Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Tim Darlington writes from New Zealand, Thursday, June 20, 2002
"Sir" Ian Kershaw's reliance on HITLER'S WAR
I WAS very sorry to hear of the outcome of the dispute with Penguin books. I've had a great deal of reading pleasure, as well as becoming vastly better-informed over the years, from your books and consider you among the best historians I've read.
Unlike Mr Kershaw, some of us are happy to own up to having read "Hitler's War" (although an early edition, in my case). I was surprised to read on your web site just now an excerpt from Mr Kershaw's book, in which he seems to know what Traudl Junge was thinking in April 1945, and shortly after that to read that he didn't feel it necessary to interview the lady, "with (her) trite memories". As you presumably intended, I asked myself how then Mr Kershaw could write her opinions with such confidence...
I haven't read Kershaw's book, but would hazard a guess that there isn't any footnote in it recognising "Hitler's War" as the source of this information?
I've noticed in some other books I've read dealing with the war, that your works are lucky to be mentioned even in the bibliography, although in places I've felt sure they were being heavily used. It must be infuriating for you, but perhaps it will be of some comfort to know that some of us do notice!
I do have a question I'd like to put to you. I recently read "1940: Myth and Reality" by Clive Ponting, which I have a suspicion falls into the category I just mentioned. I did enjoy the book, though - I haven't yet read your own Churchill's War, but suspect that you and Ponting are in agreement on a number of issues. Would you mind giving me your own opinion on this book, assuming you're familiar with it?
North New Zealand
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David Irving replies:
... have a look at my Radical's Diary it answers your points!