In advance of a film about the trial that bankrupted him, the historian is boasting that his views have found a new generation of admirers
Sixteen years after an English court discredited his work and the judge called him “antisemitic and racist”, the historian David Irving claims he is inspiring a new generation of “Holocaust sceptics”.
On the eve of a major new Bafta-nominated film about the trial, Irving, who has dismissed what happened at Auschwitz concentration camp during the second world war as “Disneyland”, says that a whole new generation of young people have discovered his work via the internet and social media.
“Interest in my work has risen exponentially in the last two or three years. And it’s mostly young people. I’m getting messages from 14, 15, 16-year-olds in America. They find me on YouTube. There are 220 of my lectures on YouTube, I believe, and these young people tell me how they’ve stayed up all night watching them.
“They get in touch because they want to find out the truth about Hitler and the second world war. They ask all sorts of questions. I’m getting up to 300 to 400 emails a day. And I answer them all. I build a relationship with them.”
The remark about teenagers reminded me of this.
[Bradley] Smith referred to his tactics as the CODOH campus project. He says, “I don’t want to spend time with adults anymore, I want to go to students. They are superficial. They are empty vessels to be filled.” “What I wanted to do was I wanted to set forth three or four ideas that students might be interested in, that might cause them to think about things or to have questions about things. And I wanted to make it as simple as possible, and to set it up in a way that could not really be debated.”
I am currently watching the NFC Divisional Game with the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Packers. I am interested not in Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot, Cole Beasley, Des Bryant, or Dan Bailey, but some other guy on the defensive line. (I feel disappointed that David Irving, of all people as I was writing this, stepped off sides and on a “free play” Aaron Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to tight end Richard Rodgers.) I feel disappointed that it is now 14-3 in favor of the Packers. He is not playing now to pad his numbers, but to give the Cowboys offense a chance to win.
In fall 2015, I turned on my television to a Fox broadcast of an NFL game that had the Cowboys playing. One of the announcers mentioned “David Irving” and I was wondering why was that name mentioned. And a few seconds later, I saw a jersey with “Irving” on the back.I looked up “David Irving” and found there was another David Irving playing for the Cowboys. After that, I decided to watch a few videos of David Irving, the Holocaust denier. He was interesting and pleasant to listen to and he certainly have some panache in his talks. That doesn’t necessarily mean I subscribe to his thesis about the Holocaust.
I was elated in Irving’s dominating performance against the Packers (in the regular season) where he had a sack and three forced fumbles. He also dominated against the Bucs. David Irving became popular after the Sunday Night game against Tampa Bay Buccaneers where Irving shut down Jameis Winston’s attempt to score a touchdown to maintain the Cowboys six point lead in the fourth quarter.
I wonder if people became exposed to the author by trying to find content related to the defensive end due to attention given to him for exceptional pass rushing.
At 2:30, the announcer said that “soon the whole world will know who David Irving is”. I thought the world knew he is a notorious Holocaust denier who lost a libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt.
“It used to be small amounts, and they still come in, but people are now giving me very large sums indeed – five-figure sums. I now drive a Rolls-Royce. A beautiful car. Though money is completely unimportant to me.”
His new fans, he says, are the same people who in the US are supporting Donald Trump, who he believes will make a good president and “has his heart in the right place”. Though, he says, he is also impressed by the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
It is almost like Irving is asking for people NOT to give him money with the Rolls Royce remark.