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David Irving in Portland by Jay Knott (07/20/09)       ⇌ (David Irving Meeting)       

Updated 9/16/09

Anti-fascists are still whining about the David Irving presentation.

According to a new article on that paragon of journalistic integrity, Portland Indymedia,  'Northwest Nazi Campout Draws Small Crowd', SOME of the people who attended the Irving meeting actually believe in National Socialism. They had a barbecue in Washington (the state, not the occupied territory). The anti-fascists claim this proves that the Irving talk was 'a fascist networking event in which links and plans were made'. They want to imply that anyone who went to the talk, including us anti-war activists, was enabling Nazis to plot their dirty deeds. Indymedia won't allow us to defend ourselves against slander, so we have to do it here.

As usual, the truth is more prosaic than the ravings of the anti-racists. Irving gave an interesting talk about British code-breaking during World War II. The meal was surprisingly good for a hotel, but there were no vegan options. None of the people in the room identified themselves as Nazis. It is of course possible that some were - we lack the mind-reading abilities of the anti-fascists. It is also possible that some of them talked to each other after the meeting. One of them may have said 'would you like to come to my fancy dress barbecue?'. This does not make it a fascist networking event. If fascists networked in your local Starbucks, it would not make it a fascist networking café. Come to think of it, I met a couple of left-wingers at the meeting, so was it a leftist networking event too?

If a few nuts want to wear swastikas, it's not against the law. If anyone has evidence of any of them plotting to commit criminal violence, they should tell the police. Anti-fascists don't have such evidence, but they do have an agenda - using these irrelevant events to make us worried about 'hate', in particular, anti-semitism, undermining our ability to question the power of Zionism in the USA.

In the face of protests, an internet campaign of slander by antifascists, an alleged assault (of a hotel employee in Seattle - 'alleged' is a word unknown to antifascists), and petty vandalism in Phoenix, David Irving, the famous historian, spoke in Portland yesterday. We, Portlanders with enquiring minds, and a defiant attitude to people who use intimidation in place of argument, went to see him.

Irving was in better form than he was in Eugene last year. I am not a historian, but I do know about two things he talked about: code-breaking and postwar UK government secrecy. In all sorts of details, Irving was scrupulous. He makes mistakes - like saying Britain had a queen during the war - but I didn't hear any evidence of deliberate falsification. He continues to do research into the vast piles of decoded messages from Bletchley Park, England - no honest person could say they are sure he is not telling the truth - unless they are a historian of WWII who can show how Irving is wrong.

The internet antifascists and the protesters outside are not historians, but they have no shame in shouting 'Nazi' and 'Holocaust denier'. Both of these descriptions are lies, pure and simple. They call Irving a 'fraudulent historian', but how would they know? Judging by their comments on Indymedia, they can barely read and write English, and certainly not check thousands of documents in German typed by the employees of Bletchley Park. My point is not that Irving is right - I do not know whether he is right or wrong, so I do not claim to know. His antifascist opponents claim to know something which they do not know - that he is definitely wrong. This means they are lying, even if it turns out that Irving is in error.

The main reason I and the others went was to defy the people who have slandered us on Indymedia and tried to get one of us fired from his job. But as it turned out, I learned something. So we should thank the antifascists for daring us to go. I sometimes wonder if Zionists wonder how useful their useful idiots really are.

As our motley crew filed in, the police thought we were protestors, but we explained we just looked like them, that's all. Some of us felt unease at being behind a line of police rather than in front of them as is our wont, and we anticipate jeers about 'hiding behind the police'. Well, the alternatives are not going, thus handing a victory to a coalition of Zios and anarchos, or utilizing our knowledge of the constitution. Besides, you are often protected by the police; it's the nature of this society. Sometimes, you just have to go about your legal business under the protection of the law.

Irving's audience in the hotel consisted of a mixture of people. There were old men with white beards, young smartly-dressed women, and some old Germans, pleased to hear an Englishman who doesn't blame them for all the horrors of World War II. As far as I could make out from some of the questions and the general demeanour of the assembly, it consisted mostly of 'Freedom-Loving Americans'. The kind of people who might vote for the Libertarian Party. That's L-i-b-e-r-t-a-r-i-a-n. Not N-a-z-i.

One point most of the audience wouldn't have noticed is that Irving is a class traitor. He comes from a very upper-class English family. When the government wanted him to keep quiet about something, they asked him 'as a gentleman'. He has spent his career attacking his own class for their crimes against humanity, starting with his book on the British raid on Dresden in 1945. You might expect the left to welcome a man who deserts the upper class and condemns its crimes in the face of a barrage of lies, harrassment and even prison. Instead, they add to these lies and harrassment, of Irving and anyone who even wants to hear him.

What about the Holocaust? Having gone through, in painstaking detail, numerous intercepts he has dug up in the British archives, numerous examples of why you believe some things and not others, why secretly-recorded confessions are more reliable than courtroom statements, he read out an estimate of the number of Jews killed by Himmler's 'special program', by Germany's leading statitician of the time. It was 1,274,116. I don't know about you, but for me, murdering this number of civilians puts the Nazis beyond the pale. I certainly won't be voting for them! For me, the difference between this number and the official estimate of 5 to 6 million is effectively zero. Irving put forward his latest theory, that Himmler hid the Holocaust from Hitler, with a few telegrams which appeared to back it up. I think this is rather unlikely, to put it mildly. But remember that president Carter didn't know what the CIA were doing in Central America. Carter was responsible for crimes committed on his watch, and so was Hitler. Irving agreed with me when I asked him about this. So he's not trying to exonerate Hitler. Several times, he cited Himmler and other Nazis writing about "Endlösung der Judenfrage" (Final Solution of the Jewish Question). Apparently, this isn't enough for his critics; just because you say something happened, doesn't mean you aren't denying it. Don't believe me? Read the next paragraph.

What about the Jews? Yes, Irving does say things about 'the Jews'. I think he goes too far with talk of the Jews taking our money and running the media, and so on, but such talk is no danger to anyone today. Much more harmful is the campaign to undermine people who are trying to understand America's relationship to Israel. The occasional not-quite-pc remark some of them might make is no big deal. Anti-Racist Action (the Anarchist Defamation League), calls us 'fascist collaborators'. When one of the people they have tried to drive out of his job and community wrote "I don't deny the horrors of World War II including the Holocaust", the antifascists informed us "This itself is a classic Holocaust-denial strategy".

Since the meeting, the 'anti' fascists have carried on their cowardly campaign, publishing people's photos, names, emails, phone numbers and addresses. The creator of the site ifamericansknew.org, which is based in Portland and critical of Israel, has had a death threat from Zionists, so publishing people's details and calling them anti-semitic is irresponsible, to say the least.

Irving finished with another example of why he has been a positive influence on me, despite out wildly differing politics. He read out an intercept of Japan's desperate attempt to surrender, on July 12 1945, with one condition: the emperor stays on the throne, a condition America agreed to a month later. The allies ignored the peace offer, condemning thousands of their own soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians during the remaining month of the war. The idea that the atom bombs were necessary to save the lives of American servicemen in an invasion is a lie.

That's why they hate him.

Who do I mean by 'they'? Well, here's two articles about Irving's US tour, one from a Zionist site with an Israeli flag, and one from a radical activist site:

1. David Irving’s holocaust-denial speaking tour - the show that must be stopped:


2. David Irving’s Holocaust-Denial Speaking Tour: The Show that Must Not Go On:


I wonder if, by any chance, they might be related?

Indymedia changed the title slightly, but left the following sentence in its uncritical copy of propaganda put out by an organization which endorses ethnic cleansing and apartheid: "The exact location of Irving's talk in each city has not been made public, due to Irving's fear of encountering the opposition he so richly deserves". The American left make much less effort to conceal their illogical position, against all racism except Jewish racism, than do their equivalents in Europe. When Irving spoke in Eugene last year, I asked a lefty protestor outside how you could oppose racism alongside pro-Israel racist Jews. She didn't understand the problem. Irving, who sometimes expresses racial prejudices in his personal opinions, is seen as more dangerous than the organized forces of Jewish racism which really kill people.

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'Veterans Today' article sympathetic to Irving (11/03/10) by Jay Knott:


Correction re. antisemitism.org.il and Anti Racist Action (05/25/10) by Jay Knott: Anti-Racist Action have pointed out that the dates on the two articles, from antisemitism.org.il and portland.indymedia.org show that the latter could not have been copied from the former. However, both repeat exactly the same...

This is a laugh (03/28/10) by Jay Knott:


Dresden remains the subject of continuing historical dispute (03/28/10) by Jay Knott: "None of which means that Dresden was not a terrible act in a terrible war. It does not even mean that it was not a crime, although that remains the subject of continuing historical dispute. But if it was a crime, it was one on...

The details of Japan's attempt to surrender a month before Hiroshima (03/27/10) by Jay Knott:


Thanks, David Irving