A WORD to any aspiring columnists: don't ever write anything about the Holocaust, David Irving, the Third Reich, Bishop Williamson or how many Jews were murdered in the Second World War, anywhere else but on a piece of paper, with a pen, alone in the unlit cloakroom under the stairs.
Then burn the paper, eat the ashes, and never tell anyone what you've done. Most of all, never ever offer your opinions within the cyber-bedlam of the internet. That way, you might possibly know some peace. Otherwise, prepare for all three Crusades, the Hundred Years' War, and the Black Death.
That's one thing you learn when you do what I do for a living. There are some really terrible people out there, seething and simmering with hatred: schoolyard slaughterers who haven't yet got round to loading up their handguns, and who in the meantime spend their time venting their bilious spleen about the worldwide Jewish conspiracy that concocted the myth of the Holocaust. And then there are others, who think anyone who reads David Irving, and who accepts that he might occasionally have a point, must by definition be Eichmann reborn. When I wrote last week about the Bishop's remarks, I hadn't seen the Swedish interview which prompted the wave of "he's a Holocaust-denier" hysteria which swept across Europe. I have now.
His assertions that no Jews -- none at all - were killed in gas chambers is so risibly wrong that I hardly know where to begin. His argument is based on the toxicity of Zyklon B, which would have killed the concentration camps guards as they removed the bodies. Very well. But what about the mobile gas chambers, which used carbon monoxide to murder Jews? There is no doubt that these existed, none at all.
Of the genocide, there can be no doubt at all. Take one source for 1941. "Soon the Jews from the Lodz ghetto and Greilser's territories were being deported farther east -- to the extermination camp at Chelmno. There were 152,000 Jews in all, and Chelmno began liquidating them on December 8."
Later, the same source noted: "The ghastly secrets of the extermination programme were well kept ... .Each day after July, a trainload of five thousand Jews for the extermination centre Treblinka; each week two trains left Przemysl for the centre at Belsec." Later, a German official discovered "that systematic mass-murder was proceeding at two camps -- Auschwitz and Lublin. The commandant at Lublin told him 'they were destroying the Jews on Hitler's orders'."
The author of the above was David Irving, the British historian who was imprisoned in Austria for the thought-crime of being a Holocaust-denier. And that, of course, is the point. If you insert historical facts into the criminal code, you are reduced to having legal definitions of what you mean by this word and that word. Which is why it is a fatuous sanctimony to have made it a criminal offence in most EU countries to deny that there was a Holocaust in which six million Jews were murdered. What is a Holocaust? Where is the legal definition of it, which could give it judicial gravamen? And whence the figure six million, when Israeli scholars now put the figure at four million dead Jews? If they were to speak thus in Austria, are they to suffer the fate of David Irving?
Well, for offering my three ha'pworth on this subject last week, the pale and poisonous creatures who loathe the sunlight of rational debate briefly came out from under their stones. Some applauded me for denying the holocaust, declaring that the entire affair was a gigantic con to get money out of Germany. Others said, how dare I say there had been genocide, and where was my first-hand proof? Yet others still accused me of being an anti-Semitic, Israel-hating Holocaust-denier.
In this mess of pottage, what is anti-Semitism?
The pathetic, incredulous, simpering liberal interviewer on the Swedish television programme said after hearing Bishop Williamson say that maybe just 300,000 Jews had been murdered by the Nazis: "If this is not anti-Semitism, what is anti-Semitism?"
You idiot. You blithering half-wit. It is not anti-Semitic to make a fool of yourself in public about a historical fact. It is anti-Semitic to preach or promote a dislike of Jews because they are Jews, which is what Bishop Williamson has not done.
Moreover, as I said last week, you can hear anti-Semitism being preached in the mosques of Europe, whose imams, we all know, will no more see the inside of a jail for their genuine hate-speech than they will a synagogue.
These are the medieval primitives whom Europe, in all its infirm and diseased hospitality, has allowed to come from their hideous abodes elsewhere to preach their toxins here. They proclaim that a) there was no Jewish Holocaust, and b) but there really should be one in Palestine. Now they -- not poor deluded Bishop Williamson, or the deranged David Irving -- really scare me: because, I think they rather fancy a bit of genocide here as well.