Disco Stu asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 month ago

Is David Irving worth reading other than for right-wing propaganda?

I've heard he is a poor historian who just accepts biased figures from Nazi sources because he likes to support the Axis side (instead of Churchill's).

10 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    David Irving is immensely knowledgeable on the Nazi period and WW2 in general, but uses his vast knowledge dishonestly. He doesn't just "accept biased figures", he actively distorts facts himself, altering dates and places and names of people present, to suit what he sees as a more desirable narrative, favourable to Hitler and his followers and disparaging of the Allies.

    For an authoritative description of his methods, read "Denial" by  Professor Deborah Lipstadt, a detailed account of the trial for libel brought against her by Irving when she described him as a Holocaust denier.Professor Lipstadt won the case, and the judge in his summing up described Irving as an anti-Semitic and racist "Holocaust denier" who had "deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence."

    EDIT to add: Anyone who still believes the lies and distortions put around about Auschwitz and specifically the gas chambers there should also read "The Case for Auschwitz", the historical evidence for the gas chambers at Auschwitz Birkenau, presented at the trial. It's a detailed and factual account of the buildings there and what they were used for, when, and how, by Dutch historical architect Robert Jan van Pelt.Rightly, it's not a quick read. It's large and long and extremely detailed, and includes information (not available at the time of the trial) on the "four holes" in the roof of Crematorium 2, whose existence was utterly denied by Irving.

    The book demolishes the ludicrously ill-informed and amateurish sleuthing done by discredited Texan "engineer" Fred Leuchter who claimed that it was impossible cyanide had been used at Auschwitz.

    EDIT to add: Dave (1465) - you say (rightly) that "Looking at everything from both sides is the only way to form accurate conclusions".This is exactly what was done at the Lipstadt trial. Mountains of evidence were produced on both sides and gone through in detail in the court room. Irving produced his evidence, the Lipstadt side produced theirs. The trial lasted for weeks and nothing substantial was omitted.At the end the judge, Justice Charles Gray, concluded that "no objective, fair-minded historian would have serious cause to doubt that there were gas chambers at Auschwitz and that they were operated on a substantial scale to kill hundreds of thousands of Jews".This was not the hysterical editor of a fly-by-night tabloid but a respected British judge, summing up after weeks of minutely-argued detailed evidence. Please stop pretending that nobody except you knows anything about it.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    He's a total nutter - reminds me of that other conspiracy theorist David Icke, though he's easier to laugh at with his lizard people theories. And Irving's 'books' are not right-wing propaganda, they're Nazi sympathising. I certainly don't know any conservatives who would take Hitler's side over Churchill's. 

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    He is not even worth reading for right wing propaganda.

  • Ludwig
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    David Irving doesn't 'stretch the truth' or 'consider possible alternatives',  his work contains deliberate lies, and his genuine skills as an historian enable him to make these sound convincing until they are properly examined.   I had not appreciated the outright deceit involved in his works, until I read 'Telling Lies About Hitler' by Richard J Evans.  You would find the section on the bombing raid on Dresden particularly revealing when it comes to Irving's 'research'.

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  • Tina
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Dave (1465)

    Once more you attempt to spread lies.

    You say

    "Deborah Lipstadt is considered an "expert" only because she won a libel case against David Irving in a biased court hearing."

    The case was heard in England where it is notoriously difficult for the defendant in a libel case to win - so where you get the idea that the court was biased I do not know - and you do understand that it was Irving who accused Lipstadt of libel, don't you?

    Actually Lipstadt is an expert - there is no need for your inverted commas. At one point you announced that Irving was far better qualified than she, which suggests you knew absolutely nothing about her - she has a PhD and she became the Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies. Irving on the other hand never actually took a degree.

    The judgement at Lipstadt's trial was based on the evidenc of "Richard J. Evans, an established historian,[who] was hired by the defence to serve as an expert witness. Evans spent two years examining Irving's work, and presented evidence of Irving's misrepresentations, including evidence that Irving had knowingly used forged documents as source material."

    So an acknowledged expert took two years to examine Irving's conclusions, and came to the conclusion that they were unsafe. Have you been through his report and are you able to provide evidence to the contrary? Did you even know about the report?

    And - what in heaven's name do you mean by 'the Jews had nothing to do with what happened'? they were forced into camps and ghettos, and ultimately 6 thousand of them were murdered - 'nothing to do with what happened?

    Disco Sut - Irving started as a respectable historian but allowed his right wing views to dominate his work.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    His books are well written and very readable. Keep an open mind and give then a go.

  • 1465
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    BK is a Liberal denier of facts.

    Deborah Lipstadt is considered an "expert" only because she won a libel case against David Irving in a biased court hearing.

    The bottom line here and everywhere else is to verify facts for yourself. Don't take David Irving's conclusions as fact without doing the legwork to verify them yourself.

    Likewise, don't take Deborah Lipstadt's conclusions as gospel just because of her mainstream credibility - her credibility comes from like-minded sources that wouldn't know the truth if it hit them in the face.

    You can't just assume one side to be factual just because it supports the mainstream narrative while dismissing the other side just because it isn't the popular side to support - this is an injustice to history.

    Looking at everything from both sides is the only way to form accurate conclusions.

    Unfortunately, one sad thing to consider is that the German point of view is increasingly being censored by pro-Holocaust promoters, calling it "racist" and "hate speech".

    These terms are meant to justify erasing the opposing side of the debate while promoting just the one side they want you to know.

    These terms are also tools of censorship used by Zionism to deflect criticism away from themselves and onto the Jews (who had nothing to do with what happened).

    This kind of behavior strongly suggests which side of the issue is more credible - the truth fears no scrutiny.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    No David Erwin is a convicted Liar he denies the Holocaust because he hates Jews he was Found Guilty in the USA Canada and Germany for Lying about the Holocaust

    He had access to the Nazi archive found in about 1990 containing 50 million Files on Nazi Germany including the deaths in all 22 death camps

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    He is a convicted Holocaust Denier, not worth a second thought.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    No... and I wonder if Clifford Irving is related to him. Clifford Irving was the mastermind behind the Howard Hughes autobiography hoax.

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