MR SAMUEL GAMMON,
TELEPHONE 01 499 9409
Thursday, December 30, 1993
I noticed in your journal Perspectives a year ago that you wrote (p.2),
"For its spring agenda, the Professional Division decided to re-examine past doctrine for handling allegations of human rights abuses against historians in other countries."
Would you prepared to take up the cudgels on my behalf? I am British, and registered on your lists; though not an academic historian I am sufficiently well known to the world's historians to need little introduction, and my books are published by the world's leading publishers (Viking Press, Macmillan, Bertelsmann, Mondadori, Hayakawa, etc.) My flagship work, HITLER'S WAR, took twenty years of research and is continually in print around the world. I have been working for six years on a biography of Dr Joseph Goebbels, and was fortunate to find and exploit in the Moscow secret state archives last year his entire missing diaries on Nazi microfiches.
My writings are however not "politically correct". I have been subjected for twelve months to a mounting persecution, bordering on terrorisation, as influential worldwide lobbies mount a campaign against me because of my views, a campaign which would surely make even Salman Rushdie shudder. In November last year (1992) I was deported in handcuffs from Canada to the U.K., after being arrested by the RCMP at an award giving ceremony where I was handed the George Orwell Award plaque for freedom of speech. (The newspapers reported that this lobby had demanded of the Canadian government that I be prevented from lecturing.)
In January 1993 I was fined $23,000 by the Munich, Germany, courts, for adhering to my unfashionable published opinions about wartime events. In July 1993 the German minister of the interior ordered that I was forthwith to be refused access to all German government archives&emdash;a unique ban, and the more paradoxical because for thirty years I have unselfishly donated to those same archives half a ton of unique documents (like Heinrich Himmler's diaries) which they have now been obliged to extract from their archives and return to me. In November 1993 I was ordered to leave Germany, a country I have worked, interviewed, published, lectured, and researched in, within twenty-four hours, permanently.
Simultaneously the same international lobby have secured my persecution worldwide: under pressure on the prime minister from this lobby, as the Australian media found out (they raised an immense outcry on my behalf) the Australian government refused me a visa to make an extensive third research and lecture trip there, beginning in March 1993. The New Zealand government immediately followed suit. Despite objections from even the African National Congress foreign spokesman in my favour, the South African government in April 1992 withdrew my standard British visa exemption for South Africa, and required me to give written undertakings that I would deliver no lectures or interviews with newspapers or radio or TV before they would grant me a visa; I thereafter stayed in South Africa (my sixth visit) for three months this year, adhering strictly to the terms agreed. On December 20, 1993 however the South African government permanently and without explanation refused me a visa to go there for the coming three months. Again, according to the newspapers, I have fallen victim to the same international lobby who disapprove of my views and are trying to gag me.
I could continue at length with details of the harassment I have personally suffered these last two years: An arrest warrant from France (a country I have not set foot in for five years!) after I gave a French television interview on WW2 history. A campaign of window smashing against British bookstore chains carrying my books. Pressure on all my publishers to dump me. Pressure on TV stations to cancel listed programmes. Pressure on four Irish universities in one month (October 1993) to cancel invitations to me to lecture. (They did.)
Is there anything that the A.H.A. can, or is willing to, do?[*] I find that I also have the support of other bodies, e.g. the Canadian Writers' Union, so I am not as alone as I first felt in this unequal struggle.