David Irving's Reply to Jeffrey Shallit's Lies of Our Times
Published: 1997-02-28

Professor Jeffrey Shallit
Associate Professor
Computer Science Department
University of Waterloo,
Waterloo, Ontario
Canada

London, […]

Dear Professor Shallit,

I am not a subscriber to the Internet, but over the last few months I have heard repeatedly about scurrilous materials which you have been posting on that medium; at least you have had the courage to put your name to them as author, although this lays you open to the kind of lawsuit which I have started conducting--and winning--here in the British courts.

I have so far seen versions of your Shallit's Report, and of your "Lies of Our Times." You appear to be interested in the Truth, and that being so I am making these comments to assist you in the search for that elusive quantité.

It appears that your primary source is a handout or handouts of the Wiener Library (Dr David Cesarini) and of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who have furnished the League of Human Rights of the B'nai Brith Canada with two lengthy secret reports which are the subject of dispute between me and the Board under both the Data Protection Act 1984 (the Board at first denied having any data on me), and the Defamation Act 1952 (the Board's solicitor is negotiating with me for permission to withdraw the reports in toto, in return for an undertaking by me not to pursue the matter in the courts).

First, your "article" Lies of Our Times (forgive the quotation marks, but as you call me an "historian" it seems justified).

David Irving


David John Cawdell Irving is a British "historian", born in 1938.

Correct.

According to David Cesarani of the Wiener Library in London, England, he attended Imperial College at the University of London, but never graduated. He holds no academic degree and no academic position at any university or college.

Correct. The same can be said for Winston S. Churchill, Thomas Babington Macaulay (The History of England), and the Gibbon who wrote The Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire, etc. Would you denigrate them as "historians" too?

He calls himself a "moderate fascist",

Incorrect. Please produce the source of this spurious and libellous allegation.

and claims, among other things that the gas chambers at Auschwitz (in which an estimated 2-3 million people died) were "built by the Poles after the war as a tourist attraction."

Not quite correct. I stated (on April 21, 1990 and other occasions): "The gas chamber which is shown to the tourists in Auschwitz is a dummy (Atrappe) built after the war by the Polish communists as a tourist attraction." In 1990, Dr Franciszek Piper, the then director of the Auschwitz State Museum & Archives, confirmed that this is true. As recently as 1995 the present directors confirmed in an interview with Eric Conan, of the well-known liberal French weekly L'Express, that the gas chamber shown to the tourists was constructed on the orders of the Polish communist government in 1948. "Tout y est faux," reported Conan, and the deputy chief of the site stated: "Pour l'instant, on la laisse en l'état et on ne précise rien au visiteur. C'est trop compliqué. On verra plus tard" (L'Express, January 26, 1995)\.

(For this remark, he was fined DM 10,000 by a Munich court in May 1992.

Correct. On January 13, 1993 the fine was increased to DM30,000 in view of my refusal to retract the statement. (Why should I? It was true). In addition, on July 1, 1993 I was permanently banned from setting foot in the German Federal Archives, which had benefited over the years from my donations of half a ton of archival material including the diaries of Canaris, Himmler, Rommel, etc., which I had located, and which they have now had to relinquish to me; and on November 13, 1993 I was permanently banned from Germany. How's that for freedom of speech?

The judge was quoted as saying that the gas chambers of Auschwitz were "an historically certain fact.")

Correct. The word used is offenkundig, and is used in German law to deny defence lawyers the introduction of any defence exhibits or witnesses, e.g. the aforementioned Dr Franciszek Piper whom we were prepared to call. There has been an outcry in the German legal profession against these methods, and Germany is to face a rebuke from the United Nations for her repression of freedom of opinion by such means. Of course, if you believe they are correct to adopt such tactics, such is your right.

Irving denies being a "Holocaust denier" or "Hitler apologist", and seems willing to resort to legal action if necessary.

Correct. Last year one of Britain's biggest Sunday newspapers was forced to pay me substantial damages after they printed such a libel. I issued a Libel Writ in the High Court. (For legal reasons, namely the settlement agreed, I am not permitted to identify the newspaper or the amount, except off the record). I am currently pursuing Libel action in the British courts against The Observer, Deborah Lipstadt, (whose odious little tract has been foolishly published here, i.e. within the jurisdiction, by Penguin UK Ltd) and Svenska Dagbladet. You have been warned!

In a recent fax printed in the K-W Record, he is reported as saying, "I have warned 22 British newspapers that I shall not hesitate to commence libel action if they use smear phrases such like 'Hitler apologist' or 'Holocaust denier' to embellish their writings." But Bernard Levin, writing in The Times of London in May of this year, quoted Irving as saying, "I hope the court will fight a battle for the German people and put an end to the blood lie of the Holocaust which has been told against this country for 50 years."

Irving first entered the headlines in 1970.

Incorrect. Ever since 1963 my books have been the subject of wide comment and much praise in the British media.

In July of that year, he was forced to apologize in the High Court of London for "making a wholly untrue and highly damaging statement about a woman writer."--not an auspicious start for someone who claims to be in pursuit of the truth.

Correct. A Sunday Express journalist, Jill -----, stated that Rolf Hochhuth, the German playwright and one of my closest friends had granted her an exclusive interview. Hochhuth assured me he had not even spoken to her. I mentioned this in a letter to the newspaper's editor. She sued. As I was fighting the hideously costly PQ.17 Libel Action at the time, I had no alternative but to settle out of court-- "shortening the front," is what military commanders call such action. Make of that what you will. Nothing has been heard of that "journalist" since.

Later that year, Irving was back in the headlines, concerning publication of his book, "The Destruction of Convoy PQ17". Ostensibly an expose of an ill-fated 1942 Arctic convoy headed for the Soviet Union during World War II, it eventually resulted in Irving being fined 40,000 British pounds for libel.

Incorrect. In actions for Libel--a tort--the defendant is not fined, but can be required to pay damages. The book was published by Simon & Schuster and other leading publishers around the world. Not bad for an "historian", eh?

Irving's book faulted Captain John Broome, commander of the convoy at the time, saying he was guilty of "downright disobedience" and "downright desertion of the convoy."

Incorrect. No such allegations or quotations are contained within the book.

Broome brought suit against Irving for false statements, and won a judgment in August of 1970. Irving's lawyers appealed, and lost in March, 1971.

Correct. We then appealed to the House of Lords, twice, and lost 4-to-3, which is a pretty close call. Needless to say the insurers of Cassell & Co Ltd, the British publishers, would not have authorised such defence actions had their counsel not studied all the documents available and concluded that we had a powerful defence, based on the Admiralty records; this they in fact did, and wrote Opinions to that effect. Libel actions in Britain are tried by jury. Make of that what you will.

The case is revealing because of what it says about Irving's abilities as a historian and his motives as an author. According to The Times of London, Irving showed a copy of the manuscript to Broome before publication.

Correct. I showed the late Captain Broome the mansucript in 1966, and he agreed to read it and make comment (as did a score of other officers involved); breaking his undertaking, he alone decided not to co-operate, but to wait for publication and then sue for profit. So be it.

Broome objected to the accuracy of some thirty passages in the book, and threatened to sue for libel if Irving did not make changes.

Incorrect. He objected in reality to six words ("Captain Broome was a broken man"), and after these words were expunged, years later, his lawyers permitted the book's republication by William Kimber Ltd.

At that point, William Kimbers Ltd., Irving's publisher, notified him that they would not publish the book as it was then written.

Incorrect. I was in dispute with William Kimber after they paid me only £67 instead of the agreed fee of £200 for translating the book, The Memoirs or Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel. This being so, I removed the PQ17 manuscript physically from their offices; Kimber's secretary came running down the street after me, pleading for me to return it. I keep a very detailed diary of events. In court, Kimber, already probably suffering from the Parkinsonism from which he later died, gave a totally different version, namely yours; he later apologised to me, which did not assist me much of course. Unfortunately, our counsel elected to call no witnesses in the case but to rest securely on the Admiralty documents.

Later, Irving published the book with another publisher.

The court found that Irving "was warned from most responsible quarters that his book contained libels on Captain Broome ... To make [the book] a success he was ready to risk libel actions ... Documentary evidence .... showed that [Irving] had deliberately set out to attack Captain Broome and in spite of the most explicit warnings persisted in his attack because it would help sell the book." The court labeled Irving's conduct as "outrageous and shocking."

Irving's misrepresentations did not end with the publication of his book. According to Cesarani, in 1979 a German publisher had to pay compensation to the father of Anne Frank after printing the German edition of Irving's book, Hitler's War. Irving had claimed that Anne Frank's diary was a forgery.

Correct as written. Without consulting me, the Ullstein Verlag publishing firm (part of the pro-Israeli Axel Springer Group) made some unspecified payment to Otto Frank at his demand. I had already halted production and publication of the book for other reasons (tampering by Ullstein with my text). The German Bundeskriminalamt found that parts of the diary had been written in (post-war) ballpoint ink-paste, which made its authenticity problematic. My opinion on it now is ambivalent: it is unimportant, not a historical document of any value.

Irving claims that according to his "research", the Holocaust is greatly exaggerated.

Correct. I think the figures have been magnified by an Order of Magnitude. Events in Auschwitz alone suggest that I am right:: here the figure has been effortlessly brought down from 4 million to 1 million, and now to even less.

(He was recently quoted in the K-W Record as saying that the number of Jews who died in concentration camps was "of the order of 100,000 or more.")

Incorrect. Do you really believe all the newspapers say? I may have said "killed", not "died".

But during the 1988 trial of pro-Nazi publisher Ernst Zundel, he was forced to admit under cross-examination that he hadn't even read all of Eichmann's 1960 trial testimony. (In this testimony, Eichmann admitted that Nazi leaders discussed the so-called "Final Solution to the Jewish problem"--extermination, in 1942.)

Incorrect. I have Eichmann's manuscript memoirs, given to me in Buenos Aires in November 1991. He states that to him Final Solution always meant the Madagascar Solution. Anyway, do you really want to base your case on the utterances of a Nazi war criminal?

In November 1991, a reporter from The Independent showed that Irving omitted crucial lines from a translation of Goebbels' diaries--lines that would have contradicted his theory that Hitler knew nothing about the extermination of the Jews.

Incorrect. Which "crucial lines" am I supposed to have omitted?

Irving's record is clear: he is not an historian, and he has made false statements and been forced to apologize for them. As Andrew Cohen, reporter for the Financial Post, has said, "David Irving should be denied credibility."

Well, that really wants to make me hang up my shingle: namely, that a shyster from a money-rag doesn't believe me. What a waste of kilobytes, when there are megabytes of reputable historians saying precisely the opposite about me.

Yours sincerely,

David Irving
Focal Point Publications


The following is the full text of the article by Mr. Shallit that Mr. Irving quotes in the preceding letter.

Lies of our Times

How the Words of the Holocaust Deniers and Their Allies
Show Them For What They Are

By Jeffrey Shallit

1. Background

Canada has a long tradition of tolerance and multiculturalism. That's why many residents of the K-W area were shocked and saddened to learn that a stereo store on King Street in Kitchener was displaying posters advertising a talk by David Irving, a self-described historian who says that the estimates of six million Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II are greatly exaggerated. Inside the store, according to the K-W Record, one can find for sale a book by Fred Leuchter that claims that the gas chambers at Auschwitz were never used for mass killing. After local protests, the store owner retaliated by putting up posters about the banking system based on the writings of anti-Semite Eustace Mullins. Subsequently, these posters were taken down by the store owner, but one explicitly anti-Semitic flyer still remains. The Kitchener-Waterloo Record recently carried a letter to the editor by Paul Fromm, director of "Canadian Association for Free Expression, Inc.". This letter defended neo-Nazi publisher Ernst Zundel, saying, "Zundel was dragged through the courts for nine years ... MERELY for his UNPOPULAR views." [emphasis mine]

Who are Michael Rothe, David Irving, Fred Leuchter, Eustace Mullins, and Paul Fromm, and what do they stand for?

2. Michael Rothe

Michael Rothe is the owner of European Sound Imports, at 109 King Street W. in Kitchener. According to the K-W Record, he is a native of southern Germany, who came to Canada eight years ago. His stereo store might appear harmless on the outside, but on the inside, one can obtain anti-Semitic propaganda from a variety of sources. According to the Record, in addition to the book by Fred Leuchter mentioned above, one can also purchase a booklet on the court battles of pro-Nazi publisher Ernst Zundel. Rothe also believes that the Holocaust has been greatly exaggerated, and that there is a world-wide Jewish conspiracy behind it. "They want money. When they have money they have power," he has been quoted as saying. Although Rothe has claimed, "I have not seen a neo-Nazi before," according to the Record, he attended a recent "victory party" for Ernst Zundel, and Zundel was recently sighted at his store. When I asked Rothe if he knew what Irving would speak on, he claimed, "Irving comes to speak on Germany ... only Germany." When I pointed out that this was false, that Irving actually spends a significant portion of his speeches discussing how the Holocaust is a hoax, he repeated, "No, that is wrong — Irving only speaks about Germany." However, the posters Rothe himself has put up belie this claim--they list the Holocaust as a topic of Irving's speech.

3. David Irving

David John Cawdell Irving is a British "historian", born in 1938.

According to David Cesarani of the Wiener Library in London, England, he attended Imperial College at the University of London, but never graduated. He holds no academic degree and no academic position at any university or college.

He calls himself a "moderate fascist", and claims, among other things that the gas chambers at Auschwitz (in which an estimated 2-3 million people died) were "built by the Poles after the war as a tourist attraction." (For this remark, he was fined DM 10,000 by a Munich court in May 1992.

The judge was quoted as saying that the gas chambers of Auschwitz were "an historically certain fact.")

Irving denies being a "Holocaust denier" or "Hitler apologist", and seems willing to resort to legal action if necessary.

In a recent fax printed in the K-W Record, he is reported as saying, "I have warned 22 British newspapers that I shall not hesitate to commence libel action if they use smear phrases such like 'Hitler apologist' or 'Holocaust denier' to embellish their writings." But Bernard Levin, writing in The Times of London in May of this year, quoted Irving as saying, "I hope the court will fight a battle for the German people and put an end to the blood lie of the Holocaust which has been told against this country for 50 years." Irving first entered the headlines in 1970.

In July of that year, he was forced to apologize in the High Court of London for "making a wholly untrue and highly damaging statement about a woman writer."--not an auspicious start for someone who claims to be in pursuit of the truth.

Later that year, Irving was back in the headlines, concerning publication of his book, "The Destruction of Convoy PQ17".

Ostensibly an expose of an ill-fated 1942 Arctic convoy headed for the Soviet Union during World War II, it eventually resulted in Irving being fined 40,000 British pounds for libel.

Irving's book faulted Captain John Broome, commander of the convoy at the time, saying he was guilty of "downright disobedience" and "downright desertion of the convoy." Broome brought suit against Irving for false statements, and won a judgment in August of 1970.

Irving's lawyers appealed, and lost in March, 1971.

The case is revealing because of what it says about Irving's abilities as a historian and his motives as an author.

According to the Times of London, Irving showed a copy of the manuscript to Broome before publication. Broome objected to the accuracy of some thirty passages in the book, and threatened to sue for libel if Irving did not make changes.

At that point, William Kimbers Ltd., Irving's publisher, notified him that they would not publish the book as it was then written. Later, Irving published the book with another publisher.

The court found that Irving "was warned from most responsible quarters that his book contained libels on Captain Broome ... To make [the book] a success he was ready to risk libel actions ... Documentary evidence .... showed that [Irving] had deliberately set out to attack Captain Broome and in spite of the most explicit warnings persisted in his attack because it would help sell the book." The court labeled Irving's conduct as "outrageous and shocking."

Irving's misrepresentations did not end with the publication of his book.

According to Cesarani, in 1979, a German publisher had to pay compensation to the father of Anne Frank after printing the German edition of Irving's book, Hitler's War.

Irving had claimed that Anne Frank's diary was a forgery.

Irving claims that according to his "research", the Holocaust is greatly exaggerated.

(He was recently quoted in the K-W Record as saying that the number of Jews who died in concentration camps was "of the order of 100,000 or more.") But during the 1988 trial of pro-Nazi publisher Ernst Zundel, he was forced to admit under cross-examination that he hadn't even read all of Eichmann's 1960 trial testimony.

(In this testimony, Eichmann admitted that Nazi leaders discussed the so-called "Final Solution to the Jewish problem''-- extermination, in 1942.) In November 1991, a reporter from The Independent showed that Irving omitted crucial lines from a translation of Goebbels' diaries — lines that would have contradicted his theory that Hitler knew nothing about the extermination of the Jews.

Irving's record is clear: he is not an historian, and he has made false statements and been forced to apologize for them.

As Andrew Cohen, reporter for The Financial Post, has said, "David Irving should be denied credibility."

4. Eustace Mullins

According to analyst Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates, Mullins is quite simply, "the most vicious anti-Semite on the face of the planet." Eustace Clarence Mullins, born in 1923, is the author of a biography of Ezra Pound (a copy exists in the University of Waterloo library). But he is also the author of numerous truly bizarre tracts published by small Christian publishers. Some of these, like the excerpt recently posted and then removed by Kitchener store owner Rothe, are critiques of the banking system. Berlet says, "Mullins masks his anti-Semitism with a critique of the [U.S.] Federal Reserve System." In a 1952 book, Mullins wrote a book blaming Paul Warburg, Bernard Baruch, and other U.S. Jews for drowning Americans in debt.

According to Mullins, The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 put the nation's banking reserves in the hands of the "Jewish International Bankers" for the purpose of carrying out a plan for world dictatorship. In a 1955 article entitled, "Jews mass poison American children", Mullins claimed that the polio vaccine, invented by Jonas Salk, was a poison because it contains live polio germs. Other books depict Jews as parasites, living off their gentile hosts. In what has to be one of the most bizarre of Mullins' beliefs, it has been reported by L. J. Davis that Mullins has claimed that the phrase "Have a nice day" is a code for Jews to begin killing Christians. Mullins' writings have been adopted wholesale by violent extremists in the US, such as the Posse Comitatus. Should we not be more than a little worried to see those writings appearing in the window of a store in Kitchener?

5. Fred Leuchter

Rothe sells the "Leuchter report" in his store, a book purporting to be an engineer's refutation of the existence of gas chambers in Poland. (David Irving also uses Leuchter's report to support his claims.) What Rothe will not tell you, however, is that Fred Leuchter is not an engineer. Rothe also won't tell you that, according to the Boston Globe, Leuchter admitted to illegally collecting 20 pounds of building and soil samples in Poland, and that Leuchter's "analysis" has been thoroughly rebutted in a report by French pharmacist Jean-Claude Pressac. Pressac "noted that Leuchter never looked at documents in the Auschwitz Museum, and failed to study German blueprints of the gas chambers." Leuchter is a self-described expert in the construction of execution machines. With his false credentials, he convinced authorities in several states in the U.S. to let him construct execution machinery for their prisons. But in 1990, according to the New York Times, his misrepresentations began to unravel. The Attorney General of Alabama questioned his expertise. Illinois terminated his contract after determining that his machine for injecting cyanide would cause prisoners unnecessary pain. Then, in October 1990, Leuchter was charged with fraud in Massachusetts. It was revealed that he had only a bachelor's degree in history, and was not licensed to practice engineering in Massachusetts. In June 1991, to avoid a trial in which he would surely have been convicted, Leuchter admitted that, "I am not and have never been registered as a professional engineer", and that he had falsely represented himself as one. Under the consent agreement, Leuchter agreed to stop "using in any manner whatsoever the title 'engineer'", and to stop distribution of the Leuchter report. Despite the agreement, one can still obtain copies of the report from Rothe's store in Kitchener. According to the Boston Globe, Leuchter was deported from Britain in 1991. Leonard Zakim, a spokesperson for the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith, said, "Leuchter's admissions of lying to promote his business in violation of Massachusetts law should serve to discredit Leuchter wherever he travels."

[See CODOH's and Leuchter's comments on Leuchter after this article]

6. Paul Fromm

Paul Fromm claims to be the director of a group called "Canadian Association of Free Expression". While the name sounds innocuous, the truth is darker. According to investigative journalist Russ Bellant, Fromm helped found the Canadian neo-Nazi organization Western Guard. In a 1983 interview with a Toronto Star reporter, Fromm was caught dissembling. He said he "never had any connection" with the Western Guard, but the Star account revealed that Fromm himself had had a letter published in the Star in February 1973 that stated "... in May, 1972, many members, myself included, left the Western Guard...". Asked to explain the discrepancy, Fromm said in a Star interview that it was "a matter of semantics". In Julian Sher's 1983 account of the Ku Klux Klan, Fromm is reported as saying that belief of a supreme race "is a good idea." Remarks like this caused him to be kicked out of the federal Progressive Conservative Party. In September 1991, the Star reported that Fromm was ejected from a Toronto meeting on race relations after he blurted out, "Scalp them," while a native Canadian was speaking. In April 1992, the Star reported on Fromm's 1990 speech before the Heritage Front, a neo-Nazi organization advocating white supremacy. According to the Star, Fromm told the neo-Nazi group, "We're all on the same side." Fromm later claimed in a Star article that he hadn't known about the Heritage Front's neo-Nazi views. But Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress disputes this. "He had to know," Farber said. "There was a Nazi flag with swastikas, about 10 feet long and 5 feet tall, just to his right. Furthermore, just a few months after the Star article came out, Fromm spoke again before the same group."

7. Conclusions

Although the holocaust "revisionists" and their defenders claim to be in pursuit of the truth, the record says otherwise. Although some claim to be advocates of free speech, their real goal is a regime that would deny free speech, and more, to Jews and other minorities. It is easy to dismiss Rothe, Irving, Leuchter, Mullins, and Fromm as kooks. But according to statistics compiled by the League for Human Rights of B'nai Brith, anti-Semitism in Canada is at its highest level in a decade. There were 251 reported incidents of harassment and vandalism against Jews in Canada in 1991, up 42% from two years earlier. The reader may feel that anti-Semitism is only a distant threat. But consider this: many of the sources I sought in preparing this article are listed as ``missing'' in our University library. Some articles had been ripped out of magazines. Other books, though still on the shelves, I found to contain anti-Semitic or pro-Nazi graffiti. To repeat a saying attributed to Edmund Burke, "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." For Further Reading: Julian Sher, "White Hoods: Canada's Ku Klux Klan", New Star Books, Vancouver, 1983. James Ridgeway, "Blood in the Face", Thunder's Mouth Press, New York, 1991. Russ Bellant, "Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party", South End Press, Boston, 1991. Steve Mertl and John Ward, "Keegstra: The Trial, The Issues, and The Consequences", Western Producer Prairie Books, Saskatoon, 1985. James Coates, "Armed and Dangerous: The Rise of the Survivalist Right," Hill and Wang, New York, 1987.

About the author.

Jeffrey Shallit is associate professor in the computer science department at the University of Waterloo.


CODOH comments on Shallit's comments about Leuchter:

Rothe sells the "Leuchter report" in his store, a book purporting to be an engineer's refutation of the existence of gas chambers in Poland. (David Irving also uses Leuchter's report to support his claims.) What Rothe will not tell you, however, is that Fred Leuchter is not an engineer.

Fred Leuchter is self-trained in the extremely arcane field of execution equipment, and before smears such as Mr. Shallit's had their effect he worked for numerous state prison systems in the United States on the repair, upgrading, and replacement of said equipment. He has done work on gallows, electric chairs, gas chambers, and in fact is the inventor and builder of not only the automatic equipment used for lethal injection but also determined the type and sequence of the four drugs used to insure maximum comfort and a certain, painless death when physicians refused to offer any assistance in this area. At the second Zuendel trial in Canada, the judge recognized his expertise, and ruled that he was an engineer by virtue of experience and demonstrated ability, and therefore he would be allowed to testify as an expert witness regarding gas chambers. In some other areas, such as crematories, he was not allowed to testify.

Rothe also won't tell you that, according to the Boston Globe, Leuchter admitted to illegally collecting 20 pounds of building and soil samples in Poland, and that Leuchter's "analysis'' has been thoroughly rebutted in a report by French pharmacist Jean-Claude Pressac. Pressac "noted that Leuchter never looked at documents in the Auschwitz Museum, and failed to study German blueprints of the gas chambers."

The legality of the collection process has nothing to do with the validity of the analyses of same. This is but another example of the attempts to heap all possible negatives because of the damage his investigations have done to the accepted myths regarding non-existent gas chambers. His sample analyses have, in fact, been independently verified by the later work of both a Polish government commission, Austrian engineer Walter Lueftl, and the inarguably qualified German chemist, Germar Rudolf.

Shallit does not indicate if Pressac indicates what relevance the "documents in the Auschwitz Museum" might have on the matter. Given that much of what is on display at Auschwitz are reproductions with obvious liberties taken to closer match wartime accounts, a fact only admitted in the last few years, one would have to be wary of whatever they purport to claim is documentation. And the plain fact is that no "German blueprints of the gas chambers" exist. What does exist are blueprints of the various Krema (crematoria) which supporters of gas chambers claim were "code worded" to hide the actual use to which they would be put. These blueprints do exist, and nothing on them supports the gas chamber theory--none of the special provisions one would expect, such as sealing, gas introduction equipment, forced air circulation of the closed room(s) or adequate ventilation are indicated.

After a particularly traumatic cross-examination by the attorney for Prof. Robert Faurisson, during which Pressac became incoherent to the point of tears on the stand, he has retreated from any active defense of his extremely flawed work, and it is no longer cited by top-level historians. His alleged refutation of challenges to the existence of gas chambers is a huge embarrassment of a book now trotted out only by lay people such as Mr. Shallit, and professional promoters of the gas chamber myths.

With his false credentials, he convinced authorities in several states in the U.S. to let him construct execution machinery for their prisons.

Leuchter presented no false credentials. It is common for self-trained individuals, particularly in fields for which no academic accreditation exists, to advertise or present themselves as Leuchter did--an "execution engineer." His expertise in that field is amply demonstrated by work experience. Shallit's comments are based on the events following Leuchter's appearance in the Zuendel trial. A New York based group called "Holocaust Survivors and Friends in Pursuit of Justice" brought action in Massachussets based on an obscure and never tested state law saying that people working in areas involving public safety could not present themselves as engineers unless they were licensed as such by the state. Of amusing and revealing relevance is the fact that the charge was brought and supported by a judge that designing execution devices qualifies as working in an area involving "public safety"! Surely this is close to the height of doublespeak. (See "The Execution Protocol" by Trombley, Crown Publishing 1992)

But in 1990, according to the New York Times, his misrepresentations began to unravel. The Attorney General of Alabama questioned his expertise. Illinois terminated his contract after determining that his machine for injecting cyanide would cause prisoners unnecessary pain.

The Alabama warden's actions were in response to Leuchter's having testified against the Florida prison system when an inmate brought suit against her electrocution sentence on the basis that the antiquated equipment there constituted cruel and unusual punishment, which it demonstrably did. The Alabama produced letter to other wardens warned them that if Leuchter tried to sell them equipment and they refused to buy, he might wind up testifying against them. This libelous and career threatening action might have brought great financial penalty on him and the state of Alabama were not Leuchter by this time a sufficient pariah who saw no hope of getting a fair shake in court. The comments regarding Illinois describe only an excuse given which has no basis in reality. [See also Leuchter's comments below]

Then, in October 1990, Leuchter was charged with fraud in Massachusetts. It was revealed that he had only a bachelor's degree in history, and was not licensed to practice engineering in Massachusetts. In June 1991, to avoid a trial in which he would surely have been convicted, Leuchter admitted that, "I am not and have never been registered as a professional engineer", and that he had falsely represented himself as one. Under the consent agreement, Leuchter agreed to stop "using in any manner whatsoever the title 'engineer'", and to stop distribution of the Leuchter report.

See comments above about this charge. Leuchter did not at any time advertise himself as a "professional engineer" but only as an "execution engineer." He never "falsely represented himself as one" as Shallit states. It is not even illegal for him to advertise and work as an execution engineer unless one would seriously make the case that this involves public safety. It is not illegal in Massachussets to work and advertise as an engineer in a great many areas. Shallit's comment is based on surmise which is in turn based on ignorance of the terminologies and their meanings. The difference between "professional engineer" and "engineer" is not a trivial distinction. The title "Professional Engineer" (Massachussets equivalent "licensed engineer" in other locations "state certified engineer") is that used to legally certify documents as correct, and the certifier must in many states (but far from all) have certain qualifications (which vary) to do this. Such a certification places all liability on the certifying engineer for any errors, and absolves others of blame for implementing his mistakes--hence the legal importance. In Massachussets, it only applies to projects involving public safety, quite a stretch for Leuchter's expertise, which is directed toward insuring rapid death!

Leuchter does not distribute his report, other entities do that. Trombley makes no mention of the report in his account of the case, only the matter of the use of the title engineer, which has nothing to do with the report since the report has nothing to do with work in Massachussets.

Leonard Zakim, a spokesperson for the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith, said, "Leuchter's admissions of lying to promote his business in violation of Massachusetts law should serve to discredit Leuchter wherever he travels."

A typical ADL smear tactic, Leuchter's credibility is in no way discredited by the Massachussets/New York travesty of justice. A biased court surrounded by several hundred screaming demonstrators made a ludicrous interpretation of a law and applied it against an unpopular defendant. None of this has a thing to do with the scientific data contained in that report, data later supported by several other sources whose qualifications no one argues. Leanard Zakim's statement is pure and hateful propaganda intended to silence those who threaten his livelihood.

David Thomas, 2/28/97


Comments from Fred Leuchter

Dear David Thomas,

Your remarks after the Irving to Shallit letter are not entirely true.

The Massachusetts Court refused to interpret the law publicly, although it did privately, and forced both parties, i.e. The Commonwealth and Leuchter into a settlement as a trial would not be beneficial to either. Leuchter entered into an agreement with the Engineering Board to do none of the things that he never did in the first place and not to recant or change anything he ever did or said, in return for the board's dropping of the complaint. Leuchter agreed in a pretrial mutual promise with the Commonwealth that in return for the Commonwealth dropping its illegal prosecution of him he would not break the law by saying things or doing things he had never done or said in the first place. Leuchter never admitted to any wrong doing or ever did any wrong. He simply agreed to be a law abiding citizen (which he had been all his life) for 2 years more. Even after the 2 years he still has not broken the law.

Please consider this and restate your description. I am sick of people misunderstanding what took place in Cambridge Court.

Fred Leuchter, 4/5/99


Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): David Thomas , Fred A. Leuchter , David Irving , Jeffrey Shallit
Title: David Irving's Reply to Jeffrey Shallit's Lies of Our Times
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  • Jeffrey Shallit: analysis , David Thomas
Published: 1997-02-28
First posted on CODOH: Feb. 26, 1997, 6 p.m.
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