Naturally, I am delighted for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the whole family; I am a little miffed it was not a girl but even if it had been there would have been no constitutional crisis until the second one if that was a boy. Two girls would have been the same situation as that in George VI's family and that resolved itself satisfactorily. However, it was a boy, as I heard proclaimed happily in Old Compton Street while I was heading for coffee and cake at Maison Bertaux. So that is that. Let us turn to less happy matters.
Historian at large is a new blog for me. It is run by Roger Moorhouse, an historian with a very impressive list of publications. In his latest posting he turns to the subject of particular interest to me and that is the Reichstag fire of 1933 and the historical myths that have surrounded it ever since. Mr Moorhouse goes through the evidence, with especial reference to a recent book by a German historian, Sven Felix Kellerhoff, Der Reichstagsbrand (The Reichstag Fire). The book, Mr Moorhouse tells us, will lay all the mythology to rest: it examines all the evidence in detail and comes to the obvious conclusion that Marinus van der Lubbe acted alone and The Brown Book that "proved" Nazi guilt was a farrago of lies and nonsense.
Alas for good hopes. I really do not think it is that simple. After all, this has been known for some time and was proved conclusively on several occasions by different authors. That the myth has not died shows the enormous strength of the little lies of the Comintern and its propagandists as against the big lie referred to by Goebbels, who turned out to have been considerably less efficient at propaganda than Willi Münzenberg.
I can only refer my readers back to a piece I wrote about this back in 2007 and hope that by some miracle Roger Moorhouse reads it as well.