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Posted Saturday, April 14, 2007

I have called it the Pottersman Factor in my forthcoming memoirs, and readers will therein see why.

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Photos from David Irving: "Apocalypse 1945: the Destruction of Dresden" which is now available again in a new updated edition

April 14, 2007 (Saturday)
London (England)

PERHAPS surprisingly, The Times has not published the letter I sent them two days ago about the late Werner Maser. (The German historian had over-zealously claimed the credit for exposing the "Adolf Hitler Diaries" fraud, and for discovering key Hitler documents which I had long found and published).

Evidently I am to get no credit in The Times, and we hear again Giles Coren's revelation, written when this cowardly pensmith thought me safely locked away for three years, that his editor had ruled that their newspaper had a policy to "ignore" me, to pretend I did not exist. That kind of admission looks bad, if ever I again have to take action against Times Newspapers Ltd in court; they are still smarting after the last one.

Only yesterday, their obituary of American author Kurt Vonnegut kindly included these words:

Kurt Vonnegut will always be thought of first as the author of the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, which expressed the Sixties' American generation's rejection of war as a means of achieving either state policy or human good.

Published in 1969, during the mounting protests against the Vietnam War, it also increased public awareness of the tremendous loss of life that had been caused by the unnecessary bombing of Dresden in February 1945, notwithstanding that this had been eloquently enough described by David Irving in his historical account, The Destruction of Dresden, several years previously (a well researched and dispassionate account from the period before its author turned apologist of Nazism). It is a subject that has been often revisited since and continues to vex consciences to this day.

I suspected when I read those words that, while the rest of the obituary was written long ago, as such things are (the newspapers regularly take out mine and rework it, each time they want to believe I am finished) the ink on the phrase "from the period before its author turned apologist of Nazism" was still rather fresh.

I remember that even Sir Arthur Harris, the famous "Butcher" Harris who led RAF Bomber Command from 1942 to 1945, wrote to me praising the book, calling me in a handwritten letter -- which I still have -- the only writer he would ever trust. (We now know that the Air Ministry had vainly warned him against speaking with me).

Dresden city street after air raid
"Pedantic": Dresden's streets after the 1945 British raid; bottom picture - the thousands of victims are cremated on makeshift pyres in the city center. [gallery]

TODAY The Times does something very odd. It retracts yesterday's very reasonable judgment on my book. The last time something like that happened was in 1967, when Lord Beaverbrook ordered The Evening Standard to publish a second, and wickedly hostile, review of my book on Hitler's atomic bomb project (two days after it had just published a glowing whole-page review).

Evidently yesterday the Board of Deputies of British Jews sent a literary fire-engine rushing down Pennington Street to the newspaper building, bell clanging and bile spewing.

Oliver KammTheir youthful fireman Oliver Kamm* (right) is today given half of page 23 to write attacking the late Kurt Vonnegut and his "outmoded views" on Dresden, and smearing me in person: "Vonnegut's philosophy and history," he states, "are simplistic. Dresden was hellish -- but there were not 135,000 deaths." (Now that sounds like real holocaust-denial to me. What if revisionists were to write mockingly of "outmoded views on the Holocaust"?) Kamm continues,

The true figure was probably no more than a fifth of that. Vonnegut's number came from the now discredited work of the Holocaust denier David Irving. (In Slaughterhouse Five, Irving is cited by name, and a long passage, by a retired air marshal [Sir Robert Saundby] from the foreword to Irving's book The Destruction of Dresden is reproduced.)

My "number," as Kamm calls it, came from Hanns Voigt, after February 1945 the director of the Dead Person's Section of Dresden's Missing Persons Bureau. That might seem a not unreasonable source.

Suggestion: Did Kamm write fairly?

TRUE, Professor Richard "Skunky" Evans, another historian who lives by the smear, ignorantly dismissed Voigt in his High Court evidence (on oath) as being a "virulent fascist". What else could he say? In fact we now know that Voigt was a trusted, highly esteemed, and much decorated, member of East German society in the 1950s and was allowed by the Communist regime to emigrate without difficulty upon his retirement to West Germany. These true facts on Voigt will be another dossier on this website, later.

As Kamm curmudgeonly allows in today's article, "To a prisoner of war digging up cadavers, accurate numbers will ever after seem pedantic."

Kamm (like Coren) is obsessively concerned with Jewish interests. To them, as witness Israel's 2006 attack on Lebanon, only the Jewish dead have ever mattered: it is a kind of racism. His belated smear of my 1963 classic is a continuation of their assault on its central theme, that what I call Innocenticide, the killing of innocents (and not "genocide" -- their word-invention) is the true atrocity in war and peace.

The semitic anti-Irving campaign has been going on for half a century now. I have called it the Pottersman Factor in my forthcoming memoirs, and readers will therein see why. It is frustrating to see Rupert Murdoch's The Times, which used to be an impartial newspaper of record, taking sides so blatantly.

Suggestion: Did The Times act fairly?
Remember: keep such letters short and temperate, and include your address and daytime phone number

 Corpses publicly cremated in Dresden

* Oliver Kamm: I am informed that Kamm has a history of obsession with Noam Chomsky whom he believes to be a closet denier too, and he habitually defends the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He was made a Times columnist by Comment editor Daniel Finkelstein. Need we say more?

  [Previous Radical's Diary]

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Dresden index
Free download: "Apocalypse 1945: the Destruction of Dresden"
Times Columnist Robert Kamm responds to the above diary entry
More on Prof Richard "Skunky" Evans and Hanns Voigt
Prof Richard Evans dismissed Voigt in his High Court evidence (on oath) as being a "virulent fascist" (trial transcript)
Kurt Vonnegut obituary: Satirical novelist captured absurdity of war in Slaughterhouse-Five
Dresden photo gallery: air raid and effects
© Focal Point 2007 F DISmall David Irving