A Fake Eyewitness to Mass Murder at Belzec
Published: 1999-11-01

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The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum knowingly exploits a known fraud to propagate the "genocide" theory. Few alleged eyewitnesses to the Nazi "extermination" camps have been as influential, and as honored, as Jan Karski. Karski, who worked as a spy and courier in the Polish underground in World War II, personally briefed such American leaders as Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter about what he saw undercover at Belzec, where hundreds of thousands of Jews are said to have been exterminated.

But two recent biographers of Karski—with Karski's assent—have written that this renowned "eyewitness" made his observations about mass-murder at Belzec—not at Belzec, but rather in Izbica Lubelska, a town forty miles distant from Belzec that has never figured as a death camp.

Revisionists who challenge the canonical history of the Holocaust are often confronted by its defenders with the argument that the seemingly overwhelming number of witnesses and testimonies is proof of the gas chambers. The response of the very much under-whelmed revisionists has been to examine the testimony of these witnesses one by one, starting with the most believable that supporters of the gas chamber theory have to offer. If there were ever a star witness to the Holocaust, it would seem to be Jan Karski, and, as a matter of fact, for fifty years it has been Jan Karski.

Born Jan Kozie-lewski in Russian ruled Poland in 1914, Karski has had a distinguished career as a soldier and as a diplomat in the Polish service, and as a professor at Georgetown University after the war. He undertook several perilous missions for the Polish government-in-exile in German-occupied Poland, was captured, tortured, and made a daring escape. Though not Jewish himself, Karski has worked to publicize the orthodox Holocaust story using his authority as an undercover "eyewitness" to alleged Nazi crimes at Belzec, in the Warsaw ghetto, and elsewhere for more than fifty years.

In 1943 he briefed President Franklin Roosevelt and Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter in person on what he claimed to have seen with his own eyes. Shortly afterward, he wrote a book on his wartime missions, including his supposed visit to Belzec: The Story of a Secret State (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1944). It sold over 400,000 copies in the U.S. In 1982 Karski was named a "righteous Gentile" by Yad Vashem, Israel's agency for commemorating the Holocaust. Three years later, he was featured in French director Claude Lanzmann's nine-hour Holocaust film opus Shoah (in which Karski staged a dramatic, emotional exit from Lanzmann's interview—but said nothing about his earlier claim to have visited the "extermination camp" at Belzec).

In 1991, Karski was awarded the Eisenhower Liberation Medal by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. On May 12, 1994 he was made an honorary citizen of Israel. Although in his mid-eighties, Karski has continued to speak out on his Holocaust witnessing under the auspices of both the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Anti-Defamation League. Former USHMM official Michael Berenbaum has extravagantly summed up his hero's significance:

"Jan Karski has redeemed the image of humanity precisely at the moment when by his very being, by his heroic deeds, he indicts the image of humanity." (Karski, p. 257)

For over half a century, the centerpiece of Karski's Holocaust witness and warning to the world has been his alleged infiltration of the German camp at Belzec, Poland in 1942. In his book Story of a Secret State, Karski was very specific about the location of the Nazi "death camp" he claims to have entered, disguised as a guard:

"A few days after my second visit to the Warsaw ghetto, the [Jewish Labor] Bund leader was to arrange an opportunity for me to see the Jewish death camp. The camp was located near the town of Belzec about one hundred miles east of Warsaw and was well known all over Poland from the tales of horror that were circulated about it. The common report was that every Jew who reached it, without exception, was doomed to death. The Bund leader had never been in it but had the most detailed information in [sic] its operations." (p. 339)

"We arrived in Belzec shortly after midday and went directly to the place where the Estonian was supposed to be waiting to give me his uniform. It was a little grocery store that had belonged to a Jew." (p. 340)

"The camp was about a mile and a half from the store." (p. 341)

"It was on a large, flat plain and occupied about a square mile." (p. 344)

That's what Jan Karski wrote, and it is what the operatives of the US Holocaust Museum have publicly endorsed so that the public would continue to swallow it. Yet a recent, laudatory biography, Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994) by E. Thomas Wood and Stanislaw Jankowski, contradicts Karski's 1944 published account of a visit to the Belzec camp in 1942. The authors assure us that they had Karski's full cooperation:

"Not only did Professor Karski open his personal archive to us, endure many full days of questioning, and pain-stakingly review the manuscript for accuracy…" (p. xv)

Here is their verdict on Karski's claim to have visited the "death camp":

"The village Jan reached was not Belzec, nor did Jan think it was while he was there. When he first spoke of this mission after reaching London three months later, he described the site as a 'sorting point' located about fifty kilometers from the city of Belzec although in the same statement he referred to the camp's location as 'the outskirts of Belzec.' (The actual Belzec death camp was in the town of Belzec, within a few hundred feet of the train station.) In an August 1943 report, Karski at first placed the camp ten miles, then twelve kilometers outside of Belzec. By the time he began retelling his story publicly in 1944, the town he had reached had become Belzec itself." (p. 128)

Thus the authority of another self-proclaimed eyewitness to the "extermination camps," and one of the mere handful to have witnessed Belzec, is revealed as bankrupt. The horrors Karski told the world he witnessed at Belzec—mass shootings of Jews, and the cramming of thousands of them into boxcars lined with quicklime, after which they were sent off eighty miles to die agonizing deaths in the sealed cars ("My informants had minutely described the whole journey," says Karski in Secret State, p. 350)—turn out to be the fantasies of a professional propagandist, one shamelessly exploited by the U. S. Holocaust Museum.

For some time, not only revisionist scholars but also certain academic defenders of the Holocaust story have cast doubt on Karski's Belzec testimony. Thus Raul Hilberg, author of the standard The Destruction of European Jews, said of Karski, "I would not put him in a footnote in my book." (interview with Ernie Meyer, Jerusalem Post, week ending June 28, 1986, p. 9). That was 13 years ago—but the Holocaust Museum, intent on silencing revisionists with the "truth," still uses him. The embarrassing attempts of Karski's biographers to transfer the alleged atrocities Karski claimed to have seen at Belzec to an obscure "sorting point" at Izbica Lubelska only serve to confirm Hilberg's comment.

More than one scholar who has examined Karski's activities on behalf of the Polish government in exile during the Second World War has noted his flexibility with the truth in the service of his government's propaganda. Thus David Engel has noted how Karski helped re-write findings he had made on Polish-Jewish tensions in Soviet occupied eastern Poland.

Engels notes that Karski originally found that the Poles resented the Jews, many of whom had sided with the Soviets, and thus Poles were vulnerable to Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda. Yet the Polish government-in -exile's published report represented the Poles as deeply sympathetic to the Jews and repelled by the Nazi's treatment of Jews. (David Engel, "An Early Account of Polish Jewry under Nazi and Soviet Occupation Presented to the Polish Government in Exile, February 1940," Jewish Social Studies, Vol. XLV, no. 1, Winter 1983).

Whatever Karski's purposes were during the Second World War, it is now admitted by him and his biographers that he was lying about having slipped into Belzec and observed the alleged extermination of Polish Jewry. Yet the admission that Karski is a liar and a libeler comes matter-of-factly in the biography, and has caused no noticeable stir in the Holocaust industry. Karski continues to be trotted out on behalf of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the ADL, and other groups not only as an eyewitness who "proves" the standard story, but as a great moral authority.

Meanwhile, revisionist scholars and researchers such as Robert Faurisson, David Irving, Wilhelm Stäglich, Fred Leuchter, and many more, who have risked careers, personal freedom, and life and limb in pursuit of the facts on the Holocaust, face continued slander from the academy and media. It's time the bemedalled gossip-monger and phony, Jan Karski (and more importantly, those institutions that exploit the old fraud), be held to a rigorous standard of accuracy, morality, and truth on what he saw—or didn't see—at Belzec, or wherever he and his backers claim Karski was.


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Author(s): Theodore J. O'Keefe
Title: A Fake Eyewitness to Mass Murder at Belzec
Sources: The Revisionist # 1, Nov. 1999, Codoh series
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Published: 1999-11-01
First posted on CODOH: Oct. 30, 1999, 7 p.m.
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