What Article 6 of the Charter called, in its strained and highflown style, crimes against humanity are those conditions to which hundreds of thousands - even millions - of men, women, old people and children were subjected by deportation to the concentration camps, there to live and die in numbers, coldly assassinated or killed little by little by the indescribable maltreatment inflicted on them; and among these assassinations and mistreatments, those more particularly inflicted on the Jews - the racial laws and gas chambers, about which there has been so much discussion.
The little interest which the Eichmann Trial stirred up in the world, contrary to the hopes of its protagonists; the fact that the reaction of their reading public impelled the great newspapers to recall the star reporters whom they had at first sent to Jerusalem, leaving behind only special corespondents or third rate police blotter reporters; the reprobation, and even indignation, it aroused in all circles - even in Israel - were signs that another truth than that of Nuremberg had already won acceptance. And this truth was that, until then, in its racist as in its general aspect, deportation had been represented to world opinion not as an historic fact, a matter of history, but in terms of the political uses which would be made of it by the international Zionist movement and the European statesmen put back in the saddle after the defeat of Germany. The principal object of the Nuremberg Trial was to make this possible by furnishing the justifications. Historical truth arrived at by a legal ruling is one more of the tragic innovations of our times.
Dissected and exposed in its every detail by the press, radio, the most improved propaganda media - not forgetting concentration camp literature - this legal ruling resulted in the fact that in public opinion, and even in the minds of historians, it was no longer the historical fact which determined the political uses that could be made of it, which defined the matter of the fact. This could not fail to be noticed because it is so very true that even if you can fool one person for a long time, many people for a while, it is not possible to fool all the people all the time.
The mechanics of the way it was worked were quite simple.
"The Tribunal," stated Article 19 of the Charter, "shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence..."
And Article 21, "The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge, but shall take judicial notice thereof."
And in practice this is the way these two propositions worked: when, to cite just one example, on January 11th, 1946, Dr. Franz Blaha, a Czech communist, stated before the court: "The gas chamber at Dachau was completed in 1944 and Dr. Rascher instructed me to examine the first victims. Of the 8 or 9 persons  in that chamber 3 were still living, but the others were dead. Their eyes were red, etc..." (Volume V, p. 175), the Tribunal which was not bound by technical rules of evidence, did not ask proof of him, and the matter, being declared common knowledge, was accepted without further formality.
However, it is known that the gas chamber at Dachau was not completed and made workable until after the end of the war by the S.S., who followed after the inmates of the concentration camp, and no one had ever been gassed there.
Therefore, it can be said that the Czech communist, Dr. Franz Blaha, was nothing more than a common false witness.
But it can also be asked, how many Dr. Franz Blahas were there in the line of witnesses who appeared before the bar, or whose affidavits produced under oath were read, and who "witnessed" in the same way, the camps at Bergen-Belsen, Ravensbriick, Mauthausen, Auschwitz, etc.?
In the case of Mauthausen we have the witness, Alois Höllriegel, S.S. warder of the camp, who testified by affidavit on January 2nd, 1946:
"In the fall of 1942, I think it was, Ernst Kaltenbrunner visited Mauthausen. I was just then on duty, and I saw him twice. He went down into (!) the gas chamber with Ziereis, camp commandant, just when prisoners were being gassed. I was very familiar with the sounds that accompanied the process. I realised that the gas chamber was in operation. Kaltenbrunner was present. I saw him come out of the cellar where the gas chamber was located, when it was all over. " signed: Höllriegel (Doc. P.S. 2753, Volume IV, p. 302)
In August 1960, probably under pressure of the emotions stirred up in Germany by a series of well-attended talks that I gave in April, in which I had posed the question, the Institute fürr Zeitgeschichte of Munich gave the following to the press:
"Neither in Dachau nor in Bergen-Belsen, nor in Buchenwald have Jews or other prisoners been gassed. The gas oven in Dachau was never quite finished or put into operation... The mass annihilation of the Jews by gassing began in 1941-142 and took place exclusively in some few establishments selected for that purpose and provided with technical facilities suitable for that purpose, establishments above all in the occupied Polish area (but nowhere in Germany proper). " (Die Zeit, Hamburg, 19.8.1960)
Even though "witnesses" appeared again in June 1961 before the Tribunal of Jerusalem, in judgement on Eichmann, to state that they had seen their companions in distress leave for the gas chambers of Bergen-Belsen, and were not expelled from the court as false witnesses, or were not arrested in the midst of the hearing for contempt of court, the question of gas chambers holds good only for Auschwitz and the "camps in occupied Poland."
And strangely, that simplified the problem with regard to 1948, the period when all I had at my disposal to cast doubts on the  existence of gas chambers, was the report of the Nuremberg Trial, the "Analysis" of one of those responsible at Dachau (published by the American authorities for the Commission in charge of judging petitions for pardon) and my own experience at Buchenwald-Dora, that is, a period when "concentration camp literature" had just swept through public opinion and put gas chambers in almost every concentration camp. So I started, with the aid of clearly distorted documents, by proving that the one at Dachau was a myth, both macabre and odious. Making reference to my own experience, I did the same for Buchenwald and Dora, about which a priest, who had been a fellow-prisoner, had just written that he had seen "thousands and thousands of people" go in (to the gas chambers). (Abbé Jean-Paul Renard, Chaînes et Lumières, Paris, 1947). And so on, as the thirteen Nuremberg proceedings brought pertinent documents to light. I was, of course, vilified and even brought to court, where I was, naturally, acquitted, and from then on the game was won. It is today conceded that nowhere on German territory was there a single camp equipped with a gas chamber. The Institut für Zeitgeschichte, which is the "paragon of hostility and opposition to Nazism," finally acknowledged the fact. It remains only to examine the documents and testimonies brought forward in support of the existence and criminal use of gas chambers in the camps in occupied Poland, with as much care as those produced either before a tribunal or directly to public opinion, whose contents have been considered by a tribunal to be "of common knowledge," by the application of Articles 19 and 21 of the Nuremberg Charter.
To my knowledge those camps in occupied Poland were: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Chelmno, Belzec, Maidanek, Sobibor and Treblinka. In the last five of these, the existence and use of gas chambers to exterminate Jews is attested by a single document, the document labelled 'Gerstein,' produced at Nuremberg on January 30th, 1946, by M. Dubost, French prosecutor, P.S. 1533. An analysis and significant excerpts from the document will be found in the last chapter of this volume. Its history was so peculiar and its contents so apocryphal, that the Tribunal refused to hear it read (Volume VI, p. 377), and it was not admitted in evidence against the defendants. Nevertheless, the entire press considered it authentic; it was brought up again against other defendants in subsequent Nuremberg trials, in particular the one for Nazi organisations, and people like M. Poliakov -- who call themselves historians -- still write about it in their books (Le Bréviaire de la Haine, p. 228 ff.) (Breviary of Hate) as if it were irrefutable and had been admitted.
In this document it is a matter of the gas discharged from Diesel engines being piped into rooms 25 square metres in area and 1.90 metres high, in which were asphyxiated from 20 to 30,000 persons a day (!!..) in batches of 750 to 800 (!). At Jerusalem, Eichmann stated that he had been shown at a distance "little houses" in  which "they told him..."
Document N.O. 365 is still being cited, which is a letter from a certain Dr. Wetzel, dated October 16th, 1941, in which "gas machines" (Gasapparaten) are mentioned.
This Wetzel was arrested in Hanover on August 17th, 1961. On August 18th, German newspapers published both that he was living on a government pension of 1,600 DM a month and that, thanks to the British-Jewish historian Reitlinger, author of a book giving credence to gas chambers on the basis of information supplied by him, he had up until then never been disturbed. I quote from the Allgaüer Anzeigeblatt of August 18th, 1961:
"In the opinion of the authorities Wetzel was indebted for his incognito, which lasted for years, to the British historian Gerald Reitlinger, who, in his book, which is recognised as a standard work, The Final Solution, gave Wetzel erroneously the first name of 'Ernst'."
If it was true, this fact would markedly cut across the full significance of Document N. 0. 365, in that it gives historians the right to question whether, as in the case of the Gerstein document, it was not fabricated after the event, to suit a purpose. In any case, the man was arrested and they will not fail to make him talk.
Finally, the testimony of Rudolph Hoess is cited, commandant of Auschwitz camp, who, incidentally, did know something about the matter (P.S. 3868, Volume XI, p. 425; Volume XXI, p. 560; Volume XXXIII, p. 275) and his memoirs written up in prison after he was sentenced to death (published after he was hanged under the title The Commandant of Auschwitz Speaks). We will see later what to think of this testimony.
And so to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp...
The documentation about this camp, which is in the final analysis the crux of the matter, is both abundant and precise -- so abundant and even so precise that that is what kills it. The different parts of this immense dossier all confirm the existence and use of gas chambers for the extermination of Jews, but, on the whole, they are in agreement only on that point. The details which they offer in description of the places and the mechanics of the operation contradict each other with such pigheadedness that they can be said to cancel each other out. If, for example, of two witnesses who claim to have been present, one tells us that Zyklon B (the gas used) came in the form of pellets which volatised on contact with water vapour (Hoess), and the other tells us that water vapour prevented the formation of gas (Dr. Miklos Niyszli, author of Doctor at Auschwitz) it is obvious that one cannot believe the one and still believe the other, and that prudence cautions that at least one of the two is a false witness. If one witness tells us that he went into a gas chamber, which an official document says was 400 meters square, that there were benches on each side for sitting and hollow columns every 20 meters in the middle, that 3,000 persons could easily circulate in it and that it was roughly  200 meters long, it is not possible to believe, after reading such a catalogue of improbabilities, that he ever set foot inside. And if, as is the case with Dr. Miklos Niyszli, he adds "the dead were stripped at the exit of the gas chamber" after having been asphyxiated, or that in 1944 this method of extermination had already existed "for four years", one is forced to think that we have here a common impostor.
At the first Nuremberg Trial of the major war criminals, there was on hand:
1. Testimonies of survivors who have without exception authenticated the gas chambers, not only by what they had seen, but by what they had heard. Their testimonies are like that of Dr. Benedict Kautsky who, following his father, was leader of the Austrian Social-Democratic Party, who spent three years at Auschwitz-Birkenau, who wrote a book about his experiences, Teufel und Verdammte (Devil and Damned), published in Switzerland in 1946, which stated clearly:
"Here I want to introduce a short description of the gas chambers, which, to be sure, I have not myself seen, but which have been described to me by so many people worthy of belief..." (p. 272)
"The naked victims were . . . crammed together in another room, which was tiled and furnished with showers in the ceiling... When the space was full, the doors were closed and the showers turned on; from them streamed no water, but gas ... In Auschwitz by mass gassing, at the very least... 3,5 million persons have been killed." (p. 275)
So, this witness who says on another page that the maximum survival expectancy at Auschwitz was about three months, but who survived there himself for three years, admits that he never saw a gas chamber and speaks of them only in accordance with what he was told by reliable persons. One notes that he is not the more miserly with his details for all that. He knows that 3,5 million people were exterminated in that manner, and also that the gas used was heavier than air since it fell from the ceiling - still another version, since the other witnesses had the gas come from pellets thrown on the ground, from which it issued in contact with water vapour, according to some, or just contact with the air according to others.
At Nuremberg, Colonel Storey, American Attorney-General, was fascinated by that version in which the asphyxiating gas was discharged from shower installations. He presented with the utmost seriousness document P.S. 2285 (Volume IV, p. 270) in which was said, "When an arrival of 'K' prisoners was too important, instead of wasting time 'measuring' them, they were exterminated by asphyxiation, by means of gas forced into the shower room through the water pipes."
2. Corroborating testimonies for Rudolf Hoess, commandant of the camp already mentioned, and those of two collaborators of Eichmann, Obersturmführer Hoettl, and Obersturmführer O.  Wizliceny. Only the second is still alive, the two others having been hanged.
Concerning Rudolf Hoess -- his testimony was written in pencil on old paper and is therefore difficult to decipher because it is difficult to read; it was written by a man over whom a death sentence hung and who would certainly be tempted to say whatever he thought might be conducive to the acceptance of his petition for pardon; furthermore he contradicts himself on every page.
From Hoettl we have only the number of Jews exterminated, which was given to him in confidence by Eichmann: 4 to 5 million which, for good measure, was rounded up to 6. But at Jerusalem Eichmann stated during his trial that he never confided any such information to Hoettl.
Finally, from Wizliceny we have, in addition to confirmation of the above figure, an affirmation in which Eichmann is supposed to have shown him a letter from Himmler which enjoined him to proceed to the "final solution of the Jewish problem," that is, gas chambers. However, there again Eichmann stated that he had never received a written order from anyone, that he had only told Wizliceny that "Heydrich had summoned him to inform him that the Führer had ordered the physical destruction of the Jews." (Jerusalem trial, session of April 10th, 1961, Eichmann confessions, on tape recording, presented to the Tribunal.)
Wizliceny therefore lied, and that can be affirmed without fear of contradiction since the problem of the extermination orders has been resolved. In La Terre retrouvée, of December 15th, 1960, Dr. Kubovy of the Jewish Documentation Centre of Tel Aviv, admits in effect "that no document signed by Hitler, Himmler or Heydrich exists, which speaks of exterminating the Jews, and that the word extermination does not appear in Goering's letter to Heydrich concerning the final solution of the Jewish question." It is, of course, a little late to acknowledge that, but better late than never. So it is settled: all those orders received by so many in 1946 existed only in the imagination of those who claimed to have received them.
Subsequently, during the other Nuremberg Trials, especially that of the Wilhelmstrasse and Nazi organisations, other documents were brought to light: the Wannsee Protocol (N.G. 2586g), the statement of a certain Wolfgang Grosch (N.O. 2154) concerning orders for the construction of gas chambers, etc.
The Wannsee Protocol is the report of a meeting which took place on January 20th, 1942, at which were present the Secretaries of State administratively interested in the solution of the Jewish Question and the heads of services charged with carrying it out. It is a question of a text in which there is no mention of gas chambers or of extermination, but only of the transfer of Jews to the East of Europe. This is quite cleverly worded and drawn up so that one can deduce that even if there is no express mention of it, nevertheless, it implicitly contains the decision for extermination.
Apart from that, this report has all the characteristics of an apocryphal document if it is compared with the photocopy of it which was published in the book of Mr. Robert N. W. Kempner, Eichmann und Komplizen, p. 132 ff. (Europe Verlag, 1961): no seal, no date, no signature, ordinary typewriter letters on a paper of reduced format, etc.
In any case, I repeat, there is no question here of gas chambers and if there is any question of extermination, it is only by distortion of the text.
The following is an example of this distortion in a French version made of the text: "die Zurückdrängung der Juden aus dem Lebensraum des deutschen Volkes" was translated as "l'élimination des Juifs de l'espace vital du peuple allemand," giving in the commentary the sense of extermination to the word expulsion, when it is really a question of the "refoulement des Juifs hors de l'espace vital du peuple allemand." The same was done in English and in Russian. For years afterwards the German press has been reproducing these versions, retranslated into German, commentaries included.
However, to express their decision to drive the Jews out of What they called their living space, the Germans preferred to use other words with the same meaning, such as Ausschaltung (exclusion, eviction, elimination), or, especially, Ausrottung (extirpation, uprooting). It is this latter word which has been translated by extermination, which in German is Vernichtung. For an example, in his talk at Posen to the Obergruppenführer (division of generals of the Waffen S.S.) on October 4th, 1943, Himmler said, "Ich meine jetzt die Judenevakuirung, die Ausrottung des judischen Volkes... Das judische Volk wird ausgerottet..." To make his meaning clear, he used the word Ausschaltung in the next sentence (P.S. 1919, Volume XXIX, p. 145). In other words, "Je pense maintenant à I'évacuation des Juifs, à l'extirpation du peuple juif... But in Dossier Eichmann, M. Billig has this translation, "J'entends par là l'évacuation des Juifs, l'extermination du peuple julf," (p. 55) and "l'évacuation des Juifs, c'est-à-dire extermination." (p. 47)
Another example: In a note of December 16th, 1941, on one of his conversations with Hitler (P.S. 1517, Volume XXVII, p. 270) Rosenberg uses the expression "Ausrottung des Judentums." In the session of April. 17th, 1946, the American Attorney General Dodd translated it as "Extermination of the Jews." (Volume XI, p. 562). Rosenberg protested in vain.
But in the speeches of the Nazis, the expression "Ausrottung des Christentums" recurs frequently, and is each time translated as "extirpation of Christianity from German culture." (cf. Revue d'Histoire de la seconde guerre mondiale, October 1st, 1956, p. 62). It is only when it is a question of Judaism (Judentum), or of the Jewish people (das jüdische Volk) that the word Ausrottung means  extermination, and is applied to individuals, when it is a question of entities.
If, as we have seen elsewhere, Dr. Kubovy, Director of the Centre of Jewish Documentation at Tel Aviv, writes that there existed "no document bearing the signature of Hitler, Himmler or Heydrich referring to exterminating the Jews" it is doubtless because he himself was drawing the difference between the individual and the entity, and that neither had he found the word in Himmler's talk at Posen. Even if one wanted to give that meaning to the word Ausrottung (it often has in German, for example, when it is used for pulling weeds out of a garden: in this case Brockhaus says it is a question of "völlige Vernichtung") it means in all languages that one can destroy an entity without destroying the individuals which it embodies, and of whose common characteristics it is a summary. For example, one can destroy Christianity without destroying Christians, Judaism or the Jewish people without destroying Jews. From 1945 until now, the Russians have completely destroyed the German community without having destroyed the Germans, by cutting it into three parts. This view is all the less disputable concerning the Jewish People because the German word "volk" has no exact corresponding word in any other language (except - oh irony! - in Hebrew). In German, a people is not only the individuals but the earth on which they live and which makes up a whole with them, das Volk. In German, "arrachés" (pulled out, ausgerottet) from the soil on which they lived, the Jews were destroyed (vernichtet) as a People, but nonetheless continued to live as individuals, in the camps where they were concentrated. In principle, at least. Having said this, in the Wannsee Protocol, there is no question of Ausrottung, nor even of Ausschaltung, but only of Zurückdrängung (refoulement, expulsion) and the distortion of this meaning is all the more serious in the matter of this document, if it is truly authentic, which is far from being proved by the photocopy (cf. above p. 80).
The last of the documents cited, the statement of Wolfgang Grosch, appears as follows:
"I, the undersigned, Wolfgang Grosch, attest and declare the following:
Concerning the construction of gas chambers and crematory ovens, it was the responsibility of C group, after receiving orders from D group. The chain of hierarchy was: D group got together with C group. Service CI laid down the plans for these installations, insofar as the construction itself was concerned, then turned them over to Service CIII, which filled in the mechanical aspects of the construction, such as the removal of air from the gas chambers, or the apparatus for the gassing. Service CIII then turned the plans over to a private concern, which was to deliver the special machines, or the crematory ovens. Still within the chain of command, Service CIII notified Service CVI which passed on the order via the superintendent of works west, south or east,  to the central office of works. The central office of works then passed the construction order to the respective office for the construction of concentration camps, which had the structures proper built by the prisoners which the office of Service DIII put at their disposal. Service D gave to Service C the orders and instructions about the dimensions and use of the structures. Basically, it was group D which gave the orders for the gas chambers and the crematory ovens. "
The facts detailed in this gibberish -- obviously intended to create confusion -- are described in the documents found in the Construction Service (Bauleitung) of the Reichsicherheithauptamt (R.S.H.A.), dated January 28th, 1942, numbers 932 and 938, completed by another found in the Economic and Financial Services, with the reference N 11450/42/Bl/H, dated August 3rd, 1942.
The first two are construction plans for four crematory ovens at Auschwitz-Birkenau, numbered II-III-IV and V, which leads one to suppose that I has not been found, at least to my knowledge. Each one was to have a large room in the basement, called Leichenkeller for II and III, and Badeanstatt for IV and V. The dimensions were specified: 210 sq.m. area, height 2.4m for II, 400 sq.m., height 2.3m. for 111, 580 sq.m. and the same height for IV and V.
We will never know how these plans were executed on the spot. The Auschwitz gas chambers were destroyed as the Russian troops approached, on November 17th according to some documents, on 25th according to others. Those which can be visited in the camps today, like those at Dachau, were reconstructed after the war -- in conformity with the plans? That is the question. I point out in passing that the visitor who goes to Buchenwald to see the remains of the camp is taken in hand by a guard who shows him the gas chamber and explains to him in detail how it operated in the extermination of Jews. This happened to Claude-Henri Salerne of the R.T.F. who was preparing to put this information on the air for the retrospective survey he had been asked to make on concentration camps on the occasion of the opening of the Eichmann Trial (April 1961), when, by chance, a few days before, he fortunately ran into me!
To return to the documents: letter no. 11450/42/BI/H of August 3rd, 1942 (extract from document N.O. 4401), is the order for those four crematory ovens from Haus Topf und Soehne of Erfurt. In the Wilhelmstrasse and Nazi organisations trial it was pointed out, without further detail, that the order was delivered "at the outset of 1943." In his book Doctor at Auschwitz, Dr. Miklos Niyszli speaks of the "heart of winter," which usually means the end of January and beginning of February, and the Revue d'Histoire de la seconde guerre mondiale, published in Paris under the direction of the Résistant, Henri Michel (the only one, except for the reports of the hearings, wherein I have found these documents  mentioned) uses the phrase, "at the outset of 1943" (in the October 1946 issue, p. 62), and the document N.O. 4463 gives "le 20-2-1943." Lastly, Hoess says that at the end of 1942 gas chambers and crematory ovens had not yet been built.
It was the halls built below ground, beneath the crematory ovens, officially designated as Leichenkeller or Badeanstatt, that the witness Wolfgang Grosch christened gas chambers. Since invoices for deliveries of Zyklon B to Auschwitz-Birkenau were found, they were used in support of his statement if they did not suggest it to him - as we are entitled to wonder after what hapened in the case of the Gerstein statement! But Zyklon B was an insecticide-disinfectant, used in the German Army since 1924.
During World War II it was used in all the army camps and in all the concentration camps; other invoices found prove this for Oranienburg, Bergen-Belsen etc., where there were no gas chambers. As for the crematory ovens, I can attest that what we called the "basement" at Buchenwald was built on exactly the same model as those at Auschwitz-Birkenau and that no extermination by gas ever took place there.
What is curious is that the orders to build these Badeanstatten and Leichenkeller have been found, but none as to what was their intended use. It is not clear how those who had to make use of these places, whether as shower rooms or as mortuaries, could have divined that they were actually gas chambers. On the other hand, it is claimed that orders exist to cease the extermination of Jews in this manner. We are told that the reason why no orders to use them as gas chambers have been found is because the Nazis were not so stupid as to give orders that could later be found and used as accusations against them. But then it is hard to see how they could have been so stupid as to issue an order -- just as accusatory, just as easy to find -- to cease making use of them. Actually, not even this order has been found, only someone who attested its existence, dated "between the middle of September and the middle of October" (Document P.S. 3762, Volume XXXIII, pp. 68-70), which is a remarkably precise date. This someone was the Standartenführer Kurt Becher, who took part, along with Eichmann, in the deportation of Hungarian Jews. Becher was, however, cleverer than Eichmann and knew enough to earn the gratitude of Dr. Rudolf Kasztner (responsible for his acquittal at Nuremberg, and who very probably wrote his "Bericht," cited in this work only for that reason), and of Baroness Weiss (owner of the Manfried Weiss factories of Budapest) whom he had taken by special plane to Lisbon with 45 members of her family. The circumstances of his testimony having been thus given for the edification of the reader, this is what the witness said:
"I, the undersigned Kurt Becher, former S.S. Standartenführer, born on September 12th, 1909, at Hamburg, declare the following under oath: between the middle of September and the middle of October, I induced Reichsführer S.S. Himmler to promulgate the  following order, of which I received two copies, one each for S.S. Obergruppenführer Kaltenbrunner and Pohl, and one more for myself:
'I forbid, effective immediately, all extermination of Jews, and I order, on the contrary, that care be given to sick and weakened persons. I hold you (he meant Kaltenbrunner and Pohl) personally responsible, even in cases where this order may not be strictly observed by the lower echelons.'
"I personally brought Pohl's copy to him to his office in Berlin, and likewise I gave Kaltenbrunner's copy to his secretary in Berlin."
But he did not produce this order, a copy of which he had received. Nor was it asked of him. And they refused to confront him with Kaltenbrunner, who did not deny the existence of the order but merely denied any personal responsibility. for it. Eichmann, who also did not repudiate the order, did deny, on the other hand, that it was a written order and cited May 15th, 1944 as the date, which was precisely the date when Himmler ordered the cessation of all medical experiments in all the camps (text found and cited by François Bayle in Croix Gammée contre Caducée (Swastika against Caduceus), p. 236), and thought of the plan to exchange a million Jews for 10,000 trucks. It is at least probable that Himmler did not simultaneously plan that exchange and the extermination of Jews in gas chambers at Auschwitz since the two are contradictory. But did this order really exist? It is easy to imagine that it had to exist for the prosecution, which so far had not found a single written trace of racial exterminations and could possibly only find it here - yet still did not find it. But everyone will agree that with this as the only proof, no historian worthy of the name would ever admit that this order did in fact exist. After all, everything depends on the trust bestowed on Mr. Kurt Becher, and Mr. Kurt Becher... In short, I think I have made myself clear: testis unus, testis nullus. Well, there are counter-testimonies worth as much as Becher's (Eichmann), or better (Himmler's letter on the experiments in the camps, dated May 15th, 1944 and recovered by François Bayle).
The least one can say is that all this is hardly convincing and, even more, that it tends to show that there never were any gas chambers, nor any exterminations by that method at-Auschwitz-Birkenau. If, however, gas chambers did exist, their existence cannot be said to be irrefutably established, either by the testimonies and documents which were brought forth during the various Nuremberg trials, or by the recitations of the survivors, widely disseminated to the public, who all say, with the exception of two (Hoess and Dr. Miklos Niyszli, in flagrant contradition to each other and sometimes to themselves) that they saw nothing, but that they learned it from "reliable persons," which persons have never been traced.
I will say nothing of the celebrated "death buses" whose existence and utilisation are attested by Document P.S. 501  (Volume XXVI, p. 1-2-10), which is an account by a sublieutenant from Marioupol with the date May 15th, 1942. The whole text will be found in the fourth part of this work, taken from David Rousset, who reproduced it in Le Pitre ne rit pas (The Clown does not laugh) (Paris, 1948).
These "buses", which the indictment refers to as "trucks", were supposedly equipped for asphyxiation by using the motor exhaust. 100,000 Jews are said to have been gassed in this way. Even at the rate of 50, or even 100 per "bus" or "truck", take your choice, one can see what a task it was. This idea, which poses the problem of whether there was time to asphyxiate 100,000 people in this way, or whether a considerable number of these "vehicles" -- of which not one has been recovered -- existed, in itself reveals the imbecility of the contention that this was part of a vast plan, perfected by the authorities of the Third Reich, to exterminate the Jews. If in truth vehicles of this kind did exist, they can only have been produced by private initiative and only the smallest number could have been produced. The cases reported are considered to have happened in the region of Chelmno, under the authority of one Globochnik. When one knows Globochnik (cp. 5th part), one can obviously not swear that he would not be an initiator of such a scheme. But extermination in numbers of 100,000 is manifestly just as false. If it were a few hundred, it would be possible to accept the figure; but 100,000, no, absolutely not. Eichmann stated during his trial that he had seen one of these vehicles; that he did not see what was taking place inside, either when it departed or whilst en route; but that when it arrived, a whole heap of cadavers was unloaded from it. What is this testimony worth? I do not know. What does bother me, however, is that in order to describe these "buses", "trucks" or "vehicles", as the press so often did, the document produced at Nuremberg on November 21st, 1945 by the American prosecutor, Justice Jackson (T. II, p. 135), and taken up again by his alternate, Commander Walsh (T. III, p. 563--65), designates the kind of car with the word "Wagen", which the Germans never use in that way. It must, in fact, be one of two things: either they were buses, and P.K.W. (Personalkraftwagen) were meant, or they were trucks and L.K.W. (Lastkraftwagen) were meant, and if the author of the document did not know, I may be permitted to question his nationality. On the other hand, the author, a certain S.S. Untersturmführer Dr. Becker, whose testimony is unique, like Gerstein and so many others whose testimony was both exceptional and most devastating, is considered dead. In the Nuremberg Trial there were too many witnesses who had died too opportunely, whose so-called writings were used. In short, except for Eichmann who "refused" to see, as far as I know not a single one of these "bustrack-vehicles", not a person who had made use of them, nor even driven them has ever been found. In sum, a historical event which has left no traces. Happily, the inventor of these infernal machines,  a certain Harry Wentritt, a foreman mechanic, they say, was arrested on January 29th, 1961 in Hanover. Since then nothing has been heard of him. Doubtless his trial is being prepared... or they are waiting for him to pass away, too. If he does not die soon he will speak one day. Unhappily, however, taking into consideration the conditions under which he would speak if given the chance, even this far in advance it is impossible to believe that he will tell the Gospel truth. Long experience teaches that there are few witnesses who, under threat of severe sentence and after long imprisonment, will not end up saying just about what is expected of them. Hoess, Hoettl, Wizliceny etc. are significant testimony. This state of affairs, however, is not without consolation, nor is it hopeless. We are no longer in 1946 but in 1963; today we have sufficient documentation to prevent any old person, as in 1946, from coming along to tell us any old tale. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. At first it was said that Saurer trucks were involved; they had to quickly realise then, that the Saurer firm had not manufactured trucks of that kind since 1912, which was a little bit thick.
To finish with the problem of the treatment inflicted on the Jews, I would like to cite one more document with regard to decisions made concerning the Jews by the authorities of the Third Reich and the use made of documents relating to gas chambers: the Kasztner report, Bericht der Jüdischen Rettungskomitees aus Budapest, 1942-1945. It is quite a story.
Dr. Kasztner was President of the Comité de Salut des Juifs in Budapest from 1942 to 1945. In this capacity he was in constant contact with the German authorities in Hungary from March 19th, 1944 until the end of the war. He took part in getting the exchange of "a million Jews for ten thousand trucks" underway, as recounted by Joël Brand and Alex Weisberg in a book already referred to in this work. At the end of the war, before returning to Israel, Dr. Kasztner related what he had witnessed at the instance of the authorities of international Zionism and those of Nuremberg. However, only a small number of copies of his report were made and they were only in duplicated (cyclostyled) form. The first recipient of this report was Standartenführer (Colonel) Kurt Becher. It seems that Becher was Eichmann's superior officer (the latter was only Lt. Col.) in the matter of the deportation of Hungarian Jews, and therefore responsible to Himmler, with whom he was in direct contact (even over the head of Kaltenbrunner, top man of the R.S.H.A.), for the whole operation. Thanks to this Kasztner report, which almost completely whitewashes him, Kurt Becher was favourably denazified. He is living today at Bremen, where he has built up a fortune in the horse business estimated to be in the millions.
Briefly, a convinced Zionist, Dr. Kasztner settled in Israel right after the war and soon became an influential member of the Mapai, Mr. Ben Gurion's party. In 1954 he was charged that, in his capacity as President of the Budapest Committee during the German occupation, he had sold himself to the Nazis in order to save his family, thanks to the Bergen-Belsen convoy (was one then "saved" by being sent to Bergen-Belsen and the "gas chambers"?), and that he had become a purveyor for the Gestapo, with whom, in addition, he shared the goods pillaged from the Jews before they were deported, etc. The charge was raised by another Hungarian Jew who had also come to settle in Israel where he exercised his profession as a journalist for the religious-conservative party (which all the other political factions in Israel consider to be fascist, and accuse of having dealings with the neo-fascist parties). And, because Kasztner's report on the activity of the Budapest Committee had been used to exonerate Becher and had effectively led to his acquittal at Nuremberg, the journalist in question furthermore charged Kasztner with having contrived the denazification of a "war criminal with whom he had done business."
Kasztner sued his accuser for libel. The trial unfolded in Jerusalem in 1955 and assumed unexpected dimensions: 73 sessions, 2,000 pages of reports -- the country was stirred up, a clash between the parties with knives drawn, the very foundations of the state shook. The court accepted all the charges made by the journalist as justified, except for one -- association with the Nazis with intent to pillage victims - and acquitted him. It meant the condemnation of Kasztner and Mr. Ben Gurion's party, to which he belonged, was discredited. In the next legislative elections it lost an appreciable number of seats, although it still kept an absolute majority.
It therefore became necessary to reverse the situation before the oncoming elections. Kasztner appealed and the trial was taken up before the Supreme Court of Appeals on January 20th, 1957. It was a repetition of the earlier trial -- but worse. Influenced or not by Ben Gurion's government, against which a current of hostile opinion, fed by the proceedings, was growing, the Supreme Court immediately made its conviction apparent that the journalist had to be found guilty in order to fend off any danger that Ben Gurion's party might find itself in a minority, and public opinion reacted favourably to this. On March 5th, 1957, two months after the trial began, the hearings were threatening to go on for a long time and spread disorder in the state, and perhaps create a national crisis. Coincidentally, just as he was leaving the 44th session, Kasztner was seriously wounded by a terrorist on the very steps of the Law Courts; a terrorist whose hand had been armed by the violent language - and perhaps in a material way, too -- of the extreme right. (The extreme right and the extreme left operated a loose coalition against Ben Gurion.) Kasztner died a few days later.
The trial thus came to an end to the great relief of everyone, Kasztner's assassin was not unduly bothered. In August 1958 Kasztner was rehabilitated in a judgement which did not censure his denouncer. The affair was spoken of no more, in an atmosphere, if not of restored national unity, at least one purged by this "Solomon's judgement" of its poisoning miasma. Not wishing to stir up any discord, both sides easily fell into agreement on the necessity not to make the Kasztner Report public -- that is, not to put it in book form -- in the interests of the state.
Then came the Eichmann Trial. In order to clear Becher, Kaltenbrunner had laid all the responsibility for the deportation and its horrors on Eichmann. The Kasztner Report therefore became a principal testimony, with the agreement of the Israeli government. Kasztner's beneficiaries then published his report, through Kindler at Munich, with a preface by Professor Carlo Schmid, socialist deputy to the Bundestag. Nothing was to be neglected to justify the condemnation of Eichmann in the eyes of world opinion. But, as it stood, the Kasztner Report could be used by a clever lawyer to clear Eichmann because it distinctly cast a doubt on the official version of the treatment of the Jews in the concentration camps and, particularly, on the very existence of gas exterminations, attributed to Auschwitz. So it had to be somewhat modified. They did not shrink from the task.
Here, taken from a photocopy I made myself from one of the copies of the original edition, which I had in my possession, is what the Kasztner Report has to say about gas chambers at Auschwitz:
"chen, vielleicht um Tage handeln. Meldungen aus Bratislava bestätigen auch these Beffürchtungen. Die dortige Vandah leitete uns die Meldungen ihres Nachrichtendienstes weiter. Demgemäss war die S.S. im Begriffe, die Gaskammern und Krematorien in Auschwitz, die seit dem Herbst 1943 ausser Gebrauch waren auszubessern und zurenovieren. Man erholte die Zahi der Mannschaft, und einer der Unteroffiziere soll sich die Aeusserung geleistet haben: "Bald essen wir feine ungarische Salami." (Er dachte hier allerdings an die mitgebrachten Lebensmittal der Juden.) "
"perhaps for days negotiate. Reports from Bratislava also confirm these fears. The Vandah there further directs to us the reports of its news service. According to these reports the S.S. were about to renovate and restore the gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz, which since autumn 1943 had been out of use. They increased the number of troops and one of the subalterns is supposed to have said, "Soon we eat fine Hungarian Salami." (Here he was thinking, to be sure, of the victuals the Jews brought with them.)"
Dr. Kasztner did not say, as we know, that the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau were a pure invention, but only that they had not been working "since the autumn of 1943." Since the  event he was reporting took place in May 1944, and since the official version was that they were not put into service until February 20th, 1943, these 8 or 9 months of interruption considerably shortened the amount of time the S.S. had to dispose of 4 to 4,5 million people, the figure customarily given at the time.
And this is the way the above passage was rendered in the Kindler edition, prefaced by Carlo Schmid (likewise a photocopy):
"Meldungen aus Pressburg bestätigen these Beffürchtungen. Das dortige Komitee leitete uns die Meldungen seines Machrichtendienstes weiter. Damgemäss war die S.S. in begriff, die Gaskammern und Krematorien in Auschwitz auszubessern und zu renovieren. Die Zahl der Mannschaften wurde erhoht, und einer der Scharffihrer soll sich die Ausserung geleistet haben: "Bald essen wir feine ungarische Salami." Er dachte hierbei offenkundig an die mitgebrachien Lebensmittel der Juden."
On the treatment to which the Jews were subjected in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, the original Report contained a letter sighed by 6 Jews interned in that camp which, although it was surely not the case in all camps for all Jews, no less surely shows that the authorities of the Third Reich had decided that that is what is should have been everywhere.
"The letter is in answer to one received on 8 May from Chawer. The senders are pleased to answer and request Chawer to greet all their friends. The senders are pleased to learn from Chawer's letter that the countless parcels from Lisbon and Istanbul are the work of their friends. Friends from Vienna who live together with them in Theresienstadt have also received parcels from the above named places. Although the welfare situation is thoroughly organised and occasions no worry of any kind, we enjoy always receiving these parcels because we view them as indications of your friendship.
The letter then describes the life and organisation of the place.
"In Theresienstadt a truly Jewish city has arisen in which all work is taken care of by Jews, beginning with street cleaning all the way up to a modern health system with hospitals, a staff of doctors, nurses, helpers, from technical work to caring for the community kitchen, from our own police and fire department to a special system of courts, post and transport, from a bank with its own settlement money and from shops selling food, clothing and household utensils, to leisure time installations in which regular lectures, theatre performances and concerts take place. The children of whom special care is taken, are in children's and youth homes, the old people in homes under medical observation and care. Those who are able to work are assigned to domestic service. Excellent specialists have come together from all areas, not only administrative, technical and sanitary, but also those who in leisure time can contribute to a rich cultural life, Jewish and general. A library of 50,000 volumes with several reading rooms, a coffee house with music serving as a diversion, especially for older people. A central bath and clothes washing place furthers the  general hygiene upon which naturally special value is put. So one can feel thoroughly comfortable here. The letterhead shows you a view of the city. The health situation is throughout favourable, thanks to the unhindered work of our doctors, the extensive provision of food and medicines, and the climatic conditions of Theresienstadt."
As far as I know this letter has never been made public and, naturally, the Kindler at Munich edition of the Kasztner Report does not contain it!
Is this the last of the surprises in store for us relative to the Auschwitz camp and the treatment of Jews in others? I hardly think so, especially in connection with Auschwitz. In Germany at the moment, the commandant who replaced Hoess as director of the camp, has been in prison for two years. His trial is postponed every two or three months because, if the prosecutor can prove (leaning on Hoess' testimony alone!!) that the gas chambers were in operation there from February 20th, 1943 to the "autumn of 1943" (say for 6 to 7 months), he is contradicted by Kasztner for the period "autumn 1943 - May 1944," and cannot prove that they were put back in use from May to October 1944, which is the date everyone has agreed they were destroyed (if indeed, they were ever built!). Will he succeed? It is not likely. In 1963 the mentality of the witnesses is not what it was in 1946. Among all those witnesses whom Prosecuting Attorney Bauer (he is the one setting up the trial of the second commandant of Auschwitz, predestined to the job by his name) has found, the only reliable ones state unanimously that during the time they were in the camp, between the autumn of 1943 and the autumn of 1944, they never saw the gas chambers in operation, although -- surprise! surprise! -- not one of them denies their existence (!). Prosecutor Bauer must be really out of luck because, given the progress in techniques, he should be able to find witnesses for the prosecution. In Bonn, another attorney, far less endowed with the virtuosity of Bauer, was easily able to find witnesses to attest to the existence of the "buses" used for the same work. They contradict each other, and they contradict all those we have heard up to now, but people are not that difficult!
It will be serious if he does not find any witnesses because, even if the testimony of Hoess were indisputable, there is at least one piece of evidence that is just as indisputable. That is that not one of the "437,000 Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz" in the official version was gassed.
On top of all the other blows, this one could be fatal for Jewish extermination statistics.
If the historian now looks over the extent of the damage, that is, the figure used to determine the dimensions of the crime, he is  neither happier nor less perplexed, for this reason: If it is agreed in political circles in the world that six million Jews were exterminated -- and how can that monstrous slaughter be explained except by the use of such drastic measures as gas chambers? -- the statistics revealed by the documents are far from corroborating this evaluation.
On November 21st, 1945, at Nuremberg, Justice Jackson, plaintiff, expressed himself in this way:
"Of the 9,600,000 Jews who lived in that part of Europe dominated by the Nazis, it is estimated on good grounds that 60% of their number perished. 5,700,000 Jews are missing in those countries where they lived before, and more than 4,500,000 cannot be accounted for by the normal death rate, or by immigration into other countries. " (Volume 11, p. 128.)
Such, then, was the charge: 4,500,000.
The court did not sustain this figure and, from then on, everyone felt free to estimate the number of victims as his imagination or fantasy dictated. Even during the hearings, Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, British prosecutor, interrogating Goering on March 21st, 1946, gave the green light to the most senseless estimations in saying to him: "It has been proved that approximately 10,000,000 Jews and other persons were massacred in cold blood, not counting those killed in battle."
The press heard, and transmitted "10,000,000 Jews . That was a little too much. The Billigs, the Poliakovs, Alexandrovs, Jacob Lechtinskys, Shalon Barons (holder of the chair of Jewish History at Columbia University) etc., indulged in speculations of the dizziest kind, to place the figure somewhere between the lowest, 4,500,000, given by Justice Jackson, and the highest, 10,000,000, tendentiously taken from Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe's statement, and they arrived at 6,000,000 for the number of Jews exterminated, which is close enough -- remarkably -- to the mathematical average of the two. To give the impression that the question had been seriously studied, some of them specified that four to four and a half million had been exterminated at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and the rest in other camps or in other circumstances.
And since then these figures have been served up nearly every morning for breakfast, all over the world, in the morning papers, it not in so many words at least in close variations. The most modest of those who have studied the problem, the British publicist Gerald Reitlinger (The Final Solution, London, 1956), contented himself with a figure which in its totality lies "between 4,200,000 and 4,600,000." Dr. Hans Gunther Seraphim, statistician and librarian at the University of Göttingen, says "about 4,500,000 Jews." But, to offset that, M. Léon Poliakov ends a study he has been making (Revue d'Histoire de la seconde guerre mondiale, October 1956, p. 90) with the following estimate, the sensational nature of which is inescapable:
"It can be said with virtual certainty that the number of Jews exterminated should lie between 5 to 7 million, 6 million being the most probable, a figure including only deaths by violence, asphyxiation or execution, and not taking into account at all the demographic deficit added between 1939 and 1945 from the almost total absence of births in Jewish homes... Doubtless professional statisticians, working with the help of demographic methods, which they will bring in, would conclude in these conditions that the "actual losses" in the Jewish world between 1933 and 1945 were about 8 million. "
M. Léon Poliakov is too modest. I am sure that in counting as exterminated all the Jews that were not born between 1933 and 1945 it would not take much effort to arrive at many, many more than 8 million.
In short, the figure almost unanimously accepted in support of germanophobic publicity is 6 million. For Auschwitz-Birkenau the press sticks to 4 million, although the Krakow tribunal which sentenced Hoess, the first commandant, to be hanged on April 4th, 1947, gave 2,500,000, and the Institute of Jewish Affairs, World Jewish Congress (Eichmann's Confederates and the Third Reich Hierarchy, N.Y., 28 E. 84th St., 1961, p. 18) gave only 900,000.
The latest commentator specialising in German horrors and atrocities, M. Raul Hilberg (The Destruction of the European Jews, Quadrangle Books, Inc., Chicago, 1961), devoted himself to learned calculations to arrive at a total of 5,100,000, a million at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the rest exterminated in other camps (Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Maideneck and Treblinka) by the Einsatzgruppen during the advance and retreat of German troops in Russia.
M. Léon Poliakov enumerated six statistical methods which all led, although by different ways, to the extermination of a number of Jews more or less close to six million. Each one of these methods is in itself a veritable puzzle, so that a historian in search of the truth finds himself faced with a puzzle of puzzles.
The reader will excuse me if I thought that, under such circumstances, the truth could not be found except through a detailed statistical study, and I have devoted a special chapter to it later in this work. I will confine myself here to a summary of the matter. Even if the Germans had decided to exterminate the European Jews, the validity of which is disputed in the documents cited above and by the avowal of Dr. Kubovy, Director of the Centre of Contemporary Jewish Documentation at Tel Aviv, they could never have exterminated six million, or even five, for the simple reason that there never were six million Jews, or even five - far from that - in that part of Europe occupied by their troops during the war; that those who were there were by no means all arrested; and that those who were arrested were by no means all exterminated.
If the reader would like to have an idea of the magnitude of the macabre exaggerations made by all those imaginative writers,  one example will suffice. At Nuremberg, the French Prosecutor general Dubost, claimed in his indictment (the exact text will be found in the chapter dealing with this matter) pronounced on January 29th, 1946, that 250,000 French had been deported to Germany. On February 24th, 1962, the French Minister of Veterans and War Victims, gave the exact figure - 49,135. In other words, the prosecutor had multiplied the actual number by 5. I will show that in the calculations of Poliakov, Hilberg and Co., there are innumerable exaggerations of the general total. For example, the 4 millions of Auschwitz-Birkenau (according to the Revue d'Histoire de la seconde guerre mondiale, October 1956, p. 3) were reduced to 900,000 by the Institute of Jewish Affairs (op. cit. p. 18).
But everything in its place. This chapter is addressed to another question.
The reader might ask himself, if the existence of gas chambers has not been established, and if the number of deaths could be brought down from 6 million to 1 million, what was the significance of that concentration of Jews in special camps, and how did the idea of gas chambers arise?
Hitlerian Germany was a racist state, and that is the answer to the first part of the question. The racist state, however, postulates the expulsion of the minority race beyond the frontiers of the national community. The State of Israel is another illustration.
"Only a compatriot," stated Article 4 of the programme of the National Socialist Party, made public on February 24th, 1920 at Munich, "can be a citizen. Only he who is of German blood, regardless of his faith, can be a compatriot. A Jew cannot be a compatriot..."
The word used in the original is Volkgenosse for "kinsman," which has no corresponding word in French, or in any other language. "Kinsman" or "compatriot" is only an approximate translation. One should say "comrade of the people," or "one belonging to the people." The difficulty lies in the fact that the word Volk in German does not just mean "people," but includes "the blood" and "the soil" associated with the idea of a people.
Article 5 concluded: "He who is not a citizen may not live in Germany except as a guest, and is under the jurisdiction of legislation pertaining to foreigners."
When National Socialism came to power on January 30th, 1933, the German Jews thus found themselves automatically endowed with the status of aliens which, in all countries, excludes them from holding top positions in the government or in the economy. This was the juridical basis of the race laws in Hitlerian Germany.
That there is no moral justification for such a measure is quite evident and there is no need to prove it. But then, the fact that in no country in the world is an alien given a post of command is not the question. The only difference between Hitlerian Germany and the other countries was that, in other countries one is an alien by virtue of nationality, while in the eyes of National Socialism, one was an alien by virtue of race. But in Israel there are no Arabs who are schoolmasters, finance administrators or administrators of a Kibbutz, or Ministers. What takes place in Israel does not justify what took place in Germany, I repeat - if only because one cannot justify one wrong with another. But I am not justifying, I am explaining, and to explain I have to take apart the mechanism. If I cite Israel it is only to show that the racist evil, in the sense in which National Socialism understood racist, is much greater than one thinks, since the champions of anti-racism there are today racism's protagonists, and only to point out that, contrary. to what is generally believed, Hitlerian Germany is not the only example.
As a matter of fact and not of principle, there is still another difference between Germany and Israel. In 1933, the 500,000 Jews who were living in Germany, who de jure were put outside the national community, could not be put out de facto, by leading them on route marches to one or another of the frontiers, with or without the legendary 30 kilos of baggage, as Israel did with the 900,000 Arabs of Palestine, who were pushed into Jordan in 1948. With her modern well-organised states, with well defined frontiers, all maintaining very formal political and economic relations with each other, the Europe of 1933 did not offer the same opportunities to a racist state as did the Middle East of 1948, composed as it was of embryonic states with poorly defined frontiers and without any mutual relations, except those governed by the laws of the jungle. The passage of individuals from one country to another was controlled by immigration laws, and when it was a question of massive immigration, as in the case of the German Jews, it was called a Population Transfer, and preliminary negotiations were necessary.
The Nazi government wanted to engage in such negotiations first of all, on the basis of the Balfour Declaration, with Britain, to which the Treaty of Versailles had given a mandate over Palestine, where the international Zionist movement clamoured for the reestablishment of the Biblical Jewish State, within its rights.
This is the text of the Balfour Declaration (November 2nd, 1917).
"The government of his Britannic Majesty look favourably on the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will do all in their power to favour the achievement of this purpose, it being well understood that nothing will be done to prejudice the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish communities in Palestine, nor to the rights and status which the Jews enjoy in other lands."
To maintain that this declaration was bound to result in the creation of the State of Israel, in the conditions under which it was created, and to its support in the conditions in which it actually exists, is meaningless. That is also the opinion of the celebrated British historian, Arnold Toynbee, and of many other academics, Jewish and non-Jewish. In any case, it was a Utopian dream and the creation of this Jewish state in 1948 proved it. At the time, Arabs, hostile -- and they still are -- to this interpretation of the Balfour Declaration, tried to limit its applications, indeed, to stop them, and for reasons of oil, Britain did not affront them. She did not want to have any direct contact with Germany over the settlement of this problem, and directed her to the Jewish agency of Mr. Chaim Weizmann, with which she was involved through the Balfour Declaration. For her part, the Germany of Hitler who, like the Germany of the Weimar Republic and the Germany of the Kaisers, was determined to cultivate commercial popularity with the Arab peoples, did not insist. She put the problem on a much broader plan than the Palestinian plan with the Jewish agency, but succeeded in reaching only one agreement in 1933 -- called the Chaim Arlossaroff's Transfer-Abkommen by the Germans, the Hawara by the Jews -- which envisaged the immigration into Palestine of all Jews able to arrive there with £1,000 sterling, but which limited immigration to 1,500 Jews per month for at the others. (In Le Bréviaire de la Haine, p. 32, M. Léon Poliakov notes this agreement, but twists the sense.) Such were the conditions imposed by Britain on the Jewish agency, and that was the limit of what she could consent to in order not to offend the Arab peoples of the Middle East.
This 91,000 per Jew stipulation finally constituted the whole problem. There were about 500,000 Jews in Germany and they represented in the aggregate the export of £500 million, or approximately 10 billion marks. This was very close to the evaluation that Dr. Schacht gave of the total fortune of the 500,000 German Jews. No negotiations were undertaken over the sum, however, because another difficulty had to be surmounted. Hitlerian Germany declared that it was impossible to export such a lot of capital all at once because it corresponded to more than half the amount of the annual budget. She asked that settlement be future-dated, on the basis of economic agreements of compensation, not only with Britain - involved because of Palestine - but also with any other nation. These other nations and Britain made it clearly understood that if they were prepared to receive the German Jews, and even to contemplate a lesser (but not much less) sum than the fixed average of 11,000 per head, they would not find it possible to enter into any negotiation whatsoever unless Germany first pledged that the Jews would be allowed to take with them whatever sum they agreed upon. Everything collapsed. The last attempt of this kind was made in November 1938. Although already in disfavour, Schacht was commissioned by  Hitler and went personally to London. In vain.
It was however correct that in 1933, Germany could not export, without compensation agreements and time extensions, the sum of 10 billion marks. At that time neither France, Britain -- nor even possibly the United States -- could have.
So this is what happened. From 1933 the Jewish Agency was authorised to open a central office in Berlin for Jewish emigration (Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung) to distribute, under Nazi control, the 1,500 monthly passports for Palestine, as authorised by Britain. Insofar as no compensation agreement could be reached, no passport could be issued which allowed the export of the value in exchange of £1,000. For the others, however, the Jewish Agency and the Nazis together agreed to push things a little by distributing more than 1,500 passports (mainly under the cover of assumed nationalities). Then again, the Nazis facilitated a steady, clandestine emigration, to such an extent that when war was declared, about 300,000 -- and not just the 108,000 Jews authorised by the Chaim-Arlossaroff's Transfer Abkommen or Hawara -- had succeeded in leaving Germany.
On the declaration of war another complication arose, and the business nearly came to an abrupt stop. in March 1939, Britain had decided to grant, flatly, no more than 75,000 emigration authorisations for the next five years.
This little known aspect, carefully kept under cover by the "historians" of the Centre for Contemporary Jewish Documentation -- and a few others too! -- is revealed in a certain number of documents, especially those carrying the reference N.G. 1889 (Note of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, dated March 10th, 1938, produced at the Wilhelmstrasse trial) and P.S. 3558 (Report of the same Ministry, dated January 25th, 1939, produced at the first Nuremberg Trial).
Throughout this period, "the regime inflicted on the German Jews by the government was that of a minority out of favour and humiliated," M. Joseph Billig of the Centre for Contemporary Jewish Documentation tells us. Further on he adds that "the activity of the Jews in the German economy was not seriously hampered," and as far as the Austrian Jews who fell under the power of the Nazis through the Anschluss were concerned, "it was a question again of a fairly inoffensive action."
Considering that it was precisely during this period that all the racist legislative measures publicly promulgated at the Nuremberg Congress of the Nazi Party on September 15th, 1935 were taken against the Jews, and in the light of the mountain of indignant and vengeful literature which these racist measures provoked in the world, this very temperate judgement from an Israeli pen cannot fail to surprise us. Inadvertence?
In November 1938 everything changed abruptly. The assassination in Paris on the 7th of that month of Counsellor of the Embassy, von Rath, by a young Jew named Grynspan, provoked  that night of horror and nightmare in Germany, November 9-10, 1938 -- a veritable Jew hunt; the pillage and sacking of their stores; the smashing of their windows -- hence the name KristalInacht (Crystal Night) as it was called by the Germans; limitless and numberless molestations; the pillage and destruction of 815 stores, 171 houses, 276 synagogues, 14 other monuments of the community; 20,000 Jews arrested, 7 Germans, 3 foreigners; 36 killed and 36 wounded. (Report of Heydrich to Goering, dated November 11th, 1938. Volume IX, pp. 554. Document acknowledged as authentic by Goering and all the other defendants against whom it was produced).
On the conditions under which these manifestations took place we have only one official and sure document: Document P.S. 3063, dated February 13th, 1939, Volume XXXII, pp. 20-29. This was the report of the highest judge of the National Socialist Party, Walter Buch, in charge of the inquiry and tribunal to judge the 174 members of the Party arrested after the 11th of November on orders from Heydrich for having organised it and having participated. These 174 persons were all of the subaltern ranks. The leaders, the government, the defendants and the Führer only learned about it after it had happened. They all disavowed it, except for Goebbels who, learning of it afterwards like the others, and not having taken part, was pleased about it.
It was Goebbels in fact who heard about it first. On the 9th of November, 1938 -- as every year -- the heads of the Party met together in Munich to commemorate the putsch of 1923. Late in the evening, Goebbels was informed by telegraph that serious antisemitic demonstrations were taking place in Hesse, Magdeburg and on a smaller scale all over Germany. After a brief conversation among the principal dignitaries of the Party and the Führer, a telegram was sent by Heydrich at 1.20 in the morning to all the police bureaux all over Germany (Document P.S. 3051, Volume XXXI, pp. 515-519). He called upon all the police commissioners to make contact at once with the district Party staffs, to see to it that Jews were not molested, that their lives and property were not threatened, that their stores and living quarters were not pillaged etc. - in short, that things should continue to develop with order and that calm should be restored. Now this is how this telegram, whose purpose was to put an end to unexpected demonstrations because they were contrary to the spirit of National Socialism as well as of the government, was presented to the Tribunal at Nuremberg on November 21st, 1945 by Justice Jackson himself, in the inaugural session:
"The anti-Semitic campaign became frenzied in Germany after the assassination at Paris of German counsellor of the legation von Rath. Heydrich, head of the Gestapo, sent a telegram to all the officers of the Gestapo and S.D. ordering them to arrange a "spontaneous" protest for the nights of November 9 and 10, 1938, to hasten the destruction of Jewish goods and to protect  German goods alone... 19 (Volume II, p. 130).
One wonders at: a) the plural... "the nights of the 9th and 10th, instead of the night of November 9-10; b) that this telegram which "orders" (sic) demonstrations for that night is specifically dated 1.20 a.m. of the 10th; c) that it "orders" that he wants a stop put to the manner in which the demonstrations were developing.
Thus are legends born.
But the Crystal Night was not the only consequence of the assassination of von Rath. Because of the gravity of the troubles it provoked and therefore the need to avoid any repetition of such, this assassination made the directors of the Third Reich realise that an overall solution to the Jewish problem had to be found. It had been dragging on for five years but now, to describe their new approach, they entitled it die Endlösung der Judenfrage -- a phrase to which for fifteen years the disoriented imaginations of all the drifting journalists and the unusual historians of the Jewish Centre for Contemporary Documentation have given so many other and false meanings.
Actually the original phrase was die Gesamtlösung der Judenfrage, or the solution of the whole, all, so that the question could not be reopened. But Goering, who used it for the first time in the first paragraph of a letter to Heydrich dated July 31st, 1941, in which he gave the order to make preparations for it (P.S. 710, Volume XXVI, p. 266), used the expression die Endlösung der Judenfrage in the last paragraph, and this is the phrase which prevailed. It had the same meaning as the original title and did not mean the iquidation of the problem by the liquidation of the people concerned. Picked up by Goering himself, in the act of using a tendentious translation at Nuremberg on March 20th, 1946, poor Justice Jackson was obliged to acknowledge it (Volume IX, p. 552). But the press never breathed a word of this and so a whole concept was twisted forever.
While Dr. Schacht was packing his bags to go to London on Hitler's orders to try to renew negotiations with Britain and a certain number of other countries which had been almost dead since 1933 and which an international conference convoked at Evian on July 6th, 1938, at President Roosevelt's initiative had failed to revive, Goering -- also armed with a mandate from Hitler -- convened an inter-ministerial conference of representatives from all the ministries of the Third Reich affected by measures to be taken without delay. Apart from Goering, who presided, amongst others at the conference were Goebbels, (Propaganda Minister), Heydrich (head of the R.S.H.A., representing Himmler), Frick (Minister of the Interior), Funk (Minister of Economics), Schwerin-Krosigk (Minister of Finance) etc. Opening the session, Goering stated:
"Gentlemen, I have had enough of these demonstrations that do not harm the Jews but do harm me, the highest authority of the  German economy. If today a Jewish shop is destroyed and the goods are thrown into the street, the insurance company will pay damages to the Jew so that he will suffer no loss. In addition, consumer goods, goods which belong to the people, are destroyed. If, in the future, such demonstrations take place, if they are necessary, then I demand that they be controlled in such a way as not to do us harm. And I want things done in such a way that they do not inflict damage on themselves; it would be crazy to empty and set fire to a Jewish store because that would be injurious to the insurance company, since they would have to cover the damages and pay for the merchandise. One might as well seize and burn the goods at the moment they are delivered." (P.S. 1816, Volume XXVIII, pp. 499-540, and Volume IX, p. 561).
A certain Herr Hilgard, representative of the insurance companies, was also heard at this conference. He estimated the material damages for the windows and jewels alone (goods imported into Germany with resultant export of capital) at more than 25 million marks. He further detailed that the Belgian company which alone could repair the window frames, was asking for a six months time extension just to manufacture the necessary amount of glass. He added that he did not yet have to hand all the other factors of the disaster, at which Heydrich said that the total could be estimated at 100 million marks. And the experts in their turn showed that he had not exaggerated.
A discussion about the organisation of a massive emigration of Jews came to nothing. Goering did not think that it was practically possible because of the massive export of capital it would involve, nor did he see any chance of getting any import-export compensation agreements from other countries.
The reader is doubtless indignant that the Nazis refused to contemplate such a massive exodus of German Jews, allowing them to take with them the exchange value of all they possessed. It was indeed a crying injustice. But it was also an established practice and characteristic of all population transfers. I refer him to two works: European Population Transfer (Oxford Univ., 1946), and Les Transferts internationaux de populations (Presses universitaires de France), where he can note at his ease a good twenty such transfers determined by treaty, which required that the unfortunates involved leave their country with 30 kilos of baggage, often less, and always without money. Between July 1st, 1945 and January 1st, 1947 the Russians drove about 7,300,000 persons out of Silesia into Germany. They used cattle cars, allowed them far less than 30 kilos of baggage per person and not even any food for a journey of four to five days. In the Revue des Deux Mondes of May 15th, 1952, p. 374, M. Jean de Pange claims that more than 4 million died during the transfer, which thus amounts to a number of victims much greater than the Jewish .victims in the concentration camps! And in full peace-time! We are certainly concerned with a human problem here, but it is also an  economic problem and, seen in that light, transfers of national wealth were involved which the very structure of international exchange does not permit unless coupled with compensations, without which the economy of the country would be ruined. Thus inhumanity arises from structures, not men, and then the chances to rebuild those structures -- and the will to do so -- alas, are very limited.
At any rate, the Germans had to wait for the results of Dr. Schacht's last attempt to renew international negotiations, and we have already seen that it foundered.
The principle of the three decrees which Goering would support was then laid down:
The assassination thus brought about results analogous to those brought about later, during the German occupation of France, by those singular Resistants who provoked only the arrest of hundreds of hostages and a penalty for breaking the occupation ordinance, when they blew up a chemist shop or a cafe with a plastic bomb -- more often than not to satisfy an old personal grudge -- or assassinated a German soldier in a dark and deserted street etc., under the pretext of combatting Germany or Nazism. After November 7th, 1938, the life of the German Jews, which international negotiations on reasonable propositions would have saved, was made even more difficult by their exclusion from the economic life of Germany, and the consequences of that - the sequestration of Jewish goods and the expropriations in particular.
In 1939 another event put an end to any plans: war. All the more so because on September 5th -- two days after the British and French declarations of war on Germany -- Mr. Chaim Weizmann, President of the Jewish Agency, wrote a letter to Mr. Chamberlain, Prime Minister of His Majesty the King of England, in which he informed him, "We Jews are on Great Britain's side and will fight for Democracy," specifying that "the Jewish representatives were ready to conclude an agreement to permit the use of all their manpower, their techniques, their material aid and all their skills."
Perhaps I have not searched hard enough, but I have not found the text of this letter in any French publication.
Here is the passage in question, according to H. G. Adler in his Die Verheimlich Wahrheit, p. 320 (The Unknown Truth):
"Ich wünsche in nachdrücklichster Form die Erklärung zubestätigen, dass wir Juden an der seite Grossbritaniens stehen und für die Demokratie kämpfen werden. Aus diesen Grunde stellen wir uns in den kleinsten und grössten Dingen unter die zusammenfassende Leitung der britischen Regierung. Die jüdische Vertretung ist bereit, in sofortige Abkommen einzustreten - und alle menschliche Kraft, ihre Technik, ihre Hilfsmittel und alle Fähigkeiten nutzlich einzusetzen. " Der englische. Originaltext dieser Erklärung wird bei Adler (a.a.O.s. 321) wie folgt wiedergegeben:
"I wish to confirm in the most explicit manner, the declaration which I and my colleagues (sic) made during the last months and especially in the last week; that the Jews stand by Great Britain and will fight on the side of the democracies. Our urgent desire is to give effect to these declarations. We wish to do so in a way entirely consonant with the general scheme of British action, and therefore would place ourselves, in matters big and small, under the co-ordinating direction of His Majesty's Government. The Jewis (sic) Agency is ready to ender (sic) into immediate arrangements of utilising Jewish manpower, technical ability, resources, etc. "
Reproduced in the Jewish Chronicle of October 8th, 1939, this letter constituted a real declaration of war on Germany by the Jewish world and created the problem of the internment of all the German Jews in concentration camps as "nationals of a nation at war with Germany." That is another step taken by all countries of the world in wartime. It must, however, be recognised that even before the publication of this letter, the German government had already made preparations in this direction. After all, the declaration of war on Germany, not only by Chaim Weizmann, but especially by Britain and France, put an end to all projects for the transfer of Jews on any negotiated basis whatsoever.
After the defeat of France and the failure of peace feelers offered to Britain, the idea grew in the minds of the Nazi leaders that the Jews could be gathered together, then transferred to a French colonial territory, for example, Madagascar. A report dated August 21st, 1942, signed by Luther, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of the Third Reich, concluded on the possibility of negotiations with France about this and mentioned conversations which took place from July to December 1940, the failure of which, after the interview at Montoir on October 24th, 1940, was rought about by Pierre-Etienne Flandin, Laval's successor. During the whole of 1941, the Germans clung to the hope of taking up these negotiations again and bringing them to a successful conclusion. (From Document N.G. 2586 -- the same in which the celebrated Wannsee Protocol appears - produced at the Wilhelmstrasse trial. M. Billig also cites it in the Eichmann dossier. And V. Alexandrov romances these negotiations in the book that he, too, wrote on Eichmann.)
'In March 1941," Hoess tells us (Autobiography, p. 153),  "Himmler confided to him his decision to change the camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau into 'a mighty armament works; a camp for 100,000 war prisoners, an enlargement of the former camp for 30,000 prisoners, preparation of 10,000 prisoners for Buna...' At the time, Hoess comments, "those were figures absolutely unheard of in the history of the camps. At that date, a camp of 10,000 prisoners was already considered immense." (Cited from Michel Borwicz, expert before the Tribunal of the Polish High Court, for the trials of war criminals, in "Les Solutions Finales", published in Revue d'Histoire de la seconde guerre mondiale, October 1956, p. 59.)
If it is true, as claimed, that the Germans really did foster the idea of exterminating the Jews, the idea had not yet occurred to them at that date and this text proves it, doubtless inadvertently furnished by the accusers themselves. And this proof is corroborated by the report of Luther cited above, wherein it said that at that date the Germans were hoping to arrive at an agreement with France to gather together all the Jews on Madagascar, on the resumption of the diplomatic conversations broken off in December 1940.
It was during the second half of 1941 that the solution of the Jewish problem took a murderous turn. First there was the declaration of war on Russia. Goebbels had the rumour spread that Hitler had been compelled to do it because the Jews were trying to get Stalin into the war. Then followed the famous book, Germany Must Perish (Argyle Press, Newark, N.J., 1941) by a certain Theodore N. Kaufman, an American Jew of whom it can be said that his voice was the tocsin of the forthcoming entry of the United States into the war at the side of Britain, France and Russia.
Theodore N. Kaufman said bluntly in his book that the Germans, for the very fact that they -- be they anti-Nazi Germans, even communists or philosemites -- did not deserve to live, and that after the war 20,000 doctors would be mobilised to sterilise 25 German men or women a day, so that in three months there would not be a single German capable of reproducing in Europe, and in 60 years the German race would be totally eliminated from the continent. He further said that the German Jews were of this opinion also.
The fact that Theodore N. Kaufman was not brought before the Nuremberg Trial after having dared to write such things is not the point I wish to stress. There is worse.
Hitler ordered the book to be read over all the radio stations and one can imagine the effect it produced on German opinion. I have myself met Germans who told me that from that day on, when they learned about this scheme, everyone - people, army, police - everywhere, began to talk about the necessity to literally exterminate the Jews and expressed the hope that Hitler would issue an order to that effect. And the word was passed that such  an order had been given by Hitler to Himmler or Heydrich. There were people who claimed to be well informed who said that they heard it from someone high up, and when a Jew fell into the hands of some dull-witted policeman, who had heard the rumour and firmly believed it, his fate was certainly not enviable.
At Nuremberg, Minister Lammers, Secretary of the Reich Chancellory, confirmed this, saying, "My opinion is that these rumours (often passing for orders) came from clandestine radio listening posts, where foreign broadcasts were heard, and that no one wanted to admit that." (Volume XI, p. 58)
The reading of Theodore Kaufman's book over the radio unleashed a mass fury against the Jews, regardless of the influence of the foreign broadcasts. But all Germany also believed the foreign broadcasts, which were listened to secretly, and, believing that an order had been given, many of those sorry S.S. types surely thought that they were authorised to carry the order out. In December 1941, when Germany had to go to war with the United States, it was the last straw.
Actually, before the war with the United States, there was a general, vague sort of feeling all round that some solution other than the Madagascar one had to be found for the Jews, and that they would have to be kept in Europe until the end of the war. Goering's letter to Heydrich of July 31st, 1941, already referred to, doubtless reflected this feeling. The deportation of the Jews to the East had begun on October 15th, 1941. Heydrich's summons to the Berlin-Wannsee meeting, dated November 29th, 1941, originally set the meeting for December 9th, but events forced its postponement to January 20th, 1942. The purpose of the meeting was precisely to plan out the concentration of the Jews in the East. The real mass deportation of all European Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau and the other Polish camps began in March 1942.
From France, M. Joseph Billig tells us ("La Condition des Juifs en France sous l'Occupation", published in Revue d'Histoire de la seconde guerre mondiale, October 1956, p. 40), "the first convoy for the East left on March 27th, 1941," but that "deportation in earnest did not begin until after a plan that was blocked was revised on June 11th, 1942, at the R.S.H.A. in Berlin" and implemented through a memorandum of the June 11th R.S.H.A. meeting, signed Dannecker, on June 15th, 1942, "which determined the methods of deportation, not only for France, but for the whole of Europe."
If we consider that the last convoy to Auschwitz-Birkenau arrived on July 7th, 1944 (Hungarian Jews), and taking March 27th, 1942 for the departure of the first, it lasted 27 months, and that is the length of time given by the American psychologist Gustave Gilbert (Professor at Long Island) attached to the Nuremberg Trial (statement made on May 30th, 1961, before the Jerusalem Tribunal in judgement on Eichmann). My investigations reveal the same. Non-racist mass deportation began on the same  date and lasted approximately as long. The last convoy from France left on August 24th, 1944.
The synchronisation, and in particular the departure date, will be noticed; this coincides with the arrival of Speer at the Ministry of Armaments (February 1942). Mass deportations to relieve the manpower crisis which faced Germany from the second half of 1941 on, were the consequence. In Speer's mind there was no reason why Jews should not be put to work like the others, and many documents signed with his name attest to this. Another coincidence: we have a letter from Himmler, dated December 5th, 1941, addressed to Heydrich, to Pohl (head of the business office of the K.Z.) and to Ghicke (inspector general of the K.Z.) which notes the tendency to violence he had found among all the K.Z., and which requests of those concerned that a stop be put to this, without making any special reference to make an exception of Jews, and which contains these words: "...disagreement with certain specialists of the S.S., I will improve the diet of the K.Z., and turn all affected into good specialised workers..." (cited by Billig, Eichmann Dossier, p. 60). The year 1942 was marked by a quantity of letters emanating from the central offices of the R.S.H.A. and pointing to an improvement in the diet at all camps. In The Commandant of Auschwitz Speaks, Hoess cites Himmler himself as saying that he "wanted more and more special prisoners for the arms industry" (op. cit., p. 225), and therefore these special prisoners (Jews) were handled accordingly.
We will see further on, in the study devoted to it, how Eugen Kogon cites another circular, dated December 28th, 1942, from the Central Bureau of Camp Management (Pohl), of the same nature concerning deportees as a whole. The orders stated that the Jews had been sent to special camps (Sonderlagern), which set up the special handling (Sonderbehandlung) which they were to receive, as compared with the deportation of their opposite numbers who were sent haphazardly to this camp or that. The deportation of the Jews to the East became in itself a special operation (Sonderaktion), that is, especially directed against them. All this was done in the atmosphere of hate created by Theodore N. Kaufman's book and the precipitation towards "total war" - an expression just then introduced into common vocabulary and which all Germans thought he had invented, for which he admitted he was preparing fellow members of his race. Everyone agrees that this deportation was brutal and murderous. The Jews never spoke of it among themselves except in terror, even before it happened to them. And when they had suffered it, the effects were intensified by apprehension over what was still to come. Hoess tells us that at Auschwitz, one entire sector of the camp, Auschwitz III (Monovitz), was given over to I.G. Farben; and this industry, which uses colouring matter and dyes, suggests gas chambers. Moreover, there were in the camp clothing disinfection rooms, an operation for which this very Zyklon B was used. It was  only one step from that to saying that these gas chambers were for the asphyxiation of Jews, which the prisoners of the camp itself took up, even faster than the historians of the Jewish Centre for Contemporary Documentation.-- Every time they found the words Sonderlager, Sonderbehandlung or Sonderaktion in a text, they decreed on their own authority that it was code talk and referred to gas chambers.
As an argument it seems a little weak, to say the least, after considering the following incident:
On April 12th, 1945, Colonel Amen, American deputy prosecutor, having charged Kaltenbrunner with having requested the special treatment at Walsertraum in the Walsertal, and at the Winzerstube at Godesberg, got the following reply:
"Do you know what Walsertraum in the Walsertal or Winzerstube at Godesberg are, and their relation to what you call Sonderbehandlung? Walsertraum is the most elegant and fashionable mountain hotel in all Germany, and the Winzerstube at Godesberg is a well-known hotel where many international conferences have been held. In those hotels such distinguished people as M. Poncet and M. Herriot, etc., were put. They received triple the rations allotted to ordinary diplomats, that is, nine times the wartime ration for a German. They received a bottle of champagne every day, corresponded freely with their families, or could receive parcels from them. These internees had frequent visitors and their wants were inquired after. That is what we called Sonderbehandlung. " (Volume XI, p. 248)
In these terms, the Sonderbehandlung which meant that the racial prisoners were sent to Sonderlager, and which distinguished them from the common run, also meant that prominent prisoners were distinguished from the common run in that they were not sent to concentration camps but to hotels. And that is quite far from the interpretation given -- and still being given! -- by the "historians" of the Jewish Centre for Contemporary Documentation.
What about witnesses? So far Hoess, the commandant of Auschwitz, has been produced, but we must question the value of his oral testimony (given at Nuremberg) as well as his written testimony (penned in his cell at Cracow) which we have already pointed out was written under threat of death, in the hope of reprieve or commutation of his sentence, and is full of contradictions between one page and the next. Gerstein? After writing (?) his testimony, he took the wise precaution of committing suicide. An analysis of his testimony will be found in my work The Drama of the European Jews, as well as the most plausible explanation of his suicide - or his assassination. There is also an analysis of the testimony given by the strange Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, who saw gas chambers 200 meters long and 1.05 to 2.55 meters wide in which by batches of 3,000, 10,000 persons a day were asphyxiated according to the German language edition, or 20,000  in the French language edition!
The others? They put gas chambers which they "saw" themselves in camps where we know today none ever existed (Dachau), or else they saw their comrades depart for "gas chambers" which they knew of only by hearsay. This is generally true of most of these testimonies.
Until recently, there was Hoess' wretched successor as commandant of Auschwitz, Obersturmbannführer Richard Baer who took command in December 1943. Arrested in Hamburg in December 1960, he was incarcerated at Frankfurt and the preliminary investigation of his case was begun under the direction of Prosecutor-General Bauer. He was accused of having continued the work begun by Hoess at Auschwitz and, between December 1943 and October 1944, of having had asphyxiated a little more than a million Jews in the famous gas chambers, especially 437,000 Hungarian Jews. Announced three times at six monthly intervals, his trial was put aside three times. The last announcement made in April 1963 put the trial down for the spring of 1964 - 2,5 years after his imprisonment during which time the preliminary investigation was carried out. This was because he was stubborn and would not admit that during the time he was commandant of Auschwitz Jews had been asphyxiated in gas chambers. Furthermore he said that if such gas chambers had existed he would have known about it. Neither threats, nor persuasion, nor brain-washing - nothing could make him admit it. He had even succeeded in proving that what he said was true and had obliged Prosecutor-General Bauer to acquit him of that charge and to state publicly that it was incorrect to say that 437,000 Hungarian Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz. A defendant of Baer's stamp had never been seen before. A veritable catastrophe for the contentions of the Jewish Centre for Contemporary Documentation! Fortunately Providence came to the aid of Prosecutor-General Bauer. On June 23rd, 1963, the death of Richard Baer was announced, caused by a heart attack. So now he could be made to say anything that was required. Just as had happened with Gerstein.
I will certainly not go so far as to say that Baer was assassinated. No -- he just died most opportunely, and it is only a matter of fortunate coincidence.
It will be a little more difficult to extract the truth about the gas chambers at Auschwitz. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. So let us conclude by saying that if some day it were shown, in the middle of the 20th century, that an historical fact of such importance -- involving hangmen and victims together, millions of people, 6 million of them exterminated in gas chambers, or in some equally horrible way -- could only be supported by such a small number of documents and, in addition, by witnesses of such doubtful character, onecould claim without risk of the slightest error that it was not a question of a fact, but of an historical lie, the most tragic and macabre of all time.
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