Berlin hotel keepers unite against Holocaust denier

The revisionist British historian David Irving has been turned away by an association of German hotels. The Berlin chapter of the Dehoga hotel and restaurant association warned members not to book a room for Irving during his planned visit to the German capital in September. Irving had been banned from entering Germany for 20 years until last March and plans to travel to Berlin to address guests at dinner with a US$ 120 cover charge, the newspaper ‘Der Tagesspiegel’ reported. The location has not yet been divulged, and only advanced bookings would be accepted, it wrote.

Acampaign by Green Party Bundestag member Volker Beck, the party’s parliamentary human rights spokesman, led the Berlin hotelier association to urge members not to “fall for the right-wing extremist trap.” With a link to the letter from Beck on its website, the association urges members: “Please don’t give any ‘room’ to right-wing extremist propaganda.”

Irving had been barred from entering Germany until 2022, due to convictions for Holocaust denial in the 1990s. In late 2012, a Munich court announced the ban would be lifted as of March 2013.

Though Irving has in recent years admitted he is now convinced that there were gas chambers in Auschwitz and that Germany killed millions of Jews, he still apparently is a darling of the far right, which questions the facts of the Holocaust and claims that German civilians were the real victims, particularly of Allied bombings.

Not all who detest Irving think that barring him is the best idea. Berlin-based journalist Alan Posener of the newspaper ‘Die Welt’ commented in a column on Tuesday: “While I abhor the idea of advocating a Holocaust denier, it only makes sense to stand up for the rights of others when it’s someone with whom you normally wouldn’t want to be breathing the same air.”

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