Ernst Nolte Dismissed

ThoughtCrime: 06/25/87
Published: 1987-06-25

"Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death."
George Orwell

Professor Ernst Nolte of the Free University of Berlin, a world-renowned authority on 19th and 20th-century intellectual history, has been dismissed from his position as chief editor of Zionist theorist and organizer Theodor Herzl's letters and diaries by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the West German group financing the project. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a Zionist wire service, has reported that Professor Nolte's dismissal was prompted by the complaints of two Israeli scholars, who had been working on the Herzl project, that Nolte had written that Hitler "created the state of Israel." (Washington Jewish Week, June 25, 1987) According to the report, "Nolte maintained that the Jews would eventually come to appreciate Hitler as the individual who contributed more than anyone else to the creation of the state of Israel."

It is believed that the current rage at Professor Nolte, however, is not unrelated to his role in a burgeoning movement among historians of West Germany's post-war, anti-Hitler establishment, one which received much attention both in the Bundesrepublik and abroad. The thrust of this West German revisionist movement, in which such exterminationist historians as Andreas Hillgruber, Hans Mommsen, and Nolte have participated, is that the one-sided diabolization of Hitler and the National Socialist regime must be abandoned in favor of integrating the events which took place in Germany and Europe between 1933 and 1945 into the rest of twentieth-century history, which includes a terrifying catalogue of crimes and atrocities carried out by Hitler's enemies.

In a provocative essay, significantly entitled "Between Myth and Revisionism." which appeared in the book Aspects of the Third Reich (St. Martin's Press, New York, 1985), Professor Nolte called for revision of the history of the Third Reich, speculating as to what the history of Israel might read like in the event of the annihilation of the Zionist entity by the Palestine Liberation Organization: "the victory over the racist, oppressive, and even Fascist Zionism would become a state-supporting myth." While giving formal credence to the "Holocaust," Nolte further wrote that "it can hardly be denied that Hitler had good reasons to be convinced of his enemies' determination to annihilate him much earlier than when the first information about Auschwitz cam to the knowledge of the world." He went on to advert to Theodore N. Kaufman's Germany Must Perish published in the U.S. in 1941, which called for the annihilation of the Germans through mass sterilization, and Chaim Weizmann's declaration, at the outbreak of the war, that "the Jews stand by Great Britain and will fight on the side of the democracies."

Adapted from IHR Newsletter #51 August 1987, Institute for Historical Review, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659

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Author(s): CODOH News
Title: Ernst Nolte Dismissed, ThoughtCrime: 06/25/87
Sources: IHR Newsletter #51 August 1987
Published: 1987-06-25
First posted on CODOH: June 29, 1996, 7 p.m.
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