AR-Online Posted Wednesday, July 9, 2003
Quick navigation

Alphabetical index (text)  

SO a Lipshutz hadn't actually seen the work that he wanted banned. And a Lipstadt wanted the Goebbels biography banned, although she had not seen it either. They all come from one great family of Lip. -- David Irving

[Protest planned outside Melbourne theatre showing Irving film]


The Age

Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, July 8, 2003

[also Sydney Morning Herald, etc]

Intellectual garbage by David Irving

by Gerard Henderson

Show this film if you must, but don't pretend it's part of a search for truth, writes Gerard Henderson.

MOST HISTORIANS are involved in the search for truth in history. Most - but not all. For evidence in support of this proposition, it is not necessary to look beyond David Irving.

British-born Irving is the poster-boy historian of the extreme, or "Lunar", right. He is back in the news in Australia - this time on account of a decision by the taxpayer-subsidised Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF) to exhibit the documentary The Search for Truth in History later this week. The Jewish Community Council of Victoria is taking action before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in an attempt to prevent the film being screened.

David Irving comments:

SEEMS THAT today's Australian press is once again in flames because of me, and, oops!, skunkHenderson has forgotten to mention that Professor Richard "Skunky" Evans, whom he quotes so gleefully, was paid, yes, a quarter of a million pounds by Lipstadt's lawyers to express his "neutral" opinion about me:

AS a teacher and tutor," one Australian today writes to me, "I too have to battle political correctness and revisionary history here in Australia. We are supposed to teach -- brainwash -- students into accepting that Aboriginals were executed by Whites when this country was first discovered, whereas the reality is that it is a total fabrication. The gender issue is also a major problem in teaching, as the message children now receive is that all men are bastards, and all women saints. Enough of that: all the best in your endeavours to correct what has become the virtual incorrectable! "
   Gerard Henderson's article appears in most of the national press down under -- the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, etc.
   He still fronts a Sydney Institute. I have come to believe that Sydney is some friend of his, and not the city at all. If Sydney is not a guy, then Henderson is this "institute's" only official. We never hear of any others.

NONE of the editors invites me to reply. Somebody emails that the West Australian in Perth also carries the article: "That well known bum-boy for the degenerate layer of our society, Gerard Henderson, has a vicious half page on you this morning."
   A Rupert writes: "I don't understand this guy. He isn't -- I could be wrong -- Jewish. But he becomes hysterical whenever you're mentioned, and whenever the 'Holocaust' is mentioned. Maybe Jewish groups are bankrolling the Sydney Institute, who knows? Anyway, congratulations. It seems that almost everyone here in Australia is pulling behind you and Richard. The ABC TV news report mentioned, impishly, that Lipshutz hadn't seen your film, even though he found it offensive enough to be banned. Which is extraordinary for the ABC."

SO, a Lipshutz hadn't actually seen the work that he wanted banned. And a Lipstadt wanted the Goebbels biography banned, although she had not seen it either. They all come from one great family of Lip.
   Another email writer, from Iowa, enthuses: "The world may hopefully become a more honest place because of incredibly intelligent and courageous men like you".
   Nice, but such words butter no parsnips, as my old Mother would have said; they don't pay the school bills either, unfortunately.

It is an anomaly that a self-proclaimed "underground" film festival needs a hand-out from the public purse (this time courtesy of the Australian Film Commission). But more anomalous still that Richard Wolstencroft, the MUFF's director, should consider it hip to show a 1993 documentary on David Irving.

In an extraordinary pompous and confused statement on the MUFF website, Wolstencroft runs standard leftist lines by referring to the alleged "fascism" of George Bush, Tony Blair and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and condemning "the application of force and power . . . in the recent incursion into Iraq and Afghanistan".

But the MUFF director also presents himself as a devotee of what he terms "transcendental fascism". This Wolstencroft depicts as "a new conception of fascism" that takes into account "the inherent paradoxes of its nature and dialogue" and that has the capacity to "interact with other political philosophies worthy of integration like anarchism, socialism and conceptions of justice, equality, liberty and autonomy". How frightfully twee.

All this, apparently, to rationalise the decision to screen The Search for Truth in History at the MUFF. Now, this cannot be justified on artistic grounds. The documentary, which runs for more than an hour, is nothing but a rant-to-camera by Irving. He uses the occasion to condemn "our traditional enemies, you know who they are" (yes indeed, Jews, of course).

And he describes the accepted truth that the Nazi Germany regime murdered some 6 million Jews as both a "blood lie" and a myth on which the "Jewish people have been dining out on for the last 50 years".

It so happens that the documentary was made for the Irving Fan Club in Australia, after the decision by the Keating government in 1993 to deny him a visa on the grounds he was not of good character. This finding was confirmed by the Howard Government in 1996 and subsequently.

Enter the American historian Deborah Lipstadt. In 1993 she published her book Denying the Holocaust (The Free Press). This was a case study of individuals, primarily in North America and Western Europe, who have sought to deny the Holocaust. That is, they reject the fact that Hitler and his fellow Nazis, between 1933 and 1945, consciously set out to murder the Jews (and gypsies) of Europe.

As Lipstadt has pointed out (Australian Jewish News, May 30, 2003), in her book she only "devoted about 300 words to Irving". In any event, he sued her and the case was heard by judge alone (at the plaintiff's request) in England.

It so happens that The Search for Truth in History was an exhibit in the trial. [Website comment: It was not]. As Evans points out in his book, the "suggestion" made by Irving in the video "that the Allies were somehow responsible for killing Auschwitz prisoners" during the 1945 air attacks on Dresden "was completely fantastic".

On April 11, 2000, Justice Charles Gray handed down his finding in the Royal Courts of Justice. In a judgement overwhelmingly critical of the plaintiff, he dismissed Irving's claim. A useful summary of the decision is contained in D. D. Guttenplan's The Holocaust on Trial (Granta, 2001).


RICHARD J EVANS, professor of modern history at Cambridge University, was chief historical adviser to the defence. As Evans documents in Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust and the David Irving Trial (Basic Books, 2002), he and a research team spent more than two years studying Irving's work.

Irving has no formal academic qualifications. But this does not mean he is incapable of writing good history. Moreover, he reads and speaks German.

The task for the defence was to demonstrate that Lipstadt had not defamed Irving in presenting him as a Holocaust denier and an apologist for Hitler.

To a considerable extent, Irving's defeat was due to the demonstrable truth of Evans' research. The plaintiff is a prodigious writer. So the defence selected some historical case studies for examination; namely Irving's writings and speeches on Hitler's policy towards the Jews and what the Nazis termed the "Final Solution" - together with Irving's account of the Allied bombing of Dresden.

The case for the defence is set out in Lying About Hitler. This is one of the most devastating critiques by one historian of another ever published. As Evans acknowledges, before Irving made his (ill-advised) decision to take legal action, very few reviewers had thoroughly researched his work. Moreover, Irving both represented himself and appeared as a witness in his defamation action. So, to this extent, his views could be tested under oath. [Website note: Lipstadt however did not agree to go into the witness box].

Evans documents that Irving's claim that Hitler did not know about the Final Solution amounted to "a vast apparatus of deception and deceit". What's more, the author demonstrates that Irving's account of the Dresden raid involved "fantasy, invention, speculation, the suppression of reliable evidence, the use of unreliable sources or, most shockingly, the repeated deployment of a document that he knew to be a forgery". And more besides.

Evans makes an overwhelming case that "Irving is essentially an ideologue who uses history for his own political purposes". Quite so. In short, he is a follower of the Lunar right. Hence Irving's soft attitude to right-wing totalitarianism -- as in Nazism and fascism -- and his evident hatred of such democratic politicians as Winston Churchill.

The first edition of Irving's Churchill's War: The Struggle for Power was published in Western Australia by Veritas Publishing. At the time, Veritas had a connection with Australia's very own Lunar right entity, the League of Rights. On February 23, 1993, David Thompson (then national director of the Australian League of Rights) wrote to The Sydney Morning Herald advising that he was "closely involved with organising and conducting Irving's two previous lecture tours of Australia" in 1986 and 1987.

It is probably counter-productive to attempt to stop David Irving's propaganda being shown in Australia. But Richard Wolstencroft should spare us the humbug that the MUFF is somehow involved in a search for truth by screening Irving's 10-year-old documentary.

This is intellectual garbage, of the transcendental kind. -- AAP

Gerard Henderson is executive director of The Sydney Institute.



... on Gerard Henderson

Lipstadt in Australia, 1994
Australian Radio media report, 1996
Frederick Toben comments on Henderson, 1999
Referred to in David Irving: Global Vendetta
Helen Darville: The High Price of Free Speech
Helen Darville speaks with David Irving provokes Outrage of Gerard Henderson

... on censoring that video film

Protest planned outside Melbourne theatre showing Irving film
Australia's Jews protest plans to screen a film made by Irving
Feb 1993: "The Search for Truth in History", videotaped speech to Australians, after Labour Government refused David Irving permission for a third tour
Sam Lipski reviews Irving video in The Australian, May 21, 1993
May 30, 1993: Australian newspapers report: "Israeli secret agents linked with bugging" device found in Irving Video Censorship Bureau
Jeremy Jones, Oct 27, 1994: Film Scheduled, Dropped by Adelaide Television
How Jews tried to ban Irving speech video: An inside glimpse
  The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical

Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

David Irving's ACTION REPORT

© Focal Point 2003 F Irving write to David Irving