Is David Irving recanting his Holocaust denial?

David Irving, the self-trained British "historian" currently cooling his heels in an Austrian jail cell, appears to have recanted his denial of the Nazi Judeocide. The Nov.5 UK Guardian reports that a "repented" Irving plans to plead guilty to charges he lied about the Holocaust during speeches in Austria 16 years ago, violating a 1947 Austrian law banning Nazi revivalism and criminalising belittling or justifying the crimes of the Third Reich. Irving claimed at the time there were no gas chambers at the Auschwitz death camp, something he first said publicly at the 1988 trial of his friend Ernst Zundel, currently on trial as well in Germany for Holocaust denial. According to his lawyer Elmar Kresbach, Irving said, "I fully accept this, it's a fact. The discussion on Auschwitz, the gas chambers and the Holocaust is finished ... it's useless to dispute it." Kresbach added:

"Irving told me that he has changed his views after researching in the Russian archives in the 1990s. He said, 'I've repented. I've no intention of repeating these views. That would be historically stupid and I'm not a stupid man'."

If Irving indeed changed his views during the 1990's, he's taken a long time to say so publicly. In fact he has been a leading force behind organizing Holocaust revisionist conferences in recent years. Doubtless many of his revisionist colleagues will be thrown into a tizzy by his jailhouse confession.

In concluding remarks during Irving's spectacularly unsuccessful libel suit against historian Deborah Lipstadt, which ended in 2000, Justice Charles Gray found that:

Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-Semitic and racist and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.

Let the last word go to Irving. The following ditty was sung by Irving while pushing his baby in a stroller in the park, according to his diaries:

I am a Baby Aryan
Not Jewish or Sectarian
I have no plans to marry an
Ape or Rastafarian.

See our last post on this vile crypto-Nazi.

Who wrote this article surely

Who wrote this article surely haven't read Revisionists' books. They aren't Nazi, they aren't crazy, they support their theories with proofs and documents. I can't believe that these "Democratic" nations can arrest people just for his ideas. This is simply disgusting, this is worst than a dictatorship. Unbelieveable. Zundel is still in jail, threated as a terrorist. Many of these historians were killed, menaced, arrested, beated, by the "Holocaust Enforcers", just for their theories. Is this right? Holocaust isn't untouchable, many aspects are still not clear. And so? Do we really want to kill or arrest every historian that tries to research truth?

Your bullshit detector needs adjustment

We have already made clear that we oppose jailing people for spouting bullshit, no matter how vile (precisely because it allows them to pose as martyrs, the better to hoodwink the likes of you). But which (pseudo-)historians have been killed and "beated" (sic)? I think we must have missed something.

I certainly don't want to see Irving killed. I wish him a long life. I hope he lives to see his precious Aryan daughter happily married to a seven-foot dreadlocked ganja-smoking Jewish Rastafarian militant revolutionary.

Deniers beaten

I think Zundel was attacked on the steps of a Canadian courthouse by the JDL. There's also Robert Faurisson, the French professor and denier who focused specifically on "debunking" gas chambers. He was severely beaten by a "Jewish militia" in 1989. ("Jewish militia" is how the attackers are described on revisionist websites.) See as well this article from revisionist clearinghouse IHR which cites some 50 alleged cases of violence on French revisionists:

In a 1980 essay that was used as a forward to a book by Faurisson, Chomsky defended Faurisson's freedom of speech, but hemmed and hawed over whether Faurisson is an anti-Semite:

As far as I can determine, he is a relatively apolitical liberal of some sort. In support of the charge of anti-Semitism, I have been informed that Faurisson is remembered by some schoolmates as having expressed anti-Semitic sentiments in the 1940s, and as having written a letter that some interpret as having anti-Semitic implications at the time of the Algerian war. I am a little surprised that serious people should put such charges forth -- even in private -- as a sufficient basis for castigating someone as a long-time and well-known anti-Semitic.

I wonder what Chomsky thinks of this recent interview Faurisson gave to Iranian media:

Faurisson: The Jews' power stems directly from the Western world's near-total belief in the phenomenal lie of the "Holocaust". You needn't look any further.

Interestingly, Faurisson predicted in a Jan. 19, 2000 article that Irving didn't have the moxie to go the distance as an authentic denier:

Personally, I expect David Irving to make twists and turns and recantations. He writes and publishes too much in order to allow himself the time, beforehand, to read attentively the documents which he quotes or which the opposing side submits. If he is acquainted with the revisionist literature, it is only just barely; he cannot be considered a spokesman for historical revisionism. I have always called him "the reluctant revisionist". Strong in appearance, he is, in reality, fragile. His opponents will have an easy time tripping him up. If one day he wins his case, at first instance or on appeal, it will certainly not be on the strength of his knowledge of the "Holocaust".

OK then

I stand corrected. Deniers have been "beated." Which I oppose (needless to say). But, gee, I wonder why anyone would have such strong feelings about this stuff? (Sarcasm intended, for you irony-impaired folks.)

I am less impressed with Chomsky's political judgement by the minute.

'proofs and documents?'

Except the math never works out. "Holocaust isn't untouchable, many aspects are still not clear." You're an idiot.

I, for one, would paraphrase Woody Allen on the Klan. Defend their right to speak, then go down and meet them with baseball bats.

The two blond girls, Prussian Blue have been getting a lot of press. What's the chance of one of them shacking up with a rapper in 5 years?

Free Speech is the Issue

The key issue here is free speech.

All the rest of the discussion is froth and decoration.

It is outrageous for individuals to be jailed for their historical views (or opinions about current affairs, for that matter).

Surely it's illegal under European Law?

It's certainly contrary to the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 18
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Free Iriving, Rudolf, Zundel and all those jailed for their views about World War 2!

It's not they - it's their jailors - who should be held to account!

We agree, to an extent...

We agree that free speech is meaningless unless it includes free speech for hateful liars too. But free speech is not the only issue here. Irving, Zundel and their ilk should indeed be held to account for falsifying history. But not by locking them up and making them look like martyrs. We are opposed to their jailing because it is counter-productive. Not because we wish to loan an iota of validity to their lies, but because (paradoxically) jailing them does exactly that, at least among the slow-witted.

I will note that the above comment is one of several we have received on this matter from Irving sympathizers. The rest were foul-mouthed rants which argued, in extremely vulgar terms, that Mr. Bloom and myself are entitled to no opinion on the matter because of our Jewish last names—thereby giving us an airtight reason not to publish them. Thanks for shooting yourselves in the foot, guys!