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

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(vi) Double standards in the evaluation of evidence: the memoirs of Karl Wilhelm Krause

1. Krause was personally chosen by Hitler to be his manservant. He started work in the Obersalzberg in September 1934. Irving has presented an extract from Krause's memoirs to support the quote in Hitler's War that Hitler's orders were brutally carried out by Bormann and Himmler, without Hitler's knowledge because 'Hitler lived in a world of his own - he liked to believe in good rather than evil of people.'178 The full extract runs:
One told us also that only people were put there [presumably the concentration camps] who were really guilty of an offence, but on the other hand not so grave that one could immediately punish them with prison or penal servitude. For me personally it is still today a complete mystery how secretly the whole   thing must have been handled by the highest authorities, that one knew absolutely nothing about it. It was only then possible that very, very few people knew about it and they really let nothing be known of it. I want to maintain once again that this affair, and also the fight against the church, originated with Bormann and Himmler. They only reported to Hitler in as far as they felt it necessary to properly fan the flames. Undoubtedly one also left Hitler in the dark about the real conditions in the camps, and otherwise only informed him of the best side. - If one asks me how I come to this view then I say: I infer it because many small instances were known to me in which it would be explained: "the Führer has commanded, or more precisely ordered..." when I knew precisely that Hitler had not the faintest idea of it. Thereby though it had to do with personal matters and which hardly interested wider circles. Nevertheless they throw a light on the way certain wirepullers were in the habit of treating Hitler's name. To give only one example, Bormann came to Munich one time and reported on the situation in Warsaw. A secret radio transmitter existed in the ghetto that was in contact with abroad. Hitler thought and said that if the report were true then punitive intervention would have to be undertaken. However there was no clear-cut order. It remained up to Bormann, Himmler, and the commander of Warsaw, how punishment would take place.

It can be added in this context that Hitler lived in a sort of illusory world. He believed good rather than evil. If for example one told him that the SS had wreaked havoc in such-and -such-a-place he answered that his boys did not do such things, and if they really had done then nothing remained but to punish them.179
Irving's interpretation in this respect is almost identical to Krause's.
2. Although Krause's memoirs are entitled 'Hitler's Valet, 1934-1943' he remained Hitler's manservant only until 10 September 1939, when he was fired for lying to Hitler. In other words, apart from the first week and a half of the occupation policy in Poland, Krause was no longer privy to Hitler's thoughts and actions. As of 1 March 1940 he returned to the Navy and took part in the battle for Norway. He was commandeered to the Liebestandarte SS Adolf   Hitler (LSSAH) as an Oberscharführer of the Waffen-SS on 2 November 1940 and, in December 1943, was sent to the front with the 11th. SS tank division 'Hitler Jugend'.180
3. Yet again we are confronted by Irving's double standards. From the passage above it is clear that Hitler's supposed innocence was merely inferred by Krause from small personal incidents. But Irving himself has told the court: 'A scrupulous historian is not impressed by what sources either "imagine" or profess themselves incapable of "imagining."'181 Neither does the passage necessarily disallow of other interpretations. Hitler's phrase that 'his boys' did not do such things falls squarely in to the repertoire of Hitler's evasions. Krause's example of the radio transmitter concluded: 'However there was no clear-cut order. It remained up to Bormann, Himmler, and the commander of Warsaw, how punishment would take place.' As will be discussed below this does not exclude the fact that this was a deliberate facet of Hitler's personal style of leadership, and that he anticipated the very ramifications Krause saw as an abuse.


178. Hitler's War, pp. 850-51.
179. Document 134
180. Er war mein Chef, p. 326, fn. 99.
181. Reply to the Defence of Second Defendant, paragraph 23, p. 18.
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