Action Report no. 11
Published by Focal Point
for David Irving's world-wide legal Fighting Fund (DIFF)
Update AR #11 – December 18, 1996
Highlights of This Issue
- U.S. Judge Blasts Hotel Group's "Unlawful" Attempts to Suppress Ideas, Free Speech
- Australia Reverts to Suppression of Speech
- "A Radical's Diary"
- Günter Deckert – Schoolteacher and Father is Jailed by German Thought Police
- BookReviews: Richard Nixon's and John F Kennedy's shocking views, and other tidbits
- Letters to David Irving
- Law Report: Suppression of Free Speech in Germany Continues
- Germany's "most democratic government ever" bans still more books
- David Irving: Why I am taking the Board of Deputies of British Jews to Court
- Opinion: Gold Rush!
- Dictionary News
- Noam Chomsky on the Anti-Defamation League:
- Revisionists and the Press: a Cartoonist's View from Oregon
U.S. Judge Blasts Hotel Group's "Unlawful" Attempts to Suppress Ideas, Free Speech
Pittsburgh Court Victory against Millionaire U.S. Hall Owner
PITTSBURGH — In a satisfying victory over the massed forces of the traditional enemies of the truth, a U.S. District Judge, Judith Friedman, ordered the owners of the huge Expomart exhibition hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to abandon their attempts to prevent writer David Irving from attending the annual military exhibition there and showing his many works of history to the thousands of collectors and enthusiasts who attend the show from all over the world.
Later, hundreds of dealers and collectors signed a petion demanding that these attempts at suppressing free speech should stop.
Mr Irving has attended the show annually for the last six years, and was often in demand as an evening speaker there. A few days before the current show was due to open, his London office received an urgent letter from the exhibition organisers regretting that the hall's wealthy owners had instructed them not to allow him to attend.
Pittsburgh newspapers reported that the local Holocaust museum had brought pressure to bear. Mr Irving – who had signed a contract and paid for the exhibition space one year earlier – went straight to Pittsburgh and hired lawyer Robert Garber. They secured an emergency court hearing before Judge Friedman that same afternoon.
"This is not Germany and not Canada," said Judge Friedman. "This is the United States of America, and freedom of speech is still not a criminal offence here!"
Rosenberg, lawyer for the Expomart, lodged an immediate appeal against the injunction that the judge granted to the British historian. The appeal was heard the very next day, and hall owners lost again.
Eddie Lewis, millionaire owner of the ExpoMart and a close Oxford-days friend of President Clinton, has informed his attorneys however that money is no object and they are to smash Mr Irving, by appealing all the way to Washington against his victory if necessary.
One tiny triumph for Lewis: the judge had ordered the writer to post a cash bond of $10,000 before she would sign the injunction. Lewis, Rosenberg and the ExpoMart have so far prevented the court from returning the bond to the Englishman, despite his two court victories.
He has now instructed his lawyer, Bob Garber, to institute proceedings against them claiming damages for unlawful interference with a contractual relationship, conspiracy, and on other counts.
[ Top | Pittsburgh | Australia | Radical's Diary | Book Reviews | Letters | Law Report | Board of Deputies | Opinion ]
Irving Accuses Prime Minister over Libels
Australia Reverts to Suppression of Speech
MELBOURNE — Prime minister John Howard broke his promise to restore freedom of speech to Australia in an unexpected about face in November.
Confronted with a tide of popular enthusiasm for Pauline Hanson, a newly elected Member of Parliament, after her outspoken maiden speech on race issues, Mr Howard had incautiously announced on September 22 that his country would put forced "political correctness" behind it.
Journalists at once inquired if this would include British writer David Irving? Could the prime minister's remarks be construed to imply that he would now be given the visa that he had twice been refused?
Perched on the horns of a dilemma, Howard and immigration minister Philip Ruddock prevaricated. For two months Australia's newspapers were filled with stories and editorials on the Irving issue.
On Nov. 8, at a press conference in Sydney, Ruddock announced that nothing had changed. Mr Irving would not be granted a visa even now.
Prime minister Howard, enjoying the freedom of speech which he had once again denied to the British writer, stated on one radio programme that Mr Irving was a "nutter"; on Melbourne radio he libelled him as a "crackpot historian", with criminal records in Britain, Germany, Canada, and elsewhere.
Mr Irving instructed his solicitors in Perth, West Australia, to write immediately to the prime minister and extract an apology from him for these libels. He has no criminal record in Britain and Canada, and his crime in Germany, of uttering one sentence in a historical lecture, for which he was fined $22,000, would not be considered a crime in any other country on earth.
If Howard fails to make a public apology, Irving's solicitors are instructed to issue a libel writ. It is likely that the prime minister was wrongly advised on the writer's "criminal record".
The Australian government retaliated with a newspaper story that they are now to claim $50,000 from the writer for legal costs incurred in the fourth round of his legal battle to force them to grant him a visa, to enable him to speak on modern history to the thousands of Australians who have written asking to hear him.
Earlier Appeal Rejected
PERTH — Earlier this year, handing down its decision in July, the full Federal Court had again rejected Mr Irving's attempts to overturn the entry ban.
Judge Nicholson opened the opinion with words which indicated that she recognised that the "bad character" criterion was just a ploy to suppress freedom of speech [see page 4]. Judge Lee stated in his decision:
Counsel for [David Irving] submitted that the meaning of "good character", as used in the 1989 regulations and in the 1993 regulations, was a meaning that was consistent with the , and that, if the presence of the appellant in Australia would involve no such threat, it should be concluded that the appellant had satisfied the required test. The appellant's contention is not without substance....
The court's negative opinion was however based on Germany's conviction of Mr Irving for "defaming the memory of the dead" (he queried factual details of the legends about gas chambers), his (illegal) detention by Canada in Nov. 1992, which Jewish bodies had engineered, and his subsequent brief imprisonment by the British High Court without trial for contempt of court in 1994.
The Australian judges agreed with Canberra that these points suggested he did not have the good character required of all visitors to their country. (Mr Irving pointed out in one television broadcast that without the immigration of deportees and criminals, there would not have been any Australia today.)
Laurence Maher, professor of law at the University of Melbourne, who has already written a learned article disapproving of the government's attempts to gag Mr Irving by immigration bans, has argued that the new regulation is in its vague terms beyond the powers granted by the Immigration Act, and also contrary to the implied constitutional entitlement to freedom of expression on political and public affairs.
Irving's counsel, Peter Bates, argued before the court at its hearing on Mar. 21 that the German law under which Germany handed down the conviction and $22,000 fine on the historian which released this avalanche of worldwide bans would have been unconstitutional in Australia.
It would violate the country's signature to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which is incorporated into Australian—but evidently not German—law (in the second schedule of the Human Rights & Equal Opportunities Act, 1986).
[ Top | Pittsburgh | Australia | Radical's Diary | Book Reviews | Letters | Law Report | Board of Deputies | Opinion ]
A Radical's Diary
By David Irving
From my base in Key West I phone John Sanders, a book publisher & distributor in Tennessee, to take up his offer to handle the besieged GOEBBELS biography.
On the phone from London Benté says that Jessica has a nasty cough; I speak with Jessica, she burbles piteously. Then I phone Andrew Page, lawyer acting for The Observer and Gitta Sereny, to ask where is the Defence to my libel writ?
In London, the Literary Review has asked Christopher Hitchens, the well known Washington journalist, to review NUREMBERG, THE LAST BATTLE: that's good.
I send him this fax:
I fear they have sent you the version of the MS before my three political correctness sub-editors got to work on it. You should discard this text and wait for the proper text.
I RECEIVE A NICE LETTER [from one of Britain's top two publishers], asking about CHURCHILL'S WAR, vol. ii. Then I cycle out to the Rusty Anchor eatery, pedalling in blustery, stormy conditions along the Atlantic boulevard. I have just reached Houseboat Row when the back tyre blows out. Great difficulty flagging down a truck in pouring rain, which takes me and the bike home.
Work until midnight revising CHURCHILL. No food in the house, and all restaurants here packed out.
I LIE AWAKE A LONG TIME worrying about Günter Deckert and his family.
[Deckert, jailed in Germany for translating Fred Leuchter's 1991 lecture, has now been given a further two-year term for organizing a lecture for David Irving in 1990. See foot of this page.]
I write him this letter, sending copies directly to him in prison and via his lawyer L. Bock:
I am shocked about what the police-state has done to you yet again. I shall not let your case be forgotten, while you are held in prison.
On my September tour of various countries, I shall speak to many audiences, and I shall always mention your case. Please ensure that a copy of the judgement is sent to me, as I want to get the facts right.
I PHONE MY OLD FRIEND Don F. at his new editorial posting, The Viking Press in New York (full circle: they first published my HITLER'S WAR in 1977!); he sounds very congenial, says he's shown the GOEBBELS book to several friends, calls it ironically "a hot property".
I say that in the USA the book is currently "dead in the water." Don says that the muckraking Frank Rich phoned him to get dirt on the book before writing his Op-Ed piece for The New York Times, but he refused to help, saying he'd read it and liked it.
In passing he mentions that today's New York Times reveals that Tom McCormack is retiring as chief of St Martin's Press (SMP)! I say I'll be in New York City in September, let's do lunch; he's enthusiastic.
Somebody faxes to me today's Associated Press release about McCormack's retirement; needless to say, half of it is devoted to smearing me. I wonder if that's why McC. was forced out?
JOHN SANDERS PHONES. he has been discussing distributing the GOEBBELS book with his partners. They have come up with some ideas but are as nervous as kittens, not wanting to see the same bigots destroying their companies as are trying to destroy me.
Virgin Atlantic flight home to England. I snooze and read during the ten hour flight. I arrive at Duke Street at 9:20 a.m., just as Benté is walking up to the front door from taking Jessica to nursery school.
Taxi to the High Court with Chitra Nadarajah to oppose The Observer's plea for more time to work on their libel defence. Their lawyer Andrew Page is a decent enough chap, of my generation. The judge reduces their 84 days applied for to 56.
It is clear that they intend, while conceding defeat on Dr Elke Fröhlich (they falsely accused me of cheating her out of the credit for finding the Moscow diaries) and other issues, to fight me on the odious action of manipulating documents and they intend reviewing all my works to date for this reason. I warn Page that the action goes back to the late Professor Martin Broszat, who first voiced it in 1977 in connection with my quotations from Hitler's Table Talk—and he got it all wrong!
I subsequently write this letter to Page:
While reviewing my correspondence file with the Institut für Zeitgeschichte, where Dr Elke Fröhlich works, to find the documents relating to , I came across these two letters which I had long forgotten. In my letter to the late Dr Hoch I asked him to accord to [Ms Sereny] every courtesy and assistance in preparing her article for The Sunday Times in 1977, and to give her complete access to the Irving Collection housed there, even the closed files, "in order that she can obtain a proper impression of the depth and breadth of my research."
In his letter to me, July 15, 1977, Dr. Hoch reports on Ms Sereny's visit, expressing astonishment that she seemed interested only in material opposed to my views, and showing no intention whatever of reviewing the Irving Collection.
I HAVE A FRIENDLY CONVERSATION with the non-fiction chief of [Britain's second largest publisher]. He says they will be very interested in paperback rights to Focal Point's edition of CHURCHILL'S WAR. Says he was discussing me and the New York fracas with an American publisher only yesterday; did Tom McCormack resign, or was he pushed, he asks? I can only speculate, reply I.
We both have a chuckle when I tell him that only yesterday I noticed that I signed the CHURCHILL'S WAR contract with him twenty years ago, in October 1976!
A mad Turkish female phones from Istanbul. How can they get their book onto the Internet? I say I don't know.
I AM SENT A CLIPPING FROM VANITY FAIR. Abraham Foxman of the Anti Defamation League (ADL) has written them a swinish letter, mouthing incantations against me and Christopher Hitchens.
The world-wide mudslide continues, with a vicious item in today's Svenska Dagbladet, published in Stockholm. It is faxed to me anonymously. This newspaper already published one libel about me on Nov. 11, 1993.
I fax this letter to the news s editor for publication:
Your journalist Lars Jakobson refers to me (July 21) as "nazistiska historiker". This is an outrageous remark. My thirty books have been published by the world's leading publishers, including Legenda in Sweden; they are highly regarded by the world's leading historians; and they have earned glittering reviews from every major newspaper (most recently for my biography of the Nazi propaganda minister Dr Joseph Goebbels, published in Britain this April).
I am getting so tired of this constant smear campaign, organised by well funded international bodies. And the people writing it always, but always, appear to be Jewish: Foxman, Jakobson, etc.
At the same time I write to Vanity Fair saying that Abraham H Foxman is not unknown to me having pursued a career of malicious defamation against me around the world for several years. "In the United States there is little action I can take (New York Times v Sullivan, 376 us 254 ); the situation is very different indeed in the U.K., where your magazine is also published "
I invite Vanity Fair to publish this letter:
Your readers can find most of my thirty works in every book store and university library around the world and make up their minds for themselves. But without offering any evidence, Abraham H Foxman (letters, Aug 1996) accuses your columnist Christopher Hitchens of "intellectual dishonesty" and me of "anti-Semitism"; he calls me "a well-known Holocaust denier and Nazi apologist," and he writes of my "pattern of bias and deceit." Then I see that he directs a league against defamation. How odd.
Vanity Fair reply through their London lawyers Biddle & Co. agreeing to publish this; theirs is a churlish letter, to which I reply sweetly.
From the Columbian, Clark County, Oregon
I DRIVE A RENTAL TRUCK out to Brentwood, my birthplace, and retrieve half the pallet of books that have arrived from Australia at F J Tytherleigh & Co. Then on to Ongar, flowers on Mother's grave.
In the evening I phone my German lawyer in Mainz, who has asked me to return the videotape of the Günter Deckert function, supplied from police records. I have had no opportunity to view it, as I have no video machine. The lawyer says that the German judge felt that the audience laughter during my speech was proof enough to convict Deckert of Volksverhetzung (racial incitement)!
I prepare to send out envelopes to benefit Günter Deckert with my replies to contributors to my fighting fund; let's see what I can do to help the "jailbird".
A FAX IS WAITING FOR ME as I rise, from my brave attorney Ed Wall in West Australia: tomorrow the judges hand down their decision on our appeal to the Federal Court against the government's refusal to grant me a visa. We discuss what I should say if as expected the decision is negative.
At 10:44 a.m. Ed himself phones from Perth: the judgement is short, about thirty pages, and otherwise very positive for us: Judge R D Nicholson states in her opening remarks:
In a democracy where free speech is cherished (even if not recognised as a fundamental overriding consideration of law), the application of a "good character" test to deny a visa to a person who espouses controversial public views must necessarily raise the question in the mind of the unsuccessful applicant or others whether the test has been applied in truth to deny the opportunity for espousal by that person of his or her views within the country in respect of which the visa was sought
The question also arises whether the denial by one country has an unmerited snowballing effect; unmerited because the denials in other countries are arguably founded on denial of an opportunity to espouse the view rather than truly on grounds of character.
Ed thinks there is material for an appeal on constitutional grounds to the Supreme Court.
Awake next day at 2:35 a.m. and find several faxes, including an item from today's Sydney Morning Herald, with a caricature; sleepless for a while. Channel 7 Australian TV phoned, wanting to make a programme about using visa denials to suppress freedom of speech.
In the afternoon an uninvited Australian, a Mr H., a Federal policeman from Queensland, turns up; I talk with him at the door, but don't invite him in. Enough on my plate as it is.
In the evening I download the disc that J. T. has sent me, full of stinking garbage about me that he has shed out of the Internet, including a totally fictitious account by one David Katz of a speech by me in Johannesburg, including talk by me of "niggers" etc. That is a word I have never used in my whole life: but I imagine that the South African Katzes of this world have more than once.
My barrister in Perth submits an opinion on what we should now do. I write him:
Please don't feel aggrieved that Professor M. is taking an interest in the case. If he continues to write favourable articles in the SLR [Sydney Law Review], etc., it can only do good in the long run. Right? My own confidence in you is unbounded, particularly having read your masterly summary of the legal aspects, which make it so easy for me to take decisions, tho' so far away.
These are—and I am so instructing Ed Wall—that
- we do not appeal to the High Court.
- We now start actions under the Commonwealth Freedom of Information Act to establish precisely what facts have been fed to the Minister.
- I thereafter lodge a new application for a visa later this year.
Meanwhile I am manoeuvring to get from lawyers acting for the Board of Deputies of British Jews a document admitting that the 40pp report on me which they submitted secretly to the Canadian government in 1991 and 1992-which triggered the whole avalanche-is defamatory and untrue, and to withdraw it. They have indicated to me that they are prepared to (as part of a secret settlement to avoid libel action). Would not such a document knock the tent pole out of the whole case?
BUY THE PRESENT WINSTON CHURCHILL'S BOOK on his father Randolph, and read it outside Garfunkel's for a couple of hours until 7:30 p.m. Some historical mistakes, but a good attempt at an honest evalution of his father, who cannot have had an easy life. I write him:
Dear Mr Churchill,
I wanted to tell you privately how much I am enjoying it. It is not easy to write a book, and even less so for those who have not made it their life-time profession; but it looks good, feels good, and—reads good. As an author and, for my sins, still ploughing ahead on a biography of your grandfather's war years, I particularly welcome that you have reproduced so many documents in their original texts, rather than pre-chewing them into unrecognisable, bland lumps.
I confess that I had no idea your father was involved in operations like the Benghazi raid you describe. He was obvously a very brave man
I think your father suffered from much jealousy of his contemporaries, who no doubt did not like being at the wrong end of his rough tongue. He used it on me once, in a television studio, in 1967, I recall; but that was the fault of that oversmart gentleman David Frost.
I have incidentally drafted about four pages on the Harriman–Pamela business, for vol. ii of my biography; I want to hurt no feelings, and I would be happy to let you see them if you want.
Pamela, currently the United States ambassadress to France, was Winston's mother; while still the wife of Randolph in 1941 she started a notorious affair with the billionaire American lend-lease administrator Averell Harriman, which prime minister Churchill condoned.
M PHONES, SAYS HE HAS sent Action Report to The New York Times's Doreen Carvajal. She's told him she has learned that my name is now on a Black List of publishers. I say (a) please don't send AR to third parties, it is a private publication for contributors, and written as such; (b) I am not pleased about the "Black List" chatter, and he does me no service by repeating it.
THE BOARD OF DEPUTIES OF BRITISH JEWS has now sent me a lengthy Questionnaire, to establish just how deeply their forty-page report wrongs me.
[This vicious and libellous secret report, shorn of its identifying titles and covering letters, was retrieved by Mr Irving's agents from Canadian government files under the Access to Information Act].
All day until late working on the answers. Easier than I thought, and by a fluke I find all the twenty-, thirty-, and even thirty-five-year old documents the Board's lawyers have asked to be shown. I adopt a tough line at the end, since reading the law books shows me that I have at best only twelve months to serve a writ from the date on which I tentatively identified the Board as the authors; this may well be why their lawyer, Anthony Julius of the firm Mishcon de Reya, is playing for time.
I PICK UP A RENTAL PEUGEOT and drive overnight to southern France to join Benté and Jessica, who have been holed up in a small mountain inn for the past few weeks. I curse the car's radio most of the way, as I can not get it to change stations except one half-wavelength at a time. Not until south of Lyons do I discover that the mysterious and unmarked stalk-lever on the control column does it all effortlessly!
Weather in northern France misty, damp, and patches of fog and drizzle; gradually clears and sun breaks through as I drive into Provence. I plough on all night, with occasional snooze stops; arrive at Le R. after 850 miles' drive at 3:15 p.m., fresh as a daisy. Jessica looking in very good colour and fit.
I phone my London answering machine. It is already as crowded as the beach, about twenty messages, mostly vacous but they cost as much as our supper to listen to. Among the callers: a Mrs B. has phoned, wanting to speak to me in a matter of urgency; I call back the number she leaves, and a man answers and says his wife has just gone off to Duke Street to see me. "She was Charles Massey's daughter," he says, "does this ring a bell?"
I say, "And how! General Sikorski's plane crash!" "Precisely," he says.
In 1967 Massey was identified to me as the only other mystery-survivor of that 1943 crash. But when I went to visit him a few days later, he had just vanished forever. His family never saw him again.
At five p.m. Mrs B. phones me at the auberge. Last Wednesday, she says, she discovered that her father, whom she had grown up believing to have died twenty-seven years ago, had in fact died just one year ago in south western England.
She wants to get to the bottom of it: she is shocked by the revelation. I say that at the time we could not decide whether he was living a fantasy life, or telling the truth, what with the hints he had dropped about actually having been on the Sikorski plane when it crashed.
A SECOND CALL FROM MRS B. She says her father's will names as executor Terence Simms, a man of about fifty, identifying him as his "next of kin" (to her bafflement).
Simms has remarked to her ("I don't know if this is important," she says) that at her father's funeral a very important man, "an air chief-marshall" arrived from London in a chauffeur-driven car.
I RISE AFTER A FIERCE HEADACHE ALL NIGHT, like somebody jabbing their fingers in the back of my eyeballs. Then another poor night, with three exhausting dreams, including a Technicolor one in which I blunder onto a British army base wearing my old RAF raincoat, am arrested and told it will cost $10,000 to set me free. I am put on trial immediately. I deliver a speech to a room surprisingly like a German DVU or GfP audience, with many enthusiastic standing people.
Lunch up the road at Pré du Lac. Jessica alas turns into "Dr Jessickel" (or is it "Mr Hydicca?) and we have to curtail the luncheon because of her tantrums. Dinner there too. Jessica finds the proprietor's little boy, same age, to play with and they romp round the tables to everybody's delight. Benté remarks on how idyllic it is to see infants scampering around. She's right.
Much of today spent (when it is not raining) in revising 1942 and the day of the Convoy PQ.17 scatter-decision in CHURCHILL'S WAR. I find myself re-reading my 1967 book THE DESTRUCTION OF CONVOY PQ.17. Albrecht Knaus, chief of Hoffmann & Campe Verlag, always said it was the best I wrote and he may have been right.
I BEGIN WORKING ON THE Deborah Lipstadt libel pleadings. Ponder the tactical issue: whether to include four or five department heads of the Waterstones bookstore group, who have expressly refused to stock any books whatever by me while deliberately stocking La Lipstadt. How can the group afford to let their department heads push business towards the rivals at Blackwells, Foyle's, Dillons, etc., just because of their shambolic Marxist–Leninist views?
Down to breakfast with Jessica and a box of Kellogg's, singing
Down we go to the Breakfast Room
Jessica with her Plate and Spoon
Daddy's got the big Corn Flakes
This and That is all it Takes.
She's a little angel as always. When she is upset about something she sobs and stretches up her arms to Mummy and pleads for "a coddle" (Benté never can say her U's properly). Then there is her imperious squeal of "Baby Do It!"—demanding to be handed the shower or car key or whatever so she can manipulate it herself.
I phone lawyer Anthony Julius and speak with his secretary, saying I am anxious now to press ahead to the envisaged amicable settlement with the Board and has he received my Answers to the Questionnaire?
I FINISH READING THE BOOK Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park. Most impressive, though a little disjointed-I am not sure what "the British Museum method" of codebreaking was, for instance-but one enters an aura of genius in reading the book's pages.
I never realised that the Nazis' Enigma cipher machine was largely broken because of its simple foible that no one letter could be enciphered to itself-i.e. an "A" could be any other letter of the alphabet in the coded text but "A" itself.
I AM TO FLY BACK TODAY to the United States for another arduous tour that will take me to all four corners of the Union. Before leaving London I work through the night until 4:30 a.m., then sleep until eight. At 1:10 p.m. a friendly Black-cab driver comes, and takes me to Heathrow (free!).
The British Airways flight leaves for Los Angeles at three p.m.: an awful middle-aged Danish couple cramp me into my window seat, and swallow bottle after bottle of free B.A. wine throughout the flight, one flagon of which the plump woman knocks over onto me with one flail of her balloon arms. Stinking like a Mexican bodega I reach my hotel around 10 p.m. A long day.
However I learn that Professor Gordon Craig of Stanford University, the country's leading historian, has just published a six-page review of GOEBBELS in The New York Review of Books.
Silencing Mr Irving [writes Professor Craig] would be a high price to pay for freedom from the annoyance that he causes us. The fact is that he knows more about National Socialism than most professional scholars in his field, and students of the years 1933–1945 owe more than they are always willing to admit to his energy as a researcher and to the scope and vigor of his publications.
It is always difficult for the non-historian to remember that there is nothing absolute about historical truth. What we consider as such is only an estimation, based upon what the best available evidence tells us. It must constantly be tested against new information and new interpretations that appear, however implausible they may be, or it will lose its vitality and degenerate into dogma or shibboleth. Such people as David Irving, then, have an indispensable part in the historical enterprise, and we dare not disregard their views.
PHONE CALLS COME DURING THE NIGHT from the London Evening Standard about the libel writs I issued yesterday against Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt. Benté says Andrew Page yesterday faxed through a lengthy defence on behalf of The Observer; it runs to over forty pages.
At 5:30 a.m. a stranger, claiming to be a nephew of William Bullitt, phones for a long discourse about that man. I interrupt him after ten minutes and tell him the time here in Los Angeles.
I speak to a large audience at Costa Mesa. Next day I set off at 2 p.m., taking the slow coastal Pacific Coast Highway instead of the Interstate. Spectacular scenery, varying from industrial pipes and grime to forests, mountains, and windswept dunes. Stop at Buellton for a quick bite then on to Stanford. Here I phone Professor Craig and thank him for his review of GOEBBELS. It is ironic to see such a major review of a book which it is now impossible to buy in the United States. I arrange for him to pick up free copies of other books tomorrow for his university library (APOCALYPSE '45, the Goebbels 1938 diary, etc.)
WE HAVE A GOOD PUBLIC MEETING at Oakland, California, in a Black-owned hall guarded by tight-lipped Blacks with bow ties. This time the volent opponents from Berkeley's Hillel have not ventured down the road to protest, it seems, though there is still a noisy contingent outside the door with loud hailers. Journalists from Berkeley are there, and one tall White journalist who boasts that he sent his man Joe Lehmann down to smuggle himself into the function at Costa Mesa. So what!
I fly via Denver to Tulsa, Oklahoma. A small but well organised meeting there, then I'm up at 4 a.m. the next day to fly via Denver to Atlanta, Georgia. I arrive downtown there at 5 p.m. A good meeting at the DeKalb County public library, around 100 people.
Sam organises a collection for my Legal Fund and loudly guarantees to match any contribution up to $500. To general laughter I at once offer to put $500 into the hat.
At Atlanta airport a Black kerb side employee of United Airlines suggests I give him $50 cash and no questions asked, to get the heavy boxes of books through onto the plane. I fly to Washington's Dulles airport where I pick up a gold-lacquered Lincoln Town Car and drive downtown feeling like an Arab prince. Arrive at the Club where the dinner is to be held at 6 p.m., shower, change my shirt, and then down stairs to the exclusive invitation only dinner.
It is attended by sixteen notables, including this time Gerald Livingston, founder of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, and Christopher Hitchens, a likeable, open-minded man whom I do not recognise until the meal is nearly over. Also Karl Bakke, former chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission. My left hand neighbour is Professor Detlev Junker, president of the German Historical Institute, who listens open-mouthed to the account of what his government is doing to suppress free speech.
Hitchens says afterwards that a mutual friend once asked my old publisher George Weidenfeld the secret of his renowned success with young females. "Simple," replied the Austrian Jew, no Adonis he. "I am the Nijinskii of cunnilingus." A few weeks later he saw Weidenfeld referred to in a caption in the New Statesman as the Diaghilev of Publishing, and wrote the appropriate reader's letter, which was not published. Andrew G., the organiser, does well. This time nobody is obnoxious (unless I myself).
He also organises a function for a broader public at mid-day on Sunday. It is 12 mid-day, held at the Polo Indian Club. I talk informally to about fifteen interested people. Afterwards back to his apartment for coffee; he is relentless in support of Willis Carto, and refuses to see any part of his behaviour as criminal. I do not want to get involved, and say so. Before we part he identifies to me the street where Brigitte Peck-daughter of the late and unlamented Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss-lives in Alexandria.
Drive down to Richmond for a television interview at a small public access television station. I insist that the Confederate flag backdrop be removed. S. needs to be shot, sucking me into something like that.
Back to DC in teeming rain-the really frightening kind, where trucks throw buckets of slime over the windshield making the way ahead totally opaque for seconds at a time.
I drive up the New Jersey Turnpike the next day through more teeming rain, arriving at Newark 9 p.m. But the hotels there are full, so I have to drive around and it is half past eleven before I finally find one, in the middle of nowhere, at Pompton Plains, New Jersey. Exhausted. Straight to bed.
The local newspaper The Record reports under the unappealing headline that the hall has cancelled the booking for our Friday meeting under pressure from a female the newspaper identifies as a local Jewess, Andrea Pason of Hackensack ("a local activist in liberal causes").
There is however a back-up hall. The organiser says that Ms Pason is a noted drug-abuser and bi-sexual. How appealing. He mentions that he is getting phone callers trying to get information on Friday's meeting. Among them one "Albert Rich," whose number is however listed by Bell Atlantic under his real name, Israel Richter.
SUDDENLY THE SKIES DARKEN. Benté phones from London to say that an urgent fax has just come from Lieut-Colonel Tom Johnson, organiser of the annual MAX military exhibition at Pittsburgh's ExpoMart, saying they cannot allow my participation in this or future exhibitions. They have come under the usual pressure from our traditional friends.
Benté faxes the letter through. Attached to it is one from ExpoMart general manager Michael J Leone to Johnson, steeped in libels: "As I am sure you are aware, David Irving, through his many writings and speeches, is a notorious Adolf Hitler glorifier/apologist and one of the world's most notorious Holocaust deniers. He is revered as an icon of the international neo-Nazi movement and his inflammatory speeches and views have caused him to be barred from numerous countries around the world including Germany, Austria, Italy and Canada"
Under the terms of their Lease on the hall, Leo reminds Johnson, they claim the right to "eject any objectionable person and to prevent any "performance or entertainment."
Johnson says the local Holocaust museum has put pressure on the ExpoMart. I warn that I may have to get an injunction to enforce my contract with him.
This letter then goes from me to the ExpoMart:
Dear Mr Leone,
I have seen a copy of a letter written by your good self to a third party yesterday, in an attempt to induce that third party to violate a contract with me […]
Last year in the British High Court I obliged a major Sunday newspaper to pay damages for precisely the same kind of libels uttered against me (Queen's Bench 1995 No. I–1803). On May 1 this year I served a Writ under the Defamation Act 1982 against The Observer for very much the same kind of libels (Queen's Bench 1996 No. I–604). Only last month I settled out of court, again with the payment to me of damages, an action which I brought against a London West End hotel (CL.535062) which had been incited by people none too distant from your own associates to violate a contract between us.
I have also this month issued in the High Court a Writ against two firms of publishers and the American authoress Deborah Lipstadt, and I have issued the first warning letter to the British distributors of the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet
When Vanity Fair magazine published a letter containing precisely the same libels from Abe Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, I obliged that magazine under threat of lawsuit to publish a retraction.
I HAVE NOW READ THE LENGTHY DEFENCE served by Gitta Sereny and The Observer. Very mushy, and they ignore much of the statement of claim. I make this reply to Andrew Page:
I confirm receipt today of the Defence which I have read with engagement, if not conviction. This looks like [it is] turning into a very protracted, though not uninteresting, action.
TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN has invited me to speak to them on freedom of speech or on feminism. The first time that they invited me in the 1980s, a screeching mob of a thousand leftist protesters stormed the building, doing considerable damage. The next time, the university ordered them to retract the invitation. We shall see if this invitation comes to anything.
I drive over into Manhattan for lunch with Steve Wasserman, a wiry, intelligent, beardy-weirdy type of Jewish editor; it was he who phoned me in London a few days after the SMP debacle in April and asked if Random House could take up the U.S. rights in the GOEBBELS biography. Unfortunately, as he now describes to me, although Jason Epstein and other editors there strongly favoured taking the book over, it met with another obstacle which he does not identify to me. He is willing to do what he still can. He asks if he can also see NUREMBERG.
I rubberneck around Manhattan until 5 p.m., then meet Don F. at The Viking Press-he was the editor who originally commissioned GOEBBELS while at Athenäum. He is still young, keen, blue-eyed, mild-mannered. He too wants to see NUREMBERG, and hopes to be able to persuade his chief, a Mrs Grossmann, to take over GOEBBELS despite all the fuss-"a slim chance," he admits. The New York Review of Books article has helped them all.
I leave New York later than planned, around 7 p.m., and drive straight back over the Hudson river to the New Jersey meeting, arriving at 8 p.m. Large audience, about 150, including one Annie Alpert who identifies herself at the end as a representative of the Nizkor project, the Holocaust revisionist-monitoring (watch that word, "monitoring"!) outfit on the Internet. Some body says she was spotted using a midget tape recorder. They're incorrigible.
THEN I SET OUT AROUND 9 A.M. for New Hampshire. A God-given day of beautiful sunshine, as I cruise across the Bronx and up through Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont. I reach the meeting house, after a brief detour, at 3:07 p.m.; seven minutes late, not bad after a four hundred mile drive.
At once launch into the talk to a small audience in a garden marquee, about seventeen people. Three of them are making videotapes, a practice which I dislike. I hear that various bodies are offering large rewards on the Net for such a video record of my talks. Unlimiteded funds!
Those there include several names from my Fighting Fund contributors' list, including one family who have driven down from Canada and another from nearby Peterborough. My host has a young wife and four beautiful children aged one to eight. Over coffee afterwards he reveals his master plan for my survival, which he and his wife have hatched: namely, I should make common cause with Louis Farrakhan, and found a publishing empire with the Black Muslims' money. Aaargh! I hope I am not too abrupt in my response.
There are three large clocks in and around my guest bedroom which chime loudly on each hour-as I can verify-and each half-hour. I set out southwards to return to New Jersey through torrential rain and thunderstorms.
I learn that Ms Alpert posted a triumphalist item on the Internet about the Jersey meeting, having found out the secret venue, and invited others to contact her to learn it and attend. Also that a Mr Rich Grange is claiming on the Net to be a friend of mine (I don't know him) and to have attended the Costa Mesa function, of which he has posted a garbled and wrongful account on the Net.
Also that a Bill Rasmussen has contacted organiser Eric G. in Ohio, claiming to have genuine Hitler paintings etc. which he wants to give to me. Ho-hum: I know Rasmussen, having met him at Sch.'s house in Virginia fifteen years or so ago. Not impressed: a key-knob from the Rhein Hotel Dreesen dangled from his belt-"Hitler's Room," he intoned. (It was a modern hotel key-knob however).
EXTRAORDINARY EVENTS NOW BEGIN TO UNFOLD. There is another fax from Benté in London: my Australian lawyer Ed Wall wants me to call him urgently; he says the Australian prime minister has made a statement about "freedom of speech," and reporters are calling to ask if I am therefore going to make a fresh visa application.
First I phone Coole & Haddock, lawyers acting for the four young Waterstones booksellers, and state off the record that I am prepared to withdraw the action against them (but not against Lipstadt et al) if they apologise and agree to take her book off their shelves.
I say I bear them no maliice and do not wish to harm these four individuals, while the action against Lipstadt herself and Penguin Books will continue. He says that he doubts whether on principle they will agree to refuse to stock a book. I say that they flatly refused to stock books by me!
Reporter Jenny Stein then phones for an interview for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; first I slot in a call to Ed Wall for advice. He says that their prime minister John Howard has announced that a new era of freedom of speech is dawning in Australia; so naturally all the media have immediately thought of me.
The Stein interview broadcast nationwide on ABC Radio puts the fat in the fire. I am wakened by a radio programme from Sydney wanting a live interview. I repeat that the Howard government cannot afford to be seen to be preaching freedom of speech, and then denying me entry.
Then Australian Channel 9's "Today" television programme phones, wanting me to do a TV show this evening. We arrange for me to go to their New York City studio at 4 p.m. for a live sattellite link. What fools our traditional friends are: they try to gag me, and the net result is that I end up speaking live to millions. The fifteen-minute segment goes out from No. 1955 Broadway via sattellite to Los Angeles and then on to Sydney for the whole of Australia to see, prime-time.
I drive in rush hour traffic out of New York and down to Washington, getting thoroughly lost at the end of the Baltimore–Washington Parkway as the signs are down: construction work. Arrive at the private house where I am staying at 10:30 p.m. to find that a flood of messages is awaiting me there, as friends in Adelaide have informed the media of the phone number, having got it from other friends in Cleveland. The global cyber-village.
I do a radio interview. The interviewer is friendly, says the story is on the front page of every newspaper in Australia. Prime Minister Howard has now stated that when Mr Irving makes a new visa application it will be judged on its merits. I shall not make it difficult for him.
There develops a hideous night with endless phone callers from Australia, which is twelve time-zones distant: at 2 a.m., Radio 3RW from Melbourne, for a fifteen-minute Drive Time radio show, in which the host is really rude to me and I am sorely tempted just to hang up. At five and six a.m. the phone starts ringing again, but I call out to my hosts not to bother with them.
At eight-thirty friends phone me from Sydney; one national newspaper, The Australian, wrongly calls me Dr Irving. I say that "Sir" or "Your Excellency" would have been preferable.
I phone Benté in London; there have been one or two stray calls to Duke Street from Australia. Family matters are more pressing. She says her sister's husband has died during the night (a paraplegic after an automobile accident); their little girl has cried and said, "Now I don't have a Daddy."
During this hectic morning I complete an 850-word article that has been commissioned by the Melbourne newspaper The Age. Then the Australian Press Association phones from London, reporting that Prime Minister Howard has said on television last night that I am "a nutter." One of my more distant friends, evidently.
Australia's top Channel 7 television programme, the Jana Wendt programme WITNESS, asks me to be available live on Monday from Washington; they want me to promise them exclusivity. Mysteriously, they know I shall be "in Cleveland over next few days."
In the evening the Adelaide Advertiser phones, can they interview me for a major Saturday newspaper feature? I give an in-depth portrait of my life, in which their reporter probes every nook and cranny in what seems to be a most objective way. (She does not disappoint me, either.)
AT THE PITTSBURGH RADISSON the show's organisers come hunting for me. I say that since I am banned, friends will be running the tables I have booked. "Things have changed," they say.
Faxes come to my hotel room from the Sydney Morning Herald, which is today running a major story and an editorial demanding I should be allowed in, although "a crackpot"; clippings from the Australian Jewish community's newspapers show that they are going ballistic. The game's up! The International Campaign for Real History is about to invade their paradise.
Next morning I drive straight to downtown Pittsburgh, to the County Courthouse. I instruct Robert Garber, a bearded, amiable attorney of around forty who identifies himself to me after five minutes as having "a problem," namely he is Jewish.
It is plain from the first moment that he is a highly capable attorney. He initially dislikes the task, but warms to it as he realizes that (a) I am being widely defamed and (b) there is a slim chance of success. Then he sees I have already drafted the affidavit, and says we can just get in for a mid-afternoon hearing. He works flat out while I go for lunch, after I write out a $2,500 initial cheque on the Legal Fighting Fund for an advance on his fees. Swallow hard as I do so. Money lost?
Into court at 3:30 p.m. Judge Judith L. A. Friedman, a plump, fortyish woman of great serenity and urbane manner, rapidly makes plain that she views this as a Free Speech issue. She flattens the ExpoMart's four lawyers with scathing remarks: "Having and expressing differing opinions is still legal in the United States, whatever may be the case in other countries, like Canada," she snaps.
In her closing remarks she deftly turns the issue into a contract law one, less capable of debate. Sitting outside the courtroom in the draughty hall, I become alarmed as the clock drags on toward 7 p.m.-the hour I am supposed to start speaking at Cleveland in Ohio, 150 miles or more away.
Seven p.m.: victory; she reads out her findings, dwelling at first on the appeal remedies open to the losing party-but seeming to look only at the Defendants as she does so. She finds squarely for me, but says I must post a $10,000 cash bond tomorrow for her Order to take effect.
I then set out by road for Cleveland. The audience has waited, thank goodness. I arrive there at 9:30 p.m. I speak forcefully until 11 p.m., devour an apple pie at Denny's then drive back to Pennsylnia, arriving back at the hotel after 4 a.m. It is nine a.m. in London. I phone Benté with the result of the trial. Something of a Pyrrhic victory.
I DRIVE THE NEXT MORNING BACK INTO PITTSBURGH and post the $10,000 bond at the Courthouse. I have had to empty the Legal Fund and scrape the cash together from every conceivableble source. Bob Garber will be in court again this afternoon for me, as the ExpoMart lawyers are appealing. At 5:30 p.m. Garber says the Superior Court has denied appeal. In two or three weeks I should get the bond back therefore.
[At the time of going to press, not one cent has been repaid to Mr Irving; the ExpoMart's lawyers are objecting to the bond's release].
Back to the hotel and sleep for an hour, whacked. Faxes come in from Australia with more newspaper articles: the prime minister of Victoria, Mr Kennett, has now stated that in his view I should be permitted to enter.
Two days late, we set up our book stand at the Show. The organisers warn me that ten thugs have been seen invading the show and asking where my stand is; nobody tells them, however, and it is a big show. Armed security near my stand is stepped up.
A Rev. Donald W McIlvane comes to my stand and asks inane questions. His card identifies him as being from the "Pittsburgh Area Religion & Race Council." Were these not stated by the media to be the people who protested to ExpoMart?
DINNER WITH BEN S., A FAMOUS DOCUMENT HUNTER. He tells me that he has been offered a letter which Rudolf Höss, commandant of Auschwitz, wrote to his wife from prison apologising for "confessing to the atrocities at the concentration camp, and explaining that he was tortured into making the confessions. He says that he will not offer for it himself as it would be dynamite in anybody's hands.
I urge him that we can put together a consortium which will raise the money to buy it.-Some discussion about Peter Stahl, about whom he is also contemptuous; he knows of his "Gregory Douglas" forgeries and his prison record.
TONIGHT IS THE BIG TELEVISION BROADCAST TO AUSTRALIA. I phone London, and gossip with little Jessica; she sings Baa-baa Black Sheep over the phone to me. Goes shopping with Mummy, and always makes a point of inquiring, "Have you got enough money?" Benté has sometimes had to tell her that there is "not enough money" to buy something, Jessica makes a point of asking.
I drive downtown to Washington DC around 5 p.m. A snack at The American Café then over to H Street for the Jana Wendt broadcast. I buy a five dollar bunch of flowers on the way in. Lori Butterfield, producer of the Channel 7 programme WITNESS, asks curiously why I am carrying the flowers—is it for somebody after the show? I explain, "They are a prop- for during the show."
The video feed from Australia, carried by satellite links around the world over 200,000 miles of space to Sydney and back, shows my own image after a time-lapse of around two seconds; a bit unsettling at first.
I see the Czech-born Jana Wendt on the monitor as she comes on. I was on her show in 1987 when she had just been voted Australia's Most Desirable Television Presenter, and she was very full of herself then; no change now.
There are the usual pleasantries (I say "out of her hearing" that she reminds me of actress Kirstie Alley.) She seems very fussed over her dark hair, getting it to look beautiful. She wears a white tunic jacket to show off her figure.
I keep the flowers out of sight, intending to "present" them to her early on, then to pluck out one flower at a time for each unpleasantness she utters against me and toss it onto the studio floor in Washington. Things go differently however.
The duel begins. Jana shows her nationwide audience a film montage of my career, beginning with the TV clip of the Canadian Adjudicator at Niagara Falls on Nov. 13, 1992 telling me to be quiet or be taken back down to the cells, and my exclaiming to him: "I refuse to be railroaded like this!"
The screen shows me being bundled out in manacles, and asking the cameras, "Why the hand cuffs? Is Canada afraid I may type something? Or use my fountain pen?" Then scenes of me in a trench coat haranguing a crowd in Halle, Germany, and shots of (TV-hired) skinheads shouting siegheils; there are references to my being banned from other countries, and extracts from our Focal Point video, THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH IN HISTORY, where I am heard talking of the "traditional enemies."
Journalist Gerald Henderson, director of some self-important body called The Sydney Institute, is with Jana. He objects obsessively that "traditional enemies" is an obvious reference to The Jews and to them alone. Jana points out that I remark in the video that I am going to be tasteless and say the Jews have "dined out" on the Holocaust. I say that against the criminal violence of a minority I have no option but to use such methods of defence.
WHEN SHE ASKS-how hackneyed they all are-whether I am saying there is an International Jewish Conspiracy, I ignore her question and say that our researches into the files of the governments which have banned me reveal that in every case the organisations behind the bans are international Jewish bodies.
For instance that the Board of Deputies of British Jews sent a secret forty-page file to Canada, and wrote to the German ambassador demanding my exclusion; and that the ADL has tried the same tricks in the USA. I mention my Pittsburgh court victory, saying that in every case we have had the law on our side. In Germany it is Herr Boobies, as I pronounce Bubis' name, who is leading the fight against free speech.
"In Australia," I add, "it is the organizations led by either Isi or Mark or Adolph Libeller"— there is a scream of rage from Henderson, who accuses me of deliberately mispronouncing the millionaire Isi Leibler's name, which he tortuously pronounces "Leebler."
I say that any German scholar knows the correct pronunciation of Leibler. There is another bellow at the smear implicit in the name "Adolph". "There is no Adolph Leibler," shouts Henderson.
Maybe not, say I, but there are quite a few Little Hitlers, and the Leibler brothers are the leaders among them.
When Jana asks me how, then, they have conspired against me in Australia I say that the New Zealand Herald investigated this four years ago, and established that the then ruling Labour Party had accepted handsome donations from the Leibler brothers.
I also mention that I was fined $22,000 by the German government for saying one sentence in a lecture, a sentence which the Polish government now admits to be true.
Henderson reverts to the attack, saying that I am obsessed with The Jews. I point out that until he and Jana mentioned them, I did not: they are the ones obsessed. I deny anybody the right to call me an antisemite for defending myself. Previously, I comment, an antisemite was somebody who hated the Jews; now it is anybody whom the Jews hate.
They can not stand it that I have begun to defend myself, using the law. They are trying to destroy me and to bankrupt me and my family, using Nazi methods like smashing book store windows, arson, and violence. When I hear the police barricades going up around my house at 3 a.m., I say, I know that the "traditional enemies of the truth" are on the rampage again.
Nor am I going to tolerate my good name being used as a political bludgeon against Mr John Howard, their prime minister, who obviously has freedom of speech dear to his heart.
She twice asks: do I really expect now to visit Australia? I raise the flowers into view and say: "I have this bouquet for you, Jana, and I expect to be able to hand it to you in a few days' or weeks' time!"
"Always the charmer," she gasps.
BEFORE LEAVING THE WASHINGTON STUDIO I HAND the bouquet to Producer Lori Butterfield. Always the bridesmaid. "Oh, thank-you," she says.
I think that the references to "Adolph Leibler" and the bribes paid to the Labour Government will be edited out. The rest was good, though I say so myself.
I now draft a letter to the Australian Prime Minister. I shall enclose copies of my latest books on GOEBBELS and THE DESTRUCTION OF DRESDEN, as well as a video of my interview with the popular British television interviewer Selina Scott ("a slightly less abrasive interviwer than Jana Wendt").
I tell Howard too of what Professsor Craig wrote in The New York Review of Books [quoted above], particularly the words: "Silencing Mr Irving would be a high price to pay for freedom from the annoyance that he causes us."
It may well be [I write to Mr Howard] that, in line with your desire to restore complete freedom of speech to your country, you now reccomend that I be allowed to re-enter Australia. In that event I would propose that to minimise any difficulties I postpone the full-length six- to eight-week visit which I was originally contemplating until next year, and stay only four or five days, visiting only three or four cities beginning with Perth, delivering only one private lecture to invitation-only audiences in or near each. This would defuse the situation; it would "draw the claws" of my opponents, the traditional enemies of the truth.
Steve O'Reilly of The Sunday Age, Melbourne, phones from their London office. I tell him as much about the secret Australian government documents that have been released to us as I feel I legally can; I reveal that the previous ban came from the office of the then prime minister, Paul Keating himself.
He phones again, querying whether it really came from Keating? I emphasise that the ban came from "the Prime Minister's office." He: Why has this not been published before? I say probably because of the legal constraints we were under. He says, "In effect the Jewish lobbies were calling in a marker, then?"
I FLY BACK TO LONDON. The plane lands at 10:25 a.m.; bus back to Duke Street. Benté looking very beautiful with a new outfit, brown slacks, hair freshly cut etc. Jessica is at nursery school. I take a taxi at 4 p.m. to Australia House, and deliver the new visa application. Ho-ho. At five the Australian Broadcasting Company phones for an interview. I am statesmanlike.
In the evening Mrs B., daughter of the mysterious Charles Massey, phones. Her late father had five different birthdates according to the official file released to her by the Air Ministry.
I read a very favourable item in The Toronto Star. The journalist suggests — having read in puzzlement Professor Craig's praise for me and GOEBBELS — that I should now be allowed to re-enter Cansda. Is the icepack breaking up?
Ed Wall phones from Australia and says the Courier-Mail wants to print my letter to the prime minister; I say that out of courtesy they must wait until Tuesday, to give the prime minister time to read it.
MRS B. CALLS ROUND BRINGING A FOLDER of documents on her late father.
She has now spoken with Air Chief-Marshal Sir William Wratten, who was the mysterious high officer who attended her father's funeral (it was paid for by the state, his coffin was draped with the flag). When she said that she was Massey's daughter, and she wanted to know why he had attended the funeral, there was an appalling silence. She confirms that the four photos I show her are of her father.
She recalls that in about 1975 her mother received a note with letters stuck onto paper like a blackmail note, reading only: "whatever happened to charles?"
On Dec. 16, 1967 I recorded in my diary:
Letter from Lord Chandos: "Charles Massey" was passenger in [the Sikorski crash] plane, and survived. He will look for his address.
On Jan. 5, 1968 my diary records that I received a "letter from Lord Chandos, encl'g letter from Sir A[lan] Lascelles." Lascelles was private secretary to the king. I gave a copy of my book THE MARE'S NEST to Lord Chandos. Eventually I find my diary entry for Feb. 20, 1968:
Left at 1:30 p.m. Drove on to Pelham Court SW7, and there learned from office manager that "Charles Massey" was Rhodesian ex-RAF type, injured during war, who did a moonlight flit "about September" last year!
STEPHEN JONES, TIMOTHY MCVEIGH'S LAWYER, who caused me so much grief by charging on Tulsa television in February this year that I "supplied the trigger mechanism for the Oklahoma City bomb", now faxes to me a fawning letter, having just read one of my books, UPRISING, the history of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. He invites me to lunch the next time he's in London (no doubt at U.S. taxpayer expense).
My own legal actions go on. I send a fax to Barbara Kulaszka asking her for an affidavit. She does not think I should add the three Canadian bodies (League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada, Canadian Jewish Congress and Simon Wiesenthal Centre Toronto) as Defendants to the writ against the Board of Deputies of British Jews at this stage.
During the night an anonymous six-page fax comes with alleged details about the true background of the forger "Peter Stahl." My machine's electronic memory states that the fax originated from a New Jersey phone number, 201 759 0798 (the 759-ex change covers Belleville, NJ).
I shall ask my friends there to run a Bell-Atlantic computer search. Meanwhile I send this response:
Dear Friend,-thanks for the information about "Peter Stahl". Please provide to me details of your source.
The document has blemishes like saying Stahl was behind the 1983 Hitler Diaries scam; it also interestingly states that Stahl set up the smear story that I produced the Oklahoma Bomb trigger mechanism.
The computer search fails to identify a subscriber. I suspect that if genuine the data comes from either ADL or police (FBI) files. The New Jersey ADL is located in The Oranges, which overlaps the Belleville area.
In the same post this morning I incidentally receive an article from Staatsbriefe No. 5–6/1996 subjecting the Peter Stahl / Gregory Douglas book on Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller to an annihilating scrutiny.
Late at night our "friends" in New Jersey reply, again anonymously. Their wish is to help, they say, as they too have been damaged by Stahl. Methinks it may be Stahl himself.
BEFORE LUNCH ANTHONY HANCOCK, who sometimes does printing for us, phones. Says his print works was rebombed on Sept. 6. That would be 6.9.96, and he asks if there is a cabalistic significance in the numerals 6996. I jokingly suggest there might equally be a more perverse significance. This time the gangster Manny Carpel who was imprisoned for executing the last rebombing of Hancock's works in 1982 (he already had a criminal record for raiding my home in 1963 disguised as a telephone engineer) has a watertight alibi: as the police officer investigating the fire himself pointed out, Carpel is serving time for antiques fraud-in fact this officer was the one who collared him. It's a small, small, small world.
My secretary returns from a reconnaissance and reports that Waterstones in Charing Cross Road has removed the Deborah Lipstadt book from its shelves, telling her that it is facing legal proceedings. I tell her she may well have done them a favour.
I phone lawyer Michael Randall to say I am prepared to release the book store official concerned from the libel proceedings.
Spend a while at the High Court discussing applications I must make to get the writ served on Lipstadt, an American resident, out of the jurisdiction of our own courts; I also discuss obtaining leave for action against the Board of Deputies of British Jews since those proceedings will be out of time. Then to the Reference Library-first time in ten years!-to read up the Rules of the Supreme Court.
AWAKE PART OF THE NIGHT; I phone Ed Wall at 2:15 AM, and discuss the latest outrageous libels published by the Australian Jewish Week. He thinks I should contact the immigration minister. Do so at 2:47 AM:
I think my rights are best preserved at this late stage by requesting that, if you are contemplating denying my latest visa application on the basis of essentially the same information (character etc) as before, i.e. that previously furnished to you by third parties, you so inform me in advance as a matter of natural justice and invite my comments thereon; because there is substantial fresh information now available to us which is capable of neutralising and rebutting this information on each count.
THE WASHINGTON MAGAZINE New Republic carries an amusing story by a Mr Jacob Heilbrunn who infitrated my Washington meeting, as he thought. In fact the "meeting" Heilbrunn infiltrated was not the main one; the organiser there filtered out into this lesser luncheon function a number of people whom he could not fit into the main club dinner, or who he felt were security risks, and Mr Heil whatever name he was using at the time-failed to clear this hurdle.
His report is a pretty objective account, if inevitably judeocentric. This is a trait shared by many minorities as they view their own world, they alone are at the centre of it. (I remember my amazement on seeing a Hungarian news broadcast when researching in communist Budapest, in which somehow the map of Europe had been morphed until Hungary was at the centre of the world!).
One would have thought I talked of nothing but the Jews in the luncheon talk; in fact I mentioned them only in passing.
THIS LETTER GOES BY REGISTERED MAIL to the Board of Deputies of British Jews:
Writing to me on Sept. 7 last year you stated that the Board did not hold any personal data (as defined by the Data Protection Act) on me
Your Board now accepts that it originated the two lengthy reports on me circulated to foreign governments in 1991 and 1992.
These quite manifestly originated on an electronic database of a nature provided for by your Registration under the Act, and not covered by any exemption
Do you still maintain that you do not hold any personal data (as defined by the Act) on me? I once again put you on notice herewith to provide me with copies of said data.
I am prepared to accept that your original denial was the result of a genuine misunderstanding.
I also write to four New York law firms inviting them to "tender" for the lawsuit against St Martins Press.
I AM SENT A COPY OF THE TORONTO-BASED Simon Wiesenthal Center's latest fund-raising mail shot. Mail fraud! I write to Sol Littmann, the Centre's director:
Dear Mr Littman,
In this [mailshot] you write the following mystifying sentence: "Thanks to the support of our loyal friends and supporters, David Irving's book denying the Holocaust has yet to be published."
I am not writing, and have not written, and have no current plans to write, a book or manuscript denying the Holocaust.
You will appreciate that I have a legal objective in writing to ask this question, and that failure on your part to respond will be taken to imply that you accept that your attempts to raise funds by mail on the basis of this claim are therefore fraudulent.
The Centre fails to reply.
The owner of the Gazette Book shop of Beccles in Suffolk phones me about a book they have ordered from us; he says he was at Brentwood School forty years ago, two years behind me. He is very friendly, reminds me that I "saved his life" over a matches incident in the tuckshop, and has been grateful to me ever since then.
In the evening, a fax from Don F., which makes it likely that The Viking Press will not publish NUREMBERG; he does not even mention GOEBBELS, but blames political correctness among his colleagues. I keep this to myself.
I FAX THIS READER'S LETTER to the Adelaide Advertiser, responding to a Doubting Thomas:
L C Collins (Oct. 18) disbelieves that our family was hard up, since my father was a commander in the Royal Navy and I attended public school. My father was away fighting WW2 until invalided out in the Arctic convoys; fortunately for my mother, who struggled heroically to support us, I won a free place at public school. We were very poor. I did not see my father from the time I was two or three until I was twenty-six and he was dying; we then worked together on his history of the 1916 Battle of Jutland, in which he had served.
ANTHONY JULIUS, THE LAWYER instructed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, calls me. I say: "The proper title of the Board turns out to be rather different from the one it is commonly known by." Julius says: "Well, you must make your own decision on that."
Down to the Royal Courts of Justice at 4 p.m.; a judge has granted leave for La Lipstadt to be served with the British libel writ outside the jurisdiction. I then issue an originating Writ against the Board of Deputies, whose statutory name turns out to be the London Committee of the Deputies of British Jews.
I have R. working on filing and clippings most of the week, clearing the decks for action.
JESSICA IS A DELIGHT all day, though it makes for rather hard work, amusing her on top of all everything else this week end.
For her Corn Flakes she has begun to demand the "birdie spoon", the antique silver one she found in the kitchen cutlery drawer, the one with the little eagle stamped on its handle. When older she may ask the significance of the little letters AH stamped beneath the birdie.
Baldur von Schirach's wife gave it to me twenty years ago in the best guest-tradition she purloined it from Adolf Hitler's Berghof in the early 1940s; when I only had four spoons to my name, many a pal found it randomly placed before him when he came for supper; not all of my Jewish friends enjoyed it.
As David McWhinnie, a television producer friend, says, you never know where such a relic has been. In and out of my dishwasher a thousand times, I tell him: no false sentamentalism in our household.
WALTER B. SENDS ME AN ITEM from today's Toronto Globe & Mail-a reader's letter from the odious Bernie Farber, National Director, Community Relations, Canadian Jewish Congress. (What other ethnic group needs a national director of community relations?) Farber is livid, just livid, that the paper published my long letter last week. I send Walter this letter:
Thank-you. I think his letter merits no response: the average reader will recognise it for what it is-Jewish pique.
Perhaps somebody might write in, commenting that the original article and the latest Farber letter demonstrate not so much "Irving's hatred of the Jews" but "the hatred of the Jews"-oftentimes, that's all that some of them seem capable of doing: hating.
Other writers and newspapers seem to be awakening to what Germany is doing. From Copenhagen, a press clipping is faxed to me from Information, Denmark's national newspaper-a blistering whole page critique on the German government's assault on freedom of speech.
JESSICA BRINGS IN A SYCAMORE LEAF from Grosvenor-square; I photocopy it for her, then we enlarge that copy several times until the leaf is overflowing off an A3 sheet, with all of its veins and pores showing. We then colour it in.
These are otherwise strange and hate-filled times. I have just bought Full Disclosure, the biography of former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neill. In this he writes:
I made the huge mistake of using David Irving, the Nazi apologist historian, to translate the Goebbels' Diaries. He was the only expert able to read Goebbels' writing and all the excerpts we published rather refuted Irving's views on Nazi history. But many were understandably appalled we were having anything to do with him and did the paper damage-a good illustration of the maxim that if you lie down with dogs you get fleas.
Fleas, eh? I did wonder where they had come from.
His memoirs make no mention of the fact that as editor-in-chief he signed a contract with me in June 1992 to pay me £85,000 for episodes from the Goebbels diaries which I exclusively retrieved from Moscow; that he published those episodes with huge nationwide and global publicity in July 1992, then came under pressure from British and American Jewish organizations to violate his contract and not to pay me what I was owed.
Under which pressure, mangy and flea-ridden dog that he was, Neil instantly came to heel.
I SEND THIS FAX TO ANTHONY JULIUS, who is asking for a longer court hearing to stave off the libel writ I wish to serve on the Board of Deputies:
Your letter of Oct. 31. I fail to see what should occupy the Court for two hours, unless it be your intention at this late date to deny that your clients authored and published the statements complained of or in the alternative to suggest that I was apprised of the relevant facts before Dec. 22, 1995.
I do not intend to countenance delays; I have suffered damages from your clients' actions on a global scale, and these demand early and public redress.
A reply comes from Julius's law firm, Mishcon de Reya, and the mists clear. They do not deny authorship of the report, but they will argue against the court giving me discretion to proceed out of time. I.e., the time-honoured legal defence known as, "Yah-boo, yer can't touch us now!"
Miss Dalya Alberge of The Times phones me for an interview, and mentions that Julius is also instructed by the author Deborah Lipstadt in my suit against her. He says I'm doing it because I am greedy for cash.
I accordingly send two more letters to the ubiquitous Julius:
As you may know, on my application on Oct. 22 the court has granted leave for [Deborah Lipstadt] to be served out of the jurisdiction. If you are indeed representing the author, have you intentions to accept service on her behalf?
I have heard today from the media (The Times) that you suggest that my motive in pursuing a suit for defamation against your clients is that I am greedy for cash.
Such a statement made after proceedings have been initiated would in the normal course of things be further grounds for seeking aggravated damages, going as they do to the conduct of the defence.
I am prepared to accept your assurances that you said no such thing, but if you did it would be a shocking misrepresentation, given that I negotiated in good faith with you for eleven months in an attempt to find an agreement, having stated explicitly that I would not seek damages if we could reach an amicable settlement.
Julius replies: yes he is representing Lipstadt; no, he has no instructions from her to accept service; he boxes evasive about whether he said I was doing it for the cash.
I WORK ALL DAY ON MY REPLY to The Observer's Defence. Easier than I feared. They have made some very simple errors-e.g. accusing me of manipulating translations from Hittler's Table Talk, when in fact I merely followed the official version published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, etc.
Today's Weekend Australian reports that their Cabinet is meeting tomorrow and will deny the IRA terrorist political leader Gerry Adams' application for a visa to promote his book, and that the "visa application from right-wing British historian Mr David Irving is also expected to be rejected."
I send this dispatch when I get up at 4 a.m. It sounds like an authorised leak.
I ponder for some time on a suitable statement to issue if and when the time comes.
Gerry Adams' application muddies the issue badly. My views on him are largely unprintable: many a cracked window pane in this building testifies to the 200-pound car bomb which the IRA let off on the corner of Duke Street and Oxford Street fifteen years ago, and we are currently paying an additional £1,000 per annum "IRA terrorism" insurance premium on this property.
All evening long, the telephone wires from Australia run hot, then hotter. Radio 2GB Sydney phones, will do an interview in three hours' time. They have no news, but the Australian Council of Civil Liberties is loudly saying I should be allowed in.
Then a Radio 2GB interview with Patrick Hinchy; he sounds grumpy, especially when I say that I do not think Adams should get his visa, as he is a real criminal (he served seven years' jail for terrorist offences, I believe). He makes the point that I was discourteous to their prime minister in publishing the letter to him-"Hinch" read it two days before the PM. I remark that this is an unfortunate consequence of my having to fight this battle at a range of 12,000 miles.
At 7:30 a.m. there is a message from Adelaide, the ABC Radio Keith Conlon show has just interviewed that young Jewish muck-spreader Michael Kapel; the transcript reveals more grotesque lies. More faxes confirm that their Civil Liberties Union is demanding my entry.
This may get embarrassing. As things stand now, I do not really have the money to pay the air-fare to Australia...
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH REPORTS that Berlin police have revealed that former Reichsjugendführer Artur Axmann died two weeks ago, aged 83, on Oct. 24. The police kept the burial place of the one-armed war hero a secret to avoid demonstrations either at the funeral or in the future; citing laws protecting personal information, they also refused to identify members of his surviving family to the media. Axmann was the last Hitler Youth leader.
I interviewed him one afternoon eight years ago but I discarded much of what he told me as his memory had become corrupted by the images of what he had read and seen since 1945.
Describing the closing events in the Führer Bunker in Berlin, he vividly described seeing Dr Goebbels offer his wife Magda his arm as the two went up the spiral staircase to take their lives in the Chancellery Garden. In fact he had last seen them two or three hours before, and when he returned to the Bunker he was told that they had already "gone." "Eye witness evidence" dangerous even at the best of times.
RONALD S. RAUCHBERG, OF THE New York law firm Proskauer Rose, Goetz, and Mendelsohn, writes, "This firm will not be able to represent you in connection with the suit you are contemplating against St Martins Press." One down, three to go.
A long talk in the evening with a London barrister friend: he says I must use the coming five-minute High Court hearing against the Board of Deputies to get permission to issue a holding Writ under the Defamation Act. I cannot do that after the twelve months of the extended limitation period are up, and this is what Mishcon de Reya are trying stealthily to do.
AT EIGHT A.M. THE AGE PHONES from Canberra, then Julie from ABC Canberra too, then Steve somebody, all to say that the immigration minister Philip Ruddock is to make his announcement on my application at a specially-called press conference tomorrow afternoon in Sydney. I phone the minister's office in Canberra and say that as a matter of courtesy I shall not insist on being informed first, given the obvious practical problems. I further send him the following fax:
In answering journalists' questions, you will feel properly constrained by the confidentiality attached to the dealings between the ministry and visa applicants. With this letter I am formally waiving all such confidentiality, in order that you may feel free to discuss your decision in the fullest detail with out restraint.
I refer however with emphasis to the second paragraph of my letter dated Oct. 18.
Ed Wall wants a much tougher line, telling the government they must not act without first giving us the chance to comment on any fresh hostile material that has been fed to them.
The phone lines again run hot as night falls here and dawn breaks in Australia. At eight p.m. I am interviewed by 2GB Radio Sydney again. Two hours later Channel 7 phones, can I do a four a.m. interview from Sky TV studio? This is getting tedious. At eleven p.m. Michael Young of the Sydney Morning Herald phones, can he call me at any time during the night? I say yes. A few minutes later a Sydney Morning Herald female photographer (in London) phones, can she come round at one a.m. to take photographs? Twenty minutes after midnight Radio 6PR Perth phones, it's all over the broadcast news, can they phone me in ten minutes for a live interview?
At two a.m. a fax from a Sydney station wanting to discuss my views on Women (the "women" angle has been pounced on by the media).
At two-thirty the Howard Sattler programme phones again from Perth with the news that the minister has just announced at the press conference that my application has been denied. Quelle surprise! Six minutes later my fax machine churns out the corroborating letter from the minister himself. They must be running scared!
I issue a press release immediately:
Told of the Australian Governments negative decision by a letter from Ruddock received by fax at 2:36 a.m.-after the radio station 6PR in Perth had already phoned him with the news-historian David Irving's response was: "I did half-expect John Howard to go back on his promise to restore freedom of speech in Australia. A man is as good as his word. I shall stick my 'Liberal Party' file back where it was-between 'Libellers' and 'Lick spittles'."
Mr Irving added that the Labour Party was no different. "The enemies of Real History have both parties in their pocket. For all of them it will be back to business as usual."
After that it is chaos for several hours. At 2:48 a.m. Stephanie of Adelaide phones again to read out what's coming over their telex machines: women, chewing gum, breeding, etc. Aaargh!
2:50 a.m. Radio 2GB Sydney phones, can I speak to their Ron Casey in about ten minutes?
3:13 a.m. phone Michael Young at the Sydney Morning Herald.
3:19 a.m. Radio 2GB phones from Sydney, live interview until 3:31 a.m. with Bob Burns (who reminds me that he interviewed me when I toured Australia in 1987; has a German wife).
Chris Henning, the London stringer of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, phones. The Age later quotes me as telling him, "I am one of those troublesome red ants that you can hammer into the ground as often as you like but it picks itself up and carries on marching."
3:49 a.m. Steve Price and Craig Wilson 3AW Melbourne phone and record an interview until 3:58 a.m. Prime Minister John Howard is to speak about me in Melbourne today, they say.
At 4:10 a.m. a taxi takes me to Millbank for the live Channel 7 television interview. It turns out to be live interviews with Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Perth; all women presenters, some very bitchy.
I get some fun showing Jessica's picture to millions of Australians. When I remark that unlike men, women have for instance not done any composing of symphonies over the millennia, one female (Sydney?) replies, "Yeah, and they haven't done any exterminating either!"
"Not if you ignore the abortionists," I retort. Yikes! Sudden end of interview!
On balance, all of today's radio and television interviews are several shades uglier and less friendly than of late; as though on autocue...... I remain genial but firm.
Back at Duke Street, whacked, at 6:08 a.m. There the phones are still ringing. At 6:45 a.m. 5DN radio phones for an interview. At 7 a.m. the Australian Broadcasting Corporation phones. At 7:30 a.m. I have a long talk with Ed Wall, then retire to snatch two hours' sleep.
THE MORNING MAIL BRINGS A DEMAND from the Legal Aid Board that I refund to them £26,000 legal costs since my certicate was revoked in the action against Andrew Neil and The Sunday Times, under pressure from you know whom. I write ruhig to them:
Thank you for the enclosed letter. Please inform me the date on which my Appeal against the revocation of the certicate was heard and disallowed.
Not easy to keep one's nerve at times like these.
Fax from our friends in Auckland, reporting that the New Zealand Herald carries the story about the scandal in Australia. It quotes Prime Minister Howard as saying, "Mr Irving has several convictions." Not true!
The president of an Australian national civil liberties group, the Free Speech Committee, Mr Tony Katsigiannis, has joined civil libertarians in attacking the ban.
The Australian reports the Labour Opposition spokesman on immigration, Duncan Kerr, as saying that the decision to ban me is "correct" but not that on Gerry Adams, and the latter should be reviewed if a cease fire is called in Northern Ireland.
Millionaire Mark Leibler, spokesman now of some new chameleon-body called the Ethnic Coalition of Australia, describes the government ban as "principled."
The articles, which I now read as a bunch, show that Howard seriously libelled me on yesterday's ABC Radio 3LO in Melbourne. He said there:
I would have thought that that was an open-and-shut case which, once again, has precious little to do with free speech. The movement of people in and out of Australia is not so much a question of free speech but of whether the Government of the country has a right to decide at all times who can come in here for temporary purposes.
He added that I am a "crackpot historian." The Times further reports Howard as saying:
It's got to do with the unfitness of both of them [Irving and Gerry Adams] on character grounds to come here. This idea that it's got anything to do with free speech is spurious. David Irving's books are published in Australia... Nothing stops his views coming out here. But any government has got the right to say to somebody who's got a record of criminal convictions, 'You can't come here.' I think he's a crackpot historian, but it doesn't alter the fact that he was convicted in the United Kingdom, he was convicted in Germany, he was convicted in Canada, and two of the offences as I understand it are related to passport, immigration or visa issues.
Late evening a fax from a barrister friend. He mentions that today's Daily Telegraph publishes an ugly review of NUREMBERG. Aaargh! ¡Lo que me faltaba! All I needed to round off the week, a review of a book that is still trapped at the printers.
I decide not to read the review until I am in rather better spirits than now. Benté reads it for me; she says the reviewer is Ann Tusa (presumably related to John Tusa, a Jewish-Czech BBC television personality, who is friendly enough with me-I bumped into him in the Pubic Record Office some years ago when he was writing his own magnum opus on the Nuremberg trials. (A-ha!).
Ann Tusa calls my book "sloppy" because I did not use the 22-volume record of the trial.
In fact I deliberately decided not to trust that record. Alerted by comments in Field-Marshal Erhard Milch's private diaries, during my research for the rise and fall of the Luftwaffe, I found by comparing the printed volumes with the sound recordings of the trial that there were serious omissions and distortions.
THE HEADACHE RETURNS DURING THE EVENING, so I retire to bed before 9 p.m.
A sinister voice phones a while later, "I want to say how very sorry we all are." I ask drowsily, "Who are you?" The Voice says, "This is The Financial Times." Obviously it is not. I put the phone down. I try in the morning to get the caller's ID, but the exchange computer states, "You were called yesterday at 21:16 hours, the caller withheld their number."
I SPEAK WITH A BARRISTER IN PERTH, who agrees that if Prime Minister Howard said those things in Melbourne the Wrongs Act 1958 will apply; but that as prime minister he may plead qualified privilege. He adds that he heard a Rabbi on Perth radio yesterday also saying I am a "criminal."
I wonder if Howard will apply the same criteria if Herr Ignatz Bubis, head of Germany's Jewish community, asks to visit Australia: "Boobies" has an unserved twelve-year prison sentence after a conviction for racketeering in East Germany.
I write to Channel 9 in Australia suggesting they film my coming U.S. tour instead. Radio 2KY–1017 phones from Sydney. They know that I am planning libel action against their prime minister, so that must have gone out on the news wires.
MY PAST CATCHES UP ON ME, SOMETIMES PLEASANTLY. Guido Knopp, one of German television's top producers, comes at 8 p.m. for dinner with us. It is fifteen years since we last met: He organised a major speech function at Aschaffenburg, attended by two thousand middle-class Germans. ("Do you want Total Truth!" I challenged them.) Now he is one of the biggest names in German television.
Jessica is fascinated by all the big pots: she has never seen her Mama cooking in big pots.
A splendid evening alone with Knopp over an extended dinner. He proves ill-informed about his government's punitive campaign against free thinkers; when I tell him that the world is in uproar about twenty-nine dissidents held in China's jails, but there are that many held in each of Germany's big city jails, he expresses shocked disbelief!
Ticks me off for my behaviour over the last years, says I could without difficulty restore my old position of prominence in the German publishing world, etc etc; I reply that I am not interested in doing so, not at their price. I am hartnäckig, said the judge in January 1993, as he tripled the fine on me to $22,000. Somebody who is hartnäckig does not abandon his sincerely-held positions as an historian, unless and until somebody comes along with quality data to prove him wrong; and so far they have not.
But, I admit, I have been stunned by the world-wide scale of the campaign that has developed against me. I did not expect that "they" were as influential as that-or that my world-wide publishers were as weak kneed.
I tell him of the lawsuit we shall now bring against Australia's prime minister, and I show him today's Australian newspaper reports on this. He asks curiously how my family and I survive. I proudly tell him of the fighting fund-of the hundreds of close friends around the world who are determined to hold our cause afloat.
JUST BEFORE 5 P.M. A LONG AFFIDAVIT by Michael Whine, "defence director" of the Board of Deputies of British Jews comes through. His name is appropriate; the deposition is one long whine-for example, that the two-year delay, if the writ is to be allowed, will put an impossible strain on the Board's witnesses who cannot be expected to remember the basis of their allegations against me, etc. (Tell that to Ivan Demjanjuk!)
I go to court at 9:30 a.m., for the first hearing before Master Tennant; he savages me because I cannot recall a particular Order or Rule number. He curtly orders the hearing adjourned, and the Board of Deputies gains a date for a full-length hearing tomorrow afternoon.
In court then all afternoon. This judge in chambers compliments me on my "succinct" presentation; I deal pre-emptively with some of the points which I apprehended the Defence will make about Knowledge and the Judge's Discretion to grant leave to issue a writ out of time.
Defence counsel for the Board, whose name appears to be Mr Smoothheart, stresses my enormous intelligence, but only when arguing that therefore I "must have" known months earlier than the date I submit, that the Board, his clients, authored the libellous report found in the Canadian government files. Late in the afternoon, as the Defence deals with the delays which occurred at, they say, my instance, they ask if they may put in, not the reams of Without-Prejudice letters that passed between us, as they are privileged, but just the dates of those letters.
I object that either they must introduce the whole correspondence or no part of it: "I am prepared to waive privilege on the entire correspondence I say. The judge reads the letters alone for fifteen minutes.
While he is impressed by my good-faith attempts to reach a settlement, he finds himself unable to grant leave to issue the writ out of time, since he determines that more than a year has passed since I acquired knowledge of "the relevant facts."
He expressly states that he is not impressed by the Defence argument that this is a "trivial matter." The Board had published the (libellous) report, so they argued during their earlier submissions, to only one party. "Yes, to the Canadian Government," replied the judge, "and with catastrophic consequences for Mr Irving!"
I now prepare to adopt "Plans B and C" against the Board.
THE JEWISH CHRONICLE PUBLISHES A VERY FAIR REPORT by their Sydney Correspondent on the renewed Australian ban. The phrase "holocaust denier" is missing; the report remarks merely that I have "suggested that accounts of the Holocaust have been exaggerated." It adds:
The Australian Jewish community strongly welcomed Mr Ruddock's decision. Diane Shteinman, the president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, expressed relief that the "elderly Holocaust survivors of our community will not be subject to further trauma and aggravation," which she said could be caused by Mr Irving's presence here.
At five a.m. the fax machine spits out rude letters about me that have been published in today's New Zealand Herald and Sydney Morning Herald, both alas from Jews. I reply to the latter:
Oh my, I seem to have got under Michel Kapel's skin (Nov. 20). Not at all a nice place to be. He accuses me of having no academic qualifications. Yes, it is true, I admit: exactly forty years (and thirty works of modern history) ago I was too poor to complete my university course.
So no qualifications.
So what: Pliny hadn't any qualifications either; Winston Churchill wrote (and made) history without 'em; Gibbon wrote his Decline and Fall without 'em; and Macaulay wrote his History of England without 'em.
So I seem to be in good company.
TIME TO RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES and speak to my many friends there: a ten-thousand mile drive from north to south and back again.
I finish all the outstanding work in London and complete the backlog of correspondence. It is 4:38 a.m. when I finish my fifty-page Reply to The Observer's defence and mail it from the pillar-box on the corner of the square.
After that I potter around until seven a.m., frightened that if I go to bed I will sleep until afternoon; I snatch an hour on a sofa. Taxi comes 8:20 a.m.-my friendly Black-cab driver has offered me another free lift to Heathrow in exchange for a signed copy of my Hermann Göring biography.
At ten-thirty I am airborne and falling fast asleep, heading back to Washington DC.
[ Top | Pittsburgh | Australia | Radical's Diary | Book Reviews | Letters | Law Report | Board of Deputies | Opinion ]
Günter Deckert – Schoolteacher and Father
is Jailed by German Thought Police
Readers who wish to help Günter Deckert and his family while he is jailed by the
German government can write and send cash and cheques to him while he is in prison.
Herrn Günter Deckert, Plitischer Häftling, Schönbornstrasse 32 (JVA),
Landesgefängnis, 76646 Bruchsal, Germany.
Mark the envelope as follows:
"Aid for Günter Deckert—Just one of Germany's political prisoners."
One of our number in New York State has written to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whose intervention is credited with having forced the German government to release American citizen Hans Schmidt from "investigative custody."
I write now on behalf of Günter Deckert," writes our friend, "whose imprisonment in Germany merely for inviting David Irving to an audience of his German readers [in 1991] is a gross injustice in what is considered a democratic country."
"We are privileged to have here the inviolable First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. As a country greatly influenced since May 8, 1945 by the USA, Germany should now through osmosis have shown signs of emulation of our Constitution. May I persuade you to do as much for a law-abiding schoolteacher in Germany in your gentle inimitable fashion as you did for the naturalised German Hans Schmidt?"
[ Top | Pittsburgh | Australia | Radical's Diary | Book Reviews | Letters | Law Report | Board of Deputies | Opinion ]
They're All Still Here
H R Haldeman, The Haldeman Diaries (New York, 1994).
Red faces in Washington. It seems that behind closed doors in Pennsylvania Avenue people do speak their minds, especially at the highest levels. There is a new book now which deals with much of what Richard Nixon believed in private, while retaining his own mask like countenance for the benefit of the media.
What those who visited the late President Richard M Nixon did not realise was that his chief of staff H R Haldeman was keeping a genuine diary-writing it up each night or dictating it onto a pocket tape recorder. Now Haldeman is dead, beyond retribution. And the diaries are out.
How appalling! The evangelist the Rev Billy Graham has had to deny ever having said during a conversation with Nixon on Feb. 1, 1972 that he had "the strong feeling that the Bible says there are Satanic Jews." The remark was allegedly uttered during a discussion with Nixon at which the unspeakable allegation was raised (the London Jewish Chronicle called it "paranoid") that "the total Jewish domination of the [American] media" posed a terrible problem.
Nixon was certainly no saint when it came to his feelings about the Jews. Recently released tape recordings have revealed his paranoia about them.
When he paid a visit to China, reports Haldeman, he was shown a list of the reporters who were to accompany him and asked pointedly if there were not going to be any non-Jewish reporters on the trip.
After American Jewish leaders boycotted a visit by the French president Georges Pompidou in 1970, to protest against the French sale of jets to Libya, Haldeman recorded that the U.S. president "really raged again today against United States Jews because of their behaviour." After the Jews of New York staged a demonstration on the same occasion, Nixon "got going again against [the] Jews' attitude," and on account of their "unconscionable attitude" the president decided to postpone the delivery of American jets to Israel. Worse, in front of his secretary of state Henry Kissinger-who was like Pompidou a Jew-Nixon rasped that he would not talk to any Jews about the Middle East.
That being so, Nixon can hardly have wondered when the media and Jewish legal inquisitors later used the trivial Watergate affair-whose piffling importance had the rest of the world's journalists baffled and perplexed-to bring the house down on him; Judge Breyer, President Clinton's latest appointment to the Supreme Court, was one of the inquisitors in the Watergate inquiry.
George Bush too learned the hard way that you can't hold back on a multi-billion dollar loan guarantee to Israel and expect an even-handed media when it comes to election time.
Of course as any historian who has worked in the U.S. presidential libraries knows, Nixon was not alone in his anti-semitism, trifling though Haldeman makes it seem. After one trying train ride with Felix Frankfurter, Herbert Lehman, and Bernard Baruch from Washington, DC, to Hyde Park, NY, a vexed Franklin D Roosevelt told a staff member, who also kept a diary, that he now understood why in some Middle Eastern countries the practice after circumcisions was to keep the foreskin and throw the rest away. In only marginally less questionable taste Harry S Truman expressed private dismay that even though he had created the state of Israel "they're all still here."
Elizabeth Loftus, The Myth of Repressed Memory (New York, 1994).
The world of medical science has produced another stunning book about the phenomenon first identified as Holocaust Survivor Syndrome – the manner in which groups of people genuinely and honestly come to believe over the years that they have witnessed episodes which are, in fact, largely products of trauma and fantasy.
"It is possible," writes Elizabeth Loftus, a psychologist at the University of Washington, in what Newsweek magazine calls a disturbing new book, "to create an entire memory for a traumatic event that never happened."
According to her some of the best neuro-scientific brains are trying to find out how this can happen: this may throw light on the current bitter debate about "recovered memory," which ranges across cases of Satanism, childhood sexual abuse, and UFO abductions; and, as may fairly be pointed out, otherwise inexplicable and unsubstantiated Holocaust eye-witness survivor stories-the kind that were nearly the nemesis of Cleveland auto worker John Demjanjuk.
Summary: hundreds of experiments have shown that people easily slip false details (from a TV report for example) into their recollection of an event they witnessed. "They even 'remember' events they have only heard about," wrote Newsweek, reviewing the 290-page Loftus book.
In May 1994 Harvard Medical School hosted a conference on the neurological bases of false memories. James McClelland, of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Pittsburgh, provided one explanation; Michael Nash, of the University of Tennessee, another.
Nash calls it chilling that "there may be no structural difference" between a true memory of an event and a false one. The problem is similar to distinguishing a remembered dream from a recollected factual event: some people, says Daniel Schacter of Harvard, cannot distinguish. "You could be remembering a dream, a fear, or something someone talked about," he said. "What gives the memory a feeling of authenticity is that authentic parts are included."
Only one person in four appears, from Loftus' studies, prone to this disorder. But others can be conditioned by events. "Severe emotional stress overcomes internal checks on plausibility," states neuro-scientist Marsel Mesulam of Northwestern University, "and you are left with a false 'memory.'"
In the United States a False Memory Syndrome Foundation has been set up to represent the interests of the victims of such retrieved "memories"; some people have been sentenced to forty years in jail on this evidential basis alone.
Harvard psychiatrist Judith Herman is however angry: "Scientists have no business using the term false memory," she says.
Dimitri Volkogonov, Lenin: Life and Legacy: A New Biography (London & New York, 1994)
The late general Dimitri Volkogonov, the Russian biographer, already set the cat among the pigeons once with a Stalin biography for which he had exclusive access to Stalin's secret safe file. Volkogonov is special assistant to Russian president Boris Yeltsin, and was chairman of the presidential commission examining the Soviet archives. He found that Stalin's file contained among items Stalin's panicky instructions on June 26, 1941, to establish immediate contact with the German ambassador, if still on Soviet soil, to negotiate a Soviet surrender).
He now prints a work on Lenin which quotes from the minutes of the Soviet Politburo meeting of March 5, 1940, for which he gives an archival reference, at which the communist leadership approved the order to exterminate the Polish officers who had been in Soviet custody since Stalin invaded Poland in mid-Sept. 1939. Under the orders of former NKVD officer Petr Soprunenko, still living as a Jewish pensioner in Moscow, the NKVD murdered the fifteen thousand captured Polish officers at Katyn and two other sites near Smolensk over the following weeks.
After the war the Russians put several German officers on trial for the 'Katyn massacre' and publicly hanged them in Leningrad. The Katyn massacre was chalked up against the Germans at Nuremberg.
It is accordingly today a criminal offence under the 1990 Gayssot Law in France to suggest that the Russians were the true murderers.
Ich bin ein Berchtesgadener
Hugh Sidley (ed.), Prelude to Leadership. The European Diary of John F Kennedy. Summer 1945 (Washington, 1995).
After making a 1945 pilgrimage, like millions of tourists every year, to Adolf Hitler's famous mountain retreats at Berchtesgaden, with the Eagle's Lair built on the Kehlstein high above it, the young naval officer who would later become President of the United States wrote these words in his diary (page 74):
"The lair itself had been stripped of its rugs, pictures, and tapestries, but the view was beautiful-the living room being round and facing out on every side on the valley below.
"After visiting these two places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived.
"He had a boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way that he lived and in the manner of his death will live and grow after him.
"He had in him the stuff of which legends are made."
A True Pirate Tale
Edward Jay Epstein, Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer (New York, 1996)
At last the truth about oil tycoon Armand Hammer seems to be coming out.
From time to time over the past fifteen years we have highlighted the extraordinary materials that we have found about this noted philanthropist in the various archives, which revealed the man as an unreconstructed Soviet agent until the very end of his life.
Now Edward Jay Epstein, one of the United States' foremost biographers and historians, has unmasked him as just that, relying on newly released FBI files and on secret papers disgorged by the new masters of the Kremlin.
FBI director J Edgar Hoover had known this since 1952 at least; the mystery remains, how Hammer could escape the fate that befell two other leading Jews, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (or at very least the life sentence earned by another trusted Jewish official who spied on his host country, Jonathan Pollard).
Hammer's father Julius Hammer was already known to be a leading communist agent.
Armand Hammer was a born survivor. Writes Epstein: "Pleading guilty to illegal Nixon campaign contributions in 1976, Hammer "arrived in Federal court in a wheelchair Two doctors attached dozens of wires to him so they could monitor his heart in an adjoining room. Attendants stood by with an oxygen tent and other emergency paraphernalia.
On leaving the courtroom, Hammer, as his lawyer put it, underwent 'a miraculous recovery.'
"He checked out of the hospital, discarding like the props they were his wheelchair, electrocardiogram, and oxygen tent. The next day, he was back in his office."
Armand Hammer and Robert Maxwell: two of the biggest gangsters to grace, or disgrace, God's earth.
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Write to Action Report or to David Irving and his Fighting Fund (DIFF) at:
P O Box 1707, Key West, FL 33041, USA
Or to: 81 Duke Steet, London W1M 5DJ, England
Had a conversation with the editor's assistant (the man who was in charge of your book before decision to cancel), in which he informed me that you were the sole possessor of the entire Goebbels Diaries and that therefore the validity of much of your book could not be checked. I remember you informing me that you had travelled to Moscow to examine much of what had been presumed "lost".
F J, Singapore
- David Irving replies: That editor's assistant was Neal Bascomb. He should have asked me. I would have pointed out that had I chosen to manipulate or distort what I found, I would surely have been exposed eventually when the German government took possession of those diaries from Moscow. What the traditional enemy objects to is not that I distorted what I found—but that I did not: I quoted it just as Goebbels wrote it, without distortion.
We are shocked to hear in the radio news that they are still refusing you entry into Australia. What on earth is wrong with our country? I thought in a democracy everybody is entitled to their own opinion. My husband and I were outraged about the outcome of this court battle. Are you going to battle on? I hope so, although it must be very nervewracking.
Mrs I Y, Clarinda, Australia
I have two sets of very interesting letters from two German soldiers. One soldier fought and died at Stalingrad, and I have twenty-seven of his letters Apr–Dec. 1942. The other is from a German soldier who wrote to his sweetheart who later became his wife; he continues to write to her from prison camp. I would pay a German language student a modest fee to translate these letters for me.
Larry J Menestrina, 3934 Somerset St., Wichita, KS 67204 – 3527
- [Mr Menestrina is a well known US collector of militaria.]
The GOEBBELS book arrived just in time to take with me on holiday. A credit to your Customer Services.
D W, Merseyside
Your beautiful book GOEBBELS: MASTERMIND OF THE THIRD REICH is a landmark indeed. Unbeknownst to you, I was fired from the chairmanship of my Dept at Georgia State University for attending your Nov. 1992 lecture at the Smyrna (Georgia) civic center. The chair of History, "monitoring" the event for you know whom, saw me there and denounced me. I'm still on the Faculty, but not allowed to teach a course in Twentieth Century Literature because in 1993 I told a class that the four million figure at Auschwitz was untrue and that all the deportations should be looked at as security measures, whether from France, or the California Japanese, or of the Volga Germans to Silesia. Outrage!
Once again, "keep punching" as my father used to say. When Western Civilization eventually triumphs over the enemies of truth, your name will be like that of George Washington today!
Prof D O, Atlanta, Georgia
God Bless you for fighting for truth and justice!
R D, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
I want you to know that I always read every single word of action report, and think the format, diary, mixture of personal and public, is fascinating. Your skilful pen makes one feel one is right there with you-and yet, truth is, there you are, alone, fighting this terrible battle against such dark forces. And yet, thankfully, not really alone, with your beautiful family beside you.
Mrs M F, New Rochelle, NY
Keep up the fight for truth and free speech!
B K, Ridgefield, Connecticut
I am not indulging in flattery when I state that you are a remarkable person. Even your enemies admit that you are an extraordinary researcher, you are a riveting writer (I could not put down the latest action report without completing it) and you have what is best described as intestinal fortitude far beyond the norm. I do not know how you endured the financial and physical attacks, the illness, and your daughter's horrible accident while still pressing forward. You have my deepest respect, for I know that I would have buckled under such pressure.
H F, New Jersey
They'll have to be mad, these people, to hassle or pretend to jail someone like you. I just finished your book on Mr Churchill: man, what a masterpiece that is. "They" were all whinging and bitching on ABC Radio, before a thoroughbred female announcer, about why David Irving should be kept out of Australia, and why "Irving" should be ignored. This was a couple of years ago, and you were in the news because the Australian Government had just refused you entry to my country. I'd never even heard of you then, but for the sake of Cosmic Justice I am pleased to report that their little radio programme prejudiced me in your favour even before I had read your book, Sir. Man, they were so rude and self-righteous. I pricked up my ears also because I realised that you must be the same "Mr Irving" who stars in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five.
J S, Maleny, Queensland
It is interesting that lord Merlyn-Rees [a former British Home Secretary] trots out the old rubbish of equating open, honest questioning with antisemitism. There may be some people who try to exploit the anti-Holocaust argument simply because they dislike Jews, but they are a small minority. It seems to me that certain vociferous Jews are fomenting antisemitism by their intolerant attitude. Their malicious campaign suppressing civil liberties is an incitement to hatred of the most hypocritical kind. I suspect that the truth of your world-wide campaign leaks out, for as "silent" as the great majority may appear they are not all brainwashed idiots.
R E, Ramsgate, Kent
A recent time magazine article features a photograph taken inside a temple: the cremated remains of aids sufferers are stacked against a Buddha. If millions were cremated at Auschwitz, a mountain of remains would have accumulated. Yet to date no mountain of burned bones has been found.
As a local contractor engaged in the extension of the Bristol Crematorium in the 1950s I saw the remains of cremated bodies. Large bones remain burned but intact, and have to be pulverised mechanically or with hand tools to reduce them to powder or dust. The ordinary person assumes that only dust-like ashes remain.
It is because of this lack of information-or lack of interest-by the public that no one has ever questioned the "Holocaust." People believe that the victims just disappeared in dust.
Gone with the wind!
F T, bristol
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Suppression of Free Speech in Germany Continues
Further Rare Cases in USA
A NASTY EPISODE
In a case brought by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in the U.S. federal court three former employees of the state of Florida, identified by The Miami Herald as Jewish, sued for $1 million dollars each in damages for insults they alleged they had suffered in the Miami office of the auditor general. Supervisor Abraham Azzam was found by an internal investigation to have used offensive expressions about Jews three times; since he was not formally disciplined, the ADL targeted the office on behalf of the three employees. In a million-dollar out of court settlement funded by Florida taxpayers, each of the three men and a Hispanic woman who defended them was paid $90,000; their lawyers received $280,000, while lawyers defending the auditor-general's office received $340,000. Arthur Teitelbaum, southern area director of the ADL, called it "a nasty episode."
The U.S. Justice Department (heroes of the litigation known as Israel v John Demjanjuk) announced on Dec. 1 that it has placed the names of sixteen Japanese veterans of the country's infamous Unit 731 on the "watch list" of people barred from entering the United States; these Japanese have been accused of conducting medical experiments on prisoners or of forcing foreign women into sexual slavery during WW2. The list, established in 1979, consists of thousands of Nazis banned as suspected war criminals. Unit 731 operated in Manchuria; its work remained secret for years as Washington had granted the doctors immunity from prosecution in exchange for the data they had collected.
Kurt Waldheim, Austrian Chancellor 1986–92, has blamed in his memoirs (The Answer, Amalthea Verlag, Vienna) the New-York-based World Jewish Congress for having pressured the U.S. Justice Department into issuing a ban on his entry to the United States. WJC chief Edgar Bronfman had vowed revenge against Waldheim, secretary general of the United Nations 1972–82, for having allowed it to pass its notorious resolution equating Zionism with racism.
Speaking with Alan Cowell of The New York Times, Waldheim accused Mr Bronfman of having told Edwin Meese, U.S. attorney-general at that time, that barring Waldheim would be a "useful signal" to Jewish voters in the upcoming 1988 presidential campaign. Elan Steinberg of the World Jewish Congress has formally denied the monstrous allegation.
action report #10 published the last letter left by Reinhold Elstner, one of the supporters of the Fighting Fund, a veteran who decided to set an example for Germany's youth and immolated himself in the centre of downtown Munich on Apr. 25, 1995.
Not only was his self-sacrifice hushed up by the horrified German government and media. Now the contents of his last letter are being suppressed too: the German publisher of Zirkelbrief, the newsletter of the Notverwaltung des Deutschen Ostens, has been fined 9,600 DM (around $6,500) for publishing the letter. The German courts have defined Elstner's farewell epistle as posthumous "incitement".
The Federal German Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Schriften (Control Agency for Youth-Endangering Literature), has placed a British computer game on its index of banned products, citing "moral dangers" to German children and adults if they played it. The computer game "Panzer General" enabled players to refight some of the major battles of World War II.
What troubled the agency (popularly known as the Youth-Endangering Control Agency)? The fact that by making the appropriate adjustments in mid-battle the players had the opportunity of "enabling Germany to win the Second World War." In the broadest sense, fretted the agency, this fulfilled the criteria for "NS-Verherrlichung und -verharmlosung" (exalting and minimalising the Nazis) a crime under Federal German law.
The computer game is still on sale worldwide except for Germany: with the right mouse-clicks children and adults world-wide can still enable a German victory, if they choose.
The Arkansas Democrat–Gazette reports that a Ms. Debra Coleman Warner has sued the Chalmette Middle School in Chalmette, Louisiana, because a letter which she wrote in 1992 asking that her son be excused from a field trip to the Holocaust Museum was leaked to the Times–Picayune, the New Orleans regional newspaper.
The newspaper published the letter two days before a November runoff for parish council which Ms Warner lost. In the leaked letter, she stated "allegations regarding treatment of Jews during war years have been grossly exaggerated."
Oxford University Press have agreed to make a payment to historian David Irving, copyright in whose standard work Hitler's War was infringed in their university textbook Fascism; editor Richard Griffin had reproduced several pages of the biography without permission.
He also reproduced this passage from a conversation between Hitler and a Bavarian financier in 1922
'I combat Jewry not as a religion, but as a race... a solution to the Jewish problem must come'
The full text of the conversation between Hitler and the financier was recorded in shorthand by the latter's secretary. David Irving printed this exclusive document in his news sheet Focal Point in 1982.
In a rare blunder, The Sunday Times in London reprinted the inflammatory passage as having been written by Mr Irving himself, and not by Hitler. Oops!
Red faces and apologies all round.
More Book-Banning in Germany
The book Feuerzeichen, Ingrid Weckert's detailed study of the 1938 Reichskristallnacht is now officially banned in Germany.
First published there in 1980, it was freely sold in bookstores up and down the country for fourteen years.
In 1994 however the third edition was put on the Index of Youth-Endangering Literature, and in 1995 the book was formally banned. It is now a criminal offence to posssess more than one copy for personal consumption. The book has been the subject of police raids up and down the country during the last months.
A COURT IN TÜBINGEN HAS FINED DR. WIGBERT BRABERT, proprietor of Grabert Verlag publishing house, DM.30,000 ($20,000) for publishing Ernst Gauss's book Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte.
IN FEB. 1996 A STARNBERG COURT ORDERED A POLICE RAID on the home of publisher Dr Gerd Sudholt to search for any surviving copies of 1960s books published in Austria by Dr Franz Scheidl. Sudholt – who had only just emerged from a prison sentence imposed on him as a publisher – had however hastily destroyed his remaining stock several months earlier, so the police, after searching his private dwelling, bedroom, linen cupboards, toilets and bathrooms left empty handed, apart from a documentary video which a well known wholesaler had sent him as a sample in 1992; they took that instead.
ON JUNE 20 POLICE AND DETECTIVES OF THE BAVARIAN CRIMINAL POLICE searched the Nuremberg offices of the South Tyrol Book Service looking among other things for the book by Serge Thion, Historical or political Truth? The Power of the Media: the Faurisson Case (a recent publication by a dissident Berlin publishing house).
[ Top | Pittsburgh | Australia | Radical's Diary | Book Reviews | Letters | Law Report | Board of Deputies | Opinion ]
Legal action against the Board of Deputies of British Jews
Why I Decided to Take Britain's Oldest, Richest, and
Most Respected Jewish Headquarters to Court
By David Irving, Special to Action Report
As my many Canadian friends know, on Oct. 28, 1992 I legally entered Canada to lecture in British Columbia on free speech; on Oct. 30 I was arrested just after delivering the first speech by six Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officers, under an immigration warrant.
After fighting the Canadian immigration ministry's wrongful decision through the courts in Vancouver and Niagara Falls, I was deported in handcuffs aboard an Air Canada plane from Toronto airport to London late on Nov. 13, 1992.
Having been deported from a Commonwealth country, it was possible for opposition groups in every other country to demand that their governments refuse me entry; the governments of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa at once complied.
Even the United States, where free speech is constitutionally protected, came under the same insidious attack. On the night of Nov. 1, 1992 U.S. border officials had already refused me entry at the Niagara Falls crossing-for the first time in my life, although I hold a permanent entry visa. After a subsequent uncomplicated three-month winter visit to the U.S.A., on Apr. 19, 1993 I was again nearly denied entry, this time permanently, at Washington DC.
However, after two hours' work the commendably conscientious duty officer found, as he immediately told me, that "somebody" had hacked into the Immigration Service's mainframe computer and planted a phoney file of dirt on me. The U.S. authorities were good enough to apologise to me for the inconvenience; despite my Freedom of Information Act suit for access to the file, to try to identify who that Somebody was, it has not been released to me yet.
With one foul blow in Canada, I had thus effectively been silenced around the world. My professional career was in jeopardy, if not over. I was unable to research in the archives of the world, prevented from appearing in lecture halls and universities, forbidden to promote my books in person and on the television. It was an ugly blow to free debate on matters of historical importance.
My colleagues—who must remain nameless for their own safety—and I began the long process of investigating what happened in British Columbia and Ontario.
I instructed them to procure all relevant files from their government authorities under their Access to Information Acts 1980–83.
Only in Dec. 1994 did the truth begin to emerge. While writing in the U.S.A. I received from my Canadian colleague, a former attorney, a spiral-bound file of documents on my case, many of which had come from the confidential intelligence files of Canadian Immigration. Other papers procured by us over the ensuing year came from the files of the R.C.M.P., the Victoria BC city police, and the Canadian intelligence services.
These showed that in Aug. 1992, about a month after I announced my plans to tour fifteen cities in Canada that autumn, a mysterious figure identified as Harold Musetescu—long since disowned by the Canadian government and released from their service—had planted on the Canadian intelligence computer two files containing strings of lies about me.
The principal items consisted of two lengthy typed reports on me prepared by an anonymous English author or agency. The first numbered thirty-two pages, and described my life and works from my birth in 1938 to Jan. 1991. The second report, of six pages, continued the life story to April 1992.
Both reports were packed with lies about me-for example that in 1959 I had married the daughter of one of General Francisco Franco's top generals in order to ingratiate myself with the Falangist movement.
"Uncorroborated evidence," the document continued, "implies that Irving has been the recipient of substantial funding from unknown sources. It has been repeatedly rumoured that these are Nazis."
Both reports were marked confidential, and had had all identifying texts removed by the Canadian government before release to us. It would take a year to establish who the author probably was, and another year for them to confirm it (in November this year).
The two reports were immediately preceded by a heavily censored page titled "DAVID IRVING – BANS" and dated June 17, 1992. This page was a British document originally attached to press clippings provided to a Mr Michael Whine, head of the "defence department" of the Board of Deputies of British Jews in London, and forwarded by him to as yet unidentified agencies in Canada; the clippings, sent to London by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBOD) reported the ban imposed on me there in June 1992.
IT IS NOW KNOWN, because the Board has finally admitted it, that they themselves authored and disseminated the two reports.
What is the Board of Deputies? It has been in existence for about two hundred and fifty years. It was established as a voluntary association of synagogue representatives; its 350 members are elected from 200 synagogues and forty organisations of British Jews.
Among its stated objects are to protect the interests, religious rights, and culture of Jews both in and outside Britain, defend their security and, surprisingly, "take such appropriate action as lies within its power to advance Israel's security, welfare and standing."
Caught in flagrante, the Board has been forced to come out into the open about its unorthodox activities as a secret agency gathering intelligence about British subjects on behalf of the state of Israel and Jewish bodies in Britain and around the world.
In an affidavit which its chief "defence" official swore in the first round of my court action against them a month ago-such an affidavit becomes a public document-Michael Whine deposed that his responsibilities related to external threats to the security and well-being of the Jewish community\.
"Mr Irving's activities," he admits, "have been monitored by the Board for a number of years." Whine's department, he confesses, compiled the report as part of "its normal day to day activities." It was not intended for external circulation. "However at some time in 1992 I received a request for information on Mr Irving by the B'nai Brith League of Human Rights, a similar organisation to the Board in Canada."
The League was in the process of providing information to the Canadian Immigration authorities, states Whine.
Until reading this affidavit a few weeks ago, I had not even known the identity of the Canadian link in the chain: the League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada and the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Toronto have not replied to registered letters from me.
My friends had however obtained a copy of the confidential 1993 annual report of the League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith Canada. In this, Mark A Sandler, the national chairman, boasted:
"David Irving attempted to conduct one of his cross-Canada tours in 1992, but thanks in part to League interventions, and excellent co-operation between a number of police agencies and government departments, Irving was arrested and deported. He is no longer permitted to enter Canada without ministerial consent. In both these cases, the League worked to warn the Immigration Department  and provided information to government officials. Australian and South African Jewish communities have used materials provided by the League to lobby their governments for similar treatment of Irving."
ALL THIS IS NOW (1996) known, but in 1994 it was by no means easy to establish who had written the libellous reports. Asking the Board outright was out of the question: the financial penalties for libel in Britain are still swingeing, and they would make it as difficult for me as possible.
My first device was to use Britain's Data Protection Act, 1984.
It was obvious that the two reports had been prepared on an electronic computer and thus probably fell within the provisions of this Act, designed to protect the rights of individual.
Upon my return to London I phoned the government's Data Protection Agency on July 31, 1995 and they confirmed the criteria to me. They said that the Board's Research Unit had registered their database with them on Aug. 12, 1988, being assigned Reg. No. C.1041013.
I at once procured a copy of that certificate. Analysis shows it to be an extraordinary document, for a body purporting merely to represent religious interests in Britain.
Diets and Disabilities
The Board admits in its certificate that it exists to collect and disseminate intelligence data on British subjects including elected representatives, holders of public office, authors, publishers, editors, artists, writers, and other creative people.
The Board collects these data from sources including subjects' past employers, financial and legal representatives, business and personal colleagues, and social, spiritual, welfare or advice workers, as well as from the courts of law, the published media and private data providers.
They also assert the right to collect data including the membership lists of clubs, societies and institutions, data on offenders both past and suspected, and personal data on subjects including:
- their current marital or partnership history and status,
- other members of their household,
- their social contacts, their personality and/or character,
- their leisure activities and interests, their lifestyle,
- their professional expertise, their business activities,
- their property and possessions,
- licences or permits held or applied for by them,
- court proceedings involving them,
- their academic records, qualifications and skills,
- their publications, their career history,
- their business activities, their disabilities and infirmities,
- their dietary and other special health requirements,
- their racial and ethnic origin,
- their political and religious and other beliefs, and
- pressure groups supported by them.
The Board claims to procure some of the data from police forces, political organisations, and prosecuting authorities.
It has however no authorisation, as is required under the Act, to disclose or transfer such data to countries outside Britain, so it had prima facie committed an offence in providing copies of the two reports on me to Canada.
Exercising my rights under the Act, I served on the Board forty days' written notice to give me access to all its database files on me. They did not reply. I repeated my demand. After further reminders on Aug. 19 and Sept. 4, 1995 Mr Whine-still unaware of the files I had obtained from Canada-sent me an official letter on Sept. 7 (the thirty-eighth day after I first gave notice) denying that his organisation held "any personal data (as defined by the Act)".
I suspected that this was a lie. I challenged him to swear to this denial in an affidavit, and I repeated the challenge on Sept. 16. On Oct. 3 he replied that no, he would not swear to this denial in an affidavit!
Although I still did not have enough proof to start libel proceedings, the evidence in the files pointed all one way: The Board was referred to explicitly on several pages of the two reports. One quoted data supplied by Professor Gerald Fleming, the Breslau-born British historian, a known informant of the Board. The same file contained a letter dated June 5, 1992 from Mr Seymour Kopelowitz of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBOD) to Michael Whine and the Board, and a letter from Fleming to Whine dated June 16, 1992. The report quoted a Feb. 1991 telephone conversation between Irving and Fleming.
There was evidence in files obtained by us from other Canadian agencies and from the agencies of other governments including correspondence between Board's officials and various foreign ambassadors and intelligence services, which proved the Board's reckless endeavours to procure and disseminate dirt on me, to be used specifically for hounding, persecuting, and vilifying me in my calling as an international historian-and if possible for procuring my arrest and imprisonment as well as my banning, exclusion, and deportation from countries around the world in which I had freely researched and lectured for nearly thirty years before the Board's vicious campaign began.
From Aug. to Dec. 1995 I made further to establish beyond doubt who had written the two libellous reports.
The Canadian government continued its deliberate concealment of the identity of the authors. We did not even know precisely whom the reports had been "published" to-another essential feature of British libel law. The government relied on § 13(1)(a) of the Act which prohibited them from disclosing any record that contained "information that was obtained in confidence from the government of a foreign state or an institution thereof."
On Nov. 7, 1995 I challenged the Board to identify a document referred to as "a manuscript on David Irving," which Neville Nagler, one of the Board's chief executives, had forwarded to the German embassy in London in Oct. 1992. No reply was ever received to this letter.
On Nov. 14 I therefore sent a formal Letter before Action to the Board. In this I explicitly quoted a number of extracts verbatim, without however revealing where I had obtained the reports.
Money no Object
At the same time I put the British government on notice that I was contemplating seeking action against the Board for violations of the Data Protection Act; as I said in this letter I was currently undertaking "legal manoeuvres to smoke the [Board of Deputies] out and to oblige [them] to admit authorship of the documents."
The Board now saw no choice but to hire lawyers, and they hired the very best: money is no object. On Nov. 22 the firm of Mishcon de Reya informed me that they had been instructed by the Board. After stern reminders from me, on Dec. 22, 1995 they replied that they had now considered my complaint "and also the report about which you complain".
Although it still left room for wriggling, this seemed to be proof that the Board were the authors. I was in the United States. I faxed to my friends in Ontario a message indicating that my device had worked and that the Board of Deputies of British Jews had "implicitly accepted the authorship of that Report-the one thing we could not (yet) prove".
I AM NOT BY NATURE a litigious person. I had few illusions about the appalling expense in time, energy and funds that taking on the most powerful Jewish body in Britain would entail.
My first instinct therefore was to seek an amicable settlement with the Board: they had been caught, and were at risk of being exposed, with their trousers down.
Everything that antisemites, without a shred of proof, had said for years about them was, it seemed, true: they were an international conspiracy, they did seek to operate outside the law, influencing governments and suppressing free debate on matters of historical import; and they did put the interests of a foreign state, Israel, over those of the subjects of Her Majesty peacefully residing and going about their lawful business in the country where the Jews had sought refuge and domicile.
I therefore wrote two letters to their lawyers on Dec. 23-one open, one confidential (i.e. endorsed "without prejudice"). The open letter read:
May I here make it plain that I harbour no ill feelings toward either your clients [the Board of Deputies of British Jews] or the people whom they represent.
I take note that you make no attempt to justify the defamatory passages complained of. By publishing [them], your clients have injured me in countries around the world and inflicted substantial and quantifiable financial losses on me since 1992, both directly and indirectly.
Over the past three years I have by legal means built up a substantial file of documents from foreign governments and other bodies establishing how your clients and their associates overseas (sajbod, etc) have directed a secret campaign of denigration with the intention of seeing me harassed, arrested, deported, denied entry visas, imprisoned and vilified.
This campaign to deny free speech to an historian of thirty years' reputation, and to ruin his livelihood, for no other reason than a disapproval of opinions he was alleged to hold, flies in the face of all the values for which the last world wars were fought.
I am firstly preparing to lodge a complaint with the Data Protection Agency. As your clients were not authorised by their Certificate to transfer or disclose data to countries outside the U.K., which I shall also argue includes foreign embassies within the U.K., they have prima facie committed a criminal offence under the 1984 Act.
I have in mind of course the Board's written denial to me that they maintained such data on me. I am sure that you will advise your client that it is an offence under the Act to destroy any such data once a User has been put on Notice to provide access, and that the Agency has very comprehensive powers of investigation including search and seizure.
I intend also to mount a claim for damages under the Defamation Act, and I shall certainly take advantage of the latest rulings that enable a plaintiff to set out to a jury what he thinks those damages should be ...
On the same date however I also wrote to these lawyers a conciliatory and confidential letter suggesting that if the Board formally withdrew the libellous reports, I would not seek damages, and nobody need ever learn of the whole regrettable episode.
Because the correspondence which followed was conducted under the seal of confidentiality, and is therefore privileged, I cannot reveal here-even to my supporters and those who are financing me through this long and harrowing ordeal-the ups and downs and twists and turns that my dealings with this devious body took.
The Board asked me to prove that the statements contained in their reports on me were lies. On Jan. 10 I wrote them a robustly phrased open letter:
I am sure you need no reminding that in an action for Defamation the onus is entirely on the defendants to establish that what they wrote was true; I am awe-struck by your attempt to place such an onus on the plaintiff.
Unless I obtain a prior assurance that your client is willing in principle to contemplate the course proposed in my Without Prejudice letter of Dec. 23, then I shall certainly not embark on answering a questionnaire, and I shall proceed directly to the issue and serving of a Writ; given such an assurance, however, I shall answer it to the best of my ability.
A few days later we reached broad agreement on a course of action to be pursued. The Board asked me to answer many questions; for instance, who was my former father-in-law? (Answer: a Madrid industrial chemist, a Republican, whose brothers had had to flee overseas from Franco).
By October of this year however it seemed to me that the Board was drawing out the negotiations with only one aim-to drag me so far over the time-line that I would be too late to take formal libel action.
Under Britain's Limitations Act of 1980, no libel actions can be brought more than three years after the date of publication; that period had evidently expired in June 1995. The law does however still allow a plaintiff to take action if the relevant facts have been concealed from him: he then has a further "period of grace" of twelve months, but he must get the permission of a High Court judge to issue such a writ out of time.
There was at that time no evidence known to me that the reports had been republished within the last three years.
On Oct. 25, 1996 I therefore swore a full affidavit to the High Court setting out the history of the sordid affair, and concluded:
I respectfully aver that in the premises I have satisfied this Honourable Court that I was ignorant of 'all the facts relevant to that cause of action,' namely the facts as to who had authored and/or published the report or reports, until after the limitation period expired.
As evidence of deliberate concealment, I referred to the Board's earlier denial that it had data on its database about me; in short, I submitted that it was only on Dec. 22, 1995-with the tacit admission from lawyers Mishcon de Reya-that I established the relevant facts enabling me to issue a Writ.
The Board fought back, arguing that I "must have" known before Dec. 22, 1995 that they were the secret authors; that therefore even the twelve-month period of grace had expired. Failing that, they pleaded that it would be unjust to allow my action to go ahead so long after the event. Many of the witnesses were forgetful and the documents had been destroyed; moreover it would cost a lot of money, and it would put their secret sources at risk.
I replied in a court document:
If there has been a rash of document-shredding in anticipation of Data Protection Agency activity or of Discovery, this Honourable Court ought not now to allow the [Board] to plead the lack of original documentation as a prejudicial factor.
What kind of intelligence agency destroys its files within two years? [Mr] Whine further avers that memories of events "inevitably have faded" after two years. Britain's only war crimes trials is expected to be conducted against a Surrey man on the basis of recollections of events over fifty years ago. An American auto worker was nearly hanged in Jerusalem on the basis of such evidence.
As for the Board's claim that the costs of defending a libel action would be horrendous, I stated:
Audited financial figures for the Board of Deputies of British Jews are not known to me. Those for the B'nai Brith Canada, which [Mr] Whine testifies is an organisation similar to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, are as follows:
B'nai Brith Canada had assets totalling $27,007,987 in 1992 and $26,354,068 in 1991.
B'nai Brith Canada's income totalled $4,447,490 in 1992 and $4,573,489 in 1991. Its 'League of Human Rights' had in 1992 a nationwide revenue of $140,000 and its Ontario office a revenue of $54,000.
I then addressed the argument that the Board's stool pigeons would not want to be "outed" now.
"There is no material difference," I submitted, "between their being 'outed' in 1996 or in 1995 or in 1994. They certainly have nothing to apprehend from me."
Irving vs Board of Deputies
THE HIGH COURT HELD, in the first hearing on Nov. 15, 1996 of what is likely to become a sensational public exposure of the Board and its un-English activities, that because more than three years had elapsed, and because Mr Irving's "date of knowledge" of the relevant facts was August and not Dec. 1995 as he had argued, he would not be given leave to bring this libel action.
The judge refused leave to appeal.
Mr Irving made plain however that upon obtaining evidence of publication of the same report within the last three years he would reinstate the action.
He has now obtained such proof. On Dec. 9, 1996 he formally challenged the Board to deny that it has republished the report within the last three years.
In Jan. 1997 he will issue a Writ against the Board of Deputies of British Jews, alleging conspiracy, malicious or injurious falsehood, negligence, and libel.
He will need all the help he can get from the Fighting Fund and its supporters to see this fight through.
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Opinion: Gold Rush!
We have followed with interest the attempts being made by the Jewish organisations to recover the fortunes in Gold which they claim are being hidden from them in Swiss bank vaults. Nobody would wish to deny the swift return to its owners of wrongfully detained Gold, and there does seem to be proof of valuables, whether worth millions or only several thousand dollars, being held in this way by the Swiss bankers.
But we cannot help marvelling at the skill with which the world's media have trod the delicate path – reporting at length on these claims without seeming simultaneously to confirm every antisemite's distorted view of "the Jews" as people who swiftly amass huge fortunes while residing in the countries of their choice and then furtively squirrel away their ill-gotten fortunes in secret numbered bank accounts in far-away countries to avoid taxation and the other lawful burdens imposed on their host peoples.
Or, in the British gangster Robert Maxwell's case, in order to prevent the rightful owners of pension and other funds from locating and retrieving their missing millions.
- According to Michael Hoffmann's hugely literate Revisionist Researcher, Milton Bradley & Co., manufacturer of the popular word game Scrabble, has yielded to demands from the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith that it remove from both the game board point system and The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary the word "Jew". Previously fans earned 39 points if they could get j-e-w on a triple score marker\.
The ADL said that Milton Bradley was "literally playing games with hate" by according "legitimacy to the use of such a word in a parlour game often used by impressionable young people." The word has now been expunged (ausgerottet), and thus another problem has been finally solved.
- The Oxford University Press in New York has published a politically correct version of the New Testament and the Psalms. In this new version God is omnisexual (not merely bi-sexual, in case homosexuals are offended) and ambidextrous. The "Son of Man" is now translated simply as "the human one."
In a tortuous quasi-legal decision, the new New Testament no longer holds Jews responsible for the death of Christ. The appropriate excisions have been made to I Thessalonians ii, 14–15 ("for you suffered the same things from your own compatriots as they did from the Jews who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets.")
The sinister references to the right hand of God have been deleted, so as not to upset the left-handed. The now somewhat unfamiliar Lord's Prayer begins, "Our Father-Mother in Heaven." Out of deference to African-Americans "darkness" is no longer synonymous with "evil," though references to "whited sepulchres" are left in.
Lord God is also out: it sounds male–chauvinist to the trained ear. "Lord God does not cut it these days," said the new version editor Susan Thistlethwaite to The Times. "We don't have lords."
Writing to The Times, Rabbi Romain of the Jewish Information & Media Service welcomed the changes.
Next for the chopping block: the Christian Christmas.
Noam Chomsky on the Anti-Defamation League:
In the United States, a rather effective method of intimidation has been developed to silence critique. Let me give you just one example. Take the Anti-Defamation League, the B'nai Brith, which is reputed to be a civil rights organization.
It's rather comical. It's actually an organization which is devoted to trying to defame and intimidate and silence people who criticize current Israeli policies, whatever they may be. For example I myself, through a leak in the New England office of the Anti-Defamation League, was able to obtain a copy of my file there. It's 150 pages, just like an FBI file-interoffice memos warning that I'm going to show up here and there, surveillance of talks that I give, comments and alleged transcripts of talks, of the sort that you'd expect mostly fabricated because people don't hear or can't understand. This material has been circulated. If I'm going to give a talk somewhere, if I came out to Boulder [Colorado] to give a talk, this material would be sent to some local group which would use it to extract defamatory material which would then be circulated, usually in unsigned pamphlets outside the place where I'd be speaking.
I happened to get this material when it was being sent to a Harvard law professor named Alan Dershowitz in preparation for a debate that we were to have a few days later, so that he would be able to extract from it defamatory material concocted by the Anti-Defamation League surveillance system, which is in fact exactly what he did.
This is typical of the way they act. If there's any comment in the press which they regard as insufficiently subservient to the party line, there'll be a flood of letters, delegations, protests, threats to withdraw advertising, etc.
From C. P. Otero, Language and Politics, Black Rose Books, 1988, page 642; a book of interviews with Noam Chomsky
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Additional information about this document
|Title:||Action Report no. 11|
|Sources:||Action Report no. 11, Focal Point, London, December 1996|
|First posted on CODOH:||Dec. 30, 1996, 6 p.m.|