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Posted Friday, Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Mr Irving to his counsel: Draft for further Witness Statement, April 14, 2004.

Key West, Wednesday, April 14, 2004

  1. I am currently three years into a definitive biography of SS chief Heinrich Himmler, for which of course I shall need to use all the same archival files, books, microfilms, and documents which I collected for my biographies of Adolf Hitler, Rudolf Hess, Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels and other top Nazis, and the evidence files amassed for the Lipstadt trial, which bore so heavily on the Holocaust and Himmler's other negative "achievements." These materials were, and are, indispensable for my work. But all of these have been wrongfully seized by the Trustee, and she has refused or ignored on several occasions my written requests for their return.
  2. I am currently two-thirds of the way through my lifetime project, a Winston Churchill war biography, for which the original contract was signed in 1972 with Michael Joseph Ltd. Volume 1 appeared in 1986, volume 2 in 2001, volume 3 should appear in 2005.
  3. From the mid 1960s onward I visited the archives of the world collecting the source materials for these biographies of Churchill and the Nazi leaders. Specifically, I worked in archives in Canberra, Moscow, Ottawa, Washington, Berlin, Koblenz, Paris, Rome, New York, Abilene in Kansas, California, and elsewhere, often being away from England for months at a time.
  4. As many of the principal characters were alive, I interviewed them and compiled transcripts of the interviews. I submit that these notes, drafts, and other such compilations -- along with all the resulting typescripts and bound manuscripts resulting from them -- were and are my intellectual property and not subject to seizure.
  5. Many of the papers were given to me by either the surviving top Nazis or Churchill's own staff to copy in confidence. As described in a previous witness statement, some of the papers were bound into blue volumes, others microfilmed before being donated to archives, while still others were housed in ring binders in my study.
  6. I also collected a well-thumbed private library of hundreds of war-reference books, as stated, which I read and often annotated in the margin, or which I card-indexed (see my next para). Most of these indispensable source books (official histories, war diaries, printed documentations, etc.) are now long out of print. Still others, like the hideously expensive multi-volume printed edition of the Goebbels diaries, bought in for the Himmler project, I have not yet had time yet to unpack.
  7. As a primary tool to exploit this vast archive I spent forty years compiling the requisite finding aids, microfilm catalogues and, as the most immediate research instrument, a chronological card-index of tens of thousands of cards, backed up by separate topic-indices and name-indices. The cards were keyed to the specific volumes on my shelves, or to the correspondence, or to the interview notes, or to the page numbers of the paper documents, or to the roll- and frame numbers of the microfilms.
  8. White cards were source-references, pink cards contained text extracts, green cards were text extracts from the 90-volume typescript German Naval Staff war diary (held in Washington's classified naval archives, where my then wife and I spent a month reading every volume), blue cards were air force references, yellow cards were Judenfrage citations, orange cards were those subsequently collected for the Goebbels biography. At least half of these cards (roughly, 1942-1944) were seized by, and are currently held by, the Trustee, unless destroyed by her or illegally disposed of. She has refused my requests that she return them.
  9. The archive contents consist of documents and sources in English, German, French, Russian, Polish, Romanian, Czech, Italian, Hungarian, and other languages.
  10. The unique value of this personal archive collection to me as a tool of historiography is evident. Reviewers have consistently commented on the resulting quality of my archival research. Its value to me is beyond price: it is an indispensable historiographical tool, which I have spent forty years constructing.
  11. Its value to any other author would be limited, perhaps only a fraction as much. If he or she cannot read those languages, it is useless to him: moreover, he would need to be working on the same subjects, from the same viewpoint, and allowing himself the same time frame of years to write the resulting books. Authors don't do that nowadays. The late Lord Halifax can count himself lucky that Andrew Roberts granted him 18 months of his life, part-time at that, for a biography.
  12. Besides, these opponents have loudly proclaimed that I manipulate and distort to write my history, and how can they now purport to place any monetary value on the archive compiled by such a person?
  13. It might be said that many of the documents are also theoretically available to me in Munich, or Koblenz, or Dresden, because I donated the originals to those archives; as said, that might seem to be true.
  14. The truth is different. Thanks to the agitation of the Applicant Lipstadt and organisations associated with her since 1990, I find myself banned permanently from Germany (the eleven-year old ban was reiterated only a few months ago), Canada, Australia, and several other countries; I am told that for a similar reason (agitation against me by opponents in the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Munich) I am now persona non grata in the KGB archives in Moscow, though I have not been able to test that; and the last time I tried to enter Italy in June 1992 I was turned back there as well. Three years ago, David, the son of the former Lord Chancellor, Derry Irvine, was hauled out of bed in Vienna by the local police, because he was thought to be me and they had had orders to arrest me if I visited Austria [The Times, Nov 20, 2001].
  15. These entry-bans should make no difference, as I had the foresight to complete most of the requisite research in those archives before the bans were pronounced, unbeknownst to Lipstadt and her allied organisations. My archival research was complete. By seizing my completed archives, they believe that they can effectively put a halt to the completion of my remaining projects.
  16. I would also respectfully point out that in my Answer No. 117 (to the Trustee's request that I list all those items that I identified as tools of the trade or Haig vs. Aitken items), I listed among said tools the equipment needed to read the microfilms; the shelves, cupboards, etc., needed to house the books and archives; and my chair, desk, and table, the Trustee having seized, together with literally the entire contents of my study, my only chairs, my only desk, and our only table, on which I wrote, namely the octagonal one in the dining room (which was our only table).
  17. I ask that the Court make an Order specifically declaring that these above mentioned items were and are also tools of my trade as a writer; or in the alternative that Bente Hogh, as my partner for the last twelve years, and our daughter Jessica had an equitable interest in these items

David Irving

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