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[Images and some links have been supplied by the fpp website. Kamm's original hyperlinks have been incuded; we regret that he did not include our links in the passages he quoted from our website]

SO MANY innocents were killed in the 1945 British air raid on Dresden that the German authorities had to cremate the bodies on mass funeral pyres on the Altmarkt. Mr Irving was the first to publish these photographs in the west. When he produced one of them, enlarged to poster size, during the Lipstadt trial in the British High Court in 2000, Defence Counsel Richard Rampton QC sneered, "So what!" --
MR RAMPTON: Can we forget Dresden for the moment, Mr Irving?
MR. IRVING: I can never forget Dresden.

[Transcript, DJC Irving vs Penguin Books Ltd & Lipstadt, Day 7, January 20, 2000, page 170; copyright photo, taken on Feb 25, 1945, from Apocalypse 1945: the Destruction of Dresden]

[Preserved from the Internet "blog" of Oliver Kamm]

London, Monday, April 16, 2007

April 16, 2007

Irving accuses

by Oliver Kamm

Oliver KammI won't provide a link to his website, but I ought to record that the Holocaust denier David Irving takes strong exception to the reference to him in my article for The Times this weekend about the late Kurt Vonnegut. He hypothesises that the article was commissioned by the newspaper after pressure had been exerted upon it by an external body whose identity (or at least ethnicity) you will be able to guess immediately [Website note: we are not so coy -- the Board of Deputies of British Jews].

It ought not to need saying, but I am in a position to know that Mr Irving's speculations are unfounded. The judgements expressed in the article are mine alone; they were not dictated to me by anyone else. It is perhaps worth commenting -- purely for the record, and not because Mr Irving's remarks have any merit -- briefly on the complaint.

Irving accuses me of "smearing" him by referring to his 1963 book The Destruction of Dresden as discredited. In addition, he accuses me of "real holocaust-denial" (his italics) for stating that there were not 135,000 deaths in the firebombing of Dresden. He states further:

"My "number," as Kamm calls it, came from Hanns Voigt, after February 1945 the director of the Dead Person's Section of Dresden's Missing Persons Bureau. That might seem a not unreasonable source.

TRUE, Professor Richard "Skunky" Evans, another historian who lives by the smear, ignorantly dismissed Voigt in his High Court evidence (on oath) as being a "virulent fascist". What else could he say? In fact we now know that Voigt was a trusted, highly esteemed, and much decorated, member of East German society in the 1950s and was allowed by the Communist regime to emigrate without difficulty upon his retirement to West Germany. These true facts on Voigt will be another dossier on this website, later."


click for origin

David Irving comments:

MANY thousands of people every day reach and read my pages.
   Unimportant therefore whether "neutral journalist" Oliver Kamm, who was appointed a Times columnist by Daniel Finkelstein, provides a link to my website or not.
In fact it may seem telling that he does not -- just as the German Wikipedia entry on me lists at its end all the hostile websites including Kamm's favourite, the ADL-financed Nizkor, but adds "we do not provide a link to Mr Irving's website for legal reasons" [David Irvings Homepage wird von aus rechtlichen Gründen nicht verlinkt].
  Former Dresden mayor Walter Weidauer had no reason to like my source, Hanns Voigt; he himself had written a book -- quite a good one -- on the Dresden air raids without the assistance of Mr Voigt.
  The niece of Herr Voigt reports that Voigt was a music teacher, directed the Sachsenwerk works orchestra and elevated it to third place in the DDR in 1954. An unlikely profile for a "virulent fascist".


click for enlargement

APOCALYPSE 1945: THE DESTRUCTION OF DRESDEN. A new edition (above) is in print in April 2007 (£27.90), fully illustrated in colour for the first time, and fully corrected and updated. The text is also available as a free download at

Irving's writings on Dresden were considered at length in the trial of Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books for libel, in the case brought against them by Irving seven years ago. The defendants presented them as evidence that Irving distorts historical facts in order to make them conform to his ideology. The judgement is reproduced in its entirety here, on the Nizkor website, and the section on Irving's book about Dresden is here.

The Judgement is a rewarding and important read. [Website: Readers will find our unabridged pdf version, which is illustrated and annotated, more useful than the turgid Nizkor version]. I will not try to summarise what is already a cogent and succinct statement of the issues, but would direct you in particular to paragraph 13.126. There Mr Justice Gray states:

"In my judgment the estimates of 100,000 and more deaths [at Dresden] which Irving continued to put about in the 1990s lacked any evidential basis and were such as no responsible historian would have made."

A few sentences earlier in the judgement, he says:

"[Irving] relied on the estimate of Hanns Voigt ... that 135,000 had been killed. But, as stated in paragraph 13.126 below, none of this material casts significant doubt on the accumulation of evidence that the true death toll was within the bracket of 25-30,000."


"Voigt's evidence was uncorroborated and unlikely to be correct in the light of the number of deaths recorded on the official cards [that tallied victims according to garments, personal belongings, personal papers and wedding rings recovered from the corpses]. In my view, Irving should not have quoted numbers based on this evidence."

Incidentally, Professor Richard Evans, who was the principal expert witness for the defence, does indeed cite the phrase "virulent fascist" concerning Voigt in his book Lying About Hitler (2001, p. 152) -- but it is not Evans's own description.

Evans is explicitly quoting the judgement of the Mayor of Dresden (in what was then the GDR) in 1962, Walter Weidauer, and he clearly warns the reader that "this was typical of the language the Communists used for people who proved a nuisance to them".

That example on its own is a nice illustration of the difference between a scrupulous historian such as Evans and a man who, in the words of the Court judgement, "has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence".

Photo above (click to enlarge): In 1961, while writing his book on the Dresden
raid, Mr Irving interviewed Sir Arthur Harris, who commanded RAF Bomber Command 1942-5. Below: The victims are burnt in public, hundreds at a time. Oliver Kamm denies it was a Holocaust.

Suggestion: Did Kamm write fairly?

Related item on this website:

Our index on the Dresden raids
More on Prof Richard "Skunky" Evans and Hanns Voigt
David Irving writes a letter to The Times, July 1966, on new documents on the Dresden death roll
David Irving, a Radical's Diary: Writer in The Times attacks him and sets the record straight | The death of writer Kurt Vonnegut
skunky Evans How much was Professor Richard "Skunky" Evans (right) paid for his neutral opinion on Mr Irving?
Forward Forum: Deborah Lipstadt: 60 Years Later, Dresden Bombing Claims Another Victim: Memory
Oliver Kamm does not tolerate comment on his Internet blog. He explains why here. His email address is

© Focal Point 2007 e-mail:  write to David Irving