THERE ARE two or three seats empty in the front row if people want to fill them up.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am David Irving.
I have been coming to Canada for twenty-five years now, since I first came in 1967 at the invitation of, I think, CBC to take part in a programme called Front Page Challenge, a television programme which either still runs or ran until recently. Since then I have come to Canada, alone or with my family, probably sixty or seventy times. To my knowledge I have not committed any crime in those twenty-five years; I think it is absurd for anybody to impute to me the intention of starting to commit crimes now, at my advanced age!
Certainly I have no intention of committing any crimes. If I have unintentionally committed any crimes in Canada, then I apologise to you as representatives of the Canadian people, but I should like to know what these crimes are or might be.
I mention this because one of the grounds that was proffered to me by the Canadian Government for refusing me access to you - the people who come to hear me - was that I might commit crimes if I come to Canada. The other ground which was in the letter sent to me when I was in Los Angeles by Federal Express by the Canadian Government three weeks ago, was that I "have a criminal record".
Now, as you know, Canada never allows anybody with criminal records into your country.
I welcome that laughter, when I compare myself with some of the other citizens of the world who have been allowed to cross your shores like Winnie Mandela, whose only crime was abducting a twelve-year old black boy and leading him away to be murdered; or Nelson Mandela, who was rightly sentenced to life imprisonment, of which he served twenty years, for preparing terrorist acts which, if he had been allowed to perpetrate them, would have cost the lives probably of twenty or thirty thousand of his fellow citizens. Not just of his fellow citizens, but of his fellow blacks - because in the war in South Africa the victims are not the whites; it is the blacks who are suffering. I mention that fact, because we have an Indian Rights Activist here in our midst this evening. I want you to realise that it is the innocents who suffer in this kind of political war.
So you have had here Winnie Mandela, you have had Nelson Mandela; I remember one time when I was here two or three years ago you had a Mr. Dennis Goldberg here, who was being introduced to your television viewers as a "civil rights activist".
Okay, you can call Goldberg that if you want. You can call anybody anything you want: you can call me a "Hitler apologist", a "neoNazi", or even "fascist scum". You can call people what you want; and you can call Dennis Goldberg a civil rights activist - if you don't happen to know what he was arrested for in South Africa, what acts of treason and treachery and terrorism Dennis Goldberg was arrested for; whereupon [having been paroled] he fled from South Africa to a country in the Middle East, whereafter he came to London, England, where Mrs. Margaret Thatcher allowed him to continue his activities from there.
These are some of the people who are allowed in by your immigration department. Of course once they get in it is very difficult to get them out!
I sometimes think that if I wanted to stay here all I would have to do is to take my name - David Irving - and cut off the first four letters of my family name! So I become David Ng.
You may remember the case in Calgary; remember Charles Ng? - All that he had done was - he had murdered multiple people in the most bestial and brutal fashion, and he had made his way somehow into Canada, and this man the Canadian government wanted to keep! They weren't going to let him out; they weren't going to allow the United States government to have him back, because he might face the proper, just, and righteous punishment which should be allocated to murderers. Now, this was a guy who the Canadian government wanted to keep!
I scratch my head in amazement, as I am sure do most of the Canadian voters and citizens when they see this kind of nonsense.
When people say to me, "Does this mean, Mr. Irving, that you will never come back?" and I take this great turnout this afternoon to indicate that many of you are apprehensive that you are setting eyes on me, at any rate in the flesh, for the last time - I can only say, "I shall certainly be back!" Certainly after [the general election] next April!
Because I take it from your recent referendum, the Yes-No-Yes-No -
- remember, the government thought that the Canadian electorate was rather like a woman; she kept on saying no, but really she meant yes! Only, this time it is the other way around: the Canadian people want to hear me, but the Canadian government rather feels that they should not. Well, in April all this should be clarified, and I am sure to the general satisfaction of the entire Canadian people. Then it will be most satisfactory indeed if you could find some legal, legitimate way of putting the Brian Mulroneys and the Bernard Valcourts of this world before the same kind of tribunal as I was set before two days ago in Vancouver, having to answer for my presence here in Canada.
As I go around the world on this international Campaign for Real History I urge audience after audience: Don't let them get away with it. Start making lists - start making lists of the people who are doing this to you. Don't let them be forgotten. Write down the names of these people who are acting against the interests of your own government.
We don't know why they are doing it. Is it in the interests of the Canadian people that a serious researcher and historian and writer, who's books are available at every university and every bookstore in your country, should not be allowed to come into the country, and stand up and
answer questions, take criticism, and debate?
Ah, debate! There's the rub, is it not? Our traditional enemies refuse to debate me; they can't debate me. Around the world my traditional enemies have decided to use every means of terror and vandalism and vilification to smear my name and to prevent my books from being published and, above all, to prevent me from getting television or radio or newspaper space.
Boy, did they miscalculate two days ago -
not so much here in Ontario, but certainly here in the Western provinces of this great nation of yours!
They had calculated that I would be going to prison for the next four or five weeks, because in the immigration hearing the Crown said, "We are going to insist that Mr. Irving should not be given bail." When the adjudicator said, "When is this case going to come to trial?", the Crown replied, "We are not nearly ready even to begin yet; it is going to take days if not weeks before we can commence the case."
"You have had two months," I objected, "to get your act together. Because you have been reading the Toronto Star, you can read the Sun and the other newspapers, you have seen how our traditional enemies have been plotting this particular episode for the last two months or more!" So the Crown had had two months to get its act together.
Then the adjudicator asked, "How long is this case going to last?" The Crown said, "It is going to last four or five weeks."
So my entire cross-Canada tour was ruined from the very moment that the police put the handcuffs on my wrists in that restaurant in Victoria where I delivered my address on the Freedom of Speech four days ago. This was quite plain, and there was no point whatsoever in my sitting for the next four or five weeks in prison. I saw the inside of five prisons in the space of two days while the government moved me around like a pea under a shell, trying to conceal me from that valiant lawyer Doug Christie of British Columbia
so he couldn't find me. They played the shell game with two days long until they brought me into the court room. As I was whisked across, - as I came across Vancouver Airport in pouring rain handcuffed between two escorts, the passengers were looking out of the windows thinking, "He must be a really big gangster. Look at that, pouring rain!"
Once I was out of sight of the public, of course, the handcuffs came off. I was driven across Vancouver to the tribunal two days ago with no handcuffs on but, once inside the building, once the doors and gates had clanged shut and I was inside the building, for some mysterious reason they insisted the handcuffs go on because I was going to be led into the hearing room. That was when I realised - I said, "Come on, what is all this about?" They said, "No this is regulations. You have got to put the handcuffs back on." - I realised that (what I hadn't been told, because I had been kept in solitary confinement) the press was waiting outside that hearing room, and they wanted pictures of me being humiliated.
So I took out my fountain pen. Not easy with your hands handcuffed. I took out the fountain pen,
and held it up in my hand like this - the manacled hands holding an open fountain pen for the press to photograph.
At lunchtime, after the adjournment, they tried exactly the same trick with the handcuffs. I did the same - I took out the fountain pen. The Burns escort said, "No! We've been instructed not to let you carry the fountain pen this time."
You see, the pen is indeed a mighty instrument. Many years ago I wrote a book on the Hungarian uprising, the brave anti-communist uprising in Hungary. In fact it was an anti-Jewish pogrom really, that was how it began in 1956. Any real researcher of central and eastern Europe realises that what happened in Hungary in 1956 began as an uprising against a regime which the people hated. It was a pogrom in Budapest. And when I wrote that book Uprising I went to Communist Hungary half a dozen times, at that time still behind the Iron Curtain, to interview the rebels - the revolutionaries who hadn't been hanged, the ones who had served twenty years in prison or more - and to interview also the ex ministers who had served their time in government, the "funkies", the functionariosök, the ones who had managed to go through it all and survive (because being a communist was no sinecure). I interviewed the whole bunch, and one who appealed to me most was a man called Miklos Vásárhelyi, or "Vásárhelyi Miklos" as a Hungarian would say, the other way round.
Now, Miklos Vásárhelyi was the press minister of the revolutionary prime minister Imre Nagy. He gave me very many interviews, and he told me the inside story of the uprising in Hungary of 1956. I said to him at the third or fourth interview - we are still in communist Hungary at the time of these interviews - I said, "Mr. Vásárhelyi, I am curious about one thing: You now have a wife and a family; you have children, and you have grandchildren. By telling me these stories you are jeopardising your future and, who knows, your life. But not only that: when you went into the uprising in 1956; when you started plotting against the communist government, preparing the uprising which led to its overthrow (until the Russian tanks were called back in), - you must have realised even then that you were jeopardising your entire family, that all of them might have been arrested with you and they might have been salted away; they might have vanished. What led you to take that risk? Not only in your own name - we are all entitled to take risks in our own name - but none of us is really entitled to put our wife and children at risk." "Mr. Irving," he said, "I read a book! I read a book. And the book made me go into it, wiser, and with my eyes wide open." "What was the name of the book?" I asked. He replied that it was George Orwell's Animal Farm.
Imagine: Here he is, a communist minister, who has been in prison for the communist cause probably twenty years already by 1956. And he reads a book, not in Hungarian or English or German, but in French, in a kind of pirated samizdat version which is circulating in the under
ground in Hungary; he reads a book which opens his eyes. If any of you has read Orwell's Animal Farm you will know how it opens one's eyes. Whether one is a communist, a fascist, or a Nazi it is bound to open his eyes to the whole sordid rabble which somehow comes to the top - it rises like scum to the top of the bucket, and it floats around there and it seems you can't get rid of it.
Vásárhelyi read this book, and he decided to overthrow that hated government in Hungary from within. I mention this because it shows the responsibilities that authors have: Orwell wrote a book, and a man whom he had never met, this Hungarian minister, took the decision to risk his life and the life of his wife and children because he had read that book.
We authors have a duty, we have a moral duty. But you readers also have a moral duty, to ensure that books, get written, and that they get published, and that they are easily available, and that you have ready access to the writers who write these books.
Imagine if your communist, - uh, your Canadian Government: there's a Freudian slip! [Laughter] had seen fit to ordain that Mr. George Orwell should not be allowed to visit Canada because some body of aliens down in Los Angeles, some Centre or other who disagreed with George Orwell's opinions, had written a letter to Ottawa saying: "We understand that George Orwell is going to be lecturing all the way across Canada, at Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Chilliwak, Penticton," - and all these other little places that I was going to, or I have been to, on these annual tours right the way across Canada - "and we insist that you don't let him in."
What an outcry there would have been! And I am rather disturbed that these great international writer's organisations have remained silent these last two or three days, ever since it was made known that the Canadian government was going to stop me coming in, and ever since they had me led away in handcuffs from that meeting I had been addressing [in Victoria, B.C.].
Where have been the voices of outcry from all those liberal organisations who purport to stand up objectively for truth and freedom, whether it be on the right or the left? They have been remarkably silent.
It's a battle that I have had to fight alone and without the assistance of my attorney, because for days at a time he was being led by the nose by the government. And yet somehow we still pulled through, because the [Immigration Department] Adjudicator in Vancouver [Mr. Paul Therault] was a true Canadian and a gentleman, and he could see what game was being played; and he refused to lock me up and he agreed immediately to the deal which I proposed (because it was quite clear to me that my tour was not going to be allowed to proceed in its proposed form).
The Crown wanted to have me deported. Let me explain to you: your government can take three courses of action against somebody like myself upon whom an immigration warrant is served: they can deport him, they can release him, or they can serve a voluntary departure notice on him. And a departure notice is what we agreed - the difference being that I am free to leave Canada tonight at midnight, and I am free to return at five minutes past midnight if I so wish. There is no ban whatsoever on my returning to Canada, and our Traditional enemies are livid about this -
-because they had wanted a deportation order served on me; they wanted me to be put back into
handcuffs [in Vancouver] and driven down, tipped out over the border into the U.S.A., and never allowed to return to Canada. They cannot debate me; they are trying instead to close me down.
You remember how, ever since I have been coming to Canada, the outcry has mounted and redoubled? Two years ago I managed to speak in Ottawa at the Congress Centre right in the heart of the city next to the Château Laurier: it was a fine audience, a beautiful building, a perfectly ordinary speech which, in fact, took on the character of a debate, because when a Jewish expert in the audience stood up on question time and wanted to raise a length point, I was decent enough to say to him: "As it's quite clear you have an important, and possibly even a valid, point to make, I think it proper that you should come onto the stage here and use the microphone to address my audience."
They weren't entirely happy with this, but I thought it was important to be seen not to fear our opponents. And so, this quasi-debate took place; he had five or ten minutes, and I don't think he convinced one person in the place. I had a clear conscience at the end of it, but my opponents did not: they have forbidden the Congress Centre to make a hall available to me again.
I was perfectly prepared to debate anyone here in Canada, and I still am, when I come back - which is going to be several months from now, because I am now going to South Africa for two months and then my tour continues across Australia, and right the way around the world, this International Campaign for Real History.
It is the word real that frightens my opponents, because they have got away with it now for the last fifty years, with their Madison-avenue, their Hollywood versions of history, their television versions of history.
Real history is what we find in the archives, and it frightens my opponents because it takes the planks out from beneath their feet. You may remember Sol Littman [of the Canadian Jewish Congress] complaining about me on C.B.C. television only a few months ago, after I went to Moscow. (It's remarkable, isn't it? I can go to Moscow and work in the Secret State Archives there now; yet here I am arrested like a criminal because I am going to speak to free citizens in this country!)
In Moscow, in June of this year, I came across these boxes - here is a photograph of them, very old boxes of Agfa photographic plates. Here is a picture of one such box, you can see the handwriting on it. In this box were about twenty old-fashioned plates, and there were ninety-two of these boxes, containing a total of 1,600 glass plates. Look at this contact print of one glass plate: each plate has fifty tiny images on it, smaller than a postage stamp; when you blow them up, they turn out to be hand-written pages - the private diaries of Hitler's propaganda minister, Dr. Joseph Goebbels.
Fragments [from other sources] have been published over the last fifty years, but these plates contain the entire diaries, from the day he started keeping a journal as an ex-student in June 1923, right through until his family's appalling end in the bunker in Berlin in April 1945.
In fact, I also found recorded on these glass plates some three hundred pages of shorthand; and it wasn't until I was sitting on the plane on the way back from Moscow to London after the first visit that a little light bulb went on in my head, and I thought: "Shorthand!", why did his staff
bother to put pages of shorthand onto these "microfiches," three hundred pages of shorthand? Those amongst you this afternoon who are secretaries will know that that's probably enough to take down a couple of weeks of diary. (Goebbels dictated an average of fifty or sixty pages each day). Perhaps, I surmised, the shorthand is the diary of the last two weeks in Hitler's bunker, in April 1945, after the typists were sent out of the besieged capital for their own safety. I think that is what those shorthand pages may be.
I went back to Moscow in July this year and I got the rest of what I needed; my opponents are, again livid. Sol Littman said: "It is totally wrong that of all people David Irving should have been allowed to get this material".
I can understand their agony! I can understand their anguish and agitation.
It is the agitation that we are experiencing in the media around the world. After I was last in Canada, in October of last year, I went down to Argentina and spoke there for two weeks. That was an interesting experience too, because after three days, suddenly "all the lights went out".
I had done an interview the Monday of that week on Argentinian Television (I speak Spanish) and the interviewer - his stage-name was Maurizio Viale, but it turned out that his real name was Goldfarb. -
Now, let it be known, I have nothing against people being called Goldfarb, and I have nothing whatever against people being Jewish; I am not an antisemite, despite thirty years of harassment. It's a miracle, but I am not!
In fact, when people say to me, what is your attitude towards Jews, I am rather inclined to compare them with the Americans: We English find the Americans very pleasant, agreeable individuals to be with, bright, brainy, beautiful people. So it is with the Jewish people that we know, and I am sure it is probably the same with most people in this hall. We all know individual Jews, who are perfectly ordinary and easy to get on with.
But when they come together - those Americans - they form agencies, and government, and they become involved in international crime. Crimes on an extraordinary scale, like the Gulf War!
And so it is with people of probably every race or nationality. When they look around, and they find that they are not alone, and they form into clubs and cliques and gangs, they feel somehow that ordinary laws don't apply to them.
And they can start elbowing their way around, in the way that the Los Angeles based Simon Wiesenthal Centre dictated to Ottawa that they should not allow me to come to Canada. I don't understand why the Canadian people put up with this; they should say to these people in Los Angeles: "What's it got to do with you? As long as Canadian citizens want freely to assemble and foregather and hear Mr. Irving speak, and as long as he doesn't break the law, incite race hatred, or proclaim revolution, then as far as we are concerned this is a free country and he should be entitled to do so".
What happened in Vancouver, with me being led off in handcuffs - I said to the television cam
eras, and it was repeated hour after hour on the television bulletins, certainly in the western provinces: "This is demeaning for me - but it is far more demeaning for Canada". There is no doubt whatsoever about that.
Look at the history of my tour of the world in these last twelve months, and you will see that our enemies, those who are opposed to our version of Real History, are resorting to techniques and to tactics that are, to my mind, evidence of a frantic, a frenetic last-ditch attempt to salvage something of their moral position.
In Argentina, when I did that television programme with Maurizio Viale, he ended it very abruptly indeed. He said, "In my opinion, Adolf Hitler is a criminal." I replied: "You are entitled to your opinion."
Heatedly, he retorted: "But he was obviously totally insane."
"Not on the evidence which I gathered as a historian."
"But there is no doubt," he screamed, "that Hitler was insane; and how would you say that he was not?"
"Well, we British and Americans interrogated all of Hitler's seven doctors, and they were asked that precise question: in your expert opinion, as Hitler's medical advisor, was he clinically sane or insane? And all seven uniformly came up with the opinion that Hitler was sane until the very end. One of the doctors, Theo Morell, hi principal private physician, certainly started treating Hitler in the last two weeks of his life for Parkinsonism, which is a brain deterioration. But sanity? No doubt."
Maurizio Viale lost his temper: "There is no doubt at all," he shouted. "The man was responsible for the death of forty million Germans!"
I don't know where his forty million came from; I allowed it to pass the first time, but not the second. "Where do you get this figure of forty million?" I asked. " - Just as a matter of passing interest."
"Forty million?" he exploded. "Four million, four thousand, or even four people! Killing even four people is a crime!" - a viewpoint with which I incidentally agree.
"By that standard," I suggested, "then George Bush, President of the United States of America, is also an arch criminal for killing 250,000 innocent Arabs in the Gulf this February.[Applause]
At which point the said interview was dramatically terminated! He turned away and went off to interview somebody else.
He himself was called to account three days later on his own television programme by three directors of D.A.J.A. (which is the local Jewish umbrella organisation), to explain why he had invited me onto his programme; he explained that I had somehow slipped through the net. The producer of that programme was fired that Friday, and every newspaper and television interview which my publishers, Editorial Planeta, had lined up for the rest of my stay in Buenos Aires was cancelled. The Universidad Belgrano lecture was cancelled, and on the Wednesday the city's main newspapers La Nación published a newspaper item announcing that an international agitator, un agitador internacional, was in their midst, namely David Irving, and that I was going
around proclaiming my revolutionary theories and heresies to the Argentinian public. The entire lecture tour virtually collapsed.
That was Argentina. The German community in Argentina, were, I must say, magnificent. They invited me on the last Saturday of my stay there to address a meeting rather like this, summoned at very short notice, at their Club de Ramos at Tigre, which is the rowing club outside Buenos Aires. A magnificent setting; three hundred Germans came to hear me speak, and I was specifically asked by them to address them on the sensitive subject of the Holocaust - my views on the Holocaust: how many people really died? did the gas chambers really exist? what is the history of the Holocaust?
Five minutes before I could go on stage and start, the club's committee chairman came up to me privately and whispered in my ear: "Mr. Irving, we are in a rather embarrassing position. You see that couple sitting at the table on the second row, the husband? They are new members. His parents died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz, and under the circumstances, they have said it would be tactless for you to discuss this matter with the audience tonight. Could you possibly talk for two hours about something else?"
So I talked for two hours about general history, and the problems of research as a "revisionist", and I didn't touch on the Holocaust at all. The audience was furious.
A month after I got back to London I received a letter from another committee member. "We are terribly sorry about this embarrassing episode," it read. "We thought that you ought to know that we have carried out a discreet investigation of the member whose complaint led to the ban on your speech about the Holocaust - the one who 'lost his parents in the gas chambers at Auschwitz': it turns out that he was born in 1948!"
Well, okay, fair enough. That was really clever, and I have to take off my hat to our opponents. That was a jolly good wheeze and I must remember it next time, when I can get a chance to stick it to them too.
Because: this is the kind of ding-dong fight it is. Sometimes we do it to them; sometimes they do it to us, and that was one trick they won.
The last round [Vancouver] was one I won! It is rather like the Battle of Jutland, that great naval battle of May 1916 (where my father, in fact, was a Royal Navy Officer aboard one of the British battleships): that was the last fleet action that the world has ever seen, with the two great battle fleets thrashing it out in the North Sea. It ended up pretty inconclusively, except for one thing: The Germans claimed victory - in the German history books, anyway.
So I am claiming victory in Vancouver - because I am the first one to claim it, and the press has said, "Mr. Irving clamed victory". My traditional opponents are certainly quite displeased about it.
After I found the Goebbels Diaries in Moscow I went back to London and I signed a contract with the Sunday Times, which you probably know is one of Europe's most serious and prestigious newspapers.
I don't suppose there is any serious newspaper of greater wealth and power on either side of the
North Atlantic. I signed a very substantial contract with Sunday Times, whereby I would give to them the Goebbels Diaries extracts relating to inter alia the Night of the Long Knives and the Night of Broken Glass and the other principal episodes before and during World War Two which were recorded by Dr. Goebbels and which had never been read before; I did this deal with the Sunday Times in June.
The newspaper announced to the astonished world that they were publishing these diaries. When the aforesaid astonished world realised that it was my project ; that I was to get the prestige for it, you cannot believe the furore which this caused in London. Never in my life have I received so much media attention in such short a space of time. Two thousand press clipplings came to me within the next eight days. Two thousand! From around the entire world - principally in England, but as the Earth rotated, as the sun rose in the east and set in the west, my fax machine churned out these press clipplings sent in by my friends and agents all around the world.
I could see the envy, the rage, and then the fury, as my opponents mobilised themselves. They began announcing: "This is devastating news to us - that the Sunday Times has given Mr. Irving not only prestige and credibility but - money! (It was one newspaper article two days ago where a Mr. Bernie Farber - I don't know who that is, but he's obviously an eminently independent Canadian citizen - said: "It's a good thing that Mr. Irving's [Canadian] tour is being cancelled: this will cost him a packet" - as though that is all that matters.) And this is what they said in the press in July: It's regrettable that the Sunday Times is giving him money.
A couple of days later it was openly announced that the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the American Jewish Congress were putting pressure on the newspaper to break the contract with me and pay me not a penny more! In their own chronicles they quoted the actual letters that they had written to the Sunday Times. From this we can imagine the panic that this episode had caused them: because, if I am a problem to them now in my present impecunious position, you can imagine the problem I'll become if I ever recover all the money the Sunday Times owes me.
What happened was that the Sunday Times read the writing on the wall - these letters that came to them, from these immensely powerful organisations. I should mention here that the Sunday Times is in the midst of delicate loan negotiations on the American capital market; you can imagine the problems that this was going to cause. The Sunday Times decided to break the contract with me, to owe me $100,000; to use my Moscow material, and pretend I didn't exist!
Not only that, but they went around badmouthing me. The chief editor of the Sunday times declared: "Mr. Irving? Well it is regrettable - we admit he is an amateur Nazi ..."
"Now that is despicable", I said to the press: "That word amateur is a particularly loathsome word, and -"
They also put pressure on my publishers in England like Macmillan Ltd., and in the United States on the Viking Press and Avon Books and Simon and Schuster and Little, Brown - all the great American and British firms who issue my works. (My books aren't published by fringe concerns at all; they are published by main line companies, and they are reviewed magnificently,
I must say, in all newspapers around the world including Mclean's magazine here).
So they started putting pressure on my publishers to get rid of me. They admit it! This is the extraordinary thing, the chutzpah of these people. They admit it in their own newspapers! "Representatives of the Board of Deputies have visited Macmillan Ltd. and applied pressure on them, insisting that they get rid of David Irving as an author."
Macmillan have contracts with me for my book on Roosevelt that's coming; they have contracts with me on various other books, and they are republishing most of my books now under another Macmillan imprint. But how long this will last heaven alone can say, because they have a new managing director now, Felicity Rubinstein, and I can foresee that there may well be problems - not because she doesn't want me as an author, but because the company may well run into the kind of back door problems that you and I, being ordinary members of the public don't understand: problems of finance; problems of banking - the kind of problems where you need good will, and suddenly that good will dries up.
The Sunday Times found this good will drying up, dramatically, but they were to blame for it: if I wanted to annoy the Jewish community I know exactly what I 'd do - I would go into all the Jewish districts of London like Golders Green or Stamford Bridge and I would put up sixty-five foot long posters in the Nazi colours with fifteen foot high swastikas and the head of Dr. Goebbels - that is what the Sunday Times did! - in red-white-and-black with Dr. Goebbels' photograph, a huge swastika and slogan reading AFTER WE DEPART LET THE EARTH TREMBLE. This caused absolute outrage, because it was indeed an outrageous thing for this newspaper to do. I don't blame the local community for being upset, it was an unwarranted provocation of these people. The Sunday Times thought they could get away with it; but they couldn't, and they had humiliatingly to toe the line two weeks later, after the series of extracts from my Goebbels Diary project was published.
The Sunday Times had to publish, by way of a sop to these protesters, a two-page special article on the Holocaust and revisionists, in which everybody's name was blackened (except mine - they probably wanted to blacken mine too, but they knew they wouldn't get away with that in any court in England). They even printed a footnote at the bottom reading: "This article will be available to schools throughout Britain via the Campus 2000 system".
That was the forfeit that they had to pay for using me and giving me credibility.
Macmillan Ltd., my London publisher, will probably have to pay the same price. I am sufficiently mature to know that this will probably happen in two to three year's time - I will find myself deprived of my publishers in Britain, in Germany, and around the world as they all come under this kind of backdoor pressure. So I've started my own publishing house now called Focal Point.
It sounds easy but it isn't. When you are publishing books you need massive capital; you need all the resources that the existing firms have, like the distribution and the advertising; you need the friends in the newspapers. So we took my well established book Hitler's War, which is the flagship of my writing career; I first published it in 1977, but we have now totally revised it. I
thought, let's publish this ourselves; we'll put in sixty colour photographs, because no regular publisher is going to do that. My good friend Walter Frentz took 3,000 colour transparencies while on Hitler's staff and he has never published them (I have a life-size enlargement of one of them here, by the window, which you can look at in the intermission). We picked the finest of them to put in the book.
If I had gone to Macmillans and said: "Reprint this please - oh, and by the way put in sixty colour photographs!", they would have tapped their foreheads - you know, this is what we do over here: in Germany they do this [a circular face-washing motion with one hand]: it's strange the way that sign language varies from country to country - and they would have said, "Get out of here!"
So what did our traditional opponents do? When they saw that this magnificent Focal Point edition was being ordered by booksellers around the world and in England, they started a campaign of window smashing. I wouldn't normally have heard about this, because it was not reported in the national press; but I get all the press clippings from the provincial newspapers too and believe it or not an unsubtle campaign of window smashing began against the biggest chain bookshops. Like the Barnes and Noble chain in the United States, we have the Waterstone's and Dillon's chains, and W.H. Smith's; they were getting their windows smashed overnight, and a letter in the post two days later from the Board's local organisation saying: we regret to see your windows were smashed. It is probably because you are stocking books by David Irving. We recommend that you stop stocking these books and you probably won't have this problem again."
The letter was no doubt written after legal advice, but just enough for the bookseller to know what the object of this window smashing was.
What does that remind me of! They are using Nazi tactics. They are using the methods of the nineteen-thirties against me, against one British author. This is sure sign that they are panicking, that they are on the run.
They can't win in any ordinary free and democratic debate; they won't even debate me, they try to shut me up everywhere I go. So around the world I find my books burned, and bookshop windows smashed; I find myself vilified in the press. The Toronto Sun had a headline calling me a "Hitler sympathiser" the other day; when their journalist Bill Dunphy had the impertinence to telephone me in Vancouver on the twenty-eighth, I said, "You don't seriously expect me to give you an interview".
This is a campaign of harassment directed solely against me.
I spoke earlier this year in fifteen cities across South Africa, the third or fourth time I have conducted such a tour in that country. In Pretoria we now get audiences of two thousand people when I speak in the big university building there: that is too much for my traditional enemies! The South African Jewish Board of Deputies has got me taken permanently off the S.A.B.C. television there; they have pressured the radio stations to stop interviewing me too. Yet they can't stop the citizens from coming to hear me.
So what do they do? They put pressure on their government. When I returned to London from
South Africa this April there was a letter to me from the Pretoria government announcing:
"The exemption from the visa requirements as laid down in the Aliens Control Act, 1991, which you enjoy as a British citizen, has been withdrawn. Before you can again enter the Republic of South Africa, you will have to be in possession of a visa".
So I have done a deal with the South Africans, and I will be going back there on January 20, 1993 and staying there for another two months. I have promised not to speak. I won't speak, but I might do what is called a trappist tour; I might be on stage after stage, with a little piece of sticking tape on my mouth with some suitable emblem on it, while my chauffeur or somebody else delivers the speech.
It is roughly what we are doing in the rest of Canada today: although I am not going to be allowed to talk in person to the students of the University of Lethbridge and I am not going to Red Deer and Salmon Arm and Regina and Winnipeg and all the other cities on this particular itinerary - I am not there in the flesh - my voice is there, because the videotape of our successful Victoria B.C. meeting of three days ago is travelling in my place, and all the people in those cities there will be hearing exactly the same speech.
Nevertheless it is a rare feeling, as city after city, country after country is closed down against me at the behest of our traditional enemies.
I mentioned that I went to Moscow in June . I stopped over, returning from Moscow, in Munich. This is remarkable enough because in Munich I am not allowed to be: The German government apparently issued an exclusion order against me three years ago. I never knew about it - I have been blithely going in and out of Germany ever since. But never mind, there is a little quirk in the law - in Germany, it seems, the exclusion order merely says; "Thou shalst not cross the border into Germany." Once I am inside Germany, it would take a different order to throw me out because it is not an Aufenthaltsverbot, a prohibition on my being in Germany.
Now, in Austria there is said to be an Interpol arrest warrant out against me, but there is no exclusion order; so one can somehow, kind of, juggle between Austria and Germany and always manage to get in.
Am I despondent? The answer is no! It is yet another badge of exclusion, which I shall wear with pride, because it marks one more country where my traditional opponents admit that they have not one single professor, not one academic, not one writer, not one historian, who is capable of debating me.
And that is what this fight is about in Canada. They have seen me come and go now more than half a dozen times since I first started these lecture tours back in 1986. They have seen the audiences grow; they have seen me neither committing any crime, nor doing anything they can trip me up on. Above all, they have seen the media is getting interested, and that our message is getting across.
In Germany the leading liberal weekly Die Zeit, one of the most magisterial newspapers in not only Germany but the whole of Europe, published two articles on the last two Fridays of Septem
ber in which they discussed the whole of the Auschwitz problem and the Holocaust controversy.
That's what it has now become - precisely what our opponents did not want: It has become a public controversy. The journalist on Die Zeit - who was of course totally opposed to me and I suppose to most of us in this room and to our opinions - he wrote, "It has now become necessary to address the issue squarely, because the German public at large has become increasingly verunsichert.". That is a word which is difficult to translate, but it means that the public has become increasingly unsure of itself over the Holocaust controversy.
Previously it was all cut and dried for them: you remember, the legend was that Adolf Hitler ordered the killing of six million Jews in gas chambers in Auschwitz.
This is roughly how history has had its way for the last forty or fifty years. But when people come along, with no real axe to grind - because I don't think any of us on the right wing on this matter has axes to grind - when people come along and say, "I don't believe this version of it all;" or, "I am not going to accept all the ingredients of that statement," the methods used against us are becoming increasingly bizarre.
But why should we accept all the ingredients of their statements? It's like any other marketing project. I don't like that capital "H" they use for the word Holocaust for example: when you see a capital letter on a work it makes you think it is some kind of brandname or trademark like Tylenol, and that we are being sold a package of something, and that we are not allowed to open it at either end to check it first. Well, I am not a Holocaust denier, and that word really offends me, but I am a Holocaust analyst. I think we are entitled to analyse the basic elements of the statement: Adolf Hitler ordered the killing of six million Jews in gas chambers at Auschwitz, and to ask, is any part of this statement open to doubt?
As a result of one of their own follies, I think - which was the prosecution of Ernst Zündel - as a result of that particular folly the whole Canadian people are now beginning to find little doubts gnawing at the back of their minds. This is why the Jewish community world-wide is becoming "agitated". If I am an agitator, an international agitator as they maintain, so be it! What is agitating them is my claim that the truth is probably marginally, tangentially different from what they have been saying for fifty years.
You may think: So what! If history is different, why the big deal? Why are my traditional opponents mobilising gangs of people to go out and harass me and beat me up in restaurants, as they did on July 12 after this Goebbels business in London, and prevent me getting the proper financial rewards due to me? Why are they mobilising around the world?
On some of the prosecution documents that were handed to me by the Crown in Vancouver was a fax line across the top which read "SAJBOD" - the initials of some organisation, I suppose they thought I wouldn't know what it was. It is the South African Jewish Board of Deputies. Other documents came from Vienna and similar organisations around the world.
Our opponents had sent in these documents from all over the world, either direct to the Vancouver prosecutor, or to the Immigration Department here in Ontario, or possibly funnelled through the organisation in Los Angeles, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre: militating, mobilising, organising on an international scale purely to get at David Irving.
Why are they doing so? Well, I can only hypothesise and speculate about this, and historians shouldn't really speculate. But I think that one possible reason is -
Excuse me: the photographer who just went out and came back in again - uh, have you made a phone call to someone?
Voice: I made a radio call.
Irving: A radio call. Can you give us your word that it was not to any kind of authorities?
Voice: I just wanted to ask if I could stay here.
Irving: Okay, fair enough. The audience will appreciate why we have to be on guard about certain eventualities. It is interesting that when C.B.C. Television asked permission to attend here today, I said that as a spokesman and defender of Free Speech I had no objection - provided that they would sign an undertaking that they would not reveal the present -
Another voice [Wolfgang Droege]: Just to let you know: all the media, all the stations are downstairs and they are waiting for you to come down.
Irving: Fair enough. It will be a long wait - [prolonged applause and laughter] - I am more interested in speaking to the real people of Canada than to the media at this stage.
I asked for C.B.C. and the others to sign an undertaking that they would not notify third parties about the location of this meeting until after it was over; that they would behave properly and not cause any disruption, and that they would not photograph my audience, whose right to privacy I respected. They refused to sign this undertaking, and I said it is not subject to negotiation: In that case you are not coming in.: It is an interesting reflection on their attitude that they think they have the right to trample where they please.
I repeat, why are they doing this? Why are my opponents resorting to these extraordinary world-wide measures?
I can only speculate, which a historian really should not do; I can offer these hypothesise. The first hypothesis is that we are getting dangerously near to success in this particular campaign.
Here let me go on a short detour and explain to you that I have no particular interest in the outcome of this campaign. I am not anti-Jewish, I am not anti-Israel, I have no particular axe to grind. But I am English, and we English have the characteristic that we march toward the sound of gunfire. So, when people try to stop me doing something, I am afraid that I react in the opposite way that they want.
I am also not obsessive. I'll tell you a rather tragic story about a man who was obsessive, and who fell foul of the laws that circumscribe freedom of speech.
I told this story in Victoria and I shall tell it again here: it involves a rather pathetic man whom I met only once in my life. His name is H.W. Wicks.
You name it - somewhere in the archives of the world there is a letter from H.W. Wicks waiting for me to find it. I tremble - the next book I write is President Roosevelt. Oh my God, there's
bound to be a letter from H.W. Wicks.
It is one of the great tragi-comedies. I could not get rid of him, I could not get him out of my blood stream. Every other year I would be in some archive, and there was yet another H.W. Wicks letter. Be they the papers of Hans Lammers, or the Schriftgutverwaltung of Heinrich Himmler, the Reichführer S.S.: there was that letter from Mr. Wicks. In Moscow this July, reading the glass microfiches, I find that Dr. Joseph Goebbels is considering giving wide coverage to "the case of a Mr. H. W. Wicks who has written to him."
At every Christmas, I would receive a card from Mr. Wicks: a hand-painted water-colour. beautifully executed, would come to my front door. I never saw him again, and the Christmas cards stopped coming about five years ago. So I guess that he has moved on, and none of these great people of history had given him the justice he felt he was entitled to: neither Hitler, nor Mussolini, nor Mackenzie King, nor Robert Menzies - none of them. But he's going to get justice from me, because around the world I have been telling the story of H.W. Wicks now.
Is it not a lesson to us all, above all, to preserve our balance? Unfortunately I have to say that in the extreme organisations that sometimes we tend to become, we find a lot of people who can only be described as a flakes (in fact I have been described as a "flake" - it is as bad as that!) We have to struggle to maintain stability as we fight on, and that is not always easy, particularly when you are being subjected to the torrent of abuse and vilification that we are subjected to. You have to remember the case of H.W. Wicks and say, for God's sake preserve your balance.
That is what I try to do. I have tried to preserve my balance. I say to myself: "It doesn't hurt you - it is just the press."
My secretary Robin Davies came to me one Monday morning ten years back and said: "David - have you seen yesterday's Sunday Times? You might as well pack up and go home." I said, "What are they saying now?" He read it out:
"Look at it -
David Irving who seems to have substantially overestimated his mental stability
"They are calling you nuts!"
"Robin," I said, "It's Monday. It's already yesterday's newspaper. It's a newspaper! It existed yesterday; today it's wrapping fish 'n chips, tomorrow it goes back to a paper reprocessing plant, and let me tell you what happens there: The paper is separated from the ink, the paper goes that way, and it is rechurned and turned into cellulose pulp, and comes out again weeks or months later as a newspaper in some other part of the globe. The ink is separated from that pulp with detergent, and it goes down the drains - it goes down the drains into the gutter. And that is where the journalists like Bernard Levin find it, because that is the level they normally inhabit.
It is all recycled, and that is the difference between the journalists - and I mean no disrespect to the many journalists who are here this evening - and writers of books. Because a book goes into a library, it gets read, and read, and read. Two days ago, having been lectured by all the Bernie Farbers of Canada on how meaningless I am, and how I have no credibility, and how I am "not
really a historian at all" the Vancouver Sun took the trouble to telephone the local public library: it turned out it had fourteen titles by me on its shelves! Whereas, the journalists' articles are already, of course being turned back into scum. That's the difference!
I am proud of the job that I am doing, and I am even more proud as I go around the world and meet the audiences who read my books. I shall be coming back here again, ladies and gentlemen, to Canada - probably within the next six months: I have no fear of that.
In the meantime I do urge you to keep up the fight for freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is like any other public right of way, like the ancient public rights of way in Britain where, the law says, somebody has to go down that path at least once each year and use it, for otherwise the public's right of way will fall into disrepair, and eventually into abeyance. Your right to freedom of speech is a vitally important right; you must not allow it to fall into disuse. You must assert it. At the slightest signs that your public right, your chartered rights here in Canada are being trampled on by alien interests for their own financial purposes you must stand up and, cost what it may, you must protest! Protest by every means you can, as you have indeed protested by your presence here today.
Freedom of speech - this is the phrase with which I have always associated Canada in my mind. I am sure that this freedom will prevail here in Canada. I am equally sure that the Canadian people are themselves deeply distressed by what has been done to me. When I was arrested in Victoria, I heard that ordinary people had brought round bunches of flowers to the police station where I was being held; this shows that the Canadian people is the way that I have always imagined it.
Thank you very much. Ladies and Gentlemen, like General Douglas MacArthur - "I shall return!"
1. Readers of Mr. Irving's Focal Point will recall one regular feature, a column of phrases misusing the adjective prestigious which in fact means according to the Oxford English Dictionary "cheating, deceptive, illusory". Those adjectives sit easily upon the Sunday Times.
2. In fact, Mr. Irving abided by his promise.
3. At the instance of the Dokumentationsarchiv des Widerstands, a communist-front organisation, the socialist minister of the interior Karl Blecha - subsequently disgraced in an insurance scam - had ordered my deportation from Austria in June 1993; that order was overturned by the Austrian supreme court, with damages awarded to me, and criminal charges were laid against the Viennese civil servants concerned for abuse of their powers. Undeterred, in November 1989 the Salzburg Landespolizei issued an arrest warrant against me for having stated, in reply to a query about the so-called "eye-witnesses" who claimed to have seen gas-chambers at Dachau and other
concentration camps, that this was a phenomenon that psychiatrists were best suited to evaluate.
ladies and gentlemen your kindness overwhelms me. I am rather embarressed when I get an ovation like that and I trust that this has been an enlightening afternoon.
Let me outline what I now propose to do. As you know by one minute before midnight I have to be out of this country. (I asked the Adjudicator if that was a fixed deadline, and he said, "Mr Irving, if you don't leave Canada by midnight on November 1, then you are in serious trouble." I said, "Does that mean I turn into a pumpkin perhaps?" [laughter] He replied that despite the appropriateness of the day [Halloween] pumpkins would not be the only penalty awaiting me. So I am only in the Ontario region until midnight tonight.)
[After the three-quarter hour interval David Irving introduced the discussion period, sounding shaken:]
Ladies and gentlemen, we very nearly had another dramatic interlude. The immigration officers were waiting outside and they asked to see me just now. But I managed --, oh yes, they informed me that nothing would please the R.C.M.P. more than having an excuse to snatch me and complete the work that they were interrupted in doing in Vancouver; but these "immigration officers" were also Canadians, and they obviously intended not to be a part of it. So they have now gone away.* However if people come in and grab me, then you will know what's happened. Okay!
Gradually you learn how to get along with journalists. It's an acquired art; they have their jobs to do. Eventually, the time will come --a few months from now --when they suddenly all do a flipflop and come down on our side in the great controversy, and that's going to be the great embarassment for our traditional opponents. There is no question! The journalists all know who is speaking the truth and who is lying, and it is just a question of time before the journalists then decide that their conscience is stronger than the voice of their editor, and they start writing the truth themselves. I think that on the west coast this is already happening. If you read the reporting in the Vancouver Sun and Province, and in the Times-Colonist of Victoria, you will see the journalists there have written a very different kind of article in the last few days from those that have been written here in the Ontario newspapers.
Q.:Is Focal Point active now?
My big Hitler biography Hitler's War, which several of you already acquired, is our first
book project. I have recovered from Macmillan Ltd for example the rights in my forthcoming biography of Dr. Goebbels based on these diaries. I wrote to them four weeks ago saying, "I know that this will disappoint you," --because they have been pressing me for delivery of the manuscript --"but I have now decided I want to buy the rights back, because we can do a better production job: unless you can guarrantee to me that you can put thirty or forty colour photographs in that volume, then I should like to buy the rights back." That will be the next one and Focal Point will also publish Volume Two of Churchill's War. It is something of a life-boat, so they can't sink me. They have been trying to sink me now for several years, and not succeeded.
Q.:How can we order this book?
Through regular distribution channels, or direct from us, or from Focal Point. Or by ordering from your bookshop, because there is a bookseller's ordering system on microfiche, which in England is published by Whitakers; the microfiche is certainly in all the big bookstores over here. The book is just ordered in the regular way. But Focal Point will not be publishing any fringe works --nothing fringier than mine, that is!
Q.:Is there nobody we can turn to?
Yes, there is! There is somebody to turn to, and this is in April 1993 or whenever your next election is. You are a democracy and you can vote these people out. You can make it quite plain that because of this and that you are going to vote them out. You can harrass them with questions. You can write to your newspaper, you can telephone your local radio stations. You can demand, Where do you stand on free speech in Canada? Free speech, and I must emphasize this: free speech within the law; because obviously free speech is not going to be extended to people who are going to propagate racial hatred for example. You can always organise a press boycott.
People get the governments they deserve. I am astonished that you have put up with Mr Mulroney for so long. I don't want to sound impertinent, because I am a visitor to your country.
Q.:What do you think of our recent Constitutional Referendum?
You will not be surprised to hear that coming to Canada as a foreigner, I was baffled to find out that yet another referendum was going on, because it had not been reported on in the Outside World. There, it had been virtually ignored, or else it has been regarded as some kind of regular internal malaise which affect Canada from year to year.
Every year you seem to have this kind of "constipation", and you go through a Meech Lake or some other kind of Accord: eventually, they are going to run out of names of lakes and villages to attach to these accords.
I am just pained for Canada --they have spent three hundred million dollars organising something like that, which could have been far better spent, I am sure, on something else. But the attitude of burocracy unfortunately is that the taxpayer doesn't matter. In the tribunal in Vancouver, right at the beginning, I said to the Adjucator that I was concerned for the hearing to be as brief as possible, because I had the considerations of the Canadian taxpayer in mind; he replied, "The considerations of the Canadian taxpayer don't mean anything to this court." "Well, I said, "you may find that the memebers of the Canadian public sitting behind me are of a different opinion!"
Q.:You are being treated in this obnoxious manner because you are not Politically Correct?
I am not a laptop author -- they can't dicker around with me the way they want; and I am not an academic historian -- I have no university that they can fire me from. So they can't really get their claws into me.