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


[Page 135]

8. Conclusion

8.1 According to the standards of the OPC and the social sciences extremism represents thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes that systematically attack the civil and public order [freiheitlich demokratische Grundordnung]. RWE involves an extreme. ethnocentric, and racist (or in the German sense voelkisch) nationalism combined with a hatred of minorities and foreigners.

8.2 The DVU is a mainstay of RWE in the German political landscape. The party is extremist, anti-Semitic, and propagates racial hatred. From 1982 to 1992 Irving was a partner in an sustained political alliance with the DVU and its leader Gerhard Frey. Albeit not a member of the DVU Irving enjoyed a position of political prominence within the party. With his lecture tours and `star' status at the DVU's annual rallies, Irving not only publicly identified himself with the main aims of the party, but actively propagated them. In the process he first became indicted as a right-wing extremist in Germany.

8.3 Following his conversion to `hard' revisionism with the Leuchter Report in 1988, Irving charted a course still further to the right. From this date Irving, alongside Zündel, can be considered international radical-revisionism's most active and prominent exponent in Germany. This movement, and Irving as its ideologue, propagated ideas that played an important part in the third wave of RWE. Denial of the Holocaust became part of the standard political repertoire of neo-Nazi organisations. In turn the politics of neo-Nazism in Germany since the late 1980s has exhibited a profoundly alarming tendency to either condone `spontaneous' acts of violence against the objects of its resentments or even to politically organise that violence.

8.4 Irving was not merely increasingly willing to appear on platforms of the radicalised NPD, but he entered into a methodical political alliance with neo-Nazi circles and organisations around Michael Kühnen and his political heirs. For example Irving's political co-operation with Christian Worch and Ewald Althans was reciprocal and fruitful. Some of these organisations were banned in the same year in which Irving co-

[Page 136]

operated with them; for example the banning of NO at the end of 1992.

8.5 Any unease Irving felt in this alliance was not due to principled democratic or liberal political scruples. Irving's worries were pedestrian. His prime concern was the `optical' damage incurred by any public association with persons such as Remer or Kühnen. Irving's self-propagated `independence' ('an Englishman fights for the honour of the Germans') and his clean image were valuable and marketable political assets, cultivated and exploited by himself and his neo-Nazi allies.

8.6 Eager to maintain the rags of this `independent' reputation, Irving sought to hygienically distance himself from individuals like Kühnen. In practice this sanitary divide was non-existent. The indigestible elements of neo-Nazism (and for that matter radical revisionism) for Irving was the sometimes lunatic packaging, not the political content per se. Although eager to distance himself from the excesses, in deed Irving committed himself wholeheartedly to the cause of revisionism and thus neo-Nazism in Germany. Any frictions in this alliance came down to personal rivalries and Irving's intolerance of sloppy organisation.

8.7 We would mistake the agency in this alliance were we to believe Irving's argument that he was somehow the political innocent in this process, forced onto a neo-Nazi platform by academic refusal to allow him a reputable forum and exploited by forces more calculating than he. The alliance accorded wholly with Irving's political tastes. Far from performing a passive function in the RWE scene in Germany Irving, like the message of denial he preached, was a catalyst. His person and his ideology were vital to the, political `effectiveness' of RWE in Germany.

8.8 Finally, Irving is author of his own misfortunes. By denying the Holocaust he wilfully and persistently violated the criminal law in Germany. His unconditional expulsion in

[Page 137]

late 1993 indicated the authorities' unwillingness to further tolerate his use of Germany as a `playground' for his right-wing extremism.

8.9 In reaching this conclusion, I have understood that my overriding duty is to the Court. My paramount obligation, as I have been advised by my instructing Solicitors, is to assist the Court on all matters within my expertise regardless of whom my instructions are from and who is paying my fees. I confirm that this report is impartial. objective and unbiased and has been produced independently of the exigencies of this litigation. I believe that the facts I have stated in this report are true and that the opinions I have expressed are correct.

27 July 1999

[ Previous ·  Index ·  Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.