Confessions of a Holocaust Revisionist
THAT DAY on the mezzanine of the Bonaventure Hotel I was given two leaflets. Along with Faurisson’s article from Le Monde, I was also handed a flyer listing 24 questions or observations about the Holocaust by John Bennett, who described himself as Secretary of the Victoria [Australia] Council of Civil Liberties. It was Bennett, apparently, who had issued the translation of Faurisson’s article and was supervising its distribution among libertarians on the West Coast. I didn’t see him, but a year or so later I was to discover that he had been at the convention that day, along with another revisionist. It’s a very peculiar story.
Bennett’s questions made my head spin when I read them in my apartment that night. He claimed that while it is asserted that the Germans committed everything to paper, “no German wartime document orders the extermination of Jews…or refers to gassing.” He claimed that Germans did commit their policy toward Jews to paper, which “was one of emigration before the war and evacuation to the East during the war . . . .” He claimed that the number of people entering the concentration camps is “set out clearly in captured German documents,” which “express concern about the high death rate and refer to attempts to reduce the rate.”
. . . it is not possible to gas about three million people without any resistance, without any authentic eyewitness, and to commit the crimes in gas chambers built without building specifications and which “went into oblivion,” and to dispose of the bodies in the number of crematoria known to have existed.Despite the fact that Jewish work parties were within talking distance of each batch of victims in each of the alleged 5,000-10,000 separate acts of gassing, no warning was given to the victims. That is, not one member of the, say, 100-strong work parties gave one word of warning to the next batch of victims….
When I read this paragraph of Bennett’s I was conscious for the first time in my life of wanting to ask questions about the gas chamber story. A picture had formed in my mind’s eye while I read. Over the years I had heard about how crowded the camps were, how people were pressed together like animals in herds. Now I recalled how the entrance to Auschwitz was right in the center of the front of the camp. The intended victims would have to be marched through the center of that immense turmoil of thousands of people in order to be gassed. Thousands of gassings then, tens of thousands of work parties, millions of victims, and not one word of warning passed from one to the other? Would that be possible? If it was, what kind of people would we be talking about? It was unimaginable, but maybe it was possible.
Did I have the picture right? Why weren’t the intended victims warned? Ten thousand maybe gassed in a day, day after day, Jewish work parties all over the place and letting it slide? Letting everything slide? Tens of thousands every week, hundreds of thousands every month and everybody letting it slide? How? That was my question. How could they allow themselves to do it?
In my mind’s eye I couldn’t conceive it. Maybe if I knew more about the literature, I thought, I would be able to fit it all together. But there was a question in my mind now about the gas chamber story. I didn’t phrase it that way in the first instant, I suppose, but the question was there, a specific question, and it prepared me to have a second.
No attempt has been made by the Nuremberg prosecutors, Israeli Intelligence or Simon Wiesenthal to ascertain the identity of the gas murderers (that is, the numerous SS officers who dropped the Zyklon B, and no gas murderer has ever been identified (with one possible exception in the Auschwitz trial.)
Thousands of mass-gassings and no prosecutions of the people who had actually put the gas into the chambers? Was that true? If it wasn’t then Bennett could easily be proved wrong. There were hundreds, thousands of books on the Nazis, the Holocaust and the War Crimes trials. Any one of them could show the reader that Bennett was full of it. I was struck again by how simple the questions were that could be asked about an event that was supposed to have been so set in concrete. You wouldn’t have to be a scholar to follow up such questions. Even someone like myself could do it.
If there had been no convictions of Nazis who put the poison gas into the poison gas chambers; if there had been no prosecutions for such an act; if in fact nobody looked for those guys and none were looking for them now–what would that imply? The implications could be terrible. I had no way to know what to make of even the possibility of such questions. In my mind’s eye that night there were no pictures, but now, as I recall it, I see great structures shattering. Not falling down but shattering while remaining in place.
There are no authentic eyewitnesses to any of the thousands of acts of mass gassing, although if the gassings took place and say 2-3 million bodies were taken from the chambers, there must have been thousands of eye-witnesses. Despite a huge amount of technical detail about the crematoria (and indeed about almost everything built in Nazi Germany–see any technical book company), no specifications exist about the gas chambers…. It is not credible that people selected for work had their clothes disinfected by Zyklon B, and those unsuitable for work were killed by Zyklon B.No photographs exist of the bodies in gas chambers. . . . The photographs of corpses used in books and films to prove a policy of genocide are photos of victims of typhus and malnutrition especially at Belsen . . . . Although the Allies wereskeptical of gassing, no attempt was made by Jewish or other anti-Nazi resistance groups to obtain photos to establish the gassings . . . . Although Auschwitz was under constant aerial surveillance during the war, and many inmates had radio transmitters, and many people had access to the vast industrial complex, the Allies did not raise allegations of gassing until after the gassings had allegedly ceased.
Every one of Bennett’s assertions was new to me. Every claim implied a scandal. My head swam. There was no possibility that night that I would be able to judge the accuracy of all his claims or the honesty of his intent. But neither belief nor disbelief was the issue. I was fascinated. I was transfixed. I was like a snake getting its first glimpse of a cage full of restless rats. I couldn’t look away.
The crematoria known to have existed at the “extermination camps” were adequate to deal with the deal with the death rate referred to in the German documents (comparable to the death rate in the Boer War camps) but could not have disposed of the several million people allegedly gassed (Butz, p.118) . . . . The allegation that the camps were used as part of a genocide policy is not credible because there was never any extermination policy or gassing at Belsen, Dachau and Buchenwald. If there was a policy of genocide, Jews in those camps would have been exterminated too . . . . The German resistance to Hitler (a sort of Who’s Who of German society), the head of Wehrmacht Intelligence (Canaris), the Red Cross and the Vatican, were all unaware of either an extermination policy or mass gassings during the war. Albert Speer and the SS Judge Konrad Morgen . . . did not know during the war of either the policy or the gassing. Speer was in charge of the German war economy including obtaining scarce labor and allocating rail traffic priority. Morgen was in charge of investigating irregularities at Auschwitz. If there was an extermination policy or gassings, Speer, Morgen, the German Resistance, the Red Cross and the Vatican, with their many contacts, would have known. . . . The postwar “confessions” brought into being for the Nuremberg Trials by the War Crimes Branch headed by the Zionist David Marcus are unreliable. Torture and forgery were used extensively (see Butz and Judge van Roden). The confessions of Hoess, Kramer, Gerstein, Wisliceny, Hoettl and Stangl are as unreliable as confessions at the Moscow trials in the 1930′s.
At this point I must have begun to ponder the implications of Americans torturing German prisoners to get confessions from them about war crimes. If I did I soon forgot about it. Nothing in my notes during the next two months refers to it.
The six million murdered legend was first circulated by the New York Times in 1942 at the instigation of the World Jewish Congress and was linked with the call for a Jewish State in Palestine. The Holocaust legend is still extensively used for propaganda reasons to support the diplomatic position of Israel. The legend is no more reliable than the atrocity stories of genocide in Cambodia and Uganda, or the 20 millions killed by Stalin legend.There is no good reason for ignoring the German documents setting out the death rates in the camps and accepting one of the figures plucked out of the air by a Holocaust historian. Thus the allegation by Reitlinger that 800,000 died at Auschwitz of whom 80 percent were Jewish and the allegation by Ainsztein that four million died a Auschwitz of whom 40 percent were Jewish are both inventions.
Since the SS made large amounts of money by hiring out concentration camp labor to private industry at a time when Germany was critically short of labor and priority was given to military rail traffic, it is not credible that 400,000 Hungarian Jews were taken to Auschwitz in three months in 1944 and gassed. The impossibility of rail logistics in such an operation is discussed by Rassinier. The ignorance of the Budapest Red Cross and Jewish Senate about the alleged operation is demonstrated by Butz. . . . . The allegation that Germany gave priority to exterminating Jews over winning the war is not credible. If such priority existed, the extermination program would have taken place in Belsen, Dachau and Buchenwald, and it would not have stopped altogether at Auschwitz four months before the Russians captured the camp.
If the Allies believed there were mass gassings at Auschwitz, they would have bombed the rail links to the camp, and if the local partisans in the area knew of the gassings, they would have sabotaged the rail links and alerted the passengers on the thousands of trains said to have gone to Auschwitz as to their likely fate.
There are too many accidents, coincidences, missing people and missing documents for the Holocaust legend to be feasible. Thus aerial photographs taken of the selection area of Auschwitz by the Allies were taken by “accident” . . . and discovered by accident. Gerstein, on whom the play The Deputy is based, and who left a document saying 25 million people had been gassed, disappeared. The “eyewitness” Nyiszli proved to be untraceable. The key travel report used to convict the supplier of Zyklon B was “missing” at the trial.
The reference to aerial photographs taken of the selection area at Auschwitz was the only reference in any of the 24 paragraphs in the leaflet that I was familiar with. I had seen one of the photographs reproduced in the Los Angeles Times a few months earlier. I remembered thinking that there was nothing unusual it, only empty streets and solitary barracks. At the time I had put this down to my ignorance of the particulars of what had gone on at Auschwitz. I really didn’t know what it was I was supposed to see. A number of buildings and “areas” had been noted with drawn-in arrows but everything looked empty to me. There were very few people about, there was no smoke coming from the crematoria chimneys, or anything else to catch my attention.
Now it occurred to me that I would like to look at the photograph again. I didn’t have anything specific in mind. It wasn’t that I wanted to disprove a particular claim, or substantiate one either. It was more vague than that. I just felt moved to have another look at the photograph.
Bennett concluded his observations with these words:
Wild atrocity stories supported by fake photos, false captions and concocted documents were used in WWI. (Ponsonby: Falsehood in Wartime). The stories included cutting off the hands of hundreds of babies, boiling corpses down to make soap, etc. In the absence of Nuremberg-style trials following unconditional surrender the stories were ultimately withdrawn.Suppression of the truth about the Holocaust and about the issues of the Middle East is not due to any “international Zionist conspiracy,” but occurs because “the Jews in the Western world are now a socioeconomic and political elite . . . and are in a position to exert great influence . . . .”
I can still see the scene that night with great clarity. The light from the crooked-neck lamp, the work tables I’d built myself and painted black, the shelves full of books and old newspapers. The worn, red, oriental carpet thrown down over the wall-to-wall green shag, the fourth floor windows open to the night with the lights along Hollywood Boulevard going off to the east and me inside walking in circles, literally, my face contorted with a grin I would never have been able to explain.
As it turns out, Bennett was wrong or half wrong on a number of points, particularly his claim that none of those who were marched to the gas chambers was ever warned of his fate by nearby prisoners on work details. Many claims are made in the literature about warnings given to intended victims, which is not to say such claims are true. Even Elie Wiesel claims that he and his father were approached by a prisoner in the Auschwitz yard on the night of their arrival and told that they would soon be in the flames. What’s odd about these claims is that almost without exception individuals were told they were to “go up the chimneys,” a reference to cremation, but almost without exception were not told about the alleged gas chambers. The answer as to why this should be so is most likely the most likely one. The crematoria existed and the gas chambers didn’t.
What is notable to me today about Bennett’s flyer is that in 1979, using only one sheet of paper, he was able to touch on nearly all the primary Revisionist criticisms to all the stories that together still form the holocaust/genocide legend. All the reservations he raised then are still being pursued by revisionists and dismissed by establishment historians and our other intellectual elites. Later, Bennett was to urge me to understand the very simple idea that Holocaust stories are war stories. I had heard war stories all my life. I’ve told a few myself. How could some of the Holocaust war stories not be exaggerations or claims based on misinformation, or even deliberate falsehoods? They had been related by men and women, hadn’t they?
War stories about the Holocaust, then, had been the only ones that I had not, ever, listened to with any suspicion. Why? And why did it provoke me so profoundly to discover that these stories could not be reasonably questioned by apparently reasonable men? Maybe it was my almost adolescent thoughtlessness about the revisionist critique of the Holocaust that had been at the bottom of my lack of interest in it. Because the moment I started to think about it I felt riveted by the implications that flowed from revisionist theory.
In spite of the awful excitement I felt that night, I was aware of the possibility that I could be at the point of being seduced by neurotic and ill-willed men who had private agendas that in the light of day would disgust me. At the same time, it was clear to me that if I dismissed Faurisson and Bennett out of hand, without giving them a reasonable chance, that from that moment on I would be betraying something in myself, and something out in the world too.