LETTER: Those who wish to rewrite history start by banning books

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The Independent Online
PETER TATCHELL argues that the publishers of William L Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich should withdraw the book until it is amended to include references to the Nazi persecution of homosexuals ("No place in history for gay victims of Nazism", 2 July).

As Mr Tatchell himself notes, a not insignificant part of that persecution was the burning of books "stolen from the trashed headquarters of the homosexual movement, the Institute for Sexual Science".

Is the pulping of books, then, a more acceptable method of denying people's access to written materials than burning them? And did not Hitler's minister for propaganda superintend the withdrawal of the Bible so that it could be rewritten to reflect the Nazi creed? A more constructive approach might be for Mr Tatchell to write his own magnum opus on Nazi persecutions, giving interested parties the opportunity to draw on a wider selection of work than exists at present and reach their own conclusions. This would be to promote a freedom that Mr Tatchell impliedly advocates in his article - that of choice.

Julien Foster

Bromley, Kent