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David Irving

[Photo by Michael Hentz for The New York Times ]

Letter to the Editor
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July 16, 1998

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Key West, Florida Friday, July 17, 1998

In reviewing Ron Rosenbaum's new book Explaining Hitler, which I have read and regard as a first rate study of myself and Hitler's other examiners, Michiko Kakutani (NYT, reprinted in Seattle Post-Intelligencer Jul.6) refers to me in just two words: "Hitler apologist."

Mr Rosenbaum devotes an entire chapter to my twenty years of research into Hitler and his satraps, and does not use those odious words himself.

If Mr Kakutani had read the introduction to my biography Hitler's War (The Viking Press, 1977) he would know how ill-judged his insult was. Twenty years to write it -- and two words, by somebody who never read it, to dismiss it?


Yours faithfully,
David Irving


[Click for another correspondent's view on this book]

Further notes:

  1. In the New York Times review, Mr Kakutani had written: "Unlike many intellectual histories, Explaining Hitler does not confine itself to simple textual analysis, but showcases Rosenbaum's reportorial skills with acute, sometimes edgy interviews with such controversial thinkers as Claude Lanzmann, the creator of the movie 'Shoah'; George Steiner, the critic and author of the much debated novel 'The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H.' and the Hitler apologist David Irving."
  2. On July 6, 1998, Newsweek magazine (reviewer David Gates) also reported on Explaining Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum in an article titled: "Figuring Out the Führer":

    The study of Hitler suffers from explanation overload; early in his research, Rosenbaum gave up on adding one more theory to the pile, deciding instead to study the explainers with their "agendas and obsessions." The people range from admirable to contemptible--like Hitler apologist David Irving,who told Rosenbaum he's cosying up to neo-Nazis only until he can get a more respectable [sic] following as a historian. Similarly their explanations for Hitler's near extermination of European Jewry range from ingenious to gaga...

    This alleged statement also appears nowhere in the Rosenbaum book.

© Focal Point 1998 write to David Irving