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Irving goes to jail

Last updated: 2006-02-20

David Irving

David Irving

An Austrian court has convicted British historian David Irving of denying the Nazi Holocaust.

A court in Vienna sentenced Irving to three years in prison for remarks he made in a 1989 interview and in speeches during visits to Austria.

Earlier Monday, Irving pleaded guilty at his trial.

Before the proceedings began, he told reporters he has learned a lot since denying the Holocaust. He says he now acknowledges the systematic slaughter of some six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis during World War II.

Irving has been held in custody in Austria since last November. He had been quoted in the past as saying there is "not one shred of evidence" the Nazis carried out their plan to exterminate Europe's Jews.

It is illegal in Austria to publicly deny or justify the Holocaust.

Irving is the author of a number of controversial books including Hitler's War, in which he challenged the extent of the Holocaust. In the book, Irving says Hitler knew nothing about the extermination of six million Jews, and actually tried to protect them.

Irving has questioned the Nazis use of gas chambers and has said the numbers of those who died in concentration camps was far lower than reported. A German judge fined Irving in 1992 for publicly insisting the gas chambers at the Nazis Auschwitz death camp in Poland were a hoax.

Over the years, Irving has lost several legal battles over his views.

Reproduced with permission: VOAnews