Will the Opening of the Nazi Archives be a moment of truth?

Published: 1998-01-01
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Dear AnswerMan,

I'm curious about the recent opening of the Nazi archive. Would we be able to, once and for all, settle this issue of how many Jews were actually killed by the Nazis? Could this be the moment of truth for the revisionists?

Best, [name withheld for fear of persecution]

AnswerMan!

AnswerMan Replies:

Thanks for your interesting query. Only time will tell for sure what the exact impact of the opening of the "Nazi archives" at Arolsen will bring. With that said, AnswerMan believes that the opening of the archives will be another minor revisionist victory.

Others anticipate more from Arolsen. For instance, in Georges Theil's book, Heresy in Twenty-First Century France, he writes:

"The information and statistics of which Arolsen disposes in abundance are, of course, of capital significance. For they are the ultimate key: here it will be obvious whether a holocaust happened or did not happen."

I am less optimistic. Understand, that I believe the archives at Arolsen will certainly support the revisionist position. This will not be a "moment of truth" however as the revisionist position has been proven many times over. Arolsen will be only one more straw on the proverbial camel's back.

Consider that original Soviet propaganda put forth the estimate of 1.5 million Jewish deaths at the concentration camp Majdanek. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has taken an iron cast of the "gas chamber door" from that camp and made it the final display that one sees during their tour. Today however, experts at the Majdanek museum have "revised" the actual number of Jewish deaths down to 59,000. The "gas chamber" door has been shown to be a widely used air raid shelter door. Still, textbooks repeat extraordinary figures for Majdanek and the USHMM does not inform its tourists of the real function of that heavy steel door.

It is highly unlikely that the opening of the ITS files at Arolsen will put the matter to rest. The mainstream media has portrayed the files that way with the anticipation of finding extremely high numbers of deaths recorded. This would then put an end to revisionism once and for all — or so the argument goes. However, if the numbers are low, as I am quite sure they will be, the matter will be swept under the rug and alternative ideas will pop up as to what really happened and how the dastardly Germans falsified the records to show lower numbers than what really happened.

Case in point, by 1992, the Soviet archives in Moscow opened. These archives held the Auschwitz "death books" (Sterbebuch). Each book contains hundreds of death certificates. Each certificate meticulously records numerous revealing details, including the deceased person's full name, profession, religion, date and place of birth, time of death and cause of death. The death registry books fell into Soviet hands in January 1945 when the Red Army captured Auschwitz. When the archive opened it was revealed that Moscow had 46 of these volumes. They covered partially the years 1941, 1942, and 1943. There were no volumes for 1944 or 1945. It has been suggested by the International Red Cross that the Soviets "misplaced" the additional missing volumes. Russian officials permitted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) - the International Tracing Service in Arolsen, Germany to make copies of the death certificates. There were 69,000 death certificates. Even if one extrapolates for the missing books, the numbers do not grow to the mythic millions proportions. Still, this information is largely neglected by the fundamentalists.

When Franciszek Piper, the Director of the Auschwitz museum wrote his article, "The Number of Victims" (published in the US in 1994), he states, "When the Soviet soldiers liberated the camp [Auschwitz] in January 1945, they found documents that confirmed only 100,000 deaths." Still, in light of the hard evidence, Piper suggests that many victims were never registered into the Auschwitz camp and rather went directly to the gas chambers. Therefore although maybe 100,000 inmates who were registered died at Auschwitz, some 1 million who were never registered were murdered there. What evidence you ask is there for the 1 million murdered? There is actually no evidence of the murder of these people.

Piper and others have examined train records to review how many inmates were sent to the camp. They then looked at how many were registered and theorized that the rest were murdered. They largely ignored the fact that Auschwitz also served as a transit camp and that many individuals transferred there were not registered there, because after a brief stay (a few days to a few weeks) they were moved on to other camps within the system. The fundamentalists have attempted many times in the past twenty years to conclusively finish off the revisionists. Every attempt has failed miserably. When revisionists are proven to be correct, the facts are buried. I expect the same from Arolsen.


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Author(s) AnswerMan
Title Will the Opening of the Nazi Archives be a moment of truth?
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Dates published: 1998-01-01, first posted on CODOH: June 29, 1998, 7 p.m., last revision: n/a
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