Antisemitism

The Sorrow and the Pity of David Irving

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The Nation's Max Blumenthal invades a secret David Irving speech in Manhattan—in the Upper West Side, away from all those perfidious Jews!—and produces a decent, if slightly depressing, video. It could have been considerably better, though, had Blumenthal not spent his brief interview time quizzing Irving on the particulars of his "friendship" with Christopher Hitchens, who once famously called the Hitler's War author not only a "fascist historian" but a "great historian of fascism." Blumenthal, son of Hitchens's ex-friend Sidney Blumenthal, is revisiting a scurrilous charge introduced by his father in 1999, when the two fell out during the Lewinsky investigation. There are a number of points with which I disagree, and he fails to emphasize the the "fascist historian's" deep Judeophobia, but this Hitchens review of D.D. Guttenplan's fantastic book on the Irving-Lipstadt trial is hardly sympathetic to Irving, or, of course, to Holocaust denialism. When sticking to the more interesting topic—Irving's apologia for the Holocaust and his denial of Hitler's foreknowledge—Blumenthal gets some interesting footage:

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  1. OK I gather from the post that David Irving is a holocaust denier, I also gather I should already be familiar with him. What made him so famous?

  2. What made him famous was when he was thrown in an Austrian prison (I believe it was Austria) for his views on the Holocaust.

    Personally, I didn’t find anything particular awful with what Irving said in the video. Pat Buchanan has said much worse. Those other dudes interviewed, though, were pretty spooky.

  3. “had Blumenthal not spent his brief interview time quizzing Irving on the particulars of his ‘friendship’ with Christopher Hitchens . . .”

    Not even Christoper Hitchens deserves that kind of smear.

  4. He asked some pretty good questions. I give max an 8 for the interview. He only asked a couple of quick questions about Irving’s friendship with Hitchens. Then he went on to ask about some specific quotes attributed to Irving and whether or not he still held those veiws; clearly trying to illustrate that the man is a total fuckbag.

  5. I didn’t watch this video and I don’t know the particulars, but, shouldn’t the quizzing about friendships ring some alarm bells? And, based on an article he wrote that was full of incredible errors, I don’t think that Max Blumenthal is credible.

  6. OLS, what incredible errors? I followed your link (should have known better) and it was crap. The ‘incredible error’ was that blumenthal said Tancredo hired illegal immigrants, when in fact he hired a contractor who hired illegal immigrants. That is not ‘full of incredible errors’. It is one error that would be better described as slightly stretching the truth.
    also, you are a racist fuck.

  7. That the Austrian government put Irving in prison for his views is a grotesque injustice from this government that we don’t usually think of as barbaric.

    Irving claims that “Hitler was not an anti-Semite by the time the war began”. So what evidence of change can Irving point to since Hitler wrote Mein Kampf?

    When Irving speaks about Jews in his talk, he does so with a ridiculous and primitive collectivism that implies that Jews somehow think with one mind.

    Max Blumenthal’s attempts to come on hard and pin the “Holocaust denier” label on Irving are as pathetic and desperate as Irving’s attempts to provoke him are contentious. In his press on Irving, Blumenthal reveals a surprising lack of knowledge of the history of the Nazi war against Jews and exactly what Irving wrote about it. Then he commits the logical fallacy of contending that since Irving denies the term Holocaust, he denies that it happened.

    Irving reveals a lack of decency in his attempts to provoke Blumenthhal, stating the ridiculous and ugly “Jews are responsible for Auschwitz” and then defending the statement with tortured logic.

  8. What made him so famous?

    Irving’s public profile was raised precipitously when he was proven correct in his early and strong position that the Hitler Diaries were a forgery. He did so against the contentions of the famous historian, Hugh Trevor-Roper.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/portal/main.jhtml?xml=/portal/2008/04/25/fthitler125.xml

  9. Sounds like a bunch of political mumbo jumbo double talk to me!

    JT
    http://www.FireMe.To/udi

  10. What made Max Blumenthal famous?

  11. What made Max Blumenthal famous?

    What ever fane he has, it’s likely too much. The guy seems like a dishonest lightweight.

  12. ,,,,Shoulda been: “What ever fame he has,…”

  13. Yeah, it was my home country that put him into jail to its great shame; but it was on the basis of post-war laws that were enacted on the insistence of the allies, and I’m not just talking Soviets here.

    You expose and mock people like that, but you don’t punish them, that just gives them credence and makes them hide their feelings; if the push comes to the shove once again its much better to know which doors should be marked.

  14. The Nation still has a hard one for Hitchens about Iraq (I disagree w/ him on Iraq, but still) so they’re going to try to slime him. Look, I’m a former leftist and Nation reader, but I’ve really come to resent the way that some high-profile Leftists and their publications slander people (Nation v. Hitchens, Naomi Klein v. Milton Friedman) when they must know that they don’t have their facts straight. I suppose they believe their “moral authority” will keep people from seeking the truth. And that is true, in the case of far too many Progressives.

  15. Those with reading comprehension skills are invited to read the link I posted about about Max. There are several errors listed, and no one should trust those who deliberately attempt to mischaracterize someone’s statements.

  16. Which are we more likely to click on–a LoneWackoLink, or a Rick Roll?

  17. Hmmm, what’s this link? Let me look… Aaaargh! My eyes! I’ve been lonewackoed!

  18. I’ve learned to recognize the fatal uuiU and thus avoid most rickrolls. You really should have an easier time not being lonewacko’d.

  19. Blumenthal held a mic up to Irving. Judge for yourselves.

    Seems to me, Blumenthal’s embodying the ideals of a free society. He’s not agitating to put Irving in prison, nor have Irving muzzled by the state in any other way.

    On the contrary, Blumenthal prefers to draw Irving out so that people of good will can see him for the crackpot he is.

  20. Lindsay Beyerstein:

    He’s not agitating to put Irving in prison, nor have Irving muzzled by the state in any other way.

    Well that’s big of him-Geez, I hope we’d all be aghast if he even hinted at that. That sounds more like a Daniel Pipes, another real crackpot.

    Blumenthal prefers to draw Irving out so that people of good will can see him for the crackpot he is.

    And along the way in this interview, he revealed his own crackpot tendencies.

  21. The “European Black Nobility”, what the hell is that?

  22. The prize in this thread goes to Rick Barton. Irving is an odious and dishonest anti-semite, but Blumenthal is a lightweight incapable of presenting him with a serious challenge.

  23. People’s obsession with the massacre of Jews in WWII and with “anti-semitism” has innumerable negative results, including tortuous, tangled prose such as is found in Moynihan’s post. They really twist themselves into pretzels as they try to convert the cacophony of emotions bouncing around in their skulls into measured, logical paragraphs.

    Irving isn’t afraid of Jews, though I’m sure he doesn’t especially like a lot of things about them, and certainly doesn’t like the Holocaust industry or a lot of the shoddy historical research that’s been done about the Nazis. Those are all perfectly reasonable judgments, even if one doesn’t share them. He’s a more serious historian and thinker than most of the people who consider him an enemy and seek to ruin him, simply because they don’t agree with his tastes and conclusions.

  24. “tangled prose such as is found in Moynihan’s post”

    What?? What’s tangled about it? Seems pretty clear and straightforward to me.

  25. I have no doubt that Max Sidneyovich Blumenthal got his position at The Nation purely on merit.

  26. Contra my previous post, I must say that however Blumenthal got his position, he showed admirable restraint in not breaking out in a laugh while interviewing those meatheads who attended Irving’s talk. As for Irving himself, he’s a rather slippery one.

  27. Reason’s favorite (non-staff) hack is back!

    I have a hunch that even the dregs of Reason’s commentariat can point out all the ways he’s wrong, but just to help out, why does the tree mentioned in the song and the tree in GA matter? And, isn’t there a line in the song about the law?

    Seriously, even Reason should be able to tell just how bad he is.

  28. People’s obsession with the massacre of Jews in WWII and with “anti-semitism” has innumerable negative results, including tortuous, tangled prose such as is found in Moynihan’s post. They really twist themselves into pretzels as they try to convert the cacophony of emotions bouncing around in their skulls into measured, logical paragraphs.

    Oh, dear god…anything but tortuous, tangled prose. Truly a far bigger problem in this world than “anti-semitism” and the massacre of jews during WWII.

  29. ossicle:

    though I’m sure he (Irving) doesn’t especially like a lot of things about them .

    Them? Like they’re all alike. We’re talking about folks who are Jews here, not the Borg.

    …and certainly doesn’t like the Holocaust industry…

    That’s a good point. And it has been addressed in a captivating manner by Norman Finkelstein in “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering”

    http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/content.php?pg=3

    BTW, Finkelstein’s “Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict”, New and Revised Edition is one of the best volumes on the situation extant.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1859844421/reasonmagazinea-20/

    The neocon Israeli government firsters hate Finkelstein and this nook. That’s a very good recommendation.

    …or a lot of the shoddy historical research that’s been done about the Nazis.

    And Irving himself has addressed this point. Note that the vast bulk of Irving’s writings on WWII and the Nazis are not concerned with questions and particulars of the Nazi holocaust.

  30. green mango:

    The prize in this thread goes to Rick Barton.

    Thanks green mango! Ya know, I’ve been commenting here since before the start of the Iraq war and I’ve never before been proclaimed to have “won a thread”. So I’d like to thank Reason and H&R and all my fellow commenters on this thread, and Michael C. Moynihan, who produced the thread, and Jesse Walker, and Matt Welch, and all my family and friends here in the Denver area and…

    Segue to musical intermission…its Kim Wilde-“Water On Glass”!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQkqRVZ_h84

    And the party is at my new TouTube channel and everyone is invited, and invited to subscribe to my channel as well And my channel really did win an award, well, actually a designation: One of the five best retro channels on YouTube!

    http://www.youtube.com/user/RickeyRamone

  31. Auschwitz: Myths and Facts

    By Mark Weber

    Auschwitz is regarded as the most notorious Nazi extermination center. During World War II, we are told, hundreds of thousands of prisoners – most of them Jewish – were systematically killed there, especially in gas chambers.

    Auschwitz was unquestionably a place of horror, where many perished under terrible circumstances. And yet, much of what has been said about the camp is untrue or exaggerated. A close look at the facts calls into question at least some aspects of its reputation as a center of systematic mass extermination.

    A Large Camp Complex

    The Auschwitz camp complex was set up in 1940 in what is now south-central Poland. Large numbers of Jews were deported there between 1942 and mid-1944. The main camp was known as Auschwitz I. Birkenau, or Auschwitz II, was supposedly the main extermination center, while Monowitz, or Auschwitz III, was a large industrial site where gasoline was produced from coal. In addition there were dozens of smaller satellite camps devoted to the war economy.

    Four Million Victims?

    At the postwar Nuremberg Tribunal, the Allies charged that the Germans exterminated four million people at Auschwitz. This figure, which was invented by the Soviets, was uncritically accepted for many years, and often appeared in major American newspapers and magazines. [1] Today no reputable historian accepts this figure.

    Israeli Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer said in 1989 that it is finally time to acknowledge that the familiar four million figure is a deliberate myth. In July 1990 the Auschwitz State Museum in Poland, along with Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Center, announced that altogether perhaps one million people (both Jews and non-Jews) died there. Neither institution would say how many of these people were killed, and no estimates were given for the numbers of those supposedly gassed. [2]

    One prominent Holocaust historian, Gerald Reitlinger, estimated that perhaps 700,000 Jews perished at Auschwitz. [3] French Holocaust historian Jean-Claude Pressac estimated in 1993 that the number of those who perished there was about 800,000 – of whom 630,000 were Jewish. [4]

    Fritjof Meyer, a respected foreign policy analyst, author of several books, and managing editor of Germany’s foremost weekly news magazine, presented a still lower figure in 2002. Writing in the scholarly German journal Osteuropa, he estimated that altogether 500,000 or 510,000 persons – Jews and non-Jews – perished in Auschwitz. [5]

    While all such figures are conjectural, they show how the Auschwitz story has changed drastically over the years.

    Fake ‘Gas Chamber’

    Each year for decades, tens of thousands of visitors to Auschwitz have been shown an execution “gas chamber” in the main camp, supposedly in its “original state.” In January 1995 the prestigious French weekly magazine L’Express acknowledged that “everything” about this “gas chamber” is “false,” and that it is in fact a deceitful postwar reconstruction. [6]

    Bizarre Tales

    At one time it was seriously claimed that at Auschwitz Jews were systematically killed with electricity. American newspapers in February 1945, citing a Soviet eyewitness report from the recently-liberated camp, told readers that the methodical Germans had killed Jews there using an “electric conveyor belt 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.” [7]

    At the Nuremberg Tribunal, chief US prosecutor Robert Jackson charged that the Germans had used a “newly invented” device to instantaneously “vaporize” 20,000 Jews near Auschwitz “in such a way that there was no trace left of them.” [8] No reputable historian now accepts either of these fanciful tales.

    The H?ss ‘Confession’

    A key piece of Holocaust evidence is the “confession” of former Auschwitz commandant Rudolf H?ss. In a sworn statement, and in testimony before the Nuremberg Tribunal on April 15, 1946, he declared that between May 1940 and December 1943, while he was commandant of the camp complex, “at least two and a half million victims were executed and exterminated there by gassing and burning,” and that “at least another half million succumbed to starvation and disease, making a total dead of about three million” during that period alone. [9]

    Although it is still widely cited as solid historical evidence, this “confession” is actually a false statement obtained by torture. Some years after the war, British military intelligence sergeant Bernard Clarke described how he and five other British soldiers tortured the former commandant to obtain his “confession.” H?ss himself privately explained his ordeal in these words: “Certainly, I signed a statement that I killed two and half million Jews. 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.” [10]

    Even historians who generally accept the Holocaust extermination story now acknowledge that many of the specific statements made in the H?ss “confession” are simply not true. For one thing, no serious scholar now claims that anything like two and a half or three million people perished in Auschwitz.

    The H?ss “confession” further alleges that Jews were already being exterminated by gas in the summer of 1941 at three other camps: Belzec, Treblinka and Wolzek. The “Wolzek” camp mentioned by H?ss is a total invention. No such camp existed, and the name is no longer mentioned in Holocaust literature. Moreover, those who accept the Holocaust story currently claim that gassings of Jews did not begin at Auschwitz, Treblinka, or Belzec until sometime in 1942.

    Many Jewish Inmates Unable to Work

    Many thousands of secret German wartime documents dealing with Auschwitz were confiscated after the war by the Allies. But not a single one refers to a policy or program of extermination. In fact, the familiar Auschwitz extermination story cannot be reconciled with the documentary evidence.

    It is often claimed that all Jews at Auschwitz who were unable to work were immediately killed. Jews who were too old, young, sick, or weak were supposedly gassed on arrival, and only those who could be worked to death were temporarily kept alive.

    But the evidence shows otherwise. In fact, a very high percentage of the Jewish inmates were not able to work, and were nevertheless not killed. For example, an internal German telex message dated Sept. 4, 1943, from the chief of the Labor Allocation department of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office (WVHA), reported that of 25,000 Jews held in Auschwitz, only 3,581 were able to work, and that all of the remaining Jewish inmates – some 21,500, or about 86 percent – were unable to work. [11]

    This is also confirmed in a secret report dated April 5, 1944, on “security measures in Auschwitz” by Oswald Pohl, head of the SS concentration camp system, to SS chief Heinrich Himmler. Pohl reported that there was a total of 67,000 inmates in the entire Auschwitz camp complex, of whom 18,000 were hospitalized or disabled. In the Auschwitz II camp (Birkenau), supposedly the main extermination center, there were 36,000 inmates, mostly female, of whom “approximately 15,000 are unable to work.” [12]

    These two documents simply cannot be reconciled with the familiar Auschwitz extermination story.

    The evidence shows that Auschwitz-Birkenau was established primarily as a camp for Jews who were not able to work, including the sick and elderly, as well as for those who were temporarily awaiting assignment to other camps. That is the considered view of Dr. Arthur Butz of Northwestern University, who also says that this was an important reason for the unusually high death rate there. [13]

    Jewish scholar Arno Mayer, a professor of history at Princeton University, acknowledges in his 1988 book about the “final solution” that more Jews perished at Auschwitz as a result of typhus and other “natural” causes than were executed. [14]

    Anne Frank

    Perhaps the best known Auschwitz inmate was Anne Frank, who is remembered for her famous diary. But few people are aware that thousands of Jews, including Anne and her father, Otto Frank, “survived” Auschwitz.

    The 15-year-old girl and her father were deported from the Netherlands to Auschwitz in September 1944. Several weeks later, in the face of the advancing Soviet army, Anne was evacuated from Auschwitz along with many other Jews to the Bergen-Belsen camp in western Germany, where she died of typhus in March 1945.

    While at Auschwitz, Otto Frank came down with typhus, and was sent to the camp hospital to recover. He was one of thousands of sick and feeble Jews who were left behind when the Germans abandoned the camp in January 1945, shortly before it was overrun by the Soviets. He died in Switzerland in 1980.

    If the German policy had been to kill Anne Frank and her father, they would not have survived Auschwitz. Their fate, tragic though it was, cannot be reconciled with the familiar extermination story.

    Allied Propaganda

    The Auschwitz gassing story is based in large part on the hearsay statements of former Jewish inmates who did not personally see any actual signs of extermination. Their beliefs are understandable, because rumors about gassings at Auschwitz were widespread. Allied planes dropped large numbers of leaflets, written in Polish and German, on Auschwitz and the surrounding areas which claimed that people were being gassed in the camp. The Auschwitz gassing story, which was an important part of the Allied wartime propaganda effort, was also broadcast to Europe by Allied radio stations. [15]

    Survivor Testimony

    Former inmates have confirmed that they saw no evidence of extermination at Auschwitz.

    An Austrian woman, Maria Vanherwaarden, testified about her camp experiences in a Toronto District Court in March 1988. [16] She was interned in Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942 for having sexual relations with a Polish forced laborer. On the train journey to the camp, a Gypsy woman told her and the others that they would all be gassed at Auschwitz. Upon arrival, Maria and the other women were ordered to undress and go into a large concrete room without windows to take a shower. The terrified women were sure that they were about to die. But then, instead of gas, water came out of the shower heads.

    Auschwitz was no vacation resort, Maria confirmed. She witnessed the deaths of many fellow inmates by disease, particularly typhus. She saw some take their own lives. But she saw no evidence at all of mass killings, gassings, or of any extermination program.

    A Jewish woman named Marika Frank arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau from Hungary in July 1944, when 25,000 Jews were supposedly gassed and cremated daily. She likewise testified after the war that she heard and saw nothing of gas chambers during the time she was interned there. She heard the gassing stories only later. [17]

    Inmates Released

    More than 200,000 prisoners were transferred from Auschwitz to other camps, and about 8,000 were in the camp when it was liberated by Soviet forces. In addition, about 1,500 prisoners who had served their sentences were released, and returned to their home countries. [18] If Auschwitz had actually been a top secret extermination center, it is difficult to believe that the German authorities would have released inmates who “knew” what was happening there.

    Telltale Aerial Photos

    Detailed Allied aerial reconnaissance photographs taken of Auschwitz-Birkenau on several random days in 1944 – during the height of the alleged extermination period there – were made public by the CIA in 1979. These photos show no trace of piles of corpses, smoking crematory chimneys or masses of Jews awaiting death, things that have been repeatedly alleged, and all of which would have been clearly visible if Auschwitz had been the extermination center it is said to have been. [19]

    Absurd Cremation Claims

    Cremation specialists have confirmed that thousands of corpses could not possibly have been cremated every day throughout the spring and summer of 1944 at Auschwitz, as has often been alleged. Ivan Lagac?, manager of a large crematory in Canada, testified in court in April 1988 that the Auschwitz cremation story is technically impossible. The allegation that 10,000 or even 20,000 corpses were burned every day at Auschwitz in the summer of 1944 in crematories and open pits is simply “preposterous” and “beyond the realm of reality,” he declared under oath. [20]

    Gassing Expert Refutes Extermination Story

    A leading American gas chamber expert, Fred A. Leuchter, carefully examined the supposed “gas chambers” in Poland and concluded that the Auschwitz gassing story is absurd and technically impossible. At the time he conducted his examination, Leuchter was acknowledged as the foremost specialist on the design and installation of gas chambers used in the United States to execute convicted criminals. For example, he designed a gas chamber facility for the Missouri state penitentiary.

    In February 1988 he carried out a detailed onsite examination of the “gas chambers” at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek in Poland, which are either still standing or only partially in ruins. In sworn testimony to a Toronto court and in a technical report, Leuchter described every aspect of his investigation. He concluded that the alleged gassing facilities could not possibly have been used to kill people. Among other things, he pointed out that the so-called “gas chambers” were not properly sealed or vented to kill human beings without also killing German camp personnel. [21]

    Dr. William B. Lindsey, a research chemist employed for 33 years by the Dupont Corporation, likewise testified in a 1985 court case that the Auschwitz gassing story is technically impossible. Based on a careful on-site examination of the “gas chambers” at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, and on his years of experience, he declared: “I have come to the conclusion that no one was willfully or purposefully killed with Zyklon B [hydrocyanic acid gas] in this manner. I consider it absolutely impossible.” [22]

    In March 1992, a prominent Austrian engineer made headlines when a report he had written about alleged German wartime gas chambers was made public. Walter L?ftl, a court-recognized expert engineer who headed a large engineering firm in Vienna, concluded that the familiar stories of mass extermination of Jews in gas chambers at the wartime camps of Auschwitz and Mauthausen are impossible for technical reasons. L?ftl also specifically affirmed Leuchter’s findings about Auschwitz. [23]

    Himmler Orders Death Rate Reduced

    In response to the deaths of many inmates from disease, especially typhus, the German authorities responsible for the camps ordered firm counter-measures. The head of the SS camp administration office sent a directive dated Dec. 28, 1942, to Auschwitz and the other concentration camps. It sharply criticized the high death rate of inmates due to disease, and ordered that “camp physicians must use all means at their disposal to significantly reduce the death rate in the various camps.” Furthermore, it ordered:

    “The camp doctors must supervise more often than in the past the nutrition of the prisoners and, in cooperation with the administration, submit improvement recommendations to the camp commandants … The camp doctors are to see to it that the working conditions at the various labor places are improved as much as possible.”

    Finally, the directive stressed that “the Reichsf?hrer SS [Heinrich Himmler] has ordered that the death rate absolutely must be reduced.” [24]

    Combating Disease

    As ordered, German physicians in Auschwitz carried out wide-ranging and intensive measures to reduce the prisoners’ death rate. For example, in a letter of Feb. 25, 1943, camp physician Dr. Wirths informed the central WVHA office, which was responsible for the SS concentration camp system:

    “As already reported, after the typhus epidemic in the Auschwitz camp had practically been suppressed in November and December, there followed a new rise in typhus cases among the Auschwitz inmates as well as among troops, brought by the newly arriving transports from the East. In spite of the counter-measures that were immediately taken, a complete suppression of typhus cases has still not been achieved.” [25]

    None of this can be reconciled with the currently official Auschwitz extermination story.

    Summary

    Maintaining the hatreds and passions of the past prevents genuine reconciliation and lasting peace. The Auschwitz extermination story originated as World War II propaganda. And all wartime propaganda, unless hatred and passion are to have the final word, must be viewed critically. It is high time to take a more objective look at this highly polemicized chapter of history.

    Notes

    1. Nuremberg document 008-USSR. International Military Tribunal (IMT) “blue series,” Vol. 39, pp. 241, 261; Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (NC&A), “red series,” vol. 1, p. 35; C.L. Sulzberger, “Oswiecim Killings Placed at 4,000,000,” New York Times, May 8, 1945, and, New York Times, Jan. 31, 1986, p. A4.

    2. Y. Bauer, “Fighting the Distortions,” Jerusalem Post (Israel), Sept. 22, 1989; “Auschwitz Deaths Reduced to a Million,” Daily Telegraph (London), July 17, 1990; ” Poland Reduces Auschwitz Death Toll Estimate to 1 Million,” The Washington Times, July 17, 1990, p. A11.

    3. G. Reitlinger, The Final Solution (London: Sphere [2nd ed.], 1971), pp. 500-501.

    4. J.-C. Pressac, Le Cr?matoires d’Auschwitz: La Machinerie du meurtre de mass (Paris: CNRS, 1993), p. 148. See also: M. Weber, “New ‘Official’ Changes in the Auschwitz Story,” The Journal of Historical Review, May-August 2002, pp. 24-28.
    ( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v21/v21n3p24_weber.html )

    5. F. Meyer, “Die Zahl der Opfer von Auschwitz,” Osteuropa, May 2002, pp. 631-641. Cited in: M. Weber, “New ‘Official’ Changes in the Auschwitz Story,” The Journal of Historical Review, May-August 2002, pp. 24-28.
    ( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v21/v21n3p24_weber.html )

    6. Eric Conan, “Auschwitz: La Memoire du Mal,” L’Express, Jan. 19-25, 1995, pp. 54-73. See also: “Major French Magazine Acknowledges Auschwitz Gas Chamber Fraud,” Journal of Historical Review, Jan.-Feb. 1995, pp. 23-24.
    ( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v15/v15n1p23_Weber.html )

    7. Washington (DC) Daily News, Feb. 2, 1945, pp. 2, 35. (United Press dispatch from Moscow).

    8. IMT “blue series,” Vol. 16, pp. 529-530. (June 21, 1946).

    9. IMT “blue series,” Vol. 11, pp. 414-418, and IMT, Vol. 33, pp.275-279 (Nuremberg document 3868-PS [USA-819]).

    10. Rupert Butler, Legions of Death (England : 1983), pp. 235; R. Faurisson, “How the British Obtained the Confessions of Rudolf H?ss,” The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1986-87, pp. 389-403.
    ( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v07/v07p389_Faurisson.html )

    11. Archives of the Jewish Historical Institute of Warsaw, German document No. 128. Cited in: H. Eschwege, ed., Kennzeichen J (Berlin [East]: 1966), p. 264.

    12. Nuremberg document NO-021. Nuremberg Military Tribunal (NMT) “green series,” Vol. 5. pp. 384-385;

    13. Arthur Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (Chicago : 2003), pp. 157-159.

    14. Arno Mayer, Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?: The ‘Final Solution’ in History (Pantheon, 1988), p. 365.

    15. Nuremberg document NI-11696. NMT “green series,” Vol. 8, p. 606.

    16. Testimony in Toronto District Court, March 28, 1988. Toronto Star, March 29, 1988, p. A2; B. Kulaszka, ed., Did Six Million Really Die?: Report of the Evidence in the Canadian ‘False News’ Trial of Ernst Z?ndel (Toronto : 1992), pp. 253-255.
    ( http://www.ihr.org/books/kulaszka/21herwaarden.html )

    17. Sylvia Rothchild, ed., Voices from the Holocaust (New York: 1981), pp. 188-191.

    18. Franciszek Piper essay in: Y. Gutman & M. Berenbaum, eds., Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp (1994), p. 71.

    19. Dino A. Brugioni and Robert C. Poirier, The Holocaust Revisited (Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 1979).

    20. Testimony in Toronto District Court, April 5-6, 1988. Canadian Jewish News (Toronto), April 14, 1988, p. 6; B. Kulaszka, ed., Did Six Million Really Die?: Report of the Evidence in the Canadian ‘False News’ Trial of Ernst Z?ndel (Toronto: 1992), pp. 267-271.
    ( http://www.ihr.org/books/kulaszka/26lagace.html )

    21. Testimony in Toronto District Court, April 20-21, 1988. B. Kulaszka, ed., Did Six Million Really Die?: Report of the Evidence in the Canadian ‘False News’ Trial of Ernst Z?ndel (Toronto: 1992), pp. 354-362.
    ( http://www.ihr.org/books/kulaszka/33leuchter.html )
    The Leuchter Report (Toronto: 1988).
    ( http://www.ihr.org/books/leuchter/leuchter.toc.html )

    22. The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Feb. 12, 1985, p. M3. See also: M. A. Hoffman, The Great Holocaust Trial (1995 [3rd ed.]), pp. 65, 66.

    23. Walter L?ftl, “The L?ftl Report: An Austrian Engineer’s Report on the ‘Gas Chambers’ of Auschwitz and Mauthausen,” The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1992-93, pp. 391-420.
    ( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v12/v12p391_Luftl.html )

    24. Nuremberg document PS-2171, Annex 2. NC&A “red series,” Vol. 4, pp. 833-834.

    25. Document 502-1-68, pp. 115-116, from the archives of the Center for the Custody of Historical Document Collection, Moscow. Quoted by C. Mattogno in “Die ‘Gaspr?fer’ von Auschwitz,” Vierteljahreshefte f?r freie Geschichtsforschung, March 1998, p. 16 (and fn. 26). Cited in: M. Weber, “High Frequency Delousing Facilities at Auschwitz,” The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1999, pp. 4-12.
    ( http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v18/v18n3p-4_Weber.html )

  32. One of the most notable anti-Semitic propaganda movements to develop over the past two decades has been the organized effort to deny or minimize the established history of Nazi genocide against the Jews. In the United States, the movement has been known in recent years primarily through the publication of editorial-style advertisements in college campus newspapers. The first of these ads claimed to call for “open debate on the Holocaust”; it purported to question not the fact of Nazi anti-Semitism, but merely whether this hatred resulted in an organized killing program. A more recent ad has questioned the authenticity of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. These ads have been published in several dozen student newspapers on campuses across the country.

    Similar propaganda has established a beachhead on the computer Internet. In addition to creating their own home pages, Holocaust deniers have sometimes “crashed” the sites of legitimate Holocaust and Jewish discussion groups in a blatant effort at anti, Jewish provocation and self-promotion. Additionally, Holocaust deniers have advertised their Web sites by purchasing innocuous-sounding, inconspicuous classified ads in college and community newspapers.

    These paid advertisements and Internet activities have been a national phenomenon since 1991. Though there is no evidence that they have persuaded large numbers of students to doubt the settled record of events which comprise the Holocaust, their appearance has generated acrimony and has frequently caused friction between Jewish and non-Jewish students.

    This is precisely the intent of the Holocaust deniers: by attacking the facts of the Holocaust, and by framing this attack as merely an unorthodox point of view, their propaganda insinuates subtle but hateful anti-Semitic beliefs of Jews as exploiters of non-Jewish guilt and Jews as controllers of academia or the media. These beliefs, in fact, bear comparison to the preachings which brought Hitler to power in prewar Germany.

    This pamphlet has been designed to provide a brief summary of the propaganda campaign known as Holocaust “revisionism,” or Holocaust denial. What follows is (1) a “Q&A” description of the movement, its history, and its leading activists, as well as a review of legal and scholarly responses to this propaganda; (2) a summary of the movement’s most common allegations, with brief factual responses, and (3) a selection of quotes by the leading propagandists, demonstrating their anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi agendas.

    It is highly unlikely that this report will dissuade the Holocaust deniers from their mendacious and hateful campaign. But this information should provide students and educators with the facts to make informed decisions and vigorous responses to these bigoted lies.

    (For further details concerning the Holocaust denial movement, see also the Anti-Defamation League publication, Hitler’s Apologists: The Anti-Semitic Propaganda of ‘Holocaust Revisionism’)

    The Movement: What You Should Know
    1. What is Holocaust denial?

    Holocaust denial is a propaganda movement active in the United States, Canada and Western Europe which seeks to deny the reality of the Nazi regime’s systematic mass murder of 6 million Jews in Europe during World War II.

    2. Who started the movement?

    The roots of Holocaust denial can be found in the bureaucratic language of Nazi policy itself, which sought to camouflage the genocidal intent of what the Nazis called the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” even as these directives were being carried out. After the war, former Nazis and Nazi sympathizers dismissed the overwhelming proof of the Holocaust established at the Nuremberg war crimes trials; similarly, an obscure group of post-War French Trotskyists and anarchists led by Paul Rassinier (since deceased), seeking to advance their own political agenda, denounced evidence of the genocide as “Stalinist atrocity propaganda.”

    However, as an organized propaganda movement, Holocaust “revisionism” took root in 1979 when Willis Carto, founder of Liberty Lobby – the largest anti-Jewish propaganda organization in the United States – incorporated the Institute for Historical Review (IHR). The IHR is a pseudo-academic enterprise in which professors with no credentials in history (for example, the late Revilo P. Oliver was a retired University of Illinois Classics teacher; Robert Faurisson earned a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Lyon; Arthur Butz is an engineer at Northwestern University), writers without formal academic certification (such as David Irving, Henri Roques and Bradley Smith), and career anti-Semites (such as Mark Weber, Ernst Z?ndel and the late David McCalden) convene to develop new outlets for their anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and, for some, pro, Nazi beliefs.

    Since 1993, Willis Carto has broken with the IHR in a very public, litigious feud. He has devoted considerable funds and rhetorical vehemence to dis. crediting his former employees, and has also established a rival “revisionist” journal, The Barnes Review. At issue in the feud, primarily, is not the history of the Holocaust – which both sides of the dispute argue never really happened – but rather Carto’s reportedly dictatorial management style, and the control of a multimillion-dollar bequest to the parent corporation of the IHR. Although the dispute remains in litigation, as of this writing a Superior Court Judge in California has awarded $6.4 million to the IHR in their civil suit against Carto. The judge, in his ruling for the Institute, characterized Carto as “evasive and argumentative” and added that his testimony in large part “made no sense…. By the end of the trial, I was of the opinion that Mr. Carto lacked candor, lacked memory and lacked the ability to be forthright about what he did honestly remember”; ironically, this description could accurately characterize the entire propaganda movement which Carto founded.

    (For further details about this feud and its aftermath, see Liberty Lobby: Hate Central, ADL Research Report, 1995.)

    3. Where is Holocaust denial active today?

    IHR has tapped into an international network of propagandists who write for the group’s Journal of Historical Review (JHR) and meet at its more-or-less annual conventions. The leading activists affiliated with IHR have included Mark Weber, Bradley Smith and Fred Leuchter (USA); Ernst Z?ndel (Canada); David Irving (England); Robert Faurisson (France); Carlo Mattogno (Italy); and Ahmed Rami (Sweden). Of these activists, Bradley Smith, who served for many years as IHR’s “Media Project Director,” has attracted the most notoriety in the U.S., due to the series of “revisionist” advertisements which he has placed in college newspapers since 1991 for the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH).

    Nonetheless, IHR has suffered noticeably from its feud with Carto. Since breaking with its founder in 1993, the professional staff at the Institute has shrunk from seven to two – Mark Weber, now serving as director, and Greg Raven, who operates IHR’s World Wide Web site – and its increasingly infrequent publications have consisted mostly of reprints from previous issues of the Journal of Historical Review, along with at times desperate appeals for funding. Most recently, IHR announced that its 1996 conference would be postponed indefinitely.

    4. What is CODOH?

    Though Smith claims the “Committee” is an independent entity devoted to promoting “open debate,” it has operated essentially as a vehicle for IHR propaganda. CODOH was first headed by Smith and Mark Weber, then-editor of the JHR; its founder was the late William Curry, a longtime supporter of the IHR. Every other associate of the group has also been a public participant in IHR conferences. CODOH ads and flyers list the IHR address and cite IHR sources almost exclusively. Additionally, Bradley Smith’s Web page on the computer Internet – which is fairly elaborate and has constituted the bulk of his activity since 1995 -provides links to the IHR site, as well as other Holocaust-denial outlets. Smith, moreover, appears to have suffered from

    the same decline in fortune affecting the IHR. He has not written a new editorial-style advertisement since 1993, and his pre-existing ads appeared in only seven newspapers in 1995, and one in 1996, down from 13 in 1993. Instead, Smith’s current campus outreach tends to consist of inconspicuous, anonymous classified ads promoting his Web site; the only indication of Smith’s agenda in these ads is a reference to “Unanswered Questions About the Nazi Gas Chambers.”

    5. Are there other propagandists promoting Holocaust denial on the World Wide Web?

    In addition to overt neo-Nazi groups, such as the National Alliance,1 which promote denial of the Holocaust as part of a comprehensive racist and anti-Semitic agenda, one of the most active Holocaust deniers on the computer Internet is the German-born Canadian hatemonger Ernst Z?ndel Z?ndel whose anti-Semitic activities extend back to the mid-70s, and include associations with the IHR and the neo-Nazi publication, Liberty Bell, as well as the authorship of books such as The Hitler We Loved and Why, has established perhaps the most extensive Holocaust-denial Web site on the Internet. Often updated daily, Z?ndel’s home page, operated by a previously obscure Southern California writer named Ingrid Rimland, publishes materials in English, French and German and includes audio recordings of Z?ndel’s own speeches. In addition to his Internet activities – which he, like Bradley Smith, promotes by purchasing inconspicuous ads in college and local newspapers – Z?ndel also produces a cable-access TV program as well as German and English-language shortwave radio broadcasts, each of which is also devoted to Holocaust denial.

    6. Are there laws regulating Holocaust denial?

    In Canada and Western Europe, Holocaust deniers have been successfully prosecuted under racial defamation or hate crimes laws. In the United States, however, the First Amendment guarantees the right of free speech, regardless of political content. Nonetheless, though the First Amendment guarantees Holocaust deniers the right to produce and distribute their propaganda, it in no way obligates newspapers or other media outlets to provide them with a forum for their views.

    7. What do American legal precedents indicate about such propaganda?

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 1974 decision, Miami Herald Publishing Company v. Tornillo , that “A newspaper is more than a passive receptacle or conduit for news, comment and advertising. The choice of material to go into a newspaper… [constitutes] the exercise of editorial control and judgment.” Simply stated, to require newspaper editors or broadcasters to provide Smith, or any other individual, with a forum would deny the newspaper or other media their own First Amendment rights to operate a free press, without government coercion; such requirements would also diminish the public’s ability to distinguish historical truth from propaganda.

    Like the editor of a private newspaper, the editors of all private and most public college newspapers have a First Amendment right to exercise editorial control over which advertisements appear in their newspaper. The only situation in which an editor of a state university newspaper would not have this right would be if the university administration controlled the content of the campus newspaper and set editorial policy. In such a case, the university would essentially function as an arm of the government, and prohibition of newspaper advertisements based on content would violate the First Amendment. There are few universities, however, where the administration exercises this type of control over the student paper.

    At public elementary and secondary schools, the administration has the right to refuse to print Holocaust-denial advertisements in a student newspaper; the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 1988 decision, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, that “educators do not offend the First Amendment by exercising editorial control over. . . the content of student speech in school-sponsored expressive activities so long as their actions are reasonably related to legitimate pedagogical concern.” Based on that decision, it is clear that public school officials have the same right as student editors to reject Holocaust-denial advertisements, since this propaganda encourages bias and prejudice, offends many individuals and has a negative educational value.

    The one case directly involving the substance of Holocaust-denial propaganda in an American court was a 1985 lawsuit brought against the IHR by Mel Mermelstein, a Holocaust survivor living in Long Beach, California. In the early ’80s, Mermelstein had responded to a cynical IHR publicity campaign which offered $50,000 to anyone who could prove that Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz by submitting evidence that members of his own family had been murdered at that concentration camp. When the IHR failed to comply with its promised terms, Mermelstein filed his suit. In July 1985, the lawsuit was settled in Mermelstein’s favor. The settlement, approved by judge Robert Wenke of the Los Angeles Superior Court, called for the IHR to pay Mermelstein the $50,000 “reward,” as well as an additional $40,000 for pain and suffering. Moreover, at a pre-trial hearing, the Court took judicial notice of the fact that gas chambers had been used to murder Jews at Auschwitz.

    Several months later, Mermelstein won another victory against the Holocaust-denial movement. In January 1986, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded Mermelstein $4.75 million in punitive damages and $500,000 in compensatory damages in a suit he had filed in 1981 against Ditlieb Felderer, a Swedish Holocaust denier whose publication, Jewish Information Bulletin (it is in fact none of these), had mocked the killing of Jews at Auschwitz and had attacked Mermelstein personally. Later that year, the IHR and Willis Carto sued Mermelstein, claiming he libeled them during a radio interview given in New York. In 1988, they voluntarily dropped the charges.

    8. What have academic authorities said about Holocaust denial?

    The History Department at Duke University, responding to a CODOH ad, unanimously adopted and published a statement noting: “That historians are constantly engaged in historical revision is certainly correct; however, what historians do is very different from this advertisement. Historical revision of major events. . . is not concerned with the actuality of these events; rather, it concerns their historical interpretation – their causes and consequences generally. There is no debate among historians about the actuality of the Holocaust… there can be no doubt that the Nazi state systematically put to death millions of Jews, Gypsies, political radicals and other people.”

    David Oshinsky and Michael Curtis of Rutgers University have written, “If one group advertises that the Holocaust never happened, another can buy space to insist that American Blacks were never enslaved. The stakes are high because college newspapers may soon be flooded with ads that present discredited assertions as if they were part of normal historical debate. If the Holocaust is not a fact, then nothing is a fact….”

    Peter Hayes, Associate Professor of History and German at Northwestern University, responded to a Smith ad by stating, “[B]ear in mind that not a single one of the advances in our knowledge since 1945 has been contributed by the self-styled ‘Revisionists’ whom Smith represents. That is so because contributing to knowledge is decidedly not their purpose . . . . This ad is an assault on the intellectual integrity … of academicians, whom Smith and his ilk wish to browbeat. It is also a throwback to the worst sorts of conspiracy-mongering of anti-Semitic broadside…. Is it plausible that so great and longstanding a conspiracy of repression could really have functioned? … That everybody with a Ph.D. active in the field – German, American, Canadian, British, Israeli, etc. – is in on it together?… If one suspects it is, might it not be wise to do a bit of checking about Smith, his organization and his charges before running so implausible an ad?”

    Perhaps most significantly, in December 1991, the governing council of the American Historical Association (AHA), the nation’s largest and oldest professional organization for historians, unanimously approved a statement condemning the Holocaust-denial movement, stating, “No serious historian questions that the Holocaust took place.” The council’s action came in response to a petition circulated among members calling for an official statement against Holocaust-denial propaganda; the petition had been signed by more than 300 members attending the organization’s annual conference. Moreover, in 1994, the AHA reaffirmed its position in a press release which stated that “the Association will not provide a forum for views that are, at best, a form of academic fraud.”

    Holocaust Denial Themes
    The following are summaries of major assertions employed by Holocaust-denial propagandists, with brief factual responses.

    1. The Holocaust Did Not Occur Because There Is No Single “Master Plan” for Jewish Annihilation

    There is no single Nazi document that expressly enumerates a “master plan” for the annihilation of European Jewry. Holocaust-denial propagandists misrepresent this fact as an exposure of the Holocaust “hoax”; in doing so, they reveal a fundamentally misleading approach to the history of the era. That there was no single document does not mean there was no plan. The “Final Solution” the Nazis’ comprehensive plan to murder all European Jews – was, as the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust observes, “the culmination of a long evolution of Nazi Jewish policy.”2 The destruction process was shaped gradually: it was borne of many thousands of directives.3

    The development and implementation of this process was overseen and directed by the highest tier of Nazi leadership, including Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, Adolf Eichmann, Hermann Goering and Adolf Hitler himself. For the previous two decades, Hitler had relentlessly pondered Jewish annihilation.4 In a September 16, 1919, letter he wrote that while “the Jewish problem” demanded an “anti-Semitism of reason” – comprising systematic legal and political sanctions – “the final goal, however, must steadfastly remain the removal of the Jews altogether.”5

    Throughout the 1920s, Hitler maintained that “the Jewish question” was the “pivotal question” for his Party and would be solved “with well-known German thoroughness to the final consequence.”6 With his assumption to power in 1933, Hitler’s racial notions were implemented by measures that increasingly excluded Jews from German society.

    On January 30, 1939, Hitler warned that if Jewish financiers and Bolsheviks initiated war, “The result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.”7 On September 21, 1939, after the Germans invaded Poland, SD chief Heydrich ordered the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units operating in German-occupied territory) to forcibly concentrate Polish Jews into ghettos, alluding to an unspecified “final aim.”8

    In the summer of 1941, with preparations underway for invading Russia, large-scale mass murder initiatives – already practiced domestically upon the mentally ill and deformed – were broadly enacted against Jews. Heydrich, acting on Hitler’s orders, directed the Einsatzgruppen to implement the “special tasks” of annihilation in the Soviet Union of Jews and Soviet commissars.9 On July 31, Heydrich received orders from Goering to prepare plans “for the implementation of the aspired final solution of the Jewish question” in all German-occupied areas.10 Eichmann, while awaiting trial in Israel in 1960, related that Heydrich had told him in August 1941 that “the F?hrer has ordered the physical extermination of the Jews.”11 Rudolf Hoess, the Commandant of Auschwitz, wrote in 1946 that “In the summer of 1941… Himmler said to me, ‘The F?hrer has ordered the Final Solution to the Jewish Question… I have chosen the Auschwitz camp for this purpose.'”12

    On January 20, 1942, Heydrich convened the Wannsee Conference to discuss and coordinate implementation of the Final Solution. Eichmann later testified at his trial:

    These gentlemen… were discussing the subject quite bluntly, quite differently from the language that I had to use later in the record. During the conversation they minced no words about it at all… they spoke about methods of killing, about liquidation, about extermination.13
    Ten days after the conference, while delivering a speech at the Sports Palace in Berlin that was recorded by the Allied monitoring service, Hitler declared: “The result of this war will be the complete annihilation of the Jews… the hour will come when the most evil universal enemy of all time will be finished, at least for a thousand years.”14 On February 24, 1943, he stated: “This struggle will not end with the annihilation of Aryan mankind, but with the extermination of the Jewish people in Europe.15

    Approximately 6 million Jews were killed in the course of Hitler’s Final Solution.

    2. There Were No Gas Chambers Used for Mass Murder at Auschwitz and Other Camps

    Death camp gas chambers were the primary means of execution used against the Jews during the Holocaust. The Nazis issued a directive implementing large-scale gas chambers in the fall of 1941 but, by then, procedures facilitating mass murder, including the utilization of smaller gas chambers, were already in practice. Before their use in death camps, gas chambers were central to Hitler’s “eugenics” pro, gram. Between January 1940 and August 1941, 70,273 Germans – most of them physically handicapped or mentally ill – were gassed, 20-30 at a time, in hermetically shut chambers disguised as shower rooms.16

    Meanwhile, mass shooting of Jews had been extensively practiced on the heels of Germany’s Eastern campaign. But these actions by murder squads had become an increasingly unwieldy process by October 1941. Three directors of the genocide Erhard Wetzel, head of the Racial-Policy Office: Alfred Rosenberg, consultant on Jewish affairs for the Occupied Eastern Territories, and Victor Brack, deputy director of the Chancellory, met at the time with Adolf Eichmann to discuss the use of gas chambers in the genocide program.17 Thereafter, two technical advisors for the euthanasia gas chambers, Kriminalkommissar Christian Wirth and a Dr. Kallmeyer, were sent to the East to begin construction of mass gas chambers.18 Physicians who had implemented the euthanasia program were also transferred.

    Mobile gassing vans, using the exhaust fumes of diesel engines to kill passengers, were used to kill Jews at Chelmno and Treblinka – as well as other sites, not all of them concentration camps – starting in November 1941.19 At least 320,000 Chelmno prisoners, most of them Jews, were killed by this method; a total of 870,000 Jews were murdered at Treblinka using gas vans and diesel-powered gas chambers.20

    Gas chambers were installed and operated at Belzec, Lublin, Sobibor, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau from September 3, 1941, when the first experimental gassing took place at Auschwitz, until November 1944.22 Working with chambers measuring an average 225 square feet, the Nazis forced to their deaths 700 to 800 men, women and children at a time.22 Two-thirds of this program was completed in 1943-44, and at its height it accounted for as many as 20,000 victims per day.23 Authorities have estimated that these gas chambers accounted for the deaths of approximately 2E to 3 million Jews.

    Holocaust-denial attacks on this record of mass murder intensified following the end of the Cold War when it was reported that the memorial at Auschwitz was changed in 1991 to read that 1 million had died there, instead of 4 million as previously recorded. For Holocaust deniers, this change appeared to confirm arguments that historical estimates of Holocaust deaths had been deliberately exaggerated, and that scholars were beginning to “retreat” in the face of “revisionist” assertions. Thus, for example, Willis Carto wrote in the February 6, 1995, issue of The Spotlight, the weekly tabloid of his organization, Liberty Lobby, that “All ‘experts’ until 1991 claimed that 4 million Jews were killed at Auschwitz. This impossible figure was reduced in 1991… to 1.1 million…. The facts about deaths at Auschwitz, however… are still wrong. The Germans kept detailed records of Auschwitz deaths…. These show that no more than 120,000 persons of all religions and ethnicity died at Auschwitz during the war….”

    In fact, Western scholars have never supported the figure of 4 million deaths at Auschwitz; the basis of this Soviet estimate – an analysis of the capacity of crematoria at Auschwitz and Birkenau – has long been discredited. As early as 1952, Gerald Reitlinger, a British historian, had convincingly challenged this method of calculation. Using statistics compiled in registers for Himmler, he asserted that approximately 1 million people had died at Auschwitz; Raul Hilberg in 1961, and Yehuda Bauer in 1989, confirmed Reitlinger’s estimate of Auschwitz victims. Each of these scholars, nonetheless, has recognized that nearly 6 million Jews were killed overall during the Holocaust.24 Polish authorities were therefore responding to long-accepted Western scholarship, further confirmed subsequently by documents released in post-Soviet Russia; the cynical allegations of “Holocaust revisionism” played no part in their decision.

    3. Holocaust Scholars Rely on the Testimony of Survivors Because There Is No Objective Documentation Proving the Nazi Genocide.

    Another frequent claim of Holocaust “revisionists” concerns what they describe as the lack of objective documentation proving the facts of the Holocaust, and the reliance by scholars on biased and poorly collected testimonies of survivors. However, the Germans themselves left no shortage of documentation and testimony to these events, and no serious scholar has relied solely on survivor testimony as the conclusive word on Holocaust history. Lucy Dawidowicz, in the preface to her authoritative work, The War Against the Jews 1933-1945, wrote, “The German documents captured by the Allied armies at the war’s end have provided an incomparable historical record, which, with regard to volume and accessibility, has been unique in the annals of scholarship…. The National Archives and the American Historical Association jointly have published 67 volumes of Guides to German Records Microfilmed at Alexandria, VA. For my work I have limited myself mainly to published German documents.”26 The author then proceeds to list 303 published sources – excluding periodicals -documenting the conclusions of her research. Among these sources are the writings of recognizable Nazi policy makers such as Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Rudolf Hoess and Alfred Rosenberg.

    Similarly, Raul Hilberg in his three-volume edition of The Destruction of the European Jews, wrote, “Between 1933 and 1945 the public offices and corporate entities of Nazi Germany generated a large volume of correspondence. Some of these documents were destroyed in Allied bombings, and many more were systematically burned in the course of retreats or in anticipation of surrender. Nevertheless, the accumulated paper work of the German bureaucracy was vast enough to survive in significant quantities, and even sensitive folders remained.”26

    It is thus largely from these primary sources that the history of the Holocaust has been compiled. A new factor in this process is the sudden availability of countless records from the former Soviet Union, many of which had been overlooked or suppressed since their capture at war’s end by the Red Army. Needless to say, the modification of specific details in this history is certain to continue for a number of years to come, considering the vastness and complexity of the events which comprise the Holocaust. However, it is equally certain that these modifications will only confirm the Holocaust’s enormity, rather than – as the “revisionists” would -call it into question.

    4. There Was No Net Loss of Jewish Lives Between 1941 and 1945.

    Another frequent “revisionist” assertion calls into question the generally accepted estimates of Jewish victims of the Holocaust. In attempting to portray the deaths of millions of Jews as an exaggeration or a fabrication, Holocaust deniers wildly manipulate reference works, almanac statistics, geopolitical data, bedrock historical facts and other sources of information and reportage.

    For example, “revisionists” commonly cite various almanac or atlas figures – typically compiled before comprehensive accounts on the Holocaust were available – that appear to indicate that the worldwide Jewish population before and after World War II remained essentially stable, thereby “proving” that 6 million Jews could not have died during this period.

    The widely cited “6 million” figure is derived from the initial 1945 Nuremberg trial estimate of 5.7 million deaths; subsequent censuses, statistical analyses, and other demographic studies of European Jewry have consistently demonstrated the essential accuracy of this first tally.27 After nearly 50 years of study, historians agree that approximately 6 million Jews perished during the course of the Nazi genocide.28

    In The War Against the Jews, Lucy Dawidowicz offers a country-by-country accounting of Jewish deaths.29

    5. The Nuremberg Trials Were a “Farce of Justice” Staged for the Benefit of the Jews.

    Yet another centerpiece of “revisionist” propaganda attacks the objectivity and legal validity of the postwar Nuremberg Trials, where much information about the Holocaust first became public, and where the general history of the genocide was first established.

    The actual process of bringing Nazi war criminals to justice was a lengthy and complicated effort involving the differing legal traditions and political agendas of the United States, England, France and the Soviet Union. As the historical record shows, the allied victors, if anything, erred on the side of leniency toward the accused Nazis.

    Discussions concerning allied treatment of war criminals had begun as early as October 1943.30 In the summer months following Germany’s surrender in 1945, British, American and Soviet representatives met in London to create the charter for an international military tribunal to prosecute “major criminals” whose offenses extended over the entire Reich, and who therefore could be punished by joint decision of the Governments of the Allies.31

    By early autumn, the Allies had resolved their debates over whom to prosecute and how to define the crimes committed during the Holocaust; the first trials began thereafter in Nuremberg, before an international military tribunal. The chief defendant was Hermann Goering, but the prosecution also selected 20 other leading officials from the Nazi party, German government ministries, central bureaucracy, armament and labor specialists, the military and territorial chiefs.32

    These trials did not result in either “rubber stamp” guilty verdicts or identical sentences. In fact, of the 21 defendants, three were set free; one received a 10-year sentence; one a 15-year sentence; two, 20-year sentences; three, life sentences, and 11 received the death penalty.33

    The defendants, moreover, had access to 206 attorneys, 136 of whom had been Nazi party members.34 Furthermore, as Raul Hilberg stated, “The judges in Nuremberg were established American lawyers. They had not come to exonerate or convict. They were impressed with their task, and they approached it with much experience in the law and little anticipation of the facts.35

    A second round of trials resulted in 25 death sentences, 20 life sentences, 97 sentences of 25 years or less, and 3 5 not-guilty verdicts.36 By 1951, following the recommendations of an American-run clemency board, 77 of the 142 convicted criminals had been released from prison.37

    Notes
    1For more information about the National Alliance, see William L. Pierce: Novelist of Hate, ADL Research Report, 1995.

    2Israel Gutman (Editor in Chief), Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Volume 2, New York, 1990, p. 788.

    3Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (Student Edition), New York, 1985, p. 263.

    4See Lucy Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945, New York, 1975, pp. 150,166.

    5Gutman, Volume 2, p. 489.

    6Ibid., p. 489.

    7Gutman, Volume 2, p. 490.

    8Holocaust, Jerusalem: Keter Books, 1974, p. 104.

    9Gutman, Volume 2, p. 657.

    10Ibid., p. 492.

    11Ronnie Duggar, The Texas Observer, Austin, 1992, p. 48.

    12Gutman, Volume 2, pp. 641-642.

    13Ibid., Volume 2, p. 657.

    14Duggar, p. 48.

    15Holocaust, pp. 105-106.

    16Gutman, Volume 2, p. 453

    17Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust, New York, 1985, p. 219.

    18Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews, Volume 3, New York, 1985, pp. 873-876.

    19Gutman, Volume 2, pp. 541-544.

    20Gutman, Volume 2, p. 542; Volume 4, pp. 1483, 1486.

    21Gutman, Volume 1, pp. 113, 116.

    22Holocaust, p. 86.

    23Ibid., p. 87.

    24Reitlinger, who conducted his research before Hilberg and other scholars, arrives at a more conservative figure of approximately 4.5 murder victims; he nonetheless estimates that one-third of the internees at concentration camps died as a result of starvation, overwork, disease, and other consequences of their captivity. Although his murder count is somewhat lower than that of later scholars, his overall death count remains consistent with subsequent research.

    25Dawidowicz, p. 437.

    26Hilberg, Vol. 3, p. 1223.

    27Dawidowicz, p. 402.

    28Peter Hayes, Associate Professor of German History at Northwestern University, states, “after years of studying this matter, I know of no authority who puts the number of Jews killed [emphasis in original] by the Nazis at less than 5.1 or more than 5.9 million men, women and children.”

    29Dawidowicz, p. 403.

    30Hilberg, Vol. 3, p. 1060.

    31Hilberg, Vol. 3, p. 1061.

    32Hilberg, Vol. 3, p. 1066.

    33Hilberg, Vol. 3, p. 1070.

    34Hilberg, Vol. 3, p. 1075.

    35Hilberg, Vol. 3, p. 1076

    36Hilberg, Vol. 3, p. 1077-1078.

    37Hilberg, Vol. 3, p. 1079.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Source: Holocaust Denial, (NY: ADL, 1997). Copyright Anti-Defamation League (ADL). All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

  33. Dear Daniel,

    While the late Raul Hilberg of course holds to his basic extermination thesis, this explanation is radically different from the one he had previously given. It is obvious that revisionism is responsible for this change. Hilberg more or less conceded this, even if only indirectly. Specifically, he declared:

    “I will say that, in a certain way, Faurisson and others, without wanting to, did us a favor. They raised questions which had the effect of engaging historians in new research. They have obliged us to once again collect information, to re-examine documents and to go further into the comprehension of what has taken place.”

    Hilberg summarized his new thesis before an audience of nearly 2,700 at Avery Fischer Hall in New York City: the entire German policy for the physical destruction of the Jews was to be explained by mind reading! No document attesting to this criminal policy could be found, because no such document existed. For several years, the entire German bureaucratic machinery operated through a kind of telepathy. As Hilberg put it:

    “But what began in 1941 was a process of destruction not planned in advance, not organized centrally by any agency. There was no blueprint and there was no budget for destructive measures. They [these measures] were taken step by step, one step at a time. Thus came about not so much a plan being carried out, but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus-mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy.”

  34. Ah, Michael, what is it with you guys? Is it a deep, seething resentment of Jewish success? Seeth away, pal. We don’t give a fuck.

  35. A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep. Saul Bellow

  36. Dear Daniel,

    I am defending the contention of Jewish power and success. That is another reason why the Hollywood version of the Holocaust story did not happen. If anything the Jewish claims are coming from hate and resentment of Gentiles!

  37. Heil Hitler, Michael, you filthy Nazi scum.

  38. Gee. I guess Michael got Daniel’s goat! It is strange what happens after the facts are discussed and the emotions rise!

  39. Dear Daniel,

    Does it make sense to you?

    As Hilberg put it:

    “But what began in 1941 was a process of destruction not planned in advance, not organized centrally by any agency. There was no blueprint and there was no budget for destructive measures. They [these measures] were taken step by step, one step at a time. Thus came about not so much a plan being carried out, but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus-mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy.”

  40. “…one of the favorite appeals of the Holocaust deniers is to demand some proof that Hitler gave the order for the extermination of the Jews (or the mentally retarded, mentally ill, and physically handicapped). Holocaust deniers point to Himmler’s telephone notes of November 30, 1941, as proof that there was to be no liquidation of the Jews. The actual note says: “Jewish transport from Berlin. No liquidation.” Whatever the note meant, it did not mean that Hitler did not want the Jews liquidated. The transport in question, by the way, was liquidated that evening. In any case, if Hitler ordered no liquidation of the Berlin transport, then liquidation was going on and he knew about it. Hitler’s intentions were made public in his earliest speeches. Even as his regime was being destroyed, Hitler proclaimed: ‘Against the Jews I fought open-eyed and in view of the whole world. . . . I made it plain that they, this parasitic vermin in Europe, will be finally exterminated.’ Hitler at one time compared the Jews to the tuberculosis bacilli that had infected Europe. It was not cruel to shoot them if they would not or could not work. He said: ‘This is not cruel if one remembers that even innocent creatures of nature, such as hares and deer when infected, have to be killed so that they cannot damage others. Why should the beasts who wanted to bring Bolshevism be spared more than these innocents?'” Michael Schermer

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