David Irving's Fight against Australian Suppression of Free Speech
David Irving responds to Australia's challenge ("why should we let you in?")

Sunday, March 3, 2002

David Irving

Quick navigation
David Irving

Sunday, March 3, 2002

Comments on letter dated January 17, 2002 (attached)
Although your letter of January 17, 2002 states "Matters to be taken into account include the following," I clearly cannot comment, as required, on any matters which are not explicitly included, and I presume that your Minister will not expect me to do so either. It would manifestly unjust if he did. I therefore address below those matters specifically included in your letter.

501(6)(i) -- the person's past and present criminal conduct
There is no allegation of present criminal conduct. Your letter mentions only one alleged offence, of early 1990. It is submitted that (a) the one alleged offence was not severe, even under German law; (b) the event lies twelve years back; (c) I do not associate with criminals and have scrupulously observed the law.

1. "German criminal conviction in 1992".

On April 21, 1990 I stated in a public lecture in Munich, Germany: "We believe that, just as the gas chambers which the Americans put up here [outside Munich] in Dachau in the first few days after the war were fakes, those gas chambers facilities which tourists can now sightsee in Auschwitz were set up by Polish authorities after the Second World War." For uttering these words I was eventually fined DM30,000 by a Munich court in 1993. It was, the German authorities admitted in internal correspondence, a political, not a criminal, offence (see e.g. the letter from Weinheim Magistrates court to Ministry of Justice, Baden-Württemberg, June 25, 1997: "In view of the political background of the trial, I request …" etc. Tab A): Germany had enacted a law making it an offence to debunk any aspect of the Holocaust. I consider however it is my duty as an historian to write what I find to be true, regardless of political expediencies. The central criminal register located in Berlin confirmed to Weinheim on December 9, 1996, three years after the Munich penalty was imposed, that I have no criminal record, Keine Eintragung in the Zentralregister (see facsimile of register certificate, Tab B).

In January 1995 the present Polish authorities conceded to a leading French news magazine that the building in question at Auschwitz, the "gas chamber" that is shown to tourists, was in fact erected in 1948, three years after the war ended, and they stated explicitly: Tout y est faux, adding that they did not know how to bring this awkward fact properly to the attention of visiting tourists (L'Express, Paris, January 19, 1995).

I had therefore spoken the truth, as is my wont. It is to be remarked that the leading "exterminationist" authority on Auschwitz, Professor Robert Jan Van Pelt, of the University of Waterloo, has recently again conceded the post-war character of this exhibit in his latest book on Auschwitz (this passage can be downloaded from my website as a pdf -- it is to be observed that I have always given equal weight to the views of my opponents).

I would not have the slightest hesitation in making the same remark in Germany again, were it not for the absurd law which criminalizes it.

It is not a criminal offence to make such a remark in Australia, and I have never committed criminal offences while visiting Australia (or any other country), as your own police authorities confirmed to your prime minister's office in the turmoil following my 1992 visa application; nor were there grounds to anticipate that I would do so. These facts I know from the government documents properly disclosed to my solicitors in Perth at that time.

I submit that it is perverse that Australia would consider that every "criminal offence" committed in a foreign country is an automatic ground for exclusion, particularly when that offence is not known to Australian law.

The whole civilized world now criticizes Germany for its laws suppressing free speech. What about other countries' so-called "crimes"? It is a crime to drink beer in Saudi Arabia. Eleven ordinary Englishmen are awaiting trial in Greece for train-spotting. It used to be a crime to criticize Joseph Stalin in Moscow. It still is a crime to criticise Saddam Hussein in Iraq. On the other hand some leading Australians are reported to turn a blind eye on pædophilia, which is a felony in the U.K. In my view Australia is mature enough to distinguish between real crimes -- e.g., arson, drug-dealing, murder, Nazi genocide, Irish terrorism -- on the one hand, and the "thought crimes" of which author George Orwell warned us, on the other.

2. "Expelled from Germany"

No comment. A minor official in a Munich municipal body crafted and signed this order, which has nationwide validity. It is a patently political decision. It is illegal under the Helsinki Accords and under European law, but since it was served on me in November 1993 I have complied with it rigorously as I find I can do very well without the Germans and their country.

I do not believe that the majority of Australians will take kindly to the notion that Canberra is effectively allowing Berlin or any other foreign capital or body of aliens to decide who can and shall visit them in Australia.

501(6)(ii) -- the person's past and present general conduct
It is not alleged in the reasons stated by the Minister that I have committed criminal fraud, evaded debts, disregarded family maintenance, or been involved in any other class of crimes or war crimes.

On the contrary, your prime minister Mr John Howard stated in public in London on October 19, 1997 that the reason he had refused me a visa was because of my views as an historian (full transcript on my website) Verbatim: "[…] And the reason for that decision was, uh, based upon my government's perception of the Australian national interest, and, uh, uh, the reasons that relate, uh, in part, as you know, to some of views that you have expressed about matters which we believe, if propagated in Australia, would not be in the Australian national interest." He did not mention any other reason, and in particular he did not mention your reasons adumbrated above and below.

3. "Found in November 1992 to have lied on oath before a Canadian Immigration Adjudicator"

The facts of this ten-year-old controversy and injustice are well known, but I recite them here again. Following a campaign by Canadian Jewish and leftwing organizations, which wished to prevent my lecture tour, I formally agreed to leave Canada under a Voluntary Departure Notice (Tab C) on or before midnight on November 1, 1992, in order to obviate protracted immigration detention and hearings which would have vitiated my lecture tour anyway. Such a Notice permits a perfectly legal return to the country at any time. I had visited, broadcast, and lectured in Canada for the previous thirty years without committing any offence, as Canadian records obtained by me under the Access to Information Act confirm.

I mention that the document in Tab C refers to an alleged "misrepresentation of fact" as the reason for the Notice. I attach to Tab C therefore two pages of the actual Vancouver hearing, so that you can satisfy yourself that even that Adjudicator was troubled by the fact that the alleged misrepresentation -- which I challenged -- was so piffling.

When I presented myself at the border crossing into the USA an hour before the agreed time of departure on November 1, I was for the first time refused permission to enter the USA, although I hold a permanent multiple-entry visa and had entered the USA scores of times before (and since). It later emerged that a low level Canadian immigration investigation official, one Harold Musetescu, who was close to the influential political bodies opposing my lecture tour, had himself requested the US colleagues to delay me and then return me to the Canadian side just after midnight, as a tactic to prevent me complying with the order; Musetescu was later separated from the Canadian immigration service.

US Immigration officials at Washington DC airport confirmed to me on April 20, 1993 that an unknown hand had deposited "very strange stuff" (he also called it "garbage") about me on my INS file in an attempt to have me excluded; see the attached letter (Tab D) which I wrote a few days later to my Canadian attorney Robert Christie about this. The US embassy in London later confirmed that the INS file had subsequently been cleansed (for related items see my website, [1] and [2] and the further documents hyperlinked therein.)

An Ontario, Canada, immigration adjudicator, Kenneth Thompson, now had to decide whether I should be deported for this failure to comply with the Notice, as technically I had not reached US soil that night. Thompson was not a judge but a former immigration official promoted to this position.

An unexpected snag then arose for my opponents. They learned from a press interview (published in the Ottawa Citizen, November 2, 1992: Tab E), an interview which I had given on Sunday, several hours before my scheduled departure, that I had in fact made a brief two hours' visit to the United States on the night of Friday, October 30, thereby factually complying with the Departure Notice issued that mid-day.

Note that the RCMP files contain a handwritten memorandum that on November 2, Canada Immigration "was not aware of article in today's Ottawa Citizen indicating Irving departed Canada shortly after receiving departure notice to Seattle and then returned…" (Tab F). At the time of the newspaper interview, of course, I would have had no motive whatever to fabricate a story of leaving Canada briefly: I had no way of knowing I would some hours later for the first time ever be refused entry to the United States.

The reason for the earlier brief visit to the United States was this (see my electronic Diary print-out, typed on October 31 as I flew from Vancouver to Toronto, which was also evidence before Thompson: Tab G): A wealthy US citizen visiting Vancouver, one Brian Fisher, a stranger, had that lunchtime invited me to cross over briefly into Washington State, on the US Pacific coast adjacent to Vancouver, British Columbia, to inspect and autograph certain documents he possessed, which favour I did him. (Fisher was a complete stranger to me). Again, at the time of typing this diary entry on the plane, I would have had no motive whatever to fabricate a story of leaving Canada briefly.

Embarrassed by discovering, on November 2 in the Ottawa Citizen, this unexpected setback to their little plot, my opponents had no alternative but to accuse me of inventing this side trip. The adjudicator himself stated at the outset of the hearings that the existence of such a trip was "pivotal" (his word) to whether I had complied with the Notice or not. In the Introduction to his Report, Adjudicator Thompson wrote these words:

"This purported departure is pivotal, since if it is factually accurate, it would mean that the action taken against you by immigration officials in Niagara Falls on November 01, 1992 was based on erroneous facts; namely, that you were a person attempting to leave Canada pursuant to a yet unexecuted departure notice. "If, as you claim, you did in fact depart and then re-enter Canada at the Washington/B.C. border crossing then it might be said that you had already satisfied the terms of your departure notice and therefore could not be a person referred to in paragraph 14(1)(C) of the Act. However, the question as to whether you did or did not leave is an issue of fact for this tribunal to determine."

My attorneys produced

  1. not only the sworn evidence on oath, in the witness box, of the US citizen, Brian Fisher (see his subsequent further sworn statement, Tab H) whom we located and flew over from the west coast to Ontario to testify, and who was a complete stranger to me before this episode, but
  2. the actual Pacific Bell telephone records on the fixed telephones at his US address confirming that I had made two phone calls while at his house on US soil to associates in Canada, as described by me earlier on oath;
  3. my attorney also produced to the hearing a print-out (Tab G) from my above-mentioned electronic typewriter diary recording the US side trip (the computer-diary was sequestered, i.e. out of my hands and in Canadian immigration custody along with all my other effects from the moment I was returned to US soil, and the print-out was made while the machine was still in official custody, so it could not have been faked -- not that there had been any need, of course, to rig it earlier, anyway); and
  4. my attorney also produced to the adjudicator an automatically generated US immigration computer record (the so called Tecs-II printout) confirming that Brian Fisher's car was automatically logged at the border crossing, making the return trip that brought me back to Canada from the US side, and
  5. a sworn affidavit of Sonya K., the person to whose car I transferred immediately I returned to the US side of the border.

The Crown produced not one single witness to challenge either these witnesses, not the documents or the sworn affidavit evidence (nor had any of my witnesses the slightest reason to commit perjury or risk the penalties therefore).

Throughout the immigration hearing, which lasted from November 2 until November 13, 1992 under the spotlight of intense Canadian television and newspaper coverage, angry organized mobs of ethnic minorities and other opponents of free speech demonstrated violently outside the Ontario courthouse. This was in my opinion not without effect on the adjudicator Thompson. Friendly immigration officials at Toronto's Lester Pearson International Airport also told me on November 13 that the Minister himself had intervened to demand my expulsion and had asked to be notified the moment my plane was airborne.

In a fundamentally perverse adjudication -- presumably designed to head off a political problem, and I have no hesitation in saying that -- Thompson ruled that I had never made the "pivotal" side trip to the United States, that I and all the witnesses and documents had lied, and that I had therefore failed to leave Canada before the appointed hour and should be deported for non compliance with the Voluntary Departure Notice. These were the words which Adjudicator Thompson used:

"In assessing your evidence as a whole, you have been unable to persuade me that you did leave Canada on October 30, 1992. I have a great deal of difficulty accepting your evidence. It did it not have the ring of truth to it, but observing you and listening to your testimony, I could not help but get the impression that you were at times reciting a rehearsed script....
"When viewed as a whole this evidence can lead to only one conclusion; the event was a total fabrication and never took place. I can only speculate that you and your supporters concocted your story to garner further publicity and prolong your stay in Canada, both of which you have done with some success."

This was the "perjury" on which Australia now no less perversely relies. In his adjudication (the whole text is on my website at http://www.fpp.co.uk/Canada/Legal/NiagFallsAdjudication.html), Mr Thompson relied on his own feelings on observing and listening to my necessarily precise testimony under oath, and on what he himself calls his "speculation"; apart from this unquantifiable basis, Thompson relied on one fact only -- that there was a three-hour discrepancy between the times stated by myself and my witnesses in our sworn evidence, and the actual times revealed by the US INS Tecs-II computer printout which we had produced in evidence. This was the only material ground that he stated for arriving at his conclusion which is reported by the transcript as follows:

"Mr. Fisher testified that he returned to the United States at the Blaine crossing at approximately twelve o'clock midnight on October 30th, 1992. He testified he drove straight to his residence and thereafter did not leave. He stated that no one else had access to his car.
"The United States Immigration Service printout, Tecs-II, (Exhibit C-13) shows Mr. Fisher's car entering the United States at Blaine at 0311 hours on October 31, 1992, some three hours later than he testified to. This is significant because we are now talking of not merely a negative query but rather a positive record of an entry at a time at which Mr. Fisher cannot account for.
"The fourth contradiction is contained in Mr. Fisher's affidavit. He testified that he dropped you off on the highway near Vancouver and returned to the United States around midnight. In his affidavit (P-7) he swore that he drove to the residence of Heinz Koppe and departed at 12:45 a.m.
"As you can see Mr. Irving, your witness has not only contradicted your testimony but he has contradicted under oath his own sworn affidavit of November 5th, 1992."

The US Immigration authorities confirmed to Brian Fisher (see Tab H) and to my attorney subsequently that the three-hour discrepancy is due to the fact that the entire US Immigration & Naturalisation Service (INS) computer system is standardised on eastern standard time (EST) which is three hours later than the Pacific coast time where the crossing occurred.

It is astonishing that a Canadian immigration official should have feigned ignorance of this. Far from indicating that I and all my witnesses had committed perjury, the computer print-out solidly backed our true version of events, as did the Ottawa Citizen, the Pacific Bell telephone records and the print out from my computer diary, all of which independent evidence Thompson ignored without comment in his adjudication.

I lodged an extremely costly appeal with the Canadian Federal Court against this perverse, insulting and as we have seen far-reaching adjudication.

Leave to appeal was denied in a one-line decision seven months later by a Judge Rothstein (Tab I). It is reasonable for me to believe that his grounds for denying leave were primarily political, as he did so without any grounds being given.

4. "and were subsequently deported from Canada"

See above. I quote only without comment from the Confidential Annual Report of the League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada to the 1993 B'nai Brith Canada Convention by Professor Stephen Scheinberg (National Chairman) and Dr Karen Mock (National Director):
"BRITISH HOLOCAUST denier David Irving attempted to conduct one of his cross-Canada tours in 1992, but thanks in part to League [League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada] interventions, and excellent cooperation between a number of police agencies and government departments, Irving was arrested and deported.
"He is no longer permitted to enter Canada without ministerial consent. In both these cases, the League worked to warn the Immigration Department of these individuals' impending visit and provided information to government officials.
"Australian and South African Jewish communities have used materials provided by the League to lobby their governments for similar treatment of Irving."

It appears from this that the global attempts to silence me are the misguided effort of a small section of the population in each country concerned, for which they are happy to take the full credit. There is no exception to be seen in Australia.

5. "in 1994 a British High Court judge found that you had given false evidence"

On the application of Herr Michael Naumann, my left-wing German publisher, and more recently Minister of Culture in Germany (and as such a worthy successor to Dr Joseph Goebbels), a British judge ordered my committal to prison in London on February 11, 1994 for contempt of court on a technicality. I was not present during the hearing of the application, and was wholly unaware of it until court officials arrived at my Grosvenor-square home that afternoon to take me away from my family. I had no idea of what was going on or what had caused it until I read an item in The Times three days later, and the transcript, weeks later, which my West Australia solicitors obtained from your prime minister's office.

There was outrage in the British press about the imprisonment (e.g. an editorial in The Guardian). I submitted a sworn affidavit, dictated in prison to my solicitor, on the circumstances underlying the Naumann application. The whole matter as set out in the affidavit was so outrageous, and the campaign of foregoing physical violence and abuse to which I had been subjected, and my necessary defensive measures, were so outlandish (as it described), that it is in retrospect hardly surprising that Judge Davies, while agreeing to my application for release on February 22, 1994 expressed his frank disbelief. These were the words he used:

"I have not found this an easy decision because I have made it clear more than once during the course of today - and I adhere to the conclusions that I have been forming and expressing - that I am afraid I do not accept the explanations appearing in his [David Irving's] affidavit, that is to say, his explanation to me that he had not the faintest idea that any of this was going on - that includes that he had not the faintest idea that the German judgment was even registered in this country; I am afraid I do not accept that for one moment."

It was not of course a finding of "perjury," which has a very precise weight and meaning in law. Anybody who accuses me of perjury must be aware of the immediate consequences, which will be immediate and painful. Although I had been required to give oral evidence, again on oath, during the application for my release which was heard before Davies J. on February 22, 1994, he made no attempt to question me on the affidavit matters to which he refers, although he had every opportunity to do so while I was in the witness stand. I was examined purely on my financial means. It is therefore not open either to Davies J. or to anybody else to put a construction of perjury or giving false evidence on his remarks about my affidavit.

For such a defamatory allegation to stand, Davies J. would have had to go behind my affidavit -- which he did not -- and inevitably he would have had to utter some form of penal sanction in consequence, which would have been quite proper. He did not; on the contrary, he considered the alleged contempt was well purged. I am well aware of the penalties for perjury, which is why I have never practiced it.

6. "An unpaid debt"

In the circumstances of the shameful campaign to suppress my freedom of speech, and the right of free Australians to hear me lecture on history -- and Judge Gray recently conceded that my knowledge of World War II history is "unsurpassed" -- , Australia may well accept that it was inappropriate to have excluded me in 1993 and 1995, which inflicted a grievous burden in legal costs on me and my family in sustaining my appeal against the refusal of a visa; Australia may further think it proper that the Treasury should waive its claim to the costs arising from this wholly needless action. I would be properly grateful for such a gesture.

It is to be noted that in upholding the Minister's denial of visa on May 3, 1994, the Federal Court of Australia found that I did not meet the "good character requirements", and Mr Justice Carr in his Judgment stated specifically that the Court's grounds for this view were solely (a) the Canadian Adjudicator's -- wholly wrong (see above) -- allegation of fabricating evidence (i.e. perjury); and (b) the British judge's remarks about my affidavit (see also above).

I submit that my above remarks have totally removed the ground from beneath these baseless allegations.

The costs to myself have been substantial (quite apart from the destruction of my business and the inability to protect my good name in your country).

I remind Australia that on the first occasion when the minister excluded me, this action was found by the Full Federal Court in Western Australia to have been illegal; instead of accepting defeat in good grace however, Australia subsequently decided to change the law, specifically to enable me to be further excluded (as Professor Laurence Maher, a noted legal authority at the University of Melbourne's Law School, has set out in a well-reasoned paper on the case (Sydney Law Review, 1994, vol. 16, no. 3). Prof. Maher concluded (at page 393) by applauding the decision of the Full Federal Court in Irving v Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs (1993), 115 ALR, 125

"because it set aside a decision [by your then Minister] that was clearly inimical to the preservation of free speech in Australia."

Prof. Maher did not mince his language in that sentence; it was under this new, artificially created legislation that you prevailed against my further applications and appeals. It was inimical to the preservation of free speech in Australia then, and I submit that it is inimical now.

If nonetheless Australia demands payment, and makes this a sole remaining condition of my entry, I have no doubt that the thousands of Australians who have written to me asking to hear me lecture will enable me to purge this debt as well.

7. Further remarks on my general character:

In an unsuccessful attempt to protect my reputation from the global smear campaign, in 1996 I issued a writ in defamation in London against an American author Lipstadt and her UK publisher. The defendants relied on the opinions of hired "neutral experts" who were each paid fees of around £100,000 by the very organisations who have blocked my free speech in countries around the world. Sir Charles Gray, the judge trying the action in 2000, was good enough to state inter alia the following views, in his otherwise adverse judgment:
  • On the allegation of Antisemitism: "I have more sympathy for Irving's argument that Jews are not immune from his criticism. He said that he was simply expressing legitimate criticisms of them. Irving gave as an example what he claimed was his justified criticism of the Jews for suppressing his freedom of expression. Another legitimate ground of criticism might be the manner in which Jews in certain parts of the world appear to exploit the Holocaust. I agree that Jews are as open to criticism as anyone else."
  • On the allegation of racism: "I accept that Irving is not obsessed with race. He has certainly not condoned or excused racist violence or thuggery."
  • On the allegation of associating with right-wingers: "I accept that when he has spoken at their meetings, Irving has not expressed himself in extremist or anti-semitic terms."
  • On the gas chambers controversy: "[Irving] is right to point out that the contemporaneous documents, such as drawings, plans, correspondence with contractors and the like, yield little clear evidence of the existence of gas chambers designed to kill humans. Such isolated references to the use of gas as are to be found amongst these documents can be explained by the need to fumigate clothes so as to reduce the incidence of diseases such as typhus. The quantities of Zyklon-B delivered to the camp may arguably be explained by the need to fumigate clothes and other objects."
  • On the scale of the killing of Jews in the gas chambers: "I have to confess that, in common I suspect with most other people, I had supposed that the evidence of mass extermination of Jews in the gas chambers at Auschwitz was compelling. I have, however, set aside this preconception when assessing the evidence adduced by the parties in these proceedings."

Gray J., who was it must be stressed not a friendly critic, was also good enough to express these views:

  • "As a military historian, Irving has much to commend him. For his works of military history Irving has undertaken thorough and painstaking research into the archives. He has discovered and disclosed to historians and others many documents which, but for his efforts, might have remained unnoticed for years. It was plain from the way in which he conducted his case and dealt with a sustained and penetrating cross-examination that his knowledge of World War 2 is unparalleled.
  • "His mastery of the detail of the historical documents is remarkable. He is beyond question able and intelligent. He was invariably quick to spot the significance of documents which he had not previously seen. Moreover he writes his military history in a clear and vivid style.
  • "I accept the favourable assessment by Professor Watt and Sir John Keegan of the calibre of Irving's military history (mentioned in paragraph 3.4 above) and reject as too sweeping the negative assessment of [Lipstadt's expert witness] Evans (quoted in paragraph 3.5). But the questions to which this action has given rise do not relate to the quality of Irving's military history but rather to the manner in which he has written about the attitude adopted by Hitler towards the Jews and in particular his responsibility for the fate which befell them under the Nazi regime."

In a BBC interview, Gray J. went further, stating:

  • "Mr Irving manifestly is extremely intelligent and well-read, and was very good on his feet, and one would say that Mr Irving handled his case with great skill and ability, and I think everyone was impressed at the way he represented himself. It is a very difficult thing to do in any context, not least the context of the Irving case."

It is prima facie unlikely that a respected British High Court judge would voluntarily express himself in such terms about a person he believed to be of bad character in the sense that the latest Australian Government legislation requires.

You may also wish to provide any further information that the Minister should be aware of

My daughter B. is an Australian citizen and civil servant, permanently resident and domiciled in Brisbane.

The above statements are true in fact.


David Irving,
Sunday, March 3, 2002

© Focal Point 2002 David Irving