What is the value of the "aerial photographs?"

Published: 1998-01-01
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Dear AnswerMan,

Whilst being a firm proponent of the revisionist cause, I am somewhat dubious about the existence of the aerial photographs as proclaimed on revisionist sites, for the same reasons I doubt the gas chambers, namely, that I have not seen any good series of aerial photographs of the camps, suitably clear and dated.

Even the sites called 'aerial photographs' do not show any/ relevant pictures.

Therefore I suggest that if there are no photos or these are unavailable, then revisionists should cease to cite them, as this is undermining to the cause of refutation.

John

AnswerMan!

AnswerMan Replies:

Thanks for your comments regarding aerial photographs. I tend to agree with you that the evidence based on aerial photography is not very strong. That, however, may be key to understanding the significance of what is available through aerial photography.

Let me explain. Holocaust revisionism had made many breakthroughs through the the 1970's. Those breakthroughs resulted in one of the earlier attempts to refute revisionism. This attempt was the creation and publication of a document entitled, "The Holocaust Revisited: A Retrospective Analysis of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Complex." The document was created by Dino A. Brugioni and Robert G. Poirer in February 1979 and was an official document of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA.) The abstract explains in brief: "This paper uses photographs derived from World War II aerial reconnaissance missions to illustrate the facilities and operations of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz from June 1944 to January 1945." The authors then proceeded to use photographs (some of which you may be familiar with) to PROVE that the Nazi government ran an extermination program and used gas chambers to kill large numbers of inmates. For example on Page 7 of this document, they write, "Extermination operations in progress at Birkenau were recorded on aerial photography of 25 August 1944."  That photograph includes captions added by Brugioni that read among others "Gas Chamber and Crematoria II" "Prisoners on Way to Gas Chambers" "Gas Chambers and Crematorium III" and "Gas Chamber." Not only are the captions deceptive, but in several cases the photographs appear as if they were altered and had "lines" or "dots" drawn on to depict movements of "prisoners."

Brugioni later published the book, Photo Fakery: The History and Techniques of Photographic Deception and Manipulation and has a chapter on the Auschwitz photos (which of course he claims are accurate and truthful. For more on this check out the review at: www.codoh.com(info)/revisionist/review/tr04fakery.html

The revisionist counter-argument has largely been led by John Ball. I'm sure that it is his Website that you reference. Ball published his work Air Photo Evidence largely in response to the CIA claims of "proving" the Holocaust story via these photographs. Ball later also included a chapter in Germar Rudolf's anthology Dissecting the Holocaust.

Finally, I think I agree that it is not the strength of revisionist writings which has demonstrated the inaccuracies and falsehoods of the fundamentalist Holocaust story, but rather the weakness of the fundamentalist story itself. Mr. Ball's work does not prove the revisionist case, but certainly neither do Brugioni and the CIA's work prove the orthodox story. The value of Ball's work is to highlight the weakness of the traditional case. Revisionists often find themselves in the situation of disproving things. It is my judgment that Ball has done a fine job of refuting Brugioni. That is the only real value of the aerial photographs that I have studied.

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Author(s) AnswerMan
Title What is the value of the "aerial photographs?"
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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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