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Jeremy I. Pfeffer recalls a conversation with Mr Irving over forty years ago, Wednesday, November 27, 2002
When did you first learn of Dresden?
YOU won't remember me but our paths crossed when we were both students at Imperial College [London University].
In the introduction to your book on Dresden you state that you first heard of the atrocity from some newspaper or magazine you read when you were working in Gemany. However, I clearly remember hearing of the destruction of Dresden from you when I was at Imperial (1958-61). If I am not mistaken, it was over a coffee in the cafeteria in the Union building. It was the first time I had heard of such atrocities being committed by the Allies and that is why your recounting of it has stuck in my mind.
Is my memory correct? Please clarify if you would.
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David Irving replies:
NICE to hear from you. It is many years ago, over forty to be precise, and we both may be right. I worked in the steelworks from autumn 1959 to spring 1960. My memory is that on my return I used to come to the Imperial College Union Building sometimes to use the cafeteria (I may be wrong). I don't THINK I had heard of the Dresden raids before working in Germany. I then heard of them from two sources: (a) a German illustrated magazine (Quick, Revue or some such magazine) published a series on the war called something like Die Lichter gingen aus über Deutschland, the Lights went out over Germany. This described the air raid in vivid detail. (b) My roommate in the steelworks Ledigenheim (dormitory), an elderly steelworker who came from Leipzig, said he had been in Dresden that night. If you can recall further details of our conversation, it might help nail it down.
Incidentally, I roomed with (or just above) a Jew at Gloucester Road, Mike Gorb, my best friend there, who was later killed in a mountaineering accident; he had a Finnish girlfriend. And I was good friends with John Bloc, another. Not so friendly however with Peter Levin, who is still something of an activist in Hampstead, I hear (one of his neighbours, George Stern, is a very good friend of mine and passes on to me the latest gossip).