A notorious Holocaust denier and Nazi sympathiser, David Irving, is touring Scotland and giving talks at secret locations, according to his website.
Irving has written more than 20 books and has been widely condemned for his sympathetic view of Hitler and for disputing the official account of the Holocaust.
He was due to speak at unnamed venues in Glasgow and Stirling on 12 and 13 February, respectively, with Bannockburn listed for 14 February followed by Inverness on 15 February.
His UK tour is called ‘David Irving speaks on Unusual History’ – although there is no mention of a new book on his site – and it also included meetings in Coventry, Birmingham and Manchester.
A statement on his website says: “David Irving talks privately in the Midlands and Scottish towns on Unusual History. An evening with the British historian.”
The Ferret has been unable to confirm if any of the listed meetings went ahead nor obtain details of venues in Scotland and his subject material.
Groups opposed to antisemitism have expressed concern and said Irving should not be welcome in Scotland to air his “grossly offensive” views.
"The secrecy surrounding his tour shows that even he now recognises that [his views] are not appropriate for any public space". Edward Sutherland, Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland
Edward Sutherland of the Confederation of Friends of Israel Scotland (COFIS) said: “We reject the discredited and grossly offensive views that David Irving has expressed about the Holocaust, and believe the secrecy surrounding his tour shows that even he now recognises that they are not appropriate for any public space.
“As today’s conviction of Holocaust denier, Alison Chabloz, demonstrates, free speech is not an absolute, and any attempt to minimise the significance or historicity of the Holocaust is beyond any bounds of acceptability.”
Unite Against Fascism Scotland said: “As incredible as it seems in this day and age, a recent poll suggests a very worrying figure that more than 2.6 million British people think the Holocaust is a myth. That same survey found that almost two-thirds of the British public grossly underestimate or have no idea how many had died.
“Although David Irving is not the respected figure he once was his lies still muddy the water about this tragic historical event. With the rise of the far right globally the terrible story of the Holocaust becomes even more vital and teaching it should become a requirement of school curriculum.”
"With the rise of the far right globally the terrible story of the Holocaust becomes even more vital and teaching it should become a requirement of school curriculum." Unite Against Fascism
There was an outcry in 2017 after it emerged that Irving spoke at a secret event in Glasgow and made a series of highly controversial remarks about Jews.
Speaking to an audience which included a child, Irving reportedly praised prominent Nazis and criticised Winston Churchill.
According to The Herald, he also said that he liked living near Nairn because it reminded him of the England he was born into, when “England was white”.
Irving sued author Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher for libel after she wrote that he was a Holocaust denier, but he lost the case in 2000 and was made bankrupt.
In 2006, Irving was jailed in Austria – where Holocaust denial is a criminal offence – after describing the gas chambers as a “fairytale”. He had pled guilty.
Irving’s website is currently offering a guided tour with him of former Nazi sites later this year.
It says: “Book now for David Irving’s week-long September 2019 guided tour of Hitler’s Headquarters and other SS historic locations in Poland (and Latvia). Reserve your place online now with a fully refundable deposit of $600. Apply now, and qualify for a $300 discount.
“The 2019 tour starts on September 1 from Warsaw, Poland, and ends back there on September 9. It includes the bunker headquarters of Adolf Hitler (“The Wolf’s Lair”), SS chief Heinrich Himmler (“Hochwald”), and the German Army high command, and the sinister Operation Reinhardt sites (Treblinka, Sobibór, Belzec, Majdanek).”
Photo thanks to Open Media Ltd, CC BY-SA 3.0.