The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: camps/auschwitz/gambit.001

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism,soc.history
Subject: The Auschwitz Gambit: The Four Million Variant
Summary: The oft-repeated claim that Auschwitz death tolls cited
         by the Communist government of Poland were revised downward
         due to pressure from the "revisionist" camp debunked, along
         with the related claim that "scholars" long insisted that
         the Communist claim of 4.1 million killed was correct.
Followup-To: alt.revisionism
Organization: The Nizkor Project, Vancouver Island, Canada

The following letter appears in a recent issue of the magazine
_Anarchy._  It's a response from Bradley Smith to a letter from
journalist Bill Weinberg in a previous issue.  In Weinberg's letter,
he scolded the editors of _Anarchy_ for not being critical enough
of "holocaust revisionism" in a review of Smith's book _Confessions of
a Holocaust Revisionist._  (For those of you not familiar with the
magazine, they have made it clear that they think the "revisionists"
are nazis and hardly worth wasting time or ink on.  _Anarchy_ is
generally an excellent magazine.)

      Example: we were told for half a century that Auschwitz claimed
      four million murdered victims (mostly Jews).  In 1990 the
      Auschwitz State Museum lowered the figure to 1.1 million.

Mr. Smith carefully overlooks the facts here - that "we" have never
been "told" any such thing. Western scholars have never accepted,
even remotely, the figure cited by the Communist government of
Poland, and Mr. Smith is certainly well aware of that reality.

      Revisionists believe there are a few questions that need to be
      asked about this development.  The short list include these:
      where are the documents that "proved" the original 4-million
      figure?  Where are the documents that in 1990 "disprove" the
      4-million figure?  Where is the scholarly paper that addresses
      the judicial proces through which the Nuremberg Court accepted
      the 4-million figure as historically accurate?  How did the
      court go wrong?  How many Germans were the victims of judicial
      murder because of the Court's lack of professionalism, or its
      political bias?  Where is the paper that reveals to us the
      scholarly, half-century long road our valiant historians
      traveled to come to the conclusion that the 4-million figure was
      wrong?  How were revisionist investigators able to figure it out
      40 years earlier (see the writings of Paul Rassinier and others
      in the 1950s)?

To which one might add "How were Western historians able to arrive at a
figure of less than _half_ of the one Smith cites 38 years earlier
(see the writings of Poliakov and others in the 1950s)?"

      The short answers?  1) None of these papers or documents exist
      or ever did exist.  2) Revisionists were able to figure out the
      scam in the 1950s because they took a run at it. (Smith, Anarchy)

(One must assume Poliakov also "took a run at it" in his excellent
text, "Harvest of Hate," published in 1956...)

Smith's claim about the "loss" of three million victims was also
included within his CODOH campus advertisement, which appeared in the
IHR Newsletter in April of 1992, and which includes the following

      The Auschwitz State Museum has recently revised its half-century-
      old claim that 4 million humans were murdered there.  The Museum
      now says maybe it was 1 million.  But what proof does the Museum
      provide to document the 1 million figure?  None!  The communist
      propagandists who manage the museum have put on display piles of
      hair, boots and eyeglasses, etc.  While such displays are
      effective propaganda devices, they are worthless as historical
      documentation for "gassings" or a program of "extermination."

      Meanwhile, Revisionists want to know where those 3 million souls
      have been the last 45 years.  Were they part of the fabled Six
      Million? (Smith, Campus)

_The Journal of Historical Review_ repeated the Variant in an article
dealing with penalities imposed upon Robert Faurisson:

      France's Fabius-Gayssot law is free of any such hypocrisy.  With
      perfect cynicism, the "Lex Faurissonia" establishes
      historiographical dogma.  Not even Stalin ever proclaimed a
      comparable law.  When, for instance, the Soviet dictator
      persecuted the opponents of a quack biologist Lysenko (who was
      also a member of the Soviet commission that "established" that
      the Germans killed four million people at Auschwitz), it was not
      in the name of a specific Soviet law declaring Lysenko's
      theories to be correct, nor was there ever such a Soviet law.
      The Fabius-Gayssot law is not Stalinist: it is worse.
      (JHR, French Court)

Writing in the same journal about six months later, Walter Luftl 
repeated the by now "formula" Variant when answering the question
"What is the Holocaust?"

      In the view of those who believe--or cause others to believe--in
      the [Holocaust], mass gassings, especially of Jews, were carried
      out in the concentration camps of the Third Reich.  Above all in
      Auschwitz (hence the term "Auschwitz Myth"), four million Jews
      were gassed.  [The Nuremberg Tribunal "established" that four
      million PEOPLE (Jews and non-Jews) had been KILLED (by all
      means) at Auschwitz.] Currently, though, unimpeachable sources
      are seeking to reduce this [sic] figure to 1.5 million.  On
      mathematical grounds alone, the "symbolic figure of Six Million"
      should be reduced by 3.5 million.  Of course, such a reduction
      does not lessen the [gravity of the] crime in any way, because
      even one victim is one too many. (Luftl)

In what appeared to be a major assault upon what revisionists insist
upon calling the "Auschwitz Myth," _The Spotlight's_ front page
offered the following, in January of 1993:

      Like most Americans, since his youth Cole had been instructed in
      the "irrefutable fact" that homicidal gassings had taken place
      at Auschwitz.  The number of those so executed - also declared
      irrefutable - was 4.1 million.

      Then came the Leuchter Report in 1988.  This was followed by a
      "re-evaluation" of the total deaths at Auschwitz (down to 1.1
      million).  As a budding historian - and a Jew - Cole was

The intimation that the figure of 4.1 million was revised downward as
the direct result of Leuchter's report is repeated in the following
paragraph, just in case readers missed it the first time around:

      Previous to 1992, anyone who publicly doubted the 4.1 million
      "gassing" deaths at Auschwitz was labeled an anti-Semite,
      neo-nazi skinhead (at the very least).  Quietly, because of
      revisionist findings, the official figure was lowered to 1.1
      million.  No mention of that missing 3 million. (Foner,

The Auschwitz FAQ, which was written as a direct result of the
publication of Foner's _Spotlight_ article, deals with the above claim
at length, and has now been updated to include the 1956 Poliakov
material noted below. It is readily apparent to anyone researching
Foner's claim about charges made against those disputing the figure
above that it is patent nonsense. Western scholars have never accepted
the Communist claim, and Holocaust deniers have failed repeatedly to
provide evidence to the contrary.

On April 12, 1993, _Spotlight_ readers were offered yet another
invocation of the now familiar routine:

      The Establishment numbers on the holocaust are suspect,
      according to revisionist historians.  For instance, deaths at
      Auschwitz were reported for decades to be 4.1 million gassing
      victims.  However, since revisionist scholars began focusing on
      the numbers, the figure was officially lowered to 1.1 million.

      Shortly after the Polish government lowered the figures, the
      long-lost "death books" listing persons who died at Auschwitz
      throughout its history were discovered in Moscow in which full
      information was given on all deceased.  Although two years are
      missing, scholars estimate that the total number of deaths is
      around 150,000, and none were gassed. (Arnold, Spotlight)

In view of the above, users may find the following citation, from
Poliakov's "Harvest of Hate," published in _1956_, of more than
passing interest:

      "After some thirty months of intense activity, the Auschwitz
      balance sheet showed close to two million immediate
      exterminations (this figure can never be fixed exactly), (8) to
      which one must add the deaths of some 300,000 registered
      prisoners - Jews for the most part, but not entirely - for whom
      the gas chamber was only one of any number of ways by which they
      might have perished." (Poliakov, 202)

Poliakov also shed light upon the Hoess testimony in this note
appended to the citation above:

      "(8) In his affidavits, Hoess spoke of two and a half million,
      'a figure set officially,' he wrote, under the signature of
      [Eichmann], in a report to Himmler. This figure has been
      accepted by several authors, and it appears in the verdict at
      the trial of the major war criminals. However, there is no
      reason for accepting without question the statistics attributed
      to Eichmann, which may err on either side. Adding the number of
      victims to those deported from different countries gives a lower
      figure, although we have little data, for example, on the number
      of Polish Jews sent to Auschwitz. An approximate figure in the
      neighborhood of two million seems closer to the truth."

In short, the Four Million Variant is a specious attempt to envelope
unwary readers into the denial web of deceit, and can be safely
discarded after the most rudimentary examination of published

(My thanks once again to Friedrich Berg for citing Poliakov in one
of his articles - the book is a rich and extremely well documented
source of material, and I was delighted to receive the 1956 edition
in the mail this week. It will provide a great deal of useful
information, and pointers to original source material dealing with
the Holocaust, much of which is now being added to the archives

It is time for Bradley Smith put his modem to good use and join us
here. The lightweights (Dan Gannon, mysteriously silent of late, and
Greg Raven, perhaps now too embarrassed to participate here, and, of
course, our own Mr. Berg, who has lately begun to display increasing
amounts of spittle on his chin) have failed to impress anyone here
with their pseudohistory; perhaps Mr. Smith, who often demands "open
debate" on Holocaust issues, should put his money where his mouth is.

  "Everything I do is done with the full knowledge of the Fuehrer." 
  (Himmler, Heinrich.  See Jochen von Lang, "Der Adjutant: Karl Wolff,"
                Munich: Herbig, 1985, pp .  140ff)

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