Holocaust denier to lead tours to Auschwitz and Treblinka
NOT KRAKOW TOURS – The Nigdy Więcej (Never Again) anti-racist organisation have called for ‘Holocaust denier’ British historian David Irving to be banned from entering Poland later this month.
Starting September 27, Irving is leading a tour party, with tickets costing around 1,500 euros each, taking in sites including the Treblinka death camp, Warsaw Ghetto and Hitler’s Bunker in the Masurian lake district.
Never Again, in a joint statement with the UK based Searchlight magazine, have called for Irving and his tour party – which he claims is sold out – not to be let into Poland.
“We urge Polish and British authorities to react strongly and not allow this shameful visit which offends the memory of victims of the war and the Holocaust,” says the Never Again statement.
“The group will mainly consist of Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis from the UK and other Western Europe countries and the United States,” the statement adds.
No protests against the visit have yet come to the notice of the police. “We have not yet received any information about demonstrations and assembly connected with Irving’s visit,” said Warsaw police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski .
“We have also not receive any information from Mr Irving that he felt threatened,” Sokolowski told the PAP news agency, noting that police have no responsibility for the security of private visits.
Irving has dismissed protests against his visit. He told the Daily Mail that his tour party was for “real history buffs”, and that it was the Polish authorities who had turned the Auschwitz Nazi death camp site into a “Disney-style” tourist trap and a “money making machine”. Irving went on to accuse Polish authorities of neglecting other less “marketable,” more authentic death camps, which “don’t have a Holiday Inn down the road,” in favor of Auschwitz.
He also accused Poland of erecting watch towers in Auschwitz that were not there during WW II, to make the place feel more authentic. “I have been a historian for 40 years. I know a fake when I see one. When you look at old photos of Auschwitz, those towers aren’t in the photographs,” he said.
Irving was arrested and imprisoned in 2006 when he visited Austria, where Holocaust denial is a crime.
Andrzej Arseniuk, spokesman for Poland’s National Remembrance Institute – which investigates and prosecutes Nazi and communist-era crimes – said that they would take appropriate action if Irving publicly denies Nazi crimes. If incidents come to the attention of the law then “the prosecutor has the authority to deal with it,” Arseniuk said.