Tuesday, February 28, 2006

BBC radio documentary on the 2000 libel trial

In the wake of Irving's Austrian conviction and sentence, on Feb. 26, BBC Radio 4 aired a 40 minute updated documentary (link below is to audio and will open in new window):
David Irving: The London Trial

The inside story of the famous libel trail in 2000 in which Irving sued the American historian Deborah Lipstadt for calling him a holocaust denier and falsifier of history.
In a Feb. 28 review of this program, Gillian Reynolds notes in The Telegraph:
No point arguing with deluded minds

There was much here I didn't know or hadn't remembered. So why, if the material was gripping enough for me to make four pages of notes, and given that I am an admirer of both Cockerell's and Hyman's work, did I feel this programme seemed out of place?

Perhaps if it had happened on Monday or Tuesday night, I wouldn't have. By Sunday, the story had had a lot of coverage and analysis. People, from Monday onwards, were saying that for an Austrian court to bring to trial an offence committed 17 years ago was dubious. This is not an argument I, personally, accept. If a law is broken, the culprit should be tried and, if guilty, sentenced.

My big reservation is about something different from timing. This was a good programme, dispassionately presented, but could anyone listen to it and be convinced that Irving was anything other than deluded? This newspaper, I seem to remember, took the decision not to describe him as a "historian" some years ago.

But if there really are political parties or religious activists who take him seriously and, like him, deny the existence or the record of the Nazi death camps, would they be persuaded otherwise by Cockerell's account of his humiliation in court six years ago? I doubt their response would be the one Radio 4 was seeking.

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."

Irving's views: "straight from the Munich beer halls of 1923"

William Rubenstein, professor of modern history at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, argues - in a posting to the U.K.'s Social Affairs Unit blog - that:
Irving holds absurd views about the Holocaust and his dislike of Jews comes straight from the Munich beer halls of 1923 - but he should not have been imprisoned.


As everyone knows, David Irving was recently jailed for three years in Austria for propagating the denial of the Holocaust. His conviction raises many very serious questions about both Irving himself and the nature of free speech, and deserves a close discussion. The issues here are, I think, much more complicated than is apparent at first glance.

First, as to Holocaust denial, there is no doubt that it is one of the most offensive and shocking of all aspects of modern anti-semitism. It is also absurd.[...]

It has also entered, even more dangerously, into the rhetoric of Islamic anti-semitism, most recently in the statements of the appalling President of Iran. I state these self-evident propositions here purely to show that I fully understand the evil nature of Holocaust denial.

Secondly, there is David Irving. Irving is such a complex character that writing about him in a brief space is very difficult. As an historian - and entirely apart from any question of his views on the Holocaust - he has been a highly energetic and arguably important researcher of primary evidence about the Nazi period whose judgments are often reasonable.

Nevertheless, he is also evidently full of deficiencies. Like most non-academic historians, he fails to place his narratives in a wider contextualized framework.


It seems clear, however, that Irving has a chronic, deep-seated, ideological problem (to put it no more strongly) about Jews, whom he often refers to on his website as the "traditional enemies". Irving dislikes the Jews - although not necessarily individual Jews - and his attitude towards them seems to come straight from a Munich beer hall in 1923 - they are all Marxist revolutionaries, international financial swindlers, white slavers, and so on - to which he has added a particularly venomous hostility towards Israel and its policies more commonly associated in the Western world today with the extreme left. [...]


One can understand why Austria, Hitler's homeland, should make Holocaust denial illegal. [...] Obviously, I fully understand (and understand from a personal perspective) the anguish of Holocaust survivors and their relatives who encounter such propaganda, but there is no rational reason to punish the exposition of Holocaust denial while leaving other perhaps equally offensive forms of expression untouched. Criminalising Holocaust denial simply invites all other groups to lobby for enacting similar legal penalties against their pet hates [...]

The Austrian government acted unwisely in prosecuting him, although I might have a different view if he could be shown to be working with Austrian neo-Nazis. It will also be interesting to see what would happen if the odious President of Iran ever visits Vienna - not a lone wolf autodidact, but the head of state of a country of 70 million people which is developing nuclear weapons and wants the State of Israel destroyed - he is also a Holocaust denier. Let us then see if the Austrian government has the courage of its convictions over this question.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Is Irving any different from a racist skinhead?

In the Feb. 26 edition of The Scotsman, Brian Wilson asks:
Is David Irving any different from a racist skinhead?

LIBERAL angst alights on some very odd causes. Acres of newsprint and innumerable hours of broadcasting time have been devoted to tortured discussion of David Irving's temporary fate - three years in an Austrian slammer after being convicted of Holocaust denial.

It is doubtful whether many of those who regard Irving's incarceration as an attack on freedom of speech and a counter-productive act of martyr-creation would give a moment's thought to the fate of a gormless skinhead, convicted of shouting anti-Semitic or other racial poison at someone in a city street.

Yet what is the qualitative difference? If freedom of speech is an absolute, then surely the overt racial abuser is entitled to benefit? Why should Irving, by awarding himself the spurious titles of 'historian' and 'academic', be treated with any higher regard, particularly when his influence has been far greater than that of any mere camp-follower? Unlike most Britons who espouse similar views, Irving does not have the excuse of under-education. He knew the laws of Austria and believed he could flout them, boasting that he had already bought the first-class air ticket that would return him to Britain. His sentence has proved that supposition wrong. Good. Austria has its own perspective on these matters and has every right to make and enforce laws that reflect it.

There can be no such thing as absolute freedom of speech, for very good reasons. Competing freedoms have to be balanced, and the freedom of vulnerable minorities to be protected from abuse and harassment is just as precious as the right of individuals to hold and express their views. The aim of a liberal democratic society must be to achieve a balance of freedoms, rather than to assert the primacy of one over the other.


However, the sensible recognition of such constraints sits uneasily with grander claims to a generalised belief in freedom of expression. "You can say anything about anyone who can be relied upon not to strike back" may be uncomfortably close to the reality - but it is not a particularly elevated sentiment. Yet I wonder how much of that double-standard underlies criticisms of the Austrian court? Maybe the ultra-right ravings of people like Irving have become so familiar, or separated in time from the events that they seek to deny, that their full capacity for evil is no longer recognised.

That would be dangerous indeed. Political advocates of extreme anti-Israeli positions are usually careful to deny the charge of anti-Semitism. In reality, the two are closely interlinked. Holocaust denial forms an integral part of the propaganda tide against Israel among its would-be destroyers. Anyone who, like Irving, contributes to the bogus intellectualisation of that affront has a great deal more to answer for than the skinhead in the street.

Since Irving was convicted, his nemesis - the American academic Deborah Lipstadt, whom he sued unsuccessfully after she described him as a Holocaust denier - has written: "During my trial, Irving kept trying to introduce evidence of a world Jewish cabal or global conspiracy against him. He described me as 'the gold-tipped spearhead of the enemies of truth', his euphemism for the Jews. He laughed at survivors, declaring them liars or psychopaths."

Lipstadt wrote that she took no satisfaction from Irving's imprisonment, believing that "the best way to counter Holocaust denial is to teach [its] history". The two approaches are not, however, incompatible. Each generation needs to know about the Holocaust, not only as the ultimate parable of man's inhumanity to man, but also as a deterrent to superficial assumptions about the rights and wrongs of contemporary events.

It is impossible to understand the case for the state of Israel without an awareness of the persecution that the Jewish people have suffered. As James Cameron wrote: "The introduction of the Jewish state into the Arab heartland exalted many hearts and broke many more... it produced the most intractable conflict of our times." For any balanced view, it is necessary to be aware of both sides of the history.

The images that we see so regularly of prosperous Israel and impoverished Palestine conceal as much as they reveal. There is enough in the histories of each to make the stones weep. Any humane rational assessment must surely recognise the right of both to exist, because the expulsion of one by the other is unthinkable. And while we cannot legislate for that outcome, we can at least stand firm against purveyors of hatred and ignorance within our own society, whose aim is not only to deny history but to finish the job.

Some insights into David Irving's background from his brother

People frequently ask me how did David Irving become the kind of person he is. I provide the few details I know about his life [father was a naval officer who abandoned the family and left them in poverty] and then say, I really don't know.

Furthermore, I caution for looking for a "rational" explanation for his antisemitism and racism. They are prejudices and prejudices are irrational. Therefore, to seek a rational explanation is useless. [Can you rationally explain why someone hates all Black people? It makes no sense, unless they are beset by a prejudice.]

In this article Irving's twin brother tells a great deal about his childhood and how he liked to do the outrageous [e.g. giving the Nazi salute when a German bomber knocked down a London home] even as a child.

In addition to the insights about his childhood, note that Irving who claimed bankruptcy after my trial, moved into a Mayfair home worth £1 million. So much for the so-called financial ruin I caused him by defending myself.
'David, what on earth would Mother think?'

By Olga Craig(Filed: 26/02/2006)

Nicholas Irving leans forward. "Let me try to explain my brother. Some years ago, he invited his publisher and wife, a Jewish couple, to his home for dinner. He was rather bewildered when the chap stormed out before the meal had even begun.

David simply could not understand why this Jewish gentleman was offended when he sat at the table to discover that it was laid with cutlery embossed with the Nazi swastika [...] he truly thought it was hilarious."

Even as a child, David had a horribly malicious sense of humour. He loved to play cruel pranks [...] Like the time, when we were six, that he gave a 'Heil Hitler' salute when a German bomber destroyed a nearby house. I knew it was wrong, I wouldn't do it, but David went right ahead. Anything to outrage, anything for attention."

The home he shared with his girlfriend, Bente Hogh, and their daughter, Jessica, 12, before he went bankrupt, was a £1 million apartment in Mayfair.

Even after he lost a £2 million libel battle against the American academic Deborah Lipstadt, who had accused him of Holocaust denial, he still managed to rent a £6,000-a-month Kensington home. Nicholas, by contrast, is a balding, mild-mannered and self-effacing former civil servant who lives in a £70-a-week maisonette in a shabby council block by the Barbican.


"All my life I have thought of my relationship with David as akin to looking after a sick relative," Nicholas says. "I'm sad he's in jail for three years, after all he's my brother, but I thought he would get at least five. He antagonised the court - but then he's been antagonising people all his life.

"Take the driving incident, for example," he says. A few years ago David was driving his Rolls-Royce with Nicholas in the passenger seat when they were overtaken by a small, battered car. David honked his horn and yelled at its driver. When the car stopped and its irate driver got out, David turned to his twin and said: "I'm not being overtaken by a black man."

[Regarding his trip to Austria] "I mean, what part of 'you cannot come here' didn't he understand," says Nicholas.


"But, like now, he liked to shock, to scandalise. When the house down the road was bombed and he gave his Nazi salute, he egged me on to do it, too. I remember him saying: 'Like this Nicholas, click your heels together like this.'


I don't think he's ever been scared of anything in his life. Then, of course, there was the time he chose Mein Kampf, Hitler's book, as his school prize. Yet for all that, our best friends were another pair of twins, friends of the family - and they were Jewish."

At school, David, unlike Nicholas, was something of a loner who specialised in playing malicious pranks on teachers. "David was incredibly clever but instead of doing homework he would be up in his room plotting ever more cruel pranks."

The twins' Latin teacher was an elderly man suffering from sciatica who needed to relieve the pain by leaning on things every few moments when he walked.

"David worked out where he would stop and he would take the peg out of the blackboard so that, when the master leaned on it, he and it crashed to the ground. Then there was our French master. David spent hours making an intricate model of him that tapped a pencil as was his habit and left it on his desk to
humiliate him."

When pupils were allowed to stage mock elections, David led a neo-fascist party.


"I want to say to him: 'David, what on earth are you doing? And what on earth would Mother think?'"

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Irving's "views" back to "normal"

An article in the Feb. 26 edition of The Independent indicates that Irving's "views" are back to "normal". This article also gives some insight as to why Irving's daughter had (according to Irving) declared that it was "cool" that her father was in jail. Here are some excerpts:
From his cell, just two days after he recanted his views on the Holocaust, David Irving reverts to extremism

As he starts a three-year sentence in Austria, the historian continues to voice his controversial views

By Bojan Pancevski in Vienna and Steve Bloomfield

Far-right author David Irving's repudiation of his views on the Holocaust and Hitler's role in it has not lasted very long. In a prison interview just days after he told an Austrian court he had been wrong to deny the Holocaust, he reverted to insisting that the slaughter in Nazi death camps was exaggerated, and that Jews "bear blame for what happened".


But he appeared in high spirits and denied he was having personal difficulties, insisting that his Danish partner, Bente Hogh, could not visit him because she was sick. A series of interviews she has given to the British press in recent days appear to belie this.

A shortage of money now means Ms Hogh and the couple's 12-year-old daughter Jessica face eviction from their expensive London flat. She told the Daily Mail that Jessica now carries a copy of Anne Frank's Diary to make plain her disagreement with her father. "She hates his views. She is a lovely girl, bright and clever, and it is not her fault who her father is. It is easier for her when he is not around."

The author was jailed on Monday for three years for denying the Holocaust during two lectures and in a newspaper interview in Austria nearly 17 years ago. But despite the conviction, the 67-year-old did not shy away from the subject. Irving complained that the Jews held far too much power and predicted their disproportionate control in the US would see a second Holocaust "in 20 to 30 years".

Just days after he told the Viennese court "I've changed my views", he said it was part of the human condition to dislike Jews and that they were at least in part to blame for the 3,000 years of hatred they had had to endure.

Irving no free speech martyr

This post is written, in great measure, in response to Z's comment about deniers eating their young [previous post]

Z may be right. Irving wanted to be the showpiece and he may think this conviction is a big win for him. After all look at all the pr he is getting.

I have two responses to that: During my trial he got lots of pr -- especially since I remained silent. Many people worried he would "win" the pr battle as a result. But then came the damning verdict and he also got lots of pr, but all the wrong kind.

Secondly, he is now saying racist and extremist things from his cell [see article in the Independent, I will post in a bit]. And he has recanted his recanting,

Given all that, I think the man is rapidly going to lose any shred of credibility which he still had.

The mantra that must be repeated all the time is:
A) this man was and is an opponent of free speech.

B) British publishers are afraid to publish any book which is critical of him because they know he will threaten a law suit.
If you write about David Irving for UK publishers you are toxic

C) He courted this conviction -- apparently
some of the people who invited him may even have informed the police of his exact whereabouts. And I doubt that they would have done so on their own.

D) He thought it would be fun. And he wanted the media attention

E) And now he is paying the consequences.

Those of us who oppose these laws must keep all this in mind. These fact do not make the laws right. But it does raise questions about whether David Irving is the one we should be defending.

All those of you who are rushing to your compose comment options to berate me and tell me that free speech is for everyone, even those whose views we despise, wait. You are correct.

But, nonetheless, after having made my views crystal clear about my opinions on these trials, I am not going to turn a man who is an avowed opponent of free speech and who got himself arrested because he thought it would be fun and who is now spouting antisemitic comments from his jail cell into a poster child of the victim.

David Irving is an intellectual thug who would deny others their free speech whenever he gets the chance. Does he deserve his? Yes.

Do I have to promote him as a terrible victim? No.

And now it is a beautiful Sunday in Roma. I am going to the outdoor market where the only thing I have to worry about is being cheated [why should this flea market be any different from all others] or pickpocketed [so far Pickpockets 0, DEL 1, i.e. I foiled an attempt on my wallet on Friday].

Lipstadt in Newsweek

Opinion: Silence Hate With Truth Freedom of speech must apply equally to those with loathsome as those with virtuous views


March 16, 2006 issue

Friends thought I would be celebrating last week after an Austrian court sentenced British writer David Irving to three years in jail for denying the Holocaust.

Several years ago Irving sued me for describing him as doing just that, and for calling him a "Hitler partisan." I had good reason. Describing Hitler as "the best friend" the Jews had, he claimed that "More people died in Senator Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than in gas chambers in Auschwitz." He also threatened to form an organization called Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the Holocaust, and Other Liars, and call it by its acronym: ASSHOLs.

The judge ruled for me and, describing Irving as anti-Semitic and racist, denounced his claims as "perverse," "misleading" and "unreal." Irving last week tried to convince the Austrian court that, as a result of new evidence, he had changed his views. But the three presiding judges dismissed the about-face, comparing him to a "prostitute who has not changed her ways for decades."

Still, I don't feel like celebrating. I dislike curtailing free speech. Only last week, London's Mayor Ken Livingstone was supended for a month after likening a Jewish reporter to a Nazi prison guard.

The violence accompanying the publication of the Danish cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad have caused many Europeans to wonder whether those doing the protesting (and particularly those calling for the death of the cartoonists) understand the nature of democracy and free speech.

Like many, I winced when other European papers republished them. But they had every right to do so. To jail someone for denying the Holocaust, while supporting the right of the cartoonists to lampoon other religions, smacks of a double standard.

David Irving is no poster boy for free speech. He has a legal action pending against a reporter who has criticized his work. He once threatened to sue an American scholar and his publisher if they did not remove critical remarks about him from a book. When it finally appeared in the U.K., after a long delay, those statements were gone or greatly toned down.

Now this same man sits in jail protesting the violation of his free speech. To be sure, denying the Holocaust has a different resonance in Germany and Austria. But would it not be more effective if they shunned and marginalized those who glorify Hitler or deny his wrongdoings, rather than banned them?

I countered Irving's hate speech—for that is what it is—with honesty. In court we proved that every one of his claims was bunk. The judge's overwhelming ruling in my favor was devastating for all Holocaust deniers, as their core arguments collapsed under the light of day.

Ironically, had there been an English law against Holocaust denial, we might never have had the chance to demonstrate that denial is just a web of lies. My defeat of Irving was sweet because it was based on reason.

Instead of looking to the law, let those with a fidelity to historical accuracy fight these liars and haters using facts and genuine research as their weapons. Greater openness, not less, may sometimes cause pain. But in the end societies will be stronger for it.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Positive Outcome from the Irving trials: Deniers "eat their own"

As some folks at The Holocaust History Project have observed, as a result of what happened to Irving in both trials, i.e. he was forced to recant his positions, deniers have begun to attack one another.

Deniers are, as one pundit put it, beginning to "eat their own."

In a letter from December 30, 2005, Germar Rudolf [who goes by many different names and whose so called study of the gas chambers we proved to be so full of holes that Irving's lawyer withdrew it without using it as evidence, see History on Trial, pp. 294-95] to Fred Tobin, a leading Australian denier:

"David Irving is a disgrace for historians and revisionists alike. He does not know what he is talking about."

And a similar kind of statement about Irving from the British Nazi newsletter "Final Conflict" [January 20, 2000]. This was written right after Irving was forced to acknowledge at my trial that there were gas buses that were responsible for the death of 97,000 Jews.


Dear David,

I thought that this might end so. I don't know which devil rides you, but how can you make such a statement.... You disappoint me. I didn't expect you to do any better, though, as you are no Revisionist and obviously have hardly any idea about the odds and evens of the Holocaust story, but was that necessary? It doesn't look too good for you if you continue making such stupid admissions.

For the story on Irving's admission that he was wrong about the gas busses see ">THE INDEPENDENT - London, 20.01.2000:

David Irving admitted to the High Court yesterday he had made a false public statement that the gassing of Jews in trucks by the Nazis during the Second World War was only done on a limited and experimental basis.

Wall St. Journal Editorial on Irving's sentence

An editorial in Friday's Wall St. Journal takes a positon very similar to the one I have taken.

The Journal notes Irving's insidious influence on our understanding of history, e.g. how he has shaped our view of what happened at Dresden or Churchill's role in the lead up to World War II.

I particularly like the fact that they recognize Irving as a "pseudo-historian" and they wisely note that had Irving not gone so far as to jump on the Holocaust denial bandwagon he might have continued to have a truly invidious impact on the popular historical perceptions.

As is so often the case with this man, Irving brought the house down on his own head.

Defending the IndefensibleFebruary 24, 2006; Page W13

There are many reasons to regret the decision by Austrian authorities to prosecute, sentence and imprison for three years or more British pseudohistorian David Irving. Liberal democracies ought not to be in the business of criminalizing speech, except speech that incites violence.

Prohibitions against specified types of speech, such as Holocaust denial, have a tendency to invite further prohibitions and risk rendering the concept of free speech a nonsense. Imprisoning people for their views alone has a way of turning louts into "martyrs."

And just when the Danish government is under unprecedented attack for its refusal to intervene in the editorial decision-making of a private newspaper, it seems perverse to offer Muslim provocateurs an example of a European country
catering to one set of sensitivities but not another.

But that's the least of it. By imprisoning Mr. Irving, Austria has now forced serious people to come to the principled defense of a detestable man.

Press accounts usually describe Mr. Irving as a Holocaust revisionist" or denier. That he is, as a British court found in 2000, when it ruled against him in a defamation suit that he had brought against American scholar Deborah Lipstadt.

But Mr. Irving is something worse, partly because he is something better: A man of learning and a certain kind of intellectual brilliance, he made dishonest use of both qualities in an attempt to restore the reputation of the Nazis and blacken those of their victims.

Sometimes this has been to noted effect: When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls the Holocaust a "myth," he is doing so in large part on the authority of Mr. Irving (whom the Iranian government recently invited to speak).

But often Mr. Irving's influence has been felt in ways that we are only dimly aware of. Consider his first book, on the February 1945 Allied bombing of Dresden, in which he put the civilian death toll at between 100,000 and 250,000. That estimate -- grossly exaggerated, as later scholarship would show -- became widely accepted and helped spark a now popular perception that Germany was as much a victim of World War II as it was the instigator.

Or take "Hitler's War," Mr. Irving's attempt to rescue the Fuehrer's reputation by casting Winston Churchill as the real warmonger. Mr. Irving's Hitler revisionism never caught on among serious scholars, but the Churchill revisionism did.

Here lies Mr. Irving's real cunning. For decades he successfully presented himself as a serious historian of admittedly outre views, when in fact he was the opposite: a propagandist posing as a scholar. His methods were "controversy" and the "challenging of taboos," typically catchphrases of the left that he
adapted to his own purposes. This tactic was ultimately far more insidious -- and effective -- than his forays into Holocaust denial, calibrated as those often were.

Had Mr. Irving only restrained himself slightly, the damage he might have done to our collective historical perceptions could have been incalculably greater.

Fortunately, perhaps, anti-Semites almost inevitably out themselves: Their views flare like hives, often inadvertently and on inconvenient occasions. Ahead of the recent verdict, Mr. Irving had already been bankrupted, not only financially but reputationally, thanks to the efforts of Ms. Lipstadt and

That's where he might have remained for the rest of his life had it not been for the ill-timed intervention of the Austrian police and judiciary.

Now the rest of us have the unpleasant task of reminding ourselves of exactly who this man is -- and extending a begrudging hand of rescue.

Christopher Hitchens in Wall St. Journal

In Thursday's Wall Street Journal Christopher Hitchens one of his ringing denunciations of the verdict. I found it to be a somewhat strange and rambling piece. What I found most surprising is his claim that Irving is not a Holocaust denier.

You may have to spend time on some grim and Gothic Web sites to find this out, but he is in fact not a "denier," but a revisionist, and much-hated by the full-dress "denial" faction.

The pages on Goebbels, as in his books on Dresden, Churchill and Hitler, contain some highly important and damning findings from his work in the archives of the Third Reich. (The Goebbels book contains final proof that the Nazis financed Sir Oswald Mosley's blackshirts in England: a claim that Mosley's many sympathizers have long denied.)
It is true that one can find material in Irving's book which "deny the deniers," e.g. his claim that in November 1941 Hitler ordered Himmler to stop the liquidation of the Jews. It seems to have escaped Irving that you can only stop something which is underway.

There are many such points. However, given all Irving has said about the Holocaust [and his so-called retraction in the court] there is no doubt that he is a denier.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Two different views of Irving's sentence

Richard Cohen (who was the first to break the C-SPAN controversy, almost a year ago) has written about Irving's sentence. His verdict:
Don't Jail Irving. Ignore Him


[Irving] is a man of justifiably small following, a claque of bigots so addled by the virus of Jew-hatred that they cannot see the evidence before their own eyes. The many pictures of the Holocaust, the films, the artifacts, the testimony of victims and perpetrators alike is to them proof of a different kind: the ability of Jews to hoodwink the world. It never happened. The Holocaust is a lie.

Now Irving has admitted the lie is his. There were gas chambers at Auschwitz, he now admits. The Jews there did not die of disease, but were murdered outright and then fed into the ovens. This confession of truth was extracted by a dilemma. Irving was facing jail time in Austria for the crime of denying the Holocaust. His penitence got him very little. A judge hit him with a three-year sentence.

A little delicious satisfaction is allowed. Irving is a liar. He is an anti-Semite. He has squandered his considerable gifts at dreary research for the glad rags of demagoguery. He had a Web page. He gave lectures. He sued and was sued. He picked the pockets of the gullible. Years ago, he mistook justifiable criticism by some Jews as an attack by an entire people. This is the odd talent of the anti-Semite: to see all by seeing one.

These governments, particularly Austria, have transformed the imbecilic into something exotically taboo. By banning these ideas, the various European governments accord them a certain respect: See, why are they afraid of us? It must be because what we say is true.

Let Irving howl his idiocy in freedom. He doesn't deserve to be jailed. He deserves to be ignored.
On the American Thinker, J.R. Dunn, a former editor of the International Military Encyclopedia, references the above article, but notes:

There have been comments claiming that this is a PC sentence. There have even been comparisons drawn to the Danish cartoon jihad.

But those interpretations won’t stand. Consider what Irving was accused of: in his book Hitler’s War (a volume I have been relieved of the burden of ever having to read), he stated not only that Hitler had no idea that anything like the Holocaust was being carried out, but that furthermore there was “not a shred of evidence” that any exterminations occurred. According to Irving, a small number of deaths were caused by disease and hunger.

In the strictest technical sense, Irving had some justification. Scientific historiography, of the school of Leopold von Ranke and other 19th century German historians, demands documentation as historical evidence. Documents don’t lie, as opposed to faulty or self-serving personal accounts. If there’s no documentation, there’s no history. And that’s what Irving has always contended – that there is no documentation concerning the Holocaust, no memo reading “Kill the Jews,” signed, “A. Hitler.”

But is this historiographic critique in fact true? Doesn’t it depend on what we take “documentation” to mean, on how we apply the term? [...]


And all this over and above the testimony – from the survivors, from the Germans who took part in or witnessed the crime of attempted genocide, and from the Allied rescuers. Hundreds of thousands of them, in total. Do those count for anything at all? Do situations exist where the historiographical rules on the 19th Century must be updated to get at the truth? And is it possible that threshold was breached in this case, involving the Holocaust?

Did Irving consider any of this, at any time, before drawing his conclusions? The record fails to show it, even though he had to know that such evidence existed and what it must mean. If that’s the case, he lied. He lied about what he knew. He lied about the facts. He lied about the implications of those facts.


So why did he lie? Well, it seems that along with his career as a historian, Irving also had a sideline as a public speaker. He spoke throughout Europe, apparently on a regular basis (though only a handful of occasions, such as that 1988 speech in Austria, are verifiable with hard evidence) to whatever fascist, anti-Semitic, or Neo-Nazi organization would have him. On at least one occasion he is reported to have told the crowd that they would be the ones to carry the task onward, that the future was theirs.

That’s why he lied. Because he was a believer. As I suspected when I first encountered him, two decades ago, warned by that unmistakable shiver up the spine. A believer in the most imbecilic, most debased, most utterly discredited ideology of the modern age.

None of this amounts to a crime, as we judge things in this country.

The Austrians think differently – they have no choice. Austria was seriously implicated in the Endlosung (Eichmann’s main office was in Vienna), and remains today the most anti-Semitic nation in Western Europe. A deeply-rooted fascist movement exists in the country (one of its offshoots actually gained power in 2000). As is also the case in Germany, anti-extremist laws are a necessary means of social prophylaxis.

Irving chose to defy them, and now he is paying the price.

To us, Irving’s crimes are metaphysical, and can’t really be punished on this plane. He offended against his profession, against his art, and against the standards of honest scholarship. He offended against his society and his civilization. And at the last, he offended against what Burke called “the eternal chain” – that endless filament of memory, obligation, and love that binds together the living, the unborn, and the dead.

Somehow, a three-year term doesn’t seem like enough. But it’ll do.

Tom and Jerry [the cartoon characters] and the Jewish conspiracy -- I kid you not, this is for real

You can't make this stuff up.

According to a report by MEMRI, the Cultural Advisor to Iranian Education Ministry gave a lecture on Tom and Jerry [remember the cartoon characters of our youth?] and described them as "A Jewish Conspiracy to Improve the Image of Mice, Because Jews Were Termed Mice."

[WARNING: If you are eating something while reading this stop. You will choak with laughter and then disgust.]

Last week Iran's Channel 4 reported on a lecture by Professor Hasan Bolkhari that was given at an Iranian film seminar. Bolkharis is both a member of the Film Council of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) and cultural advisor to the Iranian Education Ministry.

In his lecture he said regarding "Tom and Jerry":

The Jewish Walt Disney Company gained international fame with this cartoon.... This cartoon maintains its status because of the cute antics of the cat and mouse - especially the mouse.

[Note: Did anyone tell him that Walt Disney was an antisemite? The guy must be turning in his grave to hear the company described as the Jewish..]

"Some say that the main reason for making this very appealing cartoon was to erase a certain derogatory term that was revalent in Europe."


"If you study European history, you will see who was the main power in hoarding money and wealth, in the 19th century. In
most cases, it is the Jews. Perhaps that was one of the reasons which caused Hitler to begin the antisemitic trend, and then the extensive propaganda about the crematoria began... Some of this is true. We do not deny all of it.

[Note: He had to get in a bit of Holocaust denial. But see how he says "some of this is true." This, I predict, is the new Iranian way of trying not to look like complete idiots. They now will say we "don't deny everything, we just question some things abou the Holocaust." Maybe Irving guilty plea made them do that.... Maybe they had enough sense to realize that they were becoming the laughing stock of the world.]

"Watch Schindler's List. Every Jew was forced to wear yellow star on his clothing. The Jews were degraded and termed 'dirty mice.' Tom and Jerry was made in order to change the Europeans' perception of mice. One of terms used was 'dirty mice.'

"Mice are very cunning...and dirty."


"No ethnic group or people operates in such a clandestine manner as the Jews."


Hitler had behind-the-scenes connections with the Protocols [of the Elders of Zion ]. Tom and Jerry was made in order to display the exact opposite image.

The mouse is very clever and smart. Everything he does is so cute. He kicks the poor cat's ass. Yet this cruelty does not make you despise the mouse. He looks so nice, and he is so clever... This is exactly why some say it was meant to erase this image of mice from the minds of European children, and to show that the mouse is not dirty and has these traits.

Note: For all you folks who think education can cure animus, please note that Hasan Bolkhari (b. 1962) holds a Ph.D in Islamic Philosophy and, among other things, teaches philosophy of art at Tabatabaei and Al-Zahra Universities in Iran.

"You can't trust anyone anymore... Even antisemites":

Tongue in cheek commentary from Ha-Aretz [and an example of why humor is sometimes the best weapon].

Brunhilda [aka Lady Renouf aka Miss Newcastle, Australia 1968] gets exposed by the Sydney Morning Herald

Those of you who read History on Trial might remember "Brunhilda," the well dressed woman with big blond hair who clung to Irving's side throughot the trial. Turned out she was a "Lady" as a result of a 3 week marriange to a New Zealand tycoon who discovered -- after marrying her -- that she was a charlatan.

The defense team dubbed her "Brunhilda." In a long article the Sydney Morning Herald exposes her background and takes her to task. It is worth reading to see the kind of people Irving attracts.

She admitted to the paper that Irving's purpose in visiting Austria was a publicity ploy.

[Note: He has succeeded in getting lots of publicity but I seriously doubt he thought he'd also get a 3 year sentence. ]

Here are some selections from the Sydney Morning Herald regarding the fromer Miss Newcastle:

Last year, she attended a New Orleans conference where she shared the rostrum with form Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, the British National Party, Germany's neo-Nazi NDP and France's National Front.

Lady Renouf is eager for her views to be publicised and admitted that Irving's seemingly brazen return to Austria - where he was long wanted for Holocaust denial - was designed to bring on a trial and thereby gain publicity.

The publicity was not just welcome for Irving politically, but
also monetarily, as he made sure a copy of his magnum opus Hitler's War was included in every trial photo of him as he was led around in shackles.

Thoughts from Rome on Holocaust denial laws, the Armenian genocide, and more

Despite having been swept up in the media reaction to Irving's sentence, I have begun to teach and to meet people at the Gregorian. Last night, after my first class, Father Madigan, head of the Inter-Religious program at the school, took me to the local wine cask.

He knew that I had two Turkish Muslims in my class. He had just had a discussion before the class with one of them about Holocaust denial laws as compared to Turkish laws against discussing the Armenian genocide.

This was Father Madigan's comment: I told the student that Turkey is using the law to protect a lie. The European countries which rely on Holocaust denial laws are using the law to protect lies about the truth of "what we did during Holocaust."

While I am still against the laws, I was deeply intrigued by his formulation of the matter. I was touched by his use of the first person plural. BTW, he was born well after the war.

If you like spoofs, you will love "David Irving in Complete Denial"

If you enjoy spoofs and think that they are a good way of contextualizing an absurd situation, then you will "enjoy," David Irving in Complete Denial

Cetainly if you are a fan of the Daily Show, this is for you.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Google censors an antisemitic video.... And I am sorry they did

In the last few hours Google Video removed two of revisionist Michael A. Hoffman II's three videos from its free video online website (http://video.google.com).

According to Hoffman [take anything a denier says with a grain of skepticism] he received the an e-mail from Google informing him that his "videos violate our Program Policies. The titles of the videos are listed at the end of this message. According to our policy, we are removing the following videos: World War Two Revisionist Charles Provan [and] Deborah Lipstadt, "Amalek" and David Irving..."

The video, which was a virulent attack on me by Hoffman, was introduced by David Irving. I had actually placed a link to the video on this blog.

Hoffman attributes its removal to "behind-the-scenes pressure that was exerted on Google." In his statement about the removal he clearly attributes the pressure to me.

Now here's the rub. I am sorry the video is gone. It was such a blatant example of the venomous hatred these folks feel towards Jews. It also was a prime illustration of their delusional conspiracy theories. I had used it in a number of speeches to illustrate their thinking.

I showed clips of it to some of my students to illustrate contemporary antisemitism. They got it without my having to say anything.

Now it's gone....

[At least I know that there is lots more of this kind of stuff out there and I will easily find a replacement for this video. That's what modern Hebrew would describe as hatzi nechama, half a consolation.]

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.

Media Whirlwind III

Well the whirlwind has subsided. Today I talked to Iraeli [Galei Zahal], British [Cambridge University], Danish, and Canadian news outlets. Wrote an oped which JTA published and am working on something for Newsweek.

The JTA oped -- which I have some trouble posting -- challenges those in the Jewish community who are hailing the verdict. I argue that the best way to fight deniers is with history and with evidence not with laws.

But this is nothing compared to the past two days. As with most media stories, they begin to subside after a few days. The difference here is that David Irving is sitting in jail. So this is not going to go away.

"I was not dancing the Hora"

The JTA is distributing an article by me on my reaciton to the Irving verdict. In it I question the wisdom of some people -- Jewish leaders in particular -- to support not only his sentencing but Holocaust denial laws in general.

Day in court with Irving shows history a more potent weapon than censorship
By Deborah Lipstadt

ROME, Feb. 22 (JTA) — David Irving’s arrest and three-year jail sentence for having denied the Holocaust has been met with a chorus of cheers in the Jewish community.

A notorious liar, he was once considered a prominent historian. Many people were delighted that prison would now house a man who has called Jews cockroaches, believes black newscasters should be relegated to reading news of criminals and drug busts, and asked a survivor how much money she had made from having a number tattooed on her arm.

At long last, justice seemed to prevail. In the immediate aftermath of the verdict, my blog (Lipstadt.blogspot.com) was flooded with expressions of delight. Most people assumed I was dancing the hora.

But I was not.

I fought this man’s libel charge against me for six years. For over three months I had to silently sit in court in London listening to him say the most horrible things about Jews, people of color and survivors. He made fun of those who talked about gas chambers and sneered at survivors’ accounts of what they
endured. He was full of bluster about how he was going to demolish the myth of the Holocaust.

Quietly and meticulously, relying on the stellar work of a dream team of historians, we showed that every one — not many, not most, but all — of David Irving’s claims were complete rot. They were based on lies, distortions and fabrications.

They were, as the prominent historian Richard Evans and the leader of our research team, said, “A tissue of lies.” In no way, Evans continued, could this man even be thought of as a

Some people have argued that since he has written over 30 books on historical topics, he is a historian. If I wrote books on building bridges that would not make me a structural engineer. Irving has been dubbed by some people on the Internet as a “distorian.”

During my trial, Irving kept trying to introduce evidence of a world Jewish cabal or global conspiracy against him. He described me as "the gold-tipped spearhead of the enemies of truth," his euphemism for the Jews. He laughed at survivors, declaring them liars or psychopaths. And he called the judge — in a very telling slip, "Mein Fuhrer."

He suffered an overwhelming loss. When the judge, in a 350-page judgment, said he "perverts," "distorts," "lies," and that his conclusions are a "travesty," Irving’s reputation was left in tatters. When two different courts of appeal concurred, he faced financial ruin.

Why then was I not delighted with the court sentence handed down in Vienna on Feb. 20? I am writing this sitting in the shadow of the Vatican, preparing to teach a course on the Holocaust at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Jesuit university affiliated with the Vatican. For centuries the church censored Jewish books, forcing Jews to remove anything the church authorities deemed objectionable to Christianity. Even prayers were censored.

We Jews, who have suffered from censorship, should not be supporting it. Moreover, I don’t believe censorship is efficacious. It renders the censored item into forbidden fruit, making it more appealing, not less so.

Here in Europe, as in many quarters in the United States, this discussion has been joined with the debate over the Danish cartoons. Various Jewish organizations have pointed out — and rightfully so — that the Islamic world, which is so vigorously protesting the insult they perceive in these cartoons, is ignoring its own double standard. It has lived quite comfortably for many years with a spate of anti-Semitic cartoons. Some are well nigh pornographic and worthy of what one might find in Der Sturmer, the Nazi anti-Semitic newspaper.

While it is legitimate to argue that there is a difference between cartoons and the murder of millions of people, it is hard to argue for laws against Holocaust denial but demand that the Danish cartoonists’ freedom of speech be protected. It suggests a double standard.

More importantly, there is a far better way to fight Holocaust denial than to rely on the transitory force of law. When David Irving forced me to go to court to defend my freedom of expression, my most important weapon was the historical truth. We have truth and history on our side. From both an ideological and strategic perspective, those are far more powerful weapons than laws, especially laws that seem to counter the ideal of freedom of expression.

The best way to counter Holocaust deniers is to teach as many people as possible this history. That is why courses on history of the Holocaust have proven so popular and important. Students who take those courses will never fall prey to the David Irving-like distortions.

Jewish tradition teaches that the word emet, truth, composed as it is from the first, middle and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, encompasses everything. The truth of the Holocaust is terrible and painful, but it is the truth and that is the most potent weapon anyone could want.

Daily Mail: It was all a lark for Irving

This report in the Daily Mail buttresses the statement by his wife that "he thought it would be fun to provoke." He rather brazenly told reporters that he had booked a "first-class ticket back to London," for Monday night the night of the verdict. In other words he expected to be let off with a slap on the wrist and, to my mind, to return to London as the "conquering hero."

As I have said a number of times on this page. He refused to recognize that his words and his actions have consequences.

Jailed: Historian David Irving

David Irving stumbled from court stunned and humiliated yesterday after receiving a three-year jail sentence for denying the Holocaust happened.

The Right-wing British historian had expected to be given a suspended term in Vienna after pleading guilty and recanting his previous claims. He had even booked a flight back to London last night.

But he failed to win over the three judges and eight jury members who jointly decided to make an example of him. Judge Peter Liebtreu compared him to a "prostitute who has not changed her ways for decades".

Irving, 67, said he was "very shocked" as he was led from court.


The prosecution had condemned his sudden conversion to conventional historical thinking as a "theatrical exhibition"
designed to save him from the maximum jail term of 10 years.


Ever the showman, he entered the main courtroom of the Imperial-era State Court in Vienna 20 minutes ahead of the trial clutching a copy of his book Hitler's War to his chest.

He said Austria would be "stupid" to sentence him to jail, claiming: "I am not a Holocaust denier nor have ever been."


Irving told Judge Liebtreu yesterday that it was only after 1991, when he had access to the papers of the former deputy commander of Auschwitz and the private papers of Nazi logisitician Adolf Eichmann, that he came to believe in the Nazi extermination programme.


Addressing the court in fluent German. "I'm not a Holocaust denier. Obviously, I've changed my views. I spoke then about Auschwitz and gas chambers based on my knowledge at the time, but by 1991 when I came across the Eichmann papers, I wasn't saying that any more and I wouldn't say that now. The Nazis did murder millions of Jews."

[Then how come he sued me in 2000??]

State prosecutor Michael Klackl ... scoffed at Irving's '1991 enlightenment' and quoted articles and speeches by him afterwards, including a statement in 1994 that the gas chambers were "a great lie".

Addressing the jurors he added: "He has played a role for you today. The thread of anti-Semitism runs through him."


He blamed a "failure of judgment" for his claim that there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz.

Irving's twin brother said:… "All his life, he's fallen on his feet. This time he's fallen on his backside."

Moving personal reflection from today's London Times

There is a very moving personal piece in today's London Times.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Irving's sentence: not just a question of free speech

I think one of the things that has been lost sight of in discussion of Irving's sentence is that the judge clearly thought that he was lying and playing with the court when he claimed to have stopped being a Holocaust denier as of the 1990s.

The judge was very familiar with my trial. He knew that Irving had me in court in 2000 and then again in 2001. How could Irving have stopped being a denier in the 1990s if he had me in court in 200.

The judge knew Irving had all sorts of denial material on his website as of 2005. And he may have been aware that Irving planned to go to New Zealand in 2004 to argue there were no gas chambers.

In short, there may well have been an issue of perjury here and not just free speech. Irving, as I have said earlier, seems to me to think he can say what he wants with no consequences.

During my trial Irving repeatedly claimed a document said X when it said A or vice versa. At one point the judge grew so exasperated with his claims that he said to him: "But it (the document) does not say that Mr. Irving.

It seems to me that judges really hate it when they are toyed with.

This was a lark for Irving. But it did not turn out that way.

Bente: Irving thought it "fun to provoke"

A report in the Guardian suggests that in fact Irving has not really changed his denier spots. Interestingly, Irving's partner, Bente Hogh is also reported as saying that Irving went to Austria, despite the ban, because he "thought it was fun to provoke". Here are some excerpts:
Irving jailed for denying Holocaust

Three years for British historian who described Auschwitz as a fairytale
Ian Traynor in Vienna

Tuesday February 21, 2006


State prosecutor Michael Klackl said: "He's not a historian, he's a falsifier of history." Arguments over freedom of speech were entirely misplaced, he added: "This is about abuse of freedom of speech."

Last night Irving's partner Bente Hogh said he had brought his imprisonment on himself by going to Austria despite the ban. She said: "He was not jailed just for his views but because he's banned from Austria and still went. David doesn't take advice from anyone. He thought it was a bit of fun, to provoke a little bit."

Irving pleaded guilty but under Austrian law the trial went ahead. Judge Peter Liebtreu called Irving "a racist, an anti-Semite, and a liar", citing the verdict delivered by Justice Charles Gray at the high court in London in 2000 when the historian lost a libel case against an American writer and academic and was bankrupted.

Irving said that defeat had cost him $13m, but supporters were sending donations to help him fight yesterday's case.

The judge repeatedly asked Irving if he still subscribed to the views articulated in the 1989 speeches. "I made a mistake saying there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz," he conceded. He claimed the Holocaust figure of six million murdered Jews was "a symbolic number" and said his figures totalled 2.7 million.

He said he was not sure how many died at Auschwitz, but he mentioned a figure of 300,000, a fraction of the accepted total. And he still believed Hitler protected the Jews and tried to put off the Final Solution - the systematic killing of all European Jews - at least until after the second world war.

Media Whirlwind II

As the frenzy in the UK quiets down, other media outlets have picked up this story. As I noted earlier, I have done Israeli, Canadian, Irish and Australian radio. I just talked with a reporter from Spain and will do New Zealand and NPR in Washington later tonight.

After today I think things will go quiet until the appeal.

NPR's Talk of the Nation with Neal Conan

I am scheduled to be on NPR's Talk of the Nation this afternoon [p.m. over here] with Neal Conan at 2 p.m. est.

For those of you in markets that don't carry the show [e.g. Atlanta] you probably can listen online or after the show is on.

Media whirlwind

Greetings from rainy Roma after 36 hours of non-stop media.

Those of you who know me well [or even not so well] know that I generally enjoy doing media appearances. It's not the publicity [I have enough of that] but the chance to make my voice and opinions heard to large audiences, e.g. one of the BBC shows I did yesterday [a BBC/Public Radio co-cooperation] gets 40 million listeners.

There have even been elements which have been rather surrealistic. For example I talked to Irish radio walking to the taxi stand near the Colloseo [where the gladiators used to do their thing -- I am by now so used to living 5 minutes from it I pay it no mind].

I talked to Australian radio while tryiing to hail a taxi.

[I wonder what their listerners made of it when they heard me say -- in the middle of a sentence about the Holocaust -- "Take me to St. Peter's"? (St Peter's is adjacent to the BBC offices or, should i more properly say, the BBC offices are adjacent to St Peter's.]

And I talked to the BBC for the 18th time while drinking cappuchino.

Normally this would give me somewhat of an adrenalin rush. But, given the circumstances and the potential fallout, this isn't fun... it's emotionally draining... and troubling.

Yet I feel that it is important that my voice -- and certainly not my voice alone -- be heard saying "Censorship is not the way. We can wiin this battle with history, evidence, documentation, and the truth."


Northwestern's Prof. Butz: the law of unintended consequences

From John C. Zimmerman, of the University of Nevada and an active member of the holocaust history project, who has written a fine book on Holocaust denial, comes the following perspective on the work of Arthur Butz, professor of Electrical Engineering at Northwester:

In chapter 7 of my book I noted that in his own book Butz presented so much evidence that the Holocaust actually occurred, that only someone desperate to
accept his conspriacy theories would believe him. In fact, Butz's book was the first one I ever read on the Holocaust. The evidence he presented actually convinced me that the Holocaust occurred. Interestingly, this aspect of Butz is often overlooked.

The Independent gets it just right

See the headline in today's Independent :

David Irving: An anti-Semitic racist who has suffered financial ruin

No matter what you think of the verdict, the paper nailed it.

More on Irving trial: There are consequences to your actions

After having a long conversation with a reporter who was in the courtroom, I have learned that it seemed to him -- quite clearly so -- that the judge was really angry about Irving's claims to have "changed his views" as of the 1990s.

"The judge had read every page of every transcript of your trial. He knew the judgment. He knew the experts' findings," this reporter said to me.

The judge knew that in 2000 Irving was in court suing you. He knew that Irving's claims to have seen the light and to no longer be a denier as of the 1990s was rot and that Irving was playing with the court.

Once again, as he did at my trial, Irving seemed to behave in a way that said: "I can do whatever I want, say whatever I want and get away with it."

The problem is, he can't. While I may disagree with Holocaust denial laws, while I may be disturbed by the sentence, David Irving cannot seem to grasp that there are consequences to his actions.

The Austrian court thought otherwise

I am withdrawing from serving as a "judge" in Holocaust cartoon contest

I made a mistake.

When I first learned of the Isralie cartoon contest I saw it as a ironic or sardonic [never sure which is which] way of responding to the absurdly antisemitic Iranian contest.

Things however have become more serious with Arab and Muslim news outlets announcing their intention to run the cartoons.

I thought of the whole thing as a spoof. I was wrong.

It reminded me of the joke from Nazi times. One Berlin Jew meets another. He is carrying Der Sturmer. The first Jew is shocked.

"You read that Nazi antisemitic paper??!!"

"Of course. If I read the Jewish press I only see all the trouble we are in and the horrible things happening to us. If I read Der Sturmer I see how powerful we are. How we run the world. What strength we have."

So I thought of this. But I was wrong. This is being used by others for wrong purposes. I urge the organizers to cancel the contest.

This is the nature of Irving and Butz's supporters

Received the following email [it is not atypical of many I have received] Normally I would not post such language, but I think the tenor of the message is rather revealing.
Your Jew Busllshit isn't going to get you very far in the age of the
Internet. Lying fucking Jews just can't grab the headlines like they once did.

Have a bad day you ugly fucking bitch

Monday, February 20, 2006

News Flash: Irving trumped by bird flu

I was supposed to do Newsnight, the BBC's form of Nightline [Koppel's old show]. They just cancelled.

Seemed they decided to do a story on the bird flu instead.

I told them they made the right choice.

Another thought on the sentence

David Irving was 'playing' with the Austrian court by claiming to have changed his opinion in the 1990s. The court knew he had not.

According to a friend who was there covering the trial for an Irish paper, the judge had clearly reviewed all the evidence and the transcripts of my trial.

Maybe the Austrians were saying don't play with us... don't think we don't know what you were saying about gas chambers and the like as late as the fall of 2005.

End of day for me, I am going to sleep.

Further Thoughts on David Irving

In principle I do not believe in laws which entail censorship. I believe in free speech and, moreover, I don't think such laws are efficacious.

However, having said that, I also recognize that Germany and Austria are sovereign states with a democratic system. And, more importantly, they have a unique history which gives Holocaust denial a different resonance in their country than it might in the United States or the UK.

David Irving brought this down on himself. He knew there was a warrant for his arrest in Austria. Nonetheless, he went there -- after posting the fact that he was going on his website and having the students who invited him announce it on their website. He knew the law in that country and yet he flagrantly violated it. As my friend Ken Stern said: if you don't like Thai drug laws, don't go to Thailand.

In essence, when he sued me for libel he did the same thing. Daring me to defend myself (and assuming I would not), he took me into court. I fought and exposed his tissue of lies.Finally, when all is said and done the way to defeat these kinds of lies is with what I do in the classroom and what we did in the courtroom during my trial in the UK: With the historical facts, the evidence, the testimony. In short with the truth.

First thoughts

Once again David Irving has brought his house of cards down on himself. First he sued me for calling him a Holocaust denier and ended up with his reputation in tatters.

Then he went off to Austria to tweak the Austrian authorities by testing the law and he got himself arrested.

Nonetheless, given how I feel about the efficacy of censorship laws and laws against Holocaust denial, I understand the jury's inclinations -- they were Austrian after all -- but I am not pleased.

This does not seem like a good thing.

News Flash: David Irving gets 3 years

I am floored. Just heard this news. Going off to do two newsnight shows from London. This is quite mind boggling.

More later.

Irving's suit against me comes back to haunt him

This is exactly what I have been saying all along. Irving cannot claimed to have changed his mind in the 1990s when he took me to court in 2000.

As Roger Boyes, Berlin Correspondent of The Times, reports on Irving's trial from Vienna:


"Irving walked in with a swagger but soon ended pushed up against the wall in cross-questioning by the judge that forced him to apologise or express regret for almost every utterance he had made over the past 20 years.


He is saying that since he saw various documents in 1992 he has changed his mind and now accepts that Jews were killed.


The judge is pushing him all the time, demanding apologies - he's being even tougher than the prosecutor.

"The essential weakness of Irving's case is that the libel case in
London, which finished in 2000, showed him even then to be a
distorter of the historical truth and exposed lots of his arguments as false. So it's hard for him to claim that he stopped being a Holocaust denier back in 1992.


Austria [and Germany] are special cases

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.

Irving's trial underway

It seems that Irving did not switch lawyers. The trial, as I just heard from Vienna, is underway. He has plead guilty and said he 'has learned a lot since 1989,' when he made those statements. He has told reporters that documents he saw in the 1990s have convinced him he was wrong.

This is all bunk. If he saw those documents in the 1990s why did he sue me?

Right now he is a media star [for the moment]. But he is also looking like an opportunist.

Irving to switch lawyers

According to taz, [die tageszeitung] the German daily newspaper, Irving has decided to replace his attorney Elmar Kresbach, about whom their were no suspicions of Nazi sympathies, with Herbert Schaller, who was chosen by Ernst Zundel as his lawyer and whom the paper describes at the notorious Nazi lawyer. [Er will sich jetzt vom berühmt-berüchtigten Nazianwalt Herbert Schaller vertreten lassen.]

Rather than plead guilty, as his previous lawyer said he planned to do, the paper reports that Schaller will argue that the Austrian law is so vague that Irving could not have been aware this his "denial of mass killings in gas chambers" would have meant that he was breaking the law.

Looks like we will get a show for the media. The previous lawyer stressed that Irving would do no "grandstanding." I think that expectation has gone by the wayside.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Media circus for Irving trial

According to the Times [London] there will be 50 camera crews at his trial tomorrow. One can only hope that the prosecution has done its homework so he can be shown to be a liar and a falsifier of history.

Otherwise, he wins as Austria rescues him from obscurity.

News from Rome on Sholem Aleichem's birthday: Irving says he's neither a Nazi nor a Holocaust denier

In a extensive article in this morning's Independent Irving once again claims he is not a Holocaust denier.

The article also lists the statements Irving made in his Austrian speeches, which he gave to a audience of 300, which got him into this trouble.

In the first, he said that Kristallnacht was conducted by "unknowns" who put on SA uniforms. This, of course, was completely discredited by documents presented at my trial. Documents which came from Irving's work.

He also contended that the diary of Anne Frank could not have been written by her because the Biro [ball point pen] wasn't invented until 1949. Of course, the diary is NOT written in ball point pen, as Dutch forensic experts have shown.

He cited the research by Fred Leuchter, whom the paper describes as "the (now discredited) American execution technician." [Attention Northwestern University readers: please forward this article to the editors of the Daily Northwestern. Somehow the Independent could figure out that Leuchter was discredited and the Daily editors could not].

Leuchter based his claim that no humans were murdered at Auschwitz on the fact that he found more traces of cyanide in the areas where clothes were deloused than in did in areas where humans were "claimed to have been" murdered.

Of course, Leuchter -- who is just a scam artist and a weird one at that -- was not aware of a basic fact known to most high school kids who have studied biology. Louse and the like are far more resistant to cyanide than humans, therefore, it makes perfect sense to have found greater traces of cyanide in the areas where clothes and objects were deloused.

In his second Austrian lecture he made a statement which would subsequently become part of his repertoire: "Auschwitz is a legend, just like the Turin Shroud", and "the existence of witnesses proves that there was no mass extermination".

He also told an Austrian journalist: "I stand by what I said. There were no gas chambers at Auschwitz."

His lawyer says Irving will not "grandstand" in court and that he has abandoned his extremist views.

Irving says he changed his views in 1992 when he saw two documents, a discovery, which the Independent notes, "he kept to himself until recently."

One document was a radio message sent to Adolf Eichmann in 1943, reporting that during the previous 12 months more than a million people had died in Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec concentration camps.

This all makes no sense -- except maybe in David Irving's world of "I can say whatever I want whenever I want and no one will check out what I say." [In fact, he was right. No one did check it out until he forced me and my wonderful legal team to do so. Pfft, his claims collapsed.]

It also makes no sense because, for ten weeks we sat in a London court listening to him deny the Holocaust, argue that there were no gas chambers, and spout antisemitism and racism.

Richard Evans, who did such a stellar job of researching Irving's mangling of history, told the paper: "One shouldn't believe a word he says."


Oh what Sholem Aleichem could have done with the likes of a David Irving.

And now I am off to see the Arch of Titus. It's comforting to recall that the regime of the people who destroyed the ancient Temple and took the menorah and other object depicted on the arch are no more.

As the partisans during the Shoah [Holocaust] sang: Mir seinen da.

And so it is.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Northwestern's Butz loses his University website... and so does everyone else at NWU

Northwestern University announced that it was shutting down all faculty and student personal websites in the near future.

Officially the reason was because there was little use of this service and there are now many places where people can post personal materials.

Unofficially, this offers Northwestern a way out of one aspect of their Butz problem. He was using his personal website to deny the Holocaust. The university could not shut him down without shutting lots of other people down. Therefore -- until now -- it did nothing.

In the article in the Daily Northwestern one student expressed his dismay at this development. The Northwestern site, he said, provided "credibility" that other sites did not have because they were not university sites.

This may have been precisely the reason the sites will soon be history. As often as the university stated that it did not - in any manner, shape or form -- endorse what was on Butz's site, people still associated his denial with the university itself.

Ciao to the websites.

Financial Times columnist opposes laws on Holocaust denial

Christopher Caldwell, writing in today's Financial Times opposes laws outlawing Holocaust denial, mainly on free speech grounds. He also raises the fact that these laws don't work. At the same time he recognizes that, while those western countries which have such laws [e.g. France] must undo them, those who would deny the Holocaust are "violent people of ill will."

I discovered this article while drinking an espresso in a cafe near the Roman Forum. Someone had left a copy of the Financial Times nearby and I picked it up.

Seems like this stuff follows me wherever I go....


Northwestern University: An update

Apparently the editors at the Daily Northwestern told the Hillel leadership that they would be publishing my column -- or some other column -- reacting to Butz.

Instead they published their delusional editorial commending themselves for starting an "educated debate" about Butz's ideas [aka among discerning folks as "distortions and lies"].

These folks may be living in la-la land. That's their prerogative. But to have such dribble published as an editorial in the newspaper of one of America's leading universities, is an embarrassment.

Nice news from Rome: History on Trial wins award

Just learned that History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving has won the National Jewish Book Award.



Friday, February 17, 2006

Der Spiegel on Double Standard in Muslim/Arab world when it comes to cartoons


Some additional details to what we already know.

Northwestern University: Serious deterioration - Student editors' minds are so open... their brains fell out

Things at Northwestern have deteriorated markedly. Not in terms of Butz, who is still doing his thing, which is no surprise. The deterioration has come in terms of the student editors of the Daily Northwestern. They have acted in what can only be described as a bizarre manner.

I am NOT referring to the fact that they rejected an article by me, which I have posted below. That’s fine. They might have decided that enough has been said on this matter.

What amazes me is the editorial they posted this a.m. They defended the fact that they published an article by Butz and argued that:

Through the column, The Daily hoped to facilitate a more educated debate over Butz’s beliefs. If the comments on Dailynorthwestern.com are any indication, that debate has begun. The Daily took considerable care before publishing the column. All the facts used were all verified, even if he drew horrendous, misguided conclusions from them.
Debate over Butz’s beliefs? What these editors don’t seem to get is that these are not “beliefs.” They are documented lies. Don’t take my word on it. Take that of the Royal High Court of Justice and two different Courts of Appeal. Five judges total reviewed the evidence and agreed that David Irving’s arguments – many of which come straight from Butz – are pure distortions and lies.

“All the facts were verified”: What are they talking about? In the article Butz cites Fred Leuchter’s findings that that “the alleged gassings not possible at the alleged sites.” He describes Leuchter as “our foremost execution technologist.”

Leuchter who claimed to be an engineer but is not, was running a scam with different penitentiaries. He told them that if they did not hire him to check their sites he would serve as an expert witness for the condemned person and testify that the execution process at these prisons was faulty.

The Alabama Attorney General [now a Federal judge] warned other states about his scam.

Moreover, Leuchter’s findings were all proven by scientists and forensic specialists to be utterly wrong. Even the lab which did the testing for him said his conclusions are all wrong.

All this information is available in the transcripts of my trial www.hdot.org , in Richard Evans Lying about Hitler, Robert Jan van Pelt’s The Case for Auschwitz and in my History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving.

The student editors at the Daily Northwestern have proven themselves to be very irresponsible journalists…. Actually I am not sure we can even call them journalists. They are to journalism as Arthur Butz and David Irving are to history.

If I were a student at Northwestern I would asking, is this group, which is running a newspaper which my fees support, smart enough to be doing the job?

Of them it can be said: Their minds were so open their brains fell out."

This is the article by me that they decided not to print:

Electrical Engineering Professor, Arthur Butz has, after many years of total obscurity in anything but the world of Holocaust deniers, once again grabbed headlines.

Mr. Butz has as much expertise on the history of the Holocaust as I do on building bridges. But he has tenure and this means that, as long as he does not introduce this false information into his classroom, he cannot be fired.

Now Butz claims in the pages of your paper that the reason people are “reluctant to consider the validity” of Holocaust denial is “fear.” Mr. Butz would have you believe that legal obstacles have made impossible for deniers to speak their piece. Rot.

I say this with over six years of legal experience defending myself against David Irving, once the world’s leading Holocaust denier. He sued me for libel for calling him a Holocaust denier in one of my books. He waited until the book appeared in the U.K. where the burden of proof is on the defendant.

I do not believe history belongs in the courtroom. Historians conduct their “battles” in scholarly journals and at conferences. Mr. Irving thought otherwise and due to the nature of British law I had no choice but to defend myself. Had he won, my books would have been pulped and his version of the Holocaust would have been declared legitimate.

Rather than face any legal obstacles, Irving freely repeated his – and by extension Butz’s -- arguments in court. The world press reported on them daily. No one faced any legal obstacles. No one was hauled into court except me.

I was able to mount an aggressive defense thanks to a defense fund which raised 1.75 million dollars [not 6 million as Mr. Irving like to claim. Funny, isn’t it, how he chooses this number?] We hired a dream team of historians to closely examine Irving’s claims about the Holocaust. They found his work to be a “tissue of lies.” Many of Irving’s claims come straight from Butz’s work and from that of other deniers Butz praises in his article in your paper, e.g. Fred Leuchter and Germar Rudolf.

By the end of my ten week trial Irving was left looking like the Court Jester. He had called the judge “Mein Fuhrer,” a telling slip. When asked by Richard Rampton, my barrister, how he could say that Herman Goring “goggled” at a certain exchange, when there was absolutely no evidence that Goring was even at this meeting, Irving declared: “author’s license.”

On another occasion Irving, whose knowledge of German is
impeccable, attributed a mistranslation that rendered the ominous field ovens – the incineration grids on which the Germans had burned their victims’ bodies – into the utterly benign field kitchens, to the pressure of preparing for the trial at 2am the previous morning.

We pointed out that we had downloaded the same document with the same mistranslation from Irving’s website two years earlier. Irving replied that he had made the same mistake twice. Such things happened daily as Irving’s claims to be a fastidious historian evaporated.

The Judge and two subsequent Courts of Appeal found for me. The judge’s choice of words to describe Irving’s writings about the Holocaust – and by extension Butz’s and his cronies -- were unambiguous: “perverts,” “distorts,” “misleading,” "unjustified,” “travesty,” and “unreal.”

Moreover, the judge wrote in his 350 page judgment that this
“falsification of the historical record was deliberate and ... motivated by a desire to present events in a manner consistent with his own ideological beliefs even if that involved distortion and manipulation of historical evidence.”

In his article in the Forum Mr. Butz engages in linguistic tricks. He claims that Timothy Ryback wrote in the Wall Street Journal that “there is little forensic evidence proving homicidal intent” in the ruins of Auschwitz.” Mr. Butz ignores the other portion of Ryback’s comment regarding Auschwitz: “these heaps of dynamited concrete and twisted steel are not only historic artifacts but among the few remnants of untainted, forensic
evidence of the Holocaust.”

Why do we not enter further into “debate” with him? Because
debating people who deliberately pervert, distort, and mislead is like trying to nail a blob of jelly to the wall. There is no end to the matter. If they have no fidelity to the truth how can you debate them? They just make things up as it suits them

There is much left to learn and study about the Holocaust. When historians find that they have been wrong about something, they revise it.

Our research agenda, however, should not be set by people whose arguments are complete fabrications.

Let the likes of Butz and Irving go on giving paper and making their arguments to neo-Nazis and other deniers. That is their right. Your paper, on the other hand, has no responsibility to print such falsehoods.

And now let them all slip into the obscurity they so well deserve.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Irving's upcoming trial: a very different view

Here's an argument for keeping Irving in jail from the New Statesman. While I don't agree with its reasoning, I thought I should post it because so much has been written on the blog about the topic.

"God Bless Hitler": One picture says it all

Check out this site. Scroll down to the picture. It takes a strong stomach.


The BBC on Irving and the free speech issue


This is a real debate. Much bigger than David Irving himself, who as I note in History on Trial was left, at the end of the trial, looking rather pathetic. Prof Fleck calls him a fool. Yet others think he is dangerous and a real threat to European peace.

One thing is certain his new best friends will be found in the Arab/Muslim world.

I am going to judge the Jewish cartoon contest

My offer to be a judge has been accepted.

It will be a strange experience. The whole notion is so absurd that it provides the proper commentary about the other contest.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Syria's latest accusation: Israel created the Avian Flu to destroy Arab genes

This one is so off the wall that it hardly needs comment. In fact, when I first saw the headline I thought it was the work of someone who was contributing to the Israeli antisemitic cartoon contest.

In short, according to a Syrian newspaper, [as reported by MEMRI] Israel created the avian bird flu as a means of destroying Arab genes. It is part of their "race bomb."

This is something worthy of Jon Stewart and the Daily Show. Problem is there will be a lot of guys and gals in the Arab/Muslim world who will believe it.

Irving to plead guilty but he doesn't mean it

As I predicted months ago, Irving's decision to plead guilty is nothing but a "get out of jail free" card. What I did not expect is that he would admit as much to the press even before the trial. He told the Daily Telegraph that is guilty plea will be nothing but a ploy.

He still denies he is a denier.

No comment necessary.

Iran now "insulted" by soccer cartoon

MSNBC's Daryl Cagle is a cartoonist whose blog contains considerable background on the cartoon controversy, as well as daily updates on the violence that has ensued. Cagle notes:
It's not just Muhammad cartoons making the Middle East angry - the Iranian embassy in Berlin demanded an apology for a cartoon in a German newspaper that insulted the Iranian football (soccer) team. To quote from iransportsnews.com:

In a statement addressed to chief editor of the daily Der Tagesspiegel, the embassy demanded a "written apology and measures aimed at rectifying this immoral act". The communiqué added the offensive caricature had caused "outrage among the Iranian people".
The Iran Sports News item displays a copy of the "offensive" cartoon and is headlined:
Iran demands apology from German daily for insulting football cartoon

The Iranian Embassy in Berlin on Monday demanded a full apology from a Berlin-based newspaper for depicting Iranian national football team players in an insulting cartoon.
The article concludes by noting that the graphic artist has already "voiced his regret to the Iranian nation."

The Jewish cartoon contest: I am volunteering to be a judge

I am exhausted by all the sturm and drang of Butz, Irving, AAUP, and others. [I never thought I would string those two names with the AAUP. For details on AAUP see previous post of February 10th.]

I think I need a breather, so I have decided to volunteer to be a judge in the Jewish cartoon contest.

There are few people who can judge antisemitism better than I. [Not an accolade I claim proudly.]

Let's see if they will accept my offer.

More on the Northwestern [and Butz] Front

Well Mr. Butz has been heard from in a rambling and distorted oped piece in the Northwestern student newspaper. A student responded in a so-so column. While he acknowledged that most of Butz's claims were demolished in my trial, he did say that they should be further investigated.

On the surface this sounds quite sane. The problem is eyn sof la'davar, there is no end to the matter when you are investigating claims of liars and falsifiers.

If we follow this students advice our research agenda will be set by liars and antisemites.

I have written a piece for the student newspaper. If they don't publish it in the next day or so, I will post it here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Jewish cartoon contest: brilliant and bound to offend lots of people!

An Israeli webpage is sponsoring a contest for antisemitic cartoons. And here's rub: entry limited to Jews.

The antisemites must be gnashing their teeth in anger and frustration. I can almost empathize. Almost... but not quite.

Check out http://www.boomka.org/

Monday, February 13, 2006

Ahmadinejad and the Holocaust: Like a dog with a bone, i.e. he can't let go

Check out the Memri post on the latest speech [diatribe?] by the Iranian president. The responsibility for the cartoons has been laid squarely at the feet of the ubiquitous Zionists.

Furthermore, in another example of moral equivalences that Arab/Muslim leaders have been pushing since this thing began, he says in Europe you can insult the Prophet but you can't deny the Holocaust.

Similarly, I heard the Saudi Ambassador to the US interviewed last week and he sang a similar tune. "I am not allowed to say anything antisemitic in Europe. But I can disparage Islam." [I am paraphrasing.]

I think rational Arab/Muslim leaders are a bit upset by the reaction against the Muslim reaction. I just don't know how many of them there are and how much influence they have.

[I almost changed the title of this post because I anticipate that some people will take my words out of context and charge that I called the President of Iran a dog. The fact is that I did not do that in this post.]

Why I think the Danish editor was wrong to want to publish the Holocaust cartoons

A few posts ago I promised to explain to a critic [see comments on Danish editor panders] why I think it was wrong of the Danish editor to want to publish the Iranian contest Holocaust cartoons.

Simply put: cartoons are a form of an editorial. The Muslim Prophet cartoons were published to say something about what is going on in the Muslim world.

What would be the point of publishing the Holocaust cartoons? If [with a big emphasis on the IF] they were being published to illustrate how these cartoons [the ones that have consistently been published in the Arab/Muslim world about Jews and about Israel] evoke a kind of cartoon which was familiar in the Third Reich, I would not be against that at all.

That would be an effort by the newspaper to educate its readers. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is what newspapers are supposed to do [as opposed to entertain readers].

But just to publish them to show that "we can be equal opportunity offenders" is misguided, silly, and smacks of pandering.

Obviously the powers that be at the Danish paper thought the same thing because they immediately pulled back from the offer.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Holocaust deniers attack me: lies, more lies, and damn lies

Michael Hoffman, who has accused me of calling for the assassination of David Irving, now claims that on the O'Reilly Factor I called for the firing of Electrical Engineering professor Arthur Butz.

That's a lie. O'Reilly started the conversation by acknowledging that since Butz has tenure he can't be fired. What then, he asked, can be done? I said don't let him teach. Don't assign any classes to him. Assigning classes to him is giving him the University's passive imprimatur.

Rather than calling for his firing, essentially I was suggesting that the guy should get paid for doing nothing.

BTW, rather than being upset, I find this just confirms for me what People like Hoffman are all about. I don't expect from the likes of Michael Hoffman anything akin to the truth. He just should not be so blatant about his lies. Then again, his supporters are not terribly concerned with reality.

This is what he has to say:

A couple of evenings ago Steven Spielberg's poster girl for Holocaust" story-telling, Deborah Lipstadt, went on national television to brazenly demand that Dr. Arthur R. Butz, professor of Engineering at Northwestern University, be terminated from his tenured teaching position for expounding opinions about the
gas chambers not consonant with Lipstadt's opinions.

Does the Forward advocate "screaming bloody murder" about Lipstadt's tyrannical fiat to Northwestern? Surely you jest. Repression against Prof. Butz is halachic. Censorship of anti-Muslim bigotry is not. The indignation is entirely selective. That's not the American way, but that's the way of the rabbis.