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A neo-Nazi historian who was convicted by German authorities for denying the existence of the Nazi extermination of the Jews and who has recently been denied entry into Canada for similar reasons is slated to speak at the Smyrna Community Center on Tuesday, Oct. 20th. The historian, David Irving, will come to the Atlanta-area at the invitation of attorney and white supremacist Sam G. Dickson, founder of the Atlanta Committee for Historical Review.
"This event is an affront to all decent people, and an insult to the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust," said Daniel Levitas, executive Director of the Atlanta-based Center for Democratic Renewal, a national civil rights organization that monitors white supremacist groups.
Irving, a British citizen, is notorious for denying that the Jews were the victims of a calculated plan to exterminate them - the Final Solution - and for maintaining that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. In 1990, Irving was a speaker at the annual conference of the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), the largest distributor of Holocaust-denying literature in the United States.
"Revisionism is an attempt to build an intellectual and moral framework for the development of the neo-Nazi movement in the United States," explained Levitas. "By calling the Holocaust a 'hoax' revisionist 'historians' like David Irving are attempting to rewrite the past in the hope that these actions can be repeated in the future."
According to CDR officials, Irving was the target of widespread protests in London this July. Hundreds of human rights activists, war veterans and representatives of the Jewish community rallied to protest a seminar given by Irving when it was learned that the Sunday Times Of London had paid him 83,000 British Pounds - the equivalent of approximately $150,000 in U.S. currency - to translate the recently discovered diaries of Hitler propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
Irving, who had previously given a speech in Smyrna in April 1986 at the invitation of the Atlanta Committee for Historical Review, is arriving in Atlanta from Portland, Oregon. Hundreds of human rights activists are expected to protest his speech there tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 16th.
According to the Toronto Sun, Irving received notice that he will be barred from entering Canada later this month because of his criminal record and because Crown authorities "have reasonable grounds to believe Irving will break Canadian laws." Irving was to have travelled to British Columbia to receive an award from the neo-Nazi "Canadian Free Speech League." According to the Sun, notice was served on Irving by Canadian authorities in the form of a hand-delivered letter while Irving was in Los Angeles last week. Irving had been attending the 1992 annual conference of the IHR according to CDR researchers monitoring his activities.
Mr Levitas, if that is his real name, and his "human rights activitists," have evidently forgotten what is the most basic human right of all, enshrined in the First Amendment of the American Constitution.