Documents on Real History

Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2005

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Letters to David Irving on this Website

Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.

Jack Archer applauds, September 21, 2005, the verdict of the Lipstadt trial, and claims to have read the transcripts

"Hitler's Typewriter"

Photo below: David Irving (left) and Washington Post journalist attacked by a hired mob of supporters outside the High Court on the last day the Lipstadt Trial in London

Liar, Mis-translator, Fact-picker

IRVING is a discredited historian. He did it to himself, for the most part. Reading the transcript of his libel action against Lipstadt and her publisher (and this document is an excellent "original" source, as any competent historian would recognize) is sufficient to damn him and his methods.

He stands convicted of lying, distorting his own sources by mistranslating them, selective picking among the "facts" in the record to "prove" his argument, as well as being an antisemite. He did it to himself, because he thought that by bringing an action in Britain, where the libel law favors the plaintiff (favors the plaintiff to an extraordinary degree, in my view), he could have an easy win, or the defendants would settle, as they often do, in Britain, and his legal victory would have validated his defense against the charge of anti-semitism. His plan backfired. To my mind, the proceedings and the judge's decision stand as a kind of monument to the worth of law and legal process in a civil society.


As far as others involved in the denial industry are concerned, such as Fred Leuchter, he has also been discredited, in court proceedings as well, but mainly through the relatively neutral methods of science. His methods and conclusions are demonstrably in error, and have been shown to be so.

Why you want to deny the historical record, I don't know. But, like so many who have gone before you, you can't succeed unless you share and follow basic understandings about historical or scientific research methods.

That is, if you insist on playing by your own set of rules, you won't be taken seriously by people who play, not by their own rules , but by methods and procedures that have grown up through a long process of trial and error, with the occasional spurt of genius and overpowering insight that may validate or change them. And, a virtue of these methods and procedures is that they allow for testing and verification, contradiction and alteration, but require, in scientific matters, that the basic understandings we share must still be satisfied.

The methodology is much less rigorous in historical matters, obviously, and allows for considerably more divergence of interpretation and conclusion. Still, there is a method to historical research, and it doesn't permit deliberate distortion of sources, misrepresentation and downright lying, which are all susceptible to proof that will satisfy a standard of rationality and reasonableness. This is where so much of the denial and revisionist work fails.

If all this is unacceptable to you, then arguments about the historical record aren't worth the effort. They just won't go anywhere at all, because you don't recognize the value of the understandings I mentioned above.

Jack Archer
7B Dean's Court
Santa Fe NM 87508

David Irving replies to the correspondent who showed him the above letter:

THANKS for showing me those outpourings of Mr Archer. Notice how he does not adduce as evidence anything specific; he rides happily on the shirt-tails of Mr Justice Gray and the highly paid "expert witnesses" -- and who knows what motivated them, if not the up to half a million dollars which each received from Lipstadt's lawyers?

Mr Archer refers to Mr Fred Leuchter's findings, but it was not Mr Leuchter's findings that impressed me , it was (and still is) the findings of the forensic laboratory in New England which tested the samples he retrieved from Auschwitz. Nobody has challenged their competence or integrity. Those findings were myth-killers, and still are, to any thinking person.


Gisela M Schon of Tarzana, California, says she is a young Jewess who lost most of her family in Auschwitz (1941-1945); she is beside herself with glee at the silencing of David Irving, July 25, 2005. He replies
Sir John Keegan wrote: "Two books in English stand out from the vast literature of the Second World War. Chester Wilmot's The Struggle for Europe, published in 1952, and David Irving's Hitler's War."
Kelly Snowden thinks that it is quite right that Mr Irving should be banned from speaking anywhere
© Focal Point 2005 David Irving