Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
from Perth, West Australia, on May 18, 2000
May 18, 2000
Dear Mr. Irving,
I am an Australian post-graduate university student who majored in 20th century history. I would like to express my profound respect for your quest to restore objectivity to the historiography of Hitler and the events of World War II.
History is meant to be about objectivity -- searching for the truth, regardless of one's emotional feelings about an event.
Having read widely on Hitler and World War II (including most of your excellent books), I have come to realize just how much emotive opinion, prejudice, and bitter hatred passes off as 'history' these days.
In standing up for free speech, pursuit of the truth at all costs, and showing unwillingness to "tow the line", you have been unfairly victimized by the international media and so called historians who I need not mention. Australia lets in the 'Minister of Hate', Louis Farrakhan, but bars your entry. It is a sad state of affairs and makes me angry.
As a student, I was often subject to verbal abuse and ridicule for attempting to be objective in my analysis of issues on WWII, colonial history and any other area that has become the victim of political correctness. Debates were often pathetic situations where students would try to ape the sanitized and politically correct line put forward by some of the tutors. I was sick of being told what to think. I suspect many others feel the same but are too intimidated to speak out. You are an excellent example of a free-thinking historian.
Some people may not agree with your views, but they have no right to attack you so viciously and personally. Regardless of how much you are defamed now, the time will come when true objectivity will return to the historiography of World War II. You are simply ahead of your time, and the victim of a militant minority of 'thought police'.
The truth will be the ultimate victor.
Perth, Western Australia
Name withheld by request