Institute for Historical Review
Continued from Part 6
Not only were situations such as those at Belsen unscrupulously exploited for propaganda purposes, but this propaganda has also made use of entirely fake atrocity photographs and films. The extreme conditions at Belsen applied to very few camps indeed; the great majority escaped the worst difficulties and all their inmates survived in good health. As a result, outright forgeries were used to exaggerate conditions of horror. A startling case of such forgery was revealed in the British Catholic Herald of October 29th, 1948. It reported that in Cassel, where every adult German was compelled to see a film representing the "horrors" of Buchenwald, a doctor from Goettingen saw himself on the screen looking after the victims. But he had never been to Buchenwald. After an interval of bewilderment he realised that what he had seen was part of a film taken after the terrible air raid on Dresden by the Allies on 13th February, 1945, where the doctor had been working. The film in question was shown in Cassel on 19th October, 1948. After the air raid on Dresden, which killed a record 135 000 people, mostly refugee women and children, the bodies of the victims were piled and burned in heaps of 400 and 500 for several weeks. These were the scenes, purporting to be from Buchenwald, which the doctor had recognised.
The forgery of war-time atrocity photographs is not new. For further information the reader is referred to Arthur Ponsonby's book Falsehood in Wartime (London, 1928), which exposes the faked photographs of German atrocities in the First World War. Ponsonby cites such fabrications as "The Corpse Factory" and "The Belgian Baby without Hands", which are strikingly reminiscent of the propaganda relating to Nazi "atrocities". F. J. P. Veale explains in his book that the bogus 'jar of human soap" solemnly introduced by the Soviet prosecution at Nuremberg was a deliberate jibe at the famous British "Corpse Factory" myth, in which the ghoulish Germans were supposed to have obtained various commodities from processing corpses (Veale, ibid, p. 192). This accusation was one for which the British Government apologised after 1918. It received new Iife after 1945 in the tale of lamp shades of human skin, which was certainly as fraudulent as the Soviet "human soap". In fact, from Manvell and Frankl we have the grudging admission that the lamp shade evidence at Buchenwald Trial "later appeared to be dubious" (The Incomparable Crime, p. 84). It was given by a certain Andreas Pffffenberger in a "written affidavit" of the kind discussed earlier, but in 1948 General Lucius Clay admitted that the affidavits used in the trial appeared after more thorough investigation to have been mosdy "hearsay."
An excellent work on the fake atrocity photographs pertaining to the Myth of the Six Million is Dr. Udo Walendy's Bild 'Dokumente' für die Geschichtsschreibung? (Vlotho/Weser, 1973), and from the numerous examples cited we illustrate one on this page. The origin of the first photograph is unknown, but the second is a photomontage. Close examination reveals immediately that the standing figures have been taken from the first photograph, and a heap of corpses super-imposed in front of them. The fence has been removed, and an entirely new horror "photograph" created. This blatant forgery appears on page 341 of R. Schnabel's book on the S.S., Macht ohne Moral: eine Dokumentation über die SS (Frankfurt, 1957), with the caption "Mauthausen". (Walendy cites eighteen other examples of forgery in Schnabel's book). The same photograph appeared in the Proceedings of the International Military Tribunal, Vol. XXX, p. 421, likewise purporting to illustrate Mauthausen camp. It is also illustrated without a caption in Eugene Aroneanu's Konzentrationlager Document F.321 for the International Court at Nuremberg; Heinz Kühnrich's Der KZ-Staat (Berlin, 1960, p. 81); Vaclav Berdych's Mauthausen (Prague, 1959); and Robert Neumann's Hitler -- Aufstieg und Untergang des Dritten Reiches (Munich, 1961).
There is one survey of the Jewish question in Europe during World War Two and the conditions of Germany's concentration camps which is almost unique in its honesty and objectivity, the three-volume Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross on its Activities during the Second World War, Geneva, 1948. This comprehensive account from an entirely neutral source incorporated and expanded the findings of two previous works: Documents sur I'activité du CICR en faveur des civils detenus dans les camps de concentration en Allemagne 1939- 1945 (Geneva, 1946), and Inter Arma Caritas: the Work of the ICRC during the Second World War (Geneva, 1947). The team of authors, headed by Frédéric Siordet, explained in the opening pages of the Report that their object, in the tradition of the Red Cross, had been strict political neutrality , and herein lies its great value. The ICRC successfully applied the 1929 Geneva military convention in order to gain access to civilian internees held in Central and Western Europe by the Germany authorities. By contrast, the ICRC was unable to gain any access to the Soviet Union, which had failed to ratify the Convention. The millions of civilian and military internees held in the USSR, whose conditions were known to be by far the worst, were completely cut off from any international contact or supervision. The Red Cross Report is of value in that it first clarifies the legitimate circumstances under which Jews were detained in concentration camps, i.e. as enemy aliens. In describing the two categories. of civilian internees, the Report distinguishes the second type as "Civilians deported on administrative grounds (in German, "Schutzhäftlinge"), who were arrested for political or racial motives because their presence was considered a danger to the State or the occupation forces" (Vol. 111, p. 73). These persons, it continues, "were placed on the same footing as persons arrested or imprisoned under common law for security reasons." (P.74). The Report admits that the Germans were at first reluctant to permit supervision by the Red Cross of people detained on grounds relating to security, but by the latter part of 1942, the ICRC obtained important concessions from Germany. They were permitted to distribute food parcels to major concentration camps in Germany from August 1942, and "from February 1943 onwards this concession was extended to all other camps and prisons" (Vol. 111, p. 78). The ICRC soon established contact with camp commandants and launched a food relief programme which continued to function until the last months of 1945, letters of thanks for which came pouring in from Jewish internees.
The Report states that "As many as 9,000 parcels were packed daily. From the autumn of 1943 until May 1945, about 1,112,000 parcels with a total weight of 4,500 tons were sent off to the concentration camps" (Vol. III, p. 80). In addition to food, these contained clothing and pharmaceutical supplies. "Parcels were sent to Dachau, Buchenwald, Sangerhausen, Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg, Flossenburg, Landsberg-am-Lech, Flöha, Ravensbrück, Hamburg-Neuengamme, Mauthausen, Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, to camps near Vienna and in Central and Southern Germany. The principal recipients were Belgians, Dutch, French, Greeks, Italians, Norwegians, Poles and stateless Jews" (Vol. III, p. 83). In the course of the war, "The Committee was in a position to transfer and distribute in the form of relief supplies over twenty million Swiss francs collected by Jewish welfare organisations throughout the world, in particular by the American Joint Distribution Committee of New York" (Vol. I, p. 644). This latter organisation was permitted by the German Government to maintain offices in Berlin until the American entry into the war. The ICRC complained that obstruction of their vast relief operation for Jewish internees came not from the Germans but from the tight Allied blockade of Europe. Most of their purchases of relief food were made in Rumania, Hungary and Slovakia. The ICRC had special praise for the liberal conditions which prevailed at Theresienstadt up to the time of their last visits there in April 1945. This camp, "where there were about 40,000 Jews deported from various countries was a relatively privileged ghetto" (Vol. III, p. 75). According to the Report, "'The Committee's delegates were able to visit the camp at Theresienstadt (Terezin) which was used exclusively for Jews and was governed by special conditions. From information gathered by the Committee, this camp had been started as an experiment by certain leaders of the Reich ... These men wished to give the Jews the means of setting up a communal life in a town under their own administration and possessing almost complete autonomy. . . two delegates were able to visit the camp on April 6th, 1945. They confirmed the favourable impression gained on the first visit" (Vol. I, p . 642). The ICRC also had praise for the regime of Ion Antonescu of Fascist Rumania where the Committee was able to extend special relief to 183,000 Rumanian Jews until the time of the Soviet occupation. The aid then ceased, and the ICRC complained bitterly that it never succeeded "in sending anything whatsoever to Russia" (Vol. II, p. 62). The same situation applied to many of the German camps after their "liberation" by the Russians. The ICRC received a voluminous flow of mail from Auschwitz until the period of the Soviet occupation, when many of the internees were evacuated westward. But the efforts of the Red Cross to send relief to internees remaining at Auschwitz under Soviet control were futile. However, food parcels continued to be sent to former Auschwitz inmates transferred west to such camps as Buchenwald and Oranienburg.
One of the most important aspects of the Red Cross Report is that it clarifies the true cause of those deaths that undoubtedly occurred in the camps toward the end of the war. Says the Report: "In the chaotic condition of Germany after the invasion during the final months of the war, the camps received no food supplies at all and starvation claimed an increasing number of victims. Itself alarmed by this situation, the German Government at last informed the ICRC on February 1st, 1945 ... In March 1945, discussions between the President of the ICRC and General of the S.S. Kaltenbrunner gave even more decisive results. Relief could henceforth be distributed by the ICRC, and one delegate was authorised to stay in each camp ..." (Vol. III, p. 83). Clearly, the German authorities were at pains to relieve the dire situation as far as they were able. The Red Cross are quite explicit in stating that food supplies ceased at this time due to the Allied bombing of German transportation, and in the interests of interned Jews they had protested on March 15th, 1944 against "the barbarous aerial warfare of the Allies" (Inter Arma Caritas, p. 78). By October 2nd, 1944, the ICRC warned the German Foreign Office of the impending collapse of the German transportation system, declaring that starvation conditions for people throughout Germany were becoming inevitable. In dealing with this comprehensive, three-volume Report, it is important to stress that the delegates of the International Red Cross found no evidence whatever at the camps in Axis- occupied Europe of a deliberate policy to exterminate the Jews. In all its 1,600 pages the Report does not even mention such a thing as a gas chamber. It admits that Jews, like many other wartime nationalities, suffered rigours and privations, but its complete silence on the subject of planned extermination is ample refutation of the Six Million legend. Like the Vatican representatives with whom they worked, the Red Cross found itself unable to indulge in the irresponsible charges of genocide which had become the order of the day. So far as the genuine mortality rate is concerned, the Report points out that most of the Jewish doctors from the camps were being used to combat typhus on the eastern front, so that they were unavailable when the typhus epidemics of 1945 broke out in the camps (Vol. I, p. 204 ff)- Incidentally, it is frequently claimed that mass executions were carried out in gas chambers cunningly disguised as shower facilities. Again the Report makes nonsense of this allegation. "Not only the washing places, but installations for baths, showers and laundry were inspected by the delegates. They had often to take action to have fixtures made less primitive, and to get them repaired or enlarged" (Vol.III, p. 594).
Volume III of the Red Cross Report, Chapter 3 (I. Jewish Civilian Population) deals with the "aid given to the Jewish section of the free population," and this chapter makes it quite plain that by no means all of the European Jews were placed in internment camps, but remained, subject to certain restrictions, as part of the free civilian population. This conflicts directly with the "thoroughness" of the supposed "extermination programme", and with the claim in the forged Höss memoirs that Eichmann was obsessed with seizing "every single Jew he could lay his hands on." In Slovakia, for examle, where Eichmann's assistant Dieter Wisliceny was in charge, the Report states that "A large proportion of the Jewish minority had permission to stay in the country, and at certain periods Slovakia was looked upon as a comparative haven of refuge for Jews, especially for those coming from Poland. Those who remained in Slovakia seem to have been in comparative safety until the end of August 1944, when a rising against the German forces took place. While it is true that the law of May 15th, 1942 had brought about the internment of several thousand Jews, these people were held in camps where the conditions of food and lodging were tolerable, and where the internees were allowed to do paid work on terms almost equal to those of the free labour market" (Vol. I, p. 646). Not only did large numbers of the three million or so European Jews avoid internment altogether, but the emigration of Jews continued throughout the war, generally by way of Hungary, Rumania and Turkey. Ironically, post-war Jewish emigration from German-occupied territories was also facilitated by the Reich, as in the case of the Polish Jews who had escaped to France before its occupation. "The Jews from Poland who, whilst in France, had obtained entrance permits to the United States were held to be American citizens by the German occupying authorities, who further agreed to recognize the validity of about three thousand passports issued to Jews by the consulates of South American countries" (Vol.I, p. 645). As future U.S. citizens, these Jews were held at the Vittel camp in southern France for American aliens. The emigration of European Jews from Hungary in particular proceeded during the war unhindered by the German authorities. "Until March 1944," says the. Red Cross Report, "Jews who had the privilege of visas for Palestine were free to leave Hungary" (Vol. I, p. 648). Even after the replacement of the Horthy Government in 1944 (following its attempted armistice with the Soviet Union) with a govenment more dependent on German authority, the emigration of Jews continued. The Committee secured the pledges of both Britain and the United States "to give support by every means to the emigration of Jews from Hungary," and from the U.S. Govermnent the ICRC received a message stating that "The Government of the United States ... now specifically repeats its assurance that arrangements will be made by it for the care of all Jews who in the present circumstances are allowed to leave" (Vol. I, p . 649).
Without doubt the most important contribution to a truthful study of the extermination question has been the work of the French historian, Professor Paul Rassinier. The pre-eminent value of this work lies firstly in the fact that Rassinier actually experienced life in the German concentration camps, and also that, as a Socialist intellectual and anti-Nazi, nobody could be less inclined to defend Hitler and National Socialism. Yet, for the sake of justice and historical truth, Rassinier spent the remainder of his post-war years until his death in 1966 pursuing research which utterly refuted the Myth of the Six Million and the legend of Nazi diabolism. From 1933 until 1943, Rassinier was a professor of history in the College d'enseignement général at Belfort, Academie de Besancon. During the war he engaged in resistance activity until he was arrested by the Gestapo on October 30th, 1943, and as a result was confined in the German concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dora until 1945. At Buchenwald, toward the end of the war, he contracted typhus, which so damaged his health that he could not resume his teaching. After the war, Rassinier was awarded the Medaille de la Résistance and the Reconnaisance Francaise, and was elected to the French Chamber of Deputies, from which he was ousted by the Communists in November, 1946. Rassinier then embarked on his great work, a systematic analysis of alleged German war atrocities, in particular the supposed "extermination" of the Jews. Not surprisingly, his writings are little known; they have rarely been translated from the French and none at all have appeared in English. His most important works were: Le Mensonge d'Ulysse (The Lies of Odysseus, Paris, 1949), an investigation of concentration camp conditions based on his own experiences of them; and Ulysse trahi par les Siens (1960), a sequel which further refuted the impostures of propagandists concerning German concentration camps. His monumental task was completed with two final volumes, Le Véritable Proces Eichmann (1962) and Le Drame des Juifs européen (1964), in which Rassinier exposes the dishonest and reckless distortions concerning the fate of the Jews by a careful statistical analysis. The last work also examines the political and financial significance of the extermination legend and its exploitation by Israel and the Communist powers. One of the many merits of Rassinier's work is exploding the myth of unique German "wickedness"; and he reveals with devastating force how historical truth has been obliterated in an impenetrable fog of partisan propaganda. His researches demonstrate conclusively that the fate of the Jews during World War Two, once freed from distortion and reduced to proper proportions, loses its much vaunted "enormity" and is seen to be only one act in a greater and much wider tragedy. In an extensive lecture tour in West Germany in the spring of 1960, Professor Rassinier emphasised to his German audiences that it was high time for a rebirth of the truth regarding the extermination legend, and that the Germans themselves should begin it since the allegation remained a wholly unjustifiable blot on Germany in the eyes of the world.
Rassinier entitled his first book The Lies of Odysseus in commemoration of the fact that travellers always return bearing tall stories, and until his death he investigated all the stories of extermination literature and attempted to trace their authors. He made short work of the extravagant claims about gas chambers at Buchenwald in David Rousset's The Other Kingdom (New York, 1947); himself an inmate of Buchenwald, Rassinier proved that no such things ever existed there (Le Mensonge d'Ulysse, p. 209 ff) Rassinier also traced Abbe Jean-Paul Renard, and asked him how he could possibly have testified in his book Chaines et Lumieres that gas chambers were in operation at Buchenwald. Renard replied that others had told him of their existence, and hence he had been willing to pose as a witness of things that he had never seen (ibid, p. 209 ff). Rassinier also investigated Denise Dufournier's Ravensbrück.- The Women's Camp of Death (London, 1948) and again found that the authoress had no other evidence for gas chambers there than the vague "rumours" which Charlotte Bormann stated were deliberately spread by communist political prisoners. Similar investigations were made of such books as Philip Friedman's This was Auschwitz: The Story of a Murder Camp (N.Y., 1946) and Eugen Kogon's The Theory and Practice of Hell (N.Y., 1950), and he found that none of these authors could produce an authentic eye-witness of a gas chamber at Auschwitz, nor had they themselves actually seen one. Rassinier mentions Kogon's claim that a deceased former inmate, Janda Weiss, had said to Kogon alone that she had witnessed gas chambers at Auschwitz, but of course, since this person was apparently dead, Rassinier was unable to investigate the claim. He was able to interview Benedikt Kautsky, author of Teufel und Verdammte who had alleged that millions of Jews were exterminated at Auschwitz. However, Kautsky only confirmed to Rassinier the confession in his book, namely that never at any time had he seen a gas chamber, and that he based his information on what others had "told him". The palm for extermination literature is awarded by Rassinier to Miklos Nyizli's Doctor at Auschwitz, in which the falsification of facts, the evident contradictions and shameless lies show that the author is speaking of places which it is obvious he has never seen (Le Drame des Juifs européen, p. 52). According to this "doctor of Auschwitz", 25,000 victims were exterminated every day for four and a half years, which is a grandiose advance on Olga Lengyel's 24,000 a day for two and a half years. It would mean a total of forty-one million victims at Auschwitz by 1945, two and a half times the total pre-war Jewish population of the world. When Rassinier attempted to discover the identity of this strange "witness", he was told that "he had died some time before the publication of the book." Rassinier is convinced that he was never anything but a mythical figure. Since the war, Rassinier has, in fact, toured Europe in search of somebody who was an actual eye-witness of gas chamber exterminations in German concentration camps during World War Two, but he has never found even one such person. He discovered that not one of the authors of the many books charging that the Germans had exterminated millions of Jews had even seen a gas chamber built for such purposes, much less seen one in operation, nor could any of these authors produce a living authentic witness who had done so. Invariably, former prisoners such as Renard, Kautsky and Kogon based their statements not upon what they had actually seen, but upon what they "heard", always from "reliable" sources, who by some chance are almost always dead and thus not in a position to confirm or deny their statements. Certainly the most important fact to emerge from Rassinier's studies, and of which there is now no doubt at all, is the utter imposture of "gas chambers". Serious investigations carried out in the sites themselves have revealed with irrefutable proof that, contrary to the declarations of the surviving "witnesses" examined above, no gas chambers whatever existed in the German camps at Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen, Ravensbrück, Dachau and Dora, or Mauthausen in Austria. This fact, which we noted earlier was attested to by Stephen Pinter of the U.S. War Office, has now been recognised and admitted officially by the Institute of Contemporary History at Munich. However, Rassinier points out that in spite of this, "witnesses" again declared at the Eichmann trial that they had seen prisoners at Bergen-Belsen setting out for the gas chambers. So far as the eastern camps of Poland are concerned, Rassinier shows that the sole evidence attesting to the existence of gas chambers at Treblinka, Chelmno, Belzec, Majdanek and Sobibor are the discredited memoranda of Kurt Gerstein referred to above. His original claim, it will be recalled was that an absurd 40 million people had been exterminated during the war, while in his first signed memorandum he reduced the number to 25 million. Further reductions were made in his second memorandum. These documents were considered of such dubious authenticity that they were not even admitted by the Nuremberg Court, though they continue to circulate in three different versions, one in German (distributed in schools) and two in French, none of which agree with each other. The German version featured as "evidence" at the Eichmann Trial in l961. Finally, Professor Rassinier draws attention to an important admission by Dr. Kubovy, director of the World Centre of Contemporary Jewish Documentation at Tel-Aviv, made in La Terre Retrouvée, December 15th, 1960. Dr. Kubovy recognised that not a single order for extermination exists from Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich or Göring (Le Drame des Juifs européen, p. 31, 39).
Continue to Part 8