is quite interesting and revealing; especially in lieu of David Irving's effort to now write about Himmler.
From Joseph Bellinger himself, I have this to share with the forum.
I should note that Irving has been working in these archives for years researching his Himmler biography and he failed to find them. In 2000 Mr. Irving had sent me an email informing me that he had been going thought the archives at the PRO looking for information re Himmler's death. Mr. Irving is unaware that I had research agents culling through the archives both here and in America and that I personally had spoken with many archivists who sent me what was to amount to two BOXFULS of newly released documents from the archives at the time I was working on my manuscript. The following description might shed more light on the matter for you. I hope it does, and if you have any further questions to ask of me after reading this email, don't hesitate to ask me. The following information should be of interest to you on these points:
My Himmler project had its beginnings in the late 1980's when, casually examining the various pieces of published evidence, I first suspected that Himmler had been murdered by his captors. In 1997, I submitted an outline of my thesis for Mr. Irving's perusal, in the hope that he might express interest in publishing the material. Shortly thereafter, I received a reply from Irving in the mail in which he indicated that he thought there was definite merit in my thesis and that he himself suspected that Himmler had been murdered.
And that is where the matter remained until, quite unexpectedly, nearly two years later, I received a letter from Mr. Irving inviting me to speak on the topic of "The Strange Death of Henrich Himmler' at his First "Real History" conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. I accepted the invitation and presented my thesis before a very receptive audience. On the following day, Mr. Irving invited me to his suite and proposed that I should write a book on the death of Heinrich Himmler and that Focal Point would publish it within a year's time. I accepted the proposal and set to work at once on the manuscript, digging up all my old files pertaining to Himmler's death while in British custody.
Within a relatively short time, I received another communication from Mr. Irving congratulating me on the success of my presentation. He also arranged to present me with an advance to begin all the necessary work on documenting my thesis via the various national archives. When Irving visited the States shortly thereafter, I traveled with him to Stanford University, where we both undertook a search of the library archives and this marks the practical beginning of my professional association with David Irving. The initial search was quite fruitful and I was able to ferret out many useful sources for later use in my Himmler book, but the real prize was yet to be uncovered.
While at Stanford, I called up a few boxes of newly arrived material relating to Heinrich Himmler. These boxes contained personal items belonging to the Himmler family which had been apparently purloined by a nurse when she was allowed to assume possession of Himmler's home in 1945-46. Among the items in this box were photo albums of a personal nature as well as albums depicting Heinrich Himmler's early years as commander of the SS. It was a magnificent find, and Irving immediately jumped on it and haggled with the librarians to obtain permission to photocopy all the photos in the album. I immediately pointed out to him that these items rightfully belonged to Gudrun Himmler, the surviving legitimate daughter of the former Reichsfuehrer, and suggested that he should contact her and inform her of the find in case she was interested in pursuing legal means to retrieve these family heirlooms. Irving, however, scoffed at my suggestion, but on the trip back from Stanford, admitted to me that he was working on a message to Gudrun informing her of the find. Rather naively, I assumed he was also informing her that I was the person who had perchance made the discovery and that I was writing a book which would reveal the circumstances under which her father had died and why. As it turns out, he claimed discovery of the items I had brought to his attention.
Months passed by before I heard any further word on that communication, but as it turns out, Gudrun apparently hung up on Irving after he had suggested to her that she could have the pictures in exchange for a remuneration and promise to assist him in obtaining information re her deceased father. My understanding is that relations between them remain strained to this day.
About the same time, I had asked Irving if he would undertake, as my supposed 'editor' and 'publisher' an attempt to contact the two men who had been with Himmler at the time of his capture. I had hoped that Irving, through his already established connections in Germany, might be able to arrange for an interview, either in person or by letter. Irving's response to me at the time was that he was unable to locate the two men in question. I have since learned that Irving contacted one of them on his own initiative, as he freely admits on his website.
In the meanwhile, I kept busy with my own research, during the course of which I was fortunate to be assisted by two remarkably talented gentlemen who went to the archives on my behalf searching out vital documents which I specifically requested. The search on both accounts was rewarding. One of the gentlemen was able to obtain for me tapes of interviews with both of Himmler's companions. The other gentlemen scoured the archives in Great Britain at the Imperial War Museum and the Pro and sent back dozens of older, as well as newly released  documents all pertaining to the capture and death of Heinrich Himmler. This gentleman also undertook a visit to the Royal Dental Museum in Aldershot on my behalf, and interviewed the curator and obtained his permission to take numerous color photos of Himmler's death mask as well as the molds that were made of his teeth during his subsequent sham of an autopsy. I had previously obtained the autopsy report itself at a prior point which I used as the basis for my presentation at the Real History Conference in 1999. I also undertook written correspondence with the SS Veterans Association as well as with the publishers of the SS veteran's magazine, "Der Freiwilliger" and by these means was introduced to one of Himmler's former chauffers. I also submitted numerous questions to the editor of the British military magazine, "After the Battle" which published two extensive articles relating to the 'suicide' of the Reichsfuehrer-SS. Additionally, I contacted the fine staff at Fort Meade and received new documents from them on a near weekly basis. I also established contact with the staff at the Library of Congress as well as the Military Archives and spoke with a number of staff members personally, thereafter receiving packa ges of requested documents in the mail. Mr Irving of all people should be fully aware that libraries such as the PRO even offer and actually suggest the services of proxy researchers to those who are unfamiliar with the archives. In fact I received a massive file on Otto Ohlendorff and Gottlob Berger from Washington at a cost of 80.00 which Irving attempted to purchase from me [obviously for his own purposes again].
When Irving writes that I did not 'personally' visit the archives, he is correct. But if by that statement he means to imply that no valuable documentary information was received by me during the course of my extensive research, then he is quite ill informed, or deliberately misrepresenting, as I have here in my possession not only two huge boxes of documents directly received from the various archives cited above, but I have also saved all of my rather extensive written correspondence with Mr. Irving as well as most of my electronic communications. I have complete interrogations and files pertaining to Heinrich Himmler, Heinz Macher, Werner Grothmann, Rudolf Brandt, Gudrun Himmler and mother, Gottlob Berger, Otto Ohlendorf, the War Communiques from the British Staff at Lueneburg, as well as the written accounts of nearly all of Himmler's captors, published and unpublished, not to mention the scores of secondary documentation and sources rarely referred to by mainstream historians.
Which now brings me to the next phase of my professional relationship to David Irving. In his initial interim agreement with me, Irving promised to edit and publish my manuscript. When he states that I never finished the manuscript, that is an outright prevarication, as Irving was delivered a complete manuscript in, minus the last four chapters, the month of Nov. 2000. Thereafter, he simulated editing of the book, and in fact, I have here about nine or ten chapters which he 'edited' whilst perpetually clamoring for me to send him the most 'relevant chapters' pertaining to the exact circumstances of Himmler's death. As soon as these chapters were delivered to him, he abruptly ceased all editing. Irving thereafter erected a 'wall of silence' in response to my repeated requests inquiring when he intended on finishing the editing and publishing the manuscript.
That silence was suddenly broken when Hugh Thomas' book, "The Strange Death of Heinrich Himmler" was published and serialized in the English newspaper "The Daily Mail"...Out of the clear blue Irving contacted me demanding to know how Thomas could have published his book which contained so much information similar to my own. Irving was nearly distraught at the time and expressed the opinion that the thesis of the book was now ruined. After reading the clippings of the serialization which he subsequently sent me via post, I advised him that there was no need to worry and that many of Thomas' assertions were in blatant contradiction to the known facts and that it would be quite easy for me to refute them point by point, which Irving asked me to do. I did then in fact send him via email a detailed refutation of Mr. Thomas' contentious points.
When after two years the manuscript was still in his possession and he refused all further contact with me, I began to undertake arrangements to submit the manuscript to other interested publishers, since whatever 'contract' he imagined he had with me had expired due to his default to edit and publish as agreed. Furthermore, at this time I received iron-clad reliable information from responsible individuals in Great Britain and Germany that Irving was undertaking a project for a "Himmler" book of his own.
Upon learning of this fact, I immediately informed Irving via email that I had found an interested publisher. Breaking his 'wall of silence' Irving exploded and claimed that 'he' owned the rights to my manuscript! Tired of Mr. Irving's petulant outbursts, I then opted to enlist the services of an agent to represent my interests and correspond in the future with Mr. Irving on these points.
In summation, Mr. Irving misrepresents and underplays not only the vast scope of my own research, but has the audacity to imply that the documentation which I in good faith submitted to him is the result of his own work, energy, and research, when in point of fact, the paper trail of documentation proves that Mr. Irving asked me to deliver my thesis at the First Real History conference, that he signed a makeshift contract with me, that he asked me to appear as a speaker at the second Real History Conference [which I had to decline due to a broken foot and the fact that I was in the middle of working on my manuscript] and that he personally and publicly advertised the book at an IHR conference in Costa Mesa as well as at the book fair in Chicago. Furthermore, Mr. Irving was provided with a complete manuscript, which he later had the audacity to claim in writing that 'he never bothered to read it!" The documents listed on Mr. Irving's site now will also be in my own book, but they are merely icing on a cake which was signed, sealed and delivered ages ago, and lend final credibility to my own thesis as carefully outlined in my book.
In the two year interim from 2003-2005, I did not cease my investigation or research, but actively proceeded to edit the original manuscript and continually add to and update it right up to the present moment, where I can now affirm with full confidence that my book, "Himmler's Death: The Final Days of the Reichsfuehrer-SS," is the most exhaustively documented account in existence detailing the murder of Heinrich Himmler by the British in 1945
- Joseph Bellinger