Irving v. Lipstadt
David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial: Electronic Edition, by Richard J. EvansTable of Contents
|< (i) Historical background||(iii) Inconsistencies an... >||(vii) Conclusion >>|
(ii) David Irving's argument
1. One of the main aims of Irving's historical writings, as we have already seen, is to distance Hitler from all forms of violence against the Jews. This Report has already noted his statement in the Preface to the 1991 edition of Hitler's War: 'Every document actually linking Hitler with the treatment of the Jews invariably takes the form of an embargo.' One such document, he goes on to argue, refers to 'the 1923 beer-hall putsch (when he disciplined a Nazi squad for having looted a Jewish delicatessen).'2 Irving also recounted this alleged incident in his Göring:: [sic]
Meanwhile, Hitler acted to maintain order. Learning that one Nazi squad had ransacked a kosher grocery store during the night, he sent for the ex-army lieutenant who had led the raid. "We took off our Nazi insignia first!" expostulated the officer - to no avail, as Hitler dismissed him from the party on the spot. "I shall see that no other nationalist unit allows you to join either!". Göring goggled at this exchange, as did a police sergeant who testified to it at the Hitler trial a few weeks later'.3
2. Irving cites this incident again in his new edition of Hitler's War, and also in his Pleadings. Here he refers to his account in Göring, and concludes that to his knowledge 'no other historian has ever quoted this passage, finding it hard to reconcile with their (sic) obsessively held views'.4 It is necessary therefore to turn now to an investigation of Irving's claims and to assess the accuracy of his presentation and interpretation of this portion of the trial record.
2. Irving, Hitler's War (London, 1991), p. 18.
3. Irving, Göring. A Biography(New York, 1989), p. 59.