Here's another sample of a devastating Irving critique.
Flaws and Deficiencies in Irving's Books
Although Irving has written, co-authored or translated, thirty-odd books, the great majority of them have the greatest overall similarity to a meringue; there is bulk but no substance. These plenitude of books must be viewed by their owners as being of great value because they are so seldom touched. A fair number of Irving's works could have been found, in palmier days, in many major, and some minor, public and academic libraries but as he has diminished in an accelerated fashion, these books have been removed from the shelves in increasing numbers. Their author attributes this to the underhanded work of malicious Jewish groups but since the index cards have also been removed from the library files, it would be safer to assume that librarians, like so many others, have had quite enough of David Irving.
Irving ascended, or descended (depending entirely upon the view of the reader), from a pro-German writer to a fierce and highly partisan supporter of Adolf Hitler, his acquired and well-worshipped father figure, and an intemperate and completely inaccurate denigrator of his legion of critics. He had access to the personal diaries of a number of luminaries of the Third Reich and was able to publish a great deal of interesting information that proved to be of limited use to legitimate historians. Unfortunately for students of history, most historical diaries are, more often than not, completely self-serving and Irving's interpretations of them have proved to be equally so.
His major fault as a historical writer, aside from a serious lack of literary style, has been that he wrote to an idea and instead of making a study of authentic documentary, as opposed to anecdotal, sources, he selected material that supported his various ideological thesis and deliberately ignored anything else that might refute the ideas he tried to nourish in the minds of his readers. Also, Irving has no problem whatsoever in inventing conversations or archival records and putting these spurious evidences into his political screeds with perfect aplomb.
The respected historian John Lukacs has devoted what amounts to more space than he deserves to Irving in his 1997 book, "The Hitler of History." In this work, which is a scholarly and reasonably balanced work on Hitler's place in historical reporting, Lukacs, on pages 229 through 232 points out a small sampling of Irving's deliberate distortions of records and his habit of not identifying any references for important assertions.
In a number of specific cases, it is obvious that Irving has simply invented sources, quotes and other supportive data.
British author and historian Martin Middlebrook has dealt with Irving's failings very clearly in his 1973 book, "The Nuremberg Raid." On pages 293 through 296, Middlebrook dissects a story that Irving reported in his work "And the German Cities Did Not Die-A Documentary Account" published by a small, right-wing Swiss house in 1963. In this book, Irving stated categorically that the Germans had learned in advance about the disastrous 1944 British air raid on Nuremberg in which a very large percentage of the raiding aircraft were lost to German action. Irving quotes three British airmen, who were prisoners of war in Germany, to the effect that the Germans had prior knowledge of this raid. Very extensive research on the part of Middlebrook proved that two of the named airmen had no knowledge whatsoever of the statements attributed to them by Irving, in fact flatly denying them, and the third alleged witness simply never existed anywhere except in Irving's imagination.
Another exposition of Irving's literary mendacity can be found in a chapter of a 1994 book entitled "The Churchill Papers" by Alexander Baron, pages 13 through 17. This study lists a large and significant number of serious errors of fact appearing in Irving's book, "Churchill's War." In all of his books, Irving consistently misstates or invents facts, invents important dates and proper titles and generally acts as if has never read any of the works in the lengthy bibliographies he always provides as proof of his research.
Probably the worst example of this can be found in "Hitler's War", published in 1977, in which Irving discusses the German Freikorps leader, Albert Leo Schlageter. This man was involved in the Ruhrkampf in the 1920's and was caught and executed by the French in Dusseldorf in 1923. This part of Irving's reportage is correct. What is not correct, however, and is an error exposing such a gross unfamiliarity with the subject of German history as to stagger the imagination, is the connected statement that at Schlageter's side on that date was also shot one Andreas Hofer. As any legitimate scholar of German history will instantly recognize, Hofer was the man who raised the Austrian Tyrol against Napoleon I and was indeed captured and shot by the French but in Mantua, Italy in 1810!
Also in "Hitler's War", on page 260, Irving speaks of a "secret meeting" held at the Kremlin by Josef Stalin on May 5, 1941. Present at this alleged meeting were top members of his government. In this "secret meeting", Irving claims that Stalin outlined his plans to attack Hitler. This episode was tailor-made by Irving to support his thesis that Hitler did not have any reason to attack Stalin in 1941. Unfortunately, this "secret" speech (and another one on the following evening) was not secret and copies of it survive in the Russian archives. In them, Stalin speaks of the need for not upsetting Hitler and provoking a military attack. There is no mention whatsoever of any Soviet attacks on Germany in these speeches but of course as this is at odds with Irving's ideas, he manages to create a scenario more to his liking. Irving, who once had access to Russian archives, must doubtlessly have seen these files that are certainly not secret nor permitted to be viewed by only a select few, among whom Irving, by inference, includes himself.
If he ever had such a positive relationship with the Russian archives, it was quickly terminated when the archive authorities discovered that Irving had been systematically pilfering their papers and selling them to document collectors. The brilliant historian was promptly jailed and, looking like an unshaven and sockless refugee from Bosnia, was physically expelled from the country. Once he had gained the safety of England, one heard his loud cries of Jewish persecution for his heroic activities in search of the Real Truth as he likes to term his pathological flights of fancy.
This light-fingered, and very profitable lifting, (an original Hitler signature is worth over a thousand dollars on the autograph market) has not been limited to the contents of the Moscow archives but extends to the German Bundesarchiv, the American National Archives and several other prominent repositories of Third Reich documents.
In 1996, Irving attempted to sell a number of valuable papers from this era to Charles Hamilton, New York-based autograph expert and dealer. Hamilton became suspicious of the origins of these documents and contacted a number of archives. Discovering that most of them had been stolen, Hamilton informed various authorities both in Germany and England. An article appearing in a Toronto, Canada, paper of November 9, 1996 was headed: AUTHOR'S LONDON HOME RAIDED, bylined by Canadian Press and covered a raid conducted by British police at the London apartment of David Irving wherefrom a large number of documents allegedly stolen from British, American and German archives were recovered.
It is also interesting to note that the raid also uncovered a "considerable quantity of documents with Nazi letterheads, a folder containing what appears to be Adolf Hitler's personal note paper, 1940's-era German typewriters, Nazi document stamps and seals and examples of original signatures of prominent Nazi officials." Perhaps this latter information indicates the source of the oft-repeated comments from outraged, legitimate historians that if Irving can't find a supporting document, he makes one.
Irving has developed an understandably strong interest in the subject of forgeries, loudly criticizing the authenticity of any documents discovered and utilized by any other writer whose work refutes his own pet theories and postulations. In these denunciations, he is shrill, vindictive and completely devoid of substance, lending some credence to the old saying that it is the kicked dog that yelps.
Also in his "Hitler's War", Irving states on page xxiii that postwar faked Mussolini diaries were "perpetuated by two Italian nuns." If Irving had taken the trouble to research the subject, he would have found that the forgeries, which fooled all of the recognized experts, had been prepared by an Italian woman named Amalia Panvini and her eighty-four-year old mother. At the time Irving made this statement, the actual and accurate information on these faked diaries was certainly well-known, especially in England, and reference to it can be found in the highly entertaining book by Robert Harris entitled "Selling Hitler" which appeared in 1986. The section on the Panvini fraud can be found on pages 289-290. This work also contains a number of uncomplimentary commentaries on Irving's personal behavior in the Hitler diary scandal including references to a £26,000 overdraft on Irving's bank account.
It is an enormous series of errors of omission and commission that render Irving's literary excursions into historical fiction as little more than propaganda pamphlets for the promulgation of the godhead of Adolf Hitler and which have no place in the history section of any library. A compilation of these errata would fill, at the very least, a small book and are viewed as absolutely appalling by any serious historical researcher, regardless of whatever point of view they espouse. Most of this exposed errata is of such a nature as to very clearly establish that David Irving is either an ideological fabricator of the worst kind or a grossly incompetent and thoroughly careless researcher.http://www.thebirdman.org/Index/NetLoss ... audsII.htm