Goebbels, Frank Speech, and War Memories

Published: 1996-09-15

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Doug Collins, an award-winning journalist, has worked for several Canadian daily newspapers, and is the author of several books. He served with the British army during the Second World War, and then with the British control commission in postwar occupied Germany. In September 1997 he retired as a columnist for the North Shore News of North Vancouver, British Columbia. For more about him and his work, see "Victory for Collins and Free Speech in Holocaust Heresy Battle" in the Jan.-Feb. 1998 Journal, pp. 2-3.

The three essays published here are reprinted, with permission, from his columns in the North Shore News of September 15, 1996, June 29, 1997, and November 10, 1996.

Mastermind Unmasked

Anyone reading David Irving's book on Hitler's propaganda minister, Goebbels: Mastermind of the Third Reich, will wonder why American Jews were so keen on forcing St. Martin's Press to cancel publication.

The answer is that they hate the man. He does not believe in the six million story or in the gas chambers. Not that he mentions that in Goebbels. But it is a case of once damned, always damned.

They should have welcomed the book. Among other things it describes how Goebbels was a major force in persecuting the Jews and how he was even more of an anti-Semite than Hitler. Irving depicts the little cripple as "a poisonous dwarf."

As the Gauleiter (Regional Nazi Party Leader) of Berlin, Goebbels fought a running battle – sometimes literally – with the pre-1933 Jewish Chief of Police, Bernhard Weiss.

Time after time, Weiss and other functionaries banned Berlin's Nazi newspaper, Der Angriff ("Attack"). Time after time, Goebbels found himself in the courts. But neither libel laws nor "hate laws" fazed him. He relished the publicity.

All this took place against a background of infighting with the Communists, who in their left-wing way were just as Nazi as the Nazis.

The book is based in part on the Goebbels' diaries discovered in 1992 in Moscow, and Irving was one of the few people who could decipher them.

He is probably the best researcher of the Nazi period and has produced a book that is well documented and revealing.

For many years, for instance, the world press claimed that the fire that destroyed the German Parliament, the Reichstag, and helped Hitler on his road to total power was the work of the Nazis themselves rather than that of a half-crazed Dutch Communist.

The diaries show that the Nazi leaders knew nothing about it. Goebbels and Hitler were having dinner when the news came through and thought their informant, a high-ranking prankster, was having them on. But they soon turned the event to their advantage.

Irving's critics have sneered that the book portrays Goebbels as the real force behind Hitler; also that the author seeks to excuse Hitler's actions by laying them at Goebbels' door.

Not true. It is clear that for years Goebbels played a relatively distant fiddle. Without Hitler's prior knowledge he did take the initiative and unleash the Crystal Night riots of 1938 in which 191 synagogues were destroyed and the windows of thousands of Jewish stores smashed.

Hitler disapproved, if only because it would lead to world-wide condemnation.

Goebbels wasn't even consulted when the Rhineland was reoccupied in 1936. Until the last minute he knew nothing about Hitler's decision to murder Brownshirt leader Ernst Röhm and dozens of other Stormtroop leaders in the "night of the long knives."

Goebbels was in fact lucky not to be counted among the alleged conspirators.

It was not until shortly before the attack on the USSR that he knew about that, either. Not until the war against Russia was well under way did Goebbels become a member of Hitler's most intimate circle. But through thick and thin he sat at the Führer's feet.

There is of course no doubt that he was the "mastermind" of the Third Reich in terms of the brilliance of his propaganda. Hence the title. Even so, Irving says he was bested in that by Churchill.

Irving is a Churchill critic and claims Winston had a "funk hole" in Oxfordshire to which he went when he knew London was to be bombed. Sir John Colville, Churchill's war-time secretary, has denied it. In this book, however, Irving gives that only a paragraph.

In the final days of the Nazi regime, fantasy ruled. They believed they were going to win even as the Russians approached Berlin.

The death of Roosevelt was a "sign." But in the end Goebbels did what he said he would do. He and his wife killed themselves and their six innocent children.

1933 to 1945 was a world-shaking period, and if you are interested in what went on behind the Nazi scenes, ask your library to get Goebbels. It's a great read.

The book costs about $50 US and is available only from the Institute for Historical Review in Newport Beach, California, or from Focal Point Publishing in the UK.

Doug Collins addresses the 1990 IHR Conference

Collins addresses the 1990 IHR Conference.

Fighting for Frankness

The battle for a free press in Beautiful B.C. [British Columbia] has been joined in earnest. But there's one thing about it that some people may have missed: Criticizing Jewish organizations is not on.

I said that years ago, to the rage of those concerned. So when the same thing was stated in the respected and influential [London] Sunday Telegraph [January 5, 1997], whose editor is Jewish, it caught my eye. Columnist Kevin Myers' piece was headed: "Not all critics of Jews are anti-Semites."

He emphasized the sins of the Nazis, of course. There was no chance of his being caught in the dread "holocaust-denier" trap. But he observed that "we cannot forever be bound by the constraints" that arose as a result of what happened to the Jews in Germany.

"It is surely time," he went on, "that we were liberated from the inhibitions" that Nazi deeds have "laid upon our freedom of discussion." "At this remove we should really be able to discuss Jews and their Jewishness, their virtues or their vices, as one can any other identifiable group, without being called anti-Semitic. Frankness does not feed anti-Semitism; secrecy, however, does ... [and] it is time to be frank about Jews."

He identified four famous British "agony aunts," all Jewish.

"They have all been empresses of pelvic epics and laureates of female personal pleasure, and no doubt have helped obliterate many traditional sexual taboos." But "their utterly undiscussed Jewishness," he said, "is not irrelevant. Nor is the way it affects their approach to the sexual taboos of traditional Christianity." "Would the religion of other, differently influential counsellors have been totally ignored, if they were Catholic?" he asked.

Hey! That's the same dangerous question I asked with regard to Jewish influence in Hollywood. Even to draw attention to Jewish success is to risk being accused of anti-Semitism, stated Myers, as does "disdaining certain Jewish practices, like circumcision." Talk about what Jews do, he concluded, and you are "anti-Semitic."

Yes. You can discuss any other group. But you discuss the Jews at your peril. And that was what I discussed at my peril and that of the North Shore News in my famous, or as some would say, infamous $200,000 column, "Hollywood propaganda."

Pardon me if I mention him again, but David Lethbridge of Salmon Arm, the Communist academic, is a Jew. I identified him as such, whereupon he went howling to the B.C. Press Council. To no effect, as it turned out.

I did it because he's big on what he calls "anti-Semitism" and "fascism." So there was a point to my pointedness. As everyone must know by now, one is not supposed to mention that the most powerful influence in Hollywood is Jewish, even though a Jew [Neal Gabler] wrote a book about it called An Empire Of Their Own. He can say it, others can't.

Jewish jokes are a no-no, too, unless told by a Jew. Remember how Bill Vander Zalm was put through the wringer for telling one? Front page stuff for idiotic editors.

Jewish organizations have made the deeds of the Nazis into a shield against criticism. While Jews may be the most political of all races, as Winston Churchill once stated, we must never mention that they may sometimes boost their own at the expense of others (as in Israel). Or that in their ranks there is anyone who is less than perfect.

It's a bit like that hilarious Fawlty Towers episode in which John Cleese told the waitress who was serving weeping German guests: "Don't mention the WAR!" Except, of course, that there's nothing funny about a column that costs $200,000. To be safe we would have to pretend that this attack against free speech was started by little green men from Mars.

Anyway, I am grateful to Kevin Myers for stating the obvious. Let's hope he doesn't end up in front of the British Thought Police.

Memories Clearer as War Recedes

Old men forget, yet all shall be forgot
But he'll remember with advantages
what feats he did that day."—Henry V.

Shakespeare did not have it quite right. It is true that "all shall be forgot," but the old men themselves do not forget. That's why they will be at the war memorials tomorrow.

The faster the war recedes, the more vivid become the memories. Bits may be blurred but the highlights stand out.

Those who went in at Dieppe will never forget it. Nor will those who landed on D-Day; nor those who suffered on the Burma railway under the Japanese, watching their friends die like flies.

But it is true that "all shall be forgot." Major Arthur Kavanagh, M.C., was still with us last year – M.C. standing for Military Cross, which no Canadian can now be awarded, thanks to the politicians. He's not yet forgotten, but he will be. It is one of the facts of life. And death. How many people can tell you about time charge of the Light Brigade?

By AD 2000 there will be only a relative handful of Canadians who were in the Second World War, which will have sunk 55 years into the past.

Think about that. The end of the century will be to 1940 as 1940 was to 1885. And just as the young men of 1885 could not have had the slightest idea what the world would be like in 1940, so those in 1940 had no idea what the world would be like now.

Good thing, too, or they might not have been so keen. In 1885 mechanized warfare was not even a dream. Submarine warfare was a Jules Verne phantasy. So were battles in the air. The rifle was the most common weapon. At sea, "ironclads" had made their appearance in the world's navies but sail still dominated on the oceans. A few decades before that the "wooden walls" of Nelson's day were still around.

Time, in the words of the hymn, is like an ever rolling stream and we are rushing down it to oblivion. Values change more quickly than moods, as a glance at any newspaper will show you.

I remember, as a kid, thinking that the Germans were terrible for using submarines. Listening to the teachers on Armistice Day, and reading boys' magazines, one felt that they were rotten sports. Submarines were a low blow. Even worse was the flamethrower. If old Jerry ever tried it again, we'd show him, by God.

But in due course napalm would be used on villages in Vietnam and nuclear subs would roam the world, ready to wipe out whole cities. Countries, even. Cruise missiles would be aimed at Middle East peasants.

Empires – including what used to be called the "the greatest empire the world has ever known" – would disappear, and there would be more wars than ever, even if smaller ones.

The men and women of 1940 who joined up to wallop the bad guys were innocents abroad. Many had no real idea what they were fighting for. Joining up was simply something that was done. In 1944 I asked a Canadian lady who was working in a YWCA canteen in High Wycombe [England] why she had come over. (In those days there were lots of ladies. "Wymin" hadn't been invented.) It was a dumb question, but in those days I was even dumber than I am now.

"I'm from British Columbia," she said, "and back home everyone was asking, 'What are you going to do for the war effort'." I thought fleetingly that British Columbia might be somewhere in South America.

We now know what the British Columbians did. But it has to be repeated that they had no idea what things would be like 50 years on. You know: Human Rights Gestapos, most jokes a no-no, smoking a social offence, etc.

Would they have been so keen if they had known? Ask the old men who will soon be forgotten. And ask the youngsters of today whether they would be so ready to fight as were their grandfathers.

I doubt it. Maybe they have more brains.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Douglas Collins
Title: Goebbels, Frank Speech, and War Memories
Sources: The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 17, no. 3 (May/June 1998), pp. 22-24, reprinted from the North Shore News, September 15, 1996, June 29, 1997, and November 10, 1996, respectively.
Published: 1996-09-15
First posted on CODOH: Jan. 18, 2013, 6 p.m.
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