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First posted Sunday, September 11, 2011

I loudly ask the simple question: When was this building actually erected?

[Previous Radical's Diary]  

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Warsaw (Poland)


LEG hurting very badly. Back to the Warsaw hotel foyer at six p.m. and our first guest, Harald P. of Minnesota, makes himself known to me. He has been in the USA since 1993. He has a Saxony accent you can cut with a knife.


Thursday, September 1, 2011
Warsaw (Poland)

ED Lieber writes about my Himmler draft: "Why are you not naming the fashion house that made the SS uniforms?"

I reply: "They were made by Hugo Boss, who got big contracts. I detail that later on."

This morning I inquire of Jae

I stand on the scale in the bathroom here, and all it comes up with on the screen is "Err". Is it hesitating, or what? I think it wants you, not me.

She replies: "Guess you should have passed on the chocolate raisins and apple pie yesterday."


The gas cylinders in the "gas chamber" at Majdanek are clearly marked CO2, or carbon dioxide; a non lethal gas, not carbon monoxide (CO1) as the tour guide claims

The rooms identified on the plans as fumigation rooms have clear traces of Prussian Blue stains (Cyanide compounds) used for fumigation

The left hand "gas chamber" has an exit door at the end with a handle on the inside (and a CCTV camera now to prevent revisionists taking samples).

The right hand "gas chamber" is identical, but a rear wall has newly been added to conceal the same exit door ...

which is however clearly visible if tourists go round the back of the building, as are the blue stains which have seeped through the brickwork of the "gs chamber" (actually fumigation chamber) on the right of the picture.


The tour transport takes us on to Germany's lost province East Prussia, now part of Poland

where we spend a day exploring the giant bunkers at Heinrich Himmler's East Prussian headquarters, code-name Hochwald.


Then on the following day to Mauerwald, now called Mamerki, where the Nazi generals Franz Halder (and later Kurt Zeitzler and Heinz Guderian) located the headquarters of the German General Staff: thirty huge bunkers, all still intact.


The high point of the tour: Hitler's sprawling secret 1941-1944 headquarters, the Wolf's Lair, near Rastenburg. Here 2,000 men worked from 1941 to 1944 fighting the crusade against Churchill and Stalin. Above: a gas-tight window into Hermann Göring's fortified house.

Our expert Polish guide shows us Hitler's gigantic bunker, split asunder by ten tons of dynamite in January 1945.

Indiana Jae penetrates deep into the ruins of Hitler's bunker. . .

. . . and then goes off into the jungle, watched by some of our less intrepid male guests, looking for Hitler's Teahouse

Historian David Irving, the tour organiser, emerges satisfied


End of the journey. Mr Irving pays a renewed visit to the site at Auschwitz, and finds that much has changed since he visited it four years ago.

First he again privately places flowers at the execution wall, scene of the brutal deaths of so many Polish patriots

The central road down the site still has the fake Disneyland-style watchtowers erected on either side.

But none is visible on the contemporary wartime photographs on display half way down the same road.

At Auschwitz-Birkenau he revisits the controversial Krema II site, now largely obscured by ugly memorials

The barriers are erected to stop revisionists satisfying themselves that there are no square holes whatever cut into the roof of the supposed gas chamber in Krema II - which proves that many "eye witnesses" who "saw" them lied.

So what about the four milllion killed at Auschwitz (a figure now revised down to 1.5 million, but still rather more than the Kraków court agreed was the actual figure of those who died there, "up to 300,000" from all causes 1940-1945.

and, rather oddly, the sign outside the "gas chambeer" building at Auschwitz, which for years honestly admitted it was erected in 1948, has now been replaced by a glossy, expensive, and rather less honest inscription.




A collector writes: "I see you are the only expert I can find on the internet in relation to Dr Morell. Am I able to seek your opinion on this set of documents. Are you aware of their existence and can validate them as being genuine, based on your views on the original handwriting?" I reply: "I will look at them now and tell you what I think. I think I may have seen some of them." I then confirm that they are authentic.

I send round some medication to Jae for her neck. "I have some Walgreens Cool n Heat patches for 'arm, neck & leg' (I presume they mean arm, neck or leg).".


Friday, September 2, 2011
Warsaw (Poland)

THE collector replies: "Good morning David, thank you for the quick reply and the information. Indeed I am interested in purchasing these items and I will provide you copies of these documents if I manage to procure them!" I ask him to keep me informed.

It is how I do things. How I get the documents that others don't (unless like Peter Longerich they find them in my seized archives).

We take our group from Warsaw to Lublin, and arrive at Majdanek at about two pm and stay there until 5:30 p.m. The site started as a prisoner of war camp after the big victories in Kiev in October 1941, and was finally overrun by the Russians on July 22, 1944, the first of the Reinhardt camps to be publicised to the world. Needless to say the figures were somewhat exaggerated at the time.

We start at the big "flying saucer" parked on the top of the slope, and work our way down the well-tended site -- the huts, barracks, furnaces, looted-property store, and displays to the museum, which takes about three hours. There is no doubt in my mind, not least from the Höfle telegram of January 11, 1943, which we British decoded, that at this site the Nazis killed around 24,000 people in 1942 and the same number in 1943. That number died there, anyway -- most of them being shot, I believe.

Hermann Höfle was SS police chief here in Lublin, and in charge of the Einsatz Reinhardt under Odilo Globocnik [see our photo above, of Himmler and Globocnik conferring here in Lublin].

But the new Holocaust-industry version of this site does not match the simple history, horrific though it is.

The site was windswept and deserted and bleak then and it has not changed much now -- except in details which do seem new.

It is now all very glitzy and glossy. Last time I was here, in March 2007, I did not remember seeing the well-built dogtooth pattern footpaths, or the plaques etched with descriptions and images into expensive stainless steel, posted near each item of interest. They are new. I was last here four years ago with Alan Heath, a good expert on these sites.

The first building encountered is the massive crematorium, with its tall single chimney dominating the whole area. Inside the gloomy wooden building, illuminated now only by dim 40 watt bulbs (of the new energy-efficient variety of course), stand the six iron crematory furnaces in their brick casing. The building occupies many rooms and is dark and gloomy.

Odd, the 1944 photos I have seen show these furnaces in the open, being inspected by Russian troops, not enclosed in a building at all. (In fact this whole building is a fake, put up in post-war years.)

I am put at once on the alert. Not sceptical, because to be even mildly sceptical in countries with "Holocaust-denial" laws is now a criminal offence. As we leave the building I notice a crew of plasterers and bricklayers busy constructing something else -- I could not see what, but judging by the stack of cement bags it appears to be quite big.

The creosoted wooden watchtowers arouse our curiosity too. They differ in design from the authentic watchtowers displayed on the wartime photos. More dummies, it seems -- meaning the towers, not the tourists who come from all over the world to tread these well-paved pathways now.

I would guess that several million dollars have been spent on this Majdanek complex since I last saw it. And I thought from the recent news items that the Reinhardt camps had run out of cash -- the Sobibor museum closing, etc. What's going on?

Graham G came here last year, after our last tour of the Nazi sites. Today I find myself repeatedly asking him, "Was this here last year? And this?" -- pointing to new exhibits, walkways, glass doors, turnstile barriers, and the like. In each case the answer is no, these are things that have been installed here in the last twelve months.

The biggest shocks are in the final building, Number 42, identified on the plans as the male showers, fumigation plant, and "gas chambers". I have to be careful here, because I am not a Holocaust denier.

I already drew attention in my March 2007 Radical's Diary to the dark blue-black stains on and right through various walls in the building -- clearly Prussian Blue, visible as cyanide compounds even without carrying out Fred-Leuchter type lab. tests. There was no reference to them in the few amateurish signs posted here four years ago.

Now there are expensive signs on glass panels in three languages, English, Polish and Hebrew, depicting these rooms -- not as gas chambers, but as fumigation chambers for clothing and the like. There is a new room with racks of brand new cans of Zyklon B cyanide-impregnated pellets, the deadly substance used for the disinfestation. Here (unlike the Soviet propaganda information fed to the Illustrated London News, August 1944, which is also on display on the site) it is made plain that the killing agent used for prisoners was not Zyklon B but "carbon-monoxide" fed into the gas chamber from cylinders in the next door room.

Ah, that explains it. I saw those two cylinders chained to the wall two years ago, but noticed at that time that the pipes going through the wall were not connected, and had quite freshly been cemented into place. The "gas chamber" room is now cordoned off, with a glass door preventing entry. All rather modern and cathedral-like. The room has a thin window half way along one wall, above shoulder height.

Hugo H-T says rather blasphemously, "If I were a prisoner, I think I'd ask for the window seat."

What kind of gas chamber has a glass window in it, indeed?

True, there are steel gas-tight doors installed at either end of this chamber, as with the other fumigation chamber too. They are standard German Luftschutz-issue air-raid shelter doors, added to the building evidently as an afterthought, just as in Krema II at Auschwitz after our bomber squadrons began reaching into Poland. The doors are installed to open outwards, and to close flush onto their exterior gastight flange as in all air raid shelters, just as Neufert defined: Neufert is the standard SS building-code manual which I introduced as evidence at the Lipstadt trial.

These doors are also equipped with standard gas-detector tubes. Moreover, all these gas-tight doors have their handles on the inside of the door. That's handy. I think I would have passed on the window seat, and moved to a seat near the exits instead. "Doors to manual, Herr Sturmführer!" Handles? I didn't have that agreeable facility on the inside of my cell door in the Vienna jail 2005-2006.

As for the gas cylinders in the little room next to the big room designated "gas chamber" by the new tourist-friendly Majdanek management -- well, to coin a contemporary phrase, Houston we have a Problem. The gas cylinders in the darkened room are clearly not carbon-monoxide, as stated on the expensive glass descriptive panels, but stamped "CO2," carbon-dioxide, which is not lethal [see the photos in the right-hand panel]. Oh, and they are still not connected to the room.


A TROOP of school-age female students plunges through the building, guided by a diminutive, stocky Polish woman. There are around sixty or eighty, and the whole area is full of squirming, bored, giggling, and otherwise completely uninterested females. The guide delivers a brief and impassionate account of the horrors which occurred in this "gas chamber". I suggest loudly that "scepticism" is called for, and she is stunned.

To a German-speaker, perhaps their teacher, I point out that the cylinders are actually marked carbon-dioxide, and that the "gas chamber" doors all have handles on the inside: it's hardly San Quentin or Sing-Sing.

Moreover the right hand chamber has the rear wall newly plastered over, but if you go outside the building you can see the identical exit-door which has thus been hidden.

She makes some retort, and unable to speak Polish I reply in Russian, which is much the same: Not possible. She gathers up her flock and sweeps out clucking indignantly. I notice that J has fled, appalled at this heresy.

It is not denialism, or negationism, of course: to suggest that a modicum of fakery and exaggeration has been done is not to deny the atrocities, merely to question their true scale and the methods used.

The Majdanek death figure from 1940 to 1944 has currently shrunk to 50,000 victims of all kinds, i.e. rather lower than one of the medium-size overnight RAF Bomber Command successes.

Come to that, we have another problem with those gas chambers in Majdanek. The ceilings are smooth, and bare of any openings. But the photo in the Illustrated London News, August 1944, on display in another building, shows a soldier pouring a big can of Zyklon B pellets into a chute through a hole in the roof above a gas chamber.

Yet another case of the collar not quite matching the cuffs: you don't have to be Horatio in CSI Miami to spot major forensic problems with the murder weapon that is being touted here.


Saturday, September 3, 2011
Warsaw (Poland) - East Prussia

J reveals yesterday and today that we have a major cash gap, as the Warsaw hotel has charged us wrongly; we need another 2,500 dollars there, and more elsewhere. How has this happened? Hey ho.

We set out at midday for East Prussia, a three or four our trip by road. Our passengers burst into an impromptu and highly improper rendition of the Horst Wessel anthem as we cross into the former German province. At our regular restaurant lunch stop at three p.m., the owner/waitress tells us happily that the little town was called Puppe in German times.


J EMAILS me later from her room, and I reply: "You did well and are highly popular with the whole group, especially yours truly."

I give her my sealed cash-reserve envelope with five hundred dollars in it, as I thought; it turns out that it had nearly 1,200 dollars, which is rather better. Then I work until late on reconstructing the Goebbels picture sections. H. has sent me 21 images, of which only four are those that I need. About forty are still missing.

As we leave the supper room Hugo sits at the hotel piano and strums a few bars of the Horst Wessel Lied, for the Saturday evening entertainment of the mostly German tourists in the dining room. This time even I cringe. I am sure it is not top of the pops in Germany. But I guess that he is pretty safe from arrest.


Sunday, September 4, 2011
Hochwald - Angerburg (East Prussia)

BREAKFAST, then we all set out at nine a.m. for Himmler's bunker headquarters at Hochwald. In the year since we were last here much has changed. J thinks that the extensive (and inconvenient) world press coverage of our tour last year may have encouraged the town council to make more of the site. But it is still totally deserted.

The tattered sign board has gone but there is now a newly-signposted hiker's trail around the forest, with boards at several locations including the first big Himmler bunker (the expensive metal board has already been gashed by a rock, unfortunately -- no doubt by one of Himmler's more distant admirers).

The giant bunker-ruins have not moved, no surprises there, but the hiking trail seems to direct people away from one or two of the bunkers.

Nothing will prevent first Hugo, and then two others, from climbing up the metal rung ladders to the top of Himmler's bunker, thirty-five feet above ground level, although the bottom ten feet of rungs have been sawn off down to blunt stubs. Hats off to these three. I suspect that J's golden-blonde presence spurred them on to these deeds of derring-do. Testosterone.

Nice messages from Réka in Budapest during the day, and from B. who says Jessica starts school tomorrow, and from Jessica, can she use Hugo's flat.


IN the afternoon, after a rather indigestible East Prussian lunch, we go on to Mauerwald, now Mermike, the German Army High Command bunker headquarters. These thirty bunkers are completely intact, no attempt whatever having been made to demolish them. The usual German General Staff efficiency.

After a couple of miles of this my leg is hurting badly and I am quietly glad when they all decide they are "bunkered out", and have seen enough bunkers for the day.

I fall asleep in the coach on the way back across East Prussia to our hotel, perhaps a result of three painkillers I have taken today. It is no joke.

In my room, I work reading the Dr Werner Best interrogations for two hours, and then deliver a ninety-minute talk to the gang after supper.

This time J listens too. She has changed into a new green dress and looks stunning. One of the major attractions after all this concrete stuff. After my talk, one of our Australian guests, G, persuades her to let him show her how to dance some tango steps, and I leave her clutched and statuesque in his arms, looking suddenly like a youthful Evita Peron, learning to dance the steps beautifully. She clearly enjoys being there, in his arms, I mean, and -- why not?

Emails. I find that my excellent Schleswig-Holstein lawyer has written to the German authorities demanding a lifting of the entry ban impose on me, citing European Union law.


Monday, September 5, 2011
Rastenburg (East Prussia)

AT TEN a.m. we set out for the Wolf's Lair and spend the whole day there until five p.m. with the group and an excellent local guide this time. Another guide has brought along a first edition of the Polish Hitler's War for me to autograph. That's nice.

The total circuit is three or four miles, up and down, with steps, tree stumps, angle irons and reinforcing bars poking out of the ground, and my leg is excruciating when we finish.

There is new razor wire around part of the site. The guide tells me that in 1992 after the Communist dissolution, an Austrian entrepreneur bought a twenty-year lease on the site, and since last year he has turned half of Jodl's bunker into a shooting range, walling off the interconnecting door, and made various other "improvements," which in my view damages the authenticity of the site. The guides are not at all happy about his innovations either.

His lease expires in December. At our request the guide takes us along the railway track to where the little Görlitz Bahnhof once served Hitler's headquarters -- a five-minute trudge along overgrown railroad sleepers. It is rewarded by the spectacle of the old railway platform hidden in the undergrowth and a ruined brick building, the station building where Benito Mussolini and other notables alighted to greet Hitler. Dark ghosts of history flit silent and unseen amongst the shrubs and undergrowth.

In the bus back to the hotel this evening, the pain in the right leg is like a heavy weight or a painful vice . . . that'll teach me. J in her short knee-length hiking trousers is a huge hit again with the men. I put the Australian tango-teacher across the aisle from her on the thirty-mile trip both ways. Hugo says they are well suited to each other; but that is not, of course, my purpose.

The Internet here is very slow. I doze until seven p.m. -- unable to get a comfortable position, however. I have done a lot of damage to the leg today I think.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011
East Prussia - Warsaw (Poland)

K. WRITES: "Interesting about the railway station. Mad that more is not made of such sites. Would be a huge boost surely to tourism in that part of Poland to have all this done properly."

I ask the Greek and Turkish publishers if I can assume they will pay me the (pitifully small) royalties they owe me on time.

We leave at eleven a.m. to return to Warsaw. The bus is very jolly. I sleep part of the way. Jessica texts me, wants me to show her round five or six universities so she can make up her mind between them. I say yes, Oxford, Cambridge, Oxford, Cambridge, Oxford, Cambridge. She presents a slightly different list.

The Warsaw hotel has given me a lovely room, or rather a suite again. J professes to be slightly car sick. I see G. hanging sheepishly around. We all think he's a great guy.

The Turks reply, "Greetings Mr. Irving, you certainly don't need to worry, your fee is already in our automatical payment schedule. I'll then be happy to receive your special introduction for the Turkish edition."

From seven to ten p.m. we show Der Untergang, Downfall, and have a discussion afterwards.

I have a chat with J in the foyer; she has had a very excited email from Jessica about universities, and has advised her to go for Biology as the one with the most employment openings afterwards.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Warsaw (Poland)

I WORK on the Dr Werner Best interrogations again. Neither Greek publisher has confirmed making their payment to me yet. This is getting to be tight again.

The university in Kraków has not yet replied. -- Anyway, this maelstrom suck-up of my available cash reserves leaves me with no means of paying the pallet shipment to the USA which, together with a seemingly inevitable leg operation, means that the USA tour may have to be briefly postponed.

At our farewell group dinner I am accordingly tight-lipped, and cannot rise to a festive spirit, though I do regale them with the story of General Patton and the Fork, and others. J is wearing what looks like a little diamond pendant on a thin white Gold chain necklace round her neck, which I am told we -- the group -- have given her.

At nine p.m. an email comes headed "nighty night" from J, but it vanishes as soon as I click it, and can not be found. Hey ho. Thankyou, AOL.


Thursday, September 8, 2011
Warsaw - Kraków (Poland)

I GO downstairs early to say goodbye to our guests. Hugo is leaving at nine by train for Berlin. Jae walks in. The email which she sent last night was short she says, and "looking forward to the drive down to Kraków". I go downstairs again to say goodbye and thankyou to the Australian, G. He shakes hands and I have a friendly chat with him. His eyes seem a bit moist. Evidently going to miss Warsaw.

I resume work for an hour on the Dr Best file.

At 12:15 p.m. I pick up a rental Volkswagen and we drive off toward Kraków. It is 300 km to Kraków. . . The discussion fills out much of the otherwise tedious drive in heavy traffic.

The Hotel Alef which has been reserved for us is grim, after we find it, with difficulty: primitive and dirty rooms with very cheap furniture, broken chairs, no coffee makers, no liquid in the gel bottles, non-working TV, wrecked air conditioner, no shampoo, torn towels etc: it is how I always imagined Poland however. It is not all Marriotts and Hiltons.

7 p.m. my Polish publisher comes and drives us at breakneck speed in my rental car down Highway 7, for a fine meal in a lovely restaurant which was totally and achingly empty but for us, as it is now isolated from northbound traffic by a new central motorway barrier. He tells us that there are now only about 700 Jews in all of Krakow. That Mr Hitler has a lot to answer for.

The hotel rooms are truly appalling and when J complains I exchange mine for hers, only to find that hers is in fact better, which makes me feel rather guilty.


Friday, September 9, 2011
Kraków (Poland)

UP at 7:40 a.m. I tell J by email that breakfast downstairs is very good and makes up for the rotten rooms.

We still have to buy petrol and pay for several days more hotels, and then she is going home via Munich, where she will negotiate with the Institut für Zeitgeschichte for me.

At ten, breakfast with Jae The dining room is very Jewish ("It has a Jewish theme," she was told). Yes: over breakfast I count new fewer than ten menorahs without even trying. The walls are covered with art, mostly of the entartete Kunst kind. Everything has a fine layer of dust -- busts, sculptures, menorahs, oil paintings, dark red velvet and chintz furniture. It reminds me of that house in Maida Vale which we viewed in 1962, just beginning married life with Pilar -- packed with the old landlady's Jewish furniture. It is exactly the same as this stuff here; so I guess the woman must have fled from Krakow. I said to Pilar: "Never."

I tell J that I want to write during the day and that I am not interested in seeing Jewish ghettos, etc.


AT the Jagiellonski Biblioteka manuscript division, I speak with the archivists in English and German, then with the digital-copies division man in Spanish, then with the final archivist in French. He agrees to copy the entire Horst Wessel file onto a DVD for me (it is 169 pages, each page is a tiff file, and he has only a very slow computer which takes over three hours to make and verify the DVD).

SD men in KrakowThe day turns disastrous after our host insists on marching me kilometerweise across Kraków for no urgent reasons, first to see the Gestapo Museum in Pomorska street, full of phoney recordings of torture scenes and "So, you vill not talk?" kind of dialogues trickling from concealed loudspeakers, then across the vast cobbled pedestrian zone to get a pirogi for J, whom eventually we meet. Finally I stop as my leg socket is hurting worse then ever before.

I limp back to the university library after that, the woman in room 1136 is actually shutting up and leaving, as I reach the door. As close-run as that.

Six p.m. A Dziennik Polski (local Kraków newspaper) journalist has come for a lengthy interview until seven p.m.

Upstairs after that to resume work on the Horst Wessel diary which I have obtained today from the Jagiellonski Biblioteka here. The Berlin authorities had moved the Preussisches Staatsarchiv to Krakau in 1943 when the bombing of Berlin became worse, and that is how the Soviet Army and then Poland came to get them.

. . . The whole thing is very reminiscent, I realize during the night, of Susanna Scott-Gall and her sudden encounter with "Neil" in ca 1988. I composed at that time a lengthy poem beginning, "Susanna's in love with a fellow called Neil / To me he seems a bit of a heel / etc." Poems like that of course, though deeply satisfying to compose, spelt the end of whatever there had been. But I was right: She soon found out what a heel he was! "Hurricane Diana!"


Saturday, September 10, 2011
Kraków - Auschwitz - Kraków (Poland)

Jae will fly to Munich from Krakau tomorrow, then back to Warsaw in time for her JFK flight on Wednesday.


AT ELEVEN a.m we check out of the Hotel Alef. It turns out that it is actually a former synagogue. We drive to Auschwitz II, or Birkenau. The drive takes about an hour... At Birkenau there are a few surprises. The two Kremas II and III are now cordoned off to prevent skeptics from even approaching the ruins, and the former entrances through which Fred Leuchter and other hardy revisionists wriggled in 1988 to see the underside of the roof slabs (and remove cement samples for lab. testing) have been firmly boarded up.

The tiny red-brick coal bunker (maximum capacity around ten tonnes) is not identified or labelled on maps -- because that would certainly give rise to awkward questions. E.g., how do you cremate 450,000 Hungarian corpses in three weeks with ten tons of coke?


AT the Stammlager, Auschwitz I, I go first to pay my respects and lay flowers at the site of the execution of so many heroic Polish patriots and resistance fighters. The execution wall is of course a fake -- the original wall was dismantled in 1944 on the orders of Artur Liebehenschel, the successor to Rudolf Höss as Kommandant (not that it spared him from the gallows, when this terrible cycle of violence ended).

There are also innovations at Auschwitz I: no unescorted visitors are allowed before three p.m., others must hire guides. Huge throngs of tourists are milling around both sites. I see a tourist coach from Norway among them. One building is being renovated -- it is evident that large quantities of debris are being removed from inside and replaced . . . with what?

The lone "gas-chamber" exhibit on this site is even more mysterious: the tourists are now frog-marched, or shuffled, through it in a short but obedient loop. An airport-style cordon stops people legally going to the far end of the "chamber" (where they might otherwise have noticed that the door has a three-inch gap beneath it!)

More mysterious is that the painted plaque which used to be outside the entrance, and which honestly identified the construction year of this building in small print at its foot as 1948, i.e. three years after WW2, has been replaced since I was last here by an expensive new plaque (of which I take a photo) stating rather more vaguely that some parts of this building have been "reconstructed" after the war:

After the war [this now states], the Museum partially reconstructed the gas chamber and crematorium. The chimney and two incinerators were rebuilt using original components, as were several of the openings in the gas chamber roof.

My belief is that the only truly authentic relics are the metal crematory furnaces.

While J ducks out of sight, I tackle an official guide aged about thirty-five, addressing a large crowd of tourists. I loudly ask the simple question: "When was this building actually erected?"

He stiffens, and then replies coldly: "I am addressing this group as a guide." But he is silent.

"It is a simple question, and one word will suffice as a reply - what year?"
"I am not going to answer."
"You do not know the answer? You are the official guide!"

I tell his group of about fifty what the answer is. J tells me that as I turn away a nine- or ten-year old girl picks up a pebble and tosses it at me (she misses). That is one way to answer, I suppose.

We see memorial pebbles now littering every monument around both camps. One is even inscribed with the name "Ellie Wiesel." Elie W doesn't know how to spell his own name? I doubt it.

So many horrors truly happened in these camps, it is a scandal that they have felt it necessary to fake some things -- just for political and tourist purposes.


Sunday, September 11, 2011
Kraków (Poland)

UP at five a.m. and I read emails. J has emailed from her room at the other end of the corridor. "A whole bunch of noisy Poles have overrun this hotel. They keep knocking on my door looking for their friends, despite the do-not-disturb sign."

I drive her to the airport for her flight to Munich, and get a very friendly send off.

[Previous Radical's Diary]  


Read Professor Robert Jan Van Pelt on the fake gas chamber at Auschwitz I 
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