A Revisionist Chronicle
Impact and Future of Holocaust Revisionism
By Robert Faurisson
The following is the remark, not of a revisionist, but rather by an anti-revisionist: note 1
“Holocaust denier,” “revisionist,” “negationist”: everyone knows what such an accusation means. It effectively means exclusion from civilized humanity. Anyone who is suspected of this is finished. His public life is destroyed, his academic reputation ruined.
And he went on to add:
One day people will have to discuss the state of public affairs in a country where to brand a renowned scholar as a Holocaust denier (by hitting him with the ‘Auschwitz Lie’ club [die Keule der Auschwitz-Lge]) is enough to destroy him morally, in an instant.
Writings such as this essay cannot be sold openly in my country. They must be published and distributed privately.
In France, it is forbidden to question the Shoah — also called the “Holocaust.”
A law on the “freedom of the press” enacted on July 13, 1990, makes it a crime to question the Shoah, in its three hypostases: the alleged genocide of the Jews, the alleged Nazi gas chambers, and the alleged figure of six million Jewish victims of the Second World War. Violators are subject to a prison term ranging from one month to one year, a fine of 2,000 to 300,000 francs ($333 to $50,000), an order to pay considerable damages, and other sanctions. More precisely, this law makes it a crime to question (“contester”) the reality of any of the “crimes against humanity” as defined in 1945 and punished in 1946 by the judges of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, a court established exclusively by the victors exclusively to judge the vanquished.
Debates and controversies about the Shoah are, of course, still permitted, but only within the limits set by the official dogma. Controversies or debates that might lead to a challenging of the Shoah story as a whole, or of a part of it, or simply to raise doubt, are forbidden. To repeat: on this issue, even doubt is proscribed, and punished.
In France, the impetus for such a law (which is of Israeli inspiration), note 2 came in 1986 from several historians of Jewish origin, including Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Georges Wellers, and Franois Bdarida, together with Chief Rabbi Ren-Samuel Sirat. note 3 The law was enacted in 1990 on the initiative of former prime minister Laurent Fabius, then a member of the Socialist government, president of the National Assembly, and himself a Jewish militant of the Jewish cause. During this same period (May 1990), a desecration of graves in the Jewish cemetery of Carpentras, in Provence, had given rise to a media furor that nullified any inclination on the part of opposition lawmakers to mount any effective resistance to the bill. In Paris some 200,000 marchers, with a host of Israeli flags borne high, demonstrated against “the resurgence of the horrid beast.” Notre Dame’s great bell tolled as for a particularly tragic or significant event in the history of France. Once the law was on the statute books (promulgated in the Journal officiel on the 14th of July, the national holiday: the same issue, incidentally, that announced Vidal-Naquet’s nomination to the Order of the Lgion d’honneur), the Carpentras outrage was mentioned only, if at all, with a certain distance, as a mere reminder. Only the “Fabius-Gayssot” Act remained.
Under pressure from national and international Jewish organizations, and following the Israeli and French examples, other countries similarly adopted laws forbidding any questioning of the Shoah. Such has been the case for Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain and Lithuania. In practice, such specific laws are not absolutely necessary to combat and suppress historical revisionism. In France, as elsewhere, the practice has often been to prosecute questioners of the Shoah under other laws, according to the needs of a given case, on the basis of laws against racism or anti-Semitism, defaming living persons, insulting the memory of the dead, attempting to justify crimes, or spreading false news, and — a source of cash indemnities for the plaintiffs — using personal injury statutes.
In France the police and the judiciary rigorously ensure the protection thus accorded to an official version of Second World War history. According to this rabbinical version, the major event of the conflict was the Shoah, in other words the physical extermination of the Jews that the Germans are said to have carried out from 1941-1942 to 1944-1945. (Lacking any document with which to assign a precise time span to the event — and for good reason, as it is a matter of fiction — the official historians propose only dates that are as divergent as they are approximate.)
Since 1974 I have had to fight so many legal battles that I’ve been unable to find time to compose the systematic exposition that one is entitled to expect from a professor who, over so many years, has devoted his efforts to a single aspect of Second World War history: the “Holocaust” or the Shoah.
Year after year, an avalanche of trials, entailing the gravest consequences, has thwarted my plans to publish such a work. Apart from my own cases, I have had to devote considerable time and effort to the defense, before their respective courts, of other revisionists in France and abroad. Today, as I write these words, two cases are being brought against me, one in the Netherlands, the other in France, while I must also intervene, directly or indirectly, in proceedings pending against revisionists in Switzerland, Canada, and Australia. For lack of time, I have had to decline helping others, notably two Japanese revisionists.
Around the world, our adversaries’ tactic is the same: use courts to paralyze the work of the revisionists, if not to sentence them to prison terms or to order them to pay fines or damages. For those convicted, imprisonment means a halt to all revisionist activity, while those ordered to pay large sums are compelled to set off on a feverish pursuit of money, goaded by threats of bailiffs, “writs of seizure,” “notices to third parties,” and freezing of bank accounts. For this reason alone, my life over the past quarter of a century has been difficult. It still is and, in all probability, will remain so.
To make matters worse, my idea of research has never been that of the “paper” professor or historian. I consider it indispensable to see the terrain for myself: either the terrain of the forensic investigation, or the terrain where the adversary is deployed. I wouldn’t be entitled to talk about the camps of Dachau, Majdanek, Auschwitz or Treblinka without first having visiting them to examine for myself the buildings and the people there. I won’t talk about anti-revisionist activities, such as demonstrations, conferences, symposia, and trials, without having attended them, or at least delegating an instructed observer to the events — a practice that is not without risk, but which enables one to obtain information from a good source. I have friends and associates produce countless letters and statements. Whenever possible, I go myself to the ramparts. To cite but one example: the impressive international “Holocaust” conference organized in Oxford in 1988 by the late billionaire Robert Maxwell (also known as “Bob the Liar”). I believe I can justifiably say that it aborted so pitifully (as Maxwell himself admitted), note 4 thanks to an operation on the spot that I personally organized — with the help of a female French revisionist who lacked neither courage, nor daring, nor ingenuity: her activism alone was certainly worth several books.
To the hours and days thus spent preparing court cases or various sporadic actions should be added the hours and days lost in hospital, recovering from the effects of an exhausting struggle or from the consequences of physical attacks carried out by militant Jewish groups. (In France armed militias are strictly prohibited, except for the Jewish community.) note 5
Finally, I have had to encourage, direct, or coordinate, in France and abroad, numerous activities or works of a revisionist nature, shore up those whose strength has faltered, provide for the continuance of action, answer requests, warn against provocations, errors, digressions from the goal, and, above all combat ill-conceived accommodations given that, for some revisionists, there is a great temptation in such a struggle to seek compromise with the adversary and, sometimes, even to back down. Examples of war-weary revisionists who have sunk to public contrition are, sad to say, not lacking. I shall not cast a stone at them, though. I know from experience that discouragement is liable to befall each of us because the contest is so unequal: our resources are laughable, while those of our opponents are immense.
Revisionism is a matter of method and not an ideology.
It demands, in all research, a return to the starting point, an examination followed by re-examination, re-reading and rewriting, evaluation followed by revaluation, reorientation, revision, recasting. It is, in spirit, the contrary of ideology. It does not deny, but instead aims to affirm with greater exactitude. Revisionists are not “deniers” (or, to use the French expression, “negationists”). Rather, they endeavor to seek and to find things where, it seemed, there was nothing more to seek or find.
Revisionism can be carried out in a hundred activities of everyday life and in a hundred fields of historical, scientific, or literary research. It does not necessarily call established ideas into question, but often leads to qualifying them somewhat. It seeks to untangle the true from the false. History is, in essence, revisionist; ideology is its enemy. Because ideology is strongest during times of war or conflict, and because it then churns out falsehood in abundance for propaganda needs, the historian working in that area is well advised to redouble his vigilance. In probing deep into the “truths” of which he has been reminded so often, he will doubtless realize that, when a war has led to tens of millions of deaths, the very first victim is the ascertainable truth: a truth that must be sought out and re-established.
The official history of the Second World War comprises a bit of truth mixed with a great deal of falsehood.
It is accurate to say that National Socialist Germany built concentration camps; it did so after, and at the same time as, a good number of other countries, all of which were convinced that their camps would be more humane than prison. Hitler saw in them what Napolon III had thought he saw in the creation of penal colonies: progress for humanity. But it is false to hold that Germany ever established “extermination camps” (an expression invented by the Allies).
It is accurate to say that the Germans manufactured gas-powered vehicles (Gaswagen). But it is false to say that they ever built homicidal gas vans (if a single one of these had ever existed, it would be on display at an automobile museum, or at one of the various “Holocaust” museums, at least in the form of a drawing of scientific value).
It is accurate to say that the Germans employed Zyklon (made from a base of hydrocyanic acid and in use since 1922) to safeguard, by disinfestation, the health of large numbers of civilians, troops, prisoners, and internees. But they never used Zyklon to kill anyone, let alone to put to death throngs of human beings at once. In light of the draconian precautions for the use of hydrogen cyanide gas, the gassing of inmates as allegedly carried out at Auschwitz and at other camps would have been fundamentally impossible. note 6
It is accurate to say that the Germans envisaged a “final solution of the Jewish question” (Endlsung der Judenfrage). But this solution was a territorial one (eine territoriale Endlsung der Judenfrage), and not a murderous one. It was a project to induce or, if necessary, to force the Jews to leave Germany and its European sphere of influence, thereafter to establish, in accord with the Zionists, a Jewish national home, in Madagascar or elsewhere. With a view toward such a solution, many Zionists collaborated with National Socialist Germany. note 7
It is accurate to say that a gathering of German officials was held at a villa in Wannsee, on the outskirts of Berlin, on January 20, 1942, to discuss the Jewish question. But the subject of their discussions was the forced emigration or deportation of the Jews, as well as the future creation of a specific Jewish territorial entity, not a program of physical extermination.
It is accurate to say that some German concentration camps had crematories to incinerate corpses. But their purpose was to combat epidemics, not to incinerate, as some have dared assert, living human beings along with corpses. note 8
It is accurate to say that many Jews experienced the hardships of war, of internment, deportation, the detention camps, the concentration camps, the forced labor camps, the ghettos; that there were, for various reasons, summary executions of Jews, that they were the victims of reprisals and even massacres (for there are no wars without massacres). But it is equally true that all of these sufferings were also the lot of many other nations or communities during the war and, in particular, of the Germans and their allies (the hardships of the ghetto aside, for the ghetto is first and foremost a specific creation of the Jews themselves). note 9 It is above all most plausible, for anyone who is not afflicted with a hemiplegic memory, and who seeks to acquaint himself with both sides of Second World War history (that is, the side that is always shown, as well as the side almost always hidden), that the sufferings of the vanquished during the war and afterwards were, in number and in nature, greater than those of the Jews and the victors, especially as concerns deportations.
It is false that there ever existed, as some have long dared to assert, any order whatever, given by Hitler or any of his associates, to exterminate the Jews. During the war, German soldiers and officers were convicted by their own courts martial, and sometimes shot, for having killed Jews.
It is a good thing that the exterminationists (that is, those who believe in the extermination of the Jews) have grown weary to the point that they now acknowledge that no trace of any plan, instruction, or document relating to a policy of physical extermination of the Jews has ever been found and that, similarly, they have at last admitted that no trace of any budget for such an undertaking, or of a body responsible for running such a project, has been found.
It is a good thing that the exterminationists have at last conceded to the revisionists that the judges at the Nuremberg trial (1945-1946) accepted as true certain pure inventions, such as the stories of soap produced from Jewish fat, of lampshades made of human skin, of “shrunken heads,” and of homicidal gassings at Dachau.
It is an especially good thing that the exterminationists have finally recognized that the most spectacular, the most terrifying, the most significant part of that trial — that is, the session of April 15, 1946, in the course of which a former commandant of the Auschwitz camp, Rudolf Hss, testified openly that, in his camp, millions of Jews had been gassed — was merely the product of the tortures inflicted on him. His “confession,” presented for so many years and in so many historical works as the Number One “proof” of the genocide of the Jews, is now consigned to oblivion, at least as far as historians are concerned. note 10
It is fortunate that exterminationist historians have finally acknowledged that the famous testimony of SS officer Kurt Gerstein, an essential element of their case, is devoid of value. It is loathsome that the French University revoked the revisionist Henri Roques’ doctorate, earned for having demonstrated that fact in 1985. note 11
It is pitiful that Raul Hilberg, the “pope” of exterminationism, ventured to write, in the first, 1961 edition of his study, The Destruction of the European Jews, that there were two orders by Hitler to exterminate the Jews, and then later to declare, in 1983, that the extermination had come about on its own, without any order or plan, but rather through “an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus — mind reading by a far-flung [German] bureaucracy.” So it was that Hilberg replaced a gratuitous assertion with a magical explanation: telepathy. note 12
It is a good thing that the exterminationists have, in effect, finally (or very nearly) abandoned the charge, based on “testimonies,” according to which there were execution gas chambers at the camps of Ravensbrck, Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen, Mauthausen, Hartheim, Struthof-Natzweiler, Stutthof-Danzig, Bergen-Belsen … note 13
It is a good thing that the most-visited “gas chamber” in the world — that of Auschwitz I — has at last (in a January 1995 article) been recognized for what it is — a fabrication. It is fortunate that it has at last been admitted that “Everything in it is false.” I personally delight in knowing that an Establishment historian has written: “In the late 1970s, Robert Faurisson exploited these falsifications all the better as the [Auschwitz] museum administration balked at acknowledging them.” note 14 I delight all the more given that the French courts, in their iniquity, convicted me for basically saying just that.
It is a good thing that, in that same 1995 article, this same historian revealed that such a figure in the Jewish world as eminent as Tho Klein sees in that “gas chamber” only a “trick” (“artifice”).
It is also a good thing that, in that same article, this same historian revealed, first, that the Auschwitz Museum authorities are conscious of having deceived millions of visitors (500,000 yearly in the early 1990s), and second, that they will nevertheless continue to deceive their visitors, for, as the Museum’s assistant director put it: “[Telling the truth about this 'gas chamber'] is too complicated. We’ll see to it later on.” note 15
It is fortunate that in 1996 two historians of Jewish origin, the Canadian Robert Jan van Pelt and the American Debrah Dwork, finally denounced some of the enormous fakeries of the Auschwitz camp-museum, and the cynicism with which visitors were being duped there. note 16
It is, on the other hand, unconscionable that UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) should maintain its patronage (as it has done since 1979) of a site such as Auschwitz, whose center upholds, in its fake “gas chamber” (to say nothing of other enormous falsifications), an imposture now avowed as such. UNESCO (based in Paris and headed by Federico Mayor) has no right to use the dues of the member countries to sanction such a vast swindle, one so incompatible with the interests of “education,” “science,” and “culture.”
It is fortunate that Jean-Claude Pressac, after having been praised to the skies, has fallen into discredit. Promoted by the Klarsfeld couple, this French pharmacist thought it wise to stake out a half-way position between those who believed in the gas chambers and those who did not. For him, in a sense, the woman in question was neither pregnant nor unpregnant, but rather half-pregnant and even, with time, less and less pregnant. An author of writings that were supposed to be about the Nazi gas chambers, but in which not one comprehensive photograph or drawing of a single one of those chemical slaughterhouses was to be found, this pitiful scribbler would, in a Paris court on May 9, 1995, go on to give a demonstration of his total inability to reply to the presiding judge’s questions as to what, concretely, such a mass murder machine might actually have been. note 17
It is fortunate that, although in ruins, “the gas chamber” of Krematorium II in Birkenau (Auschwitz II), plainly shows that there never was a “Holocaust” in this camp. According both to a German defendant’s statements under interrogation, as well as 1944 aerial photographs “retouched” by the Allies, the roof of this gas chamber seems to have had four special openings (about ten inches square, it was specified), through which Zyklon was poured in. But as anyone at the site can observe for himself, none of those four openings ever existed. Given that Auschwitz is the capital of the “Holocaust,” and that this ruined crematory is at the core of the alleged extermination process of the Jews at Auschwitz, in 1994 I said (and this phrase seems since to have caught on): “No holes, no ‘Holocaust’.”
It is equally fortunate that a plethora of “testimonies” that supposedly confirm these homicidal gassings have thus been invalidated. By the same token, it is extremely deplorable that so many Germans were tried and convicted by their victorious adversaries for crimes they could not have committed, some even being put to death.
It is a good thing that, in the light of trials resembling so many judicial masquerades, the exterminationists themselves voice doubts as to the validity of numerous testimonies. The defective nature of these testimonies would have been much more obvious if one had taken the trouble to carry out a expert examination of the supposed weapon of the alleged crime. But in the course of hundreds of trials concerning Auschwitz or other camps, no court ordered any such inquiry. (The one exception, very little known, was carried out at Struthof-Natzweiler in Alsace, the results of which were kept hidden until I revealed them.) It was nonetheless known that a good number of testimonies or confessions needed to be verified and checked against the material facts and that, in the absence of those two conditions, they were worthless as evidence.
It is fortunate that official history has revised downwards — often quite drastically — the supposed number of victims. It was only after more than 40 years of revisionist pressure that Jewish authorities and those of the Auschwitz State Museum removed the 19 plaques that, in 19 different languages, announced that the number of victims there had been four million. It then took five years of internal bickering for agreement to be reached on the new figure of one and a half million, a figure that, in turn, was very quickly challenged by exterminationist authors. Jean-Claude Pressac, Serge Klarsfeld’s protg, has more recently proposed a figure of 600,000 to 800,000 Jewish and non-Jewish victims during the entire period of the Auschwitz complex’s existence. note 18 It is a pity that this quest for the true figure is not followed through to reach the likely figure of 150,000 persons — most of them victims of epidemics — in the nearly 40 camps of the Auschwitz complex. It is deplorable that the film “Nuit et Brouillard” (“Night and Fog”), in which the Auschwitz death toll is put at nine million, continues to be shown in French schools. This film perpetuates the myths of “soap made from the bodies,” or lampshades of human skin, and of scratches made by fingernails of dying victims on the concrete walls of the gas chambers. The film even proclaims that “nothing distinguished the gas chamber from an ordinary barracks”!
It was a good thing that Arno Mayer, a Princeton University professor of Jewish origin, wrote in 1988: “Sources for the study of the gas chambers are at once rare and unreliable.” note 19 But why was it affirmed for so many years that the sources were countless and trustworthy? And why was scorn poured on the revisionists who, since 1950, had written what Arno Mayer affirmed in 1988?
It was a particularly good thing that the French historian Jacques Baynac, who had made a speciality, in Le Monde and elsewhere, of labeling the revisionists as forgers, should finally acknowledge in 1996 that there was, after all, no evidence of the existence of homicidal gas chambers. It was, he made clear, “as painful to say as it is to hear.” note 20 Perhaps, for certain persons, and in certain circumstances, the truth is “as painful to say as it is to hear.” For revisionists, though, the truth is as pleasant to say as it is to hear.
Lastly, it is fortunate that the exterminationists have allowed themselves to undermine the third and last element of the Shoah trinity: the figure of six million Jewish deaths. note 21 It seems that this figure was first put forth by Rabbi Michael Dov Weissmandel (1903-1956). Based in Slovakia, this rabbi was the main inventor of the Auschwitz lie based on the alleged testimonies of Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler. He organized intensive “information campaigns” aimed at the Allies, at Switzerland, and at the Vatican. In a letter of May 31, 1944 (that is, nearly a full year before the war’s end in Europe), he did not shrink from writing: “Till now six times a million Jews from Europe and Russia have been destroyed.” note 22
This six million figure was also published before the end of the war in the writings of the Soviet Jew Ilya Ehrenburg (1891-1967), perhaps the most hateful propagandist of the Second World War. note 23 In 1979 the six million figure was suddenly termed “symbolic” (that is, false) by the exterminationist Martin Broszat during the trial of a German revisionist. In 1961, Raul Hilberg, that most prestigious of conventional historians, estimated the number of Jewish wartime deaths to have been 5.1 million. In 1953, another of those historians, Gerald Reitlinger, put forth a figure of between 4.2 and 4.6 million. In fact, though, no historian of that school has offered any figures based on the results of an investigation. It has always been a matter of each one’s own more or less educated guess. The revisionist Paul Rassinier, for his part, proposed the figure of “about one million” Jewish deaths. As he pointed out, though, he did so on the basis of numbers furnished by the opposing side. His figure was thus also a product of guesswork.
The truth is that many European Jews perished, and many survived. With modern calculation methods it should be possible to determine what, in each case, is meant by “many.” However, the three sources from which the necessary information might be obtained are, in practice, either forbidden to independent researchers or are accessible only with great limitation:
Even 52 years after the end of the war, the State of Israel put the official number of “Holocaust” “survivors” around the world at some 900,000. (More precisely, it gave figures of between 834,000 and 960,000.) note 24 According to a computation made by the Swedish statistician Carl O. Nordling, to whom I submitted that Israeli government evaluation, it is possible, postulating the existence of 900,000 “survivors” in 1997, to conclude that there were, at the end of the war in Europe in 1945, slightly more than three million “survivors.” Even today, a diverse range of organizations or associations of “survivors” flourish around the world. These include associations of veteran Jewish “rsistants,” of former children of Auschwitz (that is, Jewish children born in that camp or interned there with their parents at a very early age), of former Jewish forced laborers, and, more simply, formerly clandestine Jews or Jewish fugitives. Millions of beneficiaries of “miracles” no longer constitute a “miracle,” but are rather the result of a natural phenomenon. The American press has reported fairly often on moving reunions of family members, “Holocaust” survivors all, each of whom, we are assured, was at one time convinced that his or her “entire family” had been lost.
To sum up, in spite of the dogma and the laws, the pursuit of the historical truth about the Second World War in general, and about the Shoah in particular, has made headway in recent years, but the general public is kept in the dark about this. It would be stunned to learn that, since the early 1980s, establishment historians have relegated many of the most firmly held popular beliefs to the rank of legend. From this point of view, one can say that there are two levels of “the Holocaust”: on the one hand, that of the public at large and, on the other, that of the conformist historians. The first seems to be unshakable, while the second (to judge by the number of hasty repairs being made to it), seems on the verge of collapse.
Year by year (and especially since 1979), the concessions made to the revisionists by the “orthodox” historians have been so numerous and of such quality that today the latter find themselves at a dead end. No longer having anything of substance to say about the “Holocaust,” they have handed the baton to the filmmakers, novelists, and theater people. Even the museum people are at a loss. At the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, the “decision” has been made not to offer for public viewing “any physical representation of the gas chambers.” (This is according to a statement made to me, and in the presence of four witnesses in August 1994, by the Museum’s Research Director, Michael Berenbaum. He is the author of a guide book of more than 200 pages in which, in effect, no physical representation of gas chambers appears, not even one of the miserable and fallacious mock-up on display for Museum visitors.) note 25 The public is forbidden to take photographs there. Claude Lanzmann, maker of “Shoah,” a film remarkable for its utter lack of historical or scientific content, today no longer has any recourse but to pontificate in deploring the fact that “the revisionists occupy the whole terrain.” note 26 As for Elie Wiesel, he calls on everyone to show discretion. He requests that we no longer try to closely examine, or even to imagine what happened in the gas chambers: “Let the gas chambers remain closed to prying eyes, and to imagination.” note 27 The “Holocaust” historians have turned into theoreticians, philosophers, and “thinkers.” The squabbles among them, between “intentionalists” and “functionalists,” or between supporters and adversaries of a thesis such as Daniel Goldhagen’s on the near-innate propensity of Germans to descend into anti-Semitism and racist crime, ought not to conceal from view the poverty of their historical work.
In 1998, an appraisal of the revisionist enterprise could be briefly put as follows: a sparkling success on the historical and scholarly front (where our opponents capitulated in 1996), but a failure on the public relations front. (Our adversaries have closed off all access to the media except, for the time being, the Internet.)
In the 1980s and early 1990s, anti-revisionist authors attempted to cross swords with the revisionists on the field of historical scholarship. Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Nadine Fresco, Georges Wellers, Adalbert Rckerl, Hermann Langbein, Eugen Kogon, Arno Mayer, and Serge Klarsfeld, each in turn tried to persuade the media that answers had been found to the revisionists’ material or documentary arguments. Even Michael Berenbaum, even the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, in 1993 and in early 1994, wanted to pick up the gauntlet I had thrown down, and try to show just a single Nazi gas chamber, just a single proof — of their own choosing — that there had been a genocide of the Jews. But their failures were so stinging that thereafter they abandoned, ever more progressively, the fight on that turf. More recently, in 1998, appeared a thick book by Michael Berenbaum (together with Abraham J. Peck) entitled The Holocaust and History. note 28 But far from examining, on the level of historical scholarship, what the authors call the “Holocaust,” instead they unintentionally show that the “Holocaust” is one thing, and “History” quite another. The work, moreover, is quasi-immaterial, presenting neither photographs, nor drawings, nor the least attempt to represent physically any reality whatever. Only the dust jacket offers a view of a heap of shoes. Reputedly possessing a certain graphic eloquence, at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum they supposedly tell us: “We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses.” This book is merely a compilation of 55 contributions written and published under the watchful eye of Rabbi Berenbaum: in it even Raul Hilberg, even Yehuda Bauer, even Franciszek Piper, abandon any real effort at scholarly research, while at the same time anathema is pronounced against Arno Mayer who, in his 1988 study, tried to put the “Holocaust” back into the realm of history. note 29 The irrational has prevailed against attempts at rationalization. Elie Wiesel, Claude Lanzmann, and Steven Spielberg (in his film, “Schindler’s List,” inspired by a novel), have in the end triumphed over those in their own camp who once tried to prove the “Holocaust.”
In future years it will be seen in hindsight that in September 1996 the death knell sounded for the hopes of those who wanted to combat revisionism on historical and scholarly grounds. The two long articles in a Swiss daily paper written by the anti-revisionist historian Jacques Baynac definitively closed the book on attempts at a rational response to revisionist arguments.
In the mid- and late 1970s, I offered my own contribution to the development of revisionism. I discovered and formulated what has since come to be known as the physical and chemical argument, that is, the physical and chemical reasons why the alleged Nazi gas chambers were quite simply inconceivable. At the time, I commended myself for having presented to the world a decisive argument that had never before been expounded either by a German chemist or an American engineer. (Germany is not short of chemists, and the United States has engineers who, given the forbidding complexities involved in making and operating an American penitentiary gas chamber, ought to have realized that, because of certain physical and chemical realities, the alleged Nazi gas chambers could not possibly have operated as claimed.)
If, during that period, amidst the fracas prompted by my discovery, a clairvoyant had predicted that, 20 years later, my adversaries, after many attempts to show that I was wrong, would (as Baynac did in 1996) resign themselves to acknowledging that, after all, there existed not the least evidence with which to prove the reality of a single Nazi gas chamber, I certainly would have rejoiced. I might have also concluded that the myth of the “Holocaust” could never survive such a direct hit, that the media would then quit propagating the Great Lie and that, quite naturally, the legal repression of revisionists would end by itself.
In so reckoning I would have committed an error both of diagnosis and of prognosis.
For the spirit of superstitious belief is different than that of science. It makes its own way in the world. The realm of religion, of ideology, of illusion, of the media, and of fictional cinema can develop at a certain remove from scientific realities. Even Voltaire never succeeded in “crushing the vile foe.” One may therefore say that, like Voltaire denouncing the absurdities of the Hebraic tales, the revisionists — in spite of the scholarly character of their work — are doomed never to carry the day against the wild imaginings of the Synagogue, while the Synagogue, for its part, will never succeed in stifling the voices of the revisionists. The “Holocaust” and “Shoah business” propaganda will continue to flourish. It still remains for revisionists to show how this belief, this myth was born, grew and flourished before, perhaps, one day disappearing to make way, not for reason but for other beliefs and other myths.
How are men deceived, and why do they deceive themselves so readily?
The masses are most easily fooled through manipulation of images. With the liberation of the German concentration camps in April 1945, British and American journalists rushed to photograph and film true horrors that were then, one may say, made into truer than life horrors. In the language dear to media people, the public was presented with a “put-up” job. note 30 On the one hand, we were shown real dead bodies as well as real crematories, and, on the other hand, thanks to some misleading comments and a cinematic staging, a deft artifice was effected. I describe this fraud with a phrase that may serve to help unmask all such impostures: We were led to take the dead for killed, and crematories for execution gas chambers.
Thus was born the confusion, still so widespread today, between, on the one hand, the crematories, which actually existed (but not at Bergen-Belsen) for the incineration of corpses and, on the other hand, the Nazi gas chambers allegedly used to kill whole crowds of men and women, but which, in reality, never existed nor could have existed.
The myth of the Nazi gas chambers and their association with the crematories originated, in its media form, in the press and newsreel photographs and media commentary from the Bergen-Belsen camp — which, orthodox historians now admit, possessed neither mass-execution gas chambers nor even simple crematories.
At a news conference in Stockholm in March 1992, I issued a challenge to the audience of newspaper and television reporters. That challenge was made in the nine words: “Show me or draw me a Nazi gas chamber.”
The next day, the journalists’ reports on the news conference indeed appeared, but they passed over in silence its essential object: precisely that challenge. They had looked for photographs and had found none.
Billions of people over this past half-century assume (or imagine) that they have seen images of Nazi gas chambers in books or in documentary films. Many are convinced that, at least once in their lives, they’ve come across a photograph of a Nazi gas chamber. Some have visited Auschwitz or another camp where guides told them that this or that structure was a gas chamber. Such visitors are told that before their eyes is (as the case may be) a gas chamber “in its original state” or “a reconstruction” of an original gas chamber. (This latter expression implies that the “reconstruction” is faithful, that it conforms to the “original.”) Sometimes visitors are shown remains of what they are told are “ruins of a gas chamber.” note 31 Yet, in all such cases, they have been deceived or, better, have deceived themselves. This phenomenon is easily explained.
Many people imagine that a homicidal gas chamber is merely a room with poison gas inside. This reveals confusion between an execution gassing, and a suicidal or accidental one. An execution gassing, such as those of individuals in some United States prisons, is unavoidably a very complicated undertaking. In such a case, care must be taken to kill only the condemned prisoner without causing an accident, and without putting one’s own life, or that of one’s associates, in danger, especially in the final phase, that is, when the chamber must be entered to remove the contaminated corpse. Most “Holocaust” museum visitors, readers, film-goers, and even most historians, are obviously unaware of any of this. Those in charge of “Holocaust” museums exploit this lack of awareness. For an effective Nazi gas chamber exhibit, they need only show the credulous public a gloomy space or room, a cold morgue room, a shower room (preferably located below ground), or an air raid shelter (with a peephole in its door), and the trick will work. The tricksters can manage with even less that this: it’s enough merely to show a door, a wall, or a roof of a purported “gas chamber.” The most clever ones will get by with just a bundle of hair, a pile of shoes, or a heap of eyeglasses, while claiming that these are the only traces or remains left of the “gassed” victims. Naturally, they will refrain from mentioning that, during the war and the blockade, in a Europe beset with general shortages and penury, vast “recovery” and “recycling” programs were organized to reclaim all recoverable materials, including hair, which was used, for example, in textile products.
A similar confusion reigns with respect to the witnesses. We are presented with bands of witnesses to the genocide of the Jews. Whether orally or in writing, these witnesses claim to assert that Germany carried out a plan for the overall extermination of the Jews of Europe. In reality, these witnesses can truthfully attest only to such facts as the Jews’ deportation, their internment in detention camps, concentration camps or forced labor camps, and even, in some cases, the functioning of crematories. The Jews were to so great a degree not doomed to extermination, or to end up in mass-execution gas chambers, that each one of these countless survivors or escapees, far from constituting, as some would have us believe, a “living proof of the genocide,” is, on the contrary, a living proof that there was no genocide. As has been seen above, at war’s end the number of Jewish “survivors” of the “Holocaust” probably exceeded three million.
For Auschwitz alone, a lengthy list may be made of former Jewish inmates who have borne witness — in public, orally or in writing, on television, in books, in the law courts — to “the extermination of the Jews” in the camp. note 32
I shall also mention the resounding case of a late arrival — the Swiss clarinettist Binjamin Wilkomirski. It is not clear why, but this false witness was publicly exposed after a three-year spell of glory during which he was honored with the US National Jewish Book Award, the Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize in Britain, the Mmoire de la Shoah prize in France, and an impressive series of dithyrambic articles in the press worldwide. His purported autobiography, in which he relates being deported as a child to Majdanek and to Auschwitz (?), was originally published in Germany in 1995. It appeared in English under the title Fragments: Memories of a Wartime Childhood. note 33 Jewish author Daniel Ganzfried concluded, on the basis of his investigation, that Binjamin Wilkomirski, alias Bruno Doessekker, born Bruno Grosjean, indeed had some experience of Auschwitz and Majdanek, but only after the war, as a tourist. note 34 In 1995 the Australian Donald Watt successfully deceived much of the English-language media with a memoir that told of his alleged life as a crematory “stoker” at Auschwitz-Birkenau. note 35 Between September and November 1998, a vast media operation was organized in Germany and France based on the sudden “revelations” of Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Mnch, one-time SS physician at Auschwitz. The vein is decidedly bountiful.
Primo Levi is still generally treated as a reliable witness. While this reputation was perhaps deserved in 1947, with the publication of his book Se questo un uomo (published in the US under the title Survival in Auschwitz), Levi later conducted himself rather unworthily. Elie Wiesel remains the undisputed “star false witness” of the “Holocaust.” In his autobiographical account Night he does not mention “gas chambers.” For him, the Germans threw Jews into blazing pits. (As recently as June 2, 1987, he testified under oath at the Klaus Barbie trial in Lyon that he had “seen, in a little wood, somewhere in [Auschwitz] Birkenau, SS men throwing live children into the flames.” (The translator and editor of the German version of Night resuscitated the “gas chambers” in Wiesel’s account of Auschwitz. In France, Fred Sedel in 1990 similarly proceeded in re-editing a book that had appeared in 1963, putting “chambres gaz” ["gas chamber"] where, 27 years earlier, he had mentioned only “fours crmatoires” ["crematory ovens"].) note 36
In this same boat of “pious lies” one may also include the testimonies of some non-Jews, in particular that of General Andr Rogerie. In the original 1946 edition of his memoir, Vivre, c’est vaincre, he wrote only of having heard talk of “gas chambers.” But fortified by support from Georges Wellers, he presented himself in 1988 as a “Holocaust witness” who had “beheld the Shoah at Birkenau.” note 37 As he himself has related, his lot as a prisoner in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was a privileged one. He lodged in the barracks of the “bosses” and enjoyed a “royally cushy position” of which he “has fond remembrances.” He ate pancakes with jam and played bridge. Of course, he wrote, “not only merry events take place [in the camp].” Still, upon leaving Birkenau he had this thought: “Unlike many others, I have been better off here than anywhere else.” note 38
Samuel Gringauz got through the war in the ghetto of Kaunas, Lithuania. In 1950 — that is, at a time when it was still possible to speak somewhat freely on the subject — he gave an appraisal of the literature thus far produced by the survivors of the “great Jewish catastrophe.” Deploring the trespasses to which their “hyper-historical complex” was then giving rise, he wrote: note 39
The hyper-historical complex may be described as judeocentric, lococentric and egocentric. It concentrates historical relevance on Jewish problems of local events under the aspect of personal experience. This is the reason why most of the memoirs and reports are full of preposterous verbosity, graphomanic exaggeration, dramatic effects, overestimated self-inflation, dilletante [sic] philosophizing, would-be lyricism, unchecked rumors, bias, partisan attacks and apologies.
One can only assent to this judgment, which could perfectly well apply today to a Claude Lanzmann or an Elie Wiesel. For the latter’s “hyper-historical complex,” for the “judeocentric, lococentric and egocentric” character of his writings, one may refer to Wiesel’s two recent volumes of memoirs, published in the US under the titles All Rivers Run to the Sea, and, And the Sea is Never Full. In so doing, one may also realize that, far from having been exterminated, a great many of the members of the Jewish community of the little Romanian-Hungarian town of Sighet in all likelihood survived deportation, notably to Auschwitz in May and June of 1944, and internment. Himself a native of Sighet, Wiesel endured the fate of his fellow townspeople. In journeys to various places around the world after the war, he came upon an amazing number of relatives, friends, old acquaintances, and others from Sighet who, thanks to a succession of “miracles,” had survived Auschwitz or the “Holocaust.”
Just as perplexed as today’s generation, those of the future will ask themselves identical questions about a number of Second World War myths besides that of the Nazi gas chambers: in addition to the stories already mentioned of “Jewish soap,” tanned human skins, “shrunken heads,” and “gas vans,” one may also cite the stories of the insane medical experiments attributed to Dr. Mengele, Adolf Hitler’s orders to exterminate the Jews, Heinrich Himmler’s order to halt said extermination, and the mass killings of Jews by electricity, steam, quicklime, crematories, burning pits, and vacuum pumps. Let us also cite the purported exterminations of Gypsies and homosexuals, and the alleged gassings of the mentally ill. Future generations will also wonder about many other subjects: the massacres on the Eastern front as related in certain writings, and in writing only, at the Nuremberg trial by the professional false witness Hermann Grbe; such now-acknowledged impostures as the book supposedly by Hermann Rauschning, which in fact was written chiefly by the Hungarian Jew Imre Rvsz, alias Emery Reves, but used extensively at the Nuremberg trial as though it were authentic; note 40 the mass killing of Jews near Auschwitz with an experimental atomic bomb, a claim also brought up at the Nuremberg trial; note 41 the absurd “confessions” extorted from German prisoners; the reputed diary of Anne Frank; the young boy in the Warsaw ghetto shown as going to his death, whereas he most likely emigrated to New York after the war; note 42 along with various false memoirs, false stories, false testimonies, and false attributions, the true natures of which would, with a minimum of effort, have been easy to ascertain.
But those future generations will probably be astonished most of all by the myth that was instituted and hallowed by the Nuremberg trial (and, to a lesser degree, by the Tokyo trial): that of the intrinsic barbarity of the vanquished and the intrinsic virtue of the victors who, as becomes apparent upon a close look at the facts, themselves committed acts of horror that were far more striking, both in quantity and in quality, than those perpetrated by the vanquished.
At a time when one might be led to believe that only the Jews really suffered during the Second World War, and that only the Germans behaved like veritable criminals, an impartial examination into the true sufferings of all peoples and the real crimes of all belligerents seems overdue.
Whether “just” or “unjust,” every war is a butchery — indeed, notwithstanding the heroism of countless soldiers, a competition in butchery. At the end of it, the winner turns out to have been nothing more than a good butcher, and the loser a bad butcher. So when hostilities have ceased, the victor may perhaps be entitled to give the vanquished a lesson in butchery, but certainly not in Right and Justice. Yet that is just what happened in the great Nuremberg trial of 1945-1946, when the four big winners, acting in their own names and in the name of the 19 victorious entities (not counting the World Jewish Congress, which enjoyed the status of amicus curiae or “friend of the court”), had the cynicism to inflict such a treatment on a beaten nation reduced to total impotence.
According to Nahum Goldmann, President of both the World Jewish Congress and the World Zionist Organization, the idea of such a trial was the brainchild of a few Jews. note 43 As for the role played by Jews in the actual proceedings at Nuremberg, it was considerable. The American delegation, which ran the entire business, was made up largely of “re-emigrants,” that is, of Jews who migrated in the 1930s from Germany to America, and then returned to Germany after the war. Gustave M. Gilbert, the famous psychologist and author of Nuremberg Diary (1947), was a Jew who, working behind the scenes with the American prosecutors, did not miss the chance to practice psychological torture on the German defendants. Airey Neave, a member of the British delegation, remarked, in a book prefaced by Lord Justice Birkett, one of the panel of judges, that many of the American examiners were German-born, and all were Jewish. note 44
For reasons I deal with in detail in my crits rvisionnistes collection, the Nuremberg trial can be regarded as this century’s crime of all crimes. Its consequences have proven tragic. It accorded the status of truth to an extravagant volume of lies, calumnies, and injustices that over the years have served to justify all kinds of wickedness: in particular Bolshevik and Zionist expansionism at the expense of nations in Europe and Asia, and of Palestine. Given, however, that the Nuremberg judges found Germany guilty, first and foremost, of having unilaterally plotted and instigated the Second World War, we must begin by first examining this point.
Because history is primarily a matter of geography, let us consider a desktop globe of the year 1939 on whose surface a single color would cover four immense aggregates: Great Britain and her empire of a fifth of the Earth, and upon which “the sun never set,” France and her own vast colonial empire, the United States and its vassals, and, finally, the impressive empire of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Then, another color would mark the modest Germany within her pre-war borders, the meager Italy and her little colonial empire, and finally Japan, whose armies at the time occupied territory in China. (We shall not consider here the countries that were later to join the ranks, at least provisionally, of one or the other of these two belligerent blocs.)
The contrast between the geographical areas covered by these two groups is striking, as is the contrast between their natural, industrial, and commercial resources. Of course, by the end of the 1930s, Germany and Japan were starting — as the postwar years further proved — to shake off their yokes, and to build an economy and an army capable of disquieting the bigger and stronger powers. And, of course, the Germans and the Japanese, during the first years of the war, deployed an uncommon measure of energy and succeeded in carving out their short-lived empires. But, all things considered, Germany, Italy, and Japan were mere dwarfs, so to speak, beside the four giants that were the British, French, American, and Soviet empires.
Who today can seriously believe — as was maintained at the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials — that during the late 1930s these three dwarfs deliberately sought to provoke a new world war? Better still: who today can believe for an instant that, during the general slaughter that ensued, the first of these three dwarfs (Germany) was guilty of every imaginable crime, while the next (Japan) came a distant second, and the third (Italy), which changed sides in September 1943, committed no really reprehensible acts? Who today can accept the notion that the four giants did not, to use the Nuremberg terminology, commit any “crimes against peace,” any “war crimes,” or any “crimes against humanity” that, after 1945, would have warranted judgment by an international tribunal?
It is nevertheless easy to show, with solid proof, that the winners, in six years of war and in a few years afterwards, accumulated, in their massacres of prisoners of war and of civilians, in massive deportations, in systematic looting, and in summary or “judicial” executions, more horrors than the losers. Katyn forest, the Gulag, Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the expulsion, under horrible conditions, of 12 to 15 million Germans (from East Prussia, Pomerania, Silesia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia), the handing over of millions of Europeans to the Soviet moloch, the bloodiest purge ever to sweep the continent: was all of that really too small a matter for review by an international tribunal? During this past century, no military force has killed as many children — in Europe, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Central America — as the US air force. And yet no international authority has held it to account for these slaughters, which the “boys” have always been ready to carry out anywhere in the world, for such is their “job.” note 45
“Cursed be war!” reads the inscription on the war memorial in the small French town of Gentioux. In the town of Saint-Martin-d’Estraux, the inscription on the memorial is lengthier, but its “assessment” of the war sends forth the same cry. note 46 The lists, in churches and on monuments throughout France, of the dead from the 1914-1918 war are heart-rending. Today no one is really able to say for just what reason the youth of France (just as, on its side, the youth of Germany) were thus mown down.
On some of these same memorials in our towns and villages one can also find, though in markedly smaller numbers, the names of young Frenchmen killed or missing during the campaign of 1939-1940: about 87,000 altogether. Occasionally one also finds lists of civilian victims. During the war years, the British and Americans alone killed some 67,000 in their air attacks on France. Occasionally, to round out the list, one can sometimes find the names of a few Rsistance members who died in their beds well after the war. Almost never can one find the names of French victims of the “Great Purge” of 1944-1947 — probably 14,000, and not 30,000 or, as is sometimes claimed, 105,000 — in which Jews, Communists, and last-minute Gaullists played an essential role. With rare exceptions the names of the colonial troops who “died for France” are also missing, because they were not natives of the French towns.
For France, the two world wars constituted a disaster: the first, especially because of the sheer volume of human losses, and the second because of its character as a civil war that has persisted to this day.
When reflecting on these lists of First World War dead, including those “missing in action,” when remembering the whole battalions of men who survived with ruined faces, of those wounded, maimed, and crippled for life, when taking stock of the destructions of all sorts, when thinking of the families devastated by these losses, of the prisoners, of those “shot for desertion,” of the suicides provoked by so much suffering, when remembering as well the 25 million deaths in America and Europe in 1918 from the epidemic of a viral illness wrongly called “Spanish influenza” (brought into France, at least in part, by American troops), note 47 can one not understand the pre-1939-1945 pacifists and supporters of “Munich,” as well as the Ptainists of 1940? What right today has anyone to speak blithely of “cowardice,” either with regard to the Munich accords of September 29 and 30, 1938, or to the armistice signed at Rethondes in Picardy on June 22, 1940? Could the Frenchmen who, in the late 1930s, still bore the physical and emotional scars of the 1914-1918 holocaust (a veritable one), and its aftermath, consider it a moral obligation to hurl themselves straight into a new slaughter? And, after the signing of an armistice that, however harsh, was by no means shameful, where was the dishonor in seeking an understanding with the adversary, not in order to wage war but to make peace?
“Hitler [was] born at Versailles”: that sentence serves as the title of a work by the late Lon Degrelle. note 48 The 1919 Versailles Diktat — for it was not really a treaty — was so harsh and dishonorable for the defeated nation that the American Senate refused to recognize or adopt it (November 20, 1919). And in the years that followed, it was ever more discredited. It dismembered Germany, submitted it to a cruel military occupation, and starved it. In particular, it obliged the defeated nation to cede to the newly created state of Poland the regions of Posen, Upper Silesia, and part of West Prussia. The 440 articles of the “Treaty of Peace Between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany” (together with its annexes) signed at Versailles on June 28, 1919, constituted, along with the related treaties (Trianon, Saint-Germain, Svres), a monumental iniquity which, if anything, only the fury of a recently ended war can explain. As one French writer has put it: “It is easy enough to find fault with the Germans for not having respected Versailles. Their duty of honor as Germans was, first, to get round it, and then to tear it up, just as that of the French was to maintain it.” note 49
Twenty years after that crushing humiliation, Hitler sought to recover some of the territory turned over to Poland, just as France, after its defeat in 1870, sought to recover Alsace and a part of Lorraine.
Unless he chooses to speak flippantly, no historian is in a position to state who in fact is mainly to blame for a worldwide conflict. It is thus wise not to ascribe to Hitler exclusive responsibility for the 1939-1945 war under the pretext that, on the 1st of September 1939, he went to war against Poland. On the other hand, the attempt to justify the entry into war of Britain and France, two days later, against Germany on the basis of a pledge to come to the aid of Poland seems rather unfounded given that, two weeks later (September 17, 1939), the USSR invaded Poland and occupied a good part of its territory, without prompting any military reaction on the part of Britain or France.
Worldwide conflicts resemble tremendous natural disasters in that they cannot accurately be predicted, even if one can sometimes feel them coming. Only after the fact can they be explained, laboriously and, too often, affected by reserves of bad faith in the form of mutual accusations of negligence, blindness, ill will, or irresponsibility. All the same one can note that in Germany during the late 1930s, the pro-war camp, that is, those who urged military action against the western powers was, to all intents and purposes, non-existent. The Germans envisaged only a “push to the East” (Drang nach Osten). On the other hand, in Britain, France and the United States, the anti-German hawks were powerful. The “war party” wanted a “democratic crusade,” and got it. Among these new crusaders figured, with a few noteworthy exceptions, the whole of American and European organized Jewry.
During the First World War, the British cynically exploited all the resources of propaganda based on wholly fictitious atrocity stories. note 50 During the Second World War they remained true to form.
Today people widely condemn Neville Chamberlain for his policy of “appeasement” in dealing with the Germans, whereas people hold, or pretend to hold, Winston Churchill in high esteem for his determination to carry on war against Germany. It is not yet certain that history, with time, will uphold this judgment. New discoveries concerning Churchill’s personality and wartime role raise questions about the dubious justifications for that determination, along with questions about the fruits of his policies. At least Chamberlain had foreseen that even a British victory would entail disaster for his country, her empire, and for other victors as well. Churchill did not see this, or did not know how to see it. He promised “blood, toil, tears, and sweat,” to be followed by victory. He did not anticipate the bitter morrow of victory: the hastened disappearance of the empire he held dear, and the handing over of nearly half of Europe to Communist imperialism.
During an address given several years ago, David Irving, Churchill’s biographer, showed the illusory nature of the justifications given by Churchill, first, to launch his countrymen into the war, and then to keep them in it. The business, if one may so term it, was carried out in four phases.
Impact and Future of Holocaust Revisionism