Talk:David Irving

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Good article David 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.
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Meshing the two previous points[edit]

I have no desire to defend Irving, his coreligionists, or his followers (of whom there appears to be an inordinate number on this and similar pages).

That said, I believe the knifing incident, as originally included in the article (“[…] lecturing to far right groups and on one occasion a knife fight broke out.”), is totally irrelevant. But I should like to explain that this has nothing to do with the six “reasons” given previously.

Let us first look at these “reasons”:

The detail should be excluded because it is a minor knife fight that:
[I should point out that one man, as I understand, was wounded so severely that he was sent to the emergency room of a local hospital. I doubt he would agree this was in any way a “minor” thing.]
1.) David Irving had nothing to do with, by the admission of the sources provided;
[Irrelevant: The Walt Disney Company had nothing to do with the presence of intentionally unvaccinated people at Disneyland Resort, but the 2014 outbreak of measles they caused is still deemed worthy of inclusion in an article on “Incidents at Disneyland Resort”. Perhaps a solution, in response specifically to this point, would be to create an article on “Incidents at or related to David Irving’s Lectures”. There is certainly sufficient material available to make this a rather long one.]
2.) Irving denied all involvement with the knife fight;
[Irrelevant: First, this is partly a restatement of the previous point.
Second, Irving has denied many things, not the least being his ever having made certain statements on record in court, during his ill-advised trial against Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt; on these and other occasions, he was proven to have lied. In any event, his denial of any involvement in the incident, while most likely correct, is of no consequence here, for the reason given in the previous response.]
3.) The knife fight is only included to insinuate nefariousness on Irving’s part;
[Questionable: Given that it is probably true that Irving had nothing to do with the incident, there can be no insinuation as to his “nefariousness”, at least on this point.
But, as I said previously, the reference to the knifing incident was too pithy to be included in the article as originally expressed, since it left the reader the option of inferring whatever he might wish, and it is not inconceivable that someone would make the wrong inference on the basis of such an elliptic statement.]
4.) It wouldn’t be mentioned in a real encyclopedia like Brittanica [sic], because it is such a minor detail as to warrant almost no attention to it;
[Ridiculous argument: First, by no stretch of the imagination can Wikipedia be compared to the Encyclopædia Britannica, because they are totally different animals: (a) the EB would not even consider accepting contributions from the vast majority of Wiki’s authors, and (b) the EB would not have articles on Papa Roach’s “Time and Time Again” (to give but a random example) or on any other of a number of subjects one might describe as frivolous, yet these and many others apparently deserve their own articles on Wikipedia.
Second, it is interesting to note that the author of this “argument” should be so careless in phrasing his thoughts here, yet so meticulous in questioning another person’s comments regarding the likelihood of someone successfully suing Wikipedia (“As for the libelous claims, "highly unlikely" or "impossible"? Because "Highly Unlikely" still implies a chance of likelihood, however small.”) Following the logic of that same argument, the fact that “it is such a minor detail as to warrant almost no attention to it” necessarily entails that it warrants some attention, making this “argument” counter-productive in light of its author’s avowed intent.
In short, not a very well-thought-out “argument”.]
5.) as you said, it is completely tangential, only serving to make an insinuation about Irving’s character.
[This is such an obvious restatement of Point 3 that there is no reason to even respond to it a second time.]
and most importantly:
6.) This has nothing to do with David Irving’s biography, anymore than Celebrity sightings around LA have to do with theirs.
[Again, this is but a restatement of previous points.]

In short, the 6 “reasons” are mostly nonsensical (and please note that putting bullet points or numbers to nonsense does not make it any less nonsensical), irrelevant, and – as someone else aptly put it – repetitive.

That said, the only reason I would tend to agree to the exclusion of the incident from the biography is that, as presented, it offers nothing of any value in terms of additional information.

However, and this is where I wish to link this to the following point regarding the breakdown of Irving’s typical audiences in terms of associations with specific far-right groups, the incident becomes decidedly relevant if it is included as an illustration of the highly fractious nature of Irving’s audiences: here are two groups, ostensibly like-minded, both obviously supporters of Irving’s racist views, and yet their dislike for each other is so great that members of each group are willing to attempt to kill associates of the other.

Attempts to disqualify the point that Irving speaks to members of such groups (routinely described as “far right”, although better descriptives could surely be found) are unfounded either in logic or in fact. Let us see why:

It’s not notable, and there is no source for it.” Of course it is notable: as has already been stated by another contributor, it “formed part of the reason why he lost the libel case he launched”. Failure to appreciate this notability, or the inability to find reliable sources that attest to the fact as stated, is tantamount to wilful blindness to plain facts.
Irving himself accepted that his audiences were “cracked anti-Semites” (the quote from Ron Rosenbaum’s “Explaining Hitler”, to be found in the Wikipedia article, “Critical responses to David Irving”, is woefully inadequate to reflect Rosenbaum’s amazement at the tone used by Irving to describe his typical audiences, or the eagerness with which he was willing to “shake off this ill-fitting shoe [his typical audiences]” as soon as he could “get back onto regular debating platforms”).
Yes, Rosenbaum’s book was written in 1999, and one might argue that the situation has changed since then, but I should point out that my copy is the 2014 edition, that Irving’s statements are still included in the book, and that Irving, a notorious litigant, has yet to file any kind of action against Rosenbaum for anything found in the book, therefore implicitly accepting that what is stated therein is true.
And yes, “anti-Semite” – a term for which I personally prefer the much more accurate “Jew-hater”, from “Judenhasser” – is not the same thing as “far-right”. But that is precisely where the knife incident should come in: it should be included as a separate paragraph, one in which the specific groups present (the “Volksfront” and the “Hammerskins”) are named and described. Mention should also be made of the fact that this audience was by no means atypical: references may be obtained, for example, from the transcripts of the Irving Vs Penguin Books and Lipstadt trial, which include descriptions of numerous meetings at which Irving spoke.
“[…] your edits [are] just petty and an attempt to make a man look worse than his reputation precedes.” We should ignore the fact that this turn of phrase (“make a man look worse than his reputation precedes”) is somewhat confused, and ask ourselves if the statement, in toto, has any validity whatsoever.
I contend it does not: Irving is not someone to be dismissed lightly; his followers, most of whom do not have the necessary inclination, knowledge, education, or – in some cases, as can be seen from reading some of his correspondence – intelligence to assess historical facts properly, are too easily swayed by his so-called “theories” (if swaying be needed) to allow an encyclopaedic article about him not to mention the audiences he speaks to. But mentioning these last is by no means “an attempt to make a man look worse than his reputation precedes”.
Allow me to explain: such “sanitised” versions of any article on Irving (whether on Wikipedia or elsewhere) which some of his more vocal followers would like to see might eventually lead the unwary reader to believe that Irving is merely some kind of controversial historian, one who just happens to be the victim of pressure groups because of his valiant stand against historical lies. In other words, they would paint Irving and his colleagues (whether the “intellectuals” like Faurisson or Mattogno, or the plain and simple rabble-rousers like Zündel or Keegstra) as “revisionist historians”/“revisionists”; those for whom these terms should properly be reserved, i.e. real historians and other academics who apply proper historiographical methodology to re-examine valid historical issues, find it is offensive to apply them to these individuals.
Under this scenario, Irving, particularly, could be depicted as a successful historian who is in constant worldwide demand for his educational lectures on controversial historical topics.
But that is not what Irving and his ilk engage in: they are negationists, pure and simple, and anything that helps the potential reader understand this, so long as it is both true and documented, should be included in any biography of these and any other like-minded worthies.

In summary, my suggestion would be that the knife incident be reinstated in the article, but in a separate paragraph (or even subsection), one which would seek to define (and document) the type of audiences Irving typically addresses. The purpose of such a paragraph would be to stress the fact that he is neither lecturing to people who are likely to know better than to swallow his spite-filled nonsense whole nor addressing large numbers of rational individuals during these lectures (in my humble experience, nowadays, rational individuals seldom bring knives to academic lectures), thus converging with other evidence within the article to the effect that he is a mendacious, marginalised purveyor of pseudo-historical rubbish intended to further a Jew-hating agenda before uncritical, like-minded audiences.

Le vrai Sabourin (talk) 23:01, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Your last sentence actually negates all your other arguments. This is not the purpose of Wikipedia. --jpgordon::==( o ) 16:12, 14 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to read my comments and for offering your observation. I have no doubt you believe that the last sentence does indeed negate all previous arguments, but that is doubtless my fault for having expressed myself incorrectly. As should be painfully obvious, I am not an Anglophone, and I sometimes (too often, indeed) fail to communicate my thoughts adequately in English.
In no way do I believe that the purpose of Wikipedia is to further any specific personal agendum; correct me if I am wrong, but is it not supposed to be to present, convincingly (which means with all required support documentation), the current state of knowledge regarding the topic being covered?
If that is so, please consider the following: despite his own feelings on the matter, and despite those of his fellow travellers, proving that Irving is right or wrong is not the end-all and be-all of most people on earth. In fact, most people could hardly care less about him.
A reading of the archives for this talk page would seem to indicate that those who, for any reason whatsoever, come to this article fall into one of several categories: his followers, seeking to ensure that no slander against him is allowed to befoul the article; his detractors, who want to see him pilloried (preferably in a public market place where dogs may come and urinate on his leg); and those who genuinely have little if any idea of who he is and why so much fuss is raised around his person and work.
There are also those who would like to see the article reflect the general consensus on him. And while I personally would not be opposed to seeing him pilloried (with the attendant dogs urinating on his leg), I prefer to see the article expose him for what most historians see him as: a “mendacious, marginalised purveyor of pseudo-historical rubbish intended to further a Jew-hating agenda before uncritical, like-minded audiences” (the description is mine, I hasten to add, and not a quote from a more authoritative source), precisely for the sake of that last category of readers, i.e. those who know little or nothing of him.
You believe that this disqualifies my prior comments, but I would counter that this merely disqualifies me from contributing to the article (which I have been most careful not to do, in any event). However, the consensus does seem to be (and I am sure you have read the first part of Richard Evans’s expert report carefully) that this is, indeed, what he is – at least in the opinion of most qualified professionals.
In proposing the inclusion of the knifing incident in the article, but within a paragraph or subsection such as I described, I was merely trying to stress – ineffectively, it would seem – the twin facts that (a) there are any number of individuals (as may be seen on these and other talk pages) who are willing to apply his own flawed “methodology” and sophistry to further their claims that he is a legitimate historian being unfairly cast out of the community of fellow academics by a cabal of propagandists, and (b) it lies within the mission of Wikipedia (as I understood it to be, but I hope you will correct me if needs be) to redress the slant they obviously wish to impart on facts in order to suit their narrative. In my opinion, such a paragraph would go a long way to counter these fallacies.
Consider how one person sought to censure any mention of the knife fight as immaterial, then went on to seek to prohibit inclusion of a description of the makeup of Irving’s audiences as being both unsourced and irrelevant. Surely you would agree that the two items, if properly linked, are both absolutely relevant and of considerable significance.
That was the full extent of my intention in writing the above, and I hope I have managed to clear the misunderstanding up. In any event, as previously stated, I am quite aware of my own bias in the matter, and that is precisely why I intend to limit my own interventions to the talk page: I do not believe someone who is emotionally invested in the topic should contribute directly to the article itself. This may not be a very common attitude within the Wikipedia community, but I believe it is the proper one for me, at least, to adopt.
If you read the talk page on Carlo Mattogno, for example, you will note that I made certain observations concerning what I saw as a series of unacceptable claims being made in the article. I tried to substantiate my comments, but I did not touch the article itself, trusting that someone else, possibly on the basis of at least some of my observations, would correct the article. As it turns out, the article was indeed modified, and all but one of my objections have been satisfied in the new version (although I am not so arrogant as to believe it was specifically because of what I wrote). I merely hope someone will do the same here.
Again, thank you for your observation.
Le vrai Sabourin (talk) 18:19, 14 February 2016 (UTC)

RfC: Is the last suggested version regarding David Irving's position on the Holocaust acceptable to be added ("Höfle Telegram material")[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
As Nick-D notes below, I finally closed this RfC yesterday with the conclusion that there were no objections to the proposal; only to have him reopen it. Since Nick does object, and there wasn't much support for the proposal either, I will reclose as no consensus. Reopening an RfC like this because it wasn't closed the way one person wants is not the way these things are generally done, but we are not a bureaucracy. I'm guessing this will end here, at least for some time, as Nekdolan hasn't edited in 2 months ... but if I am wrong, and they or any another person do want to object, could they please start a separate discussion? --GRuban (talk) 14:02, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

Is the last suggested version acceptable to be added to the section about David Irving's holocaust denial position/actions ("In a 2007 interview...") Also please confirm or deny whether a) the source is valid and b) is the information relevant to this section and c) is a secondary source necessary for it to be accepted Nekdolan (talk) 18:42, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

  • This RfC is confusing. K.e.coffman (talk) 05:43, 20 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Yes, it's not clear what this is talking about. What is this "last suggested version"? Volunteer Marek (talk) 05:48, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

This is the last suggested version:

In a 2007 interview 1 Irving claimed that according to a genuine document "over 2.5 million Jews were killed" in three camps by a deliberate policy of the Nazis and "quite definitely of Heinrich Himmler". He referred to these camps as the "Reinhardt camps" and added that nothing "neither stick nor stone" remains where these camps once stood. Irving also reaffirmed his position regarding Hitler, that Hitler was "completely in the dark" and did not knew what went on in these camps. Irving also claimed that Auschwitz was not the "center of the killing operations" and that the gas chamber inside Auschwitz is a fake.

There are some other sources that have been deemed unacceptable: | --Nekdolan (talk) 10:54, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

  • Summoned by bot. The Guardian is an acceptable source, if that's what you're asking. I haven't checked as to whether the text reflects the source. You may want to clarify if you want responses. Coretheapple (talk) 17:54, 29 February 2016 (UTC)
I have clarified the main issue, it being that there is no secondary source for this information --Nekdolan (talk) 21:48, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

As I've just noted on GRuban's talk page and should have noted earlier, this RfC is an attempt to rehash the discussion at Talk:David Irving/Archive 9#Höfle Telegram material. I don't support including this material for the reasons I noted earlier (in short, that this material is reliant only on claims made by Irving with no secondary sources according it any prominence, and it implies that this is some kind of significant shift in Irving's views without any secondary sourcing and - at least in part - being based on a misunderstanding of Irving's claims about the Holocaust). Nick-D (talk) 10:40, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Obvious trolling, OP blocked.

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

David Irving is a historian. Just because someone is controversial does not mean they lose their title. His knowledge of the Third Reich is unrivalled and before he started drawing unfashionable conclusions his bestselling books received favourable reviews in national newspapers.[1] The outcome of the Lipstadt trial also does not mean he is no longer a historian. Trials, particularly in countries such as England, are far from reliable. This one in particular was plainly unfair given the amount of money poured into the defence. This BBC article for instance says he is a historian - is the BBC not a good enough source?

He also is not a holocaust denier, as he has stated on many occasions - he accepts that millions of Jews died. See the Free Speech interview on Youtube. If he is saying on video that he accepts it happened then he is by definition not a denier, regardless of what secondary sources say. There are necessarily going to be a large number of sources attacking a man with fringe views. WP: NPOV and WP:NOTDEMOCRACY still apply here. This is tyranny of the majority. I am aware of the large Jewish presence on Wikipedia so to avoid conflict of interest I would kindly invite Jews to withhold from commenting. (talk) 09:03, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

I suggest Nick-D has his administrative privileges revoked. Reverting an addition to a talk page and banning a user for raising a point on a talk page is fascism and has no place on Wikipedia. Highly unprofessional and childish behaviour. — Preceding unsigned comment added by OliverBel (talkcontribs) 12:08, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
"I am aware of the large Jewish presence on Wikipedia so to avoid conflict of interest I would kindly invite Jews to withhold from commenting." Am I allowed to comment? Are mischlings invited to withhold from commenting as well? —  Cliftonian (talk)  12:19, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
  1. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)