The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/g/goebbels.joseph/diary-authentication.001

Path: ...uunet!portal!!Kineahora
From: (Chana - Braun)
Newsgroups: alt.activism,alt.censorship,talk.politics.misc
Subject: Re: Even MORE answers to Holocaust #1
Date: Fri, 15 May 92 14:50:22 PDT

Gee, is Mr. Martin correct when he states the following?
 > As I have mentioned before, some of the Goebbels diaries are suspect.
 > Different parts have been found in different places. Many are
 > "typewritten" pages found by a junk dealer after the war.  Anyone could
 > have typed these.
Well the particular edition that was referenced (to which Mr. Martin issued
the above statement) was: _The Goebbels Diaries_, Louis P. Lochner, ed.,
New York, 1948.
The chain of evidence is important to assess the reliability of the source.
Mr. Martin implies that such a chain of evidence does not exist for the
Goebbel diaries and that makes them suspect. If he were correct that a
chain of evidence does not exist, he would be correct that the diaries
would be suspect. However, let's look at the chain for the excerpts quoted
in this particular edition from the publisher's preface:
"When the Russians occupied Berlin in 1945 they went through the German
official archives with more vigor than discrimination, shipped some
material to Russia, destroyed some, and left the rest scattered underfoot.
They often followed a system that is difficult to understand--emptying
papers on the floor and shipping to Russia the filing cabinets that had
contained them.
"Considerable fragments of Dr. Goebbels's diaries, from which the following
pages were selected, were found in the courtyard of his ministry, where
they had evidently narrowly escaped burning, many of the pages being singed
and all smelling of smoke. Apparently they were originally bound in the
German type of office folder. Thin metal strips in the salmon-colored
binders were run through holes punched the paper, bent over, and locked
into place.
"At that time all Berlin was one great junk yard, with desperate people
laying hands on anything tangible and movable that could be used for
barter. The unburned papers were taken away by one of these amateur junk
dealers, who carefully salvaged the binders and discarded the
contents--leaving more than 7,000 sheets of loose paper. A few binders had
not been removed but most of the pages were tied up in bundles as
wastepaper. It later proved a considerable task to put them together again
in the right sequence, as they were not numbered.
"In the same batch were found a number of odds and ends from Goebbels'
private files. Many of the papers were water-soaked and showed signs of
dirt and the imprint of nails where they had been walked on. The edges of
some were scorched, showing that attempts to burn them had failed.... 
"The diaries were typed on fine water-marked paper, which was rare in
wartime Germany and available only to high government officials. In looking
over the material offered for sale or barter, a customer was struck by the
impressive quality of the paper and sensed that he must have fallen on
something of interest and importance. He acquired the lot for its value as
scrap paper. The bundles came into the possession of Mr. Frank E. Mason,
who has made a number of visits to Germany since the war. Mr. Mason has had
long experience in Germany, first as Military Attache at the American
Embassy in Berlin at the end of World War I and later as a correspondent.
It was obvious to him that the material consisted of fragments of Dr.
Goebbels' diaries. An  examination by Louis P. Lochner, former chief of the
Berlin bureau of the Associated Press, revealed the authenticity of the
documents, as Mr. Lochner himself explains in detail in his introduction to
this volume. Publication was decided on only after this had been clearly
"The task of selecting, editing, and translating the text of this important
document was exacting. It called for a man with knowledge and scholarly
background. It is fortunate that Mr. Lochner was available for this work.
He brought to it long experience, knowledge of European politics, wide
acquaintance among political figures under the Weimar Republic and the Nazi
regime, and complete command of the German language. For more than twenty
years he was chief of the Berlin bureau of The Associated Press, and on his
return to this country in 1942 he wrote What About Germany?--a book that
has had  considerable success. He had unique standing in Berlin, as is
shown by the fact that for many years he was president of the Foreign Press
Association and for six years president of the American Chamber of
And how did Lochner verify the authenticity of the diaries?
"I have been fortunate in having access to an important document dealing
with this period of Goebbels' life. Former President Hoover, during a visit
to Germany in 1946, was given a hand-written diary kept by Dr. Goebbels
from August 12,1925, to October 16,1926, which he has kindly placed at my
disposal. It gives valuable evidence of the authenticity of the later
diaries....[examples from early diary]
"These examples are sufficient to establish a similarity of vituperative
expressions between both sets of diaries, and to indicate that the later
diaries, although typewritten, chronicled Goebbels's real thoughts....
"This is true also of Goebbels's commentaries on Hitler. If one had only
the typewritten diaries to go by, one might conclude from the adulation
amounting almost to deification of the Fuehrer that Goebbels was writing
with a view to expediency rather than from conviction --witness an entry
like that of March 19, 1942: "As long as he [the Fuehrer] lives and is
among us in good health, as long as he can give us the strength of his
spirit and the power of his manliness, no evil can touch us." Could such an
apotheosis have been written in sincerity by as coldly calculating a
realist as Joseph Goebbels, by a man who from time to time even disagreed
with the leader?...
"Here again the earlier diaries furnish corroborative evidence. They prove
that Joseph Goebbels, who otherwise seemed to love no one but himself and
his children, did indeed adore Adolf Hitler....
"Most difficult was the translation of his innumerable German colloquial 
and slang expressions. I could meet the problem only by using equivalent 
American slang. These colloquialisms and slang expressions are consistent 
in both the handwritten and typewritten diaries."
So, unlike what Mr. Martin would have us believe, there was no occassion in
which the whereabouts of the diary is unknown and, through comparison of
language, ideas, etc., the diary can be authenticated. Even the type of
paper on which the diary was typed can be verified to coming only from high
ranking officials of the Nazi Party.
 |                                |                                      |
 | Kineahora - Never Again!       |  If the Party could reach into the   |
 |       |  past and say of this or that event  |
 |                                |        -=it never happened=-         |
 |                                | surely that was more terrifying than |
 | My opinions are my own but my  |       mere torture and death.        |
 | facts belong to the world.     |              George Orwell - 1984    |
 |                                |                                      |

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