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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 December 2006, 13:26 GMT
Irving not remorseful after jail
David Irving
David Irving complains he was jailed for expressing "wrong views"
UK historian David Irving has said he does not feel the need to show any more remorse for his views on the killing of millions of Jews by the Nazis.

He is back in the UK after his release on probation from a three-year jail term imposed in Austria for denying the Holocaust in a 1989 speech.

"Stalinist legislation" had put him in prison for expressing the "wrong views", Mr Irving told the BBC.

After 400 days in jail "you've earned the right to show no remorse", he said.

"Not showing remorse is not a criminal offence," he told the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme.

Irving's reputation as a credible historian is shot
Karen Pollock
Holocaust Educational Trust

"Austrian law is a very odd kind of legal system - it's nothing like the English legal system, you're required to show remorse, you're required to confess, you're required to admit guilt otherwise everything will be tripled."

'Killing centre'

Mr Irving's conviction had sparked intense debate, with supporters saying it was fully justified but opponents arguing it undermined the right of freedom of speech.

In his speech in Austria 17 years ago, he denied the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz, though he later said he was "mistaken".

He told his initial trial that Auschwitz's role as a "killing centre" has been exaggerated to pander to the tourist trade.

At a London news conference on Friday, Mr Irving said he had been treated "with utmost contempt" in Austria and Germany.

He called for an international boycott of all historians in the nations until they put pressure on their governments to change laws.

Jewish groups dismayed

The 68-year-old insisted he was not a "Holocaust denier".

"For the last 15 years, I have made no bones at all about the fact that the Nazis killed millions of Jews in different methods around the world, around their empire, particularly on the Eastern Front," he said.

"And I've published documents that none of the conformist historians have bothered to find."

Mr Irving served 13 months of his sentence and has now been banned from Austria. The 1992 law targets "whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide".

But his release on probation has dismayed Jewish groups.

Lord Janner, vice-president of the World Jewish Congress and president of the Commonwealth Jewish Council, said: "I do not believe that he was put in prison because he was a historian. And historians should be treated in the same way as anyone else."

Karen Pollock, from the UK-based Holocaust Education Trust, said "Holocaust denial, in whatever guise it appears must be challenged".

Mr Irving said: "I refuse to be silenced. I am not going to allow Austria to silence me so that the rest of the world cannot hear me."

David Irving defends his views on the Holocaust

Holocaust denier to be released
20 Dec 06 |  Europe
Profile: David Irving
18 Nov 05 |  UK


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