Full Project Transmedia Bible

1938: Project Updates

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Preview screenings of Paris, 1938 were held in the spring of 2016.

black bar 1Work-in-progress for This Dancerie:1938 and Background

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Paris 1938 Film in progress -October 1 cut

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Proposed site where film will be projected on Isle de la Cité

2013-07-23 09.02.44

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Food for thought about costuming

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The Mysterious Murder of Ernst vom Rath
by Herschel Grynszpan
– The Nazis’ Smokescreen for Pogrom Night, November 9/10, 1938

Meier Schwarz

Just days before Jewish homes, businesses and synagogues across Germany were devastated in the pogrom of November 1938, Ernst vom Rath, a low-ranking Nazi diplomat, was allegedly gunned down in his Parisian office by Herschel Grynszpan, a young Polish Jew. It was vom Rath’s murder which sparked the “spontaneous” outburst of violence against the Jews, or so the Nazis said. The Nazis’ actions in 1938, however, suggest that they were preparing their most ruthless anti-Jewish operation yet – and vom Rath’s assassination was a convenient catalyst for such a strike. Inconsistencies surrounding the assassination itself raise doubts about Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels’ account of the incident. Nevertheless, his version of events is generally accepted by historians, even today. Could it be that the Nazis had a hand in vom Rath’s death?

The events of November 9/10, 1938, often referred to as the “Night of Broken Glass” or “Crystal Night,” marked a turning point in the Nazis’ policy toward the Jews. The magnitude, brutality and highly organized execution of the pogrom delivered a clear message to Germany’s remaining Jews – they had to get out, and fast. The extraordinary historical importance of that fateful night makes the way in which post-war historians have dealt with it all the more astonishing. For years, no one questioned the Nazis’ statistics on the number of Jews killed, synagogues destroyed and Jewish businesses plundered and looted. Likewise, Goebbels’ account of vom Rath’s death has largely gone unchallenged, despite the Nazis’ deserved reputation for engineering “spontaneous” events as pretexts for their own aggressive actions. (For example, theReichstag or “German parliament” fire of 1933.) These factors give cause for a closer examination, at the very least, of the events surrounding Pogrom Night.

The Fateful Year of 1938

In 1938, the German Reich finally implemented its policy of stripping Jews of their financial resources and forcing them out of the country. The circumstances of Germany’s Jews were already extremely grave. Between 60 and 70 percent of Jewish businesses had been “aryanized” and unemployment among Jews had doubled within just a few months. Meanwhile, the Nazis’ last potential opponents, the Conservatives, were removed from government in February, leaving Hitler’s men free to settle the “Jewish Question” once and for all. Indeed, throughout the fateful year of 1938, the Nazis introduced, step by step, a series of measures which would make the pogrom in November look like the sudden climax of a catastrophic chain of events.

Hermann Goering, who was commissioner for Hitler’s Four Year (economic) Plan, launched several decrees to impoverish Germany’s Jews. In April, it became a crime for any German to disguise the fact that a business was owned by a Jew. Jewish businesses and stores now had to display an identifying symbol as a “prelude to the fundamental solution of the Jewish question in the economy” (quote taken from the Salzburger Zeitung). In another decree, issued in cooperation with the Interior Ministry, Goering ordered the registration of all Jewish-owned property and assets; allowing the Nazis to find out just how much wealth was in Jewish hands.

The relevant institutions worked with remarkable haste. In August, the Nazi leadership instructed the tax authorities, the Security Police, the Gestapo and the Chamber of Commerce, as well as its advisers in the building sector, to speed up the process. The registration of all Jewish property had to be completed before September 30 at all costs, even if this meant taking on additional staff. At the same time, legal measures to alienate the Jews were reinforced. Jewish citizens were forbidden to work in more and more professions and had to have a large “J” stamped in their passports. They were also forced to adopt easily-recognizable “Jewish” names, and their original ID cards were replaced by cards specifically for Jews.

That year also saw the Nazis develop a more aggressive foreign policy, which met with no meaningful resistance from Germany’s neighbors. The annexation of Austria was greeted more or less with silent acceptance, despite the anti-Jewish operations that began there. Then Britain, France and Italy approved Germany’s annexation of theSudetenland at the Munich conference of September 1938. As if all this was not enough, in July, at an international conference in Evian (France), not one country said it was prepared to take in Jewish refugees fromGermany. “No one wants them” read the headline of the Nazi newspaper, the Völkische Beobachter. It was true.

Germany’s largest expulsion of Jews up until that point took place at the end of October 1938, when the Polish government said it would cancel the passports of Polish Jews who had been living abroad for more than five years. This would have affected approximately 50,000 people in Germany. The Gestapo was therefore instructed to deport them within 14 days, before they became “stateless” and could no longer be moved. Seventeen thousand Jews were expelled during this operation, before an agreement was reached with Poland. Once again, the international community did not really protest.

The persecution certainly did not end there. Pogroms against Jews had been happening all over the country ever since the 1937 Christmas boycott of Jewish businesses, organized by Julius Streicher, a Nazi politician and owner of the anti-Semitic newspaper, Der Stürmer. One of the biggest pogroms took place in June 1938 in Berlin. Fearing that a favorable resolution of the so-called Sudeten Crisis could be jeopardized by the violence, the police intervened only after several days to prevent the total destruction of Jewish stores and businesses.

Therefore, after several years of covert but effective oppression and displacement of the Jews, in 1938, the Nazis had launched their final push to squeeze Jews out of economic life altogether. The reaction of world opinion ranged from trade embargos against Germany to total apathy. The next course of action was summed up by the Nazis’ “Jewish Council” in Reinhard Heydrich’s Reich Security Office in 1937: the “most effective tool” for speeding up the “solution of the Jewish question” was the “anger of the people […] which manifests itself in riots […] because the Jew has learned a lot from pogroms, and he fears nothing more than a hostile atmosphere, which can spontaneously turn against him.”

Goebbels, Grynszpan and vom Rath – The Key Players

While the historical background to the pogrom tells us much, it is also important to look at those who played a crucial role in the events leading up to that night.

Joseph Goebbels  without doubt, Goebbels was a major force behind Pogrom Night. As minister for propaganda and Hitler’s personal confidant, he held a prominent position in the Third Reich leadership. He was, however, under severe pressure from above. Hitler himself had blamed Goebbels for failing to exploit the propaganda potential of the Sudeten Crisis, not to mention his extra-marital affair with a Czech actress, Lida Baarova. Goebbels had even considered divorcing his wife Magda, but Hitler had forbidden him to do so. Not only did Magda Goebbels have a close relationship with Hitler, she was also seen as the quasi “First Lady” of the German Reich. Baarova was by far not the only woman with whom Goebbels was conducting an affair, another fact for which he was criticized within the party. Therefore in November 1938, he needed to win back Hitler’s good favor, and a decisive strike against the Jews must surely have seemed a good way to go about it.

However, Goebbels’ was opposed by Goering, who was interested in the value of Jewish property, and by Heydrich, head of the SS Security Service. The SS had wanted full control of “Jewish Policy” for sometime, and as such, the behavior of its members was noticeably restrained throughout the pogrom. The organization also voiced heavy criticism of Goebbels when the violence was over. Heydrich himself was in Paris one week before vom Rath’s death, although the reason for and details of his trip are unknown. As leader of the Nazis’ quasi internal secret service, he would have been well informed about the victim of the assassination.

Ernst vom Rath – vom Rath joined the Nazi party in 1932, shortly after finishing his law degree. He began working for the Foreign Office in 1934. In 1935/6, he served as personal secretary to the German ambassador inParis, who was his uncle. He was then sent to Calcutta but was recalled after one year, suffering from a bowel disorder contracted, according to his Jewish doctor, Dr. Pomeranz, as a result of having homosexual intercourse. (Dr. Pomeranz had conferred with one Dr. Grumpert, a specialist in sexually transmitted diseases. It was Grumpert who had originally sent vom Rath to her.[1]) Vom Rath returned to work in mid-July, this time back to the embassy in Paris. He was promoted to legation secretary in October. Hans-Jürgen Döscher is one historian, among others, who suspects that vom Rath and Grynszpan must had known each other through the homosexual scene before their encounter at the embassy. Grynszpan was known to have visited various public houses mainly frequented by homosexual customers.[2] Furthermore, in 1941, while in prison in Germany, Grynszpan claimed to have known vom Rath for a long time, and to have been sexually abused by him. This was one reason why Goebbels decided not to give Grynszpan a show trial.

Herschel Grynszpan – Grynszpan was born to Polish-Jewish parents in Hanover in 1921. He studied at a Yeshiva in Frankfurt and eventually ended up in Paris in 1936, where he resided illegally. His family was among the 17,000 Jews whom the Gestapo deported to Poland in October 1938. Grynszpan received a postcard from his sister on November 3, describing the catastrophic conditions in which the refugees were being forced to live in no-man’s-land between the two countries.

Nazi Preparations and Warnings to Jews

Against this background, any escalation of the Nazis’ action against the Jews, including a pogrom, would have seemed an entirely logical step and would have furthered the personal motives of some of those involved. Certain Jews were even warned that an attack had been planned. Professor Heinrich Hörlein, head of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry and a Nazi Party member, reportedly spoke in 1938 of what would happen to the Jews, and the Jewish physicist, Lise Meitner, described his warnings in a letter to her colleague, Otto Hahn, in 1945.[3]Furthermore, in his article, “Die Vorplanung der Kristallnacht” (The Planning of Crystal Night), Dr. K.J. Ball-Kurdi mentions two similar cases in which Jews were warned of the danger. Berthold Löwenstein was a Jewish judge dismissed from his post in 1933. Nevertheless, his former colleague and brother mason, a man named Engelke, had always advised him to remain in Germany. Engelke suddenly changed his mind, however, following a meeting at the Ministry of Finance on October 29, 1938. He said something terrible would happen to the Jews in mid-November, and that Löwenstein must leave before November 5. A former Jewish police chief, Konrad Kaiser, told a similar story. He was informed by an ex-colleague that the SS had enlisted the help of the local and secret police, as well as the tax authorities, to prepare lists of Jews who were to be sent to concentration camps.

Preparations in the camps themselves began in the late summer of 1938. In Dachau, additional mass sleeping areas were added to recently-erected barracks, even though prisoner transports to Buchenwald were leaving the camp rather empty.[4] A former prisoner, Hans Schwarz, who was working in an office in Dachau at the time, said he had seen a document that gave instructions to sew a Judenstern or Jewish star onto 5,000 prison uniforms.[5] Meanwhile, the prisoners who remained at Dachau were relocated within the camp. The result was that some barracks were filled to bursting point while others were left empty.

The Assassination

On the morning on November 7, four days after Herschel Grynszpan received his sister’s letter; he entered a gun store called “A la fine lame” and bought a wheel-lock revolver for 245 francs, including bullets. He then went to the German embassy, where at the front door he met the German Ambassador, Graf Welczeck, who was returning from his usual morning walk. According to Welczeck’s testimony, the ambassador directed Grynszpan to his doorman, Mathes. Grynszpan told the doorman that he had important document which he must give to a secretary.[6] Grynszpan was apparently not interested in speaking to the ambassador outside the building (from where, presumably, if he was planning an assassination, he would have had a much better chance of escape). Instead, he asked to speak to a secretary directly. It seems odd that he was allowed in without a passport check or any further questioning, and that the office assistant, Nagorka, announced Grynszpan’s presence to vom Rath without asking the visitor to enter his details on the required form. Vom Rath even invited Grynszpan into his office. All this, just to submit a document?

Shortly afterwards, Nagorka heard cries for help – but no shots.[7] He found vom Rath lying on the floor of the office. His reaction was to leave the injured man where he lay, grab hold of Grynszpan and hand him over to the French policeman on guard outside the embassy. In doing so, Nagorka decided against two more likely courses of action. Firstly, he did not help vom Rath, the victim. Bear in mind that Nagorka had not heard gunshots and therefore could not have known what had happened in the room. Secondly, he did not notify the SS storm troop leader Boemelburg, who was responsible for the ambassador while the latter was outside German territory. It also seems strange that even though the French policeman was alone on duty and must have been quite overwhelmed (arresting a would-be murderer on his own); he did not receive any assistance.

Moreover, Friedrich Kaul, an attorney who later examined the French case files, said the French commissioner, who entered vom Rath’s room shortly after the incident, found a revolver with all five bullets intact (the revolver used in the shooting would have contained at least some empty cartridges).[8] Was the revolver Grynszpan bought that morning the weapon used to commit the crime? Was Grynszpan even the perpetrator?

What we do know for certain is that Grynszpan was arrested and vom Rath was examined by the German ambassador’s trusted doctor, Dr. Claas. Claas was the first medic to treat vom Rath after the incident and afterwards he transferred the patient to the care of Dr. Baumgartner, a French Professor at the l’Alma hospital, at number 166, Rue de l’Université. Even though the Nazi leadership had complete trust in Dr. Claas and expressed no doubts about Prof. Baumgartner’s abilities, Hitler’s personal physician, Dr. Brandt, accompanied by one Prof. Magnus, flew to Paris on the night of November 7 in Hitler’s private plane. It is not clear why they were sent. Dr. Brandt was a confidant of Hitler, but was not especially accomplished in medical terms; he was actually an orthopedic surgeon. Shortly after they arrived, the two medics sent their first bulletin to Berlin regarding the patient’s condition: “Vom Rath’s […] condition […] should be considered serious. Dr. Baumgartner of Paris has administered the best possible care and treatment up until this point, and this gives us hope that he will make further progress.”[9] Welczeck, the German ambassador, mentioned that vom Rath had “made it through the night relatively well”[10] in his report on the incident, written, apparently, on the afternoon of November 8.  So as things stood, vom Rath was in a serious condition, but there was hope of recovery.

That was until Hitler’s doctors spent half an hour alone with him. In their bulletin to Berlin on the evening of November 8, they expressed deeper concern. “His temperature has remained high. He is showing early signs of weak circulation.”[11] What Brandt and Magnus did to vom Rath while they were alone with him, we can only guess. It is safe to assume, however, that Brandt in particular would have had few scruples. As the Nazis’ most senior doctor, he was condemned to death in the Nuremberg doctor trials of 1948. He had taken part in experiments on concentration camp prisoners, among other crimes.

Vom Rath died the next afternoon, November 9, at 16:30. Before he passed away, his mother visited him at his sick bed, but was strictly forbidden to speak to him. Why? For the sake of his health, or for fear that he might give something away? Vom Rath’s father, who also worked in the diplomatic service, expressed doubts that his son really had been the victim of an assassination. He told his Jewish neighbor, a cantor called Magnus Davidson, that he sooner believed in a “creature hired by the Nazis than in a Jewish assassin,” and said that his son had known too much.[12] The Nazis may indeed not have had much sympathy for vom Rath. After all, he not was not particularly high in party rank, he was an aristocrat, and probably homosexual. He may even have been a thorn in their side. A Berlin journalist, Dr. Heinrich Muehsam, when asked at the time if vom Rath would die, answered, “Of course he will die. If not, the whole thing is worthless. […] The greater the mourning, the more fanatical the hatred will be.”[13]

The Aftermath

The way in which this “fanatical hatred” was unleashed on the night of November 9/10, 1938, has been documented many times. At least 1,500 synagogues were attacked. Some were set on fire, while others were partially destroyed or even demolished. Around 7,500 Jewish businesses were wrecked and plundered and at least 600 people were murdered either during the pogrom or in concentration camps during the days and weeks that followed. Some took their own lives in despair.

The Nazi leadership was ready with its response just one day after the riots subsided. Goering convened a conference of all the governmental institutions concerned with the “Jewish question,” and a new “Decree for the Exclusion of Jews from German Economic Life” was issued. Such a decree could not have been drawn up overnight; in fact, it would have required lengthily preparations. It seems likely, therefore, that it was prepared before November 9; perhaps even before November 7. Furthermore, institutions such as the Reich Chamber of Culture reacted very quickly to the new guidelines, which gave instructions to avoid “wild actions” against the Jews and instead manipulate the legal system as a tool for persecution. On November 12, Jews were forbidden to enter theaters, cinemas, concerts and exhibitions, and a flood of anti-Jewish laws were enacted in the following days, weeks and months.

Goebbels took part in Goering’s conference, but was visibly shaken. He was held responsible for the extensive damage to property inflicted during Pogrom Night and, once again, criticized for his extra-marital affairs.

It was clear that no one was interested in the actual victims of the pogrom.

Original German text summarized and edited by Daniel Poensgen

Translated into English and condensed by B. Clarke

Many thanks to Dr. Vincent C. Frank, whose research helped greatly with the writing of this article.

[1] Vgl. Döscher, Hans-Jürgen: “‘Reichskristallnacht’. Die November-Pogrome 1938.”, Frankfurt (M), Berlin: 198, p.61

[2] Vgl. Döscher (1988), p. 65

[3] Fritz Krafft, “Im Schatten der Sensation, Leben und Wirken von Fritz Strassmann” Verlag Chemie Weinheim 1981, p. 181, quoted at http://www.falsifikation.ch/grynszpan/i_falsifikation.html

[4] Distel, Barbara: “Der Anfang vom Ende” in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, No. 258, November 9, 1978

[5] Schwarz, Hans: : “Wir haben es nicht gewusst. Erlebnisse, Erfahrungen und Erkenntnisse aus dem KZ Dachau.“, Dachauer Archiv 21.523, quoted at http://www.falsifikation.ch/grynszpan/i_falsifikation.html %5B5%5D

[6] Report from Ambassador Graf Welczeck, taken on the 11.8.1938, quoted in Döscher (1988), p. 70

[7] “Anklageschrift des Oberreichsanwalts gegen Herschel Grünszpan, Okt. 1941”, quoted at http://www.falsifikation.ch/grynszpan/i_falsifikation.html

[8] Kaul, Friedrich: “Der Fall Herschel Grynszpan”, Berlin 1965, p. 8

[9] Quoted in: Döscher, Hans-Jürgen: “Reichskristallnacht. Die Novemberpogrome 1938.”, Frankfurt/ Main, Berlin, 1988, p. 64

[10] Report of the German Ambassador Graf Welczeck, from November 8, 1938 on the attack on Legation Secretary vom Rath, quoted in: Döscher, Jürgen (Hrsg.): “Reichskristallnacht. Die Novemberpogrome 1938 im Spiegel ausgewählter Quellen.”, Bonn 1988

[11] ebd., p. 64

[12] Benz, Wolfgang (Hrsg.): “Die Juden in Deutschland 1933-1945“, München 1989, p. 505

[13] ebd., p. 508

October 31, 2001
All illustrations are added by this website, from David Irving, Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich.

Did gay affair provide a catalyst for Kristallnacht?

Historian says Jewish boy killed his Nazi lover

Kate Connolly
The Guardian

THE assassination of a top German diplomat which triggered Kristallnacht, the organised Nazi pogrom against Jews across Germany, was not politically-motivated, as commonly believed, but the result of a homosexual love affair between a Nazi diplomat and a young Jewish man, according to a leading expert on the Third Reich.

Hans-Jürgen Döscher, considered Germany’s foremost authority on the events of November 9, 1938 following the publication last year of his definitive history,Reichskristallnacht, has gathered scores of documents and eyewitness accounts, including the diaries of the French writer André Gide, to support the theory.

On November 7 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a Jew, walked into the German embassy in Paris and shot Ernst vom Rath, a German diplomat (right), five times. Vom Rath died two days later. Nazi propagandists condemned the shooting as a terrorist attack to further the cause of the Jewish “world revolution”, and the pogrom was launched.

The attacks — called Kristallnacht (crystal night), an ironic reference to the broken glass left on the streets — led to the murder of 91 Jews, the arrests of 26,000 others and the destruction of 177 synagogues. Until now, it was widely believed that Grynszpan had intended to shoot the ambassador, Count Johannes Welczek, in protest at the SS’s expulsion of his parents to Poland.

But according to Professor Döscher, who teaches modern history at Osnabrück University, Grynszpan’s actions were a spontaneous expression of anger over the broken promises of his lover, Vom Rath, not a political gesture.

In the updated edition of Reichskristallnacht, due to be published in November, Prof Döscher claims that Vom Rath was nicknamed Mrs Ambassador and Notre Dame de Paris as a result of his homosexual antics. He and Grynszpan — a “boy with a beautiful penetrative gaze” — met in Le Boeuf sur le Toit bar, a popular haunt for gay men in the autumn of 1938 and became intimate.

Grynszpan, who was in his late teens, had been living illegally in Paris, and Prof Döscher states that 29-year-old Vom Rath agreed to use his influential position to secure official papers for his friend. When Vom Rath went back on his word, Grynszpan reacted by storming into the German embassy on rue de Lille 78, demanding to see him, and opening fire on him with a revolver.

Grynszpan was arrested and languished in jail in France until 1940, when he was handed over to the Nazis, who planned a show trial which would be used to justify the outbreak of the second world war. A combined report from the German foreign, justice and propaganda ministries in January 1942 declared:

“The purpose of the trial should be to clarify to the German people and the world that the international community of Jews is to blame for the outbreak of this war.”

According to Prof Döscher, when Grynszpan learned of this motivation for the trial in the early 40s, he revealed the real truth to his Nazi captors. Fearing embarrassment and humiliation, they then stripped Vom Rath of his martyrdom and scrapped their plans.

Grynszpan was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp and then disappeared. He was declared dead in 1960. Prof Döscher gleaned his previously unpublished evidence from court archives, reports from the propaganda ministry, letters, diary extracts, and interviews with diplomats of the time.

Most startling are the diaries of Gide, in which the writer expresses his amazement that the scandal failed to gain public attention. Vom Rath, Gide wrote, “had an exceptionally intimate relationship with the little Jew, his murderer”.

Referring to the fact that Vom Rath was both gay and had an affair with a Jew, Gide later said: “The thought that a such highly-thought of representative of the Third Reich sinned twice according to the laws of his country is rather amusing.” But that was not what amazed him most. “How is it that the press failed to bring this scandal into the open?” he asked.

David Irving comments:

VERY interesting, but hardly new; I deal with this allegation in my biography, Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich, (London, 1996) [click for relevant excerpt]. The homosexual allegations were referenced in Joseph Goebbels’ diaries and the Reich Chancellery files, and this is why the trial of Grynszpan was abandoned — because although Goebbels knew the allegation to be untrue, it would be headlined by Germany’s enemies worldwide. Rather spookily, like Banquo’s ghost, Grynszpan hismelf survived the war and turned up at the post-war Hamburg (?) trial of Leopold Gutterer, Goebbels’ state secretary, as the late Gutterer told me when I interviewed him (right) at length on my last trip to Germany on June 30, 1993. Herschel Grynszpan was pointed out to him, standing in the back of the courtroom, observing the proceedings.
Of course like the German “scholar” who recently “proved” that Hitler was homosexual, Professor Döscher is at little risk of prosecution for this further dismantling of German pre-war history. Conformism, however toe-curling, does have its benefits.
What demolishes this “scholar’s” theory, in my view, is that the wartime court documents make plain that Grynszpan first accosted the ambassador in the street outside the embassy, and demanded to know “where he could find the German ambassador”. Count Welczek, sensing trouble, did not identify himself but helpfully directed the stranger into the First Secretary’s office, where the assassin, who was well-heeled with both money and an expensive gun that he had just bought for cash, pumped the bullets into Ernst vom Rath, believing him to be the ambassador. Hardly indicative of an intimate previous relationship between the two men, one might think.
The unemployed wastrel and illegal immigrant Grynszpan had checked into an expensive hotel just round the corner from the offices of LICA, the forerunner of the modern Jewish activitist group LICRA, and it was LICA who at once hired one of the foremost barristers in Paris, and paid his legal costs when he was arrested. People are entitled to draw their own conclusions.
Hanging on my study wall at this moment incidentally is — not the lifesize Adolf Hitler painting about which Deborah Lipstadt fantasized in her libellous volume — but the original front page of the Völkischer Beobachterreporting the death of Vom Rath from his injuries, printed on the morning of Reichskristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass: cause and effect.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ernst vom Rath

Herschel Grynszpan just after his arrest (7 November 1938)

Ernst Eduard vom Rath (3 June 1909 – 9 November 1938) was a German diplomat, remembered for his assassination in Paris in 1938 by a Jewish young man, Herschel Grynszpan, which touched off KristallnachtThe Night of Broken Glass.

Early life and career[edit]

Vom Rath was born in Frankfurt am Main to an aristocratic family, the son of a high-ranking public official, Gustav vom Rath. He attended a school in Breslau, and then studied law at BonnMunich and Königsberg, until 1932, when he joined the Nazi Party and became a career diplomat. In April 1933 he became a member of the SA, the party’s paramilitary[1] In 1935, after a posting inBucharest, he was posted to the German embassy in Paris.


In November 1938, aged 29, vom Rath was shot and mortally wounded by a 17-year-old Polish Jewish youth, Herschel Grynszpan, who had fled from Germany to France. Why Grynszpan chose vom Rath is not known with certainty, although it is known that he was upset over news that his family was being deported from Germany back to Poland. Most accounts of the shooting state that Grynszpan did not ask for Rath by name but only asked to speak to a member of the diplomatic staff.[2] Vom Rath died of his wounds after two days. Kristallnacht was launched immediately after his death.


After the killing there were claims that vom Rath was a homosexual, and that Grynszpan was intending to use this claim in his defence at the trial by implying that Rath had seduced him. Joseph Goebbels had been intending to turn the trial into Nazi propaganda about Jewish conspiracy, but the homosexuality accusations threatened to humiliate the Nazis. Goebbels wrote that “Grynszpan has invented the insolent argument that he had a homosexual relationship with… vom Rath. That is, of course, a shameless lie; however it is thought out very cleverly and would, if brought out in the course of a public trial, certainly become the main argument of enemy propaganda.”[3]

Whether or not Rath was homosexual is not known; the French writer Andre Gide, himself a homosexual, testified in his personal diaries that vom Rath was well known in the Parisian homosexual community. There were rumours that occasionally he was called “Madame Ambassador” and “Notre Dame de Paris”… His brother, Gustav, was convicted of homosexual offences and there were allegations that vom Rath was treated for rectal gonorrhoea at the Berlin Institute of Radiology.[1][4] As a result of the potential embarrassment the trial was indefinitely postponed.[5]Grynszpan was extradited to Germany after the defeat of France in 1940 and is believed to have died in a German prison or concentration camp sometime after 1942, but was not officially declared deceased until 1960.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ernst vom Rath.
    1. Jump up to:a b Schwab, Gerald, The Day the Holocaust Began: The Odyssey of Herschel Grynszpan, Praeger, New York, 1990, pp. 14, 142, 186
    2. Jump up^ Strauss, Herbert A. Jewish immigrants of the Nazi period in the USA Volume 4, 1992: “Even the assertion that persists stubbornly to this day that vom Rath was only an accidental victim, that Grynszpan actually wanted to kill the highest-ranking representative of the German Reich in France, the ambassador, has been called into question since it emerged. There exists a series of Nazi forgeries in preparation of a show trial against Grynszpan following his abduction to Germany in July 1940. In this way, the theory that the Jews had instigated the Second World War was to be backed up, and the ongoing deportations publicly justified. In fact, there is some evidence that vom Rath and Grynszpan had already known one another.”
    3. Jump up^ Gerald Schwab, The Day the Holocaust Began: The Odyssey of Herschel Grynszpan, Praeger, New York, 1990. p. 142
    4. Jump up^ Tamagne, Florence (2006), A history of homosexuality in Europe: Volume 1 & 2: Berlin/London/Paris – 1919-39, Algora Publishing, p. 373, note 531, ISBN 0-87586-357-4
    5. Jump up^ Sidney Smeets. De wanhoopsdaad: hoe een zeventienjarige jongen de Kristallnacht ontketende, Balans, Amsterdam, 2013.
    6. space bar 3From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    7. Website
      fpp.co.ukDavid John Cawdell Irving (born 24 March 1938) is an English writer[1] and Holocaust denier,[2] who specialises in the military and political history of World War II, with a focus on Nazi Germany. He is the author of 30 books on the subject, including The Destruction of Dresden (1963), Hitler’s War (1977), Churchill’s War(1987), and Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich (1996).Irving’s reputation as a historian was discredited after he brought an unsuccessful libel case against the American historian Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books.[4] The English court found that Irving was an active Holocaust denier, antisemite, and racist, who “associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism“,[5] and that he had “for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence”.[5][6]Early life[edit]Irving and his twin brother[7] were born in Hutton, near Brentwood, Essex, England. His father, John James Cawdell Irving, was a commander in the Royal Navy, and his mother, Beryl Irene Newington, an illustrator and writer of children’s books. Irving’s twin brother Nicholas Irving has said that “David used to run toward bombed out houses shouting ‘Heil Hitler!'”, a statement which Irving repudiates and says is untrue.[8]Student years[edit]Irving later studied for a degree in political economy at University College London,[13] from which he dropped out after two years due to lack of funds.[14]During his time at university, he seconded British Union of Fascists founder Oswald Mosley in a debate on Commonwealth immigration, and was heckled.[15]Irving’s time as editor of the Carnival Times, a student rag mag, was controversial because of the contents of a “secret supplement” he added to the magazine.[16] This supplement contained an article in which he called Hitler the “greatest unifying force Europe has known since Charlemagne“, though Irving deflected criticism by characterising the Carnival Times as “satirical“.[17] He also stated that “the formation of a European Union is interpreted as building a group of superior peoples, and the Jews have always viewed with suspicion the emergence of any ‘master-race’ (other than their own, of course)”.[18] Opponents also saw a cartoon in the supplement as racist and criticised another article in which Irving wrote that the British press was owned by Jews.[16] Volunteers were later recruited to remove and destroy the supplements before the magazine’s distribution.[18] Irving has said that the criticism is “probably justifiable” and has described his motivation in producing the controversial secret issue of Carnival Times as being to prevent the Carnival from making a profit that would be passed on to a South African group which he considered a “subversive organisation”.[13][19]Some time after serving in 1959 as editor of the University of London Carnival Committee’s journal, Irving left for West Germany, where he worked as a steelworker in a Thyssen steel works in the Ruhr area and learned German. He then moved to Spain, where he worked as a clerk at an air base. During his time in Spain, Irving married his first wife, a Spanish woman with whom he had five children. In 1962, he wrote a series of 37 articles on the Allied bombing campaignWie Deutschlands Städte starben (How Germany’s Cities Died), for the German boulevard journal Neue Illustrierte. These were the basis for his first book, The Destruction of Dresden (1963), in which he examined the Allied bombing of Dresden in February 1945. By the 1960s, a debate about the morality of the carpet bombing of German cities and civilian population had already begun, especially in the United Kingdom. There was consequently considerable interest in Irving’s book, which was illustrated with graphic pictures, and it became an international best-seller.Irving based his numbers on a falsified document “TB 47” promulgated by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, as well as claims made after the war by a former Dresden Nazi functionary, Hans Voigt, without verifying them against official sources available in Dresden. Irving’s estimates and sources were first disputed by Walter Weidauer, Mayor of Dresden 1946–1958, in his own account of the Dresden bombing. When it was later confirmed that TB 47 was a forgery, Irving published a letter to the editor in The Times on 7 July 1966 retracting his estimates, writing that he had “no interest in promoting or perpetuating false legends”. In 1977 the original version of TB 47 was finally located in Dresden by Götz Bergander.[24][25][26]By November 1963, Irving was in England when he called the London Metropolitan Police with suspicions he had been the victim of a burglary by three men who had gained access to his Mayfair flat claiming to be General Post Office (GPO) engineers. Anti-fascist activist Gerry Gable was subsequently arrested and held at Hornsey police station, where on 14 January 1964, along with Manny Carpel and another, Gable admitted breaking in with intent to steal private papers. At the trial, counsel for the defence claimed that this was no ordinary crime, telling the court, “they hoped to find material they could take to Special Branch“. The case was reported in the Daily Telegraph, 17 January 1964 and other newspapers.[27]Irving at the National Archives of the United Kingdom, 2003After PQ-17, Irving largely shifted to writing biographies. In 1968, he published Breach of Security, an account of German reading of messages to and from the British Embassy in Berlin before 1939 with an introduction by the British historian D.C. Watt. As a result of Irving’s success with Dresden, members of Germany’s extreme right wing assisted him in contacting surviving members of Hitler’s inner circle. In an interview with the American journalist Ron Rosenbaum, Irving claimed to have developed sympathies towards them.[31] Many ageing former mid- and high-ranked Nazis saw a potential friend in Irving and donated diaries and other material. Irving described his historical work to Rosenbaum as an act of “stone-cleaning” of Hitler, in which he cleared off the “slime” that he felt had been unjustly applied to Hitler’s reputation.[30]In 1971, he translated the memoirs of General Reinhard Gehlen, and in 1973 published The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe, a biography of Luftwaffe Marshal Erhard Milch. He spent the remainder of the 1970s working on Hitler’s War and the War Path, his two-part biography of Adolf Hitler; The Trail of the Fox, a biography of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel; and a series in theSunday Express describing the Royal Air Force‘s famous Dam Busters raid. In 1975, in his introduction to Hitler und seine Feldherren, the German edition of Hitler’s War, Irving attacked the diary of Anne Frank as a forgery, claiming falsely that a New York court had ruled that the diary was really the work of an American scriptwriter Meyer Levin “in collaboration with the girl’s father”.[34]Revisionism[edit]The Reichsführer-SSHeinrich Himmler. A note in Himmler’s telephone log from 30 November 1941 saying “no liquidation” was later used by Irving as the central argument trying to prove that Hitler was ignorant of the Holocaust.Irving’s work of the late 1970s and early 1980s[edit]In 1978, Irving released The War Path, the companion volume to Hitler’s War which covered events leading up to the war and which was written from a similar point of view. Again, professional historians such as D.C. Watt noted numerous inaccuracies and misrepresentations. Despite the criticism, the book sold well, as did all of Irving’s books to that date. The financial success of his books enabled Irving to buy a home in the prestigious Mayfair district of London, own a Rolls-Royce car, and to enjoy a very affluent lifestyle.[46] In addition, Irving, despite being married, became increasingly open about his affairs with other women, all of which were detailed in his self-published diary.[47] Irving’s affairs were to cause his first marriage to end in divorce in 1981. In 1982, Irving began a relationship with a Danish model, Bente Hogh. Hogh and Irving live together, and are the parents of a daughter born in 1984.[48]“It has received almost no attention from historians or reviewers…It is easy to see why…. full of excesses, inconsistencies and omissions… seems completely unaware of recent work done on the subject… It is not merely that the arguments in this book are so perversely tendentious and irresponsibly sensationalist. It is also that it is written in a tone which is at best casually journalistic and at worst quite exceptionally offensive. The text is littered with errors from beginning to end.”[49]Hitler Diaries[edit]A week later on 2 May, Irving asserted that many of the diary documents appear to be genuine; at the same press conference, Irving took the opportunity to promote his translation of the memoirs of Hitler’s physician Dr. Theodor Morell.[55] Robert Harris, in his book Selling Hitler, suggested that an additional reason for Irving’s change of mind over the authenticity of the alleged Hitler diaries was that the fake diaries contain no reference to the Holocaust, thereby buttressing Irving’s claim in Hitler’s War that Hitler had no knowledge of it.[57] Subsequently Irving conformed when the diaries were declared as a forgery by consensus. At a press conference held to withdraw his endorsement of the diaries, Irving proudly claimed that he was the first to call them a forgery, to which a reporter replied that he was also the last to call them genuine.[55]By the mid-1980s, Irving had not had a successful book in years, and was behind schedule in writing the first volume of his Churchill series, the research for which had strained his finances.[58] He finished the manuscript in 1985, but the book was not published until 1987, when it was released as Churchill’s War, Volume I.Holocaust denial[edit]Over the years, Irving’s stance on the Holocaust changed significantly. From 1988, he started to espouse Holocaust denial openly; he had previously not denied the Holocaust outright and for this reason, many Holocaust deniers were ambivalent about him.[59] They admired Irving for the pro-Nazi slant in his work and the fact that he possessed a degree of mainstream credibility that they lacked, but were annoyed that he did not openly deny the Holocaust. In 1980, Lucy Dawidowicz noted that although Hitler’s War was strongly sympathetic to the Third Reich, because Irving argued that Hitler was unaware of the Holocaust as opposed to denying the Holocaust, that his book was not part of the “anti-Semitic canon”.[60] In 1980, Irving received an invitation to speak at a Holocaust-denial conference, which he refused under the grounds that his appearance there would damage his reputation.[59] In a letter, Irving stated his reasons for his refusal as: “This is pure Realpolitik on my part. I am already dangerously exposed, and I cannot take the chance of being caught in Flak [sic] meant for others!”[59] Though Irving refused at this time to appear at conferences sponsored by the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review (IHR), he did grant the institute the right to distribute his books in the United States.[59] Robert Jan van Pelt suggests that the major reason for Irving wishing to keep his distance from Holocaust deniers in the early 1980s was his desire to found his own political party called Focus.[59]Following the failure of Focus, in September 1983, Irving for the first time attended a conference of the IHR.[59] Van Pelt has argued that, with the failure of Irving’s political career, he felt freer to associate with Holocaust deniers.[59] At the conference, Irving did not deny the Holocaust, but did appear happy to share the stage with Robert Faurisson and Judge Wilhelm Stäglich, and claimed to be impressed with the allegations of Friedrich Berg that mass murderusing diesel gas fumes at the Operation Reinhard death camps was impossible.[63] At that conference, Irving repeated his claims that Hitler was ignorant of the Holocaust because he was “so busy being a soldier”.[64] In a speech at that conference, Irving stated: “Isn’t it right for Tel Aviv to claim now that David Irving is talking nonsense and of course Adolf Hitler must have known about what was going in Auschwitz and Treblinka, and then in the same breath to claim that, of course our beloved Mr. Begin didn’t know what was going on in Sabra and Chatilla“.[64] During the same speech, Irving proclaimed Hitler to be the “biggest friend the Jews had in the Third Reich”.[65] In the same speech, Irving stated that he operated in such a way as to bring himself maximum publicity. Irving stated that: “I have at home…a filing cabinet full of documents which I don’t issue all at once. I keep them: I issue them a bit at a time. When I think my name hasn’t been in the newspapers for several weeks, well, then I ring them up and I phone them and I say: ‘What about this one, then?'”[64]In a 1986 speech in Australia Irving argued that photographs of Holocaust survivors and dead taken in the spring of 1945 by Allied soldiers were proof that the Allies were responsible for the Holocaust, not the Germans.[67] Irving claimed that the Holocaust was not the work of Nazi leaders, but rather of “nameless criminals”,[67] and furthermore claimed that “these men [who killed the Jews] acted on their own impulse, their own initiative, within the general atmosphere of brutality created by the Second World War, in which of course Allied bombings played a part.”[67] In another 1986 speech, this time in Atlanta, Irving claimed that “historians have a blindness when it comes to the Holocaust because like Tay-Sachs disease it is a Jewish disease which causes blindness”.[68]In 1986, Irving visited Toronto, where he was met at the airport by Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel.[70] According to Zündel, Irving “…thought I was ‘Revisionist-Neo-Nazi-Rambo-Kook!'”, and asked Zündel to stay away from him.[70] Zündel and his supporters obliged Irving by staying away from his lecture tour, which consequently attracted little media attention, and was considered by Irving to be a failure.[70] Afterwards, Zündel sent Irving a long letter in which he offered to draw publicity to Irving, and so ensure that his future speaking tours would be a success.[70] As a result, Irving and Zündel become friends, and Irving agreed in late 1987 to testify for Zündel at his second trial for denying the Holocaust.[71] In addition, the publication in 1987 of the book Der europäische Bürgerkrieg 1917–1945 by Ernst Nolte, in which Nolte strongly implied that maybe Holocaust deniers were on to something, encouraged Irving to become more open in associating with Zündel.[70]In January 1988, Irving travelled to Toronto, Ontario, to assist Douglas Christie, the defence lawyer for Ernst Zündel at his second trial for denying the Holocaust.[61] Working closely with Robert Faurisson, who was also assisting the defence, Irving contacted Warden Bill Armontrout of the Missouri State Penitentiary who recommended that Irving and Faurisson get into touch with Fred A. Leuchter, a self-described execution expert living in Boston.[65] Irving and Faurission then flew to Boston to meet with Leuchter, who agreed to lend his alleged technical expertise on the behalf of Zündel’s defence.[61] Irving argued that an alleged expert on gassings like Leuchter could prove that the Holocaust was a “myth”.[61] After work on the second Zündel trial, Irving declared that based on his exposure to Zündel’s and Leuchter’s theories that he was now conducting a “one-man intifada” against the idea that there had been a Holocaust.[72] Subsequently, Irving claimed to the American journalist D.D. Guttenplan in a 1999 interview that Zündel had convinced him that the Holocaust had not occurred.[73]As to what evidence further led Irving to believe that the Holocaust never occurred, he cited the Leuchter report by self-styled execution expert Fred A. Leuchter, which claimed there was no evidence for the existence of homicidal gas chambers at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Irving said in a 1999 documentary about Leuchter: “The big point [of the Leuchter report]: there is no significant residue of cyanide in the brickwork. That’s what converted me. When I read that in the report in the courtroom in Toronto, I became a hard-core disbeliever”.[76] In addition, Irving was influenced to embrace Holocaust denial by the American historian Arno J. Mayer‘s 1988 book Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?, which did not deny the Holocaust, but claimed that most of those who died at Auschwitz were killed by disease; Irving saw in Mayer’s book an apparent confirmation of Leuchter’s and Zündel’s theories about no mass murder at Auschwitz.[77]For publishing and writing the foreword to Auschwitz The End of the Line, on 20 June 1989 Irving together with Leuchter was condemned in an Early Day Motion of the House of Commons as “Hitler’s heirs”.[79] The motion went on to describe Irving as a “Nazi propagandist and longtime Hitler apologist” andAuschwitz The End of the Line as a “fascist publication”.[80] In the Motion, the House stated that they were “appalled by [the Holocaust denial of] Nazi propagandist and long-time Hitler apologist David Irving”.[68] In response to the House of Commons motion, Irving in a press statement challenged the MPs who voted to condemn him that: “I will enter the ‘gas chambers’ of Auschwitz and you and your friends may lob in Zyklon B in accordance with the well known procedures and conditions. I guarantee that you won’t be satisfied with the results!”.[81]Holocaust denial lecture circuit[edit]In the early 1990s, Irving was a frequent visitor to Germany, where he spoke at neo-Nazi rallies.[69] The chief themes of Irving’s German speeches were that the Allies and Axis states were equally culpable for war crimes, that the decision of Neville Chamberlain to declare war on Germany in 1939, and that of Winston Churchill to continue the war in 1940, had been great mistakes that set Britain on a path of decline, and the Holocaust was just a “propaganda exercise”.[69] In June 1990, Irving went to the German provinces that had formerly been part of East Germany on a well-publicized tour entitled “An Englishman Fights for the Honour of the Germans,” on which he accused the Allies of having used “forged documents” to “humiliate” the German people.[81] Irving’s self-proclaimed mission was to guide “promising young men” in Germany in the “right direction” (Irving has often stated his belief that women exist for a “certain task, which is producing us [men]”, and should be “subservient to men”; leading, in Lipstadt’s view, to a lack of interest on Irving’s part in guiding young German women in the “right direction”).[84] German nationalists found Irving, as a non-German Holocaust denier, to be particularly credible.[84]The main gate of Auschwitz II Birkenau. In 1992 during his appeal for his conviction for Holocaust denial, Irving called Auschwitz a “tourist attraction”.[72]In another 1991 speech, this time in Regina Irving called the Shoah “a major fraud…There were no gas chambers. They were fakes and frauds”.[91]At the same time, Irving maintained an ambivalent attitude to Holocaust denial depending on his audience. In a 1993 letter, Irving lashed out against his former friend Zündel, writing that: “In April 1988 I unhesitatingly agreed to aid your defence as a witness in Toronto. I would not make the same mistake again. As a penalty for having defended you then, and for having continued to aid you since, my life has come under a gradually mounting attack: I find myself the worldwide victim of mass demonstrations, violence, vituperation and persecution” (emphasis in the original).[92] Irving went on to claim his life had been wonderful until Zündel had gotten him involved in the Holocaust denial movement; van Pelt argues that Irving was just trying to shift responsibility for his actions in his letter.[92] In an interview with Australian radio in July 1995, Irving claimed that at least four million Jews died in World War II, though he argued that this was due to terrible sanitary conditions inside the concentration camps as opposed to a deliberate policy of genocide in the death camps.[85] Irving’s statement led to a very public spat with his former ally Faurisson, who insisted that no Jews were killed in the Holocaust.[92] In 1995, Irving stated in another speech that “I have to take off my hat to my adversaries and the strategies they have employed—the marketing of the very word Holocaust: I half expected to see a little TM after it”.[85] Likewise, depending on his audience, Irving during the 1990s has either used the absence of a written Führerbefehl (Führer order) for the “Final Solution” to argue that Hitler was unaware of the Holocaust, or that the absence of a written order meant there was no Holocaust.[93]Irving has expressed racist and antisemitic sentiments, both publicly and privately. Irving has often expressed his belief in the theory of a sinister Jewish conspiracy ruling the world, and that the belief in the reality of Holocaust was manufactured as part of the same alleged conspiracy.[47] Irving used the label “traditional enemies of the truth” to describe Jews, and in a 1963 article about a speech by Sir Oswald Mosley wrote that the “Yellow Star did not make a showing”.[47] In 1992, Irving stated that “…the Jews are very foolish not to abandon the gas chamber theory while they still have time” and claimed he “foresees a new wave of antisemitism” the world over due to Jewish “exploitation of the Holocaust myth”.[80] During an interview with the American writer Ron Rosenbaum, Irving stated his belief that Jews were his “traditional enemy”.[96] In one interview cited in the libel lawsuit, Irving also stated that he would be “willing to put [his] signature” to the “fact” that “a great deal of control over the world is exercised by Jews”.[97]I am a Baby Aryan

      Not Jewish or Sectarian
      I have no plans to marry an
      Ape or Rastafarian.Persona non-grata[edit]After Irving denied the Holocaust in two 1989 speeches given in Austria, the Austrian government issued an arrest warrant for him and barred him from entering the country.[100] In early 1992 a German court found him guilty of Holocaust denial under the Auschwitzlüge section of the law against Volksverhetzung (a failed appeal by Irving would see the fine rise from 10,000 DM to 30,000 DM), and he was subsequently barred from entering Germany.[14] Other governments followed suit, including Italy and Canada,[101] where he was arrested in November 1992 and deported back to the United Kingdom.[14] In an administrative hearing surrounding those events, he was found by the hearing office to have engaged in a “total fabrication” in telling a story of an exit from and return to Canada which would, for technical reasons, have made the original deportation order invalid. He was also barred from entering Australia in 1992, a ban he made five unsuccessful attempts to overturn.[102]On 27 April 1993 Irving was ordered to attend court to be examined on charges relating to the Loi Gayssot in France, making it an offence to question the existence or size of the category of crimes against humanity. The law does not extend to extradition, and Irving refused to travel to France.[104] Then, in February 1994, Irving spent 10 days of a three-month sentence in London’s Pentonville prison for contempt of court following a legal wrangling over publishing rights.[105]Libel suit[edit]

      Wikisource has original text related to this article:David Irving v. Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt

      On 5 September 1996, Irving filed a libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt and her British publisher Penguin Books for publishing a British edition of Lipstadt’s book, Denying the Holocaust, which had first been published in the United States in 1993.[107] In her book, Denying the Holocaust, Lipstadt called Irving a Holocaust denier, falsifier, and bigot, and said that he manipulated and distorted real documents.Not one of [Irving’s] books, speeches or articles, not one paragraph, not one sentence in any of them, can be taken on trust as an accurate representation of its historical subject. All of them are completely worthless as history, because Irving cannot be trusted anywhere, in any of them, to give a reliable account of what he is talking or writing about. … if we mean by historian someone who is concerned to discover the truth about the past, and to give as accurate a representation of it as possible, then Irving is not a historian.[108]Irving, (…) had deliberately distorted and wilfully mistranslated documents, consciously used discredited testimony and falsified historical statistics. (…) Irving has fallen so far short of the standards of scholarship customary amongst historians that he does not deserve to be called a historian at all.”[109]Life after libel suit[edit]Early in September 2004, Michael Cullen, the deputy prime minister of New Zealand, announced that Irving would not be permitted to visit the country, where he had been invited by the National Press Club to give a series of lectures under the heading “The Problems of Writing about World War II in a Free Society”. The National Press Club defended its invitation of Irving, saying that it amounted not to an endorsement of his views, but rather an opportunity to question him. A government spokeswoman said that “people who have been deported from another country are refused entry” to New Zealand. Irving rejected the ban and attempted to board a Qantas flight for New Zealand from Los Angeles on 17 September 2004. He was not allowed on board.[113]In December 2006, Irving was released from prison, and banned from ever returning to Austria.[116] Upon Irving’s arrival in the UK he reaffirmed his position, stating that he felt “no need any longer to show remorse” for his Holocaust views.[117] Since then, Irving has continued to work as a freelance writer, despite his troubled public image. He was drawn into the controversy surrounding Bishop Richard Williamson, who in a televised interview recorded in Germany in November 2008 denied the Holocaust took place, only to see Williamson convicted for incitement in April 2010 after refusing to pay a fine of 12,000 euros.[118][119][120] Irving subsequently found himself beset by protesters on a book tour of the United States.[121] Irving has actively toured the United States, lecturing to far right groups and on one occasion a knife fight broke out.[122][123] Irving has also given lectures and tours in the UK and Europe; one tour in September 2010 which led to particular criticism included the Treblinka death camp.[124]David Irving controversy in 2008/2009[edit]In a matter of days after the controversy had started, the invitation was rescinded. This led to the resignation of Stig Sæterbakken from his position as content director as he was the person who had invited Irving. The head of the festival, Randi Skeie, deplored what had taken place, stating “Everything is fine as long as everyone agrees, but things get more difficult when one doesn’t like the views being put forward.”[128] Sæterbakken characterized his colleagues as “damned cowards” arguing that they were walking in lockstep.[131]David Irving commented that he had not been told that the festival was going to present him as a liar,[131] and that he was preparing a lecture about the real history of what took place in Norway during World War II, contrary to what official historians have presented. Irving stated that he had thought the Norwegian people to be made of tougher stuff.[133]Reception by historians[edit]Irving, once highly regarded for his expert knowledge of German military archives, was a controversial figure from the start. His interpretations of the war were widely regarded as unduly favourable to the German side. At first this was seen as personal opinion, unpopular but consistent with full respectability as a historian. By 1988, however, Irving had begun to reject the status of the Holocaust as a systematic and deliberate genocide; and he soon became the main protagonist of Holocaust denial. This, along with his association with far-right circles, dented his standing as a historian. A marked change in Irving’s reputation can be seen in the surveys of the historiography of the Third Reich produced by Ian Kershaw. In the first edition of Kershaw’s book The Nazi Dictatorship in 1985, Irving was called a “maverick” historian working outside the mainstream of the historical profession.[135] By the time of the fourth edition of The Nazi Dictatorship in 2000, Irving was described only as a historical writer who had in the 1970s engaged in “provocations” intended to provide an “exculpation of Hitler’s role in the Final Solution”.[136] Other critical responses to his work tend to follow this chronological pattern.Books[edit]Translations[edit]

      • The Memoirs of Field-Marshal Keitel (1965)
      • The Memoirs of General Gehlen (1972)


      • The Night the Dams Burst (1973)
      • Von Guernica bis Vietnam (in German only) (1982)
      • Die deutsche Ostgrenze (in German only) (1990)
      • Banged Up (2008)

      Collected articles in German[edit]

      • Und Deutschlands Städte starben nicht (1963)
      • Nürnberg: Die letzte Schlacht (1979)
      • Wie krank war Hitler wirklich? (1980)

      See also[edit]

      1. Jump up to:a b
        • “In 1969, after David Irving’s support for Rolf Hochhuth, the German playwright who accused Winston Churchill of murdering the Polish wartime leader General Sikorski, The Daily Telegraph issued a memo to all its correspondents. ‘It is incorrect,’ it said, ‘to describe David Irving as a historian. In future we should describe him as an author.'” Ingrams, Richard (25 February 2006). “Irving was the author of his own downfall”.The Independent (London). Retrieved 27 March 2010.
        • “It may seem an absurd semantic dispute to deny the appellation of ‘historian’ to someone who has written two dozen books or more about historical subjects. But if we mean by historian someone who is concerned to discover the truth about the past, and to give as accurate a representation of it as possible, then Irving is not a historian. Those in the know, indeed, are accustomed to avoid the term altogether when referring to him and use some circumlocution such as ‘historical writer’ instead. Irving is essentially an ideologue who uses history for his own political purposes; he is not primarily concerned with discovering and interpreting what happened in the past, he is concerned merely to give a selective and tendentious account of it to further his own ideological ends in the present. The true historian’s primary concern, however, is with the past. That is why, in the end, Irving is not a historian.” Irving vs. (1) Lipstadt and (2) Penguin Books, Expert Witness Report by Richard J. EvansFBA, Professor of Modern History, University of Cambridge, 2000, Chapter 6.
        • “State prosecutor Michael Klackl said: ‘He’s not a historian, he’s a falsifier of history.'” Traynor, Ian (21 February 2006). “Irving jailed for denying Holocaust”The Guardian (London). Retrieved 27 March 2010.
        • “…Irving has never examined and interpreted facts for the simple reason that he is not a historian. He twists or suppresses evidence to fit a foregone conclusion—the opposite of what any reputable historian does.”Taylor, Charles (24 May 2001). “Evil takes the stand”Salon.com. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
        • Hugh Trevor-Roper: “But I don’t regard him as an historian. I don’t think he has any historical sense. He is a propagandist who uses efficiently collected and arranged material to support a propagandist line.” Cited in Richard J. Evans (2002) . Telling lies about Hitler: the Holocaust, history and the David Irving trial. Verso. p. 261, and Michael ShermerEnigma: The Faustian Bargain of David Irving”Skeptical Inquirer, 3 May 2005.
      2. Jump up^ Hare, Ivan; Weinstein, James (2010). Extreme Speech and Democracy. Oxford University Press. p. 553. ISBN 0199601798.
      3. Jump up^ Shermer & Grobman 2002, p. 49.
      4. Jump up^ Discredited:
        • “Conclusion on meaning 2.15 (vi): that Irving is discredited as a historian.”David Irving v. Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt/II.
        • “Deborah Lipstadt is Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies and director of The Rabbi Donald A. Tam Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University. She is the author of two books about the Holocaust. Her book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory led to the 2000 court case in which she defeated and discredited Holocaust denier David Irving.” “Task of Justice & Danger of Holocaust Deniers”Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State – Understanding Auschwitz TodayPBS.
        • “If the case for competence applies to those who lack specialist knowledge, it applies even further to those who have been discredited as incompetent. For example, why ought we include David Irving in a debate aiming to establish the truth about the Holocaust, after a court has found that he manipulates and misinterprets history?” Long, Graham (2004).Relativism and the Foundations of Liberalism. Imprint Academic. p. 80.ISBN 1-84540-004-6.
        • Wyden 2001, p. 164. “[Irving] claimed that Lipstadt’s book accuses him of falsifying historical facts in order to support his theory that the Holocaust never happened. This of course discredited his reputation as a historian. […] On 11 April, High Court judge Charles Gray ruled against Irving, concluding that he indeed qualified as a Holocaust denier and anti-Semite and that as such he has distorted history in order to defend his hero, Adolf Hitler.”
        • “In Britain, which does not have a Holocaust denial law, Irving had already been thoroughly discredited when he unsuccessfully sued historian Deborah Lipstadt in 1998 for describing him as a Holocaust denier.”Callamard, Agnès (April 2007), “Debate: can we say what we want?”, Le Monde diplomatique
      5. Jump up to:a b “The ruling against David Irving”The Guardian (London). 11 April 2000. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
      6. Jump up^ “Hitler historian loses libel case”. BBC News. 11 April 2000. Retrieved 2 January 2010.
      7. Jump up to:a b Guttenplan 2001, p. 41.
      8. Jump up^ Hari, Johann (15 January 2009). “David Irving: ‘Hitler appointed me biographer'”The Independent (London).
      9. Jump up^ Guttenplan 2001, p. 40.
      10. Jump up to:a b c Rosenbaum 1999, p. 227.
      11. Jump up^ Craig, Olga (26 February 2006). “interview”The Daily Telegraph(London). Retrieved 2 September 2011.
      12. Jump up^ Shermer & Grobman 2009, p. 281.
      13. Jump up to:a b “David Irving: Information for Counsel on my Background”. Fpp.co.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
      14. Jump up to:a b c d e f Profile on the ADL website.
      15. Jump up^ Mosley packs them in.Pi magazine, 22 February 1961.
      16. Jump up to:a b The Independent, 11 July 1992
      17. Jump up^ Wyden 2001, p. 159.
      18. Jump up to:a b Lay, Kat (26 May 2009). “50 years on: David Irving, Apartheid and ULU”. London Student. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
      19. Jump up^ “International Pressure Groups”. Drs.library.yale.edu:8083. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
      20. Jump up^ Guttenplan 2001, pp. 225–226.
      21. Jump up^ Guttenplan 2001, p. 43.
      22. Jump up^ Guttenplan 2001, p. 225.
      23. Jump up^ Seeking to establish a definitive casualty figure, an independent investigation (commissioned by the Dresden city council), ended in 2010 drawing a conclusion that a maximum of 25,000 people were killed, of which 22,700 deaths have been positively identified—20,100 named and a further 2,600 unnamed (Associated Press staff (10 January 2008), Report: Dresden bombing deaths overestimated, msnbc.msn.com; (German) “Mindestzahl der Dresdner Bombenopfer nach oben korrigiert (lowest number of Dresden raids casualties corrected upwards”Sächsische Zeitung, 15 April 2010(subscription required)).
      24. Jump up^ Evans 2001, pp. 148–184
      25. Jump up^ Weidauer, Walter (1965), Inferno Dresden. Über Lügen und Legenden um die Aktion “Donnerschlag.”, Dietz Verlag, pp. 6,132, ISBN 3-320-00818-8
      26. Jump up^ Von Benda-Beckmann, Bas (2010), A German Catastrophe?: German Historians and the Allied Bombings, 1945–2010, UvA Proefschriften Seris, Amsterdam University Press, p. 150, ISBN 9056296531
      27. Jump up^ “”Searchlight” & the State”. Kate Sharpley Library.
      28. Jump up^ Neufeld, Michael J (2009). “Creating a Memory of the German Rocket Program for the Cold War”. In Dick, Steven J. Remembering the Space Age. Government Printing Office. ISBN 9780160867118.
      29. Jump up^ Pearce Wright’s review in The Times, 23 February 1967. “…Irving interviewed German scientists and officers of the wartime Allied Intelligence mission. He says there has been no history of the German atomic research effort until now…”
      30. Jump up to:a b Rosenbaum 1999, p. 232.
      31. Jump up^ Rosenbaum 1999, pp. 227–229.
      32. Jump up to:a b Lipstadt 2005, p. 293.
      33. Jump up^ Lipstadt 2005, pp. 293–294.
      34. Jump up^ Lipstadt 1993, p. 232.
      35. Jump up^ e.g. The Guardian
      36. Jump up^ Philippe Naughton and agencies in Vienna. “Irving jailed for three years, despite Holocaust U-turn”The Times, 20 February 2006.
      37. Jump up^ John Keegan, Defence Editor, “The trial of David Irving—and my part in his downfall.” Daily Telegraph (UK). 12 April 2000
      38. Jump up^ Cameron Watt, Donald (11 April 2000). “History needs David Irvings”. The Evening Standard.
      39. Jump up to:a b Guttenplan 2001, p. 128.
      40. Jump up to:a b c Craig 1982, p. 72.
      41. Jump up to:a b c d e Evans 1989, p. 166.
      42. Jump up^ Guttenplan 2001, p. 46.
      43. Jump up^ Sydnor 1979, p. 179
      44. Jump up^ Sydnor 1979, pp. 182–183
      45. Jump up^ Sydnor 1979, p. 176
      46. Jump up^ Guttenplan 2001, p. 52.
      47. Jump up to:a b c Guttenplan 2001, p. 51.
      48. Jump up^ Tweedie, Neil (24 February 2006). “Irving’s girlfriend is left homeless and bitter”The Telegraph.
      49. Jump up^ “David Irving: Britain’s Holocaust “revisionist””. Nizkor.org. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
      50. Jump up to:a b Guttenplan 2001, p. 47.
      51. Jump up^ The Observer, 29 March 1981
      52. Jump up to:a b c Evans 2001, p. 19.
      53. Jump up^ Guttenplan 2001, p. 48.
      54. Jump up^ Harris 1986, pp. 320–323.
      55. Jump up to:a b c Van Pelt 2002, p. 22.
      56. Jump up^ Lipstadt 2005, p. 19.
      57. Jump up^ Harris 1986, pp. 338–339.
      58. Jump up^ Guttenplan 2001, p. 56.
      59. Jump up to:a b c d e f g Van Pelt 2002, p. 21.
      60. Jump up^ Dawidowicz, Lucy “Lies About the Holocaust” pages 31–37 fromCommentary, Volume 70, Issue # 6, p. 35
      61. Jump up to:a b c d e f g Lipstadt 1993, p. 161.
      62. Jump up^ Evans 1989, p. 167.
      63. Jump up^ Van Pelt 2002, pp. 22–23.
      64. Jump up to:a b c Van Pelt 2002, p. 23.
      65. Jump up to:a b Lipstadt 1993, p. 162.
      66. Jump up^ Lipstadt 1993, pp. 161–162.
      67. Jump up to:a b c Van Pelt 2002, p. 40.
      68. Jump up to:a b Stern 1992, p. 32
      69. Jump up to:a b c d e Lipstadt 1993, p. 8.
      70. Jump up to:a b c d e Van Pelt 2002, p. 41.
      71. Jump up^ Van Pelt 2002, p. 42.
      72. Jump up to:a b c d e f g h Lipstadt 1993, p. 179.
      73. Jump up^ Guttenplan 2001, p. 54.
      74. Jump up^ “The ‘False News’ Trial of Ernst Zündel – 1988: David Irving”. Ihr.org. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
      75. Jump up^ Van Pelt 2002, p. 44.
      76. Jump up^ Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr..
      77. Jump up^ Van Pelt 2002, pp. 47–48.
      78. Jump up^ Lipstadt 1993, p. 260.
      79. Jump up^ Lipstadt 1993, pp. 179–180.
      80. Jump up to:a b c d e Lipstadt 1993, p. 180.
      81. Jump up to:a b Brinks, Jan Hermann Children of a New Fatherland, London: I.B. Tauris, 2000 p. 107.
      82. Jump up to:a b c d Van Pelt 2002, p. 48.
      83. Jump up to:a b c d Van Pelt 2002, p. 55.
      84. Jump up to:a b Lipstadt 1993, p. 16.
      85. Jump up to:a b c d Shermer & Grobman 2002, p. 50.
      86. Jump up^ Lipstadt 1993, p. 221.
      87. Jump up^ Rosenbaum 1999, p. 233.
      88. Jump up to:a b c d e f g Van Pelt 2002, p. 57.
      89. Jump up to:a b Stern 1992, p. 33
      90. Jump up to:a b Rosenbaum 1999, p. 222.
      91. Jump up^ Stern 1992, p. 48
      92. Jump up to:a b c d e f Van Pelt 2002, p. 56.
      93. Jump up to:a b Shermer & Grobman 2002, pp. 49–50.
      94. Jump up^ Shermer & Grobman 2002, p. 51.
      95. Jump up^ Shermer & Grobman 2002, p. 56.
      96. Jump up^ Rosenbaum 1999, p. 234.
      97. Jump up to:a b David Irving vs Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt
      98. Jump up^ “Judge: Why Irving had to lose”BBC News, 11 April 2000.
      99. Jump up^ Hitchens, Christopher“The Strange Case of David Irving”Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2001. Reprinted in Hitchens, Christopher. Love, Poverty and War: Journeys and EssaysNation Books, 2004, p. 261. ISBN 978-1-56025-580-2
      100. Jump up^ Traynor, Ian (21 February 2006). “Irving jailed for denying Holocaust | World news | The Guardian”. London: The Guardian<!. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
      101. Jump up^ Duff, Oliver. ” David Irving: An anti-Semitic racist who has suffered financial ruin”The Independent, 21 February 2006.
      102. Jump up^ The World Today. “Holocaust denier to try another visit to Australia“.
      103. Jump up^ Guttenplan 2001, p. 55.
      104. Jump up^ “His website”. Fpp.co.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
      105. Jump up^ Nick Felding. “Hunt for Irving’s backers as lawyers seek #2m costs“. Sunday Times, 16 April 2000
      106. Jump up^ Guttenplan 2001, pp. 56–57.
      107. Jump up^ Van Pelt 2002, p. 63.
      108. Jump up^ Evans, Richard J.“Chapter 6. General Conclusion”Holocaust Denial On Trial: Expert Witness Report. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
      109. Jump up to:a b Walker, Andrew (20 February 2006). “UK | Profile: David Irving”. BBC News. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
      110. Jump up^ “Irving defiant over libel defeat”BBC News. 12 April 2000. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
      111. Jump up^ Dodd, Vikram; D.D . Guttenplan (5 March 2002). “Holocaust denier made bankrupt”The Guardian (London). Retrieved 12 January 2011.
      112. Jump up^ Vikram Dodd (22 May 2002). “Failed libel action costs Irving his home | UK news”The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2 September 2011.
      113. Jump up^ “His own website”. Fpp.co.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
      114. Jump up^ “Holocaust denier Irving is jailed”BBC News (BBC). 20 February 2006. Retrieved 16 June 2009.
      115. Jump up^ Kate Connolly. “Irving clutches Hitler book in court“. The Telegraph. 21 February 2006
      116. Jump up^ “Convicted Holocaust Denier Irving Expelled from Austria | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 22.12.2006”. Dw-world.de. Retrieved 20 September 2009.
      117. Jump up^ Holocaust denier: ‘No need to show remorse’ at the Wayback Machine(archived 16 January 2007)
      118. Jump up^ Pidd, Heidi (26 October 2009). “German court fines British bishop for Holocaust claims”The Guardian (London). Retrieved 10 May 2011.
      119. Jump up^ Hall, Allan (10 November 2009). “British bishop Richard Williamson to go on trial in Germany for Holocaust denial”Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 10 May 2011.
      120. Jump up^ “British bishop convicted of Holocaust denial: German court fines cleric $13,000 for saying Jews were not gassed to death”. Associated Press. 16 April 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2011.
      121. Jump up^ Solomont, E. B. (13 November 2009). “Survivors in New York enraged by Holocaust-denier Irving’s tour”Jerusalem Post. p. 2. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
      122. Jump up^ Rab, Lisa (29 October 2009). “Ritz Knife Fight Reveals “War” Between White Supremacists, Watchdog Says – Broward/Palm Beach News – The Daily Pulp”. Blogs.browardpalmbeach.com. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
      123. Jump up^ “Sleepy Manalapan shaken-not-stirred by white supremacist knife fight at Ritz Carlton”. Palmbeachpost.com. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
      124. Jump up^ “BBC News – Holocaust denier Irving in Poland for Hitler tour”. BBC. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
      125. Jump up^ Exclusive: David Irving – the hate that dare not speak its name
      126. Jump up^ Rakvaag, Geir (October 7, 2008). “Irving fortsatt invitert”Dagsavisen (in Norwegian) (Oslo). Retrieved October 8, 2008.
      127. Jump up^ Wold Haagensen, Vibecke (October 7, 2008). “Irving invitert som løgner”.NRK (in Norwegian) (Hedmark/Oppland). Retrieved October 8, 2008.
      128. Jump up to:a b “Holocaust denier unwelcome in Norway”UPI. October 9, 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
      129. Jump up^ “Holocaust denial speaker’s invitation cancelled”Aftenposten (Oslo, Norway). October 9, 2008. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
      130. Jump up^ Østrem, Olav (October 9, 2008). “Sæterbakken slår tilbake”.Klassekampen (in Norwegian) (Oslo, Norway). Retrieved October 10, 2008.
      131. Jump up to:a b Olsen, Geir (October 10, 2008). “Retrett mot Davig Irving. Irving: – De tør ikke møte meg”Verdens Gang (in Norwegian) (Oslo, Norway). Retrieved October 15, 2008.
      132. Jump up^ Omdal, Sven Egil (October 11, 2008). “Ikke fullt så Fritt Ord”Stavanger Aftenblad (in Norwegian) (Stavanger, Norway). Retrieved October 15, 2008.
      133. Jump up^ Christiansen, Ann (October 9, 2008). “Irving: – Utsatt for global kampanje”Aftenposten (in Norwegian) (Oslo, Norway). Retrieved October 15, 2008.
      134. Jump up^ Wiese, Andreas (October 15, 2008). “David Irving rir igjen”Dagbladet (in Norwegian) (Oslo, Norway). Retrieved October 15, 2008.
      135. Jump up^ Kershaw 1985, p. 150.
      136. Jump up^ Kershaw 1985, p. 268.


      • Craig, Gordon A. (1982). The Germans. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.ISBN 0-399-12436-5.
      • Evans, Richard J. (1989). In Hitler’s Shadow. New York: Pantheon Books.ISBN 0-394-57686-1.
      • Evans, Richard J. (2001). Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-02152-2.
      • Guttenplan, D. D. (2001). The Holocaust on Trial. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-02044-4.
      • Harris, Robert (1986). Selling Hitler: The Story of the Hitler Diaries. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-14726-7.
      • Jäckel, E. (1993). David Irving’s Hitler: A Faulty History Dissected, Two Essays. translation and comments by H. David Kirk. Port Angeles, WA: Ben-Simon Publications. ISBN 0-914539-08-6.
      • Kershaw, Ian (1985). The Nazi Dictatorship: Problems and Perspectives of Interpretation. London: Edward Arnold. ISBN 0-7131-6408-5.
      • Lipstadt, Deborah (1993). Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-02-919235-8.
      • Lipstadt, Deborah (2005). History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving. New York: Ecco Press. ISBN 0-06-059376-8.
      • Lukacs, John (1997). The Hitler of History. New York: Knopf. ISBN 0-679-44649-4.
      • Van Pelt, Robert J. (2002). The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-34016-0.
      • Rosenbaum, Ron (1999). Explaining Hitler (1st Harper Perennial ed.). New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-679-43151-9.
      • Shermer, Michael; Grobman, Alex (2002). Denying History. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21612-1.
      • Shermer, Michael; Grobman, Alex (2009). Denying History. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-26098-8.
      • Stern, Kenneth (1992). Holocaust Denial. New York: American Jewish Committee.
      • Sydnor, Jr, Charles W. (June 1979). “The Selling of Adolf Hitler: David Irving’sHitler’s War“. central European History 12 (2). pp. 169–99.
      • Wyden, Peter (2001). The Hitler Virus: the Insidious Legacy of Adolf Hitler. New York: Arcade Publishing. ISBN 1-55970-532-9.
      • “Two Alibies for the Inhumanities: A. R. Butz, “The Hoax of the Twentieth Century” and David Irving, “Hitler’s War“” by Bradley Smith pages 327–335 fromGerman Studies Review, Volume 1, Issue # 3. October 1978.
      • “Caveat Lector Review of Hitler’s War” by John Lukacs pages 946–950 fromNational Review, Volume XXIX, Issue # 32, 19 August 1977.
      • “Hitler and the Genesis of the ‘Final Solution’: An Assessment of David Irving’s Theses” pages 73–125 from Yad Vashem Studies by Martin Broszat, Volume 13, 1979; reprinted pages 390–429 in Aspects of the Third Reich edited by H.W. Koch, London: Macmillan, 1985, ISBN 0-333-35272-6; originally published as “Hitler und die Genesis der “Endlösung”. Aus Anlaß der Thesen von David Irving”, pages 739–775 from Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Volume 25, 1977.
      • “David Irving and the 1956 Revolution” by András Mink pages 117–128 fromHungarian Quarterly, Volume 41, Issue No. 160, 2000.
      • Felix Müller. Das Verbotsgesetz im Spannungsverhältnis zur Meinungsfreiheit. Eine verfassungsrechtliche Untersuchung; Verlag Österreich, 2005, 238 Seiten, br., ISBN 3-7046-4685-7
      • Schiedel, Heribert. Irving sitzt in Österreich in Jungle World, 23 November 2005. ISSN 1613-0766
      • Wikisource:David Irving vs Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt


      • Craig, Gordon A. (19 September 1996), “The Devil in the Details”, The New York Review of Books: 8–14
      • Wright, Pearce (23 February 1967). “Nazis’ mighty atom”. The Times. p. 8.

      News articles


      Find more about David Irving at Wikipedia’s sister projects
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      Learning resources from Wikiversity
    8. External links[edit]
    9. References[edit]
    10. Notes[edit]
    11. Bibliography[edit]
    1. Only days after the cancellation David Irving announced that he would go to Lillehammer during the literature festival and deliver his 2-hour lecture from a hotel room.[134] He did not come.
    2. According to editor-in-chief Sven Egil Omdal of Stavanger Aftenblad the opposition to Irving’s participation at the festival appeared as a concerted effort and Omdal suggested campaign journalism from two of Norway’s largest newspapers, Dagbladet and Aftenposten and Norway’s public service broadcasterNRK.[132]
    3. In October 2008 a controversy erupted in Norway over the invitation of David Irving to speak at the 2009 Norwegian Festival of Literature. Several of Norway’s most distinguished authors protested against the invitation. The leader of the board for the festival, Jesper Holte, defended the invitation by stating that “Our agenda is to invite a liar and a falsifier of history to a festival about truth. And confront him with this. Irving has been invited to discuss his concept oftruth in light of his activity as a writer of historical books and the many accusations he has been exposed to as a consequence of this.” Although Irving is introduced in the festival’s webpages as “historian and writer” the board chair leader defended the more aggressive language being used to characterize Irving in connection with the controversy that had arisen. Lars Saabye Christensen and Roy Jacobsen were two authors who had threatened to boycott the festival on account of Irving’s invitation and Anne B. Ragde stated that Sigrid Undset would have turned around in her grave. As the festival has as its subsidiary name “Sigrid Undset Days”, a representative of Undset’s family had requested that the name of the Nobel laureate be removed in connection with the festival.[126][127] Also the Norwegian free speech organization Fritt Ord was critical towards letting Irving speak at the festival[128] and had requested that its logo be removed from the festival.[129] In addition Edvard Hoem announced that he would not attend the 2009 festival with Irving taking part. Per Edgar Kokkvold, leader of the Norwegian Press Confederation advocated cancelling Irving’s invitation.[130]
    4. As of 2013 Irving was lecturing to small audiences at secret venues on topics like alleged Jewish conspiracies and alleged exaggeration of the holocaust.[125]
    5. On 11 November 2005, the Austrian police in the southern state of Styria, acting under the 1989 warrant, arrested Irving. Irving pleaded guilty to the charge of “trivialising, grossly playing down and denying the Holocaust” and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in accordance with the law prohibiting National Socialist activities (officially Verbotsgesetz, “Prohibition Statute”). After he was arrested, Irving claimed in his plea that he changed his opinions on the Holocaust, “I said that then based on my knowledge at the time, but by 1991 when I came across the Eichmann papers, I wasn’t saying that anymore and I wouldn’t say that now. The Nazis did murder millions of Jews.”[114] Irving sat motionless as Liebtreu asked him if he had understood the sentence, to which he replied “I’m not sure I do” before being bundled out of the court by Austrian police. Later, Irving declared himself shocked by the severity of the sentence. He had reportedly already purchased a plane ticket home to London.[115]
    1. Not only did Irving lose the case, but in light of the evidence presented at the trial a number of his works that had previously escaped serious scrutiny were brought to public attention. He was also liable to pay all of Penguin’s costs of the trial, estimated to be as much as £2 million (US$3.2 million) though it remains uncertain how much of these liabilities he will ultimately pay for.[109][110] When he did not meet these, Davenport Lyons moved to make him bankrupt on behalf of their client. He was forced into bankruptcy in 2002[111] and lost his home, though he has been able to travel around the world despite his crushing financial losses.[112]
    2. The BBC quoted Professor Evans further:-
    3. Lipstadt hired the British solicitor Anthony Julius to present her case, while Penguin Books hired Kevin Bays and Mark Bateman, libel specialist from media firm Davenport Lyons. They briefed the libel barrister Richard Rampton QC and Penguin also briefed junior barrister Heather Rogers. The defendants (with Penguin’s insurers paying the fee) also retained Professor Richard J. Evans, historian and Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, as an expert witness. Also working as expert witnesses were the American Holocaust historian Christopher Browning, the German historian Peter Longerich and the Dutcharchitectural expert Robert Jan van Pelt. The latter wrote a report attesting to the fact that the death camps were designed, built and used for the purpose ofmass murder, while Browning testified for the reality of the Holocaust. Evans’ report was the most comprehensive, in-depth examination of Irving’s work:
    1. In 1995, St. Martin’s Press of New York City agreed to publish the Goebbels biography; but after protests, they cancelled the contract, leaving Irving in a situation in which, according to D. D. Guttenplan, he was desperate for financial help, publicity, and the need to re-establish his reputation as a historian.[106]The book was eventually self-published.
    2. In 1992, Irving signed a contract with Macmillan for a biography of Joseph Goebbels entitled Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich. Following charges that Irving had selectively “edited” a recently discovered complete edition ofGoebbels’s diaries in Moscow, Macmillan cancelled the book deal.[103] The decision by the Sunday Times (who had bought the rights to serialised extracts from the diaries before Macmillan published them) in July 1992 to hire Irving as a translator of Goebbels’s diary was criticised by historian Peter Pulzer, who argued that Irving, because of his views about the Third Reich, was not the best man for the job.[80] Andrew Neil, the editor of the Sunday Times, called Irving “reprehensible”, but defended hiring Irving because he was only a “transcribing technician”, which others criticised as a poor description of translation work.[80]
    3. David Irving being deported from Canada, 1992
    4. Christopher Hitchens wrote that Irving sang the rhyme to Hitchens’ wife, Carol Blue, and daughter, Antonia, in the elevator following dinner in the family’s Washington apartment.[99]
    5. Several of these statements were cited by the judge’s decision in Irving’s lawsuit against Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt,[97] leading the judge to conclude that Irving “had on many occasions spoken in terms which are plainly racist.”[98] One example brought was his diary entry for 17 September 1994, in which Irving wrote about a ditty he composed for his young daughter “when halfbreed children are wheeled past”:
    6. Racism and antisemitism[edit]
    7. In November 1992, Irving was to be a featured speaker at a world anti-Zionist congress in Stockholm that was cancelled by the Swedish government.[69] Also scheduled to attend were fellow Holocaust-deniers Robert Faurisson and Fred A. Leuchter, and Louis Farrakhan, together with representatives of the militant Palestinian group Hamas, the Lebanese militant Shiite group Hezbollah, and the right-wing Russian antisemitic group Pamyat.[69] In a 1993 speech, Irving claimed that had been only 100,000 Jewish deaths at Auschwitz, “but not from gas chambers. They died from epidemics”.[92] Irving went on to claim that most of the Jewish deaths during World War II had been caused by Allied bombing.[92] Irving claimed that “The concentration camp inmates arrived in Berlin or Leipzig or in Dresden just in time for the RAF bombers to set fire to those cities. Nobody knows how many Jews died in those air raids”.[92] In a 1994 speech, Irving lamented that his predictions of 1991 had failed to occur, and complained of the persistence of belief in the “rotting corpse” of the “profitable legend” of the Holocaust.[88] In another 1994 speech, Irving claimed that there was no German policy of genocide of Jews, and that only 600,000 Jews died in concentration camps in World War II, all due to either Allied bombing or disease.[85] At the same time, Irving started to appear more frequently at the annual conferences hosted by the IHR.[93] In a 1995 speech, Irving claimed that the Holocaust was a myth invented by a “world-wide Jewish cabal” to serve their own ends.[94] Irving also spoke on other topics at the IHR gatherings. A frequent theme was the claim that Winston Churchill had advance knowledge of the Japanese plans to attack Pearl Harbor, and refused to warn the Americans to bring the United States into World War II.[95]
    8. Ridicule alone isn’t enough, you’ve got to be tasteless about it. You’ve got to say things like ‘More women died on the back seat of Edward Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz.’ Now you think that’s tasteless, what about this? I’m forming an association especially dedicated to all these liars, the ones who try and kid people that they were in these concentration camps, it’s called the Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the Holocaust and other Liars, A-S-S-H-O-L-E-S. Can’t get more tasteless than that, but you’ve got to be tasteless because these people deserve our contempt.
    9. On 17 January 1991 Irving told a reporter from the Jewish Chronicle that “The Jews are very foolish not to abandon the gas chamber theory while they still have time”.[89] Irving went to say that he believed anti-Semitism will increase all over the world because “the Jews have exploited people with the gas chamber legend” and that “In ten years, Israel will cease to exist and the Jews will have to return to Europe”.[89] In his 1991 revised edition of Hitler’s War he had removed all references to death camps and the Holocaust. In a speech given in Hamburg in 1991, Irving stated that in two years time “…this myth of mass murders of Jews in the death factories of Auschwitz, Majdanek and Treblinka…which in fact never took place” will be disproved (Auschwitz, Majdanek, and Treblinka were all well known Extermination camps).[90] Two days later, Irving repeated the same speech in Halle before a group of neo-Nazis, and praised Rudolf Hess as “that great German martyr, Rudolf Hess”.[90] At another 1991 speech, this time in Canada, Irving called the Holocaust a “hoax”, and again predicted that by 1993 the “hoax” would have been “exposed”.[88] In that speech, Irving declared, “Gradually the word is getting around Germany. Two years from now too, the German historians will accept that we are right. They will accept that for fifty years they have believed a lie”.[88] During that speech given in October 1991, Irving expressed his contempt and hatred for Holocaust survivors by proclaiming that:
    10. Expanding upon his thesis in Hitler’s War about the lack of a written Führer order for the Holocaust, Irving argued in the 1990s that the absence of such an order meant that there was no Holocaust.[87] In a speech delivered in Toronto in November 1990 Irving claimed that Holocaust survivors had manufactured memories of their suffering because “there’s money involved and they can get a good compensation cash payment out of it”.[14] During the same 1990 speech in Toronto, Irving claimed that “more people died on the back seat of Senator Edward Kennedy‘s motor car inChappaquiddick than died in the gas chamber of Auschwitz”.[88] In that speech, Irving used the metaphor of a cruise ship named Holocaust, which Irving claimed had “…luxury wall to wall fitted carpets and a crew of thousands… marine terminals established in now virtually every capital in the world, disguised as Holocaust memorial museums”.[88] Irving went on to assert that the “ship” was due for rough sailing because recently the Sovietgovernment had allowed historians access to “the index cards of all the people who passed through the gates of Auschwitz”, and claimed that this would lead to “a lot of people [who] are not claiming to be Auschwitz survivors anymore” (Irving’s statement about the index cards was incorrect; what the Soviet government had made available in 1990 were the death books of Auschwitz, recording the weekly death tolls).[88] Irving claimed on the basis of what he called the index books that, “Because the experts can look at a tattoo and say ‘Oh yes, 181, 219 that means you entered Auschwitz in March 1943” and he warned Auschwitz survivors “If you want to go and have a tattoo put on your arm, as a lot of them do, I am afraid to say, and claim subsequently that you were in Auschwitz, you have to make sure a) that it fits in with the month you said you went to Auschwitz and b) it is not a number which anyone used before”.[88]
    11. In January 1990, Irving gave a speech in Moers where he asserted that only 30,000 people died at Auschwitz between 1940–45, all of natural causes, which was equal—so he claimed—to the typical death toll from one Bomber Command raid on German cities.[83] Irving claimed that there were no gas chambers at the death camp, stating that the existing remains were “mock-ups built by the Poles”.[83] On 21 April 1990 Irving repeated the same speech inMunich, which led to his conviction for Holocaust denial in Munich on 11 July 1991. The court fined Irving DM 7,000. Irving appealed the judgement, and received a fine of DM 10,000 for repeating the same remarks in the courtroom on 5 May 1992.[83] During his appeal in 1992, Irving called upon those present in the Munich courtroom to “fight a battle for the German people and put an end to the blood lie of the Holocaust which has been told against this country for fifty years”.[72] Irving went on to call the Auschwitz death camp a “tourist attraction” whose origins Irving claimed went back to an “ingenious plan” devised by the British Psychological Warfare Executive in 1942 to spread anti-German propaganda that it was the policy of the German state to be “using ‘gas chambers’ to kill millions of Jews and other undesirables”.[72] During the same speech, Irving denounced the judge as a “senile, alcoholic cretin”.[85]Following his conviction for Holocaust denial, Irving was banned from visiting Germany.[86]
    12. Interior of the gas chamber of Auschwitz I camp. In a 1990 speech, Irving stated: “I say the following thing: there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz. There have been only mock-ups built by the Poles in the years after the war”.[83]
    13. In a pamphlet Irving published in London on 23 June 1989 Irving made the “epochal announcement” that there was no mass murder in the gas chambers at the Auschwitz death camp.[82] Irving labelled the gas chambers at Auschwitz a “hoax”, and writing in the third person declared that he “has placed himself [Irving] at the head of a growing band of historians, worldwide, who are now sceptical of the claim that at Auschwitz and other camps were ‘factories of death’, in which millions of innocent people were systematically gassed to death”.[82] Boasting of his role in criticising the Hitler diaries as a forgery in 1983, Irving wrote “now he [Irving] is saying the same thing about the infamous ‘gas chambers’ of Auschwitz, Treblinka and Majdanek. They did not exist – ever – except perhaps as the brainchild of Britain’s brilliant wartime Psychological Warfare Executive”.[82] Finally, Irving claimed “the survivors of Auschwitz are themselves testimony to the absence of an extermination programme”.[82] Echoing the criticism of the House of Commons, on 14 May 1990 a leader in The Times described Irving as a “man for whom Hitler is something of a hero and almost everything of an innocent and for whom Auschwitz is a Jewish deception”.[80]
    14. After the trial, Irving published Leuchter’s report as Auschwitz The End of the Line: The Leuchter Report in the United Kingdom in 1989 and wrote its foreword.[72] Leuchter’s book had been first published in Canada by Zündel’s Samisdat Publishers in 1988 as The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth: An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdenek.[78] In his foreword to the British edition of Leuchter’s book, Irving wrote that “Nobody likes to be swindled, still less where considerable sums of money are involved”.[72] The alleged swindle was the reparationsmoney totalling 3 billion DM paid by the Federal Republic of Germany to Israel between 1952–1966 for the Holocaust. Irving described the reparations as being “essentially in atonement for the ‘gas chambers’ of Auschwitz”, which Irving called a “myth” that would “not die easily”.[72] In his foreword, Irving praised the “scrupulous methods” and “integrity” of Leuchter.[72]
    15. In the 1988 Zündel trial, Irving repeated and defended his claim from Hitler’s War that until October 1943 Hitler knew nothing about the actual implementation of the Final Solution. He also expressed his evolving belief that the Final Solution involved “atrocities“, not systematic murder: “I don’t think there was any overall Reich policy to kill the Jews. If there was, they would have been killed and there would not be now so many millions of survivors. And believe me, I am glad for every survivor that there was.”[74] On 22–26 April 1988, Irving testified for Zündel, endorsing Richard Harwood‘s book Did Six Million Really Die? as “over ninety percent… factually accurate”.[75]
    16. Zündel trial[edit]
    17. By the mid-1980s, Irving associated himself with the IHR, began giving lectures to groups such as the far-right German Deutsche Volksunion (DVU), and publicly denied that the Nazis systematically exterminated Jews in gas chambers during World War II.[69] Irving was a frequent speaker for the DVU in the 1980s and the early 1990s, but the relationship ended in 1993 apparently because of concerns by the DVU that Irving’s espousal of Holocaust denial might lead to the DVU being banned.[14]
    18. A major theme of Irving’s writings since the 1980s was his belief that it had been a great blunder on the part of Britain to declare war on Germany in 1939, and that ever since then and as a result of that decision, Britain had slipped into an unstoppable decline.[61] Irving also took the view that Hitler often tried to help the Jews of Europe.[61] In a June 1992 interview with the Daily Telegraph, Irving claimed to have heard from Hitler’s naval adjutant that the Führer had told him that he could not marry because Germany was “his bride”.[61] Irving then claimed to have asked the naval adjutant when Hitler made that remark, and upon hearing that the date was 24 March 1938, Irving stated in response “Herr Admiral, at that moment I was being born”. Irving used this alleged incident to argue that there was some sort of mystical connection between himself and Hitler.[66]
    19. Until 1988, Irving seemed torn between desires to be taken seriously as a historian or to associate with those with whom he seemed to share an ideological affinity.[citation needed] In a footnote in the first edition of Hitler’s War, Irving writes, “I cannot accept the view… [that] there exists no document signed by Hitler, Himmler or Heydrich speaking of the extermination of the Jews”. In 1982, Irving made an attempt to unify all of the various neo-Nazi groups in Britain into one party called Focus, in which he would play a leading role.[41] Irving described himself as a “moderate fascist” and spoke of plans to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.[61] The effort failed due to fiscal problems.[41] Irving told the Oxford Mail of having “links at a low level” with the British National Front.[41] Irving described The Spotlight, the main journal of the Liberty Lobby, as “an excellent fortnightly paper”.[41] At the same time, Irving put a copy of Hitler’s “Prophecy Speech” of 30 January 1939, promising the “annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe” if “Jewish financiers” started another world war, onto his wall.[62]
    20. Movement towards Holocaust denial[edit]
    21. In 1989, Irving published his biography of Hermann Göring.
    22. Other books[edit]
    23. In 1983, Stern, a weekly German news magazine, purchased for 9 million marks the Hitler Diaries of 61 volumes and published excerpts from them. Irving played the major role in uncovering the Hitler Diaries as a hoax. In October 1982 Irving purchased, from the same source as Stern’s 1983 purchase, 800 pages of documents relating to Hitler, only to discover that many of the documents were forgeries.[52] Irving was amongst the first to identify the diaries as forgeries, and to draw media attention. He went so far as to crash the press conference held by Hugh Trevor-Roper at the Hamburg offices of Sternmagazine on 25 April 1983 to denounce the diaries as a forgery and Trevor-Roper for endorsing the diaries as genuine.[53] Irving’s performance at the Sternpress conference where he violently harangued Trevor-Roper until ejected by security led him to be featured prominently on the news; the next day, Irving appeared on the Today television show as a featured guest.[54] Irving had concluded that the alleged Hitler diaries were a forgery because they had come from the same dealer in Nazi memorabilia from whom Irving had purchased his collection in 1982.[52] At the press conference in Hamburg, Irving announced, “I know the collection from which these diaries come. It is an old collection, full of forgeries. I have some here”.[52] Irving was proud to have detected and announced the hoax material and of the “trail of chaos” he had created at the Hamburg press conference and the attendant publicity it had brought him, and took pride in his humiliation of Trevor-Roper, whom Irving strongly disliked for his sloppy work (not detecting the hoax) and criticism of Irving’s methods and conclusions.[55] Irving also noted internal inconsistencies in the supposed Hitler diaries, such as a diary entry for 20 July 1944, which would have been unlikely given that Hitler’s right hand had been badly burned by the bomb planted in his headquarters by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg earlier that day.[56]
    24. In 1981, he published two books. The first was The War Between the Generals, in which Irving offered an account of the Allied High Command on the Western Front in 1944–45, detailing the heated conflicts Irving alleges occurred between the various generals of the various countries and presenting rumours about their private lives. The second book was Uprising!, about the 1956 revolt in Hungary, which Irving characterised as “primarily an anti-Jewish uprising”, supposedly because the Communist regime was itself controlled by Jews. Irving’s depiction of Hungary’s Communist regime as a Jewish dictatorship oppressing Gentiles sparked charges of antisemitism.[50] In addition, there were complaints that Irving had grossly exaggerated the number of people of Jewish origin in the Communist regime and had ignored the fact that Hungarian Communists who did have a Jewish background like Mátyás Rákosi and Ernő Gerő had totally repudiated Judaism and sometimes expressed antisemitic attitudes themselves.[51] Critics such as Neal Ascherson and Kai Bird took issue with some of Irving’s language that seemed to evoke antisemitic imagery, such as his remark that Rákosi possessed “the tact of a kosherbutcher”.[50]
    25. In the 1980s Irving started researching and writing about topics other than Nazi Germany, but with less success. He began his research on his three-part biography of Winston Churchill. After publication Irving’s work on Churchill received at least one bad review from Professor David Cannadine then of theUniversity of London, now of Princeton University.
    26. Just months after the initial release of Hitler’s War, Irving published The Trail of the Fox, a biography of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. In it, Irving attacked the members of the 20 July Plot to assassinate Hitler, branding them “traitors”, “cowards”, and “manipulators”, and uncritically presented Hitler and his government’s subsequent revenge against the plotters, of which Rommel was also a victim. In particular, Irving accused Rommel’s friend and Chief of Staff General Hans Speidel of framing Rommel in the attempted coup. The British historian David Pryce-Jones in a book review of The Trail of the Fox in the 12 November 1977 edition of The New York Times Book Review accused Irving of taking everything Hitler had to say at face value.[14]
    27. Reaction to Hitler’s War was generally negative. Reviewers took issue with Irving’s factual claims as well as his conclusions. For example, American historian Charles Sydnor noted numerous errors in Hitler’s War, such as Irving’s unreferenced statement that the Jews who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 were well supplied with weapons from Germany’s allies.[43] Sydnor pointed out that Hitler had received an SS report in November 1942 which contained a mention of 363,211 Russian Jews executed by the Einsatzgruppen between August–November 1942.[44] Sydnor remarked that Irving’s statement that the Einsatzgruppen were in charge in the death camps seems to indicate that he was not familiar with the history of the Holocaust, as the Einsatzgruppen were in fact mobile death squads who had nothing to do with the death camps.[45]
    28. In 1977 Irving published Hitler’s War, the first of his two-part biography of Adolf Hitler. Irving’s intention in Hitler’s War was to clean away the “years of grime and discoloration from the facade of a silent and forbidding monument” to reveal the real Hitler, whose reputation Irving claimed had been slandered by historians.[40] In Hitler’s War, Irving tried to “view the situation as far as possible through Hitler’s eyes, from behind his desk”.[40] He portrayed Hitler as a rational, intelligent politician, whose only goal was to increase Germany’s prosperity and influence on the continent, and who was constantly let down by incompetent and/or treasonous subordinates.[40] Irving’s book faulted the Allied leaders, most notably Winston Churchill, for the eventual escalation of war, and claimed that the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 was a “preventive war” forced on Hitler to avert an alleged impending Soviet attack.[41] He also claimed that Hitler had no knowledge of the Holocaust; while not denying its occurrence, Irving claimed that Heinrich Himmler and his deputy Reinhard Heydrich were its originators and architects. Irving made much of the lack of any written order from Hitler ordering the Holocaust, and for decades afterward offered to pay £1000 to anyone who could find such an order.[42]
  1. Hitler’s War[edit]
  2. The description of Irving as a historian, rather than a historical author, is controversial, with some publications continuing to refer to him as a “historian”[35] or “disgraced historian”,[36] while others insist he is not a historian, and have adopted alternatives such as “author” or “historic writer”.[1] The military historianJohn Keegan has praised Irving for his “extraordinary ability to describe and analyse Hitler’s conduct of military operations, which was his main occupation during the Second World War“.[37] Donald Cameron Watt, Emeritus Professor of Modern History at the London School of Economics, wrote that he admires some of Irving’s work as a historian, though he rejects his conclusions about the Holocaust.[38] At the libel proceedings against Irving, Watt declined Irving’s request to testify, appearing only after a subpoena was ordered.[39] He testified that Irving had written a “very, very effective piece of historical scholarship” in the 1960s, which was unrelated to his controversial work; he also suggested that Irving was “not in the top class” of military historians.[39]
  3. In 1969, during a visit to Germany, Irving met Robert Kempner, one of the American prosecutors at Nuremberg.[32] Irving asked Kempner if the “official record of the Nuremberg Trials was falsified”, and told him that he was planning to go to Washington, D.C. to compare the sound recordings of Field-Marshal Milch’s March 1946 evidence with the subsequently published texts to find proof that evidence given at Nuremberg was “tampered with and manipulated”.[33] Upon his return to the United States, Kempner wrote to J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, that Irving expressed many “anti-American and anti-Jewish statements”.[32]
  4. Irving once said he works to remove the “slime” applied to the reputation of Adolf Hitler(pictured).[30]
  5. Irving translated the Memoirs of Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel in 1965 (edited by Walter Görlitz); and in 1967 published Accident: The Death of General Sikorski. In the latter book, Irving claimed that the plane crash which killedPolish government in exile leader General Władysław Sikorski in 1943 was really an assassination ordered byWinston Churchill, so as to enable Churchill to betray Poland to the Soviet Union. Irving’s book inspired the highly controversial 1967 play Soldiers by his friend, the German playwright Rolf Hochhuth, where Hochhuth depicts Churchill ordering the “assassination” of General Sikorski. Also in 1967, he published two more works: The Virus House, an account of the German nuclear energy project for which Irving conducted many interviews,[29] and The Destruction of Convoy PQ-17, in which he blamed the British escort group commander, Commander Jack Broome for the catastrophic losses of the Convoy PQ-17. Amid much publicity, Broome sued Irving for libel in October 1968, and in February 1970, after 17 days of deliberation before London’s High Court, Broome won. Irving was forced to pay £40,000 in damages, and the book was withdrawn from circulation.
  6. After the success of the Dresden book, Irving continued writing, including some works of revisionist history, although his 1964 work The Mare’s Nest – an account of the German V-weapons, programme and the Allied intelligence countermeasures against it – was widely praised when published and continues to be well regarded. Michael J. Neufeld of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has described The Mare’s Nest as “the most complete account on both Allied and German sides of the V-weapons campaign in the last two years of the war.”[28]
  7. Author[edit]
  8. 1963 burglary of Irving’s flat[edit]
  9. In the first edition, Irving’s estimates for deaths in Dresden were between 100,000 and 250,000 – notably higher than most previously published figures.[20]These figures became authoritative and widely accepted in many standard reference works. In later editions of the book over the next three decades, he gradually adjusted the figure downwards to 50,000–100,000.[21] According to the evidence introduced by Richard J. Evans at the libel trial of Deborah Lipstadt in 2000, Irving based his estimates of the dead of Dresden on the word of one individual who provided no supporting documentation, used forged documents, and described one witness who was a urologist as Dresden’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer. The doctor has since complained about being misidentified by Irving, and further, was only reporting rumours about the death toll.[22] Today, casualties at Dresden are estimated as 22,700–25,000 dead.[23]
  10. The Destruction of Dresden[edit]
  11. Carnival Times controversy[edit]
  12. After completing A-levels at Brentwood School, Irving briefly studied physics at Imperial College London, though never graduated, for financial reasons.[7][12]He wrote for Felix, Imperial’s student newspaper, and in 1959 served as editor of the University of London Carnival Committee’s journal, Carnival Times.
  13. During the Second World War, Irving’s father was an officer aboard the light cruiser HMS Edinburgh. On 2 May 1942, while escorting Convoy QP 11 in the Barents Sea, the ship was sunk by the German U-boat U-456. Irving’s father survived, but severed all links with his wife and their children after the incident.[9] Irving described his childhood in an interview with the American writer Ron Rosenbaum as: “Unlike the Americans, we English suffered great deprivations…we went through childhood with no toys. We had no kind of childhood at all. We were living on an island that was crowded with other people’s armies”.[10] Irving went on to claim to Rosenbaum that his negationist views about World War II dated to his childhood, particularly due to his objections to the way Adolf Hitler was portrayed in the British media during the war.[10] Irving asserted that his “sceptical” views about the Third Reich were rooted in his doubts about the cartoonist caricatures of Hitler and the other Nazi leaders published in the British wartime press.[10]According to his twin, Nicholas, Irving has been a provocateur and prankster since his youth.[11]
  14. Irving in 1955
  15. Contents  [hide]
  16. His work on Nazi Germany has been widely condemned because of his sympathy for the Third Reich,antisemitism and racism. He has associated with far right and neo-Nazi causes, famously during his student days seconding British Union of Fascists founder Oswald Mosley in a University College London debate onimmigration. He has been described as “the most skillful preacher of Holocaust denial in the world today”.[3]

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