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
6.4 Further appeals. >>

6.1 Partial speaking ban [Redeverbot] of 8 November 1991.

6.1.1.On 8 November Irving was invited to speak in Lentförden [Segeberg] to the Freundeskreis "Ein Herz für Deutschland." by Ulrich Harder.485 The Minister of the Interior of Schleswig Holstein ordered a partial speaking ban ['eingeschränktes Redeverbot'], defining particular topics Irving was forbidden to talk on, citing the law governing foreign nationals [Ausländerrecht] concerning disruption of the public peace ['Störung des öffentlichen Friedens'].486 The ban was handed to Irving at the meeting.487 This seems to have had little effect on Irving. He recorded in his diary that 'Police handed me a Verordnung [ordinance] of Kreis Segeburg, what I am not allowed to say, in such detail that I could not reits [Sic] the temptation to read out the whole document, stressing at each paragraph, "I am not allowed to say that either...!"488   Irving later described the meeting as 'successful'.489
6.1.2.Ulrich Harder was not so glib. He wrote to Irving explaining to him why he had excluded the television teams Irving had brought with him to a meeting in Harburg the night before, and what such a ban might entail.490
  • I know that you don't think much of law..., but I think it better for your future appearances in Germany if one tries to reverse such rulings. [...]
  • A word about Harburg - you will understand my behaviour a little better after Lentförden. Naturally I have known you long enough to know that you would bring the television with you to the meeting place in Harburg in the end. Otherwise you would not be David Irving. It was clear beforehand that the owner, even if with great reservation, would allow the television into the pub. [...]
  • On the other hand the meeting with you was a closed meeting. Let's imagine there had been somebody in the hall, or had arrived, from the authorities. Then he would have been able, with the appropriate order in his pocket, to immediately dissolve the meeting if the television had been in the hall from the start or it had been recognisable that they would have come in. In judicial German it would have then 'been produced for the public' and a closed, private meeting would have become a public one and that one would have certainly banned. Therefore also the evasion in the last ten minutes.
  • To explain all of this to you would have been too long-winded in Harburg. This is why I acted as I did and did not let the television into the anteroom.
  • [...]You are an indescribable positive factor for our country! which we seek to serve in our way. Enough compliments?491
6.1.3.Irving then employed [bevollmächtige] Ulrich Harder to raise a objection   ['Widerspruch'] to the ban for him, which Harder duly undertook, in co-operation with H.J. Rieger.492
6.1.4.In comparison to the judicial wrangling surrounding Irving's fine of July 1991 (see below) Harder had to convince Irving that the proper course of action was to avoid politics in the courts.
You will hopefully have seen [in the action] I have not argued with the cause but legally. At the moment one does not get anywhere with the CAUSE itself, only with false application of the law. But I don't mean a 'secondary theatre of war', as you say, rather flak cover for the main thrust. Without resistance the authorities could become over confident. That would damage you as regards the freedom of movement in Germany.493
6.1.5.Irving's protest [Wiederspruch] was considered and rejected on 15 November 1991 with a ruling [Wiederspruchsbescheid] of 12 February 1992, which Irving in turn took action against on 4 March 1992. Irving claimed that his speech was not political but scholarly [Wissenschaftlich] and that the ban infringed his rights as embodied in the civil code [Grundrecht] Article 5, Paragraph 3 protecting freedom of scientific research and teaching. Even if the speech had been political he was protected by Article 5, Paragraph 1 ensuring freedom of expression.494
6.1.6.On 25 May 1992 the court ruled against Irving ruling that Irving's speech had threatened to damage the image of the Federal Republic at a time of flux in Europe and as Germany's neighbours looked on nervously with fears of a re-birth of a nationalist spirit in Germany. The court ruled that Irving had intended in his speech to influence public political opinion.  
... your speech is suitable and intended to rake up emotions in the audience to allow clear right-wing extremist statements to be aired in public. The thoughts of your like-minded audience can be further stimulated so that they express Nazi opinions in public, vociferously repeat slogans for a revival of Nazi rule.495
And further:
His speeches are not the mere representation of historical events. The statements the plaintiff makes, especially those in which he refers to the so-called Leuchter Report, are primarily intended to supply points of argument to those social groups in the Federal Republic whose aim is a renewed spreading of National Socialist thought. You offer the psuedo-scientific background which provides right-wing extremist groups a legitimacy and in addition is meant to allow them to convince those who are generally openly disposed to right-wing theses, but faced with the crimes of the National Socialists are lost for arguments, of their ideas.496
The court ruled that
In calling the racial murder by the National Socialists a lie, he [Irving] deprives the Jews the inhuman fate that they exposed too merely because of their origins. The tendency to free National Socialism from the stigma of the murder of the Jews is very clearly apparent in the plaintiff.497
6.1.7.Irving appealed again on 25 June 1992, calling for the original ban to be declared   unlawful and the court ruling of 25 May 1992 to be changed.498 In the final instance before Schleswig-Holstein's higher administrative court in October 1993 Irving's appeal was rejected. The court concluded that because of numerous judgements Irving was well aware of legal sanctions against the public denial of the Holocaust, and that his continued statements despite this allowed the conclusion that he was conscious of the degrading character of his opinions.499
6.1.8It added that in as far as Irving supported his case with the Leuchter Report 'this is completely unsuited to refute the historical fact of the Holocaust.'500 Indeed 'In as far as the plaintiff bases his findings on the so-called Leuchter report it is already very doubtful if his interpretation of history can be called research at all.'501
6.1.9.Irving, who had 'acquired himself the reputation as a right-wing extremist writer and historian ['sich den Ruf eines rechtsextremen Schrifstellers und Historikers erworben.'502 ] had committed a 'considerable disturbance of the public safety and order' with his statements on the Third Reich and the Second World War, statements that represented a 'mockery' ['Verhöhnung'] of the victims of National Socialism.503

Notes

482. J. Williams [Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany] to Irving, n.d. [ca. 1981/2].
483. Stadt Passau, 'Einschränkung der politische Betätigung in der Bundesrepublik gemäß § 6 des Ausländergesetzes...Bescheid...', 9 March 1990. See for example diary entry, 10 March 1990. 'If other German towns follow Passau's example this could prove annoying. I hope Frey establishes a clear legal case in my favour.' Diary entry, 31 December 1990. 'The legal position is darkening, with criminal charges in Germany brought by the left and Jewish pressure, no doubt, and the ban in Passau.'
484. Videocassette 190, '...David Irving speaks at the Bayerische Hof, Milton, Ontario (05.10.91)'.
485. Ulrich Harder to Irving, 3 September 1991.
486. Ulrich Harder to the Landrat Kreis Segeberg, 'Widerspruch', 15 November 1991. The ban cited § 37 Abs. 1 and 2 AuslG [Verbot politischer Betätigung].
487. Schleswig-Holsteinisches Oberverwaltungsgericht, 'Urteil in der Verwaltungsrechtssache David Irving...gegen Kreis Segeberg, Der Landrat...wegen Verbot politischer Betätigung (§ 37 AuslG)', 5 October 1993, pp. 2-3.
488. Diary entry, 8 November 1991.
489. Irving to Christian and Ursula Worch, 1 January 1992.
490. Danish and Thames TV teams filmed the meeting. Diary entry, 7 November 1991.
491. 'Ich weiß, daß Sie von Juristerei nicht viel halten..., aber ich meine, es ist besser für Sie für Ihr zukünftiges Auftreten in Deutschland, wenn man solche Bescheide aufzuheben versucht. [...]/ Noch ein Wort zu Harburg: Sie werden mein Verhalten nach Lentförden etwas besser verstehen. Natürlich kenne ich Sie lang genug, um zu wissen, daß Sie schließlich das Fernsehen noch mitbringen würden zum Veranstaltungsort in Harburg. Sonst wären Sie eben nicht David Irving. Es war vorher klar, daß der Lokalinhaber - wenn auch mit großen Bedenken - das Fernsehen in das Lokal lassen würde. [...]/ Auf der anderen Seite war die Veranstaltung mit Ihnen eine geschlossene Veranstaltung. Nehmen wir mal an, es wäre jemand von der Behörde im Saal gewesen oder noch gekommen, dann hätte er - mit einer entsprechenden Verfügung in der Tasche - die Versammlung sofort auflösen könnnen, wenn das Fernsehen von Anfang an im Saal gewesen w[ä]re oder erkennbar gewesen wäre, daß es hereingekommen wird. Es wäre im Juristendeutsch 'die Öffentlichkeit hergestellt gewesen', aus einer geschlossenen, privaten Versammlung wäre eine öffentliche geworden und die hätte man sicher verboten. Darum auch das Ausweichen auf die letzten 10 Minuten./ Ihnen das alles zu erklären, wäre in Harburg viel zu langatmig gewesen. Darum habe ich mich so verhalten, wie ich es tat, und das Fernsehen auch nicht in den Vorraum gelassen./ [...] Sie sind ja auch für unser Land, dem wir eben auf unsere Art heute dienen, ein nicht zu beschreibender Positivfaktor! Genug Komplimente? Ulrich Harder to Irving, 9 November 1991.
492. Ulrich Harder to Irving, 9 November 1991; Irving, Vollmacht, 9 November 1991; Ulrich Harder to the Landrat Kreis Segberg, Widerspruch, 15 November 1991.
493. 'Mit der Klage, deren Kopie ich Ihnen zugeschickt habe, entstehen Ihnen keine Kosten....Sie werde höffentlich gesehen haben, ich habe nicht von der Sache her, sondern juristisch argumentiert. Mit der SACHE selbst kommt man bei deutschen Gerichten noch nicht durch, nur mit falscher Gesetzanwendung. Ich meine aber, kein 'Nebenkriegsschauplatz', wie Sie sagen, sondern Flakenschutz für die Hauptstoßrichtung. Ohne Widerstand könnten die Behörden übermütig werden. Das würde Ihnen hinsichtlich der Bewegungsfreiheit in Deutschland schaden.' Ulrich Harder to Irving, 29 March 1992.
494. Quoted in Schleswig-Holsteinisches Oberverwaltungsgericht, 'Urteil in der Verwaltungsrechtssache David Irving...gegen Kreis Segeberg, Der Landrat...wegen Verbot politischer Betätigung (§ 37 AuslG)', 5 October 1993, p. 5-9.
495. 'Weiterhin ist ihr Vortrag dazu geeignet und dafür gedacht, Emotionen in der Zuhörerschaft zu schüren, um deutliche rechtsextreme Außerungen auch in der Öffentlichkeit laut werden zu lassen. Das Gedankengut von Ihnen ähnlich eingestellten Zuhörern kann weiter aufgeputscht werden, so daß sie in der Öffentlichkeit nazistische Gedanken äußern, Parolen lautstark wiedergeben, um zur Wiederaufrichtung einer nazistischen Herrschaft aufzurufen. Quoted in Schleswig-Holsteinisches Oberverwaltungsgericht. 'Urteil in der Verwaltungsrechtssache David Irving...gegen Kreis Segeberg, Der Landrat...wegen Verbot politischer Betätigung (§ 37 AuslG)', 5 October 1993, p. 4.
496. 'Es handelt sich bei seinen Vorträgen nicht um die bloße Darstellung historischer Erkenntnisse. Die Aussagen, die der Kläger insbesonders durch seine Bezugnahme auf das sogenannte Leuchter-Gutachten trifft, sollen in erster Linie denjenigen gesellschaftlichen Gruppen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland im Sinne der Verschaffung von Argumentationshilfen dienen, deren Ziel die erneute Verbreitung nationalsozialistischen Gedankenguts ist. Sie bieten den psuedowissenschaftlichen Hintergrund, der rechtsextremen Gruppierungen eine Legitimation verschaffen und ihnen zudem ermöglichen soll, auch diejenigen von ihren Ideen zu überzeugen, die rechten Thesen zwar generell offen gegenüberstehen, angesichts der Verbrechen der Nationalsozialisten aber in Begründungsnot geraten.' Ibid., p. 11.
497. 'Indem er den Rassenmord durch den Nationalsozialismus eine Lüge nennt, spricht er den Juden das unmenschliche Schicksal ab, dem sie allein wegen ihrer Abstammung ausgesetzt waren. Ganz deutlich wird bei dem Kläger die Tendenz sichtbar, den Nationalsozialismus vom Makel des Judenmordes zu entlasten.' Ibid., pp. 12.
498. Ibid. pp. 5-9.
499. Ibid. p. 13.
500. 'Soweit sich der Kläger auf die gegenteilige Darstellung des sogenannten Leuchter-Gutachtens beruft, ist dieses völlig ungeeignet, die historische Tatsache des Holocaust zu widerlegen.' Ibid., p. 14.
501. 'Soweit der Kläger seine Erkenntnisse auf das sogenannte Leuchter-Gutachten gründet, ist bereits überaus fraglich, ob seine Geschichtsinterpretation überhaupt als Forschung bezeichnet werden kann.' Ibid., p. 15.
502. Ibid., p. 1.
503. Ibid., p. 3.
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6.4 Further appeals. >>

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