A recent lecture by Mark Weber, and the riposte by Michael Shermer, have exposed some contradictions in how deniers approach Hitler's motivation for invading Poland and the USSR. I summarize three of those contradictions below.
Firstly, deniers wish to pretend that Hitler's actions were defensive. He was hemmed in by the other powers; he needed to recover land stolen from Germany at Versailles; and Stalin was gearing up for an assault on the west. The obvious refutations of these points - the fact that Britain's approach was to appease rather than provoke; the fact that Stalin was purging his generals; the fact that Hitler always took far more territory than was in dispute and declared his intention to hold on to it permanently - will always fall on deaf pro-Nazi ears.
Where the contradiction arises is from the fact that deniers then claim (as Weber did when interviewed by Shermer) that the world would have been a better place had Germany won the war and Communism been destroyed. Suddenly a war of self-defence becomes a justifiable war of annihilation. The defensive pretence is no longer maintained when the glorious victory over Communism is discussed.
Secondly, it follows from the tears shed over the Nazi defeat that the measures that would have been necessary to secure victory - including mass starvation of the Soviet population and the Jews - become justifiable. One cannot will the ends without willing the means.
Thirdly, deniers are also thus forced to concede that which they cannot mention: Lebensraum and Holocaust. Anti-Communism for Hitler was ipso facto an ethnic re-ordering of Europe using (to borrow Nick Terry's excellent phrase) "a political economy of racial value." Weber happily acknowledges that deniers share this eugenic fantasy, yet once again they shy away from the obvious conclusions: no Lebensraum could have been achieved without mass killing. There was nowhere to send the Jews once it became obvious that the Soviets were not simply going to cave in.
The 'defensive Hitler' fallacy is not therefore just apologia: it is denial of the facts that flow from Hitler's aggressive reality.