David Irving, Holocaust Denial, and his Connections to Right Wing Extremists and Neo-National Socialism (Neo-Nazism) in Germany: Electronic Edition, by Hajo Funke

Table of Contents
5.9 1993: expulsion >>

5.1 1989:'German historians - liars and cowards'

5.1.1.Irving visited Germany three times in 1989: from 8 July to 24 July, 30 September to 7 October, and 2 to 13 November.
5.1.2.From 8 July to 24 July 1989 Irving was ostensibly in Germany as an 'consultant historian' to an American film team on a series entitled 'Remembering World War II', mainly organising interviews with former Nazis.152 During the visit Irving met Ewald Althans and Karl Philipp, two men who would be decisive in organising many of Irving's activities in Germany until his expulsion in 1993.
5.1.3.Irving would seem to have first met Althans after a speech in Toronto on 4 March 1989.153 He recorded in his diary, 'One of [Franz] Schönhuber's lieutenants there, Ewald ---, asked if I would speak for Sch.: jawohl [yes sir].'154 On 6 March he '...breakfast with Ewald --- to discuss if and how I could help Schönhuber. Handed a letter to him setting out my willingness, and orally told him my terms for a proposed lecture tour.'155
5.1.4.Initially Irving seems to have had some doubts about Althans on seeing him in London, writing that he seemed 'a bit of a Nazi, but helpful.'156 A month later Irving was obviously more impressed. 'Ewald Althans has arrived by plane and is full of plans for a new tour by me of Germany, France and Spain in late February. Althans makes a very good impression, businesslike and ambitious, keen, and organized. He has learned a lot already.'157 Althans was obviously already a requested commodity in   revisionist circles as it would seem that he flew to Irving after having visited Pedro Varela, 'organiser' of Irving's Spanish tour of 17 - 20 November 1989.158
5.1.5.On the 15 or 16 July 1989 Irving met Karl Philipp in Germany for the first time 'for a meeting'. In his diary he described Philipp as '...a rather rightwing friend of Tony Hancock, he says. (Something makes me suspect he may be a stoolpigeon however). He is willing to arrange an Austrian speaking tour for me in November.'159 On the 22 July Irving met Philipp a second time at Vlotho, in the Collegium Humanum to arrange Irving's November tour of Austria. At the meeting 'with various rightwing gentlemen' to whom Irving 'delivered a ten minute pep talk', were Professor Haverback of the Collegium Humanum and Major Otto-Ernst Remer 'hero of July 20 1944 in Berlin'.160 Irving was not loath to use Philipp's journalistic contacts to neo-Nazi and denialist newspapers like CODE, Sieg, or the Remer Depesche. For instance Philipp later asked Irving to fax him an article from the London Jewish Chronicle to enable Philipp to write up an article on the propaganda campaign against Irving.161 The two men likewise enjoyed contacts to Franz Schönhuber.162
5.1.6.The first days of Irving's October visit to Germany were spent perfecting a protest against the Berlin radio station Transmitter Free Berlin [Sender Freies Berlin - SFB]. Irving had been invited to take part in a round-table discussion with historians.163 Upon their refusal to take part if Irving attended because of the repugnance of his views, Irving orchestrated a protest in front of the radio offices under the title 'German historians - liars and cowards.'
5.1.7.The protest had already been planned in advance with the help of Althans and   Philipp.164 Ernst Zündel had offered to pay DM 500 towards Irving's flight and provide willing 'Zündelists' for the protest.165 Irving, conscious of his image in Germany, planned in advance to hold two brief unannounced demonstrations, thus avoiding both illegality and at the same time avoiding incurring a counter demonstration.166 Irving had also asked the DVU if they could send any demonstrators.167 On 1 October Irving met Althans and Philips in Berlin.168 The next day he '...addressed a briefing session for the helpers for tomorrow's demonstrations. Twenty-three people, some quite rough.'169
5.1.8.In the morning of 3 October Irving held a press conference in the Kempinski Hotel. Philipp had previously given publicity in Germany for the original launch of the Leuchter Report in London on 23 June 1989.170 This time he obliged with a transcript of the press conference in Berlin published in Sieg and CODE.171 The conference, that ran under the motto 'Truth frees' can be considered a German press launch of the Leuchter Report.172 Irving told journalists 'The result of this report is final. There was no mass murder with poison gas.'173 Two other passages will suffice to give the tenor of Irving's views.
Journalist: 'Mr Irving, you describe the gas chambers as a fairy tale, better said propaganda. In that case who invented this fairy tale or this propaganda?'
 
Irving: 'We, the English, invented it. The Political Warfare Executive had already thought up this propaganda lie in 1942.'174
Journalist: 'In your opinion what was Auschwitz?'
Irving: 'A work camp. One needed forced labour for industry.'
Journalist: 'Why is Auschwitz called an extermination camp then?'
Irving: 'I don't. Only you and the German historians. It is a defamation of the German people if one talks of extermination camps or death camps.'175
5.1.9.Irving held two brief demonstrations before and after the radio program in an attempt to confront the other participants in the radio show.
5.1.10.On 3 November Irving spoke to a closed meeting organised by Althans in the Bayrischer Hof in Munich.176 Amongst the 86 guests was Dr. Gerd Sudholt.177 From the 4-10 November Irving was on a troubled speaking tour through Austria, planned accompanied at times by Philipp and Althans.178 The tour had been advertised in Sieg, which had announced that Irving would answer the question 'if there were gas chambers in German concentration camps for the mass murder of humans with Zyclon-B.'179 Of note for the report is a meeting of 7 November. After a Linz restaurant refused to allow Irving to speak there, he and 120 invited guests were allowed to hold the meeting in castle Hochscharten outside Markflecken Waizenkirchen. The castle belonged to Robert Wimmer. When the Austrian police arrived Irving appeared with his mouth demonstratively covered with masking tape.   He was not allowed to speak and had to make do with signing autographs.180
Meanwhile some 300 people had packed into the castle's little schoolroom to hear me, overflowing into the outside rooms. I appeared amongst them with a sticking plaster covering my mouth, and a notice stuck to my back reading: "Sorry, can't speak - but can sign books!" Ewald [Althans] delivered my lecture, from memory, using notes I had prepared for him. He is a fine speaker, and when he relied on his own material rather than mine he was very good.181
5.1.11.On 11 November Irving drove back to Germany with Althans and gave a dinner speech at the behest of Lars de Flon of the Alverlag in Bad Neuenahr.182 Before the meeting Irving had tea with de Flon 'and his old Nazi (SS) friend Woltersdorf'.183
5.1.12.The next day Irving drove to Hagenau, Alsace 'with Ewald and his skinhead friend ---...', for a revisionist conference organised by Thies Christophersen.184 To begin with, and despite Irving's conversion, he seemed to have balked at attending the congress.185 Irving's ultimate presence in Hagenau is proof of how far he had swung since the 1970s and 1980s. Christophersen had been long interested in Irving, although Irving less so in him.186 He had written to Irving in 1979, bringing Irving's attention to his book 'The Auschwitz Lie' and expressing his admiration for Irving's form of revisionism.
You said during your presentation in Kiel when a listener mentioned the Auschwitz lie to you that you did not want to discuss the topic because you were not tired of life. I understand this completely. For this reason I will always continue to defend you. There enough historians today who can disprove the Holocaust. They are all silenced. It would be bad if you too were to be silenced. We are eternally grateful for your influence. You are doing the right thing.   Please don't allow yourself be deterred.187
5.1.13.Christophersen had also invited Irving to speak in Antwerp in 1982, mentioning that he and Irving had once met and spoken briefly with one another, and that Christophersen was the person who regularly sent him Die Bauernschaft.188
5.1.14.Christophersen himself apparently did not attend the Hagenau conference because of the threat of arrest if he entered France, which could have entailed deportation to Germany to face charges.189 The conference was attended by amongst others, Robert Faurisson, Ernst Zündel, Arthur Butz, Christian Worch, Karl Philipp, Wilhelm Stäglich, Udo Walendy, and Christa Goerth.190
5.1.15.Irving had initially wanted to be the only speaker, 'this for optical reasons, but surely understandable to you' ['dies aus optisch, aber Ihnen sicherlich verständlichen, Gründen.'].191 Christophersen initially promised him a speaking slot to himself on a separate evening, but later tabled Irving to speak after Faurisson.192
5.1.16.There is no direct record of Irving's speech, but its gist can be reconstructed. After the conference Christophersen wrote to Irving enclosing a reader's letter for Die Bauernschaft from a disgruntled reader who had attended an Irving speech in Austria. The reader took issue with Irving's description in his speech of the shooting of 5,000 Jews in Riga on 30 November 1941. Christophersen's comment on the letter was that 'I invited David Irving [to Hagenau] because he has now arrived at the same   realisation as us about the gas chambers.'193
5.1.17.From a draft of the conference for his newspaper Die Bauernschaft, that Christophersen sent to Irving, it would seem that at Hagenau Irving gave his stock reasons for the lack of gas chambers in Auschwitz (British propaganda, Arno Mayer, the Auschwitz 'death-books, etc.) so that '... fewer people died in Auschwitz during the whole war than in a single attack on Hamburg.' Further,
On the question what happened to the Jews Irving said that certainly some were murdered, but that was the least of them. Many died in flight exactly like the Germans after the expulsion [from eastern Europe]. But many disappeared and live under other names in Israel or New York.194

Notes

152. Diary entry, 8 July 1989; diary entry, 24 July 1989. See also diary entry, 29 July 1989.
153. According to Zündel, Althans had attended his trial 'as an observer and a journalist for some German newspapers.' Power. Zündelists vs. Zionists, 14 January 1994, p. 2.
154. Diary entry, 4 March 1989.
155. Diary entry, 6 March 1989. See also diary entry, 7 March 1989: '...phoned Ernst Z.[ündel], he said he was leaving with Doug Christie for Toronto airport immediately, as Ewald Althans was being held there by U.S. immigration, his flight to Chile missed, his ticket now invalid, the Americans refusing him entry.'
156. Diary entry, 8 September 1989.
157. Diary entry, 18 November 1989.
158. 'From about 12 February I am available for you, better said Ewald [Althans]. In the meantime I will freshen up my Holocaust vocabulary' ['Etwa ab 12 Februar stehe ich Ihnen bzw. Ewald zur Verfügung. Ich werde auch inzwischen mein Holocaustwortschatz etwas aufbessern!'] Irving to Pedro Varela, diary entry, 21 November 1989.
159. Greystone filming diary, 16 July 1989; diary entry, 15 July 1989.
160. Diary entry, 22 July 1989.
161. Karl [Philipp] to Irving, undated
162. Irving to Franz Schönhuber, 20 July 1989. '...Karl Philipp to lunch....A long discussion of plans in Germany. Says hec an [Sic] arrange speaking tours for me with the Schönhuber party at DM 2500 per time. A far bigger milieu.' Diary entry, 31 August 1989.
163. Dr. Wilfried Roth to Irving, 15 August 1989.
164. Diary entry, 8 September 1989.
165. Ernst Zündel to Irving, 28 August 1989. See also Ernst Zündel to Irving, 29 August 1989.
166. '...phoned Karl Philipp; he fears trouble if we announce demo by registering it with the police, arrests if we don't. Agreed therefore: we stage two brief demos only.' Diary entry, 28 September 1989. 'Bruno Wetzel (DVU) phoned, should they advertise my forthcoming Berlin demo? After discussion, I decided , No: it would alert the far Left and create anything but the image I am seeking.' Diary entry, 25 September 1989.
167. Irving to Dr. Gerhard Frey, 15 September 1989. '...Herr Rudolf (?) phoned from West Berlin, DVU man there, will meet us in Kempinski Bar at 8 p.m. on Monday.' Diary entry, 27 September 1989.
168. 'He [Philipp] is full of Tuesday's planned demonstration against SFB, and I have my work cut out throttling him back. Otherwise he's likely to "optimisticate" me into an early grave.' Diary entry, 1 October 1989.
169. Diary entry, 2 October 1989. See also diary entry, 22 September 1989. 'October 2, 8 p.m. meet in Kempinski bar (Philipp says better for the rowdies to meet elsewhere at 7 p.m.).'
170. Karl Philipp [Pressedienst] 'London - 23, Juni 1989 Auschwitz Pressekonferenz' dated 26 June 1989; K[arl] Philipp, 'Der Holocaust fand nicht statt: Der Weltbekannte britische Historiker David IRVING packt aus!' in Sieg no. 7, 1989.
171. Karl Philipp, 'Presse Konferenz in Berlin "Wahrheit macht frei" in SIEG no. 11/12, 1989, Karl Philipp, 'David Irving - Wahrheit macht frei', Code, December 1989, pp. 51-54. Philipp also printed a press digest of Irving's story in preparation of the event. See Karl Philipp 'Deutsche Historiker - Lügner and Feiglinge von David Irving, im Gespräch mit Karl Philipp', London 4 September 1989.
172. 'Wahrheit macht Frei' is a tastless pun on the inscription set over the gates of the Auschwitz main camp by Rudolf Höss 'Arbeit macht Frei' [Work frees'].
173. '"Das Resultat dieser Untersuchung [Leuchter's] ist eindeutig. Es gab keine Massentötung durch Giftgas.'" Code, December 1989, p. 54.
174. Journalist: 'Herr Irving, Sie bezeichnen die Gaskammern als Märchen beziehungsweise Propaganda. Wer hat demzufolge dieses Märchen oder diese Propaganda erfunden?' / Irving: 'Wir, die Engländer, haben uns das ausgedacht. Die Abteilung für politische Kriegsführung (PWE - Political Warfare Executive) dachte sich diese Propagandalüge bereits im Jahr 1942 aus.' Ibid., p. 52
175. Journalist: 'Was war Ihrer Meinung nach Auschwitz?' / Irving: 'Ein Arbeitslager. Man benötigte Zwangsarbeiter für die Industrie.' / Journalist: 'Warum heiß;t Auschwitz dann Vernichtungslager?' / Irving: 'Nicht bei mir. Nur bei Ihnen und bei den deutschen Historikern. Es ist eine Verleumdung des deutschen Volkes, wenn man von Vernichtungslagern und Todesfabriken spricht.' Ibid, p. 54.
176. Rundbrief, Ewald Althans [DJBW], 15 September 1989. See also diary entry, 2. November 1989: 'Ewald Althans and male companion arrived to discuss arrangements for tomorrow.' See further Ewald Althans to Irving, 2 November 1989.
177. Diary entry, 3 November 1989.
178. See diary entries, 4,5,6,7,9,10, and 11 November; Irving to Karl Philipp, 9 August 1989.
179. '...ob es in den deutschen Konzentrationslagern Gaskammern zur massenweisen Ermorderung von Menschen mit dem Gas Zyklon B gegeben habe' Sieg no. 11/12, 1989, p. 29, quoted in Franziska Hundseder, Rechte machen Kasse: Gelder und Finanziers der braunen Szene (Munich, 1995), p. 82.
180. Hundseder, pp. 82-83. For another meeting in Austria in November 1989 see Walter Ochensberger [Sieg] to Gertraud Orlich, 24 November 1989.
181. Diary entry, 7 November 1989.
182. Sally [Cox] to Irving, 26 September 1989; Lars de Flon, 'Einladung', n.d.
183. Diary entry, 11 November 1989. It is not clear who de Flon is, but he later offered to write a biography of Irving. See diary entry, 6 April 1990.
184. Diary entry, 12 November 1989; Thies Christophersen to Irving, 16 June 1989; Sally Cox to Thies Christophersen, 5 July 1989; Thies Christophersen to Irving, 1 August 1989; Thies Christophersen to Irving, 8 August 1989.
185. 'Thies Christophersen phoned, would I phone him at Denmark (74) 67 85 68, to say whether I can make an October speaking engagement in Belgium or not? [I think it improbable. We must phone him to say so, but thank.]' DIary entry, 8 August 1989.
186. Thies Christophersen to Irving, 8 December 1978.
187. 'Sie sagten anläß;lich eines Vortrages in Kiel als Sie von einem Zuhörer über die Auschwitz-Lüge angesprochen wurden, Sie würden sich nicht mit diesem Thema befassen, weil Sie nicht lebensmüde seien. Dafür habe ich auch volles Verständnis. Deswegen werde ich Sie immer wieder verteidigen. Es gibt genügend Historiker heute, welche die Auschwitz-Lüge widerlegen können. Sie werden alle mundtot gemacht. Es wäre schlimm, wenn man Sie auch mundtot machen würde. Wir sind Ihnen für Ihr Wirken unendlich dankbar. Sie machen es genau richtig. Bitte lassen Sie sich nicht beirren.' Thies Christophersen to Irving, 10 May 1979.
188. Thies Christophersen to Irving, undated [1983?]; Gerd Lucka to Irving, 13 February 1983.
189. Thies Christophersen to Irving, 21 November 1989.
190. Michael Schmidt, Heute Gehört uns die Strasse. Der Insider-Report aus der Neonazi-Szene (Düsseldorf, Vienna etc., 1993), pp. 345-6. Schmidt obtained private footage of the conference and also claimed that the conference was filmed by Ernst Zündel's camera team. Considering Irving's relations to Zündel it would seem unlikely that Irving does not have the footage of the event in his possession.
191. Irving to Thies Christophersen, 9 August 1989.
192. Thies Christophersen to Irving, 15 August 1989; Thies Christophersen to Irving, 31 August 1989; Thies Christophersen to Irving, 1 September 1989; Thies Christophersen to Irving, 12 September 1989; Irving to Thies Christophersen, 17 September 1989; Thies Christophersen to Irving, 6 October 1989; Thies Christophersen to Irving, 6 October 1989.
193. 'Ich habe David Irving eingeladen [to Hagenau], weil er nun auch über die Gaskammern zu den gleichen Erkenntnissen gekommen ist wie wir.' Thies Christophersen to Irving, 21 November 1989, enclosing a reader's critique and Christophersen's comment.
194. 'Demanch wären in Auschwitz während des ganzen Krieges nicht mehr Menschen in Auschwitz verstorben, als nach einem einzigen Angriff auf Hamburg.' / 'Auf die Frage, was ist aus den Juden geworden, sagt Irving, sicherlich sind einige ermordet worden, aber das waren die wenigsten. Viele sind auf der Flucht gestorben, genau so wie die Deutschen nach der Vertreibung. Aber viele sind auch untergetaucht und leben heute unter einem anderen Namen in Israel oder in New York.' Thies Christophersen to Irving, 28 November 1989, enclosing the draft article for Die Bauernschaft. This claim was repeated by Irving in a speech in Moers on 9 March 1990. See 'Vortrag des englischen Historikers DAVID IRVING in Moers' n.d. [March 9. 1990], 10 pp., p. 8.
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