Action Report no. 13
Published by Focal Point
for David Irving's world-wide legal Fighting Fund (DIFF)
Update AR #13 – Dec. 1, 1997
Highlights of This Issue
- "A Radical's Diary"
- Who is Gregory Douglas, and did the Americans ever interrogate "Gestapo Müller"? (No.)
- Letters to David Irving
- The Willis Carto Affair
- David Irving confronts Daniel Goldhagen
A Radical's Diary
By David Irving
Our Legal Battles against the Liars Enter New Phase
LONDON – British author David Irving gives this up-to-date report on his global campaign against the traditional enemies of the truth. He is fighting this guerrilla one-man war on several fronts.
He has started a British High Court action against the widely-read broadsheet The Observer and Hungarian-born Gitta Sereny Honeyman for peddling lies about him in an article last year, published after his biography of Nazi propaganda minister Dr. Joseph Goebbels appeared.
[In New York Mr Irving's publishers St Martins Press (SMP) and Doubleday Inc. cancelled plans to distribute the book after they came under attack from organisations concerned to see only their own version of WW2 history sold around the world.
Stammered a petrified SMP chairman Tom McCormack (who has dined with Irving's family in London and whose firm has often sought quotes from him for the dustjackets of other authors' books), "If we had known who Mr Irving was, we would never have bought the rights in his Goebbels biography."]
Since then the assault on Mr Irving's name has grown increasingly ugly. The Observer and Sereny wrongly accused him of stealing the priceless Nazi glass plates with the Goebbels diaries from the former Soviet secret state archives in Moscow, of faking and manipulating documentary evidence, and even of saying "our Führer" (referring to Adolf Hitler) in public meetings.
In court proceedings Mr Irving has put in a first list of 1,842 documents which he will cite; if the defendants opt for a mudslinging jamboree – recognising that they cannot defend or justify their actual lies – he will put in thousands more documents establishing his international reputation as a major historian of the Nazi era, a reputation unblemished before they and other hatemongers set to work on it.
Many months behind the date ordered by the judge, the London newspaper and its writer have now put in their own first list of documents.
Says author Irving to Action Report, "I am restrained by the rules of court from revealing precisely what is in those documents until they are safely in the public domain, but I can say right now that they provide extraordinary evidence of what I have always maintained: that international organisations like the Anti-Defamation League of the B'nai Brith (ADL) have been conspiring since 1977 if not before to destroy me, recognising me as a major threat to their own interests."
The documents also show, says Mr Irving, that one British publisher after another, including Lord Weidenfeld and Harold Macmillan's firm, who were all successfully and profitably publishing his books, came under secret attack from "outsiders," who applied hidden pressures which these publishers, like McCormack's SMP and Doubleday in 1996, were too weak to resist.
"On the very day after all the newspapers announced my scoop, that I had returned from Moscow with the long-lost diaries of Dr. Joseph Goebbels," says Mr Irving after studying the confidential documents so far released to the court, "my biggest London publisher panicked and issued a secret internal memorandum ordering the immediate destruction of all remaining copies of my famous biography Hitler's War ! Thousands of copies were burned; this robbed me of course of any further income from that book, and I was never told." In fact, the same people wrote him ingratiating letters about his future works.
"When this modern-times Book Burning comes out in court," predicts the historian, "we shall find out who gave the orders – and why."
UNDER HITLER PORTRAIT
David Irving is also suing Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of religion at Emory College, Atlanta, for libel, along with British firm Penguin Books who published her tract, Denying the Holocaust. Author and publisher are not finding it easy. Said one judge : "They are the architects of their own misfortune."
Among Lipstadt's weirder lies:
- that Mr Irving sits under a portrait of Adolf Hitler in his London study
- that he stole or destroyed the Moscow Goebbels-microfiches
- that he engaged to speak alongside Louis Farrakhan and Hizbollah terrorist leaders in Stockholm, Sweden (and then failed to show up).
He says that Lipstadt and Penguin are having to be hauled kicking and howling into the Law Courts in London; they have delayed, dawdled, and dragged their feet at every possible opportunity.
He has now obtained an Order from a High Court judge forcing them to undergo the same revealing process of discovering documents.
Their barrister, Victoria Sharp, told the judge that she expects the case to last six weeks, as she will be calling scores of Holocaust survivors.
"I shall slap down that kind of extravaganza," says Mr Irving. "This trial is not about whether or not Jews were persecuted in WW2 (they were), but whether or not Lipstadt recklessly and maliciously peddled her lies about me, on orders from Yad Vashem and various other Holocaust educational trusts."
One legal action is still causing Mr Irving headaches. Australian prime minister John Howard savagely libelled him in a radio broadcast from Melbourne in November 1996.
Howard justified the ban on Mr Irving by alleging that the historian has criminal convictions in Britain, Germany, and Canada. He has not.
Fighting to overturn the Howard government's exclusion order, Mr Irving asked West Australia attorney Ed Wall, within twelve hours of the broadcast, to throw the book at the prime minister. But every major firm of attorneys in Victoria that Ed Wall instructed, with financial backing from Australian supporters, to start defamation proceedings, has subsequently weaseled out; one pleaded that they would lose their Jewish clients, another that they would lose their Jewish secretary.
"It does not say much for Australian justice that a year later we are still waiting to get that Writ issued," says Mr Irving. "But we shall!"
FRIENDS all over the United States have recently sent the British historian newspaper clippings about a current book by Hungarian-born John Lukács, The Hitler of History. This book libels Mr Irving in the same reckless and malicious way as did Lukács' compatriot Gitta Sereny.
Mr Irving has formally warned Alfred Knopf Inc., the American publisher, that if the book is published within the jurisdiction of the British courts, he will institute proceedings.
Knopf's general counsel, Elise Solomon, replied pleading that the lies are just Lukács "expressing his opinion"; Mr Irving has had to remind her that, under English law, there is no such defence for libel. (continued…)
General Remer is Dead
FAMED GERMAN ARMY GENERAL Otto-Ernst Remer, who was forced into exile by Bonn in 1994, died in Spain aged 85 on October 4th.
Born in Neubrandenburg on December 18, 1912, Remer played the key role in crushing the uprising against Adolf Hitler by disgruntled officers and disaffected aristocrats on July 20, 1944.
Originally sent by the plotters to arrest propaganda minister Dr Goebbels, he learned that Hitler had survived the bomb blast, recognized His Master's Voice on the phone, and acted swiftly against the plotters. His troops put them to death by firing squad in Berlin a few hours later.
Described by baffled newspapermen as an unreconstructed Nazi, Remer remained loyal to the old cause. In 1950 he founded the Socialist Reich Party; in Mar. 1952 he was jailed for three months for slandering the July 1944 plotters as "traitors." The SRP was banned.
He allowed his name to be used by German revisionists, publishing the Remer Dispatch 1991-94. Sentenced to two years' jail despite his medals for heroism, advancing years, and illness – he was wheelchair-bound and breathed with an oxygen pump – he took refuge in Spain. The Spanish government resisted repeated demands by German prosecutors for his extradition, saying that his "offences" did not exist as such under Spanish law.
He is survived by his widow, Marie-Auguste.
Two More Auschwitz-deniers Discovered
In the wake of news reports that leading American publisher Henry Holt is to publish Norman Finkelstein's annihilating attack on Daniel Goldhagen's money-spinning book Hitler's Willing Executioners, an instant global best-seller, the German news magazine Der Spiegel printed on Nov. 17 this prominent interview with German-born historian Ruth Bettina Birn, 45, who published in March this year in the Cambridge University Historical Journal a savage critique of Goldhagen's methods, widely repeated in the British press.[*]
Since then, reports the news magazine, "attempts have been made by psychological and legal means to stop the respected Nazi-expert, who is employed by the Canadian authorities prosecuting war crimes, from expressing her objections."
Do you know Daniel Goldhagen personally?
Yes, eleven years. When I became a Fellow in Boston after gaining my Ph.D. somebody introduced me to a young researcher planning to work in Germany. I referred him to the Ludwigsburg war crimes centre. He didn't even know the archives existed.
Your review of his book, which was commissioned originally by the journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies, was dropped because of possible claims for libel damages. In Britain, Goldhagen's attorneys are threatening you with a libel writ. And now your employer tells you that there have been protests to him about plans to reprint your critique. Do you feel intimidated?
Of course, I feel threatened.
Did Goldhagen ever make a proper academic response to your criticisms of his dubious treatment of sources?
Not in the same journal, which would have been the proper way. I hear he has published a response elsewhere accusing me of "barefaced invention" and "hateful" rhetoric.
To outsiders it seems Goldhagen is showing a weakness by this hate-filled polemics, just as with his venomous but ill-substantiated reaction to the critique by Norman Finkelstein. Why the rage? Next March your paper is to be published in New York as a book together with Norman Finkelstein's article. The Jewish newspaper Forward in New York is already comparing it with the case of the Auschwitz-denier David Irving. Is this the start of an attempt to stop the book?
Our publisher has mentioned once or twice that he is coming under certain hostile pressures.
Do you see a strategy at work behind all this?
There are two areas: first, the unexampled campaign since 1995 to promote the Goldhagen book. A literary first effort becomes a world sensation, and immediately the newspapers start hinting that there's a Harvard professorship waiting for the views his book propagates.
Second, the attempts to stifle the criticisms voiced by me and Finkelstein… You can't recant the Truth, and the pressure on my employer is not going to alter that. The question is, how are we going to deal with this kind of thing in the future? If Goldhagen gets so hostile, even in his book, that cautious, respected researchers suddenly find themselves cast as deniers and revisionists, it seems to me insulting and disgraceful.
And if things go further down the political and legal tracks we see here, it poses a threat to any kind of scientific criticism.
[*] Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, assured Jewish newspapers that the ADL "has been keeping tabs on" Finkelstein, of New York University, for years. On Oct. 17 Jonathan Mahler reported in Forward that he had charged Goldhagen with participation in a Zionist conspiracy and that Finkelstein called much of Holocaust literature including the books by Lucy Dawidowicz "intellectually bankrupt", and Goldhagen's book a "hoax" and a "fraud." Head honcho of the New York Jewish community, Leon Wieseltier – where do they get these names – put pressure on Holt's chief Michael Naumann (the former Rowohlt publisher who organised David Irving's imprisonment for contempt in 1995: it's a small world, publishing), without success. "Now that Holt has decided to stand up to the forces of darkness," said Wieseltier with heavy irony, "I expect to find Tony Martin, John Sack and David Irving on their list too."
his irregular newsletter, wish all those who have contributed to his Global Fight for Truth in History
A Happy Christmas
Jolly Good New Year
The Traditional Enemies of Free Speech are fighting dirtier, as more respected writers sign up for the fight. Help David Irving and his international campaign for Real History. Send your contribution to his Fighting Fund:
PO Box 1707
Key West, FL 33041, USA
I notice from the royalties statement of Mondadori, my Italian publishers since 1963, that next to the still unpublished titles of Hitler's War and Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich appear the ominous words contratto annulato – contract cancelled. First I've heard of it.
I now reply to two scandalous and weasely letters from my editor at Mondadori, dated April and May, which only reached me yesterday:
My relationship as an author with Arnoldo Mondadori Editore (AME) goes back to my first book, APOCALISSA A DRESDA, in 1963; you may not have known that. I do not intend to allow the personal prejudices of one editor to disturb that relationship permanently. It is now plain that an editor at AME secretly annulled first my contract on Hitler's War and then the contract on Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich, without telling me.
The result has been that I have turned down offers from other Italian companies for those books, in the belief that the rights were no longer free. You will not be so naive as to imagine that I can now return to those companies and explain the mistake.
For AME to pretend now that their "general interpretation of the historical facts [is] deeply prejudiced and profoundly misleading" ignores two facts:
- after reading them, AME had already formally accepted and paid for both books;
- both books have been reviewed in the highest terms, as you are aware, by British and American as well as German, French, Spanish, and other reviewers, none of whom shared your judgement.
It is unbearably hot in Key West. The house is over-run with ants. Sam D. tells of sitting in an Atlanta restaurant next to an unknown teacher from the Decatur High School. She said she'd been hearing about a David Irving, had obtained one of his videos, and shown it to her class. It's a small, but often satisfying, world.
Workout in the evening, then cycle along the Gulf to The Rusty Anchor, against a headwind (which has of course dropped entirely by time I ride back).
Benté faxes to me Mrs Gisela G.'s address – she needs her investment back. I mail her a $2,000 cheque. It makes a bad hole in the DIFF finances.
I set out for Miami in a rental car around one p.m. Distracted by an advertising hoarding, I slither into the back of a car at thirty miles per hour on Big Pine Key – the one in front of it has stopped without warning to turn left – but fortunately the one I hit is soft (a BMW) and suffers total damage. Mine, a simple American car, is absolutely unscathed. Although unhurt the BMW driver calls up police, ambulances, paramedics etc. on his cellular phone, so it is an hour before I am under weigh again. (Fined on the spot $70 for driving without attention: I suppose that is just).
THE OBSERVER AND GITTA Sereny have appointed new solicitors to defend them in the libel action I am bringing.
I send them this fax:
The purported defence settled by Victoria Sharp, though brave (and wordy to a fault), is doomed to fail. I may know little about the law, but I do know something about History. That the converse is true in her case is evident from your clients' decision to blacken my reputation still further, no doubt in mitigation of the expected damages, rather than attempt a serious defence of the libels which they published about me. Historically, such a decision – unwise in my view – is fraught with dangers for the defence.
I am still awaiting your clients' list of documents in discovery. They wrote and published the facts, no doubt they already had the evidence they needed before they put ink to paper?
WORK OUT in the evening, then cycle on to Stock Island for supper, against a headwind yet again. Aaargh! Flat tyre on the way back, at the far end of North Roosevelt Boulevard; but I manage to put air into it three times at gas stations. Arrive back soaked in perspiration.
I rise at 5:50 a.m., and phone Benté in London. My third daughter Paloma and grandson Adam are there, and I can hear sounds of mayhem in the background.
An American university has been inquiring for some time about taking over my literary papers.
I reply today:
At present my papers are intact but in three or four different locations.
(a) In about 1964 I started making my historical research files available to the Institut für Zeitgeschichte (IfZ), in Munich; these files contain my interview notes on Hitler's people, and correspondence with them. I have duplicates of much of the stuff in London.
After the death of the IfZ archive chief Dr Anton Hoch, to whom they were entrusted, the IfZ's posture toward me became hostile and confrontational, and I ceased furnishing them with my files; I made plain to them that in view of the lack of Gegenseitigkeit (mutuality) in the relationship, I now expected them to return the files (for which no payment had been made, and for which no contractual agreement exists). They refused. (I found out from later researchers that without my permission the IfZ sloughed off part of my materials to the Deutsches Museum archives, e.g. my research into Hitler's atom bomb project). I estimate the IfZ has about 20 linear feet of my papers.
(b) At the same time, I began retiring my files to the German Federal Archives in Koblenz; usually I made a microfilm copy of the files first. In about 1990 I delivered a final truckload of boxes of papers to them. In July 1993 I was banned from those archives, as part of the ongoing global campaign against me, and in November 1993 I was banned from Germany.
The Federal Archives has sadly recognised that it must now return the papers to me but are seeking to retain some of the best – e.g., my transcript of Rommel's shorthand diaries (1,000 pages), two copies of Himmler diaries in private American hands, Canaris papers, etc. On legal advice I am insisting on the return of the whole.
(c) In London I have my entire personal papers going back to childhood. These include photograph collections, letters, diaries since 1960, telephone logs, tapes, videotapes, and personal 16mm films.
(d) A small collection of my research papers is in Germany with publishers, e.g. an original of Adolf Eichmann's memoirs in typescript, 500 pages, which was given to me in Buenos Aires in 1991.
MY FRIEND Don B. has applied to a Federal Judge in Washington D.C. for a position in the judiciary. Interviewing him, the judge mentioned in some embarrassment that he had been sent anonymously, with a Detroit postmark, a hidden-camera picture showing him at my stand at the Chicago BookExpo fair. The picture is taken from inside a suitcase or some other device, just "so the judge could know who B. was hanging out with." The judge told B. he thought he should know the kind of methods being used against him . . .
The package was mailed on the border between Ann Arbor and Michigan, and contained a load of confidential data on B. including his credit record, and materials on both of us downloaded from the Nizkor site. The judge, an ex-FBI officer, was unimpressed, since he knows my works well and thinks highly of them.
It contained no threats, but was clearly an improper attempt to influence the system.
When I tell her this, Benté says, "The traditional enemy!"
Too true. She says that Jessica is invited to lunch tomorrow with twin children of the commander-in-chief, US Navy in Europe (his children go to the same nursery school).
THE NEWSPAPERS report that Gerda Christian, Hitler's secretary, has died in Düsseldorf at 83. That leaves only Traudl Junge left of the four. The Miami Herald quotes from my Hitler's War about her, without identifying the book.
I phone Daniel Farley, senior editor of Harcourt Brace publishers in San Diego, saying I do not want to pressure him, but have they received the Goebbels book, which he asked to see? Yes indeed, he says, and they're having an editorial meeting next week.
A quiet evening, drained by the heat. I must resume – and complete – work on Churchill's War as soon as possible. Torrential sub-tropical downpour most of the day, which traps me indoors.
A stack of mail which includes an invitation to speak at Wolverhampton Grammar School. I reply:
I'd be very happy to come and talk to your sixth formers. I would suggest a day in November.
I am taking the liberty of enclosing my scurrilous private newsletter, which will stimulate your interest.
TODAY TO APPEASE the international Jewish community The Miami Herald publishes a list of 1,756 names of people holding accounts in Swiss banks which have been dormant since World War II.
I suppose that if the Swiss had published this list two years ago, there would have been an outcry about the "breach of bank confidentiality."
Whatever. I and no doubt millions of others scan the list hopefully, like would-be lottery winners, for names that I know – perhaps even for an "Irving".
After all, on his way as a Royal Navy gunnery officer serving in the cruiser force from Scapa Flow to Murmansk and Archangel in the gruelling Arctic winter of 1941-42, Daddy might have found time to drop off at his local branch of the Swiss Bank to leave a few hard-earned pounds as a nest egg for our future. No such luck.
My eye does settle however on the name of Dr Vojtech Tuka, the Slovak politician; so the Swiss have evidently been ultra-honest about publishing all the names. His little fortune has been quietly building interest there all these years since the Czechs hanged him after the war as a fascist leader.
I am puzzled not to see Goebbels, Göring, Himmler, or Hitler – were their peoples not assured by our wartime propaganda agencies that we had proof that they were stashing away their money into safe Swiss bank accounts in case things turned out badly for them?
But no, not even a Schicklgruber. My faith in the rectitude of our wartime cause, indeed in human nature itself, takes another beating.
Workout in the evening, and supper at the Rusty Anchor. Increased weights and distances. Fit again.
Wanting some kind of decision on Goebbels, I again phone Harcourt Brace in San Diego, but Dan Farley's secretary says he's in New York.
I send this fax to Benté around midday:
Tomorrow please phone the Public Record Office, Kew and ask if they have an information sheet on the recent releases of Bletchley Park ("Ultra") intercept files, particularly about the killing of Jews on the eastern front.
As I cycle over to the Rusty Anchor a spectacular thunderstorm begins. Lightning strikes all round, but my time is apparently not yet up.
Then it is time to return to London. I check into a cheap hotel on Miami Beach for the night, half a mile from the houseboat where Andrew Cunanan shot himself two weeks ago. Now boarded up.
At the airport I pay $200 for excess baggage – all those books – and sweat pints repacking the trunk at the check-in desk to reduce the weights to within the statutory limits.
Plane lands at Heathrow at nine a.m. Back at Duke Street flat at midday. Welcome home. Jessica and Mama both beautiful.
A Will to Make History
Two cases in recent weeks have underlined how urgent it is that dedicated supporters of free speech, and of Real History, should make bequests in their lifetime (by executing testaments, by adding codicils, or by setting up a trust) to enable the battle to be carried on by others in their name after they are gone.
There are a dozen courageous fighters who have lost everything – their freedom, their livelihoods, and their professional reputations; their homes and even their families. Among them are:
- Fred Leuchter, an outsider to the cause, who ten years ago discovered no significant hydrogen cyanide residue in the fabric of the buildings at Auschwitz. He has lost his career and family and been forced to flee his home state of Massachusetts;
- Germar Rudolf, the brilliant young German scientist whose lab tests confirmed that there should have been such cyanide traces, even after all these years: hounded out of his scientific institute, stripped of his academic degree, and sentenced to a prison term in Germany, Rudolf took his young family into exile;
- Günter Deckert, the former schoolmaster and political leader in Germany, was imprisoned in 1995 for translating Leuchter's 1991 lecture for a German audience, and then given another two years for inviting David Irving to speak. (He is still in jail – see Letters section – unwilling to compromise his beliefs, and unable to buy himself out. The same courts are demanding that Mr. Irving himself go to Germany for trial and sentencing in December);
- Douglas Collins, the veteran and popular Canadian columnist, hounded out of his newspaper North Shore News by "human rights activists" because he dared to criticise the porno-schlock movie Schindler's List.
ACTION REPORT will be proud to put its readers, the quiet but principled supporters of this great cause, in touch with these or other needy "freedom-fighters."
Do not forget them and the dozens of other campaigners when drafting your Will.
Tell them now that you have remembered! Give them this encouragement to fight on!
None of them has asked us to make this appeal, but there are real reasons for concern: Two of the better-placed supporters of what we call the international campaign for Real History indicated that they had made such bequests. They died earlier this year, believing that their wishes would be met. In each case their offspring – modern Germans – did not sympathise with their late fathers' wishes. The papers were concealed, and the vital endowments were lost.
"Gregory Douglas": GESTAPO CHIEF – The 1948 interrogation of Heinrich Müller
Gregory Douglas's book Gestapo Chief, the 1948 Interrogation of Heinrich Müller is a carefully crafted historical novel the success of which depends on the reader's partial familiarity with historical events and total acceptance of unsubstantiated documents and assertions.
The reader is urged to accept the "fact" that Müller, the notorious SS-Gruppenführer of the Geheime Staatspolizei survived the war and was successfully interviewed by agents of US intelligence agencies. In the alleged transcriptions of numerous interviews with Müller is material on topics including the Duke of Windsor, Roosevelt's knowledge of the impending Pearl Harbor attack, the assassination attempt on Hitler, and Hitler's miraculous survival and escape to Spain.
The strength of such a house of cards depends on the historical integrity of each of the stories seemingly elicited from Müller by interviewer. If doubt can be cast on the integrity of just one of the facts as related by Müller, the entire scenario will come tumbling down, revealing "Douglas's fraud."[*]
Müller's story of the plan to fake Hitler's suicide to ensure his escape to Spain is interpolated by "Douglas" in his Historical Significance-Reflections of the Author. In this way, "Douglas" manages to substantiate his fabricated Müller statements by weaving a web of historical half-truths consisting of innuendo and unsubstantiated assertions, displaying an extreme dislike of Hugh-Trevor-Roper, author of the landmark narrative on the death of the Führer, The Last Days of Hitler.
Whether Trevor-Roper, a British Intelligence officer, read or spoke no German was irrelevant to his work, as qualified translators were employed by many of these Allied Intelligence Officers conducting the interviews of prisoners. Nor can his well-documented mistake in accepting as genuine the notorious Hitler Diaries some thirty-seven years afterwards, in 1983, be used to impugn the scholarship of his book.
Something more substantial is needed if the historian is to dismiss The Last Days of Hitler.
"Douglas" attempts to provide this material by faulting both the evidence in Trevor-Roper's book and the methods used in securing it. More particularly, "Douglas" faults Trevor-Roper's claim to have conducted numerous interviews of witnesses from the Chancellery Bunker who were in fact in Russian custody. Any interested party need only look to Trevor-Roper's book to realize the error of "Douglas"'s statement. Trevor-Roper never made such a claim. His Notes on Sources is a scholarly listing of the "personal sources" of information used in his report. He never claimed to have interviewed Hitler's staff-members Otto Günsche, Heinz Linge or Hans Bauer. Statements attributed to them are rigorously noted as hearsay.
Of particular concern to "Douglas" was Trevor-Roper's use of interviews with SS personnel to substantiate his expert determinations that Hitler had committed suicide and that his body was burned. Pointing out that the SS officers Linge and Günsche were in Russian captivity, "Douglas" however condemns the remaining two witnesses used by Trevor-Roper as fabrications.
Asserting they were members of the SS and the RSD, "Douglas" allegedly verifies their existence by checking personnel records of the SS and the RSD held by the Berlin Document Center. Informing the reader that the names of Hermann Karnau and Erich Mansfeld, two of Trevor-Roper's witnesses, could not be found, "Douglas" asks the reader to consider those two witnesses a fraud. In addition, the reader is informed that the statements made by Günsche, Linge and Bauer after their release from the Russian incarceration conflict with Trevor-Roper's conclusions.
If "Douglas" had troubled actually to read The Last Days of Hitler he would have realized that his research into the SS background of Karnau and Mansfeld was doomed to fail.
In his Notes on Sources, Trevor-Roper does not state that Karnau was an SS member, only that he was a policeman and member of the RSD (Reichssicherheitsdienst). Thus, Karnau would not have appeared on the SS membership lists which "Douglas" searched.
Mansfeld is another matter. Erich Mansfeld (alias Skripczyk – "Douglas" should have checked the spelling ) was reported by Trevor-Roper to have been a SS-Hauptscharführer and a member of the RSD. One would therefore presume that his name would appear on the SS enlisted men's list in BCD, but it apparently does not.
Can we safely dismiss these two witnesses because no corroboration is found by "Douglas" for their testimonies?
Perhaps "Douglas" should have investigated the Interrogation Records Prepared for the War Crimes Proceedings at Nürnberg 1945-1947. In this catalogue, prepared by the National Archives and Records Service in 1984, is a listing for Erich Mansfeld. His Intermediate Interrogation Report (IIR) is on Microfilm Roll 25.
In this report, conducted in the Bremen Interrogation Center by a G-2 officer of the 29th Division on July 30, 1945, Mansfeld's apparent SS rank is explained: He was accepted into the RSD in June of 1944 with a rank of Kriminal Assistant and SS Hauptscharführer. Whether this was a provisional rank or not is not known.
Other disputed characters of the Bunker Finale are also mentioned , including Karnau, Mengerhausen – a witness "Douglas" seems to have forgotten – and Hufbeck, mentioned on page 204 of The Last Days of Hitler as Hans Hofbeck.
In addition, all post war documentaries on the question of Hitler's death point out that there is total agreement between the versions of Linge, Günsche and Bauer, after their release from Soviet captivity, and the Trevor-Roper conclusions.
What of Karnau, the keeper of the Führer's dogs? The interrogation report notes that Hermann Karnau was in British Custody – which is precisely where Trevor-Roper interviewed him. Two independent sources resulting in almost total corroboration. Mansfeld's entire personal history is listed in the interrogation and can be further checked.
So where's the uncertainty about Mansfeld and Karnau now?
"Douglas"'s success rests on the ability to insert a kernel of doubt in a person's mind regarding these past historical events. We can lay to rest the myth of Adolf Hitler's survival. It remains a wonder that anyone takes this book seriously.
[*] Note by ACTION REPORT: "Gregory Douglas" is the pseudonym of "Peter Stahl," alias "Burch," a convicted counterfeiter living in the United States under various names assigned to him by a witness protection programme. We have seen his police record, and we are not impressed by his clumsy forgeries of wartime documents.
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
In the war I was with the British 79th Armoured Division. After years in Cumberland with the secret weapon CDL – never used – we went to Normandy. Right at the end, in the Ardennes after Hitler's last push, my tank was in a wood watching a road. All the crew were sitting round a fire. I went up into the wood to look for souvenirs.
Suddenly I felt someone watching me – it was an SS soldier, with the runes on his collar. He looked at me, cradling a submachine gun in his arms, and said, "Go home Engländer. All kaput!" Turned his back and walked away. They were not as black as they were painted.
S G, Bexhill on Sea, Sussex
AR: Watch that word Black, feller! You'll get into trouble using words like that around here.
THANK YOU for your very generous gift of a copy of Nuremberg, the Last Battle, signed at that and by return post!
One episode will always stay in my mind: after your Moscow visit: you did not let us down, and told us about the trip the day you returned. Waiting for the police escort to the Underground station, Sam D. and I lustily sang Die Gedanken sind frei. The policemen asked us for a translation, and when we told them [Thinking is Free] one of them said, "Not in this country, dear lady."
Old age pensioner, Ross-on-Wye
SOME FRIENDS OF MINE attended Professor Faurisson's trial in Paris on Sep.25, where he is said to have made an excellent defence. In this country writer Nick Griffin is in court again on Oct. 30 on ridiculous charges – including a sketch of a Viking Princess welcoming ships home which is said to imply that immigrants are being sent home in boats!
PH, London WC1
POLICE STATE NEWS: I received three large letters from Europe today.
Yours was the only one opened and inspected by Customs. How ridiculous!
J H, Sydney, Australia
WAS UP HALF THE NIGHT with your Report. Your struggle for historical truth, and courage to face our enemies, are a definition of character and principle in action.
P J, Panama City
I WAS STUNNED TO READ that Aftab Malik, the very gentleman that sold me that famous fire-engine red UCB David Irving speech ticket at Berkeley, has been railroaded – Soviet style – into a mental clink! This young fellow was a perfectly lucid and courageous advocate for you that I spoke to on several occasions. This "hospitalisation" is a chilling precedent. They did the mental shtick with both Ezra Pound and Knut Hamsun, remember (and with Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary).
R C, San Francisco
YOU ADD A BIT OF EXCITEMENT to my dull existence. I'd very much like to attend your speaking engagements when you have them in my area. How do I learn when and where?
W Q, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
AR: Watch this space!
THANKS your AR is most appreciated. Your stamina, courage, and ability astound me. You are making a difference.
P J, Panama City
IN THE CLEAR: Please send me no further issues of ACTION REPORT!
Nicholas Evertsbusch, Wuppertal, Germany
AR says: Wahrheit macht frei. And we shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free – St John 8 : 32
IN NORWAY: Prof. Hans Fredrik Dahl took a beating last summer defending your right to issue Goebbels, Mastermind of the Third Reich in the USA. The right to free speech is very limited in Norway. The Jewish community here do not like you or your books.
Very few historians dare voice doubts as to the number of Jews who died. There are powerful ties between the Labour Party (Dn A), and Israel and the World Jewish Congress, contacts established since the Russian revolution: Trygve Lie, later secretary -general of the United Nations, received 5,800 Norwegian kroner from the Russian communist party for political activities in 1921.
Between 1928-32 Moscow transferred over two million kroner to Norway and the DnA; they paid 8,000 kroner to Sverre Støstad, the later Speaker of the House, as Vidkun Quisling, the then defence minister, revealed to the Storting (Parliament) in 1931-2. Støstad was among the politicians who secured Quisling's conviction for treason.
R J H, Billingstad, Norway
SIX-APPEAL: my own belief is that the Six Million figure is a simple multiple of the magic number 600,000 – the number of adult male Jews alleged to have stood on Mount Sinai with Moses at the giving of the Law [Exodus 12:37; Numbers 11:21, etc]. The number appears more than once in the Old Testament, and seems to have impressed itself on the Jewish imagination: Flavius Josephus gives 600,000 as the number of corpses of Jewish paupers thrown out through the gates of Jerusalem during the siege of AD 70.
The same 600,000-figure is later mentioned in the various books of the Talmud. More recently the figure appears in Hassidic literature as the number of adult male Jews destined to form the future Master Race. The Tanya, the principal holy book of the Lubavitch sect of Hassidim, repeatedly mentions the 600,000 and their special role in world history (R Menachem, M Schneersohn, eds., Tanya, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1958).
The press has an insatiable appetite for Holocaust stories.
One day it's the evil Swiss banks who are still holding Gold bars made out of teeth; the next it's Why didn't we Bomb the Railways? I'm heartily sick of it all and I'm sure many people must be.
P G, London SW18
OUT OF THE CLOSET: have been a closet revisionist since 1949 when as a 19 year-old I obtained a job working as a file clerk in the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. On my first day I was taken back in "the vault" by the flunky I replaced and shown the interesting classified file containing the topics "German Peace Feelers" and "German War Crime Reports." I was stunned when finding the Nazis had been totally framed. I was too terrified and intimidated by even my closest friends to discuss this matter. I am now totally hooked on Revisionism.
J K, Tustin, California
WHERE'S CHURCHILL? Nearly ten years ago I purchased Churchill's War vol. I. Since that time I have made periodical inquiries about vol. ii, and the usual answer is "in six months' time." I am 84 and I don't want to mark this down as unfinished business.
S F, Liverpool
AR: This book is now down to "two months" – it is complete, runs to over a thousand pages, and will be well worth waiting for. But capital is our weakness: it throttles our production pipeline. We have sent you Nuremberg, the Last Battle with our compliments for having waited so long!
JUST READ THE LAST shocking ACTION REPORT and send you again a little cheque to help.
I guess everybody (unless extremely poor) could help and send victims of "justice" a little cheque once in a while.
I fully endorse one reader who mentioned in a letter, "I suspect that the truth of your world-wide campaign leaks out, for as 'silent' the great majority may appear, they are not all brainwashed idiots."
M K, Montréal
MAIL SECURITY: If the enemy wants to disturb you they will send bogus faxes ostensibly from you, filled with misinformation. These people are not harmless. Truth's enemies are a rather nasty bunch. They can easily penetrate your abode and quickly copy all your manuscripts and letters. They can also erase all you have on your computer, or infect it with a virus that will activate at some future date. Forewarned is forearmed.
R G, North Carolina
AR: We have long known this. In 1963 Gerry Gable, a veteran investigator for Searchlight, and fellow felons (all Jewish) penetrated David Irving's London apartment equipped with stolen Post Office IDs; Mr Irving caught them redhanded, and they were convicted. One of them was later jailed for arson after burning down a printing works.
More recently Peter Stahl (who publishes forged documents under the name "Gregory Douglas") has begun sending out faxes purporting to come from Mr Irving and others who have exposed his frauds.
YOU ARE AN AMAZING PERSON, I think you must work a thirty-hour day. I feel exhausted from just reading your action report, yet you remain so good-natured and thoughtful to others.
You are even polite to the Traditional Enemy! I can only say "Please don't overdo it. We need you."
P.S. I love the pictures of Jessica in the action report. She looks gorgeous.
M B, Dunmow, Essex
NONE SO BLIND: You quote "FT" OF Bristol (AR#11), "If millions were cremated at Auschwitz, a mountain of remains would [have] accumulated. To date no mountain of burned bones has been found." I will not even announce my contempt for your correspondent, for want of a better word, who questions the Four Million figure.
How can that be denied in the face of all the evidence available?
M Hyne, Liskeard, Cornwall
AR: Does your "contempt" include The Jewish Chronicle (London, Mar. 14), which put the figure at "up to"1.5 million? (The authorities have trimmed three million off the original figure.)
THE NEWSLETTER MAKES for depressing reading. The chicanery of those hostile to free speech is quite astonishing, even frightening, given the manner in which it is co-ordinated on an international scale.
But what saddens me above all (and I suspect I have said this before) is the effect it has on your activity as a historian (not that I am indifferent to the financial and human cost as well!!).
It is disgraceful that you are being denied the opportunity to pursue the metier you have served with such distinction in the past: at least you have the small consultation that even your enemies are forced to acknowledge your professional talent.
I may not always agree with your views but I feel deeply hurt on your behalf and on that of society generally when those who would rather silence the advocate than answer his case manage his triumph.
May that triumph be short-lived!
B T, Llandudno, North Wales
DEBATING METHODS: have a deep hatred of the vermin infesting the JDL ever since they fire-bombed my mother's house in New Jersey about fifteen years ago.
I had distributed IHR pamphlets outside a Beate Klarsfeld lecture. My car was trashed with a baseball bat and a Molotov cocktail thrown at my house.
Fortunately the Fire Department arrived in time to prevent any serious damage. Of course the culprits were never apprehended.
A H, West Palm Beach, Florida
AR: The late Meier Kahane's JDL (the Jewish Defense League) is listed by the FBI as a terrorist group.
NUREMBERG, THE LAST BATTLE is probably the best book I have ever read on the subject of World War II or Nazi Germany (with the possible exception of your own biography of Joseph Goebbels.
Your printers deserve an immense amount of credit.
It is astonishing to witness the quality of the photographs.
I am left wondering why other publishers do not bother to put such an effort into the overall presentation of their books and into the quality of the photographs.
I was pleased to discover that Waterstone's booksellers in Bristol is no longer stocking Deborah Lipstadt's book – but is stocking your Nuremberg book.
M C, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset
On Oct. 23 France's leading revisionist academic, Robert Faurisson, was fined $20,000 under the country's infamous "Fabius-Gayssot" law for the suppression of Free Speech. He can be reached at:
Prof. Robert Faurisson
10, rue de Normandie
03200 Vichy France
Tel: +33 16 7032 3986
Fax: 33 16 7032 7164
Greetings from cell #358
I must say how grateful I am for AR's support. Today I received more letters and contributions, including those from G.G. and P.B. in England. Greetings from Cell 358.
76646 Bruchsal, Germany
AR: Deckert is serving four years under Germany's Law for the Suppression of Free Speech. He is able to receive cash and cheques in any currency for his Fighting Fund, which he can convert without charge. Mark your envelope:
Aid for Günter Deckert
One of Germany's political prisoners
The Willis Carto Affair
Yes, Willis Carto's actions are the root cause of the disastrous warfare within the revisionist camp, but that is obviously only part of the story.
The ironies in all this are enormous – IHR/Noontide is an entity devoted to the practice of history, and yet the insurgents seem to be paying no attention to the history of their own institution at all. Perhaps an actual parallel would be to all those Stalinist histories of the revolution that did not mention Trotsky.
At all events, IHR/Noontide was founded by Carto – he decided its legal structure (and quite understandably put distance between it and himself) and from then on he covered whatever operating deficits ensued.
At crucial moments, e.g. after the arson of July 1984, he stepped in to keep it going – the same with the settlement of the Mermelstein law suit. Like so many entrepreneurs, he came to regard it as his personal property. In this, of course, he was unjustified, and had not grasped the scope and role of the new institution – far beyond anything Liberty Lobby could represent.
That is, the Holocaust scholarship turned out to be as great a danger to the existing order of things as, let us say, Darwin and evolutionary science in the mid-19th century.
In the midst of all this came, suddenly, the prospect of really substantial money from the Farrel estate – millions and millions. The Farrel bequest posed strategic issues and here Willis Carto no doubt failed to ask himself the right questions.
"With this new and incontestable evidence [writes M.W., of Hollywood, California to author David Irving] you'll have to print retractions in all your books."
In fact RIF, which Holocaust folklore once insisted were the initials of Rein Jüdisches Fett (pure Jewish fat), stood for Reinstes Industrie-Fett, a low-grade washing soap manufactured during both world wars.
The Yad Vashem institute, Jerusalem, has confirmed that the Nazis never boiled down corpses into soap. This bar of soap (photo) is from the current catalogue of Steven S. Raab's Autograph auction house, Pennsylvania, along with Yellow Stars and other memorabilia of the tragedy.
But nobody else connected with IHR/Noontide did, either. During those five years, while Willis Carto alone fought out the Will contest in Switzerland, nobody gave thought to any strategic issue at all – and not even for years afterward. This complete lack of vigilance left Willis Carto to make the money decisions entirely on his own and without review or accountability.
That this was a recipe for trouble is clear enough, but to accuse Willis Carto retroactively of theft is not right, either. Meanwhile, the whole matter has entered the realm of the improbable – I mean, there is seemingly no common sense explanation for what has happened. Willis Carto himself is a bundle of contradictions – he lives relatively modestly, has none of the traditional vices, maintains an enduring and congenial marriage, has no expensive hobbies, keeps a regular work-day and in general has never behaved as man with millions at his disposal.
His action in 1993 of going to the Newport Beach warehouse and changing the locks more or less himself is incomprehensible – the rich and powerful don't have to pick locks.
What can he have done with the seven million he received from the estate? It has been hinted that a substantial amount went into a revisionist cablevision venture that failed almost completely.
Even if Willis Carto loses, after all judicial remedies have been exhausted, he will prefer to leave the country than pay any substantial sum to the insurgents.
I think Carto might consider funding a successor to IHR/Noontide – with a board, this time, that would have real supervisory powers, and be composed of persons who have not personally been involved in the fighting and who would exercise independent judgement.
A basic endowment of $250,000 would be sufficient to generate enough income to pay the basic maintenance costs at Newport Beach (or elsewhere). A pre- condition for all this would be agreement to drop all lawsuits – on both sides.
A G, Washington DC
WILLIS CARTO WAS NOT founder of the Legion for the Survival of Freedom (AR#11). This was founded in Texas in 1952. His relationship with it began in 1966. Also there is no evidence, apart from Carto's assertion, that Jean Farrel was a relative of the inventor Thomas Edison. Your assertion that Carto "used the funds for other political purposes" is simply repeating Carto's self-serving claim.
Institute for Historical Review,
Newport Beach, California
A Radical's Diary …continued
By David Irving
Workout in the evening, and supper at the Rusty Anchor. Increased weights and distances. Fit again.
Wanting some kind of decision on Goebbels, I again phone Harcourt Brace in San Diego, but Dan Farley's secretary says he's in New York.
I send this fax to Benté around midday:
Tomorrow please phone the Public Record Office, Kew and ask if they have an information sheet on the recent releases of Bletchley Park ("Ultra") intercept files, particularly about the killing of Jews on the eastern front.
As I cycle over to the Rusty Anchor a spectacular thunderstorm begins. Lightning strikes all round, but my time is apparently not yet up.
THEN IT IS TIME TO RETURN to London. I check into a cheap hotel on Miami Beach for the night, half a mile from the houseboat where Andrew Cunanan shot himself two weeks ago. Now boarded up.
At the airport I pay $200 for excess baggage – all those books – and sweat pints repacking the trunk at the check-in desk to reduce the weights to within the statutory limits.
Plane lands at Heathrow at nine a.m. Back at Duke Street flat at midday. Welcome home. Jessica and Mama both beautiful.
TO THE PUBLIC RECORD OFFICE outside London; starting work there at 10 a.m. I meet here Dr John Fox, an academic who used to edit the journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies – until he fell foul of higher authority there because of his immutable opinions. He is researching the "Ultra" files for Richard Breitmann, a professor at Washington.
I make good finds. It is quite obvious that documents relating to Pearl Harbor and to the 1942 assassination of the French Admiral Darlan have been removed from the archives.
The staff fail to locate one of Churchill's files on Japan, for which I have been asking for ten years; it was originally sealed for fifty years – now it is 1997, and they say it's missing. They privately hint that it has been completely withdrawn. It is about Japanese oil supplies from the Philippines, September 1941. A key issue before Pearl Harbor.
In the mail there is a two-paragraph letter from Der Spiegel's lawyers addressed to Focal Point Publications, asking that they desist from issuing the Spiegel lampoon as it infringes their "legally protected" magazine logo. Operation Stable-Door. FPP could answer (but won't) that my reputation was also legally protected before they decided to smear it.
The Daily Telegraph reports that a "Nazi mistress" has been found, namely Lida Baarova, living in Salzburg, Austria, with Parkinson's disease. If they had read my goebbels book in 1996, they would have "found" her then!
Jessica burbling and running around, full of vitality.
IN THE POST is an anonymous two-hundred deutsch-mark contribution to the Fighting Fund from Germany. The sender encloses a card merely reading, "Greetings from Dülmen."
I know who it is – and so, probably, do the German security authorities, as the envelope is postmarked, not Dülmen, but "Briefzentrum 45", one of "democratic Germany's" regional letter-censorship offices.
SUNDAY AUGUST 31, 1997. I rise to the stunning news that Diana Princess of Wales has been killed in a car crash in the small hours of this morning, at the side of her Arab playboy/amour Dodi Fayed. Later news bulletins say that the car was being chased by photographers, and they were trying to escape. The driver died as well.
The car, a Mercedes, was flattened into a tangled wreck: what was she doing in a cheap foreign car? Life, and death, in the fast lane. Her French driver was heavily intoxicated. After campaigning valiantly against all the grotesquer forms of death, like AIDS and anti-personnel mines, the princess is slaughtered by one of the most common causes of all: l'ivresse. What a senseless end to such a charmed life. I, and all our family, are stricken by the news.
The radio is playing sombre music all day in tribute. The news bulletins are full of condemnation of the "paparazzi", the photographers who chase the Royals. A phoney war: The media vs. the paparazzi – as though they are not one and the same: the photographers would not do it if the media were not paying the big prices for their candid photographs. Hypocrisy Sunday.
THIS LETTER GOES to Prof. Klaus Herrmann in Montréal:
The latest ADL brochure is interesting, though why they repeat the canard that I ever (allegedly in 1959, nearly forty years ago!) called myself a "mild fascist" I cannot understand – but of course, I do understand, quite fully.
The ADL tone is suddenly almost respectful, perhaps because they have got wind of the legal steps I am preparing to take against them in the US District Court.
I am currently reading at the Public Records Office the originals of the German police signals intercepted by the British wartime codebreakers; highly interesting. Very many references to, and cipher signals from, Auschwitz (Höss, Liebehenschel etc), but nothing whatsoever about gassings.
Puzzling? I do get however a slightly odd feeling that the typhus epidemic was deliberately set by us, the Allies, as the codebreakers were required to track its progress and report. There is hard evidence of this in Combined Chiefs of Staff records of 1943 – namely boasting by the Polish Home Army to this effect.
I wrote to Prof. Jan van Pelt at Waterloo (see action report #12); he has not so far deigned to reply. A poor show, we English would say.
IN THE EVENING an endlessly verbose German, Herr G S, comes round; the appointment is for six p.m., so he rings the bell at five-thirty as I am still signing scores of letters. Aaargh.
What does he want? I tell him to his face that I trust nobody from Germany nowadays. As far as I am concerned they are all agents of the Verfassungsschutz (Office for the Protection of the Constitution). I almost wrote Verfläschungsschutz (Protection of Fakery).
I leave for Cambridge at ten a.m.; researching at Churchill College archives all day. Around mid-day I find what I suspect to be the final proof that the British foreign office received the notorious "winds message" (the final tip-off re Pearl Harbor) on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941.
An irritating fax from Ernst Zündel, declining to pay for the one hundred Nuremberg books I have sent him.
He gets this well-earned reply:
I fully understand your feelings. I too have been under attack, ever since 1989 – when I came to Toronto to give evidence on your behalf. In consequence of that incident, my career has been systematically destroyed by the same people who have been persecuting you. I have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in author's income, as a direct consequence of helping you. But I have not mentioned it.
When I sent you the Nuremberg books, in which you had previously expressed great interest, I wrote saying that if you did not wish to sell them, you could tell me and I would take them off you when I next come to Niagara Falls, USA.
ALL DAY at the public Record Office. I now search the file kept by J C Sterndale Bennett of the Foreign office on all the queries he received in 1945 from the U.S. State Department for copies of British secret documents needed for the Congressional Pearl Harbor inquiry. The file covers precisely the same period as the two incriminating letters to and from Sterndale Bennett which I found in secret wartime U.S. embassy files years ago, but there is no trace of them here. My conclusion: they have been removed.
Back at Duke Street at 5:50 p.m. A two-page fax has come anonymously from – somewhere – at 3:02 p.m. It is the top (signed) copy of a letter from the President of the German foreign Intelligence service, the feared Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), addressed to Horst Eylmann, chairman of the German parliamentary committee on legal affairs, refusing indignantly to get involved in the case of the "notorious" (Berüchtigt) David Irving, as it would oblige their Dienst to bring up certain matters which would not just do a disservice to the interests of the Federal Republic but would be highly detrimental to them.
MINNEAPOLIS – "Joanne Jackson, executive director of the Minneapolis Initiative Against Racism, has resigned after… she made anti-Semitic remarks, including, 'Jews are the most racist white people I know'." – St. Paul Pioneer Press
What an extraordinary document, and who is the kind Samaritan who sent it to me? And how to use it? I phone my lawyers and discuss it with them; they agree with my interpretations.
TELEVISION THIS EVENING shows moving scenes as Diana's coffin is transferred from St James Palace to Kensington Palace, to provide a longer state-funeral route than the one which that muttonhead Sir Paul Condon, Metropolitan Police commissioner, has ordered.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews and their "Community Security Trust" – their sinister secret army of two thousand paramilitary thugs – have now both written to me letters (each signed by the same devious executive, Mr Michael Whine) denying they hold records on me "as defined by the Act"!
Not good enough; they are all hardened liars, but how to get them to come clean?
THE DAY of Princess Diana's funeral. We are awakened by the police helicopters that have been hovering over the West End all week, scouring the rooftops for IRA snipers.
The one bright spot of the week has been to see Gerry Adams' bearded contortions as he is asked, again and again, by American television journalists about the IRA's plot, five or six years ago, to assassinate the princess. Every word his thick lips utter is a desecration of the beautiful Irish brogue.
I go for breakfast outside Ponti's – a raisin danish and pot of tea. After a while the tall woman with cheaply dyed brown hair who owns the tailor's shop walks past and glares at me.
For the last five years she has hissed sieg-heil and given a Hitler salute every time Benté walks past. Benté has put up with this indignity. I have never spoken to the woman in my life before, but today I follow her into the café and quietly say: "I'd be grateful if in future you'd refrain from saying offensive things to Benté every time she walks past. It strikes me as being very common behaviour."
As she walks out past my table a few minutes later she screeches, having reached a safe distance, "They say the good die young. It's a pity. It should be you in that coffin this morning."
Just as the screech starts an elderly English lady (she confides to me afterwards she is seventy-five) is teetering out of the cafe. The tirade hits her in full-face.
"I beg your pardon?" she exclaims to the tailoress, astonished. "Not you," screams the tailoress. "Him. He's a Nazi!"
I leave the two ladies to sort out their misunderstandings. Just as Adams is a disgrace to the Irish, some Jews are a disgrace to their own benighted race.
During the morning's funeral service we are interrupted by phone calls – from my lawyers, now expressing doubts about the authenticity of the "BND" letter.
At 12:15 p.m. we rush to the corner of Oxford Street where the cortège is due to turn north; but although immense crowds have gathered, the police soon dispel us with word that the cortège has left the pre-arranged route and headed north from another corner.
I am concerned about one aspect of the "BND letter": it has no Eingangsstempel (received-stamp) or other endorsement of any kind. How so? Originated at BND and copied/leaked immediately there? (Or a fake!)
To quote Adolph Berle, "I think there's some hard lying going on somewhere." If we issue something and it turns out to be a forgery, it will harm us immensely, which is why absolute clarity must be established first.
Heavy traffic on the way to the Public Record Office, as all the Royal parks are still closed.
I now find that there is no Japan file in Anthony Eden's papers, FO.945: all very mysterious. All the other countries, and the enemy powers in particular, are represented. I must ask Birmingham university if their set also has a gap.
A FAX COMES overnight from Joe H. in Sydney: I was severely libelled by a Hungarian Holocaust survivor on Channel Nine television last night. But I am still banned from Australia – I am powerless to defend myself.
In the Cambridge Churchill College archives I finish reading General Sir Ian Jacob's diary (Martin Gilbert either did not read it fully, or left out the bits which in his view reflected discredit on Winston).
I call for the diaries of A V Alexander (his First Lord of the Admiralty), and find that the heavy, legal-sized, gold-lettered, handsome, locked, leather-bound volume contains just a dozen entries from Jun. 15 to 21, 1942; it ends three pages later, leaving 400 pages blank.
Yes, it takes daily discipline to write a proper diary. As Dr Goebbels would know, too.
I have a headache. it gets so bad that I have to sleep with my head in my hands in the archives for half an hour. I leave at four and sleep in the car before risking the ninety-minute drive back to London. Back at six-thirty p.m. Another heap of letters and faxes. Roop quit for three months today to have her baby. Three months' maternity leave on full pay. That's better than Benté got.
I drive up to Cambridge early, and finish there. The Churchill papers are in fact very meagre; the best stuff has been withdrawn by the authorities – as have all the most important files of the H Montgomery Hyde collection, relating to our wartime monkey-business in the United States.
Fax from P. during the day: the signatory of the "BND" letter does indeed exist, and is at the Pullach headquarters of the Dienst. Curiouser and curiouser. I shall therefore fire off the first two letters as planned (to Herr Eylmann and the BND man himself).
I put Jessica to bed at nine and read four nursery books to her. I am washed-out, no work done. I do phone Daniel Farley in San Diego, however, and he breaks it to me that after three months' consideration of goebbels. mastermind of the third reich, he is about to write to me setting out "the problem": it has passed all the initial stages – marketing, etc., – but neither of the two editors he tried has felt he is up to the "problems" it will face; one editor, he implies, has proven particularly difficult (he does not identify him).
I commiserate, saying I appreciate that it will take "a heart of steel" in an editor to face the renewed onslaught that will result from publishing goebbels in the U.S.A. This result is, frankly, quite anticipated, and does not depress me at all.
Long phone call with Stefan W. He is going on trial in Dresden, Germany, for "forming a terrorist group" there, Bonn's latest means of suppressing free speech; the police have seized all my books from his shelves (published by the country's leading publishers) and intend to get them declared illegal!
He says that Ewald Althans, the government-agent-turned neo-Nazi, has been sprung from jail, bailed by one of his homosexual friends, Thomas B. of Munich. Althans turned up at a recent political demonstration, photographing all the demonstrators from the outside!
I lie awake worrying for three or four hours. Today's Daily Telegraph publishes a monstrous caricature of Charles Saatchi, the millionaire advertising-agency chief who has put his obscene collection of "art" on display at the Royal Academy; the Saatchi exhibition is causing much public disorder, with public picketing among others by the mothers of child-victims killed by the subject of the biggest painting, Myra Hindley.
The Telegraph's artist published a similar portrait of me four or five years ago; it was sober, respectful, and well executed. The Saatchi caricature is equally accomplished, but rather dwells upon the gentleman's long, hooked nose and other Central European features.
Sure enough, the next day's Telegraph carries a thunderous letter from Michael Whine's chief, Neville Nagler, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews , fulminating at the Saatchi picture as portraying the ugliest possible stereotype of a Jew.
For a moment I am tempted to write a reader's letter along these lines – "Few of us are secretly happy with the looks that the Lord has granted us, but I doubt that writing letters to the newspapers is the way to do anything about it."
I decide on balance against it, however. Years ago I concluded that the reason we are so displeased, for example, with our photographs, is that we are accustomed to seeing ourselves in mirrors. Look at the picture in a mirror, and all comes right.
I try this with the Saatchi picture: he still looks unlovely to me, but then perhaps there is something wrong with me, and Mr Nagler is right all along. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
All day at the Public Record office until seven p.m. Excellent material on the Darlan assassination, which really begins to stink. Who dunnit? I suspect: Eden, behind Churchill's back (and against his wishes).
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, reading which is my regular morning indulgence, brings to light an unexpected and unsavoury element in the murder of a British tourist in Israel six weeks ago. An English girl and her boyfriend were hitchhiking by night across the Negev desert – yes, love is blind – when they were given a lift by a man, who shortly turned them out of the car and shot them both at pointblank range. The boy was killed outright; the bullet passed through the girl's face from left to right but she survived, though unable to describe the killer.
The newspapers unanimously described him nonetheless as "an Arab Israeli" – i.e., one of the dispossessed. Thus the edgling state was momentarily spared embarassment.
A month later however the gunman was arrested. The police had harboured their own suspicions all along – the killer was one Daniel Okev, a local Jewish psychopath.
Now today's newspaper reveals that the killer's lawyer David Yiftach is claiming that his client had been traumatised by his experiences as an Israeli commando (stormtrooper) recruited into the army's elite killing unit known as rimon (pomegranate). Asked if he had personally killed Arab opponents, Okev snarled: "Do you think that I spent three years in the unit playing backgammon?" Indeed not.
From 1970 to 1973 he had cruised the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip liquidating Palestinians from a hit list supplied to him by the Israeli government. Killing had become meaningless to him. "He was killing terrorists all the time," said his lawyer. "Killing became very easy."
Linguistic confusions, like the use of the word "terrorist," also seem to have become easy in that troubled land.
I speak at my old school, Brentwood, for the first time in five years. The new headmaster greets me, less of a wimp than his predecessor who banned my lecture at one day's notice, under the usual outside pressures, in 1992. The audience, of about forty boys and girls includes the Miss Myers whose parents have this time threatened the school with violent demonstrations if I am allowed to speak.
Needless to say, nothing materialises – against either me or her. The rules seems to have changed since I first attended this school fifty years ago. In those days of course it was all-male.
Train back to London at 10:38 p.m. A young man walks down the carriage to talk to me, having recognised me: he was at the same school, is now at Oxford studying English. I did not catch his name, but he gets a Nuremberg book as a gift from me. Tired of carrying these things around.
Work on discovery for the Observer-Sereny libel action, finally completing the list at four a.m.: 1,842 items, a sixty-nine page document.
I sleep an hour during the day on the sofa, with Jessica happily jumping up and down on my stomach on some pretext or other.
An oily letter goes to the new Federal German ambassador in London, Gebhard von Moltke:
Your Excellency, May I be among the first Englishmen to welcome you to your new posting.
I have had an engraving and a photograph of two of your illustrious family forebears [von Moltke] hanging on my study wall here in Grosvenor Square for the last thirty years.
It would honour me if you would accept as a gift the enclosed book – the first I ever wrote, in 1961, and published many times in Germany by Ullstein, Bertelsmann, Rowohlt, Heyne and other houses under the title Der Untergang Dresdens.
I was one of the first to contribute to the fund for the reconstruction of the city's Frauenkirche, in 1989, [it was flattened in the 1945 RAF air raid] and I have of course contributed large quantities of records to the collections of the Bundesarchiv, and of the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, which I collected as a result of my travels.
His Excellency does not have the manners to reply.
Mario S. phones me from Rome and asks me to write to Erich Priebke in prison, and commend him for his upright bearing in the military court.*
[Extradited from Argentina after a campaign by ABC television anchorman Sam Donaldson, Priebke has been given a prison sentence after being tried twice for the same offence – participation in a reprisal operation in which Jewish and communist hostages were executed after the murder of German troops ambushed in wartime Rome.]
ALL AFTERNOON WORKING on final editing of Churchill's War, Vol. II: Triumph in Adversity.
The Southend Evening Echo publishes a loud wail from "a leading Southend Jew," solicitor Mr Alan Gershlick – where do they get these names? – against Brentwood School for having allowed me to lecture to sixth-formers. "Their methods of teaching need to be questioned," he writes. "I do not understand why they have to invite a Nazi apologist to the school when there are many other fine speakers around."
The headmaster however rejects his criticism.
The newspaper does not mention that this was my old school, and that I have spoken there for twenty years, twice a year, before the traditional enemies of free speech began their campaign to silence me.
I am also obliged to send this letter to Finland's leading newspaper, the Helsingin Sanomat, whose journalist Sole Lahtinen has put a new spin on the Hitler Diaries scandal, by clumsily alleging that I forged them! Confusion confounded by confusion! He stated:
"A controversial historian David Irving supplied 'diaries', which were at first supposed to be written by Adolf Hitler, to the international press for a considerable sum of money at the beginning of the 80s. Later it turned out that they were made by an antique dealer Konrad Kujau and they were fakes."
As I point out in my Reader's Letter (which the Finnish newspaper does not publish):
This is a total reversal of the facts. May I ask you to be so good as to publish a correction?
Two Germans, Gerd Heidemann (a well-known Der Stern journalist) and Konrad Kujau, a common forger, were later convicted for faking the Adolf Hitler diaries. When they were shown to me in 1982 I at once detected that they were forgeries. Der Stern (Hamburg) and The Sunday Times (London) had however paid between them $5 million for the diaries, and they decided to publish the "diaries".
At Der Stern's press conference in Hamburg announcing the publication, on Apr. 25, 1983 I was the only person to denounce the diaries as forgeries, as the caption to the Associated Press photo [which I enclosed] makes plain.
In the afternnoon a phone call from James Bacque. He says that the daughter of Liebehenschel, purportedly one of the less evil commandants of Auschwitz, is living in California, and has written a manuscript. Would I like to see it? Indeed I would.
Benté bought herself a smart jacket for a parents' meeting at school; the teachers say that Jessica is "of genius quality" – streets ahead of all the other children. My heart bursts with pride over her and her mother.
AT THREE A.M. MY ATTORNEY Ed Wall phones from Australia. Apologises that he has lost yet another Melbourne lawyer, David Guthrie, who pleads that his secretary, a Jewish girl, has threatened to resign if he does not drop our libel case against their prime minister, John Young.
I have been damaged badly by all this shilly-shallying.
Flight to Amsterdam. I begin reading the Ian Mitchell book, The Cost of a Reputation, the real history of Lord Aldington's two-million pound libel action against Count Tolstoy, the crusading historian. Tolstoy had called him a war criminal (altho' it is well known that there were no war criminals whatever on the Allied side).
The manner in which certain British army and foreign office files vanished from the Public Record Office for the precise duration of the Tolstoy trial is scandalous, and does seem to me like a perversion of the course of justice. The actual story of what happened – the British army's handover of Yugoslav refugees and Cossack troops to their certain deaths in April/May 1945 – is truly horrendous. Harold Macmillan and Brigadier "Toby" Low (British Army V Corps, now Lord Aldington) acted without a shred of compassion.
At Schiphol airport, in the otherwise deserted Business Class lounge where I am to meet a good friend, I detect a man seat himself at the table behind me, the closest seat to mine, and he stays there throughout my conversations.
Four p.m. flight back to Heathrow. I walk from Green Park back to Duke Street in pouring rain. I have bought a huge box of Dutch colouring pencils for Jessica, and they are a real wow for her. Then I prepare for tomorrow's court hearing.
TEN A.M. THE JUDGE HEARS my application and makes an order that The Observer and Gitta Sereny must furnish their list within fourteen days.
Problems are beginning for Dr John Fox. He has been badly misquoted by The Daily Telegraph, and the Jewish Chronicle is now taking up his "case." He writes me:
You might also be interested to learn that I am having great difficulty in obtaining from the American publishers of Deborah Lipstadt's book an explanation as to who wrote the nonsensical statement on the back cover that 6 million Jews were killed in "Nazi concentration camps."
As I pointed out, there is no support in the text of the book for that misleading statement. From Lipstadt herself, I received some time ago – because of something I am writing on the politicisation of "the Holocaust" – a rather weak explanation that "someone" at the publishing house did this without reference to her. That I find difficult to believe.
A GOOD DAY AT THE PRO. I find more files that are, significantly, still closed. On one Dec. 1942 document Anthony Eden heavily scratches out a sentence, writing in the margin that it is too secret to leave undeleted (in a conversation with his protégé General de Gaulle, shortly before Admiral Darlan's murder!)
Back at Duke Street at 7:45 p.m.
I have a long talk at ten with Dr Fox, who has really stuck his neck out on the mass killing of Jews. He is joining the Undead – but does not yet know it.
THE TIMES EDUCATIONAL Supplement reviews a book by Nick Tiratsoo, a collection of essays, From Blitz to Blair: A New History of Britain since 1939. "Paul Addison himself takes issue with the 'revisionist' historians Maurice Cowling, David Irving, and John Charmley in their assessment of Churchill's responsibility for the war and his part in the double-whammy of 1945 – a Labour government and international decline."
Hurrah, at last I'm getting some of the credit for the new thinking on that ghastly era.
I send this overnight fax to Ed Wall in Australia, which suppresses my true rage:
I am very unhappy about this delay in issuing the Writ against John Howard.
It was an open-and-shut affair: I provided the Words Complained-of etc. to you the same night as he spoke them. It is now nearly a year later.
I really cannot understand what has gone wrong. We had all the press and news media along with us, frisking at our sides, baying for his blood. Now it has gone cold, and through no fault of mine. How he must be laughing at us.
IAN MITCHELL COMES FOR lunch with another copy of his book The Cost of a Reputation. The foreign office and ministry of defence clearly removed files from the PRO to prevent Count Tolstoy from using them for his defence, then returned them a few days after his trial was over.
The Old Boy network. I read the book right through, 500 pages, until three a.m. I write a long letter to The Times about this, entitled: "Withholding Public Records from Court Actions." It ends:
Historians are already at the mercy of government departments which arbitrarily decide which records shall be released and which retained ad infinitum (among the latter: Anthony Eden's entire wartime file on Japan, and the transcripts of Rudolf Hess's conversations and of Winston Churchill's wartime telephone consultations with Franklin Roosevelt).
It is quite wrong that when a writer like Tolstoy succeeds in painstakingly filling in the gaps from other sources, he should be at the mercy of a fickle old boys' network – whether it be of masons or ministers, Old Wykehamists* or Conservative Party officials or whatever – which secretly conspires to hound him and his family to ruination.
In the Tolstoy case there was a lynching, a demonstrable interference with the course of justice, and there must be a criminal inquiry into who abetted it. The PRO keeps the most excellent computerised records of all who draw upon its resources, so it should not take too long to get to the bottom of this scandalous affair.
The letter is not printed.
OUT OF THE BLUE, A LETTER COMES from a producer at the BBC: together with several European television corporations, the BBC now want to produce a film on the global bans inflicted on me, and the gradual erosion of free speech across Europe. The fight avails!
Thank you for your interesting letter. It is an extraordinary story.
I have been subjected to what I call a Global Vendetta by wealthy organisations, but fortunately I have many hundreds of supporters around the world and we have succeeded in prising open the files of the Canadian, German, Australian, and other governments, which show these bigoted forces at work ("arrest that man!")....
As said, all very entertaining – were not families, reputations, and livelihoods at stake.
THE DAY THEN TAKES A HILARIOUS TURN. My old friend M., whose morning newspaper is The Financial Times, phones to suggest that I attend today's Commonwealth Business Forum, organised by the newspaper at the Intercontinental hotel only a hundred yards from my home: Mr John Howard, no less, prime minister of Australia, will be there!
I rapidly put on my pinstripe suit, wangle my way past the security guards, am issued with an identity badge, and get a good seat.
Seeing Young take up his seat in the front row, I approach him, hidden tape recorder in hand:
Mr Howard .... Mr Howard!
I am David Irving.
: Oh, sh*t. [Laughter all round].
: I wanted to say hello to you, since you've come today to within a hundred yards of where I live. I hope one day to be able to visit your fine country.
After listening to four or five economic speeches, including a twenty-minute oration by Howard himself, I challenge him. I see him lean over to Sir Cyril Ramaphosa, secretary-general of the Commonwealth, and whisper. I am not called. I keep my hand down for two more questions then put it up again, sliding down behind the head in front of me.
R. gives me the floor, without recognising me. I click on the tape-recorder:
Mr John Howard – I am David Irving. You know me of course! May I welcome you to our Parish of Mayfair, as a citizen of the Parish of Mayfair? As you know, I can't come to Australia. You have spoken a great deal about liberalisation, of the pace of liberalisation, which we can only greet, and of the importance of the global network. Would you say a word about Australia's record in the suppression of Free Speech into your country, of which of course I am a victim?
Mr Irving, of course I do know you, uh ...
… and of course you are within the jurisdiction of the English courts now sir!
I, uh, do, I do, I do know you, and uh, I am responsible as prime minister of my country, uh, for taking a decision not to allow you to enter Australia. And the reason for that decision was, uh, based upon my government's perception of the Australian national interest, and, uh, uh, the reasons that relate, uh, in part, as you know, to some of the views that you have expressed about matters which we believe, if propagated in Australia, would not be in the Australian national interest. And my government, fully consistent with impeccable credentials of free speech, has the right to take that action. And I don't resile from it, I don't apologise for it, and I believe that if it is in the national interest of my, uh, of my country to take decisions of that kind, uh, then we do. Taking in relation to other people, we will continue to do so where appropriate and any democratic country consistent with its principles of free speech has a perfect right to do so.
Thank you for that courteous and shoddy answer!
Sir, you only have one chance.
Five or six television cameras and twenty or thirty journalists ambush me outside the hall. I stage a fifteen-minute press conference. One Australian television news journalist asks my views on Pauline Hanson. I say I have read her speeches and approve of what she said.
Another asks if I disapprove of Blacks, and I say that we have inflicted a tragedy on them, importing them as cheap immigrant labour; Australia should learn from our mistake.
A journalist uses the word multiculturalism: I say my dictionaries are ten years old, and that word does not figure in them. Would he like to suggest another word for it – is he proposing race-mixing, for instance? He changes the subject.
When one of them again raises the colour question, I look around, and say to the cameras, "I notice that among all you fine television and radio and newspaper reporters, there is not a single coloured face!"
Collapse, as Punch would have said, of Stout Parties.
Altogether a most enjoyable episode; it was huge fun to see John Howard squirming.
Delayed by this interlude, I take a cab over to the British Library, where I work all afternoon reading the private wartime correspondence between the British Admirals Cunningham and Pound.
In the evening an unexpected ordeal begins as the Australian media, twelve hours out of sync, kick in. At 9:10 p.m. Radio 3LO phones from Melbourne – it is morning drive-time there – can they do a live interview at 10:40 p.m.? My Howard ambush is all over their media. Ho-ho.
I prepare a few choice things, i.e.; calling the Australian prime minister a "stunted little runt."
The interviewer professes to be shocked at the word "runt," and repeats it three times. Besides, Young called me "a crackpot historian with criminal convictions," so he can hardly complain. It seems there is some fuss about the conference security men not having spotted me.
Then Perth radio phones at 2:05 a.m. and we do a ten-minute interview. Reasonable, except for a reference to the fact that "you have a daughter in Brisbane." I try to phone Beatrice, my fourth daughter, in Brisbane to warn her, but she is not at her desk at present.
At 7:45 a fax comes from Joe H.:
You made headline news here in Sydney, especially on all the main news TV programmes. They emphasised the misnomer "Nazi" historian or "pro-Hitler" historian, who confronted Mr Howard unexpectedly at a news conference… They also showed you talking to the media outside the conference.
STILL CHECKING ON THAT BND letter, I phone the addressee, Horst Eylmann, a government lawyer at Stade, in what used to be communist East Germany.
His secretary speaks with him, then says, "I'm sorry, Herr Eylmann cannot speak to you." I say: "Not at all?" She repeats, "He has no time to."
Won't talk: that's odd. If the item is a fake, why won't he talk?
THE FIGHT CONTINUES. I send this letter to the literary agency acting for the publisher selling rights in England in a new book libelling me, The Hitler of History:
I understand that you are acting on behalf of Mr John Lukács in the sale of rights or licences in his new book.
I draw your attention to my enclosed letter to Mr Lukács' New York publisher, and would ask that you keep it on file and, in their own interests, inform any prospective U.K. publisher of the risks attendant on publishing this work in an unamended form.
I put you, and through your agency any such publisher, herewith on notice that I shall immediately commence libel proceedings against any publisher who is foolish enough to repeat these libels within the jurisdiction of our courts.
That's the way to do it.
DURING MUCH OF THE DAY I watch the live Sky TV coverage of the trial of the seventeen-year old English au pair Louise Woodward in Boston. She looks agonisingly like Josephine: same long hair, same chubby, smooth face (but Louise has her legs).
The jury retires and – ominous sign – comes in after four hours to ask the judge for the distinction between Murder One and Murder Two.
Looks like she's in for a lynching: the evidence was in her favour, but this is Tea-Party Boston.
I remember my indignation when I visited the city in about 1983 and was shown by my hosts the only anti-British exhibition I have ever seen, anywhere in the world (a Madame-Tussauds like show of British Redcoat fusiliers shooting innocent American passers-by in the War of Independence).
The BBC producer comes, discussing the film he will make on the global suppression of free speech. He leaves around three-thirty p.m.
In Boston the jury is still out, oblivious that the key phrase in the judge's charge to them was "beyond reasonable doubt." Full of doubts, even after twenty hours, they are plunging into all the medical intricacies of the evidence.
A chilly day. I spend all afternoon at the PRO and return to Duke Street at eight p.m. Still no verdict in the au pair trial. Poor girl, she is poised on the brink of vanishing into an American women's jail for life with no chance of parole.
TODAY'S DAILY TELEGRAPH prints a postcard, post-marked Krakow, July 1943, from one Lola to "mein Lieber," dated "20.02.1943, Krakow," addressed to a Jacob Rosenblum in Bucharest. It bears various censorship stamps.
What makes it interesting is that the Yad Vashem institute, unaccountably, sent it to an Israeli police lab. for tests and the scientists claim to have brought up a 22-line message written in secret ink in a different, block-capital, handwriting signed "Otto":
Vernichtungslager. Das Antlitz(?) tuscht [sic]. Aus Walpurgisnacht. Hunger. Hungertod. Hundekuchen... Epidemie. Folter. Folterkammer. Erniedrigung. Ehrlosigkeit. Heftigkeit. Hetze. Heidenangst. Hollenaugst [sic] Vergasung. Hinrichtung. Hochgericht. Ermordung. Einescherung [sic]. Höllenqual....
Difficult to know what to make of this; much of it rings true, particularly the closing words – "Es hat Eile. Leucht Pistole [sic]. Lichtbildgert. Geheimtinten. Es hat Eille [sic]. Flugzeug Stutzpunkt [sic]. Hörfolge. Es ist Hörezeit [sic]. Der Kessel Wlzt."
I find that the use of the word Vernichtungslager – roughly, "extermination camp" – is odd. A linguistic anachronism?
ALL AFTERNOON SETTING UP and configuring the new computer, which replaces the one which died in June.
I wander into the drawing room, where a television is on: the news is covering the shocking guilty verdict, with a life sentence, on the English au pair girl, Louise Woodward. I am really upset by this for the rest of the evening.
I worry for the poor girl when I wake up during the night.
Up at seven-thirty a.m., and resume work on The Backlog, which never seems to diminish.
A letter in today's Telegraph asks whether a Boston jury would have found her guilty if she had been Irish. Touché. Our foreign office now issues a statement, saying they are offering her full support; that's rich – when the Austrian, German, and Canadian courts started taking their swipes at me, our fat-bottomed diplomats weren't to be seen for dust.
John Fox agrees that the word Vernichtungslager is a post-war word. So there you are.
I find mid-morning that I have unaccountably put my underpants on back to front. Suppose I were to be found dead later this morning – what fantastic conspiracy theories would be woven around this sartorial flaw! There could be no reasonable doubt about that. Some innocent guy might end up getting sent to the slammer for life.
The newspapers today make the same point that occurred to me as I lay awake for a second night, praying for Louise's release – namely that some of the jury's animus toward her may have been avoured by anti-British feeling inspired by her English accent in the witness box (even though to our ears it was coloured by an unmistakable Cheshire twang).
Even during the war there were Intelligence reports warning that Americans, while liking the sound of Cockney and even other regional variations, found the pure Oxford-English voice too arrogant, too supercilious, and too condescending.
Hollywood, as The Sunday Telegraph remarks today, has done much to exploit this hostility: for the last ten years, the worst villains have routinely been played by English actors, including of course the infamous doctor Hans von Bülow (played by Jeremy Irons) and all the most evil SS-officers in Schindler's List.
There may not have been an effective English Legion serving in the Waffen SS during the war; but those boots sure keep on marching down the Halls of Hollywood now.
John Fox says he discussed that word Vernichtungslager with Dr Hans Abendroth of Leicester University; Abendroth said straight away that the word is very odd for a wartime document. So that confirms my suspicions.
MID-DAY AT THE HIGH COURT (my application re the Lipstadt case). The defendants are represented by four solicitors and one barrister (Victoria Sharp: a little-black-suited, shrewlike female aged ca. thirty-five, with an indoor complexion). Small talk about the Count Tolstoy case (she was his junior counsel) but she does not want to be drawn on that.
The judge is very affable toward me – he knows me well enough by now. I say that the defendants have had four extensions to the brink of an Unless Order, although they have highly experienced firms of solicitors. I submit that they are in difficulty, as their American author, Deborah Lipstadt, appears not to be giving them any input whatever. They are just trying to stave off the inevitable.
Miss Sharp takes noisy exception to my application for one expert witness to be allowed on "organised attempts by pressure-groups in Britain and internationally to suppress discussion on controversial matters of recent history." Quite so.
After giving me a good hearing, the judge grants my application, but will allow the other side no less than fifty-six days to serve their lists.
As we gather up our papers, he asks about the 1950s' book of Goebbels Diaries he once read – yet I am claiming to have found them in Moscow? I cheerfully explain the history of the Louis Lochner edition (the fragments of 1942-3, found in the ruins of Hitler's chancellery in 1945). Evidently a widely read judge.
I phone our secretary, Roop Nahil; no baby yet, it's due tomorrow. We wish her well.
Lunch at the Public Record office, the whole afternoon working on the history of bacteriological warfare, hitherto unknown to me – British wartime attempts to develop bombs containing N (anthrax spores) and X (botulinum), the most deadly poison known to man.
I have rented a van to pick up the balance of the first edition of Nuremberg. I drive Jessica to Sainsbury's for a major groceries expedition. She pleads with me to blow up the balloons she has plucked from a shelf at the store: first two, then "just" two more, then "only two more" and so on until all twelve have been inflated.
I learn the knack of twisting the balloon-neck round my little finger to tie it in a knot; I suspect Jessica is learning the knack of twisting her Papa round her little finger. We knot the balloons into a bundle, and they tingle with static electricity each time we touch them.
I carry the remaining boxes of Nuremberg upstairs and line them along the corridor, discreetly covered in red cloth. Two tons of books from Somerset up up to our first floor.
AT THE LAWYER'S OFFICE I read files of documents produced by The Observer's defence counsel against me.
They make astonishing reading: on Apr. 18, 1977 the Washington ADL – the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith – rigged a television programme, "Panorama," on which I appeared to promote The Viking Press edition of Hitler's War. A week later they sent a videocassette to their agents worldwide "so that you may better appraise Irving's knowledgeability and toughness as an adversary..."
There is also evidence that on May 25, 1977 the London Daily Express deliberately faked a quotation by Lord Weidenfeld attacking me; the Express secretly paid him libel damages.
Writing on Apr. 3, 1996, to The Observer's Tim Adams, Gitta Sereny accuses me of lying when I express in Goebbels my thanks to Dr David Marwell, director of the Berlin Document Center (BDC): "He denies absolutely to have assisted Irving," writes Sereny.
Twenty years ago, while still a student (at Georgetown, I think), Marwell wrote me an admiring fan letter; he joined the OSI, then resurfaced at the BDC. He used to invite me into his office for coffee and showed me his latest archival finds.
He expressed real gratitude when I revealed the theft of thousands of Nazi personnel files to street traders. He gave me photographs of Göring's still top-secret "last letters," and of files on Goebbels' henchmen. He also showed me the oath sworn by an SS officer on joining the camp staff at Auschwitz; it certainly looked very ominous, and I wrote a note about it in my diary at the time.
I have spent a couple of days in Louisiana, where the local Republican Party chaired by the well-known, indeed notorious, David Duke has invited me to speak.
I take the opportunity to read some of his draft memoirs, which in my view need editing – for "political correctness" as much as for anything else!
I have been watching closely. Today at a Waffle House there is again a trickle of ordinary Americans coming up to shake his hand, after first inquiring if he is not David Duke.
One well-spoken and evidently wealthy man, owner of a big interstate trucking company, begins by saying, "If you're not David Duke, you're sure running the risk of getting shot at some day by some radical!"
By my estimate, most of these well-wishers are stable, intelligent, worried members of the southern middle class. Mandeville is admittedly one of the few largely White areas in Greater New Orleans. But these people are the quietly-seething ones, whose views have been reined in so far only by their own sense of good behaviour. They are a formidable lobby; a silent majority.
What I find remarkable is this: given the excoriation heaped on him over the years, we expect to find him ostracised. In Europe he would have been in and out of jail like a yo-yo: people would be frightened to be seen near him, let alone shake his hand. The national and state media have left nothing undone in their desire to appease his opponents, from caricatures and OpEd articles to whole-page advertisements and outspoken abuse.
I go out first to the car, and it takes several minutes for him to join me – "Another two or three people came up to me," he apologises.
Elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1989, he won sixty percent of the White vote in two separate 1990 and 1991 campaigns, the gubernatorial and the US Senate elections in Louisiana; that was forty percent of the overall vote (the newspapers who have ways of estimating the racial make-up of the different constituencies conceded this).
More recently he won last year a big share of the vote in the U.S. Senate race where he came in second of the six Republican candidates. Since then, to the chagrin of Newt Gingrich, he has been elected as chairman in this, the largest Republican parish (county) in Louisiana.
He says that his share of the vote would have been higher but for the pressure piled on by out of state organisations, who for example forced major local employers to put notes on workers' payslips warning them that "If Duke is elected" the company would pull out of Louisiana; the chief of the local National Guard wrote to every member of the guard ordering them to vote against him, and appeared in uniform in paid advertising slots on television with the same message.
There are Six Million
Stories in the Naked City
PSYCHIATRIST VIKTOR FRANKL, born in Vienna in 1905, died in September, aged 92. The obituary published by The Daily Telegraph and syndicated in newspapers around the world, including The Age in Melbourne, reported on "his experience as an inmate of Auschwitz and other concentration camps during the Second World war." He had previously specialised in Vienna in treating suicidal patients, and remained at his hospital post until 1942, when he was deported to Theresienstadt. Thereafter he was moved to three more camps including Auschwitz.
"In 1945," reports The Daily Telegraph, "completely alone, Frankl went back to Vienna to resume his routines amid the ashes of his former life, as if the Anschluss, the war, and the death camps were but rude interruptions. Shortly after returning [to Vienna] he saw a newsreel item about the gas chambers and crematoria of the death camps, which during his time of incarceration he had never seen."
[AR thanks its readers around the world who sent us this news clipping.]
In the evening William C., a local chiropractor, drives me over the 26 mile causeway to downtown New Orleans, to the magnificently decorated synagogue in St Charles Avenue where Daniel Goldhagen is to speak on his book Hitler's Willing Executioners.
It came out last May and, of course, my own book Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich was sacrificed by St Martins Press, to give "Professor" Goldhagen a clear run with his work, as Frank Rich admitted in his syndicated OpEd piece at the time – no nasty confrontations on talk shows, etc., with somebody who might really know what he was talking about when it came to the Nazi era.
The rotunda is packed with over a thousand listeners, and there is a sprinkling of police outside. A rabbi reads an introduction, while a thin, badly shaved young man, with a gaunt face reminiscent of Key West's HIV-positive population, slouches on a chair at stage-right.
This turns out to be Goldhagen. His talk is disappointingly bland – delivered without notes in a disconcertingly gentle, laid-back voice, at such a slow and hesitant pace that one wonders whether he suffers perhaps some chromosome defect that the newspapers have been too polite to mention.
Goldhagen utters a ninety minute tirade against the "ordinary Germans" who he claims were fully aware of what was going on, and were willing and indeed eager to make up the firing squads when it came to getting rid of the Jews.
As he talks of the zeal with which these "ordinary Germans" rounded up, tortured, mocked and killed their opponents, I think involuntarily of the West Bank, of the Arab children shot down with live ammunition, and of modern prime ministers who send assassins into neighbouring countries armed with nerve-gas syringes to dispose of their opponents.
Dr C. afterwards remarks that he has never before heard so much hatred spewed forth in a House of Worship. The same thought occurs to me: it was undiluted Volksverhetzung, far more ugly than the kind which now earns revisionists and other searchers for the truth hefty prison sentences in Europe.
Goldhagen finally rambles to a conclusion – mid-sentence, mid-paragraph, in fact mid-lecture for all anybody can tell, since the whole talk is utterly shambolic from start to finish, without starting point, mile-markers, or objective. If he is a lecturer in politics at Harvard, I feel endlessly sorry for his students. One wonders how he got the job; one must ask his father, a long-time benefactor and professor at the university. Goldhagen Jr. probably picked up at least a $20,000 fee for his performance this evening.
At question time I get to the microphone, and challenge him:
"Professor Goldhagen, we have listened with enormous interest to your talk, but forgive me if I now voice some criticism.
"I too am an historian, an English historian who has worked for thirty-five years at the other end of the spectrum, as I might put it, questioning most closely every member of Hitler's private staff about what decisions were taken at the very highest level.
"Let me make plain that there can be no doubt whatever as to the scale of the killings of Jews carried out on the eastern front during Hitler's Russian campaign. But you are aware that your book has attracted much informed comment world-wide, both for the narrowness of its focus and for the cavalier manner in which you used archival records during your visit to Ludwigsburg.
"For instance, you claimed in your talk to have used the interrogation records of 'literally thousands of the Perpetrators,' as you call them; but we know that in fact you used scarcely a hundred if that."
At this, I can feel the temper of the audience behind me rising. I press on:
"What concerns me most however is the claim that it was only 'ordinary Germans' who carried out the killings. This is totally untrue and might lead to the very wrong conclusion that because Germany was finished – squashed during the appalling military conflict of World War II – therefore the Jews of the world no longer have anything to fear.
"We know the make-up of the police battalions which carried out the killings on the eastern front, the battalions to which you attach such emphasis. In these units the Germans were in a minority – most of the men were drawn from units of the Baltic states, the Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians, as well as a large number of Ukrainians and other Russians too. And surely this raises a fundamental question, which you would have done far better to address –"
The audience are now very restive, as it has dawned on them that I am not a Goldhagen fan.
"Why did you not ask the far more important question: why everybody joined in getting rid of their Jews with such zeal, 'Why us?' Let's face it, when Germany said to her neighbours, in 1942 and 1943 and 1944, 'Give us your Jews,' Hungary, France, Slovakia, etc., could not hand them over fast enough! There was no reluctance to do so."
This generates uproar, but I carry on:
"And when other countries like England, Sweden and so on were invited to take in these Jews nobody, nobody, wanted to have them."
At this there is a sprinkle of applause.
"Why did you not address that far more vital question? Why did nobody want the Jews! You address only the question, 'Who did it?' and you fail to ask the far more ominous question, 'Why us?'"
The answer is more verbal Jello from Goldhagen. He is clearly furious to have been accused of "inventing," as he (not I) put it, and he has no real answer to my point that, as he said, the Jews are now "complacent" about the risk of it all happening again.
The chairman makes a point of saying that no more questioners will be allowed to "make statements."
So it seems I got in not only under their radar, but right under their skin as well.
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Action Report no. 13|
|Sources:||Focal Point, London, December 1997|
|First posted on CODOH:||Dec. 30, 1997, 6 p.m.|