136 Facts About David Irving


David John Cawdell Irving was born on 24 March 1938 and 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.


David Irving's works include The Destruction of Dresden, Hitler's War, Churchill's War and Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich.


David Irving's reputation as a historian was further discredited 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 David 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 David Irving was an active Holocaust denier, antisemite and racist, who "for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence".


David Irving and his twin brother Nicholas were born in Hutton, near Brentwood, Essex, England.


David Irving's father survived, but severed all links with his wife and children after the incident.


David Irving went on to say to Rosenbaum that his negationist views about World War II dated to his childhood, particularly due to his objections to the way Adolf Hitler was portrayed in the British media during the war.

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David Irving asserted that his sceptical views about the Third Reich were rooted in his doubts about the cartoonist caricatures of Hitler and the other Nazi leaders published in the British wartime press.


David Irving did not complete the course because of financial constraints.


David Irving later studied for two years toward a degree in Economics in the department of Political Economy at University College London.


David Irving again had to drop out due to lack of funds.


Opponents viewed a cartoon included in the supplement as racist and criticised another article in which David Irving wrote that the British press was owned by Jews.


David Irving has said that the criticism is "probably justifiable" and has described his motivation in producing the controversial secret issue of Carnival Times as being to prevent the Carnival from making a profit that would be passed on to a South African group which he considered a "subversive organisation".


David Irving tried to join the Royal Air Force, but was deemed to be medically unfit.


David Irving then moved to Spain, where he worked as a clerk at an air base.


David Irving had based his numbers on what purported to be Tagesbefehl 47, a document promulgated by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, and on claims made after the war by a former Dresden Nazi functionary, Hans Voigt, without verifying them against official sources available in Dresden.


When it was later confirmed that the TB 47 used was a forgery, David Irving published a letter to the editor in The Times on 7 July 1966 retracting his estimates, writing that he had "no interest in promoting or perpetuating false legends".


In some of the speeches David Irving argued or implied that the raid was comparable to the Nazis' killing of Jews.


In November 1963, David Irving called the Metropolitan Police with suspicions he had been the victim of a burglary by three men who had gained access to his Hornsey flat in London by claiming to be General Post Office engineers.


David Irving translated the Memoirs of Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel in 1965 and in 1967 published Accident: The Death of General Sikorski.


David Irving's book inspired the highly controversial 1967 play Soldiers by his friend, the German playwright Rolf Hochhuth, where Hochhuth depicts Churchill ordering the assassination of General Sikorski.


Many ageing former mid- and high-ranked Nazis saw a potential friend in David Irving and donated diaries and other material.


David Irving described his historical work to Rosenbaum as an act of "stone-cleaning" of Hitler, in which he cleared off the "slime" that he felt had been unjustly applied to Hitler's reputation.


In 1969, during a visit to Germany, David Irving met Robert Kempner, one of the American prosecutors at the Nuremberg trials.


David Irving asked Kempner if the "official record of the Nuremberg Trials was falsified", and told him that he was planning to go to Washington, DC, to compare the sound recordings of Luftwaffe Field-Marshal Erhard Milch's March 1946 evidence with the subsequently published texts to find proof that evidence given at Nuremberg was "tampered with and manipulated".

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In 1971, David Irving translated the memoirs of General Reinhard Gehlen, and in 1973 published The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe, a biography of Field Marshal Milch.


David Irving spent the remainder of the 1970s working on Hitler's War and The War Path, his two-part biography of Adolf Hitler; The Trail of the Fox, a biography of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel; and a series in the Sunday Express describing the Royal Air Force's famous Dam Busters raid.


In 1975, in his introduction to Hitler und seine Feldherren, the German edition of Hitler's War, David Irving attacked Anne Frank's diary as a forgery, claiming falsely that a New York court had ruled that the diary was really the work of American scriptwriter Meyer Levin "in collaboration with the girl's father".


In 1977 David Irving published Hitler's War, the first of his two-part biography of Adolf Hitler.


In Hitler's War, David Irving tried to "view the situation as far as possible through Hitler's eyes, from behind his desk".


David Irving portrayed Hitler as a rational, intelligent politician, whose only goal was to increase Germany's prosperity and influence on the continent, and who was constantly let down by incompetent or treasonous subordinates.


David Irving's book faulted the Allied leaders, especially Winston Churchill, for the eventual escalation of war, and argued that the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 was a "preventive war" forced on Hitler to avert an impending Soviet attack.


David Irving argued that Hitler had no knowledge of the Holocaust: while not denying its occurrence, he argued that SS leader Heinrich Himmler and his deputy Reinhard Heydrich were its originators and architects.


In Hitler's War, David Irving quoted a 1942 memorandum by Hans Lammers, the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, to the Reich Justice Minister Franz Schlegelberger, saying: "the Fuhrer has repeatedly pronounced that he wants the solution of the Jewish Question put off until after the war is over".


David Irving took this as proof that Hitler ordered against the extermination of the Jews.


David Irving falsely claimed that "no other historians have quoted this document, possibly finding its content hard to reconcile with their obsessively held views" about Hitler's responsibility for the Holocaust.


However, the interpretation of the document is not as simple as David Irving made it out to be in his book.


For example, American historian Charles Sydnor noted numerous errors, such as David Irving's unreferenced statement that the Jews who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 were well supplied with weapons from Germany's allies.


Months after the release of Hitler's War, David Irving published The Trail of the Fox, a biography of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.


In particular, David Irving accused Rommel's friend and Chief of Staff General Hans Speidel of framing Rommel in the attempted coup.


In 1978, David Irving released The War Path, the companion volume to Hitler's War which covered events leading up to the war and which was written from a similar point of view.


David Irving's affairs caused his first marriage to end in divorce in 1981.


David Irving began his research on his three-part biography of Winston Churchill.


In 1982, David Irving described himself as an "untrained historian" and argued that his lack of academic qualifications did not mean that he could not be considered a historian.


David Irving listed Pliny the Elder and Tacitus as examples of historians without university training.

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David Irving played a major role in exposing the Hitler Diaries as a hoax.


In October 1982 David Irving had purchased, from the same source as Stern's 1983 purchase, 800 pages of documents relating to Hitler, only to conclude that many of the documents were forgeries.


David Irving was amongst the first to identify the diaries as forgeries, and to draw media attention.


David Irving went so far as to crash the press conference held by Hugh Trevor-Roper at the Hamburg offices of Stern magazine on 25 April 1983 to denounce the diaries as a forgery and Trevor-Roper for endorsing the diaries as genuine.


David Irving had concluded that the alleged Hitler diaries were a forgery because they had come from the same dealer in Nazi memorabilia from whom David Irving had purchased his collection in 1982.


Subsequently, David Irving conformed when the diaries were declared a forgery by consensus.


At a press conference held to withdraw his endorsement of the diaries, David Irving proudly claimed that he was the first to call them a forgery, to which a reporter replied that he was the last to call them genuine.


David Irving finished the manuscript in 1985, and the book was published in 1987, as Churchill's War, The Struggle for Power.


David Irving always denied Hitler was antisemitic, even before he openly denied the Holocaust.


David Irving claimed Hitler only used antisemitism as a political platform, and that after he came to power in 1933 he lost interest in it, while Joseph Goebbels and other Nazis continued to espouse antisemitism.


David Irving was the one who was doing everything he could to prevent things nasty happening to them.


David Irving claimed that Hitler even ordered a stop to the extermination of Jews in November 1941.


David Irving falsely claimed that Himmler telephoned SS General Oswald Pohl, the overall chief of the concentration camp system, with the order: "Jews are to stay where they are".


David Irving argued that "No liquidation" was "incontrovertible evidence" that Hitler ordered that no Jews were to be killed.


In June 1977, British television host David Irving Frost aired a debate.


From 1988, David Irving started to espouse Holocaust denial openly: he had previously not denied the Holocaust outright, and for this reason many Holocaust deniers were ambivalent about him.


In 1980, Lucy Dawidowicz noted that, although Hitler's War was strongly sympathetic to the Third Reich, because David Irving argued that Hitler was unaware of the Holocaust as opposed to denying the Holocaust happened at all, his book was not part of the "anti-Semitic canon".


In 1980, David Irving received an invitation to speak at a Holocaust-denial conference, which he refused on the grounds that his appearance there would damage his reputation.


Robert Jan van Pelt suggests that the major reason for David Irving wishing to keep his distance from Holocaust deniers in the early 1980s was his desire to found his own political party called Focus.


In 1982, David Irving temporarily stopped writing and made an attempt to unify all of the various far-right splinter groups in Britain into one party called Focus, in which he would play a leading role.

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David Irving described himself as a "moderate fascist" and spoke of plans to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but his efforts to move into politics, which he regarded at the time as very important, failed due to fiscal problems.


David Irving told the Oxford Mail of having "links at a low level" with the National Front.


David Irving described The Spotlight, the main journal of the Liberty Lobby, as "an excellent fortnightly paper".


At the conference, David Irving did not deny the Holocaust, but did appear happy to share the stage with Robert Faurisson and Judge Wilhelm Staglich, and claimed to be impressed with the pseudoscientific allegations of neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier Friedrich "Fritz" Berg that mass murder using diesel gas fumes at the Operation Reinhard death camps was impossible.


At that conference, David Irving repeated his claims that Hitler was ignorant of the Holocaust because he was "so busy being a soldier".


David Irving took the view that Hitler often tried to help the Jews of Europe.


David Irving then claimed to have asked the naval adjutant when Hitler made that remark, and upon hearing that the date was 24 March 1938, David Irving stated in response "Herr Admiral, at that moment I was being born".


David Irving used this alleged incident to argue that there was some sort of mystical connection between himself and Hitler.


David Irving was present at a memorial service for Hans-Ulrich Rudel in January 1983 after the latter's death, organised by the DVU and its leader Gerhard Frey, delivering a speech, and was given the Hans-Ulrich-Rudel-Award by Frey in June 1985.


David Irving was a frequent speaker for the DVU in the 1980s and the early 1990s, but the relationship ended in 1993 apparently because of concerns by the DVU that David Irving's espousal of Holocaust denial might lead to the DVU being banned.


In 1986, David Irving visited Toronto, where he was met at an airport by Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel.


Zundel and his supporters obliged David Irving by staying away from his lecture tour, which consequently attracted little media attention, and was considered by David Irving to be a failure.


In 1988, David Irving argued that the Nazi state was not responsible for the extermination of the Jews in places like Minsk, Kiev and Riga because according to him they were carried out for the most part by "individual gangsters and criminals".


David Irving denied that the Nazis gassed any Jews or other people, with the exception of admitting that a small number of people were gassed during experiments.


In 1990, David Irving told an audience in Canada that "particularly when there's money involved and they can get a good compensation cash payment out of it" there would be people claiming to be eyewitnesses to gas chambers or extermination camps.


On 6 October 1995, David Irving told an audience in Tampa, Florida, that he agreed with the Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels that the Jews "had it coming for them".


In January 1988, David Irving travelled to Toronto, Ontario, to assist Douglas Christie, the defence lawyer for Ernst Zundel at his second trial for denying the Holocaust.


David Irving argued that an alleged expert on gassings like Leuchter could prove that the Holocaust was a "myth".


Finally, David Irving claimed "the survivors of Auschwitz are themselves testimony to the absence of an extermination programme".


David Irving's self-proclaimed mission was to guide "promising young men" in Germany in the "right direction".

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David Irving claimed that there were no gas chambers at the death camp, stating that the existing remains were "mock-ups built by the Poles".


On 21 April 1990, David Irving repeated the same speech in Munich, which led to his conviction for Holocaust denial in Munich on 11 July 1991.


David Irving appealed against the judgement, and received a fine of DM 10,000 for repeating the same remarks in the courtroom on 5 May 1992.


On 17 January 1991, David Irving told a reporter from The Jewish Chronicle that "The Jews are very foolish not to abandon the gas chamber theory while they still have time".


David Irving went on to say that he believed antisemitism will increase all over the world because "the Jews have exploited people with the gas chamber legend" and that "In ten years, Israel will cease to exist and the Jews will have to return to Europe".


Two days later, David Irving repeated the same speech in Halle before a group of neo-Nazis, and praised Rudolf Hess as "that great German martyr, Rudolf Hess".


In November 1992, David Irving was to be a featured speaker at a world anti-Zionist congress in Stockholm that was cancelled by the Swedish government.


David Irving went on to claim that most of the Jewish deaths during World War II had been caused by Allied bombing.


David Irving went on to claim his life had been wonderful until Zundel had got him involved in the Holocaust denial movement: van Pelt argues that David Irving was just trying to shift responsibility for his actions in his letter.


David Irving's statement led to a very public spat with his former ally Faurisson, who insisted that no Jews were killed in the Holocaust.


Likewise, depending on his audience, during the 1990s David Irving either used the absence of a written for the "Final Solution" to argue that Hitler was unaware of the Holocaust, or claimed that the absence of a written order meant there was no Holocaust at all.


David Irving has often expressed his belief in the conspiracy theory of Jews secretly ruling the world, and that the belief in the reality of the Holocaust was manufactured as part of the same alleged conspiracy.


David Irving used the label "traditional enemies of the truth" to describe Jews, and in a 1963 article about a speech by Sir Oswald Mosley wrote that the "Yellow Star did not make a showing".


Christopher Hitchens wrote that David Irving sang the rhyme to Hitchens's wife, Carol Blue, and daughter, Antonia, in the elevator following drinks in the family's Washington apartment.


David Irving was barred from entering Australia in 1992, a ban he made five unsuccessful attempts to overturn.


In 1992, David Irving signed a contract with Macmillan Publishers for his biography of Joseph Goebbels titled Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich.


On 27 April 1993, David Irving was ordered to attend court to be examined on charges relating to the Loi Gayssot in France, making it an offence to question the existence or size of the category of crimes against humanity.


The law does not extend to extradition, and David Irving refused to travel to France.


On 5 September 1996, David Irving filed a libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt and her British publisher Penguin Books for publishing the British edition of Lipstadt's book, Denying the Holocaust, which had first been published in the United States in 1993.


All of them are completely worthless as history, because David Irving cannot be trusted anywhere, in any of them, to give a reliable account of what he is talking or writing about.

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David Irving has fallen so far short of the standards of scholarship customary amongst historians that he does not deserve to be called a historian at all.


David Irving was declared bankrupt in 2002, and lost his home, though he has been able to travel around the world despite his financial problems.


David Irving subsequently appealed to the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal.


The National Press Club defended its invitation of David Irving, saying that it amounted not to an endorsement of his views, but rather an opportunity to question him.


David Irving rejected the ban and attempted to board a Qantas flight for New Zealand from Los Angeles on 17 September 2004.


David Irving pleaded guilty to the charge of "trivialising, grossly playing down and denying the Holocaust".


David Irving was sentenced to three years' imprisonment in accordance with the law prohibiting Nazi activities.


David Irving sat motionless as judge Peter Liebetreu asked him if he had understood the sentence, to which he replied "I'm not sure I do" before being escorted out of the court by Austrian police.


Later, David Irving said that he was shocked by the severity of the sentence.


David Irving had reportedly already purchased a plane ticket home to London.


In December 2006, David Irving was released from prison and banned from ever returning to Austria.


Since then, David Irving has continued to work as a freelance writer, despite his troubled public image.


David Irving subsequently found himself beset by protesters on a book tour of the United States.


David Irving has given lectures and tours in the UK and Europe; one tour to Poland in September 2010 which led to particular criticism included the Treblinka death camp as an itinerary stop.


The items are offered by other people, with David Irving receiving a commission from each sale for authenticating them.


David Irving stated in 2009 that the website was the only way he could make money after being bankrupted in 2002.


David Irving has investigated the authenticity of bones purported to be from Hitler and Eva Braun.


David Irving has been invited to discuss his concept of truth in light of his activity as a writer of historical books and the many accusations he has been exposed to as a consequence of this.


Also, the Norwegian free speech organization Fritt Ord was critical of letting David Irving speak at the festival and had requested that its logo be removed.


David Irving suggested that campaign journalism from two of Norway's largest newspapers, Dagbladet and Aftenposten, and Norway's public service broadcaster NRK was behind the controversy.

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David Irving commented that he had not been told that the festival was going to present him as a liar, and that he was preparing a lecture about the real history of what took place in Norway during World War II, contrary to what official historians have presented.


David Irving stated that he had thought the Norwegian people to be made of tougher stuff.


Only days after the cancellation David Irving announced that he would go to Lillehammer during the literature festival and deliver his two-hour lecture from a hotel room.


David Irving, once held in regard for his expert knowledge of German military archives, was a controversial figure from the start.


David Irving soon became the main proponent of Holocaust denial.


At the libel proceedings against David Irving, Watt declined David Irving's request to testify, appearing only after a subpoena was ordered.


David Irving testified that Irving had written a "very, very effective piece of historical scholarship" in the 1960s, which was unrelated to his controversial work.


David Irving said that Irving was "not in the top class" of military historians.


In 1961, while living in Spain, David Irving met and married a Spaniard, Maria del Pilar Stuyck.


In 1992, David Irving began a relationship with a Danish model, Bente Hogh.


David Irving was involved in a car crash in 1996 which resulted in her having to have both of her legs amputated.