The "Final Solution of the Jewish Question"

Extermination or Ethnic Cleansing? A Review
Published: 2007-01-01

The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust, by Jeffrey Herf, Belknap Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2006, 416 pages.


Dr. Jeffrey Herf, professor of history at the University of Maryland and a prominent student of German-Jewish issues, has written a very interesting book that examines anew the National Socialist "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" and attempts to answer one of the most important questions surrounding World War II: Why did Nazi Germany so vehemently oppose and persecute the Jews?

The Jewish Enemy has received very favorable reviews. In the Los Angeles Times, Jonah Goldberg wrote that "it may be the most important book on the Holocaust in a decade."[1] Another reviewer in the influential Jewish newspaper, the Forward, also dubbed it "incredibly important."[2] Jay W. Baird, author of The Mythical World of Nazi Propaganda, 1939-1945, called it "indispensable for both students of the Third Reich and general readers."[3]

There is no doubt that this book deserves a thorough response from the Holocaust revisionist camp. Here in part one of a projected series of articles we will examine Professor Herf's theory about the "Final Solution," the alleged Nazi policy to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Future articles will examine other historical issues that are addressed in this well written but deeply flawed tome.

Herf's "Modified Intentionalism"

The "Final Solution of the Jewish Question" has been traditionally defined as the German National Socialist policy to purposely exterminate, by various means but mainly with the use of gas chambers, all of the Jews of Europe.[4]

Two camps have arisen among orthodox historians of the Final Solution. Holocaust traditionalist Deborah Lipstadt points out that "intentionalists contend that Hitler came to power intending to murder the Jews and instituted an unbroken and coherent set of policies directed at realizing that goal. In contrast, functionalists argue that the Nazi decision to murder the Jews did not originate with a single Hitler decision, but evolved in an incremental and improvised fashion."[5]

Herf's theory is to be classified with the former school, as The Jewish Enemy "is a work of modified intentionalism" (p. vii). According to this view, prior to the outbreak of the war, Adolf Hitler formulated a plan to exterminate the Jews, and the National Socialist leadership publicly announced they intended to carry this plan to completion. In Herf's own words, when Germany's "leaders spoke publicly after 1938 about what they intended to do to Europe's Jews, they were remarkably blunt and unambiguous about their intention to exterminate or annihilate—that is, to murder—all the Jews of Europe." (pp. 10-11)

To be expected, Herf has totally ignored Holocaust revisionist scholarship. Revisionism maintains that there was no extermination policy. In his Hoax of the Twentieth Century, Professor Arthur Butz developed a revisionist definition:

"The 'final solution' meant the expulsion of all Jews from the German sphere of influence in Europe. After the invasion of Russia its specific meaning was the resettlement of these Jews in the East."[6]

As I shall argue in the ensuing essay, Herf's theory is false. The Nazi "Final Solution" was a plan to forcibly remove, sometimes even by ruthless and brutal means, all Jews from Europe. It was a plan of ethnic cleansing, but not one of total mass extermination.

The Overall Weakness of "Intentionalism"

One of the major proponents of "intentionalism" was the late Holocaust historian Lucy Dawidowicz. In her The War Against the Jews: 1933-1945, she revealed how weak and flimsy the evidence that supports this hypothesis really is. After reading The Jewish Enemy, however, one could be left with the impression that "modified intentionalism" is an "etched in stone fact" with a ton of documentary evidence to support it. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Herf claims that Hitler and the Nazi leadership were remarkably blunt about their intention to exterminate the Jews after 1938, and by 1941 this was official policy (pp. 5, 10-11, 12). Yet, Dawidowicz admits "the abundant documents of the German dictatorship have yielded no written order by Hitler to murder the Jews..."[7]

Even more importantly, she conceded there is no documentary evidence to prove her "intentionalist" view of the Final Solution:

"If Mein Kampf is the terminus ad quem for the conception of the Final Solution, does its beginning indeed go back to November 1918, as Hitler himself claimed? It is a hazardous task to construct a chronology of the evolution of this idea in Hitler's mind. The historical evidence is sparse and no doubt would be inadmissible as courtroom evidence. The very idea of the destruction of the Jews as a political goal demanded, when Hitler first began to advocate it, camouflage and concealment. Its later consummation demanded, within limits, secrecy. Consequently, there is a paucity of documents, and even those we have handicap the search for definitive evidence because of the problem of esoteric language."[8]

The reader should keep this in mind as we examine Herf's contorted and twisted rationalizations.

The Problem with Herf's Theory of the "Final Solution"

In order to give the reader a good understanding of Herf's theory, let us explain it in greater detail.

"In his speech to the Reichstag on January 30 [1939]," Herf insists that "Hitler made his first unequivocal public threat to exterminate (that is, murder)—not merely to remove, deport, or defeat—'the Jewish race in Europe' in the event that 'international finance Jewry inside and outside Europe' brought about a new world war. He publicly repeated the genocidal prophecy on at least six subsequent occasions between January 30, 1939, and February 24, 1943." (p. 5)

The essence of Herf's theory is that Germany's leaders announced to the whole world they intended to exterminate the Jews, and even displayed this intention on public wall newspapers (p. 110, 167, 267). By the summer and fall of 1941, the Nazi leadership publicly declared the extermination of the Jews was official government policy (p. 12).

Yet, simultaneously, they kept secret all the methods of this extermination policy, such as the "gas chambers" in the alleged extermination camps (pp. 9, 11,123, 127, 140, 268, 269). He writes:

"The evidence also indicates the Nazis combined blunt speech about their general intentions with suppression of any facts or details regarding the Final Solution." (p. 268)

As far back as the 1970s, Arthur Butz pointed out the serious problem with this viewpoint. The orthodox Holocaust historians are forced to believe that the exterminations were carried out in extreme secrecy, which makes it somewhat untenable to employ certain public utterances of the German leaders as evidence of exterminations.[9]

Professor Herf claims the exterminations were kept secret, as there was a complete suppression of any facts about the Final Solution. Yet, the Nazi leaders also announced to the world their policy to exterminate the Jews. If Hitler, Goebbels and other officials made strenuous efforts to hide the methods of their extermination policy, like the "gas chambers," then it would be foolish for them to publicly announce to the world their plans to exterminate the Jews.

The "ausrotten" and "vernichten" Debate

Herf's theory is based upon his translation of two key German words: vernichten and ausrotten. He insists the use of these two terms by Hitler and Goebbels in reference to their Jewish policy proves that they had a plan of mass murder. In his own words:

"[T]he public language of the Nazi regime combined complete suppression of any facts about the Final Solution with a brutal, sometimes crude declaration of murderous intent. Two key verbs and nouns in the German language were at the core of this language of mass murder: vernichten and ausrotten. These translate as 'annihilate,' 'exterminate,' 'totally destroy,' and 'kill,' and the nouns Vernichtung and Ausrottung as 'annihilation,' 'extermination,' 'total destruction,' and 'killing.' Whether taken on their own from the dictionary meaning or placed in the context of the speeches, paragraphs, and sentences in which they were uttered, their meaning was clear." (p. 11)

These beliefs were undermined at one of the most famous Holocaust court cases of our time, the Irving-Lipstadt libel trial in London in 2000. British historian David Irving sued Penguin Books and Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt, who denounced Irving in print as "one of the most dangerous Holocaust deniers." At the trial, there was a debate about the meaning of the terms, "vernichten" and "ausrotten." In point of fact, the meanings of these words were shown to be equivocal.

In regard to the allegedly incriminating words and statements in Nazi documents that are employed to "prove" the Nazis had a policy to exterminate the Jews, the Judge in the case, Charles Gray, after hearing testimony from Irving and his opponents, pointed out that these words are capable of being interpreted in a non-genocidal sense. That is, in a manner that is consistent with Holocaust revisionist theory.

In his Final Judgment, we read:

"Much time was spent in evidence and argument on discussing the meaning and true significance of a number of German words to be found in the speeches of Hitler and others in contemporaneous documents generally. There was a prolonged cross-examination of Longerich [one of Penguin Books's and Lipstadt's expert witnesses] by Irving as to the meaning of certain German words which he listed in a glossary prepared for the purpose of these proceedings. Those words include ausrotten, vernichten, liquidieren, evakuieren, umsiedeln and abschieben. A considerable number of documents were scrutinized in an attempt to ascertain whether the words in question were being used or understood in a genocidal sense. Irving contended that most of these words are properly to be understood in a non-genocidal sense. Longerich agreed that most, if not all, of these words are capable of being used in a non-genocidal sense. For example, ausrotten can bear such anodyne meanings as 'get rid of' or 'wipe out' without connoting physical extermination. But he asserted that its usual and primary meaning is 'exterminate' or 'kill off,' especially when applied to people or to a group of people as opposed to, for example, a religion. He contended that all depends on the context in which the words are used."[10]

This undermines Herf's claim that the meanings of these terms are clear. In fact, they are equivocal, as has been admitted by Peter Longerich, a court recognized expert who believes the Nazis had a policy to exterminate the Jews.

Furthermore, Herf is wrong to claim the "dictionary meanings" of said terms are clear. Two opponents of revisionism, Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman, consulted a German-English dictionary from the war years, and it was found, for example, that "ausrotten" could mean more than just "exterminate." The lexicon clearly stated that "ausrotten" could also mean to "root out" in addition to "extirpate" or "exterminate."[11]

It is important to note that this fact—the words "ausrotten" and "vernichten" are equivocal and can be interpreted in a non-genocidal sense—undermines Herf's theory. The latter is based upon the genocidal interpretation of certain statements made by Hitler and Goebbels between January 1939 and February 1943. Yet, these same statements that Herf insists literally mean that the Hitler and Goebbels intended to exterminate the Jews could also be interpreted as meaning that they intended to root out and deport the Jews by brutal and ruthless means, and wipe out their influence in Europe. This specifically applies to what Herf labels as Hitler's first unequivocal public threat to exterminate the Jews, his speech to the Reichstag on January 30, 1939 (p. 5).

Hitler's German words have been translated into English as:

"If international-finance Jewry inside and outside of Europe should succeed once more in plunging nations into another world war, the consequence will not be the Bolshevization of the earth and thereby the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe."[12]

In light of all the evidence, it is very possible that Hitler's statement could be interpreted as meaning that if international finance Jewry succeeds in pushing the world into another war, the Jews would be uprooted, driven from Europe and their influence wiped out.

Evidence in favor of this interpretation is provided by a statement from SS leader, Heinrich Himmler. In a speech to members of the German military on November 23, 1942, he stated:

"The Jewish question in Europe has also completely changed. In a Reichstag speech the Fuhrer once said: Should Jewry instigate an international war to the extermination of Aryan peoples, then it is not the Aryan peoples who will be exterminated but Jewry. The Jew is evacuated from Germany: today he lives in the east and works on our roads, railroads, and so on. This process has been carried out consistently, but without cruelty."[13]

Here, Himmler is in effect saying that Hitler's statement is to be interpreted to mean that the Jews are to be evacuated to the east. What is a defender of Herf's hypothesis going to say in response? That Hitler originally stated point blank that he planned to exterminate the Jews, but then Himmler, years later, attempted to "cover up" Hitler's murderous plan with a false interpretation of his original words?

The late Dr. David Hoggan, a specialist in WWII diplomatic history, interpreted Hitler's words in this manner:

"[Hitler] urged the Jewish people to form a balanced community of their own, or to face an unprecedented crisis. He predicted that a new world war would not lead to the Bolshevization of the world and to the victory of the Jews, but that it would produce the destruction of the Jewish race in Europe. He based this prediction on the belief that the period of propaganda helplessness before Jewish influence over the non-Jewish peoples of Europe was at an end. He predicted that in a new World War, the same things would happen to them in other European countries that had already happened to them in Germany."[14]

As Hoggan points out, Hitler meant that if the Jews succeed in starting another world war, their position and influence would be wiped out in other European countries as it already had been in Germany.

Herf quotes a speech by Hitler himself that supports this interpretation. In his speech to the Reichstag on January 30, 1942, Hitler stated:

"We are clear that the war can come to an end only either with the extermination of the Aryan peoples or with disappearance of the Jews from Europe." (p. 144)

All of the above may very well apply to passages that employ the terms "ausrotten" and/or "vernichten," and Herf then interprets them to mean the Germans were intending to exterminate the Jews. These passages could very well be interpreted to mean the Germans intended to uproot and deport the Jews by ruthless and brutal means, during which many Jews would perish as a result of this policy.

In summary then, Herf is claiming that when Hitler and Goebbels "used the words Vernichtung (extermination) and Ausrottung (annihilation), the inhabitants of Nazi Germany understood that those words referred to a policy of mass murder." (p. 267)

Arthur Butz proposed a much more reasonable explanation:

"Very often the Jews were referred to via the German word das Judentum, one of whose correct translation is 'Jewry,' but which can also mean 'Judaism,' or even 'Jewishness' or 'idea of Jewishness.' Thus, a Hitler reference to 'die Vernichtung des Judentums,' if lifted out of context and interpreted in a purely literal way, can be interpreted as meaning the killing of all Jews, but it can also be interpreted as meaning the destruction of Jewish influence and power, which is what the politician Hitler actually meant by such a remark, although it is true that he could have used his words more carefully. Alfred Rosenberg made specific reference to this ambiguity in his IMT testimony, where he argued that 'die Ausrottung des Judentums,' a term he had used on occasion, was not a reference to killing in the context in which Rosenberg had used it."[15]

Was the Alleged Plan to Murder All Jews an Official Nazi Policy?

A key component of Herf's theory is that this publicly expressed intention to murder all Jews became a government policy, for he writes:

"By summer and fall of 1941, Hitler and Goebbels were saying publicly that the threatened extermination of the Jews was now part of ongoing official policy." (p. 12)

If the plan to murder the Jews was official policy, then we should expect that there would be documentary evidence of this murderous master plan left over in the tons of Nazi documents the Allies captured at the end of WWII. In the words of Holocaust revisionist Robert Faurisson:

"In effect, such a formidable criminal undertaking supposedly conceived, ordered, organized and perpetrated by the Germans would have necessitated an order, a plan, instructions, a budget… Such an undertaking, carried out over several years on a whole continent and generating the death of millions of victims would have left a flood of documentary evidence."[16]

Yet, Holocaust historian Leon Poliakov, who believes that the Germans murdered millions of Jews, points this out about Final Solution:

"[T]he campaign to exterminate the Jews, as regards its conception as well as many other essential aspects, remains shrouded in darkness. Inferences, psychological considerations, and third- or fourth-hand reports enable us to reconstruct its development with considerable accuracy."

Finally, Poliakov admits:

"Certain details, however, must remain forever unknown. The three or four people chiefly involved in the actual drawing up of the plan for the total extermination are dead and no documents have survived; perhaps none ever existed. Such is the secrecy with which the masters of the Third Reich, however boastful and cynical they may have been in other matters, surrounded their biggest crime."[17]

Herf claims that National Socialist leaders publicly announced their master plan to exterminate the Jews. Yet, as Poliakov concedes, there are no documents to prove that such a plan ever existed. Whereas Herf claims the Nazis publicly announced their official policy to exterminate the Jews, Poliakov provides contradictory evidence. He points out that because there are no documents to prove the existence of this murderous plan, the Nazis must have somehow successfully hid it with the utmost secrecy.

Consider the dilemma that Herf faces. He emphatically insists that his book demonstrates "in greater detail than previously, the extent to which Hitler and his associates told the German population on numerous occasions that his government was following a policy of exterminating and annihilating Europe's Jews." (p. 15)

Yet, as the leading historian for the orthodox version of the Jewish fate during the Third Reich, Raul Hilberg, asserts in his major work, The Destruction of the European Jews:

"The success of the killing operations [of the Jews in the concentration camps] depended… on the maintenance of secrecy. Unlike any administrative task confronting the bureaucracy, secrecy was a continuous problem… The killers had to conceal their work from every outsider, they had to mislead and fool the victims, and they had to erase all traces of the operation."[18]

Hilberg, who studied the German documents for decades, adds this most amazing claim about the alleged mass murder operations. The Germans omitted "mention of 'killing' or 'killing installations' in even their secret correspondence in which such operations had to be reported. The reader of these reports is immediately struck by their camouflaged vocabulary: 'Final Solution to the Jewish Question,' 'solution possibilities' 'special treatment' 'evacuation' 'special installations' 'dragged through' and many others."[19]

Herf agrees with Hilberg, for he believes the Nazis used "language rules specifically designed to conceal literal meaning" (p. 296, footnote 33). In their internal office memos, the Nazis used euphemisms and sheer cloudy vagueness to cover up and hide this policy of mass murder (p. 11).

If the success of the Nazi killing operations, the "gas chambers," depended upon the maintenance of secrecy, and the killers had to conceal their work from every outsider, mislead and fool the victims, and erase all traces of the operation, why would Nazi leaders turn around and publicly tell the German populace that they were exterminating the Jews? Why would the Nazis publicly announce their plans to exterminate the Jews of Europe, and simultaneously, in their secret correspondence try to hide and camouflage something they publicly announced? In regard to this serious dilemma, Herf provides no answers.

In order that the reader fully grasps the serious problem inherent in Herf's theory, let us juxtapose two quotes from The Jewish Enemy. On page 12, he states:

"By summer and fall of 1941, Hitler and Goebbels were saying publicly that the threatened extermination of the Jews was now part of ongoing official policy."

Yet, on page 277, Herf approvingly quotes the words of British historian Ian Kershaw:

"The very secrecy of the 'Final Solution' demonstrates more clearly than anything else the fact that the Nazi leadership felt it could not rely on popular backing for its extermination policy."

Does the reader see the serious problem here? The Nazi leadership publicly announced the extermination policy that they made a strenuous effort to hide and conceal! Contradictions such as this are exactly what one should expect from a false theory.

A defender of Herf's hypothesis may say that the Nazi leaders were neurotic and paranoid. Therefore, it is to be expected that they exhibited irrational behavior, like simultaneously announcing their plans to exterminate the Jews and all the while trying to hide the methods (eg., "gas chambers") of this murderous policy.

Even if they were neurotic and paranoid, they certainly were not stupid as Herf seems to suggest (p. 88). Hitler and Goebbels would have readily seen the foolishness of announcing to the world a policy to exterminate the Jews, yet simultaneously tying to hide the actual facts (the "gas chambers") of this policy.

The truth of the matter is, there are no authentic and genuine wartime documents that prove the Germans had a policy to annihilate the Jews of Europe. Raul Hilberg himself has conceded this. In his magnum opus, he admits that no written Hitler order to exterminate the Jews has ever been found.[20] In so many words, he has conceded that in the tons of documents captured by the Allies at the end of the war, no war time mass extermination order or plan has ever been found, for he wrote: "We know that the bureaucracy had no master plan, no fundamental blueprint, no clear-cut view of view of its actions."[21]

In regard to this state of affairs, Professor Butz has commented: "The 'final solution' meant the expulsion of all Jews from the German sphere of influence in Europe. After the invasion of Russia, its specific meaning was the resettlement of these Jews in the East. The German documents at every level (among those that have survived) express this unambiguously, a fact which is conceded even by the bearers of the extermination legend, who are forced to declare that this must just be code terminology for extermination."[22]

This comment may very well shed light upon the motivations of Jeffrey Herf. There are no unequivocal documents or statements to support his case. So, perhaps, he is distorting the evidence in order to make it conform to his theory. He may be "reading into" the documents and statements an interpretation that fits his belief that the "Final Solution" meant the total extermination of the Jews. The reader should keep this in mind as we examine the rest of Herf's views.

In this context, there is one more orthodox Holocaust claim worth examining. It is said the reason there are no war time documents proving that the Final Solution was a plan to exterminate the Jews is because the Germans burned millions of records to cover up their genocidal policy.[23]

This is pure speculation unsupported by any documentary evidence. This is an ad hoc rationalization, created to "explain away" the embarrassing fact that there are no documents to prove the orthodox view of the Final Solution. No one has ever found any authentic and genuine war time Nazi document, ordering that all records that discuss the alleged policy to exterminate the Jews by various means are to be burned.

The Luther Memorandum Undermines Herf's Theory

In volume 13 of the Nuremberg Military Tribunal (NMT) publications, there is a discussion of National Socialist Jewish policy. One part, NG-2586-J, a memo written by German Foreign Office official Martin Luther, dated August 21, 1942, is a summary of this policy. This is an important war time German document that both the orthodox and revisionist historians of the Holocaust accept as authentic and genuine.

Let us list each of Herf's claims and then compare them to what the Luther memo says.

Herf writes:

"In his speech to the Reichstag on January 30 [1939], Hitler made his first unequivocal public threat to exterminate (that is, murder)—not merely to remove, deport, or defeat—'the Jewish race in Europe' in the event that 'international finance Jewry inside and outside Europe' brought about a new world war. He publicly repeated the genocidal prophecy on at least six subsequent occasions between January 30, 1939, and February 24, 1943." (p. 5)

But the Luther memo states:

"The fact that the Fuehrer [Hitler] intends to evacuate all Jews from Europe was communicated to me as early as August 1940 by Ambassador Abetz after an interview with the Fuehrer [Hitler]."[24]

So, Herf claims that in January 1939 Hitler made a public threat to literally exterminate the Jews. Yet, the Luther memo states that Hitler's policy in August 1940 was to evacuate all Jews from Europe.

Herf's claim—"By summer and fall of 1941, Hitler and Goebbels were saying publicly that the threatened extermination of the Jews was now part of ongoing official policy" (p. 12)—is contradicted by documentary evidence.

The Luther memo states:

"Hence, the basic instruction of the Reich Foreign Minister, to promote the evacuation of the Jews in closest cooperation with the agencies of the Reichsfuhrer-SS, is still in force and will therefore be observed..."[25]

So once again, Herf claims that the extermination of the Jews was "official government policy" by the summer and fall of 1941. Yet, the Luther memo states that the policy of deporting the Jews was still in force in August of 1942.

Under point number 8, the Luther document contains this most telling statement:

"On the occasion of a reception by the Reich Foreign Minister on 26 November 1941 the Bulgarian Foreign Minister Popoff touched on the problem of according like treatment to the Jews of European nationalities and pointed out the difficulties that the Bulgarians had in the application of their Jewish laws to Jews of foreign nationality."

The document continues:

"The Reich Foreign Minister answered that he thought this question brought by Mr. Popoff not uninteresting. Even now he could say one thing to him, that at the end of the war all Jews would have to leave Europe. This was the unalterable decision of the Fuehrer [Hitler] and also the only way to master this problem, as only a global and comprehensive solution could be applied and individual measures would not help very much."[26]

This clearly contradicts Herf's contention that by mid 1941 the "threatened extermination of the Jews was now part of ongoing official policy." The Luther memo, a clear, August 1942 statement of National Socialist policy, declares this was the policy: At the end of the war the Jews would still be around, but they would have to leave Europe.

More Evidence Against Herf's Theory

At the risk of sounding redundant, let me again repeat a key component of Herf's thesis:

"By the summer and fall of 1941, Hitler and Goebbels were saying publicly that the threatened extermination of the Jews was now part of ongoing official policy." (p. 12)

Yet, the late Holocaust historian Gerald Reitlinger began his magnum opus with a statement that renders Herf's theory as ridiculous. "'The Final Solution of the Jewish Problem,'" Reitlinger insists, "was a code-name for Hitler's plans to exterminate the Jews of Europe. It was used by German officials after the summer of 1941 in order to avoid the necessity of admitting to each other that such plans existed, but previously the expression had been used quite loosely in varying contexts, the underlying suggestion always being emigration."[27]

So, according to Herf the leaders of the Third Reich publicly announced in 1941 that the extermination of the Jews was now official policy. But then again, Reitlinger points out that German officials used code-words after the summer of 1941 to avoid admitting to each other that such a mass murder policy even existed. Therefore, the Germans used the code-word—"The Final Solution"—to avoid admitting to each other that the publicly admitted and announced mass extermination policy even existed!!

There is more. Reitlinger brought forth even more documentary evidence that undermines Herf's theory. On February 10, 1942, the director of the Jewish department in the Foreign Ministry, Franz Rademacher, sent out a new ruling:

"The war with the Soviet Union has in the meantime created the possibility of disposing of other territories for the Final Solution. In consequence the Fuehrer has decided that the Jews should be evacuated not to Madagascar but to the East. Madagascar need not longer therefore be considered in connection with the Final Solution."[28]

If, as Herf claims, by mid 1941 Hitler and Goebbels were saying publicly that the extermination of the Jews was now government policy, then why did the director of the Jewish department in the Foreign Ministry send out the ruling in February 1942, that Hitler has now ordered the Jews would deported to the East? Mainstream Holocaust historians maintain that Rademacher's ruling was employing "camouflage language." That is, "evacuation to the East" really meant extermination.

The reader should see the serious problem here. By the summer and fall of 1941, Hitler and Goebbels were publicly announcing to the world that the extermination of the Jews was now official policy. Yet, in a February 1942, private memorandum, the director of the Jewish Department in the Foreign Ministry used camouflage language in an attempt to hide this murderous policy! Who were the Germans trying to hide this murderous policy from? After all, Hitler and Goebbels already announced it to the world!

Reitlinger points out that on July 24, 1942, Hitler privately stated that "if the Jews did not emigrate after the war to Madagascar or some other Jewish national State he would round them up, town by town" (emphasis added).[29] Once again, consider the absurdity here. Herf claims that by the summer and fall of 1941, Hitler announced that it was now government policy to exterminate the Jews. Yet, in private, he used "camouflage language" in order to hide this alleged extermination policy. Who was he trying to hide this extermination policy from? He had already announced it to the world!

There is more documentary evidence that supports the Holocaust revisionist position that is simply too lengthy to discuss in this short article.[30]

Himmler's Posen Speech: No Evidence of a Mass Extermination Policy

In October of 1943, the Chief of the German Secret Police, Heinrich Himmler, delivered a speech in Posen, Poland. This speech is often used by orthodox Holocaust historians to "prove" that the Nazis had a policy to exterminate the Jews.

This speech may have been tampered with by Allied censors, and Himmler may have not even made the statements attributed to him.[31] But let us give Herf and his camp the benefit of the doubt and assume that Himmler really did make the comments attributed to him. Here is the key passage in question:

"I [Himmler] am now referring to the evacuation of the Jews, to the extermination of the Jewish people. This is something that is easily said: 'The Jewish people will be exterminated,' says every Party member, 'this is very obvious, it is in our program—elimination of the Jews, extermination will do.—"

Himmler continued:

"Most of you here know what it means when 100 corpses lie next to each other, when 500 lie there or when 1,000 are lined up. To have endured this and at the same time to have remained a descent person... has made us tough."[32]

Herf unwittingly provided support for Holocaust revisionism, for he wrote that in this speech, "Himmler referred only to the early methods of the Einsatzgruppen murders and said nothing about the death camps, gas chambers, and crematoria." (p. 233) Herf is admitting that Himmler is referring only to the mass shootings of Jews that took place on the Eastern Front, and this speech says nothing at all about the alleged "death camps, gas chambers, and crematoria."

As far back as the early 1970s, Arthur Butz made the important revisionist point that the only part of the extermination legend that contains a particle of truth is that the Einsatzgruppen exterminated some Russian Jews by mass shootings.[33] Professor Butz wrote:

"At the time of the invasion of Russia in June 1941, there was a Fuhrer order declaring, in anticipation of an identical Soviet policy, that the war with Russia was not to be fought on the basis of the traditional —rules of warfare.— Necessary measures were to be taken to counter partisan activity, and Himmler was given the power to —act independently upon his own responsibility.— Everybody knew that meant executions of partisans and persons collaborating with partisans. The dirty task was assigned to four Einsatzgruppen… which had a total of about 3,000 men… We have had occasion to note in several instances that the Jews did, in fact, pose a security menace to the German rear in the war… The task of the Einsatzgruppen was to deal with such dangers [anti-German partisan and guerrilla warfare] by all necessary means, so we need not be told much more to surmise that the Einsatzgruppen must have shot many Jews, although we do not know whether 'many' means 5,000, 25,000 or 100,000. Naturally, many non-Jews were also executed."[34]

Herf admits that Himmler was referring only to the mass shootings of Jews by the Einsatzgruppen on the Eastern Front, something that was never denied by Holocaust revisionists. The secret police chief was not referring to the alleged Hitler gas chambers and accompanying crematoria, and the so-called extermination camps. Therefore, this passage cannot be used by orthodox Holocaust historians to "prove" that the Nazis had a policy to exterminate Jews in "gas chambers."

Thank you Dr. Herf for corroborating this key Holocaust revisionist point!

Goebbels's Das Reich article: No Evidence for a Mass Murder Policy

One of the key figures in the National Socialist hierarchy and the Final Solution was Joseph Paul Goebbels, head of the Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. His statements not only corroborate Holocaust revisionist theory, but they also undermine the rival theory of Jeffrey Herf.

In the November 16, 1941 issue of the National Socialist periodical, Das Reich, Goebbels published an article that Herf claims marks the first time that a German leader publicly announced the alleged extermination of the Jews shifted from "hypothetical notion" to "ongoing action" (pp. 121-122). Here is how Goebbels's words have been translated:

"In unleashing this war, world Jewry completely misjudged the forces at its disposal. Now it is suffering a gradual process of extermination that it had intended for us and that it would have unleashed against us without hesitation if it had the power to do so… " (p. 122)

At first, Herf insists that Goebbels was stating point blank that the Germans initiated a plan of mass extermination, the consequence being that the Jews were undergoing a process of gradual extermination, as his language was "blunt and noneuphemistic" (p. 123).

Yet, further on, he contradicts himself, for he admits that Goebbels remarks were ambiguous:

"The case was compelling for imposing the most radical interpretation of Goebbels's remarks, but his formulations left enough ambiguity and absence of detail to promote plausible deniability among an indifferent or incredulous mass audience." (p. 123)

So there you have it. Goebbels's remarks are equivocal, and they are capable of an interpretation other than the genocidal one that Herf originally attached to it.

As we shall see, it is more likely that Goebbels meant that the Jews would be uprooted and deported by brutal and ruthless means, and as a consequence, many would perish. This was a brutal and cruel policy of ethnic cleansing, but it is not the same as a mass murder policy to literally annihilate all the Jews within the German grasp.

The Diary Entries of Joseph Goebbels: Evidence for Holocaust Revisionism

Herf makes an important admission about the diaries of Joseph Goebbels. The National Socialist official wrote about 3 million words a year, including speeches and editorials, and thousands of words per night in his diary. "Yet he never committed to paper any precise details about the Final Solution," Herf concedes, although he adds that Goebbels "left no doubt that he wanted the Jews of Europe dead" (p. 146). Here, Herf is admitting there is no mention of any written order to murder the Jews in "homicidal gas chambers" in the writings of Joseph Goebbels.

In the March 7, 1942 entry in Goebbels's diary, the National Socialist official discusses an extensive memo concerning the Final solution to the Jewish question. The document referred to "more than eleven million Jews" in Europe who "must first be concentrated in the East" and in due course, "after the war, be sent to an island" such as Madagascar. Europe would not see peace until the Jews were "excluded from European territory." "Delicate questions" concerning half-Jews, relatives, and spouses, it noted, would be addressed. Goebbels then wrote:

"[T]he situation is now ready to introduce a definitive solution to the Jewish question. Later generations will no longer have the energy and also the alertness of instinct to do so. Therefore, it is important that we proceed radically and thoroughly." (p. 146)

Herf admits this passage contradicts his theory. It speaks not of mass extermination, but of deporting the Jews to some place outside of Europe after the war is ended. Herf tries to explain this away by claiming that Goebbels is lying to his own diary for posterity's sake. His reasons for believing this are twofold (p. 147).

First, Goebbels allegedly stated in the fall of 1941 that the Jews were undergoing a "gradual process of extermination" (p. 147). As we pointed out in the previous Section, however, it is very possible that Goebbels meant that the Jews were undergoing a gradual and brutal process of uprooting, during which a large number of Jews would perish as a consequence of Nazi policies.

Second, at the Wannsee Conference of January 20, 1942, Herf believes the deportation policy was abandoned and it was decided that the Jews would be exterminated; Goebbels was allegedly aware of this.

A thorough discussion of the Wannsee Conference is beyond the scope of this short essay. However, a few remarks are necessary. It is false that at the Wannsee Conference of January 1942, the deportation policy was abandoned and it was decided the Jews would be exterminated. Nowhere in the minutes of the Wannsee Conference is there any explicit reference to a policy to exterminate the Jews, as David Irving so rightly pointed out at the Irving-Lipstadt trial in London. Irving's archenemy and Herf's ideological ally, historian Richard Evans, conceded that this is indeed true, because he claims that all talk of alleged mass murder policies at the Wannsee Conference was disguised in language of euphemisms.[35]

This is a common tactic of the believers in the orthodox view of the Final Solution. When a document does not fit their thesis, they dismiss it as camouflage or euphemism, thus making their viewpoint non-falsifiable and self-perpetuating.

Even Judge Charles Gray, after hearing testimony from both Irving and his opponents, noted:

"Irving pointed out, correctly, that the protocol issued following the Wannsee conference on 20 January 1942 did not discuss methods of killing but rather talked in terms of finding solutions."[36]

This has further been confirmed by Holocaust historians in the ideological camp of Jeffrey Herf. In 1992, Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer declared:

"The public still repeats, time after time, the silly story that at Wannsee the extermination of the Jews was arrived at."

Bauer believes that Wannsee was a meeting but "hardly a conference" and "little of what was said there was executed in detail."[37]

But just as importantly, we again see the absurdity in Herf's "modified intentionalism." On the one hand he claims that Hitler and Goebbels on numerous occasions announced to the world their policy to murder the Jews of Europe. In addition, the Nazis even announced their intention of exterminating the Jews on wall propaganda posters.

Yet, he then turns around and tries to make us believe that Goebbels tried to hide this extermination policy by lying to his diary for posterity's sake. Why would Goebbels announce to the world the Nazi policy of exterminating the Jews in a widely publicized magazine, and then try to hide this same policy by lying to his private diary? It would not make any sense for Goebbels to lie about, cover up and conceal in his private diary the very thing that he honestly publicly announced!

On March 20, 1942, Goebbels had a conversation with Hitler. Here is how the Propaganda Minister described the conversation:

"The Fuhrer remains merciless. The Jews must be driven from Europe, if necessary by using the most brutal means." (p. 148)

Here we have a straightforward and frank description the Final Solution. It was not a policy of extermination, but rather one of ethnic cleansing in which the Jews would be driven out of Europe, sometimes even by barbaric means.

Herf tries to explain this away by saying:

"With all the death camps in operation, it was an obvious lie to write that Jews were being 'driven from Europe'—that is, to another place. Rather, they were prevented from escaping from Europe and were being murdered there." (p. 148)

In regard to what went on in the alleged "Nazi death camps," this is beyond the scope of this essay. Let it suffice to say that Jeffrey Herf ignores an extremely large body of solid Holocaust revisionist evidence that shows Jews were not being murdered en masse in these alleged "death camps," and the Nazi gas chambers never existed. The reader is referred to the works of Arthur Butz, Carlo Mattogno, and Germar Rudolf.[38]

More on the Goebbels and the Final Solution

Herf then makes this most important and stunning statement:

"In his diary entry of March 27, 1942, Goebbels went as far as he ever would in revealing on paper what he knew and felt about the details of the gas chambers and crematoria." (p. 149)

I will quote the most important and pertinent parts of the passage, and it is assumed that Herf's translation is accurate:

"Beginning in Lublin, the Jews are being shipped to the East out of the General Government [in Poland]. A rather barbaric procedure, which I won't describe in more detail, is used. In all, 60 percent of the Jews must be liquidated, while only 40 percent can be put to work. The former gauletier of Vienna, who is conducting this action, is doing it with circumspection and with a method that is inconspicuous. A punishment is being meted out to the Jews that is indeed barbaric but that they however completely deserve… The ghettos in the cities of the General Government that have been cleared [of Jews] will now be filled with Jews who have been expelled from the Reich, and there, after a while, the process will be repeated… " (pp. 149-150)

British historian David Irving pointed out the evidence that suggests this passage is not a forgery. He stated:

"When I visited the Hoover Institution library in Stanford, California, to see the portion of the original Goebbels diary that they have there, this was the first page I asked to see. And when I was in the Moscow archives to examine the glass plate copy of the diary, this was also the first plate I searched for. I knew that if the diary had actually been copied by the Nazis in Berlin, and the glass plate version in Moscow matches the text in the Hoover library, there's no way anyone could have faked it. And there it is on the glass plate in Moscow, identical. As a final clincher, this portion was also microfilmed in 1947 in New York from the text that is held by the Hoover library. So there are three different indications that this is a genuine quotation from a genuine Goebbels document."[39]

Despite what Herf writes, the passage is still consistent with the Holocaust revisionist hypothesis. There is no specific mention of the alleged mass murder of Jews in homicidal gas chambers.

The diary entry simply states that Germany's forced deportation and ethnic cleansing policy would result in the death of many Jews. Starvation, disease, shock, crowded conditions, lack of medicine, brutal weather conditions, and ad hoc atrocities would be the causes of death. To be sure, this was a very barbaric and evil policy of ethnic cleansing, but it is not the same as a specific policy to murder all Jews en masse in homicidal gas chambers.

That my interpretation does indeed have merit is indicated by Herf's comments that follow this ugly passage:

"The reference to a repeated process of expulsion, clearing and refilling of ghettos indicates that Goebbels was aware that the ghettos were not the endpoint of Jewish torment." (p. 150)

Goebbels does not refer to any "homicidal gas chambers; he only refers to a repeated process of expulsion, and the clearing and refilling of ghettos, which will inevitably result in the brutal deaths of many Jews

Why Did the Nazis Allegedly Hide "Facts" or "Details" of the Final Solution?

Toward the very end of his study, Herf attempts to explain why the Nazis would publicly announce their general plan to exterminate the Jews, yet make a concerted effort to hide and conceal the means (eg. the "gas chambers") by which they were going to carry this plan out: "Preserving secrecy in the midst of war reduced the likelihood of attacks on the death camps by Allied air forces. Given that the Nazi leaders believed that Jewish wire pullers in London, Moscow, and Washington were controlling policy, accurate accounts in the press of the murders by Einsatzgruppen and Ordnungspolizei, gas chambers, and crematoria would have increased foreign pressure to put an end to the genocide." (p. 268)

Yet, in previous pages he provides the reader evidence that greatly undermines his whole hypothesis. On December 17, 1942, the American, Belgium, Czechoslovak, Greek, Luxemburg, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Soviet, British, and Yugoslav governments, in addition to the French National Committee in London, issued a joint declaration, which Herf labels a "remarkable statement." Herf claims the declaration "contained a considerable amount of accurate information regarding deportations, Poland as the site of mass murder, and exposure, starvation, and mass executions, as well as an estimate that 'many hundreds of thousands' of innocent people had already been murdered. It did not include details about mass murder in the gas chambers, yet the key point, regarding the ongoing Nazi policy of mass murder, was correct… [R]eports of atrocities against the Jews stiffened Allied determination to defeat the Nazi regime." (p. 175)

Herf claims that December 1942 "marked a significant turning point in the propaganda war in World War II" (p. 176). He points out that "mass murder became a public theme of Allied propaganda, however periodic or irregular a theme it may have been… " (p. 176). Further on he speaks of the "numerous press reports about the mass murder of the Jews [in the Allied press] by the fall of 1943… " (p. 235). Finally, he states that "the more the news about German atrocities against the Jews and others emerged in the world press, the more determined the Allies were to fight to unconditional surrender." (p. 238)

So there you have it. On the one hand, he says that accurate accounts in the German press of the ongoing mass murder would have increased foreign pressure to put an end to the genocide, and this is allegedly why the Nazis did not announce the existence of the "gas chambers" in the German press.

Yet, Herf then points out Germany's enemies announced "accurate" information about the ongoing genocide in the newspapers of their own nations. According to his own theory, this would have increased foreign pressure to put an end to the genocide, so it did not make sense for the Germans to hide the "details" and "facts" of the Final Solution, like the "gas chambers." The Germans had nothing to hide if the Allied press was publishing accurate information about the "extermination camps." For example, the New York Times published "accurate" reports about Treblinka and Belzec concentration camps as being the specific sites of mass murder.[40]

Since the Allies were already publishing allegedly accurate information about the ongoing Jewish tragedy, this would have increased foreign pressure to put an end to the "gas chambers." This should have induced the Allied air forces to attack the "death camps," and the Germans had no good reason to hide the facts of the Final Solution, like the "gas chambers." Just as, according to Herf, they made no attempt to hide their policy of exterminating the Jews, they had no reason to hide the "gas chambers."

According to Herf's genre of reasoning, just as the Nazis publicly announced their plan to exterminate the Jews, they also should have announced the methods by which they were carrying their policy to fruition. If they did not hide their policy to exterminate the Jews, they did not have any good reason to hide the "gas chambers" either! They should have publicly announced the "gas chambers," just as they publicly announced their overall policy to exterminate the Jews.

Once again, bizarre oddities like this are exactly what one should expect from a false theory.

Why Did the Germans Fail to Address the "Homicidal Gas Chambers?"

If the Allied governments and newspapers were publishing atrocity allegations and information on "mass extermination camps," why didn't the German government publicly address the issue?

Professor Herf unwittingly provided an answer to this question. On November 2, 1943, the Reich Press Office issued a directive as to how the press should respond to the Allies' Moscow communiqué of November 1943, which addressed alleged German atrocities. The directive stated that there was "nothing new about the atrocity propaganda," and most probably nothing true about it (p. 235).

National Socialist officials were aware of the totally discredited atrocity propaganda from the First World War, such as the bizarre lies the Germans used human corpses for the manufacture of soap and human clappers in Belgium bell towers.[41] In view of this the German government may have decided to simply ignore the recycled war propaganda from the First World War.

Little did they know that the atrocity propaganda of the Allies and Zionists would one day become the basis of a new religion in the Western World.

Jeffrey Herf and Holocaust Revisionism

The orthodox view of the Final Solution—that it was a policy to exterminate the Jews—is false. It is based upon faulty logic and is not supported by the documentary evidence.

Holocaust revisionists contend the Nazi government never planned to exterminate Jewry, the "Final Solution" being no more or no less than their expulsion from Europe.  During the course of WWII Jews were forcibly uprooted from German-controlled areas and sent to ghettos and camps in Poland, then later further East.  This school asserts "homicidal gas chambers" never existed and were the creations of American, British, Soviet and Zionist war propaganda.

Holocaust revisionists do not deny that Germany and its allies committed atrocities against Jews, nor do they deny that the Jews suffered a tragedy during WWII.  A large number were shot by the German army during their anti-guerilla warfare campaign on the Eastern front.  Others were slain during atrocities committed in Nazi-controlled areas.  Many Jews died as a result of brutal forced labor and deportation policies, malnutrition, shock, cramped conditions, exposure and disease brought on by war-time conditions. 

As we have seen, all of the so-called "evidence" put forth by Professor Herf in The Jewish Enemy is consistent with Holocaust revisionism.

Holocaust Revisionism and the Final Solution

As its spiritual father, Harry Elmer Barnes, defined it, Historical Revisionism is the process of bringing history into accord with the facts, creating the most accurate and truthful picture of the past as is humanly possible. Its purpose is not to create alibis for any past political regimes.

Ergo, Holocaust revisionism is not an apology for National Socialism. The Nazi Final Solution was an immoral, brutal and cruel plan of ethnic cleansing, during which a large number of Jews undoubtedly suffered and perished; it was not a plan to exterminate all the Jews within the German grasp. How many perished because of this policy is beyond the scope of this essay, but the claim of six million Jewish dead is certainly a gross exaggeration.

Just as Revisionism is not an apology for German National Socialism, it is also not an apology for the British Churchill government, the American Roosevelt administration, the murderous Stalinist/Communist regime, or international Zionism and the state of Israel.

Do you want to condemn the Germans for their deportation policy in regard to the Jews, which undoubtedly resulted in death for a large number of non-combatants? Then in the same breath condemn Great Britain's aerial bombardment of Germany. Herf admits the British bombing campaign resulted in an estimated 500,000 German civilian deaths, disproportionately among women and children (p. 156). Just as German policies brought about the deaths of innocent Jews, so too did British policies bring about the deaths of many innocent Germans.

Do you want to condemn the Germans for their brutal deportation policy in regard to the Jews? If you do, then in the same breath you must condemn the Stalinist Communists for their brutal deportation policies in regard to Eastern European peoples and their mass murder of untold numbers.[42] In addition, you must also condemn the American Roosevelt administration for giving aid and support to the murderous Stalinist regime. And last but not least, condemn the Jewish communists that played such a crucial role in both bringing the murderous communist regime to power, and keeping it in power both during and after the war.[43]

To be sure, Soviet Communism, an ally of the US and Great Britain, carried out mass murders, imprisonments and deportations even more brutal and evil than the Germans. More people perished in Soviet concentration camps than in Nazi concentration camps.[44] Even Holocaust Revisionism's most bitter academic opponent, Dr. Deborah Lipstadt, admits that Stalinist Communism killed more people than the Hitlerite Nazism did.[45]

Do you want to condemn the Germans for their barbaric deportation policies that resulted in the deaths of large numbers of innocent Jews? If you do, then in the same breath condemn the Americans for dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which caused the death of tens of thousands of Japanese civilians and injured a countless number of others.[46]

Do you want to condemn the Germans for their brutal and evil ethnic cleansing policy in regard to the Jews? Then in the same breath you must condemn all of the Allied governments for their genocidal policies in regard to Germany after the hostilities were ended. In a newly published study by British historian Giles Macdonogh, he estimates that millions of Germans, military and civilians, died unnecessarily after the official end of hostilities. MacDonogh details how the ruined and prostrate Germany and Austria were systematically raped and robbed, and how many Germans who survived the war were either killed in cold blood or deliberately left to die of disease, cold, malnutrition or starvation. All of this was the direct result of the brutal and barbaric Allied policies in regard to Germany after the end of WWII. All told, MacDonogh estimates that 2.25 German civilians died violent deaths in the period between the occupation of Vienna and the Berlin airlift.[47]

Yet, despite all of this, Professor Herf still wrote:

"Reports of the Final Solution underscored the stark moral dichotomy between Nazi Germany and its allies, on the one hand, and the United Nations on the other. They reinforced the Allies' conviction that this was a war between freedom and tyranny, good and evil, civilization and barbarism (p. 176)."

Herf's claim that reports of the Final Solution underscored the stark moral dichotomy between Nazi Germany on the one hand, and the Americans, British and Soviets on the other is falsified by the totality of evidence, some of which is mentioned in his own books. Herf points out that the Soviets ran concentration camps in which death was brought about by exposure to the elements or slow starvation (p. 126). He also casually admitted the British bombing campaign against Germany caused 500,000 civilian deaths, disproportionately among women and children (pp. 155-156). And he shows no great emotion when he notes that the Soviet Communists cruelly massacred 1700 Polish officers at Kaytn, and another 4000 were missing (p. 201).

In his previous Divided Memory, Professor Herf points out the barbaric death rate in Soviet communist concentration camps:

"According to Soviet documents released by the Brandenburg Ministry of the Interior just before the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), of about 122,671 Germans who were interned in camps in the Soviet Zone between 1945 and 1950, 42,889 died 'as a result of sickness.' Recent work by Norman Naimark and Karl Wilhelm Fricke indicate that the actual figures are closer to 240,000 internees, of whom between 78,500 and 95, 643 died."[48]

In view of the horrible atrocities that Herf himself admits the Allied powers committed, how can he possibly maintain that there was a "stark moral dichotomy" between Germany and its enemies?

The "Final Solution" propaganda of Jeffrey Herf does not underscore any "moral dichotomy" between Nazi Germany and enemies. Quite the contrary. The raison d"etre for his orthodox view is plain to see. It serves the political, social and financial needs of various Jewish and non-Jewish power elites. To be specific, it covers up and obliterates Soviet, American, and British atrocities, and makes these victorious powers look "morally correct and good."[49]

As revisionist historian Harry Elmer Barnes so rightly concluded:

"[T]here is no unique or special case against Nazi barbarism and horrors unless one assumes that it is far more wicked to exterminate Jews than to massacre Gentiles. While this latter value judgment appears to have become rather generally accepted in the Western World since 1945, I am still personally still quaint enough to hold it to be reprehensible to exterminate either Jews or Gentiles."[50]

Quite ironically, the major academic opponent of Holocaust revisionism, Deborah Lipstadt, spelled out in plain terms the possible implications of this school of historical thought:

"[WWII] could not be defined as a moral struggle: All sides had been equally devious and, consequently, were equally guilty."[51]

Elsewhere, she refers to a "basic tenet of Holocaust denial: War is evil; no side can claim the moral upper hand, and defeated parties are regularly accused by the victors of having committed terrible misdeeds."[52]

Thank you Dr. Lipstadt for providing the world with such serious food for thought.

The Final Solution and Political Zionism

Regardless of the accuracy of the Holocaust extermination claims, it is commonplace for most to condemn the Germans for their forcible deportation of the Jewish population. Those who are quick to condemn the Germans are not so quick, however, to condemn Jewish-Zionism for the fact that it is inextricably tied to plans for the forcible deportation of non-Jews from the Jewish state of Israel. Here is how the distinguished statesman (a former Undersecretary of State in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations), George W. Ball, and his scholar son Douglas described the situation:

"The Jewish plan for an exclusively Jewish state, free of the inconvenient presence of native peoples, was scarcely new. Theodor Herzl [founding father of modern Zionism] had laid out a framework for such a system in 1898, when he sought a charter from the Ottoman Sultan… for the Jewish Colonial Society… One of the provisions of that abortive charter gave the society the right to deport the natives, and Herzl sought such powers whether the new Jewish homeland was to be in Argentina, Kenya, Cyprus, or Palestine. The Jewish Land Trust incorporated this doctrine in its rules, which designated all its properties exclusively for Jewish use and even prohibited the employment by the Jewish tenants of non-Jews, thereby forcing such persons to seek employment abroad."[53]

Furthermore, modern Israeli scholarship shows that Jewish-Zionists did in fact ethnically cleanse Palestine of its original Arab inhabitants. Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has shown in his recent The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine that Palestine was ethnically cleansed in 1948 of its original indigenous population.[54]

Once again, Deborah Lipstadt unwittingly, I believe, revealed one reason as to why the orthodox view of the Final Solution is so ardently promoted in mainstream society:

"The general public tends to accord victims of genocide a certain moral authority. If you devictimize a people you strip them of their moral authority, and if you can in turn claim to be a victim, as the Poles and Austrians often try to do, that moral authority is conferred on or restored to you."[55]

The traditional view of the Final Solution that Jeffrey Herf so ardently tries to promote accords the Jewish people a certain "moral authority," which plays a crucial role in their dealings with the non-Jewish world. What is most interesting is that it was admitted in the Forward, the very important Jewish newspaper that gave Professor Herf's book a favorable review, the Holocaust doctrine is an ideological weapon used against the non-Jewish world. It was stated:

"The world is aware how jealously the Jewish community guards the Holocaust, both as a memory and a weapon."[56]

Even a believer in the traditional view of the Final Solution, Professor Norman Finkelstein, has highlighted the obvious:

"The Holocaust is not an arbitrary but rather an internally coherent construct. Its central dogmas sustain significant political and class interests. The Holocaust has proven to be an indispensable ideological weapon. Through its deployment, one of the world's most formidable military powers [Israel], with a horrendous human rights record, has cast itself as a 'victim' state, and the most successful ethnic group in the United States [the Jews] has likewise acquired victim status. Considerable dividends accrue from this specious victimhood—in particular, immunity to criticism, however justified."[57]

Is this why Jeffrey Herf promotes a distorted view of the Final Solution?


© 2007

Online: :
Noah Strote, "Blood or Politics?: Parsing Nazi Intentions," Forward, 21 July 2006, pp. 16-17.
Quoted on book jacket.
Lucy S. Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews 1933-1945 (Bantam Books, 1981), pp. xxi, passim; Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews: Student Edition (Holmes & Meir, 1985), pp. 99, 157, passim; Gerald Reitlinger, The Final Solution: The Attempt to Exterminate the Jews of Europe 1939-1945 (Jason Aronson Inc., 1987), pp. 3, passim.
Deborah Lipstadt, History on Trial: My Day in Court With David Irving (Harper-Collins, 2005), p. 23.
Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry (Theses & Dissertations Press, 2003), p. 258. Online:
Dawidowicz, p. 162.
Ibid., p.202.
Butz, p.92.
Charles Gray, Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition. Section 6.107 Online:
Michael Shermer & Alex Grobman, Denying History: Who Says The Holocaust Never Happened And Why Do They Say It? (University of California Press, 2000), p. 280, footnote 21.
Hilberg, p. 157.
See Carlo Mattogno and Jurgen Graf, Treblinka: Extermination Camp or Transit Camp? (Theses & Dissertations Press, 2005), p.255. Online:
David L. Hoggan, The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed (Institute for Historical Review, 1989), p. 279.
Butz, p. 97.
Robert Faurisson, "The Victories of Revisionism." Online:
Leon Poliakov, The Harvest of Hate: The Nazi Program for the Destruction of the Jews of Europe (Holocaust Library, 1979), p. 108.
Hilberg, pp. 238, 240.
Ibid., p. 282.
Ibid., p.265.
Ibid., p.267.
Butz, p. 258.
Arthur Max, "Key meeting weighs opening Nazi archive," Yahoo! News, 13 May 2007.
Nuremberg Military Tribunal Document NG-2586-J, reproduced in Butz, p. 252. Online:
Ibid., p. 252. Online:
Ibid., pp. 255-256. Online:
Reitlinger, p. 3.
Ibid, p. 79.
Ibid, p. 78, footnote.
For example, see Paul Grubach, "Holocaust Revisionism vs. Richard Evans: A Review of Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David Irving Trial." Online: See also Paul Grubach, "Holocaust Revisionism vs. Richard Evans, Part II." Online:
See Butz's discussion, pp. 237-240. Online:
Quoted in Shermer and Grobman, pp. 192-193. See also Butz, pp. 237-240. Online:
Butz, p. 241. Online:
Ibid, pp. 241-242. Online:
Richard Evans, Lying About Hitler: History, Holocaust, and the David and the David Irving Trial (Basic Books, 2001), pp. 127-128.
Gray, Section 6.118. Online:
Canadian Jewish News (Toronto), 30 January 1992, p. 8. As quoted in Mark Weber, "What is 'Holocaust Denial'?" Online:
Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century; Carlo Mattogno and Jurgen Graf, Treblinka: Extermination Camp or Transit Camp? (Theses & Dissertations Press, 2005). Online: Carlo Mattogno, Belzec in Propaganda, Testimonies, Archeological Research, and History (Theses & Dissertations Press, 2004). Online: Germar Rudolf, ed., Dissecting the Holocaust: The Growing Critique of "Truth" and "Memory" (Theses & Dissertations Press, 2003). Online:
David Irving, "Revelations from Goebbels' Diary," Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 15, no. 1, January/February 1995; IHR Videotape No. V112, "David Irving." Speech given by David Irving to Twelfth International Revisionist Conference, 3-5 September 1994, Institute for Historical Review (IHR). Contact IHR at
The New York Times, 8 August 1943, p. 11; The New York Times, 12 February 1944, p. 6.
See the discussion in Robert Jan van Pelt, The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial (Indiana University Press, 2002), pp. 129-132.
Stephane Courtois, et al, The Black Book of Communism: Crimes Terror, Repression (Harvard University Press, 1999).
Yuri Slezkine, The Jewish Century (Princeton University Press, 2004); Kevin MacDonald, "Stalin's Willing Executioners: Jews As a Hostile Elite in the USSR," The Occidental Quarterly, Vol. 5 No. 3, Fall 2005; Online:; Joachim Hoffman, Stalin's War of Extermination 1941-1945: Planning, Realization and Documentation (Theses & Dissertations Press, 2001).
Courtois et al.
Deborah Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (The Free Press, 1993), p.213.
"Pilot Who Dropped First A-Bomb Dies," AOL News, 1 November 2007.
Giles Macdonogh, After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation (Basic Books, 2007).
Jeffrey Herf, Divided Memory: The Nazi Past in the Two Germanys (Harvard University Press, 1997), p. 73.
For example, see Paul Grubach, "The Holocaust as Sacred Myth and Ideology: Final Reflections on the Iran Holocaust Conference," CODOH web site. Online:
Harry Elmer Barnes, "Blasting the Historical Blackout," May 1963, p. 35, in Harry Elmer Barnes, The Barnes Trilogy: Three Revisionist Booklets (Institute for Historical Review, 1979).
Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust, p. 41.
Ibid, p. 155.
George W. Ball and Douglas B. Ball, The Passionate Attachment: America's Involvement with Israel, 1947 to the Present (W.W. Norton & Co., 1992), p.29.
Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oneworld Publications, 2007).
Lipstadt, Denying the Holocaust, pp. 7-8.
David Klinghoffer, "Our Role in Promoting Holocaust Denial," Forward, 30 December 2005, p. 9.
Norman Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (Verso, 2000), p. 3.

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Paul Grubach
Title: The "Final Solution of the Jewish Question", Extermination or Ethnic Cleansing? A Review
Published: 2007-01-01
First posted on CODOH: June 29, 2007, 7 p.m.
Last revision:
Comments: Review of: "The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust," by Jeffrey Herf
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