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Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Professor Bernd Martin [Univ. of Freiburg] has visited Auschwitz three times, says that [Franciszek] Piper, the director, confirmed to him that the Gaskammer ["gas chamber"] shown in Auschwitz-I was built after the war.

click for origin[More recent Radical's Diary]

August 25, 1990 (Saturday)
St Tropez, France

... At Tahiti Beach all day from 11 to 4:30 p.m. Listless, little writing. Evening Fax came from MAX [Militaria Exhibition] secretary. 6:05 p.m. Keith Wilson phoned, will be at Baltimore Oct 18. All going well. I say he could organize meetings in K.C. [Kansas City] until October 27, when I should shift to Vancouver.


August 26, 1990 (Sunday)
St Tropez, France - Milan, Italy - Munich, Germany

Yesterday I asked the front desk of Hotel Sube to ensure that I get the full ten percent discount agreed with Madame.

Today I paid the bill balance. Front desk said Madame had said discount is five percent across the board, and claimed I can't reach her. Sour closing note on the stay. Grubby [hotel], primitive, hideously expensive. Departed nine a.m. for Italy by road. Arrived Milan shortly before two p.m. and changed out of beach clothes before arriving at Reggazoni's address, a lithe, typical Latin 35 year old on Rizzoli staff. Spent two hours with him, then on by road across Austria (with some trepidation in view of the arrest warrant out for me there) and arrived Munich Hotel Drei Löwen nine p.m., after driving 1,200 km. Not bad going. Straight into room, spent a lazy hour watching TV, then out like a light.


August 27, 1990 (Monday)
Munich, Germany

Went to bank, withdrew DM300, walked back to hotel, found I had lost car key! Taxi to Langen Müller, spent all morning with [Rochus von] Zabüsnig, plus General Model (son of Field-Marshal Model) and his son who had translated CHURCHILL. Decision to break vol.i at Barbarossa, like the U.K. edition. Z. still has not received the facsimiles I sent July 17.

I had set aside all day Monday for Zabüsnig, but it took only the morning. Zabüsnig now wants to have the CSDIC Book after all, is eager for a deal. Model nodded. Afterwards I phoned Dagmar Henne's office [leading German literary agent]. Her successor said that D.H. died last (meaning: this?) July. Yesterday I phoned Gräfin Matuschka [of Heyne Taschenbuch Verlag], but she was literally leaving in a few minutes on vacation; sounded genuinely sad. Wolf Rüdiger Hess phoned at Zabüsnigs, would I like to go there tonight? I said I am planning to arrive eleven a.m. tomorrow.

Obtained spare key to car from Century. Other key(s) is (are) lost, without trace. Mystery. Sweated, that somebody might find them, steal car and ODER NEISSE MS in the boot.

8 p.m. dinner with [Ewald] Althans at Drei Löwen. Planning for future. He says November Munich date is now off -- just like that. Replaced by March. In theory, I could stay in USA from October 6 until March... if I can let Duke Street. What a millstone. Phoned [Karl] Höffkes, asked him to send batch of my German tapes to [Günter] Deckert for the 2nd. Dictated message onto Leni Riefenstahl's phone.

August 28, 1990 (Tuesday)
Munich - Hindelang

Set out at 9 a.m., lost my way, drove through Memmingen, 100-mile detour to Wolf Rüdiger Hess household. He invites me to stay in a basement apartment. His mother, Ilse Hess, Rudolf's widow, still alive (90) on top floor. She never emerges, he explained apologetically: "I don't think you will get to see her." Never mind. He carried the Leitz Ordner downstairs and I buckled to straight away. There are fifty of them. I began reading and cataloguing their contents, fascinating material.

After a while, I glimpsed her, crossing a passageway, ghostlike but very robust, with a half inch beard and moustache encrusting her face. She said nothing, but reappeared an hour later and bid me switch out the hall light that was wasting! Later still, she asked me what I am doing with the files I am carrying. I evaded direct reply, sensing that W R had extracted them from her rooms without her knowing. I said, "I am registering them." Later still, she came downstairs and showed she fully remembered me from the Löwenbräu meeting several years ago, admires what I am doing.

3 p.m. phoned Carter Ruck [London] solicitor, agreed that we cannot meet until I return on the 10th. He will enter an appearance.

5 p.m. phoned 499 machine. Sally had phoned about Peter Carter Ruck 11 a.m. Sally Williams of Alan Kent Partnership. Mario Spataro, about my letter of July 11, will contact Donna Cerrutti of SugarCo and Pozzi of Murcia after their vacations about HITLER'S WAR.

Big supper, fell asleep effortlessly.


August 29, 1990 (Wednesday)
Hindelang - Munich - Hindelang

Worked all day inventorying the Hess files. At 6:30 p.m. drove to Munich at great speed.

3 p.m. phoned Althans. He says we meet at 8 p.m. at the Hotel Germania, Schwanthaler Strasse. About eleven people will be there.

4:15 p.m. phoned 499 machine. Sally had phoned .... SSG phoned about the CSDIC project. I will be doing on my own she says, as she is now too busy for the next six months. What is happening about CHURCHILL, she asks.

8 p.m. at Munich, dinner with Althans. Could not collect the books from Ida. Forgot to collect the HESS books from Langen Müller, a real curse. Dinner pleasant, sat next to Susanne Tobler [Töpler], Reinhard Rade's girlfriend. Made my excuses at eleven p.m., drove like the wind back to Hindelang, arrived there 12:30 a.m. plus. 200 km/hour most of the way.

This evening, before leaving, I had phoned Dagmar Henne's successor, to ask if I can postpone our tomorrow afternoon (4 p.m.) meeting. She tells me that [Wolf-Jobst] Siedler is on Urlaub but has very firmly said no, by phone, to my GOEBBELS. She too sounds distant, as though somebody has warned her. ("I am not sure what I can do for you.")


August 30, 1990 (Thursday)

00.35 a.m. phoned 499 machine. Milton Grilby had phoned, wants TRAIL OF THE FOX. ... Andy Cowling of Butler & Tanner printers, 0373 51500 ext 220.

10:30 a.m. called ... Andy Cowling, they will quote HITLER print assuming Camera Ready Copy, which is the most expensive. He says Avon will supply me either film or CRC. Alternatively we could shoot from the book.

Worked all day on Hess inventory.

1 p.m. I phoned the 499 machine. Zilch.

6:15 p.m. phoned 499 machine, Ed Novak [US literary agent] phoned Thursday, to continue with the contract, is at Harrisburg, 717 232 7081. Imperial War Museum phoned 071 416 5336.

Called Ed Novak. Gave him the go ahead. He'll meet me at New York or D.C. Morgan Entrekin is on vacation (re UPRISING).

Dinner with [Wolf Rüdiger] Hess's and a group of friends. He wants me to start proceedings in London re: negligence over murder [in Spandau] of his father. I say will discuss it with solicitors.


August 31, 1990 (Friday)
Hindelang - Munich - Frankfurt - London

Worked on [the Hess] files until 12:30 p.m., completed [inventorying] forty all told; still left ten to catalogue. Drat it. Phoned 499 machine, zilch. Lunch with Hesses, then rushed off by car, hoping to make Frankfurt in five hours. Ran into into appalling traffic, sat sweating in jams that had me motionless for ten minutes at a time with traffic at a standstill as far as the eye could see. Covered the blank stretches at 200 km/hour! Reached Frankfurt airport with half an hour before take off. Close call. Flew to London, 7:30 p.m. B.A. flight. Sally waiting there with car. All's well that ends well.


September 1, 1990 (Saturday)

Rose 8 a.m., trotted around all day catching up on jobs, reading mail (no horrors, but no incoming money either). I say no horrors, but Sally had warned me on the phone that she had opened a simple envelope that contained a High Court writ from Simon & Shuster over $45,000, deadline two days later. Fortunate. I got her to brief Carter Ruck to enter an appearance, as above. Then: polishing the flat, retiling bathroom wall etc. Pilar Sr and Tony came around 4 p.m. I had no English cash with me, nor had Sally. In the evening, 5:30 p.m. to pub, The Barley Mow, and spoke to 60 or 70 people of the River Club.... Never mind, a pleasant chance to catch up on things sliding in London. Spoke with Josephine on the phone ... Also spoke with Paloma who is being hard worked, but sounds happy. ... Fortunately the CHURCHILL facsimiles turned up in the mail, they had been sent back from Munich, "undeliverable." Sad to say, Scherz turned down GOEBBELS, saying Piper's edition of [Ralf-Georg] Reuth's Goebbels biography is scheduled to appear this month. Ouch. Thank you Max Becker [US literary agent], thank you Peter Ferdinand Koch.


September 2, 1990 (Sunday)
London- Frankfurt - Weinheim - Freiburg i. Br.

Caught PanAm 120 7:45 a.m. flight to Frankfurt. Drove to Weinheim. Town plastered with fresh graffiti, "Nazis raus aus Weinheim." Glad I was early. Three p.m. about 400 people packed the hall. Spoke for nearly two hours, then questions. Book sales magnificent. ... Meal with Karl Philipp etc afterwards.

[Website note: German prosecutors later charged Mr Irving with remarking in this talk that the gas chamber shown to tourists at Auschwitz is a fake. He was banned from Germany on November 9, 1993, pending trial and has not returned since.]

Drove to Freiburg, checked into Hotel Rappen in shadow of Cathedral at 11 p.m. Very pleasant.

September 3, 1990 (Monday)
Freiburg i. Br.

At Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv 8:45 a.m. to check film RW8/v.1210 for Ing. Rudolf case. Discussion with Heeresreferent Loos, who confirms that Rudolph himself wants the documents too. Rudolph is now eighty-one. 2:30 p.m. at request of Manfred Kehrig, Dienststellenleiter (chief of Militärarchiv) went up to see him for an hour over tea. Friendly and cordial. We have a lot of mutual enemies.

He told me how he had broken it to [Professor Martin] Broszat [of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte] (whom he detested, believed a homosexual!), [Dr. Helmut] Heiber, [Dr. Anton] Hoch, [Dr. Hildegard] von Kotze, and [Prof. Helmuth] Krausnick that the [Generalleutnant a. D. Gerhard] Engel Diary was a fake. Bayer GmbH had tested the paper, confirmed it was 1947 product. I said I had done the same, on basis of [the Walther] Hewel diaries. He had originally checked it against a Korps KTB [Kriegstagebuch].

The Institut für Zeitgeschichte had then told him, the big problem was that the Engel diary had been used in countless court cases, all of which would have to be reheard; so the IfZ decided to press on and publish it with a suitable Introduction. Unfug, I said. Unfug, Kehrig agreed. He suggested I write a [Field-Marshal] Wolfram von Richthofen biography, the diaries are now there and he has other sources, of von Richthofen's time as secret Luftattaché in Italy, 1933-5. Not a bad idea.

My examination of the Peenemünde and Rudolph file shows that the documents are probably authentic, but there are several different Rudolf signatures and on the whole the file is very harmless. At 5:30 p.m. sent a four page Fax to Barbara Kulaszka in Ontario [Rudolph's attorney] to this effect.

5:30 p.m. phoned 499 machine. ... Höffkes phoned, about arrangements for this weekend. -- Enfield Library want to know when Churchill vol. ii is ready. [Published 2001] ...

September 4, 1990 (Tuesday)
Freiburg i. Br.

In the evening I phoned [Prof. Dr.] Bernd Martin [Universität Freiburg], on the offchance, and he invited me round for drinks at eight p.m. to Horben. It turns out that Anka Stalherm [first serious girlfriend of Dr Joseph Goebbels] is buried in the village churchyard, now eingebnet [levelled to the ground]. She died thirty years ago. He also knows who has her letters, a Frau Irene Prange. He offered to introduce me to her tomorrow. He has visited Auschwitz three times, says that [Franciszek] Piper, the director, confirmed to him that the Gaskammer ["gas chamber"] shown in Auschwitz-I was built after the war for tourists to see, the "real ones" are in Birkenau. Logical questions were apparently not asked.


September 5, 1990 (Wednesday)
Freiburg i. Br.

Phoned Prof. Martin at 10:30 a.m., he confirmed that Irene Prange will see me. Phoned her, she said come at eight p.m. Did so, she brought out the file of letters and photos. I left her my file of Hess letters, persuaded her to loan me hers for copying. Yad Vashem also blackmailed copies out of her. Small world! ...


September 6, 1990 (Thursday)
Freiburg i. Br. - Koblenz

Xeroxed all the [Goebbels] letters in Univ. Bibliothek, then sat in the market place transcribing them. Read into the [Goebbels] handwriting. It is easier to do from the originals. They are of considerable interest. Called at Irene Prange's home six p.m., returned the letters, persuaded her with difficulty to lend me the original photographs. Drove off at eight p.m. to Koblenz, covered most of the distance at 200 km/hr, got to the hotel just at 9:55 p.m., before it closed. Drizzle ... .

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