From the world's press

London, May 6, 1992

German court rejects Irving appeal

A MUNICH court yesterday rejected an appeal by the British Right-wing historian and writer, David Irving, against a £2,400 fine imposed for defaming Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and increased it to £3,400.

Irvings two German lawyers, including a former Luftwaffe bomber pilot, Hajo Herrmann, stormed out of the hearing before the judgment, claiming the case was "politically motivated". They were applauded by a group of elderly men and young neo-fascists in the public gallery.

Irving marched into court with three boxes containing more than 100 of his books, carried by young members of the neo-fascist German Youth Education Society, which is organising meetings at which the London-born, 54-year-old historian is speaking. Last night, he addressed a Right-wing Munich students' group.

Jewish demonstrators are picketing every stop of Irving's German visit, and they were outside the court, Irving challenged a conviction last year under a clause of the German criminal code forbidding public statements "insulting the memory of the dead". He was prosecuted following a speech in April 1990 in a Munich beer hall in which he denied the existence of gas chambers at the Auschwitz extermination camp.

Challenged by Judge Thomas Stelzner at yesterday's hearing, Irving said he stood firmly by what he had said at the Munich rally.

"I have found not one piece of evidence that there are gas chambers at Auschwitz," said Irving. "On the contrary."

He said the gas chambers to be seen at the site of the camp had been erected as a tourist attraction.

He said he had invited the head of the Auschwitz state archive and museum, Dr Franciszek Piper, to corroborate his statement as a witness, but Dr Piper did not attend yesterday's court session.

Irving told the judge: "We both have our duties. My duty as historian is to establish the truth. Your duty is also to establish the truth, but you have a problem in Germany." 

Notes: The fine was increased to DM30,000 (about $22,000) in 1993. The judge had refused to allow the examination of Piper as a witness.

A copy of this is in the Canadian government Immigration file on David Irving, evidently supplied by the Board of Deputies of British Jews (and faxed to someone on "Oct 30, '92 13:13 from 3298")

May 6, 1992
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