“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, analagous to the famous Hitler’s Table Talk . . .
. . . but there is a problem. The document, first published in French in 1959, and in English in 1961 as Hitler’s Last Testament, or Hitlers politisches Testament, right, with an Introduction by Professor Hugh Trevor-Roper, is a fake.
History: 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 (witnessed also by Dr Elke Fröhlich of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte) 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 Konteradmiral Karl-Jesco von Puttkamer, Hitler’s naval adjutant to the very end, who stated 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 (left); 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.
This is a passage of the typescript of Hitlers Politisches Testament, as published by Albrecht Knaus Verlag, Munich, despite warnings from Mr Irving: the typescript, given to David Irving by Genoud, is largely written by Genoud himself (handwriting). David Irving has deposited this typescript with the Institut für Zeitgeschichte, Munich (Sammlung Irving)
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’s hand-writing. Mr Irving, astonished, asked Genoud whose was the writing. Genoud 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, isn’t it?””