Everything now becomes very clear. Since he died during the interrogation at Rottweil (in Germany) as a result of the torture inflicted on him to obtain his confession, Kurt Gerstein could never have been transferred to Paris to be put at the disposal of the Securite Militaire. This imaginary transfer would not have been thought up in the first place, unless a simple examination would have shown to the naked eye the real causes of his death. By spiriting away his corpse, an autopsy was avoided and, thus, the inevitable subsequent scandal was also avoided. This hypothesis would explain, furthermore, how the Americans came to let the document that bears his signature lie undisturbed in the archives of their delegation at Nuremberg where Prosecutor Dubost found it. It is easy to understand, under such circumstances, why they had no desire to bring this body up to the surface by producing his so-called confession before the Nuremberg court. By rejecting it as not probative and by preventing Mr. Dubost from even reading it, the President of the hearing of January 30, 1946, knew very well what he was doing. But, Mr. Dubost, who had come so close to making a blunder, had given it out to the press. From then on, it could not be retracted, and its authenticity had to be sustained in order not to lose face before public opinion, which was thus already alerted.
There are only three other possible hypotheses:
First, at Rottweil, interrogated as Kurt Gerstein must have been to get a confession from him so manifestly out of line with the technical truths, he could have thought that the Americans would have him confirm the confession at the bar of some tribunal, at which time he could retract it and tell how it had been forced from him; however, foreseeing how he would be handled most likely by the ones thus exposed, in a moment of depression, he wanted to end his life quicker, suffer less, and, thus, committed suicide. Then, the body had to disappear so as not to reveal the marks it carried;
Second, he was actually transferred to Paris, where, to make him confess more, he was tortured again as he had been at Rottweil, and, for the same reason, he committed suicide; and, again, for the same reason the body had to disappear;
Third, either at Rottweil or at Paris, thinking that they could not get any more out of him than what he had said, or to avoid having him retract it in court, those who interrogated him murdered him in cold blood so that his supposed testimony could be presented by the prosecution without any risk of being contradicted by its author; in this latter case, it was still necessary to get rid of the body in view of the state that it was in, a condition which would have controverted the contention of suicide.
I maintain that the most plausible of these four hypotheses is the first. And, I maintain this opinion for the following reason: In July 1945, all of the French administrative services were in operation again, if not yet perfectly at least normally, and in all of the military or civil prisons, the prison registers were kept up to date. Therefore, one of two things must have happened: either the name of Kurt Gerstein occurs on the register of one of the prisons in the column " entered on... ;" the column "released on..." is blank, and the "observations" column records his death, the person or group to which his body was turned over, and the place where he was buried. Or else, which is the case, there is no notation for Kurt Gerstein, which means that he was never imprisoned in any military or civil prison in Paris. That fact would indicate that, if he left Rottweil for Paris, he never arrived. Was he assassinated en route? It is possible. In any case, the most precise of all those who have told us where he committed suicide is the always incredible Rothfels who writes:
Gerstein was then [after his arrest] put on his honor for the time being by the French occupation forces, with permission to go back and forth between Tubingen [where his family lived] and Rottweil. Then he was brought to a prison in Paris [at what date he does not tell us]. There on July 25, 1945, in the "military prison of Paris" he committed suicide. (op. cit. p. 185)
Aside from the freedom of movement that was allowed this prisoner while he was still at Rottweil, and which in itself should not cause the slightest surprise, the most curious thing in this statement is that he killed himself in "the military prison of Paris." In Paris there is not one, but several military prisons, each one being administratively designated by its own name,the most famous of which is the "Prison militaire du Cherche Midi." In 1945, given the extraordinary number of people, both military and civil, who were incarcerated, there were "military divisions," in addition, at la Sante, Fresnes, and other places. The official paper which mentions the death of Gerstein could only have as its letterhead: "Military Subdivision of Paris -- Military Prison of Cherche-Midi," or of Fort Montrouge, or of Caserne Neuilly, etc., or "Penitentiary Administration -- Prison de la Sante, (or Fresnes) Military Division." Depending on the administration which issued the communication, it could also, of course, have had other headings. For instance, the heading could have been "Securite militaire" or "Surete Generale;" but in no case could it have been "military prison of Paris." And if, in spite of this, it has this heading and if an official statement with another stamp gave notice of the death of Gerstein only in these terms and in quotation marks, then it is just a forgery that was prepared for the occasion by someone who knew nothing about the French police services, or about the French safety, intelligence, military and civil administrations. In short, it is a clumsy forgery -- another one!
Finally, the preceding discussion which has led us to the discovery of a forgery until now unnoticed, explains why the statements that are imputed to Kurt Gerstein seem to be those of a man who was not in possession of all his faculties: at the moment when they were given to him for his signature he was already on the point of death because of the methods that had been used to extract them from him, and he only had time to sign the French version before dying. The very form of the French version, as reproduced in Exhibit No. 124 at the Jerusalem trial, militates in favor of this contention. To my French eyes, which claim to know the maternal language fairly well, it looks much more like French written by an American (or an Englishman) rather than French written by a German. I would not be surprised if, when the day comes when this document can be examined, specialists discover that it was typed on an English or American machine, since, judging by its tenor, the intellectual level of those who wanted to make Kurt Gerstein endorse it seems to have been so low that they probably did not think it indispensable to type it out on a German or French machine. As it is, it would not be very bold to ask oneself if the handwritten notes on the French version are really in Kurt Gerstein's writing.
The value that can be placed on the Gerstein document having been assessed, what now must be done is to consider the value that Mr. Raul Hilberg placed on the document. I shall say right now that for once Mr. Raul Hilberg is very prudent. He devotes only three pages to the subject (pp. 570-572), and those pages mention, in passing, that Gerstein was present at "a gassing which took an especially long time" and that "to Wirth's great embarrassment and mortification [he] timed the operation with a stop watch." However, nothing is said about the size of the gas chambers or about the figures concerning the extent of the exterminations by gas. The invoices for Zyklon B, which are appended to the document, are mentioned too. Here, I must point out that, basing himself on these invoices (12 of them according to Rothfels op. cit. p. 179; two, claimed by Prosecutor Dubost at the Trial of the Major War Criminals, with one for Oranienburg and the other for Auschwitz) and those invoices which were produced in the court of the Tribunal which in 1949 judged the DEGESCH Gesellschaft, producer of Zyklon B, Mr. Raul Hilberg calculates (P. 570) that the amounts of this product which were delivered in 1943 and 1944 by this company to the German Army, were 160 tons, and to the sanitation services of the SS were 125 tons (12 for Auschwitz in 1943, none in 1944, but 7.5 tons in 1942). In the aggregate these figures seem plausible to me; in any case, they seem Proportionate -- but in the aggregate only. If from 1942 to the end of the war, the German Army ordered and had delivered 160 tons of Zyklon B, it is quite possible, judging by their needs in the face of the exigencies of the first Russian campaign during 1941, that the sanitary services of the SS would later have required 125 tons. But, in detail I am much more cautious, and the shipments to Auschwitz particularly distress me. In the 12 invoices that were appended to the Gerstein document, bearing dates between the 14th of February and the 31st of May 1944, there were indeed some that pertained to Auschwitz, as Messrs. Dubost and Rothfels have told us. However, of these dates none are given in Mr. Raul Hilberg's calculation. And, the absence of dates make the exactness of his calculations awkward to follow.
Since I am not a specialist in the use of Zyklon B for hygienic purposes, I am not in a position to give a definitive analysis of the significance of an all-inclusive delivery to Auschwitz of 19.5 tons of Zyklon B, allowing for the fact that a greater amount was delivered, since Mr. Raul Hilberg forgot to include the deliveries of 1944 in his calculations. However, even if I were such an expert, quite a number of factors that would be needed to shape an estimate would be lacking. Therefore, this is all that I can say:
1. Just the fact that the Zyklon B was delivered to a concentration camp does not permit one to conclude that it was used to asphyxiate the prisoners; otherwise, one must conclude that it was similarly used in other camps where it was delivered but where no extermination of that kind has been shown;
2. Auschwitz was a Stammlager (central camp) which means that there were more Kommandos stationed around there than, I suspect but cannot however confirm, were located, at Chelmno, Belzec, Mijdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka. This figure for total delivery is then not just for the Auschwitz camp, but all those Kommandos around the camp, a list of which, as far as I know, has never been made known;
3. In order to estimate the consumption of Zyklon B correctly, we would have to know how many tons of this overall total were used and how many were not, how many persons went through the camp, and how many kilos of Zyklon B were required to disinfect their clothing on their arrival at the rate of 1,500 to 2,000 persons per convoy. Then, we would have to know how much Zyklon B was used for the minimum disinfection of underclothing necessary for the total population of the camp, and for the Kommandos, every fifteen days. Even if we find out someday about how many persons were involved and about how many tons of Zyklon B were required, we still shall not know how many tons were effectively used, because we shall never know, there having been no inventory, how many were not used. And, so we shall never be able to make a comparison which would allow us to say whether much more Zyklon B was used than was required for disinfection --in which case one might speak of exterminations using this material. And, this means that we have to keep searching until we find other methods of assessment;
4. Was all of the Zyklon B that was delivered to Auschwitz used? If so, then we would have proof that more was used than was reasonable, and we would have to concede the point, but that possibility is excluded. All the camps were abundantly supplied with this product, and I shall give but one example of it: the train in which I was evacuated from Dora, which left the camp at the last minute, and which I left and then got on again under circumstances which I have described in an earlier chapter, included a car three-quarters full of iron bound boxes with labels all over them: some of the labels bore "Blausaure" (Prussic acid) on a red background while the others had "Vorsicht " (danger) on a white background. Below the "Vorsicht" there were some lines which I did not read. I had more things to worry about than stuff that was labeled dangerous. I was looking for a bag and shoes which obviously were not to be found there, and I was not interested. Moreover, I was far from being able to surmise what the Blausaure was to be used for. It was much, much later, after I read Kogon, that I put two and two together. But, I only wanted to say that there is no reason for not thinking that the other camps, and especially Auschwitz, were just as abundantly supplied as Dora and that the total amount of Zyklon B delivered to Auschwitz was no more used up than was that which had been delivered to Dora. And here we are once again faced with the unanswerable question: how much of it was used?
If this question cannot be answered, one might as well say that no significance can be attributed to the deliveries of Zyklon B that were made to Auschwitz which are laid out so complacently -- and, alas, so incompletely -- by Mr. Raul Hilberg, except that this product was, by definition, not a man-killer, but an insecticide and a disinfectant and was used as such since 1924 by all the German Military and civil health services (5). The invoices produced, in any case, are not grounds for going beyond this statement itself without foundering in suppositions and conjectures, all of which are absolutely, indisputably, and shockingly gratuitous. What we have just seen on this point provides it only too well.
Mr. Raul Hilberg was well inspired not to retain either the description of extermination by gas, as the Gerstein document says its author witnessed (Remember: 700 to 800 persons in a room 25 meters square in area!), or the statistics concerning the Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor camps. At least he avoided the misadventure of that poor Mr. Rothfels.
Let us recall, too, the statistics as they occur in the German text (in the French text given by Mr. Poliakov in the Breviaire de la Haine they are not the same, and, doubtless, for the same reasons that Mr. Raul Hilberg, and the Jerusalem court, did not use them) which were made public following the article by Mr. Rothfels (op. cit. pp. 187-194), and according to which the extermination capacity of the camps was the following:
About that, Mr. Rothfels wrote (op. cit. p. 181) that "600,000 having perished at Belzec, Gerstein's estimate of 15,000 per day is not plausible" (von 15, 000 pro Tag nichts unwahrscheinliches). This camp officially began exterminating in March 1942, and stopped in December of the same year (Poliakov, op. cit. p. 224), which makes the duration of its operation some nine months or 270 days; 15,000 times 270 equals 4,050,000 persons and not 600,000.
Let us continue with this kind of reasoning: Treblinka and Sobibor were officially exterminating from March 1942 to "the autumn of 1943," about 18 months or 540 days. At the daily rate which is given in the preceding paragraph, we get an extermination total for the first of 13,500,000 persons and for the second of 10,800,000 persons. In all, for these three camps alone there must have been 28,350,000 persons exterminated. And, if we are to believe Mr. Gerstein, they were all Jews! Incidentally, this total does not count those exterminated by the same process at Chelmno, which the Gerstein document does not cite, and at Mijdanek, which it cites as being "in preparation" at the time of his visit in August 1942, so he could not estimate its capacity.
And that is the sort of testimony that they have the audacity to present to us as being "reliable!" To complete the picture let us point out that, when they come to summing up and to giving the totals of Jewish losses in each of these camps, those who seriously offer this nonsense arrive at figures like the one Rothfels found for Belzec. Below is a table giving these losses as estimated by the Polish Commission on War Crimes (from Poliakov, op cit. p. 224), and Mr. Raul Hilberg (op. cit. p. 572):
||"over a hundred thousand"|
||"hundreds of thousands"|
||"hundreds of thousands"|
||"hundreds of thousands"|
||"tens of thousands"|
One wonders just how the Warsaw Commission and Mr. Raul Hilberg came to these conclusions; there is no evidence that they referred to the Gerstein document, and neither one cites any other documentary references worthy of the name.
For Auschwitz, in the same table, Mr. Raul Hilberg gives one million dead, whereas to my knowledge no one else ever gave less than two million, (7) with most of the witnesses mentioning four. I do not think that I go too far in saying that if people who examine the same occurrence and who claim to be as qualified as the Polish Commission on War Crimes and as Mr. Raul Hilberg, Professor at the University of Vermont, can arrive at such disparate results as we have seen, it must be that their units of measure, or their bases of reference, are purely conjectural, do not rest on anything positive, and derive from different and extremely doubtful sources. The proof which supports my observation is furnished by the Polish Commission and Mr. Raul Hilberg themselves. I have before me at least one hundred of the references which the Polish Commission turned to in order to arrive at figures for which it is responsible in the preceding table. Among these references, one finds such things as: German Crimes in Poland (Warsaw, 1948), which is a pack of contradictions by people of whom it cannot even be said that they existed and who are given as "survivors;" or, "Testimony of Dr. Rothbalsam (dead!), gathered by Mme. Novitch;" or Belzec, (Cracow, 1946) which is a book of recollections on the camp, by someone named Reder, given as "sole survivor," about whom it was said at the Jerusalem trial (hearing of June 6, 1961) that he had been "dead since..."
As for Mr. Raul Hilberg, on almost every page of his book, one finds references, in footnotes, such as these: "Affidavit by Rudolf Schonberg, survivor" (p. 311, nt. 14), or "Borkomorowski, The Secret Army" (p. 315, nt. 32), or the testimony of an unnamed survivor taken by Cohen in "Human Behaviour in the Concentration Camp" (p. 625, nt. 22), or, again, another testimony, of another survivor, named this time but just as hypothetical, taken by a certain Friedman in his book, Osviecim (p. 622, nt. 8), etc...etc. And, in addition to personal testimony, there abound extracts from papers and documents which were written during the war or since its end. In the first case, they are papers published under German control. Bits of statistics are found in them that are not always in agreement; often these documents are annotated or evaluated by journalists who are not specialists; these documents and papers may discuss the steps that were taken to plunder, to ghettoize, or to concentrate; they may outline the bad treatment of which the Jews were victims, but never do they say anything whatsoever that could justify an interpretation in the sense of murder or extermination by gas or otherwise. The word "Judenfrei" often recurs, applied to a territory, a country or a region, but it means "freed of Jews," not their extermination as Mr. Raul Hilberg insinuates. In the second case, they are papers that were published after the war ended. One finds that these documents and papers, annotated by non-witnesses, contain accounts which were given by witnesses, who, for the most part are not named. If they are named, they generally are given as "dead since," thereby precluding the possibility of being cross-examined, in a controlled manner, by qualified persons.
How, indeed, could one possibly think that these witnesses are objective observers, people who, if they are still alive, will admit that since their release from the concentration camps, every move that they have made, and still make, in their lives is dictated by the hatred that they have forever sworn for the Germans? Quite a number of witnesses of this kind appeared before the Jerusalem court to testify that they had seen gas chambers in camps where, as is acknowledged by everyone including Jewish sources, none existed.
The basic shortcoming of this kind of testimony -- if one wants to obtain the truth -- is found in the fact that it was given by people who were not witnesses, in the sense of relating honestly what they actually saw, but who were demanding reparations -- as well as retribution -- for what they have suffered. Consequently, they had an interest in saying those things which were calculated by them to support their objective. In all of this extermination business there are mostly accusers, who back each other up, and forgeries, crudely fabricated, whose authenticity is verified only by false witnesses. And, like Mr.Rothfels when faced with the Gerstein document, Mr. Raul Hilberg, with a frightening lack of conscience and an unimaginable contempt for the most elementary rules of his profession, pretends not to have seen the existence of bias and interest which undermines the credibility of his source material. And, here we are again back to the fundamental problem of our times: the extraordinary intellectual and moral prostration of the elites.
This latter observation is not addressed to the Commission for War Crimes of Warsaw, or, for example, to Madame Hannah Arendt; these two, from all evidence, do not belong to the elites. The first was created on the other side of the Iron Curtain, not to verify historical facts, but to produce evidence that can be used for certain kinds of propaganda. To take part in the Warsaw Commission it is not at all necessary to be a historian, but just a communist.
As for the second, Mme. Arendt is obviously a Zionist propagandist. Much of the data which she uses in her report of the Eichmann Trial (The New Yorker, op. cit.) derive from what she has read in the book by Mr. Raul Hilberg, which she assimilated badly, which she dishes back to us even more clumsily than the manner in which it was given in the first place, and which she cites with the clearest and most positive avowals. Mr. Robert Kempner, that former Prussian Police commissioner who is a much higher ranking agent of Zionism, is, moreover, not at all pleased with the manner in which she carried out her task. In Aufbau (Vol. XXIX, No. 15, April 12, 1963) he administered one of those blistering attacks which I recommend the reader to read. Asinus asinam castiget, the Romans of today would say of this shabby controversy.
To return to the Gerstein document and to finish with it, I now ask the following question: If it is not true that the gas chambers at Belzec, Treblinka, and Sobibor could asphyxiate between 15,000 and 25,000 persons a day; if it is not true that a gas chamber 25 meters square could hold 700 to 800 persons; if it is not true that a train with 45 cars could transport 6,700 persons; and if it is not true that Hitler was at Belzec on August 15, 1942, I ask what does it contain that is true, since it contains nothing else? Are the Zyklon B invoices that are appended to the document genuine? Perhaps, but they prove nothing.
Of all those who have endorsed the authenticity of this document, only one grieves me, Otto Dibelius, Bishop of Berlin, whose fine independent spirit and sureness of judgment I have drawn attention to, particularly with regard to the Nuremberg Trial. According to Mr. Rothfels, (op. cit. pp. 181-182) he wrote a letter to the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte at Munich, dated November 22, 1949, in which, after a series of praises addressed to Gerstein,we find the following sentence: "Through it I was in a position to establish that Gerstein's communication to me, insofar as his Swedish acquaintance came into the question, had been absolutely according to the truth. So had also been his original report." Of Eugen Kogon, David Rousset, Golo Mann, Hans Rothfels, Hannah Arendt, Raul Hilberg, among others, I have made a special and individual study of each of them, and it does not seem that anything else could have been expected of them.
With regard to gas chambers, the almost endless procession of false witnesses and of falsified documents to which I have invited the reader's attention during this long study, proves, nevertheless, only one thing: never at any moment did the responsible authorities of the Third Reich intend to order or in fact, order -- the extermination of the Jews in this or any other manner (8). Did such exterminations take place without orders? This question has haunted me for fifteen years, and it is the Gerstein document, the worst and most immoral forgery of all, that indirectly put me in a position finally to answer it in a positive way.
It was June 1963. The first and the second part of my Le veritable proces Eichmann ou Les Vainqueurs incorrigibles had just come out in German with the title Zum Fall Eichmann and the subtitle Was ist Wahrheit? ... oder die unbelehrbaren Sieger. (**) For fifteen years, every time that I heard of a witness anywhere, no matter where in the portion of Europe that was not occupied by the Soviets, who claimed to have himself been present at gas exterminations, I immediately went to him to get his testimony. And, each time the experience ended in the same way. With documentation in hand, I would ask him so many precise and detailed questions that soon it became apparent that he could not answer except by lying. Often his lies became so transparent, even to himself, that he ended his testimony by declaring that he had not seen it himself, but that one of his good friends, who had died in the camps and whose good faith he could not doubt, had told him about it. I covered thousands and thousands of kilometers throughout Europe in this way.
One day in the month of June 1963, I had a strange visitor, a German, who was large and of good carriage, who looked about sixty (but during our conversation I learned that he was actually much older) who had a little something military in his bearing, who was very distinguished in appearance, and who was exquisitely polite. In his hands was my first book on the subject, the German edition of Mensonge d'Ulysse, in which a book marker was sticking out.
He introduced himself and told me about the purpose of his visit, which he wanted kept absolutely confidential. I Promised to preserve that confidentiality, and that is why I have presented what was said in our conversation in such a way that he cannot be identified; the account of what he told me alone being authentic.
He did not want to have his name given because during the war he had been a high ranking civilian in an important government service. He had not been a military man, but was a professional within the civil service. He did not conceal from me, that, although he had not been an active National Socialist, he had, nevertheless, given his support to the Party in 1933. When the war was over, he had narrowly escaped being a defendant at Nuremberg. Although he had been "denazified" like everyone else, he had lost his former governmental position. He had suffered a great many difficulties, and he had had enough. He did not want to begin all that again. The story that he had been carrying around inside him for twenty years burdened him, but he was to be excused for the cowardice which had made him keep it to himself until the present. When the war ended, he had four children, all very young, and, at more than fifty, a whole new career to carve out.
I willingly and very sincerely conceded this. I understood the moral -- and often physical -- misery that millions and millions of Germans have lived through and still live with, and which reduced them to a silence that they only break when they vote periodically for Chancellor Adenauer, although his politics do not please them, but whom they consider the only German capable of protecting them a little against the punitive measures of the German counterparts of Tomas de Torquemada, like Prosecutor-General Bauer.
These things said, and his conditions having been accepted by me, my interlocutor opened his copy of Le Mensonge d'Ulysse to the marked page, set it down in front of him, and without further preamble started right in.
"You say, and I believe you," he said in substance, "that not one of the witnesses who have claimed to have been present at exterminations by gas have, until now, been able to prove it to you. I have just read your last writings on the matter, and I feel that you are on the point of concluding that there were none. Seeing the interest that your works have aroused, I thought that it would be very dangerous, both for you and for Germany, if you do, since you could not fail to be discredited, a fate which you do not deserve. Moreover, if you were discredited, Germany, at the same time, would have lost her only defender who has some hearing. And, so I have come to tell you myself that I have been present at an extermination by gas..."
"Then I do not understand you," I answered. "It does not seem to me that if you told your story publicly that you would risk, as you claim, being imprisoned again. Witnesses of this kind are being sought by Prosecutor Bauer, who has so far not found anyone who is trustworthy, and if you are sure of yourself, go to him; he will lay down the red carpet..."
"Be patient," he interrupted, "In Germany in order not to be thrown into prison, it is not enough to state that one has witnessed an extermination by gas. It has to be told exactly as it was described in a document or by a witness officially recognized as reliable, and that is not my case. You will see. I was on an official trip to Lublin, and I had just gone in to see Globocnik when Gerstein was announced. Chance had it that I found myself again with him the next day at Belzec. And, if I say that I also was present at the extermination that is referred to in the document which is attributed to him, I must also add that everything said in it concerning the gassing operation, as well as the circumstances under which he was present and his conversation with Globocnik, is, from one end to the other, utterly false. Without any doubt, such testimony on my part would be enough to have me thrown automatically and immediately into prison."
I understood less and less. "If everything is false from beginning to end," I ventured, "there was, therefore, no extermination . . ." "There was one all right," he said. "But let us begin at the beginning." And, then, he told the story ... From his long recital, which I have abridged in order to stick to the essentials, it turned out that:
1. In the conversation that he had at Lublin with Gerstein, in the presence of my visitor and two or three military men whose names my visitor only remembered because they are given in the Gerstein document, Globocnik had spoken only of Belzec and absolutely had not mentioned any other camps. Concerning the number of persons that could be exterminated at the Belzec installation, not one figure was given. Furthermore, he did not begin the conversation by talking of extermination; he talked only of the disinfecting of clothing. It was only further into the conversation that, while deploring the limited means for disinfection available at Belzec, he said, in passing that he had found a very efficient method which would permanently resolve the Jewish question. When inquiry was made by my visitor as to what he meant, he described his Diesel engine at Belzec... "But," declared Globocnik, "it is only a makeshift installation; what I need is a more deadly gas, which is easier to use. That is why I have sent Gunther to get from Gerstein those things that are better adapted to do this job."
"I was horrified," my visitor said to me. "Because of my civilian position, I was the only one listening to Globocnik who could say anything. 'But after all,' I said to him, 'it is a crime, and are you sure that that is the solution that the Fuehrer has in mind for the Jewish problem?' 'Certainly I am sure,' was all that Globocnik answered, shrugging his shoulders. And, with a knowing look, but without saying it precisely, he suggested that the authority for his project came from the Fuehrer himself. Moreover, he insisted that it must be kept secret. Unlike what is said in the Gerstein document, he did not state that Himmler and Hitler had been to Lublin two days before -- that is pure invention."
2. During the conversation, my visitor remarked that Globocnik had said that he had sent Gunther to Gerstein to get a more poisonous gas and less complicated apparatus. My visitor had noted that this was not the normal operating procedure, and he had wondered why Globocnik had not addressed himself directly to the supply office by letter. This fact made my visitor suspicious about the entire operation. My visitor said that Globocnik's assignment at Warthegau was a punitive measure that had been imposed for a number of misdeeds which he had committed during his tenure as Gauleiter in the Vienna area. At Berlin he also had a very bad reputation, at least, so my visitor claimed. Thus, with the intention of speaking about this business as soon as he got back to Berlin, my visitor decided to go to Belzec -- even though his business did not require him to go -- so as to be in a position to speak about the matter with some first hand knowledge.
At Belzec he saw a very small camp, with enough barracks to have housed four or five hundred people. He saw the inmates walking around the camp and they appeared to be well fed and in good shape. Moreover, upon inquiry he learned that they were all Jews. He was told by a Jewish inmate that there was a small railway station with a single track that served the camp. From time to time, a short train would arrive full of his coreligionists. The people in the camp were to greet the arrivals and were to assist in their extermination by herding them into a little house, which was shown him, where they were asphyxiated. On the house was a sign which read "Fondation Heckenholt, " the name of the Jew who was in charge of starting and keeping the motor running. The inmate told all this while eating a jam tart, which clouds of flies tried to settle on and which he kept brushing away. A disgusting smell similar to that of a freshly opened grave pervaded the camp. The flies and the stench came from the massive pits where the victims were buried after each gassing. Hauptsturmfuehrer Wirth, formerly an officer with the Stuttgart criminal police and commandant of this camp, received my interlocutor on his arrival. He and another S.S. officer, his deputy, who accompanied them during his visit, both complained incessantly about the Kommando to which they had been assigned. They begged him to use his influence to get them transferred to another unit as soon as he returned to Berlin. Neither one of them could understand how they could be required to do such work, and they were sure that at Berlin nothing was known about what was going on here. "Why do you not ask for a transfer yourselves?" asked my visitor. "Then, after getting it you could expose this disgraceful business..." "This is just what Globocnik is afraid of," he was told. "And another thing, we could not apply for a transfer without going through channels, and that means going through him, and for fear of being exposed, either he would not grant it, or he would have us shot at once on some pretext or other. We know of cases... Fortunately you have come here and you can, at the same time that you get us out of here through your connections in Berlin, stop this shameful business... Fortunately, too, it is only a small train with few cars that arrives from time to time, two or three up to now (9). Otherwise, with the limited means we have at hand for burying the bodies, we would be living in a regular center of infection, breeding every imaginable disease... Tomorrow a train is scheduled to arrive at about seven in the morning..."
3. My interlocutor told me that, upon being informed of the expected train, he decided to stay. Accompanied by Wirth and his S.S. aide, he again visited the little house that had been fixed up for exterminations, and he described it to me. It had a raised ground floor, and a hallway with three small rooms on each side, which he did not measure, but which he thought had an area of surely less than 5 x 5 meters, perhaps 4 x 5 maximum, and all of them were rectangular, not square. At the end of the hall was the room where the Diesel motor was located in the center on a cement base and a little below floor level. I asked about this motor and how it was connected up to exhaust outlets in each of the six rooms. It was a truck motor, about 1.50 meters long, a little less than 1 meter wide, and a good meter in height, including the concrete base. Its power he did not know; perhaps it had 200 horsepower, he said. I pointed out to him that it was said to have been a marine engine, and, therefore, it must have been much bigger if it had been built for a ship. "Surely not," he said. "it was a truck motor, at least its dimensions led me to visualize it on a truck." He remembered the number of cylinders, six in one row. As for the connection with the exhaust pipes, in order to proceed faster, he made a drawing for me, which showed that the motor exhaust was introduced into each room by means of a pipe that was connected to an outlet in the floor. "I do not wonder," I said, "that Globocnik wanted to find a more efficient method. It must have been horribly long..." " A quarter of an hour," he interrupted.
If until now this account had seemed plausible to me, after this remark, this "quarter of an hour" weighed heavily on the rest of our conversation. We talked about it at length, and we kept returning to it, with me maintaining that it was absolutely impossible and with him insisting that it was nevertheless true. I had already studied the Gerstein document together with automotive engineers and toxicologists and I knew what I was talking about. In response to my technical objections, he said that he had seen it and that "nevertheless it was true." In vain I tried to explain to him that, with 200 horsepower or even more, a Diesel engine could not produce, in a quarter of an hour, the necessary toxic concentration in 250 to 300 cubic meters of air to cause death. That faced with the impossibility of getting 700 to 800 persons -- 40 to 50 at a maximum, my interlocutor corrected -- into rooms of 40 to 45 cubic meters, and knowing the limitations of a Diesel engine, the writer of the document had to reduce to almost nothing the quantity of air to be made toxic. I added that the atmosphere in the house in question would not be sufficiently toxic to kill everyone until after 32 minutes and that if the day before Globocnik had said himself that the method was not very efficient, it was just another proof that the operation must have lasted a long time. Finally, I pointed out that after twenty years his memory could not be so exact, etc. Nothing budged him. He would not change his mind about the quarter of an hour, except to say that he had not timed it with his watch and that without doubt his estimate was within a minute or two of being exact. Moreover, his demeanor reflected only good faith. Since then I have, with his sketch in hand, questioned many experts on combustion engines, fluid combustion, and toxicology, no one has been willing to give less than one and a half to two hours ....
During the rest of the conversation, nothing else came up that I took exception to, but this objection is an important one and is very disturbing. There was one other thing that was strange about the asphyxiating apparatus. I did not understand why the designer had divided the space into six rooms instead of leaving it in one, which would have been less costly and less complicated; but, I did not press the point.
4. Meanwhile, Gerstein arrived with three or four people; my visitor was no longer quite sure how many. Globocnik, who had come with them, turned right around and went back. During his conversation the day before with Globocnik, my visitor reported that Gerstein had related that his trip from Berlin to Lublin had not been uneventful. What he had with him was not Zyklon B in crystals, as one might think, but liquid prussic acid in bottles, and with the incessant jolting on a road in bad repair, one or two of these bottles had broken in the truck. He and his driver had been very frightened. My visitor then asked him how his trip from Lublin to Belzec had been. "Very good," he replied. "We left the goods at Lublin..."
They inspected the camp together, and in the evening, still together, they were served at dinner by a couple of Jewish prisoners. The atmosphere was heavy; the most talkative one was Gerstein. He seemed keyed up, and everything he said seemed to be aimed at belittling Globocnik. He inspired confidence in no one, at least my interlocutor had that impression. And, when he heard several years later, from one of his friends who had had Gerstein as a student, that the latter was a psychopath, he was not surprised.
The next morning, between 7 and 8 o'clock, the expected transport of Jews arrived; it was a train of four or five cars, with some 250 to 300 men, women, and children, and not with 6,000 or 6,700 persons, piled into 45 cars, as the Gerstein Document claims. Likewise, the 200 Ukrainians that are mentioned in the Document were in reality about two dozen Jewish inmates from the camp. There was no brutality; no doors were wrenched from the cars; no one was struck with rubber truncheons. Rather, there was a brotherly reception from their coreligionists, plainly intent on creating a feeling of confidence in the arrivals.
In preparing the victims for the gassing, they were required to deposit their valuables and jewels at the Effecktenkammer in return for a receipt; then they proceeded to the barber. Finally, they were made to undress. The undressing was the longest process and took almost all morning. These unfortunates asked their coreligionists, who had received them under the armed guard of a few listless and inattentive S.S., what was to become of them. They were told that they were to be disinfected and that, after that, they would be assigned to labor Kommandos according to their abilities. They were told to take a deep breath during the disinfection process -- a hideous spectacle for those who knew.
Then, they were herded into the building where the gassing was to take place. Haphazardly they were divided up among the six rooms -- 40 to 50 per room, my visitor repeated. The doors were closed, and the lights were put out. At this moment, the only things to be heard were the prayers of these unfortunates, and the cries of fright from the women and the children. The engine was started and, a quarter of an hour later, the bodies were removed by the Totenkommando, which was composed of Jewish prisoners. The corpses were carried to a waiting grave.
"But that grave," I interrupted, "they must have seen it, since, really, for 250 to 300 people it must have been quite sizeable." My visitor replied, "No. It had been dug some distance behind the gassing house, and they could not see it. The bodies were taken out through side doors in each room, directly to the outside, sort of garage doors. The dimensions of the grave? I have an idea that it must have been about 20 meters long, 5 wide, and barely 2 deep..."
And, he explained the dangers of that kind of burial. Wirth had told him that into that huge grave lots of gasoline had been poured over the heap of corpses. But, the attempt to cremate the corpses in that manner had been only partially successful. Earth was thrown on top of the corpses, but after two or three days this earth raised up from the pressure of gas rising from below. And, it infected the air. Also, the rotting flesh attracted the clouds of those flies which one saw everywhere. Deciding that he now had seen enough, my visitor left the camp without delay and returned to Lublin.
I tried to return the conversation to a discussion of the "quarter of an hour" that the gassing was supposed to have lasted, by expressing the opinion that the length of the breakdown of the diesel engine, which lasted two hours and forty nine minutes, according to the Gerstein Document, could actually have been not a breakdown, but the added time that this engine required to poison the air sufficiently to cause death. I had no success with this suggestion. My visitor was sure that there had been not the least engine trouble and that the gassing took only a quarter of an hour.
My visitor's business in the region around Lublin took longer than he had anticipated. He was detained in Lodz for a good two weeks, and he could not get back to Berlin until about September 15. Immediately upon his return he went straight to Dr. Grawitz who was a friend of his and a close associate of Reichsfuehrer-S.S. Heinrich Himmler. After hearing his tale, Dr. Grawitz jumped up, horrified, and rushed without delay to Himmler.
"I cannot now be specific about the dates," he added, "but about ten days later, Dr. Grawitz came himself to tell me, while at the same time congratulating me for my intervention, that an inquiry was underway about what I had reported, and, a few weeks later -- I remember that it was just a few days after All Saints Day -- that the camp had been closed and Globocnik once again had been transferred (10). That is all I know."
I told my visitor about Dr. Konrad Morgen's testimony at Nuremberg on the 7th and 8th of August 1945 (I.M.T., Volume XX, pp. 520-553). He knew about it and gave it no credit. The portrait that Morgen drew of Wirth, making him an unscrupulous criminal, corresponded in no way with what was the actual fact. Morgen had described him as being the commandant of four camps and the Deus ex-machina of the whole business (op. cit. pp. 528-29), while, in reality, he was the despairing commandant of the Belzec camp only, and, furthermore, he was bullied and terrorized by Globocnik. Then again, Morgen had testified that he had met Wirth, and if he had met Wirth, it could only have been at Belzec. But, he gave the date of this meeting as "the end of 1943" (op. cit. p. 527), when the camp had been closed at the latest in December 1942. This Dr. Konrad Morgen was a man who had held the rank of Obersturmbannfuehrer in the S.S., who had headed the criminal police office of the Reich, with special powers that had been conferred by Himmler himself, and who probably had many things on his conscience, my visitor concluded.
I had no difficulty sharing that view with him. Morgen had said that the had met Hoess, as Commandant of the Auschwitz camp, "...towards the end of 1943, beginning of 1944" (op. cit., p. 540), when Hoess had not been in that post after the end of November 1943; Morgen placed all of the exterminations by gas at Monowitz (op. cit., p. 540), when all witnesses have subsequently placed them at Birkenau; Morgen claimed that Wirth received his orders directly from Hitler's Chancellery (op. cit. p. 531), when, etc....
5. It was at this moment in our conversation that the eyes of my interlocutor fell on Le Mensonge d'Ulysse open before him, and to which until then he had not made any reference. "I have read your books," he continued; "In my opinion your critique of the testimonies and documents produced at Nuremberg is impeccable and will one day bear fruit. Thanks are due you. But what interests me (he took the open book in both hands) is the problem of gas exterminations, the only issue that truly touches upon the honor of Germany. So this is what I have come to tell you. Here (he showed me the book) you have given, in 1950, a most correct interpretation, when, in formulating your judgment, you came to the conclusion that there had been very few such exterminations and those few were the work of, I quote, 'only one or two insane persons in the S.S.' I would have said 'one or two criminal sadists.' Believe me, I knew this crowd well. As a whole it was a decent group, but it was not free -- like all social groups -- of a few sadists who were capable of the most unimaginable crimes. Globocnik was surely one of them. I know Hoess only from what I had heard of him in Berlin from the people in my branch of service who knew him. He did not have a good reputation either. And, it is possible that at Auschwitz he behaved the way Globocnik did around Lublin. I do not know that for certain; I only say that it is possible. And, judging from what you yourself have written about that camp, it would have been easy for him since everything which was needed to make such activity possible was obtainable at Auschwitz."
I agreed, although I had not directed my supposition to any one particular camp -- for the very reason that one could give so little credit to that mass of false testimony and false documents on the subject that had been gathered by the various military tribunals. It was one of the hypotheses that I had advanced for the camps in general with the old adage, "where there is smoke, there is fire," in mind. Actually, all of my efforts tended to show that if there had been exterminations by gas they could only have been conducted on a very limited basis since there was no positive evidence to support the existence of the widespread practice.
"There were exterminations by gas," he concluded. "I have brought you an example." Then he added: "However, they were neither massive nor deliberately ordered by the hierarchy of the Third Reich, in spite of what the evidence that was created out of thin air at Nuremberg, and that was verified by unscrupulous people, seemed to indicate; rather, such activities were the deeds of a few isolated criminals. What is certain is that each time that the authorities of the Third Reich were informed about things of this kind, they put an end to it, and I brought you proof of that. At Nuremberg, the prosecution simply made use of these isolated instances of criminal activity in order to establish the existence of an officially sanctioned practice for the purpose of dishonoring Germany. It is a little like claiming that the French systematically killed all of the German prisoners that they took during the war, basing the claim on the one case at Annecy on August 19, 1944. There are potential criminals among all peoples, and war -- which unleashes their instincts -- nurtures their depravity to incredible dimensions. Take the example of the French Resistance in whose name and Protection those criminals, of which unhappily France has the same kind and as many as Germany or any other country, committed their crimes (11). Consider the behavior of your troops during their occupation of Germany after May 1945..."(12)
He paused for a moment and then said, "Let it go at that, Sir. The honor of Germany will only be saved when it is definitely established that the exterminations by gas were the exception, and then only the act of a few criminals who were disowned as soon as they were uncovered. As for the rest, Heavens, it was war, and we are no better than Germany's enemies."(13)
I reassured him by telling him that if I stubbornly questioned every line of every document and deposition upon which was based this monstrous indictment of which Germany was the victim and that if my examination of this evidence caused me to conclude that it was nothing but the crudest of fabrications, it would not allow me to claim that there never had been an extermination by gas. Moreover, I had never claimed that, but only had stated that I had never found any reliable evidence to support that contention. "I am happy that I was fearful over nothing," he said. "Excuse me. Germany's honor owes much to you, and you richly deserve it."
And, that was the end. The discussion lost itself in generalities, but later we returned to the subject of Globocnik. I maintained that if he had only been transferred, which did not seem to me to have actually happened, the punishment had indeed been very light. "That," answered by interlocutor, "is characteristic of totalitarian systems. Those people sent so far from Berlin had been sent with the power given to Roman proconsuls. Moreover, the Nazi state was racist, and it did not consider crimes against the Jews in the same light as it viewed crimes against others; it was more indulgent towards those guilty of the former. The case of Koch, commandant at Buchenwald, who was shot for lesser crimes that had been committed against prisoners considered Aryan, is the proof. But, see what the State of Israel does. If they are gentiles, it demands the death sentence for all the Kapos guilty of crimes in the exercise of their duties as guards of gangs of prisoners in the concentration camps, and if they are Jewish, it finds many excuses for them and dismisses the charges or, at the most, imposes jail sentences of a few months, which are then suspended."
I shall spare the reader the details of the other subjects that we touched upon during the balance of our rambling conversation: the Versailles Treaty and its responsibility for the rise of German National Socialism, and, consequently, the outbreak of the Second World War; the war; wars, etc.
If I have made a point of ending this chapter with this testimony, it is because, on the one hand, a historian worthy of the name should not suppress anything that he knows which is relevant to the subject under discussion, and on the other, because I was not seriously able to impeach it except on one point. Moreover, whether right or wrong, the good faith of its author and his sincerity seemed obvious. It is one of the canons of historiography that a testimony cannot be impugned if it seems inconsistent on one point only. After all, history does not, so to speak, offer examples of testimonies that are perfectly consistent. This one, in fact, summed up the opinion which I had formed after a study of all of the documents and the testimony that was produced at Nuremberg on the subject of the extermination of the Jews by gas.
All this, however, does not at all mean that I endorse this testimony. Testis unus, testis nullus, that is also one of the laws of history, and I know only too well the ancient truth that nothing resembles perfect good faith more than perfect bad faith. Without going so far as to claim that this aphorism applied to my interlocutor, and I am far from wanting to conceal the pleasure and interest that I took in his conversation, I still must say that in spite of all that argues in his favor, and although his entry on the scene, regrettably late, can be excused by circumstances, his testimony can only be accepted with the most distinct reservations. All that one can say is that it is more acceptable than what we have so far been accustomed to, and in which we have been completely submerged. We shall not know what it is really worth unless those, who so zealously suppress impartial inquiry into the subject in an attempt to throttle the historical truth that they know, renounce the drastic measures that are resorted to to keep it from coming to light, and, instead, assist it to return to an atmosphere of free discussion. Then, all of those persons who know or who think that they know something about any event whatsoever concerning the war can come forward and can publicize it, without fear of being thrown into prison. Incidentally, I can add that if some day I could be sure that my interlocutor could be questioned without running this risk, I am authorized to make known his name. He will not run away, he told me, and this is another good point for him and his testimony, and for everyone it might be the beginning of a return to free discussion. Check! Your turn to play, Mister Inquisitors.
FOOTNOTES (covering the two halves of this chapter)
1. [The fact that the "Diary of Anne Frank" is a fabrication has been established pretty well since 1962 when Professor Rassinier was writing this book. It seems that the American Jewish writer Meyer Levin was hired by Otto Frank, the father of Anne, to write the Anne Frank Diary. The existence of this "literary collaboration" came to light when Mr. Levin sued Mr. Frank in the New York State courts for breach of contract. The dispute seems to have been settled out of court with Mr. Levin receiving the sum of $50,000. For a further discussion of this matter, see the following: Richard Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die? (Richmond, Surrey: Historical Review Press, n.d.), pp. 19-20; Teressa Hendry, "Was Anne Frank's Diary a Hoax?" The American Mercury, Summer, 1967, pp. 26-28.]
2. Exhibit No. 100 of the Jerusalem judgment (Eichmann Trial) mentions that for France only 52,000, mostly non-French, had been deported by July 21, 1943, and that no deportation after that date was noted.
3. [It is strange, indeed, that the Germans -- who were far more advanced than the Allies in the development of chemical weapons -- should rely upon Zyklon B, an insecticide and disinfectant, as their primary killing agent in these alleged exterminations by gas when they had much more efficient gases, which had been designed specifically as "man-killing" agents, to choose from. For example, as early as 1936, I.G. Farbenindustrie was producing Tabun, the first of a family of nerve gases which the Germans were to develop by the end of the Second World War. (By contrast, the best gas in the Allies' arsenal was an improved version of the World War I "mustard gas.") Tabun -- which was regarded as a "quick kill" agent of tremendous potency -- was followed by the development of Sarin (1938) and Soman (1944). Only about 140 mg/meter3/minute of Tabun is needed to induce severe convulsions which are almost immediately followed by collapse, paralysis, and death. Sarin is twice as deadly as Tabun and Soman is many times more potent than Sarin. (See, Steven Rose, ed., CBW. Chemical & Biological Warfare, Boston: Beacon Press, 1968, pp. 23-24) By the end of the war, the Germans had stockpiled nearly twelve tons of Tabun and more than 250,000 tons of the more conventional chemical warfare agents like phosgene gas. (See, Seymour M. Hersch, Chemical and Biological Warfare: America's Hidden Arsenal, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1968, pp. 7-12)]
4. Not taking into account the fantastic figures of Mme. Hannah Arendt, who does not seem to be very certain of herself in this area. Does she not in fact say (New Yorker, February 2, 1963) that "in less than two months 147 trains transported 434,351 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz," and, (New Yorker, February 16, 1963) that among the Hungarian Jews there were 476,000 victims; "Que souvent femme varie, " as the French song says, "Comme la plume au vent," from one page to another with this one!
5. ["The most typical use of the Zyklon was in disinfecting rooms and barracks. Everything was sealed and then the necessary amount of Zyklon which came in green cans . . . was emptied in. After the proper time interval it was assumed that all the lice and other insects and pests were dead and then the enclosure was aired out. The Zyklon could be used for disinfecting clothing by employing an 'extermination chamber'..." Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (Richmond, Surrey: Historical Review Press, ), p. 105. However, Zyklon B also was lethal to human beings in as much as its crystals, "when exposed to air, sublimated into "Prussic Acid' (hydrogen cyanide gas)." (op. cit. p. 104.)]
6. To reach that total I took the general total of Jewish losses given by Mr. Raul Hilberg (p. 767) for the five camps and for Auschwitz, that is 1,950,000, and I deducted his estimate of Jewish losses at Auschwitz (p. 670), that is 1,000,000, which leaves 950,000. So as not to overlook anything, we must state that in his own table (p. 570) Majdanek is listed under "Lublin district."
7. Except the Institute of Jewish Affairs of the World Jewish Congress, in Eichmann's Confederates and the Third Reich Hierarchy, which gives 900,000 (p. 18).
8. We have seen that Dr. Aryeh L. Kubovy, Director of the Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation at Tel-Aviv, admitted in 1960 that "there exists no document signed by Hitler, Himmler, or Heydrich speaking of exterminating of the Jews and .... the word 'extermination' does not appear in the letter from Goering to Heydrich concerning the final solution to the Jewish question." In regard to this issue, Mme. Hannah Arendt, who makes the Fuehrer's order to exterminate the Jews the central theme of her report on the Eichmann Trial at Jerusalem, labors in vain. This divergence of opinion is a problem which needs to be worked out between herself and Dr. Kubovy, and we can only advise her to come to an understanding with him, who for once -- by chance, mischance, or good faith -- is himself in agreement with the historical truth.
9. This incident took place on August 18, 1942. The construction of this camp -- which had been authorized at the Wannsee conference -- had been begun at the end of March of that year, and it had taken a very long time to build, mainly because of the fact that a single track rail line had to be constructed as a branch line in order to connect the camp to the nearest existing mainline tracks. That mainline track had to be either the one that went from Budapest to Warsaw, via Przmysl and Lublin, or the one from Budapest to Wilna, via Lvov. My interlocutor could not tell me whether the branch line had been attached near Przmysl or Lvov. In either case, it would have required the building of at least 50 km. of track, and this track was not ready for use until the end of July.
10. According to Jewish sources, which are unanimous in agreement, this camp was not closed until the beginning of December 1942. It does not appear that Globocnik was demoted or punished. In any case, if he was, the punishment was light, especially when that punishment is compared with the punishment that was given to Karl Koch, the celebrated commandant of Buchenwald, who was executed for doing much less.
11. [For a good account of that bloody period which followed the so-called "Liberation of France," see France: The Tragic Years 1939-1947 (New York: Devin-Adair, 1955) by Sisley Huddleston, especially Chapter Twenty-three. Contrary to the impression that has been created by the scores of Hollywood war movies which have dealt with the period, French "resistance" to the German occupation of France during World War II was not a "mass movement" by any means. Rather, the number of Frenchmen who collaborated with the Germans -- to one extent or another -- far exceeded the number of "resistants" who, it seems (based upon the number of membership cards that were issued by the French government after the war to veterans of the resistance) totaled somewhat more than 250,000. In any case, the combined number of "resistants" and collaborators was small when compared to the vast majority of the French population which remained apathetic and outwardly indifferent to the German occupation. After all, it made little practical difference to the average "man on the street" whether it was the Germans or his own countrymen who were actually guiding governmental policy once the French civil service had resumed operation and once life had returned to its normal pace following the signing of the Armistice with Germany on June 22, 1940. This uncomfortable reality was the subject of the four and one-half hour television film Le Chagrin et la Pitie which was produced by Marcel Ophuls in 1969 and which, incidentally, was not aired over the state-controlled French television network until after the death of Charles de Gaulle. A portion of the filmscript has been published in an English translation under the title The Sorrow and the Pity (New York: Outerbridge and Lazard, 1972).
The French make a distinction when they speak of "resistants": there are those few persons -- like Paul Rassinier -- who engaged in organized resistance against the Germans almost immediately following the defeat of the French army in the spring of 1940; and, then, there are those numerous individuals who joined the "resistance" after the German fortunes of war began to wane -- i.e., generally after June, 1944. Many of these so-called "late" resistants joined the "underground" in an eleventh hour attempt to redeem themselves for their earlier collaboration with the Germans. Many others were Communists. In fact, the cadres of the resistance movement at that late date were almost exclusively made up of Communists who were financed by the Americans, who were armed by the British, and who followed the Stalinist line.
It was the Communists who were primarily responsible for escalating the ineffectual guerilla war against the Germans and who, indirectly, caused so much suffering among the innocent French populace in the form of German reprisals. The Communists, moreover, did not confine themselves to the assassination of Germans. They took advantage of the general disorder following the "Liberation" to murder as many of their domestic political opponents -- whom they prudently had branded as "fascists" and "collaborators" -- as they could get their hands on. The precise number of victims has never been determined. However, a former French minister of the interior has estimated that about 105,000 "summary executions" occurred between August 1944 and March 1945. (Huddleston, op. cit., pages 299-300.) Others have placed the number at about 50,000. (See, e.g., Donald B. Robinson, "Blood Bath in France," The American Mercury, April 1946.) Regardless of what the true figure may be, there can be little doubt that, as Huddleston put it, "there has never been, in the history of France, a bloodier period than that which followed the Liberation of 1944-1945. The massacres of 1944 were no less savage than the massacres of the Jacquerie, of St. Bartholomew, of the Revolutionary Terror, of the Commune; and they were certainly more numerous and on a wider scale." (Huddleston, op. cit., page 296.)]
12. [The behavior of the Allies during their occupation of Germany was so generally atrocious that it has been a subject that most liberal apologists for the American participation in World War II would like to forget, especially when moralizing about the crimes and the shortcomings of the Germans. For a more objective view of the military occupation of Germany, the following titles offer an adequate, but by no means an exhaustive, treatment of the subject: Andy Rooney & Bud Hutton, Conqueror's Peace (Garden City: Doubleday & Co., 1947); Victor Goilancz, Our Threatened Values (Chicago: Henry Regenry, 1946) and In Darkest Germany (Chicago: Henry Regenry, 1947); Marshall Knappen, And Call It Peace (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949); Freda Utley, The High Cost of Vengeance (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1949); W.K. Turnwald, ed., Documents on the Expulsion of the Sudeten Germans (Munich: University Press, 1953); Ernst von Salomon, Fragebogen (Garden City: Doubleday & Co., 1955); Juergen Thorwald, Flight in Winter (New York: Pantheon Books, 1953); Nicholas Balabkins, Germany Under Direct Controls (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1961); Harold Zink, American Military Government in Germany (New York: Macmillan, 1947).]
13. [For the reader who desires to obtain a better understanding of the "atrocities" that were committed by the Allies during World War Two, the following titles provide a good introduction to the subject: Hans Grimm, Answer of a German: An Open Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury (London: Euphenon Books, 1952); F.J.P. Veale, Advance to Barbarism (Appleton, Wis.: C.C. Nelson, 1953) and War Crimes Discreetly Veiled (New York: Devin-Adair, 1959); Hans Rumpf, The Bombing of Germany (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1963); Louis Fitzgibbon, Katyn, A Crime Without Parallel (New York: Scribners & Sons, 1971); Julius Epstein, Operation Keelhaul (Old Greenwich, Conn.: Devin-Adair, 1973); Peter H. Nicoll, Britain's Blunder (East Orange, NJ.: Communications Archives, 1973), especially pages 117-125.]
(**) AAARGH additional note: The 7th edition, by Druffel-Verlag (1981) has a somewhat different title: Was ist Wahrheit ? and the subtitle is: Die Juden und das Dritte Reich. (What is Truth? The Jews and the Third Reich.)
| Introduction | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 |
You have downloaded this document at <http://aaargh-international.org/engl/RassArch/PRdebunk/PRdebunk13B.html>
This text is the the second half of Chapter 13 of Debunking the Genocide Myth, A Study of the Nazi Concentration Camps and the Alleged Extermination of European Jewry, by Paul RASSINIER, Introduction by Pierre Hofstetter, Translated from the French by Adam Robbins, published in 1978 in Los Angeles by The Noontide Press, PO Box 2719, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 78-53090. ISBN 0-911038-24-8. Copyright © 1978 by the Noontide Press. The book has been produced with the permission of Madame J. Rassinier, the author's widow. Notes between brackets are by the translator.
The original French text
was published as Le Drame des juifs européens, Paris,
1964, Aux Sept Couleurs, a book which will soon be available in
French on this website: <http://www.aaargh-international.org/aaargh/fran/archRassi/archRassi.html>
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