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 Posted Tuesday, November 14, 2000

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Tuesday, November 14, 2000

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Lawyer Warned of Holocaust Revision

Associated Press Writer

 [David Irving's reply]

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A former Nuremberg prosecutor warned the FBI in 1969 that he feared Holocaust revisionist author David Irving planned to tamper with transcripts or tapes of the Nazi war crimes trial in U.S. archives.

The British historian visited the National Archives numerous times. The agency's retired expert on World War II records said Tuesday he knows of no evidence that Irving mishandled records he examined.

A letter that the late Robert M.W. Kempner, who prosecuted Nazi war crimes suspects in the postwar Nuremberg trials, wrote to then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was among documents released by the FBI and the National Archives and Records Administration.

Irving, who has outraged death camp survivors and most historians by questioning the scope of the Holocaust, lost a British libel suit in April. The judge branded him "an active Holocaust denier" and "anti-Semitic and racist."

Irving's office in England said Tuesday he was traveling in the United States and does not return phone calls. He also did not immediately answer an e-mail seeking comment.[*]

Kempner (top)In the March 1969 letter, released in a wide-ranging government declassification program, Kempner (right, in US Army uniform, at Nuremberg trial) wrote that Irving had told him he planned to visit the Washington archives to research his contention that the official record of the Nuremberg trials was falsified.

Kempner said he was suspicious because of that accusation and others Irving made during a conversation they had.

"I am sure if he shows up at the National Archives (probably a Mr. Wolfe is in charge of the division concerned) someone will be able (to) watch in the proper way what this 'scholar' is doing," Kempner wrote Hoover.

"Maybe this research is only a pretext for some other activities," he wrote.

"Mr. Wolfe" is Robert Wolfe, for decades the archives expert on World War II records. The now-retired Wolfe told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he does not recall that the letter resulted in special security for Irving visits.

"They may have contacted us to alert us, but I knew who he was anyway," said Wolfe. "And we watch everybody."

Wolfe said Irving visited the archives many times, adding that "he's a good researcher -- his bias is what throws him off." He said Irving usually was treated as other researchers were; that is, he was given access to public materials.

"But Irving's reputation went with him -- though I've seen worse deniers than him," said Wolfe. "He was treated with the same regime as others, perhaps a touch more alertness."

Irving, who has written some 30 books, disputes that millions of Jews were systematically slaughtered in gas chambers at Nazi concentration camps. He argues that it would have been logistically impossible and claims more people died in Allied bombing raids than in concentration camps.

He also has tried to cast doubt on other pieces of evidence from the Holocaust, including the diary of Anne Frank, and contends that Adolf Hitler knew nothing about the plan to eliminate the Jews until 1943.

© Copyright 2000 The Associated Press

On the Net: National Archives and Record Administration: http://www.nara.gov
AP-NY-11-14-00 1655EST

Related items on this website:

US National Archives, Records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation: RG 65: Case Files (1917-1986) : File 62-76878: "Also included are . . . , a 1965 report of a sighting of missing Nazi leader Martin Bormann, a 1969 reference to historian David Irving, ... (Boxes 1-5 Location: 230/81/47/02).
Correspondence (1972) between Kempner and Dr Elke Fröhlich about the missing Schlegelberger document
Where are the Robert M W Kempner papers?
Professor Irving Hexham of Calgary, Canada asks Where are Alfred Rosenberg's Papers?

* Mr Irving's comment was emailed to Associated Press at 5 p.m. EST 14.11.00

The above news item is reproduced without editing other than typographical

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