Berlin hoteliers urged to refuse rooms to Holocaust denier Irving


BERLIN (JTA) — Berlin’s hotel and restaurant association has warned members not to book a room for Holocaust denier David Irving during his planned visit to the German capital.

Irving, a self-style British historian who was banned from entering Germany until last March, plans to visit the city in September, where he will address a Sept. 10 dinner with a $120 cover charge, according to reports.  The location has not yet been divulged, and only advanced bookings will be accepted, the Berlin Tagesspiegel newspaper reported.

A campaign by Green Party Bundestag member Volker Beck, the party’s parliamentary human rights spokesman, led the Berlin hoteliers association to urge members not to “fall for the right-wing extremist trap.”

With a link to the letter from Beck on its website, the association urges members, “Please don’t give any ‘room’ to right-wing extremist propaganda.”

Irving had been barred from entering Germany until 2022 due to convictions for Holocaust denial in the 1990s. In late 2012, a Munich court said the ban would be lifted in March.

Though Irving in recent years has admitted he is now convinced that there were gas chambers in Auschwitz and that Germany killed millions of Jews, he apparently remains a favorite of the far right, which questions the facts of the Holocaust and claims that German civilians were the real victims, particularly of Allied bombings.

Berlin-based journalist Alan Posener of the Die Welt newspaper came out against barring Irving, saying in a column Tuesday that “while I abhor the idea of advocating a Holocaust denier, it only makes sense to stand up for the rights of others when it’s someone with whom you normally wouldn’t want to be breathing the same air.”

Recommended from JTA