International Campaign for Real History

Document provided by Professor Deborah Lipstadt for her defence against the libel action brought by David Irving: a mysterious "research report" provided to her confidentially (don't let this fall into the wrong hands) by Canada's Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
Defendant Lipstadt's Discovery


Littman's secret letter to Prof Deborah Lipstadt, Oct 3, 1996, enclosing this "sutdent report"










a. Non Sequitor Reasonings and Omissions 6

b. Misuse of Informants 6

c. Avoiding Ugly Facts and Inventing Nicer Ones 6

d. Linguistic Cover-ups 7

e. Use of Ambiguity 7





1. Germany 18

2. England 19

3. Canada 19

4. Australia 21






I. Introduction

The murder of some six million Jews between the years 1939 and 1945 constituted one of the greatest tragedies in modern history. In recent years, attempts to deny the legitimacy of the Holocaust have compounded the suffering of all those touched by its horror. The memories of the dead. The survivors. Jews. Non-Jews. Thus, Holocaust denial has become one of the most insidious forms of anti-Semitism.1 Its landscape is dominated by fringe characters of the likes of Ernst Zündel, who are quickly dismissed as racists and anti-Semites. In the midst of these Holocaust deniers lies a considerably more dangerous source of hate, the self-styled "historian", David John Cawdell Irving.


A prolific writer, David Irving has become the darling of the neo-Nazi movement. His works claim to shed new light on Adolf Hitler and Nazi party through extensive research of primary documents found in archives around the world. Irving often claims to be the only "true historian", as he does not rely on secondary materials produced by other authors, and thus does not fall into the trap of succumbing to the prejudices of other historians' works. Through reliance on vast archive materials Irving is able to tailor his writings to accommodate the views he wishes to expound. These techniques have earned him the scorn of many of his critics, who label him as "'a Nazi apologist' and 'Hitler's PR man."'2


The history of the Second World War, as written by David Irving. is fraught with astounding 'revelations'. Hitler was unaware of the "Final Solution to the Jewish Problem"3 . There were no gas chambers in Auschwitz --those currently found were erected by the Polish government as tourist attractions.4 The "Holocaust lie" was generated by the Jews in order to gain sympathy and, more importantly, monetary compensation from Germany in order to finance the state of Israel.5 These views have led Irving to claim on several occasions: "I also predict that . . . the Holocaust will be discredited."6


This document is intended to serve as an educational tool, detailing the activities of David Irving and his goal of morally rehabilitating Adolf Hitler and the entire Nazi regime.

To date, as a consequence of his writings and the views he espouses, Irving has been deported or banned from several countries, including Canada, Germany and Australia. The remainder of this document provides background material on Irving's academic and political endeavors as a means of providing context to the continuing necessity to limit his


1 For a thorough review of the concept of Holocaust denial, please see Holocaust Denial: Bigotry in the Guise of Scholarship (Simon Wiesenthal Center, 1994).

2 "Historian doesn't mind being reviled as Hitler's PR man" LA Times News Service (London: 9 July 1996).

3 This is the central thesis of Irving's book. Hitler's War (London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1977).

4 David Irving interview with Mario Scialoja, L 'Espresso (26 July 1992), . . . . .

5 "History' s cache and carry" [interview, The Guardian (7 July 1992).

6 Ibid.


brand of 'speech' . Chapter II delves briefly into an examination of the academic merits of Irving's works. The methods employed by Irving to mold sources to fit his narrow viewpoint --and thus to disfigure the truth --are examined. Chapter III summarizes some of Irving's activities over the years, including speaking engagements, book tours and his involvement in the false news trial of German-Canadian Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel.


The focus of this document, Chapter IV, provides David Irving with a stage to speak in his own words, with quotes from speeches he has given, articles he has written, and interviews he has conducted. These quotes serve as a clear example why he should not be allowed to disseminate his message of hate as freely in other public forums. Chapter V examines the legal ramifications of Irving's work, with a focus on his legal entanglements in Germany, England, Canada and Australia. Additionally, the question whether limitations on the right of free speech are appropriate are discussed in this penultimate section. This document then concludes with brief recommendations on how to combat the brand of anti-Semitism evinced by Irving and his like, those who seek to deny the existence of the Holocaust.


The importance of confronting revisionists like David Irving cannot be overemphasized. As French historian Pierre Vidal Naquet, who has dedicated years to the study of revisionist history of the Third Reich, explains:


The terrible guilt of the revisionist deniers to which Irving be longs is that their perverse objective consists of trying to take away from the Jews the memory of their history, murdering once again, on paper, the victims of Hitler's extermination; their methods have an effect greater than pain, that of forcing people to prove what is already known, placing the condition of having to prove the annihilation that took place.7




II. Academic Analysis

The shroud of credibility in which David Irving clothes himself is the call to arms for those who wish to strip him of his platform of hate. Irving's prolific writing and his thorough research through World War II archives afford him an air of respectability. This has made him a best-selling author in the U.K. and abroad. This vast audience falls prey to the half-truths and utter falsehoods he weaves into the voluminous works he produces. Critics repeatedly assail Irving's 'historical' theses, and dismiss his revisionist themes. The importance of such work is to deny Irving the legitimacy he so desires in his attempts to spread his anti-Semitic and racist messages. Therefore, a brief review of the 'academic'techniques he traditionally employs casts significant light on the danger that David Irving poses.

7 Quoted in Interview with David Irving by Mario Scialoja, L 'Espresso (26 July 1992) [translated from Italian].





Renowned historian Hugh Trevor-Roper reviewed Irving's most controversial work, Hitler 's War, and neatly encapsulated the world of David Irving:


Mr. Irving's essential point is that it is 'hard to establish a documentary link' between Hitler and the extermination program. This is certainly true. That whole program was veiled in secrecy and carried out at a safe distance. Himmler himself explicitly forbade all discussion of it and if it had to be mentioned, it was always disguised as 'resettlement' or 'transport to the east.' Therefore, we should not expect it to appear openly in formal documents Indeed, it is because of this official silence that our new anti-Semites brazenly declare that the Jews were not exterminated at all.


Trevor-Roper continues:


However, a historian must not only read the official documents, he must also look behind them. I believe that if we do this, Hitler's responsibility for the policy is clear. Of course the extermination was carried out by Himmler's SS, but could Himmler have mounted so vast a program without Hitler' s authority?




Mr. Irving's argument about the Jews typifies his greatest weakness as a historian. Here, as in the Sikorski affair, he seizes on a small and dubious piece of evidence: builds upon it by private interpretation, a large general conclusion and then overlooks or re-interprets the more substantial evidence and probability against it. Since this defective method is invariably used to excuse Hitler or the Nazis and to damage their opponents, we may reasonably speak of a consistent bias, unconsciously distorting the evidence.8


Two seminal essays by Eberhard Jäckel, written shortly after Hitler 's War was published in 1977, dissect Irving's methods.9 Jäckel has been described as "demonstrat[ing], with a scholar's precision, the ingenious ways in which Irving manipulates evidence, collecting whatever fits his preconceptions, misinterpreting as he chooses, and ignoring whatever fails to support his views."10 The essays counter the


8 Hugh Trevor-Roper, Book Review, The Sunday Times Weekly Review (12 June 1977).

9 Eberhard Jäckel. David Irving 's Hitler: A faulty history dissected. Translation from German and comments by H. David Kirk. (Brentwood Bay, B.C.: Ben-Simon Publications, 1993). The essays were originally published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 25 August 1977 and 22 June 1978.

10 Foreword to Kirk's translation, by Robert Fulford, a Toronto journalist. Ibid. at 1.


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assertions made in Hitler 's War that Hitler was unaware of the systematic genocide of the Jews throughout the war.11 Rather, Irving transfers the guilt to Hitler's deputies, particularly Goebbels and Himmler. In later works, Irving goes beyond the assertions in Hitler 's War, and questions the very existence of the Holocaust --making him the darling of neo-Nazi movements and Holocaust deniers worldwide. Hence, an examination of Jäckel' s essays provides additional insight today, given the direction of David Irving's subsequent writings.12



Jäckel's Essays

While a detailed examination of Irving's library is outside the scope of this document, a cursory review of Jäckel' s essays provides a window of insight into what one can expect to encounter in a typical Irving piece through Jäckel's analysis of Hitler's War. First, Irving's three-pronged argument: first. the lack of a written order; second, the alleged fact that Hitler never spoke of the mass murder to those in his inner circle; and third, Hitler's counter-order of November 30, 1941, which Jäckel terms Irving's "piece de résistance" . This final item consists of a handwritten note of Himmler' s detailing a telephone call instructing that a Jewish transport from Berlin not be liquidated. Irving interprets this as a universal order that Jews are not to be liquidated. Logic dictates the exact opposite --since the instructions indicated that this specific transport was an exception, and was not to be liquidated, the understood norm must have been that all transports were subject to liquidation. 13


The other facet of Irving's argument is the lack of any record of a written order, signed by Hitler, instructing the mass murder of Jews. This is despite vast evidence documenting the Führer's virile anti-Semitism, including his own words in Mein Kampf This is also despite considerable evidence of Hitler's domineering role in all important decisions. Irving attempts to pin the blame on Himmler, despite several statements by Himmler which indicate his consternation with the "solution" sought by Hitler.14 Notwithstanding this facts, Irving continues to assert that the lack of any documentary material is clear evidence of Hitler's relative innocence. Jäckel addresses the missing written order differently:


That fact in itself would not, of course, prove anything. The process of history doesn't proceed along such orderly lines as if it were a


11 In later years Irving began to renounce that the Holocaust occurred at all. A key turning point appears to be his testimony at Zündel's trial in Toronto in 1988, where his attention was first drawn to the infamous Leuchter report on the gas chambers at Auschwitz. His testimony at the trial indicates that he had begun to revise his view that mass killings occurred at all. This is examined below.

12 Other works include: Fleming, G: Hitler and the Final Solution (Berkeley: University of Cal. Press, 1984); Sydnor, C W, "The Selling of Adolf Hitler: David Irving's Hitler 's War" (1979) 12 Central European History 169; Broszat. M, "Hitler and the Genesis of the 'Final Solution': An Assessment of David Irving's Theses" (1979) 13 Yad Vashem Studies 73; and, Lipstadt. DE; Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (1993).

13 Jäckel. supra note 9 at 21-22.

14 For specific references, please see Jäckel's essay, supra note 9 at 22-29.



financial transaction, providing receipts and vouchers. Many things in the world are never officially recorded. It is a fact worth thinking about: perhaps researchers have passed over it much too lightly.15


Nonetheless, sufficient documentation exists to satisfy most other historians and researchers that Hitler was indeed aware of the fate of the Jews. Jäckel refers to notes by Alfred Rosenberg, minister-designate for the eastern occupied territories, speeches made by Hitler himself46, and explicit diary entries by Goebbels. Particularly remarkable is the last of these sources, if only for its thorough accuracy and vivid description of the Nazi apparatus constructed to deal with the Jewish problem. Despite these sources, along with numerous others, including Hitler's personally signed last will and testament, Irving managed to construct his own reality with Hitler's innocence unimpugned.


In response to an Irving letter alleging "disappeared" documents shedding light on the matter, Jäckel published the second of his essays in mid-1978. This short piece refutes Irving's subsequent claim, and serves as a classic example of Irving's archival gymnastics in uncovering supporting evidence for his controversial views. At issue is a document detailing instructions from Nazi government minister Lammers that the Führer had ordered that the solution to the Jewish question be delayed until the end of the war. Irving seized this document, heralding it as proof of Hitler's benevolence in attempting to delay the mass murder of the Jewish people. However, a more intricate examination, such as that conducted by Jäckel, provides the true meaning of Irving's 'find'.


Jäckel' s research into the events surrounding the document in question reveal its true meaning, one quite distinct from that Irving attributes to it. In fact, the document refers to the question of the legal position of "Mischlinge" (part-Jews) --Hitler's order was made to the Minister of Justice, instructing to put the matter on the back burner until the end of the war. Thus, the reference in Irving's document merely illustrated Hitler's lack of tolerance for the machinations of jurists, and their legal exercises into the status of German citizens with partial Jewish ancestry. It did not, as Irving suggested, reflect the Führer's benevolence towards the Jewish people. Jäckel clearly refutes this proposition by transporting the evidence from Irving's narrow vision to its true historical context.



Irving's Tricks of the Trade

Eberhard Jäckel's work on Hitler's War some twenty years ago is as relevant today as it was then. The reason is simple --David Irving is still up to his old games. With numerous titles to his credit, Irving has maintained a mainstream following through his enticing writing style and thorough archival research. Nonetheless, his methods remain flawed, as he continues his revisionist themes interspersed with genuine historical insight. In his translation of Jäckel' s essays, H. David Kirk identified several recurring themes (or


15 Ibid. at23.

16 Jäckel refers to a December 1, 1941 address to dinner guests: "Many Jews are quite unaware of the destructive nature of their very existence. But whoever destroys life courts death. and that is exactly what is happening to them!" Supra note 9 at 29.



'tricks') in Irving's works.17 A brief survey of Irving's slight of hand should thus shed some light on the danger that lies within the writings he generates . . .18



a. Non Sequitor Reasonings and Omissions

Irving's writings must be read with a keen eye towards the vantage point of the writer. The author's sympathies lie squarely with Adolf Hitler, and thus his 'history' is geared towards a rehabilitation of Hitler's persona. This is evident through Irving's use of archival sources to disfigure the truth and manipulate the facts into an acceptable form. As Kirk notes: "Irving does not hesitate to interpret what he thinks is needed for, or to omit what runs counter to, a cleansing of Hitler's demon image."19


Nowhere is this more evident than in Irving' s testimony under cross-examination at the trial of Ernst Zündel. When questioned regarding several Nazi documents detailing the mass murder of Jews during the war, Irving attempts to manufacture suspicion and challenge the authenticity of the papers placed before him. Thus, with respect to a speech given by Himmler mentioning the genocide, Irving is quick to arouse suspicion, testifying that he believed there may have been tampering with some of the documentation, and searching beyond the scope of the document to justify his point of view.20 On the other hand, in the case of documents that further his Hitler-cleansing thesis, Irving deems himself to be strictly bound by references in the document itself thus, if a Himmler note does not explicitly mention "genocide", then that can not be the subject of the note.21


b. Misuse of Informants

David Irving's use of testimony from Hitler's long-term personal servants serves as another example of the lengths he goes to m his attempt to rehabilitate leader of the Third Reich. Once again, Irving only uses the portion of statements that serve his limited aims, and is quite apt at quoting out of context and truncating inculpatory testimony from his selections. This stance is further questioned by the emphasis Irving places on such informants and their Nazi documentation, concurrently with discrediting Jewish survivor accounts of the Nazi atrocities. 22


c. Avoiding Ugly Facts and Inventing Nicer Ones

The ultimate spin doctor, Irving constantly slants the facts to present Hitler in the best possible light. For instance, a Nazi liquidation directive reportedly from Himmler on behalf of the Führer is referred to as Himmler's "alone", in association with Hitler. Thus,

17 Please see supra note 9. The following is a brief recap of Kirk's thorough academic analysis of Irving's work, and a complete reading of Kirk's essay is highly recommended.

18 The headings are taken from Kirk's essay.

19 Kirk, supra note 9 at 41.

20 R. v. Zündel 7 W C.B. (2d) 26 (Ont. District Court), Thomas D.C.J., trial transcript at 964344 and 964849.

21 Ibid. at 9684.

22 For example, see Irving's testimony in Zündel supra note 20 at 9558.




with a seemingly fleeting phrasing, Irving is able to shift the ultimate responsibility from Hitler to other members of the Nazi elite.


d. Linguistic Cover-ups

This technique Irving acquired directly from the Nazi regime he so admires. With euphemisms such as "resettlement" for expropriation and ghetto-ization, and "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" for the Nazis' mass extermination of Jews, the Nazis managed to sanitize their conduct. Similarly, Irving's phraseology seeks to legitimize his revisionist slant on history by enticing the reader with catchy(??) titles, glossing over the sinister aspects of his works.


e. Use of Ambiguity

Another technique identified by Kirk is Irving's tendency to cloud the perspectives in his writings. Often the reader is unaware who is expressing the point of view at certain instances --is it the author, or is it one of the historical figures involved, be it the Führer or Himmler or Göring. Through this masking of voices Irving is able to intersperse his own opinions with his subjects, while at the same time adopting their voices to legitimize his own perverse views. This technique was also evident during Irving's own testimony at the Zündel false news trial, where the question of the meaning of "ausrottung" (extermination) is skirted by Irving.23


One final item addressed by Kirk is Jäckel' s treatment of Irving's piece de resistance, the handwritten note by Himmler detailing Hitler's order to stop the liquidation of a transport of Berlin Jews.24 Jäckel was suspicious of Irving's claim that this note indicated Hitler's desire to curtail the mass extermination of the Jews. Subsequent archival research supports Jäckel's cynicism. Lucy Dawidowicz's research draws on the first two lines in the note written by Himmler, revealing that the purpose for stopping the transport was to capture one Dr. Jekelius, who may have been the son of the Soviet Foreign Minister.25 Thus, with this additional information, Jäckel's objection to Irving's interpretation of the note is strengthened. By revealing all the facts, and placing the note in its proper context, Irving's version of the facts succumbs to the falsehoods that it was built upon.


David Irving's techniques challenge the most educated minds to adopt his version of reality. By revealing Irving's methods, the illusions portrayed as facts in his writings have been unveiled. Hence, while claiming to be a legitimate historian, Irving can now be identified with his underlying purpose, to morally rehabilitate Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Given this accurate version of reality, it is all the more clear why his activities must be curtailed, and why his alleged legitimacy be eradicated.

23 Zündel, supra note 20 at 9621-24.

24 See above, at note 20.

23 Lucy S. Dawidowicz, The Holocaust and the Historians. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981) at 34-38.




III. A History of David Irving


David Irving was born in England in 1938 and still maintains a home in London today. While an accomplished student at grammar school, Irving never completed a post-secondary school degree. He enrolled at Imperial College, London University in 1957 for Sciences after previously focused on Arts subjects. He was forced to repeat his first year at IC, and by early 1959 Irving became editor of the college's "Phoenix" magazine. This position was short-lived due to the magazine's board of directors' dissatisfaction over articles by Irving on right-wing extremists. A greater transgression of Irving's early years occurred with his publication of "Carnival Times", a journal under the auspices of London University's Carnival Committee. 26 The result was a supplement which contained, among other items, racist cartoons, a defence of South African apartheid, complimentary words on Hitler's Germany, and allegations that the national press was owned by Jews.27 At this point in time Irving made one of his infamous remarks, later claiming to have been flippant, 28 stating to an interviewer:" .. . you can call me a mild fascist if you like."29


Irving's revisionist work came to the forefront with the publication of The Destruction of Dresden in 1963, and his claim that some 250,000 people died as a result of the Allied bombings. This figure was later revised by Irving, who apologized for the incorrect, excessive death tolls he claimed to have quoted from World War II documents.30 The possible source of this revisionist stance may be traced to correspondence between Irving and one Studienrat H. Dolinsky, who claimed to have been a Wehrmacht radio monitor during the war. Dolinsky's claim was that he had overheard a transmission indicating that the World Jewish Congress had demanded Dresden's liquidation as a consequence of the quashing of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.31 These unfounded claims appeared to have aroused Irving's interest, and the connection to Dolinsky may have enabled Irving to forge some inroads into the East German archives. Additionally, this exchange may have been Irving's first encounter with the power held by newly discovered, and thus difficult to disprove, information from primary sources. This is one possible explanation for Irving's subsequent obsession with archival research as the basis for his historical writings.


Irving's difficulties with accuracy continued with his later work. The English Court of Appeal upheld a successful libel suit against Irving in 1971 resulting from a claim he had made in The Destruction of Convoy PQ17.32 The next major event associated with


26 Clifford Luton, "The mild Fascist' pulls a fast one" The Daily Mail (1 May 1959).

27 Mike Williams, "David Irving: IC's 'mild fascist"' Felix (9 December 1977). [note: Felix is Imperial College's student newspaper]

28 See Irving's response to reviewer Kai Bird in The New Statesman (8 May 1981).

29 The Daily Mail (1 May 1959).

30 Letter by David Irving, The London Times (7 July 1966).

31 This exchange was revealed by Irving via correspondence with C.C. Aronsfeld. curator of the Weiner Library in London, during 1960-61.

32 "Law Report March 4 1971: £40.000 libel damages upheld for 'outrageous conduct"' The Times (5 March 1971).


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Irving was the release of Hitler's War in 1977 and the furor that arose in his attempted rehabilitation of the Führer. In association with its publication Irving presented an offer of £1000 to any person that could present documentary evidence that Hitler knew of the Holocaust. With the release of the book David Irving's prominence rose and he embarked on numerous speaking tours to promote Hitler's War." Notably , at this point in time, Irving still accepted the Holocaust at face value, merely shifting the blame for it to Hitler's underlings. Hence, his popularity among neo-Nazi groups was limited by his acceptance of the genocide of the Jewish people during the war.


This relationship with right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis warmed during the early 1980s, with Irving addressing the Clarendon Club on several instances.34 These dinners, with subjects ranging from Hitler's lack of knowledge of the extermination to the bribing of Churchill by Eastern European countries, entertained members of the National Front and other assorted right-wing and neo-Nazi groups. Irving had begun to move further to the right, and as a result he had become increasingly marginalized. This was evident through Irving's publication of "Focal Point", which he claimed to be the voice of the educated Right, and his numerous speaking engagements with extremist groups.35


While still a prolific writer during the early 1980s36, Irving's next major release was Churchill's War, Volume One: The Struggle for Power in early 1988. Irving had accessed Churchill's diaries and had researched and written the biography for a period spanning some ten years beginning in the mid-1970s. As a testament to Irving's revisionist stance, the book was required to be published in Australia, by Veritas Publications, a right-wing publisher. The biography portrays Churchill as a ruthless alcoholic, whose involvement of Britain in the war was spurred by his own political motives and the influence of Jewish financiers. The book's revisionist history was subjected to scathing reviews by the British press, who concurrently praised Irving for the depth of his research in writing the biography.37


33 Included in his speaking engagements were debates with historians. including Eberhard Jäckel. (See Die National Zeitung (14 July 1978)). In addition, his popularity and publicity in Germany expanded with dates in Stuttgart, Munich, and the Frankfurt Book Fair.

34 Some examples are 30 March 1979 and 1 February 1980. For quotes from subsequent Irving visits to the Clarendon Club. see Part IV.

35 Some instances include: paying tribute at the funeral of Hans Ulrik Rudel. a famed Luftwaffe pilot; a speaking tour of Germany in March 1982 organized by Dr. Gerhard Frey, editor of the neo-Nazi weekly Deutsche National Zeitung, an address at the Institute for Historical Review Convention in Los Angeles on 3, 4 September 1983; etc.

36 Irving's book Uprising: One Nation's Nightmare: Hungary 19S6, released in 1981, drew this response from a reviewer

If nothing else, Uprising should lay to rest the charitable assumption made by gentleman historians that men like Irving would never stoop to dressing up their evidence. Irving not only has a consistent record of getting things wrong, but he clearly can't keep his noxious political affinities from turning his history into propaganda.

See Kai Bird, "The secret policemen's historian" New Statesman (3 April 1981).

" See David Cannadine, "Winston Agonistes" The New York Review of Books (15 June 1989).



A pivotal event in the life of David Irving was his appearance at Ernst Zündel' s false news trial in April. 1988.38 As evident in Irving's testimony at the trial, he had departed from his mere claim of Hitler's innocence to a deeper questioning of the existence of gas chambers and the genocide of six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis.39 This' revelation' was triggered by the Irving' s introduction to the Leuchter Report.40 In his subsequent foreword to the Report, Irving adopted Zündel's claim that the Holocaust was a "swindle". utilized by Jews to extract moneys from Germany in order to finance the state of Israel. As such, Irving had made the leap from Nazi apologist to a full-fledged Holocaust denier.


Since the Zündel trial, Irving has maintained that while he does question the events of World War II, he is not a "Holocaust denier". Rather, he has refused "to swallow the whole Holocaust package that is now on offer."41 Irving's research in the late 1980s attempted to substantiate his claims that the number of Jews murdered were minimal. In this vein, he introduced Tass reports claiming 46 Auschwitz 'death books' existed, and which detailed only 74,000 deaths.42 In addition, Irving deleted all reference to "factories of death" in the revised edition of Hitler 's War. Armed with this new material, Irving continued his speaking tours throughout 1989 and 1990.


His Canadian tour began with an inauspicious introduction. Gerry Weiner, Canadian Secretary of State for Multiculturalism, issued a press release expressing his disdain for Irving's views and condemning his visit to Canada. Irving responded, through lawyer Doug Christie,43 by suing Weiner for libel. However, Irving's participation in numerous rallies subsequent to the Weiner statement appear to substantiate the claims made against him." His penchant for addressing neo-Nazis, and for praising the Nazi


38 Zündel. a major writer and distributor of pro-Nazi materials, was tried under then section 177 of the Canadian Criminal Code, the false news provision. At issue was his distribution of a pamphlet titled Did six million really die?, which labeled the Holocaust a hoax, and asserted that only 300.000 Jews died in Nazi custody. Zündel was convicted, but eventually an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1992 succeeded, where the Court held that the false news provision were overly broad and too vague, and thus held to be unconstitutional

39 Irving has described this change of heart on several occasions. including at a speech in Fredericton. New Brunswick in March 1989.

40 This report, by Fred Leuchter, was commissioned by Zündel for his 1988 trial. Leuchter ventured to Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek to conduct 'scientific' tests on the levels of Zyklon B in the gas chambers. Finding minimal traces, Leuchter concluded no gas chambers were used to exterminate Jews. and that the story of gas chambers at Nazi death camps were a hoax. In actuality, Leuchter's results are understandable, given the history of expansion of Auschwitz and the varied uses of the current gas chambers" on display (the ones actually utilized were destroyed by the Nazis prior to the end of the war). In addition, Leuchter misrepresented himself as a gas chamber expert. despite lacking any qualifications as a chemist or as an engineer. Despite the clear evidence rejecting the results, the Leuchter Report remains a popular source for Holocaust deniers worldwide.

41 David Irving, Letter to the Editor. The Sunday Times (24 September 1989).

42 Irving neglected to mention that the books were an incomplete record, covering only part of 1942.

43 Christie became known for his defence of Ernst Zündel and other prominent neo-Nazis.

44 The documentary "Dispatches: The truth sets us free" (UK Channel 4, 27 November 1991) displays Irving in this light. in addition. Videos show Irving addressing youths shouting "Sieg Heil", and Irving praising the work of the great German martyr, Rudolf Hess. ("This Week", ITV 28 November 1991).




regime, solidified his position as the darling of Nazi sympathizers.45 It also served as one of the bases for his deportation from Canada in November, 1992, and the Australian government's refusal to grant his visa application of December, 1992.46


Irving' s questionable academic credentials came to the forefront once again in 1992 as a result of the serialization of Goebbels's Diaries in Britain by the Sunday Times. Andrew Neil, the Times' editor, had hired Irving to translate the documents that he found in the Moscow archives. Irving's revisionist reputation gave rise to public outcry over the actions of Neil and the Times.47 Neil responded that he only used the author because it was Irving who brought the diaries to his paper, and that Irving claimed that he was on a few people who could read Goebbels' s handwriting.48 Irving still maintains that Neil breached the contract with him and that he was never compensated for his work for the Times with respect the translation of the diaries.49


In November, 1993 Irving launched the David Irving Fighting Fund (DIFF) to raise money for suits he had launched in Canada, Australia. Germany and Britain. DIFF publishes "Action Report", a newsletter designed to keep fund donors informed of Irving's activities and legal battles. The litigation in question included several libel suits against Australian newspapers and journalists, appeals of his visa refusal in Australia, appeal of German fines for denial of the Holocaust, and various other frivolous actions.50


Recent years have seen Irving maintain his extensive speaking dates in Britain and the United States. Legal sanctions have limited his ability to address audiences in person in several countries, including Canada, South Africa, Australia and Germany. Therefore, Irving has produced several video cassettes as a means of disseminating his views to a wider audience. In particular, this was his response when his entry into Australia was refused on several occasions during 1991-1993.


On the literary front, Irving released Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich in early 1996. This followed another storm of controversy with the U.S. publisher, St. Martin's Press, rescinding the contract to publish the work following "a series of scathing


45 Also as a result of his statements, Irving was convicted and fined for offending the spirit of the dead by denying the Holocaust in Germany. For a more extensive discussion of this matter. see Part V.

46 Both these events are discussed in much greater detail in Part V of this document.

47 David Gardner and Justin Davenport, "Goebbels war of words" Daily Mail (4 July 1992) p. 9; Fiona Barton, "Historian mobbed by protesters" The Mail on Sunday (5 July 1992); Rosie Waterhouse. "Jews attack publisher of Irving book," The Independent (6 July 1992) p. 3.

48 Alan Travis, "Tories tax Neil on Goebbels" The Guardian (8 July 1992).

49 Another controversy arising from this episode dealt with the involvement of François Genoud, a banker and lawyer who controls the literary estates of Goebbels, Hitler and Bormann, and a man who has funded Nazi war criminals for decades. Genoud had reportedly been paid some £17, 360 by The Daily Mail to publish the diaries. Genoud also claimed that Irving and the Sunday Times had not received his authority to publish the Goebbels diary. Public contempt arose from the alleged involvement of Genoud, whose ideology he summed up as: "Things would have been much better if Hitler had won." See: David Harrison and John Merritt, "Hitler agent paid for diary rights" The Observer (12 July 1992); Paul Keel, "Banker is set to sue over Nazi's diaries" The Mail on Sunday (12 July 1992).

50 See Part V for further details.




pre-publication reviews".51 This necessitated Irving publish and peddle the book himself, with no major publishing house willing to associate themselves with the author.52 The book continues Irving's attempt to de-demonise Hitler, and, expanding on his previous writings, continues to shift the blame for any atrocities during the war to Hitler's subordinates. Previously, Himmler had been targeted by Irving, and his latest work now puts Goebbels in the frame in his attempt to insulate Hitler from the Holocaust.53 Irving describes Hitler as a "reluctant anti-Semite". With respect to Goebbels, Irving writes: "Neither the broad German public nor their Führer shared (Goebbels' s) satanic anti-Semitism."54


Faced with mounting opposition and limited finances, Irving has once again attempted to portray himself as a mainstream historian. He now concedes that up to three or four million Jews died at the hands of the Nazis, but still insists that only about 600,000 to one million of them died in the death camps.55 Nonetheless, he remains the same flawed author he has always been, with the same jaded viewpoints. and a biased recounting of history. This was proven with Irving's release of Goebbels. His writings still prompt virulent opposition, as his mission of obscuring the truth about the Holocaust appears to be unrelenting.


What David Irving is doing ... is not the destruction of live people but the destruction of people who already died. It's killing them a second time. It's killing history.56



IV. David Irving: In his own words ...


Any criticisms of David Irving, whether attacking his historical techniques or his personal biases, are based on the hatred he himself exudes. Thus, the most fruitful manner of assessing Irving. the individual, is to briefly listen to what it is he says. A brief encounter provides sufficient evidence as to why his type of speech should not be


51 "Hitler's PR man", supra note 2. See also, "Publisher drops book on Goebbels" Associated Press (New York: 5 April 1996).

52 Sean O'Neill, "The strange life of a much-reviled man" The Daily Telegraph (13 April 1996). See also Gitta Sereny, "Spin Time for Hitler" The Observer (21 April 1996) The Review section, page 2. This latter review triggered Irving's launch of a libel suit against the Observer newspaper.

53 Peter Ellingsen, "Historian with a past --David Irving" Sydney Morning Herald (22 June 1996).

54 For a review of Goebbels, see Robert Harris, "The man who loved Adolf Hitler" The Evening Standard (1 April 1996).

Also, see Sereny, supra note 52. Sereny concludes her review of Goebbels with the following refrain:

Anyone, however, who wants to learn about the political acts of one of this century' s most able and most dangerous men, should remember that what they are reading is one brilliant propagandist --one man who bates and loves obsessively --writing about another.

55 Severin Carrel, "Cold-calling author hits the big chill" Scotland on Sunday (12 May 1996). See also David Irving interview on station 2GB, Australian radio (27 July 1995).

56 Deborah Lipstadt, Emory University professor, in Frank Rich. "Hitler's Spin Artist" The New York Times (3 April 1996).





protected, and why he should not be allowed to inflict harm on groups the subject of which his revisionist views attack. Therefore, despite what David Irving may later claim. what he says really does speak volumes about the man.



On his brand of history:

When my critics have done the original research that I have .. I shall heed to their objection, but they haven't, so I won't.

New Zealand Herald (17 October 1987)

I have been in the archives, where the truth is ...

... in response to Holocaust survivor Kitia Altman, during Australian interview, "A Current Affair" (16 February 1993)

I'm afraid I have to say I wouldn't consider what a survivor of Treblinka could tell me in 1988 to be credible evidence. ... I would prefer the evidence of somebody who goes to the site with expert knowledge now, and carries out concrete examinations to the very human and fallible human memories after a tragic wartime experience forty years after the event.

Testimony at trial of Ernst Zündel, April 1988 (transcript p. 9558)

... the long-lost Joseph Goebbels diaries which I personally retrieved from the Moscow secret state archives where they have been hidden for nearly fifty years. I appreciate that I have aroused much envy ...

Irving Australian press release (3 December 1992). In Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich. Irving finally admitted that German historian Dr. Elke Fröhlich was the first to discover the microfiches containing the diaries.57


On Adolf Hitler:

... without the tragedy of the Third Reich, the State of Israel would probably not exist and in that respect he [Hitler] was doing the Jewish nation a favour.

Testimony at trial of Ernst Zündel, April 1988 (transcript p. 9753)


... that without Hitler's active campaign on the Jewish front, the State of Israel would probably not now exist and have attracted its overwhelming worldwide sympathy ...

Testimony at trial of Ernst Zündel, April 1988 (transcript p. 9777)


On the gas chambers, the Holocaust, and its survivors:

I don't say the Holocaust is a hoax. What I say is the Auschwitz gas chambers are a hoax, which narrows it down very dramatically. I'm talking about magnitude and methods, but I'm not denying the Holocaust happened. I'm not even going to say Jews did not die in gas chambers. I think it may have happened in a small and experimental way.

Sydney Morning Herald (22 June I 996)


The holocaust of the Jews in Auschwitz is without basis ...


57 See Sereny, supra note 52.




Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (February 1990)



What I am saying is that I am not denying that the Holocaust happened in some degree. I am saying that there were a large series of unrelated atrocities. But the idea of the Holocaust mythology, Adolf Hitler ordered the killing of six million Jews in Auschwitz in simple terms, that, I think, is now very suspect.

Testimony at trial of Ernst Zündel, 1988 (transcript pp. 9563-64)


Yes, hundreds of thousands were killed, but there were no factories of death. All that is a blood libel against the German people.

Speech in Gresham, Oregon (October 1994)


... it came out that the so-called gas chambers were constructed many years after the war for the tourists.

Interview with Mario Scialoja, L 'Espresso (26 July 1992)


The gas chambers were invented in November 1942 by the secret service of Churchill's War Ministry for reasons of propaganda against the Germans. It was a masterpiece. The testimonies that you [interviewer Mario Scialoja] are quoting are of Jews, and do not count, because the Jews are parties to the cause.

Interview with Mario Scialoja, L 'Espresso (26 July 1992)


... if a year from now the gas chamber legend collapses, what will that mean for Israel? Israel is drawing millions of dollars each year from the German taxpayer, provided by the German government as reparation for the gas chambers. It is also drawing millions a year from American taxpayers, who put up with it because of the way Israelis or the Jews suffered. No one's going to like it when they find out that for 50 years they have been believing a legend based on baloney.

Interview: "History' s cache and carry" The Guardian (7 July, 1992)


Mortal pride demands that an Auschwitz survivor must have seen gas chambers. Letter to the Editor, Daily Telegraph (19 March 1990)


Auschwitz was a very brutal slave labour camp, where probably 100,000 Jews died ... Australian Interview: "A Current Affair" (16 February 1993)


There is no doubt in my mind that very large numbers of Jews and others were massacred by the Nazis on the eastern front during World War II. They were machine gunned into pits ...

Speech in Gresham. Oregon (October 1994)


After VE-Day, countless more ... were culled from the Displaced Persons camps in liberated Europe by the Haganah and whisked into new homes, lives and identities in the Middle East, leaving their old, discarded identities behind as "missing persons".

Disputing the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust, in Letter to the Editor, Daily Telegraph (19 March 1990)





Robert Maxwell was of course the greatest propagator of the Holocaust myth in Britain. He held the great Holocaust seminar because he and his ilk survived and dined out on the Holocaust myth. ... ...

We're all Holocaust survivors, every one of us who was born in 1939 or from then until 1945. We're all Holocaust survivors. We don't go around dining out on that particular menu. The ones who suffered in the Holocaust are the ones who died, not the ones who survived. But the Holocaust survivors are the ones who are earning of course.

Address at meeting of Clarendon Club (London. 19 September 1992)


... I'll say you didn't [suffer]. You survived. You are a survivor. By definition you didn't suffer. Not half as much as those who died. Those who did die in the so called gas chamber, gas ovens, or cremated, or died in the plague, or epidemics, or whatever in Auschwitz. They suffered. You didn't. You're the one making the money. Explain to me this. Why are you people have made all the money, but Australian soldiers who suffered for five years in Japanese prison camps haven't got a bent nickel out of it. ... They know I am going to be tasteless about the whole matter.

Proposed response to debate with Holocaust survivor on planned trip to Australia, made during speech in Gresham, Oregon (October 1994)


... he [Günther Deckert) had done what he did in Germany's interests and because he like many other Germans was being thoroughly fed up with what was being done to Germany by Israel in the sense of continually pestering them for financial compensation. From the actual culprits and perpetrators of the Holocaust. From their sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters. And the judges said in their verdict, obviously they had a certain degree of sympathy for Deckert, having done it for these reasons. They understood why he had done it.

On the conviction of Deckert in connection with a speech given by Fred Leuchter in Mannheim. Germany, in a speech in Gresham, Oregon (October 1994)58



On his legal battles:

The German government has egg over its face because the German government has for the last forty years been paying nearly $1 billion a year to the state of Israel in reparations which now has turned out to be a fake gas chamber. That's basically what it is all about. The German government is trying to conceal the fact as long as possible. And they use increasingly vicious methods.

Speech in Gresham, Oregon (October 1994)


This entire extraordinary fight. I have to admit that this is what I find the most thought provoking matter. I never used to believe in international conspiracies. It is not a conspiracy really. It is a network. It is a network of incredible complexity and influence and forcefulness.


58 Deckert, the former leader of Germany's far-right National Democratic Party, was ordered to serve additional prison time in 1996 for proclaiming, at a public appearance with David Irving, that the Nazi genocide of Jew during World War never occurred. See "Neo-Nazi guilty of inciting hatred" Toronto Star (22 June 1996).



Speech in Gresham, Oregon (October 1994)



On minorities, women, etc...:

... a mob of one, or two or three thousand demonstrators. All the scum. The homosexuals, the gypsies, the lesbians, the Jews, the blacks, the immigrants. All coming together in a paid mob. To harass, to frighten, to intimidate. Rather like the scum here today. .

... opinion on demonstrators at speech in Gresham, Oregon (October 1994)


But now we have women reading our news, to us; they must have their own news which they can read to us, I suppose. If we were interested ... I'm prepared to accept that the BBC should have a dinner-jacketed gentleman reading the important news to us, followed by a lady reading all the less important news ...

Address at meeting of Clarendon Club (London. 19 September 1992)


... Plebiscite like a woman . . she says no, but means yes.

... view on Canadian referendum during speech in Toronto (1 November 1992)


They [women] haven't produced any great creative talent.

Interview: "In the Psychiatrist's Chair" (14 August 1982)


... [they are] less intelligent and less developed than the Third World.

... why women constitute the "Fourth World", interview in Vancouver Sun (22 October 1986)


Nothing pleases me more than when I arrive at an airport or at a station or at a seaport and I see [a] black family there. ... I think that is the way God planned it. and that's the way it should be. When I see these families arriving at London airport, I'm happy, but I'm happier when I see them leaving London airport.

Address at meeting of Clarendon Club (London. 19 September 1992)



On his critics:

The same lies printed in your pages may just possibly be believed. You have a reputation for getting things right more often than not.

Response to reviewer Kai Bird, in "Reviewed vs. Reviewer", The New Statesman (8 May 1981)


There is enormous envy and rivalry and jealousy in the world of historians. The knives are out. They don't like me getting stuff that they don't get.

On the discovery of the Goebbels diaries, in "History's cache and carry" The Guardian ('7 July 1992)



... such immense pressure from, you know who, from over our traditional enemies. Pressure not just from the advertising industry, pressure not just from the self-appointed ugly, greasy, nasty perverted representatives of that community in Britain.

... This odd and motley and ugly and perverse and greasy, and slimy community of anti-fascists that run the severe risk of making the very word fascist respectable [by] their own appearance.




On the opponents of his translation of Goebbels's diaries in the Sunday Times controversy, address at meeting of Clarendon Club (London. 19 September 1992)


... . ... a bearded prophet called Mr. Chaim Bermant, to whom I gave an interview back in January. I didn't realize that he was Jewish, and I could kick myself . ... . because he said he was a journalist, and so I assumed, quite falsely of course, that he was upright, honest and decent and true. And so he writes vicious, vicious lies ... . ...

Address at meeting of Clarendon Club (London, 19 September 1992)


The organs of the National Press owned by Jews ...

Editorial in Carnival Times (London. May 1959)


This is how ludicrous it is. All the facts are on our side. And yet the media, Hollywood, newspapers, the journalists, all belong to this tottering conspiracy of silence against us.

Speech in Gresham, Oregon (October 1994)


On himself:

People ask me if I'm anti-Semitic. I say, not yet. But it's a mighty and a manful struggle not to become anti-Semitic. I have to remind myself every day, turn the other cheek.

LA Times News Service (7 July 1996)


... I do speak with some authority. I am very well known as a historian. I've written 30 books which are in most of the libraries. I do my work in the archives like any respectable historian should and my views do attract a certain amount of attention. They do hold water and I think this is why they pay attention to me where they don't pay attention to the extreme neo-Nazi rabble.

Australian radio interview on station 2GB (27 July 1995)


... it is now up to them to explain to me as an intelligent and critical student of modern history why there is no significant trace of any cyanide compound in the building which they have always identified as former gas chambers.

Foreword to The Leuchter Report (May 1989)


I want people still to be reading my books 100 years from now, so that they will say: 'Well, through people like David Irving we got closer to the truth',

Speech in Halle, Germany (November 1991)


I've always wanted to influence people and destinies, and for the last 20 years as a writer I've been influencing people's opinion and I want to start influencing their destinies ...

Interview: "In the Psychiatrist's Chair" (14 August 1982)





V. The Legal Questions


This section of the document will deal with two specific issues: first, the legal difficulties that David Irving has encountered as a result of broadcasting his revisionist ideas59; and second, the question of whether these legal limitations placed on him are justified that is, the question of whether limits on freedom of speech are warranted in specific situations. Given Irving's legal encounters, it is apparent that some jurisdictions have decided that limiting his brand of hateful speech is necessary in order to protect the wider interests of the people situated in that jurisdiction.



Irving's Legal History: The Highlights


1. Germany

David Irving's penchant for addressing neo-Nazis in Germany led to his legal problems in that problems. He was charged under s. 189 of the Criminal Code of the Federal Republic of Germany with the offence of defaming the memory of the dead.60 The charges arose as a result of a speech Irving made on 21 April 1990, when he stated that the gas chambers in Auschwitz were a tourist attraction constructed by the Polish government. He was convicted on 5 May 1992 for propagating the "Auschwitz lie" by the Municipal Court in Munich, and ordered to pay a DM10,000 fine.61 On appeal to the State Court in Munich, the court dismissed Irving's appeal and increased his fine to DM30,000.62


In November, 1993 Irving was once again in Munich, scheduled to appear at an event marking the 55th anniversary of the Nazis' Kristallnacht pogroms. On this occasion he was served by German authorities with an order expelling him from the Federal Republic of Germany. This order was complied with by Irving, and he left the country by 10 November 1993. 63 An appeal by Irving in March, 1996 with the respect to the order banning him from Germany was dismissed by a Munich court.64



59 Note that Irving has also encountered difficulties in New Zealand, South Africa, and Austria, among other countries. See, for example, "Ban on Nazi Speech" Yorkshire Evening Post (7 November 1989) on Austria's banning of Irving.

60 For further reading on the German law, see E. Stein. "History Against Free Speech: The New German Law Against the 'Auschwitz' --and other 'Lies'" (1986) 85 Michigan Law Review 277.

61 "Fined for Auschwitz lies" The Globe and Mail (5 June 1992).

62 "Holocaust revisionist fined $23G" Toronto Sun (15 January 1993)

63 "Germany expels David Irving" Toronto Star (11 November 1993); "Neo-Nazi barred" Toronto Sun (11 November 1993).

64 "Irving plea fails" Telegraph (23 March 1996); "Ban on historian upheld" Arizona Star (23 March 1996); "Revisionist historian barred from Germany" Toronto Star (23 March 1996).



2. England

David Irving was successfully sued for libel with respect to assertions made in his book, The Destruction of Convoy PQ.1 7. The action was commenced by Captain John Egerton Broome, the escort commander of convoy PQ 17, against Irving and his publishers for claims in the book that targeted Broom as responsible for the sinking of the convoy. The Court of Appeal, with a judgment by Lord Denning, upheld the £40,000 libel damages awarded, stating that Irving was aware the assertions were unfounded, but proceeded with them in place, risking potential libel actions, to increase the possibility of success on publication.65


On 11 February 1994 Irving was ordered to be committed to prison for a three month period after being found in contempt of court by Mr. Justice Brooke of the High Court of Justice (Queen's Bench Division) in London. The contempt related to a failure to comply with an order of Mr. Justice Morison requiring Irving to disclose financial details to a German publisher suing him for repayment of an advance on a book not written.66 Mr. Justice Brooke held that Irving was deliberately avoiding service of legal documents requiring the affidavit ordered by Mr. Justice Morison.67 Irving was released from prison, after serving ten days, upon an order by Mr. Justice Mitchell of the High Court, who stated that he hoped Irving had "learnt his lesson" and would now comply with the outstanding court order.68



3. Canada

David Irving's initial foray into the Canadian legal system was of his own volition. Irving began a libel suit against Gerry Weiner, Minister of State for Multiculturalism, for a press statement released by Weiner relating his opposition to an upcoming Canadian tour by Irving. Weiner stated that:

David Irving has made a career out of writing and lecturing that the Nazi persecution of Jews and the Holocaust itself have been exaggerated. He has given support to and received sponsorship from


63 See the reasons of Lord Denning, M.R in Broome v. Cassell & Co. [1972] AC 1027.

66 The dispute concerned a DM150,000 advance on royalties from the publishers. Rowohlt Verlag, for a biography of Winston Churchill, with the publishers asserting that Irving had failed to meet the deadline for the second volume.

67 Stephen Ward, "High Court frees jailed right-wing author" The Independent (22 February 1994); "Irving home from jail" The Times (22 February 1994).

61 "David Irving wins contempt jail freedom" The Daily Telegraph (22 February 1994). Note that Mr. Justice Mitchell was not convinced with Irving's explanations, and despite the ultimate decision to release Irving, state:

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 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.



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individuals and organizations whose racist and anti-Semitic credentials are beyond dispute.... 69


Weiner continued by stating that Irving's "sympathies and intentions have no place in our society." Irving's response, through lawyer Doug Christie, was to institute an action for libel against Weiner. The suit was eventually discontinued by Irving.


David Irving's next encounter with Canadian authorities occurred in October and November of 1992, when he was deported from Canada. He was arrested on 29 October 1992, and ordered out of Canada by midnight of the 1st of November by adjudicator P.A. Tetrault.70 The basis for deportation was Irving's failure to inform immigration officials upon entry at Niagara Falls that he would be staying in Canada for longer than two weeks, and that he would be visiting British Columbia and other provinces.71 Despite agreeing to the departure order, Irving failed to leave Canada and was arrested by Canadian immigration officers early in the morning of 2 November 1992. Irving claimed that his entry to the U.S. was denied, despite his holding a valid visa, due to some libelous material inserted about him on the computers of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.72 This resulted in another immigration hearing before adjudicator Kenneth Thomson.


At the hearing Irving adduced evidence as to the events concerning his attempted departure of Canada on 1 November 1992. Adjudicator Thomson had difficulty accepting some of Irving's testimony at the hearing, and in particular Irving's claim that he had exited British Columbia on 30 October 1992 and re-entered Canada, thus complying with the departure order. Thomson held that:

a comprehensive review of the testimony provided establishes that there are several significant discrepancies and inconsistencies with respect to important points of detail, the impact of which in my view undermines the trust of your evidence as a whole and the personal credibility of both yourself and Mr. Fisher [the individual who drove Irving to the border]?'3

As a result, Thomson found Irving to be in violation of the departure order, and ordered him deported pursuant to s. 32(6) of the Immigration Act. A subsequent attempt by Irving to appeal his deportation were denied by a Canadian Federal Court, with the effective result being a lifetime ban from Canada.74 In response, Irving threatened to sue immigration officials for false imprisonment and slander.75


69 "Statement by the Honourable Gerry Weiner on Speaking Tour of David Irving" (26 October 1990).

70 Adjudicator's Reasons for Decision. David Irving, File 9530-02-7114 (Vancouver: 30 October 1992).

71 Such actions constituted an offence under s.27(2)(g) of the Canadian Immigration Act.

72 This was Irving's claim in an affidavit of 8 February 1994, concerning an Australian visa application.

78 Adjudicator's Reasons for Decision, David Irving, File 9543-8079 (Niagara Falls: 13 November 1992) at page 8.

74 Bill Dunphy, "Canada bars neo-Nazi" Toronto Sun (5 August 1993)

75 "British author threatening to sue Sarnia native, immigration officials" Sarnia Observer (9 August 1993).



4. Australia

On 7 December 1992 David Irving applied for a Business Visitor (Short Stay) Visa.76 The purpose of his proposed trip, promoted by the Veritas Publishing Co., was to espouse the virtues of his latest books. To Irving's dismay, the application was rejected by the Minister of State for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs on 8 February 1993.77 Mr. Justice French dismissed an application by Irving to review the Minister's decision. However, further appeal to the Full Court of the Federal Court was allowed on 16 September 1993, and the decisions of' the Minister were ordered subject to review7' On 3 May 1994 the Minister refused Irving's original application in addition to refusing a subsequent application made on 3 June 1993.


The original application was refused on the ground that Irving did not meet the "good character" requirements in the Australian Migration Regulations, and the Minister was not willing to waive the requirement on the basis that Irving had not shown that he was reformed. The second application was refused on similar "good character" grounds, in addition to the grounds that Irving failed to meet all the public interest criteria set out in the statute.79 The basis of these decisions included: the adverse comments by Adjudicator Thomson, the adverse comments by Justice Mitchell, the deportation from Canada, and the expulsion order from Germany. Irving appealed both decisions to the Federal Court of Australia on several grounds, ranging from the inadequacy of the evidence presented before the Minister to assertions of procedural unfairness. The appeal was dismissed by Carr J. on 31 August 1995.80 Irving appealed this decision to the Full Bench of the Australian Federal Court on 21 March 1996, where the Court reserved its decision.'81



76 For an exhaustive review of the early segments of the litigation, see Laurence W. Maher, "Migration Act Visitor Entry Controls and Free Speech: The Case of David Irving" (1994) 16 Sydney Law Review 358.

77 The relevant dates and the extensive material available to the Minister were reviewed by Mr. Justice French in Irving v. Minister of State for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic .4ffairs (1993) 115 ALR 125 French J.

78 Irving v. Minister of State for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs (1993)44 FCR 540 (Ryan, Lee and Drummond 31.)

79 The time between Irving's applications resulted in different regulations applying to each of the respective applications. Thus, the decisions rendered by the Minister vary slightly, as does the Court's treatment on appeal, due to the question of the precise nature of the regulations applicable. See Irving v. Minister of State for Immigration Local Government and Ethnic Affairs, No. WAG63 of 1994 (Federal Court of Australia) Carr J. (31 August 1995).

80 Ibid. at 40.

81 Sitting on the case were Lee, Davies and Nicholson 31. See: "Controversial historian wants ban lifted" The Canberra Times (22 March 1996); Wendy Caccetia, "Irving puts case for visa" The West Australian (22 March 1996); "Author in last-ditch entry bid" The Daily Telegraph (22 March 1996); "Irving on the Attack" The Australian (22 March 1996).




Limits on the Freedom of Speech

The specific legal problems encountered by David Irving give rise to a much broader legal and moral issue. This involves an assessment of whether there should exist limits to the freedom of speech, and if so, does the pseudo-historical prose of David Irving fall within the unprotected category. The free speech issue gives rise to two diametrically opposed responses:

The first is to prohibit and punish the expression of the offending ideas through State-enforced censorship. The opposite response is the censure of those ideas and their supporters by the vigorous exercise of free speech through a range of private and public media and the pursuit of programmes of public education to foster racial equality and racial harmony.82

Suffice it to say, there exists no easy solution. The answer must be based on the nature of the situation involved, and an examination of the most appropriate response in that context. In the case of David Irving, and his brand of Holocaust denial, the optimal response is to cease providing him with a forum to convey his skewed version of history, and to negate his attempts to obliterate the memory of millions of victims.


The involvement of the government in limiting personal expression triggers some emotional opposition. However, in many countries the framework is in place to limit this freedom in circumstances that so warrant such intervention.83 The observable global trend is towards regulation of the type of racist speech that intrudes on the rights of the affected groups to participate equally in society, and on their sense of security and worth as human beings.84 This is particularly true in instances where the harm associated with the speech is significant as in the case of denying the horrors of the Holocaust, and the truth value of the speech is marginal. The harmful effects of such unfounded assertions cause severe emotional distress, constituting a tangible harm to the groups affected. As a result, the government has a legitimate role in the protection of the rights of the injured parties through the limitation of the offending speech.85 In fact, some argue that the lack of a governmental response gives the appearance of condoning the racist speech, and thus, in a sense, legitimizing what is being said.'6


82 Maher, supra note 76 at 360.

83 This includes countries such as Canada. the U.K.. Australia. and New Zealand. See Mari J. Matsuda, "Public Response to Racial Speech: Considering the Victim's Story" (1989) 87 Michigan Law Review2320 at 2346-2348.

84 Ibid. at 2348.

83 Ibid. at 2336-2341.

86 In commenting on the lack of effective controls on racist speech in the United States due to the strength of First Amendment principles, Matsuda writes:

In a society that expresses its moral judgments through the law, and in which the rule of law and the use of law are characteristic responses to social phenomena, this absence of laws against racist speech is telling.

Ibid. at 2379.






Proponents of unfettered freedom of speech are wary of government involvement as the arbiter of where to draw the line between protected and unprotected speech. This is true even in instances where the topic of discussion is beyond debate (i.e. the existence of the Holocaust). This point of view was eloquently expressed by Alan Dershowitz, Harvard University law professor, at a symposium on Holocaust Denial:


I don't want the government to tell me that it occurred because I don't want any government ever to tell me that it didn't occur.87


And he continued:


Because, inevitably, if the government can say the Holocaust occurred, then another government somewhere, sometime, can say it didn't occur. And I want that to be left to truth. From my experience, government is one of the worst judges of truth.88


In fact, attempts to deny these people the ability to speak may promote them in the eyes of their disciples. For those who want to believe that the Holocaust did not happen, any obstacles posed before their leader are simply evidence that what he suggests is true. Absolute freedom of speech is preferable as it does not have the nefarious 'side effects' present with censorship, that of promoting the type of speech it seeks to discredit. Hence, this point of view concentrates on the benefits of open debate, where the truth is thought to emerge from intelligent disagreement. It is best presented by Justice Brandeis's famous aphorism, that "the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."89


On the other hand, it is asserted that in the current context, David Irving's denial of the Holocaust, the appropriate response is to limit his circulation of half-truths and misrepresentations. This is because of the inherent danger associated with the type of lies that Holocaust deniers attempt to portray as fact. It is not dissimilar to blatantly false advertising, a brand of speech few would argue should be protected. It is a mischaracterization of reality in a devious way, with a subversively malicious intent. This type of speech strikes at the heart of its victims, and is harmful to their very being. As Arthur Berney stated:


To deny a people their history is to deny them the most essential element of their group existence. It is always a precursor to the subordination, diminishment, and ultimately the destruction of a people.90


87 "Freedom of Speech and Holocaust Denial" (1987) 8 Cardozo Law Review 559 at 566. Panel members included: Irwin Cotler, Alan Dershowitz, Arthur Berney, and Gerald Tishler.

88 Ibid. at 571.

89 Whitney v. California 274 US 357 at 377 (1927).

99 "Freedom of Speech", supra note 87 at 572.


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It is for this reason that prohibitions against hate propaganda are in place in numerous countries around the world, with the United States being the most noteworthy exception.9' These countries conduct a balancing test, and thus prescribe that "freedom of expression must include freedom from certain kinds of expression; it cannot be an absolutist notion."92 This results, for example, in Canadian courts upholding measures that would be held unconstitutional in the United States under their categorical analysis of freedom of speech issues.93


In the broader context, it is vital to consider whose interests are sought to be protected. Holocaust Survivors, their families, and families of those that did not survive have the right not be assailed by lies and accusations in their own neighbourhoods. Thus, if others are intent on succumbing to the allure of David Irving, they may purchase his books or videos --but, they should not be allowed to force him into unwanting locales to inflict harm on the psyche of residents who reject his revisionist brand of history. This point of view has been expressed by numerous people in response to proposed visits by Irving, through demonstrations94, newspaper opinions95, letters to the editor96, and public denouncements.97 They take the position of preferring limiting one party's right to freedom of speech rather than infringe on the rights of many to peace of mind and personal security. This involves a question of balancing -- but, with the minimal societal benefits associated with the publication of David Irving's views, the scales will always be tipped in favour of restricting his ability to disseminate anti-Semitic messages under the guise of his revisionist version of history.


91 Ibid. at 580. (Coder)

92 Idem.

93 Kent Greenawalt, "Free Speech in the United States and Canada" (1992)55 Law and Contemporary Problems5at32.

94 Trish Dyer, "Angry protesters jeer Holocaust skeptic" The Toronto Star (7 March 1989); Fiona Barton, "Historian mobbed by protesters" The Mail on Sunday (5 July 1992); Louise Hidalgo, " Anti-Nazi groups vow to disrupt Hitler apologist's meeting" The Times (4 July 1992)

95 Same examples include: Piers Brendon, "The wrong man for the job" The Independent (5 July 1992); Richard Littlejohn, "Irving lies leave Nazi taste in the mouth" The Sun (20 July 1992); Peter Elgin, "Blamed again: Nazi message is a betrayal of our common humanity" Kitchener-Waterloo Record (2 September 1992); Editorial "Holocaust deniers abuse free speech" Kitchener-Waterloo Record (1 September 1992); Denise Helm, "Survivors of death camp argue free speech no defence for lies" Victoria Times-Colonist (31 October 1992).

96 Some examples include: Robert Ferguson, "Politics not history behind the decoding of the diaries" The Guardian (9 July 1992); Sigmund Sobolewski, "Ex-prisoner has no doubt Jews gassed" Toronto Star (11 October 1992); Nate Leipeiger, "Holocaust survivor speaks out" The Globe and Mail (21 November 1992) 97 See: Andre Picard, "Carleton cancels talk by British historian" The Globe and Mail (7 March 1989); "David Irving and Holocaust Denial", motion presented by Mr. Hugh Dykes et al, before the British parliament on 20 June 1989; Australia, Parliamentary Debate (Senate), 17 December 1992, 5345 (Senator V.W. Bourne).




VI. Conclusion

The danger of David Irving lies in his appearance of credibility. Through his tireless archival research --and his constant reminding of these efforts --Irving has managed to uncover some significant documents detailing the Nazi regime. Military writer John Keegan noted: "No historian of the Second World War can afford to ignore David Irving."98 However, given this position, Irving has allowed his personal biases and prejudices to colour his retelling of history. His anti-Semitic and racist statements simply shed light on the underlying impulses and motivations behind his research. For these reasons, his work can never be trusted, despite the kernels of truth that may emerge from the morass of misstatements. As Gitta Sereny wrote: "It is precisely the clever mixture of truth and untruth that makes Irving dangerous. "99


98 See O'Neill, supra note 52.

99 Sereny, supra note 52.



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