Today, I received in the mail yet another non-fiction book on the Third Reich. I have many of these books already but this one, written by Frank McDonough is the newest volume which seeks to chart the history of the Third Reich from 1933-1945. I’m yet to sit down and actually read it from cover to cover, but I plan on doing this later today, if not after having written down some of my first observations about the book in general.

My copy of the book.

The first thing I like to investigate about a book is whether it has a bibliography or not, and if it does, what sources it most relies on. Not surprisingly he cites pretty much only third hand sources, some memoirs and diaries, but these are by far in the minority. He uses the typical DGFP (Documents on German Foreign Policy) and DBFP (Documents on British Foreign Policy) volumes which are next to impossible for a layman to find and if he could., they would be much less rewarding and no less time consuming to actually read through in order to find out what documents are included, whether cherry picked or not. No doubt these document books have undergone heavy revision and selective quoting by Allied governments since the war[1]. This has been confirmed in the past, and explicitly commented upon by historians; it was a shoddy post war effort at creating a definitive history which was handicapped due to the lack of key state papers which weren’t available because of the restrictions placed on those documents for some 30-60 years. A.J.P. Taylor remarked of these document books saying that ‘the editing is shoddy, sycophantic in tone, no minutes introduced, and altogether a cover-up for the Foreign Office’[2]. I should say also that there’s no way to see the original documents, no way to compare them or to ensure they’re even legitimate. It’s very much reliant on faith. Not only that but these document books are layed out in such as way where you wouldn’t need to read them cover to cover anyway. The beginning of the volumes always begin with a list of all the documents, a brief summary and page number to find them. Anyone can easily use these document books to write whatever it is they want and impress upon the half inquisitive reader the idea that the author must have done is due diligence and carefully read each document, juxtaposing them with other documents and pieces of first hand evidence. This is of course far fetched, historians rely on the works of others to avoid such difficult and laborious historical research because doing that would take decades. Hence, I have no real reason to expect that McDonough or anyone else has done the job. It’s here that I should say McDonoughs bibliography isn’t very long, and it’s quite clear what side of the spectrum it errs on. You can tell a lot about an author from their bibliography. I will go over some of the books it has listed which I found rather interesting, I will also note some examples which the book left out.

First of all, I was relatively surprised to see that he has listed among the bibliography (which you can download from scans I made of my copy below) Gerd Shultze-Rhonhof’s “1939: The War That Had Many Fathers: The Long Run-up to the Second World War .

German 9th Edition of “The War That Had Many Fathers”

This isn’t a book I’ve ever seen the orthodox historians touch. To see it cited, most likely in a disparaging fashion, nonetheless was an interesting acknowledgement to be sure. Secondly I also noticed that McDonough cites other books I’m not keen on, unlike the Rhonhof book which is a very well researched and convincing tome. For one thing, he also has included in the bibliography Hermann Rauschning’s phoney “Hitler Speaks”[3], which more than made me perk up my ears, so to speak. I’m curious to see how he cites this book, how, will be very telling because there’s nothing in the bibliography which seems to point to works which have discredited that blatant forgery.

McDonough has included many other books which are fictitious in nature; Count Cianos Diaries, a lesser known fraud but still a fraud nonetheless[4], Albert Speer’s “Inside the Third Reich” memoirs, known to be the unreliable works of a liar even to some extent in the mainstream. Speer’s memoir drafts were different from the actually published text that had been re-written by none other than Adolf Hitler’s first ever prolific German Biographer since the Second World War, Joachim Fest[5]. Critical works have been written exposing Speer, but they’re not to be found in McDonough’s sparce bibliography. One cannot help but feel that his bibliography only had space for the works of those that would advance the agenda of the Anti-Hitler status quo.

I will attempt to read this book. Admittedly I’ve already taken a gander and the last few pages and found myself to be pleasantly surprised by some admissions, yet let down at the ultimately banal conclusion which should’ve been seen a mile away. I will write more about this and my discoveries as I read this book bit by bit.


[1] Many revisionists have disputed these volumes. The first two who came to mind were Udo Walendy and Gerd Shultze-Rhonhof. The documents included in those foreign policy volumes no doubt would’ve been derived from the Nuremberg Tribunal, that being the case, they’re even more suspicious. Carlos Whitlock Porter, revisionist and professional translator with a very outdated website has criticized the Nuremberg proceedings and documents to a great extent. Although these critiques are unfortunately difficult to find because his website is extremely difficult to navigate. See: Not Guilty at Nuremberg

[2] Richard Lamb, The Ghosts of Peace 1935-1945 (Michael Russell Publishing LTD, 1987), Pp. ix

[3] Criticizing William L Shirer’s ‘The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany’, Redpill Action, December 27, 2019

[4] David Irving, Hitler’s War and the War Path (Focal Point Publications, 2002), Pp. xvii

[5] Ibid., Pp. xv

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *