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Defense Documents

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

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(C) Suppression of evidence: Memoirs of Hans Kehrl and Correspondence of Carl Burckhardt

1. In Goebbels; Mastermind of the 'Third Reich', Irving writes that Göring told the Gauleiter on 11 November that he would not tolerate any repetition of the pogrom, and that he would insist that Hitler should sack Goebbels.120 In support of this claim, Irving cites the memoirs of Hans Kehrl, a leading official in the office of the Four Year Plan, and a book published by Carl J. Burckhardt, a Swiss diplomat and member of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Irving quotes selectively from these sources and omits anything which puts Hitler in a bad light. Thus Irving makes no mention at all of the following passage in Kehrl's memoirs, which describes how Göring openly admitted that the ensuing
argument between Hitler and Goebbels went in a completely different direction from that which he had hoped for. Apparently Hitler - he expressed himself cautiously - had not only forgiven Goebbels, who had previously (i.e. before 9 November 1938) fallen considerably into disfavour, but Goebbels had even succeeded, for reasons which were unclear, in using the action as an opportunity to demand further steps against Jewry. Thus Hitler had...commanded Göring to pursue the final expulsion of the Jews from the economic sphere more keenly and to impose on the Jews in their totality a kind of contribution towards covering the damage which had occurred.121
 
2. These measures were indeed discussed at the meeting on 12 November as described above. Irving considers this source reliable and trustworthy. He deliberately suppresses its description of Hitler's role in the legislative aftermath of the pogrom.
3. Irving is similarly selective in the case of Burckhardt. While he uses one part of a letter written by Burckhardt in December 1938, he omits another passage in the same letter in which Burckhardt notes that the emphasis placed on vom Rath's assassination in Nazi propaganda was ordered by Hitler himself ('I discovered from a reliable source that the command to employ this Fortissimo had been issued by the Reich Chancellor himself'). Burckhardt also reported a conversation with Himmler's adjutant Wolff, who had informed him that the SS leadership had felt the Goebbels was exercising a baleful influence on Hitler. The SS leadership had expected Goebbels to be sacked after the pogrom. But, Wolff went on, 'the Führer rescued him this time as well'.122

Notes

120. Irving, Goebbels, p. 281.
121. 'Auseinandersetzung zwischen Hitler und Goebbels völlig anders verlaufen sei, als er gehofft hatte. Anscheinend hatte Hitler - er drückte sich vorsichtig aus - dem schon vorher erheblich in Ungnade gefallenen Goebbels nicht nur verziehen, sondern es sei Goebbels sogan aus unerfindlichen Gründen gelungen, die Aktion zum Anlaß zu nehmen, weitere Schritte gegen das Judentum zu fordern. Hitler habe daher Goring... befohlen, die endgültige Verdrängung der Juden aus dem wirtschaftlichen Bereich schärfer als bisher u betreiben und den Juden in ihrer Gesamtheit eine Art Kontribution zur Deckung der entstandenen Schäden aufzuerlegen': Hans Kehrl, Krisenmanager im Dritten Reich (Düsseldorf, 1973), p. 143.
122. Car1 J. Burckhardt, Meine Danziger Mission 1937-1939 (Munich, 1960), pp. 226, 230, reprinting a letter of 2 December 1938: 'Ich erfuhr aus sicherer Quelle, dass der Befehl zum Einsatz dieses Fortissimo vom Reichskanzler, selbst gegeben worden war'.. 'auch diesmal hat ihn der Führer gerettet'.
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