Mail and Commentary 

The Great Debate

The following comments have all been taken from boiseweekly.com, where they were posted by readers of two stories: BW, Opinion, "Note," July 22, 2009; and boiseweekly.com, News, "Nazi Sympathizer David Irving Speaks in Downtown Boise," July 23, 2009. Many comments have not been reprinted; visit boiseweekly.com to read both stories and all the comments in full. As printed below, some comments respond to previous comments rather than standing alone. For more on these, see Note on Page 8.

Tonight David Irving will be speaking in my city, but I'm not going to be there because I am afraid of being attacked by people like you who might crash the party. I would love to get Irving's autograph on his new book about his stay in prison in Austria. I've read a chapter of the book online on his Web site and it is horrifying. Irving was jailed for something he said 16 years ago and part of what he said has now been acknowledged as true. The Auschwitz Museum now admits that the gas chamber shown to tourists at Auschwitz is a reconstruction. For over 50 years, the staff at Auschwitz told visitors that the gas chamber was original, but no one was ever put into prison for telling this lie.

--Geseke

In the Four Rivers museum in Ontario, you can see a replica of an internment camp housing. Because it is a replica, does this mean we never interned Japanese Americans during the war? I'm trying to follow the logic from [Geseke], but maybe logic isn't the answer.

--BlueinIdaho

The reporter walks into the room, cursing and disrupting and throwing out her opinions. I don't think she would enjoy if someone walked into her private get-togethers and did the same. It is very disrespectful. Everyone has a right to their opinions, I am sure this reporter would claim herself as "open minded"--as long as everyone agrees with her!

--JKoster

I sympathize with Rachael on this. I don't know if I would have been able to contain my emotions any better in such a setting. No doubt, the setting itself complete with misdirection and even misleading the location staff as to the potential of protesters were part of escalating those same emotions. I have been at interviews with members of the Southern Klansmen and, growing up in Georgia, have experienced racism as it goes both ways. Very similar to Ms. Daigle's experiences. Reading the comments made on Nathaniel Hoffman's post about the outburst at the event (can it be called an event when it has an anti-publicity campaign?), it would be easy to misjudge Rachael's actions.

Her own experiences with racism published here, it is not hard to understand those raw emotions. Personally, I am happy that the Boise Weekly staff can share personal feelings in editor notes and on the blogs, as most news sources these days attempt to hide their bias (everyone has some). Disclosure is refreshing.

--GameMasterNick

Read Daigle's blib [sic] in paper, was the first I had heard of this gentleman. It may have been interesting to hear what it was about if Daigle could have shut her mouth long enough to find out who this person actually was. It sounded like he was even willing to do an interview with her until she kept harassing everyone. I for one am happy that a lot less of my fellow Jews were killed than the 20 million originally told in the 1950s. If we could get more accurate history instead of knee jerk freak-outs, it would be nice. Though I don't think I could stomach raising Hitler to an "innocent."

--Boise Thinker

David Irving does indeed raise Hitler to an "innocent." He first got into trouble when he wrote in a footnote of one of his books that Hitler did not know about the Holocaust until 1943. If he didn't know about it, that means that he didn't order it, and if he didn't order it, that means that there was no state-sponsored systemic plan to kill all the Jews in the world. It was because of this footnote that Deborah Lipstadt wrote that he was the most dangerous Holocaust denier in the world. He sued her for libel and lost; the judge labeled him a Holocaust denier, an anti-Semite and a racist. Irving lost his wealth, his reputation and his standing as the world's leading expert on World War II.

--Geseke

[Nathaniel] Hoffman, you are a wonderful representative of the kind of greasy red journalism that has dominated the U.S. press for 80 years. You and your fellow vermin are truly a curse on us all.

--Larry C

The fundamental problem with Mr. Hoffman is that he went into his "mission" with a closed mind and not that of a journalist.

His rubbish is nothing but a diatribe of emotionally based over simplifications and I doubt if he has read any true accounts of WWII or given the slightest consideration to the possibility that some of what he has been told in the past is wrong.

--Rethinking

The activists sought out Irving to have a villain for their story, but left him the hero in the telling due to their own boorish behavior. The article unveiled more about the writers' manias than about Irving's ideas. All curious freedom-loving people should read anything the government and leftists are trying to suppress. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

--Adventure Seeker

You Irving supporters cannot imagine how funny it is that you believe his crap. He's making a living with this hate stuff and you're just sucking it up. A "historian"? Irving? It's like saying Sarah Palin is qualified to be president, which is the funniest concept in world history. Rave on, sillyheads.

--OftenOutraged

To OftenOutraged:

I assume that you were there and heard Irving's speech, so you know that it was "crap" and "hate stuff." Can you tell us some of what he said that you think is "funny" to believe. I assume that you've read all of Irving's books, so you know that he is not qualified as a historian.

Could you give us some specific details, so we can understand why some people think his talks should be disrupted.

--Geseke

Geseke, I never argue with racists or anti-Semites. Rave on.

P.S. Yes, I've read Irving's garbage. Lots of it. It's evil crap.

--OftenOutraged

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