David Irving is the son of a Royal Navy commander and a professional illustrator. Incompletely educated at Imperial College of Science & Technology and at. Mr Irving's personal diary of his British High Court Action against Penguin Books Ltd and Deborah Lipstadt is now available as a Free Download in English and. David Irving, British historian, his life and works. publishes a virulent page attack on David Irving's biography, Hitler's War, in their quarterly journal (pdf.
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The courts have ruled that the "safe harbor" defense is not available to This -Mbyte PDF file can be read by Adobe Acrobat reader version or later. Download these classic David Irving books -- free: and Rommel: The Trail of the Fox; for posting as free-download PDF files, followed by the foreign language . David Irving is the son of a Royal Navy commander. Imperfectly The volume is also available as a free download from our website at dancindonna.info
Cela est incontestable. Il y a quelque chose qui cloche ici Ted O'Keefe rapporte les propos de David Irving, dans Irving on Churchill : The Focus was financed by a slush fund set up by some of London's wealthiest businessmen -- principally, businessmen organized by the Board of Jewish Deputies in England, whose chairman was a man called Sir Bernard Waley Cohen. Sir Bernard Waley Cohen held a private dinner party at his apartment on July 29, This is in Waley Cohen's memoirs Now, 50, pounds in , multiply that by ten, at least, to get today's figures.
NONE of my books made as much money as did my Rommel biography, nor earn such unstinted praise, but this was in a sense inadvertent. Already then the German news magazine felt obliged to apologise to readers in an editorial for serializing a book by me, and it was indeed the last of the five that they did serialize.
The pressures of the traditional enemy were already building, as Hitler's War was published at the same time, and I recall that when HoCa sent me on a lecture tour of Germany to promote the book, I experienced the first ugly demonstrations outside a little bookstore in Nuremberg where I had autographed books for the audience.
Funded sometimes by the East German government, and sometimes by the West German trades unions, those demonstrations afterwards turned into full scale riots, with sometimes or 1, riot police called out to protect the hall I spoke in.
He ruefully rebuked me for the cost in police time of my visits to his city. And then the police turned round, and it was no longer meine Wenigkeit, my humble literary person, that was being protected, but the angry mob. That is another story. There were however well-earned blessings too. It is restored in the recent online edition. Ten years later, in the mid s I received a call from the Cabinet Office to come round to their building, as they had something for me.
Sitting at the same polished mahogany table at which the fierce committee of a dozen nameless civil servants had dictated the prohibition to me, I was now given a brown, ancient folder, an inch thick, stuffed with papers, and left alone with it.
It was Rommel's original personnel file, his file, snatched from beneath American military noses by British officers in southern Germany and brought back to London for safe keeping. He had become a good friend over the years, and he revealed that Her Majesty's government regarded the gift of the Rommel file as a proper quid pro quo, a mark of gratitude for having kept that secret.
Readers, pray give a nod in the direction of Chicago as you open and enjoy these pages. Recently he wrote two or three chatty human interest pieces for Forbes magazine. In one , of Nov. One of those whom she discussed in this context was the British writer David Irving, who certainlydid read German, had spentyears in the archives researchingthe German side in the Second World War, and was the author of some thirty books on historical subjects.
Some of them had gone through many reprints and a number of different editions. The greatmajority of them were about the Second World War, and in particular about Nazi Germany and its leaders. Before he was thirty, he had already begun researching and writing on twentieth-century history, publishing his first book, The Destruction of Dresden, in , whenhe was only twenty-five. Despite their somewhat specialized titles, these books in many cases aroused widespreadcontroversyandmadeIrvingintoa well-known figure.
The Destruction of Dresden created a stormby alleging that the bombingof Dresden by Alliedairplanes earlyin causedmany more deaths than had previously been thought. The Destruction of Convoy PQ 17 aroused serious objections on the part of a British naval officer criticized by Irving in his book. By the end of the s, Irving had already made a name himself for as anextremely controversial writer aboutthe Second World War. Irving heightened the controversy by publicly offering a financial reward to anyone who could comeup with a document proving him wrong.
The furor completely overshadowedhis publication of a biography of the German general Erwin Rommelin the same year, under thetitle The Trail of the Fox. And while he was producing new work, he also published revised and amended editions of some of his earlier books, most notably, in , Hitler:s War, which also incorporateda new version of The War Path, and in Nwemberg: The Last Battle, an updated version of a previously published book, reissued to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials.
Despite all this, Irving had never held a post in a university history department or any other academic institution. He did not even have a degree. He had starteda science degree at London University but never finished it. Where did he study History? Where did he get his Degree? Was Tacitus? Didhe get a degree in some university? Did he get a degree? And yet we unashamedly call them historians-we call them historians because they wrote history which hasdone recte:gone down the ages asaccepted true history.
Irving could notbe dismissed just becausehe lacked formal qualifications. Historians do notusually answer such criticisms by firing off writs. Instead, theynormally rebut them in print. Irving, however, was no stranger to the courts.
Lipstadt responded, pointing out thatbook her mentioned Irvingonly onsix out of more thanthree hundredpages. The publisher refused to withdraw; and Irving issued his defamation writ in September I had never met h i m in person, but of course I knew of him through his high media profile as the solicitor who had won a record settlement for Princess Diana in her divorce from the Prince of Wales.
Julius was not just a fashionable and successful lawyer. He was also well known as a writer and intellectual, althoughin the field of English literature rather than history. He was the author of a scholarly if controversial study of T. Eliot and antisemitism, andhe wrote frequentbook reviews for the Sunday papers. Julius was representing Deborah Lipstadt. When he phoned me toward the endof , it was to ask if I would be willing to act as an expert witness for the defense. Later, in hiscramped and book-lined Holbom office, Julius explained to me in more detail whatwould be involved.
The first duty of an expert witness, he said, was to the court. That is, the evidence had astotruthbe ful and objective as possible. Expert witnesses were not there to plead a case. They werethere to help thecourt in technical and specialized matters. They had togive their own opinion, irrespective of which side had engaged them.
They had to swear a solemn oath to tell the truth and could be prosecuted for perjuryif they did not. Onthe other hand,they were usually commissioned by one side or the other in the belief that what they said would support the case being put rather than undermine it. At the endof the day, it was up to the lawyers whether ornot they used the reports they had commissioned.
Iwould be paid by the hour, not by results.
So the money would have no influence on what I wrote or said. If I did agree to writean expert report, however, and it was accepted by the lawyers, then I could expect it t o be presented to the court and I would have to attend thetrial to be cross-examined on it by the plaintiff.
Why me? I asked. There were a number of reasons, Julius said. First, I was a specialist in modern German histoly. A copy of my most recent book in this field, Rituals of Retribution, was on his bookshelf.
It was a large-scale study of capital punishment in Germany from the seventeenth century to theabolition of the death penaltyin East Germany in 19S7. So it was clear that I had a good command of the German language. I could read the obsolete Ger-. And I was familiar with the documentary basis on which a lot of modem German history was written. I had also for many years taught a document-based undergraduate course onNazi Germany for the history degree at Birkbeck College in London University and before that in my previous post at theUniversity of East Anglia.
Clearly, the trial was going to turn toa considerable extent on the interpretation of Nazi documents, so expertise of this kind was crucial; and was it expertise thatthe court itself could notbe expected to possess. Second, a couple of months earlier, I had published a short book entitled In Defense of Histo y,which had dealt with such vexed questions as objectivity and bias in historical writing, the nature of historical research, the difference between truth andfiction,and the possibility of obtainingaccurate a way, Anthony Julius explained, were knowledge aboutthe past.
These in the central issues in the case that Irvingwas bringing against Lipstadt. Iwas in a good position to do so not only because of my previous writings, but also because I had no personal connection witheither of the two main protagonists in the case. Indeed, I had neveractually seen eitherof them in the flesh. Irvingwas a famously combative figure, but he had never had occasion to cross swords with me. Academic historians with a general knowledge of modem history had indeed mostly been quite generous to Irving, even where they had found reason to criticize him or disagree with his views.
The fact is that he knows more about National Socialism than most professional scholars in his field, and students of the years owe morethan they are always willing to admit to his energy as a researcher. It is always difficult forthe non-historian toremember that there is nothing absolute about historical truth.
What we consider as such is only an estimation, based uponthe what best available evidence tells us. It must constantlybe tested against new information and new interpretationsthat appear, however implausible theymay be, or it will lose its vitality and degenerate into dogma or shibboleth.
Such people as David Irving, then, have a indispensable part in the historical enterprise, and we dare not disregardtheir views. Irving is cited only when his sources have been checked and found reliable. Trevor-Roper had worked in British Intelligence during thewar and had been charged with heading an official missionto find out the true facts about the death of Hitler.
Trevor-Roper continued: When a historian relies nlainly on primarysources, which we cannot easily check, he challenges our confidence and forcesus to ask critical questions. How reliableis his historical method?
How sound is his judgment? We ask these questions particularly of any man who, likeMr. Irving, makesa virtue-almost a profession-of using arcane sources to affront established opinions.
But we can never be quite sure, and when ishemost original, we are likely to be least sure. Broszatwent much further, however, and included the allegation, backed up by detailed examples, that Irving had manipulated and misinterpreted original documents in order to prove his arguments. Sydnor Jr. In fact theyput up a screen behind which a very different agendais transacted.
Irvingis a great obfuscator.. Distortions affect evely important aspectof this book to the point of obfuscation. It is unfortunate that Mr. Irving wastes his extraordinary talents as a researcher and writer on trivializing the greatest crimes in German history, on manipulating historical sources and on highlighting the theatrics of the Nazi era.
It is alsothat it is written in a tone which is at best casually journalistic and atworst quite exceptionally offensive. For many years, professionalhistorians had seemed to regard him as an assiduous collector of original documentation, although there was some disputeover quite how important all of it was. Nor was this all. Since the late 19SOs, however, Irving had ceasedto be publishedby major houses, but instead had brought out all his books under his own imprint, Focal Point.
Onewould not haveexpected a reputablehistorian to have run into such trouble, and indeed was it impossible to thinkof any historian of any standing atall who had been subjected to so many adverse legal judgments, or who had initiatedso many libel actions himself. Irving has confounded efforts to writehim off as a harmless rackp pot. But nothing really new. Their criticisms raised real issues of objectivity, bias, and political motivation inthe study of history that went far beyond the work of Irving himself.
I have burrowed deep into the contemporary writings of his closest personal staff, seeking clues to the real truth in diaries and private letters written to wives and friends. But historians are quite incorrigible, and will quote any apparently primary source no matter how convincingly its pedigree is exposed. All these falsifications, he argued, were to thedisadvantage of Hitler. And they never troubled to consult most the basic documentation. Irving was evidently very proud of his personal collection of thousands of documents and index cards on the history of the Third Reich.
Many historians had surely shared experiences like my own, when I discovered major collections of documents in atticsin two different German cities in the course of researching for my doctorate, and had to enduredifficult conditions in going through them.
Almost all historians have come across sources untouched by any other historian since they had beenfiled away by those who compiled them. Irving had no monopoly on such research. Historians have always been obliged-to get their handsdirty. There were hundreds of historians-German, British, American, Israeli, Swiss, French, Dutch, Canadian and so on-who had researched the subjects with which Irving concerned himself.
Already in the immediate aftermath of the war, Allied war crimes prosecutors had sifted through tons of captured German documents to prepare their indictments in the Nuremberg Trials. Many of these had been printedin the published recordof the trials. Since then, vast new masses of documents,both official andprivateinprovenance,had become available to scholars in a variety of public state archives in Germany and other countries.
This was not an area of history like, say, the fifth century, when historians had to make do with sparse and obscure source material to reconstruct what happened. Historians of the Third Reich and theSecond World War were more in danger of drowning in a sea of sources. From the s onwards, generations of Ph. The techniques of documentary investigation in which Irving presentedhimself as the master werein fact a normal partof the stock-in-trade of every trainee professional historian.
Of course, Irving had discovered new documents and obtained new evidence, for example, by interviewing surviving eyewitnesses of the time.
But this was true of a vast number of other historians too. The difference was that professional historiansdid not make such a fetish of it. New discoveries in this field were quite normal.
Suchwas the vastness of the documentary legacy left by Nazi Germany-twelve years in the life of a major, modern industrial state-that much of the archival record still remainecl to be worked through at the beginning of the twenty-first century. There was nothing wrong with this, where the work relied on conformed to the accepted canons of scholarly research and rested on thorough, transparent, and unbiased investigation of the primary sources.
So vast was the material with which historians dealt,so numerous werethe subjects they covered, so consuming of time, energy, and financial resources was the whole process of historical research, that it would be completely impossible for new historical discoveries and insights to be generated if every historian had to go back to the original sources for everything he or she wanted to say.
Hugh Trevor-Roper Lord Dacre , acting for Times Newspapers, declared them to be authentic aftera hasty perusal of the manuscripts in a Swiss bank vault. As a result, serializationof an English translation began in The Sunclay Times. Irving had come into contact withthe diaries through August Priesack, an old Nazi who had been oneof the first tobe approached by the forger in hisquest for authentication. Irving himself had downloadd some eight hundred pages of Hitler documents that emanatedfrom the same forger in October and had been on the verge of selling them to Macmillan when he had begun to have doubts.
Priesacks collection of Nazi memorabilia was full of obvious forgeries. Funded by rival newspapers who wished to preserve their circulation in the face of a threatened Sunday Times scoop, Irving appeared in personat the Stern press conference and denounced them as fakes. I have some here.
The diaries were quickly shown by tests carried out by the German Federal Archives on the ink and paper to be postwar products. Their author, Konrad Kujau, was eventually sent to prison for his offense. Yet, one reasonwhy the forgery got as far as being printed as authentic in the national presswas the fact that eminent academics had not been allowed near them.
There were those who had, like the American historian Gerhard Weinberg and the Stuttgart expert on Hitler, Eberhard Jackel, expressedgrave suspicions almost from the very start.
According to Robert Harris, he did this because he was uncomfortable at being aligned with majority, respectable historical opinion, because he was impressed by the sheer size of the diaries-sixty volumes-which seemed almost beyondthe capacity of any one individual to forge, and because, having finally seen the diaries for himself, they looked more convincing than he had expected.
Whereas most historians held Hitler responsible for the antisemitic pogrom of the Reiclaskristullnucht in November , for example, the diaries showed him ordering a stop to as it soon as he found out about it. Nobody hasthe right to standup and say, only my version of history is right: all other versions are wrong: and nobody hasthe right to propagate alternative versions..
But is certainly a magisterial work. Asked in whether hewas a partisan historian, he replied: Every historian has to be selective: IfI write a biography aboutAdolf Hitler, then the archives have got about ten tonsof documents on Adolf Hitler, and you have to select whichdocuments you present.
The agenda I have, I suppose, is, all right, I admit it, I like seeing the other historians with eggon their face. Real historyis what we find inthe archives, and itfrightthe planks out from beneath their ens my opponents because it takes feet. Orchestrated by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, individuals and organizations in many countries, he suggested, had conspired to have his books rejected by mainstream publishers, his speeches cancelled, his entry permits denied.
He had been expelled from Canada and fined in Germany.
He and his family had been subjected to threats and abuse. All of this he put down to the fact that he was telling the truth about Hitler, the Germans, and the gas chambers, and theJews wanted to stop himfrom being heard. They were the ones who had lied about the past, and they were toocowardly to defend theirlies in open debate.
In addition he offered his books for sale throughthe Internet andvia the so-called Institute for Historical Review. ThusAnne Sebba, in The Times Higher Education Supplement, expressed the fear before the trial that itwould lead to somekind of censorship.
To stifle free-ranging debate is good neither for academics nor for the rest of us. An astonishing number of commentators seemed to forget this ratherbasic point as they sharpened their pensin defense of free speech.