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First posted Thursday, September 18, 2014

I wonder if it really is a brain defect. I half suspect there isn’t one but K. has talked me into believing there is.

[Previous Radical's Diary]  

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Thursday, November 6, 2014
Scottish Highlands (UK)

LIVERPOOL meeting is off. I am not pleased: “You also asked me to cease offering a Liverpool meeting to outsiders,” I point out,
Bente asks: “Forgot to ask if Paloma knows that you are ill? I’d have thought that she’s got the naggability to get you to see a doctor!” – I reply that I am not ill.

Dave H. writes, ‘David, I was talking to some friends last night and your name came up. So I gave you a “plug.” (As you say, “ plug “ means different things depending on which side of the pond you’re on!) I said. My friend Christopher Hitchens told me in June of 1996, Dave if you read one book this year be sure it’s Goebbels by David Irving.” I told my friends about Himmler and how I’m looking forward to it. So my friend, keep up the good fight.”

I’m looking for the van’s logbook. Can’t do the tour without it, I ask Paloma: “Are you absolutely sure you don’t have the Pigmobile logbook? You must’ve had something when you applied for the residents’ parking.”


Friday, November 7, 2014
Scottish Highlands (UK)

A VOICE from the very distant past, C., a fellow Old Brentwood:

By accident as these things happen I stumbled on an unused bookmark I’d saved years ago ... and now just viewed the inset video which I found fascinating.

Of course seeing you took me back to schooldays and your coterie of companions - Bassett, David Hutt, Down, S.S. Robb?, your brother Nicky of course, as you congregated by the air-raid shelters near the Powleys (temporary classrooms with a gas heating systems that worked against the known laws of thermo dynamics in that they heated the ceiling and not a lot else, so that the inkwells had slush in them in the mornings and there were icicles on the windows, inside! The Times still cost sixpence, to place it historically! I was terrified by and in awe of JWH Rennie.
    What I most remember about you and wanted to mention except that I’ve since viewed your school mock-election photos and found myself confounded as a result is that my memory is perhaps of a different occasion. At our age (I’m a month younger then yourself) we don’t easily offend I hope. My always recollection is of you standing on the mounting block at the rear of the square adjoining the Bean Library, in short trousers still (as we all were then) with red podgy knees (I was self conscious about my own and noticed such things) and you were haranguing a crowd of little conservatives and (this is the point) you were a lone voice espousing the cause of National Socialism. That is my memory and when you became famous in later years for your work and perhaps misreported and controversial views about the Third Reich I felt amazed that perhaps your interest stemmed even from those schooldays. How much of that is wrong?
    In the film I think you said the headmaster was liberal and I wondered how you came to make that observation. That was C.R. Allison who I thought throughout my years was a distant if elegant character destined to be a headmaster since his pronounced hairline, his quiff, perfectly matched the line of a mortarboard!
I hope this finds you well.
Kind Regards
Stephen C.
(Was from Chelmsford, now Eton, Windsor).

I reply:

Well C., that is a very distant but pleasant surprise from the past. C.: ah, I have your (mental) picture now. Short, and in trousers. Maddening to see that you are in Eton: I lived for four years in Dorney until 2010 after serving 1 1/2 years in a Vienna prison under an eighteen-year-old arrest warrant for writing history (they won’t learn) and then rented a room from our housekeeper in Eton Wick until this August. And have always liked this ambience (Eton High Street, not Vienna prison) and still spend an hour every day I can in Eton’s Costa’s. But more recently I have moved up here to Inverness, and am continuing my interest in the Third Reich, and writing books.
    I blame C R Allison [Brentwood’s headmaster], with whom I stayed in touch until his death. Those names bring back memories and I can visualize most of them: David Handley Hutt seems to have moved up in the clergy and is a high functionary at St Paul’s Cathedral; Down I recall as very effeminate; Bassett and Robb, no recollection other than names.
    Occasionally I run into Old Brentwoods: Porteous for example in New Zealand, from which country I am now also banned. Amazingly, ones memory of Old Brentwoods ages too.
    I had forgotten the Powleys from that day to this; your memory of them is sound. I used to go back every year and talk to the Sixth Form at the invitation of Willis, the history teacher, who told me he was inducted by ‘Captain’ Kidd: “Tomorrow you go over the top, and it’s the first day that makes or breaks a teacher. I’ll tell you how I do it. I march into a classroom, single out the most inoffensive looking brat and clip him round the ears: ‘Boy, if that’s what you get for doing absolutely nothing, you can imagine what you’ll get if I catch you doing anything at all.’”
He would go prison now if he tried that. Now I understood the invitations are no longer forthcoming because one parent objected.
    I will be back in Eton Wick for four nights from November 14 and would be glad to see you. I think your memory of the mock elections is slightly flawed: I was standing for Labour. But understandable.

Then there’s another fan letter:

I AM a 15 year old boy who lives in America, I would like to thank you for all your hard work and dedication you have committed to serving and finding the truth in all matters. While there are some people who wish to see your good name tarnished and stamped upon with smear campaigns, one knows with the perspective of history that these fierce campaigns are started by those who wish to conceal a truth. I have known your name from the time I was young. My father was a military officer often would bring home many books to have my brothers, sisters to read, one of them bears your name. I read it and fell in love with your The Trail of the Fox, my father has great admiration for Rommel and the book has comforted him while in the deserts of Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Kuwait, and many other places he has been deployed.
    I researched more on you and found that you are a man of immense intelligence and always are witty and to the point, and I greatly respect that in a man. My favorite thing to study in school was World War II, and particularly The Third Reich. Unfortunately I have never been sufficiently, or at all really, satisfied for knowledge of this time, there are so many stories, lessons, truths, and the like to be learned and discovered, this is of irresistible nature to me. Just listening to videos online of you speaking has even more sparked my interest. Just watching your old interviews and seeing how absolutely vile and how completely dishonest the reporters are to you has spoken to me, how you can have all these setbacks, slander campaigns, etc all against you- yet you persist. That is the stuff of great men indeed, and you are a great man. 
    My years of public schooling, due to the military, has ranged from British Schools in Kuwait to bible belt southern American schools. Yet, it has all been the same. Every German, man, woman, and child are born of eternal sin, that World War II is their utter and complete fault of the Germans, that they committed genocides on scales not even feasibly possible, and that if you have any sympathy, questions, or seek to simply find the other side you are an enemy of the state, an enemy of the society, and a sick and twisted person so much so you deserve imprisonment or worse. Unfortunately, as in the rest of the world, I cannot ever express my inner feelings and doubts, it is a culture and intellectual/academic atmosphere forged by those who wish to attack you Mr. Irving, they certainly have a vested interest in silencing you. I wish to find the truth in this matter. Maybe it is personal, my grandfather and grandmother are German, they use to call my father the “ugly kraut” in England, my grandmother escaped Eastern Germany from the communist government, and her stories have put a mark on me, and the German upbringing she gave me really did change me.
    Hiking everyday, very healthy living, hard work, studying, it really made me what I am today, and I am very happy because of it. I refuse to believe the narrative all Germans are eternally evil, and I am glad that there is someone brave enough to dedicate his life and name to giving a voice to the other side, my grandmother’s side. 
I plan on donating regularly and buying more of your books, they are excellent and as I become more qualified to speak about the Third Reich and I will try to spread the word as much as possible.

   We all die in the end unfortunately, but you are something many people envy, you have immortality, you will live on forever in your writing and will be known as the man who gave the victims a voice and selflessly pursued the truth in all matters of affairs in World War II. I solemnly want you to know there are a lot of youth and adults alike who agree with you, that there are us who must be silent in this political atmosphere. Your decades of life and work dedicated to public service – which is exactly what it is – will never be forgotten, and when the rotten edifice of lies falls apart, you will be left as the man who spoke the truth and did not give into temptation and greed, but rather put yourself through hell and back to give a voice to a silenced minority and exposed those who wish to pervert history into their twisted greed and interests.

    Mr. Irving, you are a role model for many more young people than you can ever expect, and always remember: it is always darkest before my Housekeeper. That my friend is the lesson of life. I hope you have a pleasant day and keep fighting the good fight. God bless you.
    Thank you for your endless service to the truth Mr. Irving. 

I SUSPECT I may have died and people forgot to tell me. I tell Jessica, “Go easy on the card for the next few days, Jessica.” Jessica apologises for over-using the card: “Sorry! Didn’t think I’d used it that much. Quite broke at the moment but handing out CVs this week for work. also have a job interview tomorrow for work telephoning alumni next term :)” And: “Have you been to the doctor yet?” Somebody has evidently been talking.

Stephanie C. of York cancels her ticket. Methinks a bit too stridently. I check, and her address is the same as a law firm. Sniffer also checks: “Yes, I fear bogus. Phone number given is that of a dissolved building company at what seems to be a residential address in a shabby part of York. The phone number given is disconnected so on that ground alone I’d say we have a mole here.”

I send her this message: “The location of our meeting on November 11 is The Black Swan, York. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. We would ask you not to come too much before then. We reserve the right to refuse admission.” – It isn’t, but we routinely send fraudulent applicants to the wrong location.

She replies at 5:02: “Hello, Unfortunately I will not be able to come and have requested a full defund [sic]. Please can u confirm I will receive the funds back into my account soonest. I wait your response.”


Sunday, November 9, 2014
Scottish Highlands – Edinburgh (UK)

UP at 8 a.m., finally packed the van, left at 10 a.m. Drove through sunshine and fog patches from Invernessdown the A-9 to Edinburgh.

Meeting started around 3:30 p.m.. I am having great difficulty with my voice for the last few days. I now dread the speaking. Churchill used to have a dread of every speech, it seemed to him that “vultures” were circling overhead before each speech. He often spoke of those vultures. Now I know how he felt. My voice has lost an entire bass level, and a high level as well: it seems hoarser than usual. I have to force myself to speak.

Good meeting but my brain difficulty, if there is one, is perceptible and I hope no one noticed. I give a poor, disjointed talk, painfully aware when I hesitated. I forgot names and events and generally made a mess of things. A married couple unwittingly helped by interrupting and asking questions. The woman had previously identified herself as an old [Oswald] Mosleyite, with a German grandparent. They invited me to supper at a “nearby” restaurant, the Carvery, on the road to Newcastle they said. It turned out to be neither, but the meal was good and she talked incessantly and he asked so many questions that I began to suspect he was MI5.

Okay by me. Finally on the road at eight-thirty p.m. or so, making for Newcastle. The GPS took me off the A1, the correct road, onto minor roads through Morpeth and Berwick, as the fuel gauge cruised down to below the empty mark E and then the water temperature rose to the boiling point, a new defect. Mercifully, a gas station hoves into sight after three hours’ driving on Empty, and I screech into it and put in fifty pounds of diesel. The station then turns out the lights, closed. Just as well, as I then get very lost at the exit turn-off and it takes fifteen minutes or more to find the service area with the hotel.

I wonder if it really is a brain defect. I half suspect there isn’t one but K. has talked me into believing there is. Three weeks without K. will do me good. Into bed at ten thirty.


Monday, November 10, 2014
Newcastle (UK)

UP at ten thirty. Twelve hours’ sleep. I have trouble getting onto the Internet. In a Little Chef most of the morning. Finally I pack up and head up the road to Gateshead/Newcastle. At the hotel at four. I slowly drag the books up into the room, which fills to capacity. I deliver a talk slightly better than last night but still nothing like polished.

I have a lot of fans and none seems to be disappointed. Book sales very good. I do hope this brain defect, if that’s what it is, clears up soon.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Gateshead – York – somewhere (UK)

I CRUISE into Gateshead at noon, return the key, go online for half an hour. Then to Barclays: I send one thousand pounds to K. Then drive to York, arrive at the hotel at four p.m. A fine hotel, we shall use their meeting room again; costs seventy-five pounds, but worth it as forty guests turn up, trickling in. A lot of strangers. Book sales are very good, people are buying for Christmas. Set out at ten-thirty p.m. for Coventry; after an hour and several rebuffs I find a hotel, and check in. Check-out time is ten. Up in Inverness, K. says somebody phoned from America.


Wednesday, November 11, 2014
York – Coventry (UK)

ON the road at nine, but I run immediately into a horrendous traffic jam on the A1. It takes an hour to cover five miles. Arrive at the hotel in Coventry at midday or so. The two English students from University College London have just arrived to interview me, one a chubby medical student, the other a diminutive Asian girl, so no harm done by my delay.

I am thinking quite clearly, but the signals are not reaching my vocal system intact. I hesitate, searching for the word I need and all sorts of things I never used to until the Event a few weeks ago, if there was one. I am hoping that if I ignore it, it will gradually go away. But it makes speaking an ordeal, and I wonder if others notice – or am I just imagining it?

Afterwards I stay at the hotel for two hours handling the Internet, then check into the Hotel at Coventry, about five miles from the city center. It is a great stately hotel, looks like a hospital, and I decide to hold the meeting here tomorrow.


Thursday, November 13, 2014
Coventry – Eton Wick, Berkshire

I HAVE decided during the night to revert to preparing the reprint of Churchill’s War, vol. 1 when I return to Scotland. Himmler will be postponed by a month.

10:43 a.m. I phone my Housekeeper. Her phone not switched off this morning. She is chatty: I say I will arrive this evening, and stay until the twentieth. Notifications of the London meeting location go out to guests; I fear we shall be hugely overcrowded.

10:50 a.m. K. phones, the car is repaired down at the farm, cheaply. Discussion on the tour. I cancel Norwich, the strain on my brain is telling.

I sit in the Coventry hotel lounge until starting time in the evening. I deliver my worst-ever performance, and I am talked-out after 44 minutes. My brain is still thinking clearly, but there appears to be a blockage at the output end and I halt and search for words. I wonder if anybody notices. In private conversation, it is not evident, only when I speak publicly. How very interesting, and I wonder how permanent it is? I suspect I shall be confined to “readings” from my books, German-style, in future.

I leave at ten past nine and head for Eton, arriving a few minutes after eleven. House seems to be empty.


Friday, November 13, 2014
Eton Wick – London - Eton Wick (UK)

TURNS out that my Housekeeper is away in Nottingham until this afternoon. I go to the Burnham Health clinic, but they cannot see me as I have been de-registered after a letter (to Lake End House) was returned.

I tell K. at 8:55p.m.: “Little improvement in the voice and tomorrow I shall preface my talk by apologising for this. Had lunch today at Palmer Arms. Bente very concerned about the voice impediment. Before that I went to Burnham Clinic, the local, but they cannot see me as I have been de-registered - a letter sent to me here was returned marked 'Unknown”. I have arranged next three [meeting] locations, and have two days off this weekend. No trouble so far. Pity about the Voice defect. I shall have to see a doctor back in Inverness.”


Saturday, November 13, 2014
Eton Wick – London – Eton Wick (UK)

Up at 8:55 a.m. Emails at 9:30 a.m. Today the big London event. Will my voice stand up? I have drawn up a list of topics. Bank account still empty.

I write to Jessica: “Still no money in the bank account Jessica, I am so sorry. It is in minus today. Maybe when America wakes up it will show positive. There is money moving towards it but it takes 2–3 days. Must have been very embarrassing.”

K. writes: “Hm. Sorry to hear that your voice is still playing up – but really you were silly not to go see a doctor up here before you left. I will arrange it on your return.” And: “I doubt you will make the drive from Stirling up the A9 to here post your last talk, as that is a very long hard run when one is tired, late at night in the dark and with the possibility of poor weather, so I guess you will be back on Sat 29th. I will see if I can get you in on that day or on Monday 1st at Nairn.” And: “Good Bente has succeed in persuading you where I failed.”

I drive over to the London meeting location, a public house, and willing hands carry all the books upstairs. I dread the meeting but the big room is overfilled, I estimate about ninety attendees, and I speak to the scripts I prepared last night, and it goes well. Some complaints that they cannot hear. Elfi D. is also present; I first met her in South West Africa, in the 1980s, a tender and luscious young blonde. Still good looking, but has been through breast cancer, she says.

I drive back to Eton, and have a coffee at Costa’s. Jessica pleads with me to send money to her PayPal account. I check, haven’t got it.


Sunday, November 16, 2014
Eton Wick (UK)

Up at 9:12 a.m. Emails at 9:46 a.m. bring a nice fan letter from Canada:

Dear Mr. Irving I just finished reading Hitler’s War. I took my time with it. I enjoyed it more than I can express. I pored over it with care. I feel that it the most important book I’ve read. I really love this book. I don’t have the words at my disposal that you do, to express my impressions, but I will say I marveled in awe at the culmination of your enormous labors. I am grateful that a man like you exists to write these books. Hitler’s War really gave me some much needed clarity about WW2. I must admit I felt a great deal of compassion and sympathy for the Führer, he wasn’t concerned with his own comforts, just the realization of his plans. His indefatigable spirit was astonishing.
    Many of those around him were undeserving of his leadership. Truly a tragedy of mythic proportions. It's just too bad he did not go ‘scorched earth’ on England from the get go when his advisers (even Göring were telling him to. Why did they not try harder to take Churchill out somehow? If only they could have bombed Chequers or Chartwell while he was in bed, sipping watered down whisky, dictating an inane story for Vanity Fair. I just pulled my leather bound luxury copy of Goebbels down off my shelf and will read it next. Thanks Sir. You are the best !
    Just one of your countless admirers and readers. William Hall.

YOU can’t make them up. I reply: “A great letter, William. I am glad you liked the book. Written during one of the most productive periods of my life. Canada banned me from entering in 1992. Seems you have fallen into the wrong hands!”

11:16am to write to Nikki R. in Key West:

after seeing you banked that large cheque – without asking me – I had been expected to hear from you about the contents of the [Key West] mail box. No such luck. (I am awaiting a new bank card from Bank of America in the mailbox.) Please mail both new keys to me at this address.

To Arek Wingert, the delinquent Polish publisher:

I hope we shall not have to wait much longer for the payment of our royalties, Arek. It has made a big hole in my finances, and the fact that I have not been pressing you, does not mean that it is not a great worry. Please give me a date when you intend to pay, and stick to it.

To Greek publishers Govostis and Iolkos:

Have you transferred our royalties for 2013 yet, and if so, when? I ask, because our Barclays Bank cannot locate them.


Monday, November 17, 2014
Eton Wick – Maidstone – Eton Wick

I AM living in Eton and radiate outwards to locations for next four days. Nikki has replied: “No you owe me $50 + $50 for next pick-up.”

I reply: “I do NOT want you to do any more pickups. Don’t test my patience even more. Mail the blank cheque back to me.”

Four p.m.: Drove out to Maidstone.  .  . I spoke haltingly, but nobody noticed, or so they politely pretended. Back home at 11:15 p.m.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Eton Wick – Southsea – Eton Wick (UK)

ALL afternoon phoning pubs in Oxford and then Bristol before I finally find two meeting places for the next two days. Astonishing how out of date these Internet entries are. Then down to Southsea for this evening’s meeting. Nearly two hours on the road. Nobody knew the Florence Arms, and Florence Street had not showed up on my GPS and I was about to turn back, disgruntled, when a local man knew it and showed the location  to me 200 yards away. Got there two minutes to seven. Full house. My voice was good tonight and the talk was excellent, if I may say so, just one hour. Drove back to London, brief coffee, hour-and-a-half on the road. 10:58 a.m. at my Housekeeper’s.

My Housekeeper comes back from her darts match ten minutes after I get in. I work until eleven-thirty, then turn in. Never has a bed felt so comfortable.


Wednesay, November 19, 2014
Eton Wick – Oxford – Eton Wick (UK)

STEVE B. writes:

Just a few lines David to thank you for last night. Both myself and big John R. thoroughly enjoyed it.
I’m glad you told me that Gitta Sereny’s book about Speer was worth reading as I had a horrible feeling you might have said it was rubbish.
I would like to have spoken at length with you but I know it’s difficult with so many others wanting your attention.
Please don’t stop what you are brilliant at doing...telling it like it is. You are much more respected than you give yourself credit for.
As for Inverness, I thought I recognised that village  .  .  . I stayed there for a long weekend with my brothers a few years back and we did see the monster albeit after a crate of real ale but nobody believed us when we got back to Pompey [Portsmouth].

I thank him: “Yes, thanks for the help. A good evening. .  .  .  Down to Bristol and Exeter now, then I turn the corner and drive back to … Croy. Thanks again, David Irving.”

Richard Th. writes: “I always look forward to the prospect of attending your meetings, listening to your lectures and reading your numerous books.
Thank YOU again for all that you have done and indeed all that you do.
I feel that somehow I owe YOU a great deal for kindling my hunger of true history !
Warmest regards,

Paloma writes: “Have you been to the doctor yet? You should get yourself looked at. If you want, I can call my doctor in London (Notting Hill) to see if they can see you before you head off to Scotland?” Gosh what a correspondence K. has provoked, it will not die down

I write to the Manchester organizer:

I presume Manchester is OK? I have a lot of bookings. Can you make the booking, please? The meeting will be at 7pm. on November 24, Monday. Tour is going well so far.

I am resting in Eton Wick before Exeter, and turning back north to Scotland. I write to the Oxford attendees: “My apologies to you are due. The manager of the Oxford venue sent me an email that the location was not available after all, through double booking. But I was in Southsea yesterday all afternoon and evening, speaking. I found their email just now after a fruitless, horrendous, drive into Oxford where I learned the same thing; too late to notify you, unfortunately. I shall not use them again.


Thursday, November 20, 2014
Eton Wick – Bristol(UK)

A SLEW of emails about last night’s Oxford cancellation, including demands for refunds. 10:13 a.m. I write an angry letter to the management:

What on Earth went wrong last evening with our booking of your meeting room? We had a firm booking for yesterday evening, and I received your cancellation only yesterday after my return from Portsmouth. Your lady who answered the phone [had] looked in the bookings and confirmed that the room was free from 6 to 9. I fear I was unable to reach all those who had paid to attend, and already I have half a dozen angry emails from them demanding refunds and mentioning their travel costs and a wasted evening. I myself drove all the way into Oxford expecting to speak, and on top of that we have lost book sales. I hope you will provide a more convincing explanation. 

I drive to Bristol, 93 miles. Stop at a service area after Exit 17 for a meeting with David W. who went to Oxford yesterday. Stout fellow. At Bristol at the Avon Gorge Hotel, a fine old fashioned luxury hotel, four-star, with a great view of the Clifton Bridge. I had expected rather more to come, but a review afterwards of the list shows it is about right. My speech is halting but okay, and they seem pleased.

They leave around nine-thirty, and help me to load the van. I go to bed without supper. I have phoned Jessica to come for breakfast tomorrow.


Friday, November 21, 2014
Bristol – Exeter, Devon (UK)

E-MAILS at 11:30 a.m: Alistair says: “Despite the late hour, having just returned home, I feel the need to express complete gratitude to you for giving me the opportunity to be at the Avon Gorge Hotel meeting earlier this evening.
Good stuff ! Warmest regards, Alistair. (the annoying chap sat immediately next to you, on your left).” “Annoying”. Quite. The chap who kept interrupting me.

A student from Croatia writes me:

I’m from Croatia. I am eighteen years old and I am just finishing my high school. I wish to study history at the university in Zagreb. I was very interested in history since I was 7 years old and especially in the history of the Third Reich.
    Few years ago while reading about the Kriegsmarine I stumbled upon Grossadmiral Erich Raeder and since then he is the person I admire the most among all other historical figures. I am very interested in his life and his role in WW2. I even bought the book he wrote: My life, his autobiography which I am reading. Reading about him on the internet I found out he was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Nuremberg trials and the question I want to ask you, isn’t it odd that he was sentenced for life while Grand-admiral Donitz was sentenced to only 10 years in prison. And also is Raeder’s autobiography a good source for his life and career as a naval officer?

I reply, “I think that Großadmiral Raeder was released early on medical grounds, the only Spandau prisoner so blessed. There was some controversy on whether Dönitz should be put on trial at all. I remember reading a British memorandum dated August 1945 which argued that he had committed no war crimes.”

I set off in the rain, after lunch with Jessica, at 2 p.m.. I send to K. the £100 he needs for the repair to the car’s exhaust. The Pigmobile is soldiering well on this journey, but it is furiously eating the oil even though the load of books is half-gone.
    4 p.m. I arrive in Exeter. The Brown stain is now touching Exeter; I now see a few Muslim women in the streets, who were not here the last time I spoke. K. has texted from Scotland that he is depressed. David W. has phoned me to order 10 Dams books at ten pounds. It is a fine meeting, the room is full and is packed, including two Spanish law students. I speak very well, the best so far: exactly one hour again. An hour’s question time follows.
Again somebody asks what it feels like to realize that until 1980 I was an enfant gaté, and then after Hitler’s War suddenly the trend was reversed. I am surprised that so many people noticed it.
    The talk has become refined, though still halting, but nobody notices the defects.


Saturday, November 22, 2014
Exeter – Bristol – on the road at Tewkesbury (UK)

DRIVE to Bristol and have lunch with Jessica who arrives at 12:45 p.m. She is a most impressive daughter; were the others like this? Insists on walking back to her digs, to clear her head. Her term ends on December 18, restarts on January 6 with the first half of her Finals. I drive on toward Birmingham and stop for the night at a motorway service area, in Tewkesbury.
To Jessica: “Very nice lunch with you, Jessica. Always rewarding. I am very proud of you. Particularly proud of the English that you speak.”
    A lazy evening.


Sunday, November 23, 2014
Tewkesbury – Birmingham – on the road (UK)

ONE last-minute booking for Manchester, for three people, comes in as I am looking at it. I drive the remaining miles into Birmingham. The hotel, where I arrive, proves to be an ideal center for future events: free real coffee, etc., but it will be good to have a push cart next time.

I speak haltingly and very below par, by my standards, and wonder if anybody has spotted it. But no, the applause at the end is huge and I wonder if it is just polite. Two Blacks and a half-caste girl sneak in after the talk has begun, – that always worries me –, but they are genuine listeners too. Interested in Real History.

I stay in the hotel. I have supper with one of the guests and then go to my room: it turns out I have lost my computer mouse. I lose two or three on each tour now. I wonder if my re-appearance in Germany will be in February 2015, for the anniversary of the Dresden raid. Will my voice impediment be cured by then?

Keith L. writes: “Thank you Mr Irving, the meeting in Birmingham was top-class. I learn more real history every time I hear you speak look forward to hearing you again. Thanks again.”


Monday, November 24, 2014
Birmingham – Manchester, Altrincham (UK)

EXCELLENT breakfast. Really a great hotel in every way. Impossible to fault. Emails at ten. Another refund to Dr Alec E., Oxford. Darren F. makes up for it with this: “Dear Mr Irving,

Thank you so much for your talk today in Birmingham which I enjoyed tremendously. I think it was Orwell who once said that to tell the truth in times of mass deceit is in itself a revolutionary act. How true. Thankfully there are lion-hearted people out there such as yourself who are not afraid to go that extra mile in order to reveal those facts others would conceal. Shame on them.
Euripides served up to his fellow Athenian audience, some of whom were the very “heroes” and generals whose careers and reputations were made in the Trojan war, plays and tragedies that gave the lie to the victors’ conceits and hypocrisies. Over two and a half thousand years later we are still reading those very plays today. I regard your work in that same tradition and as such cannot thank you highly enough for your personal integrity, professional diligence and sheer guts.
It was an honour to hear you speak today; in the sea of mass self-delusion and downright deception we live in today you are a beacon of hope.

“John Smith”, who cancelled the Liverpool event, now asks if he can attend Manchester. I think not.

Another says: “I just wanted to thank you for a fascinating and intellectually stimulating talk in Birmingham yesterday. I’ve been an admirer of your work for a long time now and am very grateful to providence that there is a real historian out there who writes in such an engaging and often gripping style, long may your work continue!
    I sincerely hope to meet you again at another one of your excellent talks.”

I reply: “Thank you so much for that message of good cheer. It is very heartening to know there are a few out there who appreciate what I am doing.”

I sally forth and attempt to find a NatWest bank in this rabbit-warren of streets. We are supposed to be on New Street, Birmingham, but finding New Street eludes me. I think only ten percent of the population around here were born in England; if that.

I drive on to Manchester, and check in to [the hotel]. I stay there for three or four hours dozing and move into the same rooms as last year at four or five. Guests turn up, packing the room, but my talk is perfunctory and not as polished as last night. I hear that one guest had asked another, What did he think of my talk this time? (Not informed of the answer.)

We lasted two hours, and packed the books with help and were off to Dmitri’s residence at about ten-thirty. Watched television until midnight - a film called The Green Mile with Tom Hanks: odd and mildly off-putting with its message of race, the one Negro of an evidently stupid but handsome tribe being depicted as wrongly convicted of murder, and charged with supernatural powers to boot. Based on a novel by Stephen King; I supposed he feels obliged to write such things.


Tuesday, November 24, 2014
Manchester – Carlisle (UK)

A LATE message comes from Birmingham: “Dear Mr Irving,

I attended your talk in Birmingham and would like to take this opportunity to thank you for organising such a stimulating event. I have familiarised myself with your work, although I cannot pretend any expertise, including viewing the numerous YouTube videos of your lectures, and I am happy to report that I was not disappointed by this live event. My only real regret is that, when given the opportunity to question you (regarding Treblinka’s status), I did not express myself clearly. . . I also understand that you have no doubt of the nature of Treblinka, as one of the “Aktion Reinhardt” camps, and its role in the irrefutable mass extermination of European Jews. What I wished to ascertain was why you are so certain that Himmler’s instructions to [Korherr] to change the report prepared for Hitler is such a “smoking gun”.
    Perhaps if I manage to attend next year’s meeting in Birmingham (or if I am fortunate, elsewhere) I can press you on this topic.
    Once more, Mr Irving, please accept my thanks for such an enjoyable, and drily humorous, experience.

I drive into Carlisle and find a bed and breakfast. We have another Polish tour registrant, Frank W., who has paid the $500 deposit: “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability, and I want you to know that we are with you…
I’m a semi-retired accountant for my sins... (and I know you have a very high regard for accountants!), I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”


Wednesday, November 25, 2014
Carlisle (UK)

THIS morning the nice landlady looks in and innocently asks a question or two. Am I having any meetings here in Carlisle? Um, no. I wonder how she got that idea. The only name I gave her, for the receipt, was Parforce, nothing else. Apart from that a good guesthouse, and I appear to be her only client.

I set off on a NatWest-bank hunt. The first foray, to an industrial estate nearby, is fruitless: Barclays tells me that NatWest closed their branch here three years ago. So much for their friendly customer service. The only other branch is in the city center.

I drive back to the guesthouse, look up its address and set forth again. I drive round and round the city, aided by the GPS, and can’t find the street. I then give up and am driving back when I halt at some traffic lights, and see the bank ahead. Second stroke of luck, is a Loading Bay next to it. I go in and pay a thousand pounds to Richard M. As feared, it leaves me with only a hundred pounds or so as net profit of the tour, but never mind. It’s nearly over and everyone else is happy.


Thursday, November 27, 2014
Carlisle – Stirling, Bannockburn – Highland (UK)

LUNCH at a Chinese place outside Stirling, then at the speaking location at two–thirty, in Bannockburn, site of the Battle of Bannockburn. My talk is coherent and good, and the voice defect appears to have receded. The cough has also gone, I realise, so the Scottish air seems to have done some good.

I speak for exactly one hour, then answer questions for an hour, and at a quarter past nine I am on the road for the final three-hour stretch up the A-9, heading north. It is a fast highway at this time of day with very little traffic; occasional patches of fog, and about fifteeen minutes before the end, K. phones and I am able to inform him that I am fourteen minutes away and to leave the house door unlocked.

Back at the big house at five past midnight. I walk round to the front of the Pigmobile and give her an affectionate pat on the head. She has eaten a lot of oil, and carried me about 1,600 miles almost to the furthest point in southern England and back, but lasted the tour well. The van appears to be as full as ever, of boxes of books, but it is an illusion. A good tour, and I have paid off several debts. Talk with K., looking unsightly as ever in his short dressing gown, then bed at one.


Friday, November 28, 2014
Scottish Highlands (UK)

IT IS MISTY but already sun showing through, which burns off the fog by noon. The ancient Rolls standing in front clears its throat when I start it. To Bente: “Got back here at midnight last night. Have you the appointment date with the doctor again? Wasting his time, but . . . I can’t find the email you said you put it in.”

She replies:

I have spoken to very friendly receptionist at the Health Centre in Nairn and she has booked you in for 2:45 pm on Tuesday, December 2.

I write to one correspondent: “At present I live in Scotland, and am facing Visa difficulties in re-entering the USA. I guess I am the wrong colour for modern Washington, DC! It is quite a struggle, as you seem to have guessed.

Jessica writes: “Hello are you home yet? How are you feeling!

I’m in Paris! Went to Musée d’Orsay today which was awesome, now I’m in a cafe inside the palais de Tokyo. Haven’t been to France properly since I was 11. French very rusty. My friends are at work all day so entertaining myself!’

I reply at 12:49: “I got back a few minutes after midnight last night. The tour cleaned up several thousand pounds but I have spent it all repaying debts. I spoke last night at Bannockburn, the old battlefield between Scots and English, in a pub. I forgot to give you the pullover, I have it still. Very forgetful. But feeling much better. The Pigmobile lasted well and I gave her a special pat on the bonnet. I will wash her today as a special treat. Beautiful sunshine here this morning. We must begin making plans for your visit.”

1:52 p.m. a sudden migraine equivalent. Don’t know what caused it. I lie down. My vision is dazzled with a pixellated arc.


Saturday, November 29, 2014
Scottish Highlands (UK)

DAUGHTERS. I never forget Josephine [left].

Jessica bestirs herself: “Ha-ha, that was a cute email. I’m at the airport now waiting for flight. Very sunny here! I don’t want to leave! On another note, Paris is the most expensive place I have EVER been. Their prices are just offensive!” And: “Wait, so the money you made went on the money you borrowed for the Poland tour?? Something doesn’t make sense here!”

To Paloma at 1:02 p.m.: “Hi! I am now back. How did things pan out with those reluctant payers? Are things more settled now? When are you and Adam coming up?”

And to Beatrice: “Hello Beatrice! Are you in Madrid, basking in the heat? When are you coming to England? We have leased a big house up here in Scotland, and are looking forward to your visit, but the earlier we can book the tickets the cheaper they will be. You can come for as long as you want. I imagine James and Olivia are quite big now.”

Beatrice writes: “Hi, yes I have booked tickets arriving London 2 Dec, leaving 16 Dec. Am still planning a visit to Scotland, not sure exactly the days but maybe somewhere between the 6th and 8th of Dec. Isn’t it Jessica’s birthday on the 5th? Re booking tickets, do you mean London-Inverness flights?” – I reply that, Yes, Jessica turns 21 on the fifth.

8:02 p.m. an unexpected bonne-bouche from the United States: “Greetings Mr. Irving,

I have recently acquired Heinrich Himmler’s 1935 Pocket Diary. I noticed on your web site you have Himmler’s pocket diaries for the years 1937 and 1939. I was wondering if you would like add this 1935 Pocket Diary to your reference documentation? I can photograph the pages of the 1935 Pocket Diary if you would like. 

I reply to an inquirer: “Mein Anwalt teilte mir vor eine Woche mit, der Versuch Bayerns, eine Revision einzuleiten gegen die Entscheidung des Gerichts unwiderruflich gescheitert ist, der Weg für mich nach Deutschland bzw. Berlin ist also nunmehr endgültig frei. Ich denke an eine Reise im Frühjahr.”


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