The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Irving Critics Get Mail
Backing Expelled Author
Victoria Times Colonist: December 1992

© Copyright Victoria (B.C. Canada) Times-Colonist Dec. 22, 1992

By Gerard Young, Times-Colonist staff

Irving critics get mail backing expelled author

`Gutless' write replies to newspaper letters

Supporters of Holocaust revisionist David Irving are still busy, even though the British author has been kicked out of Canada.

Some who wrote to local newspapers after his Victoria visit in November have received packages of information defending Irving, who says the Holocaust was exaggerated.

"All of them [letters] were against Irving because it was opportune to do so," said an unsigned cover letter. "Not a single letter was published in support of truth in history.

"Your prime aim was to distort rather than to correct. With very few exceptions it seems that none of you had read any books by Irving."

Jim Jaarsma, Victoria parks and recreation commission chairman, received a package of information defending Irving after he wrote a letter to a newspaper.

But he said the sender went to some trouble because his address isn't listed in the phone book. However, his address is accessible through public records, as he is a former candidate for city council.

Jaarsma, whose grandfather was Jewish, wrote that Irving and others like him shouldn't be banned.

"We have an opportunity to expose people like that," he said Monday.

He believes, however, that those who promote hatred through rascism should face criminal charges as defined in law.

Jaarsma is concerned that, when Holocaust survivors and witnesses are eventually all dead, only artificial records of events will be available and historical revisionism will become even more rampant.

By keeping the issue exposed to scrutiny now, memory of the horrors won't diminish, he said.

"How could anybody not believe that it happened?" he asked.

Jaarsma also called the sender "gutless" for not signing the cover letter, which is filled with spelling mistakes.

Michael Peters, chairman of the Victoria Jewish Community Relations Committee, received the same package after writing to the newspaper.

He said the issue is hardly worth discussing and events of the Holocaust are easily provien and Irving refuted.

The package deals more with defending Irving's credibility as a historian and with condemning his arrest and expulsion than with challenging the Holocaust.

Irving, 56, was expelled from Canada in November after a controversial visit here. He can't return to Canada unless he has special permission, say immigration officials.

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