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Joel S.A. Hayward
The Fate of Jews in German Hands
An Historical Enquiry into the Development and Significance of Holocaust Revisionism
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Abstract • 300 Words
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Holocaust Revisionism is the name given to the controversial school of historical thought which challenges received opinion on the Holocaust. It is ideologically linked to the Revisionist school founded in the 1920s by Harry Elmer Barnes and other scholars. The ideological basis of Revisionism is a belief that the wider historical profession generally fails to present the origins, courses and consequences of wars in an honest and impartial manner. Whilst Holocaust Revisionists now possess a wide range of political outlooks, the movement’s origins are in the postwar writings of Paul Rassinier, a French Socialist. Rassinier, formerly a Nazi concentration camp internee, believed that what actually transpired in the camps during the war was being misrepresented or even lied about by the majority of authors writing in the years immediately after the conclusion of hostilities in 1945. Particularly since the mid 1970s increasing numbers of researchers have been challenging various aspects of accepted opinion on the Holocaust. Building upon the foundation laid by Rassinier, who had comparatively few sources at his disposal, these researchers make use of the wide spectrum of primary material now available, including documents and other literary sources, original blueprints and architectural plans, and wartime aerial photographs taken by reconnaissance planes. This thesis describes and explains the development and significance of Holocaust Revisionism from 1948 to 1993. This involves identifying the Revisionists, describing what they have to say, assessing the sources and methods they employ, and arriving at an impartial and dispassionate judgement on their work. Because public and scholarly responses to Holocaust Revisionism have at times directly shaped and influenced the growth and development of this highly unorthodox school of historical thought, this study also describes and explains those responses.

Acknowledgements • 1,100 Words

Writing a thesis on an international phenomenon such as Holocaust Revisionism without being able to travel to archives or libraries in the United States, continental Europe or Great Britain has been a very difficult task. It could not have been accomplished at all had it not been for the kind assistance of the many people in many countries who supplied material in response to my letters of request. After searching out addresses in overseas telephone books at the local public library I wrote more than two hundred such letters, and I am pleased to say that I received responses to all but about twenty. I obtained additional material by placing an advertisement, explaining the nature of my investigation and requesting source material, in an American Revisionist newsletter and in two Jewish newspapers, one in the United States and one in Great Britain. I have chosen, of course, not to side with one school of thought against the other, but to seek critical distance and get “both sides of the story”. Noting that many scholars involved in the Holocaust controversy wear their moral values on their sleeves, I have consciously attempted not to do so, and not to let my own values harden into biases. Thus, I have contacted and on many occasions received and used material from both anti-Revisionist and Revisionist organizations and individuals. I make no apologies for this and I am tiling to acknowledge on this page the assistance I received from members of both camps, even from those whose views or actions I personally find unpalatable.

My first thanks go to my dear wife, Kathy, who not only served as an admirable coffee maker during the year I worked on this thesis, but who also constantly encouraged and assisted me. I would now like to express my gratitude go the following people (listed alphabetically), whose assistance was invaluable: Ola N. H. Bruhner of Stockholm, who supplied me with French and German newspaper clippings on “The Faurisson Affair”, “The Roques Affair” and “The Paschoud Affair”; The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of New Zealand. Its small scholarship allowed me to purchase books and other necessary resources. David Irving, who supplied me with some of the material I requested and answered most of my questions; Howard English, Managing Editor of the B’nai B’rith Covenant (Canada), who assisted me several times in obtaining Canadian newspaper articles on the Ernst Zundel and James Keegstra trials; Mariette MacDonald, who translated for me newspaper clippings and journal articles from French to English; my thesis supervisor, Dr. Vincent Orange, a kind and patient mentor whose enthusiasm and knowledge about the events of the past greatly inspired me; Tony Robson of Searchlight magazine (London), who talked openly with me about Searchlight’s activities and supplied me with copies of almost all of Searchlight’s articles on David living, their bitter enemy; my deal friends Margaret and (the late) Allen Stott, who defended my right to intellectual autonomy when immoderate and uninformed factions challenged it, and who assisted me in many other ways; Mark Weber of the institute for Historical Review, who also talked openly with me on two or three occasions, providing important information. His frequent criticism (occasionally in the form of an admonishment) was very helpful. He also supplied a wealth of requested (and much unrequested) material, John W. Weir of Overland Park, Kansas, who very kindly allowed me to borrow for a lengthy period his substantial and valuable collection of Revisionist newsletters.

I would also like to thank the following individuals and organizations, who provided me with the advice, information or source material I requested from them: Robert Erwin and the indefatigable staff of the Information Services of the University of Canterbury library, who almost always managed to track down the obscure German or Austrian sources I wanted; American Jewish Archives (Cincinnati); American Jewish Committee, William E. Wiener Oral History Library (New York); the Anne Frank Institute (Philadelphia); the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (New York); the Beate Klarsfeld Foundation (Paris); John Bennett, President of the Australian Civil Liberties Union; Friedrich Paul Berg; B’nai B’rith Canada; Jo-anne Brick of the Australian Institute of Jewish Affairs; Pat Brodie, Assistant to the Editor, Macleans (Toronto); the staff at the Bundesarchiv, Koblenz; the staff at the Bundesministerium für Unterricht und Kunst in Vienna; Scott Burckbuchler, Research Assistant to Hugh Dykes M.P., House of Commons, London; Canadian Jewish News (Toronto); Willis A. Carto; Gregg Clemmer, Dr. Robert Countess; Ann C. Crispell of the Central Intelligence Agency (Washington, D.C.); the staff at the Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes in Vienna; Professor Robert Faurisson; Patrick J. Ferral; Ditlieb Felderer; Leonie Fleiszig of the Maker Library and Resource Centre (Melbourne); Professer Gerald Fleming; The archives department of The Guardian; Globe and Mail (Toronto); Toby Green of Pergamon Press; Linda Greenlick of the Jewish Chronicle (London); C. Horowitz, Library Director, The American Jewish Committee (New York); Jewish Frontier (New York); T. L. Jones of the Cremation Society of Canterbury (Christchurch); Nathan M. Kaganoff of the American Jewish Historical Society; H. Kneeshaw, Information Centre, University of London; R. Clarence Lang;, Los Angeles Times,;Thomas Marcellus, Director of the Institute for Historical Review; E. Meilen Press (Lewiston, New York); Chris Mitchell, Deputy Editor of The Australian; Sasha Mitchell of The New Statesman; Ed Mueller; David Nathan, Deputy Editor, Jewish Chronicle (London); Rev. Herman Otten, Editor of Christian News (Washington, MO.); C. H. E. Philpin of Past and Present; the staff at the Pantswowe Muzeum Oswiecim Brzezinka (particularly Krystyna Oleksy and Jerzy Wroblewski); the staff of Revue d’Histoire Révisionniste; Paul Russell; Yvonne Schleiter; Michael Sedley, Information Officer, Embassy of Israel (Wellington); Shelly Shapiro, Director of Holocaust Survivors and Friends in Pursuit of Justice; Bradley R. Smith; Sydney Morning Herald, The Age (Melbourne); The Jewish Eagle (Montreal); The Times (London); The Bulletin (Sydney); Karen J. Underhill, Archivist and Manuscripts Curator, Northern Arizona University, Jack Wikoff, Editor of Remarks (Aurora, New York); Laird Wilcox of Editorial Research Service (Olathe, Kansas); Wisconsin State Historical Society (Madison); Dr. Karl Wippermann; Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority (Jerusalem); Ernst Zundel. These people have all contributed to this thesis in one way or another, but they carry no responsibility for any errors or misinterpretations of which I may have been guilty.

Glossary • 1,200 Words

Anti-Judaism. Most religions – including Christianity, Islam and Judaism – advocate Opposition to other theological viewpoints. Criticism of the theology of Judaism or those Jews adhering to that theological system is referred to as “anti-Judaism”. Anti-Judaism is not synonymous with anti-Semitism, although, of course, most anti-Semites are also anti-Judaic and anti-Zionistic Anti-Semitism. Although Arabs are also “Semites”, the present writer will follow common usage and use the term throughout this thesis to define the hatred, fear or resentment of persons identified racially or culturally as Jews.

Anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionism is opposition to the aims and methods of political Zionism. Like antiJudaism, anti-Zionism is not necessarily synonymous with anti-Semitism. Indeed, many Jews are themselves anti-Zionistic.

Holocaust. The Holocaust is a theological term with a very precise meaning. It is derived via the Latin holocaustum from the Greek ‘olokauston’ (holokauston), which specifically denotes a “whole burnt sacrifice”. This term was used frequently in the Greek Septuagint and once or twice in the Greek New Testament texts to describe entirely burnt sacrifices. Earlier this century, however, the term was used on rare occasions by Christian theologians and historians to describe a variety of catastrophes in which Christian populations were thought to have been “wholly sacrificed” for their faith. It was used, for example, to describe the Turkish massacre of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in 1915-16.[1]For an example of the word “holocaust” being used to describe the massacre of Armenians, cf. A.J. Grant and H. Temperley, Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (1789-1932) Fourth Edition, 1932 (London/New York/Toronto: Longmans, Green and Co. First published in 1927 as Europe in the Nineteenth Century (1789-1914), p. 574. Used in this manner the term was always written “holocaust”, with a lower-case “h”. Only after 1957 did the term come into popular use to describe loosely the wartime treatment of Jews by the Nazis.[2]Cf. G. Kormann “The Holocaust in American Historical Writing”, Societas 2, Summer 1972, pp. 251-270. Even in the first issue of Yad Vashem Studies (the journal of Israel’s Yad Vashem, then translated as Yad Vashem), published in late 1957, the term repeatedly used to describe the fate of the Jews during World War II was “the catastrophe”. Since around the early 1970s “the Holocaust” (now with an upper-case “H”) has been used by historians and the general public to define the ordered, planned and systematic extermination of approximately six million European Jews – the majority in gas chambers and gas vans constructed especially for the task – as an act of state by the Nazis (with assistance from their collaborators) during the Second World War. For want of a better term, “the Holocaust” is used throughout this thesis – even when referring to the subject matter of literature published prior to 1957 – to denote the Nazi maltreatment of European Jews during the Second World War. However, its use should not be seen as the present writer’s agreement with any fixed definitions, even the definition given above. “The Holocaust” is used loosely to denote the ordeal of European Jews without implying any fixed opinions on the precise nature and dimensions of their ordeal.

Revisionism. Naturally, every historical event or period has been revised to some extent, because historians of each new generation carefully re-examine the past in the light of newly found documentary sources, by employing a different methodology, or by reconsidering the known data from a different point of view. Therefore, in one sense almost all histories are revisionists. However, the terms “Revisionism” and “Revisionist” have come to be used more specifically. They are now used to denote a distinct group of people sharing a common set of unorthodox historical approaches, methodologies and interpretations. Sidney B. Fay”s ground-breaking articles, “New Light on the Origins of the World War”, parts I, II, III, American Historical Review, July 1920, October 1920 and January 1921) were the first important examples of Revisionist scholarship. Fay’s work inspired many other major scholars – most notably Professor Harry Elmer Barnes (now considered the “father of Revisionism”) – to re-examine received opinion on the First World War. They hunted out and used bodies of evidence other than the subjectively edited “official” documents which the various governments had published during the war (the so-called colored books). Their research and findings permanently weakened the hypothesis of sole German responsibility for the outbreak of war in 1914.

Revisionism, established by these scholars as a distinct school of historical thought, flourished in Europe and the United States during the 1920s and early 1930s. Even the largest publishing houses and most prestigious periodicals sought Revisionist material for publication. Amongst the leading Revisionists were Raymond Beazley, M. H. Cochran, Georges Demartial, G. Lowes Dickinson; G. P. Gooch, Alfred Fabre-Luce, Hermann Lutz, Maximilian Montgelas, Frederich Stieve, Joseph Ward Swain; and Alfred von Wegerer. Turning from the Kriegschuldfrage (war guilt question), Revisionist scholars – most importantly Clinton Hartley Grattan, Walter Millis and Charles C. Tansill – also investigated the entry of the United States into the war in 1917 and other related topics. These works influenced not only academia but also the general public. For example, when Millis’s Road to War: America, 1914 to 1917 was published in 1935, it was well-received by critics and became one of the best-selling American history books of the decade.

However, as war in Europe became imminent in the late 1930s, American Revisionists – who were mostly isolationists – argued against the United States’ intervention. Their views, especially after the attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into the war, became very unpopular. Their theses on Pearl Harbor did nothing to check their decline in popularity. Certain Revisionists asserted that that disaster would probably not have happened had it not been for Roosevelt’s policy in the Far East at a time when Japan’s military and civilian leadership would have preferred a peaceful accommodation with the United States rather than war.

Perhaps because there was far less debate in the 1940s and 1950s on the war guilt question of the Second World War than there was in the 1920s and 1930s on the war guilt question of the First World War, Revisionism never regained the popularity it previously had. A. J. P. Taylor’s The Origins of the Second World War was the first major Revisionist work on the causes of World War II, and that appeared in 1961. Some of the Revisionist books from the postwar period were, nonetheless, generally well-documented and thoughtfully argued, these include George Morgenstern’s Pearl Harbor, Chiles A. Beard’s President Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, 1941 (1948), R. Sanbom’s Design for War (1951), Charles C. Tansill’s The Back Door to War (1951) and Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace (1953), edited by Harry Elmer Barnes. As the titles indicate, these works deal principally with Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into the war.

Revisionism declined in public popularity after the Second World War, but did not disappear altogether. Well-known Revisionist books of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s include Taylor’s The Origins or the Second World War, David Hoggan’s The Forced War (Der Erzwungene Krieg), David Irving’s The Destruction of Dresden and Hitler’s War, John Toland’s Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath, and James Bacque’s Other Losses.

A new form of Revisionism emerged in the 1970s, with the Nazi treatment of Jews as its object of investigation. Holocaust Revisionism is ideologically linked to the Revisionist “school” founded by Barnes and others. Like all Revisionists, Holocaust Revisionists are skeptical of the claims of “establishment” historians, and believe that the wider historical profession generally fails to present the origins, courses and consequences of wars in an honest and even-handed manner. Holocaust Revisionists therefore attempt to re-examine the Holocaust and related social and political events in what they claim is a dispassionate and impartial manner. The accuracy of this claim will be examined in this thesis.

Abbreviations • 300 Words

ABBREVIATIONS

ADL Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith

CO . Carbon Monoxide

CODOH … Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust

HCN .. Hydrogen Cyanide (Hydrocyanic Acid)

IHR . Institute for Historical Review

IMT (International Military Tribunal) Trial of the Major War Criminals. Before the International Military Tribunal. Nuremberg. 14 November 1945 – 1 October 1946 42 volumes (Nuremberg, 1947-1949)

JDL .. Jewish Defense League

JHR .Journal of Historical Review

NC & A Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression 8 volumes plus two supplementary volumes, A and B (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1946-8)

NMT Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuemherg Military Tribunals. Under Control Council Law No. 10. Nuernberg October 1946-April1949 15 volumes (U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1949-53)

PMO Pariswowe Muzeum Oswiecim Brzezinka (Auschwitz State Museum)

RSHA Reichssicherheitshauptamt, Reich Security Head Office. Formed in 1939 and combining the existing police (Gestapo and Kripo) and the Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst).

SZTR (Second Zundel Trial Records) = In the District Court of Ontario Between: Her Majesty the Queen and Ernst Zundel. Before the Honorable Judge R. D. Thomas and a Jury (1988), followed by volume and page numbers.

WRB (War Refugee Board Report) = The German Extermination Camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau: Two Eve-Witness Reports (Washington, D.C.: War Refugee Board, Executive Office of the President, November 1944)

WVHA Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungshauptamt. Economic and Administrative Head Office of the SS. Formally established in early 1942, although management of most SS construction and economic activities was unified in the hands of SS General Oswald Pohl well before then. Branch D was responsible for running the concentration camps, but Branch C (Works and Buildings) and Branch W (Economic Enterprises) also had direct interests in the camps.

Introduction • 9,500 Words

A person denying the existence of the Auschwitz gas chambers is invariably either an old Nazi or a neo-Nazi. Moreover, he is probably a fool, for he is venturing out on ground where, except with children or mental defectives, he has no chance of success.[3]S. Wiesenthal, Justice: Not Vengeance, translated from the German by Ewald Osers (London: Mandarin, 1989), p. 393.

Simon Wiesenthal, the famous Austrian ‘Nazi hunter’, penned these words in 1989, forty-four years after Hitler’s Third Reich was destroyed by the Allies. In all but three of those years, however, people have been challenging the accepted opinion that Nazis killed Jews and others in gas chambers, and many of those people have not been – as the present writer will argue below – old Nazis, neo-Nazis or fools. Further, despite Wiesenthal insisting that only “children or mental defectives” would be convinced by their arguments, those people – who call themselves Holocaust Revisionists – have been able to persuade very many intelligent people, including prominent academics, that the Nazis did not use gas chambers to murder Jews and others.

In fact, the rapidly growing influence of Holocaust Revisionism has been a major reason for concern amongst those historians who uphold Holocaust orthodoxy. In 1984 Professor Yehuda Bauer of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel’s leading historian of the Holocaust, expressed this concern when he stated: “I believe that the denial of the Holocaust is one of the gravest dangers we face. The message is spreading, Finding its mark, more and more. It is becoming a large-scale danger”.[4]Denying the Holocaust, Paper no. 3, delivered by Yisrael Gutman (with responses by Bauer, et al.) at the Study Circle on World Jewry at the Residence of the President of Israel, May 13, 1984 (Series 14, 1984-1985). Published by the Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the Study of Antisemitism, Jerusalem, 1985, p. 33. Yisrael Gutman, also of the Hebrew University, echoed Bauer’s fears when he said: “As for the Holocaust deniers, the truth is that their influence is growing. I am not certain that we are dealing here with a catastrophe. But it definitely represents a grave threat that ought not to be ignored.”[5]Ibid., p. 39.
(Denying the Holocaust, Paper no. 3, delivered by Yisrael Gutman (with responses by Bauer, et al.) at the Study Circle on World Jewry at the Residence of the President of Israel, May 13, 1984 (Series 14, 1984-1985). Published by the Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the Study of Antisemitism, Jerusalem, 1985, p. 33.)

The phrase “Holocaust deniers”, used by Bauer and Gutman (and almost every other anti-Revisionist), is, unfortunately, inaccurate and misleading. Holocaust Revisionist scholars – as opposed to Revisionist propagandists, of which there are many – have never denied that the Nazi regime was rabidly anti-Jewish, that it sought to drive the Jews out of Germany and then from all of German-occupied western Europe, or that it constructed a vast network of concentration camps for Jews and other ‘enemies of the state’. They do not deny the fact that very large numbers of Jews were deported from all over German-occupied Europe into ghettos and concentration camps, or that many died in the process or from forced labour and acts of brutality after their arrival. They do not deny that the Einsatzgruppen executed very many Jews and others as they sought to implement, before regular civil administration could be established, a “rough and ready” form of law and order in the occupied Soviet regions behind the front. They do not deny that very many Jews died amongst the almost fifty million people who lost their lives during the Second World War, or that untimely Jewish deaths – from all causes, including disease, malnutrition, brutality, exhalation, Allied bombings, pogroms, military action, Einsatzgruppen activities, nameless ad hoc atrocities and general wartime havoc – numbered unquestionably in the hundreds of thousands. And they do not deny that Allied troops found, when they liberated the western concentration camps, horrific scenes of terribly emaciated internees and piles of corpses. Thus, it is apparent that Revisionist scholars (at least the vast majority) do not deny all commonly held views on the Holocaust. Whatever else they may be – and they are accused of being many things, including fascists, Nazis, racists and anti-Semites – they are not “Holocaust deniers” as such.

What is denied by Revisionists, however, is that “there was a deliberate German policy of systematic extermination of Jews, such policy implemented mainly by mass-murder in gas chambers in extermination camps, with the total number of dead in the area of four to six million or even more”.[6]Worldwide Growth and Impact of ‘Holocaust’ Revisionism, IHR Special Report (Costa Mesa: Institute for Historical Review, 1987). The above summary of which Holocaust claims are accepted by Revisionists was also based on a summary found within this booklet. To most informed people in the western world, even the denial of these things would seem ludicrous. It was ‘proven’ at the International Military Tribunal (the main Nuremberg trial, 1945-46), they might argue, that the Nazis planned to murder all the Jews of Europe, that they built gas chambers and other murder machinery for the task, and that the total number of Jews killed was around six million.

Be that as it may, because of newly-found documentary sources, the employment of new methodologies, and the reconsideration of data from different vantage points, accepted opinion has changed considerably since the ‘facts’ of the Holocaust were first ‘proven’ at the Nuremberg trials. Many previously-held claims have been quietly abandoned by scholars. At the main Nuremberg trial, by way of illustration, it was seriously claimed that four million persons (two-and-a-half million of them Jews) were murdered at Auschwitz alone; that countless Jews in certain other camps were murdered en masse with electricity and in special “steam chambers”; that gas chambers were used in Dachau, Buchenwald, BergenBelsen and other camps in the Altreich; that the skins of numerous Jews were tanned and made into gloves, jodhpur, book covers, handbags, lampshades and other household products; and that the Germ’s made soap from the cadavers of Jews. As this writer will argue below, all of these claims – and others – have been quietly dropped by historians over the years, although few non-specialists have been informed of this and, consequently, the claims are continually repeated.

Holocaust Revisionist arguments have also undergone a transformation over the same period. When Paul Rassinier, a French Socialist who had himself been interned in two Nazi concentration camps, began in the late 1940′s to challenge some of the concentration camp atrocity stories then abounding, his principal arguments were based mainly on his own experiences and observations. Apart from the documents presented at the Nuremberg trials, few documentary sources on the genocide of Jews were available to Rassinier, the first, and for a time only, person to challenge accepted opinion on the Holocaust in anything approaching a scholarly manner. By the 1970s, however, Revisionists in numerous nations around the world were gaining access to aerial photographs of the concentration camps, original blueprints of the alleged gas chambers, German documents relating to the ‘Jewish question’, military reports and a variety of other sources that had previously been classified and locked away in archives. As a result of this new information and years of refining the arguments of their predecessors, those Revisionists were able to challenge Holocaust orthodoxy with theses that were generally sophisticated and well argued (although, of course, persuasive arguments are not always synonymous with sound conclusions).

The mental habits, cognitive styles, and moral tone – not to mention the sources quoted and methodological approaches – of scholars of the two opposing schools of thought are markedly different. Those who uphold accepted opinion on the Holocaust, contemptuously called “exterminationists” by leading Revisionists, base a large percentage of their arguments and hypotheses on the memoirs of eyewitnesses and the postwar confessions of alleged perpetrators. Some of these statements were recorded immediately after the war finished, but others were recorded twenty, thirty, or even forty years after the events they describe. Dozens of Holocaust memoirs continue to be written every year, despite the fact that the war finished almost fifty years ago. Additionally, Jewish organizations in numerous countries (including New Zealand) have established oral history programs in order to preserve what they perceive to be perishable historical data about the Holocaust. Their apparent sense of urgency is understandable and, from an historian’s point of view, commendable: raw data exists in the human memory, which survives only as long as its possessor lives, and often deteriorates even sooner. Every death of a Holocaust survivor, therefore, represents the loss of a potential narrator and a diminution of the Jewish people’s collective memory.

Although they should always be checked against other evidence (if it exists), oral sources are clearly valuable and can fill in numerous details not found in documentary or other types of sources. Additionally, there are many events and epochs in recent history for which only oral sources exist. Many pogroms and outbursts of violence would fall into this category, and this fact may partly account for the disproportionate reliance on oral sources by orthodox historians of the Holocaust. Unfortunately, human memory is not infallible, as anyone involved in oral history quickly learns. Every time we attempt to remember an episode from our past – no matter how wonderful or horrific – we must recreate the memory, and, as a result, each time it is different, influenced by “succeeding events, increased understanding, a new context, suggestions by others, or other people’s recollections.”[7]E. Loftus, Memory: Surprising new insights into how we remember and why we forget (Reading, Mass., and other centres: Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1980), p. 169. Further, the longer it has been since the information about the person, event or thing observed was first encoded (put into memory), the poorer the recollection of it will be when it is retrieved and formed into an account.

The problems involved in accepting testimonies based on memory as legal or historical evidence have been the life study of Professor Elizabeth Loftus of the University of Washington, an American psychologist who has written several books and numerous scientific papers on the subject. She has, additionally, appeared in over one hundred courtrooms as an expert witness on the fallibility of eyewitness accounts. She noted, for example, in her most recent book on the subject:

As new bits and pieces of information are added into long-term memory, the old memories are removed, replaced, crumpled up, or shoved into comers. Little details are added, confusing or extraneous elements are deleted, and a coherent construction of the facts is gradually created that may bear little resemblance to the original event.

Memories don’t just fade, as the old saying would have us believe; they also grow. What fades is the initial perception, the actual experience of the events. But every time we recall an event, we just reconstruct the memory, and with each recollection the memory may be changed – cored by succeeding events, other people’s recollections or suggestions, increased understanding, or a new context.

Truth and reality, when seen through the filter of our memories, are not objective facts but subjective, interpretative realities. We interpret the past, correcting ourselves, adding bits and pieces, deleting uncomplimentary or disturbing recollections, sweeping, dusting, tidying things up. Thus, our representation of the past lakes on a living, shifting reality; it is not fixed and immutable, not a place way back there that is preserved in stone, but a living thing that changes shape, expands, shrinks, and expands again, an amoebalike creature with powers to make us laugh, and cry, and clench our fists. Enormous powers – powers even to make us believe in something that never happened.[8]E. Loftus and K. Ketchum, Witness for the Defense (New York: St. Martins Press, 1991), p. 20.

Survivors of the Holocaust – even despite the valiant efforts of many to remember accurately what transpired – have gained no extra physical or mental capabilities as a result of their suffering. Their memories remain as imperfect, malleable and fallible as everyone else’s. It may be that the recollections of some survivors have been altered or influenced after the war by their increased comprehension of what transpired, by talks with other survivors, by films they have watched or books they have read, and that consequently their recollections bear little resemblance to the historical reality. They are not to be condemned for this, nor can they be considered liars just because they cannot recollect events accurately. Information introduced after we view an incident can, without our knowledge, transform our memories.

When a memory-based testimony – that is, an ‘eyewitness’ account – is analysed for its reliability, historical interest and evidential value, the historian should apply to it the same methodological principles used to analyse documentary and other types of sources, plus he or she should investigate the various psychological factors than can play an important part in the formation of such a testimony. These factors include the age of the witness when the information was “first encoded, and his or her age at the lime the information was retrieved and formed into the testimony; the exposure time, or the amount of time (or number of times) the witness had to observe the person, thing or event later described; prior knowledge and expectations; the retention interval, or the duration between the time the memory was first encoded and the time the testimony was formed; the degree of stress suffered by the witness at the lime the memory was encoded; and the degree of stress suffered both before and during the formation of the testimony. Stress, as Professor Loftus explains, interferes with a person’s ability to process information, and when a person is experiencing extreme stress his or her ability to perceive and recall the details of the event witnessed is considerably diminished (a phenomenon known to psychologists as the Yerkes-Dodson Law).

Those who uphold orthodox opinion on the Holocaust, however, have tended to accept automatically almost all Holocaust survivor testimonies as being reasonably accurate and reliable historical records. This tendency is understandable; right-thinking people have wanted to empathise and sympathise with those, who suffered so badly, and, therefore, they have treated their recollections with a diminished degree of circumspection. They have not wanted to question the survivors’ recollections, to allow the possibility that they could be lying, exaggerating, or making genuine errors as a result of their fallible memories. Nonetheless, by not analysing eyewitness accounts according to accepted methodological principles, some of these historians have accepted testimonies so unreliable that they cause unfair prejudice, confuse the issues, or mislead readers about the incidents described. For example, Martin Gilbert, the renowned British historic, has written two popular books on the Holocaust which are based almost entirely on ‘eyewitness’ testimonies, although, as a result of incautious document criticism, he allowed numerous errors of fact to enter into print.[9]Cf. G. Sereny, “The men who whitewash Hitler”, New Statesman, November 2, 1979, p. 670-673. According to Sereny, “even reputable historians often fail in their duty of care. For instance, Martin Gilbert (biographer of Churchill) offers in Final Journey what is in many ways an admirably-presented résumé of what happened to the European Jews. But by quoting supposed ‘eyewitnesses’ who in fact are repeating hearsay, Gilbert perpetuates errors which – because they are so easily disproved – provide revisionists opportunities.” (p. 672).

Whereas orthodox historians of the Holocaust tend to be overly reliant on memory-based sources, and accordingly make many mistakes, their Revisionist counterparts treat those sources with excessive and unreasonable skepticism. Revisionists generally believe that contemporary documents and other types of material evidence are the only sources worthy of the historian’s serious attention. They insist that memory-based sources (particularly those relating to such emotion-laden topics as the Holocaust) are too prone to lapses, errors, fabrications and distortions to be truly valuable historical evidence. To support this claim, they constantly point out that even one or two Jewish scholars concede that many eyewitness testimonies are either unreliable, exaggerated or entirely spurious. For instance, they are especially fond of quoting the comments of Shmuel Krakowski, Archives Director of Yad Vashem, the international centre for Holocaust documentation in Jerusalem. Krakowski told the Jerusalem Post that in his opinion over half of the 20,000 testimonies from Holocaust survivors on record at Yad Vashem are “unreliable”, and that many survivors, wanting merely “to be part of history”, may have let their imaginations run away with them. “Many were never in the places where they claim to have witnessed atrocities, while others relied on second-hand information given them by friends or passing strangers”, asserted Krakowski.[10]B. Amouyal, “Doubts over evidence of camp survivors”, Jerusalem Post, August 17, 1986, p. 1. In an interview in the international edition of the same newspaper, Raul Hilberg, an eminent American Holocaust specialist, had already made statements which essentially agree with the conclusions of Krakowski. To the obvious delight of several prominent Revisionists, who have frequently republished his comments in tracts and newsletters. Hilberg stated:

Much of personal testimony is unreliable about names, locations or dates… What survivors speak about most is their suffering. Samuel Gringauz, himself a survivor, had harsh words for these personal histories. In the January 1950 issue of Jewish Social Studies he chilled them ‘Judaeocentric, logocentric and egocentric’. For him, most of the memoirs were full of ‘preposterous verbosity, exaggeration, dramatic effects, dilettante philosophizing, would-be lyricism, unchecked rumors, bias and apologies’.[11]Hilberg interview, Jerusalem Post: International Edition, week ending June 28, 1986, p. 8.

This is not to suggest that most Revisionist scholars believe that the memoirs and testimonies of Holocaust survivors are the only such sources that need to be treated with caution. Whilst some with anti-Jewish ideologies have, to their discredit, expressed the belief that Jews are naturally more likely to exaggerate their sufferings than non-Jews, the majority of Revisionist scholars would agree that all human recollections are subject to inaccuracies, oversights, fabrications and distortions. Their work, one must admit, reveals that they are almost always even-handed in their treatment of memory-based accounts; they approach accounts that support their own theses about the Holocaust (and various other events and periods) with the same excessive and unreasonable skepticism as they approach those that challenge or refute them. Revisionists quite correctly examine all such sources for internal inconsistencies, but, rather than attempting to explain the inconsistencies they find (which they would probably do with documentary evidence), they simply dismiss the sources because of them. Indeed, they set aside and ignore many hundreds – if not thousands – of memoirs relating to the Holocaust, and attempt to justify this by claiming they are all biased and flawed.

Revisionists might do well to remember that all historical sources contain biases and flaws, so in at least an absolute sense memoirs and oral sources are no less reliable than contemporary records such as letters and diaries, newspapers, police reports, or diplomatic and military dispatches. The responsible historian will not dismiss memoirs and oral sources out of hand, but will submit them to a rigorous and systematic analysis based on the methodological principles outlined above. When carefully analysed according to these principles – and especially when supplemented and enriched by other sources – memory-based sources can be used to reconstruct the past in a way that will survive the standard tests of historical evidence. This is especially true with regard to the Holocaust, because in some cases there are dozens, or even hundreds, of testimonies recounting the same events or experiences.

Some of the inaccuracies, distortions and fabrications found by Revisionists in many of the accounts of Holocaust survivors are relatively minor and do not – contrary to the Revisionists’ opinions – effect the memoirs’ overall reliability or credibility. However, it is clear that Revisionists have also identified major contradictions or errors in a small number of accounts, and that these flaws seriously diminish their overall reliability and credibility. Amongst these sources are the memoirs of Henryk Tauber, Paul Bendel, Miklos Nyiszli and the War Refugee Board Report of November 1944 – key sources on the gassing procedures at Birkenau used by scholars upholding accepted opinion. Nonetheless, whilst the many inconsistencies in such testimonies make it difficult to form from them accurate and reliable conclusions regarding the mechanics of the alleged gassings – at least without additional, corroborating evidence (and for some camps there is none; for others it is scarce[12]Cf. Arno J. Mayor’s comments to this effect on page 362 of his Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? The “Final Solution” in History (New York: Pantheon Books, 1988).) – almost all memoirs and oral sources speak of the widespread brutalization and maltreatment of Jews under German control. Although Revisionists clearly acknowledge that millions of Jews suffered – even terribly in several regions – during the Second World War, they mention it only in passing, merely to show that they do not actually deny it. There have been no detailed Revisionist studies of the pogroms, abominable ghetto conditions or brutal slave labour programmes, nor, to their shame, have any Revisionists condemned these almost unparalleled horrors. Yet they frequently condemn the Allies for their crimes of firebombing Hamburg, Dresden and other German cities, or for maltreating millions of German POWs in the immediate postwar years. All crimes – Allied or Axis, against Germans, or against Jews – should be condemned with similar passion by Revisionists if their constant claims of impartiality are to be believed.

Additionally, Revisionists very frequently condemn what the present writer calls ‘anti-Germanism’ – the continued negative stereotyping of Germans as heel-clicking Nazis or Jew-hating racists. They claim that there have been over four hundred feature films, as well as numerous television mini-series and books, produced since the end of the Second World War with negative stereotyping of Germans. These include The Boys from Brazil, Sophie’s Choice, The Winds of War and the massively-successful mini-series Holocaust, to name just a few that are well-known. Revisionists, who try to justify their claims by calling attention to examples of Jewish anti-Germanism (as if it somehow negates the 1930s German anti-Semitism), frequently quote the following statement by Elie Wiesel, a leading Jewish author on the Holocaust and the 1986 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize:

Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate – healthy, virile hate – for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German. To do otherwise would be a betrayal of the dead.[13]“Appointment with Hate”, Legends of Our Time (New York: Avon Books, 1968), pp. 177-8. Cf. R. Faurisson, A Prominent False Witness: Elie Wiesel, p. 5; Weber testimony, SZTR, 23-5768, 5769; M. Weber, “An Open Letter to the Rev. Mark Herbener”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Eight, Number Two (Summer 1988), p. 18; et al.

Revisionists have been very selective with their indignation, however. Whilst they have repeatedly attacked anti-Germanism – which, unfortunately, clearly does exist – they have, in their studies on the Holocaust, entirely avoided criticizing the racial ideology and policies of the Nazi regime. These helped create in Germany in the 1930s an anti-Jewish environment considerably more prejudicial and destructive than the anti-Germanism created by countless films, television series and books since the Second World War. Whereas almost all postwar anti-Germanism has been covert, low-key and violence free, German anti-Semitism in the 1930s was government-sanctioned, unconcealed, frequently violent and, less frequently, murderous. Even if the abominable Nazi treatment of Jews during the war could be temporarily hidden from the view of historians (and the sheer weight of evidence means that it can not), they would still agree that the National Socialist government’s peacetime treatment of Jews and other undesirables was horrible even by the most generous standards. That almost all Holocaust Revisionists downplay the racism and widespread civil rights abuses of the Nazi regime, whilst frequently harping on about lingering anti-Germanism, also weakens their claims of impartially.

This naturally leads on to a brief discussion of objectivity and bias. Each side accuses the other of biases leading to subjective and egregious misuses of evidence, and of making untrue statements about the past. Historians upholding accepted opinion accuse Revisionists of attempting to rehabilitate fully the Third Reich and of attacking and trying to discredit the Jewish people by ‘proving’ that the Holocaust is merely a well-executed Jewish lie. Revisionists, they say, are motivated only by anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi ideologies, and not by a quest for truth about the past. To support this charge they point out – quite accurately, as it happens – that many Revisionists are of German descent or known to express affection for Germany, or are involved in or support right-wing or nationalistic organizations. On the other hand, Revisionists accuse their counterparts of exaggerating and distorting the nature and dimensions of the Holocaust in order to gain sympathy and support for Jewish and Zionist causes – especially the founding and subsequent maintenance of the state of Israel. In defense of these claims Revisionists point out – also accurately – that most historians specializing in the Holocaust are Jewish or known to express affection for Israel, or are involved in or support Zionist organizations.

It is apparent that historians on both sides of the Holocaust debate have been guided by their own points of view to selecting certain topics to investigate, to asking certain questions about those topics, and to experimenting with new ways of trying to gain the answers. But it does not necessarily follow that the work of either or both sides is biased or lacking in objectivity. A person’s views may, in fact, happen to coincide with his or her own interests, current beliefs or point of view, and yet still have been based on an impartial consideration of evidence.[14]Cf. Q. Gibson, The Logic of Social Enquiry (London: Published for the International Library of Sociology and Social Reconstruction by Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1960), pp. 83 ff. If historians’ theses have to be heterodox or in conflict with their interests or unexpected for persons in their positions before they can claim to be objective, almost no historians of the Second World War, the National Socialist regime or the Holocaust could make such claims. By way of illustration, around ninety-five percent of all historians specializing in the Holocaust – including Raul Hilberg, Martin Gilbert, Saul Friedlaender, Gitta Sereny, Gerald Fleming and Walter Laqueur – are Jewish and actively support political Zionism. Clearly their experiences, interests, beliefs and values have guided their decisions to specialize in this field, and to produce works describing and explaining the nightmarish conditions experienced by European Jews during the war. Indeed, no inquiry takes place in an intellectual vacuum; every historian approaches his or her object of study with information and guiding ideas derived in large measure from his or her point of view.

Proving that protagonists on either side of this heated debate are biased, however, is different from demonstrating that their historical theses coincide with their interests, current beliefs or points of view (however unpalatable or unorthodox they may be). It would have to be shown that their values have hardened into biases – preconceived feelings, for or against someone or something – which have led to an improper or defective consideration of the evidence. Nevertheless, a defective consideration of evidence may not be, in itself, evidence of bias. A historian with no bias for or against his or her object of study can still make mistakes or poor judgements in the selection and employment of sources, either because of an unfamiliarity with the extent or nature of the sources relating to a certain question, or because of a lack of comprehension about how that question relates to other questions, and therefore other bodies of sources.

If members of either side could show that their counterparts had preconceived feelings about their objects of study and deliberately arranged their evidence to support or defend those preconceptions, their biases could be proved. Both Revisionists and anti-Revisionist claim they have done this; they have found, they insist, evidence that the other has entirely ignored several important sources and variously overestimated and underestimated the significance of others. Such tests, though, are based on the supposition that these people can correctly identify their opponents’ points of view, can comprehend and answer the questions they are asking about the past, are familiar with all of the sources they employ (and the relevant ones they fail to employ), are able to consider the evidence without making errors of judgement, and – most importantly – are themselves able to undertake an unbiased investigation. As the present writer will argue at length in the following chapters, the intensity of emotion manifest in the work of many of the protagonists in this debate – uncharacteristic of historians reviewing the work of peers – suggests that only a minority on either side have approached the issues involved in a dispassionate and non-partisan manner. The majority, whose biases are all too evident, are clearly not governed by the exacting techniques of impartial investigation used by historians in their quests for truth about the past. For these people – Revisionists and anti-Revisionists alike – history has become what David Thomson calls “the tool of propaganda: not the touchstone of truth, but the whetstone for grinding axes.”[15]D. Thomson, The Aims of History: Values of the Historical Attitude (London: Thames and Hudson, 1969), p. 10.

A relatively small number of persons on both sides of the Holocaust debate have striven conscientiously to throw light on the past by the careful and systematic piecing together of evidence. Yet the vast majority on both sides – including many historians – appear to believe the past is important only as a source of ammunition to fire at their present-day religious, racial or political opponents. As their dissemination of information is designed to assist their own causes and damage the causes of their opponents, these people could rightly be called propagandists.

It is not the purpose of this study to dwell on the war being waged between propagandists on both sides of the debate, but to describe and explain the activities of – and responses to – those Revisionists engaged in more scholarly activities. Before we continue, however, it may be germane to deal briefly with the anti-Revisionist claim that all Revisionists are right-wing, racist extremists who are unworthy of serious consideration.

Revisionists, according to their opponents, are anti-Semites and neo-Nazis with ‘extreme right’ social and political ideologies. By way of illustration, the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith, which is fiercely opposed to Revisionism, stated:

The Holocaust “revisionism” movement is motivated by three main goals: 1) to develop new avenues of expression for anti-Semitic themes, especially conspiracy theories accusing “Zionists” (read, “Jews”) of manipulating the news media and financial and political institutions; 2) to rehabilitate the reputations of the Third Reich and its leaders; and 3) to attack and undermine the legitimacy of the State of Israel.[16]Holocaust “Revisionism”: Reinventing the Big Lie (New York: Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, 1989), p. 4.

Deborah Lipstadt – a Jewish historian at Occidental College, Los Angeles, and an authority on the subject – believes that Revisionists are like flat-earth theorists whose beliefs are founded on ideology, not on a careful consideration of evidence. “The deniers’ quest is not a search for truth,” she says. “Rather, they are motivated by racism, extremism and virulent anti-Semitism”[17]Quoted in R. Gillman, “Truth of the Holocaust”, The San Diego Union, 1991; cf. R. Bernstein, “Untwisting Revisionism on Holocaust”, New York Times, June 20, 1988. On another occasion Lipstadt insisted that Revisionists are motivated “by a strong conglomeration of conspiracy theories, anti-Semitic ravings, and neo-Nazi tendencies.”[18]D. E. Lipstadt, “Deniers, Relativists, and Pseudo-Scholarship”, Dimensions: A Journal of Holocaust Studies, Volume 6, no. 1, p. 5. Gill Seidel, a lecturer in French at Bradford University and the author of The Holocaust Denial, a well-researched but tendentious volume on Revisionism, wrote: Why attempt to deny the Holocaust? Neo-Nazis today are trying to revive Nazi racist ideas. They are keenly aware that they must do something about their public image if they are to attract an important following. The Holocaust is the biggest obstacle in their way, so it must be explained away or denied altogether…. Contemporary Nazis claim to be ‘Revisionists’ engaged in ‘revising’ history … but these neo-Nazi fabrications bear no relation to historical data.[19]G. Seidel, The Holocaust Denial: Antisemitism, Racism & the New Right (Leeds: Beyond the Pale Collective, 1986), pp. 38, 41. Beyond the Pale Collective promotes itself as “a radical Jewish publishing collective”. “As far as we are concerned,” writes the Collective, “a personal ‘obsession’ with the Holocaust is not only legitimate; it is a political necessity”, (p. xxii).

Claims that Revisionists are necessarily anti-Semites and neo-Nazis with extreme right social and political ideologies do appear at first sight to be well-founded. Most anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi groups promote the Revisionist interpretation of the Holocaust, as even a quick glance through their unsavory newspapers reveals. Upon closer scrutiny, however, it becomes evident that these claims are probably not sustainable. Whilst the majority of anti-Semites and neo-Nazis promote Revisionism, the majority of Revisionists do not promote anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism.

The present writer selected at random 110 organisations listed in Laird Wilcox’s Guide to the American Right: Directory and Bibliography (1991 edition)[20](Olathe, Kansas: Laird Wilcox Editorial Research Service, 1991). Laird Wilcox is the founder of the Wilcox Collection on Contemporary Political Movements, housed in the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas. It is one of the largest collections of the literature of the American political ‘left’ and ‘right’ in existence. Wilcox, an authority on extremist groups, publishes a civil rights newsletter and a variety of useful political guides., and sent them all an identically-worded letter asking if they were active in either the dissemination of Holocaust Revisionist material or efforts to oppose and prevent its dissemination. 110 organisations listed in Wilcox’s Guide to the American Left: Directory and Bibliography (1991 edition), were also selected at random and sent the same letter. It was also sent to 60 randomly-selected organisations listed in the directory of ‘foreign’ right-wing groups compiled by Ed Nowicki of Willow Springs, Illinois, who works closely with various Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups. A similar list for left-wing groups outside the United States was not available.

Replies were received from 69 American right-wing organizations. Of these, 27 (39%) said they were active in the dissemination of Holocaust Revisionist material, whilst none said they were involved in efforts to oppose and prevent its dissemination. Replies were received from 46 American left-wing organizations. Of these, only 4 (8.5%) said they were active in the dissemination of Holocaust Revisionist material, whilst 9 (19.5%) said they were involved in efforts to oppose and prevent its dissemination. Replies were received from 41 right-wing organizations in a variety of countries (including Argentina, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Holland, South Africa and Spain). Of these, 13 (36%) said they were active in the dissemination of Holocaust Revisionist material. None said they opposed its dissemination.

Because of the small number of letters sent and the even smaller number of replies received, this survey exercise obviously has a high margin of potential error. Nonetheless, it at least allows conclusions to be made which are based on evidence more substantial than the claims of groups with known biases. Of the 27 American right-wing groups actively supporting Revisionism, only 2 appear to promote Nazi themes and symbolism, whilst 9 appear to advocate strong ethnic or racial chauvinism (without any Nazism). The other 16 appear to have libertarian, conservative or fundamentalist Christian focuses with no strong evidence of fascism or anti-Semitism. Of the 13 right-wing groups outside the United States, only 1 appears to promote Nazi themes and symbolism, whilst 4 appear to advocate strong ethnic or racial chauvinism. The other 8 show no evidence of fascism or anti-Semitism. Thus, it appears that most right-wing groups are not interested in Holocaust Revisionism. Moreover, the majority of right-wing groups which do actively support Revisionism are not anti-Semitic or neo-Nazi. These findings clearly contradict the claims of anti-Revisionists.

Additionally, four left-wing groups informed this writer that they actively support Holocaust Revisionism. All four groups have traditional liberal focuses. None exhibit ethnic or racial chauvinism. Whilst these groups are far outnumbered by left-wing groups actively opposing Revisionism, their position demonstrates that Revisionism is not exclusively right-wing. Indeed, several of France’s leading Revisionists are leftists (as was Paul Rassinier, the very first Holocaust Revisionist). It should also be remembered that Wilcox’s political guides only list groups and organisations that are perceived to be leftwing or right-wing. They do not list those which would be classed loosely as ‘centrist’. Moreover, they do not list individuals. There are countless Revisionists around the world who are not involved in right-wing or left-wing groups or organizations, or who are not politically-active in any relevant sense.

Thus, the results of this writer’s small survey suggest that Holocaust Revisionism is actively supported by a sizeable minority (but nowhere near a majority) of right-wing groups, whilst it is actively opposed by a sizeable minority of left-wing groups. Yet its support does not come only from the right; a small amount comes from the left. Doubtless some also comes from persons of neither the left, nor the right. Of the right-wing organizations and groups supporting Holocaust Revisionism, only a minority are anti-Semitic or fascistic (an important point to note). Therefore, claims that Revisionists are necessarily anti-Semites and neo-Nazis with extreme-right ideologies appear to be groundless.

It is disconcerting, nonetheless, that a high proportion of anti-Semites and neo-Nazis choose to support Holocaust Revisionism. Their publications contain Revisionist articles, although they are generally of a very low standard of scholarship and full of indefensible conspiracy theories involving Jews and international Zionism. Anti-Semites and neo-Nazis frequently attend Revisionist meetings, and turn out to protest with placards containing racist or fascistic slogans at the court appearances of Revisionists on trial for their beliefs. It is clear that these propagandists are not really Revisionists. Unlike some Revisionist writers, they do not impartially reappraise events of the past in the light of newly found documentary sources, by reconsidering the known source from a different point of view, or by using a different methodology. They are unconcerned about historical truth, and have simply appropriated elements of genuine Revisionism in order to support their preconceived notions about the Nazi regime and to attack and discredit the Jewish people.

These extremists must never be denied the right to express freely their views without fear of reprisals. That does not mean that their views on history are worthy of the same scholarly consideration as those of Revisionists who strive to illuminate events of the past by the thoughtful even-handed and systematic piecing together of evidence. It is therefore only the latter group which will be investigated in this study.

Anti-Revisionists – including many scholars – tend to be intolerant to all views other than their own. They insist that most aspects of the Holocaust are not, and can never be, open to legitimate scholarly debate. Deborah Lipstadt, for example, condemns teachers and lecturers who believe the Revisionist interpretation of the Holocaust should be mentioned in history courses as the ‘other side’ of the debate. There is no debate, she insists, and there certainly is no ‘other side’. Moreover, “those who are committed to the liberal idea of dialogue fail to realize that certain views are beyond the bounds of rational discourse.”[21]Lipstadt, “Deniers”, p. 7. Lipstadt, who is clearly disturbed by what she perceives to be the “dangers of free inquiry”[22]Ibid., p. 6.
(Lipstadt, “Deniers”, p. 7.)
, advocates a kind of censorship of Revisionism. The media should deny Revisionists a public airing of their views, and the public should be discouraged from giving them a ‘fair hearing’.

The historical arguments of Revisionists should not be, according to their opponents, treated with the same consideration as orthodox views. To do so, or even to enter into rational discourse with Revisionists, risks “giving their efforts the imprimatur of a legitimate historical option.”[23]Ibid., p. 8.
(Lipstadt, “Deniers”, p. 7.)
The present writer asked Yad Vashem, one or the world’s largest Holocaust research centres, how the theses of Holocaust revisionists should best be responded to. Menahem Fogel of that institute replied:

“my advice to you is not even to enter into a discussion of this nature. The only thing it does is give legitimisation to the creeps & low-lifes who argue the opposite. Don’t dignify them with a response.”[24]Letter from Menahem Fogel, Spokesman for Yad Vashem, dated 19 Kislev 5750 (December 17, 1989). Deborah Lipstadt, also warned that Revisionist theses would gain legitimacy by being made the object of this study, told the present writer: “I certainly hope you do not fall ”into the trap of taking them seriously.” Letter dated January 15, 1992.

Lipstadt, Fogel and other anti-Revisionists appear to be in error on several points. First, Revisionism has emerged as a distinct group of people sharing a common set of historical approaches, methodologies and interpretations. Regardless of what one thinks of Revisionism or the strength of its arguments, one must agree that it is now a clearly-defined school of thought. Accordingly, there are now two rival schools of thought on the Holocaust, and their competing theses now represent two ‘sides’ of a controversy.

Second, claims that Revisionist theses will somehow gain “legitimization” by being discussed as the ‘other side’ of a debate, or by being impartially analysed by scholars and students, are indefensible. Any viewpoint based on (and containing no departures from) sound cognitive processes is as “legitimate” as any other viewpoint until someone can demonstrate that it is lacking in logic or rationality or that it is based on a defective or improper consideration of evidence. Therefore, it is nonsensical to assume that one can “legitimise” another person’s views by merely mentioning them as the ‘other side’ of a debate or by analysing them impartially. It is proper that if a controversy exists teachers should present students with the arguments of both sides and then demonstrate which arguments lack rationality or are based on a defective or improper consideration of evidence. If Revisionist arguments are specious they will not be “legitimised” by being presented in this fashion. They will be exposed and discredited.

Lastly, the censorship and repression or Revisionist views have not managed to prevent their dissemination. On occasions such actions have even given Revisionists an underdog image and buttressed their claims that anti-Revisionists refuse to debate the issues for fear that their theses will not stand up to criticism. Moreover, some anti-Revisionists have gone beyond attempts at censoring and repressing Revisionist views, and have been willing to use violence to silence the Revisionists. Professor Robert Faurisson, by way of illustration, had spent almost a decade fighting legal suits brought against him because of his Revisionist views. He had also been suspended indefinitely from his teaching position at the University of Lyon-2. Nonetheless, he refused to bow to what he considered to be intimidation and continued to defend publicly his views on the Holocaust. Accordingly, whilst walking his dog through a park near his Vichy home on September 16, 1989, Faurisson – a slightly-built, bespectacled man – was attacked by three Jewish members of Les Fils de la mémoire juive (‘The Sons of the Memory of the Jews’). Even after the sixty-year-old had acid sprayed into his eyes and was knocked to the ground in a flurry of blows, his assailants continued to kick and punch him repeatedly in the head, face and chest. Only the intervention of passers-by stopped the violent attack.[25]“Robert Faurisson attaqué à Vichy”, La Montagne, September 17, 1989; “L’agression contre M. Robert Faurisson revendiquée par «Les fils de la mémoire juive»”, Le Monde, September 19, 1989; et al. Nonetheless, Faurisson was left with a broken jaw, nose and ribs, and severe injuries to his head. After ten days in hospital, during which time he underwent a four-and-a-half hour operation to repair his badly shattered jaw, he was allowed to return home, still in pain. It took another two months before he could speak and eat without difficulty. Les Fils de la mémoire juive not only claimed responsibility for the attack but ominously threatened: “Professor Faurisson is the first but will not be the last. Let those who deny the Shoah [Holocaust] beware.” (“Le professeur Faurisson est le premier, mais ne sera pas le dernier. Que les négateurs de la Shoah soient prudents”).[26]“Une agression revendiquée par «les Fils de la mémoire juive»”, La Montagne, September 17, 1989, p. 5. Faurisson is considered to be the world’s leading Holocaust Revisionist. He was educated in Singapore, Japan, Marseilles and in Paris at the renowned Sorbonne where he received in 1956 the Agrégation des Lettres, the highest competitive examination for teachers in France. In 1972 he earned his Doctorat d’État of Lettres et Sciences Humaines from the Sorbonne, where he taught from 1969 to 1974. From 1974 to 1979 he served as Associate Professor of French Literature at the Université Lumière in Lyon. The public controversy surrounding him began on November 16, 1978, when he published an article on his Revisionist beliefs in the newspaper Le Matin de Paris. In December 1979 the president of that university succumbed to pressure from Jewish groups outraged at his Revisionist views, and suspended Faurisson indefinitely. Finally, on March 17, 1990, a decision of Lionel Jospin, the French Minister of Education, deprived Faurisson of his tenured chair and assigned him to the Vanves branch of the Centre National d’Enseignement à Distance (National Centre for Correspondence Courses). Faurisson has published four books on French literature and several Revisionist books, booklets and articles on the Holocaust. Actually, Faurisson may have been the first target of this particular Jewish group, but previously he had been physically assaulted six times. Moreover, his September 1989 attack was the worst he had personally suffered, but it was not the worst attack on a Revisionist. On March 18, 1978 François Duprat, another French Revisionist, was murdered by a “Jewish revolutionary group” which had planted a bomb in his car.[27]Cf. Le Monde, March 19-20, March 23, April 26, May 7-8 (all 1978). Duprat had been a Revisionist for many years, and had published an article on the gas chambers as early as 1967 Défense de l’Occident, June 1967, pp. 30-33).

Dozens of similar acts of violence against Revisionists could be described. Whilst these violent acts are certainly not typical of the Jewish response to Revisionism, they do cast new light on Jewish claims that Revisionists are militant extremists. In fact, one must concede that there has been considerably more violence against Revisionists than from them.

Much of the anger towards Revisionists has been generated by their claims – which at first sight seem astonishing and indefensible – that there were no Nazi gas chambers. Jews and other anti-Revisionists have clearly found these claims about the gas chambers to be the most hurtful and distressing of the many Revisionist arguments on the Holocaust. However, that the Nazis never exterminated systematically Jews and others by gassing is the most important Revisionist argument. The Institute for Historical Review claims, for example:

without the gas chambers, this tiling [the murder of six million Jews] could not exist. Neither could have existed the “program of extermination” itself’ nor today could exist quite the same degree and kind of emotional imagery that the “program” conjures up. In order to really have implemented such a program, much less be so “successful” at it, the Nazis would have had to have some sort of modern, technological, large-scale apparatus to accomplish it; assorted shootings wouldn’t do it. In order to impress upon peoples’ minds the specially cold, calm, bureaucratic and efficient horror-image of the Nazis that is desired, there must be some such mental image as that of SS guards packing naked people sardine-tight into a giant gas chamber and then turning on the technology in the form of gas and vents and hermetically sealed doors; assorted shootings – so common in a war, after all and to all won’t do it. No, the gas chambers are essential; by their stress the [Holocaust] propagandists have made them so. If they didn’t really exist, the core of the “extermination program” story comes tumbling straight down.[28]Worldwide Growth and Impact of ‘Holocaust’ Revisionism, IHR Special Report (Torrance: Institute for Historical Review, 1987), p. 22.

Even if Revisionists are right and there were no gas chambers, the Nazis would not be ‘off the hook’ regarding their treatment of the Jews. Hundreds of thousands of Jews (or even more) unnecessarily lost their lives during the Second World War. Pogroms, random atrocities and Einsatzgruppen actions claimed the lives of tens of thousands. Routine brutality claimed the lives of thousands more. Because of the squalid conditions they were forced to live in, tens – perhaps even hundreds – of thousands perished from diarrhea, typhoid fever, and a range of other epidemics. Countless other Jews simply served or were worked to death.

However, if it could be demonstrated conclusively that the Nazis never operated homicidal gas chambers it would indeed be difficult to sustain the argument that they had a programme of systematic extermination or that their crimes were historically unique. One could argue, after all, that the Nazis’ other crimes (deportations, concentration camps, slave labour, random massacres and so on) were not unique. The Stalinist purges of the 1930s, for example, resulted in innumerable deaths. During the Second World War the Soviets committed many well-documented atrocities, including the massacre of over 14,000 Polish officers in the Katyn forest. Between 1945 and 1949 the Soviet occupation authorities forced hundreds of thousands of Germans into internment camps, many of them actually former Nazi concentration camps. In Buchenwald alone some 13,000 Germans died at the hands of the Soviets. A number of the mass graves were found only in recent years. Around one million German prisoners of war – most forced to sleep in holes in the ground with no shelter – died of starvation, disease and exposure in mid-1945 at the hands of the French and Americans who deliberately withheld food and medical care. At the Potsdam Conference of July-August 1945 the ‘Big Three’ – the governments of Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union – jointly agreed to the forced expulsion of more than twelve million Germans from their homes in central and eastern Europe. During these brutal deportations more than one (and possibly up to two) million German men, women and children perished.

Relativising the Nazis’ crimes in this manner is only possible and appropriate if it can be demonstrated conclusively that systematic extermination by gassing did not occur. The realisation of this fact may account for the obsession both sides have with the gas chambers. Jews and other anti-Revisionists sincerely believe that the Nazis systematically exterminated many millions of people (mostly Jews) in gas chambers designed and constructed especially for the task. They believe that Nazi crimes against the Jewish people are therefore unique and without anything remotely approaching an historical precedent. Accordingly, they feel distressed and outraged that Revisionists question and challenge the reliability and credibility of the evidence supporting claims of mass gassings. Whilst these feelings are understandable and it is easy to empathise with those who have them, they effectively discourage free inquiry. A number of anti-Revisionist scholars unfortunately appear to have become so defensive of the gas chambers that they see no need to submit the evidence for their existence and mode of operation to even-handed analysis based on accepted methodological principles. In 1979, for instance, thirty-four French historians issued a strange public statement in response to Robert Faurisson’s complex argument that it was technically impossible to gas people in the manner described in the sources. Insisting that there was no need to investigate exactly how the gas chambers operated, the historians stated:

It is not necessary to ask how technically such a mass murder was possible. It was possible technically since it took place. That is the necessary point of departure for any historical inquiry on the subject. It is our function simply to recall the truth: there is not, there cannot be, any debate about the existence of the gas chambers.[29]“Il ne faut pas se demander comment, techniquement, un tel meurtre de masse a été possible. Il a été possible techniquement puisqu’il a eu lieu. Tel est le point de depart obligé de toute enquête historique sur ce sujet. Cette vérité, il nous appartenait de la rappeler simplement: il n’y a pas, il ne peut y avoir de débat sur l’existence des chambres à gaz.” (Le Monde, February 21, 1979, p. 23. Emphasis in original).

Revisionists, on the other hand, sincerely believe they can prove that the Nazis did not murder Jews or anyone else in gas chambers. Consequently, they argue that whilst the Nazis’ crimes were bad they were no worse than those of their opponents. Their relativist arguments are generally plausible, but they occasionally say and write things that diminish the weight of those arguments. Several Revisionists claim, for example, that the fire-bombing of Dresden, Hamburg and other German cities was “the real Holocaust” (a holocaust is a ‘burnt’ offering). In a decidedly biased and unscholarly article in the Journal of Historical Review, Michael A. Hoffman II wrote:

The overwhelming holocaust of the modern era, for which there is a lot of the forensic proof the Jewish “Holocaust” is supposed to contain and from which it is also intended to detract, is the merciless Allied fire-bombing holocaust against Hamburg, Berlin, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and dozens of other major civilian centres.[30]M. A. Hoffman II, “The Psychology and Epistemology of ‘Holocaust’ Newspeak”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Six, No. 4, Winter 1985-86, p. 470; Cf. Weber testimony, SZTR, 24-6133, 6134; D. Irving, “On Contemporary History and Historiography”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Five, Nos. 2,3,4, Winter 1984, p. 273; C. Weber, The ‘Holocaust’: 120 Questions and Answers (Torrance: Institute for Historical Review, 1983), p. 7; et al.

Such insensitive statements convey nothing of substance or significance and are likely to inflame and distress Jewish people.

Revisionists zealously submit the evidence for the gas chambers’ existence and mode of operation to what they claim is even-handed analysis based on correct methodological principles. They first point out that popular – as opposed to scholarly – opinion on the gas chambers is based largely on ignorance and misinformation. Many people, they note, still describe them as “gas ovens”, a term implying that Jews were somehow gassed and burned in the same apparatus by the same process. Revisionists are correct, of course, in scoffing at these claims about “gas ovens”. There were no such things. Accepted scholarly opinion is that Jews and others were crowded into concrete and brick buildings (“gas chambers”). Poisonous gas was then fed into the chambers, which caused, after a short duration, the deaths of everyone inside. After being dragged from the chambers by special teams of prisoners, the cadavers were then taken away to separate cremation facilities and burnt in coal fired or coke fired cremation ovens (electric versions of which are still used in all major cities).

In their efforts to furnish proof that there were no Nazi gas chambers, Revisionists have uncovered important bodies of evidence previously ignored by their opponents. For example, the Panstwowe Muzeum Oswiecim Brzezinka (PMO, or Auschwitz State Museum) had in its archives numerous original German architectural plans and blueprints of the buildings believed to have been gas chambers. Yet these plains and blueprints were not published and discussed by scholars upholding accepted opinion on the Holocaust until after Robert Faurisson began publishing them as evidence that the buildings could never have functioned as gas chambers. Faurisson first published two blueprints in the August 1979 issue of the Italian magazine, Storia Illustrata. Since then, Revisionists have clearly been more active than their opponents in familiarising themselves will the blueprints and – through visiting Auschwitz – with the physical remains of the structures purported to have been gas chambers. As a result of this research Revisionists now maintain that the specifications and layouts of the buildings’ physical remains match identically those shown in the blueprints. Yet descriptions of the gas chambers given in the already-contradictory eyewitness accounts resemble neither the physical remains nor the buildings shown in the blueprints. They also argue that many physical features in the buildings – as indicated by the original blueprints and an examination of the physical remains – reveal the impossibility of the gassing procedures described in those accounts. Further, the very dimensions of the buildings reveal the physical impossibility of even getting the claimed numbers of victims into them at a time.

The brick and concrete rooms at Auschwitz claimed to have been gas chambers were, according to Revisionists, ordinary morgues. They point out that they are described as morgues (‘Leichenkeller’, lit. ‘corpse cellars’) in the original German blueprints and in the large number of extant documents and invoices issued or received by Auschwitz camp authorities. They are not described as “gas chambers” (Gaskammern) in any of these sources.[31]There is only one possible exception: a civilian Auschwitz construction worker’s daily report of March 2, 1943 (PMO Pile BW 30/28, p. 68). It refers to concrete being placed on the floor of the Gasskammer (sic) of Krema IV. However, see the clarifying comments of E. Aynat in his article, “Neither Trace Nor Proof: The Seven Auschwitz ‘Gassing’ Sites”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Eleven, Number Two, Summer 1991, p. 203-204.

The crematory ovens in Auschwitz and other alleged death camps did exist, Revisionists claim, but are certainly not evidence of mass murder. Tens of thousands of people died in the camps from typhus, starvation and a range of other ‘natural causes’ and their cadavers were disposed of efficiently and hygienically in crematory ovens. The ovens in these ‘death camps’ were the same as those in dozens of concentration camps where mass murder is known to have not been conducted. They were also the same as those in many mortuaries in German cities. Moreover, neither these ovens nor the highly-advanced crematory ovens of today could cremate anywhere near the staggering numbers per day claimed in the so called eyewitness accounts of gassings.

Scholars upholding received opinion on the Holocaust were slow to respond directly to these arguments. Until the late 1980s only a small number of articles were published (most in France) in which the claims of Revisionists regarding the operation of the gas chambers were challenged. In 1989, however, Jean Claude Pressac’s book Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers was published.[32]J-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers (New York: The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1989). See below, pp. 226 ff. This 564-page book was promoted by the publishers as “a scientific rebuttal of those who deny the gas chambers”. Indeed, Auschwitz: Technique is a painstakingly-researched attempt to refute and discredit the claims of Revisionists (particularly Faurisson). Pressac visited Auschwitz fifteen times between 1979 and 1987, and spent a total of almost one hundred days conducting detailed investigations of the sites and the museum’s extensive archives, probably the only researcher to have made more trips to Auschwitz is Ditlieb Felderer, an eccentric Swedish Revisionist.[33]Felderer is a talented and experienced researcher, and the approximately 30,000 photographs and slides he has taken during his forty or so visits to the Auschwitz complex are an extremely valuable source of information. Felderer’s photographs, for example, include many of the cinema, brothel, sports fields and swimming pool used by Auschwitz internees. That they were used by internees and not by the SS was confirmed by Franciszek Piper of the PMO. (SZTR, 19-4258, 4266, 4267, 4275, 4276, 4277, 4278, 4375, 4376, 4413,4713). Unfortunately, Felderer occasionally deviates from normal patterns of behavior, and has done such bizarre things as publishing a satirical pamphlet entitled “Please Accept this Hair of A Gassed Victim”. The pamphlet was addressed to Kazimierz Smolen, the PMO’s director. It informed him that their exhibits of human hair are no more proof of homicidal gassings than his own garbage at home in Sweden. The pamphlet encouraged readers not to discard their hair next time they have it cut but to send it Smolen and the PMO to enlarge the museum’s collection of fabricated exhibits. Felderer’s evidence regarding Auschwitz should not be disregarded because of his obvious eccentricity but several of his ill-considered and insensitive actions – such as sending out this pamphlet – have naturally distressed Jewish people and are therefore to be condemned. Pressac’s book contains numerous photographs of Auschwitz taken in the 1970s and 1980s as well as many taken during the war. It also contains several hundred high-quality photographic reproductions of original German plans, blueprints and relevant camp records (with translations). Added to these sources is a significant series of documents from the Staatsarchiv Weimar relating to the design and construction of the J. A. Topf & Söhne cremation ovens used in the Auschwitz complex. Most of the material compiled by Pressac was previously unpublished. Even if only for this fact, the book is worthy of praise.

Auschwitz: Technique is clearly the strongest defense of accepted opinion on the gas chambers to date. Pressac admitted that there is “an absence of any ‘direct’, i.e. palpable, indisputable and evident, proof” that homicide gassings occurred in Auschwitz, but he argued that there are numerous “indirect proofs”.[34]Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 429. An “indirect” proof, he said, is a German document that does not clearly indicate the presence of homicidal gas chambers but which contains evidence that logically it is impossible for it to mean anything else. Pressac actually discovered a large amount of indirect evidence which supports by inference the conclusion that homicidal gas chambers did exist in Auschwitz and were used to exterminate systematically over a million humans. Most historians would be satisfied with this level of evidence and would consider it almost to be ‘proof’. Nonetheless, the book fails to demonstrate conclusively that such gassings took place or that the principal Revisionist theses are erroneous.

Revisionists, aware that inferential evidence is always more open to multiple interpretations than direct evidence, have had no difficulty in countering all of Pressac’s arguments. As they point out in many reviews of Auschwitz: Technique, various other logical and plausible interpretations of Pressac’s “indirect proofs” are possible, and none indicate the existence of homicidal gas chambers.[35]For the most important Revisionist critiques, see below, p. 227, n. 82. Moreover, they say, Pressac actually made a number of major concessions to Revisionism. To provide just a few examples: Pressac stated that certain Soviet propagandists manufactured incriminating evidence and made structural changes to buildings after the liberation of Auschwitz. He acknowledged that cremation is considerably more time-consuming and problematic than Holocaust historians have claimed. The numerous eyewitness accounts about 10,000 or more cadavers being cremated daily in Auschwitz are grossly exaggerated and impossible. Also ridiculous, he continued, are the widely-repeated claims that the ovens operated continuously for days or weeks on end. He agreed with Revisionists that ‘Sonderaktion’ (‘special action’), a seemingly-incriminating phrase found in some German documents, was not necessarily a euphemism for ‘extermination’. He also agreed that the well-documented delivery of many tons of Zyklon-B to Auschwitz is not evidence of homicidal gassings. Whilst he stated that a little Zyklon-B was used for such gassings, Pressac admitted that approximately ninety-five percent of all Zyklon-B delivered to Auschwitz was used both in sophisticated disinfestation chambers to delouse clothing and bedding and in the barracks and facilities themselves as a means of countering the many typhus epidemics. Zyklon-B was, after all, a pesticide. Perhaps most importantly, he conceded that several key eyewitness accounts of gassings in Auschwitz – including those by Bendel, Nyiszli, Tauber and Vrba (WRB) – are filled with errors, distortions and fabrications. Holocaust scholars’ excessive reliance on, and improper consideration of, these sources even prompted Pressac to attack accepted opinion on the Holocaust. “My work,” he said, “has enabled me to demolish certain absurd theories, expose certain lies and correct certain errors.”[36]Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 472. “This study”, he said at another point, already demonstrates the complete bankruptcy of the traditional history [of the Holocaust]… a history based for the most part on testimonies, assembled according to the need of the moment, truncated to fit an arbitrary truth and sprinkled with a few German documents of uneven value and without any connection with one another.[37]Ibid., p. 264.
(Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 472.)

Because of the wealth of previously unknown primary documentation it contains, which has resulted in both anti-Revisionists and Revisionists considering new approaches and new evidence, Pressac’s book should be seen as an important contribution to the accumulated body of knowledge about the Holocaust. Nonetheless, the book is not what its publishers promote it as: the definitive refutation of Revisionist claims regarding the gas chambers in Auschwitz. The controversy over the gas chambers continues and will probably do so for several years to come.

We have so far only briefly introduced the debate over the existence of Nazi gas chambers. Important aspects of that debate will be described and explained in more detail in relevant sections of this thesis. It may already be apparent, however, that there exists a major Historikerstreit over the nature and scope of the Holocaust and that the historical issues involved in this dispute are of great importance. These issues are so important that the claims of Revisionists – by no means limited to the gas chambers – can no longer be ignored or dismissed out of hand.

This study is not intended as an attack on Revisionists or their detractors, nor is it intended to provide simply an overview of the bitter war being fought between the two sides. Rather, the purpose of this study is to describe and explain the development and significance of Holocaust Revisionism. This involves identifying the Revisionists, describing what they have to say, assessing the sources and methods they employ, and arriving at an impartial and dispassionate judgement on their work. Because public and scholarly responses to Holocaust Revisionism have[23]Ibid., p. 8.
(Lipstadt, “Deniers”, p. 7.)
at times directly shaped and influenced the growth and development of this highly unorthodox school of historical thought, it is also necessary to describe and explain those responses. This focus on the Revisionists was prompted by neither antipathy nor admiration for them, but by the realisation that very little has been written on them by persons willing to give them a ‘fair hearing’.

Chapter 1 • The Development of Holocaust Revisionism • 23,900 Words

It is now three and a half centuries since Galileo’s well-known submission of intellectual autonomy to the orthodoxy of his day, and almost two centuries since the demise of the dreaded Inquisition which forced his acquiescence. One might think that challenging accepted opinions carries today no threat of punishment or death, except perhaps in less developed nations or totalitarian regimes. ‘Freedom of expression’ is heralded in the western world as an essential human right, comparable in importance to freedom from slavery or torture. However, challenging accepted opinion is often still considered a heresy – despite this much paraded freedom of expression – and may result in corrective measures which resemble in many ways the actions of the Inquisition. It will be argued in the following chapters that Holocaust Revisionists are now amongst the most despised of all ‘heretics’ or ‘thought criminals’ (to use Orwell’s term) in the western world. They have encountered intense opposition for daring to dig below the surface of the sacred and taboo terrain of Holocaust orthodoxy. Of course, the present writer does not wish to suggest that they are the only victims of our present-day ‘inquisitors’, and is mindful that the case of Salman Rushdie is perhaps the most infamous example of a modern day heresy trial.

Perhaps like Rushdie in some ways. Holocaust Revisionists – by challenging accepted opinion on the Holocaust – have “blasphemed” about something considered inviolable to a great many people in the western world. Indeed, for many Jews the Holocaust has become an event not only of historical importance, but also of immense theological importance – an event almost comparable in its enormity to the revelation at Sinai. As such it is regarded by many as a sacrosanct subject, not open to legitimate private investigation, let alone public debate. Elie Wiesel, the recipient of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize and perhaps the most prominent Jewish writer on the Holocaust, frequently describes it as “holy history”, and at one point even asserted “The Holocaust is a sacred subject. One should take off one’s shoes when entering its domain, one should tremble each time one pronounces the word ['Holocaust']“[38]L. Edelman, “A Conversation with Elie Wiesel”, in H. J. Cargas, (ed.), Responses to Elie Wiesel (New York: Persea Books, published in Cooperation with the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, 1978), p. 18. Yeckel Eckstein used identical imagery before stating: “To speak of the holocaust is to tread on terra sancta, holy ground”. Y. Eckstein, What You Should Know About Jews and Judaism (Waco: Word Books, 1984), p. 182. The imagery used here, and in very many other Jewish books on the Holocaust, is obviously borrowed from Exodus 3:2, the account of God telling a trembling Moses at the foot of Sinai, “Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standeth is holy ground.” A number of Jewish philosophers and theologians have also written articles elevating the subject to the level of sacred history, at the same time even denouncing as sacrilegious the efforts of Jewish scholars who have attempted to treat it with a degree of scholarly objectivity.[39]For Jewish works condemning Jewish (non-Revisionist) academic investigation, cf. N. Podhoretz, “Hannah Arendt on Eichmann: A Study in the Perversity of Brilliance”, Commentary, November 1962, pp. 201-208; N. Eck, “Historical Research or Slander?”, Yad Vashem Studies, vi, 1967, pp. 385-430; J. Robinson, Psychoanalysis in a Vacuum: Bruno Bettlheim and the Holocaust (New York, 1970), et al. For works on the relationship between the Holocaust and Jewish faith, cf. R. Rubenstein, After Auschwitz: Radical Theology and Contemporary Judaism (Indianapolis, 1966); M. Wyschogrod, “Faith and the Holocaust”, Judaism: A Quarterly Journal, Volume 20, Number 3, Summer 1971, pp. 286-294; I. Greenberg, “The Holocaust, The Need to Remember”, Council of Jewish Federations General Assembly Papers 1977; M. Wyschogrod, “Auschwitz, Beginning of a New Era?”, Tradition, Vol. XVII, Number 1, Fall 1977, pp. 63-78; et al.

In Israel an annual commemoration day, Yom HaShoah, is observed on Nisan 27, although many religious Israelis prefer to commemorate it on Tevet 10 (a fast day, now called Yom HaQad-dish), the day on which the mourners’ prayer is recited. Yom HaShoah was created in 1959 as a national day of mourning and commemoration for the victims of the Holocaust. It has definite religious overtones and is becoming increasingly similar in nature to Tisha B’Av (on Av 9), the traditional day of mourning for the destruction of the First and Second Temples. It would also appear that it is being fully integrated into the Jewish religious calendar, followed by over ten million Jews around the globe. The present writer is not criticizing the way Jewish people mourn their dead, and wishes only to illustrate the fact that the Holocaust has become a sanctified subject, an integral part of Jewish religious identity.

Also in Israel is Yad Vashem, the huge memorial to the Jewish heroes and martyrs of the Second World War. The various buildings in this facility include one used as a shrine, complete with an eternal flame and other symbols of sacredness, which was purposely constructed to resemble a Nazi gas chamber. They are visited every year by hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists, very many of whom leave feeling tremendously moved by the experience, which is almost of a religious nature.[40]The present writer was himself deeply moved when he visited Yad Vashem in May 1989, and still considers his visit to that memorial centre as something of a religious experience. He personally knows many others who felt likewise after visiting the centre. As well as containing immense archives and study facilities, Yad Vashem serves every year on Yom HaShoah as the gathering point for thousands of Israelis who come to offer prayers to God.

In a genuine and well-intentioned move to safeguard the memory of the very many Jewish victims of the Nazis, on July 8, 1986 the Israeli Knesset passed a new law: Denial of Holocaust (Prohibition) Law, 5746-1986. This has unfortunately resulted in presently accepted opinion on the Holocaust becoming official Israeli dogma, to which a major challenge will be treated not only as a heresy but as a crime. This law demands of Israeli historians of the Holocaust – and, indirectly, the rest of the population – the submission of their intellectual autonomy; the abolition of the freedom to perceive and describe that historical event according to their own understanding of the evidence. It states, inter alia:

A person who, in writing or by word of mouth, publishes any statement denying or diminishing the proportions of acts committed in the period of the Nazi regime which are crimes against the Jewish people or crimes against humanity, with intent to defend the perpetrators of those acts or to express sympathy or identification with them, shall he liable to imprisonment for a term of five years.”[41]Passed by the Knesset on Tammuz 1, 5746 (July 8, 1986) and published in Sefer HaChukkim Number 1187 of Tammuz 9, 5746 (July 16, 1986), p. 196. Italics added for emphasis.

In the United States – where almost half the world’s Jews live – laws have not yet been passed making illegal any major challenges to accepted opinion on the Holocaust (it was illegal in Canada, under that nation’s ‘false news’ laws). However, in the United States the Holocaust has sadly become a flourishing business, with novels, television “mini-series” and unfactual motion pictures on the horrors of life in the concentration camps being produced at a remarkable rate. It has also become a “civil religion”; an immense and horrific cynosure, unifying, motivating and giving identity to millions of American Jews (and many others, as will be seen). Jacobo Timerman, a well known Jewish writer, eloquently made these points when he wrote:

Many Israelis feel offended by the way in which the Holocaust is exploited in the Diaspora. They even feel ashamed that the Holocaust has become a civil religion for Jews in the United States. They respect the works of Alfred Kazin, Irving Howe, and Marie Syrkin [who treat the subject with the desired reverence]. But of other writers, editors, historians, bureaucrats, and academics they say, using the word Shoah, which is Hebrew for Holocaust: “There’s no business like Shoah business.”[42]Jacobo Timerman, The Longest War, New York, Vintage, 1982, p. 15.

Indeed, in the United States alone there are nineteen major Holocaust museums, forty-eight research centres, thirty-four archives, twelve memorials and five major libraries, and still more are being constructed. Most are funded entirely by Jewish organizations, which have managed to keep the Holocaust unforgotten in the collective memory of the American people, but several of these institutions are funded either partly or wholly by the United States government. For example, in 1980 a unanimous vote of Congress mandated the construction of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on 1.7 acres of granted federal land in Washington, D.C.; the museum itself to be financed by private funds. Illustrating the fact that the Holocaust has been elevated to the status of great national importance, the new building (complete with a massive, temple-like “Hall of Remembrance”) will be situated on the National Mall – the very hub of American government – right in amongst the United States’ most prominent and emblematic icons of independence, liberty and greatness: the Smithsonian buildings, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol and, of course, the White House.

The Congress and President Carter formed a government-funded public body, the 55-member U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, to manage the construction of the $147,000,000 museum, and to “encourage and sponsor observances of an annual nationwide civic commemoration of the Holocaust known as the Days of Remembrance.”[43]For The Dead And The Living We Must Bear Witness (information booklet published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, Washington, D.C., 1990). Indeed, the Council facilitates “commemoration across the country in state houses, city halls and thousands of schools [in many of which Holocaust education is mandatory], libraries, churches and synagogues … [culminating] in the annual national civic observance at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda with the participation of leading Americans.”[44]Ibid.
(For The Dead And The Living We Must Bear Witness (information booklet published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, Washington, D.C., 1990).)
Included amongst these “leading Americans” have been Presidents Carter, Reagan and Bush, and, naturally, the person appointed by President Carter as first chairman of the Council: Elie Wiesel, the aforementioned ‘priest’ of the Holocaust.

Many people consider it remarkable that the government of the United States has endorsed and aided so unreservedly this excessive emphasis on the Holocaust, especially when they consider that Jews comprise but three percent of the total population, that the Nazi maltreatment of Jews did not occur on American soil, and that it did not directly result in the death of a single American serviceman or civilian (although, of course, many died attempting to end it). This constant aggrandizement has had a considerable impact on American consciousness, a fact recognized by Michael Berenbaum, the Project Director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial and a professor of theology at Georgetown University, who stated with some pride: “The Holocaust was [once regarded as a side story of the much larger story of World War II. Now one thinks of World War II as a background story and the Holocaust as a foreground story."[45]The Washington Times, January 10, 1991.

Whilst this brief analysis has so far focused only on Israel and the United States, the present writer will argue in the following chapters that an excessive emphasis on the Holocaust exists in many other western countries, including Germany, Austria, Britain and Canada, and historical orthodoxy on the Holocaust has become an official dogma in those countries also. Thus, accepted opinion on the Holocaust – that is, that approximately six million Jews were purposely murdered, several million of them in gas chambers constructed for the task, by the Nazis and their collaborators as a central act of state – has been championed by numerous governments. Additionally, it has become entirely inviolable, perhaps the only historical event for which it is considered totally unacceptable to express doubts about or demand evidence.

Presently there are very many Revisionist historians zealously wielding the battering ram of ‘free inquiry’ against the heavy steel gates of Holocaust orthodoxy – denting them and forcing them slightly ajar on occasions – allowing the Revisionists to catch fleeting glimpses of what they claim is the historical reality held captive behind, locked away for more than forty-five years. However, until the mid1970s there were very few Revisionist troops involved in the siege, and the arguments most of them thrust forward – weak and often illogical – bounced like pebbles off those gates (constructed by the Allies at the International Military Tribunal and subsequently maintained and repaired by numerous governments).

The work of Paul Rassinier

The very first stone thrower and Holocaust ‘heretic’ was Paul Rassinier, a French professor of history and geography who published several pioneering works on the subject between 1948 and 1967, the year of his death. To his supporters Rassinier is now esteemed as being “the father of Holocaust Revisionists”, but is regarded by his many detractors as having been the father of “Nazi gutter historiography”, to quote Yehuda Bauer.[46]Y. Bauer, The Holocaust in Historical Perspective (London: Sheldon Press, 1978), p. 38. Another Jewish commentator described him in even harsher words: “(He was] a teacher who came straight out of the anti-Semitic French tradition that culminated in the Dreyfus affair and is not much diminished today… [He was] perhaps the most rabid Jew-baiter of the post-war period”.[47]R. Kvam, “Among Two Hundred Survivors from Auschwitz”, Translated by Otto Reinert, Judaism: A Quarterly Journal, Issue No. 111, Volume 28, Number 3, Summer 1979, p. 286. Most Jewish writers on Holocaust Revisionism have made similar claims about Rassinier’s attitude towards Jews. Lucy Dawidowicz stated that he had “flipflopped into a rabid anti-Semite.” (“Lies About the Holocaust”, Commentary, December 1980, p. 33).

Although Rassinier was overtly anti-Zionistic – as were a majority of the French people, in his generation – the charge that he was “anti-Semitic” resulted only from his rejection of accepted opinion on the Holocaust, and not from a belief that Jews were racially inferior, or from any philoHitlerism. Indeed, a careful reading of all available evidence reveals that he was not a racist and that he had every reason to hate the Nazi regime, because in October 1943 he had been arrested by the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) for his central role in forming the Libération-Nord resistance movement, interned in Buchenwald concentration camp, and then in the subsidiary camp of Dora. When he was released in April 1945, he was in such poor physical condition that he had to be repatriated on a stretcher.

Having joined the SFIO (Section française de I’Internationale Ouvrière – the French Socialist Party) in 1934, after several years as a Communist, Rassinier had risen by 1940 to become the head of that party in the Belfort region. After France was occupied by the German army he helped form the Libération-Nord movement, which became involved in various forms of non-violent resistance, including the smuggling of Jewish refugees across the border into Switzerland in cooperation with the Swiss Jewish Committee. His activities eventually came to the attention of the German authorities, hence his arrest by the Sicherheitsdienst – who tortured him for eleven days – and subsequent deportation to Buchenwald. Upon his liberation in 1945 he returned to France and, after a period of recuperation, was elected to the Assemblée Nationale as a Socialist deputy, where he served for a year until it became apparent that his health would not allow continued service. For his work in the resistance the French government bestowed upon him the highest decorations given to resistance fighters, the Médaille Vermeil de la Reconnaissance Française and the Rosette de la Résistance, and, being unable to return to teaching, allowed him a small pension. Thus, the charges that he was ‘anti-Semitic’ or ‘pro-Nazi’, which abounded after the publication of his works on the Holocaust, were groundless and, some might argue, slanderous.

Almost immediately after the war Rassinier noticed that very many stories were circulating to the effect that almost all Nazi concentration camps – including Buchenwald – had homicidal gas chambers and other murder machinery, used to systematically exterminate millions of Jews and others. Indeed, when the Americans liberated Buchenwald on April 11, 1945, and Bergen-Belsen four days later, to their horror they encountered hundreds of unburied corpses, in various stages of decay, and thousands more living internees, many of them diseased and emaciated. Survivors told them spine-chilling stories of torture and atrocities, backing up their stories by showing the stunned GIs the “gas chambers”, crematory ovens, alleged torture instruments (such as batons and whips) and even physical “proof” that human skin was used by their sadistic captors to make lampshades, book covers, handbags and gloves. Media representatives and politicians from Britain, France and the United States were flown into Germany to see with their own eyes the horrors at the camps, which were filmed and photographed as evidence that Hitler had “murdered the Jews.” Having himself experienced life in Hitler’s concentration camps, Rassinier believed that the stories former internees were telling contained a small degree of true and a very large degree of exaggeration and embellishment, and decided at once to write a factual account of his own experiences at Buchenwald and Dora. He later described that decision in these words:

Then one day I realized that a false picture of the German camps had been created and that the problem of the concentration camps was a universal one, not just one that could be disposed of by placing it on the doorstep of the National Socialists. The deportees – many of whom were Communists – had been largely responsible for leading international political thinking to such an erroneous conclusion. I suddenly felt that by remaining silent I was an accomplice to a dangerous influence. And, at one sitting, without paying attention to literary style and in as simple as possible a form, I wrote my Le Passage de la ligne in an attempt to put things into proper perspective and in an attempt to bring people back to a sense of objectivity and, at the same time, to a better conception of intellectual honesty.[48]P. Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, Translated from the French by Adam Robbins (Torrance: Institute for Historical Review), p. 109. This work is an English translation of the bulk of Rassinier’s first three books on the Holocaust, Le Passage de la ligne, Le Mensonge d’Ulysse and Ulysse trahi par les siens. Rather than quoting from the French editions, all quotes herein will be from this English translation.

In Le Passage de la ligne (“The Crossing of the Line”)[49]Mâcon: Editions Bressanes, 1948., published in 1948, Rassinier described at length what life was actually like for internees at Buchenwald and Dora (Mittelbau). The former camp was a major concentration camp, whilst the latter was a labour camp for ‘the tunnel’, a massive underground network of factories where slave’s were used to construct V-l and V-2 rockets and aircraft parts and frames. According to Rassinier, life in Buchenwald was not as unbearable as many portrayals have suggested. Nonetheless, he described an environment in which brutality was normal; internees were forced off their thin straw mattresses, on which they slept crowded together, at 4.30 a.m. every day, beaten with rubber truncheons if they were too slow to rise. Several hours every day were spent in roll-calls, even in mid-winter when they would have to stand in the chilling snow or rain, their ragged clothes getting soaked through. As the camp was a Konzentrationslager (concentration camp), and not an Arbeitslager (labour camp), the internees’ work, which finished every night at around 9 p.m., consisted of maintaining and improving the facilities at the camp, and building new ones. Yet the work was often unpleasant and difficult, and many died every day of maltreatment, malnutrition, disease and fatigue. Escapers, criminals and trouble-makers were executed almost without exception. Cadavers were carried by the Totenkommando to the camp crematory and destroyed.

At Dora life was even worse for internees because the camp was an Arbeitslager, in essence a slave-labour camp. They worked for twelve to fourteen hours every day, often in horrendous conditions. For example, Rassinier wrote that the internees assigned to digging new galleries “were veritable chain gangs whose members died like fleas, their lungs poisoned by the ammonia laden dust.”[50]Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, p. 73. He also explained that security and discipline were rigidly enforced, to the point of callousness and brutality. During one particular roll-call, twenty-seven men were found to be missing. The Rapportführer ordered the Kapo of the Arbeitsstatistik to re-check his figures, but after an hour of doing so he returned with the same tally. At once another count was made, but twenty-seven were still found to be missing. A thorough search of the barracks and the tunnel was made (during which time the 10,000 other prisoners were still standing to attention) but none of the missing prisoners were found. By the time all internees were accounted for – after the Arbeitstatistik had repeatedly rechecked their figures, amending them several times when calculations errors were found – the internees had been standing for over twelve hours without food. When they were finally dispersed to their barracks, still without food, the Totenkommando carried away to the crematory the bodies of forty persons who were unable to endure the ordeal.[51]Ibid., pp. 76-77.
(Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, p. 73.)

Thus, it is clear that Rassinier attempted to present the concentration camps in a truthful manner, and his description of day-to-day life therein resembles in many ways the stories told by other former internees. However, his memoir differs substantially from theirs in that he stated that absolutely no genocidal activities were conducted in those two camps. He claimed that the very many deaths that did occur – amongst all races and nationalities, not just Jews – resulted principally from the policies and actions of other internees, and not from the actions of the SS guards or camp management.

To support this claim – which at first sight seems incredible – Rassinier persuasively argued that the SS-Führung (SS administration), out of the necessity to economize personnel, delegated almost entirely the day-to-day running of the camp to carefully-selected prisoner trustees. These trustees were mainly German communists, some of who were inherited from Weimar Republic jails. This practice of limited self-administration was called Häftlingsführung, and some of the people involved in this bureaucracy were Kapos (who headed Kommandos, or work details), Blockältester (block supervisors), Lagerschutz (prisoner police), and Lagerältester (camp supervisors). It was these people, and not the SS overlords, who caused the majority of deaths in the camps through their brutality, self-centred rationing of food and clothing, and management – or mismanagement, to be more accurate – of hygiene and medical resources and facilities. Rassinier provided several examples which certainly appear to support this conclusion, which was argued in a lucid, logical and dispassionate manner. Further, during his internment at Buchenwald and Dora he had come into contact with numerous internees who had spent time in other western (that is in Germany, Austria or Czechoslovakia) concentration camps, and based on their evidence was able to conclude that the Häftlingsführung arrangement, and the massive problems caused by it, were essentially the same throughout the entire National Socialist concentration camp system. Lastly, Rassinier’s thesis on the Häftlingsführung gains considerable additional support from source material which became available only after his death.

Hence, Le Passage de la ligne was markedly different from the writings of his fellow exinternees, whose works placed exclusive blame on the Nazis for all deaths within the camps, and made it appear as if almost all internees suffered alike at the hands of their sadistic and murderous captors. Rassinier’s work, generally well-founded and thoughtfully written, concluded that a certain group of privileged prisoners themselves caused – by their brutality, self-centredness and mismanagement – very many of the atrocious conditions which resulted in so many deaths. As could be expected, the publication of his book caused quite a stir in France, a nation then trying to come to terms with its own acquiescence in German occupation. Many angry people – mostly Communists – stated that he was whitewashing the crimes of the Nazi regime and accusing the internee leadership of collaborating with the Nazis.

In 1950 he angered them even more when he published Le Mensonge d’Ulysse (“The Lie of Ulysses”)[52]Mâcon: Editions Bressanes, 1950., a critical study of the evidence in support of the allegation that the Nazis exterminated around six million Jews during the Second World War as an act of state. This work provoked a very heated response from the French press, which repeatedly branded him a Nazi-apologist and an anti-Semite. Legal action was also taken to silence and punish Rassinier and his-publisher for their crime of the “injury and defamation” of the French resistance movement and (indirectly) the Jewish people[53]Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, p. 130.. Arguably, this was a spurious charge in the light of the fact that the book did not attack Jews or the genuine resistance movement, but exposed only the tendency of many Frenchmen to claim in the immediate postwar period that they had been patriotic members of the resistance when in fact they had never been associated with that valorous movement.

At the first trial early in 1951 Rassinier and his publisher were acquitted. However, after a successful prosecution appeal they were convicted in November of that year in the Court of Lyon. They received suspended prison sentences, large monetary fines, an order to have all copies of the book destroyed, and an order that they pay damages to the National Federation of Deportees and Resistants (F.N.D.R.). Believing that state censorship was at work and that their intellectual independence was threatened, Rassinier and his publisher took the case to the French Supreme Court. On May 24, 1955 it set aside the previous judgement of the Court of Lyon, finding that Rassinier had neither attacked the F.N.D.R. nor any of its members, nor any one else specifically.[54]Cf. P. Rassinier, The Real Eichmann Trial or The Incorrigible Victors, Third English Printing, 1983 (Torrance: Institute for Historical Review. First published as Le Véritable Procès Eichmann ou les Vainqueurs incorrigibles by Les Sept Couleurs, Paris, 1962), p. 25. News of his legal victory was widely published in the major French newspapers.

In 1955 Rassinier combined Passage de la Ligne and Le Mensonge d’Ulysse and published them, with the addition of material increasingly critical of the gas chambers claim, as Le Mensonge d’Ulysse Second Edition. The most widely distributed edition was the fifth, published in 1961, the year he published Ulysse Trahi par les siens (“Ulysses Betrayed by His Own”)[55]Librairie Française, 1961., a concise companion volume comprising three essays, the latter being the text of a speech he gave in a 1960 lecture series throughout Germany. In 1962 he decided to present as a whole the entire problem of concentration camps, alleged atrocities and war crimes trials, the result being his Le Véritable Procès Eichmann ou les Vainqueurs incorrigibles (“The Real Eichmann Trial or The Incorrigible Victors”)[56]Cited in footnote 54.. Two years later he attempted to examine the subject of Nazi anti-Jewish atrocities by examining the demographic evidence for and against accepted opinion. This book, Le Drame des Juifs européens, (“The Drama of the European Jews”)[57]Paris: Les Sept Couleurs, 1964. was his final general work on the subject of the extermination of the Jews. However, in 1964 he published L’opération “Vicaire” (Operation “Vicar”)[58]Paris: La Table Ronde, 1965., a defence of Pope Pius XII, accused in Rolf Hochhuth’s play “The Deputy” – and by several Jewish commentators – of having favored Nazism and not speaking out against the Jewish exterminations.

We have argued that Rassinier’s first book was, overall, quite well argued and thoughtfully (if not always eloquently) written, despite his own personal suffering at the hands of the Nazis. An investigation of his numerous other works reveals that, with some exceptions, he maintained the degree of evenhandedness displayed in his first book. Several of his principal arguments were reasonable and supported by reliable evidence of a primary nature, although he also made very many errors of judgement and on several occasions quoted from clearly unreliable sources, or misquoted others. Rassinier began by challenging the reliability and credibility of both the inconsequential and important eyewitness accounts of genocidal activities within the concentration camps, and successfully exposed several of them as lies or exaggerations. He explained, by way of illustration, how he met up again after the war with Abbé Jean-Paul Renard, someone he was interned with at Buchenwald and Dora and who later published a well-received collection of poems on life in the camps. In one poem, J’ai vu, j’ai vu, et j’ai vécu (“I saw, I saw, and I lived!”), he had written: “I saw going into the showers thousands and thousands of persons over whom poured out, instead of liquid, asphyxiating gases. I saw those who were unfit for work injected in the heart.” Regarding the genocidal activities described in this poem, Rassinier wrote:

Actually, Abbé Jean-Paul Renard saw nothing of the kind because gas chambers did not exist either at Buchenwald or at Dora. As for the injections, it was not done at Buchenwald at the time he went through there. When I pointed that fact out to him at the beginning of 1947, he answered, “Right, but that’s only a figure of speech … and since those things existed somewhere, it is of no importance.”[59]Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, p. 130.

Rassinier’s reason for stating that no gas chamber(s) existed in Buchenwald appears reasonable: because of its physical necessities and the nature of its task a gas chamber could not be hidden or disguised. Thus, as he had never seen one or heard about one during his own internment there, despite the fact that he possessed an intimate knowledge of all the buildings in the camp and their functions, one could not have existed. However, at the time he wrote these words it was accepted in France – indeed, throughout the world – as an undeniable fact that Buchenwald had a homicidal gas chamber, in which thousands of internees were fatally asphyxiated. When the camp was liberated dozens of internees came forward to testify that there was a gas chamber (or chambers, as some insisted) in the camp. An official French government report submitted to the International Military Tribunal as a prosecution exhibit had, for example, stated that the railway line at Buchenwald had been lengthened by the Nazis so that the deportees might be led directly from the trains to the gas chambers, of which the floor of one allegedly “tipped” after the gas had done its job, so as to drop the bodies into the room with the cremation oven.[60]Nuremberg Document 274-F; IMT, Volume XXXVII, p. 148. Sir Hartley Shawcross, the chief British prosecutor at that tribunal, himself declared in his closing address that “murder [was] conducted like some mass production industry in the gas chambers and the ovens” of Buchenwald, and several other camps.[61]IMT, Volume XIX, p. 434; NC & A, Suppl. Volume A, p. 61. In 1947, Georges Hénocque, a French priest interned in Buchenwald, published his widely-read book, Les Antres de la Bête. He claimed to have visited the inside of the Buchenwald gas chamber, and described it at length and in considerable detail.[62]G. Hénocque, Les Antres de la Bête (Paris: G. Duraissie, 1947), pp. 115-116. Numerous other writers and historians, particularly in the 1950s, echoed these claims without making any serious attempts to analyse the evidence according to accepted methodological principles.

Nonetheless, it would appear that Rassinier was essentially correct after all, as today very few historians claim that gassings or other genocidal activities (as opposed to incidental murders and routine brutality) occurred in Buchenwald. In the August 19, 1960 issue of Die Zeit – a major Hamburg weekly – Martin Broszat, one of West Germany’s leading historians (later director of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte) and an expert on the Holocaust, stated that: “Neither in Dachau, nor in Bergen-Belsen, nor in Buchenwald, were Jews or other inmates gassed.”[63]“Keine Vergasung in Dachau”, Die Zeit, August 19, 1960 (No. 34), p. 14. For a discussion of Broszat’s concession, see Gitta Sereny, “The Men Who Whitewash Hitler”, New Statesman, November 2, 1979, p. 670. Regarding genocidal policies or activities in the western camps, Simon Wiesenthal wrote in 1975 that “there were no extermination camps on German soil”.[64]Letter in Books and Bookmen, April 1975, p. 5. This, of course, includes both Buchenwald and Dora, situated not far from Weimar in Thuringia, Germany. Professor A. S. Balachowsky, a member of the prestigious Institut de France, was more specific when he stated that: “I would like to confirm to you that no gas chamber as such existed at Buchenwald”[65]G. Tillion, Ravensbrück (New York: Anchor/Doubleday, 1975), p. 231., a point also conceded by Konnilyn Feig in her 1981 book. Hitler’s Death Camps.[66]K. Feig, Hitler’s Death Camps: The Sanity of Madness, (London/New York: Holmes and Meier, 1981), p. 100. Even the Encyclopedia Britannica, a good indicator of accepted opinion on most subjects, states in its latest edition (15th; 1988) that “there were no gas chambers” at Buchenwald. (Volume 2, p. 596). Many other researchers and scholars have quietly abandoned the opinion that Buchenwald had a homicidal gas chamber or conducted mass-murder. However, possibly to their discredit, none have chosen to comment on how and why so many witnesses – whose reliability and credibility they had previously insisted on – had earlier testified to the existence of one or more there. Finally, in basic agreement with Rassinier’s thesis, it is now generally agreed that most of the very many deaths in the western camps resulted from disease and malnutrition, a direct but unintended consequence of the virtual collapse of Germany’s communications, transport, food and public health systems caused by the Allied saturation bombing of German cities, industrial centres, roads and railways.[67]See below, pp. 240-241. Accordingly, the horrendous piles of cadavers found by American forces at Buchenwald and the other western camps are no longer believed, except by a few diehard anti-Nazis, to be ‘proof (or even consequential evidence) of specific Nazi policies or actions of genocide or mass-extermination.

Rassinier continued by arguing that some of the authors who described the operation of gas chambers had themselves never actually seen them, but relied solely on what others had told them. For example, after investigating the claims about the Auschwitz-Birkenau gas chambers found in Eugen Kogon’s L’Enfer Organisé, still often quoted, he found that only one person was mentioned who had actually seen a gas chamber. Unfortunately, “by a happy chance”, he wrote, this eyewitness (“Janda Weiss”) lived in the Russian zone and could not be contacted for verification of his story.[68]Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, p. 158. Similarly, Rassinier claimed that David Rousset, author of L’Univers concentrationnaire – which contained a graphic description of the alleged gassing process – “was not, actually, ever present at this scene of torture of which he gives so exact and so gripping a description.”[69]Ibid., p. 158.
(Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, p. 158.)
On this point, one must concede that Rassinier was entirely correct; Rousset, like the other authors mentioned, had relied on hearsay evidence and had never seen the described events.

One important eyewitness account Rassinier considered too unreliable and incredible to be considered worthy of the historian’s serious attention was Dr. Miklos Nyiszli’s Médecin à Auschwitz. This memoir is allegedly based on Nyiszli’s experiences as a Hungarian-Jewish internee and medical pathologist in Auschwitz.[70]Extracts from Nyiszli’s memoir were first published in the March and April, 1951 issues of Jean-Paul Sartre’s monthly review, Les Temps Modernes (although there may have been a Hungarian edition in 1946). In 1961 it was published as a whole in five issues (January/ February) of the Munich weekly Quick, under the title “Auschwitz”. In the same year it was published as a volume of 256 pages with the title Médecin à Auschwitz, Souvenirs d’un médecin déporté, published by Julliard Publishers, causing quite a sensation in France. An English translation, entitled Auschwitz, A Doctor’s Eye-witness Account was published shortly after, and has gone through over a dozen reprints, making it one of the most ‘popular’ Holocaust memoirs. Rassinier introduced his critique of Nyiszli’s account with this carefully argued demolition of his evidence regarding the gas chambers:

… he gave the first detailed account of all the horrors that took place at Auschwitz, including the exterminations in the gas chambers in particular. Among other things, he claimed that in this camp was a gas chamber 200 metres long (width was not given), together with three others of similar dimensions. They were used to asphyxiate 20,000 persons a day, and four crematory ovens, each with fifteen burners, incinerated the victims as the operation proceeded. He added, in another connection that 5,000 other persons were, every day, done away with by less modern means in two immense open air hearths. And, he added again that for eight months he had been personally present at these systematic massacres. Finally (this is on page 50 of the Julliard edition) he stated specifically that when he arrived at the camp (about the end of May 1944 at the earliest) the exterminations by gas, at the rate cited above had been “going on for four years.”

From the aforementioned testimony, the following contradictions can be gleaned. First, this fellow did not know that if there were gas chambers at Auschwitz they had not been installed or made ready to work until February 20, 1943 (Document NO. 4463, already cited).

Second: he did not know that the area of the gas chambers, officially and respectively, was 210 square meters for the first (the very one lie mentioned), 400 square meters for the second, and 580 square meters for the last two. In other words, the gas chambers which he saw, and whose operation he describes so minutely, must have been only 1.05 meters wide. In fact, it must have resembled a long hall [way passage]. Since he states precisely that down the middle of the chamber there was a row of columns with holes from which the gas came out (these columns came up through the roof and into these openings hospital attendants wearing Red Cross armbands threw the tablets of Zyklon B), that there were along the walls on both sides for sitting (surely not very wide, those benches!) and that 3,000 persons (they were gassing batches of 3,000!) could move about easily in the room, I claim that one of two things is true: either this Dr. Miklos Nyiszli never existed, or, if he did exist, he never set foot in the places that he describes. Third: if the gas chambers at Auschwitz, together with the open hearths, exterminated 25,000 people a day for four and a half years (since according to this “witness”) they continued to exterminate for six months after his arrival) that makes a total of 1,642 days. And at the rate of 25,000 persons per day for 1,642 days, there would have been 41 million cadavers, a little more than 32 million in gas chambers and a little less than 9 million in the open hearths. I shall add that even if it had been possible for the four gas chambers to asphyxiate 20,000 persons a day (at the rate of 3,000 per batch as the witness says), it was absolutely not possible to cremate that many at the same time, even if there were 15 burners and even if the job took only 20 minutes, as Dr. Miklos Nyiszli also falsely claims. Taking these figures for a basis, the capacity of the ovens, all working together, could not have consumed more than 540 corpses per hour, or 12,960 for the 24-hour day. At this rate the ovens could not have been put out until several years after the liberation.[71]Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, pp. 244-245.

Little additional commentary is needed, as Rassinier’s arguments, which successfully refute Nyiszli’s claims, are reasonable and based on reliable evidence. Nyiszli, if he ever did see the chambers at Auschwitz – and he claimed that for several months he slept in the Aufenthaltsraum für Häftlinge on the ground floor of the Krema II building – exaggerated their measurements and capacities by an average multiplier of over four. That is, every measurement or capacity he asserted was at least four times greater than in reality. For example, he stated that the Leichenkeller (the alleged gas chamber) in Krema II was “200 yards [600 feet, or 182.8 meters] long”, Whereas the true length was only 100 feet, or 30 meters.[72]See below, p. 113, n. 98. The Birkenau gas chambers of Nyiszli’s curious memoir are, to make a comparison, almost identical in length (and width, if we use conservative ratio estimates) to the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee. This juxtaposition should entirely dispel from any readers’ minds the notion that Nyiszli’s very many measurement errors do not severely weaken the overall credibility of his book. It is clear that his claimed statistics are not the result of poorly judged estimates; they are irrational inventions. He not only made errors of that nature, but also such mistakes as getting the colour of Zyklon B granules wrong (despite it being a very distinctive colour, and after him allegedly having seen it on many occasions being tipped into the gas chambers), and referring to it as “chlorine”. A medical pathologist, very familiar with chlorine and its properties, would not have confused it with Zyklon-B (hydrocyanic acid). Much more importantly, he invented physical details about the Krema II building that never existed, such as multiple corpse elevators and automatically-opening cremation ovens, he even described forests and playing fields that never existed, at least not in the areas of the camp he said that they did. Academic historians should have picked up on these obvious and major flaws. Yet Nyiszli’s implausible account, which Rassinier called “one of the most abominable piece’s of trickery of all time”[73]Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, p. 244., is unfortunately still being quoted or cited as reliable evidence by some incautious historians, including scholars of considerable reputation such as Martin Gilbert.[74]Cf. M. Gilbert, The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe during the Second World War (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1985), pp. 698-699.[75]Nuremberg Document 2170-PS. Typewritten statement dated May 6, 1945.

In similar fashion, Rassinier detected major defects in the postwar confession of SS-Obersturmführer Kurt Gerstein, whose job it was to supervise the distribution of disinfestation and disinfection agents – including Zyklon B – to the concentration camps. This account was written shortly before his death in 1945 and describes exterminations by gas at Belzec and Treblinka. Rassinier pointed out many impossibilities and improbabilities within the German officer’s statement (of which six contradictory versions exist), which was later accepted as a prosecution document at the International Military Tribunal.[76]IMT, Volume VI, pp. 211, 225, 360-364. The “confession”, with some Zyklon invoices, became Document 1553-PS. Among Gerstein’s more absurd claims, he insisted, was his insistence that twenty-five million persons had been gassed during the war; that in Belzec he saw “700 to 800″ persons gassed into a chamber measuring only twenty-five square meters (about the size of an average living room)[77]Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, pp. 250-258. To fit 700-800 persons into twenty-five square meters would require 2832 persons per square meter (a space smaller than the average single wardrobe). This is clearly impossible.; and that Hitler had himself inspected gas chamber installations at Lublin on August 15, 1942 (whereas at that time he was hundreds of kilometers away, at his Wehrwolf headquarters near Vinnitsa in the Ukraine). Although Rassinier did not mention them, Gerstein also made many other irrational claims, such as that in Belzec there was a pile of shoes measuring 35-40 metres in height (“35 oder 40 Meter Höhe” – the height of a ten or eleven story building), that in the German concentration camps at least twenty million persons (“mindestens 20 000 000 Menschen“) were systematically gassed, or that in Auschwitz alone millions of children were murdered by having a pad of hydrocyanic acid held under their noses (“In Auschwitz warden allein Millionen Kinder durch Unterhalten eines Blausäuretupfens unter die Nase getötet.“)[78]Rassinier was not aware of just how many contradictory versions of Gerstein’s “confession” there actually were, and restricted himself to examining two versions presented by Léon Poliakov. Henri Roques, in his thorough 1985 doctoral thesis, Les ‘Confessions’ de Kurt Gerstein, proves that there have been six different versions. The above quotes are from the typewritten German text of 6 May 1945, a facsimile of which is in the National Archives, Washington.

It is strange that this seriously flawed document – critically appraised for the first time by Rassinier (who did make several minor errors) – was ever considered as evidence for the International Military Tribunal. It is even more strange that it was dragged out again in 1961 and presented as prosecution evidence at the Israeli trial of Adolf Eichmann, who was, like the ‘major war criminals’ at the aforementioned Tribunal, hanged for his crimes. Most strange, however, is the fact that it has been (in its various forms) repeatedly cited and quoted by very many historians. Raul Hilberg, for example, quoted or cited the Gerstein confession ten times in his book. The Destruction of the European Jews, which is still considered a standard textbook on the subject. By presenting the Gerstein confession as credible and trustworthy these scholars leave themselves wide open to the charge that they have failed in their professional duties.[79]G. Reitlinger, The Final Solution (London: Valentine Mitchell, 1953); L. Poliakov and J. Wulf, Das Dritte Reich und die Juden (Berlin: Arani Verlag, 1955); S. Friedländer, Kurt Gerstein ou l’ambiguité du bien (Casterman, Tournai, 1967); L. Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1975); G. Hausner, Justice à Jérusalem (Flammarion, 1976); M. Gilbert, Final Journey (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1979); J. Toland, Adolf Hitler (New York: Ballantyne Books, 1979); et al.

If Rassinier had limited himself to this type of study, his principal theses would have been irrefutable (despite many inconsequential mistakes[80]Such as stating that the first accusation against the Germans of the genocide of Jews was made in a book, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, by Raphael Lemkin in 1943. Cf. Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, p. 288. The first serious extermination claims were actually made a year earlier by the World Jewish Congress.). However, he also attempted to prove, on the basis of an extremely detailed statistical study, that nowhere near six million Jews died during the Second World War, but rather, that no more than 1,200,000 perished. In doing so he made several major errors, proving that he was not a skilled demographer. He relied on statistics from a variety of secondary sources, including American newspapers, which fluctuated widely in reliability. For example, Rassinier referred at length to the statistics quoted in the February 11, 1948 issue of the New York Times by “Hanson W. Baldwin, the Times expert on Jewish population matters.”[81]Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth, p. 294. In fact, Baldwin, a staff writer for the newspaper, was very far from being an “expert” on Jewish demography, and his statistics were based on documents of questionable origin and reliability. Among the other newspapers cited by Rassinier was the American Mercury, a right-wing, America-first publication. That newspaper’s political position, of course, does not in itself disqualify the evidence it puts forward, but it is worth pointing out that the editors based their own research on generally unreliable sources and illogical methodology. Rassinier, extremely critical of the pedigree of sources used by other historians to uphold accepted opinion, erred himself by incautiously quoting the demographic statistics of that and other newspapers. Consequently, his lengthy ramblings on the number of Jewish fatalities are filled with major errors and miscalculations, including at one point attributing to Raul Hilberg a figure of under 900,000 for the Jewish wartime dead, based on a misreading of the latter’s book (Hilberg’s overall figure was actually 5,100,000).

Nonetheless, one can now see why almost all Holocaust Revisionists hold Rassinier in high esteem; he was the first to openly challenge accepted opinion on the Holocaust, and he generally did so in a thoughtful and responsible manner. Whilst he made many errors – some major, most minor – it must be conceded that he successfully demonstrated that some of the evidence used to uphold accepted opinion is of dubious origin and lacking in reliability and credibility. It should also be recognized that today’s Revisionists (and, of course, those who uphold accepted opinion) have a wealth of primary documentary evidence that was unavailable in the 1950s and 1960s to Rassinier, who was forced to rely partly on a combination of ‘official’ documents and secondary sources. Where possible he contacted the people involved to verify that their testimonies were based on real events and recorded faithfully, but this was only possible in a few cases. Thus, whilst only Rassinier’s principal theses have been investigated, it has been shown that his arguments were not anti-Semitic or neo-Nazi in origin or nature, but were generally reasonable and dispassionate criticisms of some of the evidence for Holocaust orthodoxy.

After Rassinier

Rassinier’s ground-breaking publications were followed by three books written in the 1960s by Josef Ginsburg, a Jewish-Rumanian author who chose to publish them under the pseudonym “J. G. Burg”. He and his family had been deported during the war from their home in Czernowitz, Rumania to occupied eastern territory, where Jews were ‘concentrated’ but not forced into camps. He claimed that in the autumn of 1945, after hearing the horrific stories of gas chamber exterminations, he visited several concentration and labour camps – including Auschwitz and Majdanek – and was able not only to inspect the sites at length but also to interview over one hundred ex-internees. Of these, he was unable to find even one with first-hand knowledge of the gas chambers, nor, to his surprise, was he able to find physical proof that such chambers ever existed.

In 1962 Ginsburg published Schuld und Schicksal (“Guilt and Fate”)[82]Munich: Damm-Verlag, 1962., which was followed in 1967 by Sündenböcke (“Scapegoats”)[83]Munich: Verlag G. Fischer, 1967. and a year later by NS-Verbrechen – Prozesse des schlechten Gewissens (“National Socialist Crimes”)[84]Munich: Verlag G. Fischer, 1968., all three books denying the verity of accepted opinion on the Holocaust and the postwar trials of German war criminals. Ginsburg presented many arguments in keeping with present Revisionist theses, such as his claim (also made by Rassinier) that die Endlösung – ‘the final solution’ – was not a Nazi euphemism for ‘extermination’ but meant, when written in German documents about the Jews, their forced deportation to occupied territories in the east.[85]J. G. Burg, Sündenböcke, p. 74 ff. It was only after the war, he argued, that the phrase was intentionally perverted by the Allies to mean something far more evil than it originally did. He also correctly pointed out – quoting Israel’s former Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol – that “tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands” of ex-Auschwitz inmates were then alive in Israel alone[86]Ibid., p. 231. The lower figure is certainly closer to the truth.
(J. G. Burg, Sündenböcke, p. 74 ff.)
, proving allegations that almost no Jews survived the Auschwitz extermination process to he incorrect.

He did not rule out the possibility that gas chambers existed in some camps, although he found the evidence insufficient to conclude without reservation that they did exist. He insisted, however, that the Nazis did not have a policy of extermination, and that most Jewish deaths resulted from individual pogroms, the execution of subversives and partisans, overwork in bad conditions, epidemics and Allied air raids. A great many perished, he lamented, but the total number of “Jews in the control of the Hitler regime that were killed, lost their lives, or died could be no more than 3,323,000″.[87]Ibid., p. 237. That figure was a maximum; he believed the true figure to be somewhat lower.
(J. G. Burg, Sündenböcke, p. 74 ff.)

Despite a few sound arguments and judicious conclusions, Ginsburg, a Munich bookbinder by profession, wrote the books in a highly journalistic style, with his own opinions and value judgements – often supported by no other evidence than his own experiences – being present on almost every page. Further, he relied heavily on newspaper articles and other secondary sources, many of which were clearly unreliable. As a result, many of his arguments appear simply as unsustained assertions, seriously detracting from the books’ overall impact and ability to persuade.

For example, he wrote at length on the subject of West German reparations to Israel, pointing out (albeit without merit) that that state was not even in existence when the alleged crimes were conducted. Further, it was primarily because the reparation payments for the estimated “six million” deaths were so beneficial to the struggling new state that international Jewry did not organize a thorough research programme to determine exactly how many Jews had died. If it did, he concluded, the resultant much-reduced figure would deprive Israel of a great deal of money.[88]Ibid., p. 223.
(J. G. Burg, Sündenböcke, p. 74 ff.)
He also insisted that many Jews involved in its formation were amongst the six million considered to have been murdered by the Nazis.[89]Ibid., p. 223.
(J. G. Burg, Sündenböcke, p. 74 ff.)
Little or no reliable evidence was provided to enable the reader to judge the veracity of these assertions.

Lacking the relative scholarship of Rassinier’s far more detailed studies, Ginsburg’s volumes have not been anywhere near as influential as the Frenchman’s, which are still obtainable (and being frequently reprinted) in several nations. Nonetheless, Ginsburg was an early pioneer in a very unpopular field of study, and was the first noteworthy German Holocaust Revisionist. Revisionists also believe that his Jewishness is important, because it helps, they say, to dispel the notion that Holocaust Revisionism was invented by neo-Nazis and is necessarily synonymous with anti-Semitism. A Semitic anti-Semite, they logically argue, is a contradiction in terms.

Unfortunately, anti-Semite or not, for challenging Holocaust orthodoxy the elderly Jewish bookbinder was expelled from the Jewish Community of Munich, and (like Rassinier) was repeatedly abused and harassed. On one occasion, when he was laying flowers on his wife’s grave in the Munich Jewish cemetery, he was set upon by several Jewish men and severely beaten.

Aside from the works of Rassinier and Ginsburg, the only other substantial attempted refutation of accepted opinion on the Holocaust in the 1950s and early 1960s was a single chapter of Louis Marschalko’s The World Conquerors[90]L. Marschalko, The World Conquerors: the Real War Criminals, translated from the Hungarian by A. Suranyi (London: Joseph Sueli Publications, 1958)., first published in English in 1958, approximately one year after it appeared in Hungarian. This book of 296 pages was clearly intended by the author to be an expose of what he considered to be the heinous secret plans of international Jewry – “the world conquerors” – to gain domination over all peoples of the earth. It is unlikely that its central theses would be acceptable to persons whose Weltanschauung did not already contain a conspiracy theory of some description. The book is clearly not as sophisticated as some of the other early Revisionist publications, and was nowhere near as influential (it had almost no circulation in the United States, for example). Nevertheless, because of its treatment of several important issues, it does deserve to be discussed at this point.

David Irving, in his carefully documented but sensationalistic analysis of the 1956 Hungarian uprising[91]Uprising! One Nation’s Nightmare: Hungary 1956, Second edition, 1986 (Bullsbrook, Western Australia: Veritas Publishing Co. First published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1981)., provided reasonable evidence that the freedom fighters perceived the government they were trying to topple as being Jewish, and that their anti-Semitism was as much a driving force as their anti-Communism. That is, they correctly recognized that almost all of the Communist leaders were Jewish, including Revai (propaganda chief during the Rakosi administration), Parkas (Minister of Defence in the same administration), Gero (succeeded Rakosi in July 1956 as general secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party) and Rakosi himself (general secretary from 1944 to 1956). Further, they correctly recognized that the Allamvedelmi Hatosag (AVH, the State Security Authority) was controlled almost entirely by Jews. The awareness of these facts, argued Irving. transformed the revolt into something of a pogrom, partly because of the popular belief in a covert Jewish conspiracy.

Marschalko, a Hungarian nationalist, wrote The World Conquerors only a year after that nation’s dreams of freedom were pulverized into nothing by the clattering tracks of Soviet tanks, and his own feelings of disappointment and pique are evident throughout the book, as is his belief in the anti-Jewish arguments of his compatriots.[92]Marschalko, The World Conquerors, particularly pp. 285 to 295. In his discussion of the uprising he made the same assertions: international Jewry, operating behind the grotesque mask of Communism, was trying to “reduce the Hungarian people to an intimidated mass of slaves in accordance with the Formula of the Protocols [of the Learned Elders of Zion], and so to establish Jewry’s dominion over them.”[93]Ibid., p. 287-288.
(Marschalko, The World Conquerors, particularly pp. 285 to 295.)
However, he did not limit himself to a discussion of that brutal and bloody conflict, and expressed his views at some length on a variety of historical events and epochs, including the Bolshevik revolution, the two world wars, the Holocaust, the Nuremberg trials and the growth and spread of Communism in the 1940s and 1950s. One theme runs throughout his unscholarly discussion of these events: international Jewry had been conspiring to subject the Christian nations -indeed, the world – to a form of slavery.

Marschalko’s chapter on the Holocaust, entitled “What has become of six million Jews?”, also contains the same anti-Jewish conspiracy theory: six million Jews were certainly not murdered by the Nazi regime, but this “propaganda figure was needed to secure the sympathy of the world. By raising the number of martyrs world conquest was rendered easier and the Gentile peoples could be terrorised more.”[94]Ibid., p.165.
(Marschalko, The World Conquerors, particularly pp. 285 to 295.)
Interestingly, whilst he provided nothing more than very weak racist arguments to support this claim that Jews are using the “Fiction of the exterminations” as an integral part of their international conspiracy to enslave, the world, the arguments he employed in challenging the view that the Nazis murdered six million Jews – the majority in gas chambers-are considerably more thoughtful and substantial. They cannot, therefore, be dismissed as easily as his other unpalatable views. Hence the inclusion of his book in this dissertation on Holocaust Revisionism.

His principal arguments against Holocaust orthodoxy can be summarized as follows: The figure, of ‘six million’ for Jewish fatalities originated in the torture-obtained confessions at the International Military Tribunal of several Nazis, and is entirely spurious. There is absolutely no reliable evidence that Adolf Hitler ever planned to exterminate Europe’s Jews, despite some seemingly incriminating passages in his speeches Rather, the intention of Hitler and the National Socialist leadership was, before the outbreak of war in 1939, to encourage (or force) Jewish emigration from Germany. This is proven by the fact that “had he [Hitler] cherished the intention to exterminate the Jews, these emigrants would never have been allowed to leave Germany.”[95]Ibid., p.149.
(Marschalko, The World Conquerors, particularly pp. 285 to 295.)
After the war commenced, this policy of Jewish emigration became impractical, and when Germany occupied other nations with enormous Jewish populations, such as Poland, France and the USSR, it became impossible. As a result, the Jews – primarily for reasons of security – were forced to live separately from the non-Jews under German control, and were made to dwell in ghettos and concentration camps. The ghetto was “perhaps a humiliating social establishment”, but was “not an organisation for the destruction of a race.”[96]Ibid., p.150.
(Marschalko, The World Conquerors, particularly pp. 285 to 295.)
Additionally, the Germans putting Jews in concentration camps was really no different from the British forty years earlier forcing tens of thousands of Boers – including women, children, elderly and the sick – into concentration camps (in which thousands died), or the Americans ‘concentrating’ their Japanese, Italian and German citizens into ‘internment camps’. This situation with the Jews, of course, was not intended to be permanent, but until the war was won and they could he ‘expatriated’ from Europe – the Nazis’ real aim – they would have to live under these conditions.

Unfortunately, continued Marschalko, many Jews did not like them and chose to fight on the side of the partisans, especially in the Ukraine, and when caught by the Germans they were killed. Additionally, Jewish hostages were taken to prevent, or as reprisals for, partisan attacks. Whilst that type of warfare was especially unpleasant, the Germans were not the only military power to conduct war in that fashion. For example, during the Korean war the Americans did the same thing, and razed entire villages to the ground because they suspected that they were hiding or even assisting partisans. That many Jews were killed in this war against partisans does not mean that there was any intention to exterminate European Jewry. On the contrary, until the Allied saturation bombing destroyed the transportation and communication system of the Reich, concentration camps were orderly, sanitary and well-kept places where internees were treated humanely and fed and clothed adequately. Because of the bombing, however, extreme difficulties in gaining food, sanitary necessities and medical supplies allowed epidemics to wage their own war on the internees, many tens of thousands of whom died.

After the German defeat, concluded Marschalko, the concentration camps were filled with new inmates, “but they were no longer Jews but some of the defeated German people, the “war criminals”.”[97]Ibid., p. 155.
(Marschalko, The World Conquerors, particularly pp. 285 to 295.)
They were forced to rebuild shower rooms and dressing rooms so that they looked like the gas chambers of Allied propaganda, to create gallows and to dig mass burial pits. Not only were photographs of the very many cadavers of internees (of all races and ethnic groups) killed by epidemics falsely presented as concrete evidence of the Nazis’ efforts to exterminate Jewry, but photographs of German cadavers, killed in the Allied saturation bombing of Hamburg, Dresden and other cities and placed in enormous piles ready for cremation, were used for exactly the same purpose.

It is not possible to analyse herein all of Marschalko’s arguments, suffice to say that in general they were based on secondary source material of varying reliability, and contain very many errors of fact and judgement. It is also clear that in several places he formed conclusions to suit his own preconceived opinions on history and marshalled his evidence accordingly. For example, when describing conditions in concentration camps in east Germany, he cited an article from a 1944 issue of Shem (the underground newspaper of Jewish nationalists in France), which appears to support his opinion that life in most camps was hard, but not excessively so. He stated that the reports in that source must be considered reliable because “they were given by Jews to Jews and they were based on direct experience.”[98]Ibid., p. 155.
(Marschalko, The World Conquerors, particularly pp. 285 to 295.)
This trust of Jewish sources is remarkable in light of his statement two pages later that “this gigantic lie-propaganda was assisted by all Jewish official organisations, all Jewish world papers like the New York Times, etc., and all Jews, whether leading statesmen or small black-marketeers in the shady side streets.”[99]Ibid., p. l59.
(Marschalko, The World Conquerors, particularly pp. 285 to 295.)

Nonetheless, despite this nonsense, some of Marschalko’s arguments are entirely tenable, such as his claim that Hitler did not plan, prior to the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, to exterminate Europe’s Jews. There is still, in fact, insufficient evidence for an historian to prove conclusively that Hitler himself planned or sanctioned mass exterminations after that point, although there can be no doubt that many Jews were killed. Twenty years later, David Irving – a major British historian – advanced a similar thesis, for which he provided a reasonable amount of reliable supporting evidence.[100]See below, pp. 263 ff.

Also supported by evidence is Marschalko’s claim that concentration camps were not amongst the evil inventions of the Nazis, but were in fact used both before and during World War II, for a similar purpose – the concentration of people who posed a security threat into prison-like areas that could he guarded – by a variety of nations, including the United States and Britain. In the Boer War (1899-1902) almost 120.000 non-combatant Boers and approximately 75,000 black Africans wore brutally forced by the British (under Lord Kitchener) into concentration camps. Close to 20,000 Boers, mostly women and children, died in those unhygienic camps from starvation, maltreatment and epidemics (including measles, the main killer of the infants).[101]L. Amery (ed.), The Times History of the War in South Africa (London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1907); Volume V (1907), pp. 252-253, 601f.; Volume VI (1909), pp. 24-25; Cf. also T. Pakenham, The Boer War (London: Cardinal, 1991. First published 1979), pp. 493-5, 501-502, 507-510, 554, 572, et al. During the American Civil War (1861-1865), the North, in addition to camps for captured soldiers, established numerous concentration camps for civilian populations considered ‘threats’ by the Federal government.[102]M. Weber, “The Civil War Concentration Camps”, The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1981, p. 137-153.

Very many of the internees died from the diseases which spread through these camps and the barbaric Confederate POW camps, such as Andersonville (Georgia). Those camps were not, unfortunately, the only concentration camps to be constructed on American soil. When the United States entered the Second World War after Pearl Harbor in December 1941 it began to intern Japanese, German and Italian immigrants. The War Relocation Agency, created in March 1942, erected ten large internment camps in seven western states and by September of that year the army had placed in those camps over 110,000 Japanese-Americans. One must now concede that those camps, circled with barbed wire and guarded by armed soldiers, were nothing less than humanely-run concentration camps, as the U.S. President of that period incautiously admitted in a slip of the tongue.[103]For Roosevelt’s statement (21 November 1944) about American “concentration camps”, see R. Daniels, Concentration Camps USA: Japanese Americans and World War II (New York/ Chicago/San Francisco: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972), p. 154. Hence, it is clear that these concentration camps, similar in several ways to the infamous Nazi-run camps, were not established as places where genocide would be conducted. Therefore, the fact that the Nazis forced European Jews into them, and that a great many died therein, must not be seen as proof in itself of a genocidal Nazi intent.

Another of Marschalko’s arguments supported by evidence was his insistence that in the immediate post-war period Dachau was intentionally misrepresented as having been an extermination complex which utilized homicidal gas chambers. Indeed, for over twenty years almost all scholars agreed that Jews and others were gassed in that camp, and ascribed to it a fatality total (from all causes) of 238,000, a figure which Marschalko totally rejected, and for a good reason:

… a memorial plaque was unveiled, the inscription on which says 238,000 persons were cremated here. But the crematorium had only two furnaces. In order to cremate the alleged 238,000 bodies, these furnaces would have to have been kept going for three years without ever stopping, and in this case about 530 tons of human ashes would have been recovered.[104]Marschalko, The World Conquerors, p. 156.

Actually, because of the techniques available in the 1940s, it took a minimum of almost two hours to cremate a corpse. Thus, it would have taken 9916 days, or twenty-seven years, for the two cremation ovens to dispose of 238,000 bodies. Moreover, the present writer carefully calculated this on the basis that the ovens were operating twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week – something no cremation oven, even today, can do.[105]See below, p. 217.

As Fred Leuchter, an American gas chamber engineer, pointed out when he inspected the Dachau ‘gas chamber’ in April 1989, the Americans (and subjugated Germans) at first insisted that two or more gas chambers functioned in that camp. This claim was incautiously accepted by many historians, but within a few years they had revised their thinking and stated that there was only one. The problem was, Leuchter explained, that it would have been physically impossible for the one room still shown to tourists as having been a gas chamber to have functioned in that capacity.[106]See below, p. 239 ff. In his informed opinion, the ‘gas chamber’ was constructed after the camp was liberated by the Americans on April 29, 1945, and it was, prior to then, nothing more than a harmless shower room. Additionally, it is now almost universally accepted by scholars that no homicidal gassings took place in that camp, and that the fatality total was no more than 30,000, mostly caused by the raging epidemics – including typhoid, typhus, diarrhea and dysentery – which resulted from the chaos in Germany created by the Allied saturation bombing.[107]Cf. the “Dachau” entry in I. Gutman, (editor-in-chief), Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (New York: Macmillan, 1990); F. Leuchter and R. Faurisson, “The Second Leuchter Report”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Three, Fall 1990, pp. 261322.

Marschalko’s claims regarding Dachau have thus been proven to be essentially correct. Nonetheless, he made the major mistake of intimating that because the “gas chamber” in that camp was a post-war fabrication, all the alleged gas chambers in the many Nazi-run concentration and labour camps across Europe – including Auschwitz – must also have been fakes. As a result of that error of judgement he dismissed the possibility that those other camps had genuine homicidal gas chambers, and provided no analysis of the evidence for or against their existence. Hence, the principal physical evidence he provided against the allegation that millions of humans were gassed to death in chambers constructed for that task was the existence of a fabricated gas chamber in Dachau. This is one of the weakest points in his entire chapter on the Holocaust, and detracts from several of his other arguments particularly his insistence that the infamous phrase die Endlösung meant forced emigration, and was not, as commonly believed, a euphemism for ‘extermination’. That view, forcefully argued by many Revisionists in the following decades, is only possible if it can be shown that the Nazis did not plan and attempt to exterminate Europe’s Jews in gas chambers (or by a similarly effective method of mass execution), something Marschalko did not do.

As noted, although Marschalko’s book was read in rightist and nationalist circles when it was first published, it did not have anything near the influence of Rassinier’s far more thoughtful writings, probably because it appeared too polemical and biased against Jews, something the Frenchman’s writings were not.

Surprisingly, considering that Revisionism had long existed in the United States as an important and ultimately influential school of historical thought (despite its inconsiderable following or acceptance in academia), American Revisionists were slower than their European counterparts to challenge received opinion on the Holocaust. Rassinier had been active in that field of study since the early 1950s, and had published several major Holocaust Revisionist works before the end of that decade (all of a scholarly nature) and Marschalko’s considerably less scholarly work was published in 1958. Yet the only American works published before the mid-1960s which seriously challenged the verity of the Holocaust as it was then presented were combative and unscholarly propaganda tracts, containing no evidence upon which a sound argument could be based. Rather, these tracts, many written or published by American Nazis, contained overt attacks on Jews, who had – it was argued – invented all stories of Nazi atrocities.[108]Cf. The Big Lie: Who Told It? (Arlington, VA.: National Socialist White People’s Party. 1961?) Meyer Levin was the Jewish author and playwrite who wrote the stageplay for the stage production of The Diary of Anne Frank. Because many anti-Revisionists now insist that these senseless neo-Nazi works were early Revisionist publications, thereby ‘proving’ that Revisionism was indeed Nazi-inspired, a brief analysis of them will be undertaken.

One example of these early publications is The Diary of Ann Fink (published in 1961), a small booklet distributed by American Nazi groups, which began with the following dedication:

This booklet is dedicated to the hours of planning, the days of designing, the months of writing, and the grueling years of staging, acting and promoting, expended by the Jewish Hollywood script writers, actors and promoters, whose propaganda genius lies created for the world the colossal myth of the six million gassed Jews. To each individually staged atrocity photo, to each tear-jerking line of testimonial, to each tattoo kit, to each rubber body, stage prop, plastic tooth and catsup bottle – to International Latex and Meyer Levin – and to each Jewish costume designer, director, writer and actor- without whose combined talents the myth would have been utterly impossible we respectfully dedicate this booklet.[109]The Diary of Ann Fink (Arlington, VA. : Hoax Busters Press. 1961?), p. 2. The present writer’s copy contains the (rubber stamped) name and address of the distributor: the American Nazi Party, 928 North Randolph Street, Arlington, Virginia.

The Holocaust was nothing more than well-orchestrated atrocity propaganda, if we are to believe the booklet. The piles of corpses shown in photographs were really carefully-photographed rubber dummies: the emaciated bodies of living camp inmates were really stage makeup and latex; the testimonies of survivors just contrived scripts. Of course, the contents of the booklet contain absolutely no evidence to support these allegations, and clearly it is not the author’s intention to persuade the unconverted – just to amuse the converted. The booklet consists only of a series of photographs showing scenes from concentration camps, with a ‘humorous’ caption under each written by George Lincoln Rockwell, the Commander of the American Nazi Party. For example, underneath a photograph (p. 13) of a very emaciated corpse protruding from the narrow mouth of a cremation oven, next to which are standing two prisoners, the caption states: “I asked for a cheap pad… but this is ridiculous.” Underneath another photograph (p. 14), showing eight almost skeletal Jewish males lying on their crowded barrack bunks of bare wooden slats, and staring out with a look of despair in their eyes, is the caption: “Close the door you schmuck, you’re letting out the gas!”

In 1965 a tract entitled The Six Myths was published and very widely distributed on the east coast of the United States. Written by Elisabeth Shepherd, this 8-page tract attempted to expose six “myths”: 1) the myth that white people have oppressed the colored people of the world: 2) the myth that environment can make people progressive according to the opportunities it provides; 3) the myth that nationalism is the cause of wars: 4) the myth of anti-Semitism, and that the Jews are only a religious group; 5) the myth that Jesus was a Jew and that Christianity’s roots are in Judaism: and 6) the myth that six million Jews were destroyed by Nazi Germany. Shepherd, in arguing that six million Jews were not murdered by the Nazi regime, provided no evidence but merely stated (in toto):

This is the greatest myth of all time. There is no authentic record of gas chambers built for the extermination of Jews. It is reported that between 14 and 16 million Jews have entered the U.S. illegally since the beginning of World War II. Most of those “6.000.000″ Jews are in this country, many of them prospering in cheap, unstable construction in New York City. And while television, owned by Jews, shows films about “Nazi criminals”, not one word is said about the Jews’ part in the Soviet Revolution and the murder of the Christian Czar and millions of White Russians.[110]E. Shepherd, The Six Myths (Printed by the National Citizens Union, New York, 1965. Distributed by the National Renaissance Party), pp. 7-8.

That Shepherd’s arguments contain nonsense is obvious. Firstly, her figures for how many Jews illegally entered the United States in the twenty years since World War II are inflated by over twelve million. Secondly, and more importantly, there was in 1965 ample evidence for the existence, in the Nazi concentration camps, of crematoriums for burning human bodies, including those of Jews. Also, whilst the evidence for the existence of gas chambers was not as plentiful or reliable as that for the crematoriums (or as it is today), in 1965 one could still argue with sufficient evidence to build a sound case – which possibly would not stand in the light of recent Revisionist research – that homicidal gas chambers existed in several Nazi concentration camps to kill Jews and others.

Shepherd’s tract was distributed by the National Renaissance Party, a National Socialist group based in Beacon, New York, and headed by James H. Madole, a Hitler devotee who had himself denied, since the early-1950s, that the Nazis attempted to exterminate Europe’s Jews. For example, in the May 1953 issue of National Renaissance Bulletin he had written, in an article entitled “Adolf Hitler, the George Washington of Europe” that the Jews were to blame for Germany’s pre-war woes and for her being thrust into a totally unwanted war. Additionally,

In a final burst of savagery and hatred the Jews manipulated the legalized torture and murder of Germany’s top military, political and economic leadership at the infamous Nuremberg Trials … Although the World Almanac attests to the fact that fewer than 600,000 Jews ever lived in Germany, the Jews persisted in their monstrous lie that Nazi Germany had cremated six-million of their co-racials.

No evidence was provided by Madole to support any of his abhorrent anti-Jewish allegations.

The National Renaissance Party featured prominently in a House of Representatives report on neo-fascist and -Nazi groups[111]Preliminary Report on Neo-Fascist and Hate Groups, December 17, 1954. Prepared and released by the Committee on UnAmerican Activities, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington. D.C., which wrote of the party that its “program and propaganda… is virtually borrowed wholesale from the Fascist and Nazi dictators”[112]Ibid., p. 5.
(Preliminary Report on Neo-Fascist and Hate Groups, December 17, 1954. Prepared and released by the Committee on UnAmerican Activities, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington. D.C.)
Whilst these anti-Nazi government reports on “un-American activities” should be regarded with a degree of skepticism and caution, for the same reasons that one would treat the similar ‘reds-under-the-beds’ reports from the McCarthy era with caution, the reliable and plentiful evidence provided in the report’s appendices (pp. 20-29) allows one to conclude with certainty that the National Renaissance Party was indeed a Nazi party with pro-white and anti-Jewish sentiments.

In the same report on “un-American activities” is an expose of Common Sense, the semimonthly newspaper published in Union, New Jersey from June 1947 (until April 1972) by Conde McGinley, Sr. and his son of the same name. It was in the May 1, 1959 issue of this anti-Communist newspaper that Benjamin Freedman’s article “Christians Duped by Unholiest Hoax in All History! “Big Lie” Technique Pushing U.S.A. to the Brink of World War III” appeared. In this article Freedman, a Jewish convert to Christianity and in that period one of the most outspoken critics of Zionism and Judaism, attempted to expose three major hoaxes: 1) the Jews are God’s ‘Chosen People’; 2) Jesus was a Jew; and 3) six million Jews were exterminated by the Nazi regime. However, Freedman provided nothing in the form of evidence to buttress his tendentious claims, particularly those regarding the non-existence of the alleged genocide. Whilst Common Sense was not a neo-Nazi newspaper, despite the conclusion to the contrary of the House of Representatives report, it did frequently publish articles of an anti-Judaic and anti-Zionistic (and even some of an anti-Jewish) nature.

Thus, despite the works mentioned only being a small percentage of those published, it is clear that Holocaust denial – the outright denial of almost all anti-Jewish atrocities by the Nazis, regardless of the weight of contradictory evidence – was the modus operandi of the authors. Some of these authors were neo-Nazis with the same hatred for Jews as many of the original Nazis. These worthless publications, however (and this is an important point), are entirely different in purpose, nature and style from the Holocaust Revisionist works of following years, which at least attempt to analyse rigorously and systematically all evidence for and against accepted opinion on the Holocaust. The latter works are revision on the basis of evidence, not denial on the basis of ideology.

In 1967 Holocaust Revisionism in the United States took a small step forward with the publication of The Myth of the Six Million[113]Noontide Press, Los Angeles, 1969. by an American history professor who chose to remain anonymous for fear of losing his teaching position. According to Willis Carto[114]Letter from Carto to the present writer, dated January 26, 1992, also SZTR, 23-5732., who wrote the introduction to this work using the pseudonym “E. L. Anderson”, the 119-page book’s author was Professor David L. Hoggan (1923-1988). Hoggan was the author of Der erzwungene Krieg (The Forced War)[115]Der erzwungene Krieg (Tübingen: Verlag der Deutschen Hochschullehrer Zeitung, 1961). The book’s main thesis that Germany was not solely responsible for the outbreak of hostilities in 1939 sparked off a rather heated and long-running debate in the letters section of The American Historical Review, with several scholars, unfamiliar with some of the source material cited by Hoggan, even accusing him of fabricating or falsifying his evidence. See the book’s review by Gerhard L. Weinberg in AHR, Volume LXVIII (October 1962 to July 1963) and the reaction to it in the five subsequent issues., the 1961 Revisionist classic on the origins of the Second World War which has to date undergone thirteen reprints. He gained his Ph.D in history from Harvard University in 1948, held several important academic teaching positions and wrote numerous successful historical works, most of them in German. Whilst he was politically conservative, there can be no suggestion that Hoggan was a Nazi, fascist or political extremist.

In The Myth of the Six Million Hoggan relied heavily on the writings of Rassinier and, aside from a rather detailed analysis of the position of Jews in Nazi Germany up to and during the Second World War, the book contains little that is original. As such, even a brief critique of it would be unnecessary, suffice to say that other Holocaust Revisionists have generally avoided quoting from it or citing it, whereas they frequently quote from or cite the works of Rassinier, several of which predate it by a decade. Further, whilst The Myth was reprinted in 1974, it has not been distributed for several years now by Noontide Press or, to the present writer’s knowledge, any other publishers or book distributors.

In late 1973 a small, 38-page booklet entitled The Six Million Swindle: Blackmailing the German People for Hard Marks with Fabricated Corpses, by Professor Austin J. App, was published and very widely distributed by Boniface Press, the author’s own publishing company. App (1902-1984) gained in 1929 his Ph.D in English literature from Catholic university, Washington, D.C., before commencing an outstanding academic career in which he published more than one thousand articles, columns and reviews as well as several books which received critical acclaim. Born the son of German immigrants, throughout his life he felt a sense of love for the ‘mother” country, and was particularly upset by what he believed was a flood of anti-German propaganda following both world wars. His first Revisionist (but not Holocaust Revisionist) booklet was published in 1946, followed by very many more in the following decades. Additionally, he served from 1960 to 1966 as National Chairman of the much respected Federation of American Citizens of German Descent, after which he was honoured by being made the federation’s permanent National Honorary Chairman.

His booklet The Six Million Swindle was the first work arguing against accepted opinion on the Holocaust to be published in the United States in the name of its author, who clearly was not afraid of being labeled an anti-Semite or racist. The booklet’s basic theses are that the Nazis did not murder even one million Jews, let alone the accepted number of six million, and that the allegation they did is nothing more than anti-German atrocity propaganda exploited by Talmudic Jews to gain indemnities and support for Israel. For example, App stated on page three:

The Talmudists have from the beginning used the six million swindle to blackmail West Germany into “atoning” with the twenty billion dollars of indemnities to a bastard state that had not even existed during the era of the Third Reich. But not only has Israel blackmailed West Germany into subsidizing it, Israel and World Jewry have also blackmailed it with the figure of six million into paying pensions and indemnities to every Jew who survived Nazi-occupied Europe and millions who after the war sneaked into West Germany from behind the Iron Curtain and then [p. 4] claimed to have suffered under the Nazis. Claiming such indemnities has probably produced the greatest heyday in history for Jews to commit perjury for one another, and for fraud and lying and cheating on a horrendous scale…. One can assume that every one of the 500,000 Jews in Israel who claim to have been in German concentration camps is bleeding Germany for indemnities.

As evidence of this Jewish exploitation of their alleged suffering, App quoted reliable newspaper reports of several cases where Jews had acted dishonestly to obtain indemnities from West Germany. However, whilst there have been numerous unrelated cases of Jewish reparation fraud, to state that these frauds have occurred on a “horrendous scale” and as the result of a Jewish conspiracy to defraud the German government, is preposterous and totally unsupportable.

App’s booklet was written in an emotive and journalistic style, and certainly could not be considered dispassionate scholarship, despite the author’s academic background. His own biases and prejudices are visible on almost every page, and these and his unguarded language in several places greatly diminish the force of his arguments. For example, after insisting that the Nazis did not rape thousands of Jewish women before murdering them, as has been claimed, App stated that the allegation is “such a shamefaced lie that anyone pronouncing it ought to choke on a wish-bone and die like a rat!”.[116]A. J. App, The Six Million Swindle: Blackmailing the German People for Hard Marks with Fabricated Corpses (Takoma Park, Maryland: Boniface Press, 1973), p. 29. In another place he stated that “Jews who spread such vindictive lies [about the extermination of Jews] ought to strangle themselves in their own guts – and save the world their venom!”.[117]Ibid., p. 12.
(A. J. App, The Six Million Swindle: Blackmailing the German People for Hard Marks with Fabricated Corpses (Takoma Park, Maryland: Boniface Press, 1973), p. 29.)
Additionally, the evidence provided by App to support his arguments against accepted opinion on the Holocaust is weak and almost entirely of a secondary nature, being mainly quotes from various newspapers. It is quite inappropriate for the defence of such bold claims about recent historical events. The most accurate and judicious way of summarizing his principal arguments is to quote his own succinct summary in toto:

First, the Third Reich wanted to get Jews to emigrate, not to liquidate them physically. Had they intended extermination, 500,000 concentration camp survivors would not now be in Israel to collect fancy indemnities from West Germany.

Second, absolutely no Jews were “gassed” in any concentration camps in Germany, and evidence is piling up that none were gassed in Auschwitz. There were crematoria for cremating corpses who had died from whatever cause, including especially also the victims of the genocide Anglo-American air raids. Third, the majority of Jews who died in pogroms and those who disappeared and are still unaccounted for fell afoul in territories controlled by the Soviet Russians, not in territories while under German control.

Fourth, most of the Jews alleged to have met their death at the hands of Germans were subversives, partisans, spies, and criminals, and also often victims of unfortunate but internationally legal reprisals. One reason for my denouncing the Nuremberg prosecutors as lynchers is that they hanged Germans on ex post facto rules of their own!

Fifth, if there were the slightest likelihood that the Nazis had in fact executed six million Jews, World Jewry would scream for subsidies with which to do research on the question, and Israel would throw its archives and files open to historians. They have not done so. On the contrary they have persecuted anyone who tries to investigate impartially and even call him an anti-Semite. This is really devastating evidence that the figure is a swindle. Sixth, the Jews and the media who exploit this figure have never offered a shred of valid evidence for its truth. At most they misquote Hoettl, Hoess, and Eichmann who spoke only occasionally of what they were in no position to know or to speak on reliably. Nor do the Jews themselves credit these witnesses as reliable even when they comment on what they could know, e.g., that the concentration camps were essentially work camps, not death camps!

Seventh, the burden of proof for the six million figure rests on the accusers, not the accused. This is the principle of all civilized law. Proving true guilt is easier than proving true innocence. It is hardly possible for a man accused of cheating on his wife to prove that he did not cheat on her. Therefore the accuser must prove his charge. This responsibility the Talmudists and Bolsheviks have not accepted, and the brow-beaten Germans have rather paid billions than to dare to demand proof!

Eighth, obvious evidence that the figure of six million has no scientific foundation is that Jewish scholars themselves present ridiculous discrepancies in their calculations. And honest ones, whom we recognize by the fact that their co-racialists smear-terrorize them, and even beat them up, invariably lower the six million estimate by at least fifty per cent, to three million casualties from all causes, not those limited to Nazi executions.

Clearly, many of these arguments are totally unsustainable; the most irrational being the claim that the majority of Jews murdered were partisans, spies, subversives or criminals. Regardless of whether one believes in the wartime existence of gas chambers, one is forced by the overwhelming weight of evidence to recognize that the National Socialist government planned and implemented the brutal policy of deporting Jews from all over occupied Europe to labour camps and ghettoes in “the east” and that a very large number, including women, children and the elderly, died in the process. Additionally, as the Einsatzgruppen moved into Soviet territory behind the advancing front line troops, they killed – in their efforts to establish a “rough and ready” form of order and security – thousands of men, women and children, a sizeable percentage of whom were innocent Jews. The evidence for this is, again, both plentiful and reliable.

Whilst it is true that many Jewish organizations and individuals have attacked those who have attempted to revise received opinion on the Holocaust, this is not “really devastating evidence” that they are trying to prevent those persons from uncovering a great and well-guarded secret – that six million Jews were not killed by the Nazis. The often-vicious and violent response of these Jewish groups to Revisionists (further evidence of which will be given below), whilst totally inappropriate and injurious to their case, is at least understandable. A very large majority of Jews sincerely believe accepted opinion on the Holocaust and have seen no reason to doubt it. That six million of their people were murdered by the Nazis because of anti-Semitism appears to be an indisputable fact, having been documented very well by historians and survivors. Hence, those who deny or wish to revise the magnitude of this crime against their relatives, for whatever reasons, tire seen by Jews to be insisting that they have invented a monstrous lie from which to gain benefit. Not only do they feel distressed and outraged that enormous crimes against their deceased relatives are being denied, but they also believe that the charge leveled against them by Revisionists is essentially the same as the “big lie” accusation leveled at them by Adolf Hitler (and repeated to the present day by many opponents of the Jews) in Volume I, Chapter X of his autobiographical, historical and philosophical treatise, Mein Kampf.

… in the big lie, ["in der Größe der Lüge"] there is invariably a certain factor of credibility; because it is always more easy to corrupt the great masses of a people in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or intentionally, and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they fall victim more readily to the big lie than the small lie…. It would never enter their heads to fabricate such untruths, and they would believe it impossible that others could have the great cheek ["Frechheit "] to twist the truth so infamously…. From time immemorial, however, the Jews have known better than any others how falsehood and calumny can he exploited…. But one of the greatest minds that mankind has produced has branded the Jews for ever with a statement which is a fundamental truth. He [Schopenhauer] called the Jew The Great Master of Lies’ ["die großen Meister der Lüge."]. Those who do not recognise the truth of that, or will not believe it, will never he capable of helping Truth to triumph in the world.[118]A. Hitler, Mein Kampf: Zwei Bände in einem Band, Ungekürzte Ausgabe (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, Frz. Eher Nachf., GmbH, 1943), p. 252. Translated by [the] present writer.

Indeed, several Holocaust denial tracts – as opposed to Revisionist works – of the 1950s and 1960s did quote from or cite Mein Kampf in order to argue that the Holocaust was the Jews’ “big lie”, as can be seen in the titles of two already-mentioned discourses: The Big Lie: Who Told It? and Christians Duped by unholiest Hoax in All History! “Big Lie” Technique Pushing U.S.A. to the Brink of World War III. Curiously, several Jewish groups, realizing this, have turned the tables on Holocaust Revisionists by accusing them of using the propaganda technique of the “big lie”.[119]As can be seen, by way of illustration, in the title of Holocaust “Revisionism”, Reinventing the Big Lie (New York: AntiDefamation League of B’nai B’rith, 1989).

A reading of App’s booklet makes two things apparent: 1) he clearly desired historical truth and an end to anti-German atrocity propaganda; and 2) he very much disliked the majority of Jews, and this frequently rendered him incapable of forming sound and impartial judgements on what constituted historical truths. Although he did laud the efforts of two or three “honourable” Jews who had challenged Holocaust orthodoxy, throughout the booklet he described Jews in extremely disparaging terms. On page five, whilst explaining why “Bolsheviks Support [the] Six Million Swindle” he casually noted that “most of the most vindictive Communists are also Jews”. Whilst it is true that a large number of Jews were amongst those who inspired and undertook the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, and that very many rose to high positions in the Soviet Union in the decades after, to state that the Jewish Bolsheviks were the “most vindictive” of all Bolsheviks, without providing evidence, is indicative of a prejudicial and malevolent attitude towards Jews.

This prejudice manifests itself again on page ten where he declared, in an explanation of the situation of European Jews immediately after the war, “When I visited Germany and Austria in 1949 I found them deluged with uncouth-looking Eastern Jews. They were arrogant to all Germans, they all seemed to engage in blackmarketing, and the German police seemed forbidden to touch them. They lied, cheated, and stole from Germans almost at will.”. Here it would appear that App was accusing Jews of an inherent dishonesty, an accusation he repeated two pages later, when he insisted “This [the allegation that the Nazis wanted to murder all Jews] is the kind of monstrous, barefaced lying of which only Communists and Jews are capable! Vindictive Jews seem intent on proving Christ right when he denounced Jews in language far harsher than Hitler ever applied to them, “You are of your father the devil…for he is a liar, and the father thereof (St. John, Ch. 8, V. 44)”. Nonetheless, lying and cheating are not the only Jewish vices, if we are to believe App: “They now control the media and the money – and sex education and pornography… In short, they subvert our international standards and our Christian culture.” (p. 13) Echoing this theme, he also published in the same year a small tract entitled Can Christianity Survive When the Jews Control the Media and The Money?

App’s obvious biases do not, however, allow us to automatically discount his more rational theses on the Holocaust without at least submitting them to scholarly criticism. One could argue that doing so would be an act of academic prejudice, no better than App’s religious/racial one.

App repeated his arguments against accepted opinion on the Holocaust in many other articles, booklets and books in the years before his death in 1984[120]Cf. A Straight Look at the Third Reich: Hitler and National Socialism. How Right? How Wrong? (Takoma Park, Maryland: Boniface Press, 1974); Footnote on President Ford’s Visit to Auschwitz (Takoma Park, Maryland: Boniface Press, 1975): Hitler-Himmler Order on Jews Uncovered (Reedy, WVa.: Liberty Bell, 1978); “”Holocaust”: Sneak Attack on Christianity”, The Liberty Bell, March 1978, pp. 9-17. et al.. Additionally, from 1979 until his death he served as a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee of the Journal of Historical Review, published quarterly by the Institute for Historical Review. In fact, his last major public speech in the United States was presented at the first International Revisionist Conference, sponsored by this institute. That he became an editorial advisor for its journal is surprising in the light of the fact that almost all of App’s Revisionist writings have been of a journalistic – as opposed to scholarly – nature, containing mainly specious arguments based on secondary source of vary-in” reliability. Whatever expertise he had in his own academic field, he was no historian.

Christophersen, Stäglich and German Revisionism

The publication of App’s The Six Million Swindle was part of a totally uncoordinated global challenge of accepted opinion of the Holocaust, which occurred in the years 1973 to 1975. In March 1973 West Germany was shocked by the publication and wide distribution of Die Auschwitz Lüge: Ein Erlebnisbericht[121]Mohrkirch, Kritik-Verlag, 1973. (‘The Auschwitz Lie: An Eyewitness Report’), a short book by Thies Christophersen. The author, a Wehrmacht officer, had been wounded in combat on the Western Front early in the war and was thereafter unfit for active military service. Rather than sit out the rest of the war without contributing to the national effort, he asked to attend a specialized agricultural school and did so in 1942 and early 1943. In the spring of that year he successfully applied to go to the Ukraine to raise india-rubber plants, but after the Ukraine was lost a few months later he was transferred to a branch of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institut at Raisko, part of the Auschwitz complex. He arrived there, with the rank of Second Lieutenant, on January 15, 1944. According to his statements in Die Auschwitz Lüge, he stayed in Raisko near Auschwitz until December 1944, working with several hundred mainly Polish internees on a project to grow Taraxacum kok sagis, a type of dandelion – the latex in the roots of which contain india rubber.

The main line of argument in Christophersen’s simply written book, which was translated into English by Ernst Zündel less than a year after its German publication, and later into Spanish, French, Dutch, Danish and Portuguese, is that he never saw any evidence of exterminations at Auschwitz during the eleven months he was there, despite this being the very period in which exterminations were allegedly being carried out at an appalling rate. He therefore concluded that the alleged exterminations had not occurred.

He did not deny that many deceased internees were cremated, but argued that most were people who had unfortunately died of ‘natural causes’, including typhus, which claimed the lives not only of internees but also German personnel. These included, for example, the wife of his supervisor. Dr. Joachim Caesar.[122]Ibid., p. 19.
(Mohrkirch, Kritik-Verlag, 1973.)

In his book Christophersen explained that Raisko was two kilometers from Birkenau – said to be the location of the gas chambers – and that he had visited Birkenau perhaps as many as twenty times during 1944 to select his workers or obtain materials. He thus became very familiar with the physical layout of the buildings and the treatment of internees therein. He also told of his complete shock and surprise at reading after the war of the allegations that four million Jews and others were murdered there in gas chambers or by bullets and their cadavers disposed of in crematories built for that purpose or on massive wooden pyres, which continuously belched flames, smoke and the foul stench of burning flesh. One must concede that Christophersen’s argument against these claims contains a degree of logic: if these huge gas chambers, other murder machinery and burning piles of corpses existed in Auschwitz throughout the entire period he was there, he would certainly have seen them, smelt them and heard about them. Therefore, the fact that he did not see them, smell them or hear anything about them – and they could not possibly have been disguised – allowed him to conclude that they did not exist.

Unlike App, Christophersen did not attempt to place blame on the Jewish people for inventing what he believed was propaganda. Indeed, he commented warmly of the Jews under his supervision in Auschwitz, and made no statements that could be considered indicative of an anti-Jewish prejudice. However, in a brief discussion of Jewish losses in the Second World War, he mistakenly reasoned that they could not have been greater than 200,000. This figure he attributed vaguely to the United Nations. He also relied on secondary sources such as the World Almanac. the American Jewish Committee and the New York Times, without corroborating these sources with other evidence or submitting them to closer scrutiny.[123]Ibid., p. 4.
(Mohrkirch, Kritik-Verlag, 1973.)

Regardless of these flaws, his main argument gains support from an analysis of aerial photographs of the entire Auschwitz complex, including the massive I.G. Farben synthetic petrol facility which was nearby, taken on random occasions throughout the spring and autumn of 1944 by USAAF reconnaissance aircraft. These very detailed photographs, made clearer by advanced computer-enhancement techniques, were first made public in February 1979 by two officers of the central Intelligence Agency, who had obtained them from the archives of the Defense Intelligence Agency.[124]The Holocaust Revisited: A Retrospective Analysis of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Complex, Prepared by D. A. Brugioni, and G. Poirier, (Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency, 1979). In none of the photographs, from various months in 1944, can be seen any evidence of extermination. Despite the statements of many former Auschwitz internees that smoke and flame emanated continually from the crematory chimneys, and was visible for miles around, not one of the detailed photographs show any smoke or flames. Additionally, and more importantly, one cannot find in any of the photographs even one of the piles of corpses, large pyres, burial pits, or flaming fires that were often alleged to have been present in the camp, even though the photographs were sufficiently clear for one to see such details as vehicles, open gates and columns of internees queuing for registration.

Christophersen’s arguments gain support from another important West German Revisionist article on the Holocaust: a short eyewitness account of wartime Auschwitz published in the October 1973 issue of the nationalistic West German journal, Nation Europa.[125]Volume XXIII, number 10, pp. 50-52. The author was a Hamburg judge, Dr. Wilhelm Stäglich, who had served during the war as the Ordonnanzoffizier on the staff of the 12th Paratroop Anti-aircraft Detachment. This unit was stationed in Osiek, just outside Auschwitz, from July to September 1944. As the Ordonnanzoffizier, it was Stäglich’s duty to liaise with the SS camp command, situated in the Stammlager (Main Camp), or Auschwitz I. In this capacity he entered Auschwitz I “three or four times”, once being as part of a camp inspection invited by the camp command. He did not, however, enter Birkenau. In his short published account of his experiences, which is consistent with Christophersen’s, he recalled:

On none of these visits did I see gassing installations, crematoria, instruments of torture, or similar horrors. The camp gave one the impression of being well-kept and very well-organized. … On none of my visits did I find that inmates – at least the ones present in the camp, for example, inmates employed in the various workshops or on clean-up details – were badly, much less inhumanely, treated. … Finally, I can report that the German residents of Osiek were unaware of mass exterminations or other atrocities in the camp. At any rate they never spoke to me of such things.[126]From the English translation of Stäglich’s article, published as Appendix II in W. Stäglich, Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence Second Edition, 1990. Translated from German by Thomas Francis (Costa Mesa: Institute for Historical Review, 1986).

Stäglich saw no gas chambers, flaming crematories, pyres, burial pits or piles of decaying corpses. The camp was, he insisted, “well-kept and very well-organized”, and to the best of his knowledge no internees were murdered, tortured or barbarously treated. Further, most did not appear malnourished or unhealthy, and, in fact, worked productively in factories, workshops or on clean-up details.

Stäglich’s testimony is weakened because he never visited Birkenau, where – according to accepted opinion on the Holocaust – two gassing “bunkers” and four large gas chambers functioned, and it was the victims’ bodies from those facilities that were incinerated in crematories and on pyres, or buried in huge burial pits. It was there, and not in the Auschwitz Stammlager two kilometers away, that he would have seen evidence, if it existed, of the mass extermination in gas chambers of Jews and others. Accepted opinion is that only one homicidal gas chamber – in the old crematory building – functioned at the Stammlager and that ceased operating in the middle of 1943 (a full year before Stäglich arrived), when it was partially dismantled and converted into an air raid shelter. Former internees have described conditions in that camp as being deplorable and inhumane, and their treatment as hostile and cruel, but – if accepted opinion is correct – in the middle of 1944 Stäglich would have seen evidence of mass exterminations only if he had visited Birkenau. Thus, his recollection of the Auschwitz Stammlager provides some evidence that it was contrary to popular belief, relatively productively and humanely run, and in this respect his account agrees with Christophersen’s, but it provides absolutely no evidence that the alleged exterminations in Birkenau did not occur.

It has been argued that the accounts of Christophersen and Stäglich are worthless as historical evidence because no-one else but Nazis would try to present the ‘death camps’ in a positive light; their aim must be to rehabilitate and absolve the guilt of the Third Reich.[127]For example, see E. Kulka, The Holocaust Is Being Denied, translated by Lilli Kapecky (Tel Aviv: The Committee of Auschwitz Camp Survivors in Israel, 1977). Also, see R. Kvam, “Nazism Resurgent: Among Two Hundred Survivors From Auschwitz”, op. cit., p. 283-292. According to Kvam, “The pamphlet, Die Auschwitz-Lüge, must be one of the ugliest examples in our time of the manner in which what happened to the Jews during WW II is so completely turned upside down that Nazis appear in angels’ wings and the Jews as filthy moneygrubbers.” (p. 287). However, if one accepts this line of argument and disregards their accounts, one must also disregard the testimony of all former internees, Jewish or otherwise, as they might have reasons for wishing to exaggerate their sufferings or the crimes of their former captors. Rather, the evidence of all eyewitnesses, from either side of the barbed wire or electric fences, should be examined by historians and objected to identical, impartial criticism before its credibility or reliability can be established.

Unfortunately for the two Germans, the authorities in the western half of their divided nation chose not to treat their accounts dispassionately or tolerantly, and they soon found themselves the victims of what must he considered persecution and – in Stäglich’s case – prosecution. The publication of Die Auschwitz Lüge horrified and outraged Jews in Germany, Austria and Israel, with newspapers in those and several other countries attacking the book as “anti-Semitic” or “Nazi”. In Germany, the July 13, 1973 issue of the influential Jewish weekly paper, Allgemeine Jüdische Wochenzeitung, published a front page article on it, which carried the bold headline, “Lügner am Werk” (Liars at work”), a reference to Christophersen and the booklet’s publisher, attorney Manfred Röder, who had also written its introduction. The newspaper insisted that it was the worst example of anti-Jewish propaganda since the demise of the Third Reich, and one that would have made Hitler and Goebbels proud. The statements considered most objectionable were not in Christophersen’s memoir – but in Röder’s introduction:

The government of the German Reich was illegally removed from office. German officers, who had done nothing but their duty, and whose characters were far superior to those of the Allies passing judgement on them, were sadistically strangled, whilst no single soldier or partisan of the enemy was brought to court for war crimes. German jurisdiction and search for truth was made impossible. Only the victors were to sit in judgement and to write history….There is not one authentic document in existence which places the overall losses of the Jewish population during the last war higher than 200,000. During one single night, in Dresden, more defenseless, innocent Germans perished – children, women, old people and especially wounded men – than Jews have died in all the concentration camps in the years of the National Socialist regime!

In a letter of May 10, 1973, Simon Wiesenthal attempted to press the Präsidenten der Rechtsanwaltkammer [presidents of the lawyers' association] into having Röder, a successful attorney, investigated by the ethics committee of that bar association, in the hope that he would be disbarred. After some initial reluctance, they did disbar him and, on February 20, 1976 he was convicted in a Darmstadt court of insulting the Jewish people. He was sentenced to seven months imprisonment, three years probation and a fine of three thousand Deutschmarks.[128]“Nazi Kampflieder im Gerichtssaal”, Neue Insenburger Anzeigeblatt, February 24, 1976. The judge, explaining why he, and not Christophersen, was charged with the crime explained that “We have freedom of speech, and anybody can write as he pleases, but your interpretation of Christophersen’s report sounds anti-Semitic, and for this criminal attitude you are punished.”[129]Quoted by Röder in the epilogue published in the American edition of Die Auschwitz Lüge (Reedy, Va.: Liberty Bell Publications, 1979). Nonetheless, his statement that Röder was being punished for a criminal “attitude” – as opposed to a criminal act – arguably suggests that West Germany did not have the claimed regard for freedom of expression. After protests by the Vienna-based Comité international des Camps, Austrian authorities totally prohibited distribution of Die Auschwitz Lüge in that country, and confiscated all unsold copies. Insisting that the book should not be given added publicity, the West German Minister of the Interior (Maihofer) chose not to take similar action.[130]Jüdischer Pressedienst (Düsseldorf, 1975), Number 3/4, p. 28.

After publishing his short article on Auschwitz, Stäglich suffered extreme persecution, and was even forced to resign from his position as a Hamburg judge after disciplinary proceedings were commenced against him. However, his resignation did not satisfy his many opponents, who sought to have his pension stripped as well. In this they were partly successful; the judicial authorities, intent on punishing him for publicly expressing doubts about the Holocaust, reduced his pension by twenty percent for a period of five years.[131]W. Stäglich, ” ‘Der Auschwitz Mythos’: A Book and Its Fate in the German Federal Republic”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Five, Number One, Spring 1984, p. 49. Although this action caused the Stäglich family some financial difficulties, it did not cause the now retired judge to stop writing on the Holocaust. On the contrary, it motivated him to explore the subject in more depth, and allowed him the time to do it. The result was the publication in 1979 of Der Auschwitz Mythos: Legende oder Wirklichkeit? (“The Auschwitz Myth: Legend or Reality”)[132]W. Stäglich, Der Auschwitz Mythos: Legende oder Wirklichkeit? (Tübingen: Grabert-Verlag, 1979)., a lengthy, detailed and generally well-written analysis of accepted opinion on Auschwitz/Birkenau. Because of the depth and seriousness of its arguments, this 457-page book was immediately recognized by Revisionists as a ‘masterpiece’. In fact, it would not be inaccurate to say that this book and Arthur Butz’s The Hoax of the Twentieth Century now form the two testaments in the Holocaust Revisionist ‘bible’. However, Stäglich’s book, although focusing narrowly on Auschwitz, contains many of the same arguments as Butz’s. Therefore, because the restrictions of this thesis prevent a detailed analysis of both books, we will only be investigating Butz’s, which is wider-ranging.

Sadly for the former judge, West German authorities did not share the Revisionist enthusiasm for his book, and within three months of publication it was included on the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Scriften’s index of censored books[133]“Federal Office for the Examination of Publications Harmful to Young People”. This Orwellian office gives “harmful” books – including some academic publications – a classification which is similar in some respects to the “R18″ classification given in New Zealand to pornography. The National Socialist regime is still condemned (and rightly so) for passing similar laws, but there has been no universal condemnation of this state censorship and deprivation of intellectual freedom. This resulted in a severe limitation of the distribution of the book, prohibition of any advertising of it, and its exclusion from sale on the open book market.

Things became worse for Dr. Stäglich on July 23, 1979 when the prosecution attorney’s office in Stuttgart initiated criminal proceedings against him and his publisher, under sections 86 (“distribution of propaganda material”) and 130 (“incitement of the populace”) of the Criminal Code. Perhaps finally realizing that these charges were unsustainable, the public prosecutor dropped the charges eight months later. Nonetheless, the prosecutor’s office was directed instead to commence proceedings in order to seize all copies of the book, and on July 31, 1980 the Stuttgart Landgericht (district court) ordered the sequester of the “dangerous book” and the seizure of the printing plates used for its production. This decision was upheld on January 26, 1983 by the Bundesgerichtshof, the Federal Supreme Court.[134]Stäglich, “‘Der Auschwitz Mythos’: A Book and Its Fate…”, p. 65.

On November 15, 1982, Stäglich suffered another bitter humiliation when the University of Göttingen initiated academic proceedings against him with the intention of depriving him of his Dr. Jur. (Doctor of Jurisprudence) degree, which it had awarded him in 1951. On March 29, 1983 the degree was officially withdrawn by virtue of a resolution of the Council of Deans, who felt that Stäglich was a “Nazi-apologist” who must he discredited. Academic persecution of this type had not occurred in a German university since the days of the Nazi regime, and, ironically (and perversely), the law used by the university to strip the former judge of his doctorate was a previously forgotten Nazi law – dated June 7, 1939 and personally signed by Adolf Hitler – designed for use against titled German émigrés who criticized the Reich from abroad.[135]Reichsgesetzblatt I, 985, June 7, 1939. On November 17, 1987 the Higher Administrative Court at Lüneburg rejected Stäglich’s appeal to regain his doctorate.

Stäglich was not the only West German in this period to suffer at the hands of those opposed to Revisionism. In October 1978, Dr. Helmut Diwald, the distinguished professor of history at the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, caused an academic and public furor when he published Geschichte der Deutschen (“History of the Germans”)[136]Berlin/Frankfurt/Vienna: Propyläen Verlag, 1978., a general history of the German people from the tenth century to the present day. In his chapter on the Third Reich and the Final Solution he made several comments regarding the Nazi persecution of the Jewish people which were very much in harmony with the theses of Holocaust Revisionists. He wrote, inter alia:

Since the capitulation in 1945, ‘Auschwitz’ has also served as the main vehicle to reduce the German people to complete moral degradation…. Countless works have been written and claims made since 1945 which cannot be proven and which cynically add to the infamy. The most horrible events of modern times have been exploited through the use of distortions, deceptions and exaggerations…. Thus, the victorious Allies claimed the existence of ‘extermination camps’ of which there was not a single one in Germany. For years visitors to the Dachau concentration camp were shown ‘gas chambers’ where as many as 25,000 Jews were allegedly killed daily by the SS. Actually the rooms displayed were dummy chambers which the U.S. military had forced imprisoned SS men to build after the capitulation…. The deportation of the Jews took place as part of a general forced-labour programme for the war industry…. During the war Jewish immigration was no longer possible and the expression ‘total solution’ ["Gesamtlösung"] or ‘final solution’ ["Endlösung"] was coined to refer [not to extermination, but] to the policy whereby all Jews were to be segregated from the German population, removed from central Europe, evacuated to the East, and relocated in new ghettos. This plan was outlined by Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the Reich Security Main Office on 24 June 1940. The central questions about what actually happened [to the Jews] in the subsequent years ["was sich in den folgenden Jahren tatsächlich abgespielt hat"] still remain unclear despite all of the literature.”[137]Ibid., pp. 164-165.
(Berlin/Frankfurt/Vienna: Propyläen Verlag, 1978.)

When copies of Diwald’s book reached the bookstores an avalanche of opposition and hostility immediately thundered down upon the academic, threatening to engulf and suffocate him. Golo Mann, the eminent historian, exclaimed that “these two pages… are the most monstrous that I have had to read in a German book since 1945″.[138]Mann in Der Spiegel, December 4, 1978. His reaction, the evidence reveals, was typical of those of scores of academics and media pundits. Axel Springer, a very influential West German press baron, even dismissed the head of his publishing company, Propyläen, which had produced Diwald’s “horrendous” book. Further, he ordered the pulping of the entire stock of unsold copies of the book (several thousand in all) and the publication of a new edition, in which all offending passages would be removed. The second edition would be – he stated before its release – rewritten to the point where it would he “unrecognizable.”[139]Der Spiegel, April 9, 1979. Diwald, aware that his book could face a total ban and that he himself could be prosecuted for his ‘crime’ or dismissed from his chair at the university, dutifully agreed to Springer’s demands and rewrote the offending pages. The role of academic martyr was one that he did not wish to play.[140]For Diwald’s attitude towards his acquiescence, see an interview with him published in the Austrian student magazine, Die Aula, Number 3, 1980, pp. 9-10.

Although we have focused our analysis of German Holocaust Revisionism on the works of Christophersen, Stäglich and Diwald, one point needs to be made before our focus moves to the more noteworthy Revisionist works in English: these German works were the most important and influential Holocaust Revisionist publications in Germany up until the late 1970s (hence the lengthy discussions of them), but they were by no means the only such publications. Very briefly we will look at one or two others.

In the late 1960s Dr. Franz J. Scheidl, an academic with three Ph.Ds (in Law, Philosophy and Political Science) self-published in Vienna a series of five volumes entitled Geschichte der Verfemung Deutschlands (“History of Germany’s Defamation”). In several of these volumes the author attempted to prove that the Holocaust was exaggerated and that the Jews themselves were responsible for much of their wartime suffering. Perhaps because of their limited publication runs, these volumes have had very little influence in shaping historical opinion, Revisionist or orthodox, and do not appear in the bibliographies of any Revisionist works published after the late 1970s.

In the early-1970s Emil Aretz published a small and tendentious book entitled Hexen-EinmalEins einer Lüge (“The Witches’ Multiplication Table is a Lie”), which underwent three printings. The most widely circulated edition was the third, published in 1973.[141]E. Aretz, Hexen-Ein-Maleins einer Lüge (Pähl/Obb: Verlag Hohe Warte – Franz von Bebenburg KG, 1973). Aretz apparently based the very unusual title on Scene VI of Goethe’s magnificent Faust, in which a witch was observed by Faust and Mephistopheles to be juggling figures in an abominable fashion; the inference being that the Jews have done likewise in calculating their wartime fatality totals. Aretz was no stranger to Holocaust Revisionism, and had been publishing Revisionist articles since the early 1960s; Cf. “Das fragwürdige Auschwitz”, Der Quell, Issue 9, 1961. Although Aretz provided a slight amount of fresh evidence, his book appears to have been heavily based on the writings of Paul Rassinier, and failed to take the debate further.

Pamphlets and small booklets, similar in many ways to the shoddy American pamphlets mentioned above, also began circulating in Germany at this time.[142]Cf. Was geschah nach 1945? (1972); Wieso waren wir Väter Verbrecher? (1972); Was hätten wir Väter wissen müssen? (1973); et al. (all self-published). Many of them can be traced to Heinz Roth, a German nationalist. Roth argued soberly that Germany was not solely responsibility for the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, that not only Germany committed war crimes of enormous proportions, and that the Allied nations had no right to continue occupying a vanquished and divided Germany so long after the war. Yet his arguments against the verity of Holocaust orthodoxy, which were partly based on unreliable and often incorrect secondary sources, were much less convincing. Aside from Stäglich, who also frequently cited Scheidl, few Revisionist historians in the last fifteen or so years have cited or quoted Roth’s booklets.

Mention should also be made of Udo Walendy, a graduate of the Institute for Advanced Political Studies in Berlin and a prolific and talented writer with a long history of involvement in right-wing, nationalistic organizations. For example, Walendy became an active member of the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD) after its founding in November 1964, and within a year had gained a position on the party’s executive committee. Considered to be an intellectual and the rising star of NPD, he was often lauded in the party’s newspaper, Deutsche Nachrichten.[143]Cf. an interview with Walendy, in which he is called a “brave young historian”, Deutsche Nachrichten, February 17, 1967.

Between 1964 and the time of writing (February 1993), Walendy had penned over two dozen books or booklets, almost exclusively on aspects of the Second World War and the Holocaust. However, for the purposes of the present discussion only his major works up to the mid-1970s will be discussed, with an analysis of several of his later works being included in a germane section below. In 1964 he published his first book, Wahrheit für Deutschland – Die Schuldfrage des Zweiten Weltkriegs (“Truth for Germany – The Guilt Question of the Second World War”)[144]Vlotho/Weser: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1964., which was very well received and even ordered by the West German Foreign Office as a reference work for its embassies around the world. In 1966 and 1967 his two volume Europa in Flammen, 1939-1945 (“Europe in Flames, 1939-1945″)[145]Vlotho/Weser: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, (Vol. I) 1966; (Vol. II) 1967. was published, in which over 150 pages were devoted to the treatment of Jews during the Nazi regime. His arguments contained therein, although tenable and well argued, largely replicated those of his Revisionist precursors, notably Paul Rassinier and David Hoggan.

In 1973 he published Bild-”Dokumente” für die Geschichtsschreibung ?[146]Vlotho/Weser: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1973. The 1979 English edition was by the same publisher., later printed in English with the title: Forged War Crimes Malign the German Nation. Whereas many of Walendy’s books are plausible if unremarkable, this 80-page book is amongst the more convincing Revisionist works of the period, in that parts of it seem quite irrefutable. The book’s thesis is that many of the published Holocaust atrocity photographs, many allegedly taken by the Allies when they overran Nazi concentration camps, are complete forgeries or genuine photographs that have been altered or retouched to appear incriminating.

To support that thesis, Walendy presented a lengthy series of the more famous examples of photographic proof of the Holocaust, stated what publications the photos were published in, and then enlarged sections of them to reveal what he claimed was evidence of forgery. In some of the photos the forgery seems obvious; in a very clear magnification, for instance, of a photograph of a corpse lying amongst others on an open railroad wagon, one can clearly see that the careless forger had apparently drawn only three fingers on the corpse’s right hand.[147]Bild-”Dokumente” für die Geschichtsschreibung?, p. 54. The clearly altered photograph had been published on page 345 of R. Schnabel’ s book Macht ohne Moral – Eine Dokumentation über die SS (Frankfurt/Main: Röderberg-Verlag GmbH, 1957), with the following caption: “Corpses of prisoners in a goods truck of a transport train from the CC-Sachsenhausen to CC-Dachau.”

In another photograph, allegedly taken in Mauthausen on liberation day, three rows of emaciated men are standing in front of a wooden fence and directly behind a large pile of equally emaciated cadavers, which obscures their feet and much of the foreground. This horrific photograph was presented by the prosecution as evidence at the International Military Tribunal, and has also been reproduced in several books on the Holocaust.[148]Ibid., p. 74. The photograph was published in IMT, Volume XXX, p. 421, and shortly before in Eugene Aroneanu, Konzentrationslager – Ein Tatsachenbericht über die an der Menschheit begangenen Verbrechen, Doc. F321 for the “International Court of Justice” in Nürnberg; also in R. Schnabel, Macht ohne Moral, p.341; et al.
(Bild-”Dokumente” für die Geschichtsschreibung?, p. 54. The clearly altered photograph had been published on page 345 of R. Schnabel’ s book Macht ohne Moral – Eine Dokumentation über die SS (Frankfurt/Main: Röderberg-Verlag GmbH, 1957), with the following caption: “Corpses of prisoners in a goods truck of a transport train from the CC-Sachsenhausen to CC-Dachau.”)
However, Walendy placed beside it a different version of the same photograph – only in this one the fence is not present, nor (more importantly) is the pile of corpses. Indeed, because the legs and feet of the standing men are shown in the second photograph (proving it is the original), there is no alternative but to conclude that the first photograph was faked, a photo-montage. A photograph of corpses was superimposed onto the photograph of the standing men.

Walendy published a famous photograph, reproduced in numerous books, of many corpses being burnt at Birkenau in the open air. It was allegedly taken from the door of the gas chamber in Krema IV by an internee named David Szmulewski. Walendy argued that this photo was falsified in a similar way[149]Ibid., pp. 38-39. The original photograph is listed at the Panstwowe Muzeum Oswiecim (PMO) as photographic negative number 281. It has been reproduced as evidence of the gassing process in numerous books, including G Schönberner, Der Gelbe Stern – Die Juden-Verfolgung in Europa 1933-1945 (Hamburg: Rütten und Löning Verlag, 1960), and its 1969 English translation, The Yellow Star: Persecution of the Jews in Europe, 1933-1945 (London: Corgi, n.d.); Adler, Langbein, and Lingens-Reiner, Auschwitz: Zeugnisse und Berichte (Frankfurt/Main: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 1962); SS-Henker und ihre Opfer (Vienna: Internationale Föderation der Widerstandskämpfer, 1965); J-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers (New York: Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1989); D. Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle: 1939-1945 (London/New York: l. B. Taurus & Co., Ltd., 1990); et al.
(Bild-”Dokumente” für die Geschichtsschreibung?, p. 54. The clearly altered photograph had been published on page 345 of R. Schnabel’ s book Macht ohne Moral – Eine Dokumentation über die SS (Frankfurt/Main: Röderberg-Verlag GmbH, 1957), with the following caption: “Corpses of prisoners in a goods truck of a transport train from the CC-Sachsenhausen to CC-Dachau.”)
A magnification of the cadavers does indeed reveal that at least some of them appear to have been drawn, and not even very accurately. The anatomical irregularities – which could not be actual physical deformities – of one ‘corpse’ are so physically impossible that the figure scarcely looks human.

Nonetheless, in many other photographs in Walendy’s book the present writer was unable to see signs of alteration or falsification, despite the author’s detailed and specific commentary, which actually contains in places several specious arguments. The only evidence Walendy offered, for example, that some photographs had been falsified or retouched were the slight anatomical oddities of some of the figures contained therein. If a person in a photograph had legs or arms too long for his body, Walendy would conclude that the person must have been drawn in. This disregards the obvious fact that many people do have unusually long or short legs or arms.

In all, Walendy analysed fifty-one different photographs (a small percentage of those published in books on the Holocaust), and in many cases other than those already mentioned one is forced by the weight of evidence to conclude that they had been altered or falsified. Walendy cautiously chose not to state whom he thought the forgers were, or even why in his opinion they had altered or falsified the photographs. Hence, despite several weaknesses, there is nothing in the book that could be identified as neo-Nazi, racist or anti-Semitic. Indeed, this provocative book is useful for historians in that it raises valid questions about the nature of photographic evidence, and casts some doubt on the usefulness of photographs as ‘proof for various claims.

It has thus been shown that up until the mid-1970s, Holocaust Revisionism was predominantly a European phenomenon which had its genesis in the French writings of Rassinier, who remained its most prominent figure until his death in 1967. In the late 1960s and the first half of the 1970s, several German Revisionists strode to the forefront – notably Christophersen, Stäglich and Walendy – bringing their theses to the attention of the German-speaking public, which reacted with the same outrage as had the French public to Rassinier’s books. Nonetheless, until 1974 the only Holocaust Revisionists publications in English were those already mentioned – by Marschalko, Hoggan and App – plus a few pages here and there in books on international politics and economics by politically conservative authors[150]J. Beaty, The Iron Curtain Over America (Los Angeles, The Noontide Press, 1951), et al., and an unusual booklet written by an Australian Nazi, which was essentially a poor reworking of Rassinier’s early writings.[151]E. Cawthron, The Big Lie: Six Million Murdered Jews (Fyshwick: The History Research Unit, Unity Publishers, c. 1970). Cawthron was then one of Australia’s leading Nazis and the editor of the Australian National Socialist Journal. His Revisionist booklet opened with these nasty words: “Whenever you see or hear a Jew teaching, do not think otherwise than that you are hearing a poisonous basilisk who with his face poisons and kills people … be on your guard against them.” Interestingly, Cawthron had an outstanding academic career, gaining a B.Sc with first class honours at the University of Adelaide in 1963 and being awarded a Ph.D in 1970. Cf. Harcourt D., Everyone Wants to be Führer: National Socialism in Australia and New Zealand (Melbourne: Angus and Robertson. 1972), pp. 143-144. Holocaust Revisionism made virtually no impact in the English-speaking world.

Harwood and Butz

This state of affairs changed dramatically in early 1974 with the publication and wide distribution of Did Six Million Really Die? The Truth At Last[152]Richmond, Surrey: Historical Review Press, 1974., a 28 page, magazine-format booklet written by an Englishman under the name of Richard Harwood. According to a slender biographical note on the last page, the author was:

a writer and specialist in political and diplomatic aspects of the Second World War. At present he is with the University of London. Mr. Harwood turned to the vexed subject of war crimes under the influence of Professor Paul Rassinier, to whose monumental work this little volume is greatly indebted. The author is now working on a sequel in this series on the main Nuremberg Trial. 1945-1946.

Indeed, the influence of Rassinier on this “specialist” is apparent; this thin Revisionist booklet is essentially a condensation of the Frenchman’s main writings (almost to the point of plagiarism), combined with some commentary on Christophersen’s experiences at Auschwitz and on Walendy’s work on photographic fraud. Because almost, nothing within the book is original, a discussion of the contents would he superfluous, suffice to say that Harwood had combined the weightiest arguments of the above-named Revisionists to form a well-written but journalistic introduction to the (early-1970s) Revisionist position on the Holocaust, touching on most important topics and lines of argument.

In November 1974 British public reaction to Did Six Million Really Die? changed in a flash from smouldering displeasure into a blistering inferno of anger and opposition: the ‘accelerant’ being an article by Colin Wilson, a popular British author and well known personality, in that month’s issue of Books and Bookmen. After reviewing two books on Adolf Hitler, Wilson, unaware of the reaction it would cause, provided a brief critique of Harwood’s booklet, which he described in quite laudatory terms.[153]C. Wilson, “The Fuehrer in Perspective”, Books and Bookmen, November 1974, pp. 28-31.

Wilson wrote that whilst he expected “a piece of violent antisemitic propaganda” the booklet actually contained no overtly anti-Semitic or racist statements. Rather, it was written in a “reasonable and logical” tone. He also stated that he considered it correct of Harwood to demand evidence for the horrific events that allegedly occurred (“Is there, then, any reason why we should be afraid to dig down until we get to the truth?”) and to submit all such evidence to a systematic and impartial investigation. Whilst he did not deny that many Jewish people perished, Wilson then intimated that the Nazis may not have murdered “six million” Jews, and asked whether perhaps the claim that they did is “another sign of the emotional historical distortions that makes nearly all the books on Hitler so far almost worthless?”[154]Ibid., p. 31.
(C. Wilson, “The Fuehrer in Perspective”, Books and Bookmen, November 1974, pp. 28-31.)

The reaction to Wilson ‘s review of Harwood’s booklet was phenomenal. The editors of Books and Bookmen were deluged with letters from outraged readers and were still publishing them six months later. Undiluted vitriol flowed from the pens of almost all of these letter writers.

For example, in the April 1975 issue appeared a letter by Dr. R. Wistrich which began:

I was appalled to see Mr. Colin Wilson lending respectability to Richard Harwood’s hideous whitewash of Nazism – Did Six Million Really Die? … The grotesque inaccuracy of Mr. Harwood’s pamphlet is only matched by the mind-boggling spectacle of a well-known author praising its reasonable and logical tone … Why does Colin Wilson go to the lunatic fringe for his information, especially on a matter like this? … What Mr. Wilson has done is to turn the Nazis into innocent victims of a devilish Jewish conspiracy, which invented a fictional holocaust. Is there any assertion which could be more patently sick, perverted and evil, yet Colin Wilson finds it all reasonable and logical.[155]Books and Bookmen, April 1975, pp. 7-8. Wilson had not mentioned a Jewish conspiracy.

A similar letter from the next issue reads in part:

To our knowledge, no intellectual of any standing in Germany, France, Britain or the United States has publicly associated himself with this Goebbelsian lie until Colin Wilson’s defence of it in the columns of Books and Bookmen. Nor are we aware of any periodical or newspaper that is not openly propagating Neo-Nazi ideas or ever providing a forum for Neo-Nazi propaganda. It is therefore with a feeling of disbelief and horror that we find books and bookmen, a publication that would be the first to suffer in a Hitlerian regime, provide a forum for brazen and cynical propaganda aimed at whitewashing Hitler and the Third Reich.[156]Letter signed by R. Ainsztein, T. Allen, Philip Jacobson, Sydney Jacobson, Phillip Knightley, Alan Sillitoe, in Books and Bookmen, May 1975, p. 5.

It was possibly hypocritical of the writers of that letter to intimate that fascist censorship of literature and literary appreciation is very wrong whilst they themselves condemned the editors of Books & Bookmen – an apolitical, areligious, and unationalistic literary guidance magazine – for publishing a review of a book that they personally felt to be objectionable.

However that letter, like many others, debated several points made by Harwood and provided evidence that his booklet contained a myriad of errors, such as attributing to the founder of political Zionism, Theodore Herzl (in his 1896 The Jewish State), the conception of Madagascar as a national homeland for the Jewish people. [157 Harwood had continued by insisting that Herzl's plans for that already inhabited island "had been a main plank of the National Socialist party platform before 1933.[158]Ibid., p. 3.
(Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 3.)
It was correctly pointed out in several letters that Herzl had not mentioned Madagascar as a possible Jewish homeland in The Jewish State or any other publication.[159]An English translation of The Jewish State can be found in A. Hertzberg, (ed.), The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader (New York: A Temple Book, Atheneum, 1951), pp. 204-226. Madagascar is not mentioned. Finally, the possibility of expelling Jews to Madagascar was not seriously investigated by the Nazi government until 1940, and was certainly not considered “a main plank” of the party platform even in that year.[160]Cf. C. R. Browning, “Nazi Resettlement Policy and the Search for a Solution to the Jewish Question, 1939- 1941″. German Studies Review, Volume 9 (1986), pp. 497-519 (esp. pp. 511-12).

Another of the many errors pointed out was Harwood’s misquoting of Benedikt Kautsky, an Austrian Socialist Jew who, according to Harwood, is supposed to have written on pages 272-3 of his book Teufel und Verdammte (Devil and Damned, Zurich 1946) that “I was in the big concentration camps [including Auschwitz]. However. I must establish the truth that in no camp at any time did I come across such an installation as a gas chamber”[161]Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 14.. In actual fact, what Kautsky wrote on those pages was: “I should like to include here a brief mention of the gas chambers. Although I did not see them myself, they were described to me by so many different people in a credible fashion that I have no hesitation in rendering the description herein.” The difference between Harwood’s quote and the original text are obvious. This inexcusable error exemplifies the Englishman’s overall low standard of scholarship.

Despite the seriousness of the error it would appear, nonetheless, that Harwood did not intend to deceive his readers by misquoting Kautsky. In fact, he had probably never seen a copy of Teufel und Verdammte, and copied the incorrect Kautsky quote from the aforementioned book by Thies Christophersen, who had himself copied it from the books of earlier Revisionists who were responsible for the original misquoting.[162]The incorrect quotation appeared in T. Christophersen, Die Auschwitz Lüge, p. 5. Christophersen probably copied it from Heinz Roth, who quoted this alleged statement by Kautsky repeatedly in his books and booklets, or from Franz Scheidl, who made the same error in Geschichte der Verfemung Deutschlands, Volume IV, p. 53. On several other occasions Harwood made similar errors – copying quotations from secondary sources without actually seeing the originals. For example, he repeated the error Rassinier made in stating that Raphael Lemkin, in his 1943 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, made “the first accusation against the Germans of the mass murder of Jews in war-time Europe”.[163]Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 7. Also see above, p. 39. Previous to Lemkin’s book there was, for example, the Joint Allied Declaration of December 17, 1942, which accused the “German authorities” of conducting a “bestial policy of coldblooded extermination” of Europe’s Jews. The Declaration, signed by eleven nations, was read in the British House of Commons and published worldwide in newspapers. Cf. The New York Times, December 18, 1942, pp. 1 and 10. Although the, errors (which do not in all cases affect his central thesis) indicate that the scholarship of Harwood and several previous Revisionist pioneers was very poor in places, they do not necessarily indicate malice or deliberate falsification of evidence.

After the first attacks on Wilson’s intellectual freedom and integrity appeared in Books and Bookmen, Wilson felt a need to defend himself against the charges of neo-Nazism and anti-Semitism, and he accordingly published a letter of defence in the February 1975 issue. Insisting again that the Holocaust was not a sacrosanct subject, but an alleged historical event that should be studied without bias or fear of persecution, he countered the defamatory allegations that he was anti-Semitic or neo-fascist by writing “Now although I am certainly anti-Nazi, and in no sense anti-Jewish, I am, with all my instincts, deeply pro ‘objectivity’.[164]Letter from Wilson in Books and Bookmen, February 1975, p. 6.

His claims of “objectivity”, however, did not appease the offended letter writers. Even Simon Wiesenthal entered the war of words with a letter that appeared in the April 1975 issue of Books and Bookmen. It was in that short letter that he made his widely-quoted concession that “there were no extermination camps on German soil”.[165]Letter from Wiesenthal, Books and Bookmen, April 1975, p. 5.

One fact pointed out in most letters to the magazine was that Historical Review Press, the publishers of Harwood’s booklet, had direct links to the National Front, a very right-wing British political party with pronounced pro-white, anti-immigration views. That ‘discovery’ was actually made (many months before Wilson chose to review Harwood’s booklet) by Andrew Fyall of The Daily Express in a highly critical expose of Harwood that appeared in that newspaper on June 17, 1974. Fyall had visited the publisher’s address, only to find that it was just a forwarding address. Its absentee landlord was Robin Beauclair, an associate of the National Front, who allegedly stated (according to Fyall) that “The story of six million Jews being slaughtered is a total myth. Our purpose is to sweep aside all the Jewish propaganda of the past”. The Daily Express article also noted that whilst Harwood claimed to be “at present with the University of London”, that University had never heard of him.[166]The University of London similarly told the present writer that “Richard Harwood is not, and never has been, associated with the University of London in any capacity.” Letter from H. Kneeshaw, University Information Officer, dated December 5. 1989.

Indeed, as was later brought to light and widely publicised in an attempt to discredit him[167]Cf. Searchlight, Issue 31, p. 4: Patterns of Prejudice, September/October 1977, p. 19; C. C. Aronsfeld, “Debauchers of the Truth: How the Facts of the Holocaust Are Distorted”, Jewish Frontier, June/July, 1978, pp. 9-13; New Statesman, September 7, 1979, October 5, 1979. November 2, 1979, July 17, 1981; L. Dawidowicz, “Lies About the Holocaust”, Commentary, p. 34; et al., “Richard Harwood” was a pseudonym used by Richard Verrall, a British journalist with connections to far right political organizations, who became – in February 1976 – the editor of the National Front’s newspaper, Spearhead. Whereas Mark Weber (one of the most outstanding Revisionist Historians in the United States) testified at the 1988 trial of Ernst Zündel[168]Zündel is a German-Canadian Revisionist who was charged with violating Canada’s ‘false news’ laws by publishing his own edition of Harwood’s booklet. He was tried and convicted in 1985, but in 1987 Ontario’s Court of Appeal ordered a re-trial. He was retried in 1988 and was again convicted. In 1990 the Court of Appeal rejected his petition. He took his case to the Supreme Court of Canada, which in August 1992, much to the horror of Canadian Jewry which had been seeking Zündel’s imprisonment or deportation back to Germany, struck down as unconstitutional the ‘false news’ law. Zündel’s legal battles, which he finally won after more than a decade, attracted international media attention. Rather than Zündel being on trial, it was almost as if the Holocaust itself was on trial. Revisionist historians, including Robert Faurisson, David Irving and Mark Weber, appeared for the defence and challenged the accuracy of accepted opinion on the Holocaust. Orthodox historians, notably Raul Hilberg and Christopher Browning, appeared for the prosecution and defended accepted opinion. that Verrall had graduated from the University of London with high honours[169]Cf. SZTR, 23-5725., the university informed the present writer that they had no record of him either teaching or studying there.[170]“… there is no trace in the records of the university of an individual with the surname Verrall being, or having been, associated with the University of London in any capacity.” Letter from H. Kneeshaw, dated January 8, 1990.

Notwithstanding, Harwood’s theses should not be automatically disregarded because his political views are offensive to many. His theses should be studied and judged according to their merits or demerits, and refuted, if possible, in a thoughtful and scholarly manner. Few of Harwood’s opponents[171]The present writer recognises the author’s right to use a pseudonym, regardless of the reason, and when discussing his booklet and reactions to it, will refer to him by the name Harwood., however, have shared these views. Instead, since the publisher’s connections to the National Front were revealed in 1974 (even before Harwood’s identity became known) his opponents have maligned him repeatedly for his alleged “Nazism”, pointing out many of his minor errors, but not attempting seriously to disprove his principal theses.[172]One of the first such articles was “Harwood’s Distortion of Holocaust Facts”, Patterns of Prejudice, May/June 1975, pp. 25-27. Cf. also the publications listed in footnote 167.

The furor over his booklet was not limited to magazines, journals and academic circles. Almost as soon as it was published it became an underground ‘best seller’, causing Jewish organizations and disturbed and angry individuals – even some former concentration camp internees – to express their disgust publicly, such as by writing letters to Members of Parliament (who had each, incidentally, been sent a free copy by the author) and to the editors of local newspapers.[173]To list just a few from one newspaper, cf. The Daily Telegraph, December 17, 1974, December 30, 1974, January 30, 1975, February 26, 1975. Regardless – or perhaps because – of the public controversy, the distribution of the booklet could not be stopped. By November 1979 hundreds of thousands of copies had reportedly been distributed in forty countries[174]Gitta Sereny quoted Robin Beauclair giving the figure of “almost a million” copies distributed before November 1979, in her article “The Men Who Whitewash Hitler”, New Statesman, November 2, 1979, p. 670., and in languages including Spanish, Dutch, Flemish, Swedish, Finnish, French, German and Polish.

In Britain, after copies of Did Six Million Really Die? were posted to the heads of history departments and libraries, the Jewish Board of Deputies sent out a warning to every educational authority in the nation about the booklet’s contents. Even the Under-Secretary for Education considered it necessary to involve himself in the controversy, condemning the booklet in Parliament. However, despite pressure from Jewish organizations, no legal action was taken in England to prevent the further publication and distribution of the booklet, because of the limitations of the now replaced Race Relations Act 1965, and because Sam Silkin, the Attorney General, insisted that a legal prosecution would only provide “undesirable publicity for the author’s unsavoury views”.[175]Quoted in the Jewish Chronicle (London), October 2, 1974.

In South Africa the popularity of the booklet prompted the very worried South African Jewish Board of Deputies to seek to have it prohibited in that nation. In late 1976 the South African government agreed that the booklet was “harmful”, and placed a total ban on it. The Board of Jewish Deputies was not propped to rest at that, and a year later published a book that purported to refute Harwood’s theses: Six Million Did Die: The Truth Shall Prevail, by Arthur Suzman and Denis Diamond.[176]A. Suzman and D. Diamond, Six Million Did Die: The Truth Shall Prevail (Johannesburg: Committee of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, 1977). Another year later a second edition of this work was published.

This 139-page, illustrated book is to date the most detailed critique of Harwood’s booklet, and superficially appears to be well researched and written. Almost all of the Englishman’s errors were correctly pointed out, as they were by his previous detractors. However, when the book is carefully analysed it becomes obvious that the level of the authors’ own scholarship is low. Many of their arguments in defence of accepted opinion on the Holocaust are weak and unsustainable. To provide just a few examples: they repeated the now-discredited testimony of Rudolf Vrba, a former Auschwitz internee who stated that he personally counted the number of Jews gassed at that camp to he 1.750,000 – of which 150,000 were French Jews. It is now accepted, however, that only 75,781 Jews were deported from France to all camps, very many of whom survived the war. They also quoted at length Nuremberg Document 3311-PS which states that the Germans murdered Jews en masse at Treblinka not in gas chambers, as is now stated by historians, but by steaming them to death in thirteen “steam chambers”. For many years no reputable historian has believed this strange tale, yet Suzman and Diamond presented it as factual. They also insisted – and presented as evidence testimonies that have long been discredited – that mass gassings occurred at camps where it is agreed by more cautious historians that no people were killed in gas chambers, such as Dachau. One must concede that, all in all, the well-intended book has almost no value as historical evidence and does not warrant a more detailed analysis.

In 1978 another Revisionist booklet – Nuremberg and Other War Crimes Trials[177]Southam, Warks: Historical Review Press, 1978. Mark Weber told the present writer (letter and notes, dated 2 August 1992) that, as he recalled, “the real author of this 2nd “Harwood” booklet was really David McCalden.” For McCalden, see below, pp. 147-149. – appeared under Harwood’s name. which caused further controversy in Britain. This 70-page booklet, however, whilst briefly touching on the subject of the alleged genocide of Jews, deals primarily [with] the cases of the main defendants at the International Military Tribunal and subsequent war crimes trials, including that of Eichmann in 1961. As large sections of this booklet appear to have been copied from The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, a critique at this point is unnecessary.

Before our analysis moves from Harwood, another relevant point could be made. Although Richard Verrall was the first to use the pseudonym ‘Richard Harwood’, several other Revisionists in the late 1970s – Udo Walendy in particular also adopted that pseudonym to publish their books under. They knew that the large circulation of Did Six Million Really Die? guaranteed them a more receptive market for their publications. For instance, under that pseudonym Walendy published in 1977 his Der Nürnberger Prozess – Methoden und Bedeutung (“The Nuremberg Trials: Methods and Significance”)[178]R. Harwood, Der Nürnberger Prozess – Methoden und Bedeutung (Vlotho/Weser: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1977)., a critical study of the International Military Tribunal and of the text of Herman Göring’s purported letter to Winston Churchill written shortly before the former’s suicide. This booklet by Walendy had the additional subtitle of Historische Tatsache Nr. 3 (Historical Fact No. 3), obviously intended to make it appear as if it is part of the same series as Harwood’s Did Six Million Really Die?, which carried the subtitle “Historical Fact No. 1″. Indeed, Walendy has written approximately three dozen books in the Historische Tatsache series, under his own name, many of them dealing with aspects of accepted opinion on the Holocaust.[179]Some of the early works in the “series” that are directly relevant to this study are: U. Walendy, Die Methoden der Umerziehung (Richmond, Surrey: Historical Review Press, 1976), 1979, English translation: The Methods of Reeducation (Vlotho/Weser: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1979) The following were all published by Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, Vlotho/ Weser: – Der Verrat an Osteuropa (Nr. 3), published 1977, U. Walendy, and W. Stäglich, NS-Bewältigung – Deutsche Schreibtischtäter (Nr. 5), published 1979, U. Walendy, Der moderne Index (Nr. 7), published 1980 – , Holocaust nun unterirdisch? (“Holocaust Now Underground?”) (Nr. 9), published 1981. This book analyses some of the aerial photographs of Auschwitz released by the CIA in 1979. See above, p. 60 n. 124. Udo Walendy has also published at least one book that is not in the series, namely Auschwitz im IG Farben Prozess – Holocaust-”Dokumente”? (“Auschwitz in the I.G. Farben Trial”) (Vlotho/ Weser: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1979), a central point of which is that none of the engineers who worked at the immense Farben plant at Auschwitz heard of Jewish exterminations before May 1945. Walendy’s booklets were, and continue to be, widely circulated in German speaking nations. There Holocaust Revisionism is growing in acceptance, partly due to the efforts of Walendy, Stäglich, Christophersen and other Revisionists, but also to the efforts of several nationalistic newspapers and journals, including Deutsche National Zeitung and Nation Europa, which have chosen to champion Revisionism despite the risks of prosecution.

The cost of this growth in popularity, however, was the increased effort of the West German government to curtail it. More and more Revisionists were routinely slandered as Nazis and, even worse, anti-Semites. Increasingly more Revisionist works were placed – as had been Stäglich’s – on the ‘index’ of the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Schriften, thereby essentially robbing citizens of their right to form intellectually independent views on a period of their recent history. These books included the German translations of Harwood’s Did Six Million Really Die? (“Starben Wirklich Sechs Millionen?”) and Professor Arthur Butz’s The Hoax of the Twentieth Century[180]A. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (Ladbroke, Warwickshire: Historical Review Press, 1976). Published in German as Der Jahrhundert-Betrug (Vlotho/Weser: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1977). First United States edition by Noontide Press, Torrance, 1978. All references herein to Butz’s book will be, unless otherwise indicated, from the seventh U.S. printing (Costa Mesa: Institute for Historical Review, 1985). (‘indexed’ in late 1978), and Udo Walendy’s 1964 Wahrheit für Deutschland (‘indexed’ in 1979).

The publication in 1976 of The Hoax of the Twentieth Century created a controversy in the United States rivaling that caused by Harwood’s in England over two years earlier, raising Butz to national notoriety. The author was and is still Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. His book is without doubt the most carefully researched and argued single work of Holocaust Revisionism and, as noted above, forms one ‘testament’ of the Revisionist bible (the other being Stäglich’s The Auschwitz Myth). Due to the weight of the arguments contained within these two publications, they will be discussed in a separate chapter below.

The Hoax of the Twentieth Century was initially published in Britain in May 1976, more than a year before its first American publication. The publisher was the aforementioned Historical Review Press (the nationalistic publishing house connected to the National Front), which had its printing done by the Brighton-based firm of Tony Hancock. Not only did the “Hancock family” – as detractors described this business – print Harwood’s booklets, but they also printed Spearhead, the magazine then edited by Richard Verrall[181]Spearhead, although not the most widely read of the National Front publications, had substantial ideological significance within the ranks of the party. It expounded a Revisionist position on most modern events and epochs, especially the Second World War, and – particularly in the late 1970s and early 1980s – endorsed a Revisionist position on the Holocaust. To give just a few examples: Spearhead 80 referred to the “six million Jew myth” which “the propaganda machines have seemingly embedded into the world conscience” (p. 15). Butz’s book was reviewed in very laudatory terms in Spearhead 95, and in issue 108 Butz was interviewed at length., and numerous other right-wing publications. John Kingsley Reed, an ex-chairman of the National Front who personally designed the original cover of Butz’s book (showing a swastika bisecting a star of David) and was involved in at least some of its initial distribution, later stated that a copy of the book was sent to every member of the British House of Commons, the money for the printing and posting – “roughly about £2-3,000″ – coming from “an Arab source”.[182]Interviewed on The Other Face of Terror (Belboa Film Productions, 1984). See below, p. 285 ff.

This does not necessarily mean, of course, that Butz himself possessed a fascist or anti-Semitic ideology, shared the political views of his book’s publishers, or endorsed the activities of Reed and his associates (such as sending copies to MPs). The far-right publisher was not, it would seem, his first choice. The New York Times quoted him as stating: “I had trouble finding a publisher for it, and finally went to Britain to the Historical Review Press in Richmond after I found out they had published a pamphlet entitled ‘Did Six Million Really Die?’[183]S. S. King, “Professor Causes Furor by Saying Nazi Slaying of Jews Is a Myth”, New York Times, January 28, 1977, p. A10. Yet even if Butz was a fascist and anti-Semite, his sophisticated, seriously presented and meticulously documented arguments would still have to be investigated in a dispassionate, scholarly manner before his work could be discounted.

In Britain The Hoax of the Twentieth Century was treated by the public with the same disgust as had been Harwood’s booklet, with angry letters being written and Jewish groups protesting at the publication of this latest example of “anti-Semitism” and “hate literature”. The London-based Institute of Jewish Affairs (an agency of the World Jewish Congress) published a disparaging article on the book in the November-December 1976 issue of Patterns of Prejudice, its journal devoted to the themes of multiculturalism, racism and anti-Semitism. Butz’s book was also discussed in the aforementioned South African publication, Six Million Did Die, although the Jewish authors were clearly unable to refute his arguments as easily as they had Harwood’s. Butz traveled extensively to promote The Hoax, including a European tour in 1977 which was partly sponsored by the nationalistic German organization, Deutsche Volksunion (DVU) [184, which arranged several speaking engagements for him. Early in the same year the (Deutsche) National Zeitung, the DVU's widely circulated weekly newspaper, serialized portions of Butz's book over several successive issues.[185]For example, see “Der Schwindel des 20. Jahrhunderts: Das Ende der 6-Millionen-Lüge, von Prof. Dr. Arthur R. Butz” (“The Hoax of the 20th century; the end of the six million lie”), National Zeitung February 18, 1977, et al.

However, it was in the United States that the ‘Butz affair’ was most prominent, particularly after the Daily Northwestern, the campus paper of Northwestern University (where Butz taught), published in January 1977 an expose of Butz’s book, which had not yet even been published in that country. The campus newspaper article was based on an article that had appeared in the Jerusalem Post. Its appearance caused a flood of letters from students and faculty members, almost all of them sharply critical of the beleaguered professor and accusing him of anti-Semitism. Many even demanded his resignation. Petitions were circulated and signed by many students, faculty members and others, demanding that the university administration – which was highly embarrassed to discover that its professor of electrical engineering had written such a book – take disciplinary action against Butz. The furor was reported nationwide, and featured in an article in the influential New York Times, which inaccurately referred to the book as “The Fabrication of a Hoax.”[186]S. S. King, S. S., “Professor Causes Furor”. Raymond W. Mack, the university provost, was quoted in that article as stating that he agreed with students and colleagues who believed that Butz’s book had constituted a “contemptible insult to the dead and the bereaved.” Further, he stated that under the First Amendment Butz had the right to publish his book, but lamented that “its a shame when that right is used to insult survivors of concentration camps.”

It is clear, however, that at least in the early days of this controversy very few of the outraged people, including university administrators (to their discredit), had even seen a copy of Butz’s book, instead relying entirely on hearsay evidence. This suggests that they considered any challenge to accepted opinion on the Holocaust to be anti-Semitic and unacceptable. One example of this is a letter in the New York Times by a Professor Wolfe of New York University, who, displaying a total disregard for intellectual freedom, declared that Northwestern University should bring Butz up on charges of “moral turpitude” and “academic incompetence” for daring to write such a horrendous book as “Fabrication of a Hoax”.[187]New York Times, February 4, 1977, p.A22. If Wolfe had ever seen a copy of Butz’s book, he would have known that the title was The Hoax of the Twentieth Century. Obviously he had read the New York Times article of January 28, which had erroneously referred to the book as “Fabrication of a Hoax”, and had not seen the book itself. Thus, his own “academic incompetence” sadly became apparent.

The result of the controversy, which continued for several months, was a decision by the academic authorities at Northwestern University not to initiate proceedings against Butz. However, they did issue public statements denouncing his book and distancing themselves from any anti-Semitism. They also decided – partly to appease “Jewish contributors [who] threatened to withhold their financial support”[188]The quote is from Lucy S. Dawidowicz, “Lies About the Holocaust”, Commentary, p. 34. – to sponsor a series of lectures entitled “Dimensions of the Holocaust”, which presented accepted opinion on that event. Those lectures, “delivered by three Jews and a philo-Semite”[189]Ibid., p. 34. Dawidowicz was one of the three Jewish lecturers. Elie Wiesel, the ‘heavyweight champion’ of Holocaust orthodoxy, was another.
(The quote is from Lucy S. Dawidowicz, “Lies About the Holocaust”, Commentary, p. 34.)
, were organized by the history department of the university and the (Jewish) Hillel Foundation. The latter organization also sponsored a full page statement condemning Butz and his book, which was published in the Daily Northwestern.[190]Daily Northwestern, March 30, 1977, p. 5. This statement was signed by approximately half the university faculty, which can only be considered a disgrace in the light of the fact that almost none of them had seen a copy of the book or even read excerpts.

The controversy gradually died down, although the Revisionist professor has continued to exercise his right to express his views on the Holocaust, both at Northwestern university and elsewhere. An interesting offshoot of the ‘Butz affair’ was the furor that erupted in Australia in February 1979. It was discovered that John Bennett, a civil rights lawyer and secretary of the reputable Victorian Council for Civil Liberties, had sent to several academics in Melbourne a complimentary copy of Butz’s The Hoax. An accompanying letter (not intended for a public readership) summarized what Bennett considered to be the book’s thirteen principal arguments, and included an invitation for critical comment. After the letter was ‘leaked’, Bennett suddenly found himself accused of anti-Semitism by Rabbi John Levi, the honorary secretary of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.[191]Cf. J. Jost, ” ‘No Holocaust’ Theory Starts Major Storm”, The National Times, Week ending February 10,1979. This charge was echoed by numerous media commentators, who were further offended by Bennett’s decision to champion the civil liberties of 3CR, a far-left Melbourne radio station. 3CR had broadcast anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian statements on several occasions, causing the Victorian Jewish Board of Deputies to request the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal to investigate what they considered to be “anti-Semitism”. In response Bennett had written an article in the December 1978 issue of Civil Liberty, the newsletter of his civil liberties organization, and had a letter published in the January 22, 1979 issue of The Age. In both publications he argued that the Palestinian viewpoint was being suppressed, and noted that Australian Jews, by attempting to stifle all criticism of Zionism, Israel or Jewish interests, had imposed a form of “political censorship”. That censorship, he continued, “effectively banned” works revising accepted opinion on the Holocaust.

Bennett published in 1979 a small booklet on the Holocaust, and began distributing a pamphlet by Robert Faurisson, a French Revisionist. He also attended, in September of that year, the First International Revisionist Convention in Los Angeles. These activities, his defence of Butz, and his letter writing to newspapers caused an angry, at times almost hysterical, response. Publications across Australia[192]Cf. The Age, February 16, March 3, 15, 17, 22, 24, April 14 (all 1979); National Review, May 31, 1979, June 28, 1979 (a 2,000 word letter by Bennett); Quadrant, September 1979; Quadrant, October 1981 (which described Bennett as possibly being more evil than Himmler and Pol Pot); Farrago 2/7 (1982); et al. (and some in Europe and the United States[193]For example, see New Statesman, September 7, 1979 (The article, entitled “Nazis”, referred to Bennett’s Revisionism as “pathological ravings”) (p. 332); New Statesman, October 5, 1979; P. Vidal-Naquet, Les Juifs, la mémoire et le présent (Paris: Petite Collection Maspero, 1980), p. 268; L. S. Dawidowicz, “Lies About the Holocaust”; et al.), when describing his activities, referred to him as a “Holocaust denier”, “neo-Nazi”, “anti-Semite” and other even worse titles. He was also featured on several television programmes, where he was generally criticized and condemned for his views. He thus became a liability to his civil rights organization. Although Dr. Alan Hughes, the President of the Victorian Council for Civil Liberties, initially defended his freedom of speech, in 1980 Bennett was suspended and removed from his position as Secretary of that organization, a position he had held since 1966, when the organization was formed. The irony is noteworthy: a defender of civil liberties and free expression was expelled from a civil liberties union precisely because he exercised his right to free expression.

In 1980 Bennett established the Australian Civil Liberties Union, of which he has been the president every year since its formation. He has continued to defend with zeal and sincerity the civil liberties of all Australians, and to publish annually Your Rights, a small and very widely read handbook on civil and legal rights, first published in 1970. He is also still reproached and insulted for his continued promotion of Holocaust Revisionism[194]Cf. Sydney Morning Herald, July 25, 1985; “Harvest of Hate”, The Bulletin, April 4, 1989, pp. 42-49; The Australian Jewish News, July 27, 1990; Sunday Sun, August 12, 1990; W. Rubinstein, “Profile: John Bennett”; Without Prejudice, No. 2, February 1991, pp. 47-51; et al., and is considered (by both detractors and supporters) to be the foremost Revisionist in Australia. Further, by including since 1983 a small amount of Revisionism in each issue of Your Rights, he is the only author in the world to publish a book containing Holocaust Revisionism which is available throughout the year from most newsstands in the country.

To sum up briefly, it has been shown that Holocaust Revisionism had its origins in the postwar writings of Paul Rassinier, a left-wing libertarian who aided Jews during the war and suffered alongside them at the hands of the Nazis in two of their concentration camps. His writings contain a number of errors of fact and judgement, most of them minor but some major. He also produced several weighty arguments and sound conclusions, and these have served as the foundation upon which most subsequent Revisionists have built. Working ignorantly of each other, Revisionists in several countries began in the 1960s to challenge accepted opinion on the Holocaust with a few tenable arguments, which were, nonetheless, considerably weaker and less sophisticated than the Revisionist theses of today. Their works were mostly journalistic in style and lacked highly-developed analysis.

By the middle of the 1970s Holocaust Revisionism was beginning to flourish. As a result of the gradual refinement of the arguments of predecessors the standard of Revisionists’ scholarship had improved slightly. Their publications, replete with appendices and footnotes to primary sources, at least appeared to contain impartial and thoughtful investigations of evidence. Many Revisionists were still overly reliant on Rassinier, and, by not submitting his sources and arguments to close scrutiny, some of them carelessly repeated the Frenchman’s inaccuracies or misinterpretations (as well as making a number of their own). But they also investigated new sources and arrived at fresh – and often more plausible – interpretations, and thus managed to take the debate farther. In the next chapter, which focuses on the writings of Butz and Stäglich – who represent Holocaust Revisionism’s ‘coming of age’ – we shall see just how far the debate has been taken.

Chapter 2 • “The Hoax” according to Arthur R. Butz • 25,500 Words

Butz’s book is a contrived sham, dangerous only because of its possible impact on naive and confused general readers. For the specialist, or those with a general grasp of World War II conditions however, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century is a sitting duck.[195]Bradley F. Smith, “Two Alibis for the Inhumanities: A. R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century and David Irving, Hitler’s War“, German Studies Review, Volume I, October 1978, p. 331. Note: this author, a professor of history at Cabrillo College, United States, and an author of many books on World War II, is not to be confused with Bradley R. Smith, the journalist, playwright and Revisionist.

Bradley F. Smith wrote these words in 1978. In the same review he claimed that “a recently published German study … systematically refutes” the principle Holocaust Revisionist theses. “This splendid survey,” he claimed, “is as applicable to Butz as it is to his German comrades, and should be studied by everyone able to read German.”[196]Ibid., p.329.
(Bradley F. Smith, “Two Alibis for the Inhumanities: A. R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century and David Irving, Hitler’s War“, German Studies Review, Volume I, October 1978, p. 331. Note: this author, a professor of history at Cabrillo College, United States, and an author of many books on World War II, is not to be confused with Bradley R. Smith, the journalist, playwright and Revisionist.)
Smith was in error; the article in question – “Organisierter Massenmord an Juden in Nationalsozialistischen Vernichtungslagern”[197]I. Arndt and W. Scheffler, “Organisierter Massenmord an Juden in Nationalsozialistischen Vernichtungslagern: Ein Beitrag zur Richtigstellung apologetischer Literatur”, Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Volume 24, no.2, April 1976, pp. 105-135 “Organisierter Massenmord” was intended to expose the errors and deliberate falsification of evidence by several writers, including Emil Aretz, Thies Christophersen, Heinz Roth and Paul Rassinier (described inaccurately as “der französische Journalist”). However, the article, really just a summary of accepted opinion on the Holocaust, itself contains a number of significant errors of fact and judgement. These errors appear to have been based on the author’s partial and uncritical reading of several documents and ‘eyewitness’ accounts, such as the memoirs of Rudolf Höß. – refutes neither Butz nor the German Revisionists. The article does not even mention Butz’s book (which had not yet been published) or his principle theses, which are different in many ways from the other Revisionist writers mentioned.

It has now been fifteen years since Smith briefly reviewed The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, yet despite the book allegedly being a “contrived sham” and a “sitting duck” for anti-Revisionists, not one scholar has attempted a detailed refutation. The Hoax has been the subject of a number of short review essays, and has been mentioned in hundreds of biased and unscholarly anti-Revisionist reports. However, not one significant scholarly article or book has been written to challenge or refute Butz’s arguments or conclusions. The present writer offers four possible reasons for this lack of scholarly reaction. First, scholars upholding accepted opinion on the Holocaust believe that debating the issues raised by Butz would only ‘legitimise’ his position. Second, these scholars believe the dishonesty and speciousness of Butz’s arguments are so self-evident that no reasonable person could take them seriously. Third, they feel they cannot refute Butz’s principal theses without making a number of concessions they would rather not make. Fourth, they simply do not believe they can refute Butz’s principal theses. It would appear that the lack of scholarly reaction to The Hoax was not because of the first two hypothetical reasons. Whilst scholars upholding accepted opinion on the Holocaust will not enter into any form of discourse with Revisionists, they have always been willing to attack them and their theses in books and articles. For example, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Georges Wellers and several other leading French anti-Revisionist scholars have been attempting to expose and refute Robert Faurisson since around 1978.[198]Cf. N. Fresco, “Les redresseurs de morts”, Les Temps Modernes, June 1980, pp. 2150-2211; P. Vidal-Naquet, “Un Eichmann de papier”, Esprit. September 1980, pp. 8-52; Vidal-Naquet, Les Juifs, la mémoire et le présent; G. Wellers, Les Chambres à gaz ont existé (Paris: Gallimard, 1981); et al. Anti-Revisionists have written considerably more on Faurisson than on any other Revisionist. They have published anti-Faurisson newspaper and journal articles, booklets and books. Anti-Revisionists have also published books on the writings of Richard Harwood and Paul Rassinier, whose works are far less substantial than The Hoax.[199]Suzman and Diamond, Six Million Did Die (on Harwood); S. Klarsfeld (ed.). The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania (New York: The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1978) (mainly on Rassinier). Therefore, the fact that no scholars have attempted to refute Butz is not because they believe doing so would ‘legitimise’ his Revisionist position.

Anti-Revisionists believe that Butz’s arguments are specious and based on an improper consideration of evidence, yet they also believe that these facts are not obvious enough to dissuade people from taking his arguments seriously. Many people, they point out, have already been converted to Revisionism by The Hoax. Anti-Revisionists repeatedly claim that the “danger” of Butz’s book is that its academic appearance might convince uninformed readers that it is a scholarly piece of work. “Butz imitates the academic style in challenging what he calls an establishment view”, wrote Gill Seidel. “It is a clever pose.”[200]Seidel, The Holocaust Denial, p. 74. Seidel also wrote: “Butz writes in the controlled style of academic debate; and The Hoax consists of 8 chapters, with some 450 footnotes and 5 appendices, including 32 plates and diagrams, amounting to a 315-page volume. In other words, the neo-Nazi myth is presented in the form of a serious investigation.” (p. 74). According to Yisrael Gutman, Butz’s (and Faurisson’s) work has

the aura of what purports to be a kind of studious scholarship. Their writings are replete with annotations and bibliographies and appear calculated to impress the reader as being serious and balanced studies of the subject. This style of writing is clearly designed for students and the intelligentsia…[201]Denying the Holocaust, p. 23; cf. Suzman and Diamond, Six Million Did Die, p. 22; Smith, ‘Two Alibis”, p. 329; et al.

Criticising authors for writing in an “academic style” is unreasonable, to say the least. Butz, like Faurisson and other leading Revisionists, did not write in a scholarly style to trick readers. He wrote in a dispassionate manner because he wanted readers to make up their own minds about the arguments he was putting forward. He did not include source references merely to “impress” readers. Like all scholars (Butz is a university professor, it should be remembered), he included references so that readers could check his sources and determine the accuracy and reliability of his citations and quotations. Butz was in a ‘no win’ situation; his detractors would certainly have condemned him if he had written in an emotional and subjective manner and provided no references, yet for writing in a dispassionate manner and identifying all his sources he was, and continues to be, derided.

The fact that no significant scholarly articles or books have been published which challenge or refute Butz’s arguments and conclusions may indicate that scholars upholding received opinion believe that The Hoax would be difficult to refute. However, despite their apparent unwillingness to challenge Butz’s book in a scholarly manner, anti-Revisionists have certainly not ignored it. As noted above, in 1978 the book was placed on the ‘index’ of the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Schriften. In several countries, including New Zealand[202]See J. S. A. Hayward, “Holocaust Revisionism in New Zealand: The Thinking-Man’s Anti-Semitism?”, Without Prejudice (Journal of the Australian Institute of Jewish Affairs), Number 4, December 1991, pp. 42, 43. attempts have been made to have The Hoax banned from sale. It was banned in Canada, along with several other Revisionist works.[203]Cf. IHR Newsletter 42, October 1986, p. 6. This ban is taken seriously by Canadian authorities. For example, on one occasion Butz’s book was seized from library shelves at the University of Calgary by two officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. On another occasion the Mounted Police confiscated and pulped the twenty-five copies of The Hoax which Professor Gary Botting of Red Deer College in Alberta had made available to his students. Botting, a brilliant academic with higher qualifications in several disciplines, including a Ph.D. in English literature, is certainly not a neo-Nazi. His own father had died in Belsen. Botting made the books available to students because he believed a more stimulating intellectual environment would be produced if students were exposed to a variety of viewpoints.[204]Cf. R. Lenski, The Holocaust on Trial: The Case of Ernst Zündel (Decatur: Reporter Press, 1990), p. 18; M. Hoffman II, The Great Holocaust Trial (Torrance: Institute for Historical Review, 1985), pp. 44, 71. Botting was later fired from Red Deer College for testifying for the defence at the 1985 Zündel trial (cf. IHR Newsletter 37, February 1986).

Several of Butz’s detractors have attempted to diminish his credibility by pointing out that he is not even an historian, just a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences. Gill Seidel, for example, noted that whilst Butz holds a doctorate, it is “in a totally unrelated area.”[205]Seidel, The Holocaust Denial, p. 74. Seidel, who attempts to demonstrate the accuracy of received opinion on the Holocaust, ignores the fact that she is not an historian herself. She teaches French and Discourse Studies, which are equally “unrelated”.

It is quite true that Butz is not an historian. However, his detractors’ one-sidedness is apparent; if they believe his lack of formal training in the discipline of history casts a shadow of doubt on his historical writings, they must acknowledge that doubt is likewise cast on the writings of many esteemed authorities on the Holocaust. Professor Raul Hilberg by way of illustration, is the author of The Destruction of the European Jews a standard text on the Holocaust. He has a Ph.D. in public law and government, and teaches international relations at the University of Vermont. The late Gerald Reitlinger, author of the widely-read and frequently-cited Final Solution, was an art dealer with no academic qualifications. Georges Wellers, a prominent French writer on the Holocaust and a bitter opponent of Faurisson, is the former director of a research laboratory at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris. These writers are just a few of the many authorities on the Holocaust with no formal training in the discipline of history. Their lack of historical training – like Butz’s – is unimportant if they have employed sound methodological principles. Countless excellent historical works have been written by amateur historians whose careful and systematic piecing together of evidence has thrown new light on their objects of inquiry.

Butz anticipated that his expertise would be questioned. In the foreword to The Hoax he wrote:

“There will he those who will say that I am not qualified to undertake such a work and there will even be those who will say that I have no right to publish such things.”[206]Butz, The Hoax, p.8.

He defended his decision to write a book challenging received opinion on the Holocaust by insisting that an impartial and critical examination of the Holocaust had been entirely avoided by academic historians:

[No historians have] produced an academic study arguing, and presenting the evidence for, either the thesis that the exterminations did take place or that they did not take place. If they did take place then it should be possible to produce a book showing how it started and why, by whom it was organized and the lines of authority in the killing operations, what the technical means were and that those technical means did not have some sort of more mundane interpretation (e.g. crematoria), who were the technicians involved, the numbers of victims from the various lands and the timetables of their executions, presenting the evidence on which these claims are based together with reasons why one should be willing to accept the authenticity of all documents produced at illegal trials. No historians have undertaken anything resembling such a project; only non-historians have undertaken portions.[207]Ibid., p. 8.
(Butz, The Hoax, p.8.)

Butz claims that his book is an honest, impartial and detailed examination of the evidence both for and against received opinion on the Holocaust. The Hoax is certainly far more scholarly than the works of previous Holocaust Revisionists. Th 315-page volume comprises eight lengthy chapters, five appendices, thirty-two plates and diagrams, 444 endnotes, a bibliography listing 162 works, and a detailed index. Butz’s writing style is generally dispassionate, and all his endnotes are presented unambiguously so that sources can be identified and quotations can be verified.

Contrary to the allegations of several of his detractors, Butz cited and quoted very few other Revisionists in defence of his arguments. Of his 444 endnotes, only twenty (4.5%) refer to Revisionist works. Twelve of those twenty endnotes also refer to non-Revisionist sources. This means that out of Butz’s 444 notes, only eight (1.8%) refer exclusively to Revisionist sources. Similarly, of the 162 publications listed in his bibliography, only sixteen (10%) are by Revisionists. On the other hand, publications by scholars upholding received opinion were cited extensively by Butz. He cited Reitlinger’s Final Solution seventy-two times and Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews thirty-three times. The records of war crimes trials were also frequently cited by Butz. Thirty-three of his endnotes refer to documents and testimonies from the main Nuremberg trial (1945-1946). Fifty-one endnotes refer to similar sources from the lesser Nuremberg trials (1946-1949). Another twelve refer to the records of the Adolf Eichmann trial in 1961. The present writer checked over half of Butz’s sources to determine if he had responsibly and accurately cited and quoted them. Although Butz interpreted some material in ways the present writer would not, no significant errors in quotation or citation were detected. Nor was any evidence of deliberate falsification found.

A large part of The Hoax is devoted to the principal war crimes trials and the evidence produced at them relating to the Holocaust. Butz mainly referred to the International Military Tribunal (IMT), the twelve subsequent trials held by the Americans before the Nuremberg Military Tribunal (NMT), and the trials held in the Dachau concentration camp. The “Dachau trials” dealt with the staffs of Dachau, Flossenbürg and Buchenwald concentration camps and with the Germans accused of the Malmédy massacre. Echoing the claims of most previous Revisionists, Butz argued that the IMT and NMT trials had no legal precedent and were based on ex post facto laws. They were, he said, based on laws providing for the punishment of actions now designated as ‘crimes’ which were not punishable by law at the time they were committed. Not only were the trials based on ex post facto laws, but there was no provision for politically neutral judgement. The International Military Tribunal, for example, was certainly not “international”. It was not established, administered or supervised by the United Nations, but by the governments of the four principal victor powers: the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and France. Butz correctly pointed out that several important political commentators attacked the legal basis of the trials and the sentences imposed. Senator Robert A. Taft, for example, condemned the trials as a major violation of the basic principles of both American and international justice. Butz noted that:

A decade later … the then obvious presidential candidate John F. Kennedy published a book, Profiles in Courage (a survey of various people whom Sen. Kennedy thought courageous), in which he commended Taft for taking this stand, adding that Taft’s views “are shared … by a substantial number of American citizens today.”[208]Butz, The Hoax, p. 9 Taft had stated on October 6, 1946 that the trials “violate the fundamental principle of American law that a man cannot be tried under an ex post facto statute.” He called the death sentences of the German leaders- “a blot on the American record which we shall long regret.” (J. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage (New York: Harper, 1955), pp. 218-219).

The trials were based on preconceived notions of guilt, according to Butz, who quoted a number of statements by leading figures at Nuremberg which appear to support his claim. Judge Iola Nikitchenko, for instance, was the Soviet judge who signed the Agreement and Charter for the Soviet Union. He was also one of the two Soviet members of the International Military Tribunal, and presided over the tribunal’s opening session. At a joint planning conference held not long before the Tribunal convened, Nikitchenko declared that “we are dealing here with the chief war criminals who have already been convicted.”[209]Quoted in Butz, The Hoax, p. 21. Although Butz did not mention it, Nikitchenko, who had previously presided over the well-known Stalinist show trials of Zinoviev and Kamenev, went on to explain that:

The fact that the Nazi leaders are criminals has already been established. The task of the Tribunal is only to determine the measure of guilt of each particular person and mete out the necessary punishment – the sentences.[210]Report of Robert H. Jackson, United States Representative to the International Conference on Military Trials, London 1945 (Washington, D.C.: US State Department, 1949), pp. 104-106, 303; W. R. Harris, Tyranny on Trial: The Evidence at Nuremberg (Dallas: S. M. U. Press, 1954), pp. 16-17; L. Kahn, Nuremberg Trials (New York: Ballantine, 1972), p. 26. Cited in M. Weber, “The Nuremberg Trials and the Holocaust”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Twelve, Number Two, Summer 1992, pp. 170, 202. Robert Harris in his review of Telford Taylor’s The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials, stated: “these were not “trials” in the sense that the verdicts of the major defendants might have gone either way: Goering, Ribbentrop, Sauckel, Kaltenbrunner, Frank, Seyss-Inquart – these men were always going to die. It was unthinkable, in the climate of 1946, that there could be any other outcome.” (Guardian, January 3, 1993).

Butz not only argued that the trials were illegal and based on preconceived notions of guilt, he insisted that improper methods were used to obtain some of the evidence put forward at the trials. He was particularly critical of the American treatment of German prisoners during the Dachau trials in 1946, which were supervised by the War Crimes Branch. He claimed that a large number of prisoners were maltreated by their American captors in order to gain the right type of evidence:

The entire repertoire of third degree methods was enacted at Dachau: beatings and brutal kicking, to the point of mining testicles in 137 cases, knocking out teeth, starvation, solitary confinement, torture with burning splinters, and impersonation of priests in order to encourage prisoners to “confess”… A favorite strategem, when a prisoner refused to cooperate, was to arrange a mock trial. The prisoner was led into a room in which civilian investigators, dressed in U. S. Army uniforms, were seated around a black table with a crucifix in the centre, with two candles providing the only light. This “court” then proceeded to hold a sham trial, at the conclusion of which a sham death sentence was passed. The “condemned” prisoner was later promised that, if he cooperated with the prosecutors in giving evidence, he would be reprieved. In many cases the prisoner’s family was threatened with loss of ration cards or other hardships if cooperation was not obtained.[211]Butz, The Hoax, p. 22.

Although these claims seem fantastic and unsustainable, Butz actually based them on the findings of two American judges who investigated the Dachau trials. On July 29, 1948, Kenneth Royall, Secretary of the U.S. Army, appointed a commission to investigate the alleged torture and maltreatment of prisoners before and during the Dachau trials. The commission – headed by Gordon Simpson and Edward Van Roden, senior American judges – submitted its report to Royall in October 1948. Selected portions were made public several months later.[212]Ibid., p. 24. Cf. New York Times. October 7, 1948; January 7, 1949; March 2, 1949; March 5, 1949; May 5, 1949. Although not mentioned in The Hoax. Van Roden published a summary of his findings in The Progressive, February 1949. It appears below as Appendix 1.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 22.)
Although it decided that no organised plot existed to secure suitable evidence by coercion, the commission concluded that coercion and torture of prisoners occurred frequently. They found, as Butz mentioned, that all but two of the Germans in the 139 cases they investigated had their testicles damaged beyond repair. The other examples of torture and coercion mentioned by Butz also appear in the judges’ findings. An independent review board was appointed by General Lucius D. Clay, the Governor of the U.S. Occupation Zone, and whilst the findings of this board challenged the Simpson-Van Roden commission on the frequency of the brutalities, it confirmed that torture and coercion had occurred. Moreover, when Colonel A. H. Rosenfeld, head of the Dachau War Crimes Administration Branch, resigned his post in 1948 he was asked if the allegations about mock trials and coercion were true. He replied: “Yes, of course. We couldn’t have made those birds talk otherwise … it was a trick, and it worked like a charm.”[213]Butz, The Hoax, p. 24.

Many of these acts of brutality were carried out by Jews working for the courts. A sizeable percentage of the interrogators, investigators and interpreters at the Dachau trials, argued Butz, were German-Jewish refugees hired principally for their language skills. They included former concentration camp inmates. It was the same at the NMT trials. Butz quoted one of the judges in Case 6, who privately complained that there were “too many Jews on the prosecution”.[214]Ibid., p. 26.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 24.)
He also quoted at length from Judge Charles Wennerstrum’s statement in the February 23, 1948 issue of the Chicago Tribune. Wennerstrum, the presiding judge in Case 7, was so disgusted by the lack of justice he witnessed in Nuremberg that he spoke out publicly. Alluding to the Jews working for the prosecution, Wennerstrum stated that a large number of the prosecution staff were “biased” on “racial grounds” and motivated by a desire for personal revenge. “If I had known what I know today”, Wennerstrum also said,

I would never have come here. Obviously, the victor in any war is not the best judge of the war crime guilt… What I have said of the nationalist character of the tribunals applies to the prosecution. The high ideals announced as the motives for creating these tribunals has not been evident. The prosecution has failed to maintain objectivity aloof from vindictiveness, aloof from personal ambitions for convictions. It has failed to strive to lay down precedents which might help the world avoid future wars. The entire atmosphere here is unwholesome. Linguists were needed. The Americans are notably poor linguists. Lawyers, clerks, interpreters and researchers were employed who became Americans only in recent years, whose backgrounds were imbedded in Europe’s hatreds and prejudices… Most of the evidence in the trials was documentary, selected from the large tonnage of captured records. The selection was made [exclusively] by the prosecution. The defense had access only to those documents which the prosecution considered material to the case. Our tribunal introduced a rule of procedure that when the prosecution introduced an excerpt from a document, the entire document should be made available to the defense for presentation as evidence. The prosecution protested vigorously. Gen. [Telford] Taylor tried out of court to call a meeting of the presiding judges to rescind this order. It was not the attitude of any conscientious officer of the court seeking full justice. Also abhorrent to the American sense of justice is the prosecution’s reliance upon self-incriminating statements made by the defendants while prisoners for more than 2 1/2 years, and repeated interrogation without presence of counsel…[215]Ibid., p. 26. Wennerstrum’s observations are supported by those of Joseph Halow, a civilian court reporter for the (American) 7708 War Crimes Group, which administered the ‘Dachau trials’. Halow later wrote that many of the court investigators were “Jewish refugees from Germany”, who were employed because German was their mother tongue. “Virtually all of these investigators also hated the Germans … [and] many of the investigators gave vent to their hatred by attempting to force confessions from the Germans by treating them brutally”. Halow described several specific cases in which evidence was obtained by physical maltreatment. (J. Halow, “Innocent in Dachau: The Trial and Punishment of Franz Kofler et al.”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Nine, Number Four, Winter 1989-1990, p. 459 ff.)
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 24.)

Butz claimed that, despite the Nuremberg trials’ shocking departure from the principles of Common Law, brutality and coercion were not as extensive at those trials as they were at the less important Dachau trials. Nonetheless, “the Dachau trials cannot be waved aside so easily, because the administering agency, the War Crimes Branch [of the Judge Advocate General's Department], was also deeply involved in the Nuremberg trials”.[216]Butz, The Hoax, p. 25. This is particularly significant, according to Butz, in the light of the fact that the head of the War Crimes Branch was Colonel David Marcus, “a fanatical Zionist” who was later killed in 1948 while seeing as commander of the Jerusalem Haganah. Butz claimed that Telford Taylor, American Chief of Counsel, was mainly involved in “public relations and … was not deeply involved in the details of the running of the trials which were his formal responsibility.”[217]Ibid., p. 29.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 25.)
Taylor was just a “front man”, whilst Marcus exercised effective control of much of the American staff at Nuremberg and also “selected the judges and lawyers for the trials (with only a handful of exceptions).” Marcus, said Butz, was first assigned to head the War Crimes Branch by J. H. Hilldring, a pro-Zionist General who later worked in the State Department as Assistant Secretary of State for Palestine. Butz believed that Marcus, the “arch-Zionist” in charge of the agency which “had engaged in torture of witnesses in connection with certain trials”[218]Ibid., p. 100.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 25.)
, had helped turn them into Zionist ‘show trials’. Butz stated, for example:

The filling of the War Crimes Branch position with a fanatical Zionist, the “first soldier since Biblical times to hold the rank of General in the Army of Israel” is not only significant in terms of what the Zionist might do in the position, but also significant in revealing, in a simple way, the nature of the overall political forces operating at the trials. This is the important point. It is simply not possible to imagine an appointment that would make these trials more suspect. Under these political conditions it is simply silly to expect anything but a frame-up at the “trials”.[219]Ibid., p. 30.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 25.)

Several pages of The Hoax are also devoted to Robert M. W. Kempner, a German-born Jew who worked at the main Nuremberg trial as the prosecution/defence liaison officer and then as a member of the prosecution staff. He was apparently most active in the prosecution of Wilhelm Frick, the Nazi Minister of the Interior. Butz, convinced that Kempner was also involved in improper practices at Nuremberg, summarised his career[220]Ibid., pp. 160, 161,166, 168.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 25.)
: between 1928 and 1933 Kempner was a senior counsel for the Prussian State Police, and specialised in investigating the rising Nazi party, which he despised and sought to have outlawed. After the Nazis gained power in 1933 he was dismissed from his government position. He left Germany in 1935 and finally emigrated to the United States in 1939, at which point he resumed his antiNazi crusade. As part of this crusade he published in 1943 a book outlining what should be done after the war to suppress Nazism permanently. During the war he worked for both the U.S. Department of Justice and the OSS. In the latter agency he was given the assignment of compiling lists of trustworthy German anti-Nazis who could be given posts in the coming occupation government of Germany. After the war Kempner continued his anti-Nazi crusade. As noted, he worked at Nuremberg as a member of the prosecution staff. In 1951 he served as Israel’s representative to West Germany in negotiations relative to restitution for Jews who had suffered at Nazi hands. The same year he actively opposed the United States’ reprieves and sentence reductions of several convicted war criminals. Kempner next appeared as an IMT prosecution spokesman at the 1952 House of Representatives’ investigation of the Katyn Forest massacre. According to the Chicago Tribune (April 24, 1952), Kempner admitted at a secret session that the U.S. prosecution staff at the main Nuremberg trial had possessed evidence clearly showing that the Russians had committed the Katyn murders. This evidence had, of course, been suppressed at the trial. In 1961 he worked as a special consultant to the Israeli government, assembling evidence for the Eichmann trial.

Butz argued that Kempner could “accurately be described as a fanatical anti-Nazi”. His career over fifty years shows that “Anti-Nazism is obviously Kempner’s consuming vocation.”[221]Ibid., p. 168.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 25.)
Additionally, insisted Butz, he was an extremely important figure in the trials that the United States held in Nuremberg. Kempner had “critically important” responsibilities in connection with the IMT and was also treated, in later years, as an authority on what had gone on there. “At the end of the IMT trial the press described him as “Jackson’s expert on German matters” and “chief of investigation and research for … Jackson”.”[222]Ibid., p. 168.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 25.)
At the NMT he took over the prosecution of the most important case, the political section of the Wilhelmstrasse Case, “and he may very well have been the most important individual on the Nuremberg staff”.[223]Ibid., p. 168.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 25.)
There are “excellent grounds … for believing that Kempner abused the power he had at the military tribunals, and produced ‘evidence’ by improper methods involving threats and various forms of coercion.[224]Ibid., p. 169.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 25.)
To support this claim that Kempner obtained evidence by threats and other forms of coercion, Butz pointed out that several defendants are on record as having been informed by Kempner that if they did not provide suitable “confessions” they would be handed over to the Russians or French, who would sentence them to death.

Butz clearly wanted to persuade his readers that the involvement of Jews and Zionists in the principal war crimes trials was significant in scale and heinous in nature. However, most of his arguments in support of this thesis are decidedly unpersuasive, mainly because they are reliant on secondary sources of varying reliability and plausibility. Butz did provide satisfactory evidence that Kempner had threatened at least three defendants with severe punishments if they did not confess to alleged crimes or cooperate in other ways with the prosecution. He correctly reasoned on the basis of this evidence that Kempner may have treated a number of other defendants or witnesses in the same improper manner. However, Butz provided no evidence to support his claim that the War Crimes Branch, headed by the “arch-Zionist” David Marcus, “most likely” played a major role at the main Nuremberg trial in “the screening and selection of prosecution and defense lawyers and staff, in the selection of other staff such as translators, and in interrogations.”[225]Ibid., p. 22.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 25.)

No substantial and reliable evidence was provided by Butz to support his allegation that Telford Taylor was merely a “front man” whilst Marcus exercised effective control over the NMT proceedings. This allegation was essentially based on statements about Marcus in the “remarkable book by Josiah E. DuBois [the head of the I. G. Farben NMT prosecution]“[226]Ibid., p. 28.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 25.)
, yet a careful study of the book reveals that Butz is reading far too much into DuBois’s comments. Moreover, Butz provided no significant corroborating evidence of a credible and reliable nature.[227]Mark Weber, who is usually far more circumspect, uncritically accepted the accuracy of Butz’s claims about Marcus and wrote in a recent article: “Marcus, a fervent Zionist, became the “number three man in making American policy” in occupied Germany. As chief of the US government’s War Crimes Branch in 1946 and 1947 he selected almost all of the judges, prosecutors and lawyers for the Nuremberg NMT Trials.” (Weber, “The Nuremberg Trials and the Holocaust”, p. 171) Weber, a leading Revisionist historian, cited Butz and his sources, but provided no other evidence to support these claims.

Despite writing that Marcus was the “head of the U.S. War Crimes Branch, an agency which had engaged in torture of witnesses in connection with certain trials”, Butz provided no evidence showing that Marcus ordered, sanctioned or even somehow encouraged the torture of a single defendant at any trial. In fact, there is nothing in The Hoax to demonstrate conclusively that Marcus acted, in his capacity as head of the War Crimes Branch, in anything other than a proper and professional manner.

Throughout The Hoax Butz condemned orthodox historians’ reliance on speculation and opposition, yet his own claims regarding David Marcus are based on nothing more than speculation and supposition. The fact that Marcus was probably a Jew and certainly a committed Zionist is only significant if one believes – as Butz unfortunately appears to – that all or most Zionists involved in the war crimes trials were unscrupulously working behind the scenes to manipulate the trials to further the Zionist cause.

It is the same with General Hilldring. “Quite a pair, Marcus and Hilldring”, wrote Butz after clearly intimating that the allegedly pro-Zionist head of the Army Civil Affairs Division had assigned Marcus to head the War Crimes Branch because of the latter’s own Zionist views. Again, Butz provided no evidence to support this claim, which was solely based on speculation and the preconceived notion that all Zionists involved in the war crimes trials must have been up to no good. Hilldring, like many others horrified at the Nazi treatment of Jews, may have seen merit in the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. But it does not necessarily follow, as Butz appears to believe, that Hilldring would therefore act in an improper manner to assist the Jewish/ Zionist cause.

It is clear that Butz also wanted to persuade readers that the Nuremberg and other war crimes trials were unprecedented and unjust events. They were, he argued, little more than carefully-staged ‘show trials’, leased on preconceived notions of guilt. Butz’s evidence–only a fraction of which has been mentioned – tends to support his arguments to a certain degree. The trials, most based on ex post facto laws, were certainly an unprecedented departure from the principles of Common Law. Even Harlan Fiske Stone, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, saw the trials in this light. Stone, who cannot be considered a crank or Nazi sympathiser, stated in the late 1940s:

Jackson the Chief Prosecutor] is away conducting his high-grade lynching party in Nuremberg… I don’t mind what he does to the Nazis, but I hate to see the pretense that he is running a court and proceeding according to common law. This is a little too sanctimonious a fraud to meet my old-fashioned ideas.[228]Quoted in A. T. Mason, Harlan Fiske Stone: Pillar of the Law (New York: Viking Press, 1956), p. 716 (see also 715).

Even a cursory examination of the Agreement and Charter of August 8, 1945 (the ‘London Agreement’) reveals that many of the actions designated as “crimes” in Section II, Article 6 of the Charter were also committed before and during the Second World War by the four powers which had concluded the Agreement and Charter. A few of the many possible examples will be given: The Soviet invasion of Eastern Poland on September 17, 1939 and of Finland on November 30, 1939 were both “crimes against peace” as defined in Section II, Article 6a of the Charter. Even the very planning of the British and French expedition to Norway, code-named “Stratford”, was a “crime against peace”. Although planned as a pre-emptive move against the Germans, the expedition would have flagrantly violated Norway’s sovereignty. The fire-bombing of civilian populations of Lübeck, Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg and other German cities by the RAF and USAAF were arguably “war crimes” as defined in Section II, Article 6b. The Soviet massacre of Polish Army officers at the Katyn Forest was certainly a “crime against humanity” as defined in Section II, Article 6c. This is not, of course, an attempt to relativise or diminish the magnitude of the Nazi regime’s many substantiated crimes. It is simply an acknowledgement that defendants at Nuremberg might have been justified in employing a tu quoque (you too) argument in defence of their claims that the four main counts on the Nuremberg indictment reflect a double standard.

One must concede after reading The Hoax and investigating the relevant sources that some defendants and witnesses gave evidence or made statements only after having been subjected to coercion or torture. Butz noted that even Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, the famous Soviet dissident and recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature, mentioned such a case in his book The Gulag Archipelago. Solzhenitsyn cited the case of Jupp Aschenbrenner, a Bavarian who was tortured into signing a statement that during the war he had worked on homicidal “gas vans”. It was several years before Aschenbrenner was finally able to prove that during the time he was allegedly working on the gas vans he was in Munich studying to become an electric welder.[229]A. I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), p. 112. Cited in Butz, The Hoax, p. 198. The findings of the three-man commission headed by Simpson and Van Roden, which have been mentioned in no major works upholding received opinion on the Holocaust, relate only to the Dachau trials. Yet the fact that at least a few defendants and witnesses at Nuremberg were coerced into giving certain evidence is clear even from the cases involving Kempner.

It may be useful to digress briefly at this point. The Hoax was essentially finished in late 1974 and first published in the spring of 1976. In the years since the book’s publication fresh evidence has come to light which further supports Butz’s claims that a number of defendants and witnesses were subjected to torture and coercion. In 1983, for example, a book was published in Britain containing statements by Bernard Clarke, the former British Sergeant “who captured Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Höss”.[230]R. Butler, Legions of Death (London: Hamlyn, 1983), esp. pp. 235-239. The book reveals that Höß was tortured repeatedly in Heide, Schleswig-Holstein, by Sergeant Clarke and five other men from the 92nd Field Security Section. At one point during a terrible beating in which “the blows and screams were [seemingly] endless”, the Medical Officer urged the Captain: “Call them off, unless you want to take back a corpse.”[231]Ibid., p. 237.
(R. Butler, Legions of Death (London: Hamlyn, 1983), esp. pp. 235-239.)
Höß made his first ‘confession’ – later classified as Nuremberg document NO-1210 – on March 15, 1946, after three days and nights of continuous physical and mental torture.[232]Ibid., p. 237. This is corroborated by evidence contained in M. Mason’s “In a Cell with a Nazi War Criminal”, Wrexham Leader, October 17, 1986. This article, dealing with a documentary entitled Secret Hunters, describes the minor role in the Höß interrogations played by Private Ken Jones of the Fifth Royal Horse Artillery stationed in Heide. Höß himself stated in his ‘autobiography’, purportedly written before his execution by the Poles in April 1947, that: “At my first interrogation session evidence was gained by beating me. ["Unter schlagenden Beweisen kam meine erste Vernehmung Zustande"] I do not know what is in the record, although I signed it.” Later he was taken to Minden a. d. Weser, the main interrogation centre in the British Zone. “There I received further rough treatment at the hands of the English public prosecutor, a major.” After being taken to Nuremberg, Höß underwent interrogations which were not physically violent but which had a “strong psychological effect”. Kommandant in Auschwitz: Autobiographische Aufzeichnungen von Rudolf Höß, Quellen und Darstellungen zur Zeitgeschichte, Band 5 (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1958), pp. 145, 146.
(R. Butler, Legions of Death (London: Hamlyn, 1983), esp. pp. 235-239.)
He signed another statement the following day. He was moved shortly after this to Nuremberg. On April 5, 1946, Höß signed an affidavit – document PS-3868 – which is essentially a summary of his statement of March 15. This affidavit has been widely cited in support of accepted opinion on mass gassings in Auschwitz. Then, on April 15, 1946, Höß testified before the International Military Tribunal. His testimony, which had a profound effect on many of those present, deviated only occasionally from the account contained in his affidavit of April 15. Although his physical maltreatment had stopped when he arrived in Nuremberg, it appears that Höß was in a very bad mental state when he made these statements. He later wrote that at Nuremberg he was “psychologically cut to pieces”.[233]“Psychologisch wurde ich beinahe seziert”. (Kommandant in Auschwitz, p. 146).

Obtaining information by force or coercion does not necessarily result in that information being inaccurate or concocted. It is at least possible that after torture broke his resolve to keep silent Höß told the truth about his role in mass gassings at Auschwitz. However, after examining his various statements (including his Cracow ‘autobiography’) according to accepted principles of source criticism, it is not unreasonable to conclude that they are at least partially concocted. They contain several significant internal inconsistencies and a number of distortions and fabrications. As these will be described below in relevant sections of this thesis, we need only touch on them at this point.

Höß stated in his affidavit of April 5, 1946 that in the three-and-a-half years he was commandant of Auschwitz “at least 2,500,000 victims were executed and exterminated there by gassing and burning”, and that at least another 500,000 died of starvation and disease. This made a death total of “around three million”.[234]However, Höß apparently wrote in pencil a short letter to Dr. G. M. Gilbert, the Nuremberg Court psychiatrist, in which he said that the death total for Auschwitz was in the order of 1,135,000 (Letter dated April 24, 1946, copy in Rijksinstituut fur Oorlogsdokumentatie, Amsterdam. Cited in Reitlinger, Final Solution, p. 113). He repeated this figure during his Polish trial, and, contradicting his previous statements, declared in his report Die “Endlösung der Judenfrage” im KL Auschwitz that: “Ich halte die Zahl 2 1/2 Millionen für viel zu hoch.” (cf. Kommandant in Auschwitz, p. 163) Another document may shed fresh light on this matter: a letter from Moritz von Schirmeister to Höß’s wife. Von Schirmeister, the personal press attaché to Joseph Goebbels, had been arrested by the British. On March 31-April 1, 1946, von Schirmeister was taken in a car from Minden a. d. Weser to Nuremberg. Höß was in the same car (cf. Kommandant in Auschwitz, p. 145), and according to a letter from von Schirmeister to Höß’s wife, he apparently confided to von Schirmeister: “Gewiss, ich habe unterschrieben, dass ich 2 1/2 Millionen Juden umgebracht habe. Aber ich hätte genausogut unterschrieben, dass es 5 Millionen Juden gewesen sind. Es gibt eben Methoden, mit denen man jedes Geständnis erreichen kann – ob es nun wahr ist oder nicht.” (“Certainly, I signed a statement that I killed two and a half million Jews. But I could just as well have said that it was five million Jews. There are certain methods by which any confession can be obtained, whether it is true or not.”) (cf. R. Faurisson, “How the British Obtained the Confessions of Rudolf Höss”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Seven, No. 4, Winter 1986-87, p. 399; Faurisson testimony, SZTR, 30- 8449, 8450). The present writer believes the provenance and authenticity of Höß’s letter to Gilbert have been established to no greater degree than those of Schirmeister’s letter to Mrs Höß. Scholars upholding received opinion on the Holocaust, however, are now in general agreement that no more than 1,500,000 persons died from all causes in Auschwitz during the Second World War.[235]See below, pp. 310-312. This can only mean that Höß was terribly mistaken, wildly exaggerating, or lying. In the same affidavit he referred to an entirely fictional extermination camp called “Wolzek”, which never existed and is not mentioned in any other contemporary sources. He also stated that Jews were already being exterminated systematically at Belzec and Treblinka in June 1941, which is impossible. According to received opinion Belzec only became operational as an extermination centre in March 1942 and Treblinka four months later, in July 1942. [236 Höß even claimed that he "was ordered to establish extermination facilities at Auschwitz in June 1941." In the light of the fact that the supposedly-euphemistic 'Göring Decree' was issued to Heydrich on July 31, 1941 and the Wannsee Conference, chaired by Heydrich, was held on January 20, 1942, Höß's claim that he was ordered to commence systematic exterminations in June 1941 is, to say the least, far-fetched.[237]For Göring’s decree, see below, p. 125.

Butz’s own treatment of Höß’s various statements and writings is limited to an analysis of the affidavit of April 5, 1946, which he reproduced in full.[238]Butz, The Hoax, pp. 101-102. Perhaps his most significant remarks relate to Höß’s claims about the use of Zyklon-B. Höß had written that he was unimpressed with the efficiency of Treblinka’s CO gassings, so when he set up his own extermination programme in Auschwitz he used a better killing agent: “Cyclon B [sic], which was crystallized Prussic Acid which we dropped into the death chamber from a small opening. It took 3 to 15 minutes to kill the people in the death chamber”. Butz maintained that the true purpose of Zyklon-B, not mentioned by Höß in his affidavit, had been intentionally obscured by scholars upholding received opinion on the Holocaust. Those scholars, he said, presented the existence of Zyklon-B in the concentration camps almost as proof in itself of homicidal gassings, and failed to inform readers that Zyklon-B was, in fact, a powerful insecticide used throughout the German armed forces and the POW and concentration camp system to kill disease-carrying insects and rodents.[239]Ibid., pp. 104-105.
(Butz, The Hoax, pp. 101-102.)

Zyklon-B, Butz correctly pointed out, was used to disinfest rooms and barracks. The rooms were tightly sealed, a carefully calculated amount of Zyklon-B was introduced, and after a lengthy duration all insects and rodents were dead. The rooms were then aired out. The chemical, he continued, was also used in small, technologically-advanced disinfestation chambers to delouse clothing.[240]Ibid., pp. 105.
(Butz, The Hoax, pp. 101-102.)
Therefore, the fact that several tons of Zyklon-B were delivered to Auschwitz during the war is not evidence of homicidal gassings, but is evidence of the SS camp authorities’ desperate attempts to combat typhus epidemics.[241]Ibid., pp. 52, 58, 92, 128, 131, 280.
(Butz, The Hoax, pp. 101-102.)
These epidemics claimed the lives of large numbers of internees at almost all concentration camps, but Auschwitz was particularly prone to outbreaks of typhus and other diseases. The Auschwitz region, poorly drained and with a high water table, “was dotted with stagnant ponds which poisoned the air and caused the area to be constantly muddy.”[242]Ibid., p. 52.
(Butz, The Hoax, pp. 101-102.)

Butz cited a number of sources – including the WRB report and the statistics compiled by the Netherlands Red Cross – to show that there was a terrible typhus epidemic in Auschwitz in the summer of 1942.[243]Ibid., pp. 124-127.
(Butz, The Hoax, pp. 101-102.)
According to the WRB report, Fifteen to twenty thousand perished in Auschwitz during this time. Butz also pointed out that other labour and concentration camps, including those where mass murder is not claimed to have been conducted, also had deplorable mortality rates. He noted, for example, that on April 10, 1943, Oswald Pohl, the Chief of the WVHA, requested Himmler’s approval of the draft of a letter to the Reich Minister of Justice. The letter reveals that of a total of 12,658 prisoners in preventive detention taken over by the concentration camps 5,935 had died by April 1, 1943.[244]Ibid., p. 126.
(Butz, The Hoax, pp. 101-102.)
From the time of the first significant epidemics the SS authorities responsible, for the concentration camp system sought ways to reduce the appalling death rate.

“In establishments that were supposed to be providing desperately needed labor”, commented Butz, these high death rates were naturally intolerable, so in late 1942 a special campaign got under way to reduce the concentration camp death rate and on 28 December 1942, Himmler ordered that the rate “be reduced at all costs”. On 20 January 1943 Gluecks [the Inspector of Concentration Camps], in a circular letter to all concentration camp commanders, ordered that “every means must be used to lower the death rate.”[245]Ibid., p.126.
(Butz, The Hoax, pp. 101-102.)

Butz’s sources were Nuremberg documents PS-2172 (Annex II) and NO-1523. Although he did not comment further on these documents, their importance actually warrants a brief discussion of their contents. In the first document cited – dated December 28, 1942 – Richard Glücks, head of Branch D of the WVHA, expressed great concern at the number of deaths in the concentration camps, including Auschwitz. Of 136,000 arrivals in the camps, he pointed out, 70,000 had already died. He emphatically ordered that the camp doctors must employ “all means available” to ensure that the death rate in the camps “drop significantly”.

“More than they have in the past,” he continued, the camp doctors must supervise the nutrition of the inmates and incorporate proposals for improvements in agreement with the camp commandants. These proposals must not merely remain on paper but must be inspected regularly by the camp doctors. Moreover, the camp doctors must make sure that working conditions in the individual work sites are improved as much as possible. For this purpose it is necessary for the camp doctors to make inspections of conditions at the work sites.

Glücks made it clear who had ordered such measures. “The Reichsführer SS [Heinrich Himmler] has ordered that the death rate absolutely must be reduced.” Indeed, Himmler – the so-called “architect of genocide” – was so concerned at the death rate in the concentration camps that two weeks earlier, on December 15, 1942, he told Pohl that he must try to obtain for the nourishment of the prisoners in 1943 the greatest quantity of raw vegetables and onions. In the vegetable season issue carrots, kohlrabi, white turnips and whatever such vegetables there are in large quantities and store up sufficient for the prisoners in the winter so that they have a sufficient quantity every day. I believe we will raise the state of health substantially thereby.[246]This document, not mentioned by Butz, is in the Imperial War Museum, London (H/13/70). Quoted in P. Padfield, Himmler: Reichsführer SS (London: Macmillan, 1990), p. 441.

In the second document cited by Butz, dated January 20, 1943, Glücks instructed all camp commandants to “make every effort to reduce the death rate in the camps” (“mit allen Mitteln zu versuchen, die Sterblichkeitsziffer im Lager herunterzudrücken“). Glücks clearly wanted this matter taken seriously: “I hold the camp commandant and the head of the camp administration personally responsible for examining every possibility of preserving the prisoners’ capacity for work.”[247]“Ich mache den Lagerkommandanten und der Leiter der Verwaltung des Konzentrationslagers für die Erschöpfung jeder Möglichkeit zur Erhaltung der Arbeitskraft der Häftlinge persönlich verantwortlich.” This document, like the others cited, clearly indicates that the general policy of Himmler and the SS was not to exterminate internees, but was to keep as many of them alive as possible in order to utilize their labour.

Butz argued that, despite the WVHA’s “campaign” to reduce the death rate in the concentration camps, by the middle of 1943 the death rate was still too high although it had stabilised. On September 30, 1943 Pohl sent Himmler a progress report.[248]Butz, The Hoax, pp. 126, 127. The document is 1469-PS in NMT, Volume V, pp. 379-382. The tabulated statistics in this report reveal that 1,442 men and 938 women (out of a total of 68,000 internees) had died in Auschwitz during the month of August 1943. This represents about eighty deaths per day, or a combined death rate of 3.3% for the month. Buchenwald, by comparison, had a much lower death rate of 0.67% for the month, whilst Dachau’s was 0.23% and Bergen-Belsen’s was 0.12%. Only Lublin (Majdanek) had a higher death rate in August 1943. Regarding the Auschwitz death rate, which grew still further in 1944, Butz wrote:

It is perfectly obvious that these deaths, however deplorable and whatever the nature and location of the responsibility, had nothing to do with extermination or with Jews as such. From the point of view of the higher SS administration, they were “catastrophic” and efforts were made to bring them under control. It is not at all remarkable that with such death rates, cremation and mortuary facilities anticipating worst period death rates of even hundreds per day existed at Auschwitz.[249]Butz, The Hoax, p. 127.

It was because of the extremely high death rate that Auschwitz and other camps constructed crematory facilities, according to Butz. The hygienic disposal of diseased cadavers was essential if the camps were to have any chance of combating the epidemics. The crematory facilities were not constructed in the concentration camps as part of a programme of systematic extermination; they were constructed to destroy efficiently and hygienically the cadavers of the hundreds of camp inmates who died every day of typhus, tuberculosis, dysentery, diarrhea, malnutrition, overwork and other such ‘natural causes’.

Butz’s claims regarding the horrific death rate in the concentration camps caused by typhus and other diseases appear fantastic, yet they are based on reliable evidence. In times of war diseases have almost always claimed more lives than wounds received in battle. This is especially true when military or civilian populations have been malnourished, poorly clothed and forced to cope with sanitary underprivilege and low level hygiene. The American Civil War is a good example. Friedrich Paul Berg noted:

Out of a total of 359,528 Union deaths from all causes, 110,070 were from combat but 224,586 were from disease. Of the deaths from disease, 44,000 were from “diarrhea and dysentery, acute and chronic” and 34,883 were from “typhoid, typhomalarial, and continued fevers.” By contrast, the total number of deaths arising from combat at the Battle of Gettysburg for the Union army is only 3,155 and for the Confederate army is only 3,903.[250]F. P. Berg, Typhus and the Jews (Reedy, WV.: Liberty Bell Publications, 1989), p. 6. Berg’s sources are reputable works of medical history: S. Brooks, Civil War Medicine (Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas, 1966), p. 126; P. Steiner, Disease in the Civil War (Springfield, Ill.: Charles C. Thomas, 1968), pp. 10, 132.

Typhus, said Berg, is carried by lice and spreads with great rapidity, particularly through a poorly nourished and overcrowded population. In recent centuries it has afflicted principally the countries of Eastern Europe during times of war, especially during cold weather when people have been less willing to endure the brief discomfort of properly bathing and cleaning their clothing.[251]Berg, Typhus, p. 18.

One of the medical specialists quoted by Berg wrote:

Thus in Russia during the period 1919 to 1922 the estimated number of cases [of typhus] 10,000,000, with 3,000,000 deaths, in a population of 120,000,000. These are stupendous figures. Their scale can be realized to some extent by recalling that in the much described typhus epidemic in London in 1856 only 1,062 cases were recorded as treated in the London Fever Hospital out of a population of 3,000,000 whereas in Russia in the year 1921 alone there were 4,000,000 cases in a population of 120,000,000.[252]M. D. Mackenzie, “Some Practical Considerations in the Control of Louse borne Typhus Fever in Great Britain in the Light of Experience in Russia, Poland, Rumania and China”, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, Volume 35 (London: 1942), pp. 144-5. Quoted in Berg, Typhus, p. 19.

Lucy S. Dawidowicz, in her well-received book on the Holocaust, described the conditions in the Jewish ghettos in Eastern Europe during the Second World War. She noted that in the Warsaw ghetto the death toll from typhus was estimated at 15 percent”. In that one ghetto alone, Dawidowicz wrote,

epidemic typhus was believed to have affected between 100,000 and 150,000 persons, though the official figures were barely over 15,000. The spread of disease was concealed from the Germans. Hospital cases of typhus were recorded as “elevated fever” or pneumonia. Mainly, the stricken were treated in their homes in a massive clandestine operation, covering up the presence of the disease from German inspection teams who periodically threatened to seal off the affected areas.[253]Dawidowicz, War, pp. 214-215.

That typhus and other diseases were responsible for a large percentage of all deaths in Auschwitz and other labour and concentration camps is apparent not only from the many documents cited by Butz and other Revisionists, but also from documents and photographs published in Jean-Claude Pressac’s Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers. For example, Pressac reproduced one of the graphic posters displayed throughout Auschwitz by the SS. It features a human skull and a single louse and the warning: “One Louse, Your Death!”[254]“Eine Laus Dein Tod! Wesz to smierc!” (Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 54) This bilingual (German/Polish) poster is reproduced below as Appendix II. The poster was clearly designed to impress upon Auschwitz internees the terrible danger of typhus-bearing lice. “One Louse, Your Death!”, along with various other health warnings, was also painted on the walls of various buildings.[255]Cf. Ibid., p. 62. One of the other health messages painted on the walls was “Sauber sein ist deine Pflicht”.
(“Eine Laus Dein Tod! Wesz to smierc!” (Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 54) This bilingual (German/Polish) poster is reproduced below as Appendix II.)

Pressac’s book also reveals that the SS authorities were so committed to combating typhus that they constructed at great cost a number of large disinfestation installations. The dozens of original blueprints and architectural plans published by Pressac show that these buildings contained a large number of Entwesungskammer (disinfestation chambers), including around twenty-five which utilized Zyklon-B. Almost all of these chambers were small (10m2) and technologically advanced. Additionally, most of the buildings contained an Auskleideraum (undressing room), a Scherraum (shearing room, where heads were shaved), a Brauseraum (shower room), Trockenraum (drying room), Untersuchungsraum (medical examination room), and an Ankleideraum (dressing room).

A typical delousing cycle was as follows: after entering the unreine Seite (dirty side) of the disinfestation facility, the internees took off their clothes in the heated undressing room.[256]Pressac provided a photograph of the undressing room in the Desinfektions u. Entwesungsanlage im K.G.L. Auschwitz (disinfection and disinfestation installation in the Auschwitz [Birkenau] POW camp), which clearly shows, as Pressac himself pointed out, tubular radiators around the walls. These heaters existed in all rooms in the installation, said Pressac. The heaters were removed after the war, as one of his photographs shows. Pressac was clearly bothered by the existence of these heaters, and by their removal. He explained why he thought they had been removed: It is difficult to “leave coexisting in a ‘history’ to be shown to tourists, a building where the prisoners were generously warmed” whilst also showing them crematories where more than a million of them were purportedly exterminated in gas chambers. (Ibid., p. 78).
(“Eine Laus Dein Tod! Wesz to smierc!” (Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 54) This bilingual (German/Polish) poster is reproduced below as Appendix II.)
Their clothes were taken away to be deloused. The internees then had their hair cut off in the shearing room. Next they were inspected by the medical team. After this they showered in the large shower and wash rooms, and after drying themselves with towels in the drying rooms they entered the dressing rooms where they put on either their old clothes or new clothes. They then left from the reine Seite (clean side) of the buildings. Their clothes, after being taken off in the undressing room, were removed by staff and placed into the unreine Seite of the disinfestation chambers. There were three types of chambers: hot air chambers, Zyklon-B chambers and autoclaves utilizing pressurized steam. After the clothes have been deloused, they were removed from the reine Seite of the chambers and given back to the internees.

Pressac’s book also shows that large quantities of Zyklon-B were used routinely in Auschwitz to disinfest barracks and other buildings, as Butz and other Revisionists claim. One particular document describing such operations is worthy of particular mention. It is Commandant Höß’s Special Order of August 12, 1942.[257]Sonderbefehl, dated August 12, 1942, in ibid., p. 201. The German original of this illuminating document is reproduced below as Appendix III.
(“Eine Laus Dein Tod! Wesz to smierc!” (Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 54) This bilingual (German/Polish) poster is reproduced below as Appendix II.)
Höß informed select members of his staff that because of a recent case of slight poisoning by Zyklon-B it was “necessary to warn all those participating in the gassings ["Vergasungen"]” that when rooms used for gassings are opened, extreme care must be taken. If they are not wearing gas masks staff members must wait at least five hours and keep at least fifteen metres away from the chambers. They must also pay particular attention to the wind direction. Höß advised that “the gas being used at the moment contains less odorous agent and is therefore especially dangerous”.

Even Pressac, a fervent anti-Revisionist, agrees that this document refers to Nazi “gassings” intended to save life, not take it. This is clear from the document itself. Höß had forty-two copies made and distributed to officials throughout the camp who were clearly not involved in homicidal activities. Copies were sent, for example, to the Reitstall (riding Stables), Landwirtschaft (agriculture) staff, Telefonvermittlung (telephone exchange), SS-Kantinengemeinschaft (SS Canteen) and Funkst[ation] (radio station). Pressac conceded that this document (“there was nothing whatsoever ‘secret’ about it”) can no longer be passed off as “damning proof of the existence of homicidal gas chambers”.[258]Ibid., p. 188.
(“Eine Laus Dein Tod! Wesz to smierc!” (Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 54) This bilingual (German/Polish) poster is reproduced below as Appendix II.)

Other original German documents reproduced or cited in Pressac’s book support Butz’s claims that “gassings” occurred in Auschwitz and other camps to save the lives of Jews and other internees. A Fahrgenehmigung (travel authorisation) was issued by radio on July 22, 1942, abovethe signature of Richard Glücks. It gave permission for a five-tonne truck to travel from Auschwitz to the Zyklon-B production plant in Dessau to “pick up gas for gassing ["Gas für Vergasung"] in the camp, to combat the epidemic that has broken out.” On 29, July, 1942 another truck was sent to Dessau, this time to pick up “gas urgently required for disinfection”. On January 7, 1943, another truck was sent to the Zyklon-B production plant in Dessau to pick up disinfection material”.[259]Ibid., pp. 188, 556.
(“Eine Laus Dein Tod! Wesz to smierc!” (Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 54) This bilingual (German/Polish) poster is reproduced below as Appendix II.)

As Pressac pointed out, there can be no suggestion that these deliveries of Zyklon-B were for exterminating humans in gas chambers. They were to combat the typhus epidemics. According to Pressac’s own calculations these three trucks alone returned to Auschwitz with around 12,000 (but possibly up to 15,000) one kilogram cans of Zyklon-B, which would have been sufficient to delouse the camp for several months. Because murdering humans takes far less Zyklon-B than killing disease-carrying lice there is no possibility that these huge quantities were ordered for the purpose of exterminating Jews. The very notion is ridiculous. Each monthly truckload of Zyklon-B contained around 5,000 kilograms, “enough to kill 1,250.000 people, more than the total number of Jews sent to Auschwitz!”[260]Ibid., p. 188.
(“Eine Laus Dein Tod! Wesz to smierc!” (Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 54) This bilingual (German/Polish) poster is reproduced below as Appendix II.)

These three Fahrgenehmigungen – already known to Faurisson and other leading Revisionists[261]Cf. R. Faurisson, Réponse à Pierre Vidal-Naquet (La Vielle Taupe, 1987), p. 40. – actually throw new light on the two Fahrgenehmigungen presented at war crimes trials, and by certain historians upholding received opinion on the Holocaust, as evidence of mass murder.[262]Cf. Gerald Fleming’s letter to the IHR, published in The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Eleven, Number Three, Fall 1991, pp. 375-6. Fleming cited two Fahrgenehmigungen – those of August 26, 1942 and October 2, 1942 – as “tangible and damning documentary evidence relating to mass gassings of human beings at Auschwitz- Birkenau.” Cf. the discussion of these documents on the 88th day of the ‘Auschwitz Trial’ in Frankfurt, September 11, 1964 (also cited by Fleming). Even Pressac believes these two travel authorisations are evidence of mass murder (Auschwitz: Technique, pp. 188, 556, 557). See also Hilberg, Destruction, p. 570; Reitlinger. Final Solution, p. 147 et al. They are the travel authorisations of August 26, 1942 and October 2, 1942. The first authorisation is for a truck (no size specified) to travel from Auschwitz to Dessau “to pick up material for special treatment” (“Abholung von Materialien für Sonderbeh[andlung]“). The second authorisation is for a five-tonne truck to pick up “material for the resettlement of the Jews[263]We shall analyse the phrase “special treatment” in another section of this thesis. The phrase “resettlement of the Jews” looks like a euphemism, yet in this context it almost certainly refers to the moving around of Jews within the camps and sub-camps of the massive Auschwitz complex. Such shifts necessitated the delousing of vacated barracks before they were filled with new internees. For example, Danuta Czech, head of the Department of Scientific Research at the PMO, noted in her detailed chronological study of Auschwitz that from August 6-10, 1942 all the female internees were moved from the main camp (Auschwitz I) to Birkenau (Auschwitz II). After this resettlement, their empty barracks were deloused. “After moving the female prisoners to Camp B-Ia in Birkenau,” wrote Czech, “the disinfection of the empty Blocks 1-10 in the main camp is begun. Zyklon B gas is used for this purpose.” (D. Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle: 1939-1945 (London/New York: l. B. Taurus, 1990), pp. 212-215). Czech’s book, incidentally, reveals the magnitude of the 1942 typhus epidemic. For example, Czech claims that throughout July 1942 a hundred or more internees – and some SS personnel – died most days in Auschwitz-Birkenau (p. 191 ff.) Her book also shows that the rigorous measures taken by the SS camp authorities to fight typhus included routine inspections and delousing of barracks, routine delousing of clothing and bedding, hospitilisation and medical treatment for sick internees, and camp quarantines. (“Materialien für die Judenumsiedlung“). These two travel authorisations certainly refer to the procurement of Zyklon-B from Dessau, but in the light of the first three travel authorisations mentioned above they need not be seem as euphemistically referring to the extermination of Jews. In any event, as Auschwitz was obtaining without any pretense massive quantities of Zyklon-B for delousing, there was no need – even if homicidal gassings were occurring – to use coded phrases. If a load of Zyklon-B was needed for the exterminations the WVHA could simply have authorised a truck to pick up more “material for disinfecting”.

Thus, our own analysis has shown that Butz was essentially correct about the typhus epidemics which ravaged the unfortunate populations of Auschwitz and many of the other Nazi concentration and labour camps. Even if it could be shown that there were no systematic exterminations, it would still be appropriate – as Butz himself pointed out – to call these places “death camps”.[264]Butz, The Hoax, p. 128. Tens of thousands, maybe more, perished in Auschwitz alone from typhus and a range of other diseases.

Butz mentioned in passing but failed to draw attention to the fact that most of these deathswere the direct result of Nazi policies. The Nazis, determined to destroy totally Jüdischen Herrschaft in Europe, wanted the Jews driven out of Germany and the occupied territories, and they were unconcerned with any incidental deaths. They brutally deported Jews from all the countries of occupied Europe and ‘concentrated’ them in these camps, where they perished at a rate that even alarmed their SS captors. The Nazis, therefore, did the Jews an enormous injustice and (laying aside claims of extermination for the moment) must be blamed and condemned for these deaths.

One must agree, however, that Butz provided sufficient evidence for one to conclude with certainty that the WVHA and the camp authorities themselves were alarmed and distressed at the death rate caused by typhus and the various other epidemics. Incidental deaths – even large numbers of them – is one thing: catastrophic epidemics are quite another. The SS authorities responsible for the concentration camp system reacted immediately to the epidemics by ordering counter-measures. One of the most important of these counter-measures – the delousing and disinfestation programme – involved Zyklon-B. Despite its infamous reputation, it is apparent that Zyklon-B was widely and routinely used in the camps to save the lives of Jews and others. At enormous expense the SS constructed disinfestation installations in the camps, including those now claimed to have had homicidal gas chambers. They also used Zyklon-B to delouse internees’ barracks and most other buildings in the camps.

It is obvious that these life-preserving SS activities can not easily be reconciled with the image of the camps presented by most writers on the subject and by most former internees. It appears nonsensical to have the SS operating homicidal gas chambers utilizing Zyklon-B, for the specific purpose of murdering Jews and other internees, in the same camps as the SS were operating delousing chambers also utilizing Zyklon-B, for the specific purpose of saving the lives of those internees.

Accepted opinion, of course, is that in Auschwitz and the other extermination camps all Jews who could not work were immediately dispatched to the gas chambers. It is also said that when transports of Jews arrived in Auschwitz they underwent a selection process. Those who could work were separated from those who could not. Those unable to work – either because they were too young, too old, too sick or too weak – were taken away and gassed almost immediately. Therefore, it would be possible, according to this view, to make extensive use of Zyklon-B to preserve the lives of those whose labour was desperately needed whilst also making extensive use of Zyklon-B to murder those who could not contribute to the labour force and whose very existence would be a drain on the camp’s resources.

This argument is superficially plausible, and is certainly consistent with former internees’ descriptions of the brutal selections, which often separated (sadly, sometimes for good) children from their parents or siblings, or husbands from their wives. However, Butz pointed out that this argument has one major flaw: an impartial investigation of the evidence reveals that a large percentage of Jewish internees in Auschwitz were classed as “unable to work” but were, nonetheless, not exterminated. To support this surprising claim, Butz cited a report from Pohl to Himmler, dated April 5, 1944 and classified “Secret”.[265]Nuremberg document NO 021, in NMT, Volume V, pp. 384-385 (Butz, The Hoax, p. 124). See Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle, p. 606; Hilberg, Destruction, p. 561. There were, said Pohl, 46,000 male and 21,000 female internees in the Auschwitz complex, and of these 67,000 internees some 18,000 were invalids or sick in hospital. Moreover, no less than 15,000 of these sick or disabled persons were in Auschwitz II (Birkenau), allegedly the worst of all extermination centres. Butz also quoted Gerald Reitlinger, who had written in The Final Solution that between the summer of 1942 and the summer of 1944 “only a fraction of the starved and ailing Birkenau population had been employed at all.”[266]Reitlinger, Final Solution, p. 119 (p. 125 in the 1962 edition cited by Butz), in The Hoax, p.124. Reitlinger also noted, said Butz, that two thirds of the 18,000 internees in the Birkenau male camp on May II, 1944 were classified as “immobile”, “unemployable” and “unassigned”.[267]Ibid., p. 119 (p. 125 in the 1962 edition), in The Hoax, p. 124. Butz did not mention, however, that Reitlinger also claimed that 7,527 of the 11,311 ‘unemployed’ internees in the men’s camp were gassed within the next three months. Butz used only those sections of Reitlinger’s analysis that were suitable for his own purposes and ignored unsuitable sections. Yet, to be fair, the only evidence cited by Reitlinger (pp. 170, 188) was the WRB report of November 1944, which Butz discussed at length later in The Hoax.
(Reitlinger, Final Solution, p. 119 (p. 125 in the 1962 edition cited by Butz), in The Hoax, p.124.)
These internees were quartered in sick blocks and quarantine blocks. “This,” concluded Butz, “makes it impossible to accept the assumption, so often expressed, that to be sick and unemployable and to be sent to Birkenau meant execution.”[268]Butz, The Hoax, p. 125. Mark Weber cites a document that appears to support this claim. It is an internal telex message of September 4, 1943 from SS-Standartenführer Gerhardt Maurer, the chief of Amt D-II (Arbeitseinsatz der Häftlinge – Prisoner Labour Allocation) of the WVHA. This document stales that only around 3,500 of the 25,000 Jews interned in Auschwitz at that time were able to work.[269]German Document No. 128, Archives of the Jewish Historical Institute of Warsaw (H. Eschwege (ed.), Kennzeichen J (East Berlin: 1966), p. 264). Cited in M. Weber, Auschwitz: Myths and Facts, p. 3. Maurer, as head of Amt D-II, was superbly informed about the labour situation in Auschwitz. Of all the WVHA leaders, he would have known best who was and who was not working in that camp. Cf. Broszat, et al., Anatomie des SS-Staates, Band II, pp. 134-137; Höß, Kommandant in Auschwitz, p. 132, 138ff, 143ff, 158-164, 170, 181.

Butz’s claim that it was the intention of the Auschwitz camp authorities to treat sick internees, as opposed to exterminating them, gains further support from original German architectural plans of the camp published in Pressac’s book. On page 512 of Auschwitz: Technique appears a photographic reproduction of a plan for a new “Häftlings-Lazarett u. Quarantäne-Abt.” (“Prisoner Hospital and Quarantine Section”) in the “Mexiko” section of Birkenau.[270]Bauleitung Drawing 2521: Häftlings-Lazarett u. Quarantäne-Abt. (see below, Appendix IV). This plan, drawn in Berlin on June 6, 1943 and accepted by the Auschwitz Bauleitung on June 30, 1943, reveals that the new hospital and quarantine section would house 16,596 sick internees. This was a huge improvement on the alreadysubstantial hospital facilities in Section B.IIf. Although Pressac did not mention it, a simple reading of the plan shows that the new section was to be a fully-equipped medical section. The legend “Röntgen u. Behandlung” shows that X-ray machinery was to be installed in two buildings. Other legends on the plan show that the section was also to have surgeries and operating rooms, a medical supply centre, quarters for thousands of seriously ill internees, an extensive quarantine area, laundry facilities, and its own delousing facilities. Another architectural plan in Pressac’s book – “Krankenbaracke für Häftlinge[271]“Krankenbaracke für Häftlinge” (Barracks for sick prisoners), Bauleitung Drawing 2471, in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 513. – shows in detail what the barracks for sick internees were to be like in the huge hospital and quarantine section.

Pressac pointed out that this new hospital section was started but never completed. This, he lamented, “brought about appalling sanitary conditions”[272]Ibid., p. 512.
(“Krankenbaracke für Häftlinge” (Barracks for sick prisoners), Bauleitung Drawing 2471, in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 513.)
Because of the massive influx of Hungarian Jews, which the camp could not handle, this new section ended up becoming a huge transit camp in May and June 1944. It was expanded in size to house some 60,000 internees. Nonetheless, Pressac conceded that the design plan of the massive hospital and quarantine section is “a real godsend for the revisionists”. It is difficult, he said, to reconcile this intended section with Birkenau’s purported role as an extermination centre:

There is incompatibility in the creation of a health camp a few hundred yards from the Krematorien [sic] where, according to official history, people were exterminated on a large scale… It is obvious that KGL Birkenau cannot have had at one and the same time two opposing functions: health care and extermination. The plan for building a very large hospital section in BA III thus shows that the Krematorien were built purely for incineration, without any homicidal gassings…[273]Ibid., p. 512. Emphasis in original.
(“Krankenbaracke für Häftlinge” (Barracks for sick prisoners), Bauleitung Drawing 2471, in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 513.)

Pressac, who believes that mass exterminations did occur in Birkenau, offered a very weak explanation for this obvious “incompatibility”. Medical care could be given to Jewish internee’s “just outside the Krematorien which had annihilated their relatives and [which] could do the same to them at any moment” because of the “capacity for ‘doublethink’ (to use the term coined by George Orwell in ’1984′) of the SS hierarchy, who blindly executed orders even when they were totally contradictory.”[274]Ibid., p.512.
(“Krankenbaracke für Häftlinge” (Barracks for sick prisoners), Bauleitung Drawing 2471, in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 513.)

Thus, one must conclude that Butz has demonstrated that, contrary to accepted opinion, the SS expended enormous amounts of time, energy and money on saving and maintaining the lives of concentration and labour camp internees, both Jewish and non-Jewish. However, Butz – always trying to present the Germans at their best and the Jews at their worst – failed to emphasise that these SS actions were not the result of humanitarianism. Jews, like Gypsies and other “Untermenschen“, were in the camps in the first place only because they were utterly despised and considered to be vermin. Regardless of their age and health, Jews were brutally forced from their homes and crowded into trucks and trains, which carried them to the concentration camps. Sadly, many did not survive these terrible journeys. Once inside the camps the vast majority of internees became virtual slaves, both to the SS camp administrators and to the equally feared (if not more feared) elite groups of internees who supervised them on an everyday basis. Moreover, life in the camps was generally very difficult. Internees were forced to work long hours, often to the point of exhaustion. For example, on November 22, 1943 Pohl instructed the commandants of all concentration camps that

the eleven-hour working day laid down for prisoners must be maintained even during the winter months. Because of the limited daylight hours and the following onset of darkness, outside work detachments ["Außenkommandos"] (those in construction, for example) which must return to the camp in good time are exempt. But those prisoners working in factories or workshops must work eleven hours per day from Monday to Saturday inclusive. Prisoners may also work on Sundays when urgently needed, but only for the mornings. Because so much work essential to the war effort and to victory is now being done by [concentration camp] prisoners, under no circumstances is it permissible for the actual working day to be less than eleven hours.[275]NO-1290, in NMT, Vol. VIII, p. 371. Translated by present writer from text in Broszat, et al., Anatomie des SS-Staates, Band II, p. 142 (see Butz, p. 50). Emphasis in original. However, in their efforts to increase productivity the SS actually rewarded concentration camp internees who worked hard. On May 15, 1943 Pohl had issued a special “Prämien-Ordnung” (“system of rewards”) for internees. Accordingly: “Prisoners who distinguish themselves by hard work, vigilance, good behaviour and notable achievements at work will from now on receive privileges. These consist of: 1) loosening of confinement conditions, 2) extra food rations, 3) Financial rewards, 4) tobacco, 5) permission to visit [camp] brothels ["Bordellbesuch"]” (Doc. NO-400 in ibid., p. 127). On February 14, 1944 Pohl issued supplementary regulations. These “weitere Vergünstigung” included further financial rewards and visits to the camp cinema shows. Contrary to popular opinion, there were brothels and cinemas in most, if not all, concentration camps – including Auschwitz.
(“Krankenbaracke für Häftlinge” (Barracks for sick prisoners), Bauleitung Drawing 2471, in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 513.)

It is clear, therefore, that the SS did not expend so much time, energy and money on keeping concentration camp internees alive for humanitarian reasons. Basically, they did so only to maintain the labour force they were using in industries essential to the war effort. Butz should have made this point, and could have done so in his discussion of the employment of internees at the extensive I. G. Farben “Buna” industrial complex at Auschwitz III (Monowitz). This coal hydrogenation complex, as Butz pointed out, was designed to process synthetic rubber using the Buna process and to manufacture oil, gasoline and various chemicals.

Butz, convinced that homicidal gas chambers did not exist in any camp, believed that war-time Allied propaganda (largely motivated by Jewish organisations) was responsible for the belief that mass gassings occurred. He quoted excerpts from perhaps one hundred articles published during the war in the New York Times relating to the Nazi treatment of Jews. Claims of homicidal gassings do appear in these war-time news reports, but whilst some of them relate to gassings in Auschwitz and other camps now designated as “death camps”, others relate to gassings that are now known never to have taken place. For example, Sholem Asch, a Jewish writer, reported in the February 7, 1943 issue of the New York Times that “gas chambers and blood poisoning stations … are established in the outlying countryside, where steam shovels prepare community graves for the victims.”[276]Quoted in Butz, The Hoax, p. 78. No reputable scholar today would believe this strange allegation. The New York Times of June 13, 1943, citing as its only evidence the Swedish Jewish Chronicle, seriously claimed that in the BrestLitovsk district of eastern Poland “thousands [of Jews] were gassed to death in hermetically sealed barns”.[277]Quoted in ibid., p. 82.
(Quoted in Butz, The Hoax, p. 78.)
Again, no reputable scholar would accept that these barn gassings occurred. One might be justified in wondering how barns, of all buildings, could be “hermetically sealed”, or what gas they used for the murders. It would be almost impossible to force a lethal concentration of CO into a barn, and whilst Zyklon-B (HCN) could be used to kill people in such a building, the gas is so deadly that even tiny leaks would cause the deaths of all those conducting the gassings. Butz also pointed out that in wartime reports of Nazi atrocities against Jews gas was not the only killing agent mentioned. Electricity and steam also feature prominently. On December 20, 1942, by way of illustration, the New York Times insisted that they had “irrefutable news” that systematic extermination by gassing and “electrocution” was being organised at Chelmno and Belzec.[278]Quoted in ibid., p. 77.
(Quoted in Butz, The Hoax, p. 78.)
On February 12, 1944 the same newspaper, using as its source “a young Polish Jew who escaped from a mass execution”, reported that in Belzec “Jews were forced naked onto a metal platform operated as a hydraulic elevator which lowered them into a huge vat filled with water… They were electrocuted by current through the water.”[279]Quoted in ibid., p. 146.
(Quoted in Butz, The Hoax, p. 78.)
The New York Times of August 8, 1943 reported that “the Germans have killed 2,000,000 persons” with steam in Treblinka alone. The article stated that

when the cells are filled they are closed and sealed. Steam is forced through apertures and suffocation of the victims begins. At first cries can be heard but these gradually subside and after fifteen minutes all is silent. The execution is over… Often a gravedigger is too weak to carry two bodies, as ordered, so he ties arms or legs together and runs to the burial ground, dragging them behind him.[280]Quoted in ibid., p. 84. These absurd stories have unfortunately been repeated to the present day. For example, in 1978 the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith published a 16-page publication in newspaper format, entitled The Record: The Holocaust in History, 1933-1945. On its first printing, The Record was distributed free to some twenty million people in the United States as an advertising supplement in Sunday newspapers. It was reprinted in 1985, and was again distributed in enormous quantities. It is still being circulated by the ADL, from whom the present writer received a free copy. This publication, supposedly a thoughtful introduction to the Holocaust, includes several of the fantastic war-time reports described above. For example, it includes a reprint of the August 8, 1943 New York Times report which claimed that two million persons were systematically exterminated in Treblinka alone by steaming them to death. After the steaming, the report said, a trap door is opened and the bodies “fall in a compact mass, stuck together by the heat and steam.” Sadly, many other historical errors or long-discredited claims were included in The Record, such as the above mentioned claim that in Belzec Jews were electrocuted in huge mechanically-operated vats of water.
(Quoted in Butz, The Hoax, p. 78.)

Although Butz does not seem to have mentioned it, similar bizarre claims were also made about Auschwitz. After the liberation of Auschwitz, American newspapers, citing a Soviet report, stated that the Nazis exterminated Jews in that camp using “an electric conveyor bell” on which hundreds of persons could be “electrocuted simultaneously [and] then moved on into furnaces. They were burned almost instantly, producing fertilizer for nearby cabbage fields.”[281]Cf. Washington Daily News, February 2, 1945, pp. 2, 35. Cited in Weber, Auschwitz: Myths and Facts, p. 2. At the main Nuremberg trial, Robert Jackson, the American Chief Prosecutor, questioned Albert Speer about Germany’s research in atomic energy. According to his information, Jackson said, an experiment was conducted during the war in a village near Auschwitz. 20,000 Jews were put into temporary structures and, “by means of this newly invented weapon of destruction, these 20,000 people were eradicated almost instantaneously, and in such a way that there was no trace left of them.[282]IMT, Volume XVI, pp. 529-530. The above-mentioned claims of systematic exterminations in electrifying water vats and in steam chambers were also made at the main Nuremberg trial. (cf. Document 3311-PS, IMT, Volume XXXII, pp. 155-158; Proceedings of February 19, 1946: IMT, Volume VII, pp. 576-577; Proceedings of February 29, 1946: IMT, Volume XII, p. 369; et al. It is worth noting that these exterminations, which certainly never occurred were described in great detail in the Nuremberg evidence, as were the very buildings in which they were allegedly committed. Speer, of course, denied this fanciful claim.

Although reports of mass gassings in Auschwitz appeared in the west in early 1944 (and even once or twice in 1943[283]Butz, The Hoax, p. 84.), said Butz, the “Auschwitz legend” was born in November 1944 when the U. S. Government’s War Refugee Board (WRB) published its now-famous report.[284]The German Extermination Camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau: Two Eye-Witness Reports (Washington, D.C.: War Refugee Board, Executive Office of the President, November 1944). As Butz noted, two young Slovakian Jews, Alfred Wetzler and Rudolf Vrba (formerly Walter Rosenberg), escaped from Birkenau on April 7, 1944. They later wrote a report based on their observations in Birkenau. This report – along with a report by Czeslaw Mordowicz and Arnost Rosin, Jews who apparently escaped from Birkenau on May 27, 1944, and the report of Jerzy Wesolowski (not named by Butz[285]Danuta Czech names the “Polish major” described in the WRB report as Jerzy Tabeau, who was registered in Auschwitz as Jerzy Wesolowski (Auschwitz Chronicle, p. 529).), a Pole who escaped from Birkenau on November 19, 1943 – was published in November 1944 by the War Refugee Board, excerpts of Vrba and Wetzler’s account had already been published in the July 3 and 6, 1944 issues of the New York Times[286]Butz. The Hoax, p. 147.. after their observations were made public in Switzerland, but a complete English translation was not published until the WRB issued its report.

For the purposes of this thesis, the most important part of the WRB report is the section written by Vrba and Wetzler (who remained anonymous until around 1960). At Birkenau, they claimed,

there are four crematoria in operation … two large ones, I and II [now commonly referred to as II and III], and two smaller ones, III and IV [IV and V]. Those of type I and II consist of three parts, i.e.: (A) the furnace room; (B) the large hall; and (C) the gas chamber. A huge chimney rises from the furnace room around which are grouped nine furnaces, each having four openings. Each opening can take three normal corpses at once and after an hour and a half the bodies are completely burned. This corresponds to a daily capacity of about 2,000 bodies. Next to this is a large “reception hall” which is arranged so as to give the impression of the antechamber of a bathing establishment. It holds 2,000 people and apparently there is a similar waiting room on the floor below. From there a door and a few steps lead down into the very long and narrow gas chamber. The walls of this chamber are also camouflaged with simulated entries to shower rooms in order to mislead the victims. The roof is fitted with three traps [that is, openings] which can be hermetically closed from the outside. A [rail]track leads from the gas chamber towards the furnace room. The gassings take place as follows: the unfortunate victims are brought into hall (B) where they are told to undress. To complete the fiction they are going to bathe, each person receives a towel and a small piece of soap issued by two men clad in white coats. Then they are crowded into the gas chamber (C) in such numbers that there is, of course, only standing room. To compress this crowd into the narrow space, shots are often fired to induce those already at the far end to huddle still closer together. When everybody is inside, the heavy doors are closed. Then there is a short pause, presumably to allow the room temperature to rise to a certain level, after which SS men with gas masks climb on the roof, open the traps, and shake down a preparation in powder form out of tin cans labelled “CYKLON” “For use against vermin,” which is manufactured by a Hamburg concern. It is presumed that this is a “CYANIDE” mixture of some sort which turns into gas at a certain temperature. After three minutes everyone in the chamber is dead… The chamber is then opened, aired, and the “special squad” carts the bodies on flat trucks to the furnace rooms where the burning takes place. Crematoria III and IV work on nearly the same principle, but their capacity is only half as large. Thus the total capacity of the four cremating and gassing plants at BIRKENAU amounts to about 6,000 daily.[287]WRB, I, pp. 14,15. Emphasis in original.

A “rough ground plan” of a crematory I and II (II and III) building – was included in the report, showing the position of the “gas chamber” in relationship to the large hall and furnace room. Each room leads directly on to the next. Clearly shown in the diagram is a rail track running from the gas chamber straight through the large hall to the furnace room. The nine furnaces (“each having four openings”) are shown to be situated around three sides of the base of the chimney.

This section of the WRB report also contains what was claimed to be a “careful estimate” of the number of Jews gassed in Birkenau between April 1942 and April 1944 alone. According to this estimate a total of “approximately 1,765,000″ Jews were gassed in just that two year period, including 900,000 from Poland, 150,000 from France, 100,000 from Holland, 60,000 from Germany and 50,000 from Belgium.[288]Ibid., I, p. 33.
(WRB, I, pp. 14,15. Emphasis in original.)

Butz’s analysis of the WRB report is particularly weak. He described the report’s contents at length, and devoted a number of pages to the identities of the authors, who had written the report anonymously “in the interests of their own safety”.[289]Ibid., I, p. 34.
(WRB, I, pp. 14,15. Emphasis in original.)
He also briefly described I Cannot Forgive, the book published by Vrba (with Alan Bestic) in 1964. Yet Butz provided no significant evidence to support his assertion that “in any case it is obvious that the WRB report is spurious.[290]Butz, The Hoax, p. 99. He challenged the accuracy of neither the diagram of the gas chambers nor the description of the gassing process. Nor did he attempt to refute the report’s estimates of how many persons had been gassed in Birkenau. Butz simply made a number of unsustained allegations about the report’s provenance and claimed that “the data given in the report is not the sort of information that escapees would carry out [of Birkenau]“.[291]Butz, The Hoax, p. 99. This response arguably typifies Butz’s work. When he encounters evidence he can not explain or refute (which, to be fair, is not frequently) he tends to resort to claims that the evidence must be fraudulent.

That is not to say that the WRB report is credible and reliable evidence of systematic extermination by gassing in Auschwitz-Birkenau. In the light of the evidence available today (much of it not available to Butz) it is apparent that the WRB report is decidedly inaccurate and unreliable. Those who have studied the original blueprints and architectural plans of the buildings now believed to have been gas chambers will immediately realize that the buildings in Vrba’s and Wetzler’s written description and drawn ground plan do not at all resemble the crematory buildings constructed by the SS in Auschwitz. According to the WRB report there were “nine furnaces, each having four openings” in the oven room, arranged around three sides of the chimney. As noted, the diagram in the report also shows this arrangement. However, contemporary photographs, the original German blueprints, and the extant correspondence between the crematory manufacturers and the Auschwitz Bauleitung, clearly indicate that the incineration rooms of Kremas II and III each had five three-retort ovens. That is, instead of each building having thirty-six oven openings, as the WRB report claims, they had fifteen. Moreover, all five ovens were arranged in front of the chimney (which was in another room). They were positioned one beside the other in a straight line.[292]Cf. Bauleitung drawing 932 (p), PMO Archives, BW30/01, neg. no. 17079 and 208/8/3. Reproduced in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, pp. 284-285 (see below, Appendix V). The WRB report indicates that the gas chamber of each building was at surface-level, whereas the Leichenkeller I – the claimed gas chambers – in both Krema II and Krema III were at semi-basement level. That is, they were underground. The rail track purportedly leading horizontally and in a straight line from the gas chambers through the large (undressing) halls to the furnace looms did not exist and could not possibly have existed. Leichenkeller I in each of the buildings was underground, whilst the oven rooms were above them, off at right angles, at surface level.[293]Cf. Bauleitung drawing 933[-934](p), PMO Archives, first drawing of BW 30/02, neg. no. 20957. Reproduced in ibid., p. 278.
(Cf. Bauleitung drawing 932 (p), PMO Archives, BW30/01, neg. no. 17079 and 208/8/3. Reproduced in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, pp. 284-285 (see below, Appendix V).)
Additionally, the large halls were not directly behind these Leichenkeller, so a small rail could not, as claimed, travel from one to the other. The original building plans clearly show that the hall (if Leichenkeller 2 is meant) of each building was also at semi-basement level, but was on a right angle to Leichenkeller I and separated by a “Gang” (corridor – also at a right angle), a “Vorraum” (vestibule) and several doors.[294]Bauleitung drawing 1311(p), PMO Archives, BW 30/11, neg. no. 20922/5; Bauleitung drawing 2003, PMO Archives, BW 30/12, neg. no. 20922/4. Reproduced in ibid., pp. 295, 302.
(Cf. Bauleitung drawing 932 (p), PMO Archives, BW30/01, neg. no. 17079 and 208/8/3. Reproduced in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, pp. 284-285 (see below, Appendix V).)
There could be no direct entry from one Leichenkeller to another, even if one was used as an undressing room and the other as a gas chamber, as the WRB report states. Lastly, recent research in crematory technology reveals, as we shall see below, that nowhere near 2,000 cadavers could have been cremated in Birkenau every twenty-four hours.

Vrba’s and Wetzler’s “careful estimate” of the number of Jews gassed in Birkenau between April 1942 and April 1944 are now considered entirely inaccurate even by historians upholding received opinion on the Holocaust. Vrba and Wetzler claimed, for example, that 150,000 French Jews were gassed in Birkenau during that two year period alone (and mass gassings allegedly continued at a furious pace until the end of 1944). However, Serge Klarsfeld, the well-known French ‘Nazi hunter’ and Holocaust historian, conducted an intensive analysis of the transportation lists containing the numbers and names of all Jews deported from France during the war. He demonstrated conclusively that the Nazis deported a total of 75,721 Jews (including foreign and stateless Jews) from France to concentration camps.[295]S. Klarsfeld, Le mémorial de la déportation des Juifs de France (Paris: The Klarsfeld Foundation, 1978). This figure does not represent those gassed, only those deported. Many returned to France or settled in other parts of Europe. It is the same with Vrba’s and Wetzler’s claim that the total number of Jews gassed in Birkenau between April 1942 and April 1944 was approximately 1,765,000. Accepted opinion (ignoring Revisionist opinion for the moment) is that only around one million Jews perished of all causes in the various Auschwitz camps, not just Birkenau, during the entire war. Jean-Claude Pressac stated that less than 1,125,000 Jews ever entered Auschwitz, let alone died there.[296]Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 188.

Rudolf Vrba, who had previously testified for the prosecution at the 1964 “Auschwitz Trial” in Frankfurt, testified for the prosecution in the 1985 trial of Ernst Zündel, a German-Canadian artist and publisher on trial for spreading “false news” (that is, for disseminating Revisionist material). Zündel, who has a sincere belief that the Holocaust did not occur, is committed to salvaging the reputation of the original National Socialist movement. At the Zündel trial in Toronto Vrba defended his description of Birkenau published in the WRB report and in his book I Cannot Forgive. Nonetheless, under crossexamination he made a number of concessions which throw considerable light on the claims he had made in the WRB report. For example, he stated that his “careful estimates” for the numbers of Jews gassed in Birkenau (1,765,000 in all) were based on no other evidence than his personal observations. He arrived at his figures simply by counting incoming transports and assuming that the internees were gassed. He could remember everything he saw and make accurate calculations because, he insisted, he “developed a special mnemonical method”.[297]In the District Court of Ontario Between Her Majesty the Queen and Ernst Zündel. Before the Honourable Judge H. R. Locke and a Jury (1985), p. 1639 (also see 1563). When asked how he knew what countries the victims had come from, Vrba replied that he listened to the languages the internees spoke and examined the type of luggage they carried.

Vrba admitted that some of the thousands of Jews he claimed were dispatched directly to the gas chambers on arrival in Birkenau may in fact have been going to the bath and disinfestation facilities (the road to which passed between Kremas II and III). He further admitted that, whilst he frequently observed Krema II from the window of the mortuary connected to Block 27 of camp B.Ib, which was about fifty metres away, he never actually entered the buildings with the gas chambers which he described in the WRB report.[298]Ibid., p. 1322.
(In the District Court of Ontario Between Her Majesty the Queen and Ernst Zündel. Before the Honourable Judge H. R. Locke and a Jury (1985), p. 1639 (also see 1563).)
Information about the interior of the crematory buildings came from Philip Müller (now a well-known writer on the Holocaust) and other members of the “Sonderkommando“. Vrba also stated that when he came to draw his plan of the gas chambers, published in the WRB report, he based it on “rough information” and “hearsay descriptions”.[299]Ibid., p. 1540.
(In the District Court of Ontario Between Her Majesty the Queen and Ernst Zündel. Before the Honourable Judge H. R. Locke and a Jury (1985), p. 1639 (also see 1563).)
The Toronto Sun of January 24, 1985 described this part of Vrba’s testimony at the Zündel trial in an article by Dick Chapman, entitled “Survivor never saw actual gassing deaths.” Part of this article states:

A concentration camp survivor yesterday admitted he never witnessed anybody being gassed to death and his book about Auschwitz-Birkenau is only “an artistic picture … not a document for a court.” Rudolf Vrba, now an assistant professor at the University of B.C., told the Ernst Zündel trial that his written and pictorial descriptions of the Auschwitz crematoria and gas chambers are based on “what I heard it might look like.”… He said some narrative passages in his book I Cannot Forgive are based on accounts of others. One Vrba passage says it took 90 minutes to burn a corpse, another said it took twenty minutes.

Vrba was rigorously questioned about I Cannot Forgive, which is presented as a factual and accurate account of his experiences in Birkenau. His testimony throws additional light on his attitude towards historical truth. He was forced to admit under cross-examination that many of the events he described never occurred and that he used “licentia poetarum” (poetic licence) in writing I Cannot Forgive.[300]Cf. Ibid., 1390-1393, 1446-1448.
(In the District Court of Ontario Between Her Majesty the Queen and Ernst Zündel. Before the Honourable Judge H. R. Locke and a Jury (1985), p. 1639 (also see 1563).)
The book was, he conceded, merely “an attempt for an artistic depiction” of what he believed had occurred. Actually, because of the number of inaccuracies in the book this was already known by most informed readers. I Cannot Forgive contains, for example, a detailed description of a visit Himmler made to Birkenau m January 1943 for the purpose of inaugurating a new crematory and gas chamber. 3,000 Polish Jews were allegedly gassed on this noteworthy occasion, much to Himmler’s satisfaction. However, it is well known to scholars of the Holocaust that Himmler’s last visit to Auschwitz was in July 1942, just as the typhus epidemic was beginning to ravage the camp, and that even in January 1943 the first of the new crematory buildings was still far from finished.

It thus appears that the WRB report of November 1944, like Vrba’s other literary effort, I Cannot Forgive, is of little value as evidence of what transpired in Birkenau during the early 1940s. It is inaccurate and at least partly concocted. Even Pressac, who devoted several pages of Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers to a defence of the WRB report, stated that Vrba’s and Wetzler’s “accuracy is not great in the light of what we know now” and that the WRB report is “somewhat unreliable and even quite wrong on some points”.[301]Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, pp. 459, 464 For Pressac’s analysis of the WRB report, see pages 459-467. For a Revisionist critique of this analysis, see Carlo Mattogno’s “Jean-Claude Pressac and the War Refugee Board Report”, The Journal of Historical Revisionism, Volume Ten, No. 4, Winter 1990-91, pp. 461-485. Mattogno is a leading Italian Revisionist. He is the author of Il rapporto Gerstein: anatomia di un falso and Auschwitz: due false testimonianze.

Butz argued that both popular and scholarly opinions on the Nazi treatment uf European Jews were shaped considerably by the publication of the WRB report in November 1944. “Thus,” he said, “was born the Auschwitz legend”. Despite his poor choice of words, Butz is probably correct. As soon as Vrba’s and Wetzler’s account reached the Hungarian Jewish leadership in May 1944, it was treated as the definitive report of what was happening in Poland to the Jews. At about this time Rabbi Michael Weissmandel and Gisi Fleischmann, leaders of the Slovak Jewish underground, sent the escapees’ account to Jewish leaders in Geneva, along with pleas to bomb Auschwitz and the main deportation routes. In June 1944 Vrba’s and Wetzler’s account reached Gerhart Riegner, the Swiss representative of the influential World Jewish Congress, and Roswell McClelland of the War Refugee Board. They sent summaries of the escapees’ account, along with the other accounts later published in the November 1944 WRB report, to the International Red Cross (which was horrified by the details of mass gassings) and to government leaders in the United States and Britain.[302]D. Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984), pp. 238,288-290, 295, 297, 301-2. Various European and American newspapers published excerpts. The full text reached Washington in November 1944, at which point it was published by the War Refugee Board and also released to the press. It was front page news in many newspapers through the United States. “News accounts were long and graphic; many newspapers followed up with editorials. Radio also spread the information.”[303]Ibid., p. 324.
(D. Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984), pp. 238,288-290, 295, 297, 301-2.)
Indeed, the WRB report, containing the first significant and detailed (but inaccurate and partly concocted, as we now know) description of the gassing process, was widely publicized in the last months of 1944 and the first months of 1945. it was, despite the errors, “regarded as authoritative for many years”.[304]Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 459.

The WRB report states that the SS used the term “Sonderbehandlung” (“special treatment” or “special handling”) as a euphemism for gassing. Butz noted that “Sonderbehandlung” appears in a number of other sources purported to be referring to extermination. He agreed that in some cases the authors did use the term to mean killing. Thus, he wrote:

There exists a document, apparently genuine, from the Gestapo District Headquarters, Düsseldorf, which specifies the manner in which executions of certain offending foreign workers were to be carried out, and which uses the term “Sonderbehandlung” as meaning execution There is; also a document, put into evidence at Eichmann’s trial, which referred to the execution of three Jews as Sonderbehandlung. Thus it seems correct that, in certain contexts, the term meant execution.[305]Butz, The Hoax, p. 112. Butz was referring to Document NO-4634 in NMT, Volume 4, p. 1166; Eichmann session 79, W1-Y1.

However, Butz disagreed with the notion that all references to “Sonderbehandlung” in war-time German documents indicates killings. The term was used in a variety of ways, and, depending on the context, could indicate either a harmless or destructive action. This particular term was not unique in having a range of meanings, he said. “For example, I understand that, within the Central Intelligence Agency, “termination” can mean execution or assassination in certain contexts. However, the term obviously could also be applied to the dismissal of a typist for absenteeism.”[306]Ibid., p. 115.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 112. Butz was referring to Document NO-4634 in NMT, Volume 4, p. 1166; Eichmann session 79, W1-Y1.)
Butz provided an example of “Sonderbehandlung” being used to indicate the favourable treatment of certain persons, not their executions:

At the IMT trial, prosecution Amen led Kaltenbrunner, under cross examination, into conceding that the term might have meant execution as ordered by Himmler. Then, in an attempt to implicate Kaltenbrunner personally in Sonderbehandlung, Amen triumphantly produced a document which presents Kaltenbrunner as ordering Sonderbehandlung for certain people. Amen wanted Kaltenbrunner to comment on the document without reading it, and there was an angry exchange in this connection, but Kaltenbrunner was finally allowed to read the document, and he then quickly pointed out that the Sonderbehandlung referred to in the document was for people at “Winzerstube” and at “Walzertraum”, that these two establishments were fashionable hotels which quartered interned notables, and that Sonderbehandlung in their cases meant such things as permission to correspond freely and to receive parcels, a bottle of champagne per day, etc.”[307]Ibid., p. 112 The exchange between Amen and Kaltenbrunner, accurately described by Butz, is recorded in IMT, Volume XI, pp. 336-339.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 112. Butz was referring to Document NO-4634 in NMT, Volume 4, p. 1166; Eichmann session 79, W1-Y1.)

Amongst the most important documents mentioning the Sonderbehandlung of Jews is the “Korherr Report”. On January 8, 1943, Himmler ordered Richard Korherr, Inspekteur für Statistik, to write a statistical report on the progress of “die Endlösung der europäischen Judenfrage” (“The Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe”). Two months later Korherr sent his Report, dated March 23, 1943, to SS-Obersturmbannführer Dr. R. Brandt of Himmler’s personal staff. Essentially, the sixteen-page report is a statistical record of the development and status of European Jewry up to December 31, 1942.”[308]Nuremberg Document NO-5195. On April 10, 1943, Brandt sent Korherr instructions that “Er wünscht, daß an keiner Stelle von “Sonderbehandlung der Juden” gesprochen wird.” (“he [Himmler] does not want the words “special treatment of Jews” to be used at all.”). Brandt told Korherr that he must change the wording on one page, so that it refers to the “Transportierung von Juden” (“transportation of Jews”), and re-submit the report.[309]Document NO-5196. Korherr dutifully made the changes and returned the report on April 28, 1943. In the meantime, on April 1, 1943 Himmler instructed Korherr to compile a summary of his report, so that it could be “shown to Hitler”. In a letter dated April 9, 1943, Himmler also informed the Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD in Berlin that he had received Korherr’s report and that he considered it “to be good material for a later date if necessary, namely for camouflage purposes” (“Tarnungszwecken“).[310]Document NO-5197. Korherr responded to the request for a summary and produced a seven-page report, dated April 19, 1943, with statistics updated to March 31, 1943.[311]Document NO-5193.

The Korherr Report records in statistical form the forced Evacuation (“Evakuierung“) of Jews up to December 31, 1942. Section V (on “die Evakuierung der Juden“) states that the total number of Jews evacuated was 1,873,549, of whom 1,449,692 were Jews “transported from the Eastern provinces to the Russian East”. Despite the fact that Himmler had forbidden the use of the term “Sonderbehandlung” in note four of page nine of the report, Korherr stated that his total figure of 1,873,549 included “Theresienstadt [ghetto for the aged] and special treatment” (“einschl. Theresienstadt und einschl. Sonderbehandlung“). Korherr noted that in addition to this total another 633,300 Russian Jews were “evacuated from Russian [and Russian-occupied] territories, including the formerly Baltic countries, since the beginning of the Eastern campaign.”

Korherr concluded his report by stating that whereas there were slightly more than ten million Jews in Europe in 1937, by the end of 1942 that number had decreased by around four million. “Altogether,” he said, “European Jewry must have decreased by almost half ["bald die Hälfte seines Bestandes verloren haben"] since 1933; that is to say, during the first decade of the development of power of National Socialism.” This significant decrease, he explained, was the result of the forced evacuations (that is, mass deportations), of the “excessive mortality of the Jews” (a very low birth rate and a very high death rate), of the “emigration abroad [to other continents] of Jews from European countries outside German influence”, and of “the masses of Jews who fled from European Russia deep into Asian Russia”. In his summarised version of April 19 1943 (NO-5193), Korherr stated that “a quarter of the total Jewish population of 1937 [that is, around 2,575,0001 had fled to other continents."

The Korherr Report has been cited by countless historians as "proof" that systematic exterminations occurred. "Evakuierung" ("evacuation"), they say, is the carefully-disguised euphemism for "extermination" that Himmler wanted Korherr to use in place of the usual euphemism, "Sonderbehandlung". Thus, according to this view, "Evakuierung" was used as a synonym for "Sonderbehandlung".[312]Cf. G. Wellers, “The Number of Victims and the Korherr Report”, in S. Klarsfeld (ed.), The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania (New York: The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1978), p. 139-161 (esp. p. 146) and appendices A to E (pp. 163-211); et al.

Butz limited himself to just a few remarks about the Korherr Report, and these were made in the context of a general discussion of the term “Sonderbehandlung“. He correctly pointed out, for example, that Korherr stated that 27,347 Jews had died in German concentration camps (including Auschwitz), a death total which is high but not indicative of systematic extermination.

Butz also wrote:

After Himmler examined the report he informed Korherr, through Brandt, that the term “Sonderbehandlung” should not be used in the report, and that transport to the East should be specified. Nevertheless the document, as it has come down to us, used the term in the way indicated. The document gives no hint how the term should be interpreted but since it occurs in such a way that it is linked with Theresienstadt [where systematic extermination is known not to have occurred], it is obviously fair to interpret it in a favorable sense, as a reference to some sort of favored treatment..[313]Butz, The Hoax, p. 113.

Although Butz is right in noting that the inclusion of Theresienstadt in Korherr’s list of “evacuated” Jews tends to suggest that extermination is not being meant by the phrase, the rest of his explanation is unsatisfactory. Describing the Nazi treatment of Jews mentioned in Korherr’s report as “favored” is absolutely inaccurate. If one accepts orthodox opinion on the Korherr report, which is that it refers to the extermination of Jews, one can hardly call this “favorable”. If one accepts the Revisionist interpretation, which is that the report refers non-euphemistically to forced deportation, then one can still not describe this as “favored treatment”. The deportation process was horrendous, and led both directly and indirectly to the deaths of enormous numbers of Jews.

The nature and scope of this thesis, coupled with the present writer’s limited access to pre-war and wartime eastern European demographic data prevent a detailed discussion of Korherr’s statistics, yet it may be appropriate to make one or two points which have a bearing on the phrase, “Sonderbehandlung“, and on the treatment of European Jews. First, Korherr, fed up with people (such as David Irving in the late 1970s) citing his report as evidence of mass exterminations, has himself strongly denied that “Sonderbehandlung“, at least in the context of his report, means killings. In a letter published in the July 25, 1977 issue of Der Spiegel (no. 31), Korrher declared that “Sonderbehandlung” actually denoted “Ansiedlung” (“settlement”). The relevant section of his letter reads:

unfortunately, Der Spiegel has published the claim of Irving, the English historian, that during the Spring of 1942, on Himmler’s orders, I calculated the number of Jewish victims. Actually, these figures were delivered to me, along with the text, in completed form by the Reich Security Head Office (RSHA) with the order that not one word or figure may be changed. The statement that I had claimed in this regard that more than a million Jews had died because of special treatment [Sonderbehandlung] in the camps in German-occupied Poland and in the Warthegau is also totally wrong. I must protest against the word “died” in this context.

It was precisely the term “special treatment” that made me ask the RSHA by telephone what this term actually meant. The answer I received was that the term referred to the Jews who were being settled in the District of Lublin.

Dr. Richard Korherr, Braunschweig[314]Georges Wellers, in his detailed but unpersuasive discussion of Korherr’s writings, cited this letter but unprofessionally quoted a few lines out of context to make it appear as though Korherr was supporting orthodox opinion on his report. The passage quoted above, in which Korherr emphatically denied that “Sonderbehandlung” meant killing or exterminating, was not mentioned by Wellers. (Wellers, “The Number of Victims and the Korherr Report: Appendix E”, in Klarsfeld (ed.), Neo-Nazi Mythomania, p. 211.

Second, even a cursory reading of the Korrher Report reveals that the statistics compiled by Korherr are hard to reconcile with accepted opinion on the fate of European Jews during World War II. For example, the 633,300 Jews described by Korherr as having been evacuated from Soviet territories are claimed by many scholars to have been exterminated by the Einsatzgruppen. Yet this figure can neither he reconciled with the fantastic figures given in the Einsatzgruppen reports themselves[315]See the statistics in H. Krausnick and H. H. Wilhelm, Die Truppe des Weltanschauungskrieges: Die Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD, 1938-1942 (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1981). nor with received opinion on the activities of the Einsatzgruppen. which is that a million or more Jews had been murdered up to the time Korherr wrote his report.[316]One Yad Vashem publication, using the figures presented before the IMT, states that “the Einsatzgruppen murdered about a million Jews from the beginning of the Russian campaign until the end of 1941.” Korherr’s report was written more than a year after this, in early 1943. (The Holocaust (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, n.d.), p. 48. Hilberg, vague about the dates involved, gives a figure of 1,400,000 for the total period (Destruction, p. 256).

Finally, it is important to be circumspect in dealing with sources which are believed to contain euphemisms. As Butz pointed out, a particular phrase can have a variety of meanings, from the most benign to the most malignant. For example, “Sonderaktion” (“special action” or “special operation”) has long been considered a euphemism for killing. In some cases it clearly could be interpreted to mean killing or execution. For example, the often-cited diary entries of Dr. Johann Paul Kremer appear, at least at first glance, to support the view that “Sonderaktion” really meant extermination. Kremer, a Professor of Anatomy at the University of Münster, worked as a doctor in Auschwitz from August 30 to November 18, 1942. Whilst there he performed routine medical duties but also conducted specialist research into hunger and emaciation. In particular, he investigated the organ deterioration and alteration of muscle tissue of the ‘Muslims’, sick persons who had reached the last stage of consumption. ‘Muslims’ were the living skeletons’ described in many books. Appropriately, Kremer worked and researched in Auschwitz at the height of the 1942 typhus epidemic, so he had plenty of ideal case studies. He kept a diary, and recorded his daily activities. On around a dozen occasions he wrote that he had witnessed or taken part in “special actions.” These actions, whatever they were, repelled him and caused him to curse Auschwitz. In his diary entry of September 2, 1942, Kremer wrote: “Present for the first time at a special action, outside at three o’clock in the morning. Compared to this, Dante’s inferno seem almost like a comedy. It’s not for nothing that Auschwitz is called the camp of annihilation.’ Three days later he wrote in his diary that he had witnessed another special action and that Auschwitz was indeed, as a comrade had said, “anus mundi” (the anus of the world).[317]The Kremer diary entries are quoted in K. Smolen (ed.), KL Auschwitz in den Augen der SS: Höss, Broad, Kremer (Oswiecim: State Museum. 1973). In 1947 Kremer was tried before the Supreme People’s Court in Cracow, Poland. He stated to the court that his diary statements about special actions were references to homicidal gassings in Birkenau. Numerous scholars accordingly continue to quote Kremer’s diary as evidence of gassings.[318]Cf. Gilbert, The Holocaust, pp. 437, 438, 439, 478: Czech. Auschwitz Chronicle, pp. 240-268; Reitlinger, Final Solution 117-118; et al.

However, after he had been released from prison and returned to Münster in the late 1950s Kremer actually retracted the “confessions” he had made whilst in Polish hands. In Cracow, he said “only hatred was entitled to give its opinion.” In the light of his apparent retractions and what we know about the appalling health conditions in Auschwitz in 1942, one could reasonably suggest that Kremer’s diary entries may not refer [to] gassings but to actions relating to the typhus epidemic. “In Auschwitz, whole streets are struck down with typhus”, Kremer wrote in his diary on October 3, 1942. Other diary entries clearly show that he was shocked by the degree of destruction caused by the epidemic. His diary entry of September 5, 1942, in which he described Auschwitz as the ‘anus mundi’ mentions that the special action involved “Muslims. The horror of horrors.” His diary entry of October 7, 1942 clearly states that the special action of that that day involved more terribly-ill “Muslims”. Because of the epidemic, more than a dozen incurable patients were killed every day by doctors with phenol injections and dozens (sometimes hundreds) more died with no ‘assistance’. Because the Auschwitz I crematory could not cope with the numbers of people dying, open-air burnings of diseased cadavers were frequently conducted. It may have been these horrors – and not homicidal gassings – which prompted Kremer to write in his diary that Auschwitz was indeed the camp of annihilation (Vernichtung).

A number of other war-time German documents pertaining to Auschwitz indicate that “Sonderaktion” was not necessarily a Nazi euphemism for extermination. For example, on December 18, 1942 SS-Hauptsturmführer Bischoff, head of the Auschwitz Central Construction Office, sent a telex to SS-Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Waffen-SS Kammler, der Amtsgruppenchef C of the WVHA.[319]Photographic reproduction of document in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 210. This telex, sent to inform Dr. Kammler of the expected completion dates of the new crematory buildings, stated that work on the buildings had to be stopped several times already that month for anti-typhus delousing and disinfestation. “Also,” the telex continued, “starting on December 16, for security reasons, there was a Gestapo special action among all the civilian workers.” (“eine Sonderaktion der Gestapo bei sämtlichen Zivilarbeitern statt“). The telex also stated that because the camp had been “isolated” since the outbreak of the typhus epidemic almost six months earlier, the civilian workers had been unable to leave the camp during that period.[320]Bischoff was referring to Commandant Höß’s Garrison Order 1942 of July 23, in which the latter ordered a total camp curfew to protect Auschwitz staff from the typhus epidemic then raging in the camp. (Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle, p. 202). The conditions of this curfew were very strict. An immediate travel ban was imposed on all SS officers and non-commissioned officers, SS dependents, civilian officials and workers. Moreover, SS personnel and their families living outside the outer sentry line could not enter the camp, and those living inside the outer sentry line could not leave the camp. SS personnel needed special passports to travel from their homes to their posts and could travel only by the most direct routes. Civilian workers had to use designated roads, and only under the supervision of the SS. Linen had to he changed and cleaned at least once per week. Every Monday and Friday medical examinations of SS families were conducted. SS members travelling on official business had first to report to the SS clinic for bathing and an official release. This total curfew caused the temporary postponement of all internee releases and transfers to other camps, and led to the closure of the massive I. G. Farben ‘Buna’ factory for around two months. Therefore, a twelve-day period of leave was “essential” for these workers.

This document – which, as even Pressac agrees, “contains nothing out of the ordinary”[321]Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 210. – is certainly not stating that the Auschwitz Gestapo exterminated highly-skilled civilian workers employed as experts on the crematory construction sites. “Sonderaktion” in this case refers to the checking and questioning of civilian workers by the camp Gestapo. This appears to have taken around three days, according to Pressac. Extant time-sheets reveal that the workers were absent from the worksite on both December 17 and 18, 1942. They then went on holiday from December 23, 1942 to January 4, 1943.[322]Ibid., p .213.
(Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 210.)
It is thus clear that “Sonderaktion“, the seemingly incriminating phrase found in a very small number of German sources, does not necessary indicate gassings [or] other such atrocities. We have seen that even in Auschwitz the phrase could have a harmless meaning, such as a security operation or assignment of the secret police. An impartial investigation of other sources mentioning “special actions” reveals that the phrase was used in a variety of ways, but perhaps most frequently to mean special military or police operations such as questionings, interrogations, arrests, deportations, medical examinations, or ‘selections’ of internees for work or hospitalisation. For example, the arrest of sixty-four Jews from the Orleans region of France on June 25, 1942, and their subsequent deportation, was referred to as a “special action”.[323]Klarsfeld, Le Mémorial de la déportation des Juifs de France, p. 62. Perhaps the most famous of all German phrases relating to the Nazi maltreatment of Jews is the “final solution” (“die Endlösung“). Butz – to return to our analysis of his key theses – argued that this phrase was never used by the Nazis to denote the planned or attempted extermination of Europe’s Jews. lt was used exclusively, he said, to denote the programme of expelling Jews from German-occupied Europe. To support this bold claim, which clearly contradicts received opinion, Butz reproduced in full Martin Luther’s lengthy memorandum to Joachim von Ribbentrop, dated August 21, 1942.[324]The Luther Memorandum is classified as Document NG-2586-J, and published in NMT, Volume XIII, pp. 243-249. Quoted in full by Butz, The Hoax, pp. 205-210. Because of its importance, the complete memorandum will be reproduced below as Appendix VI. Although Butz failed to mention it, Unterstaatssekretär Luther was head of the Abteilung Deutschland, a department within the Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt). Referat D III of the Abteilung Deutschland was the so-called “Jewish Bureau”. Luther, one of the Foreign Office’s experts on Jewish affairs, played a significant role in co-ordinating the deportation of Jews from various countries and represented the Foreign Office at the infamous Wannsee Conference.[325]For the wartime activities of Luther and the Foreign Office, cf. H-J. Döscher, Das Auswärtige Amt im Dritten Reich: Diplomatie im Schatten [der] “Endlösung” (Siedler Verlag, 1987). This book contains an excellent photographic reproduction of the so-called “Wannsee Protocol” (pp. 227-236). In the memorandum of August 21, 1942, designated “most urgent”, Luther essentially recapitulated for Ribbentrop the development of Nazi policy regarding Jews from 1939 to the time of writing.

“The principle of the German Jewish policy after the seizure of power”, began Luther, consisted in promoting with all means the Jewish emigration. For this purpose, in 1939 Field Marshall Goering in his capacity as Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan established a Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration and the direction was given to SS Lieutenant General Heydrich in his capacity as chief of the Security Police… The present war gives Germany the opportunity and also the duty of saving the Jewish problem in Europe. ln consideration of the favorable course of the war against France, DIII … proposed in July 1940 as a solution – the removal of all Jews from Europe and the demanding of The Island of Madagascar from France as a territory for the reception of the Jews. The Reich Foreign Minister has basically agreed to the beginning of the preliminary work for the deportation of the Jews from Europe. This should be done in close cooperation with the offices of the Reichsfuehrer-SS [Himmler] … The Madagascar plan was enthusiastically accepted by the RSHA [Reichssicherheitshauptamt – Reich Security Head Office] which in the opinion of the Foreign Office is the agency which alone is in the position technically and by experience to carry out a Jewish evacuation on a large scale and to guarantee the supervision of the people evacuated. The competent agency of the RSHA thereupon worked out a plan going into detail for the evacuation of the Jews to Madagascar and for their settlement there. This plan was approved by the Reichsfuehrer-SS. SS Lieutenant General Heydrich submitted this plan directly to the Reich Foreign Minister in August 1940… The Madagascar plan in fact had been outdated as a result of the political development.[326]The Madagascar plan was officially cancelled by the Foreign Office in February 1942, although it was effectively abandoned well before then when it became clear that England was not about to be defeated or lose its control of the oceans. Cf. C. Browning, “Nazi Resettlement Policy and the Search for a Solution to the Jewish Question, 1939-1941″, German Studies Review, Volume 9, 1986, pp. 497-519. The fact that the Fuehrer intends to evacuate all Jews from Europe was communicated to me as early as August 1940 by Ambassador Abetz after an interview with the Fuehrer… Hence the basic instruction of the Reich Foreign Minister, to promote the evacuation of the Jews in closest cooperation with the agencies of the Reichsfuehrer-SS, is still in force and will therefore be observed by D II.

Germany’s enormous territorial gains, in both the west and the east, brought millions more Jews under German control. Luther noted that

In his letter of 24 June 1940 … SS Lieutenant General Heydrich informed the Reich Foreign Minister that the whole problem of the approximately three and a quarter million Jews in the areas under German control can no longer be solved by emigration – a territorial solution would be necessary. In recognition of this, Reich Marshall Goering on 31 July 1941 commissioned SS Lieutenant General Heydrich to make, in conjunction with the interested German control agencies, all necessary preparations for a total solution of the Jewish problem in the German sphere of existence in Europe … On the basis of this instruction, SS Lieutenant General Heydrich arranged a conference of all the interested German agencies for 20 January 1942, at which the State Secretaries were present from the other ministries and I myself from the Foreign Office. In the [Wannsee] Conference, General Heydrich explained that Reich Marshall Goering’s assignment to him had been made on the Fuehrer’s instruction and that the Fuehrer instead of the emigration had now authorized the evacuation of the Jews to the East as the solution… On the basis of the Fuehrer’s instruction … the evacuation of the Jews from Germany was begun … [and later] the deportations of the Jews from the occupied territories were under-taken.

Luther described at length the way the “Jewish problem” was being handled in various countries, and then concluded his memorandum:

The intended deportations are a further step forward on the way of the total solution and are in respect to other countries (Hungary) very important. The deportation to the Government General is a temporary measure. The Jews will be moved on further to the occupied Eastern Territories as soon as the technical conditions for it are given. I therefore request approval for the continuation of the negotiations and measures under the terms and according to the arrangement made.

Signed: LUTHER.

The provenance and authenticity of this document have been well established and Butz translated it accurately. It does appear to support his claim that “the ‘final solution’ meant the expulsion of all Jews from the German sphere of influence in Europe. After the invasion of Russia, its specific meaning was the resettlement of these Jews in the East.”[327]Butz, The Hoax, p. 210. The Madagascar plan was certainly taken seriously by German leaders, although only in the pre-Barbarossa period.

Christopher Browning, Professor of History at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington and the author of several books on the Holocaust, wrote that

Madagascar had long exercised a fascination among anti-Semites as the ideal dumping ground for the European Jews, but the idea did not take on real form as a concrete proposal among the Nazis until put forward by the Jewish expert of the Foreign Office, Franz Rademacher, in early June 1940, when Germany’s power to redistribute the French empire seemed at hand. The alacrity with which the proposal was seized upon by the Nazi leadership is a measure of the frustration that had built up over the bottlenecks of demographic engineering in eastern Europe over the past nine. months. By June 18 Hitler had informed Mussolini of his intention to use Madagascar as a Jewish reservation, and he broached the subject again with Admiral Raeder on June 20. On June 24 the ever attentive Heydrich asserted his jurisdiction vis-à-vis the Foreign Office over Jewish resettlement there. The news spread quickly eastward. On July l, Adam Czerniakow, the head of the Judenrat in Warsaw, learned from an SD official, “that the war would be over in a month and that we would all leave for Madagascar.” [Hans] Frank knew by July 10 that he was not only reprieved from the expected deluge of Jews from the Reich but would now be rid of his own Jews as well – a “colossal relief” that he boisterously expounded upon to the Heiterkeit or “amusement” of his assembled court. On Frank’s orders ghetto buildings in the General Government came to an abrupt halt as [they were] pointless in view of the “plan of the Führer” to send the Jews to Madagascar.[134]Stäglich, “‘Der Auschwitz Mythos’: A Book and Its Fate…”, p. 65.

The “Göring Decree” – mentioned by Luther in his memorandum – also tends to support the view that the intended “final solution” was the forced expulsion of Jews from German-occupied Europe. On July 31, 1941, Reichsmarschall Göring, in his capacity as Beauftragter für den Vierjahresplan und Vorsitzender des Ministerrats für die Reichsverteidigung, issued a directive to SS-Gruppenführer Heydrich, Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD. The directive states (in full):

To complete ["In Ergänzung" – perhaps "Supplementary to"] the task that was entrusted to you in the decree dated 24 January 1939, namely to solve the Jewish question by emigration and evacuation ["die Judenfrage in Form der Auswanderung oder Evakuierung"] in a manner which is most favourable in connection with the conditions prevailing at the time, l hereby commission you to carry out all the preparations with regard to organisational, practical, and financial viewpoints for a total solution of the Jewish question in those territories in Europe under German influence. If the competency of other central organisations is touched upon in this connection, these organisations are to participate. I further commission you to submit to me as promptly as possible a comprehensive proposal outlining the organisational, technical and material measures already taken for the intended final solution of the Jewish question ["Endlösung der Judenfrage"].

Göring[328]Browning, “Nazi Resettlement Policy”, pp. 511-512.

Butz wrote that it is “customary to quote this letter with deletion of the reference to ‘emigration and evacuation’.”[329]Butz, The Hoax, p. 211. As an example, he cited William Shirer, who had indeed left out those words when he quoted the directive on page 964 of his best-selling book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. The present writer has to agree that this is “customary”: he examined thirty-eight near-at-hand books on the Holocaust and Second World War which mention this particular directive, and found that twenty-seven leave out the words “emigration and evacuation”. They either quote just a fragment of the directive – usually the last line, so that it will read something like “on July 31, 1941, Göring directed Heydrich to solve «the final solution of the Jewish question» ” – or they simply replace the three words, “emigration and evacuation”, with an ellipsis (” … “).[330]To name just a few: M. Gilbert, The Holocaust, pp. 176, 177; M. Gilbert, Second World War (Terrey Hills, NSW: Peribo, 1989), p. 219; Toland, Adolf Hitler, p. 958; H. Höhne, The Order of the Death’s Head: the Story of Hitler’s SS Translated from the German by R. Barry (London/Sydney: Pan Books, 1972), p. 325; M. Marrus, The Holocaust in History, p. 32. However, to be fair, it should be noted that the three most widely-cited authorities on the Holocaust – Reitlinger, Hilberg and Dawidowicz – and a number of authorities on other aspects of the Second World War, have accurately quoted the section of the directive mentioning “emigration and evacuation”.[331]Reitlinger, Final Solution, p. 21; Hilberg, Destruction, p. 262; Dawidowicz, War, p. 130: cf. also D. Irving, Göring: A Biography (London: Macmillan, 1989), p. 344; R. Breitman, The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution (London: The Bodley Head, 1991), pp. 192-193; Mayer, Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?, p. 291; et al.

Particularly since the commencement of the debate between “functionalists” and “intentionalists”, there has been a difference of opinion amongst scholars as to whether the “Göring Decree” meant a programme of extermination or a programme of (to quote the directive itself) “emigration and evacuation”. Hilberg, for example, stated that the “cryptic” directive refers euphemistically to extermination. He wrote that the directive “marks a turning point in anti-Jewish history. With the dispatch of that order, the centuries-old policy of expulsion was terminated and a new policy of annihilation was inaugurated.[332]Hilberg, Destruction, p. 262. Other scholars, including Hans Mommsen, Martin Broszat and Arno Mayer, have argued that whilst a programme of systematic extermination (as opposed to random atrocities committed by the Einsatzgruppen) evolved at a later stage of the war, in the middle of 1941 the “final solution” of the Jewish question still meant forced deportations to ‘The East”. Mayer, the Dayton-Stockton Professor of European History at Princeton University, wrote that:

The invasion of the Soviet Union gave the idea of a territorial solution a new lease on life [after the Madagascar plan came to nothing]. After conquering the eastern Lebensraum along with additional Jews, the Reich would banish European Jewry to vast lands deep in Russia, east of the Urals. At the time that Göring instructed Heydrich to draft the letter signed [by Göring] on July 31, 1941, a quick and decisive defeat of Soviet Russia was still taken for granted… There is nothing in these instructions [the "Göring Decree"], either explicit or implicit, to indicate that by directing Heydrich to prepare an overall and definitive solution – a final solution – of the “Jewish problem”, Göring was asking him to prepare for the immediate or eventual mass murder of Jews.[333]Mayer, Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?, pp. 291, 292. Although Jewish himself, Mayer, a recipient of the American Historical Association’s prestigious Herbert Baxter Adams Prize, provoked the furor of certain elements of the Jewish community in the United States by writing Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? Whilst Mayer made clear his belief that mass gassings occurred, these Jews were horrified by his concessions to several Revisionist arguments. Mayer conceded, for example, that “Sources for the study of the gas chambers are at once rare and unreliable…. Most of what is known is based on the depositions of Nazi Officials and executioners at postwar trials and on the memory of survivors and bystanders. This testimony must be screened carefully, since it can be influenced by subjective factors of great complexity. Diaries are rare, and so are authentic documents about the making, transmission, and implementation of the extermination policy.” (pp. 362-363) Earlier in the book Mayer had written that “No written document containing or reporting an explicit command to exterminate the Jews has come to light.” (p. 235). What angered Mayer’s detractors most was his statement, which he defended at length, that “from 1942 to 1945, certainly at Auschwitz, but probably overall, more Jews were killed by ‘natural’ causes than by ‘unnatural’ causes.” (p. 365).

Luther, in his memorandum of August 21, 1942, noted that seven months earlier Heydrich had chaired a high-level meeting, at which he “explained that … Göring’s assignment to him had been made on the Fuehrer’s instruction and that the Fuehrer instead of the emigration had now authorised the evacuation of the Jews to the East as the solution.” This meeting was, of course, the Wannsee Conference, so named because it was held in Berlin at 56-58 Am Grossen Wannsee. After quoting short excerpts from the only surviving copy of the Besprechungsprotokoll (thirty were originally produced and distributed), Butz stated: “Here is unambiguous documentary evidence that no extermination program existed; the German policy was to evacuate the Jews to the East.” Butz stated this as a fact, and offered no supporting analysis of the content of the conference protocol.

Luther’s memorandum and the “Göring Decree” tend to support Butz’s claim that the Nazis never planned a “final solution” more destructive than the forced deportation of all Jews from German-Occupied Europe. To determine whether this is also true of the Wannsee Conference, as Butz (and Luther himself) claimed, it is necessary to analyse carefully the text of the protocol. Accordingly, several pertinent sections – translated by the present writer – will he quoted at length.

After listing; the various officials present, the protocol begins with some clarifying remarks:

SS-Gruppenführer Heydrich, Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD, opened the conference by announcing that he had been appointed by the Reichsmarschall [Göring] to serve as director of the preparation of the Final solution of the Jewish question. He also indicated that the purpose of the conference was to clarify the fundamental issues. The Reichsmarschall ‘s request to have a draft proposal on the organisational, practical and material concerns regarding the final solution of the European Jewish question made necessary the prior agreement of all central agencies directly interested to coordinate their work.

The overall responsibility for the measures necessary for the final solution of the Jewish question rests with [Himmler,] the Reichsführer-SS und Chef der Deutschen Polizei (Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD), regardless of any geographical boundaries.

The Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD thereupon gave a brief review of the struggle against these opponents ["Kampf gegen diesen Gegner"] up to the present time. The essential phases are:

a) Forcing the Jews of the vital spheres of the German people,

b) Forcing the Jews out of the living space of the German people.

To arrive at these objectives, the only possibility of a provisional solution was to accelerate and to undertake in a methodical manner the emigration of the Jews out of the Reich territory.

A Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration was established in January 1939, by decree of the Reichsmarschall, and the direction of this office was given to the Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD. This office had the particular task of

a) taking all steps for the preparation of an intensified emigration of the Jews,

b) directing the course of emigration,

c) hastening emigration in individual [or particular] cases.

The objective was to clear the German living space of Jews in a legal manner.

The protocol continues by reporting that up to October 30, 1941 these special offices, despite a number of difficulties, had managed to force or assist the emigration of 537,000 Jews from the Altreich, Austria and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. “Meanwhile,” states the protocol a little further down, in view of the dangers of emigration during wartime, and in view of the [new] possibilities in the east, the Reichsführer-SS und Chef der Deutschen Polizei has forbidden the emigration of Jews.

To take the place of emigration, and with the prior approval of the Führer, the evacuation of the Jews to the east has become another possible solution. Although these actions are obviously to be regarded as alternative possibilities ["Ausweichmöglichkeiten"], the practical experience thus gained in this field is of great importance for the final solution of the Jewish question. In the course of this final solution of the European Jewish question ["Im Zuge dieser Endlösung der europäischen Judenfrage"], around eleven million Jews are involved.

After listing the Jewish populations in various European countries – including England, with its 330,000 Jews, and neutral Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, and (European) Turkey, with their respective Jewish populations of 4,000, 3,000, 6,000, 18,000, 8,000 and 55,000 – the protocol discusses the planned treatment of Jews:

Under proper direction the Jews shall now, in the course of the final solution, be taken to the east and put to work in a suitable manner. Separated by sex, Jews capable of work will be taken to these areas and employed in large labour columns in the construction of roads, whereby a large part will undoubtedly fall away through natural decline ["wobei zweifellos ein Großteil durch natürliche Verminderung ausfallen wird"].

The remnant that will in any case survive this – which doubtless constitutes the toughest element – must be treated appropriately ["entspechend behandelt werden"] since these people, representing a natural selection, would upon their release ["bei Freilassung"[334]As Butz himself noted, this phrase “upon their release” was left out of the official Nuremberg translation of the protocol, published by the Americans in NMT, Volume XIII (see p. 213).] be regarded as the germ cell of a new Jewish development (see the experience of history).

In the course of the practical implementation of the final solution, Europe is to be combed from west to east. The Reich area, including the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, will have to be taken first, if only because of the housing problem and other social and political necessities.

The evacuated Jews are to be brought group by group first to the so-called transit ghettos, so that they can then be transported further to the east…

It is not intended to evacuate Jews over the age of sixty-five, but to transfer them to a ghetto for the aged – Theresienstadt is being constructed. As well as these old-age categories – of the 280,000 or so Jews who were in Germany and Austria on October 31, 1941, perhaps thirty percent are over sixty-five – seriously-wounded Jews [World War l veterans] and Jews with war decorations (Iron Cross, First Class) will also be taken to the ghettos for the aged. With this appropriate solution all interventions [on behalf of individuals] would be shut out with a single blow. The beginning of the individual larger evacuation actions ["Evakuierungsaktionen"] will depend to a large degree on military developments… In connection with the problematic effect of Jewish evacuation on economic life, Staatssekretär Neumann stated that Jews employed in essential war industries could not be evacuated for the time being, until replacements could be found. Heydrich pointed out that those Jews, in accordance with the directives he had approved for the implementation of current evacuations, would not be evacuated.

Although we have omitted the section of the protocol pertaining to the treatment of part-Jews – the Mischlinge – there is nothing in that section directly relevant to our discussion. In any event, no agreement was reached on the matter of the Mischlinge, so it was deferred for subsequent meetings and correspondence. Thus, there is no explicit mention of exterminations in the “Wannsee Protocol”. The document, purportedly written by Adolf Eichmann some time after the conference, clearly indicates that the “final solution” was a programme of brutal expulsion and forced labour for most Jews and ‘privileged’ treatment for decorated or wounded Jewish war veterans and all other Jews over the age of sixty-five.

It is, of course, argued by most scholars of the Holocaust that the protocol was written in coded language, and that “evacuation” was really a euphemism for “extermination”. Eichmann, the most junior participant in the Wannsee Conference, even testified to this effect whilst on trial in Israel. This line of argument is at least superficially plausible and should not be dismissed out of hand. However, it is based entirely on a retrospective view of the war, and appears to be contradicted by a large body of contemporary sources. A number of “functionalist” historians have in recent years argued that Wannsee was not in fact a conference to coordinate the systematic extermination of Jews. Exterminations, they say, did occur but in a more ad hoc manner. However, rather than merely presenting these historians’ views on the Wannsee Conference – thereby approaching the material ‘second-hand’, as it were – we will briefly examine for ourselves some of the noteworthy documents.

On October 25, 1941, two months before the Wannsee Conference, Hitler himself stated at one of his informal “table talks” (in the presence of both Himmler and Heydrich):

Let nobody tell me that all the same we can’t park them [the Jews] in the marshy parts of Russia! Who’s worrying about our troops? It’s not a bad idea, by the way, that public rumor attributes to us a plan to exterminate the Jews. Terror is a salutary thing.[335]Quoted in M. Broszat, “Hitler und die Genesis der “Endlösung”: Aus Anlaß der Thesen von David Irving”, p. 757. For the full citation and a discussion of this important article see below, p. 269 n.

On January 23, 1942, only three days after the Wannsee Conference, Hitler stated during another dinner conversation that if he removed the Jews the German people would get uneasy. But did these same people, he asked, care one boot what happened to the Germans who had to emigrate? “One must act radically,” Hitler said. “When one pulls out a tooth, one does it with a single tug, and the pain quickly goes away. The Jews must clear out of Europe. Otherwise no understanding will be possible between Europeans.” He continued:

For my part, I restrict myself to telling them that they must get out… If they refuse to go voluntarily, I see no other solution but their annihilation. Why should l look at Jews with other eyes than if they were Russian prisoners of war. Many are perishing in the POW camps. It’s not my fault. I wanted neither this war nor the POW camps. Why did the Jew[s] provoke this war? “[336]Quoted in ibid., p. 758.
(Quoted in M. Broszat, “Hitler und die Genesis der “Endlösung”: Aus Anlaß der Thesen von David Irving”, p. 757. For the full citation and a discussion of this important article see below, p. 269 n.)

Four days later, on January 27, Hitler commented during another dinner conversation that “the Jews must pack up, disappear from Europe. Let them go to Russia. Where the Jews are concerned, I have not pity.”[337]Quoted in ibid., p. 758. Similarly, Rademacher, the Auswärtiges Amt expert on Jewish matters, reported on February 10, 1942 that since the invasion of Russia had resulted in the availability of other regions suitable for a solution to the Jewish question, “the Führer has decided that the Jews are to be deported not to Madagascar but to the east.” (Document NG-5770).
(Quoted in M. Broszat, “Hitler und die Genesis der “Endlösung”: Aus Anlaß der Thesen von David Irving”, p. 757. For the full citation and a discussion of this important article see below, p. 269 n.)

In the light of the fact that Heydrich clearly stated at the Wannsee Conference that his new programme was “in accordance with the prior approval/authorisation (“vorheriger Genehmigung“) of the Führer”, Hitler’s own informal and unguarded comments at this time suggest that Heydrich’s programme was not one of extermination, but of forced expulsion to the east. This view gains further support from a study of Goebbels’s diary extracts from this period in early 1942. For example, on February 24, a month after the Wannsee Conference, Goebbels wrote in his diary:

The Führer [with whom he had just met] again voices his determination to remorselessly cleanse Europe of its Jews. There can be no sentimental feelings here. The Jews have deserved the catastrophe they are now experiencing. They will experience their own annihilation ["Vernichtung"] together with the annihilation of our enemies. We must accelerate this process with cold brutality.[338]Goebbels’s diary entries are from Louis P. Lochner (ed.), Goebbels – Tagebücher aus den Jahren 1942-43 (Zürich: Atlantis Verlag, 1948). An English edition, although with slight differences in the selection of excerpts, is Lochner’s The Goebbels Diaries, 1942-43 (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1948).

Whilst this particular entry is just one of many in Goebbels’s diaries mentioning the “annihilation” of Jews, it is noteworthy because it appears to show Hitler linking the annihilation of Jews with the annihilation of Germany’s other enemies. This tends to support the view that systematic extermination was not meant in this instance by the word “Vernichtung“. Hitler certainly had no plans to exterminate systematically the British, the French, or even the hated “Bolshevik” Russians.”[339]See also page 270 ff.

On March 7, 1942, a day after one of his staff members attended the conference on the Mischlinge issue and six weeks after the Wannsee Conference (at which none of his men were present), Goebbels wrote in his diary:

I read a detailed report from the SD and police [a copy of the protocol or a summary] regarding the final solution of the Jewish question. Any final solution involves a tremendous number of new viewpoints. The Jewish question must be solved within a pan-European frame. There are [as the Protocol states] 11,000,000 Jews still in Europe. They will have to be concentrated, to begin with, in the East; possibly an island, such as Madagascar, can be assigned to them after the war.”[340]This corresponds with an informal comment Hitler made on July 24, 1942. He said that after the war he would “demolish town after town if the filthy Jews ["DrecksJuden"] did not get out and leave for Madagascar or some other Jewish national state.” H. Picker, Hitlers Tischgespräche im Führerhauptquartier 1941-42 (Munich: W. Goldmann Verlag, 1981. First published 1951?), p. 456. Additionally, Reich Minister Lammers told State Secretary Schlegelberg[er] of the Reich Justice Ministry in March 1942 that Hitler “has repeatedly pronounced that he wants the solution of the Jewish problem postponed until after the war is over.” See below, p. 265.

Even though Heydrich had reported during the Wannsee Conference that Himmler had the “overall responsibility” (“Federführung“) for the handling of the “final solution”, Himmler’s own actions also support the thesis that the conference was not a secret meeting designed to co-ordinate the systematic extermination of Jews. Within two weeks of the conference Himmler had formed the WVHA and transferred to it (from the SS-Führungshauptamt) the Inspectorate of Concentration Camps. This was reorganised as the Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt Amtsgruppenchef D – Konzentrationslager, the basic aim of which was to exploit the labour of concentration camp internees on a large scale. This clearly included Jews. For example, only six days after the Wannsee Conference (and slightly before the reorganisation of the relevant departments began) Himmler telegraphed a message to Glücks, the Inspector of Concentration Camps:

Because in the near future we will not be able to count on Russian prisoners of war, I am sending to the camps a large number of Jews expelled from Germany. Will you therefore prepare to receive during the next four weeks 100,000 Jews and 50,000 Jewesses who will be sent to concentration camps, which will have to deal with major economic problems and tasks. SS-Gruppenführer Pohl will inform you of particulars.[341]Document NI-500. Quoted in Broszat, et al., Anatomie des SS-Staates, Band II, p. 130.

Arno Mayer, noting the significance of Himmler’s instructions to Glücks, wrote that they prefigure a “radical change in the population as well as the purpose of the camps.”[342]Mayer, Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?, p. 310. Indeed, this very point was made by Pohl in a letter to Himmler, dated April 30, 1942. Pohl stated:

The war makes necessary a change in the structure of the concentration camps and … their functions in regard to the employment of the detainees. The increase in the number of detainees solely for reasons of security, re-education, or prevention, is no longer a primary concern. The main emphasis is placed on the economic aspect. The mobilisation of all camp labour first for military tasks (to raise armaments production) ["für Kriegsaufgaben (Rüstungssteigerung)"] and later for building programmes in peacetime, must be given increasingly higher priority. This realisation demands action which will cause a gradual transformation of the concentration camps from their one-sided political form into an organisation suited to economic activities.[343]Quoted in Broszat, et al., Anatomie des SS-Staates, Band II, p. 150.

Thus, although the “Wannsee Protocol” clearly indicates that the Nazis intended to uproot Jews from all over Europe and deport them to “the east”, where they would work as virtual slaves, the document contains no references – explicit or implicit – to an extermination programme. There is only one passage in the document which mentions Jews dying, and that describes them “falling away” naturally (if such deaths can be called natural) because of the hard work they would be forced to do in the east. That is, selections would be made, and Jews deemed fit for hard labour would be put to work on projects like road building, regardless of how many died from exhaustion, disease, and so forth. Heydrich coldly predicted that a “large part” would fall away in this manner’. Nonetheless, this passage describes a brutal policy of forced labour, but not one of extermination. It is unclear what Heydrich meant when he stated that those who survive these harsh conditions and are released “must be treated appropriately”. However, the document does refer to the eventual “release” or “liberation” of those who survive the harsh conditions, which appears to indicate that once the war was over the German government intended to release those Jews still working. One need not interpret Heydrich’s comment to mean that those released from labour were to be exterminated. The fact that ghettos were being constructed for hundreds of thousands of old Jews and decorated and disabled Jewish war veterans – there were around 90,000 in Germany and Austria alone – indicates that the total extermination of the Jewish race was not being discussed at the conference. Moreover, although the protocol does not mention what was to happen to all those considered unfit for work, there is no mention made of them having to be “treated appropriately.” The document certainly does not suggest they were to be exterminated. “Apparently,” wrote Arno Mayer, “the unfit – children, many women, the infirm, the elderly – were to be evacuated «to so-called transit ghettos, for transportation further east from there.»”[344]Mayer, Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?, p. 310.

Despite the fact that the protocol refers only to the deportation and forced labour of Jews, if it is examined in isolation it might be possible to interpret it as euphemistically referring to the extermination of Jews. However, when one studies the protocol alongside other contemporary German documents pertaining to the Jewish question – only a few of which have been mentioned here – it quickly becomes obvious that such an interpretation collapses in front of the overwhelming weight of contrary evidence. It is the same with Göring’s directive to Heydrich, with Luther’s memorandum, and with the Korherr Report. Each of these documents, if removed from their external contexts, can have meanings imposed upon them which they were never given by their authors.

In the months following the collapse of the Third Reich, the Allies seized many tonnes of German documents. A number of documents pertaining to the Jewish question contained the phrase “final solution” (“die Endlösung“). In the documents this phrase explicitly referred to the removal of the Jewish people from Europe, first by emigration and later by deportation (“evacuation”) to Poland and the occupied Soviet territories. However, in the immediate post-war months these captured German documents were given new meanings by Allied investigators who already “knew” that the Nazi regime killed around six million Jews. Jews were exterminated, they reasoned, and German documents describe a “final solution” of the Jewish question. Therefore, the term “final solution” must be a euphemism for extermination. This line of argument, dependent on preconceptions and a retrospective view of the war (that is, id post hoc ergo propter hoc), is not sustainable in the light of the evidence available today.

Thus, it appears that Butz was correct: Luther’s memorandum, which accurately outlines the development of Nazi policy regarding European Jews from early 1939 to the middle of 1942 (seven months after the Wannsee Conference), contains no murderous euphemisms. The Korherr Report, written in March 1943, indicates that even at that late stage there was no official Nazi programme to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Regardless of the anti-Jewish atrocities being committed by the Einsatzgruppen and native eastern European populations, the Nazi “final solution of the Jewish question” throughout this period was a programme of deportation to Poland and occupied Soviet territories. After the war Jews were to be expelled to Madagascar or some other location well outside Europe. The “final solution”, terrible as it was for those Jews uprooted from their homes and deported to the east, was not a programme of extermination.

This particular conclusion, although at odds with accepted opinion and in agreement with Butz and other Revisionists, has been reached only after a careful consideration of the evidence and after much reflection. It does not represent a desire to rehabilitate the reputation of the Third Reich. In any event, as we shall see below when we touch upon the Einsatzsgruppen, the lack of a systematic extermination programme or policy does not mean that Jews were not murdered en masse by Nazis and other antiSemites. Large numbers of Jews died during horrific anti-Jewish atrocities carried out by the Einsatzgruppen and local pogromists in occupied Russian territories. Nazi leaders were, of course, well aware of these atrocities. Goebbels, for example, wrote in his diary on March 27, 1942, that “beginning with Lublin, the Jews are being pushed out eastward from the General Governement. The process is rather barbaric and need not be described here. Not much will remain of the Jews” (“und von den Juden selbst bleibt nicht mehr viel übrig“).[345]Goebbels – Tagebücher aus den Jahren 1942-43, p. 142. In the same entry Goebbels also speculated that “Im großen kann man wohl feststellen, daß 60% liquidiert werden müssen, während nur noch 40% in die Arbeit eingesetzt werden können.” This operation, he said, was to be carried out by General Odilo Globocnik.

Whilst Butz was correct about the nature of the “final solution”, he was wrong in many ways about the activities of the Einsatzgruppen. He commenced his discussion of the Einsatzgruppen with a passage that is essentially correct:

At the time of the German invasion of Russia in June 1941, there was a Fuehrer order declaring, in anticipation of an identical Soviet policy, that the war with Russia was not to be fought on the basis of the traditional “rules of warfare”. Necessary measures were to be taken to counter partisan activity, and Himmler was given the power to “act independently upon his own responsibility.” Everyone [in the upper levels of government and the military, presumably] knew that that meant executions of partisans and persons collaborating with partisans. The dirty task was assigned to four Einsatzgruppen of the SD [Sicherheitsdienst – the Security Service of the SS], which had a total strength of about 3,000 men (i.e. of the order of 500 to 1,000 men per group).[346]Butz, The Hoax, p. 187.

Indeed, Hitler did give Himmler authority to perform certain tasks within the operations zone of the army. On March 13, 1941, Field Marshal Keitel, Chief of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW – the High Command of the Armed Forces), issued a directive, “Richtlinien auf Sondergebieten auf Weisung Nr. 21 (Fall Barbarossa)“.[347]Document No. 1 in Broszat, et al., Anatomie des SS Staates, Band II, pp. 198-201. These were the OKW’s guidelines establishing the procedures and conditions of military justice for the combat theatres and occupation zones arising from the coming invasion of the Soviet Union. The only section of these guidelines relating to the activities of the Einsatzgruppen (which are not even mentioned) is Paragraph 2b, part of which states:

In order to prepare the political and administrative organization [in newly-occupied territories] the Führer has delegated to the Reichsführer-SS certain special tasks ["Sonderaufgaben"] within the operations zone of the army. These originate from the necessity to settle once and for all the struggle between two opposing political systems. Within the framework of these tasks the Reichsführer-SS will act independently and on his own responsibility… The Reichsführer-SS is responsible for ensuring that military operations are not affected by the measures he finds necessary to carry out these tasks.[348]Ibid., p. 199.
(Document No. 1 in Broszat, et al., Anatomie des SS Staates, Band II, pp. 198-201.)

After negotiations between Heydrich and Robert Heinrich Wagner, the Generalquartiermeister of the Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH – Army High Command), an order on the duties of the Einsatzgruppen was issued on April 28, 1941 by Field Marshal von Brauchitsch, C-in-C Army.[349]Document No. 3 in ibid., pp. 204-205.
(Document No. 1 in Broszat, et al., Anatomie des SS Staates, Band II, pp. 198-201.)
According to this order, the Einsatzgruppen were authorised to carry out their operations “on their own responsibility” (“in eigener Verantwortlichkeit“) and to “take executive measures ["Exekutivmaßnahmen"] against the civilian population”.[350]Ibid., p. 205.
(Document No. 1 in Broszat, et al., Anatomie des SS Staates, Band II, pp. 198-201.)
The operations zone was divided into three sub-zones: the Gefechtsgebiet (combat zone) behind this, the rückwärtiges Armeegebiet, and behind this, the rückwärtiges Heeresgebiet. The Einsatzgruppen could move freely in both areas behind the combat zone, and were subordinate to the army in regard to “movement, rations and billets”, but directly to Heydrich for “discipline, jurisdiction and technical matters”.[351]Ibid., p. 204.
(Document No. 1 in Broszat, et al., Anatomie des SS Staates, Band II, pp. 198-201.)
That is, they were subordinate to Heydrich in regard to the actual functions they were to perform. The order indicates that the Einsatzgruppen were intended to implement a rudimentary form of security and order inthe zones behind the advancing front line before regular occupation administration could be established. One of their tasks was the “discovery and eradication of anti-German or anti-Government movements.” The order, it may be worth noting, clearly mentions “leading émigrés, saboteurs, terrorists, etc”[352]Ibid., p. 204.
(Document No. 1 in Broszat, et al., Anatomie des SS Staates, Band II, pp. 198-201.)
, but does not mention Jews_

Butz was also correct about the total number of personnel involved in the Einsatzgruppen operations. The four groups had a total strength of around 3,000 people. However, although Butz does not appear to have mentioned it, less than half were SS members and a large number (around twenty-five percent) were completely non-military personnel including teletype and radio opera-tors, secretaries, interpreters, truck drivers and various other support staff. A number of the support personnel were women.[353]Cf. Report of Einsatzgruppen A, dated October 15, 1941 (Doc. 180-L).

Some Jews, Butz stated, posed a “security menace to the German rear in the war.” The task of the Einsatzgruppen, he continued,

was to deal with such dangers by all necessary means, so we need not be told much more to surmise that the Einsatzgruppen must have shot many Jews, although we do not know whether “many” means 5,000, 25,000, or 100,000. Naturally, many non-Jews were also executed… However, the [orthodox historical] claim goes beyond this, and asserts a dual role for the Einsatzgruppen; they were charged not only with keeping the partisan problem under control but also with exterminating all Jews (and Gypsies). Common sense alone should reject the notion that the Einsatzgruppen, which had a total strength of about 3,000 men, as a matter of general policy, spent their time and effort pursuing objectives unrelated to military considerations. The most frequently cited evidence [of the Einsatzgruppen atrocities] is a collection of documents purporting to be the daily and other reports of the Einsatzgruppen to Himmler and Heydrich for the period June 1941 to May 1942… Besides telling of regular antipartisan activities, the reports tell of individual actions of mass executions of Jews, with numbers of victims usually running in the thousands. It is indicated, in most cases, that many copies [of the progress reports], sometimes as many as a hundred, were distributed.[354]Butz, The Hoax, p. 197.

Butz, clearly bothered by the anti-Jewish atrocities described in the Einsatzgruppen reports and unable to explain them, resorted to claiming that the reports must be fraudulent. The reports represent, he insisted, “a lie … manufactured by Moscow”. Without such reports the “authors of the [Holocaust] lie would have no evidence for their claims except testimony … and this consideration was no doubt the motivation for manufacturing these documents on such a large scale.”[355]Ibid., p. 200.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 197.)

These are preposterous claims. The Einsatzgruppen reports are certainly genuine and, in fact, are reliable evidence that many hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered during the Second World War by the Nazis and their collaborators. Because these deaths, in the present writer’s considered opinion, represent the greatest injustice done to the Jewish people by the Nazi regime it is necessary briefly to describe and explain the actions of the Einsatzgruppen.

It should first be pointed out that, despite the claims of most scholars of the Holocaust and the fact that staggering numbers of Jews were in fact killed, there is apparently no reliable evidence that the Einsatzgruppen were given orders to exterminate all the Jews of the occupied Soviet territories. As Butz himself noted, and on this matter he seems to be correct, the belief that the Einsatzgruppen received an order to exterminate these Jews is based largely on the affidavits and testimony before the International Military Tribunal of Otto Ohlendorf, who had been the commander of Einsatzgruppe D from the summer of 1941 to the summer of 1942.[356]IMT, Volume IV. Cf. Butz, The Hoax, p. 202. Ohlendorf, a prosecution witness, stated that the Einsatzgruppen had received a “Führer order” to kill all Jews in the occupied Russian territories, that exterminations were carried out by shootings or in diesel gas vans, and that his own unit had shot 90,000 Jews. Ohlendorf’s testimony before the International Military Tribunal and his various affidavits are widely cited by historians as concrete evidence that the Einsatzgruppen conducted genocidal activities in the occupied Soviet territories, and that they did it on the Führer’s orders. However, two years or so after testifying for the prosecution at the main Nuremberg trial Ohlendorf was himself tried at Nuremberg before the American NMT. Historians tend to ignore his testimony at this trial (Case 9 – “The Einsatzgruppen Case”), mainly because Ohlendorf repudiated much of his earlier testimony. Whilst he admitted killing Jews and Gypsies as a matter of course, he maintained that this was done as a security measure in the context of a brutal “total war” on the eastern front and not as part of a genocidal programme as such. He also insisted that his Einsatzgruppe was not responsible for 90,000 Jewish deaths, as he had previously stated, but for only around 40,000. He could not, he said, vouch for the accuracy of the statistics given in some of the Einsatzgruppen reports.[357]NMT, Volume IV. The limitations of this thesis prevent a detailed discussion of Ohlendorf’s testimony before the IMT and the NMT. Readers are advised to study the volumes of trial records indicated and to contrast the testimony given at the two trials.

Despite Ohlendorf’s assertion that there existed a “Führer order” to exterminate all the Jews in the occupied Soviet territories, no reliable evidence has come to light to corroborate this claim. Moreover, as we shall see below, many scholars, including Raul Hilberg, no longer believe such an order existed. The OKW and OKH orders and directives mentioned above contain no references to a policy or programme of exterminating the Jewish populations of these territories, and neither do any of the other OKW, OKH, or RSHA orders from the period. Even the well-known “Kommissarbefehl” (“commissar order”) of June 6, 1941, which explicitly orders the murder of all political commissars attached to the units of the Red Army, makes no mention of Jews being killed.[358]“Richtlinien für die Behandlung politischer Kommissare”, signed by General Walter Warlimont for the OKW. Document No. 12 in Anatomie des SS-Staates, Band II, p. 225-226. This document is actually just one of a series of similar directives issued before and during the invasion of the Soviet Union. The other key documents are also published in this work.

Jews were mentioned in an Armeeoberkommando directive of June 4, 1941, entitled “Richtlinien für das Verhalten der Truppe in Rußland” (“Guidelines for the Conduct of the Troops in Russia”). “Bolshevism,” states this document, “is the mortal enemy of the National Socialist German people. Germany’s struggle is directed against this destructive ideology and its carriers.” The document then lists several of these “carriers”: “Bolshevik agitators, guerrillas, saboteurs, Jews” (“bolschewistische, Hetzer, Freischärler, Saboteure, Juden“). It states that “ruthless and energetic action” is needed against them.[359]Document No. 11 in Anatomie des SS-Staates, Band II, p. 223. In this anti-Revisionist publication, The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania, the word “Jews” in this document has been changed so that it now reads “the Jews” (p. 48). This makes the document appear to be a directive against all Jews, as opposed to just Jewish Bolsheviks. Cf. Keitel’s similarly-worded directive of September 12, 1941: “Juden in den besetzten Ostgebieten”; Document No. 27, in Anatomie des SS-Staates, Band II, p. 250. Again, the context is the ideological struggle against Bolshevism and not the racial struggle against the Jews. This document – issued to the Wehrmacht, not even to the Einsatzgruppen – mentions that Jewish bolsheviks, along with other Bolshevik activists and terrorists, were to be executed. Yet it does not necessarily follow that all Jews in these territories, several million in all, were to be executed as Bolsheviks by the Wehrmacht. This conclusion is strengthened by the contents of an order dated July 2, 1941, issued by Heydrich himself to the Höhere SS und Polizeiführer in the occupied Soviet territories. Heydrich repeated to them in summary form the instructions he had already issued directly to the Einsatzgruppen. The relevant passage of this document, which only surfaced in the 1960s although its authenticity has since been verified by specialists in the field, states:

EXECUTIONS.

The following will be executed:

Functionaries of the Comintern (most of who are simply professional Communist politicians).

Functionaries of higher and medium rank and “radicals” in the Party, the Central Committee, and the regional and district committees.

Commissars of the People. Jews in the Service of the Party and the State. Other radical elements (saboteurs, propagandists, snipers, assassins, agitators, etc.)…

No actions should be taken to interfere with any activities that may be started by anti-Communist or anti-Jewish elements in the newly occupied territories. Rather, these are to be secretly encouraged. Nonetheless, all care must be taken to ensure that those who get involved in these local “self defence” activities are not able to claim later that they were merely following instructions or had been promised political protection.[360]Quoted in ibid., pp. 364.
(Document No. 11 in Anatomie des SS-Staates, Band II, p. 223. In this anti-Revisionist publication, The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania, the word “Jews” in this document has been changed so that it now reads “the Jews” (p. 48). This makes the document appear to be a directive against all Jews, as opposed to just Jewish Bolsheviks. Cf. Keitel’s similarly-worded directive of September 12, 1941: “Juden in den besetzten Ostgebieten”; Document No. 27, in Anatomie des SS-Staates, Band II, p. 250. Again, the context is the ideological struggle against Bolshevism and not the racial struggle against the Jews.)

This document certainly lends itself to the argument that the Einsatzgruppen were not ordered to exterminate all the Jews of occupied Soviet territories. Heydrich’s order, which we now have a copy of, is irreconcilable with the “Führer order” Ohlendorf claimed to have received but for which we have no real evidence. Heydrich did not instruct the Einsatzgruppen to kill all Jews. He only instructed them to kill, along with various categories of non-Jews, Jews in the service of the Party and the State (“Juden in Partei- und Staatsstellungen“). Clearly Jews accused of being “saboteurs, propagandists, snipers, assassins, agitators, etc.” would also be executed, and probably on no other evidence than mere suspicion. As this document and Keitel’s directive of March 13, 1941 reveal, the Einsatzgruppen were principally used for the purposes of destroying Bolshevism, countering espionage and partisan activity, and establishing rudimentary law and order in one of the bloodiest war zones in history. In the furious struggle between the two competing ideologies, National Socialism and Bolshevism, all persons considered politically dangerous or troublesome were to be annihilated. “Preemptive guerrilla warfare” is one phrase that has been used to describe these actions. Of course, because Nazis tended to believe that Bolshevism sprung from the Jewish race anyway, Jewish communities, towns and ghettos would have been the main ‘hunting grounds’ of the Einsatzgruppen.

This argument that Jews were killed by the Einsatzgruppen during security operations and political purges gains further support from a ‘secret’ speech Himmler delivered in Weimar on December 16, 1943. To the assembled naval commanders he described in very frank terms the racial struggle and the events in the east:

Whenever I was forced to take steps against the partisans and Jewish commissars in some village – I’ll say it for the information of this group only – I made it a point to give the order to kill the women and children of these partisans and commissars. I would have been a weakling and I would be committing a crime against our descendants if I allowed the hate-filled sons of the subhumans we have liquidated in this struggle of humanity against subhumanity to grow up.[361]A.G. Peterson and B. F. Smith, Heinrich Himmler: Geheimreden 1933 bis 1945 (Berlin: Propyläen, 1974), p. 201. Quoted in Stäglich, p. 72-73. Himmler’s comments in Weimar may help to explain what he meant in his often-cited Posen speech of October 4, 1943 (Document 1919-PS).

There can be no doubt that Himmler saw these actions in the east as being necessary security measures. In October 1942 he travelled to Rome to discuss with Mussolini the overall military situation. On October 11 he briefed the Duce on Germany’s Jewish policy.[362]The records of this conference are in the National Archives (Washington), RG 242, T-175, R69. For an orthodox interpretation of Himmler’s comments to Mussolini, cf. H. Krausnick, “Himmler über seinen Besuch bei Mussolini vom 11-14 Okt. 1942″, Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte 4 (1956), esp. pp. 425-426. Jews, he said, were being deported from Germany and all occupied countries. Old Jews had been sent to Theresienstadt, the ghetto for the aged. Other Jews were sent to concentration camps and used for hard labour in the east. Accordingly, he said, the mortality level was very high. A “not insignificant number” of Jews – men, women and children – had been shot in Russia, mostly because they were involved in or actively supported partisan and resistance activities. The Germans had tried to drive Jews eastward into Russian hands, but even the Russians rejected them and killed many.

It is important to see these acts of barbarity within the context of the war being waged between the Germans and the Soviets, a war fought to a large degree outside the established ‘rules of warfare’. A similar campaign of terror was conducted by each side, and we now know that the Soviets committed terrible atrocities against Poles, Baltics peoples and others. It is also true that many of the Einsatzgruppen massacres of Jews were committed as reprisals, and that local inhabitants, particularly in the Baltic states, murdered tens of thousands of Jews in pogroms. Nonetheless, three glaring facts remain: first, the Einsatzgruppen committed atrocities that were amongst the worst of the Second World War; second, the vast majority of their victims were Jews; and third, these Jewish victims numbered unquestionably in the hundreds of thousands. The daily Einsatzgruppen reports themselves describe mass shootings of hundreds, occasionally thousands, of Jews at a time.

It is very difficult to determine – even approximately – how many Jews were murdered by the Einsatzgruppen. A total figure of two million was accepted by the IMT and the American NMT.[363]Cf. NMT, Volume IV, pp. 427-430. Helmut Krausnick and Hans-Heinrich Wilhelm, the authors of the most detailed study of the Einsatzgruppen, have calculated that if all the figures in the reports were added up, the total number of Jewish deaths would be around 2,200,000.[364]See above, page 120, n. 314. However, most historians of the Holocaust present totals of between 900,000 and l,300,000, with others going slightly lower or higher than these figures. Thus, all these scholars – including Reitlinger, Hilberg and Dawidowicz – are implicitly stating that the figures given in the Einsatzgruppen reports are far too high, either because of error or exaggeration. There are good grounds for arguing that the reports are exaggerated, and not mistaken. Reginald Paget, a British historian and Member of Parliament, had been the lawyer for Field Marshal Erich von Manstein, accused by the Allies of war crimes. Manstein, who had been in nominal command of the Einsatzgruppen, was alleged to have directed the German Army to cooperate with them in their activities. Paget conducted research into the accuracy of the Einsatzgruppen reports, and concluded that on the whole they were wildly exaggerated, sometimes as much as by ten times. For example, according to the report of February 18, 1942, Einsatzgruppen D, under Ohlendorf, had killed 10,000 Jews in Simferopol in the Crimea. Paget discovered that the true number was around three hundred, and that “these 300 were probably not exclusively Jews but a miscellaneous collection of people who were being held on the suspicion of resistance activity.”[365]R. Paget, Manstein: His Campaigns and His Trial (London: Collins, 1951), pp. 168-173. During the second trial of Ernst Zündel, in 1988, David Irving questioned about the accuracy of the Einsatzgruppen reports. Irving did not deny that the Einsatzgruppen killed large numbers of Jews (“Thousands of civilians lined up on the sides of pits being machine gunned into the pits after being robbed of their personal possessions”), but he denied that this was the result of a policy to kill all the Jews of the occupied Soviet territories. He also challenged the accuracy of the figures given in the Einsatzgruppen reports, and said that they were probably inflated by local commanders in order to impress their superior officers:

the question a historian should ask is, ‘Why does this document exist?’. A man is out in the field behind the Russian front doing his job for the SS and he is being asked how well he is doing and he’s going to show he’s doing a jolly good job and that’s the kind of category … I put these Einsatzgruppen reports into. I don’t trust the statistics they contain… Statistics like this are meaningless.[366]SZTR, 33-9355, 9356; 34-9472.

The present writer agrees that the figures given in the Einsatzgruppen reports are unrealistic, and, accordingly, cannot conclude with certainty how many Jews were actually killed in the Soviet territories. The total would be well over 300,000, but could even be two or three times higher than that. This was clearly an enormous war crime, and a terrible injustice to the Jewish people. Butz’s claim that we do not know whether the figure was in the range of “5,000, 25,000 or 100,000″ is unrealistic. We know that the total was at least three times higher than Butz’s highest figure and more than sixty times higher than his lowest figure. Many of the individual atrocities claimed the lives of more than Butz’s lowest figure. For example, on September 29 and 30, 1941, around 15,000 Jews were slaughtered at Babi Yar, a ravine outside Kiev in the Ukraine, as a reprisal for the explosion and fire in Kiev.[367]The relevant Einsatzgruppen reports give an improbable but certainly not impossible death figure of 33,771. The exaggerated nature of many of these reports prevents us accepting this figure at face value, especially as there is no reliable corroborating evidence of a statistical nature. After the war Paul Blobel, the commander of Einsatzkommando 4a, which committed the atrocity, testified that the figure could not have been more than 16,000. This massacre, therefore, is similar (if not larger) in scale to the Soviet mass murder of around 14,000 Polish army officers in the Katyn Forest and other sites. Babi Yar, although one of the largest, was just one of scores of mass killings of Jews by the Einsatzgruppen.

Thus, although the Einsatzgruppen were never ordered to kill all the Jews of the occupied Soviet territories, they nevertheless murdered hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women and children. Whereas Butz claimed that there is a “scantiness of reliable evidence” for these mass murders,[368]Butz, The Hoax, p. 204. the evidence is actually plentiful, authentic, and reliable, even if the statistics them-selves are exaggerated. It should also be pointed out that we have focused our investigation only on evidence pertaining to nonpersonal issues such as organisation, orders and statistics. We have not drawn on the hundreds of available testimonies describing the horrors of Einsatzgruppen murders. They tell of routine brutality, and terrifying journeys in crowded trucks to the killing sites. They speak of rows of naked humans standing on the edges of pits waiting to receive the bullets that will send them down onto still-warm bodies below. These are crimes that cannot be brushed aside as easily as Butz attempts to.

We have touched upon several of the most important of Butz’s arguments, and have seen that his work is flawed and out of date in places. First, in response to any piece of evidence apparently contradicting his theses, Butz, if unable to explain or refute it, tends to accuse it of being “fabricated”. By doing so he leaves himself wide open to criticism from anti-Revisionists, who allege that he ignores whole bodies of evidence. Moreover, in stating that particular sources have been manufactured, Butz naturally has to say who he believes did this and why. This occasionally leads him to write about Jewish or Communist “hoaxes” and “lies”, phrases that make him appear extreme and anti-Semitic. These terms, and some of his arguments in defence of their usage, also diminish his claim that he has produced a dispassionate analysis. His treatment of Jews and Zionists at the Nuremberg and other war crimes trials shows that he is not as unbiased as he claims. These sections contain little more than speculation and unsustained allegations based on his own preconceptions. Second, in the years since The Hoax was written, a lot of important source material has come to light. Having this material would have made several of Butz’s arguments a lot stronger. His section on the affidavits and trial testimony of Rudolf Höß, for example, was generally accurate although unpersuasive. It would have appeared a lot stronger if he could demonstrate, as we are now able to, that Höß was beaten and tortured by British interrogators before making his statements. Similarly, whilst it is now possible to compare the descriptions of the gas chambers given in the WRB report and other such sources with the original German architectural drawings and building plans of the facilities in Auschwitz, these sources were not readily available when Butz wrote T he Hoax. It is the same with the numerous aerial photographs of Auschwitz taken over a period of months in 1944. Butz wrote in The Hoax that such photographs must have been taken during the war, but he had no idea where they were. The CIA finally released them in 1979, three years after Butz’s book was published.

Despite these particular flaws and weaknesses, and others we have identified during our analysis of The Hoax, it is apparent that Butz has also put forward some well-researched and weighty arguments. His section on the treatment of German witnesses and defendants at the Nuremberg and other war crimes trial makes for grim reading. There can be no doubt that many were coerced or tortured into making statements suitable to the prosecution’s case, and not just regarding the maltreatment of Jews. This significantly damages the argument of orthodox historians of the Holocaust that “even the perpetrators admit they did it”. Several of these “confessions”, including the various affidavits and memoirs of Rudolf Höß, reflect the treatment their authors received whilst in Allied custody. They contain numerous major inaccuracies, distortions, and fabrications. The honest and responsible historian must take into consideration why and how these statements were produced before attempting to use them as sources of historical evidence.

Butz’s description and analysis of the terrible epidemics raging throughout the labour and concentration camps, especially those in the damp and swampy Auschwitz region, was balanced and wellconstructed. Staggering numbers of internees, both Jews and non-Jews, perished from typhus and a range of other diseases. By drawing attention to the fact that the SS expended an enormous amount of time, energy and money on saving and maintaining the lives of internees (who, in the eastern camps, were mostly Jews), Butz has demonstrated the incompatibility of these actions with the received opinion that the Nazi regime was fanatically intent on exterminating all Jews.

The way Butz dealt with the Einsatzgruppen reports and the massacres they describe is entirely unsatisfactory, and diminishes the overall impact of his book. Nonetheless, he has demonstrated that historians have been reading far too much into the phrase, “final solution”. This phrase, one must concede did not refer to a policy of extermination but to a policy of expulsion and deportation. Reliable and credible evidence for the alleged extermination policy is almost non-existent. On the other hand, reliable and credible evidence for the deportation policy, referred to as the “final solution”, is plentiful. Historians could well challenge this conclusion by arguing that the phrase is a euphemism. The murder of Jews was such a closely-guarded secret, they might argue, that absolutely no mention of such killings was ever made in documents. Euphemisms were always used instead. This ignores the obvious fact that the daily Einsatzgruppen reports – of which between fifty and a hundred copies were usually made and circulated to the relevant SS officials, including Heydrich and Himmler – explicitly refer to the mass killings of Jews. If the killing of Jews was a carefully-guarded secret requiring the use of code-words, then the Einsatzgruppen commanders, and Himmler and Heydrich themselves, were letting the cat out of the bag’ on a daily basis. This is clearly nonsensical. The killing of Jews cannot have been a well-disguised state secret necessitating euphemisms on some days only, but not on others.

Chapter 3 • The Institute for Historical Review: Revisionism’s Prime Mover and Shaker • 24,900 Words

It is run by modern anti-Semites for modern anti-Semites, and their sympathisers, with the purpose of sanitizing the massive crimes of past anti-Semites.”[369]D. Green, The Holocaust: Six Million Lies? Education Papers, Report Series l, No. 2.

One could be excused for surmising that this bold statement described a militant fascist or neo-Nazi organization, whose swastika emblazoned member[s] proudly eulogize Hitler and vainly endeavour to resuscitate the dead and feud corpse of his ill-fated political movement. Yet it was intended by its belligerent author to describe the Institute for Historical Review (IHR), an American historical institute which publishes a regular newsletter and a quarterly journal containing well written and occasionally ground-breaking articles by historians and other scholars. The IHR sponsors and publishes original research and republishes relevant titles no longer available, and has to date conducted eleven well-attended international conferences at which scholars have presented papers, exchanged ideas and coordinated their work.

The IHR is without doubt the most successful and influential Revisionist organisation or association in the world. For almost fifteen years this highly organised institute has sought to revise the history of the world wars and related events by considering new types of evidence, by employing new methodologies, and by considering the known data from a different point of view. This has gained the IHR a great deal of support, with thousands of people around the globe subscribing to its journal and purchasing its various publications. As evidence of its remarkable success, the institute published in 1990, twelve years after its formation, a statement of progress containing the following noteworthy statistics:

Number of Revisionist books distributed400,000
Number of Revisionist audiotapes and videos distributed12,000
Number of issues of the Journal of Historical Review published36
Number of copies of the IHR Newsletter distributed90,000
New Revisionist titles published in English for the first time23
Number of Revisionist promotional pieces mailed1,800,000
Number of people reached by IHR efforts30,000,000
Number of available titles in IHR and associated catalogues480[370]IHR Newsletter 71, February 1990, pp. 6-7.

According to Thomas J. Marcellus, the IHR’s long-serving director, the four principal people involved in the initial formation of the institute in 1978 were Lewis Brandon (who “may have first floated the idea for a new corporate entity to handle just historical revisionism.”[371]Letter from Marcellus to the present writer, dated August 6, 1991, p. 1.), Willis Carto, Lavonne Furr and Marcellus himself. They were assisted by the Board of Directors of the Legion for the Survival of Freedom, (LSF), the institute’s parent company.[372]Ibid., p. 1. The LSF is a Texas society incorporated in 1952 by Jason and Marsha Matthews. In a letter to the present writer (dated January 14, 1992) Willis Carto described the original purpose of the Legion, which was to “disseminate anti-statist, pro-freedom articles to the news media”. Additionally, wrote Carto, “The Matthews died about 1964, leaving control of the LSF in the hands of Mrs. Furr, who brought me in in 1966. It was then that Noontide Press was founded.”
(Letter from Marcellus to the present writer, dated August 6, 1991, p. 1.)
As Secretary of the LSF, Elisabeth Carto (Willis’s wife) applied in January 1980 for the institute’s business licence, under the title of “The Noontide Press/Institute for Historical Review”.

The Noontide Press, ‘sister’ to the IHR, is a right-wing distribution company and publishing house[373]Tom Marcellus, who is also the director of the Noontide Press, correctly pointed out to the present writer that many Noontide books were written by left-wing authors and express left-wing theses, and there are many books by Jews. (telephone interview, October 4, 1991)., which has published or distributed over one hundred general Revisionist and Holocaust Revisionist titles since it was founded by Willis Carto in the mid-1960s.[374]Cf. The Myth of the Six Million (1969; see above, p. 52) and The Six Million Reconsidered (1977; see below, p. 193); The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, described at length above. Many of the non-revisionist books sold by Noontide are of an anti-communist and patriotic (America First) nature or are attempts at exposing various international conspiracies. Others detail the uniqueness and historical successes of the European ‘Nordic’ peoples, and say others are anti-Zionist or anti-Judaic. Several of these books, including Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Antichrist, William Grimstad’s Antizion, Douglas Reed’s The Controversy of Zion and the infamous Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion[375]Interestingly, the Noontide Press does state in its book catalogue that the ‘Protocols’ are very controversial and are offered on a “caveat lector” (“let the reader beware”) basis. Cf. the Noontide Press Catalog of Books, Audiotapes and Videotapes 1990/91, p. 4. The IHR does not sell the ‘Protocols’, books on conspiracy theories, Race or European cultural uniqueness., have been described by numerous literary commentators as anti-Semitic, something strenuously denied by the Noontide Press. It is not, however, within the scope of this work to argue whether these books are or are not anti-Semitic or racist, and no judgement on them will be made based on the assertions of others. Mention is made of them only to point out that the Noontide Press sells several books of an extremely controversial nature.

As the IHR shares its business premises, staff and administration team with this moderately right-wing publisher of controversial books, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Jewish Defense League (JDL) and many other anti-Revisionist groups and individuals have argued that it must also share the same ‘anti-Semitic’ political ideology. The IHR’s approach to history, they say, must be perverted by its hidden and heinous agenda. To add weight to this argument they present disparaging and sometimes slanderous profiles of the institute’s founding members and their political ideologies and activities.

Willis A. Carto, the institute’s founder has been the target of most of these attempts at character assassination. The ADL frequently describes him as the extreme-right’s “gray eminence”[376]Cf. The 1989 IHR Conference: White-Washing Genocide “Scientifically”: An ADL Fact-Finding Report (New York: AntiDefamation League, 1989), p. 1., an allusion to the fact that whilst he has founded or funded many nationalistic or ultra-conservative organizations (and is regarded by many on the right as the benevolent ‘godfather’ of American patriotism), he has always chosen to remain out of the spotlight. The ADL has also described him far less complementarily as “the most influential professional anti-Semite in the United States today.”[377]Extremism on the Right: A Handbook (New York: Anti-Defamation League, 1988), p. 74. Cf. also A. Kazin, “Americans Right, Left and Indifferent: Responses to the Holocaust”, Dimensions – A Journal of Holocaust Studies (published by the Anti-Defamation League), Volume 4, No. 1, p. 11; M. Silverberg, “The Holocaust and the Historical Revisionists”, Journal of Jewish Communal Service, Volume 59, Fall 1982, p. 20; et al. As evidence, it argues that around 1960 Carto formed a moderately right-wing pressure group called Liberty Lobby, which continues to be “the most active anti-Semitic organization in the country”. Additionally, the ADL points out, Liberty Lobby publishes a widely-read weekly newspaper, The Spotlight (circulation over 100,000), through which “Willis Carto and company spread their doctrines.”[378]Extremism on the Right, p. 35. For more objective profiles of Carto and Liberty lobby, cf. “Willis Carto” in M. Lane, Plausible Denial: Was the CIA involved in the Assassination of JFK? (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1991) and L. A. Campbell, “Liberty Lobby in the spotlight with Duke, Buchanan in Race”, Chicago Tribune, January 12, 1992, Section 1, p. 4. The ADL has proudly reprinted on several occasions the following 1988 statement by the United States Court of Appeals:

Since its inception, Liberty Lobby has been an outspoken critic of Jewish groups and leaders, and of the United States’ domestic and foreign policy in regard to Jewish issues [that is, Israel]. In a letter to subscribers to The Spotlight, Liberty Lobby characterized “political Zionism” as “the most ruthless, wealthy and evil political force in the history of the Western World”. The Spotlight has given extensive publicity to the fantastic claim that the Holocaust, the extermination of 6,000,000 Jews by Nazi Germany, never occurred.”[379]Extremism on the Right, p. 37.

The ADL has also stated that Carto has “put together a wide and shifting network of extremist, racist and anti-Semitic publications and organizations.”[380]Ibid., p. 74.
(Extremism on the Right, p. 37.)
Among the enterprises named to support this charge were Western Destiny and American Mercury (journals), the IHR, the Noontide Press and the rather more mainstream (although still rightist) Populist Party.

The Anti-Defamation League is not, of course, a neutral and unbiased political observer. Established in 1913 as a division of the B’nai B’rith, the largest Jewish service organization in the world, the very influential ADL is an elitist Zionist pressure group designed to defend the rights and strengthen the political and social position of American Jews. Although its activities in the civil rights field include commendable campaigns for other minority groups, including Blacks, it has devoted almost all of its efforts and extensive resources to matters concerning Jews. For example, it has for over a decade published an annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, yet it does not publish a comparable audit of discrimination against Blacks or other minorities. Additionally, a sub-branch of the ADL is the International Centre for Holocaust Studies, which publishes a scholarly journal, Dimensions: A Journal of Holocaust Studies, and is particularly active in the drive to have all American school children study the Holocaust. Hence, for the above reasons its own impartiality regarding the Holocaust appears questionable. Indeed, almost any Christian theological criticism of Judaism, any condemnation of Israel’s activities or policies, any expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people, any demand for reductions of American aid to Israel, any criticism or condemnation of Zionism, or any challenge to received opinion on the Holocaust, is seen by the ADL as racism and anti-Semitism. Dr Alfred M. Lilienthal, himself Jewish, is amongst America’s foremost experts on Zionism, of which he is an opponent. Clearly dissatisfied with what he perceives as the ADL’s extremism, he wrote:

the ADL’s earlier emphasis on stamping out genuine prejudice and bigotry gave way long ago to acts of defamation, spying, and publishing spurious literary productions, motivated by support of Israel and effected by elimination criticism of Zionist tactics.[381]A. M. Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection II: What Price Peace? (Bullsbrook, Western Australia: Veritas Publishing Co. 1983. First published by Dodd Mead, New York, 1978), p. 405.

The Jewish Defense League, without doubt the IHR’s most dangerous adversary, is an unprincipled Jewish organization willing to use violence to attain or maintain political objectives. It is allegedly responsible for the murders of more than two dozen of its opponents (who are basically the same as the ADL’s) in the years since it was formed in 1968 by Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was himself murdered in 1991.[382]For a bibliography of American newspaper and journal articles detailing the violent crimes of the JDL, including those against the IHR and individual Revisionists, see the collected notes on pp. 9-10 of The Zionist Terror Network: Background and operations of the Jewish Defence League (Torrance: Institute for Historical Review, 1985). The JDL’s acts of intimidation and violence against the IHR, which include bombings and arson, will be discussed below. Like the ADL it is extremely sensitive to any criticism of Zionism, Israel or Jewish interests.

It is also worth noting that the terms ‘right-wing’ or ‘conservative’ are not synonyms for ‘racist’ or ‘anti-Semitic’, despite the fact that racists and anti-Semites can be found, unfortunately, in the Right, just as they can in the Left. One may define oneself as politically right-wing, even extremely rightwing, without having a hatred for Jews or any other race or ethnic group.

If one views Willis Carto through the distorting lenses of the ADL’s and JDL’s ideological spectacles, one would indeed see the unappealing anti-Semite and hate criminal they describe so frequently in their publications. The evidence even appears to support the charge: for over thirty-five years he has relentlessly condemned in his various forums the influence and motivation of the international Monist movement, has argued that Israel is ‘illegally parked’ in the Middle East, and has strenuously attempted to have American aid to Israel induced in amount or withdrawn altogether. Further, he did found the IHR, the nerve-centre of international Holocaust Revisionism.

However, if one attempts to view Carto through the politically neutral spectacles of unbiased inquiry, one will probably see a different figure: an anti-communist conservative who desires to reestablish the ‘America first’ tradition of armed neutrality, and to bring Constitutional principles back to government on the local, state and national levels; an opponent of all illegal immigration and the present levels of legal immigration; an advocate of drastic reductions in foreign aid (to Israel and to all other nations) except for humanitarian purposes; and a defender of what he considers to be America’s Christian heritage against internal lobby groups, both Jewish and non-Jewish, trying to debase that heritage. One may still find Carto and his right-wing political ideology unappealing and extreme (many, of course, find his politics particularly appealing), but it will become obvious that hatred toward the Jewish people or anyone else was not his motivation for founding the IHR, as the ADL and his very many other opponents assert. His motivation, it appears, was a genuine desire for the truth about recent historical conflicts and politico events, and a lack of confidence in the ability of the wider historical profession to present those events [in] an honest and even-handed manner.

Lewis Brandon, the IHR’s colourful and controversial first director, has also been the subject of numerous attacks on his character. In fairness to his detractors, he probably deserved this treatment. The ADL seems especially proud of the fact that “in the spring of 1981 [it] revealed that ‘Lewis Brandon’ was William David McCalden’s alias” and that this McCalden was “a British neo-Fascist and founder of the racist British National Party… [who] was denied membership in the National Union of Journalists because of his racial views.”[383]Extremism on the Right: A Handbook, p. 120. In an article in the Journal of Jewish Communal Service, Mark Silverberg wrote that:

Recently uncovered information on the leadership of the I.H.R., however, casts considerable doubt on the credibility of the organization. Lewis Brandon, twenty-nine, the Director of the I.H.R, was recently identified by the Board of Deputies of British Jews as William David McCalden, a former member of Britain’s neo-fascist National Front. McCalden edited anti-Semitic and racist publications in England before becoming a resident alien in the United States in 1978. He defected from the National Front in 1975 to help form the National Party which espouses “British Racial Nationalism.”[384]“The Holocaust and the Holocaust Revisionists”, p. 19.

McCalden, who died on October 15, 1990, certainly was involved with these extreme-right organizations, which were pro-white, nationalistic, authoritarian and illiberal (far more so than the organizations Carto has been involved with)[385]There are numerous books available on the National Front, but an especially revealing article, in that it was written by an American right-wing observer who clearly then shared the same pro-white sentiments as the ‘Front’, is Mark Weber’s “Whites on the March in Britain”, National Vanguard, Issue No. 67, 1979. Weber is now perhaps America’s most accomplished Revisionist historian. He has written dozens of articles on a variety of historical events and eras (not just the Holocaust), all of which are well argued and evenhanded. They did, however, seek to obtain power in England through the normal democratic processes, and were actually relatively successful in the polls during the 1970s. As noted above, McCalden probably deserved the often intense criticism he received: despite his obvious literary and organizational talents, he had difficulty working as part of a team, did and said some stupid things, and early developed the reputation of being a trouble-maker. His departure from the National Front in 1975, by way of illustration, was not entirely voluntary. John Tyndall, the Front’s Chairman at the time, later wrote:

The true facts are that Mr. McCalden had up to the time of his exit from the party been employed as a full-time worker in the party’s headquarters office. In December 1975 it was decided that he had abused the trust placed in him in this regard by being party to a conspiracy to split the National Front by the formation of a new organisation and an appeal to the members of the former to desert it and join the latter. This was after the failure of a faction within the NF (of which he was a leading member) to take over the party by means judged by a high court to have been unconstitutional and illegal. As part of this conspiracy to destroy the NF, the conspirators had been given access to the party’s membership lists for the purpose of circularising all members with an appeal to join the new body. There was never any doubt that Mr. McCalden, as a paid member of the office staff, had been a party to this handing over of membership lists. Upon our discovery of his actions, he was immediately discharged from the paid staff of the party. He was an incorrigible trouble-maker and was always to be found at the centre of any activity which had the effect of dividing the party and setting one section of the membership against another.[386]Letter to the Editor, The American Sunbeam, August 16, 1983, p. 3.

Less than three years later this “incorrigible trouble-maker” surfaced in the United States as Lewis Brandon, the high-profile director of the IHR. His appointment to the position was later described by that institute:

In 1977 McCalden – exposed and washed up insofar as British right-wing politics and organizations were concerned – sought refuge and fertile new fields. Learning of a vacancy at the Noontide Press [as managing director] he was soon on his way here. Only much later was it learnt that he had lied about his background, the facts of which were unknown to those who hired him here[*]Although they were not aware of his expulsion from the National Front, the Legion for the Survival of Freedom was aware that ‘Lewis Brandon’ was only McCalden’s pseudonym and that he had been active in that extreme-right organization. Cf. letter from Tom Marcellus to the present writer, August 6, 1991 (p. 1): “Carto and I knew that Lewis Brandon was really David McCalden as that was never a secret. What was not known, however, was the real reason McCalden wanted to get out of England.” (i.e., his attempted coup d’état and subsequent expulsion from the party) and who, like the British NF, had placed him in a position of trust. On Mr Carto’s recommendation the Legion for the Survival of Freedom … gave McCalden the additional task of managing the new IHR operation.[387]Dossier On A ‘Revisionist’ Crank (Torrance: Institute for Historical Review, 1984), p. 3.

Thus, both the founder and first director of the Institute for Historical Review were active in farright politics, a fact seized upon by the many opponents of the IHR, who have been almost exclusively Jewish. This fact proves, they reason, that the institute, with all its trappings of academia, was established solely to allow the American neo-fascist intelligentsia to pass off their racist and distorted views of history as legitimate scholarly opinion. The IHR’s detractors could, of course, be right. But the principal organizations making such allegations are from the opposite end of the political spectrum, are extremely Zionistic, and have a tendency to automatically label all persons or theses critical of Judaism, Zionism, Israel or accepted historical opinion on the Holocaust as anti-Semitic. It seems reasonable to conclude that if the IHR’s theses on history are to be automatically disregarded because of the right-wing political views of several of its key staff-members, as the IHR’s opponents assert, then by this same standard the arguments and conclusions of almost all major Holocaust scholars must be disregarded because they are Jewish and actively support Jewish interests. Rather, all historical theses, even those that appear unpalatable or unfashionable, should be given fair consideration and the opportunity of being judged according to their own merits or de-merits, regardless of whether they originate from the political left or right.

The editorial team at the IHR later described the institute’s formation in these terms:

In 1978 there came together the most significant assemblage of academics, researchers, writers and free-thinkers ever to challenge the historical orthodoxy. The one thing they all had in common was Revisionism – an understanding that modern textbook and popular “history” was deliberately and systematically blacking-out whole categories of pertinent facts – facts which materially revised what almost everyone had been led to believe was the truth.[388]Worldwide Growth and Impact of ‘Holocaust’ Revisionism, IHR Special Report (Torrance: Institute for Historical Review, 1987), p. iii.

Despite the obvious exaggeration of this statement, it does contain a certain degree of truth. The scholars involved with the institute have challenged the “historical orthodoxy”, and not just regarding the Holocaust. They have sought out new sources, employed new methodologies, and considered evidence from new vantage points. Accordingly, they have proffered new interpretations in many areas of historical inquiry, including the American Civil War, the First World War, the British appeasement movement, the Indian independence movement, the Second World War and the Middle East conflict.

It is also correct to call the coming together of these professional and amateur historians “significant”, as even the institute’s opponents will agree. By bringing together like-minded historians from around the world – so that they could exchange viewpoints, coordinate their work and present their findings – the formation of the IHR contributed greatly to the development of Revisionism as an international, homogeneous movement.

Additionally, many of the academics involved in the formative stages of the institute were scholars of considerable repute, such as Dr. Charles Lutton, Dr. Martin A. Larson and Dr. James J. Martin, to name just a few. The latter, considered the ‘Dean of Revisionists’, is the author of the two-volume classic, American Liberalism and World Politics, 1931-1941, the well-received Beyond Pearl Harbor and numerous other important works. He was also a contributor to recent editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica and has contributed three articles to the Dictionary of American Biography. These men were certainly not racists masquerading as academics.

The First International Revisionist Conference

The first-ever international Revisionist conference, held at Northrup University (Los Angeles) on August 31-September 2, 1979, was a startling success for the IHR, the conference’s sponsor. As it set the pattern for the nine such conferences which have followed, and many important developments arose from it, this first conference will be discussed in some detail.[389]The following reconstruction of the conference is based primarily on audio-tapes of the lectures given by the various speakers (which can still be purchased from the IHR), and on an article on the conference (“Academics Deny Gas Chambers”) by Frank Tompkins, which appeared in The Great Holocaust Debate, a 1979 special issue of The Spotlight. Willis Carto informed the present writer that ‘Frank Tompkins’ was a pseudonym he sometimes used, and that he had indeed written the article. (letter from Carto to the present writer, dated October 24, 1991).

To show that the ‘Revisionism’ of the new institute was ideologically linked to the ‘Revisionist’ intellectual movement of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, the conference was dedicated by Dr. Martin A. Larson, himself a Revisionist for many decades, to the memory of his lifelong friend, Harry Elmer Barnes (1889-1968). Barnes was the most important American Revisionist historian of that period and a scholar of considerable repute. He began his outstanding academic career in the fields of sociology and criminology, explained Larson, before he turned his attention, in the 1920s to history. His Revisionist writings – as he himself called them – on the origin and causes of the First World War played a major part in the subsequent revision of the ‘official’ view of how that great and bloody conflict started. A pioneer in the study of historiography, Barnes’ 1936 work A History of Historical Writing[390]Norman, Oklahoma, 1936. Revised paperback edition, New York, 1962. was considered for well over two decades to be a standard textbook on the subject.

In the late 1930s, as war in Europe became imminent, Barnes, a staunch isolationist, argued for the United States’s non-intervention. He held this position even after the horror of Pearl Harbor. Also, both during and after the Second World War he argued against sole German responsibility for the outbreak of hostilities in 1939, anticipating A. J. P. Taylor and David L. Hoggan by over two decades. This view, of course, was very unpopular in the 1940s and 1950s, especially in the era of the Cold War and the Korean War (in which Barnes again opposed American involvement), and he began to have difficulties getting his work published.

In this period, continued Larson, Barnes began to write about what he termed the “historical blackout”, a conspiracy to keep historical facts from the general public. He believed that involved in this blackout, and many other twentieth century woes, was the international Zionist movement. This belief was to earn him the wrath of the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish organizations who declared Barnes to be anti- Semitic. Efforts were made to discredit Barnes, especially in the 1960s when he publicly expressed one or two doubts about accepted opinion on the Holocaust, and those efforts were particularly successful. By the time he passed away in 1968 he was forced to live off the meager royalties he received from his earlier books, because no ‘establishment’ periodicals would publish his articles.[391]For a very brief introduction to the important Revisionist writings of the 1920s to the 1960s, see Barnes’s own “Revisionism and the promotion of peace”, reprinted from the Summer 1958 issue of Liberation (New York). This reprint can be purchased from Sons of Liberty Books, P.O. Box 214, Metairie, LA 70004, U.S.A. Larson concluded his dedication of the conference with these words:

“Let this convention be a memorial to this great and courageous man, and let his great spirit, which never was never daunted by obstacles or threats, permeate our own work while we are here.”[392]Quoted in “Academics Deny Gas Chambers”, p. 6.

These concluding remarks were rather appropriate in the light of what occurred the next day, September 1, 1979. The university received a menacing telephone call from the JDL, which threatened to close down the campus “unless those filthy nazis and anti-Semites are thrown out”, to quote the words of Irving Rubin, the JDL’s leader.[393]Ibid., p. 6.
(Quoted in “Academics Deny Gas Chambers”, p. 6.)
A day later a far more specific call from the JDL was received, stating that a bomb had been placed near the library auditorium in which the convention was being held. The police were called in immediately, but were unable to find any such explosive device. It appears that, as no detonation occurred, the JDL had not placed a bomb, but merely wished to upset proceedings and intimidate the university into canceling the first of the Revisionist convention.

Willis Carto was a prominent figure at the conference, and addressed the seventy-five assembled Revisionists at the beginning of the conference and again during the plenary session. During his first address he expounded his own views on the relationship between international power politics and history, supporting his arguments by quoting a lengthy passage from a work for which he had, almost two decades earlier, written the introduction. This was Imperium, Francis Parker Yockey’s 626-page philosophical study of history which contains a rousing call for the preservation of Western civilization. This work, dedicated to “the Hero of the Second World War” – a reference to the quintessential youth who perished in that war (according to the ADL the reference was to Hitler) – is affectionately referred to by many on the far-right (and by Carto himself in his speech) as their ideological “bible”. Carto’s speech, however, contained several blatantly anti-Zionist statements[394]For example, he described Zionism as a political “monster”, one of “the two most predatory movements of the twentieth century” (the other being Communism). but no statements or euphemistic phrases of an anti-Semitic or racist nature. In the light of the fact that Carto has been called a bigot, fascist and Nazi by so many of his opponents – who argue that his quotation from Yockey is proof in itself – it is worth noting that in his address he stated that he was genuinely encouraged by the presence at the conference of speakers and attendees of several differing political outlooks, many vastly different from his own:

There are also many different political viewpoints represented here, and that is the way that it should be…. and some of the greatest men who have made a name for themselves in this field [historical revisionism] in the past were men like Harry Elmer Barnes, who was no conservative, and ah, others in the Senate like Burton K. Wheeler, Gerald Nye,[**]United States senators Wheeler and Nye, leading American isolationists in the late-1930s, were two of the principal opponents of the Roosevelt foreign policy of that period, which moved from 1937 onward towards involvement in the war buildups in Europe and Asia. etc. The high purpose of this convention – indeed the high purpose of the Institute for Historical Review is to promote a better understanding of the past among all Americans of all political viewpoints, and I submit to you that nothing could be more important than that for those of us who are genuinely concerned with improving the state of mankind and the state of the world today.[395]From Carto’s speech contained on the same audio-tape as that of Dr J. Martin (IHR Audio-tape A001).

Indeed, amongst those present were liberals, libertarians, populists, conservatives and ultraconservatives.

Following the speeches of Carto and Larson was a succession of lectures by leading Revisionists from around the world. These included Professor James J. Martin, Professor Arthur Butz, Dr. Austin J. App, and Devin Garrity (a New York publisher who was responsible for the publication of many early Revisionist ‘classics’), all from the United States. Udo Walendy came from Germany to address the conference, as did Professor Robert Faurisson from France. From Britain came Louis FitzGibbon, and from Australia came John Bennett.

Not all of the speeches were on the subject of the Holocaust. For example, Martin spoke on the history of Revisionism, surveying the important publications of the previous half century and elaborating on the lives and experiences of several of the leading revisionists whom he knew personally. FitzGibbon, author of Katyn, an authoritative account of the cold-blooded Soviet murder in 1940 of over 14,000 Polish military officers, spoke at length on that dreadful event. Garrity discussed his years as a publisher of Revisionist books, and, like Martin, shared with attendees his fond recollections of the Revisionist pioneers.

As noted above, the purpose of the conference was not just to hear papers given by other scholars, but was to bring the scholars together so that ideas and information could be exchanged and work coordinated. Indeed, several developments arose out of this Revisionist convocation. Those present, clearly feeling a desire to change the status quo regarding accepted opinion on the Holocaust and its acceptance by the public-at-large, formulated and unanimously agreed on the following ill-considered declaration:

RESOLUTION

We, the speakers, delegates and officers of the Institute for Historical Review 1979 Revisionist Convention, meeting at Los Angeles this Sept. 2, after reviewing the evidence that the Germans killed 6 million Jews during World War II in an unmoved act of genocide, and considering both sides of this question, as well as the evidence of genuine atrocities, resolve the following:

WHEREAS, the facts surrounding the allegations that gas chambers existed in occupied Europe during World War II are demonstrably false, and

WHEREAS, the whole theory of “the holocaust” has been created by and promulgated by political Zionism for the attainment of political and economic ends, specifically the continued and perpetual financial support of the military aggression of Israel by the people of Germany and the U.S., and

WHEREAS, the constantly escalating level of “holocaust” propaganda distributed by the mass media and government agencies is poisoning the minds of the American people, especially youth, and

WHEREAS, we are conscientiously concerned that this strident hate propaganda is seriously impeding the necessary peace, unity, brotherhood and understanding that we desire among all the peoples of the Western World; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, that we urge that the Congress of the U.S. investigate the whole question of war guilt, military aggression in the 20th century, the relationship of private political and banking interests with military aggression, deceitful wartime propaganda masquerading as fact, the real responsibility for war, twisted history, the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials, proven atrocities and genocide, such as the murder of thousands of Ukrainians and Poles at Vinnitsa in 1937 and Katyn in 1940 and the truth of the alleged extermination of six million Jews in Europe during World War II.[396]“Academics Deny Gas Chambers”, p. 6.

This resolution was transmitted to the appropriate committee of the House and Senate of the United States, and a press statement regarding the conference and resolution was issued to the media. Further, the resolution was reprinted in the widely read newspaper, The Spotlight.

At the close of the three day conference Willis Carto announced that the IHR would begin publishing in 1980 a quarterly journal devoted to Historical Revisionist theses. It would be, he said, the first periodical of its kind in the world. As promised, in the spring of 1980 the first issue of The Journal of Historical Review (JHR) came off the press, containing within its 96 pages articles by Arthur Butz, Robert Faurisson, Austin J. App, Louis FitzGibbon, Udo Walendy and Ditlieb Felderer. By February 1993 forty five issues of the JHR had been published, all similar in format and scholarly paraphernalia (such as footnotes, bibliographies, biographical details of contributors and errata lists) to other history periodicals. Further, like any academic journal, an editorial committee comprising specialists in a variety of fields had been established to review material submitted for publication and offer criticisms and suggestions of a more general nature. Although membership of the journal’s Editorial Advisory Committee has changed over the years, the majority of persons on it have always been scholars with genuine higher qualifications from recognized academic institutions. For example, of the twenty five members of the Editorial Advisory Committee listed in the summer 1991 issue of the JHR, nineteen had doctorates, two law degrees and one had an engineering degree (appropriate for appraising submissions on technical aspects of the gas chambers).

At the close of the conference it was also announced that the IHR was offering a $50,000 “reward” [for] courtroom-standard proof of homicidal gassings in conjunction with the alleged Nazi extermination policy in Auschwitz during the Second World War. Lewis Brandon (David McCalden), the institute’s director, stated that:

So many ‘holocaust’ witnesses have told contradictory stories, reneged on their testimony or been proven to be liars that we believe the reward will lie unclaimed for a very long time. To make sure that proper word of the offer is disseminated among interested parties, including claimed ‘survivors of Hitler’s gas ovens’ we intend to forward our offer to all publishers of so called ‘witness books’ with the request that the alleged witnesses step forward to have their evidence examined by a panel of experts.[397]Ibid., p. 6.
(“Academics Deny Gas Chambers”, p. 6.)

In the present writer’s opinion, based on a detailed study of the IHR’s main activities from 1978 to the time of writing (February 1993), this offer is without doubt the most foolish thing the institute has done to date. Whilst it was a genuine offer it did have the appearance of a publicity gimmick (something perhaps a radio station would do), and therefore diminished the IHR’s credibility as a serious academic institution. David Irving, a widely read historian, began making in 1977 a similar monetary offer for proof, in the form of genuine wartime documents, that Hitler ordered, or even knew about, the genocide of the Jews.[398]See below, pp. 281-282. Yet no other reputable historian or academic institute had offered financial “rewards” for proof of theses contrary to their own. More importantly, it will be shown in the following pages that whilst the reward offer and its consequences brought Holocaust Revisionism to the attention of millions of Americans, therefore necessitating a detailed analysis herein, the offer ultimately cost the IHR a great deal of money and almost resulted in its bankruptcy.

Mermelstein vs. the IHR, et al.

Between the time the offer was initially made at the First International Revisionist Conference in 1979 and the time of its official expiration a year later, there were no serious claims. Therefore, the administration team decided at the second conference to replace the $50,000 offer with two offers of $25,000; one for courtroom-standard proof that The Diary of Anne Frank was genuine, and the other for proof that the Nazi regime turned the fat of murdered Jews into cakes of soap, as was (and is still) widely believed. Before these offers expired there were several claims, notably from Simon Wiesenthal, who requested the claim forms and indicated that he would submit claims regarding the Auschwitz gas chambers and the Anne Frank diary.[399]Cf. IHR Newsletter, February 15, 1981; cf. also Wiesenthal’s comments on the matter in his foreword to Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit: NS-Verbrechen und “revisionistische” Geschichtsschreibung (Vienna: Dokumentationsarchiv des österreichischen Widerstandes, Bundesministerium für Unterricht und Kunst, 1991), p. 8. As noted, the original offer of $50,000 had officially expired, so ordinarily people could no longer claim it. However, Lewis Brandon sent Wiesenthal a personal letter inviting him to submit a claim for the rewards, including that of the original offer, which would be re-opened if he decided to make a claim for it. Wiesenthal was told that his evidence regarding the Anne Frank diary would be considered in November 1981.

However, Brandon, acting without authority from the Board of the Legion for the Survival of Freedom, also re-opened the offer to Mel Mermelstein, a 55-year-old Long Beach businessman and ex-Auschwitz internee. Mermelstein had been writing anti-IHR letters to the editors of numerous newspapers, including the English-language Jerusalem Post.[400]International Edition, week ending August 17, 1980; cf. also Long Beach Independent / Press Telegram, July 29, 1980. After receiving Brandon’s letter, he tried to get assistance from several Jewish organizations – including the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and the ADL – who advised him, however, that taking legal action against Revisionists would be expensive and unlikely to be successful. Further, it would only give them publicity and a forum from which to preach their ‘gospel’. Mermelstein, disagreeing, decided that he would have to take individual action against these Revisionist “scums … these bastards”.[401]M. Mermelstein, ‘The Revisionists’, in M. S. Littel (ed.), Holocaust Education, A Resource Book for Teachers and Professional Leaders, Symposium Series Volume 13 (New York and Toronto: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1985). On December 18, 1980, William Cox, initially the only lawyer who would assist him (very many refused, for the reasons given by the ADL and Wiesenthal Centre), sent the IHR written notice that Mermelstein was making a claim for the $50,000. He included a sworn statement by the Jewish claimant in which he described seeing his mother and two sisters go to their deaths in the gas chamber of Krema V, Birkenau on May 22, 1944.

His written statement, accompanied by “some crystals of Zyklon-B and strands of hair”[402]Worldwide Growth and Impact of ‘Holocaust’ Revisionism, pp. 112., did not comply with the terms and conditions of the offer. Nonetheless, after thirty days went by without receiving a reply from the IHR, Cox wrote to find out what was happening regarding Mermelstein’s claim. He was sent a reply which stated that his evidence would be examined by the panel of adjudicators, but not until after Wiesenthal’s had been examined in November of that year.

Cox immediately filed a lawsuit against the IHR, Liberty Lobby and Willis Carto with the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, seeking the $50,000 reward, plus $17,000,000 in damages for “breach of contract”, “anticipatory breach of contract”, “injurious denial of established fact”, and other alleged actionable offences. This startling action was widely reported in both local and national newspapers, which almost unanimously portrayed Mermelstein in a positive light, as the victim of a campaign of harassment and intimidation.[403]Cf. The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, February 15, 1981; et al. Only one or two papers mentioned the fact that Mermelstein saw himself as an anti-Revisionist crusader, bent on harassing and finally destroying the IHR. For example, the March 13 issue of the Rocky Mountain News quoted him, from an Associated Press release, saying ” I’m going to get them if I have to spend the rest of my life”.

Several newspapers, probably unintentionally, also misrepresented the facts by asserting that Mermelstein had already proved that Jews were gassed in Auschwitz, and that the IHR then reneged on its offer.[404]Cf. R. Lindsey, “Auschwitz Survivor Sues for Prize For Proving Germans Gassed Jews”, New York Times, March 11, 1981, et al. One must concede that Mermelstein never proved anything of the sort; he commenced legal action well before the period in which his evidence was to be appraised by the adjudicators. Even though the IHR asked that he continue with his claim by following the stipulated procedure, Mermelstein chose not to do so.[405]IHR Newsletter, April 1982, p. 1.

For several months in 1981 discover[y] and other pre-trial proceedings continued periodically, with depositions from both sides being taken. During his deposition Mermelstein actually discredited himself. To give just one example, he stated under oath that Dr. Miklos Nyiszli (mentioned above[406]See above, pp. 36-38.), whom he claimed to know on a personal level, would testify on his behalf. However, at that time Nyiszli had been dead for over twenty-five years. Nonetheless, the suit against the IHR continued to go in Mermelstein’s favour and on October 9, 1981 Judge Thomas T. Johnson took the remarkable step of taking Judicial Notice of the “fact that Jews were gassed to death at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland during 1944 and that the Holocaust is not reasonably subject to dispute and it is capable of immediate and accurate determination by resort to sources of reasonably indisputable accuracy”.[407]For a Revisionist analysis of the judge’s actions, Cf. The Spotlight, August 16, 1982. Because this action is very important, it will be discussed here in some detail.

Common Law (also called Anglo-American Law) is the body of customary law based upon judicial rulings and embodied in reports of previously decided cases. Various forms of this type of law exist in almost all states of the United States and in most countries belonging to the Commonwealth of nations. In theory, common-law courts are bound by precedent in the sense that once a legal question has been decided a certain way by a court, it must be decided in the same way by courts of equal or inferior rank in the same jurisdiction until a court of superior rank (or the legislature) sees fit to overrule it. In practice, common-law courts have developed techniques for distinguishing new cases from older ones so that observable adherence to precedent is less a matter of strict obligation and more an acknowledgement of the importance of maintaining reasonable predictability in the law and supporting the principle that like cases ought to be decided alike.

Thus, Judge Johnson’s decision to take judicial notice that the Holocaust (in its presently recognized historical terms) is an indisputable historical “fact” set a precedent which will, doubtless, be adhered to in all U.S. court trials regarding the Holocaust and Holocaust Revisionists. Although the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America prevents their right to free speech being denied them, Revisionists will no longer be able to present the Holocaust in a U.S. court as an event of history open to reasonable doubt or debate.

It is the present writer’s considered opinion that judge Johnson’s conduct was probably inappropriate, and reminiscent of the actions taken in authoritarian or totalitarian regimes. In free and democratic societies all individuals must have the right to perceive and describe historical events according to their own understanding of the evidence, regardless of the event in question or the orthodoxy of the interpretation. Law courts, like universities, must uphold that right, guaranteeing that all intellectual viewpoints receive a fair hearing. History, being based on the interpretations of fallible human beings, is not comprised of ‘facts’ but of opinions, regardless of how well argued and supported by evidence they are. Moreover, as Johnson had no training as an historian and had not researched the Holocaust at length or in depth it would be reasonable to assume that on the nature and dimensions of that alleged event his knowledge was superficial and insufficient for him to have formed a well argued opinion.

Although it was a major blow to Revisionism in the United States, Johnson’s act of taking judicial notice of the Holocaust did not signify the end of Mermelstein’s $17,000,000 lawsuit against the IHR. In fact, the case dragged on until July 1985, when the IHR – unable to sustain cost of litigation and facing possible bankruptcy – offered Mermelstein $90,000 in an out of settlement (approved by Judge Robert Wenke), which he accepted. According to the New York Times of July 25, 1985, “Under the terms of the agreement … the institute must issue a formal written apology to Mr. Mermelstein and all other Auschwitz survivors for the pain it caused them by claiming the Holocaust was a myth…”

The apology of the IHR and other defendants stated:

Each of the defendants do hereby officially and formally apologize to Mr. Mel Mermelstein, a survivor of Auschwitz, Birkenau and Buchenwald, and to all other survivors of Auschwitz, for the pain, anguish and suffering he and all other Auschwitz survivors have sustained relating to the $50,000 reward offer for proof that “Jews were gassed in gas chambers at Auschwitz.”

The apology was not an admission by the IHR that Mermelstein had proved that Jews or others were gassed in Auschwitz. He never proved that, and no money was paid out on the basis that he did. The apology and $ 90,000 settlement was only for the “pain, anguish and suffering” experienced by Mermelstein, and for the initial mismanagement of the offer by the institute. Mermelstein did not get the $50,000 ‘reward’ for proving that Jews were gassed, nor did the IHR – by signing the settlement agreement – agree that gassings had occurred. Nonetheless, to the present day the settlement has been misrepresented by many anti-Revisionists, scholars and media commentators as being judicial confirmation that Mermelstein had proven that Jews were gassed, and that the $90,000 settlement included the reward money. For example, the anti-Revisionist booklet Holocaust “Revisionism”: Reinventing the Big Lie, published by the ADL in 1989, stated:

In 1980 the institute for Historical Review offered a $50,000 reward to anyone who could prove that Jews were gassed at Auschwitz. Holocaust survivor Mel Mermelstein, 62, of Long Beach, California took on the IHR challenge and submitted the necessary proof. When the IHR failed to comply with its promised terms Mermelstein filed suit to enforce the reward.

In July 1985 the lawsuit was settled in favour of Mermelstein. The settlement, approved by Judge Robert Wenke of Los Angeles Superior Court, called for the IHR the $50,000 “reward” it had offered for proof of the Nazi genocide, and also to pay an additional $40,000 for the pain and suffering caused to Mermelstein by that offer.[408]New York: Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, 1989, p. 21.

Mermelstein himself attempted to convince people that the $90,000 he received actually included the $50,000 reward for proving that gassings occurred, and that by signing the settlement agreement the IHR had agreed that gassings took place. He stated this publicly on many occasions, and after doing so on a radio show on New York’s WMCA on August 7, 1985 the IHR and Willis Carto sued him for libel on August 6, 1986. However, because of the cost of the libel suit[160]Cf. C. R. Browning, “Nazi Resettlement Policy and the Search for a Solution to the Jewish Question, 1939- 1941″. German Studies Review, Volume 9 (1986), pp. 497-519 (esp. pp. 511-12). and the realization that the suit did not seem promising[409]IHR Newsletter, 81, July/August 1991, p. 2., they voluntarily dropped the charges on February 29, 1988.

In January 1986 Mermelstein had won another legal victory against Revisionism. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded him $5,250,000 in damages in a suit he had brought in 1981 against Ditlieb Felderer, an eccentric Swedish Holocaust Revisionist. Felderer, who had allegedly defamed Mermelstein in an issue of his publication Jewish Information Bulletin, was convicted in absentia, having repeatedly been refused (by the United States Embassy in Sweden a visa to enter the U.S. to defend himself.[410]Cf. D. Weikel, “$5.25 million Holocaust libel judgement”, Orange County Register, January 18, 1986; Letter by J. W. Davis, Orange County Register, February 10, 1986; et al. Despite there being little chance of Felderer raising such an enormous amount of money, Mermelstein’s morale was boosted by the court decision, apparently prompting him on June 6, 1986 to sue the IHR once more.[411]IHR Newsletter, 40, July 1986, p. 3.

This time he sued them for $11,000,000 on the charge of libel, insisting that comments written about him in the September 1985 issue of the IHR Newsletter, in which he and Elie Wiesel were referred to as “demonstrable frauds”, constituted character defamation. His suit, however, was twice dismissed in the District Court for the Central District of California, forcing Mermelstein to change tactics and engage new lawyers. On October 17, 1988 he decided to file another suit against the IHR, Liberty Lobby and Willis Carto, this time combining his previous libel charge with a new charge: “malicious prosecution”.

It was his opinion that the IHR’s libel suit, which (as noted above) they dropped before he had been served notice, was intended by the defendants to harass him and cause him emotional harm. His attorneys released a press statement which makes this clear:

Mr. Mermelstein’s complaint alleged that the defamation lawsuit that had been filed against him was completely groundless, frivolous and without probable cause. Mermelstein claims that the defendants filed the lawsuit against him in order to intimidate, harass, and attack him, because he is Jewish.”[412]Quoted in Holocaust “Revisionism”: Reinventing the Big Lie, p. 21.

The lawsuit dragged on into 1991, causing financial difficulties for the defendants and initially going badly for them. On January 16 of that year Judge Stephen E. O’Neil of the California Superior Court, adhering to the precedent set by Judge Johnson in 1981, took judicial notice of the historical “fact” that “Jews were gassed at Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland in 1944″. This was despite the fact that the IHR had assembled a dossier comprising over two hundred pages of “documents reflecting Revisionist research and Exterminationist concessions as to the gas chamber controversy since 1981″.[413]IHR Newsletter 78, February 1991, p. 5. Even worse for the Revisionists, their lawyers – Robert and Mark Von Esch – settled with Mermelstein to remove themselves from the case by agreeing to pay him $100,000 and formally apologize for having filed the IHR’s 1986 libel suit against him. Additionally, they publicly stated that Jews had been gassed in Auschwitz and that millions of Jews had died in German concentration camps.[414]IHR Newsletter 82, October 1991, p. 1.

Nonetheless, proceedings went considerably better for the defendant during pre-trial hearings in September 1991, and on the nineteenth day of that month they scored a total victory over Mermelstein when Judge Stephen M. Lachs threw out the malicious prosecution portion of the case because of its lack of merit. This in turn caused Mermelstein and his attorneys to voluntarily withdraw what was left of their lawsuit; their complaints of libel, conspiracy to indict emotional harm and intentional infliction of emotional distress.[415]Ibid., p. 1-3.
(IHR Newsletter 82, October 1991, p. 1.)
Although he subsequently appealed Lach’s decision, Mermelstein’s defeat was so overwhelming that it has effectively put an end – after ten years – to his legal efforts to destroy the IHR and Revisionism in the United States.

Several points need to be made regarding this very widely publicized legal battle, which brought Holocaust Revisionism to the attention of many millions of Americans. Firstly, Mermelstein was not a solitary crusader against Revisionism, as the media has presented him. Whilst he may have initially had difficulty gaining legal representation, his first lawyer, William Cox, took the case free of charge, pro bono publico. Once he had commenced his first lawsuit against the IHR, Mermelstein also received the generous financial backing of very many Jewish organizations and individuals,[416]Heritage, February 4, 1983; L. Rolfe, “Mermelstein Closing In On Notorious Anti-Semite”, B’nai B’rith Messenger, April 12, 1985; et al. who saw his lawsuit as a means of destroying the Revisionist institute. Further support came from the Warsaw-based International Auschwitz Committee, which provided affidavits and documentary evidence with which to prove that Jews were gassed in Auschwitz.[417]Cf. the July/August 1981 issue of the Committee’s Information Bulletin, which described the considerable assistance given to “Comrade Mel Mermelstein of the Auschwitz Study Foundation”. This Communist publication also referred to “Comrade Mermelstein’s” legal battle against “the neo-Nazi Institute of Torrance”. Additionally, he had the best lawyers in the region – including for several years the very successful and highly regarded law firm Allied, Maroko, Goldberg and Ribakoff – who also worked on the same financial basis as had Cox. Among others who have given aid or support to Mermelstein are Neal Sher of the Justice Department’s ‘Nazi hunting’ Office of Special Investigations (OSI) and President Ronald Reagan.

Secondly, Mermelstein became a celebrity because of his legal battle against the IHR. In 1981 he was flown to Israel to discuss the court case with Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who expressed gratitude at the work done to combat anti-Semitism. He was described in laudatory terms in literally hundred[s] of newspapers, magazines and journals, and was even the subject of a 1991 tele-docudrama called “Never Forget”[418]Produced by Robert B. Radnitz. Directed by Joseph Sargent. Turner Pictures, Inc. A Nimoy/Radnitz Production, 1991., in which Leonard Nimoy (TV’s ‘Doctor Spock’) starred as Mermelstein. This made-for-television movie, which dealt only with the first year of the court case against the IHR (up to Judge Johnson’s judicial notice), was made with the assistance of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and the Anti-Defamation League. This perhaps explains why “Never Forget” presented Mermelstein sympathetically as an underdog and the IHR as the Nazis and anti-Semites who were persecuting him. As Tom Marcellus makes clear in his film review in the Journal of Historical Review[419]Volume Eleven, Number Two, Summer 1991, pp. 229-238., the sensationalistic film (like many newspaper articles) entirely misrepresented several events, including trial proceedings, and included many other events that simply never occurred.

Thirdly, the IHR suffered hostility from the media throughout the ten years Mermelstein’s lawsuits were before the courts. Whenever Mermelstein achieved a success in court it was widely supported in both local and national newspapers, but whenever the IHR experienced similar successes they were almost always ignored by the media, or perhaps only reported in one or two local papers. For example, when the IHR agreed in July 1985 to give Mermelstein $90,000 in an out of court settlement, newspapers and magazines right across the nation carried the story, praising the plaintiff for his victory over “racism”. But when the IHR won its stunning victory in September 1991 only a few newspapers chose to report the event, such as the Orange County Register which published a short and inaccurate article, and the Los Angeles Times, which only published a report on the outcome of the trial in its Orange County edition.

One final point needs to be made regarding the IHR’s monetary offer and its consequences, and that is that no-one has managed to provide the evidence necessary to claim the money. This is probably because most right-thinking people would simply not even bother to try. Despite the massive 1981 lawsuit filed by Mermelstein (who never received the reward money), the institute announced on April 1, 1982 a new offer of $50,000 payable to anyone who could “prove that gas chambers for the purpose of killing human beings existed at or in Auschwitz Concentration Camp during World War II.”[420]IHR Newsletter, April 1982, p. 1. To show that the offer was not a publicity gimmick, $50,000 was raised by appeals to subscribers and placed in a special trust fund in the Columbus Bank and Trust, earmarked for payment to a successful claimant. There were only three serious claims, one of them being from Kitty Hart, an ex-Auschwitz internee who had written two books on her wartime experiences, but none of the claimants had filled in the official claim forms adequately. Despite the institute informing them of this, they had not rectified the situation before the offer closed on December 31, 1982, rendering their applications invalid.

Thus, it has been shown that the IHR’s First International Revisionist Conference in 1979 was, on the one hand, a successful and important gathering of like-minded academics, at which contacts were made, ideas and information exchanged and work coordinated. On the other hand, it was also the source of a foolish and unprofessional ‘reward’ offer which not only attracted to the institute a great deal of criticism from the media and the public but also thrust it into a very costly and time consuming ten year legal battle with Mel Mermelstein.

The other conferences

To February 1993 the IHR had conducted eleven successful international Revisionist conferences, one every year except for 1984 and 1987. Contrary to the claims of anti-Revisionists, the Holocaust was not the only subject discussed at those conferences. Very many different historical events and epochs were discussed, and at some conferences there were only two or three lectures on the Holocaust as opposed to seven or eight on other events. In fact, of the ninety-seven major lectures (that is, excluding dedication and plenary speeches) delivered at these eleven [...MISSING PASSAGE...] by obstacles or threats, permeate our own work while we are here.” Revisionist conferences, only forty-two (or 43%) were on the subjects of the Holocaust and contemporary Holocaust Revisionism. The other fifty-five lectures were on a wide variety of historical subjects, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Boer War, India’s war of independence and Pearl harbor.[421]Similarly, the majority of articles published in The Journal of Historical Review are on historical events and epochs other than the Holocaust. Additionally, despite the media representing the conferences as Nazi gatherings[422]For example, see R. Eringer, “Nazi Sympathizers Meet in Secret in California”, Toronto Star, September 4, 1983. Eringer referred to the 1983 conference as “a secret fascist convention staged by men in America whose aim is to whitewash Hitler”., the speakers, of all political persuasions, left and right, have included numerous scholars of international repute. Amongst these are James J. Martin, David Irving and John Toland, the latter being a recipient of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize.

That does not mean, however, that IHR conference speakers have not included ‘Nazis’. For example, a guest speaker at the Eighth International Revisionist Conference, held in Irvine, California on October 9-11, 1987, was Generalmajor Otto Ernst Remer. He is the former army officer entrusted by Hitler to quell the attempted coup d’état which centred around the July 20, 1944 attempt on Hitler’s life. Also speaking at that conference was Dr. Karl Otto Braun, who served in Berlin with the East Asia division of the German Foreign Office, working directly under the Foreign Minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop. From 1938 to 1940 Braun served in Japan as a Foreign Office diplomat. He had also spoken at the sixth IHR conference, two years earlier.

Despite these two individuals formerly being supporters of Hitler’s regime, their lectures did not glorify that regime or the war they participated in Remer’s speech, introduced by Willis Carto and translated from German by Mark Weber, was essentially an account of the role he played in foiling the take-over plot. Braun’s 1985 speech was on German foreign policy regarding East Asia, from 1933 to 1945. His 1987 speech was a detailed analysis of the very successful Sorge-Smedley Soviet espionage ring. Having personally known Richard Sorge, Braun was able to draw on his own experiences as he described the life and career of the master spy. Whilst it was apparent that neither Remer nor Braun regretted their wartime activities, their speeches were clearly not designed to glorify Hitler or his regime. They were delivered in much the same manner as a former RAF fighter pilot might address a group of air force historians. In fact, the present writer, familiar with every major speech delivered at the eleven international conferences conducted by the IHR, knows of no speech that glorified Hitler, his regime or his policies regarding Jews. The conferences, whatever else they were, simply were not Nazi gatherings.

Mark E. Weber

The Master of Ceremonies for the conferences in 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1992 was Mark E. Weber, who must be considered, because of the vast quantity and scholarly form of his work on the Holocaust and other aspects of twentieth-century history, the most important Revisionist historian in the United States. Although he has never held an academic post at the university level, Weber is fluent in German and has studied history at the University of Illinois, the University of Munich, Portland State University and Indiana University, where he gained a Master’s degree with high honours in 1977. Because of his central role at the IHR, his contribution to Revisionism in general, and because the present writer believes that he will be the most prominent Holocaust Revisionist in the 1990s, a brief overview of Weber’s career to date will be given.

Weber is often denounced by anti-Revisionists as a Nazi, a racist and an anti-Semite. As evidence they point to his involvement in the late 1970s with the National Alliance, a small, radical pro-white organization headed by Dr. William Pierce, former editor of a one-time “neo-Nazi” journal called National Socialist World.[423]Cf. “Mark Weber”, Extremism on the Right, A Handbook, pp. 171-173; The 1989 IHR Conference: White-Washing Genocide “Scientifically”: An ADL Fact-Finding Report, p. 6. Holocaust “Revisionism”: Reinventing the Big Lie, pp. 9, 43; et al. Indeed, in 1978 Weber did serve for a year as the News Editor of National Vanguard, the Alliance tabloid paper, and published therein many articles expressing his socially unacceptable pro-white views.[424]Cf. “Whites on the March”; “Farmers Fighting to Survive”, National Vanguard, Issue 59, 1978; “The Darkening of America”, National Vanguard, Issue 60, 1978; et al. Unfortunately, as they have in the case of other prominent Revisionists, critics have invariably attempted to discredit Weber not by refuting his arguments but rather by focusing on his shortlived Alliance affiliation, or – even more frequently – with malicious and bigoted name-calling.

Regardless of the extent to which Weber may have modified or even abandoned the views about race he held in the late 1970s, he had not had any contact with either Pierce or the Alliance since early 1979, after an acrimonious break with Pierce.[425]Recorded telephone interview with Mark Weber, October 4, 1991. When questioned about an autobiographical article he had written in the May 1978 issue of National Vanguard which contained a candid explanation of why he had joined the pro-white movement, Weber told the present writer that he was “basically not ashamed” of what he’d written there. However, he did express some embarrassment at being involved with Pierce, who “wanted to do nasty things to people.” When questioned about Zionism, Judaism and Jews, Weber pointed out that whilst he has written critically of the machinations of political Zionism and organized Jewry, he is not anti-Jewish as such, or even hostile towards individual Jews. The present writer, familiar with Weber’s principal writings from 1978 to the present day, has no reason to doubt him on this point. More to the point, even if Weber still has unsavory racial views, his historical theses, which are scholarly in style and contain highly-developed analysis, should not be automatically discounted. They should be refuted, if possible, in a thoughtful and evenhanded manner.

Weber’s first personal contact with Revisionism and Revisionists dates from a 1977 visit to England, where he spent time in Brighton with Tony Hancock, the aforementioned publisher of rightist and Revisionist books. Coincidentally, Arthur Butz happened to visit Hancock at the same time as part of a European promotion tour for The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (which Hancock had just published). Butz and Weber spent an evening together. During that visit, Weber also briefly met David McCalden, who moved to the United States in 1978 to work as the first director to the IHR (under the penname of Lewis Brandon).[426]Ibid. Also, letter from Weber to the present writer, dated February 16, 1992, appendice[s], p. 3.
(Recorded telephone interview with Mark Weber, October 4, 1991. When questioned about an autobiographical article he had written in the May 1978 issue of National Vanguard which contained a candid explanation of why he had joined the pro-white movement, Weber told the present writer that he was “basically not ashamed” of what he’d written there. However, he did express some embarrassment at being involved with Pierce, who “wanted to do nasty things to people.” When questioned about Zionism, Judaism and Jews, Weber pointed out that whilst he has written critically of the machinations of political Zionism and organized Jewry, he is not anti-Jewish as such, or even hostile towards individual Jews. The present writer, familiar with Weber’s principal writings from 1978 to the present day, has no reason to doubt him on this point.)

Weber claims that he was quite sceptical of Holocaust Revisionism at that time. It was during that 1977 visit that he first read Richard Harwood’s Did Six Million Really Die?, but that booklet actually reinforced his scepticism. Weber says that he was particularly struck by some grueling factual errors, which tended to discredit its central thesis. Some years later, as an expert witness in the 1988 trial of Ernst Zündel, a Canadian Revisionist, Weber outlined precisely those errors.[427]Letter, ibid., appendice[s], p. 3.
(Recorded telephone interview with Mark Weber, October 4, 1991. When questioned about an autobiographical article he had written in the May 1978 issue of National Vanguard which contained a candid explanation of why he had joined the pro-white movement, Weber told the present writer that he was “basically not ashamed” of what he’d written there. However, he did express some embarrassment at being involved with Pierce, who “wanted to do nasty things to people.” When questioned about Zionism, Judaism and Jews, Weber pointed out that whilst he has written critically of the machinations of political Zionism and organized Jewry, he is not anti-Jewish as such, or even hostile towards individual Jews. The present writer, familiar with Weber’s principal writings from 1978 to the present day, has no reason to doubt him on this point.)

In early 1979, after he had moved to Washington, D.C., Weber received a letter from Butz, who asked him to visit the National Archives to examine the wartime Allied aerial reconnaissance photographs of Auschwitz, which had just been made public by the Central Intelligence Agency.[428]For details about this CIA report, see above, p. 60. Butz asked him to look through the entire collection of Auschwitz reconnaissance photographs to see if there were any significant or revealing aerial photos that had not been made public. He also asked him to order and send him high quality prints of all relevant photographs. As it happened, Weber had been following the media coverage of the published photographs. Even though he had no special interest in the subject, he had been impressed by the fact that the photographs contained no evidence of mass exterminations in Auschwitz and, in fact, apparently could not be reconciled with accepted opinion on what transpired in that camp. Weber’s examination, on Butz’s behalf, of the original reconnaissance photos in the National Archives strengthened this view. He was disturbed at what he considered the distorted way that these photographs were portrayed in newspapers and magazines. He was also outraged that some prominent Jewish figures – like Elie Wiesel and a few important politicians[429]Cf. Washington Post, February 23, 1979; New York Times, February 24, 1979; March 6, 1979; et al. See also K. Feig, Hitler’s Death Camps, p. 368. – openly charged that these photos proved that Allied military and political leaders not only knew that Jews were being systematically exterminated in Auschwitz, but callously refused to do anything to stop the slaughter.

Weber reasoned that if such gross misrepresentation of historical evidence was possible thirty-five years after the fact, comparable distortion of the truth was at least very probable in the emotion-charged years during and just after the Second World War. He later raised this matter with Robert Wolfe, director of the Military Branch of the National Archives, where captured German records are held. Wolfe, himself Jewish, told Weber of his repugnance at the way that Wiesel and others misrepresented these photographs for their own purposes.

Fascinated and encouraged by what he had already learned, Weber then decided to begin a serious and in-depth investigation of this issue. He purchased a copy of Raul Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews – generally regarded as a standard work on the subject – to look into the precise evidence presented for a German policy or programme of systematic extermination. He was at once struck by the paucity of evidence there for an extermination programme, or even for systematic mass killings in gas chambers at Auschwitz and other camps. However, he was intrigued by the apparently detailed documentary evidence presented by Hilberg for mass killings of Jews in the occupied Soviet territories by the notorious Einsatzgruppen security police units.

With what he claims was a completely open mind, Weber then began a methodical investigation at the National Archives of the copious written reports of the activities of the Einsatzgruppen. He quickly concluded that these units had indeed killed large numbers of Jews, including civilians, but contrary to what Hilberg and others have insisted for years, he also concluded that the Einsatzgruppen reports themselves indicated that there was no overall German programme to exterminate Soviet Jewry.[430]For more on Weber’s view of the Einsatzgruppen, see: M. Weber, “My Role in the Zundel Trial”, The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1989-90, pp. 398-403; SZTR, 23-5685, 5686, 5688, 5691, 5745-54.

Further encouraged by what he had discovered, Weber decided to devote whatever spare time he could to researching and writing on this subject [of] his ‘conversion’ to the Revisionist view of the Holocaust took place over several months in 1979, during the period of estrangement and alienation from Pierce and his organization. One of Weber’s last articles for Pierce ‘s National Vanguard (issue No. 69) reflected his new interest in this subject. Entitled ” ‘Holocaust’ Claims Exposed as Lies”, this concise and generally well-written analysis of the main arguments against accepted opinion shows his informed familiarity with the subject and with the writings of the most important Revisionists, including Butz, Stäglich, Harwood and Faurisson. Yet, reflecting the paper’s unabashedly partisan and militant character, this article contained numerous anti-Zionistic and insensitive (but not necessarily anti-Semitic) remarks about Jewish propagation of accepted opinion on the Holocaust. Weber wrote, for example:

…the Jews want both sympathy and support as a persecuted minority and continued influence and privilege as a powerful elite. They cannot have it both ways forever. Over the long run, the entire “holocaust” campaign is creating enormous reserves of hatred and bitter resentment, which will one day erupt against the Jews. Not knowing moderation, the Jews cannot and will not stop their campaign of moral intimidation until the inevitable reaction comes.

Pierce was not at all pleased with Weber’s new-found interest in the Holocaust issue, regarding it as an almost treasonous deviation from the all-important work of the Alliance. Already disillusioned with Pierce for other reasons, their disagreement on this issue exacerbated an estrangement that culminated a short time later in a complete and permanent break.

In December 1979, some months after his final break with Pierce and the National Alliance, Weber published a short article in The Spotlight, entitled “Allies Used Torture to ‘Prove’ Jews Were Extermination Victims”.[431]The Spotlight, December 24, 1979, pp. 8, 9, 14. In this article he argued more persuasively that some of the documentary evidence offered in support of the extermination thesis at the postwar trials of alleged German war criminals was in fact fallacious, some of it even obtained by coercion or torture. For example, he described in some detail the American maltreatment of Franz Ziereis, commandant of Mauthausen, who was interrogated for six hours as he lay dying of gunshot wounds. Hans Marsalek, a former Mauthausen internee, allegedly took a statement from Ziereis just before he died, and that statement, noted Weber, totally lacks credibility.[432]See below, p. 240, n. 4 and p. 245, n. 161. Weber’s reasons for concluding that the alleged Zieries confession is absolutely worthless as historical evidence are essentially the same as the present writer’s. Nonetheless, he concluded, it was produced as prosecution document 3870PS at the International Military Tribunal and helped secure a death sentence for Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who was hanged in October 1946.

An important factor in Weber’s decision to devote himself so earnestly to Holocaust Revisionism was his meeting in 1979 with Robert Faurisson, who was later suspended from his teaching position at the University of Lyon-11 for his Revisionist views.[433]For Faurisson’s suspension, see above, p. 16, n. 23. Weber welcomed him at one of Washington’s airports, arranged for his accommodation in the city, and spent a good deal of time with him during his stay. It was during this visit that Weber wrote a petition in defence of Faurisson’s rights of free speech and inquiry.

Within a short period, some six hundred persons signed this appeal – including Noam Chomsky, MIT professor and arguably the world’s foremost linguist (who is Jewish), as well as Alfred Lilienthal, the prominent Jewish anti-Zionist historian.[434]For the text of Weber’s petition, see R. Faurisson, “Revisionism on Trial”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Six, Number Two, Summer 1985, pp. 180-181.

As already mentioned, Weber’s relationship with the IHR became even closer during the 1980s. In 1984 he joined the Editorial Advisory Committee of the institute’s quarterly Journal of [Historical] Review, and in December 1991 he moved to southern California to work for the institute. He soon became editor of both the JHR and the IHR Newsletter.

A prolific writer, Weber has published articles, reviews and essays in numerous periodicals, including Annales d’Histoire Révisionniste, Revue d’Histoire Révisionniste, Instauration, Middle East Perspective, Nation Europa, Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart and the JHR. He has possibly contributed to the JHR more frequently than any other author, beginning with an article in the Summer 1980 issue. In fact, from the beginning of 1984 to February 1993 he published therein ten major articles, four book reviews and sixteen smaller articles or essays. These writings, which almost entirely lack the insensitive stridency or partisanship of his National Vanguard days, deal with a wide range of historical issues and are by no means confined to the narrower topic of Nazi persecution of Jews.

Reflecting both a trained familiarity with primary and relevant secondary sources (including original German documents), as well as a generally sober mid judicious treatment of all the available material, Weber’s articles on aspects of the Holocaust have been among the most lucid and informative to appear in the JHR, or anywhere. Because they are outstanding examples not only of Weber’s work’, but of Revisionist scholarship in general, two of them are discussed in some detail (as are the sources he used) in the following pages.

In the first of these, “Buchenwald: Legend and Reality”,[435]M. Weber, “Buchenwald: Legend and Reality”. The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Seven, Number Four, Winter 1986-87, pp. 405-417. Weber argued convincingly that the popular image of Buchenwald as a death camp bears little relationship to reality. As he points out, the first Commandant, Karl Koch, was executed after an SS court found him guilty of corruption and the illegal murder of internees[436]As evidence, Weber correctly cited the testimony at the International Military Tribunal of Günther Reinecke, August 7, 1946, IMT, Vol. XX, pp. 438, 441-442: also SS indictment against Koch, April 11, 1944., a fact which contrasts sharply with the accepted view that in the concentration camps the incidental murder of internees was the norm. Koch’s wife, Ilse – the infamous “Bitch of Buchenwald”— was also involved in many of his crimes, noted Weber, but was entirely innocent of the accusation that she personally selected tattooed internees and had them murdered and their skins made into lamp shades, book covers and other items. That charge (reiterated to the present day) was first advanced by the United States prosecution team at the International Military Tribunal.[437]Account of Andreas Pfaffenberger, IMT, Vol. III, pp. 514-515; Vol. V, pp. 220-221, Vol. XXXII, 267-269 (and photographs, pp. 259-265). In 1948 Ilse Koch was convicted of such crimes at a trial before a United States military court, and received a life sentence. However, General Lucius D. Clay Commander in Chief of United States forces in Europe and Military Governor of the U.S. occupation Zone of Germany, 1947-1949, carefully reviewed Koch’s case and concluded that whilst she was “a woman of depraved character” the charges relating to objects made from human skin were entirely groundless. Clay commuted her sentence to four years, continued Weber, and informed the Army Department in Washington: “There is no convincing evidence that she selected inmates for extermination in order to secure tattooed skins or that she possessed any articles made of human skin.”[438]Weber, “Buchenwald: Legend and Reality”, p. 406. Weber quoted Clay from the article “Clay Explains Cut in Ilse Koch Term”, New York Times, September 24, 1948, p. 3. During a 1976 interview Clay recalled the case:

We tried Use Koch…. She was sentenced to life imprisonment, and I commuted it to four [three] years. And our press really didn’t like that. She had been destroyed by the fact that an enterprising reporter who first went into her house had given her the beautiful name, the “Bitch of Buchenwald,” and he had found some white lampshades in there which he wrote up as being made out of human flesh. Well, it turned out actually that it was goat flesh. But at the trial it was still [insisted to be] human flesh. It was almost impossible for her to have gotten a fair trial…. And those are the kinds of things that we had to deal with all the time.[439]Interview with Lucius D. Clay. Official Proceedings of the George C. Marshall Research Foundation. Transcript of a videotape interview shown at the conference “U.S. Occupation in Europe After World War II”, April 23-24, 1976 at Lexington, Va., sponsored by the George C. Marshall Research Foundation, pp. 37-38. Quoted in Weber, “Buchenwald: Legend and Reality”, pp. 406-407. Note: After Koch was released by the Americans in October 1949 she was tried by the Germans on the same (and other) charges and received – on January 15, 1951 – a life sentence. In 1967 she hanged herself in her cell (cf. New York Times September 3, 1967).

In this manner, Weber provided sufficient reliable evidence for one to conclude with certainty that the Buchenwald ‘skin peeling’ allegations were nothing more than wartime atrocity stories, and that the testimonies of witnesses which supported those stories were spurious.

Weber also argued that a very large percentage of the murders and atrocities that occurred in Buchenwald were not committed by SS officers or guards, but were committed or caused by the elite internee organization to whom the understaffed SS camp administrators had delegated responsibility for the day-today running of the camp.

This line of argument was not original to Weber. It was shown above that Paul Rassinier had expressed it almost thirty years earlier, in 1958.[440]See above, p. 31 ff. Rassinier correctly referred to this practice of limited self-administration by its German designation: Häftlingsführung (prisoner leadership). However, whilst Weber did not have the first-hand experience of Buchenwald that Rassinier had, he did have access to sources that were not available to the Frenchman back in the 1950s and 1960s. For example, Weber quoted at length from a detailed U.S. Army intelligence document of April 24, 1945, entitled Buchenwald: A Preliminary Report.[441]E. W. Fleck and E. A. Tenenbaum, Buchenwald: A Preliminary Report, U.S. Army, 12th Army Group, April 24, 1945. National Archives, Record Group 331, SHAEF, G-5, 17.11. Jacket 10, Box 151 (8929/163-8929/180). This report, which supports in many ways the thesis of Rassinier and Weber, remained classified until 1972.

Alfred Toombs, U.S. Army intelligence chief, wrote in its short preface that the secret report was “one of the most significant accounts yet written on an aspect of life in Nazi Germany’ because it “tells how the [Buchenwald] prisoners themselves organized a deadly terror within the Nazi terror.” Toombs added that the report’s general accuracy had been independently confirmed.[442]Ibid., p. 1.
(E. W. Fleck and E. A. Tenenbaum, Buchenwald: A Preliminary Report, U.S. Army, 12th Army Group, April 24, 1945. National Archives, Record Group 331, SHAEF, G-5, 17.11. Jacket 10, Box 151 (8929/163-8929/180).)
Because of the importance of this report, very seldomly mentioned by other historians, a relevant section will be quoted here at length:

The trustees had wide powers over their fellow inmates. At first they were drawn almost exclusively from the German criminals. This period lasted until 1942. But gradually the Communists began to gain control of this organization. They were the oldest residents, with records of 10-12 years in the concentration camps… The Communists maintained excellent discipline and received a certain amount of direction from outside the camp. They had brains and technical qualifications for running the various industries established at the camp.

Their advances were not made without resistance from the criminals, but gradually the criminals were eliminated from power, partly by intimidation, partly with the aid of the SS. Numbers of the criminals were killed by beatings, hangings, or injections of phenol into the heart or of air or milk into the veins. The injections were a specialty of the camp doctor [Hoven], who became a partisan of the Communist faction.

Besides the top positions in the trusty organization, there were a number of key Communist strongholds in the administration of the camp. One was the food supply organization, through which favored groups received reasonable rations while others were brought to the starvation level. A second was the hospital, staffed almost exclusively by Communists. Its facilities were largely devoted to caring for members of their party…. Another Communist stronghold was the property room… Each German trusty obtained good clothing and numerous other valuables. The Communists of Buchenwald, after ten or twelve years in concentration camps, are dressed like prosperous business men.

As a result of all this, the report continued,

…Instead of a heap of corpses or a disorderly mob of starving, leaderless men, the Americans [who liberated the camp] found a disciplined and efficient organization in Buchenwald. Credit is undoubtedly due to the self-appointed Camp Committee, an almost purely Communist group under the domination of the German politic leader…. The trusties, who in time became inmost exclusively Communist Germans, had the power of life and death over all other inmates. They could sentence a man or group to almost certain death…. The Communist trusties were directly responsible for a large part of the brutalities committed at Buchenwald.[443]Ibid., pp. 7-9. Italics added for emphasis.
(E. W. Fleck and E. A. Tenenbaum, Buchenwald: A Preliminary Report, U.S. Army, 12th Army Group, April 24, 1945. National Archives, Record Group 331, SHAEF, G-5, 17.11. Jacket 10, Box 151 (8929/163-8929/180).)

The report provided several specific examples of these “brutalities”. For example, Communist block chiefs (Blockältesters) constantly treated those under their authority with extreme cruelty, and “sometimes forced whole blocks to stand barefoot in the snow for hours, apparently on their own initiative.” French internees were even forced by the Communist oppressors to give thousands of Red Cross parcels (Rassinier himself suffered this, as well as the pilfering of his parcels from his wife). Even worse, this camp organization was also responsible for the deaths of “large numbers” of Poles who simply refused to submit to their authority, the report stated.[444]Ibid., p. 7.
(E. W. Fleck and E. A. Tenenbaum, Buchenwald: A Preliminary Report, U.S. Army, 12th Army Group, April 24, 1945. National Archives, Record Group 331, SHAEF, G-5, 17.11. Jacket 10, Box 151 (8929/163-8929/180).)

This U.S. Army report certainly appears to support Rassinier’s claim that, contrary to accepted opinion, an elite group of internees, and not the SS, were responsible for the majority of deaths in Buchenwald (and probably other camps). The report, however, was not the only evidence Weber provided in support of this line of argument. Among the numerous other sources used, he also quoted from a report published in 1948 by a former Buchenwald internee named Ernst Federn (himself Jewish), who explained how that elite group cooperated with the SS to increase its own power and eliminate opponents and undesirables.[445]E. Federn, “That Germany…”, Harper’s, August 1948. Cited in Weber, “Buchenwald”, p. 415. Federn also provided specific examples. On one occasion, he noted, Emil Carlebach, the leader of the Jewish section of the Communists camp organization, personally beat to death an elderly Jewish Turkish internee because he had accidentally relieved himself in the barracks.

Weber also provided evidence that Buchenwald did not have a homicidal gas chamber and was not an extermination camp. All of the sources he quoted as evidence have been mentioned above.[446]M. Broszat in Die Zeit, “Keine Vergasung in Dachau”, 19 August 1960, p. 16; G. Tillion, Ravensbrück, p. 231; K. Feig, Hitler’s Death Camps, p. 231. They need not be discussed again here, suffice to say that they are credible, reliable and consistent, and provide sufficient grounds for one to conclude that whilst Buchenwald was a brutal and frightful place, a gas chamber did not exist there. Regarding the claim that Jews and others were systematically exterminated in that camp, Weber argued that the numbers of persons allegedly murdered there vary considerably from source to source, with some estimates being extremely fanciful. For example:

According to Elie Wiesel, the prolific Jewish writer and 1986 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, “In Buchenwald they sent 10,000 to their deaths every day.”[447]Quoted in S. Kanfer, “Author, Teacher, Witness”, Time magazine, March 18, 1985, p. 79. If murders in Buchenwald continued at the rate of 10,000 persons per day (as claimed by Wiesel) for only eighteen months of the four year period in which the Nazis were allegedly exterminating Jews, a total of 5.5 million persons would have been eliminated in that camp alone. This wildly irresponsible statement is, unfortunately, all too typical of the glib rhetoric of the man who was also chosen to head the U.S. government’s official Holocaust Memorial Council [see above, p. 24ff.].

The 1980 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia claimed that “more than 100,000″ died in the camp.[448]“Buchenwald”, World Book Encyclopedia (1980 edition), Volume 2, p. 550. The Encyclopedia Judaica put the number at 56,549.[449]“Buchenwald”, Encyclopedia Judaica, Volume 4, p. 1445. Raul Hilberg, writing in the 1982 edition of the Encyclopedia Americana, stated that more than 50,000 died in the Buchenwald complex.”[450]Hilberg, R., “Buchenwald”, Encyclopedia Americana (1982 edition), Volume 4, p. 677. The U.S. Army intelligence report of 24 April 1945 (cited above) noted that the total number of certified deaths was 32,705.[451]Fleck and Tenenbaum, Buchenwald: A Preliminary Report, p. 18. A detailed June 1945 U.S. government report about Buchenwald put the total at 33,462, of whom more than 20,000 died in the chaotic final months of the war.[452]Document 2171-PS, NC & A, Volume 4, p. 801.

The authoritative International Tracing Service of Arolsen, an affiliate of thee International Red Cross, stated in 1984 that the number of documented deaths (of both Jews and non-Jews) at Buchenwald was 20,671, with another 7,463 for Dora (Mittelbau).[453]Statement by Arolsen registry official Butterweck, January 16, 1984. Fascimile in National-Zeitung (Munich), Number 18, April 27, 1984, p. 10.

While even these lower figures are regrettably high, it is important to realize that the great majority of those who died at Buchenwald were unfortunate victims of a catastrophic war, not German policy. Most of the rest were murdered by order of the Communist underground camp organization. Several hundred were also killed in Allied bombing attacks.

In one air raid against a large munitions factory near the main camp, British bombers killed 750 persons, including 400 inmates.[454]Buchenwald Camp: The Report of a Parliamentary Delegation (London: His Majesty’s Stationary Office, 1945), p. 5; 2171-PS, NC & A, Volume 4, p. 821. Note: footnotes 447-454 directly above (and including this one) are from Weber’s own endnotes. Interestingly, in a 1991 article on Thomas Hofmann (the director of the Buchenwald Camp Museum) in The Washington Post, Marc Fisher stated that in Buchenwald “the Nazis killed 65,000 prisoners through slave labor, starvation and single gunshots to the neck”. However, he provided no evidence to support this extremely high figure. (“Germans Rework Buchenwald’s Dual History”, The Washington Post, July 22, 1991, p. A13).

It is apparent from the few examples given by Weber that there has been no consensus of opinion on how many people perished in Buchenwald, with some stated figures clearly being improbable or impossible. The less fanciful figures still indicate that between 20,000 and 30,000 persons died (of all causes), a terrible figure by any standards. Yet it is worth noting that even if 40,000 persons died in the camp during the last four years of the war, that would translate to an average of only twenty-seven deaths of all causes per day. Weber pointed out that there were 34,000 internees in Buchenwald in November 1943, 44,000 in April 1944, and 80,000 in August 1944[455]A monthly population peak of 86,000 internees was reached at the end of February 1945. Document 2171-PS, NC & A, Volume 4, pp. 832-833., that giving an average internee population over that period of 52,666. From these figures one can work out that twenty-seven deaths per day represent a daily death rate of only 0.05 percent (or two persons per thousand). One must admit that this death rate, whilst most unfortunate, is not indicative of mass murder or genocide.

Ignoring accounts of routine brutality and terrible working conditions, Weber insisted that conditions in the camp were, at least up until the months of February, March and April 1945 when absolute chaos reigned in Germany[456]For the catastrophic effects on the concentration camps of this political, economic and social breakdown in Germany, see below, p. 241., not as bad as many portrayals would suggest:

Inmates could both receive and send two letters or postcards monthly. They could receive money from the outside. Inmates were also paid for their labor with special camp currency which they could use to purchase a wide variety of items in the camp canteen. They played soccer, handball and volleyball in their spare time. Soccer matches were held on Saturdays and Sundays on the camp playing field. A camp library offered a wide range of books. A motion picture theater was very popular. There were also variety shows, and musical groups put on regular concerts in the central square. A camp brothel, which employed 15 prostitutes when the Americans arrived, was available to many inmates.[457]Weber, “Buchenwald: Legend and Regality”, p. 410 and note 14, pp. 415-416. Weber cited as evidence: J. Mendelsohn, “Sources”, Prologue (Washington, D.C.: National Archives), Fall 1983, p. 180; K. Feig, Hitler’s Death Camps, p. 96; the testimony of Konrad Morgan, August 7, 1946, IMT, Volume XX, p. 490; testimony by former internee Arnost Tauber at Nuremberg “I.G. Farben” trial, November 12, 1947, printed in U. Walendy (ed.), Auschwitz im IG-Farben Prozess, p. 119; R. Manvell and H. Fraenkel, The Incomparable Crime (New York, 1967), p. 155; Buchenwald Camp: The Report of a Parliamentary Delegation, pp. 4-5. This writer checked those sources available to him, and agrees that they bear out Weber’s conclusions.

Weber also pointed out that from 1945 to 1949 the Soviet secret police operated Buchenwald as a concentration camp for Germans considered dangerous or politically undesirable. To indicate just how many Germans were interned there, he noted that in September 1949, over four years after the Nazi regime collapsed, there were still 14,300 Germans held prisoner in the camp. Conditions were terrible, and, due to brutality and a lack of order and sanitation, at least 13,000 (but possibly as many as 21,000) persons died in the camp during the period it was run by the Soviets.[458]“Bis 1950: Buchenwald und Sachsenhausen”, Amerika Woche, May 11, 1985, p. 3: “Im Todeslager der Sowjets”, Deutsche National-Zeitung, Number 47, November 15, 1985, p. 4; See also sketches of conditions in Soviet-run Buchenwald by former inmate Dr. Heinz Möller, in Deutsche National Zeitung, Number 6, February 3, 1984, p. 5. (after Weber, “Buchenwald: Legend and Reality”, p. 413- 414 and notes, p. 417) Additionally, for the recently discovered mass graves of Germans murdered in Buchenwald by the Soviets, see “Germans Rework Buchenwald ‘s Dual History”. “In an act of stunning hypocrisy,” concluded Weber, “the Communist rulers of the postwar ‘German Democratic Republic’ have turned the Buchenwald camp area into a kind of secular shrine” to the “victims of fascism”. It has various memorials, a museum and a massive, 150-foot-high bell tower. Yet they have totally removed anything that might remind the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the camp each year of “the thousands of forgotten Germans who perished miserably during the years after the war when the camp was run by the Soviets”[459]Weber, “Buchenwald: Legend and Reality”, p. 414.

“Buchenwald: Legend and Reality” is clearly a meticulously-documented and thoughtfully-argued account of what actually transpired in that camp, both during and directly after the war. Weber wrongly glossed over the brutality and generally harsh conditions endured by Buchenwald internees, but provided sufficient reliable evidence for one to conclude with certainty that not only was there no gas chamber in Buchenwald but there was also no mass murder or genocide conducted there. Whereas many murders and atrocities were committed by the SS, a large number of deaths in the camp resulted from the total chaos in German society in the last months of the war in Europe. Most of the other deaths in the camp were caused by other internees, namely the Communist Camp Organization.

The second article by Weber to be analysed here is “Jewish Soap”, which appeared in the Summer 1991 JHR.[460]M. Weber, “Jewish Soap”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Eleven, Number Two, Summer 1991, pp. 217-227. In this short but detailed study Weber scrutinized the widely repeated allegation that the Nazis manufactured soap from the cadavers of murdered Jews. Based on a careful evaluation of all the available evidence, he argued that this lurid but remarkably durable charge was in fact nothing more than groundless wartime atrocity propaganda.

He began by pointing out that the human soap story did not even originate during the Second World War, despite the fact that it is now commonly associated with it. An almost identical allegation had been made about the Germans by the British and American press during the second half of the First World War, but was exposed as spurious almost immediately afterwards.[461]Ibid., p. 217 and note 1 on page 224, which contains as evidence a brief description of which British newspaper first published the allegation in 1917, and how readily it was abandoned in the early-1920s.
(M. Weber, “Jewish Soap”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Eleven, Number Two, Summer 1991, pp. 217-227.)
Surprisingly, continued Weber, considering that it had been universally recognized after that world conflict as being fallacious anti-German propaganda, the human soap story was revived and widely believed during the second such conflict twenty years later. Even more incredibly, he insisted, the human soap story has been very widely believed to the present day.

Even though the macabre human soap story was circulating as a rumor in occupied eastern Europe as early as 1941, Weber was able to show that it was principally propagated by Allied – and in particular, Jewish – propagandists. Because Weber’s case is so strong a section of his article (along with some of the relevant sources) will be quoted at length:

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, wartime head of both the World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Congress, publicly charged in November 1942 [without evidence] that Jewish corpses were being “processed into such war-vital commodities as soap, fats and fertilizer” by the Germans. He further announced that the Germans were “even exhuming the dead for the value of the corpses” and were paying fifty marks for each body.[462]“Wise Says Hitler Had Ordered 4,000,000 Jews Slain in 1942″, New York Herald-Tribune (Associated Press), November 25, 1942, pp. 1, 5; “2 Million Jews Slain by Nazis, Dr. Wise Avers”, Chicago Daily Tribune, November 25, 1942; New York Times, November 26, 1942, p. 16; See also the 1985 edition of Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews, p. 1118.

In late 1942, the Congress Weekly, published by the American Jewish Congress, editorialized that the Germans were turning Jews “by scientific methods of dissolution into fertilizer, soap and glue.” An article in the same issue reported that Jewish deportees from France and Holland were being processed into “soap, glue and train oil in at least two special factories in Germany.[463]“The Spirit Will Triumph” (editorial), and “Corpses for Hitler”, Congress Weekly, December 4, 1942 (after Weber, “Jewish Soap”, p. 225 n. 7). Typical of many other American periodicals, the influential New Republic reported in early 1943 that the Germans were “using the bodies of their Jewish victims to make soap and fertilizer in a factory at Siedice.”[464]New Republic, January 18, 1943, p. 65. See also the Communist New Masses editorial of December 8, 1942, p. 21. Both quoted in J. J. Martin, The Man Who Invented “Genocide” (Torrance: Institute for Historical Review, 1984), pp. 64-65; One of the few sober voices among all the hysteria was The Christian Century, which cautioned in a December 9, 1942 editorial: “Dr. Wise’s allegation that Hitler is paying $20 each for Jewish corpse to be ‘processed into soap, fats and fertilizer’ is unpleasantly reminiscent of the ‘cadaver factory’ lie which was one of the propaganda triumphs of the First World War.” Quoted in R. Ross, So It Was True (Minneapolis, 1980), p. 157.

During June and July 1943, two prominent representatives of the Moscow-based “Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee” toured the United States and raised more than two million dollars for the Soviet war effort at a series of mass meetings. At each of these rallies, Soviet Jewish leader Solomon Mikhoels showed the crowd a bar of soap that he said was made from Jewish corpses.[465]G. Israel, The Jews in Russia (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1975), p. 180 (after Weber, “Jewish Soap”, p. 225 n. 9).

Weber noted the consequences of this propaganda:

After the war the soap story was given important legitimacy at the main Nuremberg trial. L. N. Smirnov, Chief Councilor of Justice for the USSR, declared at the Tribunal:

“…The same base, rationalized SS technical minds which created gas chamber and murder vans, began devising such methods of complete annihilation of human bodies, which would not only conceal the traces of their crimes, but also to serve in the manufacturing of certain products. In the Danzig Anatomical Institute, semi-industrial experiments in the production of soap from human bodies and the tanning of human skin for industrial purposes were carried out.” Smirnov quoted at length from an affidavit by Sigmund Mazur, an Institute employee, which was accepted as Nuremberg exhibit USSR-197. It alleged that Dr. Rudolf Spanner, the head of the Danzig Institute, had ordered the production of soap from corpses in 1943 [Note; Rabbi Wise was proclaiming the human soap story in 1942]. According to Mazur’s affidavit, Dr. Spanner’s operation was of interest to high-ranking German officials. Education Minister Bernhard Rust and Health Leader Dr. Leonardo Conti, as well as professors from other medical institutes, came to witness Spanner’s efforts. Mazur also claimed to have used the “human soap” to wash himself and his laundry.[466]Smirnov statement, February 19, 1946, IMT, Volume VII, pp. 597-600. Note also Soviet allegation that soap was manufactured from the bodies of people gassed at Auschwitz: IMT, Volume Vll, p. 175. Note also Nuremberg Tribunal “human soap” documents USSR-196, USSR-264 and USSR-272. A human soap “recipe” allegedly prepared by Dr. Spanner (Nuremberg document USSR-196), was also presented. Finally, a sample of what was supposed to be a piece of “human soap” was submitted to the Nuremberg Tribunal as exhibit USSR-393.

In his closing address to the Tribunal, chief British prosecutor Sir Hartley Shawcross echoed his Soviet colleague: “On occasion, even the bodies of their [the Germans'] victims were used to make good the wartime shortage of soap.”[467]IMT, Volume XIX, p. 506; NC & A, Suppl. vol. A, p. 134. See also “Nazis’ Soap Factory Used Humans, America Reports” (AP), The Sunday Star, December 9, 1945 (after Weber, “Jewish Soap”, p. 225 n. 11). And in their final judgement, the Nuremberg Tribunal judges found that “attempts were made to utilize the fat from the bodies of the victims in the commercial manufacture of soap.”[468]IMT, Volume l, p. 252.

It is worth emphasizing here that the “evidence” presented at the Nuremberg Tribunal for the bogus soap story was no less substantial than the “evidence” presented for the claims of mass extermination in “gas chambers”. At least in the former case, an actual sample of soap supposedly made from corpses was submitted in evidence.[469]Weber, “Jewish Soap”, pp. 218-219.

After the war hundreds of cakes of “human soap” turned up around the world, continued Weber, and many museums and Holocaust memorials put cakes of this soap on public display.[470]In 1989 the present writer himself saw in two Israeli memorial centres cakes of soap supposedly made from human fat. On numerous occasions bars of soap were given Jewish funeral services and were buried in Israelite cemeteries with the required rituals. Additionally, far from diminishing in acceptance in the decades since the war, the allegation that the Nazis transformed the corpses of Jews into soap has increasingly become accepted. Scores of former concentration camp internees, as well as very many journalists and historians, have promoted the soap story.[471]G. Taffet, (ed.), Extermination of Polish Jews (Lodz.: Central Jewish Historical Committee in Poland, 1945); S. Wiesenthal, “Nochmals RIF”, Der Neue Weg, Number 21/22, 1946; M. Weinreich, Hitler’s Professors (New York: Vivo, 1946); W. L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (New York, 1960); M. I. Dimont, Jews, God and History (New York: Signet, 1962); K. Hart, I Am Alive (London: Abelard-Schuman, 1962); A. Worth, Russia at War 1941-1945 (New York: Avon, 1965); E. Wiesel, Legends of Our Time (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968); “Poland”, Encyclopaedia Judaica (1971), Volume 13; L. Poliakov and J. Wulf, Das Dritte Reich und seine Diener (East Berlin: Volk und Welt, 1975); J. Borkin, The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben (New York: Free Press, 1978); B. Edelbaum, Growing up in the Holocaust (Kansas City, 1980); R. W. Ross, So It Was True; N. Davies, God’s Playground: A History of Poland (New York Columbia University, 1982); J. S. Podesta, “Nesse Godin’s memories…”, The Washington Times, April 11, 1983; Days of Remembrance: A Department of Defence Guide for Commemorative Observance, Office of the Secretary of Defense (Washington, D.C., USGPO, 1988); et al. Amongst the numerous examples quoted by Weber were the following two, which illustrate the extent to which the story is believed.

Canada: The Twentieth Century, a standard history studies textbook published in 1982 and used throughout Canada in secondary schools, declared that the Germans “boiled” the corpses of Jews “to make soap”.[472]F. McFadden, et al., Canada: The Twentieth Century (Toronto, 1982), section entitled “The Holocaust”. Quoted in Weber, “Jewish Soap”, p. 221 and n. 23, p. 226. Secondly, in The Anatomy of Nazism a widely circulated booklet published in 1979 by the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith, it was stated that; “The process of brutalization did not end with the mass murders themselves. Large quantities of soap were manufactured from the corpses of those murdered.”[473]E. Raab, The Anatomy of Nazism (New York: Anti-Defamation League, 1981), p. 20.

The soap alleged to have been made from Jewish fat bore the initials RIF, which, according to the proponents of the human soap story, stood for Rein Jüdisches Fett (“Pure Jewish Fat”). However, as Weber correctly pointed out, the initials RIF actually stood for Reichstelle für Industrielle Fettversorgung (“Reich Centre for Industrial Fat Provisioning”), a German agency responsible during the war for the manufacture and distribution of soap and washing products. RIF soap actually contained no fat at all, human or otherwise.[474]Weber, “Jewish Soap”, p. 222. Cf. N. Blumental. “RIF” Yiddish Culture, June-July 1959. Cf. also “Human Fat Soap”, a letter by Yehuda Bauer in Jerusalem Post International Edition, Week ending June 9, 1990, p. 19. Bauer, Israel’s foremost expert on the Holocaust, wrote that “the pieces of soap inscribed R.I.F., which Jewish victims were told were made of human fat, were found to contain ordinary non-organic fats [he means not from any living creature]. RIF means Reichsstelle fuer Industrielle Fettversorgung … and not Pure Jewish Fat, as the victims were told by the Nazis”. Further, Weber sarcastically commented that “it did not seem to matter [to those who adhere to the human soap story] that the letters were “RIF’ and not “RJF” “[475]Weber, “Jewish Soap”, p. 217., the initials necessary for Pure Jewish Fat. Weber noted that in recent years even many Jewish historians were beginning to concede that soap was never made from Jewish fat:

… Jewish historian Walter Laqueur “denied established history” by acknowledging in his 1980 book, The Terrible Secret, that the human soap story has no basis in reality.[476]W. Laqueur, The Terrible Secret (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980), pp. 82, 219. Gitta Sereny, another Jewish historian, noted in her book Into That Darkness: “The universally accepted story that the corpses were used to make soap and fertilizer is finally refuted by the generally very reliable Ludwigsburg Central Authority for Investigation into Nazi Crimes.”[477]G. Sereny, Into That Darkness (London: A. Deutsch, 1974), p. 141. Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of modern Jewish history, similarly “rewrote history” when she confirmed in 1981: “The fact is that the Nazis never used the bodies of Jews, or for that matter anyone else, for the production of soap.”[478]“Nazi Soap Rumor During World War II”, Los Angeles Times, May 16, 1981, p. 11/2.

In April 1990, Professor Yehuda Bauer of Israel’s Hebrew University, regarded as a leading Holocaust historian, as well as Shmuel Krakowski, archives director of Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust centre, confirmed that the human soap story is not true. Camp inmates “were prepared to believe any horror stories about their persecutors,” Bauer said. At the same time, though, he had the chutzpah to blame the legend on “the Nazis.”[479]“Holocaust Expert Rejects Charge That Nazis Made Soap From Jews”, Northern California Jewish Bulletin, April 27, 1990. (JTA dispatch from Tel Aviv): “A Holocaust Belief Cleared Up”, Chicago Tribune, April 25, 1990.

Weber was quite correct; both Bauer and Krakowski blamed the Germans for starting the human soap story. Further, (although Weber didn’t mention it) Bauer even asserted that whilst the Nazis did not turn Jews to soap [480112] that was just one horror “they thought about but did not have time to realize.”[481]Ibid.
(Bauer did assert that an experimental batch of “25 kg or perhaps more of this horrible substance was made” although he also conceded that the evidence for this (almost certainly IMT, Volume VII, p. 597ff. – not cited by Bailer) was “somewhat contradictory”. (Y. Bauer, “Human Fat Soap”).)
Unfortunately, Bauer provided no evidence to support this bold allegation regarding the Nazis’ evil intentions. It was entirely unacceptable of these historians to blame the Germans for the soap story, insisted a self-satisfied Weber, especially as blame lies rather with individuals such as Simon Wiesenthal[482]In 1946 Wiesenthal published a series of articles on human soap in the Austrian Jewish community newspaper, Der Neue Weg as Weber pointed out. Writing with the subjectivity and frequent exaggerations that he is well known for, Wiesenthal stated in one article: “The wrapping paper revealed with complete cynical objectivity that this soap was manufactured from Jewish bodies…. The civilized world may not believe the joy with which the Nazis and their women in the General Government thought of this soap. In each piece of soap they saw a Jew who had been magically put there, and had thus been prevented from growing into a second Freud, Ehrlich or Einstein.” (S. Wiesenthal, “RIF”, Der Neue Weg, Number 17/18, 1946, pp. 4-5). and Stephen Wise, organizations like the World Jewish Congress, and the victorious Allied powers, none of whom has ever apologized for promoting this vile falsehood.

… The bad faith of those making this calculated and belated concession to truth is shown by their failure to note that the soap myth was authoritatively “confirmed” at Nuremberg and by their unwillingness to deal with the implications of that confirmation for the credibility of the Tribunal and other supposedly trustworthy authorities in establishing other, more fundamental aspects of the Holocaust story.[483]Weber, “Jewish Soap”, p. 223.

Lastly, Weber alleged that the concessions some historians, including those named above, were made as a response to the “growing Revisionist challenge”. “Easily demonstrable falsehoods like the soap story have become dangerous embarrassments”, Weber reasoned, “because they raise doubts about the entire Holocaust legend.”[484]Ibid., p. 223.
(Weber, “Jewish Soap”, p. 223.)
To support this argument, he quoted a statement made by Krakowski: “Historians have concluded that soap was not made from human fat. When so many people deny the Holocaust ever happened, why give them something to use against the truth?”[485]“A Holocaust Belief Cleared Up”, Chicago Tribune, April 25, 1990. Although not mentioned by Weber, statements by Bauer and other historians also support the view that they were backing away from the human soap story because Revisionists were picking up on such errors. For example, in his above-quoted letter on human soap in the Jerusalem Post, Bauer stated “The Holocaust deniers waiting in the wings are eager to pick up any inaccuracies we may inadvertently commit, and we should not ease their work.”[486]Y. Bauer, “Human Fat Soap”.

The evidence and arguments contained within Mark Weber’s article, “Jewish Soap” allow us to form several conclusions. First, as there is clearly a total absence of reliable and plausible evidence in support of the allegation that the Germans produced soap from the cadavers of Jews (or anyone else), and as the evidence previously offered in support of that allegation is distinctly unreliable and unconvincing, one must agree that the Germans did not turn humans to soap. To their credit, even many Jewish scholars now concede this. Second, despite the efforts of several of those scholar[s] to blame the Germans themselves for spreading the human soap story, Jewish individuals and organizations appear to have been almost solely responsible for that story’s acceptance both by the media and public during the war, and by war crimes tribunals after the war. Jews have also been principally responsible for the perpetuation of the story to the present day. The present writer, however, docs not find it necessary to conclude that the majority of these people sought to mislead others (as Weber intimates), and realizes that many of them may have been misled themselves. That not withstanding, it is unacceptable that historians of the Holocaust, familiar with the extremely inadequate evidence for the human soap story, have allowed such wartime propaganda to go unchallenged until recently. After the First World War the human soap story was abandoned within two or three years, but, more than forty-rive years after the conclusion of the Second World War, cakes of ‘human soap’ are still on public display in many Holocaust centres and museums around the world. The story is also still repeated in history books, including secondary school textbooks, and newspaper articles.

Finally, although it is entirely discredited now, plentiful evidence for the soap story was presented at the war crimes trials of the 1940s. ‘Eyewitnesses’ testified or gave affidavits, providing the prosecutors with specific details such as the names of those involved in the production of the soap, the places where the soap was made, chemical ‘recipes’ and so forth. Cakes of soap were even presented at the trials as exhibits. As Weber pointed out, the now discredited evidence for the human soap story was no less substantial than that presented at the trials in support of the allegation that the Nazis operated homicidal gas chambers. This fact in itself should dispel the notion that just because a charge was ‘proven’ at the International Military Tribunal or one of the lesser trials, it should still be considered proven now.

It has been shown that Weber’s involvement for about a year in the late 1970s in a radical prowhite organization has been cited repeatedly by his adversaries to discredit him as a Nazi and anti-Semite. Regardless of the validity of these emotion-laden charges, the evidence suggests that Weber is a thoughtful and serious historian whose consistently well-researched and cogently-argued writings on the Holocaust and other historical topics should be evaluated on the same impartial basis as the works of any other scholar. For some years now, Weber has been working on a comprehensive work on the Holocaust issue, tentatively entitled The Final Solution: Legend and Reality. If his already-published writings are any indication, this work promises to become the definitive Revisionist text on this subject.

Other JHR articles

Many articles in the JHR make available a great deal of new information, which is commendable, but they almost entirely lack highly-developed analysis. The authors appear to be more interested in showing off their learnedness and verbal felicity than in finding a proper balance between description and narration and analysis and explanation. As such, it is frequently difficult to determine the relevance and importance of their new information, or how they have come to terms with the complexities of their fields of inquiry. Yet several other articles in the JHR have been more erudite, and might well be seen as important contributions to the accumulated body of knowledge about the Holocaust. The nature and scope of this thesis prevent even a brief survey of these articles being attempted, but it would, nevertheless, be wrong of this writer to proceed without describing and analysing one very important article.

“The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth” was written by Friedrich Paul Berg, a mechanical engineer from New York.[487]Berg gained his B.Sc. in 1965 from the Columbia University School of Mines, after which he worked as a mechanical engineer, technical writer and environmental specialist. Published in the Spring 1984 issue of the JHR[488]F. B. Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Five, Number One, Spring 1984, pp. 15-46., Berg’s article is a direct scientific challenge to the accepted opinion that of all Jews and others gassed by the Nazis, approximately half were killed by CO, or carbon monoxide (the others being killed by HCN, or Zyklon-B ). As almost the entire Revisionist case against accepted opinion on the Holocaust hinges on whether or not the Nazis murdered people en masse in gas chambers, Berg’s detailed article must be looked at closely. His thesis is that the exhaust emissions of diesel engines could indeed have been used to conduct mass murder, but it would have been remarkably difficult and only marginally successful. It could not, in any event, have occurred in the simple manner described in detailed postwar accounts. If Berg is correct the number of Jews allegedly murdered by the Nazis must be dropped by at least one million, and doubt is cast on all other claimed gassings (such as those by Zyklon-B). Hence, Berg’s obviously significant claims need to be described and analysed at length.

As Berg pointed out, CO was allegedly used to exterminate humans en masse at the death camps of Belzec, Kulmhof (Chelmno), Lublin (Majdanek), Sobibor and Treblinka, as well as in the notorious diesel gas vans operated by the Einsatzgruppen.[489]Cf. Document 501-PS (IMT, Volume XXVI, pp. 102-110): IMT, Volume VII, pp. 571 ff.; R. Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, pp. 219, 441, 442; et al. The majority of these CO victims were at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, where the CO was, as in the gas vans, supposedly generated by diesel engines.[490]Cf. R. Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, pp. 561, 562, 572; “Chelmno”, Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Vol. I, p. 284; “Belzec”, Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Vol. I, p. 175 (which describes the use of a “250-horsepower diesel engine” which was “installed outside the gas chambers to generate the carbon monoxide”); M. Gilbert, The Holocaust, pp. 425, 429; et al. This means, wrote Berg, that:

approximately half of all the Jewish victims of German gas chambers were supposedly gassed with Diesel [sic] exhaust. In other words, the Diesel gas chambers are as important, at least in terms of the number of alleged victims, as the gas chambers that supposedly used Zyklon B and hydrogen cyanide. For at least several months in 1939 and 1940, Diesel engines had supposedly been used as part of the euthanasia program to kill Germans who were feebleminded or incurably ill in Germany. The experience gained from the use of Diesels for euthanasia was supposedly applied later by some of the same people involved with the euthanasia program, such as Reichsamtsleiter Viktor Brack and Kriminalkommisar Christian Wirth, to the killing of Jews in Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor in Eastern Poland.[491]Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, pp. 17-18. Italics in original. According to Leon Poliakov, more than one and a half million persons were killed by diesel exhaust. L. Poliakov, Harvest of Hate (New York: Schocken Books, 1979), p. 195.

The problem with this, Berg claimed, is that regardless of its notorious smell diesel exhaust was (and still is) extremely low in poisonous CO, and is, therefore, relatively harmless. From a spark ignition engine (a normal petrol engine) one can easily get seven percent CO, but from a diesel engine one can not even get one percent of that deadly gas.[492]Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chamber: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 24. Berg correctly based this comparison on known and proven data, as published in D. F. Merrion, “Effect of Design Revisions on Two Stroke Cycle Diesel Engine Exhaust”, Society of Automotive Engineers Transactions, Volume 77 (1968), paper 6SG422, p. 1535. Thus, if the Nazis were going to kill humans with engine exhausts, they would not have used diesel engines, but would have used either spark ignition engines or the exhausts from ‘producer gas vehicles’ (described below).

Quoting a report by recognized experts in the field of toxicology[493]Y. Henderson and H. W. Haggard, Noxious Gases and the Principles of Respiration influencing their Action (New York Reinhold Publishing, 1943), p. 168., Berg was able to show that an average CO concentration of 0.4% and above (that is, more than 4,000 parts of CO per million parts of air) is the amount needed to kill people in less than one hour of continual exposure. Concentrations of 0.15% and 0.2% are considered “dangerous” over that duration, which means that “they might kill some people in one hour, especially if the people have, for example, weak hearts.”[494]Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 21. Concentrations lower than 0.15% are not dangerous to humans.

According to accepted opinion, the CO gassings were completed in less than thirty minutes[495]The example given by Berg was the ‘confession’ of Kurt Gerstein (see above, pp. 38-39), which docs indeed describe a diesel gassing taking thirty minutes. The authoritative, multi-volume Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, relates how a “gas van” at Chelmno killed Jews with CO in “ten minutes” (Vol. I, p. 284). Although the encyclopedia did not state what type of engine the gas van had, various other sources state that the vans at Chelmno were diesel powered. Therefore, one must conclude that the encyclopedia was meaning that at Chelmno diesel exhaust killed Jews in ten minutes, which is absurd in light of the duration and concentration tables Berg quoted from the analysis of CO poisoning by Henderson and Haggard., which means, noted Berg, that based on the widely accepted “Henderson’s Rule” (% CO x exposure time = Constant for any given toxic effect) a CO concentration of 0.8% would be necessary to cause death. Further, following the same rule one can conclude that a concentration of 0.3% to 0.4% would be “dangerous” for half an hour of exposure.[496]Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 22. To be effective, therefore, a homicidal gas chamber in which CO was the lethal agent in which death was caused in half an hour or less (as claimed) would need in average CO concentration of between 0.4% and 0.8%, with any concentrations below 0.4% being highly unlikely to cause death.

There are two types of diesel engines, continued Berg: divided combustion chamber engines and undivided combustion chamber engines. The divided chamber category is generally subdivided into precombustion chamber designs and turbulent cell designs. Neither of these divided chamber engines, either at idle or at full load, can possibly produce enough CO to kill anyone in half an hour, as the highest concentration attainable at maximum load (a fuel/air ratio of 0.055) is 0.1% from a turbulent cell diesel[497]Ibid., pp. 26, 27. Berg based his figures on very extensive and detailed tests made from the early 1940s onwards by the United States Bureau of Mines to determine whether or not diesel engines could operate in underground mines without endangering miners. Cf. J. C. Holtz, “Safety with mobile diesel-powered equipment underground”, Report of Investigations No. 5616, U.S. Dept of the Interior, Bureau of Mines (Washington: 1967).
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 22.)
0.1%, Berg noted, was far below the 0.4 to 0.8% necessary to cause death.

Additionally, an undivided chamber diesel produces “only about 0.03% carbon monoxide at idle which is not enough to cause [even] a headache after half an hour of exposure.”[498]Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 29. However, the CO concentrations rise as increasing loads are imposed on such an engine, and at maximum (that is, full) load the concentration is about 0.4%, meaning that at full load only it could perhaps be used to commit murder in thirty minutes.[499]Ibid., p. 29.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 29.)

The problem is that running a diesel engine at full load for periods of half an hour at a time is extremely damaging to the engine, as Berg explained. Further, it is not simply a matter of racing an engine with the transmission in neutral, as one might at first think. That will only impose a slight load upon the engine. One could attain a greater load by letting the clutch slip and pressing on the accelerator, or by jacking up the rear end of the vehicle and applying the brakes while racing the engine. However, in the first suggested possibility the clutch would rapidly burn out and in the second, the brake linings would do the same. The only realistic way to impose a significant – but not full – load on the engine of a stationary vehicle (or a free standing engine), regardless of the risk of damage mentioned above, is to attach a brake dynamometer of some kind, or a loading device such as a generator with an electrical load. Berg argued convincingly that the use of both, whilst possible, was improbable.

Moreover, and this is an important point, the CO emission levels of an undivided chamber diesel drop very dramatically at lower loads. Even at 80% of full load, which is generally regarded as a safe maximum for continuous operation and which occurs at a fuel/air ratio of 0.045, the CO concentration is only 0.13%, well below the level considered “dangerous” to humans.[500]Ibid., p. 30.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 29.)

Therefore, if Berg is correct (and thus far in our analysis the evidence is in his favour) it would appear that in practice diesel engines could not produce the CO concentrations necessary to kill humans in thirty minutes or less, regardless of the fact that eyewitnesses testimonies state that they did.

Berg also provided sufficient evidence for one to conclude with confidence that the other gases or chemicals contained within diesel exhaust are not capable of killing humans in half an hour or less, although some pollutants in the exhaust, such as nitrous oxides, may cause severe long term effects (including cancer) after several months exposure.[501]Ibid., p. 31.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 29.)
He described at length the effects of carbon dioxide, and concluded that the carbon dioxide level of diesel exhaust from an engine under full load – which was about 12% – was dangerous to people with weak hearts but, if sufficient oxygen was available, was not enough to kill most people.[502]Ibid., p. 34. In contrast, spark ignition engines produce 12% carbon dioxide at idle.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 29.)

Additionally, he claimed – and quoted several reliable scientific and engineering reports in support[503]Including E. F. Obert, Internal Combustion Engines and Air Pollution (New York and London: Intext Educational Publishers. 1973); Y. Henderson and H. W. Haggard, Noxious Gases; J. S. Haldane and J. G. Priestly, Respiration (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1935). – that for a diesel engine to provide exhaust with an oxygen level sufficiently reduced to cause death to at least the majority of persons in a sealed space (9% of volume of air), a fuel/ air ratio of about 0.040 (around three quarters of full load on the engine) would be needed. To guarantee death to all persons in such a space would require an oxygen concentration of less than 6% of volume of air, which would only be produced by a diesel if it was operated at a fuel/air ratio of about 0.048, which is close to full load.

This led him to note:

From the above it should be obvious that over most of their operating ranges, Diesels discharge sufficient oxygen so that one can literally inhale pure Diesel exhaust and survive on the oxygen in the exhaust. From idle to at least 3/4 of full load, Diesel exhaust contains sufficient oxygen to sustain human life for at least half an hour.[504]Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 34.

Loads above 3/4 of full, it should be remembered, are particularly difficult to attain and maintain.

Regarding the specific use of diesel exhaust in gas chambers, Berg logically pointed out that at the beginning of an execution there would be no CO in the chamber and that as the exhaust fumes were pumped in from the diesel engine the CO concentration would “gradually rise to the level directly inside the exhaust pipe of the Diesel engine without ever being able to exceed that level.”[505]Ibid., p. 35.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 34.)
Once it had reached that level, the concentration would remain constant for as long as the engine was running. As noted above, the deadliest arrangement would be an undivided diesel which could give a CO concentration of up to 0.4%. If that concentration was reached and maintained during the ‘constant’ period, one could safely conclude that the average concentration for the “rising” period, if it did rise steadily, would be around 0.2%.

As there are no records of how long the ‘rising’ and ‘constant’ periods lasted during allege[d] gassings, Berg said, we cannot know for sure what the combined average CO concentration was over the entire half hour, although “we can be sure that it would always have been some number less than 0.4%”. Moreover:

If the “rising” period had only been of a short duration, the combined average for half an hour would be only slightly less than 0.4%. If the “rising” period had been longer, the combined average would be lower. If the “rising” and “constant” periods had each lasted for fifteen minutes, the combined average concentration for the entire half hour would be less than 0.3%. According to our previous analysis of toxic effects, 0.3% of CO (for half an hour) is only “dangerous” which means that it could have killed no more than a portion [not all, as claimed] of any group of intended victims.[506]Ibid., p. 36.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 34.)

Thus, Berg makes it clear that killing humans within a short duration (half an hour or less) with diesel exhaust, whilst not impossible, was and is extremely difficult. Additionally, it could not have happened in the manner claimed by those who support accepted opinion on the Holocaust. Simply piping the exhaust from a diesel engine into a sealed space (whether it is a gas chamber or the back of a gas van), without any provision for attaining and maintaining a heavy load the engine, would have annoyed the hell out of any group of victims, but would have given them nothing more than a headache. The headache would have been due to the stench and smoke and noise but certainly not to carbon monoxide or lack of oxygen. As a method for committing mass-murder, it would have been a fiasco.[507]Ibid., p. 37.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 34.)

Indeed, for any diesel exhaust arrangement to have been even marginally effective for mass murder a team of specialists would have been needed who were familiar with the carbon monoxide and oxygen emission curves for their particular engine. Berg argued that “such information is probably not known even today by most engineers, despite all the popular concern over pollution.”[508]Ibid., p. 37.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 34.)
Further, the gas chamber designers would have needed to know how to constantly impose upon the engine more than 75% of full load over reasonably long periods, as operating it at any lower loads would not have produced anywhere near the required CO concentration. Yet operating it at over 80% of full load would also mean that they might “after each gassing have had to overhaul and, perhaps, replace the engine because of fouling [by solid material produced at higher loads] and damage from engine smoke.”[509]Ibid., p. 37. Italics added for emphasis.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 34.)
So as to avoid tearing the building apart, the mounting of the engine on the floor of the building would have required a proper foundation with provision to isolate the vibrations for which diesels are well known. In fact, continued Berg, the entire undertaking – especially the fitting of equipment that would impose exactly the right load on the engine – would have “required the expertise of experienced engineers, not just ordinary auto mechanics.”[510]Ibid., p. 37.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 34.)

The all-important question Berg stated is: if any persons had been smart enough and resourceful enough to know and do all that was necessary to make a workable Diesel gas chamber, why would they have bothered to try to use a Diesel engine in the first place? For all their efforts they would have had a gas chamber which at the very worst would still have been only marginally effective at its morbid task. For all their efforts they would have had an average concentration of less than 0.4 % carbon monoxide and more than 4 % oxygen. Any common, ordinary gasoline engine without any special attachments would easily have given them ten times as much carbon monoxide at idle as any comparably sized Diesel at full load. Any common, ordinary gasoline engine would easily have given them 7 % carbon monoxide and less than 1 % oxygen. If one had tampered with the carburetor, one could probably have had as much as 12 % carbon monoxide by merely turning one small screw, namely the idle-mixture adjustment screw.

Comparing the two types of engines, with both operating at idle or under light load, the difference is even more dramatic. At idle or under light load any common, ordinary gasoline engine without any special attachments would easily have given more than one hundred times as much carbon monoxide as any comparably sized Diesel.

The Diesel gas chamber story is incredible on these grounds alone. However, the story becomes even more incredible when one discovers that far better sources of carbon monoxide, better even than gasoline engines, were readily available to the Germans. Those other sources did not require either Diesel fuel or gasoline.[511]Ibid., pp. 37, 38.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 34.)

By “other sources” Berg meant ‘producer gas vehicles’, which he described in detail. These mostly military (but non-combat) vehicles – used by almost all European nations – burned neither petrol nor oil, but solid fuels such as coal, charcoal or wood. Most burnt wood and as such were called in Germany, Holzgaswagen (“woodgaswagons”).[512]Ibid., p. 39.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 34.)
The solid fuel was first converted into a mixture of combustible gases by burning in a generator, usually mounted at the vehicle’s rear. From the generator the gases were withdrawn and burned in a modified petrol or diesel engine. The combustible gas produced in this manner always contained between 18% and 35% carbon monoxide (as opposed to far less than 1% from diesels), an extremely poisonous level. Indeed, these CO concentrations were so high that even if the exhaust from a producer gas vehicle was blown into a space that was not properly sealed – such us a garage – it would be lethal. The German authorities, of course, were well aware of the highly dangerous gas produced by these vehicles, and implemented special training courses and safety procedures for the many tens of thousands of drivers who drove these vehicles daily.[513]Ibid., pp. 38-39. To support his claims about the producer gas vehicles Berg cited W. Orley, “Entwicklung und Stand der Holzgaserzeuger in Österreich, März 1938″ (“Development and Status of Woodgas generators in Austria, March 1938″), in Automobiltechnische Zeitschrift (AZT), No. 11 (April 1939), also AZT, No. 18, from September 1940 and 1941. By the end of the war many military vehicles – including some of Germany’s most formidable tanks, the Tigers – were driven with producer gas.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 34.)
Thus, Berg concluded, if the Germans really wanted to kill humans with engine exhaust, they would never have used “anything as idiotic as Diesel exhaust”[514]Ibid., p. 39.
(Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 34.)
(as is claimed in Holocaust literature) and almost certainly would not even have used normal petrol engine exhaust. Rather, they would have used the extremely poisonous gas from producer gas vehicles, many of which carried, for example, supplies into the concentration camps.

Berg also provided an important “postscript”. In 1983, he noted, a new scholarly work on the Holocaust was published and well received, containing evidence of a move of historians to distance themselves from the notion that the Germans killed Jews with diesel engines. In Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas (“National Socialist Mass-Murders by Poison Gas”)[515]E. Kogon, K. Langbein, A. Rückerl, et al. (eds.), Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas: Eine Dokumentation (Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer Verlag GmbH, 1983)., by several very distinguished Holocaust scholars, it is claimed that the engines used to produce the CO for mass execution were not diesels after all, as eyewitnesses had “mistakenly” claimed (pp. 172-174). Instead, they were conventional spark ignition engines which simply burned diesel fuel, presumably to make them more lethal than they would have been using ordinary petrol.

To Berg this new thesis was far more absurd than the ordinary diesel engine/diesel fuel claim, for the simple fact that ordinary petrol engines can not (and could not in the 1940s) run on diesel fuel, and vice-versa. Further, according to the small number of eyewitness testimonies of diesel gassings (including the most detailed and well known of them, the confession of Kurt Gerstein[516]Gerstein should have been able to distinguish between a diesel or spark ignition engine, as he qualified as an engineer in 1931 and as a certified mining surveyor in 1935. Further, he worked before the war at a materials procurement job for mining machinery. Because of his specialized background in mining and the specific job he did, he would have been very familiar with the emissions of various types of machinery used in mines.) the corpses were “bluish” in colour, indicative of asphyxiation (that is, oxygen depletion) and not of CO poisoning, which causes corpses to turn a distinctive “cherry red” or “pink” colour.[517]As evidence, Berg cited S. Kaye, Handbook of Emergency Toxicology Fourth Edition (Springfield: C. C. Thomas, 1980), pp. 187-188; and C. J. Poison and R. N. Tattersall, Clinical Toxicology (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1969), pp. 604-621. The present writer was unable to obtain the former source, but agrees that the latter supports Berg’s statements. Whilst this observation – that the corpses were blue – is further evidence that the various testimonies about diesel gassings are internally inconsistent. Berg noted that this observation has been retained in the revised gassing claims advanced in Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas. This, he argued, was another major flaw of the new claims, because exhaust from a spark ignition engine (killing by CO poisoning) could only have caused the bodies to turn cherry red or pink, a fact “clearly stated in most toxicology handbooks” and “probably well known to every doctor and to most, if not all, emergency medical personnel.”[518]Berg, “The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within A Myth”, p. 20.

In conclusion, Berg has argued thoughtfully and dispassionately that whilst it was not impossible for the Germans (or anyone else) to have conducted mass executions using the exhaust emissions of diesel engines, it would have been extremely difficult and only marginally successful, and could not have occurred in the simple manner described in postwar testimonies. His conclusions are supported by reliable and reputable engineering studies, which were based on extensive testing and research. Nothing indicates that Berg deliberately misused this evidence to support or defend any preconceived opinions that he may have had about diesel gassings. The present writer was able to check almost all the sources quoted or cited by Berg (even the German AZT reports), and can confirm that, with the exception of one inconsequential transcription error, all quotes and citations are accurate and bear out his claims. To his credit Berg wisely avoided ruling out the possibility of diesel gassings. Instead, he concluded that because of the extreme difficulties in attaining and maintaining life threatening concentrations of CO, and because far deadlier concentrations of CO could easily have been gained from ordinary petrol engines or producer gas generators (which emitted an exceptionally lethal concentration), the allegation that the Nazis killed nearly a million people with diesel exhaust must be treated with extreme circumspection. Berg told this writer that there is a way in which diesel engines could have been used for mass murder, but its method of execution is very different from that described in all sources attesting to Jews and others being murdered in diesel gas chambers and gas vans. One would have to “recirculate” the exhaust gas in the engine. As Berg explained:

The simplest way to “recirculate” is to operate the Diesel in an enclosed room, perhaps protected from damage by a chain link fence if the room is to be a homicidal gas chamber, so that the Diesel gradually or quickly, depending on the relative sizes of the room and engine, consumes all the oxygen in the room. Eventually, everyone in the room will be dead and the engine will shut itself down due to insufficient oxygen…. Basically, all one is really doing with such an arrangement is suffocating the victims rather than “gassing” them with Diesel exhaust… To use a Diesel in this way to simply burn oxygen is absurd – but, once again, not impossible. A producer gas generator in such a room would do essentially the same thing but far more effectively since it would also be adding at least 18% CO almost immediately. Even an ordinary gasoline engine would be better than a Diesel since in addition to consuming the oxygen, one would be adding at least 7% CO to the room as soon as the engine starts. As a device to burn oxygen, Diesels make little practical sense. They burn fuel at a miserly rate. For example, Diesel truck and bus drivers routinely leave their engines running for hours at a time when they are parked. The oxygen consumed is comparably low as well.[519]Letter from Berg to the present writer, February 25, 1992.

Sources relating to the alleged diesel gassings do not mention the engines being in the gas chambers. On the contrary, they clearly state that pipes ran into the sealed areas from the exhaust pipes of the engines, which were close outside (or at the front, in the case of gas vans). There is also no mention of engines “recirculating” their exhausts in any way, but this is perhaps understandable: if the alleged gassings actually occurred, few eyewitnesses would have had the mechanical expertise allowing them to make sense of what they saw. They could not be expected to include details of a technical nature in their subsequent accounts.

The comprehension level of those who claimed to have seen gassings is an important issue. It may be that regular gasoline engines or producer gas generators – and not diesel engines – were used by the Nazis to commit the alleged crimes. Lacking technical expertise, some of the eyewitnesses may have mistaken these other types of engines for diesels. However, some of the clearest statements about diesel exhausts are by people – such as Kurt Gerstein – with enough engineering knowledge to recognize the distinctive noise and smell of a diesel engine. One can not simply dismiss Berg’s well-argued thesis on the grounds that the sources must have all been mistaken about the type of engines they describe.

The present writer recognizes – despite his limited knowledge of mechanical engineering and toxicology – that Berg has cast considerable doubt on the sources attesting to large numbers of Jews and others being murdered in diesel gas chambers and gas vans. Historians upholding received opinion may have to search out new and more reliable evidence, as their current sources on diesel gassings – which do not attest to the use of regular gasoline engines or producer gas generators – are shown to be lacking in reliability and plausibility. However, the doubt Berg casts on these sources should not yet be seen as ‘proof’ that such gassings did not occur. His work is clearly the first word on the subject, and is therefore not to be ignored, but it should not be considered the final word. Before Berg’s findings could be considered definitive, both they, and the evidence for the alleged diesel gassings, would have to be rigorously analysed and tested by other suitably-qualified engineers and toxicologists, preferably those with no involvement in the Holocaust debate.

Whilst only three or four articles from The Journal of Historical Review have been described and analysed here, it has been shown that these articles – which are amongst the best JHR articles on the Holocaust – are not anti-Semitic or racist, as anti-Revisionists insist. The articles contain no evidence of deliberate falsification or racial vilification. On the contrary, they are well researched, meticulously documented, and thoughtfully and dispassionately argued. They contribute substantially to our knowledge of what did and did not happen to the Jewish people at the hands of the Nazis.

There have, nonetheless, been articles published in the JHR which contain racist and anti-Jewish statements. One such article is Ivor Benson’s “Russia 1917-1918: A Key to the Riddle of an Age of Conflict”[520]I. Benson, “Russia 1917-1918: A Key to the Riddle of an Age of Conflict”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Three, Fall 1990, pp. 323-351., published in the Fall 1990 issue. This article explores the role Jews played in the origins and rise of Bolshevism. Such an investigation is not, of course, anti-Jewish in itself. In fact, Benson’s article, which displays his considerable knowledge of the subject, was reasonably well-written (albeit in a journalistic style) and his conclusions, although very critical of the many Jews involved in the Russian Revolution, were supported by evidence. Had he refrained from making unsustained allegations about Jewish morality or the existence of an international Jewish conspiracy, one could not have found fault with his article. However, to the discredit of the JHR’s Editorial Advisory Committee, which should have insisted upon their deletion (which would not have weakened Benson’s arguments), several such comments were present in the published article. For example, Benson wrote:

In the long haul of history what does all this mean? One fact of supreme importance emerges: The Jewish role in history has been undeviatingly destructive, the very opposite of creative. Any Jew who finds personal salvation in a creative relationship with the rest of mankind – Spinoza, Mendelssohn, Disraeli, etc. – ceases at once to be a Jew. For only they can create, making things and making them work, who can achieve a sympathetic identification with things and people, loving them for their own sake and not only as a means of gratifying an appetite for possession and power.[521]Ibid., p. 351.
(I. Benson, “Russia 1917-1918: A Key to the Riddle of an Age of Conflict”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Three, Fall 1990, pp. 323-351.)

These are not anti-Zionist or anti-Judaic statements: they are blatantly anti-Jewish, and should not be found in an academic journal. Anti-Jewish or racially prejudicial statements like this have, unfortunately, even appeared from time to time in many reputable newspapers, magazines and academic periodicals. But the frequency of their appearance in the JHR suggests either that its Editorial Advisory Committee fails to thoroughly edit articles submitted for publication or that it finds these statements agreeable and acceptable for publication.

Despite this disturbing willingness to publish the occasional anti-Jewish or racist comment, however, it would be difficult to prove that the IHR is motivated by racism or anti-Semitism. It sells numerous books by non-European scholars, including Akira Kohehi, Michi Nishiura Weglyn (both Japanese), Abdel-Majid Trab Zemzemi (Iranian), Sami Mussalam (Palestinian) and Lenni Brenner, Noam Chomsky and Simha Flapan (who are Jewish). Additionally, many JHR articles have been written by non-Americans, including Valentyn Moroz (Ukrainian), Enrique Aynat Eknes (Spanish), Michiko Hasegawa, Hideo Miki (both Japanese) and Ranjan Borra (Indian).[522]Cf. IHR Catalog of Historical Revisionist Books, Audiotapes and Videotapes, 1992 edition. Lastly, Thomas Marcellus, the IHR’s director, told the present writer that whilst no blacks have attended Revisionist conferences, several had been invited. Dr. Alfred Lilienthal, a leading Jewish scholar and anti-Zionist commentator, briefly attended the Tenth International Revisionist Conference (October 1990), and numerous other Jews have been invited.[523]Letter from Marcellus to the present writer, dated August 6, 1991, p. 2. At the eleventh such conference (October 1992) a well-received speech was given by David Cole, a young Jewish Revisionist.

The IHR’s publication and distribution efforts

As well as publishing the quarterly JHR, the Institute for Historical Review publishes seven or eight times a year (every month except the months the JHR is published) an informal and frequently-combative eight page newsletter, called simply the IHR Newsletter. Ninety issues had been published up to February 1993, all containing commentary on new publications, new research findings and current affairs relevant to the field of Revisionist study. Subscribers to the JHR receive the newsletter at no extra cost.

The IHR is also a major publisher of Revisionist books, the majority of which are not on [the] subject of the Holocaust. By September 1982 the institute had published a new edition of Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, the Revisionist ‘classic’ edited by Harry Elmer Barnes, and had another ten books in preparation.[524]Cf. IHR Newsletter, September 1982, p. 8. By the end of that year three of those books were published, including Rudolf Hess: Prisoner of Peace, edited by George Pile. Throughout the 1980s the Institute published several new titles every year – many of them being English translations of German or French Revisionist works – so that by the end of that decade it had published a total of twenty-three new titles in English.[525]IHR Newsletter 71, February 1990, p. 7.

The Noontide Press actually began publishing Holocaust Revisionist books some years before the IHR, its sister company. The two most important of these books are the above-mentioned Hoax of the Twentieth Century by Arthur Butz, and The Six Million Reconsidered, by William N. Grimstad, the book’s “Research Editor”.[526]W. N. Grimstad, (Research Editor), The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy?, Volume One (Torrance: The Noontide Press, 1977. The latter book, subjective and poorly researched and written, is perhaps the only major Holocaust Revisionist book which is overtly anti-Jewish. Whilst the present writer believes that no serious historical thesis – regardless of how unpalatable it may appear – should be discounted because of the author’s own views on race, religion or politics, Grimstad’s text is so crowded with his own (usually unsupported) opinions and racial theories that his historical theses simply cannot be considered ‘serious’ scholarship. Grimstad began his attack on Jews by ridiculing the Talmud, the volumes containing the legal code which forms the basis of Jewish religious law. To him the Talmud is evil and immoral:

The bloody, the sadistic, the obscene is a preoccupation of the Zionist-Talmudist “sages” and they return to it again and again, like the biblical dog to his vomit…. One could go deliriously on and on: the Talmud resembles a set of encyclopedias in size and scope. But distaste quickly sets in, and we finally have to stop and consider: how credible are claims of gigantic persecutions that have constantly through all history been made by a people whose holiest scriptures are couched in such incredible terms? In psychiatry there is a word for the mentally unbalanced condition characterized by a preoccupation with and speaking of filth: coprolagnia. Is this, perhaps, a trait of the Zionist Talmudists? Does it indicate an unhealthy compulsion, or even some fundamental moral aberration? If a man chatters about raping baby girls mid the wonders of dung one minute (or subscribes to a “law” that sanctions this) and the next minute claims that six millions of his fellow Talmudists were done to death in a few months in Germany and Poland – how seriously shall we take him?[527]Ibid., pp. 27-28.
(W. N. Grimstad, (Research Editor), The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy?, Volume One (Torrance: The Noontide Press, 1977.)

To support this view Grimstad quoted numerous passages from the Talmud which would appear to the uninitiated to uphold his views. However, as would be obvious to someone with even a basic background in Talmudic studies, Grimstad quoted the passages entirely out of context and interpreted ungenerously and in a way that no Jewish readers would.

He also quoted, and misquoted, passages from the Talmud in an ill-considered attempt to prove that ancient Jews had genocidal intentions towards non-Jews (“Zion’s Own ‘Six Million’ plans”). Even more bizarre, using Old Testament scriptures from no less than 2,000 years ago as his only evidence, he insisted that biblical Jews committed atrocities against their own children – such as offering them to the glory of Moloch, the fire god – which were at least as bad as those committed by the Nazis against Jewish children. For example:

Today, some of the most ghastly stories in The Myth of the Six Million tell of SS troopers seizing Jewish babies by the legs, dashing their brains out against walls and throwing the unfortunates into the roaring Auschwitz furnaces. Accepting for argument that the Germans did such things, it is interesting to speculate why no one repudiates or condemns the same acts by early Jews, recorded in scripture.[528]Ibid., p. 42.
(W. N. Grimstad, (Research Editor), The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy?, Volume One (Torrance: The Noontide Press, 1977.)

In a lengthy chapter entitled “Jews and Organized Crime” Grimstad claimed that the leadership of organized crime in America is “full of Zionists far out of proportion to their numbers in the general population”.[529]Ibid., p. 53.
(W. N. Grimstad, (Research Editor), The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy?, Volume One (Torrance: The Noontide Press, 1977.)
He did provide evidence for the involvement of numerous Jews in organized crime, but it should be noted that he focused only on Jews, and provided no comparable analysis of Italian or Sicilian organized crime. In fact, he avoided doing so by arguing that Jewish “underworld overlords” – who were heavily involved in the “Zionist rape of Palestine” (that is, the establishment of Israel) – invented the Italian-Sicilian gangster stereotype in the first place through their control of the film industry. Concluding that chapter, he wrote: “Finally we are left with a question: To the extent that Zionists are actively involved in professional crime, do we not have the duty to discount their claims of being innocent victims of political crimes.”[530]Ibid., p. 63.
(W. N. Grimstad, (Research Editor), The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy?, Volume One (Torrance: The Noontide Press, 1977.)

Another of Grimstad ‘s principal arguments is that Marxism/Communism is the Jewish political movement responsible for the deaths of more than sixty million people in the twentieth century. Not only were Marx and his initial supporters Jewish, he wrote, but “Above the noisy puppet stage of Communist agitation, unseen and unsuspected by the uprooted and distracted Gentile “masses,” has always fluttered the bejewelled hand of the Zionist plutocrat.”[531]Ibid., p. 107.
(W. N. Grimstad, (Research Editor), The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy?, Volume One (Torrance: The Noontide Press, 1977.)
Even the infamous CHEKA was comprised mainly of Jews, who were used to liquidate “all leadership elements of the Gentile Russia populace who offered any conceivable threat or alternative to the Bolshevik usurpation.”[532]Ibid., p. 109.
(W. N. Grimstad, (Research Editor), The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy?, Volume One (Torrance: The Noontide Press, 1977.)
Soviet Jews were also leaders in the fields of industry and economics, continued Grimstad.

There can be no denying that a disproportionately high number of Jews were prominent in the upper ranks of government and industry in the Soviet Union, especially in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. It is also true that in the same period very many Jews were active in the leadership of the CHEKA, and then in its principal successor agencies, the NKVD and KGB. It is not anti-Jewish to investigate the Jewish role in the Soviet system. But to insist, as Grimstad did, that certain Jews have been using Marxism and Soviet Communism as part of an “international conspiracy” to establish Jewish mastery over the gentile world is, in the present writer’s opinion, indicative of an extremely Judeophobic ideology.[533]He probably does not resent or hate all Jews. Grimstad himself insists that when he writes of the heinous activities of “the Jews” or “Zionists” he is not meaning all Jews: “Experience and observation suggest a “hardcore” of perhaps ten per cent of the Jewish community who fully commit themselves to the mistaken projects of the ruling oligarchy. The others are more or less coerced into supporting these things”. (Ibid., p. 15).
(W. N. Grimstad, (Research Editor), The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy?, Volume One (Torrance: The Noontide Press, 1977.)
This opinion is reinforced by an analysis of his above-mentioned specious arguments and conclusions on the immorality allegedly encouraged in the Talmud, on Jewish genocidal intentions towards non-Jews, and on Jews in organized crime.

His discussion of the Nazi persecution of Jews also reflects his intense Judeophobia. One of his principal reasons for doubting (and mocking) the accepted opinion that six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis, a large percentage of them in gas chambers, is that the majority of people who propound that opinion are Jews. Jews, in his Weltanschauung, are very difficult to believe on matters of their own oppression because they suffer from “persecution mania”[534]Ibid., p. 139. Grimstad also refers to the Jews’ “unhealthy dwelling upon the idea of their own annihilation”.
(W. N. Grimstad, (Research Editor), The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy?, Volume One (Torrance: The Noontide Press, 1977.)
and have always grossly exaggerated the magnitude of their afflictions and maltreatment.

He provided absolutely no evidence to support the view that there was no Nazi policy of exterminating Jews, that there were no mass murders of Jews and others by the Einsatzgruppen, or that there were no gas chambers for committing systematic mass murder. He did, nonetheless, unprofessionally ridicule several books written by former internees because he felt that the authors lacked credibility, displayed sympathy towards Communism, or “seem[ed] to have a thing about excrement” (a charge he also leveled at the writers of the Talmud).[535]Ibid., p. 75. As evidence of this alleged Jewish fascination for excrement, Grimstad weakly pointed out that one ex-internee described a camp which had only one latrine for 32,000 women.
(W. N. Grimstad, (Research Editor), The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy?, Volume One (Torrance: The Noontide Press, 1977.)
Further, he derided the way in which Jewish people commemorate the Holocaust, and even stated in one place that because “shock value of body-pile photos has waned” the pro-Zionist press has intentionally chosen to prominently display photos and stories of Jewish Holocaust commemoration services, “to impress the familiar Zionist atrocity lore on pious Christians.”[536]Ibid., p. 82.
(W. N. Grimstad, (Research Editor), The Six Million Reconsidered: Is the ‘Nazi Holocaust’ Story a Zionist Propaganda Ploy?, Volume One (Torrance: The Noontide Press, 1977.)

Thus, it is apparent that Grimstad’s poorly written, Judeophobic The Six Million Reconsidered is not, despite its title, a serious re-evaluation of the evidence for and against accepted opinion on the Holocaust. Instead, it is an anti-Jewish attempt to prove that the Holocaust is just one (albeit the biggest) of the very many fabricated atrocity stories advanced by the Jewish people, who suffer from a unique persecution complex, over the last three thousand years. In any event, Jews are not victims, if we are to believe Grimstad’s unsupported claims: they are victimizers, responsible – through their involvement in organized crime, their “rape of Palestine”, and behind-the-scenes manipulation of Communism – for the deaths of tens of millions of peoples. To its discredit, the IHR sold Grimstad’s unscholarly book for many years, until 1992. In 1991 it highly recommended it, describing it in its catalogue as

a superbly written, sumptuously illustrated examination of the Holocaust propaganda – and what it is meant to hide – by a leading modern day student of Jewry…. [It] makes an excellent gift for the bright high schooler or college student, as well as a fine introduction to the darker side of the Jewish question for anyone.[537]IHR Catalog of Historical Revisionist Books, Audiotapes and Videotapes, 1991 edition, p. 7. It is absent from the 1992 catalogue.

Although the IHR is opposed to the censorship of peoples’ views (regardless of how distasteful they appear), by selling such a subjective, unscholarly and anti-Jewish book it has damaged its credibility as a ‘serious’ historical institute. It is not the type of book that should be promoted by an institute “interested in rehabilitating the truth” and which claims to be “non-ideological and non-partisan”.[538]A few facts about the Institute for Historical Review (IHR pamphlet), p. 1.

The many Holocaust Revisionist titles published by the IHR itself include The ‘Holocaust’: 120 Questions and Answers, by Charles E. Weber, The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry, by Walter N. Sanning; The Real Eichmann Trial or The Incorrigible Victors, by Paul Rassinier, The Great Holocaust Trial, by Michael A. Hoffman II; Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence by Wilhelm Stäglich, and The ‘Confessions’ of Kurt Gerstein, by Henri Roques. Whilst Hoffman’s book (about the First Zündel trial) is subjective and decidedly unscholarly, none of these books show signs of deliberate falsification of historical evidence.

As well as publishing and distributing its own Revisionist books, the IHR distributes books and video-cassettes – of which only a minority are on the subject of the Holocaust – by other publishing companies. Amongst these are several important Holocaust Revisionist books, such as T[h]ies Christophersen’s memoir and Richard Harwood’s booklet, and The Leuchter Report, which is analysed at length in a following chapter. The IHR also sells Carlos Porter’s lengthy Made in Russia: The Holocaust[539]C. W. Porter, Made in Russia: The Holocaust (Historical Review Press, 1988)., a compilation of the dozens of allegedly incredible or implausible Holocaust claims advanced by the Allies – particularly the Soviets – at the International Military Tribunal. As many of these claims have been dealt with or touched upon in other places within this thesis, a critique of Porter’s book is unnecessary – suffice to say that it contains photocopies and photographs of hundreds of pages of the trial transcripts and documents accepted as exhibits, allowing the reader to see for himself just how irrational some of the claims were.

The IHR, believing that the America media was presenting Revisionism in an extremely bad light and that their own publishing efforts were not effectively countering this, initiated the IHR Radio Project in early 1986. This involved Bradley R. Smith, author of the above mentioned Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist and a former editor of the IHR Newsletter, mailing out a “Radio Project press packet” (containing a brief outline of the Revisionist position on something currently in the news, such as a new Holocaust film) to hundreds of radio stations in the hope that some would invite Smith on the air to express his views.[540]IHR Newsletter 38, April 1986, pp. 1, 3.

The success of Smith’s radio project was remarkable. In the first eighteen months Smith appeared on almost ninety radio stations, thereby presenting Holocaust Revisionist arguments to a total audience estimated at between 4.5 million and 6 million persons.[541]IHR Newsletter 55, January 1988, p. 3. In January 1988 the IHR Radio Project changed its name to the IHR Media Project, reflecting a shift in emphasis from radio shows to radio and television shows. Again Smith’s effort have met with success; to date he has appeared on nearly three hundred radio programmes and on several widely-watched television shows, including The Mort Downey Show and The Jerry Williams Show.

There is no doubt that much of Smith’s success is due to his own personality and skills. As a slightly overweight, bespectacled man in his sixties, with grey hair and beard, he looks more like a kindly uncle or grandfather than the neo-Nazi or fascist his opponents try to present him as. That he is not a neo-Nazi or fascist quickly becomes apparent to audiences when he candidly explains that, in fact, he has been a Libertarian (which is politically ‘left’) for several decades, and as such has absolutely no regard for Nazism, fascism or any other form of authoritarian or totalitarian government. The charge of racism often leveled at Revisionists is also totally inappropriate in Smith’s case, because he is married to a Mexican Indian with whom he has children.

Smith, who is not a scholar, has a tendency to over-emphasize the importance of inconsequential details, such as, by way of illustration, a silly statement Elie Wiesel made in one of his books. Yet Smith is an articulate and persuasive speaker, with the ability to simplify complex arguments and issues so that they are understood by even the most uninformed members of his audiences. Further, despite often extreme provocation from hostile talk-show hosts, other invited speakers and members of the public – including Rabbis, members of the militant JDL and former concentration camp internees, who have abused him on many occasions – Smith has the ability to remain calm and argue dispassionately. For the IHR in particular (which has suffered from an image problem since its inception), and Holocaust Revisionism in general, Bradley Smith is the perfect spokesman.

Smith also serves as the head of the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), which he and Mark Weber founded in 1987.[542]Cf. IHR Newsletter 51, August 1987, p. 1. This organization operates from Smith’s house in Visalia, California. It is independent of the IHR, although the latter endorses its work and supports it whenever possible. One of CODOH’s principal activities is placing advertisements in university campus newspapers. These are in the form of short introductory articles challenging accepted opinion on the Holocaust, and pleas for open debate on the subject.

During the end of 1991 and the first half of 1992 Smith caused a national furor when an article he penned – “The Holocaust Controversy: The Case for Open Debate” – was published as a full page advertisement in the student newspapers of numerous universities. These included, to name just the first few: the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (October 24), Duke University at Durham, N.C. (November 5), Northeastern Illinois University at DeKalb (November 11), Cornell University at Ithaca, N.Y. (November 18) and Rutgers University at New Brunswick, N.J. (December 3). At each university large protests, and denunciations from student groups and local Jewish leaders, followed the article’s publication. Smith was accused of racism and anti-Semitism, despite his article containing nothing defamatory towards Jews or any other race or ethnic group. By the middle of December 1991 the controversy had attracted the attention of the national media and even one or two newspapers overseas.[543]Michigan Daily, November 22, 1991; New York Times, November 10, 1991: Washington Post, December 21, 1991; Editor & Publisher, December 21, 1991; Los Angeles Times, December 23, 1991; Jerusalem Post Int Ed., November 26, 1991, January 25, 1992; et al. With the exception of one article, which was well researched and relatively impartial[544]K. Bishop, “Hoping to Change Minds Of Young on Holocaust”, New York Times, December 23, 1991, p. 8. Regarding the CODOH controversy, cf. IHR Newsletter 84, January 1992., the entire media coverage was disparaging to Smith and Revisionism.

Opposition to the IHR

The response to Smith’s newspaper advertisements is, however, arguably mild in comparison with the way the IHR has suffered at the hands of its opponents over the years. Whilst it is not possible to discuss in detail even the worst examples of this opposition, a few important cases will be touched on briefly. First, the institute has not only faced adversaries from outside its own ranks, but has also had to contend with efforts made to destroy it from within. In 1981 Lewis Brandon, the institute’s talented but egocentric director, was forced to resign. This was because of his unprofessional handling of the $50,000 reward offer (reopening, without authority, the offer to Mermelstein after it had officially expired) and because he refused to be present on the institute’s premises, merely to safeguard its property, during a JDL protest. When he left the IHR “he tried to abscond with a $4,000 check made out to himself.”[545]Letter from Thomas Marcellus to the present writer, dated August 6, 1991, p. 2.

McCalden, as he then chose to call himself again, almost immediately set up a rival Revisionist organization, Truth Missions, and began to publish a very expensive newsletter called David McCalden Revisionist Newsletter. Almost every issue contained vitriolic attacks on the IHR and its founder, Willis Carto (whose authority he resented), which were obviously intended to draw grass roots support away from the IHR to himself. This became especially evident in July 1982, when the institute discovered that an employee named Nancy Sawitzky (a shipping clerk) had photocopied the entire mailing list and had secretly supplied it, with copies of other important documents, to McCalden. When confronted with what she had done, Sawitzky flew into a terrible rage and tried to assault the new director, Tom Marcellus.[546]Ibid., p. 2. Cf. also IHR Newsletter, August 13, 1982.
(Letter from Thomas Marcellus to the present writer, dated August 6, 1991, p. 2.)
Further, McCalden – through his Jewish girlfriend – was involved in passing some of the stolen documents to William Cox, the attorney for Mel Mermelstein, who was then in the middle of a major lawsuit against the institute.[547]The IHR 1982 Annual Report, p. 2.

The IHR sent McCalden a formal demand notice, dated July 19, 1982, stating that he must return the stolen mailing list and pay the institute an indemnity of $40,000 for his previous illegal use of it. Yet McCalden defiantly continued to use it, sending IHR subscribers his Revisionist publications, which continued to attack both it and Carto. It is difficult to ascertain how many subscribers McCalden ‘poached’ off the IHR, or what other damage he did, suffice to say that in the early years of the institute McCalden was one of its major problems.[548]For a detailed analysis of the McCalden conflict, cf. Dossier On A Revisionist Crank. Of the institute’s ‘external’ opponents, there is no doubt that the JDL has been the most vicious. Throughout the 1980s this militant Jewish group was involved in a lengthy series of violent attacks against the IHR and individual Revisionists. Several examples from the early to mid 1980s will be given, yet these represent only the main attacks on Revisionists associated with the IHR, and do not include the many attacks on the JDL’s other enemies. In January 1981 a firebomb was thrown into the front windows of the IHR, damaging a portion of the building. In April 1981 the JDL held a demonstration in front of the institute, during which an officer of the institute was thrown to the ground and assaulted. In May 1982 the home of Dr. George Ashley, a Revisionist historian, was bombed. In September 1982 the institute’s front windows were destroyed by gunshots. In December 1982 Dr. Ashley’s home was ransacked and damaged to the value of $20,000. In July 1984 Dr. Ashley received bomb threats, for which a JDL member was arrested. In April 1985 the car of Dr. Charles Weber, another Revisionist, was badly vandalized, with a note left from the JDL threatening to escalate the attacks into bombings. In May 1985 a bomb exploded at the home of Dr. Ashley. The letters JDL were spray-painted onto the footpath, and JDL leader Irving Rubin stated to the media “But its too bad Mr. Ashley wasn’t blown up.” In July 1985 Irving Rubin demanded that city officials in Torrance pass an ordinance “aimed at expelling” the IHR from the municipality. Rubin threatened riots if the ordinance was not passed. In almost every case mentioned, the JDL has either left proof of their involvement at the scene of the crime, or has later claimed responsibility.[549]For evidence of these JDL attacks, cf. The Daily Breeze, March 20, 1981, July 5, 1984, September 21, 1984, July 31, 1985; Daily News, December 9, 1982; Tulsa Tribune, April 12, 1985; Los Angeles Times, May 16, 1985, August 20, 1985; Instauration, October 1984; The IHR 1982 Annual Report; The Zionist Terror Network; et al.

The worst attack of all, however, occurred in the early hours of the morning on Independence Day (July 4), 1984. The office-warehouse complex of the IHR was completely gutted by a firebomb, destroying $300,000 worth of Revisionist books (over 90% of all stocks) and another $100,000 worth of equipment, including the institute’s typesetting machine. Thus, the IHR, and therefore Revisionism in America, was effectively destroyed.[550]Cf. The Daily Breeze, September 21, 1984.

The institute has always exaggerated the importance of this arson, calling it at the time, for example, “the most physically destructive act of political terrorism in the history of the American Republic … a terror raid that rang the death bell of freedom of expression in America – indeed the beginning of the end of freedom itself “[551]IHR Newsletter, Special Edition, August 1984, p. 1. Yet this act of terrorism was reprehensible and deserved condemnation. Several prominent scholars did condemn the arson attack, including David Irving, who wrote that he “was deeply shocked to hear of the firebomb attack on your premises…. The inaction of the Torrance police department since then is also disturbing”.

Echoing these sentiments, John Toland, the Pulitzer Prize winning historian, wrote:

When I learned of the torching of the office-warehouse of the Institute for Historical Review I was shocked. And when I heard no condemnation of this act of terrorism on television and read no protests in the editorial pages of our leading newspapers or from the halls of academia, I was dismayed and incensed. Where are those defenders of democracy who over the years have so vigorously protested the burning of books by Hitler? Are they only summer soldiers of democracy, selective in their outrage? I call on all true believers in democracy to join me in public denunciation of the recent burning of books in Torrance, California.[552]Quoted in The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Six, Number One, Spring 1985, p. 8.

However, as Toland noted, there was no condemnation from the media or important public figures. In fact, the media seemed to blame the institute itself for what it suffered, as if, somehow, it deserved to be destroyed by a terrorist’s firebomb. Even the press conference held in front of the burntout building by Irving Rubin of the JDL, at which he gloated over the arson, failed to attract adverse media attention. This is a clear indication of the animosity the public and the media felt towards the IHR and Holocaust Revisionism. One might have thought that the mainstream academic community, even though it totally disagreed with what Revisionists were saying, would have spoken up for their right to say it without fear of violence. But American academia, possibly to its shame, remained silent.

Although it lost its promises, furniture, equipment, records and almost its entire stock of books and tapes (and had to postpone a major conference it had planned for September 1984)[553]For the damage done in the arson attack, cf. IHR Newsletter Special Edition, August 1984., the IHR managed, but only just, to recover from the Fourth of July arson attack. Nonetheless, two years later it was still experiencing major financial difficulties. This resulted, for example, in the Radio Project being suspended for three month[s] in 1987 and the four volumes of the JHR for that year not being published at all.[554]IHR Newsletter 44, January 1987, p. 6. By January 1987 the institute, which at great cost had moved in March 1986 into new premises in Costa Mesa – largely through the financial support of the subscribers who responded to several IHR appeals – was $150,000 in debt.[555]Ibid.
(IHR Newsletter 44, January 1987, p. 6.)

It took a few more years for the institute to reduce this debt and return to financial stability (although without contributions from supporters it would still run at a loss), but its recovery was so complete that in July 1989 the institute’s director was able to state proudly:

In the five years since the Institute was devastated by arson, we have distributed more than 150,000 books, more than 4,000 audio and video cassettes, published eighteen issues of The Journal of Historical Review and 40 [sic] issues of the IHR newsletter. During this same period we have produced and distributed millions of pamphlets and promotional pieces that have been mailed around the world.[556]Official IHR letter from Thomas Marcellus to all supporters, dated July 1989, p. 2. For a detailed summary of the IHR’s financial situation in 1989, cf. “Director’s Corner”, IHR newsletter 64, February 1989, pp. 6-7.

The State Department, by choosing to deny entry into the nation to scheduled IHR conference speakers, embroiled itself in the controversy over the IHR and Revisionism. To give just one example of this government intervention, in 1987 the State Department denied entry to three Revisionists scheduled to participate in the Eighth International Revisionist Conference (October 9-11, 1987): Professor Walter Beveraggi Allende of Argentina, Ivor Benson of South Africa and Ernst Zündel of Canada.[557]Cf. IHR Newsletter 53, October-November 1987, p. 1. Whilst it is, of course, the right of any government to deny entry to convicted criminals or dangerous political extremists, the only ‘crimes’ committed by these three were their perceptions and descriptions of the Holocaust according to their own understanding of the evidence.

Anti-Revisionists have also attempted to deprive the IHR of its First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, by trying to prevent several of the international Revisionist conferences from occurring at all. On one or two occasions they were almost successful. For example, only three days before the Ninth International Revisionist Conference (February 18-20, 1989) the JDL pressured the hotel in which the conference was to be held into canceling the legal contract they had signed eight months earlier with the IHR, which had at that point paid the hotel a cash deposit.[558]T. Marcellus, “Circuitous Suppression”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Nine, Number One, Spring 1989, p. 118. The JDL achieved this by intimidating the management and threatening them with protests. Luckily for the IHR, it managed to find another hotel willing, even at such short notice, to stage the conference. A legal contract was signed and a $10,000 deposit handed over. However, less than twenty-four hours before the conference was due to open that “hotel also succumbed to pressure and cancelled its contract. 180 Revisionists, therefore, would have been without meal and conference facilities had it not been for the last minute assistance of a kind businessman. He fed the attendees in his restaurant and arranged for the conference – which was successful despite these major problems – to be held in the large basement of a local church.[559]Ibid., p. 124. Cf. also IHR Newsletter 65, April 1989, p. 3ff.
(T. Marcellus, “Circuitous Suppression”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Nine, Number One, Spring 1989, p. 118.)
Thus, Jewish anti-Revisionists, displaying a disregard for civil liberties, tried and almost succeeded in preventing the legal and peaceful gathering of a group of people whose views conflicted with their own. As the Los Angeles Times reported, and this is perhaps an appropriate quote with which to close this section on opposition to the IHR (and Revisionism in general):

The [Jewish Defense] League was out of touch with the U. S. Constitution in thinking that it had the right to try and stifle the constitutional guarantees of free speech and assembly…. If groups or individuals can silence anyone whose opinion they don’t like, everyone loses. The JDL was successful in forcing several hotels to turn away the Institute for Historical Review. But the institute was able to hold its private meeting. If it hadn’t, much more than a conference would have been lost.[560]Los Angeles Times, February 26, 1989.

In conclusion then, it has been shown that the IHR is a successful historical institute, which has generally operated – with the main exceptions being some foolish and gimmicky activities in its formative years – in much the same way as all other historical institutes. That is, it publishes a regular newsletter and a quarterly journal, sponsors and publishes new research, and holds international conferences at which scholars have exchanged ideas, coordinated work and presented papers. Yet, unlike all other such institutes, the IHR has been the object of a great deal of publicly-expressed antipathy. This is principally because it challenges accepted opinion on the Holocaust, an action seen by detractors as an attempt to whitewash the massive crimes of the Nazi regime. They argue that only neo-Nazis or anti-Semites would express doubts about, and demand evidence for, the Nazi gassings of Jews. Accordingly, these detractors have focused their efforts on trying to uncover proof that the IHR’s staff and scholars possess preconceived opinions in favor of Hitler and the Third Reich and deliberately arrange their evidence to support or defend those preconceptions.

Discovering that some staff and scholars had these preconceptions was not too difficult for the IHR’s detractors: they correctly pointed out that several people involved in the formation or management of the IHR held right-wing political views or had been involved in associations warmly disposed to Nazism (such as the National Alliance). However, they have been unable to demonstrate that all, or even a majority of, those closely associated with the IHR possess these preconceptions. They have also avoided mentioning the fact that many key IHR personnel or editorial advisors, such as Bradley R. Smith, John Bennett, Samuel Konkin III and Robert Faurisson, possess political ideologies that are entirely at variance with Nazism, racism, anti-Semitism, or any other type of socially-objectionable ‘ism’.

Further, and far more importantly, the IHR’ s detractors have failed to demonstrate that those persons with preconceived feelings about the Third Reich have been led by those preconceptions to an improper or dishonest consideration of the evidence. Because few of the theses advanced by those associated with the IHR have been studied and judged according to their own merits or demerits in a thoughtful and even-handed manner, it is apparent that the institute’s detractors have not really sought to establish such a causal link between the Revisionists’ interests, beliefs and values, and their historical theses. In fairness to the IHR’s detractors, very few of them are trained in the discipline of history and capable of challenging those historical theses. Moreover, few of them are sufficiently informed about such complex matters as truth, objectivity and bias to be able to see the issues clearly. They cannot comprehend that a person’s historical theses can coincide with their interests, current beliefs or points of view, and yet still have been based on an impartial consideration of evidence.

The present writer, who has attempted to analyse the IHR and its claims about history in an impartial manner, concedes that, in general, those scholars closely associated with the institute strive conscientiously to study their objects of inquiry in an even-handed and dispassionate manner. Although it is clear that they approach those objects of inquiry with information and guiding ideas derived in large part from their own interests, beliefs and vantage points (as almost all historians do), there is no evidence of deliberate falsification of fact.

This does not mean, of course, that IHR publications are of a consistently high level of scholarship. They are not. The IHR has, to its discredit, published several articles and books containing insensitive stridency and partisanship. It has, although far less frequently, even published racist and antiSemitic treatises. These actions reduce the institute’s credibility, and leave it wide open to accusations of racism. Many other articles in the institute’s journal make available a lot of new information, but lack careful presentation and highly-developed analysis. They accordingly contribute little to the accumulated body of knowledge about their objects of inquiry. Nonetheless, several other articles and books published by the IHR are balanced and authoritative, containing both meticulous research and well-thought-out analysis. These latter works add an appreciable amount to the accumulated body of knowledge about the events described, and should not be ignored or automatically discounted – as they are – by those scholars holding orthodox views on the past. By bringing opposing hypotheses into open confrontation with each other, and by forcing authors to consider new evidence, approaches and methodologies, these more erudite works could ultimately advance the cause of historical understanding.

Chapter 4 • The Leuchter Affair • 21,000 Words

In April 1988, the tour de force of Holocaust revisionism was completed, in the form of a forensic examination of the buildings at Auschwitz (some in ruins) now designated as gas chambers. The examination was conducted by an American engineer who specializes in the design and fabrication of execution hardware for the American penitentiary system.

Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University in 1964, and commenced post-graduate studies in celestial navigation mechanics at the Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Massachusetts. From 1965 to 1970, he worked as Technical Director for a Boston company specializing in aerial photographic equipment. In this capacity, he designed the first lowlevel, colour stereomapping system for use in helicopters. Leuchter’s system has since become standard equipment for helicopter aerial mapping. He formed an independent consultancy firm in 1970, and branched out to work on a variety of projects, including the design of astrotrackers utilized in the on-board guidance systems of intercontinental ballistic missiles. As a result of such work, he now holds patents in the fields of optics, navigation, encoding, geodetic surveying and surveying instrumentation including patents on electronic sextants and optical instrument encoders. From around 1980, Fred Leuchter also worked as an engineering consultant to several state governments on scientific equipment used to execute convicted criminals, including hardware for execution by lethal injection, electrocution, hanging and gassing. One of his major projects was the design of a new gas chamber at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City. In 1987, he formed Fred A. Leuchter Associates, an engineering consultancy firm specializing in the design and fabrication of execution equipment, including gas chambers utilising HCN (Hydrocyanic acid, marketed by the Germans, before and during the Second World War, as Zyklon-B).[561]Biographical details provided by Mark Weber in his introduction to Leuchter’s lecture, “The Second Leuchter Report”, presented at the 10th International Revisionist Conference, Washington, D. C., October 13, 1990 (IHR Audiotape A100). The accuracy of these biographical details was confirmed by Leuchter in a letter to the present writer, dated July 24, 1992.

In February 1988, Leuchter was contacted by Robert Faurisson on behalf of Ernst Zündel, a German-born Canadian on trial for “spreading false news”[562]Zündel was charged under Section 177 of the Canadian Criminal Code which provides that “everyone who willfully publishes a statement, tale or news that he knows is false and that causes or is likely to cause injury or mischief to a public interest is guilty of an indictable act and is liable to imprisonment for two years.” (31 C.C.C. (3d), p. 97) See above, p. 74, n. 168. by publishing a Canadian version of Richard Harwood’s flawed Holocaust Revisionist booklet, Did Six Million Really Die?.[563]See above, p. 70ff. Zündel had been previously tried on the same charge in 1985 and sentenced to fifteen months imprisonment. However, in January 1987, the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the judgement and ordered a re-trial, which commenced on January 18, 1988.

Zündel had been searching for an American expert in gas chamber technology with experience in the execution of condemned persons by means of HCN, the same type of gas allegedly used by the Nazis to murder millions of Jews. It was his belief that no Jews were gassed in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War, and that only an expert in execution hardware could determine whether the alleged gas chambers were capable of having been used as claimed in Holocaust literature. Zündel’s defence team wrote to those penitentiaries in the United States that execute prisoners by gassing, requesting the name of an engineer who specializes in gas chamber executions by HCN. Leuchter’s name was forwarded to Zündel by Bill M. Armontrout, Warden of the Missouri State Penitentiary, who wrote that “Mr Leuchter is an engineer specializing in gas chambers and executions. He is well versed in all area’s”. 564]

Robert Faurisson, who is a personal friend of Zündel, met Leuchter in Boston on February 4 and 5, 1988, and a few days later asked him if he would be prepared to travel to Poland to conduct the first forensic examination of the rooms now designated as gas chambers at Auschwitz I, Birkenau (Auschwitz II) and Majdanek. Leuchter – who was not, previous to Faurisson’s request, aware of Revisionist arguments – accepted the assignment “after a weekend in Toronto [with Zündel and his team] reviewing wartime aerial photographs of the camps, plans of the crematoriums and alleged gas chambers, documents on Zyklon-B and slides taken of the sites in the 1970s by the Swedish researcher Ditlieb Felderer.”[565]Ibid., p. 5. Leuchter told the present writer “I was not familiar with any revisionist arguments or materials prior to my participation in the Toronto trial.” (letter of July 24, 1992, italics added).
(Letter from Armontrout to Zündel’s solicitor, Barbara Kulaszka, January 13, 1988. Reproduced in Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth. An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland, 132 page edition (Toronto: Samisdat, 1988), p. 34.)
On February 25, 1988, Leuchter left for Poland with a small team of assistants.

The procedures utilized by Leuchter in his forensic examination of the chambers were as follows:

1. A general background study of such material as Auschwitz guide books and maps, copies of some of the original German blueprints for facilities at Auschwitz, Du Pont Chemical Company publications. The Destruction of the European Jews by Raul Hilberg, and selected Holocaust Revisionist works.[566]Ibid., p. 18.
(Letter from Armontrout to Zündel’s solicitor, Barbara Kulaszka, January 13, 1988. Reproduced in Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth. An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland, 132 page edition (Toronto: Samisdat, 1988), p. 34.)

2. An on-site inspection and forensic examination (not sanctioned by the Auschwitz authorities) of the chambers in Krema (crematory building) I at Auschwitz I (the Stammlager) and in Krema II, III, IV and V at K.L. Birkenau, and of the chambers at Majdanek. Measurements, construction information and other physical data were recorded during this inspection. Thirty one forensic samples were taken from within the chambers in Krema I, Auschwitz and in Kremas II, III, IV and V at Birkenau. No samples were taken at Majdanek. One control sample was removed from delousing facility no. 1 at Birkenau. These samples were pieces of brick and mortar chiselled by Leuchter from roofs, walls and floors. All samples (9 kg in total) were returned to the United States for chemical analysis at an independent laboratory (Alpha Analytical Laboratories) instructed to determine the levels of any iron and cyanide traces. The laboratory remained totally unaware of the origin of the samples or the nature of the investigation.

3. A consideration of logistical data and logistical problems regarding the crematories and chambers.

4. A compilation of the acquired data.

5. An analysis of all acquired information and a comparison of this information with known and proven design, procedural and logistical information and requirements for the design, fabrication and operation of actual gas chambers and crematories.

6. A consideration of the results of the chemical analysis of the thirty two forensic samples.

7. Formation of conclusions based on all the acquired evidence.[567]This survey of Leuchter’s procedures is partly based on his own list of procedures, Ibid., p. 7.
(Letter from Armontrout to Zündel’s solicitor, Barbara Kulaszka, January 13, 1988. Reproduced in Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth. An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland, 132 page edition (Toronto: Samisdat, 1988), p. 34.)

Upon his return to the United States, Leuchter published An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland[568]Toronto, 1988. Property of Mr Ernst Zündel., incorporating numerous maps, plans, chemical analysis tables and graphs in its 192 pages. His findings clearly run contrary to accepted historical opinion. He ended his report with these words:

After reviewing all the material and inspecting all of the sites at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, your author finds the evidence as overwhelming. There were no execution gas chambers at any of these locations. It is the best engineering opinion of this author that the alleged gas chambers at the inspected sites could not have then been, or now, be utilized [sic] or seriously considered to function as execution gas chambers.[569]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of A Myth, p. 18. Italics in original.

Leuchter’s unorthodox conclusions, which at first sight seem incredible, do appear to be supported by ample evidence. The first sample taken from delousing facility no. I (BW 5a, Sector B 1a), where HCN is known to have been used to delouse clothing, showed a cyanide content of 1050 mg/kg. However, the samples taken from the chamber in Krema II, Birkenau – where cyanide is claimed to have killed hundreds of thousands of Jews and others[570]Cf. J.-C. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 183. Pressac alleged, but provided no supporting evidence, that the number of people gassed in Kremas II and III totaled approximately 750,000. – showed up as negative; that is, they showed absolutely no traces of cyanide. Very minute traces of cyanide were detected in samples from the chambers in Kremas I, III, IV and V, yet the average cyanide content of these samples was only 2.8 mg/kg. The heaviest cyanide concentration for any one sample was 7.8 mg/kg (less than 0.08% of that taken from the delousing facility).[571]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of A Myth, pp. 13-14, 19-20. The conditions at areas from which these samples were taken were very similar to those at the delousing facility from where the control sample was taken; cold, dark and wet. Only Kremas IV and V differed in that they were exposed to sunlight, which may hasten the destruction of cyanide. On these independently-obtained laboratory results, Leuchter wrote:

One would have expected higher cyanide detection in the samples taken from the alleged gas chambers (because of the greater amount of gas allegedly utilized there) than that found in the control sample. Since the contrary is true, one must conclude that these facilities were not execution gas chambers, when coupled with all the other evidence gained on inspection[572]Ibid., p. 14.
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of A Myth, pp. 13-14, 19-20.)

To explain the minute traces of cyanide found in some of the chambers, Leuchter asserts that “the small quantities detected would indicate that at some point these buildings were dc-loused with Zyklon B – as were all the buildings at these facilities.”[573]Ibid., p. 14.+
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of A Myth, pp. 13-14, 19-20.)
This, of course, is plausible. It is well known by historians of this period that Zyklon-B was a widely-used insecticide developed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schädlingsbekämpfung mbH[574]‘German Pest Control Company’. (DEGESCH) and used by the German army since 1924. During the Second World War, the Germans used Zyklon-B on most fronts to disinfest barracks, clothing and personal effects.[575]Cf. Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, pp. 567-571.

Leuchter’s conclusion that the investigated rooms were never gas chambers used to execute humans is further supported by a comparison of the physical data Leuchter compiled at the facilities with known and proven requirements for the construction and operation of actual gas chamber[s]. Gas chambers, explained Leuchter, should be operated at a negative pressure to ensure that any leak would be inward. HCN is an extremely lethal gas, and any outward leak would prove fatal to those operating the chamber or working in the immediate area. Therefore, all doors and windows must be gasketed or sealed with a rubberized or pitched canvas and sealed with neoprene or tar. All surfaces within a gas chamber must be sealed to render the exposed, porous surfaces imperious to impregnation by the gas. Failure to have these surfaces sealed will result in a deadly build-up of cyanide on the walls, making the chamber extremely dangerous to enter.[576]Leuchter cites Nuremberg Document NI-9912. Richtlinien für die Anwendung von Blausäure zur Ungeziefervertilgung (Guidelines for the Use of Prussic Acid for Exterminating Vermin), issued by the Health Institution of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in Prague, n.d.. NI-9912 describes Zyklon-B gas as having “extraordinarily great penetrative powers” (“Außerordentlich großes Durchdringungsvermögen”). NI-9912 is Appendix III of Leuchter’s report.

A gas chamber must also have means for removing poisonous gas/air mixture and replacing it with clean air. This is usually done by an exhaust fan and duct of sufficient size to remove completely all traces of the gas. This may take several hours and involve several complete air changes. The gas exhaust duct must be connected to a chimney stack which vents the gas to a safe distance above the facility where air currents can disperse the gas. This is usually 12.2 metres above the facility, but should be more if the structure is sheltered from the wind.[577]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 12. A room or chamber fumigated with HCN that does not have such an exhaust system, but has numerous vents and windows which can be opened, must be aired for at least twenty one hours before it can be safely entered. Where there are few vents, airing can take several days.[578]Ibid., p. 12; also NI-9912, p. 3.
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 12.)

As HCN has a boiling point of 25.7°C (78.3°F) at 760mm Hg,[579]Table I, in Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 5; cf. also Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit: NS-Verbrechen und “Revisionistische” Geschichtsschreibung, p. 47. a gas chamber should have at least this temperature inside, otherwise the HCN will take far longer to evaporate from its inert carrier, usually wood pulp or diatomaceous earth. Whilst the gas will evaporate at lower temperature, the duration for the gas to evaporate and become lethal will be considerably longer. All modern gas chambers that utilize HCN have heating systems to sufficiently aid the evaporation process. Also, due to the highly explosive nature of HCN, all lighting and electrical hardware must be explosionproof.

During his on-site examination of the chambers, Leuchter noticed numerous details which made it clear to him that they were never used for gassing people. Because these details vary from one chamber to another, each facility will be dealt with individually.

Krema I at Auschwitz (BW 11). According to the official Auschwitz guide books Leuchter read, this building remains physically in the same condition as it was on liberation day, January 27, 1945.[580]Ibid., p. 14. An Auschwitz museum official told the present writer, however, that much of the building – including the chimney, vents for letting gas in, and cremation ovens – had been “reconstructed”. One may wonder, therefore, why the building is still claimed, by tour guides and in many books, to be original and unaltered. This letter, from Krystyna Oleksa of the Panstwowe Muzeum Oswiecim Brzezinka appears below as Appendix VII.
(Table I, in Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 5; cf. also Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit: NS-Verbrechen und “Revisionistische” Geschichtsschreibung, p. 47.)
Leuchter found four roof vents in this chamber, none of which had gaskets or could be sealed. These vents stand less than 0.6 metres above the surface of the roof and are constructed of new wood, which indicated to him that they were very recent additions.[581]Ibid., p. 14.
(Table I, in Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 5; cf. also Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit: NS-Verbrechen und “Revisionistische” Geschichtsschreibung, p. 47.)
These four roof vents were the only venting system in the facility. Leuchter found no evidence of an exhaust system ever operating here, and concluded that if HCN gas was vented via the four roof vents, the gas would undoubtedly have reached the “hospital a short distance across the road, with patients and support personnel being killed.”[582]Ibid.
(Table I, in Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 5; cf. also Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit: NS-Verbrechen und “Revisionistische” Geschichtsschreibung, p. 47.)
He also noted that in this chamber there were two floor drains, each measuring 0.305 metres x 0.228 metres, which connected directly into the main camp drain and sewer system. Thus, gas could have leaked into other buildings via this drainage system.[583]bid.

Despite the fact that the chamber was located within the same building as the crematory (less than five metres away), Leuchter found that no gasketed doors existed to prevent gas reaching the crematory, and concluded that an explosion would have occurred.[584]Ibid. Additionally, if genuine (and it almost certainly is not), the flimsy wooden door with ordinary window glass – not reinforced or double glazed – would not have been able to withstand the force of desperate victims pushing against it in their panic (Ibid., p. 131, photograph of door on same page).
(bid.)
Also, the lighting in the facility was not, and is not now, explosion-proof.

Leuchter claimed that “assuming a 9 sq. ft. area per person to allow for gas circulation, which is nevertheless very light, a maximum of 94 persons could fit into this room at one time.

It has been reported, however, that this room could hold up to 600 persons.”[585]Ibid., p. 14. Rudolf Höß, Commandant of Auschwitz, stated in his autobiography that he personally witnessed the gassing of 900 Russians (“Vergasung von 900 Russen”) at one time in this room. Kommandant in Auschwitz: Autobiographische Aufzeichnungen von Rudolf Höß, p. 122. See also p. 155.
(bid.)
Further, if this facility was used as an execution gas chamber, wrote Leuchter, ventilation would take “at least twenty hours and tests must be made to determine if the chamber is safe. It is doubtful whether the gas would clear in a week without an exhaust system. This is clearly at variance with the chamber’s alleged usage of several gassings per day.”[586]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 15.

Kremas II and III at Birkenau (BW 30 and BW 30a). Leuchter’s study of the ruins of the chambers at these Kremas resulted in the following information. Kremas II and III were mirror image installations situated at the south-western corner of the concentration camp at Birkenau. Each facility consisted of several morgues and a crematory of fifteen retorts each. The morgues were at semi-basement level and the crematories on the ground floor. A small elevator of 2.1 metres x 1.35 metres in each facility was utilized for corpse transport from the morgues to the crematories. Obviously these elevators could only hold a small number of cadavers at a time.[587]The original German blueprints for these facilities show that Leuchter’s statistics regarding the elevators are accurate, (cf. “Fundamentplan” of Krema II, reproduced in Pressac, p. 293) This contradicts entirely the established view, largely based on the evidence of an eye-witness, Miklos Nyiszli, who stated that in each of these facilities “Four good-sized elevators were functioning. They loaded twenty to twenty-five corpses to an elevator.” (Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account, p. 48) For the reliability of Nyiszli ‘s account, see above, pp. 36-38.

Leuchter noted that in the corpse cellars (“Leichenkeller I”) of Kremas II and III – the alleged gas chambers – there were no heating systems or ventilation systems[588]The detailed American aerial photographs of these facilities taken on random occasions during 1944 show clearly that no gas ventilation stacks were present on Kremas II and III. The Holocaust Revisited: A Retrospective Analysis of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Complex. See above, pp. 59-60., no sealant inside or out, and no doors existing on the chamber in Krema II to prevent gas travelling to the crematory less than five metres away.[589]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 15. Leuchter is quite wrong in concluding that no doors ever existed in the corpse cellar in Krema II. A written order from the Zentralbauleitung at the Auschwitz camp to the Deutsche Ausrüstungswerke GmbH, dated March 31, 1943, requests a “gas door 100 x 192 cm for corpse cellar I of Crematorium III … of exactly the same type and size as the cellar door of the crematorium opposite it, Crematorium II, with a peep-hole made of double-strength 8-mm glass, with rubber gasket and cap.” (“Gastür 100/192 für Leichenkeller II des Krematoriums III … genau nach Art und Maß der Kellertür des gegenüberliegenden Krematoriums II mit Guckloch aus doppeltem 8-mm-Glas mit Gummidichtung und Beschlag”) (PMO: file BW 30/43, pp. 9, 34) One must exercise extreme caution, however, in citing this document as a requisition of gas-proof hardware for homicidal gas chambers; this same document also requests “three gas-proof towers … of exactly the same dimensions and type as the towers previously supplied.” (“drei gasdichte Türme … genau nach den Ausmaßen und der Art der bisher angelieferten Türme”) (Ibid., presented at Nuremberg as Document 4465-NO). The exact purpose of these “towers” is unknown, but they certainly were not homicidal facilities.
(The detailed American aerial photographs of these facilities taken on random occasions during 1944 show clearly that no gas ventilation stacks were present on Kremas II and III. The Holocaust Revisited: A Retrospective Analysis of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Complex. See above, pp. 59-60.)
This, he wrote, would have resulted in an explosion. Due to the more collapsed state of Krema III, he could not determine whether the alleged gas chamber ever had doors. The chamber in each of Kremas II and III:

had an area of 2,500 sq. ft.. This would accommodate 278 people based on the 9 square foot theory. If the chamber was filled with the required HCN gas (0.25lbs/1000cu. ft) and assuming a ceiling height of eight feet and 20,000 cubic feet of space, then 5lbs. of Zyklon B gas would be required. Again, assume at least 1 week to vent (as at Krema 1). This ventilation time is again doubtful, but will serve to compute our numbers.[590]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 15. Leuchter’s assertion that only 278 persons could be gassed at a time in either Krema I or Krema II clearly runs contrary to the accepted historical view that 2,000 – 3,000 persons were gassed at a time in each of these facilities. The War Refugee Board Report (Washington, D.C.: November, 1944) states that 2,000 persons at a time were being gassed in the corpse cellar of each of these crematories (WRB I, p. 12), as does the commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höß, in his affidavit of April 5, 1946 (Nuremberg Doc. 3868-PS). A higher killing capacity of 3,000 is reported by eyewitness Miklos Nyiszli, a Jewish doctor who worked in the Birkenau camp. (Auschwitz: A Doctors Eyewitness Account, pp. 47-48) Numerous other eyewitnesses, both Jewish and non-Jewish, have testified that the capacity was indeed 3,000. Even Höß, who stated in his earlier affidavit (above) that 2,000 persons were gassed at a time, wrote in his report Die “Endlösung der Judenfrage” im KL Auschwitz that “the gas chambers can hold about 3,000 people ["Die Vergasungsräume faßten je 3000 Menschen"] …”, (Kommandant in Auschwitz: Autobiographische Aufzeichnungen von Rudolf Höß, p. 160) It is worth noting that putting 3,000 persons into the 209 square metres of these rooms (excluding the space taken up by support pillars) would result in each square metre being occupied by 14.35 persons. It is the present writer’s opinion that this capacity is exaggerated and impossible. Fitting 2,000 persons into this same area would result in each square metre being occupied by 9.5 persons, a possible but still improbable figure.

Further, Leuchter correctly stated that “reports of hollow gas-carrying columns are not true. All the columns are solid, reinforced concrete exactly as indicated in the captured German plans.”[591]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 15. Cf. Nyiszli, Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account, pp. 47-48: “In the centre of the rooms, at thirty yard intervals, columns rose from the concrete floor to the ceiling. They were not supporting columns, but square sheet-iron pipes, the sides of which contained numerous perforations, like a wire lattice.” Eugene Kogon, on p. 179 of his famous memoir Der SS-Staat (Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer Verlag, 1947) describes these flimsy gas-carrying columns as “ventilation pillars” (“Ventilatorenpfeilern”). Several historians of the Holocaust have carelessly accepted claims that there existed in the chambers of Kremas II and III these hollow sheet-metal columns, from which HCN was emitted (cf. Reitlinger, The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945 (London: Valentine Mitchell, 1953), p. 151). The roof of each alleged gas chamber at these facilities had an outer measurement of 30.19 metres x 8.54 metres and a thickness of 0.44 metres. Constructed of concrete and covered with landscaped soil, these roofs would have weighed several tonnes each, and would have required numerous steel girders and / or reinforced concrete columns to support each of them. (Dimensions from Huta Drawing 109/14a of September 21, 1943 reproduced in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 324. As Leuchter states, the original German blueprints show that there were no “square, sheet-iron pipes” in these rooms. Clearly depicted in the many known building plans are seven solid concrete support columns, measuring 0.4 metres x 0.4 metres, (cf. Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, pp. 285, 287, 293, 327. et al.).

Kremas IV and V (BW 30b and BW 30c). These buildings, also at Birkenau, were mirror-image installations consisting of crematories of two furnaces with four retorts each and several rooms utilized as mortuaries, offices and storage. It was in these rooms, positioned slightly differently in each facility, that tens of thousands of people are claimed to have been murdered by gassing with HCN. Leuchter immediately noted that the floor and foundations had never been sealed to render them impervious to gas impregnation.[592]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 15. The sealing of all walls, ceilings and floors in gas facilities is very important. The Germans were also aware of the great importance of properly sealing rooms or chambers in which gas was to be repeatedly used, as can [be] seen in the delousing facilities which still remain. These rooms are not only properly sealed with pitched tar, they also have ventilation fans and exhaust stacks. It is not unreasonable to assume that if the Germans took such precautions with their delousing chambers, they would also do so with homicidal gas chambers (cf. Leuchter, Were Six Million People Gassed?, Radio interview by Tom Valentine on Radio Free America, March 7, 1989). Aside from being able to take physical samples, Leuchter was unable to ascertain much about these buildings and their alleged usage as gas chambers due to the fact that they were razed in late 1944. Nevertheless, after examining both the ruins and the original German blueprints, Leuchter concluded that these facilities were never execution gas chambers. His computed statistics for the chambers in Kremas IV and V were as follows:

Krema IV: 1875 square feet; will hold only 209 people. The 15,000 cubic feet would require 3.75 pounds of Zyklon-B at 0.25 pounds per 1000 cubic feet.

Krema V: 5125 square feet; will hold only 570 people. The 41,000 cubic feet would require 10.25 pounds of Zyklon-B at 0.25 pounds per 1000 cubic feet The ventilation time for each building would be one week.[593]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 15.

Majdanek. It is stated that several gas chambers were operating at the Majdanek (Lublin) concentration camp, and that these chambers claimed the lives of a large number of people. There has been disagreement, however, over how many people actually died in this camp. Hilberg states that “tens of thousands” died in Majdanek, by both gassings and shootings[594]Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, p. 572., whilst Dawidowicz alleges that the death toll at Majdanek was 1,380,000 people, most of whom were Jews.[595]Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews, 1939-45, p. 149. Gerald Reitlinger is more circumspect, giving no clear figure but stating that Majdanek “was not a death factory on Auschwitz lines.”[596]Reitlinger, The Final Solution, p. 295.

At the Majdanek camp Leuchter examined a reconstructed crematory and gas chamber. The only portions of the building which existed prior to its reconstruction are the cremation ovens. The basic structure appeared to be built of wood, as are all the other buildings at Majdanek, with the exception of the experimental chambers (see below). Leuchter revealed, however, that this building is actually constructed “of reinforced concrete, totally inconsistent with the remaining portions of the camp.”[597]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 16. If this building was reconstructed according to the original specifications, Leuchter claimed, both the present building and the original building must be considered inoperable for the alleged purpose of gassing humans. There were no exhaust fans or stack, no air circulatory systems and no means of containing the gas and preventing it from exploding on contact with the ovens only metres away. This building, he concluded, was “nothing more than a crematory with several morgues.”[598]Ibid., p. 16.
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 16.)

The next building Leuchter examined at Majdanek was Bad u. Desinfektion I (Bath and Disinfection Building no. 1), which contained a shower area, a delousing and storage room and the alleged experimental gas chambers, which utilized HCN and/or CO (carbon monoxide). The delousing room had an area of 74.87 square metres, was constructed with stuccoed walls, and had two ungasketed roof vents. Whilst a poorly constructed air circulation system was present in this room, there were no exhaust fans or stacks. Opening the roof vents, Leuchter insisted, is the only way this room could have been aired, and this process would have taken “at least one week.”[599]Ibid., p. 16 As this room is not in the immediate vicinity of a crematory, airing the room via these roof vents, whilst a very slow and impractical process, is considerably safer than it would be if the room was in, or next to, a crematory, as is the case with the alleged gas chambers at Auschwitz and Birkenau. However, see footnotes 616, 617, 618 below.
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 16.)
The room was not sealed to prevent gas penetrating into the construction materials (two of the walls were simply wooden partitioning, which would be totally unsuitable for repeated exposure to heavy concentrations of gas) and the doors were not gasketed. In conclusion, Leuchter stated that “It would appear from [the] design that this was a delousing room or room for deloused materials … if this were utilized as a presumed execution chamber, it would hold 90 people, at most, and require 2.0 lbs of Zyklon B gas.”[600]Ibid., p. 16.
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 16.)

The alleged experimental gas chambers were situated in a brick building connected by a wooden structure to the main facility at Bath and Disinfection Building no. 1. There were two chambers, one of 44.59 square metres (chamber 1) and one of 19.41 square metres (chamber 2). There was also a control booth, which had two steel cylinder[s] with pipes running into each chamber. The control booth had an open window of 150mm x 250mm which, according to Leuchter, never had provision for glass or gasketing. This open ‘hole’ was barred vertically and horizontally with reinforcing rods and opened into chamber no. 2.[601]Ibid., p. 16.
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 16.)

Chamber no. 1 had piping running into it from the cylinders in the control booth. This piping was allegedly used to pump poisonous carbon monoxide gas into the chamber, and terminated in gas ports at two comers of the room. This chamber also had a heater/circulation system but had absolutely no provision for exhausting the poisonous gas, except via the main door. The walls were of stucco and the roof and floor are of poured concrete, none of which had been sealed. Leuchter believed that whilst this chamber is “operational for carbon monoxide, it is poorly vented and not operational for HCN.”[602]Ibid., p. 17.
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 16.)
Chamber no. 2, he argued, could not have been used to kill humans either by HCN or CO. The piping into this chamber from the control booth was never completed, there were no exhaust fans and stacks, no roof vents, and the walls, floors and ceilings were not sealed. Thus, “Chamber 2 is incomplete and probably never used.”[603]Ibid., p. 17.
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 16.)

Although he appears to contradict the above-mentioned arguments of Friedrich P. Berg (which are considerably more scholarly), Leuchter was also skeptical of the claim that these two chambers – or any such chambers – were constructed to murder large numbers of people with carbon monoxide:

CO is a relatively poor execution gas in that it takes much too long to effect death, perhaps as long as thirty minutes, and if poorly circulated, longer. In order to utilize CO, a quantity of 4,000 ppm [parts per million] would be required, making it necessary to pressurize the chamber at approximately 2.5 atmospheres with CO … The author would submit that in a chamber filled to capacity with persons occupying 9 square feet or less (the minimum area required to enable gas circulation around the occupants), the occupants would die of suffocation due to their own exhaustion of the available air, well before the additional gas would take effect. Thus, simply closing the executees in this confined space would obviate the need of either CO or CO2 from an external source.[604]Ibid., p. 11.
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 16.)

During Leuchter’s examination of the buildings at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, he paid special attention to the surfaces of walls, floors and ceilings. It was his opinion that because the water in Poland had (and still has) a high iron content, the concrete, brick and mortar used in the buildings’ construction would also be high in iron. Leuchter was well aware that when HCN conies into contact with the iron in these construction materials, it immediately forms a new compound, ferro-ferri-cyanide: a very stable iron-cyanide compound which is particularly difficult to destroy.[605]Ibid., p. 13. Dr James Roth, the laboratory manager for Alpha Analytical Laboratories (Ashlands, Massachusetts), testified on April 21, 1988 at the second Zündel trial. He stated that the iron-cyanide compound was extremely stable. To remove it from porous material like brick, one would have to sand-blast or grind down the surface, or remove the compound chemically with a strong acid such as sulphuric, nitric or hydrochloric acid. Cf. SZTR, 33-9290, 9297, 9298.
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 16.)
If such contact occurred, the new compound would appear as a vivid blue pigment on the surfaces of these materials. This pigment is commonly referred to as ‘Prussian blue’.

Leuchter first noticed the presence of ferro-ferri-cyanide at the Auschwitz delousing facilities, where HCN is known to have been used to kill lice. The inner surfaces of these small delousing chambers were stained blue, showing that HCN had indeed been used in these facilities. Ferro-ferri-cyanide staining, however, was not present in any of the alleged gas chambers at Auschwitz and Birkenau, indicating to Leuchter that these rooms were never subjected to repeated HCN gassings or delousings. This is consistent with the chemical analysis results of the forensic samples taken from these chambers, which only showed minute traces of cyanide. One must admit that the absence of ferro-ferri-cyanide staining appears, at least superficially, to support the view that no repeated mass gassings of humans occurred in these buildings.

At Majdanek, Leuchter discovered blue ferro-ferri-cyanide staining in what he calls the delousing room at Bath and Disinfection Building no. 1, and in experimental gas chamber no. 1 in the same facility.[606]Ibid., p. 16.
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 16.)
Whilst evidence of ferric-ferro-cyanide is to be expected in a delousing room, the presence of blue staining in the experimental gas chamber is unusual, especially as this room, according to Leuchter, was not a homicide gas chamber. The presence of the staining supports the received opinion that gas was used in this chamber to kill humans. The possibility does exist, nonetheless, that the blue ferro-ferri-cyanide staining resulted from the facilities being deloused on several occasions, or from HCN being used in experiment killing exercises.

Possibly the least persuasive portion of Leuchter’s report is his analysis of the crematories of the three camps examined, and their outputs. He may be competent in the rather narrow engineering field of gas chamber design and fabrication, and, as such, his conclusions regarding the alleged gas chambers at these camps should not be dismissed out of hand. Leuchter, however, is not an expert on human cremation, and has never designed, constructed or repaired crematories in his career as an engineer. Nonetheless, he provided a little evidence in support of his claims regarding cremation technology. This evidence took the form of modern crematory specifications, produced by Industrial Equipment and Engineering Co., of Orlando, Florida.[607]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, pp. 118-126. Leuchter, despite his lack of expertise in this area, presented a concise analysis of the development of crematory technology, and a comparison of modern crematory ovens with the ovens utilized in the three camps he examined. He pointed out that a modern crematory, of all-steel construction and lined with high-quality refractory ceramics, burns at a temperature of 2000°F or over and will cremate one corpse in 1.25 hours. Even in such crematories, he continued, high temperatures are not sustained for long periods and “Factory recommendations for normal operation and sustained use allows for three or less cremations per day.”[608]Ibid., pp. 12, 13.
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, pp. 118-126.)
The crematories utilized at the Nazi concentration camps, on the other hand, were of a cruder mode of operation (operating without afterburners at an average temperature of approximately 1400°F) and were constructed of brick and mortar and lined with a refractory brick. None of the retorts were designed for multiple corpse incineration, and, according to Leuchter, these crematories “usually took 3.5 to 4 hours for each corpse.”[609]Ibid., p. 13. This alleged cremation time clearly contradict Höß’s asinine assertion that the Auschwitz ovens cremated bodies, sometimes three to a retort, in twenty minutes (Die “Endlösung der Judenfrage” im KL Auschwitz, in Kommandant in Auschwitz, p. 167), a rate also claimed by Nyiszli (Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account, p. 51) and most historians of the Holocaust. Mr T. L. Jones, Director of the Cremation Society of Canterbury (First Floor, 192 Cashel Street, Christchurch, New Zealand), told the present writer, during an interview conducted on May 13, 1991, that it was “impossible” in the 1940s to cremate a corpse in twenty minutes. Jones, active in the cremation industry for over forty years, estimated that the time taken by the German crematories of the 1940s to incinerate a corpse, “of average size and weight” would have been “more than two hours, depending on the temperature”. Modern crematories, stated Jones, are very sophisticated and operate at higher temperatures than the coke- or coal-fired crematories of the 1940s. Nonetheless, a modern crematory still takes “an hour to an hour mid a quarter” to incinerate a corpse. Thus, Leuchter’s statement about crematories and cremation times do appear to be consistent with known and proven data on human cremation. Cf. also the testimony at the second Zündel trial of Ivan Lagacé, the crematory manager of the Bow Valley Crematorium in Calgary, Canada. It is essentially consistent with the claims of both Leuchter and Jones. (SZTR, 27-7383-7459).
(Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, pp. 118-126.)
Theoretically, this would mean a maximum of 6.8 corpses could be incinerated in each retort in a single day (twenty four hours), excluding cleaning and maintenance time.[610]At this rate the crematory of fifteen retorts in each of Kremas II and III would incinerate 102 corpses per day. Leuchter points out, however, that in “real-time” – a rate of three corpses per retort per day – these crematories would only incinerate 45 corpses per day. This is clearly at variance with the accepted but implausible view that these crematories could each incinerate around 2,000 corpses per day, as claimed by many historians, and by Rudolf Höß in his report, Die “Endlösung der Judenfrage” im KL Auschwitz, (Kommandant in Auschwitz, p. 167).

Finely, almost all of Leuchter’s investigation of the crematories and alleged gas chambers was recorded in still photographs and on videotape by a cinematographer, Jürgen Neumann. A careful examination of this video recording reveals that Leuchter’s sample taking followed, with some careless exceptions, a basic pattern;

1. The physical extraction of samples by hammer and chisel. 2. The individual sealing of all samples in plastic bags. 3. The identification of the bag’s contents. 4. The numbering of the sealed sample bags. 5. The measurement and recording of exactly where in the facilities each sample was extracted from.

Thus, to summarize Leuchter’s conclusions, the laboratory analysis of forensic samples showed that delousing facility no. 1 at Birkenau was repeatedly exposed to HCN, whereas the very minute traces of cyanide detected in samples taken from the alleged gas chambers suggest that these rooms were not repeatedly exposed to HCN. The presence of ferro-ferri-cyanide stoning on the inside and outside of the delousing facilities, and the total absence of this staining in the chambers – with the conspicuous exception of one chamber at Majdanek – appear to support the evidence provided by the laboratory analysis of physical samples. The construction of the chambers further showed Leuchter that they were never used as genocide gas chambers. None of these rooms had adequate means of raising the internal temperature to the required level, or of exhausting the poisonous gas/air mixture, except, in some cases, through small roof vents. Ventilation through these vents would have taken a minimum of two days and may, depending on the temperature, have taken up to one week. Although five of the chambers were housed in crematory buildings, they were not provided with adequately-sealed doors,[611]As pointed out in footnote 589, there was a gas-tight door on the corpse cellar of Krema II, and probably one on that of Krema III. This, of course, is not proof in itself that the corpse cellars functioned as homicidal gas chambers. Gas-tight doors were, and are still, standard equipment in air raid shelters. In 1939 orders were given throughout Germany that all hospitals, office buildings, military centres and other such buildings should have their basements equipped as air raid shelters. In an air raid, the door to a shelter should protect those inside from penetration of poisonous gases (from burst pipes, etc.) and from the suction of oxygen out of the shelter – a common effect of exploding bombs (particularly incendiary bombs). Thus, gas-tight doors were fitted on thousands of basements and cellars which doubled as air raid shelters. Contemporary German manuals on the construction of air raid shelters clearly show that gastight doors with peep-holes were recommended for such bomb shelters (cf. R. Scholle, Schutzraumabschlüsse (Berlin: Verlag von Wilhelm Ernst und Sohn, 1939) and Luftschutz durch Bauen (Berlin: Bauweltverlag, 1939). It is quite conceivable that all or part of Leichenkeller II – at semi-basement level and with a very solid, reinforced concrete roof – doubled as an air raid shelter. vents or – in the case of Majdanek – windows, to prevent gas exploding on contact with the ovens. None of the chambers had sealed surfaces to prevent dangerous gas impregnation and build-up, and none had explosion-proof lighting and wiring. At Auschwitz, a large floor drain would have allowed gas to enter other facilities. Further, even if these rooms were execution gas chambers, the numbers killed in them could only be a small fraction of the numbers allegedly killed in them. Finally, the crematories could not possibly have burnt bodies at anything close to the speed claimed for them, and certainly not for prolonged periods. Leuchter’s examination of the crematories and chambers, and the removal of physical samples from them, was documented on video tape and in still photographs.

The scope of Leuchter’s report was intentionally [to] report, focusing only on the chambers and crematories at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek. No attempt was made by Leuchter to challenge the view that many hundreds of thousands of Jews, Poles, Russians, Gypsies and others suffered terribly in these camps, a fact upon which almost all Revisionists agree. Further, no attempt was made to deny that Jews suffered persecution in all areas under German control. Leuchter made no mention of brutality and beatings, of forced labour, of cruel medical experiments or of death at the hands of the Einsatzgruppen. His only claim (although one with obvious implications) was that, whatever else happened to Jews during the Second World War, they were not gassed at Auschwitz, Birkenau or Majdanek.

Leuchter’s report is probably the most damaging volley ever fired at accepted opinion on the Holocaust. It has, through its concise elucidation of the mechanics of gassing, highlighted numerous inaccuracies contained within certain textbooks on the subject. The report has also exposed many lapses, errors, fabrications and distortions within the accounts of Rudolf Höß, Miklos Nyiszli and several other attestants to mass gassings. A number of these flaws are major, and seriously diminish the sources’ overall reliability and credibility. The incautious use of these accounts by historians who have failed to apply to them the methodological principles used to analyse other types of evidence has also become manifest.

Be that as it may, several of Leuchter’s assertions and arguments appear to the present writer to be insufficiently supported by evidence. First, even if the morgue in Krema I was a homicidal gas chamber in which HCN was repeatedly utilized, it is to be expected that only low concentrations of cyanide would be found in samples taken from within this chamber, as it was converted to an air raid shelter in July/August, 1943.[612]The original German blueprint for the morgue’s conversion to an air raid shelter (Bauleitung Drawing 4287 (a), Ausbau des alten Krematoriums. Luftschutzbunker für SS Revier mit einem Operationsraum (Conversion of the old crematorium. Air raid shelter for the SS hospital with an ‘operating theatre’) is reproduced in Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique, p. 156. Accepted historical opinion is that Krema I was only used as a homicidal gas chamber in 1941 and 1942[613]As confirmed in the letter to the present writer from Krystyna Oleksa of the Pantswowe Muzeum Oswiecim Brzezinka (Auschwitz State Museum), dated May 7, 1991: “Wokresie 1941-1942 funkcjonowala rowniez przy przy krematorium komora gazowa” (“During the period of 1941 to 1942 it [Krema 1] also functioned as a gas chamber.”). and that it was never used to gas more than tens of thousands of humans, compared to the 750,000 allegedly gassed in Kremas II and III at Birkenau.

Second, Leuchter’s figures for how many persons could be gassed at a time in each facility are based on his assertion that for enough gas to circulate around each person to be fatal, an area of nine square feet (0.83 m2) per person is necessary. This may indeed be the ideal theoretical person/area ratio, yet Leuchter had no way of confirming that mass deaths could not be achieved in a gas chamber with a ratio of, for example, six – or even five – square feet (0.55 m2 or 0.46 m2) per person.[614][words missing] for each person would be required, which is highly improbable. This is one of Leuchter’s weakest arguments, and appears to be unsustainable.

Third, it is entirely possible that the internal temperature of the rooms could have been raised in summer to the required 25.7°C by the body heat of the people contained within. Various sources actually attest to this occurring. The War Refugee Board Report of 1944, by way of illustration, claims that after the gas chambers at Birkenau had been filled, but before the gas was introduced, there was “a short pause, presumably to allow the room temperature to rise to a certain level”. This process may even have been aided by heat generated by the cremations ovens and transferred through the walls. That notwithstanding, one must agree that it is extremely unlikely – if not impossible – that these sources of heat would have been sufficient by themselves to raise the internal temperature to the required level in winter (when gassings are said to have still been routinely conducted), when temperatures often plummeted to -20° or -30°C.[615]Cf. Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, p. 625. See WRB, I, p. 12.

Finally, Leuchter’s assertion that any gas reaching the ovens would cause a major explosion is clearly not supported by the chemical data sheets supplied by him as appendices in his report.[616]Cf. Hydrogen Cyanide Storage and Handling (safety data booklet, published by Du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc., Wilmington, Delaware, Ed.), which appears as Appendix XI in Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, pp. 51-69. The flammability limits of HCN in air are from 6% to 41% of volume.[617]Du Pont, Hydrogen Cyanide Storage and Handling, p. 2 (Leuchter, p. 54). This means that HCN will explode on contact with a spark of flame if the HCN concentration in the air totals more than 72 g/m3 (grams per cubic meter) and less than 492 g/m3.[618]in Zyklon for Pest Control (published by DEGESCH, Frankfurt, n.d.), which appears as Appendix XII in Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, pp. 71-96. Document NI-9912 informs us that, during the Second World War, the Germans used HCN in a concentration of 8-10 g/m3 for fumigation purposes.[619]Document NI-9912 appears as Appendix III in Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, pp. 21-24. This concentration of 8-10 g/m3 is clearly well under the 72 g/m3 lower flammability level. Even if human executions were carried out with an HCN concentration three, four, or even five times greater than that utilized for fumigation,[620]d takes several hours. See Du Pont, Hydrogen Cyanide Storage and Handling, p. 5 (Leuchter, p. 57) and Document NI-9912. there was absolutely no danger of an explosion occurring. Leuchter, supposedly an expert on gas chamber technology, should not have made such an obvious error.

The present writer concedes that his knowledge of chemistry, toxicology and engineering is limited, preventing him from attempting a proper scientific critique of Leuchter’s technical report. His criticisms of the report, if valid, diminish the force of Leuchter’s arguments but fail to negate his principal conclusion that there were no homicidal gas chambers at the inspected sites in Poland. Leuchter’s arguments, which in general appear to be argued thoughtfully and dispassionately, would need to be refuted by a suitably-qualified engineer or chemist. Leuchter has himself, to his credit, called for an international team of structural engineers, chemical engineers and toxicologists to travel to Poland to conduct a thorough investigation of the alleged gas chambers and to issue a scientific report on their findings.[621]Cf. F. A. Leuchter, The Making of the Leuchter Report, Speech given at the Ninth International Revisionist Conference, Los Angeles, February 20, 1989 (IHR Audio-tape A087); F. A. Leuchter, “Did Six Million Really Die?”, IHR Newsletter 75, October 1990, p. 3. He believes their findings would be consistent with his own, which he realizes is only the first word on the matter. To date, no such international commission or team of scholars has attempted a refutation of Leuchter’s report, although an inconclusive analysis of the gas chambers at Auschwitz was conducted in 1990 by the toxicological department of the Instytut Ekspertyz Sadowych (Medico-Legal Institute) in Krakow.[622]See below, pp. 32, 33.

On April 20 and 21, 1988, Leuchter appeared in the Toronto District Court as a science witness in the second trial of Ernst Zündel. Leuchter had prepared his lengthy report for use at[222]Ibid., p. 168.
(Butz, The Hoax, p. 25.)
this trial and had intended it to be entered into evidence as an exhibit. The Counsel for the Crown opposed the acceptance of his report as evidence, disputing his engineering expertise. He argued that Leuchter had absolutely no experience in crematory design or maintenance. Leuchter was not a chemist or toxicologist he continued, and was only qualified, if at all, to discuss his taking of samples. The following section from the actual trial transcript, dealing with Leuchter’s credentials, is revealing:

Q. “What formal education do you have in physics?” A. “I’ve had physics on the college [university] level.” Q. “All right. Do you consider yourself a physicist?” A. “I do not.”

Leuchter admitted that he had no formal education in toxicology:

Q. “Have you done any university level work in toxicology?” A. “No, I have not.” Q. “Do you consider yourself a toxicologist?” A. “I do not.”[623]SZTR, 32-8962.

Nonetheless, Leuchter declared that, despite his university degree being a Bachelor of Arts, he had studied both physics and chemistry at university, and had also studied there “the standard algebra courses, geometry, trig and standard mathematics courses.”[624]Ibid., 32-8962.
(SZTR, 32-8962.)
He also refuted the suggestion that he was not qualified to write engineering reports:

Q. “Are you a professional engineer?” A. “I am. I have been functioning as such for the last twenty-four years.”[625]Ibid., 32-8972.
(SZTR, 32-8962.)

Leuchter asserted that his university education, which included mathematics, physics and chemistry, and (more importantly) his decades of experience in the field of engineering, qualified him as an engineer:

“I have a Bachelor of Arts degree and I have the required background training, both on the college level and in the field, to perform my function as an engineer.” Q. “Who determines that? You?” A. The State of Massachusetts and the United States Governors made that determination when they issued me my medical license.”[626]The medical licenses to which Leuchter referred were issued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Both were Research Licenses, the highest and broadest issued, allowing possession of all known substances, scheduled and unscheduled. After his testimony in Canada on behalf of Zündel, the medical licenses were not renewed by the issuing bodies, (details from Leuchter’s letter to the present writer, July 24, 1992; also SZTR, 32-9056, 9057, 9058).

Judge Thomas ruled that Leuchter’s report would not be entered into evidence, but that he could testify as a witness “within the narrow [engineering] area that he’s qualified to comment upon.”[627]SZTR, 32-9030. Judge Thomas did have the report filed as a lettered exhibit. Numbered exhibits may be examined by a jury. Lettered exhibits may not, but are created so that appeal court judges will comprehend what a given witness was referring to, and thus be in a position to agree or disagree on its admissibility. Regarding this decision, an angry Leuchter later stated:

The unfortunate part of it is that the Court did not properly handle the District Attorney [Leuchter meant Crown Prosecutor, John Pearson] and the manner in which he did the questioning. The report itself was not admitted into the evidence but all of the material in the report was gotten into the evidence by virtue of the fact that I had to testify. The unfortunate part of it was the District Attorney was given a copy of my report several days before I was to testify. He examined the report. He made a list of questions and then he asked the judge not to allow the report. Now, the judge denied the report going in as an exhibit but, again, did allow me to testify. But the problem is that he allowed the District Attorney to question me from the report, which was totally unfair from Mr Zündel’s standpoint, because what was happening here is that he wasn’t allowed to get the full weight of the report in, in terms of the document, but he allowed the opposition to question him [sic] from that same platform.[628]Leuchter, “Were Six Million People Gassed?”.

Leuchter testified at length and in considerable detail about his trip to Poland and his investigation of the facilities in Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek. His manner was open and sincere, his language precise and scientific: Nonetheless, he was vigorously cross-examined on almost every major point he made and, on several occasions, he conceded that there could be alternative views which were equally valid. For example:

Q. “So this stuff you told us about people on the roof who dropped the gas down and how they would be committing suicide, it would take a matter of minutes before the gas got to them, wouldn’t it?” A. Unquestionably.” Q. “So, if they closed the vent and got off the roof, there would be nothing to concern them, would there?” A. “If they got off the roof. But at some point they have to do an inspection to determine whether the parties are deceased.” Q. ‘They send in the Sonderkornrnandos to do that, sir, and they don’t care what happens to them.” A. “Right, alright.” Q. “So, if someone’s on the roof with a gas mask, you agree that they’ve got all kinds of time to get off the roof after they’ve closed the vent?” A. “Perhaps”[629]SZTR, 32-9254.

Also present at the trial was a British historian, David Irving, who testified as an expert witness for the defence, Irving had previously adhered to the view that the Nazis did attempt the extermination of all European Jews.[630]Cf. D. Irving, Hitler’s War (1988 Papermac edition. First published 1977), pp. 391-2, 632, 660, 718, 761 et al. Irving’s opinion was that Hitler did not order or (prior to mid-1943) have knowledge of the exterminations, which were initiated principally by Himmler and his staff. Yet on April 22, 1988 he conceded that Leuchter’s report was a convincing document which had done much, in the previous few days, to reshape his views on the Holocaust. Additionally, Irving claimed that as an historian he was “embarrassed” that he had never thought of submitting the chambers to a rigorous scientific examination.[631]See below, p. 289.

Leuchter’s testimony at Zündel’s trial was hailed as a major success by Revisionists.[632]Probably the best survey of Leuchter’s testimony (and that of Faurisson, Irving et al.) at the trial, albeit from a slightly proRevisionist perspective, is Robert Lenski’s The Holocaust on Trial: The Case of Ernst Zündel, pp. 353-398. The book was printed in Argentina, but published in the United States by Reporter Press, which operates from the same post box (Box 726, Decatur, Alabama 35602, U.S.A.) as Revisionist and Historical Video Tapes, Audio Tapes and Books, headed by David Clark. Interestingly, Clark also owns the sole United States publishing license for “The Leuchter Report”. Robert Faurisson wrote, in his foreword to “The Leuchter Report”:

In the courtroom, the atmosphere was one of extreme tension. I was sitting beside a number of Revisionist experts, including Dr William Lindsey, chief research chemist for Dupont Corporation before his retirement in 1985. Everyone in the courtroom, regardless of their own personal viewpoints on the topic under examination, were [sic] acutely aware, I think, of participating in a historical event. The myth of the gas chambers was ending.[633]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 4.

Zündel was found guilty as charged on May 11, 1988, and sentenced to nine months imprisonment. He later lost his second appeal and is presently [July 1991] awaiting the decision of the Canadian Supreme Court. Leuchter’s testimony received very little media attention, but his report, published by Samisdat Publishers, Zündel’s publishing company, became a Revisionist ‘best seller’. According to the proud publisher:

In quick succession it was translated and appeared in German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Dutch! Underground editions appeared in Polish and Russian, with wide circulation in Soviet-occupied countries. It was later found to have appeared in Swedish and in excerpted form in Japanese.[634]E. Zündel, Power Special Report, December 30, 1990, p. 2.

To date, the most substantial attempt at specifically refuting the “The Leuchter Report” is a book published in 1990 by two anti-Nazi organizations, Holocaust Survivors and Friends in pursuit of Justice, based in Albany, New York, and The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, based in Paris.[635]S. Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails. Demolishing Holocaust Denial: the end of “The Leuchter Report” (New York: Beate Klarsfeld Foundation and Holocaust Survivors and Friends in Pursuit of Justice, 1990). Leuchter and his report also feature prominently in numerous anti-Revisionist publications. Perhaps most notable is the very informative but partisan Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit: NS-Verbrechen und “revisionistische” Geschichtsschreibung (especially pp. 42-70). Because it contains arguments almost identical to Pressac’s, a separate discussion of this book is unnecessary. The latter is cochaired by Mrs. Beate Klarsfeld, the famed Nazi-hunter who made headlines in 1968 by slapping Kurt Georg Kiesinger, the West German Chancellor, in the face to draw attention to his alleged Nazi past. Both organizations have maintained a fiercely anti-Revisionist position since their formation in the late 1970s.

The book published by these organizations to refute “The Leuchter Report”, entitled Truth Prevails. Demolishing Holocaust Denial: the end of “The Leuchter Report”, is a particularly subjective attack on Revisionism, Leuchter’s report and, in particular, Leuchter himself. In many places the language used is surprisingly hostile. It is also glaringly out of place in a publication designed to expose an opponent’s alleged bias. Jean-Claude Pressac’s immoderate concluding remarks on Leuchter’s report, by way of illustration, include the following lines: “The pitiful ‘Leuchter Report’ was thrown together by pretentious incompetents desiring to impose their results, which are, for the most part, doubtful and without significance.” Because it was “based on fake knowledge, including fake reasoning … leading to false interpretations”, the Leuchter report “lands in the cesspool of pretentious human folly.”[636]Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, pp. 55, 73.

Truth Prevails comprises several articles, each written by a different author. The first article, written by Shelly Shapiro, director of Holocaust Survivors and Friends in Pursuit of Justice, argues that Leuchter was not qualified to write engineering reports because he was not actually an engineer. Shapiro pointed out that Leuchter obtained “a Bachelor of Arts in history from Boston university which offered three engineering degrees at the time. He has no formal engineering education. He claims to be self taught.”[637]Ibid., p. 14.
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, pp. 55, 73.)
She also insisted that Leuchter had less experience with gas chamber technology than he implied in the introduction to his lengthy report. To support her claims, she quoted letters written by the wardens of several penitentiaries, which state that Leuchter has not worked on, or been consulted on, their gas chambers. Lastly, she asserted that as Leuchter is not registered with the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Engineers his engineering expertise is only “counterfeit expertise”.[638]Ibid., p. 15.
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, pp. 55, 73.)

Shapiro was correct in noting that Leuchter is not an engineering graduate. Despite studying physics, mathematics and chemistry at Boston University, Leuchter graduated with an Arts degree.[639]See below, p. 222. She may even have been correct about the degree of experience Leuchter had with gas chamber technology. Her statements that Leuchter’s name did not appear on the required register is also accurate. However, she failed to take into consideration the fact that, up until the time he wrote his report on Auschwitz, he had worked as an engineer, and successfully so, for twenty-four years. Leuchter’s scientific background coupled with these decades of ‘hands on’ engineering experience more than compensate for the lack of a formal engineering qualification. That Leuchter is a competent engineer is evident from the design patents he holds and the work he has done. Further, that he was not listed on the required register is disturbing, but is no basis to dismiss Leuchter as a “counterfeit” engineer, as Shapiro did. What she omitted to mention is that only around ten percent of all Massachusetts engineers are registered with the Board of Registration.[640]See below, p. 254. Thus, approximately ninety percent of the engineers in Massachusetts must be classified as “counterfeit”, if we are to accept Shapiro’s reasoning. Shapiro’s attempt to discredit Leuchter and prove that he is not an engineer was based on weak arguments, and fails to persuade.

The central section of Truth Prevails comprises two articles by Jean-Claude Pressac, a French pharmacist and student of the Holocaust. His two articles, “The Deficiencies and Inconsistencies of ‘The Leuchter Report’” and “Additional Notes. Leuchter’s Videotape: A Witness to Fraud”, are introduced by Serge Klarsfeld, co chair of the Beate Klarsfeld Foundation. Klarsfeld wrote that Pressac had become “one of the world’s rare research specialists in gas chamber extermination technique” and that Pressac’s articles are “A Scientific Approach to Discredit the “Revisionist” Denial of the Gas Chambers.”[641]Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 29.

Here one finds a double standard. Both Shapiro and the Klarsfelds discredited the assertions of Leuchter regarding the alleged gas chambers because, they wrote, he was not qualified to make them. They accused him of being a “counterfeit engineer” and a “fraud”, on the basis that he did not have a formal engineering qualification nor a university degree in physics, chemistry or toxicology. However, the “specialist” they chose to refute Leuchter’s scientific and engineering claims, using “scientific” methods, was even less qualified than Leuchter in the relevant scientific and engineering fields. Pressac has a diploma in pharmacology, the branch of medicine which deals with the interaction of drugs with the systems and processes of the body. His studies included elementary chemistry and toxicology. Nonetheless, he is not a chemist or toxicologist, nor has he studied physics or engineering or had practical experience in these fields.[642]Despite his lack of credentials, Pressac was not new to the study of the gas chambers. He is, as noted above, the author of Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, a 564-page book containing commentary, original German blueprints (most not previously published), architectural drawings and photographs. The book was well-received by historians of the Holocaust and literary critics, although it has attracted little attention since. The New York Times (December 18, 1989) praised the book in a lengthy article, “New Book is Said to Refute Revisionist View of Holocaust”, by Richard Bernstein, who made much of the fact that Pressac had previously been a Revisionist. A similar claim, that he had “very nearly become a ‘revisionist’”, was made by Serge Klarsfeld (Truth Prevails, p. 29). However, both Robert Faurisson and Pierre Guillaume, who had worked closely with Pressac around 1980, deny that he was ever committed to Revisionism (cf. IHR Newsletter, Number 71, February 1990). Mark Weber wrote a short review of Pressac’s book in the Summer 1990 issue of The Journal of Historical Review, and a persuasive article on one aspect of the book appeared two issues later (C. Mattogno, “Jean Claude Pressac and the War Refugee Board Report”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Four, Winter 1990-91, pp. 461-485). To date, however, the most substantial Revisionist refutation of Pressac’s claims is “Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers ou Bricolage et «gazouillages» à Auschwitz et à Birkenau selon J. C. Pressac”, by Robert Faurisson (Revue d’Histoire Révisionniste, No 3, novembre-décembre 1990, janvier 1991, pp. 65-149).

In his first article, Pressac’s tone is sardonic and unscholarly. Pointing out several errors in Leuchter’s report, he wrote:

These ultimate errors, weighted with the others, definitively land “The Leuchter Report” in the cesspool of pretentious human folly. The real butt of this joke of a report is Zundel [sic], who is in debt up to his neck thanks to the “Polish Campaign” and who was doubly duped – by Leuchter who cashed in on botched, shoddy “expertise”, and by Faurisson who shamelessly exploits the dubious results.[643]Ibid., p. 48.
(Despite his lack of credentials, Pressac was not new to the study of the gas chambers. He is, as noted above, the author of Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, a 564-page book containing commentary, original German blueprints (most not previously published), architectural drawings and photographs. The book was well-received by historians of the Holocaust and literary critics, although it has attracted little attention since. The New York Times (December 18, 1989) praised the book in a lengthy article, “New Book is Said to Refute Revisionist View of Holocaust”, by Richard Bernstein, who made much of the fact that Pressac had previously been a Revisionist. A similar claim, that he had “very nearly become a ‘revisionist’”, was made by Serge Klarsfeld (Truth Prevails, p. 29). However, both Robert Faurisson and Pierre Guillaume, who had worked closely with Pressac around 1980, deny that he was ever committed to Revisionism (cf. IHR Newsletter, Number 71, February 1990). Mark Weber wrote a short review of Pressac’s book in the Summer 1990 issue of The Journal of Historical Review, and a persuasive article on one aspect of the book appeared two issues later (C. Mattogno, “Jean Claude Pressac and the War Refugee Board Report”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Four, Winter 1990-91, pp. 461-485). To date, however, the most substantial Revisionist refutation of Pressac’s claims is “Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers ou Bricolage et «gazouillages» à Auschwitz et à Birkenau selon J. C. Pressac”, by Robert Faurisson (Revue d’Histoire Révisionniste, No 3, novembre-décembre 1990, janvier 1991, pp. 65-149).)

He accused Robert Faurisson of maneuvering Leuchter into falsifying evidence:

Faurisson’s intellectual dishonesty and historical deficiencies are manifest in his “writings”. It was foreseeable that Leuchter’s report, manipulated by Faurisson, would be subject to these same defects. Indeed, this proved to be the case.[644]Ibid., p. 36, Note: Faurisson did not accompany Leuchter to Poland.
(Despite his lack of credentials, Pressac was not new to the study of the gas chambers. He is, as noted above, the author of Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, a 564-page book containing commentary, original German blueprints (most not previously published), architectural drawings and photographs. The book was well-received by historians of the Holocaust and literary critics, although it has attracted little attention since. The New York Times (December 18, 1989) praised the book in a lengthy article, “New Book is Said to Refute Revisionist View of Holocaust”, by Richard Bernstein, who made much of the fact that Pressac had previously been a Revisionist. A similar claim, that he had “very nearly become a ‘revisionist’”, was made by Serge Klarsfeld (Truth Prevails, p. 29). However, both Robert Faurisson and Pierre Guillaume, who had worked closely with Pressac around 1980, deny that he was ever committed to Revisionism (cf. IHR Newsletter, Number 71, February 1990). Mark Weber wrote a short review of Pressac’s book in the Summer 1990 issue of The Journal of Historical Review, and a persuasive article on one aspect of the book appeared two issues later (C. Mattogno, “Jean Claude Pressac and the War Refugee Board Report”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Four, Winter 1990-91, pp. 461-485). To date, however, the most substantial Revisionist refutation of Pressac’s claims is “Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers ou Bricolage et «gazouillages» à Auschwitz et à Birkenau selon J. C. Pressac”, by Robert Faurisson (Revue d’Histoire Révisionniste, No 3, novembre-décembre 1990, janvier 1991, pp. 65-149).)

Additionally, in Pressac’s view Leuchter was not just a puppet of Faurisson; he was also a greedy one:

Let judgement be made. If Leuchter accepted this “perilous” mission behind the “iron curtain”, his motivation was not to generously defend Faurisson’s deleterious “truth”, but to collect the steep fee he asked of Zündel and which the latter paid him.[645]Ibid., p. 32.
(Despite his lack of credentials, Pressac was not new to the study of the gas chambers. He is, as noted above, the author of Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, a 564-page book containing commentary, original German blueprints (most not previously published), architectural drawings and photographs. The book was well-received by historians of the Holocaust and literary critics, although it has attracted little attention since. The New York Times (December 18, 1989) praised the book in a lengthy article, “New Book is Said to Refute Revisionist View of Holocaust”, by Richard Bernstein, who made much of the fact that Pressac had previously been a Revisionist. A similar claim, that he had “very nearly become a ‘revisionist’”, was made by Serge Klarsfeld (Truth Prevails, p. 29). However, both Robert Faurisson and Pierre Guillaume, who had worked closely with Pressac around 1980, deny that he was ever committed to Revisionism (cf. IHR Newsletter, Number 71, February 1990). Mark Weber wrote a short review of Pressac’s book in the Summer 1990 issue of The Journal of Historical Review, and a persuasive article on one aspect of the book appeared two issues later (C. Mattogno, “Jean Claude Pressac and the War Refugee Board Report”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Four, Winter 1990-91, pp. 461-485). To date, however, the most substantial Revisionist refutation of Pressac’s claims is “Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers ou Bricolage et «gazouillages» à Auschwitz et à Birkenau selon J. C. Pressac”, by Robert Faurisson (Revue d’Histoire Révisionniste, No 3, novembre-décembre 1990, janvier 1991, pp. 65-149).)

Despite his impassioned and incautious style of writing, which clearly reveals his partisanship, Pressac did attempt to refute several of Leuchter’s arguments. Perhaps because of his pharmacological training, which has given him a better working knowledge of chemistry and toxicology than Leuchter, he was able to detect several distortions, inaccuracies and errors of judgement in the latter’s report. A close reading of Pressac’s two articles reveals, however, that he also made a number of miscalculations and misinterpretations. He even appears to have occasionally let his preconceptions about the gas chambers lead him to an improper consideration of the evidence.

Due to HCN’s flammability levels in air, Pressac correctly noted, there would have been almost no chance of the relatively low concentration allegedly used in the gas chambers causing an explosion, as Leuchter claimed there would have been. Even if HCN had leaked from the gas chambers to the crematory ovens, the concentration would have been so low that there was no danger of explosion.[646]Ibid., p. 45. Pressac’s analysis of the flammability dangers of the alleged gas chambers is almost identical to the analysis of the present writer (above, p. 220), except that Pressac used HCN flammability limits in air of 5.6% to 40%, whereas the present writer used the Du Pont figures of 6% to 41% in his calculations. Although Pressac acknowledged that his figure differed slightly from the Du Pont figures, he did not explain why he chose to deviate.
(Despite his lack of credentials, Pressac was not new to the study of the gas chambers. He is, as noted above, the author of Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, a 564-page book containing commentary, original German blueprints (most not previously published), architectural drawings and photographs. The book was well-received by historians of the Holocaust and literary critics, although it has attracted little attention since. The New York Times (December 18, 1989) praised the book in a lengthy article, “New Book is Said to Refute Revisionist View of Holocaust”, by Richard Bernstein, who made much of the fact that Pressac had previously been a Revisionist. A similar claim, that he had “very nearly become a ‘revisionist’”, was made by Serge Klarsfeld (Truth Prevails, p. 29). However, both Robert Faurisson and Pierre Guillaume, who had worked closely with Pressac around 1980, deny that he was ever committed to Revisionism (cf. IHR Newsletter, Number 71, February 1990). Mark Weber wrote a short review of Pressac’s book in the Summer 1990 issue of The Journal of Historical Review, and a persuasive article on one aspect of the book appeared two issues later (C. Mattogno, “Jean Claude Pressac and the War Refugee Board Report”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Four, Winter 1990-91, pp. 461-485). To date, however, the most substantial Revisionist refutation of Pressac’s claims is “Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers ou Bricolage et «gazouillages» à Auschwitz et à Birkenau selon J. C. Pressac”, by Robert Faurisson (Revue d’Histoire Révisionniste, No 3, novembre-décembre 1990, janvier 1991, pp. 65-149).)

Pressac also challenged Leuchter’s assertion that the samples taken from within the alleged gas chambers should have contained, equal, if not higher, concentrations of cyanide residue than that detected in the sample taken from the delousing chamber. Lice, he noted, require an HCN concentration “of 5 g/m3 for a period of at least two hours. Maintaining that concentration of 5 g/m3 for six hours will kill all insects.”[647]Ibid., p. 36.
(Despite his lack of credentials, Pressac was not new to the study of the gas chambers. He is, as noted above, the author of Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, a 564-page book containing commentary, original German blueprints (most not previously published), architectural drawings and photographs. The book was well-received by historians of the Holocaust and literary critics, although it has attracted little attention since. The New York Times (December 18, 1989) praised the book in a lengthy article, “New Book is Said to Refute Revisionist View of Holocaust”, by Richard Bernstein, who made much of the fact that Pressac had previously been a Revisionist. A similar claim, that he had “very nearly become a ‘revisionist’”, was made by Serge Klarsfeld (Truth Prevails, p. 29). However, both Robert Faurisson and Pierre Guillaume, who had worked closely with Pressac around 1980, deny that he was ever committed to Revisionism (cf. IHR Newsletter, Number 71, February 1990). Mark Weber wrote a short review of Pressac’s book in the Summer 1990 issue of The Journal of Historical Review, and a persuasive article on one aspect of the book appeared two issues later (C. Mattogno, “Jean Claude Pressac and the War Refugee Board Report”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Four, Winter 1990-91, pp. 461-485). To date, however, the most substantial Revisionist refutation of Pressac’s claims is “Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers ou Bricolage et «gazouillages» à Auschwitz et à Birkenau selon J. C. Pressac”, by Robert Faurisson (Revue d’Histoire Révisionniste, No 3, novembre-décembre 1990, janvier 1991, pp. 65-149).)
To kill humans, an HCN concentration of only 0.30 g/m3 is necessary and will effect death within five minutes, yet Pressac stated that:

The dose used at Birkenau [to murder humans] was lethal 40-70 times over (12-20 g/m3), which infallibly killed a thousand persons in less than 5 minutes … The HCN was in physical contact with the gas chamber walls for no more than ten minutes a day.[648]Ibid., pp. 36, 37. Italics in original.
(Despite his lack of credentials, Pressac was not new to the study of the gas chambers. He is, as noted above, the author of Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, a 564-page book containing commentary, original German blueprints (most not previously published), architectural drawings and photographs. The book was well-received by historians of the Holocaust and literary critics, although it has attracted little attention since. The New York Times (December 18, 1989) praised the book in a lengthy article, “New Book is Said to Refute Revisionist View of Holocaust”, by Richard Bernstein, who made much of the fact that Pressac had previously been a Revisionist. A similar claim, that he had “very nearly become a ‘revisionist’”, was made by Serge Klarsfeld (Truth Prevails, p. 29). However, both Robert Faurisson and Pierre Guillaume, who had worked closely with Pressac around 1980, deny that he was ever committed to Revisionism (cf. IHR Newsletter, Number 71, February 1990). Mark Weber wrote a short review of Pressac’s book in the Summer 1990 issue of The Journal of Historical Review, and a persuasive article on one aspect of the book appeared two issues later (C. Mattogno, “Jean Claude Pressac and the War Refugee Board Report”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Four, Winter 1990-91, pp. 461-485). To date, however, the most substantial Revisionist refutation of Pressac’s claims is “Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers ou Bricolage et «gazouillages» à Auschwitz et à Birkenau selon J. C. Pressac”, by Robert Faurisson (Revue d’Histoire Révisionniste, No 3, novembre-décembre 1990, janvier 1991, pp. 65-149).)

Therefore, the interior surfaces of the homicidal gas chambers would have been exposed to HCN for only ten minutes per day, compared to the constantly-used delousing chambers, which were exposed to the gas for “12 to 18 hours a day”.[649]Ibid., p. 37.
(Despite his lack of credentials, Pressac was not new to the study of the gas chambers. He is, as noted above, the author of Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, a 564-page book containing commentary, original German blueprints (most not previously published), architectural drawings and photographs. The book was well-received by historians of the Holocaust and literary critics, although it has attracted little attention since. The New York Times (December 18, 1989) praised the book in a lengthy article, “New Book is Said to Refute Revisionist View of Holocaust”, by Richard Bernstein, who made much of the fact that Pressac had previously been a Revisionist. A similar claim, that he had “very nearly become a ‘revisionist’”, was made by Serge Klarsfeld (Truth Prevails, p. 29). However, both Robert Faurisson and Pierre Guillaume, who had worked closely with Pressac around 1980, deny that he was ever committed to Revisionism (cf. IHR Newsletter, Number 71, February 1990). Mark Weber wrote a short review of Pressac’s book in the Summer 1990 issue of The Journal of Historical Review, and a persuasive article on one aspect of the book appeared two issues later (C. Mattogno, “Jean Claude Pressac and the War Refugee Board Report”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Four, Winter 1990-91, pp. 461-485). To date, however, the most substantial Revisionist refutation of Pressac’s claims is “Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers ou Bricolage et «gazouillages» à Auschwitz et à Birkenau selon J. C. Pressac”, by Robert Faurisson (Revue d’Histoire Révisionniste, No 3, novembre-décembre 1990, janvier 1991, pp. 65-149).)
This, he concluded, accounts for the very high cyanide concentration detected in the sample from the delousing chamber and the very low concentrations detected in samples from the execution chambers. If Pressac’s analysis is correct, the discrepancy between the detected cyanide levels in the delousing facility and in the alleged gas chambers (the former being far higher) is insufficient evidence to conclude, as Leuchter had, that the latter were not homicidal gas chambers.

However, Pressac’s argument is specious, flawed by several miscalculations and error of judgement. He based his claim that the gas chambers were only exposed to HCN for ten minutes per day on the premise that these facilities had mechanical gas evacuation devices which would remove the poisonous gas/air mixture immediately after each mass execution. As noted above, the evidence for such equipment existing is unreliable at best, and outweighed by the evidence to the contrary. If the chambers had no mechanical gas evacuation systems, and were filled with HCN, the internal surfaces would be exposed to the HCN for days on end (not just for ten minutes per day), with the concentration diminishing slowly during the wiring out time. – His statement that the delousing chambers were exposed to HCN for “12 to 18 hours a day” was apparently based on the assumption that the Germans operated them for six hours per load of infested clothing, to “kill all insects”[650]Pressac acknowledged (ibid., p. 36) that he got the HCN killing duration of “all insects” from DEGESCH sources, yet the insects referred to in DEGESCH’s handbook on Zyklon (Appendix XII in Leuchter’s report) are larder beetles, cockroaches, moths and ants. It is extremely unlikely that the flea-ridden and lice-ridden clothing of prisoners, which took approximately two hours to ‘delouse, were submitted to a further four hours in the chambers in an attempt to destroy those other insects which did not, commonly, infest humans and their clothing (excluding stored clothing, of course).
(Despite his lack of credentials, Pressac was not new to the study of the gas chambers. He is, as noted above, the author of Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, a 564-page book containing commentary, original German blueprints (most not previously published), architectural drawings and photographs. The book was well-received by historians of the Holocaust and literary critics, although it has attracted little attention since. The New York Times (December 18, 1989) praised the book in a lengthy article, “New Book is Said to Refute Revisionist View of Holocaust”, by Richard Bernstein, who made much of the fact that Pressac had previously been a Revisionist. A similar claim, that he had “very nearly become a ‘revisionist’”, was made by Serge Klarsfeld (Truth Prevails, p. 29). However, both Robert Faurisson and Pierre Guillaume, who had worked closely with Pressac around 1980, deny that he was ever committed to Revisionism (cf. IHR Newsletter, Number 71, February 1990). Mark Weber wrote a short review of Pressac’s book in the Summer 1990 issue of The Journal of Historical Review, and a persuasive article on one aspect of the book appeared two issues later (C. Mattogno, “Jean Claude Pressac and the War Refugee Board Report”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Four, Winter 1990-91, pp. 461-485). To date, however, the most substantial Revisionist refutation of Pressac’s claims is “Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers ou Bricolage et «gazouillages» à Auschwitz et à Birkenau selon J. C. Pressac”, by Robert Faurisson (Revue d’Histoire Révisionniste, No 3, novembre-décembre 1990, janvier 1991, pp. 65-149).)
, and for three loads per day. Yet he had no way of confirming that the Germans were so fastidious about killing all insects, and were not simply intent on destroying lice, the principal carrier of typhus. If the destruction of lice was the main activity of the delousing facilities, Pressac’s figure of “12 to 18 hours” for the chambers’ daily exposure to HCN would be reduced by around two-thirds. Additionally, there are no war-time documents or post-war testimonies to support the view that the delousing chambers were each operated constantly for “12 to 18 hours a day”. If the extermination of fleas and lice was the purpose of the delousing facilities, they may have only been used for two or three hours per day.

Pressac tried to buttress his argument by claiming that the walls of the delousing chambers were “impregnated with hot HCN” at 30°C.[651]Ibid., p. 37. Italics added for emphasis.
(Despite his lack of credentials, Pressac was not new to the study of the gas chambers. He is, as noted above, the author of Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, a 564-page book containing commentary, original German blueprints (most not previously published), architectural drawings and photographs. The book was well-received by historians of the Holocaust and literary critics, although it has attracted little attention since. The New York Times (December 18, 1989) praised the book in a lengthy article, “New Book is Said to Refute Revisionist View of Holocaust”, by Richard Bernstein, who made much of the fact that Pressac had previously been a Revisionist. A similar claim, that he had “very nearly become a ‘revisionist’”, was made by Serge Klarsfeld (Truth Prevails, p. 29). However, both Robert Faurisson and Pierre Guillaume, who had worked closely with Pressac around 1980, deny that he was ever committed to Revisionism (cf. IHR Newsletter, Number 71, February 1990). Mark Weber wrote a short review of Pressac’s book in the Summer 1990 issue of The Journal of Historical Review, and a persuasive article on one aspect of the book appeared two issues later (C. Mattogno, “Jean Claude Pressac and the War Refugee Board Report”, The Journal of Historical Review, Volume Ten, Number Four, Winter 1990-91, pp. 461-485). To date, however, the most substantial Revisionist refutation of Pressac’s claims is “Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers ou Bricolage et «gazouillages» à Auschwitz et à Birkenau selon J. C. Pressac”, by Robert Faurisson (Revue d’Histoire Révisionniste, No 3, novembre-décembre 1990, janvier 1991, pp. 65-149).)
In the paragraph above, he described how the gas chambers also operated at 30°C but made no mention of the HCN being “hot” or “impregnating” the internal surfaces. It is worth noting that 30°C is only 4.3° above the required 25.7°C melting point of HCN. His use of the phrase “hot HCN” is selectively applied, misleading and inappropriate.

Pressac challenged Leuchter’s claim that the minute traces of cyanide detected in samples from the alleged gas chambers prove that they were deloused on at least one or two occasions. Calling this claim “one of the most often-used [Revisionist] lies”,[652]Shapiro (ed.). Truth Prevails, p. 38. The frequent disinfestation of buildings in the Nazi concentration camps is certainly not a “lie”. It has been demonstrated by Revisionist historians and by the wider historical profession. Pressac even contradicts himself, because in his book Auschwitz: Technique he had described at length the delousing process and concluded that almost all Zyklon-B transported to Auschwitz was used for disinfestation purposes. Pressac stated:

Classified as an insecticide and vermin killer … [Zyklon-B] has no bactericide or germicide properties for use as an antiseptic. Places and things are disinfected with various kinds of antiseptics: solid (lime, lime chlorine), liquid (bleach, cresol), gas (formaldehyde, sulfur anhydride)….But a morgue is not disinfected with an insecticide or vermin killer like hydrocyanic acid, as Faurisson foolishly claims, which would be as much use as a poultice on a wooden leg. Leuchter, who claims to be scientifically trained, whereas Faurisson is not, similarly used this stupidity in his report.[653]Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 39.

This is entirely wrong. At no point in his report did Leuchter write that the chambers were “disinfected” or cleaned with an “antiseptic”. He clearly stated that the “small quantities detected would indicate that at some point these buildings were deloused with Zyklon B – as were all the buildings at all these facilities.”[654]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 14. Italics added for emphasis. In his report, there are also references to HCN’s ability to “disinfest” but none to its ability to “disinfect”.

Pressac also claimed that the cyanide levels in the ruins of Kremas II, III, IV and V at Birkenau would have diminished as a result of constant exposure to sun, rain and continuous water saturation. It was significant, he believed, that the gas chambers of Kremas II and III – at semi-basement level – were “regularly inundated with 30cm of water in the summer…. The water level reaching 1 meter during the spring thaw.”[655]Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 40. Moreover, the chamber in Krema I, Auschwitz had not been exposed to the elements, which naturally explains why the detected cyanide levels were higher.[656]Ibid., p. 44.
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 40.)
As noted above, this argument fails to take into consideration the fact that when cyanide (which is volatile) reacts with iron it forms ferro-ferri-cyanide, and that compound is very stable. It is extremely difficult to remove from porous material, and it will not simply leach out in water.

Pointing out that officials of the post-war Auschwitz Museum partially reconstructed these facilities from the piles of bricks and rubble left by the Germans when they dismantled the buildings, Pressac stated that the bricks used for the reconstructions were picked and placed without consideration of their original positions.[657]Ibid., pp. 42, 43.
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 40.)
This mix-up of bricks, he continued, meant that when Leuchter took samples of brick from what he thought were the gas chambers, he may have taken them from bricks that were originally elsewhere. This is perhaps Pressac’s strongest argument, and it does much to disqualify the chemical analysis of the Krema IV and V samples as reliable evidence. These samples may not have come from the claimed gas chambers at all, but from adjoining rooms or buildings.

Leuchter had incorrectly identified the rooms in the ruins of Krema IV, insisted Pressac, and had taken his samples from the doctor’s room and an undressing room therein, mistaking them for the gas chambers. Leuchter’s subsequent plan of the facility, he continued, reflects this incorrect layout in the plan the south gas chamber was omitted and two non-existent walls were depicted near the northern entrance.[658]Ibid., pp. 46-48.
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 40.)
It would appear from a comparison of Leuchter’s drawn plan[659]Leuchter, The Leuchter Report: The End of a Myth, p. 32. with the war-time German blueprints,[660]Bauleitung drawing 2036, January 11, 1943., that Pressac was correct. Numerous structural differences are evident, and, according to the German plans, Leuchter’s samples were taken in rooms that were never gas chambers. This fact and the brick mix-up mentioned above completely rule out the use of the chemical analysis of the Krema IV and V samples as evidence.

Finally, Pressac argued that Leuchter’s examination of the rooms at Bath and Disinfection Building no. 1 at Majdanek exposes his “historical incompetence”. Leuchter had failed to take into consideration the building’s “interior and exterior modification which must be retraced in order to understand its layout and successive functions.”[661]Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 50. Nonetheless, after writing more than three pages on the building’s history, and stating that the CO tanks and piping proved the building’s “criminology, since carbon monoxide, though fatal to warm-blooded animals (such as humans), is not the least bit useful in delousing”,[662]Ibid., p. 51. There is some debate as to whether the CO equipment (the pipes and tanks) was present in the building when the camp was liberated by Soviet troops on July 23, 1944, or whether it was positioned there after liberation by the Soviets themselves. Pressac actually acknowledged that the alleged gassing buildings were extensively remodelled after liberation and that the two CO tanks were found elsewhere in the camp and placed in Bath and Disinfection Building no. 1 (Ibid., p. 53). When Mr D. P. Costello, Second Secretary in the New Zealand Legation, Moscow, was escorted around Majdanek in May 1945, he was informed by the Soviets that there was only one gas chamber in the camp – the small room in the shower block (German Extermination Camps, Report from the New Zealand Legation at Moscow, Wellington: New Zealand Department of External Affairs, 1945).
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 50.)
Pressac concluded with these startling words:

Areas A, B1 and B2 being used as HCN homicidal gas chambers seems difficult and remains uncertain…. By reason of the forgoing information, I think that area A [Leuchter's "Chamber 1"] could not have functioned in a homicidal manner using Zyklon-B. In areas B1 ["Chamber 2"] and B2 [which Leuchter did not investigate] the technique seems possible, but actual utilization is improbable.[663]Ibid., p. 52.
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 50.)

Thus, despite accusing Leuchter of “historical incompetence”, and insisting that CO was used in the building to gas humans, Pressac agreed with him that there were no HCN execution chambers in the building. Further, he conceded that, in his opinion, the other alleged gas chambers in the camp never functioned as such.[664]Pressac wrote: “According to the official story, there were SEVEN [sic] homicidal gas chambers at K.L. Lublin- Majdanek … we still don’t know much about these chambers” (Ibid., p. 49).
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 50.)
His reasons for doubting that these buildings were used to gas humans are actually the same as many of Leuchter’s reasons for doubting that the buildings he inspected at Auschwitz and Birkenau were ever gas chambers: there were heating difficulties in all of the chambers; in one building there were “a number of windows, which would have made gas poisoning impracticable”,[665]Ibid., p. 50. Pressac admitted that the two chambers in this “shack”, between fields I and 2 at K.L. Lublin- Majdanek, “were used to delouse clothing using Zyklon-B”. He also accepted this harmless utilization for another three of the chambers at the camp.
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 50.)
and in Bath and Disinfection Building no. 1 there were no gas inletting devices or mechanical gas exhaust systems.[666]Ibid., p. 52. Pressac, in writing that the natural (non-mechanical) airing out of such chambers “would have taken a long time and been of little avail” (ibid., p. 54), unintentionally supports one of Leuchter’s principal arguments: for a room to be frequently used as an execution gas chamber, it must have a mechanical gas exhaust system.
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 50.)
Yet Pressac’s conclusions regarding the existence of certain gas chambers at K.L. Lublin-Majdanek mean little. Very few historians have believed these four or five other gas chambers existed. Pressac can cast doubt on them – thereby appearing to be impartial – without actually having to query at all the existence of the two or three ‘genuine’ gas chambers that existed in the camp.

Pressac’s second article in Truth Prevails, entitled “Additional Notes: Leuchter’s Videotape: A Witness to Fraud”, is essentially a description and analysis of the videotape of Leuchter’s examination of the gas chambers. He attempted to show that Leuchter’s sample taking contained too many procedural “anomalies” to be of any value as evidence. In the case of two or three of the samples, Pressac was correct: Leuchter had been extremely careless, to say the least. For example, on page sixty-eight, we read:

Just in front of the camera, bits of rubble were visible here and there amid the stagnant water [in Krema II]. Leuchter bent over, cast about in the water, picked up a brick fragment from near the surface, threw it away and alter plunging his hand into the water, came up with one from the bottom. This fragment, which did not come from the gas chamber’s cement floor, was placed still dripping wet into a bag, which Leuchter pocketed (yet again) without marking it. Having spent a good forty years underwater, it is more than predictable that this sample should have no trace of cyanide.

Leuchter should have been more careful with his sample taking. His sloppiness, evident in the video, weakens Revisionists’ claims that his analysis of the gas chambers was careful and meticulous.

Pressac’s second article unfortunately reveals that his preconceived ideas about the past have led to an improper consideration of evidence. His total unwillingness to question the existence of the Auschwitz gas chambers has meant that when he is confronted with an item of contrary evidence that can’t be discounted or refuted, he abandons the methodological principles he ordinarily uses to appraise evidence and simply pronounces it fraudulent. When unable to detect genuine errors in Leuchter’s sample taking, Pressac resorted to entirely groundless accusations of dishonesty. His comments on Leuchter’s extraction of sample four is a good example:

the sample might have been rigged. Leuchter could already have had a “harmless” piece in his left hand, struck a few blows with the hammer to create the illusion, and then used his declaration of the sample’s quality ["Beautiful. I have a beautiful piece of the roof!"] as a piece of misdirection.[667]Ibid., p. 68.
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 50.)

According to Pressac, the members of Leuchter’s team were also involved in the fraud:

… the absence of cyanide from this sample can be explained by “outside help”: Leuchter was walking toward the eastern opening, where an accomplice could have slipped him – or could already have ‘planted – a “harmless” piece of brick (taken from the ground floor). In this case, the temptation to practice deception was too much.[668]Ibid., p. 66.
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 50.)

Knowing that the laboratory’s sample testing results appear to bear out Leuchter’s claims, Pressac alleged that the extraction of almost every sample was “rigged” in one way or another. Leuchter’s methods: “manipulation, substitution and trick photography.”[669]Ibid., p. 68.
(Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails, p. 50.)
The present writer and two fellow students have repeatedly studied the videotape and searched for any evidence that Leuchter had acted unprofessionally or dishonestly in the way he extracted physical samples. They conclude that, whilst Leuchter was occasionally sloppy in the sealing and numbering of samples, there is not the slightest evidence that he, his cinematographer or team members “rigged” the extraction of a single sample. Pressac’s accusations of deceit and dishonesty are unscholarly and unethical, severely damaging his credibility and the impact of his other arguments.

To sum up briefly, Pressac’s two articles, acerbic in tone, contain several miscalculations and misinterpretations. They also contain some thoughtful and well-constructed arguments, which expose a number of inaccuracies and errors of judgement in Leuchter’s report however, due to the fact that he challenged (and not always successfully) only about half of Leuchter’s principal arguments, his two articles ultimately fail to refute Leuchter’s findings. To give a few examples, Pressac did not challenge Leuchter’s assertions that the rooms had insufficient heating to function as HCN gas chambers, that the rooms could not have held anywhere near the claimed capacities, or that the ovens could not cremate humans at anything close to the claimed rate. By exposing the flaws in Leuchter’s report, on the other hand, Pressac’s work reveals the need for a thorough investigation of the Polish sites by an impartial team of scholars. Only then will a definitive report be completed and the matter resolved.

The next article in Truth Prevails, entitled “Leuchter Exposed and Discredited by the Court”, is an analysis of Leuchter’s appearance as a witness at the second Zündel trial. The author is Arthur Goodman, the Legal Advisor for Holocaust Survivors and Friends in Pursuit of Justice.[670]Goodman’s connection with ‘Holocaust Survivors’ is not indicated in the book. However, his name and title of “Legal Advisor” appear on the society’s official letterhead (They were listed on the letterhead of a letter sent to the present writer by Shelly Shapiro, dated June 5, 1991). His article attempts to demonstrate from the official trial transcript that Leuchter lacks scientific knowledge, contradicted himself and admitted being in error on several occasions. Yet to make Leuchter’s import and court testimony look absurd, he joined together portions of the transcript that were separated, often by many pages, in the original transcript. An example of this improper presentation of evidence can be found on page seventy seven:

But he [Leuchter] did cling tenaciously to the claim that he is an engineer.

Q. “Are you a professional engineer?” A. “I am. I have been functioning as such for the last twenty-four years.” (8972) Q. “What degree in engineering do you have?” A. “I have a Bachelor of Arts.” (9072) The Court: “How do you function as an engineer if you don’t have an engineering degree?” The Witness: “Well, I would question what an engineering degree is.” (8973)

Thus, Goodman pieced together a carefully-selected question and answer from page 8972, from page 9072 and from page 8973, to give the reader the impression that each question and answer was related to the one immediately above, thereby proving that Leuchter had no justification in calling himself an engineer. A simple look at the page numbers involved and an examination of the transcript reveals that this is not the case. In the one hundred pages of transcript (from page 8973 to page 9072) that separates two of these questions, Leuchter had explained at length the extent of his education and engineering experience and how he managed to function successfully as an engineer without having an engineering degree. There are several other such cases of Goodman’s improper and misleading presentation of evidence.

Secondly, Goodman formed incorrect conclusions based on his reading of the trial transcript. For example, under the heading “Leuchter Exposed as Untruthful”, he wrote:

Lastly, we come to the matter of Leuchter’s personal credibility. For him to have helped Zundel [sic], he had to be believed. We shall see that he could not have been. Council for the Crown asked Leuchter:

Q. “And that is all based on the assumption that the physical plant presently at that location in Poland is what was there in 1942, ’43, ’44 and ’45? Is that right?” A. “That is correct” (9018)

That response was the beginning of the end of Leuchter, for he was [later] asked and answered:

Q. “All right Well, can we agree on this? That those facilities were in a very different condition when you were there earlier this year than the condition they were in, for instance, in August or September of 1944. Will you go that far?” A. “I think that’s a fair statement, yes” (9230)[671]Ibid., p. 81.
(Goodman’s connection with ‘Holocaust Survivors’ is not indicated in the book. However, his name and title of “Legal Advisor” appear on the society’s official letterhead (They were listed on the letterhead of a letter sent to the present writer by Shelly Shapiro, dated June 5, 1991).)

Goodman believed that Leuchter’s second answer contradicted his first, and that, therefore, he was being “untruthful”. It appears that Goodman’s argument is based on an incautious reading of these sections of transcript, because there is no contradiction between the two. In the first section (page 9018), Leuchter agreed that the buildings he inspected were, in fact, the actual remains of the buildings constructed by the Germans during the Second World War. In the second section (page 9230), he acknowledged that those buildings were in a different condition when he inspected them from the condition they were in during 1944. Thus, there is no contradiction, nor is there evidence of “untruthful” testimony. In any event, the nature of human cognition is such that small inconsistencies of testimony are inevitable. Especially during rigorous cross-examination, when attorneys deliberately ask questions in such a way as to induce inconsistent replies, all humans are prone to making statements that appear incongruous. This need not be seen as evidence of dishonesty (although, of course, it can be). If it was, then all witnesses at the Zündel trial – both defence and prosecution – must be considered dishonest, because, as the transcript reveals, they all made a number of inconsistent remarks (most of an inconsequential nature).

Whilst providing an interesting glimpse into the court trial of a Holocaust Revisionist, Goodman’s article is too partisan and poorly-argued to convince the informed reader that Leuchter was “exposed and discredited by the Court”. Nonetheless, to someone unfamiliar with the Zündel trial, or who does not have access to the official transcript, his evidence could appear convincing.

The final article in Truth Prevails to challenge the conclusions contained within Leuchter’s report is “Facts Written in Blood: The Zyklon B Trial of Bruno Tesch”, by T. L. Silets. It was his opinion that “Holocaust deniers and apologists may try to erase Nazi crimes by chipping away at gas chamber walls, but testimonial evidence given by the perpetrators of these crimes is extremely hard to ignore.”[672]Ibid., p. 99.
(Goodman’s connection with ‘Holocaust Survivors’ is not indicated in the book. However, his name and title of “Legal Advisor” appear on the society’s official letterhead (They were listed on the letterhead of a letter sent to the present writer by Shelly Shapiro, dated June 5, 1991).)
Hence, Silets quoted at length portions of the 1946 trial of Bruno Tesch which, he said, “prove” that HCN was utilized to murder humans en masse.[673]Tesch and two other defendants, Karl Weinbacher and Joachim Drosihn, were charged with supplying poison gas for the purpose of exterminating humans. Tesch was the head of TESTA (Tesch und Stabenow Internationale Gesellschaft für Schädlingsbekämpfung mbH / Tesch and Stabenow International Pest Control Company), the company which arranged the distribution of Zyklon-B east of the River Elbe. At the conclusion of the Hamburg trial the British Military Tribunal acquitted Drosihn, but convicted and subsequently hanged Tesch and Weinbacher.

Several low-ranking Germans came forward to testify for the Prosecution at the Tesch trial that they had witnessed or taken part in HCN executions. Silets, who had also referred to the confessions of Rudolf Höß and Adolf Eichmann as “proof” that such gassings occurred, quoted the court testimony of two such witnesses in his article. If one accepts at face value the general reliability of these sources, as many historians do, then one must conclude that Jews and others were gassed to death en masse by the Nazis. However, it was precisely because Revisionists had exposed so many errors and contradictions in such sources that Zündel had commissioned Leuchter to determine whether or not the buildings could have been used to gas humans in the manner stated within the sources. Leuchter concluded that they could not, thereby inferring that the eyewitness statements are fallacious. Thus, Silets’s presentation of the testimony of several of these eye-witnesses, to prove that Leuchter’s conclusions about the gas chambers were wrong, only creates a futile situation because of the inevitable return of the argument to its starting point.

It has thus been argued that Truth Prevails ultimately fails to be, as its subtitle states, “the end of ‘The Leuchter Report’”. The contributors were unable to demonstrate that Leuchter was not competent to write an engineering report, that he had dishonestly “rigged” the taking of samples or that he had lied at the Zündel trial. More importantly, they failed to demonstrate that Leuchter had the preconceived opinion that no gas chambers existed and accordingly shaped the evidence to support that preconception. They did, however, correctly point out several miscalculations, procedural anomalies and errors of judgement in Leuchter’s report. Although these flaws do not invalidate several of his principal arguments, they do, as noted above, make necessary another complete examination of the sites by a team of impartial scholars.

Another examination of the gas chambers at Auschwitz was conducted by a scientific team after Leuchter had completed his work. Early in 1990, Leuchter and Faurisson made public the existence of a recent scientific report on the alleged gas chambers of Auschwitz and Birkenau,[674]Cf. “Faurisson, Leuchter bare secret Polish gas chamber study confirming Leuchter Report”, IHR Newsletter, Number 79, April 1991, p. 1. carried out by the Toxicology Department of the Instytut Ekspertyz Sadowych in Krakow, Poland.[675]Instytut Ekspertyz Sadowych im. Prof. dr Jana Sehna w Krakowie. Krakow, dnia 24 wrzesnia (September) 1990 r.Dz. E. 720/190. The study was conducted on behalf of the Panstwowe Muzeum Oswiecim Brzezinka in response to “publications and court cases in Western countries according to which no Zyklon B gas was used to kill people at Auschwitz”.[676]bid., p. 1: “W zwiazku z prezentowonymi w publikacjach oraz w tra przewodow sadowych na Zachodzie opiniami iz w obozi konce racyjny m w Oswiecimiu gaz Cyklon B nie byl stosowany do usmiercania ludzi …”. Experts from the institute extracted samples of mortar and brick from Kremas I (at Auschwitz I), II, III and V (at Birkenau) and from within Block III delousing rooms in Auschwitz. These samples, together with control samples known to contain no cyanide, were returned to the institute for chemical analysis.

Only one sample from the alleged gas chambers showed any trace of cyanide, but, according to the report, it showed “vanishingly small traces of cyanide compounds”.[677]Ibid., p. 4.
(bid., p. 1: “W zwiazku z prezentowonymi w publikacjach oraz w tra przewodow sadowych na Zachodzie opiniami iz w obozi konce racyjny m w Oswiecimiu gaz Cyklon B nie byl stosowany do usmiercania ludzi …”.)
This sample, from Krema II, had a cyanide content of only 6 micrograms per 100 grams of plaster, compared to traces detected in seven of the ten samples from the delousing facilities, which ranged from 9 to 147 micrograms per 100 grams of building material.[678]Ibid., p. 3.
(bid., p. 1: “W zwiazku z prezentowonymi w publikacjach oraz w tra przewodow sadowych na Zachodzie opiniami iz w obozi konce racyjny m w Oswiecimiu gaz Cyklon B nie byl stosowany do usmiercania ludzi …”.)
Samples of human hair found at Auschwitz were also submitted for chemical analysis, but no cyanide was detected in them.

The authors of the six page report argued that the structures’ exposure to the elements was the cause of the negative chemical analysis results. This appears to be implausible: one of the samples, which contained no traces of cyanide, was taken from within the chamber at Krema I, which was not, and is not now, exposed to the elements.”[679]Ibid., pp. 1, 6. Exposure of the chambers to the elements would not be sufficient to remove traces of ferro-ferri-cyanide, which is an extremely stable compound. See note 606 above.
(bid., p. 1: “W zwiazku z prezentowonymi w publikacjach oraz w tra przewodow sadowych na Zachodzie opiniami iz w obozi konce racyjny m w Oswiecimiu gaz Cyklon B nie byl stosowany do usmiercania ludzi …”.)
Additionally, the research team did not take physical samples from the exterior walls of delousing chambers at Auschwitz, where blue staining, evidence of cyanide compounds, is visible even today (a very important point to note).[680]The blue staining on the exterior walls of the delousing chambers is mentioned in a remarkable letter by a former Auschwitz tour guide, Janusz Patek, published in the New York City Tribune (November 29, 1989, p. 13). Patek wrote that Auschwitz museum staff and guides believed that the claimed fatality figures for the camp were grossly inflated, but that they had to keep repeating the stories to get tips from the tourists. Epidemics, he said, were the main killers at Auschwitz, claiming the lives of “about one hundred thousand” inmates and around ten percent of the camp staff. Regarding Leuchter’s report, he wrote that “This pretentious, multipage report discovers what a good students [sic] in chemistry of an average Polish high school see with their naked eyes, namely total lack of deposits of blue salts of ferrocyanides in the gas chamber walls. On the other hand everybody is struck by the intensity of the blue discoloration of the plaster and even the outside brick work of the delousing building.”

The Polish scientists found, as Leuchter had, significant cyanide traces in the delousing chambers, but only one sample from the alleged gas chambers showed any cyanide, that being a “vanishingly small amount”. Thus, despite the fact that they dismissed the results because of “weathering”, the Polish report essentially corroborates Leuchter’s findings. As the report only dealt with cyanide levels, no mention was made of whether the rooms could have possibly functioned repeatedly as homicidal gas chambers. Further, the chambers at Majdanek were not tested at all. What is still required is a complete investigation of the sites, taking into consideration all of Leuchter’s arguments. Therefore, because of the very narrow scope of the Polish report, and the results themselves, one must concede that Leuchter’s findings have not been refuted.

The Second Leuchter Report

In April 1989 Fred Leuchter returned to Europe, this time commissioned by Ernst Zündel to investigate the alleged gas chambers at the Dachau concentration camp, near Munich in West Germany, at the Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz in Austria, and at Hartheim Castle, also near Linz. Included in his team were two well-known Revisionists, Mark Weber and Robert Faurisson. On his return to the United States, Leuchter published his findings (co-authored by Faurisson) as “The Second Leuchter Report” in The Journal of Historical Review.[681]Volume Ten, Number Three, Fall 1990, pp. 261-322. The purpose of this second report, wrote Leuchter,

is to determine whether the alleged gas chambers at three (3) specific locations, one (1) in Germany and two (2) in Austria, specifically, Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim Castle, respectively, could have operated in any manner resulting in single or multiple gas executions…. The purpose also includes estimates of the maximum number of inclusions (persons) who could possibly have fit into these alleged gas chambers, and estimated venting times. This purpose does not include a determination of any numbers of persons who died or were killed by means other than gassing, or as to whether an actual “Holocaust” occurred.[682]Ibid., p. 280.
(Volume Ten, Number Three, Fall 1990, pp. 261-322.)

Leuchter’s procedures were essentially the same as those employed for his first report. Once again he studied background material, conducted on-sight inspections and made measurements, extracted physical samples (tile and mortar), had the samples analyzed by an independent laboratory, and formed conclusions based on all acquired evidenced.[683]Cf. Ibid., p. 282.
(Volume Ten, Number Three, Fall 1990, pp. 261-322.)

Due to the number of tourists present at Dachau, he was unable to remove physical samples for chemical analysis. He chose not to do so at Hartheim Castle, as the chamber had undergone substantial remodeling which would render such a chemical analysis worthless. Four physical samples were taken from within the chamber at Mauthausen and returned to the United States for analysis. This analysis was completed in accordance with the procedures used in the previous chemical analysis of samples taken from the delousing facility at Birkenau and from the chambers at Auschwitz and Birkenau. Of the four Mauthausen samples analyzed, the highest cyanide concentration was 32 mg/kg, indicating to Leuchter that the facility was never used as a homicidal gas chamber. The presence of cyanide residue in such a low concentration showed, he insisted, that this facility was deloused on one or two occasions.[684]Ibid., p. 287. Compare this concentration of 32 mg/kg with the concentration of 1050 mg/kg detected in the sample taken from delousing facility no. 1 at Birkenau.
(Volume Ten, Number Three, Fall 1990, pp. 261-322.)

Leuchter claimed that his on-site examination of the chambers at Dachau, Mauthausen and Hartheim Castle provided him with further evidence that the inspected rooms were never utilized as execution gas chambers. Due to the differences in size, construction materials, claimed killing capacities and logistical problem each facility will be considered separately.

Dachau. This notorious camp was established on March 10, 1933, less than six weeks after Adolf Hitler became Chancellor. In the next twelve years, at least 160,000 prisoners passed between the main gates, which bore the deceitful inscription ARBEIT MACHT FREI. Today Dachau is the Nazi concentration camp visited most often by tourists, perhaps due to its close proximity to Munich. Every year hundreds of thousands of tourists are shown the guard towers, the electric fences, the rows of barracks, the crematory and the gas chamber.

Immediately after the liberation of Dachau on April 29, 1945 the camp was presented to the world as an extermination centre along the lines of Auschwitz, Majdanek, Sobibor and Belzec, already liberated by the Soviets. Dachau, it was claimed, also had homicidal gassing facilities. A report to the United States Congress, dated May 15, 1945, described in detail the gas chamber at Dachau. Because of the importance of this report as an early description of the gas chamber, it might be appropriate at this point to quote the applicable paragraph:

The gas chamber was located in the centre of a large room in the crematory building. It was built of concrete. Its dimensions were about 20 by 20 feet, and the ceiling was some 10 feet in height! In two opposite walls of the chamber were airtight doors through which condemned prisoners could be taken into the chamber for the execution and removed after execution. The supply of gas into the chamber was controlled by means of two valves on one of the outer walls, and beneath the valves was a small glass-covered peephole through which the operator could watch the victims die. The gas was let into the chamber through pipes terminating in perforated brass fixtures set in the ceiling. The chamber was of a size sufficient to execute probably a hundred men at one time.[685]United States Senate, 79th Congress, 1st Session. Report of the Committee requested by General Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Congress of the United States relative to atrocities and other conditions in concentration camps. May 15, 1945. Document 47 (Washington, D.C.).

Descriptions of the gas chamber, and its killing method and capacity, feature in almost every United States military report about the camp written in 1945 and 1946. In these reports, which all agree that Zyklon-B was the killing agent, the number of victims of each gassing varies from one hundred[686]Ibid.
(United States Senate, 79th Congress, 1st Session. Report of the Committee requested by General Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Congress of the United States relative to atrocities and other conditions in concentration camps. May 15, 1945. Document 47 (Washington, D.C.).)
or two hundred,[687]Cf. Dachau Concentration Camp (OSS Section, United States 7th Army, 1945), p. 33. to five hundred persons at a time.[688]Cf. Report on the Conditions in the Prison Camps, Captain P. M. Martinot, May 23. 1945, p. 226. U.S. Nat. Archives at Suitland, Maryland: RG 153, 19-22 BK. Quoted in The Second Leuchter Report, p. 297. Numerous former internees had come forward to testify that they were eyewitnesses to gassings at Dachau, and their accounts were recorded by the Americans.[689]Cf. IMT, Volume V, pp. 167-173 (See also 3249-PS, IMT, Volume XXXII, pp. 56-64). Sir Hartley Shawcross, the British Chief Prosecutor at the main Nuremberg trial, even described Dachau as one of the many camps where murder was conducted “like some mass production industry in the gas chambers and crematories”.[690]IMT, Volume XIX, p. 434. Yet the claim that Dachau was an extermination camp, constantly made in the first two decades or so after the war, has been quietly dropped by scholars. It is now generally agreed by historians that Dachau was never an extermination camp and that no people were murdered there in gas chambers.[691]Cf. Reitlinger, Final Solution, p. 134; Konzentrationslager Dachau, 1933-1945, Fifth edition (Dachau: International Committee, 1978) p. 165; Broszat, Die Zeit, August 16, 1960, p. 16. Nevertheless, numerous accounts of gassings at Dachau are still being written by former internees. Cf. R. Levesque, Memoirs (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1986) pp. 192-193; A. Haas, The Doctor and the Damned (London/Sydney/New York: Granada Books, 1984) pp. 98-99; et al. A ‘gas chamber’ is still shown to the many visitors to Dachau, but now it is alleged (without any supporting evidence) that its construction was never finished. A sign in five languages states: “GAS CHAMBER – disguised as a ‘shower room’ – never used as a gas chamber.”[692]Cf. “The Second Leuchter Report”, p. 271. Emphasis in original.

The reason for this about-face is obvious. There, is no reliable evidence to support the view that Jews and others were gassed en masse at Nazi concentration camps in Germany or Austria. The American military reports and the testimonies of former internees contain many internal inconsistencies, and are generally lacking in reliability and credibility. Some of their descriptions of atrocities are clearly figments of their authors’ imaginations.[693]One example of these irrational statements is Document 2285-PS, the deposition of two French army officers, Lieutenant Jean Veith and Lieutenant Colonel Guivante de Saint Gast, May 13, 1945. These officers stated under oath that at Mauthausen “The shooting took place by means of a measuring apparatus. The prisoner being backed towards a metrical measure with an automatic contraption releasing a bullet in his neck [as] soon as the moving plank determining his height touched the top of his head.” (IMT, Volume XXX, p. 142). There are also no reliable or credible affidavits or memoirs written by camp commandants or high-ranking bureaucrats which support the notion that an extermination programme was conducted on German soil.[694]Document 1515-PS, the “Deposition of the Camp Commandant of Mauthausen Concentration Camp, SS Colonel Franz Ziereis”, and Document 3870-PS (209), Ziereis’s final statement, are considered to be particularly unreliable (cf. Reitlinger, Final Solution, p. 474; E. Le Chêne, Mauthausen: The History of a Death Camp (London: Methuen, 1971), p. 171). Ziereis made these statements during a lengthy interrogation, as he lay mortally wounded. He died less than thirty minutes after completing his final statement. (cf. Le Chêne, Mauthausen, p. 171).

It would appear that some of the stories of mass gassings at Nazi concentration camps in Germany and Austria originated as atrocity propaganda stories, created by a combination of misinformation and anti-German sentiment. Despite the Nazi evacuation of large numbers of concentration camp internees, when the Allied troops overran Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, Theresienstadt and Mauthausen, horrifying scenes of thousands of corpses and humans dying from typhus and starvation were revealed to a shocked world. It is still not clear whether it was bureaucratic incompetence, a breakdown of communications, or a drastic shortage of food and medical supplies (resulting partly from the chaos caused by the Allied bombing of German cities and transportation lines) that brought about the appalling conditions found within the camps. It was probably a combination of all these factors.[695]Cf. J. Bridgeman, The End of the Holocaust: The Liberation of the Camps (London: B. T. Batsford Ltd., 1990); pp. 38-42, 45-49, 63, 103-111. According to Bridgeman, “In the growing chaos of the last weeks, when the most rudimentary elements of order collapsed in the camps, even the SS lost the ability to single out its victims. The diseases that killed so many in the last days were evenhanded and even the Kapos and the occasional SS man fell victim to them… The catastrophe which overwhelmed the camps in the last weeks was not the result of any policy at all; indeed, the government had largely lost the ability to implement any policy at all, as increasingly it was every man for himself.” (p. 107). Whatever it was the immediate causes of death were the various epidemics, including typhus and dysentery, which raged through the camps during the last months of the war. The skeletal figures and piles of cadavers found within the camps, however horrifying, can not be considered evidence of genocide.[696]According to accepted opinion on the Holocaust, Himmler had abrogated his earlier extermination order in November, 1944 (Document 3762-PS, IMT, Volume XXXIII, pp: 68-69, affidavit of SS-Standartenführer Kurt Becher, March 8, 1946). It is alleged that, as a result of Himmler’s new general order to cease all exterminations, the gas chambers in the eastern camps were dismantled and the remaining prisoners moved to the west (cf. Hilberg, Destruction, p. 631). Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that if mass gassings were carried out in the German Reich itself (including Austria), they would also have ceased in November 1944, in obedience to the Reichsführer SS. The corpses found in the western camps in late-April and May 1945, some five months after Himmler ordered all exterminations to stop, showed decay indicating that they were only there for weeks at the very most. Therefore, even if genocidal gassings were being carried out in the western camps, and they were not, the bodies found in April and May 1945 were not the result of these gassings. One important point should be made regarding this matter: despite Becher’s claim, the order from Himmler that exterminations must cease has never been found and almost certainly never existed. See O. Wormser-Migot, Le Système concentrationnaire nazi 1933-1945 (Presses Universitaires de France, 1968), pp. 13, 544. It was, however, easy to convince the world, already aghast at the horrors of Auschwitz, Treblinka and Majdanek, that these corpse-filled western camps were also extermination camps where genocide was carried out.

According to accepted opinion, the gas chamber at Dachau was located within a crematory building, Baracke X, erected in 1942. This building housed a crematory of four retorts, work rooms, numerous very small delousing chambers, a morgue and a shower room. The latter, identified by a sign over the door which reads, “Brausebad” (shower room), is the alleged gas chamber. This room has an area of 39.66 square metres and a volume of 92.0 cubic metres (the present ceiling height is 2.31 metres). Leuchter found seventeen false shower heads in the ceiling, none of which were capable of being connected to a piping system.[697]“The Second Leuchter Report”, p. 284. The walls, made of tiles, contain eight recessed lighting fixtures which were not, discovered Leuchter, explosion-proof. There were two 0.52 metres x 0.66 metres floor drains in the shower room, connected to the other floor drains in the building. There were two alleged gas inlet dumps, welded open on the outside, which had internal grates measuring 0.4 metres x 0.69 metres. Additionally, the room had two doors with provision for gasketing.[698]Ibid., p. 284. Cf. with photographs of the alleged gas chamber in Butz, The Hoax, pp. 65, 129, 148, 172.
(“The Second Leuchter Report”, p. 284.)
Leuchter claimed that the ceiling now present in the chamber is not the German-built original, but is a false, suspended-slab concrete ceiling. As evidence of this modification he noted that the present ceiling height of 2.31 metres is considerably lower than the 3.03 metre ceiling height recorded by United States Congressmen in May 1945.[699]Document 47 of the 79th Congress, 1st Session, of the United States. Leuchter may be in error on this matter. The U. S. Congressmen do state in this document that the ceiling is “some 10 feet [3.03m] in height”. Yet a well-known photograph of them inspecting the alleged gas chamber in May 1945, before they published their report, shows a ceiling height of approximately 2.3 metres, not the 3.03 metres they wrote in the report. This photograph can be seen in Butz, The Hoax, p. 148. Further, he pointed out that directly above the present ceiling are steam and heating pipes, which cannot be seen in the chamber. “Their presence”, he wrote, “can be confirmed by observing the pipes entering into the shower room area from an off-limits corridor behind the shower room and visible only from a rear window of the building.”[700]“The Second Leuchter Report”, p. 284. He argued that these pipes were suspended under the original ceiling and carried water for the showers. This is plausible if the room was, as indicated above the door, a “Brausebad“.

Regarding the room’s usage as a gas chamber, Leuchter asserted that the design of the gas dumps is such that they could never have emptied the HCN pellets into the room. This is because the angle of the dumps is not inclined sufficiently to allow gravity to cause the pellets to fall out into the room.[701]Ibid., p. 285. Leuchter claimed that these dumps and the ventilation port were added after the construction of Baracke X, as is evident in the uneven replacement of the interior tiles and exterior bricks, some of which were broken in the process. There has never been agreement amongst scholar as to how the HCN was introduced into the room. Whereas many historians have stated that the gas was introduced through these dumps, others asserted (and some still do) – citing 1945 U.S. military reports or the accounts of former internees – that the gas flowed from the shower heads themselves. Cf. Suzman and Diamond, Six Million Did Die, p. 117.
(“The Second Leuchter Report”, p. 284.)
Moreover, even if HCN was used in the room, it would leak through the floor drains into other rooms. The doors were not gas-proof, there was no system for heating or distributing the HCN within the room, and there were no fans, ducts or stacks for exhausting the poisonous gas/air mixture.[702]Ibid., pp. 285, 286.
(“The Second Leuchter Report”, p. 284.)
Finally, if this room was an execution gas chamber, wrote Leuchter, it would have held only forty-seven persons, and would have required “at least one week to vent by convection.”[703]Ibid., p. 285.
(“The Second Leuchter Report”, p. 284.)

Mauthausen. Established in April 1938, shortly after the German/Austrian Anschluß, Mauthausen became one of the most notorious of Nazi concentration camps. As noted above, Mauthausen – like Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and Theresienstadt – was not a death camp, even though thousands of internees perished there. Yet along with these other camps, Mauthausen was misrepresented as being an extermination camp like Majdanek, Belzec or Treblinka. The affidavits of numerous former guards and internees, testifying to the existence of a homicidal gas chamber at Mauthausen, were written into the official records of the International Military Tribunal.[704]Cf. Document 2753-PS: Alois Höllriegl, November 7, 1945 (IMT, Volume XXXI, p. 93); Document 3846-PS: Johann Kanduth, November 30, 1945 (IMT, Volume XXXIII, pp. 230-243); Document 3845-PS: Albert Tiefenbacher, December 7, 1945 (IMT, Volume XXXIII, pp. 226-227) et al. Additionally, with the obvious exception of Revisionists, almost all historians writing on the Holocaust have accepted that there was homicidal gassing facility at Mauthausen. The claimed killing capacity for the alleged gas chamber varies from thirty persons[705]Cf. Document 3846-PS. to two hundred persons at a time,[706]Cf. Document 2223-PS, August 3, 1945. with one hundred and twenty persons at a time being the most widely accepted figure.[707]Cf. Le Chêne, Mauthausen, p. 84. There is also no agreement between sources, and historians, as to which gas was allegedly used. Some sources clearly state that HCN was utilised for the executions,[708]Cf. Document 449-PS, May 8, 1945; also Hans Marsalek (considered by many to be the leading authority on Mauthausen), Die Geschichte des Konzentrationslagers Mauthausen: Dokumentation, 1980 Edition (Vienna: Österreichische Lagergemeinschaft Mauthausen, 1974) p. 211. others do not specify which gas was used, whilst others assert that CO was the killing agent.[709]Cf. Le Chêne, Mauthausen, p. 84: “The gas chamber at Mauthausen was filled with carbon monoxide, which was pumped down from the gas van when required.”

During his examination of the alleged gas chamber at Mauthausen, Leuchter recorded physical data and took measurements. The room was situated underground, as were the jail, hospital and morgue. The room was also very small, having an area of 14.0 square metres and a volume of 32.95 cubic metres. The ceiling, which had a height of 2.35 metres, held piping and functi