The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

David Irving
The Keegan Review

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[Original From Date: Fri, 21 Jun 1996]

In article <>, wrote:


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 Führer 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..."


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 Führer 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."



"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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