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Defense Documents

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

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(G) Invention of evidence: the Ribbentrop memoirs

1. This openly supportive behaviour of Hitler towards Goebbels is extremely difficult for Irving to reconcile with his claim that Hitler was furious about the pogrom and extremely angry with Goebbels. The evidence presented above makes it clear that there   is no indication of any kind in the historical record that Hitler disapproved of the pogrom. Instead, there is clear evidence for Hitler's support. This is clearly the reason why he stood by Goebbels in the aftermath of the events of 9/10 November 1938. Irving cannot admit this. He cannot explain why Hitler failed to dismiss or even discipline Goebbels despite what Irving describes (without any justification) as his 'fury' at the attacks on the Jews. Irving indeed has to concede that it is 'baffling why Hitler tolerated what Goebbels had done.'137
2. In The War Path, Irving suggests it was because he 'post facto endorsed' his actions.138 In 1996, however, Irving has a different explanation: 'Ribbentrop relates that when he tackled Hitler about the damage Goebbels had done, Hitler rejoined that this was true, but he could not let the Propaganda Minister go - not when he was just about to need him again.' Irving cites Ribbentrop's book Zwischen London und Moskau (Between London and Moscow) as evidence for this claim.
3. It is typical of Irving's slapdash scholarship that he fails to give a page reference to the relevant passage in the book, but an examination of Ribbentrop's text reveals that the only relevant passage in it dealing with the events of 9-10 November 1938 is the following:
I explained to Hitler how serious the effect of such unlawful antisemitic measures must be on our own people, and drew his attention to the unavoidably serious consequences of the excesses. He said in response to this, with great earnestness, that one could not always regulate the course of   things as one wanted to, and that everything would be once more brought into an orderly course.139
4. Whatever one makes of this passage, there is no reference at all here to Goebbels or to any discussion of demands for his dismissal: these appear to be the pure invention of David Irving.

Notes

137. Irving, 'Revelations from the Goebbels Diary'.
138. Irving, The War Path, p. 166.
139. Joachim von Ribbentrop, Zwischen London und Moskau (Leoni, 1961), P. 272.
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