Historian disputes Hitlers war record

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Sid Guttridge
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Re: Historian disputes Hitlers war record

Postby Sid Guttridge » 10 Nov 2017 13:09

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Felix C
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Re: Historian disputes Hitlers war record

Postby Felix C » 10 Nov 2017 13:28

Sid, Nothing there??

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wbell
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Re: Historian disputes Hitlers war record

Postby wbell » 10 Nov 2017 17:25

michael mills wrote:Felix C, I suggest you read my posts on page 5 of this thread.

They demonstrate that Weber's claim that Hitler falsified the circumstances of his wounding in 1916 is itself mistaken, and based on a falsified translation of Hitler's words in "Mein Kampf".


Michael, thank you for your lucid comments (page five), they're both perceptive and deductive.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Historian disputes Hitlers war record

Postby Sid Guttridge » 11 Nov 2017 13:40

Hi wbell,

You are right in that michael mills' contribution on page five is useful.

However, he lets himself down by raising a suggestion of falsification without providing any evidence at all.

Michael's contributions here on AHF are frequently constructive correctives to received wisdom, but he is prone to overshoot. He would do better to stick more rigidly to the facts rather than impugn the motives of others without evidence. They might just be plain wrong.

Cheers,

Sid.

michael mills
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Re: Historian disputes Hitlers war record

Postby michael mills » 12 Nov 2017 11:29

Weber used a faulty translation of Hitler's account in "Mein Kampf" of his wounding by a shell fragment. Why did he use that faulty translation rather than the more accurate one by Manheim?

It is reasonable to conclude that he did so because that faulty translation fits his essentially negative portrayal of Hitler as someone who substantially falsified his war record in order to make himself out to have been more involved in combat than he actually was. In this case, Weber alleges that Hitler claimed to have been wounded out in no-man's land, ie while involved in combat, and to have been carried back to the German frontline.

If he had bothered to check the German original, or the Manheim translation which faithfully renders that original, he would have seen that Hitler made no such claim, that he simply stated that he was wounded and taken to the rear.

Weber may not be a deliberate falsifier, but he is biased and a sloppy historian, in that he accepts anything that fits his bias without checking to see whether or not it is accurate. Another example is his interpretation of the term "Etappenschwein" used by German soldiers to describe personnel posted at headquarters in the rear of the front. He claims that it was a term used by the men in the frontline of trenches, those who did the actual fighting and were exposed to enemy attack, to express contempt for those in safe positions in the rear, and extrapolates from that the conclusion that the men of the List Regiment who were in the trenches must have despised Hitler who spent most of his time at regimental headquarters.

Weber ignores the fact that the frontline soldiers used the term "Frontschwein" to denote themselves. Obviously they did not feel contempt for themselves, so the term "Schwein" as used to describe all the soldiers at the front, both those in the trenches and those in rear areas did not express contempt, but rather a form of self-pity, to express the misery of their condition, the idea that they were being treated like animals to be slaughtered. There is really no hard evidence that Hitler was despised and rejected by the men of his regiment, although some of them did find him somewhat eccentric.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Historian disputes Hitlers war record

Postby Sid Guttridge » 12 Nov 2017 17:13

Hi Michael,

That puts the "falsifier" matter in better perspective.

I don't remember the "Etappenschwein" usage in quite the same way. I'll have to get it down off the shelf again. I seem to remember that it was used by one of Hitler's comrades, but I'll have to check.

Cheers,

Sid.

Felix C
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Re: Historian disputes Hitlers war record

Postby Felix C » 13 Nov 2017 20:07

Faulty translation? I would think he read German if pouring through regimental records.

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Historian disputes Hitlers war record

Postby Sid Guttridge » 18 Nov 2017 13:32

Hi Michael,

Yup. I can find only one mention of "Ettapenschwein" in the whole text of the book, and this is in a letter to Hitler by a wartime comrade of his that was intended to be frank and supportive. (Whether Hitler would have regarded such frankness as supportive is another matter!)

What Weber does do is use the English translation (Rear Area Swine) in part of a chapter heading.

There can be little doubt that in a one-party state like Nazi Germany, where the entire edifice was so entirely dependent on the good standing of one man, Adolf Hitler, there was a lot of litigation, censorship and self-censorship in the 1920s and 1930s to uphold his reputation. Weber's book does a good revisionist job in cutting through this mass of self-serving self-promotion to reveal a far more nuanced Hitler than his own PR projected.

The only people who need by upset by this book are those who still attribute immaculate, semi-godlike status to the all too human-scale Fuhrer.

Cheers,

Sid.


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