Posted Monday, June 10, 2002

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[From David Irving's Telephone Log]


May 28, 1984

Summary of a 40-minute Telephone Call from Peter Stahl, United States, on the evening of May 28th, 1984

INTRODUCTION: I had written to Stahl after his last call, expressing an interest in any papers he has of value for my Churchill biography. Meanwhile John Costello [British historian] had visited me and told me (a) that he had seen Stahl in a Nevada hotel, which had cost him a lot but brought him nothing; (b) that Pacific Telephone had phoned him in New York, for details of a call Stahl made to him fraudulently using a phone credit card; (c) that the British Embassy in Washington is interested in Stahl.

After the first ten minutes I taped the conversation. The tape will be retained.

COSTELLO had called [Charles] Burdick [US historian] up, said "It had to be true because he'd dug information out of the files that nobody else could have found," wanted to know how Burdick could lean on Stahl to get information out of him. Burdick: ill-advised to try. I mentioned the Embassy story. COSTELLO went to see Stahl. "I was desperately ill, I had a streptococcal infection ... full of drugs." Costello interested most by fact that "Prince (Prinz?) Philip (Phillip of Hesse?) had a brother who was in the SS during the war." Costello felt that was "counterproductive and nobody should discuss these things."

STAHL: "Wait till the British Embassy reads my latest advertisements! I am about to put some of these microfilms, uh, copies of microfilms on the market to scholars if they wish to purchase them from me, and I've prepared a prospectus to that end which lists the contents of a number of these hints. That ought to cause some ... uh," (giggles helplessly.)

GITTA SERENYI. He asked if I had read Serenyi's articles in the "Moscow Journal" (meaning Sunday Times?) about the Hitler documents [Diaries] and one M. "I did a great deal of ground work for her when she called me relative this fellow Merschinski (SP?) who was involved with the Hitler Diaries. The stupid bitch is a liar -- I tracked M. down, I found his unlisted phone numbers, I located his bank accounts, I found out where he had an island hide away, two different places where he had things put away, I listed his family, where they were. I dug up his East German contacts and at first she was interested, then suddenly became totally disinterested." Serenyi was "very upset" to learn that Albert Speer made architectural sketches and passed them off as Hitler's. She thinks Albert Speer is wonderful. "Apparently Mrs Serenyi and her crew hate you with a passion." I said this was not new to me. "She asked me repeatedly if I had any information about you, what I could tell her about you." Stahl had told her only of our "totally innocuous conversations in a coffee shop" (Howard Johnson's off Interstate101 at San Jose.) I said she is a "poison dwarf." "You have to wash your hands after shaking hands with her." Stahl: "She claims she is the Gräfin von Serenyi." But also claims to be Protestant. She was on the phone to Stahl "constantly," after Billy Price and two or three other people, wanting to know all about them. Stahl told her all he knew about M. "I had a big file on him, his name isn't M. anyway." What unit he was in during the war, and where he was stationed.

WALTER UNGER: "You know Walter Unger don't you?" Unger said Serenyi told her she had no knowledge and nothing to discuss. "He was out here. I showed him some documents and papers."

THE 800 MICROFILMS: "Papers in the sense that I had copies made." "You run them through a processor and print pictures out." Asked how old the microfilm is, Stahl replied: "Well the original microfilm was nitrate film and I had working copies made because the stuff is extremely fragile. If you expose it to the light it has the tendency to change ... to change, and furthermore it is very explosive. So I've made a working copy and I've made a copy of SD documents and things for (from?) it."

SCHLABRENDORFF etc.: Unger "seemed to feel the stuff on [Eugen] Gerstenmaier and [Fabian von] Schlabrendorff should be published. Because they were both working for the SD. I suppose you know that!? ...

* When I first dealt with Stahl, phoning him at San Jose, Ca., from Abilene, Ks, he apologized that he could not read a word of German, and read out the fake "Himmler Document" of Oct 23, 1943, that he was trying to palm off onto me, in very stilted American-German.

They were V-Leute for the SD." (Note his perfect pronunciation of Fow-Leute.)* "After the 20th of July there were reports in there from Schlabrendorff and various people that he had had contacts with." Stahl reminded me that most of Sch's plots against Hitler, like the Cognac/Cointreau bottle bomb on the plane, were fantasies. "Except that [Oberst] Brandt was not on Hitler's plane." (This is as stated in my book Hitler's War, which he has evidently read!) He immediately added: "I have one of Hitler's military caps. I assure you that there's no 'five pounds of steel' inside of it."

HIS PLANS: I asked when he was going to release this material he's got. "I don't know yet. There's the question of expense and the question of having copies made." He skidded straight onto a different topic (FBI, below). Later he said, when I pressed him: "How can I publish eight hundred reels of microfilm?" I said through Burdick or me or someone. He said: "That's no problem at all." (He then skidded straight off onto the [Anthony] Eden episode, below.) Later I asked, "How did you get these 800 reels of film. They must have cost you a fortune." He agreed, "They cost me a fortune and I want my Goddam money back! But how? I was told that if I put it on the market the Bavarian Government in conjunction with other people would press a claim as they claim to be heirs to Hitler's copyright." None of them were by Hitler, "although there are a number of marginal annotations in his handwriting, uh..." I suggested he do a deal with the Bundesarchiv: copies of the films in return for permission to use, a la Heidemann/Stern/Bundesarchiv deal. Stahl said he had talked with certain people in the Bundesarchiv Militärarchiv and "they told me that if the German government got ahold of them they'd never be published and they'd never be allowed to be used by scholars." I pointed out that under such a deal he would keep a copy. He spluttered. "Yeah, but I wouldn't like to be hit by a truck." He talked of the groups of people who would stop him. After more discursion, I asked: "Where do you physically have this material? Is it in Nevada or where?" Stahl: "No, it's in the town I used to live in." (San Jose?) "But I have copies, and I've pulled ... uh," (as if suddenly inventing something:) "What I've done with the originals. Now I have made copies. Burdick suggested I do this." (That point can presumably be checked with Charles Burdick.)

DISCUSSED THEIR CONTENT WITH JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: "And the Justice Department has expressed an interest but after discussing this in detail with the man (David Marwell?) he said to me, 'The Justice Department is not interested. We're only interested in files on things like the Hundewesen Institut and something like that.' We're interested in the SD files.

* Marwell had first contacted me in 1970s as a brilliant young history student, risen through the ranks and became first director of the Berlin Document Center, then an officer of the OSI in Washington DC. -- David Irving

We're not interested in Forschungsamt intercepts," (Stahl must know of my interest in these from my Hitler biographies) "we're not interested in Gray Code intercepts, were not interested in Swiss government reports to the Germans during the war." Stahl told him of the evidence that Allies repeatedly said they were not interested in the fate of the Jews during the war. Which led, said Stahl to the Stern Gang assassinations of Count Bernadotte and Lord Moyne and their assassination, both of which he thought were postwar however (Moyne's was in Nov 1944.) This was in the SD files too, somehow, said Stahl. (Anachronism here!)

FBI: Earlier he had said: "I had the Justice Department out here. Now don't ask me how they got ahold of me." He got a letter in his PO Box from one David Marwell*, "D'ya know him?" (No.) "From a P O Box in Washington, saying he was a historian and understood I had certain documents which might be of interest to him." Stahl replied affirmative, Marwell asked to see them. "In the meantime I checked his address out and it was a convenience shop in Washington." Owner had leased that part of the building to Justice Department, and Marwell was part time employee of that Department, working under a man named Schere who was digging out Nazis all over the country. "So I gotta hold of him, I got his home phone, through a friend of mine, and I called him. If you work for the Justice Department why not save your postage, why not discuss it with me." Marwell said he was looking for Latvian SS men in the United States.

DESCRIPTION OF THE MATERIAL. There were scattered references in the conversation to the nature of the material he claims to have. Stahl: "I said -- No I have nothing on that," Latvians "-- what I do have are files that Hitler had put together to justify some of his activities." Marwell then claimed to be working on a book on Ernst Hanfstängl. Talked for 30 or 45 minutes. Marwell asked to come and talk to Stahl, did so, talked to him at great length about people and personalities. "I showed him a few papers and he said there's some stuff on a man named Rauff he's interested in." Marwell said he'd get back in touch with Stahl and had done so. "I said I wouldn't have any dealings with him if he had any connections with the British Government because I've had several people get ... I also asked how he'd found out my PO Box number." (Odd question, if he knew Marwell was FBI.) "He said he'd met you in Munich at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte." I said this was just possible I meet lots of people. But Marwell recalled my brown Rolls parked on the sidewalk outside, with copies of my book visible inside. He said Marwell was very intelligent, about 33, pale complexion, dark hair, "A Jewish fellow from Latvia originally."

BÖRNERSDORF CRASH, 1945: After talking more hatred about Serenyi, he said: "I have the facts about the Börnersdorf crash. You know what was on the Börnersdorf plane? The originals of the stuff that I have microfilms of! There were documents on there. O'Donnell," author of The Bunker "who's a moron, claims that Hitler's Tischgespräche were on the plane, because there's gap in them." Stahl then explained to me (what I have written in Hitler's War!) that there is of course a gap as after the Halder incident in September 1942, Hitler discontinued the table talks.

EDEN EPISODE: "In 1943 the British, uh, the Russians were willing to get out of the war on certain terms, through the Russian diplomatic service in Stockholm." (This is probably the Kollontai/Kleist episode referred to in Hitler's War!) "Eden wrote a letter to, uh, Russia, that acting on orders from the Prime Minister he was empowered to state that if Russia were to remain in the war as an ally of the Western Powers they would be given a full (free?) hand in Eastern Europe. The original of this was sent to the Germans to make sure it was not a forgery. (?!) The Russians aren't above this, and a copy of it is included, and Hitler refused to up the ante: he didn't want to do what they wanted him to do." There the matter rested. "I have had a number of people try to get their hooks into this (document). Now you wouldn't sell out to the British government: they don't like you." He implied that Costello was one of those trying to get their hands on this sort of thing, "either to bury it or, you know..." (and he skidded off onto another matter.)

BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY: a great deal of information on the British Royal Family and also on Prince Philip (SP?) which was only in the files after 1943 because of the Putsch in Italy: Prinz Phillip von Hessen was married to Mafalda of Italy and he was spying on the Germans and passing information onto them (also as published in my own Hitler's War!) So they spied on Phillip, and a complete dossier on the family which includes the "current Prince Consort and his brother who was in the SS and his sister who was a nurse, as German DRK Schwester."

ENTER ANTHONY BLUNT: one of the British sent to get the files from the Hessen family, which files also contained material on the Duke of Windsor, was one Anthony Blunt, says Stahl. "But it was all to no avail, because the documents may have been destroyed but copies are in existence." "You couldn't possibly publish this stuff in England.

HITLER'S DEATH: There's a frenzied attempt on the part of the Russians and East Germans to prove that Hitler died in Berlin, which of course he didn't." (Here Stahl began to lose me: he could not have been reading Hitler's War closely enough.) He talked again of "this idiotic Norwegian doctor" (meaning, although he did not name him, Prof Reinnar Sognnaes) with his dental proof.

ENDLÖSUNG: "I'll tell you something for your own information. There's not one scrap of information either by inference or otherwise that Hitler had anything whatever to do with an Endlösung der Judenfrage." (At this I am afraid I began to sound bored.)

KENNEDY: In return for co-operating with the Germans in certain areas, Joseph Kennedy got blocks of stock in I.G. Farben. That can be proven. (He then gave a long garbled version of the death of Joseph Kennedy Jr in Aug 1944: claiming that a British signals unit accidentally triggered the premature blast of his Liberator plane. This too, he said, was in the SD files. My boredom increased.

CHURCHILL: I reminded him he said he was going to let me have some pages about Churchill. He had told Serenyi the facts too: "You know that Churchill was a homosexual don't you." I said he mentioned this last time. I know of no confirmation. Stahl said he would send references to me. At Sandhurst as a cadet, Churchill and several other students became involved in the forced buggery of younger students. One cadet objected to being sodomized and went to his parents. Complaints were made, a suit instituted against WSC ("Churchill -- that's not really his name!") The suit was brought into the courts and due to the direct influence of the then Prince of Wales -- Churchill's mother was sleeping with him -- "the matter was squashed. The papers documents, affidavits, etc fell into German hands and they are written out in copperplate and they're in English and I've no doubt that they're genuine. And they relate to this incident. You should be able to do some checking on that." I suggested diffidently that he send me photocopies. Stahl said I might be able to find the facts. "There was a newspaper editor involved in it too." He continued, "The other thing is there are some letters between Churchill and a man named Edward Marsh who was his secretary. Apparently they had some kind of connection. Also there was a group of people, a man named Strachey who was a writer, a man named John Maynard Keynes and a few other people of that sort, had this reincarnation club thing going and Churchill was involved in it."

SUPPLYING COPIES: "Uh, I'm going to make Abschrift for you." (Note: not Abschriften) "You'll have to put up with the Abschrift." I said, "I can still check. I would prefer photocopies of course." Stahl: "Well, you can check the Abschrift." I asked, "Why can't you make a Xerox copy?" He overlooked the question, continued with a Churchill-Roosevelt message of Nov 26, 1941 -- as coincidence would have it -- concerning "the impending Japanese attack on the American fleet." "There's also a message in there for a communication with a man named Brooke-Popham, who was apparently a high British official at Singapore dealing with this. There's a couple of intercepts of Gray Codes dealing with Churchill-- Roosevelt. I'll make a little packet one of these days when I can get out from underneath this hassle I'm working on, and I'll send it off to you, with the condition that you for God's sake don't show it to anybody." (Uh-huh!) "Is that acceptable to you." I replied mechanically, "I'd be very grateful, yuh." "I must have an undertaking from you that you will tell no-one where it comes from." "You won't mention my name to anyone." I pointed out that people like John Costello would guess. He asked, "From your experience what will the British do? I've already had communication from them." (Note: This suggests that his sole interest is in attracting trouble from government agencies like FBI, embassies, etc.) I replied that it depended how "hard and authentic" his material is. He said, "Well, I've had a German expert" (un-named) "come here and he has said, 'There are gaps in the (other) files, the documents on either side are genuine, you have some of the stuff .

May 29, 1984

Summary of a brief Telephone Call from Peter Stahl, United States, on the evening of May 2th, 1984

He telephoned again, said he had spoken with Charles Burdick who had advised him to print his "catalogue" of the films' contents at once. He was going to do this and let me have a copy.

I thanked him.

Mystery deepens.

Peter Stahl index
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