David Irving protests to Jack Straw at any Attempt by the British Home Office to enforce Germany's Laws for the Suppression of Free Speech

December 22, 1997


To: The Rt. Hon. Jack Straw, PC, MP,
Home Secretary,
Home Office
50 Queen Anne's Gate
London SW1H 9AT

Mr Straw and Mr Irving both attended the same Brentwood, Essex, public school in the 1950s. pending a full reply, however, Simon Watkins, head of the "Organised and International Crime Directorate," acknowledged receipt of both letters on March 18, 1998); Straw has not replied as of the end of 1998.

London, December 22, 1997

Dear Jack,

THIS LETTER is a formal request that the Home Office will refuse, as it is entitled to (see below), and as the facts set out require it to, to tender mutual legal assistance to the German embassy or other authorities in the event that they renew their attempts to serve on me their purported indictment under German law for a historical lecture which I delivered in Weinheim, south-western Germany, in 1990. (The Germans have gone berserk, introducing various laws for the suppression of free speech, though under other guises, which your predecessor Mr Howard rightly refused to see introduced in the U.K. as being incompatible with our country's traditions; they appear however to be perfectly compatible with Germany's well-known past.)

It is plain from the internal papers of the German judiciary - documents passing between the court in Weinheim, the provincial Minister of Justice (ugh!) in Stuttgart and his political master in Bonn, the Federal Ministry of Justice (ugh! ugh!), that the Germans quite candidly regard this intended prosecution of myself as being of a political and not a criminal nature.

I am enclosing pages from the court file which make this plain. The first is a letter dated June 25, 1997, from the Court in Weinheim to the provincial Ministry of Justice in Stuttgart, expressing anxiety lest the British government detect the political nature of the legal action against me and accordingly decline to assist the German government under the Europe Community's convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. The penultimate paragraph of this German court document reads in translation:-

"In view of the political background of the trial I request you to examine, and inform me, whether the co-operation of the British authorities is to be expected in serving the summons by the route of Mutual Legal Assistance."

Upon receiving this, the provincial ministry in Stuttgart wrote on July 14 to the Federal Ministry in Bonn, expressing the same fears; the last paragraph reads:-

"We request - as soon as possible, given the proximity of the court hearing date - a ruling on whether there are any misgivings from your ministry's view. We should moreover appreciate information whether on the basis of your own experience it is to be expected that the British authorities, should they be advised of the political nature of the misdemeanour, may decline to serve the summons."

Mr Straw, please take this letter as formally bringing to your notice the political nature of the alleged misdemeanour.

The significance is that the German authorities, in calling upon your good offices, are relying on the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, adhered to by Britain on November 27, 1991. This convention sets out under Article 2, that

"Assistance may be refused:

(a) if the request concerns an offence which the requested Party considers a political offence, an offence connected with a political offence, or a fiscal offence;

(b) if [. . . etc.]

IT IS WORTH noting that the German Federal Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichten-dienst) has secretly refused to get dragged into this dirty affair. I received from an anonymous friend a photocopy of a two-page letter, signed earlier this year by the head of the BND, protesting to the head of the German Federal Parliament's law reform committee, at the latter's attempts to involve him and the BND in the "notorious" David Irving affair. He protests that my person and the entire matter involving me are outside the remit of the BND, and the BND therefore asks to be kept out of it. The BND chief writes:-

"My personal appreciation is however, that not only would the facts which the BND may have garnered overseas, if they were to become public, inevitably do a disservice to the interests of the present Federal government, but they would actually seriously damage them."

The BND, to whom I of course supplied a copy of this document, have not denied its authenticity.

To summarise, I am being politically persecuted in Germany for my political beliefs as an historian, and not for criminal offences (and certainly not for any recognised as such under British law); I have no criminal record in Germany. I am enclosing with this letter a legal document issued by Germany's central criminal records office in Berlin, which formally certifies that there is no criminal conviction recorded against my name.

Under German law, it is not permitted to offer any defence to the allegations: the facts disputed have been declared offenkundig by their supreme court in Karlsruhe ("a matter of public knowledge," or roughly the equivalent of a court taking "judicial notice" of something) and no defence is permitted, either by witness statement or documentary evidence.

This is something which no British court would tolerate, and I hope that the Home Office will not oblige me to obtain an order of a High Court judge to back up the admittedly lay opinion that your Office must refuse to render any assistance to the Germans in their endeavours to suppress free speech, however camouflaged.

I am also advised that in the premises and under these circumstances should the Home Office or its servants or agents, including police officers, attempt to serve on me again the documents (or similar) which the German embassy has already requested you to serve, I would have grounds to claim substantial damages inter alia for trespass and assault.

Please inform me of your decision in this matter at your earliest convenience, as I shall have to instruct Counsel in good time in the event that your advisers - a Mr Simon Watkin is evidently the nigger in the woodpile - do not see things the same way as I do.

Yours sincerely,

David Irving
(OLD BRENTWOOD, 1949-56)

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