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Defense Documents

David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial: Electronic Edition, by Richard J. Evans

Table of Contents

(b) Other Holocaust deniers

1. Irving has connections with other, individual Holocaust deniers, some of whom are associated in one way or another with the Institute for Historical Review, others of whom do not seem to have any connection with it, but are concerned more with direct participation in extreme right-wing politics, particularly in Germany.
2. In 1992, Irving referred to Ernst Zündel as one of 'my friends in Ontario', and described him as a 'martyr'.43 Irving's diary records him as having breakfast with Zündel in Munich on 23 March 1992, on which occasion the German-Canadian forwarded Irving 1,500 Marks to cover the cost of his flight to Toronto to testify in a trial. This Report has already pointed out that Zündel is a Holocaust denier. He is the author of The Hitler We Loved and Why, and a white supremacist who advocates the return of fascism and openly admires the Nazis. Among other things, he was engaged in distributing Holocaust revision literature in Canada, such as Harwood's Did Six Million Really Die? These activities were at the centre of the two criminal trials which he underwent in the second half of the 1980s.
3. In September 1992, Zündel was a guest speaker at a meeting of Irving's Clarendon Club in London. Praising Irving for inviting him, the League Sentinel, organ of the neo-Nazi League of St. George, commented: 'Zündel's fight against those who would wish to censor history has been an example to us all.'44 Irving has had his disagreements with Zündel, who refused to accept Irving's concession that there were some massacres of Jews behind the Eastern Front during the Second World War, but of the closeness of his contacts and the general friendliness   of his relations with this outspoken Holocaust denier there can be no doubt.45 Indeed, in a rare acknowledgment of a borrowing from someone else, Irving admitted in 1989, referring to a document in the Public Record Office, that it was 'one of Ernst Zündel's researchers who found this document and showed it to me'. 46
4. Irving has posted on his website the text of the evidence he presented to the second Zündel trial in defence of the accused against spreading the falsehood, in effect, of Holocaust denial. As this Report has already shown, this evidence has some claim to be regarded as the first occasion on which Irving publicly espoused the full range of Holocaust denial beliefs. Also published on Irving's website in 1998 is a very lengthy tract by one 'Samuel Crowell' (apparently a pseudonym), dating from December 1997, which describes the belief that millions of Jews were gassed by the Nazis as a 'delusion', a 'rumor', a 'legend' and a 'hoax'. This item on Irvng's website is followed by a discussion by John Ball of photographic material which alleges that '"death camp" rumours and myths' were invented by the Soviet Union to distract attention from the crimes of Stalin. Ground photos of Auschwitz show 'healthy, happy, relaxed, well-fed inmates'.47 Irving, in other words, is using his website to publicise Holocaust denial material by himself and other Holocaust deniers and indeed make it available to anyone in the world with access to the Internet.
 
5. In the past, since his conversion to Holocaust denial, Irving has also given his particular support to the work of one of the earliest and most prominent Holocaust deniers, the Frenchman Paul Rassinier. In 1989 he published an afterword to a German edition of Rassinier's book Les Responsables de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale, first published in French in 1967. The German edition was published by the Grabert Verlag, which was set up in 1952 by a former official in Alfred Rosenberg's Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories during the war and specialized in Holocaust denial and other right-wing extremist literature, publishing for example Wilhelm Staeglich's Der Auschwitz-Mythos in 1979.
6. In this afterword, Irving described Rassinier as 'a pacifist, a socialist, a member of the resistance against Hitler, a former inmate of a German concentration camp'. In fact, Rassinier (1908-1967) had already been expelled from the Communist Party as a young man before the war, and had been part of a socialist, antimilitarist resistance group in occupied France, which is why he had been arrested and sent to the German concentration camp at Buchenwald. Here, it seems, he had been beaten by a Communist fellow-prisoner for failing to recognise or pay his respects to the imprisoned German Communist leader Ernst Thälmann (subsequently murdered by the SS in 1944). Not only did his fellow-prisoners seem more dangerous than the SS guards to him, Rassinier also got a relatively easy job in the infirmary on his transfer to camp 'Dora' in the Harz mountains, where he was evidently well treated by his boss, a senior SS officer.
7. His Holocaust denial, which initially consisted in defending the SS against its critics and denying reports by survivors of atrocities in the camps, subsequently came to include a denial of the existence of the gas chambers and the assertion that it was the Jews who started the Second World War. Irving described Rassinier as a 'far-shining star' whose book alone guided mariners across the seas of historical knowledge in a way that was unusual in a field where   most readers needed to sail by the light of several different stars, several different opinions as it were. His own contribution to the book, in which Rassinier argued that the Jews were responsible for starting the Second World War, was to give credence to Rassinier's thesis by pinning the blame for Britain's declaration of war on the Jewish-dominated British press, Jewish emigrants in Britain, financiers and arms dealers (the unspoken assumption was that these were Jewish too) and suggesting that 'World Jewry - with French politicians like Léon Blum and Georges Mandel at their head - armed itself for a crusade of revenge against Hitler and his supporters, a pitiless crusade which was to be fought out with the armies of other peoples and the blood of other peoples.'48
8. Irving also has a long-term association with the DVU, the Deutsche Volks-Union, a far-right political party in Germany whose main organ, a newspaper called the Deutsche National-Zeitung, carries stories under headlines such as 'How Many Died in Auschwitz?'; 'Auschwitz - Millions of Dead Invented'; 'Jewish Demands for Billions - How Much Longer to Pay for Hitler?' The stories carried under these headings steer clear of direct denial sufficiently carefully to avoid calling down a prosecution under the German law banning denial of the Holocaust49. In 1982 Irving went on a speaking tour of Germany at the invitation of the DVU, denouncing the Nuremberg trials as 'victors' justice', and closely following instructions about what to say sent to him by the DVU's sponsor and organizer Dr Gerhard Frey; in 1983 the Deutsche National-Zeitung, the DVU's paper, awarded Irving a 'European Freedom Prize' for   his activities.50 On 17 December 1984 Irving confided to his diary that speaking engagements for the DVU were 'all that I have lived on this last year'. He had also been asked by the DVU 'to do lucrative research in Berlin Document Center' (diary, 19 May 1984).
9. Irving has also had close contacts with the Holocaust denier and active neo-Nazi Ewald Althans, who was condemned to three years and six months in prison in August 1995 for his statements in a film, Beruf Neonazi (Profession - Neo-Nazi) that there had been no mass murder of Jews by the Nazis in the Second World War.51 Althans organized a meeting in Munich on 21 April 1990 at which Irving was guest of honour, and those filmed as present included Anthony Hancock.52 He also played a prominent role in organizing Irving's tour of the then German Democratic Republic the same year.53 Irving's diary records him having dinner with Anthans, as well as Wilhelm Stäglich and Anthony Hancock, in Munich on 20 April 1990,, and responding positively to a phone call from Althans inviting him to give a speech at a far-right Nationale Liste meeting in North Germany on 3 March 1990. Althans was again present with Irving at a Holocaust denial event organized by Thies Christophersen in Antwerp in 1992; Christophersen was a former SS man and author of The Auschwitz Lie, a   key Holocaust denial text of the early 1970s.54 And at a meeting of the 'Circle of Friends of Ernst Zündel' held in Munich on 14 January 1993, Irving spoke immediately after Althans.55
10. Another Holocaust denier with whom Irving has had a long-term association is Anthony Hancock, a member of the National Front and then from 1975 an even more extreme splinter-group known as the National Party. Hancock and his father Alan, a former member of Oswald Mosley's blackshirts, were active in promoting Holocaust denial and published Did Six Million Really Die? by 'Richard Harwood', the pseudonym for the National Front leader Richard Verrall. Hancock set up a business called The Print Factory and then became the British agent for the Institute of Historical Review. His Historical Review Press distributed The Auschwitz Lie by the German Holocaust denier Thies Christophersen, and published a number of other Holocaust denial texts, including Arthur Butz's The Hoax of the Twentieth Century.56 Irving has referred to Anthony Hancock as someone 'who sometimes does some printing for us', but in fact the relationship is much deeper. Hancock hired the venue and distributed tickets for a 'revisionist' seminar in London on 4 July 1992 at which Irving spoke; Hancock's Historical Review Press printed Irving's newsletter Focal Point in the early 1980s; the same press informed readers of the Revisionist Newsletter in 1996 that 'by arrangement with David Irving we will be sending his Action Report in lieu of the Revisionist Newsletter   whenever the former appears'.57 Hancock was also filmed at a Holocaust denial meeting in Munich on 21 April 1990 at which Irving was guest of honour.58 Irving's diary records telephone calls from the elder Hancock in 1984-5 offering funds and facilities to publish his Churchill biography in the UK ('Hancock's would not make a profit, they'd leave that to me. I really would consider that', wrote Irving on 10 October 1985).
11. Perhaps the most sinister of the Holocaust deniers with whom Irving has had extensive and long-term contacts was General Otto Ernst Remer. Remer played a key role in suppressing the resistance movement against Hitler after the failed bomb attempt on Hitler's life on 20 July 1944, a role of which he boasted ever after. He was an unrepentant Nazi who belonged to the Socialist Reich Party and the Aktionsfront Nationaler Sozialisten, the 'Action Front of National Socialists', both neo-Nazi organizations which were banned by the West German government as unconstitutional.59 Interviewed by a journalist in 1992, he said how much he had loved Hitler, and called the Jews 'our deadly enemies. They have no business being here. They all must be killed.' Remer had several convictions for defaming the dead, including the resisters of 1944, whom he called traitors, and also the Jews who had died at Auschwitz.60 In 1993 Remer said that 'the Jews have expanded their religious love of legends to include the legend of the murder of six million Jews, the most part of which are supposed to have been murdered in German gas chambers during the Second World War'.   He went on to condemn 'the purported gas chambers at Auschwitz' as 'one of the many propaganda lies used by the Jew-organizations against Germany.'61 Remer repeated this assertion in a speech at the funeral of the Belgian Nazi leader Léon Degrelle in March, 1994.62
12. Remer was filmed at the April 1990 meeting in Munich referred to above, at which Irving was the star speaker. Remer had close connections to the Institute of Historical Review, and spoke at its Eighth International Revisionist Conference in 1987 on 'My Role in Berlin on July 20, 1944'. In 1990 The Journal of Historical Review carried an interview with him ascribing wartime atrocities against the Jews to Ukrainians and Russians.63 He was active in the HIAG, an organisation for ex-members of the SS with which Irving also had contacts.64 Irving knew Remer, therefore, and had a high opinion of him, which he expressed on Remer's death in October 1997 in an obituary praising him, among other things, for remaining 'loyal to the old cause'.65 Irving's website posted a letter from   Remer's widow expressing gratitude 'for what you sent' and complaining that the German government had cancelled her widow's pension.66
13. Remer was connected with another active Holocaust denier, Ahmed Rami, an Arab radical whose organ Radio Islam is a serious purveyor of Holocaust denial. Irving appeared on the same platform as Rami at the so-called 'Leuchter Congress' on 23 March 1991, a meeting at which Rami voiced strongly antisemitic views.67 In 1993 Rami and Remer held a conversation which was posted on the Radio Islam website. Remer alleged that it was the Jewish organizations that had declared war against the German Reich, that the Soviet Union had been set up by Jews, that Jewish organizations planned to set up a new world order, and that they controlled the media and 'most political parties' in the world. 'The war against the Jewish organizations', he concluded, 'is a total war.'68
15. If Remer was an old Nazi who purveyed Holocaust denial in public, then another of Irving's connections, Günter Deckert, can better be classified as a neo-Nazi. Born in 1940, Deckert has had a long career in extreme-right political organizations in Germany, most recently as Federal Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NPD), Germany's most openly neo-Nazi political party, from 1991 to 1995. He has a string of convictions for incitement to racial hatred, insulting the memory of the dead, slandering the Chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Ignatz Bubis, and other, similar offences. The activities which led to his imprisonment included translating a lecture given in 1991 by Fred Leuchter   denying the existence of gas chambers in Auschwitz. Irving knows Deckert well, and wrote to him in 1991: 'Dear Günter, - I am shocked about what the police-state has done to you yet again'. Elsewhere he has described him as a 'freedom-fighter' and a defender of 'this great cause' who is 'just one of Germany's Political Prisoners'. Irving has consistently publicised Deckert's imprisonment over the past few years and presented him as something of a martyr for the cause of 'real history'.69 The point in this context is not whether or not Deckert's imprisonment is morally justified: the point is that he has been imprisoned for Holocaust denial under German law, and Irving has associated himself with his cause.
16. In general, therefore, Irving's close association with virtually all the most prominent Holocaust deniers in several different countries demonstrates once more that he is to be counted amongst their number.

Notes

43. David Irving on Freedom of Speech. Speech at Victoria, Brtish Columbia, Canada, October 28, 1992; transcript on Irving's 'Focal Point' website.
44. League Sentinel, October 1992.
45. lrving diary, 2 January 1990. See also the Expert Witness Report by Prof. Robert Jan Van Pelt, pp. 510-520, documenting the correspondence and contacts leading to Irving's appearance at Zundel's trial in 1988.
46. Audiotape 101: Irving speech to the Canadian Free Speech League, Victoria, British Columbia, 24 Fabruary 1989, at No. 458: see also Audiotape 99, Toronto, August 1988, naming the researcher as Paul Norris, 'one of Zündel's men'.
47. Samuel Crowell, The Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes. An Attempt at a Literary Analysis of the Holocaust Gassing Claim, and John Ball's website with an expert interpretation of the wartime aerial reconnaisance photographs of the Auschwitz and other Nazi and Allied "death camp" sites (on Irving's Focal Point website, 'Auschwitz Index"). For a discussion of this material see the Expert Witness Report by Prof. Robert Jan Van Pelt.***
48. Pfahl-Traughber, 'Die Apologeten der "Auschwitz-Lüge", pp. 78-81.
49. See the issues of 18 February and 25 March 1994 for these headlines; also Die Zeit, 10 September 1998, p.2. The full title of the paper is Deutsche National- und Soldatenzeitung, 'German Nationalist and Soldiers' Newspaper', signalling its original appeal directed at the former soldiers of Hitler's army.
50. Letters from Frey to Irving, 23 July and 16 August 1982, disclosed documents 835 and 846; Patterns of Prejudice, Vol. 16, No. 2 (1982), pp. 35-38
51. Pfahl-Traughber, 'Die Apologeten', p. 93.
52. Michael Schmidt, Heute gehört uns die Straße (Düsseldorf, 1993), p. 305; Ingo Hasselbach, Die Abrechnung. Ein Neonazi steigt aus (Berlin, 1993)
53. Thomas Assheuer et al., Rechtsradikale in Deutscluland. Die alte und die neue Rechte (Munich, 1992), pp. 107-8.
54. Bernd Wagner, Handbuch Rechtsextremismus. Netzwerke, Parteien, Organisationen, Ideologiezentren, Medien (Hamburg, 1994), p. 227: Bundesministerium des Innern (ed.), Verfassungsschutzbericht 1992 (Dortmund, 1992), p. 128; Schmidt, Heute gehört uns, p. 182.
55. Audiocassette 115: Veranstaltung (Freundeskreis Ernst Zündel), nos. 337-71 (Althans) and 378 to end (Irving). For Irving's German contacts see the Expert Witness Report by Professor Hajo Funke.
56. Ray Hill, The Other Face of Terror. Inside Europe 's Neo-Nazi Network (London, 1988), pp. 205, 232; Brigitte Bailer-Galanda, Wolfgang Benz and Wolfgang Neugebauer (eds.), Die Auschwitzleugner Berlin, 1996), p. 325.
57. Hill, The Other Face, pp. 240-1; Bailer-Galanda etal., p. 55,
58. Schmidt, Heute gehört uns die Straße, p. 305; Hasselbach, Die Abrechnung.. For further detail on Hancock, see the Expert Witness Report by Professor Roger Eatwell, pp.38-40.
59. Political Extremism and the Threat to Democracy (Institute of Jewish Affairs, CERA, London, 1979), pp. 43-44.
60. Michael Schmidt, The New Reich: Violent Extremism in Unified Germany and Beyond (NewYork, 1993), p. 53; Martin Lee, The Beast Reawakens (London, 1997), pp. 125, 229, 259-60; Robert Tilley, 'The SS veterans who still march to Hitler's tune', The Sunday Telegraph, 15 November 1992.
61. Radio Islam website http://abbc.com/islam/deutsch/aktiv/remer.html, p. 16.
62. Lee, The Beast Reawakens, pp. 385, 495.
63. 'An Interview with General Otto Ernst Remer conducted by Stephanie Schoenmann, The Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 10 (1990), No. 1, pp. 108-117.
64. Schmidt, Heute gehört uns die Straße, p. 262; Irving interview in Der Freiwillige, February 1979.
65. Action Report No. 13, 1 December 1997, posted on Irving's website http://www.codoh.com/irving/irv.AR13.html.
66. http://wwwfpp.co.uk/Germany/documents/Victims.html.
67. Videotape 201: Samizdat zeigt: 'Der Leuchter-Kongress', Part 2, 23 March 1991; Rami's speech appears to be censored in translation from the French.
68. http://www.radioislam.org/islam/english/jewshp/remerin.html.
69. Action Report, December 1996, p. 3; Action Report, December 1997. See also Rainer Erb and Hermann Kurthen, 'Selected Chronology of Antisemitic and Extreme Right-Wing Events in Germany during and after unification, 1989-1994', in Hermann Kurthen, Werner Bergmann and Rainer Erb (eds.), Antisemiticism and Xenophobia in Germany after Unification (NewYork, 1997), pp. 282-3.
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