Oslo, March 8, 2000
IN THE "WAR ROOM" OF DAVID IRVING
Elie Wiesel does not remember which concentration camp he was in, and is in the scientific sense no proof of the Holocaust, David Irving says.
We are invited home to his flat in Mayfair and into the "war room", which he has named it.
Here he works until 4 o'clock each morning, sleeps a couple of hours and then follows his daughter Jessica (6) to school, before he does the last preparations to a long day in court.
"According to the opponents I have poisoned her brain," he says and caress her head lovingly.
From this place he leads his one-man battle against what he calls the Holocaust myth.
The walls are filled with covers and books by the metre about Nazi-Germany, Hitler and Goebbels, as by every other war historian. It is nevertheless curious to follow Irving's train of thoughts.
Behind him is a poster showing the bombed out Dresden.
Let me bring a better background. Of the gas chambers, says Irving, and brings two posters showing the crematories of Auschwitz.
For 3 years he has prepared himself to the battle, in order to save his professional reputation. It will be a demanding task.
"You are not only a racist and an anti-Semite, but also an admirer of the Third Reich," the opponent's sharp lawyer, Richard Rampton, says.
He is a hundred times worse than the allegations in the book, answers Irving, and continues the procedure, which in a shortened version is about that the traditional school of Holocaust historians against the critics who have evidence in the form of documents, among them that Hitler did not know what was going on.
"Hitler did know about and accepted the shooting of Russian Jews. But there is no proof that he did know about what happened to the European Jews. The Holocaust school says that our documents are false, or that they are camouflaging reality. But they themselves have no documents," says Irving.
He regrets that he himself, but also freedom of speech, are suffering, because the Holocaust is looked upon the same way as a religion.
Everybody who are critical are accused of blasphemy and sent to jail, because they have made critical remarks.
But what about the strong evidence which is produced, what about the haunted people who survived the death factories?
They are all liars, according to Irving.
I don't know, he says.
What about Elie Wiesel and others who have written about their experiences?
"He is not sure whether he was in Auschwitz or Buchenwald, and is no witness in the scientific sense. 10.000 people survived Auschwitz, but only five people are regularly produced. If they are the only witnesses to the gas chambers, then there is no proof."
Why should the other historians wish to keep alive the Holocaust myth?
"Because they are lazy. They sit on their sofas; take a book out of their shelf and write about something others have written about before. And then they write that 'everybody knows' and that 'it is common knowledge'."
Is it not a sign of weakness to drag the opponent before the court?
The court is [not] the best place to establish history, Irving says thoughtfully. But Deborah Lipstadt refutes to debate with us, who challenge the Holocaust. At the same time she is blackening my name on TV over the whole world, and has caused enormous problems for me, answers Irving, who thinks that the chance of winning is 65 per cent.
But, Irving guards himself, it may still happen that the judge is impressed by all the professor titles, and that he hesitates to throw away the view of history which is prevailing among the elite, of which he is a member.
If Irving loses the case, he loses his flat and everything he owns. Because of a case he, according to his own statement, strictly speaking does not care about.
"I have said it before. The Holocaust is boring. If it is on TV, I switch off. But it is not as boring as football," he ends.
Omstridt. Et internasjonalt nettverk ønsker å knuse meg. Jeg har et brev fra Simon Wiesenthal-senteret hvor det står at "min legimitet som historiker må ødelegges", sier David Irving.
Photo caption: Disputed.
An international network wishes to crush me. I have a letter from the Simon Wiesenthal Center where it is written that my "legitimacy as an historian has to be destroyed", David Irving says.
March 8, 2000