Living and Raw Foods web site.  Educating the world about the power of living and raw plant based diet.  This site has the most resources online including articles, recipes, chat, information, personals and more!
 

Click this banner to check it out!
Click here to find out more!

Exposing David Irving a noxious opportunist and a coward
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: March 23, 2017 08:24PM

There is no martyrdom in this pathetic denouement
David Cesarani
The Austrian courts have done the world a favour in exposing David Irving as a noxious opportunist and a coward



The sentence handed down on David Irving by a Viennese court for denying that the Nazis used gas chambers to murder Jews at Auschwitz, and for declaring Hitler innocent of that crime, evidently left him stunned. It also stirred something of a "backlash" in this country, where sections of the media and the intelligentsia persist in seeing Irving as a harmless eccentric with a wayward, if despicable, interpretation of the past.
In the studios and editorial columns there were echoes of a bygone era when clubmen routinely harrumphed at news of damned continentals trampling the freedoms of an Englishman. But Irving is not an innocuous buffoon, and he is hardly a martyr to free speech. He courted disaster by revisiting a country in which he had previously been charged with a serious crime.


The stories you need to read, in one handy email
Read more
He went to Austria at the invitation of a far-right student group to peddle his lies and spread his neo-Nazi message. Under these circumstances, the Austrian authorities were not only right to act, they were almost under a compulsion to do so. Remember that just a few years ago Austria was boycotted by the EU after the far-right Freedom party, led by Jörg Haider, entered government.

Inaction would have left Austria looking like a neo-Nazi haven. And there must be a suspicion that, by advertising his visit, Irving courted arrest in the arrogant belief that he would be let off amid a blaze of publicity for his noxious views and his latest book. Instead of boosting his sales, Irving will now have time to work on a new volume - his threatened autobiography.

It is surely no coincidence that Irving's publication plans echo those of his idol, Adolf Hitler, who composed his autobiographical work Mein Kampf while incarcerated in Landsberg prison for treason. Hitler used his trial for staging the Munich putsch to propagate National Socialism and went to jail a martyr for the Nazi movement. Will Irving become a martyr to either the far right or the champions of free speech? Will he be celebrated as the victim of an archaic, repressive law framed in a country with a guilty conscience about its own past? Hardly.

Advertisement

Irving's credibility as a historian was shattered during the libel suit at the high court in London in 2000 when a phalanx of real scholars exposed the distortions and falsifications in his writing that could only be explained by a conscious desire to excuse Hitler of responsibility for genocide and rehabilitate the Third Reich.

At least then he went down with all guns blazing, the sort of military metaphor he liked to use during the trial, and won the grudging admiration of onlookers. In Vienna he went out with a whimper. His admission that there were, indeed, gas chambers at Auschwitz has crippled his standing with his neo-Nazi and Holocaust-denying supporters. Of course, it was utterly insincere.

His claim that he saw the light when he discovered new documents in 1998 made no sense given his trenchant defence of denial in 2000. The severity of the sentence may have reflected the court's contempt for this transparent strategy. It has certainly done the world a favour by exposing Irving as an opportunist and a coward. Who could manufacture martyrdom from this pathetic denouement?

Irving has not gone to prison for defending truth. There is not the slightest resemblance between him and the courageous journalists in China, genuine martyrs for free speech, imprisoned for criticising a totalitarian regime. He is no impartial seeker after knowledge. He writes what amounts to propaganda for the neo-Nazi cause. This cannot even be defended as slanted history with a claim on our indulgence. It is an incitement to hatred.

Holocaust denial is a particularly vicious form of anti-semitism. It is predicated on the absurd notion that after 1945 the Jews systematically fabricated evidence on the ground and in archives, and staged trials, to convince the world that millions of Jews had been murdered by the Nazis. Having forged this evidence, the Jews then ruthlessly squeezed the hapless Gentiles for every dollar and drop of sympathy they could. It reinforces the stereotype of Jews as powerful, merciless and conspiratorial.

At a time when anti-semitism is on the rise, tolerating Holocaust denial is like allowing a man to shout fire in a crowded theatre. Sadly, the sentence on Irving will not curb the hatemongers. Thanks to the internet it is virtually impossible to stop the dissemination of lies and propaganda. The classic arguments for freedom of speech drawn from Voltaire and Mill are redundant. They addressed small literate elites at a time when the means of reproduction were relatively few and easily controlled, when it was reasonable to contend that in a contest between truth and falsehood held among reasonable men, lies would be exposed and driven from the public sphere.

But the internet is awash with falsehood and bigotry. Good ideas and beautiful truths coexist with trash and outright evil. Amid this anarchy, all that decent people can do is agree to reasonable limits on what can be said and set down legal markers in an attempt to preserve a democratic, civilised and tolerant society. The sentence on David Irving shows where the line is drawn.

· David Cesarani is research professor in history at Royal Holloway, and author of Eichmann: His Life and Crimes



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2017 08:24PM by riverhousebill.

Options: ReplyQuote


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.


Navigate Living and Raw Foods below:

Search Living and Raw Foods below:

Search Amazon.com for:

Eat more raw fruits and vegetables

Living and Raw Foods Button
1998 Living-Foods.com
All Rights Reserved

USE OF THIS SITE SIGNIFIES YOUR AGREEMENT TO THE DISCLAIMER.

Privacy Policy Statement

Eat more Raw Fruits and Vegetables