It is hard to imagine that, nearly 65 years after the end of World War II, there are many new secrets to learn about Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. Nevertheless, historians think they might learn something new from the memoirs of Fritz Darges, who died recently at age 96. Darges was Hitler’s last SS adjutant, serving from 1940 to 1944, and was present for all major conferences on the war during that time.
What I found surprising about this article is that some revisionist historians apparently have argued that Hitler knew nothing of the Holocaust. Therefore, there is interest in whether Darges’ memoirs will confirm that Hitler in fact was aware of the Holocaust.
It is hard to believe that a compelling case can be made that a rabid anti-Semite who was the absolute leader of a totalitarian regime could be completely clueless about an operation on the magnitude of the Holocaust, with its specific purpose of addressing the “Jewish problem” that Hitler himself had repeatedly discussed. How could Hitler be unaware of a program that involved the construction of multiple work camps and death camps, the organized round-up of millions of Jews throughout occupied Europe, the use of dedicated trains to transport Jews to Auschwitz and other hellish locations, and countless other indications of organized murder on an unprecedented scale? Does anyone really believe that the Nazi officials directly involved in planning and executing the Holocaust did not boast of their activities to the Fuehrer whose crazed writings and speeches on the subject demonstrated that he would be a receptive and enthusiastic supporter of what they were doing?