How a Major Holocaust Historian Manipulates Facts
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Gerald Fleming is an internationally prominent Holocaust historian who teaches history at the University of Surrey in England. In his widely-discussed 1984 book, Hitler and the Final Solution, he attempted to refute British historian David Irving’s provocative contention that no documentary evidence exists to show that Hitler ordered the extermination of Europe’s Jews, or even that he knew about any such policy or program.
Fleming’s book received lavish media praise, although there were a few words of criticism. For example, a generally laudatory review in the New York Times (Dec. 28, 1984) nevertheless noted that Fleming’s “sometimes flamboyant writing and the structure of his book as a kind of thriller will annoy some historians.”
More to the point, the German-born English-Jewish historian failed conclusively to refute Irving’s thesis. The best that Fleming could cite was something called the “Franke-Gricksch ‘Resettlement Action Report’.” However, in a detailed analysis published in the Fall 1991 Journal of Historical Review (pp. 261-279), Canadian scholar Brian A. Renk established that this document, which has no date or signature, contains demonstrable absurdities. He concluded that it is a postwar fabrication.
In 1993 newspapers around the world announced that Fleming had discovered in the Soviet archives proof of execution gas chambers at Auschwitz. In addition to articles about his discovery, Fleming himself reported on his findings in several articles. (See, for example, his piece, headlined “Engineers of Death,” in the New York Times, July 18, 1993.) In fact, he was able only to cite portions of transcripts of postwar Soviet military interrogations of four German engineers.
In 1994 Fleming collaborated with architect Robert Jan van Pelt on a documentary film, “Blueprints of Genocide,” which was broadcast in Britain on the BBC “Horizon” program, May 9, 1994, and in the United States on the NPR “Nova” program, February 7, 1995. During a dramatic high point of the broadcast, van Pelt is shown holding a document while stating: “It says very clearly, ‘You will be able to kill and you will be able to burn simultaneously in this building [Crematory II]’.”
This document, which is not shown to viewers, is actually a simple memorandum of January 29, 1942, not even marked “Secret,” about ... electricity supply. It mentions “burning [cremation] with simultaneous special treatment” (“Verbrennung mit gleichzeitiger Sonderbehandlung”). Fleming deceitfully reversed the word order, and rendered “Sonderbehandlung” as “kill.”
Commenting on this misrepresentation, Robert Faurisson has written that “the word ‘Sonderbehandlung’ could mean, by its place in the phrase, anything except to kill because this ‘special treatment’ was simultaneous with burning.” Moreover, as Faurisson further noted, it is obvious that if Fleming, or anyone, had actually discovered a wartime German document that clearly says what Holocaust historians have been seeking for decades, it would be publicized everywhere as a discovery of the greatest historical importance. (See: R. Faurisson, “A KGB Novelist: Gerald Fleming,” Adelaide Institute on-line newsletter [Australia], Dec. 1996, pp. 23-25.)
Over the years, Fleming has maintained correspondence with revisionist researchers in different countries. For example, the full text of his handwritten letter of April 3, 1991, to the editor of the Journal of Historical Review was published in the Fall 1991 issue (pp. 375-378), along with a response by Mark Weber. More recently, Fleming wrote a handwritten letter of April 25, 1996, to Institute Director Weber. These two letters show how Fleming deals with facts and historical evidence.
Here is the complete text of Fleming’s April 1996 letter, along with Weber’s reply of July 26, 1996 (to which Fleming did not respond).
University of Surrey
re: The Rudolf Report / “Cromwell Press” 1993
Author: Germar Scheerer (formerly Rudolf)
‘Strafsache gegen Volksverhetzung u.a. / Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Stuttgart / 4. 4. 96’
25 / IV / 96
I note your Institute is still distributing the ‘Rudolf Report,’ which refers to some of my research in foreign archives on page 107-108. In view of the fact that the information given is utter nonsense, and since the sentence passed on the author of this report by the Landgericht Stuttgart on the 23 June 1995 has been confirmed by the Federal German Supreme Court, I am writing to you to let you know, – since you may well be unaware of this fact, – that the printer of this report, who is known to the authorities, gave a written formal undertaking at the beginning of March 1994, in which he undertook not to print this report again and to destroy any copies at that time still on his premises.
It is indeed in the printer’s interest that the ‘Rudolf Report,’ which has led to a fourteen months’ prison sentence against its author, and the printing and distribution of which is an actionable offence, should not be available in any shape or form to potential readers, since it could leave the printer and distributor open to charges.
INSTITUTE FOR HISTORICAL REVIEW
P.O. Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659
Fri., 26 July 1996
University of Surrey
Dept. of Linguistic
and International Studies
Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
England – U.K.
Dear Dr. Fleming,
Thank you for your handwritten letter of 25 April, in which you advise us not to distribute The Rudolf Report. Please pardon this tardy response.
After receiving your letter, we contacted Anthony Hancock, director of Wilson Press (The Print Factory), the English publisher of the Report. He gave us a different view of the facts. What happened, according to Hancock, is this:
Degussa, a German chemical corporation, had been concerned because the original edition of The Rudolf Report contained a single-line acknowledgment by the author expressing thanks to “Degussa AG for providing information material about Prussian Blue (trade name Vossen-Blau).” Fearful of being associated, even so tenuously, with this publication, Degussa complained to the English publisher. In a letter to Hancock, the London law firm representing Degussa stated that the Report’s contents are illegal in Germany, and that the author’s passing mention of the company in the first edition “has had serious adverse consequences for Degussa’s business, not only in Germany but also in the United States and Israel.”
On March 30, 1994, Hancock and Degussa concluded a written agreement, a copy of which Hancock sent to us. In return for a pledge by Degussa that it would not bring legal proceedings against him, Hancock agreed to refrain from mentioning Degussa in any future editions of the Report, and to destroy all existing copies of the Report with the word “Degussa.”
Contrary to what you suggested to me, Hancock did not agree to halt all publication of The Rudolf Report.
Your objections to the Report might be more convincing if Germar Rudolf were the only independent investigator to conclude that the supposed gas chamber facilities in Auschwitz and Birkenau were not used, and could not have been used, for killing prisoners as alleged. As you must know, at the time he wrote it, Rudolf was a certified chemist working at the renowned Max Planck research center, as well as a doctoral candidate at the University of Stuttgart. He wrote his detailed Report on the basis of an on-site investigation, chemical analysis of samples, and meticulous research.
Rudolf reached essentially the same conclusion as had American gas chamber specialist Fred Leuchter in his 1988 forensic investigation of the alleged gas chambers of Auschwitz and Birkenau. You may also be aware that as a result of Leuchter’s findings, the Institute of Forensic Research in Krakow conducted a partial investigation, and that its forensic analysis, given in a confidential September 1990 report, corroborated Leuchter’s findings. (This report was published in the Summer 1991 Journal of Historical Review). Moreover, Austrian engineer Walter Lüftl explicitly endorsed Leuchter’s findings in a detailed March 1992 report (published in the Winter 1992-93 Journal), and German engineer Wolfgang Schuster and American research chemist William Lindsey reached conclusions similar to those of Leuchter and Rudolf.
If these researchers are wrong, it should not be difficult to demonstrate their error. Everyone should welcome an impartial, thorough forensic examination of all the evidence by an international team of independent scholars, engineers and historians. As it is, courageous skeptics are routinely subjected to threats, smears, physical violence, arrest and legal persecution. In Germany, France, Austria, Israel and a few other countries, it is a crime to dispute the official version of Holocaust history. Leuchter’s career has been destroyed, and Rudolf has been sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.
The vicious nature of the campaign against those who call into question aspects of the Holocaust extermination story implicitly supports the merit of their findings. What kind truth is it that must be defended with threats of arrest, fines and imprisonment?
I am disappointed that you seek to bolster your position by citing the legal persecution of researchers and historians who have reached conclusions at odds with the official Holocaust story. Indeed, you audaciously seek to enlist our cooperation in suppressing Rudolf’s Report, citing a transparently false concern for the best interests of the printer and distributor. As a scholar, your duty should be to join with us in protesting against this outrageous campaign against free speech and open scholarly inquiry, and to defend victims such as Germar Rudolf.
s / Mark Weber
Additional information about this document
|Title:||How a Major Holocaust Historian Manipulates Facts|
|Sources:||The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 16, no. 6 (November/December 1997), pp. 11f.|
|First posted on CODOH:||Jan. 5, 2013, 6 p.m.|