If you've paid more than passing attention to first month of the Trump administration, you've likely noticed the National Security aspect of the incipient cabinet more than anything else, not only because of the appointment of Breitbart News troll Steve Bannon to the NSC but also because of the ascent within this milieu of Dr. Sebastian Gorka, who was named Deputy Assistant to the President due to his alleged foreign policy and anti-terrorism credentials.
While discussing the questionable qualifications of Dr. Gorka might be beyond the purview of this blog, the relationship of his family with Holocaust denier David Irving is not. A few days ago, the Forward reported that Gorka had pursued ties with the far-right Jobbik party in Hungary – itself no stranger to Holocaust denial. On February 27, the Twitter account of the Southern Poverty Law Center's HateWatch project (itself the alma mater of yours truly) linked to a blog post on the LobeLog foreign policy blog. In this post, author Eva S. Balogh writes:
Another intriguing aspect of the Gorka family’s life in Great Britain is their relationship to David Irving, a revisionist historian who tried to clean away the “years of grime and discoloration from the façade of a silent and forbidding monument” to reveal the real Hitler […] Eventually, he decided to write a book on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, which he published in 1981 under the title Uprising! One Nation’s Nightmare, 1956. The massive 740-page book is available online. Irving’s conclusion is that the revolt was “primarily an anti-Jewish uprising,” a gross misrepresentation of the facts. He interviewed a lot of people both in Hungary and abroad who had a role to play in the events. Although Pál Gorka [Sebastian's father], who had been freed from jail a few days after the outbreak of the uprising, certainly wasn’t a key player, he got at least a couple of footnotes. More interesting was the introduction where Irving thanked his three interpreters, one of whom was Susan Gorka, Pál’s wife and Sebastian’s mother. Considering that Irving, according to his own admission, spent about six years off and on doing research on this book and knew not a word of Hungarian, Susan Gorka must have worked with the author fairly closely. [emphasis added]
A point of clarification: Sebastian Gorka was born and raised in the U.K., so presumably the Gorka family's association with Irving began there. While Irving was not yet a denier in 1981, when Uprising was published, he had already published Hitler's War, which was his opening foray of the phase of his career dedicated to exculpating Hitler for the Holocaust.
It would be premature to conclude that Sebastian Gorka or his parents are Holocaust deniers because of their associations with David Irving. However, it would be far less premature to conclude that, as has been repeatedly alleged in the left-wing media over the course of the last several weeks, the Gorka family has demonstrable links to the far right, Irving included. Only a year after publishing Uprising, Irving founded Focal Point and declared himself a "mild fascist."