Mr Wear does not like the Hossbach Memorandum. No Nazi apologist likes the Hossbach Memorandum. It is easy to see why.
So, what exactly is the Hossbach Memorandum, and why do Nazi apologists hate it so much?
Hitler called a meeting on 7 November 1937 of his closest military advisers. No minutes were ever taken of this meeting, but Colonel Hossbach made notes and wrote them up 3 days after the meeting had concluded. The main area of concern for Nazi apologists was the fact that Hitler openly discussed territorial expansion and the need to require more space for the German nation. He also mentioned his determination to take up military actions against Czechoslovakia. The problem for Hitler was timing. This expansion had to be completed in the 1943 – 1945 time frame otherwise other nations would catch up in regards to armaments production. The main concern was with the reactions of France and Britain .The situation could change though if the political situation in Europe dramatically worsened for France and Britain before then. In that case, Hitler was happy to strike earlier, even if not fully prepared.
The Hossbach Memorandum can be seen in full here.
So back to Mr Wear’s article. Firstly, it must be noted that Mr Wear did not write the vast bulk of the article. The article has been lifted directly from the book of David Hoggan: “The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed.”, found here:
on page 64.
So let us look at the article itself.
U.S. historian David L. Hoggan, Ph.D
I just love the sourcing techniques Mr Wear uses. Revisionist historians like Hoggan are always given their full academic titles. The theory here is that because they have a title, they must be somehow more credible. What Mr Wear declines to tell us is that David Hoggan had close ties to the extreme Right and was heavily involved in Holocaust Denial, writing a book called “The Myth of the 6 Million“.
So let’s look at the text.
“Colonel Hossbach, an officer of the German General Staff assigned by the General Staff for liaison work with Hitler, was also present. This man was in no sense Hitler’s personal adjutant, although this idea has persisted in many accounts.”
Hossbach was the main link between Hitler and the German Army, He was indeed a liaison officer; he was one of Hitler’s adjutants.
“The so-called Hossbach version of the conference…”
So now Hoggan puts into doubt the authenticity of the memorandum. Holocaust deniers and Nazi apologists use this technique when all else fails. Cry fake.
“…was written several days after the event, and it could carry no weight in a normal court of law, even if an actual copy of this memorandum was available.”
Hoggan doesn’t say why.
“Hossbach had been an opponent of Hitler and his system since 1934, and he was not adverse to the employment of illegal and revolutionary means in eliminating Hitler.”
Pure speculation. In this way, Hossbach is accused of making things up about the meeting to, put Hitler in a bad light. There is no evidence for this at all.
“He was an ardent admirer of General Ludwig Beck, the German Chief of Staff, whose life he had once helped to save on the occasion of a cavalry accident. Beck was a determined foe of Hitler, and he was engaged in organizing opposition against the German Chancellor.”
The distrust of Adolf Hitler by the Wehrmacht on Hitler’s rise to power is nothing new. There was no major effort by the Wehrmacht, however, to rid Germany of Adolf Hitler directly until 1944. People like Beck were shocked in 1937, not by Hitler’s desire to move east for more living space, but by the threat of war with Britain and France.
“Hossbach was naturally on the alert to provide Beck with every possible kind of propaganda material”
There is no evidence that Hossbach made up details of the meeting to serve as future propaganda materiel. Indeed, the notes that Hossbach made were offered to Hitler to read. Hitler refused to do so.
“It would be the duty of every historian to treat the so-called Hossbach memorandum with reserve, even if it could be shown that the version introduced at Nuremberg was an authentic copy of the memorandum which Hossbach began to write on November 10, 1937 (he failed to recall later when he completed his effort).”
Historians readily accept the authenticity of the memorandum. The big debate amongst historians was whether the memorandum was a deliberate plan for war or simply a general response to the rapidly changing political situation in Europe.
“In other words, the sensational document, which was the primary instrument used in securing the conviction and execution of a number of Germany’s top leaders, has never been verified, and there is no reason to assume that it is authentic.”
Many documents were used to secure Hitler’s war like intents. The Hossbach Memorandum was just one of them. Hoggan tries to make it the primary document so that debunking it would excuse the Nazis of the crime they committed. There is no reason to assume it was not authentic. After all, the November 1937 meeting also discussed the allocation of resources to the military. Within weeks of the meeting, armaments production accelerated even further than it ever had before. The Hossbach memorandum fits nicely in the historical timeline.
“Raeder explained that Hitler’s views, as expressed on November 5, 1937, offered no basis to conclude that any change in German foreign policy was about to take place, but the judges at Nuremberg, with the dubious help of an unconfirmed record, decided that Hitler had revealed unmistakably his unalterable intention to wage a war of criminal aggression.”
The Hossbach Memorandum showed Hitler’s intent on deliberate territorial expansion. It was simply one document of many.
“Hitler had discussed German aspirations in Central Europe and the danger of war, but this was certainly a very different thing than announcing an intention to pursue a reckless foreign policy or to seek a war.”
…and many historians would agree with that summation. That is why the Nuremberg Trials did not rely solely on that document as proof of military aggression.
“It does contain some offensive and belligerent ideas, but it outlines no specific actions, and it establishes no timetables.”
It does, however, establish specific aims…and does give a general timeline; action from 1943 onward unless the political system regarding France and Britain allowed action earlier.
“It was false to assume that the document was authentic in the first place, and it was incorrect to assume that even the fraudulent document contained any damaging evidence against Hitler and the other German leaders.”
The document fits what we know of Hitler’s plans and fits into the time line. It was not fraudulent. It was damaging to Hitler in that it gave his aspirations as regards gaining living space for the German people.
“Unfortunately, most of the later historians in Germany and elsewhere have blindly followed the Nuremberg judgment and have arrived at the mistaken conclusion that Hitler’s conference of November 5, 1937, was relevant to the effort of determining the responsibility for World War II.”
Unfortunately for Nazi sympathisers like Mr Hoggan and Mr Wear…it was.
As a post script, Mr Wear made the following comment:
“David L. Hoggan’s analysis of the so-called Hossbach memorandum is excellent. Hitler’s conference on November 5, 1937 was not evidence that Hitler was planning a war of criminal aggression.
It should be noted that David Hoggan earned his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 1948. Dr. Hoggan was fluent in several languages and did extensive primary research in the archives. Thus, Dr. Hoggan was as qualified as anyone to make his analysis of the Hossbach memorandum.”
I think desperation comes to mind. The problem is, most historians don’t actually take up Mr Hoggan’s interpretation of history. It’s why he doesn’t get a mention in Universities and only gets a mention on Neo Nazi, Nazi apologist and Holocaust denial websites.