Document:Conjuring Hitler - Four years on
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Afterword to publication of the German edition
Still, Hitler hasn’t ceased from haunting current events—and as of late, ever more frequently, so it indeed seems, His name is repeatedly invoked whenever a petty tyrant challenges the United States, or whenever the Far Right comes a-troubling a political joust that is much too rehearsed. Yet, [...] rather than appealing to the somewhat unscientific notion of ‘evil’, Wouldn’t it be more urgent to understand more precisely what came to pass in those days? Olivier Delpla, La flace cachée de 1940. 
I knew Germanness was something to conceal [...]. All things considered, I would prefer to bear the burden of the Jew to that of the German, One is liberating, that of moral outrage and survival, while the other is confining, that of inherited guilt [...]. Multi—cultural:...this is the Germany [I] believe in. I am an American correspondent again, safely back on home turf. I've escaped Hitler’s Reich for the [healthy world] of Ronald McDonald. Frederick Kempe, Father/Land 
Indeed, because Conjuring Hitler was written very much with the German readership in mind, it is with the greatest pleasure and expectancy that I witness the release of this edition.
- 1 Background to researching and writing the book
- 2 Drafting the book in the summer of 2003
- 3 The nature of holocaust commemoration
- 4 David Irving and the Lipstadt libel trial
- 5 The process of academic review
- 6 The lesson of the academic review process
- 7 References
Background to researching and writing the book
As I had hinted in the Preface, the book’s composition represented an attempt to put into proper perspective a variety of riddles and cultural anxieties, which are part of the uneasy legacy of a great many westerners, especially Europeans—anxieties such as fathoming the unspeakable experience of our grandfathers’ generation, the cultural future and the presently lost greatness of Germany, the nature of Hitlerism, and the prospects of world peace in the era of American dominance. It was along these, rather customary, lines of investigation that the book project proceeded, until 9/ll struck.
Incredibly, up to that caesura in time it seemed as though one had lived in some kind of insular stupor. All of a sudden, one found himself awakened to the reality of geopolitics—the event beckoned the straggler that war was on. In truth, prior to 9/11, the NATO bombing of Serbia during the battle for Kosovo in 1999 was a maneuver grave enough to have jolted anyone out of such political numbness and pushed him to connect the dots, so to speak: to acknowledge in other words that the act was part of the unbroken US design to fracture Eurasia along its main fault—lines with a view to world control. Of course, some analysts did—references to Bzrezinki’s standard opus  occasionally surfaced in the petulant debates of the day (I was in Italy at the time), but no cohesive explanation of the war in Yugoslavia Within a wider framework of geopolitical and historical analysis found its way into the mainstream. The episode was then forgotten, its significance muffled by the usual tedium of diplomatic rounds. And so we went back to sleep, for a couple of more years.
The impact of 9/11
I was just beginning my second year as Assistant Professor at the University of Washington when the Twin Towers fell. I recall the shock with which I witnessed the literal metamorphosis of the public mood in the aftermath. For a day or two, timidly yet with reason, people questioned the happening, but before they all could further articulate a sensible response to it, they were swept, ravished as it were, by the civil mobilization and propagandistic regimentation of the Bush executive, which was intense, speedy and truly impressive. News—streams of combat in red sand; a monochord riff of scores to be settled by clashing civilizations; and screens zapped by holograms of beturbaned sheiks clasping AKs: a drumming so insistent that one had to march to it and believe it all. No time for an official investigation, which should have brought the culprits to justice (the “due process” of the American constitution); no time for doubts: in two weeks US troops were landed in Afghanistan—Afghanistan, of all places...And whose word were we to take for the justifiability of the deployment, and the death that would have ensued? A joint declaration of George W. Bush and Britain’s PM, Tony Blair, based on no publicly available evidence—the US—UK tandem, yet again.
In America, the gun—wielding hordes of the backwaters were instinctively aroused, and the veterans of yesterday’s battles followed by sporting flags on their car antennae, and sticking slogans on the fenders of their Lincolns and Fords— “Freedom ain’t free”—, which not even Magritte could have imagined. But most disquieting of all was to observe how receptive the middle—class itself had become to such studied truculence. Soon enough the country was crisscrossed by professional speakers, on a mission to sell the crusade to Middle—America. I keep a distinct memory of the editorialist of The New York Times, Thomas Friedman, addressing a crowd of undergraduates at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.‘ In his oration, he interspersed calls to welcome the use of “rational violence” in Afghanistan with appeals to be friendly towards the environment—so as to project abroad a responsible image of the USA. It was a success.
From then on things went literally downhill. Before one could make even a shred of sense of the fragmented news issuing from Afghanistan in the wake of so- called Operation Enduring Freedom, Iraq was officially slotted for the second act of the War on Terror (autumn/winter of 2001-2002). Syria, Iran, and possibly Indonesia or the Philippines were said to be next on the Pentagon’s list of punitive strikes against “rogue” nations. In any case, the slaughter had begun. The oppressive clime of unreason unleashed by 9/11 was then exacerbated by the persistent work of these war—mongering publicists, not a few of them former CIA wonks: neoconservative mavens such as Kenneth Pollack, whom I happened to watch in a public debate on Iraq hosted by Seattle University' as he tore to pieces his interlocutor, the amiable, well—meaning but thoroughly unprepared Iim McDermott, a Democrat congressman from West Seattle. McDermott’s standard leftist stance, which could see in these revamped war—games nothing more than the corporate push for oil seizure, was clearly impotent vis—a—vis his opponent’s alarmist perorations in favor of violent regime—change in Iraq—for the sake of “human rights.” Indeed, with public enemies as repulsive to Western taste as Saddam or Bin Laden, the hawks were having a triumphant, easy time in talking the country into these new wars waged in the name of “democratic imperialism." Evidently, in order to challenge the demonizing and scare tactics employed by the Neocons, a pacifist should have questioned instead the genuineness of these seemingly cut—to—order “foes,” whose defiant antics happened to be, from the standpoint of the US administration, manna from heaven. But this path with fraught with difficulties, not least of which was the fear of being tagged “unpatriotic” for daring to hypothesize that one’s own government would go as far as deceiving its citizens to secure their mandate for what were, in fact, pre—arranged scenarios of conquest.
And thus bereft of valid analyses and persuasive arguments, the American Left—being itself patriotic (and there was the rub)—began to retreat little by little, until the opposition to the forthcoming war in Iraq, which it had been mustering theretofore, exhausted itself entirely in the brief anti—war processions of March 2003. Shortly thereafter it became a certainty that the carnage of locals triggered by the takeover of Iraq was going to be pervasive and prolonged. The lies and fabrications perpetrated by the US establishment, the savage killings, and the suffering of Iraqi civilians, who were then filmed burying their “collaterally damaged" children, were received by American audiences with a mix of emotions. As I recall, while some reacted with muted dismay, the vast majority registered those images with resigned or satisfied indifference, wandering apathy, pusillanimous caution, and, not infrequently, even with gloating contentment. And this was for a country, Iraq, whose leadership had admittedly nothing to do with 9/ 11—assuming, that is, that the logic of retaliatory violence was justified in Afghanistan (which, in my view, it certainly was not).
The murder of Rachael Corrie
Speaking of gloating contentment, this nauseating state of affairs reached a climax for me with the incident of Rachel Corrie, a twenty—three—year—old American activist, who was bulldozed to death in Gaza by the Israeli Defense Forces as she stood shielding with her body the house of a Palestinian physician (16 March 2003). Corrie’s death was lampooned by the student newspaper of the University of Maryland, which ran a cartoon depicting her last stand captioned by the dictionary definition of the word “stupidity.” And whether the cartoon had been the trigger or not, I was nonetheless astounded thereafter to overhear common American folk, as well, keenly deriding Corrie’s behavior as “stoopid,” while the news beamed the story across the nation.
At that point, something gave in me. Something broke.
The conversion of a 'gung-ho Americanophile'
I had been a gung—ho Americanophile all my life. I was born in Boston at the time my father was a very young Research Fellow at Harvard, shortly before moving on to become a tenured professor of physics at New York University at age 27. He, like all Italians of his generation, had rejected the idols of pre—war Italy and embraced the ways of America without afterthought. Though my father eventually returned to Italy, I was determined after graduation to follow in his early footsteps, and, despite ups and downs, my faith in the Land of Opportunities never faltered—until, that is, the spring of 2003. The day had arrived that I simply did not believe in it anymore. All of a sudden I felt like an exile. I might have been too European to begin with. ..
Yes, everybody recognized that never before had the world image of America fallen so low as in these past years. But it wasn’t because of George W. Bush, as some superficial commentators would want us to believe. The administration of Bush II, in its tremendous haste to advance America ’s penetration of Eurasia, had merely brought into exaggerated relief a conspicuous and defining component of the American soul— brutal, aggressive, and supremacist—which, lately, the political correctness of the Clinton years had merely camouflaged. For whatever it is worth, the outcome of the elections of 2OO4 would seem to indicate that at least half of the American people recognizes itself in this type of leadership—until it appears to be winning (the war in Iraq), that is.
Drafting the book in the summer of 2003
For me, in any case, there was no going back. And it was in this indignant, outraged mood that I began drafting Conjuring Hitler in June of 2003. Obviously, this is not to intimate that the indignation could have colored the thesis of the book—a thesis that I had matured since 1995, when, as a research analyst at the Bank of Italy, I began investigating the topic of Nazi economics. Rather, it was the tone and the style that bore the imprint of my heated discontent, as the Preface more than other parts vividly shows. I doubt that I would ever compose another work in this tonality. But I do not say this by way of apology: I stand behind every word of this book as vigorously as ever.
A treatise of rebellion
I wanted Conjuring Hitler to be a treatise of rebellion—a rebellion against academic style, which I find aesthetically deadening; a rebellion against conventional political economy, which is forever and exclusively maltreated by an unholy trinity of Liberal (both neoclassical and Keynesian) analysis, vetero—Marxism and lately postmodernism—hence my paean of an anarchist and a pacifist hero such as Thorstein Veblen; and, most of all, a rebellion against the culture of War. And since in the past several decades, the greatest fomenter of conflict in the world is the United States—a verity that no one can impugn; since the most militant, profitable and awesome myth of America’s propaganda machine is the crushing of Nazism; and since, as I have assessed after nearly ten years of study, that myth is a lie, it became imperative, for the sake of peace and truth, to proceed to challenge it, in its every part. So long as the myth stood, I thought, the United States will not cease to appeal to it in order to justify —at the discursive and demagogic level—any wide—ranging kriegspiel in Eurasia (against the “tyrant” of the day) that requires the acquiescence of its Western satellites.
Given its pivotal importance to the consensus requirements of Anglo- American hegemony, the mythography of Nazism (in Anglo—American discourse) has grown over the years into a veritable system. It has become an institution, which has been erected upon a story—the myth itself—, and is supported by three main buttresses: the Holocaust industry, Hollywood and a censorial establishment. The latter may avail itself of explicit judiciary measures, such as Section 130 of the German criminal code against Holocaust denial; or of unofficial but no less punitive sentences, which are meted out by a process of peer—review, jointly administered by academia and the press, as in the United States and its satellites.
The unrelenting demonisation of Germany's past
Essential to the function of all such buttresses is the unrelenting demonization of Germany’s past—of the Second, and, above all, the Third Reich—, and by implication, of the Germans themselves. That is the case whenever they appear to stray collectively from the behavioral patterns that the United States “suggested” to them after the defeat—something for which they have been perennially monitored ever since.
America's missionary—like remaking of Germany after the war dramatically altered the country: perhaps no land in Europe or the world has been Americanized so deeply and in as many different ways. 
From the moment America forced itself into the soul of Germany—“we are in their marrow" an American ambassador once said —Germans have been engaged in a pantomime. “Because everyone watches so closely," Germans make an effort to “be on best behavior" by “[absorbing] the indignities of foreigners” willingly,  and by taking pains to show America that she no longer has anything to fear from them. The trouble, of course, is that America—which naturally dreads the eventuality of a nationalist drift in Germany away from NATO—alWays looks upon the Germans with profoundest mistrust, no matter how many Big Macs, jeans and rap hits these resolve to consume—and a great many they indeed consume. Evidently, the reality of record sales of hip—hop music in the land of Beethoven is a sign that something must be out of joint, although Americans might welcome it instead as a right step in the direction of Germany’s new “multi—cultural” dimension. It is in this connection that I wrote in the Preface of Germans and Italians having become “identity—less tribes.” There is no doubt that Germany, despite its industrial and engineering virtuosity, lives an unauthentic life, which is reflected by its unimaginative artistic scene, and, of course, by its massive lack of political initiative, chained as it is to the Atlantic consortium (though, the foreign policy of Putin’s Russia, the late weakness of the American administration, and the recent installation of US missiles in Eastern Europe might alter the equilibrium that has hitherto prevailed—Fall 2008).
An open question on Germany in the absence of US occupation
The indubitable unauthenticity of Germany’s collective life leaves the question open as to what would then be the nation’s authentic spiritual physiognomy in the absence of Yankee meddling. That is something for the Germans alone to figure out. In any event, America’s reconditioning of the German appears to have been from the victors’ standpoint not entirely successful thus far: otherwise why would the “policy of guilt" through a constant stream of public autosdafé, memorials and reparations be enforced ever more eagerly through the decades if not for fear that the younger generations should feel exonerated at last from the distant crimes of their Nazi ancestors? The reconditioning couldn’t have fully worked because the Germans, in fact, have been forced into a re—education program that has given them no true, definitive answers to the Nazi enigma, no persuasive explanation Whatsoever to the motives behind the atrocities that they peqietrated as a collectivity. And this is the essential point. Not only did the post—war curriculum leave all the key themes unsolved, but it was also structured in such a way as not to encourage Germans (or anybody else for that matter) to chase the solution to those mysteries along lines of inquiry that were not those mandated by the shallow pragmatism of the victors. As I noted in the Preface, Anglo-American scholarship will seldom tolerate a discussion of Nazism’s political philosophy if it isn’t premised on the notions of “anti-intellectualism” and “irrationalism,” which I find meaningless. In this sense, when license may be granted by social scientists to go a—scouring the world of German fiction in search of additional pieces of the puzzle, the most that may be conceded is, for instance, the claim that Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus is the central novel of the Nazi era.  All the same, I find Mann’s Faustus for our purposes a rather unenlightening aesthetic exercise, especially if compared to Junger’s On the Marble Cliffs — it being the veritable central novel of the Third Reich, and, in my opinion, a portal to the deeper truths of the collective mindset of Germany in those tenebrous days.
In this regard, I believe that one must dwell at length on Hitler’s clue, according to which Nazism was first and foremost a religious movement (fronted by a political organization). Therefore, the investigation must incorporate the mystical, esoteric component in order to attempt to plumb the depths of the phenomenon. In Germany, there is already renewed interest in the topic and a burgeoning literature to match, which I salute as a very positive development.  In Conjuring Hitler seminal attempt in this direction may be found on pp. 134-35, in which I sketch the basics of Nazism’s Weltanchauung.
To return to the chronic demonization of the German and the want of proper explications, no subject bears more centrality to the policy of guilt, and none strikes its roots in more controversial ground than the Holocaust—the chief buttress of History’s traditional account of Nazism. To begin, it is fair to say that, sixty years after fact, the sum total of the diverse labor —historiographic, scholarly and artistic— that may be at all times subsumed under the heading of “The Holocaust” or “The Holocaust Industry“  is commissioned less for remembering its victims than it is:
- for feeding the credence in Anglo—America as that “democratic power of Light” that came to slay the most demoniacal manifestation on earth, embodied at one time by Nazism;
- for keeping thereby the vanquished Germans in a state of psychological discomfort, caused by the twined complexes of confused guilt and moral inferiority; and
- for boosting the legitimacy of Israel’s aggressiveness at the southern end of the western fault-line 
The nature of holocaust commemoration
Indeed, had it been the wish of the Anglo—Americans to honor the suffering of the Jews, what more honorable way to do so than to invite regularly all involved peoples to reflect and pray together for peace in respectful silence, which would have also symbolized the unspeakableness of such suffering? The chief radio commentator of the Third Reich and former aide of Goebbels, Hans Fritzsche, had concluded his defense speech at Nuremberg with a wish: that the accusers (i.e., the victors) did not resurrect new hatred on the ashes of old hatred. He had implied that the Holocaust was the hate that could have put an end to all hate.  If only, then, such a “final” hatred could have been dissected and understood...Yet, looking into the production of “The Holocaust," one need only note the vehemence, the callous eagerness to bandy about the specter of six million dead to settle an argumentf the acrimony, the bluster, the vindictiveness, and the polemical ricochets of what is in fact a game — with “the custodians” on one side, the crowd in the middle, and the obnoxious Holocaust deniers at the other end; one need only consider all of the above to deduce that what we are dealing with here is, indeed, an “industry” as well as a political construct. It does not appear to be an immaterial venue of communion, remembrance, and justice. “The Holocaust” rather functions as an auxiliary forum for the arbitration of political correctness, according to Washington: it is a tool of divisiveness. And, needless to say, a new hatred has logically supplanted the old one, which is itself not even entirely extinguished: nowadays, there are Neonazis even in Israel (!). 
As Conjuring Hitler makes clear, I do not dispute the standard facts of the Holocaust, nor do I doubt in any way that Nazism was an infernal emanation. That much is evident. What I do question, instead, is the modern tenet that America unambiguously incarnates a force for the good. A cursory glance at the staggering death toll and abuses of all kinds for which the United States is responsible vis—a—vis a collection of peoples (even Within its own boundaries) should suffice to dispel unquestioning belief in this axiom of American benevolence.
Therefore, because American democracy itself is murderous—it was founded upon genocide (of the natives), unified by fratricidal slaughter (the Civil War), and enthroned with a (nuclear) holocaust; because America has such a bloody slate, her ideologues have, specially for the case of German}/s inculpation, developed a dogmatic compendium, the chief article of which is
- 1. the interdiction to establish any form of “moral equivalence” between the killings of Nazi Germany and those of the United States.
- 2. Another way of expressing this dogma is to posit the “uniqueness” of the Nazi holocaust of the ]ews—which directly implies that it is to be regarded as the “Worst crime” ever consummated in the history of humanity.
- 3. Because the official version of the events surrounding the rise to power of the Nazis is a Well—scripted plot —fluid, plausible and self—contained— the issue of “responsibility” must be treated as a zero—sum—game. In other words, any attempt to broaden the circle of (indirect) accountability for Nazi crimes by including non—indigenous powers —in particular, Britain and America—is to be denounced at once as a pro—Nazi (or Neo—Nazi) effort to minimize, if not to deny altogether the atrocities committed by the Third Reich.
The concept of “Neo—Nazi” should therefore be considered a mere polemical concept, the use of which is designed to avoid an objective discussion. 
This brings us to the final set piece of the game:
- 4. the essential role of the Holocaust deniers as foils of choice in this system’s mechanics of censorship.
The Holocaust is unique. Nazism is unique. This ancestral, alien reawakening under the aegis of Ancient gods in the bloom of modernity, Whose drift issued through the chasm gaping deep from underneath the rubble of a highly cultured yet blindly bellicose kingdom of Middle—Europe, is an extraordinary tale. A tale which doesn’t cease to fascinate. On the other hand, whether the Nazi Holocaust is ethically “worse” than, say, America’s systematic mass murder by way of bombardment is, to say the least, moot. To assert that it is undoubtedly worse is to abide by the belief, typical of modeniity, that the less the killing of a human is defiled by the shedding of blood, which implies close carnal contact, the more humane, the “better” it is. It is a “puritanical” approach to murder. This also explains the customary leverage of anatomical and graphic detail in every new tale of the Holocaust, which carries the suggestion of a blood—simple, sadistic lust, and, therefore, reinforces in the reader the conviction that the Nazi slaughter was indeed the worst. Alternatively, a doyen of Holocaust studies, Raul Hilberg, focuses on Auschwitz maintaining that:
“In a gas chamber, you don’t see the victim. So that the gas chamber in that sense is more dangerous, the gas chamber is more criminal.” 
I find all such distinguos fallacious, and ultimately, lamentable. Though the mainstream declares that “to attempt to construct a hierarchy of sufferance is obscene,”  that is precisely what all such quibbles end up achieving — new hatred built on old hatred.
To kill is to kill, period.
Refining the Allied - NAZI 'moral-equivalence argument
Now, to refine the argument: obviously, the spiritual current guiding the Nazi genocide was qualitatively different from that piloting the razing of Hiroshima. The former saw Jews, in the aggregate, as the cohesive vehicle of a thought—form, which, for whatever unfathomable esoteric reasons, was perceived as a fatal obstacle to an undisclosed plan of peculiar religious revival—illuminating in this regard is the defiant but attentive attendance of Hitler’s master, Dietrich Eckart, of the public lectures of Jewish mystic Martin Buber in prewar, turn—of—the—century Munich.  Massive, indiscriminate slaughter—by—bombing, instead, is simply a means to establish dominance by way of terror, shock and awe. The United States has industrialized the scale and organization of such an enterprise. The distinction reaffirms the uniqueness of the Nazi Holocaust, but not on ethical grounds. The two forms of holocaust were inspired by dissimilar motives but the end—result from the standpoint of our race is just the same. Therefore, it is the desire to undermine any hegemonic, belligerent discourse, which thrives on such biased value judgments, that brings the pacifist to draw the necessary moral equivalence between different forms of holocaust.
The problem, of course, is that, in respect of the Nazi episode, spokesmen of the Far Right — Holocaust skeptics, Hitler worshipers, Neo—Nazis, “cracked anti- Semites,"  and individuals of that ilk— are likewise moved to equate Allied bombing with Nazi cruelties, if they even admit that such have been inflicted. And, needless to say, such a fanatical line—up plays very efficaciously in the hands of the Holocaust industry as it enables the latter to discredit rather easily any dissenting position in the eyes of the non—expert audiences by associating it at once with this cesspool of Nazi nostalgics. That is why the so—called Holocaust deniers have become an integral component of the set—up, and why the mainstream press periodically showers them with heavy doses of publicity.
Until Conjuring Hitler came up for academic review, as I will relate shortly, I had never given much thought to the reasons and the world of the Holocaust deniers. I had always found the attitudes and postures of Hitler’s admirers at best obdurately, if not foolishly eccentric—as in the case of senescent Axis warriors that would not reckon with defeat; and at worst, downright irresponsible, especially if displayed by younger individuals. Repulsive though Right—wing extremists certainly may be, their political weight is so inconsequential that I have never thought them worthy of anxious consideration. That is also why I did not unduly concern myself with the David Irving trial, whose significance in the circles of American academia, as I was soon to find out, I had severely underestimated.
David Irving and the Lipstadt libel trial
This isn’t the place to recount the story of that trial. Suffice it to say that it went down as a sort of epilogue to what had been the singular career of a semi-professional historian, who had won acclaim in the seventies for the improbable task of having retold the vicissitudes of WWII from Germany’s viewpoint. Indeed, his agenda went a little further than that: it appeared that Irving was also bent on rehabilitating Hitler, portraying him “not as a monster but as ‘a fair—minded statesman of considerable chivalry’."  Addicted to sensation, and possibly seeking to relaunch the dwindling fortunes of his scholarly reputation with a stunt, Irving began to attack the figures of the Holocaust in the late eighties (ca. 1988), before converting entirely to the stance of negationism in the early nineties: he had moved “from ‘soft—core’ to ‘hard—core’ Holocaust denial.  And as Irving, with inexplicable incaution, involved himself more visibly with the lurid rallies and networks of the Holocaust—denying, anti—Semitic fringe the world over, he unsurprisingly came under the keen watch of the system’s enforcing agencies. Soon enough, he was prosecuted for Holocaust denial in Germany, found guilty, and banned from the country in 1993;  all the while professional historians and professors of Iewish Studies in America were intent on targeting him repeatedly with the accusation of falsifying the historical record. One such scholar, Deborah Lipstadt, Irving sued for libel in 1996, and when judgment was rendered four years later against him, Irving’s lucky star was snuffed. The voice of the press interpreted the verdict as the irreversible seal of Irving’s disgrace:
David Irving had indeed been shown to be a liar, a bigot, and a distorter of historical evidence—a man whose word could no longer be relied upon for the smallest detail, let alone a reliable interpretation of major historical events 
And so it was that David Irving became the béte noir of “The Holocaust," the cynosure of all the abhorrence, even physical,“ that the system could reserve for one man. Yet Irving rolled with it, and kept on courting trouble by taking “the strange risk of agreeing to speak to a right—wing student group in Austria [in November 2005], despite an outstanding arrest warrant”;  again, in 2006 an Austrian court sentenced him to three years in jail for Holocaust denial. But then he appeared to be recanting it all.
The story of Irving is an odd one. Was he for real? Was he “an astute self- publicist"  that possibly played one trick too many and got burnt? In any event, because, as I said, I had no desire to waste my time with the yellow nonsense of Hitler Worship and Holocaust denial, I paid scant attention to this odd story—all the more so as my focus was on completely different areas of the history of the Third Reich. However, by so doing, I neglected an important detail of this affair, namely that the verdict of the Irving trial had been, illegitimately in fact, extended retroactively by the Anglo-American intelligentsia to the whole of Irving’s opus. That meant that the distortions, all the “imperfectly varnished deceit,”  which Irving had in effect woven into his tomes to exculpate Hitler from any responsibility for the pogroms were to nullify the credibility of all his contributions to military history as well. As one of his chief academic accusers put it:
“Irving’s [deceptions] were not the result of some recent aberration in the career of an otherwise respectable historian [. . .]. [They] were there from very early on in his career and had remained an integral part of his working methods across the decades." 
But this was an inquisitorial turn of the screw on the judge’s verdict, which, while accusing Irving of being indeed a “racist and anti- Semitic" author that had “portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favorable light,” had on the other hand acquitted his works on WWII, finding “much to commend [in Irving],” “as a military historian.” 
And it is as such that Irving is quoted in Conjuring Hitler, together with another personage associated with Holocaust denial, Léon Degrelle—a Belgian and politically active fascist, who fought with the Waffen—SS on the eastern front, won the admiration of Hitler, and escaped after the war to Spain, where, under the protection of Franco, he fashioned himself as a maitre-a-penser of Catholic ultra- conservatism. Degrelle was an adamant denier of the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews. The inclusion of these two authors in the select bibliography of the book was part of an effort to draw upon a pool of sources as varied, colorful and rich as possible: from anarchist and ultra—left wing Marxian writers to Hitler himself, by way of Liberal scholarship, classical German lyricists, and fascist pamphleteers. The dozen or so citations from Irving’s WWII books (the most recent being Churchill's War of 1987) and from Degrelle’s amateurish Hitler at Versailles, which focuses on the aftermath of WWI, were late, peripheral add—ons to the final draft of Conjuring Hitler. In truth, with the exception of a quote from Stalin at the vigil of Barbarossa, Churchill’s inside knowledge of “Sea Lion” being a bluff, and the Zionist contributions to Churchill’s war party—none of these facts being per se particularly controversial—I found nothing that was exceptionally engrossing, or so profoundly “different” in Irving’s books. Oddly enough, for a fistful of minutiae I thought Degrelle more quotable—viz. on German—American relations during the submarine warfare, or on France’s 1919 intervention in the Crimea; though, likewise, the book’s thesis—WWI being merely an extended commercial conflict chiefly instigated by Russia—was, in my opinion, rather unremarkable.
So much for the background to Conjuring Hitler
The process of academic review
In the fall of 2005, I put forth my candidacy for promotion at the University of Washington. This sort of decision ultimately rests with the collegial body of the faculty—the candidate’s colleagues— and the object of the evaluation is a dossier, which includes the assistant professor’s scholarly, teaching and administrative record. The procedure is managed by a committee of three, generally chaired by an experienced, tenured faculty. The most sensitive component of the dossier is the set of (three to five) reviews of the candidate’s scholarly work, for whose procurement the Chair is responsible. These reviews should be commissioned from scholars that are recognized authorities in the applicant’s field (in my case, political economy). This is a task that takes on average three months—from the selection, contact, and acceptance of the reviewer to the reception of the review itself. After it had been assembled, I was informed by the Chair that I had an impeccable file: some of the reviews, incidentally, had been obtained from political economists of international repute. One of them had been so generous as to affirm that the perspective I was bringing to the field might have made me “the most influential heterodox economist of [my] generation.”
Originally, I had been hired by the University of Washington in 2000 to teach political economy on the basis of a presentation on the politics of Weimar and Nazi finance. Thereafter, in the course of five years I came to design and teach ten different courses, one of which, Exploring Nazism, built on pre—existing research and grew to become the platform for Conjuring Hitler. It was admittedly one of the most popular, difficult, yet highly valued courses on campus—one for which I was even formally commended by the Office of the Chancellor.
An unprecedented breach of the rules
When the time came to judge my tenure file collegially, a group of faculty members led by the program director, in an unprecedented breach of the rules of the university, stalled the process by convincing the colleagues to take a vote not to vote just yet on my file adducing as a pretext that the available external reviews did not assess critically and deeply enough a book as purportedly controversial as Conjuring Hitler. New reports were thus commissioned this time by the program director. They were crafted with extraordinary swiftness so as to arrive just in time for the vote, which had been postponed by a month. Whence they came could never be ascertained. I was told that these new reports—four of them—had been drafted by “respected historians." They were all virtually identical and, as I had suspected, stridently venomous. Clearly, the maneuver af0ot—for that is what it was—was to produce a series of expert reports of the “right” sort with which the faculty could be swayed to vote against me—and thereby remove me from my post.
With the exception of one writer, who barely managed to observe a modicum of propriety, the other three, stylistically speaking, gave themselves with abandon to that dismaying practice—relished by mediocrities above all— of the savage critique under cover of anonymity: save for the conclusions, I shall spare the reader extensive quotations from the cataract of offensive epithets, snide punch—lines, and the sheer intellectual crassness of it all.
What was then the gist of such letters? - That the book was nonsense.
The nature of the criticism
About the sources the critics were particularly vehement—in fact, their reviews turned out to be refrains of bibliographical captiousness. They demanded serious primary research to substantiate the claims found in Conjuring Hitler, which, to them, amounted to unconvincing circumstantial evidence. That I hadn’t cited a slew of what these critics considered proper contemporary contributions to the history of the Third Reich was in their opinion “unforgivable.” Instead, they lamented my reliance on “outdated” diatribes of the thirties and forties.
Specifically, Mackinder’s theory was dismissed as irrelevant. Montagu Norman, on the other hand, was discarded as just another “shadowy” character. “Bewildering” for all of them was my mocking of Henry Turner’s claim that the Nazis had financed themselves by means of margarine. Furthermore, I was accused of having misused evidence, as in the case of that entry in Malcolm’s diary about the Kapp Putsch, which, in my interpretation, inculpates Churchill (pp. 108-9). 
The treatment of Carroll Quigley by these reviewers was no less exhilarating. Quigley was an insider. A professor of history at Georgetown University as well as mentor to Rhodes scholars, Quigley had had access to particularly sensitive materials for the length of two years, after which he compiled an impressive tome of contemporary history released by Macmillan in 1966. With cogency theretofore unseen, Quigley’s Tragedy & Hope featured a partial exposé of the dynamics of the Hitlerites’ rise to power, which were quite sensational. So much so that the major embarrassment they would have represented for the Establishment over the long run forced the latter to suppress the book, which has managed to survive ever since as an underground classic of dissident literature. One of my critics referred to Quigley’s opus as a “polemical source." And another, in a bout of disingenuousness bordering on the comical, wondered how Quigley could have been privy to superior information about the foreign bankrolling of the Nazis when all there is to know on the topic is readily available.
The best and loudest was saved for last: Irving and Degrelle, of course. After barking jubilantly at my having quoted these two, one reviewer maligned that much of the most damning material that appears to identify Britain as the real force behind the outbreak of war in 1914 was drawn from Degrelle. The unconscionable reprobation of this reviewer was magnified by the vituperative inanity of another, who snarled that to invoke Degrelle as an authority bordered on academic malfeasance. As for Irving, I had allegedly cited him “at his vaguest and worst,” and that is in connection with the Zionist financing of The Focus, the anti—Nazi, bellicist faction led by Churchill.
Most likely, fearing they might jeopardize their contacts at the University of Washington by hurling about unfounded charges of Anti—Semitism a bit too freely, two reviewers conceded that I was “no apologist for Hitler.” But for nothing, on the other hand, would they abstain from indulging that pathetic inquisitorial libido to pin on a dissenter the standard slander of Anti—Semitism by way of innuendo:
Historians of Germany are particularly sensitive to efforts to diminish German agency in the crimes of the world wars; and Preparata’s hook serves in effect as a book—length apologia for German colonialism, aggression and genocide.
The Preface [of Conjuring Hitler], and I say this upon reflection and soberly, reads like a chapter out of Mein Kampf both for its depiction of an innocent Germany bedeviled by Anglo—American moneyed elites and for its hysterical and utterly unsubstantiated charges of vast international conspiracy by these elites (the Club) which manipulated world politics for fifty years and continue to do so.
Rebuttal of the criticism
Let us start with the issue of the sources.
First of all, to convey the impression that I had made use mostly of fishy information to construct my interpretation was consciously deceitful: the three hundred or so titles (in four different languages) listed in the select bibliography—a small fraction, of course, of what I have been reading on the subject—clearly shows that the fan of stories and chronicles at my disposal was quite vast, and by no means confined to fusty treatises of the Depression era. The uniformity and conformity of Nazism’s politically correct narrative are so flattening that recourse to diverse sources—provided they are veracious, of course—is inevitable in the search for truth.
Second, as to my “unforgivable” bibliographical omissions, I shall mention the following example. According to one critic, “on the subject of the support of international and American business for the Nazi regime alone,” I had forgotten to mention “nearly all of the most important works in the subject," in particular Working for the Enemy: Ford, General Motors and Forced Labor in Germany during the Second World War, and IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's most Powerfull Corporation. It was the opinion of this critic that books such as these two “would even support a more rational argument concerning the shared interests of Nazi Gennany and certain American corporations” (emphasis added)" This observation is enlightening. It reveals two additional and important facets of Nazi mythology as treated by Anglo—Saxon academia: the first is that the evidence of Anglo—American economic collaboration With Nazism is so conspicuous that it cannot be concealed. Therefore, it has become imperative to steer the scholarship on this subject within the strictly—defined confines of business. Which is to say that: if any misdeed did take place, it must have been consummated exclusively by “certain” corporate interests —as the result of the venality of a few bad apples. America herself —i.e. her political elite—could do no wrong, and did no wrong. The second reality is the unmistakable patriotism of this leftist stance, whereby America, if she is to be faulted, may be so only in point of economic conduct: “corporations [only] are evil."  No suggestion of national delinquency will otherwise be brooked. This argument, however, is pure sophistry, for it is utterly implausible that the US government cold not have not known, and therefore not approved of such deals—before and especially after the declaration of war.
Third and most important point: the eccentricity of some alternative (that is, not necessarily pro—US) literature is obviously no evidence of its falsity. So, I ask: which central facts reported in Conjuring Hitler are thoroughly false?
For instance, Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope and Anthony Sutton’s Wall Street and the Rise Hitler, both of which are admittedly important, though by no means all—encompassing sources of Conjuring Hitler, raised the hackles of these reviewers. Of Sutton’s notorious book on America’s pervasive investment in Weimar and Nazi Germany, one letter mentioned a review of 1980, which dismissed it as “ill- informed.” But in no case were these critics capable of specifying what was truly objectionable about any of these sources. Did Quigley say the truth, yes or no? Now, even assuming that Sutton’s data could have been imprecise, were America’s corporate Interests deeply enmeshed in the economic policies of Weimar and in the colossal overhaul of, say, l.G. Farben, yes or no?
Consider the most burning of all such themes: the foreign funding of the Nazis. As said, repeatedly the critics cried in anger at my disrespectful handling of Turner’s mendaciously selective account of Nazism’s financial provisioning through the Slump, especially the ridiculous vignette of the Brownshirts plugging margarine. In this connection, one reviewer went on to sneer at the significance of the quote by the foreign correspondent of the Manchester Guardian on pp. 198-99, who relayed in 1934 the diffuse suspicion that foreign money had played a key role in the success of the Hitlerites. “Circumstantial evidence,” the critics scoffed: hearsay doesn’t count as proof. Fair enough. Yet all of them kept their mouths tightly shut as they glossed over that enormous smoking gun, cited just a few lines above the journalist’s excerpt, of the active involvement of George W. Bush’s grandfather in the funding of the Nazis. Under the Trading With the Enemy Act of 1942, the late US Senator Prescott Bush “was caught red—handed operating an American shell company for the Thyssen family eight months after America had entered the war. [This] was the bank that had partly financed Hitler's rise to power.  What about that? How are these sententious academics to account for such an egregious and documented reality? Wasn’t this the sort of “primary source” they were clamoring for?
Irving and Degrelle. To reiterate, none of the selected excerpts taken from their publications had anything to do with the Holocaust. Again, I ask the question: is the information conveyed in these excerpts true or not?  As mentioned above, of Irving I have reported a dozen citations, all of them rather bland miscellanea on WWII.  Now, listening to these critics, when I relate of Churchill’s seminal war party (The Focus) and its Zionist funds, I make use of Irving “at his worst.” This is curious. Very much so, indeed, considering that the facts pertaining to The Focus are:
- not even Irving’s find;
- they are sufficiently known and documented; and
- per se, hardly unsettling, but rather politically consequential—and that is in view of the logical desire of Jewish lobbies in Britain to counter Germany’s anti—Semitic propaganda.
Truth to be told, the “malfeasance” in this case is to have so surrealistically disfigured the canons of honest evaluation as to have made it palatable to invoke the Furer himself as a reliable commentator on a variety of economic and political topics (which I have done), but downright felonious to take Irving’s or Degrelle’s word on commonplaces of the two world wars.
As for Mackinder’s linear meditation on the geopolitical scruples of world conquest, it is an expository device of such heuristic power that the patriots of US academe perforce scramble to downplay its significance: after a hundred years, this simplest model still accounts perfectly for the imperial progression of the Anglo- American Commonwealth. It is abiding proof that the chief disturbers of world peace are those naval powers that are undeviatingly adhering to the single—minded strategy of fracturing the Eurasian landmass. It is quite evidently a criminal policy, one that the United States appears hell—bent on enforcing in the foreseeable future, come what may.’ That is why it is urgent to make it a staple of common awareness among the public in order to strengthen an intelligent movement for peace.
To come to those conclusive gems—according to which the preface of my book reads like Mein Kampf and that it is an apologia for Nazi genocide—one need only reflect on the kind of virulent contortions that lower—level custodians of the Nazi mythology are required to perform when they find themselves on the defensive. The emphasis of the first quote on the extreme sensitivity of “Historians of Germany to efforts to diminish German agency in the crimes of the world wars” is a poignant illustration of the aforementioned policy of Germany’s demonization. Notice how Germans are to be viewed at all times as the war criminals par excellence in both conflicts; and note also how this article of faith is unmistakably followed the zero- sum constraint, whereby any denunciation of the Anglo—Americans is automatically viewed as Neo—Nazi exculpation.
A prolonged effusion of senseless animosity
But in the final analysis, aside from this prolonged effusion of senseless animosity, what impressed me the most was the complete absence of any true, substantive argumentation against the thesis of the book. To scream it is one big unsavory conspiracy theory is not good enough. Where was the actual critique? In point of fact, these nameless reviewers, who moreover showed to possess no knowledge of economics whatsoever, had proved utterly incapable of discussing objectively, let alone confuting:
- the case for Britain’s masterminding of WWI (which is not in least built on Degrelle);
- the astounding forecast of Veblen;
- the intricacies of the German hyperinflation and the Dawes bailout;
- the barefaced geopolitical implications of Mein Kampifi
- the entire affair of Montagu Norman— which is one of the most important and complex contributions of the book;
- Anglo- American meddling in the rearmament of Germany since at least 1924;
- the puzzle of Russo—German cooperation during Weimar;
- Britain’s willing policy of economic and financial cooperation with the Third Reich in the face of overt Nazi rearmament;
- the enigma of Tukhachevsky’s execution and of Soviet appeasement;
- Churchill’s intransigence and the three—year—long inaction on the western front;
- the British dupery of the Nazis, and its unspeakable cost in human life. And so on.
In short, Conjuring Hitler hadn't been reviewed at all.
Because they knew not what to argue, these academics had to have quick resort to the standard lynching toolkit of the system, employing in turn bibliographical and caviling decoys, insults ad hominem, and their favorite: the tacit charge of anti—Semitism via guilt by association with Holocaust deniers. And so it went.
Regardless, in the short—run the tactic succeeded: a majority of colleagues voted against my candidacy. Thereupon I appealed to the University to have the whole case officially and formally reassessed by a jury of impartial faculty drawn from other departments of the University. Altogether this ordeal lasted a year and a half. By the end of it, I had garnered a total of nine positive scholarly evaluations—an exceptional, if not unique occurrence in the history of the entire school. Moreover, a first—rate academic expert in the field of German economic history deposed in my favor as a witness during the hearings, in which the Chancellor of my campus acted as defendant on behalf of the opposing faculty members. In the course of this mock trial, the defendant attempted at first to justify its ratification of the negative vote on the basis of the implicit charges of anti—Semitism that had been leveled at my book. When this line of defense failed on account of its baselessness, it was switched to the imputation that my “research methodologies” were unsound. When, questioned on the meaning of this accusation, the opposing party found itself incapable of elaborating, it finally settled for the allegation that Conjurjng Hitler was a “polemic unsupported by fact.” Asked by the panel to substantiate the allegation with detailed exposition in writing, the Office of the Chancellor was powerless to produce even a single instance.
This appellate recourse afforded me as well the opportunity to probe further into and expose gradually the chain of procedural violations that had allowed a group within the department to poison my file. Along this path, I could only go so far for it emerged eventually that the highest echelons of the University had been complicit in the maneuver.
In recognition of my meritorious academic work I was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in early 2007. I officially parted ways with the University of Washington in 2008.
The lesson of the academic review process
In conclusion, I should like to stress that this experience has shown me that, in the United States, an honest academic debate around an issue as delicate as Nazism is impossible. The theme is so overwhelmingly laden with political and symbolical valence that all avenues for the unfolding of a healthy skepticism find themselves, for the time being, fully obstructed. So long as Mackinder’s theorem holds, they will perforce remain so. The several testimonials of esteem that I have received from North—American scholars in the course of this adventure are, indeed, a sad exception to a rule of generalized conformity, which is animated by ignorance and fear.
The fear-factor in American academia
The fear factor in America performs a significant, if precarious work of social cohesion within the structure of what is admittedly recognized as a police State with an ongoing imperial agenda. Knee—jerk bellicosity on the part of the average citizen is a primary exigency of such a regime. Indeed, the Americans’ sublimated sentiment of being “number one”—along with the invidious aggressiveness that comes with it—, is fashioned to a not insignificant extent as the celestial obverse of the archetype of “the evil German.” Grotesque though this may sound, without the looming silhouette of the SS trooper (Star Wars’ Darth Vader), American identity would be in need of partial (and, in my opinion, thoroughly wholesome) redefinition. The shadow of the wicked Nazi is the eternal joker in the deck of US rhetoric; it is the United States’ essential piece of mythological capital—capital which hasn’t ceased to yield its political elite an inexhaustible flow of propagandistic rents in one form or another. Now, think of the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, the Democrat candidate who’s been presented as the champion of change to adoring crowds of hero—starved leftists all over the world (and Europeans in particular): itching to prove the fitness of his pedigree before the tribunal of the Holocaust, as it were, Obama played the trump in the early stages of the running, boasting hurriedly that an uncle of his had been part of the first American troops to liberate Auschwitz. Never mind that the claim wasn't even true (the camp in question was a subdivision of Buchenwald); the jousting is nonetheless organized in such a way that any opportunity to fill one’s mouth with, and exploit the lugubrious magic of the Word “Auschwitz” is never to be forgone. Better still, a mere week before Election Day, Wires were aburst with news of a conspiracy to “shoot and decapitate” Obama along with eighty—eight other African—Americans by two Neo—Nazis homebred in Tennessee, aged 18 and 20. ..
All of Which is to say that I do not expect the response, if any, of German academic circles to Wer Hitler machtig machte to be civil, or at least less vitriolic than that of American universitarians. Americans are in Germany’s bones, after all. If anything, precisely because German public intellectuals are subjected to a load of conformist pressure compounded by the guilt factor, I may surmise that their reaction might be twice as acrimonious. That is why I think that this edition is chiefly addressed to Germany’s non—academic public, with the expectation that certain doubts may be peacefully voiced and tabled for discussion in urbane fashion. It is time that Germans reopen this painful file and dig within themselves and their past to reconstruct the picture of what had actually happened—explaining it at last to themselves and to the rest of us. It is time they do so not as sleepwalking vassals eager to please America, but as untrammeled soul—searching travelers, investigating their past While pursuing the truth.
Finally, it may very well be that this book contains errors, misspecifications, or impressionistic renditions that might not do full justice to the extraordinary complexity of those unique happenings during that bizarre, disquieting time. If such mistakes have been committed, they have been committed in good faith. I have no axe to grind in this endeavor other than that of wanting the truth and opposing the cult of War. There is much that has been suppressed about this extraordinary chapter of our history. I have merely sought to retrieve a number of such scattered shards and recompose them in a coherent narrative. This is my story, let the reader decide.
Guido Giacomo Preparata
Rome, 5 November 2008
- Francois Delpla, La face cachée de 1940. Comment Churchill réussit d prolonger la partie (Paris : Francois- Xavier de Guibert, 2003), p. 8.
- Frederick Kempe, Father/Land. A Personal Search for the New Germany (New York; G. P. Putnarnls Sons, 1999), pp. 2, 215, 222, 266.
- Zbigniew Bzrezinski, The Grand Chessboard, American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (New York: Basic Books, 1998), which is a modern, extensive variation on the theme of Mackinder's Eurasian insight.
- Kernpe, Father/Land, p. 11.
- Ibid, pp. 47, 64, 293.
- David Schoenbaum, Hitler’s Social Revolution. Class and Status in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939 (New York: W. W. Norton 1980 ), p. 285.
- See for instance Wilfried Daim, Der Mann, der Hitler (lie Ideen gab. Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels (Vienna: Ueberreuter, 1994).
- Norman Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry. Reflections on the Exploitation of jewish Suffering (New York, London: Verso, 2000).
- “Germany’s Relations with Israel: Background and Implications for German Middle East Policy,” - Paul Belkin, CRS (Congressional Research Service) Report to Congress, 19 January 2007.
“The extent and precise Value of arms shipments to and from Germany through the mid-1990's remains unclear, yet analysts assert that German arms played a considerable role in Israeli military victories in 1967, 1973 and 1982. In response to Iraqi scud missile attacks on Israel during the Gulf War of 1990-1991, the German army provided Israel with arms and substantial financial assistance. 1n 1999 and 2000, in perhaps the most high-profile German arms shipments to Israel since German unification, Germany financed 50% of the costs for three “Dolphin—class" submarines designed specifically for the Israeli navy. 1n August 2006, the German government committed to deliver and finance one-third of the costs, approximately 1 billion Euros ($1.3 billion), for two more submarines by 2010.”
- Hans Fritzsche, La colpa é tutta tedesca? (Hier spricht Hans Fritzsche) (Milano: Longanesi, 1949), p. 250
- “Neo-Nazis in Israel,” The Economist, 13 September 2007.
- Ernst Nolte, “La ‘soluzione finale della questione ebraica" nella prospettiva del revisionsimo radicale,” in Controversie. Nazionalsocialismo, bolscevismo, questione ebraica nella storia clel Novecento (Streitpunhte) (Milano: Corbaccio, 1999 [l993]), p.52.
- D. D. Guttenplan, The Holocaust on Trial (New York: W. W. Norton 81 Company, 2001), p. 303.
- Ibid., p. 5.
- See the early addresses (1909-35) in Martin Buher, On Judaism (New York: Schocken Books, 1967).
- Guttenplan, The Holocaust on Trial (New York: WW Norton & Co, 2001), p 303
- From the review of 1rving’s Hitler’s War by American historian Charles W. Snyolor, cited in Richard J. Evans, Lying about Hitler. History, the Holocaust and the David Irving Trial (New York: Basic Books, 2001), p. 42.
- Ibid. pp. 134, 112.
- Ibid., p. 147.
- Guttenplan, The Holocaust on Trial, pp. 304-5.
- “It Really Happened,” The Economist, February 231“ 2006.
- “Irving”s Last Stand,” The Economist, January 13"‘ Z000.
- Guttenplan, The Holocaust on Trial, p, 223.
- Evans, Lying about Hitler, p. 103.
- Guttenplan, The Holocaust on Trial, p, 277-78.
- Malcolm wrote: “Mrs Hardinge [the correspondent of the Daily News] came in this morning. I knew that she had a long interview with Trehitsch-Lincoln so asked her about it. She says he is almost openly organizing a new putsch with the idea of making Bauer, of whom he has a marvelous opinion, President (or Chancellor) —says putting up Kapp was the greatest mistake. He assured her that this party had the support of Winston Churchill, received through Cologne... Except in so far as Churchill is concerned, there is just the shadow of truth in it, and this, no doubt, is the foundation of all the stories of British support” (emphasis added). Admittedly, the highlighted phrase is ambiguous, and to complicate matters, I hadn't quoted the full excerpt in the original text—a gap I have closed in this edition. Given that Trebitsch's main contention (of a forthcoming coup fronted by Bauer) was bombastic disinformation quilted with verisimilar scenarios, I took the sentence “just the shadow of truth in it” to mean that Malcolm recognized the above claim as artfully false—otherwise, why not simply write “there is truth in it”? The choice of the adverb “just,” in my opinion, reinforces the point. Hence my reading cast Churchill as the deceiver—which, however, is an affront to the hagiographic reverence that Churchill is almost universally accorded in Anglo-Arnerican academia. Therefore, I had to have “misused evidence,” which, according to the critics, signified instead that Churchill was clean while Malcolm actually deemed Trebitsch’s contention somewhat plausible. Now that a top officer of British military intelligence stationed in Germany could have fallen for such hogwash is, to put it mildly, rather hard to believe.
- Every well-read political economist is cognizant of the fact that, institutionally, corporations were born as joint stock enterprises formed by Venetian merchants to provide crusaders with proper logistical and economic support. And it is the same today: seldom if ever do corporations possess enough clout and know-how to take the imperial initiative, which is, indeed, the prerogative of the executive. See Lujo Brentano’s classic Der wirtschftswende Mensch in der Geschichte (1923).
- “How Bush's Grandfather Helped Hitler's Rise to Power,” - The Guardian, 25 Septemher 2004
- Of Degrelle there were originally only six tangential citations. Three of them were facts that could have been gleaned from a variety of other sources, and so for these, in order to avoid further, gratuitous polemics I have substituted “acceptable” references (these are notes 35, 40, 51 of Chapter One, dealing respectively with: the Schlieffen Plan, Russian backup to Serbian terrorism in Sarajevo, and an entry in Abel Ferry's diary). The remaining citations are quoted excerpts, which, save for note n. 94 of Chapter l, have been cross-referenced in the Endnotes of this German edition; they are perfectly pertinent observations on the events under scrutiny, and as such they stay (reference is here being made to note 86 of Chapter One, and note 72 of Chapter Two, which address respectively the state of German-American relations on the eve of America's intervention in WW1, anti-German propaganda in the USA, and the 1919 Franco-British pact for intervention in the Crimea).
- As I have done for Degrelle, I have supported a number of citations from Irving with additional bibliographical material. This is especially the ease for information pertaining to The Focus; the Soviet provisioning of the Wehrmacht; and the (delusive nature of Operation Sea Lion—information which appears respectively under notes 134, 160, 192, 172, and 191 of Chapter Five.