The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/k/kenner.lionel/response-to-collins.072595


                              
    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.


Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.