From the world's press

London, January .. 1992

Books that offend

THE MAVERICK right-wing historian David Irving, cur-rently leafing through what he says are the memoirs of Adolf Eichmann, is feeling persecuted -- in Worthing.

A stint signing copies of his new book Hitler's War in the town's branch of WH Smith has been cancelled. "It is obviously an international conspiracy to stop the book being sold," he says in habitually measured tones, claiming that the shop had ordered 40 copies but admitting that some of his judgements -- "I am more sympathetic to Hitler than others have been; we should have made peace with him in June 1940" -- may not have endeared him to Sussex burghers.

WH Smiths dismiss claims of censorship. "We do sell books that offend people," says a spokesman. "A commercial decision was made that it wouldn't sell enough copies but people can order it through us."

Nevertheless, Irving is instead seeking a more receptive market: he is going to South Africa where he expects to meet the leader of the country's pro-apartheid South African Conservative Party. I may well exchange pleasantries with Andries Treurnicht," he says, "but he lacks Adolf Hitler's charisma."  

January 1992
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