From The Times today. Daniel Finklesteim on Holocaust denial generally, and David Irvine in particular.
I'll start in the middle of his article, although the beginning is both moving and mind boggleing..
One of Irving’s contentions, one that helped to bring him a three-year prison sentence, was that “74,000 (Jews) died of natural causes in the work camps and the rest were hidden in reception camps after the war and later taken to Palestine, where they live today under new identities”. Let’s examine this for a moment, shall we?
Yesterday my mother told me of the day, as a young girl in Westerbork concentration camp, she said goodbye to her aunt and uncle and to her 14-year-old cousin, Fritz. These much-loved family members had been listed for the Tuesday transport train to Auschwitz. My mother still has the pitiful letter from her aunt promising that “we will meet again”. But, of course, they never did. David Irving presumably thinks that Fritz and his parents survived and are living in Israel. In which case, the joke is over: they can come back now, don’t you think?
With her own eyes, my mother saw Anne Frank arrive in Belsen (she knew the family), yet still Irving and people like him contend that Frank’s story is fake. And I have been to countless meetings, met dozens of people, who saw the Nazi crimes themselves, lost relatives, were scarred for life, only survived (as my mother did) because of unbelievable moments of good fortune.
It is difficult, even for me now, born in safety, free to bring up my sons as Jews, sitting at a desk typing my article in civilised Britain, it is difficult not to feel anger, rage at Irving. It is difficult not to wish him behind bars. And I do feel rage. But I do not wish him behind bars, not for giving his opinion, not for delivering a lecture, however warped and horrible his opinion is. I still believe in the power of truth. And my belief in truth is what separates me from Irving.