Butz and testicles, Butz Arthur

The below is a slightly-modified copy of the Usenet article which
John Ockerbloom ([email protected]) posted to alt.revisionism on
July 24, 1996. The Message-ID of the original article is
<[email protected]>. The modifications are in
formatting, and slight editing adjustments.

>> “All but two of the Germans in the 139 cases we investigated, had been
>> kicked in the testicles beyond repair.”
>https://nizkor.org/ftp.cgi?people/r/roberts.jeff/testicles Broken link

I’ve recently had the chance to look at Arthur Butz’s _The Hoax of the
Twentieth Century_, where he leads off his allegations of widespread
torture with a report of this anecdote. Butz’s citation, which shows
up two pages later, cites Freda Utley’s _The High Cost of Vengeance_
and some newspaper articles. I wasn’t able to retrieve the Chicago
Tribune articles cited, but managed to get a look at Utley and the New
York Times articles cited in this footnote and some of the cites in
the following paragraphs.

Utley’s book (on p. 186) claims that Judge Van Roden made the quote
above in remarks made to the Chester Pike Rotary Club on December 14,
1948. But she doesn’t say where she got this information. (It’s
apparently good enough for Butz, though.)

One clue to its source is a New York Times article of May 5, 1949,
which Butz himself cites in his footnotes. In the article, which I
looked up, Van Roden is reported as saying that an article appeared in
_The Progressive_ Magazine with his by-line, but that he was *not* the

“Judge Van Roden said he was not the author of the article.
He had spoken at a luncheon, he told the committee, and later had
been called by a representative of the magazine, who had asked his
permission to run a condensation of his remarks under the judge’s
by-line. ‘I didn’t know what a by-line was,’ the judge testified,
‘and gave my permission.'”

The attribution of the remarks made to Van Roden is put further into
doubt by other articles that *Butz himself cites*. One such NYT
article, dated March 2, 1949, reports Van Roden’s criticisms of
solitary confinement and mock trials, but he doesn’t mention
systematic brutality: instead, “Judge Van Roden said his reviewing
agency had found no general conspiracy to obtain evidence improperly.”
Indeed, a March 5 NYT article, again included in a Butz footnote,
says that one of the review board’s findings was that

“Physical force was not systematically applied to obtain statements,
but undoubtedly in the heat of the moment on occasions the interrogators
did use some physical force on a recalcitrant suspect.”

But you’d never know any of this from reading Butz, if you didn’t
check his cites. Butz claims (p. 24):

“Subsequent public remarks by Van Roden and also, to some extent,
by Simpson, decisively exposed the whole affair, to the point where
the defendants of the trials could only haggle over the numbers
of German prisoners subjected to brutalities. The review board
confirmed all that Van Roden claimed, taking exception only in
respect to the frequencies of the brutalities. Oddly, in his
book, _Decision in Germany_, Clay denies the brutalities, but he
is contradicted by his own review board.”

Oddly, in *his* book, Butz claims brutalities like the 137 ruined sets
of testicles, and implicitly claims that Van Roden exposed this
(through his citation of Utley as a source and his claim that Van
Roden and Simpson “exposed the whole affair”). But he is contradicted
in *his own claimed sources*!

Now, I suppose Butz might have some reason to believe Utley and
discount the NYT articles. If so, he could present the data in full
and explain himself. But he makes *no* mention that there’s even any
controversy over his brutality claims in any of the sources he cites
(except for his quick mention of Simpson’s book, quoted above). This
indicates either incompetence or dishonesty in Butz’s work.

(Now, if I were a ‘revisionist scholar’, I’d probably lop off the ‘in
the heat of the moment’ part of the NYT quote I give above, because it
makes the prosecutors look bad and seems to give some support to
Butz’s allegations. But I didn’t. The key to respectable
scholarship, as opposed to the ‘revisionist’ kind practiced by Butz et
al, is that you present *all* the relevant evidence, and don’t try to
sweep difficult pieces of data under the rug. Particularly not if the
data appears in sources you cite.)

John Mark Ockerbloom

[Note added this afternoon: trying to wriggle out of this by pointing
to the ‘taking exception’ part of the Butz quote won’t work. Butz
claims that *only* allegation that the board took issue with was the
number of brutalities; but we’ve shown that his own sources say it
took exception to considerably more than that. -JMO]