Irving Sentenced to Jail for Holocaust Denial

(February 20, 2006)

British historian David Irving was arrested in Austria on November 11, 2005. He was charged under a federal law that makes it a crime to publicly diminish, deny or justify the Holocaust. Irving pleaded guilty and was convicted on February 20, 2006, of denying the Holocaust and sentenced to three years in prison.

Facing up to 10 years in prison, Irving said during his one-day trial that he now acknowledged the NazisWorld War II slaughter of six million Jews and admitted, “I made a mistake when I said there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz.”

In the past, however, Irving claimed that Adolf Hitler knew little if anything about the Holocaust, and suggested there was “not one shred of evidence” the Nazis carried out their “Final Solution” to exterminate the Jewish population on such a massive scale. He insisted that most of the victims at concentration camps such as Auschwitz died of diseases such as typhus rather than execution.

In 2000, Irving sued American Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt for libel in a British court, but lost. The presiding judge in that case, Charles Gray, wrote that Irving was “an active Holocaust denier ... anti-Semitic and racist.”

Irving’s lawyer said he would appeal the sentence.

Source: AP, (February 20, 2006)