The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/h/hoess.rudolf.ferdinand/on-torture

Date: Wed, 28 Feb 1996 19:55:05 GMT
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From: Jamie McCarthy 
X-Comment: The Nizkor Project: Holocaust Discussion List

Please pass this along to Compuserve.

Mike Stein wrote:

> ...the exact text of [Hoess'] testimony taken at Nurnberg, Germany on
> 1 April 1946, ... as well as a subsequent session on 2 April, 194[6]
> ... is extant and available for perusal in their original text as the
> 'Pretrial Interrogation Series of the International Military Tribunal
> at Nuernberg.'

Manfred Koch responded:

> The Nuremberg Trials Documents have lost ALL credibility, except for
> believers (the last refuge and comfort for their sinking claims), and
> only mirror the red-hot hatred against the German nation.

Wait a minute.

The full transcripts of the pretrial interrogations are available.  Now, 
Mr. Koch apparently still believes that Hoess was tortured and fed a 
story.  The only logical conclusion is that he believes the 
interrogations must be fraudulent -- either wholly invented, or doctored 
so thoroughly that they did not reflect what actually happened in the 

Because, as anyone who reads them will see, Hoess was obviously not 
tortured into making his statements.

If Mr. Koch believes that the documents of the Nuremberg Trials are so 
completely forged as to render even a straightforward transcript 
unreliable, why does he even bother discussing them at all?  Why does he 
not simply claim that every single piece of evidence introduced, every 
transcript, is completely fraudulent?  After all, if the Allies would 
simply type up fake transcripts of what Hoess said, why would they not do 
this for every witness, every sworn testimony, everything that happened 

Who's to say that the whole thing is not invented?  Maybe there never 
really were any reporters covering the trial (or maybe they were all 
Jewish liars) because the trial never happened and the reporters were 
just told what to print about it!  Maybe all the defendants were beaten 
and tortured so thoroughly and so convincingly that they never once 
revealed that everything was a fraud -- even to the point of acting 
haughty in front of the cameras that did not record the trial but instead 
a stage-play!  Maybe the whole thing was a Hollywood invention!  Maybe 
Martians were behind it all!

You see how quickly, Mr. Koch, we arrive at ridiculous conclusions.

How do we avoid ridiculous conclusions?  We insist on evidence that meets 
some reasonable standard of acceptability.  The question is, do you have 
any evidence that Hoess' confession was extracted by torture or another 
form of coercion -- evidence that meets some reasonable standard?

You've already told us what evidence you have, so let's take a look at it:

> Many years
> after the war, and I mean;  many years after the war,  not on April 1
> & 2 1945, when any bestiality against Germans was an 'understandable'
> act of devine Christianity, British military intelligence sergeant
> Bernard Clarke described how he and five other British soldiers
> tortured the former commandant to obtain his "confession." Hoess
> himself privately explained his ordeal in these words: "Certainly, I
> signed a statement that I  killed two and half million Jews.   I could
> just as well have said that it was five million Jews.    There are
> certain methods by which any confession can be obtained, whether it is
> true or not." .
> Rupert Butler, Legions of Death (England: 1983), pp. 235; R.
> Faurisson, Journal of Historical Review,  Winter 1986-87, pp. 389-403.

So here we have your evidence:  (1) Berhard Clarke described how he 
"tortured [Hoess] to obtain his 'confession,'" and (2) Hoess said 
privately that his confession was extracted under torture.

The problem, Mr. Koch, is that neither of these is very good evidence.  
In fact, they're both quite bad evidence.

(And furthermore, I'll claim that these are the _only_ evidence to back 
up your claim that Hoess was coerced. I make this claim after years of 
researching "revisionist" claims about Hoess.  This claim, incidentally, 
has been at since 
December 11th, 1995 -- I really do strongly suggest readers check out 
Nizkor if they want to see how these bogus arguments have been long-since 

So why are these pieces of evidence both very bad evidence?  Well, first 
of all, they're both hearsay (and the latter is third-hand hearsay, as 
we'll see in a moment).  Now, hearsay is not always inadmissable.  
Sometimes it can be valuable.  But I note that "revisionists" never 
accept hearsay evidence to _prove_ the Holocaust -- why do they accept it 
to _disprove_ it?  This hints at hypocrisy, which we'll see more of in a 

So what kind of hearsay do we have in this case?

Well, we have a description from a paperback potboiler, and we have a 
secret document that no one has ever seen.

The potboiler, Rupert Butler's _Legions of Death_, is clearly not written 
with historical accuracy in mind.  One line sticks in my head, I'll quote 
it from memory:  "Clarke thrust his service stick under Hoess' eyelids.  
'Keep your pig eyes open, you swine!'"

Interestingly, Butler's book _contradicts_ the "revisionist" position, 
which is that Hoess was fed a story (by Jewish or Zionist agents in 
British uniform).  No mention of agents is made.  No mention of him being 
given a predetermined story is made.  On the contrary, it says that after 
he was beaten, he began to talk and there was no stopping him.

Now that I can believe.  The question is -- why, then, when Hoess turned 
into Chatty Cathy, did the stories he told mesh so closely with the 
testimony of other witnesses to the same atrocities?  Michael Shemer goes 
into detail about how Hoess' and Pery Broad's testimonies are very 
similar, though they never met.  And those two agree with the other 
witnesses as well.  I won't go into detail about how the stories are 
similar, unless someone asks me to;  I'll simply refer to Shermer's 
article in Skeptic magazine, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 52-54.

But I will pose the question to "revisionists":  if Butler's story is 
true, and if Hoess really did start talking on his own, without being fed 
a story, how can the accuracy of his testimony be explained?  Kind of 
shoots a hole in the conspiracy theory, doesn't it?

On to the second document.  Your footnote looks very impressive, Mr. 
Koch:  "R. Faurisson, Journal of Historical Review,  Winter 1986-87, pp. 
389-403."  The problem is that Robert Faurisson, in that article, is 
unable to make reference to _his_ source!  He says that Moritz von 
Schirmeister heard Hoess say that he was tortured into confessing -- and 
that he has a document to prove it.

So where is this document?  It was given to him by Mark Weber, we know 
that much.  But where did it come from?  We don't know.  And Faurisson 
isn't saying -- he says that he is not at liberty to disclose who it came 
from, who wrote it, or even approximately what it says.

A footnote that leads to a dead-end is quite worthless!

You see, this is why we need to establish rules of evidence.  Mr. Koch, 
you apparently play by the rules that any document is acceptable even if 
it can't be cited, shown, or even explained.

So, suppose I tell you that I have in my possession two documents, one 
signed by Adolf Hitler that orders Himmler to please kill as many Jews as 
he can with gas chambers, another thanking him for killing six million of 
them. Is that good enough for you?  Can we end the discussion now?  Are 
you convinced?

Of course not!  You would demand proof from me (and rightly so).

Therefore, Mr. Koch, your standards of evidence are hypocritical.  Q.E.D.

And arguing with someone whose standards of evidence are hypocritical is 
an exercise in futility.

> It is now well established that Hoess' crucial testimony, as well as
> his so-called "confession"  (which was also cited by the Nuremberg
> Tribunal), are not only false, but were obtained by beating the former
> commandant nearly to death.    Hoess' wife and children were also
> threatened with death and deportation to Siberia.

"Well established"?  Absolute nonsense!

You'll note that no footnotes -- dead-end or otherwise -- are provided to 
back up these claims.

Go ahead and try to back them up, Mr. Koch.  What evidence do you have 
that Hoess' confession was "obtained by beating [him] nearly to death"?  
What evidence do you have that his family was threatened?

None, of course.

> In his statement
> -- which would not be admissible today in any United States court of
> law -- Hoess claimed the existence of an extermination camp called
> "Wolzek."  In fact, no such camp ever existed.

Let's think about this.

On the one hand, "revisionsts" claim Hoess was fed a story.

On the other hand, they point to minor errors in his story, like getting 
the name of a camp wrong, or disagreements in exactly how long it took 
the poison gas to kill people.

Why would he be fed a _wrong_ story?

On the contrary, errors _strengthen_ his confession, because they 
demonstrate that he was not reading a script!

In the case of "Wolzek," from his description of its location, it is 
clear that he was referring to the camp Sobibor.  And you'll notice that 
Hoess never once mentions the camp Sobibor by that name.  Evidently, 
then, he simply got its name wrong.  Perhaps "Wolzek" was an earlier name 
for the camp, or perhaps someone once reported its name to him 
incorrectly and it stuck in his memory.

> He further claimed
> that during the time that he was commandant of Auschwitz, two and a
> half million people were exterminated there, and that a further half
> million died of disease.  Today no reputable historian upholds these
> figures.

Yes, and he later made it clear that these figures came from Eichmann's 
office, and that he did not trust them.  Hoess' own estimates of the 
number killed -- about 1.1 million -- are startlingly accurate!

> Hoess was
> obviously willing to say anything, sign anything and do anything to
> stop the torture, and to try to save himself and his family.

The word "obviously" here is used to obscure the fact that there is no 
evidence whatsoever.

> His
> testimony was written in english, a language he did not understand,
> and he signed it!

Hoess understood English at least reasonably well, and it was probably 
S.O.P. (standard operating procedure) at the time to provide confessions 
in translation.

In any case, Hoess' memoirs, written _after_ sentence had been passed 
(and while there was certainly no torture going on), provide much more 
valuable insight.  In them, he recounts episodes of gassing, gives his 
rationale for the death figures he cites, whines about how stupid his 
captors are, blames everyone but himself and his family, indulges in 
antisemitic and anti-Polish stereotypes, and generally writes pretty much 
what you'd expect a condemned Nazi leader of a death camp to write -- if 
he weren't being tortured.

And he wrote it in German, of course.

> Mike, you're still reading OLD WAR II  PROPAGANDA.  Get off of it,
> things have changed.  Step out of the circle of hardcore 'believers'
> and see the light.

Again, I repeat that the lesson we need to learn is that "revisionists" 
have hypocritical standards of evidence.  And someone with hypocritical 
standards of evidence can prove _anything_.  Such people are not 
motivated by facts and reasoning.  There is no sense arguing with such a 

Suggested URLs:

 Jamie McCarthy     Co-Webmaster of
 Unless you specify otherwise, I assume pro-"revisionism" email
 to be in the public domain.            I speak only for myself.

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