The "Ministry of Truth" at Britain's National Archives

The Attempt to Discredit Martin Allen
Published: 2014-05-23

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“It is hard to imagine actions more damaging to the cause of preserving the nation's heritage, than wilfully forging documents designed to alter our historical record.”

—Historian Sir Max Hastings, Financial Times, 3 May 2008

Praise for His Books

Martin Allen’s first book, Hidden Agenda of 2002 covering the Duke of Windsor's wartime activities, was nominated as Observer Book of the Year and published in the USA, France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal. His second book, The Hitler/Hess Deception, blew open the official version of Rudolf Hess as an eccentric adventurer and was published in seven languages and widely serialized.

But in October 2004, the World War II historian Dr. E. Haiger from Berlin wrote to the UK’s National Archives at Kew in West London casting doubt on the authenticity of some of the letters in the Archive used in Allen’s second book, the Hitler/Hess Deception.[1] Within a fortnight an official at the archives replied to the effect that the documents were accurate representations and had been correctly cited. (Telegraph, 12 July 2005 Ben Fenton)

In May 2005, Martin Allen appeared on the Today program to launch his new book, Himmler’s Secret War. Himmler expert Peter Padfield, author of Himmler, Reichsführer SS was also present and endorsed the book. A brief quote from the interview transcript may give the flavor of it:

Averring that Himmler had been killed by British agents, Allen explained: “They don’t want him to be interrogated at Nuremberg or be interrogated by the Americans because he might reveal that he’s been negotiating with the British government ever since 1943.” Peter Padfield agrees “Yes it’s absolutely, I think it’s absolutely unequivocal.” Allen adds: “Well basically the political Warfare Executive during the war years was ordered by Churchill to conduct a secret war of wits against the Nazis and they tried many fashions. They negotiated with Hitler and Hess in 1940, ‘41 and then the PWE [Political Warfare Executive] became a much darker organisation in the later war years and they opened up a line of communication through Victor Mallet the British ambassador talking to Himmler. .. Himmler the military man came to the complete and unique conclusion that Germany could not win militarily but needed a political solution. So he worked behind the scenes to try and further this aim.”

The July edition of The Journal of Military History likewise endorsed Himmler’s Secret War as being “An excellent work”:

Following the German invasion of Russia, the British continued what they labelled political warfare behind the mask of covert negotiations with Himmler. However, the primary vehicle now would be the Political Warfare Executive (PWE), a top secret organization headed by Churchill's trusted friend, Brendan Bracken. The major intermediary for the negotiations from 1941 onward would be Victor Mallet, British Ambassador at Stockholm. Allen describes in detail the talks between the PWE and Himmler's emissaries, including Walter Schellenberg, and also points out that the PWE was so secret that not even the SOE or the SIS was aware of the negotiations.

Allen writes that the goal of the PWE was "to cause political instability in Germany, one strategy being to open a line of false negotiation with a leading Nazi in the hope of precipitating a leadership coup." (p. 157) PWE emerged as Britain's most important secret intelligence agency and would win the "battle for the control of political warfare against the remainder of British Intelligence." (p. 123) Himmler is portrayed as a novice, sincerely believing he could make a deal with the British and preserve his own future in German politics.

Allen also dispels the long-held belief that Himmler committed suicide, citing documents found in the National Archives that reveal that British Intelligence (PWE) had Himmler silenced. (p. 283)

Death of Heinrich Himmler

Was Heinrich Himmler (1900-1945) killed by British agents to prevent him from being interrogated at Nuremberg? What would such an interrogation revealed? The body of Heinrich Himmler lying on the floor of British 2nd Army HQ after his death on 23 May 1945.
By Sutton L (Sgt): No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit Post-Work: User:W.wolny [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Sudden Judgement

On June 14th, 2005, Telegraph journalist Ben Fenton wrote to the National Archives suggesting that letters cited in Allen’s Himmler’s Secret War had been forged and requested that the forensic scientist Audrey Giles be allowed to inspect them. Given two of the files on the 23rd, she reported on 29th that six letters in them had been forged.

The story broke with three articles in the Telegraph by Ben Fenton on 2nd July. Its front-page headline was “Files on Himmler Murder Exposed as Fake.” It was “certain,” readers were informed, that bogus documents had been planted in the NA, in order “to pervert the course of historical study.” A second article told “How Himmler's death was turned into a British murder plot:” the allegedly forged documents were telling how the captive Heinrich Himmler had to be killed because otherwise “under interrogation he would tell the Americans that Britain had been taking part in peace negotiations without informing Washington.” One more article, “Forgeries Exposed by a Hunch and by Science: The Inquiry” described allegedly suspicious features of the letters, e.g. signatures that didn’t look right.

British historians did not like Allen’s argument and so, were the letters he cited somehow anomalous? How did Britain’s main Establishment newspaper The Telegraph have the authority to declare that manuscripts kept in the National Archives were forged - well before the NA’s own forensic experts had had time to peruse them?

A comment here is recorded as having passed between two NA staff in a letter of 30 June, from Joan McPherson to “Penny”: “The forensic tests have been completed and seem to be somewhat equivocal.”[2]

I suggest such multiple articles on the same topic in the same paper by the same person on the same day betray an intelligence operation. Fenton’s “Files on Himmler Murder”[3] explained:

Documents from the National Archives used to substantiate claims that British intelligence agents murdered Heinrich Himmler in 1945 are forgeries, The Daily Telegraph can reveal today.[4] It seems certain that the bogus documents were somehow planted among genuine papers to pervert the course of historical study. The results of investigations by forensic document experts on behalf of this newspaper have shocked historians and caused tremors at the Archives, the home of millions of historical documents, which has previously been thought immune to distortion or contamination.

Was that not a rather sudden conclusion? It was not until September 16th that the NA’s own forensic science lab confirmed this “finding.”[5]

A day after that Telegraph story, David Irving perceptively wrote that if forgery had taken place:

the documents' author(s) knew (or know) a great deal about 1945 events, and certainly more than I do: I for one did not know of the wartime role of Richard Ingrams's father, nor that of Sir John Wheeler-Bennett, whom I knew of only as the Royal biographer ("King George VI"). Most forgeries I have run across are clumsy and ignorant; these documents, if again they are forgeries, seem to have been crafted by a singularly well-informed forger.

A search of the eventual suspect's home will have to yield evidence of the several typewriters used, and ribbons of the correct vintage, and perhaps a stock of wartime paper, too.[6]

I was advised by a NA expert that the paper of these letters was genuinely old[7] - i.e. if they were forgeries, someone had enough World War Two era letter-paper to fabricate 29 letters.

A mere couple of weeks later, the NA put this judgement up on its own Website! We know this because Martin Allen wrote a letter of inquiry to the NA on 12th July 2005– which the NA have lost, or it is not in their file containing all its debate over this issue. He was sent a reply on 22nd: “As you will have noted from the TNA website, these have been confirmed as forgeries following forensic examination.” (Translation: one woman shown four letters looked at them for five days, then agreed with the journalist who showed them to her, that they were probably forgeries.) That reply silenced Allen – as it was probably intended to – and we hear no more from him. But the NA’s putting so definite and formal a statement up on its own website is a rather pre-emptive act that greatly undermines the appearance of objectivity of a forensic analysis by its own experts, does it not? They would not report until September.

Forged Documents in the National Archives?

In 2007 a startling new category appeared in the Website of the National Archives called:

The National Archives: Investigation into Forged Documents discovered amongst Authentic Public Records: Documents purporting to have been created by members of the British Government and members of the British Armed Services relating to leading Nazis [sic] figures and Axis Power governments.

The new category contains 29 letters, which had been extracted from twelve of their folders. These were documents where “conclusive evidential grounds exist” to challenge their authenticity. They had been “illegally placed within existing original record series by unscrupulous and criminal elements.” This conclusion had been scientifically adduced by experts in the field of forensic sciences. Such forgeries had been “never encountered before in the history of the National Archives.” This was strong language indeed.

Who could that wicked person be? And why was there no need to write up an account anywhere of how this shocking conclusion had been reached? Is disclosure through one journalist really sufficient? We might for example wonder concerning the four documents (mainly telegram transcripts) cited in Allen’s second book whose authenticity had been queried in 2004 by the German historian Haiger that had been scrutinized by NA staff and judged authentic.[8] By what process had this judgement been reversed whereby they were now deemed to be forgeries?

The Guardian took the view that “Officials believe this is the most serious case of fraud of its kind anywhere in the world.” (5 May 2008) In that case, why has no account been published explaining how such a conclusion had been reached? Quite a lot hinges on whether these letters are genuine as Allen believed or whether the National Archives has unaccountably acquired 29 forged letters mysteriously coinciding with those referenced by Allen. The NA has responded to this crisis by installing security cameras all over the place.

As a science historian who has spent time perusing old manuscripts and letters, I have not found it evident that these alleged forgeries are more modern-looking than other NA wartime letters. In the absence of any chemical tests that would resolve the matter, the new file created in 2007 by the NA might simply contain wartime letters consulted by Allen, of a politically inconvenient nature, moved into a different file. One would like hi-res images of these controversial letters put up onto the web to facilitate a debate.

David Irving pertinently remarked: “the PRO [Public Record Office, now called The National Archive] evidently did not allow invasive forensic tests on the paper and ink (which would have slightly damaged the suspect documents); they permitted only the most superficial external microscopic examinations, so they believed prima facie that they were genuine. It was the chemical tests which exposed the Hitler Diaries as fakes. Such tests are conclusive,” adding, “ink-oxidisation analysis will give a good date for the signatures, if they are fake.” The (unpublished) account by Audrey Giles commented on how “destructive analysis could be carried out to determine if the inks used on the documents are consistent with inks used in the 1940s”[9] – so why did nobody ask her to do that? If the NA really believed the documents had been forged, why would they not have requested this, given the far-reaching implications of this matter?

A chemical analysis should have been able to show whether the letters are seven or seventy years old, and should preferably have been done in 2005, to tell whether the letters were one or two years old, or seventy.

In the absence of such, we may be inclined to accept Irving’s view:

How would a forger know that Martin Allen was going to look in those particular files, when writing his book, of all the tens of thousands of files in the PRO? (Assuming, as we must, that he is blameless)…. We are beginning to learn why the British press has been silent until now about the documents. Has Ben Fenton been led a final pas de deux by an MI6 cover-up team, sluicing away the evidence of wartime dirty tricks? Were gullible editors warned that the documents might be found to be forged, and ... lo and behold! A piece of clever damage-control by MI6?

An article by NA manager David Thomas in Archives entitled “Forgery in the Archives”[10] commented on various forgeries made throughout history, but notably and despite its title avoided any evaluation of the evidence on the basis of which Allen’s three books were being dismissed. It merely affirmed that three letterheads on “Ministry of Information” paper “had been produced using black toner probably from a laser printer,” with no explanation how such a conclusion had been reached or how one would tell the difference. He merely echoed the claim made by a journalist and pointed the finger of accusation at Allen.

Bracken Letter

One of the controversial Bracken letters.
Source: - licensed by N. Kollerstrom

For its story on July 2nd the Telegraph had provided a microscopic image of the edge of the letterhead print allegedly made using “laser toner,” without specifying which letter this had come from or giving any comparable image of a more “genuine” historical letterhead.[11] Once again we may concur with Irving (3 July 2005) that:

Frankly, I thought Dr. Audrey Giles's tests, as published, were rather primitive, and a disingenuous attempt to blind outsiders with science: for instance, the 500x magnification of the edge of a printed letterhead (the Bracken letter) which she claims was produced on a Xerox-type laser printer, would have been more impressive if she had shown a genuine Bracken letterhead of that period, and a text which she had produced on a laser printer for comparison.

We cannot just take her word for it that this is what the dry toner used in laser printing, when magnified, looks like. (A chemical analysis of the "toner" would settle that once and for all). And to be honest I could not "see" the pencil tracing she claims to have found beneath the signatures.

What staggers me is the fact that Audrey Giles, who made this judgement, was not given any “genuine” signatures by Brendan Bracken to compare: her report stated, “I have not examined any examples of undisputed signatures of Brendan Bracken in my laboratory.” Nor, I feel fairly confident in saying, was she given any authentic period notepaper with “MINISTRY OF INFORMATION” stamped in the top right-hand corner to make the comparison – before pronouncing strangely about laser toner cartridge.

For ten minutes I gazed at one of the Bracken letters from Brendan Bracken at the Ministry of Information to the Earl of Selborne, Ministry of Economic Warfare dated 5th November, 1943 (RW 4/25, formerly in the file HS 8/944). My training as a science historian has involved not reaching an opinion until one has the authentic, primary-source documents in front of one.

The white letter paper had mottled brownish-yellow colorations from age, more around its edge than the center, which results from handling; human sweat does this to old letters. It had been folded across twice, the yellowish discolouration being less at these fold-lines. The letter was nearly falling in half from the horizontal fold: it had been thus folded for some decades, I reckoned. The typewriter print was put onto the letter before it had been folded, as shown by the horizontal fold going through the typed words and breaking up the print. There were small holes in the letter where the typewriter had punched the full stops, as old typewriters were liable to do. Three holes had been put into the left-hand margin, and tiny cracks had grown around them from its having been kept in a file for some time—not readily fakeable. I inferred that the letter had been kept in its original folded condition for some time and then some decades ago had holes punched to file it. Its signature “Brendan Bracken” seemed to me almost identical to other real signatures by him[12] with no pencil marks around it.

Letterhead of the SIS from FO 371/30913

Letterhead of the SIS from FO 371/30913
Source: - licensed by N. Kollerstrom

Scrutinizing the signatures of these three letters with a 60 x loupe (a hand-microscope which brightly illuminates the text), I discerned no trace of pencil tracing, not even where the ink became faint or thin;[13] nor likewise could I see anything in the “printed letterhead” (i.e. address on top RHS of letter) to suggest it differed from other wartime letterheads of the SIS. A laser-inscribed letterhead is made of dots[14] and “type produced on a laser printer is significantly denser than old letter-press ink.”[15]

That letter was authentic.

This doesn’t mean that all of the NA letters/telegrams deemed to be forgeries are genuine.[16] It does mean that the case against Allen here collapses.[17]

The NA is averring that three Brendon Bracken letters were made using the same typewriter as a letter from John Wheeler-Bennett to Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart of May 1945 (w 4/27), this being part of the evidence that they are forgeries. I and my colleague Jonathan Adams carefully compared the latter to the Bracken letter of May 1945 (W 4/19). It was clearly a different typewriter in our view. We concurred with Irving’s judgement: certain characters such as the “W” could be seen as different. We thus reject this argument for forgery.

The Finger of Accusation

In the House of Commons in 2007, the Solicitor General reported that a police investigation of forgeries at the National Archives had been concluded, and “There was a realistic prospect of conviction against Martin Allen for a number of criminal offenses” – however it would be “against the national interest” to do so! The 13-month (rather low-key and mysterious[18]) police investigation had concluded with no charges being made, and yet the author was being accused, but in such a way that he could not appeal or sue for libel and defamation – from the House of Commons!

The Solicitor-General told the Commons, in reply to a question by Norman Baker, that "There may be sufficient evidence to charge Mr. Allen with three offences: one alleging forgery, one alleging the use of forged documents and one alleging criminal damage. Counsel’s advice was based upon the prosecution being able to prove a number of facts." We never hear a word of this “proof” and I doubt whether it exists. (Hansard, 12th December,

We've quoted Mr. Fenton as the main source[19] for the now-accepted view (at least within the British media), that Allen had written fictional history by using forged documents. But Fenton strangely concluded his July 2nd article: “There is no suggestion that he was anything but a fall guy for the forgers.” Allen’s view on the matter was expressed in the US edition of his book:

At some time after he saw the documents, they had been removed and replaced with exact replicas, clumsily forged to cast doubt on his discoveries. In the absence of any other public statement by him, this is the only explanation that Allen is known to have put forward.[20]

Do “clumsily forged” features exist in the collection of NA letters and telegrams now classified as RW 4/1-29?

Fenton’s view implies that someone went in before Allen and planted the forged letters, mysteriously knowing which files he was going to consult. Whereas David Thomas at the NA and the Solicitor-General in the Commons have both accused Martin Allen, Allen himself surmised that after he had consulted them, someone replaced the letters he had used with forgeries to discredit him.

The view attributed to Allen is curious: making copies of archive documents is straightforward at the NA. Allen would have done this with the key wartime letters on which his book depended. Had anyone wished to replace the old letters with “clumsy forgeries,” they would surely have been deterred by the prospect of Allen simply producing his copes of the originals.

At this point we turn to the NA’s “DORIS” system of computer-archive recall (Document Retrieval Information System). No less than eight documents are alleged to have been inserted as forgeries into File FO 800/868, known as 'the Robert Bruce Lockhart papers: PWE Miscellaneous papers.[21] Five of these are to or from Bruce Lockhart, and all concern the way Himmler was being led up the garden path by British intel pretending to be interested in his peace offers.

DORIS log for the 'Bruce Lockhart papers: PWE Miscellaneous papers,' file FO 800/868.DORIS log for the 'Bruce Lockhart papers: PWE Miscellaneous papers,' file FO 800/868.

DORIS log for the 'Bruce Lockhart papers: PWE Miscellaneous papers,' file FO 800/868.
Source: - licensed by N. Kollerstrom

The names of persons accessing this file are blacked out in the released image of the log for this file (we do not gather by whom), but police would have seen them. Howard Davis tells us: “only one person had access to all twelve files since declassification”- that person being Martin Allen. If any person did go in and plant the forged letters, as Fenton suggested, before say 2002-4 when Allen was there, that person must have been within the NA i.e. they did not go through the normal form-requesting procedure which logs in one’s card number.

Visitors to the NA reading-room have to submit each paper they bring in to inspection, and a member of staff continually walks round the tables, so it’s far from credible that an elderly gent could have brought in a large stash of forged documents and proceeded to insert them into files. That story is never going to make sense.

The police inquiry lasted thirteen months but reached no conclusion, though it had access to the complete lists of the persons who had consulted the suspect files between their becoming publicly available and Allen consulting them in 2004. We gather that only the names of Allen and his wife Jane showed up on these lists for all twelve files. The police were looking for a person or group having the required old typewriters and wartime letter-paper, plus skill in knowing what was going on in Stockholm around 1943: much of the Himmler peace-offer story revolves around the persons there involved, focusing on the British Ambassador to Sweden Victor Mallett. It wouldn’t have taken the Detective Inspector long to conclude that only SIS could fit that bill, and he didn’t want to get tangled up with them – so he dropped the case.

The police investigation of this forgery was very low-key[22]: no crime was committed, no one was charged, the action appearing as an endeavor to construct some impression of objectivity, of an outside source investigating the matter. The NA had been leaned on, and had obligingly reached the required conclusion – at the price of undermining the integrity of their data collection.

Non-Itemized Files?

The story as we have been told it assumes that the NA has not itemized its files for contents, which strains credulity. Within each file there may be half a dozen folders, each with one or many pages. Sensitive letters which have been kept secret for fifty years (released or “declassified” in the mid-1990s) must surely have been microfilmed, and each folder within a file recorded somewhere. To establish the case against Allen - that he or some colleague had planted forged documents, into the NA files - it would only have been necessary to produce these itemized lists showing what was in the files: did these include the 29 letters/telegrams? It would have been dead easy. But clearly, they could not do that.

On July 1st, the day before the Telegraph story appeared, NA manager Howard Davies wrote cryptically:

---‘s main concern was if SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) were being accused of having perpetrated the forgeries and I reassured him that, as far as we knew, nobody was making that accusation, and that Ben Fenton’s theory was that the forgeries, if such they be, were placed on the file after the records came to Kew.

(Head of Inspection and Client Management at NA writing to his colleague David Thomas on how SIS had formerly held the relevant FO docs, before they were transferred to the NA) This tells us that the NA has had to accept, rather suddenly, that it owned forged documents – and this was not up for debate. On the question of who would get blamed, Ben Fenton’s “theory” is having to be accepted by the NA.

The archives tell us that the file HS 8/944 (one of the allegedly forged letters) was transferred to the NA from the SIS in 2004. That is only just before Allen consulted it for his 2005 book! The most important file for our story is FO 800/868, from which 8 letters/telegrams were removed and reclassified in 2007 as RW 4/13-20. Howard Davis’s note added: “FCO asked SIS about papers related to Himmler in FO 800/868 and the sensitivity reviewer who examined the file for them before transfer could not recall any.” Someone in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office asked Special Intel Service about the letters, and a “sensitivity reviewer” (who decides when secret files can be declassified) failed to recall! The absurd implication here is that SIS had not itemized its top-secret files, whereby they could have checked what was in them.

A question would remain, why the present file FO 800/868 should have needed to be classified for fifty years, if it did not contain any of the letters alluded to by Allen? It has five main folders in it, some with letters by PWE, the Political Warfare Executive, and it is hard to see what would need to be top-secret about them.

The Thesis of Martin Allen

Should anyone wish to itemize the sequence of peace offers made by Germany to Britain through the course of World War II, then I suggest the first question they need to ask is: are the books of Martin Allen correct? His trilogy has argued that Britain was interested in these peace offers only “by way of deception,” in pretending an interest in order to undermine the German government - and induce it to attack Russia! [Note: Allen's second book was published in German as Churchills Friedensfalle (Churchill’s Peace Trap) but in the English edition this became The Hitler-Hess Deception – slight difference of emphasis!][23]

His third book’s Chapter 3 entitled “British Intelligence Subverts Hitler’s Peaceable Intent” explained how the German peace offers “all failed because the British authorities had no intention of negotiating peace with leading Nazis.” (p.82) A problem arose in that “Numerous eminent international figures offered themselves as intermediaries, wishing to impart to the British authorities important peace offers from the pinnacle of the German leadership. These eminent persons ranged right across the political, religious and diplomatic spectrum, from the Pope to General Franco, the German ambassador in Washington, and the King of Sweden.”

If that is too shocking, I suggest perusing the bulky file FO 371/30913, which concerns this topic. It starts with a PWE document of June 30, 1942 entitled “Germany: Possible peace Offensive.” This delves into the tactics of deception: “There may be launched from Germany next autumn a serious peace offensive. Discuss measures for dealing with and profiting from it. …Considers the probable state of German morale, and the groups in Germany of which account needs to be taken.” The authorities may not have liked Allen’s book, but further debate is here surely needed.

A Dr. Fox who had previously worked at the NA wrote to The Telegraph on the 7th July 2005 explaining why Allen’s history was flawed:

There is another point why the idea of a British plot to assassinate Himmler is preposterous. Of all the Third Reich leaders who fell into Allied hands, the one who possessed virtually all of the key information about the Third Reich was indeed Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. Killing him was the equivalent to the crime of killing the goose that could have laid the golden egg of the century.

Yes indeed, but for that very reason, did he not have to die? A false narrative was to be laid down at Nuremberg, and his testimony there might have seriously undermined it. Barely one year after Allen’s book was published, wartime documents subsequently declassified endorsed his central and shocking thesis whereby Churchill approved of Himmler’s murder:

According to British war cabinet minutes released in 2006, Winston Churchill advocated Himmler's assassination. In response to Himmler's attempts to open peace overtures with the Allies in 1945 through Count Bernadotte, Churchill enquired if they should negotiate with Himmler and bump him off later. “Quite entitled to do so,” said Churchill. This suggestion met with some support from the British Home Office.

A copy of this letter is in file RW 4/30 p.9 (Wiki, “Death of Himmler”).[24] In that case, what is there unacceptable about Allen’s thesis? Allen’s last book enjoys a list of glowing four- and five-star reviews on Amazon that will leave other authors green with envy. Here is one of them:

This is a stunningly revelatory book. Who would have believed that in the approx 15 months following the outbreak of World War Two, Adolf Hitler made no fewer than 16 attempts at peace to the British, as confirmed by a Foreign Office report to Roosevelt entitled `The Peaceable Attempts 1939-41', and marked `For the President's Eyes Only"?

When Hitler gave up trying, author Allen then reveals that Himmler (without Hitler's knowledge) continued the process - unsuccessfully as we now know. By the war's end however, Himmler, the icon of evil to many, knew too much and was dispatched with a poisoned sandwich supplied by SOE....

For the purveyors of the modern proscribed [sic. read, “prescribed”] version of history, the scores of revelations in this book - seemingly supported by documents in the National Archives at Kew and Kensington - must find this book extremely unsettling. Little wonder that when this book first appeared in 2005, drastic damage control measures were initiated. Fake documents were planted in the archives, the press tipped off, and a general campaign of discrediting Allen was launched in the media.

Allen, as the publisher's blurb asserts, is extremely well informed. The book reads easily, and Allen competently navigates the reader through the labyrinthian world of under-cover diplomacy and the perpetual game of move and counter-move of the intelligence agencies.

Undoubtedly an important book - introducing new material so heretical it would have guaranteed the author a visit to the stake 500 years ago. (by “Frank D”)

Without wishing to contradict anything here, I do not find it self-evident that fake documents have been planted. I agree that Victor Mallett’s signature in these letters is different from his signature on other letters in the NA,[25] which is a start, but maybe not quite enough.

Another reviewer, “Semper Veritas,” put the anguished question:

This is a book which indicates something of the hidden intrigue and duplicity of Governments. It is small wonder that 60 years afterwards, when Martin Allen had found documentary evidence and published those in his book that there are howls of 'forged documents' – to try and play down the information that has come to light. Why cannot the British Government, 60 years after the end of World War II, declare what really happened all those years ago?

Why indeed?

Post Scriptum

By Germar Rudolf

In August of 2009, I was contacted by a friend who wanted me to meet a special person for a luncheon. That person turned out to be German historian Dr. Olaf Rose. During that lunch, he told me, among other things, that he managed to get in touch with Martin Allen and, having gained his confidence, was told by Mr. Allen some very revealing facts regarding the matter described above by Dr. Kollerstrom.

First, when Mr. Allen was informed about criminal investigation being conducted on the forgery of the documents in question, he assured his full cooperation. Among other things, Mr. Allen made available photocopies which he had made of the relevant documents. A comparison between those photocopies and the presumed "originals" – or rather forgeries – in the archive revealed that the punch holes visible on Mr. Allen's photocopies did not match those on the forgeries, which, however, showed faint traces of these original punch holes on the paper. It was concluded that Mr. Allen did indeed photocopy originals, but that those originals were later removed and replaced by photocopies of these originals, made on modern paper with a modern photocopier.

Hence, someone who strongly disliked Mr. Allen's historical revelations and who had the means to mess with archival documents with impunity went to great length to discredit Mr. Allen by replacing the originals with photocopies, and presumably destroying the originals.

No criminal proceedings were ever initiated against Mr. Allen, because he could prove that the forged documents in the archives were placed there after he had copied the originals. The fact that the entire case was shelved without any further investigation against the perpetrator(s) proves that the investigating authorities were ordered by individuals higher up in the hierarchy not to pursue the case any further.

It is therefore safe to assume that the originals were destroyed and removed by government agencies in an attempt to ruin Mr. Allen's reputation and to prevent any further revision of WWII historiography.

Mr. Allen, thoroughly intimidated by the unscrupulous conduct of Her Majesty's government, decided to play it safe and not to speak out.

March 31, 2017


[1] “Fiction, facts and forgeries, The Revelations of Peter and Martin Allen about the history of the Second World War,” E. Haiger, Jnl. of Intelligence History, Summer 2006.
[2] Info here cited comes from the NA file RW 4/30, documents on the forgery issue.
[3] Telegraph, 2 July 2005. Online: plus also
[4] A British “history learning site” accepts Allen’s thesis:
[5] The Telegraph’s discrediting of Allen’s Himmler-death narrative oddly coincided with the publication of Himmlers Tod by Joseph Bellinger in Germany, in the same month, which likewise argued that British agents had killed him. Online:
[6] Irving
[7] Archivist Nancy Bell assured me, “I can confirm the papers [on which the letters had been written] were old and contemporary with the period covered by the letters.”
[8] These allegedly fake documents are now at RW 4/3, 4/6, 4/7 and 4/11 having originally belonged to the files FO 371/ 26145, 26691 and 60508. (Two other documents were queried by Haiger, but his references erred so they could not be checked)
[9] Her report is found in the NA file RW 4/30.
[10] D. Thomas, Archives, (published by British Records Association)34, April; 2009, p.21-25.
[11] On Ben Fenton’s 2 July article, Also see:
[12] A dozen real signatures by Brendan Bracken are reproduced in color on the last page of the RW 4/30 file. If there is a slight shakiness to some of his signatures, that may indicate inebriation (Charles Lysaght, Brendan Bracken, 1979 ) rather than forgery.
[13] “Fenton spotted what looked like pencil marks beneath the signature on one of them” (Wiki). That was his reason for suspecting they were forgeries: in 2008 he recalled, “on closer inspection of the Bracken letter, I saw what I was sure were pencil marks beneath the signature.” (FT 3.5.08) Dr. Giles in contrast merely detected pencil marks beneath the Bracken signatures under infra-red light.
[14] Online:
[15] Editorial comment of Printer’s World, 7 July 2005.
[16] The file FO 371/26145 is sequentially paginated. Every one of its sixty-odd pages is numbered with pencil in the top-right corner. A letter of Feb ’41 (now RW 4/3) supposedly came from it, i.e. Allen referred to it as within that file. If so, Allen upon consulting this file would have seen that there was no gap in the page numbers where this letter could have belonged. If I could get to speak to Mr. Allen or his wife (which I can’t!) I’d put this to them.
[17] I later noticed Irving’s comment that “the Bracken typewriter seems identical to that used by other Bracken letters I have seen, for instance in the papers of Bernard Baruch at Princeton. That coincidence, or craftmanship, is really pushing the envelope of credibility.” He did not accept that the typewriter here used was the same as that used for the typewritten letter by “Wheeler Bennett” - as averred by those claiming forgery
[18] What, for example, was the crime? The NA replied to my enquiry: “1. We do not have any evidence as to which crime was being investigated by the Police. 2. We do not have a copy of the Police Report.” So it was very low-key. A filed letter by Ben Fenton of Nov. 15, 2007 stated that each time he asked a crime correspondent at Scotland Yard how the investigation was progressing, “he has come back to me saying that the relevant part of Scotland Yard has no knowledge of any such investigation.” He then tried to ascertain which division of the Met had been sent the NA files. (RW 4/30)
[19] The Sunday Times did a follow-up on 3 July2005 , likewise quoting Audrey Giles.
[20] Ben Fenton, “Himmler forgeries in National Archives case will stay unsolved,” Financial Times, 3 May 2008. Online:
[21] These allegedly forged Bruce Lockhart letters are now classified as RW 4/13-17, dated from 3 March 1943 to 24 January 1944.
[22] On 9 Feb 2006 files were handed to DI of the Met. Ben Fenton recalls “I was interviewed by Det. Insp. Andy Perrott, a local CID man but with experience in the Fraud Squad. Suspects were interviewed one even arrested but no charges were ever made.”
[23] His book Himmler’s Secret War was subtitled The Covert Peace Negotiations of Heinrich Himmler. I can’t help feeling that the latter was Mr. Allen’s intended title, rather than the meaningless one he was given.
[24] Wikipedia, Himmler, from its section: “Historical Views.”
[25] For his more “genuine” signature, see letters in FO 371/37098.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Nicholas Kollerstrom
Title: The "Ministry of Truth" at Britain's National Archives, The Attempt to Discredit Martin Allen
Sources: Inconvenient History, 6(2) 2014
Published: 2014-05-23
First posted on CODOH: June 10, 2014, 7 p.m.
Last revision:
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