A review about the preventive war
http://www.thirdreichforum.com/phpBB2/v ... ce48#85332
michael mills wrote:Those of you who have read the transcript of the Irving-Lipstadt court action will know that one of the distortions of history of which Irving was accused by Professor Evans was that he had conflated statements that had occurred on two separate days during the Hitler-Horthy interviews in 1943. It was claimed that Irving had thereby seriously misrepresented the meaning of those statements in order to give an impression that was not not true, and thereby committed a falsification of history.
Richard Evans wrote:[…]ii) The meeting between Hitler and Horthy on 16 and 17 April 1943.
1. The meeting between Hitler and Horthy on 16 and 17 April 1943 has generally been regarded by historians as one of the few occasions on which Hitler openly admitted the extermination of the Jews in Poland. The minutes of the meeting were taken by Dr. Paul Otto Schmidt, who confirmed them and added his own recollections at the Nuremberg trials. There is no doubt about their authenticity. The minutes for the meeting on 17 April 1943 record a statement by Ribbentrop, in Hitler's presence, to a point made by Horthy:
On Horthy's retort, what should he do with the Jews then, after he had pretty well taken all means of living from them - he surely couldn't beat them to death - The Reich Foreign Minister replied that the Jews must either be annihilated or taken to concentration camps. There was no other way.
2. This blunt statement by Ribbentrop contributed to the conclusion of the judges at the Nuremberg trials in October 1946, that Ribbentrop had played an important part in the 'final solution' and was guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
3. On 17 April 1943, Hitler almost immediately confirmed Ribbentrop's explicitly murderous statement at some length:
Where the Jews were left to themselves, as for example in Poland, gruesome poverty and degeneracy had ruled. They were just pure parasites. One had fundamentally cleared up this state of affairs in Poland. If the Jews there didn't want to work, they were shot. If they couldn't work, they had to perish. They had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, from which a healthy body could be infected. That was not cruel, if one remembered that even innocent natural creatures like hares and deer had to be killed so that no harm was caused. Why should one spare the beasts who wanted to bring us Bolshevism more? Nations who did not rid themselves of Jews perished.
4. Despite this open language, Horthy was clearly not convinced about the need to murder large numbers of Jews, much to Hitler's annoyance.
(iii) Irving's account of the meeting between Hitler and Horthy: Bending reliable sources to fit preconceived ideas, invention and fabrication
(A) Hiding key statements in footnotes
1. In the 1977 edition of Hitler's War, Irving starts off by hiding away in a footnote Ribbentrop's statement that all Jews had to be either 'annihilated or taken to concentration camps'. Irving resorts to the same tactic in his 1991 edition of Hitler's War. One might think, of course, that putting this statement in a footnote is no great crime against honest scholarship in itself - after all, it is still there in the book for everyone to read. But everyone, of course, does not read footnotes, and placing it there allows Irving to marginalise it almost out of existence.
(B) Citing other documents to discredit the minutes of the meeting.
(C) Invention, fabrication and falsification: placing Hitler's remarks at the meeting with Horthy on 17 April 1943 into a false context, in order to bend a reliable source.
1. As has been described above, Ribbentrop's comments to Horthy at the meeting on 17 April 1943 were almost immediately followed by a murderously antisemitic outburst on the part of Hitler. However, by removing Ribbentrop's preceding remark to a footnote, Irving places Hitler's subsequent statement addressed to Horthy on 17 April 1943 in an entirely different context:
Events in Poland were pointed to as providing an ugly precedent: there were reports of Jews roaming the country, committing acts of murder and sabotage... In Warsaw, the fifty thousand Jews surviving in the ghetto were on the point of staging an armed uprising - with weapons and ammunition evidently sold to them by Hitler's fleeing allies as they passed westward through the city. Himmler ordered the ghetto destroyed and its ruins combed out for Jews. "This is just the kind of incident that shows how dangerous these Jews are".
Poland should have been an object lesson to Horthy, Hitler argued. He related how Jews who refused to work there were shot; those who could not work just wasted away. Jews must be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, he said, using his favourite analogy. Was that so cruel when one considered that even innocent creatures like hares and deer had to be put down to prevent their doing damage? Why preserve a bestial species whose ambition was to inflict bolshevism on us all? Horthy apologetically noted that he had done all he decently could against the Jews: "But they can hardly be murdered or otherwise eliminated", he protested. Hitler reassured him: "There is no need for that."
2. Thus, Irving implies, Jews were violent and disruptive in Eastern Europe and posed a threat. They had to be dealt with and 'combed out' like lice. But despite all this, Hitler did not want them killed.
3. This is pure invention on Irving's part. Whoever said "This is just the kind of incident that shows how dangerous these Jews are", Adolf Hitler certainly did not say it to Admiral Horthy at their meeting on 16-17 April 1943. Hitler did not mention the Warsaw ghetto uprising at all, which is not surprising, since it did not even begin until two days later. Nor did the uprising involve 50,000 armed Jews, as Irving implies, but at most a few thousand of them. Nor did Hitler mention Jewish partisan activity or Jewish violence, but simply poverty and degeneracy, something quite different. Irving also waters down the expression used by Hitler to describe the fate of those Polish Jews who could not work - verkommen - by translating it as 'wasted away', as if they had no assistance towards this fate by Nazi authorities who deliberately starved them of food.
4. Most seriously of all, however, the exchange reported at the end of Irving's account, beginning 'Horthy apologetically noted', did not occur on 17 April, as Irving clearly portrays by placing it immediately after his summary of Hitler's speech, but on the previous day, and in another context, namely during the first of the two men's meetings. On 16 April, namely, Horthy stated: 'He had done everything which one could decently undertake against the Jews, but one could surely not murder them or kill them in some other way. The Führer replied that this was also not necessary. Hungary could accommodate the Jews in concentration camps just like Slovakia did.' At this point in the meeting, Hitler and Ribbentrop were not being as open as they became on 17th. It was because he was not satisfied with Hitler's response, and was aware that he had still not satisfied the Nazi leaders with his, that Horthy repeated his question on 17th ('he surely couldn't beat them to death'), eliciting this time far more explicit statements of what they expected him to do, both from Ribbentrop and from Hitler, namely that they were to be put in camps if they could work, and killed if they could not.
5. One might add here that the majority of the Slovakian Jews were by no means 'only' put into concentration camps, as Hitler claimed on 16 April 1943. In fact, they were killed. According to SS statistics, 57,545 Slovakian Jews had been transported to Nazi-occupied Polish territory between 26 March 1942 and 31 March 1943 (only about 25,000 Jews were still left behind in Slovakia). The transports went to Auschwitz, Sobibor and Lublin. At the end of the war, only 284 survivors of these transports could be registered. The rest were dead.
6. What Irving does, therefore, is to bend this reliable source to suit his argument, misprepresenting the historical data and skewing the documents on which he relies, by placing quotations in a false context, removing part of the record to a footnote, and mixing up two different conversations in the text so that it looks as if Hitler is telling Horthy that the Jews should not be killed, only interned in camps. Irving increases the force of Hitler's statement by putting it into direct speech instead of the indirect, reported speech in which it appears in the original minutes.
7. In fact, the real sequence of statements on 17 April is perfectly clear: Horthy, unclear as to why the Nazi leaders were still putting pressure on him after all the measures he had already taken against the Hungarian Jews, repeated his question to Hitler and Ribbentrop: surely you can't want me to kill them? Ribbentrop replied yes, that is exactly what they wanted, kill them or put them in camps, and Hitler immediately followed by saying he should do as had been done in Poland, namely shoot those who refused to work in the camps, and ensure that those who were unable to work perished. Just to make it absolutely clear, Hitler used the analogy of a healthy human body ridding itself of tuberculosis bacilli. His meaning could hardly have been clearer.[…]
Source of quote:
http://www.holocaustdenialontrial.com/e ... ans004.asp
Emphases are mine.
Was this what you were referring to, Mills ?