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David Irving

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David Irving (1938 - ) is a British Holocaust denier and pseudo-historian active in international neo-Nazi movements.
David Irving (InC-RUU)

He never obtained a university degree, but wrote dozens of books about World War II, typically from Adolf Hitler’s point of view. The 1977 book Hitler’s War, in which he claims the Nazi dictator had no knowledge of the Holocaust, is his best known.

Irving first met the French negationist Robert Faurisson in September 1983, during a conference of the denialist Institute for Historical Review. But he clashed with the full-blown Holocaust denial of Faurisson over the mass murders of Jews (Irving concluded some took place) and whether Hitler knew about the Final Solution (Irving said he did not, but Faurisson said there was nothing to know as the Holocaust never happened).

After reading the conspiracy-mongering document called the “Leuchter Report” cherished by denialists since 1988 for its “scientific” questioning of the use of gas chambers at Auschwitz to murder people, Irving definitively embraced negationism. He quickly became one of the leading global sponsors of its antisemitic propaganda, spreading conspiracies about the “gas chambers fairytale” and calling himself a “historian” because of his “research” and contested writings.

Notorious for brandishing technical negationism in the Faurisson style, and for his closeness to extreme right racist organizations in the United States and Europe, Irving is banned from entering several countries. He has been condemned by courts including in Germany, Great Britain and Austria.

An arrest warrant for Holocaust denial was taken out against Irving in Austria in 1989. In 2005 he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison. But he served only 13 months of his term in Vienna before being released early on appeal.

Irving was therefore was unable to attend the infamous Holocaust denial “conference” organized in Tehran by the Iranian regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on December 11 and 12, 2006. His book, Hitler's War, is still offered for sale there.

In 1996, Irving, who calls Hitler “the greatest friend of the Jews, since without Hitler the State of Israel would not exist”, filed a defamation suit against Deborah Lipstadt.

The American academic historian of the Holocaust had revealed his negationist beliefs and activities in her book Denying the Holocaust. Irving decided to sue Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin for libel in a London court, demanding all copies of her book be pulped. The Irving-Lipstadt trial (since adapted for the screen) ended in April 2000, with Lipstadt the victor.

The ruling dismissing Irving’s claims of defamation described him as an “active Holocaust denier”, “an anti-Semite” and a “racist” who “associated himself with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism… the content of his speeches and interviews demonstrate a clearly pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish tendency”. Irving was ordered to pay 2 million pounds in costs, forcing him to declare bankruptcy.

The definitive ruling did not prevent conspiracy theorists such as Ron Unz or Paul Craig Roberts from describing Irving as the “best historian of our time” unfairly “slandered and demonized” by “court historians and Zionists”.

On February 20, 2024, Holocaust denial blogger Michael Hoffman and the far-right site Unity News Network announced on X the disappearance of David Irving. Other sources said he had died after an illness lasting several months. The next morning,  David Irving's official X account denied the announcement, claiming that David Irving was "still with us."



“Until the end of this tragic century there will always be incorrigible historians, statesmen, and publicists who are content to believe, or have no economically viable alternative but to believe, that the Nazis used ‘gas chambers' at Auschwitz to kill human beings. But it is now up to them to explain to me as an intelligent and critical student of modern history why there is no significant trace of any cyanide compound in the building which they have always identified as the former gas chambers.”
— 1989 statement questioning the Nazi gas chambers

“If you go to a grocer’s shop…[and] you buy six litres of milk and you find that the jug’s only got 2 litres in it and the milkman says: ‘I’m sorry, madam, you’re still going to have to pay for the six, and that’s the way it is.’  That, too, is a swindle. That’s what’s happening in Germany now. They’re still sticking to the six million figure."
Tenth IHR Conference, Journal of Historical Review (vol. 10 no. 4), 1990

“I'm going to form an association of Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the Holocaust and Other Liars — or the ASSHOLs.”
1991 speech in Canada


(Last updated on 03/06/2024)

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