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London, Monday, July 11, 2005

Himmler files confirmed as forgeries

By Ben Fenton

NEW disclosures about forged documents at the National Archives emerged yesterday as officials in Kew formally confirmed that documents in its files about Heinrich Himmler, recently identified as bogus by The Daily Telegraph, were counterfeit.

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David Irving comments:

I HAVE written to the journalist: "CONGRATULATIONS on what appears to be the successful outcome of your story. The implications for other Hitler and Himmler historians are very difficult. Almost any other unusual discovery -- in which I of course specialise -- will now become the automatic subject of suspicions because of this wretch's forgeries. The market is already flooded with 'Hitler' documents faked by Konrad Kujau."


On July 12, 2005 the PRO added a further statement, which causes concern:

"We've extended the scope of our official investigation to include documents on four other files - FO.371/26145, FO.371/60508, FO 371/26991 and FO.794/19. We're seeking further clarification on the legal advice and will then consider the next steps, including whether any other files need to be examined."

The first set of five forged papers were used by the historian Martin Allen to support allegations in his book Himmler's Secret War that the head of the SS did not commit suicide, but was murdered by British intelligence agents.

But two new papers brought to the attention of experts at the Archives by this newspaper and which they are now examining, refer to Allen's previous book, The Hitler/Hess Deception, published in 2003.

The official inquiry into the first five papers was ordered by Sarah Tyacke, the chief executive of the National Archives, after The Daily Telegraph provided copies of a detailed forensic examination by Audrey Giles, former head of Scotland Yard's Questioned Documents Unit.

Ms Giles found damning evidence that the papers had been counterfeited relatively recently and smuggled into the Archives.

A statement posted on the National Archives' website last Friday evening confirmed Ms Giles's conclusive findings that four letters were forged and her strong suspicion over the fifth document, a telegram supposedly confirming that Himmler, the head of the SS, had been murdered by British agents in May 1945.

The statement reads: "The National Archives has taken these allegations very seriously. We commissioned an official forensic examination which has now concluded that these five documents are, indeed, forgeries.

"In the light of this, we are reviewing our own procedures and taking legal advice, with a view to further action."

It is not clear whether this will include a police investigation because neither the Archives nor the Department for Constitutional Affairs, which is responsible for it, knows whether or not an offence has been committed.

Asked about the new suspect documents, which are referred to in The Hitler/Hess Deception, a spokesman for Allen, said that because he researched every scrap of available evidence in the Archives, the writer was likely to be the person who first, unwittingly, came across the forgeries.

The most suspicious of the two papers under new examination was used by Allen in his second book to support a strong suggestion by him that a Nazi ideologue who might have had the key to why Rudolph Hess, Hitler's deputy, flew to Scotland in May 1941, was murdered in his Bavarian home by two British agents after the end of the war.

Allen suggests that Karl Haushofer, a geo-political theorist who was Hess's mentor at university and whose son Albrecht was one of the Nazi deputy's closest friends and advisers, was killed along with his wife Martha to stop him giving evidence at the International Military Tribunal, otherwise known as the Nuremberg War Trials.

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat MP who takes a special interest in freedom of information and Archives matters, has tabled a parliamentary question on the forgeries. He said: "If this isn't illegal, then I think everyone would agree that it should be. We can't allow people to get into the Archives and literally rewrite history for their own ends. The implications are horrific."

Historians have called for a police investigation of the forgeries, warning that the implications for the study of history were dire.

Now that the Telegraph's investigation has been officially confirmed, attention will focus on who has had access the files.


Our dossier on the suspect and genuine documents on Himmler's death

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