Documents on the Fight for Real History

David Irving

[Photoby Michael Hentz, for
The New York Times]

Letter to John Tusa
Head of the BBC

[April 1997]

JOHN TUSA was the Czech-born former newscaster, producer, and ultimately director-general of the BBC, and a writer in his own right. Mr Irving had helped him on occasions with documents and advice from own his researches. Tusa's wife Ann wrote the first (and premature) review of Mr Irving's book Nuremberg, the Last Battle in The Daily Telegraph. She published this several weeks before the embargo-release date, possibly in the hope of killing its chances elsewhere. In this she failed, as the book was widely praised. John and Ann Tusa had published their own potboiler history of the Nuremberg Trial several years before.

Mr John Tusa
21 Christchurch Hill
London NW3 1JY

London, April 1997

Dear John,[1]

David Irving: Nuremberg, the Last Battle

SEEMS LIKE only yesterday I bumped into you at the PRO when you were working on Nuremberg.

I was just screening through old files for two libel actions I am bringing (Discovery), and came across our brief correspondence in 1983 when you were working on the book.

Last November -- so I am told -- Ann lacerated my own on the subject, claiming it yielded nothing new. (I took a peep at your reprint a few days ago at Selfridges', and while I see it lists R H Jackson's papers at the National Archives, it doesn't appear to use his private papers including his diaries and letters from Nuremberg, which were at Chicago when I used them, and are now in the Library of Congress; nor the private papers of Andrus, the Nuremberg commandant, nor . . . uh, etc., etc.)

People tell me Ann also called me sloppy for not using the Blue Volumes; if she had really read the book, she would have seen I explained why.[2] Anyway, here with my compliments is a copy of the book as published, to replace the heap of Xeroxes (presumably) read when writing her review. If she did read it, that will be more than Norman Stone did, who I suspect merely read the review written by, Guess Whom?, before writing his own in The Sunday Times.

If there are any major wartime projects you're working on, don't hesitate to call upon my resources; I do know quite a bit about that time, you know.


Yours faithfully,
David Irving

Further notes:

  1. Mr Tusa did not reply, or even acknowledge the letter or the book.
  2. The blue-bound official record of the International Military Tribunal against the Major War Criminals at Nuremberg, 46 vols., US Government Printing Office. When writing my book The Rise & Fall of the Luftwaffe (see booklist) I checked the published version of the 1945-6 courtroom exchanges against the sound-recordings held in the National Archives, and found deliberate and inexplicable discrepancies. I concluded that the printed volumes were too tainted to be used as an historical source. Like other authors on the trials, Ann and John Tusa did not have the same scruples.


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