The Holocaust Historiography Project

Irving Conviction in Germany Upheld, Fine Tripled

Historian Ordered to Pay $18,000 for 'Gas Chamber' Remarks

David Irving has been ordered by a German court to pay 30,000 marks (about $18,000) for telling an audience that the “gas chamber” at Auschwitz shown to hundreds of thousands of tourists annually is a phony postwar reconstruction ("Attrappen").

On January 13 a Munich court rejected Irving’s appeal of a 1992 conviction, and then tripled the original fine. Last May the best-selling British historian was ordered to pay 10,000 marks (about $6,000) after a lower court convicted him of remarks made at a Munich meeting in 1990. (See the IHR Newsletter, July-August 1992, pp. 3-4.)

The appeals court judge in the January case — like his counterpart in the May trial — rejected a bid by Irving’s attorneys to introduce documents, witnesses (including Auschwitz State Museum Curator Dr. Piper) and other evidence showing that what the historian had said in the 1990 meeting is, in fact, the truth. The judge justified his refusal to permit the defense to present its case by declaring that the wartime extermination of the Jews has been sufficiently proved by historians.

Irving attorney Dr. Schaller said that he would appeal this “outrageous” verdict to the highest possible level, even though he sees little prospect for success. In spite of the new ruling, Irving defiantly repeated his view outside the court building: “There were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. I will not change my opinion.”

From The Journal of Historical Review, March/April 1993 (Vol. 13, No. 2), page 7.