David Irving stirring the pot again
He enjoys the publicity
"Controversial British historian David Irving praised Adolf Hitler as 'a great man' and his Gestapo as 'fabulous policeman' on his shocking tour of former Nazi death camps in Poland.
Irving said Hitler was not 'immoral' but was let down by lesser people in the Nazi regime, according to an undercover report by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. 'Hitler could be very cruel but he was not immoral. He was just surrounded by "little" people,' the paper said Irving told those on a £1,500-a-head tour he has been hosting.
Irving, who was once jailed in Austria for denying the Holocaust, also told tourists that the German dictator should be compared to Hannibal, the leader of Carthage that fought against and who almost overpowered Rome. The historian said: 'He was like Hannibal. He held the military forces of the rest of the world for six years. Exactly like Hannibal, but nobody has never denied the greatness of Hannibal. 'Hitler was a great man, one of the greatest Europeans for centuries.'
He added: 'The Gestapo were fabulous policemen. They sent 300,000 to Auschwitz and 800,000 to Treblinka.'
His comments will be studied closely by Polish authorities and are sure to infuriate Holocaust survivors.
He's pretty safe in Poland. Poles almost seem to have an antisemitic gene in them -- so praise for Hitler is something that they tend to understand.
Irving gives free speech protections a pretty good test wherever he goes. He is what Australians call a "stirrer": Someone who is deliberately provocative in order to get a reaction -- a reaction that amuses the stirrer.