A speaking tour of the UK by Holocaust-denying historian David Irving faces widespread disruption forcing launches of his new book about SS head Heinrich Himmler to be held in secret.
The British writer — back in the UK after years in a Florida retreat — is expected, in the book, to deflect blame for the death of millions of Jews away from Himmler, whom historians generally accept as having been responsible for the running of Nazi concentration camps.
Irving’s website is selling tickets for 11 lectures across the country, but there are doubts over whether all 11 will take place. A lecture due to be held in London on August 31 has already been postponed until December.
According to the police, anti-fascist groups from Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle intend to stage protests.
A spokesman for the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary told the JC: “Police in Exeter are well aware of the planned event and have resources to deal with any issues”.
Attendees must register and be vetted before being given secret location details a matter of hours before the talk.
In 2009, the Wikileaks website published Irving’s private emails showing he had highlighted Jewish-sounding names with the German word, Achtung — warning.
The UK tour precedes Irving’s appearance in Berlin in September to mark the lifting of his 10-year ban on entering the country, imposed by a court that found him guilty of Holocaust denial. Hotels in the German capital have so far refused to host him.
Gerry Gable, of the anti-fascist magazine, Searchlight, said the threat of protests has helped stop people being exposed to Irving’s material: “Irving’s books sell to a degree, mainly to people who are sympathetic to his apologetic view of Third Reich.
“His view of history is that the Führer doesn’t know about the Holocaust and Himmler wasn’t such a bad guy because the Holocaust was more to do with his underlings and it all got a bit out of hand.”
Mr Irving told the JC: “We do not invite the press — not to the real locations anyway — for reasons you will be familiar with. The tour is real. Why should I organise a fake tour. We are not all fraudsters like Bernie Madoff.”
He also said that he intends to take legal action in Germany for having been branded a Holocaust denier.