Irving v. Lipstadt
David Irving, Holocaust Denial, and his Connections to Right Wing Extremists and Neo-National Socialism (Neo-Nazism) in Germany: Electronic Edition, by Hajo FunkeTable of Contents
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3.3. Irving's activities for the DVU, 1990 -1993.
3.3.1.Whilst Irving's position in 1988/9 had changed radically as a result of the Leuchter report (see below), the DVU continued to be cited in OPC reports along lines already established in the early 1980s.
3.3.2.The VSB of 1993 stated that the DNZ published anti-Semitic articles, repeatedly using the anti-Semitic metaphor of the avaricious and meddling Jew. It cited two examples. 'The Zionist world congress and its leader, Edgar Miles-Bronfman described as a Canadian resident, industrialist and a loyal Israel supporter have been accused of intervening in the German debate on Weizsäcker's [the then Federal German President] successor.'88 The German Weekly / German Advertiser [Deutschen Wochenzeitung / Deutschen Anzeiger - DWZ/DA], the DNZ's sister papers in the Frey press imperium, presented one Hungarian-born son of a Jewish lawyer as the 'finance guru of the world', a master of financial speculation, who through his dealings undermines the German mark. The DWZ made the point that the economic recovery of central Germany was jeopardised by Jewish restitution claims.89
3.3.3.The 1993 VSB noted that racist rhetoric against foreigners had become particularly aggressive in the DVU. The DVU advocated an ethnically pure Germany with phrases like 'Germany for the Germans' and declaring its aversion to a 'mix of people'. The DVU was noted as advocating a worldwide-system of apartheid. As an example the report quoted Hans Otto Weidenbach, a DVU-member of the Bremen state parliament as having said 'Kick out the swindlers and scoundrels, the criminals of multi-ethnic origin, the Turkish heroin dealers, the negro cocaine dealers, the gypsy looters, the Polish swindlers and criminal car dealers, because by tolerating them, you only breed hatred for foreigners.'90
3.3.4.The 1992 VSB described such sentiments as racist and claimed that they were designed to incite anti-foreigner sentiment, especially against asylum seekers. 'This systematic aggressive incitement against ethnic minorities aims to suggest that immigrants abuse the asylum laws and are criminals and parasites.' The report singled out the DNZ and DWZ/DA as vehicles for such sentiments.91 Propaganda headlines like 'Gypsy terror - Germany a victim?', 'Opposition will be suppressed', 'Gypsies - danger for Germany?', 'Crimes of foreigners - danger to all of us', 'The civil state is in danger - result of crime and abuse of asylum seeking law' gave the impression that immigrants were inferior and in essence criminals.92
3.3.5.Irving's endorsement of the Leuchter Report and his conversion to radical revisionism (see below) did not prevent Irving appearing as a star speaker at the DVU's annual Passau in March 1990, after not haven spoken at DVU functions for a year-and-a-half.93 His allotted topic was 'Moscow's new policy to Germany'. Originally Irving had cancelled his appearance at Passau ('for economic reasons' as he told Frey94 ) in favour of a meeting in Belgium arranged by Ewald Althans (see below), but changed his mind at the last minute when the meeting was banned.95 On 9 March 1990 the city of Passau banned Irving from appearing altogether as a speaker.96 Irving described his appearance at Passau on 10 March in his diary.
Here [in a side room of the hall in Passau] I was handed a police Verordnung [ordinance] issued under the Ausländergesetz [law governing foreigners] banning me from even attempting to speak there or anywhere else in Passau today, on the grounds of what I had allegedly said at Landshut. Schweinerei [disgraceful]. Bruno Wetzel appeared, said I should comply, and Frey would litigate for damages. Vigorous applause as I went on the stage. Hall was packed, galleries overflowing, over 8,000 people present....When Frey announced, with me standing next to him, ["disgusting"] that the police had banned my speech, there was a colossal tumult of cheers, boos, shouts of "Pfui", etc.97
3.3.6.The city of Passau had justified its ban, according to later appeal documents, with the fact that at Landshut on 23 February 1990 Irving had presented his theory 'that there had never been a gassing of Jews' and that 'The figure of 6 million murdered Jews was described by the plaintiff thereby as a life lie ['Lebenslüge'] by the state of Israel as a means of permanent financial and political blackmail.'98
3.3.7.On 15 October 1990 Frey wrote to Irving in an irritated tone that 'The court case for your right to speak in Passau, for which I am not responsible because it was caused by other appearances, is costing me many thousands of marks...'99 He reminded him that 'We have so often repeated our agreement that you do not talk of Hitler or the Jews at all at our events, that I will content myself with this short reminder also for our events in the future.'100
3.3.8.On 29 January 1991 the Regensburg administrative court found partially in the DVU's favour and the city of Passau retreated to a position of allowing Irving to speak in Passau in the future so long as he obliged himself to refrain from mentioning certain topics.101
3.3.9.Enclosing the court ruling to Irving Frey pointed out that the original ban had been based on statements Irving had made outside the DVU's meetings and that this was an important factor in allowing them to appeal the ban on Irving's behalf.
We would fall under the banning order if these other theses were to be spread with us. Nevertheless I know from your numerous previous speeches with the DVU that you would not even touch upon the topics Hitler or the Jews. [...]
If Hitler or the Jews were even touched upon in your speech it would be a decisive blow against our position and enough grounds for us never to get the Nieblungen hall [in Passau] again, which we have be able to gain in court victories year for year. As always I trust in the full observance of our agreement.102
3.3.10.Irving's opinions on the Holocaust were not the only thing to worry Frey and the DVU. They were also concerned about Irving's new political allies in Germany, especially with Ewald Althans and his AVÖ. As early as December 1989 Bernd Dröse of the DVU's publishers wrote to Irving warning him about 'a man called Ewald Althans' and advised 'caution' ['Vorsicht'] in his dealings with him.103
3.3.11.Regarding an illegal demonstration in Munich after the international revisionist conference in Munich on 20 April 1990 (see below) Irving wrote in his dairy.
8.20 a.m. phoned DVU's [Bruno] Wetzel, he says they are alarmed by the press reports, they couldn't imagine that I would have marched on the Feldherrenhalle. I said, greatly exaggerated. He asked if Althans was on the square (inappropriate metaphor). I said, so far as I can see. But he's a hothead, needs curbing.104
3.3.12.In 1991 Irving's alleged presence on this demonstration continued to disturb the DVU. An AVÖ flyer advertising the second Munich revisionist congress of 23 March 1991 celebrated the exploits of the previous one, writing that '300 participants joined David Irving in a spontaneous demonstration to the Feldherrenhalle after our event.'105 The DVU brought the flyer to Irving's attention and Irving requested Althans correct his statements.106
3.3.13.But Frey was equally unhappy about Irving's willingness to attend this second congress. After thanking him for his 1991 Passau appearance, Frey wrote that he had just received a flyer for the forthcoming conference. 'I fear this will be the cause of a final residency ban ['Aufenthaltsverbot'] in the Federal Republic, which I am very sorry about.'107 A few weeks later Frey again wrote to Irving expressing his concern, and apparently turning down a suggestion by Irving that he tour for the DVU again.
In that you are announced to speak on 23.3. on a topic that does not coincide with the contemporary political legal order, I fear serious drawbacks for you, that could also influence presentations you give on legally harmless topics. [...]
At the moment I have considerable doubts if we could in practice carry through a speaking tour with you, even if we continually won in the courts.108
3.3.14.Two weeks later Frey reiterated his concerns.
...I have just received some documents about the supposed congress that is meant to take place in the "German Museum".
I consider the whole venture in no way accords with the current legal system, presume that the congress will not take place at all, and considerable disadvantages with consequences will arise in the matter of your entry [to Germany].
With regard to our long-standing connection I do not want to be able to say that I neglected to explain this to you yet again.109
3.3.14. Evidently, although aware that Irving's statements to other organisations had become far more radical, Frey trusted that Irving would not become a liability for the DVU.110 Irving faxed back immediately that 'as always' ['wie immer'] at DVU events he would say nothing of the Jews or death camps.111 Frey entreated Irving again to be more careful a week later, asking him to avoid all 'other activities' ['anderweitige Aktivitäten'] in Germany in the run up to the Passau rally of 1991, especially anything which might give cause for another ban. Frey warned Irving that the authorities were waiting to deport him or ban him from Passau. 'It would be madness if you walked in to the open knife that is plain for all to see.'112
3.3.15.On 6 February 1991 the city of Passau banned Irving again from mentioning the theses contained in the Leuchter Report.113 This being only a partial ban meant that Irving spoke at Passau on 'Germany's new role as a great power' ['Deutschlands neue Rolle als Großmacht.'] on 16 February 1991, the audience obviously charged by his previous ban. 'At 4 p.m. I spoke: the audience came alive, began cheering, roaring with laughter, chanting my name (first time), "Ir-ving, Ir-ving!" I made what I consider to be my finest political speech so far.'114
3.3.16.At this point the Irving's documentation becomes sketchy. It would appear that Irving spoke again at Passau on 14 March 1992,115 but for the October 1993 rally Irving was informed by Bruno Wetzel that the DVU had 'put together a program with other speakers for a number of necessities', thus bringing to an end a 12-year political alliance.116
21. Armin Pfahl-Traughber, Rechtsextremismus (Bonn 1995), pp.. 58-61
88. 'Der zionistische Weltkongreß unter Führung des in Kanada residierenden, fanatischen, Israel-treuen Schnapps- und Chemie-Industriellen Edgar Miles -Bronfman hat sich in die deutsche Diskussion um die Weizsäcker-Nachfolge eingemischt'. Verfassungsschutz-Bericht 1993, p. 121.
89. '"Ein in Ungarn geborener Sohn eines jüdischen Rechtsanwaltes" bezeichnet die DWZ/DA als "Finanzguru der Welt:, als "Meister-Spekulant", der seine Spekulationspropaganda gegen die deutsche Mark richte.' Verfassunsschutz-Bericht 1993, pp. 121.
90. Ibid. '"Werfen Sie die Schwindler hinaus, die Gauner, die Verbrecher multinationaler Herkunft, die Herion-Türken und Kokain-Neger, zigeunernde Plünderer und polnische Schmuggler und Autoschieber, denn durch die Duldung züchten Sie ja Fremdenfeinlichkeit." (Weidenbach).'
91. '"Die systematische aggressive Agitation dieser Blätter gegen ethnische Minderheiten erweckt den Eindruck, die fremdländischen Zuwanderer seien vornehmlich Asylbetrüger, Kriminelle und Schmarotzer.'" Verfassungsschutze-Bericht 1992.
92. '"Zigeuner-Terror - Deutsche als Freiwild?", "Wer aufmuckt, wird zusammengeschlagen", "Zigeuner - Gefahr für Deutschland?", "Ausländerkriminalität - Gefahr für uns alle", "Der Rechtsstaat wankt - Folge von Kriminalität und Asylbetrug". Verfassungsschutz-Bericht 1993.
93. Dr. Gerhard Frey to Irving, 26 September 1989; Irving to Dr. Michael von Sprenger, 21 November 1990. That this coincided with Irving's statements to the German press about his 'research' work for Frey in the Berlin Document Center in 1984 may be more than a coincidence.
94. 'Wie Sie schreiben, handelt es um "wirtschaftliche Gründe".' Dr. Gerhard Frey to Irving, 1 February 1990.
95. Irving to Wetzel, 6 January 1990. Apparently Althans had organised htat Irving speak in Belgium and Munich that day, but the Belgian speech was banned. See Irving to Karl Philipp, 6 February 1990; 'Abrechnung D. Irving von Feb / Maz 90' handwritten, dated Münster 11 March 1990; Dr. Gerhard Frey to Irving, 26 March 1990.
96. Stadt Passau, 'Einschränkung der politische Betätigung in der Bundesrepublick gemäß § 6 des Ausländergesetzes...Bescheid', 9 March 1990.
97. Diary entry, 10 March 1990. Irving had spoken in Landshut to the "Arbeitskreis Historische Wahrheit" on 23 February 1990, organised by Ewald Althans. See diary entry, 18 February 1990; 'Vollzug des Ausländergesetzes (AuslG) Ausweisung aus der Bundesrepublik Deutschland', n.d., pp. 6-7.
98. 'Zum Thema Judenvernichtung vertrat er auch in dieser Veranstaltung seine These, daß es nie eine Vergasung von Juden gegeben habe.[...] Die Zahl von 6 Millionen getöteten Juden bezeichnetete der Kläger dabei als Lebenslüge des Staates Israel als Mittel zur ständigen Erpressung auf finanziellen und politischem Gebiet.'
99. 'Der Prozeß um Ihr Rederecht in Passau, für den ich ja nichts kann, weil er durch Ihre anderweitigen Auftritte verursacht ist, kostet mich sehr viele tausende Mark...' Dr. Gerhard Frey to Irving, 15 October 1990.
100. 'Wir haben nun unsere Vereinbarung so oft widerholt, daß Sie über Hitler und Juden auf unseren Veranstaltungen überhaupt nicht sprechen, daß ich es mit diesem kurzen Hinweis auch für unsere Veranstaltungen in der Aukunft bewenden lasse.' Ibid.
101. 'Vollzug des Ausländergesetzes (AuslG) Ausweisung aus der Bundesrepublik Deutschland', n.d., p. 8. See also Irving to Michael Hubertus von Sprenger to Irving, 30 January 1990.
102. 'Wir würden unter die Verbotsverfügung fallen, wenn diese anderweitigen Thesen auch bei uns verbreitet würden. Jedoch weiß ich aus Ihren unzähligen früheren Redebeiträgen bei der DVU, daß Die hier weder das Thema Hitler noch das Thema Juden auch nur berühen.[...]/ Würden in Ihrer Rede Hitler und die Juden auch nur gestreift, wäre das ein entscheidender Schlag gegen unsere Position und wohl ein Grund, daß wir die Nieblungenhalle nie wieder bekämen, die wir jetzt Jahr um Jahr im Prozeßsieg erringen können. Ich vertraue also, wie stets, auf die volle Beachtung unserer Absprachen.' Dr. Gerhard Frey to Irving, 30 January 1991.
103. [Bernd] Dröse, DSZ-VERlag, to Irving, 18 December 1989. See also Irving to Ewald Althans, 31 December 1989; Ewald Althans to Irving, 7 January 1990; Ewald Althans to Sally [Cox], 7 January 1990. See also Irving to Ewald Althans, 31 December 1989.
104. Diary entry, 26 April 1990. See also diary entry, 26 March 1991. 'Faxes from...DVU, Althans told press I was at 21.4.1990 march!(untrue)...'
105. '300 Zuhörer zogen mit David Irving nach unserer Veranstaltung auf einer Spontandemonstration zur Feldherrenhalle.' AVÖ flyer, 'Wahrheit - Freiheit - Recht,' n.d.
106. [Bruno] Wetzel to Irving, 22 March 1991; Irving to Ewald Althans, 26 March 1991. See also diary entry, 20 March 1991. 'Frey faxed me re Althans' clumsy PR work for "Kongress".'
107. 'Ich fürchte, daß dies der Anlaß zu einem endgültigen Aufenhaltsverbot in der Bundesrepublik für Sie werden wird, was ich sehr bedaure.' Dr. Gerhard Frey to Irving, 18 February 1991.
108. 'Da Sie unter einem von der gegenwärtigen politischen Rechtsordnung nicht gedeckten Thema wohl für den 23.3 angekündigt sind, fürchte ich schwerwiegende Nachteile für Sie, die sich auch auf Verträge auswirken könnten, die Sie über rechtlich gänzlich unbedenkliche Thema halten. [...]/ Zum gegnwärtigen Zeitpunkt habe ich erhebliche Zweifel, ob wir eine Vortragsreise mit Ihnen in der Praxis durchsetzen können, auch wenn wir gerichtlich stets gewan.' Dr. Gerhard Frey to Irving, 7 March 1991.
109. '...gerade erhalte ich einige Schriftstücke über den angeblichen Kongress' der im "Deutschen Museum" in München staatfinden soll./ Ich halte das ganze Unternehmen für mit der gegenwärtigen Rechtsordunung keinesfalls übereinstimmend, nehme an, daß der Kongress überhaupt nicht statfinden wird und im Falle Ihrer Einreise beträchtliche Nachteile mit Konsequenzen auf Sie zukommen./ Im Hinblick auf unsere landjährige Verbindung möchte ich nicht versäumt haben, Ihnen dies ein weiteres Mal darzulegen.' Dr. Gerhard Frey to Irving, 20 March 1991.
110. Irving had apparently 'often' ['häug'] given the DVU a written promise not to mention the Jews or Hitler. See Dr. Gerhard Frey to Irving, 5 July 1994.
111. Irving to Dr. Gerhard Frey and Michael Hubertus von Sprenger, 30 January 1991.
112. 'Es wäre Wahnsinn, würden Sie jetzt in die vor aller Augen aufgeklappten Messer laufen.' Dr. Gerhard Frey to Irving, 6 February 1991.
113. 'Vollzug des Ausländergesetzes (auslG) Ausweisung aus der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, n.d., p. 8.
114. Diary entry, 16 February 1991.
115. Dr. Gerhard Frey to Irving, 29 July 1991; Christian Worch to Irving, 20 January 1992
116. '...aus einer Reihe von Notwendigkeiten ein Programm mit anderen Redern zusammengestellt haben...' Bruno Wetzel to Irving, 8 July 1993. Se also Irving to Bruno Wetzel, 21 June 1993; Irving to Bruno Weitzel, 8 July 1993.
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