App Austin, Article 3

“In 1946, intensifying his campaign to justify German war behavior,
App began to play the ‘numbers game,’ something all deniers engage
in with great fervor. They attempt to demonstrate that it is
statistically impossible for six million to have died. Along with
their questioning the scientific plausibility of the gas chambers,
it is the most critical component of their enterprise. The deniers
consciously fix on those aspects of the Holocaust that are the
hardest to believe precisely because they demand the greatest leap
of the imagination. The use of advanced technology for the purposes
of mass murder, and the sheer scope of the endeavor – particularly
the number of its victims – help to render the event beyond belief.

App, who engaged in this numerical chicanery even before Paul
Rassinier, began in quite clumsy fashion. First he tried to
disprove the Jewish ‘claim’ about the Holocaust by demonstrating
that most of Germany’s Jews had survived the war. In a letter to
_Time_ magazine in 1946, he declared that Germany never had a
Jewish population greated than seven hundred thousand and that when
Germany surrendered ‘there still seemed to be about a half million

Here App indulged in some of the tactical maneuvers that have come
to typify Holocaust denial. First, in his attempt to prove that the
numbers were inflated, he more than doubled the actual number of
Jewish survivors without offering any proof of how he reached that
figure.<14> In addition to exaggerating the number of Jewish
survivors in Germany after the war, he also gave them a new
identity as _German_ Jews. In fact these survivors were not from
Germany but came instead from many occupied countries. Many of them
had been in concentration camps in the East and, in the latter
months of the war, as the Soviet army advanced, had been tranferred
to Germany on brutal death marches that were part of the Nazis’
effort to prevent camp inmates from falling into Soviet hands. Many
died en route, and those who survived found themselves in Germany
at the end of the war. Their numbers were augmented by Jews who
immediately on liberation began to head west to avoid falling into
Soviet hands.

By official Allied policy, all displaced persons (DPs) were to be
returned to their homes as rapidly as possible. But a significant
number adamantly refused to be repatriated to Poland, the Soviet
Union, and other Communist bloc countries and petitioned to be
allowed to enter Palestine or the United States. The British were
firmly opposed to their entry into Palestine, and the Americans
would only allow a very limited number to immigrate into the United
States. As a result of the controversy over these DPs, the fact
that practically all the Jews then in Germany were not actually
German Jews was widely publicized and would have been well known to
someone like App, who followed events so closely.

In the same letter, App suggested that among the putative Jewish
victims of Nazi atrocities were many who had died of ‘legitimate’
causes and many who were not really dead at all but were living in
comfort in the Western Hemisphere. He wrote to _Time_ magazine
demanding that it investigate

just how many Jews were executed and for what; how many died of
abuse in concentration camps and for what; how many were said to
have been killed when they simply died of old age. And how many
were in one way or another brought into the United States,
Mexico and Canada. An AP dispatch … states that the United
States had rescued 3,000,000 refugees. Most of them appear to
have been Jews, yet Judge Simon F. [sic] Rifkind recently stated
that the Nazis _slew_ 6,000,000 Jews. What are the facts?<15>

The facts were quite simple: The United States _had_ rescued many
European refugees. But it had not allowed three million refugees,
Jewish displaced persons, survivors, or refugees of _any_ ethnic
group to immigrate. In fact, App was using a crafty but obvious
ploy. The AP dispatch he cited was based on the report of the
military governor of the American Zone on the _repatriation_ – not
the immigration into America – of the approximately three million
DPs who were in the American zones in Germany and Austria at the
end of the war. The report and the dispatch clearly indicated that
the vast majority of the DPs had been returned to their homes by
December 1945. Moreover, nowhere in the governor’s report was there
any indication that the refugees in question were Jews.<16> Most of
the Jews who were allowed into the United States after the war did
not begin arriving until the early 1950s.” (Lipstadt, 90-92)

Lipstadt’s End Notes:

<13> App, Morgenthau Era letters, p. 66

<14> At the end of 1946 the official American total of Jewish
survivors in the western zones of Germany, Austria and Italy was
207,788. The Joint Distribution Committee, which assisted the
survivors, estimated that there were 231,500. Many of these were
refugees who had spent the war years in Central Asia.
Dinnerstein, “America and the Survivors,” p. 278. See also
Malcolm Proudfoot, “European Refugees: 1939-1952,” (Evanston,
Ill., 1956) pp. 339-341

<15> App, Morgenthau Era Letters, pp. 66-67. Judge Simon H. Rifkind
was the army’s advisor on Jewish affairs in Germany in 1945-46.

<16> “Repatriation of Displaced Persons, March 1946” (U.S. Zone),
“Monthly Report of Military Governor, U.S. Zone, April 20, 1946,”
cited in Dinnerstein, “America and the Survivors,” p. 275

Work cited

Lipstadt, Deborah E. Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on
Truth and Memory. New York: The Free Press (A division of
Macmillan, Inc.), 1993.

Last-Modified: 1994/07/04