Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2003

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William Blair has a comment on Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss, Friday, October 17, 2003



How reliable was Höss?

I CAME across these passages in Gestapo, first Da Capo Press edition 1994, by Edward Crankshaw:

p. 196:

"Höss is a highly unreliable witness. He had to destroy all his records, and Mr. [Gerald] Reitlinger thinks he is simply repeating [Adolf] Eichmann's boasts, uttered to impress [Heinrich] Himmler with his, Eichmann's efficiency and indispensability. Höss may be caught out in many particulars. For example, although he told the Tribunal that he had accounteed for two and a half million men, women, and children, he reduced this figure, speaking to [Nuremberg prison psychiatrist] Dr. Gilbert, to one million three hundred thousand."


"So long as there are Germans (and there are still many) who believe that all they have to do to prove that the Nazis were not as black as they were painted is to show that they did not kill quite as many as was originally believed, itis important to be conservative about the numbers."

William Blair


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