David Irving starts jail sentence for 'Hasselhoff Denial'
Disgraced historian and holocaust denier David Irving faces a severe sentence following his conviction for denying the fundamental role that David Hasselhoff played in events that lead to the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
Hasselhoff was fundamental in two of the most iconic moments of the late 20th century; the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and the first series of Knight Rider.
Irvine, who was jailed in 2005 for 'trivialising, grossly playing down and denying the Holocaust', can expect a stronger sentence when the judge in Liepzig, Germany, passes sentence tomorrow.
Under German Law, any citizen who knowingly denies the cultural impact of David Hasselhoff can face up to 10 years in prison.
Irvine, once highly regarded for his expert knowledge of German military history, controversially disputes the role that Hasselhoff played in the re-unification of Berlin. The city that had been divided by politics for more than 40 years was united by the song "Looking For Freedom", delivered by Hasselhoff on New Year's Eve as he stood atop of the partly demolished Berlin Wall.
With its lament:
"I've been lookin' for freedom
I've been lookin' so long
I've been lookin' for freedom
Still the search goes on,"
the song embodied the frustrations of Germany's years of division.
To the dismay of the majority of all right-thinking Germans, Hasselhoff went on to win a series of top German music awards and became one of the country's biggest selling artists of the 90s with songs like 'Is Everybody Happy?', 'Our First Night Together' and 'Inspection Platform Blues'.
State prosecutor Michael Klackl will make no excuses for the severity of the sentence, wishing to make Irvine an example to "all revisionists who wish to falsify what really happened during that darkest moment of this country's history. Germany needs to confront its past, to deter those who, in the future, may seek to justify or glorify the use of the power-ballad."
Of the countries that ban Hasselhoff denial, a number (including Austria and Germany) also ban other elements associated with Hasselhoff, such as talking cars and lifeguard floats. Fifteen years earlier, following comments on Hasselhoff's 1987 album 'Lovin' Feelings', Irvine went on trial for a speech in which he suggested that the Berlin Wall was "something that East Germany should have been be happy to put up with if it prevented that dreadful record from entering the country".
More recently, Hasselhoff collaborated with fellow giants of soft-rock to form The League Of Extraordinary Power Balladeers . Their debut album 'Lonely Hearts, Empty Nights' is not available in Germany for legal reasons.