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Posted Monday, September 6, 2004

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Letters to David Irving on this Website

Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.

George Brennan of Wales has some doubts, September 3, 2004, and questions about Holocaust history.

"Hitler's Typewriter"

Norway and the Holocaust

A WEB-browsing student has demanded with some passion that I account for the disappearance of the Norwegian Jews deported to Auschwitz in late 1942 and early 1943. My name was connected thereto because Mr Irving's response to one David Kosher provoked a Ms Kelley Snowden (Letters, February 22 ) to denounce me as a luminary.

Incidentally my name [Brennan] is shared by many other luminaries. I mention this in case some Nizkorite is planning to send my publisher a vigilant and informative letter about my neo-Nazi past. Some other George Brennan is Spartacus. But I hope Kelley Snowden is the Dr Kelley Snowden who was suspended from teaching geography at Longview High for what her rabbi called "political correctness run amok" (she called a black child "a wicked little monkey") We all must sympathise with someone whose livelihood has been threatened by a meddlesome ethnic lobby.


Ms SNOWDEN was indignant because David Irving felt no obligation to investigate the fate of the vanished Norwegian Jews. Notice that if he had wished to dodge the issue he could simply not have printed Mr Kosher's letter -- or her own.

The politics of David Irving are to me almost as disagreeable as the politics of Zionism, but unlike his adversaries Irving does seem willing to let a hundred flowers bloom. Nothing untainted by propaganda has ever been written by anyone about the Nazi holocaust, but Irving's website is the one place known to me where certain matters can be discussed without sectarian feeling. Horrifying crimes should be viewed with horror. Evidence of horrifying crimes should be viewed with agnostic curiosity.

I myself do not know what became of the Norwegian Jews. The primary sources are in Norwegian, which I could not read even if I had access. It would take months of research. My own guess -- no more -- would be that the employable forty per cent (or whatever) were selected and registered for work somewhere in the Auschwitz industrial complex and the rest were transported further east to be "liquidated" in some barbaric manner, as hinted at in Dr Joseph Goebbels's famous diary entry of March 27, 1942.

That entry, vague though it is, is so incriminating that revisionists were inclined to suspect that it was a forgery. But Mr Irving has very creditably reported the negative results of his own tests; and testimony against bias carries strong authority.

It surprising that Mr Kosher counts only 12 survivors, as was widely claimed in 1946. A morning of Googling shows that the respectable number nowadays seems to be thirty. As a pious grandson, Mr Kosher must have researched this matter very carefully; he will perhaps explain to us why he regards the accepted figure as an exaggeration. But he is surely right, in these areas, not to take any number on trust. Perhaps these thirty Jewish survivors include stateless refugees and Norwegian citizens who did not actually return to Norway?


THIS number might grow with researching, but it seems certain that nearly all the deported Norwegian Jews did disappear. One Norwegian online source [google: reisa donau] says that only nine survived out of a 532-person transport on the merchant ship Donau in November 26, 1942. Apparently 186 were selected as fit for work at Auschwitz and registered as numbers 79,604 upwards. The rest included forty-nine children. If this is true, the fate of the children is the key question. Many could have been expected to survive the "normal" ill-treatment met by Jewish deportees. If it should prove that Norwegian children are completely absent from the Death Books for 1943, that would for me be strong indicative evidence for genocide, loosely defined.

It would not be strong evidence for large-scale use of gas chambers. M. Robert Faurisson has said that gas chambers and the alleged genocide of the Jews are "one and the same historic lie". I fail to see why.

Faurisson's co-thinker Mr Arthur Butz must consider them to be separable questions because he supports them with separate arguments. There was no genocide, he says, because so many Jews visibly survived. There was no murder factory at Auschwitz, he says, because so vast an elephant could not have gone so (relatively) unnoticed at the time; evidence of so enormous a crime would have been a cause rather than a product of trial procedures.

The first argument seems to rest on flimsy demographic conjectures; but his arguments about Auschwitz have force. The best-informed wartime Allied intelligence analysts did suspect that unemployable Jews were being deliberately "exterminated" -- i.e., gradually decimated by ill-treatment and mass shootings.

Himmler and Hans Frank

They would not have been surprised to read in the diary of Governor Hans Frank (above, right, with Himmler) for 1943 that it was a "marginal" question whether 1.2 million Jews in occupied Poland died of hunger. But these analysts did not believe in the existence of murder factories and, as far as I have seen, they had no strong reason to do so. Professor Robert Jan van Pelt somewhere says it all "should have been obvious," but he does not say why.

It is true that by April 1945 many persons charged with capturing war criminals and building a case against them did have reasons (and motives) to believe that such factories existed at Lublin and Auschwitz (and Ravensbruck and Buchenwald and elsewhere). From the testimonies of ex-prisoners and on the authority of Stalinist officialdom they had built up a picture of systematic mass murder occurring at Auschwitz between between 1941 and 1944 (inclusive). Some investigating and prosecuting officers had come to believe in this picture with ferocious sincerity -- no hoaxing there. But it proved difficult to extract coherent descriptions from the SS, many of whom had compounded their more monstrous crimes by at first denying all knowledge of them.

My own interest was in the value of this sort of evidence, especially as adduced by Justice Gray in support of his highly political pronouncement as to what an "objective historian" might indubitably infer about Auschwitz. If Ms Kelly has an opinion about this I should be pleased to hear it. Readers may remember that her other luminary, David Hebden pointed out in this very place the coincidence between Rudolf Höss' and Pery Broad's estimate of 2.5 million murdered. I see that the revisionist author Samuel Crowell had noted this independently.

Our slogan was that estimates "converging" on the same falsehood are probably not independent. That rule of evidence is strong enough by itself to make our objective historian discount the "consilience" between Höss and Broad -- not to mention Rudolf Vrba, another 2.5 million man -- without more ado.


HOWEVER, detail is always welcome. I have drafted what I hope is a persuasive chapter showing that the coincidence of these three estimates is no coincidence. But there are gaps in the story and I have not yet seen all that is out there. (Apart from rare trips to London libraries, I am housebound on a Welsh mountain.)

As regards Pery Broad I have so far seen lengthy excerpts from two sworn affidavits, both entered at the Farben trial; two transcripts of court appearances (Tesch and Farben) ; and two editions of his so-called Report. From an exegesis of these six sources alone one can infer much about the origins of the so-called Report(s), which British Intelligence field officers handed over to Major Gerald I Draper, along with the treasured Broad himself, at the end of 1945. Until that time Draper held to the "four/five million" number, as did Höss's first torturers.

  • I have still not found a second "Nuremberg" appearance by Broad which has been mentioned.
  • I would also like to get hold of the complete version of his first sworn affidavit, NI-11397.
  • Nor have I yet found a full transcript of Broad's testimony, given during those farcical proceedings known as the second Auschwitz trial in Frankurt.

This, unless I have misunderstood, is held by a private body, the Fritz-Bauer Institute. Broad is indeed a key figure, as David Hebden surmised, but only as a link between between field officers of British Intelligence and Draper. (In later life this fearsome interrogator collected another initial and became successful law professor G I A D Draper.)

Another text I would very much like to know about is a book called The Case of Rudolf Höss, published in America around 1948 by the Nuremberg prison psychologist Gustave M Gilbert and mentioned by him while testifying at the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann. Judged by his Nuremberg Diary and his Eichmann testimony, this Gilbert does not strike me a wholly reliable fellow. But he may have redeemed himself in this other work.

Similar materials may have appeared in a book called The Psychology of Dictatorship, New York, 1950, which also seems to be unavailable in the UK. This is why I am trying to ingratiate myself with Dr Kelley, who must occasionally visit those fabulously well-endowed Texan libraries.

APPARENTLY Höss confided an explicit and signed estimate of 1.1 million to Gilbert, who must have concealed this affidavit from the other IMT interrogators, before whom Höss continued to insist upon the 2.5 million estimate.

Later in Warsaw, Höss had a further change of mind, now (implicitly) agreeing with Hermann Göring that the 2.5 million estimate was not only false but technically impossible. We must believe that Eichmann had failed to realise this.

Such shifts as these have persuaded Gray and Pelt that Höss was, in Professor Pelt's words, an honest and reliable witness.

Our "honest and reliable" mass murderer also wrote a brief autobiography for Gilbert's private enlightenment. It was entered at the Eichmann trial as T/1169. Perhaps one of your many devoted Israeli readers can advise me how to set about getting a copy?

George Brennan


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