Talk:David Irving

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Good articleDavid Irving has been listed as one of the Social sciences and society good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
January 30, 2005Featured article candidateNot promoted
August 7, 2005Featured article candidateNot promoted
November 4, 2010Peer reviewReviewed
February 12, 2011Good article nomineeListed
August 3, 2011Good article reassessmentKept
Current status: Good article

Evidence of an order[edit]


This weekend I watched an interview of Irving's where he was very insistent and specific he was looking for war time evidence that Hitler had knowledge of the Holocaust, not simply an order, which contradicts the piece in the Hitler's War section. I checked the reference already existing and it doesn't support the way it's written either so I'll change it now and add the video as reference too.

I'll go to the linked article and check it's fixed there if there's a similar problem. Yb2 (talk) 07:23, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

That's a primary source. Your edit also added a falsehood by implying that such a "challenge" would be justified. There is considerable documentary evidence which demonstrates that Hitler ordered the Holocaust, was involved in its execution, and received reports on the murders. Nick-D (talk) 07:36, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
  1. "Primary" does not mean "bad" “Primary sources can be reliable, and they can be used. Sometimes, a primary source is even the best possible source, such as when you are supporting a direct quotation.“
  2. sources should be used carefully “primary sources may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements that any educated person—with access to the source but without specialist knowledge—will be able to verify are directly supported by the source.”
  3. I was not implying or justifying anything and no falsehood was added. I was pointing out that the reference did not support the statement. It still doesn't and yet you've reverted it.
  4. I'm really not interested in your view about the Holocaust, because (a) I already agree with the point of view you've given (b) it's irrelevant here.
Try learning what Wikipedia is for, and what it's not for. When I get time I'll put this up for a 3rd party to rule on because I'm not going to deal with you any more, you lack respect, for facts and for others. Yb2 (talk) 18:04, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
No need for a WP:30, because I agree with Nick-D's edits, so there's no two-party deadlock here.
Also, may I say that it takes a lot of nerve for an editor with 127 edits in 8 1/2 years [1] to criticize (close to the point of a personal attacl), an editor with 44 times more edits (83,377) in 12 1/2 years (who is also an administrator) [2] about their understanding of Wikipedia's purpose? I'd say that you somewhat overestimate yourself. Beyond My Ken (talk) 19:01, 16 April 2018 (UTC)
I, too, agree with Nick-D's removal of the material added by Yb2. The hooktv link appears to be a copyright violation, and in any case it doesn't support expanding the idea that Irving has been seeking a wartime order to Irving seeking any kind of wartime documentation showing Hitler's knowledge of the death camps, death vans, etc. All of the books talking about Irving describe him looking for a specific order from Hitler. Binksternet (talk) 19:14, 16 April 2018 (UTC)

Repeated use of "holocaust denial" in the lead[edit]

I see no problem with using the loaded term "holocaust denier" in the lead, as there are a number of citations given for using it, but it strikes me as rather over the top to want to call Irving a "holocaust denier" in the first sentence, as if it was an occupation, which it isn't, and then to use the terms holocaust denial or holocaust denier three more times in the lead. It has a thoroughly unencyclopaedic ring, as if Irving deserved to be beaten up with the words. I would suggest that a more normal approach would be to use the term at least once in the lead, supported by the numerous citations, but not in the first sentence. At the end of the day it is more of an opinion than a fact, based on a vague term which is far less capable of being factual than (say) "engineer" or "painter". What do others here think about this? Moonraker (talk) 02:08, 15 May 2018 (UTC)

It's the thing for which he is best known. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:17, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
Irving is indeed best known for being a holocaust denier, and there is no reason not to mention that he is a holocaust denier in the article's first sentence. Neither in the lead nor anywhere else is there any suggestion that "holocaust denier" is an actual occupation. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:20, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes, it's a significant part of his reputation, that's true, but as it isn't a carefully defined term it isn't a very good one for defining what he is, in an encyclopaedic sense. What about the repetition? Whether we need that term at the outset or not (and I'm uneasy about it, as explained), do you say we need it several more times in quick succession? What exactly does the repetition achieve, except to look opinionated? Moonraker (talk) 02:25, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
This discussion has become pointless already. If you challenge the usefulness of the very term "holocaust denier" itself, then it is not appropriate to continue discussion any further, except to note that the term is used in scholarly literature and that personal disagreements with it carry no weight. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 02:35, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
No, as explained above I see no need to challenge the use of the term, as you say it is used by scholars, but I do not see it as a good definition, and I do not suppose any other encyclopaedias use it in such a way, as a defining characteristic. Anyway, it would be helpful if you would deal with whether you think the repetitive use has any benefit. I don't need to repeat my thoughts on that. Moonraker (talk) 02:36, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
The only problem with the "repetitive use" of the (wholly accurate and personally defining) terms "holocaust denial" or "holocaust denier" is that stylistic quirk of English prose which deprecates the repeating of words. So unless you can come up with some appropriate synonyms for those rather specific -- and, again, accurate and defining -- terms, you're just going to have to live with it. --Calton | Talk 03:30, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
Reliable sources on Irving emphasise that he's now known primarily for Holocaust denial (a movie was even made on the subject), so the lead is appropriate. I note that the term appears four times in the three paragraphs of the lead, which hardly seems disproportionate. Nick-D (talk) 10:11, 15 May 2018 (UTC)

Nick-D, I do agree with your first point, except for the last few words. The way I see it, a hard-hitting speech from a political candidate might hit the audience with such terms again and again (and again and again), but it isn't the way encyclopaedias usually carry on. Calton, you say the only problem is "that stylistic quirk of English prose which deprecates the repeating of words", but when they are hard-hitting words it isn't a matter of style, it's more about whether a balanced and neutral tone is maintained. You also say "you're just going to have to live with it" unless different terms can be found, but it isn't the term I see as a problem, it's the impression of over-emphasis which comes across as motivated by intense dislike. Things people "have to live with" are almost always unpleasant, so I guess I see you recognising that the tone is unpleasant. Does anyone have anything good to say about all this repetition? Moonraker (talk) 22:58, 15 May 2018 (UTC)

I should add that I disagree with Calton that the terms holocaust denial and denier are "wholly accurate and personally defining" for Irving. They have been used about him in several reliable sources, yes, so I don't say they ought to be taken out, but our Holocaust denial page defines that as "the act of denying the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust during World War II", and that isn't Irving's position. He says the numbers are overstated and doubts that Hitler knew about the genocide. We aren't in a position to be certain on either point, although detailed study of his work has produced evidence that he is selective in the use of sources and biassed towards defending Hitler. He isnt a classic "holocaust denier", which is one reason why all the overemphasis troubles me. Moonraker (talk) 23:30, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
Irving has been found to be a Holocaust denier in multiple court cases, and reliable sources almost universally refer to him as such. Nick-D (talk) 08:51, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
He isnt a classic "holocaust denier" -- Irving refers to "what is called the Holocaust" and says that the Jews "had it coming". Maybe you can work that into the lead for variety ... being sure to avoid an unpleasant tone, of course. -- Jibal (talk) 07:49, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
Since I'm not buying your bogus reframing of the (wholly accurate and personally defining) terms "holocaust denial" or "holocaust denier" as being "hard hitting" and therefore requiring some sort of special treatment, my point still stands and there's nothing more to be said. --Calton | Talk 23:43, 15 May 2018 (UTC)
I agree. This is a non-issue. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:42, 19 May 2018 (UTC)

Ironically, even though it's not true - it's how he has made much of his money. So it has backfired greatly on his adversaries. (talk) 09:42, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Ridiculous statement[edit]

The following has been in the article since 2008: Irving...spoke of plans to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The effort failed due to fiscal problems. The clear implication is that, if Irving had only had a bit more money, he would surely have been prime minister, at the head of a Neo-Nazi government. It's a ridiculous statement. Can somebody with access to Richard Evans's In Hitler's Shadow please look at p. 166 and edit the sentence in line with what Evans actually said? 2001:BB6:4708:9258:98CC:6F33:27C9:9CBC (talk) 09:44, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

I'm not sure I read the sentence as you do, but it's still pretty dumb, so I removed it. --jpgordon𝄢𝄆 𝄐𝄇 20:43, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
It was pretty dumb as written, because it inappropriately combined info from Lipstadt (1993) with info from Evans (1989) in a way that created the wrong impression. Evans is saying that Irving's move into politics failed because of lack of funds -- he does not say anything about Irving talking about becoming Prime Minister, so that part must have come from Lipstadt. I have re-written the couple of sentences in question to correct them. If someone could check Lipstadt to see if she says the bit about Irving talking about becoming Prime Minister, that would be good. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:21, 31 December 2018 (UTC)