The Journal of Historical Review

David Irving

David Irving

(by Mark Weber)

David Irving was born in Essex, England in 1938, the son of a Royal NavyCommander. After education at London University, our next speaker spenta year working in a German steel mill to perfect his fluency in German.In the years since, he has firmly established himself as not only one ofthe most courageous historians of this or any age, but also as one of themost successful and widely read: several of his many books have been best-sellers.

His first work, The Destruction of Dresden, was publishedin 1963, when he was twenty-five years old. This was followed by many otherbooks, including The Mare's Nest: The Secret Weapons of the ThirdReich, published in 1964, The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe,The German Atomic Bomb, The War Between the Generalsand The Trail of the Fox, a best-selling biography of FieldMarshall Erwin Rommel. Several of his books have appeared in various languages,and several have been serialized in periodicals including the SundayExpress, the Sunday Telegraph and Der Spiegel.

Over the years our next speaker has contributed articles to some 60 Britishand foreign periodicals including the Daily Telegraph , theSunday Express in London and Der Stern and DerSpiegel in Germany. You'd need a wheelbarrow to carry away all thenewspaper and magazine clippings that have been written about him.

Mr. Irving has a track record of uncovering startling new facts aboutsupposedly well-known episodes of history. Much of his effectiveness isdue to his extensive reliance on original source materials, such as diaries,original documents and so forth, from both official and private sources.He is tenacious in his ceaseless digging in just about every important historicalarchive in the Western world. He has little respect for colleagues who areguilty of what he calls inter-historian incest, and who have thereby helpedto keep alive myths and legends left over from Second World War propaganda.British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper once said of Irving: "He is oneof the few guys I would entirely trust. Indefatigable in the pursuit ofevidence, fearless in face of it, sound in judgment."

Well, Irving's reputation took a beating following the publication in1977 of Hitler's War, a monumental workthat was hystericallycriticized for its contention that Hitler did not order the exterminationof Europe's Jews: the mass killings must have been carried out by Himmlerand his cohorts behind Hitler's back, Irving concluded at that time. Soenraged was the Zionist Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith by Irving'sbook that the shadowy organization promptly added his name to its ever-growinglist of enemies.

As it turned out, though, the ADL's troubles with David Irving were onlyjust beginning. The campaign against him became even more emotional andintense following the publication, in 1981, of Uprising , an unvarnishedhistoryof the 1956 anti-Communist revolt in Hungary. This book enraged theADL crowd because it does not whitewash the significant Jewish role in theHungarian Communist regime.

In 1987, the first volume of Irving'smonumental biography of WinstonChurchill, a work representing ten years of reasearch and writing, was publishedin Australia. And last year Irving's biography of Hermann Goring was publishedby William Morrow.

A startling climax in the second Holocaust trial in 1988 of Ernst Zundelwas the testimony of our next speaker, who was the last of twenty-threedefense witnesses. Irving stunned the completely packed Toronto courtroomby announcing that he had changed his mind about the Holocaust story. Duringhis three days on the stand, he explained in detail why he now accepts theRevisionist view of the extermination story.

As a kind of one-man IHR, David Irving has made highly successful speakingand promotional tours in West Germany, Canada, Australia, South Africa,the United States and other countries. German listeners delight in hearingan Englishman say out loud what many in that country believe in their souls,but have been intimidated to keep to themselves. In Germany Irving has becomea kind of conscience for a people who have been all but robbed of theirown.

During this past year, in the wake of the collapes of the Soviet-Communistdomination of Eastern Europe, Irving has made triumphal speaking visitsin what was the East German Democratic Republic. Last February, he addresseda large audience in Dresden on the 45th anniversary of the Allied firebombingof that once beautiful, baroque city. Large posters with Irving's pictureappeared throughout Dresden to announce his presentation. He was greetedwith flowers by the city's cultural affairs director, and was interviewedon East German television. When he appeared on stage before the microphones,more than a thousand people gave him a standing ovation. Speaking in fluentGerman, he recounted Winston Churchill's campaign to obliterate German cities.Irving's appearance in Dresden on the anniversary of the firebombing wasalso noteworthy because his first book, the one that launched his career,was about this very event. Irving concluded his address in Dresden withthese words: "Ladies and gentlemen, survivors and decendants of theHolocaust of Dresden, the Holocaust of Germans in Dresden really happened.That of the Jews in the gas chambers of Auschwitz is an invention. I amashamed to be an Englishman."

As can be imangined, these final, provocative words resulted in a spiriteddiscussion with journalists, which immediately followed his speech. Duringthis exchange, Irving explained the significance of Fred Leuchter's investigationsand findings, and he characterized the gas chamber stories as an inventionof Allied war-time propganda.

Last June, Irving returned for another speaking tour in what was stillthe German Democratic Republic. In spite of a tenmark admission fee, largecrowds came to hear him speak in Leipzig, Gera, and again in Dresden. Interestingly,his audiences were mostly younger Germans; middle-aged and elderly peoplewere in the minority. By contrast Irving's treatment during the past yearin West Germany and Austria has not always been as cordial.

In Austria, following the violent demonstration staged in Vienna by Jewishgroups, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Even though his speaking tourscheduled for November of 1989 had been approved by the Austrian InteriorMinistry months earlier, he was not permitted to speak in that country.Irving has initiated legal proceedings to overturn this ban. In West Germany,police forbade him, at the last minute, from addressing a mass rally onMarch 10, of some 8,000 people in Passau, organized by the German People'sUnion. He was the only speaker who was so forbidden to speak. Irving isnow also fighting this ban through the courts. One bright side to this affairis that Irving's forbidden speech was recorded elsewhere on videotape, andis now being widely sold.

Some weeks later, Irving was arrested after addressing a sell-out crowdin Munich's famed Lowenbrau beer-hallon April 21st. This was followed bya spontaneous demonstration of some 250 supporters who carried posters ofIrving, Faurisson and Zundel. After the crowd made its way past the historicFeldherrnhalle, police waded in and arrested about 10 of the demonstrators.

In June of 1989, David Irving published a British edition of the LeuchterReport . This handsome, illustrated edition,for which he wrote aforeword, was launched by him at a press conference in London. He told thejournalists there that the infamous extermination gas chambers at Auschwitzand Majdanek did not exist, except perhaps, as the brain-child inventionof Britain's war-time propaganda bureau, the Psychological Warfare Executive.More than 100 members of the British House of Commons, signed a statementcondemning the Irving edition of the Report as "evil."Of coursethis statement made no effort to refute the Report's findings.

Earlier this year a new American editionof Irving's book Hitler'sWar was published in paperback by Avon books.It combines earliereditions of two books: The War Path and Hitler's War. Taking into accounthis most recent researchand insights, all references to so-called exterminationcamps were removed from this new revised edition. And in his introduction,Irving blasts one historical legend after another. The very fact that thisiconoclastic work was published by a major New York publisher, is itselfa gratifying victory over the dark forces that have been working over timeto silence him.

David Irving is currently at work on more books that promise to raiseeven more hackles. One of them will entitled Roosevelt's War.He is also working on a biography of Hitler's propaganda chief, Dr. JosephGoebbels.

Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, once warned: ". . . that historiansare dangerous because they have the power to upset everything." Ournext speaker is just such an historian. German Chancellor Otto von Bismarckonce said: "That the main thing is not to write history, but to makeit." David Irving is a man who has been able to do some of both. Heis also living proof that the life of an historian need not be dull.


Items by and about David Irving that have appeared in The Journalof Historical Review

(by Greg Raven)

Faurisson, Robert. "A challenge to David Irving." Winter, 1984;v05 n2, 3, 4 p289.

Irving, David. "On contemporaryhistory and historiography." Winter, 1984; v5 n2, 3, 4 p251.

Irving, David. The SecretDiaries of Hitler's Doctor. Reviewed by: Stimely, Keith. Winter,1984; v5 n2, 3, 4 p418.

Irving, David. Uprising!One Nation's Nightmare: Hungary 1956. Reviewed by: Lutton, Charles.Winter, 1984; v5 n2, 3, 4 p411.

Irving, David. The WarBetween the Generals. Reviewed by: Lutton, Charles. Winter, 1984;v5 n2, 3, 4 p397.

O'Keefe, Theodore J. "Irvingon Churchill." Winter, 1986; v07 n4 p498.

Irving, David. "Churchill and U.S. entry into World War II."Fall, 1989; v9 n3 p261. Paper presented to the Ninth International RevisionistConference.

Irving, David. Göring: A biography. Reviewed by: Adams,Henry M. Winter, 1989; v9 n4 p505.

Irving, David. "Battleship Auschwitz." Winter, 1990; v10 n4p490.

Irving, David. "Hitler'sWar: An introduction to the new edition." Winter, 1990; v10 n4p389.

Irving, David. "The Trail of the Desert Fox: Rommel revised."Winter, 1990; v10 n4 p417.

Collins, Doug. "Canadian reflections on the Zündel and Irvingcases." January/February, 1993; v13 n1 p42.

Irving, David. "Life under fire." January/February, 1993; v13n1 p8.

Weber, Mark. "David Irving: Intrepid battler."January/February, 1993; v13n1p4.

Irving, David. "The suppressedEichmann and Goebbels papers." March/April, 1993; v13 n2 p14.

Weber, Mark. "Irving conviction in Germany upheld, fine tripled."March/April, 1993; v13 n2 p7. Historian ordered to pay $18,000 for "gaschamber" remarks.

Weber, Mark. "Irving barred from Australia." May/June, 1993;v13 n3 p13. Major newspapers and civil liberties groups denounce ban againsthistorian.

"Hess, Churchill, Irving." September/October, 1993; v13 n5p46.

Raven, Greg. "Victory for Irving in Australia free speech struggle."November/December, 1993; v13 n6 p12.

Irving, David. "Serious opponent." March/April, 1994; v14 n2p45.

Irving, David. "My confrontation with Deborah Lipstadt." January/February1995; v15 n1 p28.

Irving, David. "Revelationsfrom Goebbels' diary." January/February 1995; v15 n1 p2. Bringingto light secrets of Hitler's propaganda minister.

Faurisson, Robert. "On Irving, Goebbels, and Pressac (letter)."March/April 1995; v15 n2 p46.

Shermer, Michael. "A skeptics view of Irving." March/April1995; v15 n2 p47.

Weber, Mark. "Irving protests German persecution of Holocaust skeptics."March/April 1995; v15 n2 p28. Historian still banned from Germany.

Irving, David. "Irving responds to Faurisson's comment." July/August1995; v15 n4 p46.

Library of Congress listing on David Irving

[Although impressive, this is obviously not a comprehensive listing ofbooks by and about Irving.]

1. 96-110509: Hesse, Horst, Dr. Gedanken zu Irvings "Hitlers Krieg": Geschichtsschreibung als Wagnis / Augsburg : [s.n.], 1994. 206 p. ; 29cm. NOT IN LC COLLECTION

2. 96-1424: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- Goebbels : mastermind ofthe Third Reich / New York : St. Martin's Press, 1996. p. cm. CIP - NOTYET IN LC

3. 94-173268: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- Churchill's war / London: Arrow Books, c1987- v. <1 > : ill. ; 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: DA566.9.C5I78 1987b

4. 93-72355: Jackel, Eberhard. David Irving's Hitler : a faulty historydissected, two essays / Port Angeles, Wash. : Ben-Simon Publications, c1993.58 p. ; 20 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: DD247.H5 J28 1993

5. 92-251978: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- Deutschlands Ostgrenze: weder Oder noch Neisse : die Ruckkehr des deutschen Ostens / Kiel : Arndt,c1990. 314 p. : ill., maps ; 21 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: D821.P7 I78 1990

6. 89-91532: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- Hitler's war / New York: Avon Books, c1990. vi, 794 p. ; 21 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: D757 .I69 1990

7. 88-21776: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- Goring : a biography /1st ed. New York : Morrow, c1989. 573, [32] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.LC CALL NUMBER: DD247.G67 I78 1989

8. 87-183545: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- Churchill's War / Bullsbrook,W.A., Australia : Veritas Pub. Co., c1987- v. <1 > : ill. ; 24 cm.LC CALL NUMBER: DA566.9.C5 I78 1987

9. 84-132592: Morell, Theodor Gilbert, 1886-1948. Die geheimen Tagebucherdes Dr. Morell : Leibarzt Adolf Hitlers / Originalausg., 1. Aufl. Munchen: Goldmann, 1983. 381 p. ; 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: DD247.H5 M64 1983

10. 83-11496: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The German atomic bomb: the history of nuclear research in Nazi Germany / New York, N.Y. : DaCapo Press, [1983], c1967. 329 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 21 cm. LCCALL NUMBER: QC773.3.G3 I78 1983

11. 83-1011: Morell, Theodor Gilbert, 1886-1948. The secret diaries ofHitler's doctor / New York : Macmillan, c1983. viii, 310 p., [8] p. of plates: ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: DD247.H5 M6413 1983

12. 82-18256: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The war between the generals/ 1st paperback ed. New York, N.Y. : Congdon & Weed : distributed bySt. Martin's Press, 1983, c1981. 446 p., [24] p. of plates : ill., map ;23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: D756.3 .I78 1983

13. 81-133221: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- Uprising! / London :Hodder and Stoughton, 1981. 628 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm. LCCALL NUMBER: DB957 .I78

14. 81-116730: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The destruction of ConvoyPQ.17 / Rev. and updated ed. London : Kimber, 1980. 314 p., [24] p. of plates: ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: D771 .I76 1980

15. 80-68916: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The war between the generals/ 1st ed. New York : Congdon & Lattes : distributed by St. Martin'sPress, c1981. 446, [24] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: D756.3.I78 1981

16. 79-474015: Germany. Reichsluftfahrtministerium. Forschungsamt. Breachof security: the German secret intelligence file on events leading to theSecond World War; London, Kimber, 1968. 216 p. 8 plates, facsims., ports.25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: DA47.2 .G3413

17. 78-321465: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The war path : Hitler'sGermany 1933-9 / London : M. Joseph, 1978. xxv, 301 p., [8] leaves of plates: ill. ; 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: DD256.5 .I78 1978b

18. 78-303398: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The trail of the fox: the life of Field-Marshall Erwin Rommel / London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson,1977. ix, 448 p., [32] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER:U55.R6 I78 1977b

19. 78-302431: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- Hitler's war / London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1977. xxxiii, 926 p. : maps (on lining papers); 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: D757 .I69 1977b

20. 78-15824: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The war path : Hitler'sGermany, 1933-1939 / New York : Viking Press, 1978. xvii, 301 p., [8] leavesof plates : ill., maps (on lining papers) ; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: DD256.5.I78 1978

21. 77-24009: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The trail of the fox/ 1st ed. New York : Dutton, c1977. viii, 496 p., [16] leaves of plates: ill. ; 25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: U55.R6 I78 1977

22. 76-18195: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- Hitler's war / New York: Viking Press, 1977. xxxiii, 926 p. : maps (on lining papers) ; 25 cm.LC CALL NUMBER: D757 .I69 1977

23. 75-315801: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The destruction of Dresden/DavidIrving ; with a foreword by Sir Robert Saundby. Morley : Elmfield Press,1974. 255 p. [10] p. of plates, leaf of plate : ill., maps, ports ; 22 cm.LC CALL NUMBER: D757.9.D7 I78 1974

24. 74-376927: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The destruction of convoyPQ.17 London, Cassell, 1968. xiii, 337 p. 28 plates, illus., facsims., maps,ports. 22 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: D771 .I76 1968

25. 74-164659: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The rise and fall ofthe Luftwaffe; the life of Luftwaffe Marshall Erhard Milch London, Weidenfeld& Nicolson, 1973. xx, 451 p., [16] p. of plates. illus., facsims., ports.25 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: TL540.M49 I78

26. 74-829: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The rise and fall of theLuftwaffe; the life of Field Marshal Erhard Milch [1st American ed.] Boston,Little, Brown [1974, c1973] xx, 443 p. illus. 24 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: D787.I788 1974

27. 72-333907: Osterkamp, Theo. Tragodie der Luftwaffe? Kritische Begegnungmit dem gleichnamigen Werk von Irving/Milch Neckargemund, K. Vowinckel,1971. 172 p. illus. 21 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: UG635.G3 O87

28. 68-25749: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The destruction of ConvoyPQ-17 New York, Simon and Schuster [1969, c1968] xiv, 337 p. illus., maps,plans, ports. 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: D771 .I76 1969

29. 68-11012: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The German atomic bomb;the history of nuclear research in Nazi Germany New York, Simon and Schuster[1968, c1967] 329 p. illus., maps, ports. 23 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: QC773.A1I69

30. 67-75012: Irving, David John Cawdell, 1938- The virus house London,Kimber, 1967. 288 p. 12 plates (incl. ports.) maps, facsims., tables, diagrs.24 1/2 cm. LC CALL NUMBER: QC773.A1 I7


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Source: A revised version of an article printed in The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 4-7.


Published with permission of and courtesy to the Institute for Historical Review (IHR).
For the current IHR catalog, with a complete listing of books and audio and video tapes, send one dollar to:

Institute For Historical Review
Post Office Box 2739
Newport Beach, California 92659
email: [email protected]


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