For the same reasons I read any other biography, I suppose: I wanted to know what made Joseph Goebbels tick. He was indisputably one of the most influential people of the 20th century. Why would anyone not want to read about him? This particular biography, which I spotted and downloaded on a whim, turns out to have a controversial history of its own.
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Nevertheless, while the international press celebrated the retrieval of the long-lost diaries, many rival historians registered something approaching a cry of pain. Their injured professional amour propre proved infectious. Irving of all people" should have exclusively obtained these sensational missing diaries — and failed to mention either then or in their publication that without reward he had at the last minute made one hundred pages available with which they had filled aching gaps in their publication.
On the instructions of the minister of the interior, on July 1, the archive banished me forever from its halls, without notice, two hours before the conclusion of my seven years of research on this subject. When I requested the Transit-Film Corporation, which inherited the copyrights of Third Reich film productions, to provide still photographs of the leading actors and actresses who play a part in the Goebbels story, the firm cautiously inquired of Professor Friedrich Kahlenberg, head of the Bundesarchiv, whether "special considerations" might apply against helping me!
A copy of this letter fortuitously came into my hands, but not the pictures I had requested. The background can only be surmised. Professor Kahlenberg had hurried to Moscow in July — too late to prevent the Russians from granting me access to the coveted microfiches of the Goebbels Diaries. There was no reason why the Russians should have denied me access: Several of my books, including those on Arctic naval operations and on Nazi nuclear research, have been published by Soviet printing houses.
The Bundesarchiv has justified its banishment, which is without parallel in any other archives, on the ground that my research might harm the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany. As one consequence, evidently unforeseen by the German government, the Bundesarchiv has had to return to England its "Irving Collection," half a ton of records which I had deposited in its vaults for researchers over the last thirty years.
I hasten to add that with this one exception every international archive has accorded to me the kindness and unrestricted access to which I have become accustomed in thirty years of historical research.
I would particularly mention the efforts of Dr David G. However, these now, like the collections formerly archived in Moscow and in the D. The attitude of the other German official archives was very different from that of the Bundesarchiv in Koblenz. Jahrhunderts Foundation for the Social History of the Twentieth Century assisted me in dating certain episodes in I was fortunate to obtain access to the papers of Eugen Hadamowsky as well as those of Joseph and Magda Goebbels and of the propaganda ministry itself at the Zentrales Staatsarchiv in Potsdam while it was still in the communist zone of Germany; most of the e.
In those last dramatic days before November , archivist Dr Kessler gave me unlimited access despite cramped circumstances; those files too have now passed under the less liberal control of the Bundesarchiv. But here too a possessiveness, an unseemly territorialism came into play as the I. Before coming across the Moscow cache, I had asked the I. Foul play indeed -methods of which Dr Goebbels himself would probably have been proud.
That was not all. A few days later, hearing that the Sunday Times intended to publish the diaries which I had found in Moscow, the same institute, with a haste that would have been commendable under other circumstances, furnished to journalists on the Daily Mail , a tabloid English newspaper, the diary material which it had denied to me two months earlier: as of course they were entitled to. There was one pleasing denouement. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park, N.
I also owe thanks to the latter library for the use of other collections including William B. In Germany I was greatly helped by the officials of the Nuremberg state archive, which houses reports on the postwar interrogations of leading propaganda ministry and other officials some of which I also read at the National Archives in Washington D.
Howard B. Gotlieb, director of the Mugar Memorial Library at Boston university, drew my attention to their collection of the papers of the former Berlin journalist Bella Fromm. Archivist Margaret Petersen and assistant archivist Marilyn B. Kann at the Hoover Library at Stanford university, California, allowed me to see their precious trove of original Goebbels diaries as well as the political-warfare papers of Daniel Lerner and Fritz Theodor Epstein.
The Seeley Mudd Library of Princeton university let me see their precious Adolf Hitler collection, although they were not, alas, permitted to open to me their Allen Dulles papers, which contain several fi les on Goebbels and the July bomb plot.
Bernard R. Crystal of the Butler Library of Columbia university, N. Knickerbocker collection. Dr Jay W. Baird, of Miami university, Ohio, volunteered access to his confidential manuscripts on Werner Naumann, whom he had interviewed at length on tape in and ; the manuscripts are currently held at the I. Major Charles E. Snyder, U. Other photographs were supplied by the U. Frank Korf gave me supplemental information about his own papers in Hoover Library.
Fritz Tobias supplied important papers from his archives about the Reichstag fire and trial, and notes on his interviews with witnesses who have since died. Israeli researcher Doron Arazi gave me several useful leads on material in German archives. Ulrich Schlie pointed out to me to key Goebbels papers on foreign policy buried in the German foreign ministry archives.
Peter Hoffmann, William Kingsford professor of history at McGill University in Montreal, reviewed my chapter on Valkyrie, as did Lady Diana Mosley those pages relating to her own meetings with Goebbels in the Thirties; Robin Denniston, to whom I owe so much over twenty years, read through the whole manuscript, offered suggestions, and advised me to temper criticism with charity more often than I had.
David Irving, London The book can be downloaded at Mr.
Goebbels. Mastermind of the Third Reich
Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich by David Irving (1996) Audiobook
Irving, d Goebbels, Mastermind of the Third Reich
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