Dr. Lipstadt responds to David Irving
50. The Plaintiff, in the context to add credibility to his argument that Hitler (unlike Himmler and Goebbels) did not know of the Final Solution, manipulated and distorted the effect of an entry in Goebbels' diary on 27 March 1942; and further, then placed a remark on Hitler out of context and out of chronological order:
51. The Plaintiff wrote:
"The ghastly secrets of Treblinka and Auschwitz were well kept [from Hitler]. Goebbels wrote a frank summary of them in his diary on March 27, 1942, but evidently held his tongue when he met Hitler two days later, for he quotes only Hitler's remark: "The Jews must get out of Europe. If need be, we must resort to the most brutal methods ..." (p.392)
52. In fact Goebbels did not meet Hitler "2 days later". The remark the Plaintiff attributes to Hitler was actually made 20 March 1942;
53. The relevant part of Goebbels' diary entry on 27 March 1942 read as follows:
"Beginning with Lublin, the Jews under the General Government are now being evacuated eastward. The procedure is pretty barbaric and is not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews. About 60 per cent of them will have to be liquidated; only about 40 per cent of them can be used for forced labour.
The former Gauleiter of Vienna [Globocnik] who is to carry out this measure, is doing it with considerable circumspection and in a way that does not attract too much attention. Though the judgment now being visited upon the Jews is barbaric, they fully deserve it. The prophecy which the Führer made about them for having brought on a new world war, is beginning to come true in a most terrible manner. One must not be sentimental in these matters. If we did not fight the Jews, they would destroy us. It's a life-death struggle between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus. No other government and no other regime would have the strength for such a global solution as this. Here, once again, the Führer is the undismayed champion of a radical solution, which is made necessary by existing conditions and is therefore inexorable. Fortunately a whole series of possibilities presents itself to us in wartime which would be denied us in peace. We shall have to profit by this. The ghettos that will be emptied in the cities of the General Government will now be refilled with Jews thrown out of the Reich ..."
54. By not quoting this most significant diary entry, and thereby avoiding the explicit and significant reference to the Führer in that entry, the Plaintiff could (and did) misuse the part of the entry in which Goebbels wrote a "frank summary" of the fate of the Jews, in order to demonstrate that Goebbels (whilst aware himself of what was happening) was one of those who hid from Hitler that new acts of murder had begun on the largest possible scale. In fact, the entry showed the opposite.
55. In support of his argument that Hitler was not responsible and did not know of the extermination of the Jews, the Plaintiff misleadingly claimed (at p 327) that "Hitler's surviving adjutants, secretaries and staff stenographers have all uniformly testified that never once was the extermination of either Russian or European Jews mentioned - even confidentially - at Hitler's headquarters." The said former members of Hitler's circle all stated that whilst it was true that Hitler never spoke in their presence of the extermination of the Jews, they could not imagine that Hitler had not known about it.
56. The Plaintiff (in the context, to add credibility to his argument that Hitler did not know) claimed as fact that "Even SS General Karl Woolf, Himmler's Chief of Staff and liaison officer to Hitler, was at this time [summer 1942] ignorant of the [extermination] programme that now got under way" (p 327). The Plaintiff omitted to inform his readers:
57. that Wolff's claim to that effect in the Munich District Court in 1964, when charged with complicity in the killings, was rejected by the Court which "could not accept the claim of the defendant [Wolff] since it is not in accordance with the truth."; and
58. that Wolff has received a letter dated 11 April 1942 from SS Gruppenführer Dr. Herald Turner, the SS Military Administrator of Serbia, which read:
"Already months ago I had all Jews we could catch in this country shot, and concentrated all Jewish women and children in one camp. With the help of the SD [security police] we have obtained a "delousing-car" [gassing car] thanks to which we will clear this camp within 14 days to four weeks. The moment is coming however, when the Jewish officers now under the protection of the Geneva Convention in prison camps will discover, whether we like it or not, that their families no longer exist, and this could easily lead to complications when these individuals are released. They like their "racial mates", [Rassengenossen] will not be around for long and thus this whole matter will be finally concluded".
59. The Plaintiff, whilst uncritically accepting statements which supported his exculpation of Hitler (for example, by Wolff, and Hitler's valet, Krause), ignored those which did not (such as those of the former SD officer, Wilhelm Höttl, and the commander of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss) or distorted such statements.
60. The Plaintiff manipulated Hitler's discussions at a conference at Klessheim in April 1943 with the Romanian head of state, Marshall Antonescu and with the Hungarian Regent Admiral Horthy, in order to obscure evidence of Hitler's increased intervention in the Final Solution after Stalingrad:
61. In April 1943, Hitler attempted to persuade both heads of state to adopt similar radical measures towards the Jews of their countries to those adopted against the remaining few thousand Jews of the Reich: in particular, Hitler was dissatisfied that Hungary's 800,000 Jews could still move about the country with relative freedom. On 16 April 1943, Horthy answered the reproaches, and, clearly alluding to reports known to him about the liquidation of the Jews stated that he had done everything that could be decently done against the Jews, but it was after all impossible to murder them or otherwise eliminate them. Hitler then declared that ... there is no need for that; Hungary could put the Jews into concentration camps just as had been done in Slovakia ... When there was talk of murdering the Jews, he [the Führer] had to state that there was only one murderer namely the Jew who had provoked this war ... [see minutes of Hitler's conference with Antonescu and Horthy according to Hillgruber, Stattsmanner und Diplomaten bei Hitler, Vol. II (1970)];
62. On the following day, 17 April, Hitler and Ribbentrop (the Foreign Minister) brought the subject up again, and according to the record (op.cit): "In reply to Horthy's question, what should be done with the Jews after he had already deprived them of almost any means of existence - he after all could not beat them to death - the Foreign Minister answered that the Jews must either be annihilated or sent to concentration camps - there is no other way." Hitler then stated:
"They [the Jews] are just parasites. This state of affairs had not been tolerated in Poland; if the Jews there refused to work, they were shot. Those who could not work just wasted away, they had to be treated as tuberculosis bacilli which could infect a healthy organism. This was by no means cruel when one considered that even innocent creatures like deer and hares had to be put down to prevent damage. Why should the beasts that had brought Bolshevism down on us, command more pity."
63. The Plaintiff, when dealing with Hitler's said statements (at p.509) attempted to modify their obvious significance by the following means:
Ribbentrop's aforesaid statement in the presence of Hitler (that the Jews must either be annihilated or sent to concentration camps) was consigned to a footnote to the appendix to "Hitler's War";
Hitler's remarks (only part of which were quoted) were introduced by the Plaintiff with a reference to the warsaw Ghetto Revolt (which had not even been mentioned in the conference with Horthy), thus falsely making them appear to refer only to an action that was limited in scope and carried out for a specific reason;
after quoting part of what Hitler said on 17 April (see (ii) above), the Plaintiff presented the discussion between Horthy and Hitler as terminating with Horthy's question and Hitler's remark of the previous day, namely when in reply to Horthy's direct question if he should murder the Jews, Hitler said "there is no need for that"; thus grossly distorting the significance of what Hitler had said on 17 April.
64. The Plaintiff claimed (at page 12) that "it is harder to establish a documentary link between him [Hitler] and the murderous activities of SS "task forces"." The Plaintiff omitted to draw the reader's attention to a document of 9 September 1939 in which Admiral Canaris tells Field Marshall Keitel that his understanding was that there was an order from Hitler for "grosse Füsillierungen" (large shootings) in Poland.
65. The Plaintiff relied on the absence of any written order for the extermination of the Jews bearing Hitler's signature, ignoring a basic feature of Hitler's dictatorship, namely his frequent preference for oral instructions, over written directives, especially in secret matters.
66. At p.331, in order to suggest that (at the material time) Hitler did not know of or favour a massacre of the Jews, and was not pursuing any active policy against them, the Plaintiff falsified and took out of context remarks recorded as having been made by Hitler on 25 October 1941 (in Hitler's table talk). The Plaintiff was thereby able to draw a false analogy between Hitler's attitude to the Jews, on the one hand, and his attitude to Bishop Galen (an opponent of the Euthanasia Programme) and the Vatican on the other:
68. The Plaintiff wrote:
"No documentary evidence exists that Hitler was aware that the Jews were being massacred upon their arrival. His remarks, noted by Bormann's adjutant Heinrich Heim late on October 25 1941, indicate that he did not favour it: "... By the way - it is not a bad thing that public rumour attributes to us a plan to exterminate the Jews. Terror is a salutary thing." Hitler added that just as he was sidestepping an open clash with the Vatican by postponing the final reckoning with Bishop von Galen until later, "with the Jews too I have found myself remaining inactive. There's no point in adding to one's difficulties at a time like this."" (p.331)
68. In respect of two of Hitler's sentences used by the Plaintiff as set out above, Henrich Heim in fact recorded Hitler's words as follows:
"It is a good thing (is useful) if we (our arrival is) are preceded by terror-reports that we are exterminating Jewry ... About the Jews too, I had to remain inactive for a long time."
69. The Plaintiff by changing the tense of the sentence, "About the Jews too ...", falsely made it appear that Hitler was not at that time, pursuing an active policy against the Jews, when the sentence, as properly translated made it clear that the contrary was true;
70. Further, by adding the words "plan" and "public rumour", the Plaintiff completely distorted the meaning of the sentence "It is a good thing (is useful) if our actions are preceded by terror-reports that we are exterminating Jewry". Hitler did not say that the extermination was a rumour, let alone an incorrect rumour as the Plaintiff implied; nor did Hitler speak of a plan, but of the fact that Jews were being exterminated (by that time at least half a million Jews had been shot and buried in the Baltics and Byelorussia);
71. Moreover, the sentence, "There's no point in adding to one's difficulties at a time like this", in its context, plainly referred to Hitler's decision to postpone his "settling of accounts" with Bishop Galen and the Vatican, not (as the Plaintiff falsely suggested), to any postponement by Hitler of an active policy against the Jews.
72, As further evidence of Hitler's innocence, the Plaintiff maintained (at p.851), that Ribbentrop, writing about Hitler from his cell in Nuremberg, exonerated Hitler of any responsibility for the extermination of the Jews. The Plaintiff quoted Ribbentrop as follows: "How things came to the destruction of the Jews, I just don't know ... But that he [Hitler] ordered it, I refuse to believe, because such an act would be wholly incompatible with the picture I always had of him".
The Plaintiff however, omitted the second part of Ribbentrop's text which read: "On the other hand, judging from Hitler's last will, one must suppose that he at least knew about it, if, in his fanaticism against the Jews, he didn't also order it.".
73. After the publication of "Hitler's War", when challenged about that omission, the Plaintiff said it was "irrelevant" to the logic of his argument, and that he did not "want to confuse the reader".
74. The Plaintiff (to give weight to his argument that the killing of the Jews was of an ad hoc nature), gave a misleading account of the Wannsee Conference of January 1942, on the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. The Plaintiff treated the Conference as a routine meeting in which Heydrich briefed the leading government officials in Berlin to the effect that "the Führer had sanctioned the evacuation of all Jews to the eastern territories .. where they would build roads until they dropped" (p.391). In fact, it was decided at that conference that, by agreement with Hitler, the emigration of the Jews would be replaced by "evacuation to the East", a euphemism for liquidation, and that of the 11 million Jews eventually involved in this "evacuation", the operation should begin with "the 2.5 million Jews of the General Government, the majority of whom were unfit for work".
75. In order, again to exculpate Hitler of responsibility for the fate of the European Jews, the Plaintiff mistranslated and misrepresented the meaning of Nazi terminology used for their destruction. Alfred Rosenberg, the Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories, wrote a summary of a conversation with Hitler on 14 December 1941. In that summary Rosenberg noted that he had recommended that he (Rosenberg) say nothing in a forthcoming speech about the extermination of the Jews: "Ich stand auf Standpunkt von der Austrottung des Judentums nicht zu sprechen". The Führer, Rosenberg noted, agreed;
76. The Plaintiff (at p.356) confined the summary of that conversation to a footnote, and translated Rosenberg's note as follows: "I said I took the view that I shouldn't mention the stamping out of Judaism".
77. However, when the verb "ausrotten", or the noun "Ausrottung" was used in connection with the extermination of the Jews but were not attributed to, or used in the presence of Hitler, the Plaintiff translated them as "extermination" (for example at p.867 and pp.575-76n).
78. In "Hitler's War", the Plaintiff failed to draw attention to one of Himmler's minutes (dated 7 October 1942), and in the Plaintiff's possession, which contained the word "Globus" as a subject for discussion with Hitler on that day. "Globus" was Himmler's pet name for Odilo Globocnik, the head of the Einstaz Reinhard (see (2)(vi) above and (22) above);
79. After the publication of "Hitler's War", when the Second Defendant drew the Plaintiff's attention to that minute, and asked him what he thought Himmler could have been discussing with Hitler on 7 October 1942 in connection with Glonocnik other than the murder of the Jews, the Plaintiff refused to acknowledge the minute's obvious significance (since it failed to accord with his theory that Hitler did not then know of the murder of the Jews); and said the Second Defendant and her colleague would have to look at Globocnik's personnel file in the Berlin archives to see whether he got a promotion that day.
Meaning (i)-(iii): the Goebbels' book (unattributed page references are to the Goebbels' book)
80. In the Goebbels' book, published by Focal Point in 1996, the Plaintiff continues his exculpation of Hitler, this time transferring not merely the responsibility for the extermination camps but the policy of anti-semitism itself from Hitler to Goebbels: his method is to dwell on Goebbels' anti-semitism, and to attenuate, or slide-over that of Hitler. Thus, when Goebbels in his diary reported Hitler as being in support of the most radical programme of extermination, the Plaintiff commented (at pp.386-7) that where as Goebbels may be believed when he expressed his own views, his citation of Hitler's statements to him need not be taken seriously: the diarist was merely repeating "threadbare phrases". The Plaintiff makes much of the fact that Hitler was not pleased by the violent anti-semitic riots which were orchestrated by Goebbels - the so-called "Kristallnacht" on 9 November 1938 (and see (36) below). By this variation of emphasis, the Plaintiff builds up a portrait of Goebbels as the driving force of Nazi anti-semitism, the "Mastermind of the Third Reich", goading his reluctant Führer into ever more radical actions against the Jews. As in "Hitler's War", Hitler is portrayed by the Plaintiff as a weak leader, fundamentally benevolent and constructive, but driven to occasional violent actions by evil or treacherous counsellors.
81. In that context, the Plaintiff omits the history of Hitler's rabid anti-semitism. The first known political utterance of Hitler is a paper on the Jewish question, written in 1919. In it, Hitler demanded that the Jewish question be solved, not by "emotional" attacks - sporadic pogroms which lead nowhere - but by "rational anti-semitism", "the anti-semitism of reason", "planned judicial opposition" whose "ultimate goal is the removal of Jews altogether. An even stronger statement of Hitler's intentions towards the Jews before he knew Goebbels is expressed in a newspaper interview from 1922 as quoted in Fleming's "Hitler and the Final Solution", 1984, p.17:
"Once I really am in power, my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews. As soon as I have the power to do so, I will have gallows built in rows - at the Marienplatz in Munich, for example - as many as traffic allows.
Then the Jews will be hanged indiscriminately, and they will remain hanging until they stink; they will hang there as long as the principles of hygiene permit. As soon as they have been untied, the next batch will be strung up, and so on down the line, until the last Jew in Munich has been exterminated. Other cities will follow suit, precisely in this fashion, until all Germany is completely cleansed of Jews."
In "Mein Kampf", Hitler was explicit: the First World War, he stated, might not have been lost if a sufficient number of Jews had been eliminated at the start of it by poison-gas. Both these statements were uttered before Hitler had met Goebbels. Hitler's last political message to the world, the last sentence of his last political testament, dictated shortly before his suicide, was an adjuration to the German people "above all [emphasis added] ... implacably to oppose the universal poisoner of all nations, international Jewry." None of these statements are cited by the Plaintiff in the Goebbels' book (even in Hitler's War, where the Plaintiff cites part of Hitler's last testament, he fails to mention that last solemn adjuration).
82. In the Goebbels' book, the Plaintiff seeks to minimize, by contorting and manipulating the evidence (see below), Hitler's role in the "Kristallnacht" (the infamous pogrom against the Jews). The tenor of the Plaintiff's interpretation is that the pogrom was Goebbels' work, though it got out of hand from what he intended, and that Hitler disapproved of it (the one concession to Hitler's responsibility by the Plaintiff is that Hitler "made no attempt to halt this inhumanity .. and thus deserves the odium that now falls on all Germany" (p.277)):
83. Serious anti-Jewish riots and outrages occurred after a speech by Goebbels on 9 November 1938 at the Old Town Hall in Munich, which he gave in Hitler's place, Hitler having left the meeting earlier. Hitler and Goebbels had travelled to that meeting together and had had dinner there;
84. Goebbels' usual practice then, was to record the events of each day the following morning. Thus, his diary entry for 9 November 1938 would record events which occurred on 8 November, and the entry for 10 November 1938 would record events on 9 November;
85. Goebbels' diary entry on 10 November 1938 (relating first to events on 9 November 1938 and then to the morning of 10 November) indicate that Goebbels had heard of anti-semitic disturbances in Hessen: and in that diary entry he mentioned with approval the "big demonstrations in Kassel and Dessau" with details of the "burning synagogues" and "demolished shops";
86. Goebbels' entry that day continues:
"I brief the Führer on the affair. He determines: demonstrations to continue. Withdraw the police. The Jews must for once be made to feel the fury of the people."
87. At p.274, the Plaintiff places that crucial diary entry (see (iv) above), which he mistranslated, out of context, namely immediately after a reference to Hitler's comments on the intervention of the police against anti-Jewish demonstrators in Munich;
88. The proper context of that diary entry of 10 November 1938 was the pogroms in Kassel and Dessau (see (iii) above) - and not the "demonstrations" in Munich, which only began much later that night of 9 November (and of which there was no mention);
89. By that manipulation, the Plaintiff falsely implies that the discussion between Hitler and Goebbels recorded on 10 November, and Hitler's express direction that the riots be allowed to continue, referred to the Munich disturbances, (implicitly somewhat minor), thus allowing the Plaintiff to claim (for example at p.277) that Hitler was taken by surprise and furious about Kristallnacht;
90. The Plaintiff further attempts to distance Hitler from responsibility for Kristallnacht by suggesting that (contrary to the diary entry for 10 November 1938) news of the "big" demonstrations only Goebbels on the evening of 9 November, thus allowing the Plaintiff to imply that Hitler's permission was not related to the pogroms which had already taken place;
91. However, contrary to the Plaintiff's claims the Goebbels' diaries include that Goebbels already heard of riots and burning synagogues in Hessen on the morning of 8 November, writing about it in his diary on 9 November; when compiling his diary as usual on the following day, he mentioned the "big" demonstrations in Kassel and Dessau with approval; it was those demonstrations Goebbels had in mind when speaking to Hitler during dinner on the evening of 9 November; Hitler therefore knew of the pogroms directly, and this is what he directed should continue during that dinner on 9 November before the Munich demonstrations had begun;
92. On page 276, the Plaintiff says in relation to the Kristallnacht, "What of Himmler and Hitler? Both were totally unaware of what Goebbels had done ..." The Plaintiff then paraphrases Goebbels' diary entry relating to the morning of 10 November 1938 as follows: "As more ugly bulletins rained down on him the next morning, Goebbels went to see Hitler to discuss "what to do next". Irrelevantly and confusingly, the Plaintiff adds, "There is surely an involuntary hint of apprehension in this phrase";
93. What Goebbels actually wrote in that diary entry was, "All morning new reports rainin. I ponder with the Führer our next moves. Shall we let them go on beating them [the Jews] up or stop it. That is now the question ...". Thus the diary entry supports neither the Plaintiff's claim that Hitler was livid about Kristallnacht (implicitly, because he was less radical about the Jews than Goebbels) nor the Plaintiff's comment that Goebbels was apprehensive, (implicitly, because Hitler was "livid with rage" (p277));
94. It is obvious, Hitler could not have been (as the Plaintiff claims at p276) "totally unaware" of what he had explicitly agreed to: the demonstrations he decided should continue (with a specific order to Goebbels during dinner on 9 November) had already resulted in the extensive burning of synagogues and attacks on Jewish property in Hessen and elsewhere.
94. The Plaintiff correctly transcribed Goebbels diary entry for 11 November 1938 on Goebbels' report to Hitler on Kristallnacht: "He [Hitler] is in agreement with everything, his views are quite radical and aggressive. The Aktion itself went off without a hitch. A hundred dead, but no German property damaged", but introduced it by suggesting that Goebbels had "perhaps slanted" this note which "stands alone and in direct contradiction to the evidence of Hitler's entire immediate entourage" (p.278).
96. The Plaintiff was taken to task by reviewers for the crucial omissions in "Hitler's War" from the diary entry of Goebbels for 27 March 1942, (see 22) above). In the Goebbels' book (at p.388), the Plaintiff still did not give the complete diary entry (leaving out the reference to "government" and "regime"), sought further to minimise its impact by interpolating an irrelevance ("he dictated to his poker-faced stenographer"), and then to undermine its significance altogether by referring, yet again, to the absence of an explicit order by Hitler for the murder of the Jews.
97. Albert Speer figured prominently (and favourably) on 110 pages of "Hitler's War". By the time the Plaintiff published his corrected version of that book, through Focal Point, he knew the extent to which Speer had rejected the Plaintiff's theory of Hitler's ignorance of the murder of the Jews, and Speer now appeared only on 22 pages. In the Goebbels' book, in furtherance of his desire to involve Speer in the crime of which he wished to exculpate Hitler (namely the murder of the Jews), the Plaintiff now falsely characterised Speer as violently anti-semitic and, as at November 1939, actively engaged in the deportation of the Berlin Jews in full knowledge of their eventual fate:
98. Mathias Schmidt's "Albert Speer, The End of a Myth" largely based on interviews with and documentation from Rudolf Wolters, Speer's former friend, and later his worst enemy, claimed (wrongly) that Speer, in order to safeguard his reputation after his release from Spandau, forged the official Office Journal ("the Chronik") kept for him by Wolters before handing it over to the German Federal Archives in 1967. This claim was repeated by the Plaintiff at p.370n;
99. in fact the "sanitising" of the Chronik was done by Wolters in about 1960, not by Speer who was then still in prison. Moreover, on pages 21 and 23 of the Chronik, it is specifically noted that the evicted Jews were being lodged in Jewish properties in other Berlin districts; further the Plaintiff failed to mention that Speer arranged with the mayor of Berlin in the autumn of 1938, that 2500 small flats should be built in an external district of Berlin for Jews who had been evicted from the centre;
100. The Plaintiff further demonstrated his lack of historical detachment by the descriptive words he used about Speer and his actions:
- p.370 "coldblooded slum clearance";
- p.370n and p.371, "infamous";
- p.378, the Plaintiff stated, "At the end of November, Speer's diary records, he booted three thousand more (Jews) out of their apartments." In fact, Speer's Official Journal 1941 (the source for the Plaintiff's "quote") stated as follows: "After negotiations with the relevant services, the General Construction Inspector [Speer] put 3000 further Jewish dwellings at the eventual disposal of victims of bomb damage".
101. In the Goebbels' book, the Plaintiff, for no proper historical reason, cited on numerous occasions in brackets the original Jewish names of people who for an obvious reason - namely anti semitism - gave themselves German names. Thus, for example, the famous theatre producer, Max Reinhardt is in the Plaintiff's parenthesis, (Max Goldmann), p.369; the distinguished professor of literary history in Heidelberg, Friedrich Gundolf is (Gundolfinger), p.15; Kurt Eisner, the prime minister of Bavaria is "uncovered" by the Plaintiff as (alias Isidor Kosmanowski), p 13; the police vice-president of Berlin, Bernhard Weiss, nick-named Isidor by Goebbels in order to insult him, is called Isidor by the Plaintiffs on pp.51, 58, 60, 62, 65 and 86. The Plaintiff uses his name Bernhard only once, on p.55.
102. At page 393 of the Goebbels' book, the Plaintiff quotes from the "unpublished" diary entry of Goebbels for 15 May 1942 as follows: "It would be best either to deport the remaining yids from Paris, or to liquidate the lot." In fact, the word "yids" (used in English by non-Jews about Jews as a term of abuse) is the Plaintiffs. Goebbels in fact wrote: "... I would consider it best if we were to deport or liquidate all eastern Jews still in Paris". Similarly, the Plaintiff at p.395, when translating a diary entry of May 28 1942, used the term "yid" for the word Goebbels in fact used "Ostjuden".
103. At p.203 of the Goebbels' book, the Plaintiff wrote that "Hitler finds it hard to get worked up about the Jews, now that he is in power" and gives as his source Goebbels' diary entries of April 29, September 19, 25, October 1, 1935: these entries do not support what the Plaintiff wrote.
104. The Plaintiff claimed (at pp 207-8) "For the next nine years [from 1935] Goebbels was the motor, goading his reluctant Führer into ever more radical actions against the Jews" (those next nine years included the period of the Final Solution, when Goebbels himself described Hitler as "the staunch promoter and champion of a radical solution" (see (22) above);
The reference provided by the Plaintiff for that important claim is Note 85 (p 591) which reads as follows: "For Hitler's reluctance see e.g. diary June 25 1936: Führer strongly disapproves of all work of all race agencies";
105. The evidence is taken out of context, and thus made by the Plaintiff to appear (especially to those unfamiliar with the background to the comment and its specific relevance) to have wider application than is really the case. The entry is in fact for 26, not 25 June 1936, and "Ausschüsse" is better translated as "committees" than "agencies". It refers to the continuing efforts of ministerial racial experts and Party spokesmen in that early period of anti-Jewish legislation, to reach agreement on complicated legal problems (for example applying to "Mischling", a person of mixed blood as partner in - or child of a marriage) arising from the Nuremberg Laws, which inter alia forbade marriage between Germans and Jews. Hitler, who detested bureaucracy, had already indicated his impatience with the bureaucratic wranglings between Hess's office and the Reich Ministry of the Interior over definitions of Mischling the previous autumn. Hitler, was almost certainly in the passage cited at (ii) above, voicing his irritation at this bureaucratic way of approaching the key issue of the Jewish question.
106. The Plainitff, when dealing with the promulgation of the Nuremberg Laws, stated that Goebbels welcomed them, but then used Hitler's attitude to those laws to imply that Hitler was a moderate on the "Jewish Question": "Hitler leaned towards leniency in applying these new laws" (p.208);
107. The Plaintiff failed however to provide the proper context for Hitler's "leniency", namely his need, expressed in the Nuremberg Laws to accommodate both the demands of the Party radicals (of whom Goebbels was but one) and the demands of the Economics Ministry to end the public violence against Jews which had become counter-productive in its impact on the economy, in public irritation at public order disturbances and in the reactions from abroad. For tactical reasons therefore, and not because of any personal leniency towards the Jews, Hitler felt obliged to try to quell the "wild" actions of the radicals;
108. The Plaintiff implied that Hitler's stance in the summer of 1935 on the Nuremberg Laws, was the same as his fundamental position on the Jewish Question. It was not. For example, in Hitler's speech to the Kreisleiter (district leaders) in April 1937, Hitler said about the Jews:
"I don't want immediately to challenge an opponent to a violent fight. I don't say "fight" because I want to fight. Instead I say: "I want to destroy you". And now let skill help me to manoeuvre you so far into a corner that you can't strike any blow. And then get the stab into the heart".
109. At p.377, referring to the expulsion of the Jews from Berlin beginning on 18 October 1941, the Plaintiff wrote:
"Hitler was neither consulted nor informed [about the mass expulsion of the Jews from Berlin]. Ten days after the forced exodus began, he referred, soliloquising over supper to Himmler and Heydrich to the way the Jews had started the war ... "By the way", he [Hitler] added, "it's not a bad thing that public rumour attributes to us a plan to exterminate the Jews". He pointed out however that he [Hitler] had no intention of starting anything at present. "There's no point in adding to one's difficulties at a time like this!" (p.377);
110. In fact, there is strong evidence, to which the Plaintiffs fails to refer at this part of the text, that Hitler was not only consulted and informed, but actually ordered the expulsion. Goebbels wrote in his diary entry on 24 September 1941:
"The Führer is of the opinion that the Jews shall have to be removed gradually from entire Germany. The first cities to be made free of the Jews are Berlin, Vienna and Prague. Berlin comes first."
111. Further, just as he did in "Hitler's War", the Plaintiff falsified and took out of context the remarks recorded as having been made by Hitler on 25 October 1941 (in Hitler's table talk) in order to exculpate Hitler from knowledge of or responsibility for the fate of the Jew (in this case, those being deported from Berlin). The First Defendants in this context, repeat (29) above. The Plaintiff omitted to set out the sentence "About the Jews too, I had to remain inactive for a long time", but gave the same false impression of its effect (see (29)(iii) above);
112.Moreover, Heim's record of what Hitler said, clearly showed that (contrary to the Plaintiff's claim in the text) Hitler confirmed to Himmler and Heydrich that he had decided on expulsion and extermination. It began: "Before the Reichstag, I prophesied to Jewry that the Jew will disappear from Europe if war was not avoided";
113. Thus, the two sentences which the Plaintiff inserted between the quotations "Hitler was neither consulted nor informed" and "He [Hitler] pointed out however that he had no intention of starting anything at present" were not only proved by the sources the Plaintiff had before him, but contradicted by them.
114. At page 379 of the Goebbels' book, the Plaintiff set out a long quote from Goebbels' article of 16 November 1941 in Das Reich entitled "The Jews are to blame". The Plaintiff then wrote that the article "displayed a far more uncomprising face than Hitler's towards the Jews. When the Führer came to Berlin ... he again instructed Goebbels to pursue a policy against the Jews "that does not cause us endless difficulties in future" and told him to go easy on mixed marriages in the future" (p.379);
115. The Plaintiff provided the following reference for that sentence: "Obviously a reference to the Gottschalk tragedy. Typically, JG [Goebbels] began even this entry (diary, November 22 1941) with the words "On the Jewish problem too the Führer is totally in agreement with my opinions";
116. In fact, Hitler's agreement will have been with the opinions expressed by Goebbels in "Das Reich". The said diary entry quoted by the Plaintiff (and set out at (i) above) read:
"He [Hitler] wants an energetic policy against the Jews which however does not cause us any unnecessary difficulties (problems)".
The Plaintiff omits the sentence which follows:-
"The evacuation shall be executed city by city. It is therefore uncertain as yet when it will be the turn of Berlin; but when that comes, it should be carried out with the greatest possible rapidity".
117. At page 395, paragraph 1, the Plaintiff used paraphrases to diminish the impact if Hitler's position on the Jews as recorded by Goebbels. In line 3, the Plaintiff wrote "Hitler reiterated his standpoint. "He wants to force the Jews right out of Europe ...". In fact, Goebbels wrote: "I once more discuss the question of the Jews thoroughly with the Führer. His position on the Jews is unrelenting. He is determined to push the out of Europe ..."
118. On page 427, the Plaintiff misquoted Goebbels' report of a telephone conversation with Hitler on 20 March 1943 about Hitler's joy to hear that most Jews had been evacuated from Berlin, as "The war had, agreed Hitler, enabled them to tackle a number of thorny problems". Goebbels in fact wrote, "He [Hitler] feels quite rightly that the war has enabled us to solve a number of problems which could never have been solved in normal times".
Meaning (i)-(iii): Dresden
119. In the Plaintiff's book "The Destruction of Dresden" about the Allied bombing of Dresden on 13 February 1945, published in 1963 by William Kimber, the Plaintiff asserted that estimates of casualties in that city varied between 35,000 and 250,000;
120. In a letter to The Times published on 7 July 1966, the Plaintiff publicly corrected those figures to 25,000 on the basis of a report by the area police chief of Dresden, of the authenticity of which, the Plaintiff said, there was no doubt. The Plaintiff did so because: "I have no interest in promoting or perpetuating false legends";
121. On the cover of the Corgi edition of "The Destruction of Dresden", published in 1971, the numbers of dead were given as over 100,000;
122. In "Hitler's War", (at p.739), the Plaintiff wrote that "The night's death toll in Dresden was estimated at a quarter-million;
On the cover of the Papermac edition of "The Destruction of Dresden", published in 1985, reissued in 1989 and reprinted in 1990, and in the Author's Note, the numbers of dead were given as 135,000;
In the Goebbels' book, (by time of the publication of which the official German figures for those killed at Dresden were 35,000), the Plaintiff (at p.501) gave the figures as between 60,000 and 100,000 killed in the Allied air raids on Dresden.
Meaning (i)-(iii): General Sikorski
123. In 1945, a plane carrying General Sikorski the President of the Polish Government in exile, crashed on leaving Gibraltar for London, killing all on board, including General Sikorski, save for the pilot. Goebbels announced that the British Government had cynically destroyed its own plane by sabotage.
124. In 1966-7, Rolf Hochhuth wrote a play "Soliders" in which he claimed that Churchill was responsible for that crash. Hochhuth claimed to have based his play on evidence provided by the Plaintiff. In his book "Accident: the Death of General Sikorski", published in October 1967, the Plaintiff implied, without any evidence, that the British Government and Churchill had murdered General Sikorski.
125. The only document offered by the Plaintiff to support his contention, was an alleged entry in the diary of the Governor of Gibraltar, which the Plaintiff cited as "11.45 Sweet-Escott", and since Sweet-Escott was an officer of the SOE, the organisation which, amongst other things carried out sabotage in enemy territory, pronounced this as evidence of the plot.
126 In fact, Sweet-Escott had already informed the Plaintiff that he had been in London on that day; and the entry which the Plaintiff insisted "very clearly reads Sweet-Escott" is correctly read as "Swear Carrara", Mr. Carrara being the Chief Justice of Gibraltar who the Governor-General of Gibraltar had sworn in that morning, Sweet-Escott successfully sued Hochhuth and Der Spiegal for libel over their claim published in October 1967, of his involvement in the "murder" of General Sikorski. Perchal, the surviving pilot of the plane carrying Sikorski also sued Hochhuth for libel, and was awarded 50,000 damages in 1972.
127. Nonetheless, in "Hitler's War" published in 1977, the Plaintiff repeated part of his discredited conclusion about Sikorski as though it was established fact. At p.xiii the Plaintiff made the firm but false statement that Hitler never resorted to or condoned "the assassination of the inconvenient", unlike the Western allies who thus disposed of "General Sikorski, Admiral Darlan, Field Marshall Rommel and King Boris" of Bulgaria.
128. The Plaintiff knows the primary sources for the history of Nazism. He speaks excellent German. The omissions, distortions and misrepresentations must be deliberate, and they all tend in the same direction: i.e. to present Nazism and Hitler in particular in a more favourable light and Britain, Churchill in particular, in an unfavourable light. Thus, Hitler, without any evidence, is cleared of at least some of the responsibility for The Final Solution and his anti-semitic is down-played; Churchill, without any evidence, is stated to have assassinated General Sikorski. Hitler, the destroyer of Europe, whose favourite words were "austrotten" and "vernichten", who sought to destroy whole peoples and obliterate whole cities, even in the end Germany itself, is presented as a constructive statesman. Churchill, who resisted him, is described by the Plaintiff (at p.xv in his book "Churchill's War") as "rarely a creator, always a destroyer - of cities, of monuments, of works of art, of populations, of frontiers, of monarchies and finally his own country's empire".
129. The Plaintiff's thesis does not emerge from the evidence, it precedes the evidence, shapes the evidence, determines what evidence shall be admitted or omitted, and how it shall be interpreted.
Meaning (iv)-(v): The Moscow archives
130. There are grounds to suspect that the Plaintiff had removed certain microfiches of Goebbels' diaries contained in the Moscow archives, from the said archives without permission. The Plaintiff claimed in July 1992 that members of the archive staff at Moscow had lent him a number of the original plates to take out and do certain things with, and that it was not until an allegation had been made that he had stolen the plates that he was required to sign a declaration that everything was in place. The said explanation is inherently improbable, given the valuable and fragile nature of the glass plates, and the Plaintiff's lack of official status. The First Defendants further rely on (57).
131. The Plaintiff lied and/or exaggerated the position with regard to the unpublished diaries on microfiche of Goebbels contained in the Moscow archives, and used by him in the Goebbels' book as follows:
132. On page 1 of the Goebbels book the Plaintiff wrote "after struggling to read the 1600 fragile glass microfiches (some 75,000 pages) with a thumbnail-sized 12x magnifier on my first visit ...";
133. According to his own account, the Plaintiff's first visit to the Moscow archives lasted some 3 days; and he was mainly interested in the unpublished diary entries concerning political events in 1923, 1933, 1934, 1938 and 1939 (all of which were handwritten and filling for each day up to 40 pages);
134. The Plaintiff's statement at (i) above is, in those circumstances at least greatly exaggerated. It would have been impossible for the Plaintiff in the time at his disposal to read more than a limited number of entries (and the Plaintiff's source notes for the Goebbels' book list only 10 pages of text with any material from Moscow);
135. The Plaintiff did not, as he falsely claims (at page xi of the Goebbels' book), travel to Moscow because the IfZ (the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich) rejected on 13 May 1992 the Plaintiff's request for access to diary holdings for ... 1939 and 1944": he went to Moscow mainly because he had learned of the existence of the microfiches in the Moscow archives, and hoped with the support of The Sunday Times, both to "make a killing" from them in advance of the IfZ by publishing the hitherto unpublished Goebbels' diary entries for 1938 and to publicise his forthcoming book on Goebbels;
136. The Plaintiff falsely claimed (at p.xi of the Goebbels' book) that in a statement in the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (the "SZ") on 22 July 1992, the IfZ "honourably withdrew" the allegation that the Plaintiff had "stolen" some of the glass plates from the Moscow archives. In fact on 22 July 1992, in an article on the Goebbels' diaries "affaire" (then being covered by much of the world press), the SZ quoted Dr. Werner Röder, Deputy Director of the IfZ as saying (re: the Plaintiff and the glass plates), "The man swiped them from the Russian archive";
137. The Plaintiff falsely claims (at p.xi of the Goebbels' book) that IfZ "furnished the Daily Mail ... the diary material" it had denied the Plaintiff two months earlier. In fact the material they were given access to had been available to researchers for some time;
138. The Plaintiff falsely claimed (at p.xi of the Goebbels' book) that the historians the Daily Mail engaged could not read the Goebbels' archive material and that it was notoriously indecipherable. Goebbels wrote in old German script, decipherable by anyone who had learnt to read it, including a considerable number of historians. Further, the 20,000 the Daily Mail "paid out" was not to the IfZ (which does not accept money), as the Plaintiff implied, but properly, to the copyright holder, Francois Genoud;
139. The Plaintiff falsely claimed credit for the "discovery" of the missing Goebbels' diaries in the Moscow archives:
140. in a letter dated 26 May 1992 to Andrew Neil, the then editor of The Sunday Times, as follows: "Through my special contacts I have located in private hands the original 1600 glass plate microfiches of the entire Goebbels' diaries ..."
141. on page 160 of the Goebbels' book, where he writes: "With this author's discovery of the missing Goebbels' diary entries in Moscow, that version is finally laid to rest ..."
The missing Goebbels' diaries were identified (not discovered) by Dr. Elke Fröhlich of the IfZ, and not by the Plaintiff.
142. In all the premises, the Plaintiff is properly discredited as an historian and user of source material, and there was an increased risk that the Plaintiff would for his own purposes, distort, manipulate the said microfiches in pursuance of his said obsession.
7. The First Defendants will rely, if necessary, on section 5 of the Defamation Act 1952.
8. Paragraph 10 of the Statement of Claim is denied.
9. Paragraphs 11 and 12 of the Statement of Claim are not admitted.
10. Paragraph 13 of the Statement of Claim is denied.
11. It is admitted that the Work is a book, that the Work is non-fiction and is not a newspaper article, or radio or television broadcast. Save as aforesaid, paragraph 14 of the Statement of Claim is not admitted.
12. It is denied that the Plaintiff is entitled to aggravated damages as against the Second Defendant as alleged in paragraph 15 of the Statement of Claim or at all. In particular, it is denied that the Second Defendant has acted maliciously. It is denied that anything published by the Second Defendant has contributed to the termination of an agreement between the Plaintiff and his publishers.
13. Paragraph 8 (which should read 16) of the Statement of claim is denied.
14. By reason of the facts and matters pleaded in paragraph 6 above, and the Plaintiff's delay of over 2 years in bringing these proceedings, it is denied that the Plaintiff is entitled to an injunction.
15. The Second Defendant will rely, if necessary in mitigation of damages on:the fact that the Plaintiff has a general bad reputation as an apologist for Hitler, as someone who manipulates and distorts history and historical source material, as an extreme right winger with fascist sympathies and leanings, and with links to extremists, both in this jurisdiction and abroad and as a denier of the Holocaust. The Second Defendant will further rely on the matters pleaded at paragraph 6(3) and (4) above;
such of the facts and matters pleaded in paragraph 6 above as they prove at the trial of this action;
the Plaintiff's extreme delay in bringing these proceedings.
SERVED this 18th day of April 1997 by Mishcon de Reya of 21 Southampton Row, London, WC1B 5HS. Solicitors for the Second Defendant
Site Map ·
What's New? ·
© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012
Home · Site Map · What's New? · Search Nizkor