Friday, January 27, 2006

More on David Irving

I hadn't gotten around to this, but today seems an appropriate day to point to an article in Der Spiegel in which David Irving, now in prison for Holocaust denial in Austria, was interviewed. Some choice excerpts follow.

On why David Irving went to Austria, even though he knew there was a warrant for his arrest there:
Before leaving London for Austria, he left behind 60 blank checks and packed eight shirts, even though the trip was only scheduled to take two days. He is always prepared for anything, says Irving, meaninfully raising his bushy eyebrows. "Be prepared," the motto of the Boy Scouts, is apparently also his motto.

He knew that there was a warrant for his arrest in Austria. In 1989, then Chancellor Franz Vranitzky personally threatened Irving with immediate arrest if he ever showed his face in Austria again. But the stubborn Hitler apologist saw Vranitzky's threat as an invitation to return to Austria as quickly as possible. "I come from a family of officers," he growls from behind the plate glass, "we march towards cannon fire." But he did make a mistake when it came to picking suitable shoes. Prisoners are allowed to walk in the prison yard every day, but Irving has, "unfortunately, only one pair of very expensive shoes," and they're slowly falling apart.
Speculations on what may be part of his motivation:
British historian Paul Addison described Irving as "normally a giant when it comes to research, but often a schoolboy when it comes to judgment." As horrific as it sounds, there is reason to believe that he is not just driven by the lucrative business of the Holocaust denial industry, but also by a scurrilous and ultimately banal delight in provocation.

This delight is not uncommon among the upper classes in England, as Prince Harry's recent appearance at a party wearing a swastika armband demonstrates. Irving takes advantage of the considerable tolerance of his countrymen, whose regard for freedom of opinion protects even the most tasteless pronouncements of an eccentric.

It is no coincidence that a man like Irving comes from a country where "Führer" jokes are still part of the standard repertoire of the tabloid press, and where delight in provocation is considered acceptable even in polite society. Irving undoubtedly has as many detractors in Britain as anywhere else. But statements such as "more people were killed in the back seat of Edward Kennedy's car in Chappaquiddick than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz," with their blend of sexual innuendo and deliberate affront, are a reflection of the trivial ignorance with which many a product of the British boarding school system tries to show the world belongs to him. "He is a megalomaniacal class tyrant," says Holocaust expert Deborah Lipstadt, against whom Irving filed a spectacular lawsuit six years ago, at the end of which, however, the judge in the case declared him an anti-Semite, a racist and a liar.

"Yes, I did many silly things", says Irving simply, noting that the British way of doing things isn't always polite.
And:
Irving, who grew up without a father, started rebelling against the established order when he was a schoolboy. When he won a book award at school, he asked for Hitler's "Mein Kampf" as his prize. It was the same impetus that prompted him to drape a Soviet flag over the gate of his school. He had merely intended to shock people, Irving told Britain's Observer newspaper in 1992. "It was all in good fun, and when I write, I try to introduce a bit of fun onto each page." In 1993, he told another interviewer that he had no political agenda apart from enjoying seeing "other historians make fools of themselves."
Finally, the writer speculates that Irving's admiration for Hitler comes from his yearning for empire and his view of history as a panorama of "eating or being eaten":
Irving is unaware of moral or even human contradictions. He is too amoral to even understand that jokes such as the one about Kennedy's car are an affront to the survivors of the Holocaust. Irving's understanding of history is not unlike that of the Nazis. History is a panorama of eating or being eaten. Only the strong can win, and Irving reserves his unabashed admiration exclusively for the strong.

One of those people is "Bomber" Harris. In his first book, Irving turned the world's attention to the horrors of the bombing of Dresden. Nevertheless, he insists that Air Marshall Sir Arthur Harris was a great man. "I'm talking about a commander. Like Dönitz," he explains, his eyes flashing. "Someone who can send 20,000 young people to their deaths each day is a great commander." Given these views, Irving's admiration for Hitler comes as no great surprise.
Indeed it doesn't, and Irving has been more explicit about his admiration, saying about Hitler, "He's like the curate's egg - good in parts." Nonetheless, as odious as his views are, Irving should not be in prison for them. As Professor Deborah Lipstadt said, "Let him go home and let him continue talking to six people in a basement."

7 example(s) of insolence returned:


At 1/27/2006 4:00 AM, Blogger Dr John Crippen said...

"Irving undoubtedly has as many detractors in Britain as anywhere else. But statements such as "more people were killed in the back seat of Edward Kennedy's car in Chappaquiddick than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz," with their blend of sexual innuendo and deliberate affront, are a reflection of the trivial ignorance with which many a product of the British boarding school system tries to show the world belongs to him."

No, you have that wrong Orac. Irving gets virtually no press at all in this country, he is mostly ignored. When he DOES surface, the general reading of him is that he is mad. I am sure he is. I do not doubt his intelligence, but he is (as I have said before) clearly bonkers.

British public school boys? Hmmmm, well, you mean like Tony Blair?

There is no holocaust denial lobby in this country. I am sorry if there is one in the USA, though I must say when I go there (a lot) I don't come across it. But you know you are a county which gives judicial credence to Intelligent Design, so I suppose anything goes.

But please, I would not want you to think, or people who read your blog to think, that Irving represents anyone other than himself.

We have problems over her but, thank God, holocaust denial or major antisemitism are not amongst them.

John

 

At 1/27/2006 9:23 AM, Anonymous TheProbe said...

Dear John:

PUH-leeze! The Evolution Lobby in the US is consistently winning in court as the Dover case well documented. The IDiot scoundrels have taken refuge in the legislatures...birds of a feather you know....

I, too do not see a 'Holocaust denial lobby' in the US...however there are enough fringe nutcase groups, as documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, to make one think so.

 

At 1/27/2006 1:53 PM, Anonymous DJ said...

Dr. John Crippen said: "No, you have that wrong Orac."

John, the quote you are attributing to Orac is from the article written by Malte Herwig in Der Spiegel.

And by the way, there is a "holocaust denial lobby" in every country. Some are much smaller and less effective than others.

 

At 1/27/2006 9:51 PM, Blogger Parkin said...

Dr Crippen wrote:- 'There is no holocaust denial lobby in this country.'

The British National Party and Combat 18 are two priominent 'national socialist' groups in Britain.

People rarely openly deny the holocaust though.

Blair has threatened to make it a crime and it's already a crime to 'incite racial hatred'.
Love
Kath

 

At 1/29/2006 10:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is much that can be said about Irving, I certainly agree his statement "more people were killed in the back seat of Edward Kennedy's car in Chappaquiddick than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz" is somewhat insensitive. However it does not reflect his work, there is much in his research findings that is correct.

May I just remind everyone here that in his libel trial, that he lost, Lippstadt's expert team assessed the number of victims in Auschwitz at 350-500 thousand, that is about half of the official number. Their experts also had the gassings taking place in more remote farm houses.


There was a trial in Poland after the war that assessed the number of victims of Auschwitz at 330000, not mentioning any killing in gas chambers.

The Allies wrongly claimed gas chambers in Dachau and elsewhere, they even built one there after the war. If you don't believe, just write to the museum in Dachau and confirm this information.

Besides what actually happened in the holocaust, a term hat is never defined anyway, it is used as a propaganda machine for ethnic cleansing in Palastine and elsewhere.

It is a propaganda to justify the war of USA, UK and Israel, a war that is about taking land, natural resources and hegemonialism.

My family was expelled from their homelands in what was Eastern Germany before the war, some were even killed by a Polish mob. We were not even ethnic german but slavic, living their long time before the so called Polish partitions. Yet Poles living their now in our house believe they are "victims" and we ar e supposed to be guilty.

This ethnical cleansing was already planned and commenced by Poland in the 1920's, with the support of the Allies, have a look at the history of Danzig, ask yourself why the files are still classified by the UK. Expulsion of Jews also happened in Poland during the 1920's and 30's, until the early 1930's they settled in Germany, yet the Allies supported Poland unconditionally nut we only here about anti-"semitism" in connection with Germany.

Palastineans are ethnical cleansed every day by so called Jews, in the name of the holocaust that is a state church enforced in the west.

Compare this with Salman Rushdie, he was condemned in the Islamic world for provocations in connection with sexual taboos. Take David Irving, he dared to make public facts about the holocaust and gets arrested.

All this controversy is actually in the context of the imperialism of USA, UK and Israel and their double standards. It is not about the holocaust or the remembrance of the victims, it is about the ideological tools they need to stay in powerand justify war and unjustice.

 

At 2/20/2006 10:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Irving was handed a 3 year sentance for daring to deny the holocaust. Hurray for the Europian selective FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

 

At 2/24/2006 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a site where you can get a free download of David Irving's book Hitler's War that has been mentioned in the news:

http://www.fpp.co.uk/books/Hitler/text/index.html

Who still is able to think for themselves in this politically corrrect world.

 

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