"Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death."
British historian David Irving was fined 10,000 marks ($6,000) by a German court May 5 for public statements denouncing stories of mass exterminations of Jews in gas chambers at Auschwitz as a myth.
Munich district court judge Thomas Stelzner ruled that Irving was guilty of "disparaging the memory of the dead," a crime in Germany that effectively applies only to Jewish victims.
Stelzner rejected Irving's appeal against a previous fine of 7,000 marks ($4,300) for telling a Munich meeting in April 1990 that the building in Auschwitz that has been portrayed for decades to tourists as an extermination gas chamber is a phony reconstruction, just like the one at Dachau. Judge Stelzner said that he was increasing the fine because of Irving's defiant "lack of understanding," and because he had earned money from the dissemination of his Focal Point edition of The Leuchter Report.
During the hearing, Irving stood by his public statements, maintaining that no Jews were gassed in Auschwitz.
Irving's attorneys called certified chemist Germar Rudolf as an expert witness to prove that, "in fact, the buildings in question at Auschwitz were never used as Zyklon B gas chambers for killing people." An expert report by Rudolf establishes that there are no measurable traces of ferro-ferric-cyanide (from Zyklon) in the walls of the Auschwitz structures allegedly used as homicidal gas chambers, whereas the walls of the camps delousing gas chambers have such traces in abundance.
The judge ruled that the testimony of "the expert witness, certified chemist Rudolf, is completely unsuitable as evidence" in this case.
Dr. Franzisek Piper, director of the Auschwitz State Museum in Poland, was similarly rejected as a defense witness by the judge and prosecuting attorney. Irving's attorneys intended to ask Piper, under oath, to confirm that he had privately confided to Freiburg historian Prof. Martin that the Auschwitz "gas chamber" shown to tourists is actually a phony reconstruction.
Irving declared to the court, "As a historian, I have a duty to bring out the truth. As a judge, you have the same duty. All the same it appears that in Germany you have certain difficulties with that."
Irving has said that he will appeal the May 5 verdict, if need be under the United Nations convention on human rights.
Adapted from: IHR Newsletter July/Aug. 1992 No.88, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659.
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Irving Fined 10,000 Marks, ThoughtCrime: 05/05/92|
|Sources:||IHR Newsletter July/Aug. 1992 No. 88|
|First posted on CODOH:||June 29, 1996, 7 p.m.|