An addendum to a previous article on ‘Hitler’s Table Talk’
in which Hitler’s Religious Views were discussed
Edited and Presented by Lasha Darkmoon
May 31, 2021
LD: The authenticity of Hitler’s Table Talk is proved beyond reasonable dispute here, revealing in the process Hitler’s implacable hatred of Christianity. This is a follow-up article to Hitler’s Religious Views: Excerpts from Hitler’s Table Talk.
The present article consists of two very condensed mini-articles by and about David Irving in connection with Hitler’s Table Talk. The first is a brief response by Irving to a correspondent on his website. It validates the Table Talk book and enthuses about its contents. The second mini-article, entitled ‘The Faking of Hitler’s Last Testament’, relates to Irving’s dealings with the Swiss forger Francois Genoud. This is followed by a fascinating 4-minute video which expands on Irving’s dealings with the confidence trickster Genoud. It succeeds in drawing a sharp line between the fraudulent material, now identified, and the authentic material, now fully available to Hitler scholars.
The upshot of these notes is to set the reader’s mind at rest on two important issues: (1) There is no longer any reason to doubt the authenticity of Hitler’s Table Talk. (2) These informal dinner conversations between Hitler and his closest associates, which took place between 1941 and 1944, clearly reveal Hitler’s contempt for Christianity — “an evil invention of the Jews”.
People who continue to believe that Hitler was a devout Christian are in for a crushing disappointment. Hitler was not an atheist, but neither was he the exemplary Christian he pretended to be in his speeches and official pronouncements. All that was an act for public consumption. The image of devout religiosity Hitler needed to project to the German people was a calculated exercise in duplicity. (LD)
Eric Yankovich asks on Thursday, January 1, 2004 if it’s worth spending time reading Hitler’s Table Talk
How good is Hitler’s Table Talk?
I PURCHASED a book Hitler’s Table Talk, 1941 to 1944. It is about 1.5 inches thick. It has an introduction by H.R. Trevor-Roper and translated by Norman Cameron and R.H. Stevens.
Can you please tell me if you have read it and what your thoughts are. Assuming Hitler did have these so called “Table Talks”, do you believe that it was faithfully translated?
The reason I ask you is that I do not trust much of anything, especially being burnt by reading Albert Speer’s book. I briefly discussed this with you about four or five years ago during a luncheon you had in Washington D.C.
I read a bit of the Table Talk and I am already turned off because H.R. Trevor Roper engages in an anti-Hitler diatribe in the beginning of the book, so it is difficult for me to trust the translation. H.R. Trevor Roper should have written a book “Why I hate Hitler, even though I never met him!”
I respect your opinion; I read five of your books already. The last one was Dresden, a real crime and tragedy if there ever was one.
David Irving responds:
Hitler’s Table Talk is the product of his lunch- and supper-time conversations in his private circle from 1941 to 1944. The transcripts are genuine. (Ignore the 1945 “transcripts” published by Trevor-Roper in the 1950s as Hitler’s Last Testament — they are fake).
The table talk notes were originally taken by Heinrich Heim, the adjutant of Martin Bormann, who attended these meals at an adjacent table and took notes. (Later Henry Picker took over the job). Afterwards Heim immediately typed up these records, which Bormann signed as accurate.
François Genoud purchased the files of transcripts from Bormann’s widow just after the war, along with the handwritten letters which she and the Reichsleiter had exchanged.
For forty thousand pounds—paid half to Genoud and half to Hitler’s sister Paula—George Weidenfeld, an Austrian Jewish publisher who had emigrated to London, bought the rights and issued an English translation in about 1949.
For forty years or more no German original was published, as Genoud told me that he feared losing the copyright control that he exercised on them. I have seen the original pages, and they are signed by Bormann.
They were expertly, and literately, translated by Norman Cameron and R.H. Stevens, though with a few (a very few) odd interpolations of short sentences which don’t exist in the original — the translator evidently felt justified in such insertions, to make the context plain.
Translation is a difficult chore: I have translated four books, including Nikki Lauda’s memoirs — one can either produce a clinical, wooden, illiterate version, like Richard “Skunky” Evans’ courtroom translations of Third Reich documents, or one can produce a readable, publishable text which properly conveys the sense and language of the original.
Try translating for publication the Joseph Goebbels diaries — written often in a Berlinese vernacular — without running into trouble with the courts! Louis Lochner succeeded in my view magnificently.
Weidenfeld’s translator also took liberties with translating words like Schrecken, which he translated as “rumour” in the sense of “scare-story”. In my own view such translations are acceptable, but they caused a lot of difficulty at the Lipstadt Trial where I found myself accused of manipulating texts and distorting translations (because although I relied on the Weidenfeld translation, I had had access to the original document, and should have known that the actual word was Schrecken).
The Table Talks’ content is more important in my view than Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and possibly even more than his Zweites Buch (1928). It is unadulterated Hitler. He expatiates on virtually every subject under the sun, while his generals and private staff sit patiently and listen, or pretend to listen, to the monologues.
Along with Sir Nevile Henderson’s gripping 1940 book Failure of a Mission, this was one of the first books that I read, as a twelve year old: Table Talk makes for excellent bedtime reading, as each “meal” occupies only two or three pages of print. My original copy, purloined from my twin brother Nicholas, was seized along with the rest of my research library in May 2002.
I have since managed to find a replacement, and I am glad to say that — notwithstanding the perverse judgment of Mr. Justice Gray — Hitler’s Table Talk has recently come back into print, unchanged: Schrecken and all.
Further Reading Recommended by Irving
 Hitler’s War, by David Irving
 Hitler’s Table Talk (1941-1944): His Private Conversations (746 pages)
 Hitler’s Table Talk July 24, 1942 (Hitler says he will ship all the Jews to Madagascar after the war)
 Francois Genoud’s role in the composition of the fake 1945 Bunkergespräche (Table Talk,”testament”): The Faking of Hitler’s ‘Last Testament’.
— § —
THE FAKING OF HITLER’S LAST TESTAMENT
Seeking to disprove David Irving’s assertion (1977) that there is no archival evidence that Hitler even knew of the Final Solution of the Jewish Problem, let alone ordered the liquidation of millions of Jews, some critics pointed to a passage in the book edited by Hugh Trevor Roper, Hitler’s Last Testament, allegedly based on a typescript record of Hitler’s informal mealtime remarks in 1945, analogous to the famous Hitler’s Table Talk.
There’s only one problem.
The document, first published in French in 1959 and in English in 1961 as Hitler’s Last Testament, is a FAKE.
Its owner, Swiss lawyer-activist François Genoud, now dead, first showed it to David Irving at a meeting at the Hotel d’Angleterre in Geneva in 1971. At that time it was about fifty pages of typescript, typed on a small-face non-German typewriter on American-size legal paper. What was very surprising was that Genoud was willing to let German editor Professor Eduard Baumgarten work only from a French text, which he insisted must be retranslated into German.
David Irving continued to press Genoud, expressing to him strong doubts, after discussions with Hitler’s private staff, especially one who stated categorically that he had never seen Hitler’s secretary Martin Bormann taking down such notes in 1945.
There was a further difficulty. Mr Irving had a transcript of the 1945 diary, now in Moscow, of Bormann (pictured); he also had a facsimile of the register of all the guests at Hitler’s February 1945 meals, kept by Hitler’s manservant Heinz Linge. These unquestionably genuine documents showed that Bormann was NOT PRESENT at several of the meals during which the “testament” showed he had apparently taken notes; SOMETIMES HE WAS NOT EVEN IN BERLIN. (Emphasis added)
In 1979, Genoud phoned Mr Irving at his Paris hotel, and said: “I have a gift for you.” He handed him a package. It contained a copy of the complete typescript of the Testament. The package gift from Genoud raised a new problem. Every page was heavily amended and expanded in somebody else’s hand-writing.
Mr Irving, astonished, asked Genoud whose was the writing.
Genoud then finally admitted it was his own.
Later still, he admitted in conversation with Mr Irving, that the entire typescript was his own confection, saying: “But it is just what Hitler would have said.”
(The unabridged article can be read here)
Watch the fascinating video below in which Irving expands on his meeting with the outrageous Swiss forger Francois Genoud (pictured here).