Ирвинг против Липштадт
David Irving: A Political Self-Portrait: Electronic EditionTable of Contents
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1.4 Mockery of Holocaust survivors
[1.4/A]'When I get into Australia I know what is going to happen, the media will be there, they will trot out their own homebred survivors. Every town has a survivor. In Florida, I understand that every school now has its visiting survivor, who comes to inflict the nameless horrors on these eight-year-old toddlers, telling them what happened to them at the hands of the Germans.
In Australia there are professional survivors, a woman called Mrs Altman who will roll up her sleeve and show the tattoo to prove that, yes, she was in Auschwitz. Of course already we sceptics have caused problems because when I spoke in Cincinnati, my host, his wife, she was a school teacher and she said you know Mr Irving we've got a bit of a problem because we now have to teach the Holocaust - the same as you do in Florida - it is part of the school curriculum. You have to teach the Holocaust and last week we had a Holocaust survivor who came and lectured to the children, she was an old woman and she lectured to these eight year old children in my class and several other teachers came along to listen and one of the eight year old children, a girl piped up at the end of the lecture and said "How did you survive then? How did you survive?" Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings come these questions and this woman, this survivor said, "I managed to make a hole in the back of the gas chamber and escape". [Laughing] And my friend said "we teachers, we looked at each other and we didn't dare say anything. But the trouble is that the children believed it". This is the basic problem. And that's how it's going to be with Mrs Altman. I was saying Mrs Altman, you have your tattoo this is an interesting thing to show everyone, but we have a basic problem here, you are a survivor. I used to think that the world was full of a thousand survivors. I was wrong. It is full of hundreds of thousands of survivors of the Holocaust if not, in fact, millions by now. The numbers of survivors seems to grow these passing years, it defies all laws of natural deceased and all laws, now the number of survivors is growing. And I said isn't the existence of so many survivors in itself an indicator, something doesn't, it doesn't fit. If the Nazis had this dedicated programme to exterminate the Jews, how come so many of you have survived, were the Nazis sloppy or what? They let you out, they let you escape?" It's a basic question. And she'll get very indignant and talk about her honour and her integrity and how she suffered and I'll say "Mrs Altman, you have suffered undoubtedly, and I'm sure that life in a Nazi concentration camp, where you say you were, and I'm prepared to accept that, we have no reason to disbelieve you, was probably not very nice." And life in Dresden probably wasn't very nice, and probably life in Pforzheim wasn't very nice. "But tell me one thing", and this is why I'm going to get tasteless with her, because you've got to get tasteless, "Mrs Altman, how much money have you made out of that tattoo since 1945? [Laughter] How much money have you coined for that bit of ink on your arm, which may indeed be real tattooed ink? And I'll say this, "half a million dollars, three quarters of a million for you alone." It must be in that order of magnitude because think of the billions of dollars that have been sent that way, billions. You American taxpayers are happily, indeed joyously, giving to the State of Israel 3 billion dollars a year, if not 4 by now. The German government is adding another 1 billion dollars a year in compensation. $5 billion go to be spent on people like Mrs Altman with their tattoo. Divide that up amongst all the survivors and it's a very sizeable annual income that they are getting. And I'll say - I'm in front of the television, "Mrs Altman there must be a million Australians sitting there thinking to themselves 'why is it that they have got all the compensation and yet our troops who suffered in the Japanese camps and building the Burma railway and the people who died in the air raids cities and the rest of it didn't get one bent nickel by way of compensation?' How is it always these people who get compensation and not the others?" She won't have any answer for that I'm sure.
And what these people don't understand, by way of conclusion, is that they are generating anti-Semitism by their behaviour, and they can't understand it. They wonder where the anti-Semitism comes from, and it comes from themselves, from their behaviour. We don't promote anti-Semitism, we've got no reason whatsoever to promote anti-Semitism. I find the whole Holocaust story utterly boring. It goes on and on and on and they keep on going on about the Holocaust because it's the only interesting thing that's happened to them in the last 3000 years. [Laughter]
We have no reason to promote anti-Semitism, it's not in our interest one way or the other, but they are doing it. I don't know why. Whether it's because they want to be the centre of attention or what. To an audience in Louisiana, I spoke in Freeport, Louisiana about 6 months ago, and to my embarrassment half the audience turned out to be with the local Jewish community. They'd come along to cause trouble, the rest was normal, but half the audience was this Jewish community with their Jewish community leaders and they showed their true colours after I had begun to speak. And after they had interrupted and behaved in a thoroughly obnoxious manner, for about half an hour while the rest of the audience grew increasingly impatient with their behaviour. I interrupted the flow of my own lecture, and I said to their ringleader, who I recognised by his accent, which came from a particular suburb of London called Colindale or Cricklewood, we English can tell from their accent, from somebody's what class they are, what family they come from and also what particular suburb of London they come from. I said "Do you come from Colindale or Cricklewood?" and he said "Why do you say that?" and I said "Well I can tell by the way you're shrieking at me, but do you mind if I say this, I am disliked, I know I'm disliked, I know I'm disliked because the Newspapers say I'm disliked. [...] And is it the historian's job to be liked? Obviously it isn't. An historian's job is to find out what happened and why. But I said to this man from Colindale, leader of the Jewish community in Louisiana, I said "I'm disliked and I know why. I look in the mirror when I shave in the morning and I think 'You're disliked, you could alter it overnight, but you don't, it's your own fault, everything that's happening to you' You were disliked, you people. You have been disliked for 3000 years. You have been disliked so much that you have been hounded from country to country from pogrom to purge, from purge back to pogrom. And yet you never ask yourselves why you are disliked, that's the difference between you and me. It would never occur to you to look in the mirror and say 'why am I disliked, what is it the rest of humanity doesn't like about the Jewish people, to such an extent that they repeatedly put us through the grinder?'" And he went berserk, he said, "are you trying to say that we are responsible for Auschwitz, ourselves?" and I said, "well the short answer is 'yes'. The short answer I have to say is yes". I mean he really got my gander up. "The short answer is yes, but that's the short answer obviously between your question and my answer, yes, there are several intervening stages but that is it. If you had behaved differently over the intervening 3000 years the Germans would have gone about their business and not have found it necessary to go around doing whatever they did to you. Nor would the Russians, nor the Ukrainians, nor the Lithuanians, Estonians, Latvians and all the other countries where you've had a rough time. So why haven't you ever asked yourself that question?" It's an interesting point, but they don't, they go round the other way and they make life unbearable for those who try to analyse whatever happened, whatever it was.' [P's speech in Tampa, Florida, 6 October 1995: K3, Tab. 20, pp. 16-19]
[1.4/B]'So I'm not liked and I know what I could do to change it to be liked. I look in the mirror in the morning when I shave and I say "David Irving you're not liked and you know what you could do about it." And in Baton Rouge, Louisiana two years ago this half of the audience was entirely made up of Jewish hecklers who had decided to disrupt the meeting, not from outside but to come in, infiltrate the audience and as soon as I began speaking they began barracking and harassing much to the anger of the rest of the audience who wanted to hear what I had to say. And eventually I said to the ringleader, who came from North London, that anecdote, I know why I'm not liked.
And I said to him "you people aren't liked either. But you're not liked on a global scale, on a Millennium scale. You haven't been liked for thousands of years and you don't ask yourselves the question why. Maybe there's no answer, I don't know. You're not just disliked in the way that I'm disliked, that you get bad reviews in newspapers. You're disliked in the way that people put you into concentration camps and line you up at the edge of tank pits and machine gun you into them. You're victims of pogroms and you're harassed and hounded and made to move from country to country to country and you never ask yourselves "Why us? Is it something we are doing. Is it a perception that people have of us that makes us unpopular?" I don't, I have to say at this point in the meeting that I don't know the answer and I cannot offer you an answer. But there must be some reason and if you want to prevent Holocausts, really this is the question that has to be answered, not just the question of what happened by why it happened. Why one nation can turn on its Jews or on its gypsies or on some other little faction who they can identify as a scapegoat and ruthlessly and inhumanely dispose of them. And there is something of the answer in Dr Goebbels' diaries. [P's speech at Oakland, California, 10 September 1996: K4, Tab. 7, pp. 14-15]
[1.4/C]'Over to a radio station [in Austin, Texas] at three p.m. [...] Several callers, all hostile, including a very Jewish Holly, whose mother had suffered and wanted money.
I pointed out that her mother, like countless millions of others, had also thank goodness survived; but did this not rather highlight the sloppiness of the Nazis who had had her and millions of other Jews in their camps, but allowed them to survive despite their extermination intent?
The very word Holocaust survivor is an oxymoron: nobody survives a holocaust, it is a whole. I think that bit would have been a bit above her, however.' ['A Radical's Diary', P's Action Report, number 15, 20 July 1999, p. 5: K4, Tab. 10, p. 62]
[1.4/D]'Hundreds of witnesses, thousands, there are hundreds of thousands of survivors now. There are millions of survivors now. And I'm happy. But of course each single survivor is living proof that the Nazis never did have an extermination programme. Because they were all at Auschwitz.' ['Hunderte von Zeugen, tausende, hundert tausende von Uberlebenden gibt es jetzt. Millionen von Überlebende gibt es jetzt. Und ich freue mich. Aber selbstverständlich jeder Überlebende ist ein lebendiger Beweis dafür, daß es ein Vernichtungsprogram der Nazis nicht gegeben hat.'] [P's speech in Moers, 5 March 1990: K3, Tab. 5, p. 13]
[1.4/E][Following an exhortation to "Sink the Auschwitz"] 'I should have warned you that I'm going to be very tasteless this evening, but it gets far more tasteless than this. [Laughter] Why should we be considerate about people who have lied to hundreds of millions of people for forty five years?' [P's speech at the Latvian Hall, Toronto, 8 November 1990: K3, Tab. 8, p. 15]
[1.4/F]'...these individual crimes did happen [shootings etc.]. And I can tell you later on the kind of evidence there is for these individual crimes, which are crimes on the order of thousands at a time, as I repeated before. Not millions. So, something did happen, but what I can say, with equal firmness, is, you can sum up my case on the Holocaust in the following nutshell: - more people died on the back seat of Senator Edward Kennedy's motor car in Chappaquiddick then died in the gas chamber in Auschwitz. [Applause]' [P's speech at the Latvian Hall, Toronto, 8 November 1990: K3, Tab. 8, p. 16]
[1.4/G]'I've heard that on September the Twenty First last year, 1989, President Gorbachev, as part of his glasnost, I think personally as part of his overtures to the German people, bear that in mind, he announced that his Archives, an un-named Archives, I think it's the Archives in the KGB, had found the death books of Auschwitz. And not only that, they'd found the index cards of all the prisoners who'd been in Auschwitz. And alone that fact, that they had the index cards of all the prisoners who'd been in Auschwitz, sent a shudder round the organised Jewish community of the world. 'Cos hitherto, of course, there has been an inexhaustible supply of Auschwitz survivors. The cruise ship Holocaust which has taken the oceans after the Battleship Auschwitz, this massive cruise ship with luxury wall-to-wall fitted carpets and a crew of thousands, this cruise ship Holocaust which has marine terminals established now in virtually every capital of the world, disguised as Holocaust Memorial Museums, the one in Washington DC alone is costing a hundred and forty six million dollars to build. [Person in audience shouts "Our money"] Your money indeed. A hundred and forty six million dollars, the cruise ship Holocaust, where will this story, where will its crew be, where will the Auschwitz survivors be now the fact has come out that the index cards, lists all the people who ever passed through the gates of Auschwitz - Arbeit machs Frei - know who they were? Suddenly a lot of people aren't claiming to be Auschwitz survivors any more. Elie Wiesel, for one, for example, he has always been uncertain whether it was Auschwitz he had been in, or Dachau, or Buchenwald. [Laughter]
Well, I say that, because there's a photograph, a photograph, in which he identifies himself as being a prisoner in a photograph of various prisoners in a bunk-house in a barracks in the concentration camp in Buchenwald, and he said, "Yes, that's me". But it turns out that photograph was in Auschwitz and he says, "Ohh, yes, I meant Auschwitz." I mean, what can we do about these people? And poor Mr Wiesel, I mean, it's terribly bad luck to be called 'Weasel' but that's no excuse [Laughter] I mean, these people do have a bad time, they had a very, very hard time and I do want to speak a few words of sympathy for them, like, I mean, like on Halloween's Night, for example, or say Saint Weisenthal's Night, as we call it in London. So they have had a very, very bad time and it going to get tougher now that people are going to challenge them as to whether they really were in Auschwitz or not, because we now know exactly who was and who wasn't. And they have gone to immense troubles, ladies and gentlemen, even the ones who've got tattoo marks on their arms. Because the experts could look at the tattoo and say, "Ohh, yes, One Hundred and Eighty One Thousand, Two Hundred and Nineteen, that means you entered Auschwitz in March 1943." So, if you want to go and have a tattoo put on your arm, which a lot of them do, I'm afraid to say, and claim subsequently that you were in Auschwitz, you've go to make sure, 'A' that it fits in with the month you said you went to Auschwitz, and 'B' that it's not a number that anybody's used before. So there are actual, kind of, trainspotter guides of numbers that have been used already. And the whole of that hoax is now going to collapse because the Russians have released the index cards.' [P's speech at the Latvian Hall, Toronto, 8 November 1990: K3, Tab. 8, pp. 17-18]
[1.4/H]'And the only way to overcome this appalling pseudo-religious atmosphere that surrounds the whole of this immense tragedy called World War Two, is to treat these little legends with the ridicule and the bad taste that they deserve. Ridicule alone isn't enough, you've got to be tasteless about it. You've got to say things like more women died on the backseat of Senator Edward Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. [Applause] Now you think that's tasteless, what about this? I'm forming an association especially dedicated to all these liars, the ones who try and kid people that they were in these concentration camps, it's called the Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the Holocaust and other liars, A-S-S-H-O-L-E-S. Can't get more tasteless than that, but you've got to be tasteless because these people deserve all our contempt. And, in fact, they deserve the contempt of the real Jewish community and the people whatever their class and colour who did suffer.' [P's speech at the Bayerische Hof, Milton, Ontario, 5 October 1991: K3, Tab. 10, p. 18]
[1.4/I]'There's an arrest warrant because when I was in Austria I was tasteless enough to say, that to my mind as an historian and as a neutral observer, these eyewitness accounts are an interesting subject matter for psychiatry to have a look at. And I mean that seriously. People have to explain why people genuinely believe they experienced or seen something years after the event simply when there's money involved and they can get a good compensation cash payment out of it.' [P's speech at the Bayerische Hof, Milton, Ontario, 5 October 1991: K3, Tab. 10, p. 17]
[1.4/J]'But it's interesting because the word Holocaust, this cruise ship Holocaust which is now floating around with an inexhaustible crew. I mean there's no shortage of crew members or applicants for this particular ship. The only requirement to become a crew member of the cruise ship Holocaust, is they should be an Auschwitz survivor, because there's an inexhaustible supply of Auschwitz survivors. There are millions of Auschwitz survivors now floating around the world or people who purport to be Auschwitz survivors although I must admit that their numbers become somewhat muted. In recent years, over the last eighteen months since the Government in Moscow on September the twenty-first, Ninety Eight Nine, in a statement from TASS, announced that all this time they've had a card index of anybody who was ever in Auschwitz. And ever since then the number of new applicants who claim to have been in Auschwitz has somewhat dwindled. Eli Wiesel no longer claims to have been in Auschwitz, for example, the Nobel Prize winner. He now claims to have been in a completely different camp, in the hope that they won't find the card indexes on that one.' [P's speech at Victoria B.C., 27 October 1990: K3, Tab. 7, p. 7]
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