London, Monday, July 4, 2005
for an inquiry over fake Himmler
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Letters to the Daily
ONE of Britain's leading
historians has called for a criminal investigation
into the "contamination" of The National Archives
after The Daily Telegraph showed that forged
documents had been smuggled into files in the
Andrew Roberts, a biographer of Winston
Churchill, said: "There must be prosecutions.
The police must go through all the evidence and
find out who has done this and prosecute with the
full weight of the law."
10:32 p.m., July 3: I
HAVE written this message to the
journalist Ben Fenton (who calls me a
Holocaust denier, and not "at this point"
proven to be the forger; but hails the
young Andrew Roberts as one of the
greatest historians in world
don't think you have established your case
yet. Why were no invasive tests done on
the suspect documents (chemical tests on
paper, ink, and other materials?)
Subjective examinations are
not enough, and the lack of the real
forensic tests leaves them seriously open
as for calling that twirp Andrew Roberts
... Jeez, Andrew Roberts ! ...
"one of Britain's leading historians",
have you no shame?
At Cambridge, he was a
fanatical pro-Hitler agitator.
He is a liar and a cheat,
whose money came from his millionaire
father's Kentucky Fried Chicken
concession. He has done little or no
original field work or archival research,
compared with real historians.
I may be doing him an injustice but "at
this point" I have certainly noticed
Roberts only once at the PRO, and never at
any of the other world's leading archives
of the period.
TO Steve Kippax I have meanwhile
offered this suggestion, for instructions
to his PRO researcher:
Looking at suspect documents, look at the
documentary matrix they are in, in that
Check the position and
size of punch holes, staple marks, folds,
through-stains, anything that indicates
whether it has resided in that file for
years or is a "newcomer".
Try and find documents
of the same author of the same period,
e.g. a Brendan Bracken letter of May 1945,
and compare type faces, indentation, and
other styles (1 or l, periods,
punctuation, to indicate if the typist was
the same or different); are serial numbers
in sequence, or even duplicated?
These are just a few
points. I have long done these things
There is one SS
intercept in the Bletchley Park files at
the PRO which I think may just be a recent
insert (it is a five page document, pages
1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, bound into a PRO
volume, not loose leaf; but page 5 comes
before 1, 2, 3, 4, for some reason,
oops!, and page 5 is the one that contains
the "meat" about the Holocaust).
Fenton is right: IF the
documents turn out to be forgeries, the
finger of probability will point ...
[rest omitted for legal
The documents, which purported to show that
British intelligence officers murdered Heinrich
Himmler, the head of the SS in Nazi Germany, in
1945, were exposed as fakes by a forensic
file 650k] conducted by a leading
specialist on behalf of this newspaper.
papers had apparently been slipped into existing
archive folders before being read by Martin
Allen, a writer working on a book about Himmler
and his contacts with wartime British intelligence
Mr Allen included the story of the
"assassination" of Himmler, which flatly
accepted version that
the SS chief committed suicide with a cyanide pill
after being taken prisoner, in a book
[right] published last May
The book was welcomed by far-Right historians
and sympathisers with the Nazi regime because it
seemed to show that Britain had behaved as badly as
the SS might have done in disregarding the Geneva
convention and murdering a prisoner of war.
Mr Roberts said: "The National Archives must
check all the documents in the files that seem to
have been contaminated.
"There could be a series of ticking
time-bombs in our archives and historians in the
future might not have the same knowledge as we
do now to recognise bogus documents.
"Our reputation as a nation could be damaged
by the people who put these documents here for
their own political motives or whatever motives
they had. After all, our reputation from the
Second World War is one of the main things that
now makes us feel proud to be British and it
should be vigorously defended."
The National Archives has announced an official
forensic study of the questioned documents, but
will not yet commit itself to any formal police
Mr Allen, who has denied any part in the
forgeries and said he simply found the documents
during extensive searches of the archive, did not
reply to telephone inquiries yesterday.
His reputation has been previously clouded by
association with documents of questionable
In 2000, a letter he said had been given to his
father by Albert Speer, Hitler's architect
and later armaments minister, formed the basis of a
book that accused the Duke of Windsor of
betraying the secrets of France's land defences
The letter was submitted to forensic examination
by a newspaper and three
experts pronounced it
to be a fake.
In the examination of the Himmler papers for
The Daily Telegraph, Dr Audrey Giles,
a former head of Scotland Yard's Questioned
Documents section, found that one set of
handwriting had been traced over pencil marks and
another was wholly fraudulent.
These and other findings led Dr Giles to
pronounce four out of five papers as counterfeit
and a fifth as being probably so.
Very neutral historian Andrew
Roberts says that Churchill did not want the
bombing of Rome | with Mr Irving's facsimile
of Churchill's orders
denies that Mr Irving provided him with the
Halifax Diaries for his first book; and
'ready to betray Poland in 1939', a new Roberts
"discovery" (repeating what Mr Irving published
Roberts' hate-filled review of "Churchill's
War", vol. ii: "Triumph in Adversity"
Irving, a Radical's Diary, with revelations and
remiscences about the conformist Churchill
father made his fortune from Kentucky Fried
Chicken and Unigate Dairies concessions (mine
perhaps unfortunately was uninterested in money,
and spent his life fighting as a gunnery officer
of the Royal Navy for Britain ....")
to the Telegraph
deceive with old rumours and modern
Sir - BEN Fenton is wrong to assert that by May 10,
1945, the Nuremberg
trials were "being prepared" (report,
July 2). The Nuremberg Charter was not even
signed until August 8, 1945. And on April 23, 1945
the British were still telling the Americans that
"Hitler and a number of arch-criminals associated
with him" should "suffer the penalty of death".
This makes Fenton's remark that "it is hard to
imagine a more serious charge against a government
than that it would sanction the murder of a senior
member of an enemy regime" ring very false.
I sympathise with Martin Allen for
believing in the Himmler documents, especially as
there have been many rumours over the years about
the exact circumstances of his suicide and
questions about details of the British account.
War Crimes Research Group,
King's College, London WC1
- I DOUBT very much if John Wheeler-Bennett
would have used the phrase "allow Himmler to take
to the stand" in 1945. Much favoured today by
newsreaders and reporters alike, this solecism has
only crept into currency in recent years because
British television's heavy diet of US courtroom
In England, a witness "goes into the witness
box". The use of the phrase in the purported
forgeries ought immediately to have alerted any
astute researcher as to the falsity of that
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