I have been doing a lot of media interviews from Rome. The issue keeps coming up: are Germany and Austria special cases in terms of Nazi/Holocaust denial laws?
As I have said all along, I think the answer is yes. Their history -- plus the fact that places such as Austria have not really come to a full reckoning with that past -- gives denial as well as the use of Nazi like symbols, e.g. swastika, a special resonance.
Therefore, the fact that Irving had to say in court, as he just has, I was wrong, there were gas chambers etc. is important, not for normal folks, but for his neo-Nazi supporters.
I don't think for a minute that they will now say 'Eureka, I have seen the light and now that Irving says there were gas chambers I believe it too.'
Rather they will say: 'Irving had no choice. He was forced to do this.'
Then when Irving returns to the UK and recants -- as I believe he will -- they will say, 'Exactly as we said.'
More later. Going to get a strong cup of Italian coffee... that may be a redundancy.