The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

David Irving's Hitler
A Faulty History Dissected
Two Essays by Eberhard Jäckel
Translation & Comments by H. David Kirk

© Copyright 1993, H. David Kirk

Falsifying History

In John Toland's 1976 two-volume popular biography,[5] which "adds little to our knowledge or understanding of Hitler,"[6] there is nevertheless an important entry for our understanding of the world of the 1990s. Toland begins his Epilogue with this paragraph:

To the surprise of the world, Hitler's death brought an abrupt, absolute end to National Socialism. Without its only leader, it burst like a bubble. There were no enclaves of fanatic followers bent on continuing Hitler's crusade; ... What had appeared to be the most powerful and fearsome political force of the twentieth century vanished overnight. No other leader's death since Napoleon had so completely obliterated a regime.

Looking back from the early 1970s, Toland may have correctly assessed the two decades following the collapse of Hitler's Third Reich. But the two decades after Toland wrote have seen an appalling growth in efforts to revise Hitler's ideology and reputation. This movement has been accompanied by a swelling literature, justifying Hitler and vilifying Jews and the State of Israel. Aim and tool of the attempted rehabilitation of Nazism is Holocaust denial. Since the Nazi slate cannot be wiped clean -- tabula rasa is impossible --- the victims, survivors and their descendants, are called liars and exploiters. Nazi Germany's mass murder of millions -- principally of Jews -- being unthinkable, must therefore have been invented!

Since the capitulation in May 1945 of Nazi Germany, the children of those who fought have now had their children. These new generations did not witness World War II nor what led up to it. Growing up in post-war times of relative quiet and even prosperity, they learned little about the deeds of Nazi Germany, primarily against Jews, but also against Gypsies and Slavic peoples.

Ignorant of the history of their grandparents' generation, such people make ideal targets for renewed Nazi propaganda. Concocted by so-called "historical revisionists," the old hate-mongers in pseudo- scholarly garb shout that the Holocaust is a fraud. They claim it was invented by Jews to extract from war-weary Germany compensation for imaginary losses.

Such blatant lies are evidently meant to clear the perpetrators. They vilify the dead and surviving victims of Nazi horrors. The danger they pose is this: reiterated again and again, momentous lies become "commonplace," "matter-of fact," and, as time passes, "believed."

Historical falsifiers deny what Allied soldiers, who during the last days of the war, coming upon the Nazi death camps, saw with their own eyes. Now members of that critically important generation are dying out: many of the soldier- witnesses and even more so the victim-witnesses are now gone. Their place has been taken by new generations for whom such deeds are unthinkable. To sheltered generations kept in ignorance, falsified history can more readily be told with ' impunity. Besides, the true story is so horrible that no one wants to believe it; until recently even many a victim has been unable to speak about it.

Falsified history peddled under neo-Nazi auspices is in direct line of descent from the brazen lies of Hitler's propaganda machine. A recent article' gives a pointed example:

It is now 50 years since the mounting evidence of the unbelievable, almost unimaginable Nazi crimes was acknowledged by the United Nations coalition.

On 17 December 1942, a solemn declaration simultaneously published in Washington, London and Moscow, denounced the German authorities who, "not content with denying to persons of Jewish race ... the most elementary human rights, are now carrying into effect Hitler's oft-repeated intentions to exterminate the Jewish people of Europe."

The declaration came at the end of a year which had begun with the Wannsee conference of 20 January 1942 where organizational details of the crime were discussed-even while wholesale murders had already begun. A few days earlier, on 9 January, a directive from the ministry of propaganda ordered the oldest slogan "the Jews are to blame" to be taken up by the press "until no doubt remains that each and every Jew, whatever they may do or wherever they may be, is guilty of the calamity they have brought upon the world."

More than half a century later, Nazi-style propaganda employs the same demonic ploy: "blaming the victim."


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