In a move hailed by Jewish groups, Canada has deported Holocaust-denier David Irving, who defied a ban on entering the country and then refused to leave when ordered to do so.
Irving, a darling of the neo-Nazi movement, was handcuffed by Canadian immigration officials on Friday and put aboard the first available flight to his native Britain.
His forceful ejection from Canada followed a ruling by an immigration adjudicator in Niagara Falls, Ontario, that Irving had failed to comply with an earlier ruling ordering him to leave the country within 48 hours.
The adjudicator rejected Irving’s claim that he had complied with the order at the end of October by crossing over the border from Vancouver, British Columbia, into Washington state as having “the appearance of a total fabrication and a concoction for publicity.”
A U.S. Customs official testified that there was no evidence that Irving had re-entered the United States, from which he had stolen across the border to enter Canada earlier that week.
Irving was first arrested in Victoria, British Columbia, at the end of October, after ignoring a ban on entering the country. He later tried to cross into the United States at Niagara Falls but was turned back by U.S. officials and arrested on the Canadian side of the border.
Irving called the deportation ruling a “travesty,” saying he would seek a judicial review.
His deportation ended a two-week speaking tour in which Irving was in and out of custody. Despite his various arrests, he managed to address groups throughout the country.
Observers and law-enforcement officials point to Irving’s presence and speeches as a source of trouble.
Police in Kitchener, Ontario, called suspicious a fire there Nov. 7 that caused extensive damage to the home of an anti-Nazi activist who had just demonstrated against Irving.
David Littman, director of the Canadian office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said Irving stirs up neo-Nazis wherever he goes. “Just last month, he was the chief organizer and sponsor of a meeting of leading international fascists in London,” he said.
Canada is one of a growing list of countries that have effectively barred Irving, a former mainstream historian who has turned his career over to trying to prove that the Holocaust did not occur. Irving claims the gas chambers at Auschwitz were added after World War II as a tourist attraction.
He has been barred from Germany, where last May a court convicted him of defaming the dead by claiming the Holocaust has been greatly exaggerated.
He is also persona non grata in Austria and Italy.
Canada’s deportation order means Irving may not return to this country without special ministerial permit, a request very rarely granted to deportees.
Irving previously spoke throughout Canada in 1986, 1989 and 1990.
Irving’s deportation pleased Jewish groups, particularly the Canadian Jewish Congress, which led the Jewish community’s campaign against allowing Irving entry into Canada.
Bernie Farber, a spokesman for the CJC, commended the Immigration Department “for putting together a rock-solid case, proving David Irving is everything everyone has always said about him, that he’s a fraud and a liar. We hope this puts an end to his Holocaust-denial career.”
Similarly, B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights applauded Irving’s deportation.
Dr. Karen Mock, the league’s national director, said this case set a precedent.
“Let Holocaust-deniers and other hatemongers know that Canada is no place for them, and that their values and ideals are diametrically opposed to those of Canadians,” she said.
Said Littman of the Wiesenthal Center, “Even the most generous democracies must place some limit on free expression.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.