Rauschning's Phony 'Conversations With Hitler':
An Update
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mark Weber

One of the most widely quoted sources of information about Hitler's personality and secret intentions is the supposed memoir of Hermann Rauschning, the National Socialist President of the Danzig Senate in 1933-1934 who was ousted from the Hitler movement a short time later and then made a new life for himself as a professional anti-Nazi.

In the book known in German as Conversations with Hitler (Gespraeche mit Hitler) and first published in the U.S. in 1940 as The Voice of Destruction, Rauschning presents page after page of what are purported to be Hitler's most intimate views and plans for the future, allegedly based on dozens of private conversations between 1932 and 1934. After the war the memoir was introduced as Allied prosecution exhibit USSR-378 at the main Nuremberg "war crimes" trial.

Among the damning quotations attributed to Hitler by Rauschning are these memorable statements:

We must be brutal. We must regain a clear conscience about brutality. Only then can we drive out the tenderness from our people ... Do I propose to exterminate entire nationalities? Yes, it will add up to that ... I naturally have the right to destroy millions of men of inferior races who increase like vermin ... Yes, we are barbarians. We want to be barbarians. It is an honorable title.

Hitler is also supposed to have confided to Rauschning, an almost unknown provincial official, fantastic plans for a German world empire that would include Africa, South America, Mexico and, eventually, the United States.

Many prestigious historians, inculding Leon Poliakov, Gerhard Weinberg, Alan Bullock, Joachim Fest, Nora Levin and Robert Payne, used choice quotations from Rauschning's memoir in their works of history. Poliakov, one of the most prominent Holocaust writers, specifically praised Rauschning for his "exceptional accuracy, while Levin, another widely-read Holocaust historian, called him "one of the most penetrating analysts of the Nazi period."

But not everyone has been so credulous. Swiss historian Wolfgang Haenel spent five years diligently investigating the memoir before announcing his findings in 1983 at a revisionist history conference in West Germany. The renowned Conversations with Hitler, he declared are a total fraud. The book has no value "except as a document of Allied war propaganda."

Haenel was able to conclusively establish that Rausching's claim to have met with Hitler "more than a hundred times is a lie. The two actually met only four times, and never alone. The words attributed to Hitler, he showed, were simply invented or lifted from many different sources, including writings by Juenger and Friedrich Nietzsche. An account of Hitler hearing voices, waking at night with convulsive shrieks and pointing in terror at an empty corner while shouting "There, there, in the corner!" was taken from a short story by French writer Guy de Maupassant.

The phony memoir was designed to incite public opinion in democratic countries, especially in the United States, in favor of war against Germany. The project was the brainchild of the Hungarian-born journalist Emery Reves, who ran an influential anti-German press and propaganda agency in Paris during the 1930s. Haenel has also found evidence that a prominent British journalist named Henry Wickham-Steele helped to produce the memoir. Wickham-Steele was a right-hand man of Sir Robert Vansittart, perhaps the most vehemently anti-German figure in Britain.

A report about Haenel's sensational findings appeared in the Fall 1983 issue of The Journal of Historical Review. More recently, West Germany's most influential weekly periodicals, Die Zeit, and Der Spiegel (7 September 1985), have run lengthy articles about historical hoax. Der Spiegel concluded that Rauschning's Conversations with Hitler "are a falsification, an historical distortion from the first to the last page ... Haenel not only proves the falsification, he also shows how the impressive surrogate was quickly compiled and which ingredients were mixed together."

There are some valuable lessons to be learned from the story of this sordid hoax, which took more than 40 years to finally unmask: It shows that even the most brazen historical fraud can have a tremendous impact if it serves important interests, that it's easier to invent a great historical lie than to expose one and finally, that everyone should be extremely wary of even the "authoritative" portrayals of the emotionally-charged Hitler era.

A footnote: Readers interested in an authentic record of Hitler's personality and private views should look into the fascinating and wide-ranging memoir of Otto Wagener, published in August 1985 by Yale University Press under the title Hitler: Memoirs of a Confidant. Wagener was the first Chief of Staff of the SA ("stormtroopers") and Director of the Economic-Political Department of the National Socialist Party. He spent hundreds of hours with Hitler between 1929 and 1932, many of them alone.

Reproduced From:  The Journal for Historical Review (http://www.ihr.org)

 

Irving, Weber Speak on Hitler’s Place In History
April 2005

News from the Institute for Historical Review

British historian David Irving and IHR director Mark Weber tackled the emotion-laden topic of Hitler’s place in history at an IHR meeting on Sunday evening, April 17, 2005. Some 70 men and women packed a hotel meeting room in Orange County, southern California, for the standing-room-only event.

Click here to purchase CDs or tapes of this memorable event!

Weber, who has written extensively on twentieth-century European history, and is a court-recognized expert on Germany’s wartime “Final Solution” policy, spoke first. He began his 45-minute address, entitled “Is an Objective View of Hitler Possible?,” by mentioning John F. Kennedy’s visit to defeated and war-ravaged Germany in the summer of 1945.

After a stop at Hitler’s mountain retreat in the Bavarian alps, the 28-year-old Kennedy wrote in his diary that the German leader “had in him the stuff of which legends are made,” and predicted that “within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived.”

Kennedy was both right and wrong, said Weber. While hatred against Hitler has endured for much more than “a few years,” he was indeed a personality of legendary stature. Worldwide fascination with Hitler shows no sign of diminishing, said Weber, who noted the seemingly endless stream of books, articles, television broadcasts and motion pictures devoted to this extraordinary man.

In 1977, Weber went on, Patrick Buchanan wrote a column about Hitler based on John Toland’s biography, Adolf Hitler. Although Buchanan condemned Hitler, he did note that the German leader had been a courageous soldier during the First World War, and was a skilled political organizer and a powerful public speaker. Ever since, Buchanan has been harshly criticized by Jewish groups for “praising” Hitler. In our society, Weber stressed, even factually true statements about Hitler — such as those made by Buchanan — bring swift and harsh condemnation.

A balanced or objective portrayal of Hitler is nearly impossible. In today’s America, the portrayal of Hitler and his regime is grotesquely unbalanced, not only in the mass media, but even in supposedly authoritative history books and reference works. For example, he noted, American dictionaries routinely refer to Hitler as a “Nazi dictator,” while describing Stalin merely as a Soviet “political leader” or “premier.” While it is certainly true that Hitler wielded dictatorial power, said Weber, especially during the war years, the “dictator” epithet suggests that he ruled without popular support.

Nearly four years after Hitler had come to power, David Lloyd George — Britain’s prime minister during World War I — made an extensive tour of Germany. In an article published in a leading London newspaper in late 1936, the British statesman recounted what he had seen and experienced. His description, said Weber, is difficult to reconcile with the image to which most Americans are accustomed.

“Whatever one may think of his [Hitler’s] methods,” wrote Lloyd George, “and they are certainly not those of a parliamentary country, there can be no doubt that he has achieved a marvelous transformation in the spirit of the people, in their attitude towards each other, and in their social and economic outlook.

“He rightly claimed at Nuremberg that in four years his movement had made a new Germany. It is not the Germany of the first decade that followed the war — broken, dejected and bowed down with a sense of apprehension and impotence. It is now full of hope and confidence, and of a renewed sense of determination to lead its own life without interference from any influence outside its own frontiers.

“There is for the first time since the war a general sense of security. The people are more cheerful. There is a greater sense of general gaiety of spirit throughout the land. It is a happier Germany. I saw it everywhere, and Englishmen I met during my trip and who knew Germany well were very impressed with the change.

“One man has accomplished this miracle. He is a born leader of men. A magnetic and dynamic personality with a single-minded purpose, a resolute will and a dauntless heart. He is not merely in name but in fact the national Leader. He has made them safe against potential enemies by whom they were surrounded. He is also securing them against the constant dread of starvation which is one of the most poignant memories of the last years of the [First World] War and the first years of the Peace.

“As to his popularity, especially among the youth of Germany, there can be no manner of doubt. The old trust him; the young idolise him. It is not the admiration accorded to a popular leader. It is the worship of a national hero who has saved his country from utter despondence and degradation. To those who have actually seen and sensed the way Hitler reigns over the heart and mind of Germany, this description may appear extravagant. All the same it is the bare truth.”

In today’s America, said Weber, outright lies about Hitler and Third Reich Germany are widespread and unchallenged. One of the most often repeated of these is that Hitler tried to “conquer the world.” In fact, said Weber, Hitler put great effort into cultivating friendship with other countries, above all with Britain. At the same time that he was earnestly striving to avoid clashes with the United States, President Roosevelt was doing everything in his power to push the US into war against Germany, including broadcasting fantastic lies about Hitler and his supposed ambition to take over the world. Weber cited President Roosevelt’s radio address of October 27, 1941, in which he claimed that Hitler threatened the nominally neutral United States, was plotting to take over all of South America, and was determined to abolish all existing world religions, including Christianity, and replace them with “an international Nazi church.”

To support their distorted portrayals of Hitler and the Third Reich, prominent historians rely upon and cite fraudulent source materials. A good example, said Weber, is the supposed memoir of Hermann Rauschning, an official in the German city-state of Danzig who broke with the National Socialist movement in 1934-35, and then moved to France and later to the United States. In his book, published in the US under the title The Voice of Destruction, he presents page after page of what are purported to be Hitler's most intimate views and secret plans for the future, allegedly based on many private conversations between 1932 and 1934.

In fact, Weber said, Rauschning never had even a single private talk with Hitler. All the same, lurid but fake quotes attributed to him by Rauschning have found their way into numerous history books.

Weber held up copies of a few of the many books that rely on Rauschning’s fraudulent “revelations,” including The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, by William L. Shirer, Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, by Alan Bullock, and Hitler, by Joachim Fest.

While it’s true that winners write history, that alone does not entirely explain why Hitler and the Third Reich continue to be portrayed in such a distorted and prejudiced way in our society. This widespread and enduring bias with regard to Hitler and his regime, concluded Weber, is a reflection of the Jewish-Zionist grip on American cultural and political life.

Irving on 'Faking’ History

Weber introduced David Irving by noting that even his adversaries concede that his knowledge of Hitler and wartime Germany is unrivaled. The British historian is the author of numerous books on this era, many of them best-sellers, including his monumental work, Hitler’s War. Before and after his 45-minute address, entitled “The Faking of Adolf Hitler for History,” Irving autographed copies of his books.

Among the many fraudulent historical documents that have been cited over the years by “conformist” historians of the Third Reich era, Irving said, have been the fake wartime diaries of Gerhard Engel, Hitler’s army adjutant, and of Felix Kersten, masseur and confidant of Himmler. Similarly unreliable is the diary of Mussolini’s foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano, which American officials doctored after the war. Completely fake are Hitler’s supposed “table talk” remarks from February and April 1945. Irving related that the Swiss lawyer Francois Genoud, now dead, admitted privately that he had fabricated them.

Irving related that many valuable documents and research materials seized during the course of his drawn-out legal battle with Jewish academic Deborah Lipstadt have been destroyed or “lost.”

He spoke contemptuously of the “historian incest” of his establishment rivals, many of whom write new books about Hitler based on earlier and equally derivative works by others who share similar prejudices. Irving, by contrast, is known for his reliance on original documents dug out of major archives, as well as diaries and letters obtained through great effort from private individuals.

 

 

Review

Hitler as 'Enlightenment Intellectual':
The Enduring Allure of Hitlerism

 

  • Hitler as Philosophe: Remnants of the Enlightenment in National Socialism, by Lawrence Birken. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1995. Hardcover. 120 pages. Reference notes. Bibliography. Index. $45.00. 
Reviewed by Mark Weber

A specter is haunting the world -- the specter of Hitlerism. That, in short, is the stern warning of this provocative book, written by an Assistant Professor of History at Ball State University (Indiana), and published by Praeger, a leading US academic publisher.

In spite of decades of vehement vilification, says author Lawrence Birken, Hitler's views have enduring and dangerous appeal -- not because they are bizarre and alien, but precisely because they are rational and well grounded in Western thought. In particular, Birken stresses, Hitlerism is firmly rooted in the rationalist and scientific outlook of the 18th-century European Enlightenment. This is not meant as a compliment, however; the author is hostile to the West and its traditions. Rejecting the American and Western historical legacy, Prof. Birken openly calls for a new, racially homogenized America.

For more than half a century, Hitler and his views have been ceaselessly demonized in motion pictures, on television and in the print media. And yet, according to Birken, the appeal of Hitlerism remains so potent that it threatens the ideal of a racially "redefined" America of "higher unity." As traditional standards and long-established cultural, racial and religious values come under ever greater attack, and as this country's racial and cultural crisis becomes ever more acute, Birken fears that those who are unwilling to accept the "redefined" society that is developing in America and Europe will turn in ever greater numbers to Hitler's alternative vision of society. Hitlerism, Birken says, will loom ever larger as a dangerously seductive "siren song."

The author has no doubt made a sincere effort to provide an informed and objective look at Hitler and his views. But even if we overlook the numerous misspellings of proper names and titles, and the often polemical prose style, this is a badly flawed work. Birken's understanding of what Hitler really thought and believed is both limited and skewed.

This is due in large part to the author's exclusive reliance on English translations of Hitler's writings and speeches (apparently he cannot read German), and a naive trust in unreliable secondary studies. These include Robert Waite's The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler (1977), a sensationalistic psychodramatization, and Hermann Rauschning's Revolution of Nihilism (1939), a thoroughly discredited diatribe. (See "Rauschning's Phony 'Conversations With Hitler': An Update," Winter 1985 Journal, pp. 499-500.)

Birken also quotes repeatedly from The Testament of Adolf Hitler: The Hitler-Bormann Documents, supposedly a transcript of "table talk" remarks made by Hitler in February and April 1945. These "documents" are fake, says British historian David Irving, who reports that the late Swiss banker François Genoud admitted to him that he was the author.

'A Genuine Intellectual'

Reflecting the ideological perspective that prevails in the Western world today, scholars of Hitler and Third Reich Germany have tended to dismiss the German leader's intellectual outlook as simplistic and crude -- or even crazy. Many play down or simply deny Hitler's place in Western culture "as a means of sanitizing that culture," says Birken. "But if we are to read Hitler neither to condemn nor to praise but merely to understand, then we come away with a very different conclusion about his place in European history."

Scholars and others have made a major mistake in failing to take Hitler seriously as a thinker, argues Birken, who believes that the German political leader "must be regarded as a genuine intellectual" on a par with Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Birken's assessment is not as startling as many might believe. As he notes, as early as 1953, British historian Hugh R. Trevor-Roper "evoked the image of Hitler as a kind of synthesis of Spengler and Napoleon, noting that of all world conquerors the German leader had been the most 'philosophical'..." More recently, German historian Rainer Zitelmann established in a study of impressive scholarship that Hitler's outlook was rational, self-consistent and "modern." (R. Zitelmann, Hitler: Selbtsverständnis eines Revolutionärs [second edition, 1989].)

Moreover, Hitler's outlook was very much a part of the Western intellectual tradition. In his "combination of an almost religious faith with a revolutionary secularism," writes Birken, "Hitler represented the continuation of an essentially Enlightenment style of thought... Nazism, and especially Hitler's exposition of it, represented an attenuated and popularized form of the Enlightenment style of thought."

Hitler had a gift for presenting his message in an attractive, accessible form. Writes Birken:

The most attractive feature of Hitler's ideology was thus its optimism. It was not merely his mood but his message that carried an infectious excitement. He was a secular messiah proclaiming a Germanic version of the "good news." The possibility of class reconciliation, the plans for a national revival, the identification of a universal enemy whose elimination would usher in the millennium, all stirred his audiences to the very depths. Hitler spoke the language of the [Enlightenment] philosophes, a language that had almost passed out of existence in the rarefied strata of the grand intelligentsia.

However, placing Hitler and Hitlerism in the intellectual tradition of the West, Birken continues, "should do less to raise our opinion" of Hitlerism, than to "lower our opinion" of "the intellectual history of the West."

Economic Views

Hitler's economic worldview, writes Birken, was likewise rational, self-consistent, progressive, and entirely in keeping with Western tradition. "Hitler's economic ideas were also permeated by Enlightenment notions of progress," and were "closer to Ricardo and Marx than to Machiavelli or Keynes." Birken adds:

...A careful reading of his speeches and writings suggests that he was neither a mercantilist nor a Keynesian, neither a medievalist nor a marginalist. Rather... his economic ideas fit all too well into the classical-physiocratic style of thought.

Hitler believed that social and national considerations, not economic ones, should be paramount in society. The economic and political system must serve the nation, not the other way around. Thus, Birken points out, while "political economy played an important role in his thinking," Hitler

did not restore the primacy of the state after all but, quite the contrary, subordinated the state itself to a dynamic of aggressive technological and cultural expansion. In doing this, Hitler also asserted himself against the last remnants of aristocratic civility at the same time that he opposed the emerging relativism of consumer culture.

As Birken explains, Hitler believed that "all growth could be traced to individual effort -- but only at the service of the common good. He thus tempered what might be taken as a 'libertarian' definition of inventiveness with a somber collectivism." Believing that socially useful creativity was "the product of individual geniuses of high personality value," Hitler supported equal social opportunity for all, and opposed legal and social barriers to individual economic achievement and success. Governmental and social policies, he believed, should encourage merit-based social mobility.

Hitler was critical of both capitalism and Marxism -- the first because it was "insufficiently democratic," and the latter because it was "too democratic" or "leveling." While supporting economic growth across national boundaries, "Hitler also took what he considered to be a conservative stand against the coming hyper-commercialism of an emerging global economy."

Views on Race and Religion

Although he is endlessly castigated as "the most notorious racist of the twentieth century," Hitler's racial views were actually quite in harmony with mainstream 19th- and early 20th-century European thinking. "It should be obvious," writes Birken, "that Hitler possessed a 'classical' theory of race which dovetailed nicely with his classical notions of political economy."

Far from being aberrant or bizarre, his views on race were consistent with those of most prominent Westerners in the decades before the Second World War. And while Birken does not specifically mention it, Hitler's racial views were comparable to those of Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Winston Churchill.

Contrary to popular belief, Hitler never supported notions of breeding a homogenous blond "hyper-Aryan" race. Accepting the reality that the German population consisted of several distinct sub-racial groups, he stressed the German people's national and social unity. A certain degree of racial variety was desirable, he thought, and too much racial blending or homogeneity could be harmful because it would homogenize and thus eliminate superior as well as inferior genetic traits.

Hitler believed that "both conservative prudery and radical eroticism" harmed society, and he opposed birth control because it tended to lower the genetic quality of the society that practices it.

While he was critical of Christianity, Hitler was no atheist. "The religion of Hitlerism was thus essentially a kind of deism," concludes Birken. Like Thomas Jefferson and other prominent early American leaders, Hitler equated God with "the dominion of natural laws throughout the whole universe." Thus, "for Hitler, national socialism was natural socialism."

Attitude Toward Jews

It is "of course, a great mistake to see anti-Semitism as a rejection of Enlightenment values," writes Birken. "On the contrary, the Enlightenment simply secularized rather than destroyed traditional Judeophobia." (No Western thinker was more outspokenly anti-Jewish than Voltaire, the great French philosophe, who regarded the Jews as "enemies of mankind.") The Enlightenment concept of social "fraternity," Birken writes, demands social solidarity, which implies that Jews, as an alien and self-absorbed people, cannot fit in.

Hitler's hostile attitude toward Jews, Birken writes, was neither irrational nor aberrant. He saw "Jews as the personification of a great lie": that is, while they pretended to be merely a religious community, in fact they constituted a self-selected national-ethnic group with international ambitions. Because he regarded the Jews as the enemies of all peoples, Hitler held that combatting Jewish power and influence should be the common duty of all nations -- a view that Birken calls an expression of "Germanic universalism."

The United States

Hitler's attitude toward the United States was mixed. He saw much to admire in 18th- and 19th-century America, and as Birken notes, he praised this country's pre-1940s pro-White racial policies, its restrictions on non-White immigration, and its pioneering adoption of eugenics measures.

But Hitler also saw ominous trends during the 1920s and 1930s. Echoing the views of American industrialist Henry Ford, he was dismayed by the spectacular growth of Jewish power and cultural influence, and regarded Franklin Roosevelt's "New Deal" administration as a virtual revolution in American life, through which Jews largely usurped the country's traditional ruling class.

A Persistent Allure

The defeat of Germany in 1945, Birken rightly notes, "clearly marked a watershed" in world history, and especially for the West:

In a real sense, Hitler's defeat implicitly became the defeat of the European nation-state and the Enlightenment values that underpinned it. Germany's heirs, the United States and the Soviet Union, were both fundamentally transnational, multiracial empires whose territories were seemingly unlimited.

As a result, for half a century we have been living in what Birken calls a "consumer capitalist" world in which "the hierarchical order of sex and race which had originally sustained bourgeois nationalism has been disintegrating" and in which "the increasing relativization of values is encouraged by the ever greater globalization of the economy and consequent emergence of a multinational business elite."

This new world order is less durable than it might appear, says Birken. The recent collapse of the multi-ethnic, multi-racial Soviet Union, he warns, portends similar problems for the American empire. Even a mere contraction of the economy could threaten "to dissolve the United States into several races." In Birken's view, racial nationalism threatens "the continued existence of the United States." He warns:

What Hitler said in the thirties is thus what our racial nationalists are saying today: namely, that a genuinely inclusive multiracial nation violates the natural order of things. The United States must either be a white-dominated state or a collection of breakaway republics made up of this or that group.

In short: if Hitler was right, America is an increasingly unnatural and artificial construct that does not deserve to survive, and will not survive.

Birken fears that Hitlerism will become ever more attractive to those who reject today's supra-national "consumer capitalism," and who resist the rapidly emerging "genuinely inclusive multiracial" order. This alternative vision has appeal beyond America and Europe, Birken believes. As he notes, Hitler's fight against the British empire -- a war he actually never sought nor wanted -- "won him [Hitler] the admiration of colonial peoples from Ireland to India ..."

A New 'Cosmic' Nation

Birken concludes his book with a fervent call for "the gradual formation of an American race as a higher synthesis. Then the Americans will truly constitute a universal or 'cosmic' people." In Birken's view, the "race myth" and Hitlerism "will continue to tempt us" unless Americans "can be given a genuine metaphysical foundation." This "metaphysical foundation" must be to "uncreate race" through massive racial mixing. Therefore, Birken writes, "we should not be afraid of that dirty little word, 'miscegenation'." (Consistent with this vision, President Bill Clinton, in his much-discussed June 14, 1997, speech in San Diego on race relations, openly proclaimed the goal of making America "the world's first truly multiracial democracy.")

Given the reluctance of many Americans, particularly conservative Whites, to warmly embrace this new "universal" nation, Birken says "we must have an education system that is able to instill this redefinition of American culture."

"Before we try uniting the world," Birken concludes, "let us try uniting ourselves. Until we do so, the siren song of Hitlerism will call to us."

Stark Alternatives

To anyone who views the past with an open mind, history demonstrates the utterly fantastic nature of the goal laid out by Prof. Birken (and President Clinton) -- a vision no less utopian than Marxian Communism. In any case, to meld the American population into a "universal" racial-cultural entity would require government repression on a scale unimaginable today.

Few Americans today are able or willing to fully grasp the enormous implications of the radical program that intellectuals such as Birken (and political leaders such as Clinton) are spelling out for our future. But once they do (and as Prof. Birken fears) many will likely turn to Hitlerism as an alternative to the official prevailing ideology. The decades-long campaign of vilification of Hitler and Third Reich Germany may actually contribute to this by convincing millions of Americans that Hitlerism is the antithesis of the Establishment's ideology, and thus the only real alternative.

In spite of its defects, Hitler as Philosophe effectively dispels some widely-held misconceptions about Hitler and Hitlerism, acknowledges the critical importance of the race issue, and boldly spells out stark alternatives for the future of America and Europe. For this the author deserves credit.


From The Journal of Historical Review, Sept.- Oct. 1997 (Vol. 16, No. 5), pages 34-37.

 

 

 

The Voice of Destruction

by Hermann Rauschning

 

This work was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in NY in 1940 (viii + 295 pp.).  The UK version is known as Hitler Speaks (Thornton Butterworth, London, 1939 & 1940, 287 pp.); in German it's Conversations with Hitler (Gespräche mit Hitler), Europa Verlag, Zürich-New York, 1940.  This is a remarkable volume, providing a well-spring of innumerable quotations regarding Hitler and National Socialism (NS) in the Establishment media and forming therefore the basis of belief for millions.

But what is remarkable about it is just how ridiculous it is.  It's yellow journalism at its worst, taking short snippets of speeches and publications and throwing in a mixture of fantastic, stock "bad guy" elements and stories cribbed from novelists like Guy de Maupassant (the figure-crouching-in-the-corner motif, p. 256), Ernst Jünger and Fyodor Dostoyevsky with some Friedrich Nietzsche.  About the only thing missing here is the "exterminating the Poles for living space" of Nuremburg Doc. No. L-3, although portions still come close.

I can't resist quoting here the entire preface which is supposed to convince us of the book's bona fides:

These conversations with Hitler took place in the last year before his seizure of power and the first two years (1933 and '34) of the National Socialist regime. The writer jotted them down under the immediate influence of what he had heard. Much may be regarded as practically a verbatim report. Here, in the circle of his intimates, Hitler speaks openly about his innermost ideas—ideas which have been kept secret from the masses.

Only in exclusive circles is it known what Hitler really intends and what National Socialism is. Only among close friends has Hitler given free expression to his political and social aims. It is in such exclusive circles that I myself have heard them from his own lips.

To have published these conversations only six months ago, would have earned me at that time an accusation of malicious invention and defamation. Even hints which left the essentials unspoken aroused surprise and suspicion. As the author of The Revolution of Nihilism, I was repeatedly criticized because my statements contradicted the clear statement of National Socialist aims in Mein Kampf, for example, with regard to an alliance between National Socialism and Soviet Russia. As long as National Socialism was seen as nothing more than a German nationalist movement aiming at the removal of some of the worst features of the Versailles Peace Treaty, no one took seriously my frank revelation of the real aims of Hitler. Not until today is the world prepared to accept the truth: that Hitler and his movement are the apocalyptic riders of world annihilation.

From that alone, its accuracy and historical legitimacy is asserted without the slightest proof of any kind.  Elsewhere, Rauschning (a minor provincial official, having been the president of the Danzig senate) stated that he had spoken to Hitler "hundreds of times", often alone, and he was thus privy to the innermost workings of Hitler's mind.  We now know, thru the excellent scholarship of Swiss historian Wolfgang Haenel that this is bunk, that Rauschning had met with Hitler only four times maximum, and never alone.  Rauschning simply lied.  Ghost writers helping him with this lie-book were from France (Emery Reeves, originally from Hungary, as editor with perhaps another ghost writer) and England (Henry Wickham-Steele, the right-hand man of notorious German-hater Sir Robert Vansittart).  { SOURCE and SOURCE }.  The unfortunate result was three generations of gullible readers believing at face value this hack "journalism" about Uncle Adolf.  A few Establishment historians, like Ian Kershaw, have discounted this "memoir", but most continue to quote it, e.g., William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich), Alan Bullock (Hitler: A Study in Tyranny), Joachim Fest (Hitler), Leon Poliakov, Gerhard Weinberg, Nora Levin and Robert Payne.

It's hard to imagine how anyone could have given this book any credibility.  Rauschning wrote a book the year before called THE REVOLUTION OF NIHILISM (1938) in which he never claimed to have met Hitler more than 3 or 4 times, and gets through almost 500 pages before he even describes meeting him at all!  The fact that this "600-pound gorilla in the room" was ignored proves the basic dishonesty of the Establishment press.  All of this was used as part of the pretext to start a war in which millions of innocents died.

Rauschning's writings were presented as Allied prosecution exhibit USSR-378 at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, giving some idea of the quality of "evidence" presented at that trial!  Rather tellingly, Rauschning himself was not asked to testify.

This book has been quoted like Biblical chapter and verse for decades.  Now read the whole thing thing for yourself and laugh at this clumsy bit of anti-National Socialist propaganda.

 

Start thru Part I—1932.

Part II—1933.

Part III—1934 (1).    Part III was arbitrarily split into 3 sections for convenience.
Part III—1934 (2).
Part III—1934 (3).

WHOLE BOOK AS ONE PDF.  (650k)

 

So . . . what sources should you look at to get informed views of Germany's former Führer and NS?  A short list.  Hundreds of citations could be made:

 

THE TWENTY-FIVE POINTS OF NATIONAL SOCIALISM by the NSDAP, 1920/28

A Straight Look At The Third Reich by Austin J. App, Ph.D. (1974)

The Young Hitler I Knew by August Kubizek.  Or...whole thing as a PDF

UNDER TWO FLAGS by Heinz Weichardt.  PDF version

GERMANY AND ENGLAND by Nesta Webster (1938)

LIFE IN THE THIRD REICH a speech by Friedrich Kurreck

WITNESS TO HISTORY by Michael Walsh (or 446k PDF, but stops at ch. 14)

HITLER AT MY SIDE by Lt. Gen. Hans Baur, chief pilot to AH

THE GERMAN REVOLUTION by H. Powys Greenwood

INTO THE DARKNESS by Lothrop Stoddard

LOOK TO GERMANY:  THE HEART OF EUROPE by Stanley McClatchie

THE CASE FOR GERMANY by Arthur Laurie (1939)

WARNINGS AND PREDICTIONS by Viscount Rothermere (1939)

ORDEAL IN ENGLAND by Philip Gibbs (1937)

BOLSHEVISM FROM MOSES TO LENIN by Dietrich Eckart, friend and confidant of AH from 1919-23; AH dedicated Mein Kampf to him

GERMANY'S HITLER by Heinz A. Heinz (1934)

HITLER:  MEMOIRS OF A CONFIDANT by Otto Wagener, first chief of staff of the Stormtroops (SA) (1985)

February 1937 National Geographic

November 1938 (UK) Homes and Gardens, "Hitler's Mountain Home"

Also, various writings of Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, both of whom had much good to say about Hitler and National Socialism.  Both received medals from the NS regime, and refused to return them.

http://www.jrbooksonline.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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