Failed Libel Lawsuit Ruins Irving's Reputation in Academia, Publishing
Posted: August 6, 2002
Though some Holocaust deniers like Ernst Zündel and Fredrick Töben find the publicity and notoriety of trials - even lost trials - to be a boost to their careers, it is difficult to see what Irving has gained from the failed lawsuit he brought against Lipstadt. Whatever positive reputation he retained in academia and with mainstream publishing houses was ruined, lecture halls are now largely closed to him, and he has been harassed at local venues.
Irving had been scheduled to debate the subject of free speech for extremists at the Oxford Union (Oxford University's debating society) on May 10, 2001, for instance, but the debate was canceled after a variety of groups objected to granting him such a forum. Irving's U.S. lectures have also become an increasingly underground affair, dogged as he is by protesters.
He must continue to lecture, however, to help with financial troubles resulting from the failure of his lawsuit. Saddled with a L2 million debt to Lipstadt and her legal team, Irving was unable to avoid bankruptcy. By mid-June 2002, his apartment was seized because of his failure to make mortgage payments, and bailiffs acting for Lipstadt and Penguin seized his personal belongings, including research and manuscripts. (Recent reports have surfaced in the British press that a supporter of Irving's is bidding to purchase the apartment and lease it back to him.)
Despite these hardships, Irving continues to lecture small audiences of supporters, especially in the U.S., on such topics as "The Difficulty in Writing about Hitler."
Irving also plans to hold his fourth annual "Real History USA" Conference at the Cincinnati Marriott hotel from August 30 to September 2, 2002. The stated theme of the conference will be "September 11 and All That." Given Irving's contempt for George Bush (a "hillbilly president") and the United States, his hatred of Israel (which he curiously labels a "Nazi" regime), and his propensity for 9/11 conspiracy theories (as detailed on his Web site), the upcoming conference will likely provide yet another interesting look into the mind of one of the English-speaking world's foremost anti-Semites.