Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
writes from the United States, October 4, 1998:
I HAVE the utmost respect for your probity. This only increased when I read in your Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich the part about the massacres of Jews outside of Riga in 1941. I looked at that passage again after I read on your website the transcript of Gen. Bruns' jailhouse conversation. Forgive me, but it is easier to ask an expert than dig it out for oneself; I want to know if you think, definitely, the executioners were German or were German allies, like Latvians?
Also, I assume you have read James Bacque's works on the fate of the German people after May, 1945. What is your opinion of his scholarship in general? And, what number of deaths do YOU think the Germans suffered between May 1945 and, say, 1950?
Your website is terrific. Please take care.
I THINK it likely that most of the executioners at Riga were Latvians, under German officers. Jim Bacques is a good friend: a former novelist, he let me read Other Losses when still in typescript and I advised him then that for that kind of work he needs 100 percent more documentation up his sleeve to answer the vicious counter attacks that would come. He went back and did more research before publication, and still more after.
His disadvantage: he is not a trained historian (nor for that matter am I, and is it a disadvantage?); his advantage -- he came and comes with none of the intellectual baggage that incorrigible revisionists carry around with them.
That said, I think he was deeply shocked at the levels to which his opponents stooped in destroying him after Other Losses. Stephen Ambrose, for whom I have great respect, particularly erred in that respect.