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Thursday 3 February 2000



Irving 'sang racist poem to daughter in her pram'

By Sandra Laville


IrvingDavid Irving: recorded the 'racist' poem in his diary DAVID IRVING, the historian, was accused in the High Court yesterday of being a perverted racist who taught his daughter a "poisonous" poem about children of other races. The verse, which he wrote in a personal diary, was labelled a "racist ditty" by the defence QC, who said Mr Irving sang it to his nine-month-old daughter when "half-breed" children were wheeled by in prams.

Richard Rampton, defending Deborah Lipstadt, an American academic, and Penguin Books, produced the entry from September 1994, as he cross-examined Mr Irving.

The verse read: I am a Baby Aryan / Not Jewish or Sectarian / I have no plans to marry an / Ape or Rastafarian.

In an increasingly heated exchange Mr Rampton asked: "Racist, Mr Irving? Anti-Semitic, Mr Irving?"

Mr Irving replied: "I don't think so."

Mr Rampton: "Teaching your little child this kind of poison?"

Mr Irving: "Do you think a nine-month-old can understand?"

To laughter in the courtroom, Mr Rampton said that when he was six months old the only kind of ditty he sang was "pussy's in the apple tree until she thinks it's time for tea".

"The poor little child is being taught a racist ditty by her perverted racist father," he said.

Mr Irving replied: "I am not a racist."

The historian and author of Hitler's War is suing Prof Lipstadt and Penguin Books for libel over a claim in her book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, that he is a "Holocaust denier" who falsified history. The defendants deny libel.

Mr Irving, 62, who is representing himself, told the court that he had employed "coloured people and ethnic minorities" and that Mr Rampton's legal team did not employ "one such person". But Mr Justice Gray, who is hearing the trial without a jury, told Mr Irving the comment was "not helpful".

Mr Rampton went on to refer to speeches made by Mr Irving.

In September 1992, he told his audience:

"For a transitional period I'd be prepared to accept that the BBC should have a dinner-jacketed gentleman reading the important news to us, followed by a lady reading all the less important news, followed by Trevor McDonald giving us all the latest news about the muggings and the drug busts . . ."

"Are you not appalled by that?" Mr Rampton said.

"Not in the least," replied Mr Irving.

Addressing a meeting of the National Alliance, a Right-wing organisation in America in October 1995, Mr Irving referred to the "legend" of the Holocaust, the court heard.

Asked why he had told the audience he found the Holocaust "boring", Mr Irving said: "What other explanation is there for the fact that it's all they [Jews] go on about now."

Referring to his suggestion that a survivor may have faked her Auschwitz tattoo, Mr Irving said his comments were not anti-Semitic but were critical of those Jewish survivors who turned "their suffering into profit". The case continues.


Suggestion: Did this journalist accurately reflect the day's proceedings? Check the day's transcript and then...

Thursday, February 3, 2000
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