LONDON – Convicted Holocaust denier David Irving is set to lead guided tours of
former Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz and Treblinka, next
The British revisionist historian, who was convicted of Holocaust
denial in 2006 in Austria and sentenced to three years in jail, is scheduled to
take a week-long tour on Tuesday to the concentration camps in Poland and the
former site of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Protesters break into Oxford debate
The stunt is expected to attract a
number of far-Right sympathizers from across Europe.
for the tour promises an experience far removed from the “tourist attractions of
Auschwitz.” Participants will be charged $2,650 each.
In a report in the
Daily Mail newspaper on Friday, Irving claimed he was not a Holocaust denier and
that Treblinka was a real death camp site, as opposed to Auschwitz, which he
described as a “Disney-style tourist attraction.”
The controversial tour
was condemned by Jewish community groups in the UK.
“This is Irving’s
latest cynical attempt to rewrite history and is an affront to the victims of
Nazism and those who fought against it,” said Jon Benjamin, chief executive of
the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
“All it will prove is how even
insurmountable historical evidence will not sway him from his prejudices and
“David Irving is a proven racist and a Holocaust denier and his
forthcoming ‘tour’ of the Treblinka Nazi death camp can serve no purpose other
than to further provoke far-Right extremists and insult the memory of Holocaust
victims and Survivors,” said Karen Pollock, chief executive of the London-based
Holocaust Educational Trust.
Anti-racist group Searchlight also condemned
the initiative. In a joint statement with its Polish counterpart, Nigdy Wiecej
(Never Again), it called on the Polish government to ban Irving from entering
The Polish Embassy in London said that Irving could not be
barred from the country but said its secret service would closely monitor his
In 2006, Irving was convicted by an Austrian court of
Holocaust denial, using a 1992 law which applies to anyone who denies, plays
down, approves of or tries to excuse the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes
The court found that Irving was an active Holocaust
denier, anti-Semite and racist, who “associates with right-wing
In 1996, Irving sued Prof. Deborah Lipstadt for
libel, after she called him a Holocaust denier in her book Denying the
Three courts subsequently found for Lipstadt, concluding that
Irving was a Holocaust denier, an anti-Semite and a racist.