The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

A Response to David Irving

by Jeffrey Shallit

Sent to David Irving by snail mail on 1/28.

University of Waterloo
Department of Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
(519) 888-4804; Fax (519) 885-1208

January 28, 1997

Dear David Irving:

Thank you for your letter of August 3 1996. I apologize for the delay in responding.

Unless I'm mistaken, you seem to be hinting at some kind of lawsuit over my article. That surprises me, considering that I have publicly defended your right to speak in Canada; see the Kitchener-Waterloo Record, November 9 1992, page A1.

Many of your comments seem to be just that: comments. At least ten of your comments acknowledge that statements in my article are, in fact, correct. You offer a "larger context" in which you would like them to be considered.

In any event, here are the sources for the quotations you have disputed. If you can produce documentary evidence that the quotations are incorrect, I would be happy to modify my essay to take into account new information.

  1. "He calls himself a 'moderate fascist'...": Vancouver Sun, March 11 1989, p. A7.

  2. "Irving first entered the headlines in 1970": Here I was referring to genuine news headlines, not book reviews or interviews with authors. My search of newspaper indexes such as those for the New York Times or the Times of London did not turn up any significant stories before 1970.

  3. "...Irving being fined 40,000 British pounds": my dictionary lists one of the definitions of "fine" as "a forfeiture or penalty paid to an injured party in a civil action", which seems completely appropriate in the context.

  4. "...Irving's book faulted Captain John Broome...": this is a genuine error on my part. The quotes around "downright disobedience" and "cowardly desertion of the convoy" are quotes from the article in the Times of London, March 5 1971, page 8. I took these as excerpts from your book, but I see now that I was mistaken; they are merely the words of a judge in the case. I will rephrase the sentence to make this clear. Thank you for bringing this error to my attention.

  5. "Broome objected to the accuracy of some thirty passages in the book...": Times of London, February 2 1971, page 10.

  6. "At that point, William Kimber, Ltd., Irving's publisher...": Times of London, February 2 1971, page 10.

  7. "He was recently quoted in the K-W Record as saying that the number of Jews who died in concentration camps...": Kitchener-Waterloo Record, October 3 1992, page A5. According to this article, the quotation comes from your testimony at the Zundel trial:

    Q. Do you have any opinion as a result of your research as to the number of Jews who died in concentration camps during the Second World War?

    A. (I)t must have been of the order of 100,000 or more, but to my mind it was certainly less than the figure which is quoted nowadays of six million.

  8. "But during the 1988 trial of pro-Nazi publisher Ernst Zundel...": Montreal Gazette, April 4 1988, page G10.

  9. "In November 1991, a reporter from the Independent showed that Irving omitted crucial lines...": The Independent, November 27 1991, review by Gitta Sereny.

Now, let me address some inaccuracies on your part. First, your letter says, "It appears that your primary source is a handout or handouts of the Wiener Library (Dr. David Cesarini [sic]) and of the Board of Deputies of British Jews..." This is incorrect. I do not possess, nor I have every seen, any "handouts" from Cesarani, and until you mentioned it, I had never heard of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. My sources were publicly available accounts of your activities published in newspapers and magazines in Britain and North America. (This includes an article by Cesarani in New Statesman and Society, July 10 1992.)

Second, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that the "Shallit Report" and "Lies of Our Times" are two different documents, whereas in fact they are the same. The original title of my article as published was "Holocaust Revised: Lies of Our Times. How the Words of Holocaust 'Revisionists' and Their Allies Reveal Their Agenda." In the future, could you please refer to this article by its full title? The name "Shallit Report" was added by Ken McVay.

Third, your newsletter "David Irving's Action Report" claims that "The Shallit Report" is a "newsletter published on the computer Internet." It is not a newsletter, it is a reprint of an article I wrote for a local campus newspaper that appeared four years ago.

Fourth, your newsletter erroneously claims that I quoted only Jewish sources, when in fact, my sources included an article by local reporter Barry Ries (who is not Jewish, but rather of German descent).

Fifth, your newsletter claims that "[a]ll the allegations contained in the Shallit report ... were vicious and untrue" (emphasis mine), whereas in fact your own letter demonstrates that you label most of the article as "correct."

Sixth, your newsletter incorrectly implies that my article was part of a campaign to discredit your latest book. This is nonsense; the article was written four years ago and has been available on the Internet in various forms for quite a while.

I will look forward to receiving a copy of your corrections of these errors in the next Action Report. Please send me a copy.

Now, as to your letter. If Ken McVay allows [of course -knm], I would like to put a verbatim copy of your letter on the Nizkor web site, where it could be read by anyone who reads my article.

Will you permit me to do this? The advantage for you would be that your objections to my article would receive as wide an audience as the original article. If so, please send me a signed letter agreeing to this proposal, and if possible provide a diskette with the text of your letter (plain Ascii text is best). Of course, by doing so you would allow me to include, possibly at some later date, my own commentary on your letter.

Yours sincerely,

(Prof.) Jeffrey Shallit

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