From the world's press

The Oregonian
(Portland, Oregon), October 11, 1994

Protester spits on Holocaust dissenter

of The Oregonian staff


BRITISH AUTHOR David Irving was spat on Monday night as he entered a Southeast Portland church to present his controversial views on the Holocaust to a small, invitation-only audience.
The incident occurred at Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church as Irving, who claims the Holocaust has been exaggerated, was pressing his way through a crowd of about 150 vocal demonstrators outside the small church. Because of intense opposition to his views from the Coalition for Human Dignity and other local groups, Irving had tried unsuccessfully to keep the whereabouts of his private appearance secret.
The alleged spitter, Alaric Brown, 21, of Southeast Portland, scuffled with police who were trying to escort him through a crowd of demonstrators to a waiting squad car. He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Police also arrested Derek K. Stenzil for violating the terms of his probation on a 1993 assault charge. Stenzil is a leader of Northwest Concerned, a neo-Nazi group involved in the arrangements for Irving's appearance.
Irving has written books questioning the almost universally accepted figure of 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust. He claims the actual number was far lower &emdash; in the hundreds of thousands, and that the "industrial scale" murder of Jews by gassing is a myth.
Irving appeared shaken as he autographed books for invited guests, who included both elderly German-speaking couples and burly young men with shaved heads.
"Oregon is the only state where there is such vicious and mindless opposition," he said, noting that he had tried to speak to his critics outside but was prevented from doing so.
Irving's last visit to Oregon, in 1992, also was disrupted. Since then, he said, he has been banned from entering Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Germany. British bookstores that carry his titles have had their windows smashed, he said, and he has had to devise an escape route for his wife and child at their home in the posh Mayfair section of London.
Comparing his plight with that of the condemned Iranian writer Salman Rushdie, he said that "free speech is at stake."
Reporters were not allowed to listen to his lecture. Outside, protesters chanted "He's just a liar &emdash; Holocaust denier."
"He should be executed just like the people he denies were executed," said Portland resident Jay Svensson, 20, who described himself as a "working-class skinhead."
Abby Layton of the Coalition for Human Dignity called the demonstration a success. "David Irving came here with his tall between his legs," she said.

October 11, 1994

Reader’s Letter published in
The Oregonian, October 27,1994

Coalition against Irving undignified

To the Editor: I attended David Irving's speech at the Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church. I was appalled - not by Irving's speech, which I found intriguing, but by the conduct of members of the Coalition for Human Dignity.

Not only was Irving spat at, but the people who attended were yelled at, called names, threatened with physical harm and, yes, even threatened with death.

The last time I checked the dictionary for the definition of dignity it stated that dignity is the state or quality of being excellent, worthy or honorable. The Coalition for Human Dignity displayed none of these qualities.



It is instructive to see the extent to which the local newspaper reporters, while reporting faithfully what they see with their own eyes, also uncriticically adopt the Coalition for Human Dignity's press-release evaluations of the various organisations involved ("neo-Nazi"), no doubt to spice up the story. For the use made by the ADL-funded Nizkor Website of this press story, see the Cesspit.

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