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Posted Saturday, October 29, 2005

Documents on Mr Irving's claim against the government appointed Trustees who illegally seized his library an research archives

David Irving's Inspection Report of his surviving papers and library


Queen Anne's Gate, SW1H 9AA, London, Friday, October 28, 2005

I TODAY carried out an inspection of the boxes removed from No. 81 Duke Street ("the Premises") on or about May 23, 2002. Facilities to inspect were provided by Baker Tilly at their premises (5 Old Bailey), and I conducted the inspection alone from 9:30 to about noon today. Nothing was removed by me other than a pair of prescription reading-glasses, which I need, and about which I informed their staff (Mr Paul Allen). I was received with great courtesy by their staff and Mr Allen. I took ten digital photographs of evidentiary value, listed below, as well as two low-resolution movie panoramas of the room before I started opening boxes, and these colour images are all on the enclosed disc, and attached hereto as black and white prints.

one stack

The boxes had been sorted into three stacks by Stuart Perry of DLA. An approximate count revealed 56 boxes of legal files (my ring binders) assembled for the various litigation episodes, discovery, etc (see photo G, above); and twenty boxes of printed books from my shelves (my "Library"), and 59 boxes containing papers, tapes, movie films, microfilms, and documents, which had been crudely tipped into them from various filing cabinets and cupboards with seemingly no organisation (see photo H). I have made no attempt to check whether all the books that were originally removed are present.

It is worth noting here that apart from a few small desk items (including rubber stamps, an address-embossing press, a paper folder, a stapler and a hole puncher), nothing other than library and archival material was produced at this inspection: no furniture whatever, or equipment, or personal materials or clothing or other stuff seized or looted from the Premises. They took all our tables, desks, lamps, chairs, clothing, domestic and other items, leaving me, a writer, with nothing to write on (or with) or sit on.

To my rather astonished query as to whether this property provided for inspection today was everything that was left in store, Mr Allen said so far as he knew it was. I pointed out that much essential equipment (listed in detail in my "Answer 117" often referred to) was missing, including specifically the expensive Kodak-Recordak microfilm reader-printer, without which of course the microfilm collection is useless (I actually pointed out to Christopher Craig at the visitation on April 17, 2002, that the printer reader was clearly a tool of the trade for precisely this reason, which did not stop him from seizing both that and the microfilms of historical archives).

Stationery stocks are missing, which Baker Tilly's internal letters show they realised should not have been seized: headed stationery, envelopes, and our stocks of costly A4, A3, and even A2 sized photo paper have been looted along with the very expensive ink cartridges of which we had purchased a large number for the various specialised inkjet printers; in the case of the A3 paper only the emptied packets survive, having been looted and being now used as packaging. That adds insult to injury.

The specialised filing cabinets and shelves which we had purchased to house the microfilm collections and the hundreds of ring-binders are also missing. Our steel and wooden cabinets (five in number) had evidently been forced open where locked, and their contents tipped into boxes; their suspension files were emptied and the empty suspension files tossed into the boxes afterwards. That also adds insult to injury. The task of re-filing these filing cabinet materials will by itself take an estimated three months of skilled (e.g. my) labour at eight hours a day; the task of re-filing the entire collection inspected today will take about one man-year, full-time.

card indices

The photographs that I have taken during the inspection this morning show variously:

A. damage to books, covers ripped off, books thrown higgledy-piggledy into weak and rotting cardboard boxes
B. reels of family 16mm personal movie film, vacations in France etc., clearly labelled as such: real Craig vs. Aitken stuff.
C. Another photo of the same.
D. Files clearly labelled as my Churchill source materials
E. My vital card indexes, without which my whole research collection is useless
F. Our computer software, without which computers were rendered useless; Baker Tilly repeatedly refused to return this to us, although it was licensed only to us and useless to anybody else
G. The ca. 56 boxes of legal ring binders
H. Some of the 59 boxes of personal stuff and surviving research documents … containing inter alia personal diaries and transcripts of my private telephone calls
I. More of the same
J. My notes and Baker Tilly visiting card, to authenticate time and date of the above photos

As the photographs show, the boxes and their contents are in such a shocking content that one can only talk of spite and vandalism, either by [...] or by Deborah Lipstadt's "expert inspectors" whom Baker Tilly allowed to maraud through the boxes unchecked und unsupervised (one of whom, Jersak, was caught red-handed trying to steal stuff ).

Damage: Large photographs and illustrations in the collection, including the Churchill desk diaries and aerial photographs of Auschwitz, have been seriously damaged. Books have had their bindings and covers ripped off (e.g. my Volume III of the George Kent Catalogue of German Foreign Office documents, see photo A). Many will have to be repaired or rebound before they can properly take their place in library shelves again.

Given that it was impossible to inspect the contents of even the 59 miscellaneous boxes minutely, from top to bottom, and check them against the various inventories, it is not impossible that specific items listed as missing will turn up and we will of course quite honestly report when this occurs. An Uher tape recorder, Report 2000, purchased about 1969, was found in a box; but I am missing a reel to reel four-track tape recorder needed to transcribe telephone and interview tapes of the 1960s and 1970s. Such things are now obsolete and probably unobtainable. The actual reel to reel tapes themselves, which are of priceless value (telephone conversations, and interviews with Adolf Hitler's surviving staff, Dresden survivors, and other book witnesses, etc.), were also not found during this inspection; they were originally in a steel filing cabinet, of about twenty shallow drawers. None of the contents of this filing cabinet, which also including priceless film negatives, has been sighted in this inspection. I suspect that the steel cabinet was sold for about £5 and its priceless contents junked.

Two of the unpublished manuscripts that I feared missing have turned up in this inspection: the English original texts of Forschungsamt, and of Guernica to Vietnam. The other manuscripts listed in my inventories are still missing, including -- most painfully -- the only original typescript of my memoirs, which I began writing in about 1948.

Major collections are missing:

  1. During my 1998-1999 Discovery for the Lipstadt Trial, a process which involved my reorganising and searching my entire archives for relevant materials, and which occupied me seven days a week for two years up to the trial, as my diaries will show, I assembled around 70 or 100 (or perhaps even more) Viking-brand Archive boxes, numbered in sequence, each of which carried on the outside, glued on, a label listening the files inside. We have a complete listing of these boxes. It was of course intended as an important tool for my future research, and for the eventual disposal of my papers to a university etc. These boxes and their contents have all vanished, almost without a trace -- I sighted only two of the boxes, much battered, in the room for inspection. Samples of the missing boxes would be two boxes marked Judenfrage (German and allied documents on Hitler's Final Solution, which of course I now need for the Heinrich Himmler biography); and two or three boxes of my entire correspondence with the leading German playwright Rolf Hochhuth over the last forty years. The Viking archive boxes were clearly labelled as such, and are known to have attracted the attention of Lipstadt's "experts". I have a strong suspicion that part of my archives, whatever Baker Tilly tell us, has indeed been sold off along with everything else, in violation of Craig vs. Aitken. Fortunately, as said, I have a very clean and detailed listing of the entire numbered Viking archive box collection, and time will show if any of them turn up in the future. I am devastated by their loss, as they contain irreplaceable research and family items.
  2. Missing: About fifty small (five inch wide) Viking archive file-boxes containing chronologically filed duplicates of all my correspondence for the last eighteen years were held in cupboards in .... This important resource is totally missing, and given the absence of the items mentioned above doubly regrettable.
  3. Missing: About a dozen large Viking archive boxes contained in the upper storage cupboard, the first door on the right on entering the kitchen area; these boxes contained sensitive family papers (..., correspondence with wife and children and friends over the last fifty years) and unpublished books, articles, and manuscripts.
  4. Missing: About twenty large Viking archive boxes and contained in the lower first storage cupboard, the first door on the right on entering the kitchen area; these contained tape recordings, personal videos, historical archive documents collected for Churchill and other books, and unpublished articles and manuscripts. In this cupboard were also my complete set of the U.S. National Archives Guide to Captured German Records Microfilmed at Alexandria, Va. (about four linear feet) which is now completely unobtainable. This resource is also missing.
  5. Missing: three shelf-loads of Ryman filing-bags and 5-inch archive file-boxes, which were in the bookshelves in the ... storage area reached through the kitchen area: these files contained, as mentioned, one box file ("Memoirs") containing the only original typescript of my memoirs, which I began writing in about 1948.
  6. Missing: several family photo albums, and all 35 mm negatives taken by me from 1992 to 1995, approximately; these include a colour 35mm copy made by me of every page of the rare Heinrich Himmler diary 1935, in private hands in the USA. Also missing are photographs and diagrams collected for various books including The War Path (among them, the "Hitler self portrait" right), Rudolf Hess photos, Convoy PQ 17 and Rommel route maps and charts.
  7. Missing: My binder containing the detailed finding aids for my personal collection of microfilms (sequentially DI-numbered); this took 30 years to compile.

[sgd David Irving]


Our dossier: The fight over Mr Irving's seized possessions and archives

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