Suppressing Debate about Auschwitz:
The Rudolf Case, Irving's Lost Libel Suit
and the Future of Revisionism
This essay illustrates how Germar Rudolf, a young German chemist who is passionate about objective truth, was condemned as the exact opposite, and even labeled a "neo-Nazi," by a prejudiced and ignorant society.1 In the months since British historian David Irving (sometimes called a revisionist) lost his libel case against American Jewish activist Deborah Lipstadt -- largely, I believe, because of his ignorance of Rudolf's work -- the issues raised in his headline-making trial have become all the more urgent for the future of revisionism.
All too often history is written for propaganda purposes. This is especially common when a state strives to inculcate the youth with its political views, but it also occurs when zealous writers seek to defend the historical rights, as they see them, of their own people.
Can history be objective? The question seems to have been first asked two and a half thousand years ago by Thucydides, historian of the 30-year war between ancient Athens and Sparta. At the beginning of his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides states that his aim is to preserve an accurate record of the war, not only for its intrinsic interest but in the hope this would be useful for "those who desire an exact knowledge of the past as a key to the future." He wished his History to be "a possession forever, not the rhetorical triumph of an hour."2
Thucydides writes that as other authors "take rumors for granted and copy uncritically from each other," his own work "because of its lack of fiction may be less pleasing than theirs."3 This sentiment is the hallmark of a true historian: aiming to separate myth from reality and not to please any party.4
This goal can only be achieved by closely examining all the available evidence. As Italian scholar Carlo Mattogno has emphasized, there is really nothing new about Holocaust revisionism: it simply calls for the same evidential rigor that is normally demanded when historians examine events other than the "Nazi genocide of the Jews."5
History is important because the way we perceive the past fundamentally -- and often unconsciously -- affects our perception of the present. For example, Nicholas Ridley, a minister in the British government of Margaret Thatcher, cited Auschwitz and all it stands for as an argument to keep Britain out of the European Union, in which Germany plays a major role. Others see the Union as a means of "keeping Germany in check." On the eve of Germany's reunification, author Günther Grass remarked that "Auschwitz speaks against our right to self-determination," showing how in modern Germany patriotism has been completely turned on its head.6
Nearly all the evidence supporting allegations of mass homicidal gassings in wartime Germany is eyewitness testimony, given at postwar trials of alleged war criminals or written down after the war, often decades later. The critical historian wishes to distinguish carefully between what a witness claims to have seen personally and what he or she has heard from others.
Historians should have asked some basic questions before concluding that German authorities planned the physical destruction of all Jews, and used gas chambers to carry out mass killings. As pioneer revisionists such as Robert Faurisson have demanded: show us an order, not necessarily from Hitler, but from any of his subordinates, to exterminate the Jews just because they were Jews; and, "show me or draw me a Nazi gas chamber!"7
At the Nuremberg "International Military Tribunal" of 1945-1946, or at the great Frankfurt "Auschwitz Trial" of 1963-1965, where defendants were convicted of participating in so-called selections of victims for gas chambers, the defense did not demand that forensic scientists examine the alleged "weapon of the crime," that is the homicidal gas chamber. Why not? This is remarkable, considering that scholars of ancient history defer to the archaeologist, not only when in doubt, but as a matter of course?8
Although there may be more to this problem, there seems little doubt that the rot set in at the main Nuremberg trial, the International Military Tribunal (IMT), which set the precedent in not only requiring no scientific evidence for the worst allegations of mass murder, but actually forbidding any such evidence.9 This meant that the Nuremberg court could accept allegations as "self-evident" facts and that it could (indeed, was bound to) take seriously any report made by Soviet and other "special commissions" expressly set up to "investigate" the alleged crimes.10
Today, hardly anyone claims that the Germans manufactured soap from murdered Jews. But why did it take many decades to admit this officially? Was it really so difficult to carry out a forensic test of any one of the notorious soap bars marked "RIF"? The irony is a sample of "human soap" was submitted evidence at Nuremberg by the Soviets with no effort by the defense to challenge its authenticity.11
Several other "facts" -- also "proven" at Nuremberg -- are no longer taken seriously by historians, such as homicidal gas chambers in camps located in the German "Altreich" (Germany in its borders of 1937), and bizarre killing machines operated with electricity or steam.12
The Leuchter, Rudolf and Cracow Reports
Some readers will be familiar with the origin of the Leuchter Report. The German-Canadian publicist Ernst Zündel was twice put on trial for allegedly knowingly spreading "false news" because he re-published Did Six Million Really Die?, an early revisionist booklet by Richard Harwood (Richard Verral) that was banned in numerous countries, including South Africa.13
For the second trial in 1988,14 Zündel engaged Fred Leuchter, widely acknowledged as the foremost US authority on execution gas chambers, as an expert witness. He sent Leuchter to Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek to determine, based on an evaluation of samples taken there, and other factors, whether the alleged extermination facilities there could have performed their grisly task as claimed.
It is generally agreed that hydrocyanic acid (HCN), a poisonous gas, was widely used at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and that it was extensively used to kill lice and other disease-carrying vermin. The gas was contained in a commercially-produced pesticide, Zyklon B.15 For nearly 30 years a small group of historians has questioned the widely held view that this gas was used to kill hundreds of thousands of prisoners there. If the allegations are true, shouldn't traces of this gas be detectable today? Fred Leuchter took brick and mortar samples from an acknowledged disinfestation chamber, as well as from the ruins of crematory buildings (Kremas) where, it is widely alleged, mass killings with poison gas were carried out. These samples were later independently analyzed for cyanide residues by Alpha Analytical Laboratories in Ashland, Massachusetts. The results appeared astonishing: 1050 mg/kg of cyanide was found in the sample taken from the delousing chamber, but less than 10 mg/kg in the alleged homicidal chambers. This fact was cited in supporting Leuchter's conclusion that "none of the facilities examined were ever utilized for the execution of human beings."16
After issuing his report and testifying in April 1988 in the second Zündel trial in Toronto, Fred Leuchter came under vicious attack, above all from Jewish organizations. His health, marriage and livelihood were ruined, and he literally went into hiding in an effort to quietly rebuild his life.17 But film maker Errol Morris persuaded him to cooperate in making "Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.", a film in which Ernst Zündel, David Irving and others also make appearances.18 Having seen "Mr. Death," my overall impression is that Leuchter comes across as rather naive -- even a bit of a "weirdo" -- but not evil. On the other hand, those who brought him down appear as fanatics bent on destroying him at all costs. As with the Irving-Lipstadt trial, even bad publicity may be better than none. From a technical point of view, possibly the worst failing of "Mr. Death" is that it avoids any mention of the relatively huge concentration of cyanide found in Leuchter's sample taken from a non-homicidal delousing chamber.
Apart from attacks aimed at ruining his reputation and livelihood, there have been some reasoned criticisms of Leuchter, if not all of the same standard. One who thought he had decisively discredited the Leuchter Report (and the revisionists) was French pharmacist Jean-Claude Pressac.19
Aside from some uncalled for ad hominem attacks against Leuchter, Pressac raised pertinent issues that called for reasoned response. For example, he made the important point that much smaller amounts of hydrocyanic acid are needed to kill humans than lice, and that the delousing chambers were exposed to warm gas (to increase its effect) and for much longer periods than those (allegedly) used to kill human beings.20 Regarding the matter of remnants of cyanide in the "homicidal gas chambers," Pressac claimed that after nearly half a century of exposure to the elements "it is practically a miracle that any measurable traces of hydrocyanic compounds still remain."21 The inside walls of some of the delousing chambers are quite blue with ferric ferrocyanide (commonly known as Prussian Blue) as a result of their exposure to HCN, but Pressac goes so far as to claim that "the 'blue wall phenomenon' ... permits the immediate distinction ... with absolute certainty between delousing gas chambers, where the phenomenon is present, and the homicidal gas chambers, where it is not."22 He further writes: "... In a homicidal gas chamber, the action of highly concentrated HCN was rapid and intense (never more than 15 to 20 minutes), then the room was aired ... as quickly as possible ... The acid ... did not have enough time to impregnate and stain the brick."23
It took a man of letters to first propose that the chemistry of the gas chambers be investigated by competent scientists: Robert Faurisson suggested the idea of taking brick and mortar samples to be later analyzed. Others, notably William Brian Lindsey, have considered chemical aspects of the problem.24 Germar Rudolf, a graduate doctoral student employed by the prestigious Max Planck Institute for Solid State Physics in Stuttgart, began his own investigations in the early 1990s. He set himself the task of thoroughly investigating problems such as those posed by Pressac, who had written that the formation of Prussian Blue "occurs under the influence of various physico-chemical factors which have not yet been studied."25
At about the same time, Paul Grubach in an article titled "The Leuchter Report Vindicated," dismissed some of Pressac's claims by pointing out that damp and cool environments favor the formation of stable iron compounds; heating prevented condensation of the gas. Like Leuchter, he concluded that "if the alleged extermination gas chambers had actually been used to kill people..., ferric ferrocyanide [Prussian Blue] would have been found in them in amounts comparable to those found in the delousing facility."26
In 1989, the Jan Sehn Forensic Institute in Cracow, Poland, commissioned by the Auschwitz State Museum, took samples from the alleged gas chambers of Auschwitz and Birkenau, and conducted its own chemical tests, the results of which, in the eyes of many revisionists, appeared to confirm Leuchter's findings, even though the Cracow Institute itself came to the opposite conclusion. (More will be said on this below).27
Germar Rudolf praised the Leuchter Report for its "ice-breaking function" which, he said was of "inestimable value." But he also had some criticisms:
First of all, as a scientist one checks carefully if the work is solidly backed up by references to competent authorities. Unfortunately, Leuchter's report hardly has such a foundation. For one thing, none of the chemical conclusions is properly referenced. On their own, a few chemical results say nothing; they must be correctly interpreted. One cannot simply claim: there are no cyanides, therefore nobody was gassed. In the end, there could be other explanations for the lack of cyanide compounds. Leuchter ought to have scientifically eliminated these beforehand.
According to Rudolf, other shortcomings were that only one sample was taken from a delousing chamber and that there was no control analysis. Leuchter, a non-chemist, should have consulted specialists in this field. He had no original plans, which led him to make the incorrect claim that the Leichenkeller (underground morgues) in Kremas (crematory buildings) II and III had no ventilation. "Leuchter regards an approximately 1% by volume mixture of HCN with air as explosive while a table in his report clearly shows that only concentrations of more than 5% are explosive."28
Austrian engineer Walter Lüftl shared Rudolf's view that "Leuchter is correct, even though he provided no detailed scientific proof in his report," adding that the final word has not been said on this subject.29
At the Ninth IHR Conference in 1989 Leuchter himself called for the formation of an "international commission of scientists, historians and scholars to investigate the facilities in Poland and make an impartial report of their findings to the world at large."30
When Rudolf first came across Leuchter's report, he told Journal contributor Fritz Berg: "I felt as though I had been hit on the head. I knew it straight away, either this American was a charlatan or my entire world-picture was completely false." To Berg's question, whether Leuchter had persuaded him, Rudolf replied "No, not at all," explaining that more questions were left open than had been answered, but he was keen to apply his scientific knowledge to test independently the validity of revisionist arguments.31
Writing that Leuchter's study "should not be regarded as the end but rather as the beginning of more comprehensive investigations of the subject,"32 Rudolf recalled that he had expressed some of these reservations in a 1990 letter to the German periodical Junge Freiheit, noting that "Leuchter's report does not tell us in exactly what condition the supposed gas chambers are, how stable these residues (more precisely, cyanide compounds) are, and moreover whether they would even have formed in the first place ..."33
Otto Ernst Remer, who as a German army officer played a major role in putting down the ill-fated anti-Hitler Putsch of July 20, 1944, had for years disputed the "gas chamber" claims, and was consequently indicted for "incitement of the people," "disparaging the memory of the dead" and "inciting racial hatred," and sentenced to 22 months imprisonment.34
As a result of Rudolf's letter to Junge Freiheit, Hajo Hermann, attorney for Remer, came into contact with the young scientist and commissioned him to compile a Leuchter-like forensic report on the alleged "gas chambers" of Auschwitz.35
This was a unique opportunity for Rudolf to further explore the issue. Having made a thorough study of the extant literature, he traveled to Auschwitz (including Birkenau) where he took brick, concrete and mortar samples from various facilities. Rudolf's 119-page report, Das Rudolf Gutachten (the Rudolf Report), is a thorough technical investigation of the "gas chambers" of Auschwitz-Birkenau, which seems to confirm and complement the Leuchter Report in a spectacular way.36
In the first chapter of his Report, "Construction Methods used for the Gassing Facilities at Auschwitz," Rudolf points out that a study of such methods is important because the type of building material and the way it was used, as well as how the various facilities were outfitted, could have significantly affected the formation of cyanide compounds.
In Chapter 2, "Formation and Stability of Prussian Blue," Rudolf discusses in detail the composition and properties of cyanide compounds, in particular those of the extremely stable and insoluble iron compound ferric ferrocyanide (Prussian Blue), as well as the conditions under which such compounds may form. The author considers the influence of moisture, reactivity of iron, temperature (which affects the adsorption, or sticking-effect, of hydrogen cyanide gas on walls) and the effects of acidity levels. Rudolf goes deeply into the question of the long-term stability of Prussian Blue,13 thoroughly surveying a number of related questions.
In chapter 3, "Procedures for Gassing with Hydrocyanic Acid (HCN)," Rudolf presents an overview of the toxicology of HCN, and he compares the gassing procedures for delousing chambers and what they theoretically should have been for the alleged homicidal chambers. He argues that eyewitness accounts, in particular the commonly made claim that death followed quickly (3-10 minutes) implies that large amounts of Zyklon B would have been needed to carry out the killing process. This affects the detectability of cyanide compounds today, as do other factors, such as the rate of evaporation of HCN gas from its holding material,14 the distribution of Zyklon B in the underground Leichenkeller (morgue cellar) No.1 of Birkenau Kremas II and III39 (the 'homicidal gas chambers'), and the rate at which the morgues were ventilated, as well as their dampness.
In chapter 4, "Evaluation of the Chemical Analyses," Rudolf relates how the samples he collected were analyzed by the prestigious Institut Fresenius in Taunusstein, Hessen, Germany, without the institute being informed of the origin of the samples.40
This chapter includes a comparison of the methods and results of the Institut Fresenius, Alpha Analytical Laboratories and the Jan Sehn Forensic Institute. Rudolf regards the analytical method of the Cracow institute as altogether unreliable, mainly because it excludes the possibility of detecting stable compounds of cyanide like Prussian Blue, which should account for the vast majority of compounds detectable today.41 Table 15 in Rudolf's Report gives the precise place from where each sample was taken, the type of material it contains, the depth in the wall from which it originated, the iron concentration and, finally, the cyanide (CN-) content, measured in the standard ratio of milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg). Results from morgue No. 1 in Krema II, allegedly the chief killing location, show concentrations of 7.2 mg/kg or less, while the samples from the inner and outer walls of the delousing chambers show up to 13,500 mg/kg, quantities which are not merely larger but of different order. Rudolf also discusses the results of experiments in which he exposed building material to HCN under various laboratory conditions.
The fifth chapter contains Rudolf's conclusions (cited below). In chapter six, "Critique of Counter Reports," he responds to the 1945 and 1990 expert reports by the Jan Sehn Forensic Institute (Cracow),42 and also to the "anti-Leuchter" findings of French researcher Jean-Claude Pressac, German writer Werner Wegner,43 G. Wellers, Austrian chemist J. Bailer,44 Prof. G. Jagschitz,45 and historian Gerald Fleming.
Prussian Blue stains are formed on walls as follows: First the hydrocyanic acid (HCN) gas sticks to the walls, where it is adsorbed on the surface in a purely physical process. Later HCN combines with ferrous iron and, eventually, ferric iron in the building materials to form the permanent blue compound.46 Finally, the compound begins to "migrate" into and through the wall.47 The presence of moisture, as in the damp morgue-cellars of Birkenau Kremas II and III, hastens this chemical process, which may take a long time to complete.
This can be observed in Auschwitz-Birkenau buildings BW (Bauwerk) 5a and 5b, which had delousing or disinfestation chambers that used Zyklon B. The north-west interior wall of the delousing tract in building BW 5a shows intense blue coloring, and there are dark blue patches on the exterior walls of both these buildings, especially the wall of BW 5b which was exposed to wet westerly winds. This shows that Prussian Blue has "migrated" right through the brick. The claim that exposure to the elements would have "washed away" any cyanide compounds is thus shown to be false.48 On the contrary, as Rudolf explains, the wet Polish winds have encouraged the process of Prussian Blue formation in the walls of the disinfestation chambers (especially the west-facing outer-wall of the gas chamber in building BW 5b). If Birkenau's alleged homicidal "gas chambers" -- the damp morgue rooms in Kremas II and III -- had been exposed to Zyklon/ HCN as claimed, Prussian Blue staining should have been similarly visible.
Rudolf cites the interesting case of a sample of building material taken from a farmhouse in the Bavarian countryside that showed a cyanide concentration of 9.6 mg/kg, which is of the same order as the 7.2 mg/kg found in the "gas chamber" of Krema II. This suggests that such low concentrations may well be a phenomenon of nature, or be below the practical detection level.49
Some revisionists have suggested that the morgue cellars (where homicidal gassings were allegedly carried out) may have been disinfected from time to time with HCN, thus accounting for these low levels of cyanide. This is possible,50 but pharmacist Pressac has plausibly pointed out that HCN would not normally be used as a disinfectant.51 As already noted, however, it appears that such low concentrations may have nothing to do with occasional exposure to Zyklon (HCN). In fact, though, we simply do not know if the morgues were disinfected with Zyklon B or not. If the figures for cyanide found in the Leichenkeller indeed have nothing to do with applications of Zyklon B, that would surely be more satisfactory than having to account for partial gassings there.
Rudolf's Concluding Remarks
(A) The investigation concerning the formation and long-term stability of cyanide remnants in the witnessed facilities and the analysis of the brick and mortar samples resulted in the following conclusions:52
1. The cyanide in the walls, which has been activated into Prussian Blue possesses a long-term stability of centuries ... Cyanide remnants should therefore be detectable in almost undiminished quantities, irrespective of the influence of the weather. This is proved by the intense blue in the outer walls of the delousing chambers of the buildings BW 5a and 5b which contain large amounts of cyanide.
2. Under the actual conditions, as testified to by eyewitnesses of massive homicidal gassing in the disputed chambers, traces of cyanide residues would have formed of the same order of magnitude as those found in the delousing chambers, including the blue coloration of the walls.
3. The traces found in the alleged gas chambers are just as insignificant as those to be found in any building chosen at random.
Conclusion: On chemical and physical grounds, the mass gassing with hydrocyanic acid in the alleged gas chambers of Auschwitz, as described by witnesses, could not have taken place.
(B) The investigation of the practical and technical data regarding the witnessed mass gassing in the indicated facilities and their physical and chemical analyses resulted in the following conclusions:
1. The alleged main gas chambers of Auschwitz, that is the morgue in the main camp, and the morgue number 1 of Kremas II and III in Birkenau, had no means to introduce the poison. Holes visible today in the roofs were made after the war.
2. The release of the lethal hydrogen cyanide gas from its carrier material could not have taken place in the short time span indicated by eyewitnesses. In fact, it would have taken hours before the gas was completely released.
3. The necessary ventilation of the alleged gas chambers of Kremas II and III, at the rate of one air exchange every 15 minutes would have taken at least two hours, contradicting all eyewitness accounts.
4. An effective ventilation of the alleged gas chambers of Kremas IV and V and Bunkers I and II53 was not possible. The Sonderkommandos could not have removed the corpses from the chambers without wearing protective clothing and gas masks fitted with a special filter.
Conclusion: The mass gassing as described by witnesses cross-examined before courts, as stated in verdicts and published in literary and scientific writings could not, for chemical and physical reasons, have taken place.54
Rudolf concludes with the declaration: "The author of this report can only refer to existing eyewitness accounts and documents, which can be the only basis for any historical consideration of the matters under discussion. Should the belief nevertheless arise that the eyewitnesses erred in their statements, then the author of the present report can only assert that there is no other basis for putting together a specialist report, and therefore ... there is no longer any legal basis for courts to prosecute certain opinions. The invention of new mass-murder techniques and scenarios which contradict all eyewitness testimony may be fine for the Hollywood horror industry but is unsuited for writing history."
Not all these conclusions are new, but as a scientist Rudolf rightly emphasizes that he can only go by existing evidence, either based on eyewitnesses testimony or on accepted scientific principles.
The 1994 Cracow Institute Report
In 1994 the Jan Sehn Forensic Institute published a second, lengthier technical report on the Auschwitz gas chambers, basing its conclusions on chemical analyses of numerous brick and mortar samples taken from various buildings.55 If one accepts the methods used by the authors of this report, the results would appear to prove that there were homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz, as they found cyanide residues in the (non-homicidal) delousing chambers in amounts comparable to those found in morgue No. 1 of Krema II (an alleged homicidal gas chamber).
What, if anything, is wrong here? The Polish investigators called the blue wall phenomenon "controversial," and possibly due to paint! In a fax exchange with the Cracow Institute and the authors of this report, Germar Rudolf reminded them that, by their own admission, they had deliberately chosen an analytic method that would not detect Prussian Blue,56 that is, the vast majority of stable cyanide compounds present in the walls.57 This fact is crucial to their results and cannot be overemphasized, especially given that the Polish researchers offer no satisfactory explanation for their assertion that the Prussian Blue stains are "controversial," apart from the arbitrary conjecture that "this dye" (as they call it) may have resulted from "paint." They were not even sure if the "blue" was due to cyanide, something they could easily have ascertained.58
If the standard DIN method used by Rudolf is the proper or correct one, then, we can conclude, with Rudolf, that the chemical results of the Jan Sehn Institute are completely meaningless.
Even a single gassing with hydrocyanic acid can be instructive. A fascinating instance of a one-time gassing is that of a church which was treated with HCN to rid the woodwork of bore beetles. A few months later intense blue patches began to show on the walls, and eventually all the plaster had to be removed to get rid of the Prussian Blue. The significance of this is clear: even a single gassing can result in the formation of large remnants of cyanide. It should be noted that the interior church walls had been freshly plastered some weeks before they were exposed to HCN, and that the chemical reaction producing Prussian Blue stopped only a year later, confirming the long-term action of the process.59
Professor Richard Green, a chemist, joined the discussion -- against the "deniers," as he calls them -- about the conditions under which Prussian Blue is formed. While accepting that cyanide compounds of iron are present in the delousing chambers, he disputes whether they would have formed in the "homicidal gas chambers." Green regards Rudolf's "church" example as an exception rather than the rule, and believes that the Jan Sehn Institute's 1994 report "provided real information."60
John C. Zimmerman, an Asssociate Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, responded critically to a Los Angeles Times article61 that had given a fair description of Rudolf's forensic results. In a letter published in the paper,62 Zimmerman wrote: "The problem for deniers like Rudolf is to explain why any traces of poison gas turned up in structures identified by numerous eyewitnesses as homicidal gas chambers."
In a reply to Zimmerman, Rudolf wrote: "Contrary to your false claim, I have no problems to explain the minimal cyanide residues in the walls of those morgues: They are not reproducible and in the same order of magnitude as in samples taken from all sorts of locations. In other words: These values close to the detection level cannot be interpreted at all." Rudolf also reminded Zimmerman of the faults of the second Cracow report.63
Because the Jan Sehn Forensic Institute used much the same methods for both its reports, revisionists should not cite the earlier report as somehow confirming Leuchter's findings.64
(One of the charges brought against Rudolf in 1993 was, remarkably, the publication of his correspondence with the Jan Sehn Institute in the Berlin periodical Sleipnir.)65
The Trial of Germar Rudolf
The court in Schweinfurt, Germany, that tried Otto Ernst Remer refused to accept Rudolf's Report in evidence. It found the former Major General guilty of the charges brought against him, and, in October 1992, sentenced him to 22 months imprisonment. Before fleeing to Spain in February 1994 he once again showed his defiance by adding his own polemical comments to a new edition of Rudolf's Report, publishing it, and then distributing it to leading German personalities, including many accomplished professors of inorganic chemistry. Remer's foreword or preface, as well as the epilogue (afterword) were added without Germar Rudolf's permission. When copies of the new edition began arriving at the Max Planck Institute in the middle of April 1993, heated discussions took place between Rudolf and his doctoral supervisor, Professor H. G. von Schnering. A letter of complaint by the Central Council of German Jews expressed anxiety that the Report "might all too easily be used as pseudo-scientific support for denial of the mass murder of the Jews."66
The uproar led not only to Rudolf's dismissal from the Max Planck Institute,67 but also to his indictment for collaboration with Remer. Formal charges were brought against him on April 19, 1994,68 with the indictment accusing him of having "concomitantly (1) attacked the dignity of others in a way suited to disturbing public order by (a) inciting hatred against sections of the population (b) abusing these people, maliciously making them appear despicable and calumniating them; (2) defamed the memory of the dead, and (3) defamed others."69
In the indictment as well as the judgment (Urteil), the term Gutachten (expert report) is consistently given in quotation marks, apparently to denigrate the value of Rudolf's forensic investigation. We read in the indictment, for example: "In this 'Gutachten', the notorious systematic mass murder of the Jews, which was committed by means of gas chambers in concentration camps of the Third Reich, in particular at Auschwitz-Birkenau, is denied in a degrading way and, in at least a partial identification with Nazi persecution and motivated by a tendency to exonerate National Socialism from the stain of having murdered the Jews, it is claimed that as a result of allegedly scientific research [angeblich wissenschaftlich fundierter Untersuchungen], neither at Auschwitz nor at Birkenau were there gas chambers for the destruction of human beings nor were they suitable for such a purpose."70
The indictment then quotes Rudolf's "Concluding Assessments" (A) and (B) as given above, and goes on to state that the accompanying text of the 'Gutachten' "blames the Jews for the 'gassing lie'." The indictment supports the charges against Rudolf by accusing him of sanctioning these additions as well as their distribution -- although it accepts that he did not write them. The charges are further justified with the claim that the "degrading denial" of the "historically documented murder of Jews in gas chambers... represents a particularly serious slur on their memory," and the allegation that the "actual [factual?] determinations [tatsächlichen Feststellungen] of the 'Gutachten' are completely unsuited for proving the conclusions (A) and (B)." It is further alleged that "considering the content of the 'Gutachten' and the accompanying text, it follows that the accused identifies with National Socialist racist ideology, and is thus determined to arouse feelings of hatred toward the Jews ..."
Remer's foreword holds German politicians and the media responsible for what is called an "unbelievably satanical distortion of history," and Jews are not even mentioned. The added epilogue -- which covers Remer's trial and some revisionist material -- consists only of brief quotes from a few Jewish personalities.71
Thus the charge that Rudolf "blames the Jews for the 'gassing lie'" was paper-thin to begin with. My understanding is that the "aggavating circumstances" -- his revisionist work -- was the real object of the trial, as I will try to show.
Although during the trial he categorically denied having collaborated with Remer, Rudolf has subsequently acknowledged that, through a third person he, in fact, gave Remer permission to distribute what he thought would be the unpoliticized version of his Report.72 In a deposition he explained that publication of the politicized version of his Report could only have detracted from its value. For one thing, it had already appeared in all its essentials under the pen-name of Ernst Gauss in the book Vorlesungen über Zeitgeschichte before Remer's action had begun.
Rudolf has repeatedly stressed, both before and during the trial, that only dry, material arguments have a chance to be being taken seriously. It is difficult to see how the court could regard such an attitude, which he repeatedly emphasized in writings and dealings with others, as "particularly refined deception." In his deposition he explained that the pen name "Ernst Gauss" had gained prestige, while the name of Otto Ernst Remer "is not an advertisement, as the public prosecutor alleges, rather it frightens people off [from reading revisionist literature]."73
Without justification the court regarded as insincere even statements made by Rudolf in private letters. In a personal letter to his godmother, for example, he rejected David Irving's "propaganda methods," and wrote of Remer, "I do not wish to be associated with his totally obnoxious views."74 The judges cited this as an "index" of how Rudolf played down his connections with the extreme right! In the court's opinion the publication of Remer's edition of the Rudolf Report was a "publicity trick" which served as an advertisement for the later authorized version. Allegedly, another purpose of Remer's publication was to enable Rudolf to avoid the penal consequences of publishing the official version! The court declared: "The 'Gutachten' was ... the basis of a 'revisionist' publication campaign in which the theme of Auschwitz was discussed at various levels in order to force a public debate on the issue."75
Imagine! A public debate! How dare Rudolf! In its judgment the court claimed that because Rudolf could not find a publisher for his report outside the "national camp," and in order "to avoid possible negative repercussions for his career..., he, together with his co-workers feigned the self-defense action76 of a third person," namely Remer, whereby the accused would "create the impression that he would be under pressure to prove his supposedly pure scientific aims by opposing the out-of-date Remer-version of the 'Gutachten' with that of a more current and purified version."77 This nonsense continues with the claim that "finally, by sending it to all professors of inorganic chemistry, from whom he expected no reaction,78 the foundation would be laid for the later pseudo-argument that allegedly no technical errors had been found in the 'Gutachten'."79
Not once did the court address any of Rudolf's technical arguments, while it regarded his conclusions -- (A) and (B), above -- as constituting aggravating circumstances. Further aggravating circumstances were that Rudolf continued his revisionist work during the trial. The court cynically pronounced that "freedom of the sciences remains unrestricted, and is unaffected by the verdict ... In its totality, the Remer version of the 'Gutachten' ... is not scholarly. This follows already from the polemical character of the comments ... the court does not need to test whether parts are of a scientific nature or not -- which, considering the political objectives of the accused and the way he treats facts..., seems improbable. The accused and his accomplices made use of the scientific-looking major section of the work with the express aim of committing the stated offence by means of the foreword and accompanying text."80
The court ordered a "self-reading procedure" for the Report itself, so that it was not be read in open court. The court justified this order by explaining that "in spite of damage done to transparency," "the work is extremely extensive and difficult to read and understand," thus implicitly admitting it was not qualified to form an opinion on the technical issues discussed by Rudolf.81 While seemingly conceding that the Report is written in an "essentially scientific style" (im wesentlichen wissenschaftlichen Stil gehalten), the court withdrew its "recognition" by tying a "strategy" to the Stil. The "Report," it patronizingly stated, "is concerned with a "difficult to explain ... chemical detail,"82 "whose real purpose is, following a common 'revisionist' strategy, to fix on a central point and then draw general conclusions."83 Throughout the trial the court maintained that Rudolf's methodology has only the appearance of objectivity, his arguments are "pseudo-arguments," there is merely a "claim to scholarship," and that he merely gave the "impression" of being an unprejudiced researcher.84 In his submission for a review, attorney Ludwig Bock emphasized the court's negligence in testing any of the Report's theses, let alone whether Rudolf's arguments had any substance to them.
On a wall of the main Sauna at Auschwitz, one can still see the slogan Eine Laus Dein Tod ("One Louse Your Death"), warning prisoners of the ever-present danger of typhus. Because this is quoted in Rudolf's Report, the court found that the accused "cynically ... identifies with National Socialist terminology." As Rudolf comments in a note, "the truth is not cynical; cynical are judges who punish the proclamation of truth under the pretext of protecting the law."85
The court refused to admit extensive testimony that would have favored the defendant. For example, it dismissed as of no importance the avowal by a Jewish friend that Rudolf was no anti-Semite.86
Likewise, the court regarded as insignificant the fact that Rudolf had given a public lecture praising the German-Jewish patriot Eduard von Simson, the first president of the Reichstag. Similarly, in an introductory chapter of the anthology Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, Rudolf expressed the hope that a resolution of the Holocaust issue might lead to a re-establishment of the fruitful German-Jewish "symbiosis." "In any case it is my wish, that both peoples may again find each other in a partnership of mutual respect and resume an epoch which brought so many benefits to the world, to Jewry and to the German people. It is also my wish that a chapter of history which has been full of mutual contempt, mistrust and fear can be finally closed. I long for the end of a period which, like none other before it, has brought so much unhappiness to the world, to Jews and Germans."87 The court arbitrarily dismissed this sincere appeal for reconciliation as merely an "attempt to make an impression."88
That the court saw Rudolf's "crimes" as more than his alleged approval of Remer's additions to his Report is already clear from the court's repeated citing of Rudolf's revisionist work, including Vorlesungen über Zeitgeschichte and Grundlagen zur Zeitgecshichte, both of which had nothing at all to do with the main charge. In support of its award of punishment, the court asserted that by means of his "specially refined and concealed strategy ... the accused made it as difficult as possible for the victims [survivors] to defend themselves."89 I interpret this as saying (among possibly other things) that the arguments in Rudolf's Report leading up to his conclusions appeared extremely difficult to see through.
On June 23, 1995, Germar Rudolf was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment. According to Judge Dietmar Mayer, Rudolf, who continued his revisionist work (for example on Grundlagen) "in spite of and while the trial was proceeding" was "an anti-Semite fanatically committed to the cause of Holocaust denial [fanatischer Überzeugungstäter]," with the result that no part of the sentence could be suspended. Thus there were "no mitigating circumstances which would make his offence 'more understandable.' On the contrary, the calculating and refined way in which he camouflaged his crime is to be seen as particularly aggravating."90
One of the major flaws in the German judicial system is the lack of any records of statements made by witnesses. Since 1979 even summaries of such statements were dispensed with, thus allowing for later distortions and even contradictions during judgment.91
Significantly, during the post-war trials of "war criminals" this same system was in operation.92
Because he had been convicted of a "thought crime," the University of Stuttgart refused to accept Rudolf's doctoral thesis -- ironically on the basis of a 1939 law signed by Hitler that permits German universities to withdraw or withhold academic titles in cases of "lack of academic dignity."93
At the time of his flight from Germany there were other cases pending against Rudolf. Rather than serve his 14-month sentence, he fled the country, first going to Spain and then settling in England. Since its founding in 1997, Rudolf has been editor of the quarterly Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung (VffG),94 a scholarly, intellectually ambitious revisionist quarterly journal. Rudolf also runs Castle Hill Publishers, which has brought out new and important revisionist works.95
"German neo-Nazi fugitive is found hiding in Britain" headlined a report in the British Sunday Telegraph of October 17, 1999. The writers, Jessica Berry and Chris Hastings, claimed that they had "tracked down" a "neo-Nazi who fled Germany after being convicted of inciting racial hatred." Rudolf was quoted as saying "In Britain I work as an Holocaust revisionist 24 hours a day. My work has brought me into contact with people on the far Right. I have met leading members of the National Front and the British National Party while I have been in England. I have also made contact with David Irving. But I want to make clear that I am not a member of any far-Right organisations. I am not a total apologist for the Nazis like a lot of people who support my work. I miss Germany but I am a political prisoner who came here because I wanted to be free."
Based on the Sunday Telegraph article, the German news agency dpa issued a report about the "wanted German neo-Nazi" that appeared in several German newspapers, and a German radio station told listeners that Germany's Jewish Community demanded that the German government ask Britain to extradite Rudolf to Germany.96
Rudolf immediately issued a response to the Sunday Telegraph, which the paper did not publish. In this letter of response,97 Rudolf categorically denied that he ever was "involved in a neo-Nazi organisation," or held "political views which are even close to National Socialism." He was, in fact, "a patriotic conservative with strong libertarian convictions," adding that he had been living quite openly in England since he arrived there in the Spring of 1997, that the German police knew this and had not been "looking" for him. Furthermore, Rudolf continued, his only reason for contacting the head of the British National Party was because he "wanted to report [in VffG] about him [the BNP leader] being prosecuted for 'Holocaust denial'." Dismissing the imputation that he might be a partial "apologist for the Nazis," Rudolf wrote that his "business is not to apologize for what happened or did not happen in Germany 60 years ago, but to try to bring historiography into accord with the facts." Finally, he reminded the Sunday Telegraph of the circumstances under which he was unable to complete his doctorate, and that he had not been "expelled from [his] university course."
Rudolf also recalled that reporter Chris Hastings "was very curious about the situation in Germany regarding freedom of speech." Rudolf had told him of the thousands of prosecutions each year for "thought crimes," "as published by the German authorities," and that these authorities "burned many thousands of books" in recent years "even if German professors testified ... that some of these books are scientific and should be protected by ... internationally guaranteed human rights." Rudolf had "offered Hastings hard evidence for these things" but to no avail.98 Instead, the Sunday Telegraph article reported that "the ease with which Rudolf has been able to continue his revisionist work ... has intensified calls for the introduction of Holocaust denial and race hate legislation in Britain. Andrew Dismore, the Labour MP for Hendon and a member of the Council Against Anti-Semitism, said: 'I think a cause like this can only strengthen the case for Holocaust denial legislation to be introduced in Britain. I hope the German authorities will take immediate action to deal with this man. I intend to refer the case to the Director of Public Prosecutions.' Lord Janner, the chairman of the Holocaust Education Trust, said: 'Holocaust denial legislation is long overdue in Britain. I intend to refer this particular case to the Home Secretary'."99
It is encouraging to note that former Conservative MPs Michael Howard and Sir Leon Brittan, to mention only two of Jewish origin, have vigorously opposed such legislation. The article confirmed that "there is a warrant out for [Rudolf's] arrest," and Rudolf told his supporters "They won't get me, I promise you all." "Did Britain fight two World Wars and sacrifice its empire in order to end up in a unified Europe that is being ruled by German political paranoia?," he asked in his letter to the Sunday Telegraph.
Two weeks later the Sunday Telegraph again reported on the Rudolf case. "The disclosure that Rudolf is likely to be extradited has been welcomed by MPs and Jewish groups. Stephen Twigg, the chairman of the lobby group Labour Friends of Israel, said: 'I welcome any action that would bring this man to justice.' Mike Gates MP, the vice-chairman of The Council Against Anti-Semitism said: 'This is excellent news. This country should not be used as a haven for people who have committed crimes abroad'."100 In January 2000 this same paper assured its readers that "police here have joined the hunt for Germar Rudolf ... If he is arrested on British soil, he faces extradition or deportation. One source close to the case said: 'Concern about this man's presence in Britain has been raised at the very highest level. The Home Secretary is likely to want to do all he can to help the Germans bring this man to justice'."101
The manhunt turned into hysteria with a BBC report about Rudolf on March 28, 2000, which was repeated the next day by the south English regional TV station ITV. This television report included six or seven photographs of Rudolf, which had been taken from Rudolf's website. The public was warned to be aware of this "nazi sympathizer", as though Rudolf was some dangerous skinhead. Michael Whine of the British Jewish Board of Deputies appeared on screen to announce that Britain was dealing with a "new breed of dangerous Nazis." The local press chimed in once again with a report on "Escaped Neo-nazi still hiding in Hastings ..."102
In May 2000, the British Home Secretary -- responding to an inquiry by a Member of Parliament -- stated: "The Government are aware of the reports in some quarters that Mr. Rudolf may be in the United Kingdom. The police have also been informed of the allegations against Mr. Rudolf."103
Thus Rudolf is treated as a common criminal. No one bothers to read a single word of his writings, let alone take any of it seriously. Or is his writing taken so seriously as to be regarded as a threat?104
The Irving-Lipstadt Libel Trial
In his well-publicized libel action against Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books for what Lipstadt had written about him in her book Denying the Holocaust,105 British historian David Irving made almost no use of the Rudolf Report. Had he made good use of it he would possibly have stood a better chance in the London Royal Courts of Justice.106 At least the airing of some of Rudolf's scientific research might have aroused wider public interest in revisionism. As it was, Irving had no legal representation, while the defendants' case was ably argued by Richard Rampton, Queen's Counsel.107
Deborah Lipstadt, professor of Jewish Studies at Emory University claimed in her book that "Irving is one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial. Familiar with historical evidence, he bends it until it conforms with his ideological leanings and political agenda."108 Irving, she further stated, "is best known for his thesis that Hitler did not know about the Final Solution, an idea that scholars have dismissed ... he has been accused of skewing documents and misrepresenting data in order to reach historically untenable conclusions, particularly those that exonerate Hitler."109 Most of Lipstadt's statements merely echo the opinions of others, and are properly referenced.110
The three-month trial began on January 11, 2000, and ended April 11, 2000, with Justice Gray's finding in favor of Lipstadt and Penguin Books.111 Under English law a libel case favors the plaintiff because the defendants are obliged to prove the "substantial truth of the defamatory imputations."112 It is fair to say that, had Irving brought this action in the United States, he would have stood just about zero chance of winning his case. The defendants called numerous "expert witnesses," who submitted lengthy "expert reports," for which they were handsomely paid.113 They included Professor Richard Evans of Cambridge University (England), Robert Jan van Pelt, author (with Debórah Dwork) of a detailed book about Auschwitz,114 as well as the American historian Christopher Browning,115 and the German historian Dr. Heinz Peter Longerich.
Irving claimed that the defendants conspired with what he calls "the traditional enemies of truth" to ruin his reputation and income. They influenced publishers not to publish his books and even to break existing contracts.116 Justice Gray correctly identified these "traditional enemies" as Jewish117 and pointed out "that ... it would be necessary for him to prove on the balance of probability that both the Defendants were implicated in the alleged conspiracy," that Lipstadt "was acting in league with the Anti Defamation League, the Board of Deputies of Jews and other organizations intent on targeting him."118 Justice Gray did not consider, on the evidence placed before him, that this claim of Irving was established.119
To decide whether calling Irving a "Holocaust denier" constitutes libel, Justice Gray wished to know how "the notional typical reader ... would have understood the words."120
While I agree that our century has known many holocausts, Irving should have been aware of the commonly accepted meaning of "Holocaust denier": one who denies that National Socialist Germany murdered Jews on an industrial scale in gas chambers. In fact, Prof. Richard Evans devotes almost a hundred pages of his 740-page "expert report" to finding a suitable definition of the expression,121 concluding it fits Irving quite well.122
Irving wrote in his Statement of Claim that "the true or legal innuendo of the words 'Holocaust denier' is that any person described as such wilfully perversely and with disregard to all the existing historical evidence denied and continues to deny all and any occurrence of one of the worst crimes known to history, namely the mass murder by whatever means by Hitler's agents and their associates of the Jewish people and hence genocide and hence a crime against humanity."123
The rest of this section will explore to what extent Irving should be regarded as a spokesperson for Holocaust revisionism, and to his responses to the arguments of his adversaries, especially those dealing with chemistry.
The trial was puzzling from the start, with Irving determined not to make this a debate about the Holocaust as such,124 on which he is no expert125 -- and which in any case "bores" him126 -- but to defend his reputation as an historian.127 Yet, on the very first day Irving stated: "The most interesting part of the action in the light of history is, undoubtedly, the Holocaust and Auschwitz, and is also, I think we all apprehend, the most complicated to prepare."128 On another day he declared "When you are an author, you are constantly receiving letters from members of the public suggesting you have got things wrong. Sometimes you ignore them.... But when you are conscientious, then you will put those objections to other people who are probably better informed than yourselves and say, 'What do you say about this?' This is precisely what I did."129
How well Irving was prepared for the trial and how much he followed his own advice is problematic, as we will see.
Just as the trial was getting under way, Robert Faurisson wrote: "I expect David Irving to make twists and turns and recantations. He writes and publishes too much in order to allow himself the time, beforehand, to read attentively the documents which he quotes or which the opposing side submits. If he is acquainted with the revisionist literature, it is only just barely; he cannot be considered a spokesman for historical revisionism. I have always called him 'the reluctant revisionist.' Strong in appearance, he is, in reality, fragile. His opponents will have an easy time tripping him up."130
In the introduction to his edition of the Leuchter Report, Irving wrote that "chemistry is an exact science ... the laboratory reports were shattering ... I myself would, admittedly, have preferred to see more rigorous methods used in identifying and certifying the samples ...".131 And although it dealt only with Auschwitz and Majdanek, the Report appeared to convince him that the homicidal gas chambers of the Third Reich were a total myth132 -- except possibly for some "experimental" gas vans.133 Whenever he spoke of the report in public, he expressed no doubts about it beyond what he had written in the introduction to his own edition of the Leuchter Report. Statements such as "the gas chambers that are shown to tourists in Auschwitz are fakes"134 give the impression that the gas chambers at Birkenau are also fakes since for most people "Auschwitz" includes Auschwitz II. Irving found it easy to use such loose language when talking to admiring audiences, but it harmed his case.135
In 1977 David Irving touched off a lively historical controversy with the presentation, in his book Hitler's War, of his provocative thesis that Hitler was not responsible for the Holocaust, and hardly knew about it until quite late in the war.136 Revisionism has since moved on and we now ask "what is it exactly that Hitler was supposed to know?" Not so for David Irving, who in this trial conceded just about every point made by the opposition, including their objections to the Leuchter Report, but could not help himself and returned again and again and again to the "Hitler didn't know" theme.
In my view, Irving's worst blunder was to neglect the work of Germar Rudolf, who did not appear as an expert witness.137 Neither his own report nor his technical opinions on Van Pelt's report138 were placed in Irving's discovery. At Irving's request Rudolf wrote a "Critique of the 'Findings on Justification' by Judge Gray," for use in a possible appeal.139 However, nearly everything Rudolf wrote there on the chemical and physical aspects of gassing could already be found in the Rudolf Report and his other pre-trial writings.140 Often trumpeted by Irving as a more thorough study than Leuchter's,141 the Rudolf Report was never submitted, and this tied Gray's hands in forming his judgment. On the morning of the ninth day, Irving promised to have it couriered for the afternoon session, but it failed to arrive.142 The next day there was a repeat of this tragicomedy as the "dozen copies" of the "glossy blue publication" that should have been handed to his Lordship were "through an oversight... not listed in discovery," for which Irving apologized.143
Then Robert Jan van Pelt took the stand, and defense attorney Rampton examined him on Rudolf's work, as well as on the various reports made by the Institute of Forensic Research in Cracow,144 even though Van Pelt admitted he was far from qualified as a chemist. With regard to Rudolf's Report, van Pelt said that he was "vaguely familiar with it." But given that he thought it had "something like" 20 pages, van Pelt could hardly have looked at it.145 Van Pelt said that he was "hesitant to give any kind of definite opinion," but thought that "in substance the Leuchter results were substantiated by Rudolf, which means a high level of Prussian Blue." Citing the compilers of the Jan Sehn Forensic Institute reports, he said "What I do know is that they [the Polish investigators] found that the Prussian blue test was problematic,"146 and he proceeded to expound on the perceived merits of their 1994 report.147
Furthermore, had Irving been familiar with Rudolf's work,148 he might have been able to counter van Pelt's arguments, as well as those of Dr. James Roth, who had analyzed Leuchter's samples in 1988, but who now says "I do not think that the Leuchter results have any meaning ..."149 Moreover, David Irving would not have reiterated again and again the "virtues" of the 1990 Cracow report, which, if accepted, logically compels one to accept the 1994 Cracow report as forensic evidence for the existence of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz.150
Had David Irving examined more thoroughly his doubts about the Leuchter Report -- and made them "plain to his audiences"151 -- before the trial, instead of having his nose rubbed in them during the proceedings, he might have been in a better position to counter the rather thin arguments of his opponents. The strongest criticism of Leuchter was that he had grossly overestimated the concentration of HCN gas that would have been needed in the "homicidal gas chambers."152 That Irving did have some doubts concerning this issue emerges from the correspondence he had in the 90's with one "Colin Beer" (probably a pseudonym), who raised this very point -- causing Irving to write: "these criticisms ... have to be taken on board." Rampton reminded Irving of this. He responded: "I completely agree and you are absolutely right. There are probably concessions [which] have to be made at both ends of this scale."153
Although Irving held on to Leuchter's forensic chemistry, he lacked the necessary knowledge to back up his argument. When confronted with technical details he had to confess: "I am afraid I am way out of my depth there," "I am lost."154
Irving probably made his strongest impact with Faurisson's "No Holes, No Holocaust" reasoning. Although Justice Gray agreed that "Irving's argument deserves to be taken seriously," he also agreed with Van Pelt that the now-collapsed roofs of the "gas chambers" are too fragmentary to permit any firm conclusions, and that "it is unclear how much of the roof can be seen in the photograph on which Irving relies."155
Irving also pointed out that Roth was wrong in assuming that cyanide is only a "surface reaction," given that cyanide had penetrated to the outer walls of the delousing tracts. Questioned whether the outside walls had been tested, Irving answered: "Yes, by Germar Rudolf."156
Two days later Van Pelt acknowledged that the blue stains on the outside walls were due to cyanide.157 With nobody an authority on the subject, it was really a case of the blind leading the blind. On day nine Van Pelt, in his discussion of the 1994 Cracow Institute report, pointed out that samples taken from blue stains on both the inside and outside walls of the building mentioned by Irving, showed "relative high readings," comparable to those from morgue number 1 of Birkenau Krema II. This was supposed to constitute "a positive proof that the spaces in the crematoria they had tested had been used with Zyklon B" [sic].158 However, since Van Pelt mentioned that the Cracow Institute had not tested for Prussian Blue, what then was the point of taking samples from the "blue stains"? Not even once did Irving challenge Van Pelt's "evidence," and his ignorance of Rudolf's arguments was once again his nemesis. The heart of the matter is that the analytic methods used by the Cracow forensic institute do not pick up total cyanide, and are therefore suspect.
David Irving repeated Leuchter's challenge: "If you don't like Leuchter's results, go and do the tests yourself and prove that I am a nincompoop."159 But in the end Irving accepted that in Birkenau "gas chamber experiments were conducted."160
What is one to make of Irving's statement about the "Reinhardt" camps, Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor? "For the purposes of this trial," he said, "we are accepting that gassing did occur in those camps."161 Was this merely a tactical manoeuvre? Asked if he accepts that "hundreds upon thousands of Jews were from ...the spring of 1942, and in Chelmno earlier, and probably Belzec, deliberately killed in Sobibor, Treblinka and Belzec," Irving responded "I think on the balance of probabilities, the answer is yes," but added that "the evidentiary basis for that statement is extremely weak." He repeated once more: "I have to keep on emphasizing I am not an expert on the Holocaust...," but agreed that hundreds of thousands were killed in those camps.162
Although he scored some good points on the Gerstein documents,163 Justice Gray indicated that Irving's arguments had no real purpose because he was already "accepting that gas chambers were used [to] kill Jews in those three camps."164
Regarding Chelmno and the "gas vans," Irving was more explicit: "I have repeatedly allowed that [Jews] were killed in gas vans" -- and he included Yugoslavia among the places where such vans were used.165 A dramatic moment in the proceedings came when Irving was shown a document describing the gassing of 97,000 Jews in Chelmno "gas vans."166 Although he claimed to have first seen this document only five or six months earlier, he accepted it as genuine. It showed "systematic, huge scale, using gas trucks to murder Jews."167
As Rampton put it in his closing speech: "Mr Irving has been driven, in the face of overwhelming evidence presented by Professor Robert Jan van Pelt, Professor Christopher Browning and Dr Longerich, to concede that there were indeed mass murders on a huge scale by means of gassing at Chelmno in the Warthegau and at the Reinhardt camps of Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor; and even that there were 'some gassings' at Auschwitz."168
The Future of Revisionism
In many countries revisionists are outcasts, and their writings suppressed; in some countries questioning "the Holocaust" is a crime. In France for example, Professor Faurisson has repeatedly been convicted for so-called "Holocaust denial,"169 as have others in Germany, including David Irving. The list grows longer and longer.170
Why are authorities so determined to stamp out revisionism? Some claim that the answer lies in Jewish influence, in particular in the power of the "Jewish lobby." There is much truth in this, but I believe the matter is more complex than that, even if I don't claim to have the answer. Let it be said, though, that if six million innocent men, women and children were indeed killed in cold blood only because of their birth -- in other words if one accepts the standard picture of the Holocaust, with all its chilling details -- then it is not so surprising that humanity's conscience should be deeply troubled, and that thinking people would want to keep the memory of it alive, especially the German leaders. "The Holocaust," it has often been said, forms the foundation stone of the Federal Republic of Germany.171 All the same, political leaders, especially in Germany, should be aware of the dangers posed by officially sanitized truth!172 Even German judges must see the absurdity of condemning a thesis while ignoring its content. A strong hint that a condition set for German reunification by the victors of World War II was that the German authorities clamp down on revisionists can be gleaned from a 1994 Der Spiegel interview wth the then Interior Minister for Brandenburg, Alwin Ziel, who stated: "The Allies only allowed Germans to consider reunification on the condition that a catastrophe such as National Socialism would never again take root in Germany ... Restrictions on freedom of opinion and association, which before unification were viewed critically, are now justified. Today Germany and her basic law are different from what they were before unification."173
"The Holocaust," it seems, has taken on quasi-religious characteristics and, like any religion, is used and abused -- by Jews as well as non-Jews -- for political purposes. However, we must accept that, on the whole, the "Holocaust promotion lobby" is concerned with preserving what it perceived as truth. Let us also not forget that what did happen to Europe's Jews during World War II was dreadful enough. There cannot be any reasonable doubt about the realities of the forced deportations of millions, including the very young and the very old, of forced labor, or of anti-Jewish pogroms and massacres in the East. Surely it is a bitter irony that many talented Jews would likely have remained patriotic Germans and contributed to Germany's struggle for equality among nations, had not the regime turned against them only on account of their birth. I do not think it will ever be possible to really understand why National Socialist Germany carried out such harsh measures against Jews as a people. One day, perhaps, it might be possible to better "understand" these measures, and Irving's question is perfectly valid: "Why were the Jews so hated?" At this junction however, any insensitive approach to the problem can only harm historical revisionism.174
It is clear to me that historians should long ago have challenged the prosecution evidence at the Nuremberg trials, especially regarding the alleged systematic extermination of six million European Jews. By the 1980's at the latest, serious and respectful consideration should have been given to the revisionist critique of the Holocaust story, certainly in the wake of the arguments presented by Robert Faurisson in Le Monde, and of two books published in 1980, Faurisson's Mémoire en défense contre ceux qui m'accusent de falsifier l'Histoire and Vérité historique ou vérité politique by Serge Thion.175 How, then, is it that revisionist scholarship is continually subjected to ridicule and that serious revisionists are habitually vilified? While it is generally normal to be wary of, sometimes even hostile to a new idea that challenges the status quo, the very nature of the Holocaust issue intensifies such feelings a hundredfold, and not just among Jews. Shock waves from the Hitler period are still being felt, above all in Germany. In no other country would a head of state call his own people a nation of criminals -- ein Tätervolk.176
A major impediment to revisionist views gaining legitimacy is the fact that many of revisionism's adherents often have their own, all too obvious, political-ideological agendas, which frightens off those who might otherwise be interested, even supportive. This is the "baggage" that Skeptic editor-publisher Michael Shermer spoke of in his July 1995 debate with Mark Weber.177 Frequently spokespersons for revisionism (self-proclaimed or otherwise) give the impression that in their view Hitler's Germany did nothing wrong, and that the Jews were themselves ultimately responsible for their fate. Some Internet users with ill-considered, even irrational, viewpoints are increasingly labelled "revisionist," or label themselves thus, so that the term may be losing any clear or precise meaning.
All this adds to the widely held perception that Holocaust revisionism is not serious or scholarly, and gives ammunition to those who regard revisionists as "Neo-Nazis, nostalgics and agitators."178 What self-respecting established historian would risk being confused, let alone identified, with such persons? Of course many other factors play a role, for example the perception that questioning the Holocaust is a little like committing the crimes all over again.179
In order to facilitate cross-fertilization with academic historians, genuine Holocaust revisionists may ultimately have to distance themselves from those who use and abuse the, often still tentative, results of revisionist research for overt political ends. It cannot be overemphasized that for revisionism to be taken seriously, "... only publications with a content that is dry, objective, serious (sachlich) and demand high scientific standards can be productive", as Germar Rudolf has underscored.180 We also have to keep in mind that only a tiny proportion of historians accepts the revisionist thesis -- that is, there was no plan to exterminate the Jewish people, there were no gas chambers to carry out such a plan, and the number of Jewish dead has been vastly exaggerated. Furthermore, we need to remind ourselves that nothing is one hundred percent certain, and this also applies to Auschwitz, the camp most thoroughly studied by both sides. Although apparently based on standard scientific methods, Rudolf's results should not be regarded as the final word on the subject, and need to be confirmed by other competent scientists. Compared to Auschwitz, much less is known about the "purely extermination" camps (Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Chelmno).181 Extensive research also remains to be done on the special security police units, the Einsatzgruppen and the Ordnungspolizei,182 on the extent to which local militia in the occupied Eastern territories were responsible for massacres,183 and on the number of Jewish deaths,184 and exactly how these came about.
Should Auschwitz go the way of "Jewish soap," it is obvious that many historians would consider questions on the Holocaust with a far more open mind and, in fact, find themselves forced to re-examine all aspects of that terrible period.185
To get to the truth, a completely open debate is needed -- something that revisionists have wanted for a long time.186 Let us hope historian Donald Cameron Watt is wrong in speculating that the Irving case "could have one undesirable outcome -- to drive the Holocaust deniers underground. 'We need to have this stuff out in the open ...'"187 As a small group that holds a dissident, minority viewpoint, our impact and importance is limited. Revisionism will only have a wider impact once it starts to filter down from recognized authorities to the public at large.188
There are several criteria for judging revisionist progress. The most important one will always be the quality of work published, but another is the extent to which it is accepted by historians of more general standing, and the degree to which revisionist work is acknowledged in quality journals, newspapers, and so forth.
In conclusion, let me quote Germar Rudolf's words from a statement he made in 1994: "Our challenge must be to write a comprehensive history of the persecution of the Jews during the Third Reich: one that says not merely what did not happen, but above all tells us what really did happen."189
- This essay is adapted from a talk given on March 28, 1998, at a meeting in Costa Mesa, southern California, organized by the Institute for Historical Review. It was an honor to have shared, at that meeting, the platform with David Irving, the historian who first made me aware, more than 20 years ago, that not all was well with the standard account of Second World War history. I wish to thank the Institute, and especially its director Mark Weber, for this invitation and for the financial assistance afforded me, and to thank both Mark and his wife, Priscilla, for their hospitality. A very special thanks to Dr. Robert Countess and his wife Elda for their generous hospitality and for financial assistance which they procured, without which my first visit to America would have been much more difficult. Last but not least, I wish to thank Germar Rudolf for much information and for making many useful suggestions after carefully going through this text.
- Book A. As quoted in the "Thucydides" entry in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1957 and 1959 editions.
- Thucydides, Book A, §20, §22. I have translated "mythos" as "fiction."
- Thucydides could not fulfill his ideal; many of the speeches he quotes at length are reconstructed, as he says himself.
- Intervista sull' Olocausto (Edizioni di Ar, undated), p.11; English translation: My Banned Holocaust Interview (Granata, Box 2145 PVP, CA 90274, USA, 1996), p. 5.
- Minister Nicholas Ridley expressed his horror at Britain becoming closely associated with Germany when he told journalists: "Only two months ago I was in Auschwitz ..." (Spectator, July 14, 1990). For the G. Grass quote see Die Zeit, February 23, 1990. Expressions of the perceived ingrained brutality of Germans are frequent and widespread. See for example Luc Rosenzweig's Le Monde article of March 29, 1990 (The Guardian Weekly, April 15, 1990, p. 14), in which he asks "Could Auschwitz make reunification morally unacceptable?," Newsweek of March 5, 1990, in which George Will poses the question whether "there is some character trait, some national chromosome that makes Germans dangerous ...", or the article "Will German Unity Breed a Monster?" in the Natal Mercury of March 3, 1990.
- Faurisson's challenge has been repeatedly made since 1978. See, for example, Le Monde of December 28, 1978, p. 12, "Le problème des chambres à gaz ou 'la rumour d'Auschwitz'." (Authorized translation published in "Faurisson's Three Letters to Le Monde, The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 2000, pp. 40-41.) The bankruptcy of traditional history, when it concerns the Holocaust, was manifest in 1979 when 33 historians countered Faurisson's demand for scientific proof of the alleged Nazi gas chambers with the absurd response that "such a mass murder was technically possible since it took place." ("La politique hitlérienne d'extermination: une déclaration d'historiens," Le Monde, February 21, 1979, p. 23). His books and articles, many of which have appeared in The Journal of Historical Review, are all immensely worth reading. See in particular "A challenge to David Irving," an abridged version of which is in the Winter 1984 Journal (Vol. 5, Nos. 2,3,4), pp. 289-305, as well as "Response to a Paper Historian" in the Spring 1986 Journal (Vol. 7, No. 1), pp. 21-72. One of my favorites, "How the British Obtained the Confessions of Rudolf Höss," appeared in the Winter 1986 issue (Vol. 7, No. 4), pp. 389-403. See also his article "Jean-Claude Pressac's New Auschwitz Book" in The Journal of Historical Review, January-February 1994 (Vol. 14, No. 1), pp. 23f.
- See R. Faurisson, "Response to a Paper Historian" in The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1986 (Vol. 7, No. 1), pp. 21-72. For a revisionist view of the Frankfurt trial, see Wilhelm Stäglich's Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence, published in 1990 by the IHR, a translation of Der Auschwitz Mythos (Grabert, 1979).
- Article 19 of the IMT Charter states that "the Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence. It shall adopt and apply to the greatest possible extent expeditious and non-technical procedure, and it shall admit any evidence which it deems to have probative value." Article 21 states that "the Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge but shall take judicial notice thereof. It shall also take judicial notice of official government documents and reports of the United Nations ..."
- See the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal (Nuremberg, Germany, 1947-1949; 42 vols.). For some of the more absurd accusations made at the Nuremberg IMT, see Carlos W. Porter's Made in Russia: The Holocaust (Historical Review Press, 1988). Porter's book is reviewed by Theodore J. O'Keefe in The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1989 (Vol. 9, No. 1), pp. 89-95. A CD containing the complete official records of the Nuremberg trials has been produced by James Joseph Sanchez: Nuremberg War Crimes Trial Online (Copyright 1995 Aristarchus Knowledge Industries, PO Box 45610, Seattle, WA 98105, USA). It contains the 42-volume IMT "blue series." the eleven-volume "red series" Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression (NCA), the Nuremberg Military Tribunal (NMT) "green series," and the Final Report to the Secretary of the Army (TTFR). This useful tool for researchers is available from the IHR (P.O. Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA).
- RIF stood for Reichsstelle für Industrielle Fettversorgung ("Reich Center for Industrial Fat Provisioning"), and not, as some have alleged, for Rein Jüdisches Fett ("Pure Jewish Fat"), which should in any case have been abbreviated as "RJF," not "RIF." See "Jewish Soap" by Mark Weber in The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1991 (Vol. 11, No. 2), pp. 217-227. In addition to submitting samples of "human soap" (IMT exhibit USSR-393), the Soviet prosecution also presented a sample of untested "semi-tanned human skin" (USSR-394).
- IMT "blue series," Vol. 6, p. 213, Vol. 7, pp. 376, 377, 576, 577, 586, Vol. 12, p. 369, Vol. 19, pp. 598-599, Vol. 32, pp. 153-158. A striking absurdity is the "confession" of SS man Paul Waldmann (IMT document USSR-52), who claimed that 840,000 Soviet prisoners of war were killed at Sachsenhausen, and described a bizarre foot-operated device used there to kill prisoners by bashing their heads. See Carlos W. Porter's Made in Russia: The Holocaust, pp. 14-16, 378-380, and Sanchez, pp. 10343-10350, 10946-10953, 33733-33744.
- On the first (1985) Zündel trial see The Great Holocaust Trial by Michael A. Hoffman II (2nd edition, IHR, 1985), or the "Expanded, Third Commemorative Edition," Wiswell Ruffin House (PO Box 236, Dresden, New York 14441), 1995 which includes, among other things, a brief description of Zündel's second (1988) trial. In spite of often loaded language (for example, needlessly labeling Sabina Citron, the person who brought charges against Zündel, as a "commissar"), the booklets contain invaluable information. To mention only one example, at the first trial, Raul Hilberg, author of a "standard work" on the Holocaust, The Destruction of the European Jews: Revised and Definitive Edition (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1985), and widely regarded as the world's foremost Holocaust authority, was forced to admit under cross-examination that there is no scientific evidence to support allegations of German wartime mass gassings. Asked about a Hitler order to exterminate the Jews, he tied himself in knots asserting that Hitler "wanted the Jewish Bolshevik commissars liquidated" -- something quite different. Hoffman quotes Hilberg from a 1983 speech, as reported by Newsday of February 23, 1983: "Thus came about not so much a plan [to exterminate the Jews] being carried out, but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus; mind-reading by a far-flung bureaucracy." (The Great Holocaust Trial, third edition, pp. 51-54). In the first (1961) edition of The Destruction of the European Jews, Hilberg maintained that there were two Hitler orders to exterminate the Jews. There are no such claims in the 1985 "Definitive Edition". See also Robert Faurisson, "The Zündel Trials (1985 and 1988)," The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1988-89 (Vol. 8, No. 4), pp. 417-431.
- See Barbara Kulaszka, ed., Did Six Million Really Die: Report of the Evidence in the Canadian "False News" Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988 (Samisdat Publishers, 206 Carlton St., Toronto, M5A 2L1, Canada, 1992; Available from the IHR). Shorter, but worth consulting is Robert Lenski's The Holocaust on Trial: The Case of Ernst Zündel (Decatur, Alabama: Reporter Press, 1989), also available from the IHR.
- See for example Jean-Claude Pressac's lengthy work, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, commissioned and published 1989 by the Beate Klarsfeld Foundation. In it (p. 15) Pressac states that "over 95 percent" was used for non-homicidal, sanitation purposes. Raul Hilberg, in an interview by the French paper Le Nouvel Observateur ("Le document de la semaine," July 3, 1982, pp. 70-76) was asked why he thought Zyklon B was used for mass murder and not just for disinfestation purposes. "Not in such quantities," he replied, adding "of course, they also disinfected some clothing," while he was unsure if the same gas chambers were used for both purposes! (p. 76). When one realizes that this interview was aimed at discrediting Faurisson, it is scandalous that a historian who claims to specialize in the Holocaust could be so ignorant of such a basic matter.
- The full report, An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland prepared for Ernst Zündel, April 5, 1988 by Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. with a foreword by Robert Faurisson is available from Samisdat Publishers (Toronto). An abridged or summary version is available from the IHR.
- For information on this and Leuchter's arrest in Germany, see his articles "Witch Hunt in Boston" in The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1990 (Vol. 10, No. 4), pp. 453-460 and "Is There Life After Persecution?" the Winter 1992 issue (Vol. 10, No. 4), pp. 429-444, as well as M. Weber's article "Fred Leuchter: Courageous Defender of Historical Truth" in that same Winter 1990 Journal issue, pp. 421-428.
- See the review "Flawed Documentary of Execution Expert" by Greg Raven in The Journal of Historical Review, September-December 1999 (Vol. 18, No. 5/6), pp. 62-69. Nearly all mainstream reviews of the film have been very critical of Leuchter and Holocaust revisionists. For example, Scott Timberg's "Unwanted Thoughts," in the New Times Los Angeles Online, Dec. 23-29, 1999, and Simon Hattenstone's "When it comes to killing, this man knows it all," in the British Guardian, October 22, 1999, which describes Leuchter's trip to Auschwitz as "horrifying," presumably because he took samples from the "gas chambers." Cyber-activists like Ingrid Rimland at <http://www.zundelsite.org>, Russ Granata at <http://www.codoh.com/granata> and Michael Hoffman at <http://www.hoffman-info.com/> have informed their readers by e-mail about media reports, often adding comments of their own. In her reports of September 19 and 21, 1999, Rimland claimed that the Morris documentary was "the biggest breakthrough, next to the two Great Holocaust Trials of 1985 and 1988 and the cyberwar of 1996 around the Zündelsite," and that it "will change the course of Revisionism." This seems like hyperbole. In an e-mail of December 11, 1999, Granata mentioned how he had the opportunity to publicly challenge Morris (who considers Leuchter to be "insane") about a second version of "Mr. Death." After a showing at Harvard, Morris found "something very disturbing" according to "Unwanted Thoughts" by Steve Dewall in the New Times Los Angeles of December 23-31, 1999: "Some of the students were convinced by Leuchter and started to wonder if the Holocaust had ever happened, while others thought that Morris was convinced by Leuchter and thought the Holocaust had never happened. It was here that Morris turned to several historians and Holocaust activists for balance." "People bought into Fred's story, hook, line and, sinker... That response was unacceptable," according to Hal Niedzviecki writing in the National Post of January 29, 2000, pp. B1, B6. So, in the new version, according to Jennifer Rosenberg, "the documentary is not solely the voice of Leuchter but also of Ernst Zündel, David Irving, Leuchter's estranged wife, James Roth (laboratory manager of Alpha Analytical Laboratories), Robert Jan Van Pelt (co-author [with D. Dwork] of Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present), Shelly Shapiro (Director of the Holocaust Survivors and Friends Education Center), and Suzanne Tabasky (founding member of the Malden Holocaust Commission). These and other people discuss Leuchter's 'findings'" (See http:// history1900s.about.com/education/,Dateline January 24, 2000).
- See Pressac's magnum opus Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers (New York: The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1989), as well as Shelly Shapiro (ed.), Truth Prevails. Demolishing Holocaust Denial: The End of the "Leuchter Report," (The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1990), especially the chapter by Pressac, with its additional notes, "The Deficiencies and Inconsistencies of the 'Leuchter Report'," pp. 31-73. For a review of this book see Mark Weber's essay, "Book-Length 'Scholarly' Polemic Fails to Discredit Leuchter," in The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1992 (Vol. 12, No. 4), pp. 485-492. For reviews and critiques of Pressac's Auschwitz, see Mark Weber's article in The Journal of Historical Review (Summer 1990 (Vol. 10, No. 2), pp. 231-237), which concludes that "in spite of its defects, [Pressac's book] is an important and enlightening work, even if not for the reasons intended by either the author or the publishers." See also Carlo Mattogno's article, "J.-C. Pressac and the War Refugee Board Report," in the Winter 1990-91 Journal (Vol. 10, No. 4), pp. 461-485; the extensive two-part critique by Robert Faurisson, "Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, or, Improvised Gas Chambers & Casual Gassings at Auschwitz & Birkenau According to J.C. Pressac (1989)" in the Spring 1991 Journal (Vol. 11, No. 1), pp. 25-66. and Summer 1991 Journal (Vol. 11, No. 2), pp. 133-175. This is followed in the same Journal issue by Enrique Aynat's "Neither Trace Nor Proof: The Seven Auschwitz 'Gassing' Sites According to Jean-Claude Pressac," pp. 177-206. Arthur R. Butz's essay, "Some Thoughts on Pressac's Opus," is in the May-June 1993 Journal (Vol. 13, No. 3), pp. 23-37. Robert Faurisson responded briefly to Pressac's later book, Les Crématoires d'Auschwitz: la machinerie du meurtre de masse (CRNS, France, 1993; (German edition: Die Krematorien von Auschwitz: Die Technik der Massemordes, Piper, 1994) in The Journal of Historical Review, January-February 1994 (Vol. 14, No. 1), pp. 23-24: "Jean-Claude Pressac's New Auschwitz Book". A fuller rebuttal is Faurisson's Réponse à Jean-Claude Pressac, (R.H.R. (1994), B.P. 122, 92704 Colombes Cedex, France). This appears in German translation in the anthology Auschwitz: Nackte Fakten: Eine Erwiderung an Jean-Claude Pressac, which also includes contributions by Germar Rudolf, Carlo Mattogno and Serge Thion (Vrij Historisch Onderzoek, ed. Herbert Verbeke, Postbus 60, B-2600 Berchem, Belgium, 1996 (online: http://www.vho.org/ D/anf/AR.html). The introduction by Germar Rudolf ("Ernst Gauss") is dated May 15, 1995, a month before Rudolf was sentenced by a Stuttgart Court to 14 months imprisonment. A critique by Serge Thion of Pressac's second book on Auschwitz, "A French Scholar Responds to Widely Acclaimed anti-Revisionist Work about Auschwitz," appeared in The Journal of Historical Review, July-August 1994 (Vol. 14, No. 4), pp. 28-39. Another response to Pressac's second book is Carlo Mattogno's "The Crematories of Auschwitz: a Critique of J.-C. Pressac," in the November-December 1994 Journal (Vol. 14, No. 6), pp. 34-42. Mattogno's more complete response, Auschwitz: The End of a Legend, is available from the IHR.
- Pressac states that 0.3 gm per cubic meter of air "is immediately fatal" for humans as opposed to 5 gm applied for at least 10 hours for lice. He then claims that "40 times the lethal dose ... killed without fail one thousand people in less than five minutes." Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 53. On p. 63 of Truth Prevails Pressac gives figures of at least 12 hours per day for delousing and "5 to 10 minutes [of gassing] every day or two" for killing humans.
- Truth Prevails, p. 44.
- On p. 66 of Truth Prevails Pressac proposes a totally unjustified explanation for the absence of cyanide in Leuchter's sample No. 5 (taken from the 'gas chamber' of Krema II): "... an accomplice could have slipped him -- or could have already planted -- a 'harmless' piece of brick .... In this case the temptation to practice deception was too much."
- Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers (1989), p. 59.
- Dr. William B. Lindsey, for 33 years a research chemist with the Dow Chemical company, testified at the first Zündel trial that in his opinion, homicidal mass gassing with Zyklon B was an impossibility. (See The Great Holocaust Trial, 3rd edition, pp. 65, 85). He also authored the excellent article "Zyklon B and the Trial of Dr. Bruno Tesch" in The Journal of Historical Review, Fall 1983 (Vol. 4, No. 3), pp. 261-303.
- Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, p. 53.
- The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1992-93 (Vol. 12, No. 4), pp. 445-473. Paul Grubach, in an open letter of December 22, 1991, to Michael Shermer (editor of Skeptic magazine) was highly critical of the latter's treatment of Holocaust Revisionism in Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition & Other Confusions of Our Time (New York: W. H. Freeman and Co., 1997). Skeptic magazine, Vol. 2, No. 4 (1994), has a "Special Section on Pseudohistory" aimed at discrediting Holocaust revisionism (pp. 32-87).
- "An Official Polish Report on the Auschwitz Gas Chambers" appeared in translation in The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1991 (Vol. 11, No. 1), pp. 207-216. This report was also published in part in Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart (DGG), Vol. 39 (1991), No. 2, pp.18-19 and on p. 48 of Historische Tatsachen, No. 50 (1991). Online it can be seen at http:// www.vho.org/ D/DGG/IDN39_2.html.
- Vorlesungen über Zeitgeschichte ("Lectures on Contemporary History"), (Tübingen: Grabert Verlag, 1993), pp. 180f. The book has recently been banned in Germany: see Grabert's Euro-Kurier of June 2000. It is available online at: http://www.vho.org/D/vuez/ v1.html Also, an English-language edition is in preparation by Thesis and Dissertation Press in "Holocaust Handbooks Series," under the title: Ernst Gauss / Germar Rudolf, Lectures on the Holocaust. Points at Issue Cross-Examined. See the website http:// tadp.org.
- "The Lüftl Report," The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1992 (Vol. 12, No. 4), pp. 391-420 (p. 418).
- This challenge is unfortunately not in the printed version, "The Leuchter Report: The How and the Why" (The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1989, pp. 133-139) but can be heard on the audio recording of his talk, available from the IHR. The same challenge is repeated by Faurisson in the January-February 1994 Journal of Historical Review (Vol. 14, No. 1), p. 24.
- Wilhelm Schlesiger (ed.), Der Fall Rudolf, London: Cromwell Press, 1994, pp. 6f. This text is also online at vho.org/D/ Fall.html, where one will also find an English translation.
- Vorlesungen über Zeitgeschichte, p. 181.
- Der Fall Rudolf, p. 7.
- These criminal offenses, Volksverhetzung, Verunglimpfung and Aufstachelung zum Rassenhaß , are laid out in Sections 130, 189 and 131 respectively of the German Penal Code. For information on Remer see: "My Role in Berlin on July 20, 1944" in The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1988 (Vol. 8, No. 3), pp. 41-53; "Otto-Ernst Remer Sentenced to 22 Months Imprisonment for Revisionist Publications," March-April 1993 Journal (Vol. 13, No. 2), pp. 29-30; "Remer Evades Imprisonment for 'Thought Crime'," May-June 1994 Journal (Vol. 14, No. 3), pp. 42-43; "Remer Seeks Asylum in Spain," July-August 1995 Journal (Vol. 15, No. 4), pp. 33-34, and, "Remer Dies in Exile," January-February 1998 Journal (Vol. 17, No. 1), pp. 7-9.
- Der Fall Rudolf, p.7. See also the Journal articles on Remer, cited above.
- The authorized (first) edition: Das Rudolf Gutachten: Gutachten über die Bildung und Nachweisbarkeit von Cyanidverbindungen in den 'Gaskammern' von Auschwitz, Rüdiger Kammerer, Armin Solms (Hg.) ("Expert Report on the Formation and Detectability of Cyanide Compounds in the 'Gas Chambers' of Auschwitz," Rüdiger Kammerer, Armin Solms (editors)), Cromwell Press (London), 1993. For a brief review of Rudolf's Report see "Three Revisionist Books from Germany: The Rudolf Report" and "Valuable "Lectures" in The Journal of Historical Review, November-December 1993 (Vol. 13, No. 6), pp. 25-26. Udo Walendy commented on the Report in Historische Tatsachen, No. 60 (1993): "Naturwissenchaft ergänzt Geschichtsforschung." There is also a 16-page "summary" edition in German (which is really an unauthorized commentary on the report) and its translation into English: The Rudolf Report (Cromwell, 1993), available from the IHR. To the best of my knowledge, the full report has so far been translated only into French and Dutch. An English edition is in preparation as volume 2 in the "Holocaust Handbooks Series" by Thesis and Dissertation Press: Germar Rudolf, The Rudolf Report. Witch Hunting Germar Rudolf for his Research about Auschwitz. Its website http://tadp.org announces its publication by the end of 2000. The report is regularly updated online at vho.org/D/rga/rga.html, and a second German edition should soon be available from Castle Hill Publishes, PO Box 118, Hastings TN34 3ZQ, England, UK. The first review of the Rudolf Report, "Le Rapport Rudolf" was written by Célestin Loos and appeared in the French revisionist journal Revue d'histoire révisionniste (RHR), No. 6, May 1992, pp. 9-21. On April 11, 1997, the Journal Officiel de la Republique francaise announced the banning of the French edition of the Rudolf Report, which had been published by Vrij Historisch Onderzoek (VHO), and also distributed by La Vieille Taupe. See Serge Thion's electronic release of April 20, 1997, of Le Temps irreparable. See also the French scientific review La Recherche of July-August 1997 (No. 300), a German translation of which appeared in Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung (VffG), December 1997 (Vol. 1, No. 4), pp. 223-225. La Recherche has a declaration by the members of the chemistry division of the French Academy of Scientists: "This work [Rudolf's report] is a remarkable example of the perversion of science; it is only of interest at the psychological level but is clearly dangerous because of its serious appearance." This is very reminiscent of the 1979 anti-Faurisson declaration issued by 33 historians (mentioned above). Personally, I am surprised that it has taken historians (including some revisionists) so long to recognize the full significance of Rudolf's report.
- This long-term stability of Prussian Blue was testified to by Dr. James Roth, laboratory manager at Alpha Analytical Laboratories, at the second Zündel trial. See Barbara Kulaszka, ed., Did Six Million Really Die? (1992), pp. 362f. In the later version of Morris's film "Mr. Death," Roth understands things differently.As a result, Michael Shermer of Skeptic magazine challenged Rudolf with this new angle as follows: "Leuchter chipped off huge chunks of concrete and brick and ground up the entire chunks into powder when they were analyzed (or, more to the point, the chemist whom he gave the samples to did because Leuchter didn't tell him what they were), thereby diluting the Zyklon-B traces by hundreds of thousands of times. As you must know, Zyklon-B gas only penetrates about 10 microns into concrete (a human hair, by comparison, is 100 microns thick).What was your procedure for controlling this problem?" (Sent by SKEPTICMAG@aol.com on March 12, 2000, and re-transmitted by Russ Granata). Rudolf responded the next day as follows: "Please read my reply to Prof. van Pelt, posted at ... Search for 'Roth' to see my response to his utmost reputation-wrecking nonsense. This stuff is out there for a long time. Even the reply to van Pelt is nothing but a rearrangement of the stuff posted on www.vho.org/D/rga and other material posted on the internet for more than two years. The same material was published in printed form in 1993 and 1994, and some of it even much earlier. I am not willing to repeat myself endlessly. Should you and your folks continue to ignore the facts and opinions of others, then this proves your pseudo-scientific behavior. Period."
- Carlo Mattogno discovered a Zyklon B variant, patented in 1926 and which released practically all its HCN gas within 10 minutes but nobody seems to know whether this product was ever used. Since the sources cited by Rudolf indicate that it takes about two hours before 80 percent of the HCN is released from its carrier material, Rudolf's arguments could well be adversely affected if it is shown that the 1926 variant came into use. See section 5.4 of the chapter "Die 'Gaskammern' von Auschwitz und Majdanek" by G. Rudolf (and "Ernst Gauss") in the anthology Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte: Ein Handbuch über strittige Fragen des 20. Jahrhunderts (Tübingen, Grabert, 1994). It is posted on the vho web site, and an expanded version has been published in English under the title Dissecting the Holocaust. The Growing Critique of 'Truth' and 'Memory.' (Thesis and Dissertation Press, P.O. Box 64, Capshaw, Alabama 35742, USA: 2000). This work is available from the IHR. See also the web site http://www.tadp.org. Chemist Dr. Wolfgang Lambrecht gives a detailed description of how the features of Zyklon B changed between 1925 and 1943 -- leading to an increased rate of evaporation -- in VffG, March 1997 (Vol. 1, No. 1), pp. 2-5; online in the vho.org web site. The VffG journal is edited and produced by Germar Rudolf (P.O. Box 118, Hastings TN34 3ZQ, England, UK).
- Kremas II and III were mirror-images of each other. Each had a had Leichenkeller (morgue) 1 and 2, labeled as such on the original plans, first discovered and published by Robert Faurisson.
- In order to avoid bias one way or the other, such a procedure is scientifically (and ethically) correct. Nevertheless, the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, in a press release dated May 25, 1993, implicitly criticized Rudolf for withholding such information from the Fresenius Institute; Rudolf in turn castigated the Society in an open letter for its generally unscientific approach in matters pertaining to the Holocaust. See Der Fall Rudolf, pp. 15ff.
- See the Rudolf's report, §6.6, "Gutachten Krakau," pp.105-106 and Vorlesungen, §3.10, "Die Ergebnisse des Krakauer Gutachtens," pp. 182-184. The analytical method used by the Fresenius Laboratories was that of the standard DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung/German Institute for Standardization) 35 405/D14; the Jan Sehn Institute used a method due to J. Epstein (Analytical Chemistry 19(1947), pp. 272f). The 1994 article by the Jan Sehn Institute was inspired by J. Bailer's chapter "Der Leuchter-Bericht aus der Sicht eines Chemikers," ("The Leuchter Report From the Viewpoint of a Chemist") in the anti-revisionist anthology Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit ("Running Amok Against Reality"), eds., Dokumentationszentrum des österreichischen Widerstandes, Bundesministerium für Unterricht und Kultur (Vienna 1991), pp. 47-52. Since Bailer found it difficult to believe that Prussian Blue could form in bricks exposed to HCN, the Jan Sehn Institute took up the cue and referred to the blue on the walls of the delousing chambers as the "controversial blue dye." See below on the 1994 report.
- The later, 1994 Cracow Institute report is discussed below.
- Werner Wegner contributed an extensive critique of the Leuchter Report, "Keine Vergasung in Auschwitz? Zur Kritik des Leuchter-Gutachtens" in the anthology Die Schatten der Vergangenheit -- Impulse zur Historisierung des Nationalsozialismus, edited by U. Backes, E. Jesse and R. Zitelmann (Ullstein, 1992), pp. 450-476. Wilhelm Stäglich, author of Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence (IHR, 1985) has also written a critique of Wegner, The Leuchter Report: Reply to a Critique (History Buff Books, undated).
- In 1995 the Viennese publisher Deuticke brought out Wahrheit und Auschwitzlüge, edited by Brigitte Bailer-Galanda, Wolfgang Benz and Wolfgang Neugebauer. (Now out of print, it has been superseded by Die Auschwitzleugner [Berlin: Elefanten Press, 1996], with the same editors.) In his contribution, "Die 'Revisionisten' und die Chemie" ("The 'Revisionists' and Chemistry"), J. Bailer takes to task both F. Berg and G. Rudolf. Rudolf responded with "Zur Kritik an 'Wahrheit und Auschwitzlüge'," in the collection of his essays, Kardinalfragen: Eine Sammlung kontroverser Stellungnahmen von Germar Rudolf alias Ernst Gauss zum herrschenden Zeitgeist in Wissenschaft, Politik, Justiz und Medien (Ed. Herbert Verbeke, Stiftung Vrij Historische Onderzoek, 1996 (online in German and English at www.vho.org/D/Kardinal), pp. 91-108. In his contribution to Die Auschwitzleugner (pp. 130-152), Bailer continues to doubt that the presence of Prussian Blue in the delousing chambers has anything to do with the application of Zyklon B. Finally, he insists that the two phenomena are unrelated (p. 149). This contradicts the opinions of both Pressac (as we have seen), and the chemist Richard J. Green. (See the section below on the 1994 report of the Jan Sehn Forensic Institute.)
- G. Jagschitz gave expert evidence in the trial of Austrian Gerd Honsik. See p.106 of Rudolf's report and n. 59 for details.
- In his response to J. Bailer's criticism that only iron unfavorable to the formation of Prussian Blue (trivalent iron Fe3+ instead of divalent Fe2+) exists in bricks and slaked lime, Rudolf points out that the CN-ion itself acts as a reduction agent -- converting Fe3+ to Fe2+, the CN-ion itself thereby losing its negative charge -- especially in an alkaline ambience, bringing about the right conditions for the formation of stable cyanide compounds. See also Vorlesungen, pp. 290-299. For an elementary account of oxidation/reduction processes see K. M. Mackay and R.A. Mackay, Introduction to Modern Inorganic Chemistry (4th edition, Prentice Hall, 1989), especially §2.17.
- Rudolf refers to this "migration" as an Anreicherungsprozess or "enrichment process".
- See in particular the color photographs in Dissecting the Holocaust (Capshaw, Alabama: 2000), between pages 368 and 369. These remarkable photos are also published in Vorlesungen, pp. 186-188 (photos 3.3-3.5), and in Das Rudolf Gutachten (1993), pp. 87-90, as well as on the back cover of the English summary version, The Rudolf Report. Robert Faurisson has emphasized the lack of blue stains in the "homicidal gas chambers" (in The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1991, pp. 38f), but it should be noted that an inner wall of the delousing chamber in building BW 5b at Birkenau shows no such stains, though it is rich in cyanide compounds. See samples 19a and 19b in The Rudolf Report, and in Vorlesungen, p. 192. In a private communication Rudolf informed me that the color blue is present only very near the surface, and is perhaps only 100 m thick. It accumulated there due to water-diffusion, carrying with it soluble cyanide compounds. In BW 5b (sample 19a) this transport process failed because the contact between plaster and wall was poor, preventing any ground water from diffusing to the surface since it evaporated between plaster layers. The result was that the upper plaster layers fell off, as can be seen in the delousing tract of this building.
- See sample 25 in the Rudolf Report, tables 15 and 16, pp. 84f, and the discussion in § 188.8.131.52, pp. 91ff. Apparently the presence of calcium (in the form of lime/carbonates) can simulate the presence of small quantities of cyanide, so that concentrations of under 10 mg/kg detected by standard DIN methods may not be meaningful. See also Vorlesungen, §3.8, pp.175ff and §3.12 (Kontrollanalysen), pp.194ff. Some of Rudolf's samples were also analyzed by the Institut für Umweltanalytik, Stuttgart (IUS). The results of the two chemical analyses of sample 11 taken from an inner-wall of BW 5a differed considerably: The Fresenius institute found 2640 mg/kg of CN-content, while IUS found 1430 mg/kg, showing how careful one should be about using figures. For the "farmhouse" sample 25, both laboratories gave exactly the same concentration.
- In the introduction to the Leuchter Report, Robert Faurisson writes: "The extremely low levels of cyanide found in some crematoria was likely, in my opinion, to have resulted from disinfection of the premises during the war."
- "Only products such as diluted cresyl, bleach, or gaseous formaldehyde are currently used for this [disinfecting] purpose": Truth Prevails, p. 62.
- Rudolf Report, pp. 98-99.
- These "bunkers" are said to have been two farmhouses just outside Birkenau, in which people were allegedly gassed. An important "eyewitness" to a gassing was the former SS man Richard Böck, who stated that he saw a blue haze coming from the "gas chamber" after the doors were opened. The fact is that HCN gas is colorless, and so cannot be seen. At David Irving's first "Real History" meeting of September 26, 1999 (Cincinnati, Ohio), Russ Granata reported that Carlo Mattogno "affirms that so-called Bunkers 1 and 2 never existed." See R. Granata's "open letter to Yehuda Bauer" of February 16, 2000 on the Internet, as well as the video "Russ Granata Reports on Carlo Mattogno," available from Granata, P.O. Box 2145 PVP, CA 90274, USA. For a more detailed critique of Böck's testimony, see the Rudolf Report, pp. 63f.
- I have slightly paraphrased Rudolf here.
- The authors -- Jan Markiewicz, Wojcieh Gubala, Jerzy Labedz of the Instytut Ekspertyz Sadowych im. Prof. dra Jana Sehna, PL 31-003 Krakow, ul. Westerplatte 9, Poland -- published "A study of the Cyanide Compounds Content in the Walls of the Gas Chambers in the Former Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps" in Z Zagadnien Nauk Sadowych, z. XXX, 1994, pp. 17-27. This can be seen online at www2.ca.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi/orgs/polish/institute-for-forensic-research/post. Rudolf informs me that the deceased first author was not a chemist.
- The three Polish authors wrote: "J. Bailer writes in ... 'Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit' [cited above] that the formation of Prussian Blue in bricks is simply improbable; however he takes into consideration the possibility that the walls of the delousing room were coated with this dye as paint. We decided therefore to determine the cyanide ions using a method that does not induce the breakdown of the composed ferum cyanide complex (this is the blue under consideration) ..."
- See "Leuchter-Gegengutachten: ein wissenschaftlicher Betrug?," first published in Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Tübingen), Vol. 43 (1995), No. 1, pp. 22-26, and is reprinted in the 1996 anthology Kardinalfragen zur Zeitgeschichte, pp. 81-85. Rudolf points out there that 99.9 percent of the compounds present in the walls of the delousing chambers are undetectable by the method used by the Jan Sehn Institute. See also Rudolf's exchange of letters with the Cracow Institute, "Briefwechsel mit dem Jan-Sehn-Institut Krakau," first published in Sleipnir (Berlin), Vol. 3, 1995, pp. 29-33, and reprinted in Kardinalfragen, pp. 86-90. See especially the section "Stellungnahme zur Krakauer Erwiderung," pp. 87-86. Rudolf points out that the methods used by the Jan Sehn Institute cannot be reconciled with those of Alpha Analytic Laboratories, the Institut Fresenius or the Institut für Umwelt-und Schadstoffanalytik. Unlike Leuchter and Rudolf, the Polish researchers did not give their samples to an independent laboratory for analysis, but kept the whole exercise "within the family," a most unscientific approach.
- On March 21, 1996, I wrote a detailed letter to the authors, querying this very point: "On p. 20 of your study you cite J. Bailer ... as stating that 'the walls of the delousing room' may have been 'coated with this dye as paint.' What does 'this dye' refer to? Is it a paint based on Prussian Blue, as you seem to suggest on p. 20 where you write that 'this is the blue under discussion'? You state that 'it is hard to imagine the chemical reactions ... that would have led to the formation of Prussian Blue in that place', and quote Bailer who says that the 'formation of Prussian Blue in bricks is simply improbable.' Did you not write to Werner Wegner, saying die blauen Flecken auf den äusseren Wänden des Bauwerkes 5a in Birkenau sind nicht leicht zu erklären. Vor allem müssen wir prüfen, ob es wirklich Berliner-Blau ist? ['the blue patches on the outside walls of BW 5a are not easy to explain. First of all, we must test if it is really Prussian Blue"].Your article is very ambiguous about this. How can Rudolf have 'confirmed the high concentrations of cyanogen compounds' when at the same time you express reservations with phrases such as 'this may be so' (p. 18)? You claim that the 'blue dye' is 'controversial' while making no effort whatsoever to settle the very simple question: is it Prussian Blue or not? In my opinion this problem should have been properly settled right at the beginning of your study. If, for example, the blue in the outer walls of the delousing chambers of BW 5a and 5b is due to the presence of Prussian Blue, then there would be no need to accuse Rudolf of indulging in "wissenschaftliche Spekulationen." No reply to this letter has been received.
- Rudolf found this information in a journal specializing in the study of damage to buildings. See "Leuchter-Gegengutachten: ein wissenschaftlicher Betrug?" in Kardinalfragen zur Zeitgeschichte, p. 82, and note 7 for the source.
- See "Leuchter, Rudolf & the Iron Blues" as well as "The Chemistry of Auschwitz" at the vho website. Rudolf's most recent article in this matter, a refutation of an article written by the Richard E. Green, was presented at the first Australian Revisionist Conference held by the Adelaide Institute on August 9, 1998: "Some considerations about the 'Gas Chambers' of Auschwitz and Birkenau." Here Rudolf explains why he thinks the Jan Sehn Institute's analytic methods amount to fraud. This is likewise posted on the vho web site: http://www.vho.org.
- "Danger in Denying Holocaust?," a front-page (p. A-1) article by veteran journalist Kim Murphy appeared in the Los Angeles Times, January 7, 2000. It began "A young German chemist named Germar Rudolf took crumbling bits of plaster...," and went on to state that compared with the delousing chambers "there was up to a thousand times less in the rooms described as human gas chambers." Murphy also wrote that Rudolf "could be called as a witness" at the forthcoming Irving-Lipstadt trial. For more about Kim Murphy, and her Los Angeles Times report on the 13th IHR Conference, see the May-June 2000 Journal of Historical Review, p. 2-3.
- "Holocaust Deniers," Los Angeles Times, letters page, January 16, 2000.
- In an e-mail letter to Zimmerman of January 19, 2000, Rudolf wrote: "In 1994/ 95 I proved that the 1994 Cracow expertise [report] about cyanide residues is at least biased, if not a serious attempt at fraud. As a member of www.holocaust-history.org you know this because you are aware of the exchange between R. J. Green and me. Ignoring that makes you an accomplice of these frauds. You are right regarding the principle difference in the time required to gas lice and humans (though one has to argue about the actual values). But you ignore the factors that made it much more likely that long-term stable cyanide residues would form in the cold underground morgues of Krema II and III rather than in the heated ground-floor delousing chambers (humidity, kind of material). You ignore the fact that wide parts of the under-ground morgue 1 of Krema II, the allegedly most frequently used 'gas chamber,' are fairly well intact and protected by environmental influences." Zimmerman believed he dealt revisionism a mortal blow with his article "Body Disposal at Auschwitz: The End of Holocaust Denial," at holocaust-history.org. Carlo Mattogno has tentatively answered Zimmerman with "Preliminary Observations," posted on Russ Granata's site, where Granata also announces Mattogno's two-volume work to be published by Edizioni di Ar in 2000: I forni crematori di Auschwitz. Studio storico-tecnico, con la collaborazione del dott.ing. Franco Deana, comprising 500 pages of text, 270 documents, and 360 photographs. An extensive reply to Zimmerman, in English (and Italian) is on Granata's website: "Supplementary Response to John C. Zimmerman on his 'Body Disposal at Auschwitz'."
- Robert Faurisson has expressed the view that of the three reports confirming Leuchter's findings (the 1990 Cracow, Rudolf's and Lüftl's) the "most stunning" was this Cracow report. (See B. Kulaszka's Did Six Million Really Die?, p. V.) Leuchter has expressed a similar opinion: "It should be noted that a recent study by the Polish Forensics Institute has confirmed my findings of no gas residue at the alleged Auschwitz Gas Chamber" in The Fourth Leuchter Report, Fred A. Leuchter Associates, Inc., p.25. There are a number of other passages in The Fourth Report where, in my opinion, Leuchter comes to conclusions too hastily and without supporting his claims with references to authorities. Thus in paragraph 8.008 he accepts without expressing any reservations Arthur Butz's original interpretation of Vergasungskeller, as "carburetion cellar." Butz himself has clearly not been happy with this view: "The Nagging 'Gassing cellar' Problem," The Journal of Historical Review, July-August 1997 (Vol. 16, No. 4), pp. 20-23). In paragraph 8.010 of The Fourth Report Leuchter makes dogmatic assertions about the 10 Gasprüfer 'discovered' as a 'criminal trace' by Pressac. Again, other interpretations are possible. See Butz's "A 'Criminal Trace'? Gas Detectors in Auschwitz Crematory II," in the September-October 1997 (Vol. 16, No. 5) Journal, pp. 24-30. Leuchter's suggested explanation in paragraph 8.033 of a note written by a foreman working in Krema IV that made reference to a gas chamber may cause some to laugh, but will contribute little to history: "Perhaps he [the foreman working in Krema IV who had noted betonieren in GassKammer [sic] or someone in his crew was flatulent ... He may have put this in his daily report as a joke".
- See "In der Bundesacht: Die Entrechtung unliebsamer Bürger" in the collection Kardinalfragen, p. 54 and n.28.. For further details see "Die Rolle der Presse im Fall Germar Rudolf," pp. 65-73 and n.16 in Kardinalfragen. For a rebuttal of the anti-revisionist collection Wahrheit und Auschwitzlüge edited by Brigitte Bailer-Galanda, Wolfgang Benz and Wolfgang Neugebauer (Deuticke, Vienna, 1991 and 1992) see Rudolf's article "Zur Kritik an "Wahrheit und Auschwitzlüge"" in Kardinalfragen, pp. 91-108.
- See Der Fall Rudolf, pp.7-11 (interview with Journal contributor Fritz Berg), where one will also find interesting material on the reactions of members of the Max Planck Society, including Rudolf's doctoral supervisor. The letter from the Central Council is reproduced in facsimile on p. 14. See also "In der Bundesacht," Kardinalfragen, pp. 51-57.
- "In der Bundesacht" contains details of this and other events leading up to the trial of Rudolf. An almost fair account of his dismissal from the Max Planck Institute is in "Holocaust denial research disclaimed," by Alison Abbott, in Nature, Vol. 368 (April 7, 1994), p. 483. In the article the Max Planck Society (MPS) "is said to be extremely upset ... particularly ... about claims from right-wing groups that the society supported the report's findings and that Rudolf's dismissal was orchestrated by the Central Council for Jews in Germany -- charges which the Society vigorously denies" (and so does Rudolf: see Der Fall Rudolf, p. 15). "Last week it [the MPS] issued a statement saying that it supports the German Supreme Court's ruling that mass murder of Jews is a historical fact that needs no further proof. A spokesman for the Society says that even if the samples sent to the Fresenius Institute are genuine, Rudolf's interpretation of the data is invalid because there are so many unknown factors involved, such as whether or not the chosen chamber was one of those known to have been rebuilt before the allied troops entered the camp, or whether residues in the delousing chambers could have remained because much higher concentrations of cyanide were used to kill lice". Rudolf responded to each of these points in an open letter to the MPS. See Der Fall Rudolf, pp. 15-19.
- Verfahren gegen Germar Scheerer, LG Stuttgart 17 KLs 83/94. After his marriage Rudolf officially changed his name to Scheerer, his wife's maiden name. His defense attorney was Günther Herzogenrath-Amelung. Many details of the sequence of events leading up to the conviction of Rudolf, 'denunciation', 'prosecution', 'vilification by the media', 'destruction of the private domain', 'homelessness, 'special treatment' can be found in his article "In der Bundesacht" ("Federal Banning"), which first appeared in the Munich journal Staatsbriefe, No. 12/1995 (Verlag Castel del Monte, Postfach 14 06 28, 80456 München, Germany), pp. 10-15, and subsequently in the 1996 anthology Kardinalfragen, pp. 51-57. Apart from Der Fall Rudolf, other sources used for the present article include the Prozessprotokoll, or court records with the Aktenzeichen (file numbers), the Anklageschrift (indictment brief, Staatsanwaltschaft Stuttgart, 4 Js 34417/93), the Court's 240-page Urteil (judgment or verdict). The collection of documents, Der Prozess: Verfahren gegen G. Scheerer; LG Stuttgart; 17 KLs 83/94, was privately published by Rudolf and includes the Urteil, the defense's Revisionsbegründung (basis for a review of the trial and to have the sentence set aside), compiled by attorney Ludwig Bock, Rudolf's critical notes on the Urteil, as well as the Urteilschelte, which is an analysis of the Urteil as a whole. Der Prozessverlauf, the "report of an observer" at the trial, has also been consulted, as well as Plädoyer der Staatsanwältin (plea of the public prosecutor), Plädoyer des Verteidigers (plea of the defense attorney) as well as Schlusswort des Angeklagten (closing speech of the accused).
- On p. 6 of the indictment these are listed as coming under the following sections of the Penal Code (Strafgesetzbuch) (1)(a) and (b): Incitement of the people (Volksverhetzung), §130, Nos. 1, 3; (2): Denigration of the Memory of the Dead Verunglimpfung des Andenkens Verstorbener, §189 and §194 par. 2.2; (3): §185 and §194 par. 1.2. "Inciting racial hatred" also fell under §131. Although Rudolf was tried under the less harsh "Lex Engelhard" law of 1985 -- which did not yet make questioning of the Holocaust as such an offense -- it is difficult to gainsay the impression that Rudolf's judges covertly applied the more repressive law passed in December 1994. On the development of these laws see A. Weusthoff's essay "Endlich geregelt? -- Zur Ahndung der Holocaust-Leugnung durch die deutsche Justiz" by in the collection Die Auschwitzleugner (pp. 252-272), cited in note 43 above. See Consiliarien 1 cited in note 187 below for a revisionist angle.
- Indictment, pp. 3, 4f, 9-14. On p. 14 note how the qualification "partial" has been dropped.
- The first quote is from someone who claimed that an uncle was gassed at Dachau, the second is by Britain's chief rabbi I. Jakobovits on the Holocaust industry, and the third is by Michael Wolffsohn, a professor of history at Germany's Bundeswehr academy, who states that Auschwitz is "the one remaining foundation for Jewish identity."
- In an e-mail communication to me of October 28, 2000, Rudolf wrote the following:
"You might add this declaration of mine to any upcoming publication:
"Even though I frequently stressed during my trial in Germany in 1994/95 that I was not involved in the production and distribution of General Remer's politically commented version of my Expert Report about the gas chambers of Auschwitz, this is not entirely true. The truth is, that in early 1993 I was approached by an acquaintance of General Remer. This person asked me if I would be opposed if Remer, in an act of self-defense, would send copies of my Report to representatives of Germany's High Society. In 1992, Remer, though over 80 years old and having suffered two strokes, was sentenced to 22 months imprisonment for, inter alia 'Holocaust denial.' His judges did not allow him to present any evidence to prove his innocence. Every attempt by the defense lawyers to introduce such evidence, including my Expert Report, was rejected since German jurisdiction regards the Holocaust as 'self-evident.' Remer would most likely have died in prison. Therefore, he, his lawyers and associates considered this sentence to be a death penalty. Hence, they thought they had the right to go to extremes and publish my report in order to make Germany's High society aware of how a German court hands down a death penalty against someone -- whom many people considered to be an old, severely ill WWII war hero -- on account of his dissenting historical views. In 1997, three years after he fled Germany, Remer died in Exile. So he most likely would indeed have died in prison.
"Though I anticipated that Remer's intended action might cause problems for me, I nevertheless did not deny him his right to self-defense, and that is what I told his acquaintance. After all, why do we do revisionism in the first place? To hide it? To refuse to help people in distress? Did I prepare a legal expertise for the defense of people and then refuse to let them defend themselves with it?
"This 'nod' was all I ever contributed to Remer's distribution of my Report. I was not involved in the production nor distribution of his version, nor did I know anything about the preface (a justification for Remer's action) or the epilogue (a report of his own trial) which Remer and his associates had added to my Report. I actually learned about these additions only after Remer's distribution had started in April 1993, and I read them for the first time in my life during my trial in 1995. For theses additions, but not for my Report -- which was considered to be formally scientific by the court itself, I was eventually sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.
"It was the obvious intention of the court not only to put me in prison for a 'thought crime' I did not commit, but to put all people in prison who were involved in Remer's desperate act of self-defense. It therefore agreed not to reveal the identity of any other persons involved in order to protect them. We succeeded in this. The court, on the other hand, conducted its proceedings in a vicious show trial manner, since this of course was the only way for them to either break me and make me reveal the real 'culprits' or to 'prove' an obviously innocent man guilty. A court, however, that does not try to seek truth, justice and fairness, but tries to destroy as many innocent citizens' lives as it can, did and does not deserve the truth.
"Germar Rudolf, Hastings, 27th October 2000."
It is not clear to me what Rudolf means by "formally scientific," but I understand the expression to mean that the outer form of his Report has all the trappings of a scientific paper. Compare the ruling of the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court) on what it means to be scientific, as cited by Rudolf in his interesting essay "Über richtige und falsche Erkenntnisse," reprinted in Kardinalfragen, pp. 19 -47: For a text to enjoy protection of the basic law, "the only pre-requisite is that it concerns itself with science; here falls anything which according to content and form (nach Inhalt und Form) is to be regarded as a serious attempt to discover the truth" (p. 22). In Rudolf's case, in order to get around the "content" part, the court simply ignored it! See below, especially note 85.
See his deposition regarding the charges against him: Stellungnahme zur Anklageschrift der Staatsanwaltschaft Stuttgart, Az. 4 Js 34417/93, in the Prozessprotokoll, Section A, Paragraph 2. The official trial record (Prozessprotokoll) contains only a basic record of the trial proceedings, such as when a witness appeared, and that he/she made a statement to the subject (zur Sache), without recording anything of what was actually said. (On such procedures, see also notes 92 and 93 below). The Prozessprotokoll also includes written submissions by the defense and the accused.
- Rudolf's statement of May 3, 1995, on why he used the pen name Ernst Gauss. For the book Vorlesungen über Zeitgeschichte he did this in order not to endanger his doctorate, while he was persuaded by his publisher to use the same name for Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte because Remer had ruined his own name and he wished to spare the revisionist cause "further immeasurable harm." He chose this particular pen name because the research topic of his Ph.D. involved the work of one of the greatest mathematicians of all time: Carl Friedrich Gauss.
- Urteil (judgment), pp. 171-172.
- Urteil, pp. 11f, 137 and 228f. On p. 137 we read that the aim of publishing his Report in the Spring of 1993 was "to initiate the long sought-for discussion on 'revisionist' themes ..."
- Notwehraktion: the word used by Remer in his pirated copy.
- Urteil, p. 12.
- How could the judges possibly think they knew this?
- Urteil, pp. 12-13.
- Urteil, pp. 235-240. The court turned down the defense's submission (Hilfsbeweisantrag) to have Rudolf's conclusions (A) and (B) tested by competent scientists, since "jurisdiction decided long ago that the mass-murder of the Jews, perpetrated in particular at Auschwitz, is a notorious (offenkundig) historical fact and needs no proof." (Urteil, pp. 231f).
- The defense unsuccessfully objected to this procedure (Selbstleseverfahren). For the court's justification, see protocol exhibit 1 for November 25, 1994. The same procedure was ordered for the introductory chapter of Grundlagen. In this way the court avoided open reading of texts that might have favored the accused. (See also Der Prozeßverlauf, p. 2). According to Rudolf, the court declared on the second day of the trial (November 23) that it was technically unqualified to judge his Report. See "Die Rolle der Presse im Fall Germar Rudolf," Kardinalfragen p.72.
- Urteil, pp. 15, 23. The statement on p. 15, on how the revisionists aim to have a public debate on "difficult to explain details of National Socialist mass-crimes [schwer aufklärbare Details der nationalsozialistische Massenverbrechen]" clearly looks forward to the "chemical detail" mentioned on p. 23. How much like French National Front Leader Jean Marie Le Pen's claim that the wartime German 'gas chambers' are a "detail" of the Second World War! (Liberation, Sept. 15, 1987, p. 6). Nobody seems willing to forgive Le Pen for his silly remark, and he is seldom quoted in full. Thus the London Sunday Times of March 2, 1997 (p.19) writes that he referred "to the Holocaust as a 'detail in the history of the second world war'."
- Urteil, pp. 23f. The awkward reasoning is the court's, not mine.
- So for example in the indictment: angeblich wissenschaftlich fundierter Untersuchung (p. 3); "Revisionismus"-Bewegung, pseudowissenschaftlichen Methoden, "Gutachten" (twice), "Rudolf-Gutachten," "Leuchter-Report" (p. 9); seiner "Arbeit"( p.13). Similarly, in the judgment (Urteil) one finds: seine angeblich rein wissenschaftlichen Absichten (p.12); Scheinargument (p.13); sachlich erscheinen sollte, objektiv erscheinende Schriften, "revisionistisches," Anschein der Objektivität, Anspruch auf Wissenschaftlichkeit, sachliche erscheinende, ging es ihm ... darum, eine lebhafte Diskussion über den Inhalt des "Gutachtens" und andere "revisionistische" Thesen nach aussen hin vorzutäuschen (pp.18f); Anschein seiner Objektivität, "wissenschaftlichen" Schriften ( p. 20), Eindruck einer unbefangenen ... Wissenschaftlichkeit (p. 23), Aus Gründen der scheinbaren Glaubwürdigkeit (p. 24 -- in a note on this Rudolf writes: "baseless impudent imputation"), die Strategie der Sachlichkeit (p. 24), in objektivem Stil (p. 25 -- referring to a summary of the Rudolf's report in DGG of May, 1993), größtmöglicher Anschein von Sachlichkeit ("maximum possible show of objectivity," p. 26, referring to Grundlagen). Compare the closing speech of the Public Prosecutor: Es bestand Interesse an einer Form, die den Anschein einer rein wissenschaftlicher Arbeit erweckt, which Rudolf calls unfundierte (unfounded) Spekulation (n. 7 of his edition).
- Cited in point 7 of Rudolf's deposition respecting the charges against him.
- According to the Prozeßverlauf, p. 21, the court refused to accept into evidence the statements of 10 witnesses that the accused decisively distanced himself from National Socialist ideology. On January 9, 1995, defense witness Horst Lummert testified before the court. Deeply rooted in his Jewishness, he stated that he was especially sensitive to lies, with the result that he respected the revisionists' approach to the Holocaust issue more than that of their opponents. Having maintained a correspondence with the accused for about a year, he understood that Rudolf had reservations about going ahead with his revisionist research because he was concerned about the detrimental consequences it might have for Jews. Because he, Lummert, had encouraged the accused to proceed further with his revisionist activities, he felt that he, and not Rudolf, should be in the dock. In a June 30, 1994, letter to Rudolf, Lummert had written that Ignatz Bubis (head of the Central Council of German Jews) could well be called Germany's "Godfather," adding that "behind this so-called Russian Mafia lay hidden Chechnyans, Ukrainians, Russians and above all Jews... No one would dare to speak correctly of a 'Jewish Mafia'." Thus, Lummert went on, misuse of the Holocaust impeded the fight against organized crime. See Der Prozessverlauf, pp.10f. The full text of Lummert's letter is reproduced in n.6. Lummert has his own website, which posts articles on the Holocaust and revisionism at www.kokhavivpublications.com.
- Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, "Streitpunkt Judenvernichtung: Eine Einleitung," pp. 15-39. Also, Dissecting the Holocaust (2000), pp. 13-14.
- Urteil, p. 26f
- Urteil, pp. 273f.
- Urteil, p. 238ff. The quotation marks in 'more understandable' are in the original ("verständlicher" machen). The translation of Überzeugungstäter is taken from the South African Citizen of June 24, 1995, p. 18, which also cites the court's claim that Rudolf "selectively used evidence to provide a scientific cover to a gruesome lie that feeds neo-Nazi sentiment."
- Although it appears in the charge sheet, at no time during the entire trial was the absurd claim raised that Rudolf identifies with National Socialist racial ideology. Nevertheless, it appears in the judgment, from where the press picked it up. See "Die Rolle der Presse im Fall Germar Rudolf" in Kardinalfragen, pp. 65-73 (p. 71 and footnote 34). Rudolf's study, "Webfehler im Rechtsstaat" (Kardinalfragen, pp. 59-63), fills a gap in our knowledge of the trial and how this flaw in the law affected his case.
- It is worth quoting Ruth Bettina Birn (who is Chief Historian in the War Crimes Section of the Department of Justice, Canada): "Statements in the German legal system are not verbatim transcriptions, but a summary prepared by the interrogator; they are not the words of the person himself, and only in some cases are direct quotations inserted," in "Revising the Holocaust" from A Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth by Norman G. Finkelstein and Ruth Bettina Birn (New York: An Owl Book: Henry Holt and Co., 1997), pp.106-107. Records, such as they are, are kept at the Zentralstelle der Landesjustizverwaltung in Ludwigsberg, and have been used (for example) by Christopher R. Browning for his Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (New York, 1992).
- See "In der Bundesacht," Kardinalfragen, p. 53.
- About the VffG, see "Important New German-Language Revisionist Quarterly," The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1998, pp. 26-27. Rudolf was the editor of VffG from its inception (private communication). Its first nominal editor had been Herbert Verbeke, who founded the Stiftung Vrij Historisch Onderzoek ("Foundation for Free Historical Research"), P.O. Box 60, B-2600 Berchem 2, Belgium. On the VHO foundation, with remarks on revisionism (including the "Auschwitz-Lüge") in Belgium, see "A Belgian Foundation Battles for Free Speech," The Journal of Historical Review, Jan.-Feb. 1996 (Vol.16, No.1), p. 46. Since the summer of 1998, Rudolf has used his own imprint: Castle Hill Publishers (PO Box 118, Hastings TN34 3ZQ, England -- UK). For more on VffG and Castle Hill publishers, see the VHO website www.vho.org/chp.
- Perhaps the most important of these works is the first thorough study of the Majdanek (Lublin) concentration camp, KL Majdanek: Eine historische und technische Studie by Jürgen Graf and Carlo Mattogno. For the entire program of Castle Hill books, whether available for free online or for purchase, see the VHO website. The writings of Leuchter, Faurisson and Rudolf are all to some extent criticized in this book. Rather than regarding this criticism as unkindness to fellow revisionists, it may well indicate that they now feel confident enough of the essential correctness of their central theses to criticize one another openly. For the controversy surrounding this publication, see "Eine Revisionistische Monographie über Majdanek" by R. Faurisson in VffG, Vol. 3, No. 2 (1999), pp. 209-212; "Offener Brief an Prof. Robert Faurisson" by J. Graf in VffG , Vol. 3, No. 3 (1999), pp. 327-330; Faurisson's response, "Antwort an Jürgen Graf" in the same issue of VffG, pp. 330-332; and Carlo Mattogno's online reply (in Italian and English) at Granata's website.
- Rudolf e-mail statement, October 18, 1999.
- Rudolf e-mail statement, October 19, 1999.
- For a list of works restricted or banned in Germany, see Germar Rudolf's website.
- Proposals to introduce legislation making "Holocaust denial" a criminal offense in Britain date back at least to 1996. That year the Electronic Telegraph of October 4, reported under the heading "Delegates in tears over Dunblane's handgun plea" that "LEGISLATION to make it a criminal offence to deny the Holocaust was called for by delegates yesterday. They decided unanimously to make it a criminal offence to publish, broadcast, distribute or display material that denies six million Jews were killed by the Germans. Sharon McColl, of Paole Zion, the Jewish society affiliated to the Labour Party, told delegates that it was already an offence in many countries including Australia, France, Spain, Switzerland and Israel. 'Denial of the holocaust is a deliberate falsification of history for political purposes. This is deeply hurtful to survivors and victims of the Nazi regime', she said, adding that 'Making it a criminal offence is the only way to make sure this obscenity is removed.'" For further information see also "Labour plans jail for denial of Holocaust in the Sunday Times of September 29, 1996, p. 1.24. According to the two dissident former Labour MPs Christopher Mayhew and Michael Adams, Labour has had a formal affiliation with Paole Zion since 1920 (Publish It Not: The Middle East Cover-Up (Longmans, 1975), pp. 26, 33f, 38), an organization which "operates a racial test for membership" (p. 44, note). Labour seems to have temporarily abandoned the idea of legislating against Holocaust skeptics (The Electronic Telegraph, Friday, January 21, 2000).
- Electronic Telegraph, Issue 1619, Oct. 31, 1999.
- January 16, 2000.
- The Hastings and St. Leonards Observer, March 31, 2000.
- MP Dismore proposed "To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement concerning the case of Germar Rudolf." Response, May 22, 2000, by Home Secretary Mike O'Brien, http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk.
- A letter by Paul Stocks protesting the prejudiced reporting of Hastings and Berry was published by the Electronic Telegraph of October 20, 1999, as was David Irving's in the Sunday Telegraph of October 24, 1999. Unfortunately, Irving, followed by Stocks, repeats the error that Rudolf's doctoral thesis was about "the permanence of cyanide compounds ...[and was] highly praised by his peers." My own attempts to draw the attention of Sunday Telegraph editor Dominic Lawson to the unreasonableness of condemning someone for his writings without having read any of it, and that anti-revisionist legislation would be "un-English" (Matthew Parrish in The Times of February 7, 1997) were apparently ignored. The Electronic Telegraph of July 29, 1999, published in all seriousness "Germans attacked for 'forgetting' Holocaust'," the 'attacker' being none other than Ignatz Bubis himself!
- Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, was first published New York 1993, and in England the following year by Penguin Books. Reviews of Lipstadt's book appeared in The Journal of Historical Review, Nov.-Dec. 1993 and Sept.-Oct. 1995.
- Royal Courts of Justice 1996-I-No. 113, Queen's Bench Division, Royal Courts of Justice Strand, London, before Mr. Justice Gray, between David John Cawdell Irving, Claimant, and (1) Penguin Books Limited (2) Deborah E. Lipstadt, Defendants. The transcripts of the trial can be found on Irving's website http://www.fpp.co.uk/online.html, which also contains thousands of references, including press reports on the trial. References to the transcripts will be made by day only, so that "day 1" refers to the proceedings of Tuesday, January 11, 2000. Due to the technology used for transcribing the stenographic notes of Harry Counsell & Company, the transcripts contain many misspellings of proper names. On the trial, see "Media Coverage of the Irving-Lipstadt Trial, The Journal of Historical Review, Jan.-Feb. 2000, pp. 40-53, and, "From the Trial Proceedings," in the same Journal issue, pp. 54-55.
- Rampton was instructed by Davenport Lyons and Mishcon de Reya.
- Chapter 9, "The Gas Chamber Controversy," p. 181.
- Denying the Holocaust, chapter 9, p. 161.
- In notes 18 and 17 to chapter 9 she refers to the London Sunday Times of June 12 and July 10, 1977. Likewise, her claim on p. 161 that "Scholars have described Irving as a 'Hitler partisan wearing blinkers' and have accused him of distorting evidence and manipulating documents to serve his own purposes" is ascribed in note 16 to Martin Broszat, Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte (October 1977), pp. 742, 769, cited in Patterns of Prejudice, Nos. 3-4 (1978), p. 8.
- Judgment to be Handed Down on Tuesday, 11th April 2000 at 10.30 a.m. in Court 36, Royal Courts of Justice. Henceforth cited as Judgment.
- Judgment, §4.7.
- For details, see Irving's website http://www.fpp.co.uk.
- Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present (New York, 1996). In his expert report Van Pelt stated it was a "moral certainty" that Auschwitz was an extermination camp (pp. 8, 183). In the Morris film "Mr. Death," Van Pelt repeats this phrase, stating that the place was the "holy of holies," and that he regarded Leuchter's descent into Krema II to collect samples as unforgivable. He is described as an historian of architecture on the cover of Auschwitz, but during the libel trial he described himself as a "cultural historian" (day 9 of the proceedings, p. 38 of the transcript).
- Professor Browning testified for the prosecution in the second, 1988 Zündel trial. See B. Kulaszka's Did Six Million Really Die?, pp. 84-157.
- See Irving's opening speech on day 1 of the proceedings, particularly pp. 55-87. The text of Irving's Opening Statement in the trial is in The Journal of Historical Review, Sept.-Dec. 1999, pp. 16-35.
- Judgment, §3.6.
- Judgment, §3.8.
- In an e-mail message sent out the day after the verdict Arthur Butz wrote: "As I recall I said ... to the extent that Irving claims that Lipstadt damaged his reputation in any measurable sense, he will lose. Irving was not blackballed by the publishing industry because of Lipstadt's book. There was not the element of what American lawyers call 'but for cause.' Most of the time the trial considered other issues whose involvement in a libel suit was hard to understand ... Irving's position was hopeless from the outset." Also published in The Journal of Historical Review, March-April 2000, p. 71.
- Judgment §2.13.
- Chapter 3, pp. 41-102.
- Evans expert report, § 3.6.1
- Served on September 5, 1996.
- "I do not intend to go into the question of whether or not there were gas chambers at Birkenau" (Day 1, p. 29). Ernst Zündel, in his Power newsletter of January 11, 2000 (Issue No. 250), remarked on Irving's "wish to stay away from the Holocaust and make these trials strictly libel trials...," and predicts that "David is going to have a Holocaust trial whether he likes it or not."
- As he himself emphasized throughout the trial. See, for example, the proceedings of day 1 (p.30): "I have never claimed to be a Holocaust historian ... If I have spoken about it, it is usually because somebody has asked me a question, I have been questioned about it. On such occasions I have emphasized my lack of expertise and I have expatiated only upon those areas with which I am familiar. In doing so I have offended many of my friends who wish that history was different, but you cannot wish documents away, and it is in documents that I have always specialized as a writer." He repeated this disclaimer on day 2 (pp. 234, 242); day 5 (p. 126); day 6 (pp. 41, 81) and day 8 (p. 183). That he only talks about the Holocaust when someone asks a question is plainly untrue, as can be seen from his talk "Battleship Auschwitz," given at the Tenth (1990) IHR Conference, and published in The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1990-91 (Vol. 10, No. 4), pp. 491-508.
- On day 14 of the proceedings (p. 131) Rampton put it to Irving that at his October 10, 1995, speech at Tampa, Florida, he had said "I find the Holocaust endlessly boring." Irving said much the same thing in his speech at the IHR meeting in Orange County, California, on March 28, 1998.
- Irving's closing speech on day 32 (p. 49): "This trial is about my reputation as a human being, as an historian of integrity ...". On this see also pp. 59, 61, 66, 135 of the same day as well as pp. 132, 141 of day 2.
- Day 1 of the proceedings, p. 2. Another aspect of the "strangeness" of the trial was Justice Gray's avowal that it was not for him to judge the facts of history, yet in his Judgment that is precisely what he did when he found Lipstadt's "experts" to be more credible than Irving. On this and other interesting aspects of the trial, see Mark Weber's article "After the Irving-Lipstadt trial: New Dangers and Challenges," in the March-April 2000 Journal of Historical Review (Vol. 19, No. 12), pp. 2-8.
- Day 8, p. 120f.
- Faurisson dated his piece, "David Irving en ce moment," January 19, 2000. Both the English and French versions have been posted on Irving's site: "What Revisionists Say about The Irving Trial" also includes the views of Bradley Smith, Ernst Zündel, Robert Faurisson, Serge Thion, Ingrid A. Rimland, Germar Rudolf, A. S. Marques and Michael A. Hoffman II.
- Focus on History No. 1: Auschwitz: The End Of the Line: The Leuchter Report. The First Forensic Examination of Auschwitz (London: Focal Point Publications, June 1989). It is also on Irving's website.
- For most people it would not make sense to take "this myth" in Irving's introduction as referring only to Auschwitz. In the 1991 Focal Point edition of Hitler's War we read: "By late 1945 the world's newspaper's were full of unsubstantiated lurid rumours about 'factories of death' complete with lethal 'gas chambers'" (p. 466). Compare Irving's letter of May 21, 1989, to Rainer Zitelmann: "It is clear to me that no serious historian can now believe that Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek were Todesfabriken [death factories]. All the expert and scientific (forensic) evidence is to the contrary," as quoted by Justice Gray in Judgment, §8.16.
- David Irving, "The Suppressed Eichmann and Goebbels Papers" (presented at the Eleventh IHR Conference, October 1992), The Journal of Historical Review March-April 1993 (Vol. 13, No. 2), pp. 14-25 (p. 22).
- Made at the Latvian Hall, Toronto, November 8, 1990, cited by Rampton on p. 25 of day 20 of the proceedings.
- For example, on day 29. Rampton: "You frequently refer to the non-existence of any gas chambers in the plural." Irving: "I think you will have to show me the passages where I frequently say this." Justice Gray: "The point is you deny the existence of gas chambers and, when you do that, you do not talk only of the dummies such as the one that was constructed after the war at Auschwitz. That I think is the point." In his closing speech Irving corrected his error when he spoke of "the one shown to tourists" (day 32, p. 189).
- Hitler's War (Hodder and Stoughton, 1977; and, New York: Viking, 1977). Irving's thesis prompted the response by Gerald Fleming, Hitler and the Final Solution (Berkeley: Univ. of Calif., 1984). In Germany Irving's thesis contributed to the Historikerstreit or "historians' dispute," involving most of the country's leading historians, including Martin Broszat, who became head of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Institute for Contemporary History) in Munich and who disagreed strongly with Irving's thesis. (On this see also the interview with Ernst Nolte in the Jan.-Feb. 1994 Journal of Historical Review.)
- Among the contributions to "What Revisionists Say about The Irving Trial" is Germar Rudolf's remarks "Those who choose to be their own lawyer choose a fool." We also read there that "David Irving refused to present Germar Rudolf as an expert witness." Irving himself claims the opposite, as can be seen on his index to items on the libel case: "Max-Planck Institute scientist Germar Rudolf (who turned down Mr Irving's request to attend court as a special adviser, for security reasons) ..." This claim is rather hollow given that any expert witness had to be presented a year earlier, and an expert report had to be handed in many months before the trial actually started, neither of which was done. Rudolf informs me that early in 1999 Irving asked him if he would be willing to appear as an expert witness, and that although Rudolf agreed, he "never heard from him again." Given that this "request" was made long before the anti-Rudolf press campaign, there can be little justification for Irving's claim that he did not want to jeopardize Rudolf's security. On the same occasion Rudolf tried hard to convince Irving that the very brief summary of Rudolf's report was falsely claimed to be the report itself, but to no avail. Later that year Irving sent Rudolf a copy of van Pelt's submission, asking him to comment. Rudolf again asked if he was to appear as an expert witness and again received no reply. Only a week before van Pelt took the stand did Irving finally admit that it was far too late to use Rudolf's expertise. It seems clear that Irving never had any intention of doing this anyway. His comment to Rudolf on Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte says it all: "I don't read the books of others." Rudolf tells me that on other occasions Irving was more frank, declaring that he "didn't want to associate with a convicted criminal and neo-Nazi ... didn't want to get into the Auschwitz-affair in the first place..."
- "Critique of Chemical Claims Made by Robert Jan van Pelt," is on Rudolf's website. Version 1 is dated January 2000 and version 2, January-February 2000.
- In "Critique of Chemical Claims Made by Robert Jan van Pelt," Rudolf has added a number of references not in his previous works. In section 6(b) he writes: "The cement plaster used in the morgues has a much higher tendency to accumulate HCN than the lime plaster used in the delousing facilities, and this tendency prevails longer as cement mortar and plaster stays alkaline for many months and years, whereas lime mortar become neutral relatively quickly (in weeks rather than months, depending on temperature, humidity, amount of CO2 available and on the consistency of the mortar," with a reference to the discussion about his report at http://www.vho.org.
- For example, on day 8, p. 56: "Gelmar [Germar] Rudolf did a much more detailed scientific test," also on day 8, pp.76f, day 9, p. 13, day 18, pp. 94f, day 20, p. 17.
- Consider the tragicomical scene on Day 8 (p. 187): Mr Rampton: "I have never seen the Rudolf Report because it is not in Mr. Irving['s] discovery". Irving: "Yes, it is." Rampton: "I am told it is not." Irving: "If it is not then I humbly apologise. It certainly should have been, and I will provide copies immediately." Mr. Justice Gray: "Professor van Pelt needs time particularly because he will be the one who has to deal with it. How easy would it be for you to dig it out?" Irving: "I can have it couriered around this afternoon." Mr. Justice Gray: "That would be helpful ..." That Rudolf's report never made an appearance at the trial is clear from Justice Gray's statement: "... I do not consider that an objective historian would have regarded the Leuchter report as a sufficient reason for dismissing, or even doubting, the convergence of evidence on which the Defendants rely for the presence of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz. I have not overlooked the fact that Irving claimed that Leuchter's findings have been replicated, notably in a report by Germar Rudolf. But that report was not produced at the trial so it is impossible for me to assess its evidential value."(Judgment, §13.80).
- Day 9, p. 14.
- Day 9, pp. 21-35. The first report was made in 1945. Cyanide traces were found in some women's hair and metal objects found in Krema II but the results are only qualitative, not quantitative. This was touted at the trial as the first proof of homicidal gassings. See Rudolf's report, §6.1 for a brief critique.
- Why did Rampton show Van Pelt what was clearly the summary version of Rudolf's report and point out that the 120-page Rudolf Report was advertised on the inside cover? Is it possible that Irving had brought this flimsy brochure into court? (P. 23). Indeed it is, because he rarely reads the works of others, and probably had not even read this "summary."
- Day 9, pp. 23-26.
- "I have been very impressed in general by the professionalism of the historians at Auschwitz" declared Van Pelt on day 9 (p. 66).
- Especially chapter 6 of Rudolf's report (if only §6.6 on the 1990 Cracow report), as well as the articles cited above, "Leuchter-Gegengutachten: ein wissenschaftlicher Betrug?," and Rudolf's correspondence with the Jan Sehn Institute (Kardinalfragen, pp. 81-90). Expressly in connection with Irving's trial, Rudolf has placed his comments on the Cracow reports, "A Fraudulent attempt to refute 'Mr. Death'," on the Internet at vho.org/GB/contributions/, which will also shortly appear in The Revisionist.
- In an interview shown in Errol Morris' film "Mr. Death". See day 8 of the proceedings, p. 59. See Greg Raven's review of "Mr. Death," in The Journal of Historical Review, Sept.Dec. 1999, pp. 62-69.
- Not only from what Rudolf wrote, but just a little common sense tells one that Prussian Blue should not be "problematic." This was pointed out in my March 28, 1998, talk when Irving was in the audience, and later at a dinner organized by Mark Weber. Before the London libel trial Germar Rudolf pleaded with Irving not to bring this up, and also not to claim that his doctoral work dealt with cyanide compounds -- all to no avail. Instead, on numerous occasions during the trial Irving explicitly cited the Cracow Institute as a confirmation of Leuchter -- for example on day 8 (pp. 44, 62f, 76, 186), on day 9 (p. 13), and in his closing address (day 32, pp. 151, 155), which is also in the March-April 2000 IHR Journal, p. 37. It is likewise disappointing that the IHR Update newsletter of May 2000 would still site the Cracow Institute as failing "to substantiate evidence of mass murder."
- To borrow Rampton's expression (day 8, p. 178).
- Day 8, pp. 41-82. On day 7 Irving's press conference of 23rd June 1989 launching the Focal Point edition of Leuchter's report was raised. Irving had stated "... hydrogen cyanide is wonderful for killing lice, but not so good for killing people unless in colossal concentrations". In agreement with Rampton, he had not taken "any steps to verify the scientific and biological correctness of that statement". The lawyer was in fact correct to say that "it is complete rubbish." The whole issue is discussed in detail by Rudolf. See chapter 4, especially §4.4 of his report, or Vorlesungen zur Zeitgeschichte, chapter 3, especially §3.3 where "Gauss" expresses "no doubt" that higher concentrations are needed for killing insects than for killing humans. My own feeling is that this issue will become central when, one day, Rudolf's work is discussed rationally.
- Day 8, pp. 54f. See also p. 82.
- Day 8, pp. 39, 69. Rampton, referring to Leuchter's statement on "exposed porous brick and mortar" [which would allow HCN to penetrate into the wall] said "It is just logical rubbish, is it not?" and Irving conceded: "It does strike me as being unscientific, that particular sentence, yes" (p.112).
- Judgment, §13.83. Days 10 and 11 were spent arguing photographic evidence. If the "gas chamber" had been used for fumigating (as Irving at one stage contended), then Justice Gray thought "it would seem that ducts or some other form of aperture would have been required to introduce the pellets into the chamber, since the morgue had no windows and a single gas-tight door." (§13.82). Since this is not the standard way to fumigate, this is plain nonsense.
- Day 8, pp. 59-62. ("Germar" is misspelled "Gelman" in the transcript.)
- Day 10, p. 113.
- Day 9, pp. 29-33.
- Day 8, p. 56.
- Day 29, p. 32.
- Day 23, pp. 15f.
- Day 5, pp. 125f. Irving: "You asked if it was true that large numbers of people and you said hundreds of thousands" -- Rampton: "I said hundreds of thousands." Irving: -- "were killed at these places to which I agreed that they were killed at those places, which included Treblinka, but this does not mean to say that Treblinka was a factory of death existing solely for that purpose." (p. 133).
- Critical studies of the writings of Kurt Gerstein, the main "eyewitness" of gassing at Belzec, are Henri Roques' The "Confessions" of Kurt Gerstein, (Published in English by the IHR, 1989), and Carlo Mattogno's Il Rapporto Gerstein: Anatomia di un Falso, reviewed by R.A. Hall in The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1986 (Vol. 7, No. 1), pp. 115-119. For the consequences suffered by Roques for writing a doctoral dissertation about Gerstein, see "From the Gerstein Affair to the Roques Affair" in The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1988 (Vol. 8, No. 1), pp. 5-23, and "How Fairs the Roques Thesis?" in the Fall 1990 Journal (Vol. 10, No. 3), pp.371f.
- Day 17, p. 154.
- Day 6, pp. 38, 51.
- This is the odd five-page RSHA note of June 5, 1942, signed by W. Just -- held in Bundesarchiv as "Koblenz Document" R 58/ 871. Ingrid Weckert provides an analysis of this issue in "Die Gaswagen -- Kritische Würdigung der Beweislage," in Grundlagen, pp. 193-218, and "The Gas Vans: A Critical Assessment of the Evidence," in Dissecting the Holocaust, pp. 217-243. An extensive revisionist study of the "gas vans," which includes a study of mechanical aspects of the issue, is Pierre Marais' 325-page study Les camions à gaz en question (Paris: Polémiques, 1994). Irving is obviously unfamiliar with these works.
- Day 6, pp. 49f. These are Rampton's words, answered by Irving's "No question at all ... Again, there is no reference to Hitler, I am afraid." On a later day the topic was again raised, and Irving noted "I am not interested in that aspect of the history, no. I am interested in Adolf Hitler's personal role in decisions taken during World War II." (Day 14, pp. 68-70). Another example of Irving's rearguard actions is when he subsequently pointed out that the document in question has numerous linguistic anomalies.
- Day 32, pp. 20f.
- On October 23, 1997, a criminal court in Paris fined Robert Faurisson more than $20,000 because he considered "the Nazi gas chamber as an" 'imposture'." See I. Rimland's Z-Gram of October 31, 1997, as well as Faurisson's articles, "Revisionism on Trial: Developments in France, 1979-1983," The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1985 (Vol. 6, No. 2), pp. 133-181, and "My Life as a Revisionist (September 1983 to September 1987)" in the Spring 1989 Journal (Vol. 9, No. 1), pp. 5-63. Histoire du négationnisme en France by Valérie Igounet (Éditions du Seuil, March 2000), a work of 691 pages, purports to be a history of revisionism in France.
- Since April 1995 the book Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte has been banned in Germany. For a brief report of its banning, see "Revisionist Books Seized in German Police Raid" in The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1995 (Vol. 15, No. 3), p. 43. According to circulars dated July 1, 1996, and issued by S. Verbeke and Germar Rudolf, Judge Burkhardt Stein of the Tübingen District Court (Amtsgericht) decided that Rudolf had to be arrested because of Grundlagen. The judge also ordered the confiscation of all remaining copies of the book, which meant that they would quite literally land up in the fire. The publisher, Wigbert Grabert, was ordered to pay a fine of DM 30,000. See Kardinalfragen, pp. 49f: "Deutsches Gerichtsurteil: Wissenschaftliches Werk wird verbrannt!". In the article "Über richtige und falsche Erkenntnisse" (Kardinalfragen, pp.19-47), Rudolf gives a list of works that suffered a similar fate between 1993 and 1995. In the scandalous case of Günter Deckert, who had to be tried and re-tried until he was found guilty, judges who had 'only' imposed a fine and a suspended sentence were severely criticized and forced into early retirement. See "Political Leader Punished," The Journal of Historical Review, July-August 1993 (Vol. 13, No. 4), p. 26, and "Two-Year Prison Sentence for 'Holocaust Denial'" by Mark Weber in the May-June 1995 Journal (Vol. 15, No. 3), pp. 40-42, where further sources can be found. See also "How-To for Neo-Nazis" in Time, August 22, 1994, p. 44, and Der Spiegel 47/1994, p. 35, and 11/1995, pp. 36f, in which the question of whether charges should be brought against the judges is considered. The Deckert case was also covered by the South African press: "Judge who sparked row is reinstated," the Citizen, September 20, 1994 (p. 12); "Anti-Semite: 'Court was too lenient'," the Citizen, December 16, 1994 (p. 14); "Judge who was soft on 'Nazi' retires," the Citizen, May 11, 1995 (p. 20); "Ruling gives right to forget," the Sunday Times, March 20, 1994 (p. 17). For a more complete study of the Deckert case see Günther Anntohn, Henri Roques, Der Fall Günter Deckert (DAGD/Germania Verlag, Weinheim 1995), a work banned in Germany (Kardinalfragen, p. 45). Members of the IHR Journal's Editorial Advisory Committee have been prosecuted and sentenced to prison. In Germany, Udo Walendy was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment without parole on account of his series Historische Tatsachen. (See the July-August 1998 Journal of Historical Review, pp. 14-16.) In Switzerland Jürgen Graf and his publisher Gerhard Förster were sentenced to prison terms for writing or publishing allegedly anti-Jewish books that "deny the existence of Nazi gas chambers." See "Swiss Court Punishes Two Revisionists," and associated articles, in The Journal of Historical Review, July-August 1998, pp. 2-13. (By late 2000 Graf should already be serving his sentence.) In July 1998 Auschwitz State Museum authorities banned a British Broadcasting Company (BBC) television team and David Irving from visiting the former camp site. The BBC had invited Irving to be interviewed there. Irving was also barred from using the Museum's archives. See "Polish authorities Ban BBC Team and David Irving from Auschwitz," July-August 1998 Journal of Historical Review, pp. 16-17. The French organisation aaargh reports regularly on the persecution of revisionists in Europe. For example, the legal steps taken against the editors of Sleipnir: see "Nachrichten vom Tiergarten: aus der Bundeslächerlich Deutschland," a press release issued by the journal's editor in chief, Andreas Röhler (Verlag der Freunde, Postfach 350264, 10211 Berlin, Germany). Sleipnir regularly sends out e-mail reports and commentaries.
- On the "moral foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany" see Die Zeit, December 12, 1993, cited in Kardinalfragen, p. 18, n. 8. "In der Bundesacht" relates how Rudolf had been a member of the Bonn branch of the Catholic Students' Union AV Tuisconia Königsberg since 1983, but when in the Spring of 1994 his revisionist activities became known he was excluded from this Union. This was primarily justified as follows: "The Holocaust and its avowal forms the normative basis of our constitution. The legitimacy -- in the sense of worthiness of recognition (Anerkennungswürdigkeit) -- of the constitution presupposes acknowledgement of National Socialist crimes to which the Jews fell victim in a massive way, having been destroyed by technical means. As Brother (Bundesbruder) Rudolf places the Holocaust, conceived of as planned mass murder, in doubt, he also casts doubt on the normative consensus which forms the basis of our constitution." To protest the introduction of the sharpened 1994 form of laws criminalizing "Holocaust denial" I wrote to all members of the Bundesrat. One answer informed me that questioning the Holocaust amounted to insulting the memory of the dead, and since the respect for human dignity (Menschenwürde) is the very basis of the Federal Constitution, its enforcement has to take priority over freedom of expression. Annual reports on the "protection of the constitution" are published in the official Verfassungsschutzbericht edited by the Bundesministerium des Innern (Grauheindorfer Straße 198, 53117 Bonn) and give a good idea of the types of activity regarded as threatening to the constitution. Thus the 1993 issue, apart from chronicling the activities of genuine political radicals of both the right and the left, refers to "Holocaust denial" under Neonazismus and describes it as "anti-Semitic agitation." On p. 115 a partial reproduction of the front page of the July 1993 issue of Remer Depesche mentioning Rudolf is shown. In his Action Report of July 1998 (Online fpp.co.uk/) David Irving reproduced a newsletter from the Washington Embassy's "German Information Center ... justifying Bonn's human rights abuses"
- For a detailed study of the history and scandals surrounding the "protection of the constitution" in Germany, see Claus Nordbruch's study, Der Verfassungsschutz (Tübingen: Hohenrain, 1999). Claus Nordbruch has also written a critical, thoroughly researched study of the suppression of free speech in Germany, with special emphasis on the 20th century: Sind Gedanken noch frei? Zensur in Deutschland (Universitas, 1998). His interesting article, "Political Correctness in Germany," which first appeared in the Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung, June 12, 1999, is published in translation in the July-August 1999 Journal of Historical Review (Vol. 18, No. 4), pp. 36-38.
- One recalls Faurisson's famous statement on the "historical lie" whose "principal victims ... are the German people -- but not their leaders -- ..." See "Revisionism on Trial: Developments in France, 1979-1983" in The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1985 (Vol. 6, No. 2), p. 162. Ziel's statement is in Der Spiegel, 35/1994, p. 38, col. 3.
- On day 12 of the proceedings of the Irving-Lipstadt trial the American psychologist Professor Kevin McDonald appeared as an expert witness for Irving. On his testimony, see "An American Professor Responds to a 'Jewish Activist'," in The Journal of Historical Review, Jan.-Feb. 2000, pp. 54 ff. MacDonald propounds a theory of Judaism based on a Darwinian viewpoint: How Jews as a group have developed various strategies for survival. For information on this see the review "What Causes Anti-Semitism?" by P. Harrison in the May-June 1998 Journal of Historical Review (Vol. 17, No. 3), pp. 28-37. Irving posed his question to an audience at Washington State University, Pullman, on April 13, 1998.
- Le Monde, December 29, 1978, and January 16, 1979. Translations of these letters are in "Faurisson's Three Letters to Le Monde (1978-179)," in The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 2000, pp. 40-46. The two books were published by La Vieille Taupe. A four-volume collection of Faurisson's revisionist writings over the years was published privately in 1999, Écrits révisionnistes (1974-1998).
- German President Roman Herzog as quoted by Deutsche Welle radio Sept. 9, 1996, at 7.30 GMT. Consider what Frank Füredi, author of Mythical Past, Elusive Future: History and Society in an Anxious Age (Pluto Press, 1992) writes on p. 42: "Whether or not this is stated, the discussion is always about how to come to terms with the experience of the Holocaust which remains a major obstacle to the reworking of a German identity. It is obvious that a past that includes such barbarism cannot be readily recruited to legitimize the present order. Various factors, more international than domestic, make it impossible to pretend that the Holocaust was a minor event or that it never happened."
- See "Debating the Undebatable: The Weber-Shermer Clash," in The Journal of Historical Review, Jan.-Feb. 1996 (Vol. 16, No. 1), pp. 23-34.
- Die Auschwitzleugner (Berlin: Elefanten Press, 1996) cites many "deniers" who are quite clearly motivated by political or ideological considerations. Logically, disagreement with someone's politics should not automatically entail rejection of his/her arguments, but human behavior is not always governed by logic. Ernst Zündel may well ask himself if it was wise to boast that the Leuchter Report was introduced in court on Hitler's birthday (as can be seen in Morris's "Mr. Death").
- See, for example, "Olocausto atto secondo" ("Holocaust, Act 2"), a "response" to Carlo Mattogno, published in the Italian magazine L'Espresso of March 27, 1990, and reproduced in Mattogno's La soluzione finale: problemi e polemiche ("The Final Solution: Problems and Controversies"), Edizioni di Ar, 1991.
- Translated from a private letter of Rudolf, written on October 23, 1991, at about the time when the first drafts of the Rudolf Report ("Das Blau Buch") were being completed. This information was cited on June 13, 1995 by Rudolf's attorney Günther Herzogenrath-Amelung during his final plea before the Stuttgart court trying Rudolf: See Plädoyer des Verteidigers, p. 10.
- David Irving's concessions during his trial will no doubt provide a new stimulus to study these "Reinhardt" camps and also the "gas vans". His Action Report 2000 online reported a most interesting use of special radar to investigate the alleged mass graves at Treblinka. In the article an image is shown and Irving asks of it: "What is this interesting pattern below? A psychedelic painting? The Lord Chancellor's latest wallpaper? No, it is a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) scan of the alleged mass grave site at Treblinka, Poland, conducted to a depth of eighteen feet by an expert in November 1999: it seems the ground has remained undisturbed for millions of years. Clever old Nazis, to have put every stone back in place where it was -- and in the panic of defeat." Although during the trial he hinted at GPR in his cross-examination of Van Pelt on day 9 (p. 82), he never took it further, let alone call as an expert witness the (unnamed) person who conducted the search,who is Richard Krege. See "'Vernichtungslager' Treblinka: archaelogisch betrachtet" in VffG, June 2000 (4. Jg. Heft 1, pp. 62-64), cited in "Treblinka Ground Radar Finds No Trace of Mass Graves," in the May-June 2000 Journal of Historical Review, p. 20. The only full-length IHR Journal article about the camp is "Treblinka," by M. Weber and A. Allen, in the Summer 1992 issue (Vol. 12, No. 2), pp. 133-158. The one scientific study of the "diesel gas chambers" allegedly used in this and other camps set up "purely for killing" is F.P. Berg's pioneering (and yet to be refuted) article "The Diesel Gas Chambers: Myth Within a Myth" in The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1984 (Vol. 5, No. 1), pp. 15-46. According to the standard version, about half of all Holocaust deaths were by means of Diesel exhaust, nearly a million at Treblinka alone. An adaptation of Berg's article appears, under the title "Die Diesel-Gaskammern: Mythos im Mythos," in Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, pp. 321-345, and under the title "The Diesel Gas Chambers" in Dissecting the Holocaust (2000), pp. 435-465. See also the contribution by Arnulf Neumaier, "The Treblinka Holocaust," in Dissecting the Holocaust . Udo Walendy's interesting critical analysis of the photographic evidence concerning Treblinka is in Historische Tatsachen, No. 44. In 1989 Samuel Willenberg's Surviving Treblinka (Basil Blackwell) appeared in English. Willenberg describes meetings with Jankiel Wiernik, from whom he learned about the "gas chambers" in the so-called Upper ("Death") Camp of Treblinka II (pp. 125-126). By his own account it is clear that Willenberg had no direct knowledge of the Upper Camp. He appears as a guest in "The Road to Treblinka," the fifth episode of the 1997 BBC series "The Nazis -- A Warning from History." The producers hide from us that Willenberg was never in the "Death camp," but with the full confidence of one who was on the spot, Willenberg relates details which he never witnessed. For example, that the Germans shouted "Schnell, Schnell" as the victims "were pushed into the gas chambers by the Ukrainians ... Here where I'm standing now within this small area 200 X 300 metres here lie buried about 850 000 bodies. Here they buried in enormous ditches which they dug out by a digger. Here they dumped the corpses of those who had been gassed." (Transcribed from the English subtitles). This is pure deception.
- The Ordnungspolizei (security police battalions) are the subject of Christopher Browning's Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (New York, 1992). British historian and official Churchill biographer Martin Gilbert concentrates much of his The Holocaust (Fontana Paperbacks, 1987) on shootings. Most historians, including David Irving, accept that large numbers of Jews were murdered by such methods and buried "sardine-like" in pits. In the Hardtalk interview conducted by Tim Sebastian and broadcast by BBC World on April 27, 2000, Irving stated unequivocally that "millions" were killed in this way. Was this (also) a tactical maneuver? And what is one to make of his statement made at the Pullman meeting on April 13, 1998: "Daniel Goldhagen has written a very good book [Hitler's Willing Executioners] on the Holocaust"? Referring to the IHR during his libel action, Irving boasted: "At their conferences I regularly rubbed their noses in what actually happened in the Holocaust." (Day 20, p.167. See also day 1, pp. 45-46, day 6, pp. 66-69, and day 28, pp. 91-96). It has been pointed out that the Einsatzgruppen reports on the numbers killed may be exaggerated, but by how much is a legitimate question. See Mark Weber's article "My Role in the Zündel Trial," The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1989-1990 (Vol. 9, No. 4), pp. 389-425: "Although the Einsatzgruppen reports would indicate that 2.2 million Jews were killed, every reputable historian who has written on this subject acknowledges that this figure bears little relationship to reality" (p. 402). Strong reservations concerning the trustworthiness of the Einzatzgruppen reports have been expressed by Hans-Heinrich Wilhelm, regarded as one of the outstanding authorities on the subject, co-author with Helmut Krausnick of the detailed work Die Truppe des Weltanschauungskrieges: Die Einsatzgruppen der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD (Stuttgart, 1981). See his interesting essay, "Offene Fragen der Holocaust Forschung," pp. 403-425, in the collection Die Schatten der Vergangenheit: Impulse zur Historisierung des Nationalsozialismus edited by U. Backes, E. Jesse and R. Zitelmann (Frankfurt/M + Berlin: 1992). Wilhelm's essay is based on a lecture with the same title he gave to the International History Conference held at the University of Riga, Latvia, Sept. 20-22, 1988. Here is the relevant passage from p. 11 of this lecture (which however does not appear in this form in Die Schatten der Vergangenheit): "Wenn auf nicht-statistischem Gebiet die Verlässlichkeit nicht grösser ist, was sich nur durch einen Vergleich mit anderen Quellen aus der gleichen Region erhärten liesse, wäre die historische Forschung gut beraten, wenn sie künftig von allen SS-Quellen viel misstrauischer Gebrauch machte als bisher." ("If, in the non-statistical sphere, the reliability [of these reports] is not greater, something which could only be confirmed by a comparison with other sources from the same region, researchers would be well-advised to make far more distrustful use of all SS sources in future than they have hitherto made.") I owe this source to R. Countess, who allowed me to make a copy of Wilhelm's Riga lecture. The essay by Margers Vestermanis, "Der lettische Anteil an der 'Endlösung'," in Die Schatten der Vergangenheit (pp. 426-449), examines the part played by Latvians in wartime executions of Jews. Although far from settling the issue, one source cited by Vestermanis attributes half the executions in the rural areas to a single Latvian commando unit (p. 436). On reprisals in the face of guerrilla actions, see the articles in VffG, June 1999, "Repressalie und Höherer Befehl," by K. Sigert (pp. 131-144), and "Partisanenkrieg und Repressaltötungen," by G. Rudolf and S. Schröder (pp. 145-153).
- According to a top secret order of July 2, 1941, by security chief Reinhard Heydrich, the Einsatzgruppen were instructed "to execute" (zu exekutieren) Communist functionaries, "Jews in party and state positions" (Juden in Partei-und Staatsstellungen), and "other radical elements (saboteurs, propagandists, snipers, assassins, agitators, etc." They were also instructed to "promote" (fördern) pogroms, euphemistically dubbed "self-cleansing attempts" (Selbstreinigungsversuchen), by local anti-Jewish elements but "without trace" (spurenlos) of German involvement." This document is clearly relevant regarding the participation of local militias in massacres of Jews. This document was cited by Prof. Browning in §4.2 ("Escalation") of his expert report for the Irving-Lipstadt case. It was published some years earlier in P. Longerich, ed., Die Ermordung der europäischen Juden (Piper, 1990), pp. 116-118, and in Y. Arad, et al., Documents on the Holocaust (Yad Vashem, 1981), pp. 377-378.
- Years ago Robert Faurisson suggested that a principal source for solving the problem of the numbers of "Holocaust" victims would be the records archive of the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Arolsen, Germany, which has been "closed to Revisionists since 1978." See "My Life as a Revisionist," The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1989 (Vol. 9, No. 1), pp. 5-63, here p. 52. See also R. Faurisson, "Impact and Future of Holocaust Revisionism," in the Jan.-Feb. 2000 Journal, p. 8. That the ITS withholds information was recently confirmed in "Die Zeitzeugen sterben," Der Spiegel, 4/2000, pp. 60, 63. Ingrid Rimland's e-mail message of Feb. 21, 2000, dealt with this Spiegel article, but I found no mention there of the "criminals" she cited. The major revisionist work in the demographic area remains Walter N. Sanning's The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry (third IHR printing, Nov. 1990). This demographic study uses almost exclusively Jewish and Soviet sources. Germar Rudolf has made a comparative study of this in the "Holocaust Victims: A Statistical Analysis -- W. Benz and W.N. Sanning: A Comparison," Dissecting the Holocaust (2000), pp. 183-216. This essay first appeared in Grundlagen, pp. 141-168.
- Arthur Butz was the first person to perceive this clearly: "Although six extermination camps are claimed, one of them, Auschwitz, is the key to the whole story," The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (IHR, 10th US printing, 1997), p. 35. Faurisson has quoted Wilhelm Stäglich: "the extermination thesis stands or falls with the allegation that Auschwitz was a 'death factory'," (The Leuchter Report, p. 4).
- For more than 20 years Robert Faurisson has called for an open and public debate on the "gas chambers" and "Holocaust" issues. See, for example, "Faurisson's Three Letters to Le Monde (1978-1979)," The Journal of Historical Review, May-June 2000, pp. 40-46. The videotaped exchange between Mark Weber and Michael Shermer on July 22, 1995, comes as close as can be expected to such a free debate. (See "Debating the Undebatable: The Weber--Shermer Clash," The Journal of Historical Review , Jan.-Feb. 1996, pp. 23-34.) Georg Batz of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) also organized such a debate, which took place in Nuremberg on September 20-22, 1991, under the auspices of the liberal and FDP-affiliated Thomas Dehler Foundation. (See "Liberal German Political Foundation Sponsors Open Debate on Holocaust Issue," IHR Newsletter, July-August 1992, pp. 7-8.) Batz invited Swiss educator Arthur Vogt to present the revisionist side at the seminar, which he described as "The Holocaust as Seen by the Revisionists: a Swiss Analyzes Contemporary History." The upshot of it all was that Vogt was later arrested for having stressed the importance of Leuchter's findings, while Batz was let off scott-free! Germar Rudolf attended this seminar, and it was here that his troubles began. A certain Dr. Körber swore at Rudolf and his companion there, calling them swine because they had dared give precedence to material evidence over that of eyewitnesses. Körber subsequently denounced Rudolf to the German police. See "In der Bundesacht," Kardinalfragen, "Erste Schritt: Denunziation," pp. 51-52, as well as Rudolf's deposition respecting the charges against him, in which he relates how he tried to maintain a reasoned exchange with Körber even when he knew that Körber was betraying him. For a full analysis of the seminar with its political and legal implications, see Karl Salm, "Der Justizskandal im Fall Thomas-Dehler-Stiftung: Der Rechtsverfall," in Consiliarien 1, 1995, pp. 13-49. This special issue of Staatsbriefe (Castel del Monte, Postfach 14 06 28, Munich 80456, Germany) is devoted to scholarly articles exclusively concerned with legal and other consequences of the sharpened anti-revisionist law, which was passed on October 28, 1994, and became law on December 1, 1994. With this major amendment, which sharpened the 1985 law, section §130 of the German criminal code now explicitly stipulates, in subsections 3 and 4, that anyone who in speech or writing publicly condones, denies or minimizes crimes committed under the leadership of the National Socialists, in such a way as to disturb public order, will be liable to a fine or up to five years imprisonment.
- Time, April 24, 2000, p. 33. In response to a witness summons, Watt testified for Irving on day 7 in the Irving-Lipstadt trial. See also Watt's statement, from the Evening Standard, April 11, 2000, in the March-April 2000 Journal of Historical Review, pp. 52-53.
- The prestige that David Irving enjoys (or has enjoyed) has contributed enormously to the "respectability" of revisionism. Important progress in this direction was the tribute made by former deportee Michel de Boüard to the objectivity of revisionist research. (See the interview he gave to Ouest France, translated in The Journal of Historical Review, Fall 1988, pp. 381-384.) From letters he wrote to Henri Roques shortly before his death, it is clear that he recognized the importance of the Leuchter Report. The fact that Roques obtained his doctorate on The "Confessions" of Kurt Gerstein from Nantes University (even though it was subsequently revoked) is highly significant. (See Roques' article, "From the Gerstein Affair to the Roques Affair," The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1988, pp. 5-23.) For an appreciation of this thesis by an orthodox historian, see "British Historian Hugh Trevor-Roper on the Gerstein 'Confessions' and the Gas Chamber Question," The Journal of Historical Review, Sept.-Oct. 1993 (Vol. 13, No. 5), pp. 40f. The article contains a letter to Roques by Lord Dacre (Trevor-Roper). Although disagreeing with the revisionists on some essential points, he writes: "... I regard your thesis as entirely legitimate and very interesting." Another sign of progress is the tribute paid to revisionists by the respected German historian Ernst Nolte, and his uncompromising defense of their right to free speech. See "Ein Gesetz für das Aussergetzliche," Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung, August 23, 1994, p. 7; "Ein historisches Recht Hitlers?," Der Spiegel, 40/1994, pp. 83-103; "Throwing Off Germany's Imposed History: A Conversation with Professor Ernst Nolte," interview by Ian B. Warren, The Journal of Historical Review, Jan.-Feb. 1994 (Vol. 14, No. 1), pp. 15-22; as well as, in the same Journal issue, pp. 37-41, a review by M. Weber of Nolte's 1994 book Streitpunkte ("Points of Contention"). Nolte refers to Holocaust revisionists as "radical revisionists," and chapter 15 of Die Schatten der Vergangenheit (pp. 304-319) is devoted to them. It is clear that he at least takes them seriously, even if rejecting their conclusions. Joel S. A. Hayward's thesis, The Fate of Jews in German Hands: An Historical Enquiry Into the Development and Significance of Holocaust Revisionism, was awarded an MA with distinction by Christchurch University, New Zealand, and was a breakthrough regarding recognition by establishment institutions. Hayward recently repudiated his thesis, even requesting the university to withdraw it from its library. (See "Varsity leader defends historian," New Zealand Herald, April 15-16, 2000, and, "Revisionist Master's Thesis Under Fire, May-June 2000 Journal, pp. 21-23). The publication of Roger Garaudy's Les Mythes fondateurs de la politique israelienne (La Vieille Taupe, 1995, Samiszdat, 1996), and the support given him by the Abbé Pierre must also be seen as signs of progress, even though Garaudy hardly acknowledges the work done by revisionist pioneers. See "French Study of Israel's 'Founding Myths' Provokes Furious Attack," The Journal of Historical Review, March-April 1996 (Vol. 16, No. 2), pp. 35-36, and "On the Garaudy/Abbé Pierre Affair," by R. Faurisson, in the July-August 1996 Journal (Vol. 16, No. 4), pp. 26-28. For the impact of Garaudy's trial on the Arab world, see the English editions of the semi-official Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram, Jan. 22 and 29, 1998. An expanded edition of Garaudy's book, The Founding Myths of Modern Israel, with an introduction by Theodore O'Keefe, was published by the IHR in the first half of 2000. Grudging acknowledgement occasionally comes from establishment circles. The prestigious French weekly L'Express has admitted that everything about the Auschwitz I "gas chamber" is phony. (See "Auschwitz: la mémoire du mal," by Eric Conan, Jan. 26, 1995, pp. 30-49, intl. edition; "Major French Magazine Acknowledges Auschwitz Gas Chamber Fraud," Jan.-Feb. 1995 Journal, pp. 23-24.) The Swiss daily paper Le Nouveau Quotidien had two revealing articles by the historian J. Baynac ("Comment les historiens délèguent à la justice la tâche de faire taire les révisionnistes" ("How historians leave to justice the task of putting a stop to the revisionists"), Sept. 2, 1996, p. 16, and "Faute de documents probants sur les chambres à gaz, les historiens esquivent le débat" ("Because of a lack of convincing documents for the gas chambers, historians dodge the debate"), Sept. 3, 1996, p. 16. These articles (kindly sent to me by R. Faurisson) point out that traditional historiography is seriously flawed when it concerns the "Nazi gas chambers." In the second article Baynac writes that it may be necessary "to prove" that their "non-existence is impossible"! See R. Faurisson, "An Orthodox Historian Finally Acknowledges: There is No Evidence for Nazi Gas Chambers," July-August 1998 Journal, pp. 24-28. The Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), an organization headed by Bradley R. Smith, is online at http://www.codoh.com. It has placed numerous advertisements in college newspapers, and reaches out to many people, giving them an idea of revisionist arguments. It would be interesting to know something about the effect these advertisements are having. Have students begun to cite revisionist sources? Are some instructors now encouraging debate? Partial breakthroughs to a scholarly open debate on the Holocaust can be seen from two articles in the May-June 1994 Journal of Historical Review (pp. 16-20): "'60 Minutes' Takes Aim at Holocaust Revisionism" and "Smith and Cole Appear in 'Donahue' Show in Major Media Breakthrough for Revisionism."
- "Rudolf's 'Mystery Speaker' Statement," read out at the Twelfth IHR Conference, Sept. 3-5, 1994. The Journal of Historical Review, Nov.-Dec. 1994 (Vol. 14, No. 6), p. 15.
From The Journal of Historical Review, November/December 2000 (Vol. 19, No. 6), page 26.
About the author:
Costas Zaverdinos was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1938. Since 1970 he has been with the University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg), which awarded him a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1984. He is currently an honorary senior lecturer with the University's School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Technology of the Faculty of Science. He is the author of several papers in internationally recognized scholarly journals. Since 1997 he has been a member of this Journal's Editorial Advisory Committee. (For more about him, see the May-June 1997 Journal, p. 19) This essay is adapted from an address he gave at an IHR meeting in southern California on March 28, 1998.