How the Standard Holocaust Narrative Got off the Ground
A Book Review
Published: 2018-01-28

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Commandant in Auschwitz: Rudolf Höss, His Torture and His Forced Confessions. Carlo Mattogno and Rudolf Höss, English translation by Germar Rudolf. Castle Hill Publishers, Uckfield, U.K, 2017, trade paperback, 402 pp.

C. Mattogno, R. Höss: 'Commandant in Auschwitz: Rudolf Höss, His Torture and His Forced Confessions'

Carlo Mattogno, Rudolf Höss, Commandant of Auschwitz: Rudolf Höss, His Torture and His Forced Confessions, Castle Hill Publishers, Uckfield, UK, Nov. 2017; 402 pages pb, 6"×9", bibliography, index, ISBN: 9781591481911. Read it free of charge or purchase a hard copy here.

Hellishly flaming crematoria. Lines of doomed Jews trudging through the snow from cattle cars. Heartless selektions. Gas chambers! It’s all part of the gruesome furniture with which the minds of going on three generations of Westerners have been filled since the swastika flag finally came down for the last time. The insanely cruel and destructive assault upon Jewry by every non-Jew in Germany is indelibly branded upon the knowledge of every Westerner—including Germans—from childhood.

Like success itself, the wildly successful story of the Six Million has many authors,[1] whose ranks at this late remove still show no signs of slowing in their phenomenal growth. But pride of place in the composition and certification of the Greatest Crime in History may belong to the unfortunate SS Lieutenant Colonel from Baden-Baden whom the British nabbed in occupied Germany almost a year after the end of the war and charged with crimes committed during his tenure as commandant of the concentration camp at Auschwitz. Over the ensuing 401 days and nights, Obersturmbannführer Höss admitted to practically all the charges and obligingly if not credibly supplied virtually the entire outline of the Holocaust Story that reigns (literally, by law) supreme everywhere in the Western world to this day. He not only authoritatively supplied the horrifying, fascinating details, he did it mostly in 1946, that is, very early in the game, and he willingly signed a total of 85 affidavits and depositions in German, English and Polish—so many in fact that voluminous quotations from these qualify him to be named as co-author of the book here reviewed. His own co-author, maestro massimo of the Holocaust Carlo Mattogno, was born six years after Höss’s death by hanging at the hands of Polish executioners in that very same Auschwitz—by then reverted to its Polish name of Oswiecim—of which he had had charge for years during World War II.

Few authors indeed in the history of the written word could be said to have as profoundly influenced the content of popular belief around the world than this devoted family man who resided with his wife and five children in a house on the very grounds of the “death camp” he is said to have commanded during the war. Just how this came to be in the years following his execution would be a fascinating chronicle whose particulars would surely rival those of the aftermath of the Crucifixion, though with execration, rather than veneration, for the martyr at the heart of the story. But that is not the book here reviewed.

The first matter addressed by this paragon of meticulous historiography is exactly what Höss said (wrote, attested to), how he said it, where and when. The full-depth approach taken here—the signature approach taken by Mattogno in whatever subject he investigates—enables the reader both to trace the unfolding of what is largely Höss’s creation and to observe the glaring inconsistencies between successive presentations of the same subject, a process the author defers to Part II, the larger part by a slight margin of this magisterial work. Doing this obviously required, along with inexhaustible patience, careful scrutiny and a steel-trap memory for thousands of details, but fluency in at least English, German and Polish. Mattogno wrote in Italian and did not rely on translators for the source languages. English-language material is quoted verbatim, while translations from source material in other languages was translated into English directly from the source language.

It is chiefly in Part I that the damning specifics of Höss’s odyssey through the horror-house of vengeance erected and operated by the victorious Allies in Europe is described, beginning with the terrorization of Höss’s wife and children to extract information permitting Höss’s own capture and continuing with the torture that dominated the first weeks of Höss’s time in Allied captivity. The lessons taught Höss in the benefits of cooperation with his captors are vividly portrayed in the descriptions of his handling. By the time in late 1946 when Höss was transferred to (Communist) Polish authorities, Höss had apparently mastered the life-or-death art of eliciting less-cruel, if not actually gentle, treatment from those who obviously wanted crackling good testimony from their prize captive. If only in behalf of his still-threatened family, Höss seems to have developed a large appetite for decent treatment; that in satisfying it, he condemned present and future generations of his countrymen to inextinguishable guilt and calumny seems not to have occurred to him, and indeed it would seem that such an outlandish eventuality would not have occurred to any reasonable person, even one not subject to the irresistible incentives that Defendant Höss was subject to.

The scholarly “heavy lifting” is undertaken in Part II, where the content of Höss’s testimony is analyzed both in relation to the context of events surrounding the testimony and to other testimony given by Höss on related matters—the fitting together of the pieces, to use the analogy of a puzzle or other such integrated whole. It is in this process that the image of a “motivated witness” becomes apparent, and the artifacts of fictional creativity emerge. Not until the last section (Conclusions) does Mattogno voice his interpretation that the “star witness” had indeed become starstruck in his role as the center of attention. Mattogno here implicitly neglects the fact that Höss remained as much concerned as ever not only for sparing himself any reprise of the torture to which he had been prolongedly subjected the previous year, but also for the continued safety of his wife and five children. Mattogno further ignores the Grand Prize to be at least theoretically hoped for by anyone in Höss’s predicament: clemency, or even mere delay in the imposition of the ultimate punishment.

Höss was ultimately hanged, and if Mattogno overlooked the notion that Höss might however unrealistically have hoped to be spared this outcome, perhaps it might be noted that Mattogno ruthlessly suppresses and expunges any and every flight of imagination from his exacting analyses without fail. Mattogno’s legendary scrupulousness in analysis of facts may be the very thing that limits him in the necessarily speculative contemplation of counterfact. But counterfact everywhere and always ultimately drives fact, so I will cite Jett Rucker’s insightful analysis on titled “Telling Stories to Stay Alive: Rudolf Höss vs. Scheherazade,” which lays out the theory quite adequately.

In a final letter to his wife, reproduced in this book, Höss contritely tells her not only that he expects to be executed, but that he deserves to be executed. He expressed such thoughts on other occasions also recorded and cited in the book. He presumably did expect to be executed. But his saying so did not in any way increase the likelihood that he would be executed. To the contrary, if they had any effect at all on the likelihoods in play at the time, they would have militated against finally executing him. Ruling such strategies out of the condemned man’s mind would contradict Samuel Johnson’s famous quip, “Depend upon it, Sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.


[1] Aside from outright frauds such as Binjamin Wilkomirski, the opportunists riding this “juggernaut of conscience” include Rainer Höss, grandson of the commandant, who claims that, if magically he could somehow meet his grandfather, he would kill him.

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Author(s): Ezra Macvie
Title: How the Standard Holocaust Narrative Got off the Ground, A Book Review
Sources: Inconvenient History, Vol. 10, No. 1 (winter 2018)
Published: 2018-01-28
First posted on CODOH: Jan. 28, 2018, 12:55 p.m.
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