20 September 2010
The convicted Holocaust denier David Irving is set to lead guided tours of former Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz and Treblinka, the British newspaper ‘Daily Mail’ reports. The revisionist historian, who was convicted of Holocaust denial in 2006 by a court in Austria and sentenced to three years in jail, is scheduled to take a week-long tour on Tuesday to the former Nazi concentration camps and the site of the Warsaw Ghetto. The stunt is expected to attract a number of far-right sympathizers from across Europe. Advertising material for the tour promises an experience far removed from the “tourist attractions of Auschwitz.” Participants will be charged US$ 2,650 each.
In a report by the newspaper on Friday, Irving claimed he was not a Holocaust denier and that Treblinka was a real death camp site, as opposed to Auschwitz, which he described as a “Disney-style tourist attraction.” The controversial tour was condemned by Jewish community groups in the UK. “This is Irving’s latest cynical attempt to rewrite history and is an affront to the victims of Nazism and those who fought against it,” said Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. “All it will prove is how even insurmountable historical evidence will not sway him from his prejudices and dogma.”
“David Irving is a proven racist and a Holocaust denier and his forthcoming ‘tour’ of the Treblinka Nazi death camp can serve no purpose other than to further provoke far-Right extremists and insult the memory of Holocaust victims and Survivors,” said Karen Pollock, chief executive of the London-based Holocaust Educational Trust. The anti-racist group Searchlight and its Polish counterpart Nigdy Wiecej (Never Again) called on the Polish government to ban Irving from entering the country. The Polish Embassy in London said that Irving could not be barred from the country but said its secret service would closely monitor his movements.
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