Australian Civil Liberties Union

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Don't deny Irving

By K.L. Ingle

The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday 25th April 2000


Mr. Rosenbaum's history lesson ("The First Holocaust Denier", April 13) was a masterpiece of one-sided coverage. Undoubtedly the result of the case, David Irving v. Deborah Lipstadt was a good one for the publisher, "Penguin," and its American author. For British justice, it was a black day.

In the future, every author who has the courage to write about historical events as they really were, and not as the political powers would like us to believe they were, must risk being called a racialist and Neo-Nazi by a British court of law. The truth remains just another victim in the battle of capitalism against democracy.

Those who can afford the best lawyers have the greatest chance to obtain a positive judicial decision. The equality of rights remains a dream.

Soldiers who lost their lives fighting for a free democratic Europe must turn in their graves upon seeing what we have done with the freedom they gave us. Did they fight for the freedom to stop others telling the truth? When authors must be afraid of being called liars and anti-Semites -- when they point out that the official history books have been written for the sake of political propaganda and contain many discrepancies -- can we talk of freedom? From a historical point of view, Mr Irving's opinion is irrelevant. Not so, however, the facts he has brought to light.

For far too long, the average historian has allowed himself to be politically pressured into publishing work that is acceptable to the powers that be. In a free democratic land, as Britain claims to be, it must be our duty to ask why so many governments and institutions around the world have such an antipathy towards the historical truth.


New York, 25th April 2000


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