British writer David Irving wasted no time Friday offending Jews and black people at a news conference, a day after his return from Austria where he was imprisoned for denying the Holocaust. At a news conference in London, Irving endorsed actor Mel Gibson's drunken comments earlier this year that Jews were responsible for all modern wars. He also referred to his success as an author in the 1970s by talking about how be used cash to buy a Rolls-Royce - the color of which he described by using a racial slur against blacks.
Irving to be deported from Austria (Dec. 20)
Irving, 68, was sentenced to three years in prison for his views on the Holocaust. Vienna's highest court on Wednesday granted Irving's appeal to convert two-thirds of his sentence into probation. Authorities deported him to Britain and banned him indefinitely from Austria.
Asked Friday if he was anti-Semitic, Irving said: "No, I like to think I am not."
But then he said: "In many respects Mel Gibson was right."
"They (Jews) should ask themselves the question, 'Why have they been so hated for 3,000 years that there has been pogrom after pogrom in country after country?' and it's the one question they seem to be very shy of," Irving said.
Irving told reporters that he had done research on the Holocaust that other historians had not, but acknowledged he had been mistaken on the subject in the past.
"My books will be the ones that survive into the next century," he said.
He said sales from his book on World War II German Gen. Erwin Rommel enabled him to walk into a car showroom with a paper bag stuffed with cash to buy a "(racial slur) brown" Rolls-Royce.