Picture: Three or
four leftist protestors
by Marc Moran
SEVERAL nights ago I found myself in the company of an eclectic group of men and women who had gathered to listen to an authority on the Second World War and its leaders. It was, to say the very least, an unusual evening.
David Irving, one of the world's foremost authorities on Adolph Hitler, has recently found himself touring to promote the recently reissued volume Hitler's War -- not in the halls of academia, in packed houses filled with earnest students and learned professors, but rather in the basements of seldom-used gathering halls across the United States under strict security. The reasons for this unusual career move are due not to any flaws in the works of Mr. Irving, but rather to the way in which he has chosen to relate the information he has painstakingly gathered from a multitude of sources, both in first-hand interviews and documentary evidence.
Mr. Irving has become a persona non grata in the literary world and a target for the smear campaigns of the media. His scholarly research has been routinely dismissed as "revisionism" and "anti-Semitism," despite the fact that he provides plenty of documentary evidence to the contrary. After reading Hitler's War I found myself better informed about certain details of the Reich, yet filled with other questions that have yet to be answered. If Mr. Irving's intention was to deflect criticism of Adolph Hitler and deny the murder of Jews by the agents of Nazi Germany, he has failed miserably. If, however, his intention was to explore certain uncharted areas of the historic record, this volume is a rousing success. Free from the constraints of rigid, dogmatic ideology, this author has proven that the facts often speak for themselves.
Mr. Irving admitted quite early in his speech that he doesn't "read books," but rather relies heavily on primary resources for his research.
"If you take from one book, it's considered plagiarism. If you take from two books, it's research. Three books, it is deep research," quipped Mr. Irving, humorously ribbing such luminaries as Steven Ambrose. He did not define what his heavily researched volumes would qualify as, but from the impact his words had on the audience, the definition I would give it would be this: compelling.
Unlike the authors of numerous articles I have read about Mr. Irving, I found him to be much less of an "anti-Semite" and "revisionist" than I originally expected. He made no claims that the events of the Hitler regime did not occur, as some have complained, but rather that some of those events have been painted with a broad brush, rendering many details obscure and omitting others altogether. The complete picture remains elusive and the lessons to be learned too difficult to assess due to their cursory treatment by mainstream historians.
Mr. Irving doesn't appear to be any more intelligent or sophisticated or connected than anyone else in his field. What he appears to be is persistent, and utterly fearless of the evidence he uncovers. He is one of those rare men who, despite the repercussions of his actions, would prefer to know the truth than to walk in darkness. While recounting an interview with a Hitler associate, Dr. Erwin Giesing, Mr. Irving recalled that this individual had in his possession first-hand documents that had, until that interview, never been uncovered. Mr. Irving, knowing that the doctor had gone through the Nuremberg trials asked why they had never shared this information with others.
"You were the first to ask."
And therein lies the genius behind Mr. Irving and his work. He asks the right questions and does not shy away from the answers. I suspect that if Mr. Irving came across a document in the Führer's own hand that detailed the plan for a "Final Solution," he would be the first to disclose it. All of us, every American with an IQ above 75, know who Adolph Hitler is and what he did during that period known as the Third Reich. We have all seen the movies and the mini-series and read a book or two, whether fiction or biography, but how many of those have presented anything other than a monochromatic caricature of a bedeviled little man, chewing carpets and ordering the systematic extermination of millions of people because of their religion?
How much of what we have learned is accurate? Will we ever know? Should we even be allowed to ask these questions or should we, in our benevolence close the books on this chapter and mark it "Case Closed"?
I would suggest that if our interest is in preventing another "Holocaust," we might want to investigate at greater length the actual reasons that precipitated such an event. I may not know everything about mankind, but I know one thing: it is nearly impossible to motivate an entire nation to do anything good for itself, never mind something horrific and self-destructive. In this country less than fifty percent of those who qualify vote for the candidate of their choice in a presidential election. How is it that Adolph Hitler was able to rouse a nation from depression and send it into a world conflict if those who followed had no motivation other than blindly following a rabid carpet chewer? The answer is that it wouldn't have been possible, unless they did have a reason and one that was worth sacrificing everything to accomplish that end. The problem with most historians is that they never ask the important questions. Mr. Irving has, and he lays it out in a compelling manner that leaves us not necessarily with more answers, but certainly with more questions.
Why would German high command in encrypted communications, specifically tell an Eastern Front commander that the Jews arriving on an eastbound train from Berlin, "Were not to be liquidated." This same group arrived not only with several weeks of provisions, but with "appliances" as well.
That group of nine hundred souls was in fact liquidated and the field commander was returned to Berlin to be dealt with by Heinrich Himmler (right). While stories such as this one do not exactly exonerate the Nazis, they do raise questions about policy. and these are the questions that are routinely dismissed by those who either don't care or those who care, but prefer to adhere to a story that serves their ends better than one that has been revised.
Did Hitler have a policy to liquidate the Jews? Did Hitler intend on carrying his war and the Third Reich across the globe? Was the Nazi state the goal or merely a platform for Global domination? As we move even further from the fray the opportunities to clarify pertinent details of the Second World War becomes even more difficult. Unless individuals like Mr. Irving are allowed, in fact encouraged to continue their important work, we will continue to move further from 1945 and inexorably closer, ever closer, to 1984.