June 30, 1989
Irving publishers won't drop him
By DAVID WINNER
Leading British publishers Macmillan are to press ahead with publication of revisionist historian David Irving's biography of Nazi leader Herman Goering, despite Mr Irving's open conversion to the neo-Nazi campaign of' Holocaust denial.
Mr Irving asserted last week that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz and said he was waging "a one-man intifada" against Holocaust history.
Mr Adam Sisman, Macmillan's editorial director, said the pamphlet was "nothing to do with us" and was completely unconnected to the Goering book. "There's no suggestion that there's a connection between Macmillan and this book, which sounds quite repulsive. We knew nothing about it until last week.
"Irving is a good historian when he lets his prejudices subside. He's being typically provocative. He's just trying to stir people up. I hope there is nothing in the Goering book that would offend anybody."
Seventy-two MPs, of all parties, signed a parliamentary motion condemning Mr Irving as a "Nazi propagandist and long-term Hitler apologist." "The Leuchter Report," to which he has also contributed a foreword, was an "evil calumny." They condemned "without qualification such pernicious works of Hitler's heirs."
A PLO representative, Ms Karma Nabulsi, angrily rejected Mr Irving's "attempt to hijack the intifada. His theories are obscene," she said.
Mr Irving expanded on his theories at a bizarre press conference last week, standing in front of an aerial photo of Auschwitz and a larger colour picture of himself.
Part of his "evidence" played on a video at the far end of the room. Three fuzzy, anoraked figures, including Mr Fred A. Leuchter an engineer, who designs gas chambers for American prisons, wandered through Birkenau hacking lumps of masonry from the rubble of the crematoria.
Were they trying to complete the work of the SS by destroying the evidence? No. They were "scientists" working "under the noses of the Communist guards" gathering "astounding" forensic evidence, Mr Irving said.
According to Mr Irving and the pamphlet, Mr Leuchter had been commissioned by Canadian Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel and paid $35,000 to go to Poland to produce his report during Zündel's trial, in Toronto, over his booklet "Did Six Million Really Die?"
Tests on Mr Leuchter's samples showed no traces of cyanide said Mr Irving. Therefore Zyklon B had not been used in the gas chambers, which were not gas chambers after all.
He admitted there was no independent evidence that Mr Leuchter's samples were from the gas chambers. And he discounted all the documentary evidence on the subject and the eye-witness testimony of thousands of Jewish and Nazi witnesses.
He claimed the gas chamber story had been invented by British propagandists, by prosecutors at Nuremberg and by "Hollywood."
Outside, 16 Jewish students protested quietly. They were "gangsters," snarled Mr Irving. Inside, his minders took photographs of the journalists and the journalists did not touch the refreshments provided for them.
[ Reader's Letter ]
June 30, 1989
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