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David Irving


jsslatic
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On C4's celebration of freedom of speech tonight: Guardian

 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for freedom of speech. But it's wholly ridiculous that C4 is giving any air time to this scumbag. It's courting controversy and featuring him is inflammatory at the least and is an accomplice to racism at worst.

 

All I can hope is that the majority see through the rubbish he's sure to spout, but sadly there's some vulnerable and uneducated folk out there...the exact type he targets with his bile.

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I think it would be little odd if they offered him a 6 part prime time slot to make whatever programme he wanted, but there's precious little point debating freedom of speech if you only include opinions that don't offend or upset people. To be honest he is just the sort of person (or he raises the right sort of issues) that you would want to be looking at for this sort of thing.

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I think it would be little odd if they offered him a 6 part prime time slot to make whatever programme he wanted, but there's precious little point debating freedom of speech if you only include opinions that don't offend or upset people. To be honest he is just the sort of person (or he raises the right sort of issues) that you would want to be looking at for this sort of thing.

 

Except for the fact that if C4 want to 'celebrate' (their words, not mine) the wonders of freedom of speech, they should focus on the good that it's done...rather than the platform it's given to mindless racists like Irving.

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Except for the fact that if C4 want to 'celebrate' (their words, not mine) the wonders of freedom of speech, they should focus on the good that it's done...rather than the platform it's given to mindless racists like Irving.

Bit of a semantic point, but unlike many of the people who his work feeds down into, Irving is far from a brainless racist - he is an absolutely brilliant racist. I'm told by a friend who knows the field much more than I do that he was one of the best historians of his generation until his mind seemingly became overwhelmed with pro-Third Reich notions, although he clearly had his private prejudices then (as all academics do) he kept them out of his work. Denying airtime to people like him doesn't silence the views, but it does lend weight to paranoaics and oddballs who want to believe that there is some vast conspiracy going on.That said I entirely understand people who would rather not see him on air (we seem to be on the second "specialism" of mine in the course of a week), but as I said in my earlier post, freedom of speech means nothing if you approve of what the person is saying.

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Bit of a semantic point, but unlike many of the people who his work feeds down into, Irving is far from a brainless racist - he is an absolutely brilliant racist. I'm told by a friend who knows the field much more than I do that he was one of the best historians of his generation until his mind seemingly became overwhelmed with pro-Third Reich notions, although he clearly had his private prejudices then (as all academics do) he kept them out of his work. Denying airtime to people like him doesn't silence the views, but it does lend weight to paranoaics and oddballs who want to believe that there is some vast conspiracy going on.That said I entirely understand people who would rather not see him on air (we seem to be on the second "specialism" of mine in the course of a week), but as I said in my earlier post, freedom of speech means nothing if you approve of what the person is saying.

 

The term 'brainless' wasn't to indicate he isn't an intelligent man. It was used to illustrate the fact that sheer stupidity and ignorance of his conclusions.

 

It doesn't silence them no, but there's a lot of people out there who don't know much or anything about the Holocaust and if a handful of those go out, read more about what he has to say and take his account as gospel then it's dangerous. Incitement to hatred etc etc etc.

 

As the final Holocaust survivors die out, it's up to their children and grandchildren to pass on their stories. The numbers of those who witnessed the horrors and lived through them are decreasing and those (and that includes myself) tasked with passing on the message and the urges of 'Never Again', should not have their credibility compromised by scum such as Irving and his racist supporters.

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The term 'brainless' wasn't to indicate he isn't an intelligent man. It was used to illustrate the fact that sheer stupidity and ignorance of his conclusions.

 

It doesn't silence them no, but there's a lot of people out there who don't know much or anything about the Holocaust and if a handful of those go out, read more about what he has to say and take his account as gospel then it's dangerous. Incitement to hatred etc etc etc.

 

As the final Holocaust survivors die out, it's up to their children and grandchildren to pass on their stories. The numbers of those who witnessed the horrors and lived through them are decreasing and those (and that includes myself) tasked with passing on the message and the urges of 'Never Again', should not have their credibility compromised by scum such as Irving and his racist supporters.

I believe that putting forward reasoned arguments against these views compromises their credibility, rather than their views compromising yours (and mine, insofar as I also care about justice and historical truth). IMO it would be a terrible day when we turned to what would in effect be a modern day equivalent of book burning in supressing academic opinion, albeit for entirely opposite reasons to the Nazis doing so. The truth is generally strong enough to come through in conditions that allow it, whilst history shows us that the supression of freedom can start in a lot of different ways and with unpredictable victims.

 

On a slightly different point, I very much doubt that the likes of Irving attract anyone to far right politics - they perhaps provide a veneer of cover for people who are filled with hatred for their own reasons already.

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I believe that putting forward reasoned arguments against these views compromises their credibility, rather than their views compromising yours (and mine, insofar as I also care about justice and historical truth). IMO it would be a terrible day when we turned to what would in effect be a modern day equivalent of book burning in supressing academic opinion, albeit for entirely opposite reasons to the Nazis doing so. The truth is generally strong enough to come through in conditions that allow it, whilst history shows us that the supression of freedom can start in a lot of different ways and with unpredictable victims.

 

On a slightly different point, I very much doubt that the likes of Irving attract anyone to far right politics - they perhaps provide a veneer of cover for people who are filled with hatred for their own reasons already.

 

I don't for one minute support stopping Irving from speaking. He can do what he wants. I just don't support C4 airing what he thinks (even if they do condemn it). We'll see what they say (it's on now) but to me...there's less chance of his views causing harm if no publicity is given at all, rather than if they are shown to the country and then shot down.

 

The truth is normally strong enough to come through. Normally. I don't for one moment think that Irving's ideas will promote widespread anti-semitism and Holocaust denial. However, if one person hears it and believes it then that's one too many...not to mention those they talk to and their children who are brought up listening to them.

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Just watched it, and stand by my initial comments.

 

What a deplorable human being.

 

Anyone who analyses the Third Reich by only looking at primary sources and Hitler's own accounts is going to come to the conclusion that Hitler had nothing to do with the Holocaust, and that much of the Holocaust is a myth. Not only were most of the documents related to the Final Solution destroyed when the war was seemingly lost, but Hitler himself attempted to distance himself from decision making by creating numerous ministries and departments which all had the same task and playing them off against eachother...so if something went awry then he could claim it wasn't his responsibility. There is no way he didn't know what was happening.

 

He said when he read Table Talk and other Hitler attributed monographs he agreed with what he said. Used the examples of Bolshevism and women. Didn't mention Jews. I guess he didn't read Mein Kampf. My arse.

 

Yet what took the biscuit was that he claimed in 1989 that his speech in Vienna was half saying the Holocaust did happen, and the other half saying it was possible that all was not what it may seem, and he was arrested for that. Then he said later on that he didn't believe in the murder of millions of Jews until 1991 when he read the Eichmann papers. Well in that case he's downright lying about the first bit, and his speech was denying the Holocaust.

 

Like I said, I stand by my point...there's no way C4 should have showed him. The other 7 were truly heroes of prevention of freedom of speech...comedians in Burma arrested and tortured, a cartoonist in Algeria facing 20 years inside because of drawings mocking the President, a journalist in Guatemala whose father was killed by death squads for reporting atrocities and she herself and her children had to flee to Uruguay in fear. Then there was Irving, a man who represents the problems of incitement to ignorance and hatred that are facilitated by free speech.

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I'm glad you have reported on the programme, as I only have steam powered television so haven't had the opportunity to see the show myself yet. No doubt they will show it on 4 proper at some time.

 

I am disappointed with the format of the programme as you describe it. If it was a discussion of the issue of freedom of speech, it would have covered Holocaust denial, media treatment if Islam (both media fear of highlighting failings within communities and also of negativity in other ways), government control of information and much else. Sounds like they used Irving to gain the column inches when his case could have been an important part of a genuine debate to provide context into the unpleasant, consequences of allowing free speech.

 

Regarding the claims you report from the programme, it's nothing new. No doubt he discredited himself further during his appearance. As regards how the Germans arranged the Final Solution, it is actually fairly normal that it would have been a chaos between several power bases, and without Hitler's final stamp over it. For the same reason, idiotic to assume that Hitler wasn't fully aware of the policy.

 

I am confident David Irving hasn't enhanced his reputation with anyone whose opinion either of us would care about today.

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Is it not better that people are given the chance first hand to assess his ramblings and make their own judgement? As with the BNP, now they have had some publicity and a seat or two in local government, public opinion has decided they are not a viable vote. However there are some issues they have broadcast which has made the other parties act on rather than ignore them.

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On C4's celebration of freedom of speech tonight: Guardian

 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for freedom of speech. But it's wholly ridiculous that C4 is giving any air time to this scumbag. It's courting controversy and featuring him is inflammatory at the least and is an accomplice to racism at worst.

 

All I can hope is that the majority see through the rubbish he's sure to spout, but sadly there's some vulnerable and uneducated folk out there...the exact type he targets with his bile.

 

I studied David Irving's work as part of my History A'Level and if you are going to celebrate free speech then I think his work is a goods as any to prove that. Plenty of people use propaganda everyday for both good and bad means and people are only going to be able to see through such propaganda by using there brains. Also if they censor this what is there to censor anything or anyone else.

 

Though looking at your review of the programme it looks like C4 were showing it to be sensationalist and he is an utter barstard.

Edited by jimsleftfoot
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Is it not better that people are given the chance first hand to assess his ramblings and make their own judgement? As with the BNP, now they have had some publicity and a seat or two in local government, public opinion has decided they are not a viable vote. However there are some issues they have broadcast which has made the other parties act on rather than ignore them.

 

Slightly different on a couple of counts:

 

1. David Irving contributes nothing of worth to any debate, nothing he says should make people act to change the history of the Holocaust.

 

2. In a modern public debate, immigrants etc are able to prove their worth and by being in their presence, reasonably minded people are able to comprehend that there is no distinction between black, brown, white or bloody green. Irving preaches to those who know very little of the subject...all of his arguments are easily rebuked...but to those ignorant of the subject...to those who haven't been to Auschwitz-Birkenau and haven't seen the holes through which Zyklon-B was dropped which Irving claims don't exist (he hasn't been himself, interestingly), he represents a significant threat. As the survivors die out, there's noone left to testify first hand of the atrocities. It's left to their descendants, such as myself, to pass on the message...that's hard enough, without scum like Irving throwing doubt on what we have to say.

Edited by jsslatic
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I studied David Irving's work as part of my History A'Level and if you are going to celebrate free speech then I think his work is a goods as any to prove that. Plenty of people use propaganda everyday for both good and bad means and people are only going to be able to see through such propaganda by using there brains. Also if they censor this what is there to censor anything or anyone else.

 

Though looking at your review of the programme it looks like C4 were showing it to be sensationalist and he is an utter barstard.

 

My initial point was perhaps a little harsh as I should have given C4 the benefit of the doubt and assumed they would present a balanced argument, highlighting the dangers of free speech. It turned out that I was justifiably rash.

Edited by jsslatic
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