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The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory




Watching on the Rhine
The Future Course of Holocaust Denial

Although the instances of outright denial explored in this book are a cause for concern, the deniers may have an impact on truth and memory in another, less tangible but potentially more insidious way. Extremists of any kind pull the center of a debate to a more radical position. They can create -- and, in the case of the Holocaust, have already created -- a situation whereby added latitude may be given to ideas that would once have been summarily dismissed as historically fallacious.

The recent "historians' debate" in Germany, in which conservative German historians attempted to restructure German history, offers evidence of this phenomenon. Though these historians are not deniers, they helped to create a gray area where their highly questionable interpretations of history became enmeshed with the pseudohistory of the deniers; and they do indeed share some of the same objectives. Intent on rewriting the annals of Germany's recent past, both groups wish to lift the burden of guilt they claim has been imposed on Germans. Both believe that the Allies should bear a greater share of responsibility for the wrongs committed during the war. Both argue that the Holocaust has been unjustifiably singled out as a unique atrocity.

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This debate was foreshadowed in the late 1970s by the publication of Hellmut Diwald's History of the Germans. Diwald, a prominent German historian, believed that since 1945 Germany's past had been "devalued, destroyed and taken away" from the German people. He sought to rectify this by demonstrating how Germans themselves had been victimized: His book devoted significant space to the expulsion of the German population from Eastern Europe at the end of World War II, but only two pages to Nazi crimes against hum anity, including the Holocaust. (1) Although Diwald's book was vigorously criticized by German historians of all political persuasions -- one called it "confused and stupid" -- it was a harbinger of things to come. (Not surprisingly, the deniers were quick to adopt Diwald's work as an extension of their own. In a letter to the New Statesman, Richard Verrall, editor of the extremist Spearhead and the author of Did Six Million Really Die?, grouped Diwald's research with that of Butz and Faurisson, arguing that together they were all "carrying on the work initiated by Rassinier." ( 2 ) Diwald had unwittingly given the deniers the scholarly respectability they so craved. His successors in the debate would inadvertently do the same.)

Germany's intensive rewriting of its past from a politico - historical perspective continued in earnest in the mid - 1980s, when Chancellor Kohl, initiating what would become the Bitburg debacle, invited President Reagan to participate in a wreath - laying ceremony at a German military cemetery, in a "spirit of reconciliation." Reagan agreed and, with a remark that can be described as thoughtless at best, informed the press that he would not go to a concentration camp because the Germans "have a guilt feeling that's been imposed on them and I just think it's unnecessary." In many ways Reagan was an innocent pawn in a debate whose nuances he may not fully have grasped. ( 3 ) Kohl's invitation to the American president, issued in the wake of Germany's exclusion from the fortieth anniversary commemoration of the Allied landing at Normandy, was designed to blur Germany's historical image as the aggressor. Conservative politicians and journalists had already begun to urge Germans, in the words of Bavarian Minister - President Franz Josef Strauss, to get off their knees and once again learn to "walk tall." ( 4 ) (The juxtaposition of this image with that of the late former Chancellor Willy Brandt falling to his knees at the Warsaw Ghetto monument is telling.)

Kohl, Strauss, and other politicians on the right were joined in this struggle by a group of historians. In 1986 Andreas Hillgruber, an internationally respected specialist in German diplomatic, military, and po -


litical history, published Two Kinds of Downfall: The Shatter i ng of the German Reich and the End of European Jewry. It consisted of two essays, one on the postwar Soviet expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe, and the other on the genocide of the Jews. ( 5 ) According to Hillgruber these two catastrophes "belong[ed] together." He argued that the Allies, who had long intended to cripple Germany so that it could never again subjugate Europe, emasculated Germany by usurping its territo ries for Poland and in stalling the Russian army as an occu pying force. By claiming that they emanated from the same policies of population transfer and extermination, Hillgruber essentially equated Allied treatment of Germany and the Nazi genocide. ( 6 ) He responded to historians who had criticized the Wehrmacht's decisions to continue fighting the Soviets well after their colleagues in Berlin had attempted to end the war by assassinating Hitler. This, Hillgruber asserted, was an honorable decision even though it greatly prolonged the horrors of the death camps. ( 7 ) It was basically an act of self - defense, preventing the Russian forces from laying waste Germany and its people. Other historians in this struggle would take a far more extreme stand than Hillgruber, but his insistence that the reader see the latter stages of the war from the perspective of the German soldier, and his grouping together of these two different "downfalls," opened the door to much of the apologia and distortion that followed. (8)

The conservative historian Michael Sturmer, Chancellor Kohl's historical adviser, believed that the Germans' "obsession with their guilt" had deleteriously affected their national pride. ( 9 ) Contending that too much emphasis had been placed on the Third Reich, Starmer, who advised Kohl on the Bitburg affair, called for a rewriting of history that would help Germans develop a greater sense of nationalism.

The most prominent member of this effort was Ernst Nolte, the German historian ren owned for his study of fascism. (10) Along with Hillgruber and other conservative historians, he compared the Holocaust to a variety of twentieth - century outrages, including the Armenian massacres that began in 1915, Stalin's gulags, U.S. policies in Vietnam, the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and the Pol Pot atrocities in the former Kampuchea. According to them the Holocaust was simply one among many evils. Therefore it was historically and morally incorrect to single out the Germans for doing precisely what had been done by an array of other nations. Joachim Fest, the editor in chief of the prestigious Germany daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, published a detailed defense of Nolte, illustrated with a photo of a mound of skulls of Pol Pot's victims. (11) As Oxford historian Peter Pulzer


observed, the message was clear: Germans may have sinned but they did so "in good company.'' ( 12 ) Fest had already engaged in his own form of revisionism when he directed a do c umentary film, Hitler: A Career. Intended to show the fascination that Hitler had aroused among most Germans, the film relied on clips from Nazi propaganda films, synchronizing them with such stereo sound effects as clicking bootheels and exploding bombs. The commentator argued from Hitler's perspective. Nazi suppression of human rights, oppression, and war crimes were ignored. (Since these had not been filmed by the Nazis, the filmmakers treated them as nonexistent.) The film presents Nazi - produced propaganda as an authentic do c umentation of the period, showing Hitler as he wanted to be seen. ( 13 )

The historians' attempt to create such immoral equivalencies ignored the dramatic differences between these events and the Holo caust. The brutal Armenian tragedy, which t he perpe trators still re fuse to acknowledge adequately, was conducted within the context of a ruthless Turkish policy of expulsion and resettlement. It was terrible and caused horrendous suffering but it was not part of a process of total annihilation of an entire people. The Khmer Rouge's massacre of a million of their fellow Cambodians, to which the Western world turned a blind eye, was carried out, as Richard Evans observes, as a means of subduing and eliminating those whom Pol Pot imagined had collaborated with the Americans during the previous hostilities. T he ruthless polity was conducted as part of a b r utalizing war that had destroye d much of Cambodia's moral, social, and physical infrastructure. This is not intended in any way as a justification of what happened in Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge's treatment of their countrymen was barbaric. But what they did was quite different from the Nazis' annihilation of the Jews, which was "a gratuitous act carried out by a prosperous, advanced, industrial nation at the height of its power.'' (1 4 )

These historians also seem intent on obscuring the crucial contrasts between Stalinism and Nazism. (15) Whereas Stalin's terror was arbitrary, Hitler's was targeted at a particular group. As t he German historian Eberhard Jä ckel observed in an attack on Nolte and his compatriots, never before in history was a particular human group -- its men, women, children, old, young, healthy, and infirm -- singled out to be killed as rapidly as possible using "every possible means of state power" to do so. (16) The fate of every Jew who came under German rule was essentially sealed. In contrast, no citizen of the Soviet Union assumed that deportation and death were inevitable consequences of his or her ethnic origins. (1 7 ) People in the USSR did not know who might be next


on Stalin's list. This uncertainty terrorized them. By contrast, during the Nazi assault on the Jews "every single one of millions of targeted Jews was to be murdered. Eradication was to be total.'' (1 8 ) The Nazis did not borrow these methods from the Soviets. They were sui generis, and the refusal of these historians to acknowledge that fact reflects the same triumph of ideology over truth that we have seen throughout this study.

This is not a matter of comparative pain or competitive suffering. It is misguided to attempt to gauge which group endured more. For the victims in all these tragedies the oppressors' motives were and remain irrelevant. Nor is this a matter of a head count of victims or a question of whose loss was larger. In fact, Stalin killed more people than did the Nazis. (1 9 ) But that is not the issue. The equivalences offered by these historians are not analogous to the Holocaust. To attempt to say that all are the same is to engage in historical distortion. To suggest that the disastrous U.S. policies in Vietnam or the former Soviet Union's illegal occupation of Afghanistan were the equivalent of genocide barely demands a response. These invalid historical comparisons are designed to help Germans embrace their past by telling them that their country's actions were no different than those of countless others -- an effort that at times disturbingly parallels much of what we have seen in this book.

But this is not the only way these historians tried to reshape the past. Unlike the deniers, who seek to exonerate Hitler, some of these German historians tend to blame the worst excesses of Nazis, including the Holocaust, on him alone. Thus Nazism becomes "Hitlerism," and the German populace is absolved. They also depict the Holocaust as a German response to external threats. As we have seen above, Nolte, echoing David Irving, argues that the Nazi "internment" of Jews was justified because of Chaim Weizmann's September 1939 declaration that the Jews of the world would fight Nazism. This, Nolte argues, convinced Hitler of his "enemies' determination to annihilate him." Klaus Hildebrand, a Nolte defender, praised Nolte's essay as "trailblazing." ( 20 ) As I noted in chapter 6, this comparison lacks all intern al logic. First of all Weizmann had no army, government , or allies with whi ch to wage this war. World Jewry was not a nationa l entity capable of mounting an offensive against the Nazis. Moreover, Hitler did not initiate his oppression of the Jews in September 1939 when Weizmann made his statement. Weizmann's statement was a reaction to six years of brutal Nazi oppression. In another attempt at immoral equivalence, Nolte c ontends that just as the American internment of Japanese Americans w as justified by the attack on Pearl Harbor, so too was the Nazi "intern -

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ment" of European Jews. In making this comparison Nolte ignores the fact that, however wrong, racist, and unconstitutional the U.S. internment of the Japanese, the Jews had not bombed Nazi cities or attacked German forces in 1939. Even his use of the term internment to describe what the Germans did to the Jews whitewashes historical reality.

In his most recent work, The E u lropean Civil War, 1917 - 1945, Ernst Nolte comes dangerously close to validating the deniers. Without offering any proof, he claims that more "Aryans" than Jews were murdered at Auschwitz. According to Nolte this fact has been ignored because the research on the Final Solution comes to an "overwhelming degree from Jewish authors." He described the deniers' arguments as not "without foundation" and their motives as "often honorable." The fact that among the core deniers were non - Germans and some former inmates of concentration camps was evidence, according to Nolte, of their honorable intentions. Nolte even advanced the untenable notion that the 1942 Wannsee Conference, at which Heydrich and a group of prominent Nazis worked out the implementation of the Final Solution, may never have happened. He disregards the fact that participants in that meeting have subsequently attested to it and that a full set of minutes survived. This suggestion implies that if Wannsee was a hoax , many other Holocaust - related events that we have been led to believe actually happened may also be hoaxes. He suggests, in an argument evocative of Butz's analysis, that the Einsatzgruppen killed numerous Jews on the Eastern Front because "preventive security" demanded it since a significant number of the partisans were Jews. While he acknowledges that the action may have been carried to an extreme, it remains essentially justified. ( 2 1) Another of his unsubstantiated charges was that the do c umentary film Shoah demonstrates that the SS units in the death camps "were victims in their way too." ( 22 )

Coming from a denier these arguments would have been utterly predictable. Coming from Nolte they are especially disturbing and revealing. Nolte cannot be ignorant of the vast body of research on this topic that has been conducted by scholars of every religious persuasion and nationality, including his fellow German non - Jews. Nor, since he tries to defend them, can he be ignorant of the deniers' explicit antisemitism. In his writings he has too often referred to the reality of the Final Solution to be accused of espousing Holocaust denial. Yet his recent writings make him so palatable to the deniers that the IHR is seriously attempting to convince Nolte to participate in its meetings and address its conventions. Whether he will do so is not known. (Even if he came and told them that the Holocaust is a fact, he would be wel -


comed as David Irving was during his predenial days, and as the author of popular, demi - historical works, John Toland, is today. They offer a legitimacy the deniers can currently find nowhere else. )

This attempt to resurrect German history was intensely criticized both within Germany and abroad. The historians' debate harmed the reputations of the scholars most prominently involved in it, and even the president of Germany eventually spoke out against this trend. Why, then, should it be a matter of concern? Despite widespread criticism, the debate gave the German media and general public the imprimatur to conduct the kind of discussion about contemporary Germany's relationship to its past that would never have been heard before. Calls for a "sanitized version of German history appeared in Germany's most prominent newspapers. ( 23 ) Those involved in the current antiforeigner campaign in Germany find this perspective on history particularly inviting. If Germany was also a victim of a "downfall," and if the Holocaust was no different from a mélange of other tragedies, Germany's moral obligation to welcome all who seek refuge within its borders is lessened.

These historians are not crypto - deniers, but the results of their work are the same: the blurring of boundaries between fact and fiction and between persecuted and persecutor. Ultimately the relativists contribute to the fostering of what I call the "yes, but" syndrome. ( 24 ) Yes, there was a Holocaust, but the Nazis were only trying to defend themselves against their enemies. Yes, there was a Holocaust, but most Jews died of starvation and disease (as is the case in every war) or were killed as partisans and spies. Yes, there was a Holocaust, but the Jews' behavior brought it on them. Yes, there was a Holocaust, but it was essentially no different than an array of other conflagrations in which innocents were massacred. The question that logically follows from this is, Why, then, do we "only" hear about the Holocaust? For the deniers and many others who are "not yet" deniers, the answer to this final question is obvious: because of the power of the Jews. "Yes, but" is a response that falls into the gray area between outright denial and relativism. In certain respects it is more insidious than outright denial because it nurtures a form of pseudohistory whose motives are difficult to identify. It is the equivalent of David Duke without his robes.

Relativism, however convoluted, sounds far more legitimate than outright denial. These German historians have created a prototype that may prove useful for the deniers. In the future, deniers may adopt and adapt a form of relativism as they attempt to move from well outside the parameters of rational discourse to the fringes of historical legiti -

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macy. Rather than engage in outright denial they will espouse more opaque quasi - historical arguments that confuse well - meaning and historically ignorant people about their motives. *

Denial aims to reshape history in order to rehabilitate the persetutors and demonize the victims. What relativism seeks to do is not that different. It, too, attempts to rehabilitate the perpetrators, and if in the course of that rehabilitation a certain re - evaluation of the victims occurs, so be it.t In the years to come, as relativism increasingly becomes the deniers' protective veneer, distinguishing between these two groups may grow more difficult.


If Holocaust denial has demonstrated anything, it is the fragility of memory, truth, reason, and history. The deniers' campaign has been carefully designed to take advantage of those vulnerabilities. While there is no precise means of gauging their success, there are enough signs on the horizon -- many of which I have examined in the previous pages -- to offer some assessment. Right - wing nationalist groups in Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Norway, Hungary, Brazil, Slovakia, and a broad array of other countries, including the United States, have adopted Holocaust denial as a standard facet of their propaganda. ( 25 ) Whereas these groups once justified Nazi murder of the Jews, now they deny it. Once they argued that something quite beneficial to the world happened at Auschwitz. Now they insist that nothing did. Their anti -


semitism is often so virulent that the logical conclusion of their argument is that though Hitler did not murder the Jews, he should have. Since they are intent on weakening liberal democratic institutions Holocaust denial constitutes a seminal weapon in their arsenal. Though they have fomented social upheaval and in certain instances caused significant physical harm, the threat posed by these groups is limited be c ause they are so easily identified. Their dress, behavior, and tactics leave no doubt as to who they are. We know them by their shaved heads, leather jackets, tattoos, terror tactics (including murder), swastikas, cries of sieg Heil, and Nazi paraphernalia - laden rallies. They are as identifiable as a group of Ku Klux Klan members fully bede c ked in white - sheeted regalia, chanting racist slogans, and carrying a fiery cross through a black neighborhood. They cause havoc and strike justifiable fear into the hearts of their potential victims. But their outward demeanor is like a flashing yellow light warning the innocent passerby of the danger. No one can mistake them for anything but exactly what they are: neofascists, racists, antisemites, and opponents of all the values a democratic society holds dear. The chance of their attracting a wide following from the general public is slim.

The deniers also sport an outward veneer, but rather than expose who they are, it camouflages them. The stripping away of the deniers' cloak of respectability -- which was one of the main objectives of this book -- reveals that at their core they are no different from these neofascist groups. They hate the same things -- Jews, racial minorities, and democracy -- and have the same objectives, the destruction of truth and memory. But the deniers have adopted the demeanor of the rationalist and increasingly avoided the easily identifiable one of the extremist. They attempt to project the appearance of being committed to the very values that they in truth adamantly oppose: reason, critical rules of evidence, and historical distinction. It is this that makes Holocaust denial such a threat. The average person who is uninformed will find it diffiicult to discern their true objectives. (That may be one of the reasons Canadian high scholl teacher J a m s Kee gstra was able to espouse Holocaust denial and virulent antisemitic theories f or more than a decade without any protest being mounted against him. He made them sound like rational history.)

The deniers will, to be sure, cultivate this external guise of a reasoned approach all the more forcefully in years to come. They will refine this image in an attempt to confuse the public about who they really are. Any public contact with white - power and radical right - wing groups will be curtailed. People without identifiable racist or extremist


pasts will be drafted for leadership positions. The Willis Cartos, who have spoken of the need to prevent the "niggerfication" of America, will increasingly recede into the background as their public roles are diminished. Young men and possibly even women (at the moment there are no prominent women deniers) with pseudotraining in history will be sought out to become the symbolic vanguard of the movement. Overt expressions of antisemitism will be restrained so that those who fail to understand that Holocaust denial is nothing but antisemitism may be fooled into thinking it is not.

We have already seen frightening manifestations of the success of this approach on the various campuses where students, faculty, and administrators declared Bradley Smith's ad not to be antisemitic. If Smith succeeded so easily on campus, imagine the success he might have among groups who are even less accomplished at critical reasoning! This tactic has been particularly successful in Australia and New Zealand, where, under the guise of defending free speech, the Leagues for Rights -- which in essence are nothing but Holocaust - denial organizations -- have successfully attracted individuals who would normally have eschewed antisemitic activities. This strategy is behind some deniers' calls for a change in the IHR's methodology. They argue that it should place less emphasis on the Holocaust and instead make it only one among the many "hoaxes" they address. This call does not stem from a genuine broadening of their interests or a lessening of their obsession with Jews. It is rooted in their desire to achieve some academic legitimacy. As long as they appear to be consumed with this single issue, that respectability and acceptance will elude them. What they project as a widening of their interests is merely a tactic designed to gain access to the mainstream.

A strategic change will also mark the activities of the racist, neoNazi, ultranationalist groups. So easily identifiable by their outer trappings, they will adopt the deniers' tactics, cast off the external attributes that mark them as extremists, and eschew whatever pigeonholes them as neofascists. They will cloak themselves and their arguments in a veneer of reason and in arguments that sound r ational to the American people. *** The physical terror they perpetrate may cease, but the number of people beguiled by their arguments will grow. They will begin to


e s pouse a form of denial that hovers between the relativism of the German historians' debate and the outright lies seen so often in these pages -- a metamorphosis that will make it easier for them to attract new adherents. This pseudorespectability will render them more appealing to a younger, economically disenfranchised segment of the lower middle class, who see themselves living on the brink of failure in the midst of a prosperous society whose benefits are not available to them. This is as true for the United States as it is fo r Germany, France, and Austria. #


What, then, are the most efficacious strategies for countering these attacks? Much of the onus is on academe, portions of which have already miserably failed the test. Educators, historians, sociologists, and political scientists hold one of the keys to a defense of the truth. What those who cannot be beguiled by diversionary arguments and soft reasoning know to be fact must be made accessible to the general public.

The establishment of Holocaust museums may play an important role in this effort. These institutions, and all who teach about the Holocaust, must be scrupulously careful about the information they impart so as not inadvertently to provide the deniers with room to maneuver. They must also be careful about "invoking" the Holocaust as a means of justifying certain policies and actions.

This is particularly true for the Jewish community. The purveyors of popular culture -- television and radio talk - show hosts prominent among them -- must understand that by giving denial a forum they become pawns in a dangerous war. ## As individuals who help shape public opinion, they must recognize that this struggle is not about ignorance but about hate.

There are those who believe that the courtroom is the place to fight the deniers. This is where Austria, Germany, France, and Canada have mounted their efforts. The legislation that has been adopted takes different forms. Some bills criminalize incitement to hatred; discrimination; or violence on racial, ethnic, or religious grounds. Others ban the dissemination of views based on racial superiority for one sector of the

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population and expression of contempt toward a group implying its racial inferiority. ( 26 )

The problem with such legal maneuvers is that they are often difficult to sustain or carry through. In August 1992 the Canadian Supreme Court threw out Zundel's conviction when they ruled that the prohibition against spreading false news likely to harm a recognizable group was too vague and possibly restricted legitimate forms of speech. ( 27 ) ### An even greater difficulty arises when the court is asked to render a decision not on a point of law, as happened in the Mermelstein case, but on a point of history, as happened in the Zundel trial, in which the judge took historical notice of the Holocaust. It transforms the legal arena into a historical forum, something the courtroom was never designed to be. When historical disputes become lawsuits, the outcome is unpredictable.

The main shortcoming of legal restraints is that they transform the deniers into martyrs on the altar of freedom of speech. This, to some measure, has happened to Faurisson, who in March 1991 was convicted of proclaiming the Holocaust a "lie of history." The same court that found him guilty denounced the law under which he was tried and convicted. ( 2 8) The free - speech controversy can obscure the deniers' antisemitism and turn the hate monger into a victim. ( 29 ) A recent National Public Radio report on controlling neofascist activities in Europe took exactly this approach toward Faurisson's conviction. Rather than dwell on what he has said and done, it fo c used on his loss of freedom of speech. ( 30 ) When the publisher of the Austrian magazine Halt was convicted of "neo - Nazi activities" for his Holocaust - denial statements, Spotlight published the news under a headline that read, NO FREE SPEECH. ( 3l ) A disturbing reversal of the free - speech argument has recently been used by deniers to penalize those who oppose them. In 1984 David McCalden, the former director of the IHR, contracted to rent exhibit space at the California Library Association's annual conference. The subject of his exhibit was the Holocaust "hoax." The Simon Wiesenthal Center and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) protested to both city and association officials. The Wiesenthal Center rented a room near McCalden's exhibit space to set up its own exhibit, and the AJC threatened to conduct demonstrations outside the hotel in which the meeting was to be held. When the association cancelled McCalden's contract he sued the Wiesenthal Center and the AJC, ar-


guing that they had conspired to deprive him of his constitutional rights to free speech. Though the court dismissed his complaint, the U S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision in 1992. The case constitutes the first time that the First Amendment has been used to attempt to still the voices of those who oppose Nazi bigotry. ( 32 )

Another legal maneuver has been adopted by a growing number of countries. They have barred entry rights to known deniers. David Irving, for example, has been barred from Germany, Austria, Italy, and Canada. Australia is apparently also considering barring him. ( 33 )

Others have argued that the best tactic is just to ignore the deniers because what they crave is publicity, and attacks on them provide it. I have encountered this view repeatedly while writing this book. I have been asked if I am giving them what they want and enhancing their credibility by deigning to respond to them. Deny them what they so desperately desire and need, and, critics claim, they will wither on the vine. It is true that publicity is what the deniers need to survive, hence their media - sensitive tactics -- such as ads in college papers, challenges to debate "exterminationists," pseudoscientific reports, and truth tours of death - camp sites. I once was an ardent advocate of ignoring them. In fact, when I first began this book I was beset by the fear that I would inadvertently enhance their credibility by responding to their fantasies. But having immersed myself in their activities for too long a time, I am now convinced that ignoring them is no longer an option. The time to hope that of their own accord they will blow away like the dust is gone. Too many of my students have come to me and asked, "How do we know there really were gas chambers?" "Was the Diary of Anne Frank a hoax?" "Are there actual do c uments attesting to a Nazi plan to annihilate the Jews?" Some of these students are aware that their questions have been informed by deniers. Others are not; they just know that they have heard these charges and are troubled by them.

Not ignoring the deniers does not mean engaging them in discussion or debate. In fact, it means not doing that. We cannot debate them for two reasons, one strategic and the other tactical. As we have repeatedly seen, the deniers long to be considered the "other" side. Engaging them in discussion makes them exactly that. Second, they are contemptuous of the very tools that shape any honest debate: truth and reason. Debating them would be like trying to nail a glob of jelly to the wall.

Though we cannot directly engage them, there is something we can do. Those who care not just about Jewish history or the history of the Holocaust but about truth in all its forms, must function as canaries in the mine once did, to guard against the spread of noxious fumes. We

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must vigilantly stand watch against an increasingly nimble enemy. But unlike the canary, we must not sit silently by waiting to expire so that others will be warned of the danger. When we witness assaults on truth, our response must be strong, though neither polemical nor emotional. We must educate the broader public and academe about this threat and its historical and ideological roots. We must expose these people for what they are.

The effort will not be pleasant. Those who take on this task will sometimes feel -- as I often did in the course of writing this work -- as if they are being forced to pr ov e what they know to be fact. Those of us who make scholarship our vocation and avocation dream of spending our time charting new paths, opening new vistas, and offering new perspectives on some aspect of the truth. We seek to discover, not to defend. We did not train in our respective fields in order to stand like watchmen and women on the Rhine. Yet this is what we must do. We do so in order to expose falsehood and hate. We will remain ever vigilant so that the most precious tools of our trade and our society -- truth and reason -- can prevail. The still, small voices of millions cry out to us from the ground demanding that we do no less.



Twisting the Truth

Zyklon B, the Gas Chambers, and the Diary of Anne Frank

Some may find that I have already accorded antisemitic slander parading as a scientific theory far too much space -- that I have taken people like Butz, Faurisson, Leuchter, and their associates too seriously. Nonetheless, after a number of years of working in this field I am aware of how these pseudoscientific attacks on history obfuscat e and obscure the truth. Most people do not believe the deniers' claims but are at a loss as to how to address their charges. Some, fearful that the deniers' findings have a measure of legitimacy, respond by seeking alternative explanations.

Consequently I devote this section to three of the charges most frequently made by Holocaust deniers, citing a variety of do c umentary and technical proofs that demolish any semblance of credibility they might be accorded. I do so with some reluctance, lest it appear that I believe that serious consideration must be given these people's claims. I do, however, believe that even a cursory perusal of the relevant sections of these doeuments will demonstrate the deceitful quality of the deniers claims. I hope it will also demonstrate, as much of this book is in -

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tended to do, that it is Goebbels's theory of the "big lie" that the deniers are emulating.

Zyklon - B: A Fire - Breathing Dragon

Deniers, led by Faurisson, argue that Zyklon - B (prussic acid) was totally inappropriate for use as a homicidal agent. As proof they cite a do c ument prepared for the war crimes t ri als summa ri zing the manufacturer's instructions for the safe use of Zyklon - B as a fumigant. (1) The guidelines stipulated that a room in which prussic acid had been used to destroy vermin had to be ventilated for twenty hours before reentry. Deniers argue that this demolishes all the "testimonies" on the use of Zyklon - B to kill human beings, asking how bodies could have been removed from the gas chambers shortly after execution if the room could not be safely entered for twenty hours? Not surp ri singly the deniers ignored significant and well - known facts that demonstrate the fallacy of their claims.

The instructions cited were for use in a room or a p r ivate home -- not gas - tight areas such as those in the death camps -- full of furniture, household goods, bedding, carpeting, and the like. They stipulated how windows were to be sealed, keyholes taped, and chimneys covered. After fumigation, gas would be trapped in all sorts of nooks and crannies. Consequently mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture, and similar items had to be shaken or beaten for at least an hour in the open air. The homicidal gas chambers were of an entirely different nature. They were empty of any items except a small number of phony shower heads and dead bodies. The floors and ceilings were made of bare concrete. A powerful ventilation system especially designed for the gas chambers had been installed. In this open and unencumbered setting it served as an extremely efficient means of extracting the gas. Each of the crematoda was equipped with such a system, something the normal home or business area would never have. ( 2 ) Moreover, according to both former p ri soners and SS personnel, the Sonderkommandos, the inmates who carried out the bodies, wore gas masks. ( 3 )

This argument about the extreme toxicity of Zyklon - B is designed to foster the conclusion that the gas posed too great a danger to SS personnel to be safely used. However, Faurisson and Leuchter also assert that it was used in the delousing chambers on clothes. (It is unclear how they could have concluded that it could be safely used in the delousing chambers but was too toxic to be used in homicidal gas chambers. )

Leuchter found traces of cyanide in rooms that Auschwitz officials


deschbed as killing chambers but that deniers claim were morgues. In an attempt to explain why residues of the gas would have been found in a room that supposedly served as a morgue, Fau ri sson and Leuchter explained that the morgues were disinfected with Zyklon - B, hence the residue. ( 4 ) This thesis is illogical: Disinfection is car ri ed out with a bacte ri cide, not an insecticide, particularly one so powerful as Zyklon - B.

Moreover, there is an internal contradiction in the deniers' own argument. They have asserted that Zyklon - B could be safely used under only the st ri ctest of conditions and that twenty hours had to elapse before a facility in which it had been used could be entered. Yet they would have us believe that in order to clean a morgue, something that needed to be done on a regular basis, the SS would, instead of employing something as common and effective as bleach, choose this highly toxic substance that needed, ac cording to the deniers' own calc ulations, st ri ngent arrangements for safe use. ( 5 )

Pressac observed that Fau ri sson presented prussic acid as "dragon breathing fire, scarcely to be approached and with clawed feet clinging strongly to the ground even when dead." The apocalyptic picture bore little relationship to actual practice. If hydrogen cyanide were as Fau ri sson would have us believe it was, the staff of Degesch, the German company that produced it, "would long have been unemployed." ( 6 )

The Gas Chambers: " One Proof -- Just One Proof"

Deniers, led by Fau ri sson, repeatedly call for "one proof ... one single proof" of the existence of homicidal gas chambers. ( 7 ) They dismiss the reliability of all human testimony, whether it came from the SS, surviving inmates, or Sonderkommando members. They do so despite the fact that regarding the general details of gassings, the testimony of all the parties tends to corroborate each other. (8) Pressac's monumental study of the gas chambers is, in essence, a response to this demand for do c umentary proof. Pressac's sensitivity to Fau ri sson's demand for documents may be rooted in the fact that he almost was lured into denial and it was his own archival investigation which proved to him that Fau ri sson was consciously igno ri ng unequivocal evidence of homicidal gas chambers. On a t ri p to Auschwitz shortly after he met Fau ri sson, he was shown a se ri es of do c uments that constituted far more than "the one single proof" upon which deniers insisted. On subsequent visits he discovered additional do c uments, some of which were previously unpublished. Since the publication of his book in 1989, he has spent time in former Soviet archives and has uncovered additional do c uments that

[ 226 ]

demonstrate the absolute falsehood of the deniers' claims that there is no mate ri al or do c umentary proof of gas chambers.

The next few pages contain a b ri ef summary of Pressac's extensive findings. Those who have found the deniers' claims about gas chambers the least bit troubling should have their doubts set aside. Those who have never been persuaded in the least by this assault on the truth will find the do c uments overwhelming proof of the degree to which the deniers distort history and lie about the evidence. These do c uments include work orders, supply requisitions, time sheets, enginee ri ng instructions, invoices, and completion reports. All clearly indicate that the gas chambers were to be used for nothing but homicidal gassings. The company contracted to design and install the exe c ution chambers was Topf and Sons. Much of the do c umentation comes from reports they, their subcontractors, and civilian employees submitted to the SS. They generally made it appear as if they were building morgues. But they slipped up often enough to provide us with detailed documentation of the construction and installation of homicidal killing units.

The deniers also contended that Birkenau was designed to serve as a quarantine and hospital camp, not a death camp. They based their argument on architectural drawings of Ap ri l 1943, which contained plans for a barracks for sick p ri soners, a p ri soners hospital, and a quarantine section. Why, they ask, would the Nazis build a health camp but a few hundred yards from gas chambers where people were being annihilated on a massive scale? All this, they assert, indicates that Birkenau was not built as a place of homicide and annihilation. (28) §§ But there exists another official drawing of an overall plan of Birkenau, completed approximately a year later. It reveals that Birkenau was anything but a benign hosp i tal unit. The first set of plans, completed in Ap ri l 1943, desc ri bed a camp that would house 16,600 p ri soners. The drawings a year later show a camp that housed 60,000 p ri soners and contained less than half of the planned barracks from the preceding year's plans. The existing barracks housed four times as many people as indicated by the o ri ginal drawings. Any suggestion of this being a place of healing is contradicted by these conditions. ( 29 )

These references to gas chambers and this plan of the camp constitute the kind of proof the deniers claim to be seeking. There is, of course, a my ri ad of additional doeumentation regarding deportations, murders, supplies of Zyklon - B, and other aspects of the Final Solution. I mention them not as proof of the Nazi annihilation of the Jews but as proof of the degree to which the deniers distort and deceive.

The Diary of Anne Frank

Anne Frank's diary has become one of the deniers' most popular targets. For more than thirty years they have t ri ed to prove that it was w ri tten after the war. It would seem to be a dubious allocation of the deniers' energies that they try to prove that a small book by a young girl full of musings about her life, relationship with her parents, emerging sexuality, and movie stars was not really w ri tten by her. But they have chosen their target purposefully.

[ 230 ]

Since its publication shortly after the war, the diary has sold more than twenty million copies in more than forty count ri es. For many readers it is their introduction to the Holocaust. Countless grade school and high school classes use it as a required text. The diary's popula ri ty and impact, particularly on the young, make discrediting it as important a goal for the deniers as their attack on the gas chambers. By instilling doubts in the minds of young people about this powerful book, they hope also to instill doubts about the Holocaust itself.

On what do these deniers and neo - Nazis build their case? A b ri ef history of the publication of the diary, and of some of the subsequent events surrounding its production as a play and film, demonstrates how the deniers twist the truth to fit their ideological agenda.

Anne Frank began her diary on June 12, 1942. In the subsequent twenty - six months she filled a se ri es of albums, loose sheets of paper, and exercise and account books. In addition she wrote a set of sto ri es called Tales From the Secret Annex. §§§ Anne, who frequently referred to her desire to be a w ri ter, took her diary very se ri ously. Approximately five months before the family's arrest, listening to a clandestine radio she heard the Dutch minister of education request in a broadeast from London that people save "ordinary do c uments -- a diary, letters from a Dutch forced laborer in Germany, a collection of sermons given by a parson or a p ri est." This would help future generations understand what the nation had endured du ri ng those ter ri ble years. The next day Anne noted, "Of course they all made a rush at my diary immediately." ( 30 ) Anxious to publish her recollections in book form after the war she rewrote the first volumes of the diary on loose copy paper. In it sh e changed some of the names of the p ri ncipal characters, including her own (Anne Frank became Anne Robin. ) ( 3l)

When Otto Frank was liberated from Auschwitz and returned from the war, he learned that his daughters were dead. He prepared a typed edition of the diary for relatives and f ri ends, making certain grammatical corrections, incorporating items from the different versions, and omitting details that might offend living people or that concerned p ri vate family matters, such as Anne's stormy relationship with her mother. He gave his typed manuscript to a f ri end and asked him to edit it. ( 32 ) (Other people apparently also made edito ri al alterations to it.) The f ri end's wife prepared a typed version of the edited manusc ri pt. Frank approached a number of publishers with this version, which was re -


peatedly rejected. + When it was accepted the publishers suggested that references to sex, menstruation, and two girls touching each others breasts be deleted because they lacked the proper degree of "prop ri ety" for a Dutch audience. When the diary was published in England, Germany, France, and the United States, additional changes were made. The deniers cite these different versions and different copies of the typesc ri pt to buttress their claim that it is all a fab ri cation and that there was no o ri ginal diary. They also point to the fact that two different types of handwriting -- p ri nting and cursive w ri ting -- were used in the diary. They claim that the paper and the ink used were not produced until the 1950s and would have been unavailable to a girl hiding in an attic in Amsterdam in 1942.

But it is the Meyer Levin affair on which the deniers have most often relied to make their spu ri ous charges. Levin, who had first read the diary while he was living in France, wrote a laudatory review of it when Doubleday published it. Levin's review, which appeared in the New York Times Book Review, was followed by other articles by him on the diary in which he urged that it be made into a play and film. ( 33 ) In 1952 Otto Frank appointed Levin his literary agent in the United States to explore the possibility of producing a play. Levin wrote a sc ri pt that was turned down by a se ri es of producers. Frustrated by Levin's failures and convinced that this sc ri pt would not be accepted, Frank awarded the production ri ghts to Kermit Bloomgarden, who turned, at the suggestion of Ame ri can author Lillian Hellman, to two accomplished MGM screenw ri ters. Their version of the play was a success and won the 1955 Pulitzer Prize.

Levin, deeply embittered , sued, charging that the playw ri ghts had plagia ri zed his mate ri al and ideas. In January 1958 a jury ruled that Levin should be awarded fifty thousand dollars in damages. However, the New York State Supreme Court set aside the jury's verdict, explaining that since Levin and the MGM playw r ights had both relied on the same o ri ginal source -- Anne's diary -- there were bound to be simila ri ties between the two. ( 34 )

Since it appeared that another lawsuit would be filed, the court refused to lift the freeze that Levin had placed on the royalties. After two years of an impasse, Frank and Levin reached an out - of - court settlement. Frank agreed to pay fifteen thousand dollars to Levin, who dropped all his claims to royalties and ri ghts to the dramatization of the


play. Levin remained obsessed by his desire to dramatize the diary. ++ In 1966 he attempted to stage a production in Israel, though he did not have the ri ght to do so, and Frank's lawyers insisted that it be terminated. ( 35 )


It is against this background that the deniers built their assault on the diary. The first do c umented attack appeared in Sweden in 1957. A Danish literary c ri tic claimed that the diary had actually been produced by Levin, citing as one of his "proofs" that names such as Peter and Anne were not Jewish names. ( 36 ) His charges were repeated in Norway , Aust ri a, and West Germany. In 1958 a German high school teacher who had been a member of the SA and a Hitler Youth leader charged that Anne Frank's diary was a forgery that had earned "millions for the profiteers from Germany's defeat." ( 3 7) His allegations were reiterated by the chairman of a ri ght - wing German political party. Otto Frank and the diary's publishers sued them for libel, slander, defamation of the memory of a dead person, and antisemitic utterances. The case was settled out of court when the defendants declared that they were convinced the diary was not a forgery and apologized for unve ri fied statements they had made. ( 38 )

In 1967 American Mercury published an article by Teressa Hendry, entitled 'Was Anne Frank's Diary a Hoax?" in which she suggested that the diary might be the work of Meyer Levin and that if it was, a massive fraud had been perpetrated. ( 39 ) In a fashion that will by now have become familiar to readers of this book, Hendry's allegations were repeated by other deniers as established fact. This is their typical pattern of cross - fertilization as they create a merry - go - round of allegations. In Did Six Million Really Die? The Truth at Last, Harwood repeated these charges, unequivocally decla ri ng the diary to be a hoax. ( 40 ) In one short paragraph in his book, Arthur Butz likewise stated that he had "looked it over" and determined that the diary was a hoax. ( 41 )

In his 1975 attack on the diary, David Irving relied on the familiar charge that an Ame ri can court had "proved" that a New York sc ri ptw ri ter had w ri tten it "in collaboration with the girl's father." In 1978 Ditlieb Felderer, publisher of the sexually explicit cartoons of Holocaust survivors, produced a book devoted to certifying the diary as a hoax. He repeated the Levin charge but then went on to label Anne a


sex fiend and the book "the first child porno." 42 (Some of his chapter titles are indicative of his approach: "Sexual Extravaganza" and "Anne's Character -- Not Even a Nice Girl. " Felderer's charges are designed to build on what is often part of the inventory of antisemitic stereotypes: Jews, unnaturally concerned about sex, are also producers of pornography desi gned to corrupt young children. )

In 1975 Heinz Roth, a West German publisher of neo - Nazi brochures, began to circulate pamphlets calling the diary a forgery actually w ri tten by a New York playw ri ght. He cited Irving's and Harwood's findings as "proof" of his charges. When asked to desist by Otto Frank, he refused, claiming, in the familiar defense used by deniers, that he was only interested in "pure histo ri cal truth." At this point Frank took him to court in West Germany. Roth defended himself by citing statements by Harwood and Butz decla ri ng the diary to be fraudulent. In addition, Roth's lawyers produced an "expert opinion" by Robert Fau ri sson, among whose charges to prove the diary fictitious was that the annex's inhabitants had made too much noise. Anne wrote of vacuum cleaners being used, "resounding" laughter, and noise that was "enough to wake the dead." ( 43 ) How, Fau ri sson asked, could people in hiding, knowing that the slightest noise would be their undoing, have behaved in this fashion and not been discovered? ( 44 ) But Fau ri sson quoted the diary selectively, distorting its contents to build his case. When Anne wrote of the use of the vacuum cleaner, she preceded it by noting that the "warehouse men have gone home now." ( 45 ) The scene in which she desc ri bed resounding laughter among the inhabitants of the annex took place the preceding evening -- a Sunday night -- when the warehouse would have been empty. ( 46 ) When she wrote that a sack of beans broke open and the noise was enough to "wake the dead," Fau ri sson neglected to quote the next sentence in the diary: "Thank God there were no strangers in the house." ( 47 )

In his desc ri ption of his visit to Otto Frank, Fau ri sson engaged in the same tactics he used in relation to his encounter with the official from the Auschwitz museum. He t ri ed to make it appear as if he had caught Frank in a monstrous lie: "The interview turned out to be grueling for Anne Frank's father." ( 48 ) Not surp ri singly Frank's desc ri ption of the interchange differs markedly, and he challenged the veracity of much of what Fau ri sson claimed he said. Fau ri sson also claimed to have found a witness who was "well informed and of good faith" but who refused to allow his name to be made public. Fau ri sson assured readers that the name and address of this secret witness had been placed in a "sealed envelope.' As proof of this evidence he included a photograph of the

[ 234 ]

sealed envelope as an appendix to his "investigation." ( 49 ) In 1980 the court, unconvinced by Faurisson's claims, found that Roth had not proved the diary false.

In 1977 charges were again brought against two men in the West German courts for distributing pamphlets charging that the diary was a hoax. The Bundeskriminalamt (The BKA, or Federal Criminal Investigation Bureau) was asked to prepare a report as to whether the paper and writing material used in the diary were available between 1941 and 1944. The BKA report, which ran just four pages in length, did not deal with the authenticity of the diary itself. It found that the materials had all been manufactured prior to 1950 - 51 and consequently could have been used by Anne. It also observed, almost parenthetically, that emendations had been made in ballpoint pen on loose pages found with the diary. The ink used to make them had only been on the market since 1951. ( 5 0) (The BKA did not address itself to the substance of the emendations, nor did it publish any data explaining how it had reached this conclusion. When the editors of the critical edition of the diary asked for the data they were told by the BKA that they had none. ) ( 51)

Given the history of the editing of the diary it is not surprising that these kinds of corrections were made. This did not prevent Der Spiegel from publishing a sensationalist article on the diary which began with the following boldface paragraph: "'The Diary of Anne Frank' was edited at a later date. Further doubt is therefore cast on the authenticity of that do c ument." The author of the article did not question whether these corrections had been substantive or grammatical, whether they had been incorporated into the printed text, or when they had been made. Nor did he refer to them as corrections as the BKA had. He referred to the possibility of an imposter at work and charged that the diary had been subjected to countless "manipulations."

These sensationalist observations notwithstanding, Der Spiegel dismissed the charge made by David Irving and other deniers that Levin wrote the diary as an "oft - repeated legend." It also stressed that those who wished to shed doubt on the diary were the same types who wished to end "gas chamber fraud.'' ( 52 )

On Otto Frank's death in 1980, the diary was given to the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation. By that time the attacks on it had become so frequent and vehement -- though the charges that were made were all essentially the same -- that the institute felt obliged to subject the diary, as well as the paper on which it was written, glue that bound it together, and ink to a myriad of scien -


tific tests in order to determine whether they were authentic. They also tested postage stamps, postmarks, and censorship stamps on posteards, letters, and greeting cards sent by Anne and her family during this period (in addition to the diary the institute examined twenty - two different do c uments containing writings by Anne and her family). Forensic science experts analyzed Anne's handwriting, paying particular attention to the two different scripts, and produced a 250 - page highly technical report of their findings.

The reports found that the paper, glue, fibers in the binding, and ink were all in use in the 1940s. The ink contained iron, which was standard for inks used prior to 1950. (After that date ink with no, or a much lower, iron content was used.) The conclusions of the forensic experts were unequivocal: The diaries were written by one person during the period in question. The emendations were of a limited nature and varied from a single letter to three words. They did not in any way alter the meaning of the text when compared to the earlier version. ( 53 ) The institute determined that the different handwriting styles were indicative of normal development in a child and left no doubt that it was convinced that it had all been written in the same hand that wrote the letters and cards Anne had sent to classmates in previous years.

The final result of the institute's investigation was a 712 page critical edition of the diary containing the original version, Anne's edited copy, and the published version as well as the experts' findings. While some may argue that the Netherlands State Institute for War Do c umentation used an elephant to swat a fly, once again it becomes clear that the deniers' claims have no relationship to the most basic rules of truth and evidence.


* Countries such as the United States, where the degree of ignorance about historical matters is legendary, are particularly susceptible to this kind of rewriting of history. In 1990 only 45 percent of Alabama high school seniors knew that the Holocaust was the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews. It is telling that many of those who gave the wrong answer thought that the United States had committed the Holocaust against the Japanese with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Birmingham, Alabama , News, Aug. 12,1990).

** The same kind of rehabilitation is evident in Fran ce among the highest reaches of the politcal and judicial estab li shment. President Francois Mitterrand re ce ntly had a wreath pla ce d on the grave of the Vichy leader, Marshal Philippe Pétain, who collaborated with Nazi Germany and was directly responsible for the deportation of thousands of Jews. Pétain, who in World War I was commander in chief of the French for ce s, was convicted of treason by a French court in 1945. Mitterrand insisted in a radio interview that present - day Fran ce should not be held responsible for the crimes of the Vichy regime. While the contemporary French government does not bear "guilt " for Vichy's actions, honoring one of the perpetrators with a presidential wreath sends a revisionist message to the population at large. It revises the historical per ce ption of Fran ce 's role in the Holocaust. It can, and already has, become part of a historical whitewash.

Another form of French historical revisionism has been the refusal of French courts to try Vichy war criminals for their actions. The courts have thrown out these indictments, though the Supreme Court recently reins tated one of them. Thus far no ci tizen of Fran ce has been tried for crimes against humanity (Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Nov. 23, Dec. 2, 1992).

*** This tactic was evident in the 1992 attempt of the Cincinnati Ku Klux Klan to erect a cross on city property during the Ch ri stmas season. They claimed it was part of their campaign to remind Cincinnatians of the religious significance of the holiday. It was a way for the Klan to present itse lf as more than just a racist organization.

# It will prove particularly true for those beset by what my colleague David Blumenthal has termed "alterphobia " -- the fear of the other. The other may be homosexuals, women, foreigners, Jews, people of color, or all of the above.

## Having written this book in the shadow of the "industry" that produces these shows, I recognize that of all my calls for action, this one has the least possibility of realization.

### Charges may again be brought against Zundel on the basis of his having incited hatred against Jews.

§ Because the dimensions of the "doors were thirty by forty centimeters, Pressac hypothesizes that they were probably shu tt ers rather than doors.

§§ The tradition al notation of who had actually done the drawing and who had signed off on it is chilling in both its ordina ri ness and extraordinariness. T he drawing was completed by prison er 63003 (whose name remains unknown) on March 23, 1944. We know that it was reviewed by a civilian worker named Techmann and approved the ne xt day by SS Lieutenant Werner J othan.

§§§ The Secret Annex was the name Anne gave to the family ' s hiding place.

+ Even after the diary was published to wide acclaim in Europe, Ame ri can publishers were wary. Ten rejected it before Doubleday published it in 1951. It was an immediate success.

++ In fact, in 1973 he wrote a book, The Obsession, about the entre episode.

Chapter 11. Watching on the Rhine

1. Hellmut Diwald, Geschichte der Deutschen (Frankfurt, 1978), pp. 15 -16.

2. New Statesman, Sept. 21, 1979.

3. Geoffrey Hartman, ed., Bitburg in Moral and Political Perspectire (Bloomington, Ind., 1986); Ilya Levkov, ed., Bitburg and Beyond: Encounters in American, German, and Jewish His tory (New York, 1987); Deborah E. Lipstadt, "The Bitburg Controversy," in David Singer, ed., American Jewish Year Book, 1987, (New York, 1987), pp. 21 - 38.

4. Die Welt, Jan. 19, 1987; Frankfurter Rundschau, Jan. 14, 1987, cited in Richard Evans, In Hitler's Shadow (New York, 1989), p. 19. See Evans, In Hitler's Shadouw, p. 147, n. 46, for additional references to Strauss's remarks on this topic.

5. Andreas Hillgruber, Zweierlei Untergang: Die Zerschlagung des deutschen Reiches und das Ende des europ ä ischen Judentums (Berlin, 1986). For an evaluation of Hillgruber's contribution to the field see Holger Herwig, "Andreas Hillgruber, Historian of 'Grossmachtpolitik,' 1871 - 1945," Central European H is tory, voI. 15 (1982), pp. 186 - 98.

6. Evans, In Hitler's Shadow, pp. 49 - 54.

7. Maier, The Unmasterable Past, p. 20.

8. For various perspectives on Hillgruber's contribution to this imbroglio see Maier, The Unmasterable Past, pp. 21 - 25; Martin Broszat, Die Zeit, Oct. 3, 1986; Gordon Craig, "The War of the German Historians," New York Revie w of Books, Jan. 15, 1987. One of Hillgrube r's most virulent critics was Jü rgen Habermas, Germany's most prominent philosopher on the left. He was the one who first called attention to this debate, describing Hillgruber's work as "scandalous." Die Zeit, July 11, 1986; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (hereafter referred to as FAZ), July 8, 1986. For a summar y and analysis of Habermas's response see Maier, The Unmasterable Past, pp. 39 - 42.

9. Michael Sturmer, D is sonanzen des Fortschritts, pp. 267, 269 - 70 as cited in Evans, p. 21. See also Evans, In Hitler's Shadow, pp. 103, 173, n. 14.

10. Ernst Nolte, Three Faces of Fascism: Action Fran cais e, Italian Fascism, National Socia lis m (New York, 1965).

11. Joachim Fest, FAZ, Aug. 29, 1986.

12. Peter Pulzer, "The Nazi Legacy," The L is tener, June 25, 1987.

13. Anton Kaes, From Hitler to Heimat: The Return of History as Film (Cambridge, 1989), pp. 5- 6.

14. Evans, In Hitler's Shadow, p. 87.

15. Ernst Nolte, "Vergangenheit, die nicht vergehen will," (the past that refuses to pass away) FAZ, June 6, 1986; Ernst Nolte, Der europ ä ische B ü rgerkrieg, 1917 - 1945 (The European Civil War), 1917 - 1945 (Berlin, 1987), pp. 502 - 4.

16. Eberhard Jackel, "Die elende Praxis der Untersteller," Die Zeit, Sept. 12, 1986; Craig, "The War of the German Historians," p. 17; Maier, The Unmasterable Past, pp. 76 - 77.

17. Maier, The Unmasterable Past, p. 76.

18. Michael Marrus, The Holocaust in H is tory (Hanover, N.H., 1987), p. 24. For a more complete discussion of this point see Maier, The Unmasterable Past, pp. 66 - 99, and Evans, In Hitler's Shadow, pp. 66 - 91.

19. Maier, The Unmasterable Past, pp. 74 - 75.

20. Ernst Nolte, "Between Myth and Revisionism," in Aspects of the Third Reich, ed. H. W. Koch (London, 1985), p. 27; Maier, The Unmasterable Past, p. 29.

21. Nolte, B ü rgerkrieg, pp. 500, 509 - 13, 592 - 93, n. 26, 29; Evans, In Hitler's Shadow, p. 168, n. 28.

22. Nolte, B ü rgerkrieg, pp. 317 - 18; also Nolte, 'Vergangenheit"; Evans, In Hitler's Shadow, p. 152, n. 20.

23. Evans, In Hitler's Shadow, p. 123.

24. For discussion of another way the "yes, but" syndrome manifested itself during the war and prevented many Americans, particularly publishers, editors, and reporters, from grasping the implications of the reports they were receiving, see Lipstadt, Beyond Belief, p. 270.

25. Je wis h Telegraphic Agency, Mar. 17, 1992.

26. According to Stephen J. Roth, only two of the laws, the French and Romanian, make specific reference to antisemitism. Stephen J. Roth, "Denial of the Holocaust as an Issue of Law" (to be published in Israel Yearbook of Human Rights).

27. U. S. Newswire, Aug. 27, 1992; Je wis h Telegraphic Agency, Aug. 28, 1992.

28. It also offered a critique of the Nuremberg trials which "astounded" those present in the courtroom (Jew is h Telegraphic Agency, Apr. 19, 1991).

29. Wa ll Street Journal, Apr. 9, 1985.

30. "Morning Edition," National Public Radio, December 1992.

31. Spotlight, June 1, 1992.

32. Ronald K. L. Collins, "Tort Case as Gag Device," National Law Journal, June 15, 1992, p. 15.

33. Toronto Sun, Oct. 15, 1992; Jerish Telegraphic Agency, Nov. 16, 1992.


1. Do c ument No. NI - 9912, cited in Technique, p. 18.

2. Ibid., p. 19.

3. Ibid., pp. 16, 165.

4. Robert Faurisson, Reply to Pierre Vidal - Naquet, quoted in Technique, p. 505.

5. "Deficiencies," p. 38; Technique, p. 16.

6. Technique, p. 18.

7. Le Monde, Jan 16, 1979, p. 13; Technique, p. 429.

8. Technique, p. 165.

9. Ibid., p. 429.

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.

12. Auschwitz State Museum (Panstwowe Muzeum Oswiecim [PMO], file BW 30/40, p. 100; Technique, pp. 430 - 32.

13. Technique, p. 503.

14. Ibid., p. 548.

15. Faurisson, Statement for the Defense, cited in Technique, p. 505.

16. Faurisson, "Reply to Pierre Vidal - Naquet, p. 78.

17. Technique, p. 554.

18. PMO file BW 30/28, p. 73, cited in Technique, p. 553.

19. PMO file BW 30/28, p. 68, cited in ibid., p. 555.

20. Technique, p. 554. When he discovered this doeument Pressac confronted Faurisson and told him that because of the many references to gas in the museum archives he no longer believe d Faurisson's thesis was valid.

21. Technique, p. 367.

22. Ibid ., p. 432.

23. PMO file BW 30/25, p. 7, cited in Technique, p. 432.

24. Ibid. , pp. 434, 438.

25. PMO file BW 30/25, p. 7, cited in Technique, pp. 367, 432.

26. BW 30/34, pp. 49, 50, cited in Technique, pp. 434, 438 - 39.

27. Technique, pp. 434, 436, 438 - 39.

28. Bauleitung drawing 252, PMO neg. no. 20943/181, reproduced in Technique, p. 512.

29. Bauleitung drawing 3764, PMO file BW 2/38, reproduced in Technique, p. 514.

30. March 29, 1944, Diary of Anne Frank: The C ri tical Edition (New York, 1989), p. 578 (hereafter cited as Diary of Anne Frank).

31. Gerrold van der Stroom, "The Diaries, Het Achterhu is and the Translations," Diary of Anne Frank, pp. 59 - 61.

32. Ibid., p. 63.

33. New York Times Book Review, June 15, 1952; Congress Weekly, Nov. 13, 1950; National Je wis h Post, June 30, 1952; David Barnouw, "The Play," Diary of Anne Frank, p. 78.

34. New York Law Journal, Feb. 27, 1959 cited in Barnouw, "The Play," p. 80.

35. New York Times, Nov. 27, 1966; Meyer Levin, The Obsession (New York, 1973), p. 262.

36. David Barnouw, "Attacks on the Authenticity of the Diary," Diary of Anne Frank, p. 84.

37. Ibid., p. 84.

38. Ibid., pp. 84 - 89.

39. Teressa Hendry, "Was Anne Frank's Diary a Hoax?" American Mercury (Summer 1967), reprinted in Myth of the Six Million, pp. 109 - 111.

40. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 19.

41. Hoax, p. 37.

42. Ditlieb Felderer, Anne Frank's Diary -- A Hoax? (Taby, Sweden, 1978). When the book was reprinted by the IHR the question mark was omitted from the title.

43. Dec. 6, 1943, Diary, pp. 424, 425.

44. Robert Faurisson, Le Journal d'Anne Frank est - il authentique? in Serge Thion, Vérité h is torique or vérité politique? (Paris, 1980), Barnouw, "Attacks on the Authenticity," pp. 94 - 95.

45. Aug. 5, 1943, Diary of Anne Frank, p. 385.

46. Dec. 6, 1943, Ibid., p. 424.

47. Nov. 9, 1943, Ibid., p. 301.

48. Robert Faurisson, Het Dagboek van Anne Frank -- een vervalsing (The diary of Anne Frank -- a forgery) (Antwerp, 1985), p. 18, cited in Barnouw, p. 95.

49. Barnouw, "Attacks on the Authenticity," p. 96.

50. Opinion of Federal Criminal Investigation Bureau, May 28, 1980; Hamburg, Landgericht, Romer/Geiss dossier, cited in Barnouw, "Attacks on the Authenticity," pp. 97 - 98.

51. Barnouw, "Attacks on the Authenticity," p. 99.

52. Der Spiegel, Oct. 6, 1980, cited in ibid., p. 98.

53. H. J. J. Hardy, "Document Examination and Handwriting Identification of the Text Known as the Diary of Anne Frank: Summary of Findings," Diary of Anne Frank, p. 164.

This is a part of Deborah Lipstadt's book, Denying the Holocaust -- The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory, 1993, Penguin. We offer this document in relation with a trial due to take place in the first days of Year 2000 in London, where British historian David Irving is suing Mrs. Lipstadt for defamation, --to allow the public to take freely cognizance of the sentences and words used by the author.

We downloaded this document in October 1999 from <www.angelfire/ak3/deny/pira1.html>. We have seen another copy at <>. Thanks to them all. As revisionists, we feel grossly misrepresented by Ms Lipstadt; we are not looking for redress in courts, but only in the minds of good readers. The rest of this site is enough, we believe, to prove Ms Lipstad wrong on all accounts. You may retrieve informations on the trial on David Irving's website.

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