Irving v. Lipstadt

Defense Documents

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

Table of Contents
<< (ii) Irving's suppressio...(vi) Conclusion. >>

(ii) [sic] Irving's manipulation of reliable sources.

1. Moellhausen's telegram of 6 October, not cited by Irving, makes it clear that not merely was Stahel 'objecting' to the Aktion, but that he was refusing to comply with it unless it was sanctioned by Ribbentrop himself. Moreover Moellhausen, Rahn's stand-in, had not only the stupidity to use the word 'liquidate' in official correspondence with the Foreign Minister, but also the audacity, before a response could be given to his first telegram, to contact Field Marshal Kesselring and obtain his agreement that the Jews of Rome be engaged in fortification work. The senior figures in Rome, Moellhausen, Kesselring, and probably also Kappler had effectively formed a triumvirate to block deportation. Any prospect of a 'clean' round-up was fading fast in this entanglement. Hitler's order cut decisively through the mess and made clear in no uncertain terms that the Jews of Rome were still to be deported and not to be kept in Italy on fortification work.
2. Appended to the order outlining 'the Führer's instructions' in this matter was a clear order that Moellhausen and Rahn were 'under no circumstances' to interfere in the affair. They were instead to leave it entirely to the SS.26 Irving manipulates the document (no. 2 above) by omitting all mention of this part of it both in the 1991 edition of Hitler's War and in his submission to the court. Only in the 1977 edition of his book does he mention that Ribbentrop ordered that the matter was to be left to the SS, just as only in the 1977 edition of his book does he add that the Jews were 'liquidated' anyway. Clearly he is suppressing this important information in order to underline the impression he gives that Hitler was intervening purely and simply to stop the Jews being killed. Yet the instruction to put them in the hands of the SS was made explicit by the second telegram, which is left unmentioned by Irving even though he must be familiar with its contents.27
3. In 1977, Irving wrote that the Jews were liquidated 'regardless' of Hitler's orders (i.e. contrary to them), part of his thesis that Hitler was only responsible for the deportations; and Himmler and Heydrich murdered the Jews without his knowledge.28 Ribbentrop must have discussed with Hitler all the major aspects of the situation, including Himmler's liquidation orders, the impending round-up by the SS, and the attempts to block it by the consuls and the army. There is every reason to suppose that Ribbentrop's injunction to leave the Aktion to the SS was an integral part of the discussion, and that Hitler approved it. If Hitler was intervening to stop the Roman Jews from being killed, then he knew that the Roman Jews were to be liquidated, he knew it was on Himmler's orders, and he must have known it was part of a   much wider pattern of mass murder of Jews by the SS, or in other words, he must have known it was part of the 'Final Solution'.


26. Sonnleither to Ribbentrop's office, 9 October 1943
27. NG-5027, as cited in Michaelis, p. 364.
28. Hitler's War, (1977 ed.) pp. .326-7 and 329-32.
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