12, 2004 (Monday)
TODAY is Hermann Göring's birthday -- it used to be obligatory to celebrate it all over Germany, and the people complied, though with rather less fervour than on April 20 (which still is celebrated in some incorrigible quarters). He would be one hundred and eleven today.
To celebrate it, I have today posted the German edition of my famous Göring biography on my website for people to download and read free. Bertelsmann and Rowohlt Verlag, who came under the usual pressures, no longer issue it.
On this date some eleven years or more ago I addressed a large audience in a Munich beerhall; when I happened to mention whose birthday it was, the entire audience broke out with a spirited rendition of "Happy Birthday, dear Hermann."
There is probably legislation against that sort of thing firmly in place now. Even in those days, police officials would intercept me as I went into the hall and hand me a List of Things You Are Not permitted to Say During Your Speech: for instance, "You are not permitted to mention that a Mr Fred Leuchter took samples of the gas chambers as Auschwitz, and that tests showed no significant concentration of cyanide residues." I would then preface my talk by reading out the List in full ("Here is another thing I am not permitted to tell you. . ."), though sticking slavishly to the text.
Later police versions ponderously tried to skirt round this: "You are not to say that a certain gentleman took samples from a certain structure and that tests showed no significant residues of a certain substance." The audience still got the point. Finally, the List handed to me had a heading: "Confidential. Any attempt to read this document to the public will result in the immediate closing of the meeting and the arrest of the speaker." The game was up.
ON this date four years ago, the three-month Lipstadt Trial began in London. Yes, that's History in the Making. Time marches on.
It is sunny but chilly down here in the Keys. At 3:15 p.m. I cycle over to the Post Office. We need funds for the new round in the court battle for Real History. One check has arrived, for $10. And Benté has mailed to me from London the Witness Statement of Mishcon de Reya attorney Daniel Davis, in support of the latest Deborah Lipstadt application for all my valuables to be turned over to her.
It makes curious reading. It seems Lipstadt is worried I may succeed with my November application for the return of virtually all the possessions that Baker Tilly, the official Trustee, seized with my home in May 2002, when I was in Seattle. The items quoted in this witness statement show that the Trustee's solicitors DLA actually advised the Trustee to settle with me at once, many months ago, and no longer to resist my repeated demands for the return of items: upon hearing which, Lipstadt has now freaked out and stuck her boot in -- nothing, but nothing, must be returned to me. She feels entitled to it all.
The surprises start as early as para. 5:
"Professor Lipstadt is a creditor of Mr Irving in respect of her substantial costs of those proceedings (in which my firm also acted for her)."
A creditor? But it is well known that Lipstadt herself had no costs, and none were awarded to her; in fact one suspects that -- rather like the famous case of Lord Aldington -- she was actually put in funds by various wealthy enterprises as an inducement not to settle the libel action I had brought against her, given that I was asking for only token damages, and those to be paid to a charity. As for law firm Mishcon de Reya's "costs," they publicly bragged, in the press, that they had acted pro bono. They can't have it both ways -- or can they?
Baker Tilly have offered my historical research collection (and all my private files as well) around to museums, etc., and received only one half-interested bite. I could have told them that. They have to know where to fish before casting their line -- I know, and they don't.
What is further amusing is that, notwithstanding that the lying Professor Richard "Skunky" Evans, Lipstadt's "neutral and objective" expert historian, told his Cambridge students a few months ago that my research over the years had been completely worthless ("I was struck by the level of animosity," wrote one of those students to me recently, "verging on hatred, [that] the professor displayed against your person and research, claiming inter alia that the research that you had carried out was all 'worthless'"), here we find Dr Tobias Jersak, one of the expert history assistants who served under Evans in the courtroom, stating, according to the document, the very contrary.
As James Libson of Mishcon de Reya wrote to the Trustee on February 4 last year :
"I have had a preliminary word with one of the PhD students who was engaged in reviewing Irving's material at the disclosure [Discovery] stage of the trial. He confirms to me that some of the material is potentially very valuable both from an historic and a collectors perspective. I am referring, not to Mr Irving's personal papers such as his diaries (although some of his correspondence may have some intrinsic value). Instead I am talking about the material he has collected from various archives around the world."
James Libson asked the Trustee to give assurances that it would not be "remitted" to me "under any circumstances." (This raises another issue, namely Contempt: Is Dr Tobias Jersak, to whom I allowed free access to my papers for purposes of Discovery in one action, in libel, allowed without the court's explicit permission to make such free use of his knowledge of the contents for the purposes of another, in bankruptcy? I rather think not.)
Dr Jersak, of some institute or other in Stuttgart, considers that my seized files are bulging with priceless and hitherto unknown items. (In fact, those he cites may have been "unknown" to this Nichtswisser [nitwit], but of the five examples he gives I could point to their present location outside my files: e.g. what I have already donated years ago to foreign archives, including the Institut für Zeitgeschichte, or what has always been in the public domain. But in other cases Haig vs Aitken considerations definitely apply: for example the Keitel notes that Jersak cites as one example were given to me in confidence by Field Marshal Keitel's family, for my own private use, out of admiration for "the Englishman who wrote the book about Dresden." They would not want to see them put on the public auction block.
ONE ugly development is that one Harry Mazal, no less, has stuck his hand up as being an interested purchaser, and please can he have a look at all my private files to "assess their value," at no charge! God, how these Jews all network instantly among themselves.
Well, we know a great deal about Mr Mazal, and about what he is up to. He has declared himself a sworn enemy, desiring to be no less deadly to my personal fortunes in the United States than is the Board of Deputies of British Jews in the United Kingdom.
All of these people urgently want to be left alone with my private papers, and given the ability to copy or make notes of what they please, courtesy of the Trustee; and that must not be allowed -- I will go to Court to prevent it, if need be.
There is one minor puzzle: the Trustee, a Ms. Louise Brittain, in one of her dilatory replies to Mishcon, has stated that there are no funds in the Irving estate, and she is not willing therefore to become engaged in a costly legal action (which is the other reason she gives for being inclined to accede to my November application without a court battle.) "No funds?" What has happened to the cash from the sale of my seized home of 38 years in Duke Street? Even though she did not protest when Bradford & Bingley sold the property for two hundred thousand pounds less than the most recent offer we had ourselves received, there must have been some equity.
Mishcon de Reya have acidly reminded the Trustee that in my November application I have also asked for damages to be awarded against her for unreasonably retaining these research archives of mine (against the advice, as it now turns out, of her own solicitors, DLA); acceding to one of my November claims will necessarily involve conceding the damages too -- Was Gott verhüten möge, as German Jews used to say. All in all, the prospects for the High Court application that I lodged before setting out from London in November seem to be shaping up nicely indeed.