The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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In response to a challenge by Greg Raven of the Institute for
Historical Review (IHR), Dr.  Daniel Keren posted a number of pieces
of evidence to show that the Nazis had a plan to exterminate millions
of Jews (and others), many in homicidal gas chambers.  Raven posted a
response which he believed refuted Keren's claims. 

We have seen these Holocaust denial arguments, or ones like them,
before; on the surface they are persuasive.  Perhaps some of them
persuaded Mr.  Raven to join the "revisionist" cause, and rather than
having written all of them himself he merely repeats them here in good
faith.  And each time they are not answered he becomes more convinced
that they must be valid. 

We propose here to answer them point by point.  And we propose more:
we will describe in detail the psychological mechanisms which explain
why these arguments seem, to the unsuspecting mind, so persuasive.
Once we have done this, and you have seen the methods exposed, it is
our sincere hope you will forever after be able to recognize them for
what they are, and will never be taken in by them again. 

In article <2pi7nk$> Greg Raven
( wrote:

   > In response to my request for one or two pieces
   > evidence from those who believe in the Holocaust story of
   > millions of Jews being gassed to death by the Nazis,
   > Danny Keren provided five quotes.  (For those who do not
   > remember, I asked for evidence that BEST shows the Nazis
   > had a plan to exterminate millions of Jews in gas
   > chambers.)

He did indeed end that way.  However, for those who do not remember, 
this is how he began, in article <2p2a1i$>: 

  "For the purposes of this discussion, I am using a fairly
   generic definition of the word Holocaust, which is the
   murder of six million Jews as a central act of state by
   the Nazis during the Second World War, many in gas

This is Definition #1, the hook at which Dr. Keren bit.  He didn't 
notice that later the definition was changed to: 

   "...  the Nazis had a plan to exterminate millions of
   Jews in gas chambers."

....not "murder ... *many* in gas chambers," which is what Danny 
responded to, but subtly and sneakily shifting to millions in gas 
chambers *only*. Perhaps it was just an honest mistake on his part, 
though Raven made much of Dr. Keren's failure to address Definition #2 
in his arguments below. Nonetheless, it was bait and switch, forbidden 
by consumer protection laws everywhere. 

Mr. Raven continued, providing his "overview:"

   "Before looking at the individual pieces of evidence, I
   would like to make a few comments about these pieces

   First, all citations are postwar.  This means the
   evidence presented was not generated at the time the
   so-called gassings were taking place."

Well, yes.  We have *never* seen sworn legal testimony about a crime
taken at the same time the crime was committed.  If Mr.  Raven has, we
would love to hear about it.  What's the point? 

Mr.  Raven asks, "Why are we not presented with any contemporaneous
documentation?" The reason, of course, is that Mr.  Raven placed
limits upon the number of items introduced. 

The reader is also invited to note that though Mr.  Raven started by
saying he wanted to make a few comments about the pieces collectively
the line cited above is not a comment about the *pieces* of evidence
presented either collectively or individually.  It is a subliminal
suggestion to the audience to speculate about the *motivation* of Dr.
Keren in choosing the evidence he did.  If Mr.  Raven wishes to
insinuate that Dr.  Keren has some dishonest motivation, it would be
nice if he were honest enough to make the charge openly.  If that is
not his reason for asking this question, perhaps he will be good
enough to explain himself. 

Raven continued:

   "Second, these citations are from testimony, and as such
   present many of the problems one would normally expect
   with testimony under similar conditions.  As Professor
   Arno Mayer has written, 'Most of what is known [on
   homicidal gassings] is based on the depositions of Nazi
   officials and executioners at postwar trials and on the
   memory of survivors and bystanders.  This testimony must
   be screened carefully, since it can be influenced by
   subjective factors of great complexity.' (page 362-363)"

Sure it can.  But note that Mr. Raven makes no attempt to:

   a) list the problems one would expect, 
   b) explain these subjective factors of great complexity, or 
   c) show that the testimony Dr. Keren cites *was* in fact influenced 
      by any of those problems or subjective factors of great

If he wants to screen that testimony, he is encouraged to do so.  But
just throwing out a random quote without demonstrating how it applies
to the specific testimony at hand is simply handwaving. 

Raven continues:

   "Why are we not presented with plans or photos of a gas
   chamber (in this forum, I suppose this would take the
   form of instructions on how and where to find same)?"

Once again, Mr.  Raven has tried to impeach the evidence introduced by
making snide insinuations about evidence not introduced.  If Dr.
Keren had produced a photo, Mr.  Raven would merely say that it does
not show what it was used for; it might have been for delousing.  We
remind the audience that the reason more evidence was not introduced
is that Mr.  Raven wanted to limit the number of pieces we were to
discuss.  Although he has been asked, in public, why he imposed such
limitations upon discussion, he has failed to provide a clear public
answer.  If Mr.  Raven is an open-minded historian searching for the
truth, as he would have us believe, surely he would provide the answer
we seek. 

We repeat our question.  Why is he placing limits on the number of 
pieces of evidence? 

   > Third, Keren fails to mention that we have similar
   > testimony about virtually all the camps.  The recent
   > English-language translation of the 1983 "Nazi Mass
   > Murder" (Kogon, Langbein, and Rueckerl.  New Haven: Yale
   > University Press.  1993), for example, cites testimonies
   > and other evidence that the Nazis conducted homicidal
   > gassings at Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrueck, Stutthof,
   > Neuengamme, Natzweiler-Struthof, and even Dachau.  No
   > serious scholar of the Holocaust now holds that gassings
   > took place at any of these sites, yet we have testimony
   > that gassings did take place.  How is Keren's testimony
   > substantively different from this other, now discredited,
   > testimony?  After all, this other testimony used to be
   > considered accurate at one time.

Dr.  Keren has previously posted citations about the camps to which
Raven is referring.  First, it should be kept in mind that these were
small-scale gassings, and the authors took great pains to explain the
limitations of the evidence and testimony involved.  Raven glosses
over all of this, the better to lead the reader into thinking that
Keren is ignorant or dishonest.  It is true that no serious scholar
now believes there were *mass* gassings.  But *any* gassings?  Raven
says it was discredited, and that no serious scholar now believes that
"gassings" (again, "any" or "mass?") took place, but cites no source

Vague unsubstantiated assertion is one of the hallmarks of Holocaust
denial technique.  It cannot be rebutted, because it is so vague that
we have no clear idea what it is we're trying to rebut.  Is he saying
Kogon et al.  are not serious scholars?  Who does Raven consider a
serious scholar?  How does he know what they think?  Is this claim
made up out of whole cloth?  Is it a citation from a crackpot with no
credentials?  We don't know, so we can't respond.  And that is what
the denier hopes for: that the lack of response will stick in your
mind and work on your subconscious.  We will return to this point

We repeat, Mr.  Raven makes an assertion totally unsupported by any
literature reference.  If he knows that they were discredited, he
should know where he saw it. 

   "Fourth, none of these pieces, by itself, would normally
   be considered definitive."

This is irrelevant.  We challenge Mr.  Raven to supply even one
citation of a criminal case which was proved on one, and only one,
definitive piece of evidence.  We are quite confident he cannot.  We
invite him to explain why he believes it should be possible to do so
with the Holocaust.  Or is it that he merely hopes he can fool *other*
people into believing it should be possible to do this? 

   > (This can be seen in the very fact that Keren presented
   > them all together, rather than relying on one or two.)
   > Thus, what we are faced with might be called
   > "adminicles," which Robert Faurisson describes thus:

   > "[T]he Exterminationists all employed the all too facile
   > system of converging bundles of presumptions or again, as
   > it was called in past times, adminicles (parts of a
   > proof, presumptions, traces).  Each of their alleged
   > proofs, rather shaky, was supported by another proof,
   > itself rather fragile.  There was much use of testimonial
   > proof, which is the weakest of all because, as its name
   > indicates, it is based only on testimony.

Dr.  Faurisson has a firm grasp of the obvious.  We are rather
surprised he did not go on to announce that documentary proof, as the
name implies, is based on documents.  But why should that imply
anything about its strength or weakness?  Dr.  Faurisson does not

   > The essence of the testimony of Kurt Gerstein was called
   > on, supported by the essence of the confession of Rudolf
   > Hoess, which rested on the essence of a personal diary in
   > which, they say, in veiled language, Dr. Johann Paul
   > Kremer revealed, and at the same time concealed, the
   > existence of the gas chambers.  In other words, the blind
   > man leans on the cripple, aided by a deaf man.

Making fun of the handicapped is not nice.  And more importantly, it
does not erase the fact that though they may be infirm on an
individual basis, it is undeniable that they *do* stand as a whole.
Oh, and it does not address the evidence that Dr.  Keren cited. 

Wait a minute.  How did we get to "cripple" anyway?  Raven hasn't even
addressed a specific piece of evidence cited by Dr.  Keren, and all of
a sudden he is entitled to dismiss them all as cripples?  What's going
on here? 

We *are* glad Mr.  Raven brought Faurisson into the discussion.  As he
makes much of Dr.  Keren's omissions, why did he omit to tell people
that Dr.  Faurisson's degree is in literature, not history?  But we
must admit that he is eloquent, far more so than we.  Dr.  Faurisson
can explain exactly what mode of argument Greg Raven is employing. 

The audience is invited to note the parallels between the rewrite
below and Faurisson's original.  We apologize for the length, but it
will give the reader a detailed road map to the revisionist debating

  The Holocaust Deniers all employ the all too facile system of
  splitting bundles of solid evidence and casting small doubts on
  each piece, or again, as it might have been called in past times,
  diminicles (parts of a doubt, presumptions, traces).  Each of
  their alleged doubts, rather shaky, is supported by another doubt,
  itself rather fragile.  There is much use of unsupported
  assertion, which is the weakest of all because, as its name
  indicates, it is entirely without support.  The distorted essence
  of the testimony of Stark is called on, to be contradicted by the
  out-of-context citation of the work of Pressac, which is refuted
  by the ramblings of a discredited liar named Leuchter which, with
  ludicrous pseudoscience and unwarranted and unrealistic
  assumption, denies the possibility of the existence of the gas
  chambers.  In other words, the blind man leans on the cripple,
  aided by a deaf man.  In the present, holocaust deniers make great
  use of diminicles and, in order to condemn Holocaust Hoaxers, rely
  on a strange accounting method whereby a quarter of a shadow of a
  doubt added to a quarter of a shadow of a doubt, itself added to
  half an ambiguity, are considered to equal a convincing refutation
  (the argument from Greg Raven currently under discussion depicts
  someone practicing this type of arithmetic).  Naturally, one could
  not provide definitive proof of the existence of Holocaust
  Hoaxers.  It was impossible to prove their existence as one could
  not prove that of a Satan.  That was not the fault of the deniers,
  the thinking went, but precisely that of the Holocaust Hoaxers,
  who, it is no doubt thought, are too clever to leave traces
  proving their misdeeds.  Intrinsically perverse by nature, Hoaxers
  leave at the most only vague traces of their passing through.
  These traces do not speak of themselves.  One has to make them
  speak.  Especially wise intellects are skilled at detecting them
  in places where ordinary people see nothing.  For minds such as
  these, Holocaust Hoaxers have tried to cover their tracks but had
  forgotten to hide the traces of their so doing, and, beginning
  there, revisionists with few if any academic credentials, helped
  by scholarly professors of literature or electrical engineering -
  not history - such as Dr. Faurisson, were able to reconstruct

Change just a few words, and you can see exactly how the holocaust
deniers operate.  For while Dr.  Keren has provided solid, well-
documented testimony, not "adminicles," the writer has supplied -
what?  We will discuss this in detail below. 

In article <2p2a1i$>, Mr. Raven wrote:

   > I will not consider personal attacks, discussions of
   > race, discussions about the meta-meaning of Holocaust
   > denial, or other non-substantive, off-topic posts to
   > address the issue at hand.

For someone who doesn't want to discuss non-substantive, off-topic
issues, Mr.  Raven is certainly spending a lot of time discussing
things other than the issue at hand: the evidence Dr.  Keren *has*

Let us return to the original line of argument:

   > "It was no different from any of the trials in which,
   > since 1945, SS men have been tried for their
   > participation, always indirect,

This sounds sinister, but all it really means is that they did not
perform the killing themselves, merely gave an order.

   > in the homicidal gassings.  The adepts of Satan, these
   > SS men allegedly left not a single trace of the gassings,

.... except for the dynamited gas chambers, the records of the Zyklon-B 
shipments, and the testimony of those who participated - but Mr. Raven 
limited the scope of the discussion, so Dr. Keren couldn't include this 
mass of evidence into his response ...  

That does not, however, suggest that this evidence is not readily
available, as anyone employing Mr.  McVay's file server quickly
discovers.  To receive a sampling of the testimony alluded to by Mr.
Raven, send the commands listed below to LISTSERV@ONEB.ALMANAC.BC.CA: 

        HELP GET

(We believe the documents noted above will provide users with
sufficient resources to support additional research, and have included
the retrieval help file for those wishing to access the archives
further -we have not scratched the surface here, as this article is
already quite lengthy...) 

   > This may be sufficient in some arguments, but it hardly
   > suffices in the writing of historiography.

As we shall show below, Greg Raven's arguments and methodology may be
sufficient to fool grade school children, but they hardly suffice in
the writing of historiography or in honest debate.  Speaking of that,
in which *are* we participating?  If this is historiography, then why
limit the number of items discussed?  No honest historian draws
conclusions before viewing *all* of the evidence.  Or is there
something other than honest, objective historiography that Mr.  Raven
is employing here?  He has so far refused to declare, clearly and
openly, whether he is engaged in open- minded and impartial inquiry,
or partisan debate. 

Having thus limited the scope of this discussion, quite deliberately,
and then commented upon the lack of evidence, Mr.  Raven persists in
this line by adding a fifth point to his overview, "Fifth, it is
interesting to see what is NOT here." 

No, just boring...a comment noted and addressed.  Again, it's because
Mr.  Raven wanted to limit the number of items introduced, for reasons
he has repeatedly failed to justify here ...  and that *is* something
of interest! 

   > For example, there are no statements made by Auschwitz
   > Commandant Rudolf Hoess, who for years has been held out
   > as proof there were gassings (the U.S. Holocaust
   > Memorial Museum depends on a Hoess statement to make its
   > point).  Recently, Deborah Lipstadt and Christopher
   > Browning have admitted that the Hoess statements are
   > useless (Vanity Fair, December 1993).

Lipstadt and Browning most certainly did not 'admit' anything of the
sort - this is a good example of how deniers distort and misrepresent
their evidence - when they're not simply making it up. 

But first, notice what Mr.  Raven has done: he has again attacked an
argument that Dr.  Keren didn't even raise!  "I'm surprised you didn't
claim this," says Raven, "and if you had, it would have been wrong."
If he considers this to be fair play, we can certainly chip in by
shredding a host of denier arguments which *he* didn't raise.  This
sort of thing only clouds the issue, and it's strange that Raven would
attempt it, considering his April 20th.  claim that he "would like to
get this discussion back on track."

But back to the claim Raven makes.  Apart from the fallacy of
suggesting that the Museum "depends" on Hoess to make a point - there
are countless other pieces of evidence upon which they could similarly
"depend" - is it true that Lipstadt and Browning "have admitted that
the Hoess statements are useless"? 

No.  A grain of truth, covered by an ocean of distortion.

The grain of truth is that Hoess made rather bad estimates of how many
people were exterminated while he was Kommandant of Auschwitz.  In his
testimony, he estimated 2.5 million were killed; it has been known for
decades that this number is far too high.  Current estimates range
from 1.2 to 1.5 million deliberately gassed, and many more killed by
other means, primarily the simple but effective combination of
starvation, overwork, and disease. 

In his memoirs, Hoess writes "During previous interrogations I have
put the number of Jews who arrived in Auschwitz for extermination at
two and a half millions.  This figure was supplied by Eichmann who
gave it to my superior officer, Gruppenfuehrer Gluecks, when he was
ordered to make a report to the Reichsfuehrer SS [Himmler] shortly
before Berlin was surrounded.  Eichmann, and his permanent deputy
Guenther, were the only ones who possessed the necessary information
on which to calculate the total number destroyed.  ...  I myself never
knew the total number and I have nothing to help me make an estimate
of it." (Bezwinska, pp.  126-7) 

Hoess merely warns that the 2.5 million figure, which he got
essentially from hearsay, is shaky.  Later he writes: "I regard a
total of two and a half millions as far too high.  Even Auschwitz had
limits to its destructive possibilities." (Ibid, p.  129) 

Now jump ahead to the present.  In December 1993, a three-page article
on "revisionism" appeared in _Vanity Fair_ (not exactly a professional
historical journal).  A half-page discusses "the most sinister of the
current revisionist arguments - if indeed it is an argument at all,"
Holocaust-denial.  (p.  117) The author contacted Browning and
Lipstadt to get their opinions of Hoess. 

Browning said, "Hoess was always a very weak and confused witness...the
revisionists use him all the time for this reason, in order to try and
discredit the memory of Auschwitz as a whole."  (ibid)  Weak and confused
is one thing, but where does Browning say that "the Hoess statements are
useless?"  Nowhere.

Lipstadt directed the article's author to her book, which merely
points out what historians have known for decades: Hoess was wrong
about the total death count.  But where does Lipstadt say the "the
Hoess statements are useless"?  Again, nowhere. 

The classic denier distortion is the deliberate attempt to confuse
Hoess's statements regarding the number of victims gassed with his
statements regarding the actual gassing process.  Because Hoess got
the numbers wrong, Mr.  Raven would have you believe that we should
ignore the rest of his memoirs, including: 

   "By the will of the Reichsfuehrer SS, Auschwitz became the greatest
   human extermination centre of all time...he himself gave me the order
   to prepare installations at Auschwitz where mass exterminations could 
   take place, and personally to carry out these exterminations."
   (Bezwinska, pp. 89-90)

   "Protected by a gas mask, I watched the killing myself.  In the
   crowded cells death came instantaneously the moment the Cyclon B was
   thrown in.  A short, almost smothered cry, and it was all over."
   (p. 93)

   "The killing of these Russian prisoners-of-war did not cause me much
   concern at the time.  The order had been given, and I had to carry it
   out.  I must even admit that this gassing set my mind at rest, for 
   the mass extermination of the Jews was to start soon and at that time
   neither Eichmann nor I was certain how these mass killings were to be
   carried out.  It would be by gas, but we did not know which gas or 
   how it was to be used.  Now we had the gas, and we had established a
   procedure."  (p. 94)

Because Hoess' numbers were wrong - as he himself warned they probably
were - Mr.  Raven would like people to think we must ignore the above
statements as well, which clearly confess exactly what Mr.  Raven
denies: a Nazi plot to exterminate millions of Jews in homicidal gas
chambers.  This confession comes from one of the principal figures in
carrying out said plan. 

   > Sixth, none of these statements seems to deal with
   > gassings at the main Birkenau gas chambers,

This isn't bait-and-switch, this is the old shell game.  First Raven
talks about the "Holocaust" (definition 1), then hides the pea under
"plan to exterminate millions of Jews in homicidal gas chambers," and
now it's under the shell marked "the main Birkenau gas chambers." (The
pea, in this case, is the thing which Dr.  Keren's evidence is asked
to prove.) 

Once more, Dr.  Keren doesn't talk about the main Birkenau chambers
only because Raven refused to address a sufficient body of evidence to
encompass the thousands of individual activities in hundreds of
different locations which, corpse by corpse, added up to the
Holocaust.  And if Keren had talked about Birkenau, Raven would have
asked about Treblinka, and if Treblinka, Greg would have talked about
Sobibor....  The argument, once more, is specious. 

   > First citation: Statement of Hans Stark

At last Mr.  Raven gets to the point.  One shudders to think of how
much space he would have taken if he had *not* wanted to avoid
sidetracking the discussion. 

   > For his first adminicle, Keren presents us with a
   > statement by Hans Stark, who claims to have taken part in
   > an execution using Zyklon B.  There are several problems
   > with this statement,

Then he should list *all* of them, not just the ones "of most
interest." Mr.  Raven wouldn't be trying to slip in an unsubstantiated
assertion here, would he?  A little subliminal message that he's got
more to talk about, but not enough time to address?  He'd like us to
believe that, wouldn't he, without being required to prove it? 

   > but of most interest are 1) Stark's 
   > statement is almost never cited by Holocaust historians,

Which proves nothing.  In this case, the writer actually tries to make
the wealth of evidence in support of the truth of the Holocaust work
*against* it.  Imagine if you were asked to pick the one or two $100
dollar bills out of a bank vault which *best* prove there is a bank?
They are *all* good; how can one be "best?" And since there are so
many, one picks at random, so any particular bill is indeed "almost
never" cited as proof. 

The reader may further note that Mr.  Raven has made another
unsubstantiated assertion.  Dr.  Keren provides detailed
documentation.  Compare before you buy. 

Mr.  Raven goes on to note: "Stark claims that the gassings were
already taking place in the autumn of 1941," and then performs another
bit of denial slight-of-hand.  As the evidence shows, the gassings
which occured at Auschwitz in the Fall of 1941 were experimental in
nature.  The following information, from the Auschwitz FAQ, discusses
the matter: 

      On September 3 Fritsch decided to experiment.  First he crammed
      five or six hundred Russians and another 250 sick prisoners from
      the camp hospital into an underground detention cell.  Then the
      windows were covered with earth.  SS men wearing gas masks
      opened the Zyklon-B canisters to remove what looked like blue
      chalk pellets about the size of peas, creating a cloud of poison
      gas.  After they left, the doors were sealed.(Ho"ss, Commandant
      at Auschwitz, 173.  See also Yehuda Bauer, "Auschwitz," in
      Ja"ckel and Rohwere, eds., Der Mord an den Juden, 167-68) Ho"ss
      wrote later that death was instantaneous.  Perhaps that was what
      he was told.  But he was not present to witness the event; he
      was away on a business trip.  Other sources indicate that even
      the next day not everyone was dead, and the SS men had to
      release more insecticide.  Eventually all the prisoners died.
      When Ho"ss returned to Auschwitz, he heard about the successful
      experiment.  On Eichmann's next visit to Auschwitz, Ho"ss told
      him about the possibilities of Zyklon-B, and, according to
      Ho"ss, the two decided to use the pesiticide and the peasant
      farmstead for extermination.(Ho"ss, Commandant, 175.  From the
      History of KL Auschwitz, New York, 1982, I, 190)(Breitman, 203) 

   In The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, Jozef Buszko (Jagiellonian
University, Krakow) writes: "The first, relatively small gas chamber
was built in Auschwitz I.  Here the experimental gassing using Zyklon
B gas first took place, on September 3, 1941.  The victims were 600
Soviet prisoners of war and 250 other prisoners.  After that
experiment, the firm J.  A.  Topf and Sons received a contract to
build much larger, permanent gas chambers connected with very large
crematoria in Auschwitz-Birkenau, where the mass exterminations were
mainly carried out.  Altogether four such installations -- II, III,
IV, and V -- were built in Birkenau." (Encyclopedia, Vol.  I, 113) 

Mr. Raven continues:

   "... when most scholars now believe that the alleged plan
   for mass gassings was formed between June and August
   1942, and implemented between March and June of 1943 (see
   for example, Pressac),"

At last, a citation to real evidence.  Too bad it's irrelevant, as
mass gassings and experimental gassings are not the same thing.  Thus
there is no discrepancy - the experiments in 1941 proved successful; a
plan was formed in 1942 based on those experiments, and then
implemented.  Stark's credibility remains untouched.  The
"revisionist's", on the other hand.... 

   "... and 3) Stark's timetable for a Zyklon B gassing are
   fantasy, allowing nowhere near enough time for the
   process to take place."

Dr. Keren's detailed documentation is met with another unsubstantiated 

Let the record show that so far, Greg Raven has introduced no credible
citation to rebut Stark's testimony, only unsubstantiated assertion.
The apparent discrepancy on dates is seen to be the result of utter
confusion about the difference between small-scale test gassings and
mass gassings.  However, this confusion calls into question just how
careful a historian the writer is.  If he is faulty in his argument
here, where else in his argument has he been faulty?  This is why you
should never, ever buy an undocumented assertion from a revisionist
(or, for that matter, from anyone else, even us).  Demand the full
story, not vague summaries. 

At least, we hope this horrible distortion of the facts was just
confusion on the writer's part.  No doubt Mr.  Raven will explain how
this embarrassing little error crept into his work when he replies. 

   > Second citation: Statement of SS Doctor Kremer
   > In addition to the general flaws noted

    ... and refuted ...

Undaunted by his failure to deal with Stark's testimony, Mr. Raven 
continues in the same vein... 

   " the overview above, it is interesting to see that in
   this adminicle Kremer alludes to a diary, which would
   have been written at the same time as the gassings were
   allegedly taking place, but curiously this document is
   not used by Keren."

Not at all "curious." How many times must we remind Mr.  Raven that
_he_ placed limits on the amount of evidence?  And there is another
limit: since Mr.  Raven objected to snippets (for reasons we agree are
valid; context is important), posting the whole diary would have
exceeded many systems' limits on article line count. 

   "This could be because the diary makes no mention of
   gassings or gas chambers, as can be seen in the short
   segment included as part of th[e] testimony offered by
   Keren.  In short, Kremer was not an eyewitness..."

This conclusion does not follow.  Kremer's failure to write something
in his diary is not proof it didn't happen.  It has been explained
earlier in this newsgroup that it may have been, shall we say,
hazardous to Kremer's health if something too explicit were found in
his diaries by the SS or Gestapo. 

   "...and as such is in a poor position to give us
   testimony about what happened."

Again, Raven's completely unsubstantiated assertion against Keren's 
detailed documentation.  Is anyone keeping score? 

   > Third citation: Statement of SS Private Boeck

   > Again, this statement is rarely cited, which must make
   > us wonder why, if it is so damaging, isn't it held out
   > more often as proof?

The reason why this argument is fallacious has already been explained 

   "Pressac himself casts doubt on some of the aspects..."

Which aspects, besides the one example specifically mentioned below?  
Why not provide full quotes and let the reader judge, rather than 
summarizing? (Mr. Raven's summaries have already been shown to be 

   "...of this statement, pointing out, for example, that
   Boeck could only have witnessed one such gassing (at

Is "at most" in Pressac's original text, or is it a clever insertion
on Mr.  Raven's part, as we are only presented with a paraphrase, not
a direct quote, and no exact page citation to make it easy to check
the accuracy of it, so that if we want to verify it for ourselves we
must take the time to read Pressac cover to cover? 

However, nothing has been said to rebut Boeck's testimony about 
witnessing of a gassing.  May we assume, then, that Mr. Raven grudgingly 
accepts that Boeck *did* witness a gassing, that the Nazi use of poison 
gas is now established, and we are now only involved in a discussion of 

   "This, in addition to the unrealistic description 
   of the gassing operation..."

Yet another unsubstantiated assertion.  No explanation is given of why
this is unrealistic.  We do not see anything unrealistic about it.
However, Dr.  Keren provided the actual quote, not a paraphrase, so
each reader can make up his or her own mind.  Dr.  Keren also provided
the *exact* bibliographic citation, so that anyone who wishes to do so
can *easily* check up on him and catch him in any error or omission. 

   "...forces us to conclude that Boeck was not an 
   actual eyewitness."

We see no basis for drawing such a conclusion.  But we invite the
fair- minded reader to analyze the arguments and decide. 

   "Fourth citation: Statement by SS Unterscharfuehrer Pery

   "After the war Broad cooperated fully with the
   Allies, and his testimony was important in the 1946 Tesch
   trial and the 1947 Nuremberg Farben trial.  He testified
   that 10,000 Jews were gassed every day, and that
   altogether some two and a half to three million were
   killed (Broad testimony, 2 March 1946, NI-11954).  Some
   years later, though, he distanced himself from his
   earlier testimony, saying that it had been based at least
   in part on hearsay ("Le Proces d'Auschwitz," Le Monde,
   April 23, 1964 (AFP dispatch from Frankfurt, Apr. 21,
   1964); W.  St glich, Auschwitz-Mythos, pp.  214, 215,

At last, some detailed literature citations.  It would have been nice
to have the full quotes, not summaries which may or may not be
distorted (unfortunately, 1964 issues of Le Monde are hard to come
by).  But this at least is a somewhat more honest style of discussion
as it *does* allow for verification of the claims made. 

Still, the most damaging thing that has been said is that it was based
at least (is "at least" in the original?) in part on hearsay (we are
not told what part).  While this may be enough to get a new trial on
appeal if this were the *only* testimony (though it isn't, not by a
long shot), this is supposed to be a search for historical truth,
which operates by somewhat different rules.  Or is it?  Mr.  Raven has
not been forthcoming on that point. 

   "In the passage quoted by Keren, Broad speaks of a Zyklon
   B gassing, in a truck of some sort while it is parked
   next to a building we are told was itself a gas chamber.
   Even Pressac says 'Broad's testimony raises questions yet
   to be solved." (page 124) Pressac also says Broad's
   'declaration has been 'slightly' reworked by the Poles.'
   (page 124) As Faurisson has point out, Pressac's use of
   quotes around the word 'slightly' indicate that the
   reworking was anything but slight."

The writer does not reproduce Faurisson's argument so that you can 
evaluate it for yourself, nor does he tell you where to find it (though 
one could probably assume it's somewhere in the Faurisson book Raven 
cited earlier).  Neither does he give us anything more than a sentence - 
no, only two snippets of a sentence - from Pressac.  He expects you to 
accept his unsubstantiated assertion and summary once again.  We have 
already exposed how untrustworthy these are.  But we thank him for 
providing the page number this time.

On the other hand, Dr.  Keren actually took the time to show you what
he was talking about, because he had the goods.  He was not afraid to
let you see it - all of it, not snippets, distorted summaries, and
out- of-context quotes - and have you come to your own conclusions. 

   > Fifth citation: Statement of Dr. Czeslaw Glowakci

   > This is the third not-often-cited piece.  Out of the
   > mountain of evidence we are told exists to support the
   > Holocaust gassing claims, why are three of Keren's five
   > pieces of evidence rarely cited by other Holocaust
   > scholars?

The answers to this question have been provided.  We simply wish to 
point out another use of this particular denier technique. 

   > Not being familiar with this declaration or with
   > Glowakci, and because there is so little in the quoted
   > piece with which to work,

We are not exactly sure what this statement means, either the "so 
little" or "with which to work."  But Dr. Keren has provided the full 
text for open inspection by the reader. 

   > I can only make a couple of general comments.  Glowakci
   > speaks of gassings at Block 11, which is on the extreme
   > opposite side of the camp from the crematory in Auschwitz
   > (this crematory is where the "gas chamber" was supposed
   > to have been).

We had thought the purpose of the discussion was proving that the
Nazis carried out gassings.  What difference does it make where this
particular gassing, one of many at many different places, occurred?
This comment is wholly irrelevant to the issue at hand. 

   > He at least gives the gassing process time to work
   > properly, but then goes on to say that the bodies have
   > decomposed so rapidly in two days that they are falling
   > apart.

He does not say this.  He only says that the skin of the dead stuck to
their hands.  This does not even clearly mean that it was detaching
from the bodies; it could just mean that there was some tackiness.
How is it that revisionists can so consistenly get things confused
like this?  Yet it should also be noted that there is no impossibility
in having decomposition proceed this rapidly.  It depends on the

   > Perhaps most important, though, he claims the victims
   > were Soviet POW; is Keren saying that all Soviet soldiers
   > were Jewish, or just these?  Keren doesn't elaborate.

Dr.  Keren doesn't elaborate because he thinks the point of the
quotation should be clear: gas chambers existed, despite Mr.  Raven's
attempts to get us to doubt the fact.  Nothing that has been said
about this quotation in any way diminishes its credibility.  The fact
that this particular example was of gassing of non-Jews says nothing
about whether Jews were gassed, only that the Nazis did, as hundreds
of witnesses testified, use poison gas as a means of disposing of
"enemies of the state" both non-Jewish and Jewish.  The case for the
existence and use of gas chambers is solidly supported, and *nothing*
has been said which really challenges the credibility of that
testimony - unless you believe that an unsubstantiated assertion is a
legitimate challenge. 

   > My challenge to produce evidence that demonstrates 
   > a Nazi plan to kill millions of Jews in gas chambers 
   > has not been met.

And it never will be, if Mr. Raven is allowed to play both defense 
attorney and judge. 

For that, friends, is exactly what Mr.  Raven has been doing
throughout his so-called "reply." He has been hoping you wouldn't
notice.  He has been pretending to be a fair-minded historian, but if
you follow his argument you will see it is long on fallacious
reasoning, subtle poisonous insinuations (the repeated question "Why
did Keren do/not do so and so?" to try to establish the subliminal
impression that Keren is being underhanded or evasive), shifting
definitions, and vague unsubstantiated assertions - tactics of the
defense attorney, not of an impartial seeker of truth.  What he was
short on - in fact, entirely devoid of - was any factual citation
whatsoever which in any way impeached the smallest piece of a single
word of testimony introduced by Dr.  Keren. 

    Remember the diminicles?  That's all he had.  Diminicles.  Yet he 
feels that he can get away with asserting: 

   > My challenge to produce evidence that demonstrates a
   > Nazi plan to kill millions of Jews in gas chambers has
   > not been met.

Illicitly running around to the other side of the bench and putting on
the judge's robes.  Would anyone seriously expect the defense attorney
to return a verdict other than not guilty? 

We wonder if, after reading this response, Mr.  Raven would be willing
to submit his case to an impartial and randomly-selected jury, or if
he would start begging for a plea bargain. 

   > I would hope that even Mr. Keren would admit this.

We would hope even Mr.  Raven would admit that he has failed, and
failed utterly.  Just as what a magician does seems mysterious and
marvelous until the gimmick is exposed, the deniers' cheap debating
tricks are all too well known to us.  The reader is invited once more
to go over the original Faurisson quote, confidently used by Raven to
support his position, and then compare it with our rewrite.  Then
compare Dr.  Keren's detailed and carefully documented evidence with
the unsubstantiated assertions, distortions, irrelevancies, and little
snippets such as the Mayer quotes (despite Mr.  Raven's *own* refusal
to deal with snippets, note that he shows no reluctance to use them
for his own purposes).  Dr.  Keren has solid facts.  Greg Raven has
diminicles.  The smart shopper in the market for historical truth will
recognize the quality product. 

   > I would also hope that he would agree with me that
   > although we are told over and over that there is a
   > mountain of evidence to support the gassing story, and
   > that the Nazis recorded everything because they were
   > proud of what they did, "Sources for the study of the gas
   > chambers are at once rare and unreliable." (Mayer, page
   > 362)

Another denier technique is the quote out of context.  For some reason
Raven did not quote another of the favorite denier lines from p.  363
of Mayer: "In the meantime, there is no denying the many
contradictions, ambiguities, and errors in the existing sources.
These cannot be ignored [....]" It certainly sounds like Mayer does
not support the Holocaust story, doesn't it?  Except that if you look
at the actual page, all of it, not selected snippets, you find that
the ellipsis dots stand for the following: " ..., although it must be
emphasized strongly that such defects are altogether insufficient to
put in question the use of gas chambers in the mass murder of Jews at

   > This, in a nutshell, is the revisionist position.  People
   > are constantly being told one thing about the Holocaust,
   > yet the documents themselves tell a much different story,
   > when there are documents at all.  Revisionists do not
   > claim the Holocaust never happened, just that some of the
   > stories that have been included under the heading
   > "Holocaust" are false.

There are ambiguities, distortions, misunderstandings, errors, and
quite probably a few outright lies, yes.  It would be impossible to
avoid in the mountain of testimony and documentation which constitutes the
Holocaust record.  But take a few pebbles and a small rock from 
a mountain; does the mountain go away?  If "some" of the stories are 
false, then one would assume the rest are true - so if that is indeed 
the only claim that revisionists make, why are we having this long-winded

Here we see the parting distortion.  Compare

   > Revisionists do not claim the Holocaust never happened,
   > just that some of the stories that have been included
   > under the heading "Holocaust" are false.

with the earlier quote from Faurisson, which charges far more - that
those who put together the story of the Holocaust used invalid
reasoning, dubious evidence, and (though he does not say so openly,
we're sure he would not be sorry if he left the impression in the mind
of the reader) outright fraud.  Oh, no, they do not *claim* it - but
we have shown how the argument tries to imply it subliminally. 

We apologize for the length of this article.  But we felt we could not
allow even the smallest of the deniers' little tricks to go unexposed.
For that is precisely their hope: that they could throw so many
insidious little subliminal diminicles that one or two would sneak
past the counterargument and burrow into the reader's brain, growing
from small ambiguity to minor discrepancy to major flaw to
inexplicable contradiction to the ultimate conclusion of deliberate
Holocaust Hoax - just as the small shadow in your closet grew to be a
horrible monster when you were a child, as it preyed on your

All we have done here was turn on the light.

The HIV virus evades the body's defenses by sneaking past the outer
wall of the T4 cell and into its heart before the body is aware that
it is under attack.  In the same way, the IHR virus works its way past
intellectual defenses and into the heart of the subconscious by coming
under the guise of reasonable, fair-minded discourse before the
intellect is aware that it is under attack.  But once there, the
little innuendoes ("Why didn't...." [psst!  Could he have something to
HIDE?] "One can only wonder...." [If they were HONEST, they would have
SAID MORE, wouldn't they?]) and the dozens of unchallenged vague
unsupported assertions ("Many scholars believe...." [Notice they
didn't respond to that statement?  Could it be because they CAN'T?])
begin their insidious work, growing from little niggles to an
inarticulate feeling that something is wrong.  And from there they
grow to uncertainty about the Holocaust, and so on until the terminal
stage of the disease, Holocaust Denial. 

Sadly, there is no vaccine for the HIV virus.  However, we hope that
our discussion has provided the reader with intellectual vaccination
against the IHR virus. 

"Revisionists" often claim that they are unfairly branded as Nazis,
racists, and anti-Semites.  As some of us have been branded "vile
little liars," "Holocau$t Mythologists," and other unsavory names, we
are sensitive to this charge.  Perhaps at times we *have* been too
quick to mistake the duped victims of those behind Holocaust denial
for wilful perpetrators of that denial. 

Therefore, although he has publicly stated elsewhere that Hitler was a
great man, we will not claim that as evidence that Mr.  Raven has
knowingly made any of his arguments in bad faith.  We earnestly hope
that after reading our response, he will realize the illegitimacy of
not only the substance (such as it was) but the fundamental tone and
technique of his argument.  If he realizes and admits his error, we
will gladly forgive him.  From the explanation above, it can readily
be seen that we understand just how clever the tactics of the deniers
are, and how easily they can fool the unwary.  Perhaps Mr.  Raven was
one of those fooled.  We hope our intellectual vaccine has reached him
in time, and he is now on the way to a full recovery. 

We do not require that he stop asking questions.  The recovery process
can be slow, so we will be glad to treat those sudden flareups of
doubt.  We merely ask that he adopt a style of discussion more suited
to honest and objective search for the truth, and abandon rhetoric
more suited to the cheap defense lawyer than the serious historical
scholar.  However, if he continues to use the same methods of
argument, then we *will* start to question his honesty and his
motives, or begin to deny his intelligence and his sanity. 

One last note: Read again the sentence: "Therefore, although he has
publicly stated elsewhere that Hitler was a great man, we will not
claim ....." Did you spot *our* sneaky use of the denier debating
technique?  The subtle innuendo, "We do not *claim* [but we'd sure
like you to think it's true!]." If so, congratulations!  Our vaccine
is already starting to work.  If you missed it, you now understand why
it works so well.  Please read this entire article again, but more

                           Work Cited

   Bezwinska, Jadwiga, Ph. D., and Danuta Czech M.A.  KL Auschwitz
   seen by the SS:  Hoess, Broad, Kremer.  Howard Fertig Inc.,
   New York, 1984.

   Breitman, Richard. The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final
   Solution. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991. 

   Encyclopedia. See Gutman.

   Gutman, Israel, ed. in Chief, et al. Encyclopedia of the
   Holocaust. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1990. ISBN 0-02-
   896090-4 (set) (Referenced in this FAQ as "Encyclopedia")

   Mayer, Arno J.  Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?: The "Final Solution"
   in History.  New York: Pantheon Books, 1988.

   Vanity Fair, December 1993.

Danny Keren
Jamie McCarthy
Ken McVay
Mike Stein

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