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Posted Saturday, October 8, 2005

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Saturday, October 8, 2005

David Irving answers nine questions for a major Greek newspaper

QUESTIONS SUBMITTED by J.S Dodopoulos, to be published at Eikones Magazine, Athens

1. We have eternalized the Allies as a strong, solid alliance. However your book offers a very different point of view, at least when it comes to the last year of the war. Which were the two main strategic issues that provided the sources for the internal conflicts that had raged among the Western Allies?

David IrvingDavid Irving answers: By 1944 there were already such serious differences between London and Washington that the British Government had introduced a new security-classification for documents, GUARD: documents marked GUARD were to be deciphered only by British officers and not to be carried into rooms where Americans might see them. It had become plain that the American Government was intent on dismantling the British world position and Empire; that the Americans were deeply suspicious of British intentions in the Eastern Mediterranean, and that the Americans had their own agenda for the Middle East oil countries.

There were other important bones of contention between London and Washington -- for instance the future of civil aviation after the war. The Americans had deliberately developed a lead in the wartime production of heavy transport planes with the intention of dominating the world air routes in peacetime (in 1938 President Franklin D Roosevelt had even sent US Marines to seize a British Empire island in the Pacific, Canton Island, to make it available for a Pan American Airways airbase; the secret British files on that most embarrassing episode remained closed in the archives until only a few years ago*). In European affairs, the Americans disliked the willingness of the British Government to abandon eastern Europe to Stalin.

2. In your book you offer a colourful depiction of "Patton's womanizing and vanity, Ike's vacillation and Churchill's dramatics." Could you offer our readers a more detailed account of the human aspect of these personalities?

War Between the GeneralAnswer: I had the advantage of obtaining many private diaries, which enabled me to probe deeply into the human nature of these great commanders. General George S Patton's diaries were made available to me by the late writer Ladislas Farago; but I also had the (almost illegible) diaries of one of Eisenhower's friends, General Everett S Hughes, which I paid $5,000 to have transcribed, and Hughes had his eyes and ears everywhere. I used too of course the private diary of General Dwight D Eisenhower's controversial female "chauffeuse", Kay Summersby.

I found it extraordinary that while the British commanders remained dedicated to their military activities in the great land battles of 1944-45, the Americans often pursued other, less military, aims particularly with the women they encountered. This is not to say that the Americans did not produce great field commanders -- just that they comported themselves differently from the British -- and for that matter the German generals too.

I would also like to have a comment of yours on General De Gaulle, given that in your book you disclose that several anti-Gaullist resistants in France were betrayed to the Gestapo when he wanted to help pave the way for his intended return.

Answer: General Charles de Gaulle was the embodiment of the ruthless careerist, or power-politician, dedicated largely to his own advancement in status and position. This can be said of many great leaders, of course. Hiring him in 1940 -- the British government paid very large sums of money to bribe and woo him and his generals -- was the mistake that Winston S Churchill most regretted in later years. Guy LiddellMy second Churchill volume ("Churchill's War", vol. ii: "Triumph in Adversity") revealed the extent to which the British security services were required to keep de Gaulle under surveillance, as his almost treasonable flirtation with Stalin became more evident. The recently released diary of Guy Liddell, (left), British counter-espionage chief, reveals too the methods used to prevent De Gaulle from leaving British territory before it suited the British. I am convinced that the British would have shot his plane down, if he had tried to "escape". (We certainly tried to assassinate him in April 1943.)

3. In the past you had depicted the role of Greece in the war as brave and honourable. Could you elaborate on that?

Answer: This was seen through the eyes of the German commanders, from Adolf Hitler downwards. Hitler bitterly regretted Benito Mussolini's invasion of the Balkans in October 1940, although it seems clear that he did have some advance knowledge of it. As seen from Hitler's headquarters, the Greek forces (like the Norwegians in 1940) fought an honourable campaign in April 1941, and did not resort to the stab-in-the back and illegal fighting methods of some French and Polish defenders for example; respecting this, Hitler ordered the Greek officers treated chivalrously, and opposed holding a victory parade (the Italians forced him to stage such a parade, and took the leading roles!)

4. You are routinely described as an anti-Semite, a Hitler and Nazi sympathizer, a fascist and a holocaust denier as well. Your most common answer to all these charges is that you simply offer an alternative view of the WWII history and especially of Hitler's role. Can you clarify your final assessment of Hitler as a human being and a leader, according to the findings of your research?

Answer: I do not care what others say of me this century, I am more concerned what readers will think of my work after I am gone. I console my daughters that although we are poor now, we shall perhaps be rich after I am gone. I hold my writing to rigid standards of accuracy, research, and objectivity. If there is still no evidence for some event or argument now, in the archives, after sixty years, then I am justified in asking awkward questions about such events or arguments. I do not blame the more cowardly writers, who have been subjected to the same terrorist methods that have been used against me, for writing their history differently. I call them the "conformist historians" -- a gentle but intended insult. But my version will eventually prevail over theirs.

As for Adolf Hitler, I saw him first through the eyes of a British wartime child, a toddler who had no toys because of Hitler's War, and who suffered minor deprivations (food, electricity, danger from the bombs and rockets) because of him; then through the eyes of his surviving personal staff, all of whom I interviewed in great depth; and then through the eyes of his generals and commanders; and then I found and published his doctor's diaries, and saw how he had suffered from strange medical complaints throughout the last ten years of his life. Each time I was able to refine my view of Hitler the man.

The Holocaust and Hitler's part in it remained the mysterious and ugly Rock around which all else about him now swirls: the rock is still standing, way out in the sea of history, and nobody has really managed to prise it open. Even some conformist historians (like Professor Christopher Browning) now agree that there is no evidence that Hitler issued any orders for the extermination of "all the Jews" -- the central and convenient element of Holocaust historiography. We may be wrong on this, but the archives have not so far assisted us.

5. You have suggested that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz and that "only" 100,000 Jews died there, most of which from natural causes like typhus.

There's no doubt that the Gulags are Communism's forgotten holocaust, the one that murdered millions and produced countless other victims.

But you seem to absolve Hitler just because Nazism was less homicidal (if it really was) than the concentration camps of the Communist regime.

Is death and human suffering a matter of arithmetic balance for you?

Answer: I condemn as the last century's most over-arching crime what I call Innocenticide -- the killing of innocent people. The death of the Jews at Auschwitz was not a crime because they were Jews, but because they were innocent. As for the figures, I said in the Lipstadt Trial, in my closing speech, breaking away from my prepared text, about all this talk of millions:

"Perhaps I should pause there and say that these figures seem appalling figures but, if it is one million or 300,000 or whatever the figure is, each of them means that many multiples of one individual. I never forget in anything I have said or written or done the appalling suffering that has been inflicted on people in the camps like Auschwitz. I am on the side of the innocents of this world."

We know how many girls called Anne died were burned alive in the horrific RAF attack on Würzburg in March 1945 -- over 150 -- and I wonder if I am the only one to ask how many of them also wrote private diaries, though with less commercial multi-million-dollar success than the diaries of Anne Frank, who died of typhus, a rather less fiery death, in Bergen-Belsen camp in 1945?

6. Among your most publicized assertions is that the diary of Anne Frank was a forgery. However your German publisher later apologized to the Frank family for printing it and paid compensation. Could you give us a more detailed account of this assertion?

Do you still endorse your claim?

Answer: I am often asked by students and schoolchildren about the diary. Anne -- or somebody -- wrote three versions of the diary. The final version was written as a novel. Parts of the diaries were found by German forensic chemists to be written in ball point ink (which was not available in her short lifetime). Those suspect pages seem now to have been thrown away. Her father Otto Frank told me and others that a handwriting expert testified that all the handwriting was the same. I am puzzled by the evident contradictions, but the diaries themselves are of no intrinsic value to historians. It is a distraction, a diversion. I was sorry for Anne Frank, and still am. I have five daughters, and would want none of them to be treated as she was.

7. In July 1992 you had described the crowd of a demonstration against you as "the whole rabble, all the scum of humanity (…) The homosexuals, the gypsies, the lesbians, the Jews, the criminals, the communists, the left-wing extremists. Some would say -- apparently with good reason - that this sounds like an Aryan Ode.

Do you really believe that all these groups correspond to an evil for our society?

Answer: The crowd that demonstrated was accurately described by my words, which were carefully chosen.

8. You have claimed that it makes you feel "queasy" to see Black people playing cricket for England", that "it's regrettable that Blacks are superior athletes to Whites»

Is there something despicable about blacks or other certain races?

Answer: That is not of course what I said. I said that Blacks are better than Whites at some things (and vice versa, is implied). Most ordinary people will privately agree with this statement, from common observation. I am happy to be visiting Athens, which has not yet willfully and needlessly imported a race-relations problem. Slavery is still slavery, even if you are paying the immigrants minimum or below-minimum wages. England is not a happier place since the mass coloured immigration began in the 1950s.

9. You remain a persona non grata for several countries. Do you believe that «the international Jewish community wag[s] its bejewelled finger»?

bookAnswer: Yes, many of them are clearly no friends of mine; it is clear which organizations are behind the international prohibitions. They admit it. Each time a country announces a ban on my entry however I regard it as another victory for me, an admission of defeat by the traditional enemies of free speech and the truth. They cannot defeat me in fair debate or discussion, so they use money, power, and influence to silence me. I will win.



Greek newspaper fury whipped up against David Irving's planned visit (in Greek)
Protestations en Grèce contre la visite prévue du négationniste David Irving
Free download of War Between the Generals
Our dossier on the traditional enemies of free speech
  Heads-up for our Greek readers: David Irving speaks in Athens this October -- and in London on October 7


* The Canton Island episode. A reader has sent this useful extract from Collier's Year Book 1938 Archive. Its tactful treatment of this episode, in which Roosevelt exploited the Austrian Anschluss crisis as a diversion for his own little invasion operation, is noteworthy:

"1938: International Law - Canton and Enderbury Islands. - Announcement was made in Washington, March 3 [1938], that for reasons of commercial aviation and naval strategy, the State and Navy Departments had studied certain [Website note: British] islands with a view to pressing claims to their ownership. Two days later formal claim was made to sovereignty over Canton and Enderbury Islands in the Central Pacific Ocean and to lands first visited by Americans in Antarctica. An American occupation expedition [Website note: A force of US Marines] landed March 6 on the Pacific Islands, and March 9 Prime Minister Chamberlain told the House of Commons that Great Britain "reserves her right over the islands."

"The Department of the Interior April 1 issued a license granting commercial air rights on Canton Island. On Aug. 11 the Department of State announced that Britain and the United States had agreed to set up a régime for their common use of the two islands in connection with international aviation and communications, the question of title being left in abeyance 'for a protracted period'."

The above item is reproduced without editing other than typographical
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