Documents on Real History

More documents on the Auschwitz Death Roll





 or "... one and a half?"


published on March 19, 1990

Laying the myth of Nazi 'factories of death'

SIR--Novelist Stephen Vizinczey (Personal View, March 14) accuses me of having "admitted" in Hitler's War that "the Holocaust"' happened (in fact the phrase had not been coined when I drafted that book). He also accuses me of joining my "Führer" in now denying it.

The facts are: 1988 American laboratory tests on the "gas chambers" which are on display at Auschwitz yielded no significant trace of cyanide compounds; a simultaneous test on the genuine gas chamber used to delouse the slave labourers" clothing there yielded 1,050 mg of cyanide compounds per kilogram.

The latter chamber, complete with gas-tight doors, peepholes etc., is not shown to tourists, who might well otherwise inquire why the chambers allegedly used to gas millions have no such safety precautions, no visible Prussian Blue staining on the walls, but gaps of three inches under their wooden doors, ordinary window glass in the doors, etc.

Confronted with the forensic evidence, I deleted every reference to "factories of death" from the revised edition of my Hitler biography.

Most post-war eye-witness depositions, like Vizinczey's own testimony, refer to other aspects of the Jewish tragedy, like the inhuman deportations; the few that claim intimate knowledge of the "gassings" are wildly contradictory.

The numerous testimonies in the Washington National Archives from the slave labourers who testified that there were no such gas chambers are rarely quoted nowadays. I can only suggest that the explanation for so many eye-witnesses lies within the realm of psychiatry, rather like the "Hiroshima pilot" who, it later turned out, had not been anywhere near the plane that dropped the Bomb.

Mortal pride demands that an Auschwitz survivor must have seen gas chambers. As for the confession of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss, he himself claimed to have been tortured.

The Soviet authorities, in a real spirit of conciliation towards the Germans, have now released to them the Auschwitz Totenbücher: these "death lists" list a total 74,000 dead, not two, three or four millions. As Prof. Arno Mayer -- a Jewish scholar, some of whose claims Vizinczey also dismissed as "untruthful" -- points out, more than half of the deaths in Auschwitz were from natural causes.

There is no doubt that large numbers of Jews were murdered (by shootings), died in air raids, starved, died like Anne Frank in epidemics, or froze to death during the evacuations in 1945.

After VE-Day, countless more -- we now know from OSS reports -- were culled from the Displaced Persons camps in liberated Europe by the Haganah and whisked into new homes, lives and identities in the Middle East, leaving their old, discarded identities behind as "missing persons."

The truth is often uncomfortable: it is never totally ascertainable: its retrieval from the ruins of war is difficult enough without being labelled a "neo-Nazi propagandist".

London W1


published on March 23, 1990

Irving's mistakes over gas chambers

SIR&emdash;In his letter (March 19) David Irving once again returned to his opinion that the gas chambers in Auschwitz never existed.

By quoting Soviet authorities Auschwitz Totenbücher with a list of only 74,000 dead, the Washington National Archives, OSS reports, camp commandant and Rudolf Höss's confession under torture, is he hoping that your readers will not check his "sources "?

I am not Jewish, I am Polish, my Auschwitz number is 121-421 (May 1943) and I am the author of Fighting Auschwitz about the camp and the underground movement there.

Being a former prisoner of Birkenau, a sub-camp of Auschwitz where four gas chambers and crematoria were in operation, I not only saw these buildings and the people directed there, but spent several years collecting facts.

In Rudolf Höss's memoirs there is not a single word that he was tortured in a Polish prison. His evidence about the gassing of people in Auschwitz is most convincing.

Let me add that the facts about Auschwitz do not spoil the spirit of conciliation towards the Germans, since several of their leaders including Chancellor Kohl visited Ausch-witz and admitted the fact that gas chambers existed and millions were killed there.

London W4

WEBSITE NOTE: Observe Garlinski's addition of the weasel phrase "in a Polish prison", which Mr Irving did not use in his letter posted above. Höss, who no doubt richly deserved his fate on the gallows, was severely beaten by the British on capture, again under interrogation, and again at Nuremberg.

Evidence drawn from incomplete lists

SIR&emdash;The release by the Soviet authorities, via the Red Cross, of the Totenbücher lists of 74.000 people who perished at Auschwitz was a partial and incomplete record as both the Red Cross and the Soviets stated, at the time.

They applied to 1942 only, and then not a111 the names: the 1944 records no longer exist and the 1943 list is only a fragment of the original more complete one.

This was all made perfectly plain by Charles Claude Biedermann of the Red Cross in his interview in Die Welt (March. 2) as well as by Tass (Sept. 21, 1989) and Izvestia (Sept, 23, 1989).

By the way, the so-called laboratory tests in the gas chambers were by American Fred A. Leuchter, whose report Irving is now peddling in Britain. This thesis was first produced at the trial of neo-Nazi Ernst Zündel in Canada and subsequently published by his racist "samizdat'" publication.

Board of Deputies of British Jews
London WC1

Early 'Holocaust'

SIR&emdash;Mr Irving states that the phrase "the Holocaust'" had not been coined when he drafted his book on Hitler, In fact, printed with a capital. letter, it has been around in Jewish academic circles at least since the Fifties (Yad Vashem Bulletin, April 1957).

As a description of what the Nazis did to the Jews it appeared without the capital in a News Chronicle head-line on Dec. 5 1942. and Lord Samuel referred to "this holocaust'" in a House of Lords speech on March 23, 1943.

London SW3

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