Irving admits borrowing material

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The Independent Online
DAVID IRVING, the revisionist historian who says the Holocaust was a hoax, agreed last night that he had removed 'a lot' of glass plates for copying from Russian archives, with the permission of archive staff, as part of his research into the Goebbels diaries.

He further claimed that all the material had been returned. But he may now be banned from Russian and German archives, Russian officials said yesterday.

The Russian state archive committee is investigating allegations from the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich that Mr Irving took samples of the diaries out of Russia for copying in Munich. Mr Irving would not confirm that last night.

Russian and German archivists will make a statement next week, once the investigation is over.

Mr Irving, who is being paid a reputed pounds 75,000 fee by the Sunday Times for transcribing the diaries of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propagandist, said that some of the glass plates had been copied in Moscow by a Russian photographer, but he declined to say where the rest were copied.

Dr Vladimir Tarasov, head of the international relations department of the Russian state archives, said the Munich institute told him Mr Irving brought glass plates to the institute to be copied.

'In our agreement with Mr Irving and the Sunday Times he was not allowed to take any material out of the country - neither glass plates, nor copies,' said Dr Tarasov. He added that Mr Irving had permission to publish information from two of the plates, but no more.

In a statement to the Independent Mr Irving said he was originally given permission to read all the glass plates, but after the institute intervened this was reduced to two. But by then, he said, 'the archive's staff had willingly enabled me to copy many of the pages. I accept that I copied and transcribed many more pages than the Munich authorities would have liked.' On his last visit alone he had seen 15 plates. But, he said: 'I categorically deny that I have permanently removed any records from the Moscow archives.'

Mr Irving added: 'You are suggesting the nub of the allegation is that I copied more than I was supposed to. I see not the slightest cause for concern about that allegation because every journalist, every historian, every researcher is always trying to get more information than people want him to get.'

Valery Abramov, the vice-chairman of the Russian state committee that oversees 2,000 archives, will be in Munich next week to discuss a proposal from the institute for a joint statement on Mr Irving's activities.

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