20, 2004 (Friday)
A. has emailed me from Denmark: "Someone called me to tell me that on the morning television news show they talked about your visit and how they plan to stop you." That's nice.
At ten am he phones from Copenhagen. Tomorrow's restaurant location has its picture on the front page of a national newspaper this morning, so it has cancelled under threat of violence. I say, "Tell me all this when I get there this evening." He adds that the city's police have phoned him, nervous about this weekend, but will be there. Just what I need to put me in a really grim mood.
2:05 p.m. flight to Copenhagen, Denmark. Inside the terminal building in Copenhagen there is a noticeable police presence, with ten police in each baggage hall; when I approached him their chief says he knows who I am and radios word of my arrival to his colleagues outside. Outside is clear of demonstrators: A. is waiting and a Danish TV reporter for a short interview. Protestors have been cleared out of airport, says A. He is perspiring heavily, very nervous. Burly driver Eric E. drives off carefully before I can go and thank the police unit. I check into the hotel under other names. I sleep two hours like a dead dog.
The 6:30 pm Danish Television bulletin -- which I do not watch -- announces: "Police expect disturbances because of Holocaust denier."
9 pm Danish Television bulletin shows the airport interview, and people who see it later remark to me that its tone is somewhat softened: "Den berygtede engelske historiker, David Irving, ankom i dag til København". I can live with that: "The notorious English historian David Irving today came to Copenhagen". Note how the Holocaust denier becomes the "historian" when they show the interview.
21, 2004 (Friday)
Breakfast at 10 with A. He says he has approached two other locations, one a library; both asked straight away if the planned meeting had anything to do with "Mr Irving", and refuse when he says that it is. They do not want violence on their premises, and I can't blame them.
Two television programmes have requested interviews. He has told them he will ask me. I say, "It doesn't matter if I can not speak to fifteen people in a room, if the outcry results in my speaking to fifty million people on television!" (The programmes cover all Scandinavia). He is very, very nervous, has to be led through every step. I say to tell the television stations that yes, I will speak with them, either in their studio or, preferably, here in the Radisson SAS Falconers hotel, as I have "a friend staying here."
I go down to the hotel lobby at one p.m. There are two police officers in the hotel lobby, assigned to provide round the clock security, it turns out. That embarrasses me; the police here are very good, but I do not feel I need that kind of security. They seem to know differently. As it turns out that they have also identified where I am actually staying, their sources appear to be very good. The police inquire where tomorrow afternoon's three p.m. function is going to be; although it has only just been fixed, they probably know already -- it is in the suburbs -- but I tell them we will let them know in good time.
I give two interviews first for a television team from DR (Danish Radio) for this evening's 6:30 p.m. news bulletin, then for their rivals, Channel 2. First team is very laid back, the same team that was at the airport; the second team asks more abrasive questions -- including about the Holocaust.
I say I have not written about it, and do not care about it, -- I find it boring -- but I will answer questions if people ask them; the shootings on the eastern front happened, but even Judge Gray found it baffling [in his Judgment in the Lipstadt action, April 2002] that while these are fully documented, there is no documentation whatever to support the notion of Auschwitz as a factory of death.
Responding to a question by the interviewer, I say I have hundreds of friends here in Denmark, including many academics who would like to hear me address university audiences, but they all fear for their careers if I am invited. But that is what universities are for, I say, to hear both sides. I am not interested in money: I will be very rich long after my death, but I will have the satisfaction of knowing that it is my books that are being read in the 22nd century, not those of my opponents. The books by the conformist historians all draw heavily on my biography, Hitler's War, I add; but I have not drawn on any of theirs.
Lunch with A. and a friend, a wealthy gentleman of leisure, who is a devotee of David Kahn and his ground-breaking book The Codebreakers; very knowledgeable on cryptanalysis.
AT TWO p.m. an unexpected visit from P., eighty-seven years years old, not known previously to me. Brings two big packages, wrapped in bubble wrap: they contain the diaries -- Terminkalender -- of Werner Best about which I wrote on my last visit here. It reminds me rather of Buenos Aires in 1991 -- the stranger who handed me a packet containing the Adolf Eichmann papers. The Best diaries are also translated (and annotated) in Danish. They were captured from Best's home by two Danish intelligence officers attached to the Swedes, and are now in secret Swedish archives; they are held under a rule which makes them unavailable to the general public. P. was in the Danish resistance himself, is highly interested in my work. I am effusive with my thanks for this gift, which will be of great help in the Heinrich Himmler biography I am writing.
I tell him that ten years ago the Deutsche Bank tried to cancel my account, which I first opened in Essen in 1959 as a Ruhr steelworker, but backed off when I had my German lawyers threaten them with a lawsuit.
I have this theory about the other side's History: There must be something wrong with it, if they have to resort to methods like these to protect it from exposure.