My Life as a Revisionist (September 1983 to September 1987)
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What is usually called the "Faurisson Affair" began on 16 November 1978 with the publication of an article about me in the newspaper Le Matin de Paris. For several years I had realized that as soon as the press made public my opinions about Revisionism I would encounter a storm of opposition. By its very nature Revisionism can only disturb the public order; where certitudes quietly reign, the spirit of free inquiry is an intrusion and shocks the public. The first task of the courts is not so much to defend justice as it is to preserve law and order. The truth, in the sense in which I use the word (i.e., that which is verifiable), only interests judges if it does not upset law and order. I never had any illusions: they would haul me into court, I would be convicted, and there would also be physical attacks, press campaigns and an upheaval in my personal, family and professional life.
I presented my last I.H.R. conference paper in September of 1983. Its title was "Revisionism on Trial: Developments in France, 1979-1983." JHR, Summer 1985, VoL 6, no. 2, pp. 133-182) This paper is the continuation of that earlier one. I have entitled it: "My Life as a Revisionist (September 1983 to September 1987)." The period between 1979 and 1983 was marked in France by the use of legal weapons against Revisionism. The period 1983 to 1987 has been marked by a relaxation of that activity (but I am afraid that it is going to begin again in 1987-1988). In France, the Jewish organizations which took legal action against us were disappointed and even upset by the relative lightness of my conviction in April of 1983. They had expected better from the French courts. They wanted my hide but they got only a pound of flesh. They hoped that the judges would say: "Faurisson is a falsifier of history; his work on the gas chambers is full of frivolities, carelessness, deliberate oversights and lies; Faurisson is malicious and dangerous." But on 25 April 1983, the judges of the first chamber of the Court of Appeal in Paris in a sense said: "Faurisson is a serious researcher; we find no frivolity, carelessness, deliberate oversights or lies in his writings about the gas chambers; but perhaps he is malicious and certainly he is dangerous; we condemn him for his probable maliciousness and for the danger he poses, but we do not condemn his work on the gas chambers, which is serious. On the contrary, since this work is serious, we guarantee every Frenchman the right to say, if he thinks so, that the gas chambers did not exist"
What the Jewish organizations could not achieve in France from 1979 to 1983, they then tried to accomplish in other countries, especially with the lengthy prosecution of Ernst Zündel in Canada. In 1984 and 1985 I actively participated in Zündel's defense. In the first part of this paper I will deal with that trial, which, in spite of everything, brought about a leap forward in historical research. The second part of my account will deal with the many so-called "affairs" which, mainly in France, have marked both the failure of those who want to block historical research and also the success of those who are involved in such research. In a third section of this paper I will try to review the achievements of Historical Revisionism up to now and to tell you what, in my opinion, are our prospects for the future.
My general impression is this: I am optimistic about the future of Revisionism but pessimistic about the future of Revisionists. Revisionism today is so vigorous that nothing will stop it; we need no longer fear the silent treatment. But Revisionist researchers are going to pay dearly for the spread of their ideas. It is possible that in some countries we will be reduced to some kind of samizdat activity, for we face increasing political and legal dangers, and our financial resources are dwindling (especially because of the expenses of our court appearances and convictions).
I. The Zündel Trial (1985), or "The Nuremberg Trial on Trial"
The year 1985 is a great date in the history of Revisionism. It will be remembered as the year of the Zündel trial (or, to be more precise, of the first Zündel trial since a second trial is currently being prepared [and took place in 1988 –Ed.]).
I think I know Ernst Zündel rather well. I met him in 1979 in Los Angeles at the first conference of the Institute for Historical Review. We have remained on good terms since then. In June of 1984 I went to Toronto, where he lives, to help him in his "pretrial" activities ("pretrial" being the period in which a Canadian judge decides whether the case before him should be brought to actual trial before a judge and jury). I returned in January of 1985 to Toronto, where, for almost the entire seven weeks of his trial, I again helped Zündel. In the future I will continue to help him as much as I can. He is an exceptional person.
Up until the trial he had worked as a graphic artist and publicist. He is 50 years old. Born in Germany in 1938, he has retained his German citizenship. His life has gone through serious upheavals since the day when, in the early 1980s, he began to distribute Richard Harwood's Revisionist pamphlet, Did Six Million Really Die? The pamphlet, published for the first time in Great Britain in 1974, was the occasion of a long controversy in the British magazine Books and Bookmen in the following year. At the instigation of the South African Jewish community, Harwood's pamphlet was banned in South Africa.
In 1984, in Canada, Sabina Citron, the head of the Holocaust Remembrance Association, organized violent demonstrations against Zündel. A bomb exploded at his house. The Canadian post office, treating Revisionist literature as it would pornography, refused Zündel the right to send or receive mail; he recovered his postal rights only after a year of legal wrangling. In the meantime his business had failed in spite of his excellent reputation in professional circles. At the instigation of Mrs. Citron, the Attorney General of the Province of Ontario charged Zündel with having published a false statement, tale or news liable to harm a public interest. Section 177 of the Canadian Criminal Code says the following:
Everyone who willfully publishes a statement, tale or news that he knows is false and that causes, or is likely to cause, injury or mischief to a public interest, is guilty of an indictable offense and is liable to imprisonment for two years.
The charge against Zündel followed this line of reasoning: the defendant had abused his right to freedom of expression; by selling the Harwood pamphlet, he was spreading a story that he knew to be false; as a matter of fact, he could not be ignorant that the "genocide of the Jews" and the "gas chambers" were established facts. By his actions he was likely to aaffect social and racial tolerance in the Canadian community" (Transcripts, p. 1682). Zündel was also charged with having personally written and mailed a letter, "The West, the War and Islam," expressing the same ideas as the Harwood pamphlet.
Judge Hugh Locke presided; the prosecutor was Peter Griffiths. Ernst Zündel was defended by British Columbia lawyer Douglas Christie, assisted by Keltie Zubko. The jury consisted of 12 people. The English-speaking media gave the trial extensive coverage. It should be noted that the expenses of bringing the case to trial were paid for by the Canadian taxpayers, and not by Sabina Citron's Holocaust Remembrance Association.
The jury found Zündel guilty of distributing the Harwood booklet, but did not convict him of writing the letter. Judge Locke sentenced Zündel to fifteen months in prison and forbade him to talk or write about the Holocaust. The German consulate in Toronto withdrew his passport. The Canadian government initiated deportation procedures against him Before that, the West German authorities had launched massive, coordinated police raids on the homes of all Zündel's German supporters, on a single day, throughout West Germany.
But Zündel had won a media victory. In spite of their obvious hostility, the media in general and television in particular had shown the English-speaking Canadian public that the Revisionists possessed documentation and arguments of top quality, while the Exterminationists had serious problems.
In the forty years that have gone by since the end of World War II, a new religion has developed: the religion of the Holocaust. It took shape at the Nuremberg Trial in 1945-46, which was followed by many other such trials, some of which are still going on. Numerous historians have made careers out of this religion: most notable among them is undoubtedly Raul Hilberg. A flock of witnesses, or so-called witnesses, had swarmed to the witness stands in the courts to support the existence of the genocide of the Jews and the use of homicidal gas chambers by the Germans: one of the most important of them was Rudolf Vrba.
In 1985, at the Zündel trial, the prosecution invoked, above all, the Nuremberg Trial, and secured the appearances of both Hilberg and Vrba. Zündel had predicted that his trial would "put the Nuremberg Trial on trial" and would be "the Exterminationists' Stalingrad." Events proved him right. The injustice of the Nuremberg Trial was made manifest, Hilberg was shown to be an incompetent historian, and Vrba was exposed as an impostor. I will not discuss the other witnesses called to the stand by Prosecutor Griffiths, least of all Arnold Friedman, who was offered as a witness to the Auschwitz gassings. Battered by lawyer Doug Christie's questions, Friedman ended up confessing that although he had indeed been at Auschwitz-Birkenau (where he was forced to work only once, delivering potatoes), he could report nothing but hearsay about the alleged gassings.
The Injustice of the Nuremberg Trial
"International Military Tribunal": people have noted that those three words contain three lies. This "tribunal" was not a tribunal in the usual sense of the word but rather an association of conquerors who intended to deal with the vanquished according to the principle that might makes right. It was not "military" since, of the eight judges who presided over it (two Americans, two British, two French and two Soviets), only the two Soviets were military judges, the most important of them being I.T. Nikitchenko, a prominent Stalinist who had presided over the infamous Moscow trials of 1936-37. The "tribunal" was not "international" but inter-allied. It was based on the London Agreement, which had defined war crimes, crimes against peace (preparation and launching of an aggressive war), and crimes against humanity. The London Agreement was dated 8 August 1945, which meant that it came only two days after the Allies' obliteration of Hiroshima, and just 24 hours before the destruction of Nagasaki, while on the very date of 8 August, the Soviet Union was launching an aggressive war against Japan. The atomic bomb had been developed originally with the intention of using it against the cities of Germany; had that happened one wonders what kind of moral lesson the Allies could claim to have taught the Germans, as one wonders by what kind of right another "International Military Tribunal" judged the Japanese in Tokyo.
The "tribunal" had recourse to ex post facto laws and a theory of collective guilt. It judged without the possibility of appeal, which meant that it could be arbitrary, without fear of being reversed or overruled. It was a criminal trial, but there was no jury. The prosecution had formidable resources at its disposal, especially in its control of the enemy's captured war archives. The defense has only laughable resources; it was severely limited in what it could do and it was under careful surveillance. For example, the defense lawyers had no right to bring up the Treaty of Versailles, in order to show that National Socialism had developed in part as a reaction to the effects of that treaty.
Articles 19 and 21 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal stated:
The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence … [and shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge, but shall take judicial notice thereof.
Even worse, the same Article 21 in a sense gave the force of law to the reports of the war crime committees set up by the Allies.
The Nuremberg trial suggests to me the following analogy. At the end of a boxing match which has ended in a knockout, there remain facing each other a giant, still on his feet: the winner; and, on the canvas, his bloodied victim: the loser. The giant pulls the victim to his feet and tells him: Don't think the fight is over! First, I'm going to the dressing room. When I come back, it will be in judicial robes, to judge you in accordance with my law. You'll have to explain every punch you threw at me, but don't bother bringing up the punches I landed on you: you'll have no right to mention them (unless I happen to be in an extremely good mood and decide to tolerate such talk)."
By acting thus in 1945, the Allies started out on the wrong foot. They treated the conquered with arrogance and cynicism. They gave themselves complete freedom to invent and to lie. But above all, they were careless. They should have attempted to prove their accusations in accordance with sound judicial procedures. There were and are established methods for doing that. For example, if the Germans had in fact ordered and planned the killing of all the Jews, it should have been mandatory for the Allies to establish the existence of such an order and such a plan; in other words, it was necessary to prove criminal intent. If the Germans had actually employed formidable death factories, i.e. gas chambers, it was obligatory to establish the existence of the gas slaughterhouses. In other words, the Allies had to provide evidence of the weapon of the crime; expert studies were required. Had the Germans in fact used that weapon, it was up to the Allies to prove that inmates were killed by poison gas; they therefore needed autopsy reports.
But neither during the Nuremberg Trial nor in all the later trials of the same kind did the conquerors produce either a single proof of criminal intent or a single expert report on the weapon used in the crime or a single autopsy report on a single victim of the crime. Here we are dealing with an alleged crime of gigantic proportions, yet no one seems to have found either criminal intent, a weapon, or a single corpse. The victors satisfied themselves with unverified confessions and testimony without cross examination on the physical nature of the facts.
Return to Sound Judicial Methods
The charisma of Ernst Zündel lies in his understanding that the Revisionists are right when they claim that, in order to discover the truth about the Holocaust, they need only return to the traditional methods of both jurists and historians. Zündel's genius was in being simple and direct on a matter in which, for forty years, all the lawyers or defenders of persons charged with so-called "crimes against humanity" had schemed and maneuvered. In fact, from 1945 up to and including the Barbie case in 1987, not a single lawyer dared take the bull by the horns. Not one of them demanded that the prosecution prove the reality of the genocide and the gas chambers. All lawyers for the defense adopted delaying tactics. Generally, they pleaded that their client had not been personally implicated in such a crime; their client, they said, had not been on the scene of the crime, or really had been too far away to have had a clear understanding of it, or had been actually unaware of it. Even Jacques Vergès, Barbie's lawyer, pleaded that his client, according to the traditional formula, "could not have known." That over-subtle formula means that, according to Vergès, the extermination of the Jews did take place at Auschwitz or elsewhere in Poland but that Lieutenant Barbie, living in Lyons, France, could not have known about it.
Wilhelm Stäglich, in his book The Auschwitz Myth, convincingly described how at the Frankfurt Trial (196345) the defense lawyers had in that manner reinforced the prosecution; they accepted the myth of the extermination. The motives for that kind of behavior could have been either the intimate conviction among the lawyers, as among certain of the accused, that the abominable crime had really taken place, or they could have been in fear of causing a scandal by simply seeking clarification about the reality of the crime. For almost all concerned, it would have been blasphemous to demand respect for traditional legal procedures in the trial of a "Nazi"; it must be understood that a "Nazi" is not a man "like other men" and that consequently there is no place for judging him "like other men." My personal experience with lawyers in trials of this kind leads me to think that many of them are also intimidated by their own incompetence in the historical or scientific domain. They have acquired the impression that it is impossible to answer the arguments of the Exterminationists and thus it is very difficult for them even to imagine how one would go about presenting the arguments of the Revisionists.
In Douglas Christie, Zündel was able to find a lawyer who, more than courageous, was heroic. It is for that reason that I agreed to support Doug Christie, day after day, as he prepared for and carried out his task. I must add that without the help of his friend Keltie Zubko we would not have been able to succeed in the 1985 trial, an exhausting ordeal which in retrospect seems like a nightmare. The atmosphere that prevailed in the courtroom was unbearable, especially because of the attitude of the judge, Hugh Locke. I have attended many trials in my life, including those in France during the time of the épuration, the postwar purge of "collaborators." Never have I encountered a judge as biased, autocratic and violent as Judge Hugh Locke. Anglo-Saxon law offers many more guarantees than French law but it only takes one man to pervert the best of systems: Judge Locke was that man. I remember Locke shouting in my direction: "Shut up!" when, from a distance, without saying a word, I thrust a document in the direction of Doug Christie (that exclamation and some others of the same kind did not appear in the trial transcripts).
Among the judge's innumerable rampages, I recall also the one provoked by … a square meter. In order to make the judge understand the impossibility of placing 28 to 32 persons in the space of a square meter (which is what Kurt Gerstein said he had seen), we brought in four sticks, each one meter in length, and we made ready to call 28 to 32 people The judge bounced up, shouted that our procedure seemed undignified to him, and he forbade us to use it, adding, for good measure, a remark that is worth passing on to posterity:
Before I could allow the jury to accept one square meter, I would have to hear [in the absence of the jury] a lot of witnesses who measured it (Transcripts, page 912)
Our method upset our opponents as well as the judge; it was resolutely materialist. We had an abundance of maps and plans of concentration camps, including aerial photos taken during the war by the Allies. We had available a mass of photographs, thanks most of all to Swedish researcher Ditlieb Felderer, who knew the most remote corners of the camps at Auschwitz and Majdanek. There were plenty of technical documents about cremations in the open air or in crematories, about Zyklon B. about disinfection gas chambers. I myself brought five suitcases of books and documents to Toronto, but I was just one researcher among others whom Zündel had gathered from different parts of the world.
Locke acted to neutralize our efforts. For example, he denied me the right to talk about Zyklon, aerial photos, and crematory buildings thought to contain homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz. But I had been the first one in the world to publish the plans of these buildings and to prove, at the same time, that these alleged gas chambers had in reality been only morgues ("Leichenhalle" or "Leichenkeller"). Thanks to those plans, Zündel had large mock-ups built to show to the jury; but here again the judge intervened and forbade us to display the models, which had been made by a professional. Most important, Locke forbade me to talk about the gas chambers used for executions in the United States; he said that he did not see the relevance. In fact, the relevance was the following: the Americans used hydrogen cyanide gas for their executions; but Zyklon B. which the Germans supposedly used to kill millions of prisoners, also consisted essentially of hydrogen cyanide gas. Anyone wanting to study the chief weapon supposedly used by the Germans to commit their crime, ought, in my opinion, to examine the American gas chambers. That is what I myself had done, and I had concluded from that study that the homicidal gassings attributed to the Germans were, physically and chemically, completely impossible.
Nevertheless, in spite of Locke and his orders, we (Doug Christie and myself demolished the expertise of Raul Hilberg and the testimony of Rudolf Vrba.
The Incompetence of Their Number One Expert Raul Hilberg
Raul Hilberg was born in Vienna in 1926, of Jewish stock. He was awarded a doctorate "in public law and government" in 1955. Like the great majority of authors, both Exterminationist and Revisionist, who have written about the Holocaust, he was not educated as a historian. He was appointed a member of the Holocaust Memorial Council by President Jimmy Carter. He is a member of the Jewish Studies Association. He is the author of a reference work: The Destruction of the European Jews, published in 1961. A second edition ("revised and definitive") of this book was published in 1985, only a few months after its author's testimony at the Zündel trial. This point itself is important; I will return to it later.
Raul Hilberg bore the title of expert. He arrived in Toronto cloaked in his prestige, without books, without notes, without documents, apparently sure of himself, a man used to giving depositions at numerous trials against "war criminals." He testified for several days at the rate of probably $150 an hour. Questioned by Prosecuting Attorney Griffiths, Hilberg spelled out his thesis about the extermination of the Jews: according to him, Hitler gave orders for exterminating the Jews; the Germans followed a plan; they used gas chambers; the total of Jewish losses amounted to 5,100,000. Hilberg did not hesitate to describe himself in these terms: "l would describe myself as an empiricist, looking at the materials … " (Transcripts, page 687).
As soon as the cross-examination began, Hilberg found himself out of his depth. For the first time in his life, he had to deal with a defendant who had decided to defend himself and was capable of doing so. Doug Christie, at whose side I sat, cross-examined Hilberg sharply, unmercifully, for several days. His questions were pointed, precise, relentless. Until then I had had some respect for Hilberg because of the quantity, not the quality, of his work; in any case, he stood head and shoulders above the Poliakovs, Wellers, Klarsfelds and the rest. As he testified my relative esteem was replaced by a feeling of irritation and pity: irritation because Hilberg constantly engaged in evasive maneuvers, and pity because Christie ended up scoring a blow almost every time.
In any event, if there was one clear result, it was that Hilberg was in no sense an "empiricist, looking at the materials." He was exactly the opposite; he was a man lost in the clouds of his ideas, a sort of theologian who has constructed for himself a mental universe in which the physical aspects of the facts have no place. He was a professor, all too academic, a "paper historian" like Vidal-Naquet. He began to stumble, starting with the very first question. Doug Christie announced that he was going to read him a list of concentration camps and then ask him which ones he had examined and how often he had done so. Thereupon Hilberg revealed that he had not examined any of them, either before publishing the first edition of his major work in 1961 or after that date, not even for the "definitive" edition of 1985. Since he had begun research on the history of the Holocaust in 1948, we were thus confronted with a man who had acquired the reputation of being the foremost historian in the world in his own area of research without even once in 37 years having examined a single concentration camp. He had visited only two camps, Auschwitz and Treblinka, in 1979 ("One day in Treblinka, and perhaps a half a day in Auschwitz, half a day in Birkenau" [Transcripts, page 779]); even that was merely to attend a ceremony. He had not had the curiosity to inspect either the premises themselves or the Auschwitz archives maintained at the camp. He had never visited the areas described as "gas chambers" (Transcripts, pp. 771-773 and 822-823). Asked to explain the plans, photographs and diagrams of the crematories, Hilberg refused, saying:
If you are going to show me building plans, photographs, diagrams, I do not have the same competence as I would win documents expressed in words (Transcripts, page 826).
He estimated that more than one million Jews and "perhaps 300,000" non-Jews had died at Auschwitz (Transcripts, page 826), but he did not explain how he arrived at those estimates, nor why the Polish and the Soviets had arrived at a total of 4 million, a number inscribed on the monument at Birkenau (Transcripts, page 826).
Doug Christie then questioned Hilberg about the camps alleged to have contained homicidal gas chambers. Christie read out the names of the camps, asking Hilberg each time if that camp did or did not have one or more such gas chambers. The answer ought to have been easy for such an eminent specialist but there again Hilberg was out of his depth. Alongside the camps "with" and the camps "without" gas chambers, he created, improvising clumsily, two other categories of camps: those which had "perhaps" had a gas chamber (Dachau, Flossenburg, Neuengamme, Sachsenhausen) and those which had had a "very small gas chamber" (for example, Struthof-Natzweiler in Alsace), so small that he asked himself whether it was worth the trouble to talk about it (Transcripts, page 896); he did not reveal his criteria for distinguishing among those four categories of camps.
Then Hilberg was asked if he was aware of any expert report establishing that such facilities had in fact been homicidal gas chambers. He first turned a deaf ear, then resorted to evasions, repeating the most inappropriate responses. His delaying tactics became so obvious that Judge Locke, generally so quick to rush to the aid of the prosecution, felt himself obliged to interrupt to ask for an answer. Only then did Hilberg answer, with no further subterfuges, that he was aware of no such report. There are 14 pages of transcript (pp. 968-981) from the moment that embarrassing question was asked until the moment it was finally answered.
Did Hilberg know of an autopsy report establishing that such and such a prisoner's body was the body of someone killed by poison gas? There again the answer was: "No" (Transcripts, pp. 983-984).
Since Hilberg, on the other hand, emphasizes the testimony of witnesses so much, he was questioned about the testimony of Kurt Gerstein. He claimed that he had hardly used the confessions of this SS officer in his book at all. To that Christie retorted that, in The Destruction of the European Jews, the name of Gerstein was mentioned 23 times and that document PS-1553, an alleged statement by the same Gerstein, was quoted 10 times. Then several fragments of those confessions, in various forms, were read before the jury. Hilberg ended up agreeing that certain parts of the confessions by Gerstein were "pure nonsense" (Transcripts, page 904).
It was the same with the confessions of Rudolf Höss. Hilberg, upset, had to admit in one case: "It's terrible" (Transcripts, page 1076). About one of the most important "confessions" signed by Höss (PS-3868), he admitted that here we had a man making a statement in a language (English) other than his own (German), a totally impossible statement which "seems to have been a summary of things he said or may have said or may have thought he said by someone who shoved a summary in front of him and he signed, which is unfortunate" (Transcripts, page 1230 [emphasis mine]). About the fact that, according to this "confession", 2,500,000 people had been gassed in Auschwitz, Hilberg went as far as to say that is was ban obviously unverified, totally exaggerated number, one which may well have been known or circulated as a result of some faulty initial findings by a Soviet Polish investigation commission in Auschwitz" (Transcripts, page 1087).
Sensing that he had to throw some dead weight overboard, Hilberg had no trouble in agreeing with Christie that some "historians," like William Shirer, had no value (Transcripts, page 1202). He was asked his opinion of the testimony of Filip Müller, the author of Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers. Certain passages from the book, full of the purest sex-shop anti-Nazism, were read to him, and Christie demonstrated before the jury, thanks to an analysis by Revisionist Carlo Mattogno, that Filip Müller or his ghostwriter, Helmut Freitag, were simply guilty of plagiarism for borrowing an entire episode, virtually word for word, from Doctor at Auschwitz, the false account bearing the name of Miklos Nyiszli. At that point, Hilberg suddenly changed his tactics; he feigned emotion and, in a pathetic tone, he declared that the testimony of Filip Müller was much too moving for anyone to suspect his sincerity (Transcripts, pp. 1151-1152). But everything about this new Hilberg sounded false, since until then he had expressed himself in a monotonous tone and with the circumspection of a cat who was afraid of getting too close to the glowing embers of a fire. Christie did not consider it useful to press the point.
On two questions Hilberg really suffered: first, regarding the supposed orders by Hitler to exterminate the Jews, and then regarding what I personally call "the keystone of the Hilberg thesis." On page 177 of his book (1961 edition), Hilberg finally deals with the heart of his subject: the policy to exterminate the Jews. In a page which serves as a general introduction, he sets out the basis of his demonstration. For Hilberg, everything began with two successive orders from Hitler. The first order called for going out to kill the Jews on the spot, especially in Russia (the Einsatzgruppen were assigned that mission); the second mandated seizing the Jews and taking them to the extermination camps (this was the role of Eichmann and of his men). Hilberg did not indicate either the precise date or his sources for these two orders; on the other hand, he did furnish a precise date (25 November 1944) and a reference (document PS-3762) for an order that, according to him, Heinrich Himmler gave to stop the extermination of the Jews when he sensed that defeat was coming (The Destruction of the European Jews, page 631). There would be nothing wrong with Hilberg's thesis if it were true that these orders had existed. But none of the three orders (the two Hitler orders and the Himmler order) ever existed; Hilberg's entire case was based on a mental construct.
But Christie had to stage a virtual war of siege before Hilberg would finally revise his statement and admit that he could not produce these orders. It takes 31 pages of transcript (pp. 828-858) from the point at which Hilberg is asked where the two orders from Hitler are until, having lost the battle, he admits that there were no "traces" of them. Christie also reminded Hilberg of certain statements that the latter had made in February 1983 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City. There Hilberg himself developed a thesis which would hardly be reconciled with the existence of an extermination order. He said at that time:
But what began in 1941 was a process of destruction not planned in advance, not organized centrally by any agency. There was no blueprint and there was no budget for destructive measures. They were taken step by step, one step at a time. Thus there came about not so much a plan being carried out, but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus – mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy. (Newsday [Long Island, New York], 23 February 1983. Section II, p. 3)
This convoluted explanation plunges us into the thick of theology and parapsychology. The extermination of the Jews – a gigantic undertaking – was supposedly done without any plan, without any centralizing agency, without a blueprint, without a budget, but by a consensus-mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy, a bureaucracy being a machinery in which, in my opinion, one can expect anything but mind-reading and telepathy.
As regards the order coming from Himmler, Hilberg also admitted that there remained no "trace" of it (Transcripts, page 860); the "reference" that he had given as well as the precise date were thus shown to be nothing more than an attempt to intimidate the reader.
But what is there to say about "the keystone of his thesis"? In The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, Arthur R. Butz wrote perceptively:
Hilberg's book did what the opposition literature [Revisionist literature] could never have done. I not only became convinced that the legend of several million gassed Jews must be a hoax, but I derived what turned out to be a fairly reliable "feel" for the remarkable cabalistic mentality that had given the lie its specific form (those who want to experience the "rude awakening" somewhat as I did may stop here and consult pp. 567-571 of Hilberg). (Hoax, page 7)
A.R. Butz thus points out (on pp. 567-571 of Hilberg) what represents the center of the Hilberg thesis. In my turn, I wanted to seek "the center of the center," the "keystone," so to speak, of that cabalistic mental construct. I think I have found it at the top of page 570, where we read this:
The amounts of [Zyklon] required by Auschwitz were not large, but they were noticeable. Almost the whole Auschwitz supply was needed for the gassing of people; very little was used for fumigation. The camp administration itself did not buy the gas. The purchaser was Obersturmführer Gerstein, Chief Disinfection Officer in the Office of the Hygienic Chief of the Waffen-SS (Mrugowsky). As a rule, all orders passed through the hands of TESTA, DEGESCH, and Dessau. From the Dessau Works, which produced the gas, shipments were sent directly to Auschwitz Extermination and Fumigation Division (Abteilung Entwesung und Entseuchung).
In that passage, Hilberg says clearly that at Auschwitz there were two uses for Zyklon: for gassing people and for fumigating objects. One single office directed those two activities: the one criminal and the other sanitary. That office even had one name: "Abteilung Entwesung und Entseuchung," which Hilberg translated as "Extermination and Fumigation Division." In other words, the Germans made no secret of the extermination of people by gas at Auschwitz since in that camp there was an office duly and clearly provided for that criminal activity. There was only one problem for Hilberg: "Entwesung" means "disinfection" and not "extermination" of human beings (however, "Entseuchung" does mean "disinfection"). Confronted with that evidence, which we established with the help of dictionaries, Hilberg made the mistake of trying to support his own translation and, during his reexamination by Mr. Griffiths, he brought a German dictionary to prove that "Entwesung" is made up of "ent-," meaning separation and "Wesen" which means "being" (Transcripts, page 1237). This was done to confuse (or rather to try to confuse for the sake of his cause) etymology and meaning. Even Prosecuting Attorney Griffiths appeared upset by his expert witness's laborious subterfuge, by which he had gone so far as to choose a German dictionary in which the word "Entwesung" did not appear – merely the word "Wesen." A short time after the trial, I discovered that Hilberg had committed perjury. While still under the oath that he had taken in January of 1985, Hilberg dared to state before judge and jury that in the new edition of his book, then at press, he still maintained the existence of those orders from Hitler of which he had just admitted no trace could be found (Transcripts, page 852). But he lied. In the new edition, the preface of which is dated September 1984 (Hilberg testified under oath in January 1985), all mention of an order from Hitler was systematically removed; his colleague and friend Christopher Browning pointed this out in a review entitled "The Revised Hilberg" (Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual, 1988, page 294):
In the new edition, all references in the text to a Hitler decision or Hitler order for the "Final Solution" have been systematically excised. Buried at the bottom of a single footnote stands the solitary reference: "Chronology and circumstances point to a Hitler decision before the summer [of 1941] ended." In the new edition, decisions were not made and orders were not given.
This fact is important. It proves that, in order to be sure of convicting Ernst Zündel (whose thesis is that there had never been any order from Hitler or anyone else to exterminate the Jews), a university professor did not shrink from resorting to lying and perjury. That's the kind of person Raul Hilberg is, a professor and a researcher who in the coming years will have to face "the failure of a lifetime" (Transcripts, page 948).
The Unmasking of Their Number One Witness: Rudolf Vrba
Witness Rudolf Vrba was internationally known. A Slovakian Jew, imprisoned at Auschwitz and Birkenau, Vrba stated that he had escaped the Birkenau camp in April of 1944 along with Alfred Wetzler. When he returned to Slovakia, he said, he dictated a report about Auschwitz, Birkenau and their crematories and "gas chambers."
With the help of Slovakian, Hungarian and Swiss Jewish authorities, the report arrived in Washington, where it served as the basis for the famous "War Refugee Board Report" published in November, 1944. Thus every Allied organization charged with pursuing "war criminals" and every Allied prosecutor responsible for trying "war criminals" would have access to this official – and fabricated – version of the history of the camps. Rudolf Vrba and his companion Alfred Wetzler are at the origin of the official acceptance of the Auschwitz myth. A.R. Butz has admirably demonstrated that (see, in The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, the references to "Vrba" and to the"WRB Report").
After the war, Vrba became a British citizen. He published the story of his life under the title I Cannot Forgive; published in 1964, it was actually written by a ghostwriter, Alan Bestic, who, in his preface, dared to pay tribute to Vrba "for the immense trouble he took over every detail; for the meticulous, almost fanatical respect he revealed for accuracy; … " (page 2).
On 30 November 1964 Vrba testified at the Frankfurt [Auschwitz] Trial." Thereafter he settled in Canada and took Canadian citizenship. He appeared in various filmed reports about Auschwitz and, in particular, in Claude Lanzmann's Shoah. Today he lives in Vancouver, where he is an associate professor in pharmacology at the University of British Columbia.
The gods smiled on Vrba until the day he faced Doug Christie. Arthur Butz's book provided us with some excellent elements to serve as the basis for Vrba's cross-examination. My documents (especially the Calendar of Events in the Auschwitz Camp," the studies contained in the various volumes of the blue Auschwitz Anthology, Serge Klarsfeld's Memorial to the Deportation of the Jews from France, and various documents from the archives of the Auschwitz Museum) enabled us to ask Vrba some embarrassing questions. The impostor was unmasked in particular on three points: his supposed knowledge of the gas chambers and crematories of Birkenau; Himmler's alleged visit to Birkenau in January of 1943 for the inauguration of a new crematory with, at its highpoint, the gassing of 3,000 persons; and the supposed total of 1,750,000 Jews gassed at Birkenau from April 1942 to April 1944.
On the first point, it became clear that the witness had never set foot in the crematories and "gas chambers," for which he had even provided a plan – totally false – in his report to the War Refugee Board (November 1944), a plan that in 1985 he boldly persisted in claiming was true. Nothing corresponded to the truth: neither the arrangement of the rooms, nor their dimensions, nor the number of ovens, nor the number of muffles; for example, the witness placed the "gas chamber" and the room with the crematory ovens on the same level, with a sketch of a railway track running from one to the other for the flat car; in reality the room with the crematory ovens was located on the ground floor, while the "gas chamber" (in fact, a morgue) was located below ground, and no railway track could have linked an underground room with a room located on the ground floor.
Regarding the second point, Vrba likewise made up everything. Himmler's last visit to Birkenau took place in July 1942; furthermore, in January 1943, the first of the new crematories at Birkenau was far from finished (we even have documents from the construction staff which mention the construction problems caused by the winter cold). Vrba's book opens grandly with the alleged 1943 visit, described with a great wealth of detail; even the reflections and conversations of Himmler and of his entourage were reported. But all of that, too, derived from Vrba's imagination.
The witness had an exceptional amount of nerve. He claimed to have been everywhere at once, both day and night, in the vast Birkenau camp. He had seen everything and had remembered it all, thanks, he said, to "special mnemonic principles" (Transcripts, page 1563). According to Vrba, the Germans had "gassed" about 1,750,000 Jews in Birkenau alone in the space of just 25 months (from April 1942 to April 1944). Of that figure, 150,000 came from France. But Serge Klarsfeld, in 1978, in his Memorial to the Deportation of the Jews from France, had concluded that, during the entire length of the war, the Germans had deported to all their concentration camps a total of only 75,721 Jews (French, foreign, and stateless) from France. Vrba was asked to explain his particular estimate of 150,000 and his general estimate of 1,750,000. He began by calling the figure of 75,721 false. "From where do you have the figure? From the Nazi newspapers?" he asked (Transcripts, page 1579); but the number came from Serge Klarsfeld, a "Nazi-hunter." Then he tried to supply a justification for his own numbers, but to no avail, as we shall see below. Despite his nerve, Vrba was forced into headlong retreat regarding his book. Instead of maintaining that in the book he had shown the greatest care for truth and accuracy, he declared that it was just a literary effort in which he had had recourse to poetic license. He used the following expressions:
"an artistic picture," "an attempt for an artistic depiction," "a literary essay," "an artistic attempt," "art piece in literature," "literature," "artist," "license of a poet," "licentia poetarum" (Transcripts, pp. 1390, 1392, 1446-1448).
In brief, for the number one witness for the prosecution, this cross-examination was a disaster. We waited with curiosity to see how Prosecuting Attorney Griffiths would attempt, during the reexamination, to repair his witness's image. To everyone's surprise, Griffiths, probably exhausted by the trial and exasperated by the lies of the witness on whom he had counted so much, finished off Vrba with two questions that came like two rifle shots. His first question – listened to by a hushed courtroom – was the following:
You told Mr. Christie several times in discussing your book I Cannot Forgive that you used poetic license in writing that book. Have you used poetic license in your testimony? (Transcripts, page 1636)
Vrba, upset, mumbled a response, following which, without a pause, Griffiths asked his second question:
Could you tell us, Doctor, briefly, how you arrived at the number of 1,765,000? (Transcripts, page 1637)
In order to appreciate fully both the question in its context and also the use of the word "briefly," we must point out that Vrba had been asked that same question by Doug Christie on several occasions and that each of his attempts to answer it had been interminable, confused, absurd and sometimes even unintentionally humorous. In responding to Griffith's question, Vrba was at a loss to avoid repeating himself:
I developed a special mnemonical method for remembering each transport (Transcripts, page 1639)
Griffiths, getting a little bit lost in his documentation, announced that he was going to ask one last question about Himmler's visit. He asked for an adjournment of the session When the session resumed, Vrba took his place on the stand or, more exactly, in the witness box, located on an elevated platform between the judge and the jury. He waited for the return of the jury and the question on Himmler's visit. Then Griffiths, addressing the judge, declared:
Just before the jury is brought in, Your Honors I will have no questions of Dr. Vrba. (Transcripts, page 1641)
Everyone was amazed. Vrba looked completely crushed and the color drained from his face. He staggered down from the witness stand. Whereas on the first day he had seen the journalists and cameras crowding around him as befitted a witness who was going to set the Revisionists straight, on this last day he left the courthouse in the most frightening solitude. I am not pleading on behalf of Mr. Vrba; he has the arrogance of a professional impostor; he will hold up his head again, he will go back to his lies once more, I am convinced of that.
Defeat and Victory of Ernst Zündel
The trial had taken a turn in our favor. I don't want to say that at that moment the jury would have acquitted Zündel; such a decision, taken in front of the judge, the journalists, and public opinion, would have demanded the kind of courage that is difficult, if not impossible, to find in a group of twelve persons picked at random from a society which has been subjected to the familiar propaganda about "Nazi crimes" for forty years. But Prosecuting Attorney Griffiths was obviously dejected. Then came the witnesses and experts for the defense. Griffiths became even more disconcerted. He had not expected such a wealth of information from the Revisionists. Judge Locke was in a constant state of anger. He threatened that at the end of the trial he would charge Doug Christie with contempt of court. This sword of Damocles remained, until the final day, hanging over our lawyer's head.
Then the tide turned again in favor of the prosecution. Doug Christie decided to use the testimony of Zündel himself. Perhaps that was a mistake. For Griffiths then had the chance to cross-examine Zündel and disaster loomed on the horizon.
Zündel was certainly worthy of admiration but, by his refusal to condemn National Socialism, he convicted himself. Zündel's erudition, his unstudied eloquence, his sincerity, the highmindedness of his views were all forgotten in comparison with the admiration he was shown to have for Adolf Hitler and the compassion:he exhibited for his German fatherland, which had been humiliated and mistreated by its conquerors. Griffiths, weak, nervous, and, as we were to learn later, exhausted by insomnia and excessive smoking, regained hope. In his summation he described Zündel as a dangerous Nazi. Judge Locke, in his own final address to the jury, did the same. The jury followed their lead. Zündel was found guilty of distributing Did Six Million Really Die?, but not guilty of sending people, especially outside of Canada, a personal message entitled "The West, the War, and Islam." He was sentenced to 15 months in prison, and was forbidden to talk about the Holocaust.
In January of 1987, a five-person appeals court decided to throw out the verdict and to cancel the 1985 conviction. They did so for some very basic reasons: Judge Locke had not allowed the defense any voice in the choice of the jury; he had improperly forbidden our experts to use documents, photos and various other materials, and he had, in his final address, misled the jury on the very meaning of the trial. Once again, Zündel and the Revisionists lost in Judge Locke's court but won before history. As mentioned above, Zündel had predicted that his trial would "put the Nuremberg trial on trial" and would be "the Exterminationists' Stalingrad." Events proved him right. But I fear that some day his health or even his life will fall prey to this terrible legal ordeal, especially in view of the fact that the Canadian government will stage a "Zündel Trial No. 2" in 1988, an even longer and more severe trial than that of 1985 [convicted once again, Zündel is appealing the verdict once more. – Ed ].
II. Judicial Affairs and Other Affairs
Between September 1983 to September 1987, the legal repression against Revisionism in France was relatively mild. The Jewish organizations, disappointed by my conviction of 26 April 1983, decided to attack Revisionism by an indirect route: they chose a German officer, Klaus Barbie, as their target and they obtained his conviction. Barbie's trial and conviction were often described as a response to the rise of Revisionism.
The print and the broadcast press both played an essential role in this situation. the journalists, acting as both policemen and judges, orchestrated such a campaign against Klaus Barbie that only a maximum conviction of the accused was possible. At the same time, during those four years, they drummed up, one after the other, what are called "affairs" (the "Roques affair," the "Paschoud affair," the "Le Pen affair" and many others) which served them as occasions to call for a new legal repression. The most violent of the newspapers was Le Monde. On 1 July 1987, the French Federation of Journalist Societies asked the judicial authorities to penalize and silence the Revisionists. On 20 September, Charles Pasqua, Minister of the Interior, said that the place for me was in prison. A specific law against Revisionism is being prepared: a sort of "lex Faurissonia."
During the period under consideration three other events marked the rise of anti-Revisionism: the exhibition of the film Shoah, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Elie Wiesel and, finally, the beginning, in Jerusalem, of the Demjanjuk trial. With only one exception (the case of the Dalloz-Sirey review), the French court system continued to repress Revisionism, but with a growing embarrassment. The repression was demanded by the journalists of France, at the insistance of Claude Lanzmann.
I shall now review in detail those various judicial and nonjudicial affairs.
I Obtain the Conviction of the Dalloz-Sirey Review
The Jewish organizations were not only disappointed by my conviction of 26 April 1983; they were also disconcerted by the fact that I, on the other hand, obtained the conviction of the judicial review called Recueil Dalloz-Sirey (in the Court of First Instance, in the Court of Appeal, and in the Supreme Court of Appeal). In France this review has the reputation of being "the jurists' bible." It publishes, in particular, noteworthy judicial decisions with commentaries called Notes under judgment." Dalloz-Sirey showed eagerness to publish the text of my initial conviction of 8 July 1981 (issue of 3 February 1982, pp. 59-64); that judgment, which was to be confirmed on appeal on 26 April 1983, but significantly modified in its basis, was marked, in my opinion, by a certain desire to punish; it was drawn up by one of my three judges, Pierre Drai, who turned out to be a Jew and a faithful subscriber to Information juive. But apparently Judge Drai had not yet expressed himself harshly enough regarding my case.
Therefore, the editor chosen by Dalloz-Sirey to present the judgment of 8 July 1981 and comment on it in a long "note under judgment" decided to go much farther. He proceeded in two ways: 1) He falsified the text of the judgment so as to smear me even more; and 2) he drew up a "note under judgment" with a tone so violent and so vengeful that one would have thought it had been written by Ilya Ehrenburg. The writer in question was Bernard Edelman, a lawyer, a former Communist of Jewish stock and a friend of Pierre Vidal-Naquet. Edelman presented me in his note as a proponent of the "method of absolute lying."
Dalloz-Sirey had never been successfully taken to court since its founding at the beginning of the l9th century. This time the review was convicted for "damages" for the manner in which it had reproduced the judgment of 8 July 1981. Dalloz-Sirey had to publish the text of its own conviction (edition of 4 July 1985, pp. 375-376) and to pay me … one franc in damages. The initial conviction took place on 23 November 1983; the decision was sustained on appeal on 8 March 1985; and a further appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Appeal on 15 December 1986. Edelman had performed the trick of cutting out 57 percent of the text of the judgment of 8 July 1981!
Ruinous Effects of My Trials
Almost inevitably, when I win my trials, I receive one franc in damages; when the other party wins, I have to pay significant and sometimes considerable sums. The attacks against my person had become so violent and so outrageously false that I decided to appeal to the courts in two out of thousands of possible cases. On the one hand, I sued Jean Pierre-Bloch, president of the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) and the author of a book of memoirs in which he presented me as a Nazi and a falsifier who had been convicted of as much by the French courts. On the other hand, I sued the Communist newspaper L'Humanité.
I lost these two trials, as well as the appeals. The judges recognized that I had been defamed, but, they added, my adversaries had done so "in good faith." Consequently, they had to be acquitted and I was forced to pay all court costs. The Droit de Vivre (February 1985, page 7), the publication of the LICRA, triumphantly captioned its story: "To treat Faurisson as a falsifier is to defame him, but in 'good faith.'" This was an invitation for everyone to treat me as a falsifier, and that is what happened.
By the decree of 26 April 1983, I was sentenced to pay the costs of publishing that entire verdict. The judges estimated the expenses of publication at 60,000 francs, "with the possibility of a more accurate valuation being made later in view of the estimates and bills," which meant that 60,000 francs was only a minimum. Without submitting the text to me, the LICRA arranged to have it published in the magazine Historia. That text was seriously falsified. I sued the LICRA and got one franc in damages. That notwithstanding, I had to pay 20,000 francs for their publication of a distorted text. About sixty thousand francs of my salary was seized. At this time LICRA is again, as ever, demanding more and more money; it gets the money but keeps it, and still hasn't published the correct text of the 1983 verdict.
The Barbie Trial
The trial of Klaus Barbie and the hysteria it provoked was the occasion for legal measures against French Revisionists. Jacques Vergès courageously defended Barbie who, at the time of the act with which he was charged in France, was only a lieutenant; it was his duty to assure the security of his comrades. In 1939 France had entered the war against Germany; in 1940, we had promised our conquerors to collaborate with them. Had Lieutenant Barbie carried out reprisals in Lyon and the surrounding district in retaliation for the actions of the Resistance, the Communists and the Jews in the same manner as the Israeli authorities retaliate against the Palestinians (i.e., with massive numbers of 500 kilogram bombs), the cost for the French population, in human lives and destruction of all kinds, would have been still more terrible than it was.
Jacques Vergès seems to have demonstrated that the famous telegram from Izieu (which is genuine and has nothing criminal about it) did not bear the signature of Klaus Barbie, but I personally do not have the documents which served as the basis for his demonstration and which allowed him to state that Serge Klarsfeld had been the source of that forgery; I therefore cannot make any judgment on that matter. On the other hand, I can say that at the Lyon trial German prosecutor Holtfort, who came to testify for the prosecution, and André Cerdini, who presided over the court, used an altered document: the Dannecker note of 13 May 1942. This note is found at the Center for Jewish Documentaffon in Paris as document XXVb-29. In the document Theodor Dannecker mentions, in passing, a chance conversation he had with Lieutenant General Kohl, who was responsible in Paris for rail transportation; in " the course of that conversation Kohl appeared to Dannecker to be an "enemy" ("Gegner") of the Jews, agreeing 100 per cent with "a final solution to the Jewish question with the goal of a total destruction of the enemy" "eine Endlosung der Judenfrage mit dem Ziel restloser Vernichtung des Gegners"). Presented this way, the sentence could give the impression that Dannecker and Kohl knew of the existence of a policy to exterminate the Jews. In reality, this sentence means that Kohl was 100 per cent in agreement with finally resolving the Jewish question; the Jew is the enemy and, by definition, an enemy must be wiped out. But it is not at all clear that he meant them to be physically wiped out; indeed the following sentence, which is always left out, provides some clarification: Kohl "showed himself also to be an enemy of the political churches" ("Er zeigte sich auch als Gegner der politischen Kirchen."). The "enemy" camps are here clearly delineated: on the one hand, Germany and, on the other hand, the Jews and the political churches. Kohl wanted to wipe out or eradicate the influence or the power of those two enemies of Germany. In neither case was it a question of physical annihilation. The nine-word German sentence is always left out and replaced with an ellipsis ( … ) since it is too embarrassing for the Exterminationists. Among the historians who have not hesitated to use such trickery, I will mention only:
- Joseph Billig, "Le Cas du SS-Obersturmführer Kurt Lischka," Le Monde juif, July-September 1974, p. 29; reprinted three years later in Billig's La Solution finale de la question juive, Centre de documentation juive contemporaine, 1977, p. 94;
- Serge Klarsfeld, Le Mémorial de la deportation des juifs de France, 1978, p. 28;
- Georges Wellers, "Déportation des Juifs de France, Légendes et réalités," Le Monde juif, July-September 1980, p. 97;
- Michael R. Marrus and Robert O. Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, New York, Basic Books, 1981, p. 351.
On the spot, in Lyon, I gave Jacques Vergès an urgent letter informing him of the nature of that trickery, intended to convince people that, if Kohl and Dannecker were aware of the extermination of the Jews, Barbie could not have been ignorant of it. Urifortunately, Vergès had decided not to question the dogma of the extermination of the Jews and, to the very end, he maintained that policy of prudence. Following the example of so many German lawyers, he preferred to plead that Barbie "did not know" that the Jews were being exterminated.
On the Margin of the Barbie Trial
During the Barbie trial life became difficult for Revisionists, especially in Lyon, where police and journalists set up guard. On several occasions the police called me in but I refused to attend their convocations, declaring that I preferred prison to "collaborating with the police and the French courts in the repression of Revisionism." Threatened with arrest, I remained firm. At the movies, they were showing Shoah; in the theater, they presented a piece on the Auschwitz trial (Frankfurt, 1963-65); on a large square in Lyon, the Jews organized an exposition – essentially symbolic – about the Holocaust; in the schools, they vigorously indoctrinated teachers and students; in the local press they incited hatred of Barbie and the Revisionists. Around the court house, the forces of law and order were present with walkie-talkies, "just severe enough to discourage Revisionist demonstrations" (Le Monde, 18 June 1987, page 14).
This volatile situation was ignited by the appearance, just before the opening of the trial (only by coincidence), of the first issue of the Annales d'Histoire Résvisionniste and by a leaflet, informal and polemical in tone, entitled "Info-Intox … Histoire-Intox … ça suffit. CHAMBRES A GAZ = BIDON" (Information-Intox[ication] … History-Intox[ication] … Thats enough. GAS CHAMBERS = HOAX) and signed by a "Collective of High School Students of Lyon, Nancy and Strasbourg"; on the reverse side, the leaflet included drawings by cartoonist Konk showing the chemical impossibility of the Auschwitz gassings.
This witch-hunt atmosphere, in which the newspaper Le Monde stood out by its violence of tone, sometimes had laughable results. People suddenly thought that they had found traces of Revisionism in a scholarly work published eight years ago by a Jewish publishing firm, which hurriedly rushed to announce that the book's printing plates would be melted down at the earliest possible moment (Le Matin de Paris, 21 May 1987, page 12; Le Monde, 24125 May 1987 page 10). A few days later, Serge July, director of Libération, after finding out that two Revisionist letters had slipped into the letters-to-the-editor column of his paper, ordered his own newspaper seized at the newsstands, fired the editor of the letters column on the spot, and decided to completely remake the paper's editorial board (Libération, 28 May 1987, page 34; 29 May 1987, page 45; Le Monde, 3 June 1987, page 48). The Gaullist deputy Jacques Chaban-Delmas appealed to French youth for a new form of Resistance: resistance against Revisionism (according to Rivarol, 29 May 1987, page 8). The publishers of high school history books had already received advice and threats from the "Comité des enseignants amis d'Israel" (Friends of Israel Teachers Committee) (Sens, December 1986, pp. 323-329) which left no doubt that on the occasion of the Barbie affair "scholarly editors ought to be aware of the eventual negative impact on the sale of their publications of any failure to follow suggestions" (ibid., page 325).
Journalists Demand an Immediate Judicial Repression
Claude Lanzmann was distressed by the lack of success in France of his film Shoah, and by the impossibility of attacking me in court for the text (full of factual proof and references) that I had devoted to that propaganda landmark. Pierre Guillaume, in fact, published and distributed that text with a title borrowed from a slogan dating back to the days of May 1968: "Open Your Eyes, Smash Your TV Set!". Lanzmann turned to Agence France-Presse (AFP) and got from it an initiative which will live in the history of the world press. On 1 July 1987, AFP published a long statement giving vent to its emotion about the Revisionist criticisms addressed to Shoah and demanding, consequently, that court authorities bring about "an immediate halt to the machinations of the Revisionists" – in the name of … "respect for free inquiry and the Rights of Man."
My analysis of Shoah was denounced as unspeakable. The text of the statement read as follows:
The Federation believes that individuals like Robert Faurisson ought not to be able to write with impunity that which they are writing and disseminating. Unspeakable behavior and racism have their limits. The ethics of journalism forbid people to knowingly write just anything, the craziest anti-truths, with scorn for the truth and therefore for freedom to know. To smear a film like Shoah, which can only be seen with a terrible awe and infinite compassion, amounts to nothing more than an attack on the Rights of Man.
The Federation went on:
The journalist is always a witness to his times, and in that sense Claude Lanzmann has done an admirable job as a journalist, for ten years gathering the most frightening testimonies, not only from the victims, but from their butchers, and from the Poles living near the camps. It is horrible, and that no doubt is what embarrasses the Revisionists, who apparently have not yet recovered from the Nazi defeat.
The Federation concluded:
In the midst of the Barbie trial, and when Revisionist activities are increasing, it is urgent that the judicial authorities in the name of respect for free inquiry and the Rights of Man punish such unspeakable tracts and their authors, while at the same time preventing them from doing it again. The French Federation of Journalistic societies includes more than twenty societies (notably TF1, A-2, FR-3, Agence France-Presse, Le Monde, Sud-Ouest, L'Equipe … ), more than 2,000 journalists in all.
This communique was to have serious consequences. TF-1, A-2, and FR-3 are the three principal French television networks; Agence France-Presse is our primary press agency; Le Monde is the most prestigious of our newspapers; Sud-Ouest is the daily with the highest circulation in France; L’Equipe is the most widely read and most popular of the sport papers. I thus found myself condemned by what amounted to the whole of the mass media in my country; even the sports journalists condemned Revisionism. The Revisionists were described as individuals with shameful arguments, spreading shameful ideas and racism, writing just about anything – the craziest anti-truths – scorning the truth and freedom of inquiry, harming the Rights of Man, still not yet recovered from the Nazi defeat. In particular, the Revisionists had smeared an unchallengeable and admirable film that one could view only with terrible awe and infinite compassion.
Seizure of the Annales d'Histoire Révisionniste and Indictment (in Auch, France)
The mass media unanimously called on the judges for help; they demanded an immediate and permanent repression "in the name of respect for free inquiry and the Rights of Man." Le Monde distinguished itself by the intemperance of its attacks; in less than two months, it mentioned the Revisionists in more than twenty articles which were uniformly hostile; Bruno Frappat, for his part, denounced athe experts at lying, the gangsters of history" (Le Monde, 5/6 July 1987, page 31).
The judicial machinery immediately went into action. On 25 May 1987, with remarkable promptness, the Judge of Summary Procedure in Paris, Gérard Pluyette, at the instigation of Jean Pierre-Bloch, had already ordered the seizure of the first issue of the Annales. On 3 July someone named Legname, the investigating magistrate at Auch (department of the Gers), charged me with being an apologist for war crimes and with spreading false news on the basis of two of my articles published in the first issue of the Annales: one was entitled "How the British Obtained the Confessions of Rudolf Höss, Commandant of Auschwitz," and the other was entitled Jewish Soap." Pierre Guillaume was charged for the same reason since he was the publisher of Annales. Carlo Mattogno was also charged, due to his study of "The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews." An Italian citizen, he was, on 10 August 1987, the object of an international arrest warrant. The entire process had been set in motion by someone named Robin, the prosecutor at Auch, at the request of Madame Lydie Dupuis, an official of the League for the Rights of Man and a relation of François Mitterrand, the President of France.
On 20 September 1987, Charles Pasqua, Minister of the Interior, declared on the radio that as far as he was concerned the place for Professor Faurisson was in prison ("Charles Pasqua: Les thèses révisionnistes, véritable délit," Le Figaro, 21 September 1987, page 7). A specific law against the Revisionists (a sort of "lex Faurissonia") is currently being prepared. It is even more severe than the June 1985 German law (the "Auschwitzlüge-Gesetz").
The Roques Affair
I will not linger on the Roques affair since Henri Roques, who is here, will make his own presentation on it. For my part I will only recall one aspect that illustrates the progress of Revisionism. In February 1979, Léon Poliakov and Pierre Vidal-Naquet, both Jewish in origin, were able to mobilize 32 persons, described as "historians," to sign a petition, the so-called "declaration of the 34 historians," against me (Le Monde, 21 February 1979, page 23). (Not all the signers were of Jewish origin.) In 1986, François Bedarida, a Christian of Jewish origin, succeeded in mobilizing against Roques only five "historians" (Pierre Vidal-Naquet and four other persons of Jewish origin), a rabbi and, finally, a media personality named Harlem Désir, who is himself perhaps also of Jewish origin (see Libération, 31 May 1986, page 12; Le Monde, 3 June 1986, page 14).
The Paschoud Affair (Switzerland)
Then, in Switzerland, came the Paschoud affair. Mariette Paschoud, 40, lives in Lausanne. She teaches history and literature in a high school in that city. Mrs. Paschoud is also a captain in the Swiss Army, and an auxiliary military judge. She visited Paris in order to preside over a conference at which Henri Roques was to present his thesis about the confessions of Kurt Gerstein. While not taking up the cudgels for the Revisionist thesis, she did plead in favor of the right to doubt and to research. The Swiss press attacked her so violently that the authorities of the canton of Vaud, her employers, felt they had to take quick action: Mariette Paschoud was deprived of the right to teach history. But Rabbi Vadnaï of Lausanne felt that punishment was not enough. A new campaign was launched: Mariett Paschoud no longer has the right to teach either history or literature; her husband has been dismissed by the private school at which he was teaching a course in law.
The Noyon Affair (Switzerland)
Pierre Guillaume and myself were invited to visit the Documentary Film Festival at Noyon, Switzerland. The organizers were setting a trap for us: they were going to invite Exterminationist historians to reply to us, and would also show the films Night and Fog and Le Temps du ghetto (The Time of the Ghetto). Learning we had arrived in town, the Exterminationists sent a telegram at the last moment; they refused to meet us. The entire operation rebounded to our advantage in spite of a scandal caused at the end by a local television celebrity who, perceiving our impact on the listeners, cried out that he found our presentation "obscene." A few Swiss newspapers headlined the event. The organizers of the festival discovered (a little too late) the "serious and dangerous" character of Revisionism.
Later, Pierre Guillaume returned to Switzerland with Henri Roques to deliver a paper there. The conference took place in difficult conditions and, as a result, the Swiss government prohibited Guillaume and Roques from entering Swiss territory (and Liechtenstein) for a period of three and a half years (Le Monde, 6 December 1986, page 7).
The Konk Affair
Konk (real name: Laurent Fabre) is a famous cartoonist. He started out at Le Monde and went on to the weekly L’Evénement du jeudi, published by J.F. Kahn. Konk is considered a leftist. He also showed himself to be a Revisionist. In a cartoon strip entitled Aux Voleurs! (Albin Michel, 1986), denouncing theft, lies and imposture under various forms, Konk summed up quite pertinently my argument about the chemical impossibility of the Auschwitz "gassings" in several drawings and captions. I recommend the reading of the three last pages of that strip to those who want to have a striking summary of Revisionism that even young school children can understand and enjoy.
Konk was barred from the pages of L’Evénement du jeudi by J.F. Kahn. Recently, Konk gave an interview in which he delivered a sort of retraction (Le Nouvel Observateur, 25 September 1987, page 93). On the night before the publication of that interview he telephoned me to warn me and, at the same time, to explain to me that, banned everywhere and unable to find work, he had found himself reduced to the extremity of a public recantation. From time to time Le Figaro still publishes a drawing by Konk but there is no contract tying the cartoonist to the newspaper. In general, when I see a new Revisionist suddenly appear on the public stage, as was the case with Konk, I ask myself how many days it will take for him to retract.
The Folco Affair
Michel Folco is a journalist and photographer. He works chiefly for a monthly satirical journal, Zéro, directed by Cavanna, whose inspiration is libertarian. Despite his detached appearance, he is a scrupulous and thorough investigator. Starting with an investigation of Mauthausen, he ended up gathering a great deal of new information about the controversy between the Revisionists and the Exterminationists which future historians will not be able to ignore. His interviews with Georges Wellers, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, and Germaine Tillion illuminate a completely hidden face of the Exterminationist camp. It is regrettable that Cavanna abruptly put an end to Folco's articles because of his fear of the reaction of certain persons (see in particular Zéro, April 1987, pp. 51-57, and May 1987, pp. 70-75).
The Union of Atheists Affair
The Holocaust is a religion. It is necessary to seek to protect onself from its conquering and intolerant character. I wanted to know whether it was possible to lead an action against that religion among the ranks of the Union of Atheists, which in France includes about 2,500 people. I joined the Union of Atheists, which the Union's constitution states anyone can do, without any condition, even financial. The constitution also states that no one may be excluded. My membership caused a backlash, which the major press amplified. There followed a hundred resignations in protest against my entry. The president, Albert Beaughon, asked me to resign. I refused. The annual congress of the Union of Atheists took place in tumult. I persisted in my refusal to resign and awaited the results. To borrow a phrase from Pierre Guillaume, "these atheists wanted to excommunicate [me] because they did not find [me] Catholic enough." But I must say also that I have learned that a good number of atheists, within the Union, defended me out of their concern for tolerance and, sometimes, out of Revisionist convictions (see, in particular, Libération, 6/7 June 1987, and 8 June 1987, page 18).
The Guionnet Affair
Alain Guionnet is a libertarian and Revisionist. He produces numerous tracts which he signs "The Black Eagle," courageously distributing them himself. Guionnet is the object of several different court cases. Jewish organizations and police and court authorities are upset by the phenomenon which is Guionnet: a man of blunt talk (sometimes slangy, sometimes mannered), a person difficult and unpredictable in character.
The Michel Polac and Annette Levy-Willard Affairs
Michel Polac is a star of French television. Of Jewish background, he has always struggled against Revisionism. In the past several years he has attacked me again and again. In May, 1987 he declared on television that I ought to be slapped in the face. On 12 September he showed a short excerpt from a video-film by Annette Levy-Willard, L'Espion qui venait de l'extrême droite (called in English The Other Face of Terror), devoted in part to our IHR conference in September of 1983.
In June of 1983 Annette Levy-Willard begged me to give her the address of the Los Angeles hotel where the conference was to be held. With the approval of Willis Carto, she was given the address in September. At the conference site she conducted her interviews in such a way and with such anti-Revisionist animosity that I refused to grant her an interview. Instead, I offered to make a one-minute statement before her camera. She agreed, but once I was on camera she prevented me from making that statement. I left, refusing to answer her questions. Furious, Levy-Willard confronted me in the lobby of the Grand Hotel, saying several times that she would have her revenge; Tom Marcellus, the Institute's director, was present. The lady's vengeance took the form of the video-film (The Other Face of Terror), in which she claimed to have discovered us in Los Angeles secretly holding an assembly of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members. They saw me, she said, as I was trying to hide (sic!).
Michel Polac promised at the end of his show that the following week he would give time to reply to anyone who felt he needed to defend himself. Accompanied by my two lawyers, I went to Paris the following week, to the studios where the taping of the show was taking place. Michel Polac simply had our entry barred by the guards and sent plainclothes and uniformed police after us.
The Jacques Chancel and Gilbert Salomon Affair
Jacques Chancel is another French radio and television star Chancel invited me to come and debate one Gilbert Salomon on his radio program on 18 September 1987. I gladly accepted. After arriving in Paris, I learned that my presence on that broadcast would be "intolerable"; I had to return to Vichy. The broadcast – featured only Jacques Chancel, Gilbert Salomon and several other resolutely anti-Revisionist voices. I was repeatedly insulted in absentia. Gilbert Salomon went so far as to admit that if I had been there he would probably have hit me. He was introduced by his "intimate friend, almost brother" Jacques Chancel as having been interned at Auschwitz for two years to the day, from 11 April 1943 to 11 April 1945; Salomon claimed that he had been the only escapee from a convoy of 1,100 Jews.
The truth is that Salomon arrived in Auschwitz on 1 May 1944, which is more than a year after the date that he gave during the broadcast and that he was transferred from Auschwitz to Buchenwald, where he was liberated in April 1945; Salomon's convoy included 1,004 Jews, and Serge Klarsfeld, in spite of his manipulation of statistics, was obliged to recognize in his Memorial to the Deportation of the Jews from France (and the additional volumes) that after 1945 at least 51 Jews from that convoy had spontaneously come to the Ministry for Prisoners to report that they were alive. Furthermore, I discovered that Gilbert Salomon was counted by Serge Klarsfeld among … the gassed! The name of Gilbert Salomon, today a millionaire known in France as "the meat king," therefore appears, under the heading of those gassed, on a monument in Jerusalem at which all the names included in the above-mentioned Memorial are listed as if they were Jews who had died after being deported.
The Le Pen Affair
Jean-Marie Le Pen is the leader of the National Front, a populist movement which has more than thirty deputies in the National Assembly. He is a candidate for the presidency of the Republic. On 13 September 1987, on the televised broadcast "RTL-Le Monde Grand Jury," Le Pen was suddenly questioned on athe Faurisson and Roques theses." During his answer, he said:
I am terribly interested in the history of World War II. I have asked myself a certain number of questions about it. I do not say that the gas chambers did not exist. I myself was not able to see them. I have not made a special study of the matter. But I believe they are a footnote to the history of World War II.
One must listen carefully to the complete recording of that rather confused interview in order to understand the situation in which Le Pen found himself and what he meant to say. The transcripts which appeared in the press are faulty. I personally listened, word by word, to the statments of Le Pen and of the journalists who interrupted him on several occasions. For me, it is clear that Le Pen, beginning with the first question, lost his composure; he was aware of the seriousness of the subject broached, and an abyss opened under his feet. He collected his wits as he spoke but the interruptions by the journalists made him lose his train of thought.
Le Pen did use the expression "point de detail." The expression was unfortunate and did not accurately express what he wanted to say. What he wanted to say is what many Exterminationists end up telling me in what discussions I have with them: "Whether the gas chambers existed or not, that is a detail." I have heard, twenty times or more, people who believe in the Exterminationist thesis use that argument when they finally realize, in the midst of our conversation, that the gas chambers, after all, can't really have existed. Jean-Marie Le Pen, for his part, defended the opinion that the means of making the Jews disappear was only a footnote, in view of the fact of their disappearance. In effect, if one admits that there was, for example, an assassination, the weapon used to commit the crime is of relatively little import relative to the fact of the killing. It is ironic that an argument invoked by the Exterminationists to defend their thesis about the extermination of the Jews was considered a crime for Le Pen, whom people suspect – not without reason, in my opinion – of Revisionism.
Another irony was that no Revisionist would agree with Le Pen in saying that the gas chambers are a footnote to the history of World War II. In fact, without this specific weapon used to carry it out, the specific crime of genocide is physically inconceivable. Without a system of destruction there is no systematic destruction. Without the gas chambers, there is no Jewish Holocaust. The gas chambers are therefore not a footnote.
One final irony is that Claude Malhuret, the Secretary of State charged with the defense of the Rights of Man, said, in response to Le Pen, that "the gas chambers are one of the keys to the history of the 20th century" (Libération, 15 September 1987, page 6). Every Revisionist will agree with that statement, adding only that it is the key … to a lie. The gas chambers are an essential myth, an essential lie. The gas chambers are less than a footnote, since they did not even exist, but the myth of the gas chambers is indeed "one of the keys to the history of the 20th century."
Five days after his statement, Le Pen more or less retracted it. In a clarification intended for the press, he mentioned "the gas chambers" as one weapon, among others, in which he said he believed. But the press, in its excitement to crush him, did not want to hear his explanations.
On the whole, for Revisionists the result of the Le Pen affair was positive. Thanks to this politician, all the French people heard about those who doubted the existence of the gas chambers and people now know more or less clearly that these skeptics are called "Revisionists." Today, when someone who does not know me tries, during a conversation about the Second World War, to categorize me, I can simply say: "I am a Revisionist." Before the Le Pen affair, that term would have been understood only by a tiny number of Frenchmen.
The Exterminationists can no longer advance the argument that they have recently tended to use more and more to extract themselves from embarrassment. They can no longer say: "The gas chambers are a footnote." The gas chambers will become the Exterminationists' shirt of Nessus; they will have to defend, to the bitter end, an indefensible thesis (the existence of the gas chambers), the fraudulent cornerstone of an edifice built with lies.
The Revisionists Banned by the French Media
The bottom line on my French television broadcasts is simple: in nine years, French viewers saw and heard me once, for 30 to 40 seconds, one night in June of 1987 at 10:15 p.m. on France's third television network. The newsreader, Jacqueline Alexandre, was careful to advise the viewers that I was a sort of monster and, after my appearance, she confirmed for them that they had just seen and heard a kind of monster. The radio and the newspapers, of course, are closed to us. Rarely has such a small group of men had so much said about them, virtually all of it negative, with no chance to defend themselves.
For the past nine years, I have not been able to hold a single really public conference in France. Even some of my "invitation only" conferences have been prevented by the intervention of the police (for example, in Périgueux at the behest of Yves Guena and in Bordeaux at the behest of Jacques Chaban-Delmas, both deputies of the "Gaullist" right). In France, the Revisionists play a sort of devil role: people hear very much said about them, always bad, but people never see them. I have stopped counting the physical attacks on Pierre Guillaume, other Revisionists and myself. I believe I could qualify for listing in the Guinness Book of World Records, under the heading of "the professor most often insulted in the Western press."
Three Shoah-Business Events
Three spectacular events have sometimes been described in the French press as a reply to the rise of Revisionism: the movie Shoah, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Elie Wiesel. and the Demjanjuk trial in Jerusalem.
I will not return to the case of Shoah, which I treated in The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1988, pp. 82-92. In France the film had such a setback compared to the publicity from which it had benefited in all imaginable ways that one could, in my opinion, talk here about a "shoah-business flop." I will mention just the interview that appeared in VSD (9 July 1987, page 11), in which Claude Lanzmann revealed, with some relish, the subterfuges he had used in questioning the German "witnesses" who are seen in his film. He invented a name: Claude-Marie Sorel; a title: Doctor of History; and an institute: the Center for Research and Studies in Contemporary History; some stationery with a phony letterhead reading "Académie de Paris" (he must have known that his friend, Madame Ahrweiler, rector of the Académie de Paris, would not bring suit over this); and, finally, he paid his witnesses handsomely: DM 3,000 apiece, or around $1,500. In December 1987 Claude Lanzmann is to participate in the international conference at the Sorbonne organized by Madame Ahrweiler and directed against the French Revisionists.
Elie Wiesel Receives the Nobel Peace Prize (Oslo)
In December, 1986 Elie Wiesel received the Nobel Peace Prize. On page one of the 17 October 1986 issue of Le Monde, under the headline "An Eloquent Nobel," it was emphasized that such a reward came just in time since:
During the last few years there has been, in the name of so-called "historical Revisionism," the development of theses, especially in France, questioning the existence of the Nazi gas chambers and, perhaps beyond that, of the genocide of the Jews itself.
In my September 1983 IHR conference paper I said:
Elie Wiesel, if I may be allowed to use a familiar expression, is suffering from a terrible thorn in his foot the thorn of Revisionism. He has tried by every means to rid himself of it He has not succeeded. He seems less and less hopeful of ridding himself of it. In that respect, he is like the Revisionists, who do not see any more than Wiesel does how he will get rid of the thorn of Revisionism (The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1985, page 178).
In December of 1986, I published a text entitled: "A Prominent False Witness: Elie Wiesel." In it I recalled that, in his autobiography (Night), this great Auschwitz witness did not even mention the existence of "gas chambers" at Auschwitz. For him, the Germans did exterminate the Jews, but … by fire, by throwing them alive into open air furnaces right in front of all the deportees. I could have added that in January 1945, after being offered by the Germans the opportunity either to remain in the camp to await the arrival of the Soviets, or to leave the camp with his guards, Elie Wiesel chose to leave with the German "exterminators" instead of welcoming the Soviet "liberators." His father and he both made the same decision, although both could have remained at one of the camp hospitals, the young Elie as a pampered convalescent in a small surgical ward, and his father in the guise of either a patient or a male nurse (Night, New York: Hill and Wang, 1960, pp. 82-87). In December 1986 Pierre Guillaume, Serge Thion and I went to Oslo (Norway) for the Nobel Prize ceremonies. The text "A Prominent False Witness: Elie Wiesel" was distributed on the spot in French, English and Swedish, including to some political people of influence, including Mme. Mitterrand, and including Wiesel himself.
The Demjanjuk Trial
The Demjanjuk trial illustrates, one more time, the generalization as to how the lawyers for "Nazis" or for their "accomplices" play into the hands of the prosecution. In this case, Demjanjuk's lawyers refused to question the dogma of the extermination, and acted as if they really believed that Treblinka had been an extermination camp. In reality, it was a very modest transit camp, which was not the slightest bit secret. It was located 90 kilometers from Warsaw, near a small railway serving a gravel pit. One simple topographical study would demolish in a few minutes the myth of formidable secret gassings and of equally formidable open air incinerations of between 700,000 to 1,500,000 Jews. But – the "paper historians," as well as the judges and lawyers in Jerusalem, would not dare to begin at the beginning, that is, with a study of the location of the historic "crime." "Treblinka" is now the apex of the great historical lie, more so than even "Auschwitz."
III. Gains by Historical Revisionism
In January 1987 a well-known Jewish weekly wrote:
For Henri Roques, Mariette Paschoud, Pierre Guillaume and Robert Faurisson, 1986 was a very successful year. In France and in Switzerland, their names were on every tongue. (Allgemeine Jüdische Wochenzeitung, 23 January 1987, page 12).
In fact, the entire period that I deal with here (September 1983 to September 1987) was good for European Revisonism. In a more general way, in Canada and in Europe, one can say that during those four years the advances of Revisionism were important while the retreat of the Exterminationists became mare serious.
Advances of Revisionism
On 4 July 1984 a fire arsonists set swept through our Institute for Historical Review, located in Torrance, California. IHR's office and stocks were virtually completely destroyed. Willis Carto, Tom Marcellus and their team succeeded, at the cost of considerable effort, in bringing our institute back to life – necessarily a somewhat slower life. In spite of that criminal fire and in spite of the harmful effects of the Mel Mermelstein lawsuit, the Journal of Historical Review has by now published its 28th issue. In France, Pierre Guillaume has just created a quarterly review, the Annales d'Histoire Révisionniste. Its first issue, seized by the courts, caused a sensation; the major newspapers and even television mentioned its content and, especially, Carlo Mattogno's essay entitled "The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews." In 1986 Pierre Guillaume likewise published his own book, Droit et histoire, as well as the French translation/adaptation of Wilhelm Stäglich's The Auschwitz Myth, with a 25-page supplement in which I personally commented on photos and documents relating to that myth.
France is the first country in the world where a Revisionist academic thesis could be defended (in June 1985): Henri Roques's thesis on the Gerstein confessions. In the same year there appeared in Italy Mattogno's Il rapporto Gerstein, anatomia di un falso (The Gerstein Report Anatomy of a Fraud), a work broader and more complete than Roques's thesis (which tried to do nothing more than study the texts attributed to Gerstein). Mattogno is a learned man in the mold of his ancestors of the Renaissance. He is meticulous and prolific; in the future he will be in the first rank of Revisionists. It is possible that, in the years to come, the Spaniard Enrique Aynat Eknes will reach the same level for his work on Auschwitz. In two years, the Frenchman Pierre Marais will doubtless publish the result of his research on the myth of the homicidal gas vans. In the United States, our Institute has published the works of Walter Sanning (The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry) and also of James J. Martin, the dean of Revisionist historians (author of The Man Who Invented Genocide). The English translation of the Stäglich book is being prepared.
Tribute from Michel de Bodard
Michel de Bouard was interned at Mauthausen. A professor of medieval history and also a member of the Committee for the History of the Second World War (Paris), he ended his university career as dean of the Faculty of Letters at the University of Caen (Normandy). He is a member of the Institute de France. In 1986, he defended Henri Roques and, more generally, criticized Exterminationist literature and expressed his respect for the quality of Revisionist work. A journalist from Ouest France asked him:
You were president of the Calvados (Normady) Association of Deportees, and you resigned in May, 1985. Why?
De Bouard answered:
I found myself torn between my conscience as a historian and the duties it implies, and, on the other hand, my membership in a group of comrades whom I deeply love, but who refuse to recognize the necessity of dealing with the Deportation as a historical fact in accordance with sound historical methods. I am haunted by the thought that in 100 years or even 50 years the historians will question themselves on this particular aspect of the Second World War which is the concentration camp system and what they will find out. The record is rotten to the core. On one hand a considerable amount of fantasies, inaccuracies, obstinately repeated (in particular concerning numbers), heterogeneous mixtures, generalizations and, on the other hand, very dry critical studies that demonstrate the inanity of those exaggerations. I am afraid that those future historians might then say that the Deportation, when all is said and done, must have been a myth. There lies the danger. That haunts me. [Emphasis added]
The Revisionists, whom people are at pains to denounce as negative, in fact perform a positive function: they show what really took place. They also give a lesson in "positivism" in the sense that their arguments are often of a physical, chemical, topographical, architectural and documentary nature, and because they accept as true only that which is verifiable. They defend history, while their adversaries have abandoned history for what the Jews call "memory" – i.e., their mythological tradition.
IV. The Retreat of Exterminationism
In the years 1983-1987, the Exterminationist thesis benefited from a financial, political and media mobilization which was as impressive as it was fruitless.
A Moral Disaster for Hilberg, Vrba, Wiesel and Lanzmann
For Raul Hilberg, Rudolf Vrba, Elie Wiesel and Claude Lanzmann, these four years have been rich in money, publicity and various honors but disastrous for their moral credit.
- Raul Hilberg, the best "expert" on the Exterminationist thesis, was scuttled at the Toronto trial and was guilty of such perjury that in my opinion he would run a risk in coming back to testify again in a trial of that kind;
- Rudolf Vrba, witness number one for the Exterminationist thesis, showed himself to be a kind of impostor: he himself had had to agree at the Toronto trial that his written "testimony" was, in large part, if not perhaps in its entirety, a work of fiction;
- Elie Wiesel, the most famous of the travelling salesmen of Shoah-business, is discredited amongst his own people. A few months after the first publication and significant distribution of my text entitled "A Prominent False Witness: Elie Wiesel," Pierre Vidal-Naquet himself was moved to declare:
For example, you have Rabbi Kahane, that extremist Jew, who is less dangerous than a man like Elie Wiesel, who will say JUST ABOUT ANYTHING … Reading some of the descriptions in Night is enough to make you to realize that they are not accurate and that he ends up turning himself into a Shoah merchant … And in fact he also harms, gready harms, historical true (Zéro, April 1987, page 57);
- Claude Lanzmann was awaited like the Messiah. For ten years he promised to respond definitively to Revisionist arguments with his film Shoah; but, in France, the film had the opposite effect; it made obvious the absence of rational arguments for Exterminationism – so obvious that, in a panic, Lanzmann, working through the French Federation of Journalist Societies, called for legal repression of the Revisionists.
Functionalism" is a major concession to Revisionism, and the "intentionalists" have virtually disappeared.
Bankruptcy Statement in Ten Points
The bankruptcy statement of Exterminationism can be drawn up in the following terms: the Exterminationists have been forced to recognize no one can find any document (either German or Allied) to support their theses. There are:
- NO order to exterminate the Jews;
- NO plan for carrying out that extermination;
- NO central organization to coordinate the execution of such a plan;
- NO budget; but nothing can be done without money or credits:
- NO organ of control; but, in a country at war, everything must be controlled;
- NO weapon, for there is no expert study of the weapon of the crime: either of a homicidal gas chamber or of a homicidal gas van;
- NO body, for no one has any autopsy report proving that a single person was killed by poison gas;
- NO transcript of the reenactment of the crime, although in France an inquest into a murder is normally accompanied by the reenactment at the scene of the crime;
- NO witness capable of withstanding cross-examination on the very material aspects of the crime because during the Toronto trial, where for the first time someone dared to carry out that kind of cross-examination, the best "witnesses" were confounded;
- NO verified confession, for the Gerstein confessions and the confessions of Rudolf Höss, when finally analyzed, are shown to be devoid of value and impossible to defend (even by Raul Hilberg).
I am afraid that the brevity and speed with which I have enumerated these points may conceal the importance of each of those ten elements. I will therefore pause for a moment on the first of them: the absence (today admitted by everyone) of an order to exterminate the Jews.
From 1945 to 1980, people vilified anyone who dared to express the idea that there had never been such an order. Either the order existed and its existence had to be demonstrated, or else it did not exist and it was necessary to admit that that is what common sense said but that is also what no one among the spectators to the controversy (journalists, historians, professors) dared to say. For 35 years the Exterminationists carried on a deception. They blocked historical research and they paralyzed any common-sense reaction. The lesson is worth pondering. The Waldheim affair, to take only one example, only repeats this lesson: if Lieutenant Waldheim is guilty of a "war crime" or of a "crime against humanity," then Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress, must tell us in detail what his crime was, and must then present proof of it. Anything else is just media hysteria, intellectual terrorism, or the production of false documents.
The Revision of "Wannsee"
For more than 35 years, the Exterminationists led us to believe that the transcript of the Wannsee Conference (20 January 1942) anticipated the extermination of the Jews. Then, without a word, they abandoned this pretense. The Wannsee document in itself is suspect. Many Revisionists refuse, consequently, to grant it the slightest value. That was the case with me, but it is no longer. I believe above all that this document was poorly read, even by me. We have all been victims of such psychological conditioning that we were unable to see in the two crucial paragraphs words like "Freilassung" (release) and "Aufbaues" (revival) as well as the sentence in parentheses: "Siehe die Erfahrung der Geschichte" (See the experience of history). In light of these words, which people sometimes leave out when they supposedly reproduce the transcript, I say that what Heydrich envisioned at the Berlin-Wannsee meeting was a release ("Freilassung") of the Jews who survived the war and a Jewish revival ("jüdischen Aufbaues") after the terrible time of testing through wartime forced labor.
History is full of such physical and moral trials out of which a people is said to emerge "regenerated." The National Socialists, in this respect close to the Zionists, thought that after the war "the best" among the Jews would constitute an elite: the germ cell of a Jewish renewal in which physical labor, agricultural colonies, and the feeling of a common destiny would open the way to the creation of a Jewish national homeland; the Jews would finally constitute a nation among other nations, in place of being "parasites." I recall that in March 1942, and perhaps later, there was at least one kibbutz at Neuendorf, in National Socialist Germany (Documents on the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, 1981, page 155).
Hilberg and Browning Reduced to "Nothing"
The retreat of the Exterminationists over a period of 35 years can be measured in the successive explanations they have given for the order supposedly given by Hitler to exterminate the Jews. At first they gave to believe that there was a written order, then the order was described as a spoken order; today they ask us to believe that the order supposedly consisted of a simple "nod" (sic) by Hitler who, by virtue of a kind of mind-reading, supposedly had been instantly understood by a whole bureaucracy. The "nod" theory comes from Christopher Browning; the telepathic consensus theory comes from Raul Hilberg. We are thus nearing the domain of nothingness. Hilberg, who was himself once a member of the written-order faction (even two written orders), realized early on that he could not furnish any proof of the existence of the order (or orders). At a later date, in about 1984, he realized that the theory of the spoken order was also insupportable; at the Stuttgart Conference (3-5 May 1984), he in effect adopted a Revisionist argument as his own, saying as regards the alleged spoken order received by Eichmann or Höss:
Eichmann und Höss haben nicht selbst mit dem Führer gesprochen. So hören wir nur von einem Mann wie Eichmann, der von Heydrich gehört hatte, der von Himmler gehört hatte, was Hitler gesagt hatte. Für Geschichtsschreiber ist das allerdings nicht die beste Quelle. (Der Mord an den Juden im Zweiten Weltkrieg [The Murder of the Jews in the Second World War], DVA, 1985, page 187).
(Eichmann and Höss did not themselves speak with the Führer. So we learn only from a man – Eichmann – who heard what Hitler had said from Heydrich, who had heard it from Himmler. For the historian, this is certainly not the best source.)
Klarsfeld's Trickery and an Admission
Serge Klarsfeld, the husband of "Nazi-hunter" Beate, has involuntarily contributed to the retreat of Exterminationism. In order to support the thesis of the alleged homicidal gassings at Auschwitz-Birkenau, he was forced to employ a clumsy trick.
In 1980, Klarsfeld published an album of nearly 190 photos which had been taken by a German photographer at Auschwitz in 1944. Some of these photos were already known. The whole album should have been published in 1945; it is so full of information that I personally know of nothing more enlightening about the reality of Auschwitz than these astonishing photographs. Klarsfeld entitled the first, relatively honest, publication of the photos The Auschwitz Album/Lili Jacob's Album (New York, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, preface dated 5 August 1980). This edition was not offered commercially but seems to have been reserved for major libraries around the world, as well as for major Jewish organizations.
In the following year, he published the same photographs nder ie following title: The Auschwitz Album/A Book Based Upon an Album Discovered by a Concentration Camp Survivor, Lili Meier, text by Peter Hellman (New York, Random House, 1981). This time the presentation of the book and the commentary on the photos was dishonest.
It was in the French edition that Klarsfeld lapsed into trickery pure and simple. It must be said that he was helped by a strange character: a pharmacist named Jean-Claude Pressac, whose collaboration even George Wellers had ended up rejecting. The title of the French edition was: L'Album d'Auschwitz, d'après un album découvert par Lili Meier, survivante du camp de concentration, text by Peter Hellman, translated from English by Guy Casaril, French edition established and completed by Anne Freyer and Jean-Claude Pressac (Editions du Seuil, 1983). The order of the photos was completely rearranged so as to illustrate the Exterminationist thesis. Titles for the various sections of the original album were transformed; new captions were even forged so as to make people believe that they were original; the commentaries turned out to be purely arbitrary. A plan of Birkenau was added (page 42), but it was a plan that had been deliberately falsified. For example, in order to convince the reader that the groups of Jewish women and children surprised by the photographer between Crematories II and III could go no further and were therefore going to end up in the "gas chambers" in those crematories, Klarsfeld and Pressac had quite neatly removed a road through there which, in reality, led to a large shower facility (located beyond the zone of the crematories, to which the women and children were proceeding). Another deception consisted of leaving out any mention of the existence of a soccer field ("Sportplatz") next to Crematory III: the recreational spirit of such a playing field did not mix well with its proximity to a building in which thousands of Jews were supposedly gassed every day.
On 29 May 1986, in an interview in the weekly magazine VSD (page 37), Klarsfeld admitted that he had not yet published the "real proofs" of the existence of the gas chambers but only "beginnings of some proofs which embarrassed the Faurissonians but have not yet silenced them." So we have the admission of this revenge seeker that the entire world had been made to believe in those gas chambers without any proof having been published as late as May of 1986 – more than forty years after the end of the war. For Klarsfeld to say that was to admit implicitly that Georges Wellers had not published the "real proofs" in his 1981 book Les Chambres à gaz ont existé/Des documents, des témoignages, des chiffres (The Gas Chambers Existed/Documents, Testimony, Numbers) (Gallimard). In fact, what Wellers's book demonstrated was the existence of crematories. Klarsfeld's statement also meant that another book had been a failure: Les Chambres à gaz, secret d'Etat (The Gas Chambers, State Secret) (written by 24 authors, including Welters, Editions de Minuit, 1984; original German edition, published by Fischer Verlag in 1983, entitled NS Massentötungen durch Giftgas [NS Mass Murders by Poison Gas]. In effect, that work was based on the following theory: since the gas chambers were the greatest of all possible secrets, a State Secret, people ought not to expect to discover proof in the usual sense of the word. The cover of the book showed … a container of Zyklon. As I heard Professor Michel de Bouard himself say, "in this book they snipe at us with references and there is nearly no source." Personally, I would add that these references have no scholarly value; they refer back, for the most part, to statements about Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor, etc., made by German prosecutors or judges. But what is concealed from us is that all those statements have one common source: an office located at Ludwigsburg and run at the time by Adalbert Rückerl (Landesjustizverwaltung zur Aufklärung von NS-Verbrechen). In other words, Herr Rückerl, one of the main authors of the book, is constantly citing himself to prove that he is right!
In 1987 journalist Michel Folco visited me. I showed him the interview with Serge Klarsfeld. I pointed out that I have sent VSD a text in hopes of being granted the "right to reply," a right that was finally refused to me. Folco later went on to visit, on the one hand, Georges Wellers and, on the other hand, Serge Klarsfeld. Wellers was aware of the VSD interview with Klarsfeld and found it annoying and deplorable. There followed a hullabaloo at the end of which Klarsfeld, on 23 March 1987 (ten months after the interview); drew up a denial, but a denial which amounted to a confirmation. Instead of appearing in VSD, Klarsfeld’s denial appeared in George Wellers's magazine, Le Monde juif (January-March 1987, page 1). Klarsfeld wrote:
It is evident that in the years since 1945 the technical aspects of the gas chambers have been a neglected subject, since no one imagined that some day we would have to prove their existence.
This admission is significant. According to Klarsfeld himself, the Exterminationists had "neglected" the "technical aspects" of the weapon of the crime. No court, beginning with Nuremberg, had troubled to follow the procedure normally used in every such criminal trial. The gas chamber is the central pillar of the whole structure of crimes attributed to the Germans; but people had "neglected" to study it in its "technical aspects."
Results of Admission by Jean Daniel
In France, Jean Daniel's Le Nouvel Observateur was the mass circulation weekly most eager to combat the Revisionists. On more than one occasion, it published photos that supposedly showed "gas chambers." But, having lost the battle, the magazine admitted on 26 April 1983 (page 33):
There is no photograph of a gas chamber.
Which means that what people today still persist in describing to tourists as gas chambers at Struthof, Mauthausen, Hartheim, Dachau, Majdanek, and Auschwitz are only intended to lure visitors. From September 1983 to September 1987, the French press in effect gave up showing photos of gas chambers, a fact which represents some improvement over the American press, which continues to publish such photos.
Fear of Revealing the Documents
In 1986 Gerald L. Posner, a Jewish lawyer from the United States, published a book entitled Mengele: The Complete Story (in collaboration with John Ware, New York, McGraw-Hill). The title is misleading because the author obviously conceals what Mengele happened to write, after the war, about Auschwitz. On page 48, it is said that, according to his son Rolf, Mengele appeared to be "quite unrepentant and felt no shame" about the years he spent at Auschwitz. As far as I arn concerned, I am inclined to believe that Mengele felt neither repentance nor shame since he had nothing to repent or feel shame about. I am convinced that his personal papers fully confirm the Revisionist position and that, for that reason, the Exterminationists, who were able to get hold of his papers with the help of Mengele's son Rolf, refuse to divulge their contents ("In Rolf’s apartment were two bags filled with more than thirty pounds of Mengele's personal writings," page 302). I am thinking in particular about one piece entitled "Fiat Lux" (mentioned on page 316); the title leads me to think that in it Mengele shed some light on what really happened at Auschwitz. I am not alone in thinking that Posner, Rolf Mengele and the whole group of supposed experts or researchers are hiding some documents from us. We read in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Vol. 2, No. 1, 1987, page 9):
Had [Mengele], who did not repent a thing, really not written anything about these decisive years? And, if he has written about these years, who has destroyed or hidden these notes?
I believe that the treatment given to Dr. Mengele's writings constitutes an implicit proof that the Revisionists are right when they assert that essential documents are being withheld from examination by historians. The truth about Auschwitz can be found in Moscow, Arolsen (West Germany), and New York City: in New York (or somewhere in Germany) with the Mengele manuscripts; in Arolsen, at the International Tracing Service, closed to Revisionists since 1978, a place rich in invaluable documents on the individual fates of every individual interned at Auschwitz; and in Moscow, where up until now they have kept from public view the almost complete set of death registers (Totenbücher) drawn up by the Germans at Auschwitz from 1940 to 1945 (the other two or three registers are located at the Auschwitz Museum and perhaps also in photocopy form at Arolsen, but there again consultation of them is prohibited).
My question is: Why have the Holocaust historians approved of this systematic concealment of documents, which has gone on now for decades? What are they waiting for before thev will publish the documents?
Wartime Jewish Pressure to Credit the Rumors
In 1985, David S. Wyman published The Abandonment of the Jews/America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945, Pantheon books (copyright 1984). This book is in the tradition of similar works in which Arthur Morse, Walter Laqueur and Martin Gilbert have explored what the Allies could have known about Auschwitz or other "extermination camps" during the war. Its author displays a credulity and even a simple-mindedness that Europeans tend to call "American." The preface was written by "false witness" Elie Wiesel and the testimony with which the book opens comes from Hermann Gräbe, a well-known perjurer (see Der Spiegel, 29 December 1965, pp. 26-28). According to Wyman, the Allies ought to have believed what they heard about Auschwitz or about Treblinka, but they did not. Even in Moscow, in May 1945, the American newspaper correspondents were apparently inattentive or skeptical. He writes:
Also, apparently, the American correspondents were unaware of or disbelieved earlier reports on Auschwitz [earlier than the famous one of May 6, 1945], including the much publicized one released by the WRB [War Refugee Board] He preceding November (page 326 n. 1).
The Allies were right not to believe either the WRB Report of November 1944, based principally on Rudolf Vrba, or the official Soviet report about Auschwitz dated 6 May 1945, also known as Nuremberg document USSR-008: two of the four signers were the biologist Lysenko and the metropolitan Nikolaus or Nikolai; the first was later shown, after the war, to be a fraud, while the second dared to sign the false expert report of 24 January 1944, attributing the Katyn massacre to the Germans (document USSR-054). Page after page, David Wyman involuntarily helps show that the Revisionists are right on two essential points:
- The alleged "news" about the extermination of the Jews consisted of nothing more than confused, vague, contradictory, absurd rumors;
- Jewish organizations, especially the World Jewish Congress, presided over by Rabbi Stephen Wise, constantly exerted pressure on governmental bodies and the media to present these rumors as news.
The word "pressure" comes up again and again in this book. The alleged indifference or inactivity of American Jewish organizations during "the Holocaust" is a myth. The reality is that, in spite of their incessant pressure, these organizations encountered great scepticism, which is quite normal when one considers the lack of substance of the alleged "news" about "the extermination of the Jews." In any event, the book reveals, in spite of the author's intention, how the myth of the Holocaust and the gas chambers began and developed during the war. Wyman could have saved himself a lot of work if he had read the marvelous text by Arthur Butz, entitled "Context and Perspective in the 'Holocaust Controversy," presented at the 1982 Revisionist conference and printed at the end of recent editions of The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (pp. 335-369).
Concessions by Pierre Vidal-Naquet
Pierre Vidal-Naquet has just republished his anti-Revisionist writings. His book in entitled Les Assassins de la Mémoire (Editions de la Découverte, 1987). The author makes a certain number of concessions to the Revisionists, the first one in criticizing them (in his words) not for killing history but for killing "memory." He says they are right on all sorts of subjects:
- the more than suspect character of the testimony attributed to SS man Pery Broad (page 45);
- the value of the "material gathered at Nuremberg" (page 47);
- the fact that Simone Veil (under her maiden name of Simone Jacob) had been counted as having been gassed (page 65) (it should be noted in passing that the same thing happened to the Communist official of the largest French workers organization, Henri Krasucki, and to his mother, as well as to thousands of other less famous French Jews);
- that the Jewish people have become sacrosanct thanks to Auschwitz, and the profit that Israel and some Jewish groups derive from this (page 125, 130, 162, 214 [notes 90 and 93], 223 [note 90]);
- the testimony of SS man Gerstein which is "full of contradictions and things that are hard to believe" (page 154);
- the number of dead at Auschwitz: 4 million according to the Poles and the Soviets, "around three and a half million" for Lanzmann, but a million for Vidal-Naquet (personally, I believe that about 60,000 died but no inquest has yet been conducted and the death registers of Auschwitz are still kept hidden by the Allies);
- the "imaginary gas chambers" (page 219, n. 44).
The most interesting concession is one that relates to Auschwitz I: Vidal-Naquet no longer believes in the authenticity of the gas chamber in that camp. But the "gas chamber" of Auschwitz I is still visited by millions of tourists to whom it is described as authentic (pp. 131-132, n. 94 and page 214). I will mention here that the first person, among historians of Jewish origin, to say there was no gas chamber at Auschwitz I was Olga Wormser-Migot, in 1968 (Le Système concentrationnaire nazi (1933-1945), Presses Universitaires de France). She wrote at that time "Auschwitz I [ … ] without a gas chamber" (page 157).
Vidal-Naquet has been active as a persecutor of the Ravisinnists. He went so far as to testify in court against men in the Poliakov affair (see "Revisionism on Trial; Developments in France, 1979-1983," Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 6, no. 2 [Summer 1985], pp. 155-160). In his opinion, "We must talk about the Revisionists … we do not talk with the Revisionists" (Les Assassins de la Mémoire, page 10). To draw an analogy from sports, Vidal-Naquet thinks he is better than Faurisson at tennis; not only that, he claims Faurisson cheats at tennis. Should the latter suggest a match, before a referee and in public, Vidal-Naquet would respond that he would certainly like to play but only on the condition that there be no opponent. He would ask the judge to declare him the winner in advance; the public's job would simply be to confirm that decision. Vidal-Naquet is in favor of repression against those whom he calls "the assassins," "the little abject band," "the shits." But, after witnessing repression in its legal form, Vidal-Naquet regards it as dangerous; indeed, French judges do condemn the Revisionists, as they are asked to do, but not as severely as Vidal-Naquet and his friends had hoped. He writes:
Legal repression is a dangerous weapon which can backfire on those who use it. The trial brought in 1979 against Faurisson by various anti-racist associations ended in a decree of the Court of Appeal of Paris dated 26 April 1983 which recognized the seriousness of Faurisson's work (that beats all!), and in the end convicted him only for having acted with malevolence in summing up his theses in slogans. (page 182)
Here the retreat of the Exterminationists is illustrated by the fact that they are finally forced to admit, four years after the fact, that the Court in Paris recognized the seriousness of my work and in the end punished me (severely!) simply for having, in its opinion, acted malevolently in summing up my thesis in slogans. It must not be forgotten that for four years, from 1983 to 1987, the Exterminationists succeeded in concealing the content of the decree of 26 April 1983, or else distorting it to the point of saying that I had been convicted of falsifying history.
In France, certain Jewish authors no longer believe in the gas chambers, or else advise people not to dwell too much on examining the existence of that formidable weapon.
Such is the case with Joseph Gabel, who wrote that it is "with a real skill that Faurisson has been able to exploit the faults of his adversaries" and has been able "to make the debate swerve toward the least solid positions of the 'Exterminationists': the exact number of the victims and the technical problems posed by the function of the gas chambers." He adds:
It was useless and dangerous to enter into such a debate [on the technical problems posed by the functioning of the gas chambers]. It is enough to say that mass gassing poses technical problems [ … ] that it is not the job of the victims to solve these problems [ … ] This discussion of the technical aspects of genocide, in the presence of a public wit more prejudices than knowledge, has been unwise. The Messrs. Vidal-Naquet, Wellers, and their colleagues have given battle on the field chosen by their opponent. (Réflexions sur l'avenir des Juifs, Klincksieck, 1987, pp. 135-136)
The periodical Article 31 even published a letter from Ida Zajdel and Marc Ascione (January-February 1987, page 22) which developed the thesis that the gas chambers never existed; they were dreamed up in the imaginations of certain SS men, who at that time slipped into some of their "confessions" a "time bomb" against the Jews.
A university-level journal of the caliber of the recently established Holocaust and Genocide Studies shows that even the officials of Yad Vashem are now aware that it is no longer possible for historians to write the history of the Holocaust with the scorn for truth that up to now has been common. I advise Revisionists to carefully read this journal, edited by Yehuda Bauer and Harry James Cargas. For several years now I have paid close attention to the published writings of Yehuda Bauer. I have noted in Bauer a "Revisionist" tendency to probe the National-Socialist policy regarding the Jews, as well to take into account certain indications which suggest that throughout the entire war National Socialist Germany tried to maintain contacts with the Jews at the international level in order to facilitate the emigration, and not an extermination, of the European Jews (the "Europa Plan," the moderating role of Himmler, the Joel Brand affair, negotiations with the Czech, Swedish, Swiss and Hungarian Jews). Even on the question of the "Einsatzgruppen," we notice that every claim of the Exterminationists is to be looked at again, especially the number of executions (Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Vol.2, no. 2. 1987, especially pp. 234-235).
Only persons who have just become Revisionists can imagine that Revisionism will defeat Exterminationism "just as surely as night follows day." In reality, the lies of Exterminationism will continue to be accepted by the general public for decades to come. In order to transcend the myths of one war, it seems necessary to have another war. Without World War II, perhaps, the stories about Belgian children with their hands cut off by the "Huns" in World War I would still be believed today by the general public. As Arthur R. Butz has shown (Journal of Historical Review, April 1980, page 9), the legend of the Holocaust stands on feet of clay. This colossus will still be able to dominate our horizon for a long time. The more Revisionists whisper that its feet are made of clay, the more the votaries of the Holocaust religion will bang their drums to drown us out. On the university level, they will hold more and more "colloquiums" and "dialogues," which in fact will be just nothing more than "soliliquies" and "monologues." There have already been announcements of another "Sorbonne Conference" (10-13 December 1987) (not to be confused with the first "Sorbonne Conference," held 29 June – 2 July 1982) and more importantly the Oxford Conference" (10-14 July 1988) [both these conferences have taken place in the meantime – ed.]. The latter will take place under the aegis of a Mrs. Maxwell or, more exactly, of her husband Robert Maxwell, the British press magnate, a billionaire of Jewish origin. Their conference is intended to focus shame on Christians for their alleged indifference to the alleged Holocaust of the Jews.
I doubt that the Exterminationist lobby will attain any success on the university level, other than the intimidation of historians. It is going to become more and more clear that this lobby adds nothing to the science of history: no new documents, no new ideas. Indeed, the only possible evolutionary direction open to historians, whatever their preconceptions, is toward Revisionism. Thus we have witnessed the rise of "functionalism" in opposition to "intentionalism," and so it is that there has developed in Germany with Hillgruber, Nolte, Fest, et al. a new appreciation (and relativisation) of the so-called Holocaust that I, for one, immediately referred to, in German, as Ersatzrevisionismus ("ersatz Revisionism").
On the borderline between this "Ersatzrevisionismus" and real Revisionism, we see crouching, awaiting better days, valuable historians like Helmut Diwald, Alfred Schickel and David Irving [the last dramatically and forthrightly announced his acceptance of Holocaust Revisionism at the 1988 trial of Ernst Zündel – Ed.]. Among the Revisionists, a new generation is arising, at the forefront of which are Mark Weber (USA), Carlo Mattogno (Italy), and Enrique Aynat Eknes (Spain). I know of other names which, for reasons of prudence, I prefer not to give yet
"Shoah"-business will continue to prosper. The Holocaust Museums are going to multiply and Holocaust propaganda will continue to invade the high schools and universities. The concentration camps will become attractions comparable to Disneyland. It is enough to visit these camps today to realize that they will still be there two or three hundred years from now. Their touristic value is obvious. Poland scarcely attracts any tourists with "hard" currency, except to visit Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, and other camps. Tour operators are beginning to calculate the profit they can derive from these places, at which there is in reality nothing to see but where, as a result, they will fill the void with "symbols." The less there is to see with your eyes, the more they will give you to see in your imagination. From that point of view, Treblinka is an ideal place. Everything there is symbolic: the entrance to the camp, its boundaries, the railway line, the access ramp, the path to the "gas chambers," the "open air funeral pyres," and the sites of the "chambers" and "funeral pyres." At Treblinka, the Polish authorities will create, therefore, a museum all the more gigantic since the camp area proper was in fact exiguous (not even 200 x 50 m). In West Germany, East Germany and Austria, there is probably no longer a single school child, soldier or policeman who has not had to visit one or more concentration camps to understand there the horrors of National Socialism and to convince himself, by comparison, of the virtues of the "democratic" regimes in power. One cannot imagine a government that would ever renounce so easy a form of ideological indoctrination.
There is no reason for Israel and the World Jewish Congress to weaken their demands and their efforts in promoting the Holocaust religion. Such multi-millionaires of Jewish origin as Baron Rothschild in France, Robert Maxwell in Britain, Carlo de Benedetti in Italy, Rupert Murdoch in Australia, Armand Hammer in America and Moscow, and Edgar Bronfman in the United States and Canada, are probably going to collect more and more money (since it is doubtful that they will spend their own money) to counteract the effects of Revisionist skepticism The personal fortune of Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress and the "liquor king," is estimated at $3,600,000,000. The Revisionists have altogether about 3 francs and 6 sous. It is therefore wise not to have any illusions about the chances of success for Revisionism with a general public whose press is controlled by these magnates. People tell me a miracle is always possible. The world political situation could evolve in a direction favorable to Revisionism. Who knows whether the Arabs, and Muslims in general, will endlessly recite the lessons they are taught and not grow tired of the "Holocaust of the Jews"? Who knows whether the Communist world, with abrupt changes in its internal and foreign policies being undertaken at the highest level, will decide that moment has come to "rectify" the official history of Katyn and of Auschwitz and to give free access, for example, to the "Totenbücher" of Auschwitz? Who knows whether the historians of the Third World, or of the former Third World, will someday try to write the history of the Second World War from their own point of view, without worrying overmuch about the taboos of the Western World?
For a long time to come it will be the lot of the Revisionists to work in obscurity and danger. Their adventure is similar to that of the Renaissance, in which certain individuals, in varying degrees throughout Europe, simultaneously and spontaneously took it upon themselves to struggle against obscurantism. Those Renaissance seekers of truth did their work by looking again at the original texts, doing critical analysis, and verifying things in terms of the physical and material world. They preferred doubt to belief. Moving away from faith, they embraced reason. It is in that same spirit that Revisionism finds itself questioning a system of religious and political taboos. In this sense Revisionism is, in the words of lawyer Pierre Pécastaing, "the great intellectual adventure of the end of this century."
These are some samples of the answers of R. Hilberg when cross examined by D. Christie on Gerstein:
I would put Gerstein's statement [PS-1553] as one that one must be most careful about Parts are corroborated; others are pure nonsense (Transcripts, page 904).
Gerstein, apparently, was a very excitable person. He was capable of all kinds of statements which he, indeed, made not only in the affidavit but its context.
Question: He wasn't totally sane?
Answer: I am not a judge of sanity, but I would be careful about what he said (page 905).
He was capable, in his excitement, of adding imagination to fact There is no question of that (page 906).
Question: And we know that [the statement that Hitler was there in Belzec] to be a totally false statement; right?
Answer: Exactly (page 907).
Well, [in the reproduction of his statements] I eliminated anything that seemed not be be plausible or credible, certainly (page 921).
[About another statement] Well, parts of it are true, and other parts of it are sheer exaggeration, manifest and obvious exaggeration [ … ] Rhetoric … (page 923).
Gerstein was somewhat given to great excitability (page 924).
I would not characterize him as totally rational … but that is of no value, because I am not the expert of rationality (page 925)
Question: A very strange mind prone to exaggeration?
Answer: Yes (page 928).
A far-out statement (page 934).
In the use of such affidavits, one must be extraordinarily careful (page 935).
[It should be noted that all these admissions were dragged from R. Hilberg before the publication of the works of Carlo Mattogno (Italy) and Henri Roques (France) about Gerstein].
|||At Ernst Zündel's house, in those rare moments of relaxation, as a dozen or so of us were sitting around a table the conversation would turn to Hilberg and his theory of the "incredible meeting of minds." We imagined how much better it would be to have a world in which the "incredible meeting of minds" would replace letters, telegrams, and the telephone, and in which, at the dinner table for example, there would be no need to ask someone to pass the salt or the water carafe since, by an "incredible meeting of the minds," the persons who had those things, practicing "consensus-mind-reading would in every case anticipate your expressed desires and would himself offer the salt shaker or the carafe at just the right moment|
|||Here again, at Zündel's house, witness Vrba buoyed our spirits. We called him "the green duck." For several days lawyer Doug Christie had fired shots at him, each of which caused the impostor to lose some feathers, but none of which dealt him a mortal blow. It was Prosecuting Attorney Griffiths who delivered the coup de grâce to his own witness. In a sense he had asked Christie to loan him his double-barreled shotgun and, with two shots, brought down the bird. We called Vrba a "green" duck because of the color the witness turned when his story collapsed.|
|||See Shoah, reviewed by Robert Faurisson, The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1988, pp. 85-92.|
|||Translated in The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1986-87, pp. 389403.|
|||See The Christian News, July 1987, page 9; also the IHR Newsletter, No. 51, August 1987.|
|||After France changed its system for electing deputies to the Assembly from one based on proportional representation to direct election, the National Front's number of seats declined to one.|
|||On pages 31-32 of the December 1987 issue of the American magazine Instauration, from which I have borrowed this translation, one can find an interesting discussion of the difficulty of translating the phrase "point de detail " Instaruration rendered it as "footnote."|
|||The pamphlet "A Prominent False Witness: Elie Wiesel" is currently available from The Institute for Historical Review.|
|||Wilhelm Stäglich's The Auschwitz Myth is now available in English from the Institute for Historical Review. Enrique Aynat Eknes's "Crematoriums II and III of Birkenau: A Critical Study" appeared in the Fall 1988 Joumal of Historical Review (Vol. 8, No. 3). A review of Carlo Mattogno's Il rapporto Gerstein, by Dr. Robert A. Hall, appeared in the Spring 1986 Journal of Historical Review (Vol. 7, No. 1).|
|||A translation of the Michel de Bouard interview appeared in the Fall 1988 Joumal of Historical Review (Vol. 8, No. 3).|
|||In fact Hilberg refused to testify at the second trial of Zündel in Toronto.|
Here are the two paragraphs as they appear at the bottom of page 7 and the top of page 8 of the transcript. I have underlined the words that people usually leave out or ignore.:
Unter entsprechender Leitung sollen nun im Zuge der Endlösung die Juden in geeigneter Weise im Osten zum Arbeitseinsatz kommen. In grossen Arbeitskolonnen, unter Trennung der Geschlechter, werden die arbeitsfähigen Juden strassenbauend in diese Gebiete geführt, wobei zweifellos ein Grossteil durch natürliche Verminderung ausfallen wird.
Der allfällig endlich verbleibende Restbestand wird, da es sich bei diesem zweifellos um den widerstandsfähigsten Teil handelt, entsprechend behandelt werden müssen, da dieser, eine natürliche Auslese darstellend, als Keimzelle anzusprechen ist. ().
(Under proper direction the Jews shall now, in the course of the final solution, be taken to the East and put to work in a suitable way. In big labor columns, with separation of the sexes, the Jews capable of work will be conducted to these areas, building roads, whereby undoubtedly a large part will be lost through natural decrease.
The total remnant that finally in any case will remain – since this is undoubtedly the part with the strongest resistance – will have to be treated accordingly, since the latter, representing a natural selection is to be regarded, upon release, as nucleus of a new Jewish revival. (See the experience of history.)
The "nod" theory makes no sense in itself and is not supported by the slightest documentation. It seems to have made its appearance with Browning in 1984, when he wrote (emphasis mine):
"… Himmler and Heydrich needed little more than a nod from Hitler to perceive that the time had come to extend the killing process to the European Jews." ("A Reply to Martin Broszat Regarding the Origins of the Final Solution," The Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual, 1984, page 124).
In Fateful Months (New York Holmes & Meier, 1985), Browning uses this theory on at least two occasions: first on page 22 and then on page 36, where he writes:
"If a nod from Hitler could set Himmler and Heydrich in motion, others eagerly looked for similar signs."
In 1987 Brown declared:
"… it required not more than a nod of the head from Hitler to give the 'green light' indicating that the mass murder should now be extended to the European Jews. This was not so much an explicit order as an act of incitement. Hitler was solliciting a ‘feasibility study,' he was commissioning the drawing-up of a genocide plan. How this was communicated, we do not and never will know." ("Historians, Hitler and the Holocaust," a paper given at Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon, in March 1987, p. 24, thanks to Dr. Frankel of the Oregon Holocaust Resources Center).
We might point out to Browning that if we do not know and cannot know how "this" was communicated, it is impossible to say that "this" existed.
I remind readers that Allied officials never mentioned the existence of gas chambers during the war. On the international stage, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill very nearly did so in Their famous November 1st, 1943 declaration on She German atrocities; They refrained from mentioning gas chambers – as we are told – at the British Government's suggestion (Bernard Wasserstein, Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945, Institute of Jewish Affairs, London, 1979, p. 29).
Several months before, the Americans had planned the publication of a "Declaration of German Crimes in Poland," which they suggested "; the British and the Soviets publish on the same day as the American declaration. This declaration contained the following paragraph;
These German measures are being carried out with the utmost brutality. Many of the victims are killed on the spot. The rest are segregated. Men from 14 to 50 are taken away to work for Germany. Some children are killed on the spot, others are separated from their parents and either sent to Germany to be brought up as Germans or sold to German settlers or dispatched with the women and old men to concentration camps, where they are now being systematically put to death in gas chambers.
Cordell Hull, Secretary of State, sent the declaration to the British. He informed the US ambassador in Moscow by a telegram of August 27, 1943. Three days later, he warned the ambassador that there had been a mistake and in a telegram of August 30, he explained:
At the suggestion of the British Government which says there is insufficient evidence to justify the statement regarding execution in gas chambers, it has been agreed to eliminate the last phrase in paragraph 2 of the "Declaration on German Crimes in Poland" beginning "where" and ending "chambers" thus making the second paragraph end with "concentration camps." Please inform the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the change in text. (Foreign Relations of the United States, Diplomatic Papers, 1943, vol. 1, pp. 416-417).
This is the way The New York Times published the declaration, under the headline "U.S. and Britain Warn Nazi Killers" (30 August 1943, p. 3.). The Allied officials proved themselves to be prudent in their circumspection. Had they mentioned the alleged gas chambers in an official and worldwide declaration, world history would have been changed: the German authorities could have vigorously exposed this vile and ridiculous war canard which, then, would have plummeted to earth, since the Allies, challenged to prove their allegation, would have been confounded before the entire world. See also Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, p. 356.
|||Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi directs the Jewish and Israeli Studies Center at Columbia University in New York. He wrote in 1982:
The Holocaust has alrady engendered more historical research than any single event in Jewish history, but I have no doubt whatever that its image is being shaped, not at the historian's anvil, but in the novelist's crucible. Much has changed since the sixteenth century; one thing curiously remains. Now, as then, it would appear that even where Jews do not reject history out of hand, they are not prepared to confront it directly, but seem to await a new, meta-historical myth, for which the novel provides at least a temporary modern surrogate." (Zakhor, Jewish History and Jewish Memory, University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1982, p. 98).
|||At the time of my Institute for Historical Review paper in 1983, I paid tribute to the courage and the wisdom of one of my lawyers: Eric Delcroix. I want to repeat that tribute here. From 1979 until today, Delcroix had defended Revisionists in court and elsewhere, through his writings and even by his physical presence when there was some danger.|
Additional information about this document
|Title:||My Life as a Revisionist (September 1983 to September 1987), Paper Presented to the Eighth International Revisionist Conference|
|Sources:||The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 9, no. 1 (spring 1989), pp. 5-63|
|First posted on CODOH:||Nov. 10, 2012, 6 p.m.|