By Richard Girard
"Only the history of free peoples is worth our attention; the history of men under a despotism is merely a collection of anecdotes."
Se'bastien-Roch Nicolas de Chamfort (1741--94), French writer, wit. Maxims and Considerations, volume 2, number 487 (1796; translated 1926).
I finally got to read Patrick J. Buchanan's article "Did Hitler Want War?" (1 September, 2009) on Thursday the tenth, and as a student of the Second World War my first reaction was to demand that all of Mr. Buchanan's history instructors, from elementary school to college, retroactively give him an "F." I then considered Mr. Buchanan's age, and realized that most of them have probably passed away, rendering my plan an impossibility.
So I have decided to correct Mr. Buchanan's article, on a point by point basis. I do this for my father, my two great uncles, and my mother's cousin who served in that war, as well as the sixteen million other Americans, living and dead, who selflessly undertook the great crusade against the consummate evil that was Hitler and Nazi Germany.
Mr. Buchanan's article implies--in my opinion--that their sacrifice was in vain, and that Hitler did not need to be stopped; he would have stopped himself. Anyone who is familiar with Hitler's unpublished sequel to Mein Kampf (published in 1961 as Hitlers Zweite Buch, English version Hitler's Secret Book) knows better.
Where possible, I have given you book, author, and page where you can confirm my information. The exception is four books that I currently have in storage, William L. Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Alan Clark's Barbarossa, Samuel Eliot Morrison's Two Ocean War, and Heinz Guderian's Panzer Leader; but my memory of their information is as clear as if I read it today. They were not on the shelves of the local library, so I used Charles Messenger's Chronological Atlas of World War II (copyright 1989) to confirm my recollection of the facts and kept, what was for me, the original source.
"On Sept. 1, 1939"the German Army crossed the Polish Frontier."