Holocaust 'Revisionism'

Difficult days for deniers

When Holocaust "revisionists" gathered in Moscow for a major conference in January, they got a dose of the usual — anti-Semitic diatribes, speeches blaming the "international Jewish conspiracy" for globalization — and also a dollop of the bizarre.

The "Conference on Global Problems in World History" was bankrolled by American anti-Semite Willis Carto and co-sponsored by Oleg Platonov, a well-known Russian Holocaust denier and editor of The Encyclopedia of Russian Civilization.

A few elements went off as planned, including a speech on the "Zionist Factor in the USA" by David Duke, the American neo-Nazi and former Klan leader who now calls Moscow home.

But other things started to unravel two days before the conference, when Platonov broke his leg and ended up in the hospital. Then three speakers begged off with illness or visa problems.

For pure drama, however, nothing could top the presentation of Russell Granta, a retired schoolteacher from California.

After Granta proclaimed that his historical digging had clearly proven that "none of the concentration camps was a death camp," he suddenly put a hand to his heart and tumbled headfirst off the podium, reportedly suffering a heart attack.

According to Searchlight, a British anti-fascist magazine, Granta's audience "took this as mystical proof of the courageous and exhausting day-to-day struggle of the revisionists."

Meanwhile, the day-to-day struggle of Holocaust writer David Irving continued.

Following a disastrously unsuccessful libel action against Deborah Lipstadt, an American college professor who called him a "Hitler partisan," Irving was ordered to pay Lipstadt and her publisher legal costs of 2 million pounds.

After failing to make a required interim payment in February, Irving was declared bankrupt by London's High Court.

Irving, who recently announced a move to Edinburgh, Scotland, has not let his financial woes slow him down. In April he began a speaking tour of the United States, with publicity provided by the neo-Nazi National Alliance.

Irving's scheduled stops included Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco and Las Vegas, where, perhaps, he hoped to hit a jackpot.