A Chronicle of Holocaust Revisionism

Part 1: Early Doubts (1945-1949)
Published: 2009-08-01

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In a series of articles I will attempt to chronicle the history of Holocaust revisionism, from the end of World War II up till today.[1] For each year, I will provide some relevant details of historical backgrounds, such as Holocaust related trials, major developments in research etc. I will also append a brief outline of general historical events. The main part of each entry will be devoted to the major events of that year as directly related to Holocaust revisionism. Historical revisionist works will be mentioned only insofar they touch upon the fate of European Jewry during World War II. Skeptical responses to mass killing allegations made prior to 1945 have been omitted in part one, since they are too numerous to mention. [2] The author wishes to thank Jean Plantin[3] and Richard Widmann for the invaluable assistance they have provided in locating some of the sources quoted below. It should be kept in mind that this article series constitutes a history of Holocaust revisionism, and that the texts quoted may contain arguments that have later been found to be erroneous. Thus, I will generally not evaluate the validity of quoted or summarized arguments.



On November 20, the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg begins. Two months before this, in September, the Bergen-Belsen trial against Josef Kramer and others is conducted.


April. German born Swedish-Jewish business man Norbert Masur is sent to Berlin as a representative for Hillel Storch, delegate of the Jewish World Congress. Early in the morning of April 21, Masur met with Himmler at Hartzwalde, the countryside manor owned by Himmler's personal doctor and masseur Dr. Felix Kersten. Their two hour conversation was recounted in the book En Jude talar med Himmler (A Jew speaks with Himmler), which was published later that year – after the end of the war – by Stockholm publishing company Albert Bonniers. According to Masur, Himmler stated the following in regards to the concentration camps:

The war brought us into contact with the proletarized masses of Eastern Jewry, something which caused us entirely new problems. We could not tolerate having such an enemy behind our backs. The Jewish masses were infected with severe diseases, in particular Flecktyphus. I myself have lost thousands of my best SS men to these epidemics. Also, the Jews helped the partisans. (...) The Jews passed on information to the partisans. Besides that they shot at our troops in the ghetto. (...) In order to contain the plagues we had to construct crematories, where the corpses of the innumerable people who had fallen victims to these illnesses could be incinerated. And on account of this they want to tie a noose for us! (...) These camps got their bad reputation from their unfortunately chosen name. (...) They should have been called reeducation camps. Not only Jews and political prisoners were interned there, but also criminal elements, who were not released after serving their sentences. As a result of this Germany in 1941, that is, during a war year, had the lowest crime rate seen in decades. The prisoners had to work hard, but so did the entire German people. The treatment in the camps was harsh, but just.

To Masur's question whether he denied that “grave misdeeds” had been carried out in the camps, Himmler replied: “I must admit that some such things took place, but on the other hand I have seen to that the guilty were punished.”[4]

In his journal The Protestant Vanguard Scottish activist Alexander Ratcliffe speaks of the “stupid stories about millions of massacred Jews”.[5]

Irma Grese and Josef Kramer standing in the courtyard

Irma Grese and Josef Kramer standing in the courtyard of the Prisoner of War cage at Celle. Kramer said that the gas chamber story was “untrue from beginning to end.” Both were convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death. Aug. 8, 1945. Source Imperial War Museum collection: unrestricted access.

April-May. Former commandant of the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, Josef Kramer, is captured by British forces on April 17 and interned on the following day. Sometime between April 18 and May 21 Kramer made a first statement on his role as camp commandant. In it, we read:

I have heard of the allegations of former prisoners in Auschwitz referring to a gas chamber there, the mass executions and whippings, the cruelty of the guards employed and that all this took place either in my presence or with my knowledge. All I can say to all this is that it is untrue from beginning to end.

In a later, second statement Kramer retracted this, stating that he had seen one gas chamber in Auschwitz, which was under the command of Rudolf Höss. In court Kramer explained the gas chamber denial of his first statement by claiming that he had felt bound by his word of honour as long as Hitler and Himmler were still alive (Himmler died, allegedly by his own hand, on May 21, 1945).

May. British writer George Orwell (Eric Blair) writes in his essay “Notes on Nationalism” (published in Polemic, No. 1, October 1945):

Indifference to objective truth is encouraged by the sealing-off of one part of the world from another, which makes it harder and harder to discover what is actually happening. There can often be a genuine doubt about the most enormous events. For example, it is impossible to calculate within millions, perhaps even tens of millions, the number of deaths caused by the present war. The calamities that are constantly being reported – battles, massacres, famines, revolutions – tend to inspire in the average person a feeling of unreality. One has no way of verifying the facts, one is not even fully certain that they have happened, and one is always presented with totally different interpretations from different sources. What were the rights and wrongs of the Warsaw rising of August 1944? Is it true about the German gas ovens in Poland? Who was really to blame for the Bengal famine? Probably the truth is discoverable, but the facts will be so dishonestly set forth in almost any newspaper that the ordinary reader can be forgiven either for swallowing lies or failing to form an opinion.

May 30. In his article “Trials for War Criminals”, James Morgan Read speaks of the necessity of an impartial investigation of atrocity allegations.[6]

June 29. Former Auschwitz staff member SS Hauptsturmführer Hans Aumeier states in his first declaration to his British captors: “I have no knowledge of gas chambers and during my time no detainee was gassed.” Following this statement, Aumeier is given a questionnaire asking him to provide testimony on “Gassings (with all details), numbers of daily and total victims” as well as a “Confession about own responsibility in case of gassings.”[7]

Historical context

Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin meet at the Yalta Conference in early February. Hitler commits suicide in Berlin on April 30. Alfred Jodl signs unconditional surrender terms on May 7. Atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August. Japanese capitulation and the end of World War II on August 15. In September, US forces occupy the southern half of the Korean peninsula, while Soviet forces occupy the northern half, marking the beginning of the Korean conflict. In December, American General George S. Patton dies in car accident. Zionist terrorist strikes against British military bases in Palestine.



The 24 accused at IMT Nuremberg are handed down their sentences. Twelve of them are condemned to death by hanging. Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring commits suicide prior to execution. On May 11, 58 members of the Mauthausen concentration camp staff are sentenced to death by the U.S. Military Court at Dachau.


February 17. Hermann Göring remarks in a conversation with prison psychologist G.M. Gilbert that the newsreels depicting heaps of emaciated corpses at the concentration camps could have been fabricated by anyone, and also expresses doubt in the six million figure. [8]

April 29. During his interrogation at IMT Nuremberg, Julius Streicher states:

I first heard of the mass murders and mass killings at Mondorf when I was in prison. But I am stating here that if I had been told that 2 or 3 million people had been killed, then I would not have believed it. I would not have believed that it was technically possible to kill so many people; and on the basis of the entire attitude and psychology of the Fuehrer, as I knew it, I would not have believed that mass killings, to the extent to which they have taken place, could have taken place.[9]

Later during the same interrogation he added:

To this day I do not believe that 5 million were killed. I consider it technically impossible that that could have happened. I do not believe it. I have not received proof of that up until now.[10]

May 11. British advocate of monetary reform C.H. Douglas requests proof for the alleged figure of six million killed Jews, while noting the “enormous numbers” of Jewish survivors in Germany.[11]

May 22. American scholar Austin Joseph App in a letter to Time magazine questions their assertion that 6.5 million Jew lived in Europe excluding Russia at the time of the outbreak of World War II. App found this claim exaggerated and reminded of the high number of Jews still present in Germany by the end of the war as well as the flow of 3 million refugees, most of them presumably Jews, into the United States prior to and during the war years, concluding that “What we have heard regarding the Jewish population of Europe and its treatment is not substantiated fact”.[12]

May 27. Hermann Göring states the following during an interview with Nuremberg psychiatrist Leon Goldensohn:

I think that the atrocities, if they existed – and mind you, I don’t believe they were technically possible, or if they were, I don’t believe Hitler ordered them – it must have been Goebbels or Himmler.[13]

June 13. Swiss newspaper Basler Nachrichten carries as its headline “How high is the number of Jewish victims?” (Wie hoch ist die Zahl der jüdischen Opfer?). Quoting official statistics on the Jewish populations of Europe, the article argues that the number of Jewish victims could not exceed 3 million, and most likely amounts to less than 1.5 million. The unnamed writer of the article puts the term “extermination of the Jews” within quotation brackets, implying skepticism towards the allegations of a systematic extermination of European Jewry, but does not discuss the gas chamber issue.[14]

Undated. British writer George Bernard Shaw in his pamphlet Geneva criticizes the Allied bombing campaign against Germany and the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. While claiming that Hitler wrongly believed the Jews to be “an accursed race who should be exterminated as such” Shaw also writes:

They [the Germans running the camps] were not fiends in human form; but they did not know what to do with the thousands thrown on their care. (...) They could do nothing with their prisoners but overcrowd them within any four walls that were left standing, lock them in, and leave them almost starving to die of typhus. When further overcrowding became physically possible they could do nothing with their unwalled prisoners but kill them and burn the corpses they could not bury. And even this they could not organize frankly and competently: they had to make their victims die of illusage instead of by military law. (...) Had there been efficient handling of the situation by the authorities (...) none of these atrocities would have occurred. They occur in every war when the troops get out of hand.[15]

Nowhere does Shaw mention the infamous gas chambers.

Historical context

Austria is divided into 4 occupation zones on January 7. IMT Tokyo commences on April 29. Irgun bomb attack against King David Hotel in Jerusalem on July 22. On December 12, a socialist government is formed in France by Jewish socialist and former Buchenwald inmate Léon Blum.



Between April and August the Buchenwald Trial is conducted by the U.S. Military Court at Dachau. On August 20, the verdict of the so-called Doctors’ Trial is announced in Nuremberg. The Auschwitz trial in Kraków, Poland, where former camp commandant Rudolf Höss is sentenced to death, is held between November 24 and December 22. The first edition of Anne Frank’s diary, Het Achterhuis, is published in The Netherlands.


April. American far right activist Elizabeth Dilling claims the six million figure to be false.[16]

Undated. In the 1947 edition of Encyclopaedia Brittanica, American-Jewish historian Jacob Marcus describes the fate of the European Jews under National Socialist rule and occupation in the following way (in the article ”Jews”):

In order to effect a solution of the Jewish problem in line with their theories, the Nazis carried out a series of expulsions and deportations of Jews, mostly of original east European stock, from nearly all European states. Men frequently separated from their wives, and others from children, were sent by the thousands to Poland and western Russia. There they were put into concentration camps, or huge reservations, or sent into the swamps, or out on the roads, into labour gangs. Large numbers perished under the inhuman conditions under which they labored. While every other large Jewish center was being embroiled in war, American Jewry was gradually assuming a position of leadership in world Jewry.

No mention of gas chambers or an extermination policy targeting Jews is made in this edition, leaving the reader with the impression that Marcus, one of the foremost contemporary experts on Jewish history, either did not put credence in the mass gassing allegations or was reluctant to mention said claims in print. The text quoted above was retained in the 1952 and 1956 editions of the encyclopedia.

Historical context

On January 31, communists take power in Poland. March 12, Truman Doctrine proclaimed. On August 31, communists take over Hungary. CIA created on September 18. On November 29 the United Nations General Assembly votes to partition Palestine between Arabs and Jews.



Verdict of the Einsatzgruppen Trial pronounced on April 10. Sentences in the I.G. Farben Trial handed down on July 30.


February. American neo-Fascist ideologue and political activist Francis Parker Yockey, who in 1946 had been assigned to work in Wiesbaden, Germany, as a prosecutor in war crime trials, publishes the book Imperium using the pseudonym Ulrick Varange. On page 533 of its original edition we read:

These fact-creations [concerning the Pearl Harbor incident] were as nothing, however, to the massive, post-war, “concentration-camp” propaganda of the Culture-distorting regime based in Washington.

This propaganda announced that 6,000,000 members of the Jewish Culture-Nation-State-Church-People-Race had been killed in European camps, as well as an indeterminate number of other people. The propaganda was on a world-wide scale, and was of a mendacity that was perhaps adapted to a uniformized mass, but was simply disgusting to discriminating Europeans. The propaganda was technically quite complete. “Photographs” were supplied in millions of copies. Thousands of the people who had been killed published accounts of their experiences in these camps. Hundreds of thousands more made fortunes in post-war black-markets. “Gas-chambers” that did not exist were photographed, and a “gasmobile” was invented to titillate the mechanically-minded.

Unfortunately, Yockey did not clarify further in writing how he had come to his revisionist conclusions.

October. French fascist writer Maurice Bardèche publishes the book Nuremberg ou la Terre promise (“Nuremberg or The Promised Land”, Le Sept Couleurs, Paris) in which he criticizes the International Military Tribunal and its verdict, especially focusing on claims made by the French trial delegation that the German occupation forces had sought to ”exterminate” the French population. The book, however, does not dispute the Holocaust per se, i.e. the allegations of a German extermination plan for the Jews and mass killings in gas chambers (“concerning this there are numerous pieces of evidence”, Bardèche writes). On the other hand, he notes that contemporary German documents shows “the solution of the Jewish problem” to have “consisted only of an assembling of the Jews in a territorial zone which one called the Jewish Reserve”. According to Bardèche, the defendants at Nuremberg

could maintain that they had been unaware during the whole war of the massive executions which took place at Auschwitz, at Treblinka and elsewhere, that they had learned about them for the first time by listening to their accusers, and no document of the trial enables us to affirm that Göring, Ribbentrop, or Keitel lied by saying that; it is very possible, indeed, that the policy of Himmler was a totally personal policy, discreetly carried out, and for which he alone bears the responsibility.[17]

A similar view would be expounded nearly three decades later by the British war historian David Irving in his book Hitler's War.

October 9. Austin J App writes a letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer criticizing the treatment of Ilse Koch. The letter mentions the abuse of captured Dachau guards, as well as the torture and deceptions used to extract confessions from them. It also contends that the discovery at Buchenwald of lampshades made of human skin is an “unproven allegation”. In regards to the alleged criminal use of human remains, App draws a parallel to events in the Pacific War where US soldiers fashioned souvenirs out of the bones of fallen Japanese.[18]

Historical context

On February 25, Communists seize control over Czechoslovakia. April 9, Deir Yassin massacre in Palestine. Israeli declaration of independence on May 14. In June the Berlin Blockade begins, marking the start of the Cold War. September 17, Stern Gang assassinates UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte. On New Year's Eve, the Arab-Israeli War breaks out.



No Holocaust related events of significance.


July 16. Austin J App, at the time doing research in Europe, once again writes to Time magazine, which had offered to him as proof for the alleged extermination of 6 million Jews the November 26, 1945 testimony of Wilhelm Hoettl, pointing out the absurdity in offering witness statements as proof of genocide: “Surely the fact that even you could quote no better authority than that of a frightened, hysterical Obersturmbannfuehrer, testifying four years ago, must make you suspect that if his figures could have been substantiated those who repeat the charge in order to persecute Germans would have long ago have done so.” App further notes the role the extermination allegation played in the creation of the Israeli state the previous year. According to App’s own estimate, less than 1.5 million European Jews had lost their lives due to Nazi persecution.[19]

Undated. Swiss far right philosopher and writer Gaston-Armand Amaudruz in his book Ubu Justicier au premier procès de Nuremberg critizises the judicial foundations of the Nuremberg trial as well as questions the extermination allegation without going into details.

Historical context

In March, more than 90,000 Baltic nationals are deported to remote areas of the Soviet Union. In May, the Federal Republic of Germany is established. George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-four published in June. In August, the Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb. In October the communist controlled Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany or DDR) is officially established.


During the first half decade following the end of the war a number of war crime trials, spectacles orchestrated by the victorious powers in cooperation as well as separately, set up the foundations of the Jewish extermination narrative that was much later to be called “The Holocaust”. While a number of critical voices, many of them American, were raised against the proceedings at Nuremberg, only a few people living through this chaotic period made the effort to scrutinize the plausibility of the claims of genocide. We can find at least three possible explanations for this. First of all, most of the accused at the trials were either Third Reich bureaucrats and “small fish”, or had simply not had any significant insight into the handling of the “Jewish problem”. The majority of the key movers behind the “Final Solution” were either missing or had already met their death, sometimes in suspicious fashion.[20]Confronted with the powerful newsreel footage of skeletal concentration camp inmates and corpses piled in heaps, many of the accused apparently came to believe that Himmler and the SS had carried out a secret policy of extermination behind their backs. Their reactions, and especially the declaration of guilt made by “The Hangman of Poland”, Hans Frank, might have dissuaded suspicions regarding the truth of the allegations in the minds of many. Secondly, the claim of an attempted extermination of European Jewry was given relatively little time at IMT Nuremberg as well as at the subsequent NMT trials. Especially little court time was devoted to the alleged mass gassings, with virtually no relevant details discussed by the court and no technical evidence displayed. Further, the number of gas chamber witness accounts publicly available in the West at the time was rather few in number. This relative lack of interest in the details of the alleged genocide would be reflected in the scarcity of texts criticizing the same allegations. On the other hand, we see that the more general question of German war guilt was addressed by a number of writers, many of them American revisionist historians. The political circumstances in turn make up the third reason. The vanquished Germany was under occupation, its press and publishers placed under severe censorship. In central and eastern Europe, country after country was taken over by communists with the support of Stalin's Soviet and it’s Red Army. In western European nations that had been occupied by Germany, such as France and Denmark, suspected collaborators were killed without much ado. It is no wonder that few critical voices were raised, and that those few emanated from countries that either had a strong tradition of free speech, such as the United States, or that had been neutral during the war, such as Switzerland.

In the texts quoted or referred to above, we notice that only two post-war writers, neo-fascist Francis Parker Yockey and socialist George Orwell, explicitly brings into question the existence of the gas chambers. The rest of the texts mainly focus on the alleged death toll of 6 million Jews, suggesting that it must be exaggerated since there were not enough potential victims within the grasp of Hitler’s regime. The reason for this is rather easy to explain. While the issue of the number of victims could be scrutinized, at least to a certain level, using publicly available sources, the former German concentration camps housing the remains of the alleged gas chambers were out of reach for critical observers, occupied as they were by detachments of the Red Army or the Western Allies. In addition, very little “information” was yet available on the details of the alleged killing agents. Not knowing how exactly the gassings were carried out, or what the gas chambers were supposed to have looked like, most individuals otherwise inclined to skepticism would have assumed that the alleged mass gassings likely were feasible. As will be seen in the next part of this chronicle, it would take a skeptic who had himself been a concentration camp inmate to start unraveling the gas chamber narrative.


[1] The present article is a revised version of a text which originally appeared on the CODOH Revisionist Library website on February 8, 2009.
[2] Some notable passages are found in the wartime works of Douglas Reed. In A Prophet at Home (London, March 1941), p.94, we read: “The most fantastic feats of exaggeration were performed in this field [of propaganda]; to them belong the titles ‘The annihilation of German Jewry’ (...) and ‘The Extermination of the Jews in Germany’ (given to a book which carried an introduction by the Bishop of Durham). I should like anybody with a memory to bear these titles in mind and recall them when this war is over; he will find that the Jews in Germany have neither been annihilated nor exterminated, but that the great majority of them are still there, trading and practising (...).” In All Our To-morrows (London, June 1942) is described (p.299) how Allied newspapers printed stories on alleged massacres of Jews with “anonymous informants” as the only sources. In Lest We Regret (London, September 1943) Reed notes (p.240) Goebbels’ March 14, 1943 statement that Germany “is not opposed to the creation of a Jewish State” and contrasts this with the insistent claims made in British press that the Jews were being “exterminated”. Reed also remarked that no reliable evidence existed for such an “extermination” having been ordered (Ibid, p.254ff).
[3] Mr. Plantin has kindly provided me with a copy of his invaluable article “Anthologie chronologique de textes révisionniste des années quarante et cinquante”, published in the now out of print Études révisionnistes, vol. 2, Cercle antitotalitaire, Saint-Genis-Laval 2002, pp.118-235.
[4] Cf. Jürgen Graf, “Ein Jude spricht mit Himmler. Heinrich Himmlers nächtliches Gespräch mit Norbert Masur im April 1945”, Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung 9(3) (2005), pp.301-309.
[5] Alexander Ratcliffe, “Atrocities not German!”, The Protestant Vanguard, No. 331, p.9
[6] James Morgan Read, “Trials of War Criminals”, The Christian Century, pp.651-653; quoted in Robert W. Ross, So It Was True! The American Protestant Press and the Nazi Persecution of the Jews, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1980, pp.237-8.
[7] Cf. Carlo Mattogno, The Bunkers of Auschwitz. Black Propaganda versus History, Theses & Dissertations Press, Chicago 2004, pp.133-136.
[8] G.M. Gilbert, Nuremberg Diary, Da Capo Press, Cambridge MA. 1995, p.152.
[9] IMT Proceedings, Vol.XII, p.322.
[10] Ibid., p.374.
[11] C.H. Douglas, The Social Crediter, Issue for May 11, 1946, p.4.
[12] The full text of this letter is available at: http://www.codoh.com/viewpoints/vpaaslain.html
[13] Leon Goldensohn, The Nuremberg Interviews: An American Psychiatrist’s Conversations with the Defendants and Witnesses, edited by Robert Gellately, Vintage House 2004, p.127.
[14] The full text of this article is available at: http://www.codoh.com/incon/inconhigh.html
[15] The Works of Bernard Shaw. Geneva, Cymbeline Refinished, Good King Charles, Constable and Company, London 1946 pp.17-18.
[16] Bulletin, April 1947; referenced in Glen Jeansonne, Women of the Far Right: The Mother’s Movement and World War II, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1996, p.166.
[17] My quote here is lifted from the AAARGH online translation: Nuremberg or The Promised Land (http://www.vho.org/aaargh/fran/livres7/BARDECHEnureng.pdf), p. 64.
[18] The full text of the letter is available online: http://www.codoh.com/viewpoints/vpaakoch.html
[19] The full text of this letter is available online: http://www.codoh.com/viewpoints/vpaaproof.html
[20] Cf. my article “A Brief List of the Conveniently Deceased”, Smith's Report, No. 151, 2008, pp.5-7.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Thomas Kues
Title: A Chronicle of Holocaust Revisionism, Part 1: Early Doubts (1945-1949)
Sources: Inconvenient History, vol. 1, no. 1 (summer 2009)
Published: 2009-08-01
First posted on CODOH: Feb. 1, 2009, 6 p.m.
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