a researcher and to the
scope and vigor of his publications ... Such people as David Irving, then, have
an indispensable part in the historical enterprise, and we dare not disregard
Following the publication in 1977 of
Hitler's War, probably his most important single work, he came
under fire for its contention that Hitler did not order the extermination of
Europe's Jews. The mass killings must have been carried out by Himmler and his
cohorts behind Hitler's back, Irving concluded at that time. In 2002 a
completely revised and updated deluxe edition of Hitler’s War was
published under Irving’s own Focal Point imprint.
His 1981 book, Uprising!, an
examination of the 1956 anti-Communist revolt in Hungary, also earned the ire of
Jewish-Zionist groups because it did not ignore or whitewash the significant
Jewish role in the Hungarian Communist regime. Irving’s biography of Hermann
Göring was published in 1989. Churchill’s War: The Struggle for Power,
the first volume of Irving’s monumental biography of Britain’s wartime leader,
was published in 1987. The second volume, subtitled Triumph in Adversity,
appeared in 2001.
Irving’s testimony in the Holocaust
trial in 1988 of Ernst Zundel was a startling high point of that important court
case. Appearing as the last of 23 defense witnesses, Irving stunned the packed
Toronto courtroom by announcing that he had changed his mind about the Holocaust
story. During his three days on the stand, he explained in detail why he no
longer accepted that masses of Jews were killed in gas chambers during World War
II, or that Hitler ordered the extermination of European Jewry.
Irving has made successful speaking
tours in Germany, Canada, Australia, South Africa, the United States and other
For example, in the wake of the collapse
of the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, he made triumphal speaking visits in
what was still the “German Democratic Republic.” In February 1990 he addressed a
large audience in Dresden on the 45th anniversary of the Allied firebombing of
that once beautiful, baroque city. Large posters with Irving's picture appeared
throughout the city to announce his presentation. He was greeted with flowers by
Dresden’s cultural affairs director, and was interviewed on television. When he
appeared on stage before the microphones, more than a thousand people gave him a
standing ovation. Speaking in fluent German, he recounted Churchill's campaign
to obliterate German cities. In June of that same year he returned for another
speaking tour in the GDR. In spite of a ten mark admission fee, large crowds
came to hear him speak in Leipzig, Gera, and again in Dresden .
On April 21, 1990, Irving was arrested
in Munich after having addressed a sell-out crowd in the Bavarian city’s famed
Löwenbräu beer-hall because during his talk he had referred to the “gas chamber”
shown to tourists at the Auschwitz main camp as a phony postwar dummy (“Attrappe”).
His arrest was followed by a spontaneous demonstration of some 250 supporters,
who carried posters of Irving and two other Holocaust skeptics, Robert Faurisson
and Ernst Zundel. After the crowd made its way past the historic Feldherrnhalle,
police waded in and arrested several of the demonstrators.
For that remark, a German court in
January 1993 fined Irving 30,000 marks (about $20,000), and later that year he
was banned from the country. On the basis of that ban, he was subsequently
barred from Canada, Australia and New Zealand .
As it happens, Irving’s 1990 remark in
Munich was, in fact, the truth. As even the curator of the Auschwitz State
Museum has since acknowledged, the “gas chamber” shown to hundreds of thousands
of visitors to the site is indeed a fraudulent postwar reconstruction.
Over the years Irving has addressed
several conferences and meetings of the Institute for Historical Review. For
example, in an address at an IHR meeting on April 17, 2005, entitled “The Faking
of Adolf Hitler for History,” he identified some of the many fraudulent
historical documents that have been cited over the years by “conformist”
historians of the Third Reich era.
In 1998 Irving filed a lawsuit in London
against Deborah Lipstadt and her British publisher, Penguin Books. He charged
that Lipstadt had libeled him in her book, Denying the Holocaust, by
calling him a falsifier and a Holocaust denier. After a much-publicized trial in
London in early 2000, during which Irving represented himself, the court ruled
in favor of the defendants.
In a ruling made public on April 11,
2000, Judge Charles Gray praised Irving's “thorough and painstaking research
into the archives,” and commended his discovery and disclosure of many
historical documents. He also noted Irving's intelligence and thorough knowledge
of World War II history. On balance, though, Judge Gray’s lengthy statement was
a severe rebuke of Irving, whom he called an anti-Semitic and racist “Holocaust
denier” who had “deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical
Irving was obliged to pay substantial
costs of the trial. He lost subsequent attempts to appeal the verdict, and was
forced into bankruptcy.
For Further Reading
Report on Irving’s Testimony in
the 1988 Toronto Trial
“Life Under Fire,” by David Irving
“David Irving’s Most Un-Excellent
Adventure,” in Canada (1992)
“Irving on Churchill,” by T. J.
“A British Historian Defends His
Livelihood and Honor”
Irving’s Opening Statement in the London Libel Trial (January 11, 2000)
Excerpts from the Irving-Lipstadt
“David Irving's Final Address in the
London Libel Trial” (March 15, 2000)
Media Coverage of the Irving-Lipstadt
Trial (March-April 2000)
“After the Irving-Lipstadt Trial:
New Dangers and Challenges
“Lying about Hitler,” Review by S.
Crowell, of the book by R. Evans
“Irving, Weber Speak on Hitler's
Place in History” (April 2005)
“'Holocaust Denial' Laws are
Disgraceful,” by M. Weber
Sent from Prison: Excerpt from
Irving's War - Sunday, June 4, 2006
Dear Free Speech Supporter:
Political prisoner David Irving has
already written 1,000 pages of a new book on his persecution. This four page
excerpt was sent from his prison in Vienna.
The hand writing of the British
historian is very difficult to read. This rendering owes is its existence to the
reading skills of a number of people: lmr, dkk, km, and hk. A few places may be
a little awkward, but the following is a good approximation of the latest work
of this brave and brilliant historian of World War II.
Mr. Irving’s case – an appeal against
his three year sentence – comes up in September.
CAFÉ is collecting money to assist David
Irving’s defence. Send an e-mail with your VISA and expiry date or mail your
cheque to Canadian Association for Free Expression, Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W
Paul Fromm Director CANADIAN ASSOCIATION
FOR FREE EXPRESSION
“ A foretaste from David Irving: Irving’s War” (Focal Point Publications)
(…) For many weeks I brooded on when the
Poltermans Factor fitted into all this. Apart from the time eight police
officers who had forced my car off the autobahn at gunpoint, they had been
informed that I was a car thief – the Austrians could not have been friendlier.
As word spread round Vienna’s Josefstadt jail on who I was, I received a stream
of visitors. Jailers brought me magazines, mail, packets of coffee as gifts. One
gave me a glass of whiskey. “Nobody must hear of this”. The enemy blubbered with
fury in the national press when they learned that my books were in all the
prison libraries, over a hundred as it turned out, including Hitler’s War. The
ministries reassured parliament that my books had now been withdrawn. An unknown
Austrian historian – nearly all Austrian historians are unknown – was appointed
to check them. The books were burned. This would convince the world that Austria
was not a Nazi state.
The criminal court permitted me to see a
duly sanitized police file. Intelligence materials had been removed but it was
still quite thick and went back sixteen years. The top transcripts were
labourious and worryingly inaccurate, transcripts of my talks in Leoben
(November 5, 1989) and Vienna (November 6) received by the police several weeks
later. The public prosecutor in Leoben had reviewed the actual tapes and
concluded that I had not broken any laws; so had the Stapo officer who actually
attended. The Socialist Student society at Leoben University had kindly supplied
to the Stapo their own tape of my talk. Rather anxiously, the faded, yellowing
arrest warrant had been issued by the Vienna Polizeipresident, Gunther Bogl,
before any of the transcripts were received, on the evening of November 8, 1989;
that was the day CCH on which the Berlin wall came down – an ironic counterpoint
in European freedoms. Bogl’s panic was evident – the Viennese press that morning
was reporting that Jewish and Communist organizations were calling for his
resignation or dismissal for having failed to silence me completely in Vienna on
Turning the page, I came to the pivotal
documents. Although they can deny it; (2006), and pretend not to have been
involved, its statements to the press, here was their actual Anzeige, their
formal demand for my arrest and prosecution: the Communist-front, and largely
Jewish organization, Dokumenta archive des Ostereichischen Widerstand (Document
Centre of the Austrian Resistance) had addressed this Anzeige to Bogl on the
seventh, based solely on that mornings report in the far left newspaper
Arbeiterzeitung (Worker’s Newspaper); a report which the journalist concerned,
Christa Fochling, had almost immediately, partially retracted as inaccurate when
sworn before a judge two days later.
Police chief Bogl had received this
Documentation Centre’s arrest demand, Anzeige, at midday on the eighth as the
copy in my hands showed, and had acted on that alone. There were familiar names
on its letterhead, including Professor Erika Weinzierl; she still promotes
hate-filled “dogmas” of Austria’s historians, and may God have mercy on them
otherwise, as newspaper photographs suggest that Erika has the kind of ineffable
beauty that can stop a thousand ding-ding-ding full-night-up Number 15 London
buses charging pell-mell down Pall Mall. The Archive Centre’s Honorary President
was Professor A. Maleta: it is not an unusual name. Maleta is not
Rumpelstiltskin. Still, I confess I did really wonder if this was the same
Professor A. Maleta who had sworn affidavits many years ago that he had
personally seen homicidal gas chambers in operation at Dachau, Himmler’s first
concentration camp? (The German Government has long ago dismissed that
particular piece of nonsense history; there was no such installation at Dachau.)
A lot of people served time because of Maleta’s convenient little perjury.
Deeper in this public file I came across
even uglier stuff, including letters from the Israeli Woche Kulturgemeinsckaft
of Austria. Their chief executive Peter Grosz was applying for a permit to
demonstrate outside my Vienna lecture with a hatred-filled coalition of “three
to five thousand” like-minded folks: the Vienna Gesindel was all there, in his
_____ of participating bodies. There was something about this “Israelite
Cultural Community”, the equivalent of our own unduly respected Board of British
Deputies, that reminded me of that. Coalition for Human Dignity in Oregon, the
mob-schprecher . Perhaps it was the news clipping I found in this police file
reporting that Grosz, in his crowdthe thousands, had called on them to use “Gewaltmassnahmen”,
violence, if necessary to stop me lecturing. My attorney (had) read that item at
the time and we issued an immediate Anzeige against Grosz (* as fortune had it,
my cell neighbour for the time was Peter-Paul Grosz, a major cocaine dealer; no
relation.) for criminal incitement to violence, but it was soon choked off in
the conduits of justice. Prosecutions are a one-way street in modern Austria.
People like Grosz get special treatment; while I am reading this police file 16
years later in a Vienna prison cell.
“Gotcha!” Polterman’s people, these
Lilliputian swarms , those international midgets with their buckets and ladders
and threads, must have thought that they had finally got me strung down. (…)
Copyright @ David Irving 2006
----- Visit the Canadian Association for
Free Expression's website:
from Political Prisoner David Irving
Dear Free Speech Supporter:
Here is a recent letter from historian
David Irving, held on a three year sentence for questioning Austria’s new state
religion of holocaust. The spirited 67-year old political prisoner continues to
write his memoires.
Mr. Irving’s case – an appeal against
his three year sentence – comes up in September.
CAFÉ is collecting money to assist David
Irving’s defence. Send an e-mail with your VISA and expiry date or mail your
cheque to Canadian Association for Free Expression, Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W
Paul Fromm Director CANADIAN ASSOCIATION
FOR FREE EXPRESSION
Vienna, April 12, 2006, Thursday
Another Thursday. I was given a radio
(new) by one of the guards yesterday, which brightens the cell a lot, I must
say. I found a radio station called “Radio Stephansdom”, which appears to be the
local Catholic station: it plays classical music all day long, interrupted with
occasional Catholic and Vatican propaganda.
I get a lot of writing done, though
sometimes I nearly run out of ink. Fortunately, the Protestant chaplain visits
every week and sometimes he brings ink cartridges. He explains that prisoners
are not supposed to have ink in case they use it for tattooing each other. Yeah,
right, I can just see me tattooing one of these gangsters.
I have got a good history institute in
Munich sending me documents I need for the work on Himmler, so my time here is
not completely wasted. I write about 10 pages a day. Today less, as I spent 6
hours on the 2nd floor (your 3rd) seeing my new lawyer, firing my old one, and
then signing up my new one – Dr. Herbert Schaller, who will fight the appeal in
2-3 months time. We have to lodge the documents on the appeal in 10 days time
and we have Easter in between. The old lawyer did not inspire me with any
confidence any more. Very weak. As I was taken out of the courtroom I said, “I
am shocked”, when asked by TV reporters: In fact I was shocked at how weak he
had been! The old lawyer was 46; the new one almost twice as old.
My writing style if not my handwriting,
has improved enormously in prison. I have read a lot of Raymond Chandler and
Mickey Spillane, although in the latter books rather a lot of dames end up
getting stood up, whereas Chandler just sweet talks them. … I have also read Tom
Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities – same kind of thing, with a rather fizzled out
kind of ending.
----- Visit the Canadian Association for
Free Expression's website:
Should Respectable Historians Attend and Speak at Conferences Hosted
Mr. Kirstein is
professor of history at St. Xavier University in Chicago. He is the author
"Academic Freedom and the New McCarthyism,"
Situation Analysis (Spring, 2004).
Recently he was elected to the Illinois AAUP State Council and is
secretary of his university's AAUP chapter.
Note from the Editor:
This month, as he has for several years, David Irving sponsored a
Cincinnati, Ohio, known as "Real History, USA," which, according to the
conference website, featured speakers, seminars, and the showing of some
home movies of Hitler from Hermann Göring's private collection. Since Mr.
Irving was branded a Holocaust denier by a British court he has become a
pariah among historians. Usually, academics do not attend his conferences
let alone speak at them.
When we heard that Peter
Kirstein, a professor of history known for
an email to an Air Force Academy cadet in
protest of the impending Iraq war, had agreed to speak at the conference
despite Mr. Irving's reputation, we asked him to tell our readers why.
This is his response.
W. B. Yeats wrote The Second
Coming in 1919:
Things fall apart; the
centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
While this reflected a poet's
disconsolate mood following the Great War, should the center hold if it
confers a stifling conformity and excludes radical and visionary
alternatives to the current order? Should only the "better" sorts engage
avidly in societal matters and the "worst" remain inert to the world
around them? "Passionate intensity" is a virtue that should traverse all
social classes and especially mark the marginalized and exploited. In
America, if one deviates too far from the confining ideology of the
oxymoronic Vital Center—the title of an Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. paean to
liberalism—one is vulnerable to significant public rebuke that moves
beyond mere critique towards censorship and possibly career termination.
Recently I spoke at a conference
hosted by the controversial British historian, David Irving, who has
written several seminal works on World War II. These include Hitler’s
War and The Destruction of Dresden (later revised under the
title, Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden). Sir John
Keegan described Hitler’s War as one of the “half dozen most
important books about” World War II, and Dresden represented a
considerable historiographical triumph—despite the controversy over the
numbers slaughtered by Anglo-American bombing of the undefended city—in
which the revelation of civilian casualties suggested the allies were also
guilty of murderous moral depravity as well. Indeed, Howard Zinn, who
participated in aerial combat during World War II, recently described the
immorality of strategic bombing in the Progressive (August 2004):
“It was accompanied by too many atrocities on our side—too many bombings
of civilian populations. There were too many betrayals of the principles
for which the war was supposed to have been fought.” In Goebbels:
Mastermind of the Third Reich, Mr. Irving appropriately referred to
these bombing raids as “aerial terrorism.” (502) Mr. Irving’s exploration
of the targeting of German population centers was an exemplar of antiwar
revisionism that suggested the allies committed war crimes including
wanton destruction of cities and targeting noncombatant populations not
justified by military necessity. Such insights pioneered subsequent
assessments of strategic bombing such as W. G. Sebald's, On the
Natural History of Destruction.
Mr. Irving’s Goebbels was
withdrawn shortly before publication in April 1996 by St. Martin’s Press,
and in the following month was removed as the selection of Doubleday’s
History Book Club’s Book of the Month. The censorship of the work resulted
primarily from stop-publication demands from the Anti-Defamation League of
B’nai B’rith (ADL). Abraham H. Foxman, ADL’s national director, charged in
a March 22, 1996 letter to St. Martin’s that Mr. Irving was an “apologist”
for Nazism, did not possess the requisite “academic credentials” to engage
in historical analysis and, without citation, claimed his previous
scholarship was “replete with errors, oversights, poor research and
fantasy.” Mr. Foxman sardonically suggested that if St. Martin’s released
Goebbels, the publisher should designate the biography as
“fiction.” Even though the book had not been read by those seeking to
prohibit others from exercising independent judgment, Deborah Lipstadt,
Professor of Jewish and Holocaust studies at Emory University, believed an
author’s reputation alone could warrant the suppression of his or her
work. Professor Lipstadt, whom Mr. Irving would eventually sue
unsuccessfully for libel—as well as her British publisher, Penguin Books,
Ltd.—told the Washington Post (April 3, 1996), “Of course the
reputation of the author counts. And no legitimate historian takes David
Irving’s works seriously.”
According to Mr. Irving only six
copies were in the United States and all were in the possession of St.
Martin’s Press (e-mail to author, July 29, 2004). Hence an unexamined
biography of Dr. Joseph Goebbels, a major historical figure of the
twentieth century that contained the first utilization of Goebbels’s
Moscow-archived diaries, was suppressed due to rage over the reputation of
its author and not the content of the work. While the censoring of any
book, even if content based, raises significant questions of free speech
and the public’s legitimate access to information, banning the
dissemination of a historical work, for reasons other than content, should
prove troubling for historians as un-American and a threat to the
enterprise of historical scholarship. Imagine if the next Howard Zinn book
were not published due to influential-elite opposition that claimed his
prior writings were seditious and a clear and present danger to the vital
interests of the United States.
Mr. Irving, however, was not
without defenders on the implications of censoring history. Christopher
Hitchens in Vanity Fair (June 1996) charged that St. Martin’s
“disgraced the business of publishing and degraded the practice of debate.
David Irving is not just a Fascist historian. He is also a great historian
of Fascism.” Raul Hilberg, who wrote The Destruction of the European
Jews, told Mr. Hitchens: “I have quoted [Adolph] Eichmann references
that come from a neo-Nazi publishing house. I am not for taboos and I am
not for repression.” E. J. Hobsbawm was interviewed by D. D. Guttenplan,
the author of The Holocaust on Trial: History, Justice and the David
Irving Libel Case . The illustrious Marxist historian noted that
“most historians” have political viewpoints, and that Mr. Irving’s
politics are irrelevant since historians should be judged “whether they
produce work based on evidence.” (New York Times, June 26, 1999)
Indeed many who oppose censorship have explored vigorously this dimension
in assessing Mr. Irving’s scholarship.
Another opponent of quashing Mr.
Irving’s revisionist history of National Socialism is Gordon A. Craig , J.
E. Wallace Sterling Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Stanford. In a
dramatic book review of Goebbels in the New York Review of
Books ( September 19, 1996) he wrote: “Silencing Mr. Irving would be
a high price to pay for freedom from [his] annoyance...Mr. Irving, then,
ha[s] an indispensable part in the historical enterprise and we dare not
disregard [his] views.” Since the tumult over the publication of
Goebbels, Mr. Irving has been largely confined to publishing his
works, including Goebbels, under his own imprint, Focal Point
I accepted a speaking
invitation from a historian who has been castigated as anti-Semitic—a
charge that Mr. Irving has consistently denied—and denounced for a
falsified revisionism of Nazi Germany and the destruction of European
Jewry. My mission, since my egregious
Veterans Day, November 11, 2002, for an act of conscience through a
harshly worded antiwar e-mail, is to demand academic freedom for
university historians and no censorship of any historian for antiwar or
As an outspoken peace activist,
pacifist and war resister, which were the underlying reasons for my
suspension in the twelfth week of a semester, I commend Mr. Irving’s
courageous and febrile opposition to the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq
and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. I was not unmindful of this when
I agreed to speak at his conference. If antiwar advocates can build
coalitions across the ideological divide, then future degradations of the
Palestinians, future Holocausts, future illegal walls of separation,
future attacks on Jewish interests and future neoconservative crusades
against nonthreatening Islamic nations may be averted. Of course, an
acceptance of a speaking invitation does not connote uncritical acceptance
of the host’s ethos. While disagreeing profoundly with Mr. Irving on the
importance of racial diversity and the value of embracing ardently
multiculturalism, I would neither stifle his speech nor banish his
provocative and intrepid revisionism of World War II.
I believe historians should
welcome the opportunity to address any audience that is willing to listen
and respond to their ideas. I stand in solidarity with all historians and
other academics who have suffered for their views due to an intolerance of
unpopular or infuriating speech. Any McCarthyite suppression of
historiography or radical antiwar speech—no matter how offensive to
some—must be challenged and condemned as anti-intellectual and
antithetical to the advancement of knowledge in an open society.
Without hectoring or condescending
to an attentive and receptive audience of history buffs, I articulated my
views on racism and war at Mr. Irving’s “Real History Conference.” In my
remarks, “Historians v. American Militarism: Resisting Censorship,” I
I denounce anti-Islamic and
anti-Semitic bias. History flows with rivers of blood from ethnic and
cultural intolerance. The genocide against indigenous peoples and the
Trail of Tears, the mass killings of Armenians at the hands of the Turks
during World War I, the war crimes of Nazi Germany, the atomic butchery
of noncombatant Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Jim
Crow-apartheid system that only ended with the 1964 Civil Rights Act and
1965 Voting Rights Act, and the evil and criminal Vietnam War—where
debate should explore the ethics of serving in a dishonorable war and
not the circumstances by which individuals are awarded medals for
killing within it. The destruction of the “cockroach” Tutsis in Rwanda
and the killings in Darfur are equally odious. All acts of genocide,
discrimination and violence against individuals or groups that are
predicated on racialism and ethnocentrism diminish us all, imperil the
dream of peace and justice and hinder international reconciliation.
It is ironic that Mr. Irving, who
is accused of uncritical adulation of National Socialism—a charge that is
refuted by his writings—is a victim of group-identity protest that is
quite nationalistic in its repression of historical revisionism. When
those who claim appropriately a historical legacy of victimization and
persecution attempt to delimit inquiry of the events that gave rise to
such a tragic legacy, the threat to democracy in exercising a hegemonic
control over the past is more damaging than the pain and fear that
revisionist history may inflict upon an aggrieved group.
Revisionism is the sine
qua non of historical analysis. The ideological right, including
President George W. Bush and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice,
has used the term in a dismissive political manner to undermine and
excoriate antiwar criticism of Mr. Bush’s decision to wage war against
Iraq. James McPherson, when president of the American Historical
is no single, eternal, and immutable 'truth' about past events and their
meaning. The unending quest of historians for understanding the past—that
is, 'revisionism'—is what makes history vital and meaningful.”
While Professor McPherson
condemned 1970s Holocaust-denial history—which some (Hitchens, Roni
Stauber) differentiate from Holocaust-revisionist history—as
“misrepresenting the past for nefarious ends,” the general thrust of his
article was to champion revisionism and insulate it from politicization
Nation-states denying entry to
controversial, independent-thinking scholars is increasingly common. The
United States has fallen prey to such retrogressive actions as the
revocation of a visa for the renowned University of Notre Dame visiting
Islamic scholar, Tariq Ramadan. The politics of historical revisionism in
the case of David Irving has similar baleful consequences for the
unrestricted dissemination of nonconformist ideas. Mr. Irving is banned
from Germany, Australia, Canada, Italy and New Zealand due to criticism of
his scholarship and public utterances concerning World War II. The New
Zealand decision, while literally applying its immigration law barring the
entry of persons previously deported from third countries, has generated a
nationwide debate whether Mr. Irving should be prohibited from lecturing
on the historiography of World War II before the National Press Club.
David Zwartz, president of the New Zealand Jewish Council and honorary
Israeli consul in New Zealand, has led the campaign for exclusion. He
described Mr. Irving as an “organism—even a two-legged one—that attacks
our people.” (New Zealand Herald, July 26, 2004) Mr. Zwartz also
claimed that denying entry to Mr. Irving had nothing to do “with
suppressing his ideas” because his oeuvre is “available to anyone who
wishes to access them.” (e-mail to author, August 3, 2004) The New
Zealand Herald courageously demurred and editorialized in favor of
freedom for historians. ( July 22, 2004)
Mr. Irving's lot is that of all
historians—to constantly re-appraise the events of the past. No event
should be out of bounds. If, as in this case, the conclusions are
palpably wrong, that is no reason for preventing their presentation—and
their challenging by more profound scholarship. The only counter to
flawed views is informed debate. Opinions that during this process are
shown to be devoid of worth, wisdom or accuracy will quickly be
If one becomes a public figure due
to widespread opposition to one’s speech—whether written or verbal—there
are two choices: Fight or flight. If one determines upon reflection to
maintain one’s commitment to principled beliefs, then one must avoid
flight. Indeed if faced with an ideologically inspired auto-da-fé that
threatens one’s occupation and livelihood, bending to the forces of
conformity with their armamentarium of suspensions, reprimands, press
releases, censorship and aroused public indignation, merely encourages
additional coercion. One of the ironies in confronting the consensus
orthodoxy of the Vital Center is when the offending rhetoric
transmogrifies into protective armor and bestows a fierce commitment to
stay the course and resist the firestorm. There emerges a heightened sense
of self-worth and renewed dedication to one’s basic values. Recantation is
not an option. Surrendering one’s ethics and core beliefs is not an
option. Evolving and articulating different viewpoints are possible, and
perhaps laudable, but not while under assault by Inquisitions in modern
dress that substitute the Internet or economic intimidation for stake
Father Arthur Terminiello had a
reputation for racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Communist epithets. The
Birmingham, Alabama priest, who ministered to tenant farmers in Alabama
and Florida, was known as the Father Coughlin of the South. Father
Terminiello was arrested in Chicago in 1946 for haranguing against a
threatening and disorderly mob that sought to disrupt his speech before
Gerald L. K. Smith’s Christian Veterans of America. His detention granted
his protagonists a Heckler’s veto, whereby a speaker is silenced merely
due to protest against the event. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court
reversed an Illinois judge’s jury instructions that Chicago’s breach of
the peace ordinance proscribed any utterance that “stirs the public to
anger, invites dispute, brings about a condition of unrest, or creates a
disturbance. ” Justice William O. Douglas, writing for the majority in
Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 337 U.S. 1 (1949), affirmed free
speech is essential for a free people:
Free speech…may indeed best
serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates
dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to
anger…That is why freedom of speech though not absolute…is nevertheless
protected against censorship and punishment…For the alternative
would lead to standardization of ideas by...dominant political or
community groups. [Emphasis added.]
Hopefully Justice Douglas’s
stirring reaffirmation of the importance of free speech for a democratic
society will dissuade those who wish to abridge it and embolden those who
wish to exercise it.
Reproduced gratefully from:
http://hnn.us/articles/7259.html History News Network George
David Irving Fires Lawyer & Suffers Further
Dear Free Speech Supporter:
Political prisoner David Irving, a world
famous historian now serving three years in an Austrian prison for denying
Austria’s new state religion of holocaust, has fired his old lawyer and taken on
a real fighter.
Lady Michele Renouf reports: “Good news
is that David Irving has dumped his left-wing lawyer Dr Kresbach who had issued
no protest about the inhuman ban on Irving making any phone calls, even to his
family, as punishment for giving press interviews, unless he submits the
telephone number and his request to the prison authorities at least a week in
Even so, his elder brother waited in all
day for such a pre-arranged call Easter Sunday and got that call when he was
out, one week later! There are urgent family, serious legal and business matters
about which we need Mr. Irving's authorisation and imput to act in his family
and future interests. Michele
Mr. Irving has replaced Kresbach with Dr
Herbert Schaller, the veteran (80 years old) Austrian lawyer he had in the 1980s
(and who Ernst has, though Judge Meinerzhagen wanted him thrown out as "too
old"!). Good man. He was in the public gallery during David Irving's trial.”
By all accounts Dr. Schaller is a real
alte kampfer – an old fighter, just the sort of scrapper a scrapper like David
Mr. Irving’s case – an appeal against
his three year sentence – comes up in September.
CAFÉ is collecting money to assist David
Irving’s defence. Send an e-mail with your VISA and expiry date or mail your
cheque to Canadian Association for Free Expression, Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W
Paul Fromm Director CANADIAN ASSOCIATION
FOR FREE EXPRESSION
----- Visit the Canadian Association for
Free Expression's website:
From Cairo to Vienna,
Lady Michele’s Visit to David
British actress and free speech
campaigner and, now, videographer, Lady Michele Renouf attended a conference in
Cairo in late March. Trying to promote her new DVD on the Occupation of
Palestine, entitled Israel in Flagrante, she attended a Palestinian solidarity
Despite having broken her toe and come
down with food poisoning, she managed to get an invitation to appear on prime
time television in Cairo for a half hour interview. She outlined the sordid
campaign in Europe of jailing dissident writers and historians who dare
challenge the new state religion of holocaust.. “I also added that I believed
that Hams was correct in rejecting demands that it accept Israel’s right to
exist” and occupy Palestinian land, she told CAFÉ in a recent interview.
The official Iranian news agency was
also interested in the Cairo interview and is translating it into Farsi for
broadcast in Iran.
On her way back to London, Lady Michele
stopped in Vienna to visit political prisoner historian David Irving, sentenced
to three years in prison for allegedly denying the new state religion of
holocaust when, in 1989, he denied that gas chambers had been used for
extermination, as opposed to delousing, purposes. She charmed hre way in to see
Mr. Irving for a 50 minute interview. She’d originally been granted only half an
hour – foreign visitors are supposed to get an hour – but the turnkey was
reluctant to give her more time than locals get (half an hour). Strictly
speaking under harsh new punitive measures imposed on the 67-year old historian,
Irving isn’t supposed to have any visitors.
She reports: “Irving was in fine fettle.
He hopes to emerge from prison, as have many imprisoned writers in the past,
with three books completed. Already, he has completed 1,000 handwritten pages of
Irving’s War, an autobiographical book about his free speech struggles.”
His case – an appeal against his three
year sentence – comes up in September.
CAFÉ is collecting money to assist David
Irving’s defence. Send an e-mail with your VISA and expiry date or mail your
cheque to Canadian Association for Free Expression, Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W
Paul Fromm Director CANADIAN ASSOCIATION
FOR FREE EXPRESSION
Prisoner David Irving,
Held in Solitary, is Unrepentant on WW II Views
Dear Free Speech Supporter:
It’s hard to believe, but 68 year old
David Irving, now a political prisoner in Austria, is being held 23 hours a day
in solitary confinement. The author of over 30 books that have sold millions of
copies, Mr. Irving is a non-violent scholar and writer. Yet, in the grim world
of minority thought control, idea men are far more dangerous that muggers,
robbers and murderers.
The Times of London (February 28, 2006)
reports that the vindictive Austrian thought police seek an even longer term:
“Austrian prosecutors are seeking to extend to 10 years because of Irving's
‘special importance to rightwing radicals.’" This comment demonstrates that
Irving’s treatment is political persecution pure and simple.
The British author remains defiant and
seems to have recanted or clarified what may have seemed a backing away from
some of his previously held views at last week’s trial. The Times report
continues: “An unrepentant David Irving today maintained his denial that Adolf
Hitler oversaw an organised attempt to exterminate Europe's Jews. Speaking from
jail in Austria, where he was sentenced to three years imprisonment last week
for denying the Holocaust, the … right-wing historian questioned whether the
Nazis could have really intended to wipe out all the Jews held in concentration
camps if, as he claimed, so many had survived the experience.
‘Given the ruthless efficiency of the
Germans, if there was an extermination programme to kill all the Jews, how come
so many survived?’ he said, in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.’”
Why not let the Austrian Embassy know what free men and women think of a country
that imprisons dissident thinkers.
CAFÉ is collecting money to assist both
Ernst Zundel’s and David Irving’s defence. Send an e-mail with your VISA and
expiry date or mail your cheque to Canadian Association for Free Expression, Box
332, Rexdale, ON., M9W 5L3, Canada. Indicate to which of these political
prisoners you wish your donation directed.
Paul Fromm Director CANADIAN ASSOCIATION
FOR FREE EXPRESSION
Irving, Held in Solitary,
is Unrepentant on WW II Views
Irving vents Holocaust
denial in jail cell interview BY TIMES ONLINE AND AGENCIES
Irving today repeated his central thesis
from his book, Hitler's War, that the Fuhrer did not know of the Final Solution
An unrepentant David Irving today
maintained his denial that Adolf Hitler oversaw an organised attempt to
exterminate Europe's Jews. Speaking from jail in Austria, where he was sentenced
to three years imprisonment last week for denying the Holocaust, the disgraced
right-wing historian questioned whether the Nazis could have really intended to
wipe out all the Jews held in concentration camps if, as he claimed, so many had
survived the experience.
"Given the ruthless efficiency of the
Germans, if there was an extermination programme to kill all the Jews, how come
so many survived?" he said, in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
During his one-day trial in Vienna last week, when he pleaded guilty to denying
the Holocaust in two speeches made to Austrian neo-Nazis in 1989, Irving
acknowledged that he had made a mistake in denying the existence of gas chambers
at Auschwitz, the most infamous Nazi camp. He claimed that he personally had
identified two small buildings where gassings occurred - but he pointedly
ignored the weight of historical evidence that points to mass executions in an
enormous purpose-built crematorium where victims were first gassed then their
bodies burned. Today, the British academic repeated his assertion that the
number of Jews killed at the camp was relatively small, and certainly much
smaller than the figure of 1.1 million that is generally accepted by Holocaust
historians. "There were these two small buildings where gassings were done, but
I think we can be very argumentative about the scale of it," he said.
"Certainly, anybody who suggests that this was the heart of the Nazi programme
is way off track." Irving said he accepted that 1.4 million Jews were killed at
the so-called Reinhard extermination camps of Sobibor, Belzec and Treblinka, but
he insisted Auschwitz was different: "You can say millions died, but not at
Auschwitz." The story of Anne Frank, according to Irving, backs up his argument:
"The Anne Frank family wasn’t gassed, although they were in Auschwitz," he said.
"When they fell ill, they were looked after by SS doctors, and two of them
survived. The whole Anne Frank story is proof that I am right." He also
questioned the responsibility of Hitler for the 20th century's greatest crime.
Asked whether he believed that Hitler had overseen the Holocaust, Irving
replied: "No. That is absolutely wrong and nobody can justify that. "Adolf
Hitler’s own involvement in it has a big question mark behind it." Irving, 68,
was shocked to receive a three-year sentence at his trial under Austria's
stringent Holocaust denial laws last week. He is spending 23 hours a day in
solitary confinement at the start of his punishment, which Austrian prosecutors
are seeking to extend to 10 years because of Irving's "special importance to
rightwing radicals". Irving is also planning to appeal. But today's outburst is
unlikely to help his claim to have recanted some of his most extreme beliefs
about the Holocaust. He said this morning that his conviction was the result of
a "show trial" and he promised to continue writing history. Irving is the author
of more than 30 books, but his reputation as a trustworthy historian was
destroyed by a High Court libel trial in 2000 that showed that he had distorted
and willfully misunderstood sources relating to the Holocaust.
Visit the Canadian Association for Free
Please support CAFE in our efforts: CAFÉ,
Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W 5L3, Canada or e-mail us your VISA number and expiry
Free Speech is the Heart of Democracy
A Few More Voices Being Raised for
Freedom of Speech Dear Free Speech Supporter: It's encouraging to see a few
voices in Canada beginning to speak up for freedom of speech. The sight of 67
year old historian David Irving in an Austrian jail has proven just a little
much for a number of people. Does freedom of speech mean anything, they're
wondering? Kevin Parkinson, in the first article below, touches the issue of the
new state religion of "Holocaust" - my phrase not his. In many European
countries, questioning the Hollywood version of WW II, as it applies to the
Jews, is a crime. Anything else may be questioned or challenged. As the case is
now being presented, there must be laws against questioning the new state
religion because such questions spread hatred of Jews. By the same token, would
those, including those in the Church, who decided that St. George had only been
a legend, be accused of spreading hatred against Christians and Englishmen? Paul
Fromm Director CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR FREE EXPRESSION
Free Speech is
the Heart of Democracy
by Kevin Parkinson,
It's hard to believe that in the year,
2006, that a well-known historian and author, David Irving, could be sent to
jail for 3 years by the Austrian government, for questioning the 6 million
figure of the Jewish Holocaust. Furthermore, he made the statement in 1989 while
giving a speech in that country.
The sentence is an outrage. Punishing
someone for expressing his opinion about a historical event is a step backwards
to the justice system of the Middle Ages. The sentence is not only fiercely
undemocratic, but is blatantly hypocritical. Cartoonists and writers mock and
insult the sensibilities of Muslims and Christians with the blessing of country
leaders. Our own prime minister, Stephen Harper used the 'free speech' defense
for publishers of cartoons that were insulting to Muslims. However, the moment
that anyone criticizes the Jewish official story of WW2, free speech is ignored
and the 'hate crimes' legislation is trotted out. Any questions about the
accuracy of the Holocaust reporting are considered to be a defamation of the
Jewish dead. Currently in Canada, there are several people who have been accused
of 'hate crimes,' one of whom is Ernst Zundel, a landed Canadian immigrant who
has never been convicted of a crime in this country. Yet our government took the
cowardly way out, and instead of releasing Zundel, deported him to his native
Germany, where he is being tried in the same manner as David Irving. In Germany
it is a crime to deny the holocaust or question any of the historic details. The
conviction of Irving is a chilling wake-up call that 'hate crimes' legislation
is not going away. After WW2, it was the forces of the Anti Defamation League
and B'nai B'rith in Germany and Austria that changed government legislation to
make it a crime to deny 'holocaust reality.' However, holocaust denial laws
violate ancient and universal standards of justice. The principle of free speech
means that everyone has the right to express alternative viewpoints,
particularly about history. It means listening to views that may be distasteful
but that is the legacy of 'free speech.' 'Holocaust denial' laws are inherently
unjust because they are selective and one sided. They prohibit dissent about
only one chapter of history. Laws criminalizing dissent about other chapters of
history, such as the treatment of the North American Indian or the Irish in the
19th century, would be considered outrageous. I agree with Voltaire (1906) when
he said: "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the
death your right to say it" I think we need to revisit the so-called 'hate laws'
in this country, since it is apparent that they lead to selective prosecutions
based on the whims of those who wield power. We already have lots of laws on the
books to deal with criminals. In '1984,' George Orwell warned that society would
eventually punish 'thought crimes' in a totalitarian state. The David Irving
case has been a flashpoint that should make us all stop and think about where
'democracy' is headed. Free speech, acceptable speech, fundamental Islam
Punishing silly sentiments by Klaus Rohrich Wednesday, February 22, 2006
What does the enlightened,
freedom-loving, tolerant and inclusive West have in common with fundamental
Islam? Both are overwhelmingly repressive in what they consider to be
"acceptable" speech. The latest evidence of this is the conviction and
sentencing of David Irving, whose denial of the Holocaust earned him three years
in an Austrian jail.
This is an interesting case in that
Irving, a British "historian", denied the Holocaust during a visit to Austria
back in 1989 and as a result was charged by Austrian criminal authorities.
Austria, as well as many other Western countries, has criminalized Holocaust
denial, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison for anyone convicted of
The judge hearing this case threw the
book at Irving, despite Irving's profession that he had changed his views since
1989 when the "crime" was alleged to be committed. Irving pleaded guilty to
having made the statements and informed the court that since then he has changed
his mind and now believes the Holocaust actually occurred. In sentencing Irving,
Judge Peter Liebetreu stated, "the court did not consider the defendant to have
genuinely changed his mind. The regret he showed was considered to be mere lip
service to the law." I find this statement every bit as bizarre as the statement
made by the Islamic cleric who said that an apology for the Danish cartoons of
the Prophet was not enough, than only war would satisfy him.
What makes us, meaning the West, any
different from a country like Saudi Arabia that imprisons, tortures and even
kills its dissenters, if we imprison those who have a different view? While
David Irving is clearly misguided and might even be a raving anti-Semite, in my
opinion that isn't enough to send him to prison. The best punishment for someone
like Irving is ridicule, as it puts his views in the proper light. Sending him
to prison, lends a certain power to those views that ultimately will achieve the
opposite of what was intended in the first place.
We have long deluded ourselves that we
have rights and freedoms that allow us to think and say whatever we believe.
Irving's trial, conviction and imprisonment belie those rights and render them
meaningless. What good is the right of free speech if when it is exercised it
results in imprisonment?
If you think that David Irving's
travails are restricted to countries like Austria and Germany, think again.
These silly and horribly repressive laws have found their way into North America
and are collectively known as "hate laws." The implication of so-called hate
laws is that certain groups within our society need protection from those who
dislike, disapprove or hate them.
Two names readily come to mind. The
first is Ernst Zundel, who was recently deported from Canada to his native
Germany, where he is being tried for Holocaust denial, and Jim Keegstra, the
former high school teacher and Mayor of Eckville, Alberta. Zundel had lived in
Canada for 43 years and was the object of orchestrated persecution for his
anti-Semitic views, being denied Canadian citizenship on the basis of his being
a Holocaust denier.
Keegstra, who taught high school for
over 14 years and was finally fired from that job as a result of his espousing
some truly "wacko" ideas, including the presence of a centuries-old, world wide
Jewish conspiracy to his students. After having lost both his job as a teacher
and his position as Mayor of Eckville, Keegstra was prosecuted in 1984 under
Section 281.2 under the Criminal Code for "willfully promoting hatred".
Convicted, Keegstra took his case before
the Supreme Court of Canada, which upheld his conviction and Keegstra was
As a civil libertarian, I am concerned
that repressive legislation governs the right to free speech. It seems that most
people agree with the legislation and with the prosecution of people like David
Irving and Jim Keegstra, as their views are clearly objectionable. Trouble is
that while these laws serve to restrict the use of speech that most of us
deplore, they also serve as a double-edged sword. When we restrict the civil
liberties of those with whom we do not agree we accomplish two things. We give
credence to the ideas espoused by them by turning them into martyrs and we place
potential restrictions on our own right to free speech, as the opinions we hold
today, may someday fall into disfavor with the powers that be.
In that regard there is very little
difference between us and the medieval minded Islamic clerics that call for the
death of those Danish cartoonists. To read other News items or Columns by Klaus
Rohrich, please click here
Klaus Rohrich is an author and columnist
for Canada Free Press. He can be reached at Letters@Canadafreepress.com You can
read your Letters to the Editor here.
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Please support CAFE in our efforts: CAFÉ,
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Irving Loses Again
by Joseph Sobran
February 21, 2006
A few years ago I had lunch with David
Irving, now sentenced to three years in an Austrian prison for the crime of what
in this country is called exercising free speech. Wouldn’t you know it, the
Holocaust came up. He joked that in America, Holocaust memorials were sprouting
up “like McDonald’s.” He added seriously, “I’m not a Holocaust denier. I’m a
I’ve seen Irving several times since
then, twice speaking at conferences he’d arranged, and never heard him say
anything close to “Holocaust denial,” the crime he has pled guilty to. The plea
spared him a full ten-year sentence.
It has become routine to refer to him as
“Holocaust denier David Irving,” but nobody ever seems to quote him actually
uttering a thought crime. In court the other day he confessed the “mistake” of
saying “there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz,” but added, “In no way did I
deny the killings of millions of people by the Nazis.”
And what if he really had denied it? Ten
years in prison for an opinion? His lawyer called the proceedings “a message
trial.” Actually, of course, it was a blasphemy trial.
The rationale, such as it is, for the
Holocaust-denial laws of Austria (and several other countries) is that if people
are allowed to deny that it happened, it may happen again. By this logic, the
Holocaust is most likely to recur in the United States, since we have no such
laws here. Freedom of speech could lead to a second Holocaust! Thomas Jefferson
has a lot to answer for.
Does that sound just a wee bit
hysterical? It reminds me of the incredible uproar over Mel Gibson’s film The
Passion of the Christ, which, we were assured (in advance, by people who hadn’t
seen it), would cause hatred of Jews and even “violence” against them.
Now that was a pretty clear test case of
this peculiar theory of historical causation. And the result? Though the movie
was a huge hit, it resulted in not a single incident of violence against anyone.
Even one such incident would have made headlines. “See what we told you?”
But when no pogroms occurred, nobody
expressed surprise, relief, or the disappointment a prophet of doom experiences
when things turn out all right. Mel Gibson made a lot of money, Abe Foxman made
a lot of money, nobody got hurt. You’d think everyone would be contented with
Even the people who predicted violence
didn’t really believe it, of course. Nobody in his right mind expected violence.
We are so used to prophecies of violence against minorities, especially Jews,
that we don’t bother keeping track of them, any more than we keep track of
astrologers’ predictions. In the real world, things don’t happen that way.
Predicting another Holocaust is like predicting another Reichstag fire.
Deep down, we know this sort of talk is
usually absurd. But we also know that it can be risky to say so. So we let the
blowhards blow. That’s how they exercise their freedom of speech.
Nobody says, or thinks, that what Irving
may have said in Austria in 1989 — the site and date of his alleged “crime” —
caused any violence to occur. Some rabble-rouser. He may have expressed his
skepticism with rude bluntness (that would be just like him), but that wouldn’t
even have tended to inspire harm. It may have inspired more skepticism, but why
is that a crime?
Because to some people, on some
subjects, skepticism is blasphemy, and the Holocaust is one of those subjects.
Austria’s law is aimed at “whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves, or
tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist
crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast, or [in] other
Whew! That gives the prosecutor a lot of
discretion, and the whole premise of the law — that expressing an opinion of a
calamity can cause the same calamity to recur under entirely different
conditions — is screwy.
No doubt Irving’s lawyer advised him to
cut a deal in exchange for a show of contrition. He avoided ten years in the
slammer, but from now on he will be, in the media, not just a “Holocaust
denier,” but a “convicted” Holocaust denier or “confessed” Holocaust denier. Not
much hope of “reformed,” “repentant,” or “recovering” Holocaust denier, I
Meanwhile, the Holocaust Prevention
Confederation can claim another triumph. Over freedom of speech.
Nation-States Gone Wild:
The Persecution of David Irving
Monday, February 20, 2006
Will the European governments that ban any talk about the Nazis not having
murdered 6 million Jews start rounding up the newspaper editors who published
the Muhammad cartoons and start putting them on trial for crimes against Islam?
European governments and their media mouthpieces appear to use the mantle of
free speech to justify publishing supposed insults against Muslims. But what
about the free speech rights of people who dare to go against conventional
thinking of Nazi atrocities committed against Europe’s Jews?
Holocaust deniers, revisionists and skeptics
don’t have any rights to free speech in many European countries (and Canada),
unlike their brethren who dare to publish images of the Prophet Muhammad but
don’t face criminal charges. David Irving now must spend the
next three years in prison
for giving two speeches in Austria in 1989. Ernst Zundel
faces up to five years in prison
for publishing his opinions on the Zundelsite website while living in Canada.
Should people who downplay the
Confederate States of America’s treatment of slaves and the U.S. government’s
treatment of Native Americans face criminal charges? Should the people who
publicly contend that the U.S. government was justified in killing hundreds of
thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki face criminal charges? Should the people who
deny the wickedness of the U.S. invasions of Vietnam and Iraq faces criminal
charges? Should the people who deny the wickedness of Israel’s conduct against
Palestinians face criminal charges? Of course not!
We are dealing with a simple yet
extremely dangerous case of nation-states gone wild. Instead of addressing their
complicity in modern-day atrocities—such as providing either unabashed
logistical support for or tacit approval of the U.S. government’s crimes around
the world—these governments arrest people for public speech.
Irving, Zundel and others who face
criminal charges of “denying the Holocaust” have not committed violence against
anybody. They have not given orders to soldiers to invade and occupy another
country. They have not given orders to police or soldiers to arrest and imprison
individuals without charges. They have not given approval to secret police,
soldiers or prison guards to torture individuals.
Irving, Zundel and others have expressed
their opinions about one of the most despicable periods in our world’s history.
These expressions might anger people. But these people are not in positions of
power today that would give them the means to implement policies that mimic the
conduct of the Nazis.
Today, the leaders of liberal democratic
governments are the ones with the authority (and police and military firepower)
to mimic selected policies of the Nazis and the policies of other notorious
regimes in our world’s history without fear they will face the consequences of
their deadly actions.
If one does not like what some people
might say or write about the Holocaust, then that person should ignore it. If
one does not like images of the Prophet Muhammad published in newspapers, then
that person should ignore them.
What we should not ignore is when
nation-states, with their monopoly on violence, lock up people for expressing
their opinions about government atrocities committed 60 years ago. More
important, we should not ignore the fact that the governments that are locking
up individuals for speaking their mind about the actions of the Nazis are the
same governments aiding and abetting (or refusing to denounce and stop) the
atrocities committed today by the world’s only superpower and its confederates.
Letter from Political Prisoner
Defiant & Determined
Dear Free Speech Supporter:
The following is a letter received by a
good supporter of political prisoner David Irving, now languishing under a three
year sentence in an Austrian jail. His crime – in 1989, “denying the holocaust”
– the new secular religion of much of the West.
This letter was written just before Mr.
Irving went on trial and explains his intentions to plead guilty.
CAFÉ is collecting money to assist both
Ernst Zundel’s and David Irving’s defence. Send an e-mail with your VISA and
expiry date or mail your cheque to Canadian Association for Free Expression, Box
332, Rexdale, ON., M9W 5L3, Canada. Indicate to which of these political
prisoners you wish your donation directed.
Paul Fromm Director CANADIAN ASSOCIATION
FOR FREE EXPRESSION
I have received around 600 letters, but
yours was one that I was looking out for!
In twelve days time, they will hold the
trial. (I have been in a 2 X 2.5m metal box for the last 100 days after being
forced off the road by several carloads of police and arrested at gunpoint. So
much for the land of “The Sound of Music”!)
It will be a difficult trial because the
world’s press will be there (February 20 and perhaps 21) which adds to the
macabre theatre. I have to plea guilty, there is no alternative: if a crazy
police-state enacts a law against wearing brown neckties, and an unwitting
Englishman came 17 years ago wearing a (gasp!) brown necktie, then of course he
is going to find himself arrested at gunpoint (8 9 mm Glock pistols pointed at
my head!) when he comes next time 17 years later. There is now no way of
pleading innocent to that. I refuse to allow any foreign government to dictate
to me what (new ink cartridge just inserted) I may think, say,or write. That is
what this is all about. To Americans this whole situation must appear totally
remote from reality. I have had to explain to Jessica (12) that I am in prison
because of an opinion I expressed 17 years before I ever met her mother.
As for the other details, you will
appreciate there is a lot I would like to say in a letter but cannot because all
mail to and from me is read by prison censorship. I suspect I was lured to
Austria as a trap, an ambush. There is a lot of evidence pointing in that
direction. I have not heard a single word from Olympia, the student body which
(seemingly) invited me to come and lecture on November 11; no letter, no visit,
nothing! I warned them in e-mails that I would not talk about the “Holocaust”
even if their members asked questions.
Anyway, I have so far been able to get a
lot of work done, on memoirs, the “Himmler” biography, and “Churchill”. This
whole situation is a disaster for the reputation of Austria, because many
intellectuals around the world, including left-wingers have openly criticised my
I am in fine spirits, and not about to
go down. In the exercise yard the murderers, rapists, cocaine-dealers and
robbers ask, ”What you in for!’ and I feel such a wimp saying it is because of
an opinion I expressed on history seventeen years ago. “Oh, right then!” they
say, and go shuffling off looking for a real criminal to walk round the yard
Wait until you see the outcome of
February 20, so you can see what address to reply to. I am hoping it will not be
here. The cost to me has already been around $100,000 in lost contracts, and the
The Austrians are bad folks….
----- Visit the Canadian Association for
Free Expression's website:
Please support CAFE in our efforts: CAFÉ,
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The David Irving Story
by George Kadar, American Free Press Reporter
These Holocaust deniers are very slick
people. They justify everything they say with facts and figures." Chairman, New
Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education (Newark Star-Ledger, 23 Oct. 1996, p
IRVING WILL SPEND CHRISTMAS IN
AUSTRIAN JAIL IN ISOLATION
As we did write in our prior issue David
Irving was arrested in Austria on the 11th of November, 2005. Since the
beginning of his arrest Irving was kept isolated from the outside world. For the
first six days the Austrian government did not notify the world about his
arrest. The news came out into the open when Irving’s own web page presented it.
Based on the best available information Irving crossed the border to Austria
from Switzerland and he was planning to deliver a lecture at the Olympia, a
university fraternity group in Vienna. The subject of the lecture was: “the
secret negotiations between Adolf Eichmann and the Jewish leaders in Budapest,
Joel Brand and Rezsö Kasztner, the so-called "trucks for Jews" deal, and British
knowledge of the scheme from codebreaking” (From Irving’s own web site.)
While traveling with a car he and the
guests at the student club both recognized that plain clothes detectives were
hanging around, so Irving started to drive toward the Southern border and he was
arrested on the roadside near the town of Hartberg in the Province of Styria.
Irving believes that he was tracked by
the police, prior to his arrival: “Despite precautions, the Austrian political
police are believed to have learned of the visit by wiretaps or intercepting
After the arrest he was taken to Graz
and a few days later to Vienna where he is held at 11 Landesgericht Strasse
almost totally segregated from the outside world.
On the 18th of November I called the
offices of Judge Dr. Peter Seda who is prosecuting Irving. The clerk gave
assurances about a permit to visit Irving. When I arrived on the morning of the
23rd of November the written permit was issued by the prosecutor’s office but I
was not permitted to see Irving by the deputies, in the same building. Their
excuse was that Irving already received a visitor for a thirty minutes visit
Judge Dr. Seda is a veteran champion for
the cause of the Austrian Jews. He is on record for tracking internet thought
criminals for at least ten years for “anti-Semitic expressions”, “denial of the
Holocaust” and “spreading revisionist literature”. He is also a choice of the
local establishment for politically sensitive cases: He handled the Austrian
investigation into the poisoning of Victor Yuschenko, then a candidate in the
elections of The Ukraine, who was poisoned and was treated in Vienna. (2004)
Judge Dr. Seda seems to be a dream come through for the not to popular Jewish
community in Vienna.
Irving was already forbidden to travel
to Austria, Canada, Germany and Australia. Germany fined him $6,000 in 1992 for
stating that the Auschwitz gas chambers were a hoax. He lost his apartment in
London when he lost a trial against Deborah Lipstadt a Holocaust advocate and
the judge labeled him “an active Holocaust denier”. He was already arrested in
Austria in 1984. The present charges were generated after two speeches in the
country in 1989. (Vienna and Leoben) The arrest was received as great news by
the international cabal of Jewish organizations: Shimon Samuels from the Simon
Wiesenthal Center, Lord Greville Janner the Chairman of the Holocaust
Educational Fund of England, David A. Harris executive director of the American
Jewish Committee, The South Poverty Law Center, ADL, etc. Only BBC’s legal
affairs analyst Jon Silverman expressed some concern: “He remains a showman and
may well relish the opportunity to grandstand before a wider audience if put on
There were several revisionist
historians, scientists, free speech advocates arrested, prosecuted recently
indicating a worldwide crackdown on those who refuse to tow the party line on
the Holocaust. Ernst Zundel and Germar Rudof were both arrested in the US and
extradited to Germany to face lengthy prison sentences. Both of them were
married to American citizens and Rudolf also had a child from this marriage. For
the deportation of Rudolf, Deborah Achim field officer takes the credit proudly
on the web page of ICE. (Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE)) *2
A Dutch court extradited Siegfried
Verbeke to Germany, one of the founders of the Belgian Vlaams Blok Party. (Vlaams
Belang) Vincent Reynouard, Jerome Bourbon, Camille-Marie Galic, Rene-Louis
Berclaz, all Europeans, all in jail or under indictments for heresy. A member of
the European Parliament Dr. Bruno Gollnisch lost his immunity and possible will
go to prison for simply stating that historians should have the right to debate
the Holocaust issues. His fairly innocent statements on the protection of free
speech were used against him by a future political opponent who plans to run
against him: Justice Minister and later Transport Minister Dominique Perben.
Gollnisch is second in line behind Le Pen’ at the National Front.
There are already eight countries with
laws against Holocaust denial: Austria, Belgium, Czech republic, France,
Germany, Israel, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Switzerland. A most dramatic
development on November 1st, 2005: ALL 191 nations of the UN – unanimously and
without a vote – adopted an Israeli-drafted resolution declaring January 27 the
“International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust”.
The resolution “rejects any denial of the Holocaust as a historical event,
either in full or part”. The UN resolution is providing unheard, exorbitant
privileges to a miniature minority group on this planet. This was Israel’s first
successful draft resolution in the history of the UN! The resolution also
mentions a mysterious American citizen by the name of Willis A. Carto as the
only responsible party for the present dramatic circumstances who started the
revisionist movement about three decades earlier. Meanwhile the news of Irving’s
arrest spread faster than wild fire around planet earth. Thanks to electronic
communications within hours everybody received the news. Irving is a very
popular historian and a forceful writer. On the 22nd of November the first
demonstration took place in Ottawa, Canada at the front of the Austrian Embassy.
Chances are that we will see far more if Irving is kept in jail for a longer
period of time and every indication is that this is the case.
On the 25th, Friday there was an
important hearing for Irving in Vienna. The prosecutor decided to formally to
charge him and they also denied his bail offer of $10,000 to $20,000. The
decision indicates that those who are pulling the strings from the background
want to lock up Irving for a longer time, possible for years. David Irving’s
attorney Dr. Elmar Kresbach in Vienna stated on the 25th: The court refused to
release Mr. Irving on bail because he can easily go to England and England will
not extradite him. The case will go to a “jury trial” with three judges and
eight citizens as jury members. The trial will last probably a single day and
the citizens’ only and most likely role will be to rubber stamp the decision.
The trial will take place in January at the earliest and Irving will be sitting
in his isolated jail cell in the meantime.
Attorney Dr. Elmar Kersbach also issued
statements in the name of his client that his prior beliefs are “not really
worthwhile to hold up” and “Irving is correcting himself”. It is difficult to
see Irving backing away from his prior statements like: “more women died on the
backseat of Edward Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas
chamber in Auschwitz”. In civilized countries it is a common practice to
disregard all testimonies that were coerced under pressure, torture, threat of
violence, etc. Threatening a 67 years old man with a prison term that would last
for the rest of his natural life, that is what I would consider the ultimate
Anything stated or signed by Irving
under these circumstances while cut off from the rest of the world and his
supporters – is meaningless. Irving has written close to thirty books and his
value as an original researcher is undeniable. From the beginning of his career
he traveled around the world to seek out original documents, sources. He
interviewed a large number of people who were never touched by the “court
historians”. He realized early on that there was a huge void in the history of
WWII that was not exposed or touched by others because of fear. He did fill this
void, the job is mostly done, there is nothing that can be done about it, his
work can not be destroyed.
The history of the whole argument on the
existence or nonexistence of the gas chambers very much resembles the days of
the inquisition. All the presently available instruments of modern science say
that there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz. The Holocaust Dogma, just like the
10,000+ pages operational manual of the IRS became a liquid, ever changing fluid
mass of information. Any individual who is pressured today to believe in the
Dogma can rightfully ask: “Which version should I believe in?” Right after 1945
wild accusations were spread by the international media and the Holocaust crowd.
The deaths were reported to be as high as 14 million, Jews were supposedly
processed into industrial soap and lamp shades. One book, published by Vasziliy
Groszman: The Hell of Treblinka claimed over ten million victims only at the
Treblinka camp in Poland. A whole industry grew out of these lies and sometimes
in the 1960’s and 1970’s a “soft landing” approach was initiated by the
Holocaust gurus. The total death rate was gradually lowered, first to 6.5
million and later to 6.0 million. The Auschwitz death toll was lowered from 4
million to 1.1 million where it stands today and Jean-Claude Passac who is an
organic part of the Industry tells us that the true number is more likely to be
in the 300,000 to 500,000 range. Needless to say: There is no arrest warrant out
against Passac and he still resides in his own home unlike David Irving and many
The soap and lamp shade stories were
dismissed as minor historical mistakes. We were simply supposed to forget about
the prior miscalculations. While all these modifications were going on nothing
ever happened to those who did the recalculations – as long as they were Jews. A
special privilege was created for the Holocaust that was not extended to any
other event of world history. Anybody can research the victims of genocide in
the Soviet Union, in Cambodia or the Ukraine and express just about any opinion
and remain a free man.
To keep Mr. Irving in jail with a
possible twenty years jail term hanging over his head is a harsh treatment, even
if measured by the yardstick of the medieval times. Galileo Galilei did not
spend time in jail for crashing head on with the religious establishment of his
own time. It is time for us to follow the simple logic of our elders: If we want
to know who rules, we will have to take a look at those whom we are not allowed
CAFÉ and Paul Fromm is collecting money
to assist David Irving’s defense. Donations will be passed on to Irving’s
Austrian attorney. Send an e-mail with your VISA and expiry date or mail your
check to Canadian Association for Free Expression, Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W
5L3, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
----- Visit the Canadian Association for
Free Expression's website:
David Irving Arrested in Austria
Report; Posted on:
David Irving, world's top expert on WWII, arrested; global Jewish leadership
demonstrating attitude: 'If you can't refute them, imprison them.'
This roundup of revisionist activists and honest holocaust scholars seems
so telling and contrary to Jewish strategic interests that it would conform to
the standards of their historic
Achilles' heel: vengeance at any cost. But like
a canary in a mineshaft, it may constitute a strategic precaution against
Gentile mobilization in the face of an advancing global shakeup, and its
attendant implosion of the Gentile apathy and ignorance crucial to the survival
of Jewish rule. -NC
November 11, 2005
THE historian David Irving has been arrested while on a one-day visit to Vienna.
An expert on Hitler's Third Reich, he had been invited by courageous students to
address an ancient University association in the Austrian capital.
He chose as his subject the secret negotiations between Adolf Eichmann and the
Jewish leaders in Budapest, Joel Brand and Rezsö Kasztner, the so-called "trucks
for Jews" deal, and British knowledge of the scheme from codebreaking. He has
researched the topic extensively in Allied archives for both his Churchill and
his Himmler biographies.
Despite precautions, the Austrian political police are believed to have learned
of the visit by wiretaps or intercepting e-mails. Mr Irving had privately
visited his embattled friend the German playwright Rolf Hochhuth on the way to
Austria; they had not met for twenty years because of travel restrictions
imposed on each of them.
Focal Point Publications
A British Historian Defends
His Livelihood and Honor
Statement in the London Libel Trial
In 1993 a
278-page book called Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and
Memory began appearing in book stores across the United States. In this
fervent polemic, author Deborah Lipstadt lashes out against those who dispute
Holocaust extermination claims. An entire chapter, packed with distortions and
factual errors, is devoted to the Institute for Historical Review. (Journal
reviews of the book appeared in the Nov.-Dec. 1993 and Sept.-Oct. 1995
also took aim at British writer David Irving -- author of some two dozen works
of history, several of them best-sellers -- calling him a "Holocaust
denier" and "one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust
denial." Her attack against him included demonstrably false statements.
confining her anti-revisionist activism to this book. Lipstadt wrote and spoke
frequently about the alleged danger to truth itself posed by Holocaust
skeptics. She played a role in the vicious campaign that ended with the
announcement in early April 1996 by St. Martin's Press that it was cancelling
its scheduled publication of Irving's eagerly-awaited biography, Goebbels:
Mastermind of the Third Reich.
had enough. Now effectively blacklisted among "mainstream"
publishers, he brought a libel suit in London against Lipstadt and Penguin
Books, the British publisher of Denying the Holocaust. While such a lawsuit
would be virtually unthinkable in the United States, where there is an almost
unlimited right to smear any "public figure," Irving is on much more
solid ground in Britain, where libel laws are far tighter.
11, 2000, the trial opened before the High Court of Justice in London. Whereas
the 61-year-old Irving appeared representing himself, on opening day some 20
men and women on the defendants' legal team were present in the courtroom.
times during his legal battle in the high court, David Irving, a man of
natural military bearing, resembles a beleaguered Wehrmacht general in some
God-forsaken pocket on the Eastern front, desperately trying to beat off the
Jewish-Bolshevik hordes," remarked one Jewish observer. "He stands
or sits alone on one side of the courtroom, while the large defense team
occupies most of the rest of it."
last three months, the non-jury trial is widely regarded as a major battle
about "Holocaust denial" and, more broadly, the Holocaust
extermination story. Whereas Irving seeks to keep the trial focused on the
narrower issue of libel under British law, the defendants want to make Irving
himself, and "the Holocaust," the central issues. (Much more about
the trial, including news reports and texts of important documents, can be
found on Irving's web site: http://www.fpp.co.uk)
in this case are enormous, not least because the loser almost certainly will
be ordered to pay the costs of the winner. The defendants, together with their
associated law firms and allied Jewish organizations, have already invested
enormous time and money in the case. If Irving loses, he faces complete
financial ruin. But a victory by him would be a tremendous boost for freedom
of historical inquiry and expression, and an embarrassing setback for the
international Holocaust lobby and, more generally, for Jewish-Zionist
opening statement, Irving said that Denying the Holocaust had generated
"waves of hatred" against him and gravely harmed his livelihood as a
writer. He charged that Lipstadt has been active in an "organized
international endeavor" to destroy his career and reputation. Irving has
also contended that Lipstadt's book, far from being the careful work of a
serious scholar, is actually the "product of a research contract funded
by an Israeli agency."
attorney Richard Rampton responded by telling the court that Irving "is
not an historian at all, but a falsifier of history. To put it bluntly, he is
with its long-standing support for free speech and free historical inquiry,
the Institute for Historical Review supports Irving in this legal battle. At
the same time, though, we do not necessarily endorse all his views on history
-- views that, anyway, he has modified over the decades.
Here is the
complete text of Irving's opening statement in the trial. Brief explanatory or
elucidating remarks have been added in brackets.
May it please your Lordship,
this is my Opening Statement in the matter of David Irving vs. Penguin Books and
Deborah Lipstadt. I appear as a litigant in person, and the Defendants are
represented by Mr. Richard Rampton and Miss Rogers of counsel and by Mr. Anthony
Julius. There were originally three other Defendants, who can be characterized
here as booksellers; but your Lordship will observe that they no longer figure
in this action, a settlement having been reached.
This is an action in libel
arising from the publication by the First Defendant of a book, entitled Denying
the Holocaust, written by the Second Defendant, Professor Lipstadt.
As your Lordship is aware,
the work complained of has attracted considerable attention, both in this
country and in the United States and elsewhere since it was first published in
1993. Your Lordship will have before you my Statement of Claim in which I set
out the grounds for my complaint, the consequence of which I am asking that the
Defendants be ordered to pay damages of an amount which I will venture to
suggest, and I will invite your Lordship issue an injunction against further
publication of this work and that the Defendants should make the usual
It is almost 30 years to the
day since I first set foot in these Law Courts and I trust that your Lordship
will allow me to digress for two or three minutes, being (in my submission)
something of an historian, on the history of those events; because they are not
without relevance to the proceedings upon which we are about to embark.
The occasion of that visit
to this building, was an action heard before Mr. Justice Lawton, which became
well known to law students as Cassell vs. Broome and Another. It too was a libel
action, and I am ashamed to admit that I was the "Another," having
written a book on a naval operation, The Destruction of Convoy PQ.17.
That was the only actively
fought libel action in which I became engaged in 30 years of writing. There were
two reasons for this abstinence: first, I became more prudent about how I wrote;
and second, I was taught to turn the other cheek.
The man who taught me the
latter lesson was my first publisher. He had signed up my first book, The
Destruction of Dresden, which was eventually published in 1963.
I had been approached in
about 1961 by a well known English publisher, Mr. William Kimber. When I visited
him in his offices -- which were on a site which has long since been buried by a
luxury hotel, the Berkeley, in Belgravia -- I found him surrounded by files and
documents, rather as we are all in this court room today. He wore an air of
Your Lordship may remember
that Mr. Kimber and his author Mr. Leon Uris had become involved through a book
which Uris had written, entitled Exodus, in a libel action brought by a London
doctor who had been obliged to serve at Auschwitz. That case was also heard
before Mr. Justice Lawton. There was one other similarity that closes this
particular circle of coincidence: like me now, Mr. Kimber was in consequence
also obliged to spend two or three years of his life wading, as he put it,
"knee-deep" through the most appalling stories of atrocities and human
That day he advised me
never, ever, to become involved in libel litigation. I might add that, with one
exception that I shall later mention, I have heeded his advice.
There have since then been
one or two minor legal skirmishes, which have not involved much
"bloodshed": there was an action against an author, which I foolishly
started at the same time as the PQ.17 case and, having lost the latter, was
obliged for evident reasons to abandon on relatively painless conditions; and a
more recent action against a major London newspaper, who put into my mouth, no
doubt inadvertently, some particularly offensive words which had in fact been
uttered by Adolf Hitler; that newspaper settled out of Court with me on terms
which were eminently acceptable.
I have often thought of Mr.
Kimber's predicament since the 1960s, and more particularly the last three
years. I have been plunged into precisely the same "knee-deep"
position, ever since I issued the originating writs in this action in September
1996. If I am late with the bundles and papers upon which this Court relies, I
can only plead this in mitigation.
I have never held myself out
to be a Holocaust expert, nor have I written books about what is now called the
Holocaust: if I am an expert in anything at all, I may be so immodest as to
submit that it is in the role that Adolf Hitler played in the propagation of
World War II and in the decisions which he made, and the knowledge on which he
based those decisions.
As a peripheral matter to
that topic, on which I have written a number of books, I inevitably investigated
the extent to which Hitler participated in or had cognizance of the Holocaust.
That was the sum total of my involvement as a book author up to the launching of
Since then, because of the
tactics chosen by the Defendants, I have been obliged, willy nilly, to become
something of an expert, through no desire of my own. To my utmost distaste it
has become evident that it is no longer possible to write pure history,
untrammeled and uninfluenced by politics, once one ventures into this unpleasant
I have done my best to
prepare the case that follows, but I respectfully submit that I do not have any
duty to become an expert on the Holocaust; it is not saying anything unknown to
this Court, I remind those present that, the Defendants having pleaded
justification, as they have, it is not incumbent upon me as the Claimant to
prove the wrongness of what they have published. It is for them to prove that
what they wrote was true.
I intend to show that far
from being a "Holocaust denier," I have repeatedly drawn attention to
major aspects of the Holocaust and have described them, and I have provided
historical documents both to the community of scholars and to the general
public, of which they were completely unaware before I discovered these
documents, and published and translated them.
It will be found that I
selflessly provided copies of the documents, that I had at great expense myself
unearthed foreign archives even to my rival historians, as I felt that it was
important in the interests of general historical research that [they] should be
aware of these documents (I am referring for example to the Bruns Report, which
we shall shortly hear; and to the dossier on Kurt Aumeier in British files, a
dossier which even the Defense Experts admit is one of the most important
historical finds, since the writings of Rudolf Höss, the commandant of
Auschwitz, were published after the war.
There is one essential plea
that I wish to make of this Court; I am aware that the Defendants have expended
a considerable sum of money in researching all over again the harrowing story of
what actually happened in what they call the Holocaust.
I submit that, harsh though
it may seem, the Court should take no interest in that tragedy. The Court may
well disagree with me, and show a profound interest in it; but in my submission,
we have to avoid the temptations of raking over the history of what happened in
Poland or in Russia 50 years ago: what is moot here is not what happened in
those sites of atrocities -- but what happened over the last 32 years, on my
writing desk in my apartment off Grosvenor Square.
To justify her allegations
of manipulation and distortion, it will not suffice for Professor Lipstadt to
show, if she can, that I misrepresented what happened, but the following: that I
knew what happened; and that I perversely and deliberately, for whatever
purpose, portrayed it differently from how I knew it to have happened.
That is what manipulation
and distortion means, and the other, though fundamental, story of what actually
happened is neither here nor there. In effect, this inquiry should not leave the
four walls of my study: it should look at the papers that lay before me -- and
not before some other, magnificently funded researcher or scholar -- and at the
manuscript that I then produced on the basis of my own limited sources.
My Lord, if we were to seek
a title for this libel action, I would venture to suggest "Pictures At An
Your Lordship may or may not
be aware that I have had a reputation as an historian and as an investigative
writer arising from the 30 or so works which I have published in English and
other languages over the years since 1961. I am the author of many scores of
articles in serious and respected newspapers, including over the years in this
country The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, the Jewish Chronicle, the
Sunday Express, the Evening Standard, Encounter, and publications of similar
repute in Germany, my articles have appeared in newspapers ranging from Die
Welt, Die Welt am Sonntag, and magazines and journals like Stern, Der Spiegel,
Neue Illustrierte, and Quick.
My books have appeared
between hard covers under the imprint of the finest publishing houses. I might
mention in this country the imprints of William Kimber, Ltd., Cassell & Co.,
Ltd., Macmillan, Ltd., Hodder & Stoughton, Penguin and Allen Lane and
others. As the Second Defendant is, I understand an American citizen, it might
be meritorious for me to add that my works have also been published by her
country's leading publishing houses, too, including the Viking Press; Little,
Brown; Simon & Schuster; Holt, Reinhardt, Winston; St Martin's Press; and a
score of no less reputable paperback publishing houses.
Each of those published
works by me contained in or near the title page a list of my previous
publications and frequently a sample of the accolades bestowed on my works by
the leading names of literature and historiography on both sides of the
This happy situation, namely
having my works published in the leading publishing houses of the world, ended a
year or two ago under circumstances which I shall venture, if your Lordship
permits, to set out later in my remarks. Suffice it to say that this very day
the Australia/Israel Review has published in Sydney a presumably well-informed
article, coming as it does from their corner, which provides one missing link in
the circumstances under which St. Martin's Press finally terminated their
contract to publish my book Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich:
... One of the catalysts
for the case was Irving's experience with American publisher St. Martin's
Press, which, after being warned by Lipstadt and others about Irving's
approach to history, then cancelled its agreement to publish Irving's book
Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich in the US.
So these Defendants have
done very real damage to my professional existence. May I first of all set out
the very real pecuniary damage which can be done to an author by an attack on
his reputation. It is not merely that he suffers injury and hurt to his feelings
from unjustified attacks, whatever their nature.
An author, by virtue of his
trade, lives a precarious financial existence. A tenured professor or other
scholar can look forward to a brief career, lengthy vacations, high rewards, and
eventually a pension. Perhaps some members of the legal profession enjoy the
same fortunate expectations.
A writer leads a much
lonelier and more hazardous existence. When he first embarks on his career he
may write a string of works that are never published. I was fortunate in this
respect; when I first started advertising in The Times in 1961, inviting British
airmen who had taken part in the principle operations of Royal Air Force Bomber
Command to come forward, among those who contacted me was Mr. William Kimber, a
publisher of great repute who himself felt deeply about the ethical questions
raised by these saturation bombing operations.
I therefore did not have the
usual problem that faces most first-time authors, namely that of crossing the
difficult threshold from being an unpublished, to a published author. My first
book, The Destruction of Dresden, was serialized by The Sunday Telegraph and
attracted much critical acclaim. It was only then that I took the, perhaps
fateful, decision to become a writer.
If I may now advance rapidly
some 20 or 30 years -- and I sense the Court's relief -- I would repeat a brief
conversation I had with my accountant, at a time when I was earning more than £100,000
in royalties per year. My accountant, no doubt with his eye on the commission
involved, asked what steps I had taken in anticipation of retirement. My
immodest reply was that I did not intend to retire, and when he murmured
something about pensions, I replied that my books were my pension fund.
If I may explain that
remark: if an author has written a good book it will be published and
republished, and on each occasion a fresh ripple of royalties reaches the
author's bank account. Admittedly the ripples become smaller as the years
recede, but if he has written enough books in his 30 or 40 years of creativity
then the ripples together make waves large enough to sustain him into and beyond
the years of retirement. Indeed, they should also provide something of a legacy
for his children, of whom I still have four.
That situation no longer
By virtue of the activities
of the Defendants, in particular of the Second Defendant, and of those who
funded her and guided her hand, I have since 1996 seen one fearful publisher
after another falling away from me, declining to reprint my works, refusing to
accept new commissions and turning their backs on me when I approach.
In private, the senior
editors at those publishing houses still welcome me warmly as a friend, invite
me to lunch in expensive New York restaurants -- and then lament that if they
were to sign a contract with me on a new book, there would always be somebody in
their publishing house who would object. Such is the nature of the odium that
has been generated by the waves of hatred recklessly propagated against me by
In short my
"pension" has vanished, as assuredly as if I had been employed by one
of those companies taken over by the late Mr. Robert Maxwell.
I am not submitting that it
is these Defendants alone who have single-handedly wrought this disaster upon
me. I am not even denying that I may have been partly to blame for it myself.
Had I written books about
the Zulu Wars, as the Air Ministry earnestly advised me in 1963, when my book
The Destruction of Dresden was first published, I would no doubt not have faced
Unfortunately, World War II
became my area of expertise; I generated a personal archive of documents, a
network of sources and contacts, a language ability, and a facility to research
in foreign archives, and eventually a constituency of readers who expected and
wanted me to write only about the Third Reich and its criminal leadership.
What obliges me to make
these sweeping opening remarks, is that I shall maintain that the Defendants did
not act alone in their determination to destroy my career, and to vandalize my
legitimacy as an historian. They were part of an organized international
endeavor at achieving precisely that. I have seen the papers. I have copies of
the documents. I shall show them to this Court. I know how they did it, and I
now know why.
Nearly all of these villains
acted beyond the jurisdiction of these Courts. Some of them however acted
within, and I have on one disastrous occasion tried to proceed against them too.
I mention here and, only in
a few words, that one example: as the Court will no doubt hear, I was expelled
in the most demeaning circumstances from Canada in November 1992. I need not go
into the background of that event here, but I shall certainly do so later if in
their attempts to blacken my name further, the Defendants indulge in that
exercise in this Court.
Seeking to establish why
Canada -- a friendly government -- a country which I had entered unhindered for
30 years or more, should suddenly round upon me as savagely as a rottweiler, I
used all the appliances of Canadian law to establish what had gone on behind
I discovered in the files of
the Canadian government, using that country's Access to Information Act, a
mysterious and anonymous document blackening my name which had been planted
there for the purpose of procuring precisely the ugly consequence that had
flowed from it in 1992.
Among the stupid lies that
this anonymous document contained about me, was the suggestion that I had
married my first wife because she was "the daughter of one of General
Francisco Franco's top generals," in order to ingratiate myself with the
Spanish fascist regime. Another suggestion was that I lived too well for an
author (I have lived for over 32 years in the same house off Grosvenor Square in
Mayfair) -- that to sustain such a level of living purely from my income as an
author was impossible; the implication being that I was receiving secret checks
from Nazi fugitives in South America.
I telephoned my first wife
to ask her what her father had been, and she reminded me that he was an
industrial chemist, a dedicated enemy of the regime after two of his brothers
had been shot by Franco's men.
It took over a year to
establish beyond doubt who was the author of this infamous document. Eventually
it turned out to have been provided secretly to the Canadian government by an
unofficial body based in London, whose name I do not propose to state in this
Court here, as they are not formally represented in this action [identified out
of court as the Board of Deputies of British Jews].
Suffice it to say that when
I applied to a judge in chambers for leave to take libel action out of time, the
culprits made no attempt to justify their libels, but pleaded that the Statute
of Limitations had run; which plea was allowed, though with regret, by Mr.
Justice Toulson. The mendacious body concerned then had the temerity to pursue
me to the threshold of the Bankruptcy Court for the legal costs that it had
incurred in that one day hearing, amounting to over £7,500. It is a rough life,
being an independent author.
This brings us to the
present case. In 1993 the First Defendant, as they allow in their witness
statements, published Denying the Holocaust, the work complained of, within the
jurisdiction, written by the Second Defendant.
The book purports to be a
scholarly investigation of the operations of an international network conspiracy
of people whom the Second Defendant has dubbed "Holocaust deniers." It
is not. The phrase itself, which the Second Defendant prides herself on having
coined and crafted, appears repeatedly throughout the work, and it has
subsequently become embedded in the vernacular of a certain kind of journalist
who wishes to blacken the name of some person, where the more usual rhetoric of
neo-Nazi, Nazi, racist, and other similar epithets is no longer deemed adequate.
Indeed, the phrase appears over 300 times in just one of the Defendants' experts
It has become one of the
most potent phrases in the arsenal of insult, replacing the N-word, the F-word,
and a whole alphabet of other slurs. If an American politician, like Mr. Patrick
Buchanan, is branded even briefly a "Holocaust denier," his career can
well be said to be in ruins. If a writer, no matter how well reviewed and
received until then, has that phrase stuck to him, then he too regard his career
as rumbling off the edge of a precipice.
As a phrase it is of itself
quite meaningless. The word "Holocaust" is an artificial label
commonly attached to one of the greatest and still most unexplained tragedies of
this past century.
The word "denier"
is particularly evil: because no person in full command of his mental faculties,
and with even the slightest understanding of what happened in World War II, can
deny that the tragedy actually happened, however much we dissident historians
may wish to quibble about the means, the scale, the dates and other minutiae.
Yet meaningless though it
is, the phrase has become a part of the English language. It is a poison to
which there is virtually no antidote, less lethal than a hypodermic with nerve
gas jabbed in the neck, but deadly all the same: for the chosen victim, it is
like being called a wife beater or a pædophile. It is enough for the label to
be attached, for the attachee to find himself designated as a pariah, an outcast
from normal society. It is a verbal Yellow Star.
In many countries now where
it was considered that the mere verbal labelling was not enough, governments
have been prevailed upon to pass the most questionable laws, including some
which can only be considered a total infringement of the normal human rights of
free speech, free opinion and freedom of assembly.
Germany has not had an
enviable reputation in any of these freedoms over the last century. True to
form, in Germany it is now a criminal offense to question the mode, the scale,
the system, or even the statistics of the Holocaust. No defense is allowed. Some
good friends of mine, I have no hesitation in allowing to this Court, are
sitting at this very moment in German prisons for having ventured to voice such
In France the situation is
even more absurd: any person found guilty in France, under a new law aptly named
an "amendment of the law on the freedom of the Press" finds himself
fined, or imprisoned, or both. This law, passed in 1991, makes it a criminal
offense to challenge (the French word is contester) any war crimes or crimes
against humanity "as defined by the Nuremberg Statute" of 1945.
Fifty years on, it has
become a criminal offense to question whether Nuremberg got it right. History is
to be as defined by the four victorious powers in the Nuremberg trials of
I respectfully submit and
would, indeed, hope that your Lordship would find such laws, if enacted in this
country, to be utterly repugnant. For that same reason I have no hesitation in
saying that some more good friends of mine have been fined under precisely this
French law. Indeed, in 1993 or 1994, I myself was fined the sum of £500 by a
Paris court under this law: I had given an interview to a French journalist in
the study of my home in London; this interview was published in a reputable
journal, there were complaints in Paris; and I was summoned before the French
magistrates, and fined along with the publisher, editor and journalist concerned
for having given this interview. It is indeed a very sorry state of affairs.
We may hear the word
"conspiracy" uttered during the next few days and weeks. If there has
been a conspiracy, it is a conspiracy against free speech.
I might mention that my
father fought as an officer in the Royal Navy in both wars, both in the Battle
of Jutland in 1916 and in the Arctic convoys of 1942, and that both my brothers
have served in the Royal Air Force. My father was an arctic explorer between the
wars, and admiralty charts show two island points in the South Sandwich Islands
named after him and his first officer, my uncle.
I come from a service family
and I find it odious that at the end of the twentieth century writers and
historians going about their own respective businesses, writing books that may
indeed have been completely wrong have found themselves suddenly and vicariously
threatened with imprisonment or with crippling fines for having expressed
opinions on history which are at variance with these new freshly enacted laws,
which have been introduced at the insistence of wealthy pressure groups and
other enemies of the free speech for which we fought two World Wars in this
Your Lordship will
undoubtedly hear from the Defendants that I was fined a very substantial sum of
money by the German government under these witless new laws. It is no matter of
shame for me, although it has had catastrophic consequences, as it now makes me
de facto "a convict," with a criminal record, and as such liable to a
concatenation of further indignities and sanctions in every foreign country
which I now wish to visit.
The circumstances: I may say
here quite briefly that on April 21, 1990, nearly ten years ago, I delivered an
address, quite possibly ill-judged, to an audience at a hall in Munich.
When one agrees to attend
such functions, one has little way of knowing in advance what kind of audience
one will be addressing, and one has no control over the external appearance of
the function. I make no complaint about that.
Your Lordship will hear,
that in the course of my speech, of which apparently no full transcript in
survives, I uttered the following remark:
"We now know that the
gas chamber shown to the tourists at Auschwitz is a fake built by the Poles
after the war, just like the one established by the Americans at Dachau."
This may well raise
eyebrows. It might be found to be offensive by sections of the community, and if
they take such offense, I can assure this Court that I regret it and that such
was not my intention. The fact remains that these remarks were true, the Poles
admitted it (in January 1995) and under English law truth has always been
regarded as an absolute defense.
We shall hear, indeed from
the Defense's own expert witnesses, though perhaps the admission will have to be
bludgeoned out of them, that the gas chamber shown to the tourists at Auschwitz
was indeed built by the Polish Communists three years after the war was over.
I do not intend to go into
the question of whether or not there were gas chambers at Birkenau, some five
miles from Auschwitz, in these opening remarks. By the time this trial is over
we shall probably all be heartily sick of the debate, which has little or no
relevance to the issues that are pleaded.
So what are the issues that
are pleaded and how do I propose to address those issues in opening this case?
First, let me emphasize that
I also have no intentions, and neither is it the purpose of this trial, to
"refight World War II." I shall not argue, and have never argued, that
the wrong side won the war, for example; or that the history of the war needs to
be grossly rewritten. I must confess that I am mystified at the broad thrust
which the Defendants have taken in the vast body of documentation which they
have served upon this Court -- another 5,000 pages were delivered to me on
Friday evening, and more last night.
It is all something of an
embarrassment to me, and I am being forced into positions that I have not
previously adopted. I have never claimed to be a Holocaust historian. I have
written no book about the Holocaust. I have written no article about it. If I
have spoken about it, it is usually because I have been questioned about it. On
such occasions, I have emphasized my lack of expertise, and I have expatiated
only upon those areas with which I am familiar. In doing so, I have offended
many of my friends, who wished that history was different. But you cannot wish
documents away, and it is in documents that I have always specialized as a
Your Lordship will find upon
reviewing my various printed works that I have very seldom used other peoples'
books as sources. I have found it otiose and tedious, not only because they are
ill-written, but also because in reading other peoples' books you are liable to
imbibe the errors and prejudices with which those books are beset.
If however, you go to the
original documents, you will often find to your joy that the weight of documents
you have to read is, pound for pound, or indeed ton for ton, less than the
weight of books that you might otherwise have to read upon the same subject. And
you are kilometers closer to the original real history.
As for the nature of
documents: I remember that in 1969 I visited Professor Hugh Trevor Roper, who is
now Lord Dacre and I am glad to say still with us. He very kindly made available
to me his collection of several thousand original intelligence documents for my
biography of Adolf Hitler, but in doing so he advised me as follows: when
considering new documents, you should ask yourself three questions: and if I
remember correctly, those three criteria were,
- Is the
document genuine? (possibly, in the light of the "Hitler Diaries"
scandal, an unfortunate pre-requisite in this case)
- Is the
document written by a person in a position to know what he is talking about?
- Why does
this document exist?
The latter is quite
interesting, as we have all experienced, in the archives, coming across
documents obviously written for window-dressing or for buck passing purposes.
It is the documents in this
case which I think the Court will find most interesting and illuminating. And by
that I mean documents at every level. The Court will have to consider not only
the documents originating in World War II on both sides, but also the documents
that have been generated by that painful process known as Discovery.
It will not escape the
Court, my Lord, when the time comes, that like many personalities, I have kept
the most voluminous records throughout my career as a writer, and indeed even
before it. Along with my writing career I kept a diary; sometimes I wondered
why, but I think that the reason was basically this -- if you are a writer, and
self-employed, you need the discipline that a diary imposes upon you. You cannot
in conscience enter in a diary at the end of the day: "I did nothing all
Your Lordship will be amused
no doubt to hear that at one stage in the Discovery process in this action, at
the request of Mr. Julius, I readily agreed to make available to the Defense my
entire diaries, in so far as they still exist (a few pages are missing); and
that Mr. Julius only then learned that these diaries occupy a shelf eight feet
long; and that in them there are approximately there are probably 10 or 20
million words to be read.
Mr. Julius and his staff
have, however, risen most nobly to the challenge that these pages presented, and
I am sure that over the next few days and weeks we shall be hearing more than
one morsel that they have dredged out if these pages. They will hold it aloft,
still dripping with something or other, and read it to this Court with a squeal
of delight, proclaiming this to be the Philosopher's Stone that they needed to
justify their Client's libels all along. We shall see.
But that is not what this
trial is all about.
This trial is not really
about what happened in the Holocaust, or how many Jews and other persecuted
minorities were tortured and put to death. This Court will, I hope, agree with
me when the time comes that the issue before us is not what happened, but how I
treated it in my works of history: it may be that I was totally ignorant on some
aspects of World War II (and I hasten to say that I do not believe I was). But
to be accused of deliberate manipulation, and distorting, and mistranslating is
perverse: the Defendants must show, in my humble submission,
- that a
particular thing happened or existed,
- that I
was aware of that particular thing, as it happened or existed, at the time I
wrote about it, from the records then before me;
- that I
then wilfully manipulated the text or mis-translated or distorted for the
purposes that they imply.
I will submit that in no
instance can they prove this to be the case. They certainly have not done so in
the documents so far pleaded.
I readily concede that what
I have read of the reports submitted by the Defendants' experts, particularly
those of the historians, is of the utmost interest. I have to congratulate
Professor Jan van Pelt, for the literary quality of his lengthy report on
Auschwitz, which will no doubt eventually see general circulation in the
bookstores: indeed, I congratulated him three years ago already on the first
book that he published on this topic.
I admit too that there are
documents contained in the expertise of Professor Browning of which I was not
aware, and which have changed my own perception of some aspects of the Nazi
atrocities on the Eastern front: for example, I was not aware that the SS
Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich had issued instructions to his commanders
in the Baltic States, after Operation Barbarossa began in June 1941, not only to
turn a blind eye upon the anti-Jewish pogroms started by the local populations
in those countries, but also actively to initiate them and to provide
This document, however,
emerged only recently from the Russian archives and there can surely be no
reproach against me for not having known that when I wrote my biography of
Hitler, published in 1977, or in my later works. That cannot be branded as
manipulation or distortion.
What is manipulation or
distortion of history would be, in my submission this: knowing of the existence
of a key document and then ignoring it or suppressing it entirely, without even
If, for example, it should
turn out, and be proven in this very Courtroom, that in the spring of 1942 the
Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was quoted by a senior Reich Minister, in writing, as
repeatedly saying that he "wanted the final solution of the Jewish problem
postponed until the war is over"; and if the document recording those
remarkable words has been found in the German archives; it would surely be
classifiable as manipulation or distortion if a historian were to attempt to
write the history of the Holocaust without even mentioning the document's
existence? Would it not, my Lord?
The Defendants have, as
said, arbitrarily and recklessly decided to label me a "Holocaust
denier" -- their motivation for doing so we shall shortly hear about. My
Lord, before I continue to address this point in my opening statement, may I
take this opportunity to read to the Court, and into the public records, a
two-page document, which I shall refer to as the Walter Bruns interrogation. I
do so because perceptions matter, and I want at this late afternoon hour to
leave a firm perception in the minds of all those present. It is a document
which first came into my hands some time before 1985.
I should say, my Lord, by
way of introduction, that this document, which is in my Discovery, was
originally a British Top-Secret document. Top Secret is only one rung lower than
Ultra Secret, the classification given to the British decoded intercepts. It was
Top Secret, because it is the record of an interrogation which was obtained by
methods that were illegal, I understand, under the Conventions.
Enemy prisoners of war were
brought into British prison camps, treated lavishly, well-fed, reassured by
their relaxed surroundings, and gradually led into conversation, unaware that in
every fitting and appliance in the room were hidden microphones capable of
picking up. (That was the illegality: you are not allowed to do that under the
[Geneva] Conventions.) Released to the British archives only a few years ago
were all of these reports, but I had already obtained several hundred 15 or 20
years earlier. I consider these transcripts to be a historical source which, if
properly used and if certain criteria are applied, can be regarded as part of
the bedrock of real history.
I would say further by way
of preamble, my Lord, that the speaker whose recorded voice we are about to
hear, as reproduced in this typescript, was on November 30, 1941, the day of the
episode he narrates, a Colonel in the German Army Engineers force (the sappers,
or Pioniere); he was commanding a unit based at Riga, the capital of Latvia. He
had learned to his vexation that it was intended by the local SS unit to round
up all the local Jews, including "his Jews" in the next day or two and
to liquidate them.
I read from the document
itself. It is headed: "Top secret. CSDIC (UK)" which is Combined
Services Detailed Interrogation Center UK. "GG Report. If the information
contained in this report is required for distribution, it should be paraphrased
so that no mention is made of the prisoners' names, nor of the methods by which
the information has been obtained" because, of course, it was
conversation took place between General-Major Bruns," his full name was
Walter Bruns. At this time he was at the Heeres-Waffenmeisterschule which was an
army school, an armament school, in Berlin, "captured at Gottingen on April
8th 1945, and other Senior Officer Prisoners of War whose voices could not be
identified." In other words, it is a conversation between this General and
various other prisoners overheard by hidden microphones on April 25th, 1945.
"Information received: 25 April 1945," in other words, the war is
Translation: "Bruns: As
soon as I heard those Jews were to be shot on Friday, I went to a 21-year-old
boy and said that they had made themselves very useful in the area under my
command, besides which the Army MT park had employed 1500 and the 'Heeresgruppe'
800 women to make underclothes of the stores we captured in Riga; besides which
about 1200 women in the neighborhood of Riga were turning millions of captured
sheepskins into articles we urgently required: ear protectors, fur caps, fur
waistcoats, etc. Nothing had been proved, as of course the Russian campaign was
known to have come to a victorious end in October 1941!" Sarcasm there.
"In short, all those women were employed in a useful capacity. I tried to
save them. I told that fellow Altenmeyer(?) whose name I shall always remember
and who will be added to the list of war criminals: 'Listen to me, they
represent valuable manpower!' 'Do you call Jews valuable human beings,
sir?'" That was the answer. "I said: 'Listen to me properly, I said
valuable manpower. I didn't mention their value as human beings'. He said:
'Well, they're to be shot in accordance with the Führer's orders!' I said: 'Führer's
orders?' 'Yes', whereupon he showed me his orders. This happened at Skiotawa(?)
eight kilometers from Riga, between Siaulai and Jelgava, where 5,000 Berlin Jews
were suddenly taken off the train and shot. I didn't see that myself, but what
happened at Skiotawa(?) -- to cut a long story short, I argued with the fellow
and telephoned to the General at HQ, to Jakobs and Aberger(?) and to a Dr.
Schultz who was attached to the Engineer General, on behalf of these
people." It is a bit incoherent the way that people talk when they are
gossiping with each other. "I told him: 'Granting that the Jews have
committed a crime against the other peoples of the world, at least let them do
the drudgery; send them to throw earth on the roads to prevent our heavy lorries
skidding'. 'Then I'd have to feed them!' I said: 'The little amount of food they
receive, let's assume 2 million Jews -- they got 125 grams of bread a day -- we
can't even manage that, the sooner we end the war the better'. Then I
telephoned, thinking it would take some time. At any rate, on Sunday
morning," that is November 30th 1941, "I heard that they had already
started on it. The Ghetto was cleared. They were told: 'You're being
transferred: take along your essential things.' Incidentally, it was a happy
release for those people, as their life in the Ghetto was a martyrdom. I
wouldn't believe it and drove there to have a look." The person he is
talking to says: "Everyone abroad knew about it; only we Germans were kept
Bruns continues his
narrative: "I'll tell you something: some of the details may have been
correct, but it was remarkable that the firing squad detailed that morning --
six men with tommy-guns posted at each pit; the pits were 24 meters in length
and three meters in breadth -- they had to lie down like sardines in a tin with
their heads in the center'," like that in the pit.
"'Above them were six
men with tommy-guns who gave them the coup de grace," who shot them.
"When I arrived those pits were so full that the living had to lie down on
top of the dead; then they were shot and, in order to save room, they had to lie
down neatly in layers. Before this, however, they were stripped of everything at
one of the stations -- here at the edge of the wood were the three pits they
used that Sunday and here they stood in a queue one and-a-half kilometers long
which they approached step by step -- a queuing up for death. As they drew
nearer they saw what was going on. About here they had to hand over their
jewellery and suitcases. All good stuff was put into the suitcases and the
remainder was thrown on a heap. This was to serve as clothing for our suffering
population -- and then a little further on they had to undress and, 500 meters
in front of the wood, strip completely; they were only permitted to keep on a
chemise or knickers. They were all women and small two-year old children. Then
all those cynical remarks! If only I had seen those tommy-gunners, who were
relieved every hour because of over-exertion, carry out their task with
distaste, but no, nasty remarks like: 'Here comes a Jewish beauty!' I can still
see it all in my memory: a pretty woman in a flame-coloured chemise. Talk about
keeping the race pure: at Riga they first slept with them and then shot them to
prevent them from talking.
"Then I sent two
officers out there, one of whom is still alive," in April 1945,
"because I wanted eyewitnesses. I didn't tell them what was going on, but
said: 'Go out to the forest of Skiotawa(?), see what's up there and send me a
report'. I added a memorandum to their report and took it to Jakobs myself. He
said: 'I have already two complaints sent me by Engineer "Bataillone"
from the Ukraine'. There they shot them on the brink of large crevices and let
them fall down into them; they nearly had an epidemic of plague, at any rate a
pestilential smell. They thought they could break off the edges with picks, thus
burying them. That loess there" -- that is a kind of ground -- "was so
hard that two Engineer 'Bataillone' were required to dynamite the edges; those 'Bataillone'
complained. Jakobs" -- he was the engineer general in charge of the pioneer
corps -- "had received that complaint. He said: 'We didn't quite know how
to tell the Führer'," Adolf Hitler. "'We'd better do it through
Canaris', the Chief of the German Intelligence. "So Canaris had the
unsavoury task of waiting for the favourable moment to give the Führer certain
gentle hints. A fortnight later I visited the Oberburgermeister, or whatever he
was called then, concerning some over business. Altenmeyer(?)" who was the
SS man on the spot "triumphantly showed me: 'Here is an order just issued,
prohibiting mass shootings on that scale from taking place in future. They are
to be carried out more discreetly'. From warnings given me recently, I knew that
I was receiving still more attentions from spies."
Then his interlocutor says
to him: "It's a wonder you're still alive." Bruns says: "At Göttingen,
I expected to be arrested every day."
My Lord, permit me a word
about the credentials of that particular document. It is authentic. It comes
from the British archives. A copy can be found in the Public Record Office this
very day if anyone wishes to go and see it. First: is the General describing
something he had really seen?
I mention this because
later, on his sworn oath in the Witness stand in Nuremberg, he claimed only to
have heard of this atrocity. Yet there can surely be no doubt of the
verisimilitude: it does not take university level textual analysis to realize
that if a General says, "I can see her in my mind's eye now, a girl in a
flame-red dress," this is a man who has been there and seen it with his own
This document has in my
submission considerable evidentiary value. It is not self-serving. The General
is not testifying in his own interest. He is merely talking, probably in a
muffled whisper, to fellow prisoners at a British interrogation center, and he
has no idea that in another room British experts are listening to and recording
every word. We also have the original German text of this document I might add,
To what purpose do I mention
this? Well, firstly because I shall, later on in these proceedings, add further
unknown documents, from the same superb British archives -- that is, the Public
Records Office -- to the events of this one day, documents which show Hitler
taking a most remarkable stand on this atrocity.
But I also adduce this
document for the following reason:
- if an
historian repeatedly refers to this document;
- if he
quotes from it;
- if he
immediately writes showing it to fellow historians, both Jews and non-Jews
alike, and in writing draws their attention to the existence of this
document, and its fellow documents, all of which were hitherto unknown to
moreover that historian reads out this document in public, with its awful,
infernal descriptions of the mass killings of Jews by the Nazis on the
eastern front, on multiple speaking occasions;
- if this
historian, speaking to audiences even of the most extreme hues of left and
right, heedless as to their anger, insists on reading out the document in
full, thus "rubbing their noses in it" so to speak; and
- if he
continues to do so over a period of 15 years, again and again, right up to
the present date, and
- if he
quotes that document in the text, and references that document in the
footnotes of all his most recent works, beginning with the Hitler's War
biography republication in 1991, through Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third
Reich in 1996 and Nuremberg, the Last Battle in 1997:
Then -- is it not a libel of
the most grotesque and offensive nature to brand that same historian around the
world as a "Holocaust denier," when he has not only discovered and
found and propagated this document and brought it to the attention of both his
colleagues and his rivals and his foes, regardless of their race or religion,
and to countless audiences? [Irving cited and quoted from this document, for
example, at the Eleventh IHR Conference, October 1992. See the March-April 1993
Journal, pp. 23-35, and the July-August 1995 Journal, p. 46.]
This is not an isolated
example, my Lord. In the introduction to my biography of Adolf Hitler, Hitler's
War, which was published by The Viking Press in America and by Hodder &
Stoughton in the United Kingdom and later by Macmillan, we shall find that I
have drawn specific and repeated attention of the reader to the crimes that
Adolf Hitler committed.
How did all this happen? I
shall invite the Court to hear expert evidence on the relationship between the
world's Jewish communities and the rest of us, given by a professor of sociology
at a leading American university who has published a number of book-length
studies on the topic.
The Jewish community, their
fame and fortunes, play a central role in these proceedings. It will not
surprise the Court, I suppose, that among the allegations leveled against me by
the Defendants and by their Experts is the adjective of
This adjective is both the
most odious and the most overworked of epithets. Almost invariably, it is
wielded by members or representatives of that community to denigrate those
outside their community in whom they find disfavor.
It does not matter that the
person whom they label as anti-Semitic has conducted himself towards that
community in an irreproachable manner until then; it does not matter that he has
shown them the same favors that he has shown to others; it does not seem to
matter either that that same community who thus labels him or her, has conducted
against him an international campaign of the most questionable character in an
attempt to destroy his legitimacy, the economic existence upon which he and his
If he defends himself
against these attacks, he is sooner or later bound to be described as
It has become a ritual. No
doubt the English people, who in 1940 found it necessary to defend themselves
against the Germans, would by the same token earn the title of anti-German. Is a
person who defends himself, ultimately and wearily and after turning the other
cheek for 20 or 30 years, ipso facto no better than the most incorrigible kind
of ingrained anti-Semite with whom we are probably all familiar? I submit that
he is not. [sic]
This Court will find that
like most Englishmen, I have had dealings with both English and foreign Jews
throughout my professional life.
There were to my knowledge
no pupils of the Jewish faith at the minor Essex Public School that I (in common
with our present Home Secretary) attended from 1947 to 1956; I was surprised
when I recently heard the suggestion that there had been.
I encountered many Jewish
students when I attended London University however -- I would like to
commemorate here the name of my flat mate at Imperial College, Mike Gorb, who
died tragically in a mountaineering accident; I regarded as a good friend
another senior student, Jon Bloc. True, there was one student, a Mr. Peter L.,
who began agitating against me for the views that I propounded while at
University, views I can no longer remember; and I have to confess that I found
his agitation perplexing and irritating because it all seemed rather petty and
spiteful at the time.
As my own Witness Statement
recalls, at the time of the Anglo-Israeli-French "police action" in
Suez in 1956, I joined student demonstrations on behalf of the Israelis, though
for the life of me now I cannot remember why.
When my first book was
published, The Destruction of Dresden, in 1963, I became uncomfortably aware
that I had somehow offended the Jewish community. I did not at the time realize
why and I do not fully realize why even today. Whatever the reason, their
journalists were in the spearhead of the attack on me. As other books appeared,
this polarization among the English critics became more pronounced. I remember
the name of Arthur Pottersman, writing for a tabloid newspaper -- the Daily
Sketch -- as being one of the few vicious critics, not of the Dresden book but
of my person.
My publisher, Mr. William
Kimber, to whom I have earlier referred, recommended to me the services of his
lawyer, Mr. Michael Rubinstein, a name with which the older members of this
Court may perhaps be familiar. Mr. Kimber said to me in his drawling, affable
voice, "You will like Michael. He is Jewish, very Jewish, but a very
Christian kind of a Jew -- rather like Jesus Christ."
It is the kind of
inexplicable sentence that one remembers even now nearly 40 years on down the
road of life. I found Michael an enormously capable, energetic and likeable
person -- indeed very English, his advice always sound, and he stood by me as my
Legal Adviser for the next two decades. He had a rhinoceros hide, as I remarked
once in my diary -- a remark seized upon by the Defendants as evidence of my
I also formed a long-term
friendship, which exists to this day, with well-known writers like the American
David Kahn, an expert on code breaking. Being an author dealing with American
and British publishers I frequently came into contact with the Jewish members of
the publishing profession.
The editor of Hitler's War
for the Viking Press Inc. was Stan Hochman, who became, as the correspondence
and for all I know also the diaries show, a good friend; Peter Israel, who
purchased Uprising!, my book on the 1956 Hungarian uprising, was editorial
director at Putnam's. And so on.
The Discovery documents show
that there was also some kind of relationship between myself and our own George
Weidenfeld which was the usual kind of love/hate relationship between authors
and publishers. George published several of my books, include my biographies of
top Nazis like Field Marshal Erhard Milch and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, and I
do not believe that he made a loss on those operations; behind my back, however,
I learned that he made unhelpful remarks about me and I had occasion to write
him one or two terse letters about that. But I believe that we are still
friends, and my relations with the present Managing Director of Weidenfeld &
Nicholson are of the very best.
Those however are all
Even as I speak of
Weidenfeld, it reminds me that during the 1960s and 1970s I became vaguely aware
of forces gathering to oppose me. George had originally bought the rights to
publish my biography of Adolf Hitler. At some stage Weidenfeld's repudiated the
contract. Publishers can always find an excuse to do so if they want, and I was
not unhappy as it gave me the chance to offer it to an equally prestigious
Publishing House, Messrs. Hodder & Stoughton, for an even larger fee.
At the Frankfurt book fair
on October 13, 1973 -- my diary entry relates the whole of this -- George
Weidenfeld sat next to me at dinner and lamented, after a few cocktails, his
mistake in "tearing up" the contract for Hitler's War; when I asked
him why he had done so, he explained, shifting uneasily, "I had to do so. I
came under pressure from three Embassies. One of them was a NATO power,"
which I took to be Germany, "one of them was France and the other was
It is right that I should
state here, and the correspondence shows, that he later denied having said this,
but I took a very detailed diary note that same night, which is in my Discovery,
the bundle of which (it is marked "Global") we shall look at briefly
over the next few days, if your Lordship pleases.
So it became gradually
evident -- and I have to emphasize that I cannot pin down any particular year in
which I finally realized that I was being victimized by this hidden campaign --
that I was the target of a hidden international attempt to exclude me, if it
could be done, from publishing further works of history.
It did not affect my
attitude towards the Jews in the way that perhaps people might have expected it
to. I did not go on the stump, up and down the land, vituperating against them.
I merely made a mental note
that I had to be on the look-out for trouble. Such trouble had already begun in
November 1963 when a three-man squad of burglars, evidently at the commission of
the English body to which I earlier made reference, was caught red-handed by the
police, whom I had alerted, as they raided my North London apartment, disguised
as telephone engineers and equipped with stolen GPO passes.
The leader of that gang,
whose name I shall not mention as he is not represented in this Court, told the
police that he had hoped to find my secret correspondence with Hitler's
henchman, Mr. Martin Bormann! (Perhaps I ought to add that there is no secret
correspondence with Bormann.)
I mention this episode for a
reason. This gentleman subsequently became editor of a left-wing
"anti-fascist" magazine called Searchlight, and he has made it his
lifelong task over the intervening 30 years to take his malicious revenge upon
me for the criminal conviction which he earned as a result of his felony.
His magazine repeatedly
inveighed against me, reporting sometimes true, often part-true but usually
totally fictitious rumors about my activities and alleged "Nazi"
connections around the world, in an attempt to blacken my name.
I will not say that the
rumors are all untrue. They never are. Mr. Winston Churchill once famously said,
"The world is full of the most dreadful stories and rumors about me, and
the damnable thing about them is that most of them are true!" At least, so
rumor has it.
But the untrue ones about me
are the ones that have a habit of surfacing again and again, with their original
polish undimmed. I mention this case, as the defendants here seek to rely
heavily on the outpouring of this troubled soul, the editor of Searchlight.
This Court might wonder why
I took no action against this journal, or indeed against any of those parties
who had defamed me over the years. One of the things that Michael Rubinstein,
like Mr. Kimber my publisher, dinned into me very early on was to avoid at all
costs taking libel action.
My Lord, I am sure I don't
need to labor the reasons why, in this opening statement. Suffice it to say that
I had already realized by 1970, at the time of the Convoy PQ.17 libel action --
that is, Broome vs. Cassell -- that libel actions are time-consuming, costly,
and vexatious, and are indeed in the words of the cliche "to be avoided
like the plague."
Besides, this particular
magazine had no assets, so any kind of litigation would have been pointless. I
might add that only once in recent years have I been forced to take action in
this jurisdiction under the Defamation Act, against a major national newspaper
four or five years ago, which resulted in an immediate settlement out of Court
which I can only describe as most satisfactory; the terms of this settlement are
covered by the usual Court Order -- though I fancy they are known to the
Defendants here, who asked for, and were given, full disclosure of the relevant
It will become evident to
this Court from the evidence that I lead over the next few days the
international community started to intensify its campaign to destroy me and to
truncate my career as an author either before or at about the same time as The
Viking Press and other publishers published my well-known biography of Adolf
Hitler, Hitler's War, in 1977.
The Court will be shown one
internal document, dated April 1977, which I have identified as emanating from
the Washington files of the so-called Anti-Defamation League, a part of the
B'nai Brith, in the United States, which reveals quite unabashedly how they
tried to pressure television producers to cancel invitations to me to discuss
the Hitler's War book on their programs. It failed, the program in question went
ahead, and the ADL noted, aghast, in a secret memorandum, that I was well versed
in the matters of history, a formidable opponent who could not however be called
I would have to be destroyed
by other means.
This is a document in my
Discovery. By various entirely legal means I obtained several such disturbing
documents from within their files.
From them, and in particular
from their details registered under the Data Protection Act in this country, it
appears that these bodies, which are also embedded in our society in Britain and
elsewhere, have seen their task, unbidden, as being to spy upon members of our
society, maintain dossiers on us all, and to deploy those dossiers when
necessary to smite those of us of whom they disapprove.
As the Court will see, the
dossiers are explicitly designed to hold such material on the subjects' personal
lives, criminal records, credit delinquencies, marital difficulties, dietary
habits, and even sexual proclivities. That is what we know from their details of
It is not anti-Semitic to
reveal this. The spying and smearing by these bodies goes on against fellow Jew
and non-Jew alike. The Jewish writer Noam Chomsky relates that he found quite by
chance that they were "monitoring" -- for that is the word they use --
Several of our own most
notable personalities have already commented on this unsavory element of British
life: in an article in a U.K. magazine the writer Mr. Auberon Waugh remarked
upon how he too inadvertently found that such a file was being kept on him.
May I add that these
"dossiers" provided by this London body to the Canadians, to the
Anti-Defamation League, and to various similar bodies in Australia, South Africa
and elsewhere, have been drawn upon heavily and without question by the
Defendants in this action, which is my justification, I submit, for drawing your
Lordship's attention to this disturbing and sleazy background.
When I attempted to take the
libel action against the London-based body that I have mentioned, its director,
Mr. Michael Whine, admitted in an Affidavit that his body had taken it upon
itself to "monitor" my activities -- there was that word again -- as
he called them for many years: he also freely admitted that when secretly called
upon by his Canadian associates in 1992 to provide them with a smear dossier for
the purposes of destroying my presence in Canada, by planting it in government
files in Ottawa, he willingly agreed to do so.
This is how that file turned
up in Canadian government resources; which in turn is how it came into my hands,
years later, through lengthy "Access to Information Act" procedures.
Otherwise I would never have known why I found myself being taken in handcuffs
aboard an Air Canada flight in 1992, after 30 years as an honored visitor to
that country, and deported, an event to which the Defendants make gleeful
reference in their book Denying the Holocaust.
I may be rather naive, but
this kind of thing offends me as an Englishman, as no doubt the idea will offend
many of those present in Court 37 today. The notion that a non-governmental
body, equipped evidently with limitless financial resources, can take it upon
itself to spy upon law-abiding members of the community for the purpose of
destroying them is one that I find discomfiting.
I have never done it to my
fellow human beings, and I can think only of the wartime Gestapo and its
offshoots in Nazi-occupied Europe as a body engaged in similar practices. It is
offensive and ugly comparison, I warrant, and one that I have never made before;
but in a legal battle of this magnitude, I consider it necessary to use
ammunition of the proper caliber.
I now come to the matter of
the glass microfiche plates containing the diaries of the Nazi propaganda
Minister, Dr. Joseph Goebbels. Your Lordship will have seen from the Statement
of Claim that the Defendants accuse me of having improperly obtained these glass
plates from the Moscow archives, or damaged them.
May I set out some of the
antecedents of this matter? Your Lordship will perhaps remember the widespread
newspaper sensation that was caused by the revelation at the beginning of July
1992 that I had succeeded in retrieving from the former KGB archives in Moscow
the long lost diaries of Dr. Joseph Goebbels, a close confidant of Hitler and
his propaganda minister and successor as Reich Chancellor.
I may say here that scholars
have been searching for a number of diaries ever since the end of World War II:
I would mention here only the example of the diaries of Hitler's Intelligence
Chief, Vice-Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, in the search for which I was concerned in
the 1960s and 1970s. (The diaries offered to myself and Messrs. William Collins,
Ltd. on that occasion turned out to be fake, which I established by use of the
appropriate forensic laboratory in the city of London, Messrs. Hehner &
Forensic tests are to play
quite a large part in these current proceedings too.
In writing my own
biographies of the leading Nazis I have attached importance to primary sources,
like the original diaries which they wrote at the time. When I have found these
documents, as many scholars know, I have invariably and without delay donated
them or copies of them either to the German Federal Archives in Koblenz or to
the Institut für Zeitgeschichte [Institute for Contemporary History] in Munich;
and, in the case of the Goebbels diaries, after I retrieved them, I additionally
gave a set of copies to the archives of München-Gladbach, his home town, where
they maintain a collection of Goebbels documents.
In fact the only items which
I consider to be of greater source value than diaries, which are always
susceptible to faking or tampering, are private letters; in my experience, once
a private letter has been posted by its writer, it is virtually impossible for
him to retrieve it and to alter its content.
If I may take the liberty of
enlightening the Court at this point by way of an example, I would say that I
had earlier also found several diaries of Field Marshal Rommel; some I retrieved
in shorthand from the American archives, and had them transcribed. Those in
typescript turned out to have been altered some months after one crucial battle
("Crusader") to eradicate a tactical error which the Field Marshal
considered he had made in the western desert; but the hundreds of letters he
wrote to his wife were clearly above any such suspicion.
On a somewhat earthier
plane, while the diaries of the Chief of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, which have in
part been retrieved recently from the same archives in Moscow, yield little
information by themselves, I have managed to locate in private hands in Chicago
the 200 letters which this murderous Nazi wrote to his mistress, and these
contain material of much larger historical importance.
Until my career was
sabotaged therefore I had earned the reputation of being a person who was always
digging up new historical evidence; that was until the countries and the
archives of the world were prevailed upon, as we shall see, to close their doors
After I procured the 600
pages of manuscripts of Adolf Eichmann in Argentina in October 1991, the German
Federal Archives grudgingly referred to me in a press release as a Truffle-Schwein,
which I hope is more flattering than it sounds.
We are concerned here,
however, primarily with the diaries of Dr. Joseph Goebbels of which the
Defendants made mention in their book. This is the inside story on those.
I had begun the search for
these diaries about 30 years earlier. In my Discovery are papers relating to the
first search that I conducted for the very last diaries which Dr. Goebbels
dictated, in April 1945 -- right at the end of his life; since there was no time
for them to be typed up, he had the spiral-bound shorthand pads buried in a
glass conserving jar in a forest somewhere along the road between Hamburg and
Chance provided me in about
1969 with the "treasure map" revealing the burial place of this glass
jar, and with the permission of the Communist East German government I and a
team of Oxford University experts, equipped with a kind of ground penetrating
radar (a proton magnetometer in fact) mounted a determined attempt to unearth it
in the forest.
We never found that
particular truffle. Unfortunately, the topography of such a forest changes
considerably in 20 years or more, and despite our best efforts, aided by the
East German Ministry of the Interior and a biologist whose task would be to
assess the age of the fungi and other biological materials found in and around
the jar, we came away empty-handed. This is nothing new. Field work often brings
disappointments like that.
Twenty-five years later, I
had the conversation which was to lead the retrieval of the Goebbels diaries in
Moscow, and indirectly to our presence here in these Courts today.
In May 1992, I invited a
long-time friend, a leading historian at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte, to
have lunch with me at a restaurant in Munich. We had been good friends since
1964, and she is still in the Institute's employ today. As my diaries show, this
friend and colleague, Dr. Elke Fröhlich, had dropped several hints during the
previous twelve months that she had traced the whereabouts of the missing
We all knew, those of us who
had engaged in research in Hitler, Goebbels, and the Third Reich, that Dr.
Goebbels had placed these diaries on microfiches -- photographic glass plates --
in the closing months of the War, to ensure that they were preserved for
posterity. But they had vanished since then. His Private Secretary, Dr. Richard
Otte, whom I had questioned over 20 years earlier in connection with our search
in the forest in East Germany, had told us about these glass plates. I should
mention that he was one of the small burial party who had hidden the jar, but he
was unable to accompany us, as at that time he was still in West German
government employment. We could only presume that the glass plate microfiches
were either destroyed in the last weeks of the war, or that they had been seized
by the Red Army.
During this lunchtime
conversation in Munich in May 1992, Dr. Elke Fröhlich revealed to me that the
latter supposition was correct. She had seen them herself a few weeks previously
-- had held them in her hands! -- on a visit to the archives in Moscow.
My recollection of the
conversation at this point is, that she continued by saying that the Institute's
directors were unwilling to fund a further expedition to procure these diaries.
Now that I have seen some of
the documentation provided to the defendants in this action by the Russians and
by the Institute, it is possible that my recollection on this point is wrong,
namely, that the Institute were not willing to pay for it.
My recollection of the
following is however secure: Dr. Fröhlich informed me that the director of the
Russian "trophy" archives, as they were known, Dr. Bondarev, was in a
serious predicament, as he was faced with the economic consequences of the
collapse of the Soviet empire; he no longer had the means necessary for the
upkeep of the archives and the payment of his staff.
The plates, in my view, were
seriously at risk. Dr. Fröhlich indicated that if I were to take a sufficient
sum of foreign currency to Moscow, I could purchase the glass plates from Dr.
Bondarev. It was clear from her remarks that Dr. Bondarev had already discussed
this prospect with her.
Dr. Fröhlich added that the
glass plates were in a fragile condition and needed to be rescued before they
came to serious harm. I recall that she said "If you are going to this deal
with the Russians, you will have to take a lot of silk paper with you from
England, to place between the glass plates. The plates are just packed into
boxes -- with nothing between them."
I asked how much money we
were talking about, and either she or I suggested a figure of 20,000 US dollars.
I immediately contacted my American publishers in New York, who seemed the most
immediate source of money; I informed them of this likely windfall, and asked if
we could increase the cash advance on my Goebbels manuscript accordingly.
My manuscript of the
Goebbels biography was at that time complete, and undergoing editing by myself.
It was already ready for delivery to the publishers.
The American publishers
responded enthusiastically at first, and upon my return from Munich to London I
began negotiations through intermediaries with the Russian archivist Dr.
Bondarev. (Dr. Bondarev will not, unfortunately, be called by either party in
this action; he seems to have vanished, and is certainly no longer employed by
the "trophy" archives.)
The first intermediary I
used was a Russian-language specialist employed by Warburg's Bank in Moscow; he
undertook the preliminary negotiations with Dr. Bondarev. I instructed him to
tell Bondarev as openly as was prudent of my intention to come and look at the
glass plates, and also to make it quite plain that we were coming with a
substantial sum of hard currency. Many American institutions were currently
engaged in the same practice, as I knew from the newspapers.
At about this time it became
plain that the German government was also keen to get its hands on these glass
plates. Naturally I desired to beat them to it: first, because of professional
pride, and the desire to have a historical scoop; and secondly, years of working
with the German government archives had proven both to me and many scholars that
as soon as high-grade documents like these dropped into their hands they vanish
for many years while they were assessed and catalogued and indexed; and
sometimes they were even squirreled away for later exploitation by the chief
archivists themselves (the "Hossbach Papers" were one case in point).
These vital Nazi diaries
would therefore vanish from the public gaze possibly for five or ten years; my
fears in this respect had been amply confirmed by events, because many of those
glass plates which I saw in Moscow in 1992 have since vanished into the maw of
the German government and the Munich Institut für Zeitgeschichte and they are
still not available even now.
I considered therefore that
I should be rendering to the historical community the best service by doing the
utmost that I could to extract those glass plates, or failing that copies of
them, or failing that copies of the maximum number of pages possible, by hook or
by crook, from the KGB archives before a wind of change might suddenly result in
the resealing of all these former Soviet archives (and once again this
apprehension has been largely confirmed by the attitude of the Russian archive
authorities, who have resealed numbers of these files and made them once again
inaccessible to Western historians).
The second intermediary upon
whom I relied was the former KGB Officer, Lev Bezymenski. I have known Mr.
Bezymenski for about 35 years, and over these years we have engaged in a
fruitful exercise of exchanging documents: I would hasten to add that the
documents which I furnished to Mr. Bezymenski were entirely of a public-domain
nature: Mr. Bezymenski in return extracted from Soviet archives for me vital
collections of documents, for example, their diplomatic files on Sir Winston
Churchill, and the private papers of the commander-in-chief of the German Army,
Colonel-General Werner von Fritsch. From the Russian archives I obtained, via
Mr. Bezymenski, Fritsch's personal writings during and about the "Blomberg-Fritsch
scandal" of 1938, which had historic consequences for Germany, for Hitler
and ultimately for the world. I immediately donated a complete set of those
Fritsch papers to the German government archives, where they can still be seen.
Dr. Bezymenski proved
unfortunately to be something of a "double agent." Fearing that Dr.
Bondarev was not properly getting my message, I asked Mr. Bezymenski to approach
him, and to inform him that there were certain documents he held in which I was
interested, and that I was coming as a representative of the Sunday Times, well
armed with foreign currency. Mr. Bezymenski inquired what those documents were;
I refused to tell him, and he replied, "You are referring to the Goebbels
diaries I presume."
This I affirmed. Ten minutes
after this telephone conversation from me in London to Mr. Bezymenski in Moscow,
I received a telephone call from Dr. Fröhlich in Munich, complaining very
bitterly that I had revealed our intentions to Mr. Bezymenski. Instead of acting
as I had requested, my friend had immediately sent a fax to the Institut für
Zeitgeschichte to alert them to what I was "up to." This set the cat
among the pigeons, and the Institut für Zeitgeschichte left no stone unturned
to prevent the Russians from providing me with the diaries or other materials,
for reasons which this Court can readily surmise.
I had in the meantime
approached the Sunday Times after my American publishers got cold feet, and I
had succeeded in persuading Mr. Andrew Neil that I could obtain The Goebbels
Diaries from the Moscow archives, and that I was by chance one of the very few
people capable of reading that handwriting.
Two years previously, in
1990, my Italian publisher, Mondadori, had commissioned me to transcribe the
hand-written 1938 diary volume of Dr. Goebbels, a copy of which they had
purchased from a Russian source. I was thus acquainted with the difficult
handwriting of the Nazi propaganda minister. At that time there were probably
only three or four people in the world who were capable of deciphering it.
The negotiations with Andrew
Neil proceeded smoothly. He did express at one stage nervousness at the prospect
of entering into another "Nazi diaries" deal -- his newspaper group
having been made to look foolish for its purchase and publication in 1983 of the
forged "Hitler Diaries." I pointed out that I had warned them in
writing months ahead, in 1982, that the diaries were fakes. I added "I am
offering the Sunday Times the chance to rehabilitate itself!"
Armed with the prestige and
the superior financial resources of the Sunday Times I went to Moscow in June
1992, and negotiated directly with Dr. Bondarev and his superior, Professor
Tarasov, who was at that time the overall head of the Russian Federation
Dr. Bondarev expressed
willingness to assist us, although there could no longer be any talk of the
clandestine purchase of the plates which we had originally hoped for, since Mr.
Bezymenski had let the cat out of the bag. I say "clandestine," but I
understand that the same archives sold off many other collections of papers, for
example to the Hoover Institution in California, and to US publishing giants,
and to my colleague the late John Costello. But my own little deal was not to
Professor Tarasov is one of
the witnesses in this case, my Lord, and your Lordship will be able to study the
documents exhibited by him to his Witness Statement; I confess that I fail to
see the relevance of very many of them, but no doubt we shall see that
difficulty removed by Mr. Rampton in due course.
The Moscow negotiations were
not easy. We negotiated with Professor Tarasov for access to the glass plates.
The negotiations were conducted in my presence by Mr. Peter Millar, a freelance
journalist working for the Sunday Times, who spoke Russian with a commendable
fluency. He will also be giving evidence in this action. With my limited
"O"-level Russian, I was able to follow the gist in conversation and
also to intervene, speaking German, after it emerged that Professor Tarasov had
studied and taught for many years at the famous Humboldt University in Communist
By now both Dr. Bondarev and
Tarasov were aware, if they had not been aware previously, that these Goebbels
diaries were of commercial and historical value. The negotiations took longer
than I had expected.
I produced to Professor
Tarasov copies of the Soviet edition of my books, which had been published years
earlier, and I donated to him, as well as later to the Archives staff, copies of
my own edition of the biography Hitler's War.
This established my
credentials to their satisfaction, and Tarasov gave instructions that we were to
be given access to the entire collection of the 'Dr. Goebbel's diaries.'
It was quite evident to me,
when I finally saw the glass plates, that the diaries had been hardly examined
at all. It seemed to me, for example, from the splinters of glass still trapped
between the photographic plates, that there had been little movement in the
plates for nearly 50 years; the boxes were the original boxes, the brown paper
around them in some parts was still the original brown paper. The plates were in
total disarray and no attempt had been made to sort them. I have seen no work of
history, Soviet or otherwise, that has quoted from them before I got them.
My excitement as an
historian, getting my hands on original material like this, can readily be
There is now a dispute as to
the nature of the Russian permission -- and this alleged agreement is one of the
issues pleaded by the Defendants in this action.
It is difficult for me to
reconstruct seven years later precisely whether there was any verbal agreement
exceeding a nod and a wink, or what the terms were, or how rigid an agreement
may have been reached. There is no reference to such an agreement in my
contemporary diaries. Certainly the Russians committed nothing to paper about
such an agreement. Professor Tarasov's word was law, and he had just picked up
the phone in our presence and spoken that word to Bondarev.
My own recollection at the
time was that the arrangement was of a very free-wheeling nature, with the
Russians being very happy, and indeed proud, to help us in the spirit reigning
at that time of glasnost and perestroika, and extreme co-operativeness between
West and East; they were keen to give us access to these plates, which they had
hitherto regarded as not being of much value. Tarasov did mention that the
German government were also interested in these plates, and that they were
coming shortly to conduct negotiations about them.
I remember clearly, and I
think that this is also shown in the diary which I wrote on that day, that
Tarasov hesitated as to whether he should allow us access without first
consulting the German authorities; I rather mischievously reminded Dr. Tarasov
of which side had won the war, and expressed astonishment that the Russians were
now intending to ask their defeated enemy for permission to show to a third
party records which were in their own archives, and this unsubtle argument
appears to have swayed him to grant us complete access without further
There was no signed
agreement, either between the Russian authorities and us, or at that time
between the Russians and the German Authorities.
I would add here that I was
never shown any agreement between the Russians and the German authorities, nor
was I told any details of it; nor of course could it have been in any way
binding upon me.
We returned to the archives
the following morning, Mr. Millar and I, to begin exploiting the diaries.
Millar went off on his own
devices. I had brought a German assistant with me to act as a scribe.
Her diary is also in my
Discovery, and I admit I have not yet found time to read it (I have an odd
aversion to reading other people's diaries). I must admit that I was rather
perplexed by the chaotic conditions that I found there -- in the Russian
archives. There was no technical means whatever of reading the diaries, which
the Nazis had reduced to the size of a small postage stamp on the glass plates.
Fortunately, Dr. Fröhlich
had alerted me about this possibility, and I had bought at Selfridges
[department store] a 12X magnifier, a little thing about the size of a nail
clipper, with which by peering very hard I could decipher the handwriting. It
was even more alarming to someone accustomed to working in Western archives --
with their very strict conditions on how to handle documents, and cleanliness
and security -- to see the way that the shelves and tables and chairs were
littered with bundles of papers; at one stage the Archivist brought in bottles
of red wine and loaves of bread and cheese which were scattered among the
priceless papers on the tables for us to celebrate the end of the week. That
would have been unthinkable in any Western archive building.
My German assistant had
worked with me in the US National Archives previously. We spent the first day
cataloguing and sifting through all the boxes of glass plates and identifying
which plates were which -- earmarking, figuratively speaking, the glass plates
which were on my shopping list to be read and copied.
Very rapidly, we began
coming across glass plates of the most immense historical significance, sections
of the diaries which I knew had never been seen by anybody else before. I was
particularly interested in the Night of Broken Glass, November 1938, and the
Night of Long Knives, June 1934. I also found the glass plates containing the
missing months leading up to and including the outbreak of World War II in 1939,
diaries whose historical significance need not be emphasized here.
Given the chaotic conditions
in the Archives, I took the decision to borrow one of the plates overnight and
bring it back the next day, so that we could photograph its contents. I shall
argue about the propriety of this action at a later stage. I removed the plate,
its contents were printed that night by a photographer hired by the Sunday
Times, whose name was Sasha, and the glass plate was restored to its box the
next morning, without loss or damage.
The Sunday Times editor
Andrew Neil was coincidentally in Moscow at this time, and I showed him one of
the glass plates at his hotel, the Metropol. He stated, "We really need
something spectacular to follow the Andrew Morton book on Princess Diana, and
this is it!"
The next day Dr. Bondarev
formally authorized the borrowing of two more such plates anyway, so it was
clear to me that nobody would have been offended by my earlier action.
I returned to London and
over the next few days a contract was formalized between myself and the Sunday
Times under which the newspaper was to pay me £75,000 net for procuring the
diaries, transcribing them and writing three chapters based on the principle
extracts from the diaries. The contract with the Sunday Times contained the
usual secrecy clauses -- nobody was to learn of the nature of the contract, or
its contents, or the price, or of the existence of the diary.
For reasons beyond my
knowledge the Sunday Times, when it came under extreme pressure from
international and British Jewish organizations, subsequently put it about that I
had only been hired to transcribe the diaries -- with the implication that they
had obtained them on their own initiative. I was not, however, just a hired
help: this was my project which I took to them and which they purchased, as the
documents before this Court make quite plain.
It may be felt that £75,000
would have been a substantial reward for two weeks' work; but my response would
be that it was for "30 years plus two weeks' work" -- we are paid for
our professional skills and expertise and experience and reputation. For our
track-record, in short.
I returned to London, with
arrangements to revisit Moscow in two or three weeks' time.
The Court will find that I
have stipulated, in what I believe is known in legal terms as an Admission, that
I carried with me two of the glass plates from the Moscow archives to the Sunday
Times in London, informally borrowing them in the same manner as previously,
namely those vital records recording the 1934 Nazi "Night of Long
The reasons for doing so I
have already hinted at earlier -- the fear that they would either vanish into
the maw of German government, or be resealed by the former Soviet archives, or
be sold off to some nameless American trophy-hunter, and thus never see the
light of day again.
I took these two borrowed
plates straight to Munich, to the Institute, where I knew that they had a
microfiche printer and reading machine; together with the Institute's Dr.
Zirngiebel, who was their expert in the archives, we inserted the appropriate
lenses in the microfiche printer for a microfiche of this magnification, and I
printed out two copies of each of the 100 or so documents on those two
There was no secrecy about
this. I at once sent two of these pages upstairs to the experts in the Institute
itself, and two more to the German Federal Archives, with the written request
that they formally identify these pages as being in the handwriting of Dr.
Joseph Goebbels. This was a necessary part of agreement with the Sunday Times,
who were being no less cautious than I.
The other principal reason
that I had borrowed these two glass plates temporarily from the Russian archives
was in order to put them to London forensic experts for the purposes of
authentication; in the same manner that others had tested the "Adolf Hitler
diaries" and I the Canaris diaries, the Sunday Times quite properly wished
to have final proof that the glass plates were indeed of wartime manufacture:
namely, that the glass was of wartime origin, and that the photographic emulsion
was of wartime chemicals.
The Court may marvel at
these precautions that we as, as non-scholars, took; but it seemed perfectly
natural to me and to the officials of the Sunday Times. After all, not only were
large sums of money involved but also the reputations of myself and a major
international newspaper group. We wished to be absolutely certain.
On my return from Moscow and
Munich to London, in June 1992 therefore the two glass plates were sent their
separate ways, heavily wrapped and protected; one to an Agfa photographic
laboratory which tested the age of the emulsion, in a non-destructive manner,
and the other to the Pilkington Glassworks, whose laboratory specialists carried
out similar tests on the age of the glass. Their reports are part of my
Discovery, and these confirm that the tests were appropriate under the
My Lord, if I may just
anticipate by a few paragraphs what happened to those two glass plates: I
returned to Moscow at the end of June, the glass plates were brought out to
Moscow personally by a courier of the Sunday Times as soon as the tests on them
were complete, and handed to me, standing outside the archives building, as my
diary records; and within three minutes I had taken them back into the Archives
building and replaced them in the box where they had been for the last 47 years.
What follows is not strictly
relevant to the glass plates, but it is relevant to this case and it is best
inserted here because of its chronology. When I returned to London with the
remaining diaries which the Sunday Times had requested, an awkward situation had
developed. Our secrecy had been compromised by an astute reporter of The
Independent, a Mr. Peter Pringle, who was based in Moscow at the time that I was
using the archives. He too has submitted a witness statement, for the
Defendants. He stalked me into the archives, confronted me and learned from Dr.
Bondarev of my work on the Goebbels diaries.
The resulting scoop in the
The Independent set the press world about its ears, and before I returned to
London on July 4, 1992, the entire Fleet Street press and the broadcast media
fell over themselves to print stories about the diaries and my own
participation. In order to blacken the name of the Sunday Times and its
unpopular editor, I was described with every possible epithet.
It is of relevance to this
action, in my submission, because the same organizations which had gone to great
lengths to furnish the Defendants with the material they needed to blacken my
name in the book, Denying the Holocaust, now applied heavy pressure to Andrew
Neil and to Times Newspapers, Ltd., to violate their contract with me, and to
pay me nothing of the monies which were due to me under the contract.
Under this pressure, which
Mr. Neil described to me at the time as the worst that he had ever experienced
in his life, the Sunday Times (having in fact paid me the first installment),
welshed on the rest of the payments. I was forced to sue them in these courts
for breach of contract. The financial consequences of this violation of the
contract, in round terms about £65,000, were serious for me.
When I reviewed all the
press clippings, and read all the statements made by these various bodies,
boards, campaigns, agencies, and organizations attacking my name both during my
absence in Moscow and upon my return, I could only say, sadly, from a
lengthening experience: "The gang's all here."
The same gang, whom I
loosely describe as the traditional enemies of free speech, were to be seen on
the following days behind the metal police barricades thrown up outside my
apartment, screaming abuse at myself and other leaseholders in our building,
spitting, harassing passers by, and holding up offensive placards and slogans
including one reading, in the most execrable taste, "Gas Irving" -- it
can be seen in the newspaper photos. From the photographs of this demonstration,
it appears that representatives of every ethnic and other minority were present
in these. It was the most disagreeable experience.
On my second visit to
Moscow, as your Lordship will find from the relevant passages of my diary, I
found a frostier atmosphere. The boxes with which I had so readily been provided
on my previous trip, were said to be "missing" and not found. For
three or four days I was unable to do anything, and then one box was released to
me, which I devoured rapidly.
On the last day but one it
became plain that I had jealous and envious rivals in Munich to thank for the
difficulties that the Russians were now making. Dr. Bondarev's secretary came
into the reading room and said that there were allegations that I had
"stolen" the glass plates. I assured her that while I had borrowed
some, every glass plate which had been in my custody was at that moment back in
the Archives and that nothing was missing -- which was true. I also voluntarily
wrote a Statement, which was handed to Dr. Bondarev.
Your Lordship will find that
this document in both Russian and English, in my handwriting, is in the
Discovery both of myself and of the Defendants, as an exhibit to the report by
Professor Tarasov. Professor Tarasov is to be giving evidence before your
Lordship, and I shall examine him with particular pleasure.
Dr. Bondarev's secretary
came back a few minutes later, and said that this was just what they required.
She now vouchsafed to me the information: "The information came from
Your Lordship will see from
the "information" which came from Munich, which is in the Defendants'
Discovery, that the Institut für Zeitgeschichte had faxed to Moscow a
particularly hateful letter about me in an attempt to destroy my relationship
with the Russians.
However I already had all
the documents that had been on my shopping list. Either in longhand, or by
dictating them on to a hand-held tape recorder, or typed onto my portable
typewriter, or as photocopies of a few pages of November 1938, or as
photographic prints obtained from the glass microfiches, I had collected several
hundred pages of the most important Goebbels diary entries that had been missing
ever since the end of the war, and I see no reason not to be proud of this
It is indicative of the
general attempt to blacken my name, and to silence me, that when I spoke to a
meeting organized by my private "supporters' club," the Clarendon
Club, on the evening of July 4, 1992 -- my return from Moscow -- the hall in
Great Portland Street was subject to violent demonstrations outside which
required a very large police presence to protect the members of my audience.
This will be one of the photographs in the bundle that I shall shortly be
submitting to your Lordship.
Later on that year when I
addressed a further meeting in a West End Hotel, there even more violent
Such demonstrations do not
occur spontaneously. Somebody has to pay for the printing and the bill posting
and the bus rentals. I might mention that on one of the days that followed I was
violently attacked by three men who identified themselves to me as Jews when I
was having a Sunday lunch at a public restaurant in Mayfair with my family. They
had laid an ambush for me.
I only recently learned that
on the Monday morning after my return from Moscow, July 6 , my long-time
publishers, Macmillan, Ltd., seeing the clamor and coming under pressure from
unnamed members of the Jewish community, panicked and issued secret instructions
for the destruction of all remaining stocks of my books, without ever informing
me that they had done so.
This particularly repulsive
act by a publisher, reminiscent of the Nazis in 1933, cost me of course many
tens of thousand of pounds in lost royalties. At the same time as they were
taking these secret decisions to destroy all my books, at the cost to themselves
of hundreds of thousands of pounds, my editor at Macmillan continued to write me
ingratiating letters expressing interest in the early delivery of my Goebbels
It was altogether a most
My Lord, I am coming toward
the end as you can see. I can add one further brief example of how different is
my attitude to such documents as the Goebbels diaries from the attitude of my
rivals and the scholars.
Dr. Ralf Günther Reuth
approached me, saying that he was preparing a five-volume abridged edition of
the other Goebbels diaries for Piper Verlag in Germany and had nothing for 1938.
There were large gaps in the other years too. I foolishly allowed him to have
photocopies of some of the most important passages which until that moment had
been exclusive to myself and my as-yet-unpublished Goebbels biography. The
thanks that I received for this generous act were scant indeed.
I provided copies to the
German Federal Archives of the entire Goebbels diary extracts that I had brought
back from Moscow on July 1, 1993. Ten minutes later the director of the Archives
informed me, in extreme embarrassment, that on the instructions of the Federal
Ministry of the Interior I was permanently banned from the selfsame Archives
forthwith and in perpetuity, which is to my knowledge the only time that such a
sanction has been ever been applied to a historian. He explained that this
decision had been taken "in the interests of the German people."
I mention these facts, my
Lord, to show that it was not just one single action that has destroyed my
career but a cumulative, self-perpetuating, rolling onslaught, from every side
-- engineered by the same people who have propagated the book which is the
subject of this action.
Reproduced gratefully from: The
Journal for Historical Review (http://www.ihr.org)
David Irving's Final
Address in the London Libel Trial
On March 15, 2000, British
historian David Irving rose before the High Court of Justice in London to
deliver his Closing Statement in a dramatic legal battle that had generated
enormous media attention.
At the center of the case
is a 278-page book by Jewish- American scholar Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the
Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, a detailed polemic against
Irving and other revisionists who dispute familiar Holocaust claims. As the
plaintiff ("claimant") in the case, Irving charged that Lipstadt and
Penguin Books, the British publisher of Denying the Holocaust, had libeled
him. (For more on this, see the Jan.-Feb. 2000 Journal issue, which includes
extensive press reports and commentary on the trial. Extensive coverage of the
case, including texts of important trial documents, can be found on Irving's
web site: http//www.fpp.co.uk.)
Much of the grueling
nine-week, non-jury trial dealt with such emotion-laden historical issues as
Hitler's role in wartime Germany's "final solution" policies, and
the evidence, or lack of it, for mass killings of Jews in gas chambers at
Auschwitz-Birkenau. This historical debate is reflected in Irving's final
address to the court, which differs markedly in tone and focus from his
Opening Statement of January 11 (published in the Sept.-Dec. 1999 Journal, pp.
At least as importantly,
Irving's final address provides astonishing details of the concerted global
campaign by Jewish organizations to destroy his career and silence him. He
traces the secretive activities of this widely feared but little-understood
In the defendants' final
statement to the court, attorney Richard Rampton -- who had spoken on behalf
of Lipstadt and Penguin Books throughout the proceedings -- echoed claims made
at the outset of the trial. "As the evidence in this court has
shown," he said, "Irving is a right-wing extremist, a racist and, in
particular, a rabid anti-Semite." Rampton said that Irving had chosen
"to prostitute his reputation as a serious historian ... for the sake of
a bogus rehabilitation of Hitter and the dissemination of his virulent
Judge Gray largely agreed
with the defendants, and his detailed judgment (made public on April 11)
accordingly was a devastatingly severe condemnation of Irving. Understandably,
the resulting worldwide jubilation by Lipstadt and her allies has overshadowed
the valuable evidence and arguments presented by Irving during the
proceedings, and summed up eloquently in his Closing Statement. It is,
therefore, all the more important that the text of this address be made widely
Here, then, is Irving's
March 15 Closing Statement. (The original text, including reference notes, can
be found on Irving's web site.) This text has been slightly edited for style.
Deletions are indicated by ellipses. Brief explanatory or elucidating remarks
have been added in brackets.
The Defendants in this
action -- the publisher Penguin Books, and the American scholar Deborah Lipstadt
-- have sought to cast this trial as being about the reputation of the
Holocaust. It is not.
The world's press have also
reported it in this way. Again, it is not.
This trial is about my
reputation as a human being, as an historian of integrity, and -- thanks to the
remarks made by [defense lawyer] Mr. Rampton -- as a father. The Defendants are
saying, and have so convinced many people, that I am not entitled to continue to
earn a living in the way that I have earned it for nearly 40 years. A judgment
in my favor is no more than a judgment that disputed points which I have made
about some aspects of the narrative are not so absurd, given the evidence, as to
disqualify me from the ranks of historians. Under the laws of defamation in this
country, it could not be anything else; nor must the defense team, no matter how
powerful, or moneyed, or eloquent, or numerous, be allowed by their tactics to
skew it in any other way.
I may add that the points I
have made do not necessarily, lessen the horror or the burden of guilt. I always
have accepted that Adolf Hitler, as head of state and government, was
responsible for the Holocaust. I said, in the Introduction to my flagship
biography, Hitler's War:
If this biography were
simply a history of the rise and fall of Hitler's Reich, it would be
legitimate to conclude: "Hitler killed the Jews." But my years of
investigation suggested that many others were responsible, that the chain of
responsibility was not as clear cut as that.
Nothing that I have heard in
this Court since January 11 has persuaded me that I was wrong on this account.
These latter points lead to
another consideration. Your Lordship will have heard of the -- largely
successful -- effort to drive me out of business as a historian. This Court has
seen the timidity with which historians have already been fraught once the
Holocaust is questioned: one notable historian, ordered by summons to attend,
showed himself reluctant even to confirm what he had written in my favor,
repeatedly, over the last 20 years. A judgment rendered against me will make
this paralysis in the writing of history definitive; from then on, no-one will
dare to discuss who exactly was involved in each stage of the Holocaust, or how
extensive it was. From then, on discussion will revolve around "safe"
subjects -- sacred texts in the Middle Ages, or Marx in the old USSR, or the
Koran in a fundamentalist state today. Every historian will know that his
critique needs to stop sharply at boundaries defined by certain authorities. He
will have a choice: accept the official version, holus-bolus; or stop being a
A judgment in my favor does
not mean that the Holocaust never happened; it means only that in England today
discussion is still permitted. My opponents would still be able, just as now, to
produce other documents if they can; to expound alternative interpretations.
They would be as free as ever to declare that they think I am wrong. They would
be impeded in one way only: they would not be able to say in a loud and
authoritative voice that I am not a historian, and that my books must be banned.
As a result of my work (and of this case) the Holocaust has been researched
more. Those who (rightly) believe that these crimes should never be forgotten
should ask whether their case is batter served by a compulsory -- and dead --
text imposed by law and intimidation, or by a live and on-going discussion.
Our Common Law has at its
kernel an "adversarial" procedure whereby, it is believed, truth is
best elicited by each side putting their case as strongly as possible. I agree
with English Common Law.
I read in [the London daily]
The Independent, in a lengthy and deeply libelous article published only last
week, these words: "But if he wins, it will open the door for revisionists
to rewrite any event in history without the requirement to consider evidence
that does not suit them and without fear that they will be publicly denounced
for their distortion."
In bygone days, I venture to
submit, such an article, published while an action was literally sub judice
[under consideration by a court], would have been a clear contempt of Court.
Your Lordship will have noticed that I wearied, after a few days, of drawing
attention to the coverage of this trial. Allow me however to introduce one
cautionary statistic: not including the fuss about the Eichmann manuscript, the
British press have published no fewer than 167 reports during the seven days
that I was on the witness stand, that is 24 per day; but just 58 reports during
the 20 days when the boot was on the other foot and I was cross-examining Mr.
Rampton's witnesses, that is roughly three per day. That is a disparity of some
eight to one against me. If Your Lordship has noticed any of these items, you
will perhaps have observed that the reporting in both cases is almost
exclusively devoted to the defense statements, or their questions to me, and not
to the product of the examination. The Court however operates by different
standards, and it will not allow public sentiment to guide its verdict. I
believe it was Churchill who once said, "There is no such thing as public
opinion, there is only published opinion." Given such a baleful glare from
the press gallery, My Lord, I am glad that Her Majesty has such a resolute
officer presiding over this case. The outcome is in your hands, and ours alone,
and I am confident that nothing that the Press has written, or may yet write,
will deflect Your Lordship from arriving at a just conclusion.
The Defendants have sold
around the world a book, Denying the Holocaust. May I say that I see here
Penguin Books, to my sorrow, as they have published my own works in the past;
but they are continuing even today to sell this book for profit, in the
knowledge that it contains very defamatory allegations and that these
allegations are held to be untrue. It is a reckless, even foolhardy posture.
Neither of these Defendants
evidently bothered even to have the manuscript professionally read for libel. I
say "evidently," because we do not know: they have not deigned to
enter the witness box to answer even that straightforward and most elementary of
questions. Nor have they answered this question when it was put to them in
Whatever other limited
excuses -- whether of sheer ignorance, or of innocent dissemination -- that the
publisher might have (quite wrongfully) deployed for publishing this malicious
and deeply flawed work, these were destroyed from the moment when they received
my writ in September of 1996, and were thus informed, if they did not in fact
know already, of the nature and scope of the libels it contains. And, as said,
they have continued to sell it, hoping no doubt to cash in on, to profit from,
the notoriety gained by these libel proceedings, a textbook case of Rookes vs.
Barnard if ever there was one, since the book they are selling still contains
even the several libels which they have made no attempt here to justify.
They have to justify their
allegations, or their defense fails; and as your Lordship is aware, where the
defamations are particularly grave, a higher burden of proof falls upon them
than the mere balance of probabilities that is normally acceptable. In both
Defendants, moreover, there is clear evidence of malice, both in those few
documents which the author of this work has disclosed, and in the fact that the
same firm of publishers had previously distributed a work in which I was
variously caricatured as Adolf Hitler, and wearing swastika eye-glasses.
The very worst of the libels
are so blatant, that neither Defendant has insulted the intelligence of this
Court by offering any justification for them. They hope instead to divert the
court's attention by reference to distant and notorious matters of history. In
consequence, for 30 days or more of this Court's time we have had to rake over
the embers of what may be one of the greatest crimes known to Mankind: a
harrowing, time-wasting, and needless effort, which has yielded even now few
answers to great questions and mysteries which even the world's finest academics
have so far not managed to unravel.
On page 14 of Denying the
Holocaust, the Defendants published one of the gravest libels that can be
imagined for a respectable English citizen who lives a very public life, namely
that I consort with the extremist anti-Semitic Russian group Pamyat, with
violent anti-Israeli murderers, with extremist terrorists, and with Louis
Farrakhan, a Black Power agitator who is known to be acting in the pay of a
foreign power, namely the Libyan dictator. This is not just the simple
allegation of associating with "extremists," about which they have
made so much.
The words on page 14 are as
follows -- and I make no apology for reminding the Court of them:
The confluence between
anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and Holocaust denial forces was exemplified by a
world anti-Zionist conference scheduled for Sweden in November 1992. Though
cancelled at the last minute by the Swedish government, scheduled speakers
included black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan, Faurisson, Irving and Leuchter.
Also scheduled to participate were representatives of a variety of
anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organizations, including the Russian group Pamyat,
the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, and the fundamentalist Islamic organization
The whole statement was a
reckless lie. It appears from their Discovery to have been based on a press
release issued by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), which neither that agency
or the Defendants made any attempt to verify. The Court will have noticed in one
of my bundles [of evidence] the letters which I sent to every Scandinavian
embassy at the time, anxiously denying the malicious JTA allegation. I have
pleaded, as Your Lordship is aware, that the innuendo was that I was
thereby agreeing to appear
in public in support of and alongside violent and extremist speakers including
representatives of the violent and extremist anti-Semitic Russian group Pamyat
and of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and of the fundamentalist Islamic
organization Hamas and including the black Muslim minister Louis Farrakhan,
born Louis Eugene Walcott, who is known as a Jew-baiting black agitator, as a
leader of the US Nation of Islam, as an admirer of Hitler and who is in the
pay of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
that the true or legal
innuendo of the word "Hezbollah" is that used to refer to and
describe a known international terrorist organization led by one Sayed Hassan
Nasrallah from Beirut in the Lebanon also known as the Hezbollah whose
guerrillas kill Israeli civilians and soldiers thereby deliberately provoking
retaliation, and which organization has been determined by President Clinton,
at the international anti-terrorism conference in 1996, as being among the
enemies of peace, and whose officials and armed activists are now being hunted
down by ... the Israeli army.
As for the Hamas, I set out
in paragraph 12 of my statement of claim that "the true or legal innuendo
of the words 'Hamas' is that of an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organization
similar in nature to the Hezbollah."
In my pleadings, I also
argued that by these allegations I had "been brought into hatred, ridicule,
contempt, risk of personal injury, and/or assassination." The nature of the
libel, and the damage that it caused, hardly need arguing in detail here. To put
it in a domestic context, if the Defendants had equally untruthfully stated, for
example on a Channel 4 television documentary, that I consorted with Ulster
loyalist death squads who were part of a conspiracy to murder Roman Catholic
nationalists, itself a grave accusation which also would put me at risk of
assassination, and if the Defendants made no attempt to justify that libel, then
I respectfully submit that Your Lordship would have no hesitation giving
judgment in my favor. I submit that there is no difference between these
The Defendants have relied
however on Section 5 of the Defamation Act. In other words, they accuse a
respectable Englishman of consorting with terrorists and murderers, and then
plead the relative insignificance of the accusation when it turns out to be a
And there are other
incendiary lies which they have stuffed into that particular sand-bucket,
Section 5, in the hope that they will sputter out: the Defendants repeated the
story -- first published in Izvestia -- that I placed a portrait of Hitler over
my desk. For that lie too they have offered no justification. I read
incidentally recently in Literary Review, January 2000, that Lloyd George had
signed photographs of both Hitler and Mussolini on display. The only signed
photograph in my apartment, as many journalists have observed, is one of Sir
I submit that Your Lordship
should not accept the Defendants' contention that these allegations should be
disregarded on the basis of Section 5. Even if they could sufficiently justify
their claim that I deliberately bent history in favor of Hitler, and I submit
that they have not, it would still "materially injure the plaintiff's
reputation" (thus the wording of Section 5) to say that I had a portrait of
Hitler above my desk. The claims which they do seek to justify suggest that I am
culpably careless and (perhaps unconsciously) sympathetic to Hitler; bad enough,
but having a portrait over my desk implies a full-hearted, 100 percent conscious
commitment to that man, which is very different.
I have provided to Your
Lordship in one [evidence] bundle a number of passages quoted from A.J.P.
Taylor's words. [British historian] Taylor himself accepted that they inevitably
improved Hitler's image: maybe he did not originate the actual mass murders
himself; maybe he did slip into war with Britain rather than planning it; maybe
the Anschluss with Austria was more a stroke of good fortune, which he grasped,
rather than long planned as a take-over; maybe the Nazis did not burn down the
Reichstag in 1933. These views of Taylor have been criticized as being wrong,
even as being too sympathetic to Hitler. But everybody would accept that to
suggest that Taylor had a portrait of Hitler "over his desk" would
suggest something far worse. So it should be for me too.
Again, for the purpose of
Section 5, the allegation that I bend history in favor of Hitler because I am
said to admire him, and that I consort with other people holding such views, is
a very different kettle of fish from stating, as the Defendants do, that I
consort with people who are widely regarded as violent and murderous terrorists.
Indeed, the word used by the Defendants in the Hamas/ Hezbollah/ Pamyat context
is "confluence," which suggests something even worse than
"consort." The passage suggests that I provide support (maybe only
theoretical support, but still support) for violence and murder -- murder now
and murder in the future. I ask therefore that Your Lordship not allow either of
these matters to be discarded into Section 5.
My Lord, the Court will be
aware that from the very outset I argued that this hearing should not,
effectively, leave the four walls of my study, where I wrote my books; and that
what happened 50 or 60 years ago was of less moment to the issues as pleaded.
The matter at issue, as pleaded by the Defendants, is not what happened, but
what I knew of it, and what I made of it, at the time I put pen to paper. To
take a crude example: neglecting to use the Eichmann memoirs, released to us
only a few days ago, had they contained startling revelations -- which they did
not -- could not have been held against me because they were not available to me
in the 1960s, 70s or 80s.
Your Lordship took a
different view, and I respectfully submit that it was wrong. The Defendants have
invested a sizeable fortune in re-researching the Holocaust, and possibly for
that reason alone we have all been dragged through that vast and inhuman tragedy
yet again, and quite needlessly in my submission. It would have sufficed for
their purposes if they could have proved, on the basis of the total disclosure
of my files which I made to them and their experts, that I had indeed
"distorted, misstated, misquoted, and falsified." Fearing or finding,
however, that they were unable to prove willful fraud, in effect, they have
fallen back on the alternative plea in the tort of negligence: that "Mr.
Irving ought to have known." I respectfully submit that this unsubtle
change of defense should not have been allowed to them, as it was not pleaded at
If my submission on the law
is, however, wrong then Your Lordship must ask what effort would have been
reasonable on the part of an individual historian, acting without institutional
support like that of [the Israel government] Yad Vashem [center], and with the
doors of archives increasingly being slammed against him because of the
activities of the bodies to which I shall shortly refer. These Defendants have
reportedly spent some six million dollars, and 20 man-years, or more, in
researching this case: this blinding and expensive spotlight has been focused on
the narrowest of issues, yet still it has generated more noise than
I heard the expert witnesses
who were paraded before us use phrases like the "consensus of expert
opinion" as their source so often -- in fact the word consensus occurs so
far no fewer than 40 times in the daily transcripts of this trial -- that I
began to wonder what archives were for. I suggest that these experts were more
expert in reporting each other's opinions, and those of people who agree with
them, than in what the archives actually contain -- and do not contain.
The phrase "Holocaust
Denier," which the Second Defendant [Lipstadt] boasts of having invented,
is an Orwellian stigma. It is not a very helpful phrase. It does not extend
thought or knowledge on this tragic subject. Its universal adoption within the
space of a few years by media, academia and government and even academics seems
to indicate something of the international endeavor of which I shall make later
mention. It is in my submission a key to the whole case. Perhaps this Court
should raise its gaze from the red and blue files and bundles for a brief
moment, and re-read George Orwell's brief appendix to 1984, which seems to be
very relevant to this case.
From the witness box, with
its revelations of the "consensus of opinion," "moral
certainty," and the mass male-voice choir of the "social
sciences" or "social scientists," on which the Defendants' German
expert Professor Hajo Funke [sociologist with the Free University in Berlin]
relies for his certainty as to what is right-wing extremism, we seem to hear
more than a vague echo of Orwellian Newspeak -- a language that molds minds, and
destroys reputations and livelihoods.
Orwell was however wrong in
one point: he thought it would take the forces of the State to impose Newspeak:
Professor Lipstadt and her reckless publisher, Penguin Books -- I shall justify
that adjective shortly -- have sought to impose it through the machinery of the
literary and media establishments. Only the Royal Courts or Justice, independent
and proud, can protect the rights of the individual from now on. And those
rights include the right, as Lord Justice Sedley recently put it in another
Court in this same building, of any person to hold to, and to preach, unpopular
views, perhaps even views that many might find repellent.
My Writings and Reputation
as a Historian
I have not hesitated to
stand in the witness box here, and to answer questions. Mr. Rampton rose to the
occasion, and he -- or indeed I -- may yet regret it. Your Lordship will recall
that when I brought a somewhat reluctant and even curmudgeonly Professor Donald
Cameron Watt, doyen of the diplomatic historians, into the witness stand, he
used these words:
I must say, I hope that I
am never subjected to the kind of examination that Mr. Irving's books have
been subjected to by the Defense witnesses. I have a very strong feeling that
there are other senior historical figures, including some to whom I owed a
great deal of my own career, whose work would not stand up, or not all of
whose work would stand up, to this kind of examination ...
When I invited him to
mention some names, of course he declined. What he was saying was that whatever
mistakes, or whatever unconventional interpretations of mine, the Defendants
have revealed with their multi-million dollar research, this does not invalidate
me as an historian, or my historical methods and conclusions.
Your Lordship will find that
Professor Watt continued by suggesting that simply by facing the challenge of
the views that I had put forward, "and basing them on historical research,
rather than ideological conviction," this had directly resulted in other
historians devoting an "enormous burst of research" to the Nazi
massacres of the Jews, an area which can in consequence now support journals and
conferences. "This, I think, is a direct result of the challenge which Mr.
Irving's work [posed] and the consistency and the effort which he has put into
maintaining it in public." In other words, Watt stated that, far from being
a "Holocaust denier," my work has directly increased historical
research into, and understanding of, the "Holocaust."
Professor Eberhard Jäckel
made the same controversial point in his essay in the book published by the US
Holocaust Memorial Museum, namely that before my book Hitler's War was published
in 1977, there had been virtually no meaningful research into the tragedy at
all. Professor Hans Mommsen, Professor Raul Hilberg, Professor Gordon C. Craig
-- all have more or less supported my claim to be regarded as a serious
historian. The outcome of my research, my books, and my speaking is therefore
that people in general are more, not less, aware of the horrors of the
Holocaust, and they are certainly better informed.
One of the most damaging [of
the defendants'] accusations is that the Plaintiff [Irving], driven by his
obsession with Hitler, distorts, manipulates, and falsifies history in order to
put Hitler in a more favorable light, thereby demonstrating a lack of the
detachment, rationality and judgment necessary for an historian. I submit that
in assessing whether I am an historian who "distorts, manipulates and
falsifies," Your Lordship should give most weight to my avowedly historical
written works. I suggest that my speeches and the very occasional lapses of
taste in them (Mr. Rampton has identified and mentioned, repeatedly, I think,
three), are relevant purely as background material. Of those written historical
works, I submit that your Lordship give most weight to my flagship work Hitler's
War. I ask that Your Lordship read (again, if Your Lordship has already done so)
the Introduction to the 1991 edition: this was published well after the year
when the Defendants (wrongly) assert that I "flipped over" to become
what they call a Holocaust denier.
I have always differed from
colleagues in my profession in insisting on using original documents, including
where possible the authors' drafts of books or memoirs rather than the heavily
edited West German editions, later rewritings, or posthumous adaptations. I also
make use of many more unpublished original documents than my historian
colleagues. In the 1960s and 1970s this was more difficult than today.
I differ too from others, in
making copies of the original documents which I unearth freely available to
others as soon as my own works are complete ... As page 14 of Hitler's War
shows, I donate these records regularly to publicly accessible archives, and I
also make them available on microfilm. There are nearly 200 such microfilms,
containing nearly half a million pages. I also devote time to corresponding with
and assisting other historians and researchers. If, therefore, some of my
interpretations are controversial, I also do all that is possible to let other
people judge for themselves. This speaks strongly against the accusation that I
distort, manipulate and falsify history.
On Hitler and the Holocaust
I wrote [in Hitler's War] the following words -- after the time when I had
supposedly become a Holocaust denier, obsessed with Hitler, and with exonerating
At page 2: "My
conclusions ... startled even me. Hitler was a far less omnipotent Führer
than had been believed ... His methods and tactics were profoundly
At page 4: "... The
more hermetically Hitler locked himself away behind the barbed wire and mine
fields of his remote military headquarters, the more his Germany became a Führer-Staat
without a Führer. Domestic policy was controlled by whoever was most powerful
in each sector -- by Hermann Göring ... Hans Lammers ... Martin Bormann ...
Heinrich Himmler ..."
At page 17: "If this
biography were simply a history of the rise and fall of Hitler's Reich it
would be legitimate to conclude: 'Hitler killed the Jews.' He after all had
created the atmosphere of hatred with his speeches in the 1930s; he and
Homelier had created the SS; his speeches, though never explicit, left the
clear impression that 'liquidate' was what he meant."
At pages 17-18: "For
a full-length war biography of Hitler, I felt that a more analytical approach
to the key questions of initiative, complicity and execution would be
necessary. Remarkably, I found that Hitler's own role in the 'Final Solution'
-- whatever that was -- had never been examined."
At page 18: "Every
document actually linking Hitler with the treatment of the Jews invariably
takes the form of an embargo." (This is the famous "chain of
documents," and notwithstanding everything we have heard in Court I still
adhere to this position.)
At page 19: "It is
plausible to impute to him that not uncommon characteristic of heads of state:
a conscious desire 'not to know.' But the proof of this is beyond the powers
of a historian."
At page 21: "...
Dictatorships are fundamentally weak ... I concluded, the burden of guilt for
the bloody and mindless massacres of the Jews rests on a large number of
Germans (and non-Germans), many of them alive today, and not just on one 'mad
dictator,' whose order had to be obeyed without question."
The similarity here with the
thesis propagated by Dr. Daniel Goldhagen in his world-wide best-selling book
Hitler's Willing Executioners will surely strike everybody in this Court. Allow
me to rub this point in: What I actually wrote and printed and published in my
"flagship study" Hitler's War was that Hitler was clearly responsible
for the Holocaust both by being head of state, and by having done so much by his
speeches and organization to start it off.
Where I differed from many
historians was in denying that there was any documentary proof of detailed
direction and initiation by Hitler of the mass murders. The view was considered
to be heretical at the time. But this lack of wartime documentary evidence for
Hitler's involvement is now widely accepted.
Indeed, on the narrower
matter of the lack of wartime documentary evidence on "gas chambers,"
Your Lordship was already good enough to grant as follows, in an exchange [on
February 15] with [defense witness] Professor [Richard] Evans:
Irving: If his Lordship is
led to believe by a careless statement of the witnesses that there is a vast
body of wartime documents, this would be unfair, would it not, because you are
not referring to wartime documents? You are referring to post-war documents?
Evans: I am referring to
all kinds of documents.
You are not referring to wartime documents?
Evans: I am referring to
documents including wartime documents, the totality of the written evidence
for the Holocaust, which you deny.
Irving: Are you saying
there is a vast quantity of wartime documents?
Evans: What I am saying is
that there is a vast quantity of documents and material for all aspects of the
Mr. Justice Gray: I expect
you would accept, Professor Evans, just to move on, the number of overtly
incriminating documents, wartime documents, as regards gas chambers is
actually pretty few and far between?
To summarize, in Hitler's
War I differed from other historians in suggesting that the actual mass murders
were not all or mainly initiated by Hitler. I pointed out that my sources were
consistent with another explanation: A conscious desire "not to know."
(I referred to a Richard Nixon kind of complex.)
I submit that I have not
distorted, manipulated, and falsified. I have put all the cards on the table; I
made the documents available to all comers, on microfilm and in the archives,
and I have pointed to various possible interpretations.
I further submit that, while
certainly "selling" my view, I have been much less manipulative than
those historians, including some whom you have heard in Court, whose argument
has in important part been simply this -- that I ought not to be heard, because
my views are too outlandish or extreme. Disgracefully, these scholars have
cheered from the sidelines as I have been outlawed, arrested, harassed, and all
but vernichtet [annihilated] as a professional historian; and they have put
pressure on British publishers to destroy my works.
To assist Your Lordship in
deciding how outlandish and extreme these views of mine are, I allow myself to
quote from A. J. P. Taylor's The War Lords, published by Penguin -- the First
Defendants in this action -- in London in 1978. Of Adolf Hitler he wrote (pages
... It was at this time
that he became really a recluse, settling down in an underground bunker,
running the war far from the front.
... He was a solitary man,
though he sometimes accepted, of course, advice from others, sometimes
decisions [my emphasis]. It is, I think, true, for instance, that the terrible
massacre of the Jews was inspired more by Himmler than by Hitler, though
Hitler took it up.
The following quotation is
from the foreword ["Second Thoughts"] of A. J. P. Taylor's own
flagship work, The Origins of the Second World War, [originally] published in
Little can be discovered
so long as we go on attributing everything that happened to Hitler. He
supplied a powerful dynamic element, but it was fuel to an existing machine
... He would have counted for nothing without the support and co-operation of
the German people. It seems to be believed nowadays that Hitler did everything
himself, even driving the trains and filling the gas chambers unaided. This
was not so. Hitler was a sounding board for the German nation. Thousands, many
hundred thousand, Germans carried out his evil orders without qualm or
What I wrote, with less
felicity of style than Professor Taylor, was a reasonable interpretation of the
information available to me at the time. I might add that my words are often
accepted, quoted, and echoed by other historians far more eminent than I
(including the government's Official Historians, like Professor Sir Frank
Hinsley, in his volumes on British Intelligence). Some may regard my
interpretations as not the most probable. But they are never perverse. For the
Defendants to describe me as one who manipulates, distorts, and falsifies it
would be necessary for them to satisfy Your Lordship that I willfully adopted
perverse and ridiculous interpretations. I have not.
I now turn to some of the
particular matters which exercised Your Lordship, in the list of points at
I trust that Your Lordship
will bear in mind that the task facing a historian of my type -- what I refer to
as a "shirtsleeve historian," working in the field, from original
records -- is very different from the task facing the scholar or academic who
sits in his book-lined study, plucking handy works of reference, printed in
large type, translated into English, provided with easy indices, and often with
nice illustrations too, off the shelves of a university library within arm's
Your Lordship will recall
that while researching the Goebbels diaries in Moscow during the first week in
June 1992 I had to read those wartime Nazi glass microfiches through a magnifier
the size of a nail clipper, with a lens smaller than a pea. [See D. Irving,
"Revelations from the Goebbels' Diary," Jan.-Feb. 1995 Journal, pp.
2-17.] The Court will appreciate that reading even post-war microfilm of often
poorly reproduced original documents on a mechanical reader is a tedious, time
consuming, and unrewarding business. Notes have to be taken in handwriting, as
there are no "pages" to be Xeroxed. In the 1960s Xerox copies were
nothing like as good as they are now, as Your Lordship will have noticed from
the blue-bound volumes brought in here from my own document archives. Mistakes
undoubtedly occur: the mis-transcription of difficult German words pencilled in
Gothic or Sütterlin-style script, a script which most modern German scholars
find unreadable anyway; mistakes of copying; mistakes of omission (that is, a
passage is not transcribed because at the time it appears of no moment). These
are innocent mistakes, and with a book of the size of Hitler's War, currently
running to 393,000 words, they are not surprising.
Your Lordship may recall one
exchange I had with Professor Evans:
Irving: Professor Evans,
when your researchers were researching in my files at the Institute of
[Contemporary] History in Munich, did they come across a thick file there,
which was about 1,000 pages long, consisting of the original annotated
footnotes of Hitler's War, which were referenced by number to every single
sentence in that book?
Irving: It was not part of
the published corpus. It was part of the original manuscript, but it was
chopped out because of the length.
Evans: No, we did not see
Irving: Have you seen
isolated pages of that in my Discovery in so far as it related to episodes
which were of interest, like the Reichskristallnacht?
Evans: I do not, to be
honest, recall, but that does not mean to say that we have not seen them.
Irving: You said that my
footnotes are opaque because they do not always give the page reference. Do
you agree that, on a page which we are going to come across in the course of
this morning, of your own expert report, you put a footnote in just saying
"See Van Pelt's report," that is, see the expert report by Robert
van Pelt, and that expert report is about 769 pages long, is it not?
From this exchange it is
plain that I was not just a conjurer producing quotations and documents out of a
hat; I made my sources and references available in their totality to historians,
even when they were not printed in the book.
The allegation that the
mistakes are deliberate -- that they are manipulations, or distortions, -- is a
foul one to make, and easily disposed of by general considerations. If I
intended deliberately to mistranscribe a handwritten word or text, I would
hardly have furnished copies of the original texts to my critics, or published
the text of the handwritten document as a facsimile in the same work (for
example, the famous November 30, 1941, note [by Himmler of telephone
conversations], which is illustrated as a facsimile in all [recent] editions of
Hitler's War); or placed the entire collection of such documents without
restriction in archives commonly frequented my critics.
And if I intended to
mistranslate a document, would I have encouraged the publication of the
resulting book, with the correct original quotation, in the German language,
where my perversion of the text would easily be discovered? Yet, like all my
others works, both Hitler's War and Goebbels have appeared in German-language
editions with a full and correct transcription of the controversial texts. Is
this is the action of a deliberate mistranslator?
As for the general
allegation that the errors or exaggerations or distortions that were made were
"all" of a common alignment, designed to exonerate Adolf Hitler, the
test which Your Lordship must apply should surely be this: if the sentence that
is complained of be removed from the surrounding paragraph or text (and in each
book there are only one or two such sentences of which this wounding claim is
made) does this in any way alter the book's general thrust, or the weight of the
argument that is made?...
The allegation of the
Defendants is that in order to "exonerate Hitler" I effectively
concocted, or invented, a false version of events on Kristallnacht, namely that
Hitler intervened between 1 and 2 a.m. [November 10, 1938] to halt the madness.
I submit that their refusal to accept this version is ingrained in their own
political attitudes. There is evidence both in the archives, in reliable
contemporary records like the Ulrich von Hassell, Alfred Rosenberg, and Hellmuth
Groscurth diaries, and in the independent testimonies of those participants whom
I myself carefully questioned, or whose private papers I obtained -- Nicolaus
von Below, Julius Schaub, Karl Wolff, and others -- and which the Court has
seen, to justify the version which I rendered. It was therefore not an invented
It may well be that my
critics were unfamiliar with the sources that I used before they made their
criticisms. The dishonesty lies not with me, for printing the "inside"
story of Hitler's actions that night, as far as we can reconstruct them using
these and other sources; but with those scholars who have studiously ignored
them, and in particular the Rudolf Hess "stop arson" telegram of 2:56
a.m., issued "on orders from the highest level," which the Defendants'
scholars have testified is a reference to Hitler.
Your Lordship may well have
marvelled to hear the defendants' witnesses dismiss this message -- like the
Schlegelberger Document, referred to later -- as being of no consequence.
The Kristallnacht diaries of
Dr. Goebbels, which I obtained in Moscow in 1992, some years after I first
drafted the episode, substantially bore out my version of events -- namely that
he, and not Hitler, was the prime instigator, and that Hitler was largely
unaware and displeased by what came about. Your Lordship will recall that
Professor Philippe Burrin, a Swiss Holocaust historian for whom all the
witnesses expressed respect, comes to the same conclusion independently of me.
Now, he is manifestly not a "Holocaust denier" either.
The Court will also recall
that the Witness Evans admitted that, unlike myself, he had not read all through
the available Goebbels diaries. He had not had the time, he said; and we must
confess a certain sympathy with that position for an academic, time is certainly
at a premium. Reading all of the available Goebbels diaries is, however,
necessary, in order to establish and recognize the subterfuges that this Nazi
minister used through his career as a diarist, in order to conceal when he was
creating what I call alibis for his own wayward and evil behavior ...
There is no need to discuss
here in detail my various narratives of the Nazis' shooting of Jews in the East.
In my view, there is little dispute between the parties on what actually
happened, and Your Lordship is aware that I have given these atrocities due and
proper attention in the various biographies I have written; I would however add
the one caveat, that they are not intended to be reference works on the
Holocaust, but orthodox biographies.
I believe I was the first
historian to discover and make use of the CSDIC reports relating further details
of these killings, particularly the [General] Bruns Report, and I made them
available to many other historians. (These are the British eavesdropping reports
on German prisoners, using hidden microphones). It took many days to read them;
there are thousands of pages in these files. Over the last 20 years I read these
horrifying narratives out repeatedly to public audiences, including
"right-wing" audiences. This fact alone entitles me to express my
contempt at those who would term me a "Holocaust denier."
We have seen the Defendants
scrabbling around at the end of the Bruns Report for its third-hand references
by the SS murderer and braggart in Riga, Altemeyer, to an "order" he
claimed to have received to carry out such mass shootings more circumspectly in
future. But we know from the late 1941 police decodes -- a much firmer source
document than a snatch of conversation remembered years later, in April 1945 --
precisely what orders had gone from Hitler's headquarters, radioed by Himmler
himself, to the mass murderer SS Obergruppenführer Friedrich Jeckeln, stating
explicitly that these killings exceeded the authority that he, Himmler, himself
had given, and by the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA) [Reich Security Main
Office]. We know that the killings of all German Jews stopped at once, for many
When, in the 1970s, I first
translated the word Judentransport (which can mean "transportation of
Jews") as well as "transports of Jews," in the plural -- being at
the time unaware of the surrounding context of data which helps narrow the
purport down to the one Riga-bound trainload from Berlin -- I was thus
inadvertently coming closer to the truth, not further from it: because the
liquidation of all the trainloads from Germany was halted the next day, December
1, 1941, by the order radioed from Hitler's headquarters (whether initiated by
Himmler or Hitler seems hair-splitting in this context) ...
Another most difficult piece
of historical paper for my opponents is the Schlegelberger Document. In late
March or early April 1942, after seeing Germany's top civil servant [Hans
Lammers], who reported only to Hitler, Franz Schlegelberger dictated this famous
memorandum, upon which all Holocaust historians, and the Defendants' expert
witnesses in this case have hitherto turned enough blind eyes to have won
several battles of Trafalgar. For many years after the war it vanished: but that
is another story.
Asked about this specific
document after a lecture in the German Institute, here in London in November
1998, Dr. Peter Longerich, who is now the Defendants' expert witness, had the
function's chairman rise to inform the audience that the speaker was not
prepared to answer questions from David Irving.
It is a genuine document,
referring in one breath both to Hitler and the "Solution of the Jewish
Problem." Confronted with it in the witness box, he and his fellow experts
have argued, either that it was totally unimportant; or that it concerned only
the Mischlinge, the mixed race Jews, and not the Final Solution in any broader
sense. Ingeniously, Dr. Longerich even tried to suggest that it originated in
1940 or 1941. The document has them in a breathless panic.
The document's own contents
destroy their latter argument: In the first sentence, it says: "Mr. Reich
Minister Lammers informed me that the Führer had repeatedly declared to him
that he wants to hear that the Solution of the Jewish Problem has been adjourned
[or postponed] until after the war." That this is the broader Final
Solution is plain from the second sentence, which shows namely that the
Mischling question was something different: "Accordingly," the
memorandum continues, "the current deliberations have in the opinion of Mr.
Lammers purely theoretical value." Those deliberations were, as my
opponents themselves have argued, solely concerned with what to do with the
Mischlinge and the like. The document is quite plain; and it was dictated by a
lawyer, so he presumably knew what he was writing. There is no room for
argument. My opponents have pretended for years that this document effectively
does not exist.
I have dealt at length in my
statements in the witness box, and while cross-examining the witnesses, with the
other contentious items, namely the Goebbels diary entries for March 27 and May
30, 1942, the Himmler minute of September 22, 1942, and his note for his meeting
with Hitler on December 10, 1942; meetings with Antonescu and with Horthy in
April 1943; the deportation and murder of the Jews in Rome in October 1943,
Himmler's speeches on October 4 and 6, 1943, and on May 15 and 24, 1944, and
Hitler's speech on May 26, 1944, and Ribbentrop's testimony and evidence from
his cell at Nuremberg. I contend that my use of these items was quite proper ...
As for the content of the
Kurt [Hans] Aumeier dossier -- his [postwar] manuscripts suggest, or confirm,
the existence of limited-scale gassings at Auschwitz. The figures are
unreliable, and many of the other details conflict with those provided by the
equally flawed writings of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss. This is in my
submission the most likely reason why the Defendants have not relied heavily on
either source in their defense.
Nor for that matter have
they made any use of the loudly trumpeted Eichmann memoirs prized out of the
Israeli government archives [made public on February 29, 2000] -- perhaps
because in the entire document, although this former SS Obersturmbannführer is
writing with brutal frankness, and describing the most appalling spectacles that
he has seen, he does not refer even once to being shown a gas chamber during his
official guided tours as "executioner in chief" of the Auschwitz and
Birkenau camps ...
Hitler's Knowledge of the
'Solution of the Jewish Question'
This became the most
controversial issue, both in this courtroom and stretching far back into my
writing career; I wish, just because of this, that I had picked a different
Because of the inescapable
conclusion -- that Hitler had probably not ordered, or been aware until
relatively late, of the ultimate fate of the European Jews -- I forfeited, as my
US agent predicted, perhaps half a million dollars or more of lucrative
sub-licensing deals with major corporations -- the Reader's Digest, paperback
houses, reprints, The Sunday Times. After I completed a first draft of the book
in about 1969-1970, I realized that there was this inexplicable -- and
unexpected -- gap in the archives.
I hired a trusted friend,
Dr. Elke Fröhlich of the [Munich] Institute for Contemporary History [IfZ], to
go through all the then-available German archives again, with the specific task
of looking for documents linking Hitler with the Final Solution. She did a
conscientious and excellent job, working for me in the files of the Nuremberg
state archives, the Institut für Zeitgeschichte [IfZ], the Berlin Document
Center, the Bundesarchiv [German Federal Archives], and the military archives in
Freiburg. Her resulting research materials, my correspondence with her, the
index cards and photocopies, form a part of my Discovery in this action. It was
she who produced for me for example the then-unpublished diary entry of
Governor-General Hans Frank -- actually a meeting transcript of December 13,
1941, currently being edited by her colleagues at the [Munich] Institute -- to
which I duly made reference.
I would incidentally rely on
this episode as one further instance of my integrity as an independent
historian: Inherently dissatisfied with the results of my own research, I hired
and paid out of my own pocket for this second opinion, as an avocatus diaboli,
to trawl once more, and with a net of finer mesh, across the same fishing
grounds for documents that might in fact destroy my, then still tentative,
hypothesis. In a similar step, which I think I took to appease the now worried
American publishers, I wrote in December 1975 to four or five of the major
international Jewish historical research institutions, appealing for
"evidence proving Hitler's guilt in the extermination of the Jews."
All of these inquiries by me
drew a blank, except for one. As I summed up in a letter to The Sunday Telegraph
on June 19, 1977, "... all offered their apologies, except Professor Raul
Hilberg, author of the standard history on the subject, who honorably conceded
that he too has come to the view that Hitler may not have known." (His
letter is in my Discovery). The other institutions stated that they had no such
evidence, or they did not reply.
The International Endeavor
to Destroy my Legitimacy as an Historian
Before I proceed to the
problems with the accepted version of the history of Auschwitz, I turn first to
the submissions that Your Lordship will allow me to make on the 30-year
international endeavor by a group of organizations to destroy my legitimacy as
an historian. I submit that I am entitled to draw these documents to Your
Lordship's attention, because these bodies, acting with that secret and common
purpose, compiled dossiers and reports on me with the intention of destroying
me. They did so exercising no proper care for accuracy; and, as is evident from
the Second Defendant's Discovery, and from the Introduction to her book [Denying
the Holocaust] in which she explicitly acknowledges the assistance provided by
many of these bodies, she drew upon these tainted wellsprings as the source for
much of the poison she wrote about me.
We shall hear that, buried
in the files of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto, is a document, now also
in Ms. Lipstadt's files -- they sent it to her -- which forms something of a
blueprint for the attempt to destroy my name. A researcher for the Centre,
commissioned to investigate my life in detail, recommended in that compilation,
after referring to my "thorough archival research" and "genuine
historical insight" as follows: "Given this accurate version of
reality, it is all the more clear why his activities must be curtailed, and why
his [Irving's] alleged legitimacy must be eradicated."
I have been subjected since
at least 1973, and probably before then, to what would be called in warfare a
campaign of interdiction. I know of no other historian or writer who has been
subjected to a campaign of vilification even one tenth as intense. The book
Denying the Holocaust was the climax of this campaign. There exist, as I said in
my opening speech [published in the Sept.-Dec. 1999 Journal], various bodies in
this country and around the world who have at heart the interests of special
groups. I make no protest about that: but many other Englishmen have noticed, or
found out, usually by chance, that these bodies keep files on us, which they use
to our disadvantage if they believe we are a danger to their interests. Despite
the best intentions of the Data Protection Act, it seems that we have no means
of checking those files, or revising their content, let alone of cleansing them
of libels. To give one particularly gross example: Under the cover provided by
the United States First Amendment, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency accused me in
1995 of having supplied the trigger mechanism for the Oklahoma City bomb. That
item was picked up by the American, and then faintly echoed by the British
press. It was only months later that I found out who had started that lie.
But regrettably this has
become a campaign to defame people whom they regard as a danger. A number of
special bodies exist solely for this purpose. Some of them are listed on my
website index as being "... some traditional enemies of Free Speech."
Professor Kevin MacDonald, of California State University-Long Beach, a
sociologist who is the world's leading expert on these things, expressed
forceful opinions to this Court in his expert report [published in the Jan.-Feb.
2000 Journal] -- on which he offered himself for cross-examination -- and I urge
Your Lordship not to disregard the substance of what he had to say.
These bodies will not endear
themselves, if found out, to the victims of their campaigns.
Mr. Rampton made much of Mr.
Ernst Zündel's gross and ill-considered reference to the "Judenpack"
["pack of Jews"] -- as anti-Semitic a word as one might hear. In
consequence, Mr. Rampton labels this man as an extremist and an anti-Semitic.
The Court has been told nothing by Mr. Rampton of what, if any, remarks, or
incidents, preceded the outburst by Mr. Zündel. We do know, and I can so inform
this Court, that his home [in Toronto] has been attacked and torched. Such
violent incidents certainly cannot excuse the violent remarks; but they can
Because they don't like what
he writes or publishes, these bodies have attempted to destroy his life with
criminal prosecution in an attempt to have him deported or jailed. They have
failed, and Canada's highest Court has ruled that he is free of any criminal
taint. Your Lordship may consider that this finding by a judicial body has some
bearing on the label of extremism. Quite probably as the direct result of these
bodies' agitation against him, he was subjected to violent assault. He was sent
a large parcel bomb which the [Canadian] RCMP police authorities took away and
detonated. The instigators were a British Columbia group of
"anti-fascists." Mr. Zündel ought not, of course, to have used such
an expression. Apart from anything else, his opponents are not Jews in general,
but self-appointed bodies of would-be censors. The Court will readily accept
that I -- Mr. Zündel is not the claimant here -- have not used such language in
all the thousands of pages, videos, and recordings which I have readily
My own experience at the
hands of these self-appointed censors has not been so very different. It began
in 1963 when agents of Searchlight [a British "anti-fascist"
periodical] raided my home and were caught red-handed in this criminal attempt.
Ever since then that publication has tweaked my tail with a stream of defamatory
articles: a 37-year onslaught, to which I as a good Christian turned the other
cheek. After ten years this campaign had begun to threaten my livelihood.
Lord Weidenfeld, one of my
favorite publishers -- he published no fewer than three of my major works,
including my best-selling Rommel biography -- was the first publisher, first of
a long and illustrious line, to come under clandestine pressure to tear up his
publishing contract with me because my books offended these special-interest
groups. He told me at the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 13, 1973, that "he
had cancelled the book [Hitler's War] under extreme outside pressure, he said,
from officials of Zionist groups, and representations made by certain
It might be said that the
real Defendants in this case are not represented in this Court, but their
presence has been with us throughout. These are the people who commissioned the
work complained of, and provided much of the materials used in it. I understand
they have provided considerable funds for the defense -- I am talking primarily
of the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League [ADL] of B'nai
B'rith, a long-established American body.
I know very little about the
former body, but I am aware that the latter [the ADL] has a $50 million annual
budget, substantially greater than an author commands whose livelihood has been
destroyed by their activities. When your Lordship comes to such things as costs
and damages, I would respectfully submit that you bear these things in mind.
We have them to thank for
the spectacle that has been presented in this courtroom since January. Without
their financial assistance, it is unlikely that Mr. Rampton and his defense team
and his instructing solicitors could have mounted this colossal onslaught on my
name. One day in 1998 I was shown a letter written that morning by Mr. Julius
[attorney for Lipstadt] to some of the country's richest men, inviting them to
bankroll this action. It had chanced into our hands. That is the other side of a
piece of legal coinage that has recently come back into currency -- champerty
and maintenance. For over three years this well funded team sitting opposite me
has drilled down deep into my private papers and burrowed on a broad front into
the archives of the world, on a multi-pronged attack -- trying to establish that
what I have written over the last 35 years is distorted or mistranslated in
pursuance of an agenda (namely the exoneration of Adolf Hitler); and trying to
dig up every little morsel of dirt on me that they can.
My book Hitler's War was
published by the Viking Press in New York in April 1977, and by Hodder &
Stoughton in this country in June of that year. What can be seen as a
coordinated attack on the book began. The Viking Press was one of that nation's
most reputable publishers (and is now owner of the First Defendant company
[Penguin]). Public attacks on the book in the press were concerted, with
clandestine attempts to have my book squelched and me, as its author,
The Anti-Defamation League
(or ADL) -- a body which turns out to have been closely in league with the
Second Defendant [Lipstadt] in the current action -- did what it could to
disrupt my USA lecture-circuit and television tour promoting the book. The ADL
had its Washington branch put pressure on the Channel 5 television network that
was to carry a "Panorama" interview with me: we are rather well
informed about how this American lobby of bigots carries out its duties, and I
reproduce these extracts of its secret internal report on its efforts. Hearing
of the booking for me to attend the program, the local ADL agent reported to
headquarters: "As a consequence, I arranged with the show's producer to
place on the same show in a debate posture my associate, Randy Koch, which
airing took place on April 18, 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. A cassette of the show is being
sent to you under separate cover for your advice and analysis." They added:
"The following information is provided to you so that in addition to the
cassette you may better appraise Irving's knowledgeability and toughness as an
adversary in conjunction with ADL's problems with him."
What were the ADL's
"problems" with me, one wonders? I had had no dealings with them
whatsoever. If we had been able to cross-examine Professor Lipstadt, we might
have asked her, since her own Discovery, limited though it is, shows her to have
been in cahoots with them.
With more fervor than
accuracy, the ADL report continues with the remarkable disclosure:
David Irving is the nom de
plume of John Cawdell, a revisionist historiographer of Adolf Hitler,
particularly regarding Hitler's role in and knowledge of the mass
extermination of European Jewry. His major premise is that Hitler was largely
oblivious to the large-scale killing of Jews in the death camps. He alleges
and underscores the lack of historical evidence in documentation form that
will show any orders from Hitler to Himmler, Heydrich or others. Irving
further maintains that no direct documentation exists of Hitler giving orders
to liquidate Jews ...
The agent's report continues
that the book [Hitler's War] is a work of over 900 pages, including 100 pages of
footnotes. "It would appear from the quantity of research and time that
Irving put into the work that the author appears knowledgeable and expert in
subject area." The cause for ADL concern then follows:
My monitoring of the
aforementioned telecast leads me to conclude that Irving comes through as an
extremely knowledgeable and tough adversary although he is extremely defensive
in debating his latest work ... I see no problem in our joining in debate
situations with him provided our proponent does sufficient homework.
The report adds that they
had questioned a local [Jewish] Board member, identified as James Jacobs, an
atomic scientist who had allegedly befriended me when I was researching my book
The Virus House, the history of the German atom bomb project. While I have to
confess that I have no memory of that man, the 1977 report adds: "Jacobs
states that Irving is definitely not anti-Semitic, that he is an excessive
This was no doubt an
accurate report on my private conversations with the man. [The ADL agent's
According to Jacobs,
Irving is extremely thorough in his research and cites in this connection an
inordinate amount of time spent by him in the United States going over the
German archives reports and time spent in discussions with eminent authorities
in the field covering associate matter concerning Irving's writings. Jacob's
appraisal concurs with mine that as a consequence of the foregoing, Irving
does make a tough adversary.
The report concludes that
Jacobs would "co-operate with you" -- the addressee, evidently the
ADL's London friends, the Board of Deputies [of British Jews], "in any way
he can to further assist you in your appraisal."
When I then began my
lecturing activities around the USA in the early 1980s, speaking at private
functions, schools, and universities, the ADL headquarters sent out a secret
circular, a "Backgrounder," to all their local agents. The
backgrounder, dated July 6, 1983, began with the words: "British author
David Irving has been of concern to ADL, as well as to the Jewish community
generally, since the 1977 publication of his book Hitler's War," and it
indicated that it was the controversy over Hitler and the Jews that was the
reason. We have heard of similar such circulars being generated by them on other
famous literary names, for example the Daily Telegraph writer Auberon Waugh, and
Noam Chomsky, who though an eminent Harvard professor also found mysterious
problems in getting material published. In my case the ADL instructed its
"regional offices": "Should he [Irving] surface in your region,
please notify the Fact Finding Department and your Civil Rights
It is quite plain that the
ADL were not concerned with promoting civil rights, but in abrogating one of the
most basic rights of all, the right to freedom of speech.
The circular about me was so
defamatory and untrue that after a copy was passed to me I sent a written
warning on October 15, 1983, to the then director of the ADL in New York to
desist from spreading what I referred to even then as this "libelous
garbage." I warned that I had prevailed in a number of defamation actions
in the German law courts enforced against provincial newspapers, political
groups, and trades unions, including the giant [German labor union] IG Metall,
and that other people who innocently spread such legends, including the Israeli
author Ephraim Kishon, had preferred to apologize to me in writing for
mistakenly giving currency to such smears. The ADL did not reply, and they
continued their illiberal campaign against me.
Correspondence with my
literary agent showed by 1984 already that the international smear campaign was
inflicting financial damage on me. It was at precisely this time, 1984, that the
Second Defendant [Lipstadt], then teaching in the Near Eastern Languages Center
of the University of California at Los Angeles, offered her services to Yehuda
Bauer in Jerusalem. She attached "A Proposal for Research: The Historical
and Historiographic Methodology of the Holocaust Revisionists." I ask Your
Lordship to note that on page 38 of this synopsis the Second Defendant mentioned
my name in these words: "They [deniers] also find it expedient to associate
themselves with those such as David Irving who do not deny that the Holocaust
took place but seek to shift the blame to others." (My added emphasis).
To conclude this, on the
matter of her employment: on May 31, 1988, she was awarded an additional $16,000
agreement for research on this topic by the Vidal Sassoon Center for the Study
of Anti-Semitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This research, it should
be added, was what finally bore fruit as the book complained of, Denying the
Holocaust. The publisher at that time was to be Robert Maxwell, who was liaising
with Professor Yehuda Bauer.
During this period the
international campaign against me achieved some ugly successes. Through their
Vienna collaborators, the Documentation Archive of the Austrian Resistance [DÖW],
a recognized Communist-front organization, they prevailed upon Austria's
Interior Minister, Karl Blecha, to have me illegally deported in June 1984. In
July 1986 after an appeal by myself this was overturned, and Austria was ordered
to pay me compensation. I have to admit that as a writer I was not prepared for
this kind of campaign. I do not expect that any of the expert witnesses we have
seen have ever had to experience anything like it.
When I toured universities
and other speaking venues in Australia and New Zealand in 1986 and again in
1987, I learned that every organizer, every television producer had received an
information pack from the ADL; and that every university library had received a
letter from the corresponding Australian body pleading with them to take my
books off the shelves. This may remind Your Lordship of where Professor Evans
said he found my book hidden in the British Library.
In short, there was and is a
hidden network of Orwellian organizations determined to ensure that no version
of history of these matters of which they disapproved was given currency, or
indeed allowed to survive; the alternative history should be destroyed, its
publishers ruined, and the writers themselves ausgerottet [eradicated].
The Second Defendant's
Discovery, which includes such correspondence with, and items from, ADL as she [Lipstadt]
has seen fit to provide, throws some interesting lights on the ADL's methods.
When a local newspaper, The Daily Pilot, published in [Costa Mesa/Newport Beach]
Orange County, south of Los Angeles, reported a function of the Institute for
Historical Review (the IHR), the ADL was horrified, as the ADL regional office
reported, to find that the reporter, "seems to find an air of legitimacy
surrounding the group." The reporter, Bob Van Eyken, who evidently had not
gotten the message, even described the IHR members [at the 9th IHR Conference,
February 1989] as "neatly dressed ... evok[ing] a sense of reasoned
dignity." This clearly clashed with the skinhead, jackbooted, extremist
stereotype that the ADL, like the expert witnesses in this case, wished to
project for the IHR and other "right-wing" groups. This material,
though clearly discoverable in this action, was withheld from Discovery by the
Second Defendant until a summons was issued to produce all her correspondence
with the ADL.
We know that the Second
Defendant [Lipstadt] has had extensive dealings with the ADL. Even from her own
limited Discovery, about the deficiencies in which I shall have to say more
later, we know that she was provided with smear dossiers by them. She thanks
them in her introduction [to Denying the Holocaust]. She made no attempt to
verify the contents of this material with me (or so far as this Court knows,
with others), but recklessly published it raw and unchecked. A 25-cent phone
call to me would have saved her endless trouble. Instead she preferred to rely
on smear sheets like the "confidential" and defamatory four-page item
dated October 23, 1986, headed: "Profile on David Irving," evidently
supplied to her by a Canadian body. Characteristically, the "profile"
was disclosed to me by her solicitors without any covering letter from its
author or custodian and shorn of any identifying material; I wrote more than
once in vain asking for missing pages to be provided.
It is quite evident that the
ADL set itself the task of destroying my career, in concert with other similar
organizations around the world, many of whom, if not all, collaborated with the
Second Defendant in writing her book. The pinnacle of their achievement came in
1996, when the Second Defendant, as she herself boasted to The Washington Post,
was among those who put pressure on St. Martin's Press, who had been one of my
US publishers for some 15 years, to violate their publishing agreement with me
and [in April 1996] abandon publication of Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third
For a few days, these
enemies of free speech stepped up the pressure. They publicized the private home
addresses of St. Martin's Press (SMP) executives on the Internet. They staged
street demonstrations in Manhattan. They organized a walkout by SMP staff. When
SMP refused to be intimidated, Lipstadt wheeled out the rhetoric: To Frank Rich,
a columnist of The New York Times, she accused me of being a repeat killer:
"What David Irving is doing ... is not the destruction of live people, but
the destruction of people who already died. It's killing them a second time.
It's killing history." [New York Times, April 3, 1996.] This was not far
distant from the outrageous claim on page 213 of her book, to which no
justification has been pleaded, that I justified the incarceration of Jews in
Nazi concentration camps. Quoted by The Washington Post on April 3, 1996,
Deborah Lipstadt stated:
They say they don't
publish reputations, they publish books. But would they publish a book by
Jeffrey Dahmer on man-boy relations? Of course the reputation of the author
counts. And no legitimate historian takes David Irving's work seriously.
We have heard quoted in this
Court two tasteless remarks I am recorded as having made, about Chappaquiddick
and about the Association of Spurious Survivors, and I do not deny that those
words were tasteless. But bad taste is not what is in the pleadings, while
express malice is: and the odiousness of Professor Lipstadt's comparison, in a
mass circulation newspaper of record, of a British author with Jeffrey Dahmer, a
madman who had recently murdered and cannibalized a dozen homosexuals in the
mid-West of the USA, is surely compounded by the fact that Lipstadt had at that
time not read a single book I had written, let alone the manuscript on Dr.
Goebbels that she had joined in trying to suppress. It is clear that neither she
nor the ADL was concerned with the merits, or otherwise, of the Goebbels
biography. They wanted it put down, suppressed, ausgerottet: and me with it.
Having, like St. Martin's
Press, thoroughly read it, the major US publisher Doubleday had selected this
book as their May 1996 choice for History Book of the Month. But that deal
depended on the SMP contract, and thus it too collapsed. The financial losses
inflicted on me by this one episode in April 1996 were of the order of nearly
half a million dollars ($312,500), which might seem proper reward for the eight
years' hard work that I had invested in writing this book, and hauling it
through its five draft versions.
From the publication of
Hitler's War onwards, the attitude of the print media to me changed. A
strategically placed review written in one afternoon, by one man furnished with
the appropriate dossier on me, could go a long way to destroy the product of six
or eight years' research. That was why these dossiers had been created.
To the right journalists or
writers, such as the Second Defendant, these dossiers were on tap. A fax from
Professor Lipstadt to the Institute of Jewish Affairs in London, or to the ADL
in New York, or to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto, released to her a
cornucopia of filth, which she had no need to double-check or verify, because in
the United States such writings are protected by the authority of the First
Amendment to the US Constitution, in the laudable name of the freedom of speech,
or by the authority of New York Times vs. Sullivan, which effectively declares
to libelers that it is open season on any public figure.
Thus my book Uprising, on
the Hungarian uprising of 1956, published in 1981 by Hodder & Stoughton, was
savaged by certain reviewers: Neal Ascherson, Arthur Koestler and others
disliked it. Ion Trewin, then that firm's chief (and now head of Weidenfeld)
wrote to me: "I must say I'm rather shocked by the abuse leveled at you
from certain quarters -- the obvious liberal ones of course." And Penguin
Books, now Defendants in this action, wrote to me, "Criticism may have been
occasionally necessary, but venom, though to be expected, was not called
for." (Had that same firm remembered that dictum 15 years later, we should
not be here today).
This unfair attack on my
works was a source of great concern to me. Reviews are an author's life blood,
but the trend of lying reviews continued. When The War Between the Generals (the
Eisenhower and Montgomery story) was published in New York in 1981, one review
in The New York Times on March 8 of that year by John Lukacs, to which I
referred in Court, sank the book without trace, and in fact destroyed the highly
reputable American publisher, a close personal friend of mine, too. I will not
weary the Court with the precise mechanism by which one such review can inflict
so much damage, but such is the power of the press.
Whenever I now appeared in
the United States to lecture, there were well-orchestrated tumults. Well-meaning
bodies were tricked by the vile propaganda into organizing against me. At the
University of California at Berkeley there was violence on October 14, 1994,
encouraged openly by the "Hillel" [Jewish campus organization] in
conjunction with the Marxist and Spartacist organizations -- they boasted about
this to the campus newspapers -- which the campus and city police forces were
quite unable to control. One building was comprehensively wrecked, with tens of
thousands of dollars of damage being done and several elderly members of my
This Court will surely not
take it amiss of me that I refused to be intimidated by these truly
"Nazi" methods, and that I have on a very few occasions used perhaps
tasteless language about the perpetrators. The violence spread around the world,
and always it was orchestrated by the same organizations.
It would be otiose to list
them all here. Some of them [have been] ... On November 5, 1989, the Israelite
Community of Vienna, Austria, called for violent action to stop me speaking in
that city. I initiated police prosecution of the leader of the Community for his
public incitement to violence.
In 1990 the two Canadian
bodies, the League of Human Rights of the B'nai B'rith Canada and the Canadian
Jewish Congress, announced that they were to "monitor" my tour of that
country. "Monitoring" turns out to be euphemism for a campaign of
letters, pressure, and threats of violence and commercial pressure against
hotels, halls, and lecture-theatres that had been hired, and against which every
body, student society, military institute, or group that had invited me to
speak. Attempts to force the prestigious Ottawa Congress Center to violate its
contract failed, resulting in a violent demonstration organized by the same two
bodies. One such letter came into my hands, from the League of Human Rights of
the B'nai B'rith Canada to an Ottawa restaurant owner written in September 1991.
Its content, which I shall not quote here -- it is in the evidence before Your
Lordship -- shows clearly the methods used to get hall owners to violate their
contracts. They did this to us, acting as Jews; if we had done the same to them,
as Jews, the uproar would have been intense.
To a visiting lecturer and
writer like myself, a guest in their countries, finding myself up against
powerful and wealthy political lobbies, the situation was deeply disturbing. My
livelihood and personal safety were at stake, but I was determined not to be
browbeaten or defeated. Seen from the outside, at first this campaign, this huge
international endeavor against me, appeared to be coincidental; but eventually
it began to bite. Perhaps publishers are made of less stern stuff than myself.
After Andrew Lownie, my new UK literary agent, wrote warning me that four major
UK publishers "just do not want to be associated" with me, on November
30, 1990, I wrote expressing astonishment and concern at how rapidly this
situation had developed, and stating: "I have begun to suspect a concerted
effort ... to rob me of my publishing basis, not just in the UK but
In England a parallel
campaign was launched by the [Jewish] Board of Deputies, and by other
organizations which we know to have collaborated with the Defendants in
producing this libelous book. This had kicked into high gear after my own
imprint [Focal Point] published an abridged edition of the Leuchter Report in
June 1989. Pressure was put on the World Trade Centre in the City of London to
repudiate our contract for the press conference. A picket was staged outside our
front door to prevent journalists from attending when the conference was
switched to my own home. The Board arranged an early day motion in the House of
Commons, as a privileged way of publishing a smear on my name. On June 30 of
that year the Jewish Chronicle revealed that representations had been made to my
principal British and Commonwealth publisher, Macmillan, to drop me as an
Macmillan had already
published several of my books, and were under contract to publish several more.
I had no fears that they would succumb to this intimidation. They had informed
me that Hitler's War was running so successfully that they intended to keep it
permanently in print. I am entitled to mention this background, as I have
mentioned the Board's other clandestine activities against me, because it was
said by Mr. Rampton that I later made one public tasteless remark (in October
1991) about the Board of Deputies. If somebody attacks, using secretive and
furtive means, the very basis of the existence of my family then it may be at
least understandable that I speak ill of them.
It is worth mentioning that
when I invited Mr. Leuchter privately to address my Clarendon Club at Chelsea
Town Hall in November 1991, the [Jewish] Board tried strenuously to have him
gagged. They just do not understand the word "debate." They piled
pressure onto Kenneth Baker, then the Home Secretary, to stop him coming, and
Ben Helfgott of the Holocaust Education Trust, of whom we will shortly hear
more, threatened in July 1991 that "violence would greet the revisionists
if they were allowed in." Secretly, on July 17, 1991 -- 50 years to the day
after Hitler granted police powers to Himmler in the occupied Soviet Union --
the Board of Deputies wrote to the president of Germany's Federal Office for the
Protection of the Constitution (BfV), a body of which we have heard greatly
admiring words from [defendants' witness] Professor Funke; this English Board
urged that they take steps to stop me, a British citizen like no doubt the
members of the Board, from entering Germany.
Germany is a country on
whose publishers and archives I have been heavily dependent, as the Court is
aware. We have only the BfV's reply, dated August 9, 1991, to Neville Nagler of
the Board of Deputies. I retrieved a copy of this letter from the files of the
Prime Minister of Australia; so the same Board, in London, had evidently also
secretly sent its dossiers to its collaborators in Canberra, and no doubt other
countries, in its efforts to gag me worldwide. That is an indication of the
world-wide networking that went on, this secret common enterprise, this frantic
international endeavor to destroy my legitimacy as an historian and to deprive
me of free speech, of which the Defendants have made themselves the willing
As is evident from a letter
from the Austrian ambassador dated June 22, 1992, the Board also applied
pressure on that country to ensure that I did not enter, or that I was to be
arrested if I did. The equivalent Argentinean body, the DAIA, launched a well
coordinated smear on me when I arrived in Argentina in October 1991 to lecture,
in Spanish and German, on historical themes at universities and to private
associations. When the DAIA headquarters building was blown up with heavy loss
of life a few months later, it now was inevitable that my name would be linked
with that outrage too, and my Argentinean publisher was obliged in consequence
to abandon its contracts with me, as they revealed privately in a letter to me.
(Four years later the similar lie was circulated that I was directly involved in
the Oklahoma City bombing.)
These tides of hatred and
suppression lapped at the doors of my London publishers. On November 27, 1991, a
note appeared in the internal files of my publisher Macmillan, listing the
remaining stocks of my books and the current contract positions. This was an
ominous sign. In another internal Macmillan memorandum, editor-in-chief Alan
Gordon Walker stated to his editors, "We will not publish Irving
again." I was not told this; in fact my own editor there continued to write
oleaginous letters to me, as they were waiting for the Goebbels biography which
they had paid for, and which was under contract.
What had happened meanwhile?
Firstly, I had established my own publishing imprint which was capable of
producing a better quality of book than Macmillan was currently achieving, while
using the same printing firm in Somerset. The new omnibus edition of Hitler's
War, published in November 1991, was one of its first products. This was just as
well. On December 6, 1991, an Internal Office Memo from Macmillan's files
records that "quite a number of people" had commented unfavorably to
Macmillan's about them publishing my books, and one person, an unnamed
"Oxford Professor of Politics," who had evidently learned nothing from
the book burning episodes of Nazi Germany, stating "that they would be more
inclined to publish with us [Macmillan] if we were not publishing Irving."
(The Oxford professor of politics was probably Peter Pulzer, identified by
Lipstadt in her book as such and quoted by The Independent at the time).
This campaign had been
coordinated by the Board of Deputies. In some of its members, it seems that the
illiberal spirit of Dr. Goebbels lived on behind the Board's facade. Meeting
behind locked doors at their headquarters on December 12, 1991, a body
identified as the "Education and Academic Committee" of the Holocaust
Educational Trust, registered as a charitable body, had a conference on several
matters, of which one point specifically indicated that those present, including
Mr. Helfgott, were searching for ways to silence my publications. After this
meeting, minutes were written, including this point 6:
David Irving: Concern was
voiced over the publication of the 2nd edition of Hitler's War. There was
debate over how to approach Macmillan publishers over Goebbels diary. It was
agreed to await new[s] from Jeremy Coleman before deciding what action to
We know more of this meeting
from the statement to this Court by my witness Dr. John Fox, who was present at
this cabal in his capacity as editor of The British Journal of Holocaust
Education. He testifies:
As an independently-minded
historian, I was affronted by the suggestion concerning Mr. David Irving ...
At a certain point in the meeting, attention turned to the subject of Mr.
Irving and reports that the publishing company of Macmillan would be
publishing his biography of Joseph Goebbels. Mr. Ben Helfgott, the Chairman of
the main United Kingdom Yad Vashem Committee, spoke about how that publication
by that publishing firm might be stopped. Mr. Helfgott then turned to me, the
only non-Jew present at the meeting, and suggested that "John could
approach Macmillan to get them to stop publication."
I refused point-blank to
accede to that suggestion, arguing that in a democracy such as ours one simply
could not do such a thing. That amounted to censorship, especially since
nobody present had the least idea what Mr. Irving's biography of Goebbels
would contain. For me, such attempted censorship was totally unacceptable. I
said that if people did not like what Mr. Irving wrote, the time to respond to
him was when anything was actually published. I -- and to their credit, at
least two other (Jewish) committee members -- rejected Mr. Helfgott's proposal
out of hand.
Nevertheless, as the
Committee minutes make it clear, it was planned by some to consider further
action about how best to scupper Mr. Irving's publishing plans with Macmillan.
The clandestine pressure on
Macmillan's began at once. My editor at Macmillan's, Roland Philipps, who had
married the new Managing Director Felicity Rubinstein, noted in an internal memo
of January 2, 1992, that they should reassure prospective authors that they had
turned down many other book proposals from me, and had no plans to continue
publishing me after Goebbels. It was not the bravest of postures to adopt, this
Court might think. "If this helps you to reassure any prospective authors
we are happy for you to say it (although not too publicly if possible)."
The desire of Macmillan's for this stab in the back to be kept secret from their
own highly successful author is understandable. Their ultimate stab in the back
was, however, still to come, in the summer of 1992.
In May 1992 we find Deborah
Lipstadt providing a list of her personal targets, including now myself, to the
US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington; she advised the USHMM to contact
Gail Gans at the Research Department of the ADL in New York City for additional
names, and "tell her I told you to call her." This establishes that
the Defendants considered that the Museum, a US taxpayer-funded body, was
actively participating in their network, and the Museum duly provided press
clippings from London newspapers relating to me, which have now turned up in the
The attempts to suffocate my
publishing career continued. A second arm of this attack also needs to be
mentioned. Since my own imprint would not be intimidated as easily as
Macmillan's, or indeed at all, the hostile groups applied pressure to major
bookselling chains to burn or destroy my books, and in particular the new
edition of Hitler's War. Some of the press clippings reporting this nasty
campaign ... include reports of a sustained campaign of window smashing of the
branches of Waterstone's bookstore in the biggest Midlands cities, after
complaints by "local Jewish and anti-racist groups."
Waterstones informed one
Newcastle newspaper that they were taking the book off public shelves
"following a number of vandal attacks on book stores across the
country." The Nottingham Waterstones took the book off display after a
brick was thrown through its window. The campaign was clearly centrally
coordinated from London. None of this was reported in the national press, but
one would have thought that these groups would have recognized the bad karma in
any campaign of smashing windows or burning books. I wrote privately to Tim
Waterstone guaranteeing to indemnify his chain for their costs of any uninsured
claims. He refused to be intimidated by the campaign, which is one reason why I
removed the names of four Waterstones branch employees from the list of
Defendants in this action at an early stage. Others took a different line.
According to the Evening Standard, Mr. Ivan Lawrence, a QC [Queen's Counsel], MP
[Member of Parliament], and a member of the Board of Deputies, justified the
vandals who committed the window smashing and book burning outrages (while
formally "condemning" them).
The Board was at this time
actively organizing violent demonstrations outside my residence. Its address
appeared on at least one leaflets posted over the West End calling for
demonstrations outside my private address. The Campaign against Fascism in
Europe (CAFE, a body identified by a Sunday Express investigation as a Mossad
front), set up a "broad based temporary united front" in a
"Committee to Stop Irving." Its primary purpose was to stage what it
called "a mass militant demonstration" to prevent me from lecturing to
a private seminar in Central London on July 4, 1992, (the topic was Freedom of
Speech); it called for "a working class alliance of ... black, Jewish,
lesbian and gay" communities. The leaflets which this faceless body handed
out in the West End stated that I "whitewash Nazi crimes and incite racist
murder." I gave copies of these leaflets to the police. The resulting
demonstration was violent and pointless, because I was still in Moscow. A
photograph in The Observer shows one of the CAFE posters reading "Gas
Irving Now!" The newspaper reported that seven people were arrested in the
violence, and that my home was under round-the-clock police guard. It quoted me
as saying that I had received four or five death threats in the last 24 hours.
"For 30 years I have been subjected to a reign of terror."
The same newspaper reported
that the Anti-Nazi League and its parent body, the Board of Deputies, were
applying pressure to The Sunday Times to violate its contract with me. One
reason why I mention all of this may well be apparent to Your Lordship: when I
made remarks about certain of my critics, occasionally using vivid language, I
As an indication of the
pressure my family was under: the West End Central Police station telephoned to
ask permission to film the interior of my residence, in case we had to be
rescued. An officer informed me that they had received information of a planned
attack. For twelve months after our young child was born, we lived with a wicker
Moses basket in the furthest corner of our apartment, near a window, attached to
a length of wire rope in case the building was set on fire and we had to lower
her to safety. I arranged with the Grosvenor Estate to increase the fire safety
precautions in the building. I have lived since then with a four foot steel
spike stowed in a strategic point inside my apartment. No historian should have
to live with his family in a civilized city under such conditions. An
orchestrated barrage of abuse and death threats began on my unlisted phone
number. One of them I recorded. It is one of the transcripts which the
Defendants have not shown to Your Lordship.
At the same time as they
organized this campaign of intimidation, and the attacks on my London and
foreign publishers, the Board and its collaborating foreign bodies did what they
could to hamper my freedom of movement. On April 1, 1992, South Africa informed
me that I would no longer be allowed to enter the country. On June 5, 1992, the
South African Jewish Board of Deputies wrote a letter to Michael Whine,
executive director of the corresponding London Board, gloating over this
success. An Israeli survey on subsequent events summarized: "In 1993 the
controversial right-wing historian David Irving was granted a three month visa
to visit South Africa on condition that he refrain from addressing any public
gathering. The South African Jewish Board of Deputies objected to the visit. In
December it was reported in the press that Irving had been refused the special
permission he needed to visit South Africa during 1994." (It has taken
Nelson Mandela and the ANC to lift this ban imposed by the outgoing regime.)
On June 9, 1992, I was
denied entry to Italy to address university students in Rome. That bars me from
access to the Archivi Segreti del Stato, the Italian state archives in which I
worked on Mussolini's papers.
In Canada, Sol Littman,
director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto, joined this formidable
international endeavor to destroy my career. Once again we do not have to rely
on something as vague as a scholarly "consensus," or on the opinion of
"the social sciences," to learn what happened. Quoting Littman in
their global report Response at the end of 1992, the parent Wiesenthal Center in
Los Angeles boasted:
Alerted through its
international contacts that Irving was about to begin his 1992 [Canadian]
tour, the Wiesenthal Center was determined to drop Irving in his tracks to
prevent him from entering Canada. A legal research team provided the Canadian
Department of Immigration with a brief pointing to Irving's conviction in
-- which [conviction] was
for describing the Krematorium I ["gas chamber"] currently on display
to tourists at Auschwitz, truthfully, as a fake.
The League of Human Rights
of B'nai B'rith Canada made a similar boast in its confidential annual report to
the 1993 B'nai B'rith Canada convention. Dr. Karen Mock bragged in this document
-- and I rely on this too as proof of the international nature of this endeavor,
to which the Defendants on this action have added their weight:
British Holocaust denier
David Irving attempted to conduct one of his cross-Canada tours in 1992, but
thanks in part to League [that is, League of Human Rights of B'nai B'rith
Canada] interventions, and excellent co-operation between a number of police
agencies and government departments, Irving was arrested and deported. He is
no longer permitted to enter Canada without ministerial consent. In both these
cases, the League worked to warn the Immigration department of these
individuals' impending visit and provided information to government officials.
Australian and South African Jewish communities have used materials provided
by the League to lobby their governments for similar treatment of Irving.
Where did the Canadian
"materials" come from? Michael Whine, executive director of the Board
of Deputies, unashamedly revealed the answer in an affidavit sworn in November
1996. He swore this affidavit in connection with the libel action that I later
sought to bring against the Board. He confirmed that in response to an appeal by
the Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto for dirt that they could plant on government
files in Canada -- a country I have visited countless times since the 1960s --
the Board of Deputies furnished to their Canadian counterparts two
"confidential" intelligence reports that they had concocted on me; the
second such report was covered by a letter dated June 17, 1992. The letter also
relayed to Toronto reports from similar Jewish organizations in Cape Town and
Germany, boasting of their success in getting me banned from South Africa and
fined in Germany.
The intelligence reports
which Whine has admitted he furnished to his Canadian friends contained vicious
and damaging libels: I was said to have married the daughter of one of General
Franco's top generals to ingratiate myself with the Spanish Falangist movement.
This gives a clue to the fantasy world that the Whines of this world live in.
"Uncorroborated evidence," the document continued, "implies that
Irving has been the recipient of substantial funding from unknown sources. It
has repeatedly rumored that these sources are Nazis." I had been, the
report stated confidently, "active in the British Union of Fascists."
That was another lie. There were hints that I had maintained improper relations
with the East German authorities, and the totally untrue statement that during
the 1970s "Irving appeared annually on the public list of 'Enemies of the
State'" compiled by the German Office for the Protection of the
Constitution. And so on.
When I found out -- too late
-- that this fake evidence had been planted on Canadian files, I was angered and
astounded that a British organization could be secretly doing this to British
citizens. It turned out from these files that academics with whom I had freely
corresponded and exchanged information, including Gerald Fleming, had been
acting as agents and informants for this body. I submit that these are the
bodies that collaborated directly or indirectly with the Defendants in the
preparation of the book, and that the Defendants, knowing of the obvious fantasy
in some of what they said, should have shown greater caution in accepting their
materials as true.
There was an immediate
consequence of this fake data planted on Canadian files. One data report
recorded the "fact" that I had written many books denying the
Holocaust. That was of course untrue. In August 1992 a docket was placed on
Canadian Immigration files about me, saying among other things, "Subject is
Holocaust denier, may be inadmissible" under section A19(1)(d)(1) of the
Act. The Canadian government had been provided by the Wiesenthal Centre with a
list of my proposed travel dates across Canada in October and November 1992.
After more lying data was placed on Ottawa files about me, which I have since
retrieved by the Access to Information Act, a letter was sent to me by courier
stating that I might not be allowed to enter Canada. I did so, legally, on
October 26; I was arrested on October 28 at Vancouver, and deported permanently
from Canada on November 13, 1992, causing me great damage and financial loss.
[See "Irving's Most Un-Excellent Adventure," Jan.-Feb. 1993 Journal.]
Access to the Public Archives of Canada was as essential for my future research
as access to the Public Record Office in Kew [England] or those archives in
Italy. That is one proof of the direct and immediate cost of the pernicious
label, "Holocaust denier."
There was at this time also
a determined attempt to secure my exclusion from the United States. If
successful, this would finally have sabotaged my career. A document, purporting
to be an official US government intelligence (of the Office of Special
Investigations), was circulated about me. On my protest to the US security
authorities, they were good enough to confirm to me, after making inquiries,
that it was a fake. In the same month, when I arrived at Washington's Dulles
airport I was held in immigration custody for several hours. A senior official
then apologized to me that their inquiries had determined that somebody had
planted a forged dossier about me on their Immigration Service computer in an
attempt to keep me out. "A yard and a half of garbage," was how he
described it. The US government again apologized to me, and assured me in
writing that the computer file had now been cleansed. A few months later
Washington-area Jewish organizations started putting pressure on the big
bookstore chains to stop selling my books, but here they met with blank refusals
to comply. ["Area book chains sell work of Hitler apologist,"
Washington Jewish Week, May 26, 1994, pp. 6, 19.]
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre
in Toronto, which had orchestrated the Canadian attack on my freedoms, prepared
similar intelligence reports of its own on me, and one of these eventually came
to light -- though not without difficulty -- in Professor Lipstadt's Discovery
in this action, with a covering letter from its chief executive, Sol Littman,
addressed to Professor Lipstadt, the Second Defendant. It goes in my submission
to other issues in this action, namely damages and costs, that it required me to
issue a summons and make an application for a court order to enforce the proper
disclosure of these items; and that copies of the documents to which I was
entitled under Order 24 were withheld from me until the eve of the hearing of my
application; and that Mishcon de Reya [defendants' London law firm] only then
furnished me with photocopies of the document, and with a covering letter which
had seemingly been backdated -- the postmark was dated after the receipt of my
In a letter to Professor
Lipstadt, Sol Littman asked her to recognize that one intelligence report was
"not for publication or direct quotation." "It contains," he
explained, "many phrases and comments that neither you or I would use in a
situation which clearly involves considerable delicacy." The paper itself,
which was originally disclosed to me shorn of any indication of institution, or
author, or date, was entitled "History Rewritten: The World of David
Irving." It listed a number of quotations from my works, but confirmed what
it called my "enticing writing style and thorough archival research,"
and complained that I continued revisionist themes "interspersed with
genuine historical insight."
Claiming that it was my
underlying purpose to rehabilitate Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich, the
anonymous Canadian author stated these words, words coming from my enemies which
characterize the whole of the global endeavor to silence me: "Given this
accurate version of reality, it is all the more clear why his activities must be
curtailed, and why his alleged legitimacy must be eradicated."
I make no apology for
quoting that sentence in full again, notwithstanding Mr. Littman's desire that
it should not be quoted. The word eradicated may even jar us all somewhat, after
two months of debate about meanings of ausrotten ["eradicate,"
"root out," "wipe out," "exterminate"], but the
fact remains that this is what these enemies of free speech have tried for 30
years to do -- by hook or by crook, to ruin me, and to destroy my hard won
legitimacy as one of the world's most original and incorruptible writers on the
Third Reich and its history.
Writing in Response [Winter
1992], the Wiesenthal Center world report, Sol Littman reported from Canada that
"while David Irving squirmed, bullied, and lied, in the end he was booted
out of Canada, never to return without the express permission of the Immigration
Minister." The Jewish Chronicle reported on November 13, 1992, that Bernie
Farber, national director of the Canadian Jewish Congress, had stated that I was
"finished" in North America, which seems therefore to have been their
common intent. Mr. Farber was to have been one of the witnesses of fact chosen
by the Defendants; he has recently been disallowed by Canadian courts from
appearing as a witness in a similar case, because he is held to be prejudiced.
His evidence is no longer before this Court.
I now come to Macmillan's
final stab in the back. That is, the hand on the blade was Macmillan's, but the
blade had been forged and fashioned by all the Defendants in this courtroom, and
by their hidden collaborators overseas. On July 4, 1992, as this Court knows, I
had returned from Moscow with the missing entries of the Goebbels diaries
exclusively in my possession, having gone there on behalf of The Sunday Times.
This hard-earned triumph caught my opponents unawares. Newspapers revealed that
the ADL and its Canadian collaborator, the League of Human Rights of B'nai
B'rith Canada, sent immediate secret letters to Andrew Neil at The Sunday Times
demanding that he repudiate their contract with me. On Sunday, July 5, the
London Sunday newspapers were full of the scoop, and also with hostile comment.
On Monday, July 6, The Independent newspaper reported under the headline
"Jews Attack Publisher of Irving Book," that a UK body which it
identified as "the Yad Vashem Trust" was piling pressure on
Macmillan's to abandon its contract with me to publish my forthcoming biography
of Goebbels, failing which they would urge booksellers not to stock or promote
Macmillan's finally took
fright that same day, as I only now know. After their directors inquired, in an
internal memo, how many of my books were still in their stocks, and having been
given totals of several thousand copies of all three volumes of my Hitler
biography, representing a value of several hundred thousands pounds, my own
editor Roland Philipps on July 6 issued the secret order reading: "Please
arrange for the remaining stock of [Irving's Hitler' War] to be destroyed. Many
thanks." They prepared a "draft announcement," but it was not
released. Although still a Macmillan author, I was not told. The royalties due
to me on the sale of those books were lost, destroyed with them. The Defendants'
campaign to destroy my legitimacy as a historian, of which the book published by
the Defendants became an integral part, had thus reached its first climax.
Macmillan was still under
contract to publish my Goebbels biography. In September that year, 1992, still
not suspecting that they had done the dirty on me and destroyed my books, I
wrote to them asking them to revert all rights in that new biography to me.
Allan Brooke of Hodder Headline, the second biggest UK publishing group, made a
very satisfactory offer two years later for the rights; he had published my
books before while at Michael Joseph. Within a few days however the offer had
been formally withdrawn -- something which had never happened to me in a
lifetime of publishing. Brooke told me that he had come under pressure to revoke
his offer. The Defendants' book had now been published and was now, as yet
unknown to me, in the bookstores.
The campaign to silence me
was on a broad front, indeed a global scale, but it also took unusual and petty
forms. For 25 years I had spoken as a guest at my old school, twice a year, to
history classes and sixth formers. On September 19, 1992, the school informed me
in a letter that, under "pressure which built up yesterday from Jewish
parents, the Anti-Nazi League and ... the press," they had to withdraw
their latest invitation, which they recognized as "a sad day for the school
and for freedom of speech." When my club held a private lecture-meeting
that same month, leaflets and stickers appeared all over the west end with
slogans like "Stop the fascist agitators," "No more Rostocks"
(a reference to an incident in which an asylum seekers' hostel was burned down),
and, more threateningly, "meet at Irving's home," and providing my
private address. The global nature of all this is evident from an Israeli survey
issued in Tel Aviv "in co-operation with the [New York based] ADL."
This stated, among successes in preventing various meetings and lectures from
occurring, that "in London the Jewish community and other groups worked
together ... and made it difficult for David Irving and his followers to
maintain the fiction of the 'Clarendon Club'."
Letters obtained by legal
methods in Canada show that on October 21 and November 3, 1992, the Board of
Deputies applied secret pressure on the German embassy to stop me, a British
citizen like themselves, from entering Germany. If a ban was applied, it would
spell the end for me as a World War II historian because I could no longer reach
my publishers, or access my own collections there of valuable documents which I
had donated to the German archives, let alone the archives of the German
Australia was the next
country to be worked over. The Israeli document quoted above reported unhappily
on the press backlash that had arisen from pressure applied to the Australian
government to silence me, which, it said, had attracted editorials in major
Australian newspapers unfavorable to the Jewish community: "The implication
was that a minority group, with extraordinary clout, had pressured the
Australian government to act against the country's interest." Nothing, they
implied, could be further from the truth. [See "Victory for Irving in
Australia Free Speech Struggle," Nov.-Dec. 1993 Journal, pp. 12-15.]
What had happened was this:
In September 1992 I announced to Australian university professors that I would
be visiting their continent for a third lecture tour early the following year.
Alerted to this tour by the German professor Konrad Kwiet, one of the Holocaust
experts I had written to, the same organizations applied secret pressure on the
then prime minister, Paul Keating, to refuse me entry. The Australian Jewish
News set up a hue and cry, reporting that I had "sneaked into Canada,"
to give lectures "denying the Holocaust really happened," and stating
that I "incite the gullible to racist violence," and that I "have
a record of contempt for anti-racism and immigration laws." Every single
one of these statements was a lie.
But the lying was now
getting out of hand. When a Munich Court [in January 1993] increased the fine on
me for denouncing the Krema I ["gas chamber"] building at Auschwitz as
a postwar fake, the Board of Deputies issued a press release calling me a
"Nazi propagandist" who has attended Nazi training camps, and they
welcomed the trebling of the fine [to 30,000 marks]. Not surprisingly, no
British newspaper dared to reproduce such libels, but a copy is, significantly,
in Professor Lipstadt's discovery. I am of course barred from using it as the
basis for the action which it deserved.
Opponents released to
Australian television the heavily edited version of Michael Schmidt's 1991
videotape of me addressing the crowd at Halle [Germany]. As edited, it omitted
my visible and audible rebuke to a section of the crowd for chanting Hitler
slogans. Grotesque libels about me swamped the Australian press, printed by
various organizations including the New South Wales Board of Deputies and the
Australian Jewish News (February 5, 12, and 19, 1993). One example was an
article by a lecturer in politics: "He [Irving] has a history of exciting
neo-Nazi and skinhead groups in Germany which had burned migrant hostels and
killed people ... Irving has frequently spoken in Germany at rallies ... under
the swastika flag ... himself screaming the Nazi salute ..." Unsurprisingly
in retrospect, on February 8, 1993, the Australian government announced, though
to the astonishment of the regular Australian national press, that I was to be
refused a visa as I was a "Holocaust denier." They had thus adopted
the phrase that the Second Defendant [Lipstadt] prides herself on having
The new and very damaging
ban on visiting Australia now made it impossible for me to work again in the
National Library of Australia in Canberra. At great personal expense I appealed
to the Australian Federal Court. The Court declared the minister's refusal of a
visa to be illegal. The government in Canberra therefore changed the law in
February 1994 to keep me out, and on May 3, 1994, they again refused my
application for entry. We note from Professor Lipstadt's own Discovery that the
immigration minister faxed the decision direct to one of her source-agencies
that same afternoon.
In July 1994, as the
resulting fresh legal actions which I had started against the government still
raged, the Second Defendant was invited by Australian organizations, all
expenses paid, to visit their country; she was to hired to tour Australia, and
to slander my name and reputation and add her voice to the campaign to have me
refused entry. The Court will perhaps remember the Australian TV video which I
showed, entitled "The Big Lie." Broadcast on July 1994, it showed both
the [Defendants'] expert witness Professor Van Pelt, and Fred Leuchter standing
on the roof of the Krema II [structure at Birkenau], which Van Pelt declared to
be the center of the Nazi genocide, and the Second Defendant [Lipstadt] being
interviewed while still in Australia (and refusing once again to
"debate" with the revisionists, rather as she has obstinately refused
to go into the witness stand here). Thus I found myself excluded from Australia
and, inevitably, New Zealand too. I lost the ability to visit my many hundreds
of my friends down under, and my own daughter too, who is an Australian citizen;
and I lost all the bookshop sales that this ban implied in Australia -- where my
Churchill's War biography had hit the No. 1 spot on the best seller lists.
There was one interesting
little postscript which helps to tie all these things together: I produced a
video, a rather unpretentious document entitled "The Search for Truth in
History," which was to travel the Australian continent until I could again
enter myself. A closed session of the video censorship authority in Sydney was
convened, at the request of the special interest groups who urgently wanted to
suppress my video. Afterwards, the security authorities discovered that a hidden
microphone had been planted in the chamber. Indicating that he already had the
answer, the leader of the opposition, Tim Fisher, challenged the government to
admit that it was planted by the Mossad. This is an indication that some very
dangerous forces indeed had aligned themselves behind the Second Defendant and
My lecturing engagements in
the British Isles came under similar attack. In the past I had often spoken to
universities and debating societies, including the Oxford and Cambridge Unions.
But now, in one month, in October 1993, when I was invited to speak to
prestigious bodies at three major Irish universities, I found all three
invitations canceled under pressure and the threat of local Jewish and
"anti-fascist" organizations. The irony will not elude the Court that
these Defendants on the one hand have claimed by way of defense that I speak
only to the far-right and neo-Nazi element, as they describe it, and that it
turns out their own associates are the people who have done their damnedest to
make it impossible for many others to invite me.
Deborah Lipstadt had
meanwhile made some progress with her book. She told her publisher that she had
written a certain statement "with the marketing people in mind" -- in
other words, sometimes money mattered more than content. She had revealed in
September 1991: "I have also spoken to people in England who have a large
cache of material on David Irving's 'conversion' to denial." We don't know,
but we can of course readily suspect, who in this case those "people"
were. She is, once again, not presenting herself for cross-examination, so there
are many things we cannot ask her ...
In the light of Mr.
Rampton's strictures on my now famous little ditty, supposedly urging my
nine-month old little girl not to marry outside her own people, I should also
have wanted to ask questions of Professor Lipstadt's views on race. We know that
she has written papers, and delivered many fervent lectures, on the vital
importance of people marrying only within their own race. ("We know what we
fight against ...," she wrote, "intermarriage and Israel-bashing, but
what is it we fight for?") She has attracted much criticism from many in
her own community for her implacable stance against mixed marriages. In one
writing Lipstadt quotes a Wall Street Journal interview with a Conservative
Rabbi, Jack Moline, whom she called "very brave" for listing ten
things that Jewish parents should say to their children: "Number one on his
list," she wrote (in fact it was number three), "was 'I expect you to
marry Jews'." My one little ditty was a perhaps tasteless joke. Professor
Lipstadt's repeated denunciation of mixed marriages addressed to adults was
Professor Lipstadt accuses
me of error and falsification, but is apparently unable to spot a fake even at a
relatively close range. She has admitted, according to Professor Peter Novick,
that she used the memoirs of the spurious Auschwitz survivor Benjamin
Wilkomirski in her teaching of the Holocaust. Those "memoirs" have now
been exposed, worldwide, as fraudulent. When it turned out the Wilkomirski had
never been near the camp, or in Poland for that matter, but had spent the war
years in comfort living with his adopted Swiss family, she acknowledged that
this "might complicate matters somewhat," but she insisted that the
Wilkomirski "memoirs" would still be "powerful" as a novel.
[See "Holocaust Memoir Exposed as Fraud," Sept.-Oct. 1998 Journal, pp.
15-16.] It may seem unjust to Your Lordship that it is I who have had to answer
this person's allegation that I distort and manipulate historical sources.
We have Professor Lipstadt's
handwritten notes, evidently prepared for a talk delivered to the ADL in Palm
Beach, Florida, in early 1994. In these, if I have read her handwriting
correctly -- and she appears to be relying on something that Lord Bullock had
just said -- she states that my aim seems to be to de-demonize Hitler; and that
I had said that FDR, Hitler, and Churchill were all equally criminal. This is
hardly "exonerating" any of them. Summarizing Hitler's War (the 1977
edition), she calls me merely a "historian with a revisionist bent"
like A.J.P. Taylor -- and she adds, and this seems significant -- "Irving
denies that Hitler was responsible for the murder of European Jewry. Rather, he
claims that Himmler was responsible. But he does not deny its occurrence."
Had she stuck with that view, which is a very fair summary of my views both then
and now, she and we would not find ourselves here now.
But she was led astray. She
fell in with bad company, or associates. These things happen. We know that, in
conducting her research for the book, she spoke with the Board of Deputies, the
Institute of Jewish Affairs, and other such worthy bodies, since she thanks them
all in her introduction.
Some time in 1992 her book
was complete in its first draft, and she sent it to the people who were paying
her, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We do not know what was in the book,
since I cannot question the Second Defendant and she has not disclosed that
early draft, with Professor Yehuda Bauer's "scribbles" on it, in her
sworn list of documents. It was clearly discoverable. We do know however what
was not in it: we know that there was no mention of Hezbollah and Hamas and
Louis Farrakhan and the November 1992 terrorists in Stockholm, or of the lie
about my speaking on the same platform with them; in fact we also know that in
this first draft I was merely mentioned in passing. This is evident from the
letter which Professor Yehuda Bauer wrote, congratulating her on November 27,
1992: Bauer complained that the book lacked the "worldwide
perspective," and said: "Irving is mentioned, but not that he is the
mainstay of Holocaust denial today in Western Europe."
Somehow, therefore, I had to
be shoe-horned into the text before publication. Bauer also urged her not to
write things that inadvertently might convince the reader that there was
"something" to what revisionists ("deniers") said, although
that is hardly a true scholar's method, to suppress mention of opposing
arguments. In a letter to Anthony Lerman of the Institute of Jewish Affairs (the
same Mr. Lerman who would later spread the lying word that I had supplied the
trigger mechanism for the Oklahoma City Bomb), Lipstadt revealed that there was
an "earlier incarnation" of the book: that "earlier
incarnation" has not been disclosed in her sworn list either. She had been
ordered to swear an affidavit on her list. When I made a subsequent complaint
about deficient discovery, her solicitors reminded me that I could not go behind
her affidavit until she presented herself for cross examination. This chance has
been denied to me.
Lipstadt spent much of that
last month of 1992 putting me into the book, and so herself, into this courtroom
today. They were the weeks after the spectacular success of the global campaign
to destroy my legitimacy, which culminated in getting me deported in manacles
from Canada on November 13. "I am just finishing up the book," she
wrote to Lerman on December 18, "and as you can well imagine David Irving
figures into it quite prominently." She pleaded with Lerman to provide,
indeed to fax to her urgently, materials from "your files." Your
Lordship may think that this haste to wield the hatchet compares poorly with the
kind of in-depth, years-long research which I conducted on my biographical
subjects. "I think he [Irving] is one of the more dangerous figures
around," she added, pleading the urgency. It was a spectacular epiphany,
this Court might think, given that only three weeks earlier the manuscript
barely mentioned me, as Bauer had complained.
Lerman faxed his materials
to her a few days later: we don't know precisely what, as here too the
Defendants' Discovery is only fragmentary, and these items were provided to me
only in response to a summons.
That is an outline of the
damage, and the people, including specifically the Defendants in this action,
who were behind it. Mr. Rampton suggested at a very early stage that I had
brought all of this on myself, that I had even deserved it -- he was talking
about the hate-wreath that was sent to me on the death of my daughter. We shall
Auschwitz has been a
football of politicians and statesmen ever since World War II. The site has
become, like the Holocaust itself, an industry, a big business in the most
tasteless way. The area is, I am informed, overgrown with fast food restaurants,
souvenir and trinket shops, motels, and the like. Under prime minister Josef
Cyrankiewicz (who had been prisoner number 62,993) it was known at its opening
in 1948 as a "monument to the martyrdom of the Polish and other
Auschwitz was overrun by the
Red Army in January 1945. The last prisoner had received the tattooed number
202,499. Informed by Colonel-General Heinz Guderian that the Russians had
captured Auschwitz, Hitler is recorded by the stenographers as merely
acknowledging: "Yes." The Court might find it significant that he did
not prick up his ears and say something like, "Herr Himmler, I hope you
made sure that the Russians will find not the slightest trace of what we have
been up to." (Or even, "I hope you managed to get those holes in the
roof slab of Krema II cemented over so there's no trace, before you blew it
up." I will shortly explain the significance of that.) When the name of SS
Gruppenführer Hans Kammler, the architect of the concentration camps, was
mentioned to him a few days later by Goebbels, it was evident that even
Kammler's name meant little to Hitler.
How many had died at
Auschwitz? We still do not know with certainty, because the tragic figure has
become an object of politics too. Professor Arno Mayer, Professor of European
History at the University of Princeton, a scholar of considerably greater renown
than Professor Evans, and himself a Jew, expressed the view in one book [his
1989 study, Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?: The 'Final Solution' in History, p.
365] that most of the victims of the camp died of exhaustion and epidemics.
"... From 1942 to 1945, certainly at Auschwitz, but probably overall, more
Jews were killed by so-called 'natural' causes than by 'unnatural' ones."
The Russians who captured
the camp did not at first make any mention in their news reports of "gas
chambers" ... The Russians set up an inquiry including some very well known
names -- including "experts" who had examined the "Nazi mass
graves" at Katyn, and even the notorious [Soviet geneticist Trofim] Lysenko,
and they announced that four million had been murdered at Auschwitz. Under the
Polish Communists, a monument to "four million dead" was duly erected,
a number adhered to until the 1990s, even under Franciszek Piper, one of the
later (but still Communist) directors of the Auschwitz State Museum Archives.
After the Communist regime ended that the figure was brought down, to 1.5
million, and then to 750,000 by the acknowledged expert Jean-Claude Pressac. The
Defendants' own expert Peter Longerich spoke of one million deaths there from
all causes, and in response to cross-examination by myself and to Your
Lordship's queries Dr. Longerich confirmed that he included all non-homicidal
deaths, deaths "from other causes," including epidemics and
exhaustion, in that figure.
As for the overall death
roll of the Holocaust, what meaning can one attach to figures? The International
Military Tribunal (IMT) at Nuremberg found that "the policy pursued
resulted in the killing of six million Jews, of which four million were killed
in the extermination institutions." But the six million figure derives, as
US chief prosecutor Mr. Justice Robert H. Jackson recorded in his diary in June
1945, from a back of the envelope calculation by the American Jewish leaders
with whom he met in New York. [See D. Irving, Nuremberg: The Last Battle, 1996,
pp. 61-62.] Professor Raul Hilberg put the figure at 5.1 million or less. Gerald
Reitlinger [in his book, The Final Solution] had the figure at 4.6 million, of
which he stated about three million were conjectural as it was not known how
many Jews had escaped into the unoccupied part of the USSR. The Israeli Prime
Minister's office, we are told by Norman Finkelstein, recently stated that there
were still nearly one million living survivors. [See R. Faurisson, "Impact
and Future of Holocaust Revisionism," Jan.-Feb. Journal, pp. 8-9.]
There are doubts not only
about precise figures but also about specific events. The same [Nuremberg] IMT
ruled on October 1, 1946, that the Nazis had attempted to "utilize the fat
from the bodies of the victims in the commercial manufacture of soap." In
1990 historian Shmuel Krakowski of [Israel's] Yad Vashem [center] announced in
the world's press that that too had been a ("Nazi") propaganda lie.
Gradually the wartime stories have been dismantled. As more documents have been
found, widely stated propositions have been found to be doubtful. [See
"Jewish Soap," Summer 1991 Journal, pp. 217-227.]
For a long time the
confident public perception was that the Wannsee protocol, of the January 20,
1942, meeting, recorded the actual order to exterminate the European Jews.
Yehuda Bauer, the director of Yad Vashem, the premier Holocaust research
institution in Israel -- and one of the correspondents of the Second Defendant [Lipstadt]
-- has stated quite clearly: "The public still repeats, time after time,
the silly story that at Wannsee the extermination of the Jews was arrived
at." In his opinion Wannsee was a meeting but "hardly a
conference," and he even said: "Little of what was said there was
executed in detail." ["Wannsee's importance rejected," (JTA),
Canadian Jewish News, Jan. 30, 1992.] Despite this, Your Lordship has had to
listen to the "silly story" all over again in this Court from the
Surely, say my critics,
there must now be evidence for a Hitler Order?
Back in 1961 Raul Hilberg,
one of Yehuda Bauer's great rivals for the laureate, asserted in the first
edition of his study, The Destruction of the European Jews, that there had been
two such orders, one in the spring of 1941 and the other soon after. By 1985 --
after I had corresponded with him and voiced my own doubts -- Hilberg was
back-pedaling. He went methodically through his text, excising from the new
edition the allegation of a Hitler Order. "In the new edition," as
Professor Christopher Browning, an expert who testified [on behalf of the
defense] before this Court, criticized in a learned journal, "all
references in the text to a Hitler decision or Hitler order for the 'Final
Solution' have been systematically excised. Buried at the bottom of a single
footnote stands the solitary reference: 'Chronology and circumstances point to a
Hitler decision before the summer  ended'." "In the new
edition," Browning repeats, scandalized, "decisions were not made, and
orders were not given." [See B. Kulaszka, comp., Did Six Million Really
Die?, Toronto: 1992, pages 192, 300, 349.] Your Lordship will find my exchange
with Browning as to whether he had indeed written those words in 1986 ... you
will find too that he regretted that he could not recall clearly the events of
15 years ago, which invited a rather obvious riposte from me about the probably
similar memory-deficiencies in the eye-witnesses on which he had on occasions
The director of the Yad
Vashem archives [Shmuel Krakowski] has stated [in 1986] that most survivors'
testimonies are unreliable. "Many," he said, "were never in the
places were they claim to have witnessed atrocities, while others relied on
second-hand information given them by friends or passing strangers" -- the
phenomenon I have referred to as "cross-pollination." Your Lordship
may have been as startled as, I confess, was I, upon learning the degree to
which the case for the mass gassings at Auschwitz relies on eye-witness
evidence, rather than on any firmer sources. Your Lordship will remember the
exchange I had with Donald Watt, professor emeritus of history at the London
School of Economics, and a learned diplomatic historian, early on in the trial,
about the value of different categories of evidence:
Irving: Professor, I was
not going to ask you about eyewitness evidence, but where would you rank
eyewitness evidence on the scale, if you had, for example, aerial photographs,
if you had prisoner of war intelligence, contemporary prisoner of war
intelligence, if you had intercepts from Bletchley Park, if you had captured
documents, either captured during the war or after the war, and eyewitness
evidence, in other words, anecdotal evidence and, finally, interrogations,
whether under oath or not in Court, how would you classify those in order of
reliability, starting with the least reliable?
Prof. Watt: I do not know
that there is any way of classifying those, because it depends so much on the
individual. I did a great deal of interviews, particularly in the period
before the 1967 Public Records Act released documents of 30 years of age, and
in my experience the kind of evidence I got differed according to the
personality of the person giving it. In some cases I found that the man I was
interviewing had his own documentary record and was consulting it, and that
what he said was confirmed later. In other cases, including at least one
Minister of the Crown, I was given a very plausible and, for all I know, a
very true story of a meeting at which he was supposed to have been present;
and when the records of that meeting subsequently became available, it was
clear that he was not. He should have been, but he just was not that day, and
he must have heard the story from one of the people there and then repeated
Irving: But he seriously
believed that he had been there?
Prof. Watt: ... If a
gentleman who holds the rank of Admiral of the Fleet and is a junior Minister
in the Cabinet tells you that he is there, one's reaction is not to question
Irving: So to repeat my
original question, where you would rank on that scale of material that is
lying before you, at one end of the bench you have the eyewitnesses and at the
other end of the bench you have, for example, the Bletchley Park intercepts?
Prof. Watt: The Bletchley
Park intercepts, in so far as they are complete, are always regarded as the
most reliable because there is no evidence that the dispatcher was aware that
his messages could be decoded and, therefore, he would put truth in them.
This supports my view that
eyewitness evidence is less credible than forensic evidence and the Bletchley
Park intercepts. I do not completely ignore eye-witness evidence, but I feel
entitled to discount it when it is contradicted by the more reliable evidence,
which should then prevail.
The Leuchter Report
I am criticized by the
Defendants for having relied initially on what is called the Leuchter Report. At
the time they leveled their criticism at me, the Defendants appear to have been
unaware that subsequent and, more able, investigations were conducted by both
American [actually, German] and Polish researchers. The tests were in other
First, the Leuchter Report:
In April 1988 I was introduced by defense counsel at the Canadian trial of Ernst
Zündel to the findings made by a reputable firm of forensic analysts of samples
extracted from the fabric of various buildings at Auschwitz and Birkenau by Fred
Leuchter, who was at the time a professional American execution-technology
consultant. These, and his investigations at the Majdanek site, formed the
backbone of his "engineering report."
Since there have been
tendentious statements about why the Leuchter Report was not admitted in
evidence at that trial, I have studied the transcripts of that trial. It emerges
that engineering reports are not generally admissible under Canadian rules of
evidence unless both parties consent; in this case the Crown did not consent. As
Mr. Justice Thomas [the Judge] explained, "I get engineering reports all
the time [in civil cases]. That doesn't make them admissible because they've
prepared reports. They [the expert witnesses] go in the box, they're qualified
as experts, and they testify." The non-admission of the report by Mr.
Justice Thomas was no reflection on the worth of the report or on the
qualifications of the witness.
Mr. Leuchter testified on
April 20 and 21, 1988, as an expert in gas chamber technology. He had inspected
the three sites in February, and taken samples which were subsequently sent for
analysis by a qualified analytical chemist in the United States, a Dr. James
Roth of Cornell University, who was not told where the samples had come from.
His firm, Alpha Laboratories, were told on the test certificates only that the
samples were from brickwork. Mr. Justice Thomas ruled that Leuchter could give
oral evidence, but that the report itself should not be filed. He held further
that Mr. Leuchter was not a chemist or a toxicologist.
But he agreed that Mr.
Leuchter was an engineer, because he had made himself an engineer in a very
limited field. A summary of the rest of the judge's findings was that Leuchter
was not capable in law of giving the expert opinion that there were never any
gassings or exterminations carried on in the facilities from which he took the
samples. For the same reasons he was not capable of testifying regarding the
results of the analysis. He was restricted to testifying as to the actual
extraction of the samples, and his own observations on the feasibility of the
buildings that he had examined being used as gas chambers.
The Second Defendant
therefore was wrong to state on page 164 of her book [Denying the Holocaust],
"The judge ruled that Leuchter could not serve as an expert witness on the
construction and functioning of the gas chambers." To give evidence in a
criminal trial, Mr. Leuchter must have been accepted as an expert. Professor
Lipstadt further stated, on pages 164-5 of her book: "The judge's finding
as to Leuchter's suitability to comment on questions of engineering was
unequivocal." In fact the Judge's findings referred only to his lack of
qualifications to testify on the results of the laboratory tests for cyanide and
iron (this was Dr. Roth's area, and he gave the testimony on those matters).
On page 169, Professor
Lipstadt insists: "The exposure to the elements lessened the presence of
the hydrogen cyanide ... Nor did Leuchter seem to consider that the building had
been exposed to the elements for more than 40 years so that cyanide gas residue
could have been obliterated. He also took samples from a floor that had been
washed regularly by museum staff." Dr. Roth however testified under oath
that the formation of Prussian Blue was an accumulative reaction, that it
augmented with each exposure to the gas; and that it did not normally disappear
unless physically removed by sandblasting or grinding down.
Roth seems since then to
have changed his mind, to judge by the film "Mr. Death" [reviewed in
the Sept.-Dec. 1999 Journal] ... Zündel's counsel comments, "He [Roth]
obviously is frightened" and no wonder, considering what was subsequently
inflicted upon Mr. Leuchter. Your Lordship will remember that in order to
destroy Roth's absurd argument, quoted to the Court by learned Counsel, that the
Prussian Blue stain would have penetrated only a few microns into the brickwork,
I showed a photograph of the stain penetrating right through the brickwork to
the outside face of one of the cyanide fumigation chambers, where it has been
exposed to sun, wind, and rain for over 50 years, and where it is still visible,
as deep and blue as ever.
Krema II [building at
Birkenau] has been protected from these outside elements; it is possible to
crawl beneath the famous roof [of the alleged homicidal "gas chamber"
there] -- about which roof I shall have more to say -- but neither Jan Sehn, nor
Fred Leuchter, nor James Roth, nor Germar Rudolf, nor any of the subsequent
investigations found any significant traces of cyanide compounds present in the
fabric of this building, despite the eye-witness accounts of that same chamber
having been used for the gassing of half a million people. Moreover, the
wood-grain of the original wooden formwork (or molds) can still be seen on the
face of the concrete, which is evidence that it has not been sandblasted or
The Morgue Roof
I referred earlier to the
[defendants'] expert witness on Auschwitz and Birkenau in this case, Professor
Robert Van Pelt. He has made unequivocal statements both here and elsewhere
about Krema II, that is, Crematorium [building] No. II at Birkenau. To him, it
was the factory of death, the mass gassing chamber of Birkenau. He did not mince
his language. In the new film "Mr. Death" we saw him speaking as the
film camera showed Fred Leuchter descending into the hole which was broken
post-war through the collapsed concrete roof slab and reinforcing bars of
Leichenkeller 1 (morgue cellar No. 1) of Krema II, and we heard him (Van Pelt)
uttering these words:
Crematorium II is the most
lethal building of Auschwitz. In the 2500 square feet of this one room, more
people lost their lives than any other place on this planet. 500,000 people
were killed. If you would draw a map of human suffering, if you created a
geography of atrocity, this would be the absolute center.
The Court will recall that
on the ninth day of this action I cross-examined this witness most closely about
this statement, and I offered him a chance to change his mind about the pivotal
importance of Krema II and its underground Leichenkeller 1, the chamber which
Pelt alleged had been a mass-gassing chamber.
Irving: Very well. You
say: "In any case, Krematorium II is the most lethal building of
Auschwitz. In the 2500 square feet of this one room," and you are
pointing downwards, "more people lost their lives than in any other place
on this planet. 500,000 people were killed. If you would draw a map of human
suffering, if you create a geography of atrocities, this would be the absolute
center." That is a reference to Krematorium II, and you are standing on
the roof of Leichenkeller No. 1?
Prof. Van Pelt: It is a
reference to Krematorium II, but I am actually not in the picture. It is Fred
Leuchter standing on the roof of Leichenkeller 1.
Irving: But you are
Prof. Van Pelt: But I am
Irving: Professor, just so
that we can be completely clear about this and the record can be clear, you
are describing Krematorium II as being the place where 500,000 people were
killed or --
Prof. Van Pelt: Yes.
Irving: -- give or take a
Prof. Van Pelt: Yes.
Irving: And that this was
the center of the atrocity?
Prof. Van Pelt: Yes.
Irving: So if I am to
concentrate a large part of my investigation in this cross-examination on that
one building and, in fact, on Leichenkeller 1, the one arm of the crematorium
[building], this is not entirely unjustified if I am trying to establish that
the factories of death did not exist as such?
Prof. Van Pelt: No. I
think that the obvious building to challenge would be Krematorium II.
The expert witness could
hardly have been clearer in his answer. I then asked him to identify the
buildings referred to, on the aerial photographs of Birkenau and Krematorium II,
so that there could later be no doubt as to which precise building he had just
agreed was the "factory of death."
The great problem about
accepting that this building was an instrument for mass murder is that the
evidence produced by Professor Van Pelt relies on three "legs": a
handful of eye-witnesses; a few architectural drawings; and a slim file of
The eye-witnesses have
turned out to be liars, particularly those who testified to the SS guards
opening manhole covers on top of the flat roof of Leichenkeller 1 (morgue No. 1)
[at Birkenau Krema II], and tipping tins of Zyklon B pellets inside. One witness
was David Olère, an artist, who drew sketches [from memory] later in Paris,
obviously intending to sell them. His sketches show flames and smoke belching
from the crematorium chimney of Krema III, which was quite impossible; he
portrays the victims of the Nazi killers mostly as nubile young females, all
naked and sketched in a pornographic way, often clutching naked teenage children
to their breasts. It was Olère, I invite the Court to remember, who told
Jean-Claude Pressac that the SS made sausage in the crematoria out of human
flesh (a passage which Mr. Van Pelt did not inform us of). [J.-C. Pressac,
Auschwitz: Technique and Operation, 1989, p. 554.]
Ada Bimko proved at the
Belsen Trial that she too had lied. Entering another "gas chamber"
building at Auschwitz she said she "noticed two pipes which I was told
contained the gas. There were two huge metal containers containing gas."
She evidently did not even know that the "gas" supposed to have been
used, Zyklon B, was actually in pellet form, not cylinders. Distorting her
account too, Pelt also omitted this part of her testimony. Dr. Bendel, another
of Pelt's eye-witnesses, stated that at Krema IV [in Birkenau] the people
crowded into the gas chambers found the ceiling so low that "the impression
[was given] that the roof was falling on their heads." This too was untrue,
as the Court has seen how high those ceilings were in the computer-generated
"walk through." The Court will find that in my cross-examination of
Van Pelt, I destroyed the worth of each supposed eye-witness after eye-witness
in the same way.
Let us first look for those
holes. The roof pillars [of the Birkenau Krema II "gas chamber"] were
blown up in 1945, and the reinforced concrete roof slab pancaked downwards into
the morgue basement, starred but otherwise intact. Van Pelt suggested that the
Zyklon B introduction holes in the roof of Leichenkeller 1 were not much larger
in diameter than tennis balls. The evidence of his eye-witnesses Henry Tauber
and Michal Kula was that they were closer to the size of manholes -- "70
centimeters [27 inches] square." Kula testified that the wire-mesh columns
that he had made were of that cross section [size], and three meters (ten feet)
tall. One witness said the concrete covers had to be lifted off "with both
hands." As the ceiling height in Leichenkeller 1 was 2.40 meters, 60 cm of
each column would have had to extend through the "holes" in the
concrete ceiling, with about six inches poking up outside.
There is no trace of those
holes in the roof today. The underside, which can be inspected and photographed
from beneath, is intact. Even if one could lose sight of the much smaller,
three-inch diameter holes in the pancaked concrete roof, of which Van Pelt
spoke, one could not possibly have lost sight of four holes as large as
manholes. Those holes would be perfectly obvious today, on the ground at
Auschwitz [Birkenau], to any observer using the naked eye, without the slightest
possible doubt as to their location.
Van Pelt accepts that those
holes are not in that roof slab now. In his expert report [prepared for the
Irving-Lipstadt trial] -- and for this honesty I give him full credit -- he
Today, these four small
holes that connected the wire-mesh columns and the chimneys cannot be observed
in the ruined remains of the concrete slab. Yet does this mean they were never
there? We know that after the cessation of the gassings in the fall of 1944
all the gassing equipment was removed, which implies both the wire-mesh
columns and the chimneys. What would have remained would have been the four
narrow holes and the slab. While there is no certainty in this particular
matter, it would have been logical to attach, at the location where the
columns had been, some formwork at the bottom of the gas chamber ceiling, and
pour some concrete in the hole and thus restore the slab.
Van Pelt thus asserts,
without any evidence at all, that late in 1944, with the Red Army winding up to
launch their colossal final invasion only a few miles away on the River Vistula,
the Nazi mass murderers would remove the "Zyklon introduction
columns," and then fill in the holes to "restore the slab"
(before dynamiting the pillars supporting it anyway). He again asserted, when I
cross-examined him on January 25, that: "It would have been logical to
attach at the location where the columns had been, some formwork at the bottom
of the ceiling, and pour some concrete in the hole and thus restore the
How would this have been
more logical than completely removing the roof of Leichenkeller [morgue cellar]
1, as the Nazis had removed the roof of Leichenkeller 2, identified by van Pelt
as the "undressing rooms," as shown in the aerial photos taken on
December 21, 1944, that one can see on page 15 of The Holocaust Revisited, the
booklet published [in 1979] by Dino A. Brugioni of the CIA. The originals of
this photo were shown to Van Pelt in Court. To believe his version, we would
have to believe that the Nazis deliberately created architectural relics of
Leichenkeller 1 to confound later generations of tourists and Holocaust
The fact is that the holes
are not there -- at least they are not visible from a distance of zero to four
feet, or when photographed from the underside. Unable to point them out to us in
close-up at ground level, the Defendants invited us to consider instead either
vertical aerial photographs taken from 35,000 feet up, or a horizontal
photograph taken from several hundred yards away, past a locomotive, where three
(not four) unidentified objects are placed irregularly on the rooftop (the
fourth "object" turns out to be a window on the wall behind).
The Court will recall what
my response was to the not unexpected discovery that during building works such
objects as barrels of tar were parked on a large flat slab ... The notion that
the high flying [Allied reconnaissance] plane could have photographed an object
of 27 centimeters in diameter, let alone of tennis ball size, protruding six
inches above the ground, is quite absurd. The four smudges seen on one
photograph are evidently many feet long.
On Day 11 [of the
proceedings], I brought into the Court half a dozen vertical aerial photographs
taken by the Americans or South African air forces during 1944, and I invited
van Pelt to find those same smudges on that roof.
Where, until that moment, he
had seen dots on another photograph with no difficulty, the witness Van Pelt now
pleaded poor eyesight ("I have now reached the age I need reading
glasses," he said, "and I do not have them with me. I did not expect
this kind of challenge." Precisely.) Had he used even a microscope, he
would not have found the dots on the 1944 pictures I showed him. Because the
holes were not there, and are not there, and he and the Defendants know it.
Even if the Nazi architects
did willingly agree to the weakening of the roof by having makeshift holes of
that size cut through the slab right next to the supporting pillars -- I say
"makeshift" holes, because there is no provision for them in any of
the architectural drawings -- we should certainly expect to see the holes now
They [the defendants] know,
and they knew from the outset, that I was right about that roof. Their entire
case on Krema II -- the untruth that it was used as a factory of death, with SS
guards tipping canisters of cyanide-soaked pellets into the building through
those four (non-existent) manholes -- has caved in, as surely as has that roof.
eye-witnesses who spoke of those holes also lied, or bluffed: and I have called
their bluff. In the absence of the holes themselves, and minus his
"eye-witnesses," Professor van Pelt's only remaining proofs that
Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II was an instrument of mass murder -- a factory of
death in which 500,000 Jews were gassed and cremated -- are these: architectural
drawings (rather oddly for a "professor of architecture" he calls them
blueprints), and wartime documents. He confirmed this to Your Lordship, when
your Lordship asked.
As for the wartime
documents, he referred for instance to the -- to him, sinister -- requirement
that the morgue should be vorgewärmt [pre-warmed] by a central heating plant.
In cross-examination I drew his attention to the relevant section of the wartime
Neufert, the architect's handbook or building code which was standard for the SS
architects, which specifies that morgues must have both cooling and central
heating facilities to avoid damage to the corpses. Document after document fell
by the wayside in the manner. Mr. Rampton introduced the timesheet of one humble
workman in March 1943, showing him actually concreting "the floor in the
Gaskammer." But Birkenau camp was full of [non-homicidal] gas chambers. In
his fine facsimile book of the camp documents [Auschwitz: Technique and
Operation, 1989], Jean-Claude Pressac has printed the drawing No. 801 of
November 8, 1941, for an Entlausungsanlage (delousing installation) for the
prison camp, right in the middle of which drawing is a Gaskammer. He also
reproduces drawing No. 1293, dated May 9, 1942, of the drainage and water supply
of the delousing barracks, buildings BW5b. Here too there is a Gaskammer smack
in the middle of the drawing ...
The bottleneck in the entire
Krema II "factory of death" story is the little freight elevator that
was installed between Leichenkeller 1, as in any such state-of-the-art
crematorium, to haul the bodies from the basement-level morgue up to the
crematorium furnaces on the ground floor. We are told by the Defendants that
this elevator was never anything more sophisticated than something like a
builder's hoist. It had no door, or cage, or walls -- it was just a platform
jolting up and down that elevator shaft. We do know that, as finally installed,
it had a specified load bearing capacity of 1500 kg. Van Pelt suggested that the
hoist could therefore have hauled 25 cadavers at a time. In practice, as there
was just a flat platform with no walls or door, jolting up and down the narrow
concrete elevator shaft, it would have been impossible to stack onto one small
flat platform 25 naked cadavers in the conditions of filth and slime that were
described by the eye-witnesses ...
One thing is plain: that one
elevator in Krema II was the inescapable bottleneck, and it makes plain that,
whatever was happening downstairs in Leichenkeller 1, it was not on the huge
scale that history now suggests.
In response to Your
Lordship's helpful questioning, Professor van Pelt stated that the wartime
documents had to be interpreted if they were to be relied on for this proof.
These interpretations are tenuous. He produced to us a document referring to the
special secrecy to be attached to the crematorium drawings, and suggested that
this was because of the mass gassings being carried on in it. It stressed that
this was because of the wehrwirtschaftlich importance [that is, for the wartime
economy] of the work being conducted there. But van Pelt confirmed under my
cross-examination that the homicidal Final Solution, the genocide, was never
regarded as being wehrwirtschaftlich important. I submitted that the reference
was clearly to keeping secret the ugly business of the looting by the SS of gold
and valuables from the corpses processed by the building, a system which was
undoubtedly wehrwirtschaftlich important to the SS ...
During his slide-show
Professor Van Pelt told us that one cardinal piece of evidence in these drawings
was the relocation of an internal double-door which sealed off Leichenkeller 1
from the interior of the [Birkenau crematory] building, from the inside of the
Leichenkeller door frame (in a December 1942 drawing) to the outside (January
1943). I pointed out that in the new layout, the doors were shown as being
actually rebated into the door frame, and I suggested to the witness that this
was indicative of a gas-tight door being fitted as in any standard air raid
shelter design. Air raid shelter doors are fitted outside the shelter, to open
outwards, so as to withstand blast. Neufert, the wartime architects' handbook,
bears this out.
The witness seems not to
have considered this possibility. The doors allegedly found around the Birkenau
and Auschwitz sites subsequently are all of standard air-raid shelter design,
complete with the obligatory peephole that is fitted to air raid shelter doors.
[See: S. Crowell, "Wartime Germany's Anti-Gas Air Raid Shelters,"
July-August 1999 Journal, pp. 7-30.]
The amendment of the
drawings to provide for an external door, leading from the far end of the
subterranean Leichenkeller 1 to the open air, was also consonant with its dual
use as a shelter, and I put this to the witness on Day 11 [of the proceedings],
as was the relocation of the main entrance staircase from the back of the
building, to the street-side. Among the architectural drawings provided to us
from the Auschwitz archives is one entitled: "Modification of the old
Crematorium," namely Krema I in Auschwitz; subtitled: "Air Raid Bunker
for SS Station HQ with an Operating Theater." So such modifications of the
morgues to provide air raid shelters were clearly nothing extraordinary. Mr.
Rampton made a lot of the order for doors with peepholes. But peep holes were
standard fittings not only on the gas tight air raid shelter doors, but also to
delousing facilities. Jean-Claude Pressac prints photos of two such doors on the
"Canada" delousing chamber at Birkenau.
Krema II as Air Raid
Krema II, like its
mirror-image Krema III on the other side of the [Birkenau] road, was originally
designed as a state-of-the art crematorium, possibly not just for the camp but
for the whole catchment area of Auschwitz which had for centuries been an area
of pestilence and plague. No expense was spared in its design; the best
equipment and architects were used on what was clearly a permanent facility.
Building the Leichenkeller underground, instead of above ground, increased
construction costs by several times, but provided for keeping the morgue cool
during the baking hot Central European summers. Had the building been designed
from the start as a human slaughterhouse, it would certainly not have been
designed on several levels, with the resultant handling problems.
Slaughterhouses are normally built on one level.
We saw in Prof. Van Pelt's
slide-show [a wartime photo of] the pouring of the concrete roof slab of the
subterranean Leichenkeller 2; the roof was undoubtedly much the same as that of
Leichenkeller 1, with a six inch reinforced steel mesh. This undoubtedly made
the new building one of the most robust on the site: certainly more robust and
fireproof in an air raid than the flimsy wooden horse-barracks in which the
prisoners and slave laborers were housed.
The captured Bauleitung
[central construction office] records of Auschwitz, which are now housed in
Moscow archives, confirm that from mid-1942 onwards the German authorities began
to consider the construction at the camp of shelters, splinter trenches, and
other Air Raid Precaution (ARP) measures. After the Allied air raids on Cologne,
Rostock, Lübeck, and so forth, etc., in March-April 1942, the German High
Command recognized the likelihood that air raids would spread across Poland and
central Europe, and they ordered the construction of extended ARP facilities
throughout the occupied eastern territories, insofar as they were within bomber
range. Existing basements were to be converted into shelters, anti-gas-equipment
provided, and personnel trained in anti-gas warfare, as gas attack was widely
expected. I put one such document to Prof. Longerich, and on Day 10 [of the
proceedings] I said: "... the Defense rely on a number of photographs of
doors found scattered around the compound of Auschwitz and Birkenau, and we will
show that these are standard German air raid shelter doors complete with peep
These precautions were not
in vain. In May 1943 [1944?], there was an air raid on the nearby Auschwitz [Monowitz]
Buna plant. This is reflected in Auschwitz documents. At least one of the
American aerial photographs of Birkenau that I produced to the Court and to the
witness Van Pelt shows a stick of heavy bombs just released by the plane that
took the photograph. By the end of the war there was also an anti-aircraft unit
assigned to defending the region, as shown by the reference to Judge Stäglich's
membership in the flak [anti-aircraft] unit that manned it. [S. Crowell,
July-August 1999 Journal, p. 13.]
Your Lordship will also
recall that during his slide show the Dutch historian Van Pelt showed the Court
a series of most interesting computer-generated "walk-through"
reconstructions of the interiors of [Birkenau] Kremas IV and V. Your Lordship
memorized the dimensions of the shutters designed to be fitted on the openings
inside: 30 cms by 40 cms. There were also said to be steps leading up to the
openings. The wartime German civil defense journal Luftschutz ("Air
Defense") shows precisely this arrangement of gas-tight shutters and steps
as a standard air raid shelter feature, designed for the event of gas warfare.
I put this to the witness
Van Pelt: "Would you agree that those shutters that have been found in the
Auschwitz camp are in fact standard German air raid shutters supplied by
manufacturers to a standard design?"
Eye-witnesses have stated
that thousands of victims were gassed in these rooms, and their bodies burned in
large pits to the building's rear. But the contemporary air photographs reveal
no such pits, nor are they evident today. Confronted with what your Lordship has
yourself referred to as the lack of any documentary evidence for the gassings,
Van Pelt could only offer the suggestion that the use of gas chambers at
Auschwitz and Birkenau was a "moral certainty." Three times in his
report he fell back upon that semi-religious phrase. The available proofs
certainly do not support the belief that the gassings there occurred on a mass
I will not dwell long on the
uniformly poor evidentiary basis on the other extermination camps, known to the
Court as the Operation Reinhard camps: Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. Here we do
not even have the "moral certainty" which comforted Professor Van
Pelt. I can challenge here only the scale and the systematic nature of the
alleged gassing of more than one million people in these centers.
The Defendants' own witness,
Professor Browning, admits that the documentation for these camps is
"scant." I place great weight on this admission. Here, the expert
cannot even find one contemporaneous document. He relies entirely upon the
eye-witnesses: men of the ilk of Kurt Gerstein, Jan Karski, Adolf Eichmann and
Rudolf Höss. The fictional elements -- the "130 foot mountains of
clothes," which Browning in his first draft skipped over, the
"electrocution chambers," the "steam chambers," the
deliberately inflated death tolls, which would otherwise shriek their warnings
to critical researchers -- are ignored or suppressed, in order to maintain
There is an impressive level
of documentation which demonstrates liquidation by shooting [in the occupied
Soviet territories] of hundreds of thousands of Jews, probably over a million,
by the Einsatzgruppen, but there is nothing of equivalent value for the Reinhard
camps. One word, Why?, justifies a revisionist's skepticism.
The Walter Föhl letter
produced a similar response [Quoted in: Götz Aly, 'Final Solution', London:
Arnold, 1999, pp. 174-175]. It was found in his Berlin Document Center personnel
file. Föhl, an important resettlement organizer [deputy director of the German
Generalgouvernement Population and Welfare department] in Krakow, Poland, wrote
on June 21, 1942, to his SS comrades:
Every day, trains are
arriving with over 1,000 Jews each from throughout Europe. We provide first
aid here, give them more or less provisional accommodation, and usually deport
them further towards the White Sea to the White Ruthenian [Belarus]
marshlands, where they all -- if they survive (and the Jews from [Berlin's
fashionable] Kurfürstendamm or Vienna or Pressburg [Bratislava] certainly
won't) -- will be gathered by the end of the war, but not without having first
built a few roads. (But we're not supposed to talk about it.)
The expert witnesses [for
the defense], unable otherwise to explain this document, dismissed it as obvious
"camouflage" talk. But why should Föhl use camouflage writing to his
"SS comrades"? As I pointed out to Dr. Longerich, Reinhard Heydrich
himself had spoken of the White Sea option on February 4, 1942, in Prague. [G.
Aly, 'Final Solution', 1999, p. 174.]
It was also noticeable
elsewhere that none of the [defendants'] experts was willing to give documents
their natural meanings when they did not accord with their views. The Ahnert
document, recording a meeting at the RSHA in Berlin, under Eichmann, on August
28, 1942, was one example. [Quoted in P. Longerich, ed., Die Ermordung der europäischen
Juden, 1990, pp. 241-242.] There was talk of the need for the deportees to be
provided with blankets, shoes and eating utensils before dispatch to Auschwitz.
Eichmann requested the purchases of barracks for a Jewish deportee camp to be
erected in Russia, with three to five such barracks being loaded aboard every
transport train. In each case, because the document did not accord with their
"exterminationist" views, the expert had failed to pursue it. Dr.
Longerich, who had included it as document 94 in work he himself had edited, Die
Ermordung der europäischen Juden, had forgotten it even existed when I
cross-examined him about it.
The Allegations of Racism
The Defendants have resorted
to the allegations that I am anti-Semitic and racist. Mr. Rampton's highly paid
experts have found one 1963 diary entry of four lines written 37 years ago,
about a visit to my lawyer Mr. Michael Rubenstein, to discuss a satirical
magazine article, after which I commented. "Thick skinned these Jews
are!" This is all that they could find from the millions of words available
to them? When I remarked [in Court], on March 2, upon the obvious paradox that
an alleged anti-Semite would have retained Michael Rubenstein as his solicitor
and respected adviser for over 20 years, Mr. Rampton's comment, which Your
Lordship may remember, was: "Many of my best friends are Jews too, Mr.
Irving." This stock line does not disguise the paucity of his evidence
In further support of this
contention they have taken isolated remarks made in lectures and speeches -- of
which they have transcribed around half a million words. I trust that your
Lordship will in each case consider both the context in which the remarks are
made, and also the broader surrounding countryside, if I may put it like that.
For 30 years, as I set out earlier, I have found myself subjected to vicious
attack by bodies, acting, as they freely admit, as Jews. For 30 years I
endeavored to turn the other cheek, and I hope I have succeeded.
Mr. Rampton drew attention
to the fun I poked at Simon Wiesenthal, a joke made explicitly about his
other-than-good looks. He called that remark "anti-Semitic." It was
not. It was a joke about his looks, of the same genre that Mr. Rampton made on
Day 28 [of the proceedings] when he inquired rhetorically of [defense witness]
Professor Funke whether a certain outer-fringe Swedish revisionist [Ditlieb
Felderer] seen, in one video shown to the Court, with long blonde hair, was a
man or a woman.
In view of the manner in
which the two Simon Wiesenthal Centers have been abusing my name in their fund
raising leaflets, and endeavoring to destroy my own livelihood, the Court might
think that my fun-making, while tasteless, was not undeserved, possibly even
rather reserved. It was not anti-Semitic, and Mr. Wiesenthal is no more immune
from criticism either as a person, or as a public figure, than I am. Searching
hopefully for evidence of "anti-Semitism" in me, the investigators of
the Board of Deputies in 1992 came up empty-handed in their secret report to be
planted on the Canadian government: they confirmed that I had dealings with Jews
in my professional life, and added that I "use this as an excuse" to
say that I am not an anti-Semite. These people are hard to please: "He is
far too clever an opponent," the Board writes, "to openly admit to
being an anti-Semite." "We endorse all condemnation of
anti-Semitism," they quote me as writing in my newsletter issued on January
31, 1982. All of these things, including this secret 1992 Intelligence report
filed by the Board of Deputies, were disclosed to these Defendants in my
The Defense quoted a passage
from a speech delivered, they said, in May 1992. In fact, as my diary confirms,
it was delivered in May 1993, by which time my family and I had been subjected
to a catalogue of insults by the leaders of these various bodies. If a writer's
books are banned and burnt, his bookshops smashed, his hands manacled, his
person assaulted, his printers burned down, his access to the world's archives
denied, his family's livelihood destroyed, his phone lines jammed with obscene
and threatening phone calls and death threats, his house beset by violent and
angry mobs, the walls and posts around his address plastered with stickers
inciting the public to violence against him, and a wreath sent to him with a
foul and taunting message upon the death of his oldest daughter -- then it ill
behoves people to offer cheap criticism if the writer finally stops turning the
other cheek and rounds upon his tormentors.
In this respect I single out
the Executive Director of the Board of Deputies, Mr. Michael Whine, whose
organization staged the demonstrations outside my home of such a violent and
ugly nature that police reinforcements had to be called. Whine had caused
defamatory documents about me to be placed in the files of foreign governments
with the intention that my free access to those countries should be impeded. He
had caused the surroundings of my home to be stickered with labels bearing
inflammatory slogans inciting violence against me. Some of these offensive items
have been before the Court. Whine had issued a press release in January 1993, no
doubt one of many, in which he accused me of attending "Nazi Training
Camps." My only response, as Your Lordship has seen, apart from a failed
and very costly attempt to sue his Board of Deputies in libel, during which they
did not plead justification, but merely that I was out of time, was to make fun
of Whine's name. That may have been tasteless, but it was not anti-Semitism, and
it was certainly justified under the circumstances.
The references that I have
made to what is now formally called the instrumentalization of the Holocaust
have also been adduced as evidence of anti-Semitism. Are non-Jews disbarred from
making a criticism that is being made increasingly vocally by others, such as
Professor Peter Novick [author of The Holocaust in American Life]? Or by Leon
Wieseltier, literary editor of the New Republic? He wrote there on May 3, 1993,
at page 20:
"It's a sad
fact," said the principal philanthropist of the grotesque Simon
Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, "that Israel and Jewish education and
all the other familiar buzzwords no longer seem to rally Jews behind the
community. The Holocaust, though, works every time." His candor was
refreshing, even if it was obscene. On the subject of the extermination of the
Jews of Europe, the Jews of America are altogether too noisy.
I would also draw your
Lordship's attention to the article by Norman Finkelstein in the London Review
of Books of January 6, 2000, whose title gives the whole tenor of the piece:
"How the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 gave birth to a memorial industry."
Finkelstein makes in this piece the sarcastic comment: "Every questioning
of the uniqueness of the Holocaust is taken by American Jews to be an example of
Holocaust denial." I could produce a sheaf of such quotations; they are all
equally near the knuckle, equally true, and no more anti-Semitic than my own
remarks on the matter.
As for the allegation that I
am racist, I have produced to the Court enough evidence that I am less reluctant
to hire Colored personal staff than, for example, certain legal teams evidently
are. I hire personal staff on a form that has always stated my policy that we
are an equal opportunity employer: "We do not and will not discriminate on
the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap, marital
I voluntarily provided all
my private diaries to the defendants, after securing the proper assurances.
Those diaries total some 20 million words. Mr. Rampton produced from them one
19-word ditty, attached to another quite harmless one about the "messica
dressica" of my infant daughter Jessica. ["I am a baby Aryan / Not
Jewish or sectarian / I have no plans to marry an / Ape or Rastafarian."]
To find, in all those diaries and telephone conversations written since 1959,
just one 19-word ditty [from September 1994] that Mr. Rampton could trot out for
the media does not suggest that I am as obsessed with race and racism as he, or,
for that matter, the newspapers that report these things ...
The Speeches and Lectures
My Lord, the Defendants have
also fished into my lectures and writings and books, all of which have been
provided to them -- literally millions of words -- and they have put into
evidence a minute fraction of those words, comparable to the one-millionth part
of the diaries which the ditty represented.
I am not going to defend or
justify those utterances seriatim. In general I would invite your Lordship to
pick out one such utterance as a sample; to reach then for the transcript of the
entire speech -- to take note of the rest of its content, its clear references
to the very real sufferings of the Jews, the liquidations, the Bruns Report and
the rest; and then ask: Was the remark true, was it explicable, was it
rhetorically justified as part of the skilled lecturer's armory?
Your Lordship has been told
of my remark that more women had died on Kennedy's back seat than in that gas
chamber at Auschwitz -- the one shown to the tourists. It is tasteless but,
quite literally, true. It is, as I have now shown in this court, even true if
the main "gas chamber" at Birkenau is brought into the equation, the
notorious Krema II "factory of death," because the eye-witnesses lied
about that one too. The Poles have admitted that the Auschwitz [main camp]
building and its chimney are a post-1945 fake. [See: R. Faurisson, "The
'Gas Chamber' of Auschwitz I," Sept.-Dec. 1999 Journal, pp. 12-13.] My
colorful language was a rhetorical way of bringing that extraordinary revelation
home to audiences.
Extremist Organizations and
My files confirm that I
occasionally addressed audiences [in Germany] of the Association for Free
Journalism (GfP), the National Democratic Party (NPD), and the German People's
Union (DVU) ... I disclosed to the Defendants English translations of the policy
leaflets and manifestos of these bodies, which in my submission do not show them
to be extreme in any way. These were, furthermore, bodies which were accepted at
that time under Germany's very strict laws as being legal and constitutional.
The Court is more concerned,
I believe, with individual personages. I have not the slightest doubt that the
Court will find that I did not have any meaningful contact with the ugly ragbag
of neo-Nazi extremists mentioned by Professor Hajo Funke people with whom, to
make the point quite clearly, the Defendants, their experts, and their legal
team seem more familiar than I. Most of the names were completely unknown to me,
and the defense have sought in vain for them in my diaries and papers, to which,
I emphasize yet again, I gave them unlimited and privileged access. This has not
stopped them from bringing them forward, and mentioning these alleged links in
open Court, in an attempt to smear me still further -- with an eye particularly
to the German media ...
May I again remind Your
Lordship of my basic principle on lecturing. Unlike the Defendants, who have
proudly stated that they refuse to debate with opponents, I have expressed a
readiness to address all and any who are willing to listen ...
I may secondly point out
that were it not for the clandestine activities of the violent and extremist
bodies dedicated to destroying my right to free speech, and the rights of all
audiences in the United States and elsewhere -- at Berkeley, at Dublin, at
Pretoria, or wherever -- to hear my opinions; and equally dedicated to
intimidating my publishers around the world and smashing bookstore windows; --
were it not for their hate-campaign, I would have been enabled to continue in
the normal manner with my exemplary professional career.
It rings hollow that the
same shabby bodies who have generated the hatred against me, now point their
crooked fingers at me and abuse me, using the very considerable privileges
afforded to them by this Court, for continuing to make my voice heard wherever I
can; and that when I use words to describe them in detail, which they well
deserve, they wring their hands and lament about "extremism."
I have pointed out that so
far as Germany is concerned, none of the German bodies who invited me to speak
was illegal or banned. In fact when first invited to address the German People's
Union, I wrote to, and telephoned, the German embassy, as the documents in my
Discovery show, and asked them specifically whether this was a legal and
constitutional body. The embassy confirmed in writing on July 25, 1984, that it
was. The "extremism" was in the eye of the beholder. The further to
the Left the beholder squinted from, the more distant these bodies may have
seemed from him ...
As for his [Prof. Funke's]
allegation here in court that I "should have known" that various
organizations [in Germany] were going to be banned in years ahead: it is
difficult for an Englishman, coming from a country with deeper democratic
traditions than Professor Funke's, to implant himself into the brain, or
mind-set, of the authoritarian German mold, where book-burning is now once again
de rigueur, where a German academic like Funke does not bat an eyelid upon
hearing that a teacher is still serving a seven-year jail sentence imposed for
chairing a lecture at which I spoke, where the two District Court judges who
acquitted that teacher were reprimanded, and finally retired in disgrace, by
order of the minister of justice, and where recently governments have begun
routinely banning fringe opposition parties and circumscribing even their legal
activities. Germany now has several hundred political prisoners in her jails.
The security authorities in
Germany, so readily quoted by Professor Funke, are nothing more than the
political arm of each provincial or federal minister of the interior. They have
little concern with legality. As the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on
September 15, 1995, Dr. Ernst Uhrlau, president of the Hamburg branch of the
Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) said: "The persistent
steps taken by the state authorities against right-wing extremists have largely
paralyzed their legal possibilities of action." The paralyzing of the
"legal possibilities of action" of opposition parties can hardly be
considered a matter for pride in any normal democratic government. None of these
banned parties has anything to do with violence.
My general response to this
attempt at "guilt by association" is to compare it with the worst
excesses of the inquisitions conducted by Senator Joseph McCarthy ...
As for the Institute for
Historical Review (IHR): I have little to add to what I stated in my various
written replies. It is clearly unsatisfactory, though not surprising, that
establishment scholars feel the need to dismiss any rival body of scholars as
"extremist," merely on the basis that these others propagate a
different version of history from their own "consensus" version. The
officials of the IHR nearly all hold academic qualifications. True, they are not
all trained historians, but then neither are some of the most famous names of
historians in both ancient and contemporary times. It is clear from
correspondence before the court that I recognized shortcomings in the old IHR,
and was keen to introduce them to new speakers including main line scholars and
historians like John Toland (who did in fact speak there), Professor Ernst
Nolte, and Michael Beschloss.
I am not, and never have
been, an official of the IHR; at most, one of many friendly advisers. As for
speaking engagements, my association with the IHR has been the same as my
association was with, for instance, the Cambridge University Fabian Society, or
the Trinity College Dublin Literary and Debating group, or any other body of
enlightened people keen to hear alternative views.
Professor Evans, in his
odious attempts to smear and defile my name, which I hope will long haunt him in
the common rooms of Cambridge, called me a frequent speaker at the IHR. And may
I say, So what: none of my lectures had a Holocaust-denial, or anti-Semitic, or
extremist theme. I spoke on Churchill, on Pearl Harbor, on Rommel, on the
Goebbels diaries, on my Eichmann papers find, and on general problems of writing
history. The Court has learned that I have in fact addressed functions of the
IHR only five times in 17 years, one lecture each time. No amount of squirming
by this expert witness could increase that figure. It is true that I socialized
before or after the event with the IHR officials and their wives. So what. It is
true that I use their warehousing facilities. So what. It is true that the IHR
(along with thousands of other retail outlets) sell my books. So what.
It is also true that I
introduced them to subjects which some members of the audience found deeply
uncomfortable, for instance the confessions of Adolf Eichmann, the harrowing
Bruns Report, and the Kristallnacht. [See, for example, Irving's address to the
1992 IHR Conference, and his exchange with Prof. Faurisson on this point, in the
March-April 1993 Journal, pp. 24-25, and, Irving's essay in the Jan.-Feb. 1995
Journal, pp. 14-15, from his address at the 1994 IHR Conference.] I would
willingly read out the relevant extracts of my lectures to the IHR, but my Lord,
through the courtesy and industry of the Defendants solicitors, which I have had
cause already to praise, Your Lordship is already funded with extensive
transcripts of those talks, and I would ask that Your Lordship read them with
this paragraph in mind. I am accused of telling audiences what they want to
hear; that may partially be true, but by Jove, having done so I then used the
goodwill generated like that to tell them a lot of things they very much did not
want to hear! The Defendants would willingly overlook this aspect of my
association with the IHR. I trust that the Court will not ...
There remain one or two, in
my view, minor matters.
The Defendants allege that I
willfully exaggerated the Dresden death roll in my 1963 book The Destruction of
Dresden, and afterwards, and had no basis for my figures. In fact I have
satisfied this Court, I believe, that at all times (a) I set and published the
proper upper and lower limits for the estimates that I gave, giving a range of
figures which necessarily decreased, overall, over the years as our state of
information improved; (b) I had adequate basis for the various figures which I
provided in my works.
It has to be said that
authors have little or no control over the content of books sub-licensed to
other publishers. Revisions are not encouraged for cost reasons.
I have always been aware of
the highly-charged political nature of the figures quoted for this event. The
highest figure, of 250,000, which I only mentioned in my works as the maximum
ever alleged, was given for example by the German Chancellor Dr. Konrad Adenauer
in an official West German government publication which I showed the court ...
The lowest figures only
became available in a book published in 1994 by Friedrich Reichert, Verbrannt
bis zur Unkenntlichkeit. A copy of this book was provided to me in 1997. By that
time I had already published the latest [1995-96], updated edition of my book,
now called Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden, in which I had lowered
the death roll still further on the basis of my own investigations and
considerations. This was the first edition over which I, and not the publisher,
had total control ...
Reproduced gratefully from: The
Journal for Historical Review (http://www.ihr.org)
Media Coverage of the
Compiled by Greg Raven
Historian Irving Says He's
Been Object of Campaign of Vilification
Associated Press, March 15,
LONDON -- Historian David
Irving, who has outraged survivors of Nazi death camps by saying the Holocaust
was exaggerated, told Britain's High Court on Wednesday that he had been the
victim of a 30-year international campaign to destroy his reputation as a
He said attempts to
"suffocate" his publishing career had included "hostile
groups" applying pressure to major book selling chains to burn or destroy
Irving told the packed
courtroom the case was not about the reputation of the Holocaust but about his
reputation "as a human being, as an historian of integrity."
"A judgment in my favor
does not mean that the Holocaust never happened; it means only that in England
today discussion is still permitted."
British Holocaust Trial
Ends with Claim of Jewish Conspiracy
Jewish Telegraphic Agency,
March 15, 2000
LONDON -- David Irving told
the High Court in London this week that some of the world's largest Jewish
organizations are involved in an international conspiracy against him.
The self-described Holocaust
revisionist's claim Wednesday was the centerpiece of his 104-page closing
address at the end of a two-month libel case against American Holocaust
historian Deborah Lipstadt and her British publisher, Penguin Books....
The trial, which has
attracted international attention, has been described as the most important
trial involving the Holocaust since Adolf Eichmann, the chief engineer of the
Holocaust, was convicted in Israel in 1961....
The plaintiff and defendant
have shown sharply contrasting styles. Irving -- who served as his own attorney
and appeared to relish the spotlight -- wasted no opportunity in and out of
court in making statements supporting his claims that Auschwitz was not a death
camp or that there was no systematic, mass destruction of Jews; Lipstadt, a
professor at Emory University in Atlanta, has sat silently throughout the
Asserting that Israeli
Holocaust specialist Yehuda Bauer paid for and directed Lipstadt's book, Irving
alleged that Bauer urged Lipstadt to incriminate him.
The book, said Irving, is
part of a 30-year international campaign, led by the Anti-Defamation League, the
American Jewish Committee, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, JTA, the Board of
Deputies of British Jews and others, which had aimed to discredit him.
"It is quite evident
that the ADL, in cahoots with Lipstadt, set itself the task of destroying my
career," he said, asserting that "the real defendants in this case are
not represented in this court." But, he added, "We have them to thank
for the spectacle that has been presented in this courtroom since January."
Without their financial
assistance, he said, it is doubtful whether the expensive defense team could
have "mounted this colossal assault on my name."
"This blinding and
expensive spotlight has been focused on the narrowest of issues," he said,
"yet it has still generated more noise than illumination."
Irving was particularly
scathing about JTA. He claimed the news agency provided material in 1992 for
Lipstadt's assertion that Irving was to have participated in a gathering in
Sweden, which was later canceled, that would have been a "confluence
between anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and Holocaust denial forces."...
Irving also claimed that a
1995 JTA report accused him of "having supplied the trigger mechanism for
the Oklahoma City bomb."
Boston Phoenix, March 16,
Reform Party presidential
hopeful Patrick Buchanan answered questions Tuesday [March 14] on WTKK FM 96.9
with talk-show host Jay Severin, a friend and former aide to the perennial
candidate. Responding to a call on the show, Buchanan repeated assertions about
the Holocaust that he's made in the past -- assertions that minimize Hitler's
guilt. "If Hitler had won, and overrun the Soviet Union quickly, you might
have had no Holocaust whatsoever," Buchanan said. He added that he's
preparing to write a book documenting his belief -- leading this listener to
think that Buchanan is preparing to join the ranks of David Irving and other
Holocaust Trial about
Freedom, Says Irving
The Times (London), March 16,
David Irving, the
controversial Hitler historian, said yesterday that if a judge ruled against him
in his libel trial, academics could become too scared to discuss the
He said his editor at
Macmillans had issued a secret order in July 1992 to destroy several thousand
copies of all three volumes of his Hitler biography worth hundreds of thousands
Mr. Irving said his family
was placed in constant fear and West End Central Police Station in London had
asked to film inside his Mayfair flat in case they needed to be rescued.
He added: "For 12
months after our young child -- Jessica -- was born, we lived with a wicker
Moses basket in the furthest corner of our apartment near a window, attached to
a length of wire rope in case the building was set on fire and we had to lower
her to safety ... I have lived since then with a four-foot steel spike stowed in
a strategic point inside my apartment. No historian should have to live with his
family in a civilized city under such conditions."
Irving: 'I Aided Shoah
Jewish Chronicle (London),
March 17, 2000
In his closing statement on
Wednesday [March 15], David Irving stood by his view that Hitler did not know
about the Final Solution.
He also said no gas chambers
had been used for mass extermination at Auschwitz. And he told Mr. Justice Gray,
before a packed public gallery, that there had been "no meaningful
research" into the Holocaust until his book, Hitler's War, in 1977.
"Far from being a
'Holocaust-denier,' my work has directly increased historical research into, and
understanding of the Holocaust," he said.
He said the defense had not
proved he had "falsified" history. Though they were backed by
"multimillion-dollar research, this does not invalidate me as an
He maintained an
international network -- which he later said included the Board of Deputies and
the Institute of Jewish Affairs -- had waged a campaign against him. Professor
Deborah Lipstadt's book, Denying the Holocaust, had been "the climax of
This had resulted in loss of
income. "Because of the inescapable conclusion that Hitler had probably not
ordered, or been aware until relatively late, of the ultimate fate of the
European Jews, I forfeited "perhaps half-a-million dollars" in
publishing deals, he said.
Much of Mr. Irving's closing
submission focused on what he termed proof at the trial that a complex of
buildings at Auschwitz was not "a slaughterhouse" -- a contention that
prompted defense counsel Richard Rampton to intervene, at one point, to contend
that the historian was misrepresenting evidence heard in the two-month-long
libel hearing. Mr. Irving said there was no forensic evidence to prove the roof
of a gas chamber at Auschwitz had been built with holes through which SS guards
could have thrown "canisters of cyanide-soaked pellets."
He said the defendants'
"entire case, the untruth that crematorium II was used as a factory of
death ... has caved in, as surely as had that roof." He also said the
figure of six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust had been a
"back-of-the-envelope calculation by American Jewish leaders" whom the
prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials had met in 1945.
Referring to right-wing
groups in Germany which he had addressed and had since been outlawed, Mr. Irving
added: "Germany now has several hundred political prisoners in its
A Question of History: Why
I Spoke Up for David Irving
Sunday Times (London), March
Playing the devil's advocate
is something most writers can cope with. It is another thing entirely getting an
e-mail from him asking you to be his witness in court.
David Irving, of course, is
not the devil. Or so he maintains. He has, he says, been demonized by a global
conspiracy determined to ruin him and enforce his silence. That has been the
essence of his libel case now awaiting judgment in the High Court. As Joseph
Goebbels's biographer, he does not quite echo the man he considers the real
architect of the Third Reich's crimes, and say it is a "Jewish-Communist
conspiracy." But he comes close.
Such is Irving's ogre status
that I had some trepidation even appearing in the witness stand -- called by a
man who says the greatest crime in human history is largely a myth -- in a
capacity that shocked friends, described (wholly mistakenly) as "for the
defense." Mistakenly, because Irving is the claimant. I was doing something
even more apparently outrageous: appearing, in a loose and non-legalistic manner
of speaking, "for the prosecution."
Unlike me, Sir John Keegan,
defense editor of The Daily Telegraph and an eminent historian who praised
Irving's book Hitler's War for its research, had to be subpoenaed into the
witness box. Under oath, he admitted that his refusal to give evidence was based
on fears of being "misunderstood." Irving said that was proof of the
strength of the conspiracy against him....
If even half of Irving's
claims were true, it would -- as he insists -- be evidence of a massive
conspiracy of lies and distortion. A conspiracy that, except to Irving and a few
others, defies belief.
It would be sad if we
allowed political correctness to condemn Irving for thinking (or even saying)
the unsayable. Nor is it our affair if he believes the unbelievable. But what if
he preaches it...?
Could David Irving Succeed?
Jewish Telegraphic Agency,
March 20, 2000
... Was Auschwitz really a
death camp where Jews were systematically slaughtered en masse? Did the
Holocaust really happen? Did Hitler order, still less know about, the
destruction of European Jewry? No, no, no, thundered Irving.
Given the wealth of
historical documentation, physical evidence and eyewitness testimonies,
including those of former death camp commandants, the questions might have been
redundant to most reasonable people. But not, apparently, to Irving.
To Irving, Auschwitz was an
awful slave labor camp where most of the 100,000 Jewish inmates -- his figure --
died of natural causes. To Irving, the Holocaust was the sum total of all the
casualties of World War II. To Irving, Hitler was the best friend the Jews had
in the Third Reich.
So who was to blame for the
suffering of the Jews? Why, says Irving, the Jews themselves who, by their
unspeakable behavior and insatiable greed, have invited the hatred and
persecution of their hosts wherever they have lived over the past 3,000
Whatever the outcome, it
would be entirely wrong to assume that Irving is a cardboard cut-out fascist or
a raving lunatic. His public speeches might be intemperate, but his actions are
carefully calculated. He is a prolific author, an articulate spokesman for his
cause and he has a presence -- physical and intellectual -- that commands
In other circumstances,
Irving might have been a front-line academic, a political leader or an effective
courtroom advocate. Instead, he has found a niche for himself as the jewel in
the crown of right-wing extremism, its intellectual guiding star.
Holocaust Deniers Can't Be
Baltimore Sun, April 2, 2000
... Irving maintains that he
is a legitimate historian who challenges orthodox views. Here are a couple of
"I don't see any reason
to be tasteful about [the gas chambers at] Auschwitz. It's baloney. It's a
legend.... I say quite tastelessly, in fact, that more women died on the back
seat of Edward Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than ever died in a gas chamber
in Auschwitz.... The holocaust of the Germans of Dresden (right) was real. The
holocaust of the Jews in the Auschwitz gas chambers is a fabrication."
"I would say that [Jews
are] a clever race. I would say that as a race they are better at making money
than I am. That's a racist remark, of course. If I was going to be crude, I
would say not only are they better at making money, but they are
... the trial has serious
ramifications. "I used to wonder why one must even dignify such an absurd
position," says British historian Eric A. Johnson. Given the deniers'
increasing numbers and influence, he now feels they can no longer be ignored.
Indeed, Irving has been
recognized by some as a meticulous researcher. By his own account, he's
"scrupulously fair." But if Irving is able to dismiss the testimony of
tens of thousands of witnesses, where does that leave history?...
But Irving is hardly a lone
wolf in the academic wilderness. Many university libraries classify
Holocaust-denial books under "Holocaust." Ignorance about what
happened is widespread and growing; recent polls found that 38 percent of
American high school students and 28 percent of American adults could not
identify the Holocaust.
There can be little doubt
that Holocaust denial will gain strength once there are no more victims alive to
supply eyewitness testimony about Nazi atrocities.
The need to remember is made
all the more critical by the existence of well-known political figures who at
various times express sympathy for accused Nazi war criminals or doubt the
extent of the Holocaust, such as Patrick Buchanan and Louis Farrakhan....
In 1947, Thomas Dodd, the
former U.S. senator who was one of the American prosecutors at the Nuremberg
Trials, said of the evidence he was about to present that "the proof will
be so overwhelming that I venture to predict not one word I have spoken will be
denied." Of course, Dodd hadn't countenanced Irving, who himself is living
proof that one may be both a scholar and a bigot. As the generation of survivors
dwindles, whose words will win?
Lipstadt: Libel Trial
The Jerusalem Post, April 4,
PHOENIX, Arizona -- Deborah
Lipstadt, the US professor of Holocaust studies who is fighting a libel suit
filed by Holocaust denier David Irving in England, told The Jerusalem Post this
week she has been strengthened by the experience....
Asked about Israel's
decision to release the prison papers of Adolf Eichmann to help her case,
Lipstadt said she was grateful to the Israeli government for the decision, but
her lawyers had not used them. "The Eichmann papers were important. But we
didn't use them in the trial really because they came in very late," she
Faux Historians' Political
Agendas Deserve Exposure
The Washington Post, April 6,
... Irving, whose current
ideological purposes prevent him from writing real history, fancies himself a
"revisionist," a term of scholarship that he and kindred spirits have
hijacked for their anti-Semitic purposes. Lipstadt is author of the 1993 book
Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, in which she
called Irving "one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust
denial." He is dangerous because he is indefatigable, skillful and cunning
in mining archival material to give his tendentious arguments a patina of
Holocaust denial and
revisionism is a tangle of assertions, many of them made simultaneously and
never mind the mind-bending contradictions. The assertions include:
The Holocaust (the killing
of both sexes and all ages of an entire human group as quickly as possible using
the full employment of the resources of a modern industrial state) never
happened; many people died in camps but only as a result of wartime stresses
(excessive labor, inadequate hygiene, misguided security measures); the gas
chambers were only for showers or fumigation; the gas Zyklon B was too weak to
produce mass deaths, or so strong it would have killed persons emptying the
chambers; the Holocaust happened but not on the scale propagandized by Jewish
interests for political and financial gain (German "confirmations"
were made to curry favor with their captors); it happened but it was not
Hitler's fault (overzealous subordinates acted without his knowledge); it
happened but it was the Jews' fault (for frustrating Hitler's attempts to
achieve Germany's reasonable aims diplomatically)....
What worries Lipstadt most
is not the historical amnesia of millions of barely educated people. And what
worries her most is not the epistemological indeterminacy of ignorant
sophisticates in academia who preach that there are no facts, only
"interpretations" based on individuals' "perspectives," so
everything is a matter of mere opinion and all opinions, including Irving's, are
Rather, what worries her
most is hatred and the political agenda of the haters. Holocaust deniers usually
espouse a generalized racism but particularly aim to vilify Jews and
delegitimize Israel. As survivors of the Holocaust and others with firsthand
knowledge of it die, Holocaust deniers will redouble their efforts. But their
task has been made more difficult by what Lipstadt has achieved -- an emphatic
denunciation of those who torture history in order to rehabilitate torturers and
open careers for future torturers.
Historians Fight Battle of
T. R. Reid
The Washington Post, April 6,
LONDON -- The emotional and
engrossing legal battle playing out here this spring was initially billed as
"the Holocaust on trial." In fact, it has turned out to be
"history on trial," as the litigants argue over what historians should
be allowed to write about World War II and about each other....
The case, with some of the
world's leading World War II historians in the witness box, was initially
expected to put the fact of the Holocaust itself on trial. But Irving scotched
that issue in his opening statement. "No person ... can deny that the
tragedy actually happened," he said, "however much we dissident
historians may wish to quibble about the means, the scale, the dates and other
Instead, the courtroom
battle dealt mainly with why Irving and his books are now so vilified. Is it
because Irving is "a liar ... a racist and a rabid anti-Semite," as
Lipstadt's lawyer argued? Or is it, as Irving sees the issue, because "an
international conspiracy" determined that "there is a single
politically correct view of that war, and no historian will be allowed to
In one of the more stunning
moments of the trial, Irving argued that no one has ever found a signed order
from Hitler calling for the extermination of Jews. Turning toward the transfixed
spectators, he said: "I have to remind you of a basic principle of English
law -- that a man is innocent until he is proved guilty."
Irving does not stop there.
He maintains that Anne Frank's diary is "a romantic novel rather like Gone
With the Wind." He says the number of Jews killed by the Nazis was
"far smaller" than the widely accepted figure of six million; in an
interview, Irving said the number was "of the order of one million."
He says that most of the victims died of disease or were shot to death, and
"there was no industry-scale gassing of Jews."
Finally, Irving fills his
books with comparisons that Lipstadt calls "immoral equivalencies." He
denies that the Jews suffered uniquely in World War II. He compares the Nazi
killing of Jews to the Allies' killing of German civilians in bombing raids. He
argues that the word "holocaust" should be used to describe the Allied
bombing of Dresden.
Years ago, Irving received
respectful attention for his research from some mainstream historians....
But over time, Irving became
increasingly isolated. He was convicted of violating Germany's Holocaust-denial
laws and barred from several countries. Publishers dropped his books and backed
out of contracts for new ones.
Irving concluded that these
sanctions were the work of a conspiracy, at the heart of which was Lipstadt...
Lipstadt's book became a
central element of contemporary Holocaust studies, and publishers worldwide
brought out local editions. Penguin Books published a British edition in
The result has been a trial
studded with long lectures, angry exchanges and bitter insults ...
At one point, Irving ...
launched into a long exegesis on the ballpoint-pen markings found in the
manuscript of Anne Frank's diary. Rampton stood up and complained: "Really,
my lord, I really do think this is becoming the most frightful waste of
responded, "at least this one is relevant."
Even if Irving wins, it's
difficult to imagine that any trial result could make up for the losses he has
sustained in recent years.
Verdict Looms in Libel
Trial of Emory Scholar
Bert Roughton Jr.
April 9, 2000
... On the surface, the
lawsuit by writer David Irving against Emory University professor Deborah
Lipstadt has been a test of his charge that she libeled him in her 1994 book,
Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.
Yet, in many ways, the case
has been an exploration of basic assumptions about what happened in Germany and
Eastern Europe during the World War II era.
The Israeli government
considered the trial important enough to provide Lipstadt's lawyers with the
unpublished prison papers of Hitler lieutenant Adolf Eichmann to help undermine
Irving's assertions. However, the documents were too late to be used in the
The witness box has been
filled with experts who packed the record with documents and analyses to sustain
accepted accounts of the Holocaust....
Irving contends the Nazis
didn't kill as many as six million Jews in a systematic extermination effort.
But he accepts that the Nazis were responsible for the deaths of many Jews,
maybe one million, most of whom were killed by malnutrition, disease or firing
Furthermore, he contended
the scope of the Holocaust has been overblown by Jews seeking to boost
reparations from Germany.
Irving also rejected as
fiction accounts of Nazis gassing Jews at concentration camps and says the gas
chambers still seen by tourists at Auschwitz are fakes.
A biographer of Hitler,
Irving also argued that the Nazi leader was unaware of the campaign against Jews
and other minorities until late in the war. Hitler, in Irving's words, had
"a Richard Nixon kind of complex" and didn't really want to know what
others were doing to Jews.
In his 104-page closing
address, Irving asserted that Lipstadt's book had been financed and directed by
Israeli Holocaust specialist Yehuda Bauer, then a professor at the Hebrew
University, who, he said, had urged Lipstadt to incriminate him.
He said this was part of a
30-year international campaign against him, led by the Anti-Defamation League,
the American Jewish Committee, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Board of
Deputies of British Jews and others. "It is quite evident that the ADL, in
cahoots with Lipstadt, set itself the task of destroying my career," he
As a result of their
campaign, he said, he is banned from Germany, Austria, Canada, Australia, New
Zealand and South Africa.
"I have been subjected
since at least 1973, and probably before then, to what would be called in
warfare a 'campaign of interdiction,'" he said.... He said his once
lucrative career as an author and public speaker has been left in ruins.
BBC News, April 11, 2000
... David John Caldwell
Irving was born in 1938, the son of a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy who
had seen service at the battle of Jutland. Although he entered Imperial College,
London, to study Physics, Irving failed to graduate.
He was rejected by the Royal
Air Force as being medically unfit and decided, as an alternative to National
Service, to move to Germany, finding employment as a steelworker in the Ruhr.
Returning to Britain, he
wrote a controversial first book, The Destruction of Dresden, which described
the 1945 air raid on the city as "the worst single massacre in European
history." The book was, nevertheless, popular and Irving followed it with a
series of best-sellers, including The Mare's Nest and The Virus House, about the
Nazis' atomic research program. In 1968 he found himself in court following the
publication of The Destruction of Convoy PQ17. Captain J. E. Broome, who
commanded the doomed convoy's escort, sued for libel and won.
But Irving bounced back and,
in 1977, produced the work for which is probably best known -- Hitler's War. The
book looked at the conduct of World War II from Hitler's perspective, "from
behind the Führer's desk," as Irving put it.
He berated fellow historians
for their idleness over research, as he had unearthed a vast collection of
previously unexploited Nazi documents and had conducted many interviews with
members of Hitler's personal staff while writing the book.
The vast work, which took 13
years to produce, contained the astounding thesis that, until late 1943, Hitler
knew nothing of the Holocaust and that he never gave the order for the physical
destruction of European Jewry. He offered £1,000 to anyone who could produce a
written document showing that Hitler had given such an order. Indeed in the
following years, Irving went even further, stating that gas chambers did not
exist and that six million did not die.
At the time, Irving drew
high praise. Hugh Trevor-Roper wrote, "No praise can be too high for his
indefatigable scholarly industry" and A. J. P. Taylor commended his
Most, though, were outraged
by what they saw as Irving's unacceptable views. Irving underwent verbal
attacks, the door of his house was smashed with a sledgehammer and he was banned
from Germany, Australia and Canada.
Irving now views himself as
a champion of what he calls Real History. He blames a vast, largely Jewish,
conspiracy of "the traditional enemies of free speech" for losing book
contracts and income and now sees his works published free online on his own web
History Under Scrutiny
BBC News, April 11, 2000
The marathon libel action
which historian David Irving lost against American academic Deborah Lipstadt has
been about history and truth. And underpinning the trial is what many consider
the most heinous crime of the 20th Century -- the Holocaust.
However, in his closing
speech, Mr. Irving, representing himself, said the case was not about the
Holocaust but about "his reputation as a human being, as an historian of
integrity." He told Mr. Justice Gray that a judgment in his favor did not
mean that the Holocaust never happened, merely that in England, discussion was
His opponents agree that at
the heart of the case is the historian's reputation. But they deny that his
freedom of expression is an issue. And they allege that Mr. Irving's agenda is
far wider than an academic interest in the Holocaust....
Mr. Irving also lost ground
-- if not in court then amongst Holocaust deniers -- by admitting that he had
been wrong when he said that the gassing of Jews in trucks was done "on a
limited and experimental basis" only.
This was the first time in
36 years that the Holocaust had been the central issue of a libel case at the
High Court. And for that reason, the judgment is likely to be quoted for many
years to come.
History Needs David Irvings
Donald Cameron Watt Evening
Standard (London), April 11, 2000
... Eight months before the
case came to court, The New York Times asked a number of leading American and
British historians whether they regarded Irving as being a historian "of
repute." The large majority of those polled, ranging from the
ultra-conservative Right to the ex-communist Left, answered yes. Only those who
identify with the victims of the Holocaust disagreed. For them Irving's views
are blasphemous and put him on the same level of sin as advocates of pedophilia.
In a number of countries "Holocaust denial" is a crime. In Britain and
America pressure is brought on publishers not to print works embodying this
version of history. Irving claimed the accusation to be a threat to his
livelihood; he sought compensation; and he sought to silence his critics. Make
no mistake, however. Both sides in this action were engaged in what that great
historian R. H. Tawney once called "the gladiatorial school of historical
Penguin was certainly out
for blood. The firm has employed five historians, with two research assistants,
for some considerable time to produce 750 pages of written testimony, querying
and checking every document cited in Irving's books on Hitler. Show me one
historian who has not broken into a cold sweat at the thought of undergoing
For what it is worth, I
admire some of Mr. Irving's work as a historian. Thirty-five years ago I
collaborated with him in the publication of a lengthy German intelligence
document on British policy in the 12 months before the British declaration of
war on Germany in September 1939. Ten years ago he published, on his own in
German, a revised version of the book. From every point of view it was a
considerable advance on the work I had collaborated on. He had found a lot more
documents and had identified and interviewed a number of officers of the
organization in question. In the American archives he had found a lengthy
post-war American evaluation of the organization, incorporating a British
intelligence document, which will now, we hope, be released to the Public Record
Office. Irving's book, The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe, is still recommended
by historians of the war in the air. That is one side of Irving.
As a historian he betrays
some of the characteristic faults of the self-taught.... He has also an
encyclopedic knowledge of the truly enormous mass of German documentation which
fell into the hands of the victors in 1945. Moreover, his first book, on the
bombing of Dresden, opened to him private papers, diaries and so on, previously
unknown, of "respectable" German officials who had gone along with the
Nazis. No book of his has ever failed to come up with new evidence....
Professional historians have
been left uneasy by the whole business. Many distinguished British historians in
the past, from Edward Gibbon's caricatures of early Christianity to A. J. P.
Taylor, are open to the accusation that they allowed their political agenda and
views to influence their professional practice in the selection and
interpretation of historical evidence.
... The truth needs an
Irving's challenges to keep it alive.
The Trial of David Irving
-- And My Part in His Downfall
The Daily Telegraph (London),
April 12, 2000
The news that David Irving
has lost his libel case will send a tremor through the community of 20th-century
historians. For more than a year now, the gossip between them has been about
whether he would lose or not, a subject on which all hedged bets. "It
depends whether the judge goes for Holocaust denial or slurs on his
reputation," was the general view. "If the first he'll lose, if the
second he might get away with it."
What this insider talk meant
was that Mr. Irving might well persuade the judge of the unfairness of Professor
Lipstadt's accusations of his bad historical method. That was what he cared
about and he would no doubt argue his case well. If, however, her accusation
that Irving's version of the Holocaust was so untruthful as to outweigh his
merits as an otherwise objective historian, then he would get no damages and
have to pay enormous costs....
... Prof Lipstadt's case was
that the bad in Irving was so bad that it robbed all he wrote of value. Irving's
case was that, if some historians of reputation praised parts of his work, the
praise extended to all his work. Both positions are, of course, highly
Fortunately, I did not have
to give my opinion of Prof Lipstadt's work. ...
I stepped down but stayed to
watch the rest of the morning's proceedings. Mr. Irving's performance was very
impressive. He is a large, strong, handsome man, excellently dressed, with the
appearance of a leading QC [Queen's counsel]. He performs as well as a QC also,
asking, in a firm but courteous voice, precise questions which demonstrate his
detailed knowledge of an enormous body of material.
There it was all around us,
hundreds of box files holding thousands of pages telling in millions of words
what had been done and suffered in Hitler's Europe. Irving knows the material
paragraph by paragraph. His skill as an archivist cannot be contested.
Unfortunately for him, the
judge has now decided that all-consuming knowledge of a vast body of material
does not excuse faults in interpreting it. Irving, the judge said,
"repeatedly makes assertions about the Holocaust which are unsupported by
or contrary to the historical record."
... [Irving] wants to be
praised for his source notes, for his exegesis, for his bibliographies, for what
historians call "the apparatus."
As a result, his books
positively clank and groan under the weight of apparatus. Very good it is too.
Irving, never confident enough to believe what he reads about himself, really is
admired by some of those whose approval he seeks....
... He has, in short, many
of the qualities of the most creative historians. He is certainly never dull.
Prof Lipstadt, by contrast, seems as dull as only the self-righteously
politically correct can be. Few other historians had ever heard of her before
this case. Most will not want to hear from her again. Mr. Irving, if he will
only learn from this case, still has much that is interesting to tell us.
Reproduced gratefully from: The
Journal for Historical Review (http://www.ihr.org)
Canadian Media Criticizes
David Irving's Most
British Historian Deported
From Canada for Skeptical Views on Holocaust Story
Zionist Groups Demand
As best-selling British
historian and author David Irving approached the US-Canadian border at Niagara
Falls after a speaking tour in the western United States, he knew that this
particular visit to the "Great White North" would be different than
Two things had changed since
Irving's last visit.
First, in May a German court
fined Irving $6,000 for public statements denouncing stories of mass
exterminations of Jews in gas chambers at Auschwitz as a myth. (See the report
in the July-August 1992 IHR Newsletter.)
Second, the Canadian branch
of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center had demanded that the Canadian
government ban Irving on account of his Revisionist views on the Holocaust. In
other words, the Holocaust lobby sought to ban the historian on the basis of
"thought crimes" that are not illegal in either Canada or the United
The legal basis given for
prohibiting Irving's entry was Section 19 of the Immigration Act, which allows
officials to ban someone if it is reasonable to believe that he will commit an
indictable offense. In this case, the pretext was nonsense because Irving had
visited Canada some 30 times during the last several years, and had never caused
a legal problem of any kind.
Irving first learned of the
ban on October 10th, when he received a special-delivery letter from the
Canadian consulate in Los Angeles sent to him in care of the Institute for
Historical Review. It arrived on the first day of the IHR's Eleventh Conference,
which was being held in Irvine, California. The letter sent to Irving showed
that Canadian authorities -- in coordination with Holocaust groups -- were
closely tracking his itinerary in the United States.
That same day, an editorial
condemning Irving appeared in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record, further evidence of
coordination between official and private Canadian organizations. This
coordination was anything but accidental, as indicated by a rally in Kitchener
several weeks earlier (on August 31) where speakers called for banning Irving. A
more pressing problem for Irving was the fact that Monday, October 13, was a
holiday for US government offices, which meant he had one fewer day to get
matters straightened out before he was scheduled to reach Canada.
From the IHR Conference in
southern California, Irving traveled north to speak in Berkeley, and then on to
His speech there to an
audience of about 200 received intense, sensationalized and largely one-sided
coverage in the local media, including lead stories on local television. Phil
Stanford, a widely-read columnist for the Portland Oregonian, the state's
largest circulation daily paper, had enraged the city's politically correct
crowd when he defed Irving's right to speak, and suggested that the historian
might even have something worthwhile to say about the Six Million story.
Before crossing into Canada,
Irving discussed the situation by phone with attorney Doug Christie, the
"battling barrister from British Columbia" (who spoke at the 1986 IHR
Conference). According to Canadian immigration law, Irving would be entitled to
a hearing before an immigration adjudicator, and would have the right to stay in
the country until a final decision was reached. As a result, Irving decided to
proceed with his scheduled tour of Canada, which had as its theme "Freedom
Canadian newspapers were now
covering the story. Rejecting the demands of the Wiesenthal Centre and other
Holocaust groups, the Ottawa Citizen (October 19), for one, took a clear
editorial stand for free speech:
Barring Irving's entry
amounts to back-door censorship, which violates the spirit of the Charter of
Rights and Freedoms ...
If we bar Irving because
we're afraid of what he might say, what are we to do with a Salman Rushdie, the
author who inflamed the Islamic world, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, or the
likes of, say, Andrew Dice Clay, the comedian who regularly offs millions of
women? Once on a slippery slope, it's difficult to find your footing again.
Monday, October 26
Irving crosses the border
into Canada from Niagara Falls (New York). In spite of the supposed order
barring him, Canadian authorities do not impede his entry. His passport is
stamped to confirm his legal crossing.
Tuesday, October 27
Irving flies from Toronto to
Vancouver (British Columbia), in preparation for his first Canadian speaking
engagement in nearby Victoria. After arriving, he meets with Christie, who has
some bad news.
Christie has spent the day
in court attempting to set aside the ban, but in vain: the Federal Court upheld
the ban, citing Irving's conviction in Germany (for an action that is not
illegal in Canada). The court further ruled that this was a matter for
immigration authorities to handle. In light of this, Irving fears that he has a
50-50 chance of arrest at the speech tomorrow, although he is encouraged by his
legal crossing into Canada and because the police had so far not molested him.
Wednesday, October 28
Irving addresses an
enthusiastic audience of about a hundred at a Chinese restaurant in Victoria.
Some journalists are also present to hear him speak, not about the Holocaust,
but about the struggle for freedom of speech and its meaning for truthful
At the conclusion of a
question-and-answer session that follows the presentation, eight policemen
enter. After announcing that the building is surrounded and all exits are
blocked, they arrest Irving, slap him in handcuffs, and haul him off to jail,
preventing even reporters from following. Although Christie demands to see an
arrest warrant, none is produced. Several dozen of those atting the meeting go
to the police station to protest the arrest.
"They put me in
handcuffs. What did they think I was going to do, type?"
Over the next two days,
Irving is moved from jail to jail -- five in all. As a result, he is not able to
meet with his attorney, Doug Christie.
Friday, October 30
After a fruitless attempt to
get some sleep amid the noise of his fellow prisoners, Irving is fetched from
his cell and forced to run a gauntlet of screaming and punching television crews
and reporters. Without Christie there, Irving must represent himself at the
The official at the hearing
who makes the government's case for deporting the historian cites, first,
Irving's "criminal record" in Germany, and, second, an alleged
likelihood that he will commit offenses in Canada. The official is not required
to prove the truth of these allegations.
The adjudicator informs
Irving that the hearing will determine whether he will be released, deported, or
served with a "Voluntary Departure Notice." Ominously, the adjudicator
also says that he expects the hearing to last three to four weeks.
Without access to or benefit
of his attorney, Irving is faced with a decision. Even though he might be
exonerated in a full hearing, by the time it is over he will have missed all his
speaking dates. Conceding the possibility that he might not be exonerated, he
recognizes that there is little point in staying.
Thus Irving comes to a
compromise agreement with the government: he agrees not to contest a
"Voluntary Departure Notice," and to leave the country within 48 hours
-- that is, before midnight, November 1.
In agreeing to this, Irving
at the same time emphasizes that he will be free to return later to Canada.
David Irving is surrounded
by journalists as he is led into his deportation hearing in Vancouver, October
30. Because of his views on the Holocaust story, the best-selling British
historian was deported from Canada November 13. Reuters/Bettmann photo.
Irving also specifically
asks the hearing adjudicator what conditions, if any, there are on his
activities in Canada during the 48 hours he can still remain in the country. The
adjudicator replies that there are "no conditions whatsoever," Irving
rather understandably takes this to mean that he is free to grant interviews and
otherwise speak in public.
After his handcuffs are
taken off, Irving is finally set free.
With nearly two dozen news
teams crowding around, Irving then gives a 20-minute press conference. He not
only answers questions about his hearing, but also makes a lengthy statement
about the Holocaust.
That evening, Irving's
impromptu press conference is featured as a major news story on national
television, no doubt to the chagrin of those who had been trying so hard to
silence the historian and keep him out the country.
Following the news
conference, US citizen Brian Fisher approaches Irving and offers to drive him
around to pick up his belongings. But what appears to be a simple offer of help
turns into a request that Irving authenticate a collection of lithographs, which
necessitates a trip to Blaine (Washington), just across the border in the United
States. Tired, but thinking this might be a good opportunity to see if he will
have any other problems crossing the border, Irving agrees.
They cross the border
without any trouble at about ten o'clock that evening. After authenticating and
signing the lithographs as requested, Irving and Fisher return to Canada before
Sunday, November 1
In the morning, Irving
packs his things to check out of the Toronto hotel, preparing to leave the
country by midnight (as agreed). A strange
incident takes place as he checks out. The clerk at the front desk is not able
to gain access to Irving's hotel computer file because someone else is looking
at it -- possibly Canadian police or immigration officials, or perhaps even the
That afternoon, he delivers
a one-hour speech to massive applause and two standing ovations. Afterwards, he
is approached by undercover officers who announce that they will stay with him
until he crosses the border.
Giving them the slip, Irving
hails a cab and whisks off for a short meeting with Ernst Zündel at his house.
Just seconds after Irving leaves, Zündelhaus is surrounded by police cars that
skid into position front and back.
After dinner and a
round-about journey to Niagara Falls using secondary roads to avoid further
problems with undercover police, Irving arrives at the border at 11:00 p.m.
Then disaster strikes.
Irving inadvertently drives past the inconspicuous building where he was
supposed to have his "Voluntary Departure Notice" stamped before
leaving the country. By the time he realizes that something must be amiss, he
has crossed over the bridge and into the US side of the border.
He asks the US border
official for permission to return to have his document stamped. The guard asks
to see it, then takes it away and instructs Irving to park his car and follow
With time quickly draining
away, the official makes a few calls. He then informs Irving that he will not be
admitted into the United States, citing regulation "212.A.7a.i.1." He
tells Irving to try again in the morning.
But after returning to the
Canadian side at 11:30 p.m., a guard who was clearly aware of the situation
tells Irving to step from the car and unload his belongings. The official
presents him an arrest warrant, and Irving is denied bail because of the danger
that he "would not appear" and because he is a "danger to the
public." Handcuffed once again, Irving is driven to the immigration
detention center at Niagara Falls.
Monday, November 2
Awakened in jail at 6:30
a.m. after only three hours sleep, Irving is able to place a call to alert
Christie of the new situation.
Transported in handcuffs to
the courtroom, Irving learns that the grounds on which he had earlier been
denied admittance to Canada have all been dropped, replaced instead by the
single charge of failure to comply with the Voluntary Departure Notice. It now
seems obvious that Canadian immigration officials knew from the start that they
had no chance of excluding Irving on the flimsy original charges.
At the hearing, an
undercover police officer lies under oath about his conversations with Irving,
and another officer lies about Irving's status in Germany and Austria, recomming
that bail not be offered because "Mr. Irving might not reappear." The
adjudicator agrees, and Irving is returned to jail ping a resumption of the
hearing on Wednesday.
Tuesday, November 3
Irving's position seems
deceptively simple. If he can establish that he made his impromptu trip with
Brian Fisher across the border to Blaine, he can prove technical compliance with
the Voluntary Departure Notice. Unfortunately, Fisher lives on the other side of
the continent, and Doug Christie has not been able to locate him.
Wednesday, November 4
Hearing day. Fisher has been
found, but hesitates for personal reasons to back up Irving's story. In the
meantime, however, local resident Louis Martens, who had met Irving only a few
days before, offers Irving up to $20,000 cash for bail. Christie asks for bail
and the adjudicator agrees -- in spite of strident protest by the case
presenting officer. Irving again asks if there are any restrictions on his
behavior while out on bail. The adjudicator stipulates only that Irving must
stay in Niagara Falls. However, he also insists that Irving must produce
Thursday, November 5
Now out on bail, Irving
focuses on preparing his legal case for the next hearing session. Fisher changes
his mind about validating Irving's claim of leaving the country, and ss1 a
Friday, November 6
Irving arrives early at the
Immigration Hearing Centre, but not early enough to avoid the Jewish mob
demonstrating outside. To accommodate the many journalists and reporters who are
there to cover the story, a special media room is set aside in the building.
Once the hearing gets
underway, the case presenting officer retracts a statement he made two days
earlier that license numbers of vehicles crossing the border are not recorded.
Instead, he now introduces into evidence a US Immigration and Naturalization
Service print-out that purports to be a log of border crossing activity.
Christie immediately challenges the document, noting that the official who swore
to its authenticity had not sworn that it is a complete record. The adjudicator
denies Christie's motion to subpoena the official for further testimony.
Now it is imperative that
Brian Fisher testify in person. During the lunch break, Christie succeeds in
convincing Fisher that he must appear. Fisher can also supply copies of his
phone bill, showing long-distance phone calls made by Irving during his brief
stay in Blaine. Irving already has affidavits from the recipients of those
calls. All this would seem to be enough to prove conclusively that Irving had
indeed left Canada, and thus has technically complied with the terms of the
Voluntary Departure Notice. Even the adjudicator is forced to agree that
Fisher's testimony is "a pivotal one which may make or break this
case." The hearing is adjourned until Thursday, the 12th.
Irving divides his time
between making personal appearances (which now include fund-raising to offset
his rapidly escalating legal costs), and ensuring that he has everything needed
for his case at the next hearing session.
On Saturday, the 7th, Irving
appears in Kitchener. Two days later, the case presenting officer calls to warn
Irving that the Canadian Jewish Congress is blaming him for an arson fire at the
office of an anti-Irving demonstrator in Kitchener, which was started the same
night Irving was in town.
Thursday, November 12
Writing in today's Toronto
Sun, columnist Bill Dunphy puts his finger on the key issue in the legal battle.
"Who's lying?" he asks. Against a computer print-out, which in all
probability is either incomplete or has been expertly doctored by unknown
persons, Irving can present sworn testimony, telephone records, and affidavits.
Irving's arrival at the
Immigration Hearing Centre is greeted by an even larger crowd of media crews and
demonstrators, who await him in a pouring rain. The case presenting officer
ruthlessly cross-examines Brian Fisher (sometimes even wandering away from the
matters at hand), but Fisher sticks to his story. In the , the case presenting
officer has little to do but lamely invent a scenario in which Irving plotted to
confuse the border guards and create a misleading print-out report. Christie
points out that for this tale to be credible, Irving would have to be a
fortune-teller. He would have to have known on October 30 -- two days in advance
of his failed border crossing on November 1 -- that he would need such an
To everyone's dismay, the
adjudicator puts off announcing his decision until the following day.
Friday, November 13
Upon his arrival at the
Immigration Hearing Centre, Irving is approached by the case presenting officer,
who wants the historian to know that he is not acting on his own, but under
orders from "on high." He also warns Irving against fulfilling a
planned personal appearance at Carleton University in Ottawa in the event of his
release, as there are orders from "on high" to re-arrest him for
misrepresentation, this time regarding his border crossing at Blaine,
Washington. With this new information, Irving promptly walks down the hallway
and announces it to a room full of waiting reporters and journalists.
When the adjudicator reads
his verdict, however, it makes all these machinations moot. Irving's version of
events, he declares, is
... a total fabrication
and never took place. I can only speculate that you and your supporters
concocted your story to garner further publicity and prolong your stay in
Canada, both of which you have done with some success.
According to the
adjudicator, Irving never traveled to Blaine, Brian Fisher did not accompany
him, the phone calls from Fisher's house were not made by Irving, and the sworn
testimony of six persons was all perjured. (The adjudicator simply ignores the
question of how Irving could have known he would need an alibi two days in
advance of an unexpected occurrence.) He orders Irving deported.
Irving then steps forward
with a writ of habeas corpus, while the case presenting officer is
simultaneously served a similar writ.
Instead of heeding the
writs, the adjudicator orders Irving taken into custody. After a brief stay in a
holding cell, Irving is allowed to make a statement to waiting reporters and
After being allowed to
collect his belongings, Irving is driven to Toronto airport for a six-hour wait
until his plane is to depart. During the ride to the airport, immigration
officers question Irving about the Kitchener arson. At 8:10 p.m., with David
Irving on board, Air Canada flight 856 lifts off from Toronto airport on its way
The next day, Bill Dunphy of
the Toronto Sun reported that "spokesmen for the Canadian Jewish Congress
and B'nai B'rith lauded the decision." And no one else.
Media Treatment and Public
Canadian press treatment of
the Irving affair -- like popular opinion -- was mixed. While expressing little,
if any, support for Irving's Revisionist views on the Holocaust, as time went on
a consensus developed in the Canadian press that the British historian should be
allowed to speak in Canada.
Predictably, of course,
Holocaust lobby groups such as the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and the Canadian
Jewish Congress did everything in their power to poison the atmosphere against
the historian, and to portray him as a grave threat to social stability.
Reflecting the dangerous but
carefully articulated views of the organized Jewish community -- and its
vigorous behind-the-scenes efforts to keep Irving out of Canada -- B'nai B'rith
Canada official Ian Kagedan insisted that "Holocaust denial poses a real
danger to our social fabric."
In a lengthy op-ed opinion
piece in the Ottawa Citizen (Nov. 6), the Zionist official told readers that
Irving's "presence is an insult to Holocaust survivors and Canadian
veterans." Remarkably, he conceded that "Immigration's decision to bar
Irving and its subsequent efforts to expel him may be of special interest to
only a few in our country . . ." Contrary to reason and common sense,
Kagedan went on to assert that "... it is folly to claim that there is a
free speech issue here."
Writing in another newspaper
(Globe and Mail, Nov. 9), Kagedan stressed that Irving is a danger because he is
a "Holocaust denier," and that his "hate propaganda undermines
democracy." The B'nai B'rith official even perversely maintained that
"deporting Mr. Irving would affirm our commitment to democracy."
To their credit, most
Canadians rejected such convoluted and self-serving arguments. Indeed, as the
Irving affair unfolded, the words and actions of the Holocaust lobby become so
frantic that it was obvious, even to the most uninformed, that the only section
of society seriously pushing to keep the historian out of Canada was the small
but well organized international Zionist-Jewish lobby.
Echoing the Holocaust-lobby
line, a number of Canadian newspapers referred to Irving as a "Holocaust
denier." The Vancouver Sun of October 15 told readers that "Irving has
repeatedly given speeches and written books denying the Holocaust."
Elsewhere in this same issue, writer Pete McMartin added to the disinformation
[Irving] bills himself as a
"historian" and has claimed to have atted the University of London,
but files collected on Irving by the Canadian Jewish Congress show he only atted
outside lectures at the university and was never enrolled as a student. They
also say he has no academic qualifications as a historian.
Toronto Sun columnist Bill
Dunphy called Irving an "amateur historian, Holocaust revisionist, and
darling of the international neo-Nazi movement." This is, of course, a
favorite smear tactic: attacking the person when it is impossible to attack the
A few Canadian newspapers
shamefully embraced the entire Holocaust-lobby line. The Ottawa Sun, a
sensational tabloid, attacked Irving in a hateful editorial (Nov. 3), calling
him a "reptile," a "creature," a "racist," and
"repulsive." hese words appeared along with a vicious editorial
cartoon depicting the historian as a demented, swastika-wearing lunatic.
Fortunately, such ravings
were rare. Indeed, with the passage of time, coverage of the Irving affair
become noticeably more fair and even-handed.
While almost never
acknowledging that Irving's views about the Holocaust story might have some
validity, more and more Canadian newspapers defied the Holocaust lobby and their
own government by expressing support -- sometimes in strong terms -- of Irving's
right to speak in Canada.
As the affair reached its
climax, a kind of consensus emerged: regardless of how offensive his views may
be to a small but vociferous minority, Irving should not be barred from the
An opinion piece in the
Kitchener-Waterloo Record (Nov. 3) was typical. Staff writer Barry Ries
forthrightly pointed out:
The Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms says "everyone" has the right to "freedom
of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, including freedom of the press
and other media of communication, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of
The Charter does not say
that this right only applies to people we agree with or to people who don't
upset us ...
This freedom does not go
down well with some people ... These people are perfectly within their rights
to protest and demonstrate and picket and present the facts we all know so
But rights don't with one
segment of the population. Immigration officials have been pressured -- by the
Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies and by B'nai B'rith Canada -- to
gag Irving, and that's what's been done.
Vancouver Province columnist
Shane McCune, in a piece entitled "Let's leave fascism to the
fascists" (Oct. 30), similarly affirmed Irving's right to speak:
I'm tired of everyone --
left, right, feminist, Bible-thumper -- who says, "I support free speech,
No buts about it. It's
easy to support freedom of speech when you agree with the speaker. The real
test comes when you are asked to def the unpopular. I'm afraid Canadians fail
that test more often than not.
The Victoria (B.C.)
Times-Colonist suggested in an editorial (Oct. 30) that even accounts of the
treatment of Europe's Jews during the Second World War should be critically
scrutinized like any other chapter of history. The paper also argued against
restrictions on Irving's right to speak:
There is, of course, no
single, definitive version of historical events. Individuals are rewriting them
all the time, offering interpretations and analyses that off, infuriate, and
disgust thousands of other people . . . should [the Holocaust] be exempt from
that never-ing process?
Each new restriction makes
[Irving] more of a martyr. It is also . . . a denial of one of the cherished
tenets of democracy, freedom of expression.
Affirming the cause of
reason and common sense, Canada's most influential daily paper mocked the
Zionist-orchestrated campaign to ban Irving. In a forthright editorial (Nov. 5),
the prestigious Toronto Globe and Mail declared:
If the Canadian government
devoted half the time and energy to ordinary law enforcement that it has to
pursuing and incarcerating David Irving, crime would be unknown. Yet Mr.
Irving is guilty of no crime in Canadian law, and poses no threat to life,
property, or public order.
The only crime the
government can suggest Mr. Irving is even likely to commit is that of
willfully promoting hatred: a law of such surpassing vagueness as to be
unworthy of a liberal society.
This is not the first time
Mr. Irving has visited Canada. He has been here often, including speaking
tours ... The Dominion did not perish.
We can't imagine anything
he might say could do half as much harm to Canada's reputation for tolerance
as the picture, printed in the newspapers, of a writer in handcuffs -- for
fear, we suppose, that he might type something. We have not as yet put a price
on his head, in the style of Iran. But our horror of the word looks much the
Reflecting the views of the
country's liberal intellectual community, the Canadian branch of PEN, the
influential "world association of poets, playwrights, publishers, editors,
essayists, novelists, translators, and journalists," expressed grave
concern at the campaign to bar Irving. In a news release issued November 5, the
writer's group declared:
The Canadian Centre of
International PEN is deeply concerned about the detention of author David
Irving. Canada has often been in the forefront of human rights and civil
liberties issues abroad, but Mr. Irving's detention raises extremely serious
questions about our commitment to freedom of expression at home.
While Mr. Irving's present
position in Canada appears to involve specific breaches of Canadian
immigration law, the issue as a whole raises the larger question of freedom of
PEN Canada unequivocally
maintains that freedom of expression, in all its variety, is fundamental to a
democratic society and must therefore be supported in full and without any
form of censorship ... We maintain that Canadians do not need to be
"protected" against the free flow of ideas, and are capable of
determining for themselves what is valid and what is nonsensical. If Canadians
want to hear foreign speakers, it is their right to do so ...
Censorship has never been
an appropriate way of dealing with the problem of conflicting, insensitive,
evil, or fallacious opinion...
As already indicated, even
Canadian papers that supported Irving's right to speak carefully suppressed
intelligent expressions of the Revisionist view of the Holocaust story. Many
Canadians -- albeit probably a minority -- were dismayed by the strongly
anti-Revisionist bias of almost the entire Canadian media.
In a reader's letter
published in the Toronto Star (Nov. 16), Joyce Medley of Willowdale (Ont.)
echoed the legitimate concerns of many intelligent and informed fellow
The media has suppressed,
cut, taped, pasted, edited, filtered, shortened, fabricated and otherwise
disguised every unchallengeable, albeit controversial statement that comes
from David Irving or from any of the revisionist historians.
When the editor's shears
finally come to rest, where is there a person who can find the truth among all
the jagged remains commonly called the free press?
If you were the least bit
interested in true journalism, you would print one of the many revisionist
historians' repeated invitations to the academic community to debate this
Holocaust controversy ...
What sort of truth is it
that needs protection?
Once and for all, reach
deep inside and grasp hold of that last vestige of honor, be honest with
yourself and be honest with the public, and let the blasted cow chips fall
where they may!
Thoughtful criticisms of the
ban against Irving were ultimately not enough to keep Irving from being
deported. His expulsion on November 13 set a very dangerous precedent, because
it may be used as a pretext by officials in other countries -- particularly
other Commonwealth countries such as Australia -- to bar the British historian.
If Canada -- a country noted
for its tradition of (relative) tolerance -- can bar Irving, where can he count
on a welcome?
For a professional historian
like Irving, such bans not only represent a severe financial setback, they keep
him from important archives and other historical sources, and thus strike at the
heart of his work and career. For Irving, for whom working in archives around
the world is an essential part of his livelihood, such bans represent a
condemnation to slow professional death.
There is another crucial
issue at stake here: the role of a powerful international lobby in subverting
traditional guarantees of freedom of speech. Not all speech, of course, just
speech that offs a tiny segment of the world's population.
Although this small minority
group was able to eject David Irving from Canada, its victory came at a price.
From the beginning of September to the middle of November -- nearly two and
one-half months -- the Holocaust controversy was a major news story in Canada.
What began as an effort to
silence opposition to the politically correct line on the Holocaust issue turned
into a three-ring circus, in which the star performer was none other than David
Irving. The fact that he did not slink obediently back to his assigned perch at
the first crack of the ringmaster's whip served to be a major embarrassment to
those hoping to have the entertainment serve their own s.
In going after David Irving
in Canada, the Holocaust establishment once again bit off more than it could
chew -- and the struggle is far from over.
From his home in London,
Irving vows to press the fight until he is once again free to travel to Canada.
And as he fights, he has not only truth and the best traditions of Western
civilization on his side, he can also count as allies those who, through the
publicity that attended this most recent violation against Western values, now
realize that the enemies of Holocaust revisionism will stop at nothing to defend
their sacred legend.
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Reproduced gratefully from: The
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