Holocaust denier expelled from Warsaw book fair

Reuters/May 19, 2007

Warsaw -- Historian David Irving, a convicted holocaust denier, was escorted out of an international book fair in Warsaw where he was planning to display his books, Polish organisers said on Saturday.

Irving, who was arrested in Austria after his arrival on a visit in November 2005, spent more than a year in an Austrian jail for denying the Nazis organised mass murder of six million Jews during World War Two.

"We asked him to leave," said Grzegorz Guzowski, the book fair organiser. "Our employees helped him pack up his things, and our car drove him to the address he specified."

He said Irving's publishers did not send materials detailing his work to the fair until a few hours before the deadline, giving organisers too little time to prevent the self-taught historian from setting up a table at the exhibition.

Unlike many European countries, Polish law does not expressly forbid Holocaust denial, Warsaw University law professor Piotr Kruszynski told Reuters.

"Polish laws prohibiting the promotion of fascism and defamation of people on racial and religious grounds could conceivably be extended to include Irving's writings," he added.

Irving plans to remain in the country for a few more days to visit Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps in Poland.

"It's ironic that it's come to a situation like this in Poland, which fought against restrictions on speech for such a long time," Irving was quoted by daily Zycie Warszawy as saying.

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