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

The speaking bans of 1992 and Irving's ultimate exclusion from Germany

6.3 The speaking bans [Redeverbot] of 9 September 1992, 9 December 1992, and Irving's ultimate exclusion from Germany.

6.3.1 Irving had been the subject of an exclusion order since 9 March 1991; handed down by the Ministry of the Interior. The exclusion order had been issued in view of Irving's reputation as a right-wing extremist writer and historian, and was repeatedly renewed, for instance in February 1994.<568> Although the order repeatedly gave Irving cause for thought when entering Germany, it proved ineffectual once he was in Germany.<569> As the German authorities had to admit: `The Federal Minister of the Interior had already instructed the frontier control authorities in March 1990 to send back Irving when attempting to enter the Federal Republic. In practice, however, this can only be done in an imperfect manner, since the frontiers between EC countries are wide open.'<570>

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6.3.2 On 11 September 1992 Irving was to have spoken to a branch of the Bavarian NPD in Munich on `What is in the Goebbels's Diaries'<571> In light of previous experience' [`bisherigen Erfahrungen'] the authorities responsible for foreigners [Ausländerbehörde] handed Irving a speaking ban.<572> What was to have graver effects for Irving was that on the same day Irving was written a letter announcing that his exemption from meeting the requirement for a residence permit for short periods of residency had been withdrawn [`die Befreiung vom Erfodernis der Aufenthaltsgenehmigung ftir Kurzaufenthalte zu entziehen.'].<573> In other words Irving was no longer covered by the normal exemption for fellow members of the EU from having to possess a residence permit for short stays in Germany. In December the Munich authorities widened Irving's speaking ban to include mentioning a number of specific themes at any future meeting in the Federal Republic.<574>

6.3.3 On 9 November 1993, the anniversary of the so-called `Reichskristallnacht,' Irving arrived in Munich to start a tour arranged by Stephan Wiesel.<575> Irving was expelled from Germany after it became known that he intended to take part in meetings on the 55th anniversary of Crystal Night. That same afternoon Irving was handed an indefinite residence ban [unbefristetes Aufenthaltsverbot] as an unwanted foreigner by officers of the Bavarian security police [Sicherheitspolizei] whilst Irving sat in the Cafe

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6.3.4 Irving was requested to leave Germany by 10 November 1993 and applied the ban nationwide.<577> By choosing to leave Germany that same day Irving was spared the ignominy of being deported.

6.3.5 The 33-page explanation of Irving's expulsion is worth quoting at some length, especially in view of Professor Deborah Lipstadt's claim that 'Irving is one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial.'<578>

6.3.6 After having pointed out that Irving's thesis followed the example set in the works of Fred Leuchter, Ernst Zündel, and Robert Faurisson,<579> the authorities cited what had been established in previous trials involving Irving as defendant or plaintiff.

The court saw it as proven that it was only superficial intention of yours to paint a picture of, history which deviated from the established research. In fact your intention was to deny the systematic mass murder of the Jewish population. This thesis undoubtedly insults the victims of National Socialism. In addition you met with wide approval, especially in.right-wing extremist, neo-Nazi, and revisionist circles, or circles close to them. For a number of years increasingly right-wing extremist and xenophobic attitudes have been ascertainable in precisely these circles.

This opinion of the court is based on the one hand on the widespread effect of you opinion. The court considered it as proven that particularly neo-Nazi and revisionist groups endorse your theses and made use of your thoughts. On the other hand the judgement considered your lack of understanding. Even after the reporting of an offence [Strafanzeige] had been raised you persistently publicly represented your theses.<580>

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In the meantime [since summer 1990] you have become very famous. Your mere presence .is enough to inflame moods. [...] That you yourself are not amongst the active members of right-wing extremist groups is insignificant. Decisive is that these groups use your thoughts, are strengthened by your theses, and enhance them.

Your personal responsibility is that you use events of right-wing extremist circles as a supposed historian for your publications and thereby are at least aware of the consequences of your actions.

Your conduct represents an endangerment of the inner security of the Federal Republic of Germany in the widest sense and in addition inflicts considerable damage on the external reputation of the German state.

Your interpretation and expression of the thesis given under point 1.1 is suited to endanger the peaceful co-existence of Germans and foreigners. They are considered the truth by a small but radical part of the population and ultimately motivate violence and racial hatred.<581>


Although the largest part of the German population distances itself from such attacks [the judgement cited the murders and violent attacks on foreigners in Rostock, Hoyerswerda, Huenxe, Mölln, and Solingen] the most recent developments show the existence of grass-roots right-wing extremist motivated culprits who are willing to use violence. Precisely this circle of people is receptive to revisionist thoughts and feel themselves confirmed in their political opinions whereby they express their opinions with violence.<582>

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6.3:7 These developments entailed an endangerment of the public safety and order, the danger of a further escalation of violence. and posed a threat to Germany's economy and reputation. It was in turn considered that Irving contributed to these threats.<583>

The interest of revisionist, right-wing extremist and Nazi groups in your participation in future events remains undiminished. [...] Added to this is that, in view of your previous reputation in right-wing extremist circles, already your mere attendance at political events suitable to harm the interests of the general public, as stated above.<584>

6.4 Further appeals.

6.4.1 Irving was initially optimistic about his chances of overturning the expulsion. To his lawyer, Irving wrote `Anyway I don't intend to appear in the FRG before the middle of next year, therefore it has time. As a first step I will enter into a working relationship with a German firm, so that I can demonstrate a reason for being in the FRG.'<585> On 30 December 1993 Irving wrote to Mainz lawyer, Dr. K A R Schuetz:

Two ideas of mine: (a). I am in a working relationship with a small north German, publishers, as has been recently confirmed in writing. (b) what if I stand for a seat in the European Parliament, perhaps as a NPD candidate? Would one administer a residency ban? Merely an idea.<586>

6.4.2 But all further appeals in Germany against his fine and his expulsion were rejected out of hand, or the courts found against him.<587> They all pronounced along similar lines

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that the FRG had a right and a duty to protect itself from the extremist political efforts of the likes of Irving.

The Federal Republic of Germany must not become a playground for right-wing extremist authors. There is no demand for psuedo-scientific denials of the Holocaust that however have the aim of reaching a justification of the NS dictatorship.<588>

6.4.3 In the meantime an appeal to the European Commission of Human Rights, prepared with Zündel was likewise declared inadmissible.<589>

The public interests in the prevention of crime and disorder in the German population due to insulting behaviour against Jews, and similar offences, and the requirements of protecting their reputation and rights, outweigh, in a democratic society, the applicant's freedom to impart publications denying the existence of the gassing of Jews under the Nazi regime.<590>

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