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

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(A) Irving's claim

1. In describing the deportation of Jews from Berlin, Irving mentions an antisemitic article by Goebbels, published on 16 November 1941 in Das Reich, his propaganda paper.32 According to Irving, this article (entitled 'The Jews are to blame!') was Goebbels's 'most venomous leader article ever for Das Reich...'.33
2. Irving summarises the article as follows:
'The Jews wanted this war', he argued, 'and now they have it'. They were getting their just deserts. An eye for an eye. All Jews alike, whether languishing in an eastern ghetto or whining for war from New York, were conspiring against Germany. The Yellow Star, he argued, was   akin to a 'hygienic prophylactic', because the most dangerous were those otherwise not recognizable as Jews. To those who might bleat that the Jews were humans too he pointed out that the same could be said of muggers, rapists, and pimps. 'Suddenly one has the impression that all of Berlin's Jews are either darling little babies who wouldn't hurt a fly, or fragile old ladies'. 'Were we to lose this war', he continued, 'these oh-so-harmless Jewish worthies would suddenly turn into rapacious wolves...That's what happened in Bessarabia and the Baltic states after the Bolsheviks marched in, and neither the people nor the governments there had had the slightest sympathy for them. For us, in our fight against the Jews, there is no going back'.34
3.Directly after his summary of the article, Irving claims that this article shows that Goebbels was much more violent in his antisemitism than Hitler. This is part of Irving's general strategy to diminish the magnitude of Hitler's hatred for the Jews. For instance, just ten pages before the statement cited above, Irving claims that 'neither the broad German public nor their Führer shared his (i.e. Goebbels's) satanic antisemitism.'35
4. Irving also argues that the Goebbels article in Das Reich directly influenced the SS in widening the scope of the 'final solution'. He indirectly constructs a link between the article and the killing of the Jews in Riga on 30 November 1941. The full text of the relevant passage in Irving's Goebbels reads:
The article displayed a far more uncompromising face than Hitler's towards the Jews. When the Führer came to Berlin for Luftwaffe general Ernst Udet's funeral he again instructed Goebbels to pursue a policy against the Jews 'that does not cause us endless difficulties', and told him to go easy on mixed marriages in future.
Dieter Wisliceny, one of Eichmann's closest associates, would describe the Goebbels article in Das Reich as a watershed in the Final Solution of the Jewish Problem. The S.S. took it as a sign   from above. Adolf Eichmann would admit in his unpublished memoirs, 'It's quite possible that I got orders to direct this or that railroad transport to Riga'. On the last day of November, on the orders of the local S.S. commander Friedrich Jeckeln, four thousand of Riga's unwanted Jews were trucked five miles down the Dvinsk highway to Skiatowa, plundered, and machine-gunned into two or three pits.36
5. It is necessary to deal with Irving's treatment of this article in a number of stages. Let us look first at Irving's use of the article to claim that Goebbels showed himself to be more antisemitic than Hitler, before moving on to investigate his claim regarding the impact of Goebbels on the SS.

Notes

32. D.Welch, The 'Third Reich'. Politics and Propaganda (London, New York, 1993), p. 103.
33. http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/documents/BrunsCSDICa.html.
34. Irving, Goebbels, p. 379. (...) in the original.
35. Irving, Goebbels p. 369.
36. Irving, Goebbels, 379.
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