Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality ‘saddened’ by Holocaust denier David Irving’s visit to county
- Credit: PA
Anti-racism campaigners have said they were “saddened and disappointed” to learn that a proven Holocaust denier will be giving a talk in Suffolk this week.
David Irving, whose revisionist interpretation of Nazi Germany, has seen him banned from countries and even jailed, will be attending an event in Ipswich on Thursday, as part of a 21-date tour around the UK.
Campaigners have criticised his views and urged people to stay away from the event.
The Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE) said: “We uphold the concept of freedom of speech but are saddened and disappointed that David Irving believes that he can attract an audience here in this county.
“We hope that the good people of Suffolk prove him wrong.”
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Thursday’s event is listed as taking place in Ipswich at 6.30pm, however, only those who have paid £20.16 for a ticket, and passed checking procedures, are informed of the venue.
“My audiences are not large and like to listen in comfort,” Mr Irving said. “And there are sections of the public, probably even smaller, who do not want anybody listening.”
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Mr Irving claims his critics have not “bothered to read my books or hear my views”. “They prefer to listen to lies, like those uttered by this latest Hollywood effusion,” he said.
Once recognised as a knowledgeable historian, Mr Irving’s reputation was discredited in the late 80s when he began writing Holocaust denial literature. In 1993 he was featured in Denying the Holocaust, a book by American historian Deborah Lipstadt, which gave an analysis of the movement.
Mr Irving sued the author and her publisher for libel but his case was rejected by a judge who found he had “for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence” and “portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantably favourable light”.
It was estimated at the time that Mr Irving would have faced defence costs of £2million.
A spokesman for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “David Irving is a Holocaust denier who has been banned from several countries due to his vile attempts to distort history and mock Holocaust survivors.
“He has no credibility left and should be shunned by all decent people.”