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Thursday, 13 January, 2000, 19:43 GMT
War historian may face extradition

David Irving David Irving outside the High Court


Controversial historian David Irving, who is suing a fellow academic for libel, has revealed a German court is trying to extradite him for allegedly inciting racial hatred.

The 62-year-old author of Hitler's War and Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich is suing Professor Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books for libel over claims in her book, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory that he was a "Holocaust denier".

Mr Irving alleges they were part of an organised campaign to destroy his career and said the "waves of hatred" they had generated had robbed him of financial security for the future.

Extradition request

On the third day of the High Court trial, Mr Irving produced a press clipping from a German newspaper reporting an extradition request in connection with a 1990 lecture tour.

He told Mr Justice Gray it was another "incidence of the kind of hatred I face and the problems I face because of the repugnant allegations against me".

The article published in Stuttgart Zeitung, said "there has been since 1996 an indictment for racial incitement" relating to a lecture Mr Irving delivered in Weinheim in September 1990.

He said the incident referred to comments he had made about Auschwitz death camps not being genuine and had been triggered by Prof Lipstadt's allegations.

Hitler 'exonerated'

Earlier, Mr Irving dismissed allegations that he had deliberately misinterpreted documentary evidence to exonerate Hitler.

Richard Rampton QC, counsel for Prof Lipstadt and Penguin, who both deny libel and plead justification, said Mr Irving had written that there was "incontrovertible evidence" Hitler ordered there should be no liquidation of the Jews.

Deborah Lipstadt Deborah Lipstadt denies libel and pleads justification
Instead, the reference should have been to a particular trainload of about 1,000 Jews deported from Berlin to Latvia in November, 1941, Mr Rampton said.

He said Mr Irving was guilty of a "deliberate mis-translation" which "inflated it from one trainload of Jews generally and you inserted an order from Hitler for which there was no evidence".

But Mr Irving, who is defending himself in the non-jury trial, said there was no evidence to suggest he had mistranslated evidence to make Hitler appear more merciful.

He agreed he should have written "a liquidation of a transport of Jews," and pointed out that as soon as evidence was presented to him, he changed the reference in subsequent editions of his book.

The case continues.

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See also:
11 Jan 00 |  UK
Revisionist scholar with talent for controversy
11 Jan 00 |  UK
Hitler historian branded a 'liar'
10 Jan 00 |  UK
High Court battle over Holocaust book
12 Jan 00 |  UK
Historian: Gas chambers are 'big lie'

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