In 1994, Prof. Dr. Michael Shermer made his first attempt to refute the arguments of Holocaust revisionism with an article “Proving the Holocaust” published in his Skeptic magazine (vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 32-57). Two years later, Shermer accepted an invitation by the Institute for Historical Review to have a debate between him and revisionist historian Mark Weber (see Journal of Historical Review, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 23-34). Another year later, Shermer expanded his arguments and included them as several chapters of his book Why People Believe Weird Things (Freeman & Co., New York 1997, pp. 173-241). Although neither a historian nor a specialist in Holocaust studies by any stretch of the imagination, Shermer catapulted himself into the forefront of experts on “Holocaust denial” with these publications. Recognizing the need for a popular “refutation” of Holocaust revisionism, Alex Grobman from the Simon Wiesenthal Center teamed up with Michael Shermer to produce a book exclusively dedicated to that task. This book was published in 2002: Denying History. The following article by the world’s foremost Holocaust expert, Italian scholar Carlo Mattogno, subjects this book to a detailed critique.
The book Denying History. Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say it? by Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman is a critique of revisionism which has the ambition to place itself – as opposed to previous polemicists – on an objective and scientific platform.
These authors pretend to defend freedom of speech, but they are merely compiling page after page of their purported historical philosophy, embarking upon various excursions, which, beyond merely pretending to be scholarship, are simple fluff. This “multiyear” job (p. 2) required them to go from the United States to Europe for “research in the camps, in particular to Mauthausen, Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Dachau, Auschwitz, and Auschwitz-Birkenau” (p. 127). We can well imagine that, with all the expenses paid by their financial backers, they couldn’t simply put out a booklet of some tens of pages. Because this is what their product boils down to if you strip away the tinsel.
Denying History has grand ambitions, to “take up the contentions of the Holocaust deniers, point by point, and refute them, down to the smallest detail,” according to Arthur Hertzberg (p. xiii), prefacing a contention clearly expressed by the authors:
“In the process we thoroughly refute the Holocaust deniers’ claims and arguments, present an in-depth analysis of their personalities and motives, and show precisely, with solid evidence, how we know the Holocaust happened.” (p. 2)
Shermer and Grobman assert that their book is
“a thorough and thoughtful answer to all the claims of the Holocaust deniers […]” (p. 257)
So, Shermer and Grobman refuted “thoroughly” all the theses of all the revisionists. This is absolutely false.
The claims by these authors are infected right from the start by such a basic falsehood.
To such teachers of lies, I have previously dedicated four studies, in which I have refuted their false accusations one by one; they are:
Olocausto: dilettanti allo sbaraglio (Holocaust: Fumblers make fools of themselves), Edizioni di Ar, 1996, 322 pages;
L “Irritante questione” delle camere a gas ovvero da Cappuccetto Rosso ad…Auschwitz. Risposta a Valentina Pisanty (The “confusing question” of the gac chambers, or from Little Red Riding Hood to… Auschwitz.” Response to Valentina Pisanty), Graphos, Genoa, 1998, 188 pages;
Olocausto: dilettanti nel web (Holocaust: Internet Dilettantes), Effepi, Genova 2005, 132 pages.
To these I add my two responses to Professor John C. Zimmerman, which have been reprinted in a recently published book in a revised form.
Nobody has ever answered the questions presented in the above works, while theses published in books by authors such as Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Deborah Lipstadt, Georges Wellers – three names among others – continue to be cited in the writings of “anti-deniers,” although I have exposed them all as patently false long time ago. Their false theses are thus kept alive by a whole series of incestuous citations, a procedure, which Shermer and Grobman obviously attribute to revisionist historiography (p. 251).
Far from a supposed, unavowable anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi origin, the present work was born from my indignation at the falsifications of Shermer and Grobman, which I will document rigorously. I am also motivated by the pleasure I feel when unmasking these falsifications and in re-establishing historical truth.
Being quite aware that this work, too, will inevitably fall into the silent catacombs of established holocaust historiography, I hope that it may prove useful to some honest people free from prejudice. After all, they may be presented with new considerations different from the four works mentioned above. The present work also demonstrates how a single historical revisionist can demolish in a few weeks the “multiyear” work achieved with the collaboration of the world-wide holocaust establishment. For the historians who are part of this establishment, this is no doubt the most disconcerting effect. It goes well beyond the solid arguments that have brought about their embarrassed silence.
1. Revisionists and Revisionist Method
1.1. The Revisionists
In contrast to their predecessors, Shermer and Grobman purport to be on a strictly scientific plane:
“We think it’s time to move beyond name calling and present the evidence.” (pp. 16f.)
But with that, they show that they know very well the nature of previous criticisms of revisionism: insults and absence of proof!
They even pretend to reject the most worn out anti-revisionist arguments:
“The subtleties and complexities of the Holocaust denial movement deny such global labels as ‘anti-Semitic’ or ‘neo-Nazi.’ To resort to labels is to misunderstand what is really going on and therefore to swat down straw men.” (p. 16)
But then Shermer and Grobman simply cannot resist the temptation to resort to the labels of “anti-Semitic” and “neo-Nazi,” alleging that, in their view, in revisionism “the anti-Semitic theme returns over and over” and that “it seems difficult to clearly separate the Holocaust denial movement from anti-Semitic sentiments.” (p. 87)
And then sweeter and deeper:
“Holocaust deniers, in our opinion, find empowerment through the rehabilitation of those they admire and the denigration of those they perceive to be squelching their admiration […]. The history of the Holocaust is a black eye for Nazism. Deny the veracity of the Holocaust, and Nazism begins to lose this stigma.” (p. 252)
This is the actual significance of the formula, according to which revisionism is “the rewriting of the past for present personal or political purposes” (p. 2), which the authors are pleased with (see p. 34 and p. 238). Therefore Shermer and Grobman bring back through the window the trite defamations they pretended to have chased out through the door. And the insults re-enter also: Nobody “in their right mind would say that the Holocaust never happened” (p. 40), ergo…
Let’s not even take into account that revisionism “is an affront against history and how the science of history is practiced” (p. 251), and “a looking-glass world where black is white, up is down, and the normal rules of reason no longer apply.” (p. 1)
Shermer and Grobman admit that revisionists “are highly motivated, reasonably well financed [if only that were true] and often well versed in Holocaust studies. [… ]. The deniers know a great deal about the Holocaust” (pp. 17f.). Indeed, they have found the American revisionists they have encountered to be “relatively pleasant” (p. 40), which seems a little strange for alleged neo-Nazi anti-Semites who are not “in their right mind”!
But the truth regarding historical revisionism is an entirely different thing. Every deceptive attempt to force revisionist historians into the worn-out category of anti-Semites and neo-Nazis is invariably made “for personal or political reasons” and is as misleading as the title of the very book by Shermer and Grobman: Denying History. What revisionist historians deny is not “history,” but the distorted interpretation of it as dished up by Holocaust historians. Revisionism, born from denying this distortion, is the reassertion of historical truth.
The revisionist activity of Paul Rassinier began as a denial of the lies, with which the concentration camp literature of the post-war period was studded. It was motivated by an indignation when facing such lies and a desire to re-establish truth. That is one of the most important motivations driving revisionist historians: indignation at the imposture of Holocaust historians. The Holocaust historians misuse their positions of power to trick unaware readers, and they can only maintain such positions by tricking uniformed readers. My motivation in exposing the fraudulent Denying History was my indignation at the Shermer/Grobman imposture and my desire to reaffirm historical truth.
As we see in their introduction, the authors claim to have refuted “thoroughly” all the theses of all revisionist historians, and in regard to this they maintain:
“We tried to check the accuracy of our assumptions about the deniers by meeting and interviewing the major players of the Holocaust denial movement, and reading their literature carefully.” (p. 4)
For them, revisionism is confined to M. Weber, D. Irving, R. Faurisson, B. Smith, E. Zündel and D. Cole (pp. 46-71).
Arthur Butz is already too hard a bone to chew for Shermer and Grobman. Therefore they limit themselves to liquidating his work The Hoax of the Twentieth Century as “the book that has become the Bible of the movement” (p. 40), which evidently is true only in their narrow provincialism. The same thing goes for their judgment of Mark Weber as the one who “with the possible exception of David Irving […] has the most knowledge of Holocaust history” (p. 46). Shermer and Grobman, in their America-centric megalomania, have forgotten three really significant details:
They have only addressed the works of a part of American revisionism (ignoring for example F.P. Berg, S. Crowell, B. Renk, T. O’Keefe, W. Lindsey, M. Hoffman. R. Countess).
American revisionism is only one small part of world-wide revisionism.
American revisionism, with all due respect for its history, as far as research goes, is far from being the most important part of world-wide revisionism. That most important part is European revisionism. But for Shermer and Grobman, European revisionism apparently means only Robert Faurisson, of whose theses they have considered only an insignificant part, and moreover, as we shall see in the following paragraph, in a shameless misrepresentation!
The truth is that European revisionism currently means the journal Vierteljahrshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung (PO Box 118, Hastings TN34 3ZQ, England), with its founder Germar Rudolf and his co-workers (as well as the parallely published English journal The Revisionist). European revisionism also means, citing only the most important ones, Jürgen Graf, Jean-Marie Boisdefeu, Enrique Aynat, Henri Roques, Pierre Marais, Serge Thion, Pierre Guillaume, Udo Walendy, Ingrid Weckert, Hans Jürgen Nowak, Werner Rademacher, Walter Sanning, and Wilhelm Stäglich.
In the “Essential Revisionist Bibliography,” which I included in the 1996 study Olocausto: dilettanti allo sbaraglio (pp. 308f.), there are 33 titles, but Shermer and Grobman have considered a mere four, of which three are American! And although Shermer and Grobman selected only this modest section of revisionism, they still had to struggle for years just to give an appearance of a scholarly response:
“This problem came to our attention in talking to the top Holocaust scholars in the world. In many cases we have had to go to great lengths during this multiyear project to get answers to our questions.” (p. 2, emphasis added)
So “the top Holocaust scholars in the world” didn’t even know how to respond to the arguments of minor revisionist scholars carefully selected by the authors! We figure that – according to their deceptive premises – if they would have had to correctly answer all the arguments of revisionism, their “project” would have taken decades!
1.2. The True Historical Method and the Alleged Method of Revisionists
In Chapter 9, Shermer and Grobman present a long and inflated excursus on the “Rape of Nanking” – an alleged war crime during the Japanese invasion of the Chinese city of Nanking in December 1937 – whose historical reconstruction
“culminated on May 3, 1946, when the International Military Tribunal for the Far East opened what became known as The Tokyo War Crimes Trial.” (p. 236)
In other words, the presumed fact was “reconstructed” in order to demonstrate inhumane Japanese ferocity and to morally justify the atomic devastations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the carpet bombing of Tokyo and other Japanese cities by the Americans.
After this diversion, our authors finally return to their topic, with their ten hinges of a scientific method:
“1. How reliable is the source of the claim? Deniers may appear quite reliable as they cite facts and figures, but closer examination often reveals these details have been distorted or taken out of context.
Has this source made other claims that were clearly exaggerated? If an individual is known to have stretched the facts before, it obviously undermines his or her credibility. […]
Has another source verified the claim? Typically deniers will make statements that are unverified or verified only by another denier. […] Outside verification is crucial to good science and good history.
How does the claim fit with what we know about the world and how it works? […].
Has anyone, including and especially the claimant, gone out of the way to disprove the claim, or has only confirmatory evidence been sought? This is what is known as ‘confirmation bias,’ or the tendency to seek confirmatory evidence and reject disconfirming evidence. […].
In the absence of clearly defined proof, does the preponderance of evidence converge on the claimant’s conclusion or a different one? Deniers do not look for evidence that converges on a conclusion; they look for evidence that fits their ideology. In examining their various eyewitness accounts of the gassing of prisoners at Auschwitz, for example, we find a consistent core to the stories, leading to a strong theory of what happened. Deniers, in contrast, pick up on minor discrepancies in the eye-witness reports and blow these up as anomalies that disconfirm the theory. Instead of reviewing the evidence as a whole, they focus on any detail that supports their point of view.
Is the claimant employing the accepted rules of reason and tools of research or only ones that lead to the desired conclusions? […].
Has the claimant provided a different explanation for the observed phenomena rather than just denying the existing explanation? […].
If the claimant has proffered a new explanation, does it account for as many phenomena as the old explanation does? […].
Do the claimant’s personal beliefs and biases drive the conclusions or vice versa?” (pp. 248-250)
And here is the alleged behavior of revisionists as per Shermer and Grobman:
“Deniers are routinely unreliable in their selection of the historical facts. They often make outrageous claims. The claims are rarely verified by other sources, and when they are, these sources are often incestuous. Deniers almost never attempt to disprove their claims and, instead, seek only confirmatory evidence. They generally do not play by the agreed-upon rules of historical scholarship, offer no alternative theory to account for the historical data, and thus can muster no convergence of evidence for their nonexistent theory [sic]. Finally, as we have demonstrated with a preponderance of evidence, Holocaust deniers’ personal beliefs and biases dictate their conclusions.” (p. 251)
In this study I will demonstrate, “with a preponderance of evidence,” that the authors have outlined here a perfect description of themselves and their methods. But before entering into the heart of this discussion, some general observations are in order.
To begin with, it would be much too easy to find the entire work of Shermer and Grobman as failing in terms of their first point, that is to say, as being based upon their selection of authors and revisionist arguments, and thus amputating and distorting the entire thematic picture.
In their work, the authors have adopted a magical formula: “convergence of evidence,” allegedly adopted by Holocaust historians and allegedly neglected by revisionist historians. That formula was invented by Robert J. van Pelt in his expert opinion as part of the Irving-Lipstadt trial and known as The Pelt Report. As no evidence exists of extermination of jews in homicidal gas chambers, van Pelt collected all the available “indications” (including those by J.-C. Pressac), illicitly promoted them to “evidence” and then invented a “convergence of evidence,” which is nothing but scientific imposture.
As an example, let’s look at the “convergence of evidence” regarding Auschwitz adopted by the authors. The eyewitness testimonies all have a “solid nucleus” according to Shermer and Grobman, converging toward reality of homicidal gassings. Revisionist historians, on the other hand, attack “smaller discrepancies” and “any detail” in order to demolish the entire testimony.
It is the very opposite that is true. First of all, Shermer and Grobman as well as most Holocaust historians, ignore the complete texts of these eyewitness testimonies and only present anthologies by carefully selecting passages of the testimonies in order to create an illusory “convergence,” while purging all the absurdities and contradictions that they contain.
A typical example of this “convergence” is offered to us by G. Reitlinger. Describing the alleged homicidal gassings in Birkenau, he appeals:
to Ada Bimko for so-called “railwagons” transporting the corpses to the ovens;
to Miklos Nyiszli for the gassing process;
to Charles Sigismud Bendel for the emptying of the gas chambers.
Examining the narration of Reitlinger, it seems that all the witnesses describe the same structures and the same facts, but reality is very different.
Ada Bimko never put foot in a crematorium. She invented a fanciful story of some visit to a crematorium and allegedly “saw” a gas chamber equipped with “two huge metallic containers containing gas” and rail tracks that led directly to the furnace room. The unprepared “eyewitness” in fact believed that alleged homicidal gassings occurred with a gas similar to methane (therefore inventing the two containers) and that, in accordance with the so-called Vrba-Wetzler report, a narrow-gauge track ran from “the gas chambers” to “the ovens.”
Actually, in none of the Birkenau Crematoria the rooms, to which official historiography attributes the function of homicidal gas chambers, were connected to the respective oven rooms via rail tracks and little wagons. Therefore we are dealing with a grossly false testimony.
Nyiszli and C.S. Bendel, two self-styled members of the so-called “Sonderkommando” of Birkenau who allegedly lived in the same places at the same time (not to go more deeply into details), described the alleged gas chambers of Crematoria II and III of Birkenau, which actually measured 30 by 7 m and were 2.41 m high, as being 200 m long (Nyiszli) and as being 10 meters long, 4 meters wide, and 1.60 meters high (Bendel). Is it really just a minor “detail” that of these two witnesses describing a room of an actual length of 30 m, one claims a length of 200 m and the other claims a length of 10 m?
And what about the fact that Nyiszli had published in the Hungarian newspaper Világ a whole series of entirely fabricated articles purporting to be his testimony at the IG-Farben trial? Another minor “detail”? And what about the many historical falsifications that I have exposed in an appropriate study? More minor “details”?
Another example of false “convergence” is the description of eyewitnesses Filip Müller and Miklos Nyiszli regarding the gassing process: Müller had simply plagiarized Nyiszli‘s testimony (using the German translation, which appeared in the magazine Quick of Munich in 1961 with the title “Auschwitz. Tagebuch eines Lagerarztes”), who had invented the scene he described on the – erroneous – assumption that the Zyklon B used for the gassings was based on chlorine and therefore had a much higher density than air. So we have a “convergence,” alright, but of a lie. Another “convergence” of a lie is the “tall tale” of so-called wire mesh devices allegedly used to introduce Zyklon B into the alleged homicidal gas chambers of Crematoria II and III, ostensibly manufactured by Michał Kula and allegedly “seen” by Henryk Tauber – devices that never existed! So this is how they fabricate “convergence of evidence!” We shall present other examples.
Point 2 of the methodic principles of Shermer and Grobman reads that “if an individual is known to have stretched the facts before, it obviously undermines his or her credibility.” In other words, if an individual has lied once, that individual is no longer credible. Quite so, but just look at how these Holocaust historians disregard this principle with their witnesses!
To stay with Auschwitz, one can assert with certainty and without fear of refutation that none of these witnesses – and I emphasize none – has told the truth about the crematory ovens of Birkenau. But all of them – and I once again emphasize all – have shamelessly lied about the operation and about the cremation capacity of these systems, topping with the apex of ridiculous absurdities such as Dov Paisikovic (that the cremation of one corpse took four minutes!), Stanislaw Jankowski alias Alter Feinsilber (that 12 corpses were cremated in every muffle at a time!), and of Miklos Nyiszli (that the capacity of Birkenau crematoria was 20,000 corpses per day!).
Rather, the Holocaust historians sometimes even try to cover the lies of “their” witnesses with other lies, as did for instance R.J. van Pelt with respect to A. Bimko, the Vrba-Wetzler report, or B. Polevoi‘s article.
What about verification of sources? Here we have a book of over 300 pages, which not only claims to have refuted all the theses of all the revisionists, but purports to have demonstrated that the alleged Holocaust really happened. The authors generally rely upon secondary sources, as far as testimonies are concerned. The same goes for their documents. Altogether, they cite only four!
Since their published methods impose upon Shermer and Grobman the obligation to verify sources, one would expect they had checked their references. Let’s take a look.
On page 107 they mention SS-Standartenführer Paul Blobel in connection with the so-called “Aktion 1005” (more on this in chapter 3.2.3.), for which they cite document PS-3197 (note 20 on page 272), but the correct reference is NO-3947, sworn statement of Paul Blobel dated June 18, 1947.
On page 175, Shermer and Grobman state:
“On November 26, 1945, at the first Nuremberg trial, the Nazi physician Dr. Wilhelm Hoettel [sic] testified […]”
In reality Wilhelm Höttl never testified at Nuremberg; the authors take for a “testimony” a simple “affidavit” drawn up on November 26, 1945 (Document PS-2738, as they indicate on page 277, note 5).
On page 186 the authors present a passage of a speech by Hans Frank, head of the General Government (occupied Poland) dated October 7, 1940. The reference they give is PS-3363 (note 28 p. 278). But in reality that speech (to which we shall return in chapter 3.7.1.) really occurred on December 20, 1940, and the actual document is PS-2233!
On page 194, Shermer and Grobman state there was a report by Himmler to Hitler dated December 29, 1942, which they reference as “N.D. 1120, prosecution exhibit 237” (note 47 p. 279). But in reality this refers to document NO-511.
This is how Shermer and Grobman respect their obligation to verify their sources!
As an example of their failure to comply with point 4 of their methodic decalogue, we have these authors stating:
“the deniers’ elaborate conspiracy theories about how the jews have concocted the Holocaust history in order to extract reparations from Germany and support for Israel from Americans.” (p. 249)
Previously Shermer and Grobman had already written that “some deniers” assert that
“there was a conspiracy by Zionists to exaggerate the plight of jews during the war in order to finance the State of Israel through war reparations.” (p. 106)
As a source for this foolish “tall tale,” to which no revisionist historian would subscribe, Shermer and Grobman present the following in their Note 13 on page 271:
“See P. Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth: A Study of the Nazi Concentration Camps and the Alleged Extermination of European Jewry (Los Angeles, Noontide Press, 1978)” (note 13 on p. 271)
Now that reference does not cite any page because that “tall tale” was invented by the authors. It is nothing other than a passage from the person who wrote the preface to the book, Pierre Hofstetter, who in fact spoke of:
“[…] the entire Zionist establishment which has built the State of Israel on ‘the myth of the six million.’”
That is, the Zionists have taken advantage of, not created, this “myth.”
Concerning Robert Faurisson, Shermer and Grobman present even more dishonesty; on page 100 they write:
“In a 1987 publication, for example, he [Faurisson] claimed that British Holocaust historian Martin Gilbert had misstated the size of a gas chamber in order to make it fit an eyewitness account of the number of jews gassed there on a particular occasion. Faurisson failed to take into account the simple fact that eyewitness details may be inadvertently inaccurate (in this case possibly exaggerated) and thus perhaps Gilbert‘s source was incorrect.”
In other words, this is claimed to have been a “blunder” by Faurisson. We verify this according to the teachings of the methodic decalogue of the authors. In a report of May 6, 1945, Kurt Gerstein wrote that from 700 to 800 people were placed into a gas chamber of 25 square meters and 45 cubic meters, which would mean that 28 to 32 persons could occupy a square meter! Here is how Martin Gilbert put this in 1979:
“About seven to eight hundred people in an area of about a hundred square meters.” (emphasis added)
Therefore Martin Gilbert did not “misstate” the size of the alleged gas chamber, but falsified the data contained in the original document because it is so absurd. As for the authors, it is precisely they who have made the big “blunder,” because, in the first place, they didn’t verify Gilbert‘s source and in the second place they invented the “tall tale” of another source which he used!
Continuing with Shermer’s/Grobman’s assault against Prof. Faurisson:
“He made a similar blunder over his analysis of the famous Gerstein document. Kurt Gerstein was an SS officer involved in ordering Zyklon-B gas used for both delousing and homicide who, before he died in captivity after the war, gave testimony to the homicidal use of the fumigant. Faurisson and others looked for internal contradictions in his confession, claiming, for example, that the number of victims packed into the gas chambers could not have physically fit. It turns out that Faurisson was basing his estimates on the number of people who fit comfortably into a subway car; others (including deniers) have since disproved his estimates.” (pp. 59f.)
The reference is to the book by Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Assassins of Memory (1992), 65-74, (Note 65, page 267). In reality, in this book there is not a trace of this silly “tall tale,” which has been invented by Shermer and Grobman. Those authors are not even shrewd enough to realize that this is their “blunder” regarding the same passage of the same document of their previous citation! Now, in order to demonstrate the impossibility that in their presumed gas chamber, where 28 to 32 people were claimed to have been compressed onto each square meter, was there really any need of a comparison with a subway car? Both Martin Gilbert and the Jewish historian Leon Poliakov intuitively understood, so much so that they both falsified the data of Kurt Gerstein!
But the methods of the adversaries of revisionism are not aberrant merely in the hermeneutical field. Here are other examples from Shermer and Grobman themselves. They recount that on February 27, 1993, Mark Weber was
“the victim of a Simon Wiesenthal Center sting operation in which the researcher Yaaron Svoray, calling himself Ron Furey, met with Weber in a café to discuss The Right Way, a magazine invented to trick neo-Nazis into identifying themselves.” (pp. 46f.)
Therefore the prestigious Wiesenthal Center is devoted to deceit and lies! By a singular coincidence, one of the authors of Denying History, Alex Grobman, is “founding editor-in-chief of the Simon Wiesenthal Annual”! (From their own book cover.)
The second case concerns the former Jewish revisionist David Cole. In 1998, Robert J. Newman published an announcement on the web page of the notorious Jewish Defense League entitled “David Cole: Monstrous Traitor,” which was formulated as a reward for getting him dead or alive. David Cole understood perfectly (he “was deadly afraid for his life, that someone would find him and shoot him”) and he hastened to retract everything (pp. 72f.).
To the lies and deceit, threats are also added – not from street hooligans, but from two “prestigious” (or notorious?) Jewish associations!
2. The “Convergence of Evidence” of the Gas Chambers
2.1. The Six Levels of “Convergence of Evidence”
In chapter six, concerning mainly Auschwitz, but also including Majdanek and Mauthausen, the authors purport “proving gas chambers and crematoria were used for genocide” (p. 126). They present six elements of proof, which “converge on this conclusion,” as they claim (p. 128).
Let’s examine these “proofs”:
Written documents – orders for Zyklon B (the trade name of hydrogen cyanide, which is absorbed in gypsum pellets), architectural blueprints, and orders for building materials for gas chambers and crematoria.
Zyklon B gas traces [sic!] on the walls of the gas chambers at several camps.
Eyewitness testimony – survivor testimonies, Jewish Sonderkommando diaries, and confessions of guards and commandants.
Ground photographs – not only of the camps, but also of burning corpses (photos taken secretly and smuggled out of Auschwitz).
Aerial photographs – indicating prisoners being moved toward gas chamber/crematorium complexes, and matching those of ground photographs corroborating gas chambers and crematoria structures.
The extant ruins of camps – examined in light of the above sources of evidence (pp. 127f.).
Before refuting these presumed converging proofs regarding Auschwitz, Majdanek and Mauthausen, it is appropriate to explore their nature and their value.
Regarding the orders for Zyklon B, the authors say nothing. They simply limit themselves to repeating the phrase “orders for Zyklon-B gas” (p. 133), which constitutes their “convergence of evidence”! But even if they had articulated their argument better (something they evidently were not in a position to do), this “evidence” can only be glaring nonsense. Since Zyklon B is well known to have been used in all German concentration camps for disinfestation, how could it be deduced from orders that this insecticide was used for mass murder?
As an example, getting back to Kurt Gerstein, who was “involved in ordering Zyklon-B gas” (p. 59), he [Gerstein] presented 12 invoices from Degesch in his name concerning the supply of 2,370 kg of Zyklon B from February 16 to May 31, 1944, 1,185 kg for Auschwitz and 1,185 kg for Oranienburg. How can we conclude that the supply of Zyklon B to Auschwitz is “proof” of mass extermination, if no such extermination was practiced at Oranienburg (Sachsenhausen) in homicidal gas chambers using Zyklon B?
The authors say nothing either on “architectural blueprints and orders for building materials for gas chambers and crematoria,” an intentionally deceptive phrase, because it insinuates that documents exist concerning homicidal gas chambers, which is false. As for crematorium ovens, there is abundant documentation, but there is no evidence that they were used for the cremation of allegedly gassed persons. Indeed, the contrary conclusion emerges with certainty from their own study: neither the coke supply nor the life-time of the refractory masonry of the muffles could have allowed the cremation of more than the number of corpses of registered prisoners who died of natural causes, and this is one converging proof of the absence of homicidal gas chambers, on which Shermer and Grobman stay tellingly silent. The topic of “Zyklon-B gas traces” will be discussed below.
I have already shown various examples of the way Holocaust historians create “convergence” of testimonies: first of all, by extrapolating single passages from testimonies, keeping quiet about the obvious absurdities they contain, which reduce their credibility and render them unacceptable according to point 2 of our authors’ methodic decalogue. Secondly, they silently pass over the enormous contradictions concerning essential issues, which such testimonies present. We shall see later another case of false “convergence” when we come to “cremation pits.”
The “ground photographs,” including those that show “bodies burning,” do not prove anything regarding alleged mass extermination in homicidal gas chambers, because the practice of burning corpses out in the open at Birkenau was put into effect when the crematoria were temporarily out of service and when there was a lack of coke for running the ovens, as I have demonstrated elsewhere It is not by accident that Shermer and Grobman have later dropped this “evidence.”
The air photographs shall be examined below. Finally, as for “the extant ruins of the camps,” they demonstrate less than nothing with respect to alleged homicidal gassings, all the more so in view of the authors’ singular ignorance in this respect.
With this now exposed, let us move on to a detailed examination of their “proofs.”
2.2. Auschwitz Gas Chambers
2.2.1. The “Zyklon-B Traces”
The treatment of this “evidence” begins with the Shermer and Grobman paragraph labeled “Zyklon-B Traces” (p. 129). As I have indicated several times, this foolish phrase is a result of ignorance of terminology regarding this issue. Obviously, “Zyklon-B traces” are in reality cyanide traces, which is a very different thing. On this topic, the foremost authority – not only among revisionists – is Germar Rudolf, a chemist by profession, and author of a meticulous scientific study on the “gas chambers” of Auschwitz, which examines the issues of the structures and procedures of the disinfestation systems at Auschwitz (Rudolf‘s chapter 5.2.) and the formation and stability of Iron Blue (also know as Prussian Blue or ferric ferrocyanide, chapter 6).
Moreover, Rudolf collected at Birkenau various masonry samples from the disinfesting gas chambers and from the alleged homicidal gas chambers, the chemical analysis of which resulted in a maximum of 13,500 mg/kg for the former (disinfestation chamber of BW 5b) and of 6.7 mg/kg for the latter (Leichenkeller or underground morgue 1 of Crematorium II). These results are reported in Rudolf‘s chapter 8, together with the results of all previous chemical analyses and a thorough refutation of arguments of the supporters of the existence of homicidal gas chambers.
Now, Shermer and Grobman liquidate this fundamental study with a couple of irrelevant quotations, even deforming the family name of Rudolf, whom they call “Rudolph.” Having to choose between a preliminary study, which unavoidably presented dubious aspects (The Leuchter Report) and the essential one, which is unquestionably scientific, Shermer and Grobman concentrated on the former and silently passed over the latter, thus selecting the one that is convenient to their thesis. But even when discussing the Leuchter Report, Shermer and Grobman propose arguments, which make anyone minimally informed in this matter wonder about Shermer’s and Grobman’s competence. On page 181 Shermer and Grobman write as follows:
“Faurisson indicates that there are traces of Zyklon-B in general buildings that were fumigated as well as in the gas chambers; so he concludes that traces of Zyklon-B prove nothing about the homicidal use of gas chambers. According to the pharmacist and extermination camp expert Jean-Claude Pressac, however, Faurisson‘s defense does not make sense since buildings and morgues are normally disinfected with antiseptics, whether solid (lime, lime chloride), liquid (bleach, cresol), or gas (formaldehyde, sulfur anhydride)” (p. 181, emphasis added)
Well, if there is something here that “does not make sense,” it is just such an answer, because although Faurisson did say “disinfection gas chambers,” he clearly meant “disinfestation gas chambers,” and with this play on words, these Holocaust historians constructed alleged “confusing evidence”!
In the construction of such “proof” there is no lack of some bad faith, because, for example, Danuta Czech also uses the term “Desinfektion” (disinfection) in her Kalendarium of Auschwitz to indicate the disinfestation (or delousing) with Zyklon B, but no official historian has ever indicated that this “does not make sense”!
2.2.2. The Presumed Solubility of Iron Blue
On page 182 the authors assert that the ruins of the alleged homicidal gas chambers have been “completely exposed to the elements for over half a century.” Therefore – they insinuate – the Iron Blue which formed on the walls had dissolved. They then bring back an argument by David Cole, who
“[…] acknowledges that the extant ruins have been exposed to the elements but then wonders why Zyklon-B blue staining remains on the outside of the brick gas chamber at Majdanek, against which the Nazis beat clothing and blankets to remove the gas residue.” (p. 132)
The authors comment:
“Wouldn’t these blue stains have washed away in the weather as at Auschwitz? His question sounds reasonable, but when we visited Majdanek we could see that the blue staining on the outside bricks is minimal. Moreover, a roof overhang has protected the bricks from rain and snow, so that the bricks at Majdanek are nowhere near as weathered as the open rubble at Auschwitz.” (p. 132)
It is true that the Iron Blue stains on external walls of two disinfestation chambers situated behind barrack “Bad und Desinfektion I” of Majdanek are faint. But it is not only wrong to claim that the ”Nazis” had beaten clothing and blankets on these walls in order to remove gas residuals, it also contradicts the two authors’ own assertion that these two premises “were for the express purpose of gassing prisoners” (p. 163). We shall return to this issue.
It is moreover false that the wall at issue was protected (for decades, according to the authors, otherwise, their point would be dull) by an overhang or canopy. This overhang was in fact already in a state of being dismantled as of the camp’s liberation in July 1944. The wall at issue was therefore already exposed to the elements at war’s end, and so it has remained until today.
But in the response of the authors it is not so much what they say, but rather what they do not say that is surprising. They are silent about the fact that right there in Birkenau, a little more than 300 meters from the ruins of Crematoria II and III, on the two external walls (North and South) of the disinfestation gas chambers of building BW 5b immense and intense Iron Blue stains exist (less so on the walls of the delousing chamber of BW 5a). This was already noted by Pressac, who also photographed them! G. Rudolf‘s comprehensive compilation of evidence proving the extraordinary long-term stability of Iron Blue against environmental influences is met with total silence as well. Therefore the authors not only deliberately hide evidence here, which refutes their untenable hypotheses, but try to confirm them with bogus evidence.
2.2.3. Vanished Doors and “Locks”
On page 132, Shermer and Grobman, anticipating their treatment of the alleged Mauthausen homicidal gas chamber, write:
“When a question or a statement has no grounding in evidence, it becomes just a rhetorical device and requires no answer. Consider, as yet another example, Cole‘s claim that at Mauthausen the door of the gas chamber does not lock. True, the present door does not lock, but that is irrelevant because it is not the original door. All we had to do to find out that fact was ask.”
Subsequently they add that “the gas chamber’s original door is now in a museum.” (p. 168).
Therefore “the” door to the gas chamber is not original: the original is to be found “in a museum” and to know all about it, all one needs to do is “ask”! As is seen, Shermer and Grobman, who want detailed analysis on the reliability of revisionist sources, bring in an absolutely reliable source: the answer by an unnamed person to their question.
It is also necessary to note that the spirit of observation of the authors is not very sharp, given that even though they visited the alleged gas chamber at Mauthausen (of which they also published one of their photographs), they are not aware of the fact that the room has two doors: but then why do they assert that “the door” to the premises is not original? Here is a typical example of an affirmation that “has no grounding in evidence” and therefore becomes “just a rhetorical device”!
A device that moreover reveals the unique ignorance of Shermer and Grobman, as well as of David Cole, who all seriously believe that the gas chamber had a “lock”! In reality, the gas-tight doors had levers closing against angle irons set into the steel frame of the door, such as are quite visible on all the disinfestation chambers at Majdanek. Shermer and Grobman also saw them, and even made a photograph, shown on their page 167, figure 29, but they have understood nothing of their functioning.
2.2.4. The “Reconstruction” of Auschwitz Crematorium I
On page 132, Shermer and Grobman write:
“What about the ‘evidence’ that Cole, Leuchter and Faurisson do present, such as their ‘finding’ that the residue from Zyklon-B in the gas chamber at Crematorium I at Auschwitz (the original camp converted from a Polish army barracks) does not reach a level consistent with extermination? Significantly, they fail to mention in their writings that this building was reconstructed using both original materials and those from other buildings. Who knows what they actually ‘tested’ in their research?”
Here Shermer and Grobman resort to one more “pious” lie: as we know, Crematorium I was never demolished and never reconstructed. The source they cite, the book of Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt (note 35 on page 275), says in fact that yes, Crematorium I was “reconstructed,” but explains that this refers to a presumed restoration to the original state with the reconstruction of the chimney, of two crematorium ovens, and with the realization of four openings for the introduction of Zyklon B through the roof of the mortuary chamber (the alleged gas chamber), which was never destroyed. In order to keep people from discovering these “pious” falsehoods, the authors then committed a “pious error” by citing the reference to that work as “pp. 274 to 278” instead of p. 364!
2.2.5. An Original “Gas Chamber” – Although Reconstructed!
And here the final pseudo-reasoning, as worthy a conclusion as those previously:
“David Cole, in his documentary of his visit to Auschwitz, dramatically proclaims that he got the museum director to ‘confess’ that the gas chamber was a reconstruction and thus a ‘lie’ thrust upon an unwitting public. We see this as classic denier hyperbole and ideological flag waving. No one at Auschwitz – from the guides to the director – denies that the gas chamber there is a reconstruction. A visitor has only to ask.” (p. 133)
This may even be true if it refers to the time when the authors visited the camp towards the end of the 1990s, but it was not true in 1992, when David Cole went to Auschwitz. Naturally Shermer and Grobman know this very well, because in the documentary video at issue, Cole did not do anything other than to “ask” a guide, by the name of Alicia. Here are the essential parts of their conversation:
“Here, in front of the gas chamber, I asked Alicia about the authenticity of that building.
Cole: Now, let’s start again talking about this building here.
Alicia: This is a crematorium/gas chamber.
Cole: But this is a reconstruction?
Alicia: It is in [its] original state.
Now there Alicia has very clearly represented the gas chamber as being in its original state. Once inside, I asked her specifically about the holes in the ceiling.
Cole: Are these the original four holes in the ceiling?
Alicia: It is original. Through this chimney was dropped Zyklon B.”
Already in 1995, Krystyna Oleksy, civil employee of the director of the Museum, declared to journalist Eric Conan on the subject of the presumed gas chamber:
“For the time being, we leave it as it is and we don’t tell visitors. It’s too complicated.”
This means the guides were ordered not to tell visitors that the premises were (poorly) restructured, in order to make people believe that it is a homicidal gas chamber in its original state! Here we are not facing a “classic denier hyperbole,” but a classic disingenuous argument of Shermer and Grobman.
Let us now move on to the alleged “corroboration” by documents and ground photographs (p. 131). The authors bring up the famous letter of January 29, 1943, from “Sturmbannführer” (Major) Bischoff to “Heinz” Kammler (p. 137). Karl Bischoff was head of Central Construction Office of the Waffen-SS and Police Auschwitz, but he held the rank – indicated in the letter – of SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain), while Kammler, head of Office Gruppe C of SS-WVHA, had the first name Hans.
They then quote a section of text from the letter, in which the German word Öfen (ovens) is rendered as “furnaces.” At this point the authors, instead of examining the original document, have relied on a second-hand source: Gerald Reitlinger (note 38 on p. 275).
As far as the term “Vergasungskeller” is concerned, which they translate as “gassing cellar,” even Jean-Claude Pressac opined that it is “irresponsible” to assert that it designates a homicidal gas chamber as such, because:
“though ‘gas chamber’ was correct, there was no proof that it was ‘homicidal.’”
On p. 137, the authors write:
“On March 6, 1943, Bischoff refers to a gas-tight door for Crematorium III, similar to that of Crematorium II, which was to include a peephole of thick glass.”
Actually, the original is dated March 31, 1943. The authors show only a portion of it, but falsify the translation of the term “Leichenkeller I” (underground morgue 1) which becomes simply “cellar I.” The source given in note 39 on p. 275 is J.-C. Pressac‘s first study of Auschwitz, which shows the original documents.
At the end, the authors comment:
“Why would they need a peephole with thick glass if all that was happening in this room was the delousing of clothing? Although in itself the existence of the peephole does not ‘prove’ anything, it is one more finding that dovetails with the idea that these chambers were used for killing people.” (p. 137)
That fallacious conclusion is squarely refuted by the very book from which they obtained the document mentioned. Pressac has, in fact, published a photograph of a gas-tight door of the disinfestation chamber using hydrogen cyanide at the so-called Kanada I delousing and storage barracks complex, BW 28, “Entlausungs- und Effektenbaracken,” with this comment:
“The gas-tight door of the Kanada I delousing gas chamber. Its construction, by the DAW [= Deutsche Ausrüstungswerke], is very rudimentary. It has peephole, a handle to open it […]”
Pressac even shows an enlargement of this peep-hole. And a peep-hole was also set in the gas-tight door of the disinfestation chamber of Block 1 at the Auschwitz camp, of which Pressac presents six photographs. According to the regulations in effect in Germany during these times, it was prohibited to enter a delousing room without a companion. Who ever entered such a room, had to be observed by at least one person, who can come to the rescue in case of an emergency. This explains why delousing chamber doors had peep holes.
Thus, the authors here not only violated their own methodic rules by exclusively looking only for confirmatory evidence, but they deliberately ignored evidence that refutes their erroneous conclusions by selecting from Pressac‘s book only those parts which fit in with their theses!
2.2.7. “Eyewitness Accounts”
A further convergent “proof” comes from “eyewitnesses to mass murder” (p. 137). The authors mention the famous “confession” of Pery Broad – which he drew up on July 13, 1945, and handed over to the British Intelligence Services – and state:
“In April 1959 Broad was called to testify at a trial of captured Auschwitz SS members and acknowledged the authorship of the memoir, confirmed its validity, and retracted nothing.” (p. 137)
But at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, Broad declared:
“In 1945, I wrote a report on Auschwitz and handed it to the English at the British camp of Munsterlager. There, a copy of my report was made. I have glanced through the photocopy presented to me here. Some sections are mine; some sections may have been added by others, some sections, finally, are false. I am surprised that such things should stem from me.”
“I recognize individual portions as being unmistakably mine, but not the document in its entirety.”
It is certainly true that Broad recognized as authentic those portions of the report that speak of gassings, but if he had ventured to question the authenticity of those portions, he faced the possibility of a much harsher sentence.
According to the authors, revisionist historians have noticed that the duration of a homicidal gassing was four minutes for Broad and twenty minutes for Höss and conclude, surprisingly but true, that
“because of such discrepancies, deniers dismiss Broad‘s account entirely.” (p. 138)
In fact, this document is considered of doubtful value even by such people as Pierre Vidal-Naquet and Jean-Claude Pressac. The former has written:
“In the documentation on Auschwitz there are statements which give the impression of adopting entirely the language of the victors. This is the case, for example, of SS-man Pery Broad who, in 1945, drew up for the English a memorandum on Auschwitz where he had been active as a member of the Politische Abteilung, i.e. of the Gestapo. He speaks of himself in the third person.”
“Historically, this account is not exploitable in its present version, despite its ‘true’ and all too ‘striking’ atmosphere, since it has been rewritten by and for the Poles and diffused exclusively by them.”
Pressac then states that the Auschwitz Museum is not in possession of the original and that nobody knows where it is. In his second book on Auschwitz, Pressac asserts:
“[P. Broad] gave himself up to the English in May  and started to work for them. On the basis of his recollections he drew up a report on Auschwitz, the strange format of which is said to have been suggested to him by a Pole in London who had been in touch with him at Munsterlager. Released in 1947, he continued to work for the English. He blamed everyone else to save his own skin, testified at Nuremberg and at Hamburg in the trial of Bruno Tesch.”
The authors, hence, who (rightly) demand from the revisionist historians the reliability of their sources, base themselves in this case on a document, of which no one has ever seen the original, which is written in an apologetically Polish style, and which is recognized even by its presumed author as having been somewhat altered. But for Shermer and Grobman, this is a reliable source!
Then, the authors move on to the convergent “proof” of Rudolf Höss‘ “confessions.” They claim:
“Höss made his statement on April 5, 1946, probably unaware of Pery Broad‘s memoir (and vice versa).” (p. 139, emphasis added)
They tell us that
“after Höss was found guilty and sentenced to death, he wrote a 250-page autobiographical manuscript that corroborates both his previous testimony and Broad‘s statement.” (p. 139)
In fact, the sentence in the Höss trial was pronounced on April 2, 1947, and he was executed on April 16, but his notes date from the period between November 1946, and February 1947. It is really unbelievable that the authors should be unaware of such basic dates in the historiography of the holocaust.
They then forget to relate that Höss had already made a first “confession,” to the English, with reference to which, in his notes written while in Polish custody, he states:
“My first interrogation ended in a confession, given the persuasive arguments used against me. I do not know what the statement contains, although I did sign it. But alcohol and the whip were too much, even for me.”
Martin Broszat, the editor of the original German version of Höss‘ notes, mentions in a footnote:
“It is a typescript of 8 pages which Höss signed on March 14, 1946 (Nuremberg Document NO-1210). As far as the contents are concerned, it does not materially differ in any point from what Höss declared or wrote at Nuremberg or Krakow.”
Therefore, the first “confession” made by Höss, the one which contains the essential elements of all later “confessions,” was formulated by his English interrogators!
The authors forget, furthermore, to present another argument at variance with their thesis: The fact that Höss was tortured by the English has now been historically verified, having been admitted even by his torturer (Bernard Clarke) and accepted as true by J.-C. Pressac (“arrested by the English in March, 1946, he was violently beaten and ill-treated several times, almost to death”) and by Fritjof Meyer (“after three sleepless nights, tortured, whipped after every answer, naked and forced to drink alcohol […]”).
Finally, the authors refer to the diary of Dr. Johann Paul Kremer (p. 139) whose “Sonderaktionen” (special actions) – as I have explained elsewhere – have nothing to do with exterminations. The authors draw attention to the fact that “at the trial of the Auschwitz camp garrison in Krakow in December 1947” Dr. Kremer clarified that “Sonderaktion” meant homicidal gassing. They show part of Dr. Kremer‘s interrogation, which did not take place “in December” of 1947 but on August 18.
Already in the indictment (akt oskarżenia) at the initiation of the trial of the camp garrison of the Auschwitz camp, the Prosecutor of the People’s Supreme Tribunal of Warsaw had established that “Sonderaktion” was synonymous with gassing:
“During his brief stay at Auschwitz, the accused Kremer took part 14 times in assassinations (gassings). Between 2 and 28 September he participated in 9 similar ‘Sonderaktionen.’”
Under the circumstances, if Dr. Kremer had dared to object to the prosecution’s view, he would have been considered an inveterate “Nazi” criminal, condemned to death and executed. Kremer chose to help the prosecution, and it was a winning gamble: he was inevitably condemned to death (he had participated in the “selection” of detainees) but pardoned and released in 1958.
And this is the surprising conclusion of the authors:
“The convergence of the accounts from Broad, Höss and Kremer is additional proof that the Nazis used gas chambers and crematoria for mass extermination.” (p. 140)
Hence, a report written or manipulated by the British Secret Service and by the Poles, of which no one has ever seen the original, “confessions” drawn up by the British Secret Service and imposed by torture, and finally admissions already incorporated into an indictment by the Polish prosecution of a Stalinist show trial and opportunistically taken over by a defendant constitute, for the authors, “converging proofs” – a most incredible statement!
In matters of “convergence,” the authors state that the revisionist historians
“still have the problem of explaining why the two accounts coincide so well.” (p. 139)
Leaving aside the fact that the two testimonies are far from “coinciding so well,” it would not really be a “problem” should they coincide with their claim that mass exterminations were carried out in gas chambers at Auschwitz.
Already during the war the British Secret Service was aware of the fanciful reports by various Polish resistance movements, which came to the attention of the Secret Service of the Delegatura (the secret agents in Poland of the Polish government in exile in London). Immediately after the end of the war, various national commissions for the investigation of NS war crimes were set up, and the first sketches of the story of exterminations at Auschwitz began to emerge.
Furthermore, the report of the Soviet investigation commission on Auschwitz appeared in Pravda on May 7, 1945, and at the same day in an English translation entitled “The Oswiecim Murder-Camp.” Thus, the British Secret Service also possessed this source, which at that time constituted the best guide to what the captured Nazis had to “confess.”
This is the real reason for the “convergence” of the accounts by Broad and Höss with respect to the alleged homicidal gassings at Auschwitz!
2.2.8. Air Photos
The authors then move on to another alleged element of proof, the air reconnaissance photographs which, according to them, as we have seen above, “corroborate the structure of the gas chambers and crematoria.”
Nothing could be farther from the truth, as far as the “structure of the gas chambers” is concerned.
The authors publish a series of photographs to substantiate their claim of a “convergence of proof” of the alleged extermination, but these pictures do not really demonstrate anything at all. Let us look at the more important ones, starting with number 16 of the series.
“This aerial photograph from August 25, 1944, shows the distinct features of Crematorium II (including the long shadow from the chimney) and the adjacent gas chamber (bottom center, at a right angle to the crematorium). On the roof of the gas chamber, note the four staggered shadows, openings through which the Zyklon-B pellets could be poured, as described in eyewitness accounts.” (p. 145)
As has already been noted by other authors, on the photograph of August 25, 1944, the spots on the roof of morgue 1 of crematorium II are some 3 to 4 meters long, those on the roof of morgue 1 of crematorium III cover an area of at least 3 square meters; the alleged introduction chimneys for Zyklon B, however, are claimed to have stood only some 40 to 50 cm above the concrete surface of the roof. On the other hand, the smokestack of crematorium II, which was about 16 m high, casts a shadow of about 20 m on the ground, therefore the alleged chimneys for Zyklon B would, likewise, have cast a shadow some 60 cm long.
But that is not all. All the spots have an axis running north-south, whereas the shadow of the smokestack runs northeast-southwest. Finally, in the air photo taken on May 31, 1944, there is only one spot on the western edge of the roof of morgue 1 of crematorium II.
The interpretation of the four spots as Zyklon B introduction openings is so inconsistent that one of the best specialists for this aspect among the supporters of the reality of the gas chambers, Charles D. Provan, has written:
“No matter what one thinks of the authenticity of the smudgy marks, it is impossible to view them, whether authentic or not, as ‘vents.’”
Let us move on to Shermer’s and Grobman’s photograph 17, still on p. 145:
“Note two sides of the rectangular underground gas chamber structure that protrudes a few feet above the ground, directly below the chimney of Crematorium II. On the gas chamber roof are four small structures that match the shaded markings in the aerial photographs in figure 16.”
Such a “coincidence” exists only in the fantasy of the authors. As Jean-Marie Boisdefeu has shown by means of a diagram, the objects appearing on the roof of the alleged gas chamber are three and not four in number (the fourth was outside its surface) and all three are grouped together in the southern half of the roof, which is in disagreement with the location of the spots in the photograph of August 25, 1944, as well as with the testimonies. Hence, the three objects are not introduction chimneys for Zyklon B.
Charles D. Provan, too, has come to this conclusion, drawing his own diagram on the photograph with the result that:
“the objects are therefore not poison gas chimneys.”
I have since dealt with this question in a specific article, which demonstrates that the alleged introduction chimneys have never existed and which also refutes, among other things, the alleged discoveries by Daniel Keren, Jamie McCarthy and Harry W. Mazal.
Shermer’s photograph 18 on p. 146 shows the unloading of deported Hungarian Jews from a train. Photographs 19 and 20 (pp. 147f.) are enlargements of three air photos taken in rapid succession on August 25, 1944. The two reproductions of photograph 19 are reversed! A group of persons is moving between BW5a and 5b (on the left) and the two kitchen barracks in front along the line separating sectors BIa and BIb of Birkenau (but the authors do not know elementary things like that).
The column moves along the road, which ran through sector BII of the camp in an east-west direction. Therefore they had to have BW 5a and 5b on their right and the kitchens on their left. On the photographs in question, it is the opposite. Therefore they are shown mirror-reversed.
Photograph 20 shows, on three images, three groups of persons walking along the eastern edge of sector BIa: one group is between barrack 27 and the camp fence, another group walks along the road between barracks 24 – 30 (on the right) and 22 – 28 (on the left), a third group is partly walking parallel to the second and partly along the curve to the right between barracks 24 – 30. Of course, the authors do not realize this, just as they do not know that the three images are printed the wrong way around with respect to all Birkenau plans, i.e. with the crematoria at the bottom and the eastern fence at the top.
All these photographs demonstrate nothing more than the fact that columns of detainees were moving around at Birkenau.
Photograph 21 (p. 149) is, however, interpreted by the authors in a more pretentious way:
“Finally, figure 21 appears to be a group of people moving toward Crematorium V, offering yet another evidence that indicates the reality of mass murder (see also figure 22).” (p. 146)
We notice immediately that these two images, too, have been printed upside down with respect to the Birkenau plans: crematoria IV and V appear at the bottom rather than at the top. What is more serious, however, and almost incredible is that the authors confuse crematorium V with crematorium IV! It is necessary to turn the book upside down to re-establish the normal orientation with crematoria IV and V at the top and the “Effektenlager” (the so-called Kanada) on the left.
Areas enclosed by a rectangle on the two images show a column of people. This column was on the road which separated the “Effektenlager” (on the left) from crematorium IV (on the right), in front of barracks 2 – 8 to be precise. On the right, the road ran along a copse of birch-trees, located to the west of crematorium V, in which there was a fire-protection basin.
Contrary to what the authors think, this photograph proves absolutely nothing with respect to the “reality of mass murder.” If they had gone into the matter a little more deeply, the authors would have known that the so-called Auschwitz Album even shows persons under the trees, near the basin.
I have already shown elsewhere that the hypothesis that these people were waiting to be gassed is not in any way more convincing than the one that they were waiting to depart from the camp (as might be shown by the fact that they had with them heavy backpacks, bags, and cooking utensils).
In her memoirs, Elisa Springer, who was deported to Auschwitz in early August 1944, describes what happened after they left the train:
“Once we had reached an area with some grass on the edge of a birch-wood, we had to lie down and we stayed there all night, trembling, and in the mud. […] In the early morning, some SS-men arrived with several detainees in their striped uniforms and ordered us to get up on the double and to leave the copse.”
Then Dr. Mengele separated those fit for work from the unfit and the former (among them Elisa Springer) were led to the Zentralsauna for a bath and delousing. The witness does not say that those unfit were “gassed,” she only allows it to be understood, but then this tale is part of the basic equipment of the witnesses, in the same way as the tale of the chimneys spouting flames.
Figure 22 on p. 150 represents, according to the authors, crematorium V “with the gas chambers at the far end of the building,” whereas it actually shows crematorium IV, seen from the west. Of course, the claim that the photograph shows gas chambers at all does not result from the image which, as such, does not prove anything.
2.2.9. Interpreting Air Photos
The authors then dedicate a section to “interpreting the air photos” (p. 150), in which they again show an astonishing lack of knowledge regarding even the most elementary facts of holocaust history. They affirm that, in May of 1944, as a preparation for the deportation to Auschwitz of “half a million Jews” (to be precise, the number of deportees was 437,402 of whom at least 39,000 were deported to places other than Auschwitz), Werner Jothann, “SS-Obersturmführer (Lieutenant Colonel),” ordered inter alia the installation of “elevators in Crematoria II and III to move the bodies from the gas chamber to the crematoria” (pp. 150f.), which is, however refuted by their most important source.
They claim, furthermore, that the air photos cannot show proof of the alleged extermination for the following reason:
“The undressing, gassing, and cremation were all done inside the crematoria buildings. It was highly unlikely that an Allied plane would have flown over at the same time as smoke was coming out of chimneys or from an open-pit burning.” (p. 151, emphasis added)
To refresh the memories of the authors, the official picture of the alleged extermination of the Hungarian Jews, drawn up by one of their principal sources, Franciszek Piper, is the following:
“For example, in the initial stages of the extermination of Hungarian Jews, crematorium V had to be shut down due to a breakdown of the chimneys. As a result, some bodies were incinerated in crematorium IV. The remainder was burned at the rate of about 5,000 corpses in 24 hours in the incineration pits of bunker 2, which was reactivated in the spring of 1944.”
The witnesses’ statements, though, are even more devastating. During the deportation phase of the Hungarian Jews there existed in the north yard of crematorium V five “cremation trenches” according to Tauber and Müller (the latter gives the dimensions of two of them as 40-50×8 m), three trenches according to Bendel (12×6 m), whereas for Nyiszli no such trenches ever existed.
The so-called “Bunker 2” had four gas chambers and four cremation trenches for Müller, whereas Nyiszli has no gas chambers but only two cremation trenches some 50 × 6 m, in which 5,600 to 6,000 corpses were burned each day. Again, we have here an excellent example of converging evidence!
To sum up, during the period in question there should have existed (and be visible on the air photos) three or four “cremation trenches” in the north yard of crematorium V and 2 or 4 trenches in the area of the so-called “Bunker 2” (outside the camp, at some 200 m to the west of the Zentralsauna).
The authors tell us that they addressed themselves “to Dr. Nevin Briant, supervisor of Cartographic Applications and Image Processing Applications at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California (operated by the California Institute of Technology)” and had him analyze the air photos of Birkenau “by digital technology,” adding:
“The photographic negatives were converted to digital data in the computer, then enhanced with software programs used by NASA for aerial and satellite imaging.” (p. 143)
However, in spite of all this sophisticated technology, the authors say nothing about the presence of mass “cremation trenches” in the air photos, whereas they did devote seven enlargements to proving the presence of columns of marching persons in the camp!
It is obvious that the NASA experts did not find any trace of such trenches, for otherwise the authors would have pounced on such an opportunity to publish enlargements as “converging evidence” for the alleged exterminations carried out at Auschwitz.
Actually, on the photographs of May 31, 1944, a smoking area does indeed appear in the north yard of crematorium V, but it is a single smoking area with a surface of only 40 to 50 square meters!
However, as I have previously demonstrated in the article “Supplementary Response to John C. Zimmerman on his ‘Body disposal at Auschwitz’” already mentioned, if the thesis of the mass extermination of Hungarian Jews were true, there should appear on the photographs of May 31, 1944 – in view of the impossibility of burning the corpses in the crematoria – cremation trenches having a total surface area of some 7,600 square meters, as opposed to the 40-50 m² that can effectively be seen!
From this we can see clearly why the authors have opted for keeping quiet with respect to the “cremation trenches.” It is impossible that the minute area with smoke in the yard of crematorium V should have escaped the attention of the NASA experts. Yet they did not mention it anyway. The photographs of May 31, 1944, do not only refute the testimonies but also the objective reality of the alleged mass extermination of the Hungarian Jews.
As I have shown elsewhere, if that extermination were true, some 9,500 corpses would have had to be burned in the open between May 16 and 31, 1944! The authors, who do not know or act as if they do not know such data, refer to the Auschwitz Kalendarium and claim that on May 31 a single convoy of Jews arrived at Auschwitz, of whom only 100 were selected for work while the others were gassed, and comment:
“For this day we do not know how many Jews were killed in the gas chambers, what time they were killed, or if they were cremated that day or the next day.” (p. 152)
They forget about the second transport of Hungarian Jews registered in the Kalendarium, from which 2,000 deportees were registered and the remainder “murdered in the gas chambers.” They go on to add a totally incredible explanation:
“It is reported that between May 16 and May 31 the SS acquired eighty-eight pounds of gold and white metal from false teeth, so it is possible that bodies were not cremated until after this process was completed, which would have been after May 31 for those arriving that day.” (p. 152)
For this, the authors give no source, and that is quite understandable. This item of information stems, in fact, from one of their main sources in which one can read:
“According to a secret report smuggled out of the camp at the start of the extermination of Hungarian Jews in May 1944, the SS took delivery of 40 kg (80 pounds) of gold and ‘white metal’ (probably platinum).”
Hence, it is an arbitrary conclusion on the part of the authors that the alleged booty of precious metal (for which there exists no document) was brought in “between May 16 and May 31.” If they had checked their source in accordance with their methodic decalogue, they would have noticed that the report in question is dated June 15, 1944, and refers to the period of May 25 to June 15, 1944.
Thus, the trickery of the authors failed to impress us. But even assuming that the story of the teeth were true and that the period were the one indicated by the authors, how could anyone seriously deduce from the extraction of the teeth that the corpses were not burned until May 31? With what distorted logic can anyone believe that the corpses were not burned by and by as the teeth were removed, which is, after all, exactly what the official historiography claims to have been the case? In the face of such logic, the authors’ claim of using “the accepted rules of reason” rings decidedly hollow.
According to the documents regarding the deportation of the Hungarian Jews, 33,187 of them were deported between May 28 and 31. This figure is the difference between the 217,236 deported up to May 31 and the 184,049 deported up to May 28.
As I have shown elsewhere, there are two possibilities for the arrivals at Auschwitz on the days that concern us here: either 12,900 Jews, in round figures, arrived on May 30 and 9,050 arrived on the 31st, or vice versa. In the case most favorable to the authors, we have 9,050 arrivals for May 31, with some 8,200 (= 9,050×0.91) gassed and burned.
As the theoretical maximum capacity of the Birkenau crematoria (assuming that baby bodies were cremated as well) stood at 1,040 corpses in 24 hours, it follows that on May 31, some 7,150 corpses would have been burned in the open air. On May 30, about 11,700 (= 12,900×0.91) Jews are claimed to have been murdered, with about 10,700 of them burned in the open air.
To burn the average daily number of corpses, 9,500, by applying Müller‘s absurd method, one would have needed an area of about (9,500×320÷1,200=) roughly 2,500 square meters!
Looking once more at the photograph of May 31, 1944, if the story of the extermination of the Hungarian Jews were true, the image should show the following permanent elements:
at least 2,500 square meters of “cremation trenches”
at least 5,000 cubic meters of earth removed during the digging of the trenches
at least 1,800 tons of wood for the corpses to be burned on May 31, without counting the reserve for the following days.
But what do these photographs actually show? If we follow the authors, they show only columns of people marching in the camp! Beyond that, there is only the “smoking gun” of an area 40 – 50 m² in size, which they prefer not to mention.
This tiny area is 50 times smaller than what would have been needed according to the false statements of the witnesses, and over 180 times smaller than what would really have been required for burning such an enormous quantity of corpses in the open air!
Here we have, then, another good example of “converging evidence” against mass extermination, about which the authors preferred to remain silent.
Let us read on. On p. 159, the authors present a photograph showing a section of the roof, made of reinforced concrete, of morgue 1 (the alleged gas homicidal chamber) of crematorium II at Birkenau, saying:
“The extant hole in what remains of the gas chamber may be one of the openings through which the SS guards poured Zyklon-B gas pellets.”
Actually, as I have demonstrated in two specific studies of this aspect, this gap has nothing to do with the alleged Zyklon B introduction openings which never existed.
2.2.10. Himmler‘s Visit to Auschwitz
I will conclude this section with another one of those false “convergent proofs,” which the authors have adopted:
“Gassings began in 1941, and Himmler witnessed his first gassing on July 18, 1942.” (p. 150)
Here we have another classical example of incestuous sources! The claim that Himmler witnessed a homicidal gassing at Auschwitz on July 18, 1942, is based solely on Rudolf Höss‘ “testimony,” and we have already seen how it was extorted from him and what value it has.
Even though the authors, justly, require of revisionist historians a scrupulous verification of the sources and the search for evidence against their own theses, in this case, much like most others, neither they nor any other official historian has ever gone to the trouble of verifying Höss‘ assertion: he said something useful for the common cause of the holocaust, thus everyone is happy.
There exist, however, several documents – starting with Himmler‘s own diary – which allow us to check the truth. And the truth is that Himmler not only did not witness any homicidal gassing, but could not even have done so, because the schedule of his visit to Auschwitz is in absolute disagreement with any schedule for the arrival of Jewish transports at Auschwitz and alleged homicidal gassings!
2.3. Gas Chambers at Majdanek
The authors dedicate a section to “the contingent history of Majdanek” (p. 161f.), in which they deal with the alleged homicidal gas chambers of this camp. Of course, they completely ignore the study on Majdanek, which I have written together with Jürgen Graf and in which we have devoted a long chapter – since 2000 also available in English – to this topic, demonstrating on the basis of documents that the alleged gas chambers were planned and built as a “disinfestation installation using the hydrogen cyanide disinfestation system” (Entwesungsanlage nach dem System der Blausäure-Entwesung) and that they were never used as homicidal gas chambers.
Without a precise knowledge of the installations it may not be possible to understand the arguments of the authors and my replies, hence I shall first set out the essential data for the alleged gas chambers at Majdanek on the basis of the Polish-Soviet expertise dated August 4-23, 1944, see the separate table.
Location and designation
Barrack 41, located in SE
4.50 m × 3.80 m
Barrack 41, located in NE
4.50 m × 3.80 m
Barrack 41, Entlausungskammer in W
9.27 m × 3.80 m
Barrack 4, Gaskammer, adjacent to shower room
Barrack 28, drying room
11.75 m × 6 m
Barrack 28, drying room
11.75 m × 6 m
Crematorium, housed between mortuary and autopsy room
6.10 m × 5.62 m
Chamber VII was located in the crematorium. Jean-Claude Pressac has written in this respect that the assistant director of the Museum had told him that this gas chamber “was used very little, really very little.” According to the French historian this “means, plainly speaking, that it was not used at all.”
In order to make people believe that this was indeed a homicidal gas chamber, the Poles had opened up a rough rectangular aperture in the roof without any closure and even without cutting the steel rebars of the concrete!
The authors leave that room aside and start their journey with the two rooms of barrack 28 (chambers V and VI), writing:
“The first two gas chambers, which apparently used both Zyklon-B and carbon monoxide, were built in the middle of the camp, near a laundry and crematorium, and housed in a wooden shack.” (p. 162)
The information is taken from Pressac‘s article mentioned above. However, its author arrived at a quite different conclusion:
“It is likely that these two makeshift gas chambers were used for disinfesting clothing with Zyklon B (hydrocyanic acid). The laundry, located nearby, is another argument in favor of this interpretation.”
The authors then quote an “analysis” by the historian Michael Tregenza who affirms that these chambers “used both HCN [Zyklon-B] and CO [carbon monoxide] gas, although this has not been officially confirmed,” but concludes:
“Current theory, however, tends to favor these chambers as disinfection facilities only […]” (p. 162)
The authors comment:
“But this theory does not explain the use of carbon monoxide, which is useless against lice. Its only plausible use is against human beings.” (p. 162)
In fact, there is no document and no witness statement on the use of those two rooms for homicidal purposes. According to the witnesses, executions were carried out by striking the victims in the back of the neck with an iron bar in a suitable room of the crematorium.
On the other hand, according to the Holocaust historians, carbon monoxide was never used in chambers V and VI, but only Zyklon B. In the most complete exterminationist work on the Majdanek camp, Czeslaw Rajca, who deals with the “direct extermination” of the detainees, devotes a single line (!) to chambers V and VI, claiming that prior to October of 1941, “the detainees were murdered with Zyklon B in a gas chamber made of wood, which was located near the bath [actually it was the laundry].”
Even though a Polish-Soviet Investigative Commission had been concluded that this room in barrack 28 served as a drying room for the laundry nearby, this commission invented the story of homicidal gassings in this room by concluding that “in reality” the two rooms were homicidal gas chambers because of the presence of two ventilation chimneys with lids on the roof for the removal of the warm air! The two chimneys immediately became Zyklon B introduction openings, as is shown by the legend of the well-known photograph of a Soviet soldier in front of one of them holding the lid in his hand.
Shermer and Grobman admit that chamber IV, which was located in the barrack presently labeled “Bad und Desinfektion,” was not a homicidal gas chamber:
“The original block measures 9.2 meters by 3.62 meters by 2.05 meters high. Casual inspection of the large gas chamber room shows that its use was for delousing clothing and blankets, not for mass extermination, since the doors to it open in, they do not (and cannot) lock, and there is a large glass window (about 30 by 60 centimeters, or 1 by 2 feet) that could easily be broken. The window frame appears to be original, since the wood from which it is constructed is saturated with blue Zyklon-B stains (as is the rest of the room).” (p. 162)
However, as late as 1997, a sign in five languages in this room asserted:
“Eksperimental [sic] gas chamber for exterminating prisoners with cyclone B thrown into the chamber through holes in the ceiling.”
If a “casual inspection” is enough to convince anyone that this room was never used as a homicidal gas chamber, why has it been bandied about for decades as a homicidal gas chamber?
Furthermore, the arguments used by the authors had already been expounded by me – in a much more cogent way – in 1998. In the study of Majdanek mentioned above, I had in fact published the plans and documents concerning the gas chambers and explained the results of an on-site inspection, including the fact that the window frame showed traces of Iron Blue. Being that of a “negationist,” my demonstration was completely ignored, obviously, whereas the explanations of the authors – superficial and partly in error as they are – will no doubt be accepted as God’s truth.
Thus, only chambers I, II, and III of the installation to the east of barrack “Bad und Desinfektion” remain as potential homicidal gas chambers. The authors say:
“The SS then built the two smaller concrete gas chambers with iron doors (in the back of the building and at that time separate from the other rooms), and these additions, we believe, were for the express purpose of gassing prisoners. Why else would the SS have built these new rooms that featured peepholes and locking doors, components not found in any delousing chamber? […] Finally, we know that carbon monoxide was employed in the Bad und Desinfektion I gas chambers, pointing to their use for mass homicide.” (p. 163)
A few pages further along, the authors, commenting on photograph 29 on p. 167 of their book (it is chamber III, the one on the left, coming from the barrack “Bad und Desinfektion”), write the following:
“The latter includes a locking steel door with peephole and gas detector, and the room itself contains floor-to-ceiling Zyklon-B staining.”
Speaking of this chamber and its companion, Tregenza notes:
“These two chambers were adapted yet again for use with CO gas, which can only be used for extermination purposes – CO is useless for disinfection purposes, and is fatal only for warm-blooded animals. What we are looking at, then, is a chamber where people, not clothes, were gassed.” (p. 165)
So now here we are, at last, in front of two allegedly real homicidal gas chambers! Reality, though, is quite different. Contrary to what the authors believe – who rely on misbegotten sources in this case more than ever, something they always blame others for doing – the installation in question was planned and built as a disinfestation unit.
The original project, of which a later drawing has been preserved – the drawing by the Construction Office of the POW camp Lublin (Majdanek)with the title “Entwesungsanlage. Bauwerk XIIA” (disinfestation unit, building XIIA) dated August 1942 – shows a rectangular block measuring 10.76 m × 8.64 m × 2.45 m housing two disinfestation chambers (Entlausungskammern) 10 m × 3.75 m × 2 (height) meters, each with two doors 0.95 by 1.80 meters facing each other in such a way that each of the smaller sides of the building showed two doors placed side by side, 3 meters apart.
Let us briefly review the beginnings of this unit:
May 27, 1942: Amt IIB of WVHA requests an Entwesungsanlage (disinfestation plant) for “Bekleidungswerk Lublin” (Lublin garment works).
June 19, 1942: Chief of the Central Construction Inspection of the SS-WVHA, SS-Sturmbannführer Lenzer, passes on to the Construction Inspection of the Waffen-SS and Police Government General (occupied Poland) the request mentioned above, “for the construction of a disinfestation plant using the disinfestation system with hydrogen cyanide” (zum Bau einer Entwesungsanlage nach dem System der Blausäure-Entwesung)
July 10, 1942: The head of Central Construction Office sends on to Construction Inspection of the Waffen-SS and Police Government General the administrative documents concerning “disinfestation unit” (Entwesungsanlage).
July 10, 1942: The “explanatory report for the construction of a disinfestation unit for the Lublin fur and garment workshop” (Erläuterungsbericht zur Errichtung einer Entwesungsanlage für die Pelz- und Bekleidungswerkstätte Lublin) is drawn up.
July 10, 1942: The “cost estimate for the construction of a disinfestation barrack for the Lublin fur and garment workshop” (Kostenanschlag über Errichtung einer Entwesungsbaracke für die Pelz- und Bekleidungswerkstätte Lublin) is drawn up.
August 1942: Drawing for “POW camp Lublin. Disinfestation plant. Building XIIA”(K.G.L. Lublin. Entwesungsanlage. Bauwerk XIIA) is executed
September 11, 1942: Central Construction Office places an order for two “hot air heaters” (Heissluftapparate) with the company Theodor Klein for the “disinfestation plant” (Entwesungsanlage).
October 22, 1942: The list of buildings (Bauwerke) finished contains the entry “construction of a disinfestation plant” (Erstellung einer Entwesungsanlage) for the Lublin fur and garment workshop (Pelz- und Bekleidungswerkstätte Lublin).
Later on, the chamber on the east side (to the right, coming from the Bad und Desinfektion I barrack) was divided up by means of a central partition.
No document and no account from a witness prove that this unit was used for a homicidal purpose.
Elsewhere I have shown images and explained the operation of the closures of those doors. The presence of a peephole in the doors does not prove anything, because the doors of the disinfestation cells were equipped with peepholes.
When they speak of an alleged “gas detector” in one of the doors (!),the authors show all their tragic ignorance in matters of disinfestation (and alleged homicidal gas chambers). The door in question (photograph on p. 167) has actually two closure levers on the left, one near the top, one near the bottom, and a handle in the middle, a hole for a thermometer in the center, a peephole (below the hole) and a metal plate at bottom right.
But what about the carbon monoxide unit? Let us underline, first of all, that no official historian has ever explained why the SS in the camp, which had at its disposal two alleged homicidal gas chambers using Zyklon B with air heaters, would have split chamber II in two, using only the first room (of some 17 m²) as a gas chamber with carbon monoxide and equipping chamber I, which worked with Zyklon B, also with a carbon monoxide unit – and all this in a camp which never ran low on Zyklon B. The documentation concerning the supply of Zyklon B is complete; the camp received a total of 6,961 kg of this product.
There is, however, another much more cogent argument: there is no evidence that the pipes in the two rooms mentioned above were used for the introduction of carbon monoxide. Two steel cylinders in an adjoining room are the only “proof” in this respect. A sign in five languages tells us that
“from here, the supply of carbon monoxide to two chambers was regulated.”
But what proof is there that the two cylinders did actually contain carbon monoxide? None. On the two cylinders preserved to this day we actually can still read the following engraved inscription:
“Dr. Pater Victoria Kohlensäurefabrik Nussdorf Nr 6196 Full. 10 kg [illegible] und Fluid Warszawa Kohlensäure [illegible] Fluid Warszawa Lukowski. Pleschen 10,1 kg CO2 gepr.”
These two cylinders therefore did not contain carbon monoxide (i.e. CO) but Kohlensäure (carbon dioxide, CO2) which, as most know, is not a toxic gas.
Of course, neither the authors, nor their source, Tregenza, nor any other official historian has ever gone into this minor detail, which is certainly not irrelevant. Instead, quoting each other in an incestuous way, they have continued to wrongly tell the world that the two cylinders contained toxic carbon monoxide!
2.4. Gas Chamber at Mauthausen
The authors then address the gas chambers at Mauthausen. Let us look at the “converging evidence” they have selected.
At the present time, the room measures 3.59 by 3.87 meters or 13.89 m² and is 2.42 m high. It is equipped with
two metal doors, gas-tight, with peephole
a water pipe with 16 shower heads
a water outlet in the floor with metal grid
a heater consisting of 5 horizontal tubes
a tiled section some 1.5 m high all around
a metal plate which closes a round opening in the ceiling.
The authors qualify the room as a “camouflaged shower” (p. 168) and speak of “fake showerheads” (p. 172), which is wrong because the showers are real and were operational. The water on the floor went out by way of a proper sewer. Their assertion is based not on the shower installation in the room but on a simple deduction:
“It makes little sense to argue (as deniers do) that the adjoining gas chamber (figure 32) was either a shower room or a delousing chamber. First, a shower and delousing chamber already existed at the front of the camp (where we would expect to find them); second, why would the Nazis have placed either a delousing room or a shower room next to a dissection room and crematorium?” (p. 172)
Thus, in the strange logic of the authors, because there already was a shower installation near the entrance into the camp, no showers could have been installed anywhere else! Along the same lines, one could argue that because with buildings BW 5a and 5b there already existed two shower rooms at Birkenau (which are actually nowhere near “the front of the camp”) the 50 showers in the Zentralsauna had to be fake!
The same goes, obviously, for the “delousing chamber.” In this case the deductions of the authors make even less sense, because what they call, rightly, a “delousing chamber,” and show in a photograph on p. 169, is really an autoclave which, as its name Dampf-Desinfektionsapparat (steam disinfection apparatus) clearly says, worked with steam and not with Zyklon B. Therefore the existence of this type of device excludes even less the possibility of a Zyklon B disinfestation unit elsewhere in the camp. This is yet another example of how the authors apply the “accepted rules of reason”!
The authors then turn their attention to the heater, the tubes of which are similar to those that exist “in an office at Auschwitz” (p. 171f.) and state:
“The pipes in the gas chamber appear to have been installed to heat the room to hasten the rapid evaporation of the hydrocyanic acid from the Zyklon-B pellets.” (p. 172)
The sources they mention in note 85 on p. 277 are the classic work by Hans Maršálek concerning Mauthausen (they give his name as J. Marszalek, confusing him with Józef Marszałek, the Polish author of a book on Majdanek!) plus five more titles on Majdanek – but here we are dealing with the gas chambers at Mauthausen!
Of course, the reference to the book by Maršálek does not give the page number, as usual, just to make it difficult for curious readers who might want to check if what they say is correct. And in fact, what they write is not what is in the source. In it we read:
“In this room [the room next to the gas chamber] there was a table, a gas mask and a gas introduction device connected to the gas chamber by means of a tube. The hot brick was put into the gas introduction device, its function was to speed up the transformation of the crystals [sic] of Zyklon B into liquid gas [in flüssiges Gas].”
In a little book dedicated to the alleged homicidal gassings at Mauthausen, Hans Maršálek has explained in detail how the gas chamber is supposed to have worked: In the room next to it, there was a device for the introduction of the gas (a kind of metal box with a gas-tight lid) hooked up to a tube inside the gas chamber, one meter long with a slot, 80 cm long and ½ cm wide.
The SS would put a brick into the muffle of the nearby crematorium, and when it was red hot, they placed it on the bottom of the gas introduction device, sprinkled the contents of a can of Zyklon B on it and closed the lid.
In that way, the hydrogen cyanide allegedly evaporated immediately and the vapors entered the gas chamber through the slotted tube. The gas mixture was removed by means of a ceiling fan in a corner of the room.
Hence, the heater had no function for the alleged homicidal use of the gas chamber – but then why was it there at all? And why were there operational showers?
As I have shown elsewhere, the Mauthausen gas chamber could not have operated in the way described. Actually, it was initially a disinfestation chamber using hydrogen cyanide equipped with a Degesch air circulation device suitable for this room and identical to the one in the disinfestation plant (and alleged gas chamber) at Sachsenhausen, which also possessed real showers. Hence, both gas chambers could also be used as showers.
The authors then ask with feigned ingenuousness “why would the Nazis have placed either a delousing room or a shower room next to a dissection room and crematorium” (p. 172). Precisely for the hygiene of the personnel assigned to handling the corpses! Actually, between the alleged gas chamber and the furnace room there was a mortuary with a refrigeration unit and a dissecting room. After all, this personnel handled the corpses of detainees, many of whom had died from contagious diseases, so they would have needed to take showers more quickly and frequently than anyone else. And that also went for the disinfestation of their clothes. Needless to say that the disinfestation unit also served the rest of the camp.
The authors then have the audacity to conclude:
“All the evidence from these various sources points to this macabre conclusion”! (p. 172)
“It is not enough for deniers to concoct an alternative explanation that amounts to nothing more than denying each piece of freestanding evidence. They must proffer a theory that not only explains all of the evidence but does so in a manner superior to the present theory. This they have not done. Our conclusion stands on this bedrock of scientific history.” (p. 172)
This is exactly what I have done in this chapter, demonstrating on the one hand the total historical inconsistency of the theories proposed by the authors and re-establishing, on the other hand, the historical truth on the basis of documents.
3. “Convergent Documentary Evidence” of the Holocaust
3.1. The Definition of the “Holocaust”
If we want to express correctly the theses of revisionism, then we must, first of all, give a correct definition of the “Holocaust.” In this respect, the authors write:
“When historians talk about the ‘Holocaust’, what they mean on the most general level is that about six million Jews were killed in an intentional and systematic fashion by the Nazis using a number of different means, including gas chambers. According to this widely accepted definition of the Holocaust, so-called Holocaust revisionists are in effect denying the Holocaust, since they deny its three key components – the killing of six million, gas chambers, and intentionality.” (p. XV)
This definition is acceptable, with the restriction that the essential factors are the gas chambers and the intentionality, that is, the planned and systematic assassination of Jews as such. The numerical aspect is less relevant because – as a principle – the six million do not demonstrate the reality of a planned extermination carried out in gas chambers. As the authors correctly say, but with a different meaning,
“whether it is five or six million is central to the victims, but from the point of view of whether the Holocaust took place it is irrelevant.” (p. 174)
What counts is not the number of victims but whether they were killed according to a governmental plan involving mass extermination in gas chambers. I will come back to this question in chapter 3.4.
3.2. The Liberation of the Camps
However, the authors then go on and act as if they had forgotten their definition and toss into the kettle of the Holocaust anything they can put their hands on.
Thus, on p. 173, after having reported G.M. Gilbert‘s description of the “Nazi leaders’ reactions to a film of concentration camps liberated by Americans,” they declare:
“This raw description at the Nuremberg trials of some ‘Nazi’ leaders’ shock and horror at the scope and scale of the Holocaust gives us some indication of just how far beyond belief the mass murder was even to the perpetrators.”
Hence, the situation prevailing in Germany in the spring of 1945, when the country was in utter chaos, when epidemics ravaged the camps and decimated the inmate population, becomes a “proof” of the Holocaust, a “proof” of an intentional “mass extermination.”
The lack of foundation of this argument and the bad faith of those who expound it are all too evident. It is well known that in the western concentration camps the peaks of mortality among the detainees were tragically reached after the end of the alleged mass extermination program.
For example, at Buchenwald, of the 32,878 deaths among the detainees registered in the camp hospital, a solid 12,595 occurred in 1945, over a period of three months and a half, as compared to 20,283 in the preceding six years, at Dachau, there were 27,839 deaths with 15,384 in the first five months of 1945 and 12,455 in the five years prior to that, at Mauthausen, out of the 86,024 deaths registered, 36,043 took place between January and May 1945 and 49,981 during the preceding seven years, and at Sachsenhausen, with 19,900 deaths, 4,821 of them occurred in the four months of 1945 and 15,079 during the five earlier years.
If we follow the official line of thought, then the alleged order given by Himmler putting an end to the extermination of jews was said to have been issued in October of 1944, as is well-known, so that, in practice, the detainees started dying by the masses after the end of mass exterminations.
3.3. The Einsatzgruppen
Just as unfounded is the thesis of the authors that “the Einsatzgruppen prove the Holocaust happened” (p. 182). Actually, the shootings carried out by the Einsatzgruppen do not at all prove the existence of an extermination plan, nor are they denied as such by the revisionists.
With respect to the first point, the concomitant policy of the National Socialists with respect to the Jews in the West excludes that the Einsatzgruppen were following a general order to exterminate jews as such. Christopher R. Browning, writing on the alleged order to exterminate all “Russian” jews, has this to say concerning the matter:
“However, ‘Nazi’ policy towards the jews was not immediately changed by it. One went on to talk about emigration, expulsion and plans for a future resettlement.”
Emigration of Western jews was actually prohibited only on October 23, 1941, and, as we shall see later, the Wannsee conference was convened for December 9, 1941, precisely to inform the competent authorities of this fact and of its implications.
Let us move on to the second point. What revisionism objects to is
that the Einsatzgruppen had the order to exterminate the Jews because they were Jews, and
the number of those shot.
In a study of Treblinka, which I wrote together with Jürgen Graf, I have brought forward valid arguments in support of these two arguments. For example, the “Braune Mappe” (June 1941) is explicit that Sowjetjuden (bolshevist jews) were to be shot, but not the rest of the Jewish population, which was to be moved to ghettos. And the section “Directive for the treatment of the Jewish question” in this document opens with the following lines:
“All measures concerning the Jewish question in the eastern territories will be handled on the basis that the jewish question in general will be solved after the war for Europe as a whole.”
In the study mentioned above I have moreover expounded a number of points proving the unacceptability of the figures quoted in the Einsatzgruppen reports. For example, in the summary of the activity of Einsatzgruppe A (October 16, 1941, to January 31, 1942) the number of jews present in Latvia at the arrival of the German troops is 70,000, but the number of Jews shot is reported as being 71,184! Furthermore, another 3,750 Jews were alive in work camps. In Lithuania, there were 153,743 Jews, of which 136,421 were allegedly shot, whereas 34,500 were taken to the ghettos at Kaunas, Wilna, and Schaulen, but the total of those two figures is 170,921 jews!
The 34,500 Jews in the ghettos – according to this report – were persons fit for work (all others having been shot), but according to the census carried out in May of 1942, there were 14,545 Jews in the Wilna ghetto; their names (complete with date of birth, profession, and address) have been published by the Jewish Museum at Vilnius. This source shows that out of the 14,545 Jews listed, some 3,693 (25.4% of the total) were children. Had they come back to life?
The activity and situation report no. 6 of the Einsatzgruppen for the period of October 1-31, 1941, mentions the shooting of 33,771 jews at Kiev (Babi Yar) on September 29 and 30, but such a massacre never took place, and the story of its gigantic pyres is completely false. The only “proof” that the Soviets found on the site was a pair of worn-out shoes and some rags, which they diligently took pictures of, and in their Babi Yar album they claimed about them:
“Remains of shoes and clothing of the Soviet citizens shot by the Germans at Babi Yar”!
Let us not say anything about the ghost-like “Action 1005,” which the authors talk about on p. 107, that is to say, the alleged unearthing and burning of the corpses from the mass graves under the direction of Paul Blobel. In spite of the enormous activity (to put it mildly) – 2,100,000 corpses unearthed from thousands of mass graves and burned in hundreds of places spread out across a territory of more than 1,200,000 square kilometers over thirteen months – there is neither documentary nor material evidence!
3.4. The Six Million
In the section “How many Jews died and how we know” (p. 174), the authors bring forward the hollow and deceptive argument of the six million:
“To challenge the deniers we can begin with a simple question: If six million jews did not die, where did they all go?” (pp. 174f.)
But whether or not six million Jews did in fact disappear, this is exactly what the fuss is all about.
With this in mind the authors mainly rely on the affidavit of Wilhelm Höttl of November 26, 1945, about which we have already spoken and in which Höttl stated that Eichmann had told him that the number of Jews killed “must have been greater than six million” (p. 175).
However, an assertion based on mere hearsay has no value among historians, and the authors know this. They therefore invoke the “confirmation” by German political scientist Wolfgang Benz, editor of a statistical study, even managing to make a mistake as far as the publisher is concerned (note 6 on p. 277).
Needless to say, the authors fail to mention the best revisionist study in the field of statistics, Walter N. Sanning‘s work, even though it first appeared in the United States!
In a comparison of the working methods used in the study edited by W. Benz and in Sanning‘s book, Germar Rudolf has shown that out of the 6,277,441 jewish victims that Benz arrives at, 533,193 are totally invented inasmuch as they result from a double count, whereas for Sanning only 1,113,153 jews have apparently disappeared. No less important is the fact that out of Benz‘ total of 6,277,441 victims, fewer than three million concern the alleged extermination camps – i.e. the Holocaust in the strict sense of the term – and Benz can attribute to the massacres of the Einsatzgruppen only part of the ca. 3.3 million remaining dead.
Raul Hilberg, the most authoritative official historian, arrives at 5,100,000 jewish victims, of whom only 2,700,000 are attributed to the alleged extermination camps. In their own table on p. 128, the authors assign 3,062,000 victims to the “extermination camps,” but neglect that – according to Franciszek Piper – the presently accepted figure for Auschwitz, 1,100,000 victims, actually contains some 100,000 non-jews, so that their effective total should be 2,962,000.
How reliable the official statistics and the historians who prepared them really are can be deduced from a statement by the authors:
“For example, they [the “deniers”] often cite the fact that Franciszek Piper, the head of the Department of Holocaust Studies at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, has refined the number killed at Auschwitz from four million to a little more than one million, arguing that this proves their case. But they fail to note that at the same time the numbers have been revised up – for example, the number of jews murdered by the Einsatzgruppen during and after the invasion of the Soviet Union. The net result of the number of jews killed – approximately six million – has not changed.” (p. XVI)
Let us look at the problem in terms of figures. Because four million out of the total of six were originally attributed to Auschwitz and because those four million have later been reduced to one million, the remaining three million killed must be attributed to the Einsatzgruppen and so the total of six million “has not changed.” That is a stupid lie.
In the book of W. Benz mentioned above there is a comparison of statistical data compiled by Wellers, by Reitlinger, by Hilberg, and from the Holocaust Encyclopedia.
For the Soviet Union (activity of the Einsatzgruppen) the book gives a minimum figure of 750,000 (G. Reitlinger) and a maximum number of 2,100,000 (Benz).
It is, hence, true that starting in 1953, the number of victims attributed to the Einsatzgruppen has been “revised up,” but only by 1,350,000 victims. So the question arises as to where the remainder of the invented victims at Auschwitz (3,000,000 – 1,350,000 = 1,650,000) should be moved. These 1,650,000 false victims ought to have been deducted from the total of six million, but by a stroke of cabbalist magic, the total “has not changed.”
No less surprising is the fact that, from the same sources concerning the Soviet Union, some scholars such as Benz derive a total of 2,100,000 deaths, whereas others arrive at less than half that figure. Raul Hilberg, in fact, writes:
“The adjusted deficit is therefore still 850,000 – 900,000, and from this number one must deduct at least five categories of victims that are not attributable to the Holocaust: (1) Jewish Red Army soldiers killed in battle, (2) jewish prisoners of war who died in captivity unrecognized as Jews, (3) jewish dead in Soviet corrective labor camps during 1939-1959, (4) civilian jewish dead in the battle zone, particularly in the besieged cities of Leningrad and Odessa, and (5) deaths caused by privation among jews who had fled or who had been evacuated for reasons other than fear of German anti-jewish acts.”
Hilberg assumes that between 100,000 and 200,000 jews fall into those five categories, which means that the number of victims of the Holocaust for the Soviet Union would be somewhere between 650,000 and 800,000, i.e. between 1,300,000 and 1,450,000 less than Benz‘ figure.
The causes of death considered by Hilberg, together with yet others (such as jews who died as partisans, or an increase in natural mortality), also apply to western jews, and in particular to those from Poland. The Korherr report states that for Germany, Austria, and Bohemia-Moravia alone, the Jewish population diminished by 82,776 on account of an increase in the mortality up to December 31, 1942. What about the rest of Europe and the period up to 1945? One final observation as to the reliability of the official statistics: How was the category of jewish survivors arrived at after the Second World War?
In France, a survivor was defined as a person who registered with the Ministry for Veterans before the end of 1945. In Poland, the list of survivors was established on June 15, 1945, and it is clear that in order to be registered, those persons also had to sign in with some official agency. A similar practice applied throughout the whole of Europe.
But how many survivors preferred not to go back to their native country? And how many preferred not to declare that they were alive and jewish at all? And how can we be sure that the first statistics and later census data were not manipulated?
The figures are, therefore, not as easy to arrive at as the authors would have us believe. And as they themselves admit, figures are irrelevant to the question of whether or not the Holocaust ever took place.
Therefore, let us move on to other “converging proofs.”
3.5. The Wannsee Protocol
The authors cite the so-called Wannsee Protocol as “further evidence that Hitler ordered the Final Solution” (p. 216). In their self-proclaimed demonstration for this topic the authors employ the whole arsenal of those pseudo-historical tricks, for which they have always blamed the revisionist historians.
They summarize, first of all, the four parts, into which the document is divided. The first section lists the officials who participated in the meeting. The second part is a run-down of the activities to date in the area of “the final solution of the jewish question in Europe.” For this part, the authors furnish a most tendentious summary, putting the stress on “forcing jews out” of the German living space, but in a mafia-like kind of omission they say nothing about the type and scope of such actions. I quote from the protocol:
“In pursuance of these endeavors, an accelerated emigration of the jews from the territory of the Reich was seen as the only temporary solution and was accordingly embarked upon in an intensified and systematic manner.
On instruction of the Reich Marshal [i.e. Göring], a Reich Central Office for Jewish Emigration was established in January 1939; its direction was entrusted to the Head of the Security Police and the Security Service (SD). Its particular tasks were:
to take measures for the preparation of increased jewish emigration,
to direct the flow of emigration,
to speed up the emigration process in individual cases.
The aim of this task was to purge German living space of Jews by legal means.”
The document goes on to say that as a consequence of this policy, in spite of difficulties, roughly 537,000 Jews were compelled to emigrate between January 30, 1933, and October 31, 1941. Of these,
ca. 360,000 left the Altreich (Germany with its 1937 borders) after January 30, 1933.
ca. 147,000 left the Ostmark (Austria) after March 15, 1938,
ca. 30,000 left the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (Czechia) after March 15, 1939.
As these data are in total contradiction with Hitler‘s alleged homicidal intentions towards the Jews and with the preconceived theses of the authors, they simply keep quiet about them!
What the authors write with respect to the third part of the document is a real masterwork of scientific disfiguration:
“In part III we glimpse a smoking gun. Eichmann announces that a new plan has been devised: ‘Another possible solution of the problem has now taken the place of emigration, i.e., the evacuation of the jews to the East.’ Evacuation is a not-so-veiled code for sending them to their death in the eastern camps. Why make this assumption? Eichmann had just described the first two attempts at solving the jewish question, both of which he said were inadequate, followed by ‘another solution.’” (p. 219f.)
For the authors, the new solution is imbedded in the well-known passage of the document, which speaks of the deportation of jews to the east and which end in the following way:
“The remnant that eventually remains will require suitable treatment; because it will without doubt represent the most resistant part, it consists of a natural selection that could, on its release, become the germ-cell of a new Jewish revival. (Witness the experience of history).” (p. 220)
The authors comment:
“The ‘evacuation of the jews’ Eichmann describes cannot mean simple deportation to live elsewhere, since the Nazis had already been deporting jews to the east, and Eichmann indicates this was inadequate. Instead, he outlines a new solution. Shipment to the east will mean, for those who can work, work until death, and (as we know from other sources) for those who cannot work, immediate death. What about those who can work and do not succumb to death? ‘The remnant that eventually remains will require suitable treatment’. Suitable treatment can only mean murder.” (pp. 220f.)
The entire argument is built upon a vulgar trick of interpretation. With reference to the tasks of the central agencies of the Reich in charge of jewish emigration, the document says:
“The aim of this task was to purge German living space of jews by legal means. The disadvantages of such expediting emigration methods were evident to all agencies concerned.”
The document, therefore, does not speak of “the first two attempts at solving the jewish question” – it refers only to emigration into other countries – nor does it call both attempts “inadequate,” but says merely that emigrations presented “disadvantages” and that various factors, especially financial ones, rendered emigration difficult.
Then, in a flagrant distortion, the authors declare that “the Nazis had already been deporting jews to the east, and Eichmann indicates this was inadequate,” thereby transforming the emigration to other countries into “the evacuation of the jews to the east” and grafting on to this alleged deportation the false description of being “inadequate”!
The “assumption” that “evacuation is a not-so-veiled code” is an arbitrary and unfounded assertion refuted by the documents, starting with the memo written by the head of the Germany department in the German Foreign Office, dated August 21, 1942, which the authors obviously do not even mention, and by numerous Jewish transports from the Old Reich, Austria, the Protectorate, and Slovakia, which went to Lublin from March 1942 onwards.
The claim that “evacuation” stood for sending the jews to their death “in the eastern camps” (i.e. Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka) is moreover absurd, because at the moment of the conference none of those camps existed yet.
What should one think of the expression “suitable treatment”? In this case, too, the authors can only claim that this stands for assassination by deforming the sense of the text: If those who are left over after “natural reduction” were to be released, “they would turn into a germ cell of renewed Jewish revival” – thus, they must not be released.
The interpretation by the authors rests instead on the assumption that the expression “in case of release” should be read as “in case they are allowed to live,” and this is precisely where they try to lead the reader by the nose.
Finally, let us look at a few other serious points the authors have astutely left out in their effort to obscure the meaning of the document and to distort it at will.
I have already drawn the readers’ attention to the policy of jewish emigration and to the 537,000 jews who did emigrate from the territories under German jurisdiction between 1933 and October 1939. I will now discuss three more such aspects.
The aim of the meeting was to inform the authorities involved about the end of the emigration policy directed towards third countries and about the beginning of deportations to the east:
“In the meantime, the Reichsführer-SS and Head of the German Police [i.e. Himmler] has forbidden any further emigration of Jews in view of the dangers posed by emigration in wartime and the looming possibilities in the East. As a further possible solution, and with the appropriate prior authorization by the Führer, emigration has now been replaced by evacuation to the East. This operation should be regarded only as a provisional option, though in view of the coming final solution of the jewish question it is already supplying practical experience of vital importance”
Upon the Führer’s orders, then, jewish emigration was supplanted by their evacuation to the occupied eastern territories but only as a provisional option, and it is clear that a physical extermination cannot reasonably be interpreted as a provisional option. That is why the authors have conveniently chosen not to mention this passage.
“The evacuated Jews will first be taken, group after group, to so-called transit ghettos from where they will be transported further to the East.”
If the deportation of the Jews stood for their liquidation “in the eastern camps,” then what where the transit ghettos? Another “codeword”? I will come back to this question at the end of this section.
The third omission concerns a passage, which flies right in the face of the “assumption” the authors have made. If this assumption were true, the first victims of the “evacuations” would have been those unfit for work, in particular the aged. But this is what the document actually says in this respect:
“The intention is not to evacuate jews over the age of 65 but to send them to an old people’s ghetto; Theresienstadt has been earmarked for this purpose.”
Thus we have here an excellent example of the trickery and the deliberate omissions practiced by the authors and aimed at distorting the meaning of a document and deceive their readers!
Before we conclude, let us address those transit ghettos. On pp. 204f., the authors produce the English translation of a letter written by Himmler to Gauleiter Arthur Greiser of September 18, 1941. The document states explicitly that in order to follow Hitler‘s wishes, Himmler was implementing the deportation of the jews from the old Reich and the Protectorate into those eastern areas (Ostgebiete), which had been occupied by the Germans two years earlier, as a first step (als erste Stufe) and, if possible, during 1941. In the following spring they were to be moved still further east (noch weiter nach Osten abzuschieben).
Himmler intended to deport 60,000 Jews from the old Reich and the Protectorate to the Lodz ghetto “for the winter” (für den Winter) while waiting, precisely, to deport them even further to the east in the spring of the following year (p. 264), because Lodz was to be used as a transit ghetto. This demonstrates that the transit ghettos of the Wannsee protocol were, purely and simply, transit ghettos.
Thus we have here a document – one of many – describing unmistakably the deportation of Jews to the east as a true deportation without any homicidal intentions (in September of 1941 the alleged extermination camps in the east did not yet exist). But for the authors this becomes an allegedly converging “proof” of Hitler‘s decision to go ahead with the mass extermination of the “European” jews. And this in spite of the fact that the authors are absolutely aware of the absurd nature of their conjecture:
“Witte] concludes: ‘This terminology already represents the virtual death sentence for those Jews due for deportation, irrespective of the fact that at this point there were no extermination camps ready.” (p. 205)
Such a conclusion is an insult to the science of history and to the “accepted rules of reason.”
3.6. “Ausrottung” and “Vernichtung”
As “convergent proofs” of the reality of the Holocaust the authors go on to produce the usual array of quotations from major NS officials, in which the evidence is said to be the use of terms like “vernichten”or “Vernichtung” (annihilate or annihilation) and “ausrotten”or “Ausrottung” (exterminate or extermination).
The authors devote a particular section (“The Ausrotten of the Jews,” p. 205) to an attempt at proving that these terms, which were part of the violent NS rhetoric, did in fact mean physical extermination.
As is well known, the official historiography’s traditional starting point of such fallacious interpretations is an extrapolation of Hitler‘s so-called “prophecy” in his speech of January 30, 1939:
“I shall again make myself a prophet today: If the international Jewish financiers, inside or outside of Europe, were to be able to push the peoples once more into a world war, the result will not be the bolshevization of the Earth and, hence, the victory of Judaism, but the annihilation of the jewish race in Europe.”
No one among those brave extrapolators ever quotes the lines that follow and that clearly explain the terms of this threat:
“[…] for the time in which the non-Jewish peoples were defenseless in the face of propaganda is coming to an end. National Socialist Germany and fascist Italy possess the institutions which will allow, if necessary, to explain to the world the essence of a question, of which many people are instinctively aware, but which is still unclear to them in scientific terms.”
Thus, the “annihilation of the jewish race in Europe” consisted simply in showing the other peoples those German and fascist institutions, which spread the “scientific knowledge” about the “jewish question.”
In his speech of January 30, 1941, Hitler said:
“I will not forget the indication I have given once before to the German Reichstag, on 1st September 1939 [actually on January 30, 1939]. The indication that if the rest of the world were to be precipitated by Judaism into a general war, entire Judaism will have finished the role they have been playing in Europe.”
Thus, if the Jews were no longer able to play their role in Europe, the “Vernichtung” announced in 1939 was nothing but a political “annihilation.”
This interpretation is confirmed by Hitler‘s words used in his speech at the Berlin Sportpalast of January 30, 1942:
“We realize that this war can only end like this: either the Aryan peoples will be exterminated (ausgerottet werden) or Judaism will vanish from Europe (das Judentum aus Europa verschwindet). On September 1, 1939 [actually, on 30 January 1939], I have told the German Reichstag once before – and I shy away from risky prophecies – that this war will not end the way the Jews think, that is with the Aryan peoples of Europe being exterminated (ausgerottet werden), but that the result of this war will be the annihilation of Judaism (die Vernichtung des Judentums). […] And the day will come when the worst enemy of mankind will have finished his role, perhaps at least for a thousand years.”
Does this mean that Hitler literally believed the “Aryan peoples” would be physically annihilated in case the war was lost?
This quotation confirms, moreover, that the “Vernichtung” of the Jewish race in Europe in the speech of January 30, 1939, was not physical extermination, because here the text speaks of a Judaism that vanishes “from Europe” in case of victory. This, together with the end of the political role of the jews in Europe, can only be explained by the plans to deport the jews into the occupied eastern territories, which were considered to be extra-European.
On February 24, 1942, Hitler comes back to this argument. After having asserted that the “plot” (Verschwörung) of the plutocrats and the Kremlin was aimed at one and the same objective – “the extermination (die Ausrottung) of the Aryan peoples and races,” Hitler says:
“Today, the ideas of our National Socialist revolution and those of fascism have conquered large and powerful states, and my prophecy will be fulfilled that this war will not bring about the annihilation of Aryan mankind – it is the Jew who will be exterminated.”
In his notes, Henry Picker writes for July 21, 1942:
“[…] because – Hitler envisioning to have thrown the Jews out of Europe down to the last man at the end of the present war – the communist danger from the east would then have been exterminated with root and branch.”
This figurative meaning of the verb “ausrotten” and of the associated noun appears also in the speech of September 30, 1942, in which Hitler said:
“On September 1, 1939 [actually, on January 30, 1939], I said two things during the session of the Reichstag. First of all […] and, secondly, if Judaism were to provoke an international world war for the extermination (zur Ausrottung) of the Aryan peoples of Europe, not these Aryan peoples of Europe would be exterminated (ausgerottet werden) but Judaism.”
In his speech on November 8, 1942, Hitler paraphrased his “prophecy” of January 30, 1939, in the following manner:
“You will remember the Reichstag session in which I declared: If Judaism has the illusion of being able to provoke an international world war with the aim of the extermination (zur Ausrottung) of the European races, the result will be not the extermination (die Ausrottung) of the European races, but the extermination (die Ausrottung) of Judaism in Europe!”
Hitler went on again to explain the meaning of this “Ausrottung”: the awareness of the Jewish peril by the European peoples and the introduction, in those nations, of an anti-jewish legislation modeled on the German one:
“In Europe, this danger has been recognized and the nations are adhering one by one to our legislation.”
Finally, in his speech of February 24, 1943, Hitler declared:
“This fight, therefore, will not end – as it is intended – with the annihilation (mit der Vernichtung) of the Aryan [part of] mankind but with the extermination (mit der Ausrottung) of Judaism in Europe.”
Here we even have the perfect equivalence of the terms “Vernichtung” and “Ausrottung” with both being applied to the European peoples.
To summarize: Either Hitler believed in a physical extermination not only of the German but of all European peoples (!) in the event of a German defeat – a decidedly grotesque assumption – or else he was using the terms “Vernichtung” and “Ausrottung” in the figurative sense also when applied to Jewry, which is patently obvious when we look at the various quotations and their context.
And that this is indeed the correct interpretation – if we still need a further confirmation – is stated explicitly by a historian above suspicion, Joseph Billig, former researcher at the Paris Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation:
“The term ‘Vernichtung’ (annihilation, destruction) referred to the absolutely negative attitude towards a Jewish presence in the Reich. Being absolute, this attitude embraced the readiness, if necessary, to go to extreme ends. The term in question did not mean that one had already reached the stage of an extermination nor did it signify that there was a deliberate intention to arrive there.
A few days before the speech quoted [the speech of January 30, 1939], Hitler received the Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia. He reproached his guest for the lack of energy on the part of the Prague government in its efforts to reach an understanding with the Reich and recommended to him, in particular, energetic measures against the Jews.
In this regard, he declared for example: ‘Over here, they are being annihilated’ (bei uns werden sie vernichtet). Are we to believe that, during a diplomatic conversation, which would be recorded in the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hitler would have confidentially alluded to a massacre in the Third Reich – which, moreover, would have been incorrect for that moment in time?
Two years later, on January 30, 1941, Hitler returned to his ‘prophecy’ of 1939. But this time, he explained the meaning as follows: ‘… and I do not wish to forget the indication I have given once before in the Reichstag, namely that if the rest of the world (die andere Welt) is driven into a war, Judaism will have completely ended its role in Europe…’
In his conversation with the Czechoslovak minister, Hitler mentioned England and the United States which, in his opinion, would be in a position to offer regions suitable for jewish settlers.
In January of 1941 he stated that the role of the jews in Europe would come to an end and added that this would come about because the other European peoples would understand this need for their own countries. At that time, one believed in the creation of a jewish reserve. But for Hitler such a reserve was acceptable only outside of Europe. [Thus] we have just noted that, on January 30, 1941, Hitler did nothing but announce the liquidation of the role of the jews in Europe.”
3.7. Extrapolated Quotations
Having set up a historical and contextual frame, let us now move on to quotations that the authors have extrapolated.
3.7.1. Hans Frank
“Hans Frank proves the Holocaust happened” (p. 186)
The authors quote a speech by H. Frank given on October 7, 1940, in which the following sentence appears:
“I could not eliminate (ausrotten) all lice and Jews in only one year.” (p. 186)
Actually, the speech was given on December 20, 1940, the term “ausrotten” has been invented by the authors (the German text has “hinaustreiben” = to drive out), and the reference of the document (I have already mentioned this) is wrong (it is PS-2233 and not PS-3363). Hence, we have one falsification and two errors in one swoop!
The speech, to which the authors assign the date of December 13, 1941, was actually given on December 16. This speech also contained the passage quoted by them later, and for which they publish the German text (note 30 on p. 278):
“Currently there are in the Government General [occupied Poland] approximately 2 ½ million, and together with those who are kith and kin and connected in all kinds of ways, we now have 3 ½ million jews. We cannot shoot these 3 ½ million jews, nor can we poison them, yet we will have to take measures which will somehow lead to the goal of annihilation, and that will be done in connection with the great measures which are to be discussed together with the Reich.] The territory of the General Government must be made free of jews, as is the case in the Reich. Where and how this will happen is a matter of the means which must be used and created, and about whose effectiveness I will inform you in due time.” (pp. 186f.)
The authors comment:
“If the Final Solution meant only deportation out of the Reich, why does Frank refer to attaining ‘the goal of annihilation’ of Jews through means other than shooting or poisoning? The phrase ‘die irgendwie zu einem Vernichtungserfolg führen’ underlines the murderous intent.” (p. 187)
Even if this interpretation were correct – which it is not – the passage demonstrates only “homicidal intentions,” whereas the authors invoke it as proof of the fact that the Holocaust happened! This means that from alleged intentions they deduce the reality of a fact!
But this interpretation is unfounded. The quotation actually fits in with the policy of deportations of Jews followed by the National Socialist regime. It must be considered in the light of other statements, which the authors obviously prefer to keep silent about, in order to reveal its real significance.
In Frank‘s Dienst-Tagebuch (official diary) we have on July 17, 1941, the following entry:
“The Governor General no longer wishes any further creation of ghettos, because, in keeping with an explicit statement by the Führer on 19 June , the jews will in a not too distant future be moved out of the Government General, and the Government General is to be nothing but a transit camp, so to speak.”
On October 13, 1941, H. Frank and Reichsminister Rosenberg had a meeting, in which they touched upon the deportation of jews from the Government General:
“The Governor General then spoke of the possibility of the expulsion of the jewish population from the Government General into the occupied territories. Reichsminister Rosenberg remarked that such aspects had already been brought to his attention by the Paris military administration.
At the moment, though, he did not see any possibility for the implementation of such transfer plans. However, for the future, he was ready to favor jewish emigration to the east, all the more so as it was already intended to send to those sparsely settled eastern territories especially the asocial elements existing within the territory of the Reich.”
On the other hand, if we follow the passage quoted by the authors, the Government General was to become “free of jews” (judenfrei) “as is the case in the Reich” (wie es das Reich ist), but the greater Reich – as we have seen – had only become “judenfrei” (to some extent) through the emigration (Auswanderung) of some 537,000 jews to other countries. It is therefore clear that Hans Frank did nothing but emulate Hitler‘s “annihilation” rhetoric with the same meaning.
3.7.2. Joseph Goebbels
“Joseph Goebbels proves the Holocaust happened” (p. 187)
The authors come up with two quotations, by which they intend to demonstrate that “the Holocaust happened” on the meager basis of the use of the term “Vernichtung.”
The first quotation is taken from a note dated August 19, 1941, in which Goebbels, referring to Hitler‘s “prophecy” of January 30, 1939, says that “should Jewry succeed in again provoking a new war, this would end with their annihilation (Vernichtung)” (p. 187).
We have already seen that the authors’ interpretation is groundless, being based, as it is, on some sort of superstition associated with that word, independent of context. The most significant example of this kind of treatment is presented by them on p. 214, where they deal with Albert Speer, who had written a three page statement on Richard Harwood‘s brochure Did Six Million Really Die?. For the English translation, he added a written explanation that he actually meant “looking away” when using the word “Billigung” (approval), rather than any “knowledge of an order or its execution.” But Shermer and Grobman claim to know better what Speer intended to say, because they write:
“Yet, according to our German-English dictionary, Billigung actually means approval […]”
This surely is a case of “Dictionary über alles”! Obviously, this superstitious, blind believe in dictionaries merely serves to distract from the actual meaning of these extrapolated quotations and, of course, the authors glossing over any proofs opposing their interpretation in order to bolster their deception.
Let us return to Goebbels, though. On August 20, 1941, after a visit to Hitler‘s HQ, Goebbels noted in his diary:
“Moreover, the Führer has promised me that he can expel the ‘Berlin’ jews to the east as soon as the war in the east is over.”
And on September 24, 1941, Goebbels had a talk with Heydrich at Hitler‘s HQ. The next day he wrote in his diary: the jews in the east
“are all to be moved, finally, into the camps built by the Bolsheviks.”
These considerations also apply to a note by Goebbels – which the authors assign to February 24, 1942, but which is actually dated February 14 – purportedly saying that the jews “shall experience their own annihilation together with the destruction of our enemies” (p. 187).
Here the authors use a sleight of hand in the translation. The original text says: “Sie werden mit der Vernichtung unserer Feinde auch ihre eigene Vernichtung erleben,” i.e. “together with the annihilation of our enemies they shall experience their own annihilation.” It is clear that the “annihilation of our enemies” did not necessarily imply the total physical extermination of the enemies. The authors have understood this full well, so much so, in fact, that they have translated the term “Vernichtung” by “annihilation,” when applied to the jews, but by “destruction” when applied to the enemies.
The reference to Goebbels speech of September 23, 1942, is another proof of the authors’ use of dubious and unverified sources, quite at variance with their methodic rules on the acceptability and the verification of sources. Actually, the speech in question had been
“transcribed and passed along by the Polish resistance to the British Foreign Office in May 1943.” (p. 188)
David Irving has identified “the actual Polish origins of it, and the people who have provided it, the Polish Intelligence Service” (p. 189) but still, according to the authors, “that does not invalidate the gist of the speech”! (p. 189).
Because the expression “physical extermination” appears in that speech, the authors – for their personal and political reasons – have decided to close their eyes to criticism and rational thought:
there is no proof that the speech was ever given,
there is no proof that, if the speech was indeed given, Goebbels used that expression,
there is no certainty that, if the speech was given and Goebbels did speak of the Jews, the English rendition of the Polish translation of the words attributed to Goebbels actually corresponds to what he said.
But still, for the authors, “that does not invalidate the gist of the speech”!
As I have demonstrated above, they themselves have falsified a quotation of Hans Frank by substituting the term “ausrotten” (annihilate) for “hinaustreiben” (drive out), but obviously such an underhanded act “does not invalidate the gist of the speech.”
We then have the well-known quotation from Goebbels‘ notes of March 27, 1942:
“Beginning with Lublin the Jews are now being deported eastward from the Government-General. The procedure is pretty barbaric, and one that beggars description, and there’s not much left of the jews. Broadly speaking one can probably say that sixty percent of them will have to be liquidated, while only forty percent can be put to work.” (p. 190)
The authors comment:
“On March 7, 1942, Goebbels noted in his diary that there were still eleven million jews in Europe. If, as he notes twenty days later, sixty percent of these ‘will have to be liquidated,’ we have a close approximation of the six million figure, from just about as high a leader in the Nazi regime as can be found.” (p. 190)
To start at the beginning: It is true that in his note of March 7, Goebbels referred to eleven million Jews, but the authors are careful not to say in what context. Actually, the note says:
“The Jewish question will now have to be solved within the framework of all of Europe. In Europe, there are still 11 million Jews. They must, first of all, be concentrated in the east. At a given time, after the war, an island will have to be assigned to them, maybe Madagascar. Anyway, there will not be peace in Europe as long as the Jews are not completely excluded (ausgeschaltet) from the European territory […]”
We notice immediately that the concentration of the eleven million jews in the east did not, in fact, imply their extermination, given that after the war they were to be assigned an island.
Secondly, the figure of eleven million has been taken from the table of statistics that appears on p. 6 of the Wannsee Protocol. Hence, Goebbels was quite aware of the onset of the new policy of deporting the jews to the east, which Heydrich had announced during that meeting.
With this said, let us take a closer look at the note of March 27, 1942. It refers, no doubt, to this policy of deportations to the east, but Goebbels‘ statement about the 60% liquidation rate not only has no documentary parallel, it is actually refuted by the facts, as we will see further below.
Secondly, the deportations of Polish Jews to the eastern limits of the Lublin district had already started in early January 1942. One of the first reports dates from January 6, 1942, and refers to the “transfer (Aussiedlung) of 2,000 jews from Mielec.” The text says:
“1,000 Jews arrive in the region of Hrubieszow, final destination (Zielstation Hrubieszow). 1,000 Jews arrive in the region of Cholm, of whom 400 have final destination Wlodawa, 600 final destination Parczew. Ready for reception by January 15, 1942.”
A later report on this transfer informs the local authorities:
“I ask you to make absolutely sure that the jews [arriving] at the final destination are received and properly directed as established by you, and that we will not again have the problems encountered in other cases where the jews arrive at the final destination without supervision and then scatter throughout the territory.”
The directives of the governmental office in charge of transfers, sent to the local authorities as an attachment from the district administrative supervisor Weihrauch, specify:
“The Office of the District of Lublin, Department of Internal Administration and Department for Population and Welfare, is responsible to me with respect to the Jews being transferred receiving, to the extent possible, proper housing.
The jews to be transferred are to be allowed to carry bed sheets and blankets. They can, furthermore, carry 25 kg of other luggage and household goods. After arrival in their new settlement areas they must undergo medical observation for three weeks. Any case of disease suspected of being typhus must be immediately reported to the competent district medical officer.”
On March 22, a transfer of jews was carried out from Bilgoraj to Tarnogrod, a village some 20 km to the south of this town. The corresponding report states:
“An evacuation of 57 Jewish families with a total of 221 persons implemented from Bilgoraj to Tarnogrod. Each family was assigned a vehicle for the transport of movable goods and beds. Control and supervision were assured by the Polish police and by the special service command. Action proceeded as planned without incidents. Those evacuated were housed at Tarnogrod the same day.”
And that is taken to be as a “pretty barbaric” procedure?
As far as the split-up of the evacuees into 40% fit for work and 60% “to be liquidated” (“liquidiert werden müssen”) is concerned, this is at variance both with the theses of the official historiography in respect to the “eastern extermination camps,” in which a total extermination of jews – including those fit for work – is said to have been carried out, and with the German projects for Belzec of March 1942.
On March 17, 1942, Fritz Reuters, an employee of Abteilung Bevölkerungswesen und Fürsorge (Department for Population and Welfare) with the governor of the district of Lublin, wrote a memo, in which he described a meeting he had had the day before with SS-Hauptsturmführer Höfle, who was in charge of the transfer of jews for the district of Lublin. On the subject of Belzec, the document says:
“Finally, he declared that he could receive 4 – 5 daily transports of 1,000 Jews with final destination Belzec. These jews will be moved beyond the border and will not return to the Government General.”
This document shows:
The Jews were to be split into those fit for work and those unfit.
Those fit were to be used for work.
Belzec was to be a sorting camp for the Jews fit for work “with a file denoting their professions.” This project is obviously irreconcilable with the thesis that it was a camp for total extermination.
The Jews unfit for work would all be sent to Belzec. The camp is said to have been able to “receive 4 – 5 daily transports of 1,000 Jews,” obviously unfit for work who would be sent on “beyond the border” and would not return to the Government General. Because of this, Belzec was named “final border station for the Zamosc region.” This makes sense only in the context of a cross-border transfer.
Therefore, the “liquidation” of 60% of the jews evacuated stood for their removal into the eastern territories. In the Goebbels note, “liquidation” thus has the same meaning as Hitler‘s “Vernichtung” and “Ausrottung.”
3.7.3. Heinrich Himmler
“Heinrich Himmler proves the Holocaust happened.” (p. 190)
This alleged “demonstration” consists of three quotations. The first one dates from January 1937. Himmler spoke of “Roman emperors who exterminated [ausrotteten] the first Christians.” From this, the authors conclude that “ausrotten meant murder” (p. 191) and therefore, whenever Himmler spoke of “Ausrottung” it should be taken to mean assassination. We have here another fine example of the superstition attached to a word removed from its context!
The second quotation is – now hold your breath! – Himmler‘s alleged speech in his meeting with Rudolf Höss. Both the meeting itself and the contents of that speech are based solely on assertions by the erstwhile Auschwitz commander!
The reference is to this most dubious document, in which Höss (or the British captors who tortured him) claimed that Himmler had declared in summer of 1941 (!) that the alleged “extermination camps in the east” already existed:
“The extermination centers that presently exist in the east are in no position at all to cope with the great actions being planned.”
Needless to say, the authors are careful not to quote this passage, which by itself renders Höss‘ entire little tale absolutely worthless.
The third quote is that infamous sentence from the Posen speech, in which the term “Judenevakuierung” (evacuation of Jews) is made the synonym of “Ausrottung” in a section entitled “Die Judenevakuierung” (the evacuation of Jews):
“I am now talking of the evacuation of the jews, of the extermination of the jewish people.”
And because Himmler had used the verb “ausrotten” in the sense of “assassinate” in January of 1937, it follows that in October of 1943 “Ausrottung” necessarily meant “assassination”!
Of course none of those self-styled specialists of historiographical method has ever asked themselves, if, by any chance, it might not be just the other way around, with “Ausrottung” standing for “Evakuierung.” Actually, in Hitler‘s speeches examined above the “Vernichtung” or “Ausrottung” of the jewish people was merely its political extermination by means of deportation or evacuation to eastern non-European areas.
As far as the reference to 100, 500, or 1000 corpses is concerned – “most of you will know what it means when 100 corpses are lying together, when 500 are lying there or when 1000 are lying there” – these figures have little to do with the alleged policy of physical extermination because the alleged extermination camps in the east allegedly produced several thousands of corpses every day.
Himmler‘s figures, on the other hand, fit in very well with German repressive activities such as those during the Warsaw ghetto uprising, in which some 7,500 jews were killed. Officially, the jews of the Warsaw ghetto were scheduled for a “Judenevakuierung” to the eastern territories.
Germar Rudolf had suggested another quite plausible interpretation of this passage. According to this, this passage refers to those Germans with their “decent jews,” who did not understand the hard measures against the jews, because they have never seen hundreds or thousands of corpses. Himmler said:
“All those who speak that way have never watched, have never faced it out.”
But no jewish corpses can be meant by this, because if those Germans with their “great jews” had seen hundreds of jewish corpses, they would have understood the harsh anti-Jewish measures even less, or they may even have revolted against them. But Himmler‘s audience consisting of soldiers – all of them high-ranking soldiers of the SS, Waffen-SS, and Wehrmacht – understood such harsh anti-jewish measures because they have seen many corpses. But even those soldiers would not have been inclined to better understand harsh measure against jews by the mere sight of jewish corpses. Harsh measures are only likely to be accepted, if one is convinced that they are just, that is: as punishment. But punishment for what? For the massive occurrence of death; for the jews’ alleged responsibility for the war. Just pay attention to the oft-repeated words of Hitler: “If the international jewish financiers […] were to be able to push the peoples once more into a world war,” then woe to them! Jewry, so Hitler, “has on its conscience the two million dead of the Great War [WWI], and now it has hundreds of thousands more” (see next chapter). These are the corpses that would allegedly have made the Germans, who think that jews are nice people, accept the anti-jewish measures. These are the corpses that made Himmler‘s audience understand why harsh measures against the jews were justified und why Himmler and his listeners were emotionally hardened and did not give any mercy.
Obviously, the trick with those extrapolated quotations can only work if quotations that do not fit in with the authors’ ideological or political prejudices are not mentioned, such as the declaration Himmler made at Bad Tölz on November 23, 1942:
“The Jewish question in Europe has also completely changed. The Führer once said in a Reichstag speech: If Judaism ever causes a war of extermination of the Aryan peoples, it would not be the Aryan peoples who would be exterminated, but Judaism. The jew is being evacuated from Germany; he now lives in the east [“lebt im Osten”] and works on our roads, our railways and so on. That process has been implemented coherently, but without cruelty.”
3.7.4. Adolf Hitler
On p. 201, the authors discuss David Irving‘s old thesis that Hitler did not know about the alleged extermination of the Jews, and say:
“His evidence for this is a quote from Hitler, recorded by Bormann’s adjutant Heinrich Heim on the day of October 25, 1941:
‘From the rostrum of the Reichstag I prophesied to jewry that if war could not be avoided, the Jews would disappear from Europe. That race of criminals already had on its conscience the two million dead of the Great War, and now it has hundreds of thousands more. Let nobody tell me that despite that [we] cannot park them in the marshy parts of Russia! Our troops are there as well, and who worries about them! By the way – it’s not a bad thing that public rumor attributes to us a plan to exterminate jews.’” (p. 201)
The authors call the presentation and Irving‘s call for a single document for or against his thesis a “snapshot fallacy” and continue:
“In Hitler‘s War Irving reproduces Himmler‘s telephone notes of November 30, 1941, after Hitler requested a meeting with him, showing that the SS chief telephoned Reinhard Heydrich (head of the RSHA) at 1:30 P.M. ‘from Hitler‘s bunker at the Wolf’s Lair [Wolfschanze], ordering that there was to be ‘no liquidating’ of Jews (see figure 37).’ Taking this ‘snapshot’ out of its historical context, Irving concludes: ‘The Führer had ordered that the Jews were not to be liquidated’. But let’s re-view this snapshot in the sequence of frames around it. As Raul Hilberg points out, a more accurate translation of the log is ‘jewish transport from Berlin. No liquidation’. In other words, Himmler is referring to one particular transport, not all jews. And, ironically, says Hilberg (and Irving concurs in Hitler‘s War), ‘that transport was liquidated! That order was either ignored, or it was too late. The transport had already arrived in Riga and they didn’t know what to do with these thousand people so they shot them that very same evening.’” (p. 201)
The note refers to the Jewish transport, which left Berlin for Riga on November 27, 1941.
Actually, it is the authors who avoid the task of inserting this “snapshot” accurately into its context. On the one hand, they keep quiet about Hitler‘s other declarations concerning the removal of the “European” jews to non-European countries such as Madagascar, or more generally to Africa or to Russia. They also say nothing about his intention of “evacuating all the jews from Europe after the war,” expressed as early as August of 1940, nor his declaration expressed “repeatedly” that he “wanted to see the solution of the Jewish question set aside until after the war” (“die Lösung der Judenfrage bis nach dem Kriege zurückgestellt wissen wolle”).
Thus, sending the Jews “into the marshy regions of Russia” as mentioned in Hitler‘s declaration of October 25, 1941, fits squarely into this context, and the phrase “it’s not a bad thing that public rumor attributes to us a plan to exterminate Jews” – the use of the term “rumor” clearly indicating that such a plan did, in fact, not exist – fits into the historical context of the policy of Jewish emigration. All this constitutes a nice convergence of proof against the theses of the authors.
Let us move on to Himmler‘s note of November 30, 1941. On the face of it, the author’s interpretation appears flawless, but “the sequence of frames,” into which they have inserted this “snapshot,” is artificial. The real historical context is the following:
The “General Report for October 16, 1941, through January 31, 1942” (Gesamtbericht vom 16. Oktober 1941 bis 31. Januar 1942) of Einsatzgruppe A (the alleged tool for the extermination of jewish transports from the Reich, including the one that left Berlin on November 27, 1941) contains a full section entitled “Juden aus dem Reich” (Jews from the Reich), in which it is said:
“Starting in December of 1940 [actually: 1941], jewish transports from the Reich arrived at short intervals. 20,000 Jews were directed to Riga and 7,000 to Minsk. The first 10,000 jews evacuated to Riga were housed partly in a temporary reception camp, partly in a new barrack camp built in the vicinity of Riga. The other transports were settled mainly in a separate section of the Riga ghetto.
The construction of the barrack camp is implemented by the use of all the Jews fit for work in such a way that those who survive the winter can be settled in this camp.
Of the jews coming from the Reich, only a very small portion is fit for work. Some 70% to 80% are women and children, as well as old people unfit for work. The mortality rate is going up continuously, also because of the extremely severe winter.
The performance of the few jews from the Reich who are able to work is satisfactory. They are preferred over the Russian Jews on account of their German language and their relatively more pronounced cleanliness.
The capacity of the jews in trying to adapt their lives to the circumstances is extraordinary. The crowding of the jews into minute living spaces, which is the case in all ghettos, obviously generates a risk of epidemics, against which measures in the widest way are being undertaken with the aid of Jewish doctors. In rare cases, contagious Jews have been removed and shot, under the pretext of taking them to a clinic or a Jewish hospital.”
Hence, among the jews deported to Riga from the Reich – including those of the transport of November 27, 1941 – only certain individuals with contagious diseases were killed in individual cases (“in einzelnen Fällen”), there were no general measures of “mass exterminations.” Hence, if considered with this background in mind, a lot indicates indeed that the term “no liquidation” was referring to these individual cases, which Hitler forbade.
After piling up this enormous heap of falsifications, converging in their negation of the truth, the authors have the audacity to conclude in the hope that their book:
“has not only provided a thorough and thoughtful answer to all the claims of the Holocaust deniers, but also clearly presented the convergence of evidence for how we know the Holocaust (or anything in history) happened.” (p. 259)
What the authors have really furnished is an amateurish and confused answer to a small part of the arguments of a small part of the revisionist scholars, and what they have clearly presented is only a convergence of contortions, omissions, and fallacious interpretations, which do nothing but demonstrate the total inconsistency of the “evidence” for the Holocaust.
And what the authors claim to have demolished is not historical revisionism but a ridiculous parody of historical revisionism. They have massacred their own methodic rulebook by showing the unreliability of their selection of historical facts, utilizing unverified and incestuous sources, never trying to refute their own theses but attempting only to find confirmatory evidence, and obscuring anything that might speak against their thesis. They grounded themselves on a purely fictitious “convergence of proofs” and subjected their findings to their personal convictions and prejudices.
In one respect the authors are absolutely right: in the conviction that “the truth will always win out when the evidence is made available for all to see.”
This is true, above all, for the authors themselves who, like all of their ilk, put all their money on the ignorance of their readers: once the evidence for their falsifications is made available and accessible to all, truth cannot but prevail.