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Gerhard Rohringer and William Blair write with further elementary errors found in the Penguin Atlas of the Third Reich, July 18, 2002



How accurate is a Penguin? Still more howlers found

WITH interest I have read the letter from Prof. Richard Overy to Mr. William Blair dated Jan 14, 2000. In this letter Prof. R. Overy announced a second edition of The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Third Reich for which he promised a "great many small errors" will be corrected.

I naturally was interested to see whether my copy was the second edition. I purchased the Atlas from Amazon.com on July 1, 2002. It says only "First published 1996" and "Text copyright © Richard Overy" (and also "The moral right of the author has been asserted").

It is therefore not clear whether my copy is the second edition still containing errors, or the first edition which admittedly contains errors but is still being sold.

The question arises whether a second edition has ever been published. I have written to Penguin pointing out some of the errors.

Gerhard Rohringer

I COULDN'T find a second edition either, and I am under the impression that Penguin has not published one.

The more I look, the more errors I find. Have you ever heard of "Neuengomme" concentration camp? (p. 104) How about "Therenstenstdt"? (p. 90) Did you know there is a province in Austria called "Saltzburg"?(p. 90) Oh yes, here's one for Mr.Rohringer: "Linz - Hitler's birthplace"! (p. 45) There are many more but I won't belabour the point.

Could it be that Penguin is a trifle nervous about publishing a revised second edition when there are people like Mr. Rohringer, myself, and of course, David Irving who may find additional errors?

If Penguin wants to profess its intellectual superiority, which was implicit, if not express at the Lipstadt trial, it had better be technically perfect. At least as far as The Atlas is concerned, it has a long way to go.

William Blair



  Penguin's Atlas of the Third Reich (ed: Richard Overy) is full of howlers, says Gerhard Rohringer | William Blair suggests the errors follow a conformist pattern | Both readers spot still more howlers in the Atlas | Max Hastings gave the true data for air raid deaths in Germany

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David Irving replies:

OVERY once libelled me in a British Sunday newspaper review, accidentally putting into my mouth words spoken by Adolf Hitler in 1923, roughly: "If I ever come to power, I shall see that there is a Final Solution." Oops. That was in 1996. There was no possible defence. The newspaper settled out of court, very handsomely.

 © Focal Point 2002 David Irving