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Posted Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Of late, I seem to be getting no answers from anybody I write to: Christmas season, or what?

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December 14, 2004 (Tuesday)
London (England)

I SEND this email to Keele University's Evidence in Camera project: "For my original 1963 book The Destruction of Dresden (William Kimber, Ltd) I obtained from the Master Bomber in that raid (Wing Cdr Maurice Smith) and reproduced with HMSO permission damage-assessment photos taken five weeks later on March 22, 1945. I have copy negatives, but for a revised and updated reprint of this book which is to go to press this month I would prefer to use original rather than second- or third-generation copies, and would like to purchase from your service a good quality 300 dpi or higher digital scan of negatives K.3742, K.4020 and K.4171."

Let's see what response if any I get. Of late, I seem to be getting no answers from anybody I write to: Christmas season, or what?

Irving with KopacsiI work until 1 a.m. scanning more photo items from 1979. My interview of Sandor Kopacsi, left, the Budapest police chief during the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, living in exile in Toronto.

Gary S. Redish [], the obnoxious Jewish lawyer of the Winne Banta Hetherington & Basralian law firm in New Jersey (the one who gloated that he imagined I was now living in a cardboard box in The Strand) has emailed me asking,

What are you so busy doing? Writing books no one will publish and no one reads and no one reviews, or planning the litigation you will never file in New Zealand, because you are living off the donations? Your comments on the Prime Minister's picture are beneath even your usual standards.

I don't normally reply to Redish, but this time he gets just this, tout court: "Glad I am getting under somebody's skin." He snaps back: "You always get under mine. . ."

Yes, what does keep me busy? Beats me. Out at 7:40 a.m., and take Jessica to school. The daily school run, a high point, twice a day. The bus to South Kensington is crowded and I stand the whole way. Three French families board the bus, all regulars like us; two of them recognize me and say bonjour as they crowd in, on their way to the Lycée, where my first four daughters also learned their bit (I have been paying school fees for nearly forty years now).

I pay for the daily bus pass, though I am old enough to qualify for free travel; Jessica is still just young enough to travel free. Paying is part of my single-handed fight against the passing years -- like not drawing any pension either.

I murmur to Jessica, "We're surrounded by Frogs," but she affects not to understand. She is very politically correct.

With luck, I catch a No. 74 almost at once on the way back, and I am back home in Hertford Street by 8:45 a.m. A benefactor in Belgium has given me a set of Mozart discs, and the maestro's piano concertos fill the room all day, though not so loud as to disturb Benté below. He too relied, not always successfully, on sponsors to complete his works without financial worry. -- An order has come for seven autographed copies of Hitler and Churchill. That's nice. Customer wants to send them as Christmas presents.

Tony Blair lights menorah

DON P. has emailed from Nevada:

On your outlink -- Tony Blair lights a menorah at No.10, welcoming those who used to "light a little candle in their heart" each time a British soldier was murdered in Palestine -- you must enlarge your comments a bit from your personal experience.

I lecture him: "No. Part of the fun is the art of the 'private joke.' As a public speaker I can tell you the greatest pleasure is when only half the audience gets the point and laughs, and the rest are baffled."

The point here [I continue] was that Mr Menachem Begin, who God knows would have won few beauty contests even in his home land (whatever that was*), uttered the famous remark ("I light a little candle in my heart each time a British soldier is killed") when Jewish settlers hanged the hostages they had taken, two young British army conscripts, in an orange grove in Palestine, as a revenge act after the British mandate forces tried and hanged two Irgun terrorists for murder in the Zionist attack on the jail at Acre.

Not much gratitude there for the British Army's liberation of Europe, defeat of Adolf Hitler, and ending of the Holocaust (whatever that was). Some people in Britain have long memories, and they are the half of my audience who will who utter a chuckle of recognition. Okay, it makes it tough on the less well briefed in Nevada, but ... as said, that is the luxury of the "private joke."

* In fact Begin came from that same insidious corner of Lithuania, and the same sub-tribe of the illustrious Jewish peoples, which produced the likes of Joe Slovo and other unlamented lovelies in recent world history.

I GET stuck into the day's business: regularly enriching and updating our website, scanning photographs for four books being prepared for reprinting, and checking the Rommel reprint page proofs.

IHR's Mark Weber reminds me I owe him $409.89 for his air fare to Cincinnati. Check made out. That just wipes out the amount for the books sold this morning. I reply: "Check will go to you today." -- Despite many supporters, we are still not covering costs on the Cincinnati function.

Winston's Dunhill lighter9:33 am With my other hand, so to speak, I am digitizing old photographic collections. I find myself scanning 1978 photographs of the Gold Dunhill cigarette lighter which the adulterous Winston Churchill Jr, MP, gave to his mistress. He called me a "lunatic" in the press (because I had just revealed that his grandfather the prime minister did not deliver all his own speeches on the BBC but used a Children's Hour actor, Norman Shelley, instead); I always thought the lighter-snapshots might come in useful, but they never did.

The Dunhill's recipient was Alexandra "Gully" Wells, a comely young lady (editress?) who toured the UK for a week in 1977 managing me on behalf of Weidenfeld's during a Rommel book-signing tour. At the end of the day's bookstore signings, in our hotel in Birmingham, we had just seen Winston confessing on television that he had never even seen the book on the Waffen SS that he was objecting to (Hitler's adjutant, my friend Richard Schulze-Kossens, was in London promoting it).

I guffawed loudly at Winston's discomfiture. Gully said, "Oh he's not all bad, you know," and she fished a Gold Dunhill ciigarette lighter out of her pocket. G--W was engraved on one end. He had given it to her after imposing himself upon her person -- how otherwise can I put it (as indeed he may have said to her)? -- during his wife Minnie's absence from London. Rather cruelly, I pointed out that the hyphen engraved between their respective initials G and W was rather small, and left it at that.

Or not quite: aided by the photographs, I went to the trouble of procuring a replica lighter, which I intended to carry around and produce casually from my pocket during a likely future TV confrontation with young Mr C; alas, the global British embargo soon enforced against me on UK television programmes checkmated that little gag.

David BlunkettThe replica Dunhill lighter went the way of everything else when my archives and private possessions were seized in May 2002. As for "G", she is now a deservedly big fish in New York publishing society. I guess I always took the marriage vows more seriously than the Winston Churchills and David Blunketts (right) of this world.

[Winston Churchill Jr. died on March 3, 2010, aged 69]


A FRIEND emails me the latest news item on the mysterious links between Israeli agents in the Pentagon and whiter-than-white AIPAC in Washington DC. I respond: "Thanks for that very useful link, which I will post; getting interesting!"

10:48 am a German publisher informs me that Arndt Verlag in Kiel is widely publicizing in their catalogue a German edition of our Apocalypse 1945: the Destruction of Dresden. But they do not have the rights, as they failed to complete the contract. They even stopped the cheque they sent to Parforce.

This is thieving, piracy, pure and simple. We instruct a lawyer in Kiel to stop whatever Arndt is up to:

"Das ist ja scheußlich, was der Arndt Verlag sich jetzt erlaubt, wie aus dem Schreiben eines anderen befreundeten Verlags zu ersehen ist. Der Arndt Verlag hat ganz offensichtlich die Absicht, unser Buch Apocalypse 1945: the Destruction of Dresden in Übersetzung herauszugeben, obwohl er dafür kein Groschen gezahlt hat, den Scheck storniert, und dadurch nur Schaden in der Branche verursacht. Das können wir uns nicht gefallen lassen. Bitte lassen Sie das nicht zu lange, man muß sofort dagegen wirken. So etwas wie eine verspätete e.V gibt es nicht."

A small online contribution from Paul S, of Alabama, who writes glowing words about Nuremberg, the Last Battle which he is reading, and sends $20. I write a proper letter thanking him. Four Parforce UK Ltd contracts go off to a Moscow publisher for four lesser books. (The Soviet Union once published my PQ.17 book, omitting the little detail that Soviet destroyers had their main armament pointing to the rear.) They also want Hitler and Churchill but Parforce UK Ltd agrees they will not let them go for peanuts.

11:59 am this email goes to my barrister: "Sorry to bother you, but I have received no date yet from the Court; I filed the application [against Deborah Lipstadt] with them on Friday ten days ago. Is there a number there I can phone? Your clerk presumably would have this at his finger tips."


IN the mail, a rather irritating message from AmEx, freezing my non-existent card account with them. Somebody playing pranks again, I suspect. Larry M has moved to Ireland, and sends $100 contribution. Somebody also emails, "I just saw Churchill's War Vol. II and Hitler's War for sale on"

Keeping tabs of things, I ask my American colleague: "Is this us selling the books on Amazon or some pirate? Just to put my mind at rest." He replies: "Yes this is us, we need to do the same in the UK."

I reply: "Yes I agree. We need capital all the time. I have no time to handle that side myself."

G. emails from Peru, wants to assist on my next US tour, in the spring. Will I phone?

So the day wears on. At 1:14 pm there is a further grumpy letter from a belligerent American, Bill, about my website's policies on Iraq. I replied at length yesterday and now do so again, telling him that he lives inside the American media bubble, whereas the rest of the world does not, and in consequence of their regime's illegal war against Iraq and other policies, the Americans are rapidly becoming the Second Most Hated Nation on earth. -- Rolf Hochhuth once advised me never to reply to fan mail, as that just encourages fans to write again. Bill fires off half a dozen more letters during the day. He has more time than I have on his hands; I bet he draws a free bus pass too.

During the afternoon the television news reports that British National Party leader Nick Griffin has been arrested by West Yorkshire police, after the BBC television broadcast in July remarks he made at a private dinner. They used a hidden camera. I put this straight on the website. He apparently said that in his view Islamists were a violent, extremist sect. Duh. Off with his head. What if, on the basis of Falluja Episode I (April 2004) and Falluja Episode II (November 2004) we were to say the same about our transatlantic friends, the Americans -- violent and extremist. Don't even go there.

At that rate, perhaps the French ambassador who referred to that other "sh*tty little country in the Middle East" at Barbara Amiel's private dinner party in London could also be prosecuted -- except there was no hidden BBC camera present to make a furtive record of his remarks.

As Mr Griffin's men have today said, it is the BBC who should be arrested: they were the ones who published the private remarks, not he. In fact David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, has evidently ordered the arrests because Nick Griffin is planning to stand against him in his own constituency at the next election, which would wipe out Blunkett's political career for good. Labour is turning this country into a police state -- a multi-racial police state. Hope I haven't offended anyone saying that, in the privacy of this diary.

Irving in MoscowI digitally scan more negatives, from my 1980 research visits to the Soviet Union (right) and to the still-communist Hungary, simultaneously with handling the day's correspondence which arrives around midday. The mysterious government-appointed interpreter Erika László and her husband Bela. Etc.

The Key West printers report they have not received our last payment of $1,000 yet which I mailed. At 3:22 pm I reply: "Final check follows in seven days. We experienced some trouble with mail to KW; a $1,000 check that we deposited by mail with First State Bank has vanished" -- that was the contribution from [---, a well known newspaper columnist]. It is almost as though our post-office workers know what mail to look for.

The day is only half done. What is it that keeps me busy? At 3:30 off by No. 74 bus to South Kensington, to get Jessica, and back home at 4:25 pm. A one-mile forced march at each end again, with Jessica's warm paw stuck in mine: I tow her at speed like a minesweeper past the Lycée Français, scattering other parents and their children blocking the sidewalks.

Two teenage schoolgirls from the Lycée sit next to me on the bus, one from Brooklyn, the other French, chattering actively, and lapsing into fluent French when they don't want strangers listening; I eavesdrop shamelessly. What fun languages are! A pity Danish (and Hungarian) are so bafflingly different.

I complete parceling up the books and signing letters; thank God for Mr Pitney Bowes and his franking machines. I set off with the heavy parcels of books on the two miles walk to our nearest Post Office, in Berkeley Street, but manage to intercept the post office van nearby at 5:30.

Food shopping for the family, and back home at 6:15 pm. I phone Lima, but there is no reply; I dictate a message in Spanish on the machine, to say that I called.

In the evening, Benté shows up briefly from downstairs, but goes missing-in-action again after half an hour. I continue work on scanning photos in the background, and simultaneously formatting Rommel in PageMaker for the reprint. Total emails dealt with today, around 270.

Not much forward writing done today, but keeping the books in print is no less important than creating new ones.

The first page-pulls of Nuremberg have arrived by courier. I scrutinize them, and email to the printer: "Thank you for letting me see proofs of the final printed result; they look fine, and I am glad to see they print a bit darker than Hitler's War, which was more faint and attracted criticism for that. Plantin is a heavier typeface than Minion, and when we come to print the next items, which are in Minion, we shall have to watch the inking for that reason. I will send you the final disc of the Dresden jacket today or tomorrow, to sink your teeth into, and the picture section of Nuremberg the day after that. The Dresden book itself is in Quark XPress, which (to me) is a nightmare to work in and expand. Right now I am importing Rommel into PageMaker 7, with which I am much more comfortable (although it has bugs; e.g., it makes more sense to import into 6.5 and then convert -- the diacriticals, hard spaces, etc., go berserk otherwise)."

One-thirty a.m., downstairs to bed. Yes, one might say, a comparatively busy day.


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© Focal Point 2004 F DISmall David Irving