Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Andy Parson wonders, Wednesday, May 23, 2007, if Mr Irving will change anything in the light of "Skunky" Evans' criticisms.
What motivated "Skunky" Evans?
I OWN some of your books dating back to the 1980s, but more recently there has been something which has been niggling away at me.
A while back I read (in a newspaper, I think it was) that Professor Richard Evans from Cambridge (right) has claimed that your books are unreliable, that you have deliberately distorted facts, that sort of thing. Now I'm not saying I would automatically believe this, but I'm sure you would have to agree it does seem to be a very serious charge to make?
I have looked around your webpages, and I do now understand that Professor Evans was being paid to have a go at your work for a court case, so that could put a certain question mark over what he is saying. But then I found a copy of his witness-report online, and I read a little bit of it. It does seem to me that you can't ignore everything he was saying just because he was being paid up?
Really, my questions are these: 1. Do you accept any of the specific criticisms that were made? For instance, if you issue a new edition of your Goebbels biography, will you now change the account of Kristallnacht in light of this?
2. I say this with all respect, but if you did accept that you misrepresented the facts in some places, do you not think that Professor could have had a point when he said that this raises questions about ALL of your books? (From a reader's point of view there does have to be an element of trust - wouldn't you say?)
I trust you will understand that these are honest questions on my part and I am certainly not trying to knock you in any way.
David Irving writes:
BEFORE attaching too much weight to what Evans may have written, know two things: he gave his expert evidence for the defence in the trial of DJC Irving vs. Penguin Books Ltd. & Lipstadt -- or rather he sold his expert evidence, for a very substantial fee paid by the defence, from funds provided by what I shall call Lipstadt's "Hollywood backers", to avoid any charges of anti-semitism.
Evans' fee was eventually over a quarter of a million pounds. In addition, Penguin Books (as was their right, of course) signed a very lucrative book contract with him for, reportedly, a million pounds. Not bad for a poor Cambridge academic. Dr Faustus would probably have called it a bargain.
Now, you ask: "For instance, if you issue a new edition of your Goebbels autobiography, will you now change the account of Kristallnacht in light of this?"
My answer is: Not in the least. (I will alter just one source-reference number which was changed since the time I consulted it twenty years ago.) Read our index on Evans to see what others think of him, not just I!
Another thought: Check out my half-finished index of rebuttals to see the materials on which our appeal should have been -- but was not -- based.
You seem not to have appreciated that it was seven years ago and I have moved on. It was one battle, in which I appeared alone and unsupported, and into which the defenders decided to pour $13 million dollars of what I shall call (see above) Hollywood money. They lost every penny and called it victory. As for me: One can afford to lose battles some of the time; but not wars.