The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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From http://www.wiesenthal.com, July 26, 1995:

Responses to Revisionist Arguments

The following questions are routinely posed by "Historical Revisionists" in their
efforts to deny the existence of the Holocaust. The responses to these arguments
were prepared by Center Researcher Aaron Breitbart

 1. The Holocaust was merely Allied propaganda. 

 2. There is no proof that the Holocaust occurred. 

 3. The estimates of Jewish losses during the Holocaust are greatly
   exaggerated. There were never even 6 million Jews in Germany. 

 4. Didn't the International Committee for the Red Cross report that
   only 300,000 people had perished in the German concentration
   camps, not all of them Jews? 

 5. Nazi policy towards the Jews was emigration, not extermination. 

 6. Not a single document has been found with Hitler's signature
   ordering the extermination of the Jews. 

 7. Zyklon B was a fumigant. It wasn't a practical agent for mass
   murder. 

 8. If Zyklon B is so highly toxic, how could bodies have been removed
   from gas chambers only minutes after execution? 

 9. Zyklon B is so highly flammable that a single spark from the
   ventilation system or the immense heat created by the nearby
   furnaces would have resulted in an explosion. 

 10. There is no proof whatsoever that the Nazis ever murdered anyone
   in gas chambers. 

 11. American engineer and execution 'expert', Fred Leuchter, proved
   that the 'so-called' gas chambers at Auschwitz could not have
   been used for their 'alleged' purpose. 

 12. Didn't Simon Wiesenthal himself state that there were no
   extermination camps in Germany? 

 13. For years, the death statistics at Auschwitz-Birkenau had been put
   at well over 3 million. Recently, however, a memorial plaque at the
   former death camp estimates Jewish losses closer to 1 million.
   Shouldn't the new figures imply that Jewish losses for the
   Holocaust are much lower than previously thought? 

                                   

1. The Holocaust was merely Allied propaganda.

   The Allies actually ignored reports filtering out of Europe about the mass
   murder of Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators. Even when convinced of
   their veracity, they tried to withhold the information from the public. On
   August 8, 1942, Dr. Gerhart Riegner, the representative of the World Jewish
   Congress in Geneva, Switzerland, asked the U.S. legation in Switzerland to
   relay information about Germany's plan to exterminate all European Jews
   under its control to American Jewish leader, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise. The
   information had been given to Riegner by a highly-placed German official.
   Instead of relaying the message, the U.S. State Department actually withheld
   it and ordered its Swiss legation not to relay any such reports in the future.

   In the same year, a member of the Polish underground Jan Karski, had
   secretly been smuggled into a German concentration camp in Poland.
   Making his way out, he was sent to London by the Underground to deliver
   his report on the horrors he witnessed. Karski spoke with both Roosevelt and
   Churchill. History records, however, that Karski's pleas were largely
   dismissed.

   One need only check the major newspapers of the period to realize how little
   attention was paid to Nazi atrocities. If the Holocaust were merely
   "propaganda," why did the Allies go to such lengths to downplay it?

2. There is no proof that the Holocaust occurred.

   No crime in history has been as well-documented as the Holocaust. Proof of
   the Holocaust is multi-faceted. It is demonstrated by a myriad of documents,
   the majority of them Nazi-authored, captured by Allied troops before the
   Germans had a chance to destroy them. Included are detailed reports of mass
   shootings and gassings. Some 3,000 documents on the destruction of
   Europe's Jewish community by the Nazis were, in fact, presented by the
   prosection before war crimes tribunals at Nuremberg.

   The first-hand testimony of survivors who lived through the horrors of the
   death camps as well as the reports and confessions by the perpetrators leave
   little doubt as to the nature of Hitler's "Final Solution." Horrifying films
   and photos of killing operations and their aftermath can only begin to give us
   a picture of the extent of Nazi bestiality; as do the reports of Allied Generals
   and troops who were sickened by what they saw at sites of slaughter they had
   just liberated.

   Interestingly enough, Nazi war crimes suspects who stood trial in the post
   war years for their misdeeds never claimed that the crimes of which they
   were accused were fictional. They instead argued that they were "only
   following orders."

   The evidence is, in fact, so overwhelming that on October 9, 1981, Judge
   Thomas T. Johnson of the California Superior Court, took judicial notice of
   the Holocaust ruling that, "The Holocaust is not reasonably subject to
   dispute. It is capable of immediate and accurate determination by resort to
   resources of reasonable indisputable accuracy. It is simply a fact."

3. The estimates of Jewish losses during the Holocaust are greatly
exaggerated. There were never even 6 million Jews in Germany.

   It is true that Germany had fewer than 600,000 Jews when Hitler came to
   power in 1933. The majority of Jews murdered by the Nazis, however, did
   not live in Germany. They resided in the countries which Germany invaded
   during the war, especially Poland and areas of the former Soviet Union,
   where millions of Jews once made their homes. In fact, the Protocol of the
   Wannsee Conference (Jan. 20, 1942) a German document outlining the Nazi
   plan to annihilate European Jewry, lists over 11 million Jews throughout the
   continent.

   The 6 million figure can be demonstrated by comparing Europe's Jewish
   population before and after the war. Even after making allowances for those
   who fled Europe and others who could be expected to die due to natural
   causes, there are nearly 6,000,000 people who cannot be accounted for.

   Authentic German documents confirm the slaughter of Jews in the millions.
   The famous "Korherr Report,"(named after Richard Korherr, chief
   statistician for the SS) puts the number of Jewish losses at more than
   2,454,000 by the end of 1942 alone. The war in Europe would not end until
   May, 1945.

   The Anglo-American Commission of Enquiry, meeting in April 1946, put
   the total Jewish Holocaust losses at 5,721,500. On the basis of wartime
   statistical reports on ghettos, concentration camps and mass murder
   operations carried out by the Nazis, historian and international jurist, Jacob
   Robinson, arrived at a figure of 5,820,960. German historian, Helmut
   Krausnick, put the number of Jewish losses nearer to seven million. While
   the exact figure will never be known, scholars of the Holocaust find the
   rounded-off figure of six million to be in line with all the evidence.

4. Didn't the International Committee for the Red Cross report that only
300,000 people had perished in the German concentration camps, not all
of them Jews?

   The Red Cross never issued such a statistic, nor has it offered any estimate of
   the number of victims who perished in the camps. In its bulletin of February
   1, 1978, the Red Cross declared that it had never compiled, much less
   published such statistics.

   The 300,000 figure was actually taken from the Swiss paper, "Die Tat," in
   1955. This estimate, however, was only a figure for the number of Germans
   who perished in the concentration camps. No mention of any Red Cross
   figures, however, was ever made by the paper.

   Despite the obvious deception, Holocaust deniers, continue to peddle it,
   hoping that few people will actually check the sources.

5. Nazi policy towards the Jews was emigration, not extermination.

   From the beginning, the Nazis made no secret of their goal of creating a
   "Jew-free" Germany and Europe. One of the earliest methods was, indeed,
   forced emigration. But on November 10, 1941, precise instructions from
   Berlin to kill the Jews in his area were received by Higher SS and police
   leader, Friedrich Jeckeln from Berlin, stating, that pursuant to the Fuehrer's
   order, Jews would no longer be allowed "to emigrate", instead they would be
   "evacuated." In his October 4, 1943 speech to SS generals in Poznan, SS
   Chief, Heinrich Himmler, left no doubt as to the meaning of evacuation. "I
   am now referring to the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the
   Jewish people", he declared.

   "Evacuation" had been a Nazi codeword for murder even earlier. In the
   Spring of 1940, 1,558 mental patients had been transferred from sanitoriums
   in Eastern Prussia for "evacuation" near the Soldau concentration camp.
   They were never heard from again. The Nazis attempted to hide their
   intentions by the use of codewords. "Resettlement" was commonly used to
   describe the deportation of Jews to the gas chambers, hence SS Major,
   Francke-Gricksch's 1943 report on Auschwitz in which he remarks that the
   camp's "resettlement furnaces" were capable of burning 10,000 bodies a day.

   Despite the attempts at deception, Victor Brack, one of the chief architects of
   Hitler's "euthanasia" experiments testified to the war crimes tribunal at
   Nuremberg, that it was no secret among the Nazi hierarchy that "the Jews
   were to be exterminated."

6. Not a single document has been found with Hitler's signature ordering
the extermination of the Jews.

   This is true. Hitler was not about to repeat the mistake he had made earlier
   when he initialed his "euthanasia order," condemning over 70,000 German
   mental patients to death at so-called "charitable care facilities" such as
   Hadamar and Grafineck. (Ironically, the first victims of Nazi gassings were
   actually non-Jewish Germans). Popular protest which threatened his
   popularity, eventually forced Hitler to abandon his euthanasia experiment, or
   at least take it underground. Never again would Hitler initial any document
   connecting himself to mass killings.

   Nevertheless, historians have been able to establish with convincing certainty
   that the order to exterminate millions of Jews came directly from Hitler. On
   November 10, 1941, Higher SS and police leader, Friedrich Jeckeln, received
   orders to liquidate the Jewish population of Riga. He was informed by his
   superior, Hinrich Lohse, that it was "the Fuehrer's wish."

   A few months earlier, Gestapo Chief, Heinrich Mueller, sent a message to
   the commanders of the 4 Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads active in
   Eastern Europe) advising them that "the Fuehrer was to be informed about
   the work of the Einsatzgruppen on a continual basis."

   Discussing the liquidation of Jews in Eastern Europe, SS Chief, Heinrich
   Himmler, told SS Gruppenfuehrer, Gottlob Berger, "the occupied East will
   be freed of Jews. The Fuehrer has placed the execution of this difficult order
   on my shoulders."

   Hitler's involvement in the "Final Solution" extended to gassing operations.
   On October 25, 1941 a directive addressed to Hinrich Lohse regarding the
   use of special "gassing vans," came by way of German judge, Dr. Erhard
   Wetzel. Wetzel had been summoned to the Chancellory and informed that
   the directive he was to prepare was, in fact, a "Fuehrer order."

   On February 4, 1943, Hitler equated the extermination of the Jews with
   having "exterminated a bacterium." In his January 30 speech to the Reichstag
   4 years earlier, Hitler warned that in the event of war, "the result will
   be...the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!"

   Those who argue that Hitler did not order, approve, or even know about the
   wanton murder of millions of Jews and others during the Holocaust, do so in
   direct contradiction of all the evidence.

7. Zyklon B was a fumigant. It wasn't a practical agent for mass murder.

   Ordinarily, Zyklon B (a hydrogen cyanide preparation) was used as an
   insecticide. Hydrogen cyanide, however, is actually more dangerous to
   humans than insects. When the level of HCN reaches only 300 parts per
   million, it will kill a person within a few minutes. The amount of hydrogen
   cyanide required to kill a person of average weight is only 60 mg.

   Because Zyklon was, in fact, so toxic, its manufacturers warned personnel
   not to reenter a room fumigated with the gas for 20 hours after airing. In
   addition, a compound was added to the preparation emitting a powerful,
   intolerable odor - a warning agent that the gas was present. When purchasing
   Zyklon B for the death camps, the SS ordered the manufacturer to remove
   the warning compound, a clear indication of its intended use.

8. If Zyklon B is so highly toxic, how could bodies have been removed
from gas chambers only minutes after execution?

   The death chambers were outfitted with special ventilation systems to
   remove any remaining gas. In addition, those prisoners charged with
   removing the bodies (the sonderkommando) wore gas masks.

9. Zyklon B is so highly flammable that a single spark from the
ventilation system or the immense heat created by the nearby furnaces
would have resulted in an explosion.

   Zyklon B will explode - at 60,000 parts per million. It only takes a
   concentration of 300 parts per million to kill a person in just a few minutes.
   (Less than half that amount will kill in less than an hour.) Clearly, the
   concentration of Zyklon used in the gas chambers was far below
   flammability or explosion levels.

10. There is no proof whatsoever that the Nazis ever murdered anyone in
gas chambers.

   The use of gas chambers by the Nazis is proven by a wide array of evidence.
   Testimony by the perpetrators themselves as well as the first-hand accounts
   of prisoners, especially members of the "Sonderkommando" (groups of
   inmates forced to remove the dead from the gas chambers and dispose of
   their bodies) constitute only a part of the evidence.

   Documents including blueprints of the killing installations as well as orders
   for construction materials and Zyklon B (the deadly hydrogen cyanide
   preparation used for gassings at Auschwitz and Majdanek...carbon monoxide
   exhaust was used at other camps) survived the war as did some of the actual
   gassing facilities themselves. Photos clandestinely taken by prisoners of
   Auschwitz-Birkenau even show the disposal of corpses removed from the
   gas chamber. The manufacture, distribution and use of the deadly gas was
   clearly demonstrated at the "Zyklon B Trial" in March 1946, Hamburg,
   Germany. Two of the defendants, Bruno Tesch and Karl Weinbacher, the
   owner and a major executive of a company that manufactured the gas were
   sentenced to death after notes of their trips to Auschwitz disproved their
   contention that they were unaware that the poison was used to kill inmates.

   Jean-Claude Pressac, a one-time skeptic of the gas chambers, had undertaken
   a careful study of Auschwitz in which he analyzed a wide variety of camp
   documents, photos, reports and blueprints. Pressac, who had at one time been
   intrigued by the Holocaust-denying theories of Robert Faurisson, concluded
   that his original skepticism could no longer be supported in the face of the
   evidence. In 1989, the Klarsfeld Foundation published his study, Auschwitz:
   Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, in which Pressac
   demonstrates the use of the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau in the
   murders of hundreds of thousands of people.

   Incidentally, Jews were not the first people gassed by the Nazis. The first
   victims of Nazi gassings were German mental patients condemned by
   Hitler's "Euthanasia" order of 1939.

11. American engineer and execution 'expert', Fred Leuchter, proved
that the 'so-called' gas chambers at Auschwitz could not have been used
for their 'alleged' purpose.

   In 1988, Fred Leuchter of Malden, Massachusetts was contacted by
   Holocaust denier, Robert Faurisson and hired to prepare a report on the gas
   chambers of Auschwitz on behalf of Canadian neo-Nazi, Ernst Zundel.
   Zundel was on trial on charges stemming from the distribution of Holocaust
   revisionist literature. With his client footing the bill, Leuchter visited the
   site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek death camps. Upon returning
   to the United States, he published a lengthy report which concluded that the
   facilities he examined "could not have then been...utilized or seriously
   considered to function as execution gas chambers."

   During the Zundel trial, however, it became increasingly clear that
   something was terribly wrong with the "Leuchter Report." As it turned out,
   Mr. Leuchter had no credentials as an engineer, and in fact, held only a
   Bachelors Degree in history. Leuchter's bizarre explanation that anyone who
   went to college knew enough Mathematics and Science to be an engineer,
   raised even more eyebrows. Judge Ronald Thomas listened to excerpts from
   the "Leuchter Report," then castigated the author for his methodology which
   he labeled "preposterous," before ruling that "Leuchter has no expertise."

   Leuchter's lack of credentials resulted in more than embarrassment at the
   Zundel trial. Leuchter, who had represented himself as an engineer and
   execution expert to various government agencies for years, was indicted by
   the state of Massachusetts for the imposture.

   Faced with the possibility of jail time if convicted, Leuchter reached a
   pre-trial agreement with the Court in which he admitted that he "was not
   and had never been registered as a professional engineer," although he had
   represented himself as "an engineer able to consult in areas of engineering
   concerning execution technology." As part of the humbling agreement
   Leuchter also agreed to cease and desist from the distribution of anymore
   engineering reports during his probationary period.

   An analysis of the "Leuchter Report" by Professor George Wellers in Paris
   concluded Leuchter's "calculations to be an absurdity... One can see in many
   ways to what degree this expert chemist (Wellers was unaware that Leuchter
   had no degree in any science) is operating outside the realities of the
   problem." Concluding the analysis, Wellers characterized Leuchter's
   interpretation as "false and absurd from start to end."

   Despite his embarrassment from both academic as well as legal circles,
   Leuchter took his show to Germany. Arrested in October 1993 on charges of
   inciting racial hatred, he was released on bail and allowed to return to the
   U.S. pending trial. Leuchter, however, refused to return to Germany for trial.
   A warrant for his arrest is still outstanding.

   Despite the exposure of the self-styled engineer and his report as fraudulent,
   both are still held in high esteem among Holocaust "revisionists."

12. Didn't Simon Wiesenthal himself state that there were no
extermination camps in Germany?

   The Nazis classified their many hundreds of concentration camps on their
   basis of their primary function. In a very real sense, all were death camps
   because the death of the inmates, whether through overwork,
   starvation/disease, or outright murder, was ultimately expected.

   Those sites, however, which functioned as extermination centers
   (Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, Belzec, and Chelmno),
   were specially equipped for the gassing of hundreds of thousands of victims
   each (millions altogether). All of these camps were located in Poland, and for
   good reason. Poland had far more Jews than Germany and the rest of
   Western Europe combined. The Nazis also felt that the relative remoteness
   of Poland's rural areas would also minimize reports of mass murder taking
   place there.

13. For years, the death statistics at Auschwitz-Birkenau had been put at
well over 3 million. Recently, however, a memorial plaque at the former
death camp estimates Jewish losses closer to 1 million. Shouldn't the new
figures imply that Jewish losses for the Holocaust are much lower than
previously thought?

   The figure of 3-4 million murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau was an
   invention of communist officials in Poland (and the former U.S.S.R.) which
   sought to blur the uniqueness of Jewish suffering at Auschwitz. To do this,
   they purposely overstated the number of non-Jewish casualties at
   Auschwitz-Birkenau by many times their true numbers. In a clever attempt
   to disguise the subterfuge, the figures for Jewish losses were inflated by
   nearly double, so that their losses would still be larger than those of
   non-Jewish victims, though now by a much smaller ratio. With the end of
   communism in Poland and the former Soviet Union, officials at the
   Auschwitz museum finally lowered the casualty figures in line with the
   estimates of historians who, for years, have insisted that between one and 1
   1/2 million people perished at Auschwitz-Birkenau, 80 - 90% of them Jews.

   The figure of 6 million Jewish losses during the Holocaust has always been
   in line with the lower Auschwitz figures.

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