In the late 1960s and 1970s, neofascist organizations and political parties in Western Europe, especially in England, grew in number and strength. These groups -- which vehemently opposed the presence in their countries of blacks, Asians, Arabs, Jews, and all non - Caucasian immigrants -- were responsible for launching a series of violent attacks on immigrants, minority groups, and Jewish institutions. In England the neofascist National Front built its political agenda on opposition to the immigration of Africans and East Asians from Commonwealth countries. By 1977 it was polling close to a quarter of a million votes in national elections.
These groups, whose ideology embraced racism, ethnocentrism, and nationalism, faced a dilemma. Since World War II, Nazism in general and the Holocaust in particular had given fascism a bad name. Those who continued to argue after the war that Hitler was a hero and national socialism a viable political system, as these groups tended to do, were looked upon with revulsion. Consequently Holocaust denial became an important element in the fabric of their ideology. If the public
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could be convinced that the Holocaust was a myth, then the revival of national socialism could be a feasible option.
This effort to deny the Holocaust was materially assisted by the publication in 1974 of a twenty - eight - page booklet, Did Six Million Really Die? The Truth at Last, by Richard Harwood. Sent to all members of Parliament, a broad spectrum of journalists and academics, leading members of the Jewish community, and a wide array of public figures, for close to ten years it was the preeminent British work on Holocaust denial. (1) Within less than a decade, more than a million copies had been distributed in more than forty countries. ( 2 ) Because at first glance it seemed to be a sober scholarly effort, many outside the circle of deniers were confused by the claims it made. Deniers continually cite it as an authoritative source.
Given the pamphlet's wide distribution, there was significant public curiosity about the identity of both the author and publisher. Richard E. Harwood was described as a writer who specialized in the political and diplomatic aspects of World War II and who was "at present with the University of London." It did not take the British press long to discover that this was false. The University of London told the Sunday Times that Harwood was neither a staff member nor a student and was totally unknown to it; it returned all mail to Harwood marked "Addressee Unknown." ( 3 ) In fact Richard Harwood was a pseudonym for Richard Verrall, the editor of Spearhead, the publication of the British right - wing neofascist organization the National Front. Did Six Million Really Die? is identical in format, layout, and printing with Spearhead. ( 4 ) Neither the National Front nor Verrall denied that he was the editor of the pamphlet. ( 5 ) In 1979 in a letter to the New Statesman, Verrall, who had a degree in history from the University of London, responding to articles on the Holocaust, reiterated the pamphlet's basic arguments and defended its conclusions against attacks that had appeared in the British press. He did so despite the fact that most of his conclusions had already been shown to be false. ( 6 ) He made no attempt to challenge the assertion that he was the author, even though the article in the New Statesman specifically identified him as such. His letter to the magazine was described by the editors as one of "numerous mock - scholarly letters" it regularly received from Verrall and his cohorts.
In addition to concealing the author's true identity, the publishers also attempted to camouflage their identity. Though the booklet listed the address of its publisher, Historical Review Press, the address was
that of a vacant building whose landlord, the British press discovered was Robin Beauclair, a farmer with established connections to the National Front and various other organizations all of which were dedicated to defending "racial purity." ( 7 ) Asked by the press about the publication, he declared the Holocaust part of a network of "Jewish propaganda" and revealed his own deep - rooted antisemitism. "Don't you know that we live under Jewish domination? The entire mass media is Jewish controlled. It is time that we as British people dictated our own destiny." ( 8 )
Not an original creation, this work was largely based on a small American book, The Myth of the Six Million, published in 1969 by Noontide Press, a subsidiary of the antisemitic Liberty Lobby. The American publication contained both an unsigned publisher's foreword and an introduction by an E. L. Anderson, identified as a contributing editor to American Mercury, which by that time had become unabashedly antisemitic. The anonymous publisher was apparently Willis Carto, founder of the Liberty Lobby, Noontide Press, and the Institute for Historical Review. Carto had, as we shall see in a subsequent chapter, long - standing ties to a melange of extremist right - wing political groups in the United States. (According to Carto's former associates, E. L. Anderson was a pseudonym of his. ) ( 9) The Myth of the Six Million also contained an appendix consisting of five articles that had originally appeared in the Carto - controlled American Mercury in 1967 - 68. They included App's "The Elusive 'Six Million,'" Barnes's "Zionist Fraud," Teressa Hendry's 'Was Anne Frank's Diary a Hoax?", "The Jews That Aren't," by Leo Heiman, "Paul Rassinier: Historical Revisionist," by Herbert C. Roseman, and a review of Rassinier's book by Harry Elmer Barnes.
The American publication was apparently written by David Hoggan, the Harvard Ph.D. whose work had influenced Harry Elmer Barnes. In 1969 he sued Noontide Press for damages, claiming authorship of The Myth of the Six Million. (10) (The book's introduction described the author as a college professor who had written this booklet in 1960 but had been unable to obtain a publisher daring enough to take the risks involved. It claimed that he could not reveal his identity because he wanted "one day [to] retire on a well - earned pension.) (11)
Both these publications consistently mixed truth with fiction, accurate with fabricated quotes, and outright lies with partially correct information. The manner in which the British work liberally paraphrased the American publication indicates that in many instances Harwood
may not have gone back to the original sources but simply repeated what the Americans had already said. * The Americans, in turn, had done their own borrowing from other deniers. This liberal borrowing was not something out of the ordinary for deniers, who make it a practice to draw on other deniers not only for their sources but for verification. They have long engaged in what has been described as an "incestuous merry - go - round [of] cross - fertilizing and compounding [of ] falsehood.'' (12) The basic arguments cited in both works are based on material gleaned from Rassinier, though in certain instances they go even further in their extremism. (13)
These publications constitute vivid examples of the relationship between Holocaust denial, racist nationalism, and antisemitism. Harwood complained that the "big lie" of the Holocaust stymied the growth of nationalism, and that whenever Britain or any other European nation attempted to preserve its "national integrity," it was immediately branded as neo - Nazi. (14) Preservation of a nation's national integrity had a specific meaning for both publications. The Holocaust myth threatened the "survival of the Race itself." Harwood echoed the familiar extremist charge that the Anglo - Saxon world faced the gravest danger in its history: the presence of"alien races" in its midst. Linking Holocaust denial and the defense of the "race," he argued that unless something was done to halt the immigration and assimilation of non - Caucasians, Anglo - Saxons were certain to experience not only "biological alteration" but the "destruction" of their Europe an culture and racial heritage. (15)
This argument -- a standard element in National Front ideology -- blamed Jews for engineering the racial and national degeneration of England as well as Europe as a whole. Shortly after the publication of Harwood's pamphlet, a National Front leader accused Jews of pouring "billions" into promoting "race mixing" in order to weaken nationalist identity throughout the world, thereby enhancing the possibility of their own world domination. (16) According to Harwood, Jews have used the Holocaust myth to preserve their heritage and, at the same time, render
other peoples "impotent" in their attempts at self - preservation. (1 7 ) In his view, Jews, who have relied on their formidable powers of manipulation, have reaped personal and communal gains at a substantial cost to the well - being and security of other nations. (There was no doubt, of course, that the nations Harwood was referring to were white ones.) Harwood complained that any time a person dared to speak of the race problem, he or she was branded a racist, a code word for Nazi, and that Nazi was, of course, synonymous with a perpetrator of the Holocaust. (1 8 )
The introduction to the American book made the same connection, arguing that the Holocaust myth made it impossible for America to deal with its "overwhelming race problem." The Holocaust had caused Nazism to fall into disrepute, consequently the problems that emanated from "Negro - White contact" in the same society could not be addressed for what they really were: biological and political. Anyone who dared to do so was accused of advocating "racism, the very hall mark of the Nazi!" (1 9 ) Since the 1960s and the increased immigration of non - Caucasians into Europe, particularly to Britain and France, the extreme right in each of these countries has articulated this strange melange of arguments that knit together racism, the revival of fascism, and Holocaust denial. In North America they have been espoused by an array of right - wing extremist groups. Given the connection between these two ideologies, it is logical to expect the Holocaust "hoax" to remain a fixed component of the litany of arguments posed by these extremist fringes of society.
In order to rehabilitate the reputation of National Socialism, these two publications tried to prove that the Nazis' intention was emigration, not annihilation. First they argued that the Final Solution was nothing but a plan to evacuate all Jews from the Reich. Then they tried to give this evacuation plan historical legitimacy by linking it with the name of the founder of the modern Zionist movement, Theodor Herzl. They claimed that the Nazis were simply trying to realize Herzl's original goal of transferring all the Jews to Madagascar. In fact Herzl never addressed the issue of Madagascar. At one point he briefly considered Uganda as an alternative to the land of Israel but dropped the idea when it met with furious opposition from other Zionists.
This is not the only way Harwood used revised history to transform the Nazis into supporters of emigration. Attempting to prove that the Nazis were primarily interested in a benign population transfer, he wrote that a main plank of the National Socialist party platform before 1933 was Jewish emigration to Madagascar. In fact emigration of the Jews was never included by the Nazis in their party platform prior to
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1933, let alone used as a main plank. ( 20 ) The Madagascar Plan was never mentioned as a possibility until the late 1930s. The Nazi slogan was Juda Verrecke, "perish Judah," not "emigrate Judah." The full meaning of Juda Verrecke is lost in English translation. It is akin to perishing like a "lice - ridden cur.'' (21) Nazi leaders, among them Josef Goebbels, Julius Streicher, and Hans Frank, frequently described Jews as vermin in need of extermination. In 1929 Goebbels wrote: "Certainly the Jew is a human being. But then the flea is a living thing too -- only not a pleasant one. Since the flea is not a pleasant thing, we are not obliged to keep it and let it prosper ... but our duty is rather to exterminate it. Likewise with the Jews." ( 22 ) In an article in the V ö lkischer Beobachter in 1921 Hitler described the Jews as "lice and bugs sucking the German people's blood out of its veins." ( 23 )
The claim that the Nazis were interested in Jewish emigration exemplifies how deniers draw falsehoods from truth. Emigration was indeed employed by the Nazis in the thirties as a means of ridding the Reich of Jews. From 1933 until 1939 the Nazis vigorously pushed the Jews to emigrate, and more than three - hundred - thousand, or approximately 50 percent of the German Jewish population, did so. While deniers use this data to portray the Nazis as benignly engaged in a population transfer, the Nazis' true intentions during the 1930s were to brutally destroy the German Jewish community and simultaneously sow seeds of antisemitism abroad. During the prewar period this was their means of creating a Germany that was Judenrein. The chaos of the war allowed them or, some would argue, forced them to move from emigration to annihilation. ** But even emigration -- when employed by the Nazis as a solution to the Reich's Jewish "problem" -- had diabolical intentions. A
Foreign Office memorandum of January 25, 1939, delineated the more cynical aspects of the emigration plan: "The poorer and therefore more burdensome the immigrant Jews to the country absorbing them, the stronger the country will react and the more favorable will the effect be in the interest of German propaganda." ( 24 ) As the Nazis exported penniless and desperate Jews, they also exported antisemitism. This was, in part, the reason why they stripped Jews of their possessions through an increasingly onerous emigration tax. By January 1939 they had been totally excised from the German economy. On occasion Reich leaders simply took groups of Jews and placed them outside Germany's borders, forcing their neighbors to have to accommodate a large group of destitute immigrants. The best known of these incidents took place on the Polish border at the end of October 1938 on the eve of Kristallnacht, the anti - Jewish Nazi pogrom of November 1938 during which hundreds of synagogues were destroyed and twenty - six - thousand Jews were put into concentration camps.
The emigration myth -- the idea that the Nazis stuck to their original aim of getting rid of Jews by emigration -- is easily refuted by Nazi documents, newspapers, and journals themselves, which are replete with statements by high - ranking officials and party leaders, attesting to their ultimate objective. The Nazi leader, Dr. Robert Ley, articulated these intentions in 1942 when he said that it was not enough to "isolate the Jewish enemy of mankind. The Jews have got to be exterminated." ( 25 ) In his testimony at Nuremberg, Victor Brack, who was in charge of the gassing of fifty - thousand mentally deficient and chronically ill Germans and Jews under the euthanasia program from 1939 to 1941, acknowledged that by March 1941, it was no secret among higher party circles that the "Jews were to be exterminated." ( 26 ) In a May 1943 article in the Berlin weekly Das Reich, Goebbels announced: "No prophetic utterance by the Fuhrer is being fulfilled with so gaunt an assurance and inescapable force as that another world war would cause the extinction of the Jewish race." ( 27 ) In October 1943 Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, told high - ranking of ficers in Posen that "we had a moral duty towards our people, the duty to exterminate this people [the Jews]." ( 28 )
Based on these and a multitude of other statements by Nazi leaders, including Hitler's own January 1939 promise to exterminate the Jews and his wartime repetition of that promise, there is no doubt that while emigration was employed to rid Germany of its Jewish population during the 1930s, once Poland came under Nazi control and portions of the Soviet Union, with its large Jewish populations, were targeted to be conquered, annihilation became German policy.
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Antisemitism was such a fundamental aspect of national socialism that even the most creative denier cannot claim it did not exist. Thus what they cannot deny or distort, they rationalize. We have already seen this in the attempts to portray German Jews as spies and partisans who deserved whatever the Nazis meted out. Harwood widened that scope. He interpreted Nazi antisemitism as Germany's legitimate response to attacks on it by "international Jewry." He argued that Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann's statement in 1939, on the outbreak of the war, that the Jews would stand by Great Britain and fight on the side of the democracies, constituted the Jews' declaration of war on Nazi Germany and transformed them into a threat to Germany's security. ( 29 ) Actually Weizmann never mentioned Great Britain in his statement but spoke of the democracies in general. Harwood added the reference to Great Britain. Harwood insisted that under the tenets of international law Hitler had the right to declare Jews enemy agents intent on prosecuting a war against the Reich. They could therefore be legitimately subjected to a policy of internment.
Harwood ignored the fact that Nazi antisemitic policies antedated Weizmanns pronouncement by almost seven years. Weizmann's statement was a response to those policies, not the reverse. Since 1933 Germany had excluded Jews from most professions and subjected them to economic boycotts, incarceration, physical violence, and horrendous degradation. This process was followed by the disenfranchisement of German Jews under the 1935 Nuremberg laws and the destruction and brutality of Kristallnacht in 1938. Weizmann was speaking as a leader of a stateless people who were in no position to wage a war of any kind against an independent, well - armed nation. ( 30 ) He was, after all, a citizen of Great Britain and Palestine was a British - mandated territory. A declaration of loyatty to the democracies in their war against Germany was the least -- and, on some level, the most -- he could do .
This ploy to cast Nazi antisemitism as a legitimate response to a threat to Germany's security could be dismissed were it not for the way it has been adopted by prominent historians. The German historian Ernst Nolte, whose books on fascism have become historical classics espoused the same argument regarding Weizmann's statement in his attempt to lessen Nazi responsibility for the outrages of World War II. Nolte was the historian most prominently associated in the 1980s with what has become known in Germany as the Historikerstreit, an effort by some historians, particularly those with conservative political tendencies, to normalize and relativize the history of the Nazi period by
arguing that many Nazi policies, including persecution of the Jews, were defensive reactions to foreign threats and were no different from what other countries have done in the past. Chancellor Helmut Kohl's invitation to President Ronald Reagan to join him in a wreath - laying ceremony at Bitburg was a political manifestation of this historical tendency to try to normalize the German past, particularly its National Socialist past. By asking the American president to accompany him to a German military cemetery that included fallen SS soldiers in an act of reconciliation, Kohl was attempting to lessen the historical blot on German nationalism and patriotism. He was not trying to rewrite or deny the past but to cast it in a different light. (31) One of the dangers of Holocaust denial is that it so stretches the parameters of the argument regarding Germany's wartime behavior that it renders Nolte's kind of relativism increasingly respectable. (For a fuller discussion of the relationship between relativism and denial see chapter 11.)
Echoing Harwood, Nolte contended that Weizmann's official declaration at the outbreak of hostilities gave Hitler good reason "to be convinced of his enemies' determination to annihilate him much earlier than when the first information about Auschwitz came to the knowledge of the world." ( 32 ) What power the Jews had to effect Hitler's annihilation Nolte did not specify. When Nolte was criticized on this point in light of prewar Nazi persecution of Jews, he said that he was only quoting David Irving, the right - wing writer of historical works. How quoting Irving justified using such a historically invalid point remains unexplained, unless one wishes to see it as a reflection of Nolte's personal predilections. ( 33 ) As we shall see in subsequent chapters, Irving, who had frequently proposed extremely controversial theories about the Holocaust, including the claim that Hitler had no knowledge of it, has become a Holocaust denier.
These works demonstrate how deniers misstate, misquote, falsify statistics, and falsely attribute conclusions to reliable sources. They rely on books that directly contradict their arguments, quoting in a manner that completely distorts the authors' objectives. Deniers count on the fact that the vast majority of readers will not have access to the documentation or make the effort to determine how they have falsified or misconstrued information.
Harwood attempted to prove that it was statistically impossible for six million Jews to have perished at the hands of the Nazis. The most cursory examination of his sources reveals his spurious methodology. He cited Chambers Encyclopedia, which according to Harwood con -
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cluded that the total Jewish population of prewar Europe was 6,500,000. "This would mean that almost the entire number were exterminated." How then, Harwood asks, was it possible for so many Jews to emigrate to other countries or to receive reparations if almost all had been annihilated? ( 34 )
Chambers does in fact cite a figure of 6,500,000, but not as the size of the Jewish population of prewar Europe:
On the continent of Europe apart from Russia, whose western provinces also suffered terribly, only a handful of numerically unimportant communities in neutral countries escaped and of the 6,500,000 Jews who lived in the Nazi - dominated lands in 1939, barely 1,500,000 remained alive when the war ended six years later. ( 35 )
Chambers specifically excluded from its figure of 6,500,000 the Jewish population in the Soviet Union and those countries that were not dominated by the Nazis in 1939.
Harwood also argued that the majority of German Jews left Germany prior to the outbreak of the war. Consequently they were not within reach of the Nazis and were safe from any form of persecution. ( 36 ) They could not therefore be counted among the six million. It is correct that more than 50 percent of German Jews emigrated. Though many went to places that in the mid - 1930s seemed perfectly saf e for example, the Netherlands, France, and Belgium, they were eventually caught up in the Nazi maelstrom. Given that six million is cited as the death toll of all European Jewry, the percentage of Jews who emigrated is a meaningless statistic unless one notes their destination.
Whatever sources deniers cannot twist they ignore, particularly when they contradict their most basic contentions. Such was the case with the Cha m bers Encyclopedia. After citing the population figures the encyclopedia discussed the "systematic campaign of annihilation in a series of death camps" as a result of which one - third of the Jewish population was killed. ( 37 )
Harwood repeatedly used partial information to distort trustworthy sources. He wrote that the Baseler Nachrichten, a Swiss newspaper, reported in June 1946 that "a maximum of only one and a half million Jews could be numbered as casualties." ( 38 ) Harwood neglected to mention a subsequent article in the same paper that acknowledged that the previous figure was incorrect and that the accurate number of victims was 5,800,000. ( 39 )
He similarly twisted the conclusions reached by Margarete Buber in Under Two Dictators. According to Harwood she proved that the con -
centration camps were comfortable institutions with sufficient food and facilities to allow inmates to live in relatively acceptable conditions. He identified the author as a German Jewish woman, who was the only Jew in her group of deportees from Russia who was not immediately allowed by the Gestapo to return to Russia. ( 40 ) There is nothing in the book to indicate that Buber was Jewish. More significant is the manner in which Harwood misconstr ued her description of Ravensbrü ck. According to Harwood she found it "clean, civilized and well - administered." When she first arrived in 1940 she ate a meal of "white bread, sausage, leek porridge and dried fruit.'' ( 4 1) She lived in these comfortable circumstances until 1945, when "she experienced the progressive decline of camp conditions." In making this claim, Harwood was voicing a familiar argument. According to the deniers the terrible conditions of the camps were caused by the Allied destruction of the German civilian communication, transportation, and supply systems. The Allies, who wrought havoc on Germany's civilian infrastructure during the latter stages of the war, prevented the Germans from feeding camp inmates. That is why the survivors in the camps were in such an emaciated condition when the camps were opened. Harwood absolved the victimizers and blamed the victors, transforming the Allies into perpetrators responsible for much of the suffering that occured in Germany. More to the purpose, something that could not be denied -- the inmates' skeletal condition -- was explained away.
But this version of Buber's account is totally at va ri ance with what she actually says. Buber explicitly describes conditions that had broken down long before 1945. She made specific reference to executions, starvation, and terrible conditions that existed prior to the Allied raids of 1945. In addition to relating how inmates died as a result of being "beaten, starved, or frozen to death in the punishment cells," she made specific references to gas chambers and executions. Referring to the crematorium in the camp, she wrote the "SS men were fond of telling us that the only wa y we should ever leave Ravensbrü ck would be 'up the chimney.'" ( 42 ) Harwood ignored these references in Buber's work, transforming a book that explicitly depicted the horror of the camps into one that renders them benign. ***
Harwood also used selective quotations to turn Colin Cross's Adolf Hitler inside out. He claimed Cross concluded that moving millions of Jews around Europe and "murdering them in a time of desperate war
emergency was useless from any rational point of view." ( 43) Harwood implied that Cross, in dismissing the annihilation program as totally irrational, believed it did not exist. Such is not the case, virtually all Holocaust scholars call attention to the fact that the Nazi annihilation of the Jews was irrational. Skilled workers were killed even if their tasks were unfinished. Precious freight cars needed to transport materiel to the front were used to carry Jews to their deaths. The Holocaust must be understood as something inherently lacking in functional reason . Therefore Cross's description of it as irrational cannot be interpreted as indicative of denial tendencies. As he had with Buber's book, Harwood ignored an array of passages that attested to Cross's firm belief that there had been a plan for the annihilation of the Jews: "It was with the attack on the Soviet Union in 1941 that Hitler's policy switched decisively to mass murder." ( 44 ) Neither was there doubt in Cross's mind about Hitler's role in the Final Solution:
Even the most cursory examination of the facts points to the extreme possibility that Hitler was not only aware of the policy but was its active instigator ... Moreover, Himmler repeatedly and definitely told his officials according to the minutes of meetings, that the extermination programme was based upon the leader's orders. Finally there are statements in Hitler's 'Testament' of 1945 in which are recounted the destruction of European Jewry as his achievement. ( 45 )
Moreover, Cross stressed that the Holocaust was a "fundamental" aspect of Hitler's policy. "The number of men, women and children who were herded into gas chambers and murdered simply for being Jews did run into millions." ( 46 )
Harwood employed this tactic of trying to make a book say what it does not in an even more systematic fashion in his treatment of the three - volume 1948 report of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on its attempts to assist those interned in camps. Blatantly misrepresenting the information contained in the report Harwood tried to make it appear to lend credibility to the deniers' proclamations. He described it as the only survey regarding the Jewish question in Europe during World War II and the conditions of Germany's concentration camps that was not only "unique in its honesty and objectivity" but strictly politically neutral. According to him it demonstrated that the International Red Cross had found no evidence "whatever" in camps in Axis - occupied Europe of a "deliberate policy to exterminate the Jews." (47) Harwood contended that in all its sixteen hundred pages the report failed to make any mention of "such a thing as a
gas chamber." # Though the ICRC admitted that Jews had suffered rigors and privations, as had many other wartime nationalities, "its complete silence on the subject of planned extermination is ample refutation of the Six Million legend." ( 48 )
Harwood could make this claim only by ignoring key sections of the ICRC report. The Red Cross was absolutely specific about the Jews' fate. It made reference to the Nazi attempt to annihilate them, observing that under Nazi rule Jews had been transformed into "outcasts condemned by rigid racial legislation to suffer tyranny, persecution and systematic extermination." ( 49 ) The ICRC, which was empowered to exercise supervision over other prisonevs and POWs, admitted it could not do this for the Jews. "No kind of protection shielded them; being neither POW nor civilian internees, they formed a separate category without the benefit of any Convention." Most important, the ICRC specifically delineated how systematic annihilation was carried out: "They were penned into concentration camps and ghettos, recruited for forced labour, subjected to grave brutalities and sent to death camps without anyone being allowed to intervene in those matters." ( 50 ) These were not the ICRC's only references to death camps or systematic annihilation. Among the other references were the following:
During the period in September Ig40, when the "Iron Guard" [Romania] supported by the Gestapo and the German sS had seized power, the Jews had been subjected to persecution and deportation to death camps. (51)
In Germany and her satellite countries, the lot of the civilians belonging to this group was by far the worst. Subjected as they were to a discriminatory regime, which aimed more or less openly at their extermination, they were unable to procure the necessities of life. (52)
Harwood contended that the report made "nonsense" of the allegation that there were "gas chambers cunningly disguised as shower facilities." He substantiated this assertion by quoting a passage from the report that depicted how ICRC offlcials inspected baths and showers in the camps. When they found problems they acted swiftly "to have fixtures made less primitive and to have them repaired or enlarged." ( 53 ) This, Harwood argued, demonstrated conclusively that showers functioned as showers, however primitive, and not as killing apparatus. The problem with Harwood's choice of this citation, which he quoted cor -
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rectly, is that the passage had nothing to do with German concentration camps: It referred to Allied camps for civilian internees in Egypt. ( 5 4)
Harwood repeatedly asserted that from August 1942 the ICRC was allowed to visit and distribute food parcels to major concentration camps in Germany, and that from February 1943 this privilege was extended to all other camps and prisons. ( 55 ) Harwood claimed that this information was to be found on page 78 of the report's third volume. The page did refer to "major concentration camps" in Germany but indicated that they included only Dachau and Oranienburg. The concession that was extended in 1943 included all other camps and prisons in Germany. ( 56 ) This meant that numerous camps outside Germany were not included. Moreover, the Red Cross acknowledged that it was limited to giving parcels only to deported aliens for whom it had addresses, and that many inmates, among them the vast majority of Jews, were not allowed to receive food parcels at all.
In yet another attempt to misrepresent the ICRC's findings Harwood contended that the relief organization had documented the fact that a significant proportion of European Jews had not been interned in camps "but remained, subject to certain restrictions, as part of the free civilian population." This, he declared, conflicted directly with Jewish claims that the "extermination programme" was conducted with great "thoroughness." In this instance Harwood neglected to quote the opening paragraph of the chapter on which he based these assertions. It completely contradicted his claims regarding the Jews' fate:
No other section of the population endured such humiliation, privation and suffering. Deprived of all treat,v protection, persecuted in accordance with National Socialist doctrine and threatened with extermination, the Jews were ... generally deported in the most inhuman manner, shut up in concentration camps, subjected to forced labour or put to death. ( 57 )
Harwood's misuse of the ICRC report is a reflection of how deniers fairly certain that few people will be able to check the original material tsvist information and findings. Rather than misquote, as with other sources, Harwood simply omits those numerous sections of the report which contradict his claims.
Harwood even used other sources to try to misrepresent the ICRC's findings. He claimed that a Swiss paper, Die Tat, had surveyed all World War II casualties and concluded, based on ICRC statistics, that the number of victims of political, racial, or religious persecution who
died in prisons and concentration camps between 1939 and 1945 amounted to "300,000, not all of whom were Jews." Harwvood argued that this figure was the most accurate assessment of the number of victims. ( 58 ) The Swiss paper did cite the 300,000 figure, but only in reference to "Germans and German Jews," not nationals of other countries. ( 59 ) It did not conduct a survey of all World War II casualities and made no reference to Red Cross figures.
The ICRC, inundated with correspondence about these assertions, has repeatedly attempted to refute the deniers' claims. In 1978 the official ICRC Bulletin protested that the rescue agency "has never published or even compiled statistics" of the kind that were being attributed to it. The work of the ICRC was to "help war victims not to count them." Even if it had wished to count victims, it could not have done so because its representatives were permitted to enter only a few concentration camps and "only in the final days of the war." (60) This was not the first time the ICRC tried to refute Harwood's charges. In 1975, after Harwood's pamphlet appeared in England and increasing numbers of right - wing groups began to reiterate the claims about the record of the humanitarian organization, the central office of the ICRC wrote to the Board of Deputies of British Jews in London regarding Harvvood's citations: "The figures cited by the author of the booklet are based upon statistics falsely attributed to us, evidently for the purpose of giving them credibility, despite the fact that we never publish information of this kind.'' ( 6 1)
Despite the various attempts by the ICRC to set the historical record straight, the deniers have continued to rely on this disinformation. In 1985 at the trial of Ernst Zundel, a German immigrant who was accused by the Canadian government of publishing and distributing Holocaust denial materials, including Did Six Million Really Die?, these false claims regarding the ICRC were introduced by the defense as a means of demonstrating that the relief agency thought the Holocaust was a myth. ( 62 )
In a fashion that has become typical of all deniers, Harwood relied on traditional antisemitic stereotypes to make his case. He asserted that Germany's persecution of the Jews was the major reason the Allies went to war. ( 63 ) This claim was intended to buttress the antisemitic stereotype of the power of the Jews to compel the Allies to accede to their wishes. Harwood conveniently ignored the fact that Germany began the war by attacking Poland on September 1, 1939. The United States, which was well aware of the extent of the suffering of the Jews, did not enter the war in Europe until after Pearl Harbor, when
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Germany declared war on the United States. All the Allies had carefully tracked Germany's treatment of the Jews since 1933. They had not declared war on Nazi Germany after the Nuremberg laws, Kristallnacht, or any of the numerous indignities meted out to the Jews in the prewar period. The United States, which knew of the massacres of Jews on the Russian front in 1941, did not act to help. Clearly, had it been mistreatment of the Jews that prompted the Allies to act, they should have gone to war long before they did.
Harwood also misconstrued the Nuremberg trials. He claimed that the court accepted three - hundred - thousand "written affidavits" containing charges against those accused of war crimes. Harwood insisted that the large number of affidavits was indicative of the extent of the hoax. At the Zundel trial Raul Hilberg, who was called as an expert witness, estimated that in the aggregate approximately forty - thousand documents had been submitted by the prosecution. Included in these were copies of German correspondence and Third Reich documentation. Notwithstanding the fact that the assertions regarding three - hundredthousand affidavits has no basis in truth, it has become a standard part of Holocaust denial. Harwood's most outlandish assertion regarding the trial was that defense lawyers at Nuremberg were prevented from cross - examining prosecution witnesses. ( 64 ) The most cursory examination of the records of the Nuremberg trials indicates that attorneys had the opportunity to conduct cross - examinations.
Harwood also attempted to convince readers that the Diary of Anne Frank was a fraud. In a section entitled "Best - Seller a Hoax," he asserted that the Diary was part of the "fabrication of a propaganda legend." ( 65 ) Harwood was not the first to try to cast doubt on the authenticity of the Diary. He was building on attacks on the Diary's credibility that had begun as early as 1957. (For a more complete discussion of the deniers' campaign against the Diary see appendix.) This theme would be more fully developed by French denier Robert Faurisson and would be at least partially responsible for the 1989 decision of the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation to issue a critical edition of the Diary firmly verifying its authenticity. ( 66 )
Given the vast array of misstatements, misquotes and outright falsifications in Harwood's pamphlet, questions regar d ing its impact remain. Until the publication of The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, by Arthur Butz of Northwestern University, it remained the most frequently cited work on Holocaust denial. Because it is shorter and more cheaply reproduced than Butz's, it remains in circulation today. It is, of course, impossible to assess the precise degree to which it has entered
mainstream literature. But on at least one occasion its arguments were cited virtually verbatim in a major British publication -- not as examples of distortions and fallacious findings by a right - wing extremist, but as legitimate historical research.
In 1974 a lengthy two - part review of Joachim Fest's biography of Hitler appeared in the English magazine books and bookmen. ## The review was written by Colin Wilson, a well - known British novelist and critic, who periodicallv reviewed books for the magazine. At the end of the second part of his review of Fest's book, the reviewer added what he himself described as "a curious -- but highly relevant -- postscript. (67) Wilson related that a number of years earlier he had received an advertisement from a Dublin publisher for The Myth of the Six Million. "Curious" about this, he sent off for it, only to discover that the publisher had sold out. While he was writing the Fest review he received the pamphlet by Richard Harwood of the University of London. Wilson summarized Harwood's argument:
What Harwood says, briefly, is that Hitler had no reason to murder Jews when he needed them for forced labour. He goes on to point out that the total number of Jews in Europe before the war was six and a half millions [sic], and that one and a half million emigrated abroad. Harwood cites figures from international organizations -- all quoted -- to demonstrate that there were not more than three million Jews in Nazi Germany. ( 68 )
Wilson was impressed by Harwood's denial of the existence of extermination camps and accepted as fact his allegation that most of the memoirs about the camps were "journalistic forgeries, churned out like pornography for an audience that revels in horrors." He also believed Harwood accurately cited figures from international organizations such as the ICRC. Wilson acknowledged that when he checked Raul Hilberg's "gigantic, half - million word" book and the fifty - plus other books he had in his library on the topic he found it hard to believe that the Holocaust was "all an invention." He conceded that there was plenty of evidence to prove that the Third Reich detested Jews and that Hitler would have "thought nothing of exterminating" them. Nonetheless, after reading Harwood's volume he found it pertinent to ask whether the Nazis had really exterminated six million Jews or whether claims that they had were just another "emotional historical distortion."
Finally, in his most provocative musing thus far -- others would follow -- he wondered, if the Final Solution had indeed been a hoax, "would it not be better to be prepared to face the whole truth, no matter how unpleasant?" ( 69 ) Wilson left no doubt that Harwood had convinced him of the unpleasant truth: The Holocaust was a myth.
As was to be expected, Wilson's ruminations launched an avalanche of letters to the magazine, including two from Harwood. Many of the letters cited evidence contradicting Harwood's conclusions. In the face of such information Wilson became even more passionate in his defense of Harwood's views. In response to this barrage of letters he offered a strange prediction that, it could be argued, reflected his own personal biases: "Some time over the next ten years or so, an Israeli historian is going to write a book called The Myth of the Six Million. It will cause a tremendous scandal; he will be violently attacked -- and will become a rich man. And no one will be able to accuse him of being anti Jewish." (70) Wilson was trying to bolster his case by relying on the same argument made by both Barnes and App: Jews accuse those who question the existence of the Holocaust of being antisemites in order to silence them.
Regarding the books he had collected on the topic, he wrote, "I would like to know how many of my fifty books on the death camps are forgeries." ( 7 1) His willingness tacitly to accept Harwood's contention that the books were forgeries or "communist propaganda," and to ignore the possibility that Harwood might be the forger, is particularly telling. In response to still more letters, he described Harwood's tone as "reasonable and logical" and "devoid of hysteria or emotional antisemitism." He explained that Harwood made sense to him because he quoted figures and listed his sources and his tone was "generally rather pedantic." This evaluation by Wilson is further evidence of why the new pseudo - academic style adopted by deniers in recent years is so dangerous. Their packaging, which mimics legitimate scholarly research, confuses consumers. Readers are more susceptible to being influenced by an academic style than by poorly printed ext remist and racist publications. (7 2 )
In response to attacks for espousing Harwood's views, Wilson protested almost reflexively that he was not anti - Nazi or anti - Jewish but "deeply pro 'objectivity."' Such protestations are reminiscent of deniers' claims that they are only interested in the truth and harbor no sympathies toward Nazis or antipathies toward Jews. ( 73 )
The controversy continued until June 1975. Eventually even the editors of books and bookmen felt compelled to respond to readers who
criticized the magazine for assigning Harwood's work for review. The editors assured readers that the pamphlet was "never sent to Colin Wilson for review by b & b nor has it ever been the subject of a review in b & b." ( 74 ) Wilson had included it on his own. The penultimate letter the editors published on this controversy was from Harwood himself. In it he reiterated his false claims regarding the Chambers Encyclopedia's estimates of the prewar Jewish population of Europe. It was followed by a letter that can be interpreted as the magazine's final editorial comment on the entire matter. The letter writer wondered if the deniers could explain: 'What happened to my German Jewish parents, grandparents and cousins, since I find it hard to attribute their deaths, attested to by the International Red Cross, either to Nazi benevolence or Russian propaganda."' (7 5 )
In the face of this query there was only silence.
* For example, both the Ame ri can and the British authors des cri be Eichmann's assistant as "a nervous wreck and addicted to uncontrollable fits of sobbing for hours" (pp. 46, 11). In addition, Dr. M. Nyiszli, the author of Doctor at Auschwitz, is described in the American and the B ri tish versions as "apparently a mythical and invented figure" (pp. 118, 20). Nyiszli was a Jewish doctor who worked under the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele as a pathologist. H is role is well established in documents and testimonies. There are numerous other examples of "shared" citations and paraphrasing. See, for example, the section on the International Committee of the Red Cross, "Letters of thanks which came pou ri ng in from Jewish internees." (pp. 99, 25). Compare also p. 98 with p. 24 and p. 101 with p. 25.
** Scholars debate at what point in 1941 the Nazis decided to murder all the Jews in their sphere of influence. The prospect of having many millions of Jews, including those in the Soviet Union, under their rule when they overran that country led them to conclude that murder was the only "efficient" means of dealing with the Jewish "problem." Intentionalists argue that the Nazis intended from the outset to eventually murder the Jews and that there was a high degree of consistency and orderly sequence in the Final Solution. Functionalists believe that there was no blueprint for the murder of the Jews but that the annihilation program was initially a means for the Nazis to emerge from a blind alley into which they had maneuvered themselves. Functionalists argue that in its first stages the murder program was improvised, and it proceeded in a haphazard fashion.
I do not intend to enter the debate between the intentionalists and the functionalists. Both groups essentially agree that the war and especially the invasion of the Soviet Union made the annihilation process possible -- irrespective of when and how the idea originated. Until 1939 the Nazis tried to get ri d of the Jews by pressuring them into emigration. After that time they forcibly extruded them. For an excellent summary of this entire debate see Michael R. Marrus, The Holocaust in History, (New York, 1989 [pbk.]), pp. 34 48.
*** Buber's book contains a va ri ety of historical flaws. I use her work not as a historical source but as an example of how deniers regularly falsify authors' conclusions.
# The American publication The Myth of the Six Million made the same claim about the ICRC report (p. 101).
## Joachim C . Fest, Hitler (London, 1974).
Chapter 6. Deni al: A Tool of the Radical Right
1. Sunday Times, Feb. 23, 1975; it was also published under the title Six Million Lost and Found.
2. New Statesman, Nov. 2, 1979, p. 670.
3. Sunday Times, Feb. 23, 1975.
4. Books and bookmen (May 1975), p. 5. For background on the ideology of the National Front see Richard C. Thurlow, "The Witches' Brew," in Patterns of Prejudice, vol. 5 - 6 (1978), pp. 1 - 9.
5. Seidel, The Holocaust Denial, p. 113.
6. New Statesman, Nov. 2, 1979, p. 670.
7. Holmes, "Historical Revisionism in Britain," p. 6.
8. Daily Express, June 17, 1974.
9. C. H. Simonds, "The Strange Story of Willis Carto," National Review, Sept. 10, 1971, p. 981.
10. After a number of years of continued litigation he withdrew his complaint; Davidowiez, "Lies About the Holocaust," p. 33.
11. The Myth of the Six Million, pp. 1 - 3.
12. Holmes, "Historical Revisionism in Britain," p. 6.
13. Richard Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die? The Truth at Last (London, n.d.), p. 28.
14. Ibid., p. 2.
15. Ibid., pp. 2, 3.
16. Martin Webster, "Why Zionism Opposes British Nationalism," Spearhead (February 1977), p. 12.
17. Ibid., p. 3.
19. The Myth of the Six Million, pp. 2 - 3 (italics added).
20. For background on the Madagascar Plan see Leni Yahil, The Holocaust: The Fate of European Je w ry (New York, 1990), pp. 253 - 55; Philip Friedman, "The Lublin Reservation and the Madagascar Plan: Two Aspects of Nazi Jewish Policy during the Second World War," YIVO Annual of Je w ish Social Studies (1953), pp. 151 - 77; Christopher R. Browning, The Final Solution and the German Foreign O ffi ce: A Study of Referat D3 of Abteilung Deutschland, 1940 - 1943 (New York, 1978).
21. Aronsfeld, The Text of the Holocaust, p. 1.
22. Joseph Goebbels, Der Nazi - Sozi (Munich, 1929), p. 8, cited in Aronsfeld, The Text of the Holocaust, p. 12.
23. Eberhard Jackel and Axel Kuhn, eds., Hitler, S ä mtliche Aufzeichnungen 1905 - 1924 (Stuttgart, 1980), p. 368; Aronsfeld, The Text of the Holocaust, p. 12.
24. Nuremberg Do c ument PS 3358, cited in Aronsfeld, The Text of the Holocaust, p. 13.
25. In a speech at Karlsruhe as reported in the Strassburger Neueste Nachrichten, May 2, 1942, cited in Aronsfeld, The Text of the Holocaust, p. 13.
26. Robert Wistrich, "Letters," books and bookmen, Apr. 1975, p. 7.
27. Das Reich, May 9, 1943, cited in Aronsfeld, The Text of the Holocaust, p. 14.
28. International Military Tribunal, Trials of the Major War Criminals Before the Inte rnational Military Tribunal: (Offic ial Text, vol. 29, pp. 110 - 73. See also Lucy Dawidowi c z, A Holocaust Reader (New York, 1976), pp. 130 - 40.
29. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 4.
30. Maier, The Unmasterable Past, pp. 67 - 68.
31. Ilya Levkov, "Introduction," Bitburg and Beyond: Encounters in American, German and Jewish History (New York, 1987), p. 27.
32. Ernst Nolte, "Between Myth and Revisionism? The Third Reich in the Perspective of the 1980s," in Aspects of the Third Re i ch, ed. H. W. Koch (London, 1985), pp. 36 - 37. Maier, The Unmasterable Past, p. 29.
33. Maier, The Unmasterable Past, p. 179, n. 34.
34. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 5.
35. "Jewish History," Chambers Encyclopedia, p. 99 (italics added).
36. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 5.
37. "Jewish History," Chambers Encyclopedia, p. 99.
38. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 14.
39. Baseler Nachrichten, October 7, 1952; Aronsfeld, The Text of the Holocaust, p. 14.
40. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 20.
42. Margarete Buber, Under Two Dictators (London, 1950), pp. 208, 242 - 43, 304.
43. Colin Cross, Adolf Hitler (London, 1973), p. 307, cited in Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 20.
44. Ibid., p. 365.
45. Ibid., p. 366.
46. Ibid., p. 369.
47. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 24. For analysis of his use of the ICRC report, see Arthur Suzman and Denis Diamond, Six Million Did D i e: The Truth Shall Prevail (Johannesburg, 1977), pp. 10 - 13.
48. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 25.
49. The Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on its Activities during the Second World War (Geneva, 1948), vol. 1, p. 641 (italics added). The report is replete with numerous quotes that demonstrate that Harwood totally misconstrued its findings. For additional examples see Suzman and Diamond, Six Million Did Die, p. 12.
50. Report of the ICRC, vol. 1, p. 641 (italics added).
51. Ibid. (italics added).
52. Ibid., vol. 2, p. 514 (italics added).
53. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 25.
54. Report of the ICRC, vol. 1, p. 594. Harwood incorrectly cited this passage as coming from vol. 3.
55. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 25.
56. Report of the ICRC, vol. 3, p. 77.
57. Report of the ICRC, vol. 3, chap. 3, cit ed in "Harwood's Distortions of Holocaust Facts," Patterns of Prejudice (May - June, 1975), p. 26 (italics added).
58. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 28.
59. Die Tat, Jan. 19,1955.
60. ICRC Bulletin No. 25, Feb. 1, 1978, cited in Patterns of Prejudice (March -April 1978), p. 11 .
61. Franc oise Perret, Comité International de la Croix - Rouge, to Jacob Gewirtz, Board of Deputies of British Jews, August 22,1975.
62. Her Majesty the Queen vs. Ernst Zundel, District Court of Ontario, 1988 (hereafter referred to as Zundel), vol. 9, pp. 1970 ff.
63. Harwood, Did Six Million Really Die?, p. 12.
64. Ibid., p. 10.
65. Ibid., p. 19.
66. David Barnouw and Gerrold Van Der Stroom, eds., The Diary of Anne Frank.
67. Colin Wilson, "The F ü hrer in Perspective: 2," books and bookmen (Nov. 1974), p.31.
70. Ibid. (Jan. 1975), p.5.
71. Ibid., p. 6.
72. Ibid. (Feb. 1975), p.6.
74. Ibid. (Apr. 1975), p.10.
75. Ibid. (June 1975), p.6.
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 <www.altern.org/lipo/pira1.html>. 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.
ARTICLE 19. <Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.>The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, in Paris.