Epilogue

ERNST GAUSS


"MEMO of July 26, 1994

Re.: Concentration Camp Mauthausen

1) In early 1989 the following message was passed to me:

'Re.: Concentration Camp Mauthausen
With reference to: article in OÖ-Nachrichten of October 8, 1988

To help determine the truth:
The construction firm Peters & Pascher of Linz (today: Peters C. Baugesellschaft m.b.H., 4020 Linz, Südtirolstr. 28, tel. 0732/57-4-01) installed the gas chambers in the concentration camp Mauthausen after the War.'


2) In spring 1989 I contacted this construction company. After much hesitation I was given the (anonymous) information that the state police had 'taken possession of' the pertinent files.

3) Dr. Dr. Fischer from the Federal Ministry of the Interior - Mauthausen archive - not only refused to give me any information at all, but also denied me access to the Mauthausen archive.

4) The inhabitants of Mauthausen do not like to talk about the concentration camp. In the course of my investigations I found that the gendarmes were notified immediately. The first time my car was thoroughly checked and I was made to submit to an alcohol test. My particulars were recorded.

The second time I was officially told to remove myself, otherwise something unpleasant would happen. The gendarmes did not find me during my further investigations. When I enter the concentration camp the personnel immediately notify the gendarmes.

5) During the renovations of the concentration camp the firm of Peters & Pascher had a site telephone, and is said to even have had a listing in the telephone book. Unfortunately my source could not tell me the year.

6) The postal authorities of Linz allegedly no longer had any old telephone directories.

7) For this reason I have drawn up an expert report to get to the bottom of the matter. The after-the-fact installation of the gas chamber is evident/demonstrable from the following documents:

  • Russian site plan by Valentin Sacharow, 'Aufstand in Mauthausen', pub. Volk und Welt, Berlin, 1961. [...]
  • Layout of the former concentration camp Mauthausen, Provincial Government of Upper Austria, dated February 4, 1949 (not very legible).
  • In May 1970 the renovated concentration camp was opened to the public. The gas chamber exhibited now (it looked different and was at a different location before! [...]) must therefore have been built by the firm of Peters & Pascher before May 1970.
  • Questioning of a witness, November 7, 1988, District Court Salzburg, Ref. 32 Hs 577/88 (the witness has requested anonymity).
  • I myself am also a witness and can testify to the relocation and renovation of the gas chamber.


[sgd.] Engineer Emil Lachout, Max-Mauermann-G. 2571, A-1100 Vienna."




Wouldn't it be worth an official investigation to find out whether in Mauthausen the 'truth desired from the perspective of public education' was actually launched with the aid of fabrications? Or are there perhaps fears that the results of such an investigation would give rise to further doubts about the truthfulness of certain representations? Or are we still under the sway of what the Polish journalist Ernest Skalski wrote in 1990, regarding the first great revision of the numbers of Auschwitz victims:1

"The error, though committed a long time ago and by others, remains tendentious. And it was 'our' error, if 'our' refers to enemies of fascism and racism. [...]

"I admit that it is sometimes necessary to cover up the truth - ie. to lie -, at times even for noble reasons, for example out of pity or tact. But it is always profitable to know why one does that, and what these divergences from the truth bring [...].

"While truth is not always good, lies are much more often evil [...]."

Shouldn't the admission that historical lies are considered by Leftist circles to be valuable and appropriate for purposes of 'public education' suffice to make one sceptical? The kind of fire they are playing with here was shown clearly by Patrick Bahners when he wrote, in reference to the verdict against NPD leader Günter Deckert:2

"If Deckert's [revisionist] 'view of the Holocaust' were correct, it would mean that the Federal Republic of Germany was based on a lie. Every presidential address, every minute of silence, every history textbook would be a lie. In denying the murder of the Jews, he denies the Federal Republic's legitimacy."

Anyone who tries to make the legitimacy of the Federal Republic of Germany's existence hinge on the truth or falsehood of historiography about a detail of contemporary history (and almost all the major media and many politicians have been doing this lately), suffers from a profound misconception of the foundations of this our Republic, which is not based on the Holocaust but on the agreement of its citizens and on inalienable human and national rights.

At the same time, such a person commits two unpardonable sins.

First, he gives the actual enemies of this Republic an easy means for destroying our nation.

Second, it is both irresponsible and ridiculous to make the weal and woe of a nation dependent on a "detail of history".

What is such a state to do when it turns out that the Revisionists really are right? Is it supposed to dissolve itself? Or is it supposed to ban the study of history and to jail all the historians?

It is easy to see how far from the straight and narrow such erroneous views lead: someone who pretends to wish to protect this Republic through the ruthless defense of the standard Holocaust tales will, in the crunch, find himself forced to undermine the actual pillars of this state, which are freedom of expression, freedom of research, teaching and science, and an independent justice system under the rule of law. He thus becomes, not the protector of a free and democratic fundamental order, but its greatest threat.

That this threat is more than real was shown by the reactions to the infamous Mannheim verdict against Günter Deckert. In this instance, one of the foremost principles and prerequisites of a state under the rule of law, namely the independence of the trial judges, was annulled in that two of the three judges were punished for their verdict by means of their (forcibly extracted) 'notification of illness' for an indefinite length of time. They were accused not only of having sentenced Deckert too leniently, but also of having considered the subjective aspects of Deckert's offense in too much detail and too benevolently.3

While such in-depth and benevolent evaluation of subjective aspects was introduced as part of the liberal policies of the past few decades, and is very much desired when what is at issue is the sentencing of common criminals or even Leftist political offenses (such as violent demonstrations against industrial construction projects), this practice is suddenly turned into a scandal when it benefits a Right-winger.

Whether the overemphasis on subjective aspects to the detriment of deterrence is an advantageous facet of our modern justice system or not is a moot point. What should be cause for concern, however, is the obvious fact that in trials against persons who dispute certain aspects of the National Socialist persecution of the Jews, it is no longer only the objective facts of the case - for example, the question of whether the claims made by the accused are true or not - which are decided on by the justice system even before start of the trial through the "judicial notice" credo.

[Note: "judicial notice" in these cases is when the court formally declares that the item challenged by the defendant, said challenge constituting the entire charge against him, is true on its face and may not be questioned by anyone on any grounds. Thus, the defendant is placed in an impossible position by not being allowed to demonsrate that the "truth" he is accused of denying is in fact not "truth" at all, and therefore there was no crime. Being denied this most basic of rights, to examine the truth of evidence and charges presented against him, the only possible verdict is guilty, assuming that the defendant does not deny publicly expressing the opinions which resulted in the charge. This is an amazing example of Joseph Heller's fictional "Catch 22" mechanism come to frightening life.--DT]

If the media, the politicians and even many jurists have their way, the subjective aspects are now also supposed to be settled beforehand!

A Holocaust revisionist may not, on principle, have any good character traits, he must perforce have only evil intentions and must therefore be sentenced without mercy or compassion - that is the basic trend in the media's reactions. This renders the trials against Holocaust disputers nothing more than show trials whose results and verdicts are already set in advance.

Beyond that, it would be little short of a miracle if the judges in the Federal Republic of Germany had not learned (from the way in which their Mannheim colleagues' careers were abruptly cut short) that if they wish to keep their own heads, they had better convict Revisionists without delay, question or review. My statement, that a point at issue for the judges in trials against Revisionists is always whose head it is that will roll -- that of the accused or that of the judge (a statement that was controversial even one year ago 4)-- has thus been proven entirely correct. In practice it has even been taken a step further. To save his own skin it does not suffice for the judge to merely convict the accused. No, in addition he must also show the accused to be a monster, and must punish him as harshly as possible.5

The parallel drawn by M. Köhler (in his chapter in this book) between the medieval witch trials of suspected demonic agents and today's trials against suspected Holocaust denialists has thus proven more than true.

The misconception about the foundations of the free and democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany also gives rise to another danger for this order. This danger lies in the circumstance that the advocates of this misconception also declare as enemies of the state such people who wish no evil on this state or its citizens, or who are even prepared to serve and benefit it. These people are demonized merely for the reason that they hold different opinions about certain aspects of contemporary history.

Consequently, imaginary enemies are created. By means of the incitement against them, loyal citizens of the state are practically forced into the role of enemy. In other words, the process creates the very enemy one pretends to fight. This self-generated enemy is then used to justify the escalating restrictions on the fundamental rights guaranteed by the German Constitution, as described. With the increasing scientific success of Revisionism, this forcing of basically well-meaning citizens into an unwanted enemy role must lead to social polarization which is anything but beneficial to the internal peace of the Federal Republic of Germany.

To protect the status and reputation of our state, therefore, it is high time to strive for objective scientific dialogue and to assign to the Holocaust the role it deserves, namely as merely one stone in the mosaic of history.

The First Reactions to This Book

In the spring of 1994 Germar Rudolf sent several leading German persons and institutions a preliminary manuscript of this volume. The foremost request was for an assessment of whether the work meets the standards of scientific inquiry, for which assessment the criteria set by the German Federal Constitutional Court (reproduced in the introduction to this volume) were to serve as guideline. Critiques of content and suggestions for improvement were also solicited.

We shall now recount some of the reactions that were received. Since the actual letters of response were confiscated from Germar Rudolf in the course of a police house-search on August 18, 1994, the following are reconstructions of the essence of these responses. In the event of errors in these reconstructions I would ask the person/s in question for their understanding and to make their complaints to the Public Prosecutor's Office in Stuttgart.

Federal German Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl

Federal Chancellor Dr. Helmut Kohl replied, via an official, that he could not participate in the ongoing discussion about the Holocaust and referred to the precedents set for the Holocaust matter by the Federal Constitutional Court and the Federal Supreme Court. From the many handwritten notes and corrections in the returned manuscript -- for which I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chancellor's Office on behalf of all the contributing authors -- it was clear that the Chancellor's Office took note of the introduction in full, and of the other chapters at least in part.

Chair of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, I. Bubis.

Herr Bubis accepted the typescript and made no response.

Chair of the Institute for Contemporary History, H. Auerbach

The Institute for Contemporary History refused the delivery of the mailing. Since the practice of ignoring arguments to the contrary (and, in this case, even arguments presumed to be contrary!) is generally taken as the ultimate proof of a non-scientific and unacademic approach, one consequently cannot help but deny the official Institute for Contemporary History any and all scientific status in discussions about the Holocaust.

Professor Dr. Wolffsohn

Professor Wolffsohn kept the typescript and wrote that even we could not make facts go away. He is certainly correct in that. The only question is: what are the facts in this case, and what is mere belief?

Professor Dr. Dr.h.c. H. G. von Schnering

Germar Rudolf's doctoral thesis supervisor-to-be returned the typescript unread, stated that he would not tolerate any further mailings, and took care to emphasize that he would not stand for having anyone dictate to him the criteria by which he should judge the academic value of a work. Clearly he overlooked the fact that the criteria suggested as guidelines had not been selected at random, but rather were those chosen by the Federal Constitutional Court. His otherwise generally negative attitude fits precisely with that which he has shown Germar Rudolf for the past two years: Prof. von Schnering refuses to acknowledge arguments that might run counter to his own views.6 Since he did at one time state to Rudolf that someone who ignores arguments opposing one's own views does not deserve to hold an academic degree, this attitude on his part is indeed astonishing.

Attorney of the Federal Supreme Court, K. von Nehm

While the attorney of the Federal Supreme Court was not asked for a critique of content, he was asked to assess whether the manuscript would violate any criminal laws, and if so, why. In his reply, Herr v. Nehm stated that even the Table of Contents already exposed the manuscript as an evil creation and that he did not intend to take further note of it. Further, he stressed that his reply did not represent any legal evaluation of the book.

This letter provides ample proof of the Federal Supreme Court's bias and boundless ignorance, and with that, the Federal Supreme Court has stripped itself of any moral right to a legal assessment of the present volume.

Several Professors From Various Subject Disciplines

Several qualified academics offered very constructive suggestions for improvements as well as objective evaluations, and we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to these individuals. For obvious reasons I shall refrain from naming them.

One criticism was that the majority of other books on contemporary history read like easy literature compared to this book.

Another objection was that this volume criticizes only a few aspects of the Holocaust and that it largely neglects to juxtapose a comprehensive Revisionist view of the National Socialist persecution of the Jews with a synopsis of the orthodox view. It is not enough (our critic said) to quibble about specifics of the historiography that has come down to our times. Rather, we should show how things really were, if they were not the way we are generally told today.

I would like to reply to this that the first scientific step in a revision of prevailing views is always to see whether these prevailing views contain decisive flaws or shortcomings, and if so, why. The beginning of any such process is the examination of the old-established, and this examination may lead to the overthrow of the latter. Only when the old theory has been successfully questioned has it been demonstrated that there is a need for research leading to a new theory.

The present volume has taken this first step - providing an examination and critique of the old view. In our opinion this old view has not held up to our critique. There is a demonstrated need for research leading to a new, more correct view of history.

It could not be, and was not supposed to be, the task of this book to draft this comprehensive, new, more truthful historiography. That is reserved for future works, whose quest it will be to reexamine, in a comprehensive way and from a new perspective, the relationship between Jews and Germans in the 20th century.

ERNST GAUSS, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, September 1994





1. Der Spiegel, no. 30/1990, p. 111.

2. Patrick Bahners, "Objektive Selbstzerstörung", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Aug. 15, 1994, p. 21.

3. cf. the daily and weekly press of the first two weeks of August 1994.

4. E. Gauss, Vorlesungen über Zeitgeschichte, Tübingen: Grabert, 1993, p. 261.

5. The revocation of the judges' independence was also acknowledged by the jurist Dr. Martin Kriele, "Ein Eingriff mit Präzedenzwirkung", Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Sept. 15, 1994, p. 14.

6. cf. W. Schlesinger, Der Fall Rudolf, Cromwell, 20 Madeira Place, Brighton / East Sussex, BN2 1TN, Great Britain.

This epilogue was translated from the original, "Zu guter Letzt" by Victor Diodon
 



 
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