This gigantic work, voluminously researched, proves
beyond doubt that the diary is the work of a little girl
named Anne Frank who spent two years hiding from the Nazis
in an attic of an Amsterdam warehouse, and who died in a
concentration camp.[ see David
Irving's Reader's Letter replying to this article
It is improbable that Irving was unaware of the existence of
The Critical Edition when he wrote to The
Australian, which makes the - what shall I say? -
disingenuousness of his action all the more odious.
Using The Critical Edition as my reference, here is
what I should have written months ago:
Irving declared in his letter: "In one lawsuit in Lubeck he
(Otto Frank) even tabled a graphological affidavit swearing
that the diary's handwriting was all by the same
The truth: During the prosecution in Lubeck in 1959 of two
men who had asserted the diary to be a forgery, expert
witnesses testified that all the handwriting in the diary
manuscript was Anne Frank's. They phrased their report in
such a way that (if you really wanted to) you could try to
discredit them by claiming they had said Anne also wrote a
letter, a postcard and a birthday greeting which she
received from friends and pasted into the diary.
The Lubeck case was settled when the defendants withdrew
their forgery accusations and publicly expressed regret for
Proceeding from his misleading reference to the Lubeck case,
Irving wrote: "Alas, in 1981, the West German police
laboratory at Wiesbaden was called in at one court's
direction to test the diaries ... Frank refused to allow the
diaries out of Switzerland, so the judge ordered the
Wiesbaden experts thither ... They determined, as reported
in Der Spiegel at the time, that parts of the diary were
written in ballpoint ink - a pen invented some years after
Anne's cruel death..."
The truth: In 1981, the diary manuscript was not in
Switzerland, having been delivered in November 1980 to the
Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, under the
terms of Otto Frank's will.
The "parts of the diary" confirmed by the Dutch as being
written in ballpoint ink were two slips of paper, each
written in a different hand and neither in Anne's, inserted
as bookmarks into folders into which its Swiss custodians
placed the manuscript long after the war.
The Wiesbaden police report was four pages long, compared
with more than 250 for the report made by the State Forensic
Science Laboratory in Amsterdam, which the editors of The
Critical Edition briefed.
The Wiesbaden experts confirmed that the paper and glue in
the manuscript predated the period in which Anne Frank wrote
the diary, but mentioned - without stating their number or
location - some ballpoint "corrections". They may have been
referring to page-numbering done by the handwriting experts
in the Lubeck case, although this was subsequently found by
the Dutch not to be in ballpoint.
Most importantly, the Wiesbaden police were not briefed to
conduct any handwriting tests and did not do so, despite the
implication Irving creates with his craftily juxtaposed
reference to the Lubeck "graphological affidavit".
Handwriting analysis was one of the Dutch forensic lab's
Irving wrote: "(Otto Frank) did not sue me ... He sued
several others, winning large sums of money."
The truth: Otto Frank was a reluctant litigant, persuaded on
only a handful of occasions to act against challengers of
the diary's authenticity. The sole action involving "large
sums of money" was one undertaken with the producer and
writers of a successful Broadway play based on Anne's diary.
This was to free royalties that had been frozen pending
resolution of a plagiarism claim.
Anne Frank's diary has sold 20 million copies. Otto Frank,
who lost his wife and both daughters in the concentration
camps, made the first typed copy of the diary to send to his
mother. A giant oak has, indeed, grown from a small planting
and, thankfully, David Irving's feeble scrabblings will not