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Posted Monday, February 7, 2005

The Roosevelt cottage and furniture are remarkable for their homely simplicity: stark wooden furniture, tin bowls, homespun bedding. I wonder what George W Bush sleeps in?

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February 7, 2005 (Monday)
London (England)

TO SLOANE SQUARE AT eight-fifteen with Jessica; the last of her entrance examinations for an upper school. She has become quite blasé about them. Each school has now told us she has done very well indeed in the exams: the world may yet be her oyster. I have applied no pressure, of course, but I do tell her if she fails, she can always get a job at Burger King.

Three school runs a day for the last week or two. The buses are swamped by immigrants. Tony Blair says he welcomes them. Not a vote-winning remark, I would have thought. I have meanwhile continued scanning-to-disc old negative collections, and I have come across the pictures I took in 1994 of the cottage at Warm Springs, Georgia, where Franklin D Roosevelt died in April 1945 (I was under contract to Random House at that time, to write a biography of FDR: they quietly annulled that contract in April 1996, under the same pressure as St Martins Press who cancelled my Goebbels biography: and people still ask me why I took legal action against Deborah Lipstadt and her gang of long-haired louts).

The Roosevelt cottage and furniture are remarkable for their homely simplicity: stark wooden furniture, tin jug and wash basin, homespun bedding. I wonder what George W Bush sleeps in? I have always regarded the FDR administration as one of the greatest the country has produced, and I have yet to find any hint of corruption at the top among his papers.

 The last, unfinished, painting of
FDR, done at the cottage

BIT by bit my forthcoming speaking visit to the United States is taking shape. The Americans are my favourite people on earth -- but not their current Government, I might add. One day they will get it right again, I hope. I am still wondering what chicanery brought a man of Senator John Kerry's calibre to the top of the Democrat wormheap in the last election. He spoke like a loser, thought like a loser, looked like a loser, and fought like a loser.

I shall be down at the Show of Shows in Louisville, Kentucky, but a day late -- a planning mix-up has saddled me with a ticket I cannot change. After that I speak in Elvis country, then on to Birmingham, Mobile, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge. My hope is to show the new German movie, Downfall, to early comers, then lecture on The Real Adolf Hitler of History -- the man described to me in close and often intimate detail by the men and women who worked with him for the last ten years or more. Eventually I intend to write a book just about these people, like his secretary Christa Schroeder. They kept very much to themselves.

After N'Orleans, I shall head west to Houston and then return through Dallas and Shreveport or Texarkana or Tulsa to Kansas City -- it is twenty-five years since I last spoke there, to an audience of some ladies' organisation; and then on via Des Moines, reaching Minneapolis-St Paul in mid March and then travel on to either Madison or Milwaukee to Chicago, where I shall stage a small exclusive dinner at the same location we selected last time. This is only the first of three loops; the second will head eastwards, touching Nashville, Tennessee, on the weekend of March 25-26 where I will be at the Militaria Relics Show, and then a bookstore at Havre de Grace on the east coast; then back through Chicago to a string of locations across the south-west and west coast. A lot of Canadian friends always come down from British Columbia to hear me when I speak at Seattle.


 SPEAKING of Canada, following Vice President Dick Cheney's "wardrobe malfunction," during the solemn Auschwitz celebrations, a Canadian friend has today sent me a report which suggests that there is some kind of curse on those who go on all-expenses-paid junkets to the notorious camp -- and I am not referring to the "up to 300,000" victims who died at Auschwitz from all causes in WW2, according to the war crimes court in Krakow in 1947.

The Asper-owned Calgary Herald, in Canada, carried an op-ed piece from Canada's Governor General Adrienne Clarkson in its Saturday edition two days ago. In it, Her Excellency -- our own Queen's illustrious representative -- recalled her recent excursion to Auschwitz, to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the German concentration camp by Soviet forces.

I have always pondered that word "liberation", by the way -- why did nearly all the inmates, given the choice, around January 17, 1945, of staying in the camp to be "liberated" by the Red Army or walking or being transported hundreds of miles in the freezing snow westwards with their no less unlovely Nazi captors, choose the latter? Among those who preferred not to be "liberated" were Otto Frank and his small family -- Anne Frank and her sister Margot, Elie Wiesel, and a bunch of other clear-sighted notables.

Anyway, Canada's own Generalgouverneur (-euse?) wrote:

"In the bus on the way to Auschwitz, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, the Grand Duke of Luxemburg, the president of Poland and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke of what we were remembering. Everybody was aware of the role that Canada played in the Second World War and we did not have to explain, especially not to the Queen of the Netherlands, how much we had sacrificed."

Oops. No royal observer has come such a cropper since the 1950s, when "Crawfie," the old nanny and retainer of our Royal Family, described in her regular Woman's Own column a magnificent Trooping of the Colour, referring in touching detail to Her Majesty's beautiful dress and horse, and her stately demeanour. The piece had been written and printed in advance. QE was indisposed that day, and did not attend the Trooping. Crawfie was sacked.

Queen Juliana of Holland -- actually Queen Mother at the time -- died last year, on March 20, 2004. As for "remembering," QJ's health is reported to have been in decline since 1998; with several observers suggesting Her Majesty's frequent memory lapses were caused by her struggle with Alzheimer's.

My friend tells me with great glee that the Governor General's illiterate op-ed was printed in several Canadian dailies owned by the Aspers' CanWest Publications monopoly, including the Victoria Times-Colonist and Vancouver Sun.

A note at the bottom of the piece reminds readers that "In a gesture of appreciation for this contribution, CanWest Publications has made a charitable donation in the name of the Governor General to the cause of literacy."


 [Previous Radical's Diary]


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Deutsche Stimme interviews David Irving at length (in German) about Dresden, Auschwitz, World War II and history: "The German spirit is still enemy-occupied territory. . ."
Apologies all round Outrage of Auschwitz survivor because Canadian Television included interview with Prof Norman Finkelstein | and Mr Irving's comments
Auschwitz: The Barber's Story -- CNN interviews Pole who claims to have witnessed Everything | Our readers comment dismissively
Our big Auschwitz file
© Focal Point 2005 F DISmall David Irving