Rolf Hochhuth – ally of David Irving and target of secret British propagandists – dies aged 89

Rolf Hochhuth (above right) who has died aged 89, seen here in London in 1966 with the British historian David Irving.

Provocative German playwright Rolf Hochhuth died on May 13th at his home in Berlin, aged 89.

His death came just as the latest edition of Heritage and Destiny was going to press, featuring a two-part exposé of the conspiracy by secret British agencies at the end of the 1960s to smear Mr Hochhuth and the British historian David Irving.

This full extraordinary story is based on very recently released documents from the Information Research Department, a secret Cold War propaganda unit that was dissolved in 1977 and whose records remained highly classified until earlier this year. The IRD files were read by H&D‘s assistant editor days before the UK’s National Archives closed down due to Covid-19.

Hochhuth had made himself a target of IRD and associated agencies including MI5 and MI6 because of a play in which he alleged official British complicity in the death of Poland’s wartime leader Gen. Sikorski, in what was officially declared an accidental plane crash off Gibraltar in July 1943.

David Irving carried out extensive research to assist Hochhuth in writing this play Soldaten (‘Soldiers’). It was commissioned by London’s National Theatre but banned by the theatre’s board (and later by the Lord Chamberlain) in 1967 at the instigation of prominent establishment figures.

Soldiers also explored the morality of RAF area bombing strategy and the culpability of Winston Churchill and his scientific adviser Frederick Lindemann (Lord Cherwell).

Hochhuth in 2005

Rolf Hochhuth’s death has been widely reported in the German press, though so far only by the Daily Telegraph in the UK.

Despite his friendship with Irving, which dated back to 1965, Hochhuth was very much a man of the left. His best-known play The Representative (Der Stellvertreter) dealt with the Vatican’s alleged knowledge of the presumed wartime murder of six million Jews in the ‘Holocaust’. It is presumably for this service to ‘Holocaust history’ that the German government paid tribute to the “iconoclastic” playwright, saying he had “never ducked a confrontation” while “loving provocations and remaining true to himself”.

Similarly the Central Council of German Jews called Hochhuth a “courageous taboo-breaker” who had “touched off an overdue debate in Germany” about the Vatican’s role. Notably the AFP press agency report on Hochhuth’s death avoids all mention of the Sikorski saga.

Poland’s wartime leader Gen. Sikorski, seen here (second left) at a tank demonstration in Surrey, February 1941 with (centre) Winston Churchill, (second right) Gen. Charles de Gaulle, (far left) Royal Armoured Corps commander Lt. Gen. Giffard Le Quesne Martel, and (far right) Gen. Andrew Thorne (GOC Scottish Command).

These official German and Jewish spokesmen might change their tune once they get to see H&D‘s new two-part series about Hochhuth and Irving. Will official spokesmen – Jewish or Gentile – welcome re-examination of Sikorski’s death; the various associated issues of murderous rivalries and official lies concerning Poland’s exile government; its military, intelligence and propaganda forces; and the Faustian pact with Stalin?

And who was the Hungarian Jewish journalist who began his propaganda career inventing stories about Adolf Hitler as early as 1932, then worked for IRD in their campaign against Hochhuth and Irving in the late ’60s and early ’70s?

The first episode of this stranger-than-fiction tale, based on top secret documents many of which have never been reported before, is in the May edition of Heritage and Destiny, available now.

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