Published on Monday, 03 October 2011 18:51 Written by Gerry Gable
In that, the UKBA, an agency of the Home Office, appears to following the parent department’s lead.
On the evening of Friday 14 October, an infamous Holocaust denier and former occupant of a German prison cell arrived in London to be fêted by the New Right Club at its London meeting the following day. Günter Deckert joins a long list of hardline nazis, historical revisionists and convicted criminals, both domestic and foreign, who grace its meetings.
Deckert, 71, joined the nazi German National Democratic Party (NPD) in 1966 and was a founding member of its youth wing, the Young National Democrats (JN). In 1975 he became NPD deputy national chairman, but left the party to avoid losing his teaching job. He was nevertheless sacked in 1988 after continuing his far-right activities.
After rejoining the NPD in 1991 he was elected party chairman later that year and in November 1991 he coorganised a meeting with Fred Leuchter, author of a report that purported to argue scientifically that mass extermination using gas chambers could not have happened. Deckert translated Leuchter’s speech and said that the Holocaust was a myth perpetrated by “a parasitical people who were using a historical lie to muzzle [...] Germany”.
He was convicted and after two retrials eventually sentenced to two years in prison. While in custody he wrote a letter to the chairman of the Central Council of Jews, strongly urging him as a Jew to leave Germany. This resulted in another trial in which his lawyer based his defence on the claim that the Holocaust was a “legend” invented by the Jews. Deckert was convicted and sentenced to another two years and three months in prison. He was eventually released in 2000 after serving a total of five years after months were added for further statements.
The year after his release Deckert spoke at a British National Party meeting in London.
While in Britain Deckert is likely to spend time with Bishop Richard Williamson, who in July lost his appeal against his conviction in absentia in Germany for denying the Holocaust. The conviction was the result of an interview that Williamson, who lives in Wimbledon, southwest London, gave to Swedish television in which he said: “I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against, is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler”. The interview was broadcast in Germany, where Holocaust denial is illegal.
Many leading lights of the extreme antisemitic right have enjoyed Deckert’s support including the Holocaustdenying writer David Irving, who spoke at a meeting in Germany hosted by Deckert. Another is Lady Michèle Renouf, the lynchpin of a worldwide network of Holocaust deniers, historical revisionists and outright antisemites, who cultivates links with President Ahmadinejad of Iran.
What might have been said at the New Right Club meeting is less important than the strategic plans for international nazi cooperation that were likely to have been made at private meetings during his visit. Deckert has strong links with Anthony Hancock, who runs the Historical Review Press in Uckfield, East Sussex. For almost 30 years Hancock was responsible for publishing most of the literature on the extreme right in Britain and elsewhere in Europe. Although new technology has reduced the need for a dedicated nazi publisher, Hancock is still influential on the extreme right internationally.
Williamson is attracting growing support from all kinds of nazis, fascists and Jew-haters, many of whom were previously more inclined to worship pagan gods than find their way to a Catholic church. Some of them have also spoken at the New Right club.
The Home Secretary may argue that she cannot ban Deckert from entering the country because he is an EU citizen. That, however, does not change the fact that his presence is not conducive to the public good.