Thursday, December 11, 2008

On giving a "voice" to David Irving

As Professor Lipstadt reports, “On Tuesday night [09 December], C4's offshoot channel, More4, [showed] a 90-minute documentary, An Independent Mind, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [….]

“According to the puff: 'This unique film gives a voice to eight characters from around the world who have fought to exercise their right to free speech.' What C4 doesn't say is that the film's eighth and final hero is [David] Irving."

Lipstadt doesn’t think this right because Irving’s views are “odious” and “disgusting.” That he is a “liar” and that the film “celebrates” Irving’s “lies and distortions and inventions.” She asks why the film maker should “give someone who is simply twisting the truth and lying a platform?”

We should note that others have other views about David Irving, who has actually written history books.

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On Goebbels: "David Irving knows more than anyone alive about the German side of the Second World War. He discovers archives unknown to official historians ... His greatest achievement is Hitler's War ... indispensable to anyone seeking to understand the war in the round. Irving as usual, knows more than anyone of the details [of the death of the Goebbels family in 1945]. He does not spare us."
-- Professor Sir John Keegan

"British historian, David Irving, perhaps the greatest living authority on the Nazi era"
-- Professor Stephen Spender

On Goebbels: "Silencing Mr. Irving would be a high price to pay for freedom from the annoyance that he causes us. The fact is that he knows more about National Socialism than most professional scholars in his field, and students of the years 1933 1945 owe more than they are always willing to admit to his energy as a researcher and to the scope and vigor of his publications.
-- Professor Gordon A Craig

On PQ.17: "David Irving knows how to appraise the unassuming heroism of the ordinary man. From both points of view, his present book on the destruction of convoy PQ.17 is even better than the one which made his name on the bombing of Dresden. It is a melancholy story, with many separate strands leading to disaster."
-- Professor A. J. P. Taylor

On Churchill's War: "Enormous mastery of the sources and ability to maintain a sweep of narrative and command of detail that carry the reader along."
-- Professor Donald Cameron Watt

***

Two questions.

Are these quotes accurate?

Have any of these eminent historians written anything like this about Deborah Lipstadt and her “historical” writing? For the purposes of this exercise let us not refer to spokespersons for the Holocaust Marketing Industry, a business for which Professor Lipstadt is a leading representative.

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