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

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(G) Manipulation and Suppression of Evidence. The testimony of Dieter Wisliceny

1. As described above, Irving claims that Dieter Wisliceny, one of Adolf Eichmann's top officials, described 'Goebbels article in Das Reich as a watershed in the Final Solution of the Jewish problem'. Once more, Irving makes it very difficult to verify his claims. According to his footnotes, Wisliceny's post-war report of 18 November 1946 can be found in the Institut für Zeitgeschichte, file F 71/8.63 However, this file does not exist,64 and Wisliceny's report has to be located elsewhere.65
2. In his report, Wisliceny states that after the invasion of the USSR in June 1941, Nazi policy against the Jews was transformed dramatically in a step-by-step process, completed in the spring of 1942. One of these radicalising steps was taken in late 1941. As Wisliceny reported:  
The second wave of radicalization began after the USA entered the war. This could clearly be felt in the internal German propaganda too. Externally it was expressed in the introduction of the "yellow star" as a mark of the Jews: reference in this connection also to the Goebbels-article "The Jews are Guilty" in an edition of the magazine "Das Reich". In this period of time after the beginning of the war with the USA, I am convinced, must fall the decision of Hitler which ordered the biological annihilation of European Jewry.66
3. Quite clearly, Wisliceny does not see Goebbels's article as a 'watershed'. Rather, the decisive event in late 1941 in his mind was the decision by Hitler to exterminate the European Jews. However, Irving fails to acknowledge this important admission by Wisliceny, who repeatedly in his report returns to Hitler's decision to kill the European Jews. The main culprits for the extermination of the Jews, according to Wisliceny's report, are Hitler, Himmler, Eichmann and Heydrich. By contrast, Goebbels is only mentioned once, in the context of the intensification of anti-Jewish propaganda cited above. In no way does Wisliceny's report bear out Irving's claim that Goebbels pursued a more radical policy against the Jews than Hitler. On the contrary, Wisliceny clearly states that it was Hitler who ordered the extermination of the Jews.
 
4. Moreover, in addition to all this, Wisliceny makes a further important admission in his report:
According to Eichmann's own report, which he made to me, Globocnig (sic) was the first to use gas chambers for the mass extermination of humans. Globocnig had set up big labour camps for Jews in his area of command, and he got rid of those who were unable to work in the manner described. As Eichmann explained, this "procedure" was "less conspicuous" than the mass shootings....68
5. Thus, Wisliceny's report not only fails to back up Irving's claims that the article in Das Reich by Goebbels was seen by the SS as a 'watershed', it completely contradicts everything that Irving has said about the 'final solution': According to Wisliceny, Goebbels was not a major decision maker in the 'Jewish question', Hitler personally ordered the extermination of the European Jews, and the Nazis used gas chambers to implement this order. Once again, Irving manipulates a document into saying the exact opposite from what it actually says.
6. In conclusion, it is clear that the documentary evidence fails completely to support Irving's claim that Goebbels's antisemitism in the article which he wrote for Das Reich was more violent than Hitler's antisemitism. It lends no credence at all to Irving's suggestion that the article influenced the killing of Jews in Riga on 30 November 1941. On the contrary, the evidence strongly suggests that the liquidation of the Riga ghetto was part of a systematic extermination process ordered by the Nazi leadership.

Notes

63. Irving, Goebbels, p. 645, note 40.
64. There are only three sub-files of the file F 71 in the Institut (F 71/1; F 71/2; F 71/ 3). In none of these files is there any trace of the report mentioned by Irving.
65. Ifz, Fa 164, D. Wisliceny, Bericht, 18.11.1946.
66. Ifz, Fa 164, D.Wisliceny, Bericht, 18.11.1946: 'Die zweite Welle der Verschärfung trat nach dem Kriegseintritt der USA ein. Auch in der innerdeutschen Propaganda war dies deutlich zu spüren. Aeusserlich trat sie in Erscheinung durch die Einführung des "gelben Sterns" als Kennzeichnung der Juden. Es sei in einem Zusammenhang auch auf den Goebbels-Artikel "Die Juden sind schuld" in einer Ausgabe der Zeitschrift "Das Reich" verwiesen. In diesem Zeitabschnitt, nach dem Kriegsbeginn mit den USA, muss meiner Ueberzeugung nach, der Entscheid Hitlers fallen, der die biologische Vernichtung des europäischen Judentums befahl
67. When Irving uses Eichmann's 1961 testimony to discredit Wisliceny's assertion that Eichmann showed him a written order from Himmler directly implicating Hitler as the decision-maker - and then goes on to dismiss Eichmann's evidence that he was told this orally by Heydrich. Hitler's War (1991 ed.), no. 814 to p. 466.
68. IfZ, Fa 164, D.Wisliceny, Bericht, 18.11.1946: 'Nach Eichmanns eigenen Angaben, die er mir gegenüber machte, hat Globocnig (sic) als erste[r] Gaskammern zur Massenextermination von Menschen angewandt. Globocnig hatte in seinem Kommandobereich grosse Arbeitslager für Juden errichtet, der Nichtarbeitsfähigen entledigte er sich auf die angegebene Weise. Wie Eichmann ausführte, war dieses "Verfahren" des Globocnig "unauffälliger" als die Massenerschiessungen...'
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