Posted Tuesday, June 4, 2002

Quick navigation

Alphabetical index (text)   Index to the Traditional Enemies of Free Speech


London, Sunday, June 16, 2002


David Irving comments:

NOT only do I have friends in the United States -- thousands of them at this very moment (though I am not "living with" them; merely writing in my usual habitat, where Hemingway and other writers found the Muse did not desert them either).
   I also have a final card up my sleeve, which my London lawyers will be playing within the next ten days.



Irving's home is repossessed as libel debts mount

By Jessica Berry and Chris Hastings

DAVID Irving, the disgraced historian who was bankrupted after being branded a Holocaust denier in a failed libel action, has had his home repossessed and his personal possessions seized.

The historian's Mayfair flat, which is believed to be worth around £750,000, was seized by his bank two weeks ago while he was in the United States because of mounting mortgage arrears. It has now been put up for sale.

In a separate move, bailiffs acting for the libel case victors, who are owed almost £2.5 million in costs, have also seized Mr Irving's personal belongings from the flat, including furniture, computer disks and research papers.

Mr Irving has been in dire financial straits since he lost his high-profile libel action against Professor Deborah Lipstadt, an American academic who said he denied the Holocaust in her 1994 book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.

Mr Irving claimed that Professor Lipstadt's description of him as a man prepared to bend historical evidence, "until it conforms with his ideological leanings and political agenda", was damaging to his career. He sued the American academic and Penguin, her publisher.

However, Mr Justice Gray ruled that Irving was "an active Holocaust denier, anti-Semitic and racist" who had "distorted historical data to suit his own ideological agenda." He ordered the author to meet the entire costs of the case - some £2.5 million.

In March, the historian was declared bankrupt after he failed to make a £100,000 downpayment towards the costs.

The decision by Bradford and Bingley to repossess the house related to arrears on the mortgage. The Telegraph has learned, however, that Baker Tilly, the accountancy firm which is acting on behalf of Professor Lipstadt and her publishers, will seek to claim any equity that has been realised in the property.

The firm instructed bailiffs to seize the contents of the flat on hearing it was up for sale. It is hoping to sell Mr Irving's possessions at auction.

Mr Irving, who is staying with friends in America, said that he had known repossession was a possibility but had hoped to challenge any such move.

He told The Telegraph: "I am still coming to terms with losing the house which was my home for 34 years. I had hoped to hold on to it and did not think they would seek possession while I was out of the country. The bailiffs have also removed my personal belongings, including papers, computers and books. It's having a serious impact on my ability to work and it has severely disrupted my operations in the UK."

Professor Lipstadt last night told The Telegraph she took no pleasure in the news that Mr Irving had lost his home. She said: "This is not something I can gloat about. It is Penguin who are pushing for the money, not myself. I can understand their reasons. They feel that if they don't recover the money they are owed on this case than they would open themselves up to all sorts of similar actions.

"The case brought by Mr Irving and the subsequent appeal has cost me more than £1 million. I doubt whether I will ever get any of that money back."

Lord Janner, the chairman of the Holocaust Education Trust, said: "I am pleased that justice has caught up with him. He deserves everything he gets." 


 Radical's Diary
 Janner and Holocaust Education Trust resolved in Nov 1991 to put secret pressure on Mr Irving's publisher Macmillan (document)
 Lipstadt's publisher wins final round against Irving; home of 34 years is seized
 Irving tries to talk his way out of debt
 David Irving's speaking fixtures [bookmark!]
 Mark Moran's account of one recent Irving talk

The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical

 Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

David Irving's ACTION REPORT

© Focal Point 2002 F Irving write to David Irving