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Posted Friday, August 6, 2004

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Christichurch, New Zealand, Wednesday, August 11, 2004

[Written in Key West, Friday, August 6, 2004]

Irving: Fuss about visit "distraction"

[This is the complete edited version of the article, which may differ in detail from the published text:]

By David Irving

Still active! David IrvingTHIS is not a controversy of my own making. I gave notice of my coming to New Zealand on my website last year. I have friends in New Zealand, and scores of Australians have also expressed to me an interest in flying over the Tasman to meet me again. As of this morning, ninety-one have pre-registered and asked for more details.

In April or May I wrote to the New Zealand archives about permission to use the papers of Peter Fraser, the wartime premier. I purchased back in May the Qantas tickets that will take me from Los Angeles to Auckland next month. I had made no actual speaking plans, and fixed no locations, until I received an invitation from the National Press Club in Wellington to speak. I had no idea there would be this knee-jerk reaction, this sudden flare-up in parts of the New Zealand community.

I suspect that had it not been for the trial of the two alleged Mossad agents in the passport fraud case, and the precipitous flight to Israel of the Kiwi accused of being their accomplice, none of this would have occurred. Like the gravestones outrage, making a fuss about my visit provides a useful distraction for New Zealanders from the grim business of what the Mossad may have been up to in their back yard.

The small NZ Jewish community is not a body that I had intended visiting, speaking to, or indeed even speaking about.

I had been assured by the London travel agents I have dealt with for nearly fifty years that "any British Passport holder with the right of abode in the UK is entitled to travel into New Zealand visa free for a stay of 6 months." Two weeks ago they confirmed this. Which was as I thought.


BUT then, I was once wrong about Australia too. I had visited that country twice, seen my Churchill biography's first volume sweep to the top of the Sydney Morning Herald best-sellers -- and then I was banned. I fought four legal actions, won two and lost two.

The Full Federal Court court admonished Canberra that the ban on me was illegal. Rather than let me in, Canberra changed the immigration law.

It gets worse. One of my five daughters has married an Australian; she lives in Brisbane, is an Australian citizen and civil servant: I have an automatic "next of kin" right to enter, right?

Wrong -- John Howard has announced that they will change that law too, if necessary. He knows which side his party's bread is buttered.

So how is it with New Zealand? I have visited New Zealand peacefully before, caused no riots, broken no laws. "Nobody died," as they now say in England, comparing others with Tony Blair and his more egregious misdemeanours. I have a clean criminal record; have had a clean driving licence for fifty years; and I don't smoke, I've never done drugs, and I don't commit any of the other solecisms upon which modern society frowns.

But NZ, it turns out, is a tough country to get into (unless, it seems, you use the stolen identity of a quadruple paraplegic and wear dark glasses). I have read in the newspapers -- in other words it is still rather wooly and unofficial -- that some mid-level immigration official has defined that I "can" be barred from the country because I have "been deported."


That is true: twelve years ago, in 1992, under very dark and mysterious circumstances, I found myself being paraded before the media across three thousand miles of Canada from Vancouver to Ontario, tried there by an immigration court for three weeks on a pretext, and bundled out of the country on the floor of an Air Canada plane.

Pen, cuffs, at Niagara FallsI managed to hold a pen in my manacled hands, as a small statement of protest. After all, I am a writer, and how many writers are subjected to this kind of thing?

I would like some journalist one day to ask that mid-level NZ Immigration official -- the one who says I "can" be barred: "How many people has your service actually barred recently on the grounds that they have 'been deported' elsewhere?" Or is it just me?

Suppose some friendly country's fine journalist is deported from Iran for writing about their uranium-enrichment plants: Barred from New Zealand now? BBC journalists are constantly being deported, for instance from a certain Middle East country, because of BBC reporting about Palestine: if they want to holiday in New Zealand, are they going to find themselves tossed onto the floor at the Heathrow check-in counter, trussed and handcuffed and dumped on the sidewalk outside?

Of course not. Thinking people may even regard what such journalists write as being that much more reliable, as they are willing to go the extra mile, even if it offends national or other vested interests, when they want to find out and publish the truth.

Which brings us to the crunch point: I fancy I hear that mid-level immigration official say, that's a different story: the BBC guy was writing views of which we approve; this David Irving guy doesn't, he's a denier.

A denier

Well, actually he isn't that either. I deny it.

It all began in 1990 when I said in a public meeting in Munich, Germany (alright, it was in a huge beerhall), that the "gas chamber they show to the tourists in Auschwitz concentration camp is a fake, built after the war."

Under Germany's current laws, I was fined DM.30,000 (around $25,000) for that one remark, and in 1993 permanently excluded from Germany: which caused my enemies much glee, as most of my sources, archives, and publishers are there.

That ban is illegal under United Nations human rights treaties, under the Helsinki Accords, and under European law, but what the hell: I can live without the Germans. I have of course abided by the ban -- even though the Polish Government admitted in 1995 that the building in question, the one shown to the tourists, was erected by the Polish communist authorities in 1948, three years after the war ended.

But it was used to justify the proceedings in Canada. So effectively you are allowing Germany to decide who can visit New Zealand and speak to audiences there -- a privilege most of us would consider Germany to have forfeited consequent on the events of 1939-1945.


In her 1996 book Denying the Holocaust, American scholar Deborah Lipstadt called me the most dangerous of "their" opponents. She called me a "Holocaust denier." It is a poisonous label, like "paedophile," and I fought back.

clickFrom January to April 2000 I fought a historic three-month libel action in London, at great personal expense, to shake off that easy smear. The defendants, funded (as they admitted) by Stephen Spielberg and all the usual media oligarchs, poured around ten million NZ dollars into the London High Court to defend themselves. Ten million. If it was that obvious, they could have done the job in a day at a fraction of the cost.

In the end I lost. Loser pays all, that's the rule in the UK. My Mayfair home of 38 years was seized and sold, along with my library and research archives and everything that I and my family owned. But I don't regret having fought back.

I would do it again. I had to act as a litigant in person, as I could not afford the million-dollar fees that the great libel counsel charge. One of them, the late great George Carman QC, told his son that he thought on the evidence that I should have won.

For three months I was outnumbered in that court room, forty to one: forty barristers, lawyers, solicitors, historians, graduate students, assistants, and the rest, on one side of the courtroom, and myself on the other.

The other side have already produced six books on the Lipstadt Trial (including four written by their expert witnesses who swore on oath, when I cross examined them as to their neutrality, that they were not planning to write such books) and two films, and I hear that HBO are making a film too, with Anthony Hopkins, "Hannibal Lecter," playing myself.

I HAVE never written either a book or article about what they call the Holocaust. Anybody who has read my books knows what I have written on the Jewish tragedy of WW2, and what my position is: Much of the popular version of events is true, horribly so; about some of it we are entitled to be sceptical; and some of it is just plain made up.

A historian can't, or at least he shouldn't, ignore that, if he's going to do his job right: and few experts in my field have denied my qualities as an historian. Even Sir Charles Gray, the judge in the libel action, whose words against me are quoted with such profligacy by my opponents, also stated emphatically in his 333-page judgment that my knowledge of World War II is "unparalleled".

In my Hitler and Goebbels biographies I gave full details of the anti-Jewish atrocities committed by the Nazis, in fact fuller than most accounts (and, by the way, just try to buy my books in any NZ high-street bookstore, and then read again where David Zwartz says, as he does in a letter to an American professor this morning, that my books, tapes, and videos "are available to anyone who wishes to access them, so there is no question of suppressing his [my] ideas.")

That is why the "denier" taunt is so offensive to me. It is a poisonous label, and Zwartz and his ilk fling it around at will to silence their more dangerous critics, and the skeptics, who are then robbed of any means of defence by the bans, deportations, and other devices which the puzzled New Zealanders are now seeing being deployed in their own country.

New Zealanders should say, If Mr Irving is free to visit the whole of Africa, South America, Asia, the United States (where I now commute, research, and live six months of every year) and Russia, why is he being kept from us and we from him?

Even Nelson Mandela's South Africa has lifted the ban imposed on my speaking there, stating that it had been imposed by "the discredited outgoing apartheid regime."

If a small community despises me, they do not have to come and hear me. They can build a wall and retreat behind it until I am gone. I am not interested in them. In fact I am not going to be saying anything about them or their history at to help

© David Irving 2004



Dossier: attempts by New Zealand Jews to stop David Irving's 2004 visit
 FAQ: Answers to frequently asked questions about Mr Irving's visit
Flashback Wealthy Jewish organisation drafted a secret plan to "destroy David Irving's legitimacy" | "Don't let this fall into the wrong hands" [documents from the Lipstadt trial]
Aug 3, 2004 Jerusalem Post: Israel Government applauds Irving ban

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