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The Irving Trial
Having been out of the country when the Irving-Lipstadt libel trial verdict came down [April 11] and for some time thereafter I was not able to write anything about it. I was in Jerusalem, where our tour guide did not fail to mention the Holocaust and the six million Jews. Politeness being one of my weaknesses I did not argue with him.
Some people are now asking what I thought of the decision, in which, of course, Mr. Irving was denounced as an anti-Semite, a racist, and a Holocaust denier. My answer, in short, was what I had said while the trial was still on: that he stood not a cat's chance in hell of winning. No judge, British or otherwise, was about to take on the world-wide Jewish Establishment. He would himself have been branded an anti-Semite, a racist, and a Holocaust denier.
Doug Collins is the recipient of two of Canada's most coveted awards for journalism. His career included work as a reporter and commentator for several major Canadian daily papers, and on television and radio. Collins served with the British army during the Second World War, and then with the British Control Commission in occupied Germany. He is the author of several books, including POW: A Soldier's Story of His Ten Escapes from Nazi Prison Camps (New York: W. W. Norton, 1968). From 1983 until his retirement in September 1997, he wrote a popular column for the North Shore News of North Vancouver, British Columbia. In January 1993 he was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Canada's Confederation, which is given to persons "who have made a significant contribution to their fellow citizens, their community or to Canada." His presentation at the 1990 IHR Conference, "Reflections on the Second World War, Free Speech and Revisionism," was published in the Fall 1991 Journal.
The three columns published here are dated, in order, April 27, May 10, and May 22, 2000.
The victors are now dancing the Hora, and may be forgiven for thinking that the argument about the Holocaust and its politics is now over. But they would be wrong. In the first place, the trial judge did not validate the six million story even though he claimed, with Deborah Lipstadt, that Irving had distorted history. At the same time he, the judge, confessed he was no historian, which hardly strengthens his decision.
All historians believe their own theses, and as Professor Donald Cameron Watt pointed out in London's Evening Standard [April 11], "Show me any historian who has not broken into a cold sweat at the thought of undergoing similar treatment," meaning that Irving had to endure two months of being attacked by hostile historians and top-ranking (and ranting) Jewish lawyers.
One against 20, and the judge paid the star of this show the compliment of stating that "Mr. Irving knows his stuff." In the New York Press [April 18], George Szamuely wrote that "though he lost the case, he held his own against scholars of international repute."
In short, although Irving lost, and will be ruined if his appeal is unsuccessful (which, again, I expect it to be) he has also won. Never before has there been such an ocean of critical publicity on this subject. It has dominated the pages of the world's media and has already led to opinions being expressed that would not have been, pre-trial.
As David Cesarani, who I believe is Jewish, reported in The Guardian [Jan. 18], "David Irving may be isolated in his high court battle, but a growing number of respectable academics are criticizing what they have dubbed the 'Holocaust Industry' ... Serious scholars on both sides of the Atlantic who scorn [Irving's] methods and arguments are questioning the purposes to which the Holocaust is being put. They are asking if it deserves a special protected place in the public consciousness."
David Irving enters the London court building for another day of arguments in the Irving-Lipstadt libel trial.
Some, he went on, are asking whether memorialization of the Holocaust, as well as Holocaust studies in schools and universities, are not being used wrongly, or simply getting out of hand. (Hello there, you government lickspittles in Victoria, who have just stepped into line with British Columbia's very own Memorial Day!)
Even before the Lipstadt trial began, an announcement that there were plans for a "Shoah Centre" in Manchester caused Brian Sewell of the Evening Standard to write: "Can we not say to the Jews of Manchester that enough has been made of their Holocaust and that they are too greedy for our memories?"
The case for Irving's being a "Holocaust denier" seems to rest on his claim that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz and on his rejection of the six million story. Here the judge said in his ruling that Irving was right to point out that contemporaneous documents "give ... little clear evidence of the existence of gas chambers designed to kill human beings." To support his judgment, he relied on witnesses for the defense. Which raises the question what, precisely, is a "denier"? Irving, after all, had said that between one million and four million Jews died.
Denial depends on who and what is being denied. Historian Robert W. Thurston is one of several who have claimed that Stalin was not guilty of mass murder from 1934 to 1941. For them, too, the Gulag didn't exist, except for criminals who would have been in jail in any country – the kind of bilge that Eleanor Roosevelt swallowed.
No disgrace for them, though. They are hardly noticed. Even if they were, and faced a case against their critics, there would be no millions of dollars forthcoming for their defense from the Spielbergs, the Bronfmans or the American Jewish Committee, as they were for Lipstadt.
To repeat: this trial marks the start of a new look at the politics of the Holocaust. And it will continue. Have I ever lied to you?
To get the international media comment on this case, I recommend Irving's web page. It's all there, pro and con, at http://www.fpp.co.uk/
Milquetoasts, Malcontents and the Zeitgeist
What is it about this country that prevents people from facing reality. Why is it, for instance, that the authorities ignore the excesses of the Left, while any similar actions of the Right would result in outrage?
For the most part we can blame what the Germans call der Zeitgeist, or the Spirit of the Times. On the West Coast, for instance, a riot against the Canadian Free Speech League in the Vancouver Public Library excited only yawns. But if rightists had rioted against the Left or against B'nai B'rith, the event would have scorched the front pages of the nation's press. TV pundits and editorialists would have viewed with brow-wrinkling alarm, and cartoonists would have had a field day drawing swastikas.
The riot in question took place last September 29th, as I attempted to raise funds for my court challenge to the British Columbia Human Rights Act, under which I have twice been hauled before kangaroo court tribunals. About 150 invading leftists – scum to a man, and woman – howled for the blood of gladiators Doug Christie and myself, while two dozen policemen and six library security guards could not control them as they wrecked the affair. Bedlam had nothing on it. Yet no charges were laid. Which, these days, is par for the course, the Zeitgeist being what it is. But the real story is what the library did or did not do about it.
Multiculters, Jews (if it isn't anti-Semitic to say so!), Communists and Socialists screamed that "hate groups" like the Free Speech League should not be allowed to darken the library doors, and never mind that the title of my talk was "The NDP's Attack on Free Speech" – a reference to that party's appalling Human Rights Code that permits Premier Ujjal Dosanjh and Co. to go after anyone who tells a Newfie joke.
In response, the library board held a public forum in April to test opinion as to whether people like the League should be able to rent library premises. Needless to say, Mary Woo-Sims was there, she being the leather-jacketed Lesbian who heads the Human Rights Commission. So was Alan Dutton, the leftist who gets $100,000 a year in government grants to plead the multicult cause and who told the CBC that he would continue to oppose with force any "so-called free speech meetings."
To its credit, the library board did not entirely collapse in the face of this attack. But it stated that renters would have to agree not to contravene the Criminal Code or the Human Rights Act of British Columbia while holding meetings.
This was more than passing strange, since one might conclude from that that the League had done so.
So I wrote back to point out that if anyone had contravened the code it was the rioters. Why didn't the Library Board say so? And why was the riot not condemned? As for not contravening the Rights Act, could any speaker guarantee not to tell a Newfie joke?
Mr. Christie also took pen in hand. He wanted to know why the library had not announced that the law regarding peaceful assembly would be enforced. "Is it your policy," he asked, "that if someone screamed and shouted at a person reading a book you would not have them evicted from the property? I doubt it. More than likely you would call the police and the person would be arrested for causing a disturbance. Why would the same principle not apply to protection of the right of peaceful assembly... ?"
He went on to deal with the silly ruling regarding the Human Rights Act, pointing out that it is under challenge in the courts, and that people should instead be asked to "maintain and uphold the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, specifically freedom of speech, thought, belief, opinion and freedom of assembly. These are equally important values, which apparently you are not prepared to maintain with the same strict requirements."
"All in all," concluded Mr. Christie, "the policy you have adopted, in the long run, seems inclined to gradually squeeze from public discussion and discourse those who are vilified by the extreme leftwing in Canada."
It is doubtful that the Library Board will provide any substantive answers to our questions because our points are unanswerable. Instinctively, the Board recognizes where the power lies, especially in British Columbia, which is why I will not try to speak in the library again.
Does that mean that the scum have won? No. They haven't managed to control the Internet, and it is to be hoped that they don't yet control the courts. Also, an election is due next year in which the NDP will disappear down the drain of iniquity.
But for the time being the Zeitgeist prevails. He blows with the wind, however, and the wind can change. Meanwhile, it is up to all freedom lovers to make sure it does.
Tits and Tats
"Arrogance: Aggressively assertive or presumptuous; overbearing." —Oxford English Dictionary
There is no lack of arrogance in our world. In the scales of argument, arrogance certainly outweighs humility, and I hereby award the Nobel Prize for Arrogance to groups like the Canadian Jewish Congress, B'nai B'rith, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. All are arrogantly opposed to free speech, which in their book is hate speech if they don't like what is being said.
Stating such qualifies one to be condemned to the Devil's Island of Anti-Semitism, of course. For, as is obvious to everyone except the intellectually blind or cowardly, any criticism of things Jewish becomes "anti-Semitic." And not only to Jews, but to lickspittles in government and "liberals."
Subversive thoughts of that sort are not new and have led to my being chased by human wrongs commissions. As B.G. Report magazine put it a while back, the human rights industry has declared war on civil liberties and free speech.
I know of no groups who wage that war more fanatically than B'nai B'rith, etc., but I wouldn't say so once again were it not for some comments on the subject by Joseph Sobran, an American syndicated columnist and one of the sharpest intellects in the media.
"The Jewish lobby .. . " he writes in his newsletter [reprinted in the Jan.-Feb. 2000 Journal, pp. 67-69), "now inspires enormous fear because of its power to ruin politicians, writers, and businesses. It wields such dreaded labels as anti-Semite and bigot with abandon and – here is the real point – with impunity.
"Far from being persecuted, or remotely threatened with persecution, Jews in the modern democracies are very powerful. That is why they are feared, and why their labels terrify. If they were really helpless victims, there would be no reason to fear them ... "
"Most Jews," he adds, "take no active part in the thought-control campaign and many would oppose it if they considered it seriously; but the major secular Jewish organizations are determined to silence any public discourse that is not to their liking, as witness the fate of people as disparate as [David] Irving, Louis Farrakhan, and Pat Buchanan" (not to mention my far humbler self).
Sobran was dealing with the situation in the United States. But it is no different in Canada and is even worse in Europe, where the slightest murmur questioning the official version of the Holocaust can land people in jail.
The Holocaust, indeed, has become a massive shield used not only in the democracies but also in the Middle East, as the Palestinians have learned to their cost. The standard account of the Holocaust, states Sobran, serves political interests. Israel "has enjoyed great indulgence from the United States by justifying its violence against its Arab neighbors and its abuses of its Arab minority as necessary defensive measures by a people still traumatized by persecution and threatened by annihilation."
The Zionist lobby, he says, has become one of the most powerful forces in American politics, and any criticism of Jews or of Israel becomes "anti-Semitism." Holocaust denial, meanwhile (or what passes for Holocaust denial) "has become a capital thoughtcrime."
Its real function, he continues, "is not to identify and disarm real hostility to Jews, but to terrorize".
An example of that was evident after the riot in the Vancouver Public Library last September, when I spoke about the threat to free speech as represented by the B.C. Human Rights Code.
The Canadian Jewish Congress and B'nai B'rith arrogantly lobbied the library to prevent "known hate groups" from using its premises, and in a recent issue of the Western Jewish Bulletin, Jewish biggies deplored the fact that it had failed to do so. Some of the most controversial rentals, they claimed, had been to "outspoken anti-Semites". (Names, please.)
Up popped the Holocaust again, too. B'nai B'rith's Harry Abram, a devoted enemy of free speech, said that survivors of the Holocaust would feel intimidated if there were speakers in the library who were denying that it ever took place. A fine broth, that. The man makes no sense, as usual.
For my part, I have never said it didn't take place. But even if someone told me that the Second World War itself had never taken place – and I was in it for six years – I would laugh at them. Laughs are in short supply, however, where Abrams is concerned. Or perhaps not. He once suggested that I was preparing the ground for another Holocaust.
Meanwhile, aren't the above named Jewish organizations hate groups? They certainly hate little old harmless me (as witness the "rights" complaints against me) and are selectively opposed to free assembly, which, the last time I looked, is supposedly guaranteed to all who nest in the True North. If they ever use it, perhaps we should lobby to keep them out of the library. Doesn't every tit deserve a tat?
"I defended freedom in the 1940s when Hitler was on the loose, in the 1970s when the federal hate laws were passed, and in the 1990s when those idiots in Victoria passed their misnamed Human Rights Act, and that I shall go on defending freedom until the day I die."
"The Irving libel case is the nearest thing liberal London society can get to a trial for witchcraft or blasphemy."
"As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests."
—Gore Vidal, The Day the American Empire Ran Out of Gas (1987)
Additional information about this document
|Title:||The Irving Trial, 'Human Rights' Double Standard, and Jewish-Zionist Arrogance|
|Sources:||The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 19, no. 3 (May/June 2000), pp. 27-30; reprinted from North Shore News, April 27, May 10, and May 22, 2000, respectively.|
|First posted on CODOH:||April 9, 2013, 7 p.m.|