Source H was written by Goering who was at the time in command of the German economy. Goering was a high ranking party official, achieving the prestige of being Hitler’s deputy at one point. He was furious that Goebbels had allowed so much destruction during the ransacking of Jewish Property. He was stringently trying to adhere to the 4-year economic plan that was to prepare Germany for war. He saw that the property and goods within the Jewish households which would have greatly useful to help achieve this plan. He had nothing to do directly with Kristallnact though. After the damage of Kristallnact in order to keep in line with the party’s Anti Semitic policies he charged the Jew’s 100 million marks for the damage caused that night. He was later charged with the responsibility of the Jews in the concentration camps, which led to him being tried after the war, in that trial this account was given.
The testimony follows the opinions of Goering in that his fierce competition against Goebbels that results in placing all of the blame onto Goebbels shoulders who was not there to defend himself, after committing suicide. Goering seems to be very angry at the fact that his work on the four-year economic plan in order to prepare Germany for war had been set back by the ”disturbance in economic life” and ”destroying so much Jewish property of economic value”. This set back in his ”difficult task” embedded itself into anger directed at Josef Goebbels making him out to be responsible for the events of Kristallnact. If this statement is cross referenced with source A, then this seems to be true as source A claims that Goebbels told Hitler at a nazi dinner party that Kristallnact was going to occur. This meant that Hitler knew as well, and could have prevented it if he wanted too.
There are many possible motives behind Goering reciting this account; one reason may be that he knows he will die at the end of the trial, for overseeing the extermination of the Jews. He has nothing to, lose from giving his account. From it he may gain some self-respect by praising his actions and putting down other members of the party. It makes him seem to be an even more important party member than he was, and that he was running Germany on his own while everybody else had fun killing Jews and communists while simultaneously ruining the economy, ”It was not acceptable that he (Goebbels) should upset my difficult economic tasks”. In a way he is trying to make himself seem to be a martyr for his country by giving this account.
There is undoubtedly bias contained within the account as it creates an image of his own importance rather than giving the impression of all high party officials being important. The testimony also keeps attacking Goebbels for his perceived inadequacies in the Nazi party and how he could have ruined the four-year plan or even the entire economy.
From what is quoted in the testimony, it seems to be very reliable. Goering did make speeches to the German people begging them to save everything, as it would help the German economy, He was furious at Goebbels for going ahead with the riots and the after effects did put a large dent into the German economy. However the claim that Hitler apologising for the actions of Goebbels, we do not know. If Source A is anything to be going by, it seems that Hitler fully supported the actions of Goebbels. The reason why he would apologise for the actions of Goebbels if Source A were true is unknown, unless he was putting a face on to all other senior Nazi’s.
There are a few gaps in the text. Goering’s interpretation of what happened during Kristallnact is unknown and what he was doing at the time. He did not disclose in the piece who else apart from Goebbels was responsible for Kristallnact. Nor Fritz Hesse reported if what happened at the dinner party in a true manner as he was probably there. However we do know that Goering was not directly involved in Kristallnact though he had to deal with the consequences.
Source I is a reporting of a conversation held with Hitler by Frau Troost, a women married to Hitler’s favourite architect. The speaker in this source is Hitler, occurring shortly after Kristallnact.
The opinion of Hitler seems to be that Kristallnact was a regrettable event because of von Roth’s death and maybe because everybody saw the Jews killed on the street, which he did not want to occur. The consequences were starting to emerge on the economy as well throwing the four-year economic plan askew. The understanding with France may also have been destroyed, but it is to vague too know what kind of understanding it was if any.
Hitler’s motive for holding a conversation is questionable. Maybe it was in order to try and clear his name and avoid the blame for Kristallnact. This contradicts sources B, C, D and H though. Did he tell her so that she would spread the word that he was innocent. ”Kristallnact was terrible” this makes out that he was regretting the deaths caused. Was Hitler 100% in control of the Nazi Party and that the officials below him were taking liberties and doing what they wanted. This contradicts other sources though where Hitler seems to retained some control. Maybe Hitler is really just been caught off guard and pouring out his heart or trying to flirt with Frau Troost. Frau Troost’s reason for repeating this conversation is also questionable. Was she trying to make money while also making herself seem important in Germany at the time and gaining some self respect.
There is no real bias in the reporting of the conversation from Frau Troost. Only the way in which Hitler manipulated the conversation to his own interests regarding Kristallnact. Otherwise there is no bias at all.
The reliably of this piece can be put into doubt. The historian to whom the conversation was relayed was using it to put into a book on the subject of Hitler. They might have edited the conversation to fit their own personal theories about his life. This piece is also not supported by any other source meaning that there is no support or denial for the accuracy as there was no eyewitnesses around. Also 1971 is a long time after the conversation took place. This means that her memory will not be as intact leaving room for errors in the account to creep in.
There are numerous gaps in the account. Hitler does not talk about who was responsible for the organisation of the riots, what Hitler actually regretted over the entire course that Kristallnact took as is not described well. The agreement with France is not put into more detail. What was it? Was their really any sort of plan with France? It may have been a Nazi bluff. No other source agrees or mentions with this aspect of the conversation, which leaves it as a bit suspect. The figure of speech ” Elephant in a china shop” does agree with Sources C, E, F and G in picturing Kristallnact as a brutal messy attack.
In conclusion Source I does agree to an extent that Goering was telling the truth in source H. It agrees on the fact that there was extensive damage to German Property and eventually the Economy. The tone Hitler uses in Source I suggests that he did regret the incident and meaning that he may have apologised for Goebbels, therefore agreeing with Source H again. Further similarities result from Adolf Hitler claiming that the entire occurrence of Kristallnact shouldn’t have happened. Whether or not Hitler feels that the economy was damaged and the four-year plan in the process, is not discussed in Source I so remains unknown. However the use of the plural form of ”the people responsible” indicates that there was more than one person responsible for organising the riots. Source H just shows Goering blaming Goebbels for everything. This results in the two sources agreeing on most issues to an extent, meaning that both ounces carry a reasonable degree of reliability as they confer reasonably.