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Subject: [Repost] David Irving: A Historian Speaks
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[Original From mvanalst@rbi.com Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996]

In article <31C9EF37.6F9D@kaiwan.com>, ihrgreg@kaiwan.com wrote:

[snip]

> In his Daily Telegraph review, British historian John Keegan wrote: 
> "David Irving knows more than anyone alive about the German side of the 
> Second World War. He discovers archives unknown to official historians 
> and turns their contents into densely footnoted narratives that 
> consistently provoke controversy... His greatest achievement is Hitler's 
> War, which has been described as `the autobiography the F=FChrer did not 
> write' and is indispensable to anyone seeking to understand the war in 
> the round. Now he has turned his attention to Joseph Goebbels... The 
> result is a characteristic Irving book: 530 pages of text and 160 pages 
> of relentless references..."

[snip]

In his _The Battle for History_ Keegan also wrote:

"Some controversies are entirtely bogus, like David Irving's contention
that Hitler's subordinates kept from him the facts of the Final Solution,
the extermination of the Jews..." (p.10) 

"No historian of the Second World War can afford to ignore Irving. His
depiction of Hitler [in _Hitler's War_], by its relation of the war's
development to the decisions and responses of Fu"hrer headquarters, is a
key corrective to the Anglo-Saxon version, which relates the war's history
solely in terms of Churchillian defiance and the growth of the Grand
Alliance. Nevertheless, it is a flawed vision, for it is untouched by
moral judgement. For Irving, the Second World War was a war like other
other wars - naked struggle for national self-interrest - and Hitler, one
war leaders among others. Yet, the Second World War must engage our moral
sense. Its destructiveness, its disruption of legal and social order, were
on a scale so disordinate that it cannot be viewed as a war among other
wars; its opposition of ideologies, democratic versus totalitarian, none
the less stark because democracy perforce allied itself with one form of
totalitarianism in the struggle against another, invariably invests the
war with moral content; above all, Hitler's institution of genocide
demands a moral commitment."  (pp.50-51.)

Hmmm. "Bogus" controversies and "flawed vision" not a very flattering
picture Keegan paints of Irving, IMHO. One, I imagine, that would be even
less flattering if Keegan had commented on (or known about?) Irving's
Holocaust denial antics and penchant for losing law suits as a result of
his historical "research."

Mark

posted/e-mailed

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"Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes 
not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties--but
right through every human heart--and all human hearts." 

-- Alexander Solzhenitsyn, "The Gulag Archipelago"
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