Posted Friday, January 17, 2003

Quick navigation

Alphabetical index (text)   Index to the Traditional Enemies of Free Speech

Despite Irving's unpopular Holocaust views, his professional opinion still carries weight with some Hitler scholars.

SF Weekly

San Francisco, January 15, 2003


Deborah HaydenDisease Detective Deborah Hayden's new book, Pox, pulls the covers off famous people with syphilis. That's right: syphilis.


TWO women drive into a parking lot near the Ferry Building in San Francisco. They show identification to a bald man sitting in a van. "Is this the place for ... the dinner?" asks one of the women. "Shhh," the man cautions, eyes scanning the almost empty lot. He hands them a map. They walk a few blocks to Schroeder's Cafe, a German hofbrau-style restaurant hunkered down amongst Financial District skyscrapers.

Treading gingerly inside the dimly lit, cavernous dining hall, past a small herd of glass-eyed deer heads nailed to a wall, syphilis researcher Deborah Hayden and her nervous friend join a small group of white people gathered in a back room. The friend fears she is entering a den of neo-Nazi skinheads, but most of those waiting are middle-aged and have at least a little hair. They are here to eat schnitzel and schmooze with historian David Irving, the controversial Hitler apologist and author of two dozen books about World War II.

When Irving brags that he has shaken hands with more people who knew Hitler than anyone else alive, Hayden's friend, wigged out by the scene, buries her face in a plate of veal stroganoff. The historian complains that his house in England was recently seized to pay a bankruptcy court judgment. Irving -- who insists that the Third Reich did not systematically exterminate Jews -- went broke after losing a libel suit in 2000 against an American author who charged that he had falsified Holocaust history. His dinner companions nod their heads in sympathy and open their wallets.

Hayden, however, is not here to support Irving (she has no doubts about what happened in Hitler's ovens). She has a scholarly purpose in mind. She approaches Irving with a question: Did Hitler have syphilis? Irving tells her, as he has written, that Hitler tested negative for the venereal disease, which at the time was usually fatal. Despite Irving's unpopular Holocaust views, his professional opinion still carries weight with some Hitler scholars. Hayden, on the other hand, believes that Hitler was rotting to death from late-stage syphilis and that his condition affected the course of history. It is typical of the intrepid Hayden that she chose to beard Irving in his lair, rather than contact him via a more antiseptic method such as e-mail or telephone.

"I wanted to look him in the eye," she says, smiling..


[For more, much more, of the rest of the feature article go to this link]




Related items on this website:

  Free downloads of "The Secret Diaries of Hitler's Doctor" and "Hitler's War" (Millennium Edition, 2002)
The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical
 Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

David Irving's ACTION REPORT

© Focal Point 2003 F Irving write to David Irving