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[images added by this website; apologies for the late posting, this was only recently called to our attention]

London, Saturday, February 26, 2006

My perfect place to hang Irving

by Giles Coren

IT'S A SATURDAY, and no time for droning on any more about David Irving. We are here, we Saturday columnists, to provide a bit of light relief from the weightier witterings of the working week.

But the thing is, David Irving has gone down [Website: English slang for going to jail], he is news, and I have a long letter from him on my lavatory wall which has been waiting for just such an opportunity as this to get a public airing. And let's face it, after nigh on five years in my downstairs khazi I think you'd want an airing too.
click for origin

David Irving comments:

GILES COREN raced to get his witty thoughts into print, comforted by the belief that I had just been locked down for three years in Austria. Wrong!
   Notice how ashamed he seems to be of his Jewishness -- never quite fessing up to it, but eager to capitalise on the suffering of his distant relations all the same.
   Happy to sup, but unwilling to pay. We've all met men in the pub like him: short arms and deep pockets, that's what my mates on the construction sites used to say of the likes of him, fify years ago when I was paying my way through university.
   The appeal court judge's ordering my release after just 400 days in solitary confinement must have come as quite a shock to this nasty piece of work -- like when the zookeeper finds the tiger's cage is unlocked and the animal somewhere out on the prowl.
   Except that tigers notoriously give a wide birth to skunks.

Here is what I wrote on this website commenting on his July 2001 atttack on my Churchill biography -- note the bits that the poo-obsessed Mr Coren omitted:

I HAVE no idea who -- or what -- The Times diarist Mr Coren is, or what I have done to upset him. His suppressed bile has shrivelled his vocabulary to an almost incoherent, monosyllabic stammer. Readers who are near newspaper libraries might like to compare the quality of his prose with that of The Times a hundred years ago.
   But never fear! Such newsprint as his literary effort graced just a few days ago is already in turn, if it is lucky, now wrapping evil-smelling, greasy bundles of fish-and-chips; or it has been recycled -- the paper going one way, to be melted down and pulped, the tired printing ink going another, being separated from the pulp by chemicals and flushed down into the gutter, where the pea-brained, poo-obsessed journalists like Mr Coren live and can replenish their pens afresh.
   As for selective quotations: I turned to one of the most perverse critics of my works [Mr Justice Gray], and quoted one of the best passages from him. The journalists like Mr Coren quoted only the most vile. (The entire text of the 330 page
judgment has been on my website for over a year). Who is being the more selective. . ?

[more of Judge Gray's comments]

[click for the actual press release] [and another Coren sneer]

The letter is addressed not to me but to the Editor of The Times (who passed it on to me), and is a response to a piece I had written in the Times Diary (which I shepherded to the brink of extinction after 80-odd glorious years) on July 24, 2001.

Now, I had had a little personal correspondence with Irving up to this point and had occasionally featured on his website in a not entirely flattering light. One entry, for example, ran: "I have no idea who -- or what -- the Times diarist Mr Coren is." Don't you love the "what" there? I do wonder what he means . . .

And look at what Irving is aching to suggest here:

"Never get into a pissing match with a Skunk. Although, I fear to compare Mr Coren with that furry animal, lest I be accused of anti-Skunkism."

Ha-Ha. Do you see what he's done there, with the capital "S" and everything? Anti-Skunkism. These Skunks, they're everywhere in the media, and so neurotic, with that infuriating persecution complex of theirs . . .

If you don't believe me, just go to Irving's website at and put my name in the search engine. As websites go, it is fast, well organised and ruthlessly efficient. Qualities, given the context, to make your blood run cold.

But to the matter in hand. When Irving published the second volume of his Churchill biography in 2001, he sent a copy to The Times, and while the policy of the paper at that time was to ignore him, to pretend he did not exist, I decided to feature it as the Diary's Book of the Month.

In response, Irving wrote the letter which has given five years of fun to full-bladdered guests in my home, largely because of its eye-popping lack of self-awareness.

It is datelined, with a gloriously high-flown sense of occasion, "London, Thursday, July 26, 2001 (1:49am)" -- I do love the thought of him sitting there in the small hours, furiously typing by the light of a guttering candle, under that picture of the Führer he had on his wall [Website comment: This lie by Deborah Lipstadt was indeed libellous, Mr Justice Gray ruled in his Judgment of April 2000] , imagining himself in a Munich prison cell in the 1920s railing against the liberalities of the Jew-riddled Weimar Republic.

I should add that he writes at the top of his letter "Not for Publication" -- but, frankly, I dare say my long-dead great-grandmother, great-aunt, great-uncle and cousins who got on the train to Auschwitz (no doubt believing, as Irving still does, that there could not possibly be a death camp at the other end) considered themselves "Not for Liquidation".

So, frankly, balls to him:

Dear Editor,

  I am not going to take issue with Giles Coren's latest swipes and sneers at me (July 14, 24), but is it not the practice, when material (in the latest case, a photograph) is lifted from a book sent to your newspaper for review purposes, at least to give the book's proper title? Mr Coren has studiously avoided doing so, not once but twice. May I ask you therefore to insert an item, perhaps in your corrections column, in case any of your readers take his silly title (Hitler etc) seriously. The book's real title is Churchill's War, vol ii: Triumph in Adversity (Focal Point, 2001).

  By way of comment only, I must protest at Coren's treatment of facts. His latest item reads (July 24): "The photograph above comes from my book of the month, David Irving's How Hitler Invented Penicillin, Told Excellent Jokes Against Himself and Saved the Jews from Stalin (JudenRaus Press, Recihmarks 20). How do you think this picture in Mr Irving's charming and balanced account of the war is captioned? Is it: (a) "Hurrah! -- Britain celebrates VE-Day."

  (b) "Ladies first -- our girls celebrate the end of the war."

  Or (c) "The White and smiling face of wartime Britain -- Churchill's people in the summer of 1943 are contented and confident, but Cabinet ministers express concern about the British female's appetite for the Black US servicemen now flooding into the country."

  Answers tomorrow (but it's 'c')."

  In fact . . . the picture caption in my book reads: "The White and smiling face of wartime Britain: Churchill's people in the summer of 1943 are contented and confident; but the war has ushered in a social revolution for women. They are manning the workbenches and taking home pay-packets of their own; they have started smoking in public and wearing trousers, and Cabinet ministers express concern about the British female's appetite for the Black US servicemen now flooding into the country."

  There are four pages of the book devoted to Cabinet minutes on the latter controversy. It has to be said that Bernard Levin did this kind of thing much better.

Yours sincerely,

David Irving

It is a troubled and guilt-ridden little country that locks up a pompous old dullard like Irving. You might as well imprison Tam Dalyell or Elmer Fudd. Irving should be sent home immediately and given some comfy shoes and an allotment somewhere. I'll look after him if you like.

International justice has bigger fish to fry.


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David Irving imprisoned in Austria: dossier: index


Giles Coren: A poo-obsessed Times journalist

Giles Coren sneers about a two page photo in "Churchill's War", vol. ii: "Triumph in Adversity" 

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