The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

David Irving, Holocaust denial, and his connections to right-wing extremists and Neo-National Socialism (Neo-Nazism) In Germany

David Irving & the right-wing extremist German People's Union (Continued)

3.2.14. Irving's speaking tour of 1982 was indeed titled `The unatoned Holocaust - the expulsion of the Germans' ['Der ungesühnte Holocaust - die Vertreibung der

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Deutschen'] and was a political attempt to counter-act the TV-series 'Holocaust'.<48>

3.2.15. Irving's DVU sponsored speaking-tours coincided with carefully contrived publicity-campaigns in the DNZ. His latest speeches and books were heralded and marketed by Frey's publishing concerns. Irving also played an important part in the DVU's veneration of former Nazi heroes. For instance on 9 January 1983 Irving delivered a memorial speech [`Gedenkrede'] on the death of Oberst Hans-Ulrich Rudel.<49>

3.2.16. As of 1987 Frey also invited Irving to contribute articles to the DNZ although Irving had long fed Frey with documents he felt might interest him, the DVU, or the readers of the DNZ.<50> For instance in 1984 Irving offered Frey and the National News [National Zeitung] photos taken in the immediate aftermath of the ' "freeing"' [` "Befreiung"' - Irving's quotation marks] of Dachau concentration camp, purporting to show executed camp guards. If the photos were to be used Irving hoped he would receive his usual commission [`Verwendungsgebühr'].<51> In 1984 Irving was asked by Frey if he had anything 'exonerating' [`Entlastendes'] in the case of the notorious Klaus Barbie, and if so to send it to Barbie's daughter.<52>

3.2.17. In 1984 Irving was requested on Frey's behalf to investigate certain names in the Berlin Document Centre for their backgrounds and activities during the Third Reich. He was offered DM 2,000 for the work plus costs and was to pass the documents on to the DVU.<53> The list of over 100 names included many prominent left-wing and liberal personalities in Germany such as Rudolf Augstein, Joseph Beuys, Heinrich Böll, Marion Gräfin von Dönhoff, Günter Grass, Eugen Kogon, Erich Kuby and Harry Ristock.<54> Frey wrote to Irving that the DVU themselves were not in a position to do the work because the `incriminated person' [`Belastete'] would have to be mad

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[`verrckt'] to allow them access to their files.<55> Irving duly wrote to the Berlin Document Centre claiming that he was researching the names as part of his work on Reich Marshall Hermann Göring.<56> The Director Daniel P. Simon politely told Irving that ` should know that Mr. Frey, who is not authorized to receive information from our files, has on several occasions in the past tried to obtain information from the BDC.<57>

3.2.18. In his reply Irving made clear that his activities for Frey and the DVU were political.

It is true that I am familiar with Dr Gerhard Frey. He is a strange character, his own enemy sometimes, but one of the few people on the Right putting his money where his mouth is in the fight against the Far Left. That is why I place my oratory at his disposal. It helps to keep the Right Wing in the fringe, I hope.<58>

3.2.19. It .would seem that the list was declined by the Berlin Document Centre, but alone Irving's attempt to undertake such work for Frey speaks for the political nature of Irving's relations to the DVU.<59>

3.2.20. The case became public in 1988 surrounding a scandal about documents being purloined from the Centre.. In. the .course of the discussion Irving himself admitted the details of his political work for the DVU in 1984.<60> In 1989 Irving tried to re-approach the Centre for research materials, and was reminded of his statements to the media and informed that passing materials on to `someone whom you knew had been refused access to the BDC...with the prospect of receiving money' constituted `a grave misuse of the privilege of access to the BDC.'<61> As he recorded in his dairy 5 July 1989: `...writing-long letters.::, and to the Berlin Document Centre,apologizing for my 1984 .lapse (Dr Frey asked me to "research" there for him). I don't think it will

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3.2.20. More importantly perhaps, and interestingly for Irving's later fortunes in Germany, Irving consistently acted as a pawn in the DVU's strategy of using `the court-room as political forum' ['Der Gerichtssaal als Forum der Politik'].<63> Until 1988 there seems to have been little danger that Irving would in any way damage the DVU by questioning the reality of Holocaust, as such. Nevertheless Frey made it repeatedly clear to Irving that he was on no account to even talk about Hitler or the Jews, particularly for benefit of the DVU's media image.<64> This included Irving's pet thesis at the time that Hitler had not ordered or even known of the Holocaust.<65>

3.2.21. It is clear that the strategy related to the limits the law in Germany sets on denialist statements, and the DVU's good democratic image. On 29 April 1983, Frey wrote to Irving that

...during the forthcoming lecture series I ask you strictly to observe that we should.give .even the malicious no chance whatsoever to unpunishably accuse us of any glorification of Hitler or the NS era, let alone justification of the persecution of the Jews .... On no account do we want the vanished NS, the dead Hitler, and as always leave out everything which directly or indirectly touches on the Jews.<66>

3.2.21. In discussing his forthcoming lecture series on the Nuremberg trial Frey wrote to Irving in 1985.

At the same time I am presuming that you will steer completely clear of Hitler and the Jews, because both topics could only be our ruin. Even if you say something absolutely accurate

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about the two topics it will be turned around, misinterpreted, and in the end must even serve for bans and other prosecutions. The more objective your presentation, the more unassailable.<67>

3.2.22. The DVU's strategy was thus a tactical and preventative one, strictly avoiding all possible excuses for incurring adverse publicity or the unwelcome attentions of the authorities. From 1981 to 1987 Irving, who at the time can be considered a `soft' revisionist, would seem to have no trouble conforming to Frey's requests. If such publicity nevertheless surfaced then the DVU's practiced legal machinery was brought to bear. In the mid 1980s the DVU and Irving mounted a number of successful legal attacks, serving injunctions on newspapers and organisations who suggested that' Irving in any way denied the Holocaust or was a supporter of the so-called `6 million lie'.

3.2.23. Although Irving himself had had connections with German right-wing radical organizations since the 1970s; he was only mentioned for the first time in the OPC's 1982 report.....

The British writer David Irving (44),who spoke in 5 series of lectures in numerous German cities was the most frequent speaker at DVU rallies including on the "Nuremberg Trials - Justice or Arbitrary Law", :the "Truth about the Morgenthau Plan" or "The Guilt of the Holocaust of Aerial Terror".<68>

3.2.24. The Schleswig-Holstein VSB noted his speeches in 1982 and commented that as a speaker for the DVU Irving was keeping company with the old Nazis like Otto-Ernst Remer and Hans-Ulrich Rudel.<69> The 1982 Baden-Württemberg VSB stressed that Irving had been a speaker at DVU meetings `for quite some time'.<70>

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3.2.24. In 1983, Irving's speech at the Munich rally honouring the RWE and former Wehrmacht Colonel, Hans-Ulrich Rudel was noted.<71> He was identified as one of the DVU's `principal speakers' apart from Frey himself.<72>

3.2.25. In 1984 Irving's speech to the DVU rally on 10 March 1984 was noted, when Irving spoke on `Freedom for Rudolf Hess'. He had stated that Hess was lured to Great Britain and tortured there.<73> His June 1984 tour was likewise noted. He spoke at the annual DVU rally in Passau on the 4 August 1984 about `The martyrdom (ordeal) of Rudolf Hess and its true background' and was also noted as accusing Winston Churchill of having executed an underhand warmongering policy.<74>

3.2.26 1985 was the first year in which some of the VSBs described Irving as a `right-wing extremist publicist'<75> or as a 'right-wing extremist historian'.<76> Irving was noted as having spoken at several DVU rallies.<77> These lectures dealt with Rudolf Hess, the question of war guilt, the Nuremberg Trial, and the Nazi leadership.<78> He lectured several times in southern Germany on the topic `The 8th of May: Should tile Germans pay forever?' Importantly the OPC noted that Irving `questioned the extent of the extermination of the Jews.'<79>

3.2.27. In June 1985 he was given the `Hans-Uhich-Rudel-Award', donated by Gerhard Frey.<80> The award was officially presented to Irving for his servicower [sic] Saxony noted that 'Irving in his speeches and writings plays down the unjust system of the Third Reich. He supports the opinion that Hitler neither ordered the extermination of the Jews nor did he know anything about it. Irving tries hard to improve the reputations of

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former leading Nazi politicians.<81> In November 1985 he again lectured several times in Bavaria on the Nuremberg Trial. 'He proclaimed the Nuremberg War Tribunal to be a sham in which evidence was falsified and manipulated, testimonies bought and confessions acquired through torture.<82>

3.2.28. On the 19 January 1986 Irving spoke at a DVU rally honouring the former fighter pilot Colonel Walter Dahl. Irving described the deceased as the `perfect German soldier'.<83> He participated in additional DVU meetings dealing with the issues of Rudolf Hess and the `depriving of the German people of its rights'.<84>

3.2.29. In 1987 Irving remained a frequent DVU speaker.<85> He spoke at the annual DVU rally in Passau in August 1987 on `The secrecy of the martyrdom of Rudolf Hess'.<86>

3.2.30. Thus in the 1980s Irving was a leading speaker in what is described as the tradition of `old' RWE represented by the DVU. This old RWE line of thought included playing down the crimes of the NS period, questioning the extent of the extermination of the Jews, questioning German war guilt, denouncing the Nuremberg Trial as a sham, praising military and political personnel who actively identified with the Nazi system (like Dahl, Rudel, or Hess), and an aggressive rhetoric against the Allies. Irving pandered to a barely disguised fascination with the `heroes' of the Nazi regime amongst the adherents of old RWE, particularly with his praise for the alleged martyrdom of the deputy 'Fuehrer' Rudolf Hess, and would imply a certain fascination his own part.<87> Most importantly he himself had been labelled a right-wing extremist by the German constitutional authorities.

<81> 'lrving in seinen Reden and Schriften das Unrechtssystein des Dritten Reiches :verhatmlost,. Er vertritt u.a. die Auffassung, dass Hitler weder die Judenausrottung angeordnet noch von ihr überhaupt gewusst habe, and bemüht sich, das Ansehen führender nationalsozialistischer Politiker aufzubessern.' Verfassungsschutz-Bericht, Niedersachsen, 1985, p. 101.
<82> 'Er bezeichnete den Nürnberger Kriegsverbrecher-Prozess als einen 'Schau-Prozess', bei dem Beweise gefälscht and manipuliert, Zeugenaussagen erkauft and Geständnisse durch Folterungen erpresst worden seien.'
<83> Verfassungsschutz-Bericht, Bavaria, 1985, p. 113.
<84> Verfassungsschutz-Bericht, Bavaria, 1986, p. 122.
<85> Verfassungsschutz-Bericht, Rheinland Palatine, 1986, p. 94; Baden-Württemberg 1986, p. 88.
<86> Verfassungsschutz-Bericht, Rheinland Palatinate, 1987, p. 87.
<87> Verfassungsschutz-Bericht, Bavaria, 1987, p. 106.
<87> See diary entry, 10 July 1989. 'Sally realises 1 am a hero in the eyes of these people [ex-Nazis], and is worried.'

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3.3. Irving's activities for the DVU, 1990-1993.

3.3.1. Whilst Irving's position in 1988/9 had changed radically as a result of the Leuchter report (see below), the DVU continued to be cited in OPC reports along lines already established in the early 1980s.

3.3.2. The VSB of 1993 stated that the DNZ published anti-Semitic articles, repeatedly using the anti-Semitic metaphor of the avaricious and meddling Jew. It cited two examples. `The Zionist world congress and its leader, Edgar Miles-Bronfman described as a Canadian resident, industrialist and a loyal Israel supporter have been accused of intervening in the German debate on Weizsäcker's [the then Federal German President] successor.' <88> The German Weekly / German Advertiser [Deutschen Wochenzeitung / Deutschen Anzeiger - DWZ/DA], the DNZ's sister papers in the Frey press imperium, presented one Hungarian-born son of a Jewish lawyer as the `finance guru of the world', a master of financial speculation; who through his dealings undermines the German mark. The DWZ made the point that the economic-recovery of central Germany was jeopardised by Jewish restitution claims."<89>

3.3.3. The 1993 VSB noted that racist rhetoric against foreigners had become particularly aggressive in the DVU. The DVU advocated an ethnically pure Germany with phrases like `Germany for the Germans' and declaring its aversion to a `mix of people'. The DVU was noted as advocating a worldwide-system of apartheid. As an example the report quoted Hans Otto Weidenbach, a DVU-member of the Bremen state parliament as having said `Kick out the swindlers and scoundrels, the criminals of multi-ethnic origin, the Turkish heroin dealers, the negro cocaine dealers, the gypsy looters, the Polish swindlers and criminal car dealers, because by tolerating them, you only breed hatred for foreigners.'<90>

<88> 'Der zionistische Weltkongress unter Führung des in Kanada residierenden, fanatischen, Israel-treuen Schnaps- and Chemie-Industriellen Edgar Miles -Bronfman hat sich in die deutsche Diskussion um die Weizsäcker-Nachfolge eingemischt'. Verfassungsschutz-Bericht 1993, p. 121.
<89> ' "Ein in Ungarn geborener Sohn eines jüdischen Rechtsanwahes" bezeichnet die DWZ/DA als "Finanzguru der Welt", als "Meister-Spekulant", der seine Spekulationspropaganda gegen die deutsche Mark richte.' Verfassungsschutz-Bericht 1993, pp. 121.
<90> Ibid. `"Werfen Sie die Schwindler hinaus, die Gauner, die Verbrecher multinationaler Herkunft, die Heroin-Türken and Kokain-Neger, zigeunemde Plünderer and polnische Schmuggler and Autoschieber, denn durch die Duldung züchten Sie ja Fremdenfeindlichkeit." (Weidenbach).'

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