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My life as a Holocaust Revisionist

I will not attempt a Blog here in the full sense of that concept, but rather a personal journal where I will record some of the stories that thought turns to in those rare moments of clarity when I am not interfering with it.

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Location: Baja Norte, Mexico

Smith was raised in South Central Los Angeles in the 1930s and 40s. Smith is a combat veteran (Korea, 7th Cavalry, where he was twice wounded), has been a deputy sheriff (Los Angeles County), a bull fighter (Mexico), a merchant seaman, and was in Saigon during the Tet offensive of 1968 as a freelance writer. He has been described by the Los Angeles Times as an "anarchist libertarian," and by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith as one of the most dangerous "extremists" in America. He has been married to a Mexican woman for 30 years, there are two children, and now two grandchildren. Smith argues that the German WMD (gas-chamber) question should be examined in the routine manner that all other historical questions are examined. He argues that the Holocaust is not a "Jewish" story, but a story of Jews and Germans together--forever. Those who want to challenge the concept of the "unique monstrosity" of the Germans should be free to do so. He believes it is morally wrong, and a betrayal of the Western ideal of intellectual freedom, to imprison writers and publishers who question publicly what privately they have come to doubt.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

WILL DAVID IRVING BETRAY HIMSELF, AND US?

When I first heard that David Irving had been arrested in Austria on his way to talk to some college students and was being held in jail, I was flabbergasted. I didn’t know what to make of it. The arrest and deportation of Germar Rudolf did not surprise me. But Irving in jail? It was out of character for him. I had a hard time getting my brain around it.

Irving is, in fact, guilty of breaking Austrian law. He did “deny” the Holocaust, to use the usual jargon. His lawyer, Elmar Kresbach, tells the Guardian on 26 November: “There are the transcripts of his speeches, there is a newspaper interview that he gave [in 1989]. It’s pretty black and white.”

“But Irving told me that he has changed his views after researching in the Russian archives in the 1990s. He said, ‘I’ve repented. I’ve no intention of repeating these views. That would be historically stupid and I’m not a stupid man.’

“He said, ‘I fully accept this, it’s a fact. The discussion on Auschwitz, the gas chambers and the Holocaust is finished ... it’s useless to dispute it’.”

So the news—and this is only news—is that David Irving is going to recant his “revisionist” views on the Holocaust story. Who would have thought?

Irving is an absolutely unique individual. His capacity for work, his genius for organization, the quality of his intellect, his learning, his endless energy, his physical strength, his unwillingness to suffer fools and his easy willingness to offend friends, his daring—I have never met anyone to match him. No one.

At the same time, among we lesser folk, we have watched David Irving make one mistake after another. It began with his unwillingness to take on the Holocaust Industry straight on by setting aside his life-long interest in Hitler’s inside circle and do a real book on Auschwitz, the book he better than anyone else anywhere was capable of producing and promoting, I wish I could get inside his brain on that one, but it isn’t going to happen.

Then there was the stupidly conceived libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt, where during the trial he was brilliant and wrong-headed and utterly full of himself. Irving’s defeat at that trial was the most serious single blow that revisionism has ever received. Only last week a correspondent reminded me that it was the Lipstadt trial that convinced serious people that, okay, revisionists had taken an interesting run at the Holocaust story, they had failed in full view of the Western world, and there was no reason to worry about Holocaust revisionism any longer.

And of course his uniquely self-punishing interviews with the press that were comic and self-demeaning at the same time. What an interesting ride this man has had.

And now? If we are to believe his lawyer, who sounds like a practical man, David Irving is going to recant his views with regard to Auschwitz, the gas chambers, and who knows what else? He may. He may not. It would not be beyond him. This is a man for whom there is nothing “beyond.” But I feel a betrayal in the works. I hesitate to say it, but betrayal is in the air. My hope? That he recants to the Austrian court, is freed, and when he is out in the world again that he stands up in public to declare:

“I lied before a corrupt court. There is no honor in telling a corrupt court the truth if you do not enjoy being punished at the hands of corrupt law. The Auschwitz story is crap. I know it, and millions of people all over the Western and Muslim worlds know it. When I said ‘Auschwitz is a sinking ship,’ I was right. I meant it then, and I mean it now.”

Will David Irving betray himself then? And us? Or has David discovered evidence that supports the gas chamber stories and kept it secret from us and everyone else all these years? We are not going to know until he is a free man.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right now, David Irving is in jail. His website has just gone 'password only'. The enemies of free speech are on the assault.

This is not the time for quiblles with Irving about his tactics. He is the one whoe civil liberties are being trashed. In this case, he is clearly the 'sinned against'!

Release David Irving banners should be all over the web. Amnesty International should be innundated with emails until it takes up the case.

The issues are simple:

No censorship of history!

No criminalization of belief!

Free speech for all!

December 01, 2005 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Bradley said...

Yes, the issues are simple.

The "Release David Irving Banners" is a good idea. As with most ideas, it needs one person to take responsibility for making it happen. With revisionism, there are not many hands, and almost none that are free.

December 01, 2005 9:22 PM  
Blogger Chip said...

Bradley:

I would be interested in your thoughts on Michael Shermer's article "Enigma," in the current issue of Skeptic. Notwithstanding Shermer's editorial stance, some of his observations about Irving's idiosyncratic career echo your own.

Best,

Chip

December 04, 2005 8:04 AM  

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