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In the interests of fairness and truth, this review was sent to Deborah Lipstadt and Christopher Browning prior to its publication here. They were asked to correct any statements that they believe to be false or misleading. No response from either has been received by press time.
(Note: Page numbers in parentheses cited in the following essay refer to The Eichmann Trial, by Deborah E. Lipstadt, Schocken Books, New York, 2011.)
Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia) and widely known for her assaults on “Holocaust denial,” has once again made headlines with the release of The Eichmann Trial. This interesting but flawed book is Lipstadt’s analysis of the issues surrounding the famous capture and trial in Israel of SS Lieutenant-Colonel Adolf Eichmann, and the dramatic effect that “Holocaust Survivor” courtroom testimony had upon world-wide opinion. April 11, 2011 marked a half century since the beginning of “this trial of the century,” and the book’s release was presumably timed to commemorate it. It has been said that The Eichmann Trial consolidates Deborah Lipstadt’s standing as one of the major figures in the present-day Jewish world.
Lipstadt is considered by many to be an important Holocaust scholar; she served as a consultant to the team planning the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (p. ix), and authored three books dealing with the Jewish experience during the Second World War. Since the early 1990s, this pro-Zionist academic who delights in her Jewish identity (p. 186) has been recognized as the most prominent opponent of “Holocaust denial,” a pejorative term meant to demonize Holocaust revisionism, the historical movement contending there was no Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews during the Second World War, the “Nazi gas chambers” never existed, and the claim of six million murdered Jews is a gross exaggeration. For a Holocaust revisionist critique of Deborah Lipstadt and her views, I refer the reader to my essay.
In early 2000, Lipstadt’s notoriety was firmed up by the high-profile libel case brought by British historian David Irving. Irving, who lost the case, charged that he was libeled when Lipstadt labeled him a “Holocaust denier” in her attack upon the revisionist movement, Denying History: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. Her rendition of this headline grabbing case, History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving, was a National Jewish Book Award winner.
Her latest endeavor, The Eichmann Trial, begins with an Introduction that discusses the court battle with Irving and the “Holocaust denial” movement, and then moves into issues other than the Eichmann case. Before we discuss the trial and testimony of Adolf Eichmann, some other important subjects that Lipstadt addresses must be examined.
Was Simon Wiesenthal a Jewish-Zionist Conspirator?
Lipstadt points out that world famous “Nazi Hunter” Simon Wiesenthal (1908-2005) exaggerated his role in the Eichmann capture (pp. 5-8). However, she is even more disturbed about Wiesenthal’s lies about Holocaust history, which others have also brought to the public’s attention. To prevent any misunderstanding, we will let Lipstadt tell the story:
“Wiesenthal’s aggrandizement of his role in the Eichmann capture is far less disturbing and historiographically significant than another of his inventions. In an attempt to elicit non-Jewish interest in the Holocaust, Wiesenthal decided to broaden the population of victims—even though it meant falsifying history. He began to speak of eleven million victims: six million Jews and five million non-Jews. Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer immediately recognized that this number made no historical sense. Who, Bauer wondered, constituted Wiesenthal’s five million (p. 8)?”
Lipstadt attempted to clarify the situation with this comment: “In fact, this figure [five million “murdered” Gentiles] is too high if one is counting victims who were targeted exclusively for racial reasons, but too low if one counts the total number of victims the Nazi regime killed outside military operations (p. 8).” She goes on to claim that the number of non-Jewish victims of an alleged “Nazi plan” to mass murder people on “racial or ideological” grounds was much less than five million.
Lipstadt then continues with this most revealing storyline: “Wiesenthal admitted to Bauer that he had invented a historical fantasy in order to give the Holocaust a more universal cast and to find a number which was almost as large as the Jewish death toll but not quite equal to it. When Elie Wiesel challenged Wiesenthal to provide some historical proof that five million non-Jews were murdered in the camps, Wiesenthal, rather than admit that he invented the five million number, accused Wiesel of ‘Judeocentrism,’ being concerned only about Jews (p. 9).”
Why is this admission of such importance? One of the standard charges leveled against Holocaust revisionism by Deborah Lipstadt is that it is a groundless “conspiracy theory.” She describes “Holocaust deniers” as “a group motivated by a strange conglomeration of conspiracy theories, delusions, and neo-Nazi tendencies.” Consider her attack upon Professor Arthur Butz’s Holocaust revisionist classic, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: “Despite its veneer of impartial scholarship, Butz’s book is replete with the same expressions of traditional anti-Semitism, philo-Germanism and conspiracy theory as the Holocaust denial pamphlets printed by the most scurrilous neo-Nazi groups.”
In her Denying the Holocaust, Lipstadt defined “conspiracy” as “premeditated distortions introduced for political ends.” So, by Lipstadt’s own criteria, Wiesenthal could be considered a Jewish-Zionist conspirator, because he told the world a premeditated distortion (that five million non-Jews were murdered by the National Socialists) in order to serve a political goal (gain non-Jewish interest in the Holocaust, an ideology that serves the needs of political Zionism).
The Power of a Jewish Zionist to Spread Holocaust Falsehood: Wiesenthal’s Fabrication and President Jimmy Carter
The story of Wiesenthal’s invented historical fantasy has an even more important twist. It became “accepted wisdom” among many powerful and influential groups (p. 10). We let Lipstadt pick up the story here:
“At the first Holocaust memorial commemoration in the Capitol Rotunda, both President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Mondale referred to the ‘eleven million victims.’ Carter also used Wiesenthal’s figures of ‘six million Jews and five million others’ in his Executive Order establishing the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. I have attended Holocaust memorial commemorations in places as diverse as synagogues and army forts where eleven candles were lit. More significant is that strangers have repeatedly taken me and other colleagues to task for ignoring the five million non-Jews. When I explain that this is an invented concept, they become convinced of my ethnocentrism (p. 10).”
The influential Simon Wiesenthal invented a historical fantasy, and the most powerful man on the planet, the president of the United States, ends up repeating it—a tribute to the ability of a Jewish-Zionist to propagate a myth! The reader should ask himself: how many millions of Americans believe the myth that the Germans murdered five million non-Jews because the President of the United States said that it was “true”? Ironically, in her 1993 anti-Revisionist tome she castigated Arthur Butz for claiming that Jews have the power to manipulate governments. According to Lipstadt’s 2011 book, however, Wiesenthal’s Holocaust falsehood carried enough “moral” authority to manipulate the most powerful figure in the US government into being a mouthpiece for it!
The Eichmann Trial actually confirms as true what Lipstadt stridently condemns about Holocaust revisionism. She writes:
“Deniers [Holocaust revisionists] build their pseudo-arguments on traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes and imagery. They contend that Jews created the myth of the Holocaust in order to bilk the Germans out of billions of dollars and ensure the establishment of Israel. Once again the devious Jews have harmed innocent multitudes—Germans and Palestinians in particular—for the sake of their own financial and political ends. To someone nurtured by the soil of anti-Semitism, this makes perfect sense (p. xx).”
Nevertheless, Lipstadt partially validated and made some sense of a traditional “anti-Semitic stereotype.” According to her findings, Simon Wiesenthal did create a myth of a non-Jewish Holocaust for the sake of Jewish ends: he wanted to gain non-Jewish interest in the Holocaust ideology. This devious fabricator did harm the Germans—he slandered them by falsely claiming they murdered five million Gentiles. I can vividly recall that in decades past a non-Jew would be tagged with the dreaded “anti-Semite” label if he dared suggest in a mainstream publication that Simon Wiesenthal was a “Jewish Conspirator.”
Lipstadt’s Double Standard and Possible Motives
The “Five Million Murdered Gentiles” Myth also demonstrates two other points: how intellectuals like Lipstadt have infused the Holocaust issue with a hypocritical double standard, and how the Holocaust ideology changes according to the propaganda needs of the moment. According to her criteria, it is “morally acceptable” to question, debate and repudiate the story that the Nazis murdered five million non-Jews. Yet, according to the same standards, that the Nazis murdered around six million Jews is “not a matter of debate.” It is “an established fact that needs no validation (p. 222n23).” What lies behind this double standard?
A passage from Lipstadt’s 1993 Denying the Holocaust may shed light upon her present-day motives. She opined: “There is a psychological dimension to the deniers’ and minimizers’ [Holocaust revisionists’] objectives: The general public tends to accord victims of genocide a certain moral authority. If you devictimize a people you strip them of their moral authority, and if you can in turn claim to be a victim, as the Poles and Austrians often try to do, that moral authority is conferred on or restored to you.”
While one can only theorize about Lipstadt's real motive, her lack of objectivity with regard to other aspects of the Holocaust suggests that correcting the historical record may not be her true intention. Perhaps fearing that non-Jewish groups (e.g., the Poles) who often are in conflict with the Jews may be accorded moral authority by their inclusion in the Holocaust, the ethnocentric Lipstadt may be attempting to strip them of this by devictimizing them, and thereby enabling the Jewish community to gain all of the “moral authority” that the Holocaust ideology has to offer. In other words, she may want to capture all the sympathy and aggrandizement the Holocaust ideology has to offer for her fellow Jews, and not share a bit of it with any potential non-Jewish enemy.
Are Holocaust Lies an Existential Threat to Non-Jews?: The Motivation of Holocaust Revisionists
Lipstadt speaks of the two different reactions to Holocaust revisionism coming from her community: “Some find the overt anti-Semitism of Holocaust deniers the ranting of idiots who are best ignored. Others take these comments quite seriously and see a dire and existential threat to Jewish well-being. They see a Holocaust-denying president of a large country, one that is poised to have nuclear weapons, occupying the podium of a world forum that was founded in the wake of the Final Solution with a mandate to stop genocide. They hear him deny the Final Solution and threaten the existence of the Jewish state (p. xxvii).”
Some of what she writes actually sheds light upon the legitimate motives of many Holocaust revisionists. Just as many Jews perceive Holocaust revisionism as a threat to Jewish well-being, so too does a growing number of Europeans (especially Germans), Euro-Americans, Christians, Palestinians, Muslims and Iranians see Holocaust falsehoods (such as Simon Wiesenthal’s “Five Million Murdered Gentiles” Myth) as a threat to the well-being of their people.
In the above passage Lipstadt makes an obvious reference to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Holocaust ideology has been invoked by pro-Zionist American politicians like former Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin, Senator John McCain and former President George W. Bush as a “justification” for a future Israeli and/or American attack upon Iran. In their view, in order to prevent another Holocaust of the Jews, Iranian nuclear facilities must be destroyed. Although Ahmadinejad espoused revisionist ideas before these political figures linked an attack upon his country with the Holocaust, he may have correctly perceived that Holocaust falsehood would ultimately end up as a dire and existential threat to the well-being of his people. Ahmadinejad’s revisionism is actually in the best interests of Iran—it exposes the Holocaust falsehoods that are used to “validate” an attack upon the Iranian nation.
Lipstadt speculates on the motivation of Holocaust revisionists: “The indispensable element of the ideology of both [Holocaust] perpetrators and [Holocaust] deniers is a deep-seated Jew hatred (p. 129).” She confuses “hatred” with “moral outrage.” The responsible Revisionists that I associate with do not “hate Jews.” Just as Lipstadt would probably tell you that her indignation over Wiesenthal's Holocaust lie motivated her to expose it, Revisionists too are outraged by the Holocaust lies they are inundated with and which, in turn, they feel motivated to expose. Unfortunately, possibly due to the Jewish ethnocentrism that others see within her, (p. 10) Lipstadt is unwilling to acknowledge this.
Let us now turn to the central issues of Lipstadt’s book—the Eichmann testimonials and his world famous trial in Israel.
Adolf Eichmann on Trial
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Adolf_Eichmann.jpg. This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Universal City Studios. This applies worldwide.
The Importance of Adolf Eichmann
Adolf Otto Eichmann was an SS Lieutenant-Colonel and Head of the Jewish Office of the Gestapo during the Second World War. According to the traditional Holocaust story, he is said to have a played a seminal role in the “Final Solution,” the alleged National Socialist plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe. At the end of the war he escaped to Argentina, where he was captured by Israeli agents in May 1960. He was transported to Israel, subjected to a show "trial," and then executed on May 31, 1962. The testimonies of the former commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss, along with the memoirs of Eichmann are an important portion of the evidence for the traditional view of the Holocaust. For those who have transformed the Holocaust into a sacred religion, Adolf Eichmann has remained one of the most enduring symbols of Holocaust evil.
Does Lipstadt Employ a Hypocritical Double Standard on the Race Issue?
Lipstadt argues that Eichmann was a dedicated National Socialist who ardently believed in its ideology. “This was a well-read man who accepted and espoused the idea of racial purity,” she writes (p. 164). What Lipstadt fails to tell the reader is that, in this respect, she is similar to Eichmann: she too accepts and espouses some type of racial purity for her “Jewish race.”
As Jewish author Ellen Jaffe McClain pointed out in Embracing the Stranger: Intermarriage and the Future of the American Jewish Community, Lipstadt is flatly opposed to intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews. In McClain’s own words:
“Although people like Deborah Lipstadt, the Emory University professor who has written and lectured widely on Holocaust denial, have exhorted Jewish parents to just say no to intermarriage, much the way they expect their children not to take drugs, a large majority of parents (and more than a few rabbis) are unable to lay down opposition to intermarriage [between Jews and non-Jews] as a strict operating principle.”
At the Irving/Lipstadt trial in winter-spring of 2000, historian Irving was labeled a “racist” because he was accused of opposing the intermarriage between Whites and non-Whites. Even D.D. Guttenplan, an anti-Irving journalist who covered the trial, hinted at the racial double standard at work here. He wrote: “[I]t was hard not to feel queasy listening to Rampton [the defense attorney for Lipstadt] quiz Irving about his attitude to ‘intermarriage between the races’—on behalf of a defendant who has written, ‘We [Lipstadt and her fellow Jews] know what we fight against: anti-Semitism and assimilation [of Jews and non-Jews], intermarriage [between Jews and non-Jews] and Israel-bashing.”
Lipstadt’s opposition to intermarriage and assimilation between Jews and non-Jews is consistent with the view that, just like Eichmann, she espouses racial purity for her ethnic group.
Christopher Browning and the Eichmann Testimony
Christopher R. Browning is the Frank Porter Graham Professor of History at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. The author of numerous books and papers on Nazism and the Jewish experience during World War II, he is widely considered to be a leading expert on the “Final Solution.”
Browning testified at the David Irving–Penguin Books/Deborah Lipstadt libel trial in London in 2000, perhaps the most famous Holocaust court case since the Eichmann Trial in 1961. Considering Professor Browning’s current stature among academic historians and his importance to the defense of Lipstadt’s Holocaust beliefs, one should consider very carefully whatever he writes about Adolf Eichmann.
In his highly praised 2004 book, The Origins of the Final Solution, Browning gently offered this cautionary caveat about Eichmann’s testimony: “As with any detailed eyewitness testimonies after so many years, Eichmann’s various accounts differ from one another and are not free of puzzling contradictions with other evidence.”
What Browning wrote in an obscure 2003 essay, “Perpetrator Testimony: Another Look at Adolf Eichmann”, about the untrustworthiness of the SS Lieutenant-Colonel’s memoirs is even more revealing: “Even more than most memoirs,” our Holocaust historian pointed out, “the Eichmann testimonies, both before and after capture, are consciously calculated attempts at self-representation, self-justification, and legal defense. It must be said as emphatically as possible that, at the core of these testimonies, there are three monstrous falsehoods that are central to his whole enterprise.” We will discuss the “three monstrous falsehoods” in a moment.
A Reason to be Skeptical of the Postcapture Eichmann Testimonials
For the sake of brevity, we will divide the Eichmann memoirs into two phases—those composed before his capture (precapture testimonies), and those composed while he was in Israeli custody (postcapture testimonies). Even if Browning and Lipstadt never made their devastating allegations in regard to the Eichmann memoirs, historians would have legitimate reason to be skeptical of anything that conforms to the Holocaust ideology in his postcapture testimonials. To-wit:
Lipstadt confirms that Eichmann was under tremendous psychological stress while in Israeli captivity: he trembled incessantly during the initial interrogation (p. 44). After all, he was facing death by hanging, which in itself is a form of very stressful coercion. He “feared receiving the treatment that he had meted out (p. 44).” On one occasion, when he was about to be taken from the interrogation room, he thought he was going to be shot. His knees buckled and he cried out in a pleading voice: “I have not told you everything yet (p. 44).”
Lipstadt points out the severe disadvantages that Eichmann was subjected to during his pretrial interrogations: he was deprived of adequate legal counsel while his Israeli interrogators had an entire police bureau and prosecutorial team backing them up (p. 44). Nevertheless, this does not stop Lipstadt from claiming that tapes of Eichmann’s testimony during his pretrial interrogations provided the world with “the most vivid and specific perpetrator-testimony about the murders that had thus far been heard in public (p. 68).”
After his capture it is possible that Eichmann was coerced or bribed to give false testimony that supports traditional Holocaust claims. After all, Israel has a vested interest in promoting the Holocaust ideology, as the state is founded upon it. Another distinct possibility is that he gave false testimony in order to escape a death sentence, a strategy that we will explore more fully in a moment.
Of course, Eichmann may have been tortured, or mind-altering drugs may have been used to gain the testimony the Israelis wanted to hear. Lipstadt confirms that his Israeli captors drugged him before he was returned to Israel in order to make him more compliant: while he was on the flight from Argentina to Israel, he was in a semicomatose state (p. 19).
Lipstadt relates a bizarre story that, if true, would demonstrate how submissive and compliant Eichmann had become to Israeli demands during captivity. So no one accuses me of making this up, I will let Lipstadt tell the story. While he was in Argentina, Eichmann’s captors “took Eichmann to the toilet. They waited outside. After a few minutes, Eichmann called out to [one of his captors], ‘Darf ich anfangen?’ (‘May I begin?’) Only when told yes did he begin to move his bowels (p. 17).” During his interrogations and trial, however, Lipstadt claims that Eichmann was alert, argumentative, stubborn and anything but submissive (pp. 44, 107, 127, 136).
So, the pertinent question is: how reliable are the Eichmann testimonies? It is important to list what Browning claims are the three “monstrous falsehoods” in the Eichmann testimonies: (1) he was not an anti-Semite; (2) in his early career, from the mid-1930s until 1941, he wanted to help the Jews find a home for themselves; and finally, (3) with the outbreak of war “he was an utterly passive receiver of orders, who took no initiatives and made no decisions. He simply obeyed. He had nothing to do with killing Jews, though admittedly he played a minor role in their evacuation.” The mainstream “Final Solution” researcher adds that the Eichmann memoirs are plagued with other falsehoods: “In addition to these three colossal lies, Eichmann told innumerable little lies when confronted with a succession of incriminating documents and testimony…Eichmann was not a particularly subtle or skillful liar.”
In The Eichmann Trial, Lipstadt cited this Browning essay, although she never informed the reader that this “Final Solution” expert exposed the Eichmann testimony as a faulty and unreliable historical source (p. 177, p. 219n47). Nevertheless, she wrote that Eichmann spewed forth a long series of lies (pp. 128). Israeli interrogators insisted Eichmann was a liar (p. 44), and he told “fables” and spewed forth “fantasies”(p. 50).
By insisting that Eichmann was a liar and fabricator, Lipstadt has unwittingly given credence to one of David Irving’s theories about the Eichmann memoirs.
David Irving and the Eichmann Testimonials: Did Eichmann Concoct a Phony Hitler Order to Murder the Jews?
In the early 1990s, Lipstadt’s archenemy David Irving put forth a very plausible theory about the alleged Hitler order for the destruction of the Jews in the Eichmann memoirs. In July 1941, Eichmann maintained, he was summoned to Berlin to visit Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA). Heydrich allegedly uttered to him the fateful words: "I've come from the Reichsführer SS [Heinrich Himmler]. The Führer [Adolf Hitler] has given the order for the physical destruction of the Jews." Lipstadt gives the same story, only a much shorter version of it (p. 68).
Irving then remarked: “I've always said, ‘Hitler wasn't involved, whatever happened— Hitler gave no orders [for the physical extermination of the Jews], there's no proof of it.’ Here we have Eichmann writing something very specific indeed. What is the explanation?”
By 1958 Eichmann realized that he was being hunted; his days were numbered, Irving theorizes. He could be captured, arrested and put on trial at any time. The former head of the Jewish Office of the Gestapo had sleepless nights wondering how he was going to defend himself in court, how he was going to get off of the hook and escape the hangman’s noose. One possible way of escaping a death sentence was to claim that he was merely following orders. Irving hypothesized that Eichmann changed the wording of the statement that Heydrich actually uttered to him. He inserted into his memoirs this doctored and false statement: "The Führer has given the order for the physical destruction of the Jews." By so doing, Eichmann placed the responsibility on Hitler in order to support his future courtroom defense that he had only been obeying the Führer’s commands.
Browning’s colleague, Oxford history professor Richard Evans, attacked Irving by charging him with document manipulation. Evans alleged that Irving was simply rationalizing away evidence that does not fit his theories; he twisted and distorted the evidence in order to make it conform to his viewpoint. In light of what Browning has revealed about the Eichmann memoirs, this is a groundless smear.
As Browning pointed out, Eichmann’s memoirs are consciously calculated attempts at legal defense in court. In addition, at the core of Eichmann’s memoirs is the contention that Eichmann was a passive receiver of orders, a bureaucrat who took no initiatives and made no decisions. He simply obeyed the orders of his Führer.Finally, the former lieutenant-colonel was also, according to Browning, a liar and falsifier of history.
What Lipstadt writes in The Eichmann Trial supports Browning. In his pre-trial interrogations Eichmann claimed that he was “exclusively a carrier out of orders (p. 43).” In Lipstadt’s own words: “He was not guilty, he insisted, because his superiors ordered him to do terrible things (p. 43).” When Eichmann took the stand, he declared that he obeyed the orders of his superiors (p. 110). Eichmann told the judges that he bore no guilt because he had to follow “orders by a supreme head of state (pp. 61, 131).”
If all of this is so, then it is perfectly logical for Irving to infer that Eichmann may have inserted in his memoirs the false statement that “the Führer has given the order for the physical destruction of the Jews." It would simply be an example of a “falsifier of history” creating a plausible defense for his upcoming trial. Eichmann’s falsehood would have placed the responsibility on Hitler in order to support his future courtroom defense that he had only been obeying the Führer’s commands. Indeed, Lipstadt opined, “it must have been clear to the judges that this man [Eichmann] would say anything if he thought it would clear him (p. 124).”
Even many mainstream historians of the “Final Solution” disbelieve Eichmann’s “Hitler murder order” claim, for Browning admitted:
"When I [Browning] have suggested to my colleagues that we must take seriously Eichmann's repeated testimony to the effect that he learned from Heydrich in the fall of 1941 of Hitler's order for the physical destruction of the Jews, I have met with either embarrassed silence or open skepticism. How can I be so gullible? Don't I know that Eichmann's testimony is a useless conglomeration of faulty memories on the one hand and calculated lies for legal defense and self-justification on the other? From it we can learn nothing of value about what actually happened during the war, only about Eichmann's state of mind after the war. These are documents that reveal how Eichmann wished to be remembered, not what he did."
Viewed in the light of what Christopher Browning and Deborah Lipstadt have written on the credibility of the Eichmann testimonials, Irving’s theory is not an attempt to “explain or rationalize away” evidence that refutes his theories. Contrary to what Evans charged, Irving’s theory is a logical inference and a plausible hypothesis: Eichmann may have concocted a phony Hitler order for the mass murder of Europe’s Jews as a desperate effort to avoid hanging.
More Evidence for the Holocaust Revisionist View of the Final Solution
Lipstadt and other “Holocaust experts” define the “Nazi Final Solution to the Jewish Question” in these terms: “The aim of The Final Solution was the destruction of the ‘entire Jewish people’ (p. 141).” Elsewhere she is even more emphatic: “Killing all Jews—irrespective of age, location, education, profession, religious orientation, political outlook, or ethnic self-identification—was the priority in the race war that Nazi Germany conducted (p. 9).”
Lipstadt contradicts herself. During the Second World War the Hungarian government, which was allied with Germany, agreed to release forty thousand Jews who ultimately would be allowed to immigrate to Palestine (p. 99). Eichmann opposed the plan, but Lipstadt points out that Hitler supported it (p. 99)! These Jews were not going to be murdered in the “Hitler gas chambers.” This undermines Lipstadt’s claim that killing all Jews was the ultimate goal of Hitler’s Final Solution. Contradictions like this offer the reader another reason to reject the traditional view of the Holocaust and accept a Revisionist interpretation.
Eichmann and the “Nazi Gas Chambers”
During his pretrial interrogations by Israeli Police Inspector Avner Less, Eichmann spoke of his alleged observations of the “Nazi gas chambers.” Tape recordings of these statements were played in court (pp. 67-68). We remind the reader that when Eichmann made these assertions he was deprived of legal counsel and was all alone with the interrogators (p. 44). Was he under the influence of drugs? Was he coerced or bribed into making these statements? Did he make these statements to “please his captors” in the hope of escaping death by hanging?
Furthermore, The Eichmann Trial never informs its readers that Professor Browning virtually discredited Eichmann as a reliable “eyewitness” of the “Nazi gas chambers.” Rather than repeat this subject matter here, I refer the reader to my essay.
As far back as 2003 Browning concluded: “Clearly, anyone who wants to dismiss Eichmann’s testimonies on the grounds of their demonstrated unreliability and shameless self-serving lies can easily do so, and many of my colleagues have done precisely this.” If historians in Browning and Lipstadt’s Holocaust camp have dismissed Eichmann’s testimonies because of their gross untrustworthiness, then Holocaust revisionists should do likewise—refuse to accept them as evidence for the “Nazi gas chambers” and an alleged Hitler plan to exterminate Europe’s Jews.
Was the Eichmann Trial a Zionist Show Trial?
Let us compare what Lipstadt has written about the Eichmann trial with what the online encyclopedia Wikipedia lists as characteristics of a “Show Trial.”
- A “show trial” is a highly public affair. The Eichmann Trial opened on April 11, 1961 and it was broadcast by radio and television around the world, in addition to all of the press coverage it received (p. 231). Lipstadt sums up a major consequence of the Eichmann affair: “Even though the Holocaust had been remembered and commemorated, never before had it received such consistent attention. Never had it been on the front pages of newspapers throughout the world, as it was during the trial. (p. 192).”
- The guilt of the defendant in a “show trial” is determined beforehand. Eichmann’s lawyer Robert Servatius challenged the very legality of the proceedings and argued that Israel had no right to try Eichmann (pp. 58-59). Lipstadt writes that the Israeli prosecutor Gideon Hausner “had no doubt that the judges would reject Servatius’s arguments no matter what he said (p. 59).”
- A “show trial’s” main goal is to present the accusation and verdict to the public as an impressive example and warning. Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion eventually came around to the idea that the trial would be used as a means to educate the Israeli public about the Holocaust (p. 28). Prosecutor Hausner “wanted the trial to capture the imagination of Israelis, among others, and give them a personal sense of what had happened (p. 55).”
- Wikipedia writes: “Such trials can exhibit scant regard for the principles of jurisprudence and even for the letter of the law.” Lipstadt describes trial characteristics that fit this description: “The prosecution would call a series of witnesses who had no connection with Eichmann. Some legal experts considered their testimony highly prejudicial and legally irrelevant. Much of it was based on hearsay, if not outright gossip (p. 55).”
- In such flawed and largely phony judicial proceedings, defendants have little opportunity to justify themselves. During his pretrial interrogations Eichmann was deprived of adequate legal counsel, while his interrogators had an entire police bureau and prosecutorial team backing them up (p. 44). Lipstadt admits that Eichmann’s defense team was subjected to severe legal disadvantages during the duration of the entire trial (pp. 44-45).
- The defendants in such trials often sign statements under duress and/or suffer torture prior to appearing in the courtroom. Lipstadt confirms that Eichmann was under severe stress prior to the trial and during his interrogations (p. 44). We also know that Eichmann was drugged by his Israeli captors (p. 19). Could he have been drugged or coerced during his pre-trial interrogations while he faced his Israeli interrogators totally alone without the benefit of legal counsel?
Nevertheless, Lipstadt rejects the notion that this was a “show trial.” The Eichmann Trial presents the arguments of those who believe the trial was legally sound, and argues that the three judges were scrupulously fair (pp. 58-59, passim). “In fact,” Lipstadt avers, “giving the lie to any notion that this was a ‘show trial,’ throughout the proceedings the judges clashed with Hausner (p. 121).” The judges and Eichmann’s defense attorney did expose at least one “Holocaust Survivor” as a false eyewitness, something defenders of the trial will say demonstrates the fairness of the Israeli legal system (p. 99).
The three judges refused to let the trial degenerate into a total legal farce, like the show trials in the Stalinist Soviet Union and Communist Eastern Europe. After all, for the world to take it seriously, Israel could not afford to let the Eichmann trial to be viewed like the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s. Lipstadt reveals how successfully the divergent goals of both the judges and prosecutor ultimately serviced Zionist objectives: “The judges’ primary objective was to conduct a scrupulously fair legal proceeding that would win the respect of the world. Hausner’s goal was to tell the story of the Holocaust in all its detail, and in so doing, to capture the imagination not just of Israel’s youth and world Jewry, but of the entire world (p. 121).”
False Eyewitness Testimony and the Eichmann Trial
To her credit, Lipstadt points out that many of the “Holocaust survivors” who stepped forward to testify at the Eichmann trial offered unreliable or false eyewitness testimony. A representative from Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial, Rachel Auerbach, who screened this testimony, “recognized that just because they [“Holocaust survivors”] said that they had seen something did not ensure its reliability.” She observed that many of those who volunteered to testify were people who claimed to have ‘seen Eichmann’ at places where he had never been or where ‘no one could have identified him in those days.’ There were also those she described as ‘morbid publicity seekers (p. 54).’” Nevertheless, Auerbach believed that most of those who offered to testify were “highly responsible people (p. 54).” Lipstadt offers us reasons to doubt this.
Prosecutor Hausner was intent on proving that Eichmann, in addition to being a seminal figure behind the alleged Nazi plan to murder European Jewry, was also guilty of committing murder with his own hands. He was accused of shooting a child who tried to steal fruit from an orchard outside his villa in Hungary during the war (p. 99). An alleged eyewitness to the “murder” testified against Eichmann. Lipstadt then makes this eye-opening revelation: “Ultimately, Hausner’s efforts regarding the murder were thwarted when questions posed by both Servatius [Eichmann’s defense attorney] and the judges proved that Avraham Gordon, whom Hausner called as the witness to the murder, could not have observed it (p. 99).” We can now add Mr. Gordon to the long list of other “Holocaust survivors” who gave false testimony.
Holocaust Revisionists such as myself are thankful that Deborah Lipstadt—Holocaust Revisionism’s arch enemy no less!—has publicly made clear that much of this “Holocaust Survivor” testimony is false and unreliable.
Eichmann’s Testimony and the Wannsee Conference
According to the traditional Holocaust story, in January 1942 German leaders held a conference at Wannsee, a locality in southwestern Berlin, at which they planned the mass murder of Europe’s Jews. Eichmann wrote the minutes for this seminal meeting (p. 227).
Israeli Judge Yitzhak Raveh questioned Eichmann about what was discussed at the Conference: “What […] was talked about there?” Eichmann answered: “The various possibilities for killing (p. 132).” So, it would be logical to presume that mass murder in “gas chambers” would be a “possibility for killing” that was discussed. Nevertheless, Eichmann gave a different and seemingly conflicting response to another judge.
Judge Moshe Landau wanted to know why there was nothing in the minutes about the “methods of killing,” and the “specific killing methods, such as gas (p. 136).” That is to say, Eichmann put nothing in the minutes about the “Nazi gas chambers.” German officials allegedly did not want “references to them to be widely circulated (pp. 136-137).” Lipstadt writes: “No, Eichmann assured him [Judge Landau], there was no specific talk of killing methods (p. 137).”
Let us get these inconsistencies perfectly straight. Eichmann tells Raveh that the various possibilities for killing were discussed, but he tells Landau that there was no specific talk of killing methods! The confusing and apparently contradictory nature of Eichmann’s two responses gives even the most hardcore believer in the traditional Holocaust story a reason to doubt that the “mass murder of Jews in gas chambers” was ever discussed at Wannsee. This further confirms what mainstream “Final Solution” historian Browning wrote back in 2003 about the unreliability of the Eichmann testimonials: “[T]he testimonies of especially [Rudolf] Höss [former commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp] and to some extent Eichmann are confused, contradictory, self-serving, and not credible.”
A New Holocaust Myth?—“Specially Adapted Cement-Mixer Apparatuses”
According to the standard Holocaust story, after the Jews were gassed their corpses were burned in crematoriums, or thrown into mass graves and some time later were dug up and burned en masse in open-air cremations. To the best of my knowledge, no physical evidence of mass graves, with the corpses of murdered Jews, was ever shown to the court at Eichmann’s trial, nor was there any physical/forensic evidence of mass murder presented. Israeli authorities must have foreseen that the lack of physical evidence for Holocaust claims would be a cause for world-wide doubt, and something would have to be said to quell suspicion. Significantly, the prosecution provided “eyewitnesses” who claimed the Germans “destroyed” all of the physical evidence (pp. 53, 141). Lipstadt writes: “Leon Wells told of Operation 1005, the group of Jewish prisoners assigned to eradicate the evidence by opening mass graves and exhuming, burning, and pulverizing the bodies (p. 87).”
The burning of bodies leaves behind a large amount of unburned bones and teeth, as the official historians of these concentration camps are clearly aware. Holocaust historian Yitzhak Arad declares that the bones of the hundreds of thousands of alleged murder victims at Chelmno concentration camp were “destroyed by a special bone-crushing machine.” Yet, on the next page, he quotes “Holocaust survivor” Leon Feldhendler who stated that at Sobibor concentration camp the bones were crushed into ashes with hammers.
The Eichmann Trial tells another story regarding alleged corpse disposal on the part of the “German murderers.” Lipstadt refers to the work of Rachel Auerbach, the Holocaust researcher associated with Yad Vashem, who aided Prosecutor Hausner. During the Second World War, Auerbach’s interviews with escapees from Treblinka concentration camp alerted the world to the “Nazi mass murders” that were allegedly taking place (p. 52). Lipstadt writes about Auerbach’s “discoveries”: “Long before Eichmann’s capture, Auerbach had conducted research on Operation 1005, the large-scale secret campaign to destroy evidence of the Final Solution by digging up the mass graves, pulverizing the bodies in specially adapted cement-mixer apparatuses, and erasing all traces of the atrocities. She also found two people who had participated as slave laborers in this effort (p. 53).”
In the “authoritative” Holocaust history books consulted, I cannot find any mention of “specially adapted cement-mixer apparatuses” for the disposal of murdered Holocaust victims. There is not one iota of physical evidence to show that these devices ever existed. No one has ever found one to show the world, and no authentic engineering diagrams of these devices have ever been uncovered. If I am wrong, then it is up to Deborah Lipstadt to provide us with the physical evidence.
Did Lipstadt ever consider the possibility that the story of the “specially adapted cement-mixer apparatuses” is another concocted Holocaust tale, like the “steam chambers” of Treblinka, the “electrocution chambers” of Belzec, and the “soap factories” that utilized the bodies of dead Jews? Was the “cement mixer” story cooked up to account for the lack of physical evidence for the Holocaust? Keep in mind that, with the exposé of Simon Wiesenthal’s “Five Million Murdered Gentiles” Myth, Lipstadt confirmed that the Holocaust ideology contains deliberate falsehoods, which are intelligently designed to achieve definite political goals (pp. 8-9).
The influence of the Holocaust doctrine on post World War II thought and politics is one of the most spectacular examples in history of how a fallacious ideology for which there is no credible evidence can come to fashion the thinking of a whole society and dominate the outlook of an age. Lipstadt’s book gives the reader a glimpse how this all was accomplished.
She reveals the motivations of an influential Jew who created a Holocaust falsehood and turned it into “accepted fact.” The iconic “Nazi hunter” Simon Wiesenthal invented a Holocaust myth out of nothing, and the President of the United States and influential elites ended up repeating it “as the truth.” When closely analyzed, her book actually vindicates what mainstream “Final Solution” historian Christopher Browning revealed years ago: the Eichmann testimonies, pillars of the traditional Holocaust story, are grossly unreliable pieces of evidence that do not prove a thing. Finally, she showed how Israel conducted a highly successful propaganda trial that skillfully employed the mass media to firmly implant the Holocaust ideology in the public consciousness of the West (p. 193).
Though Ms. Lipstadt would most likely vehemently deny it, The Eichmann Trial in an inadvertent way is a contribution to Holocaust revisionism.
|||Paul Grubach, “A Holocaust Revisionist Critique of the Thinking of Deborah Lipstadt.” Online: http://www.codoh.com/viewpoints/vppgdeblip. html|
|||Deborah E. Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (The Free Press, 1993).|
|||Ibid, p. 24.|
|||Ibid, p. 126.|
|||Ibid, p. 154.|
|||Ibid, p. 125.|
|||Ibid, p. 1.|
|||Ibid, pp. 7-8.|
|||Richard J. Evans, Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial (Basic Books, 2001), pp. 261-262.|
|||See Paul Grubach, “The Holocaust as an Ideological Danger.” Online: http://www.codoh.com/viewpoints/vppgideo.html|
|||For documentation, see Grubach, “The Holocaust as an Ideological Danger” op. cit. See also Ruth King, “The Lady is a Champ: Sarah Palin on Iran, Israel and Obama,” Ruthfully Yours: The Right News, Front and Center, 1 April 2010. Online: http://www.ruthfullyyours.com/2010/04/01/|
|||Christopher R. Browning, “Perpetrator Testimony: Another Look at Adolf Eichmann.” In : Christopher R. Browning, Collected Memories: Holocaust History and Postwar Testimony, The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 2003, p. 3.|
|||Ellen Jaffe McClain, Embracing the Stranger: Intermarriage and the Future of the American Jewish Community (Basic Books, 1995), p. 18.|
|||Lipstadt quoted in D.D. Guttenplan, The Holocaust On Trial (W. W. Norton & Company, 2001), p. 209.|
|||Christopher Browning, The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy, September 1939-March 1942 (University of Nebraska Press and Yad Vashem, 2004), p. 363.|
|||Browning, “Perpetrator Testimony: Another Look at Adolf Eichmann,” pp. 8-9.|
|||Roger Garaudy, The Founding Myths of Israeli Politics (Institute for Historical Review, 2000).|
|||Browning, “Perpetrator Testimony: Another Look at Adolf Eichmann,” p. 10.|
|||Ibid, pp. 10-11.|
|||David Irving, “The Suppressed Eichmann and Goebbels Papers,” Presented at the Eleventh IHR Conference, October 1992. Online: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v13/v13n2p14_Irving.html|
|||Richard Evans, Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial (Basic Books, 2001), pp. 248-249.|
|||Browning, “Perpetrator Testimony: Another Look at Adolf Eichmann,” p. 8.|
|||Ibid, p. 10.|
|||Ibid, pp. 10-11.|
|||Browning, “Perpetrator Testimony: Another Look at Adolf Eichmann,” pp. 4-5.|
|||Paul Grubach, “An Enduring Symbol of Holocaust Evil or Holocaust Falsehood?: Christopher Browning and the Testimony of Adolf Eichmann.” Online: http://www.codoh.com/viewpoints/vppgsym.html|
|||Browning, “Perpetrator Testimony: Another Look at Adolf Eichmann,” p. 11.|
|||“Show Trial,” Wikipedia. Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Show_trial|
|||Browning, The Origins of the Final Solution, p. p. 544n169.|
|||Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka (Indiana University Press, 1987), pp. 170-178; Jules Schelvis, Sobibor: A History of a Nazi Death Camp (Berg, 2007), p. 112.|
|||Arad, p. 171.|
|||Ibid, p. 172.|
|||Arad; Schelvis; Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War (Henry Holt, 1985); Gerald Reitlinger, The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe 1939-1945 (Jason Aronson, 1987); Robert Jan van Pelt, The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial (Indiana University Press, 2002).|
|||See Robert Jan van Pelt, p. 145; Mark Weber and Andrew Allen, “Treblinka,” The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1992, pp. 133-158. Online: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v12/v12p133_Allen.html. Mark Weber, “Jewish Soap,” The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1991, pp. 217-227. Online: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v11/v11p217_Weber.html.|
Additional information about this document
|Title:||Jewish Conspiracy Theory, the Eichmann Testimony and the Holocaust, Deborah Lipstadt's Contribution to Holocaust Revisionism|
|Sources:||Inconvenient History, 3(2) (2011)|
|First posted on CODOH:||Feb. 15, 2014, 6 p.m.|