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 Posted Friday, July 16, 1999
Caricature by David Smith

FOR THIRTY-FIVE years author David Irving has kept a private diary. It has proven useful in countless actions. For the information of his many supporters he publishes an edited text in his irregular newsletter ACTION REPORT.




ugust 1999
Key West, Florida


A GARBLED message from the BBC reaches me in Key West -- they have "had a message from the Auschwitz mus. . ."

I can only surmise what the rest is: I am banned from the site, truly a scandal. Another "first"?

Yes indeed. Without explanation, a brief refusal by the Auchwitz museum to let me anywhere near the site. What a disgrace for them. What are they hiding? What are they afraid of?

There are disturbing signs that the Australian government is blocking access to my Website. But every day now three or four new people around the world are registering to go on the mailing lists. Most impressive.

I e-mail to Benté:

I am about to set out on the great drive up to Canada and back.

Phone call from Barbara C., she has had a letter from a lady in Vienna who worked in her father's office (Arthur Liebehenschel, commandant of Auschwitz). Speaks highly of him, was deprimiert when the Poles sentenced him to death.

Benté faxes through from London the actual letter from Auschwitz, stating the ban: terse and without reason. How humiliating -- for them!

AislinN phones around, getting e-mail addresses of newsdesks. I have a lie down in the Mosquito Room after lunch and then at five we send out a press release. What cowards the media are: great issues involving freedom of speech and historical research right under their noses, and -- frightened to say so.

The veto itself reminds me of Nevada casinos which ban big winners; same now with Germany's Bundesarchiv and Auschwitz -- they can't afford to let me in!

Pick up a rental Lincoln Town Car for the great odyssey at 5:30 p.m. Old-style one, thank goodness.

An e-mail from Beatrice in Brisbane, Australia:

Daddy, A friend told me she saw in yesterday's Courier Mail that the BBC wanted to do a documentary on Auschwitz with you as narrator but the Auschwitz authorities wouldn't permit it. Is this true?

Indeed. I set out at one p.m, and arrive at Tampa at 10:45.

Next day: a good function. About 100 there, good book-sales. Young men, well dressed in suits or blazers, standing impassively at the corners. No Skinheads, neo-Nazis, thugs, or jackboots in evidence -- though no doubt the local press will tell its readers otherwise.

I am back at Key West at 5:30 p.m. Drive straight through, stopping once near Fort Myer and once in the Everglades.


BookNow the London newspapers are reviewing Ron Rosenbaum's book The Hitler of History; a nice reference to me by Norman Stone in last week's Sunday Times.

Ralph phones: under pressure from "the community" (unspecified) the Day's Inn at Rocky Point has caved in and cancelled our booking. The traditional enemy of free speech, busy as ever.

In the evening, we mail invitations to Canadians in Ontario and Québec to come to my Niagara Falls meeting.

N. writes me, "I have access to people in Moscow with one million captured Nazi documents they are selling." Problem is, an Israeli outfit is also after them. N. says he has seen 35 mm Soviet-made "microfilms" -- in fact strips of film stapled together end to end. I warn of possible scams. N., a teacher, reads German, says he read one file of an SS man right through to 1944.


square Drive back to Tampa. Our man has told us exit 18, but there is no such exit northbound; we have to go on a twenty mile U-trip over the bridge and back. I never fail to be stunned by people's ignorance of their own towns and highway exits. He has brought boxes of my göring's, the Lincoln buckles under the extra weight. Not a cubic inch of space left in it.

After checking one or two hotels we settle for a cheap one some way up Interstate-75.


Alas, I have burned out the teamaker yet again. Up at eight a.m. This to Benté:

At Tampa, arrived ten p.m. last night, and about to continue journey north to Atlanta today, where I'm interviewing an elderly gent.

You'll be pleased to hear that Aislinn found a scorpion in her suitcase last night. She came trotting along the motel corridor and pounded on my door, would I go to her room and dispose of the animal. Had to tip out the whole suitcase, as it had buried itself inside. Wasn't big. Haven't seen her yet this morning, hope it didn't get her.

We drive on north toward Atlanta. Aislinn drives once or twice, but it is an ordeal for me. Once she turns out of a gas station heading on the wrong side of double yellow lines towards baffled oncoming drivers. She gets lost on I-185, stops the car across two lanes of traffic and climbs out, refusing to drive on.

We get to the Fagerberg household at six p.m.

Albert Fagerberg has heaped onto the table several folders, containing the papers of Tyler Gatewood Kent -- the 1940 traitor in the US embassy in London, given to him by Kent's widow Clara.

I read through the papers for three hours, and then advise Fagerberg to donate them to the Hoover Library or Library of Congress or Boston University [Website note, 1999: Boston University wins them]. Among them are Kent's letters exchanged with his long-time mistress Clara Hyatt, of the Carter's Little Liver Pills family.

My ankle is now very painful indeed. I clamber down a mudslope to a Waffle House, and come back with coffees; I knock on A.'s door and give her one of them, then do paperwork until 2:30 a.m. again.


Nashville, Tennessee; at the museum they unscrew two yellowing original photographs, of Heinrich Himmler inspecting an anti-tank gun and a tank, from their frames (they were from Himmler's home, stolen by a GI); I scan them onto the Mac, and drive on at about four p.m.

I work all evening mailing out invitations to New Hampshire and Texas. Gradually catching up on the paper. Soup at a Shoney's.

So, off to Louisville. On the road alone and early like the old days. Arrive at eleven a.m. Excellent function of around 120 army veterans and their wives, up to generals' rank. My table neighbour is aged 85 and deaf as a post; he smiles benignly throughout my talk. I suspect that Deborah Lipstadt would call him a Skinhead thug too, since he has not got much hair. I deliver a talk on writing history, and book sales are not too bad considering.

Cincinnati at six p.m. A slew of e-mails to deal with. I drive all day to Monongahela, and drop in on P., who brings his wife and (nine) children to see me. Work is proceeding on his Dachau Massacre book. Like a lot of authors, he likes the chase, but finds problems actually marshalling the materials.

Supper with him at a steakhouse. Drive until the tank is nearly empty, and stop at Bedford at a little motel ($27) and work until 1:30 a.m. I miss the tea-making machine. Interesting e-mail from an Austrian who has letters about the Dachau massacre.


square Arrive at New York city, at the Kolping House at around six p.m. (memories of being a steelworker, living at the Mülheim/Ruhr Kolping-Haus!) It is a kind of German Catholic YMCA.

A number of friendlies already hanging around street corners, they help me with the boxes. The parking meter jams after I put in four quarters still showing only 25-cents; shortly, a traffic warden slaps a ticket on the car despite my protests. And a Noo-Yawk welcome to you too.

My host arrives, a slightly olive-skinned Lebanese with impeccable Cambridge English. It is my first talk in Manhattan. Over 120 people have packed in, so tables are taken out to make room.

My host has the usual hang-ups. "I don't shake hands," he says sternly, as I proffer mine.

After the audience settles in, he makes a Clive Derby-Lewis type of introduction lasting forty minutes, while everybody shifts nervously.

I deliver a fiery ninety-minute talk. No time for discussion. I notice that one deluxe copy of Goebbels has walked off the book table by itself without saying goodbye to me.

I put the red cashbox containing what are in effect my entire life savings on top of the boxes in the trunk of the Lincoln parked in Third Avenue, slam it shut, and go off for coffee and a snack with audience members afterwards.

As I return to the car an hour later, toward midnight, I see to my dismay that the trunk lid is gaping wide open, and a small crowd is standing round -- Puerto Ricans, Blacks, and other less appetising citizens of Manhattan's East Side.

I almost faint. Then I see that the red cashbox is sitting untouched, proudly glaring back at this crowd that has gathered at a respectful distance to see which idiot will have the nerve to snatch it: they all suspect a trap.

I grandly slam the trunk shut, and drive off toward Boston. I stop at Milford, Connecticut, at 1:30 a.m. It has been another loo-oo-ong day.


Arrive at Nashua at two p.m. Altogether five people attend my mass meeting here, including the organiser Peter, K. and his son. Aller Anfang ist schwer.

Set out around six p.m. for Niagara Falls, but every motel along the Massachusetts Turnpike and New York Thruway is sold out, and I end up driving non-stop 400 miles until five a.m. Park in the Denny's parking lot at Niagara Falls, and sleep for three hours on the front seat.

Walk down to the edge of the Falls; huge rainbows, steaming heat, bright sun. I send an e-mail to Benté:

I had a very pleasant walk (or rather limp, as my ankle is still killing me) round the rim of the Falls. Lots of children of Jessica's age there. What a pity you don't come on these adventures.


 Irving with part of Audience at Niagara Falls

About ninety people [picture above] hear me speak including many familiar old friends from Canada. Set out back to Boston at 10:11 a.m. Another long day's drive but I shall have to drive twice as far each day to get to Texas this week. A splitting headache when I arrive, not helped by the Discovery that the Boston television studio have left it to me to pay for the hugely expensive room they have booked (nearly $300: over ten times my normal night's budget).

Phone message from L. to meet him for dinner at the Harvard Faculty Club. He shows me a listed headed "Harvard University, Widener Library Card File, August 8, 1998," which enumerates no fewer than forty-seven books by me in its stacks.

Downstairs for the film producer at 8:45 a.m. Fortunately he will pay the hotel. I am through with his film crew by 1:30 p.m., and heading south by two. Opinions differ about the quickest way to Texas; short of flying, that is. I opt for through New York city, then westwards.

Stop briefly at New York for coffee, and reach Manassas, Virginia, after 500 miles at midnight. Check a dozen hotels for the cheapest rate.

Next day: This e-mail to Benté:

7:30 a.m. I have noted Jessica's needs, and will see if I pass a Barbie shop between here and Key West (which is 5,000 miles of driving); I drove 550 yesterday, and drive 650 today, toward Tennessee, I think.

On the road all day. Arrive at Nashville, my goal for the day, around eleven p.m. and check into a small hotel.

Set off again around ten a.m., and get to Dallas at eleven p.m. after about 700 miles today. With difficulty, I get my e-mails.

One comes from New York publisher Don Fehr; I could shriek:

As you may not know, I'm now Executive Editor at Basic Books.

The other week I had pulled down your Goebbels biography to (in connection to another book I am editing) and in thumbing through it I realized, again, that you are a helluva writer and that the book is a terrific read.

Have there been other developments on US rights after the St. Martin's fiasco?

I took the liberty of photocopying sections of the book and circulated them for discussion at one of our recent editorial meetings. It's the dead of August; I thought I'd liven things up some. In all likelihood this will be killed, but for the time being at least, I've been asked to provide more information to circulate. I assume you've got clippings on the book and the controversy.

Could you arrange to have a packet sent to me? -- the Hitchens piece in Vanity Fair would be particularly useful.

I reply: "Wow, that is one thought-provoking letter. I was in New York two days ago, driving south from Niagara Falls and Boston to here (I am filming for The History Channel in Boston, and I speak to students and my supporters at Austin, Texas, tomorrow)." I continue:

Goebbels: First, as you may know Random House both expressed an immediate and strong interest in taking over the book Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich, but after The New York Post leaked this fact after four weeks (and they asked for three copies by FedEx to read), Wassermann found he was checkmated.

Other, less prestigious publishers have since then asked to see the book, but I have not even let them have it to read, as I have taken the decision, which you may understand, that I would rather not have it published at all than by an "off Broadway" firm.

After eight years' very hard work, it is a very tough decision for me. It has brought me to the verge of ruin, but it is a matter of pride. I have fought back against the evil forces which killed it (namely the ADL) by publishing all the facts on my FPP-Website.

"I conclude, "I am in the USA until Aug. 22, then London again. The History Channel have asked me to narrate a film for them on The Destruction of Dresden, filming in London that week." [TV première: Sept.19]


square I arrive at Austin, Texas, at 1:30 p.m. Over to a radio station at three p.m. The DJ, "Shannon," is a good questioner. Several callers, all hostile, including a very Jewish Holly, whose mother had suffered and wanted money.

I pointed out that her mother, like countless millions of others, had also thank goodness survived; but did this not rather highlight the sloppiness of the Nazis who had had her mother and millions of other Jews actually in their camps, but allowed them to survive despite their extermination intent?

The very phrase Holocaust survivor is an oxymoron: nobody survives a holocaust, it is whole. I think that bit would have been above her, however.

As we drive off, we hear on the car radio the local Anti-Defamation League stringer yapping at Shannon by phone. The ADL had tried to force him to withdraw the invitation; then threatened to pressure his advertisers to cancel advertising -- the usual tactics of these friends of Free Speech. Then they insisted on attending the programme; then they changed their mind. Shannon listens politely to the yaps and yelps ("We are all for Free Speech," says the ADL "heavy", "but…"), and as he puts the phone down exclaims, "What a pisser…!", not recalling he is on air. The ADL will not have advanced their cause.

I drive on down to San Marcos. A mediocre function, mostly young folk.


Paperwork until 2:30 a.m. as usual. Up at 7:20, and onwards to the east.

Dinner at New Orleans with T. He comments on the size of my nose (after the breakage) and I agree it has swollen; I can not afford surgery right now. His yappy little dog fusses around my ankles, despite my lamentations. The little beast looks like a lively pipe cleaner.

After the meal I drive to Gulfport, then to Biloxi. The Knight's Inn offers me a room that smells as though a rather larger dog than T.'s pipe cleaner has recently been there. The next one has an air conditioner that does not work (both hotels are run by Asians). Finally settle into an Asian-run place at Pascagoula, and go on-line around 2:14 AM.

The Texas function was a financial washout: eight or ten days' of all-day driving to speak to thirty people in the middle of nowhere between two cities (I was expecting another big Washington-state type of university function). What poseurs, to quote that radio compere.


square I arrive in Tampa on monday at four p.m. at Cafe H., and find it shut -- it is shut every Monday. But I read again the e-mail and find that it has agreed to open specially for our private function: it does, an ideal setting.

The cafe owner is Regina, a wistful 26-year-old blonde born in Ingolstadt, Germany. She is in a flurry, as she has found that a waiter has stolen $500 from the till last week; that kind of money makes the difference between paying the rent and not, she says. I slip a $100 dollar bill into the Göring I give her as I leave around midnight for Key West -- I decide to drive all night to make up for lost time.

Arrive at Key West at 9:50 a.m., not bad going. Total distance covered by car over 8,500 miles.

Don Fehr, the New York publisher, phones, is not over-optimistic. Tells me about the secret background of the St Martin's Press (SMP) affair. Their CEO Tom McCormack was in a power struggle with Michael Naumann [now Germany's minister of culture] of Henry Holt Inc. Naumann faxed to Holtzbrink, the Stuttgart corporation owning SMP, copies of all the dirt being published in the New York press about me, in an attempt to topple McCormack (who did eventually resign, after the fiasco with Goebbels).

I say that Naumann is the same man who bought Churchill's War, for Germany's Rowohlt publishing firm, then had me sent to prison for contempt of Court. I tell Don the whole story. He is shocked at it too.

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