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New Testament Racial right Richard Carrier Richard Miller

Medieval racists

This interview uploaded yesterday is fascinating, and the very fact that none of the mainstream forums of the racial right touch on the subject of textual criticism of the New Testament is symptomatic of a wilful ignorance that is deeply rooted in the movement.

Richard Miller makes a point that is obvious to me. Serious New Testament scholarship is divided into two camps: (1) those who believe that most of the NT narrative is fictional but that there is a residue that could be historical, and (2) those who maintain that it was all literary fiction from the beginning. Miller belongs to the first group and another Richard, Richard Carrier, to the second group. But the dialogue between these two camps is quite cordial, academic and respectful.

On the other hand, there are the pseudo-scholars, the fundamentalist Christians who study the NT but begin their ‘research’ with pre-established conclusions (Jesus was resurrected from the dead, etc.). Their scholarship reminds me of the medieval university in Paris where philosophy was allowed to exist but only as a handmaiden of theology. Miller has said that serious NT scholars no longer pay attention to this apologetic posturing.

The racial right, I said, as well as fundamentalists ignore serious NT scholarship: scholarship that doesn’t start from the catechism we were taught as children but uses the methodologies of contemporary historiography to evaluate New Testament texts. This became clear the last time Kevin MacDonald published an article by a fundamentalist Christian in The Occidental Observer, as I told the author himself.

Taking into account that, concerning the NT, white nationalism is still medieval and that we must ignore not only the scholarly authors (such as the apologist in MacDonald’s webzine) but the Christian commentariat of that webzine and other racialist webzines, it is more interesting to ponder who, of the two Richards, is right: the mythicist or the historicist.

It seems to me that Miller, although I have infinite respect for his work, still suffers from what in a 2012 post on this site we called the ‘Platonic fallacy’.

And incidentally, I see these two camps, represented by the two Richards, from a very different angle to their point of view: the Delphic Oracle maxim. Given that deep autobiography is my forte, and that in my life I have gone through all three stages—from traditional Christian (1960s-1980s) to secular historicist (1990s-2018), and from secular historicist to mythicist (2018 to date)—I venture to conjecture that Miller’s stance, as well as the stance of his interviewer, represent a residue of parental introjects (see my post ‘Slaves of parental introjects’).

It is so disturbing to our egos to conceive of the whole Jesus story as mere literary fiction from the pen of Jews for Aryan consumption that even accomplished rationalists like Miller, and his young interviewer, are unable to take the final step.

But as I said, the issue of which of the two Richards is right isn’t so important. What is important is that Christians on the racial right are, as far as textual criticism of the NT is concerned, in the Middle Ages. And there is little point in trying to rescue them. That’s as fool errand as wanting American evangelicals, the source of the power of the American Jewish lobby, to read Kevin MacDonald’s webzine and stop supporting Israel in the current Palestinian conflict!

The West’s Darkest Hour is not for white nationalists. It is for people honest enough to assimilate the splendid work of Miller, or Carrier. As I said, the distinction between secular historicists and mythicists is not as serious as it is when we encounter the fundamentalists, who abound on the so-called racial right, and still believe that a Jew isn’t only risen but is our Saviour.

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New Testament Racial right Richard Carrier

Update

I am surprised that the Christian author of The Occidental Observer (TOO) article I was talking about yesterday responded to me in several TOO comments. Generally, white nationalist Christians have simply ignored me. For example, I have said countless times that the fact that the Spanish and the Portuguese mixed their blood in Latin America since the centuries when Christianity was in good shape means that the problem of Aryan ethnosuicide is more complex than what Judeo-reductionists claim, insofar in those times the Inquisition reigned in the Americas, an institution that controlled the Jews. The American racial right has ignored these facts so many times that I gave up and resigned myself to posting almost exclusively on this site, instead of trying to communicate with them on their forums, as I did quite often in the past. That’s why the Christian author’s several responses in the TOO discussion thread surprised me.

Below I not only quote my second retort, posted today, on TOO but some other things that I would like to respond to the Christians who are commenting in that thread.

RockaBoatus, the author of the article ‘A 2000-Year-Old Rabbinical Psyop: Did Jews Invent Christianity to Deceive Gentiles?’, told me:

What you’re reading today [textual criticism of the New TestamentEd.] are simply rehashed and outdated polemics that are about 150 years old with a new sophisticated twist. Conservative biblical scholars have refuted this nonsense…

By ‘conservative biblical scholars’ what you really mean is fundamentalist scholars.

Did you notice that above [i.e., in my first retort] I mentioned Ian Wilson, an English Catholic who has defended Christianity throughout his literary career? Unlike the list of fundamentalist Christians you cite, Wilson is honest enough to agree that what you call ‘outdated polemics that are about 150 years old’ are not outdated at all (cf. his book Jesus: The Evidence).

And Miller, whom I also mentioned above [again, in my first retort], is not anti-Christian like Carrier, who was never a Christian. Miller was a fundamentalist Christian who learned Greek, Latin, German and French to study the New Testament as a full-time scholar. Only when his research was advanced did he realise that there were serious problems with the so-called scholarship promulgated by his evangelical colleagues. This passage from a YouTube interview with Miller is vital to understanding his spiritual odyssey from traditional Christianity to apostasy. In fact, that YouTube channel, with its countless interviews with other NT scholars, can serve wonderfully to answer you (which I can’t do point by point because, as I said, it would take me days).

Regarding the rest of what you say, as well as what Pierre de Craon tells me about the evangelist John, in order not to overwhelm this discussion thread I think I’ll answer it in the next entry of my blog.

The only thing I would like to clarify now is that the thesis that Judeo-Christianity is a Jewish psyop is not exactly my thesis, but Skrbina’s. Rather than blaming St Paul et al, I blame Constantine and the house of Constantine (except Julian) for using the most toxic religion of the Mediterranean, the one inspired by intolerant Judaism, to control the population of the empire. If you don’t want to read the mini-book by the Spaniard Velasco that I linked above, see at least these excerpts from Vlassis Rassias’ book about how the Judeo-Christians of the 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries destroyed the temples, sculptures, art and books of the classical world.

That is the starting point to understand the darkest hour of the West.

______ 卐 ______

 
The above is what I posted today on TOO. In one of his several replies to my yesterday’s retort, RockaBoatus said: ‘Jews did NOT “invent” Christianity.’ But he omits that St Paul was Jewish. He omits that the rabid hatred of John of Patmos, the author of the last book of the Christian Bible, was anti-Roman and that the ‘Seven Churches’ to which he wrote (Book of Revelation, 1:11) were in towns replete with Jews. He also omits that even Christian theologians admit that evangelists like Matthew were Jewish, and also the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.

Another Christian, who has frequently commented on TOO discussion threads, Pierre de Craon, responded to me by claiming: ‘attributing Revelation to John the Apostle is a sound judgment.’

That caught my attention since the consensus of New Testament scholarship is that the Book of Revelation dates from the end of the first century c.e., and a putative apostle from the beginning of the 1st century wouldn’t have lived that long. But to understand cultured Christians like Pierre de Craon I would like to digress a bit.

NT scholars can be classified into three groups: fundamentalists (there are also Catholic fundamentalists, not just Protestants, who believe in the historicity of the Garden of Eden, etc.), liberal Christians and non-Christians.

Since I come from a very Catholic family, in the 1980s I began to read liberal theologians, such as Hans Küng, who unlike the fundamentalists incorporated, to a certain extent, the textual criticism of the NT that has been doing since the Enlightenment, sometimes admirably summarised by Christians such as Albert Schweitzer’s classic The Quest of the Historical Jesus.

Fundamentalists haven’t responded honestly to this textual criticism which, I insist, sometimes comes from exegetes who have not apostatised from Christianity. And exactly the same can be said of the racial right.

Generally, Christians on the racial right as Pierre de Craon belong to the first group: that of Catholic and Protestant traditionalists. They haven’t even managed to assimilate what the liberal Christians have conceded long ago (e.g., Schweitzer’s 1906 classic). In my first retort I mentioned Ian Wilson, who with his books on the Shroud of Turin has even tried to create a kind of contemporary apologetics to support the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. But many of the Christians who comment these days in the discussion thread of the aforementioned TOO article don’t even know that a textual criticism of the NT exists: criticism that Christians like Wilson have already incorporated, for so many decades, into their way of seeing the world.

And what about the third group: the non-Christian scholars who dedicate themselves to studying the NT? What does one of them say about the book of Revelation, say, Carrier?

Revelation was written in the reign of Domitian (the 80s or 90s AD) and used Matthew as its base text. It is indeed an anti-Pauline document, but so is Matthew. And both were written in Greek, and thus for audiences outside Palestine. There is no evidence anyone was alive at that time who would know anything first-hand about the origins of Christianity, least of all the Pillars (they would be two generations gone by then), much less any who would ever have even heard of, much less read, Revelation (or Matthew for that matter). We also have no reactions to Revelation’s publication, so we have no idea how anyone responded to it anyway.

Revelation references no sources; in fact, it claims to have all its information from mystical visions, not any objective evidence at all. Someone, in other words, just dreamed all this (or was claiming to). And so far as we know it had no sources, other than “The Gospel according to Matthew,” which was simply an expanded redaction of the “Gospel according to Mark.” Revelation is therefore derivative and thus cannot corroborate anything. All it does is prove Matthew’s historicism existed at that time. Which we already know—from Matthew (and Mark, whose text is even earlier). It therefore can have no effect on the probability of historicity. Once the Gospels exist, it is already 100% expected there will exist texts expanding and riffing on them, like this, regardless of whether Jesus existed or not. So we are back to simply assessing the probability of the Gospels.

Nevertheless, Revelation is actually a little cagey about whether historicity is actually true, rather than symbolically represented. In Rev. 11 it sufficiently implies Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem; but in Rev. 12, Jesus is born in a lower heaven (in the vicinity of the moon), and soon whisked away to even higher levels of heaven, and seems never to leave there (in a manner that fits the Star Gospel that in OHJ I find in Ignatius and the Ascension of Isaiah). So it’s unclear which version of events the author believed actual and which merely allegorical. It could be both, depending on one’s level of initiation at the time, just as was the case for Osiris cult.

But regardless, since the author shows no sign of having any sources of information other than the Gospels we already know about, and his own imagination, it doesn’t matter. We can’t use it to prove anything in the Gospels is true. We can only use it to prove they were circulating by then, which we already knew, and thus already accounted for.

Based on what I said recently about my autobiographical work and how I can recover my previous Christian selves in exercises of the imagination, people like Miller and I are capable of psychically ‘encompassing’ folks like the Christians who comment in TOO. But they cannot return the favour because they have never experienced any apostasy in their minds (let’s say, that an apostate like Miller returned to the shelter of fundamentalist Christianity).

Update of November 6th

My last comment in that TOO thread was posted today.

Categories
Laurent Guyénot Literature New Testament Richard Carrier Romulus St Paul

How Yahweh conquered Rome, 5

by Laurent Guyénot

 

The Jesus question: How fake is the Good News?

I regard Barbiero’s book as a fruitful attempt to solve the mystery of how the Jews created Christianity and made it the Roman religion. But it certainly doesn’t give the full story. Much happened in the next three centuries that needs to be clarified. One important context, which is seldom considered, is the ‘Crisis of the Third Century’ (235-284), during which ‘the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of barbarian invasions and migrations into the Roman territory, civil wars, peasant rebellions, political instability’ (Wikipedia), but also cataclysmic events and widespread diseases such as the Plague of Cyprian (c. 249-262), that was said to kill up to 5,000 people a day in Rome.[22] In such a context, the apocalyptic flavor of early Christianity must have been a key factor of its success. Interestingly, the apocalyptic Book of Revelation, the latest included into the Christian canon, is considered by some scholars to be a Christianized edition of a Jewish apocalypse, because, except for its prologue and epilogue (from 4:1 to 22:15), it contains no recognizable Christian motif.[23]

There are also two important building blocks of Christianity that Barbiero’s focus on Roman Mithraism leaves out: the Gospels’ life of Jesus, and Paul’s mystical Christ. How did they originate, and how were they integrated? The connection between them is one of the most difficult problems concerning the birth of Christianity. For, as Earl Doherty writes in The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity begin with a mythical Christ? (1999), a book that has sent a shockwave in Jesus scholarship (here quoted from this 600-page pdf): ‘Not once does Paul or any other first century epistle writer identify their divine Christ Jesus with the recent historical man known from the Gospels. Nor do they attribute the ethical teachings they put forward to such a man.’ Christ is simply for Paul a celestial deity who has endured an ordeal of incarnation, death, burial and resurrection, and who communicates to his devotees through dreams, visions and prophecies. Such gnostic Christology has roots in mystery religions long predating Jesus. It is difficult to explain how a human Jesus could be transformed into such a divine Christ in a few decades, during the lifetime of those who knew him.

The first difficulty is that the vast majority of the earliest Christians were, of course, Jews. ‘God is One,’ says the most fundamental of Jewish theological tenets. Moreover, the Jewish mind had an obsession against associating anything human with God. He could not be represented by even the suggestion of a human image, and Jews in their thousands had bared their necks before Pilate’s swords simply to protest against the mounting of military standards bearing Caesar’s image within sight of the Temple. The idea that a man was a literal part of God would have been met by any Jew with horror and apoplexy.

And yet we are to believe that Jews were immediately led to elevate Jesus of Nazareth to divine levels unprecedented in the entire history of human religion. We are to believe not only that they identified a crucified criminal with the ancient God of Abraham, but that they went about the empire and practically overnight converted huge numbers of other Jews to the same outrageous—and thoroughly blasphemous—proposition. Within a handful of years of Jesus’ supposed death, we know of Christian communities in many major cities of the empire, all presumably having accepted that a man they had never met, crucified as a political rebel on a hill outside Jerusalem, had risen from the dead and was in fact the pre-existent Son of God, creator, sustainer, and redeemer of the world. Since many of the Christian communities Paul worked in existed before he got there, and since Paul’s letters do not support the picture Acts paints of intense missionary activity on the part of the Jerusalem group around Peter and James, history does not record who performed this astounding feat.[24]

The simplest way to overcome this difficulty is to assume that the transformation of the human Jesus into the cosmic Christ (or the other way round, as Doherty suggests) didn’t happen spontaneously, but was engineered by connecting several elements, with the aim of fabricating a Judeo-Hellenistic syncretic religion.

Paul’s letters were first collected in the first half of the second century by Marcion of Sinope who also included in his canon a short evangelion (he was the first to use the term), but rejected the Jewish Tanakh. Around 208, Tertullian, a Carthaginian of probable Jewish origin, complained that ‘the heretical tradition of Marcion filled the universe’ (Against Marcion v, 19). He also tells us that, during the time of Marcion, another Gnostic teacher named Valentinus almost became bishop of Rome. In the third century AD appeared the Persian Mani, who called himself ‘apostle of Jesus Christ,’ but rejected any Jewish influence. Manicheans became the label pinned by the Catholic Church on all the Gnostic movements that came from the East, such as the Paulicians from Anatolia in the eighth century, or the Bogomils from Bulgaria in the ninth century, the ancestors of the Cathars who were eradicated from the south of France in the early thirteenth century. All these movements, which can be seen as successive waves of the same movement, venerated Paul and rejected the Torah, whose god they regarded either as an evil demiurge, a deceptive demon, or a malicious fiction.

In the fourth century, Gnostic Christianity was still alive and flourishing. The monastic library of the Egyptian Brotherhood of Saint Pachomius, the first known Christian monastery, contained a great wealth of Gnostic literature (including the Gospel of Thomas), amid Platonic, Hermetic, and Zoroastrian books. As New Testament scholar Robert Price tells in his fascinating book Deconstructing Jesus (2000):

Apparently when the monks received the Easter Letter from Athanasius in 367 C.E., which contains the first known listing of the canonical twenty-seven New Testament books, warning the faithful to read no others, the brethren must have decided to hide their cherished ‘heretical’ gospels, lest they fall into the hands of the ecclesiastical book burners.[25]

All these codices were hidden in a graveyard at Nag Hammadi, where they were discovered in 1945, revolutionizing our image of early Christianity. Scholars have since started to question the traditional view of Gnostics as dissenters who broke away from the Orthodox Church; rather, the Gnostics who never ceased claiming that Roman Catholics were corrupting the Gospel under Jewish influence, may have been right all along.

As I started delving into these questions, I discovered that a new school of New Testament exegesis, pioneered by Earl Doherty’s Jesus Puzzle, claims that Christianity was born in myth, not in history. I had always assumed that Jesus’ biography was too historically plausible to be a fiction. In my thirties, I had become fascinated by the quest for the historical Jesus and wrote a book on the ‘legendary’ relationship between Jesus and John the Baptist, which argued that the Gospel writers falsified the genuine prophecies of John, and forged spurious praises of Jesus by John, and that much of the sayings attributed to Jesus (from the hypothetical Q document) were originally attributed to John.[26] Nevertheless, I didn’t doubt the historicity of Jesus. But my recent journey into the ‘Christ Myth’ theory has convinced me that the historical Jesus is more elusive than I thought. The Gospels, for one thing, are not as old as generally admitted (between the 70s and the 90s), for, as Doherty points out:

Only in Justin Martyr, writing in the 150s, do we find the first identifiable quotations from some of the Gospels, though he calls them simply ‘memoirs of the Apostles,’ with no names. And those quotations usually do not agree with the texts of the canonical versions we now have, showing that such documents were still undergoing evolution and revision.[27]

A late second-century date for the first narrative about Jesus is consistent with the hypothesis—that goes contrary to Barbiero’s theory—that Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews originally contained a reference to John the Baptist and one to James the Just, but no reference to Jesus, who was later inserted between the two so that John could be presented as Jesus’ precursor and James as his brother and heir. There is much evidence that James, like John the Baptist before him, was a famous figure in his own right. According to biblical scholar Robert Eisenman, author of James, the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls, James is identical to ‘the Teacher of Righteousness’ mentioned in some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which have been dated too early. Strangely,

The person of James is almost diametrically opposed to the Jesus of Scripture and our ordinary understanding of him. Whereas the Jesus of Scripture is anti-nationalist, cosmopolitan, antinomian—that is, against the direct application of Jewish Law—and accepting foreigners and other persons of perceived impurities, the Historical James will turn out to be zealous for the Law, and rejecting of foreigners and polluted persons generally.

His death by stoning in 62 ‘was connected in popular imagination with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE in a way that Jesus’ death some four decades before could not have been.’

Variant manuscripts of the works of Josephus, reported by Church fathers like Origen, Eusebius and Jerome, all of whom at one time or another spent time in Palestine, contain materials associating the fall of Jerusalem with the death of James—not with the death of Jesus. Their shrill protests, particularly Origen’s and Eusebius’, have probably not a little to do with the disappearance of this passage from all manuscripts of the Jewish War that have come down to us.[28]

Jesus scholars of the ‘mythicist’ school—by opposition to ‘historicist’—refrain from expressing their conclusion in conspiratorial terms. In his book On the Historicity of Jesus, Why We Might Have Reason For Doubt, Richard Carrier writes: ‘the Jesus we know originated as a mythical character,’ and only ‘later, this myth was mistaken for history (or deliberately repackaged that way).’ But I find ‘mistaken’ very unlikely, and ‘deliberately repackaged’ much more probable. Carrier actually suggests that the fundamental structure of the narrative was borrowed from a well-established Roman mythical pattern:

In Plutarch’s biography of Romulus, the founder of Rome, we are told he was the son of god, born of a lowly shepherd; then as a man he becomes beloved by the people, hailed as king, and killed by the conniving elite; then he rises from the dead, appears to a friend to tell the good news to his people, and ascends to heaven to rule from on high. Just like Jesus.

Plutarch also tells us about annual public ceremonies that were still being performed, which celebrated the day Romulus ascended to heaven. The sacred story told at this event went basically as follows: at the end of his life, amid rumors he was murdered by a conspiracy of the Senate (just as Jesus was ‘murdered’ by a conspiracy of the Jews—in fact by the Sanhedrin, the Jewish equivalent of the Senate), the sun went dark (just as it did when Jesus died), and Romulus’s body vanished (just as Jesus’ did). The people wanted to search for him but the Senate told them not to, ‘for he had risen to join the gods’ (much as a mysterious young man tells the women in Mark’s Gospel). Most went away happy, hoping for good things from their new god, but ‘some doubted’ (just as all later Gospels say of Jesus: Mt 28.17; Lk 24.11; Jn 20.24-25; even Mk 16.8 implies this). Soon after, Proculus, a close friend of Romulus, reported that he met Romulus ‘on the road’ between Rome and a nearby town and asked him, ‘Why have you abandoned us?’, to which Romulus replied that he had been a god all along but had come down to earth and become incarnate to establish a great kingdom, and now had to return to his home in heaven (pretty much as happens to Cleopas in Lk 24.13-32). Then Romulus told his friend to tell the Romans that if they are virtuous they will have all worldly power.

Livy’s account [History 1.16], just like Mark’s, emphasizes that ‘fear and bereavement’ kept the people ‘silent for a long time’, and only later did they proclaim Romulus ‘God, Son of God, King, and Father’, thus matching Mark’s ‘they said nothing to anyone’, yet obviously assuming that somehow word got out.

It certainly seems as if Mark is fashioning Jesus into the new Romulus, with a new, superior message, establishing a new, superior kingdom. This Romulan tale looks a lot like a skeletal model for the passion narrative: a great man, founder of a great kingdom, despite coming from lowly origins and of suspect parentage, is actually an incarnated son of god, but dies as a result of a conspiracy of the ruling council, then a darkness covers the land at his death and his body vanishes, at which those who followed him flee in fear (just like the Gospel women, Mk 16.8; and men, Mk 14.50-52), and like them, too, we look for his body but are told he is not here, he has risen; and some doubt, but then the risen god ‘appears’ to select followers to deliver his gospel.

There are many differences in the two stories, surely. But the similarities are too numerous to be a coincidence—and the differences are likely deliberate. For instance, Romulus’s material kingdom favoring the mighty is transformed into a spiritual one favoring the humble. It certainly looks like the Christian passion narrative is an intentional transvaluation of the Roman Empire’s ceremony of their own founding savior’s incarnation, death and resurrection. Other elements have been added to the Gospels—the story heavily Judaized, and many other symbols and motifs pulled in to transform it—and the narrative has been modified, in structure and content, to suit the Christians’ own moral and spiritual agenda. But the basic structure is not original.[29]

Other scholars have long identified strong parallels between the life of Jesus and the legendary lives of holy men such as Pythagoras or Appolonius of Tyana. In the later, for example, we find that Appolonius, after a lifetime of doing miracles, healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead, was delivered by his enemies to the Roman authorities. ‘Still,’ according to Bart D. Ehrman’s summary, ‘after he left this world, he returned to meet his followers in order to convince them that he was not really dead but lived on in the heavenly realm.’[30]

Robert Price has pointed another likely source for the Gospel narratives: Greek novels such as Chariton’s Chaereas and Callirhoe, Xenophon’s Ephesian Tale, Achilles Tatius’ Leucippe and Clitophon, Heliodorus’ Ethiopian Story, Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe, The Story of Apollonius, King of Tyre, Iamblichus’ Babylonian Story, and Petronius’ Satyricon.

Three major plot devices recur like clockwork in the ancient novels, which were usually about the adventures of star-crossed lovers, somewhat like modern soap operas. First, the heroine, a princess, collapses into a coma and is taken for dead. Prematurely buried, she awakens later in the darkness of the tomb. Ironically, she is discovered in the nick of time by grave robbers who have broken into the opulent mausoleum, looking for rich funerary tokens […]. The crooks save her life but also kidnap her, since they can’t afford to leave a witness behind. When her fiancé or husband comes to the tomb to mourn, he is stunned to find the tomb empty and first guesses that his beloved has been taken up to heaven because the gods envied her beauty. In one tale, the man sees the shroud left behind, just as in John 20:6-7.

The second stock plot device is that the hero, finally realizing what has happened, goes in search of the heroine and eventually runs afoul of a governor or king who wants her and, to get him out of the way, has the hero crucified. Of course, the hero always manages to get a last-minute pardon, even once affixed to the cross, or he survives crucifixion by some stroke of luck. Sometimes the heroine, too, appears to have been killed but winds up alive after all.

Third, we eventually have a joyous reunion of the two lovers, each of whom has despaired of ever seeing the other again. They at first cannot believe they are not seeing a ghost come to comfort them. Finally, disbelieving for joy, they are convinced that their loved one has survived in the flesh.

As I have noted in my article ‘The Crucifixion of the Goddess,’ the love romance pattern is still apparent in the Gospel, where the risen Jesus appears first to his longtime follower Mary Magdalene, who, perhaps for that reason, was regarded as Jesus’ soul mate by many Gnostics.[31]

Price quotes the following passage from Chariton’s Chaereas and Callirhoe, where Chaereas discovers the empty tomb of his beloved:

When he reached the tomb, he found that the stones had been moved and the entrance was open. [Cf. John 20:1] He was astonished at the sight and overcome by fearful perplexity at what had happened. [Cf. Mark 16:5] Rumor—a swift messenger—told the Syracusans this amazing news. They all quickly crowded round the tomb, but no one dared go inside until Hermocrates gave an order to do so. [Cf. John 20:4-6] The man who went in reported the whole situation accurately. [Cf. John 19:35; 21:24] It seemed incredible that even the corpse was not lying there. Then Chaereas himself determined to go in, in his desire to see Callirhoe again even dead; but though he hunted through the tomb, he could find nothing. Many people could not believe it and went in after him. They were all seized by helplessness. One of those standing there said, ‘The funeral offerings have been carried off [Cartlidge’s translation reads: ‘The shroud has been stripped off’—cf. John 20:6-7]—it is tomb robbers who have done that; but what about the corpse—where is it?’ Many different suggestions circulated in the crowd. Chaereas looked towards the heavens, stretched up his arms, and cried: ‘Which of the gods is it, then, who has become my rival in love and carried off Callirhoe and is now keeping her with him…?’

Later on, Callirhoe, reflecting on her vicissitudes, says, ‘I have died and come to life again.’ Later still, she laments, ‘I have died and been buried; I have been stolen from my tomb.’ In the meantime, poor Chaereas is condemned to the cross, which he has to carry himself. But in the last minute, just before being nailed, his sentence is commuted, and he is taken down from the cross. Here, then, comments Price, is a hero who went to the cross for his beloved and returned alive. In the same story, a villain is likewise crucified, though since he is gaining his just deserts, he is not reprieved. This is Theron, the pirate who carried poor Callirhoe into slavery. He was crucified in front of Callirhoe’s tomb.

Did some Jews, by some concerted and persistent Hasbara, brainwash the Romans with an unbelievable Jewish tale plagiarized from Greek novels, Roman myths, and Mithraic cult? Surely there are other ways to look at Christianity than as a Jewish trick. But I find the hypothesis worth considering. I hear on this webzine [Editor's Note: The Unz Review] a lot of complaint against Jewish cultural colonization. I am merely suggesting that it didn’t start yesterday.

________________

[22] Kyle Harper, The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire, Princeton UP, 2017.

[23] See for example James Charlesworth, Jesus within Judaism, SPCK, 1989.

[24] Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle: Was There no Historical Jesus? on this 600-page pdf, pp. 33 and 16.

[25] Robert Price, Deconstructing Jesus, Prometheus Book, 2000, archive.org, pp. 44-45.

[26] Recent scholars arguing along those lines include Karl H. Kraeling, John the Baptist, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1951; Charles H. H. Scobie, John the Baptist, Fortress Press, 1964; W. Barnes Tatum, John the Baptist and Jesus: A Report of the Jesus Seminar, Polebridge Press, 1994; Joan Taylor, The Immerser: John the Baptist within Second Temple Judaism, Wm B. Eerdmans, 1996; Robert L. Webb, John the Baptizer and Prophet: A Socio-Historical Study, Sheffield Academic Press, 1991; Walter Wink, John the Baptist in the Gospel Tradition, Cambridge UP, 1968.

[27] Earl Doherty, The Jesus Puzzle, op. cit., p. 52 .

[28] Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Viking Penguin, 1996.

[29] Richard Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus, Why We Might Have Reason For Doubt, Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014, p. 56.

[30] Bart D. Ehrman Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, HarperCollins, USA. 2012, p. 208, quoted from Wikipedia.

[31] Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1979.

Categories
Josephus New Testament Richard Carrier Tacitus The Jesus Hoax (book)

The Jesus Hoax, 3

CHAPTER 3: WHY THE JESUS STORY IS FALSE

The point bears repeating. During Jesus’ entire lifetime, from, say 3 BC to 30 AD, not one person—not a Christian, not a Jew, not a Roman, not a Greek—wrote anything about the miracles, what Jesus said, or what his followers did. No one wrote anything. It’s as if nothing extraordinary happened at all…

The Romans were excellent record-keepers; surely any such astonishing letters would have survived. And yet we have not one.

At the same time there lived a famous Jewish philosopher, Philo. He was born around 20 BC, and thus was an adult at the time of the Bethlehem star. He lived well past the crucifixion, dying about the year 50 AD. He would have been the ideal man to record everything about a Jewish miracleworker and savior. He wrote about 40 individual essays, which now fill seven volumes. Yet he says not one word about Jesus or the Christian movement.

It gets worse. For the next 20 years after the crucifixion, we still have no evidence. From the years 30 to 50 AD, not one thing has survived that documents Jesus or his miracles: not a letter, not a book, not an engraving, nothing. Nothing by Jews, nothing by Christians, nothing by Romans—nothing.

And yet, it’s worse still. We know that, from the year 50, we have a few letters by Paul. These letters are finished when Paul dies around the year 70. Now, of course, his letters cannot count as evidence, because it is exactly his accounts of Jesus that we are trying to validate. Apart from Paul’s letters, from the years 50 to 70, we still have no evidence. Nothing by other Christians, nothing by Jews, nothing by Romans—nothing.

And still it gets worse. The Gospels appeared between 70 and the mid-90s. But they, too, cannot count as evidence because it is precisely these documents that need confirmation. Apart from the four Gospels, from 70 to the mid-90s, we still have no evidence.

In sum: for the entire period of the early Christian era—that is, from say 3 BC to the mid-90s AD—we have no corroborating evidence from anyone who was not party to the new religion. Not a shred of anything exists: documents, letters, stone carvings—nothing at all. It’s hard to overstate the importance of this problem…

Men such as Petronius, Seneca, Martial, and Quintillian all lived in the immediate aftermath of the crucifixion and would have been ideally situated to write about Jesus’ extraordinary life. So too with Philo, the Jewish philosopher, as I noted above. And yet not one of these men wrote a single word about him…

The Roman perspective

Josephus is important because he is the first non-Christian to confirm that a Christian movement existed, at least by the late first century AD. But what about the Romans?

 

______ 卐 ______

 
Editor’s note: Remember that the NT scholar who has most influenced me is Richard Carrier, who believes that Josephus’ couple of brief mentions of ‘Christ’ were later interpolations by Christians. For apologetic reasons, they put words into Josephus’ mouth. Skrbina continues:
 

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Tacitus was born in the year 58 to an aristocratic family. Between 98 and 105 AD he wrote four books, including the highly important work Histories. As it happens, not one of them so much as mentions Jesus or the Christians.

But his final work, Annals, which dates circa 115 AD, does include two sentences on them. In section 44 of Book 15 we read the following:

…a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace… a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.

The passage is likely authentic but yet odd in that we have no other reference to Christians in Rome at the time of Nero. But this is not relevant here. What matters is the stunning fact that it took until the year 115—80 years after the crucifixion, nearly 120 years after the miracle birth—for the first Roman to document the Christians. And even then, he grants them all of two sentences.

A second Roman reference—and the third non-Christian [Ed. note: Remember that Skrbina is taking one of the brief paragraphs in Josephus’ book as legit]—comes from Pliny. Like Tacitus, Pliny was an educated and highly literate aristocrat. By the year 110, at around age 50, he had assumed the position of imperial governor of a province in the north of present-day Turkey. In a letter to Emperor Trajan, from about the same time as Tacitus’ Annals, he writes an extended critique of the Christian movement. Over the course of about five paragraphs, Pliny explains his need to repress the Christians, including executing the non-citizens and shipping citizens to Rome for punishment. Christianity is described as a “depraved, excessive superstition,” and Pliny is worried that the “contagion of this superstition” is spreading. But still, he thinks it “possible to check and cure it.”

Pliny’s suggestions aside, what we find here is a fascinating account of a growing but troublesome new religion. The Romans were generally tolerant of other religions, and thus we must conclude that there was something uniquely problematic about this group. It may perhaps have been their Jewish origins, or the fact that they embodied particularly repellent values. We lack the details here to determine the cause of the enmity. But in any case, it seems clear that the early Christians were not simple apostles of love. Something else was going on with this group that the Romans found truly galling and, indeed, a kind of threat to the social or moral order.

And yet, something happened. We know for certain that by the mid-90s or early 100s latest, Christians were becoming noticed and causing trouble for the empire. We are fairly sure that Paul lived and wrote between the mid- 30s and late-60s, and that the Gospels first appeared between 70 and 95.

Categories
Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World (book) On the Historicity of Jesus (book) Racial right Richard Carrier

On semi-normies

Kevin MacDonald continues to publish Christian author Andrew Fraser, about whom a commenter said yesterday in the comments section of The Occidental Observer (TOO):

The Christian cult was designed to weaken the gentile Roman Empire. Paul and his cabal have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Christians generally protect Jews and embrace their influence. This was true in the Renaissance as it is today. Why is this discussion given any weight in our movement? Christianity is a Jewish lie that prevents us from understanding evolutionary teleology and the ethics which flow from this, as well as the insights of Dr. McDonald. Please publish something more topical. Is this a digital synagogue?

At least whoever moderates TOO let that comment from an anonymous commenter go through. But I am still annoyed by the lack of intelligence of the semi-normies who comment on racialist forums.

In the comments section of Counter-Currents, for example, I recently saw again credulous comments on Joseph Atwill’s book, Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus. For all those who cannot distinguish between sound scholarship and crank scholarship I recommend a post from 2020, ‘Atwill’s Cranked-up Jesus’, which quotes the opening paragraphs of a polemic debunking Atwill authored by Richard Carrier, a sound scholar.

The scholarship on Christianity in racialist forums is pathetic, except for Tom Sunic’s anti-Christian essays that have appeared in TOO.

Unlike the poor approach to Christianity we see in racialist forums, one way to begin to familiarise oneself with the subject is precisely to read Carrier’s magnum opus (which obviously must be done in print, as every good scholar reads), and Catherine Nixey’s fine book on the destruction of the classical world by Christians that we have mentioned so much on this site.

Since most racialists today are de facto conservatives, they seem to be stuck in a sort of intellectual medieval age. They don’t even seem to be familiar with the New Testament exegesis by non-fundamentalist Christians, let alone with scholars who left Christianity behind, such as the excerpts from Deschner’s book on the history of Christianity that is now occupying much of my time.

Categories
Jesus Richard Carrier

‘You’re almost there!’

As the fourth chapter of Richard Weikart’s book made clear, Hitler was aware of the theme that Nietzsche (before Hitler) and Evropa Soberana (after Hitler) called Rome against Judea; Judea against Rome: a subject so important that we have called the masthead of this site.

Hitler had all the right instincts to understand the subject. Nevertheless, his view of Jesus, as it appears in that Weikart chapter, evokes Christian Identity: people incapable of breaking away altogether from the old paradigm, to the extent of producing naïve pseudo-history (or naïve pseudo-biography, in the case of Jesus).

Hitler’s apostasy from Christianity was almost absolute, in that not only the dogmatic part of Christianity was rejected, but the axiological part as well. He was almost there. But his apostasy wasn’t absolute. As Savitri said, it is necessary for the Avenger to come, who, I would add, will no longer harbour in his mind residues of Judeo-Christian introjects, but will see things even more clearly thanks to the heart tree that allows him to see the past, to the extent of realising that Jesus never existed.

If we compare all the quotes about Jesus from Hitler’s mouth that we read in Weikart’s book, we will see that Hitler’s imaginary Jesus was, from the point of view of Aryan interests, inferior to the Jesus of Evropa Soberana: who depicts Jesus simply as a zealot executed by the Romans. (Interestingly, that Jesus resembles the Jesus of the first modern exegete, Reimarus, whom we have discussed on this site.)

But we can use Carrier’s non-existent Jesus as a final step in our crossing of the psychological Rubicon. As I said to a disciple of that author, Carrier is not a full apostate in that axiologically he is still Christian (love thy neighbour even if he is black, Jewish or Chinese, etc.). Only by intellectually assimilating Carrier’s legacy of the non-historical Jesus, but unlike him transvaluing Christian ethics, will we have reached dry land, the other side of the river.

Categories
Henry Picker Hitler's Religion (book) Monologe im Führerhauptquartier Richard Carrier Richard Weikart

A note on sources

(excerpts)

by Richard Weikart

The authenticity of most of Hitler’s speeches and writings are uncontroversial, and I use them liberally. However, some have questioned Hitler’s Table Talks as a reliable source for discovering Hitler’s views on religion. In an interesting piece of detective work, Richard Carrier demonstrates convincingly that the English version of Hitler’s Table Talk is based on the translation of a problematic and possibly inauthentic text.[1] Thus, I do not use nor cite the English translation of Hitler’s Table Talk. However, even Carrier admits that the two German editions edited by Henry Picker and Werner Jochmann are generally reliable. Carrier was hoping that debunking Hitler’s Table Talk would demolish the image of Hitler as an anti-Christian that many scholars have built on this flawed document. Unfortunately for Carrier, Hitler is every bit as anti-Christian in the Jochmann and Picker editions.

The Picker and Jochmann editions of Hitler’s Table Talk monologues are very similar—indeed verbatim—in many passages. Each contains some passages not found in the other one. However, when comparing the many passages they share in common, most of them are identical, though occasionally there are very minor differences. Oddly, Carrier maintains that Picker is probably more reliable than Jochmann, but this is not the opinion of most scholars. I have read both editions and will rely mostly on Jochmann, though many of the passages I quote are in both editions. I will only use Picker sparingly and to confirm points Hitler made elsewhere, not to try to establish some unique point. We also need to remember that these monologues are not transcriptions of Hitler’s talks, but are reconstructions based on notes taken during the monologues. Based on some testimony of those present at these monologues, the renditions we have are generally accurate, since they were written immediately afterwards.

The only book Hitler published during his lifetime, Mein Kampf, poses a different kind of problem. It is notoriously unreliable as a memoir, and many scholars—myself included—consider some of the vignettes about his earlier life completely fictitious. It does, however, accurately convey Hitler’s ideology, as does Hitler’s Second Book, which was only discovered after World War II.

Two other contemporary sources—Joseph Goebbels’ diaries and the recently recovered Alfred Rosenberg diaries—confirm the general account of Hitler’s monologues. My book is one of the first to use Rosenberg’s diaries, which do not divulge anything that overturns our previous knowledge about Hitler, but rather corroborate other sources and provide some interesting details…

Where I use English language sources, in most cases I have read the original German to verify the accuracy of the translation.

___________

[1] Richard C. Carrier, ‘Hitler’s Table Talk: Troubling Findings’, German Studies Review, 26 (2003): 561-76.

Categories
Daybreak Publishing Lord of the Rings Racial right Richard Carrier Tischgespräche

A new translation of Adolf’s talks

Or

The younger brother of Boromir

Before we begin translating each talk from Werner Jochmann’s 2000 edition, published in German, I must clarify a few points.

Hitler’s after-dinner talks have been repudiated both by some white nationalists (those who are Christian and sympathetic to National Socialism), and by anti-Christian liberals like Richard Carrier who resent the idea that Hitler might have harboured anti-Christian ideas. Both base their arguments on the botched English translation currently on the market. The way to shut them up is simply to translate into English a reliable edition of the original manuscript, which we will do for The West’s Darkest Hour.

Each Hitler after-dinner talk will be accompanied by a hatnote linking to this PDF: the translated introduction by Werner Jochmann and a very brief text by David Irving (the original in German can be read: here). Since Jochmann’s introduction consists of 34 pages, we have taken the liberty of adding some subheadings to make it less of a chore to read: Heim, Picker, Bormann, Hitler, Master Plan East, Final solution and Christianity (the subheading This edition does appear in Jochmann’s original text).

The Christian question is central to understanding not only the dark hour, but the resounding failure of white nationalists. Recently, some commenters and I made use of LOTR and the character Boromir to understand the problem. While I agree with what Krist Krusher said about Tolkien, the metaphor is splendid to illustrate why using the One Ring—Christianity—to save the race will always end in the destruction of whoever dons the ring.

The point is that ‘No one here can wield the ring: it only answers to its Master’. And the Master is none other than the Jew who wrote the Gospel! (even though he now only lives disembodied in the amorphous form of Sauron). The One Ring answers only to him and to him alone. When a racialist Christian wants to put on the ring to fight the dark hour he falls into the trap set by Sauron: precisely what I recently said about an old article published on this site: ‘Silly Christian apologetics on The Occidental Observer’.

I’d like to end this entry with what I said a couple of days ago in the comments section: ‘Even the toughest Americans are willing to put on the One Ring to fight Sauron rather than understand—as Frodo’s servant, Sam, finally made Faramir understand—that it was impossible to use it for Gondor’s purposes’.

In his private talks, Hitler understood what American white nationalists still fail to understand.

Categories
Exterminationism Jesus New Testament On the Historicity of Jesus (book) Richard Carrier

Jesus – triple homonym

The impossibility of speaking with normies about Hitler lies in the fact that the word ‘Hitler’ is, in reality, a double homonym. When we use it we refer to the ‘historical Hitler’ (cf. David Irving’s books). The normie, on the other hand, believes in the ‘Hitler of dogma’: a propaganda figure created by Anglo-Americans and Jews after World War II to demoralise the Aryan. One need only glance at the book I quoted in my previous post to realise that the Hitler of dogma never existed.

This is best illustrated by the figure through whom our civilisation betrayed itself: Jesus of Nazareth. But here we encounter not a double but a triple homonym!

For the ordinary Christian, Jesus rose from the dead. To the ordinary secular man, Jesus was a mortal whose ethical system, despite the mythical miracles attributed to him, remains exemplary. But to the priest of sacred words Jesus not only didn’t exist. The ethical system sold to us by the imaginative writer who created this fictional character, the evangelist Mark, was the apple of discord whose ingestion brought about the downfall not only of the Roman Empire, but of the white race. (Remember that, according to Jung, an archetype can literally take possession of human souls. If I could relaunch Daybreak Press, I would publish another book collecting several entries on the Christian question.)

If the word ‘Hitler’ is a double homonym, from this angle the word ‘Jesus’ is a triple homonym in the sense that the word ‘bank’ is also a triple homonym: it can mean (1) a financial institution, (2) land at river’s edge, or (3) a panel in the sense, for example, that ‘the bank of switches for controlling the lighting is over there’.

Let’s now imagine a room with three men: a traditional Christian, a secular humanist and a priest of the sacred words. Common sense might lead us to believe that both the atheist and I could team up against the Christian. But this is not so. The Christian and the atheist will team up against me as soon as they learn that, in my scale of values, exterminationism à la Turner Diaries are the new tablets of law. And it is exactly at this point that we see that the expression ‘secular Christian’ or ‘neochristian’ is most apt to refer to today’s ‘atheists’.

Pre-Christian Aryans would have gladly used technological weapons of mass destruction to exterminate their enemies. It was Christian ethics that inculcated the notion of the sanctity of human life. An example from the country where I live will exemplify this.

In the summer of 1990, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall and a few months before the dissolution of the USSR, an extraordinary event took place in Mexico City: intellectuals from all over the world gathered to talk about it. I was following them closely, although at the time I was a normie of the secular humanist type. A few years ago, in the comments section of The Occidental Observer, I put the list of the participants in the various panel discussions at that event, which lasted a couple of weeks, but there is no need to put it here. Suffice it to say that, at the panel discussion ‘Nationalist and religious tensions’, the Mexican Octavio Paz—a secular humanist who would go on to win that year’s Nobel Prize for literature—concluded the discussion with these words (my translation):

We owe religions the inquisitors, we owe them many wars, we owe them many crimes, crusades, human sacrifices. But we also owe them essential things that we cannot renounce: for example Christ, for example Buddha. Thank you. [see YouTube clip: here]

Octavio Paz (1914-1998), who had repudiated his mother’s Catholicism at an early age, was in fact a typical neochristian. If it were possible to locate the three men of our example geographically, the Christian and the atheist would be almost side by side. The real eccentric would be the priest of the sacred words, who would be far removed from the Christian and the atheist insofar as the scale of values is concerned. (I am more like the Romans who left no stone unturned of the Semitic civilisation of Carthage than like the secular whites who are still under the spell of the Jesus archetype.)

There is indeed a gulf not only in believing that Jesus didn’t exist, but—contra Paz & secular company—in openly proclaiming that the message of this mythical ‘Christ’ is pure poison for the fourteen words: a psyop by Mark and his Semitic followers Matthew, Luke and eventually John, to brainwash the white man.

Although Richard Carrier is, like Octavio Paz, a typical neochristian, to racially conscious conservatives who still cling to the religion of their parents I suggest that they, at least, read the Amazon Books starred reviews of On the Historicity of Jesus.

Categories
2nd World War Henry Picker Richard Carrier Richard Weikart Tischgespräche

The Führer’s monologues (i)

Editor’s note: This site has been promoting Richard Carrier’s work about the dubious historicity of Jesus. But Carrier is a typical neochristian. As Robert Morgan once said, the Christian influence on culture has been so profound that even atheists like Dawkins and Carrier accept the Christian moral framework without question. Carrier’s liberalism has gone so far that he even subscribes the psychosis en mass that a human being can choose his or her sex, disregarding biology.

Carrier also talks nonsense about Hitler, especially about the Führer’s after-dinner talks. All his rigour as a scholar of 1st-century Mediterranean religions goes out the window when he addresses Hitler’s anti-Christianity. Carrier cheats by deliberately using sloppy English translations instead of the originals (this video featuring David Irving and Richard Weikart explains it briefly).

Here is my hand holding one of the good German editions, Henry Picker’s, which, unlike the popular translations, wasn’t slightly altered. It is time to refute Carrier’s claim that Hitler wasn’t anti-Christian, although in this new translation I will be using another edition also mentioned in the above-linked video, not the book in my hand. However, the editor’s introduction is too long for a single blog post and I’ll have to divide it into parts (i, ii, iii, etc.). If you want to read it all in the original language, you can do so in the German section of this site.
 

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Adolf Hitler

Monologues at the Führer’s Headquarters 1941-1944

– The Records of Heinrich Heim Edited by Werner Jochmann –

 
Introduction

Shortly after the beginning of the war against the Soviet Union, Reichsleiter Martin Bormann suggested recording Hitler’s conversations during breaks in the Führer’s headquarters. He was guided by the following considerations: After years of unprecedented restlessness with travels, visits, events, intensive consultations with architects, artists, party leaders, representatives of the state, the economy and the Wehrmacht, and after the major foreign policy actions and the first campaigns of the Second World War, the Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht was now directing operations against the Red Army with his staff from East Prussia. To preserve for posterity the ideas and conceptions he developed in this seclusion and during the most decisive phase of the war so far, Bormann, as head of the party chancellery, asked his adjutant Heinrich Heim to set them down.

On the way home from a lunch meeting with Hitler at the end of June or beginning of July 1941, Heim reports, Bormann suggested that he ‘try to write down from memory an omission we had just heard. What I submitted to the Reichsleiter seemed to him to miss what he was interested in; he therefore made a transcript himself and submitted it to me; inwardly I held fast to my idea, even if I could not reprove his’. Some of the difficulties that had been encountered in this accidental recording of Hitler’s expositions could be overcome by proceeding according to plan. From then on, Heim concentrated intensively on the course and content of the conversations at the table; as far as possible, he also unobtrusively noted down a few keywords, occasionally even the one or other striking sentence. With the help of these notes, he then immediately dictated his notes of the conversation to one of Bormann’s secretaries. During the nightly teatimes, however, to which only a small and intimate circle was invited, there was no opportunity to record even a single word. Since this intimate circle often remained gathered around Hitler until the first hours of the following day, the record of the course of conversation could only be dictated the next morning.

In his casual chats, Hitler frequently changed the subject. Initially, therefore, an attempt was made to systematically summarise remarks on certain problem areas over several days.[1] However, since this procedure lost the immediacy of the statement and it was also impossible to reconstruct the context in which the remarks were to be placed, it was quickly abandoned. The conversations were recorded in their course and in the order in which they took place. As a rule, Hitler spoke alone, usually choosing topics that moved him at the time. In many cases, however, he evaded the pressing problems by distancing himself from the work of the day, for example, in reports from his school days or the early days of the NSDAP. Not every monologue Heim recorded advances the reader’s political insight. But all of them provide an insight into the everyday life of the Führer’s headquarters and the mentality and lifestyle of Adolf Hitler.

Martin Bormann was soon very satisfied with Heim’s work. He saw a collection of material emerging to which he attached great importance. In a memo to the Party Chancellery in Munich, he wrote on 20 October 1941: ‘Please keep these – later extremely valuable – notes very well. I have finally got Heim to the point where he is taking detailed notes as a basis for these memos. Any transcript that is not quite accurate will be corrected by me once again!’ As far as can be seen, there was little cause for correction. In the record published here, the head of the Party Chancellery added only a few additions, which are marked in the text of the edition. The extent to which individual objections and remarks were already taken into account in the final transcription of the notes cannot be established with certainty. According to Heim’s statements, this was not the case, and the findings in the files also speak against it. For each talk note, an original was made, which Heim revised and corrected once more. An original with two carbon copies was made of the final version. The first, signed by Heim in each case, was taken by Bormann, the carbon copies were kept by the heads of the political and constitutional departments of the party chancellery. Some notes dictated and signed by Bormann himself were added to the collection.

Heim’s notes begin on 5 July 1941, are interrupted on 12 March 1942, then continued again from 1 August to 7 September 1942. During Heim’s absence, his deputy, Oberregierungsrat Dr Henry Picker, prepared the talk notes from 21 March to 31 July 1942. At the beginning of September 1942, a serious crisis occurred at the Führer’s headquarters. Hitler was disappointed by the lack of success of Army Group A in the Caucasus. He heaped reproaches on the Commander-in-Chief, Field Marshal List, and his generals. The Chief of the Wehrmacht Joint Staff, Colonel General Jodl, therefore flew to the Field Marshal’s headquarters to get information about the situation on the fronts of the Army Group. On his return to the Führer’s headquarters on 7 September, he recommended to Hitler a cessation of the attack and a withdrawal of the Mountain Corps, which had been particularly far advanced and weakened by the hard fighting.[2] Hitler reacted angrily and accused Field Marshal List of not following his orders and therefore being responsible for the failure. When Jodl, on the other hand, claimed that the Army Group had strictly followed his instructions and thus indicated that the criticism fell back on Hitler, the rupture was sealed.

The consequence of this serious conflict was that from then on Hitler had the briefings recorded by Reichstag stenographers; did not leave his barracks in daylight for long periods and, in particular, no longer ate with the members of the Führer’s headquarters.[3] To what extent his self-confidence received a severe blow from this event, because he realised that his goals in Russia could no longer be achieved, may remain undiscussed in this context. What is decisive is that Hitler henceforth distrusted his officers and showered them with reproaches that shocked even his closest political confidants.[4] Martin Bormann, too, registered with concern that Hitler was closing himself off more and more from those around him.[5] The transcripts end with the abolition of the common table. If there were still conversations in a relaxed atmosphere afterwards, there was hardly any opportunity to record them. The few notes made in 1943/44 by one of Bormann’s advisers, who also added them to the collection of Führer conversations, are summarised – released for publication – in the fourth part of this volume. A glance at these few documents reveals the change in atmosphere that had taken place since September 1942. Hitler no longer spoke so freely, most questions were only touched on briefly.

Martin Bormann marked his collection of ‘Führer conversations’ as ‘secret’ and sent parts of it to his wife for safekeeping. Gerda Bormann left Obersalzberg on 25 April 1945, after the property had been destroyed in a bombing raid, and took not only her husband’s letters but also the conversation notes with her to South Tyrol. She died there in a prisoner-of-war camp in Merano on 23 March 1946.[6] After the German surrender, an Italian government official in Bolzano took over the entire collection and later sold it to François Genoud in Lausanne, who still owns it. It forms the basis of the present edition.

While Henry Picker has meanwhile repeatedly published his conversation notes from the Führer’s headquarters,[7] Heim’s much more extensive notes have so far only been published in foreign languages. A French edition was produced by François Genoud[8] at the beginning of the 1950s; the English edition, by H. R. Trevor-Roper at the same time. This first English edition was followed by a second in 1973; [9] two American editions identical to the English edition had appeared before that.[10] Since these translations of such a central source are much used by international researchers, it is about time that it is finally made accessible in the original text. This is all the more urgent because specific National Socialist terms and also some of Hitler’s linguistic idiosyncrasies can only be translated imperfectly. Attempts to retranslate his remarks have inevitably led to errors that have been to the detriment of the interpretation.

__________

[1] Cf. Gespräch Nr. 28, S. 74.

[2] Colonel General Haider, Kriegstagebuch Vol. III, edited by Hans-Adolf Jacobsen. Stuttgart 1964, p. 518 f. (8. 9. 1942).

[3] Notizen des Generals Warlimont. Kriegstagebuch des OKW, Vol. 2, 1st half volume. Compiled and explained by Andreas Hillgruber. Frankfurt/Main 1963, S. 697.

[4] Heinrich Hoffmann reports on a conversation with Hitler in late summer or autumn 1942, in which Hitler called his officers ‘a pack of mutineers and cowards’. Hoffmann notes: ‘I was deeply affected by this abrupt outburst of hatred. I had never heard Hitler talk like that before’. Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler, wie ich ihn sah. Munich-Berlin 1974, page 178.

[5] Bormann in letters to his wife Jochen von Lang, Der Sekretär. Stuttgart 1977, page 230.

[6] Death certificate of the registry office I in Berlin. Cf. Joseph Wulf, Martin Bormann. Gütersloh 1962, page 223.

[7] Henry Picker, Hitlers Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier 1941-42 (Hitler’s Table Talks at the Fuehrer’s Headquarters 1941-42), ed. by Gerhard Ritter, Bonn 1951. The second edition was supervised by Percy Ernst Schramm in collaboration with Andreas Hillgruber and Martin Vogt. It appeared in Stuttgart in 1963 and was followed in 1976 by a third new edition edited by Picker himself, published by Seewald-Verlag, Stuttgart. The edition edited by Ritter was published in Milan in 1952 in an Italian translation Conversazioni di Hitler a tavola 1941-1942. Andreas Hillgruber supervised the edition published by Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich, in 1968, and in 1979 Goldmann-Verlag in Munich published a paperback edition edited by Picker.

[8] Adolf Hitler, Libres Propos sur la Guerre et la Paix, recueillis sur l’ordre de Martin Bormann. Paris, 1952 and 1954.

[9] Hitler’s Table Talk 1941-44: His Private Conversations. London 1953 und 1973.

[10] Hitler’s Secret Conversations 1941-1944. New York 1953 and 1961.