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1. firstname.lastname@example.org 2. "Gordon Angus Mackinlay" <email@example.com> 3. jim Dingeman <firstname.lastname@example.org> 4. Mike Yared <email@example.com> 5. Cook Jeff <Jeff.Cook@ngu.edu> -----Message from: firstname.lastname@example.org----- I am delighted to see that a general consensus is forming that punishing students for citing David Irving is a misguided policy. I am still somewhat disturbed that it was ever (allegedly) implemented anywhere. First, such a ban runs directly contrary to the practices of many of the foremost names in our field that a student might be forgiven for thinking that he/she was sucker-punched. (See below for a list I've put together of military and intelligence historians and a few others who have cited Irving.) Secondly, it singles out Irving while ignoring so many other scholars who have committed similar academic sins. In other words, such a policy would be using the trappings of academic processes to respond to the justifiable distaste we all feel for what appear to be Irving's obnoxious personal behavior and his (IMHO) immoral views. At a purely academic level, are Irving's sins any worse than those of, say, Ward Churchill or Noam Chomsky? Or, for that matter, Howard Zinn, who used Irving's inflated estimates of civilian casualties at Dresden to show what a horrible country the US was. Perhaps not, yet Churchill, Chomsky, et al, are presumably not on the list of banned writers. On the other hand, putting together lengthy lists of banned writers that undergraduates must memorize strikes me as madness. Best not to have such a list at all. With regard to students and Irving, I think a far better approach would be, as others have suggested here, to use the occasion of a student citing him as a "teachable moment." With regard to the use of Irving by practicing historians, I think a better approach than simply "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" as I read Giorgio Rota to suggest, would be to recognize that there are dimensions of reliability to Irving's writings. For instance, we might take it as a rule of thumb that the closer Irving's discussion approaches the Holocaust, the less reliable it is. We might also say that he's more reliable on strictly factual questions of what a document said and less reliable in drawing broad conclusions from a mass of data. We might also suggest--and here I am speculating--that his earlier writing is generally more reliable than his later. Other such statements might be possible. With this dimensionality, we would then allow our fellow historians to do what historians do: make judgments about sources. I know some people on this thread, such as Geoff Megargee, disagree with me. How would they assess the health and prevailing professional standards in our field given the lengthy list of prominent people in our field (or in fields close to ours) who have cited Irving? I mean this question sincerely. As someone who is becoming a historian in the second half of his professional life (background as a government practitioner, primarily intelligence analyst), I'm truly curious what I'm stepping into . An incomplete list of historians and others who in some way used David Irving's work: Stephen Ambrose, Rick Atkinson, Anthony Cave Brown, James Critchfield, Carlo D'Este, John Ferris, Michael Handel, Max Hastings , Thaddeus Holt, David Jablonsky, David Kahn, John Keegan, John F. Lazenby (in a book about the Second Punic War), John W. Lewis, Ernest May , Williamson Murray, , Thomas Powers, John Ranelagh (used Irving's translation of Gehlen's memoirs), Jeffrey Richelson (Gehlen memoirs again), Bradley F. Smith, Russell Weigley, Robin Winks. Four interesting others in different fields: Barry Posen, Michael Walzer, John Warden, and Trevor Dupuy. --Mark Stout Johns Hopkins email@example.com -----Message from: "Gordon Angus Mackinlay" <firstname.lastname@example.org>----- Ladies and Gentlemen, It would appear that the original request has been lost in the fevour of the discussion. Mr Yared passed on a request, in part : "......I understand, for example, that a number of universities in Australia specifically penalize students who cite from his works, whilst others frown upon it but do not impose penalties." Whilst I know that : WINDSCHUTTLE Keith (1). The Fabrication of Aboriginal History Volume One Van Diemen's Land 1803-1847. McLeay Press, Sydney, 2002. Is definately frowned upon by a number of Australian universities, and is banned from the libraries of such. A number of academics having had their qualifications either revolked or required to resubmit their revised submissions for doctorates. The publisher and others have been 'leaned upon' by various educational authorities and State Governments (notably West Australia) not to publish the rest of the series, and the incoming Labor Government in late 2008 made it one of their priorities (?) to continue this censorship. There is however been absolutely not a peep about Irving being banned from use as a reference in any form of literature. Irving had been banned from entry into The Commonwealth of Australia and its Territories by the then Labor Government in 1992, and subsequent changes of government upheld (Irving has been frequently interviewed by the Government broadcaster's radio (The Australian Broadcasting Commission - ABC) current affairs service and other programmes since), a number of attempts to have this overthrown in the Commonwealth Government courts have upheld the ruling. I believe that there is confusion in regard to Australia and Austria (2). In Austria, Irving was convicted under the Verbotsgesetz law, which prohibits the "glorifying and identifying with the German Nazi Party", a criminal act in that country. This law forbids under the threat of imprisonment any public or private act, publication by print, electronic media, signboarding, wearing of symbols or clothing etc in relation to this. This is reflected in the academic system, and so such as Irving (along with many others) has his books banned, and therefore any reference to them is forbidden in the footnoting or bibliography of any assignment/thesis. Issues of the German current affairs journal Die Spiegal in January had article and correspondence on the upcoming academic publication of Mein Kamp, and how even this will be banned in Austria!!!! In regard to Irving himself, there can be no doubt that in his early works; The Mares Nest (1964), The Virus House (1967) there was quality research, some of which was rather embarrising to the British Civil Service. His first publication in 1963, The Destruction of Dresden, was published with much positive comment in its many reviews. The subsequently proven to be grossly inflated casualties figures were picked up by the far left and far right of Europena politics, and the Soviet Union. I must admit that the first two are the only ones that I have read, and still have copies of (which used in recent times), the others hold no interest to me. However many people whose opinion I respect, and who have immense dislike for Irving's fixation on the Holocaust, state that ALL of his books have much of value within their pages, and that whilst people should be aware of his fraudulent writings and behaviours in relation to the Holocaust they should not be rejected because of this. NOTE : 1. In North America he is probably better known (from his publications) of : WINDSCHUTTLE Keith. The Killing of History How Literary Critics and Social Theorists are Murdering our Past. Encounter Books, San Francisco, 1996. PB, xv, 372p., index. 2. The factual stories re Australia and Austria being confused are legion, many well documented. My personal experience of this phenomenon was in the early 1980's when a USAF Reserve or Air National Guard unit flew the first C-5 Galaxy transport into Royal Australian Air Force Base Amberley in Queensland. I on a period of full time duty with the Citizens Air Force (as it then was) and was officer on duty at the time, accompanying the Australian Customs official, and the Movements Control Warrant Officer to the flight deck. There we were greeted with a "Guten tag, Mein Herren" - the story being that the crew had been briefed in their home base (in one of the US 'Square' States) on the nation of Australia, our 'German' language and similar Austrian customs. Since it was not April the First, and on cross examination the crew of eight had the same genuine story, our initial thoughts being that the aircraft had been mis-missioned, and should have gone to Germany/Austria. Sadly this was not so, they genuinely believed that we spoke German in our country (better I suppose to the majority who think we have Kangaroos bouncing down the main streets of Sydney) and they came in for some tremendous leg pulling in the various messes. The entire crew were employed in their states academic system, with the aircraft captain, a colonel being a professor of French Medieval Literature. I and the two others had to suffer for a very long time by being addressed by all and sundry with "Guten tag, mein Herr". "Gordon Angus Mackinlay" <email@example.com> -----Message from: jim Dingeman <firstname.lastname@example.org>----- Imagine 1,000 years from now the only work remaining extant would be David Irving's HITLER's WAR..Reading that we would learn that Hirler waged a preventive war against the USSR, that Britain started the war and Hitler had no knowledge of the Holocaust..that he did not order it..In 2010 we know these assertions are absurd but that is what we would be left with if his works were the only extant sources. I have read many of his works over the years and was aware of the lawsuit against him in the late sixties regarding his book on PQ 17. He was sued by Jack Broome and lost. Anyone familiar with that case should be aware of the fact that he was willing to play with facts to get headlines and booksales. In the nineties I worked with a fellow who had been at Brentwood and the University of London. He told me about he sat with Oswald Mosley during a debate on immigration in the late fifties-early sixties. He also mentioned his early defense of apartheid in that period. But what really ended my interest with Irving was when I saw him in the eighties in a documentary on Neo-Nazism in Germany. The clandestinely filmed footage showed him appearing jointly with Otto Remer, a prominent leader in the Socialist reich Party after the war. Remer, who was commander of the Grossdeutschland Watchbattalion in Berlin, was critical in crushing the July 20th plot. He remained an unrepentant apologist for Hitler after the war until his death. In the seventies I by pure chance met a researcher Irving had sent to the United States for one of his books. She was very attractive, intelligent and Italian. Myself and another person took that opportunity to take her for dinner and find out what we could about Irving. We found out many interesting things about him although she denied any knowledge about his controversial opinions..just wanting to have the opportunity of coming to the States.. I think his books or works should be used as a contretemps for analysis..an example of apologetic history for justifying the Third Reich. His works are important to read but to be used as sources uncritically...absolutely not. Jim jim Dingeman <email@example.com> -----Message from: Mike Yared <firstname.lastname@example.org>----- Thanks to all who replied.This happened to me too in a different situation. Years ago, I emailed someone a list of Cambodia (1970s-1980s) resources. He asked why I didn't listed any of Noam Chomsky's works. Well, for one thing, this MIT linguist with a PhD is hiding behind academic tenure and freedom of speech claiming the Khmer Rouge killing/massacre of Cambodians in the 1970s never happened nor occurred despite the tons of evidences and documentation (Yale project, i.e.) recently two letters set light on this same topic: Chomsky and the Khmer Rouge http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2010/feb/07/letters-assisted-suicide (scroll down) and` Never apologise, never explain http://timesonline.typepad.com/oliver_kamm/2010/01/never-apologise-never-explain.html January 17, 2010 Mike Yared <email@example.com> -----Message from: Cook Jeff <Jeff.Cook@ngu.edu>----- Group: I tell students about David Irving and how deniers craft their argument. I use all of this as a jumping off point to examine the hard documentary evidence. Cook Jeff <Jeff.Cook@ngu.edu> ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----