Respectful Insolence

David Irving has made a career out of being a Holocaust denier and then protesting when someone calls him a Holocaust denier. As you may recall, he even sued Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt for correctly referring to him as a Holocaust denier in one of her books.

Let’s take a look at what’s on his website today. If you go to Irving’s main website and click on today’s newsletter, this is what you will see as a flash screen before the website goes to the newsletter:

i-d10b5b7ee531fa37de387197f338f667-Hitler1.jpg

That’s right! It’s a big fat, sloppy 120th birthday kiss to Adolf Hitler, straight from David “I’m not a Holocaust denier” Irving! What was that again about not being an unabashed Hitler admirer?

It’s not even good history. Thanks to Hitler and his invasion of the USSR, the “Bolsheviks” ended up having the opportunity to rule Eastern Europe for over 50 years. If anything, after enslaving most of Europe himself for nearly six years, Hitler opened the door for the enslavement of Eastern Europe for nearly three generations. Not only that, but he did this after having started a war that resulted in the utter destruction of his nation’s cities and much of Europe as well, a war whose wounds that have not yet entirely healed. In the process, Hitler took genocide to the most organized, industrialized level the world had ever seen, a brutal, bureaucratic killing process that, fortunately, the world has not seen since.

That is Hitler’s legacy, and it’s why I have a Nazi-related holiday that I much prefer celebrating over Hitler’s birthday. And it’s only ten days away!

Comments

  1. #1 PalMD
    April 20, 2009

    Oh god…

  2. #2 PalMD
    April 20, 2009

    His website is blocked by my hospital as “hate site”

  3. #3 Orac
    April 20, 2009

    That’s because it is a hate site. This is one time when your hospital’s blocking software got it right.

    Oddly enough, my hospital’s computer system (not the university’s, thankfully) blocks Steve Novella’s NeuroLogica Blog.

  4. #4 Ericb
    April 20, 2009

    First time I ever heard about a “foul conspiracy” against King Edward. I wonder how that worked.

  5. #5 Hap
    April 20, 2009

    Gee, you’d figure if Hitler saved Europe from Bolshevism, one would figure it wouldn’t have ruled half of Europe for fifty years. Without Monsieur Hitler, the Russians (and for that matter, the Americans) might not worked so hard to have had nuclear weapons, the weapon that enabled the Soviets to control the part of Europe they did control for so long. Oh, and the little moustache also helped to implement the destruction of much of the culture and science of Central Europe, and the migration of what wasn’t killed to the US.

    If that’s his idea of “saving” Europe from Bolshevism, then he either needs to get out of the sun or he’s using a version of the English language with which most English speakers are not familiar.

  6. #6 Hap
    April 20, 2009

    You know, if you look at the TBer post and then this, you might wonder if the “Hitler/Obama” sign was insult or admiration, or if it’s only admiration in his weekly meetings, or only when it’s a white guy who’s being compared to Hitler.

    I guess this post was instantly Godwinned. Oh well.

  7. #7 ole
    April 20, 2009

    Hitler’s regime lasted (quite a bit) more than 6 years! Otherwise: great info which I need to pass to others for archiving for future potential debates.

  8. #8 Neuroskeptic
    April 20, 2009

    I’m no historian, but I’m pretty sure that stuff about the King of England is a conspiracy theory that was old about, oh, 70 years ago…

  9. #9 Phil
    April 20, 2009

    I thought you were going to celebrate the birthday of the Volkswagen beetle or something.

  10. #10 Michael Simpson
    April 20, 2009

    Other than Irving himself, who doesn’t think he’s a holocaust denialist? What a sad pathetic man.

    Neuroskeptic, I’m not sure what you mean, but I think there’s historical documentation of the Duke of Windsor’s admiration of Hitler. An fairly authoritative biography is here:

    Ziegler, Philip (1991). King Edward VIII: The official biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-394-57730-2.

    The British government installed him as the governor of the Bahamas to get him out of Britain during the war. Even when in the Bahamas he made more than a few anti-Semitic comments, including one where he blamed a protest over wages on “draft-dodging Jews.” I’m not going to read Irving’s rantings, so if he’s making some other comment, such as Edward VIII was forced to abdicate because he was a secret Nazi, that probably didn’t make to a level of a real conspiracy theory except in Irving’s tiny little brain.

    Only Irving can make Jenny McCarthy appear positively intelligent.

  11. #11 Karl Withakay
    April 20, 2009

    Well, I guess we’re supposed to think Hitler saved WESTERN Europe from the communists; obviously we’re not supposed to care about all those Slavic EASTERN Europeans, and East Germany was just the price of freedom for the rest of Western Europe.

    I thought the United States saved Western Europe from the Nazis, and then held the Soviets at bay until they ran out of money first.

    Of course this praise of Hitler would take the bite out of my “Hitler built the Autobahn, but that doesn’t mean he was a good leader for Germany” quip I use when people claim that my old CIO (whose literal and figurative crimes I cannot go into on the open internet) at least “got things done”.

  12. #12 Michael Simpson
    April 20, 2009

    I don’t have DSM IV sitting in front of me, but Hitler was a sociopath. And as such, anything that might have been positive was just to further his sociopathic goals.

    And Karl, your CIO was an idiot. Unless, of course, if “got things done” meant the murder of six million Jews. Then he was a racist.

  13. #13 Uncle Dave
    April 20, 2009

    Interesting in that tomorrow, April 21st is listed as Holecaust Rememberance day. Sorry if this has already been stated.

  14. #14 KC
    April 20, 2009

    Nope! Not at all a Hitler admirer. No way, no how. By the way, did you know that Hitler was dreeeeeeamy?

  15. #15 Uncle Dave
    April 20, 2009

    By the way, any reviews or thoughts about the film, “The boy in the Striped Pajamas”?

    I was really not up to watch another holecaust film, however I found the perspective on family life amoung the German officers family to be interesting.

  16. #16 Neuroskeptic
    April 20, 2009

    Michael: I was referring to Irving’s comment about a “foul conspiracy” which deposed the King. I know he was a bit of a Nazi-phile…

  17. #17 Uncle Dave
    April 20, 2009

    Interesting as well that the History channel had been running “Hitlers Family” a few weeks ago.

    http://www.history.com/shows.do?action=detail&showId=173410

    Takes the term dysfunctional to a level only possible when your brother, half brother, nephew is a dictator with powers that have absolutely no limits.

    When Adolf has to put the brakes on half sister Angela’s quest for power; she loved the home (generational family home) of the family down the way from the Bergof retreat so much that when they would not sell it, she had them thrown out (with her personally overseeing the eviction) and sent to the camps.

  18. #18 Dianne
    April 20, 2009

    Not only that, but he did this after having started a war that resulted in the utter destruction of his nation’s cities and much of Europe as well, a war whose wounds that have not yet entirely healed.

    I don’t think that Hitler gets all the credit for that. Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill’s war policies had a hand in the destruction of Europe. Of course, none of them would likely have started WWII, but they didn’t exactly go into it with the maximal humanitarian outcome as their primary goal.

    That having been said, all I can say about Irving is EWWWW!

  19. #19 Rogue Medic
    April 20, 2009

    I thought that the deaths of millions of Jews, and other not-exactly-poster-children for the NAZI party were considered to be just collateral damage for getting the trains to run on time. Not that the trains were punctual, but it is all in the sales pitch – and in the repetition of the sales pitch.

    How can you put a price on the satisfaction of an unreasonable belief that the trains are running on time? More priceless than Mastercard. Undeniably. Of course there is the nagging problem of delaying a train due to the need to capture one of these undesirables on a train, but it would be foolish to blame that delay on the NAZIs. This only makes the need for the genocide much more clear.

    I wonder how many millions of people Mr. Irving would have to kill to get people to believe that his rantings are coherent? I suppose that is the wrong question. Wrong in terms of scale. It should be how many billions of people Mr. Irving would have to kill to get people to believe that his rantings are coherent? About 7, I suppose.

  20. #20 Clay
    April 20, 2009

    We can also thank the Nazi party for begetting the Ba’athist party in Syria and Iraq. The blood-letting of that philosophy never ends.

  21. #21 ildi
    April 20, 2009

    Happy 4:20!

  22. #22 Rob Jase
    April 20, 2009

    Well at least this give Pat Buchannan an excuse to party.

  23. #23 ole
    April 20, 2009

    @ Clay: Huh?

  24. #24 PalMD
    April 20, 2009

    also on his front page

    “# Still living in the past: Denying the deniers: Jew Telegraph Agency’s Q & A session with US scholar Deborah Lipstadt | A rogue writer defaces Lipstadt’s website “

  25. #25 IBY
    April 21, 2009

    Also let’s not forget, Hitler agreed with Stalin to partion Poland at the beginning, when Germany was allied (with fingers crossed behind the back) with USSR. He let Stalin take a lot of Eastern Europe.

  26. #26 Schwartz
    April 21, 2009

    Not to take away from Hitler’s attrocities, but we mustn’t forget that Stalin likely killed far more people. However, he still has people protecting his legacy, so many tend to overlook his butchery.

  27. #27 Matthew Cline
    April 21, 2009

    Not to take away from Hitler’s attrocities, but we mustn’t forget that Stalin likely killed far more people. However, he still has people protecting his legacy, so many tend to overlook his butchery.

    To those not involved (and many of them born after it happened), killing millions of people through starvation via agricultural policy has a lot less emotional impact than killing millions of people in gas chambers.

  28. #28 MrProsser
    April 21, 2009

    Schwartz,
    While I agree we must not forget that, I do tire of it coming up so often. I do not see any reason it has to be mentioned in this case. Orac is probably quite well aware of Stalin, and I see no evidence anyone was playing Stalin’s attrocities down.

  29. #29 Der Bruno Stroszek
    April 21, 2009

    However, he still has people protecting his legacy, so many tend to overlook his butchery.

    Does he? I’ve heard of plenty of Holocaust denialists, but I’ve never met a Russian famine denialist.

  30. #30 RebeccaF
    April 21, 2009

    He does realize that Hitler and Stalin were allies a first, doesn’t he? No ‘saving Europe’ from Stalin involved.

    Logic, not his strong point.

  31. #31 Lilly de Lure
    April 21, 2009

    RebeccaF said:

    Logic, not his strong point.

    Right along with history, humanity or, well anything really.

    As a Brit may I take this opportunity to offer my most profound apologies on behalf of my country for producing this odious little toad and request a loan of Orac’s Dr Doom mask for the duration?

  32. #32 wackyvorlon
    April 21, 2009

    Bear in mind, Hitler was very popular before the war. Many world rulers thought highly of him. Sometimes a monster is not obvious at first glance, but is more subtle.

  33. #33 Daniel J. Andrews
    April 21, 2009

    We had the tempest in the teacup around here a few years back when a public figure said he admired Hitler and the way he mobilized Germany and the economy. He made it very clear he despised what Hitler did with that power, but still many people got very upset with him for saying something they viewed as “constructive” about Hitler.

    A made for tv movie on Hitler came out 3? years ago. The lead actor, who played Hitler, said they wanted to make a movie that reflected Hitler as a person and not as a monster stereotype. Then a paragraph later he says a special interest group asked them not to show Hitler patting a dog on the head because it portrayed him in a sympathetic light, and they happily took out those kind of scenes. So much for the noble sentiments about portraying Hitler as a real person.

    Hitler was a politician. Of course he patted dogs on the head and kissed babies. Portraying Hitler as an obvious monster in films who doesn’t pat dogs on heads or kiss babies and who doesn’t laugh and joke with his friends, gives us the false impression Hitler’s monsterism was obvious but everyone just sat around and let him come into power.

    As wackyvorlon points out Hitler was very popular and some monsters are very subtle. Furthermore, it sets us up to think we can recognize the new monsters because tv shows us history’s monsters are one-dimensional raving lunatics. And by looking at the stereotype monsters we will miss the subtle monsters with their likable human qualities. The really scary monsters are the ones who look and act just like us.

    Maybe in a 100 years we might be able to portray Hitler in a realistic light without people taking offense. Till then, the wounds run deep and rational thought grinds to a halt.

    @Der Bruno Stroszek: I have met a Russian famine denialist, and a genocide denialist. He goes by the name of Russian bear over on the chessninja message boards. He’s bright, articulate, and can dismantle false arguments beautifully (and he’s not a bad chessplayer either), but on this topic he’s a real crackpot and is unable to back up any of his assertions even when pressed.

  34. #34 Orac
    April 21, 2009

    Daniel,

    I’m not sure what the point of your rant is, but Irving’s statements go far beyond “portraying Hitler” as a human and show that he clearly admires him and thinks that he saved Europe from Bolshevism (which Hitler most definitely did not).

    As for my feelings on the matter, I suggest you read the link I ended my post with. In particular, read the last three or four paragraphs:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2006/04/april_30_in_commemoration_of_f_1.php

  35. #35 Marcus Ranum
    April 21, 2009

    I’ve never met a Russian famine denialist

    They didn’t like the tea-cakes. They had plenty of tea-cakes. They just wouldn’t eat them. It’s impossible to make some people happy!

  36. #36 Mark
    April 21, 2009

    I’ve always been vaguely curious about what motivates David Irving, beyond pleasure in disagreeing with the majority. This explains a lot.

  37. #37 Schwartz
    April 21, 2009

    Mathew Cline,

    “To those not involved (and many of them born after it happened), killing millions of people through starvation via agricultural policy has a lot less emotional impact than killing millions of people in gas chambers.”

    You should buff up on your history then. The millions he killed (est 4-10m) did not include the famine deaths. If you add those, the number gets higher by a few million.

    Mr. Prosser,
    Perhaps I’m overreacting — because my (now dead) family suffered immensely under Stalin (and Hitler as well) and there have been no loud calls for war crimes tribunals — but the following line from the post seems to minimize any other brutal murderer, yet Stalin systematically killed millions and was doing so long after Hitler’s death.

    “…bureaucratic killing process that, fortunately, the world has not seen since.”

  38. #38 Jon H
    April 22, 2009

    Schwartz wrote: “Not to take away from Hitler’s attrocities, but we mustn’t forget that Stalin likely killed far more people”

    I suspect it’s because Stalin was more about equal-opportunity atrocities.

  39. #39 Mu
    April 22, 2009

    It’s all a question of length of reign, Hitler had 12 years (of which only the last 4 were really devoted to mass murder), Stalin had 25 or so. Pol Pot had 4 (all batshit crazy), Mao had more than 30. If you spread out your atrocities and manage to NOT be violently overthrown, you can get away with a lot more.
    I also never got the distinction why bureaucratized murder is any worse than wholesale slaughter, looking at Rwanda for example. Genocide is genocide, there’s no second degree version because you used a mob with machetes instead of machine guns.

  40. #40 British Irving loather
    April 22, 2009

    It is gratifying to see that Irving cuts such a sad and desperate figure these days. While we are feeling a bit of satisfaction at his exposure for the liar, anti-Semite and Hitler-admirer that he is, we should once again acknowledge Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books for being prepared to stand up and be counted in 2000, putting their time, reputation and money on the line to see Irving in court. And we shouldn’t forget the historian Richard J Evans either, who spent months demolishing Irving’s bogus “scholarship”. The contrast between genuine eminent scholar (Evans) and mendacious propagandist (Irving) was made very clear.

    The Duke of Windsor’s flirtation with Hitler and the Nazis is well-documented historically. Whether it stemmed from virulent anti-semitism is less clear, and probably unlikely.

    Although the pre-war British upper class was historically not fond of Jewish people (or of anyone much apart from themselves), there are many other reasons why the Duke and his wife were courted by Hitler, and were happy to be so, once Edward had been eased out of the British monarchy. Not least was that Hitler treated them with the pomp and majesty that they felt they had been unjustly deprived of. And as someone already mentioned, in the early 30s (Edward abdicated at the end of 1936) many in Europe were happy to view Hitler as a “strong anti-Bolshevik nationalist leader”, and just shrug off the anti-semitism as “Hitler pandering to the mob to keep the proletariat on-side”. Indeed, it was because the German ruling political class saw Hitler this way that they allowed him to take power in the first place. But Edward’s removal from the British throne had nothing to do with his perceived political views, beyond the fact that he was unable to see that as a constitutional monarch it was not in his “brief” to try to interfere personally in the process of parliamentary democratic government.

    Finally, as to Hitler and Stalin, they both stand as abominations and sociopathic mass murderers. What is served by trying to decide who was worse? The phrase which springs to mind for both, and their deeds, is Santayana’s one about:

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”

  41. #41 Rogue Medic
    April 22, 2009

    Orac,

    I got the impression that Daniel J. Andrews was not defending Hitler at all. I think he was trying to point out that Hitler was not viewed as a monster by many at the time.

    If we want to avoid having similar leaders in the future, we need to realize that the one dimensional monster is not how they will be perceived, as they rise to power. They will be seen as human, with perhaps unfortunate attitudes toward some groups. This will be rationalized away as collateral damage, or whatever the acceptable Orwellism of the time happens to be.

    If remembrance is about not letting this happen again, recognition of the potential monsters is a part of that. This will not be an easy part for many.

    This was something that led Stanley Milgram to wonder what it takes to participate in atrocities. His experiments did not show dramatic differences between Germans and other nationalities. His work showed how we are easily influenced by authority. Perhaps we need to look more closely at why people will harm others just on the word of an authority figure.

  42. #42 Antiquated Tory
    April 23, 2009

    Tangentally related, if there’s someone to thank for saving Europe from Bolshevism, it would be the Polish in the Russo-Polish, or Polish-Soviet, War of 1919-1920. If you believe the Polish version, that is, which claims that the Polish alliance with Ukrainian nationalists and subsequent invasion of the Ukraine were attempts to forestall Soviet plans to invade Poland on its way to invading Germany and establishing a Soviet system in that country. The other version is that it was a pure land grab by the Poles. In any case, the Poles won the last great horse cavalry battle in history, the Battle of Komarow, defeating the hitherto undefeated Red cavalry. And whatever the justification was for the Poles starting the war in the first place, it would have been quite bad for Germany had the Soviets destroyed the Polish Army and been able to use Poland as a base.

  43. #43 noway
    July 6, 2009

    This article – as most do on Irving – starts out badly and then deteriorates quickly. He sued because the Lip et al were conspiring to stop the publication of his books. He couldn’t care less if you called him a denier, as long as he got the opportunity to publish.

  44. #44 steve gray
    July 11, 2010

    I am sick and tired of hearing the Jewish version of the so called Holocaust. The real Holocaust was Dresden and various other German cities that were fire bombed killing thousands of innocent people. Let’s not forget Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. The Jews and Jewish sympathisers don’t allow any of those innocents to make any money on their tragedy. Only the Jews are allowed to profit from the so-called “accepted” Holocaust. Wake up gentiles! The Jews are robbing us blind and destroying our country just as they did in Germany which allowed Hitler to come to power.

  45. #45 Everyone with a soul
    July 11, 2010

    To steve gray, on behalf of the human race:

    Go stuff yourself you nauseating bigot.