David Irving has threatened to sue London’s Jewish Chronicle for calling him a Holocaust denier.
In a letter sent recently to the newspaper’s legal department, Irving claimed the term “active Holocaust denier” is “demonstrably untrue” and that using it again would result in a claim for defamation “without further notice.”
The Chronicle had used the term in an article about Irving’s plans for a British speaking tour to rehabilitate his image.
Irving, 69, a writer and historian, served a prison sentence in Austria last year for statements in a 1989 speech that the Auschwitz gas chambers were a fairy tale and that Hitler had protected European Jews.
The Chronicle responded to the threatened suit with an article not only referring to Irving as a Holocaust denier, but also outlining exactly how the nuances in his position as a denier have changed over time. The story included the address of the paper’s libel attorneys and invited Irving to contact them.
Irving lost a libel suit in 2000 against Professor Deborah Lipstadt, who had called Irving one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial. The judge described Irving as an “active Holocaust denier,” as well as “anti-Semitic and racist.”