David Irving[Photoby Michael Hentz, for
The New York Times]
To: Reader's Letters,
London, May 6, 1996
THE FACT-CHECKERS employed by American magazines are the envy of us all. They
seem however to check only the lesser details, while the larger allegations pass
unscrutinised. Where, to give one example, can I be found to have 'denied the Holocaust'? Certainly not in my biography, Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich.
(In fact, the answer is, nowhere). At most, I have voiced a muted but proper scepticism
about some aspects of that immense tragedy.
My opponents have employed two of the principles established (in 1940) by the Nazi
propagandist Dr Joseph Goebbels himself: firstly, that if you repeat a simple lie
often enough, it will eventually be believed; secondly, that you must never be seen
to initiate the lie in your own journals, but always plant it somewhere else. Goebbels would
start his lies in, for example, the ostensibly neutral wartime Svenska Dagbladet
, and then "quote" it as coming from that source.
The modern equivalent is the Internet, a cesspit choking in its own unverified cyber-flotsam.
To persuade Saint Martin's Press that I was an author unworthy of their imprint,
my opponents first seeded their materials around the Net, then fished them out, wiped off the slime, and presented them as fact to my baffled publishers.
Yours faithfully, David Irving