British writer and convicted Holocaust denier David Irving held a secret event at a Hilton hotel in Glasgow on Friday, according to the Sunday Herald, where he expounded in length on his anti-Semitic views and conspiracy theories.
Irving's speaking engagement drew criticism from Scottish politicians, who also charged the hotel for providing a platform for the Holocaust denier's views. The hotel, for its part, said it does not "adopt, share or promote the views" of those it provides accommodations for.
Irving, 78, is the author of several books which defend Adolf Hitler and deny that the Nazis murdered six million Jews during World War II. Irving, who spent more than a year in an Austrian jail in 2005-06 for denying the Holocaust, lives in Nairn, Scotland, and is currently in the middle of a tour of speaking engagements, the locations of which are not advertised to avoid cancelations and protests.
The Glasgow event was no different, and was held at the city's DoubleTree by Hilton hotel under the name of a firm associated with Irving and not under his own name. But a Sunday Herald reporter obtained access to the talk, attended by some 40 people, in which Irving defended Adolf Hitler, made disparaging remarks about Jews, and lamented the poor reception of his books.
At the event, Irving accused the Jews of taking over Britain after 1938, and offered a defense of his anti-Semitic attacks. "When you look at the way these people for the last 50 years have spent 50 years trying to destroy me and my family, as Jews, they have done this as Jews, I criticize them and they accuse me of anti-Semitism," Irving continued.
Recalling reviews for his books, Irving told the audience: “I remember we got a four-page review in the Sunday Times from Arthur Koestler. He didn’t like the book. [There was] another Jew, what was his name, Rosenthal… something like that. He called it a ‘bucketful of slime.'"
Among his remarks about prominent Nazis, Irving offered a defense of Hitler, saying that he was "uninterested in the Jews and was constantly applying the brakes on all these anti-Jewish operations," and also moaned the "misconception" of Rudolf Hess' flight to Britain in the middle of the war. "He had come on a peace mission. He had wanted to put an end to this crazy war,” Irving said.
He also mused on his love for Scotland: "When I was born England was white, like Inverness. That’s why I like living [there] because it is England as I remember it."
The Herald noted the particularly vile comments from the audience. One man asked Irving: "Was there not about 50 million dead in the Second World War? The Jews were not the only ones who suffered.” Another proposed that the Jews interned at the Bergen Belsen death camp were not exterminated, but simply starved.
The deputy leader of the Scottish Tories, who according to the Herald has a large Jewish constituency, strongly criticized Irving and the DoubleTree hotel following news of the event. "David Irving, a minor and discredited historian, has spent a lifetime maliciously and notoriously seeking to deny The Holocaust. No platform should be offered to this man by anyone who cares about either the truth or wider humanity.”
Labour member of the Scottish parliament James Kelly also blasted Irving: "These views are disgusting and have no place in modern Scotland. It underlines why we must continue to challenge intolerance and bigotry, not let it fester behind closed doors," he said.
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