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Poisoning the Web: Hatred Online
Internet Bigotry, Extremism and Violence
Table of Contents

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Responding to Extremist
Speech Online:

10 Frequently Asked Questions
Holocaust Denial:
David Irving

A popular lecturer and revered "authority" within the Holocaust-denial movement, Irving established a reputation as a chronicler of World War II history before adopting the extreme tenets of Holocaust denial. At the CODOH site, visitors can find portions of several of Irving's books, information about how to purchase them, and issues of his "Action Report" newsletter. Now Irving has a Web site of his own, listed under the name of his British publishing company, Focal Point Publications (FPP). Echoing the depiction of Bradley Smith at CODOH's site, the FPP site presents Irving deceptively as a historian fighting for intellectual freedom.

The FPP site contains a biography of Irving, copies of his correspondence, and transcripts of his speeches. His biography paints him as an intellectual, the author of over 30 books. He is pictured as a father figure, sitting with the youngest of his five daughters. The text of over 20 letters penned by Irving to various newspapers, published and unpublished, appears in the correspondence section. Of the seven transcripts of his speeches at the site, two record talks Irving gave at IHR conferences. At a 1989 IHR convention, Irving announced to loud applause his total "conversion" to Holocaust denial, declaring "I too now believe fully in the myth of the Holocaust!"

Sections of the site entitled "The Legal Battles" and "The Controversies" offer a biased account of Irving's conflicts with organizations that he feels have violated his rights. He provides extensive documentation of his libel action against Penguin Books and Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt, his "illegal expulsion" from Canada, and the attempts of "German Public Prosecutors" to jail him for denying the Holocaust. Irving also devotes space to the "St. Martin's Press Scandal," in which that publisher cancelled its contract to publish his 1996 book Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich in the United States after his ties to the Holocaust denial movement were publicized. Chapters from this book and some of Irving's other works, such as the as-yet unpublished second volume of Churchill's War, can also be found at his site.

The Focal Point Publications site includes a book catalog that sells "rare books": titles by Irving such as Apocalypse 1945: The Destruction of Dresden and Nuremberg: The Last Battle. As with many other Internet book sellers, customers need only specify the books they want from a menu on their computer screen; type in an address; provide a credit card number and click on a hotspot to submit this information. Irving's book catalog highlights the importance of the Internet to extremists as a way to sell items that would not normally be available in mainstream stores.


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2001 Anti-Defamation League