Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Irving strikes a defiant note regarding Free Speech...

He is now depicting himself as a free speech martyr -- even though he says he's not. I must note that he does not sound like the kind of person who would try to silence someone with whose views he disagrees.... hmm.
He said to London Times

I come from a free country, I am not going to let anybody silence me. We’re going to appeal. My lawyer’s working on it at the moment.

Freedom of speech means freedom to say things to other people that they don’t want to hear. And if that causes offence to them then that’s partly their problem and partially mine. Freedom of speech is the right to be wrong, basically. Sometimes I’m wrong.

2 comments:

Red Bingham said...

Dear Deborah,
Keep on shining your lamp of truth into those dark caves where the monsters live. I was teaching at Mount Scopus Memorial College in Melboune, Australia last year when I was fortunate to hear you speak on the Irving Holocaust denial case.
Here is a story I wrote a few years back. Feel free to use it or pass it on.
Salud,
Red Bingham

Denial an imaginative story
The chairman of the Public Speakers’ Union rose to his feet and addressed the meeting:
“Ladies and Gentlemen. Our next speaker really needs no introduction but I will attempt one anyway…..” The audience grew restive, with booing and catcalls erupting from several sections of the packed hall. “Ladies and Gentlemen,” remonstrated the startled chairman, “Professor David Irwin is an invited speaker and he deserves a polite hearing. Those who wish to take issue with his views may do so after his speech, at question time.”
The controversial professor rose to his feet and with a brief smile and a nod to the chairman, David Irwin moved to the speaker’s rostrum. His opening gambit started off slowly with his pawns as he questioned the reliability of existing historical documents. Booing recommenced. Then he started moving his pieces into play, discrediting his historical rivals. Many in the crowd responded angrily and Professor Irwin warmed to their abuse, accusing them of trying to silence the truth. His truth. It had all been going to plan as he moved to his endgame:
“And so, ladies and gentlemen, let me conclude by emphasising that the existence of the so-called ‘gas chambers’ at Auschwitz and other camps, was simply just a hoax. The well-funded Holocaust industry has systematically misrepresented the real situation in wartime Germany and the occupied territories to present malicious propaganda in order to further its own ends.”
Looking around the hall, the professor felt his triumph in demolishing this pathetic opposition. “Another blitzkrieg!” He filled his glass with water and drank thirstily. “I challenge anyone to offer me irrefutable proof that six million Jews were exterminated in World War II. The only thing that was exterminated was the truth!”

Five minutes later, after the uproar from the hall had begun to die down, an old man with snowy white hair rose to his feet. The chairman gave him permission to speak.
“Professor, my name is Irwin David. I would like to take you up on your challenge. You demand proof. These blue numbers on my arm are proof to me. The memories I have, that only death or senility will take from me, is also proof to me. However, I realise that you require a different type of proof. You have said how historical records can be faked, how photos of the mountains of unburied bodies were forgeries, how the documented tales of survivors were distortions. You’ve said how history is often written by the winners and that their testimony is suspect. I could argue with you on these matters but I know it would not be of any use at all. We would both be wasting our time and believe me, the Nazis wasted enough of my time. I can prove that the events of the Holocaust are true for I have invented a time capsule.”

Professor David Irwin snorted with contemptuous laughter.
“Time capsules? Ladies and gentlemen! So I’ll get into a time capsule and go, where? To meet fairies at the bottom of the garden? Sorry, I don’t believe in the myth of the Holocaust and I don’t believe in getting into time capsules either. You’ll have to try harder than that, sir.”

The old man called out, “No, Professor, you don’t get into this time capsule; it has gotten into you. It was a capsule that was dissolved in the water which you just drank.”

“Impossible!” Professor Irwin went red in the face. Sweat glistened on his upper lip as he fumbled to loosen his tie. Too late! He swooned, saw stars and everything went black.

*****

“David! David! Get up!” David felt water being splashed onto his face.

“Wher …..where am I? Who are you?” David was lying on something hard – railway sleepers.

“David, It’s me! Your brother, Irwin. I think you fainted from hunger. Come on; get up before the Germans spot us.”

David struggled to his feet and leaned against the train.
“There’s no time, David!” whispered Irwin. “We’ve got to get away now before it’s too late.”

But it was too late. Another squad of soldiers was now advancing towards their only line of retreat. There was now no choice but to rejoin the ghetto deportees being loaded into the cattle trucks.

When the doors slammed shut, the prayers and groaning commenced. David pulled at his collar. “I can’t breathe! Irwin, get me some water….”

*****

When the train pulled into the siding, armed guards and vicious dogs were there to welcome them. Steam and shouting and noises of fear surrounded them. Though David and Irwin were exhausted from hunger and from the rigours of the nightmare journey, they had to assist in carrying away the bodies of those who hadn’t made the trip.

An hour later, David was in a queue for delousing. Irwin had been separated from him at the “Selektion”. This disturbed him but at least he would be given a shower and then something to eat.
*****
David stood there waiting for the water to come streaming out of the pipes but it did not come. The terror swept over him before the gas had entered his lungs. He grabbed at his throat. “Help me! I’m choking!” he cried out.

*****

“Have some water, David,” said the snowy-haired figure. “You probably fainted from all that poison that was spread around. Do you recognise me? I’m your brother.”

Dave said...

Mr. Irving is now defending his "right to be wrong." Is that why he found it necessary to sue Deborah for libel?

I love that...he's fighting for "freedom of speech." But he was demanding that Deborah's book be pulped...and that was telling the absolute truth.