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Smear is being directed at me, and not Pevsner!


Kenneth Powell, in his review of my book Pevsner on Art and Architecture, says that my 'smear operation' on Pevsner (pictured) is 'unworthy and rather distasteful' (AJ 9.1.03). I'm afraid that it is Powell's smear operation on me that is unworthy and distasteful, because I have conducted no such smear.

I show merely that Pevsner, in spite of his Jewish origins, was an enthusiast in the early 1930s for Hitler's leadership, which he saw as preferable to Communism after the fall of the Weimar regime. I add that because of this, he found it impossible to speak openly about his former political leanings once he had come to Britain, not least because it was Hitler who had forced him to leave Germany and because, once here, he was helped to settle in by various committed anti-Nazis.

Mr Powell is right, however, when he says that the allegation that Pevsner was a covert Nazi long after his move to London is preposterous. It is indeed. Nor do I say it. Powell should have a little more intellectual independence than he has shown in this review. There is a misguided campaign to misrepresent what I have said about Pevsner and he, I'm afraid, has fallen victim to it.

Stephen Games, London NW9

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