[Begin Part 3/4]
Major Walsh then offered in evidence an official United States Government Report dated 1944 issued by the Executive Office of the President of the United States War Refugee Board on the German camps at Auschwitz and Birkenau. In this report the number of Jews gassed in Birkenau alone in the two year period between April 1942 and April 1944 is 1,765,000.
Document 3311-PS, said Faurisson, was signed by Tadeusz Cyprian, Poland's representative on the Allied Commission of War Crimes, and gave a description of what allegedly happened in Treblinka. This document, by virtue of Article 21 of the Nuremberg charter, had the value of judicial notice. The "official truth" in 1946 in Nuremberg, therefore was that the Jews were not gassed in Treblinka but were killed in steam chambers. Other documents said that the people in Treblinka were killed by electricity. This later changed; electricity and steam were abandoned and the new official story said that the Jews had been killed by gas. No historian today, said Faurisson, would claim that people were killed by steam in Treblinka. This same type of thing happened for Auschwitz and Belzec. It was "...quite characteristic of rumours about a place which [is] closed; more or less secret. The people from the outside say awful stories. This one invent electricity; this one steam; this one gas, and other things. So the official truth, even on details, if I may say so, is really changing. Very much." But there was nothing in Six Million Did Die, said Faurisson, which indicated that what Major Walsh had claimed was false. (30-8411 to 8413)
Faurisson testified that the figure of 1,765,000, as the number of Jews gassed in Birkenau in a two year period, came from Nuremberg document L-90, a document of the War Refugee Board published in November of 1944. It was the first official report of the Allies on Auschwitz and Birkenau. The principal author of the report was a man named Rudolf Vrba, who was today a Canadian citizen and a professor in British Columbia. Faurisson had heard Vrba explain how he got the figure of 1,765,000 in a trial in Toronto.12 Vrba stated that he arrived at the figure using a special system of memorizing. Said Faurisson: "He had a kind of technique of memory to register all the convoys of the people arriving in Birkenau day and night and being gassed and so on..."(30-8413 to 8416)
Vrba claimed that in a 24-month period, 150,000 Jews from France were gassed in Birkenau. However, said Faurisson, it was now known that a total of exactly 75,781 Jews were deported from France, not just to Birkenau but all other camps as well. This information came from the book Le Mémorial de la déportation des Juifs de France (Memorial of the Deportation of the Jews from France) by Serge Klarsfeld, published in 1978. Klarsfeld obtained his information from the Auschwitz Museum in Poland and from the Centre of Jewish Contemporary Documentation in Paris, France. "So, how was it possible," asked Faurisson, "if you send away 75,000 people for the entire war, that you get at the end something like exactly 150,000 gassed for only 24 month...in Birkenau.." (30-8417, 8418)
It was thanks to Klarsfeld that it was discovered that many Jews who were supposed to have been gassed were alive. One such example was Simone Veil, the president of the European Parliament, who was deported to Auschwitz on a convey of people which The Kalendarium of Auschwitz listed as being gassed. Klarsfeld discovered that others of these allegedly gassed convoys had not even existed. (30-8418, 8419)
On page 81 of Six Million Did Die, the authors dealt further with the address of Nuremberg prosecutor Major Walsh:
Major Walsh further referred to the affidavit of Dr. Wilhelm Höttl (Document 2738-PS) which contained the following statement:
"Approximately 4,000,000 Jews had been killed in the various concentration camps, while an additional 2,000,000 met death in other ways, the major part of whom were shot by operational squads of the Security Police during the campaign against Russia."
Said Faurisson: "It is false that Dr. Wilhelm Höttl said that. I'm sorry, I don't have the document there, but it's easy to check it. Wilhelm Höttl was a higher-ranking officer of the Main Security Office, and he said in this affidavit that one day he met Eichmann in Budapest and that Eichmann told him that 4 million had been killed, plus 2 million." (30-8421)
Judge Ron Thomas interjected: "It says, 'which contained the following statement'. It referred to the affidavit of Dr. Wilhelm Höttl 'which contained the following statement'...All right, what's false about that?" (30-8421)
Faurisson replied: "I think that any reader would interpret, as I did it. I mean that it was Höttl who stated that...but there is something much more grave about that...It's the fact that on the 14th December, 1945, at the International Military Tribunal, in the morning...Major Walsh read this affidavit, and the defence lawyer of the German accused did not react, although it was this extraordinary figure of 6 million." Faurisson did not think that the figure of 6 million had been mentioned before in the trial: "I don't think it had been said before the 14th of December, 1945. I think that the beginning of the 6 million...is 14 of December, 1945, in the morning. And in the afternoon, at the beginning of the afternoon, one of the defence lawyer, Dr. Kauffmann, defence lawyer of Kaltenbrunner, said: 'Your Honour, I've heard that story of the 6 million. It is so grave that I want this man Höttl to come here to testify, and it's easy to do because Höttl is there in jail in Nuremberg'. And the American prosecutor stood up and said, 'No, Your Honour, I didn't mean it', but you must understand that those words are not exactly, of course, those of the prosecutor. I'm saying by memory. I only wanted to give you an idea of the idea of Höttl about the 6 million, and Höttl was not called, but the 6 million figure stayed, and in the judgment it is said that Eichmann himself said that it was 6 million. That's the beginning of the 6 million myth." Eichmann was not called at Nuremberg because at that time no one knew where he was. (30-8421 to 8423)
Throughout Six Million Did Die, said Faurisson, was the constant repetition of words such as "deliberate", "intentional", "methodical", to describe the "destruction" of the Jews. Faurisson reiterated that this was no longer accepted by historians today. By repeating the words, however, the book attempted to brainwash the reader. Said Faurisson: "This book is a kind of brainwashing book." (30-8424)
On page 83 of Six Million Did Die, the authors dealt with the evidence of Otto Ohlendorf, the commander of Einsatzgruppe D which operated in the Southern Ukraine. Ohlendorf gave evidence for the prosecution, testifying that Einsatzgruppe D liquidated 90,000 people in a one year period. (30-8424, 8428)
Faurisson testified that today the activities of the Einsatzgruppen were more well-known than they were ten years, or twenty years or thirty years ago. In his opinion, the historians were now trying to replace the gas chambers with the Einsatzgruppen and the gas vans. (30-8424, 8425)
Faurisson quoted from an article published in 1987 in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, an international journal published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Council and Yad Vashem, entitled "Rollbahn Mord: The Early Activities of Einsatzgruppe C," by Yaacov Lozowick, which stated:
Those Einsatzgruppe commanders tried after the war, Otto Ohlendorf of EG-D foremost among them, testified that an order to shoot all Jews was delivered by Streckenbach, chief of Amt 1 of the RSHA (Reich Main Security Office), prior to the invasion of the Soviet Union. In 1955, Streckenbach, who had been presumed dead, returned from Soviet captivity, denied this allegation and succeeded in casting doubt on the EG commanders' version of events.
A footnote in the article, said Faurisson, indicated that contradictory testimonies about the order could not be accepted at face value: "...the general tone of that long article is that we need really to revise many things that until now were accepted about the Einsatzgruppen..." (30- 8431)
On page 87 of Six Million Did Die, Suzman and Diamond dealt with the evidence of Dieter Wisliceny:
The third period was the so-called "final solution" of the Jewish question, i.e., the planned extermination and destruction of the Jewish race.
The witness stated that in his official connection with Section IV-A-4 he learned of the order which directed the annihilation of the Jews at a meeting with Eichmann which took place in Berlin in the Summer of 1942, when he was shown a letter from Himmler to the Chief of the Security Police and the SD. The gist of this letter was that the Führer had ordered the "final solution" of the Jewish question...
Eichmann had explained that the planned biological destruction of the Jewish race in the Eastern territories was disguised by the concept and wording "final solution" and that he personally had been entrusted with the execution of this order.
The witness stated that it was perfectly clear to him that this order spelled death to millions of people. This order, he stated, was in force until counter-ordered by Himmler in October 1944.
Once more the book repeated the words "planned extermination," said Faurisson, and he again pointed out that this was no longer accepted by historians. There was no suggestion in the book that this was not historical fact. No one in the historical community alleged today that there was a planned biological destruction of the Jewish race. Nor, said Faurisson, did the alleged Himmler order ever exist. Raul Hilberg stated in both his first and second editions that such a Himmler order existed, relying for this allegation on the affidavit of Kurt Becher dated 8 March, 1946, PS-3762, but the Becher affidavit did not say that.(13) In Faurisson's opinion, if someone was to consult Six Million Did Die for the purpose of seeking the truth, he would not find it. (30- 8435 to 8439)
On page 89 of Six Million Did Die the authors dealt with Wisliceny's testimony concerning a conversation he allegedly had with Eichmann:
Dealing with the total number of Jews killed in the implementation of the "final solution" [Wisliceny's] evidence reads...
"Q - Did he say anything at that time as to the number of Jews that had been killed?
A - Yes, he expressed this in a particularly cynical manner. He said 'he would leap laughing into the grave because the feeling that he had 5,000,000 people on his conscience would be, for him, a source of extraordinary satisfaction'."
The witness was thereafter cross-examined by Dr. Servatius (Counsel for the accused Sauckel). His evidence relating to the "final solution" was not questioned in any way either by Dr. Servatius or by any of the other Counsel for the accused.
Faurisson pointed out that Wisliceny had testified about this extraordinary number of 5 million, yet "not one defence lawyer cross-examined him on that, and that's what I've been saying for years and years: the defence lawyer[s] don't dare go on this very topic because of, perhaps, they believe it, perhaps because they are afraid - and I understand the people who are afraid, I can assure you - perhaps by tactic, but I see that those counsel in the International Military Tribunal, [there] were...perhaps 15, [and] not one cross-examined..." (30-8439, 8440)
Christie noted that the suggestion in Six Million Did Die was that the allegations must be true because the witnesses were never cross-examined concerning it. Did Faurisson agree with that proposition? Faurisson replied that he did not: "I think that if there is no cross-examination, there is no witness." (30-8441) (14)
On page 93 of Six Million Did Die Suzman and Diamond reproduced an extract of Auschwitz Commandant Hoess's affidavit of 5 April 1946 (Nuremberg Document 3868-PS):
"I commanded Auschwitz until 1st December, 1943, and estimate that at least 2,500,000 victims were executed and exterminated there by gassing and burning, and at least another half million succumbed to starvation and disease making a total dead of about 3,000,000...The 'final solution' of the Jewish question meant the complete extermination of all Jews in Europe. I was ordered to establish extermination facilities at Auschwitz in June 1941. At that time, there were already three other extermination camps in the Government General: Belzek, Treblinka and Wolzek..."
Faurisson pointed out that Reitlinger stated in his 1951 book that the number of dead at Auschwitz was 800,000 to 900,000; Suzman and Diamond should have included a reminder of this in their book. They did not. Furthermore, said Faurisson, Hoess included in his statement the camp of Wolzek. This camp never existed and no historian claimed that such a camp existed. Hoess also stated that Belzec and Treblinka existed in 1941, but those camps existed only in 1942. In Faurisson's opinion, Hoess's statement "has absolutely no value..." (30-8444, 8445)
Faurisson testified that in fact two documents were classified under document 3868-PS (the Hoess affidavit). The first was a "kind of draft made by the British," said Faurisson. The handwriting was typically British and not the Gothic handwriting of Hoess as seen in his signature. The confession was written in English. (30-8446)
Six Million Did Die stated on page 95, regarding Hoess:
No suggestion was made that his prior affidavit was not given freely and voluntarily and again the substance of his evidence relating to the mass exterminations was in no way questioned.
Again, said Faurisson, Suzman and Diamond offered the failure of the lawyers to question as proof of the truth of the witness' statement. Historians today did not accept what Hoess said as being true and admitted that what he said about Wolzek, a non-existent camp, was a mistake. But nowhere did Six Million Did Die suggest that the Hoess confession had been questioned. For the reader, the Hoess confession was presented as genuine and authentic. (30- 8446 to 8448)
Faurisson believed that the Hoess confession was not genuine or authentic and based his opinion partly on a copy of a letter which he obtained in September of 1983 from someone very close to Hoess's wife. (15) The letter was addressed to Mrs. Hoess and was from a German who, while a prisoner of the Allies, had ridden in the same vehicle as Hoess. Hoess had told the man that the Allies had used such methods on him that he said 2.5 million died but that he could just as well have said 5 million. Hoess told the man he could not help it, given the methods the Allies used on him. The German sent the letter to Mrs. Hoess after his own release from prison. (30- 8449, 8450)
On page 96 of Six Million Did Die was a photograph of a group of naked people with the caption:
"Without screaming or weeping these people undressed..."
Faurisson pointed out that there was no indication of where the photograph came from or when this event was supposed to have happened. This was the case for most of the photographs in the book. In Faurisson's opinion, the book was not a historical book. A historical book would provide the information which would allow the reader to check what was presented. The caption appeared to be a quotation but no citation was given for it. Further reading on the next page showed it was a quote from the witness Hermann Graebe, the man Faurisson had already testified was publicly discredited as a false witness in Germany, who had gone to the United States, and who was a fugitive from the law in his own country of Germany. This had been published in a long article in Der Spiegel in 1965. (31-8453 to 8456)
Six Million Did Die made no mention of this although it was already known at the time of its publication in 1978 that Graebe had been found to be a false witness in the other matter; therefore, he could be a false witness in this matter also. (31-8456)
Faurisson pointed out further photographs in the book which had no citations and in some cases no captions. He could not know the significance of these photographs without knowing what they were. (31-8457, 8458)
On page 104 of Six Million Did Die was a photograph, again without a caption, of a man in uniform standing in the midst of a mass of emaciated bodies. Faurisson believed the man was Dr. Fritz Klein, the doctor at Bergen-Belsen, who was later executed. Said Faurisson: "The British obliged him to go in the middle, right in the middle, of all those cadavers for the photo...It seems, for me, that any reader would think that this man might be a German, and...when you see the behaviour of the man, he seems to be like proud of the fact that he is in the middle of all those corpses. In fact, he was the doctor of the camp. He tried to fight against this typhus, all those epidemics, and we know that in the last day[s] of Bergen-Belsen, there was not even water because the canal bringing the water had been bombed. So, in a place where you had so many people packed, the epidemics were terrible. And there was no medicine. I think that Richard Harwood explained that very well in his booklet, Did Six Million Really Die?." (31-8458, 8459)
On page 105 of Six Million Did Die, the authors quoted witness Elias Rosenberg. Faurisson testified that Rosenberg was a Jew who testified in the Demjanjuk war crimes trial in Jerusalem, where Demjanjuk was accused of being "Ivan the Terrible." In 1946, Rosenberg had testified that he had seen "Ivan the Terrible" killed with a shovel in Treblinka in 1943. When Demjanjuk's lawyer attempted to use this evidence to exonerate his client, Rosenberg said that his 1946 testimony had no value. (31-8460) (16)
On page 106 of Six Million Did Die were three photographs of groups of women and children with the caption:
Neither women nor children were spared.
Faurisson testified that he recognized the second and third photographs, but not the first. The second photograph was one which Faurisson had seen in the Auschwitz Museum and was a "rather well-known" photograph: "We see this photograph in many books about the Holocaust, and those children are those who have been filmed on the 27th of January, 1945, at the liberation of Auschwitz. So those children are being liberated, and we cannot say that those children are not going to be spared." (31-8462, 8463)
On page 114 of Six Million Did Die was a photograph of men looking out from stacked bunks, with the caption indicating that the photograph was taken in Belsen. Faurisson testified that he had seen this photograph with captions saying it was taken in Belsen (as in this case) as well as Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Said Faurisson: "...I do not deny that this might be...an authentic photo, but this book pretend[s] to be historical, and for a historian, it is a bit upsetting to see that once it is Belsen, another time it's Auschwitz, at another time it is Buchenwald." (31- 8465)
On overhead transparencies, two examples of this were shown to the jury. In the first instance, the photograph was allegedly taken in Buchenwald and the circled man was supposed to be Elie Wiesel. In the second instance, the photograph was represented to be Auschwitz and one of the men was identified as Mel Mermelstein [a "survivor" who sued the Institute for Historical Review.] (31-8466)
On page 122 of Six Million Did Die was a photograph of a pile of bodies in a room with the caption:
Victims of the Dachau gas chamber lie piled to the ceiling in the crematorium.
This caption was false, said Faurisson, "because we know that nobody was gassed in Dachau." Faurisson did not deny, however, that the photograph might be of bodies in Dachau: "Because in Dachau and the sub-camps of Dachau, 32,000 people died from 1934 to 1945, and the number of people who were in this camp for all those years was 206,206, which means that...something like 15 percent died; 85 percent survived, and if we have to believe the Jewish Encyclopedia...80 to 90 percent of those people were Jews." (31-8467)
It was generally accepted, said Faurisson, that before the war, there were 350,000 Jews in France, of which 75,721 were deported. This latter figure had been proved by Serge Klarsfeld in the book Memorial to the Deportation of the Jews of France. Thus, it was generally admitted, said Faurisson, that from one-fourth to one-fifth of the Jews were deported. (31-8468, 8469)
Said Faurisson: "...the children who were deported from France, sometimes the parents wanted to have their children with them, sometimes they did not want, so the government faced a real problem there, and at least in one case, in a camp in south of France, the parent[s] made a vote to decide if the children would be deported with them or not, and this is said in the book La Grande Rafle du Vél' d'Hiv." (31-8469)
Faurisson testified that he met Zündel for the first time at the first convention of the Institute for Historical Review in Los Angeles in 1979 where Faurisson was to present his paper, "The Mechanics of Gassing." As his English was "rather bad," he asked that someone read his paper. The person that did so was Zündel. Faurisson was present when Zündel read it to an audience of about seventy people and he later discussed the paper with him, as well as the photos and plans which he had shown at the time. The paper was later published in the first issue of the Journal of Historical Review in the spring of 1980. (31-8469 to 8472)
The paper, "The Mechanics of Gassing," was read by defence attorney Christie to the court:
Among all those who make statements, speeches or use sentences in which the expression "gas chamber" appears, how many of those people actually know what they are talking about? It has not taken me very long to realize that many people commit one of the most glaring errors. These people imagine a "gas chamber" as being similar to a mere bedroom under the door of which a household gas is released. These people forget that an execution by gas is by definition profoundly different from a simple suicidal or accidental asphyxiation. In the case of an execution, one must carefully avoid all risk of illness, poisoning or death for the executioner and his crew. Such a risk is to be avoided before, during and after the execution. The technical difficulties implied herein are considerable. I was most anxious to know how domestic minks were gassed, how foxes were gassed in foxholes, and how in the US a person who was sentenced to death was executed by gassing. I have found that, in the vast majority of cases, hydrocyanic acid was used for such purposes. This was precisely the same gas which the Germans used to fumigate their barracks. It was also with this gas that they allegedly killed groups of individuals as well as great masses of people. I have therefore studied this gas. I wanted to know its use in Germany and in France. I have reviewed ministerial documents governing the use of this highly toxic product. I had the good fortune of discovering some documents on Zyklon B and hydrocyanic acid which had been gathered by the Allies in the German industrial archives at Nuremberg.
Then, with greater scrutiny I re-examined certain statements and confessions which had been made in German and Allied courts concerning the use of Zyklon B for putting prisoners to death, and I was shocked. And now, you in turn will also be shocked. I will first read to you the statement or confession of Rudolf Höss. Then, I will tell you the results of my research, purely physical, on hydrocyanic acid and Zyklon B. (Please bear in mind R. Höss was one of the three successive commanding officers at Auschwitz; all three of whom were detained and interrogated by the Allies. Only Höss left a confession, for which we are indebted to his Polish jailers.)
In this confession, the description of the actual gassing is remarkably short and vague. However, it is essential to realize that all those others who claim to have been present at this sort of an operation are also vague and brief and that their statements are full of contradictions on certain points. Rudolf Höss writes, "Half an hour after having released the gas, we would open the door and turn on the fan. We would immediately begin to remove the bodies." I call your attention to the word "immediately"; in German the word is "sofort." Höss then adds that the crew in charge of handling and removing 2,000 bodies from the "gas chamber" and transporting them to the crematory ovens did so while "eating or smoking"; therefore, if I understand correctly, these duties were all performed without gas masks. Such a description runs counter to all common sense. It implies that it is possible to enter an area saturated with hydrocyanic acid without taking any precautionary measures in the barehanded handling of 2,000 cyanided cadavers which were probably still contaminated with the fatal gas. The hair (which was supposedly clipped after the operation) was undoubtedly impregnated with the gas. The mucous membranes would have been impregnated also. Air pockets between the bodies which were supposedly heaped one of on top of the other would have been filled with the gas. What kind of superpowerful fan is able to instantly disperse so much gas drifting through the air and hidden in air pockets? Even if such a fan had existed, it would have been necessary to perform a test for the detection of any remaining hydrocyanic acid and to develop a procedure for informing the crew that the fan had actually fulfilled its function and that the room was safe. Now, it is abundantly clear from Höss's description that the fan in question must have been endowed with magical powers in order to be able to disperse all of the gas with such flawless performance so that there was no cause for concern or need for verification of the absence of the gas!
What mere common sense suggested is now confirmed by the technical documents concerning Zyklon B and its usage. In order to fumigate a barrack, the Germans were constrained by numerous precautionary measures: specially trained teams which were licensed only after an internship at a Zyklon B manufacturing plant; special materials including especially the "J" filters which when used in gas masks were capable of protecting an individual under the most rigorous toxic conditions; evacuations of all surrounding barracks; warnings posted in several languages and bearing a skull and cross-bones; a meticulous examination of the site to be fumigated in order to locate and seal any fissures or openings; the sealing of any chimneys or airshafts and the removal of keys from doors. The cans of Zyklon B were opened at the site itself. After the gas had apparently killed all the vermin, the most critical operation would begin: this was the ventilation of the site. Sentries were to be stationed at a certain distance from all doors and windows, their backs to the wind, in order to prevent the approach of all persons. The specially trained crew equipped with gas masks would then enter the building and unclog the chimneys and cracks, and open the windows. This operation completed, they had to go outside again, remove their masks and breathe freely for ten minutes. They had to put their masks on again to re-enter the building and perform the next step. Once all of this work was completed, it was still necessary to wait TWENTY hours. Actually, because Zyklon B was "difficult to ventilate, since it adheres strongly to surfaces," the dispersion of the gas required a long natural ventilation. This was especially important when great volumes of the gas were employed as in the case of a barrack containing more than one floor. (When Zyklon B was used in an autoclave with a total volume of only 10 cubic meters, ventilation (forced or artificially) was still necessary.) After twenty hours had elapsed, the crew would return with their masks on. They would then verify by means of a paper test (the paper would turn blue in the presence of hydrocyanic acid) as to whether or not the site was indeed again fit for human habitation. And so we see that a site which had been gassed was not safely accessible until a minimum of 21 hours had elapsed. As far as French legislation is concerned, the minimum is set at 24 hours.
It becomes, therefore, apparent that in the absence of a magical fan capable of instantly expelling a gas that is "difficult to ventilate, since it adheres strongly to surfaces," the "human slaughterhouse" called a "gas chamber" would have been inaccessible for nearly a full day. Its walls, floors, ceiling would have retained portions of a gas which was highly poisonous to man. And what about the bodies? These cadavers could have been nothing less than saturated with the gas, just as the cushions, mattresses and blankets discussed in the same technical document on the use of Zyklon B would have been saturated also. These mattresses, etc., had to be taken out of doors to be aired and beaten for an hour under dry atmospheric conditions and for two hours when the weather was humid. When this was accomplished, these items were then heaped together and beaten again if the paper test revealed any further presence of hydrocyanic acid.
Hydrocyanic acid is both inflammable and explosive. How could it then have been used in close proximity to the entrance of crematory ovens? How could one have entered the "gas chamber" while smoking?
I have not yet even touched upon the subject of the superabundance of technical and physical impossibilities which become apparent upon an actual examination of the site and the dimensions of the supposed "gas chambers" at Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau. Moreover, just as an inquisitive fact-finder of the Polish museum may discover, these chambers were in reality nothing more than "cold storage rooms" (mortuaries) and were typical of such rooms both in lay-out as well as size. The supposed "gas chamber" of Krema II at Birkenau, of which there remains only a ruin, was in fact a morgue, located below ground in order to protect it from heat and measuring 30 meters in length and 7 meters in width (two meters on either side for cadavers and 3 meters down the centre to allow for the movement of wagons). The door, the passageways, the freight lift (which measured only 2.10 meters by 1.35 meters) which led to the crematory chamber were all of Lilliputian dimensions in comparison to the insinuations of Höss's account. According to Höss, the gas chamber could easily accommodate 2,000 standing victims, but had a capacity of 3,000. Can you imagine that? Three thousand people crammed into a space of 210 square meters. In other words, to make a comparison, 286 people standing in a room measuring 5 meters by 4 meters! Do not be deceived into believing that before their retreat the Germans blew up the "gas chambers" and crematory ovens to conceal any trace of their alleged crimes. If one wishes to obliterate all trace of an installation which would be intrinsically quite sophisticated, it must be scrupulously dismantled from top to bottom so that there remains not one shred of incriminating evidence. Destruction by means of demolition would have been ingenuous [meaning "naive", testified Faurisson]. If explosives had been employed, mere removal of the concrete blocks would still have left this or that telltale sign. As a matter of fact, Poles of the present day Auschwitz museum have reconstructed the remains of some "Kremas" (meaning, in reality, reconstructions of crematoria and supposed "gas chamber"). However, all of the artifacts shown to tourists attest to the existence of crematory ovens rather than to anything else.
The real gas chambers, such as those created in 1924 and developed by the Americans around 1936- 1938 offer some idea of the inherent complexity of such a method of execution. The Americans, for one thing, only gas one prisoner at a time normally (some gas chambers exist, however, which are equipped with two seats for the execution of two brothers, for example). The prisoner is totally immobilized. He is poisoned by the hydrocyanic acid (actually by the dropping of sodium cyanide pellets into a container of sulfuric acid and distilled water which results in release of hydrocyanic acid gas). Within approximately 40 seconds, the prisoner dozes off, and in a few minutes he dies. Apparently, the gas causes no discomfort. As in the case of Zyklon B, it is the dispersion of the gas which causes problems. Natural ventilation for 24 hours is not possible in this case. Obviously, the location of the site of execution precludes such ventilation without seriously endangering the guards as well as other prison inmates. What, then, is the best course of action with a gas which poses such difficult problems of ventilation? The solution is to transform the acidic vapors into a solid salt which can then be flushed out with water. For this purpose, ammonia vapors which are basic are used to react with the acid vapors to form the salt by chemical reaction. When the hydrocyanic acid has all but vanished, a warning signal would alert the attending physician and his aides who are located on the opposite side of a glass barrier. The warning signal is phenolphtalein. It is arranged in containers located at various places in the chamber and turns from pink to purple in the absence of hydrocyanic acid. Once the absence of the poison is indicated and once an arrangement of fans draws the ammonia fumes out through an exhaust vent, the physician and his assistants enter the chamber wearing gas masks. Rubber gloves are used to protect the hands. The doctor ruffles through the convict's hair so as to brush out any residual hydrocyanic acid. Only after a full hour has elapsed may a guard enter the chamber. The convict's body is then washed very carefully and the room is hosed down. The ammonia gas has by this time been expelled via a high chimney stack above the prison. Because of the danger to guards who are normally stationed in the prison watch towers, in some prisons the guards are required to leave their post during such an execution. I will just mention the other requirements for a completely air-tight gas chamber such as the need for locks, "Herculite" glass barriers of considerable thickness (because of the risk of implosion since a vacuum has to be made), a vacuum system, mercury valves, etc.
A gassing is not an improvisation. If the Germans had decided to gas millions of people, a complete overhaul of some very formidable machinery would have been absolutely essential. A general order, instructions, studies, commands and plans would surely have been necessary also. Such items have never been found. Meetings of experts would have been necessary: of architects, chemists, doctors, and experts in a wide range of technical fields. Disbursements and allocations of funds would have been necessary. Had this occurred in a state such as the Third Reich, a wealth of evidence would surely have survived. We know, for example, down to the pfennig, the cost of the kennel at Auschwitz and of the bay trees which were ordered for the nurseries. Orders for projects would have been issued. Civilian workers and engineers would not have been permitted to mingle with the inmates. Passes would not have been granted to Germans in the camp, and their family members would not have had visiting rights. Above all, the prisoners who had served their sentences would not have been released and permitted to return to their respective countries: that well guarded secret among historians was revealed to us several years ago in an article by Louis De Jong, Director of the Institute of World War II History of Amsterdam. Moreover, in the United States the recent publication of aerial photographs of Auschwitz deals a death blow to the extermination fable: even in the summer of 1944 at the height of the influx of Hungarian Jews, there is no indication of any human pyre or throng of prisoners near the crematorium (but an open gate and a landscaped area are clearly visible) and there is no suspicious smoke (although the smoke stacks of the crematoria reportedly spewed forth and flames continuously that were visible from a distance of several kilometers both day and night).
I will conclude with a comment on what I regard as the criterion of false evidence regarding the gas chambers. I have noticed that all of these statements, vague and inconsistent as they are, concur on at least one point: the crew responsible for removing the bodies from the "Gas chamber" entered the site either "immediately" or a "few moments" after the deaths of the victims. I contend that this point alone constitutes the cornerstone of the false evidence, because this is a physical impossibility. If you encounter a person who believes in the existence of the "gas chambers," ask him how, in his opinion, the thousands of cadavers were removed to make room for the next batch.
Note: Due to the pressure of time, we regret that Dr. Faurisson's article is published here without footnotes or references. This was because Dr. Faurisson wishes both the references and their translation to be scrupulously accurate. The references and notes will be published at a later date. Readers who wish to study the U.S. prison "Gas Chamber Procedure Check Sheet" should refer to The Spotlight newspaper (300 Independence Avenue., South-East, Washington, D.C. 20003) of 24 December 1979.
After the article was read at the conference, there was general discussion about it. Faurisson remembered exactly what Zündel said: "He said the cornerstone of all that is the American gas chamber. He said only an expert of American gas chamber could tell us something about the so-called gas chamber of Auschwitz or other places, and he told me, 'You must pursue this inquiry about the American gas chamber', ... and he was very enthusiastic, Ernst Zündel, and that's why few days after, when I was in Washington, I decided to try to visit the gas chamber and I succeeded in visiting the gas chamber of Baltimore, Maryland, and I immediately reported to Ernst Zündel what I had discovered." Faurisson indicated that Zündel read French, German and English. Faurisson sent him copies of his correspondence with American penitentiaries in 1977 or 1978. Faurisson had written to ten or twelve penitentiaries through an American lawyer and received replies from six of them. (31-8490 to 8494)
On his visit to the Maryland gas chamber, Faurisson got eight photographs taken in his presence by a prisoner and a lieutenant, copies of which he later sent to Zündel. The photographs were published in 1980 in a book by Serge Thion entitled Vérité historique ou vérité politique? (Historical Truth or Political Truth?). These photographs were shown to the jury on an overhead projector. (31-8490 to 8493)
As the photographs were shown, Faurisson explained that it took some 48 hours of work to prepare for an execution by gassing. A "No Smoking" sign was shown in one photograph "because even today, 1988, in the American prison, they have really problem even today with leakage. Because with the hydrocyanic acid, it's a real problem, leakage....dangerous." To avoid the leakage and also to ensure the gas reached the prisoner quickly, a vacuum was created in the gas chamber. This created the risk of an implosion and required that the gas chamber be of an extremely strong construction. (31-8494, 8495)
In another photograph, Faurisson pointed out the chair in which the prisoner sat and the tray under the chair which contained a mixture of water and sulfuric acid. Pellets (of cyanide) were put in this tray from the outside by a guard and the gas rose up in the chamber. Six to twelve minutes, in some cases fourteen minutes, were needed to actually kill the prisoner. A stethoscope ran from the prisoner's heart through the steel door to the outside where an attending doctor listened. (31-8495, 8496)
Another photograph showed the fans used to expel and extract the gas from the chamber after the execution. The gas was sent up to a scrubber where ammonia was used to neutralize the acid for two reasons: firstly, so that it was not too dangerous for the guards or the prison itself, and secondly, because the acid might attack the sewer pipes or other pipes in the prison. It was then expelled in a very high chimney. Because it was still dangerous at that point, the prison guards were not allowed to walk the perimeter of the prison on the day of an execution or when tests were run of the system. (31-8497, 8498)
The prison lieutenant at Maryland who had shown the gas chamber to Faurisson explained to him that "they were afraid of any execution or test of the gas chamber and insisted especially on the fact that to get the body...you had to have a gas mask, rubber glove, rubber apron, and you had to wash very carefully the body and especially in the mouth and in all the openings of the body because it's very dangerous to handle a body of somebody who has been killed by hydrocyanic acid. Now, he explained me that, and when we got out of the place he told me, 'Why are you interested in that?', and I said, 'It's because I'm studying the German gas chambers', and this very man, who had been totally scientific up till [then], said, 'Oh', - I remember his words exactly, he said, 'Oh, terrible. Have you seen Holocaust, the film?'. Which means that the same man who knew how difficult it was and dangerous with all this sophisticated gas chamber to kill one, was ready to believe that to kill 2,000 or 200,000, it was absolutely easy, like in the film Holocaust." (31-8498, 8499)
Said Faurisson: "...in every one of us, there is like a Pavlovian dog. We have reaction automatic, and I noticed that with all the toxicologists that I have consulted, the specialists of gas, the specialists of criminal things, they are very scientific, and then, suddenly, when it is about the 'Holocaust', they have some kind of automatic reaction. They believe anything. There is no more physics, no more chemistry, no more natural law. It's totally magic... I visited specialists of crematorium, they explain me how long it was to burn a body, etc., but when I told them 'And do you believe in those people who were cremated in Auschwitz?' 'Of course, of course'. But how many bodies? And when suddenly I gave the figures, they say, 'Oh, what's that? There is something wrong.' And my job is...you do not need to be clever, to be smart. I asked the people only - wake up. That's all." (31-8500, 8501)
Faurisson had told Zündel of his investigations, and since that time, said Faurisson, Zündel "had the kind of, we say in French, idee fixe...An idea, always the same idea coming back. A fixed idea. He told me this is the centre of all the story: 'please pursue', 'do something', but I had some trouble after that that I could not really work on this question." (31-8498)
Faurisson had visited the alleged gas chambers in Auschwitz and discussed with Zündel the contrast between the American gas chambers and the alleged German gas chambers. Said Faurisson: "Mr. Zündel had, I remember - because he is a very practical man - he had this idea. He told me, you should show one door of gas chamber in Auschwitz, one door of a disinfection gas chamber, already very strong, and then the door of your Baltimore gas chamber. And the door of Auschwitz is so ridiculous that that's the reason why I say to visit Auschwitz and to solve this problem, you need one minute..." Faurisson noted that the Baltimore gas chamber was typical of gas chambers of 1936, 1938; he had found some clippings about the first gassing, in Carson City, Nevada, in 1924, and discovered that it was nearly a catastrophe. (31-8501, 8502)
Christie turned Faurisson's attention next to the subject of German restitution for the Holocaust, a subject which Faurisson had investigated. On page 4 of Did Six Million Really Die?, Harwood had written:
· To date, the staggering figure of six thousand million pounds has been paid out in compensation by the Federal Government of West Germany, mostly to the State of Israel (which did not even exist during the Second World War), as well as to individual Jewish claimants.
In Faurisson's opinion, the Holocaust was being exploited for political purposes, and he pointed out that this was the opinion also of many Jews, including Pierre Vidal-Naquet. (31-8503)
The central figure in the obtaining of reparations was Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress. In his book, The Jewish Paradox, Goldmann related how he obtained money from Germany and revealed that the idea emanated from two Jews, Jacob and Nehemiah Robinson. (31-8503, 8504)
Faurisson produced an article he had published in the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur about "the best pages" of The Jewish Paradox. Faurisson read from footnote 62 of his article:
62. Pages 120-122, 125, 128, 136, 141, 149, 157, under the title of "Nahum Goldmann: au nom d'Israël" ("Nahum Goldmann: in the name of Israel"). Nahum Goldmann says that those colossal reparations "constituted an extraordinary innovation in the matter of international rights." They were not in accordance with the German constitution. He dictated his conditions to Adenauer in 1950. He obtained DM 80 billion; that is 10 to 14 times more than the sum he first expected. He says, "Without the German reparations (...) the state of Israel would not have the half of its present infrastructure (1978); every train in Israel is German, the ships are German, as well as electricity, a big part of industry...without mentioning the individual pensions paid to the survivors (...). In certain years, the amount of the money that Israel received from Germany would exceed the total amount of money collected from international Jewry - multiplying it by two or three times."
The young German taxpayer of 1979, who has no responsibility in the war of 1939-1945, pays of course his share.
Faurisson testified that this was his opinion as he expressed it in 1979. He had used the word "colossal" to describe the reparations; in 1981, Nahum Goldmann himself had used the word "astronomical" when he said in regard to the compensation paid to Israel: "Those are astronomical sums." The Israel of today, said Faurisson, would have been impossible without the German reparations. (31-8506)
With respect to the way the money was obtained from Germany, Faurisson testified: "When you read The Jewish Paradox and when you read a book of Balabkins, [West] German Reparations to Israel, when you see the way this money was obtained, I say myself that I judge it - I'm going to be moderate - dishonest. It was really what we call blackmailing. The same way Nahum Goldmann used with the Chancellor of Austria at that time, his name was Raab. He tells the story in The Jewish Paradox. He went to see the Chancellor of Austria, and he said, 'You must pay something to the Jews', and Raab said, 'But we're victims of Germany'. Nahum Goldmann said, 'In that case, I am going to take the biggest place, the biggest theatre in Vienna, and day after day, I am going to put the film showing the entrance of the German troops and of Hitler in March 1938 in Vienna'. So Raab said, 'Okay, you will have your money'. And I think that it was 30 million...dollars, something like that, because Nahum Goldmann expressed it in American currency. And then Nahum Goldmann came back, I don't know how many time after, and he said, 'I need 30 million more'. Raab said, 'But we had [agreed] that it was only 30 million'. He said, 'No, you have to give me more'; and he gave more; and Nahum Goldmann came the third time for the same sum...It was really blackmail." (31-8507, 8508)
Christie asked Faurisson about the French historian Michel de Boüard. Faurisson testified that Michel de Boüard, a former inmate of Mauthausen in the 'NN' category, was a professor of history [at the University of Caen (Normandy)], a member of the Committee for the History of the Second World War, a member of the Institute of France and former head of the Association of Deportees. In 1986, Michel de Boüard expressed in the French magazine Ouest-France, [August 2- 3, 1986, p.6] what Faurisson believed to be a correct assessment of historical developments in regard to the Holocaust. He wrote:
"In the monograph on Mauthausen that I published in La Revue d'histoire de la (Deuxieme) Guerre mondiale in 1954, I mentioned a gas chamber on two occasions. When the time of reflection had arrived, I said to myself: where did you arrive at the conviction that there was a gas chamber in Mauthausen? This cannot have been during my stay in this camp, for neither myself nor anybody else ever suspected that there was one there. This must therefore be a piece of 'baggage' that I picked up after the war; this was an admitted fact but I noticed that in my text - although I have the habit of supporting most of my statements by references - there was none referring to the gas chamber..."
In response to the journalist asking him: 'You were President of the Calvados (Normandy) Association of Deportees, and you resigned in May, 1985. Why?', he answered:
"I found myself torn between my conscience as a historian and the duties it implies, and on the other hand, my membership in a group of comrades whom I deeply love, but who refuse to recognize the necessity of dealing with the deportation as a historical fact in accordance with sound historical methods. I am haunted by the thought that in 100 years or even 50 years the historians will question themselves on this particular aspect of the Second World War which is the concentration camp system and what they will find out. The record is rotten to the core. On one hand a considerable amount of fantasies, inaccuracies, obstinately repeated (in particular concerning numbers), heterogeneous mixtures, generalizations and, on the other hand, very dry critical studies that demonstrate the inanity of those exaggerations. I fear that those future historians might then say that the deportation, when all is said and done, must have been a myth. There lies the danger. That haunts me."
Faurisson testified that he met Michel de Boüard in 1986. The historian realized that he had made a mistake about the gas chambers in Mauthausen and called it "baggage," which Faurisson thought was a good word: "Everyone of us, we have received this 'baggage' of the Holocaust and believed in many things like that, and the problem is to realize that it is a baggage. He realized that in 1986, because of the situation of revisionism in France. People are opening their eyes in France, and Michel de Boüard is a very sensible man, and he was overwhelmed by this discovery of himself. In the second paragraph, he says that he find[s] himself torn between his conscience as a historian and the duties it implies, and the other, there is his membership in a group of comrades whom he deeply loved, and he explained [to] me that that was a kind of dilemma for him because his comrades of this association, in his discovery of revisionism, didn't want to follow him and said 'You mustn't do that. Think of our interest. Think of all our dead. You have no right to do that.' But this man, Michel de Boüard, I know his scholar formation, is exactly a critic of text and document. He is what we call a chartist. Those people are used to study texts which are Greek, Latin or medieval, and they have a kind of spirit which oblige them to be accurate, but even you see the most accurate man does mistake like that, of course." (31-8515, 8516)
In Faurisson's opinion, the important part of Michel de Boüard's statement was the acknowledgment that the record, "meaning the record of the history of the Second World War and especially the history of the concentration camp, 'is rotten to the core', on one hand...it's the exterminationist, and on the other hand you will have the revisionist." (31-8517)
Christie asked Faurisson to give his historical opinion of the pamphlet Did Six Million Really Die? compared with Six Million Did Die, published by the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, Johannesburg. Faurisson indicated that, in his opinion, the Harwood booklet was "obviously a booklet for laymen. It is not the book of a historian with plenty of footnotes, but as it is, and with its little [shortcomings], I think that it is a very good book...a booklet which is prophetic. This booklet entered in history and is making history. The reply of those people of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies is a bad book, what I call rubbish, absolutely no value. From time to time, of course, we have, for example, a photo which is referenced, and there are some possibility of checking, but very often it is not possible...the thesis of this book, at almost every three or four page, every time, is that there was an order, there was a plan, etc., and I [say] very simply that Raul Hilberg never could have signed this book. He could not have signed this book in 1978 because there are so many things which are not in accord with Raul Hilberg. He knew that it was not correct, and to begin with, the title Six Million Did Die, because the case of Raul Hilberg is not 6 million, it's 5.1 million and I say that in ...1985, when he published his other edition of The Destruction of the European Jews, it was even more evidence that this book was wrong. If this book is wrong on at least one topic, the question of the plan, of an extermination, so this one of Richard Harwood is right on that topic, I suppose, on that topic at least, which is all the same a central topic, because who among the laymen, who knows that there is no order from Hitler, that there is no plan? It is not the TV, it is not the newspaper, who are telling us that. The laymen do not know that, but if they have this booklet of Richard Harwood, they have this essential information." (31-8520b to 8520d)
Faurisson could not remember any discussion of the Harwood booklet in 1979 at the Los Angeles conference, unless [Butz] mentioned it in a kind of historical survey. But Faurisson could not remember any individual discussions about it. (31-8520d, 8520e) Nor was the book Six Million Did Die a topic of discussion at all to his knowledge in Los Angeles in 1979. In Faurisson's opinion, Did Six Million Really Die? was "very important," not for historians to quote, but as a vehicle to let the general public know about revisionism.
Faurisson believed that Ernst Zündel was a major figure among revisionist publishers by the simple fact that he had published Did Six Million Really Die?. Over the years since 1979, Faurisson had communicated with Zündel by letters, phone calls and conversations. Zündel, said Faurisson, had "never" indicated any doubt to him about his belief in revisionism. (31-8520e, 8520f)
In 1979 in Lugano, Switzerland, Faurisson debated a team of four people including the German historian Dr. Wolfgang Scheffler, an Italian historian who was a specialist in National Socialism, a woman from Auschwitz and a woman from Ravensbrück. They were on one side, as believers in the extermination and the gas chambers, while Faurisson was on the other side, alone.
He later had two articles published in Le Monde, an important newspaper in France having a circulation of perhaps 500,000 to 600,000. The expression of his views resulted in difficulties for himself, his wife and his children. He was "condemned" three times in both criminal and civil legal proceedings in France in 1981, 1982 and 1983. (31-8520f to 8520h)
In 1981, he was found liable for defaming Leon Poliakov after accusing Poliakov of manipulating the texts of Kurt Gerstein and Dr. Johann Paul Kremer in his book Harvest of Hate, by totally changing such things as the dimensions of the gas chambers. Poliakov had increased them from 25 square metres to 93 square metres. Faurisson's analysis of Poliakov's manipulations took six pages, but a more recent analysis of Poliakov done by Carlo Mattogno showed that Poliakov had made something like 400 mistakes or manipulations of texts. (31-8520h, 8520i)
In the Poliakov verdict, the judges found that:
It is not explained how Mr. Poliakov can fix the area of the gas chamber at 93 square metres. There is an error there that could indeed be at fault...Other errors could have been made...Mr. Poliakov could, on some points of detail, have infringed upon scholarly exactitude.
For the judges, said Faurisson, this was annoying but not serious and the court held that Faurisson did not have the right to treat Poliakov as he had done. What counted in the eyes of the court was that Poliakov had been:
...motivated by a passionate and legitimate desire to inform the public about a period and some particularly tragic facts of contemporary history.
The case went on to appeal without any change in the result. Faurisson had been unable to attend court for health reasons. As a result of the case, Faurisson was ordered to publish the text of the judgment at his own cost if it was requested by Poliakov. However, Poliakov never asked for the judgment to be published. Faurisson pointed out that Poliakov, who had no degree and was supposed to be a historian, might have found it upsetting to publish something "where it was said by the judges that on some point of detail he had infringed upon..." (17) (31-8520j, 8520k)
The second case in France against Faurisson arose after he said on radio his famous sixty words:
The alleged Hitlerite gas chamber and the alleged genocide of the Jews form one and the same historical lie, which opened the way to a gigantic political, financial fraud, whose principal beneficiaries are the State of Israel and international Zionism, and whose principal victims are the people of Germany - but not their rulers - and the entire Palestinian people.
This was taken to mean, said Faurisson, that he had said "the Jews lied to make money." But that was a caricature of what he said: "...when I say it is a historical lie, it means that it is not a common lie. It means that I don't treat the people as liars, I treat them as victim of a lie...The people who believed that Nero set fire to Rome are not liars. I was victim of this lie up till 1960..." (31-8520l)
As a result of saying these sixty words, Faurisson was accused of group defamation and ordered to pay a "gigantic sum," of about 3.6 million francs. On appeal, this fine was reduced to a very small amount. The judgment in his case was supposed to be read on French TV at prime time and on radio stations and newspapers. (31-8520k, 8520m)
The third legal proceeding arose after Faurisson had an article published in Le Monde entitled "The Problem of the Gas Chamber or the Rumour of Auschwitz." After the first article was published on December 29, 1978, Faurisson was severely attacked in Le Monde by persons who published articles several times longer than his. Faurisson exercised his right of reply (which exists in France) and published the second article on January 16, 1979. Once more he was attacked but in those attacks he was not mentioned by name. He obtained a short further right of reply on March 29, 1979. (31-8520m,n, 8520o)
As a result of these publications, a civil suit was brought against Faurisson by nine Jewish organizations and former detainees. Said Faurisson, "I was condemned for damage and it means that I had inflicted to some people, which were not defined, a kind of mental anguish by the fact that I had said that the gas chamber, the genocide, had not existed, but if I may, my condemnation on the first instance was grave, and on appeal it changed totally. I mean that on the first instance, the court said first that she didn't want to have anything to do with falsification of history because I was accused of damage by falsification of history, and the court said: We don't want to care about that falsification of history, but Faurisson was not serious in his work. So we condemn him, and he treated too early a problem which is too...recent...and in appeal, the court said that I was a serious [researcher] on the question of the gas chamber but that all the same I was dangerous, and I could appear to certain people as a sympathizer of the Nazis...On appeal, on the 26th of April, 1983, the court said: Mr. Faurisson's research has delved with the existence of the gas chambers which, if one were to believe the many testimonies, were supposedly used during the Second World War to systematically put to death some of the persons deported by German authorities. And then ... the court said that there was in my work on the gassings ... there was no proof of frivolity, no proof of negligence, no proof that I had deliberately chosen to ignore something, and no lie, and that there was a method, that I had arguments, but the court very prudently said that I used a line of arguments that I thought was of scholarly nature, and...I must say that the...typewritten text, said that 'Faurisson used a line of argument of scholarly nature', and in the margin, with a pen was written, 'that he thinks is of scholarly nature'. And the conclusion on that point was: the value of the conclusions defended by Faurisson rests, therefore, solely with the appraisal of experts, historians and the public." It was the first time that a court had guaranteed French citizens the right to say that the gas chambers did not exist or may not have existed or did exist. (31-8520q to 8520s)
A further case involved Faurisson's publisher, Pierre Guillaume, and the publication Annales d'histoire révisionniste, which took the position that the Holocaust did not exist. This litigation concluded on December 16, 1987, when the court held that there was now, in France, a debate among historians about this question. The decision, however, had been appealed by the Jewish organizations which brought the suit. The thesis of Annales d'histoire révisionniste was exactly the same as that of Did Six Million Really Die?. Faurisson believed that the attitude of the historical community was becoming more favourable towards revisionism. (31-8520t, 8520u)
Christie asked Faurisson whether he was part of an international Nazi conspiracy to rehabilitate Adolf Hitler and take over the world. Said Faurisson, "No, I'm not interested in Adolf Hitler. I don't appreciate him more than Napoleon Bonaparte. There are people who admire Napoleon. That's not my case. People who admire Hitler. That's not my case. And if I was like that, I won't have on my side Jews of sometimes very high reputation, or Jews who are not of very high reputation, and who intervened actively in my favour." These Jews were, on the issue of freedom of speech, Noam Chomsky, and on the thesis itself, Claude Karnoouh, Jacob Assous, Tamas Rittersporn. Faurisson denied that he was anti-Jewish and stated that he was not even anti-Zionist: "I think that if I was a Jew, perhaps I would be a Zionist." (31-8520u,v)
Faurisson testified that he came to Canada voluntarily to testify in 1985. He was not paid for doing so and did not enjoy the experience. He was under no obligation to return for this trial and was not being paid to do so. He did not enjoy testifying but did so, he explained, "Because I think that in a way I am judged through Ernst Zündel. I share his views on this topic and I think that it's my duty to do what I do." (31-8520v, 8520w)
At the end of Faurisson's examination in chief by defence attorney Christie, he identified a plan of the Leichenkeller at Sachsenhausen concentration camp which he had obtained from the Federal Archives in Koblenz, Germany. Said Faurisson, "Leichenkeller...means underground morgue. And we see there, as I said yesterday, that there are three parts. One part for 100 bodies put into coffin, another place [for] 80 bodies not in coffin and separate from that, twenty place for twenty infected bodies." Faurisson noted that Sachsenhausen was not an extermination camp and had never been alleged to be an extermination camp by any historian. (31-8521 to 8523; Plan of Leichenkeller at Sachsenhausen filed as Exhibit 128 at 31-8523)
The cross-examination of Faurisson was conducted by Crown Attorney John Pearson. Pearson commenced his questioning by suggesting to Faurisson that he in fact enjoyed testifying very much and enjoyed expounding on his theories. Faurisson replied: "Not at all...And I can explain...why. My opinion is that we cannot debate about history in a court and I have the experience of that. I think that I have the right to say it. Then, I have so much work, so much to do that to come from France to Toronto and to work on the spot without my files, without my books or only with very few of them, it's very difficult. I don't enjoy it at all. And especially when suddenly, after having prepared such a work, I discover that our defence lawyer asked me suddenly to prepare quite a work about this book that I call rubbish which is Six Million Did Die. I had to improvise." (31-8526, 8527)
Pearson produced the book The Hitler We Loved and Why and placed it in front of Faurisson. You wouldn't write a book like that, would you?, asked Pearson. Faurisson replied: "...I do not know the content of this book. You mean that I would never write a book with this title." Pearson told Faurisson he could look at the contents of the book. Faurisson refused: "Sir, I am sorry, I cannot just look at the content of a book. I never look at the content of a book like that and I can tell you that I have never seen in my life this book." He agreed, however, that he would not write a book with that title: "I do not love him, so I couldn't...put such a title." (31-8527, 8528)
But would you agree, asked Pearson, that your theories would be very useful to someone who did admire Hitler and who loved him? Faurisson disagreed: "Certainly not. When I have something to say that I think is accurate, I think I must say it and I must never mind if it pleases, as we say in French...Peter or...Paul. My duty is to say it and I don't call it 'the truth' myself. I try to be accurate. That's the only thing I try to do." (31-8529)
Did Faurisson disagree that his theories would assist in rehabilitating Hitler? Replied Faurisson: "I cannot do anything against that. If somebody makes...a car, a toy, or whatsoever, if this car or this toy is used by you or by your enemy, that's not my business. I do what I have to do and then happens what might happen...Since twenty-eight years, I am working on this and I can tell you that I have seen people, of course, most of them against me, but some of them coming to me and saying, shaking hands, 'Oh, thank you Mr. Faurisson, you did that for God' and another one, 'Oh, thank you, Mr. Faurisson, you are an [atheist] because you are fighting against a religion, the religion of the Holocaust'. The next one could say also 'thank you' because it's against the British or is for Germany or for the right or for the left. You must know that in France, I am supposed to be, for some people, a rightist, and for other people, a leftist...It depends [on] the hour of the day." As to his work being useful to rehabilitate Hitler, Faurisson said: "Not more. Not less than for anyone who would rehabilitate or attack anyone." (31-8529, 8530)
In 1979, after the Institute for Historical Review convention in Los Angeles, didn't you give a lecture in Washington at the headquarters of the National Alliance?, asked Pearson. Said Faurisson: "Sir, I was asked by somebody to go and deliver a speech somewhere and I am ready to deliver a speech, in this case, anywhere. I don't ask the people, 'What is your political idea', 'Show me your card, your identity'. I had the possibility of talking to those people. I must say that I felt very uncomfortable when arriving on the place being like that I saw something like perhaps twenty-five people and at the first rank on two chairs, two young boys with a swastika. Really, I said am I going to deliver my speech or am I going to leave? It was a question...I felt uncomfortable...I enjoyed it all the same more than coming to Toronto to testify." (31-8530, 8531, 8534)
Faurisson had been invited to speak by Mark Weber whom he knew, admired and collaborated with. Faurisson did not know the name of the organization he was to speak before in Washington: "I don't know the name of this organization. Perhaps at that time in September 1979, I was told...I don't think even that he told me that it was an organization. Maybe, I don't know. Maybe he told me there is a gentleman, he wants to have you deliver a speech and that's all." (31- 8532, 8533)
Faurisson testified in response to Pearson's inquiries that he did not know what the National Vanguard was and did not remember the name William Pierce from the 1979 Washington meeting. (31-8532, 8533)
Pearson turned next to the subject of the lawsuits in France against Faurisson. He suggested to Faurisson that the court found that he based his accusations against Poliakov on minor errors which did not justify Faurisson calling Poliakov a manipulator and fabricator of documents. Faurisson disagreed: "...I quoted this judgment this morning and I said why they considered that I was libelling this man and why I didn't have the right to do so. But they didn't say minor errors." Faurisson re-read the excerpt from his article "Revisionism on Trial, Developments in France, 1979-1983" (Journal of Historical Review, vol. 6, 1985, page 133) that he had read previously. Faurisson was fined an amount he could not remember and was also ordered to pay symbolic damages of one franc to Poliakov. (31-8534 to 8537, 8540)
Said Faurisson: "...If you want to show that I have been condemned, I agree totally. I have been condemned and condemned and condemned but I am going to stick by my guns. Even - even - if I have to go to jail and this I have said it, Mr. Pearson. [In] September, 1987, in France, they are preparing what they call a Lex Faurissonia. That's Latin. It means a law special against Faurisson (18) and I said when the Minister of Interior went on the radio station to talk about that, I made a journalist ask this question, 'Must Mr. Faurisson go into jail?', and he said, 'Certainly, if it depended upon me'. And I said if ever a court condemns me with a suspended sentence, I will immediately repeat that gas chamber and genocide are a historical lie and the tribunal will have to take its responsibility and to send me to jail because of what I think is right. I am ready to go to jail and those condemnations for me are exactly like insults, not more, not less. I am very upset to be condemned. Very upset. My wife is even more upset and my children, but I shall continue because at the same time, I am a happy man. I have called that homage...It means that the way they treat me, the fact that they are not able, all those brilliant people, to bring one proof of the existence of one gas chamber...is for me a homage." (31-8538, 8539)
Pearson next brought up the legal proceeding which resulted from Faurisson's sixty words. Faurisson testified that he had spoken on Radio Europe-1 "because one week before or two days before, I don't remember, I was so strongly attacked by Mr. Jean Pierre-Bloch - saying that I was a man paid by the Arabs, that my books were translated in Chinese and in every language of the earth, etc., etc. I was shown as a criminal, a man paid, doing all lying for money and all that. I asked for a right to answer and my publisher went and see a journalist called Ivan Levai, [saying], 'After what Mr. Jean Pierre-Bloch has said, you cannot refuse Faurisson to come and to try to answer.' And this journalist was honest enough to ask me to come..." (31-8542, 8543)
Faurisson testified that Pierre-Bloch had made a caricature out of his views on the gas chamber. Pierre-Bloch "kept saying that I was denying the concentration camps, the crematories, etc., so I had to make the point quite clear and I said what I considered as a historical lie and as the question is always asked to me but, okay, it's a historical lie but why, for whom? Against whom? I am obliged to give an explanation..." (31-8543, 8544)
By virtue of saying the sixty words, Faurisson was found guilty of defamation of a group, namely, the Jews. He was fined 5,000 francs and sentenced to a three month suspended sentence of imprisonment. In addition, he was ordered to pay 4,000 francs in damages and 2,000 francs in costs, and many other costs which he had not yet finished paying. Said Faurisson: "I can tell you that when I was here in January, the bailiff...came to my house and ordered my wife to pay. She didn't pay. He was to seize our furniture. My wife had to ask money to her mother to pay...in 1981, I had to live for something like one year with one bed, one chair, the kitchen, we had taken out all our furniture in case of seizure. That's how my wife and myself we have lived. And I have the proof of that because a British journalist of the Manchester Guardian came to my house and wrote an article about that and said that he had seen an old man, a bed, and a red sofa." (31-8544 to 8549)
Pearson next produced the two judgments relating to the articles which Faurisson had published in Le Monde, and suggested that he had been sued for failing his obligation as an academic. Faurisson disagreed: "I was sued for damage by falsification of history." In France, explained Faurisson, damages were normally payable if someone had performed a job badly, but in his case, he had been hired by no one and paid by no one to write the articles. Nevertheless, the court held that what he had written made people "suffer." (31-8550, 8551)
The judgment of April 26, 1983 in this case held that Faurisson's work was serious and not negligent and upheld the right of a French citizen to say that the gas chambers did not exist. (31-8551)
Pearson produced the judgment at the trial level where it said:
Mr. Faurisson, a French academic, fails in his obligations of caution, objective circumspection and intellectual neutrality that binds the researcher he wants to be.
Faurisson agreed the trial judgment held this, but indicated that this finding had been corrected by the Court of Appeal. Pearson produced the transcript of the judgment of the French Court of Appeal of April 26, 1983 and read the following excerpt:
Limiting ourselves for the time being to the historical problem that Mr. Faurisson wanted to raise on this precise point, it is proper to state that the accusations of frivolity made against him are lacking in pertinence and are not sufficiently proven; in fact, Faurisson's logical approach is indeed to try to demonstrate, by using a line of argument that he thinks is of a scientific nature, that the existence of the gas chambers, as they have usually been described since 1945, runs into an absolute impossibility which would be sufficient by itself to invalidate all of the existing testimonies or, at least, make them suspect.
...It is not the job of the court to speak up on the legitimacy of such a method or on the full significance of the arguments set forth by Mr. Faurisson, nor is it any more permissible for the court, considering the research to which he has devoted himself, to state that Mr. Faurisson has frivolously or negligently set the testimonies aside, or that he has deliberately chosen to ignore them. Furthermore, this being the case, nobody can convict him of lying when he enumerates the many documents that he claims to have studied and the organizations at which he supposedly did research for more than fourteen years. Therefore, the value of the conclusions defended by Mr. Faurisson rests solely with the appraisal of experts, historians, and the public.
Pearson suggested that what the Court of Appeal had said was that the charges of frivolity were not pertinent to the court's finding, because it was not the job of the court to decide history. Faurisson disagreed and testified that the word "pertinence" in French had a different meaning: it meant "not founded, accusations which are not founded." (31-8554)
Pearson suggested that at the previous trial of Zündel in 1985, it was said to him that the French Court of Appeal said the following:
Mr. Faurisson, who is shocked about what he refers to as the religion of the Holocaust, has never found a word to express his respect for the victims by reminding his readers of the reality of racial persecutions of the mass deportation which caused the death of several millions of people, Jewish or not. So that, in spite of the partial character of his work, history "revisionism", which he opposes against the "cause of the exterminationists", could play a role in an attempt of an overall rehabilitation of the Nazi war criminals.
Faurisson testified that there was a mistake in this translation: the words "could play a role in" should be "could look like an attempt." Pearson suggested that the Court of Appeal for Paris found exactly what he had previously suggested, that Faurisson's work was helpful to someone who wanted an overall rehabilitation of Nazi war criminals. Faurisson disagreed: "I wouldn't say that. You must look [at] the text very closely and it says that it could look as if, but it could look for who? That's the question. And, of course, I know very well that some people may say Faurisson says that because he wants to rehabilitate the war Nazi criminal. Of course I know that. I think that the court is quite right in saying that..." Faurisson pointed out that the French court was wrong in holding that he had never found a word to express his respect for the victims. Faurisson had used the very word "respect" to express his concern for all the victims of the last war, not just the Jews. (31-8574, 8575)
Pearson continued reading from the 1985 transcript, and the French judgment which was put to Faurisson at that time:
The positions adopted by Mr. Faurisson are just as offensive for the survivors of persecutions and deportations as they are insulting for the victims, since the general public is induced to misappreciate the suffering, if not even cast doubt on it. They are, in addition to this, of a nature as has been justly pointed out by the inferior court as to provoke passionate reactions of aggressivity against those who thereby find themselves implicitly accused of lie and of possible power. Mr. Faurisson's offenses have caused the detriment invoked by the associates which are the defendants on appeal. The sentences promulgated with the previous judgment will ensure a rightful compensation for it.
Faurisson agreed with the translation except for the phrase "positions adopted by Mr. Faurisson." Faurisson indicated that in French, the meaning was "Not the position adopted by Faurisson, but the position..[as] described by the court." Any specialist of French text could see that the court was quite clear when it stated that Faurisson's work was serious. However, said Faurisson, "...then the court was trying to find the way to catch me and it is a style horribly complicated, obscure, they don't dare say that I am for the Nazi, absolutely not. That I could look like a Nazi, not even. But if we supposed that...Faurisson could look like a Nazi. I am sorry, it's...very bad French. Not clear at all." (31-8576 to 8579)
Faurisson sued Jean Pierre-Bloch because he had called him a falsifier. "The result of the suit," said Faurisson, "is that I lost this suit but I want to say why. It is because, like in the case of Mr. Poliakov, the court said that Mr. Pierre-Bloch was wrong in treating me [as] a falsifier, but he did that with good faith. And in the newspaper of Mr. Jean Pierre-Bloch called Le Droit de Vivre - the right to live - there was a big title saying 'To treat Faurisson as a falsifier, it's to defame him but with good faith.' And after that, I saw everywhere that I was once more a falsifier. And constantly there are two weapons against me. One is the ever 'good faith' of my adversaries. When they say anything against me, they have 'good faith.' They are wrong, but they did it with 'good faith.' And the other one is the 'public order.' Faurisson has the right to say this and that but he troubles the 'public order,' so, we have to punish him. So, two pistols, one the public order of the state, and the other pistol, the 'good faith' of my adversaries." (31-8580, 8581)
Crown Attorney Pearson reviewed the legal proceedings between Faurisson and Jean Pierre-Bloch in France. Faurisson confirmed that he had brought an action against Pierre-Bloch alleging defamation which suit had been dismissed. Faurisson's claim for damages against Pierre- Bloch had also been dismissed. (31-8592, 8593)
Pearson read the words of Pierre-Bloch which constituted the basis of Faurisson's action for defamation. In his published memoirs, Pierre-Bloch had written the following passage dealing with his activities as the president of the International League Against Anti-Semitism and Anti- Racism:
...We are going to turn against forgers. I have decided with my lawyer friends to lead the battle against those "historians" who are controlled from a distance and whose role consists in clearing the Nazi criminals and denying the Jewish genocide ... But something more serious, we will be dealing with a R. Faurisson, professor of French literature at the Lyon II University, who has several times tried to give substance to the idea that the Jewish genocide would never have been intentional and that the "homicidal gas chambers" would not have existed. I will be seeking legal redress for the moral injury inflicted on the LICRA because of Faurisson's writings which, by making Nazism commonplace, constitute an encouragement to racism and anti-Semitism.
Faurisson testified that the word "forger" was the basis of his action against Pierre-Bloch: "I didn't mind too much about racism and anti-Semitism. I was bothered by forger." (31-8595)
The French court held that Pierre-Bloch did not set out precise facts proving that Faurisson was a forger within a strict legal meaning. However, the court went on to hold that the word "forger" need not be given a strict legal meaning:
Considering that giving the word "forger" a strict meaning lends itself to the criticisms put forward [by] the defence that it was in no way necessary considering the context of the text at issue. Considering that when reading the text as a whole, one has to give the term a different meaning that explains and reinforces the examination of the documents produced as evidence as well as being a proof of good faith.
The French court then listed Pierre-Bloch's allegations against Faurisson:
3. For having tried to give substance to the idea that the Jewish genocide would never have been intentional and that the homicidal gas chambers would not have existed; for having, by his writings "making Nazism commonplace", encouraged racism and anti-semitism; ...for having, during Ivan Levai's radio program on the station Europe 1 on December 17, 1980, claimed that "the lie of the gas chambers and the alleged Jewish genocide represents a giant political and financial swindle benefitting the State of Israel and international Zionism, the victims being the German people and the Palestinian people."
Faurisson pointed out that Pierre-Bloch did not quote his sixty words correctly. Faurisson always made clear in the sixty words that he was referring to a historical lie, not an ordinary lie. If he did not say "historical lie" when expressing his views, the context made clear that he was referring to a historical lie. (31-8597, 8598)
The French court concluded by saying that Pierre-Bloch had accused Faurisson of trying to distort history and in doing so had not misrepresented or distorted Faurisson's theories. It then went on to say:
Considering that these allegations concern the figurative meaning of the word "forger" but undoubtedly affect the honour and reputation of the applicant...
Faurisson testified that this passage indicated that the court held he was not a "forger" in the ordinary sense, and not even in the figurative sense which the court had adopted. (31-8600, 8601)
The French court went on to make it clear that the court did not have to judge the value of Faurisson's work; nevertheless, it made reference in its judgment to Faurisson's "personal but completely unwarranted explanation of the 'special actions' mentioned fifteen times and with horror in Dr. Kremer's diary." Faurisson pointed out that this was the opinion of the court, and that he had suppressed nothing in this research because he had included a photocopy of the actual document in Polish so that readers could see it. (31-8603, 8604)
The French court held further:
Considering that the positions thus adopted by R. Faurisson are as insulting for the survivors of racial persecution and mass imprisonment in concentration camps as offensive for the memory of the victims, the general public being led to ignore their sufferings, if not to doubt them, that besides they are obviously liable to provoke, as justly put by the Court, emotional aggressive reactions against all those who are implicitly accused of lying and deceiving.
Pearson suggested to Faurisson that what the court was saying was that his work created social and racial intolerance because it gave rise to negative reactions against the Jews whom Faurisson portrayed as being liars and cheats. Faurisson disagreed: "...May I try to make it simple. The court didn't say that. The court, in this famous 26th of [April], 1983 judgment said, to make it simple, Faurisson is serious but dangerous, and I agree. I am dangerous because I am serious....what the court said is that Faurisson is not a Nazi but maybe behind Faurisson there is the shadow of a shadow of a Nazi." (31-8605, 8606)
The French court dismissed Faurisson's suit against the defendant Pierre-Bloch, holding that Pierre-Bloch had done his work:
...without exaggerating or distorting the truth, with objectivity and sincerity...The purpose of informing the public seems to the court to be sufficiently serious and legitimate as to warrant the means used...Considering that if [Pierre-Bloch] has not been able under the meaning of the Section 35 of the 29th of July, 1881 Act, to show completely and perfectly the accuracies of the defamatory charges, he has, however, evidenced enough supporting facts to prove its good faith.
Said Faurisson: "And that's exactly what I told you the other day. They say...to treat Faurisson as a forger is a defamation. That's quite clear. But with good faith, and they were so pleased that in the monthly [publication] of Mr. Pierre-Bloch, the title was to treat Faurisson as a forger...is defamation but with good faith. And after, everybody treated me [as] a forger, falsifier: 'Go on, you will say that you said it with good faith'. That's one of the pistol I told you. I have two pistol against me, the good faith of those people, and the public order, which means 'No disturbance, please', and I am obliged to admit that revisionism is something which brings disturbance. It disturbs even myself." (31-8609)
Pearson moved on to the decision of December 16, 1987 of the High Court of Paris which concerned a May 25, 1987 order prohibiting the distribution of a revisionist publication just prior to the commencement of the Klaus Barbie war crimes trial in France. The order was obtained by various Jewish organizations. No appeal was taken from the order by the publisher, Mr. Guillaume. Following the trial, on October 22, 1987, Guillaume applied to have the prohibition lifted and was successful.
Pearson suggested that the reason the prohibition was lifted was because the Barbie trial was over and there was no longer any reason to have the order enforced. Faurisson disagreed and indicated that the court could have decided otherwise. As it was, there was an uproar in France against the lifting of the order and newspapers had called it a "criminal verdict." (31-8610 to 8612)
Guillaume had published his reasons for not appealing the order in the first instance:
Under these conditions, I gave up appealing this May 25, 1987 order. Enough is enough. I am tired. I do not have to make people think that I put my trust in the justice system of this country.
Said Faurisson: "He said that and we could have good reason, sir, the more I see the difference between the French justice and the Anglo-Saxon justice...I must say I don't criticize my country, but you have the luck to have a jury and transcript. We do not have that and our judges are not independent [like] yours." (31-8613, 8614)
Guillaume had also asked for damages of 50,000 francs against the Jewish organizations who originally obtained the order. Pearson suggested that he did not obtain one franc in damages. Said Faurisson: "That's always what you ask when you consider that you have been wrongly convicted, punished. You ask for a reparation but revisionist[s], they always obtain one franc. When they are punished, it's always thousands of francs, ten thousand of francs, and when they win, it's one franc. It will change." Faurisson did not know what Guillaume obtained in damages but testified that he had gotten back the seized publication, Annales d'Histoire Révisionniste: "It was an extraordinary victory. I didn't think that we could get that. And especially when the tribunal said there is now in France an open debate among historians. That's the first time that I am treated as a historian." (31-8614)
Pearson read from the judgment of the court:
Whereas to take this protective action that had, by its very nature, limited effects in time, the summary proceedings judge took into account the fact that Mr. Guillaume, publisher, had deliberately...circulated in his first issue of the journal Annales D'Histoire Révisionniste, devoted to the denial of the existence of the Jewish genocide, at the exact time the trial of Klaus Barbie started, during which would be judged facts concerning this particularly painful period in modern history. It is for this reason, considered by him as crucial, that he deemed the exhibit and distribution of the work in places open to the public, taking place under special circumstances, that could not be considered to be a mere expression of "a desire to see a historical debate initiated under normal conditions," and were felt "as a provocation to a discrimination founded on the origin of a group of people liable to entail, at the present time, violent disturbances and reactions."
Whereas the circumstances that existed at the time and had justified the ban issued provisionally by the summary proceeding judge are no longer present; whereas the statement of the arguments put forward in Mr. Guillaume's journal and the controversy liable to result and arise in them in the absence of any case in negligence come under the free expression of ideas and opinions and constitute a matter for a public debate among historians, the Court does not have to exercise a control over such a discussion.
Said Faurisson: "That's what those reasonable and courageous judge[s] said. They could have said something quite different. They could have said we consider that it continues; that it is a touchy problem and that the revisionist have no right to publish anything. They could have said that. They said exactly the contrary...We must put all that, Mr. Pearson, into context and see how the French court reacted in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 up till 1987. At the beginning, in 1979, do you know that the court decided that I had not even the right to put gas chamber into quotation mark[s]? To put...gas chamber into quotation mark[s] was to show disrespect and to trouble public order and moral order...in France. Could you imagine that? And then in 1983, they said, '... Okay, he has the right to say that the gas chamber did not exist, but he mustn't say more.' And now, 1987, we have the right to say no gas chamber, no genocide and, of course, we must choose our words to say that. As we say in France, we must walk on the eggs very carefully. If you say that in a way which could be considered as insulting, you are going to be punished. But now you have the right to say the gas chamber[s] did not exist, the genocide did not exist and I put that into context...I insist on the fact that they say there that why there was an uproar in France against this judgment, they said now it's a matter for a public debate among who? Among historians. And what conclusion? The court does not have to exercise a control over such a [discussion]. I wish the French court would have discovered that in 1979 and not in 1987, but that's our struggle, you see. We need time." (31-8619, 8620)
Pearson next moved to the judgment of 28 January, 1988 of the Court of Appeal of Versailles against the leader of the National Front party of France, Jean-Marie Le Pen. Pearson asked Faurisson if he would agree the National Front was an extreme right-wing racist party. Faurisson replied: "I think that...in the United States, they call those people [populists], you know. I don't know if it's extreme. I know the people who do not like them call them extremists." Faurisson said that he did not like the party "very much...They say they are not racist. I find them, myself, racist, but this is an opinion." (31-8620 to 8623)
The case arose when Le Pen appeared on the French television programme Grand Jury RTL Le Monde. Le Pen was suddenly asked if he had read the work of Faurisson and Roques. He replied that he had not, but that he thought everything should be debated as there was not an official historical truth. He was asked a question about the gas chambers, said Faurisson, and "..he said that the gas chamber[s] were a detail and meaning - the text is quite clear about that - meaning the way the Jews were killed is a detail and that's an argument that very often I, myself, I hear when the people say 'Gas chamber or not, what's the importance of it'. And for me, it's really not a detail. I do not agree at all with Mr. Le Pen when he said a detail. He was wrong." (31- 8624, 8625)
The French court stated in its judgment against Le Pen that saying something was a question of detail had a common usage in the French language which referred to something being unimportant. Faurisson agreed with this statement. (31-8625)
Pearson continued reading from the judgment of the Court of Appeal of Versailles:
Given that the deliberate use of this expression, even when restricted to the circumstances and the methods of Nazi extermination, gives the impression of an acceptance of something horrible because it is equivalent to trivializing, if not ignoring, the suffering and persecution inflicted on the deportees and more specifically, on the Jews and the gypsies during the Second World War and in so doing, reduces to a simple reality of war - independently of Mr. Le Pen's opinion on the existence of gas chambers - acts that have been found to be crimes against humanity; it follows from the above that the survivors of racial persecution and their families, the defence of whose collective interests is the respondent's responsibility, have seen their right to faithful remembrance, respect, compassion and homage seriously impinged upon.
Given that this disturbance is obviously unlawful, starting from the moment that the contentious comment - which attacks values as fundamental as the remembrance of the victims of genocide, worship of the dead, and the profound and respectable convictions of a virtually unanimous public opinion - was uttered in the course of a radio broadcast with a large audience, and that it could not be immediately and effectively refuted, and that it is beyond the scope of strict historical debate...In this regard, [Le Pen] argues that the meaning and the scope of his comments were deformed by the media; that the debate, which concerns the existence of the gas chambers, is not a matter for the Court, but for experts, historians or the public; that freedom of expression must not be hindered, especially when, as in this case, it is based on historical research... Given that the said comment constitutes an error in this regard, and at the same time a wrongful exercise of freedom of speech, which, far from being absolute, independently of the restrictions decreed by certain repressive texts, is limited except in the case of legitimate circumstances or the observance of specific precautions, not present in this case, by respect for essential assimilable values, such as, in this case, the notion of legitimate interest legally protected...The trial Court, when it imposed the symbolic one franc damage, was making a judicial statement of guilt...
The court dismissed Le Pen's appeal and ordered him to pay damages. (31-8630)
Pearson suggested to Faurisson that all of these court decisions could be summed up in one statement: that in France, Faurisson and anybody else was free to express opinions about history without any legal restrictions, but when someone publicly made statements which could harm a public interest, such as social and racial tolerance, that person broke the law. Faurisson disagreed: "I would say that sometimes a court says that we have absolutely the right to say that the gas chamber[s], the genocide did not exist. This is, for instance, in 1987. 1988, a few days after, another court said the way Mr. Le Pen expressed this idea is a bad one as an important political man and he created disturbance. Do you know that in this short judgment, you have eight times the word disturbance? And that's normal, you see, when you have a new idea which is coming. At the beginning, everything is forbidden. Then a part of it is permitted. Then the total and then suddenly, 'Oh no, you must be careful not to express this in this way', 'You should have said it on another way'. But, what is important is the general movement. The revisionism is more and more accepted. Now we are only nit-picking on the way a political man said 'detail'. He shouldn't have said 'detail.' It was shocking; shocking for this court. But you see, few years ago, everything was shocking. The simple fact to say the gas chamber[s] did not exist, which is a dry way of saying the things, was not permitted. I have no right to teach since 1979. Why? Because I said the gas chamber did not exist. Nothing else." (31-8630 to 8632)
Are you suggesting, asked Pearson, that you were suspended because of your statement with respect to gas chambers? Said Faurisson: "Certainly, yes. I can tell you on the 13th of March, I have seen the president of my university. I have said I would like to go back and to teach. Would it be possible in October, and this gentleman said, 'No, no question, because I have no mean[s] to guarantee your security'. Because the guards of the university had a meeting in 1979. They came, in the presence of the administration, they told me, Mr. Faurisson, we must tell you that we had a meeting of different unions and our conclusion is that we are there to protect the premises, not to protect the persons...So, I have no possibility to go back ... I have been punched three times those months on the 12th of July, 21 of November, the 12 of December; another professor has been punched exactly where I was punched. And you see, the last time it was in the Sorbonne and Mr. Vidal-Naquet was there. He said I was an 'excrement.' Mr. Browning was there and he applauded. Now, I don't criticize him. It's his opinion. It's really because I said that the gas chamber did not exist that I got into this trouble. Of course, it's totally evident. But now the president of my university is very embarrassed because he see[s] very well as everywhere in the French intellectual circles that those gas chamber do not stand anymore. He sees that very well, but you see you have public order, necessity of guaranteeing my life." (31-8632, 8633)
Pearson put to Faurisson that the Court of Appeal for Versailles said that his views ran contrary to a virtually unanimous public opinion. Replied Faurisson: "...I do not agree and we have no real Gallup [poll] to know what the French people think about that..." In Faurisson's opinion, his position vis-a-vis French law was "now nearly splendid." (31-8633, 8634)
Pearson suggested that he only ran afoul of French law when he accused the Jewish community of a gigantic swindle. "Not the Jewish community," said Faurisson. "You must read with attention my sixty words. When I say Zionism, you must understand that for a historian, in every country, sir, you have historical lie. Do you know that the nations are founded necessarily on [legends], on myth[s], on historical lie[s]? And it's not because I criticize the Zionism on this very historical lie, that I don't know that the French have all sorts of [legends], the French imperialists and [colonialists], they were convinced that they were more intelligent, that they were bringing a light and so on. That's a kind of myth. The American [did] the same thing with the Indians." (31-8634)
Pearson suggested to Faurisson that his sixty words expressed the same sentiment as Harwood expressed on page 30 of Did Six Million Really Die? when Harwood wrote:
· It is a resounding confirmation of the fact that Jewish casualties during the Second World War can only be estimated at a figure in thousands. Surely this is enough grief for the Jewish people? Who has the right to compound it with vast imaginary slaughter, marking with eternal shame a great European nation, as well as wringing fraudulent monetary compensation from them?
Faurisson answered: "I wouldn't express it this way." He testified that he would express it in his sixty words: "Sixty words and excuse me, and with the explanation before and after. For instance, when I said the principal beneficiaries and when I said the principal victims, I gave example of non-principal beneficiaries and of non-principal victims. Among those non-principal victims, I said the young Jewish generations, which are brought up in this awful Holocaust religion. I find awful...to bring up a kid and saying to this kid, 'Do you know that kids like you were systematically killed in Himmler's slaughterhouses by one of the most so-called civilized nation[s], Germany?' Now, what kind of kid are you preparing? How is he looking to the other people if he thinks that one of the most civilized nation has done that. So what about those who are supposed not to be as civilized? What does it mean? I wouldn't bring up my kid like that. I find that's very bad. I think that those people are victims also of this historical lie and that's why I have Jews on my side. And you see, you said Jean-Marie Le Pen. Jean-Marie Le Pen is a man of [the] right and some say of [the] extreme right, but...in France, revisionism is a leftist movement. It began on the left. Paul Rassinier was a Communist, non-Stalinist. Then he was a socialist deputy. And my publisher is a very well known leftist and I can assure you that in fact...not in words, those people are not at all racist...In France, it is at the beginning, a leftist movement for them. Revisionism mean revolution. A slow revolution...And a man like Le Pen...I said he jumped on the band wagon...You see he did it like an amateur, really. He did it, I said, with left- handness...He hurt himself and five days after, he recanted more or less. Every time that I see some high, responsible [person] taking position in favour of revisionist, I watch my watch and I am waiting - how much time to recant, and he recanted. But you see, I don't know why it's a fashion now, more or less in France, to be revisionist. You must know that. We are strongly criticized. It's always 'all revisionists are awful people' and the minute after, 'interesting' people. So, Jean-Marie Le Pen, quite recently, condemned as he was, did something much more grave. I was extremely surprised. He said this war must finish; we cannot say anymore that Germany had the only responsibility and that Germany was worse than the others during the war and he said something else...that future Europe shall not be the Europe of Simone Veil and Julien Benda. [To] people who know a little bit of history, Julien Benda is the man who wrote in 1938 that if he had to press a button to kill all the Germans, he would do it." (31-8636 to 8638)
Didn't Rassinier say that the people to blame for the deaths that occurred in the concentration camps were the Communists?, asked Pearson. Faurisson replied: "The Germans first and then the others. He said the myth is to say that the SS were always there killing the people and all that. We...had nearly no contact with the SS. We had the contact in Buchenwald especially with the Communists and the organization of the Communist in Buchenwald was extremely strong." (31-8638, 8639)
Rassinier didn't even deny there were gas chambers, did he?, said Pearson. Faurisson replied: "At the beginning. At the beginning he said there is something wrong with this story of gas chamber and then he [did] not deny. Rassinier is like me. We do not deny...We are affirming, after research, and what I affirm is that the gas chamber never existed...Supposing that the gas chamber did not exist, must we say it or must we hide it?" (31-8639)
[End Part 3/4]
Footnotes at 4/4
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