The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

‘Springtime for Irving’: The Video

By Mark Potok on July 24, 2008 - 12:30 pm, Posted in Holocaust Denial

Here’s a fresh treat for readers of Hatewatch — a brand new video, made by journalist Max Blumenthal and videographer Thomas Shomaker and co-produced by the Southern Poverty Law Center, about convicted Holocaust denier David Irving. It’s an amazing, sardonic account of Irving’s visit this July 16 to a church in Manhattan, where Blumenthal presses him into a most remarkable interview.

Irving, of course, is the infamous British writer who penned numerous apologetics for Adolf Hitler and then sued American scholar Deborah Lipstadt after she called him a Holocaust denier. Irving ultimately lost his epic court battle in London, with the judge in the case concluding that he was a “pro-Nazi” polemicist. The court also found that the author of some 30 books had “persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence” to promote his racist and anti-Semitic ideas.

We’ll save most of the good stuff for viewers of the video, but offer just a couple of teasers here. At one point, Irving tells his audience: “Adolf Hitler was being kept out of the loop and was probably not at all anti-Semitic… . He repeatedly held out his hand to stop things happening to the Jews.” Just as you’re digesting that incredible piece of neo-Nazi propaganda, the video recounts how journalist Christopher Hitchens, a former Trotskyist-turned-Iraq War cheerleader, has described Irving as “a great historian” and, in Irving’s words, remains “a good friend” to the man who once said that more people died in the back of Ted Kennedy’s car than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Although the video doesn’t make this point, Hitchens was named one of the world’s “Top 100 Public Intellectuals” by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazine of Britain in 2005, long after his paean to Irving’s swell talents as a “historian.”

Take a look at this remarkable video, which we offer here a day late as a birthday present from Hatewatch, which just completed its first year of existence. As the months unfold, we hope to bring you more along these lines.

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  • Not fooled

    Having never owned a t.v. and never believed what the main-stream-media presents is viable to our world or survival, i have sourced my own channels to educate myself. This is how i came across David Irving. Ive been to Aushwitz and other WW II spots to see history in front of my eyes. I didn’t need Mr. Irving to convince me that Aushwitze wasn’t a killing camp, but a work camp and the gas chambers were built after WW II with chimneys not even connected to the buildings.
    Jews have fabricated this whole sham to put them in the light as the poor oppressed as they have done for centuries, and one day i pray they will pay for they’re deception and usury.
    STOP WATCHING TV FOLKS, STOP PAYING TO SEE MOVIES IN THEATERS MADE BY PEOPLE WHO DISTORT THE TRUTH, HISTORY, JUST LIKE THIS VIDEO.
    WAKE UP AMERICA!

  • BARBARA WEINBAUM

    One of these survivors, Werner Gellert, eventually came to the US and with his wife, opened the the NM Holocaust and Intolerance Museum in Albuquerque NM about 8 years ago. When I got your DVD, Werner saw it and has been terribly excited to see pictures of himself and his fellow internees in it.
    If you want to contact him, let me know

  • GrannyofWhites

    Watch the movie “Shanghai Ghetto”. America did not welcome the Jews from Europe and the Jews were apparently pouring into Germany. They also shot and killed a German leader – adding to the tensions at a very tense time. That would be akin to a Mexican killing an American leader now.
    Some of these facts have not been shared with the American public as much as others. It does give you a better feel for the times.
    And note the condescending/ugly remarks made by a Jewish woman regarding the Japanese man. Quite immature and nasty – but then, Jewish people can be quite forthright and spare no feelings – right?
    They are never racist. NEVER??????

  • GrannyofWhites

    SPLC used to be widely respected. Now, it seems to be pushing the immigration agenda and ignoring the hate BY the immigrants. Remaining unbiased should be the goal; instead, it is nothing more than a mouthpiece for …. white employers of illegals?
    While the Mexicans ship drugs over the border to our ghettos and other vulnerable Americans, the SPLC ignores such actions and gives strength to those who would sell drugs to our children. Anyone who has been on a college campus in the last 50 years knows what the Mexicans do – they import drugs to our campuses. Heroin, meth, you name it. Oh, that’s right. SPLC doesn’t have time to read the PRESS RELEASES at the US Customs and Border Protection website. They don’t care what influence immigrants have had – as long as it is positive. They ignore all the damaged goods….our human beings …..our vulnerable citizens.

  • John Molina

    Mr Nierman, Chris Hitchens is a brilliantly witty writer, but he is also an ideological hypocrite–blind to his own fallacies and prejudices.

  • Some Guy

    I wonder when the SPLC is going to attack Noam Chomsky like they’ve been attacking Christopher Hitchens? Hitchens supposed “hate crime” is that he defended Irving’s right to free speech and to not be imprisoned for his thoughts. Yet, three decades ago, the “ayatollah of the left,” Noam Chomsky, did the same thing in defense of Robert Faurisson, the founder of the modern Holocaust Denial movement.

    But then, Chomsky is an ultra-leftist, and they are exempt from the SPLC’s criticisms… right, Mr. Potok?

  • http://rationalred.blogspot.com Qemal Stafa

    Hitler put Germany first up unto that point when the war he started reduced it to a smoking crater. War was inevitable for the German state, as the amount of government spending required a way to re-coop revenue; revenue that would be obtained via “occupation taxes” in other territories, the seizing of gold reserves of occupied countries, and the massive use of slave labor.

    Iriving is indeed a Holocaust denier and his historical claims are dubious at best. If you read History on Trial you can see Irving’s quotes made under oath, which remove all doubt of his stances.

  • Barry

    Notwithstanding the paranoid and pro-Nazi comments from several people, I am happy to see that Brenan Nierman latched on to the aspect of this video that I found so troubling.

    I generally love what the Southern Poverty Law Center does. This rare exception is bothersome to me. I think of Hitchens as a fearless writer, and we’re all better for having his voice in the mix. I wish SPL Center would recognize that and retract the shadowy condemnation.

  • http://WWW.NATALL.COM James Hallman

    The propaganda mill against Adolf Hitler goes
    beyond reason. He was one of if not the greatest
    German statesman of all time. He took a nation
    wallowing in poverty because the great depression
    and an political and economic injustice inflicted
    by the Allies and Jewish manipulation. Hitler was
    not a ” madman “. He believed in putting the German
    people first unlike our present American leadership
    who insuist oon trying to police the world through
    proxy wars for Israel and the New World Order.
    Or by attemping to redistribute our national wealth
    to the third world countries through foreign aid.
    It’s only a matter of time before dire circumstances
    and the truth it self will compel the White people
    of the world to stand against the jews and traitors
    who are leading us to desaster.

  • SA Mann

    Why does your organization hate the thought of people like David Irving having free speech rights? If groups like SPLC have their way the right to Free Speech will be a thing of the past in America.

  • Gunslinger

    LOL at “Springtime for Irving” as the title. I love “The Producers”

  • http://exaggerator.blogdrive.com/ IludiumPhosdex

    “anti-zionist secessionist movement” claimeth:

    The Canadian government backed “anti-racist-action” (zionist) has bombed houses and attacked anti-war dissidents.

    Has he any substantiation for this claim?

    And if so, what preclues his disclosing same @ this time?

  • Jonathan

    Dave von Ebers,

    The danger for us in the USA is creeping erosion of the first amendment. Much of Europe, Canada and other countries have “hate speech” laws, where people go to jail for speaking their conscience. For example, the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) has been pushing for and authoring “hate speech” laws and the SPLC is a self-appointed judge of what is “hate”. I suspect that the SPLC is a major source of what is blocked in internet filters.

    One must be vigilant for attacks on the first amendment!

  • shane mahoney

    Blumenthal’s article and video can’t be considered objective, but on the other hand he didn’t make any claim to objectivity, so it’s a case of no harm, no foul.

    However, despite being rather viciously demonized, Irving doesn’t come off that badly. What he has to say is all pretty solid, historically (he is not a holocaust denier), except for his odd comments about Hitler’s not being anti-Semitic before the war.

    “Mein Kampf”, and the open economic victimization of Jews before the war, make it pretty clear that Hitler was a rabid anti-Semite, completely separate from any discussion of his knowledge or approval of the holocaust.

    I wish the interview were available in a more complete version in order to provide context. Is something like this available?

    Thanks,

    Shane Mahoney

  • Drew

    ridicule is one thing, punishing him and throwing him in prison is quite another. An earlier quote stated “But how can the feds allow him back in the U.S. is beyond me.” Ridicule to your hearts content, but he’s certainly allowed to speak his mind. Thanks for proving my point again, speak out against him all you want but I don’t see a reason to punish him.

  • Brenan Nierman

    Christopher Hitchens has written elsewhere of his disgust for Irving and his racism, citing as one example a disgusting jingle that Irving taught her daughter and then had the nerve to repeat to Hitchen’s child and wife.
    As Casey Stengal said, you can look it up.
    Hitchens is a courageous and serious journalist, who has the guts to label hate groups — including religions — for what they are. He has no truck with frauds or bigots. I am sad that you seemed to lump him together with Irving. You did not do all of your homework on this, and if you wish to have me donate any further to your very worthwhile cause, I think an apology to Mr. Hitchens (who has been quite vocal in his defense of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s right to criticize Islam as a violent and misogynistic religion) is in order.

  • anti-zionist secessionist movement

    The SPLC is a branch of the AIPAC controlled federal government and are not in the business of mear ridicule.

    Groups equivilent to the SPLC in Canada and Europe have made questioning the WWII non-event of a few broken jewish fingernails blown out of porportion, in a long line of their fabled “persecutions” such as “Haman” and the 70AD “destruction of the temple”, an event that they claim killed not 6 million but 100 million jews, a crime to call it what it is, horsecrap. The Canadian government backed “anti-racist-action” (zionist) has bombed houses and attacked anti-war dissidents.

    Face it, your lies and the despotic anti-democratic governments which back them are done-for.

  • http://exaggerator.blogdrive.com/ IludiumPhosdex

    So much for the argument racists and white-supremacists seem to have about whites being too “racially superior” to be reduced to poverty or otherwise distressed circumstances which they forever claim blacks and other minorities are forever reduced to….

  • Mike Menkes

    REAL diversity includes all…..

  • http://journalplagueyear.blogspot.com Dave von Ebers

    “… [L]ast I checked this [denying the Holocaust] isn’t a crime and it’s up to responsible individuals to decide the truth or falcity [sic] of anothers [sic] claims. Not indict the man in court and punish him for his beliefs.”

    Ah, the classic conservative bait-and-switch: If you express disagreement with a right-wing viewpoint you are, a priori, attempting to “censor” that viewpoint or “punish” the speaker. That’s an intellectually weak argument. Criticism, even ridicule, isn’t censorship or punishment; it’s simply a part of the exchange of ideas that lies at the heart of the First Amendment.

    Freedom of speech is a two-way street, my friend. Mr. Irving is free to speak his mind here in the United States … and SPLC is free to ridicule him for it. As well they should.

  • Gerald Bauman

    What is the point of quoting Jewish historian Richard Evans at the end of that video? Evans is the mirror image and exact opposite of Irving. They take opposite views on everything, and Evans is biased towards only Jewish points-of-view.

  • Drew

    Amen Wayne. So the guy denies the Holocaust, last I checked this isn’t a crime and it’s up to responsible individuals to decide the truth or falcity of anothers claims. Not indict the man in court and punish him for his beliefs. I suppose the problem with this guy is that he doesn’t lie professionally for a government, but out of his own belief. We all know the victors write the history books, and God know our government has lied through it’s teeth regarding it’s own past and it’s own actions. Let the guy believe what he wants, if you really want to shut him down ignore him, otherwise you simply help spread awareness of him and increase the chance people are going to read about him and his writings. Last time I checked freedom of speech was something we all wanted, well sometimes we don’t like what we hear, this isn’t a crime. If he’s coming to the US well good on him, perhaps he’ll apply for political asylum, if there’s ever a guy deserving of it he’s the one.

  • Barry

    I think this interview is unfair in its characterization of Christopher Hitchens. I have not read any of Irving’s work, so I have no valuable thoughts as to whether he is a Holocaust denier. Granting for the sake of argument that he is, Hitchens is not, nor does he ever claim to agree with Irving. In his writing about Irving, Hitchens seems careful in saying that right or wrong, Irving’s thoughts ought not to be suppressed, nor should the man have been jailed for expressing them. If we value the First Amendment, we should all agree about that.

  • Wayne Polache

    I WILL WAIT TO SEE IF YOU CENSOR MY COMMENTS. IF YOU DO ,THEN YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE AN AGENDA THAT GOES BEYOND YOUR CONCERN FOR ‘ HATE ‘ IN AMERICA… AND, I WILL EMAIL EVERYONE A COPY OF MY PREVIOUS ‘COMMENT’ AND YOUR CENSORED VERSION OF MY COMMENT. THEN I WILL DROP YOU INTO MY SPAM CAN FOREVER MORE!!!

  • Wayne Polache

    What difference does it make what this man says. This is The, United States of AMERICA ! … Where he has the right to speak, whether you like it, listen to it, condone it, or hate it. This is not Israel or Austria, where obviously you have no such rights to deny or reject a belief without being imprisoned for it.. A thought that is by it’s very nature, to me as an AMERICAN, BEYOND BELIEF! I didn’t hear him spewing hate…Just his belief. THAT IS HIS RIGHT! You had better be very careful … If you want to keep me on your side… Do not assume I agree with you on this matter. I know the difference between ‘Freedom of Speech’ and ‘Hate’….This time , I think it is you that needs to be WATCHED, because of YOUR HATE for this man’s RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE AND TO SPEAK !! I, as part Native American, can’t imagine someone going to prison because they did not CHOSE to believe 40 million of the FIRST AMERICANS WERE EXTERMINATED by YOUR, European ancestors … WE CANNOT FORCE ANYONE TO THINK OR BELIEVE ANYTHING !! So …I ask YOU to turn around and take a good look at yourselves, and ask … who hates who hear???? AND WHO’S RIGHTS ARE BEING DENIED??

  • http://rationalred.blogspot.com Qemal Stafa

    Dammit Blumenthal, you would have had a GREAT shot had you challenged that guy who asked “how could 6 million Jews been killed in gas chambers?” It would have been hilarious to see his reaction when asked in return: “who wrote or said that 6 million Jews were killed in gas chambers?”

  • http://rationalred.blogspot.com Qemal Stafa

    Unless something has changed, the 5th largest city is Phoenix, in which case he has already been there.

  • GENO-cydal 88

    Plus this guy has a speech tour in the U.S.:

    http://www.focal.org/speaks/index.html

    Fortunately for me, he’s not comming to my city which is the 5th largest city in the U.S. That is, because he’s not welcome. But how can the feds allow him back in the U.S. is beyond me. But hey, he’s only a holocaust denier and not a real Nazi. So I don’t really see any harm in that because as we all know he’s full of excrement.