David Cole Responds to Henri Roques and Robert Faurisson
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This is the first page of an 8-page salvo that David Cole unleashed against Henri Roques and Robert Faurisson. If you want to read the rest of the letter drop a couple bucks in the post and I'll mail it to you.
The charges made by monsieur Roques don't interest me nearly as much as the history behind this missive. I will digress for a moment before returning to M. Roques and his letter. This whole episode actually began with Professor Robert Faurisson. Since I became known as part of the revisionist "movement," Faurisson has been relentless in his personal attacks against me. Since the' more I came to know Faurisson's work, the less I respected him as a serious scholar, I never worried myself about these attacks any more than I concerned myself over the myriad of cheap shots taken at me from both ends of the Holocaust spectrum: Neo-Nazis and racists on the "right" have traditionally claimed that I am a Jewish "agent" involved in a grand scheme to destroy revisionism from within. Various Jewish and non-Jewish journalists and activists on the "left" have claimed that I am in fact a NAZI agent, involved in a grand scheme to "deny" history and, I suppose, help Nazis in some way (these conspiracy theories are rarely fleshed out beyond the initial charge of being an "agent" of some kind). I despise ideological dogma with a passion, and I've long held that if you're hated by extremists of all stripes and from all corners, than you must be doing something right, so I actually came to take these attacks as being unwitting compliments.
Faurisson first attacked my "Piper" video by stating that since he, Faurisson, had already told the world that Krema 1 in its present state was not genuine, no more dialogue on the subject was needed. Dr. Piper's admissions were unnecessary, because the "word" of Faurisson should be enough to convince anybody. Now, by that time I had come to believe, after a thorough investigation of Faurisson's claims, that the "word" of Faurisson should, instead, be immediately suspect. Besides, the point of the "Piper" tape was to show that a world renown Holocaust scholar—someone who is NOT a revisionist—admits that Krema 1 is not genuine. The opinions of revisionists were irrelevant in this context. The fruit of the "Piper" tape was that after its release the Auschwitz State Museum changed its spiel and now tourists are told that the interior of Krema 1 in its present state is a post-war remodeling job.
There was something troubling about Faurisson's assertion that I need not have investigated Krema 1 because he had already made his pronouncement on the issue, and therefore it is now dead. In fact, many of the points Faurisson and other revisionists have made about Krema 1 are dangerously fraudulent. I'll give you my opinion of a few of Faurisson's favorite points: The fact that the "Zyklon B induction chimneys" are not gas tight is irrelevant because we know they were added after the war. The fact that the door on the southeast side of the room is not gas tight (and has no glass in the peephole) is likewise irrelevant, as we know that this door was added AFTER the supposed "gas chamber" phase of this room. Also irrelevant is the wall in front of this door, that blocks the view from the peephole. This wall was added after the "gas chamber" phase. The flimsy wooden door, also on the southeast side, is irrelevant because it, too, was added after the "gas chamber" phase. And the fact that the door on the northwest side has panes of glass in it is moot because there was once a dividing wall on that side of the room, in which was located the door that would have been the door to the "gas chamber." This wall was knocked down erroneously by the Soviets, who were trying to restore the room to what they believed it looked like during its "gas chamber" phase. That there is a doorway without a door, or evidence of hinges, which leads to the crematorium ovens is irrelevant because a door
Editor's note: A short while later, Cole wrote an even longer letter (twice as long: 16 pages) which he asked Bradley to distribute instead. See Smith's statement to that effect in SR #29 (p. 2). That 16-page letter was first published online at http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/c/cole.david/cole-vs-faurisson-struthof, and it goes as follows.
The charges made by Monsieur Roques don't interest me nearly as much as the history behind this missive. I will digress for a moment before returning to M. Roques and his letter. This whole episode actually began with Professor Robert Faurisson. This digression is necessary because, in other to understand the genesis of the Roques letter, one must first understand my experiences with Robert Faurisson. Even since I became known as part of the revisionist "movement," Faurisson has been relentless in his personal attacks against me. Since the more I came to know Faurisson's work, the less I respected him as a serious scholar, I never worried myself about these attacks any more than I concerned myself over the myriad of cheap shots taken at me from both ends of the Holocaust spectrum: Neo-Nazis and racist on the "right" have traditionally claimed that I am a Jewish "agent" involved in a grand scheme to destroy revisionism from within. Various Jewish and "anti- revisionist" journalists and activists on the "left" have claimed that I am in fact a NAZI agent, involved in a grand scheme to "deny" history and, I suppose, help Nazis in some way (these conspiracy theories are rarely fleshed out beyond the initial charge of being an "agent" of some kind). I despise ideological dogma with a passion, and I've long held that if you're hated by extremists of all stripes and from all corners, then you must be doing something right. So I actually came to take these attacks as being unwitting compliments.
Still, since this recent attack by Faurisson (the Roques letter, which was actually commissioned by Faurisson, but more on that later) is his most public yet, and since several people are asking for a response from me, I figured I might as well tackle all of Faurisson's previous charges all at once, since I've never offered a public response to any of them before (I've written quite a few private responses, though). I apologize for the length of this response, but I'd like to be able to take the time to be specific, VERY specific, about Faurisson's current and previous charges and my responses to them.
In November 1992, after Bradley Smith announced my forthcoming "Dr. Piper" video, Bradley was subjected to several lengthy faxes from Professor Faurisson attacking the video (and attacking me), even though Faurisson had never even SEEN the video in question. These faxes were sent to Bradley and a host of other revisionists, but NOT to me, even though I was the subject of the faxes and the object of Faurisson's wrath. Faurisson attacked my "Piper" video by stating that since he, Faurisson, had already told the world that Krema 1 in its present state was not genuine, no more dialogue on the subject was needed. Dr. Piper's admissions were unnecessary, because Faurisson's assurance that Krema 1 is not in its original state should be enough to convince anybody. Now, by that time I had come to believe, after a thorough investigation of Faurisson's claims, that any "assurance" from Faurisson should not be uncritically accepted, but rather immediately suspect. Besides, the point of the "Piper" tape was to show that a world renown [sic] Holocaust scholar - someone who is NOT a revisionist - admits that Krema 1 is not in its original state. The opinions of revisionists are irrelevant in this context. The fruit of the "Piper" tape is that after its release the Auschwitz State Museum changed its spiel and now tourists are told that the interior of Krema 1 in its present state is a post-war remodeling job.
There was something troubling about Faurisson's assertion that I need not have investigated Krema 1 because he had already made his pronouncement on the issue, and therefore it is now dead. In fact, many of the points Faurisson has made about Krema 1 are dangerously fraudulent. I'll give you my opinion of a few of Faurisson's favorite points: The fact that the "Zyklon B induction chimneys" are not gas tight is irrelevant because we know they were added after the war. The fact that the door on the southeast side of the room is not gas tight (and has no glass in the peephole) is likewise irrelevant, as we know that this door was added AFTER the supposed "gas chamber" phase of the room. Also irrelevant is the wall in front of this door, that blocks the view from the peephole. This wall was added after the "gas chamber" phase. The flimsy wooden door, also on the southeast side, is irrelevant because it, too, was added after the "gas chamber" phase. And the fact that the door on the northwest side has panes of glass in it is moot because there was once a dividing wall on that side of the room, in which was located the door that would have been the door to the "gas chamber." This wall was knocked down erroneously by the Soviets, who were trying to restore the room to what they believed it looked like during its "gas chamber" phase. That there is a doorway without a door, or evidence of hinges, which leads to the crematorium ovens is not in and of itself evidence against gassings because a door DID once exist that led from the morgue into the cremation room. The current doorway without a door is the post-war Soviet creation. And the fact that the chimney is not connected to the building is not relevant because we know that there was at one time a chimney there, and that it was connected to the building, and that cremations did in fact take place in this building, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY that the tour guides have always honestly represented this chimney as a reconstruction, so we can't make the charge of fraud.
As I wrote in a January 1993 letter of response to Faurisson's charges (a letter also sent to Mark Weber, because Weber had also been a recipient of Faurisson's fax) "Revisionists want it both ways; they want to A) claim that Krema 1 in its present state is a post war creation and B) use Krema 1's present state as proof that gassings couldn't have occurred in it." In other words, there are certain things in Krema 1 that we can't use as negative evidence for gassings (that is, if we're honest), because they were added after the war. We must always concentrate on the state of the room DURING THE TIME PERIOD WHEN THE GASSINGS ARE SAID TO HAVE TAKEN PLACE.
Faurisson's point that there couldn't be a gas chamber next to the crematorium ovens (the gas would "ignite") is questionable, but this has already been dealt with exhaustively by Fritz Berg, although I think I should add that Faurisson's response to Pressac's claim that there were homicidal gas chambers in Kremas 4 and 5 is that the term "gaskammer," [sic] which Pressac finds in some paperwork concerning these Kremas, must have meant _delousing_ gas chamber. By giving this explanation, Faurisson therefore admits that one COULD conceivably have a gas chamber of some kind in a crematorium without risking explosion. In order for Faurisson to explain Pressac's points about Kremas 4 and 5, he must by necessity contradict his oft-used point about the impossibility of using Zyklon B near cremation ovens. Also, I should note that Faurisson admits that Krema 1 was fumigated with Zyklon B. I'm assuming that he agrees that these fumigations didn't result in any explosions.
Perhaps Faurisson's best-loved point about Krema 1, that it would have been dangerous to locate a gas chamber across the street from the SS barracks, restaurant, and hospital, is pure nonsense. Zyklon B is lighter than air and would rise straight up when ventilated. It would not journey across the street and enter under doors. The proof of this is the fact that not only were the regular Zyklon delousing complexes right next door to barracks where Nazis and inmates alike slept, worked, and ate, but some of the living quarters in the Auschwitz Main Camp actually had Zyklon B delousing rooms INSIDE them - and on the first floor no less. When these delousing rooms would be ventilated, the windows on the second floor would simply be closed.
And as I mentioned before, Faurisson admits that Krema 1 was fumigated (and fumigated enough times to leave the traces of Zyklon B that still exist in the walls). I'm assuming that Faurisson agrees that when Krema 1 was ventilated after the fumigations, the escaping Zyklon didn't kill everyone in the SS buildings across the street.
Humorously, while Faurisson has harped on these futile points for years, he's neglected the manhole in the center of the Krema 1 morgue room (as has his former buddy Pressac).
Now, for the record, I don't believe that there were ever gassings in Krema 1, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to use false claims to make my point.
As I added in my January '93 letter to Mark Weber, "I think that in my video I presented better points casting doubt on the existence of a gas chamber, but unlike Faurisson I realize the difficulty of proving a negative (i.e. presenting a piece of evidence that "disproves" a gas chamber) and, as I have mentioned to you in the past, I am not so convinced by some of Faurisson's other "evidences," like his misleading use of steam autoclaves and American (execution) gas chambers to "disprove" Krema 1." By this last point I was referring to Faurisson's standard introductory point when speaking of Krema 1. I had the privilege (?) of producing a videotape of Faurisson's "introduction to Holocaust revisionism," and, as I had seen so many times before, he led off with this marvelous piece of sleight of hand: He'll show a picture of an American execution gas chamber, with its heavy round oval shaped door with a round wheel-shaped handle, and its various exhaust pipers [sic] and other gauges, and THEN he'll show a picture of a STEAM AUTOCLAVE at Auschwitz, which he'll FRAUDULENTLY MISREPRESENT as a Zyklon B delousing chamber and which _superficially resembles the execution chamber_ with its oval shaped door, round wheel-shaped handle, and various pipes and guages [sic]. He'll point out the resemblance, and then he'll show a picture of KREMA 1, making his point by saying "you see, this resembles neither the execution chamber nor the delousing chamber - no heavy round metal door, no wheel-shaped handle. Why, Krema 1 is just an ordinary room! It COULDN'T be a gas chamber because it is not designed like the execution and delousing chambers!"
With this piece of deception, Faurisson takes advantage of the ignorance of his audience with the ease of an "exterminationist." After all, who but a Holocaust scholar would know to point out that the autoclave is for STEAM not Zyklon B, and that A) Zyklon B COULD INDEED be used in rooms that were "just ordinary rooms," since Zyklon was designed for fumigating ordinary rooms (see the DEGESCH Zykon [sic] manual), and B) that many of the delousing rooms at
Auschwitz and other camps WERE "just ordinary rooms." As I already mentioned, several rooms in the Auschwitz Main Camp barracks were "retrofitted" to be Zyklon B delousing rooms. Now, a Zyklon B HOMICIDAL chamber could certainly be an "ordinary" room, PROVIDING that the victims could not escape, that there was some way to introduce the Zyklon into the room, and that there was some way to ventilate the room afterwards. The temperature of the room would heavily influence the speed with which the Zyklon evaporated. Faurisson takes advantage of the irrelevant resemblance of the execution chamber and the stream [sic] autoclave to fool his audience. He is FORTUNATE that no "exterminationist" has ever been interested enough in the forensic arguments of revisionists to actually TEST these autoclaves for the Zyklon residue that Faurisson must surely believe would be present. I would ask why FAURISSON has never tested these autoclaves, as he seems so sure that Zyklon was used in them (his trip to Auschwitz with Leuchter would have been the perfect time for this).
Faurisson's "Krema 1 couldn't have been a gas chamber because it doesn't resemble the American execution chambers or the German autoclaves" argument relies on two pieces of trickery: 1) Faurisson relies on the fact that most non-scholars won't know that the autoclaves in question used STEAM not Zyklon B, and 2) Faurisson knowingly misrepresents the type of rooms that were COMMONLY used as Zyklon B delousing rooms. I'll quote Faurisson from his interview with "Storia Illustrata" (August 1979; the interview was reprinted in the IHR "Journal," Winter 1981) - and I'll add that this specious argument had been ENDLESSLY repeated by Faurisson right up until the present; indeed, Faurisson eagerly repeated it for the videotape I shot in October '92. "Just a glance at one of these small gas chambers (an American execution gas chamber), constructed in order to kill a single condemned man, renders ridiculous those premises of stone, wood, and plaster which are represented as being former German 'gas chambers.' If the American gas chambers are made exclusively of steel and glass, then it is for reasons of good sense and for reasons more specifically technical. The first reason is that the acid has a tendency to adhere to the surface and even to penetrate certain materials, so therefore it is necessary to avoid such materials. The second reasons is that, when the ventilators empty the chamber of air, there is a risk of implosion, so therefore the structure has remarkably thick walls of steel and glass. The very heavy steel door can only be closed with a handwheel."
IT IS PRECISELY BECAUSE THE GERMANS _DID NOT_ "AVOID" CERTAIN MATERIALS THAT WE FIND DELOUSING ROOMS AT AUSCHWITZ MAIN CAMP, BIRKENAU, MAJDANEK AND STUTTHOF THAT ARE COVERED IN BLUE STAINS. The majority of delousing rooms at these camps are ordinary rooms made of brick, mortar, stone, wood, and plaster. And Faurisson knows this very well. Have revisionists been hallucinating all these years as we've taken forensic samples of these materials from delousing rooms? Faurisson is QUITE aware that the Germans had delousing rooms that were made of materials to which the Zyklon B adhered and penetrated. And these rooms saw a TREMENDOUS amount of usage (especially as Auschwitz), but to my knowledge there was never an "implosion."
From November '92 to February '93 Faurisson sent several faxes about me and the "Piper" tape to a variety of revisionists. He also asked that Bradley publish one of these faxes in "Smith's Report," which Bradley agreed to do. One of his charges against me was that my interview with Piper was irrelevant because he (Faurisson) had in 1976 obtained an unrecorded confession from Auschwitz State Museum official Jan Machalek that the cremation ovens were not genuine. I responded to Faurisson by telling him that the OVENS were not the issue: My video had to do with the remodeling of the MORGUE ROOM, the room said to be the "gas chamber." This was clear from everything Bradley or I had ever written or said about the "Piper" take; the ovens were never mentioned. That the ovens presently displayed are not original is less of a concern because A) the museum personnel explain that the ovens are not original, B) we know that there were ovens in that room when the building was used as a crematorium, and C) the ovens on display are similar to the ones that were once there. I pointed out to Faurisson that my tape tackled a separate issue; the remodeling of the morgue room. Well, sometime after Faurisson had received my response, his fax started turning up again (it was re-submitted to "Smith's Report" for publication AND sent via fax and mail to more revisionists) WITH SEVERAL KEY WORDS CHANGED. Faurisson had ALTERED his fax and CHANGED the story of his meeting with Machalek, replacing the word "oven" with "gas chamber."
As Faurisson has done so many times with various Holocaust texts, I'll compare and contrast the text of the two faxes:
Fax of November 9, 1992
"On April 23, 1975, Mr. Machalek, of the Auschwitz Museum, had to confess that in Krema 1 the ovens were "reconstructed" (he said in German: 'rekonstruiert'). First he had answered me that they were genuine ('echt') but, when I showed him that there was no soot, he said 'rekonstruiert.' Then I asked him: 'In conformity with the original pattern?' He replied: 'Yes.'" This is where the story ends. Nothing about gas chambers. In fact, the story about the soot and the ovens is a standard Faurisson story. I'd heard him tell it many times before.
Fax of January 9, 1993
NOW the story has changed; "ovens" have become "gas chambers" (in this passage Faurisson refers to himself in the third person, as he does several times in his various faxes): "It is in 1975 that R. Faurisson forced a responsible of the Auschwitz State Museum, Jan Machalek, to say that this so-called 'gas chamber' was not 'genuine' (in German: 'echt') but 'reconstructed' (in German: 'rekonstruiert'). Consequently, Faurisson asked 'reconstructed according to the original plan?' and Machalek replied yes." Unless Faurisson is suffering from the same confusion apparent in many non-scholars who routinely confuse or conjoin the gas chambers and the crematorium ovens (often referring to "gas ovens"), he knows very well that the ovens and the gas chamber are two completely different things. Faurisson altered his story to fit his attack against me.
Faurisson's FIRST version is the same story he told at the first Zundel trial in Ontario, Canada, February 4, 1985:
Faurisson: "I got first into the place called 'Krematorium.' There were there two furnaces with two openings."
Doug Christie (Zundel's lawyer): "What did you do?"
Faurisson: "I noticed some things which were not normal."
Christie: "What did you notice? Tell us what you noticed."
Faurisson: "I noticed, for example, that there was no soot at all."
Christie: "How did you find that out?"
Faurisson: "Putting my finger like that, I saw that there was no soot."
Christie: "Inside the furnace?"
Christie: "All right."
Faurisson: "So I decided to find the highest possible responsible..."
Faurisson: "...person, of the Auschwitz Museum."
Christie: "And then what did you do?"
Faurisson: "I found that man called Jan Machalek. I asked him to come on the spot. I asked him if those ovens were genuine or not."
Christie: "Yeah. Don't tell us what he said. What did you then ask him for?"
Faurisson: "I can say that I showed all the same that there was no soot?"
Faurisson: "Okay. The conclusion was that it was a reconstruction, a rebuilding and no something genuine."
Every time I've heard Faurisson tells the Jan Machalek story, this is the way I've heard him tell it. In fact, the "soot-less" finger story is quite well known. But as I have just shown, Faurisson isn't above altering his own texts if the situation requires, changing key words in his November 14 fax to better facilitate his attack against my "Piper" video.
I bring this us because this is exactly the kind of thing that Faurisson would criticize if done by an "exterminationist." And for those of you who are thinking that I'm being too hard on Faurisson, I'll remind you that it is and always has been FAURISSON who's taken his problems with me public, never once giving me the chance to reply or even asking for my side of things. And in the fact of this latest Faurisson attack, his most widely distributed yet, (the Struthof charge), I think people have a right to know the history behind this recent offensive.
So now let's move on. When Ernst Zundel began making good use out of the "Piper" tape (and making good use out of me at the same time, I might add - something that is entirely my fault), Faurisson (according to Zundel) threw a screaming fit because Zundel dared to use my work instead of his - in fact, Faurisson threatened to give Zundel the permanent silent treatment if he didn't re-edit the "Piper" tape to reduce my present and increase Faurisson's, which Zundel did! (Right or wrong, Bradley and I gave Zundel the rights to use the Piper footage as he saw fit. As a result there are two different versions of this tape floating about - mind and Zundel's. This has caused some confusion; and once again, it's entirely my fault). Faurisson's childish behavior was even more laughable because it was predicated on the assumption that there was some kind of fight over Zundel's affections! Hell; dealing with Zundel to such an extent was a huge mistake on my part. If Faurisson WANTS Zundel he can HAVE him!
Faurisson has burdened Bradley Smith and Dr. Robert Countess with this childish feud, sending numerous angry faxes to Bradley and once (the day after the 12th IHR conference) demanding that Bradley "summon" me to IHR headquarters so that I could be lectured to by Faurisson about who's boss in the revisionist jungle. Faurisson has never had the guys to make such phone calls himself. He likewise had poor Dr. Countess call me to pass on Faurisson's insulting comments - all the while as Faurisson sat in Dr. Countess' living room making sure he said the right things! Faurisson's a grown man; if he has a problem with me, he can tell me so himself. He has my phone and fax number, and we've been together in the same room many times.
But Faurisson has never expressed any criticisms of my factual arguments. His complaints are always that I am "needlessly" examining something about which Faurisson has already rendered "final" judgment (this couldn't be more like an "exterminationist": indeed, Faurisson has repeatedly claims - as in his recent IHR conference speech - that the time for investigating is over. The answers - Faurisson's answers - are all final. Shades of Lipstadt. I would counter that the search for answers has barely begun), or that I am part of some great Jewish "conspiracy." This "conspiracy" claim has recently become his favorite. He has lent his name to a Willis Carto pamphlet (Carto, of course, now claims that the entire IHR is run by the ADL) stating that I am a Jewish agent whose motives are not to be trusted. This pamphlet was passed out in one form by Carto supporters at the 12th IHR conference last year, and was reproduced in another form in the "Spotlight."
Amazingly, while I was in France last year Faurisson called all or most of the French revisionists and told them to avoid me at ALL costs, NOT to talk to me, NOT to meet me, NOT to be interviewed by me - because I am a "Jewish spy" working in cahoots with the French government to entrap and jail French revisionists! (Tristan Mordrel informed me of Faurisson's actions).
For a man who has perhaps the world's most demanding definition of "proof" when it comes to homicidal gas chambers, I would ask Faurisson just what proof does he have that I am a "spy" for anybody? He's NEVER offered anything resembling evidence. But Faurisson's charges aren't based on any evidence; they're utilitarian in nature - Faurisson doesn't like me, so he fabricates a "Jewish spy" story because I'm Jewish. At this point it would be easy to charge Faurisson with "anti-Semitism," but I think that's a cop-out. Faurisson has acted in a similarly childish fashion against OTHER revisionists, non [sic] of whom are Jewish. Usually, Faurisson feuds with people who disagree with him. I can specifically point to the example of Fritz Berg, who was blackballed from the 12th IHR conference by Faurisson, who gave Mark Weber an "either Fritz goes or I go" ultimatum. Fritz was only restored to the roster after an 11th hour intervention by Andrew Allen (I hate to say it, but I think Mark's decision to let Fritz back in was due more to the crisis that resulted from a rash of speaker-cancellations. I think Mark needed speakers, and this time Faurisson would just have to give in). To hear Fritz tell it, Faurisson has been hard at work keeping Fritz' articles out of revisionist publications. And Fritz' crime? He dares to point out some of Faurisson's factual errors.
So now we come to the Struthof matter. When I returned from my "good news/bad news" trip to Europe last year (good news for me; I got more research done than ever before. Bad news for Bradley; no footage for any new videos. Good news for me; I no longer had any interest in doing videos for Bradley or anyone else - as Bradley can confirm) Bradley asked me to recount the details of the robbery at the Struthof camp. I did, and Bradley wrote of the details in his "Smith's Report." And once that issue of "Smith's Report" hit the stands, so to speak, guess who Bradley heard from via fax? It was Robert Faurisson with yet another conspiracy charge! But this one was quite unlike the fairly tame letter from Henri Roques; Faurisson charged that the robbery story was a figment of my Jewish imagination. I had "survivor" envy. Being a Jew, I had a fantasy about being violated in some way while being in a "gas chamber," so I invented the story in order to now be able to call myself a gas chamber "survivor," and hit up the gullible goyim for money. You see, when inventing my story dealing with the theft from my rental car, I chose as the location of my rental car the area outside the gas chamber because it resembled the "Birkenau 'Rampe'" - this way I could re-enact the stories of Nazi guards abusing Jews by "seizing all their belongings that had been left, on the Birkenau 'Rampe,' in railway cars or in lorries." What a brilliant interpretation! "I leave it to psychanalysts (sic) to study such an invention coming from a Jew" he wrote. "I do not wish to see anyone judaizing (sic) revisionism by putting in it Jewish stories." Faurisson claimed that Roques supported this theory.
Faurisson went on to say that my motive for coming up with this story was money. The fact that only one paragraph earlier he'd written that my motive was a sick need to emulate a gas chamber victim didn't seem to bother him at all. Why not have TWO motives?! That can only help the theory. So Faurisson says that my gameplan was to fake a robbery story in order to make money: "(Cole) gets out of the Struthof 'gas chamber' as a survivor and then makes publicity and money out of his extraordinary adventure...." But Faurisson is wise to me; "It looks like the usual phantasmagoria and the usual Shoah-business."
Damn...And I've have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for that intrepid Frenchman!
Bradley told Faurisson that he wanted something published in "SR," it would have to be 1) less insulting, and 2) written by someone who was actually there at Struthof with me.
But what Faurisson initially sent to meet this standard was NOT a text written by someone who was present (Roques), but a "digest" of Monsieur Roques' views, still written by Faurisson. But this version, the "digest" version as we shall call it, differed considerably from Faurisson's "Jewish Holocauat [sic] survivor envy" version. NOW the robbery wasn't entirely dismissed as a figment of my Jewish imagination...and NOW the motive of "money" was absent, replaced by a NEW motivating factor, "carelessness(?)." Faurisson concludes the "digest" version by writing that "Mr. and Mrs. Roques think" that I am trying to implicate the guards to cover up my own "carelessness." But what carelessness is Faurisson referring to? He never explains. He just makes the charge, in the name of Henri Roques and his wife, and then he lets it drop. I'm not sure what I did that was "careless" (in fact, I'm much more culpable of "carelessness" in MY version of events at Struthof, giving my name and other information to the camp officials, then allowing my car to be out of my sight in the presence of one of the guards), but then Faurisson doesn't seem to be fond of such petty details. This "digest" version is indeed less insulting than the "Holocaust survivor envy" version, but since Bradley's insistence was on a version AUTHORED by someone present at Struthof, a NEW version was required.
So Faurisson sent another letter, this one signed "Henri Roques," You see, as Faurisson told Bradley, Roques doesn't write English (quite true) so Faurisson had to actually write this letter, even though it is a translation of Roques' views. I don't doubt this, by the way, but I feel sure that, where he in _my_ shoes, Faurisson (being the scrupulous "document-criticizer" that he is) would surely balk at having never seen the Roques French-language original! (Just kidding; I'll gladly accept Faurisson's translation as being accurate)
But Roques gives a slightly different line than Faurisson. Perhaps because he is aware that there was a police investigation into the robbery, Roques doesn't want the dismiss the entire thing as a product of my Jewish noggin. Or maybe Roques isn't quite audacious enough to dismiss the whole story as "survivor envy." And any talk of Faurisson's claim that I am attempting to extort money from the revisionist community is likewise absent. But where's the charge of "carelessness"? Gone, along with any speculation about motive. We've seen a steady change in the conspiracy theory, from "malice" (the "survivor envy" and "extortion" angle of the "extreme" version), to "negligence" (the "carelessness [sic] charge in the "digest" version), to the lack of motive speculation in the "Roques" version.
So what we get from Roques (by way of Faurisson) is a somewhat wishy-washy letter compared to Faurisson's fiery attack against me as a Jew. his [sic] charge of extortion, and his ambiguous charge that I am trying to cover up some sort of "carelessness." So what can I say in response to M. Roques? In a way, I'd prefer not to reply at all (I'll come back to this later).
I'm not going to be a hypocrite; I question eyewitness testimony all the time, so I'm not going to make a fuss if people don't believe my version of events. I have a police report, but it consists only of what I (and my camerawoman) told the gendarmes, who refused to question any other parties. So if the police report supports my version, it's still not really proof of anything. I have the support of my camerawoman, but then wouldn't she naturally support my side, being my friend? (For the record, she's not Jewish. In fact, she's German - but what does THAT prove? Just another case of a Jew dominating a German, right?!) All the same, there are a few points worth making:
Pierre Guillaume is himself at odds with Roques over the number of guards. I clearly remember the second guard staying. My camerawoman and I left the gas chamber while everyone else was still inside (we wanted to get an early start to Paris). After walking to the car and seeing the results of the theft, I ran back toward the gas chamber to tell everyone else. It was here that I saw the second guard still standing around outside the chamber. This is the main reason that I can't help but believe that the guards were involved: There is simply NO WAY that the second guard could have been outside the gas chamber and NOT witnessed the break in. It's very important to understand the surroundings. The gas chamber building is located about five minutes AWAY from the Struthof camp. And the gas chamber is closed to ALL TOURISTS. The camp and the chamber are both located at the top of a mountain, and hour away from Strasbourg. The day of my visit the temperature was freezing, and the high altitude of the mountain made it unbearable to be outside. This is easily provable via the footage I took at the camp; everyone is bitching about the cold, and as Tristan Mordrel and I are huddled together in a phone booth, calling the Struthof camp officials (who have offices in Strasbourg, NOT on the Struthof grounds), Pierre Guillaume and my camerawoman are huddled together in the public urinal...ANYWHERE to escape the cold!
Struthof is not a well-traveled camp in the best of times...but on THAT day, it was practically deserted (exacerbated by the fact that I was there the one day of the week that the nearly restaurant is closed). There is only ONE ROAD leading to the gas chamber. ANYONE standing outside or sitting in a car (it is possible that the second guard might have been sitting in his car because of the cold) would certainly see ANYONE coming down the road.
Roques' idea that the bags were taken but not the camera equipment because "it is easier to get away with bags than with a tripod" ("easier to get away with bags than with some camera equipment" - "digest" version) suggests that the thieves had to CARRY the booty - whereas we all agreed at the time that the thieves had to have DRIVEN. Would Roques suggest that the thieves HIKED up the mountain on foot, in freezing temperatures, in the hopes of finding the rental cars of tourists who would be sequestered in the gas chamber building - even though this building is barred to ALL tourists at ALL times - and, amazed at their incredible luck of having hiked up the mountain just to arrive at the gas chamber THE ONE TIME there are actually tourists in it, LOADED themselves down with bags, then hiked BACK down the mountain again carrying four heavy bags? No offense to M. Roques, but this is one thesis definitely NOT worthy of a doctorate. We not only all agreed that the thieves had to have driven down the road to the gas chamber building, but in fact M. Mordrel, my camerawoman, and I IMMEDIATELY drove down the road in the vain hope of catching up to the car of the thief or thieves. And, as M. Mordrel
accompanied me and my camerawoman to the nearest police station, Pierre Guillaume AND M. Roques and his wife drove up and down the mountain road looking for anything that might have been tossed out of a car window.
And when I say those bags were "heavy," I mean HEAVY. One bag had, mixed in among papers, notebooks, and other stuff, the TOOLS I used to obtain certain forensic samples from certain camps. These tools included about five chisels, two hammers, two mallets, picks, and stud detector. Anyone who's ever done any location videotaping knows the necessity for camera batteries. I had brought twenty batteries with me on the trip. At the time of the robbery, I had two of them with me in the gas chamber, eight were lying on the back seat of the car (among the camera equipment that wasn't stolen), and ten were mixed in with another bag, making THAT bad extremely heavy, too. Hiking down the mountain loaded with all that stuff would've been quite an ordeal...but as I've said, the notion that the robbers were on foot was the furthest thing from ANYONE'S mind at the time. If we HAD thought of that, we surely would have proceeded after the robbers on foot (after all, we had only been in the chamber a short while, and the robbers were weighed, down [sic] so how far could they have gotten?) instead of driving down the mountain road after their car, as we did. I would suggest that Monsieur Roques is advancing the "robbers were on foot" theory because he understand that there WAS a second guard outside the chamber the whole time...and it is easier to suggest that this second guard was innocently aware of the thief (thieves?) if the thief was on foot, perhaps crawling through the tall grass like a snake. There is no way to excuse the second guard if the thieves drove, because the second guard could not have missed the car coming down the single access road to the gas chamber.
I'm not trying to say that I know for certain what happened; I've NEVER asserted that I know for certain. But I AM saying that I believe I had good reason to advance the theory of the guards' involvement (good reason that did not include extortion, survivor hallucinations, or a "carelessness coverup").
The notion that this all might have been an "anti-revisionist operation" was initially Mordrel's, and even Roques admits that he initially had the same idea. Mordrel's argument against this theory, voiced later, was that if MY car was broken into, why not also Pierre Guillaume's car and the Roques' car? They are even more infamous in France and would be tantalizing targets for any anti-revisionist plot. Agreed. But what we would later realize is that only MY presence had been announced to the guards and camp officials. I had to negotiate with the Director and Curator of the Struthof Museum in order to get my gas chamber tour. I presented my I.D., and it was arranged for me to come back (perhaps giving the officials time to check my credentials? I don't know) and get a personal tour under the supervision of the guards. No one knew that Roques or Guillaume would be present, and they made their presence known to no one.
But as to whether or not the theft was directed against me AS A REVISIONIST, I cannot say. I have always advocated another possibility: The guards knew that a Jewish American tourist was to get a personal tour. Forgive me for dealing in stereotypes, but such a tourist would most certainly appear to be a good target for a robbery. That civil servants like these guards might have seen this opportunity is by no means out of the question; indeed, it is
standard police procedure to at least entertain the idea of an inside job during most robberies, mainly because these inside jobs are not at all uncommon. And adding the facts that the second guard would have had to have seen a car come down the road, and that the thieves happened to come by the gas chamber - a building that anyone acquainted with the area understands is NEVER open to tourists - just at the time that we were all inside, I think it is not unreasonable to entertain the notion of an inside job. In fact, it is a notion that I strongly suspect to be true.
Whether the robbery was for money or for some other purpose is presently not knowable.
By the way, I based my claim that Madam Roques had her purse in her car on the statement of M. Mordrel, who told me that it was odd that no other cars were broken into because Pierre had his "briefcase" in his car, and Madam Roques had her "bag" in her car. If I misunderstood "bag" to be "purse" I'm sorry. Perhaps it was a different type of bag. It was Mordrel who first pointed out how it was "very strange" that the things left in the other cars were not taken. But even this does not necessarily point to me being singled out because I had been fingered as a revisionist. Tourists are usually preferred by criminals for a variety of reasons (including the fact that they usually don't stick around too long to pursue a lengthy investigation).
Also for the record, I'll mention that as far as Faurisson's claim that my motive for staging this "hoax" was money, Bradley can attest to the fact that I am no longer interested in selling products through revisionist circles (in fact it has been - and still is - BRADLEY who so dearly wants more video). In exchange for the fact that there would be no video coming out of this last Europe trip, I gladly absorbed the huge cost overrun caused by the robbery and several other unforeseen calamities. Although Bradley has offered to help defray these costs with money from our "D&B Productions" account, I have still refused to bill him. The total of these costs, NOT INCLUDING MEALS (which I have never bothered to tally) is approximately $5,500.00. Add to that the $4,000.00 that I reimbursed my camerawoman because of her losses due to the robbery (her actual losses came to about $200.00. The rest was "guilt money" - money to alleviate my guilt because many of the things she lost had great emotional value), and you get almost $10,000 in expenses that I'm covering. Revisionism for me has never been for profit. I take it for granted that revisionism COSTS money...only a fool EXPECTS money from all this.
Bradley conducted a video interview with me, where I recounted the details of the robbery, as a means of explaining to his closest supporters just what happened on my trip. The video was Bradley's idea; in fact he made me do the same thing after my '92 trip - and I say "made" because getting me to sit still for one of these pointless exercises is like pulling teeth - just ask Bradley. The video from my '92 trip has never been sold, just given free to Bradley's closest supporters. The video of my last trip, which is hardly designed as a salable product as it has no titles and is completely unedited (it's exactly what was shot, frequent stoppages and all), was also given free to Bradley's closest supporters. I have not made one cent out of it, and, if you want to be precise, I've lost a few dollars if you count the Hi8 videotape of the master and the VHS copy for Bradley.
Forgive me for bringing this "money" issue up...but I felt a need to respond to Faurisson's charge.
If you've been paying attention you'll remember that there are THREE versions of this Struthof charge going around (the "extreme" version, the "digest" version, and the "Roques" version). I don't know which one Faurisson presently believe in, but I DO know that he is sending around all three versions, though to my knowledge no one person has received all three (Faurisson seems to choose a version for each recipient, and his decision-making process is a mystery to me: a certain left-leaning revisionist has been sent the "extreme" survivor-envy version, and a "racialist" publication has been sent the milder "Roques" one. To me, this seems backwards).
And that, as they say, is that...at least as far as this latest Faurisson charge goes. Now, I said earlier that I might have preferred not answering this charge at all. My way of looking at it is this; if Faurisson's charge helps disentangle me (and my not-so-good name) from the racist/anti-Semitic/neo-Nazi far right, if these folks stop trumpeting me and my work out of a believe in Faurisson's charge that I'm a money-grubbing spy, then my life will become a whole lot easier. The fact that I've received a lot of play in the far-right press is very much my own fault; I'm not blaming anybody else. All the same, though, I've never been pleased with the situation I found myself in. Each time I stressed my opposition to racism or Nazism, each time I stressed that my revisionist views were the product of intellectual curiosity and not pro-fascism, I was embraced even closer by the far-right because, after all, who better to have as an ally than someone from the opposing camp? And those far-rightists who did level charges against me of "Jewish spy" were always too small to be taken seriously be [sic] the far-right community in general.
But now that Robert Faurisson is going public with his conspiracy theory, perhaps now people will start to listen. Maybe now certain far-rightists will not be so quick to broadcast my videos or write glowing articles about me, out of a fear that they will be accused of helping me in my conspiratorial shenanigans! I say, let Faurisson be heard by all! Those who will believe his charges are, almost by definition, just the kind of people I DON'T want calling me, supporting me, or promoting me.
In fact, my recent debate with Faurisson over the Struthof gas chamber has started to produce just such a deteriorating effect among my (ahem) "supporters." For the uninitiated, after I returned from Europe last year Faurisson sent yet ANOTHER fax to Bradley, this time repeating the charge he made after the "Piper" video. David Cole did not have to go to Struthof, he wrote, because Faurisson had already solved that question once and for all: There is no Struthof homicidal gas chamber! No need for any more research. Faurisson has spoken.
Well, in reality Faurisson has benefited from the fact that the Struthof camp officials keep that gas chamber building closed off to everyone. For decades we had to rely on his description of that building. That was one reason I fought so hard to see it for myself. And it was by no means a surprise to me when, after seeing the building for myself, I realized that Faurisson has been misrepresenting it for years. So I answered Faurisson's "there is no more problem with the Struthof 'gas chamber'" charge with a lengthy response in "Smith's Report," in which I not only criticized Faurisson's methodology
but I ALSO made the claim that I think there is a very high probability, based on my own strict standard of documentary evidence, that the Struthof gas chamber was indeed used to kill Jews (and even if I am wrong in my belief about the high probability of homicidal gassings in this building, I feel that my points about Faurisson's many MISREPRESENTATIONS about the Struthof gas chamber are airtight, since all I did was compare and contrast various contradictory Faurisson texts).
And you should hear the fallout since my "Smith's Report" article about Struthof and Faurisson! Nasty letters to me from my former (huh, huh) "supporters," and nasty letters to Bradley Smith for publishing my article. In fact, several supporters have apparently abandoned Bradley entirely! It is with great humor and no sadness that I observe how folks who only months earlier were giving me ridiculous praise as a "great man" are now giving me equally ridiculous scorn for being a "turncoat" now that I've dared to stray from the standard dogma. What happened, guys? Where'd my "greatness" go? Two years ago you were ready to carve my likeness on Mount Rushmore (or should that be Stone Mountain?), and now I'm persona non grata. And while I'm thankful for the diminishing support, I'm truly perplexed by the SURPRISE that some of you are showing about my Struthof statements. Stop acting like you've been hustled, guys. From day one I made it clear that I'm a leftist, race-mixing, atheistic Jew who has no allegiance to any dogma and who'd gladly agree that there were gas chambers if only the proof could be found. It's not my fault if some of you thought that I was only saying those things to fool the public and that privately I was "one of you." I was in fact being completely truthful (look, I'm as skeptical as the next guy but take my word for it, you CAN believe SOME things you read). I was NEVER "one of you." I never sought to be a "movement" guy. And I never sought to mislead. Keep that in mind before any of you penalize poor Bradley any further.
While brings me (finally!) to my last point - and it's probably the most important point I'll make. After Bradley published my Struthof gas chamber article, he gave Faurisson an April 20 deadline to send a response. That was a month and a half ago, and as of yesterday (April 20) Faurisson has failed to send ANY response. Perhaps Faurisson doesn't realize this, but there are many revisionists who are waiting with baited breath [sic] for the great Faurisson to demolish that SOB Cole. Everyone should be made aware that Faurisson has thus far failed to respond. And what HAS Faurisson done? He's sent copies of the Cole conspiracy theory letter to any and every revisionist or right-wing publication whose address or fax number he has. And he still wants Bradley to publish the charge in "Smith's Report" (which Bradley will do). You see, THAT'S Faurisson's response to my Struthof gas chamber article; to attack me personally. He's refused to address any of my points about the Struthof gas chamber. Once again, he's taken a page out of the "exterminationist" book by responding to factual points with personal attacks. He's refused to send Bradley any response to my Struthof article (even though Bradley has asked several times since initially giving Faurisson the April 20 deadline). In fact, Faurisson has failed to respond to my Struthof gas chamber article, even after the April 20 deadline. Bradley was confused, but I reminded him that Faurisson's "response" to Fritz Berg's points about Zyklon B was to try to "blackball" Fritz, so I assured Bradley that there was nothing new about Faurisson's tactics here. But Faurisson is highly, and humorously, mistaken if he thinks he's "harming" me by trying to get be blackballed by the far
right. In fact Faurisson's timing couldn't be more impeccable. And while Faurisson may be doing me a favor by helping to end the far-right's fascination with me, I certainly hope that all the revisionists who idolize Faurisson to the point of taking his claims on faith and as gospel will not allow it to go unnoticed that Faurisson has taken this route for his "response." Is this the behavior one expects from a revisionist? It is certainly the behavior one would expect from Deborah Lipstadt.
While some revisionist stress "movement unity" (whatever that means) above all else, there are others who are becoming alarmed (and with good reason) at the personality cult that is developing around some revisionists (to those of you who have said that I am too "hard" on Faurisson, I will remind you that I speak of him with no less severity than I do various "exterminations." I won't go easy on Faurisson just because we happen to hold similar opinions about some things). And while Faurisson is calling for an end to research (note his last conference speech), I wish to ceaselessly prod him (and others) with those things that I believe revisionists have yet to adequately explain (the same way I'll never let up about the things that the "exterminationists" have failed to adequately explain).
As an example, I'll point specifically to Faurisson's response to David Irving's "Journal of Historical Review" essay/conference speech on the Goebbels diary, appearing in the letters section of the current "Journal of Historical Review" (March/April '95). Faurisson quotes from the March 27, 1942 Goebbels diary entry, and then writes "In itself, this last sentence ("Broadly speaking, one can probably say that 60 percent of them will have to be liquidated, while only 40 percent can be put to work" - Goebbels) tends to show that the Reich Minister of Propaganda did not know for sure that there was a German policy to physically exterminate the Jews, either totally or in part."
"IN PART?" What does he think Goebbels is referring to, if not a liquidation IN PART. Faurisson is pulling an old "exterminationist" trick here by quoting a passage and then TELLING us what we've just read, hoping we won't notice any incongruity between the passage and Faurisson's explanation. Faurisson is quoting a passage that speaks of exterminations in part - AT LEAST in part, and then he TELLS us that we in fact HAVEN'T just read what we've read - with no explanation given to clarify why Goebbels isn't actually saying what he so clearly seems to be saying. I think Faurisson has grown too used to having his word taken as gospel. Naked emperors don't only exist on the "exterminationist" side. Faurisson's description of the March 27 Goebbels diary entry reminds me of page 120 of dear old Mel Mermelstein's book, where he shows a picture of Krema 1 and writes in the caption "note the pipes and shower heads above").
The importance (to me of this Goebbels diary passage is that for the first time we have a reliable piece of evidence which points to a plan of separation between those Jews fit for "labor" and the rest, who "have to be liquidated." Hate it though some of us may, this fits the "exterminationist" model much better than it does the revisionist one. If revisionists wish to explain this passage some other way, they'll have to do better than the explanation offered by Faurisson. For myself, I can say that the meaning of this Goebbels diary passage, IN RELATION to events occurring at that time, has yet to be adequately explained by any revisionist.
And Faurisson's explanation of the "Jew transport from Berlin. No liquidation" Himmler note is similarly thin. He neglects to take into account that this entire transport WAS liquidated, in toto. If "no liquidation" meant "no individuals in this transport are scheduled for execution," and if this was the policy (to inform Heydrich of any individuals on each transport who might be scheduled for executions), then why was the entire transport liquidated? It seems to me that a better explanation is that these Jews were being sent to an area where liquidations of Jews were taking place, and for whatever reason (and this is something that the "exterminationists" have yet to explain) Hitler and/or Himmler decided that this transport should be exempted. But it was too late. If Faurisson wishes to support his version, I'd ask him if there are any other notes from Himmler to Heydrich, or records of any conversations between the two men, about individuals in any of these transports who were scheduled for execution upon arrival. In other words, if it was commonplace for Himmler to alert Heydrich of any individuals in these transports who were scheduled to be executed, then there should be records of these orders (i.e. "Jew transport from Berlin. Five liquidations." "Jew transport from Berlin. Twenty liquidations." "Jew transport from Berlin. No liquidations." etc. etc.). I'm not asking rhetorically; I'm genuinely curious.
I'll apologize again for the length of this response...but I wanted to take the time to be specific about my problems with Faurisson, not only because these problems may give you some insight about his current mail/fax campaign against me, but also because I think that the points I've made about Faurisson's scholarship are as relevant now as they've ever been.
Allright [sic], enough already. I've done 16 pages on this Faurisson business, and if you're as sick of reading this as I am of writing it, then I'd better stop right now!
Additional information about this document
|Title:||David Cole Responds to Henri Roques and Robert Faurisson|
|Sources:||Supplement to Smith's Report, no. 22, April 1995, p. 2 of the Supplement; http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/people/c/cole.david/cole-vs-faurisson-struthof|
|First posted on CODOH:||Sept. 19, 2015, 5:31 a.m.|