LOS ANGELES (May. 24)
A noted historian lashed out at “revisionist writers” who “whitewash the Nazi years and claim that Hitler was really Mr. Nice Guy.” Addressing a luncheon session of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith national executive committee meeting at the Beverly Hilton Hotel here Sunday, Dr. Robert G.L. Waite, professor of history at Williams College, Maryland, and a specialist in German history for 30 years, called efforts to “de-demonize” Hitler and the Nazi era “defamation of both the victims of the Holocaust and of historical scholarship.”
He centered his remarks on a recently published book by British writer David Irving, “Hitler’s War,” which contends that Hitler did not order the massacre of the Jews and did not even know about it until late in 1944.
Waite, whose book “The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler,” will be published next month, said his study of Hitler’s life and career reveals that hatred of the Jews and a determination to destroy them “obsessed Hitler’s private life and became the guts of his public policy.”
He also criticized a book which caused a furor earlier this year written by Northwestern University professor Arthur Butz. The Butz book, “The Hoax of the Twentieth Century,” contends that the Nazi extermination of six million Jews was a myth propagated by the Jews themselves. According to Waite, Irving has appeared nationally on radio and television interview programs and has received widespread newspaper and magazine coverage for his thesis that Hitler was innocent.
EMPHASIS ON THE DANGER OF BOTH BOOKS
Waite said the danger of the Butz and Irving books is the veneer of scholarship attached to both–Butz because of his affiliation with Northwestern and Irving because he is a known author and his book has been published by a respected American firm (Viking Press).
“But both books,” he added, “are wrong and no better than the Holocaust revisionist works written and disseminated over the past 10 years by anti-Jewish extremists in America and abroad. Indeed, the Butz book is already being promoted by the American Nazi Party and other anti-Semitic factions; the Irving book will most likely also be adopted by such groups.”
According to Benjamin R. Epstein, national director of the ADL, there are over 100 neo-Nazi weekly newspapers published in West Germany and available on public newsstands there. Their favorite targets, he said, are the German government and the State of Israel. He asserted that some of the neo-Nazi books and materials have been picked up by American hate groups.