Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Irving expands on Holocaust "views"

Today's BBC news has an article based on another interview with Irving. There's an audio available of the interview in which he ludicrously claims that Anne Frank's diary "proves that [he's] right" - notwithstanding the fact that he had previously adhered to that tenet of the "revisionist bible" which has declared the diary to be a hoax. Here are some excerpts from the article:
Irving expands on Holocaust views

Jailed British historian David Irving has again said he does not believe Hitler presided over a systematic attempt to exterminate Jews in Europe.

During his trial in Austria, Irving said he had changed his mind over claims the Holocaust did not happen.

But, speaking from his cell later, he told BBC News the numbers killed at Auschwitz were smaller than claimed.

He is appealing for a reduction in the three-year jail term. Prosecutors are seeking for it to be lengthened.

The Austrian state prosecutor's office said it believed Irving's sentence for Holocaust denial was too lenient in light of a possible sentence of up to 10 years.


Speaking from prison, where he is in solitary confinement for 23 hours each day, Irving told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he now believed there had been cases of Jewish people being gassed during World War II.

But he said that while he accepted 1.4 million were killed in the so-called "Operation Reinhard" camps which included Treblinka and Sobibor, he did not accept that large numbers were murdered at Auschwitz.

He claimed there were two "small" gas chambers there, not the large-scale gas chambers identified by other historians.

"Given the ruthless efficiency of the Germans, if there was an extermination programme to kill all the Jews, how come so many survived?" he said.

When asked whether there was an organised programme to exterminate the Jews in Europe, overseen by Hitler, Irving told Today: "That is absolutely wrong and nobody can justify that.

"Adolf Hitler's own involvement in it has a big question mark behind it."


Speaking on Today, Richard Evans, professor of German history at Cambridge University and a witness against Irving at a libel trial in 2000, dismissed the latest comments.

"He was, I think, arrogant enough to believe that he wouldn't be arrested," said Professor Evans.

"But having said that, I think the Austrian action is ill-advised. I don't think that law which bans Holocaust denial is really necessary any longer and I think it's really regrettable the vast media circus that's surrounding Mr Irving now [is] just simply giving prominence to his absurd views."

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