Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Sebastian, a schoolteacher in
Johannesburg, South Africa, writes on Saturday, September 9,
2000 (full name
withheld at our decision):
I SHOULD have realised that you would have read the Wilfried von Oven diaries. I am originally from Birmingham, England and only came across the book after staying in Namibia which is full of Germans who left the Reich after 1945 bringing a lot of their literature with them, some of it, I imagine, impossible to get elsewhere (although you seem to imply the IfZ would have most things). At any rate that is how I started to read the "other side" after, naturally, having had a historical education based on misinformation and, indeed, lies.
After reading Kempka, Oven, Schaumburg, Reitsch and others I bemoaned the fact that there was so little common sense material to read outside SWA. It was then that the Germans said to me, "but you're English, you could read David Irving!"
Now in South Africa I find that your books are available and propose to start with Hitler's War. I saw somewhere on the web the transcripts of the recent trial debacle. I had read your comments in the press and (blush) thought the man's probably a lunatic -- just because he lost.
However, after reading only a few days of the trial I can only say that my reaction to the "sentence" is exactly your own, viz. it's absolutely incredible. The incompetence and pure ignorance of those involved is stupefying. And all this information is freely available on the web for anyone to read who cares to!
Well, I'm afraid I can't offer you any financial support (though if I could, you would be assured of it) so I can only offer my moral encouragement. The odds do seem insurmountable but I'm a firm believer that the Truth will out.
I am a schoolmaster in a small private school here in Johannesburg. Although the syllabus is more or less watertight I believe in giving the children as wide a selection of sources as is possible. Out here we can't access original documents but what I intend to do now is to, as far as possible, use your books in conjunction with the normal text books.
Replacing the old books is out of the question.
At least then they will learn received opinion and at the same time have an idea what really happened which is surely what history is all about. Your book on Dr. Goebbels arrived, coincidentally, today - it's enormous. I don't want to pester you now with more nagging questions though I would be interested to know whatever became of von Oven (it seems he escaped to South America). Is the IfZ accessible by everyone? Could I just write to them and ask for pictures of this or that person? Or for further information, for example on the Werner Naumann interview (to which you yourself were denied access)? I wish you all the very best in your trip to the United States and would like to thank you once again for your prompt reply to my first letter. Yours sincerely,
Sebastian (full name withheld at our decision):
David Irving replied on Saturday, September 9, 2000
Your best bet for photos is to write to the Bundesarchiv, which has a Bildstelle (picture archive). Their address:
Bundesarchiv, Postfach 320 56003, Koblenz, or Potsdamer Straße 1, 56075 Koblenz, Germany
Von Oven lives in Argentina now. He translated the Goebbels book into German, did quite a good job I hear. If you give me a mail address I will send you a couple of copies of the printed text of my closing speech in the trial. Your school might like them. It is a nice publication.