Clarity in Neo-Nazi Stabbings at Ritz
|Flickr: Jon Leighton|
|Protesters at an Irving event in England.|
Walker told me that two men, 31-year-old Christopher Nachtman and 43-year-old John Kopko, first began arguing in a Ritz-Carlton conference room where Irving gave his speech. But their fight -- and the stabbings -- occurred just outside that conference room.
Also, it appears that Irving's speech was never booked at the Palm Beach Airport Hilton, as activists believed. The hotel staffer who books catering and conference rooms says that the hotel received a number of calls from Irving supporters who apparently had been told in an email blast by Irving that the speech would be at that hotel. It may have been an effort to throw demonstrators off the scent.
I just received a phone call from Robert A. Lynn, an editor for Veterans Outlook Magazine, based in Orlando. An admirer of Irving, Lynn calls him a "pure military historian" and rejects labels of "fascist" and "neo-Nazi" that have followed Irving's career. Lynn, who says he had lunch with Irving last week, found him "intelligent, scholarly." He told me: "You have to make it clear that Mr. Irving had nothing to do with [the stabbings]. It was a spontaneous fight between two idiots."