David Irving has never been a wealthy author.
He writes to his first publisher, William Kimber, explaining why he is delaying writing Hitler's War.


25 Elgin Mansions,
London, W.9

CUNningham 8426 4 May 1968

Dear Mr Kimber,

You would willingly have me spend the rest of my days writing long letters in reply to long letters. However, as you still seem puzzled by my decision on HITLER, here are the basic facts.

It is impossible for me to write books just by reading other people's books. Therefore, as in the case of all the books I have written so far, I gather as complete a set of the related documents as possible and work from them, using published works only marginally, when the rest of the manuscript is virtually complete. This is my metier, so to speak. Unfortunately, HITLER 1938-1945 is a rather larger subject than I had thought -- certainly larger than the exceptionally narrow scopes represented by atomic research, or an air crash.

In the year up to April 1965 my expenses audited by Leslie Andrews were £2,577; in the following year they were £3,647; in the year after, on which the firm is still working, they will certainly be above £6,000. Of these three sums at least two thirds has been incurred solely for the HITLER research.

For example, I have now gathered thirteen linear feet of Xerox photostats of diaries, records, reports, interrogations, etc., for the HITLER project; the cost of this can be assessed from the fact that I have had to purchase 700 microfilms at a cost of between $8 and $11 each, and fifty microfilms at a personal expense (specially made for me) of between £20 and £40 each. They are lining every shelf, cupboard and niche in my flat at present. As for the photostats, one linear inch contains about 150 pages; and each page costs between one shilling and one shilling and sixpence, according to the looseness of the original film.

To give one concrete example: the cost of microfilming the 2,100 pages of the Trevor-Roper Papers was £27 (Kodak-Recordak); the cost of printing them out at Rank Xerox onto 2,100 sheets of paper was a further £63.17.6d; the cost of binding them into five volumes will be a further ten pounds probably. It has taken me ten days to sort them and catalogue them for microfilming, and two weeks to type out 300 index cards from them solely for the HITLER project.

This was just the Trevor-Roper Papers! But I have done the same with the papers of Keitel, Koller, Jodl, Milch, von Waldau, Himmler, Assmann, the U.S. State Department (2,700 pages!), Morell, the German Foreign Office (3,000 pages) Goebbels (700 pages), Hitler (Reichskanzlei), Hewel (700), Linge, Bormann, Speer, (2,000 pages), Hoepner, von Weichs, Gfm von Bock, Beck, etc etc. There is no end to the project.

Continued (2)


As you know I went to Washington working on the German Naval Staff records: I had hoped to be able to read the whole War Diary from 1939-1945, but found myself confronted with over 70 volumes, each containing up to 400 pages. Nevertheless I read through solidly every page to July 1941 -- 15,000 pages; from these I typed 150,000 words onto 600 filing cards, and ordered a further 200 pages to be photostatted for me (they arrived two days ago: another $37.20 I must pay). Sometime I must therefore return to Washington for at least five weeks and read the rest of the Diary; a brief stay in Washington can be expected to cost me at least £350 in travel and expenses. In this case it is unavoidable.

Since that sum is just about the total profit I made on a whole book , ACCIDENT, (not mentioning the considerable expenses involved for me in that -- translating hundreds of pages of Polish documents, two complete Xerox copies of the MS etc) obviously it is time for me to halt the Gadarene rush of greenbacks out of my bank account , and spend my time on something I know to be profitable; then I can return at leisure to a HITLER project with the confidence that I am at least spending money that I do have. In this case the something profitable is the MILCH biography [The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe]

I regret the tone in which you wrote about the MILCH book -- it recalled your attitude two years ago to the PQ.17 book. The officer concerned is not a criminal, and is indeed more of a gentleman than numerous Englishmen one has met. If you wish to make a firm offer for the book, then please do so, but without the dilly-dallying that marked our dealings on the Convoy book. There is no chance whatsoever of a HITLER book being commenced this year, let alone completed: as said, I have at least five more weeks' work ahead of me in Washington, and I cannot allocate that amount of time before my return from Spain in the late autumn, if then (because 'The Soldiers" will then be opening in London).

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely ,

(David Irving)


Peter Kimber, Esq. ,
William Kimber Ltd. ,
6 Queen Anne's Gate,

To Order Books | Auschwitz Index | Irving Index | Irving Page | Irving Book-List | Action Report | Other FP Authors
 Buchladen | Auschwitz | Irving-Verzeichnis | -Hauptseite | -Bücher | Action Report | Weitere FP-Autoren
©Focal Point 1998  e-mail:  write to David Irving