Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
The author of this letter informs this Website that he was born of Jewish origin; he was deported to Transnistria as a Jew from Greater Bukovina in October 1941, and wrote an article on the fate of the deportees to Transnistria [which we shall also post]. He converted to Christianity after being held in a Romanian Communist prison in 1962-1963. Through his earlier connections with the C.I.A., while never having been an Agency employee, he is aware of documents which assess that 2-3 million Jews died in the Holocaust, and that, while there were gas chambers at Auschwitz, most Jews died there not from execution but of "natural" causes. He is neither a "Holocaust Denier" nor an "anti-Semite", nor a fan of Israel.
Alexander Mayer, Director of Progen, ("Project Genocide"), e-mails us from New Brunswick, New Jersey on June 21, 1998:
I BELIEVE that I have found the text of the closest thing to a Final Solution order given by Adolf Hitler. Please tell me what you think about it. I also possess other relevant materials in which you might be interested in, originating from the Romanian and Russian archives. I would be very interested in your opinion about my materials.
Source: Emigrarea Populatiei Evreiesti din Romania in Anii 1940-1944: Culegere de Documente din Arhiva Ministerului Afacerilor Externe al Romaniei ("The Emigration of the Jewish Population from Romania during the Years 1940-1944: collection of Documents from the Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania"), edited by Dr. Ion Calafeteanu et al. (Bucuresti; Silex, 1993), p. 127.
The entire document, (no. 37) is published and annotated on p. 127-129. It is summarized in English on p. 38. The book has not been for sale, and has been distributed by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs mainly outside Romania. The introduction and summaries of the documents have also appeared in Romanian, English and French.
Document: Report no. 288 from December 17, 1943 of the Consular Direction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
In one of his speeches [approximate translation] spoken more than a year ago, Hitler said about these words [i.e., translation might have slightly altered the meaning]: "If we would lose the war, I can guarantee [you] that not a single Jew would remain alive in Central Europe."
The policy followed by the Germans is today on the way to implementing the second par of this threat of Hitler...
Commentary: A summary of the document, written in 1943 by Constantin Karadja, the director of the Consular Direction, which calls for the need for Romania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to establish specific guidelines for the bringing to Romania of Jews of Romanian citizenship dealing in foreign countries who were in danger of deportation to what we now call the Nazi death camps. This policy had been decided a few months earlier.
In 1943-1944, Romania repatriated Jews both from Transnistria and from foreign countries, and most Jews in the areas under Romanian rule, more than 355,000, and perhaps as many as 400,000, survived World War II.
[Note: The rest of my commentary has been posted by the Nizkor Project.]
Dear Mr Mayer,
ON JANUARY 30, 1939 Hitler made a famous speech in which he stated that if Internationale Finzanzjudentum succeeded in launching a new world war it would end with the Ausrottung, not of the German people, but of das europäische Judentum (if my memory of his words is correct).
As I stated in my biography Hitler's War (The Viking Press, 1977; Focal Point, London, 1991), Hitler frequently alluded to this speech in later speeches, for example November 8, 1942. His language was always ambiguous. Evil people could certainly interpret it, if they chose, as a prophecy that the Jews would be killed. In fact the January 31, 1939 Völkischer Beobachter front page, which has been framed on my study wall in London for twenty years, reads: Eine prophetische Warnung des Führers. [Prophetische!!(?!)]
I would like to see the whole article. What is the URL? Please e-mail it to me, and I will post it on my Website.
Alexander Mayer responds on June 22, 1998 [updated on July 10, 1998]:
Dear Mr. Irving,
I HAVE BEEN a sort of a fan of yours since I read the relevant parts of Hitler's War almost two decades ago. Your recent moves toward Holocaust/Auschwitz Revisionism have dampened my enthusiasm. However, I always suspected that you genuinely believe what you are saying, and your letter to me tells me that you are an honest man. I believe that I will accept your offer to post my materials, but I would prefer to "clean up" the text and to add some new materials before I will do that. Besides, my views have changed in the meantime because I have moved in your direction.
For the record, I have a Master's Degree in (European) History, and, before retiring, I have taught as an Adjunct, and subsequently, Assistant Professor at community or county (i.e. two-year) colleges in the U.S., and, during one summer, at a university.
I have recently discovered some interesting materials which I would like to share with you. First of all, in early 1942, the Romanian Secret Service of Information captured Ilya Ehrenburg's message to the Jews of Poland and Romania to prepare to engage in anti-Axis activities during the planned spring campaign/ offensive of the Red Army. [See Gheorghe Buzatu, Romanii in Arhivele Kremlinului ("The Romanians in the Archives of the Kremlin"; Bucuresti: Univers Enciclopedic, 1996), p. 247; also reproduced in another one of Buzatu's books. The document cited is the S.S.I. (The Secret Service of Information, i.e., the Romanian secret service) report from from January 22, 1942 ("The appeal addressed to the Jews from Romania and Poland").
Not all Auschwitz trains went to Auschwitz In connection with the death camps, I would note that some point before reaching Auschwitz (and also Treblinka), the cars of the trains coming from countries such as France, Belgium, and the Netherlands were decoupled.
Some cars went to Auschwitz, and some went to other places in the East, including the German-administered Ukraine and Transnistria.
According to a document from 1942, 26,200 French, Belgian, and Dutch Jews were shipped to Transnistria up to some time in the summer (?) of 1942. Most Belgian Jews deported in 1942, allegedly to Auschwitz, apparently reached Transnistria. Reports from 1943, indicate the arrival of Jews from Theresienstadt to Transnistria. These people had been sent to the "model ghetto" from Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and perhaps Bohemia and Moravia (I do not remember the details, although I have the sources). The reports also indicate the sending of Bulgarian Jews to Transnistria (not all of them went to Treblinka) in 1943, as well as the deportation and execution of Polish Jews by the Germans in Transnistria.
It has been documented by Christopher Browning that the discussions between the Germans and the Hungarians also indicated that some high-ranking Budapest officials were planning to send 100,000 or so Jews from Hungary to Transnistria in 1942. On August 8, 1942 a German newspaper from Bucharest talked about 185,000 deportees to Transnistria. Romanian documents talk only about 110,033 or something like 125,000 who got there.
The documents concerning the planned deportations of most of the Jews of the parts of (southern) Transylvania (including Banat and Crisana) which were still under Romanian rule after the Vienna Award of August 30, 1940 clearly show that these movements of population, which were planned for the latter part of 1942, had Transnistria, not the German death camps in Poland, as their destination. [See the documents published by Dr Felicia (Steigman) Carmelly (on Behalf of the Transnistria Survivors Association, Toronto) in Shattered! 50 Years of Silence: History and Voices of the Tragedy in Romania and Transnistria, (Scarborough, Ontario: Abbeyfield Publishers, 1997), p. 102-107 (both photocopies of the negatives of the documents, and their translation into English).
I also received the documents which Dr Carmelly or her association received, from an anonymous source. I believe that she is probably some sort of medical doctor; I do not think that she is a historian. The documents are, of course, not properly interpreted in the book. The correct interpretation is mine.
I have heard of a discussion between a by no means intelligent Jewish librarian whose parents had died in Transnistria who was writing a book on the Holocaust, and who has connections at Yad Vashem. One always needs connections to really get access to documents in Israel. She said that 60,000 Jews were deported to Transnistria in 1942, and she was certainly not smart enough to come up with that on her own. When questioned, she was evasive. Apparently, because of emotionalism, she had made the mistake of leaking.
Since the Romanians deported only something like 7,000 Jews to Transnistria in 1942, the rest had to come from elsewhere. I have a feeling that almost all the 47 Croatian-speaking Jews (or Jews of "Croatian" nationality, I forgot which one) counted in the 1992 census in Romania have been assumed to have been sent to Auschwitz. I could go on and on, and I would like to document my statements with sources and documents. I already have materials from Romania, France, Russia, the U.S., etc. I can provide you with more details, and can cite my sources.
Gheorghe Buzatu also shows that the documents in the archives of the Kremlin talk about the number of prisoners of war taken by the Soviet Union between June 22, 1941 and September 2, 1945. According to the Soviet data, the Soviets captured 10,173 Jewish prisoners of war. See Buzatu, p. 20-21.
I think that this is an understatement because, for example, Finnish Jews were probably counted as Finns rather than as Jews, and because the number of Gypsies, 383, also seems unusually low. Many Gypsies were probably counted as Romanians, Hungarians, etc., and a number of Jews might have been also counted as something else. It is also reasonably clear that the numbers of prisoners who were counted is smaller than the numbers of missing-in-action, and excludes those who died on their way to the camps.
I, of course, believe that there were gas chambers at Auschwitz, but the burning in open fires of numerous Hungarian Jews during 1944 indicates that the gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz could not "handle" the job. Moreover, I would like to look at the shipments of coal to Auschwitz for the crematoria. Many of the Jews allegedly gassed at Auschwitz were sent to the East, shot by the Einsatzgruppen, or died in horrible conditions in ghettos (in one place in Transnistria, there was allegedly a 30% mortality per day, undoubtedly an exaggeration). They have been undoubtedly counted among the dead twice. Some of them were sent to Siberia by the Soviets in 1944-1945.
Moreover, I suspect that a rather small proportion of the Jews sent to Majdanek died in the gas chambers. Majdanek was not a death camp, per se, but a work and transit camp. I am neither for the Leuchter Report, nor against it, because there are so many imponderables, such as the effect of rain on the Zyklon B traces.
However, I have a feeling that the truth is somewhere in the middle, and that the Holocaust Revisionists/Deniers have made a mistake in focusing on Auschwitz rather than on Majdanek.
If other people could document the sending of the Jews supposedly received in Auschwitz to areas other than Transnistria, that research would be important, as well as painstaking. Perhaps other people could follow in my footsteps. However, this is hard work, and I am not surprised that it has not been done yet.
I would like to take the opportunity to make some comments to your letter below, as well as to note that I am of Jewish origin. I converted to Christianity after being in a Romanian Communist prison in 1962-1963. I was deported to Transnistria as a Jew from Greater Bukovina in October 1941. I have written an article on the fate of the deportees to Transnistria.
Although I can not be labelled a "Holocaust Denier" or an "anti-Semite", I am not quite a fan of Israel, and I have received a threat by e-mail from a "Holocaust survivor" (probably affiliated with the J.D.L.) for my views.
editing and emphasis by this Website
1. The Document.
Source: Emigrarea Populatiei Evreiesti din Romania in Anii 1940-1944: Culegere de Documente din Arhiva Ministerului Afacerilor Externe al Romaniei ("The Emigration of the Jewish Population from Romania during the Years 1940-1944: Collection of Documents from the Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania"), edited by Dr. Ion Calafeteanu et al., (Bucuresti: Silex, 1993), p. 127. The entire document, (no. 37) is published and annotated on p. 127-129. It is summarized in English on p. 38. The book has not been for sale, and has been distributed by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs mainly outside Romania. The introduction and summaries of the documents have also appeared in Romanian, English and French.
Report no. 288 from December 17, 1943 of the Consular Direction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:-
In one of his speeches [approximate translation] spoken more than a year ago, Hitler used something like these words [i.e., the translation might have slightly altered the meaning]: "If we would lose the war, I can guarantee [you] that not a single Jew would remain alive in Central Europe."
The policy followed by the Germans is today on the way to implementing the second part of this threat of Hitler...
A summary of the document, written in 1943 by Constantin Karadja, the director of the Consular Direction, which calls for the need for Romania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to establish specific guidelines for the bringing to Romania of Jews of Romanian citizenship living in foreign countries who were in danger of deportation to what we now call the Nazi death camps. This policy had been decided a few months earlier.
It should not be forgotten that Romania had deported almost all the Jews of Bessarabia and Bukovina to Transnistria, a Romanian-German condominium administered by, but not annexed to, Romania, the area between the Dniester and Bug rivers. More than 50,000 of these people died in that area, overwhelmingly because of typhus. Of course, this disease was so widespread because of poor nutrition, poor housing and poor health care. Some met a violent death because they were shot, etc.
The Romanian armed forces also committed a number of atrocities in Bessarabia, Northern Bucovina, the cities of Iasi and Odessa, etc., in which 100,000-200,000 other Jews died between June 1941 and February 1942. Of course, the Romanian government had decided against any further deportations, to "Poland" (actually Transnistria) even before the battle of Stalingrad, and not because of it, as it is often inaccurately claimed by conformist scholars.
The same scholars have assumed that the Romanian authorities believed that the destination was the Nazi death camps in Poland. Actually, some documents which I have obtained by mail from an unknown source, probably at the same time with other scholars and Holocaust survivors, such as a fellow survivor of the deportations to Transnistria, Felicia Carmelly-Steigman, who actually published them in her book Shattered, which appeared in 1996, indicate that the destination was Transnistria.
The stopping of the deportations happened for reasons which Holocaust scholars have not elucidated. They have not looked at the interaction between the "tougher" military and the more "benign" civilians in the Antonescu government. The latter were often former members of the reactionary anti-Semitic National Christian Party of Octavian Goga and A. C. Cuza. One can observe a "civilianization" of the regime over time, and the "moderating" impact of this on Marshal Ion Antonescu's orders and statements.
Truth is often stranger than fiction, but never more dramatic. It was precisely the dignitaries coming from the National Christian Party, and the dictator Ion Antonescu (who, however, was also guilty of war crimes against Jews) who produced the policy change.
Overall, the typical Holocaust scholars who have dealt with the fate of Romanian and Transnistrian Jewry have not studied the subject in a scientific, careful manner. Instead, they have been guided to some extent by their philosophies, rather than just by the existing empirical data. They are often insufficiently informed, because if they do not like a book, such as the one from which I have cited Hitler's order, they do not read it carefully and in a fair-minded fashion, but nitpick it. The defective scholarship of these authors therefore sometimes insults the memory of, and indicates these authors' lack of genuine, as opposed to rhetorical, respect toward the dead Jews.
The memory of the victims of the Holocaust, such as that of some of my distant relatives, which deserves an adequate investigation into why and how they died, is not served. For examples of by no means always fair criticisms of the book, as well as of other works by Romanian scholars, who are falsely characterized as "Holocaust Revisionists", see The Tragedy of Romanian Jewry, edited by Randolph L. Braham, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994). In 1943-1944, Romania repatriated Jews both from Transnistria and from foreign countries, and most Jews in the areas under Romanian rule, more than 355,000, and perhaps as many as 400,000, survived World War II.
The Holocaust, the catastrophe in which, in my opinion, 4.5-5 million Jews died during the Second World War, has been dealt with in an often incompetent manner by the specialists. Since there is a great need for improvement, nobody should be prevented from participating in the debates concerning the subject.