Military historian Sir Anthony Beevor is urging politicians to fight censorship after one of his books was banned in Ukraine.
The 1998 bestseller Stalingrad was barred for import last week alongside 24 other books for being "anti-Ukrainian". The accusation was levelled at Beevor's examination of the Second World War battle due to passages about Ukrainian militias slaughtering Jewish children on SS orders.
Serhiy Oliyinyk, the head of the Ukrainian State TV and Radio Broadcasting's licensing and distribution control department, alleges that the account hasn't been proven and was based on unreliable Soviet secret police material.
Speaking to The Bookseller, the author said he used "thoroughly reliable German sources; not Soviet sources," including a book by Helmut Groscurth, an anti-Nazi German officer, that was backed up by eyewitness accounts.
Beevor branded the ban "preposterous" and called the state's position "completely unsustainable".
"[Oliyinyk] has made a tremendous own goal," he said. "Many people in Ukraine are outraged too that they should start banning books."
"The only way one can deal with this is to protest very loudly indeed. No state should be allowed to interfere in the writing of history, but I'm afraid we are seeing more and more of rewriting of history and not just dictatorships."
He added that is was "the duty of academics and historians, to fight it and to stop this use of 'history' as a form of patriotism or to support a particular political viewpoint."
The Ukraine Human Rights Commission, the Canadian foreign minister and the British Embassy in Kiev have all spoken in favour of the ban being lifted.
Beevor said: "I'm afraid it's going to be a struggle for some time but one certainly hopes politicians will fight for openness in this particular way and will fight censorship as much as they possibly can."