Published: 1999-05-15

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Gun Control in the Third Reich

A group called "Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership" (JPFO) says that Third Reich Germany banned private ownership of firearms, and that American laws restricting guns are copied from Hitler's. This organization also quotes Hitler as having said: "This year will go down in history. For the first time a civilized nation will have full gun registration. Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead into the future."

Did Hitler say this? What's the truth about gun control in the Third Reich?

J. R.
Bakersfield, Calif.

This quotation, like so many attributed to Hitler, is phony. The JPFO grossly distorts the reality of firearms ownership during the Third Reich. A good source of information on this subject is Gun Control in Germany, 1928-1945, a 45-page booklet by William L. Pierce, available from the IHR for $12, plus $2 for shipping. [Check www.ihr.org for current availability and price; ed.]

During the Third Reich, private citizens could and did own guns. Millions of Germans owned firearms of every kind. It is true that most had to have a permit, but this was required by a firearms ownership law that had been enacted by the Weimar Republic government in 1928, five years before Hitler came to power. A revised firearms law promulgated in 1938, and signed by Hitler, actually loosened the restrictions imposed by the 1928 law.

Throughout the Third Reich era, Hitler and the National Socialist government retained popular trust and support. Even during the final months of the war, with devastating defeat looming ever greater, under conditions of tremendous privation, and as enemy bombers were pummeling her cities, and as foreign armies invaded the homeland, the government responded by trustingly arming all those who could still handle weapons.

In late 1944, just months before the end, Hitler created the Volkssturm, a national militia (similar to Britain's "Home Guard") to defend the homeland. All able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 who had not already been called to active military service were enrolled, and even some housewives were hastily trained to use Panzerfaust anti-tank weapons.

The most sweeping "gun control" ever imposed in Germany was in 1945, when the Allied occupation authorities ordered Germans to turn in all weapons. Millions of handguns, rifles and other firearms, and even fencing swords, were seized.

– The Editor


Kudos for your excellent article, "Michael Eisner and the Disney Empire" [Sept.-Oct. 1998 issue]. We can resonate with your point about the profound impact of Eisner, and those like him, on "the public's barely conscious basic assumptions about life and society." As always, the Journal is a revelation of facts.

I. H.
East Bridgewater, Mass.

A 'Detail' of History

For daring to say that gas chambers in wartime German concentration camps are "a detail in the history of the Second World War," Jean Marie Le Pen has twice – in 1987 and again in 1997 – been found guilty and punished with heavy fines. [See "French Courts Punish Holocaust Apostasy," March-April 1998 Journal.]

Also, authorities in Germany are threatening the French political leader with punishment for having made a similar statement in that country. A public prosecutor in Munich said that Le Pen's remark allegedly "belittling" the Holocaust story violates a German statute prohibiting "incitement to public disorder or racial discrimination." If convicted, Le Pen could be fined or imprisoned for up to as five years. (New York Times, Oct. 7, 1998)

For those of us who regard freedom of expression as the linchpin of a free society, such prosecutions are nothing less than an outrage.

What punishments, one wonders, would these modern-day Torquemadas threaten had Le Pen been suspected of the far greater heresy of "Holocaust denial"?

One can only speculate whether Winston Churchill would have been accused of similar thought crimes had such laws been in effect when he published his monumental six-volume history, The Second World War (1948-1954). As a major player in that conflict, he was privy to far more information than Le Pen. Yet, in spite of that, or perhaps because of it, he went much further than Le Pen in "belittling" the Holocaust.

Churchill ignored it. Except for a single reference to the deportation of Hungarian Jews in mid-1944, he devotes not a single line in this work of more than three thousand pages to what is purported to be the most heinous crime in the entire history of mankind.

Churchill was doubtless aware of the claims made during and just after the war about mass killings of Jews, and certainly he knew of the grisly details of the alleged slaughter that were "proven" before the Nuremberg Tribunal: six million Jewish deaths, homicidal gas chambers, bars of human soap, and so forth. Yet he was silent about all that.

Similarly, as Robert Faurisson has pointed out ["The Detail," March-April 1998 Journal, pp. 1920], both Eisenhower and DeGaulle, as well as scores of lesser wartime figures, made no mention at all of gas chambers in their memoirs, or otherwise supported claims of a massive program of state-sponsored genocide that utilized homicidal gas chambers as the main instrument of death. Such a lack of contemporary corroboration by the important players is analogous to finding no reference to the crucifixion in the New Testament.

M. J.
Great Neck, New York

Had No Idea

For some time I had known that some of Russia's big magnates were Jews. But it wasn't until I read Eduard Topol's open letter to Boris Berezovsky [in the Nov.-Dec. 1998 Journal] that I realized just how total Jewish political and economic power had become there. Also, I had no idea of just how catastrophic had been the fall in living standards suffered by ordinary Russians.

Even though I am Jewish myself, I'm not at all sure I would blame the ordinary people of Russia if they ever take it into their heads to rid their country of Jews (and I mean completely).

R. P.
Derry, New Hampshire

John Birch Society Fear

I was angered but not surprised by the John Birch Society attack against the IHR and Holocaust revisionism [reported in the Nov.-Dec. 1998 Journal, pp. 26-28].

During the ten years or so that I was a JBS member, I found that the Society was always very afraid to touch the Jewish issue or Zionism. While I reject "hate," I also don't believe in being silent about historical issues or current affairs to placate Jews or, for that matter, any ethnic or religious group.

Given the limited impact of the JBS these days, I wouldn't worry much about its pathetic attack. So marginal has it become that most people don't even realize that the JBS still exists. Actually, most rank and file Birchers would probably support revisionism and the IHR's work if they understood it. For decades, though, the JBS leadership has pumped them with so much kooky "conspiracy" paranoia that many reflexively reject any view that doesn't conform with the JBS dogma of "insiders" plotting. These misguided people have been prone to believe, for example, that the Soviets told 1960s bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane what songs to write and play.

Again, keep up the good work. Enclosed is another small donation to the case of truth.

M. R.
West Milford, N.J.

Missed Points

John Weir's review of Scapegoats: A Defense of Kimmel and Short at Pearl Harbor [Nov.-Dec. 1997 Journal] was competent, but of course it did not bring up a number of points. It didn't mention, for example, that Scapegoats author Edward Beach, although an establishment figure, devoted almost a page to praising George Morgenstern's work, Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War, without one qualifying evasive word – the first time I have ever seen such a display. Capt. Beach obviously shares Morgenstern's interpretation of the Pearl Harbor story, but at the same time wants to eulogize Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill for their subsequent war to "save civilization." In my view, these two hearties went very far toward destroying civilization.

In the last volume of his mighty post-World War I opus, The World Crisis, Churchill credited the Kaiser's Germany with taking on the manpower and resources of "five continents." The Germans did it again, 1939-1945, but this time around Churchill was not so generous. His adversary this time were simply "Narzie gangsters." World War II has never really ended. Maybe German self-respect will return some day to the point where they will do some "revising" of their own about this matter.

These days I define "genocide" as something done by someone I don't like who lives a long ways away. One's neighbors are never accused of genocide.

James J. Martin
Colorado Springs, Col.


I have only occasionally read your magazine, but find it extremely interesting. I also admire your courage in posting the material you do on your web site. Keep up the good work.

L. D. W.
[by Internet]

May Freedom Ring

I'm glad to have found you in the web. Thanks for the information you guys have been putting out for years. Every country, and every people, has a right to its own destiny – including the United States. May freedom ring – the true freedom the ancestors of this country created: freedom in keeping with our nature as human beings.

D. D.
Texas [by Internet]

A Salute

Just a few lines to let you know how much I value the courage and integrity of your publication honesty seldom seen in a "holocaustized" world. To everybody at the Journal, a salute of honor.

E. B.
Cincinnati, Ohio

We welcome letters from readers. We reserve the right to edit for style and space. Write: [... since defunct, don't write; ed.]

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): James Joseph Martin , et al.
Title: Letters
Sources: The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 18, no. 2 (March/April 1999), pp. 39f.
Published: 1999-05-15
First posted on CODOH: Feb. 4, 2013, 6 p.m.
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