UK’s Channel 4 Under Fire for Buying Lock of ‘Hitler’s Hair’ From Holocaust Denier
Britain’s Channel 4 came under fire from a member of parliament for paying Holocaust denier David Irving £3,000 ($5,000) for what he claimed was a lock of Adolf Hitler’s hair for a DNA test on a television program to be broadcast this week, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Monday.
Labor Party MP Ian Austin, whose Jewish father lost his family in the Treblinka extermination camp, said Channel 4’s move was a “sick” and “tawdry” stunt by ‘Dead Famous DNA,’ which will also feature DNA tests for Marilyn Monroe, Napoleon and Charles Darwin.
“It’s appalling that Channel 4 would get involved with a Holocaust denier in some bizarre and tawdry show purporting to be entertainment. It’s disgusting, and raises questions about Channel 4’s public broadcasting remit,” Austin told the Daily Mirror at the weekend.
Irving has said the hair, which he tried selling in 2009, was collected by Hitler’s barber, using sticky tape on the bottom of his shoe.
The Daily Mail said Irving, 75, was convicted of Holocaust denial in Austria, in 2006, where he was also fined after claiming the Nazi leader did not order the annihilation of Jews. He has praised Hitler as “a great man” and said his Gestapo were “fabulous policemen,” the newspaper said.
According to Channel 4’s website, ‘Dead Famous DNA’ was created to track down “remains of some of history’s most important and infamous figures and uses cutting-edge DNA analysis to find out more about what made them who they were.”
A Channel 4 spokesman told the Daily Mail that the DNA tests could provide a “key biological component” to Hitler’s biography.
“We believe the potential importance of the scientific and historical insight justified the purchase,” the spokesman said.