By Germar Rudolf
"How can anybody seriously believe that the Holocaust did NOT happen? Considering all the witnesses, all these pictures, all the documents, how could all this be lies and forgeries? And how could anybody, who has his five senses together, believe that such a thing could be made up? Thousands of historians and other researchers, hundreds of prosecutors, judges, and jurors - are they all wrong? Or did they all conspire in an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus of mind-reading?"
These or similar questions will pop up in most peoples' mind when they are confronted with revisionist theories for the first time. In fact, even most revisionists posed these questions at the beginning of their journey that turned them from exterminationist Sauluses to revisionist Pauluses.
Even I, as the editor of this series of revisionist books that I started several years ago, find myself doubting my own revisionist convictions once in a while. I find myself asking similar questions to those quoted above. But then I have the professional duty and intellectual pleasure to edit another book written by fine revisionist scholars like the authors of the present book. I edited it in 2002 in the German language, and now, some 18 months later, a second time for the English language edition. Though this book was not specifically written to answer the above questions of Doubting Thomases, which we all are sometimes, and gladly so, it did have, once more, the effect on me to ask quite different questions, and I hope that the reader had a similar experience while going through this fine work:
"How can anybody seriously believe that the Holocaust DID happen? Considering all the absurdities, impossibilities, contradictions, how could all these witness tales ever be believed? And how could anybody, who has his five senses together, believe that such a thing could have happened? Thousands of historians and other researchers, hundreds of prosecutors, judges, and jurors - have they all lost their minds? Or were they all so brainwashed by wartime propaganda or trembling in fear of the Jews that they did not dare to rock the boat?"
Of course, reading this book does not have to lead to such a reaction. Fritjof Meyer, for example, reacted quite differently. For many years, he was a leading editor of Germany's biggest weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, a dedicated left-wing medium that has always been, and still is promoting the orthodox version of the Holocaust with verve. Meyer can perhaps be described as one of Germany's media experts on this topic. He is also a dedicated buyer and reader of all revisionist publications, as Castle Hill Publisher's database indicates. Meyer attracted some attention in 2002, when he published an article in a small German geopolitical magazine, in which he reduced the Auschwitz death toll considerably to ca. 500,000, based an a strange mixture of revisionist and exterminationist arguments.
Several weeks after the German version of the present books was sent to Meyer, he reacted with a short email, as always indicating that his statements were not for publication. I therefore will quote them only indirectly. I do this, because it is necessary to show:
- mainstream scholars do pay attention to revisionist research;
- they dare to get into an exchange with revisionists;
- they are not courageous enough to do it in the open.
In his statement, Meyer says that it was time that finally somebody gathered all the information about a topic, which had been neglected for a long time, and he praises the industry, with which the two authors added interesting discoveries from Polish archives. He regrets, however, that in his eyes this book serves only to support the author's dogma instead of balancing the pros and cons in an unbiased way. He then claims that the authors omitted everything that would not fit into their image of Treblinka.
First of all, I would like to address the severe accusation that the authors would only confirm their own dogma. If Meyer would care to define what a dogma is, then he would have to admit that the official version of Holocaust bears all the characteristics of a dogma: all dissenters are severely punished by the society in large and in many countries, particularly in Europe, even by the authorities by means of political show trials. The dissenting view presented in this volume is the opposite of the dogma: it is a challenge to the dogma.
It is also wrong that the authors have ignored everything that contradicts their thesis. How can anybody claim that a book, which dedicates most of its pages to discussing the 'orthodox,' dogmatic version with most of its arguments, is omitting contradicting evidence? To be sure, no author is omniscient, hence no book is perfect. But in contrast to Meyer, who has never discussed opposing arguments and publications in his papers, Mattogno and Graf made an honest attempt to cover all the material that there is.
Let me now address some of the points Meyer raised.
1. Use of Euthanasia Staff during Operation Reinhardt
In discussing the postulated murder of the Jews in the so-called Operation Reinhardt camps, of which Treblinka was the largest, historians of the status quo identify the technical and organizational origins of this mass murder as to be found in the program of euthanasia, which was enforced as of the beginning of World War Two - the killing of so-called 'life not worthy of life,' in other words, mentally and/or severely physically disabled people. The reason for this assumption is the considerable overlap, i.e., continuity of staff in both areas. However, it seems to me a very dubious practice to attempt to construe this continuity as evidence for the mass murder, since it may very well mean only that the leadership had wished to retain staff, which had previously proven loyal in one socially extremely controversial operation, for a subsequent, no less controversial purpose. But whether this controversial purpose was the resettlement, ghettoization, or mass murder of the Jews, is still an open question.
There is, of course, an answer to this question, and it lies in the fate of many of the staff members involved in Operation Reinhardt after the eastern camps were closed. Globocnik and the major part of his team of Operation Reinhardt were transferred to the Adriatic coast of northern Italy in late 1943. Globocnik became "Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer in der Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland" (Higher SS and police leader in the operational zone Adriatic coast) under direct orders of the Chancellery of the Führer. His staff was turned into a unit called "R" (probably for Reinhardt) engaged mainly in anti-partisan warfare, but to a minor degree also in the organization and deportation of Italian Jews to forced labor assignments in Germany. In this connection, a transit camp for the deportation of Jews was established in Risiera di San Sabba. Liliana Picciotto-Fargion writes in the regard:
"The mechanism [of deportation] is not very different at the Adriatic coast: the prison of Coroneo di Trieste acted as a collection point for the deportations between December 1943 and March 1944 and was then replaced by the collection and transit camp located in Risiera di San Sabba (Polizeihaftlager)."
The author adds that one convoy of deportees from Italy included on average 500-600 persons,
"while those coming from the Nazi operational zone Adriatic coast (Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland) with 'capital' Trieste had on average only around 60-80 persons per convoy."
23 such convoys with a total of 1,173 Jews departed from this zone, most of them with the destination of Auschwitz.
There is no doubt that the camp at Risiera di San Sabba was not an 'extermination camp,' and it is also clear that the main activity of Globocnik 's unit "R" was to fight partisans. Therefore, we have clear proof of deployment of the former staff of both euthanasia and Operation Reinhardt in a task that had nothing to do with the extermination of Jews. Thus, the fact of partial continuity of the personnel employed in the euthanasia with that employed in the Operation Reinhardt does not permit the conclusion that Jews were summarily exterminated in the Operation Reinhardt camps.
Moreover, Meyer 's claim that not only the euthanasia staff was transferred, but also their methods and equipment (gassing with carbon monoxide), is simply wrong. There is no evidence that the method used for killings during the euthanasia program - mainly bottled carbon monoxide - was ever used during the alleged Holocaust. Here we find claims to all sorts of methods, except the one used during euthanasia, which had proven to be highly effective. Today, Meyer and his co-dogmatists claim that the exhaust of diesel engines was used to kill people in Treblinka and Bełżec. Fritz Berg has shown in detail how absurd this claim is, indeed. It is not only absurd because diesel exhaust gases hardly contain any carbon monoxide, but even more so because the Germans had an over-abundance of extremely poisonous devices available: hundred thousands of wood and coke gas generators, which were cheap and easy to operate and delivered a gas just as lethal as bottled carbon monoxide.
Considering that some of the staff of Operation Reinhardt had knowledge about homicidal techniques from the euthanasia program, this lack of transfer of method is strong circumstantial evidence that the Operation Reinhardt did not mean the killing of people.
2. Archaeological Findings
Meyer criticizes the alleged lack of discussion of archaeological findings, like the fact that still today the rain rinses bone fragments to the surface. Since archaeological findings are discussed in detail in Chapter III.2. of the present book, one wonders if Meyer really read this book thoroughly. Also, when talking about archaeology, Meyer should first ask why the huge mass graves attested to by the witnesses were never found despite archaeological research. Bone fragments rinsed to the surface prove that people died in Treblinka and were buried, a fact that nobody denies, but such findings do not prove a mass murder with the methods and the order of magnitude claimed. Unless Meyer has established the amount and nature of bone fragments and the area in which they can be found, his statement cannot be called an archaeological finding, but merely an unfounded claim.
3. Testimonies of SS Witnesses and of Prof. Pfannenstiel
Meyer criticizes the authors for dismissing the testimonies of SS personnel and of Prof. Pfannenstiel as mere tactical lies. It seems that Meyer needs to be straightened out here: If a forensic blood analysis shows that a defendant was drunk at the time of a car crash, one million witness statements and one million confessions of the defendant, altogether claiming that the defendant was, in fact, not drunk, cannot change the fact that he was drunk. Thus, if one hundred witnesses and one hundred confessions state that the moon is made of cheese or that 870,000 corpses can be burned within a few months without leaving traces and without fuel, both assertions being of a similar intellectual quality, then we have to conclude - in light of all the forensic evidence - that the witnesses and the defendants are wrong. Like it or not! Thus, unless Meyer proves that the factual claims of the witnesses were physically possible, we do not have to discuss whether such witness statements are correct, only why they are incorrect. To solve this question, Meyer does not contribute anything.
In this context, I may add one point that is often forgotten today: When the German Army invaded the Soviet Union with the Christian Crosses of the Wehrmacht as their emblem, the population greeted them enthusiastically - and naively - as God's own soldiers to liberate them from the devilish Soviet mass murderers. In secret reports, even the NKVD admitted that vast parts of the local population of many regions viewed the Germans as liberators from Stalinist oppression, that the Germans treated the local populace well and turned many of the younger people into dedicated National Socialists eagerly prepared to close collaboration with the Germans. It can thus come as no surprise that the largest volunteer army that ever fought for a foreign nation was the army consisting of over one million young people mainly of east European descent that fought alongside the Wehrmacht, because these young people saw the German war against the Soviet Union as a cause worthwhile to sacrifice their lives for. However, when the Germans started to retreat in 1943, it happened that parts of the local population, knowing what was awaiting them, tried to move west with the Germans and were prevented from doing so only by drastic German measures. After the Red Army reconquered those temporarily liberated territories, the Soviets conducted draconic purges against the local population with show trials against uncounted individuals for actual or alleged collaboration with the Germans. In some regions, where collaboration was very intensive, considerable parts of the population were deported to Siberia as a collective punishment, in particular in the Baltic states, the Caucasus region, and the Ukraine. Not even former prisoners incarcerated in various German camps were safe from this kind of treatment, especially if former co-inmates accused them of having aided the Germans in running the camp.
The only way to prevent deportation to a Siberian labor camp - an almost certain death penalty - was to bend over backwards in conforming with Soviet demands to denounce the former German occupiers and to help in 'creating' evidence for actual or only alleged German atrocities and war crimes. It is more than likely that many of the 'eyewitness' accounts collected by Soviet Russian or Polish commissions have their origin in this hysterical atmosphere of post-war purges.
A similar atmosphere was also prevalent in the areas occupied by American and British troops, although not as intensive, and whereas this atmosphere subsided by the end 1940s/early 1950s in the West - only to be gradually substituted with a hysterical 'Holocaust' atmosphere created by media and court room propaganda - it remained a permanent background theme in the communist East as a tool to denounce and destabilize the 'revanchist,' 'fascist' West, especially its clientele state West Germany as NATO's most crucial and also most vulnerable member during the Cold War.
4. Deportation Data
Meyer claims that the Jewish Historical Institute (Żydowski Institut Historyczny) of Warsaw has precise data about the deportation of Jews to the Operation Reinhardt camps. This Institute published a Biuletyn (Bulletin), in which, among others, archival material of the alleged extermination of Jews was published. The first issue appeared in 1951. J. Graf and C. Mattogno examined all issues of this Bulletin in search for archival material useful for their research on Majdanek and on the eastern camps, above all in their search for deportation lists. Carlo Mattogno asserted that the Bulletin does not contain a single such list, nor can any list be found in this Institute's archive. Articles published in the Bulletin, which are important in the context of this topic, are listed in the bibliography of this book. Not even the book Faschismus-Getto-Massenmord, which was published by the same Institute and which contains the better part of the documentation preserved in its archives, contains any deportation lists. While in Moscow, J. Graf and C. Mattogno verified the sources of the article by Tatiana Berenstein "Exterminacja ludności żydowskiej w dystrikcie Galicja". It turned out that this article is based entirely upon testimonies. This confirms that the archive of said Institute does not contain any deportation lists to the eastern camps.
Meyer lists a few other points, which I cannot address here because I simply do either not know what he refers to or why he thinks certain arguments put forward by the authors are flawed. Meyer did not elaborate what he means by his criticism, but he has promised to publish his own paper on this topic and to inform us about it. So far, however, we have not heard back from him.
It is encouraging that finally at least one scholar of the other side of this debate takes scientific standards seriously and takes notice of the need to address the many urgent questions raised by books like the present one. We can only hope for historiography in general that this will not be an isolated case, but that other scholars will be encouraged by it to dare to voice their own doubts and opinions, because exactitude is the only certain way to the truth, and exactitude can only be achieved when we make each other aware of the mistakes we all make.
To close this matter, I may point the reader's attention to an article written by Prof. Dr. Robert Faurisson, which he penned after he read the German edition of the present book: "Treblinka: An Exceptional Guide." In it Dr. Faurisson describes his own visit to Treblinka in 1988 and the interviews he made with two local witnesses. Since neither of these witnesses signed an affidavit nor any other record of their testimony seems to exist, and also because their testimony was made some 35 years after the fact, it was decided not to include Dr. Faurisson 's hearsay report of eyewitness accounts in this book, because its evidentiary value is rather low. But the interested reader might nevertheless enjoy reading what Dr. Faurisson experienced with those two witnesses.
|||K. A. Schleunes, in E. Jäckel, J. Rohwer, op. cit. (note 276), p. 70ff., esp. p. 78. For a list of personnel who served in the Operation Reinhardt camps, their prior deployment in the euthanasia program, as well as their military ranks, see www.deathcamps.org/reinhard/|
|||If Meyer had paid attention, he would have found this my statement already in my 1994 book Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, op. cit. (note 98), p. 25, Engl.: Germar Rudolf (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust, op. cit. (note 81), p. 31.|
|||I owe the following information to my dear friend Carlo Mattogno.|
|||Pier Arrigo Carnier, Lo sterminio mancato. La dominazione nazista nel Veneto orientale 1943-1945. Mursia, Milano 1982, pp. 55, 66; see pp. 400f. for some members of the staff.|
|||L. Picciotto-Fargion, Il libro della memoria. Gli Ebrei deportati dall'Italia (1943-1945), Mursia, Milano 1995, p. 35.|
|||Ibid., pp. 60-63. The average would thus be 51, not 60-80.|
|||Cf. Alexander E. Epifanow, Hein Mayer, Die Tragödie der deutschen Kriegsgefangenen in Stalingrad von 1942 bis 1956 nach russischen Archivunterlagen, Biblio, Osnabrück 1996.|
|||See, for example, the treatment of the Caucasian peoples: Ataullah B. Kopanski, "North Caucasia's Anno Horribilis, 1944," The Barnes Review, 4(4) (1998), pp. 37-40.|
|||To learn more about the circumstances, under which testimonies and confessions were made, cf. M. Köhler, "The Value of Testimony and Confessions Concerning the Holocaust," in: G. Rudolf (ed.), op. cit. (note 81), pp. 85-131.|
|||R. Faurisson, "Treblinka: An Exceptional Guide," The Revisionist, 2(1) (2004), in preparation.|