[Admin disclaimer: The following article represents the views of Clark only. Our movement does not necessarily endorse these views.]
Hitler’s Table Talk is a worthless primary source. There, I said it. And I’m not just saying this to evoke a reaction. I’m saying it because I really mean it. The renowned “Hitler expert” Lord Dacre, better known as Hugh Trevor-Roper, knowingly and willingly engaged in a massive cover-up regarding Hitler’s Table Talk (hereafter TT). Had it not been for the outstanding research at the low cost of just $50 taken up by historian Richard Carrier, we might still be in the dark about this, 64 years after TT’s first appearance in the English language. Sorry to bust this bubble, Hitler and Third Reich enthusiasts, but TT is worthless. In this article, I will establish three things: 1) that Hugh Trevor-Roper knowingly and willingly engaged in academic fraud for profit and prestige, 2) that TT is a worthless primary source, and 3) that renowned Hitler “experts”, both Revisionist and Mainstream, have failed the public regarding reliable Hitler primary sources.
Whose “table talks”?
Before we commence, a brief word about the texts in question is necessary. The so-called “table talks” were written down by Martin Bormann’s aides, Heinrich Heim and Henry Picker, from 1941 to 1944. Aside from Heim and Picker, there are two more “table talk” authors, Bormann himself, “who contributed at least four entries, and a man known only as Müller.”
Mr. Picker was the first to publish his “table talks,” and he did so in German only. They were published as Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier 1941–1942, in 1951 and 1963, respectively. His book included some of Heim’s notes that he happened to come across, and which he then altered for his book.
According to Nilsson, François Genoud, who we will discuss later, published the first volume of a French version of the “table talks” a year later, following that up with a second volume in 1954. This French version (henceforth LP) “was not based on the same German original as Picker’s… but on a second manuscript that had purportedly been acquired by Genoud, the so-called Bormann-Vermerke” (henceforth B-V5). And even though the “form, content and provenance of the [B-V] remain obscure,” historian David Irving attested to this manuscript’s authenticity nonetheless. Adds Nilsson, LP eventually contained both Heim’s and Picker’s notes in subsequent volumes and editions. Genoud then had LP translated into English, by which time it had been “expanded to cover the whole period from 1941 to the end of 1944, and to include all of Heim’s and Picker’s notes said to have been in Genoud’s possession.”
Writes Nilsson in this regard: The German text, which the French and English editions are said to be based upon, was, for reasons that are unclear, not published until 1980. It was given the title Monologe im Führerhauptquartier… This edition does not contain Picker’s notes either due to a struggle over intellectual property rights. It does not help that both Heim’s and Picker’s original manuscripts seem to have been lost.
So far, Mr. Carrier is the only historian who has compared these various “table talks” in a systematic way. His conclusions have exposed the English and French “table talks” as “highly questionable,” particularly if they are based on the same manuscript used for Genoud’s Monologe. The English “table talks,” Carrier reveals, are based in whole or part on Genoud’s LP, “and… both the English and French editions contain additions to, and mistranslations of, the German texts that they are supposedly based on.” Nilsson himself “address[es] certain questions related to the authenticity of the B-V, as well as the accuracy of the translations,”all of which is pertinent to most historians’ claim that Hitler is the author/originator of the “table talks.” As we will soon see, he was not.
Indeed, there is a whole lot of mystery and very little certainty surrounding “Hitler’s” supposed “table talks”.
Hugh Trevor-Roper’s failings
Let’s begin with Hugh Trevor-Roper. Contrary to his respectable and honest public image, Trevor-Roper knowingly and willingly engaged in deception and fraud behind the scenes. The Hitler Diaries, proven to be a fraud, were not a unique fail for Trevor-Roper. In fact, as Swedish historian Mikael Nilsson has demonstrated, Trevor-Roper had a long trail of academic fails that he hid from the public eye.
His first fail is The Testament of Adolf Hitler, also known as Hitlers politisches Testament, first published in French in 1959, and in English in 1961. David Irving, and other historians such as Ian Kershaw, exposed this document, which was “acquired” and doctored by the notorious Nazi apologist and document peddler François Genoud, as a fraud. A fake.
Not surprisingly, I was attacked on Facebook for declaring that “Hitler’s Table Talk” is a “fraud,” which it is. The first attack reads: “Hitler’s table talk a fraud? based on what? what a BS. Have you ever red in in the original version? It is totally impossible to fake such prestigious thoughts that jump in all directions, but always in depth and related,,, you can not [sic] fake that, especially as their [sic] is no goal in faking it, they make hitler look better and there is not even a prooof [sic] of gas chambers or whatsoever in it. BASIC LOGIC APPLIED Bitte.” The second attack reads: “Did you read it? No you didn’t. Nor has [C] here. No single argument in the content that proves it is a fraud either just a statement. Not even a ball pen argument like Anne Franck hoaxers. The table talks are ingenious remarks from a well thought person on a host of topics impossible to fake. Are there transcrition [sic] error or some augmented passages, possibly. But even then, for what agenda. There is NONE.”
(*note: portions of original article skipped here viewable in the following link [along with it in its entirety] – Wilk Mocy Publishers)
…We still have neo-nazis touting the TT in its own dedicated podcast series, episodes 1 through 56. One neo-nazi writes on her website:
• How trustworthy is this text, since Martin Bormann assigned two of his aides to take the notes during meals, then turn them over to him for “checking” and safekeeping;
• Why it is valuable to study this book;
• Questions about the translation and translators – for example, did François Genoud tamper with the parts about Christianity;
• Of those offended by this book, Christians are #1 on the list, complaining that it does not agree with Hitler’s “public record” of positive remarks about Christianity in earlier years;
• David Irving and Albert Speer both confirmed that these recorded talks are authentically Hitler; Richard Carrier disagrees;
• Next week we’ll begin reading the text.
Indeed, the only aspect of TT with which most neo-nazis disagree is a few select entries about Christianity. Everything else is “legit” in their collective opinion. TT remains the most highly valued text next to Mein Kampf, also the result of extensive editing and external influence (such as that of Rudolf Hess and Max Amann), in the White Nationalist, Hitler worshiping community. We therefore owe it to these groups, and to the public at large, to tell them the truth about this text. It is not the words of Adolf Hitler.
(…continue article here: Wilk Mocy Publishers / Powerwolf Publications)