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Posted Saturday, March 6, 2004

What David Irving made of the diary entry for March 27, 1942 in his biography, "Hitler's War" (1991, Focal Point edition)

As he argued in court, it was necessary to deal with it more fully in the Goebbels biography than in Hitler's War because while the passage was clearly evidence against Goebbels himself, it was not evidence against Hitler to the same degree. -- Readers of these pages may well ponder on what permitted the British High Court despite these two works to describe the author in April 2000 as a "Holocaust denier".

[back to diary entry]

[Extract: copyright © Parforce UK Ltd, 1991]

464      HITLER'S WAR   



[...] Dr. Goebbels, agitating from Berlin, clearly hoped for a more speedy and ruthless solution, although he held his tongue when meeting his Führer. On March 19 he quoted in his diary only this remark by Hitler: "The Jews must get out of Europe. If need be, we must resort to the most brutal methods."

That Goebbels privately knew more is plain from his diary entry on the twenty-seventh: "Beginning with Lublin," he recorded, "the Jews are being pushed out eastward from the Generalgouvernement. A barbaric and indescribable method is being employed here and there's not much left of the Jews themselves. By and large you can probably conclude that sixty percent of them have to be liquidated, while only forty percent can be put to work." Dr. Goebbels recorded further that the Trieste-born SS Brigadier Odilo Globocnik [right], the


former Gauleiter of Vienna, was performing this task carefully and unobtrusively. As fast as the ghettos of the Generalgouvernement were being emptied, they were being refilled with the Jews deported from the Reich, and the cycle started over again. "The Jews have nothing to laugh about now," commented Goebbels. But he evidently never discussed these realities with Hitler.

Thus this two-faced minister dictated, after a further visit to Hitler on April 26, "I have once again talked over the Jewish question with the Führer. His position on this problem is merciless. He wants to force the Jews right out of Europe. . . . At this moment Himmler is handling the major transfer of Jews from the German cities into the eastern ghettos."

Not just from Germany either: the European Jews were being rounded up in occupied France, Holland, Belgium, and the eager Nazi satellite Slovakia. From Hans Frank's Generalgouvernement too -- beginning with the ghettos of Lublin -- the Jews were being shipped eastward under Globocnik's direction. Upon arrival, thousands were evidently simply being murdered.

The available documents shed only oblique rays of light on the level of blame for this atrocity. At a Generalgouvernement cabinet meeting in Cracow on April 9, 1942, Hans Frank disclaimed responsibility: "It is obvious," he said, "that the work process will be disrupted if in the midst of this labor program the order comes to turn over all Jews for liquidation. . . . The directive," he explained, "comes from higher up."* From a letter signed by SS Oberführer Viktor Brack to Himmler on June 23, it became clear that Himmler was anxious to conceal the operation, because he quoted Globocnik as being eager to get it over with as quickly as possible in case one day force majeure should prevent them from completing it: "You yourself Reichsführer, once mentioned that you felt the job should be done as quickly as possible if only for reasons of concealment."

The gulf between the actual atrocities in the east, and what Hitler knew or said about them, widened. Over lunch on May 15 Hitler again merely spoke to his staff about transporting the Jews eastward; he referred indignantly to the misplaced sympathies of the bourgeoisie. How well the Jews were faring, he remarked, compared with the German emigrants of the nineteenth century-many of whom had even died on route to Australia! Goebbels, unhappy that forty thousand Jews still remained in "his" Berlin, raised the subject at lunch with Hitler on the twenty-ninth. ("I once again inform the Führer on my plan to evacuate every single

* The semantics are significant. Hans Frank said, "from higher up" (von höherer Stelle.) were the allusion to Hitler, Nazi usage invariably preferred "von höchster Stelle," i.e., "the top level," which actually occurs in a previous paragraph; or even von allerhöchster Stelle.



Jew from Berlin. . .") Hitler merely expatiated on the best postwar homeland for the Jews. Siberia was out-that would just produce an even tougher baccilus [??sp] strain of Jews; Palestine was out too-the Arabs did not want them; perhaps central Africa? At all events, he summed up, western Europe must be liberated of its Jews-there could be no homeland for them there. As late as July 24 Hitler was still referring at table to his plan to transport the Jews to Madagascar-by now already in British hands-or some other Jewish national home after the war was over. [...]


Website note

Note: From the all-important sentence referring explicitly to "liquidated", conformist translators like Prof Richard ("Skunky") Evans like to leave out the word wohl (line 5) which means "perhaps" or "probably", no doubt because it tends to bring out that Goebbels is speculating, and does not know for certain.


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