July 25, 2008

‘Springtime for Irving’: The Video

Here’s a fresh treat for readers of Hatewatch — a brand new video, made by journalist Max Blumenthal and videographer Thomas Shomaker and co-produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center, about convicted Holocaust denier David Irving. It’s an amazing, sardonic account of Irving’s visit this July 16 to a church in Manhattan, where Blumenthal presses him into a most remarkable interview.

Irving, of course, is the infamous British writer who penned numerous apologetics for Adolf Hitler and then sued American scholar Deborah Lipstadt after she called him a Holocaust denier. Irving ultimately lost his epic court battle in London, with the judge in the case concluding that he was a “pro-Nazi” polemicist. The court also found that the author of some 30 books had “persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence” to promote his racist and anti-Semitic ideas.

We’ll save most of the good stuff for viewers of the video, but offer just a couple of teasers here. At one point, Irving tells his audience: “Adolf Hitler was being kept out of the loop and was probably not at all anti-Semitic… . He repeatedly held out his hand to stop things happening to the Jews.” Just as you’re digesting that incredible piece of neo-Nazi propaganda, the video recounts how journalist Christopher Hitchens, a former Trotskyist-turned-Iraq War cheerleader, has described Irving as “a great historian” and, in Irving’s words, remains “a good friend” to the man who once said that more people died in the back of Ted Kennedy’s car than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Although the video doesn’t make this point, Hitchens was named one of the world’s “Top 100 Public Intellectuals” by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazine of Britain in 2005, long after his paean to Irving’s swell talents as a “historian.”

Take a look at this remarkable video, which we offer here a day late as a birthday present from Hatewatch, which just completed its first year of existence. As the months unfold, we hope to bring you more along these lines.


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