David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial: Electronic Edition, by Richard J. Evans

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(C) Hitler's involvement in the deportations

1. Irving thus falsifies a report in the Table Talk to make it look as if Hitler was saying in October 1941 that he was remaining inactive about the Jews. He draws from this the inference that Hitler was 'neither consulted nor informed' about the deportations of Berlin's Jews to the East which were taking place even as he spoke. In fact, however, as Irvine himself has acknowledged elsewhere, ther is some evidence (etc) that suggests that Hitler not only knew of the expulsions but that he had actually ordered them himself in the first place. In his discussion in the table talk on 25 October 1941, even Irving admits that Hitler was talking about the expulsion of the Jews from Germany to the East. Hitler's positive reference to the 'terror' of extermination that preceded the German advance strongly suggests he knew Jews were being killed by the SS task forces.
2. As far as the expulsions are concerned, Goebbels noted in his diary on 19 August 1941 that Hitler had approved them in principle: 'Apart from this, the Führer gave me approval to move the Berlin Jews out to the east as quickly as possible, as soon as the first possibility of transport offered itself'.27 On 18 September 1941, Himmler in fact had told his subordinate in the Warthegau:
The Führer wishes the Old Reich and the Protectorate to be emptied and freed of Jews from west to east as quickly as possible. I am thus aiming to transport the Jews of the Old Reich and the   Protectorate if possible before the end of this year into the eastern territories which newly came to the Reich two years ago, initially as a first step, in order to move them further still to the east next spring.28
3. One month later, on 24 September 1941, Goebbels noted in his diary that Hitler had made a final decision on the matter:
I can bring the Führer a series of internal political problems to decide upon: the Führer is of the opinion that the Jews must be taken out of the whole of Germany bit by bit. The first cities that are now to be made free of Jews are Berlin, Vienna and Prague, and I have the hope that we shall succeed even in the course of this year in transporting a significant portion of Berlin's Jews off to the East.29
4. Irving, to be sure, does acknowledge in his book Goebbels: Mastermind of the 'Third Reich' that Hitler had decided in late 1941 that all Jews were to be removed from Germany. It would be difficult even for him to avoid doing this, in the light of the evidence provided by the Goebbels diary entry of 24 September 1941.30 However, in   his submission to the court, Irving states that while Hitler had given the general authority under which the Jews were to be deported, starting with Berlin, he was 'not consulted or informed about the actual time that the expulsions began'.31 This qualification disappears in the following pages of Goebbels, where the impression is given that Hitler was not consulted about the entire operation of deporting Jews from Berlin ('Hitler was neither consulted nor informed'). As we have seen, this claim rests on a falsification of Hitler's Table Talk. The evidence cited above makes clear that Hitler was very much part of the decision-making process to drive the Jews out of Berlin , as Irvine himself admitted in the 1991 ed of Hitler's War.

Notes

27. 'Im übrigen sagt der Führer mir zu, die Berliner Juden so schnell wie möglich, sobald sich die erste Transportmöglichkeit bietet, von Berlin in den Osten abzuschieben. Dort werden sic dann unter einem härteren Klima in die Mache genommen'; E. Fröhlich (ed.), Die Tagebücher von Joseph Goebbels, Teil II, Vol. 1 (Munich, 1996), p. 266; capital letters in the original.
28. The Warthegau was former Polish territory incorporated into Germany in 1939; the Protectorate was former Czechoslovakian territory. The German original reads: 'Der Führer wünscht, daß möglichst bald das Altreich und das Protektorat vom Westen nach Osten von Juden geleert und befreit werden. Ich bin daher bestrebt, möglichst noch in diesem Jahr die Juden des Altreiches und des Protektorats zunächst einmal als erste Stufe in die vor zwei Jahren neu zum Reich gekommenen Ostgebiete zu transportieren, um sie im nächsten Frühjahr noch weiter nach dem Osten abzuschieben'; Institut für Zeitgeschichte, MA 3/9, Folder 94; cited in M. Broszat, 'Hitler und die Genesis der Endlösung', in Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte, 1977, pp. 739-775, here 750.
29. 'Ich kann gleich dem Führer eine Reihe von innerpolitischen Problemen zur Entscheidung bringen: Der Führer ist der Meinung, daß die Juden nach und nach aus ganz Deutschland herausgebracht werden müssen. Die ersten Städte, die nun judenfrei gemacht werden sollen, sind Berlin, Wien und Prag. Berlin kommt als erste an die Reihe, und ich habe die Hoffnung, daß es uns im Laufe dieses Jahres noch gelingt, einen wesentlichen Teil der Berliner Juden nach dem Osten abzutransportieren'; cited in E. Fröhlich (ed.), Die Tagebüucher von Joseph Goebbels, Teil II, Vol. 1 (Munich, 1996), pp. 484-485.
30. Irving, Goebbels, p. 374.
31. Pleadings Bundle IV, p. 36.
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