English author and Holocaust denier
David John Cawdell Irving (born 24 March 1938) is an English author and Holocaust denier who has written on the military and political history of World War II, with a focus on Nazi Germany. His works include The Destruction of Dresden (1963), Hitler's War (1977), Churchill's War (1987) and Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich (1996). In his works, he argued that Adolf Hitler did not know of the extermination of Jews, or, if he did, he opposed it. Though Irving's negationist claims and views of German war crimes in World War II (and Hitler's responsibility for them) were never taken seriously by mainstream historians, he was once recognised for his knowledge of Nazi Germany and his ability to unearth new historical documents.
By the late 1980s, Irving had placed himself outside the mainstream of the study of history, and had begun to turn from "'soft-core' to 'hard-core' Holocaust denial", possibly influenced by the 1988 trial of Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel. That trial, and his reading of the 1988 pseudoscientifi Leuchter report, led him to openly espouse Holocaust denial, specifically denying that Jews were murdered by gassing at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Irving's reputation as a historian was discredited[Note 2] in 1996 when, in the course of an unsuccessful libel case he filed against the American historian Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books, High Court Judge Charles Gray determined in his ruling that Irving willfully misrepresented historical evidence to promote Holocaust denial and whitewash the Nazis, a view shared by many prominent historians. The English court found that Irving was an active Holocaust denier, antisemite and racist, who "for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence". In addition, the court found that Irving's books had distorted the history of Hitler's role in the Holocaust to depict Hitler in a favourable light.
I still think, perhaps I'm a bit old fashioned - that truth matters. I think truth matters particularly when it concerns an event of such horrendous quality. Holocaust was the worst, probably the worst massacre, if you'd like to call it that, in the world's history - considering the scale of it and the fact that it was done deliberately during wartime.
I have no academic qualifications whatsoever.
...the discovery, that at no time did this man (Hitler) pose or intend a real threat to Britain or the Empire.
It's very difficult to get to the truth and ironically, in the Information Age, which we would have thought meant channels to the truth is in fact obfuscating the truth.
The Nazis quite clearly killed millions of Jews.
History is like a constantly changing tree.
Yes, there were gas chambers. Millions of Jews died. There is no question. I don't know the figures. I'm not an expert on the Holocaust.
Holocaust denial is not only a falsification of history, it is an expression of anti-Semitism.
I made a mistake when I said there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz.
...the incontrovertible evidence is that Hitler ordered on November 30, 1941, that there was to be 'no liquidation of the Jews.'
It [the Holocaust] is something like a religion.... The Intellectual Adventure is that we are reversing this entire trend within the space of one generation - that in a few years time no one will believe this particular legend anymore. They will say, as I do, that atrocities were committed. Yes, hundreds of thousands of people were killed, but there were no factories of death. All that is a blood libel against the German people.
I don't think there was any overall Reich policy to kill the Jews. If there was, they would have been killed and there would not be now so many millions of survivors. And believe me, I am glad for every survivor that there was.
Without Hitler, the State of Israel probably would not exist today. To that extent he was probably the Jews' greatest friend.