The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/nyms/ehrlich606/ehrlich-on-giwer.02

Newsgroups: alt.revisionism
Subject: Re: Soviets were fighting Hitler in 1956 in Hungary? [David Irving]
Date: 9 Nov 1996 01:30:44 GMT
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364) (1.10)
Lines: 171
Message-ID: <>
References: <560b1o$>
X-Newsreader: AOL Offline Reader

In article <560b1o$>, (Hilary
Ostrov) writes:

>In <>,
>>Comments like *the traditional enemy* (that he made) should  be
>>as being deeply cynical and bitter.  Such thinking is very unhealthy,
>>also wrong.  But I think the reason why people like Irving are created
>>a lot to do with the vociferous treatment received by those who disagree
>>with traditional points of emphasis [i.e., Nazis evil, evil, evil,
>>everybody else, good, good, good] not out of ill will but because they
>>considered overly simplistic and monocausal, or, as is usually rehearsed
>>on this board, because of arguments over _details_ i.e., the veracity of
>>this or that witness, the usage or non-usage of gas in executions, the
>>number of victims, etc.
>Indeed such thinking as Irving gives vent to is "unhealthy and wrong."
>And it is as deceitful of him to attempt to whitewash Hitler and the
>Nazis actions (by blaming the Jews) as it is of you to attempt to
>whitewash Irving (by blaming those who remind the world that -
>regardless of his "expertise"  - Irving is _not_ an honest historian.)

Well, I think you are engaging in precisely the kind of of simplistic
analysis I deplore when you say that Irving *blames the Jews*.  What page
is _that_ on?

>Sorry, but speaking of "simplistic and monocausal,"  notwithstanding
>your temporary (?) return to civility, your agenda is showing again,
>And I see you are back to . Are we
>to be treated to another round of lectures on the contribution of
>class and economics, Ehrlich?

No, I don't have the time to prepare the arguments with the level of
detail which Mike would like to see, but OTOH I am persuaded of the
thesis, so I will let it alone.  But I recently obtained Dubnow's *History
of the Jews in Russia and Poland from Earliest Times* and I will follow on
when I have something to add.

_By the way_, I would note that I am being accused either of (a) not
discussing the details, or (b) discussing the details, which means, that
no matter what I do I am going to be criticized.  There are two things to
say here.  I am not here to persuade you, nor even the phantom lurkers. I
am here -- not very often these days -- to express what is on my mind.  It
is I think rather presumptuous to expect anything otherwise.  

>>My feeling is that if somebody has questions or doubts or alternate
>>conclusions about _details_ then let them go.  
>Really?!  How fascinating, Ehrlich.  This of course explains your
>lengthy discourses on whether the Zyclon pellets were blue or mauve or
>perhaps your "contributions" to understanding Nyiszli - to name but a
>few examples.

Precisely because after setting the structure that I had in mind I started
reading some of this literature for the first time in 30 years.  Nyiszli
came first, and I was amazed at how inaccurate he was.  Please note that
_I_ was not the one who was _insisting_ that Zyklon was blue.  Therefore
when I found that he described it as _mauve_ I was surprised, to put it
mildly.  Then a lengthy discussion ensued, where it was insisted that it
could have been both colors, insofar as the Zyklon _must_ have used silica
gel as a carrier.  Then I translated (in haste, and none too well) a
document that had been in Nizkor's archives _for months_ which
conclusively showed that silica gel _could not_ have been used (BC forms a
sticky paste) and furthermore that the variations in outgassing times was
a function of the amount of _gypsum_ (which is _white_) added to the
diagreiss.  What does any of this prove? Not much, actually.  Which is why
I did not pursue it.

>Or are we to take your exhortation to "let them go" as your
>rationalization for the countless dangling threads you have left
>during previous visits when you graced us with your presence?

Again, I am not obligated to pursue threads once I determine that they are
cold, unproductive, reduced to trolling, irrelevant, or not edifying.  And
again, I think it rather presumptuous that you would expect otherwise.  

>>Unfortunately as we all know the reactions are much more heated than
>>the reactions are much more heated than that, 
>You are quite right, Ehrlich.  Some of us do react very heatedly when
>confronted with dishonest scholarship such as you demonstrated, as a
>matter of fact, in the following:
><4unkhi$>, (Ehrlich606)
>>Lucy Dawidowicz claimed 2 million, from the context I assume she is
>>referring to Jews only. 
Here follows Hilary's rebuttal, which stressed the approximate nature of
Dawidowicz' numbers.  I delete.

On this subject, you are right, I did not pursue the thread.  The argument
had to do with the assertion that no one had ever claimed that more than
one million Jews had perished at AB.  I quoted from memory, you had the
source.  I think on balance I made my point and you made yours.  But there
is no reason to call my honesty into question.  After all, she _did_ say
two million.  And that was all I was trying to say.

>>so instead of communication
>>we get polarization that draws people inward where they fester.
>I don't suppose it has ever occurred to you that such polarization
>could be ameliorated by the occasional retraction and apology,
>Ehrlich.  Your blatant dishonesty certainly doesn't draw me inward.
>But if you want to "fester" in your dishonesty, be my guest.

I am a bit puzzled by this. Are you implying that if I had more
retractions and apologies you would have been _kinder_?  I doubt it.  Your
constant accusations of *dishonesty* don't exactly give a warm feeling all
over about you, either.

>>But thanks for laying some cards out so we could talk this over.  These
>>are the kind of constructive exchanges I originally envisioned for this
>Perhaps you will also be kind enough to enlighten us as to how you
>reconcile your vision for this board with the troll's destructive
>exchanges - to which you have repeatedly given your blessing and full
>support in the past.

OK, I am well aware that this is the $64,000 question.  I don't agree with
all of Matt's rhetoric, nor do I agree with his namecalling.  At the same
time, I don't agree with it when it comes from Mark Van Alstine, Gord
McFee, or Yale Edeiken, either.  The nature of the polarization on this
board is such that when Matt has gotten into that mode, he uses
anti-Jewish epithets.  But my experience is that the use of anti-Jewish
epithets does not an anti-semite make, much less a dangerous person. 
_Especially_ in the context of this board, where more energy seems to be
expended on trolling each other than anything else.

Now I have corresponded with Matt about this.  He knows I deplore this
language.  But he is going to say what he wants to say.  I think it is
very significant that never in any e-mail I have exchanged with him has he
ever expressed privately the kinds of expressions or even sentiments that
he ostentatiously throws into the teeth of those who endlessly revile and
harrass them.  Something to think about.

The Matt Giwer I know is an extremely bright man, with great energy,
perception and humanity.  He has a lot to offer, and it is a pity that so
few can realize this.  Whatever the lengths of his intemperance or faults
of expression, he is my friend, and I do not turn on my friends, or desert
them in an hour of need.


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