BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Tuesday, 11 April, 2000, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Judge: Why Irving had to lose

It took Judge Charles Gray 300 strongly-worded pages to set out why he had found David Irving to be a Holocaust denier, an anti-Semite and a racist.

The judge said said it appeared to him to be "incontrovertible" that Irving qualified as a Holocaust denier.

"Not only has he denied the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz and asserted that no Jew was gassed there, he has done so on frequent occasions and sometimes in the most offensive terms," he said.

To illustrate his point, the judge quoted comments by Mr Irving, including:

  • his claim that "more people died in the back of Ted Kennedy's car at Chappaquiddick than died in the gas chambers at Auschwitz"
  • his "dismissal of the eyewitnesses en masse as liars or as suffering from a mental problem"
  • his reference to an "Association of Auschwitz Survivors and Other Liars or 'Asshols' "
  • the question he asked of Holocaust survivor Mrs Altman, as to how much money she had made from her concentration camp tattoo.

The judge said he also accepted the defendants' case that Mr Irving was anti-Semitic.

"His words are directed against Jews, either individually or collectively, in the sense that they are by turns hostile, critical, offensive and derisory in their references to Semitic people, their characteristics and appearances," he said.



His words are directed against Jews, either individually or collectively, in the sense that they are by turns hostile, critical, offensive and derisory in their references to Semitic people, their characteristics and appearances

Mr Justice Gray
Examples included Irving's claims that the Jews deserve to be disliked; that they brought the Holocaust on themselves and that they generated anti-Semitism by greed and mendacity.

The judge agreed that Jews were as open to criticism as anyone else.

"But it appears to me that Irving has repeatedly crossed the divide between legitimate criticism and prejudiced vilification of the Jewish race and people," he said.

'Baby Ayran'

The judge said he concluded that Irving was also a racist.

He said evidence came from sample quotations such as the rhyme Mr Irving composed for his daughter.

The court heard it ran "I am a Baby Aryan, Not Jewish or Sectarian. I have no plans to marry an ape or Rastafarian."



He makes surprising and often unfounded assertions about the Nazi regime which tend to exonerate the Nazis for the appalling atrocities which they inflicted on the Jews

Mr Justice Gray
Mr Justice Gray said: "I accept that Irving is not obsessed with race. He has certainly not condoned or excused racist violence or thuggery.

"But he has on many occasions spoken in terms which are plainly racist."

The judge said he also found that Irving associated regularly with extremist and neo-Nazi organisations and individuals.

"The conclusion I draw...is that Irving is sympathetic towards, and on occasion promotes the views held by, those individuals and organisations.

"The content of his speeches and interviews often displays a distinctly pro-Nazi and anti-Jewish bias.



The picture of Irving which emerges from the evidence of his extra-curricular activities reveals him to be a right-wing pro-Nazi polemicist

Mr Justice Gray
"He makes surprising and often unfounded assertions about the Nazi regime which tend to exonerate the Nazis for the appalling atrocities which they inflicted on the Jews.

"He is content to mix with neo-fascists and appears to share many of their racist and anti-Semitic prejudices.

"The picture of Irving which emerges from the evidence of his extra-curricular activities reveals him to be a right-wing pro-Nazi polemicist.

"In my view the defendants have established that Irving has a political agenda.

"It is one which, it is legitimate to infer, disposes him, where he deems it necessary, to manipulate the historical record in order to make it conform with his political beliefs."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories