History Rhymes
Nineteenth-century History

David Irving’s Translation of Der Dienst: Erinnerungen 1942-1971

For anyone who is going to be working with the memoirs of Reinhard Gehlen, do not use David Irving’s translation of it, entitled: The Service: The Memoirs of General Reinhard Gehlen. For a project I am working on, I have been dealing with both Irving’s translation as well as the original book in German written by Gehlen himself (Der Dienst: Erinnerungen 1942-1971). I read the German version cover to cover for this project and have been attempting to use Irving’s translation as a quick reference to check for facts, however, as I have been using the translation, not only is information missing from the original in his translation (I’ve had to check the original multiple times to verify it was actually there), but there are actually pages and pages of accounts and “memories” that don’t exist anywhere in the original!

The accounts may be true for all I know, but they are presented as though Gehlen told them (though he did not in his memoirs) and there are no references cited. It has been most frustrating and I do intend to report this inaccuracy to the university. Perhaps they will dispose of the book as anyone who is unable to read the German version would have no idea otherwise, possibly leading to inaccuracy.

Recommended Books: