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From documents Obtained by Law

from Canadian Government files

Deportation from Canada

Documents Released Under the Access to Information Act
by the Federal Department of Citizenship and Immigration in 1994

From secret Canadian files, a summary of the early attempts by the traditional enemies of Free Speech to silence Mr Irving in Canada


At the Zündel trial in 1988 Mr Irving testified that there was no evidence, at least in the archives in which he had researched in for many years, that Hitler had ever ordered the physical extermination of the Jews. He was so impressed by the persuasiveness of the forensic appendices and tables attached to the Leuchter Report, the court exhibit based on the investigations of Frederick A Leuchter, that he published in the summer of 1989, a printed and illustrated version of this affidavit evidence in London and announced his intention of making sure that a copy went to every school in the land.

In 1986 Mr Irving had organised a speaking tour in Australia and New Zealand, and then across Canada promoting first his Australian reprint of Uprising, the history of the 1956 Hungarian uprising-- based on CIA and Hungarian communist party records among other sources. He followed this with a 1987 tour promoting his first volume of his Churchill biography, and in 1989, 1990, and 1991 there were further tours from west to east across the great North American nation; at some of these he spoke about the Zündel trial, and the other great controversies of history. Each time he returned, the audience grew in size -- and so did the concern of his opponents.

The various Jewish organisations in Canada, where they are particularly wealthy, had made no attempt at lawful or traditional criticism of his lectures, but resorted instead to behind the scenes blackmail and threats, to deprive him of his lecture audiences.

Records of the Canadian Attorney-General now released to us under the country's Access to Information Act reveal that -- for all their public posturing and accusations that the writer is "inciting hatred against the Jews," a criminal offence in Canada, and although this is the method which they have employed to silence Ernst Zündel -- at no stage have they called for the Briton's criminal prosecution. Equally, although the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Ontario provincial police, and other police authorities attend his many meetings -- because of the disorder threatened by these opponents -- none of them ever sees cause to prosecute.

This fact bears emphasising: While publicly citing the country's "hate laws" as their base for concern, at no time do Mr Irving's opponents ever instigate a prosecution; talking in measured language they express regret to the newspapers that this university or that military forum is providing the writer with prestige and credibility. In this way they silently seek to gag those who still believe in free and fair debate.

Here as in other countries the Jewish representatives refuse Mr Irving's frequent invitations to come on stage and debate publicly with him (except for one instance which will be referred to below, in one of the biggest halls in Ottawa). Instead they apply clandestine pressure to hotels, restaurants, military clubs and universities to cancel their bookings for him, usually at the very last moment, and they pile commercial blackmail -- the threat of the withdrawal of advertising revenues -- on newspapers and magazines which allow him to reply or which dare to give favourable coverage to his published writings and lectures.

The campaign opens in 1989, as the community, as though on a given signal, begins a mediæval drumbeat of accusations that the writer, by his incidental comments on, and analysis of, the established notions of the Holocaust, is spreading "hatred". Like "Holocaust" and its derivative "Holocaust denier", "genocide", and "sensitivity" the word "hatred" becomes one of the primitive building bricks of their propaganda campaign. The Atlantic Jewish Council issues this press release:

The Atlantic Jewish Council views David Irving as a hate monger whose ultimate objective is to discredit the Holocaust, promote the Jewish conspiracy theory and to incite hatred against the Jewish people.

While they did not spell out what they meant by the "conspiracy theory," it was presumably the notion that their brethren around the world, who might never even have met each other, whether in North America, in Europe, in Australia, New Zealand or South Africa, secretly conspired and connived using every means of modern technology to achieve their aims: nothing, they implied, could be further from the truth, and it may well be that they believed it.

After speaking at the Schwaben Club in Toronto on March 5, 1989 the Globe & Mail reports the author as saying that based on research done by Ernst Zündel's defence team during the trial, he has become a "hard-core disbeliever that there were any gas chambers." He adds that some day Zündel is "going to be proved right."

Carleton   On March 4, 1989 The Ottawa Citizen publishes a letter from nine professors at Carleton University, disassociating themselves from the planned lecture. The same issue quotes Carter Elwood, the professor who has invited him, as arguing that Mr Irving's views can be most vigorously rebutted in a public forum: "It's a question of freedom of speech. Universities have a right to have different viewpoints expressed and a duty to stimulate debate and discussion."

But this, an open discussion, is what the opponents want to stifle. In an item three days later carelessly headlined "irate picketers fail to stop fascist speech" the same newspaper quotes yet another body, the Jewish Community Council of Ottawa, as stating that the author's writing "exposes the Jewish community to hatred. He's attempting to deny our past."

That day, in an emergency meeting, the university history faculty buckles to the threats and blackmail and the invitation to Mr Irving is withdrawn. The vice-president of academics, Thomas Ryan, expresses the university's "embarrassment" to the newspapers, as well he may.

After the Chateau Laurier riot, The Ottawa Citizen prints this account of an interview with Mr Irving:

He denied accusations of being anti-Semitic, but said there are "questionable aspects" to history's long-held views about the Holocaust, the Nazi massacre of some six million Jews.

"I am not one of those people who deny the Holocaust happened," he said. "But the modern version (of history) that Adolf Hitler killed six million Jews no longer stands up."

Irving also defended Toronto publisher Ernst Zündel who was convicted last year of knowingly spreading false news about the Holocaust.

(COMMENT  Zündel was acquitted on appeal to the supreme court, and the law itself brought into discredit.)

Irving said he accepts forensic testing done by Zündel's supporters that shows no evidence of cyanide hydrogen in what history has accepted as gas chambers in various concentration camps.

He said that after Zündel showed him his evidence he became a "hard-core non-believer" that there were any gas chambers in Germany during the Second World War.

(COMMENT The German government now reluctantly accepts that there were never any gas chambers on German soil during the Hitler reign)

Throughout his 1989 Canada tour, Mr Irving speaks on television and radio stations across the entire country; it is a setback for his opponents from which they only barely recover, and then with foul means rather than fair. Where he has had only local organisers, on occasion disabled, deaf, and half-blind veterans of one and sometimes two world wars, preparing lecture meetings with funds limited by the exigencies of pensions and puny savings, he now finds arrayed against him the entire might of the League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada, which has unlimited cash reserves and a multi-million dollar war chest set aside to deal with emergencies just like this.

October 30, 1990   Margaret Mitchell, Member of Parliament for Vancouver East, writes to the organisation hosting Mr Irving's Canada tour, demanding that it cancel every appointment:

"His kind of racism should not be imported to Canada," writes Mitchell: "History cannot be changed. The fact that the Holocaust happened is well document and supported by eye witnesses' accounts. David Irving had to abandon his assertion that Anne Frank's Diary was a fake after losing a legal battle to Otto Frank. Anne's father. This is proof that his theories have no basis. He also testified on behalf of Ernst Zündel who was found guilty of the promotion of hatred. Canada will not condone false statements and unsubstantiated assertions which incite hatred against an identifiable group."

(The letter contains many falsehoods: the late Otto Frank never sued Mr Irving; Zündel was not prosecuted for promoted hatred, but for "spreading false news"; Canada has continuously turned a blind eye on the incitement of hatred against the Germans).

Under pressure like this, on November 5, 1990, a few hours before Mr Irving is to lecture in Ottawa, the Canadian House of Commons adopts a motion indirectly condemning him:

That this House rejects any attempt to use our country as a platform from which to disseminate knowingly misleading, inaccurate and false statements about the Holocaust and Nazi prosecution [sic???] of the Jews and other people before and during the Second World War and that this House deplores utterly and categorically all those who wish to spread a message of racial discrimination and hatred on the basis of colour, religion, ethnicity or culture."


November 1, 1990   The Toronto campus newspaper The Varsity quotes Walter Pitman, the director of Oise, of calling Mr Irving's views absolutely unacceptable. "Oise has an enormous commitment to legitimate education," he states. "In this case we are no longer dealing with education, but with misinformation, propaganda and outright racism."

Beginning a new phase in Mr Irving's fight, in which he seeks to demonstrate that unlike the bigots he has the law on his side, Mr Irving authorises a lawsuit against Oise, to force it to honour the rental contract by obtaining a mandatory interlocutory injunction.

Mr Irving deposes in a sworn affidavit for this action :

I have been very irritated to read newspapers stories repeating allegations that I am a Holocaust denier, whatever that phrase means. At no time in my lectures have I stated anything that could be so paraphrased. I make plain that there is convincing documentary evidence in German and British archives that the Nazis killed thousands of Jews at a time, in mass executions behind the lines in Russia and the Baltic countries. I state that, in my opinion, there is however a total lack of comparable contemporary evidence relating to the existence of gas chambers or "factories of death" in Auschwitz, etc. On the contrary, evidence released by the Soviet authorities in September 1989, and by the British codebreaking agencies, in my opinion makes it quite plain that the death toll in Auschwitz was about 76,000, and that most of these fatalities occurred through disease. I produce this evidence during my lectures.

Oise responds in its defence that the organisers have concealed from it the identity of the lecturer and the true subject of the lecture. Mr Justice A H Hollingworth dismisses the motion, and refuses to grant the injunction, agreeing that the organisers have not disclosed all the facts to the Oise and that this "misrepresentation" allowed Oise to cancel the contract. He also finds:

"There is no doubt that Mr Irving is a magnet to attract controversy which controversy could very quickly degenerate into violence. (In fact, the latter almost happened this week in Ottawa where Mr Irving spoke. Fortunately violence did not erupt.)"

The judge's ill-considered remarks may seem to be an encouragement to Mr Irving's opponents to threaten violence in future, which mere threat may justify halls to violate their contracts with him. In an item headlined "Rae weeps openly over the holocaust" The Toronto Star reports on November 2 that the socialist premier of Ontario, Bob Rae, has congratulated Oise for violating the contract.

November 7, 1990  Judge Hollingworth hands down his finding. That night Mr Irving visits the Lakeshore Inn in suburban Toronto and personally books a 500-capacity meeting room for the following evening. He pays in advance, signs the contract in person, and states on it that the lecture will be by him. He also gives the manager Jim Moats a signed copy of Churchill's War, so there can be no room for misapprehension, and warns him that he can expect his switchboard to be jammed with protests from certain sectors of the community the next day. Manager Moats seems robust, says he knows which sections of the community Mr Irving is referring to, and has no fear of them.

November 8, 1990  The traditional enemies of the truth spring into action, on hearing radio broadcasts announcing the new meeting. Over the signature of its Ontario Regional Director, Lorne Shipman, the League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada ("a national agency dedicated to combatting racism and bigotry") faxes to the hotel manager a letter citing Canada's hate law and charging that the speaker will be committing an offence against the Criminal Code. The letter recklessly levels charges against the speaker that are grotesquely defamatory, and would be actionable under U.K. law.

"Other purveyors of this ideology have been found guilty for promoting false information and hatred. Mr Irving's theories are repugnant and emanate from an individual with no historical credentials. Holocaust denial is a vehicle to remove the guilt associated with genocide and is a decide to foster the return of Nazism."

In a veiled threat which shows how rapidly the League of Human Rights has appreciated the hint given by Judge Hollingworth, Mr Shipman adds: "You should be aware that many groups find Mr Irving's statements to be so vile that protests are likely and confrontation may ensue."

The next episode occurs on August 19, 1991. Mrs Ingrid Beisner, a German-born Canadian citizen, rents a meeting hall at the Tudor Inn in Ottawa for Mr Irving to lecture in. On this occasion she ensures that the hotel owner, Italian-born Franco Giammaria, is aware of the speaker's identity, and he requires adequate security to be included in the contract. Arranging this additional police security costs Mrs Beisner a $335 fee payable to the police.

Undeterred, B'nai Brith Canada and the Ottawa Jewish Community Council prevail on Giammaria to cancel the booking, Ian J Kagedan writing him on September 17, 1991 that "our own legal experts are available should you require advice on how to cancel." Under pressure from B'nai Brith, the Ottawa city councillor the local ward also agrees to speak with Giammaria, and Yvonne O'Neill, M.P. for Ottawa Rideau, and John Manley, M.P. for Ottawa South, both personally sign letters to the hotel owner urging him to cancel.

To their credit, the Italian restaurateur and his family refuse at first to buckle under this pressure. Lisa Giammaria states in an interview, "We see the controversy, but are we not being racist in turning him [Mr Irving] away?" She adds, "If so many people dislike this man, why do so many come and hear what he has to say" Anybody who can afford to book the hall should be able to. We don't book the hall to people who only have wonderful things to say." Speaking to the university newspaper she adds, "I would be incredibly concerned if aldermen and politicians were the ones who chose whom we can and cannot rent to. My father will not buckle under and cancel."

The pressure is however stepped up, including death threats to Giammaria and his daughter. In a letter from Giammaria's lawyer dated September 27, Mrs Beisner is informed that the rental contract is cancelled. Left with no alternative, she sues to enforce the contract. Giammaria now pleads in an affidavit sworn on October 3 that although he has been aware all along that the lecturer is to be Mr Irving, he has not been aware that the purpose is to be "the denial of the Holocaust and the fostering of hatred against members of the community."

Mrs Beisner has to abandon the action, lacking funds to see it through the courts. A new hall is hired, the Skyline hotel; after the management comes under the same pressures, they too cancel at the last moment, and police have to escort the speaker from the hall. He finally speaks that day at The House of Cheung, a Chinese restaurant-- the Chinese have throughout the controversy displayed a remarkable resilience to threats against freedom of speech.

The Ottawa Citizen reports that the groups protesting against Mr Irving's presence in Ottawa on this occasion have included skinheads opposing racism, members of Queer Nation (a militant homosexual-rights group), International Socialists, and the Women's Centre Collective. The real masterminds of this battle against free speech have this time kept a lower, rearguard profile, figuring in the newspaper account only under the banner of the Jewish Students Union at Carleton University.

The Hollingworth ruling of 1990, with its covert incitement to violence, proves useful to the B'nai Brith several times over later months in their fight to smear Mr Irving off the debating platforms. The Marriott Hotel cancels a lecture booked for October 5, 1991 after the Canadian Jewish Congress and B'nai Brith Canada apply pressure: Marvin Kurz, a lawyer acting for B'nai Brith, puts the Hollingworth decision to the Marriott's lawyers. "Had we been aware of who was involved," the Marriott's marketing manager assures the Canadian Jewish News, "we would not have made the booking." Mr Irving himself then books and pays in advance for a meeting room at the Novotel in a Toronto suburb; a few days later this hotel also cancels the contract under pressure from the Canadian Jewish Congress -- the frightened hotel management secretly agree to negotiate with the lecturer to compensate him for his losses and for this violation of his contract.

November 1990  David Irving speaks at the Ottawa Congress Centre. There has been tremendous pressure brought against the management by Jewish lobby groups behind the scenes, and they are furious, for once, to have failed. Ian Kagedan of B'nai Brith protests in the Ottawa Citizen (which publishes his letter on October 17),

"The Holocaust is not debatable. It is not a matter of opinion. Hateful words are not protected speech. Promotion of hatred leads to acts of hatred and violence." The chairman of the board of governors,. Gordon Henderson, has however robust views about the freedom of speech. "The right to freedom of expression is a value that the board of directors of the centre must and does recognise, even though the board disagrees with the message that Mr Irving has announced as his theme."

He adds that the speaker has broken no laws and is free to present his views so long as he does not do so.

The congress centre is a provincially-funded building, but the Ontario provincial government takes the same noble line, despite the familiar pressure from the traditional enemies of the truth. The Tourism Minister explains to the newspapers: "The Ottawa Congress Centre handles the day-to-day operations and that'll be it in this case too. Mr Irving has spoken elsewhere and hasn't broken the law."

January 1992   Planning begins early for what is to be a major tour of North America in the autumn of 1992. His organisers in Ontario contact the Congress Centre in Ottawa again, scene of the successful event of November 1990 -- and defeat of all his opponents. But in the meantime these creatures have not been idle. The only way they can win the debate is by having no debate. On February 14, they send a secret letter (signed by Ian J Kagedan, National Director of Government Relations of B'nai Brith Canada) to the regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton, proposing a joint policy to prevent Mr Irving from speaking in facilities which the municipality controls:

You'll recall that this matter was of considerable concern when Holocaust denier David Irving was afforded a respectable and credibility-enhancing platform by the Ottawa Congress Centre in the Fall [autumn] of 1990. Since that time the Ontario Government's Anti-racism Secretariat has pledged to develop a policy which would preclude such abuse of public space within its charge. We are most pleased that the Regional Municipality is prepared to establish a policy in this same regard, and commend your efforts in this direction.

Kagedan however feels the the draft policy which Ontario has anxiously shown him is ambiguious, and leaves just the kind of loopholes that "those few in this community whom the policy is intended to put off" will seize upon, for instance to argue that they do not "espouse hatred". He suggests basing the wording on the Canadian Human Rights Act (sections 2 and 13). banning the provision of public facilities to any groups who espouse views and ideas which are likely to promote discrimination based on racial superiority or hatred, of which are likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by on the basis of race, national, or ethnic origin, colour or religion. "We believe it is of great importance to have such a policy in place," pleads Kagedan, and he cunningly suggests that they expand the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination to include "age, sex, marital status, family status, or disability" and even "sexual preference" (his ulterior purpose being to distract attention from the true architects of this clamp-down on free speech to these other groups).

A new and ugly wind of bigotry is thus blowing across Ontario. After considering the application by Mr Irving's organisers on March 13, 1992 the Board of the Ottawa Congress Centre explains to them why they have now decided to ban him-- and it is no surprise that their wording closely follows the Diktat issued by B'nai Brith to the Ottawa Carleton municipality:

The Board agrees that freedom of speech is a right enjoyed by all Canadians, however, we must all live with reasonable restrictions. The Ottawa Congress Centre is a Provincial building, paid for by the public. On this basis, the Board feels that the majority of the public is of the opinion that David Irving's opinions are dangerous, inaccurate, and could cause harm and discomfort to fellow Canadians. While he has the right to speak, he must find a venue that is prepared to give him his platform.

A few days later, on March 25, the Ottawa Regional Council approves the immediate adoption of a bylaw forbidding the provision of public facilities within the municipality of Ottawa Carleton to any group "espousing or promoting views and ideas which are likely to promote discrimination, contempt or hatred to any person on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, marital status, family status, sexual preference, or disability." B'nai Brith has thus successfully camouflaged its own role in forcing through the clamp-down.

Several months later there is a secret change to the Ottawa Congress Centre's bye-laws to enable it to clamp down on free debate once and for all. The wording sounds familiar. The new policy (section 9.01, enacted August 14, 1992) lays down that the centre's facilities should not be provided to any group that in the Board's opinion "publicly espouses or promotes false views and ideas," among which views and ideas listed are those likely to promote contempt, hatred or violence to any person or group on the by now familiar lines trotted out by the traditional enemies of free speech (race, ethnic origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, marital or family status). The Board also claims the right to see a summary of any proposed lecture in advance. Thus, bit by bit, and usually in secret, the rights of the ordinary Canadian citizens were abridged.

Global Vendetta

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