RESPONSE TO COLLINS ON BAUER IN HIS LETTER OF JULY 25 Lionel Kenner The Bauer matter - third paragraph of Collins letter of July 25. Of course one "cannot take three million from six million and still leave six million", but I can make no sense of Collins' 'the claimed number of deaths would have been reduced [reduced?] to eight or nine million if the Auschwitz deaths were reduced by three million". I'll be pleased to present a bottle of Scotch (or whatever is his or her favourite booze) to any member of Council who can explain that to me. What Collins is trying to say, I believe, is that nobody has ever argued that the total number of deaths was 9 million which it would have to have been if the Auschwitz figure is reduced by three million and still leaves a total figure of 6 million. Six million (not 9 million) has always been the top total number. Reducing the Auschwitz figure by 3 million reduces the total number to 3 million. But Bauer allows for this type of objection. In the third paragraph of the NYT article (Document D), Bauer writes: "The four million figure, combined with the known deaths elsewhere would result in a figure well above the appoximate figure of six million that has long been established bv different methods, including a comparison of European Jewish population statistics before and after the war, he said")[sic]. For Bauer, the 4 million figure for Auschwitz would give an exaggerated total figure (say, 9 million). Collins is not telling us (or Bauer) anything new when he (Collins) tells us that we cannot change the Auschwitz figures without changing the total figures. For Bauer the 6 million total figure is incontrovertible - it is established by demographic considerations, quite independent of the figures given for Auschwitz ("the six million figure has long been established by....a comparison of European Jewish population statistics before and after the war"). Bauer's position is that if 4 million is taken as the Auschwitz figure then, that Auschwitz figure must be wrong - not the 6 million figure. If we take the generally accepted figures for each concentration camp and 4 million for Auschwitz, then, we do, indeed, come to a total figure of 9 million. But what this means for Bauer is, not that the 6 million total figure is wrong (that figure has long been established by incontrovertible demographic statistics), but that the 4 million figure for Auschwitz is wrong. It leads to an unsustainably high total figure. An explanation for the exaggerated Auschwitz figure is given. In the NYT article Bauer tells us: "Polish Communists and nationalists alike promoted the larger figure [for Auschwitz] to serve a political purpose, casting both Jewish and Polish losses in such numbers that the distinction between the fates of the two groups was blurred". In the Washington Post article which Collins has sent you, the head of research at Israel's Yad Vashem memorial (Krakowsky) is reported as saying that the former communist government in Poland perpetuated the false figure (4 million) "to support claims that Auschwitz was not exclusively a Jewish death camp". In other words, what both Bauer and Krakowsky are saying is that the Polish government perpetuated the 4 million story, because, for political reasons, they wanted to include a number of non-Jews - according to Krakowsky an exaggerated number of them - among the Auschwitz dead. (According to Krakowsky "at most only 300,000 non-Jews died there [i.e. at Auschwitz]".) That is Karakowsky's explanation of the exaggerated figures for Auschwitz, and. it would seem, Bauer agrees with him. Experts on the matter have known for years that there is something wrong with the 4 million figure for Auschwitz. They know that if the 4 million figure for Auschwitz is accepted, the numbers do not add up properly - the figures for individual concentration camps (including Auschwitz) will then add up to a higher total number (9 million) than the figure firmly established by demographic considerations (6 million). In the NYT article we are told: "Among Holocaust historians, Mr. Bauer said, the larger figures [for Auschwitz] have been dismissed for years, except that it hasn't reached the general public yet and I think it's about time it did". And one of the reasons that Bauer believes that "it is about time it did" is that "Exaggerating the number of dead at Auschwitz, he said 'would only be grist for the mills of the deniers of the Holocaust....They can add up you know". They would make hay out of the inconsistent numbers. But Collins is worse than those Revisionists who, before Bauer announced to the general public that the 4 million figure for Auschwitz was an exaggeration, would make hay out of the faulty figures. Collins tries to make hay out of the figures even after Bauer has explained the matter. Collins is now trying to tell the Press Council, that although Bauer is talking about Auschwitz numbers, he can still be quoted to the effect that the six million story is not true, since a reduction in the Auschwitz figures implies a reduction in the total numbers. Bauer explicitly denies this. For Bauer, it is the original Auschwitz figure of 4 million which results in an exaggerated total number. The reduced Auschwitz number is consistent with the incontrovertible long established total figure of 6 million. Bauer's position, as is made perfectly clear in the NYT article, is that with the reduced Auschwitz figures we still get a 6 million total figure; with the 4 million Auschwitz figure we get an unsustainable 9 million figure. The reduced Auschwitz figure does not result in a reduced total figure, because the original 4 million figure for Auschwitz results in an unsustainably high total figure. Bauer has answered Collins' objection, even before Collins made it. My contention that Collins has distorted Bauer's position so as to deceive his (Collins') readers into believing that Collins' may properly cite Bauer in defence of his own Revisionist position still stands.
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