The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

David Irving, Holocaust denial, and his connections to right-wing extremists and Neo-National Socialism (Neo-Nazism) In Germany: The containment of David Irving's activities and his shrinking influence...

The containment of David Irving's activities and his shrinking influence...

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7. The containment of David Irving's activities and his shrinking influence since 1993/1994, but ongoing identification with Holocaust denial.

7.1. No sooner back in England after his expulsion, than Irving began to think of ways to make good the effects of the ban. `Karl Philipp phoned twice, from Tony's and from Gatwick. I suggest I video a speech in German, for distribution. A great idea, he agrees. Working title "Ich komme Wieder."["I'll be back"].`<591>

7.2 On 23 November 1993 Irving wrote to Hajo Hermann

` my absence my voice will continue to do service, i.e. I will produce a fairly open video recording in my own Focal Point publishing house with the title I'LL BE BACK, analogous to the video I distributed in Australia (incidentally completely legal). One has to be careful in the FRG because I don't want in any way to be accused of infringing whatever laws. I intend therefore to supply the videos with something like the following "health warning":

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This video film was filmed and produced in England in accordance with the laws prevailing there. Distribution takes place only for aims of scholarly research. Neither Focal Point publishers or Mr. Irving are responsible for the further distribution inside the FRG or for possible consequences resulting.

Do you have any comments or changes to suggest for this small .text? The preventative nature of the text should be clear to you. <592>

7.3 Irving did of course concern himself with the distribution in Germany, namely through the AV™. Two days earlier he had written to the AVÖ's Stephan Wiesel

In the coming weeks I will produce a video presentation for Germany with the title "I'LL BE BACK". You could make good money out of it. I'll send you the advertising for it in the .next few days. The film will be supplied from England to avoid problems with our traditional enemies.<593>

The slickly produced self promotional video is an interesting document, and a thermometer of Irving's views and resentments following his expulsion.<594>

7.5 The video, which included Irving's catch phrase `I can do without Germany, but can Germany do without me?'[`lch kann auf Deutschland verzichten, aber kann Deutschland auf mich verzichten?], included a detailed explanation of the Leuchter Report, Irving adding his own evidence that no gassings had taken place in Auschwitz, and that Auschwitz had been `wrapped in a sort of conspiratorial plot against the truth'

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since the end of the war.'<595>

7.6 Despite claiming to see his expulsion as 'the peak of my success' ['der Gipfel meines Erfolgs] and that it proved that no one was in a position to refute him. Irving's pique with the German judicial system was given free reign.

German justice has always been a special case since the beginning of the century, and it really has not changed at all. In the Weimar Republic, in the Third Reich, also in the Federal Republic, the jurists clap their heels together and say "yes sir". Nothing has changed only that they don't need to wear armbands anymore.<596>

7.7 He described the judicial measures against revisionism as 'a terror of opinions in Germany, a police power without parallel.'

I can say that. If I say that as an expert in the history of the Third Reich then that can mean something ladies and gentlemen. As far as I am concerned, one thing is absolutely clear and let it be established right now. During the Third Reich, during the Second World War countless masses of innocent people were murdered on both sides. The Jews were shot in their hundreds of thousands in the East, not only by the Germans, but by the Ukranians and Estonians and Letts and Lithuanians. [...] But the death factories did not exist. And whoever claims that [the contrary] puts up a blood-lie against the German people.

7.8 Rather alarmingly, Irving not content with tastelessly comparing his fate and that of his fellow revisionists with that of the Jews under the Nazis, then called on his viewers to draw up lists of people who spread the `blood-lie'.

He must also somehow be called to account. To the viewers who are listening to my words, and who are looking at me in this moment, I call on you to write down the names of these people who go along with this blood-lie, this defamation of the German people. Write the names down because it can not continue for ever. One day the hour of revenge will come when we will avenge ourselves that we have been persecuted for years because we told the truth. And then there really must be compensation. A compensation not just for those who have

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made money for fifty years from.their own.supposed tragedy. A compensation for the simple school teachers, the lawyers and jurists and judges. The normal people who as patriotic German citizens wanted to establish and spread the truth about their own past and lost everything for it <597>

7.9 At the time the ban had obviously taken Irving by surprise, and left him trying to tie up loose ends in Germany. On .21 November 1993 he wrote to Stephan Wiesel of the AVO's Hetzog-Heinrich Buchhandlung in which he had expressed the hope that Wiesel had been able to pick up `all the books etc.' [`die ganzen Bilcher u.s.w.'] which Irving had left in `the Institute' in Leonrodstrasse `in time' [`rechtzeitig']. <598> He wrote to Wiesel again in December reminding him of the books and asking him `Please ring me up - from a telephone box, so that the commune doesn't listen in on every word! I'll then ring you straight back.'<599>

7.10 -,Irving's ban on-entering Germany had. much wider. recuperations for him in Germany and the world, than Irving had apparently anticipated. In May 1994 he wrote to Hajo

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Hermann that they had to take legal proceedings. `I can not even visit my publishers!' More seriously `The German judgement against me has had the rather unexpectedly resulted in a blocking of the whole world to me.'<600> In July 1994 he told Herrmann that the ban meant that `in the meantime all my business in the FRG are waning.'<601> In April 1995 Irving repeated the refrain. `No longer in the FRG for two years, all my business with German publishers etc. has come to a standstill because of this, I can't even complain about my delivered manuscripts'<602> As late as 1997 the GfP expressed its sorrow that Irving was unable to attend their congress, but were pleased to accept Irving's offer of a taped contribution `for example a general contribution to the situation of revisionism...' [`allgemeinen Beitrag-zur Lage des Revisionismus etwa...'].<603>

7.11 In 1995, under the pretence (see above) that he had been originally fined for claiming that only the gas chamber in the Auschwitz main camp was a dummy, Irving started a postcard campaign against the German authorities. As he explained to an American audience

...we're fighting back. I have a mailing list of people around the world; now some 3,000 wise and intelligent people of every walk of life, to whom I correspond and to whom, after I'd read this French article, I sent 20.000 postcards for them to mail to the German authoritier.20,000 postcards. In English and in German. All pre-printed. All they had to do was to cut them out, stick a stamp on, add a few words of their own, and then mail them. The post card said, "I understand the French magazine has reported this fact, that what they show the tourists is fake." In the original French the words are "Tu il est fau," everything in it is fake. Everything in that gas chamber building is fake. Why is it then that your government fined British historian David Irving $22,000 for saying just that? Alternatively, is it now legal to say this in Germany? If it is legal then what is going to be done about the fine imposed on Mr. I rving? If it is still illegal to tell the truth like this in Germany, then what are you doing to punish the French magazine for publishing that fact, because it was also sold in Germany?" <604>

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7.12 Irving exhorted his correspondents to send the postcards to foreign representatives of German newspapers in their own country, to German travel agents, to church dignitaries, and local German authorities.

"Because my postcard isn't just going to be read by you and the man you're mailing it to. It's going to be read by his secretary too. It's going to be read by the mail carrier. It's going to be read by the FBI at this end. It's going to be read by the German FBI at the other end, or wherever in the world it is. Everyone's going to be asking questions about it."<605>

7.13 Despite lrving's claim that `This postcard campaign has caused immense damage around the world to the Holocaust legend', in the last four to five years Irving's public presence in Germany has shrunk to a bare minimum.<606> He is still considered by the OPC as a leading revisionist, but as his ban on entering Germany has led to a growing public neglect of him, although his remaining reputation amongst supporters is undiminished.

7.14 His former main-stream publishers have ended their co-operation or are in conflict with him, although a small number of right-wing oriented publishers continue to distribute taped interviews and speeches.

7.15 So the 1994 Hamburg VSB merely stated that Irving was considered a contact person of the neo-Nazi circle around Ernst Zuendel and was one of the authors of the extremist Arndt-Verlag. There was a court order to imprison him because he had not paid his fine.<607> In 1995 he is again recorded as an author of the extremist Arndt-Verlag and as a member of the international revisionist campaign;<608> In 1996 he was listed as one of the authors of the extremist Arndt-Verlag and of the extremist Verlagsgesellschaft Berg. In 1997 he is just named as an international active revisionist without further differentiation.

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