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Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence
- Chapter One: The Making of a Myth
- Origins of the Auschwitz Myth
- Form and Content of the Auschwitz Myth
- Chapter Two: Contemporaneous Documents
- Basic Documents from German Official Records
- Speeches and Other Public Statements by Political Leaders of the Third Reich
- Contemporaneous Manuscripts and Private Papers
- Photographic "Documents"
- Chapter Three: Testimony and Personal Accounts
- "Eyewitness" Accounts of Auschwitz
- Allied "War Crimes" Trials
- The Birkenau "Death Factories" as Portrayed in the Most Important "Eyewitness Accounts"
- The Cracow Memoirs of Rudolf Höß, Commandant of Auschwitz
- Chapter Four: The Auschwitz Trial
- Legal Proceedings as a Source of Material for Historians: Fact and Fiction
- The Auschwitz Trial: A Show Trial?
- Partial Translation of Document NG-2586-G
- "My Impressions of the Auschwitz Camp in 1944"
- An Exchange of Correspondence between the Author and the Institut für Zeitgeschichte
- Denial of Access to the Files of the Proceedings against Dr. Johann Paul Kremer
- Denial of Access to the Files of the First Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial
- An Exchange of Correspondence between the Author and the International Red Cross
The "open society" and "the free exchange of ideas" are generally regarded not only as praiseworthy ideals but as indelible characteristics of twentieth century Western democracy. Their concomitants, freedom of speech and the press, are held to be rights the infringement of which places in jeopardy all other democratic liberties, for it is only through freedom of expression that the citizenry of a democratic state can reach an informed consensus.
Thus the fate of this book and the ordeal of its author, Judge Wilhelm Stäglich, is a telling indictment of the Federal Republic of Germany's imposture as a sovereign democracy. No less is the silence of those Western circles which so loudly profess devotion to freedom of expression in other cases a condemnation of their own hypocrisy, for there are few if any parallels in the recent history of democratic states for the sustained hounding and persecution which Judge Stäglich has endured over the past twenty years.
Judge Stäglich is unfortunate enough to have trusted his own powers of observation and to have refused to muzzle himself when the issue was not only historical truth, but the honor of his country. For, having been stationed near the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Second World War, in which he served as an officer in an anti-aircraft unit, he made so bold after the war, when his dismembered fatherland was being re-educated in its various parts to execrate the allegedly unique wickedness of its conduct, to remark on his own observations of the camp, which diverged considerably from the horror stories which became the staple of Germany's post-war "mastering of the past."
In 1965 Stäglich, who was serving as a judge in Hamburg, was denounced by a colleague to the Jewish mayor of the city as a "Nazi" for his heretical remarks on Auschwitz. Judge Stäglich then underwent a two-year "disciplinary proceeding" aimed at driving him from the bench, which included an obligatory "psychiatric evaluation."
This first effort to silence Judge Stäglich, which failed for lack of evidence, served rather to goad than to intimidate the courageous jurist. In 1973 he published an account of his Auschwitz observations in the magazine Nation Europa (translated as Appendix II of this book). Stäglich's public challenge to the official version of life at Auschwitz brought forth a succession of measures aping those of the modem totalitarian states, and making a sad mockery of the proud struggle for freedom of expression and inquiry waged by German academics in the preceding century and a half.
Judge Stäglich was the subject of a second inquisition, by which he was induced to resign, his health having been affected by the campaign against him. The proceeding was continued, however, with the object of stripping Stäglich of his pension (the authorities eventually settled on reducing the judge's pension by twenty percent over a five-year period).
Prematurely retired, Stäglich set to work on a systematic study of the evidence supposedly substantiating systematic murder by gassing at Auschwitz, a study to which he brought juristic experience unique in the Revisionist movement. This book, the fruit of those researches, is the most comprehensive examination of the various "proofs" offered for the Auschwitz myth, as well as a damning analysis of the several post-war trials staged by the Allied victors and their fuglemen in the Federal Republic, most notably the famous "Auschwitz Trial" which took place in Frankfurt in 1963-1965.
The appearance of Der Auschwitz Mythos in West Germany in 1979 spurred the custodians of the myth of Germany's solitary and monstrous guilt in the war to new excesses in censorship. West German authorities set in motion the procedure by which offending books are "indexed" as "harmful to youth," thereby severely restricting their advertising and distribution. Nevertheless, all but seven of the 10,000 copies of the first edition had been sold by the time the book was ordered seized as a result of further legal action by the government.
In a crowning absurdity, Judge Stäglich was "deprived" of the doctoral degree he had earned at the University of Gottingen in 1951. In this action the university authorities had recourse to a law signed personally by the late Führer and Reichskanzler, Adolf Hitler, to all of whose values and practices the Federal Republic proclaims itself a standing reproach. A series of other harassments, from police raids on Judge Stäglich home to seize forbidden literature to the enactment of a constitutional provision aimed at those who dare to question the "Holocaust," has followed.
It would tax the powers of belief of even the least conspiratorial-minded to imagine that there was something adventitious or arbitrary about the actions of West German authorities, which have been undertaken under "conservative" and "social democratic" regimes alike. Their activities, carried out with unswerving purpose against one man and his ideas for more than twenty years, give abundant evidence that the maintenance of orthodoxy on the state-mandated "Holocaust" tale is far more important than is the maintenance of even lip service to freedom of expression and inquiry.
As Wilhelm Stäglich has written:
"We Germans, in spite of the repeated assurances to the contrary of our puppet politicians, are politically and intellectually no longer a sovereign nation since our defeat in the Second World War. Our political subservience, which is apparent in the fact of the breaking up of the Reich and the incorporation of the individual pieces into the extant power blocks of the East and of the West, has had as its consequence a corresponding intellectual subservience. Escape from this intellectual subservience is prevented primarily by the guilt complex inculcated in most Germans through the "re-education" instituted in 1945. This guilt complex is based primarily on the Holocaust Legend. Therefore, for us Germans the struggle against what I have called the 'Auschwitz Myth' is so frightfully important.
The suppression of Der Auschwitz Mythos in West Germany, however, is less than even a Pyrrhic victory for the world-wide forces which strive to impose a one-sided, propagandistic history of the Second World War, a history which has as its central motif the "Holocaust" hoax. It is rather humiliating acknowledgement of their inability to confront modern Revisionism according to the canons of scholarship, an inability that has manifested itself in the Holocaust Establishment's attempts to suppress the writings of scholars such as Arthur Butz and Robert Faurisson.
The appearance of this translation of The Auschwitz Myth under the auspices of the Institute for Historical Review, indeed, confers upon the Stäglich affair the aspect of triumph and victory. A little more than two years after the Institute's headquarters were reduced to a heap of ashes and rubble by a terrorist attack, the English-speaking world has gained access to this vital Revisionist work. The work of "bringing history into accord with the facts" goes on; ultimately, there is no power on earth which will stop it.
The Institute for Historical Review would like to acknowledge the help of Russell Granata in translating the footnotes to The Auschwitz Myth.
Theodore J. O'Keefe
- The Journal of Historical Review, Spring, 1984 (vol. 5, no.1), p. 65.
"AUSCHWITZ—IT WAS HELL." For all its subjectivity, 'this remark attributed to a former inmate does not begin to characterize the emotion-charged ideas the word Auschwitz evokes today. Auschwitz symbolizes more than the multitudinous agonies suffered in concentration camps, not only German camps during the war, but concentration camps everywhere, past and present: It has come to symbolize the "murder of millions of European Jews." Everyone "knows" that we are not "supposed to" voice the slightest doubt regarding the legend that is Auschwitz, or even relate personal experiences that might not be entirely in line with it. Indeed, to commit such heresy is to run the risk of losing one's livelihood. For the powers that be have ordained that Auschwitz must be viewed in one way only.
That is exactly what should make us leery. Truth does not require coercion to be accepted. Its persuasiveness does not depend on constant repetition of bold-faced claims. All that is really needed for truth to prevail is to show the facts, and let common sense do the rest. What then could be more natural than to examine the factual basis of the allegation that Auschwitz was the site of the most extensive and atrocious massacre of Jews in history? Almost everybody is familiar with this claim, but nobody can say just what evidence there is to support it. People have come to regard the whole subject as taboo. I noticed this was true even of the judges who imposed a relatively harsh penalty on me for my having published, in the form of an open letter, a de vssu[???; ed.] account of the Auschwitz parent camp that conflicts with the now current picture of Auschwitz.[*]
When I wrote that letter, it was far from my intention to dispute the extermination thesis per se. Anyway, that would have been outside the
[*] It appeared in the monthly periodical Nation Europa, vol. XXIII, no. 10 (October 1973), pp. 50-52. For an English translation of this document, see Appendix II below. —T.F.
scope of my account. However, the reaction it provoked made me realize for the first time what importance the powers that have for decades been determining our destiny as a nation place on the Auschwitz taboo. That realization awakened in me an irresistable urge to research the historical sources for the allegation that Auschwitz was an "extermination camp," and come to grips with it. I believe my findings deserve to be brought to the attention of the general public.
At the outset, let one thing be noted: Contrary to popular belief, Auschwitz was not a single camp under central administration. Rather, it consisted of a number of individual camps of various sizes, some of which had considerable organizational autonomy. The actual Auschwitz camp — the so-called Stammlager ("parent camp" or "main camp," also known as "Auschwitz I") — was situated about 2 kilometers southwest of the town of Auschwitz in Upper Silesia. Not this camp, but the Birkenau camp, located about 3 kilometers west of the town, is supposed to have been the site of the extermination of the Jews. There was a series of other camps in the Auschwitz region, some of which had been established for special purposes, such as Raisko, for agricultural experiments, and Monowitz, for the production of synthetic rubber. All these camps were associated, more or less loosely, with the main camp. Thus it is hardly correct to designate "Auschwitz" as an "extermination camp," pure and simple, as people often do, perhaps from ignorance. Basically, "Auschwitz" was a network of labor camps established in the industrial area of Upper Silesia for the German war economy. The Birkenau camp ("Auschwitz II"), which is the focal point of the extermination claims, served primarily as an internment camp for specific groups of prisoners, such as Gypsies, women with children, as well as the chronically ill and those who were otherwise incapable of labor. It also served as a transit camp and, initially, even as a prisoner of war camp. In the spring of 1943, several crematoria— allegedly containing "gas chambers" for the extermination of Jews — were put into operation there, while the original camp crematorium in "Auschwitz I" was shut down in July 1943.
The real subject of our investigation is the charge that Birkenau was an "extermination camp." This work is not intended to give a definitive picture of Auschwitz — something that would, in any case, be beyond the limited resources at my disposal. It also has no pretensions to being a Geschichtsschau in the Rankean sense, that is an attempt to depict Auschwitz "as it really was." Rather, it is an effort to survey, examine, and assess as objectively as possible the evidence that has thus far been presented for the claim that Auschwitz was a "death factory."
Unfortunately, the Institut für Zeitgeschichte [Institute for Contemporary History] in Munich has not seen fit to grant my request for its assistance. My correspondence with the institute is so revealing that I must share it with my readers (see Appendix Ill). Likewise, I was refused permission to examine relevant trial records (see Appendices IV and V), and therefore had to rely on published collections of trial documents, such as they exist.
I am aware, of course, that Auschwitz is not the only camp that has been linked to the "extermination of the Jews." Nevertheless, it assumes such importance in this connection, both qualitatively and quantitatively, that I am convinced that the extermination thesis stands or falls with the allegation that Auschwitz was a "death factory." That alone should justify my restricting the scope of this inquiry.
Finally, let it be noted that the present volume is the work not of a professional historian, but of a jurist with an interest in recent history. Naturally, I have tried to observe the rules of scholarship. My intention is not to polemicize, but to take stock of the evidence that has thus far been presented for the claim that Auschwitz was a "death factory," as objectively as possible, and draw the logical conclusions from it. If certain passages in this work strike the reader as polemical, he would do well to ask himself whether such lapses are not unavoidable given the nature of the subject.
Hamburg, December 1978
Dr. Wilhelm Stäglich
Additional information about this document
|Title||Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence|
|Sources||2nd ed., Institute for Historical Revisionism, Newport Beach 1990|
|Dates||published: 1990-01-01, first posted on CODOH: June 29, 1995, 7 p.m., last revision: n/a|