David Irving pleads guilty to Holocaust denial

20th February 2006, Comments 0 comments

20 February 2006, VIENNA - British historian David Irving went on trial Monday for denying the Holocaust, and entered a guilty plea while saying he had changed his views in the 17 years since the offence. Irving, facing a maximum ten-year prison sentence in the one-day trial, said that in recent years he had seen "new research material" proving the existence of Nazi gas chambers. But according to his defence lawyer Elmar Kresbach, 67-year-old Irving had been obliged to plead guilty to the charges arising f

20 February 2006

VIENNA - British historian David Irving went on trial Monday for denying the Holocaust, and entered a guilty plea while saying he had changed his views in the 17 years since the offence.

Irving, facing a maximum ten-year prison sentence in the one-day trial, said that in recent years he had seen "new research material" proving the existence of Nazi gas chambers.

But according to his defence lawyer Elmar Kresbach, 67-year-old Irving had been obliged to plead guilty to the charges arising from statements he had made during a visit to Austria 17 years ago.

Prosecutor Michael Klackl charged Irving with being anything but a historian. On the contrary, he was a committed falsifier of history.

Irving had "a picture of history" in which "there are no gas chambers," the prosecutor charged. Irving's picture of history had no mass murders organized by the Nazis, and no millions of deaths in the Holocaust.

Instead, Irving had argued that there had only been individual crimes, and most of the victims in Nazi concentration camps had died "natural deaths," for instance in epidemics, said Klackl in his summary of Irving's writings and lectures.

"Adolf Hitler is a glorified apparition in these statements," said the prosecutor. The Nazi dictator had been portrayed as actually "protecting" the Jews.

Klackl stressed the importance of the present trial, saying there had been attempts in "certain circles" to uplift the defendant into a "martyr of right-wing extremism."

Irving was arrested by Austrian police while driving on a motorway last November, and jailed in Vienna pending his trial. He had come to Austria at the invitation of a rightist-nationalist student fraternity.

DPA

Subject: German news

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