Books by David Irving

GOEBBELS by David Irving
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 23, 1996

A ponderous, tedious, and scurrilously misleading biography of a major Nazi leader—by a fellow traveler, if not a card-carrying member, of the movement of Holocaust denial. With access to some 75,000 pages of Goebbels's diaries, which had long been spirited away in Soviet archives, British author Irving (Gîring: A Biography, 1989; Hitler's War, 1977; etc.) had the unprecedented opportunity to gain insight into the mind of Hitler's minister of propaganda. Instead, Irving inundates the reader with the personal foibles (including amorous liaisons and a love for cars) of a rather mediocre intellect and with a blizzard of details that, along some selective omissions, obscure the truth rather than shed light on it. Some of the details insinuate that the Jews brought on themselves such events as Kristallnacht; others seek to rehabilitate Hitler's reputation. Whatever happened to the Jews in WW II (and Irving doesn't state clearly what did happen) was the doing of Goebbels and Hitler's other henchmen. ``Goebbels was the motor, goading his reluctant FÅhrer into ever more radical actions against the Jews.'' And: ``Neither the broad German public nor their FÅhrer shared his [Goebbels's] satanic antisemitism.'' (For a different view of the German people, see a genuinely revisionist piece of history, Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners, p. 195.) Irving lectures for the Institute for Historical Review, a center of Holocaust denial in this country, and has been banned from entering Germany and Canada, among other countries, because of his Holocaust denial. But here Irving is more cunning than to blatantly state that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. He simply says that the death camp was ``the most brutal of all Himmler's slave-labor camps and the one with the highest mortality rate''—glossing over the corpses and the memory of 6,000,000 dead. These twisted interpretations of the leader of the Third Reich and his crimes do not deserve to be called history. (Military History Book Club main selection) Read full book review >
GÖRING by David Irving
Released: March 23, 1989

British historian Irving (The Destruction of Dresden, The Trail of the Fox, Hitler's War, etc.) now undertakes a surprisingly rare—and baldly melodramatic—documentation of Hitler's number-two man, Reichsmarschal Hermann Goring. Despite Iving's access to exhaustive archival material, his penchant for pop-dramatics mars what could have been a definitive work. In his overeagerness to get to the meaty years, the author dispenses with Goring's first 25 years in a mere 20 pages. Afterwards, we are treated to such authorial excesses as a description of Goring responding to a Hitler rampage against the Versailles Treaty: "Goddammit, thought Goring, that's the stuff!" Or, after quoting the bragging of Gestapo chief Diels that he had his finger in many pies, this bonbon: "One of the sweetest pies Diels had his fingers in was an American lady. . .Martha Dodd, the U.S. ambassador's. . .daughter." Even on firmer ground, Irving fares no better. Too often, he portrays Goring as a peaceful man who was forced, out of fear of Hitler, into ruthlessness. And Irving's presumption to "solve" the question of Goring's death (already well-known to be from a cyanide suicide on the day of his appointment with the gallows) is based upon wholly circumstantial evidence (that a Dr. ??flucker brought the pill to him and later planted a suicide note in his dying hands). One of Irving's only genuine coups may be in setting the record straight concerning a mid-1920's trip to Italy made by Goring on behalf of Hitler's fledgling movement: Most biographers have assumed that Goring then met with Mussolini, but Irving fairly conclusively shows this to be untrue, a rumor encouraged mostly by Goring's own braggadocio. Seeded with many juicy quotes from insider conversations, this is a work best suited for those who prefer their history a la network docudrama. Goring remains in search of a more mature and thoughtful treatment. Read full book review >