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

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(C) Irving's partial withdrawal of his original claims about the Himmler phone log for 30 November 1941

1. On the Focal Point website, Irving claims that on 17 May 1998 he received a document detailing Himmler's appointments for the 30 November 1941 from the Moscow archive. He reproduces this document, with translation, on his website. As emerges from this document, Himmler met Hitler at 14.30, i.e. after he made the   phone-call to Heydrich concerning the transport of Jews from Berlin, not before. The summary on the Focal Point website claims: 'This suggests that Mr Irving's original theory that Himmler discussed the matter with Hitler before phoning Heydrich is wrong'. Irving, of course, had never presented this as a theory, but as an absolute certainty. As will be remembered, Irving claimed that the Himmler phone log of 30 November 1941 was 'incontrovertible evidence' that Hitler ordered 'that there was to be "no liquidation" of the Jews'.98
2. Thus, Irving has now retreated from his claim that Hitler on 30 November 1941 ordered the stop of all liquidations of Jews. He has been forced to admit that the phone call Heydrich-Himmler only referred to one trainload of Jews from Berlin. He has also had to give up his claim that Hitler ordered Himmler to make the phone-call. Absolutely nothing remains of his original claim, which he had set out with such certainty in Hitler's War (1977) and repeated in modified form on a number of subsequent occasions. So conclusive is the new documentary evidence that even Irving has had to admit that one of his key arguments for Hitler's opposition to the extermination of the Jews is completely without substance.
3. Yet, extraordinarily enough, even though on 17 May 1998 Irvine [sic] admitted that information received on 17 May 1988 suggested that he was wrong to claim that Hitler had ordere Himmler to righ Heydrich on 30 Nov 1941, he still continued to support his earlier claims in some of his subsequent publications. Thus on 31 August 1998, he posted another document on his website in which he argued that on 30 November 1941, Hitler had 'demonstrably...ordered' ('nachweislich...befohlen') that the Berlin Jews on the transport to Riga were not to be   killed. This document could still be accessed on Irving's website on 11 April 1999.99 Evidently the story, which he himself had discredited a few months earlier, proved in the end to be too useful to be discarded altogether. A more egregious instance of Irving's totally unscrupulous use of manufactured, manipulated and doctored historical evidence to support his own untenable historical arguments would be hard to find.

Notes

98. Irving, Hitler's War (1977), p. xiv.
99. As note 95.
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