Irving and Weber Speak on Himmler and Goebbels
at Southern California Meeting

A Successful Event in Spite of Threats and Intimidation

News from the Institute for Historical Review

Best-selling British author David Irving and American historian Mark Weber gave talks about two of wartime Germany's most prominent leaders at a meeting in Orange County, California, on Saturday evening, April 23, 2011. Fifty men and women, including a good turnout of younger people, met for the event, which was a success in spite of efforts by local bigots to disrupt it.

An influential Mexican-American community leader who writes for the local OC Weekly and the daily Los Angeles Times had issued a call to fellow "anti-racists" to rally to "protest these Nazis." Gustavo Arellano also smeared those attending the Irving-Weber meeting as "neo-Nazis," "skinheads" and "cockroaches." In addition, a self-described "peace" activist called for people to show "solidarity against hate" by gathering outside the IHR offices on the day of the meeting to protest Irving's appearance in Orange County. These calls supplement an ongoing campaign of smears and intimidation against the IHR by the Jewish Defense Organization, a Zionist group with a track record of violence.

But security measures proved effective: There was no protest demonstration, and the Irving-Weber meeting took place without incident.

In a talk entitled "The Life and Death of Heinrich Himmler," the best-selling British historian spoke about the man who headed Germany's national police system, established the regime's infamous concentration camp network, and built the vast SS organization. What Himmler achieved by the end of World War II, and his death at the age of 44, is extraordinary, Irving said. He noted, for example, how Himmler expanded the Waffen SS during the war years from an elite German combat echelon into an immense pan-European military force.

Himmler also organized mass killings of Jews, Irving said, of whom more than million were put to death in the "Operation Reinhardt" camps of Sobibor, Treblinka and Belzec. These killings, Irving went on, were organized without Hitler's authorization or approval. This view of "the Holocaust" is essentially the same one that the British historian had laid during the 1970s in the first edition of his book Hitler's War.

Citing evidence from his own archival research, Irving cast doubt on the official story that Himmler committed suicide shortly after the end of the war while being held prisoner. He presented evidence to support his view that the SS commander was beaten and murdered by British troops.

During the question and answer session, Irving spoke about how Britain has changed demographically since the Second World War. He recalled a remark he made during the 2000 Irving-Lipstadt trial: "If the British soldiers on the beaches of Normandy in 1944 could look forward to the end of the century and see what England has become, they would not have bothered to advance another 40 yards up the beach."

Mark Weber spoke about the wartime career and postwar reputation of Joseph Goebbels, the master publicist who, as Reich Propaganda Minister and Reich Culture Chamber President, supervised Third Reich Germany's motion pictures, periodical press, mass media and cultural life. The IHR director also took aim at some entrenched myths about the man who is widely portrayed as a diabolical master of mendacious propaganda.

Perhaps Goebbels' most spectacular wartime achievement, said Weber, was his adroit handling of the news of the mass murder of Polish officers and intellectuals by the Soviets. The led to an embarrassing break in relations between the Soviet Union and the London-based Polish government in exile. "In his skillful and energetic treatment of the Katyn massacre story," said Weber, "Goebbels contributed significantly to a major Allied political defeat, and thereby scored what was perhaps his greatest single wartime propaganda achievement."

Weber compared how the Katyn massacre was dealt with in the German wartime media, and how it was treated in the American media during this same period. With regard to this important story, said Weber, the German media and Goebbels told the truth, while American officials and the US media told lies.

This Irving-Weber meeting was also an occasion for fellowship and stimulating conversation. Attendees browsed the many books, booklets and discs available at sales tables, and Irving autographed copies of his own works.