Dedicated to Freedom of Inquiry
SUPPRESSIO VERI EXPRESSIO FALSI
Suppression of the truth is a false representation.
It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
THOMAS JEFFERSON: Notes on Virginia, 1782
My Banned Holocaust Interview
My Banned Holocaust Interview
Adapted from Intervista sull’Olocausto
by Carlo Mattogno, Edizioni di Ar, MCMXCV
Translated by Carlos Whitlock Porter
Edited by Russ Granata
Set in Palatine 10 Point Type
by J.P. Van Gordon
Copyright © MCMXCVI
Box 2145, Palos Verdes
California 90274 USA
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Works in preparation:
All this started when Italian journalist Gianluca Virgilio suggested that I give him an interview on the Holocaust for publication in Historia magazine which would appear along with an opposing interview from an anti-revisionist historian.
The director of Historia was in agreement with this debate plan, and after some fruitless search for my opponent, Virgilio turned to Roman university professor Luigi Cajani of La Sapienza, who expressed his willingness to participate. But when the professor—as a conditio sine qua non—demanded the right to respond in such a way as to have the advantage of the last word, I, at first, considered his demand unacceptable, and the project languished—until my book, Auschwitz: The End of a Legend 1 was published in the United States.
That was when I decided to go ahead and accept the professor’s conditions. Professor Cajani then requested and received from Virgilio, preparation period to get ready to oppose me, during which time I made various modifications of my part, because it was too long.
But then, when both interviews were finally ready for publication, the management of Historia changed hands, and the new director, Alberto Tagliati, took it upon himself to set aside the former director’s plan. He eliminated my interview entirely, and had Historia publish only the side of my opponent, Professor Cajani! 2
The reason which the new director gave for his decision, was revealed in a brief introduction which he published over the signature “a.t.” (obviously Alberto Tagliati’s initials). It was surprising, to say the very least! This is what he said:
Gianluca Virgilio’s interview of Professor Luigi Cajani of La Sapienza University in Rome—published in the following pages—was to have been accompanied by another, parallel interview, which was to discuss the reasons for the new revisionism, an attempt to offer a reductive, de-dramatized framework to the reality of the concentration camps and the genocide of the Jews. We cannot agree with such a misconception of “objectivity”; we agree with the theory of history expressed by Burckhardt. (p. 22)
In his Swiss impartiality, Burckhardt formed a stable, detached concept of so-called historical objectivity. “History” he stated, “is that which one era considers useful to hold true of another.” I do not believe that this opinion should be revised or corrected, less than ever with regards to Nazism. Of course, contemporary history has judged Nazism from a one-sided point of view—that of the victors, that of Nuremberg—but that was the only point of view from which the apocalyptic inhumanity of Nazism could be contemplated. If historical criticism has taken a negative attitude—one of prevention—it is because Hitlerism has given it full logical and ethical justification for so doing today. Execration is still, today, the “useful” judgment—in Burckhardt’s words—a prophylactic measure which must be taken by our era to guard against that recidivous infection of the spirit. It should not be forgotten that, only a few weeks ago, neo-Nazis burnt the synagogue of Lübeck [Translator’s note: persons unknown scorched the back door and did some very minor damage to a shed or kitchen.] and vandalized the Jewish cemetery in Berlin.
Fifty years after the end of the Second World War, by contrast, there are people who invoke a cold “objectivity”—who pursue a “serenity of judgment”—academically equidistant in an appraisal of Nazism and its crimes. This pedantic attempt to square the circle reveals a sympathy with Nazism which is substantially intended to absolve it of its crimes. (pp. 22–23)
Certain accountants of a revisionism inclined to perform a computeristic juggling act with the gross total horrors of Auschwitz and Mauthausen, are shrewdly parsimonious in manipulating the abacus of human victims. This is a duplicitous game in which scores between victims and torturers are totted up on an equal basis. Insistently, inquiringly, they dissect the testimonies—the stammered recollections of survivors in a further, technically punctilious examination of the quantity of refractory materials used in crematory ovens in a state of over-production—the quantities of coal “reasonably” required to burn one man, or a million men. Everything from the horrifying photographs of 1945 to the cinemagraphic record of “Schindler’s List” is said to be a fraud, a hoax. According to the claims of these inquisitive late-comers, no one ever “left through the chimney”, to use the horrifying metaphor of Birkenau. Only the lice had anything to fear from the gas chambers; and as for the ovens, they burned the aromatic wood of good intentions, and were—we are told—hygienic disinfestation devices.
These miniaturists of the “lager archipelago” are chiselling gilded decorations to the memory of Himmler and Eichmann. Let us hope they do so unconsciously. (p. 23)
Alberto Tagliati has therefore concretely inaugurated a new historiographical methodology which rejects “objectivity” and “serenity of judgment,” and stresses the “useful” instead of the truth! History is that which the victors consider “useful” to hold true of the vanquished! This means that if Hitler had won the Second World War, our director would have lashed out at the “apocalyptic inhumanity” of the Allies based upon a historiographical point of view “useful” to the victors! Not bad for the director of Historia, a “monthly history illustrated.”
His decision only confirms the objectivity—the serenity of judgment—and the demonstrative value of my statements. Through his refusal to print my interview, back to back with that of Professor Cajani, Alberto Tagliati has proven that he fears direct confrontation and has very little faith in the statements of Professor Cajani. If my statements are incorrect—as alleged by certain impromptu critics—then
what better occasion to refute them publicly, than in a prestige periodical with the assistance of academics? But that is obviously of little importance to the director of Historia. My statements are not incorrect—they are simply not “useful,” and therefore “damaging” to official historiography, and that is sufficient to condemn them.
Gianluca Virgilio’s last question to me during the interview concerned a possible ideological justification which revisionism might furnish for neo-Nazi resurgency. In reply, I asked a question of my own: If official historiography reached the clear conclusion that their “Holocaust” version was historically flawed, would it be necessary to proclaim that conclusion as a truth, or would it be necessary to hush it up out of fear of providing justification for neo-Nazi resurgency? 3
We now know the response of Alberto Tagliati.
The following is the full text of Gianluca Virgilio’s interview with me, accompanied by my reply to Professor Cajani. These two texts are my answer to the parody of revisionist statements offered by the director of Historia. The fact that the statements carried by Historia are not “true”—in the sense that they are not revisionist statements—is obviously of no interest to him; they are “useful” to Historia, and to official historiography. In practice, attributing crass nonsense to revisionists, and then waxing ironic upon that nonsense, is much more “useful” than offering true revisionist statements and attempting to reply on a documentary and debate level.
I add a brief article, “Revealing Captions,” which is a perfect example of the crass ignorance of certain impromptu critics of Revisionism.
(Questions by Gianluca Virgilio, Answers by Carlo Mattogno)
Q: You consider yourself a revisionist historian; you have collaborated with periodicals and written books which are revisionist in content. What is “revisionism” to you?
A: Revisionism is essentially a methodology of writing history; it is the method of writing history normally used by all historians in all branches of history, with the sole exception of the topic of the Holocaust. A denial of the historical reality of the homicidal gas chambers is the logical conclusion of that methodology, since that history is based upon proofs which do not stand up to serious historical criticism.
Q: Does that mean that the hundreds of historians who have concerned themselves with the study of the Holocaust since the end of the Second World War have not used scientific historiographical methodology?
A: That is also the opinion of Jean-Claude Pressac, the greatest official historian of the Auschwitz camp. Pressac has called the preceding historiography “a history based for the most part on testimonies, assembled according to the mood of the moment, truncated to fit an arbitrary truth and sprinkled with a few German documents of uneven value and without any connection with one another.” 4
Q: The historical reality of the Holocaust has been proven in the Nuremberg Trial and in dozens of trials of Nazi war criminals held later. What do you have to say in this regard?
A: It would be ingenuous to believe that these trials, in which the victors judged the vanquished, were aimed at ascertaining historical truth. On the contrary, they were political trials; fundamentally no different from Stalinist trials. In fact, as declared by the United States Chief Prosecutor during the hearing of 26 July 1946 at the Nuremberg Trial, the International Military Tribunal was simply a “continuation of the war effort of the Allied nations” against Germany, with which they were “technically still at war,” even though the enemy’s political and military institutions had been crushed.5
At Nuremberg, notes the English historian A.J.P. Taylor, “the documents were chosen not only to demonstrate the war-guilt of the men on trial, but to conceal the guilt of the prosecuting powers.” The guilt of the defendants was therefore presupposed a priori: “The verdict preceded the tribunal; and the documents were brought in to sustain a conclusion which had already been settled.” 6
To facilitate reaching the preestablished conclusion, aberrant new legal instruments were created for that occasion, such as articles 19 and 21 of the London Agreement of 8 August 1945, which held that the Nuremberg Tribunal “shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence” and “shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge, but shall take judicial notice thereof.” 7 In practice, these articles authorized the accusers to repeat the most absurd tales as if they were proven facts—such as the instantaneous destruction of an experimental village of 20,000 Jews on the outskirts of Auschwitz by means of a new German “destructive substance” (Zerstörungsstoff) 8 or to lie, as in the case of the Katyn Forest massacre, perpetrated by the Soviets, and which was shamelessly attributed to the Germans.9
Moreover, the defenders had to choose the defense documents from those pre-selected by the accusers for the sole purpose of proving the guilt of the accused.
Q: Let’s start from the beginning. You deny that there was ever an order from Hitler—or his hierarchy—which gave rise to the extermination of the Jews. You have also disputed the authenticity of the minutes of the Wannsee conference of 20 January 1942, at which notification was given of the extermination decision.
A: With regard to the first point, I can produce two basic arguments: First, there are no documents—no order or general plan—to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
The old explanation of the official historiography, which was that such documents do not exist because the orders were given orally and the few existing documents were destroyed by the Nazis, has now been swept away by the “intentionalist” movement of the official historiography on the one hand, and by the works of Jean-Claude Pressac on the other hand.
The functionalists deny the very concept of a decision or order, as definite acts, and attribute the process which allegedly led to a Holocaust to a concurrence of various contrasting forces and tendencies which crystallized around the Führer as the charismatic and legitimating figure; the specific extermination order is in this case replaced by a simple “nod of the head” from Hitler. Martin Broszat, late ex-director of the Institut für Zeitgeschichte at Munich, reached the logical conclusion that “Hitler took no definite decision and never gave a general order for the Final Solution”, as noted by Christopher R. Browning.10
The archives of the Auschwitz Bauleitung (construction management)—the office responsible for planning and constructing of, among other things, the crematoria and presumed gas chambers at Auschwitz—fell “intact” into Soviet hands; but these archives (consisting, according to Pressac, of 80,000 documents preserved in Moscow, and which have been examined by Pressac), contain not one single document relating to a general order or plan to exterminate the Jews.
In the second place, the Nazi policy of resettling the Jews, which was pursued with great resolution until 23 October 1941, the date on which emigration was prohibited,11 clearly contradicts the existence of an intent to exterminate the Jews and, to an even greater extent, the Nazi policy of Jewish emigration contradicts the contention that there was a general plan to exterminate them.
The historian Christopher R. Browning notes in this regard:
The efforts of the Nazi specialists on the Jewish question to promote emigration, and their plans of mass resettlement, were not only tolerated but even encouraged by Hitler. It is difficult to reconcile this behavior with the hypothesis of a homicidal intent hatched over the long term with regards to the Western Jews.
Browning decisively concludes that:
The Jewish policy implemented by the Nazis until 1941 does not justify the thesis according to which, there was a well-settled plan or that a desire existed long term to liquidate the European Jews.12
But here another problem arises which official historiography has left unsolved. In the absence of the old explanation, the reasons for the Führerbefehl (order of the Führer) are mysterious and incomprehensible: Hitler is said to have pursued a policy of emigration and resettlement with regards to the Jews until October 1941, and then suddenly, without any plausible reason, to have decided to exterminate the European Jews, after which he hurried to serve notice of his decision to the authorities concerned, through the Wannsee conference, which was originally scheduled for 9 December 1941.13
The real significance of the Wannsee protocol—the authenticity of which I have never denied—is obvious if one reads the text as a whole, and if one places it in its historical context. These elementary historiographical standards have almost always been disdained by official historiography.
In this document, Heydrich, head of the Security Police and Security Service, first summarizes the fundamental stages of Nazi Jewish policy, and then notes that, up until 31 October 1941, notwithstanding various difficulties, the government of the Reich had succeeded in causing 537,000 Jews to emigrate from the Old Reich, Austria, and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.
In the meantime, continues the protocol, the Reichsführer SS and Head of the German police [Himmler], has prohibited the emigration of the Jews in view of the dangers of emigration during the war, and in view of the possibilities of the East Emigration, the previously possible solution, is now to be replaced by evacuation of the Jews to the East, under authorization of the Führer. These operations should continue to be considered only makeshift solutions (Ausweichmögligkeiten) intended to gather the practical experience which will assume great importance in the future Final Solution of the Jewish problem.14
An information letter from the Foreign Ministry on 10 February 1942 explains the meaning of the Wannsee conference beyond a shadow of a doubt:
In August 1940, I delivered for your files the plan for a final solution of the Jewish question (zur Endlösung der Judenfrage) drawn up by my office, according to which, in the peace treaty, it was to be necessary to ask France for the isle of Madagascar, but the practical execution of the task should be entrusted to the Reich’s Main Security Office. In conformity with this plan, Gruppenführer Heydrich has been assigned by Hitler with implementing the solution of the Jewish question in Europe. The war against the Soviet Union has in the meantime permitted disposal of other territories for the Final Solution. The Führer has therefore decided that the Jews should not be expelled to Madagascar, but to the East. Therefore, Madagascar should not be foreseen for the Final Solution (Madagaskar braucht mithin nicht mehr für die Endlösung vorgesehen werden.) 15
This document also makes it completely clear that the famous “Final Solution” was nothing other than a plan of resettlement.16
A few years ago, the Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer inflicted the coup de grace on the traditional interpretation of the historiography, calling it a “silly old story.” 17 But, as noted by S. Friedländer, the functionalist Hans Mommsen had already reached the conclusion that the “Wannsee conference did not involve discussion of an extermination plan.” 18
More recently, Jean-Claude Pressac overkilled this interpretation:
On 20 January 1942, the so-called Wannsee Conference was held in Berlin. While action to push the Jews towards the East was certainly foreseen, with the mention of a “natural” elimination through work, no one then spoke of industrial liquidation. In the days and weeks that followed, the Bauleitung of Auschwitz received not one call, not one telegram, not one letter, calling for the study of an installation adapted to this purpose.19
Q: The notorious Einsatzgruppen, whose purpose was the mopping-up or extermination of the Jews in territories just occupied by the Wehrmacht was in operation on the Eastern front. Original documentation exists on these massacres from contemporary sources.
A: Revisionism does not deny that massacres of Eastern Jews, as well as among Soviet civilians were perpetrated during the Second World War, but rather that there was a preestablished plan of mass Jewish extermination involving all European Jews as Jews, drawn up by the government of the Reich, and then implemented in special “extermination camps” using execution “gas chambers.” As for the activity of the Einsatzgruppen, the most recent developments of official historiography has firmly established the following:
1. Extermination of the Jews was not one of the fundamental tasks of the Einsatzgruppen, as noted by the Jewish historian Arno J. Mayer:
When they left on their mission, the Einsatzgruppen and the RSHA were not assigned the extermination of the Jews as principal, let alone sole, task.20
This is fully confirmed by the facts. Alfred Streim, official of the Zentrale Stelle of Ludwigsburg and historian, notes that the Einsatzgruppen, in July and August 1941 “communicated the creation of ghettos and the registration of the Jews ‘according to orders’” and stresses that “ghettoization and registration do not argue in favor of extermination, but of preservation.” 21
An important document from this period, the Braune Mappe, opens with the following words:
All measures concerning the Jewish question in the occupied territories of the East must be taken with the idea that after the war, the question will find a general solution in Europe.22
2. The later massacres were not carried out based on a specific written or oral order from the government of the Reich. Arno J. Mayer, in this regard, writes that “as far as we know, neither Heydrich, nor Hitler, nor Himmler, ever issued the order to liquidate these non-combatants.” 23 The existence of a written order originates from the trial declarations of Otto Ohlendorf, commandant of Einsatzgruppe D; but Alfred Streim, without mincing his words, states that those declarations “are false” (sind falsch), saying:
In the trial of the Einsatzgruppen, the ex-capo of Einsatzgruppen D was able to induce his co-defendants to embrace the line of defense established by him, calling their attention to the fact that, if he [could prove that they] carried out the extermination actions “on the Führer’s orders” from the outset, they could [all] count on a lighter sentence.24
3. The massacres perpetrated in the Soviet Union have no connection with the presumed plan to exterminate the European Jews as Jews. Browning states that in fact “Nazi policy towards the Jews was not transformed immediately: they continued to speak of emigration, expulsion, and plans for a future reintegration.” He then adds more explicitly:
The idea of the Final Solution for the European Jews was formed through a separate process, and resulted from a distinct decision.25
4. The Soviet Jews suffered massacres, not in the context of a general plan to exterminate the European Jews, nor “just because they were Jews,” but as a result of the ferocious radicalization of the war in the East, and because they were viewed as the carriers of Bolshevism. This is the conclusion reached by Arno J. Mayer, who writes:
The massacre of the Soviet Jews was closely related, not only to the growing brutality of the military campaign, but also to the constantly increasing, pitiless violence against the civilian population.26
The politicians and politicized militants of Operation Barbarossa attacked them (the Jews) because they considered them the principal carriers of the Bolshevik system and its ideology—and also because they were more vulnerable than other real or presumed carriers.27
The truthfulness of the figures of victims recorded in the reports of the Einsatzgruppen has never been verified, except in one case—during the trial of the Feldmarschall Erich von Manstein. Ohlendorf’s unit noted in their reports that they had killed 10,000 Jews in November 1942 at Simferopol.
Defense council for the accused, the Englishman Reginald T. Paget, was able to show, using a series of other exhibits, evidence to the contrary, that there had only been one execution at Simferopol at that time, and that it involved no more than 300 persons, only part of whom were Jews.” 28
Was this an exaggeration on Ohlendorf’s part, or was it a manipulation of documents?
Q: Revisionism has attempted to apply its criticism to the Holocaust on a technical level. But Jean-Claude Pressac, in his recent book Les crématoires d’Auschwitz 29 has definitively demolished this criticism on a technical level, for example, in his accurate technical description of the crematoria. What is your answer to Pressac?
A: I answered Pressac with an entire book published first in the United States entitled, Auschwitz: The End of a Legend. A Critique of J.C. Pressac (Institute for Historical Review). The original Italian version is published as, Auschwitz: Fine di una leggenda (Edizioni di Ar), and it is also published in the German language as Auschwitz: Das Ende einer Legende in the anthology Auschwitz: Nackte Fakten (Vrij Historisch Onderzoek, Postbus 60, B-2600 Berchem 2, Belgium).
First of all, this study documents Pressac’s incompetence not only regarding the chemical-physical properties and use for disinfestation purposes of Zyklon B, but above all, the structure and functioning of the crematory ovens.30
Pressac’s statements in this regard are erroneous, not only technically, but also historically: the technical designs of the ovens executed by him—which make such an impression on the layman—all present structural errors caused by his lack of thermotechnical expertise. Pressac’s statements regarding the crematory capacity of the crematoria at Birkenau are technically unfounded; the maximum capacity assumed by him is four times the maximum theoretical capacity of the crematoria; while the coke consumption per cadaver assumed by him is, by contrast, one-fifth of the actual average consumption. The crematoria at Birkenau were planned in August 1942, after Himmler, during his inspection of 17–18 July, had ordered an increase in the actual planned manpower for Birkenau camp from 125,000 to 200,000 prisoners, and during a typhus epidemic running rampant among the inmates (from which civilians and military including the SS also died). The crematory capacity attained by these crematories—around 500 cremations per day out of an average planned work force of 200,000 inmates—was therefore perfectly adequate to cope with the new situation, considering that, in August 1942, an average mortality of 269 deaths per day was registered out of an effective work force of approximately 35,000 inmates. The crematories of Birkenau were, therefore, not designed for criminal purposes—as Pressac even explicitly admits, by the way, with regards to Crematories II and III.31
Q: But Pressac demonstrated these crematories were later transformed into instruments of extermination.
A: Pressac states that Crematories II and III (in which supposedly were cremated 95% of all the corpses of the inmates who are said to have been cremated in ovens) were planned and built as normal hygienic-sanitary installations; but, as the Pressac story goes, at the end of 1942, they were supposed to have been transformed into criminal instruments through the installation of homicidal gas chambers with Zyklon B in their basement. Crematoria IV and V, by contrast, were planned and built for homicidal purposes from the very outset. It is therefore necessary to believe that the Bauleitung of Auschwitz intended 30 burner-muffles 32 (Crematoria II and III) for normal camp sanitary-hygienic usage, and only 16 muffles (Crematoria IV and V) for
homicidal purposes, i.e., which means that they expected a camp death rate from natural causes notably in excess of the supposed mass extermination!
Moreover, after the supposed criminal transformation of Crematoria II and III, their oven rooms still had the same number of ovens as had been designed for natural inmate mortality, while the ventilators in the respective Leichenkeller I (basement mortuary chambers; for Pressac, the supposed homicidal gas chambers) still had the same capacity as had been designed for an ordinary morgue (4,800 m3/h = 9.5 air exchanges per hour, as compared to 72 air exchanges in the standard model Degesch-Kreislauf disinfection chambers using zyklon B). So what did the criminal transformation of the crematoria consist of? And how do we explain the fact that Leichenkeller 2—the supposed victims’ undressing room, with its 11 air exchanges per hour—was better ventilated than the supposed homicidal gas chamber? 33
Q: But Pressac has provided irrefutable proof in support of the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz.
A: Pressac has not provided any proof, but only a series of “bavures” (less than traces!), to which he strongly attributes a criminal purpose—often with openly deceptive arguments (such as, for example, in the case of the term Normalgaskammer applied to the disinfection chamber—which means a standard Degesch Kreislauf—from which he deduces the existence of “abnormal” gas chambers, that is, homicidal gas chambers!) The bavure to which Pressac very imprudently attributes the status of definitive proof of the existence of a homicidal gas chamber in Crematorium II—the letter from Topf of 2 March 1943—in reality proves nothing. It is true that it mentions Anzeigegeräte für Blausäure-Reste (residual hydrocyanic acid gas detection devices), apparently related to the use of Zyklon B; but there is no proof that they were intended for a criminal use of Zyklon B. There is nothing, for example, to prevent the morgues of the crematorium from being fumigated with Zyklon B for disinfection purposes (typhus—an illness transmitted by lice—was still raging at Birkenau at that time).
Q: Isn’t the term Sonderbehandlung, which is mentioned in various Nazi documents, proof of the gassing of human beings at Auschwitz?
A: On the contrary; the documents referred to by Pressac show that the term Sonderbehandlung—far from referring to extermination of the Jews in gas chambers—refer to the hygienic-sanitary measures adopted by the SS to brake the typhus epidemic which was then raging in the camp. The Auschwitz building plan of 28 October 1942 calls for an inmate disinfestation installation (Entwesungsanlage) of 1,000 m2, including a heating installation, shower, and disinfestation installation “für Sonderbehandlung,” i.e., precisely for hygienic-sanitary treatment of the inmates.34
Q: But there are documents on the delivery of toxic gasses at Auschwitz. No one can deny this historic truth.
A: It is undeniable that various documents—NI-11396, PS-1553, NO-2362, 2363, to mention only a few—do refer to deliveries of Zyklon to Auschwitz; but one should guard against drawing overhasty conclusions from these documents. For decades, official historiography had considered these deliveries to be proof of mass murder of the Jews, maintaining that all the Zyklon B delivered—or the greater part of it—was intended for homicidal gas chambers. This supposed proof has now been demolished by Pressac himself, who states that 97 to 98% of these deliveries were for normal disinfestation purposes, and that only the remaining 2 to 3% was used for homicidal purposes. But he in no way demonstrates the presumed homicidal use. The only certain fact is that there were at least 9 disinfestation chambers using Zyklon B at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and that this product was used also for the disinfestation of barracks, particularly during the typhus epidemic.35
Q: Are your arguments solely negative in nature? Can you provide any positive proof in support of your argument?
A: To stay on the subject, since Auschwitz is considered the symbol of the Holocaust, I will very briefly mention three positive proofs:
From 1 March to 25 October 1943, a total of 641.5 tons of coke were delivered to the crematoria of Birkenau.
During this period, the number of inmates who died of natural causes was approximately 27,300. The theoretical minimum quantity of coke required to cremate these bodies would therefore be approximately 537 tons, an average of approximately 20 kg per corpse. Actual consumption was approximately 23.5 kg. The number of supposed gassing victims, during the same period, was approximately 118,000; for which only 104.5 tons of coke would have remained available, i.e., an average of 0.9 kg per corpse. Therefore, the stories of mass gassings with reference to this period, are false. I must note that, according to Pressac and all his colleagues, no cremations occurred out in the open during this period.
In the original edition of his book (Les crématoires d’Auschwitz), Pressac states that the number of victims at Auschwitz amounted to 775,000, of whom approximately 675,000 are said to have been cremated in the crematoria of Birkenau. Topf was the firm which built the ovens at Auschwitz-Birkenau. At the end of the 1930s, the lifetime of the fire-resistant brick in a Topf electric-heated crematory oven, was 3,000 cremations; but the 2-muffle coke-heated Topf oven at the Gusen crematorium only lasted 3,200 cremations—1,600 per muffle—after which it was necessary to dismantle it and replace the refractory masonry. Now, even assuming that Auschwitz-Birkenau was used right up to the limit of 3,000 cremations per muffle, it could have cremated a total of approximately 156,000 bodies (according to Pressac, approximately 145,000 inmates died from natural causes during this period, including Soviet prisoners of war). The cremation of 675,000 bodies, by contrast, would therefore have required at least 4 complete replacements of the refractory bricks in all the ovens. In figures, this would mean approximately 256 tons of refractory material and approximately 7,200 hours of labor for Crematories II and III alone.36
But, the archives of the Bauleitung—which were left “intact” by the SS—contain no reference to such a monumental repair project, which means that it was not carried out. The cremation of 675,000 bodies in these facilities is therefore technically impossible.
Between 17 and 31 May 1944, approximately 184,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz; of these, according to the data in the Auschwitz Kalendarium 37—approximately 150,000, an average of 10,000 per day, are said to have been gassed. According to “eyewitness testimony,” the crematoria proved insufficient, so 7 “cremation pits” were dug, with a total surface area of 2,400 m2, in which the majority of the victims were burnt. According to Myklos Nyizsli, “by day, it (smoke) covered the sky above Birkenau with a thick cloud.” 38
But the aerial photographs taken by the Americans on 31 May 1944 do not reveal the slightest trace of such an appalling extermination: there is no trace of huge “cremation pits”; no trace of earth excavated from “pits” (at least 5,400 m3); no trace of wood piled up to service “pits” (average daily consumption: at least 4,000 tons, which is equal to approximately 9,000 m3 of wood in piles); no trace of smoke from cremation chimneys; no trace of persons gathering in areas of “cremation pits” or crematoria. These photographs 39 are irrefutable proof that the account of extermination of the Hungarian Jews is historically unfounded.40
Q: But there are many eyewitness testimonies from survivors of the extermination camps, giving exact descriptions of the mass killings in gas chambers.
A: The demonstrative value of witness testimony is subordinate to two essential factors: the objective truthfulness of the testimonies, and the use made by the historian of the latter. Now, in the official historiography we are confronted with obviously false testimonies, swarming with chemical-physical and technical absurdities and internal and reciprocal contradictions as to fundamental aspects of the supposed extermination, the gas chambers and crematory ovens on the one hand; as well as a clearly deceptive use of these testimonies on the other hand.
In fact no official historian—except for Jean-Claude Pressac—has ever been concerned with checking out the reliability of these testimonies,41 which are normally accepted in a very uncritical manner; the critical activity of the historian usually being limited to merely lopping off any overly obvious contradictions and absurdities, and assembling odds and ends of testimony—weaving an argumentative procedure devoid of historical or scientific value.
Even Pressac has recognized this; not only has he stigmatized the shallowness of the official historiography, but he has even admitted the legitimacy of revisionism as being a logical result of that historiography; that revisionism is the consequence of the senselessness of eyewitness testimony. In his first book, Pressac wrote:
The fact that the history of the extermination rested essentially on eyewitness accounts gave rise in the West to a debate based on comparison and confrontation of these testimonies, a critical attitude which led in the end towards some people purely and simply denying the existence of homicidal gas chambers. Testimony history and its revisionist off-spring being very closely linked, the one having generated the other, it became absolutely essential to find a new historical approach in order to escape from the closed circle of futile debate, and go further in search of the truth.42
He therefore proposes a new historiographical methodology which rejects the use of testimonies, at least in theory, and concentrates essentially on the use of documents.
Another fundamental aspect of the problem of testimonies is the fact that, in a war crimes trial, witnesses for the prosecution have always enjoyed total immunity, and, particularly due to the fact that—through a sort of reverential timidity, as a defense strategy or, in most cases, due to defense incapacity—were never subjected to serious cross examination. The only two times this happened—during the first Zündel trial, held in Canada in 1985—the “eyewitnesses” made such a poor showing that no “eyewitnesses” dared to appear in the second trial (1988).
To give you a better background picture of this problem, I will mention a few examples. For a better understanding of the problem, please refer to my publication, La soluzione finale: problemi e polemiche (Edizioni di Ar, 1991).
Jan Karski is one of the three most famous “eyewitnesses” to the gas chambers at Belzec (the others are Kurt Gerstein and the Pole Rudolf Reder); Karski is also the sole living witness, and appeared in that capacity in the “Mixer Special” on the Holocaust, broadcast on RAI 2 on 21 June 1989 for the first time; it has since been re-broadcast several times.
This witness has declared that, in October 1942, news reached him of a mass extermination being carried on at Belzec, whereupon he decided to penetrate the camp to ascertain the truth. With the help of several members of the Polish resistance and corrupt guards, he succeeded in entering the camp and witnessed what was happening. In a report written in late 1942, he declared that the Jews at Belzec were being exterminated by means of electrical shock in a barracks with a metallic floor; in a book published in 1944, by contrast, he wrote that the Jews were being loaded into wagons filled with quicklime and left to die outside the camp. But according to the official Belzec historiography, the supposed mass extermination at Belzec, as well as at Treblinka and Sobibor, made exclusive use of gas chambers, using the exhaust gas of a Diesel engine—no electrical shock barracks or trains of death. One may therefore estimate or infer the reliability of the eyewitnesses, and the good faith of those who continue to quote them.
One of the first “eyewitness testimonies” of Treblinka is a report sent on 15 November 1942 from the Warsaw ghetto clandestine organization to the Polish government in exile, describing extermination of the Jews in “steam chambers.” This fable even achieved official sanction at the Nuremberg Trial.
The first “eyewitness testimonies” to Sobibor (1946) are no less imaginative: According to Alexander Pechersky, the gassings took place by means of a “black, heavy substance” which exited “in spirals from holes pierced in the roof”—after which the floor of the gas chamber opened up, and the cadavers fell directly into wagons placed
in the basement.
Another “eyewitness,” Zelda Metz, speaks of asphyxiations with chlorine and adds: “Then the floor opened automatically. The bodies fell onto wagons on a railroad track which passed through the gas chambers and took the corpses to the oven.” 43
Unfortunately for these “eyewitnesses,” no crematory ovens ever existed at Sobibor, and the supposed gas chambers had no basement.
The historical reality of the first homicidal “gassing” at Auschwitz—which is said to have taken place in the basement of Block 11 in September 1941, and is said to constitute the point of departure for the supposed mass extermination in gas chambers—is based entirely on false testimonies, as I have demonstrated in a 190 page book 44 dedicated solely to this important topic, to which the official historiography normally concedes only a few lines.
The first detailed report on the supposed mass extermination in gas chambers at Birkenau, drawn up by two Jewish inmates who escaped from Birkenau in April 1944, is demonstrably false. In particular, it contains a description and diagram of the crematoria and Leichenkeller I, the supposed gas chambers, which have absolutely nothing in common with reality.45 One of the two authors, Rudolf Vrba, wrote his memoirs in 1963 46 where he openly contradicted the account given in 1944 (having in the interim taken the trouble to document himself a bit from books of holocaust bibliography). But in his 1963 book, among other things, Vrba describes, in great detail, based on eyewitness testimony, a visit by Himmler to Auschwitz in 1943 47 which never took place.
Rudolf Vrba had the courage (or perhaps the audacity) to appear as a witness in the Zündel trial in 1985. Confronted with the strident contradictions in the above-mentioned testimonies, Zündel’s defense lawyer under the guidance of Professor Faurisson, left Rudolf Vrba with no other option than to appeal to “poetic license”! 48
The other eyewitness to gassings at Auschwitz who appeared in the same trial, one Arnold Friedmann—who had testified that flames four meters high shot out of the chimneys, and who had further testified that he could determine the nationality of the cremated victims from the color of the flames—this Arnold Friedmann finally admitted, when he was hard-pressed by defense council, that he had not seen anything personally, and that his knowledge was based on hearsay.49
Q: But even many Nazi officials have testified to the extermination, either at Nuremberg or in other, later trials.
A: It is undeniable that almost all of the SS defendants in such trials admitted the reality of the extermination of the Jews, but it is also true that for the majority of them, their confessions were dictated by opportunistic motives of defense strategy. The immediate interest of the defendants was to get out of the trial with the most favorable verdict as possible, and since the supposed extermination of the Jews was assumed a priori by every tribunal as a “generally known fact,” it was perceived as senseless for the defendants to base their line of defense on a denial of this dogma. In the Belsen trial, Josef Kramer, the Kommandant of Auschwitz II (Birkenau) and Belsen—was initially resourceful enough to deny this dogma: In one of his first declarations, he called former Auschwitz inmate statements relating to gas chambers “false from beginning to end.” 50 But when he realized that this line of defense was unsustainable, he hurried to change his tune during the course of the trial, saying that homicidal gas chambers existed after all, but that he never had anything to do with them.51
I have already mentioned the case of Otto Ohlendorf. In other cases, confessions were the result of bargaining or threats. For example, as noted by G. Reitlinger, “his services rendered as a witness at Nuremberg and Warsaw saved von dem Bach Zelewski from extradition to Russia.” 52
Other confessions were extorted by torture. In 1948, an American Commission of Inquiry presided over by the Judges van Roden and Simpson, investigated the workings of the Dachau Tribunal, and ascertained that the confessions of the accused were extorted with physical and psychic tortures of every sort, among other tilings, in 137 of the 139 cases examined, the accused had suffered irreparable damage to their testicles.53
SS Obersturmführer Kurt Gerstein, the principal witness for the supposed gas chamber at Belzec—whose “report” has become official truth on the camp—on the other hand, drew up his testimony spontaneously; but it is completely unreliable on all essential points, as I have shown in a specific report.54 Gerstein declares, among other things, that 700–800 persons—i.e., 28 to 30 persons per square meter—were squeezed into a gas chamber measuring 5 x 4 meters—but which, very strangely, had a surface area of 25 m2, and a volume of 45 m3! He then attests to the preciseness of this figure by means of an illogical arithmetical calculation, and concludes by saying that all his statements are true to the letter! Not bad for a mining engineer!
Leon Poliakov, in publishing the Gerstein “report,” didn’t dare to repeat this last absurdity and “corrected” the document 55 by writing 93 m2 instead of 25 m2, neglecting however to “correct” the volume of the gas chamber as well—so that, in his text, the chamber would have to be 48 centimeters high! 56
Q: Don’t you feel that your theories could provide an ideological justification for the already rather frightening phenomenon of neo-Nazi resurgency?
A: Unfortunately, for some years now, several groups of “Naziskins” have appropriated some revisionist positions for their own particular ideological-propagandistic purposes. These are revisionism’s most dangerous enemies: first, because they spread a version of revisionism which has been simplified to the point of banality, giving the impression that revisionist arguments are all nonsense; and secondly, because they provide a justification for those who claim that revisionism is a Nazi phenomenon; and they provide an alibi for those who advocate the introduction of anti-revisionist legislation here in Italy on the model of what exists in France.
Having said that much, I will also reply to your question, with a question of my own: If the official historiography reached the conclusion that the Holocaust was historically flawed, would it be necessary to proclaim this truth, or would it be necessary to hush it up out of fear of providing a justification for neo-Nazi resurgency?
The interview of Professor Cajani is remarkable for its moderate and peaceful tone, contrary to many of his colleagues, who give way too easily to emotion, he restricted himself to factual argumentation. Unfortunately, since he is not a specialist in the material; since he has not studied the documents; since he has not examined the places; and since he has not studied the revisionist works which he quotes, he has been compelled to trust sources which turn out to be untrustworthy, all of which consequently render his arguments inconsistent.
Professor Cajani states that “revisionism has the fundamental aim of reappraising Nazism by denying the genocide of the Jews; that if in fact it can be shown that such a crime was not committed, then Nazism loses its most negative connotations, and becomes once again politically legitimate” (p. 25).
This argument has been created by the opponents of revisionism for the sole purpose of discrediting it. By a sort of psychological projection, the most furious claimants of a merely political-propagandistic purpose for revisionism, are precisely those who pursue political-propaganda purposes of their own, the most prominent of them being Pierre Vidal-Naquet, who, in the university environment, enjoys absolutely undeserved credit.1
In fact, the recognized head of the revisionist school was not an ex or neo-Nazi, but rather a Socialist, a member of the Resistance; arrested by the Gestapo in October 1943; tortured for 11 days; deported to the concentration camps of Buchenwald and Dora; 95% disabled as a result of his deportation; holder of the medals “Vermeil de la Reconnaissance Française,” and the “Rosette de la Résistance”: the Frenchman Paul Rassinier.2
It is obvious that Professor Cajani does not know these particulars, which, however, are not exactly irrelevant. In France—where no one is ignorant of Paul Rassinier’s Resistance and anti-Nazi past, and in order to provide a semblance of credibility to the historically false view of the origin and purpose of revisionism—they have attempted to supplant Rassinier chronologically, and attribute the origin of revisionism to a personality who was openly on the right: Maurice Bardèche.
Professor Cajani accepts this anachronism by stating that Bardèche denied the historical reality of the presumed genocide of the Jews in his book, Nuremberg ou la Terre promise; in particular, the claim that the gas chambers were used only for the disinfestation of “lice-filled clothing” (p. 24). Prof. Cajani, who has evidently not read the book which he cites, will be surprised to know that Maurice Bardèche was entirely convinced of the historical reality of “genocide,” of “extermination camps,” and “gas chambers.” 3
In France, revisionism initially developed primarily in an environment of the Left (La Vieille Taupe, Le Frondeur, La Guerre sociale). In Italy as well, there are revisionists from the Italian communist left such as Cesare Saletta, cited previously. Professor Robert Faurisson has a radical-libertarian forma mentis which is the antithesis of that of the Nazis; the Swedish revisionist Ditlieb Felderer is a Jehovah’s Witness.
One of the most promising American revisionists is the young Jew, David Cole,4 while another noted Jew, J.G. Burg (Ginsburg) is the author of various revisionist books.5 Ginsburg died in 1990.
As has been demonstrated, Holocaust revisionism was created by an extreme anti-Nazi in an attempt to ascertain the facts through a critical analysis of testimonies and documents, and present-day revisionists have the widest possible variety of ideological and political backgrounds.
To demonstrate the Nazi origins of revisionism—the Nazi-revisionist “conspiracy theory”—Professor Cajani relates an anecdote narrated by Primo Levi: The SS are said to have cynically warned many inmates that no one in the future would believe in the extermination of the Jews because they would destroy all the evidence and the witnesses:
And even if some evidence should remain; even if one of you should survive, people will say that the facts you describe are too monstrous to be believed; they will say that these are the exaggerations of Allied propaganda; they will believe us, who will deny everything, and not you. The history of the Lager will be dictated by us (p. 25).
This edifying little tale was invented post factum precisely to create an artificial link between Nazism and revisionism. I invite Professor Cajani to quote one single testimony from the immediate post-war period which mentions this.
Professor Cajani attributes to Paul Rassinier “an hypothesis which is at least improbable to explain the alleged fate of the millions of European Jews who missed role call during the census carried out at the end of the war. They are said to have ended up in Siberia, hence at least half are said to have moved to the USA in later years” (p. 24).
One might inquire where Professor Cajani got this “hypothesis”? Certainly not in the Rassinier works! In the book, Le drame des Juifs européens (Les Sept Couleurs, 1964) 6 Rassinier presents a detailed demographic study, according to which, a minimum of 4,416,108 European Jews succeeded in emigrating in time to escape arrest and deportation to the concentration camps,7 of whom 1,080,000 escaped to Russia.8 In Siberia, according to Rassinier, 2,000,000 to 2,200,000 Polish, Baltic, and Rumanian Jews were evacuated by the Soviets. But he is simply repeating information from the Jewish journalist David Bergelson.9
Professor Cajani is also obviously ignorant of the origins of Paul Rassinier’s revisionist commitment. When Rassinier studied eyewitness testimony of former inmates describing the existence of homicidal gas chambers at Buchenwald and Dora—camps which Rassinier knew very well because he had been interned there, he began to publicize the truth.10
Since he knew that no homicidal gas chamber ever existed in either of these two camps, and that therefore the witnesses who alleged the contrary were lying, he began to wonder about the reliability of other eyewitness testimonies relating to other camps, particularly Auschwitz. This led to a broadening of his critical horizon. It is true that he thought that some SS (for example Rudolf Höss and Kurt Gerstein) had been tortured to extort their testimonies from them, but this was always a final determination which explained the reason for all the absurdities and the contradictions which he found in these confessions.
Moreover, no census of the world Jewish population was taken at the end of the Second World War, for example, in France, the only Jews declared to be “survivors” were those who appeared at the “Ministère des Anciens Combattants” in 1945 to say that they were still alive.11
The Leuchter Report is an expert chemical-technical report on the alleged gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek.
Given that two disinfestation gas chambers functioning with hydrocyanic acid still exist at Birkenau,12 the chemical aspects of the Report are based on an extremely simple idea.
Leuchter took various samples of masonry from the alleged homicidal gas chambers from the crematories at Auschwitz-Birkenau and a reference sample from a disinfestation gas chamber which had used hydrocyanic acid, and had them analyzed for respective total cyanide content. Chemical analysis showed a content of 1,050 mg/kg of cyanide for the reference sample (taken from the BW 5a disinfestation installation) and a maximum content of 7.9 mg/kg for the alleged homicidal gas chambers (Leichenhalle of Crematorium I 13). If the premises which were indicated as gas chambers had been gas chambers, they should have exhibited cyanide content on the same order of magnitude as those from the disinfestation chamber; how can this enormous discrepancy be explained?
Leuchter’s opponents have thought up some rather odd explanations denoting ignorance both of the locations and the chemical processes involved in the case.
One of these criticisms is that referred to by Professor Cajani, who speaks of “the absurdity of attempting to find traces of hydrocyanic acid in the ruins of buildings destroyed forty years previously, and then rebuilt” (p. 25).
This statement contains serious historical and technical errors. No revisionist has ever claimed to have discovered “traces of hydrocyanic acid”—but rather, of cyanide; the difference is not of minor importance.14
Moreover, none of the alleged homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, from an architectural point of view, has ever been “rebuilt”. Anyone who has visited the camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau knows that Crematorium I still exists, and that its alleged gas chamber is the goal of hundreds of tourists every day. Of the alleged homicidal gas chamber in Crematorium II, part of the roof and side walls remain and are accessible; of the presumed homicidal gas chamber in Crematorium III, the side walls remain. In Crematoria IV and V alone —the functioning of which was irrelevant to the overall balance of the supposed mass extermination—the Poles have rebuilt the walls to a height of a few dozen centimeters to indicate the original location of the premises. The concrete base, however, is original. By contrast, the cyanide found in the blue pigment of the walls of the gas chambers of disinfestation installation BW 5a and 5b consists of ferric ferrocyanide (Prussian blue) which is insoluble in water and dilute acids 15—so much so that the outside walls of disinfestation installation BW 5a and 5b still exhibit the typical blue pigment of this cyanide more than 40 years later. This objection is therefore groundless.
Others, like G. Wellers, have attempted to explain the slight quantity of cyanide noted in the alleged homicidal gas chambers by claiming that the victims absorbed the greater part of the toxic gas into their lungs. Without entering into too much detail, the “rapidly fatal” concentration of gaseous hydrocyanic acid gas, for a man, is 0.3 mg/liter 16 or 0.3g/m3; according to the Haber scale.17
At high concentrations, the lethal dose inhaled is 8 mg; therefore, in the presumed gassing of 2,000 persons in Crematoria II and III using the 6 kilos of Zyklon B as mentioned by Pressac, the victims would have died after inhaling a total of 16 gr of hydrocyanic acid, or 0.002% of the total quantity. This objection too, is therefore groundless.
As far as the technical aspects are concerned, the Leuchter report remains unrefuted.
The Leuchter report has the distinction of having opened a new field of investigation, but it has now been largely superseded. The revisionist “chemical proof” par excellence is the Report on the Formation and Demonstrability of Cyanide Compounds in the “Gas Chambers” of Auschwitz,18 by the German chemist Germar Rudolf. Rudolf scientifically studied all the fundamental chemical and technical problems connected with the alleged homicidal gas chambers: The construction system of the disinfestation installation using hydrocyanic acid; the formation and stability of ferric ferrocyanide and their influence on various building materials; the toxicology of hydrocyanic acid; the vaporization characteristics of Zyklon B, and a critical analysis of testimonies based, among other things, upon a study of the diffusion of hydrocyanic acid in the premises, and the ventilation possibilities of the “gas chambers.” Included was an analysis of gas mask filter capacity.
Dr. Rudolf also took a series of samples in the disinfestation gas chambers and the alleged homicidal gas chambers at Birkenau, and performed gassing experiments of masonry material. Finally, he refuted, on a chemical level, the objections of the most important persons (Pressac, Wegner, Wellers, Jagschitz, Fleming, as well as the Cracow expert reports of 1945 and 1990) cited against the Leuchter Report. These persons also included Josef Bailer, whose authority was invoked by Professor Cajani—rather incautiously in this instance as well. Bailer, notwithstanding his doctorate in chemistry, claims that ferric ferrocyanide cannot form in the walls as a result of the chemical reactions. Bailer also claims that the pigment on the inside and outside walls of the BW 5a and 5b disinfestation chamber installations at Birkenau is adulterated, and that the results of Leuchter’s chemical analysis are therefore false! 19 In answering the new Polish expert report by Jan Markiewicz, Wojciech Gubula, and Jerzy Labedz (1994), Dr. Rudolf discusses an important case of Prussian blue formation reported in a 1981 specialist technical text,20 in which a church was fumigated with cyanide acid a few weeks after plastering the walls. Blue stains appeared everywhere in the plaster over the following months, a reaction which was only concluded a year later. It was necessary to remove all the plaster.21
Chemical analyses of the samples taken by Dr. Rudolf (1991) indicated a maximum cyanide content of 13,500 mg/kg in the disinfestation gas chamber of BW 5b, and a maximum content of 7.2 mg/kg in the alleged homicidal gas chambers (Crematory II).
Dr. Rudolf’s expert report also remains unrefuted.
Before making the necessary and precise statements regarding Professor Cajani’s remarks, an important preliminary statement is in order. Contrary to common impression, the opening of the Moscow archives has been a dismal event for proponents of a historical reality of the extermination of the Jews. These people (prior to the rise of the functionalist movement) have always answered revisionist objections relating to the total absence of documents mentioning an alleged mass extermination plan by asserting that these documents were destroyed by the Nazis. Now, for the first time, we are able to study the complete documentation of that very office, the Bauleitung, which is purported to have actually planned and built the “gas chambers” in the “extermination camp” which has become the symbol of the Holocaust: Auschwitz! Now, what has Pressac found among the 80,000 (eighty thousand) documents of the Bauleitung of Auschwitz? One presumed “proof” and three or four “bavures” slip-ups, which, according to Pressac, amount to “traces” of criminal activity in the crematoria. In reality, they are merely enormous blunders on the part of that French researcher.22
I will provide an example: the indication, in one document, of a wooden ventilator for Leichenkeller I (later replaced by a metallic one) becomes, for Pressac, a “trace” or suspicion that the ventilator was no longer intended to aspirate fetid vapors from a morgue, but rather, air mixed with hydrocyanic acid and acids are corrosive. But in this case, why were the standard disinfestation gas chambers equipped with the Degesch Kreislaufsystem of metallic devices? 23
As for the supposed “proof” (the only one in eighty thousand documents) of the Topf letter of 2 March 1943, Professor Cajani writes that this “informed the Bauleitung of a request made to the supplier companies for ten hydrocyanic acid gas residue detectors, which the Bauleitung intended to install in what was officially known as the Leichenkeller of Krematorium II. This letter contains one of the many examples of cryptic language.24 ‘Leichenkeller’ in fact means ‘underground morgue’; but a morgue has no need for hydrocyanic acid residue detectors” (p. 26).
I will begin by pointing out that “this letter” does not contain the term Leichenkeller at all; since it was published by Pressac in a photocopy facsimile of the original,25 this oversight on the part of Professor Cajani is inexplicable. It is also obvious that he is even ignorant of the fact that Crematorium II had two Leichenkeller, denominated 1 and 2. Finally, a hydrocyanic acid gas residue detector was not a “device” which one could “install” in an area, but a box containing absorbent papers and reagents which were to be prepared immediately prior to entering an area dis-infested with hydrocyanic acid.26
I should add that no document states that the Gasprüfer were intended precisely for Leichenkeller I (the supposed homicidal gas chamber) of Crematory II, and, as I have already indicated, even if the Gasprüfer really were the devices that Pressac thinks they were, there is nothing to prove that it was used for homicidal purposes. Here, Pressac presents us with a classic example of the petitio principii: the Gasprüfer have a criminal function because there is a homicidal gas chamber in the crematorium, and there is a homicidal gas chamber in the crematorium because the Gasprüfer have a criminal function! This letter therefore proves nothing.
As for the significance and value of this document, please note first of all that the detector device for Zyklon B gas residues was called Gasrestnachweisgerät für Zyklon, not Anzeigegerät für Blausäure-Reste (as in the letter in question); the first is a term unknown to the specialized literature of the time. The letter of 2 March 1943 has the object of supplying 10 Gasprüfer, as requested by the Bauleitung on 26 February 1943; but a Gasprüfer, in German technical literature, is a simple combustion gas analyzer,27 which also explains why the Bauleitung requested them directly from Topf—a firm which manufactured combustion installations in particular—rather than from the firm Tesch and Stabenow, which normally supplied the Auschwitz camp with Zyklon B, anti-gas masks, specialist “J” filters, and, in particular, Gasrestnachweisgeräte für Zyklon.
Lastly, why did the Bauleitung require precisely 10 Gasprüfer? Pressac is unable to provide any answer (Prof. Cajani even ignores the problem). Nor could he give one, because the 10 combustion gas analyzers were used for the 10 waste gas flues or smoke ducts of Crematories II and III, or for the 10 chimney flues in the four crematories at Birkenau.
If the SS at Auschwitz needed 10 Gasrestnachweisgeräte for Zyklon B, why did they request 10 combustion gas analyzers (Gasprüfer?). And since the Bauleitung did not succeed in obtaining them, how did they test for residue gas in the supposed homicidal gas chamber, since that test could be performed only with the above mentioned Gasrestnachweisgerät?
Professor Cajani furthermore states that some documents “demonstrate the installation of gas-proof doors and windows in the Leichenkeller” which, according to him, “were purposeless in a morgue, but, on the contrary, necessary in the gas chamber.”
Apart from the fact that the Leichenkeller in Crematoria II and III had no windows, the presence of a gas-tight door can be explained by a hypothesis formulated by Pressac himself, according to which Leichenkeller I of Crematorium II (and therefore of Crematorium III as well) might have been used to store bodies several days old, which had begun to decompose.28
A gas-tight door would have been used to isolate the cadavers of inmates having died from typhus (the decision to install gas-tight doors was taken during the summer of 1942, while the typhus epidemic was still raging).
As for the term Vergasungskeller, Pressac himself declares that, to say that this demonstrates the existence of a homicidal gas chamber solely on the basis of the letter of 29 January 1943 (as Georges Wellers had done) is “irresponsible,” 29 but, since he has not provided any proof, (but rather simple “traces” or “bavures”), his own statement is still “irresponsible.”
The original of this Himmler speech is a typewritten document in carbon copy, preserved in the Washington National Archives. In this document, the two pages which contain the declarations quoted by Professor Cajani are written with a different typewriter and a different carbon, and have been repaginated in pencil.30
Question: Why, in a speech 116 pages long, were only the two pages dealing with the Jewish evacuation (Die Judenevakuierung) replaced?
But even supposing that the text of the speech is authentic, which is rather doubtful,31 we would only be dealing with an example of that truculent language often used by Nazi leaders—and not only the Nazis—during the war.
Joseph Billig, a historian certainly not suspected of revisionist sympathies, notes in this regard:
The term “Vernichtung” (annihilation, destruction), indicated an absolutely negative point of view with regards to the Jewish presence in the Reich. As an absolute, this point of view was proclaimed to be prepared for all extremes, if necessary. The term in question did not mean that they had reached the point of an extermination, nor even that they had formed the deliberate intention to reach that point.
Some days before the quoted speech,32 Hitler received the Czechoslovakian Minister of Foreign Affairs. He scolded his guest for the Prague government’s lack of forcefulness in its efforts to reach an understanding with the Reich, and recommended, in particular, energetic action against the Jews. In this connection, he declared, as an example, “In our country, they are being exterminated” (bei uns werden vernichtet).33
This phrase, as J. Billig clearly states in his comments, in no way referred to a massacre, but I repeat, to the Jewish emigration policy then underway,34 which was definitively abandoned only on 23 October 1941.
Professor Cajani notes that “revisionist publications sometimes take on a scientific veneer with reference to data and documents, and may therefore be disconcerting and actually disturbing to people who are not well informed.” (p. 26)
Official historians, incapable of answering technical arguments of revisionists, have only been able to attempt to discredit them by calling them “pseudo-scientific.”
Since it does not appear to me that Professor Cajani has been disconcerted or disturbed by my interview (which was delivered to Gianluca Virgilio some months prior to the publication of his own interview), we must conclude that he personally is “well informed.” I therefore invite him to clear up the “scientific veneer” of this one following argument:
How was it possible to cremate the bodies of approximately 118,000 “gassing victims” using an average of 0.9 kg of coke per body in the ovens at Birkenau in 1943?
Here is a little hint to help answer that question: The Topf 2-muffle oven of the crematory at Gusen, when in thermal equilibrium at working temperature, required an average of 30.5 kg of coke per cremation.35
Professor Cajani produces three “of the most fundamental” testimonies—those of Rudolf Höss, Franz Stangl, and Adolf Eichmann, commenting: “With respect to these testimonies, the revisionists have pointed out several errors and incongruities which are used to show that they were extorted, as I have already recalled, with violence, or with the promise of escaping the gallows. But it is a senseless argument.” (p. 28)
As to the motivations for these Nazi confessions, I must repeat what I said in the interview. As for the three cases alluded to by Professor Cajani, I should like add the following:
[Robert Faurisson reports that] Jean-Claude Pressac, during the hearing of 9 May 1995 in the litigation against Prof. Faurisson under the [French] Fabius-Gayssot law of 13 July 1990 involving the publication of the book, Réponse à Jean-Claude Pressac sur le problème des chambres à gaz,36 [that Pressac] upon being asked by the President of
the Tribunal whether Höss [Commandant of Auschwitz] had been tortured, “admitted that Höss had unquestionably been tortured,37 and [Pressac] added that ‘unfortunately’ instead of changing his mind with regard to the absurdities which the British ‘had put in his head,’ 38 he [Höss] ‘became so persuaded of these absurdities that he repeated them to his Polish guards.’” 39
Pierre Guillaume speaks of an interview with Gitta Sereny, in which Sereny admitted that Stangl did not in fact confess anything; he was unable to do so.40
Gitta Sereny’s book, Into That Darkness,41 is a simple journalistic essay in which it is impossible to distinguish Stangl’s real statements from those which the industrious journalist has placed in his mouth. Stangl died shortly after his last conversation with Sereny, who therefore had no need to fear contradictions.
Professor Cajani takes pains to refute the argument according to which Eichmann is said to have confessed that which his accusers desired with the promise of escaping the gallows. This is not the view of the revisionists, but of Professor Cajani. The revisionist argument is that Eichmann confessed that which his accusers wanted to hear in the hope of escaping the gallows. This was an obvious defense strategy followed by many of his colleagues: confess the presumed guilt of others while simultaneously proclaiming one’s own innocence. On 13 November 1961, after hearing the judgment and death sentence, Eichmann made a lengthy protestation of innocence which opens with
the following words: “I have heard the sentence of the Tribunal. I am disappointed in my hope of justice. I cannot accept this judgment.” 42
The value of the statistics offered by official historiography becomes clear from the example of Auschwitz. It is remarkable that Stalinist propaganda in 1945, spoke of more than 4 million victims—two thirds of the traditional figure of 6 million—for this camp.43
In 1983, the Jewish historian Georges Wellers reduced the number of assumed gassing victims to approximately 1,335,000.44 Some years ago, Franciszek Piper further reduced that figure to 1,100,000 including approximately 1,000,000 Jews.45
As for Pressac, in 1989, 1993, and in 1994 he presented the following declining figures for Jews assumed to have been homicidally gassed:
1994: 470,000 – 550,000 46
The basis for these “revisions” is in no way documentary, but technical, as I will explain below.
In conclusion, even though approximately 3,500,000 Jews are not to be included among the victims, the total number of victims nevertheless always remains 6 million through a mathematical law which is unknown to me.
1. Aerial photograph of Birkenau taken on 31 May 1944.47 I must immediately point out that the photograph is printed in the negative, so that the black and white areas are reversed. Professor Cajani comments:
Smoke rising from the spot where the ovens were in operation, at the upper right (p. 29).
It is clear that Professor Cajani has not the faintest notion of where the crematory ovens were located. The minuscule, and only column of smoke which rises in the photograph is 900 m away from Crematory II, circa 700 m from Crematorium III, approximately 150 m away from Crematorium IV, and approximately 20 m from Crematorium V, and originates from the north courtyard of the latter crematorium. The surface area of the spot giving off the smoke, calculated on enlargements of the photograph, does not exceed 40–50 m2. There is no trace of smoke from the chimneys of the four crematoria, nor from the supposed homicidal area of so-called Bunker 5.
As I said during the interview, according to “eyewitness testimony,” there were—in the north courtyard of Crematory V, on 31 May 1944—5 (five) “cremation pits” measuring 45 x 8, therefore 360 m2 each, or 1,800 m2 for all five, plus a concrete platform measuring 900 m2 (F. Müller). In the vicinity of Bunker 5, there were two “cremation pits” measuring 50 x 6 m, for a total of 600 m2. But there is no trace of any of these installations in the aerial photograph of 31 May 1944. For this reason, Pressac has reduced the number of these “cremation pits”—from 7 to 5—and he reduced the total surface area of the same “cremation pits”—from 2,400 m2 to 207.5 m2! 48
Pressac, further disturbed by my arguments regarding the material impossibility of exterminating 292,000 Hungarian Jews as he presented in the French edition of his book,49 has, by his own authority, found no better expedient to try to get out of that scrape than to reduce the number of Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz to 160,000 from 240,000 thereby reducing the number of the presumed gassed 50—but with unfounded and contradictory arguments.51
According to the records of the Hungarian gendarmerie, 184,049 Jews were deported to Auschwitz between 15 and 28 May 1944,52 reaching the camp by 31 May. According to the percentages of registration used by Pressac, approximately 122,700 are supposed to have been gassed and cremated in a maximum period of 15 days, for an average of 8,180 per day, every day. On 30–31 May, approximately 21,950 Hungarian Jews arrived at Auschwitz, of whom approximately 14,500 are supposed to have been [homicidally] gassed and cremated.
Question: How was it possible to cremate 14,500 bodies in two days in the installations actually in operation—Crematories II, III, and V—which were in fact able to cremate approximately 900 bodies per day at the most, and in one possible open-air cremation facility measuring 40–50 m2, which could cremate 50 bodies per day at most?
How was it possible to cremate 122,700 bodies in 15 days in cremation facilities which could only have cremated a maximum of 14,250 within this period of time?
More “scientific veneer”?
The aerial photograph cited therefore demonstrates that the claimed mass extermination of Hungarian Jews is historically unfounded. The fact that smoke appears only in the courtyard of Crematorium V, and not from the crematoria chimneys, supposing that the smoke comes from a cremation facility, means only that this was the only facility then in operation; it is possible that they had recourse to such a facility when there was a shortfall in coke for the crematory ovens or when the crematoria were shut down for repairs. Danuta Czech writes in her “Kalendarium” that cadavers of Gypsies alleged to have been homicidally gassed on 2 August 1944, were cremated out in the open because the crematory ovens at that time were not working (“Denn die Krematoriumsöfen sind zu der Zeit nicht in Betrieb”). The small surface area of such an installation permits the categorical exclusion that it had a criminal purpose.
2. I will now return to the photograph published by Professor Cajani on p. 26—taken from Pressac’s book—which he comments as follows: “In the background of the photo, taken clandestinely in 1944: the incineration of the bodies.”
But the revisionists do not deny the incineration of bodies at Auschwitz, only the incineration of bodies of gassed Jews.
The photograph does not show hundreds of men from the Sonderkommando, or thousands of bodies, but rather, eight men in the midst of about thirty cadavers; that is all. Not only does this therefore fail to confirm the mass extermination thesis, it decisively refutes it. The scene depicted shows open-air cadaver cremation of registered inmates under conditions mentioned previously when there was a lack of crematory coke fuel or the crematories were shut down for repairs.
3. Professor Cajani moreover produces a drawing by David Olère, also taken from the book by Pressac, with the following comment: “A drawing by David Olère: the bodies of the gassed are placed in the incinerator ovens. On the body of the mother at the entrance to the crematory, there lies a child.” (p. 27)
The confused terminology used by Professor Cajani betrays all his embarrassment in an argument of which he knows nothing. An “incinerator oven” is an oven for the combustion of rubbish (in German, a Müllverbrennungsofen); a facility for the cremation of
cadavers is called a “crematory oven” (Einäscherungsofen), while the term “crematory” (Krematorium) is the entire building containing the crematory ovens. I won’t bore the reader with further descriptions of the enormous technical errors in this drawing; I will therefore restrict myself to mentioning what Pressac himself declared on 9 May 1995, in one hearing of the Faurisson trial which I have already cited: “At last I became convinced that Olère did not really see any gassing scenes.” His drawings, for Pressac, are therefore only an “artistic inkling” based upon “the right to imagine”! 53
In Italy, the refutation of historical revisionism—after the very poor showing of the specialists who had the misfortune to try their strength against Dr. Faurisson—has been clumsily developed by impromptu critics, most of them journalists, who normally show a complete ignorance of the topic on which they pretend to impart lessons to revisionist historians. One field in which their ignorance becomes unequivocally clear, is that of the captions and the comments to photographic material. Here are a few examples; some recent, and others not so recent.
Let us begin with Epoca [magazine].54
But the peak of ignorance (or is it bad faith?) is a photograph of an open tin of Zyklon B (hydrocyanic acid absorbed in fossil flour), with the inert granules dispersed, is presented on p. XII with this caption:
Hundreds of gold teeth torn from the victims before proceeding with cremation in the ovens; found by Russian troops in the camp storehouses!
The magazine Ragionamenti sui fatti e le immagini della storia 56 is no less ignorant.
Above: Diagram of an oven. Right: Realization of the same!
Open ovens at Birkenau!
L’Espresso 59 published a photograph of two single-chambered Kori ovens from the Dachau camp, with this accompanying caption:
American soldiers in front of the crematory ovens at Buchenwald camp (pp. 74–75),
where in fact [at Buchenwald] by contrast, there still exist two 3-chambered Topf ovens! In Professor Enzo Collotti’s response to Professor Robert Faurisson in Storia illustrata,60 a photograph appears with this caption:
An american soldier inspecting a crematory oven at Auschwitz, containing the still-visible bones and ashes of victims of Nazism.
But the only crematory ovens ever installed at Auschwitz-Birkenau were coke-fueled gazogened ovens, manufactured by the Topf firm of Erfurt, whereas the oven in the photograph by contrast, is an oil-fueled oven manufactured by the Kori firm of Berlin.
This is the competency of certain critics of revisionism.
In the appendix which follows, appears Una storia incancellabile, from Historia, N. 6. June 1995, pp. 22–29.
(Click on thumbnails to open pictures in new window.)
The following errors were corrected for this electronic edition:
Is My Banned Holocaust Interview Debate, Italian Style?
We’ve heard of Divorce, Italian Style. Is this now Debate, Italian Style? Read here what the writer Carlo Mattogno experienced with the Holocaust topic. Taboo! The prominent European monthly periodical Historia killed the Carlo Mattogno side which was supposed to have been printed in one of its issues alongside a piece by an opposition writer. The original idea had been to utilize the adversarial written interview format whereby the opposing sides were to be presented to the public in the pages of Historia. Great! But you will read in this book about how Historia ended up completely eliminating the Carlo Mattogno side and printing only the side of his opponent. Foul! Our intrepid debater picked himself up however, and published his side of the Holocaust story in his book, Intervista sull’Olocausto, which was released in Italy. Here now in this adaptation of his Italian book, the English language reader can see for himself the Carlo Mattogno banned interview. Positions of his opponent are also presented as Mattogno takes them up, point by point in his keen rebuttals and refutations.
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