All images added by this website
In response to: "left-wing liberal key witness for Holocaust deniers"; Die Welt, 28th August 2002
MANY thanks to Sven Felix Kellerhof for confirming that I am "anything else but a Holocaust Denier". I am a confessed anti-fascist.
Yes, one can makes things either more difficult or easier for the neo-Nazis. Indeed, whereas proven, believable testimony makes things harder for these men of yesteryear, exaggerations only make things easier for the Nazi apologists. If the mouthpiece of the right-wing radicals, the "Nationalzeitung", now confirms the mass murder of more than half a million people at Auschwitz, then this is a defeat for the Auschwitz deniers.
My essay, as it says at the conclusion, "does not relativise the barbarity, but rather verifies it -- a hardened warning ahead of new breaches of civilization." Thanks also to Sven Felix Kellerhoff for having reproduced essentially correctly my study, which was intended for academic readers, concerning the number of victims of Auschwitz. Of course, its conclusion does not substantially differ from the most recent research conclusions of the expert, Jean-Claude Pressac's, who calculated at least 631,000 dead at Auschwitz, of which at least 470,000+ were Jews murdered by gas.
Pressac calls SS-Bauleiters Bischoff's letter concerning the "capacity" of the crematoria an "internal propaganda lie of the SS." I expressed the view that doubt about the authenticity of the document is justified. There are several reasons for this, above all the existence of three different facsimile versions.
I call David Irving a "successful author of proven research ability who increasingly aligned himself with the crazy views of his Nazi colleagues [MS-Gesprächspartner]" and who "persisted in maintaining the absurd position that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz for the purpose of killing people". In much the same vein, Richard Evans quotes the verdicts of several acknowledged historians on Irving: "A giant of research", "profound research", "endless scholarly diligence". But surely the Auschwitz denier Irving cannot now employ me as a "key witness".
THE Holocaust is one of the most terrible topics in contemporary history -- and one of the most sensitive, for the incorrigible Auschwitz deniers are only waiting for direct or indirect "confirmation" of their crude perceptions from authorities of the, according to them, controlled "media and academic devices". Therefore one must be ultra-cautious if one is to question, for example, the findings of serious research into Auschwitz. In my opinion, you were not -- with the consequence that right-wing radicals are now swaggering with their "success" because a "Spiegel" editor surrendered to their side.
There is a big difference between calling SS-Bauleiter Bischoff's letter an "internal propaganda lie" -- and, without citing weighty reasons, speaking of a "forgery". There are also worlds between the previous opinions of historians of consequence quoted by Richard Evans and his own judgement, to which I referred: Evans called Irving a "falsifier of history".
Of course historiography can and must revise the findings of previous researchers -- and if need be reject them. Only, historians must, according to the topic, handle such revisions (literally) particularly attentively -- otherwise they play into the hands of those who unjustly call themselves "revisionists".
Sven Felix Kellerhoff
Related items on this website: