David Irving

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Adam Carr
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David Irving

Post by Adam Carr » 10 Sep 2008 05:08

[Moderator's note: split from viewtopic.php?f=77&t=135814 ~Vikki]

David Irving is not a "scholar."

J. Duncan
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Re: Gudrun Himmler

Post by J. Duncan » 10 Sep 2008 10:33

David Irving is a scholar. At least he was trained to be one originally. Everyone hates the guy for his "revisionist" views but even the reputable historians(the same ones who condemned his work publicly...ie Ian Kershaw) have consulted his work and even placed his books in their bibliographies.....David Irving began his career to much acclaim and his early books recieved a lot of prideful reviews..even "Hitler's War" has oft been cited by these very same historians who attack and deride Irving for his "lack of scholarship". Fact is, they rather need him, as he has uncovered a lot of interesting documents over the years that only he was able to find in the digging...he did the footwork while they use the material he uncovered!...What they despise him for is his interpretation of what these documents supposedly reveal since he does not conform to their historicism. It is a FACT that these same historians snatch-up every Irving first-edition that gets printed because they know that they will find some material they can use since they themselves are too busy being "scholarly" to actually conduct interviews (Irving tracked down actual participants, won their confidence, and was granted rare interviews - john Toland did the same thing - God only knows what both men said to gain their "trust" however) Nor do these same scholarly gurus dare to travel to distant places such as Moscow to get documents under the watchful eyes of what was once the KGB. John Toland certainly wasn't a "scholar" nor was William L. Shirer and yet their books are praised as "classics of historical scholarship". It's a double standard which has left even John Lukacs exasperated (see his book "The Hitler of History" - an excellent work)...Lukacs is fully aware of this hypocrisy and still condemns Irving for his "lack of scholarship" ( yet Lukacs cites Irving's work in his other books!).

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Adam Carr
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Re: Gudrun Himmler

Post by Adam Carr » 11 Sep 2008 00:18

I know this is off-topic, but historical accuracy requires me (as a qualified historian) to point out that Irving was *not* trained to be a historian. He briefly studied physics at Imperial College, but dopped out. He then studied Political Economy at University College London, but again dropped out. As a "historian" he is entirely self-taught.

A scholar is one who applies the methods of scholarship to scholarly ends. In the field of history, scholarship means seeking to find and explain the truth about historical events. That has never been Irving's intent. He has always been a propagandist for Nazi Germany. His first book, on Dresden, falsified the number of dead by a factor of ten. He admitted that at the time but has now retracted his admission - he continues to refer to "250,000 dead" in his speeches. His later book The Destruction of Convoy PQ-17 was withdrawn after an RN officer successfully sued him for defamation. All his books have been panned by historians as one-sided propaganda which are designed to mislead readers.

In his judgement on the Lipstadt libel cae, Justice Gray said: "Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-Semitic and racist, and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism."

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Re: Gudrun Himmler

Post by J. Duncan » 11 Sep 2008 01:20

I understand what you are saying. I myself really don't know all the "ins and outs" of scholarship vs. historicism or both.
I should not have declared him to be a scholar without checking the facts. I honestly don't like Irving's drab writing style and his bent for hagiography. What bothers me is the hypocrisy on the part of those other historians who use Irving's works as source material and then attack the man for a lack of scholarship....if they had true integrity to "scholarship", they'd ignore Irving and not use his material....what I like about Irving is that he's so crazy about Hitler and things Nazi (he's really overtly obsessed) that he'll risk arrest or deportation to gather rare historical documents....I think Irving has admitted to stealing some material from the former KGB archives or illegally photocopying the material. Irving has tracked down a lot of interesting artifacts over the years although he's delusional in many aspects. If he hadn't been a little crazy, or was devoid of his Hitler obsession, many of these artifacts may not have seen the light in our lifetime. I will probably pick up a copy of the Himmler book once he's released it for publication and sale.

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Adam Carr
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Re: David Irving

Post by Adam Carr » 11 Sep 2008 03:07

I agree that Irving in an indefatigable researcher, and his reputation as a Nazi sympathiser means that he has access to people and sources in Germany that other historians don't have. I don't criticise him at all for copying things from the Soviet archives. But it was proved at the Lipstadt trial that he has used his sources in a way that is so selective as to be deliberately misleading. That means, for real scholars, that NONE of his references can be trusted without independent verification.

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Re: David Irving

Post by Ohlendorf2 » 11 Sep 2008 03:57

Wow! I suppose I opened up a real "can of worms" when I mentioned the forthcoming (but I don't know when) volume which David Irving is preparing on Heinrich Himmler and the SS! Yes, to be certain, Irving is the subject of much debate, much criticism, and some praise. It is true that David Irving is not a "trained" historian. However, some very good historical works have come from scholars who are/were not trained as historians, or who had minimal training. One good example is the historian Barbara Tuchman, who won favorable acclaim for her work on the Middle Ages ("A Distant Mirror") while holding a "mere" B.A. in history, from Radcliff (sp?), I believe. Irving's work is, in my opinion, beyond reproach in its attempt to reveal the most accurate picture of the dynamic of the Third Reich--and he has paid dearly for not being "politically correct." What is most shameful is that, correct or incorrect, many historians have used Irving's research without any citation or credit to him. That constitutes a form of plagiarism. And, yes, I am quite familiar with the whole "theft of research" scheme. I hold a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago (medieval history, 1983). If any condemnation should occur, frankly, it should be directed at the historical profession as a whole. "Theft" is very common. Using sources without acknowledging them is an every day happening--so much so, that it is a commonplace of the historical fields. It is so deeply ingrained in the culture of the profession that it is hardly noticed, unless one passes over the "p.c." line. That was Irving's failing, and, frankly, he deserves a medal for it, in my opinion, no matter what field in which he works. It was the realization that most "conventional" historical scholarship constituted one theoretical rip off after another that contributed to my leaving a tenured position as a professor of history to become an independent scholar, an investigative journalist, and a novelist. Believe me, whatever one thinks of David Irving's work, the actual problem resides in the "union-card" mentality of those historians who have been, as the Chicago historian Peter Novick puts it, "thoroughly professionalized." ("The Objectivity Question." A volume on the historical profession in America which won a number of prizes in the mid 1990's--sorry I can't be more precise). Thank you for good debate! Ohlendorf2.

Boby
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Re: David Irving

Post by Boby » 11 Sep 2008 11:26

I agree that Irving in an indefatigable researcher, and his reputation as a Nazi sympathiser means that he has access to people and sources in Germany that other historians don't have.


What sources are you talking about?

All of Irving sources can be accessed from Archival Institutions and Microfilms. He, contrary to lazy historians who only used secondary literature, donated original and copies of nearly all of his documents to the Bundesarchiv, Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv and the Institut für Zeitgeschichte. In recompense, he was Banned from these institutions in early 1990s.

Researchers are free to go to these Archives and exploit unpublished documents, like Irving. But they prefer to go to the near Library and use crap-literature to write books.

But it was proved at the Lipstadt trial that he has used his sources in a way that is so selective as to be deliberately misleading. That means, for real scholars, that NONE of his references can be trusted without independent verification.


Hey, Stop here. Nearly ALL Historians are selective in using sources, not only Irving. And your claim that *all* of his references can't be trusted because *some* of his references are selective, misleading or false is just wrong.

Many of Evans, Browning, and Longerich claims that they said constitutes Irving selective, misleading and false references are just DIFFERENT INTERPRETATION of sources. What is that? Evans have the sole truth? Longerich have the sole truth? Browning?

and your reference to "independent verification" of Irving sources causes that I remember most of Kershaw evidence in his books. For one example of deliberate distortion because he is a Hitler-Hater, just read the reference he write about Ludendorff letter to Hindenburg. Anybody who in the 1990s uses this letter as a proof of an evil Hitler is just a propagandist, nothing more.

¿Why?

Because this "source" was annihilated in the 1990 book edited by Zitelmann/Backes/Jesse, Die Schatten der Vergangenheit, the contribution by Fritz Tobias. michael mills posted some time ago a summary of this essay.

Kershaw knows very well this book, of course, because that was one of the best edited antology in an "academic and revisionist" tone that was published in the 90s, after the Broszat famous petition of "Historisierung des Nationalsozialismus" that appear in the Journal "Merkur" in 1985.

So, for you, *all* of Kershaw's 7.653 references can't be trusted, because *some* of them are just selective, misleading and false.

Boby,

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Re: David Irving

Post by Vikki » 12 Sep 2008 04:13

An insult post by Adam Carr and a reply to it were removed from the thread. Watch yourselves, gentlemen.

~Vikki

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Adam Carr
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Re: David Irving

Post by Adam Carr » 12 Sep 2008 07:41

Since this thread is being subject to censorship I won't be participating in it further.

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Steen Ammentorp
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Re: David Irving

Post by Steen Ammentorp » 12 Sep 2008 11:26

There is plenty of threads on Irving

search.php?keywords=David+Irving&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=titleonly&sr=topics&sk=t&sd=d&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

I don't think that we need another one this untrustworthy author.
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Steen Ammentorp
The Generals of World War Two

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