We have an important Rassinier
Archive in French and a page on a number
of critiques, some of them being explosions
of hate, addressed to his writings.
This heralds what we called: "The Return of Paul Rassinier".
Lipstadt, Deborah. Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. The Free Press, New York. pp. 58-59, 246.
The bracketed comments are Lipstadt's.
In trying to make his case, Rassinier fabricated data, misquoted, and used quotations out of context. He first tried to demonstrate that Arendt and Hilberg were in disagreement about the number of Jews who were killed in Poland. According to Rassinier, in her February 23, 1963, New Yorker article Arendt "coolly inform[ed] us that 'three million Polish Jews were massacred during the first day of the war'". He then wrote: "Mr. Raul Hilberg found the 'about 200,000,000 Polish Jews, ... were transported to their deaths in 1942 and 1943." Rassinier complained about this apparent contradiction between the findings of these two historians and added: "It would be a good thing to come to an understanding: were there in Poland 3 to 3.3 million Jews during the war, as all statisticians unanimously claim, including those who are Jewish, or were there 5.7 million as Mme. Hannah Arendt is obliged to claim, since here are 5 million exterminated." (21)
Rassinier simply falsified Arendt's statement. In addition, he made minor but strategically important changes in Hilberg's quote and then quoted it out of context in order to make it appear as if there were some contradiction between the two scholars. In The Destruction of the European Jews, Hilberg analyzed the role of the railways in the annihilation process. He observed that the "railway network managed to carry about 2,000,000 Polish Jews to their deaths in 1942 and 1943." Rassinier ignored the references to the railway network. He makes it appear as if Hilberg is citing the total number of Polish Jews who were annihilated and not just those transported by rail. (Hilberg does not include in this total Jews deported by other means and those who were killed in ghettoes or in areas immediately adjacent to their homes. (22) When those Polish victims are included, Hilberg's total comes to three million Polish Jews.
But Rassinier committed an even more egregious falsehood in connection with Arendt's quote. Arendt did "not" write that three million Polish Jews were killed in the first day. Discussing German estimates of the number of Jews left in Europe in 1940, Arendt observed that one particular estimate "did not include three million Polish Jews, who, as everybody knew, had been in the process of being massacred even since the first days of the war." (23) By changing Arendt's quote to say three millions had been killed "on the first day", Rassinier manages to make Arendt sound not only in total contradiction to other historians but quite out of touch with reality. Deniers would repeatedly rely on this tactic to try to make the findings of Holocaust historians seem particularly fantastic.
[But are they not nevertheless fantastic???]
21. Pierre Hofstetter, Introduction to Paul Rassinier, Debunking the Genocide Myth: A study of the Nazi Concentration Camps and the Alleged Extermination of European Jewry, (Torrance, California, 1978), p. 219.
22. Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of the European Jews (New York, 1967), p. 311; Debunking, p. 219.
23. Hannah Arendt, "A Reporter at Large: Eichmann in Jerusalem -- II," The New Yorker, Feb. 23, 1963, p. 66.
Retrieved from: Nizkor FTP file: people/l/lipstadt.deborah/rassinier-distortions.01
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