Reader's Letter by historian J S F Parker, University of York, to The Sunday Times, July 17, 1977
THOUGH not an expert on the subject-matter of David Irving's Hitler's War, investigated by Gitta Sereny and Lewis Chester (page 17, last week), I should like to draw attention to a document which seems to me to suggest very strongly indeed that Hitler knew of the plans for the systematic extermination of the Jews right from their inception.
On November 25, 1941, some five weeks before the Wannsee conference that decided on the " Final Solution," Hitler gave an audience in Berlin to the exiled Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.
In the course of their talk the Mufti tried unsuccessfully to elicit a comprehensive statement of German sympathy for Arab nationalist aims in the Middle East. After giving his reasons for not making such a statement immediately (mainly that it would upset relations with Vichy France) Hitler, according to the official German Foreign Office record of the interview, told Haj Amin, "enjoining him to lock it in the uttermost depths of his heart" that:
At the some moment which was impossible to set exactly today but which in any event was not distant, the German armies would in the course of this struggle reach the southern exit from Caucasia. As soon as this had happened, the Führer would on his own give the Arab world the assurance that its hour of liberation had arrived. Germany's objective would then be solely the destruction of the Jewish element residing in the Arab sphere under the protection of British power. (Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945, Series D, Vol. XIII no. 515).
Would Mr Irving seriously maintain that by "destruction" Hitler merely meant deportation?
J S F Parker
Department of History,