David Irving: Unrepentant ... Smears Jews

Historians in the News

Unshaven, unrepentant and unbowed since he was sentenced on Monday to three years for denying the Holocaust, 67-year-old Irving said American Jews - like those in Nazi Germany of the 30's - held "disproportionate power" in business, media and the entertainment industry.

"They are a very clever people disproportionately represented with extreme opinions and in 20 to 30 years the problems they faced in Nazi Germany will face them in America, I sincerely believe this," said Irving, speaking shortly after breakfasting on bread and black tea in his cell at the Josefstadt Prison in central Vienna.

"They expect special treatment. And special treatment, as we have seen, leads to Sonderbehandlung."

Here Irving used the German word of the cold Nazi bureaucracy - "special handling" being the rounding up, transportation and extermination of 6-million European Jews during World War 2.

'I know why I am not liked. I know why I am hated. I know what I could instantly do to be liked'
He went on: "Freedom of speech is the right to say things that others object to.

"The freedom of speech is also the right to be wrong. That has been taken away from me.

"They, the Jews, do not like it that they were partially to blame for what happened to them.

"I know why I am not liked. I know why I am hated. I know what I could instantly do to be liked. But Jews have not been liked for 3 000 years. I know this. It is a fault in our human microchip but there it is.

"Some years ago I told the author of Hitler's Willing Executioners Daniel Goldhagen that if I was a Jew in an anti-tank ditch about to be shot, my question would not be who was pulling the trigger, but why? I think it is the question of the millennium."

'My cell has a very small desk but at least there is no graffiti on the walls'
Irving claims he had a flight "paid for by the BBC" ready to whisk him to London to appear on the flagship Newsnight programme if he had walked free from Vienna State Court on Monday.

Instead, he was sentenced for speeches he made to right-wing student groups in Austria nearly 17 years ago in which he made statements that the gas chambers at Auschwitz didn't exist and that Hitler extended a "protective hand" towards the Jews.

He denies that he switched decades-long held views about the Nazi extermination programme only to save his skin.

"My position has been clear since then, I accept the existence of gas chambers and that millions died," he said.

But Irving is incapable of any seismic shift away from a regime he clearly worships and defends its leader Hitler with vigour, saying underlings organised the killings at death camps across Eastern Europe and in mass shootings in Russia.

"I think he was actually a weak leader who allowed those under him to do this.

"I am not the only historian who has defended Hitler - AJP Taylor also did."

He also said it was "not lost" on him that he is incarcerated for offending one religion when people who draw cartoons of the prophet Mohammed that inflame the Islamic world are still at liberty.

Irving didn't know that on the same day that his lawyer Elmar Kresbach applied for an appeal against his conviction and sentence, the prosecutor in the case had submitted a motion to the Austrian Supreme Court seeking to have his period of imprisonment increased, possibly up to 10 years.

"That doesn't surprise me though," he said. "I am a political prisoner. My lawyer actually said to me: 'You know you are a real martyr now.'

"Austria is caught in a political vice. I find it ironic that the arrest warrant against me was on November 8 1989, the day that the Berlin Wall was coming down and here in Austria new walls against freedom of speech were going up." ...
Read entire article at The Star (South Africa)

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