- Posts: 894
- Joined: 04 Jul 2007 16:25
- Location: Miami, Fl
Irving came across as an arrogant enigma who certainly twisted information.
Never read any of Irving's work other the PQ and Rommel books.(which did not touch on the Holocaust) That was in the late 70s. Presume when his standing was good.
Do not know how Hollywoodized the film was. Some of the errors or deceptions committed by Irving appear childishly simplistic.
The film is about as good as an average TV movie in decades gone by. Do not know what it was made.
- Posts: 3
- Joined: 15 May 2017 14:38
- Location: Stamford
The 'ugly' Timothy Spall came across as an irritating buffoon - the villain of the piece.
In contrast, the 'beautiful' Rachel Weisz seemed sensible and saintly - the heroine.
David Hare, known as a left-wing playwright, was clearly unsympathetic to Irving, the right-wing historian.
In the actual trial, there is a hilarious moment when Irving , accused of racism, denies this and says he has often employed people from different ethnic backgrounds and turns the question around by asking why the Penguin legal team are all white. The Judge, an establishment chap, does not accept this kind of reasoning !
- Posts: 4487
- Joined: 10 Jul 2010 03:40
- Location: Spain
- Posts: 855
- Joined: 26 Oct 2008 20:40
the reason he said that is because as he also said," I have no academic qualifications whatsoever".
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/denia ... -on-trial/ preview of the film in the link, well worth anyones time to watch imo.
- Posts: 25
- Joined: 11 Oct 2018 20:39
- Location: Pohjois-Savo
- Posts: 4845
- Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
- Location: Poland
The "would not exist today" is defendable.
Under the Haavara Agreement between the Nazis and Jewish groups 60,000 German Jews, their wealth, and $630,000,000 worth of goods (in today's money) were transferred from Germany to Palestine - building the financial backbone of Jewish Palestine.
Later the Germans proposed another agreement, which would allow emigration of all Germans Jews but it was rejected.
Still Hitler wasn't even the Jews' "smallest" friend.
- Posts: 31
- Joined: 15 Sep 2011 20:21
- Location: United States
1) Does anyone know why Irving started to engage in Holocaust denial, from a professional and monetary standpoint it has cost him dearly. Especially considering he used to be a highly regarded historian, i.e. I remember reading people like John Keegan, Michael Howard etc. having high praise for him from the 1960s to early 80s.
2) His embrace of fringe theories like this is also perplexing considering his earlier works like Rommel: On the Trail of the Fox acknowledges the crimes of the Reich.
3) Are Irving's works still considered legitimate sources? As he did a lot of cutting edge primary source research.
- Posts: 2336
- Joined: 28 Apr 2013 17:14
- Location: London
Do you mean the author of Road to Stalingrad and Road to Berlin? If so he was part of a panel discussion on the development of doctrine by the Soviet and German forces. I had tyhe pleasure of sitting next to him at dinner in the RA Mess Larkhill. If that is the man, why does he deserve comparison with Irving?
- Posts: 25
- Joined: 15 Oct 2019 10:13
- Location: Adelaide
- Posts: 18
- Joined: 11 Mar 2020 17:01
- Location: United Kingdom
First of all, I've not seen the film so I may be in the wrong thread.
I think the problem is that Irving researched Germany and the War very thoroughly (which he could only do by being very sympathetic to Germans generally and old Nazis in particular). He'd gone there to work as a labourer alongside the natives after the war. He could see how very tough it was for them now and felt great sympathy for all they'd been through. They sure didn't hate him as an Englishman. In those early days and later he came across little or no evidence of the Holocaust - making it natural for him to think it was a piece of malicious invention.HistPolity wrote: ↑29 Jun 2019 13:551) Does anyone know why Irving started to engage in Holocaust denial, from a professional and monetary standpoint it has cost him dearly. Especially considering he used to be a highly regarded historian, i.e. I remember reading people like John Keegan, Michael Howard etc. having high praise for him from the 1960s to early 80s.
In all likelihood, none of Irvings contacts mentioned the transports as a Jewish issue and didn't much talk about slave labour. Important point about the latter - the Nazi kept the slaves in "national groups", they didn't have any "Jewish slaves" grouping. Hilariously, in 1945 FDR sent Harrison to Germany to investigate the situation of the Jews - and Harrison protested that the Jews were not separated and this must be done as a matter or urgency by the Americans. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Report What happened in those DP camps is partly described in "The Wild Place" by Kathryn Hulme "true story of Hulme's experiences as a UN worker in the displaced persons camps of German after WWII, and it won the Atlantic award for non-fiction when it was published (1953)" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/617 ... wild-place - long out of print but some hair-raising excerpts circulating on the web.
Irving also saw little evidence of racism among Germans (Jesse Owens and Josephine Baker were hated in the US and either tolerated or admired in Germany and by German officers in Occupied Paris). Irving saw almost no evidence of antisemitism - and there may be a good reason for this. Jews were much better assimilated in Germany than almost anywhere. That last is widely accepted. Its even quite remarkable under the circumstances. Germany's neighbour, Poland, had been ethnically cleansing Germans/German speakers (along with OstJuden) since 1919 and was the inventor of the Madagascar Plan. Poland really was antisemitic.
I'm not sure he did "embrace fringe theories". He had a fixed view of people he loved and admired whom he thought had been quite badly treated. Why weren't others admiring the tenacity and dedication and friendliness of the Germans like Irving did?
Nobody's allowed to quote them or build on his ideas, if that's what you mean. There are certainly distorted parts (a hilarious listing of different death-tolls for Dresden) but I'm not sure that he's worse than other historians. May be much, much better than some - Simon Wiesenthal was a complete charlatan. Whether you believe that Hitler supported Zionism or not, Milstein and Eichmann both went to Palestine and were pretty glowing in their praise of the concepts. The "Transfer Agreement" was enormously valuable to the Yishuv (£630 million at today's prices?) and must have benefited the Nazis as well.
I'm new and I'm not sure if this is the right thread to raise these matters - but I have a question which I will put here and move elsewhere if necessary.
Where are the nineteen examples of serious distortions in Irvings work selected by Lipstadts very expensive team of lawyers? The judge in the Libel trial mentioned this number and deems them conclusive but doesn't seem to have processed them. I would question some of the points. eg the Zionist Congress of August 1933 was apprehensively watched by Hitler, while the one in 1939 passed a declaration of war on Germany, hand delivered to Chambrlain. What's wrong with Irvings mention of it as having a profound impact on the Nazi war-narrative? Why does it reflect on Irving that a German historian (probably an early functionalist) quotes Irving? And nineteen errors doesn't seem very much in some 30 year of pretty productive and popular and profitable work by a pretty indefatigable researcher.
The Guardian puts the number a bit higher:
... which is damning indeed.Four years of research unearthed 30 examples of falsifications of history by Irving. It was the sheer weight of these and the consistent pattern they formed that won the day for Penguin and Lipstadt. The method behind Irving's deceptions were complex, the effects significant.
The defence spent £80,000 on a 700-page report on Irving's historical methods from Richard Evans, professor of modern history at Cambridge university and an expert on the writing of history.
Prof Evans, who was paid £750 a day, and two PhD students spent two years combing through Irving's work. His report, which was submitted to the judge, shows his shock at the scale of deceptions he found:
Prof Evans wrote:"Penetrating beneath the confident surface of his prose quickly revealed a mass of distortion and manipulation ... so tangled that detailing it sometimes took up many more words than Irving's original account. "A similar knotted web of distortions, suppressions and manipulations become evident in every single instance which we examined.
"I was not prepared for the sheer depths of duplicity which I encountered in Irving's treatment of the historical sources, nor for the way in which this dishonesty permeated his entire written and spoken output." https://www.theguardian.com/books/2000/ ... uk.irving1
But where is the actual forensic examination of these points?
- Posts: 6854
- Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19
From the Guardian text, it should be in the court records.
I imagine the core of it is in his Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, And The David Irving Trial, New York: Basic Books, 2001. (Published in the United Kingdom as Telling Lies About Hitler: The Holocaust, History and the David Irving Trial, Verso Books, 2002.)
He is still alive, so I suppose he could also be approached directly.
- Posts: 1077
- Joined: 11 Feb 2009 18:20
- Location: Clocktown
- Posts: 18
- Joined: 11 Mar 2020 17:01
- Location: United Kingdom
Thankyou for that - not often I order a book on one mention, but I'll sure have this one.Sid Guttridge wrote: ↑18 Mar 2020 11:05... I imagine the core of it is ... Published in the United Kingdom as Telling Lies About Hitler: The Holocaust, History and the David Irving Trial, Verso Books, 2002.) - https://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/1859844170/
Irvings publishers and individual book-sellers were surely intimidated by an immense juggernaut - but I find it very hard to accept that any publishers were intimidated into withdrawing a book by Richard Evans. Its publication by Verso suggests its either dangerously striking (eg "The Holocaust Industry" by Norman Finkelstein) or seriously flimsy. Either way, I want to see it.At Amazon.co.uk the publishers wrote:In April 2000 a High Court judge branded the writer David Irving a racist, an antisemite, a Holocaust denier, and a falsifier of history. The key expert witness against Irving was the Cambridge historian Richard J. Evans who describes here, in a book which several publishers have been intimidated to withdrawing, his involvement in the case.
Incidentally, Amazon reviewers give this Evans book 31 positive reviews and 15 negative reviews. Which is far poorer than most decent books on any topic. Much worse than Lipstadt's "Denying the Holocaust" as I'm criticising over the publisher's blurb.At Amazon.co.uk the publishers wrote:Recounting his discovery of Irving's connections with far right Holocaust deniers in the United States and of how Irving falsified the documentary evidence on the Second World War, Evans reflects generally and eloquently on the interaction of historical and legal rules of evidence. Evans argues that the Irving trial does for the twenty-first century what the Eichmann trial did for the second half of the twentieth. It vindicates history's ability to come to reasoned conclusions on the basis of a careful examination of the evidence, even when eyewitnesses and survivors are no longer around to tell the tale.
As happens regularly, the 1 star reviews and their comments at Amazon are more telling than the 5 star reviews. I fear that one part of the criticism expressed is correct - Irving parlayed his (popular and eminently publishable) history into quite dangerous politics.
This remains the most damning criticism of David Irving I know of:
Savage criticism of Irving indeed - and apparently justified by what happened at the trial. That last paragraph detailing what Evans claims he said makes Irving look particularly laughable. But I'm not seeing what I'd recognise as clinical analysis. Not at any stage. Have I found it at last?England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions wrote:Numbers killed - Irving's claims
11.6 The estimates placed by Irving in succeeding editions of Dresden and in his speeches on the number of fatalities due to the bombing of Dresden are as follows:
1. in the 1966 edition of The Destruction of Dresden Irving contended that 135,000 were estimated authoritatively to have been killed and further contended that the documentation suggested a figure between 100,00 and 250,000;
2. in the 1971 edition the figure for those killed was placed at more than 100,000;
3. in 1989 when launching the 'Leuchter Report' in Britain Irving informed journalists present that between 100,000 and 250,000 were killed;
4. in 1992 Irving told the Institute of Historical Review that 100,000 people were killed in twelve hours by the British and the Americans;
5. in 1993 in a video made for the Australian public Irving contended that over 130,000 died;
6. in the 1995 edition of The Destruction of Dresden the attack was estimated to have killed 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants;
7. in 1996 in Goebbels: The Mastermind of the Third Reich Irving noted that between 60,000 and 100,000 people has been killed in the raids on Dresden.
11.7 Other such claims made by Irving include the following:
1. in a speech in South Africa in 1986 Irving stated that 100,000 people were killed in one night in Dresden;
2. in Ontario in 1991 he told and an audience that over 100,000 people were killed in one night in February 1945;
3. in a television documentary screened on 28 November 1991 Irving said that 25,000 people may have been executed in Auschwitz but five times that number were killed in Dresden in one night, and
4. at the launch of the 'Leuchter Report' to in 1989 Irving stated that there were 1,000,000 refugees in Dresden of whom "hundreds of thousands" were killed.
11.8 In his Reply in the present action Irving asserted an intention to prove at trial that estimates of casualties in Dresden have indeed ranged between 35,000 and 250,000. At trial he testified that the best margins for figures which he would accept were between 60,000 and 100,000. Irving contended that earlier estimates had been inflated by the communist government of East Germany (in which Dresden was situated) for essentially political reasons. He denied that he had been responsible for some of the claims made on the dustjacket of the paperback editions of The Destruction of Dresden. http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2000/115.html
On Dresden, lets not forget that our own record of exposing our own atrocities is poor. In recent years, extrordinarily poor. Did Irvings obvious prejudices really lead him to speak (not so much write) and exaggerate in a similarly wild fashion? Does that make him worse than we are?
- Posts: 6854
- Joined: 12 Jun 2008 11:19
The maths around deaths at Dresden seem quite straightforward.
The German rescue services reported the recovery of about 25,000 bodies (which was apparently what Goebbels was told and to which he added an extra "0" for propaganda purposes).
The Germans knew from previous raids that around a third of bodies were never recovered, which pushes the likely death toll into the 35,000 range.
The number of refugees present changes nothing, as the calculations were made on bodies recovered, which included refugees.
- Posts: 18
- Joined: 11 Mar 2020 17:01
- Location: United Kingdom
I don't know the details. I do know that Irving has acted in a most irresponsible and ahistorical way (at least in speeches).Sid Guttridge wrote: ↑20 Mar 2020 11:25Hi NickA,The maths around deaths at Dresden seem quite straightforward.The German rescue services reported the recovery of about 25,000 bodies (which was apparently what Goebbels was told and to which he added an extra "0" for propaganda purposes).The Germans knew from previous raids that around a third of bodies were never recovered, which pushes the likely death toll into the 35,000 range.The number of refugees present changes nothing, as the calculations were made on bodies recovered, which included refugees.Cheers,Sid.
Which seems bizarre - he'd documented what seems to be his personal definitive figure:
There may be other examples where he's very clearly wrong and has heavily politicised his version of events, in flat contradiction of all the evidence. I'm not aware of much that has been falsified about the history of WW2 (other than the Holocaust itself, which is replete with totally unpunished falsehood). Post WW2 history seems to be littered with similar, or worse, examples. Irving is only guilty of one such (that I know of at the moment) and his figure is out by just a factor of 3. (Or a bit more - undiscussed is the possibility/likelihood that bodies had been piling up before the raids).In 1966 David Irving in the Times wrote:... The east German authorities (who had originally declined to provide me with the documents have now supplied to me a copy of the 11-page "final report" written by the area police chief about one month after the Dresden raids, and there is no doubt as to this document's authenticity. In short, the report shows that the Dresden casualties were on much the same scale as in the heaviest Hamburg raids in 1943. The document's author, the Höhere SS- und Polizeiführer Elbe, was responsible for civil defence measures in Dresden, it should be noted.
His figures are very much lower than those I quoted. The crucial passage reads:
The general authenticity of the report is established beyond doubt, because within a very few days of receiving the first, a second wartime German report was supplied to me, this time from a western source. It repeats exactly the figures listed in the above report, upon which it was evidently based. http://www.fpp.co.uk/History/General/Dr ... 70766.htmlHöhere SS- und Polizeiführer Elbe wrote:"Casualties: by 10th March, 1945, 18,375 dead, 2,212 seriously injured, and 13,918 slightly injured had been registered, with 350,000 homeless and permanently evacuated." The total death-roll, "primarily women and children", was expected to reach 25,000; fewer than a hundred of the dead were servicemen. Of the dead recovered by then, 6,865 had been cremated in one of the city squares. A total of 35,000 people were listed as "missing".
I've ordered Prof Evans' book - but, judging by the reviews, I'm not expecting much from it.