Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Alistair Spark has a question on those "Hitler diaries," Monday, August 5, 2002
What's up with the Diaries?
I AM mystified by something. On your website you say that you were instrumental in exposing the Hitler Diaries fraud; but in the telephone logs you have just put up you clearly report that in fact you did come to believe them to be genuine. I am puzzled by this.
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David Irving replies:
THERE IS no conflict in this. The Times, in one wicked moment, when admonished by a friend of mine that "Mr Irving was the first to expose them as fake," responded: ".... and the last to confirm them as genuine!"
That too is untrue, however. One reason that I post these things on the website is to establish absolute clarity. At the time there was much turmoil, and give-and-take, and to-and-fro, and certainty and uncertainty. In retrospect things become clearer. Hindsight is 20:20.
It was plain to me on April 24-25 that the diaries were fake, as there were major problems with the accompanying documents. Then we found reasons why the text of the diaries seemed possibly authentic. I certainly would have liked them to be.
I think there was a clipping in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, dated May 4, 1983, which made it somewhat clearer: the headline reported that I said the diaries could be genuine; with the important subtitle: "provided they withstand the chemical tests".
When I retrieve my papers, with the 1983 diaries, I will post all the diary items, and this will add further clarity (or perhaps greater confusion) to what was in fact a very amusing episode.