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Letters about David Irving


Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives, and invite open debate.

Barry Smith, a surprisingly well-briefed "concerned citizen," implores New Zealand's minister of immigration, Wednesday, August 11, 2004, to keep Mr Irving out. We reproduce his letter in full.

11 August 2004

[To:] The Honourable Paul Swain
Minister of Immigration


Impending visit of David Irving

Dear Sir, -- I WAS interested to read in the media of the impending visit to New Zealand of British author David Irving. I understand from comments made in the media that Mr Irving will not get an automatic right of entry to New Zealand, as he has been deported from another country -- rather he needs to apply for a visa to enter New Zealand.

As a concerned citizen I would ask that the following be taken into consideration when any application for a visa is received from Mr Irving:

Mr Irving's reputation as a historian was totally destroyed in the defamation proceedings that he Lipstadtbrought against Professor [Deborah] Lipstadt (left) and Penguin Books that went to trial in 2000. In the course of that trial expert opinion was sought from Professor Richard Evans, who examined much of Mr Irving's work to see if Professor Lipstadt's accusations that Mr Irving falsified the historical records were true. He found numerous instances of Mr Irving selectively quoting from source documents in a way that totally distorted the meaning and intention of the document. This habit dates back to his work on the destruction of the German city of Dresden in World War 2 -- a book first published in the early 1960s. The process by which Mr Irving arrived at the casualty figures of that air raid -- 135,000 in his opinion -- was reconstructed by Professor Evans from Mr Irving's notes and correspondence, and makes for interesting reading. One thing is clear -- no more than 35,000 people died in that particular air raid, and all the credible evidence shows that. Mr Irving has consistently ignored all evidence that does not say what he wants it to say. In a similar vein his writings since then have sought to show that [Adolf] Hitler was not aware of scale of the murder of Jews in Europe, and did everything he could to rein in his subordinates in order to minimise or stop such atrocities. In fact reputable historians have been able to show that Hitler was the driving force behind the Holocaust.

Eminent scholars such as Hugh Lord [sic] Trevor-Roper, and many others who are intimately familiar with the documentary archives of the Third Reich have expressed doubts about Mr Irving's abilities as a "Historian" for many years.

The judge in the Lipstadt case ruled that Mr Irving is a Holocaust denier. He has had an informal but friendly association for a long time with the Institute for Historical Review, an organisation based in California. This organisation is devoted entirely to denying the systematic murder of Jews by the Nazis in World War 2. Mr Irving has been to most of their conventions, he has had several articles published in their Journal, and they offer his books for sale. In addition Mr Irving has quoted the works of several Holocaust deniers in some of his books.

Mr Irving is an anti-Semite. In public meetings he does not confine himself to using logic or the weight of facts to try to discredit the evidence of Holocaust survivors, but resorts to crude and tasteless remarks about the survivors. In one meeting in Canada he went so far as to call the [fake] survivors "Assholes" [correct. Association of Spurious Survivors of the Holocaust and other Liars]. There are many instances of public utterances and writings of his that make his anti-Semitism plain for all to see.

The best way to summarise Mr Irving's character was that given by the Judge in the Lipstadt trial:

"The charges which I have found to be substantially true include the charges that Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-semitic and racist and that he associates with right wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism…"

The admission to New Zealand of Mr Irving is not in the interest of any sector of New Zealand society, and I urge you to ensure that he is denied entry to this country.

For the record I am not Jewish, and I have no friends or family who are Jewish. I am just a member of the public with a conscience, and a desire to defend the memory of the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust from crude men like Mr Irving.

Yours faithfully

Barry Smith



  What else the Judge said about Mr Irving (which "Mr Smith" forgets to include...
Dossier: attempts by New Zealand Jews to stop David Irving's 2004 visit
 FAQ: Answers to frequently asked questions about Mr Irving's visit
  Interview of Lipstadt's expert witness Prof Christopher Browning by The Atlantic Monthly, Feb 2004: He agrees that there was no Hitler order to kill the Jews, no document exists, there were no plans. The so-called "final solution" just sort of happened.

worshipping hatred


HOW kind of you to write. I take it that you will have no objection to my posting your letter to Mr Swain on my website, so that a wider audience can enjoy it, in line with our established and publicised policy? After all, you sent it to me.

We would gladly respond in detail, but we do need your proper name and mail address please. (You give the impression that you are a Kiwi, but then again, you don't actually say so... More like you are yet another Little Hitler dictating to New Zealanders what they can and cannot hear.)

For the record: I am not "anti-Jewish," but I am anti- the Jews who like you are bigots and have spent the last twenty years trying to crush me.

I guess that you would say that the family of that young American student peace activist Rachel Corrie are pretty anti-Jewish by now; and a lot of families in Jenin, Palestine, too. But then, the bulldozers that were run across their lives were less of a literary metaphor than those that have charged across mine.

© Focal Point 2004 David Irving