Stockholm, Thursday, March 16, 2000
"Irving förfalskar historien"
Förintelserättegången. Historikern försvarar Hitler med alla medel.
["Irving falsifies history". The Case about the Holocaust. Historian defends Hitler with all means.]
LONDON. David Irving is a right-wing extremist, he is a racist, and particularly a rabid anti-Semite. He denies that the Holocaust has happened, and has with purpose falsified history to proof that Hitler is innocent. In this way one can summarize the last pleading by the defence in the strange case, which on the surface is whether the American professor Deborah Lipstadt has libelled the author and historian David Irving.
[LONDON. David Irving är en högerextremist, han är rasist och, i synnerhet, en rabiat antisemit. Han förnekar att Förintelsen ägt rum och har med avsikt förfalskat historien för att bevisa Hitlers oskuld. Så kan man summera försvarets slutplädering i den märkliga rättegång som på ytan handlar om huruvida den amerikanska professorn Deborah Lipstadt förtalat författaren och historikern David Irving.]
Article translated in full:
"Irving falsifies history". The Case about the Holocaust. Historian defends Hitler with all means.
LONDON. David Irving is a right-wing extremist; he is a racist, and particularly a rabid anti-Semite. He denies that the Holocaust has happened, and has with purpose falsified history to proof that Hitler is innocent. In this way one can summarize the last pleading by the defence in the strange case, which on the surface is whether the American professor Deborah Lipstadt has libelled the author and historian David Irving. In her book "Denying the Holocaust" she describes Irving as a very dangerous denier. Irving has sued her and her publisher Penguin, and the trial has been going on in the Royal Court of Justice since January. On Wednesday both sides held their last pleadings before the judge, Mr. Charles Gray.
It was a strange feeling that permeated the overcrowded court, where many in the public were survivors or second generations Jews. True, David Irving began his pleading by saying that this case was not about the Holocaust. But the main part of his over 100 pages long pleading was about whether it was altogether possible to kill Jews by gas in Auschwitz, about it was not possible that the crematories in reality were air-raid shelters, and that there should be holes though the roof for gas containers. All his questions were built on a deliberate falsifying of history, according to the defence.
Irving, who has been his own lawyer, and who likes to describe himself as David against Goliath, was all the time turning around appealing to the press gallery.
The defence lawyer, Richard Rampton, read with a low voice a short pleading. In this case it is about the right to publish truth, he said. Mr. Irving has earlier claimed that there was a chain or set of documents showing that Hitler was innocent in the persecution and particularly in the mass murder of the Jews, and that he was "the best friend the Jews ever had". According to Rampton, experts have found out that Irving falsifies history on a large scale. Regarding Hitler it is 25 times, and regarding Auschwitz and Dresden and other questions it is more than 30 times. Among other things regarding the Crystal Night, which, according to Irving, was lead and intrigued by Goebbels, without any knowledge and participation by Hitler.
On his side, David Irving tries to defend his reputation as a historian. That reputation has been destroyed by an international defamation campaign, according to him. According to Irving there are little evidence for among other things the gassing in Auschwitz, and also for Hitler's responsibility.
"A judgement in my favour does not mean that the Holocaust never happened, he said. But it means that one can continue to discuss the question."
Judgement in the case is expected April 10.
Thursday, March 16, 2000