A review of Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why do They Say it?, by Michael Shermer & Alex Grobman. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Hardcover. 312 pages. Notes. Index. ISBN: 0-520-21612-1.
Denying History. Who Says the Holocaust never Happened and Why Do They Say it? by Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman  smears 'holocaust' Revisionism while purporting to be objective and scientific.
These authors pretend to defend freedom of speech while compiling page after page of their purported historical philosophy, embarking upon various excursions, which beyond a scholarship display, is more banally served up as simply filling. After a job "lasting several years" requiring them to go from the United States to Europe for "a search in the camps, in particular to Mauthausen, Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Dachau, Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau." [ sic! ] (p. 127) – imagine after all the expenses paid by their financial backers, they couldn't simply put out a booklet of some tens of pages – trimming without tinsel.
Denying History has grand ambitions, to: "take up the contentions of the Holocaust deniers, point by point, and refute them, down to the smallest detail," according to Arthur Hertzberg (p.xiii), prefacing a contention clearly expressed by the authors:
"In the process we thoroughly refute the Holocaust deniers' claims and arguments, present an in-depth analysis of their personalities and motives, and show precisely, with solid evidence, how we know the Holocaust happened" (p. 2). Shermer and Grobman maintain that their book is "a thorough and thoughtful answer to all the claims of the Holocaust deniers..." (p. 259).
So, Shermer and Grobman refuted "thoroughly" all the theses of all the Revisionists. This is absolutely false. That claim by these authors is challenged as a lie, right from the start.
To such teachers of lies, I have already dedicated three studies in which I have pointedly refuted their false accusations; they are:
- Olocausto: dilettanti allo sbaraglio. Edizioni di Ar, 1996, 322 pages;
- L "Irritante questione " delle camere a gas ovvero da Cappuccetto Rosso ad...Auschwitz. Risposta a Valentina Pisanty. Graphos, Genoa, 1998, 188 pages;
- Olocausto: dillettanti a convengo. Effepi, Genoa 2002, 182 pages.
To these I add my two responses to Professor John C. Zimmerman:
- John C. Zimmerman and "Body Disposal at Auschwitz": Preliminary Observations, and
- Supplementary Response to John C. Zimmerman on his "Body Disposal at Auschwitz."
Nobody has ever answered the questions presented in these above works, while patently false theses which I have demonstrated as being false but which have appeared in books by authors such as Pierre Vidal-Naquet and Valentina Pisanty – two names among others – continue to be cited in the writings of "anti-deniers," thereby keeping alive a whole series of incestuous citations – a procedure which Shermer and Grobman obviously attribute to revisionist historiography (p. 251). After John C. Zimmerman saw my second response to his "critique," he was so devastated that this poor professor vanished with his silence when confronted with my arguments.
Far from ravings of unmentioned anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi tracts, this present work, all rigorously documented, was born from my indignation of the imposture of Shermer and Grobman, and above all, stems from the pleasure I have in unmasking them to re-establish historical truth.
Being quite aware that this work may fall into the silent catacombs of holocaust historiography, it is never-the-less hoped that it may prove useful to some honest people free from prejudice, not only because they may be presented with new considerations resulting from the above-mentioned works, but also because it is a demonstration of how one historical Revisionist can demolish in a few weeks a work that "lasted for years" with the collaboration of the world-wide holocaust lobby. As for historians who do not partake in this despite the solid arguments that provoke their silent embarrassment, that is beyond doubt most disturbing.
Chapter I: Revisionists and Revisionist Methodology
In contrast to predecessors, Shermer and Grobman purport to be on a strictly scientific plane:
"We think it's time to move beyond name calling and present the evidence " (pp. 16-17).
But with that, they nevertheless demonstrate that they know the nature of previous critics of Revisionism: They give us insult and no proof!
They even go so far as to reject the most worn out anti-Revisionist prejudicial arguments: "The subtleties and complexities of the Holocaust denial movement deny such global labels as "antisemitic " or "neo-Nazi." To resort to labels is to misunderstand what is really going on and therefore to swat down straw men" (p. 16). But then Shermer and Grobman simply cannot resist the temptation to resort to the labels of "anti-Semite" and "neo-Nazi," alleging that accordingly, in Revisionism "the anti-Semitic topic returns over and over" (p. 87) and that "it seems difficult to clearly separate the Holocaust denial movement from antisemitic sentiments" (p. 87).
And, dulcis in fundo [sweeter, deeper]:
"Holocaust deniers, in our opinion, find empowerment through the rehabilitation of those they admire and the denigration of those they perceive to be squelching their admiration [...]. The history of the Holocaust is a black eye for Nazism. Deny the veracity of the Holocaust, and Nazism begins to lose this stigma" (p. 252).
This is the actual significance of the formula according to which revisionism is "the rewriting of the past for present personal or political purposes" (p.2) of which the authors prefer! (see pp. 34 and 238). Therefore Shermer and Grobman re-enter from the window the trite defamations they pretended to disdain from the door, and the insults re-enter also. Nobody "in their right mind would say that the Holocaust never happened" (p. 40), ergo ...
Without taking into account that Revisionism "is facing history and the way in which the science of history is practiced" (p. 251), and "a looking-glass world where black is white, up is down, and the normal rules of reason no longer apply" (p. 1).
Shermer and Grobman say Revisionists "are highly motivated, reasonably well financed [if only that were true] and often well versed in Holocaust studies. [...]. The deniers know a great deal about the Holocaust " (pp. 17f.). Indeed, "relatively pleasant" (p. 40) American Revisionists have been encountered, which seems a little strange for alleged neo-Nazi anti-Semites who are not "in their right mind"!
But the truth regarding Historical Revisionism is another thing entirely. Every pretense to force Revisionist historians into the worn out category of anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism comes about invariably "for personal or political reasons," and is as misleading as the title of that book by Shermer and Grobman: Denying History. What Revisionist historians deny is not "history," but the distorted interpretation of history, dished up by Court Historians. Revisionism, born from denying this distortion, is the reassertion of historical truth.
The Revisionist activity of Paul Rassinier began as a denial of lies which the concentration camp literature of the post-war period was studded. There was much indignation to the façade of lies and a burning desire by Rassinier to re-establish truth. That is one of the most important motivations driving Revisionist historians: indignation to the imposture of Court Historians. They misuse their positions by being able to trick unaware readers, and their official positions can only be maintained by their continuing ability to trick unaware readers. My motivation in exposing the fraudulent Denying History was my indignation to the Shermer/Grobman imposture and my desire to reaffirm historical truth.
As we see in their Introduction, the authors claim to have refuted "in detail" all the theses of all the Revisionist historians, and in regard to this they maintain:
"We tried to check the accuracy of our assumptions about the deniers by meeting and interviewing the major players of the Holocaust denial movement, and reading their literature carefully" (p. 4).
For them, Revisionism is confined to M. Weber, D. Irving, R. Faurisson, B. Smith, E. Zündel and D. Cole (pp. 46-71). Arthur Butz is already too hard a bone to chew for Shermer and Grobman, therefore they limit themselves to liquidate his work The Hoax of the Twentieth Century as "the book that has become the Bible of the movement" (p. 40) , which evidently is the only one worth mentioning in their narrow provincialism, and that is all. The same thing goes for their judgment of Mark Weber as "the one who has the most knowledge of the history of the Holocaust" after D. Irving (p. 46). Shermer and Grobman, in their America-centric megalomania, have forgotten three significant details:
- They have only taken up a small part of American Revisionism (ignoring for example F. Berg, Robert Countess, S. Crowell, B. Renk, T. O' Keefe, W. Lindsey, M. Hoffman);
- American Revisionism is only one small part of world-wide Revisionism;
- American revisionism, with all due respect for its history, as far as research goes, is very far from being the most important part of world-wide Revisionism, which includes European Revisionism. But for Shermer and Grobman, European Revisionism apparently means only Robert Faurisson, whose theses, upon examination, are only an insignificant part, and moreover, as we shall see in the following paragraph, more shameless misrepresentation!
The truth is that currently, European Revisionism means the journal Vierteljahrshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung (PO Box 118, Hastings TN34 3ZQ, England [now defunct; ed.]), with its founder, Germar Rudolf, and his collaborators. European Revisionism also means Jürgen Graf, J.M. Boisdefeu, Enrique Aynat, Henri Roques, Pierre Marais, Serge Thion, P. Guillaume, Udo Walendy, I. Weckert, H.J. Nowak, W. Rademacher, among other writers. In order to cite the most noteworthy, see "Essential Revisionist Bibliography" in the 1996 study already cited, Olocausto: dilettanti allo sbaraglio, (pp. 308-309). Out of 33 titles presented there, Shermer and Grobman considered merely 4, of which only 3 were Americans! And, although Shermer and Grobman selected this modest selection of Revisionism, they still had to struggle for years just to give an appearance of a response with their Denying History.
"This problem came to our attention in talking to the top Holocaust scholars in the world. In many cases we have had to go to great lengths during this multiyear project to get answers to our questions" (p.2) [my emphasis].
So "the top Holocaust scholars in the world" didn't know how to respond to Shermer and Grobman! We figure that – according to their deceptive premises – if they would have had to correctly answer all the arguments of Revisionism, their "project " would have taken decades!
2) The true historical methodology versus the alleged methodology of Revisionists
In Chapter 9 Shermer and Grobman present a long excursus on " the Rape of Nanking " – an alleged war crime during the Japanese invasion of the Chinese city of Nanking in December 1937 – whose historical reconstruction "culminated on May 3, 1946, when the International Military Tribunal for the Far East opened what became known as The Tokyo War Crimes Trial" (p. 236). In other words, the presumed fact was "reconstructed" in order to demonstrate inhumane Japanese ferocity and to morally justify the atomic devastations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the carpet bombing of Tokyo by the Americans.
After this diversion, our authors finally return to their topic, with their ten hinges of scientific methodology:
- How reliable is the source of the claim? Deniers may appear quite reliable as they cite facts and figures, but closer examination often reveals these details have been distorted or taken out of context.
- Has this source made other claims that were clearly exaggerated? If an individual is known to have stretched the facts before, it obviously undermines his or her credibility. [...]
- Has another source verified the claim? Typically deniers will make statements that are unverified or verified only by another denier. [...] Outside verification is crucial to good science and good history.
- How does the claim fit with what we know about the world and how it works? [...].
- Has anyone, including and especially the claimant, gone out of the way to disprove the claim, or has only confirmatory evidence been sought? This is what is known as "confirmation bias," or the tendency to seek confirmatory evidence and reject disconfirming evidence. [...].
- In the absence of clearly defined proof, does the preponderance of evidence converge on the claimant's conclusion or a different one? Deniers do not look for evidence that converges on a conclusion; they look for evidence that fits their ideology. In examining their various eyewitness accounts of the gassing of prisoners at Auschwitz, for example, we find a consistent core to the stories, leading to a strong theory of what happened. Deniers, in contrast, pick up on minor discrepancies in the eye-witness reports and blow these up as anomalies that disconfirm the theory. Instead of reviewing the evidence as a whole, they focus on any detail that supports their point of view.
- Is the claimant employing the accepted rules of reason and tools of research or only ones that lead to the desired conclusions? [...].
- Has the claimant provided a different explanation for the observed phenomena rather than just denying the existing explanation? [...].
- If the claimant has proffered a new explanation, does it account for as many phenomena as the old explanation does? [...].
- Do the claimant's personal beliefs and biases drive the conclusions or vice versa?" (pp. 248-250).
And here is the alleged behavior of Revisionists as per Shermer and Grobman:
"Deniers are routinely unreliable in their selection of the historical facts. They often make outrageous claims. The claims are rarely verified by other sources, and when they are, these sources are often incestuous. Deniers almost never attempt to disprove their claims and, instead, seek only confirmatory evidence. They generally do not play by the agreed-upon rules of historical scholarship, offer no alternative theory to account for the historical data, and thus can muster no convergence of evidence for their nonexistent theory [sic]. Finally, as we have demonstrated with a preponderance of evidence, Holocaust deniers' personal beliefs and biases dictate their conclusions." (p. 251).
Well, this demonstrative study "with a preponderance of evidence" by Shermer and Grobman has given us the true picture of their own methodology. But before entering into the heart of this discussion, some general observations are in order.
To begin with, it would be much too easy to find the entire work of Shermer and Grobman as failing in terms of their point 1 based upon their selection of authors and Revisionist arguments, to amputate and distort in such a way, their entire thematic picture. In their work, the authors have adopted a magical formula: "convergence of evidence," allegedly adopted from official historians and presumably neglected by Revisionist historians. That formula was invented by R.J. van Pelt in his expert opinion as part of the Irving-Lipstadt trial and known as "The Pelt Report." There does not exist any evidence of any extermination of Jews in homicidal gas chambers. So van Pelt collected so-called "indications" (including those by J.C. Pressac), and then illicitly promoted them to "evidence" and then invented "convergence of evidence" which is nothing but imposture.
I examined "convergence of evidence" regarding Auschwitz adduced by the authors. The eyewitness testimonies all have a "solid nucleus" according to Shermer and Grobman, converging toward reality of homicidal gassings. Revisionist historians, on the other hand, attack "smaller discrepancies" and "any detail" in order to demolish the entire testimony.
First of all, Shermer and Grobman as well as most Court Historians, ignore the integral texts of these entire eyewitness testimonies, and only present certain details, and by carefully selecting steps in the testimonies, create illusory "convergence" while purging all the contradictions that they contain.
A typical example of this "convergence" is offered to us from G. Reitlinger. Describing the alleged homicidal gassings in Birkenau, he appeals:
- to Ada Bimko for so-called "railwagons" transporting corpses to ovens;
- to Miklos Nyiszli for an alleged execution gassing process;
- to Charles Sigismud Bendel for evacuation of gas chambers.
Examining the narration of Reitlinger, it seems that all the witnesses describe the same structures and the same allegations, but reality is very different. Ada Bimko never put foot in a crematory. She invented a fanciful story of someone else's visit to a crematory and allegedly someone "saw" a gas chamber equipped with "two huge metallic containers containing gas" and railtracks that led directly to crematory rooms. The unprovided "eyewitness" in fact believed that alleged homicidal gassings occurred with a gas similar to methane (therefore inventing the two tanks) and according to the so-called Vrba-Wetzler relationship, a narrow gauge track ran from "the gas chambers" to "the ovens."  But in reality, nobody of the Birkenau Crematory (the premises to which official historiography attributes homicidal gas chambers), as being connected to crematory ovens via rail tracks and little wagons. Therefore that draft is a grossly false testimony.
M. Nyiszli and C.S. Bendel, two self-styled members of the so-called "Sonderkommando"  of Birkenau who allegedly lived in the same places at the same time, at first described the alleged gas chambers of Crematory II and III of Birkenau, as measuring 30 x 7 x 2.41 x 200 meters. and then the second so-called eyewitness Bendel, has the premises as being 10 meters long, 4 meters wide, and 1.60 meters high. Now, is it just a minor "detail" that there is such a discrepancy of the two testimonies regarding the measurements of those premises?
And how about the fact that Nyiszli invented and published in the Hungarian newspaper Világ a whole series of articles purporting to be his sworn testimony at the IG-Farben trial which was an entire fabrication?  Another minor "detail"?
And what about the many historical falsifications that I have put into evidence in an appropriate study?  More minor "details"?
Another example of false "convergence" is the description of so-called eyewitnesses F. Müller and M. Nyiszli regarding the alleged gassing process where the first one plagiarized the second one (using the German translation which appeared in the magazine " Quick " of Munich in 1961 with the title Auschwitz. Tagebuch eines Lagerarztes ), where it invented a scene falsely describing Zyklon B as being used for alleged homicidal gassings supposedly consisting of chlorine so that consequently it would have been greater than the density of air. So we have a "convergence," alright, but of a lie. Another "convergence" of a lie is the "tall tale" of so-called metallic net devices for allegedly introducing Zyklon B into presumed homicidal gas chambers of Crematory II and III, ostensibly manufactured by M. Kula and allegedly "seen" by H. Tauber – devices that never existed!  So this is how they fabricate "convergence of evidence"! We shall present other examples.
Point 2 of the methodology principles of Shermer and Grobman reads that "if an individual is known to have stretched the facts before, it obviously undermines his or her credibility." In other words, if an individual is a liar, that individual is not credible. But just look at how these Court Historians disregard this principle with their eyewitnesses! As far as eyewitnesses at Auschwitz goes, I assert with certainty and without fear of refutation that nobody – and I emphasize nobody – has told the truth about the crematory ovens of Birkenau, but all – and I emphasize all of them have under false pretenses shamelessly lied about the conduction and cremation capacity of these systems, topping with the apex of ridiculous absurdities such as D. Paisikovic (that cremation took 4 minutes!)  and of S. Jankowski alias A. Feinsilber (that in every muffle 12 corpses at a time were cremated!) and of M. Nyiszli (that the capacity of Birkenau crematory was 20,000 corpses per day!)
How about verification of sources? Here we have a book of over 300 pages, in which Shermer and Grobman not only claim they refuted all the theses of all the Revisionists, and purport to have demonstrated that the so-called Holocaust really happened, and the authors generally entrust themselves to second hand sources as far as testimonies are concerned, and as far as documents are concerned, they cite only four.
Since their published methodology imposes upon Shermer and Grobman the obligation to verify sources, one would expect they had checked their references. Let's verify.
On page 107 they have SS – Standartenführer Paul Blobel in connection with so-called "Aktion 1005" (more on this in section 3 of Chapter III), to which they cite document PS-3197 (note 20 on page 272), but the correct reference is No-3947, affidavit of Paul Blobel dated 18 June 1947.
On page 175 Shermer and Grobman falsely state:
"On November 26, 1945, at the first Nuremberg trial, the Nazi physician Dr. Wilhelm Hoettel [sic] testified..."
In reality Wilhem Höttl never testified at Nuremberg; the authors take for a "testimony" a simple "affidavit" redacted on 26 November 1945 (Document PS-2738, as is indicated on page 277, note 5).
On page 186 the authors purport a passage of a speech by Hans Frank, head of the Generalgouvernement on 7 October 1940. The reference they give is PS-3363 (note 28 p. 278). But in reality that speech (to which we shall return in Section 7/1 of Chapter III) really occurred on 20 December 1940 and the actual document is PS-2233!
On page 194, Shermer and Grobman state there was a report by Himmler to Hitler dated 29 December 1942 which they reference as "N.D. 1120, prosecution exhibit 237" (note 47 p.279). But in reality this refers to document N0-511.
This is how Shermer and Grobman respect their obligation to verify their sources!
And with their failure to comply with point 4 of their methodological decalogue in mind, here we have these authors stating
"the deniers' elaborate conspiracy theories about how the Jews have concocted the Holocaust history in order to extract reparations from Germany and support for Israel from Americans."
Previously Shermer and Grobman had written that "some deniers" assert that
"there was a conspiracy by Zionists to exaggerate the plight of Jews during the war in order to finance the State of Israel through war reparations ." (p. 106).
As a source for this foolish "tall tale" Shermer and Grobman present the following in their Note 13 on page 271:
"See P. Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth: A Study of the Nazi Concentration Camps and the Alleged Extermination of European Jewry (Los Angeles: Noontide Press, 1978)."
Now that reference does not cite any page because that "tall tale" was invented by the authors; it is nothing other than a passage in the preface of a book by Pierre Hofstetter, who stated that
"...the entire Zionist establishment has built the State of Israel on the myth of the six million."
That is the Zionists have taken advantage of, not created, this "myth."
Concerning R. Faurisson , Shermer and Grobman present even more dishonesty; on page 59 they write:
"In a 1987 publication, for example, he [Faurisson] claimed that British Holocaust historian Martin Gilbert had misstated the size of a gas chamber in order to make it fit an eyewitness account of the number of Jews gassed there on a particular occasion. Faurisson failed to take into account the simple fact that eyewitness details may be inadvertently inaccurate (in this case possibly exaggerated) and thus perhaps Gilbert's source was incorrect."
So this was supposed to have been a "blunder" by Faurisson.
We are verifying, according to the requirement of the methodological decalogue of the authors.
In a report of 6 May 1945, Kurt Gerstein wrote that from 700 to 800 people were placed into a gas chamber of 25 square meters and 45 cubic meters. which would mean that 28 to 32 persons could occupy a square meter! Here's how Martin Gilbert put this in 1979:
"About seven to eight hundred people in an area of about a hundred square meters." 
Therefore M. Gilbert did not " misstate" the size of the alleged gas chamber, but falsified the data contained in the original document because it is so absurd. As for the authors, it is precisely they who have made the big "blunder," because after all, in the first place, they didn't verify the source of M. Gilbert and in the second place they invented the 'tall tale' from another source which they used!
Continuing with the reading:
"He made a similar blunder over his analysis of the famous Gerstein document. Kurt Gerstein was an SS officer involved in ordering Zyklon-B gas used for both delousing and homicide who, before he died in captivity after the war, gave testimony to the homicidal use of the fumigant. Faurisson and others looked for internal contradictions in his confession, claiming, for example, that the number of victims packed into the gas chambers could not have physically fit. It turns out that Faurisson was basing his estimates on the number of people who fit comfortably into a subway car; others (including deniers) have since disproved his estimates." (pp. 59-60).
The reference is supposed to be in the book by P. Vidal-Naquet, Assassins of Memory (1992), 65-74, (Note 65, page 267). In reality, in this book there is not a trace of this silly "tall tale," which has been invented by Shermer and Grobman. Those authors are not even shrewd enough to realize that this is their "blunder" regarding the same passage of the same document of their previous citation! Now, in order to demonstrate the impossibility that in their presumed gas chamber where there were supposed to be compressed 28 to32 people per square meter, was there really any need of a comparison with a subway car? Both M. Gilbert and the Jewish historian L. Poliakov intuitively understood, so much so that they both falsified the data of K. Gerstein! 
But the methods of the adversaries of Revisionism are not aberrant merely in one field. Here are other examples from Shermer and Grobman.
They recount that on 27 February 1993 Mark Weber was
"the victim of a Simon Wiesenthal Center sting operation in which the researcher Yaaron Svoray, calling himself Ron Furey, met with Weber in a café to discuss The Right Way, a magazine invented to trick neo-Nazis into identifying themselves" (pp. 46-47, my emphasis) .
Therefore the prestigious Wiesenthal Center is devoted to deceit and lies! By a singular coincidence, one of the authors of Denying History, Alex Grobman, is "founding editor-in-chief of the Simon Wiesenthal Annual"! (from their book cover).
The second case concerns the former Jewish Revisionist David Cole. In 1998, Robert J. Newman published an announcement on the web page of the notorious Jewish Defense League entitled "David Cole: Monstrous Traitor" which was formulated as a ransom on his life. D. Cole understood perfectly (he "was deadly afraid for his life, that someone would find him and shoot him") and he retracted everything (pp. 72 -73).
To the lies and deceit, threats are also added – not from street hooligans, but from prestigious [! ] Jewish institutes!
Chapter II: The "Convergence of Evidence" of Gas Chambers
1) the six sequences of "convergence of evidence"
In chapter six, mainly about Auschwitz, but also including Majdanek and Mauthausen, the authors purport "proving gas chambers and crematoria were used for genocide" (p. 126). They present six proofs which, as they say, "converge on this conclusion" (p. 128).
Let's examine these "proofs":
- Written documents – orders for Zyklon B (the trade name of hydrocyanic acid, which is embedded in diatomaceous earth pellets), architectural blueprints, and orders for building materials for gas chambers and crematoria
- Zyklon-B gas traces [ sic! ] on the walls of the gas chambers at several camps
- Eyewitness testimony – survivor testimonies, Jewish Sonderkommando diaries, and confessions of guards and commandants
- Ground photographs – not only of the camps, but also of burning corpses (photos taken secretly and smuggled out of Auschwitz)
- Aerial photographs – indicating prisoners being moved toward gas chamber/crematorium complexes, and matching those of ground photographs corroborating gas chambers and crematoria structures
- The extant ruins of camps – examined in light of the above sources of evidence (pp. 127-128).
Now, before refuting this presumed convergence of evidence regarding Auschwitz, Majdanek and Mauthausen, it would be appropriate to explore its nature and its approximate value.
Regarding the ordering of Zyklon B, these authors say nothing. They simply limit themselves to repeating as on page 133, the phrase "orders for Zyklon-B gas" and this constitutes their "convergence of evidence"! But even if they had articulated their argument better (something they evidently were not in a position to do), this "evidence" can only be glaring nonsense. Since Zyklon B was well-known in all German concentration camps for disinfestation, how could it be deduced that this ordinary insecticide was used for mass murder? As an example, getting back to Kurt Gerstein, who was "involved in ordering Zyklon-B gas" (p. 59), Shermer and Grobman present 12 invoices from Degesch in his name concerning the supply of 2,370 kg of Zyklon B from 16 February to 31 May 1944, 1,185 kg for Auschwitz and 1,185 kg for Oranienburg. From what can the assumption be that the supply of Zyklon B to Auschwitz is "evidence" of mass extermination, especially since at Oranienburg (Sachsenhausen) nobody claims there was any mass extermination in homicidal gas chambers using Zyklon B?
The Authors even say nothing on "architectural blueprints, and orders for building materials for gas chambers and crematoria," an intentionally obscure phrase, because it insinuates that documents exist concerning homicidal gas chambers, which is false. As for crematory ovens, there is abundant documentation, but there is no evidence that they were used for the cremation of homicidally gassed persons. Indeed, from the Shermer and Grobman study, the contrary conclusion emerges with certainty: and that is that neither the coke supply nor the duration of the refractory masonry of the muffles could have concurred cremation greater than the number of corpses of registered prisoners who died of natural causes. and this is one convergent evidence of the unreality of homicidal gas chambers of which Shermer and Grobman are silent.
I will address the "Zyklon-B gas traces" below.
There are various examples of the way Court Historians create "convergence" of testimonies: first of all, by extrapolating single passages from testimonies, keeping quiet about the obviously absurd ones, and which according to point 2 of our authors' methodological decalogue, reduces their credibility and renders Shermer and Grobman unreliable. In the second place, silently passing over the enormous reciprocal contradictions concerning essential issues which such testimonies introduce.
We shall see another case of false "convergence" regarding "cremation pits."
Those "ground photographs," including those that show " bodies burning," do not prove anything regarding alleged mass extermination in homicidal gas chambers. As I have demonstrated elsewhere, the practice of burning corpses out in the open at Birkenau was put into effect when the crematory was temporarily out of service and when there was a lack of coke required for running the crematory ovens. This is not a case in which Shermer and Grobman have also let fall this "evidence." The air photographs shall be examined later.
2) Auschwitz Gas Chambers
2.1) "Zyklon-B Traces"
The treatment of this "evidence" begins with the Shermer and Grobman paragraph labeled "Zyklon-B Traces" (p. 129). As I have indicated several times, this foolish phrase is a result of ignorance of terminology regarding this issue. Obviously "Zyklon-B traces" are in reality cyanide traces, which is a very different thing. On this topic, the foremost authority is Germar Rudolf, a chemist by profession, and author of a meticulous scientific study on the "gas chambers" of Auschwitz , which examines the issues of the structures of the disinfestation systems at Auschwitz (Chapter I), of the formation and stability of Prussian blue (iron cyanide) (Chapter II), of the disinfesting gassing procedure with hydrocyanic acid (Chapter III). Moreover, G. Rudolf collected various masonry samples from the disinfesting gas chambers and from the alleged homicidal gas chambers at Birkenau, from which upon chemical analysis, resulted in a maximum of 13.500 mg/kg for the first (gas chamber of BW 5b) and of 6,7 mg/kg for the second one (Leichenkeller I or morgue of Crematory II). These results are reported in Chapter VI, together with the results of previous chemical reports. After the conclusions (Chapter VI), the Germar Rudolf study thoroughly refutes counter-reports regarding homicidal gas chambers. (Chapter VI).
Now, Shermer and Grobman liquidate this fundamental study with a pair of insignificant citations, even deforming the family name of Rudolf, whom they call "Rudolph." They choose between a preliminary study which unavoidably introduced dubious aspects (The Leuchter Report ) and the essential one which is unquestionably scientific. Shermer and Grobman concentrated on the first one and silently passed over the second one which is convenient to their thesis. But also discussing the Leuchter Report, Shermer and Grobman propose arguments which shake up anyone who has a minimal competence in this matter.
On page 131 Shermer and Grobman write as follows:
"Faurisson indicates that there are traces of Zyklon-B in general buildings that were fumigated as well as in the gas chambers; so he concludes that traces of Zyklon-B prove nothing about the homicidal use of gas chambers. According to the pharmacist and extermination camp expert Jean-Claude Pressac, however, Faurisson's defense does not make sense since buildings and morgues are normally disinfected with antiseptics, whether solid (lime, lime chloride), liquid (bleach, cresol), or gas (formaldehyde, sulfur anhydride)" (p. 131, my emphasis).
Well, if there is something here that "does not make sense," it is just such an answer, because although Faurisson did say "disinfection gas chambers," he clearly meant "disinfestation gas chambers, " and with this play on words, these Court Historians constructed alleged "confusing evidence"!
In the construction of such "proof" there is no lack of bad faith , because for example, in the Kalendarium of Auschwitz, Danuta Czech also uses the term "Desinfektion" (disinfection) to indicate the disinfestation [or delousing] with Zyklon B but no official historian has ever indicated that it "does not make sense"!
2.2) The Presumed Solubility of Prussian Blue
On page 132 the authors assert that the ruins of the alleged homicidal gas chambers are "completely exposed to the elements for over half a century." Therefore they leave that to mean that the Prussian blue which formed on the walls had dissipated. They then bring back an argument by D. Cole, which
"...acknowledges that the extant ruins have been exposed to the elements but then wonders why Zyklon-B blue staining remains on the outside of the brick gas chamber at Majdanek, against which the Nazis beat clothing and blankets to remove the gas residue." (p. 132.)
The authors comment:
"Wouldn't these blue stains have washed away in the weather as at Auschwitz? His question sounds reasonable, but when we visited Majdanek we could see that the blue staining on the outside bricks is minimal. Moreover, a roof overhang has protected the bricks from rain and snow, so that the bricks at Majdanek are nowhere near as weathered as the open rubble at Auschwitz." (p. 132).
Now, it is true that the blotches of Prussian blue on external walls of two disinfestation chambers situated behind barrack " Bad und Desinkektion I "of Majdanek are meager, but that on these walls the Nazis had beaten clothing and blankets in order to remove gas residuals is not only false, but also contradictory, because the authors assert that these two premises "were for the express purpose of gassing prisoners" (p. 163). We shall return to this issue.
It is moreover false that the wall at issue was protected – (for decades, according to meaning of the authors, otherwise, their point would be dull) – by an overhang or canopy. This overhang was in fact already in a state of being dismantled as of the camp's liberation in July 1944, and the wall at issue already was exposed to the elements, and so it has remained until today.
But, in the response of the authors, it is not so much what they say, but rather what they don't say. They are silent about the fact that right there in Birkenau, a little more than 300 meters from the ruins of Crematory II and III, the two external walls (North and South) of disinfestation gas chamber of Bauwerk 5b are immense and intense blotches of Prussian blue (in smaller amounts than in the walls of gas chamber BW 5a), already noted by Pressac, who also photographed them! G. Rudolf's thorough demonstration of the extraordinary resistence of Iron Blue against weathering is also ignored. Therefore the authors not only deliberately hide evidence here which refutes their untenable hypotheses, but they try to confirm with bogus evidence.
3) Disappearing Doors and "Locks"
On page 132 Shermer and Grobman, anticipating their treatment of alleged Mauthausen homicidal gas chamber write:
"When a question or a statement has no grounding in evidence, it becomes just a rhetorical device and requires no answer. Consider, as yet another example, Cole's claim that at Mauthausen the door of the gas chamber does not lock. True, the present door does not lock, but that is irrelevant because it is not the original door. All we had to do to find out that fact was ask."
Subsequently they add that "the gas chamber's original door is now in a museum." (p. 168).
Therefore "the" door to the gas chamber is not original: the original is to be found "in a museum" and to know all about it, all one needs to do is "ask"! As is seen, Shermer and Grobman , who want detailed analysis on the reliability of Revisionist sources, adduce absolutely reliable sources here!
It's also necessary to note that the spirit of observation of the authors is not very sharp, given that they also visited the alleged gas chamber at Mauthausen (of which they also published one of their photographs), are not aware that the premises has two doors: but then why do they assert that "the" door to the premises is not original? Here is a typical example of an affirmation that "has no grounding in evidence" and therefore becomes "just a rhetorical device"! A device that moreover denotes the singular ignorance of Shermer and Grobman, in perfect accord with D. Cole, who seriously believe that the gas chamber had a "lock"! In reality, the gas-tight doors closed with joint levers on slabs knit in the metallic chassis of the door, such as are quite visible on all the disinfestation chambers at Majdanek. Shermer and Grobman also saw this, and even made a photograph as is shown on page 167 figure 29, but they have understood nothing of their functioning.
4) The "Reconstruction" of Auschwitz Crematory I
On page 132 Shermer and Grobman write:
"What about the "evidence" that Cole, Leuchter and Faurisson do present, such as their "finding" that the residue from Zyklon-B in the gas chamber at Crematorium I at Auschwitz (the original camp converted from a Polish army barracks) does not reach a level consistent with extermination? Significantly, they fail to mention in their writings that this building was reconstructed using both original materials and those from other buildings. Who knows what they actually "tested" in their research?"
Here Shermer and Grobman resort to one more falsehood: as we know, Crematory I never was demolished and never was reconstructed. The source which they cite, the book of Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt (note 35 on page 275), says in fact that yes, Crematory I was "reconstructed," but it is clear that this refers to a presumed restoring to the original state with the reconstruction of the chimney, of two crematory ovens, and with the realization of four apertures or openings for the introduction of Zyklon B through the ceiling of the mortuary chamber (the alleged gas chamber)  which never were destroyed. In order to avoid someone discovering more falsehoods, the authors then committed more "errors" in the citing of the reference to that work as "pp. 274 to 278" instead of p. 364!
5) An Original "Gas Chamber" Although Reconstructed!
And here the final pseudo reasoning, as worthy a conclusion as those previously:
"David cole, in his documentary of his visit to Auschwitz, dramatically proclaims that he got the museum director to "confess" that the gas chamber was a reconstruction and thus a "lie" thrust upon an unwitting public. We see this as classic denier hyperbole and ideological flag waving. No one at Auschwitz – from the guides to the director – denies that the gas chamber there is a reconstruction. A visitor has only to ask." (p.133).
This could also be true, but this refers to when the authors visited the camp, up until the end of the 1990s , but it was not true in 1992, when David Cole recorded at Auschwitz. Naturally Shermer and Grobman know this very well, because in the documentary video at issue, D. Cole did not do anything other than to "ask" a guide, by the name of Alicia. Here are the essential parts of their conversation:
"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 is to 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 holes in the ceiling.
Are these the original four holes in the ceiling?
It is original. Through this chimney was dropped Zyklon B." 
Already in 1995, Krystyna Oleksy, civil employee of the director of the Museum, regarding the presumed gas chamber declared to journalist Eric Conan:
« Pour l'instant, on la laisse en l'état et on ne précise rien au visiteur. C'est trop compliqué ».
As if the guides did not have to tell visitors that the premises were (poorly) restructured in order for them to believe that it was a homicidal gas chamber in its original state! Here we don't find the façade of a "classic denier hyperbole," but of a classic false contention of Shermer and Grobman.
Translated and Edited by Russ Granata
(The second part of this paper has yet to be translated; ed.)
- University of California, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 2000; published in 2002 as paperback. When quoting the book I subsequently merely give the page numbers.
- See chapter I.
- This strange subtitle is due to the fact that the italian anti-revisionist Valentina Pisanty, whose book L'irritante questione delle camere a gas Mattogno analyzes in this study, is a fairy tale researcher and a specialist in the field of studying and interpreting the story of Little Red Riding Hood.
- Both papers are posted on www.vho.org; see also "An Accountant Poses as Cremation Expert," in: G. Rudolf, C. Mattogno, Auschwitz-Lies, Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago 2005, pp. 87-194.
- Already before the appearance of my second response, J.C. Zimmerman had authored a book entitled Holocaust Denial. Demographics, Testimonies and Ideologies (University Press of America, Lanham, New York, Oxford, 2000), in which he merely repeated the threadbare arguments of his two earlier papers without mentioning my response.
- Cf. in this regard P. Rassinier, La menzogna di Ulisse. Graphos, Genova 1996, pp. 153-256. (The French original appered in 1950 under the title Le mensonge d'Ulysse (The Lie of Odysseus), translator's note.)
- E.g. Georges Wellers "Les chambres à gas ont existé" (Gallimard, Paris 1981) and the anthology Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas, S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt/Main 1983 (Engl.: Nazi Mass Murder, Yale Univ. Press, New Haven 1993).
- G. Reitlinger, The Final Solution. The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe 1939-1945. Vallentine, Mitchell, London 1953, 1965, pp. 150-152.
- Trial of Josef Kramer and Forty-four Others (The Belsen Trial), edited by Raymond Philips. William Hodge and Company Limited, London-Edinbourgh-Glasgow 1946, pp. 66-78.
- This utterly fatastic report contains a description of the crematories II and III of Birkenau including a pertinent drawing, which is riddled with inventions. Vrba and Wetzler depict the alleged gas chamber (the semi-basement morgue 1) as being on the same level with the furnace room and connect them with a narrow gauge railway, which in reality did not exist. In addition, their drawing contains nine furnaces arranged around the chimney, whereas the crematories II and III contained five linerarily arranged three-muffle ovens. The drawing of the Vrba Wetzler report as well as the actual blueprint of the crematories can be found in my study Olocausto: dilettanti allo sbaraglio, Edizioni di Ar, Padova 1996, pp. 293f.
- Cf. my study Auschwitz: due false testimonianze, Edizioni La Sfinge, Parma 1986, pp. 19-25.
- This expression is not documented. No known document calls the staff of the crematories Sonderkommando. However, there were at least 11 "Sonderkommandos" in Birkenau which had nothing to do with the crematories. Cf. abut this my study Special treatment in Auschwitz. Theses & Dissertation Press, Chicago, 2004, pp. 101-103.
- M. Nyiszli, Im Jenseits der Menschlichkeit. Ein Gerichtsmediziner in Auschwitz. Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1992, pp. 34-35. The hungarian original reads: "...ez a terem olyan nagyságú, mint a vetkezőterem" ("this hall is just as large as the undressing room"), i.e. it was 200 m long. (Dr. Mengele boncolóorvosa voltam az auschwitz-i krematóriumban. Copyright by Dr. Nyiszli Miklos, Oradea, Nagyvárad, 1946, p. 34) In the german version this sentence has been wrongly translated as: "...in den nächsten, ebenfalls hell erleuchteten Raum" (in the next, equally brightly lit room).
- NI-11593, pp. 2 and 4.
- Cf. Olocausto: dilettanti a convegno, Effepi, Genova 2002, p. 51.
- "Medico ad Auschwitz": anatomia di un falso. Edizioni La Sfinge, Parma 1988.
- On this see my book Auschwitz: un caso di plagio. Edizioni La Sfinge, Parma 1986.
- On this see my paper “No Holes, no gas chamber(s)” in: The Revisionist 2(4) (2004), pp. 387-410.
- Rijksinstituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie, Amsterdam, c96 : ("die Leichen verbrannten in etwa 4 Minuten"); cf. L. Poliakov, Auschwitz. Julliard, Paris 1964, pp. 162.
- Inmitten des grauenvollen Verbrechens. Handschriften von Mitgliedern des Sonderkommandos. Verlag des Staatlichen Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, 1996, p. 37 ("in einer dieser Öffnungen konnten 12 Leichen Platz finden").
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- The respective text can be found online at http://vho.org/aaargh/engl/RassArch/PRdebunk/PRdebunkIntro.html
- PS-2170, p. 5.
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- Even L. Poliakov is guilty of forgery by turning the 25 square meters of the original into 93 square meters. Breviaire de la haine, Calmann-Lévy, Paris 1979, p. 223.
- See www.codoh.com/cole/Traitor_amer.html sowie M. Shermer, Skeptic, 6(1) (1998), pp. 23ff.
- On this cf. C. Mattogno, "The Crematoria Ovens of Auschwitz and Birkenau", in: Germar Rudolf (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust. The Growing Critique of "Truth" and "Memory", 2nd ed., Theses and Dissertations Press, Chicago 2003, pp. 373-412.
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Additional information about this document
|Title:||Denying History and Truth, Exposing the Phony "Holocaust" "convergence of evidence" of not-so-skeptic Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman. A Review|
|First posted on CODOH:||June 29, 2001, 7 p.m.|
|Comments:||Review of: "Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why do they say it?," by Michael Shermer & Alex Grobman|