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

OPC observations 1989

5.2 OPC observations 1989.

5.2.1. The VSB for 1989 explicitly placed Irving alongside revisionists like Christophersen, Zündel, Walter Ochsenberger, and Gerd Honsik as belonging to one camp.<195> The VSB Rheinland-Pfalz stated that `After 1988 Irving shares the conviction of right-wing extremist revisionists who see the Holocaust as a propaganda lie.'<196>


<195> Verfassungsschutz-Bericht 1989.
<196> Verfassungsschutz-Bericht, Rheinland-Pfalz, 1989, p. 86, fn. 71.

5.3 1990: `Truth Frees' ['Wahrheit macht Frei').

5.3.1. In 1991 Irving undertook at least eight visits to Germany: 11 February to 10 March, 10 to 11 April, 20 to 22 April, 3 to 10 June, 1 to 3 August, 26 to 31 August, 2 to 10 September, and 3 October. A note of caution is required because Irving's diary entries

[Page 59]

from 22 November to 6 December are missing.

5.3.2. From February to March 1990 Irving toured Germany for more than a month, organised again with Althans, Phillip, and Zündel.<197> All of them were obviously excited about the virgin terrain the former GDR offered for revisionism.<198> Zündel wrote to Irving about the preparations.

Althans is going to be in the "DDR" for at least a week, he is en route there now, to see if he can get a University Forum for you to talk. This is new ground we are breaking there, so it will be a real test of Ewalds skills!'<199>

5.3.3. On 13 February Irving spoke in Dresden on the anniversary of the Allied bombing. He was to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. in the foyer of the Hotel Gewandhaus and his speech at 5 p.m. in the Kulturpalast.<200> The Kulturpalast had been booked by Althans and his German Youth Education Project [Deutschen Jugendbildungswerkes -DJBW].<201> Despite a large media presence, Irving seems to have felt little reason to restrain his opinions. The Swiss Weltwoche recorded Irving as saying `Do you know what I like about the GDR: here the people don't have this tortured conscience as they do over there.'<202> He was also quoted as having said that Auschwitz was `A huge Allied propaganda lie.'<203> This would accord with a later statement by Althans, who wrote '...Irving spoke to almost 1,000 people in the Dresden Palace of Culture on the anniversary of the Anglo-American terror attack on Dresden. In the following podium

<197> Ernst Zündel to Irving, 5 January 1990. See also Irving to Althans, 31 December 1989; Irving to Karl Philipp, 6 February 1990. 'It has emerged that Zündel, who is now out of jail, has paid Althans an honorarium to arrange this tour, which he has done very well in Dresden.' Diary entry, 13 February 1990. See also diary entries, 6 December 1989, 31 December 1989, 25 January 1990, 28 January 1990, 3 February 1990, 5 February 1990, 6 February 1990, 13 February 1990, and 18 February 1990
<198> For example Ernst Zündel, `David living' n.d., open letter in preparation for Irving's forthcoming tour of Germany, February - March 1990. `My muzzle won't last for ever. This Irving tour can be seen, so- to-say, as a sort of "manouever" for the future!' [`Mein Maulkorb wird ja nicht ewig dauern. Diese Irving-Tournee kann also sozusagen als eine Art "Maneuver" for die Zukunft gelten!'].
<199> Ernst Zündel to living, 5 January 1990.
<200> Althans and Phillip were both listed as contactable in the same hotel on the same day. See B. Ewald Althans, Presse-Erklaerung, n.d.
<201> `Nutzungsvertrag zwischen dem Kulturpalast Dresden ... and dem Deutschen Jugendbildungswerk, Herrn B. Ewald Althans', 18 January 1990.
<202> `Wissen Sie, das gefällt mir an der DDR: Hier haben die Menschen noch nicht dieses gequälte Schuldbewusstsein wie drüben.' Die Weltwoche, No. 9, 1 March 1990.
<203> `Eine grosse Propaganda-Lüge der Alliierten.' Ibid.

[Page 60]

discussion, Irving clearly declared his belief in revisionism.'<204> The Dresden speech was filmed by Sepp Geiger, but no copy has been made available in lrving's discovery.<205>

5.3.4. On 14 February attempts were made for Irving to address a meeting in Leipzig apparently because `Berlin is cancelled. [Franz] Schoenhuber won't go along'.<206> On 23 February Irving spoke in Landshut to the Working Group Historical Truth [`Arbeitskreis Historische Wahrheit']. <207> This was the speech, according to later appeal documents, on which the city of Passau banned Irving from speaking to the DVU on 10 March, because Irving had presented his theory `that there had never been a gassing of Jews' and that `The figure of 6 million murdered Jews was described by the plaintiff thereby as a life lie [`Lebenslüge'] by the state of Israel as a means of permanent financial and political blackmail.'<208>

5.3.5. In the following days two planned meetings in Stuttgart and Augsburg fell through.<209> Althans promised lrving a press conference, in Nuremberg, but.Irving was.worried about Althans's intentions. `I am suspicious of the press conf.[erence], it sounds as though he wants me ti [Sic] disavow Frey. I don't see the point of that.' <210> On 28 February Irving spoke in Cologne Deutz, organised by a certain Benscheid.<211>

<204>` Jahrestag des Anglo-Amerikanischen Terrorangriffes auf Dresden hat David Irving vor fast 1000 Personen im Kulturpalast der Stadt Dresden gesprochen. In der anschlieŠenden Podiumdiskussion bekannte sich Irving klar zum Revisionismus.' Ewald Althans, open letter to mobilise support for Irving's February - March 1990 tour of Germany, n.d.
<205> `...asked if he [Geiger] can produce Dresden videos for me to market, by weekend ....' Diary entry, 18 February 1990. `Sepp [Geiger] has brought 25 videos of my DRESDEN speech.' Diary entry, 23 February 1990. See living to Ewald Althans, 2 April 1-990, where, Irving discussed video-ahd-brochure rights withAlthans for: his various speeches. ("die verbotene Rede von Passau" / "Wahrheit macht Frei" in Moers / "Dresden" speech). See further diary entry, 13 February 1990.
<206> Berlin fällt aus. Schönhuber zieht nicht mit[.]' Irving to Karl Philipp, 6 February 1990.
<207> 'Vollzug des Ausländergesetzes (Aus1G) Ausweisung aus der Bundesrepublik Deutschland', n.d., pp. 6-7.
<208> 'Zum Thema Judenvernichtung vertrat er auch in dieser Veranstaltung seine These, dass es nie eine Vergasung von Juden gegeben habe.[ ...] Die Zahl von 6 Millionen getouuml;teten Juden bezeichnetete der Klaeger dabei als Lebenslüge des Staates Israel als Mittel zur ständigen Erpressung auf finanziellen and politischem Gebiet.' Staatsanwaltschaft Regensburg to the Bayerischen Verwaltungsgericht, entered 4 October 1990. In his comments on the claims of the public prosecutor, Irving claimed to have had no idea who was ' "behind"' the meeting in Landshut, although other documents show that it had been organised by Ewald Althans. Irving to Michael von Sprenger, 21 November 1991; diary entry, 18 February 1990
<209> Irving to Karl Philipp, 6 February 1990; diary entry, 24 February 1990.
<210> Diary entry, 18 February 1990.
<211> Diary entry, 28 February 1990.

[Page 61]

5.3.6. On 1 March Irving gave testimony in defence of Ernst-Günter Kögel before the magistrate's court [Amtsgericht] in Remscheid.<212> Kögel was charged with providing his own introduction to Irving's London press conference of 23 June 1989 launching the Leuchter Report.<213> It is not clear what form this report took, but it appears that Kögel had tried to distribute it in some numbers. <214> In a indication of things to come, Karl Philipp expressed surprise that Irving was admitted as a witness at all, because the existence of the gas chambers in Auschwitz was usually considered manifest [Offenkundig] in German courts.<215>

5.3.7. In his report on Irving's court appearance Philipp wrote: `In his statement the researcher of contemporary history [Irving] went into the Leuchter Report .and reaffirmed his view, according to which it was not possible for there to have been gas chambers for killing people in Auschwitz, Birkenau, or Majdanek.'<216> In this first instance the court found in Kögel's favour that he had only wanted to start a discussion.<217> In the second instance in 1992 he was fined DM 12,600 on the charge of incitement to hatred [Volksverhetzung].<218>

5.3.8. On 2 March Irving spoke in Kiel at a meeting organised through Dieter Munier of the Arndt Verlag. He stayed overnight with Munier, where he met Gerlind Möhring.<219> The meeting had replaced one planned with Pedersen, someone known to Christophersen.<220> The next morning Irving had a conference with Munier `about his project for a polemical historical brochure by me on the ODER NEISSE territory.

<212> See diary entries, 28 February 1990 and 1 March 1991. Kögel was defended by Hajo Hermann and Krempel.
<213> 'Hoped I managed to help Kögel, a gentle, whitehaired, retired Studienrat who quoted my June 23, 1989 press conference in a pamphlet and was at once indicted in West Germany for having done so.' Diary entry, 1 March 1990. See also Karl Philipp, "'Auschwitzlüge" -Prozess in Remscheid,' 1 March- 1990.
<214> ID-Archiv im ISSG (ed.), Drahtzieher im braunen Netz: Der Wiederaufbau der 'NSDAP' (Berlin/Amsterdam, 1992), p. 28; Mecklenburg, p. 481.
<215> Karl Philipp `"Auschwitzlüge"-Prozess in Remscheid,' I March 1990. Leuchter had been rejected by the court as a witness for the defence. See also diary entry, 17 December 1990. '...K Philipp phoned, was fined DM 3600 for his Anmerkung, das Wort "Lüge" comment, the word ["lie"]. Remscheid.'
<216> 'In seiner Aussage ging der Zeitgeschichtsforscher auf das Leuchter-Gutachten ein and bekräftigte seinen Standpunkt, wonach es weder in Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek Gaskammem zur Totting von Menschen gegeben haben konnte.' Karl Philipp, "'Auschwitzlüge"-Prozess in Remscheid,' 1 March 1990.
<217> Ibid. Drahtzieher im braunen Netz, p. 28.
<218> Drahtzieher im braunen Netz, p. 28; Mecklenburg, p. 481.
<219> Diary entry, 2 March 1990.
<220> 'I have heard from Mr. Pedersen that he has invited you to a conference.' ['Von Hewn Pedersen habe ich gehoert, dass er Sie Anfang März zu einer Tagung eingaladen hat'] Thies Christophersen to Irving, 31 January 1990. See also Irving to Karl Philipp, 6 February 1990.

[Page 62]

Agreed on a DM 15,000 fee, of which he paid DM3000 at once...''<221>

5.3.9. 3 March was a delicate day for Irving. It had been long planned that he make his first appearance before the NL in Hamburg, at a meeting chaired by Christian Worch.<222> This was an important meeting for Irving for two reasons . Firstly he had to make good a certain amount of bad feeling resulting from his speech in Hagenau the previous November. Worch had written to Zündel on 1 January 1990, concerning Althans' suggestion that Worch take responsibility for Irving's appearance in Hamburg during his forthcoming tour. Worch mentioned his doubts about organising a speech after Irving's `small "faux pas"' [`kleinen "fauz pas"] in Hagenau

when he had to bring up these stories about the Riga shootings. But Ewald [Althans] explained to me that Irving has a choice of two presentations on this tour, with which we don't have to reckon with such irritating details for our listeners.[...] Naturally clearly more agreeable than the presentation in Hagenau!<223>

5.3.10. Zündel duly wrote to Irving chiding him for his `poor tactics'. His comments in Hagenau had alienated supporters from northern Germany who, as a result, were considering no longer .inviting Irving to speak.<224> Secondly Michael Kühnen himself was due to appear at the meeting. Hence perhaps the unusually frantic. security efforts.<225> All this added to the importance of the meeting.

5.3.11. Worch had promised Irving, that although his appearance in Hamburg was organised

<221> Diary entry, 3 March 1990.
<222> 'Vollzug des Ausländergesetzes (AusIG) Ausweisung aus der Bundesrepublik Deutschland', n.d., p. 7.
<223> '...als er unbedingt dim rigaschen Erschiepungsgeschichten auf den Tisch bringen musste. Ewald [Althans] hat mir jedoch erklärt, dap Irving bei dieser Tournee zwei Vortraege zur Auswahl hat, bei denen mit derlei for unsere Zuhoerer irritierenden Einzelheiten nicht zu rechnen sei [...] natarlich deutlich sympathischer als der Vortrag von Hagenau!' Christian Worch to Ernst Zündel, 1 January 1990.
<224> Ernst Zündel to Irving, 29 [no month] 1989. In a list of planned meetings for the forthcoming tour, a person named as 'Toronto' [Ernst Zündel] commented under Hamburg 3 March 'organiser asks you not to mention the Riga Document'. Irving was obviously unhappy to have received the list of dates direct from 'Toronto'. He informed Sally Cox that he had 'cut off' Toronto's name on the enclosed list 'for various reasons'. Irving to Sally Cox, 4 January 1990 [misdated 1989]. To Philipp he wrote that he would have preferred to have received a list from Althans for 'formal legal reasons' ['Aus formaljuristischen Granden...'] because 'after all he (?) is organising the meetings' ['...veranstaltet ja er (?) die Versammlungen.']. Philipp reassured him that 'a guarentee [sic] from Zündel is nevertheless worth more than one from Ewald [Althans], ['Eine Garantie von Zündel ist allerdings bedeutender als die von Ewald].' Karl Philipp to living, 5 January 1990.
<225> Christian Worch to Ewald Althans, 16 January 1990; Christian Worch to Irving, 9 February 1990; 'Sicherheits- and Organisationsinformation filr das Tournee-Management von David Irving', 2 March 1990.

[Page 63]

by the NL and invitations had been sent out on NL stationary, it was in essence a meeting organised by him as a private person. Irving would be the only speaker, there would be no party emblems, and his appearance would not be `politically "exploited"' [`politisch "ausgeschlachtet"'].<226> But Worch was obviously overjoyed at the political resonance of attracting Irving as a speaker. He wrote to Zündel `DM 1,000 for the speaker and DM 300 for the organiser seems to me decidedly cheap. It is worth double or triple the amount to me.'<227>

5.3.12. Irving described the rest of the evening himself.

Rumours come that tonight there is to be much violence, etc., and Munier persuades me to cancel the Nationale Liste meeting - since (a) the press has got wind of it, and (b) Michael Kühnen is to be present; and to attend only the Burschenschaft Germania meeting later in the evening. This evoked consternation, then comprehension, in Althans, .... Zündel (!)(in Toronto!) is somehow eingeschaltet [brought in]. I drove to Hamburg .... Meanwhile Althans phoned from the NL venue, the Alte Muehle, insisting that I attend the NL function, major crowd there, 300, no trouble, no police, no problems. So I drove out there at speed, made a rousing speech, which was very well received, then zipped on to the Burschenschaft Germania .... There were surly faces against me at the NL meeting when I arrived. An attractive girl, 25 (who turned out to be Christian Worch's wife), snarled at me that I had "disappointed" her by my earlier stance this day. But at the end of the meeting all were pleased. It was a good speech -- knorke [super], I think my current biographical subject [Goebbels] would say.<228>

5.3.13. What this `super' speech contained was Irving's gospel that there had been no gassings in Auschwitz, or indeed anywhere else for that matter.

But I no longer believe in this legend. I say the following. There were no gas chambers in Auschwitz, only dummies, built by the Poles in the years following the war, exactly like the dummies the Americans built in Dachau that had to be torn down by the Americans at the orders of the West German government because they were dummies. But the dummies are still standing in Auschwitz, because the German government has no sway there. And understandably that is a problem for you that you have a government in Bonn that allows its

<226> Christian Worch to Irving, 9 February 1990.
<227> 'Tausend Mark für den Redner and dreihundert Mark für die Organisatoren erscheinen mir ausgesprochen billig. Es waere mir auch das Doppelte oder Dreifache wert.' Christian Worch to Ernst Zündel, 1 January 1990.
<228> Diary entry, 3 March 1990.

[Page 64]

own people to be defamed by all the countries of the world, although in the meantime it is cried out that these things in Auschwitz, and probably in Majdanek, Treblinka, and in other so-called extermination camps in the east are all dummies.<229>

5.3.14. Tellingly Irving openly admitted that what he was saying was illegal. `We are always running the danger that we will be arrested ...because what we say boarders, that is very dangerous. Because what we say is [interrupted by commotion in the hall].'<230> Later in the talk Irving asked someone who had entered the room why he had come in. After a long pause, during which the new arrival is escorted out Irving explained, `It is clear that I am saying before you is, pretty explosive. Very dangerous., I don't want to go to prison because he comes in with a unauthorized person and does as if he's [an] interested observer.<231>

5.3.15. Irving fails to mention in his diary if Kühnen was there or not, but the journalist Michael Schmidt was likewise present on the same the Alte Muehle, in the company of Gerald Hess who gave him permission to try and film. Schmidt attests that Irving and Kühnen arrived together.'<232> Whether Irving and Kühnen talked together or appeared on the same platform must remain speculation. From his diary it would seem evident that Irving was pleased with his appearance before the NL. Irving was likewise obviously pleased to have met the Worschs. He wrote to them thanking them for. their friendly help and support, and expressing his hope to see them in Munich on 21 April 1990 at the coming revisionist conference.<233>

<229> `Aber jetzt glaube ich such dieser Legende nicht [that something happened in Auschwitz] mehr. Ich sage folgendes. In Auschwitz hat es keine Gaskammern gegeben, es hat nur Attrapen gegeben, die von den Polen erbaut wurden in den Nachkriegsjahren, genau so wie die Atttapen die die AmerikanerirrDachau-,gebauthaben and die von den Amerikaner dann wieder weggeraeumt mussten, als Dachau auf Befehl der westdeutschen Regierung, denn dass waren ja nur Attrapen. Aber die Attrapen bestehen heute immer noch in Auschwitz. Denn da hat die deutsche Regierung nicht das Wort zu reden. Und das ist selbstverständlich für Sie ein Problem, dass Sie eine Regierung in Bonn haben, die es dauernd duldet' dass das eigene Volk von sämtlichen Ländern der Welt dffamiert wird, obwohl inzwischen zum Himmel geschrien wird dass diese Sachen in Auschwitz, and wahrscheinlich auch in Majdanek, Treblinka, and in anderen Vernichtungslagem sogennant im Osten alle nur Attrappen sind.' Videocassette 187, `David living in Moers', 5 March 1990.
<230> "Wir laufen immer in Gefahr' dass wir verhaftet werden wurden, dann was wir hier jetzt sagen nicht gegen mich steht ja jetzt in Österreich schon Haftbefehl wieder zum zweiten Mal, denn dass was wir sagen, das grenzt, das ist auŠerst gefaehrlich. Denn das was wir sagen ist...' Ibid.
<231> ` Es ist ganz klar was ich heute vor Ihnen sage ist ziemlich brisant. Sehr gefährlich. Ich möchte nicht dafür sitzen, das er mit eine Unbefugte reinkommt and so tut als ob er intressierte or Beobachter ist.' Ibid.
<232> Heute gehoert uns dei Stasse, pp. 125-127.
<233> Irving to Christian Worch, 14 March 1990.

[Page 65]

5.3.16. Benedict gives the wider background to the meeting. The NL, the Lichtenberg neo-Nazi `comrades', and `fighters' of various neo-Nazi groups (DA, FAP, NA) and a hundred others from DVU and NPD were all in Hamburg that day. Parts of them were hindered by the police. Others demonstrated freely against the Soviet Consulate.<234> Further she claims that Irving received applause from older members of the audience, especially SS veterans. She also mentions that this was a turning point for east-Berlin activists who up until the evening had not had fundamental doubts about the fact of the Holocaust.'<235>

5.3.17. On 4 March a hall was booked by Althans and the AVô in the Berghotel Porta Westfalica.<236> Udo Walendy was the organiser. <237> The meeting was relocated unnecessarily by `Wosch or Althans' to the Kollegium Humanum in Vlotho.<238> `Major meeting, around 350 people. Speech very well received. It was a good, heated, demagogic speech, with every punch line brilliantly delivered and hugely applauded.'

5.3.18. On 8 March Irving spoke about the `Future of the Germans' in Hamburg.<240> The meeting was organised by Ulrich Harder. <241> Ulrich Harder was leader of the Hamburg NPD and one-time leader of the 1982 founded Hamburg List to Stop Foreigners [Hamburger Liste für Ausaenderstopp - HLA].<242> Irving had known Harder since 1984, when Harder had worked for the Society for Culture and Contemporary History [Verein für Kultur and Zeitgeschichte] whom Irving had addressed. <243> The meeting does not appear in Irving's itinerary of 6 February 1990, and therefore may have been organised. spontaneously.<244>

<234> Benedict, p. 41.
<235> Benedict, p. 42.
<236> Edgar Spier to B. Ewald Althans, 30 January 1990
<237> Udo Walendy, 'Einladung zu einer bedeutsamen Vortragsveranstaltung von David living', n.d. Irving had been invited by Walendy to speak at his annual meeting (north of Darmstadt) for March 1989, but Irving had turned him down as he would be in America. See Udo Walendy to Irving, 7 January 1989; living to Udo Walendy, 13 January 1989
<238> Ibid.
<239> Diary entry, 4 March 1990.
<240> 'Ideologische Aufrüstung fir Deutschnationale,' TAZ, 19 March 1990.
<241> '...she [Sally] said Ulrich Harder had phoned wanting urgently to contact me. Phoned him. He wants to organise immediate Hamburg meeting. We rapidly agreed Thursday, fee DM750.' Dairy entry, 28 February 1990. See also diary entry, 8 March 1990.
<242> Mecklenburg, p. 285; Hirsch, p. 159.
<243> Ulrich Harder to Irving, 30 April 1984; Irving, 'Public Speaking', a list of contact addresses, n.d. [c.1985]. <244> Irving to Karl Philipp, 6 February 1990

[ 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.