David Irving v Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt/IX
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IX. JUSTIFICATION: THE ALLEGATION THAT IRVING IS AN ANTI-SEMITE AND A RACIST
Relevance of the allegation
9.1 No allegation of racism or of anti-semitism is levelled against Irving by Lipstadt in Denying the Holocaust. Nonetheless the Defendants maintained that they were entitled to adduce evidence in support of such allegations against Irving because, if true, they support the case that Irving has been guilty of deliberately falsifying the historical record for racist reasons of his own. The Defendants pose the question: what more would an anti-semite want to do than to manipulate and distort history in order to exculpate Hitler, the arch anti-semite? what more would an anti-semite want to do than to deny the existence of the Holocaust in which countless Jews perished. The Defendants, whilst not accepting that it is necessary for their plea of justification to succeed, attempt to make good the claim that Irving’s alleged racism and anti-semitism (which is one aspect of racism) provide a motive for his falsification of the historical record.
9.2 Irving did not object to the admission of this body of evidence. Nor did he mount any argument that it should be ignored.
9.3 The Defendants also accused Irving of misogyny. But that appears to me to have nothing to do with the issues which I have to decide.
The material relied on by the Defendants
9.4 As is clear from section VIII above Irving, in addition to writing history, regularly gives talks and interviews in the UK and elsewhere. For many years Irving has kept a detailed diary. Irving has, with some understandable reluctance, disclosed in this action a large number of diary entries. In this action the Defendants rely on a number of Irving’s talks and interviews, as well as upon certain diary entries, as demonstrating by their tone and content that he is an anti-semite and a racist. They define anti-semitism to mean theory, action or practice directed against the Jews and racism as a belief in the superiority of a particular race leading to prejudice and antagonism towards people of other races, especially those in close proximity who might be felt as a threat to one’s cultural and racial integrity or economic well-being.
9.5 The extracts relied on by the Defendants in support of their claim that Irving is anti-semitic are as follows (I set them out a greater length that I might otherwise have done, so as to avoid the risk of quoting out of context):
(i) Speech at Bayerische Hof, Milton, Ontario, 5 October 1991, (p. 15).
‘And gradually the word is getting around Germany. Two years there from now too, the German historians will accept that we’re right. They will accept that for fifty years they have believed a lie. And then there will come about a result, not only in Germany but around the world, which I deeply regret and abhor. There will be an immense tidal wave of anti-semitism. It is an inevitable result. And when people point an accusing finger at me and say, “David Irving you are creating anti-semitism,” I have to say it is not the man who speaks the truth who creates the anti-semitism, it’s the man who invented the lie of the legend in the first place.’ [Applause]
(ii) ‘Cover Story’ (Australian television) Sunday 4 March 1997, (p. 7).
PRESENTER: At times in your speech to these groups you speak at, you ask if the Jews have ever looked at themselves.
PRESENTER: To find a reason for the pogroms and the presentation and the extermination. In other words you’re asking “did they bring it on themselves?”
PRESENTER: Thereby excusing the Germans, the Nazis.
IRVING: Why… well, let us ask that simple question, why does it always happen to the Jews?
PRESENTER: But isn’t that an ugly, racist sentiment?
IRVING: It is an ugly, of course it’s an ugly, racist sentiment, of course it is, you’re absolutely right but we can’t just say therefore lets not discuss it, therefore lets not open that can of worms in case we find something inside there which we’re not going to like looking at.
(iii) Oakland, California, 10 September 1996, (pp14-15).
‘And in Baton Rouge, Louisiana two years ago this half of the audience was entirely made up of Jewish hecklers who had decided to disrupt the meeting, not from outside but to come in, infiltrate the audience and as soon as I began speaking they began barracking and harassing much to the anger of the rest of the audience who wanted to hear what I had to say. And eventually I said to the ringleader, who came from North London, that anecdote, I know why I’m not liked. And I said to him “you people aren’t liked either. But you’re not liked on a global scale, on a Millennium scale. You haven’t been liked for thousands of years and you don’t ask yourselves the question why. Maybe there’s no answer, I don’t know. You’re not just disliked in the way that I’m disliked, that you get bad reviews in newspapers. You’re disliked in the way that people put you into concentration camps and line you up at the edge of tank pits and machine gun you into them. You’re victims of pogroms and you’re harassed and hounded and made to move from country to country to country and you never ask yourselves “Why us? Is it something we are doing. Is it a perception that people have of us that makes us unpopular?” I don’t, I have to say at this point in the meeting that I don’t know the answer and I cannot offer you an answer. But there must be some reason and if you want to prevent Holocausts, really this is the question that has to be answered, not just the question of what happened by why it happened. Why one nation can turn on its Jews or on its gypsies or on some other little faction who they can identify as a scapegoat and ruthlessly and inhumanely dispose of them. And there is something of the answer in Dr Goebbels’ diaries.’
(iv) Interview for ‘This Week’, 28 November 1991, (pp. 7-8).
INTERVIEWER: When one reads your speeches, one had the impression that Churchill was paid by the Jews, that the Jews dragged Britain into the war, that many of the Communist regimes have been dominated by Jews subsequently, and that a great deal of control over the world is exercised by Jews.
IRVING: Right, these are four separate facts, to each of which I would be willing to put my signature. They are four separate and unrelated facts. When you string them together like that, you might be entitled then to say: “Question five, David Irving, are you therefore an antisemite?” This may well have been –
INTERVIEWER: No, this wasn’t my question.
IRVING: But the answer is this, these are in fact four separate facts which happen to be true, in my considered opinion as a historian. And I think we can find the historical evidence for it.
(v) Speech at the Bayerische Hof, Milton, Ontario, 5 October 1991, (p 17, p 18, p 21).
‘Or there is a one-man gas chamber. This causes a lot of hilarity, I can’t help it, it may sound tasteless, but it is in the eye-witness account which nobody now quotes because of course they don’t fit in with the streamline Robert Mitchum War and Remembrance version of Auschwitz. Well, there was the one-man gas chamber where you had the two German soldiers carrying a one man gas chamber around the Polish countryside looking for anybody who had escaped. Now there appear to be hundreds of thousands who’ve escaped but they were looking for individuals at that time. And all I can say is if I’m a, an Auschwitz inmate who is fortunate enough to have escaped which was undoubtedly a very brutal slave labour camp and I’m standing around in the countryside and suddenly a one-man gas chamber turns up next to me, I’m going to be queasy. I’m going to be a bit uneasy about this. So, how do they get me to step inside? Well, the answer is it’s disguised as a telephone box, this one-man gas chamber…if I’m a, one man who’s escaped from Auschwitz and, a harrowing experience, and I’m standing around in the Polish countryside and suddenly a telephone box appears where there wasn’t one a few minutes ago and two German soldiers are standing around looking like nothing, nothing is going to get me inside that phone box. The eye-witnesses say that they got you to get inside by having the phone inside ringing. [Laughter]. Ludicrous. I’m reminded of the old Russian proverb which has recently been quoted again by Julian Barnes in a novel called Talking it Over. The old Russian proverb “He lied like an eye-witness.” [Applause]’ (pp 17-18).
‘Ridicule alone isn’t enough, you’ve got to be tasteless about it. You’ve got to say things like more women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. [Applause] Now you think that’s tasteless, what about this? I’m forming an association especially dedicated to all these liars, the ones who try and kid people that they were in these concentration camps, it’s called the Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the Holocaust and other liars, A-S-S-H-O-L-E-S. Can’t get more tasteless than that, but you’ve got to be tasteless because these people deserve our contempt’ (p 18).
‘As he [Michael Milken] went to prison little tears rolled down his cheek and he pleaded not to be sent to prison and his beautiful, coiffured wife was aghast that her husband should be maltreated in this way. Thousands of people have suffered because of Michael Milken. But none of the newspapers dare be too harsh on him because of course his people have suffered so much this century, haven’t they? [Laughter]
And that’s what it is all about. The big lie is designed not only to distract attention from even bigger crimes than what the Nazis did, the big lie is designed to justify, both in arrears and in advance, the bigger crimes in the financial world and elsewhere that are being committed by the survivors of the Holocaust’ (p 21).
(vi) ‘The Search for Truth in History –Banned!’ 1993, (15, pp. 26-27).
‘So Mr Goldman, who is found in a camp somewhere in Bavaria is put aboard a truck with his family and shipped across to the Middle East to Palestine where he is given a new life and a new identity, an Israeli identity, with a Hebrew name. Mr Goldman has vanished and the Hebrew gentleman in the Middle East then starts drawing compensation because Mr Goldman has vanished. This is the irony which a lot of Germans are now beginning to worry about, and it has been going on for now for 50 years and you begin to suspect why the West German government for all these years has made it a criminal offence even to challenge and to question what has been going on. As the Chief Rabbi of Britain, Lord Jacobowitz, said it became “big business” and it did no credit to the Jews as a whole because I know thousands of Jews, my publisher was a Jew, my Lawyer’s a Jew, they are all perfectly ordinary, decent respectable people when you know them and those who you speak to thoroughly abhor what has been going on.’
(vii) Speech in Tampa, Florida, 6 October 1995, (p 16-19).
‘When I get into Australia I know what is going to happen, the media will be there, they will trot out their own homebred survivors. Every town has a survivor. In Florida, I understand that every school now has its visiting survivor, who comes to inflict the nameless horrors on these eight-year-old toddlers, telling them what happened to them at the hands of the Germans. In Australia there are professional survivors, a woman called Mrs Altman who will roll up her sleeve and show the tattoo to prove that, yes, she was in Auschwitz. Of course already we sceptics have caused problems because when I spoke in Cincinnati, my host, his wife, she was a school teacher and she said you know Mr Irving we’ve got a bit of a problem because we now have to teach the Holocaust - the same as you do in Florida - it is part of the school curriculum. You have to teach the Holocaust and last week we had a Holocaust survivor who came and lectured to the children, she was an old woman and she lectured to these eight year old children in my class and several other teachers came along to listen and one of the eight year old children, a girl piped up at the end of the lecture and said “How did you survive then? How did you survive?” Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings come these questions and this woman, this survivor said, “I managed to make a hole in the back of the gas chamber and escape”. [Laughing] And my friend said “we teachers, we looked at each other and we didn’t dare say anything. But the trouble is that the children believed it”. This is the basic problem. And that’s how it’s going to be with Mrs Altman. I was saying Mrs Altman, you have your tattoo this is an interesting thing to show everyone, but we have a basic problem here, you are a survivor. I used to think that the world was full of a thousand survivors. I was wrong. It is full of hundreds of thousands of survivors of the Holocaust if not, in fact, millions by now. The numbers of survivors seems to grow these passing years, it defies all laws of natural deceased and all laws, now the number of survivors is growing. And I said isn’t the existence of so many survivors in itself an indicator, something doesn’t, it doesn’t fit. If the Nazis had this dedicated programme to exterminate the Jews, how come so many of you have survived, were the Nazis sloppy or what? They let you out, they let you escape?” It’s a basic question. And she’ll get very indignant and talk about her honour and her integrity and how she suffered and I’ll say “Mrs Altman, you have suffered undoubtedly, and I’m sure that life in a Nazi concentration camp, where you say you were, and I’m prepared to accept that, we have no reason to disbelieve you, was probably not very nice.” And life in Dresden probably wasn’t very nice, and probably life in Pforzheim wasn’t very nice. “But tell me one thing”, and this is why I’m going to get tasteless with her, because you’ve got to get tasteless, “Mrs Altman, how much money have you made out of that tattoo since 1945? [Laughter] How much money have you coined for that bit of ink on your arm, which may indeed be real tattooed ink? And I’ll say this, “half a million dollars, three quarters of a million for you alone.” It must be in that order of magnitude because think of the billions of dollars that have been sent that way, billions. You American taxpayers are happily, indeed joyously, giving to the State of Israel 3 billion dollars a year, if not 4 by now. The German government is adding another 1 billion dollars a year in compensation. $5 billion go to be spent on people like Mrs Altman with their tattoo. Divide that up amongst all the survivors and it’s a very sizeable annual income that they are getting. And I’ll say - I’m in front of the television, “Mrs Altman there must be a million Australians sitting there thinking to themselves ‘why is it that they have got all the compensation and yet our troops who suffered in the Japanese camps and building the Burma railway and the people who died in the air raids cities and the rest of it didn’t get one bent nickel by way of compensation?’ How is it always these people who get compensation and not the others?” She won’t have any answer for that I’m sure. And what these people don’t understand, by way of conclusion, is that they are generating anti-semitism by their behaviour, and they can’t understand it. They wonder where the anti-semitism comes from, and it comes from themselves, from their behaviour. We don’t promote anti-semitism, we’ve got no reason whatsoever to promote anti-semitism. I find the whole Holocaust story utterly boring. It goes on and on and on and they keep on going on about the Holocaust because it’s the only interesting thing that’s happened to them in the last 3000 years. [Laughter]
We have no reason to promote anti-semitism, it’s not in our interest one way or the other, but they are doing it. I don’t know why. Whether it’s because they want to be the centre of attention or what. To an audience in Louisiana, I spoke in Freeport, Louisiana about 6 months ago, and to my embarrassment half the audience turned out to be with the local Jewish community. They’d come along to cause trouble, the rest was normal, but half the audience was this Jewish community with their Jewish community leaders and they showed their true colours after I had begun to speak. And after they had interrupted and behaved in a thoroughly obnoxious manner, for about half an hour while the rest of the audience grew increasingly impatient with their behaviour. I interrupted the flow of my own lecture, and I said to their ringleader, who I recognised by his accent, which came from a particular suburb of London called Colindale or Cricklewood, we English can tell from their accent, from somebody’s what class they are, what family they come from and also what particular suburb of London they come from. I said “Do you come from Colindale or Cricklewood?” and he said “Why do you say that?” and I said “Well I can tell by the way you’re shrieking at me, but do you mind if I say this, I am disliked, I know I’m disliked, I know I’m disliked because the Newspapers say I’m disliked. […] And is it the historian’s job to be liked? Obviously it isn’t. An historian’s job is to find out what happened and why. But I said to this man from Colindale, leader of the Jewish community in Louisiana, I said “I’m disliked and I know why. I look in the mirror when I shave in the morning and I think ‘You’re disliked, you could alter it overnight, but you don’t, it’s your own fault, everything that’s happening to you’ You were disliked, you people. You have been disliked for 3000 years. You have been disliked so much that you have been hounded from country to country from pogrom to purge, from purge back to pogrom. And yet you never ask yourselves why you are disliked, that’s the difference between you and me. It would never occur to you to look in the mirror and say ‘why am I disliked, what is it the rest of humanity doesn’t like about the Jewish people, to such an extent that they repeatedly put us through the grinder?’” And he went berserk, he said, “are you trying to say that we are responsible for Auschwitz, ourselves?” and I said, “well the short answer is ‘yes’. The short answer I have to say is yes”. I mean he really got my gander up. “The short answer is yes, but that’s the short answer obviously between your question and my answer, yes, there are several intervening stages but that is it. If you had behaved differently over the intervening 3000 years the Germans would have gone about their business and not have found it necessary to go around doing whatever they did to you. Nor would the Russians, nor the Ukrainians, nor the Lithuanians, Estonians, Latvians and all the other countries where you’ve had a rough time. So why haven’t you ever asked yourself that question?” It’s an interesting point, but they don’t, they go round the other way and they make life unbearable for those who try to analyse whatever happened, whatever it was.’
(viii) Speech at the Latvian Hall, Toronto, 8 November 1990, (p 15).
[Following an exhortation to “Sink the Auschwitz”] ‘I should have warned you that I’m going to be very tasteless this evening, but it gets far more tasteless than this. [Laughter] Why should we be considerate about people who have lied to hundreds of millions of people for forty five years?’
(ix) Speech at the Latvian Hall, Toronto, 8 November 1990, (pp 17-18)
Suddenly a lot of people aren’t claiming to be Auschwitz survivors any more. Elie Wiesel, for one, for example, he has always been uncertain whether it was Auschwitz he had been in, or Dachau, or Buchenwald. [Laughter]
Well, I say that, because there’s a photograph, a photograph, in which he identifies himself as being a prisoner in a photograph of various prisoners in a bunk-house in a barracks in the concentration camp in Buchenwald, and he said, “Yes, that’s me”. But it turns out that photograph was in Auschwitz and he says, “Ohh, yes, I meant Auschwitz.” I mean, what can we do about these people? And poor Mr Wiesel, I mean, it’s terribly bad luck to be called ‘Weasel’ but that’s no excuse [Laughter] I mean, these people do have a bad time, they had a very, very hard time and I do want to speak a few words of sympathy for them, like, I mean, like on Halloween’s Night, for example, or say Saint Weisenthal’s Night, as we call it in London. So they have had a very, very bad time and it going to get tougher now that people are going to challenge them as to whether they really were in Auschwitz or not, because we now know exactly who was and who wasn’t. And they have gone to immense troubles, ladies and gentlemen, even the ones who’ve got tattoo marks on their arms. Because the experts could look at the tattoo and say, “Ohh, yes, One Hundred and Eighty One Thousand, Two Hundred and Nineteen, that means you entered Auschwitz in March 1943.” So, if you want to go and have a tattoo put on your arm, which a lot of them do, I’m afraid to say, and claim subsequently that you were in Auschwitz, you’ve go to make sure, ‘A’ that it fits in with the month you said you went to Auschwitz, and ‘B’ that it’s not a number that anybody’s used before. So there are actual, kind of, trainspotter guides of numbers that have been used already. And the whole of that hoax is now going to collapse because the Russians have released the index cards.’
(x) Speech at the Bayerische Hof, Milton, Ontario, 5 October 1991, (p 17).
‘There’s an arrest warrant because when I was in Austria I was tasteless enough to say, that to my mind as an historian and as a neutral observer, these eyewitness accounts are an interesting subject matter for psychiatry to have a look at. And I mean that seriously. People have to explain why people genuinely believe they experienced or seen something years after the event simply when there’s money involved and they can get a good compensation cash payment out of it.’
(xi) ‘Wiesenthalers Zap Jap “Crap”’, Irving’s Action Report, number 9, May 1995, (p 11), (p 51).
[A Japanese magazine published an article on the Holocaust under the title ‘The Greatest Taboo of Postwar History: There Were No Nazi Gas Chambers’. Irving described that the magazine was ordered to close by the Japanese government when] ‘the international Jewish community wagged its bejewelled finger’.
(xii) Speech at Bow Town Hall, London, 29 May 1992, (p 16).
‘…and I never used to believe in the existence of an International Jewish Conspiracy and I am not even sure even now if there is an International Jewish Conspiracy all I know is that people are conspiring internationally against me, and they do turn out mostly to be [unintelligible]. [Applause].’
(xiii) ‘Will John Demjanjuk now Sue his Tormentors?’, Irving’s Action Report, number 9, May 1995, p. 10 (p 50).
On the acquittal of John Demjanjuk in June 1993] ‘The world will not easily forget how… [he] was detained in custody by his enemies for two more weeks while they thumbed through their sweaty manuals looking for some way to crush him that they might have overlooked; nor how when they failed again, these Shylocks, cheated of their prey, frogmarched him to his plane home to freedom, still in handcuffs – like a convicted criminal.’
(xiv) Videocassette 210, ‘David Irving: “Ich komme wieder”, ca. 1994’, 26m 56s-26m 81s.
[After the loss of his contract with the Sunday Times to serialise the Goebbels diaries he described a demonstration against him involving] ‘The whole rabble, all the scum of humanity stand outside. The homosexuals, the gypsies, the lesbians, the Jews, the criminals, the communists, the left-wing extremists, the whole commune stands there and has to be held back behind steel barricades for two days.’
(xv) Diary entry, 23 March 1996, (p 54).
‘I was toying with the idea of blaming the Publishers Weekly piece on Mad Jew Disease, but this might go too far. These people have no sense of humour whatsoever, these people. The slightest drop of rain falls on their butterfly-wings and they crumple into tears.’
(xvi) ‘Gold Rush!’Diary’, Irving’s Action Report, number 11, 18 December 1996, p. 2 (p 56).
‘But we cannot help marvelling at the skill with which the world’s media have trod the delicate path – reporting at length on these claims without seeming simultaneously to confirm every antisemite’s distorted view of “the Jews” as people who swiftly amass huge fortunes while residing in the countries of their choice and then furtively squirrel away their ill-gotten fortunes in secret numbered bank accounts in far-away countries to avoid taxation and the other lawful burdens imposed on their host peoples.’
(xvii) ‘Going for Gold: Opinion’, Action Report, number 12, 15 August 1997, p 2, (p 57).
‘What is remarkable is that this community have considered it worth taking such a long term risk [with their claims against Swiss banks], possibly even sowing the seeds of future Holocausts in the name of a short term gain in Gold: all the elements of antisemitic stereotype are there. The cosmopolitan, rootless, millionaire bereft of any local patriotism; flinging his (in popular perception, ill-gotten) gains out ahead as he escapes from the country where he has briefly rested; the demand for “unclaimed” Gold regardless of whose it is – whether wedding-rings eased off the lifeless fingers of Hamburg or Dresden air raid casualties for identification purposes, and stored by the bucket-full in the Reichsbank vaults…, or dental fillings ripped out of the bodies of gas chamber victims by S.S. dentists somehow immune to the Zyklon fumes which had dispatched the others.’
(xviii) ‘A Radical’s Diary’, Action Report, number 14, July 1998, p. 3, (p 61).
[A friend eating dinner with Irving explains that the] ‘real estate deals he is doing at the expense of heavily mortgaged property owners. (Ouch.) I comment, “Sounds like you’re out-jewing the Jews.” He laughs, and agrees.’
(xix) ‘A Radical’s Diary’, Action Report, number 15, 20 July 1999, p. 20, (p 65)
[Writing on a visit by a female friend who tells Irving about her partner, Irving wrote] ‘..who earns million-dollar bonuses each year as a broker, but, she laments, he does not have much time for her; she just gets talk about money. He squanders it like water, flies her everywhere first class, etc. (By this time I have guessed that he’s Jewish.)’
(xx) Diary entry, 10 June 1963, (p 1).
‘Arrived at office of Rubenstein-Nash. After delay, shown into office of Mr. Michael Rubenstein. Thick skinned these Jews are! Didn’t bat an eyelid as he read out excerpts from my Carnival editorial, the “National Press owned by the Jews” the “Jews hating other races claiming to be the master race…”’
(xxi) ‘Revelations from the Goebbels’ Diaries’ (JHR for Jan/Feb 1995), (p7).
[Writing about Dr. Berhard Weiss, the Berlin Deputy Police Chief, Irving wrote that he] ‘…looked so much like a Jewish caricature that his photographs didn’t need to be re-touched by the Nazis. He was stereotypically Semitic in feature: short, with rounded ears and hook nose, and wearing spectacles. In London I located Weiss’ daughter, Hilda Baban-Weiss, and pleaded with her for a more attractive photo of her father, pointing out that the ones I have are not very flattering. I got total silence from the daughter, so I abandoned my quest. Unfortunately, when my biography of Dr. Goebbels comes out we’re going to have to use these rather unattractive pictures.’
(xxii) ‘A Radical’s Diary’, Action Report, number 9, May 1995, p. 6, (p 49).
[Commenting on a supposed ‘Jewish-communist assault’ on the Dresden cemetery and memorial to the occasion of the anniversary of the allied air raids. Irving dismissed suggestions that it might have been the work of right-wingers trying to blacken ‘their opponents’ because] ‘framing your opponents is a trick used exclusively by our traditional enemy…’. ‘I doubt they do it on central instructions. Actions like these seem to be embedded into their biological microchip before birth.’
(xxiii) Clarendon Club speech, 19 September 1992, (pp 3-4).
[After hiring him to help serialise the Goebbels’ diaries, Irving claimed that Andrew Neil told him that he had never] ‘come under such immense pressure from You Know Whom; from our traditional enemies’ [including] ‘the self-appointed, ugly, greasy, perverted representatives of that community in Britain’.
(xxiv) Speech at the Bayerische Hof, Milton, Ontario, 5 October 1991, (p 27).
‘They [a British television company] telephoned me two days ago in Winnipeg to say “Mr Irving, we’ve been told by the British Minister of the Interior, the Home Office that they are going to ban Fred Leuchter setting foot in Britain at the request of the British Board of Deputies of Jews. And this is the way they work, they refuse to allow debate. They scurry and hide furtively, they’re like the cockroaches who you don’t see normally by light of day. They hide, they fear the truth, it bedazzles them, it blinds them, they can’t stand that [unintelligible]. [Applause].’
(xxv) Speech in Christchurch, New Zealand, 26 March 1986, (pp 14-15).
‘And I think, and I may be considered extremist for saying this, I think the Madagascar Solution would probably have been the most peaceful for the present world. The Jews would have been on an island about the size of Germany with a very temperate climate, interesting agriculture possibilities, far more suitable, I would have thought, than the desert they were finally settled in. And above all, like Australia, like New Zealand, like England, they would have had no neighbours, nobody who they could feel intimated by and, of course, nobody who they in turn could intimidate. What a more peaceful place the world would be today of all days.’
(xxvi) Speech in Tampa Florida, 6 October 1995, (p. 11).
‘You know we have heard repeatedly how the eyewitnesses come forward like Elie Wiesel and say, Eli Weasel I don’t know where they get these names from – every time they come up against you, these traditional enemies of the truth, they have a name like “Weasel” or in England the Director of the Board of Directors of British Jews, his name is Mark Whine, W H I N E or in New York it is something called “Weasel Keir” which means a nasty animal and I don’t know… I think if my name was “Weasel Keir” I think I would change it two or three times, in case anybody asked me what my previous name was before I changed it.[Laughter].’
(xxvii) Clarendon Club speech at Bow Town Hall, 29 May 1992, (p 17).
I got back in Toronto at half past two on this November morning, and as I drove up [uninintelligible] Street in Toronto, which is the main artery of Toronto, I pulled up at the traffic lights and glaring at me from the car next to me in the traffic lights was Simon Wiesenthal himself, his face hideously contorted by rage. I got a real shock because he looked into me through my driver’s window and there was Mr Wiesenthal, this hideous, leering, evil face glaring at me, then I realised it wasn’t Simon Wiesenthal, it was a Halloween mask. [Applause]. Now those of you who have seen Mr Wiesenthal will know what I’m talking about. Mrs Wiesenthal who has seen Mr Wiesenthal many times of course, and she says to him at Halloween “Simon please keep the mask on, you look so much nicer with it on”.’
(xxviii) Interview with Errol Morris, 8 November 1998 (pp 25-27, pp 33-34).
IRVING: [….] But, if somebody says to the Jewish community, “We think you're a liar,” suddenly the jail doors are swung open and people say “This way! Come on! You've called them a liar.” And this I think does harm to the Jewish people in the long run, because the non-Jewish people will say, “What is it about these people?” I am deeply concerned about this, and I've said this to people like Daniel Goldhagen, who I challenged to the debate at a meeting in New Orleans a few months ago. I said, “You've written a book called ‘Hitler's Willing Executioners’. You've talked to us this evening at great length about who pulled the trigger. But the question which would concern me, if I was a Jew, is not who pulled the trigger, but why? Why are we disliked? Is it something we are doing? I'm disliked. David Irving is disliked. I know that, because of the books I write. I could be instantly disliked by writing - I could become instantly liked by writing other books. You people are disliked on a global scale. You have been disliked for 3,000 years and yet you never seem to ask what is at the route of this dislike. You pretend that you're not disliked but you are disliked. No sooner do you arrive as a people in a new country then within 50 years you are already being disliked all over again. Now, what is it? And I don't know the answer to this. Is it built into our micro chip? When a people arrive who call themselves 'The Jews' you will dislike them; is there something in our micro chip? Is it in our micro chip that we don't like the way they look? Is it envy because they are more successful than us? I don't know the answer. But, if I was a Jew I would want to know what the reason is, why I'm being disliked. And not just disliked in a kind of nudge, nudge, wink, wink, he's not very nice kind of sort of way. But we are being disliked on a visceral, gut-wrenching, murderous level, that no sooner do we arrive then we are being massacred, and beaten, and brutalised and imprisoned, until we have to move on somewhere else. What's the reason?" I would want to know the answer to that, and nobody carries out an investigation about that.
INTERVIEWER: What would you say the reason is?
IRVING: Well, I'm just looking at this as an outsider. I come from Mars and I would say they're clever people. I'm a racist. I would say they're a clever race. I would say that as a race they are better at making money than I am. That's a racist remark, of course. But they appear to be better at making money than I am. If I was going to be crude, I would say not only are they better at making money, but they are greedy. I don't care about money. I don't give a hoot about money. As long as I've got enough money to pay the school fees and the grocer's bills, I don't mind. To me, money is not the most important thing. But the perception that the world has of the Jewish people is one of greed, and they contribute to that by their behaviour. They contribute to that, for example, in recent years by their behaviour over the Swiss gold business. It is a curious kind of vague clamour that has begun. We are not quite sure what the clamour is about. Is it about unclaimed bank accounts? Is it about gold that has been transferred from Nazi Germany to Switzerland? Is it about gold teeth and gold rings? Is it about insurance that they can't claim on? But suddenly the clamour is there. Fifty hears after the War, an enormous clamour is being beaten up by the New York Jewish community, by Edgar Bronfman, for example, or by the Anti-Defamation League, and here it has to be said that the number of wise Jews - you'll notice I don't include them as the “wise Jews” -the number of wise Jews, the English Jews, the Swiss Jews, for example, are expressing profound concern about the long term effects of this clamour. They're are saying, “This is just going to nourish the neo-Nazi stereotype of the Jew - grasping, gold hungry, greedy, inconsiderate, vengeful; all these anti-semitic stereotypes that the neo-Nazis have are just being nourished by this latest clamour about the Swiss gold.”’
‘Well, they have been dining on Auschwitz. Auschwitz is a big tourist site now. They have millions of visitors every year. It’s like Hitler’s mountain top retreat in Berchtesgaden. They have half a million visitors a year there too. They make money out of it. Auschwitz has become a major money-spinner, the Holocaust. I mean, it sounds distasteful to say it, but its true. There’s big money in Auschwitz, and for somebody to come along who has a reputation and a legitimacy as a historian and say “Hold it, fellahs. Make money if you want but you ought to know that it is a bit Disney-like.” The only answer is to shut him up, don’t let him anywhere near the place. He’s the last person we want here. We are all on to a very nice thing.’
9.6 The quotations which, according to the Defendants demonstrate Irving’s racism are these (again I provide the context, where appropriate):
(i) Interview for ‘Cover Story’ (Australian television) 4 March 1997 (pp 6-7).
INTERVIEWER: Are you a racist?
IRVING: Well, are you using the word racist in a, in a, in a derogatory sense? This is it you see, you want to use the word in a derogatory sense. If we look for a different word, which has the same connotations as racist without the same flavor and say, am I a patriot, yes.
INTERVIEWER: They’re not the same word at all.
IRVING: It is exactly the same word. I’m proud of being white and I’m proud of being British.
INTERVIEWER: You went to Britain to be white?
(ii) Diary entry: September 17th 1994 (Saturday).
…Jessica is turning into a fine little lady. She sits very upright on an ordinary chair – her strong back muscles a product of our regular walks in my arms to the bank, etc., I am sure. On those walks we sing the Binkety-bankety-bonk Song. There are two other poems in which she stars: My name is Baby Jessica/ I’ve got a pretty dress-ica / But now it’s in a mess-ica. And more scurrilously, when half-breed children are wheeled past:
I am a Baby Aryan Not Jewish or Sectarian I have no plans to marry-an Ape or Rastafarian
Bente is suitably shocked.
(iii) Clarendon Club speech, 19 September 1992, (pp 10-11).
‘For the last four weeks just for once I have gone away from London, where I have been sitting, down to Torquay, which is a white community. We saw perhaps one black man and one coloured family in the whole time I was down there. I am not anti-coloured, take it from me; nothing pleases me more than when I arrive at an airport, or a station, or a seaport, and I see a coloured family there – the black father, the black wife and the black children….When I see these families arriving at the airport I am happy (and when I see them leaving at London airport I am happy. [Cheers and Laughter]. But if there is one thing that gets up my nose, I must admit, it is this -- the way…the thing is when I am down in Torquay and I switch on my television and I see one of them reading our news to us. It is our news and they’re reading it to me. (If I was a chauvinist I would even say I object even to seeing women reading our news to us.) [“Hear, hear”, and Laughter]
Because basically international news is a serious thing and I yearn for the old days of Lord Reith, when the news reader on the BBC, which was the only channel in those times, wore a dinner jacket and bow tie and rose to the occasion […]For the time being, 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, following by a lady reading all the less important news, followed by Trevor Macdonald giving us all the latest news about the muggings and the drug busts – [rest lost in loud Laughter and Applause].’
(iv) Interview for the Holmes Show (New Zealand television) 4 June 1993, (pp 3-4).
INTERVIEWER:...you were quoted on, Mr Irving, you were quoted on radio in Australia yesterday saying it makes you queasy seeing black men playing cricket for England. Can you explain to us what you mean by that? IRVING: Well I think probably if you spoke to a lot of English people they’d, they’d find the same thing but not many of them are prepared to say it in public. You see there’s so much intimidation in our so-called liberal free democratic society that that people are forced to live an almost schizophrenic existence. They make statements in public which they consider to be safe but privately at the back of their heads they think differently and I say what I think. And, I’m queasy when I see, now you see I was born in England in 1938 and people will know what I’m saying now, 1938 England was a different country from the way England is now and I’m unhappy to see what we have done to England. We’ve abdicated, we’ve committed a kind of international hari kari, we’ve inflicted great misery on ourselves with coloured immigration and we’ve inflicted, let’s be frank, we’ve inflicted misery on the coloured immigrants as well. It’s a kind of 20th century slave trade. I don’t like it and I’m queasy about it and I’m frank enough to say it and no-one’s going to prevent me from speaking my mind about it.’
(v) Focal Point, 8 March 1982, (p 7).
[Setting out a speech he would have made at the Oxford Union had he not been prevented by a ‘campaign of slanders and smear’] ‘..the compulsory repatriation of Blacks from this country is never likely to command an overwhelming majority of votes. True, as both public polls and our postbag show, British citizens as a whole are in favour, but they will hesitate to vote for any policy which may attract the opprobrium of the rest of the world, or drag Britain’s name in the mud. Why not therefore adopt a Benevolent Repatriation policy […] if the introduction of a compulsory repatriation programme is likely to meet with delay, then let us start first with a Benevolent Repatriation scheme as outlined in FP, Dec. 20. The one does not preclude the other.’
(vi) Speech at Bow Town Hall, 29 May 1992, (p 3).
‘…and the journalist has said “Mr Irving, we read in today’s newspapers that you told the ABC radio that you feel queasy about the immigration disaster that’s happened to Britain. Is that your opinion?” And I said “well yes, I have to admit to being born in England in 1938, which was a totally different England, I feel queasy when I look and see what has happened to our country and nobody has stood up and objected it” and he says “well what do you think about black people on the Australian, on the British cricket team then?. How do you feel about that then, the black cricketers?” So I said “that makes me even more queasy…” and so he says right, and I say “no, hang on, it makes me feel queasy but I would like to think we’ve got white cricketers who are as good as the black ones” and he couldn’t climb out of that you see. And then he says “so what you’re advocating then is a kind of race hatred.” So I said “before I answer your questions, would you tell me what you believe in, as a journalist, an Australian journalist. Do you believe in mixing up all god’s races into one super, kind of mixed up race. Are you in favour of racial inter-marriage and racial mixing and he said “well I believe in multiculturalism”, of course that’s the buzzword, it will come here sooner or later.’
(vii) Diary entry, 10 November, 1987 (p 19).
‘God works in mysterious ways, but here, we agree, he appears to be working [unreadable word] towards a Final Solution, which may cruelly wipe out not only Blacks and homosexuals but a large part of the drug addicts and sexually promiscuous and indiscriminate heterosexual population as well…. “The only weapon against AIDS,” I suggest, “is an aspirin: clenched firmly between the knees at all times.”
(viii) From Mr Irving’s web-site: From a speech to the Clarendon Club, 1990 ‘We Have Lost Our Sense of Destiny’ – David Irving.
‘…THUS WE FOLLOW this tangled thread. At the end of the war, in 1945, the British empire was at its greatest ever extent in history. Our armies straddled the globe. We were beginning to get back the territories we had lost in the Far East through Churchill’s foolish military and naval strategy. And suddenly the empire went. Groping around in the darkness, we look for the Guilty Men. Partly I think we must blame sins of omission. If we look back from where Britain is now, with just a handful of people of true English, Irish, Scots and Welsh stock – apprehensive, furtively meeting in dinners like this, exchanging our own shared sensations and sorrows – then we can see where some of the worst errors have been made. In 1958, for example we find Lord Hailsham saying at a Cabinet meeting: “I don’t think this Coloured Immigration is going to be much of a problem in Britain. We only have 100,000 of these immigrants so far, and I don’t think the numbers are likely to grow much beyond that! So on chance I am against having any restrictions imposed.” Traitor No. 1 to the British cause. (I should like to think there is somebody, somewhere, doing what Gilbert and Sullivan would have had the Mikado do: which is, making up a “little list” of names of people…) Even if we all pull together, jointly and severally for the next ten, twenty or thirty years, and manage to put the clock back, say, half an hour of its time, the really Guilty People will have passed on, commemorated only by the bronze plaques and the statues and the memorials scattered around our capital. We can go around and efface those monuments; but it is going to be a damn sight harder to put Britain back where it was. I don’t think Mrs. Thatcher or her like are going to be the people to do it. Even less do I think the Socialist Party are going to be the people to do it. Nothing makes me shudder more than two or three months, working on a new manuscript, and I arrive back at Heathrow Airport – where of course, my passport is checked by a Pakistani immigration officer (Laughter). Isn’t that a humiliation for us English? (Applause) – and I go outside the Terminal building and there is the Evening Standard placard saying “Kinnock in Fresh Wedgwood Benn Row”. This I think is about the lowest point in one’s human emotions: “Kinnock in Fresh Wedgwood Benn Row.” Britain’s destiny, in the hands of people whose minds are so small that they could pass effortlessly through the eye of a needle. (Applause).’
9.7 The Defendants allege that in the extracts quoted at paragraph 9.5 above Irving variously blames the Jews for the existence of anti-semitism; seeks to pin the responsibility for their misfortunes (including the Holocaust) on the Jews themselves; mocks the Holocaust survivors and accuses them of seeking to make money out of their experiences and the tattoos on their arms; characterises Jews individually and generically in offensive and insulting terms; portray Jews as greedy, conspiratorial and “traditional enemies of the truth”. Evans regarded Irving’s claim of the existence of an international Jewish conspiracy to be a central element of one of the most extreme forms of anti-semitism.
Irving’s denial that he is anti-semitic or a racist
9.8 Irving firmly denied the charge that he is an anti-semite or a racist, adding that the Court should in any case concentrate on his historical writings rather than on his speeches and entries in his private diary. Irving pointed out that he has disclosed millions of words from his diaries to the Defendants, who have made tendentious and unrepresentative use of them in order to vilify him as anti-semitic and racist.
9.9 In regard to his attitude towards Jews, Irving asserted that there is no reason why the Jews should be immune from criticism, but that is not to be equated with anti-semitism. It is not anti-semitic to make a statement hostile to Jews if the statement is justified.
9.10 In the course of the trial I acceded to a request by Irving to listen to a video, about one hour in length, of a speech delivered by him fluently and without notes to an audience in Tampa, Florida in October 1995. (The text of part of that speech is set out at (vii) in paragraph 9.5 above).The purpose, as I understood, was that in that speech Irving deployed his argument as to the reason for the existence of anti-semitism. He said that, if the argument is properly understood, it demonstrates that he is not anti-semitic. I hope I do not over-simplify the argument if I summarise it in this way: Jews have been hated for 3000 years. They are hated wherever they go. Instead of pointing the finger at those are anti-semtic, they should ask themselves why they are anti-semitic; why do they persistently attract an anti-semitic reaction. The answer is that they provoke the anti-semitism by their own actions. Irving cited examples, including claims for huge compensation from the Germans for the Holocaust and dishonesty on the part of Jewish financiers. The Jews have brought the anti-semitism on themselves by their own conduct and attitudes. Irving argued that in this speech he was explaining anti-semitism and not justifying it. That was what he claimed he meant when he answered in the affirmative the question asked of him at the meeting in Tampa: “Are you trying to suggest that [the Jews] are responsible for Auschwitz [themselves]?”
9.11 Irving agreed that he had criticised individuals Jews, including on sevral occasions survivors of the Holocaust or those claiming to be survivors. But, he explained, the criticism was not anti-semitic. Thus the rhetorical question which Irving asked Mrs Altman, the woman with an Auschwitz tattoo on her arm, how much money have you made out of that tattoo since 1945, was indeed a criticism of Mrs Altman but there was nothing anti-semitic about it.
9.12 When asked by Mr Rampton in cross-examination what was the origin of the anecdote included in his speech in Milton, Ontario 1991 about the portable telephone box supposedly used to gas Jewish escapees from Auschwitz, Irving replied that it derived from an account by an Auschwitz survivor. He was, however, unable to recall who the witness was or when he heard about it. He accepted that the claim that the Jews were lured to enter the box by the telephone bell ringing was an “embellishment”. Irving explained that he wanted to capture the attention of his audience. He justified his use of this “ludicrous” story by saying that it illustrates the problem with eye-witness evidence about the death camps, namely that such witnesses convince themselves of the truth of manifestly incredible events. He was unable to explain why the audience found the story so funny. He repudiated the suggestion that he was feeding the anti-semitism of his audience instead of discussing the eye-witness evidence as a serious historian would do. Irving argued that he was not talking about Jews in that part of his speech.
9.13 Irving defended his comment in the same speech that more people died in the back seat of Edward Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick than died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. He claimed that in his speech he had in fact referred to the gas chambers of Auschwitz “which are shown to the tourists”, that is, the gas chambers which were reconstructed after the war. He claimed he always added those words. Irving explained that the applause from the audience had drowned those last words of the sentence. But, when the video was played, it was apparent, as Irving had to accept, that he had not added the words “which are shown to the tourists”. Irving had to accept also that he has on other occasions, for example at Moers in Canada in 1990, claimed that the extermination camps not only at Auschwitz but also elsewhere are “dummies”.
9.14 Irving agreed that on occasion he has been provoked into making insulting remarks about Jews. His remark, set out at (xiv) in paragraph 9.5 above, in which he made reference to the sum of humanities including homosexuals, gypsies, homosexuals and Jews, was made in circumstances of extreme pressure when his home was being besieged by rioters who, according to Irving, included members of all those groups. He was describing, literally, those whom he could see on the other side of the barricades. Similarly his adverse characterisation of Simon Wiesenthal was not because he is a Jew but because he is ugly.
9.15 Irving explained that the object of his reference to the “Association of spurious survivors of Auschwitz” was to mock the so-called eye-witnesses who tell lies about what happened to them. His reference to their needing psychiatric treatment while admittedly tasteless was of drawing attention to the problem that these witnesses are deluding themselves about their experiences. Irving claimed that the reference was greeted by renewed applause from the audience because he is a good speaker and not because the audience was composed of like minded anti-semites and neo-Nazis.
9.16 Irving denied he adopts or promotes a stereotype of the ugly, greedy Jew. Rather he employs that stereotype to explore how it came into existence and to give a warning to Jews against taking actions that may reinforce it. When asked about his statement, that the perception the world has of the Jewish people is one of greed to which they contribute by their behaviour, Irving replied that he was investigating the reasons why people become anti-semitic. He was just putting himself into the skin of an anti-semite. Irving defended his derogatory references to the physical appearance and names of a number of Jews as making fun of them.
9.17 As I have already recorded in section III above, Irving believes that self-appointed leaders of the Jewish community are persecuting him by suppressing his freedom of speech and seeking to abrogate his right to travel around the world. They are amongst “the tradition enemies of the truth”. That being so, Irving argued that he has every right to criticise them for doing so without attracting the label of anti-semitism. Irving defends his reference to members of the Board of Deputies of British Jews as “cockroaches” because he regards them as being responsible for an attempt to destroy his professional career and family by persuading his American publisher not to publish his books. When challenged to produce his evidence for that accusation, Irving produced the minute of a meeting (which post-dated his reference to “cockroaches”) in which the representatives of the Board who were present agreed not to take any action.
9.18 Denying the accusation that he is a racist, Irving said that he has in the past employed several members of the ethnic minorities. He produced photographs to prove it.
9.19 Irving explained that the ditty which he composed for his daughter, set out at (ii) in paragraph 9.6 above was his angry response to an article which had appeared in a magazine, which had put a sneering and offensive caption beneath a photograph of himself and his daughter. It was not intended to be racist. He said the same of the entry in his diary which refers to God moving in a mysterious way towards a Final Solution wiping all the blacks, homosexuals and others in Africa through an AIDS epidemic, which is at (vii) in paragraph 9.6 above. Irving explained that he is a religious man and was musing about the strange way in which God works. He was not approving the spread of AIDS.
9.20 Irving stated that he does condemn as traitors those politicians who condoned the immigration into this country on a large scale of black people in the 1950s and 60s. He admits to chauvinism. He was joking when he told members of the Clarendon Club that he was glad to see coloured families arrive at London airport and glad to see them go. This was part of a standard speech which he gives for debating purposes. He denies that he is anti-coloured or a racist. He argued that it was not racist for him to say that it got up his nose to see “one of them” reading the news on television or to suggest that black news-readers should be confined to the less important news about muggings and drug busts. (The extract is set out at (iii) in paragraph 9.6 above). He hankers after the days when the BBC news was read by a man wearing a dinner jacket.
9.21 Irving defended his comment that he felt “queasy” about black people playing sports for England as an expression of his “patriotic” private thoughts on the topic. When he said that it was “humiliating” to have his passport checked by a Pakistani, he as not making a racist remark. What he meant was that an Englishman would be better at controlling immigration than someone born out of this country. Irving’s comments are at (iv) and (viii) in paragraph 9.6 above.