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GERMANY: Hitler, the Holocaust, Antisemitism
David Irving certainly has a bad press, as this philippic from David Pike shows. I think Harry Papasotiriou gave an accurate assessment of the situation. I simply used the word "respected" because I did not want to go into the dispute, of which I was fully aware. David Pike says:
"When the posting reached me with the reference to David Irving as "a respected British scholar" I was leaving for a conference in Istanbul. There, in answer to questions, I had the opportunity to confirm that David Irving is indeed British, but I was at a loss to explain what David Irving had to do with being a respected scholar. The term "respected scholar" generally refers to one who works in good faith, who doesn't cook the evidence to produce a stew of a predetermined taste, who examines evidence and counter-evidence with equal care. I am reminded of what I was taught decades ago when I first began working in primary sources: "Researcher beware. Here you will find everything you seek." David Irving went into archives not in the spirit of neutral inquiry but in the search for supporting evidence, in the way that the world now knows. Can it reasonably be said that there are "many British historians who recognized his foibles but generally respected him?"
My comment: Unfortunately historians, even reputable ones, unwittingly see things there way. The enemies of Irving are not vaccinated against this. It will be a long time before a balanced view will prevail. If ever. I wish David Pike would explain why the people in Istanbul were so interested.
Ronald Hilton - 7/18/00