Irving v. Lipstadt
David Irving, Hitler and Holocaust Denial: Electronic Edition, by Richard J. EvansTable of Contents
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(F) Misconstrual of books that directly contradict Irving's arguments: the Goebbels diary
1. Irving suggests that Hitler distanced himself from Goebbels in the aftermath of the pogrom.131 This is very far from an accurate picture of the two men's relationship after 9/10 November 1938. As Irving well knows, on the day after the pogrom, on 10 November 1938, Hitler made a semi-public appearance with Goebbels in front of members of the German press. Goebbels was standing next to Hitler while the latter delivered his speech. Indeed, Irving actually prints a photograph of this evening in his book Goebbels: Mastermind of the 'Third Reich', with the caption: 'Hitler stands by Goebbels and delivers an impassioned speech to editors on the importance of propaganda to the tasks that lie ahead'.132 Hitler continued to give his personal support to Goebbels during the following days. He visited him on the afternoon of 15 November and according to Goebbels's diary was 'in a good mood. Sharply against the Jews. Approves my and our policy totally.'133
2. There is no reason to suppose, as Irving implies, that this entry was in some way an invention on Goebbels's part.134 Indeed, as Irving notes, Hitler demonstrated his approval of Goebbels by visiting the theatre with him and staying overnight and all the following day at the Goebbels home, talking with the Propaganda Minister and playing with the Goebbels children.135 All the while, Goebbels continued his antisemitic campaign in the newspapers, whose output he directed, with Hitler's explicit approval: 'The Führer', he noted in his diary entry for 24 November, 'is very satisfied with our anti-Jewish campaign in the press.'136
131. Irving, Goebbels, p. 280.
132. Ibid., plate section between pp. 332 and 333. Irving misdates the speech to 11 November. The speech made no reference to the pogrom. See W. Treue, 'Rede Hitlers vor der deutschen Presse (10. November 1938)', Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Vol. 6 (1958), pp. 175-91, here pp. 175-6.
133. Entry for 17 November 1938, in Reuth (ed.), Joseph Goebbels: Tagebücher, Vol. 3 (1935-1939) (Munich, 1992), p. 1,287: 'gut in Stimmung. Scharf gegen die Juden. Billigt ganz meine und unsere Politik.
134. Irving, Goebbels, p. 282.
135. Ibid.; Reuth (ed.), Goebbels: Tagebücher, pp. 1,287-8, entry for 17 November.
136. Ibid., p. 1,289.