The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

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David Irving is a constant reminder that The Spooky isn't a kitsch aesthetic of the 1950s, but something horrible that exists. Christopher Hitchens has this appalling memory of him:
[I]t transpired that, while in the elevator, Irving had looked with approval at my fair-haired, blue-eyed daughter, then 5 years old, and declaimed the following doggerel about his own little girl, Jessica, who was the same age: I am a Baby Aryan/Not Jewish or Sectarian;/I have no plans to marry an/ Ape or Rastafarian.


Irving's repentance goes no way near redeeming him. For a start, he wouldn't have done it had he not been in jail. Secondly, an apology that draws its strength from snobbery, rather than humility, is always suspect. When Ezra Pound said to Allen Ginsberg, "But the worst mistake I made was that stupid suburban prejudice of anti-Semitism," the force of his contempt was aimed at the suburbs, rather than himself. Simlarly, Irving will admit to they're being a Holocaust, but not to his own stupidity for saying the opposite:
"'This might be a big case, but it's not very difficult,' his lawyer, Elmar Kresbach, told the Guardian yesterday. 'There are the transcripts of his speeches, there is a newspaper interview that he gave [in 1989]. It's pretty black and white.
'But Irving told me that he has changed his views after researching in the Russian archives in the 1990s. He said, 'I've repented. I've no intention of repeating these views. That would be historically stupid and I'm not a stupid man.' He said, 'I fully accept this, it's a fact. The discussion on Auschwitz, the gas chambers and the Holocaust is finished ... it's useless to dispute it'.'"

Sane people don't need Russian archives in the 1990s to convince us of the obvious and tragic.