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Defense Documents

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

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(e) The Eichmann memoirs

1. Irving even retrospectively supports the Nazi policy of expelling the Jews from Europe and suggests that the mass murders of the Jews by the Nazis during the war, to the extent that he admits they actually took place, were ultimately the reponsibility of the Jews themselves. In a speech delivered on 11 October 1992, Irving argued that in the Eichmann papers recently given to him, Adolf Eichmann clearly meant by the word Endlösung or 'final solution' the idea of taking
all the Jews of Europe...to Madagascar, where they would be on an island where they couldn't bother any of their neighbors and where none of their neighbors could bother them. I've always said and I say it here again - even though I risk making a few enemies - that I think that would have been an ideal solution to a perennial world tragedy.
2. Irving surely knew that the plan to deport Europe's Jews to Madagascar was murderous in its intent.
3. For there is every reason to believe that the transport itself would have been carried out in inhumane conditions comparable to those obtaining on the cattle-trucks which took the Jews to Auschwitz and Treblinka, and in which many thousands died because of overcrowded conditions, and lack of sanitation, food and water. Conditions on the island itself were extremely inhospitable and it is extremely unlikely that the Nazis would have made any effort to have supplied the Jews deported there with the necessities of life. As with Jewish emigrants and deportees from Germany itself, money and valuables would have been taken from them   before they set off, leaving them without the means of paying for supplies. 'Madagascar' was in effect another euphemism for mass murder, as Irving surely knows.63
4. Irving then went on to recount, without comment, Eichmann's speculation, repeated throughout the papers, that it was the Jews themselves who were responsible for the Holocaust. 'Was the Holocaust something that they themselves inflicted on their own body', he reported Eichmann as asking, 'in order to bring about their Zionist cause in the long run?' Eichmann justified the cruelties he saw in Auschwitz - the burning of bodies in an open pit - by referring to Allied air-raids ('what they were doing to us at that time', 'they' obviously meaning the Jews, though Irving does not comment on this assumption either).64
5. Here once more, Irving implicitly adopts the antisemitic fantasy of a leading Nazi as his own point of view; for his failure to dissociate himself from it means that he is consciously offering it to his audience as a plausible hypothesis. It need hardly be added that there is no evidence at all for Eichmann's charge. 'The Jews' were not behind Allied air-raids on Germany; nor, as we have already seen, was there any causal connection at all between the raids and the Nazi extermination of the Jews. Finally, it is worth noting that Irving, once again, steers carefully clear of referring to the Holocaust as the systematic extermination of millions of Jews, and merely quotes Eichmann as referring to the burning of bodies in an open pit at Auschwitz.
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