The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

David Irving's Hitler
A Faulty History Dissected
Two Essays by Eberhard Jäckel
Translation & Comments by H. David Kirk

© Copyright H. David Kirk


American vs. British spelling

Although the author of the Foreword, the translator of the essays, and the publisher are Canadians, American spelling was used for the sake of wider distribution. It is hoped that this will not stand in the way of our Canadian and British friends and European readers.

Why 'antisemitism' rather than 'anti-Semitism'?

Let us begin anecdotally. A perplexed Hugh Whitney Morrison, our erudite and highly competent editor, called to say that no standard dictionary shows the term 'antisemitism,' even as an alternate spelling to 'anti-Semitism.' Was it a consistent error in the manuscript? If not, why had we used this peculiar, perhaps idiosyncratic spelling?

When all grammatical authorities seem to contradict us and we persist, an explanation is called for. In response to Mr. Morrison we note that 'Semitism,' in the composite term 'anti-Semitism,' is meaningless. But 'Semitic' refers to a group of languages spoken by peoples like the ancient Phoenicians and modern Arabs. Ancient and modern Hebrew also belong to that language group. In addition to being meaningless, the term has served as a cover for racist agitation against the Jewish people.

Gobineau's mid-19th century work on 'the inequality of the human races' initiated a pseudo-scientitic theory, whereby early anthropologists confused the idea of race in a biological sense with the social and mental productions of human civilizations. In that context 'Semitic' came to be applied, first erroneously and then intentionally, as a racist epithet in politics.

In Germany the term 'Antisemitus' appears to have been first used by Wilhelm Malr (around 1879), in connection with movements intent on reducing Jewish influence in economic and social life. It was put in circulation by Adolf Stocker, Imperial Palace Preacher, and founder of the first overdy antisemitic party, the Christian Social Movement. In German, 'antisemitism' was never hyphenated .

In English, in a different context, the term 'antisemitism' probably stems from the work of Dr. James Parkes, a Church of England priest and long-time student of Christianity's anti-Jewish ideology, actions, and sentiments. His An Enemy of the People, Antisemitism appeared in the critical year 1945, and in 1963 a revised and expanded version appeared under the title Antisemitism.

Unable to find a passage in which Parkes explained the use of his spelling, the translator (HDK) asked friends of the late James Parkes for information. The American scholars Professors Alice and Roy Eckardt recall the following words of explanation by Dr. Parkes at the time of a 1953 visit: 'Antisemitism is not a scientific word, and it is entitled to neither a hyphen nor a capital.'

Another look at both terms

Actually there is reason for avoiding both terms, especially since neo-Nazi propaganda claims that its ideology is directed against Jews but not against 'Semites' as such. In accord with Hitler's wartime dalliance with Amin al-Husayni, the Mufti of Jerusalem, neo-Nazis consider Arabs their friends. For that reason, and for the sake of clarity, we would have preferred to speak of 'Jew-hatred,' but customary usage urged one or the other spelling of the many-sidedly false l9th century term. In honor of Jarnes Parkes we chose his spelling.

Some additional works by James Parkes

The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue, 1934, 1962
Jesus, Paul and the Jews, 1936
The Jew in the Medieval Community, 1938
Judaism and Christianity, 1948
A History of Palestine from AD. 135 to Modern Times, 1949
End of an Exile: Israel, the Jews and the Gentile World, 1954
The Foundations of Judaism and Christianity, 1960


48. Fleming here quotes Guido Knopp, ed Hitler heute (Aschaffenburg, 1979). I am grateful to Professor Fleming for having drawn my attention to his Hitler and the Final Solution, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1984. In it he has indeed dealt in a masterly way and in much greater detail with much tbat the Ja"ckel essays and my annotations could only indicate. His book is a 'must' for anyone wanting to follow tbese issues in greater depth.

49. Martin Broszat, op. cit., pp. 742-745 and footnote 12. All quotations from Broszat are translated by HDK, except for sentences that Broszat has directly quoted from Irving's 'Hitler's War.'

50. Ibid., p. 763, footnote 51.

51. Ibid., p. 727.

52. Landsgericht Munchen 11.

53. Broszat, op.cit., p. 768 and footnote 62.

54. Translator's emphasis.

55. For an account of Jewish ghetto fighters' weapons, ammunition, and their sources see Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, Chicago, Quadrangle Books, 1961, pp. 322-324.

56. Eventually the Polish government relented and room was made in the country for the unfortunate expellees.

57. I am indebted to Edward Alexander's incisive discussion of Lucy Dawidowicz in his article 'What the Holocaust Does Not Teach,'

58. Lucy S. Dawidowicz, op. Cit., pp. 34-38.

59. In deciphering Himmler's Gothic script and its meaning, Dawidowicz acknowledges the help of Dr. Fred Grubel, director of the Leo Baeck Institute.

60. Reprinted from the Times-Colonist, Victoria, B.C., November 1992.

61. Ibid., 9 November 1992." (Jäckel, 39-56)

Work Cited

Jäckel, Eberhard. David Irving's Hitler: A Faulty History Dissected. H. David Kirk, Translator. Port Angeles, Washington: Ben-Simon Publications, 1993. Library of Congress Catalog Number 93-072355, ISBN 0-914539-08-6.

Ben-Simon Publications, P.O. Box 2124, Port Angeles, Washington, 98362 Ben-Simon Publications, P.O. Box 318, Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, V0S 1A0.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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