Posted Tuesday, March 5, 2002

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 Dinner at his household was always a riot, in another sense, as he held court and expatiated on politics with a vehemence and a fervour that would have silenced, I suspect, even the Führer.





March 4, 2002 (Monday)
London -- Miami -- Key West

Before leaving to Heathrow I mail to the Australian High Commission my comments on their letter of January 17, as requested. Let's see what reason they can find now to stop me visiting Australia: I have received now literally thousands of letters from that Continent, from people wanting to hear me. They allow in all the murderers, arsonists and paedophiles (on whom even their Governor-General turns a blind eye, according to the press), but they seem remarkably reluctant to allow in myself, an historian of whom even Sir Charles Gray (forsooth, no great supporter of mine) allowed: "His knowledge of World War 2 is unparalleled"

10 a.m. my lawyer [...] of Amhurst, Brown, Colombotti phoned, just off to Court; they would e-mail me with the results, and hoped not to begin with word "unfortunately."

All the fun has now gone out of world travel. At Heathrow there is a major delay at the X-ray machine; although there are five available, four are switched off and there is a one-hour queue, so I nearly miss the flight to the United States; at the gate itself I have to take off my shoes, like some devout worshipper in a hitherto unknown religion.

Horrendously crowded aircraft, wafted full of foul odours -- we are packed in like sardines; I do get the last available aisle seat but the seat spacing is so wretched that it is still impossible to open the laptop or even read a newspaper, so I snooze on and off throughout the whole ten- hour flight.

It is 7 p.m. (local) before I set off south. Toward Marathon I feel groggy but there is a lone, bearded hitchhiker, so I take him aboard and the rest of the four-hour drive goes in a flash, talking. He is a grouper fisherman, hitching lifts south from St Petersburg to Key West all day. Nice enough guy, but it was perhaps a foolish move in retrospect. He had been waiting an hour on the cold highway when I stopped, I nearly did not see him, he was in dark clothing. I turn in around 4:30 a.m. A lo-o-o-ng day.


March 5, 2002 (Tuesday)
Key West (Florida)

Up at 6:30 a.m. and check the emails before I begin the long day's business. There is an alarming e-mail headed "bad news," and it is worse than I had expected: S. reports from the mid-West that her father, a Bosnian, has suddenly died yesterday. He had concealed his illness from his children very well. I am gravely shocked and saddened. He first made his name in the enraged local press when he withdrew his girls from school rather than allow them to be taught further legends on the Holocaust as part of their curriculum. The Illinois press really waded into him after that, but he kept up a barrage of letter-writing and circularising until the very end.

When I last saw him, he seemed very full of life. He was one of our warmest supporters and benefactors, and closely involved in our fight for Real History over the last two or three years; he was present at my private dinner in Chicago in September 2000 when the elegant restaurant was trashed by a dozen masked admirers of Deborah Lipstadt wielding baseball bats as their own means of scholarly persuasion.

Dinner at his household was always a riot, in another sense, as he held court and expatiated on politics with a vehemence and a fervour that would have silenced, I suspect, even the Führer had he been among the guests. He had views of the utmost commonsense, and his wife and three children adored him.

The girls have gone on to get fine degrees. He drove down to our Real History festival in Cincinnati last September. I found that pushing his heavy wheelchair -- he was crippled -- down the long gangplank onto the Ohio riverboat was quite an adventure. It is hard to believe that he will not be there to greet me the next time I visit his household.

FURTHER down the scores of emails that have poured in during my day in the air, I come across the first signs of more "bad news". Friends and suporters around the world send me clippings from their local newspapers, France's Le Monde, the Las Vegas Sun, the Jerusalem Post, Corriere della Sera in Italy, et al., reporting that the Registrar made the order sought against me by Penguin Books in bankruptcy yesterday. There is also a message from Amhurst, Brown, Colombotti, headed inocculously just "Hearing Today." [...]

This news from the legal front is indeed (unexpectedly, I have to admit) unfortunate. [...]

[The lawyers have asked me not to publish their comments on the Registrar or her remarks, as we go on now to appeal.]

As for the rest, there are requests from BBC and other radio broadcasters to talk with me about this latest twist of the knife, and a request from journalists like Michael Horsnell of The Times for interviews. I send to all of them this response, as I am down here on business, and hoping to write in peace (I am final-editing the Mark Deavin book Macmillan's Hidden Agenda, which we shall publish later this year):

Thank you for sending me that rather unexpected news report; my lawyers were confident that they could fight off that particular threat, but there are higher things at stake evidently and the Registrar made the order regardless of the facts. They have informed me from London (I am currently on business in the USA) that they are now appealing the decision to the Court of Appeal. I am in good heart, and carry on writing, and all of my real indebtedness is being met as conscientiously as before.

The Peterborough column of The Daily Telegraph also asks for a comment, and I give them this:

The first I knew was when somebody emailed to me here (I am in the USA since last night: check my website) the story from the Italian Press. News stories from The Jerusalem Post, Las Vegas Sun, Le Monde and other items rolled in. Makes one wonder what possible interest all of these outposts can have in my demise. Among the two hundred emails received this morning, I eventually found one from my lawyers setting out what they consider to be the serious injustices of yesterday's Order. But they have asked me not to repeat their comments about the Registrar who heard the case (or rather, refused to hear it), so I won't; they will however be repeated to the Court of Appeal.

If and when the order takes effect, other arrangements come into place for taking over the obligations incurred by Focal Point Publications. It is chilly and overcast here today. It is the news about S.'s passing which casts me down, however. By that, I feel personally impoverished, and not by anything else.

[Previous Radical's Diary]

Relevant items on this website:

David Irving vs. Lipstadt and Penguin Books Ltd.
David Irving vs. Board of Deputies of British Jews
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