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First posted Thursday, October 6, 2011 12:50 pm

Several lessons for young White and off-White women here: don't f*ck around with Blacks, and if f*ck around you must, don't do it in Italy.

[Previous Radical's Diary]  

click for origin

Friday, September 16, 2011
Kew, London (England)

A FRIEND writes: "I just want to wish you a speedy return to the battlefield."

I thank him:

Surgery has become painfully necessary over the last five years, since I was held in solitary confinement in Austria for fourteen months in a six-foot square cell. . . As I struggle to remove my shoes at airports, I usually turn round and tell my fellow passengers, "We have Israel to thank for all this!" Bionic hip and airport gate: Yet another hidden cost of preserving the USA's greatest friendship and alliance!

-- with an ally who has incidentally not contributed a single soldier to Washington's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Sunday, September 18, 2011
Kew, London (England)

I write to all our tour guests (except one, Gerwich Bode):

It was such fun to see you all in Poland, and I am just writing to say sorry if I seemed at times overly grouchy. Jaenelle will explain that I have a leg which became increasingly worrisome as the days passed and my attempts to conceal this will not always have succeeded, hence her reference on one occasion to my "hamming".

I am glad to say that at British taxpayer expense they will cut a chunk out of my bones in four weeks' time and replace it with a titanium assembly on one side, with midget high-power servomotors and hydraulic pumps and an electronic mechanism which will enable me to run (in small circles) at 100 mph, lift ten tons on my right side (but not my left) and all powered by one AAA battery and lubricated by tea.

God willing, I shall then return, as General Macarthur put it, and hope to see y'all then.

I have acquired an excellent original early photo of Adolf Hitler with his right-hand man Heinrich Himmler from a friendly Hamburg auction house, which I will certainly use in my biography.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Kew, London (England)

A READER writes with a comment on the testimony of Prof Richard "Skunky" Evans (right) on the language knowledge of the Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss: "In Evans' report for your trial [DJC IRVING VS. PENGUIN BOOKS & LIPSTADT] he claims:

His memoirs reveal that he did in fact know English, having learned it in Palestine and improved it during his imprisonment under the Weimar Republic.

"Evans gives Höss's memoirs page 59 as his source. I've the original English edition. "Höss" claims he learnt English in Brandenburg Prison. Evans provides no source for his assertion that Höss "learned it in Palestine", nor does "Höss" state this in "his" memoirs."

Well, I have received many comments on the Regius Professor's scholarship since the trial in 2000, so this does not surprise me.

There were no messages at all from Jaenelle yesterday or Sunday. Hugo reads the darkest interpretations into this. Whatever, I have ready a well-crafted Letter of Congratulations for the moment, if it ever comes.


David Irving (left) and Hugo Haig-Thomas exploring Hitler's bunker
David Irving (left) and Hugo H-T exploring Hitler's bunker in East Prussia two weeks ago

Thursday, September 22, 2011
Kew, London (England)

JAENELLE has got the rusty Indiana water out of her hair at last. I have been writing Himmler all day, except for when I go to Chiswick to collect Jessica from school at 4:05 pm -- a parental duty which is such a pleasure that I am sad it will eventually come to an end. I was paying school bills for forty-six years, I calculate.

I sit for half an hour in Starbucks (ugh), at a table facing a beautiful but silent woman, until a stranger comes bounding over, with the familiar look on his face, exclaiming, "It's David Irving isn't it," "I am such a fan of yours," "Can I have a photo with you" (calls over wife), (clasps my hand), and gets photo. Beautiful female opposite then perks up (I imagine) and takes an interest but too late, as I have to fetch Jessica. Besides, I am monogamous.


Jason LewisMonday, September 26, 2011
Kew, London (England)

HUGO is nervous because he has arranged for a Sunday Telegraph reporter Jason Lewis (right) to call.

I have now agreed to drive up to the Dowager Lady M.'s in North Yorkshire for three days to read the diaries of her late father, General Sir James Handyside Marshall-Cornwall KCB, CBE, DSO, MC (1887 - 1985). He was military attache in Berlin until Hitler came to power, then a big noise in MI6 and the SOE.

From Indianapolis, Jaenelle inquires: "What did the interviewer ask about?"

I reply:

Usual stuff. I gave him the whole spiel. Hugo sat and chimed in. It was rather awkward. I am not in the mood for interviews, and it lasted from eleven a.m. to two p.m., which was my whole writing morning gone. . . I am sure the interview will turn out negative by the time it hits the presses, if it ever does, which I doubt. Hugo is leaving tomorrow for Germany, so when sh*t hits f*n I will have to sweat it out, while he grins from over there. As said, he's a mischief maker. -- My German lawyer is sinking his teeth into the German government which means they need me now to produce as many documents and certificates as I had to for the US embassy. Grrr. --

The evening becomes awkward as conversation turns to U. Hugo relates how U. happily bestowed on him a little packet of LSD, microscopic in size, many years ago at the embassy in Bonn. He says that many of the officials at the FO and embassy staff and half the Labour Cabinet were on drugs.

I reply that in the Vienna prison, after I did a (White) inmate a favour -- translating a letter from some prison-yard language into German for the judge -- he beckoned me under the shadow of the watch-tower where he could not be observed, and pressed a little packet into my hand, a screw of paper. I was horrified when I opened it. I beckoned him back into the same shadow and slipped it back into his hand. I may even have been set up by a stoolie.

Hugo then [. . . relates further episodes]. She had baked a fair whack of cannabis into it, he said. My amazement and frigid response only increase. He adds that our mutual friend Michael Bl., the biographer, had done the same to him at a party in Bayswater -- passing round a plate of chocolate truffles which had been similarly spiked. "I scoffed several without realizing, though I did not really like their taste," says Hugo, "and I was violently sick several times when I got home."

I again express astonishment. These friends of his seem to live in a different universe, I said. It is among other things a felony under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, namely "administering a noxious substance."

I told him the story of my personal assistant Aislinn M. who had evidently been about to tell me happily back in 1998 how she had "experimented" with drugs at university. She expressed amazement when I interrupted that at our school and university drugs were unheard of in the 1960s. I warned her that if she spoke the next sentence as she seemed about to, I would have no option but to terminate her employment and put her on the next plane out of Key West to Miami and London. She went bright pink and checked herself. Is my fury unreasonable, at these brainless morons who have created the seemingly unstoppable drugs epidemic which has killed so many sons and daughters?


Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Kew, London (England)

JASON LEWIS has a follow-up question:

You mentioned Steve Tyas, what do you say to his claim about the Reinhardt figures which were typed on Hitler's typewriter?

I reply:

without getting bogged down in too much detail, or revealing too much of what is in my biography, two versions of the Korherr report were prepared; Himmler asked the statistician (whom I interviewed years ago) to rewrite it shorter for Hitler's benefit, and to omit the telling reference to "special treatment" of Jews "in" the camps in occupied Poland, changing it to "channeling the Jews through the camps to the East". Himmler then told Gestapo chief Ernst Kaltenbrunner that the Korherr report would be very useful "for camouflage purposes" (aus Tarnungsgründen). Hitler was having the wool pulled over his eyes.

I don't see eye to eye with Steve Tyas. He and other conformist historians cannot explain the passages I refer to.

An email comes:

Our company represents an online platform of over 36.2 million people, most of which are located in the US and Canada. What we do allows us to present our online platform with a first choice when they search for anything on any of the major search engines. We seek a preferred source to send our users on the major search engines for speaking tours in various markets. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience.... David Gilmore [and a US free phone number].

I forward it innocently to Jaenelle in Indiana, who is much cleverer than me: "You might in one of your free moments phone this man and find out what they offer and what the deal is. This is the second time they have emailed me (bulk mail no doubt, but presumably targeted on people who do speaking tours)."

She replies just a couple of minutes later: "It's just spam mail. I wouldn't waste my time. Put his email address into Google and you will find where people have posted the exact same email message from him, but where 'speaking tour' is replaced with things like 'life insurance', 'health insurance', 'auto insurance', 'Disney vacations', and more. The only reason you got 'speaking tours' is because that language appears on your website in conjunction with your email address. I really hope you don't fall for the Nigerian money scams."

I reply: "Gosh.** hangs head in shame ** goes red ** wets pants ** "
Her response is terse: "Disgusting."
I respond: "Has the Parsifal-like purity of [her new friend] rubbed off on someone I know? -- PS: Parsifal is not a soap powder."


Monday, October 3, 2011
Kew, London -- North Yorkshire (England)

I SET out around noon, and arrive at Malton in North Yorkshire at 4:45 p.m. The Vienna Leg howls at me every time I have to brake, which takes more sudden muscle effort than accelerating.

I pass a road leading to Castle Howard (right) on the way, where Rebecca Sieff now (presumably) lives as Mrs Simon Howard, lady of the manor.

The Dowager Lady M. lives in a formidable stately home with probably a hundred rooms. Her late husband, Lord M., died of cancer as recently as May 27, the title passing instantly to his oldest son.

A housemaid brings tea. I select the Darjeeling, and murmur that if she has a dinner party the next time I will of course come with black tie; she dismisses this shortly with a remark that she finds my (Gieves) pinstripe "very smart". Well, Richard "Skunky" Evans didn't, and it was brand new then.

She launches into lengthy accounts about the all clubs she belonged to in Palm Beach in the 1980s, in which thank Goodness .... I said it was agreeable to be able to talk like that in private here without worries about "political correctness." Frightful people, she went on, and who was I to disagree or stop her? Conversation turned to Rebecca Sieff, and she says straight away that Rebecca was the daughter of Lord Sieff's wayward brother, a ne'er-do-well . . . and lots more delightful gossip.

The M.s have known the Howards for years. Well, their lines do go back for many centuries. When Simon started off with Rebecca in 1999, he had to divorce his wife (Annette, known as "Scruff"), who got a settlement which cost him around six or seven million pounds and has left him in difficult straits. He had assumed that a Sieff must have money, and she did not reveal that she was quite penniless (as I knew well and easily confirmed: in 1997 I had had to slide a £50 note across the table to her, quite willingly as she was good fun, in the PRO -- I was working already then on Himmler, and she was working as the very capable researcher for a Royal biographer, Hugo Vickers).

Lady M presumes that Rebecca had to sign a pre-nuptial agreement or whatever it is called here. She has had twins, a boy and a girl -- I said I was very happy for her. Lady M says . . . [more gossip.] I say I have not followed Rebecca's case since she married, apart from seeing an article in Vanity Fair about her in 2002: "The Woman Who Set Out to Marry a House", with a very fetching whole-page photo of her in riding gear.

"Ha!" snorts Lady M., "she has not been on a horse in her life," which brings her onto the story of the Ampleforth Hounds, a pack of beagles, etc. Rebecca had blotted her copybook once and for all by writing a gossip item dismissing Malton, the local village, as a dismal little joint. She has barely shown her face in the high street since then.

Rebecca spends wildly on clothes untroubled by the slightest taste in fashion or dress-sense -- she turned up at one very formal cocktail party here in black tights and a transparent frou-frou skirt of gold and glitter, at which Lady M's description grinds to a halt. Yes, that is the Rebecca that I remember. Evidently Rebecca and she are not the best of friends.


Birdsall House

Lady M's modest residence

THE talk turns to her late husband. Lord M was fitted with a pacemaker a couple of years before the end ("his bones are here, beneath the desk in the Library, you will find," and indeed they are, in a oaken box the size of a footlocker) and after that he was constantly panting and short of breath until he died. I mention the suicide pact which the US Admiral Chester Nimitz Jr entered with his wife Joan, to spare something of their fortune for their children to inherit, and that at once elicited the fact that she knew them too, they were her neighbours in Palm Beach, she had been interested in buying the lot next to theirs. El Mundo es un panuelo, say the Spaniards.

Dinner at seven-thirty p.m. The bed in my guest room, a four-poster, is ca. 1700, she says -- she adds: "The mattress is new" (but not much newer, it seems, as her mother in law had bought it and she died, like mine, fifty years ago).

The European Union, she hates: "You can't buy mothballs any more, not the real ones anyway." I suggest that we should perhaps invade Europe all over again, and get it right this time. More names come out, of people she knew well -- Archie Sinclair, later Lord Thurso, was one. Well-bred as I am, I did not mention that I consider Sinclair and Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder, another such acquaintance of hers, two of the second world war's war criminals.

Her London flat overlooks the multi-million pound house of Nigella Lawson, which brings the dinner-table talk round to corsets, hair mischievously shorn for the benefit of cell-phone cameras, and Waitrose ready-made meals for children.

"I shop at Waitrose," points out Lady M., rather missing the point. She has three sons. . . I remark that I have instructed my own last Golden girl, Jessica, to find a husband who is as good to her as I have been, despite all, to her mother.

An altogether odd but very free and easy chat over dinner, under the testing stares of centuries-old oil-painted ancestors all named Willoughby or M. -- chicken Kiev and lemon posset being the main courses. The talk turns to the high cost of domestic staff. I remind her that the value of the pound is dropping; it is not that prices are going up. The Americans have the same complaint about the price of gasoline in dollars: but it is the dollar which is worth less, not gas which is costing more.

She shows me round some of the house, switching lights on and off as we wander through the rooms. The Oval Room (the drawing room) has a twelve-foot high curved oaken door which catches my eye immediately. "People say if the house catches fire, forget the Reynolds," she laughs, "and save that door!"

Through gold-rimmed solid oaken double-doors, each the size of a football goal, the Oval Room gives onto a vast ballroom, its walls lined with ten-foot tall paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds and equine studies by George Stubbs; elsewhere I espy costly sculpted marble fireplaces; a dining table seating fifty -- "very useful for the American tours," adds Lady M. "They get a full meal too." We drift into a room with long-fought naval battles on the walls, with an eighteenth century admiral at one end -- it is the quarrelsome Admiral Sir Nesbit Josiah Willoughby (1777-1849) -- a black patch over his sightless right eye.

"The original model for Hornblower" says Lady M., and adds that he was given two knighthoods by mistake -- the inevitable signals about "Twice a Knight at Your Age!" going round the Navy thereafter; I tell her how Hornblower's daring exploits lightened many a grim hour for me in that solitary cell in Vienna five years ago.

Photo below: General Marshall-Cornwall in Turkey 1941

GeneralMarshall-Cornwall in Turkey 1941 INTO her son's study, where all her father's diaries and papers are kept, the other reason why I came -- the general's diary notebooks in a gray steel box the size of suitcase, all his papers in assorted binders stacked in a cupboard, which she has not had the inclination to open since he died.

"I will start work on them first thing after breakfast," I tell her. Which we arrange for eight-thirty a.m. (as my initially suggested "eight a.m." has her cook, hovering over us with pencil poised, taken slightly taken aback).

My practiced eye tells me I am looking initially at about a day's work, and I am confident I can persuade her to let me borrow any I may need longer. I say that when Jaenelle comes back this side of the Atlantic, I would like to bring her up to have a look over the house too. It is a real glimpse of how the English aristocracy -- the landed gentry, the upper classes, the Establishment -- lives, or at least lived, for centuries before the feckless fraternal brotherhood of Tony Blairs and Arthur Scargills came along with their democratic tools of empire-demolition, and undid what British naval and military heroism had created around the world.

Those were the days before Internet, world wide web, and cell-phone, and I am not surprised to find that my guest bedroom, in fact the whole house, is shrouded in Stygian darkness with regard to all three. For three days I am out of touch with the modern world, but I am breathing air once breathed by long-gone sea-dogs who wore eye-patches, and the British military attaché in pre-war Berlin.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011
North Yorkshire (England)

UP at eight a.m., breakfast with her Ladyship at eight-thirty a.m., then I work systematically all day on the general's diaries and papers, breaking for lunch with her Ladyship at 1:30 p.m. -- joined toward the end by Lady Cara, her blonde and cheerful granddaughter-in-law, 25-ish, plump, and mother of three, a scion of the Mond line (hmmm) and descendant of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, followed by tea at five and dinner at seven-thirty p.m.

The general's papers are quite good and well worth the six-hundred mile drive: I photograph the diaries for 1940 to 1945 inclusive, page by page, some nine hundred pages; and then ransack the cupboard, shelf by shelf, dictating a list of the contents for her Ladyship -- she will hand them over to a university. The papers for his period as GOC Western Command (to September 7, 1942), and in France as commander No. 17 Mission, (May-June 1940) are very complete -- about five hundred pages of original carbon copies and documents. He supplied 1940 materials to Churchill's biographer Martin Gilbert, who appears not to have cast more than a desultory glance over them, and he picked holes in Ellis's official history. The files for his period in SOE and MI6 are missing, not that I am surprised.

There are scores of framed photos, now collected into a cardboard box, and photo albums going back to the 1920s; I scan a dozen photos in them, I know not really why. One photo in a fading frame shows a young Lady M and her brother James, 18, on August 6, 1940, outside 36 Cadogan Place, going to the investiture of her father. Poor James was picked off by a German sniper in Normandy on July 30, 1944, and still lies where he fell. His father, the general, bought the plot of land after the war, and the official War Grave is erected there. She goes there once a year to attend the local village memorial ceremony.

Over lunch and again over dinner Janet again raises the matter of Hugo . . . if one listens with patience she has a very sharp wit and remembers names and places without difficulty (she was a shorthand secretary at MI6, and knows things which will remain her secret until her grave, she says: I did not press her) -- episodes like the wartime night she spent on duty, tin-hatted and with a stirrup-pump, at MI6 with Kim Philby. The diaries of her father contain names of many I met or knew of -- like Sir Bernard Docker and John Bevan (who was with the Economic League, and tried to recruit me, who knows for what?, in about 1958), and others.

Over tea she then dwells upon her own offspring -- the new Lord M runs the estate (12,000 or 13,000 acres, she says: a tad approximate, methinks, but what's a thousand acres here or there?) . . . Sounds like any other normal family household, but with extra zeroes at the end.


I WITHDRAW upstairs around ten p.m., and read the day's newspapers -- Amanda Knox acquitted. Very little emphasis placed in the press on the Black mother of the butchered "English" victim, or the Black Ivory Coast man whose semen was subsequently found in the victim and who has been jailed after confessing to the savage murder. All very odd. Several lessons for young White and off-White women here: don't f*ck around with Blacks, and if f*ck around you must, don't do it in Italy.

[Previous Radical's Diary]  


Our Index on the origins of anti-Semitism
Daily Telegraph "Way of the World" on Rebecca Sieff: an unkind, or envious, take on her. Born May 27, 1967, she is the daughter of Jonathan Sieff (born 1933), brother of Lord Sieff.


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