A young Jewish holocaust revisionist, posing as a believer, puts some hard questions to a museum tour guide and to the senior curator of the Auschwitz State Museum. After making this video, a "hit" was put out on Cole, and a reward for information on his whereabouts was issued by Irv Rubin (who years later, was arrested by the FBI for planning to kill a Lebanese-American Congressman.) Fearing assassination, Cole went into hiding, changing his name to David Stein. Some 20 years later, when a disgruntled former girlfriend blew his cover, he resurfaced again, unapologetic about his iconoclastic views on Auschwitz…
Slightly shortened, sound-remastered edition, released in August 1992
The transcript of this slightly shortened video can be found further below. The transcript of the full version can be found here. Subtitle files for the shortened version are here:
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David Cole interviews Dr. Franciszek Piper
Narrated by David Cole
It is an undisputed fact of history that, during World War II, the Germans ran a network of prison and labor camps, both in Germany and in the territories they controlled. Into these camps were sent Jews, prisoners-of-war, resistance fighters, Gypsies, and other people considered enemies of the Third Reich. The largest of these camps was the one called Auschwitz, located in Poland. Those interned at Auschwitz came from all over Europe and consisted of men, women, and children. Those able to work were used as labor for the German war effort. Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Army in January of 1945.
But that is where the consensus ends.
Since the end of World War II, we have been told repeatedly that many of these camps served a darker purpose: the genocide of six million Jews and the execution of five million non-Jews through the use of homicidal gas chambers in what is now commonly known as the Holocaust.
The largest number of people are said to have been murdered at Auschwitz. But there are some people who maintain that these claims of mass murder have never been proven. These people point to the lack of documentation other than the highly questionable and already partially discredited evidence supplied by the Soviet Union at the Nuremberg Trial and the unreliable nature of the "eyewitness" testimonies, many of which have also been discredited (for example, many former camp inmates, as well as American soldiers, still speak of "gassings" at the Dachau Camp in Germany, even though it is no longer held that any [homicidal] gas chamber was ever in use at that camp).
Still, the Holocaust is an event that has seemingly GROWN in importance since the end of the war. Taught as fact… usually accepted without question. But HOW do we know if it really happened? What PROOFS are offered for those not willing to take history on faith alone?
This video deals with, among other things, one of those "proofs," one piece in a very large puzzle: the supposed gas chamber at the Auschwitz Main Camp. This tape is the first in a series of tapes covering my September 1992 trip to Europe to investigate firsthand the sites of the alleged "Final Solution." It is by no means intended to be the last word on the Holocaust controversy, but just the opposite. I hope this tape can BEGIN an open debate that's long overdue: What is fact and what is simple wartime propaganda regarding the event we have come to know as the Holocaust.
This is the Auschwitz Main Camp or Stammlager. There are three parts to what is known as Auschwitz. There is Auschwitz I, the Main Camp, a well-built compound which existed before World War II as a military barracks and was slightly modified by the Germans when they took it over. Then there's Auschwitz II, also known as Auschwitz-Birkenau, which was constructed during the war as an expansion of the Main Camp. And there's Auschwitz III, or Auschwitz-Monowitz, a large industrial area where many inmates were forced to work.
It is Auschwitz I, the Main Camp, which is the center of Auschwitz tourism. It is here that tours are conducted hourly in English, Polish, German, and French. By their own figures, over half a million people visit here every year, and the place has become a curious shrine, a mix of crass commercialism and religious reverence, with a hotel, restaurant, gift shop, and booths selling all manner of video equipment like batteries and videotapes in all formats so that no one need worry about missing a shot of the Final Solution.
This is a shrine which combines Catholic expressions of identity and mourning with Jewish ones, and this has traditionally caused some tension. Jewish groups have charged that the Poles down-play the role of Jewish suffering, and while few would openly suggest it, it could be said that, in the West, Jews have attempted to monopolize Auschwitz as a uniquely Jewish experience. Already we reach an important point in our examination of the Holocaust. It is an event interpreted differently in various corners of the world. The Soviets have always stressed the suffering of Russians, Poles, Ukrainians, and others. Post-World War II Soviet propaganda films often made little mention of Jews. To the Polish locals, Auschwitz is given a Catholic face, with all the usual fetishes – the suffering of Polish priests and other martyrs is stressed, and attempted extermination of the Polish people is the preferred theme. But in the Western world, we get a single-mindedly Jewish interpretation, with the non-Jewish deaths being used mainly to keep non-Jewish interest in the Holocaust alive by giving non-Jews some involvement in it. But we are told that even though non-Jews suffered as well, it is the Jews and the Jews only who are marked for extermination. This schism has often resulted in well-publicized disputes such as the convent of Carmelite nuns who took up residence here at Auschwitz against the wishes of many Jewish groups, and the time a touring Polish Auschwitz exhibit was protested for not being Jewish enough. However, at the camp itself, there is more than enough victimization to go around.
The layout of the Auschwitz Main Camp is fairly simple. A square of barbed wire fence surrounds rows and rows of inmates' barracks, a large mess hall, and a few surprises which we will get to later. Outside the fenced-in area are the SS headquarters, these two buildings, — and the SS hospital and restaurant. Across from that is the building known as Crematorium I, the infamous gas chamber and crematorium. Most of the inmates' barracks have been converted into museums which make up the bulk of the guided tour. The rest of the barracks are used as either archives or offices for museum staff. One barrack, Block 11, has been kept in its original state. It was the camp prison and it is now referred to, naturally, as "The Block of Death."
Which brings up another interesting point: what is shown on the tour and what is not. During the tour, you are shown "The Block of Death," the so-called "Wall of Death" — naturally right next door to "The Block of Death" — and exhibit after exhibit specifically designed to affirm atrocity stories and portray Auschwitz as a death machine, a place where internment meant extermination.
But what don't they show you? To start with, a building which could conceivably be called "The Block of Life," a massive disinfestation complex where Zyklon B gas was used daily to combat lice and the disease they carried. These were the real gas chambers, except their victims were clothing and mattresses, and their purpose was to preserve the health of the inmates. Holocaust experts don't deny the purpose of this building; they just don't like mentioning it. After all, why complicate things? Also forgotten is the Auschwitz camp theatre, the current home of the aforementioned convent of nuns. The last pictures taken inside this building showed pianos and costumes and a stage where the inmates used to put on productions. These days, however, the nuns don't allow pictures to be taken inside. And finally, we have the Auschwitz swimming pool. Yes, that's right: swimming pool, situated inside the prison compound right alongside of the inmates' barracks. A beautiful pool with a diving board and 'starters' blocks for races. To their credit, the Auschwitz camp officials have not tried to remove this distraction. But if you want to see the pool, you need to know already that it exists because you won't find it on the tour.
So basically, what we have is a tour that consists mainly of tourists who already believe in the Holocaust story and are perhaps emotionally connected to it in some way, being given a selectively edited tour filled with horror story after horror story and ending up at the final stop — the gas chamber. At this point, the tour group is emotionally primed to believe anything and the gas chamber is like the featured performer after a two-hour warm-up act to get the crowd in the mood. Literally, the gas chamber is the objective proof that everything they've heard on the tour is true; objective proof of the Holocaust. But is it? We'll see in a minute.
I went to Auschwitz in September of 1992 to see for myself this place that I have studied for so long. I paid extra for a personal English language tour guide, a young lady named Alicia, who gives tours in Polish, German, and English. And I wore my yarmulke just so nobody missed the point that I'm Jewish. I figured that way I could ask my questions in a manner that would not make me look like a revisionist. You see, in the past, revisionists haven't had much success in getting answers from the Auschwitz officials. But I would come off as a righteous Jew wanting to know the real facts and answer those who say the Holocaust never happened.
For the sake of clarity, not only am I a revisionist, I am also quite proudly an atheist. But my parents are both Jewish, so if you're a Jew by birth, you're a Jew by birth. It's not anything I'd be ashamed of.
Alicia, like the other tour guides, had to take a class and memorize a spiel to become one. This is an important point because I'm hoping to show that the people who run Auschwitz, like Dr. Franciszek Piper and the tour guide supervisor you'll meet shortly, teach their tour guides to say things they know aren't true. But this shouldn't reflect badly on Alicia; she only repeats what she's been told, and I'm sure she never had to put up with a tourist like me before.
I have over four hours of footage of me taking the tour, asking one obnoxious question after another. This footage will be re-edited into a separate tape. This time, we're just going to concern ourselves with the gas chamber and my interview with Dr. Franciszek Piper, Senior Curator and Head of Archives at the Auschwitz State Museum.
I came to Auschwitz as a confirmed skeptic about the gas chamber story. I know to some people, critically examining the Holocaust is the ultimate sacrilege. But you'll have to realize that I have no sacred cows and understanding what really happened is important to me, and I'd ask that you respect that.
I know from years of my own research and the research of others that proofs of the Holocaust are few. Literally, all there is are the "eyewitness" testimonies and postwar confessions. There's no picture, plan or wartime document dealing with homicidal gas chambers or a plan to exterminate the Jews. And we can't use the excuse the Nazis destroyed all the evidence because after we had broken the German code, we were able to intercept their secret transmissions including those that came from Auschwitz.
The key to understanding the Holocaust story is understanding the true nature of the things passed off as proofs. Everything that is used as evidence of the Holocaust also can be said to have a perfectly normal explanation. For example, these exhibits are said to be the material proofs of exterminations. There are the piles of human hair. But what does that prove? It is acknowledged that each inmate had his or her head shaved because of the lice problem. That's not denied, so why wouldn't there be piles of human hair? What about the piles of shoes and clothing? Is that a proof? It's a fact that the prisoners were issued a uniform upon arrival, including shoes. So why wouldn't there be piles of inmates' shoes and clothing? It doesn't prove anybody was killed. And that's giving the Soviets and Poles the benefit of the doubt that the clothes and hair are genuinely from the camp during its operation.
What about the canisters of gas? No one denies that Zyklon B was used to disinfect clothes and also buildings. Zyklon B was one of the premier pest control agents in Europe at that time. It was present in most of the concentration camps including those that are not said to have had homicidal gas chambers in them. The typhus epidemic that spread throughout Europe during the war and also spread through the camps called for stringent lice control procedures.
In his book Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, published by the [Beate] Klarsfeld Foundation and meant to refute revisionists, Jean-Claude Pressac admits that over 95% of the Zyklon B used by the Germans was used to disinfect. He assigns only 5% to homicidal purposes. And this from a Holocaust supporter.
So what other proofs are offered? Well, there's the usual pictures of sick inmates which proves the ground-breaking thesis that people got sick in the camp. Once again I'll add that nobody denies the typhus epidemic which resulted in many deaths. Then there's the artwork and the pictures of children. But at this point it's looking pretty bad for somebody looking for objective proofs of the gas chamber. And some of the proofs they present actually work against the concept. For example, they have one of several aerial photographs taken at Auschwitz by the Allies during the war. They don't mention, however, that when blown up, these photographs don't show people being gassed or bodies being burned, even though they were taken during the time killings were said to be going on almost non-stop. I won't even go into the special money the Germans printed for Auschwitz inmates or the fact even though it was said that Jewish children were killed immediately, both Anne Frank and her sister were sent to Auschwitz and survived, later being transferred to the Bergen-Belsen Camp where they are said to have died from typhus.
But all this bickering would be pointless if we could see a genuine gas chamber for ourselves. That, of course, would most effectively end the argument. Which brings us to the building I'm standing in front of, the gas chamber and crematorium. Pictures of this building have been featured in book after book on the Holocaust. After all, what better proof it all happened?
Revisionists don't dispute that this is a real building from during the war. We say that it was indeed a crematorium and a mortuary which also was used as an air-raid shelter for the SS men in the hospital and restaurant right across the street from it. The Auschwitz people say it was indeed a mortuary and a crematorium, with the mortuary part, which you're looking at right there, later being used as the gas chamber. They also say that it was used as an air-raid shelter. And they have, in the past, admitted that the large brick chimney at the side of the building is a reconstruction, which is no big shock to anybody because it clearly isn't connected to the building in any way.
Now let's go inside. Once inside, we can see why revisionists have had such a field day with this building: Obvious marks on the walls and floors, where apparently walls had been knocked down. Equally obvious holes in the floor where bathroom facilities had been. We maintain that, unlike the large hollow chamber we now see, this room had once been five rooms, including a bathroom. I should add, there is no Zyklon B blue staining in the walls as there would have been with repeated Zyklon B use and as there were and still are in the disinfestation chambers. A flimsy wooden door with a big glass pane in it and a doorway with no door and no fittings for a door leading to the crematorium ovens. And I should also mention the big manhole, right in the middle of the gas chamber.
Yet the building does have what appears to be evidence of criminal usage — four holes in the ceiling which lead to the roof where four little chimneys stand. It is said that through these four holes, Zyklon B crystals were dropped. And indeed, there seems to be no other explanation for them. Do these holes prove homicidal gassings?
Revisionists have claimed in the past that these holes were added after the camp's liberation, and that the inside walls were knocked down and the bathroom facilities removed to make the room look like a big gas chamber.
As Alicia and I approached the building, we passed the gallows where the commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, was hanged by the Soviets in 1947, executed directly in front of the evidence of his crime. Here, in front of the gas chamber, I asked Alicia about the authenticity of that building.
"Now, let's start again talking about this building here. This…"
"This is a crematorium/gas chamber."
"But this is a reconstruction?"
"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 four holes in the ceiling.
"Are those the original holes in the ceiling?"
"It is an original part, original"
"It is original."
"Original. In, through this chimney was dropped Zyklon B."
I then asked Alicia if any walls had been knocked down in the room exhibited as the gas chamber.
"So this part was all the gas chamber."
"Were there, were there walls here at one time?"
"But here, here… It was only one room; only one room. That… Here I, I know here… When here I show a picture of gas chamber, it was only one room."
"So were there ever walls here?"
Let's pause here to re-cap the gas chamber according to our tour guide. She states that the room is in its "original state," that the ceiling holes are original and that no walls were knocked down.
Unsatisfied with her answers, I continued to badger poor Alicia about the real history of this room. Feeling somewhat exasperated at the fact that nothing she could say would shut me up, Alicia went to get a woman who was introduced to me as the Supervisor of Tour Guides for the Auschwitz State Museum. When I saw this woman approach, I figured I was either going to get a straight answer or kicked out of the camp.
"This [is] what I can suggest. It will be much better to go to our scientist in the State Museum and to talk… They show a lot of plans which we're still having in the archives, and they…."
"Where would that be?"
"I don't think that it's open today, but probably on Monday it will be possible."
"That the, ah, the Auschwitz State Museum?"
"Is that in Oswiecim [Auschwitz]?"
"Here, in Block 24 or 23... I'm not sure about that."
"Would it be possible for me to make an appointment to see him on Monday perhaps?"
So, it was here that it was first suggested I meet with the Head of Archives and Senior Curator, Dr. Franciszek Piper. Still, fearing that such a meeting might not come about, and assuming that the supervisor was probably in the loop regarding any reconstructions, I decided to get her input regarding the supposedly original holes in the ceiling.
"Are those the original holes in the ceiling?"
"They've been rebuilt?"
"Okay. After the war?"
"After the war."
So, if you're keeping score, that makes it one vote for original, one vote for not original. I guess that would make Dr. Piper the tie-breaker.
Now, before we proceed any further, a little digression is needed about some genuine Holocaust revisionism. Dr. Franciszek Piper is one of the Holocaust experts most directly responsible for the lowering of the Auschwitz death count along with other scholars like Israeli Holocaust expert Dr. Yehuda Bauer. It was decided around 1989 to admit publicly that fewer people died at Auschwitz than had previously been reported. In his book Auschwitz – How Many Perished?, Dr. Piper concludes that the old Soviet-provided figure of four million is wrong and that the real figure is closer to 1.1 million. Now that's no small revision, an admission that the Soviets exaggerated the figure by almost four times.
We can also see how the fraudulent figure has been an ingrained part of supposedly factual Holocaust history for almost fifty years. As late as 1988, in the official Auschwitz State Museum Guidebook, you'll find on page 19 an official affirmation of the four-million figure.
"The Soviet State Extraordinary Commission for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes stated that ‘no less than four million people perished in Auschwitz.’ The Supreme National Tribunal in Poland stated that ‘about four million persons perished in Auschwitz.’ According to the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, ‘more than four million persons perished in Auschwitz.’"
And these figures are "…Based upon the evidence of hundreds of surviving prisoners" and upon the opinion of experts." Well, this shows that not only was fraudulent Soviet evidence admitted as fact at Nuremberg, but also that survivors and experts can be wrong. And, if it matters, many Holocaust revisionists believe that the actual total of dead at Auschwitz is even less than 1.1 million. But still, there is no possibility that even the most extreme Holocaust revisionist in the world could possibly revise the figure any more than the Holocaust "experts" already have.
Which rather neatly brings us to this man, Dr. Franciszek Piper. I interviewed him in his office at the Auschwitz State Museum. At first, he was a little apprehensive about being videotaped. But I explained to him that since I already had the tour guide on tape, giving out what I had now come to believe was incorrect information, I should have a videotape which could set the record straight. Once he consented, I immediately asked him about changes made in the gas chamber.
"The first and the oldest gas chamber, which existed in Auschwitz I, this camp where we are now here, operated from autumn 1941 to December 1942, approximately one year. The crematorium nearby this gas chamber worked longer, to the middle of 1943. In July 1943, the crematorium was stopped and the bodies of the prisoners [who] died in Auschwitz I were from that time transferred to Birkenau. In 1944, in connection with the bombardment of Auschwitz by Allies' air forces, [the] empty crematorium number one and gas chamber in Auschwitz I were adopted as air [raid] shelter. At this time, additional walls were built inside the former gas chamber. An additional entrance was made from the east side of the gas chamber and openings in the ceiling, [through which] the gas Zyklon B was discharged [to the] inside, were at the time liquidated. So after the liberation of the camp, the former gas chamber presented a view of [an] air [raid] shelter. In order to gain the earlier view, earlier sight of this object, the inside walls built in 1944 were removed and the openings in the ceiling were made anew. So now this gas chamber is very similar to this one which existed in 1941-1942, but not all details were made there, so there is no gas-tight doors, for instance, the additional entrance from the east side rested [remained] as it was made in 1944. Such changes were made here after the war in order to gain the earlier view of this object."
"Were the holes in the ceiling put in in the same way that they were…?"
"Yes, in the same, in the place, because the traces were visible on the ceiling."
Here I think we should recap what Dr. Piper has told us. According to him, the room was a gas chamber but was later turned into an air-raid shelter at which time dividing walls were built, the holes in the ceiling were removed, and a new door was added on one side of the gas chamber. However, after the camp's liberation, the dividing walls were knocked down, the holes were put in the ceiling, however, the new door was not removed.
I think here there are three main points that have to be made. The first of these is that we are looking at a clear deception. As I have shown, the gas chamber is shown off to tourists as being in its original state even though the museum officials know better. Dr. Piper appears to be very nonchalant about the fact that changes were made after the war. But if it isn't such a big deal, then why hide it from the tourists? And that's not all. In May of 1992, British historian David Irving was fined by a German court for telling a meeting in Munich exactly what you just heard Dr. Piper tell you. In fact, Piper was even called as a defense witness. But the judge wouldn't allow him to testify even though it might have cleared Irving. Once again I'll say, if this is not such a big deal, why fine somebody for saying it?
Our next point is, the "gas chamber" is no longer valid as proof in its present state. It is not a roof of homicidal gassings unless it can be shown that at some time during the war this building had four holes in the ceiling and no dividing walls during the time the Germans were operating the camp.
Which brings us to our final point, the reconstruction itself. With the information we now have, we can say there are two different views of the gas chamber reconstruction. The first one, the official view, holds that the Soviets and Poles created a "gas chamber" in an air-raid shelter that had been a gas chamber. The revisionist view holds that the Soviets and Poles created a "gas chamber" in an air-raid shelter that had been — an air raid shelter [correct: mortuary].
So how do we know which one is correct? Well, obviously the burden of proof is on those who say that there was a gas chamber at one time in that building. Do they have any evidence at all to support that claim? In my tenure as a Holocaust revisionist, I'm sure if there was any I'd have seen it. I can also add that those questionable four holes in the roof of the building are not detectable in any of the aerial photograph blow-ups that I've seen.
To get to the truth of this matter, there are some other pertinent questions that can be asked. If there was at one time a functioning gas chamber in this building, why was its operation halted, especially if the Nazis were running Auschwitz as an extermination center? Well, Dr. Piper has an answer for that one, too. In an essay published in the Polish book Auschwitz, Piper writes that exterminations were moved to new gas chambers in the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex because it had become too difficult to keep the gas chamber at the Auschwitz Main Camp a secret from the inmates. This has apparently become part of official Auschwitz lore because it's something Alicia repeated to me on the tour:
"In spite of this [the] crematorium was next to blocks where prisoners lived. That's why extermination was moved to Birkenau. That's why four crematoriums with gas chambers were built in Birkenau."
Now, let's be perfectly clear about this. They say that exterminations were moved to Birkenau because the gas chamber at the Main Camp was too close to the inmates, and therefore they could know what was going on. But is this even remotely accurate?
Let's refer back to our map of the Main Camp. Now, here's the gas chamber right there, and there's the rows of inmates’ barracks. As you can see, the gas chamber is well outside of the prison compound, and is hidden from view by the three SS buildings which effectively hide it from the inmates' sight. Plus we're told, the arrivals who are going to be gassed would be taken in through here, thus avoiding any and all contact with the other inmates. This was a gas chamber that could have functioned completely isolated from anybody's notice.
Now this is Auschwitz-Birkenau in an Allied aerial photo from September 1944. These are the two crematoriums and "gas chambers," with the crematoriums above ground and an L-shaped below-ground rooms that were either gas chambers or mortuaries; and here you have the rows and rows of inmates' barracks. Now, the thing that becomes immediately clear is there is nothing but a barbed wire fence hiding the inmates' barracks from the gas chambers. And this over here was the Auschwitz [Birkenau] sports field, right next door to the "gas chambers." And another thing to notice is not only could you see the "gas chamber" parallel with the barracks, but you could see diagonally to the one across the way from you. Nothing was hidden form the inmates. Another interesting thing was the train that would come up, carrying the doomed inmates. You would have thousands of inmates being marched off the train into one of these two gas chambers in full view of the entire camp. This was a spectacle that nobody it the camp could miss; they would see thousands of people marching into those buildings and nobody coming out. These were "gas chambers" that were not isolated from anyone, and indeed, when these aerial photographs were released in the late 70's, they contradicted many supposed eyewitness claims about how the Nazis had tried to camouflage the gas chambers at Birkenau. I spent several days here at Birkenau, and the footage I have, which is available on a separate tape, dramatically shows everything I have just been saying. Frankly, I don't think Piper's claim holds any water.
Another question that should be asked: Is there any Zyklon-B residue in the gas chamber, knowing that cyanide gas would, in fact, leave a residue? In 1988, execution equipment expert Fred Leuchter conducted forensic examinations on the gas chambers at Auschwitz to answer that question. He took samples from the four gas chambers at Birkenau, the one at the Main Camp and the control sample from one of the disinfestation chambers that we know did use Zyklon B. Now, the gas chamber samples showed almost no appreciable traces whereas the disinfestation sample literally went right off the scale. More importantly though, in 1990, the Institute of Forensic Research in Krakow decided to conduct their own forensic tests to see if they could refute Fred Leuchter's findings. And they did this with Dr. Piper's help. Their own tests got back the same results. So, since then, the question has not been "Are there any appreciable traces of Zyklon-B residue in the gas chambers?" but instead, "Why are there not any appreciable traces?" I put this question to Dr. Piper. I asked him: Why are there so few appreciable traces in the homicidal gas chambers compared to the large amounts of traces found in the disinfestation chambers.
"The gas chamber, the Zyklon B was operated a very short time, about 20, 30 minutes during 24 hours, and in the disinfection rooms it was, it operated the whole day and night. Such was the procedure of using gas in the disinfection rooms and the gas chambers."
Now let's be perfectly clear about what Dr. Piper is saying. I asked him:
"Why is the residue count high in the delousing chambers, but low in the homicidal ones?"
And he answers, because the delousing chambers were used, quote, "day and night" whereas the homicidal ones were used, quote, "about 20, 30 minutes during 24 hours," which would account for roughly one gassing a day. Now, not only does this contradict the eyewitness testimonies which speak of repeated homicidal gassings going on day and night, but Dr. Piper also manages to contradict himself, because later on in the interview I asked him how many groups of people a day would be gassed, and he, too, speaks of repeated gassings.
"How many groups of people every day were gassed in Krema 2 and 3? Do you know?"
"It's difficult to say because there were periods when the gas chambers were used day to day and several actions repeated. gassing, burning, gassing, burning, and so on."
And what about the gas itself? We are shown many canisters of Zyklon B gas as proof of the Final Solution. But apart from delousing, which everyone agrees on, and homicidal gassings, which the Auschwitz officials maintain, did the gas have any other uses?
"Also for, uh, disinfection of the buildings so there was such a..."
"Was it routine for the buildings to be disinfected?"
"From time to time, such actions were carried out to remove lice."
Now, let's recap again. We now know that Zyklon-B gas was used to delouse clothes, to disinfect buildings, and if you will remember the calculations of Holocaust supporter Jean-Claude Pressac, over 95% was used for disinfection with only 5% or less used for homicide. This seems like a great amount of effort on the part of the Germans to preserve the health of people who were meant to be exterminated. And I think at this point we can move on.
We return now to our job of trying to decide between the two alternate views of the reconstructed gas chamber. Is it a fake or a faithful reconstruction? One very important question is this: Can we trust the Soviets to have faithfully reconstructed the gas chamber? Since there is no wartime proof of there ever having been four holes in the ceiling, or of any gas chamber usage, we literally have to take the Soviets and Poles at their word that they simply returned the four holes to where they had originally been and "reconstructed" instead of fabricated a gas chamber.
If we're going to try to establish Soviet intent, we need to look at what precedent there is concerning Soviet truthfulness regarding the Holocaust story. Do the Soviets have a history of fabricating "Holocaust" evidence or using deception to support the concept? Well, as we've already shown, the Soviets quite brazenly exaggerated the figures of dead at Auschwitz by at least four times. But was this simply a well-intentioned error on their part?
We are told in the Auschwitz guidebook and also by other sources that the reason it was so difficult to ascertain the number of victims at Auschwitz was because the Nazis had destroyed the appropriate records. This concept was also repeated to me by Dr. Piper:
"Who initially came up with the figure of four million people dying at Auschwitz?"
"It was estimated. made by Soviet commission investigating Nazi crimes at Auschwitz because of the fact that the Nazis destroyed the documents of the camp."
But in fact, the Auschwitz camp death records were held by the Soviets… not released until 1989. These documents were not destroyed by the Nazis. I think we can assume that, during all those years the Soviets were handing out their exaggerated death figures, they knew they had these books in their possession
We can also look at discredited charges made by the Soviets and supported by the other Allies at the Nuremberg Trial. The Soviets claimed there were "steam chambers" for killing inmates at the Treblinka Camp in Poland. Now, of course, that claim has been quietly dropped. Also dropped are the claims of "electro-chambers."
Most interestingly, we have the Soviets at Nuremberg claiming that it was the Nazis, not the Soviets, who murdered thousands of Polish officers in the infamous Katyn Forest massacre. These days, of course, the Soviets have admitted that they are the ones responsible, and most legitimate historians knew this all along. But at Nuremberg, the Soviets claimed that the Nazis bribed and threatened people to falsely blame the Soviets.
The now-discredited atrocity stories of Nazi-created shrunken heads and human skin lampshades were also exhibited as fact. And in an almost inconceivable charge, it was claimed that the Nazis exterminated Jews with an atomic bomb.
Also presented as fact was the story that the Nazis made soap from the bodies of Jews. Let's examine this one a little more closely. Now, the Soviets actually submitted supposed Jewish soap at the Nuremberg Trial. But today, Holocaust scholars like Raul Hilberg, Yehuda Bauer and Deborah Lipstadt agree that these accusations are groundless. In a Los Angeles Times editorial from 1981, Deborah Lipstadt is quoted as saying:
"The fact is that the Nazis never used the bodies of Jews, or for that matter, anyone else, for the production of soap. The soap rumor was prevalent both during and after the war. It may have had its origin in the cadaver factory atrocity story that came out of World War I. The soap rumor was thoroughly investigated after the war and proved to be untrue."
The questions this raises are numerous. If the claim is false, then that means the Soviets were not being truthful about that hunk of soap they exhibited as evidence. and all the Nuremberg transcripts dealing with human soap are wrong.
But my question is: When were these charges "thoroughly investigated," as she says? This is just another case of a Holocaust expert trying to make us believe that Holocaust experts know what they are talking about, and are straight about what did and didn't happen, which they are not. To prove my point, I submit the fact that Dr. Piper still believes in the human-soap story:
"There were such attempts of using the human flesh for producing of soap in [an]other concentration camp, Stutthof by Gdansk [Danzig]."
"So that, that was where it was done?"
"There were made such attempts."
Apparently, some war propagandas never seem to die. Indeed, the specter of fraudulent Holocaust evidence from the Soviets has reared its head in more current events like the prosecution of Ukrainian-American John Demjanjuk whose incredibly flawed war crimes conviction was based, in part, on faulty Soviet evidence.
And speaking of fraudulent evidence, some Holocaust experts seem to have difficulty explaining the difference between what's fraudulent and what's real. We return briefly to Jean-Claude Pressac's book on Auschwitz, a book meant to refute revisionists. Here he shows us a picture of a gas-tight door from a delousing room which he claims the Soviets falsely represented to be from a homicidal gas chamber. Yet several pages later, he shows us a door which he claims is a genuine homicidal gas chamber door because of the metal hemispherical grid protecting the peephole. Pressac offers this door as a proof that homicidal gassings occurred. But there's just one unanswered question. How does Pressac know that this door, too, isn't a Soviet put-on? If we admit that the Soviets went around misrepresenting and reconstructing things, how can we tell the difference between what's real and what's not?
In the case of that supposedly genuine door with a metal grid over the peephole, I asked Dr. Piper if I could see it for myself:
"In Pressac's book, he has a picture of a gas-tight door with a metal grid around the peephole. Is that still around anyplace? Does it still exist?"
"It is in one of the rooms in Crematorium I."
"Yes, in Crematorium I."
"Is it possible for me to see that?"
"You may go to the Director, and Director will order to open [the room]. It is visible…"
"Through a window?"
"Through the window."
"I would very much like to see that."
Well, guess what? After the interview we went to the director's office, got the keys, and explored every room in Crematorium I, and no homicidal gas chamber door with a metal grid over the peephole. No one knew where it went. I guess it simply vanished, like magic.
So, in answer to our question about precedent regarding Soviet trustworthiness, I think we've established that we can't really accept anything on faith because evidence, certified as real one year, might be considered fake the next. Evidence you are told is genuine can, in fact, be a so-called "reconstruction." And if the Holocaust experts themselves can't agree on what's real and what's not, then surely they proved themselves hypocrites when they insist that homicidal gassings cannot be questioned.
With all this talk about Soviet deception, I think it's necessary to put this matter in its proper historical perspective. You see, we live in a time now when the old Soviet Union has fallen apart, and it's now okay for both liberals and conservatives, as well as everybody else, to speak ill of the dear, departed communist state. But it was not always that way. During World War II, the Soviets were more than just a military ally. Their anti-Nazi propaganda was readily accepted by the other Allies because it served all of their purposes. It has to be understood that Russia's communists and Germany's fascists had had a long-running propaganda battle, both before the Hitler-Stalin Non-Aggression Pact and, of course, after, with the outbreak of war. Both Stalin and Hitler were men capable of and quite adept at propaganda. Yet the vestiges of our acceptance of Soviet propaganda still linger to this day. For example, when we see an anti-communist German poster, we most likely immediately dismiss it as paranoid Nazi anti-communist propaganda. Yet are we so conditioned to dismiss a similar Soviet work as paranoid, anti-fascist propaganda? The point is that we have a hard time realizing that Stalin's anti-German propaganda was just as virulent as Hitler's anti-Soviet propaganda and that, as the victors, the Soviets got to commit their propaganda to the history books as fact.
But all charges and counter-charges made during World War II must be re-examined with the 20-20 hindsight we now have: the knowledge of Stalin's despotism and the KGB's history of misinformation and deception. And this re-examination must include the charges of genocide made against the Nazis, especially considering that for Auschwitz, as well as the other camps in Poland – Majdanek. Belzec, Chelmno, Treblinka and Sobibor – we've had to rely on the Soviets for most of our information.
And if the Soviets exaggerated the number of dead at Auschwitz, who's to say they didn't also do it at the other camps? Why would they exaggerate Auschwitz by four times and then be brutally honest about Treblinka?
However, lest I appear to be unfair, it should be added that our own army and propaganda department did not sit idly by and let the Soviets have all the atrocity propaganda fun. After the war, it was claimed at the Dachau Camp that people were gassed. In fact, the army produced several propaganda films supporting that notion.
"Hanging in orderly rows were the clothes of prisoners who had been suffocated in a lethal gas chamber. They had been persuaded to remove their clothing under the pretext of taking a shower for which towels and soap were provided."
Yet now it is no longer claimed that anyone ever died in a Dachau gas chamber. This is a clear case of wartime propaganda.
It should also be added, in fairness, that it was the British who obtained by torture the confession of Rudolf Höss, Commandant of Auschwitz, before turning him over to the Soviets and Poles. This has been confirmed in a book published in 1983, titled "Legions of Death," which contains the recollections of British Sergeant Bernard Clark who brags about having tortured Höss to get a confession out of him, and of threatening his family.
Which brings us back to Auschwitz. It was here, behind the building we've talked so much about, the supposed gas chamber, that Höss was hanged for running an extermination camp. But can we say now that was a just sentence, with the main evidence being a confession obtained by torture and a reconstructed air raid shelter? Perhaps you will answer that the sentence was still a just one because of the fact that he indeed ran an internment camp where people did indeed die in large numbers from disease and malnutrition. But then, what should have been done with the American troops who ran the internment camps we had in the United States for the Japanese? Or more appropriately to General Eisenhower and his troops, who ran post-war POW camps for the Germans, in which anywhere from hundreds of thousands to over a million Germans died also because of disease and malnutrition. Should they have been hanged, too?
When does war end and war crimes begin?
These questions have no easy answers.
And this debate is far from over.
Produced by David Cole and Bradley R. Smith
© 1992 by David Cole and Bradley R. Smith
All rights reserved
Additional information about this document
|Title:||David Cole in Auschwitz: The Video of the Century.|
|Sources:||VHS Video, Institute for Historical Review, Newport Beach 1992|
|First posted on CODOH:||June 29, 1995, 7 p.m.|