IRVING: "[HITLER] IS LIKE THE CURATE'S EGG..."
As darkness descends upon the thick walls of Vienna's ancient Josefstadt courthouse, the adjacent prison compound comes to life. Shouts and cries echo across the inner courtyard as the inmates talk to each other in a plethora of languages. The elderly Englishman in Block C looks up briefly from the stack of papers that is lying on the small wooden table in front of him and listens before he resumes his writing.
'I'm writing my memoirs - about 20 pages each day,' David Irving tells me the next morning when I visit him in the Viennese prison that has been his home since the Austrian police arrested him in November last year on charges of denying the Holocaust.
I had been sitting in a squalid little waiting room for an hour together with large families arguing with each other and teenage mothers pushing prams around. One of their relatives is behind bars for threatening to kill his wife, another has been arrested for drug offences. 'If only all the inmates were as well behaved as he is,' a prison guard sighed when I asked him about Irving. No, I think, as my number comes up and I enter the high security meeting room, you wouldn't normally expect an historian and writer among the thieves, pimps and drug dealers held here.