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The records show that Hitler poured the royalties from his book into a private fund, from which he distributed anonymous gifts to the needy. -- says David Irving


London, August 10, 2002



TV documentary destroys Hitler's good Reputation

by Giles Coren

ACCORDING to a German television documentary called Hitler's Money, the Führer, who has always been presented as one of history's ascetics, really spent most of his time amassing a vast fortune.

David Irving comments:

HO-Ho. It is droll to find somebody called Coren poking fun at somebody else's alleged greed. But his story does suggests that my name recognition in the UK is undimmed, even after being silent and far from the country since April.
   The story on Hitler's income is terribly old hat. Like Winston Churchill, he carried no money; Julius Schaub paid all the petty bills.
   The records show that Hitler poured the royalties from his book into a private fund, from which he distributed anonymous gifts to the needy (and later bestowed estates on his victorious field marshals like Erich von Manstein).

I wrote in Hitler's War (Millennium Edition, 2002) the following passage on page 43:

THERE were advantages to being Führer. He had paid no income tax since 1933 -- neither on the royalties for Mein Kampf, nor on the licence income for using his likeness on postage stamps. The facts were kept carefully secret, but he cared little for his image. He resisted every attempt made by well-meaning people to change his 'postman's cap,' his crinkly boots, and his outmoded moustache for styles more suited to the thirties. He desired neither present publicity nor the acclaim of posterity. He wrote to Hans Lammers directing that if the British Who's Who really insisted on having details of his life, they were to be given only the barest outline. As he explained years later, in a secret speech to his generals in 1944, when they protested at his harsh decisions on the Russian front: 'It is a matter of supreme indifference to me what posterity may think.'

Source notes: The German tax officials' association, the Bund deutscher Steuerbeamten, issued a booklet on fifty years of tax reform, Fünfzig Jahre deutsche Steuerfachverwaltung (Düsseldorf, undated), which had an amusing chapter on Hitler's delinquent tax affairs at pages 53 et seq. For his Who's Who entry see the chancellery file, 'Personal Affairs of Adolf Hitler' (R.43 II/960); the quotation is from his speech to field marshals and generals on Jan 27, 1944 (BA, Schumacher collection, 365).


"He liked to propagate the myth that he was a man of the people," Ingo Helm, the programme's producer, says, "but in truth he was rolling in money."

So Hitler was greedy. That is his good reputation gone to pot, then, and all the positive stuff about him will now be forgotten. Unless, of course, David Irving and his apologist pals are, even as I write, amassing reams of evidence that Hitler was not greedy at all, and are preparing to sue Mr Helm.

"A few Reichmarks might have gone astray," Irving will say, "but to suggest that it was millions is preposterous. There was no 'systematic' operation. And anyway the Führer knew nothing about it.

"It was all Himmler's fault. Some money may have 'disappeared', but to suggest that it was herded on to trains and freighted off to so-called 'private bank accounts' is ludicrous. The so-called 'piles of loot' never existed. All these photographs were simply faked after the war to play on European guilt."

I dare say that when Irving and his chums go public with their evidence, they will be denounced as "greediness deniers". And I suppose we will have to have a long debate about whether "greediness denial" should be considered criminal. I can hardly wait.




Related items on this website:

  Earlier attacks by Giles Coren on Mr Irving: July 14, 2001: Write off
  July 24, 2001: Giles Coren sneers about a two page photo in "Churchill's War", vol. ii: "Triumph in Adversity"
  Hitler got rich on book and photo royalties, alleges German TV film
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