Monday, November 20, 2017

David Irving on Mein Kampf, Hitler's Second Book & Table Talk

The Independent, January 15, 2009
More info on this quote can be found here,
herehere, here, herehere and here.
David Irving on Mein Kampf, Hitler's Second Book & Table Talk

I have read quite a bit about all three of these on this forum and their seems to be some confusion as to which is the "best", the "validity" of them and which is more likely to be written wholeheartedly by Hitler himself, or at least in his own words.

I do not offer my own opinion although I have read all three numerous times but I will direct you to the words by the worlds leading historian on the Third Reich, David Irving. I think this gives the leading historian on the Third Reich's views on Mein Kampf, Hitler's Second Book and Hitler's Table Talk. I hope this was helpful to you.

Hitler's Second Book: (Hitlers Zweites Buch) The Unpublished Sequel to Mein Kampf

Did Hitler really write a Second Book?

David Irving replies:

YES, the book is perfectly genuine; published also by the Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Munich, the historical institute; in my view it is far more reliable than Mein Kampf, having been written by Hitler in his own hand.
You haven't read Mein Kampf?

David Irving replies:

I have dipped into Mein Kampf but never read it: it was written only partly by Hitler, and that is the problem. More important are Hitlers Zweites Buch, (1928) which he wrote in his own hand; and Hitler's Table Talk, daily memoranda which first Heinrich Heim (Martin Bormann's adjutant, whom I interviewed) and then Henry Picker wrote down at his table side, and the similar table talks recorded by Werner Koeppen (which I was the first to exploit, in Hitler's War). Totally worthless as a source is the book Conversations with Hitler by a former Danzig Senator, Hermann Rauschning; he as an anti-Nazi, and met Hitler only once, as internal NS inquiries established, at a formal cocktail party. It was wartime propaganda, published by the same firm who published Fritz Thyssen's bogus memoirs I Paid Hitler.
The role of Mein Kampf...

David Irving replies:

Mein Kampf: The Stalag Edition—The Only Complete and Officially Authorised English Translation Ever Issued. See here.

Someone asked whether or not this edition was better than the Manheim or Murphy translations. Regarding this, the Official David Irving facebook group responded that:

This English translation was produced by the Reichs Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and it was circulated at PoW camps in an attempt to convert Allied prisoners. I have a original first edition, which came from that Ministry in Berlin (see pics). Only 3 have turned up since the end of ww2. As for a good English translation it is not the best grammar wise,but if you want the "only" authorised NSDAP Emglish translation,then this is it.And no im not selling (MM ADMIN)

Readers may also be interested in a new 2017 academic revisionist translation of Mein Kampf by Dr. Thomas Dalton, Ph.D. This is discussed here.

How good is Hitler's Table Talk?

David Irving replies:

Hitler's Table Talk is the product of his lunch- and supper-time conversations in his private circle from 1941 to 1944. The transcripts are genuine. (Ignore the 1945 "transcripts" published by Trevor-Roper in the 1950s as Hitler's Last Testament -- they are fake).

The table talk notes were originally taken by Heinrich Heim, the adjutant of Martin Bormann, who attended these meals at an adjacent table and took notes. (Later Henry Picker took over the job). Afterwards Heim immediately typed up these records, which Bormann signed as accurate.

François Genoud purchased the files of transcripts from Bormann's widow just after the war, along with the handwritten letters which she and the Reichsleiter had exchanged.

For forty thousand pounds -- paid half to Genoud and half to Hitler's sister Paula -- George Weidenfeld, an Austrian Jewish publisher who had emigrated to London, bought the rights and issued an English translation in about 1949.

For forty years or more no German original was published, as Genoud told me that he feared losing the copyright control that he exercised on them. I have seen the original pages, and they are signed by Bormann.

They were expertly, and literately, translated by Norman Cameron and R.H. Stevens, though with a few (a very few) odd interpolations of short sentences which don't exist in the original -- the translator evidently felt justified in such insertions, to make the context plain.

Translation is a difficult chore: I have translated four books, including Nikki Lauda's memoirs -- one can either produce a clinical, wooden, illiterate version, like Richard "Skunky" Evans' courtroom translations of Third Reich documents, or one can produce a readable, publishable text which properly conveys the sense and language of the original.

Try translating for publication the Joseph Goebbels diaries -- written often in a Berlinese vernacular -- without running into trouble with the courts! Louis Lochner succeeded in my view magnificently.

Table Talk, Oct 25, 1941

Weidenfeld's translator also took liberties with translating words like Schrecken, (see facsimile above), which he translated as "rumour" in the sense of "scare-story". In my own view such translations are acceptable, but they caused a lot of difficulty at the Lipstadt Trial where I found myself accused of manipulating texts and distorting translations (because although I relied on the Weidenfeld translation, I had had access to the original document, and should have known that the actual word was Schrecken).

The Table Talks' content is more important in my view than Hitler's Mein Kampf, and possibly even more than his Zweites Buch (1928). It is unadulterated Hitler. He expatiates on virtually every subject under the sun, while his generals and private staff sit patiently and listen, or pretend to listen, to the monologues.

Along with Sir Nevile Henderson's gripping 1940 book Failure of a Mission, this was one of the first books that I read, as a twelve year old: Table Talk makes for excellent bedtime reading, as each "meal" occupies only two or three pages of print. My original copy, purloined from my twin brother Nicholas, was seized along with the rest of my research library in May 2002.

I have since managed to find a replacement, and I am glad to say that -- notwithstanding the perverse judgment of Mr. Justice Gray -- Hitler's Table Talk has recently come back into print, unchanged: Schrecken and all.
How Reliable is Henry Picker?

David Irving comments:

HENRY Picker took over the duties of writing the notes on Hitlers conversations from Heinrich Heim, Martin Bormann's adjutant, in 1942. I interviewed Heim in the 1960s. He told me that Picker had found a sheaf of his notes in the desk when he took over, and after the war rewrote them in the third person and published them as his own work. Picker, a wealthy landowner after the war, established a priate Hitler museum stuffed with priceless Hitleriana, for example he purchased all of Julius Schaub's personal effects.

Far more significant than Picker's are the original Heim Aufzeichnungen, of which one (October 25, 1941) is illustrated here. Heim ("H/") wrote them in the first person, in direct speech, and Bormann personally signed each day's notes as accurate. The several ring binders of the notes were purchased from the Bormann family, along with Bormann's own correspondence with his wife, by Swiss banker François Genoud after the war.

Austrian-born publisher George Weidenfeld published an English translation as Hitler's Table Talk, with an introduction by Hugh Trevor-Roper -- the book is still in my view one of the best windows into the mind of Hitler himself. Weidenfeld had purchased rights from Genoud (as the latter told me) for forty thousand pounds. Genoud insisted that half the payment be made direct to Hitler's sister Paula! Weidenfeld choked, but did as he was bidden (Weidenfeld later denied this story). Genoud allowed me privileged access to the original German documents for Hitler's War. Other scholars like Martin Broszat and Charles Syndour were unfamiliar with the German texts, and jealously accused me of misquoting when I produced my own translations of the notes, but that is another story. Finally, the table-talk notes written by Dr Werner Koeppen (Rosenberg's adjutant) should not be overlooked. I donated a transcript to the Institut für Zeitgeschichte many years ago.

This has now been debated on Inconvenient History website in the article, Genoud, Heim & Picker’s “Table Talk”: A Study in Academic Fraud & Scandal.

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