September 29, 2007

Discredited Irving plans comeback tour

· Historian blames Himmler, but not Hitler
· Writer freed from jail says views have 'crystallised'

Ten months ago he was languishing in an Austrian jail, less than halfway through a three-year sentence with his career - and professional reputation - in tatters.

This week David Irving, the discredited British historian who was described by a high court judge as a Holocaust denier and a racist, says he is launching a comeback with a speaking tour of British cities and a series of new books. "I have kept a low profile for several months because I have had to sort out where to live and to address my financial situation," said Mr Irving, who was declared bankrupt in 2002 after an unsuccessful libel action over claims he was a Holocaust denier. " But now I am ready to start again."

Mr Irving's career has been littered with controversy, culminating with his arrest in Austria in 2005. He was sentenced to three years in jail after a judge ruled that two speeches he made in 1989, dismissing the Auschwitz gas chambers as a "fairy tale" and questioning the existence of extermination camps, breached Austrian law. His appeal was upheld, with the judge saying the crimes were a long time ago and that Mr Irving had undergone an "impeccable conversion".

However, drinking tea on the sofa of a 10-bedroom house he has begun renting near Windsor, Mr Irving says that his views on the Holocaust have crystallised rather than changed. He says that he believes the Jews were responsible for what happened to them during the second world war and that the "Jewish problem" was responsible for nearly all the wars of the past 100 years: "The Jews are the architects of their own misfortune, but that is the short version A-Z. Between A-Z there are then 24 other characters in intervening steps." Mr Irving was due to address a meeting in Coventry last Friday - although that event was disrupted by protesters - and held another meeting at his home on Saturday. He plans to speak in Halifax and Birmingham as well as at several unnamed universities.

Last night, news of his attempts to kickstart his career were met with disbelief and anger from Jewish groups and political opponents. Lord Foulkes, of the Labour Friends of Israel, said: "It is a frightening thought that he is still pursuing his agenda." Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies, said Mr Irving no longer had any legitimate claim to be a serious historian. However, Mr Irving still insists he is a respected academic. He says that a document, which he is 80% sure is genuine, suggests that 2.4 million Jews were killed in Poland, but goes on to claim that the gas chamber at Auschwitz was fake. "It was not the centre of the killing operations - it has only become a focus because it is the site that is best preserved. Much of what is shown the tourists there is faked postwar - watchtowers, even the famous gas chamber."

He added: "In my opinion now the real killing operations took place at the Reinhardt camps west of the Bug river. In the three camps here [Sobibor, Belzec, and Treblinka] Heinrich Himmler's men (mostly Ukrainian mercenaries) killed possibly as many as 2.4 million in the two years up to October 1943. There is now nothing to be seen of the Reinhardt camps, neither stick nor stone, so few tourists go there. I have visited all four sites earlier this year."

Pressed as to whether this change undermined his previous stance, Mr Irving replied: "It is a crystallisation of my view." Asked if he now accepts there had been a Holocaust against the Jewish people he said he was "not going to use their trade name". He added: "I do accept that the Nazis quite definitely, that Heinrich Himmler, organised and directed a programme, a clandestine programme, for the liquidation of European Jews ... and that in 1942-43 alone over 2.5 million Jews were killed in those three camps." He added that Hitler was "completely in the dark" about the programme.

Last night Gerry Gable, of the anti-fascist organisation Searchlight, said: "This man is a hardened rightwing extremist and this latest development proves he is determined to pursue his agenda."

The Guardian.


Anonymous said...

I dont know if ive read this right, but is irving now saying that it happened, its ok it happened, but dear adolph knew nothing about it, so dear adolph cannot be blamed, its all the fault of the rest of the nazis.

if so that lets griffin off the hook then, money being stolen from the members, thugs and bullies beating up wives and children, spreading their usual propoganda of hate, but griffin dont know nothing about it so its all ok.

just what planet is irving on, and does he really believe that the rest of the right minded peoples of this world are going to fall for his drivel.

he is as gerry states a hard line right wing nazi who should be consigned to a dust bin asap.

Anonymous said...

His insidious presence will cost the BNP votes, especially with Griffin pretending not to be anti-semitic, despite writing "Who Are The Mindbenders".

Halifax is an unusual place to speak, as local racism is aimed at Muslims not Jewish people. And the racists are card-carrying BNP members, most of whom are convicted criminals. Presumably, Nick Griffin has given the green light for his Halifax and Queensbury members to cavort with this disgraced pseudo-historian (if the police don't arrest scumbag Irving for inciting racial hatred.)

If so, Nick Griffin is sounding his overt approval of anti-semitism despite his party's false support of Israel.

What an excellent opportunity for anti-racists to prove Nick Griffin is a hypocrite, once and for all, folks......

Anonymous said...

If Griffin can make money from Irving's so-called Comeback Tour, he'll be as hypocritical as he damn well likes. The bastard has no principles, and indeed, the BNP's claims that they are no-longer racist about Jewish people is a big lie.

There's an important point I must mention - if the speeches are overtly anti-semitic, one hopes the local police forces are made aware of that the law will be broken in regards to Incitement To Racial Hatred.

Quite rightly, Islamic extremists have been arrested for anti-semitic speeches, but if the Metropolitan Police are to prosecute all extremists, they must turn up at the Irving booklaunches also, arresting Irving and confiscate these ilegally racist materials. It's not just Holocaust denial - it's "Holocaust justification" this evil filthmonger is peddling.

Or do the Metropolitan Police only arrest one type of evil extremist, - extreme Muslims?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Pat Richardson, leading BNP bigwigs like the Cromies from Queensbury are preparing to throw their weight behind the biggest anti-Semite on the planet.

You can't pretend the BNP isn't prejudiced against Jewish people, Pat, when they have arranged a Halifax neo-nazi meeting featuring the Holocaust Denier-In-Chief the legally-confirmed lying scumbag Irving.

The silence is deafening, Pat!!!

Anonymous said...

Alert the West Yorkshire Police about the racial incitement of the BNP-endorsed Irving meeting in Halifax:

Sir Norman Bettison
Chief Constable
West Yorkshire Police Headquarters
PO Box 9

Anonymous said...

Who are the Cromies?

Anonymous said...

Halifax BNP are Combat18 ers and one of their election candidates had threatened to blow up a mosque, last year.

Anonymous said...

BNP meeting places in Halifax include the Goose Inn Restaurant 24 Causeway Foot, Ovenden, Halifax West Yorkshire HX2 8YB

And Queensbury, The George III pub, 35 Chapel St, Queensbury, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD13 2PR

If Halifax/Bradford/Keighley BNP want to host Irving, anti-racist protests will be awaiting them.