The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 22:31:23 +0000
From: David 
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Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
To: Kenneth McVay OBC 
Subject: Himmler challenge update
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You may recall that I expressed an interest in taking the Nizkor
'Himmler Posen speech' challenge, namely to have the tape of the speech
analysed, pay for the analysis if it proves the tape genuine, or watch
with satisfaction as Nizkor pays for the analysis if the tape is not
proven genuine.

On 22 February 1999 I asked the National Archives whether the original
recording of Hitler's Posen speech could be made available.

I have today, 3 March, received the following faxed response at 21h22

This is in response to your inquiry of February 22, 1999, regarding the
Heinrich Himmler speeches made at Posen, Germany, on October 4, 1943.

Attached is a copy of pages 10 and 11 from the Select Audiovisual
Records list "Captured German Sound Recordings" that may be of interest.
The item circled contains a description of the speech described in your
inquiry. The speech was originally recordedon audiotape at the speed of
7ips in Posen, Germany. While we cannot make the original recording
available to you, we can provide you with a certified copy. If you
determine that a certified copy of the Himmler speech will meet your
needs and you would wish to purchase a copy, please see ordering
information on our Web site at
From the desk of Charles de Arman


Motion Pictures, Sound and Video Reference.

[End quote]

There was an enclosure indicating that the speech had been published in
IMT, Trial of the Major War Criminals.

I tried to telephone Mr Armani but, unfortunately, it seems that the
library was closed (this was some 40 minutes after the fax arrived). I
will try again tomorrow.

Two issues are raised by the above.

First, the Archives are unwilling to release the original tape. They
are, however, willing to release a certified copy. One possible issue
here is the quality of the copy.

They state:

The type of copying formats that can be provided from our archival
intermediate copies are: 

   Motion picture film (in 16mm and 35mm) 
   Videotape (both non-broadcast and broadcast quality) 
   Audiotape (both open reel or audiocassette) 

To request broadcast quality motion picture film or videotape copies
made from our archival intermediate copies, please refer
to the instruction sheet How to Order Broadcast Quality Copies.
Broadcast quality copies are the very best, and oftentimes
expensive, images that can be made from an archival intermediate copy.
Such reproductions are used, for example, in
television and feature film productions. Work is performed by off-site
private vendor laboratories in cooperation with the
National Archives and Records Administration. Customers must select a
laboratory from a list provided by the National
Archives and Records Administration. 

To request non-broadcast quality videotape (VHS and 3/4") from the
National Archives, please refer to the 2-page instruction
sheets How to Order Non-Broadcast Quality Video Copies. Non-broadcast
quality videotapes are fair to good copies that
are suitable for public and home presentation. To request sound
recordings from the National Archives, please refer to How to
Order Sound Recordings. 

Procedures for ordering non-broadcast (or "viewing") copies through
vendors are identical to the procedures for ordering
broadcast quality copies. For more information about this process,
please see the 2-page instruction sheet describing How to
Order Broadcast Quality Copies. 

To request sound recordings, see How to Order Sound Recordings. 

To request stock film, see Stock Film Ordering Requirements. 

Condition of originals: While the National Archives and Records
Administration makes every effort to provide the best quality
copy, some originals or copies of originals provided to a vendor may
exhibit physical defects due to fading, deterioration, poor
environmental storage conditions, or handling damage. Copies purchased
from us or from an approved vendor therefore may
show the same visual and/or audio defects. All copies of National
Archives records are purchased with the understanding that
they may not be returned for credit refunds, or exchanges. 

Unsatisfactory reproductions must be returned within 30 days for
replacement. Such returns will be honored only if we have
made an error or the vendor processing or vendor transfer is faulty.
Returns will not be accepted if, in our judgment, the
defects are attributable to the condition of the original materials.
Please note that non-broadcast quality copies made by us are
purchased with the understanding that they may not be returned for
credit, refunds, or exchanges. 

Videotapes can normally be made of any film in the collection.
"Broadcast quality" refers to meeting F.C.C. standards, which is
limited by the quality of the original film (which may include
scratches, splices, or other defects). "Non-broadcast quality" tapes
may contain a visible flicker but may be acceptable for study,
classroom, preview, or home viewing purposes only. 

Audio tape will be copied onto either 1/4" open reel or standard audio
cassette tape. Some original recordings, such as
monitored German shortwave broadcasts, have poor or only fair sound.
While our laboratory may filter noise and correct
some defects, it does not attempt major enhancement of sound quality.

The problem is that if we are working from a copy, rather than the
original, there is a problem that we could get a 'false negative'. In
other words, the analysis may not prove that the Himmler speech is
authentic due to defects in the copy or due to the laboratory
'correcting' defects. Now, of course, this would be to my advantage
financially :). However, Nizkor could always claim that the analysis did
not give a fair test and that a negative finding was due to the analysis
working from a copy rather than from the original tape.

Second, the issue arises of who will pay for the certified copy. I have
no idea how much this costs -- I can telephone Armani tomorrow to try to
ascertain this. I suspect that this would be a matter for negotiation
between my lawyers and Nizkor's lawyers. At this stage I merely note
that it is in issue.

I would be most interested in any comments from Nizkor on the above,
particularly if anyone has any ideas for persuading the National
Archives to release the original tape for analysis. Someone --
presumably the librarian -- must have the authority to release that tape
and if the individual concerned could be persuaded of the historical
importance of conducting the test in such a way that nobody can make
claims about 'false negatives'. I'll have a go at them myself tomorrow,
but I'm merely an obscure nobody from distant England.

On a completely different point, I'd be very interested if anyone has
any ideas for a reference tape -- in other words a tape that we could
obtain and that is quite uncontroversially Himmler speaking. Clearly,
whatever tape we use would have to be accepted as 'genuine Himmler' not
only by myself and by Nizkor but also by the revisionists -- I might see
if I can get the views from various IHR people on this. (If any are
reading this in alt.revisionism, opinions would be much appreciated.)
Again, we want to avoid (a) charges of 'false negatives' from Nizkor
('the quality of the reference tape was so bad that it wasn't a fair
comparison') and (b) charges of 'that wasn't Himmler on the reference
tape -- it was done by the same actor who faked the Posen tape' from
revisionists. For that reason we need broad consensus on what would
constitute an acceptable tape.

I'd much appreciate any intelligent responses -- preferably just post
them to alt.revisionism so we can all see them. Anything emailed will,
as always, be treated as postable!

(Dr) David E Michael

Posted to alt.revisionism
Emailed to Ken McVay

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