Paper for the Institute of Historical Review’s eighth International Revisionist Conference (October 9-11, 1987), here presented in accordance with the French version first published in Les Annales d’histoire révisionniste, n° 8, printemps 1990, p. 15-82
What is commonly called the “Faurisson affair” began on 16 November 1978 with the publication of an article about me in the newspaper Le Matin de Paris. For several years I had realised that as soon as the press made known my opinions about revisionism I would encounter a storm of opposition. By its very nature revisionism can only disturb the public order; where certitudes quietly reign, the spirit of free inquiry is an intrusion and shocks the public. The first task of the courts is not so much to defend justice as to preserve public order. The truth, in the sense in which I use the word (i.e., that which is verifiable), only interests judges if it does not upset law and order. I harboured no illusions: they would haul me into court, I would be convicted, and there would also be physical attacks, press campaigns and an upheaval in my personal, family and professional life.
I presented my last IHR conference paper in September of 1983. Its title was “Revisionism on Trial: Developments in France, 1979-1983”. This paper is the continuation of that earlier one. I have entitled it: “My Life as a Revisionist (September 1983 to September 1987).” The period between 1979 and 1983 was marked in France by the use of legal weapons against revisionism. The period 1983 to 1987 has been marked by a relaxation of that activity (but I am afraid that it is going to begin again in 1987-1988). In France, the Jewish organisations that took legal action against us were disappointed and even disturbed by the relative lightness of my conviction in April of 1983. They had expected better from the French courts. They wanted my hide but they got only a pound of flesh. They had been hoping the judges would say: “Faurisson is a falsifier of history; his work on the gas chambers is full of nonchalance, carelessness, deliberate oversights and lies; Faurisson is malicious and dangerous.” But on 26 April 1983, the judges of the first chamber of the Court of Appeal in Paris said, in a sense: “Faurisson is a serious researcher; we find no nonchalance, carelessness, negligence or lies in his writings about the gas chambers; but he is perhaps malicious and is certainly dangerous; we find against him for his probable malice and for the danger he poses, but we do not censure his work on the gas chambers, which is serious. On the contrary, since this work is serious, we guarantee every Frenchman the right to say, if he thinks so, that the gas chambers did not exist”.
What the Jewish organisations could not achieve in France from 1979 to 1983 they then tried to achieve in other countries, especially with the lengthy prosecution of Ernst Zündel in Canada. In 1984 and 1985 I actively participated in Zündel’s defence. In the first part of this paper I shall deal with that trial, which, in spite of everything, brought about a leap forward in historical research. The second part of my account will deal with the many so-called “affairs” that, mainly in France, have marked both the failure of those who want to block historical research and also the success of those involved in such research. In a third section I shall try to review the achievements of historical revisionism up to now and tell you what, in my view, our prospects for the future are.
My general impression is this: I am optimistic about the future of revisionism but pessimistic about the future of revisionists. Revisionism today is so vigorous that nothing will stop it; we need no longer fear the silent treatment. But revisionist researchers are going to pay dearly for spreading their ideas. It is possible that in some countries we shall be reduced to a sort of samizdat activity, for we face increasing political and legal dangers, and our financial resources are dwindling (especially because of the expense of our court cases and the rulings against us).
THE ZÜNDEL TRIAL (1985), OR “THE NUREMBERG TRIAL ON TRIAL”
The year 1985 will stand as a great date in the history of revisionism. It will be remembered as the year of the Zündel trial (or, to be more precise, of the first Zündel trial since a second one is currently being prepared).
I think I know Ernst Zündel rather well. I made his acquaintance in Los Angeles at the Institute for Historical Review’s first conference in 1979. We have remained on good terms since then. In June 1984 I went to Toronto, where he lives, to assist him in his “pre-trial” (pre-trial being the stage in proceedings in which a Canadian judge decides whether the case before him should be brought to actual trial before a judge and jury). I returned in January 1985 to Toronto, where, for almost the entire seven weeks of his trial, I again helped Zündel. In the future I will continue to help him as much as I can. He is an exceptional person.
Until the trial came up he had worked as a graphic artist and publicist. He is 50 years of age. Born in Germany in 1938, he has retained his German citizenship. His life has at times been one of real turmoil since the day when, in the early 1980s, he began to distribute Richard Harwood’s revisionist pamphlet Did Six Million Really Die? The pamphlet, first published in 1974 in Britain, was the occasion of a long controversy in the British magazine Books and Bookmen the following year. At the instigation of the South African Jewish community, Harwood’s publication was banned in South Africa.
In 1984, in Canada, Sabina Citron, head of the Holocaust Remembrance Association, organised violent demonstrations against Zündel. A bomb exploded at his house. The Canadian post office, treating revisionist literature as it would treat pornography, refused Zündel the right to send or receive mail; he recovered his postal rights only after a year of legal wrangling. In the meantime his business had failed, despite his excellent reputation in professional circles. At the instigation of Mrs Citron, the Attorney General of Ontario charged Zündel with having published a false statement, tale or news liable to harm a public interest. Section 177 [now – in 2011 – section 181] of the Canadian Criminal Code states:
Every one who wilfully publishes a statement, tale or news that he knows is false and that causes or is likely to cause injury or mischief to a public interest is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
The charge against Zündel followed this line of reasoning: the defendant had abused his right to freedom of expression; by selling the Harwood pamphlet, he was spreading a story that he knew to be false; as a matter of fact, he could not be ignorant that the “genocide of the Jews” and the “gas chambers” were established facts. By his actions he was “likely to affect social and racial tolerance in the Canadian community” (trial transcripts, p. 1682).
Zündel was also charged for having personally written and distributed by post a text of his own expressing the same ideas as the Harwood pamphlet, an essay entitled “The West, the War and Islam”.
The costs of the proceedings were borne by the Canadian taxpayer, and not by Sabina Citron’s association.
The judge was one Hugh Locke, the prosecutor a certain Peter Griffiths. Ernst Zündel was defended by British Columbia lawyer Douglas Christie, assisted by Mrs Keltie Zubko. The case was heard by a jury of twelve. The Canadian English-language media gave the trial extensive coverage.
The jury found Zündel guilty for distributing the Harwood booklet but not for posting his essay. Judge Locke sentenced Zündel to fifteen months in prison and forbade him to talk or write about the Holocaust. The German consulate in Toronto withdrew his passport. The Canadian government initiated deportation procedures against him. Before that, the West German authorities had launched a massive one-day operation of police raids on the houses of all of Zündel’s correspondents in their territory.
But Zündel had won a media victory. In spite of their obvious hostility, the media in general and television in particular had shown the English-speaking Canadian public that the revisionists possessed documentation and arguments of top quality, whereas the exterminationists were in disarray.
In the forty years that have gone by since the end of World War II, a new religion has developed: the religion of the Holocaust. It took shape at the Nuremberg trial in 1945-46, followed by many other such proceedings, some of which are still going on. Numerous historians have made a career out of this religion: most notable among them is, without a doubt, Raul Hilberg. A mob of witnesses, or so-called witnesses, had, before 1985, taken the stand in court to uphold the reality of the genocide of the Jews and the use of homicidal gas chambers by the Germans: one of the most important of them was Rudolf Vrba.
However, in 1985, at the Zündel trial, the prosecution invoked, above all, the Nuremberg trial, and secured the appearance of both Hilberg and Vrba. Zündel had predicted that his trial would “put the Nuremberg trial on trial” and would be “the exterminationists’ Stalingrad.” Events proved him right. The injustice of the Nuremberg trial was made manifest, Hilberg was shown to be an incompetent historian, and Vrba was exposed as an impostor. I shall not discuss the other witnesses called by Prosecutor Griffiths, least of all Arnold Friedman, who was presented as a witness to gassings at Auschwitz. Battered by lawyer Doug Christie’s questions, Friedman ended up confessing that, although he had indeed been at Auschwitz-Birkenau (where he was forced to work only once, delivering potatoes), he could convey nothing but hearsay about the alleged gassings.
• Injustice of the Nuremberg trial
“International Military Tribunal”: it has been noted that those three words contain three lies. This “tribunal” was not a tribunal in the usual sense of the word but rather an association of conquerors who intended to deal with the conquered according to the principle that might makes right. It was not “military” since, of the eight judges who presided over it (two Americans, two Britons, two Frenchmen and two Soviets), only the two Soviets were military judges, the more important of them being I. T. Nikitchenko, a well-known Stalinist who had presided over the famous Moscow trials of 1936-37. The “tribunal” was not “international” but inter-allied. It was based on the London Agreement, which had defined war crimes, crimes against peace (preparation and launching of aggressive war) and crimes against humanity. The London Agreement was dated 8 August 1945: thus it came only two days after the Allies’ obliteration of Hiroshima and just 24 hours before the destruction of Nagasaki, while on the very date of 8 August the Soviet Union was launching an aggressive war against Japan. The atomic bomb had been developed essentially with a view to its use against the cities of Germany; had that happened, one wonders what sort of moral lesson the Allies could claim to teach the Germans, as one may wonder what right another “International Military Tribunal” had to judge the Japanese in Tokyo.
This “tribunal” had recourse to retrospective laws and the principle of collective guilt. It judged without the possibility of appeal, which meant that it could act arbitrarily, without any fear of being overruled. It was a criminal trial, but there was no jury. The prosecution had formidable resources at its disposal, especially in its control of the enemy’s captured war archives. The defence had only laughable resources; it was severely limited in what it could do and was under close surveillance. For example, the defence lawyers had no right to bring up the Treaty of Versailles in order to show that National Socialism had developed in part as a reaction to the effects thereof. Articles 19 and 21 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal stated:
The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence… [and] shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge, but shall take judicial notice thereof.
Perhaps worst of all, the same Article 21 in a way gave force of law to the reports of war crimes committees set up by the Allies.
The Nuremberg trial suggests to me the following comparison: after a prize fight ending in a knockout, there remain in the ring a giant, still on his feet – the winner – and, lying on the canvas, his bloodied victim: the loser. The giant pulls the victim to his feet and tells him: “Don’t you dare think the fight is over! First, I’m going to the changing room. When I come back, I’ll be in a judge’s gown, to put you on trial under my law. You’ll have to explain every punch you threw at me, but never mind the punches I landed on you: you’ll have no right to mention them (unless I happen to be in a good enough mood and decide to tolerate such talk)”.
By acting thus, the Allies set off on the wrong foot in 1945. They treated the vanquished with arrogance and cynicism. They gave themselves complete freedom to invent and to lie. They were lacking in caution. They should have attempted to prove their accusations in accordance with sound judicial procedures. There are established methods for doing so. For example, if the Germans had in fact ordered and planned the murder of all Jews, it was appropriate to establish the existence of an order and a plan; in other words, a specific criminal intent had to be proved. If they had in fact perfected formidable death-works called gas chambers, it was appropriate to establish the existence of those gas slaughterhouses; in other words, the reality of the crime weapon had to be proved: expert examinations were needed. If the Germans had actually used that weapon, it was appropriate to prove that detainees had indeed been killed by poison gas: therefore post-mortem reports were needed.
However, neither during the Nuremberg trial nor during any of the numerous other such trials did the victors produce either a single proof of criminal intent, any forensic report on the crime weapon or any post-mortem for a victim of the crime. Here we are, then, in the presence of an alleged crime of gigantic proportions, but there seems to have been found neither criminal intent, nor a weapon, nor a body. Those in charge of proceedings were content with unverified confessions and testimonies, and dispensed with cross examination as concerned the very physical nature of purported facts.
• A return to sound judicial methods
Ernst Zündel’s merit lies in his understanding that the revisionists are right when they proclaim that, in order to discover the truth about the point of history in question, they need only return to the traditional methods of both jurists and historians.
Ernst Zündel’s boldness lies in his putting such obvious things into practice.
Ernst Zündel’s genius lies in his being plain and direct about a matter in which, for forty years, all the lawyers or defenders of alleged “criminals against humanity” had hedged and dithered. In fact, from 1945 up to and including the Klaus Barbie case in 1987, not a single lawyer dared take the bull by the horns. Not one of them demanded that the prosecution prove the reality of the genocide and the gas chambers. All lawyers for the defence adopted delaying tactics. Generally, they pleaded that their client had not been personally implicated in such a crime; their client, they said, had not been on the scene of the crime, or else had been too far away to be clearly aware of it, or had not know of it. Even Jacques Vergès, Barbie’s lawyer, pleaded that his client, according to the traditional formula, “could not know.” That over-subtle formula means that, according to Vergès, the extermination of the Jews did take place at Auschwitz or elsewhere in Poland but that lieutenant Barbie, living in Lyon, France, could not have known about it.
Wilhelm Stäglich, in his book The Auschwitz Myth, convincingly described how at the Frankfurt trial (1963-1965) the defence lawyers had in that manner reinforced the prosecution; they accepted the myth of the extermination. The motives for such behaviour may be either the intimate conviction among the lawyers, as among certain of the accused, that the abominable crime really did take place, or they may have been in fear of causing a scandal by simply seeking clarification about the reality of the crime. For almost all concerned, it would have been blasphemous to demand respect for traditional legal procedures in the trial of a “Nazi”; it must be understood that a “Nazi” is not a man “like other men” and that consequently there is no question of judging him “like other men.” My personal experience with lawyers in trials of this kind leads me to think that many of them are also intimidated by their own incompetence in the historical or scientific domain. They have the impression that it must be impossible to answer the arguments of the exterminationists, and have hardly even heard about the revisionists’ arguments to the contrary.
In Douglas Christie, Zündel was able to find a lawyer who, more than courageous, was heroic. It is for that reason that I agreed to support Doug Christie, day after day, as he prepared for and carried out his task. I must add that without the help of his friend Keltie Zubko we would not have been able to succeed in the 1985 trial, an exhausting business that has left me a nightmarish memory of it all. The atmosphere that prevailed in the courtroom was unbearable, especially because of the attitude of the judge, Hugh Locke. I have attended many trials in my life, including those in France during the time of the Epuration, the post-war purge of “collaborators.” Never have I encountered a judge as biased, autocratic and violent as Judge Hugh Locke. Anglo-Saxon law offers many more guarantees than French law but it only takes one man to pervert the best of systems: Judge Locke was that man. I remember Locke shouting in my direction: “Shut up!” when, from a distance, without saying a word, I thrust a document in the direction of Doug Christie (that exclamation and some others like it were not noted by the court-reporter, although it was her job to transcribe everything for the record). Amongst the judge’s innumerable fits of anger I recall also the one provoked by… a square metre. In order to have the judge understand the impossibility of placing 28 to 32 persons in the space of a square metre (which is what Kurt Gerstein said he had seen), we brought in four sticks, each one meter in length, and prepared to call forth 28 to 32 people. The judge bounded up, shouting; our procedure seemed to him undignified, and he forbade us to use it, adding, for good measure, a remark that is worth passing on to posterity:
Before I could allow the jury to accept one square meter, I would have to hear [in the absence of the jury] a lot of witnesses who measured it (transcripts, page 912).
Our method disconcerted our opponents as well as the judge; it was resolutely materialist. We had an abundance of maps and plans of concentration camps, including aerial photos taken during the war by the Allies. We had at our disposal a mass of photographs, thanks most of all to Swedish researcher Ditlieb Felderer, who knew the remotest corners of the camps at Auschwitz and Majdanek. There were plenty of technical documents about cremations in the open air or in crematoria, about Zyklon B, about disinfection gas chambers. I myself had brought five suitcases of books and documents to Toronto, but I was just one researcher amongst others whom Zündel had gathered from different parts of the world.
Locke set about neutralising our efforts. For example, he denied me the right to talk about Zyklon, aerial photos, and crematorium buildings supposed to have contained homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz. But I had been the first one in the world to publish the plans of those buildings and to prove, at the same time, that those alleged gas chambers had in reality been only mortuaries (Leichenhalle or Leichenkeller). Thanks to those plans, Zündel had large mock-ups built to show to the jury; but here again the judge intervened and forbade us to display the models, which had been made by a professional. Most important, Locke forbade me to talk about the gas chambers used for executions in the United States; he said that he did not see the relevance. In fact, the relevance was the following: the Americans used hydrogen cyanide gas for their executions; but Zyklon B, which the Germans had supposedly used to kill millions of prisoners, also consisted essentially of hydrogen cyanide gas. Anyone wanting to study the chief weapon supposedly used by the Germans to commit their crime ought, in my opinion, to examine the American gas chambers. That is what I myself had done, and I had concluded from the study that the homicidal gassings attributed to the Germans were, physically and chemically speaking, wholly impossible.
Nevertheless, in spite of Locke and his orders, we (Doug Christie and myself) reduced to nothing the expert authority of Raul Hilberg and the testimony of Rudolf Vrba.
- Incompetence of their number one expert: Raul Hilberg 
Raul Hilberg was born in Vienna in 1926. He is of Jewish origin. He obtained a doctorate “in public law and government” in 1955. Like the great majority of authors, both exterminationist and revisionist, who have written on the Holocaust, he was not educated as a historian. He was appointed a member of the Holocaust Memorial Council by President Jimmy Carter. He is a member of the Jewish Studies Association. He is the author of a reference work: The Destruction of the European Jews, published in 1961. A second edition (“revised and definitive”) of that book was published in 1985, only a few months after its author’s testimony at the Zündel trial. This point itself is important and I shall return to it later.
Raul Hilberg testified as an expert, having been formally recognised as such by the judge after hearing the opposing counsel’s respective arguments regarding his capacity. He arrived in Toronto cloaked in his prestige, without books, without notes, without documents, apparently quite sure of himself, a man used to giving depositions at numerous trials against “war criminals.” He testified for several days at the rate of probably $150 an hour. Questioned by Prosecuting Attorney Griffiths, Hilberg spelled out his thesis about the extermination of the Jews: according to him, Hitler gave orders for exterminating the Jews; the Germans followed a plan; they used gas chambers; total Jewish losses amounted to 5,100,000. Hilberg did not shrink from describing himself in these terms:
I would describe myself as an empiricist, looking at the materials… (transcripts, page 687).
As soon as the cross-examination began Hilberg found himself out of his depth. For the first time in his life he was dealing with a defendant who was determined to defend himself and capable of doing so. Doug Christie, at whose side I sat, cross-examined Hilberg unwaveringly, unremittingly, for several days. His questions were pointed, precise, merciless. Until then I had had some esteem for Hilberg due to the quantity, not the quality, of his work; in any event he stood head and shoulders above the Poliakovs, Wellers, Klarsfelds and the rest. Over the days he testified my relative esteem gave way to a feeling of irritation and pity: irritation because Hilberg was constantly making attempts at evasion, pity because Christie ended up flooring him nearly every time.
In any case, if there was one clear result, it was that Hilberg was in no sense an “empiricist, looking at the materials.” He was exactly the opposite; he was a man lost in the clouds of his ideas, a sort of theologian who had built for himself a mental universe in which the physical aspects of facts had no place. He was just a much too academic professor, a “paper historian” like Pierre Vidal-Naquet. He stumbled beginning with the first question. Doug Christie announced that he was going to read him a list of concentration camps and then ask him which ones he had examined, and how many times. Whereupon Hilberg revealed that he had not examined any of them, either before publishing the first edition of his major work in 1961 or after that date, not even for the “definitive” 1985 edition. Thus were we confronted with a man who, since beginning research on the matter of the Holocaust in 1948, had acquired a reputation as the world’s foremost scholar in his area, without once in 37 years having examined a single concentration camp. He had visited only two, Auschwitz and Treblinka, in 1979 (“One day in Treblinka, and perhaps a half a day in Auschwitz, half a day in Birkenau” [transcripts, page 774]); even that was merely to attend ceremonies. He had not had the curiosity to inspect either the locations or, on the spot, the Auschwitz archives. He had never visited the places called “gas chambers” (transcripts, p. 771-773 and 822-823). Asked to explain the plans, photographs and diagrams of the crematoria, Hilberg refused, stating:
If you are going to show me building plans, photographs, diagrams, I do not have the same competence as I would with documents expressed in words (transcripts, page 778).
He estimated that more than one million Jews and “perhaps 300,000” non-Jews had died at Auschwitz (transcripts, page 826), but did not explain how he had arrived at those estimates, nor why the Poles and the Soviets had arrived at a total of 4 million, the number inscribed on the Birkenau monument (transcripts, page 896).
Christie then questioned Hilberg about the camps supposed to have had homicidal gas chambers. Christie read out their names, asking Hilberg each time whether or not the camp in question had possessed one or more of those gas chambers. The answer ought to have been easy for the eminent specialist but here again Hilberg was out of his depth. Alongside the camps “with” and the camps “without” gas chambers, he created, improvising clumsily, two other categories of camps: those that had “perhaps” had a gas chamber (Dachau, Flossenburg, Neuengamme, Sachsenhausen) and those that had had a “very small gas chamber” (for example, Struthof-Natzweiler in Alsace), so small one might wonder whether it were worthwhile to speak of it (transcripts, page 896); he did not reveal his criteria for distinguishing amongst those four categories of camp. Asked whether he was aware of any expert report establishing that such facilities had in fact been homicidal gas chambers, he first turned a deaf ear, then tried to sidestep, repeating the most inappropriate answers. His delaying tactics became so patent that Judge Locke, generally so quick to come to the aid of the prosecution, felt obliged to interrupt and request an answer. Only then did Hilberg reply, with no further subterfuge, that he was aware of no such report. There are 14 pages of transcript (968-981) from the moment that embarrassing question was put until the moment it was finally answered.
Did Hilberg know of an autopsy report establishing that such or such prisoner’s body was that of a person killed by poison gas? Here again the answer was: “No” (transcripts, p. 983-984).
Since Hilberg, on the other hand, emphasised testimonies as much as he did, he was questioned about the testimony of Kurt Gerstein. He claimed that he had hardly used that SS officer’s confessions in his book at all. To which Christie retorted that, in The Destruction of the European Jews, the name of Gerstein was mentioned 23 times and that document PS-1553, an alleged statement by the same Gerstein, was quoted 10 times. Then several fragments of the confessions, in various forms, were read to the jury. Hilberg ended up agreeing that certain parts of the Gerstein confessions were “pure nonsense” (transcripts, page 904).
It was the same scenario with the confessions of Rudolf Höss. Hilberg, caving in, had to admit in one instance: “It’s terrible” (transcripts, page 1076), words which, in the context, amounted to “It’s indefensible”. On the subject of the most important of the “confessions” signed by Höss (PS-3868) he admitted that here we had a man making a statement in a language (English) other than his own (German), a statement whose content was totally impossible and which “seems to have been a summary of things he said or may have said or may have thought he said by someone who shoved a summary in front of him and he signed, which is unfortunate” (transcripts, page 1230 [emphasis mine]). Concerning the fact that, according to this “confession”, 2,500,000 persons had been gassed at Auschwitz, Hilberg went so far as to say that it was
an obviously unverified, totally exaggerated number, one which may well have been known or circulated as a result of some faulty initial findings by a Soviet-Polish investigation commission in Auschwitz. [Transcripts, page 1087]
Sensing that he must jettison some dead weight, Hilberg had no trouble agreeing with Christie that some “historians,” like William Shirer, were of practically no value (transcripts, page 1202). He was asked his opinion of the testimony of Filip Müller, author of Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers. Certain passages from the book, full of the purest sex-shop anti-Nazism, were read out to him, and Christie demonstrated before the jury, thanks to an analysis by revisionist Carlo Mattogno, that Filip Müller, or his ghost-writer, Helmut Freitag, was simply guilty of plagiarism for having borrowed an entire episode, virtually word for word, from Doctor at Auschwitz, the false account bearing the name of Miklos Nyiszli. At that point, Hilberg suddenly changed tactic; he feigned emotion and, in a pathetic tone, he declared that the Müller testimony was far too moving for anyone to suspect Müller’s sincerity (transcripts, p. 1151-1152). But everything about this new Hilberg rang false, who until then had expressed himself in a monotone and with the guardedness of a cat wary of embers in the fireplace. Christie did not deem it worthwhile to press the point.
In two instances Hilberg really did suffer: first, regarding the supposed orders by Hitler to exterminate the Jews, and then, regarding what I personally call “the cornerstone of the Hilberg thesis.” On page 177 of his book (1961 edition), Hilberg finally deals with the heart of his subject: the policy of exterminating the Jews. In a page that serves as a general introduction, he sets forth the basis of his demonstration. For Hilberg, everything began with two successive orders from Hitler. The first order called on his men to go and kill the Jews on the spot, especially in Russia (the Einsatzgruppen were assigned that mission); the second mandated seizing the Jews and taking them to extermination camps (the purported role of Eichmann and his subordinates). Hilberg indicated neither a precise date nor any sources for the two orders; on the other hand, he did give a precise date (25 November 1944) and a reference (document PS-3762) for an order that, according to him, Heinrich Himmler had given to stop the extermination of the Jews when he sensed that defeat was coming (The Destruction of the European Jews, page 631).
There was nothing amiss in that argument, provided only that those orders had actually existed.
But none of the three orders – the two Hitler orders and the one from Himmler – ever did exist: the whole thing was but a mental construct. However, Christie had to wage a veritable war of siege before Hilberg would finally revise his statement and admit that he could not produce the orders. Thirty-one pages of transcript (828-858) are taken up from the point when Hilberg is asked where the two orders from Hitler are until, worn out, he admits that there are no “traces” of them. Christie also reminded Hilberg of certain statements the latter had made in February 1983 at a gathering in Avery Fisher concert hall in New York. There Hilberg himself had developed an argument that hardly sat well with the existence of an extermination order. He had said:
But what began in 1941 was a process of destruction not planned in advance, not organised centrally by any agency. There was no blueprint and there was no budget for destructive measures. They were taken step by step, one step at a time. Thus there came about not so much a plan being carried out, but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus—mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy. (Newsday [Long Island, New York], 23 February 1983. Section II, p. 3)
This far-fetched explanation plunges us into the thick of theology and parapsychology. The extermination of the Jews – a huge undertaking – was supposedly done without any plan, without the least centralising body, without a draft, without a budget, but by telepathic divination within an apparatus: the bureaucracy, wherein, as I see it, one may expect anything but divination and telepathy.
As for the order from Himmler, Hilberg also admitted that there remained “no trace” of it (transcripts, page 860); the “reference” that he had given as well as the precise date were thus shown to be nothing more than an attempt to intimidate the reader.
But what is there to say about “the cornerstone of his thesis”? In The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, Arthur R. Butz writes:
Hilberg’s book did what the opposition literature [revisionist literature] could never have done. I not only became convinced that the legend of several million gassed Jews must be a hoax, but I derived what turned out to be a fairly reliable “feel” for the remarkable cabalistic mentality that had given the lie its specific form (those who want to experience the “rude awakening” somewhat as I did may stop here and consult p. 567-571 of Hilberg). (Hoax, page 7)
A. R. Butz thus points out (at pages 567-571 of Hilberg) what represents the centre of the Hilberg thesis. In my turn, I wanted to seek “the centre of the centre,” the “cornerstone,” so to speak, of that cabalistic mental construct. I think I have found it at the top of page 570, where we read this:
The amounts of [Zyklon] required by Auschwitz were not large, but they were noticeable. Almost the whole Auschwitz supply was needed for the gassing of people; very little was used for fumigation. The camp administration itself did not buy the gas. The purchaser was Obersturmführer Gerstein, Chief Disinfection Officer in the Office of the Hygienic Chief of the Waffen-SS (Mrugowski). As a rule, all orders passed through the hands of TESTA, DEGESCH, and Dessau. From the Dessau Works, which produced the gas, shipments were sent directly to Auschwitz Extermination and Fumigation Division (Abteilung Entwesung und Entseuchung).
In this passage, Hilberg clearly says that at Auschwitz there were two uses for Zyklon: gassing people and fumigating objects. One single department or “division” directed those two activities, one criminal, the other sanitary. That department even had just one name: Abteilung Entwesung und Entseuchung, which Hilberg translated as “Extermination and Fumigation Division.” In other words, the Germans made no secret of the extermination of persons by gas at Auschwitz, since in that camp there was a “department” or “division” duly and clearly appointed to the criminal task. There was only one problem for Hilberg: Entwesung means “disinfection” and not “extermination” of human beings (the word Entseuchung meaning “decontamination”). Confronted with that obvious fact, which we established with the aid of dictionaries, Hilberg made the mistake of trying to uphold his own translation and, during his re-examination by Mr Griffiths, he took out a German dictionary to prove that Entwesung is made up of ent-, meaning separation, and Wesen, which means “being” (transcripts, page 1237). This was done to confuse (or rather to try to confuse, for the sake of the case) etymology and meaning. Even Prosecuting Attorney Griffiths appeared disquieted by his expert witness’s laborious subterfuge, in the course of which he had gone so far as to choose a German dictionary wherein the word Entwesung did not appear — merely the word Wesen!
Shortly after the trial I discovered that Hilberg had committed perjury. In January 1985, under oath, he dared to state before judge and jury that in the new edition of his book, then at press, he maintained the existence of those orders from Hitler, of which he had just admitted not a trace could be found (transcripts, page 852). However, he was lying. In the new edition, the preface of which is dated September 1984 (Hilberg gave evidence under oath in January 1985), all mention of an order from Hitler was systematically removed; his colleague and friend Christopher Browning pointed this out in a review entitled “The Revised Hilberg” (Simon Wiesenthal Centre Annual 3, 1986, page 294):
In the new edition, all references in the text to a Hitler decision or Hitler order for the “Final Solution” have been systematically excised. Buried at the bottom of a single footnote stands the solitary reference: “Chronology and circumstances point to a Hitler decision before the summer [of 1941] ended.” In the new edition, decisions were not made and orders were not given.
This fact is a grave one. It proves that, in order to be sure of convicting Ernst Zündel (whose thesis is that there had never been any order from Hitler or anyone else to exterminate the Jews), a university professor did not shrink from resorting to lies and perjury.
Such is Raul Hilberg, a professor and researcher for whom, in the coming years, it will only remain to take stock of “the failure of a lifetime” (transcripts, page 948) .
• Imposture of their number one witness: Rudolf Vrba
Witness Rudolf Vrba was internationally known. A Slovakian Jew, interned at Auschwitz and Birkenau, he said he had escaped from Birkenau camp in April of 1944 along with his friend Alfred Wetzler. Once back in Slovakia, he added, he had dictated a report about Auschwitz, Birkenau and their crematoria and “gas chambers.”
Through the channels of Jewish authorities in Slovakia, Hungary and Switzerland, the report arrived in Washington, where it served as the basis for the famous “War Refugee Board Report” published in November 1944. Thus every Allied organisation in charge of prosecuting “war criminals” and every Allied prosecutor responsible for “war criminals’” trials were to have access to this official – and fabricated – version of the history of the camps. Rudolf Vrba and his companion Alfred Wetzler are at the origin of the official acceptance of the Auschwitz myth. A. R. Butz has demonstrated this admirably (see, in The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, the references to “Vrba” and to the “WRB Report”).
After the war, Vrba became a British citizen and published the story of his life under the title I Cannot Forgive; this book, released in 1964, was actually penned by a ghost-writer, Alan Bestic, who, in his preface (page 2), presumed to pay tribute to Vrba “for the immense trouble he took over every detail; for the meticulous, almost fanatical respect he revealed for accuracy…”.
On 30 November 1964 Vrba testified at the Frankfurt (Auschwitz) trial. Thereafter he settled in Canada and took out Canadian citizenship. He has appeared in various filmed reports about Auschwitz and, in particular, in Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah. Today he lives in Vancouver, where he is an associate professor in pharmacology at the University of British Columbia.
The world smiled on witness Vrba until the day he faced Doug Christie.
Arthur Butz’s book supplied us with some excellent elements to serve as the basis for Vrba’s cross-examination. My documents (especially the “Calendar of Events in the Auschwitz Camp,” the studies contained in the various volumes of the blue Auschwitz Anthology, Serge Klarsfeld’s Mémorial de la déportation des Juifs de France  and various documents from the Auschwitz Museum archives) enabled us to ask Vrba some embarrassing questions. The impostor was unmasked in particular on three points: his supposed knowledge of the gas chambers and crematoria of Birkenau; Himmler’s alleged visit to Birkenau in January of 1943 for the inauguration of a new crematorium with, as highlight of the event, the gassing of 3,000 persons; and the supposed total of 1,750,000 Jews gassed at Birkenau from April 1942 to April 1944.
On the first point it became clear that the witness had never set foot in the crematoria and “gas chambers,” for which he had gone so far as to provide the building plan – totally false – in his report to the War Refugee Board (November 1944), a plan that in 1985 he boldly persisted in claiming was true. Nothing in it corresponded to the truth: neither the arrangement of the rooms, nor their dimensions, nor the number of ovens, nor the number of muffles; for example, the witness placed the “gas chamber” and the room with the crematory ovens on the same level, with a railway for the “flat trucks” running from one to the other; in reality the room with the crematory ovens was on the ground floor, while the “gas chamber” (in fact, a mortuary) was situated below ground, and no railway could have linked an underground space to a room on the ground floor.
On the second point as well Vrba had made everything up. Himmler’s last visit to Birkenau took place in July 1942; furthermore, in January 1943, the first of the new crematoria at Birkenau was far from finished (we even have documents from the construction team mentioning the work problems caused by the winter cold). Vrba’s book opens grandly with the alleged 1943 visit, described with a great wealth of detail; even the reflections and conversations of Himmler and his entourage are related. However, all of that, too, derived from Vrba’s imagination.
The witness had an exceptional nerve. He claimed to have been everywhere at once, both day and night, in the vast Birkenau camp. He had seen everything and remembered it all, thanks, he said, to “special mnemonic principles” (transcripts, page 1563). According to Vrba, the Germans had “gassed” about 1,750,000 Jews in Birkenau alone in the space of only 25 months (from April 1942 to April 1944). Of that figure, 150,000 came from France. However, Serge Klarsfeld, in 1978, in his “Memorial”, had concluded that, throughout the entire war, the Germans had deported to all their concentration camps a total of 75,721 Jews (French, foreign and stateless) from France. Vrba was asked to explain his particular estimate of 150,000 and his general estimate of 1,750,000. He began by calling the figure of 75,721 false. “From where do you have the figure? From the Nazi newspapers?” he asked (transcripts, page 1579); but the number came from Serge Klarsfeld, a “Nazi-hunter.” Then he tried to supply a justification for his own numbers, but to no avail, as we shall see below.
Despite his gall, Vrba was forced into headlong retreat with regard to his book. Instead of maintaining that in it he had shown the greatest care for truth and accuracy, he stated that it was merely a literary effort in which he had resorted to poetic license. He used the following expressions:
“an artistic picture,” “an attempt for an artistic depiction,” “a literary essay,” “an artistic attempt,” “art piece in literature,” “literature,” “artist,” “license of a poet,” “licentia poetarum” (transcripts, p. 1390, 1391, 1392, 1446-1448)
In short, for the number one prosecution witness, this cross-examination was a disaster. We waited with curiosity to see how prosecuting attorney Griffiths would attempt, during the re-examination, to repair his witness’s image. To everyone’s surprise Griffiths, probably exhausted by the trial and exasperated by the lies of the witness on whom he had counted so much, executed Vrba with two questions that were like two rifle shots. His first question – listened to by a hushed courtroom – was the following:
You told Mr Christie several times in discussing your book I Cannot Forgive that you used poetic license in writing that book. Have you used poetic license in your testimony? (transcripts, page 1636)
Vrba, disconcerted, mumbled something in reply, after which, without a pause, Griffiths asked his second question:
Could you tell us, Doctor, briefly, how you arrived at the number of 1,765,000? (transcripts, page 1637)
To appreciate fully both the question in its context and the use of the word “briefly” one must bear in mind that Vrba had been asked that same question by Doug Christie on several occasions, and each of his attempts to answer it had been interminable, confused and absurd; some were even unintentionally humorous. Vrba was scarcely able to reply to Griffith’s question otherwise than by his refrain:
I developed a special mnemonical method for remembering each transport. (transcripts, page 1639)
Griffiths, getting a bit lost in his documentation, announced he would be putting one last question about Himmler’s visit. He requested an adjournment of the session. When the court resumed, Vrba took his place on the stand or, more exactly, in the witness box, located on an elevated platform between the judge and the jury. He was waiting for the return of the jury and the question on Himmler’s visit. Then Griffiths, addressing the judge, declared:
Just before the jury is brought in, Your Honour, I will have no questions of Dr Vrba. (transcripts, page 1641)
Everyone was stunned. Vrba, I can attest, went pallid. He came down from the box. He staggered. He left the room. Whereas on the first day he had seen the journalists and cameras crowding around him as befitted a witness who was about to set the revisionists straight, on this last day he left the courthouse in the most dreadful solitude. I take no pity on Vrba; he has the arrogance of a genuine impostor; sooner or later he will lift up his head again and carry on with his lies; I am convinced of it.
• Defeat and Victory of Ernst Zündel
The trial had taken a turn in our favour. I do not mean that at that moment the jury would have acquitted Zündel; such a decision, taken in front of the judge, the journalists, and public opinion, would have demanded a kind of courage that is difficult, if not impossible, to find in twelve people picked at random from a society subjected for forty years to the familiar propaganda about “Nazi crimes”. But Prosecuting Attorney Griffiths was obviously dejected. Then came the witnesses and experts for the defence. Griffiths became still more disconcerted. He had not expected such a wealth of information from the revisionists. Judge Locke was in a constant state of anger. He threatened to charge Doug Christie with contempt of court once the trial was over. This sword of Damocles remained, until the final day, hanging over our barrister’s head. Then the tide turned again in favour of the prosecution. Doug Christie decided to use the testimony of Zündel himself. Perhaps that was a mistake. In fact Griffiths thus had the chance to cross-examine Zündel and disaster loomed.
Zündel was certainly worthy of admiration but, by his refusal to condemn National Socialism, he convicted himself. Zündel’s erudition, his unstudied eloquence, his sincerity, his farsightedness were all forgotten for the admiration he was shown to have for Adolf Hitler and the compassion he displayed for his German homeland, humiliated and mistreated by its conquerors. Griffiths, weak, nervous, and, as we were to learn later, exhausted by insomnia and excessive smoking, regained hope. In his summation he described Zündel as a dangerous Nazi. Judge Locke, in his own final address to the jury, did the same. The jury followed their lead. Zündel was found guilty for distributing Did Six Million Really Die? but not guilty for sending to people, especially outside of Canada, his aforementioned essay (“The West, the War, and Islam”). He was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment and forbidden to talk about the Holocaust.
In January 1987 a five-member appeals court decided to throw out the verdict and quash the 1985 conviction. It did so for some very basic reasons: Judge Locke had not allowed the defence any say in the selection of the jury; he had wrongly forbidden our experts to use documents, photos and various other materials, and had, in his final address, misled the jury on the very meaning of the trial.
Again, Zündel and the revisionists lost in court and won before history. As seen above, Zündel had predicted that his trial would “put the Nuremberg trial on trial” and would be “the exterminationists’ Stalingrad.” Events proved him right. But I fear his health or even his life may eventually succumb to the frightful ongoing ordeal, especially in view of the fact that the Canadian government plans to stage a “Zündel Trial 2” in 1988, one even longer and harder than that of 1985.
JUDICIAL AFFAIRS AND OTHER AFFAIRS
In France the period between September 1983 and September 1987 was one of relative calm in the legal repression against revisionism. The Jewish organisations, disappointed by my conviction of 26 April 1983, decided to attack revisionism by an indirect route: they chose a German officer, Klaus Barbie, as their target and they had him convicted. Barbie’s trial and conviction have often been presented as a response to the rise of revisionism.
The print and broadcast media both played an essential role. The journalists orchestrated such a campaign against Klaus Barbie that only a maximum conviction of the accused was possible.
At the same time, over those four years, they drummed up, one after the other, what have been called “affairs” (the “Roques affair,” the “Paschoud affair,” the “Le Pen affair” and many others), which served as occasions to call for renewed legal repression. The most violent of the newspapers was Le Monde. On 1 July 1987, the French “federation of journalists’ association” asked the judicial authorities to punish and silence the revisionists. On 20 September, Charles Pasqua, Minister of the Interior, said that I belonged in prison. A specific law against revisionism is being prepared: a sort of “lex Faurissoniana.”
In the period in question three other events marked this rise of anti-revisionism: the showing of the film Shoah, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Elie Wiesel and, finally, the beginning, in Jerusalem, of the Demjanjuk trial.
With but one exception (the case of the Dalloz-Sirey law journal), the French courts persisted, albeit with growing misgiving, in their repression of revisionism, a repression demanded by the country’s journalists at the behest of Claude Lanzmann.
I shall now review in detail those various judicial and non-judicial affairs.
• I obtain judgment against the Dalloz-Sirey law review
Not only were the Jewish organisations disappointed with my conviction of 26 April 1983, they were also unsettled by the fact that I, at my end, won a case against the law review Recueil Dalloz-Sirey (in first instance, on appeal, and then in the supreme court, the Cour de Cassation). In France this journal has the reputation of being “the jurists’ bible.” It publishes, in particular, noteworthy court decisions with commentaries called “notes under judgment.” Dalloz-Sirey showed eagerness to publish the text of my initial conviction of 8 July 1981 (see its issue of 3 February 1982, p. 59-64); that judgment, which was to be confirmed on appeal on 26 April 1983 – although significantly modified in its basis – was marked, in my opinion, by a certain desire to punish; it was drawn up by one of my three judges, Pierre Drai, who happens to be a Jew and a faithful subscriber to the monthly Information juive. But apparently Judge Drai had not expressed himself quite harshly enough on my case. Therefore, the writer chosen by Dalloz-Sirey to present the ruling of 8 July 1981 and comment on it in a long “note under judgment” decided to go much further. He proceeded in two ways: 1) He falsified the text of the decision so as to smear me still more; and 2) He drew up his “note under judgment” in a tone so violent and so vengeful that one might have thought it came from the pen of Ilya Ehrenburg. The writer in question was Bernard Edelman, a lawyer, erstwhile Communist of Jewish origin and friend of Pierre Vidal-Naquet. Edelman presented me in his note as a champion of the “method of the absolute lie.”
The Dalloz-Sirey had never been successfully sued since its founding in the early 19th century. This time it was held liable for “personal injury” for the way in which it had reproduced the July 1981 decision. Dalloz-Sirey had to publish the text of its own defeat (edition of 4 July 1985, p. 375-376) and pay me… one French franc in damages. The initial ruling was handed down on 23 November 1983; it was upheld on appeal on 8 March 1985 and a last appeal by the journal was dismissed by the Cour de Cassation on 15 December 1986.
Edelman had achieved the feat of amputating 57 percent of the text from the 8 July 1981 judgment!
• Ruinous effects of my trials
Almost inevitably, when I win my cases, I am awarded one franc in damages; when the opposing party wins, I have to pay significant, sometimes considerable sums.
The attacks against my person became so violent and so outrageously false that I decided to go to court for two out of the thousands of possible cases. On the one hand, I sued Jean Pierre-Bloch, president of the “International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism” (LICRA) and the author of a book of memoirs in which he presented me as a Nazi and a falsifier, one who had been convicted of as much by the French courts. On the other hand, I sued the Communist daily L’Humanité.
I lost those two cases, along with the subsequent appeals. The judges acknowledged that I had been defamed, but, they added, my adversaries had done so “in good faith.” Consequently, they had to be acquitted and I was forced to pay all costs. The Droit de Vivre (February 1985, page 7), the LICRA’s publication, triumphantly headlined its story: “To call Faurisson a falsifier is to defame him, but in ‘good faith.’” This was an invitation for everyone to call me a falsifier, and that is what happened.
By the appeal ruling of 26 April 1983 I was ordered to pay the costs of publishing the entire judgment. The judges estimated the expense at 60,000 francs, “with the possibility of a more accurate valuation’s being made later in view of the estimates and bills,” which meant that 60,000 francs was just a minimum. Without submitting the text to me, the LICRA arranged to have it published in the magazine Historia. That text was seriously falsified. I sued the LICRA and got one franc in damages. Regardless, I had to pay 20,000 francs for their publication of a distorted text. About sixty thousand francs of my salary was seized.
At present the LICRA is again, as ever, demanding more and more money; it gets the money it is awarded but keeps it all, still not paying to have the correct text of the 1983 ruling published.
• The Barbie Trial
The trial of Klaus Barbie, with the hysteria it provoked, was the occasion for legal measures against French revisionists. Barrister Jacques Vergès courageously defended Barbie who, at the time of the acts for which he was charged, was only a lieutenant; in France during the war it was his duty to ensure his fellow soldiers’ safety. In 1939 we had gone to war with Germany, then, in 1940, we had promised our conquerors to collaborate with them. Had lieutenant Barbie, in carrying out reprisals in Lyon and the surrounding district in retaliation for the actions of the Resistance, the Communists and the Jews, done so in the same manner as the Israeli authorities retaliate against the Palestinians (that is, with bunches of 500-kilogram bombs), the cost for the French population, in human lives and destruction of all kinds, would have been rather more terrible than it was.
Jacques Vergès seems to have demonstrated that the famous telegram from Izieu (which is genuine, with nothing criminal about it) did not bear the signature of Klaus Barbie, but I personally do not have the documents that served as the basis for his demonstration and allowed him to state that Serge Klarsfeld was the source of the forgery; I therefore cannot make any judgment on the matter. On the other hand, I can say that at the Lyon trial German prosecutor Holtfort, who came to testify for the prosecution, and André Cerdini, the presiding judge, used an altered document: the Dannecker note of 13 May 1942. This note is to be found at the “Centre for Jewish Documentation” in Paris as document XXVb-29. In it, Theodor Dannecker mentions, in passing, a chance conversation he had with Lieutenant General Kohl, the official in Paris in charge of rail transport; in the course of their talk Kohl appeared to Dannecker to be an “enemy” (Gegner) of the Jews, agreeing 100 per cent with “a final solution to the Jewish question with the goal of a total annihilation of the enemy”: eine Endlosung der Judenfrage mit dem Ziel restloser Vernichtung des Gegners). Presented this way, the sentence could give the impression that Dannecker and Kohl knew of the existence of a policy to exterminate the Jews. In reality, this sentence means that Kohl was 100 per cent in agreement with finally resolving the Jewish question; the Jew is the enemy and, by definition, an enemy is to be annihilated. But it is not at all specified that it is a question here of physical annihilation; indeed the following sentence, which is always left out, provides some clarification: Kohl “showed himself also to be an enemy of the political churches” (Er zeigte sich auch als Gegner der politischen Kirchen). The “enemy” camps are clearly delineated here: on the one hand, Germany and, on the other hand, the Jews and the political churches. Kohl wanted to annihilate or eradicate the influence or power of those two enemies of Germany. In neither case was it a question of physical annihilation. The nine-word German sentence is always left out and replaced with an ellipsis ([…]) since it is too embarrassing for the exterminationists.
Amongst the historians who have engaged in such prevarication I shall mention only these four:
Joseph Billig, “Le Cas du SS-Obersturmführer Kurt Lischka,” Le Monde juif, July-September 1974, p. 29; reprinted three years later in Billig’s La Solution finale de la question juive, Centre de documentation juive contemporaine, 1977, p. 94;
Serge Klarsfeld, Le Mémorial de la deportation des juifs de France, 1978, p. 28;
Georges Wellers, “Déportation des Juifs de France, Légendes et réalités,” Le Monde juif, July-September 1980, p. 97;
Michael R. Marrus and Robert O. Paxton, Vichy France and the Jews, Basic Books, New York 1981, p. 351.
On the spot, in Lyon, I gave Jacques Vergès an urgent note telling him of the nature of this trickery meant to convince people that, if Kohl and Dannecker were aware of the extermination of the Jews, Barbie could not have been unaware of it. Unfortunately, Vergès had decided not to question the dogma of the extermination of the Jews and, to the very end, maintained that policy of prudence. Following the example of so many German lawyers, he preferred to plead that Barbie “did not know” that the Jews were being exterminated.
• On the fringe of the Barbie trial
During the Barbie trial life became difficult for revisionists, especially in Lyon, where the police and journalists went on guard. The police called me in for questioning several times but I refused to heed their summonses, declaring that I preferred prison to “collaborating with the French police and courts in the repression of revisionism.” Threatened with arrest, I stood firm. Shoah was in the cinemas; a play about the Auschwitz trial (Frankfurt, 1963-65) was on at the theatre; in a large public square in Lyon, the Jews organised an exhibition – essentially symbolic – on the Holocaust; in the schools, teachers and pupils were vigorously indoctrinated; the local press incited hatred of Barbie and the revisionists. Around the courthouse stood a walky-talky equipped police contingent, “just stern enough to discourage revisionist demonstrators” (Le Monde, 18 June 1987, page 14).
The powder keg was ignited by the release, just before the opening of the trial (but that was mere coincidence), of the first issue of the Annales d’histoire révisionniste, and by a leaflet, informal and polemical in tone, entitled “Info-Intox… Histoire-Intox… ça suffit. CHAMBRES A GAZ = BIDON” (Info-Brainwash… History-Brainwash… Enough. GAS CHAMBERS = FAKE) and signed by a “Collective of High School Pupils of Lyon, Nancy and Strasbourg”; on the reverse side, the leaflet bore drawings by the cartoonist Konk proving the chemical impossibility of the Auschwitz gassings.
This witch-hunt atmosphere, in which the daily Le Monde distinguished itself by a violence of tone, at times had funny effects. It was suddenly thought that traces of revisionism were to be found in a schoolbook produced eight years before by a Jewish publishing house, which hurriedly announced that the book would be redone as soon as possible (Le Matin de Paris, 21 May 1987, page 12; Le Monde, 24-25 May 1987, page 10). A few days later, Serge July, director of Libération, on learning that two revisionist texts had slipped into the letters section of his paper, decided to have his own newspaper seized at the newsagents’, fired the letters editor forthwith and entirely overhauled the editorial board (Libération, 28 May 1987, page 34; 29 May 1987, page 45; Le Monde, 3 June 1987, page 48). Gaullist member of parliament Jacques Chaban-Delmas called upon French youth to mount a new form of resistance: resistance against revisionism (according to the weekly Rivarol, 29 May 1987, p. 8). Secondary school history book editors had already received advice and threats from the “Comité des enseignants amis d’Israel” (Friends of Israel teachers’ committee) (Sens, December 1986, p. 323-329), and there is no doubt that on the occasion of the Barbie affair “schoolbook publishers cannot have remained insensitive to negative criticisms or suggestions the failure to heed which might well have heavy consequences for their publications’ distribution” (ibid., page 325).
• France’s Journalists demand an immediate legal crackdown
Claude Lanzmann was distraught by the lack of success in France of his film Shoah, and by the impossibility of attacking me in court for the article (full of factual evidence and references) that I had devoted to that monument of propaganda. Pierre Guillaume, in fact, published and distributed the piece under a title borrowed from a slogan dating back to May 1968: “Open Your Eyes, Smash the TV!”. Lanzmann turned to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) and obtained from it an initiative that will live in the annals of the world press. On 1 July 1987, the AFP issued a long statement giving vent to its agitation in the face of the revisionist criticisms of Shoah and, accordingly, asking that the legal authorities put “an immediate halt to the revisionists’ machinations” in the name of… “respect for information and Human Rights.”
My analysis of Shoah was denounced as vile. The AFP release read as follows:
The Federation [i.e. the French Federation of Journalists’Associations] believes that individuals like Robert Faurisson should not be able, with impunity, to write what they are writing and disseminating. Vileness and racism have their limits. The ethics of journalism forbid allowing people to write just any rubbish, the maddest anti-truths, in deliberate contempt of the truth and thus of the right to know. To sully a film like Shoah, which can only be viewed with frightful dread and infinite compassion, amounts purely and simply to an attack on Human Rights.
The journalist is always a witness to his times, and in that sense Claude Lanzmann has done an admirable journalistic job, gathering over ten years the most dreadful testimonies, not only from the victims, but from their killers, and from the Poles in the vicinity of the camps. It is horrible, and this is doubtless what troubles these revisionists, who apparently have still not got over the Nazi defeat.
In the midst of the Barbie trial, and whilst attempts at revisionism are growing in number, it is urgent that the legal authorities, in the name of respect for information and Human Rights, punish such unspeakable leaflets and their authors, and prevent the latter from repeating the offence.
The French Federation of Journalists’ Associations brings together more than twenty concerns (notably TF1, A-2, FR-3, L’Agence France-Presse, Le Monde, Sud-Ouest, L’Equipe… ), more than 2,000 journalists in all.
This release was to have serious consequences. TF-1, A-2, and FR-3 are the country’s three main television channels; the Agence France-Presse is our primary press agency; Le Monde is the most prestigious of our newspapers; Sud-Ouest is the largest circulation daily; L’Equipe is the most widely read and most popular of the sport papers. I thus found myself condemned by what amounted to the whole of the mass media in my country, with even the sport journalists pronouncing a censure on revisionism. The revisionists were described as individuals with vile arguments, spreading wickedness and racism, writing any old rubbish – the maddest anti-truths –, holding truth and the public’s right to know in contempt, harming human rights, and not yet having got over the Nazi defeat. In particular, they appeared to be smearing an unimpeachable and admirable film, which no one could view without frightful dread and infinite compassion.
- Seizure of the Annales d’histoire révisionniste and filing of criminal charges (in the town of Auch).
Thus did the mainstream media unanimously call on the judges for help. Le Monde stood out by the violence of its attacks; in under two months it mentioned the revisionists in more than twenty articles, uniformly hostile; Bruno Frappat, for his part, denounced the “experts at lying, the gangsters of history” (Le Monde, 5-6 July 1987, page 31).
The judicial machinery immediately swung into action. On 25 May 1987, with remarkable promptness, the judge of summary procedure in Paris, Gérard Pluyette, on the urging of Jean Pierre-Bloch, had already ordered the seizure of the first issue of the Annales. On 3 July a certain Legname, investigating magistrate at Auch (in the Gers département), charged me with justifying war crimes and spreading false news on the basis of my two articles in the Annales, one entitled “How the British Obtained the Confessions of Rudolf Höss, Commandant of Auschwitz” and the other “Le savon juif” (The Jewish Soap). Pierre Guillaume was charged for the same reason, as he was the publisher. Carlo Mattogno was also charged, owing to his study on “The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews.” An Italian citizen, he became, on 10 August 1987, the object of an international arrest warrant. The entire process had been set in motion by someone named Robin, the prosecutor at Auch, at the request of Madame Lydie Dupuis, an official of the “League for Human Rights” and a family relation of French President François Mitterrand.
On 20 September 1987 Charles Pasqua, Minister of the Interior, stated on the radio that, if it were up to him, the place for Professor Faurisson would be prison (“Charles Pasqua: Les thèses révisionnistes, véritable délit,” Le Figaro, 21 September 1987, page 7).
A specific law against the revisionists (a sort of “lex Faurissoniana”) is currently being prepared. It is even more severe than the German law of June 1985 (the Auschwitzlüge-Gesetz).
There were a number of non-judicial affairs; in France the most important of these was the Le Pen affair.
• The Roques Affair
I shall not dwell on the Roques affair since Henri Roques, who is here with us, will be basing his own presentation on it. For my part I shall only recall one aspect that illustrates the progress of revisionism. In February 1979, Léon Poliakov and Pierre Vidal-Naquet, both of Jewish origin, were able to mobilise thirty-two persons, described as “historians,” to sign a petition, the so-called “declaration of 34 historians,” against me (Le Monde, 21 February 1979, page 23); some of those thirty-two were not of Jewish origin. In 1986, François Bédarida, a Christian of Jewish birth, managed to mobilise only five “historians” against Roques (Pierre Vidal-Naquet and four other persons also of Jewish origin), along with a rabbi and, finally, a media personality called Harlem Désir, who is himself perhaps of Jewish origin as well (see Libération, 31 May 1986, page 12; Le Monde, 3 June 1986, page 14).
- The Paschoud Affair (Switzerland)
Then, in Switzerland, came the Paschoud affair. Mariette Paschoud, aged 39, lives in Lausanne. She used to teach history and literature at a lycée there. She is also a captain in the Swiss army and an auxiliary military judge. She visited Paris to preside over a conference at which Henri Roques was to expound on his doctoral thesis on the Gerstein confessions. While not taking up the cudgels for the revisionist case, she did argue in favour of the right to doubt and to do research. The Swiss press attacked her so violently that the authorities of the canton of Vaud, her employers, felt they had to impose swift punishment: Mariette Paschoud was deprived of the right to teach history. But Rabbi Vadnaï of Lausanne deemed the sanction insufficient. A new campaign was unleashed: as a result Mrs Paschoud no longer has the right to teach either history or literature; her husband has been dismissed by the private school where he gave courses in law.
- The Noyon Affair (Switzerland)
Still in Switzerland, Pierre Guillaume and I were invited to attend the documentary film festival in Noyon, and there we went. The organisers were setting a trap for us: they were going to invite exterminationist historians to match us, and also show the films Night and Fog and Le Temps du ghetto. On learning that we had arrived, the exterminationists sent a telegram at the last moment; they refused to meet us, and the whole operation rebounded to our advantage despite a scandal caused at the end by a local television celebrity who, noting our impact on the audience, shouted that he found our presentation “obscene.” A few Swiss newspapers put the event in their front-page headlines. The festival’s organisers discovered (a bit too late) the “serious and dangerous” nature of revisionism.
Later on, Pierre Guillaume returned to Switzerland with Henri Roques to speak at a conference. The conference went ahead in difficult conditions and, afterwards, the Swiss government barred Guillaume and Roques from Swiss territory (and that of Liechtenstein) for a period of three and a half years (Le Monde, 6 December 1986, page 7).
• The Konk Affair
Konk (real name: Laurent Fabre) is a famous cartoonist. He started out at Le Monde and went on to the weekly L’Evénement du jeudi, run by J.-F. Kahn. Konk is considered a leftist. He has also shown himself to be a revisionist. In a cartoon book entitled Aux Voleurs! (Albin Michel, Paris 1986), denouncing theft, lies and impostures in various forms, Konk summed up quite pertinently my argument about the chemical impossibility of the Auschwitz “gassings” in a few drawings and captions. I recommend a reading of the last three pages to those who wish to have a forceful summary of revisionism that even young schoolchildren can understand and enjoy.
Konk was ousted from L’Evénement du jeudi by its boss, Jean-François Kahn. Recently, he gave an interview in which he delivered a sort of retraction (Le Nouvel Observateur, 25 September 1987, page 93). On the night before its publication he telephoned me to warn me and, at the same time, to explain that, barred everywhere and unable to find work, he had found himself reduced to the extremity of a public recantation. From time to time Le Figaro still publishes a drawing of his but there is no real contract between him and the paper. In general, when I see a new revisionist suddenly appear on the public stage, as was the case with Konk, I ask myself how many days it will take him to retract.
• The Folco Affair
Michel Folco is a journalist and photographer. He works chiefly for a monthly satirical journal, Zéro, directed by Cavanna, of libertarian inspiration. Despite a seeming airiness, he is a scrupulous and thorough investigator. Starting with an investigation on Mauthausen, he has ended up amassing a volume of new information about the controversy between revisionists and exterminationists which future historians will not be able to ignore. His interviews with Georges Wellers, Pierre Vidal-Naquet and Germaine Tillion throw light on a whole hidden face of the exterminationist camp. It is regrettable that Cavanna has abruptly put an end to those pieces by Folco for fear of certain persons’ reactions (see, in particular, Zéro, April 1987, p. 51-57, and May 1987, p. 70-75).
• The Union of Atheists Affair
The Holocaust is a religion. One must seek to protect oneself from its domineering and intolerant character.
I wanted to know whether it was possible to lead an action against that religion within the ranks of the French Union of Atheists, which assembles about 2,500 people. I joined the Union of Atheists, something that the Union’s charter says anyone can do without any conditions, not even financial ones. The charter also states that no one can be expelled. My membership caused a stir, which the mainstream press amplified. There followed a hundred resignations in protest against my entry. The president, Albert Beaughon, asked me to resign. I refused.
The annual congress of the Union of Atheists took place in a tumult. I persisted in my refusal to resign and awaited the results. To borrow a phrase from Pierre Guillaume, those atheists wanted to excommunicate me, as I wasn’t Catholic enough for them. But I must also say I have noted that a fair number of members have defended me out of a concern for tolerance and, sometimes, out of revisionist convictions (see, in particular, Libération, 6-7 June 1987, and 8 June 1987, p. 18).
• The Michel Polac and Annette Levy-Willard Affairs
Michel Polac is a star of French television. Of Jewish background, he has always fought revisionism. In the past several years he has attacked me again and again. In May 1987 he stated on television that I deserved a slap in the face. On 12 September he showed a short excerpt from a video-film by Annette Levy-Willard, L’Espion qui venait de l’extrême droite (known in English as The Other Face of Terror), devoted in part to our IHR conference of September 1983. In June 1983 Annette Levy-Willard beseeched me to give her the address of the Los Angeles hotel where the conference was to be held. With Willis Carto’s approval she was informed of the address in September. At the conference her interviews went ahead in such a manner and with such animosity towards revisionism that I refused to grant her one. Instead, I offered to make a one-minute statement in front of her camera. She agreed, but once I was on camera she prevented me from making the statement. I left, refusing to answer her questions. Furious, Mrs Levy-Willard confronted me in the lobby of the Grand Hotel, saying several times that she would have her revenge; Tom Marcellus, the Institute’s director, was present. The lady’s vengeance took the form of that video-film, in which she claimed to have found us out in Los Angeles holding a secret gathering of neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen. I was spotted, she said, while trying to hide (sic!).
At the end of his programme Michel Polac promised that the following week he would ensure the right of reply for anyone who felt the need to present a defence. I therefore telephoned to make my request but it was refused. In Paris that following week, accompanied by my two lawyers, I proceeded to Polac’s recording studios. Michel Polac, quite simply, had the guards bar us from entering and called the police: plainclothes and uniformed police soon arrived.
• The Jacques Chancel and Gilbert Salomon Affair
Jacques Chancel is another French radio and television star. He invited me to come and debate with one Gilbert Salomon on his radio programme of 18 September 1987. I gladly accepted. After arriving in Paris, I learned that my presence on the broadcast would be “intolerable” and I had to return to Vichy. The broadcast featured only Jacques Chancel, Gilbert Salomon and a few other resolutely anti-revisionist voices. I, the absent one, was copiously insulted. Gilbert Salomon went so far as to admit that if I had been there he probably would have struck me. He was introduced by his “intimate friend, almost brother” Jacques Chancel as having been interned at Auschwitz for exactly two years to the day, from 11 April 1943 to 11 April 1945; Salomon claimed he was the only escapee from a convoy of 1,100 Jews.
The truth is that Salomon arrived in Auschwitz on 1 May 1944, more than a year after the date that he gave on the broadcast, and that he was transferred from Auschwitz to Buchenwald, where he was freed in April 1945; Salomon’s convoy included 1,004 Jews, and Serge Klarsfeld, despite his manipulation of statistics, was indeed bound to acknowledge in his “Memorial to the Deportation of the Jews from France” (and in the additions thereto) that after 1945 at least 51 Jews from that convoy had spontaneously gone to the Ministry for Prisoners to report that they were alive. Furthermore, I discovered that Salomon was counted by Serge Klarsfeld amongst… the gassed! The name of Gilbert Salomon, today a millionaire known in France as “the meat king,” thus appears, under the heading of gassing victims, on a monument in Jerusalem listing all the names included in the aforementioned “Memorial” as being of Jews who died in deportation.
• The Le Pen Affair
Jean-Marie Le Pen is head of the French political party Front National, a populist movement that has more than thirty members in parliament. He is a candidate for the presidency of the Republic. On 13 September 1987, on the television discussion programme “RTL-Le Monde Grand Jury,” Le Pen was suddenly questioned on “the Faurisson and Roques theses.” In his reply he said:
I am very interested in the history of the Second World War. I have asked myself a certain number of questions about it. I do not say that the gas chambers didn’t exist. I myself haven’t been able to see any. I have not made a special study of the matter. But I believe they are a footnote to the history of the Second World War.
One must listen carefully to the whole recording of this rather confused interview in order to grasp the situation in which Le Pen found himself, and the gist of his thinking. The transcripts that appeared in the press are faulty. I personally listened, word for word, to what Le Pen said, as well as to the remarks of the journalists who interrupted him on several occasions. For me, it is clear that Le Pen, beginning with the first question, lost his composure; he was aware of the seriousness of the subject broached, and an abyss opened up beneath him. He collected his wits as he spoke but the journalists’ interruptions made him lose his train of thought. Le Pen used the phrase “point de detail.” The phrase was unfortunate and did not accurately express what he was trying to say. What he wanted to say is what many exterminationists would end up telling me in the discussions I happened to have with them: “Whether the gas chambers existed or not is a detail.” I have heard, twenty times or more, people who believe in the exterminationist thesis use that argument when they finally realise, in the midst of our conversation, that the gas chambers, after all, cannot actually have existed. Jean-Marie Le Pen, for his part, defended the opinion that the means of making the Jews perish was only a footnote when seen against the result of that perishing. In effect, if one admits that there has been, for example, a murder, then the importance, if any, of the weapon employed will be strictly in relation to that murder. It is ironic that an argument invoked by the exterminationists to defend their case for the Jews’ extermination has been considered a crime for Le Pen, whom people suspect – not without reason, in my view – of revisionism.
Another bit of irony is that no revisionist will agree with Le Pen in saying that the gas chambers are a footnote to the history of the Second World War. In fact, without that specific weapon used to carry it out, the specific crime of genocide is, materially speaking, inconceivable. Without a system of destruction there is no systematic destruction. Without the gas chambers, there is no Jewish Holocaust. The gas chambers are therefore not a footnote.
One last irony is that Claude Malhuret, secretary of State for the defence of human rights, said in response to Le Pen that “the gas chambers are one of the keys to 20th century history” (Libération, 15 September 1987, page 6). Every revisionist will agree with that statement, merely adding that it is the key… to a lie. The gas chambers are an essential myth, an essential lie. The gas chambers are less than a footnote, since they did not even exist, but the myth of the gas chambers is indeed “one of the keys to 20th century history.”
Five days after his statement Le Pen more or less retracted it. In a clarification intended for the press, he mentioned “the gas chambers” as one weapon, amongst others, in which he said he believed. But the press, in its keenness to crush him, did not care to hear those explanations.
On the whole, for revisionists the result of the Le Pen affair was positive. Thanks to this politician, all Frenchmen have now heard of those who doubt the existence of the gas chambers, and people know more or less clearly that those sceptics are called “revisionists.” Today, when someone who does not know me tries, in the course of a conversation about the Second World War, to categorise me, I can simply say: “I’m a revisionist.” Before the Le Pen affair that term would have been understood only by a tiny number.
The exterminationists can no longer uphold an argument that they had recently tended to use more and more in the hope of getting out of trouble. They can no longer say: “The gas chambers are a detail.” The gas chambers will become the exterminationists’ tunic of Nessus; they will have to uphold, to the very end, an indefensible argument (that of the existence of the gas chambers), as one seeks to uphold the central pillar of an entire edifice (here, an edifice of lies).
• Revisionists barred from the French media
The score of my French television appearances is simple: in nine years, French viewers have seen and heard me once, for 30 to 40 seconds; that was one night in June 1987 at 10:15 p.m., on the third channel. The presenter, Jacqueline Alexandre, took care to advise the viewers that I was a sort of monster and, after my appearance, she confirmed for them that they had just seen and heard a sort of monster. The radio and the newspapers, of course, are closed to us. Rarely have such a small group of people had so much said about them, all of it negative, without being able to offer any defence.
In nine years I have not been able to hold a single truly public conference in France. Even some of my “by invitation only” conferences have been kept from happening by police intervention (for example, in Périgueux at the urging of Yves Guena and in Bordeaux at the urging of Jacques Chaban-Delmas, both members of parliament of the “Gaullist” right). In France, the revisionists play the devil’s role: people hear much talk of them, and always bad, but never see them. I have stopped counting the physical attacks on Pierre Guillaume, other revisionists and myself. I believe I could qualify for mention in the Guinness Book of World Records as “the professor most often insulted in the whole Western press.”
• Three Shoah-Business events
Three spectacular events have at times been described in the French press as a response to the rise of revisionism: the film Shoah, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Elie Wiesel and the Demjanjuk trial in Jerusalem.
I shall not return here to the case of Shoah, with which I dealt in an article published as a supplement to n° 4 of the Annales d’histoire révisionniste (p. 169-177), entitled by the editor, Pierre Guillaume, “Ouvrez les yeux, cassez la télé!” (Open Your Eyes, Smash the TV!) [see, by R. Faurisson, “Claude Lanzmann’s Shoah”, The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1988, p. 85-92 – editor’s note]. In France the film experienced such a failure in relation to the publicity it enjoyed in all ways imaginable that we can, in my opinion, speak of a “Shoah-business crash”. I shall mention only one interview in the French weekly VSD in which Claude Lanzmann revealed, not without pleasure, the deceptive methods he had used to question the German “witnesses” seen in his film (VSD, 9 juillet 1987, p. 11). He had made up a new name for himself, Claude-Marie Sorel, along with a title – doctor of history – and an Institute: “le Centre de recherches et d’études pour l’histoire contemporaine”. He had also prepared sheets of paper fraudulently bearing the letterhead: “Académie de Paris” (he must have known that his friend Mme Ahrweiler, head of that public education authority, would not take him to court for it) and, finally, he had paid his witnesses handsomely: 3,000 deutschmarks, or about 10,000 French francs, per head. Claude Lanzmann is to take part in the international symposium against the French revisionists organised by Mme Ahrweiler at the Sorbonne in December 1987.
- Elie Wiesel receives the Nobel Peace Prize (Oslo)
In December 1986 Elie Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize. On page one of the 17 October 1986 edition of Le Monde, under the headline “An Eloquent Nobel,” it was emphasised that such a reward came just in time since:
In the last few years there has been seen, in the name of an alleged “historical revisionism,” a development of arguments, notably in France, questioning the existence of the Nazi gas chambers and, perhaps beyond that, of the Jewish genocide itself.
In my September 1983 IHR conference paper I said:
Elie Wiesel, if I may be allowed to use a familiar expression, is suffering from a terrible thorn in his foot, the thorn of revisionism. He has tried by every means to rid himself of it. He has not succeeded. He seems less and less hopeful of ridding himself of it. In that respect, he is like the revisionists, who do not see any more than Wiesel does how he will get rid of the thorn of revisionism.
In May 1986 I published in French a piece entitled “Un grand faux témoin: Elie Wiesel” (“A Prominent False Witness: Elie Wiesel”). In it I recalled that, in his autobiography (Night), this great Auschwitz witness did not even mention the existence of “gas chambers” at Auschwitz. For him, the Germans did exterminate the Jews, but… by fire, throwing them alive into open air furnaces right in front of all the deportees. I could have added that in January 1945, after being offered by the Germans the opportunity either to remain in the camp to await the arrival of the Soviets or to leave the camp with his guards, Elie Wiesel chose to leave with the German “exterminators” instead of welcoming the Soviet “liberators.” His father and he both took the same decision, although both could have remained at one of the camp hospitals, the young Elie as a pampered convalescent after a minor operation, and his father either as a fake patient or a fake orderly (Night, New York: Hill and Wang, 1960, p. 82-87).
In December 1986 Pierre Guillaume, Serge Thion and I went to Oslo for the Nobel Prize ceremonies. The text “A Prominent False Witness: Elie Wiesel” was distributed on the spot in French, English and Swedish, even to certain political figures of the highest standing, amongst whom Mme Mitterrand, as well as to Wiesel himself.
3. The Demjanjuk trial (Israel)
The Demjanjuk trial illustrates, one more time, the law by which counsel for “Nazis” or their “accomplices” play the accusers’ own game. In this case, Demjanjuk’s lawyers refuse to call into question the extermination dogma, and act as if they really believed Treblinka was an extermination camp. In reality it was a very modest transit camp that was not in the least secret. It was situated 90 kilometres from Warsaw, near a small railway serving a sand quarry. One simple topographical study would demolish in a few minutes the myth of formidable secret gassings and of no less formidable open-air incinerations of from 700,000 to 1,500,000 Jews. But the “paper historians,” as well as the Jerusalem judges and lawyers, will not dare to begin at the beginning, that is, with a study of the location of the historic “crime.” “Treblinka” has become the pinnacle of the great historical lie, more so than even “Auschwitz.”
GAINS BY HISTORICAL REVISIONISM
In January 1987 a well-known Jewish weekly wrote:
For Henri Roques, Mariette Paschoud, Pierre Guillaume and Robert Faurisson, 1986 was a very successful year. In France and in Switzerland, their names were on everyone’s lips. (Allgemeine Jüdische Wochenzeitung, 23 January 1987, page 12).
In fact, the entire period I am dealing with here (September 1983 to September 1987) was happy for European revisionism. In a more general way, in Canada and in Europe, one can say that over those four years the advances of revisionism were substantial while the retreat of the exterminationists became more pronounced.
• Advances of revisionism
On 4 July 1984 a fire set by arsonists swept through our Institute for Historical Review, located in Torrance, California. Willis Carto, Tom Marcellus and their team succeeded, at the cost of considerable efforts, in bringing our institute back to life – a necessarily slower life. In spite of that attack and in spite of the harmful effects of the Mel Mermelstein lawsuit, the Journal of Historical Review is now at its 28th edition. In France, Pierre Guillaume has created a quarterly journal, the Annales d’histoire révisionniste. Its first issue, seized by the police under court order, caused a sensation; the main newspapers and even television mentioned its content and, especially, Carlo Mattogno’s essay “The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews.” In 1986 Pierre Guillaume likewise published his own book, Droit et histoire, as well as the French translation-adaptation of Wilhelm Stäglich’s Der Auschwitz Mythos, with a 25-page supplement in which I myself commented on photos and documents relating to that myth.
France is the first country in the world where it has been possible to defend a revisionist academic thesis (in June 1985): Henri Roques’s thesis on the Gerstein confessions. In the same year there appeared in Italy Mattogno’s Il rapporto Gerstein, anatomia di un falso (The Gerstein Report, anatomy of a fraud), a work broader and more complete than Roques’s thesis (which had set out to do nothing more than study the texts attributed to Gerstein). Mattogno is a learned man in the mould of his Renaissance forebears; he is meticulous and prolific; in future he will be in the revisionists’ front rank. It is possible that, in the years to come, the Spaniard Enrique Aynat Eknes will reach the same level for his work on Auschwitz. In two years from now the Frenchman Pierre Marais will doubtless be publishing the results of his research on the myth of the homicidal gas vans [the work was indeed published in 1994, with a preface by R. Faurisson, under the title Les camions à gaz en question; Paris, Polémiques – editor’s note]. In the US, our Institute has released works by Walter Sanning (The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry) and James J. Martin, the dean of revisionist historians (author of The Man Who Invented Genocide). The English translation of the Stäglich book is currently in preparation [this was indeed published in 1986 by the IHR under the title Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence; second edition 1990 – editor’s note].
• Tribute from Michel de Boüard
Michel de Boüard was interned at Mauthausen. A professor of medieval history and also a member of the Committee for the History of the Second World War (Paris), he ended his university career as dean of the faculty of letters at the University of Caen (Normandy). He is a member of the Institut de France. In 1986, he defended Henri Roques and, more generally, criticised exterminationist literature and expressed his respect for the quality of revisionist work. A journalist from Ouest-France asked him:
You were president of the Calvados (Normandy) association of deportees, and you resigned in May 1985. Why was that?
De Boüard answered:
I found myself torn between my conscience as a historian and the duties it implies, and, on the other hand, my membership in a group of companions whom I deeply love, but who refuse to recognise the necessity of dealing with the Deportation as a historical fact in line with sound historical methods.
I am haunted by the thought that in 100 years’ or even 50 years’ time historians will question themselves on that particular aspect of the Second World War which is the concentration camp system, and what they will find out. The dossier is rotten. On one hand, a considerable amount of fantasies, inaccuracies, obstinately repeated (in particular concerning numbers), heterogeneous mixtures, generalisations and, on the other hand, very dry critical studies that demonstrate the inanity of those exaggerations. I am afraid that those future historians may then say that the Deportation, when all is said and done, must have been a myth. There lies the danger. That haunts me.
The revisionists, whom others doggedly denounce as negative, in fact perform a positive function: they show what really took place. They also give a lesson in “positivism” in the sense that their arguments are often of a physical, chemical, topographical, architectural and documentary nature, and because they accept as true only that which is verifiable. They defend history, while their adversaries have abandoned history for what the Jews call “memory” – i.e., their mythological tradition.
THE RETREAT OF EXTERMINATIONISM
In the years 1983-1987 the exterminationist case enjoyed a financial, political and media mobilisation that was as impressive as it was fruitless.
• A Moral Disaster for Hilberg, Vrba, Wiesel and Lanzmann
For Raul Hilberg, Rudolf Vrba, Elie Wiesel and Claude Lanzmann the four-year span was one of plenty of money, publicity and various honours, but disastrous for their moral credit.
– Raul Hilberg, the best “expert” of the exterminationist argument, caved in at the Toronto trial and was guilty of such perjury that, in my view, he will not run the risk inherent in coming once more to testify at a similar trial;
– Rudolf Vrba, number one witness for the exterminationist case, has shown himself to be a kind of impostor: he himself had to agree at the Toronto trial that his written “testimony” was, in large part – if not altogether – a work of fiction;
– Elie Wiesel, the most illustrious of Shoah-business’s travelling salesmen, is discredited amongst his own kind. Some months after the first publication and significant distribution of my article “A Prominent False Witness: Elie Wiesel,” Pierre Vidal-Naquet himself was moved to declare:
For example, you have Rabbi Kahane, that extremist Jew, who is less dangerous than a man like Elie Wiesel, who will say any old rubbish… Reading some of the descriptions in Night is enough to make you realise that they are not accurate and that he ends up turning himself into a Shoah merchant… And yes, he also wrongs, and immensely, the historical truth (Zéro, April 1987, page 57).
– Claude Lanzmann was awaited like the Messiah. For ten years he promised to answer revisionist arguments definitively with his coming film Shoah; but, in France, the film had the opposite effect; it rendered obvious the absence of rational arguments for exterminationism – so obvious that, in a panic, Lanzmann, working through the French “federation of journalists’ associations”, called for legal repression of the revisionists.
“Functionalism” is a major concession to revisionism, and the “intentionalists” have, so to speak, disappeared.
• Bankruptcy declaration in ten points
The bankruptcy declaration of exterminationism can be drawn up in these terms: the exterminationists are henceforth compelled to acknowledge that no documents (either German or Allied) are to be found to support their case: that is,
1) neither any order to exterminate the Jews;
2) nor any plan for carrying out that extermination;
3) nor any centralising body to coordinate its execution;
4) nor any budget; however, nothing is ever done without money or credits;
5) nor any monitoring authority; however, in a country at war, everything must be closely monitored;
6) nor any weapon, for there exists no expert examination of the crime weapon: either of a homicidal gas chamber or a homicidal gas van;
7) nor any corpse, for no autopsy report proving any killing by poison gas is to be had;
8) nor any report on the reconstruction of the crime, whereas in France a murder inquiry is usually accompanied by a reconstruction of the crime scene;
9) nor any witness who has been cross-examined on the very material nature of the crime for, at the Toronto trial (1985), where, for the first time, someone dared to carry out such a cross-examination, the best “witnesses” were confounded;
10) nor any verified confession, for the Gerstein confessions and the confessions of Rudolf Höss, once finally analysed, have shown themselves to be devoid of value and impossible to defend, even in the eyes of a Raul Hilberg.
I fear the brevity and speed of this enumeration may obscure the importance of each of the ten elements. I shall therefore pause for a moment on the first: the absence – today admitted by all – of an order to exterminate the Jews.
From 1945 to 1980 people would vilify anyone daring to utter the idea that there had never been such an order. Either that order existed and had to be shown, or else it did not exist, and the fact had to be admitted: that is what common sense said, but that is also what no one amongst the spectators to the controversy (journalists, historians, professors) dared to say. For 35 years the exterminationists carried on with a deception. They blocked historical research and paralysed any common-sense reaction. The lesson is worth pondering. The Waldheim affair, to take that one example, merely repeats the lesson: if lieutenant Waldheim is guilty of a “war crime” or a “crime against humanity,” then Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress, must tell us precisely what that crime of which he accuses Waldheim is, and must offer proof of it. All the rest is just media hype, intellectual terrorism or production of false documents.
• Revision of “Wannsee”
For more than 35 years we were told to believe that the minutes of the Wannsee meeting (20 January 1942) envisaged the extermination of the Jews. Then, without a word, that pretence was abandoned. The document in itself is suspect. Many revisionists refuse, consequently, to ascribe the least value to it. That used to be the case with me, but it is so no longer. I especially believe that this document was poorly read, including by me. We have all been the victims of such psychological conditioning as to be unable to see, in the two crucial paragraphs, words like Freilassung (release) and Aufbaues (revival), along with the sentence in parentheses: Siehe die Erfahrung der Geschichte (“See the experience of history”). In the light of these words, which authors sometimes leave out when supposedly reproducing the minutes, I say that what Heydrich foresaw at the Berlin-Wannsee meeting was a setting free (Freilassung) of the Jews who would survive the war and a Jewish revival (jüdischen Aufbaues) after the terrible trials of war and forced labour. History is full of such physical and moral trials from which a people is said to emerge “regenerated.” The National Socialists, in this respect close to the Zionists, thought that after the war “the best” amongst the Jews would constitute an elite: the germ cell of a Jewish renewal in which physical work, agricultural colonies and the sense of a common destiny would allow the creation of a Jewish national home; the Jews would at last constitute a nation amongst other nations, instead of being “parasites.” I shall recall here that in March 1942, and perhaps after that date, there was at least one kibbutz at Neuendorf, in National Socialist Germany (Documents on the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, 1981, page 155).
- Hilberg and Browning reduced to “nothingness”
The exterminationists’ retreat over a period of 35 years can be measured in their successive explanations of the order allegedly given by Hitler to exterminate the Jews. At first we were given to believe that there was a written order, then that order was presented as verbal; today we are asked to believe that the order consisted in a simple “nod” (sic) by Hitler who, by virtue of telepathy (consensus-mindreading), was instantly understood by a whole bureaucracy. The “nod” theory comes from Christopher Browning  and that of consensus-mind reading comes from Raul Hilberg. We thus attain the realm of nothingness. Hilberg, who was himself once an upholder of the written order (even two written orders), had realised, firstly, that he could not supply any proof of the existence of the order (or orders). Subsequently, around 1984, he realised that the theory of the spoken order was also indefensible; at the Stuttgart Conference (3-5 May 1984) he in effect took up as his own a revisionist argument and stated, in regard to the verbal order allegedly received by Eichmann or Höss:
Eichmann und Höss haben nicht selbst mit dem Führer gesprochen. So hören wir nur von einem Mann wie Eichmann, der von Heydrich gehört hatte, der von Himmler gehört hatte, was Hitler gesagt hatte. Für Geschichtsschreiber ist das allerdings nicht die beste Quelle. (Der Mord an den Juden im Zweiten Weltkrieg [The Murder of the Jews in the Second World War], DVA, 1985, page 187).
(Eichmann and Höss did not themselves speak with the Führer. So we learn only from a man – Eichmann – who heard what Hitler had said from Heydrich, who had heard it from Himmler. For the historian, this is certainly not the best source.)
• Klarsfeld reduced to trickery, and an admission
Serge Klarsfeld has involuntarily contributed to the retreat of exterminationism. In order to uphold the case for alleged homicidal gassings at Auschwitz-Birkenau, he was forced to employ a clumsy trick.
In 1980 he published an album of nearly 190 photos taken by a German photographer at Auschwitz in 1944. Some of these were already known. The lot of them should have been published in 1945; they were so rich in information that I personally know of nothing more enlightening about the reality of Auschwitz than these astonishing photographs. Klarsfeld entitled the first, relatively honest, edition of the photos The Auschwitz Album / Lili Jacob’s Album (New York, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, preface dated 5 August 1980). This book was not released commercially but seems to have been reserved for distribution “to major libraries around the world, as well as to major Jewish organisations”.
The following year Klarsfeld published the same photographs under the following title: The Auschwitz Album / A Book Based Upon an Album Discovered by a Concentration Camp Survivor, Lili Meier, text by Peter Hellman (New York, Random House, 1981). This time the presentation of the book and the commentary on the photos were lacking in honesty.
It was with the French edition that Klarsfeld lapsed into trickery pure and simple. It must be said that he was helped by an odd character: a pharmacist called Jean-Claude Pressac, whose collaboration even Georges Wellers had ended up rejecting. The title was: L’Album d’Auschwitz, d’après un album découvert par Lili Meier, survivante du camp de concentration, text by Peter Hellman, translated from English by Guy Casaril, French edition established and completed by Anne Freyer and Jean-Claude Pressac (Paris, Editions du Seuil, 1983). The order of the images was completely rearranged with a view to illustrate the exterminationist case. Titles for the various sections of the original album had been transformed; new titles had even been forged so as to have people take them for originals; the commentaries were purely arbitrary. A map of Birkenau had been added (page 42), but that map was deliberately falsified. For example, to have the reader believe that the groups of Jewish women and children surprised by the photographer between Crematoria II and III could proceed no further and were thus going to end up in the crematoria’s “gas chambers”, Klarsfeld and Pressac had quite simply removed a road which, in reality, continued up to a large shower facility (located beyond the crematoria area and towards which the women and children were going). Another subterfuge consisted in suppressing any mention of the existence of a football ground (Sportplatz) adjacent to Crematorium III; the presence of that playing field hardly squared with the vicinity of a place in which, supposedly, every day, thousands of Jews were gassed.
On 29 May 1986, in an interview with the weekly VSD (p. 37), Klarsfeld admitted that no “real proof” of the gas chambers’ existence had yet been published but only, as he said, “beginnings of proof that embarrassed the Faurissonians but had not yet silenced them”. Thus, by the very admission of that dispenser of justice, the whole world had been obliged to believe in those gas chambers, without any proof’s being published, up until at least May 1986, that is, for more than forty years after the end of the war! This was to admit implicitly that Georges Wellers had not published any “real proof” in his 1981 book Les Chambres à gaz ont existé / Des documents, des témoignages, des chiffres (The Gas Chambers Existed / Documents, Testimony, Numbers; Paris, Gallimard). What that work actually demonstrated was the existence of crematory ovens. Klarsfeld, by that statement, also acknowledged the failure of another book: Les Chambres à gaz, secret d’Etat (The Gas Chambers, State Secret; drafted by 24 authors, including Wellers, Paris, Editions de Minuit, 1984; original German edition, published by Fischer Verlag in 1983, entitled NS Massentötungen durch Giftgas [NS Mass Murders by Poison Gas]). In effect, that book was based on the following theory: as the gas chambers were the greatest of all possible secrets, a State secret, people ought not to expect to discover proof in the ordinary sense of the word. The cover of the book showed… a container of Zyklon. In line with the phrase I heard from professor Michel de Boüard himself, “in this book they snipe at us with references and there is practically no source.” I myself would add that those references have no scientific value; they refer back, for the most part, to statements made by German prosecutors or judges about Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor, etc. However, what is concealed from us is that all those statements have a common source: a German government bureau located in Ludwigsburg and run at the time in question by Adalbert Rückerl (Landesjustizverwaltung zur Aufklärung von NS-Verbrechen). In other words, Rückerl, one of the book’s main authors, is constantly citing himself to prove he is right!
In 1987 the journalist Michel Folco paid me a visit. I showed him the interview with Serge Klarsfeld. I pointed out that I had sent the weekly VSD a text in the hope of being granted a “right of reply,” which was, in the end, refused. Folco later went on to visit, on the one hand, Georges Wellers and, on the other hand, Serge Klarsfeld. Wellers was aware of the VSD interview with Klarsfeld and considered it unfortunate and deplorable. There ensued a commotion at the end of which Klarsfeld, on 23 March 1987 – ten months after the interview –, drew up a denial, but a denial that amounted to a confirmation. Instead of appearing in VSD, Klarsfeld’s denial came out in George Wellers’s review Le Monde juif (January-March 1987, page 1). Klarsfeld wrote:
It is obvious that in the years since 1945 the technical aspects of the gas chambers have been a neglected subject because nobody imagined that one day their existence would have to be proved [my emphasis].
This admission is significant. According to Klarsfeld himself, the exterminationists had “neglected” the “technical aspects” of the crime weapon. No court, beginning with Nuremberg, had really bothered to heed the procedure used in any criminal trial of the kind. The gas chamber was the central pillar of the whole edifice of crimes ascribed to the Germans; however, everyone had “neglected” to study it in its “technical aspects.”
• Consequences of an admission by Jean Daniel
In France, Jean Daniel’s Le Nouvel Observateur was the mass circulation weekly most bent on combating the revisionists. On more than one occasion it had run photos said to be of “gas chambers.” But, its endurance at an end, on 26 April 1983 (page 33) it admitted:
There exist no photographs of a gas chamber…
which means that the things some people persist still today in presenting to tourists as gas chambers at Struthof, Mauthausen, Hartheim, Dachau, Majdanek, and Auschwitz are mere deception. From September 1983 to September 1987, the French press pretty well swore off showing photos of gas chambers, a fact that represents something of an advance on the American press, which continues publishing photos said to be of “gas chambers”.
• Afraid to reveal documents
In 1986 Gerald L. Posner, a Jewish lawyer from the US, published a book entitled Mengele: The Complete Story (in collaboration with John Ware, New York, McGraw-Hill). The title is misleading because the author is obviously concealing what Mengele happened to write, after the war, about Auschwitz. On page 48 it is stated that, according to his son Rolf, Mengele appeared to be “quite unrepentant and felt no shame” about the years he spent at Auschwitz. As far as I am concerned, I am inclined to believe that Mengele felt neither repentance nor shame since he had nothing to repent or feel shame about. I am convinced that his personal papers fully confirm the revisionist stand and that, for this reason, the exterminationists (who were, with the help of Rolf Mengele, able to get hold of his papers) refuse to divulge the contents (“In Rolf’s apartment were two bags filled with more than thirty pounds of Mengele’s personal writings,” page 302). I am thinking in particular of one piece entitled “Fiat Lux” (mentioned on page 316); the title leads me to think that in it Mengele may have shed some light on what really happened at Auschwitz. I am not alone in thinking that Posner, Rolf Mengele and the whole group of supposed experts or researchers are hiding documents from us. We read in Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Vol. 2, n° 1, 1987, page 9):
Had [Mengele], who did not repent a thing, really not written anything about these decisive years? And, if he has written about these years, who has destroyed or hidden these notes?
I consider that the treatment thus far reserved for Dr Mengele’s writings constitutes an implicit proof that the revisionists are right in asserting that essential documents are being withheld from examination by historians. The truth about Auschwitz can be found in Moscow, Bad Arolsen (West Germany), and New York: in New York (or somewhere in Germany) with the Mengele manuscripts; at Arolsen, in the International Tracing Service archives (closed to revisionists since 1978), rich in invaluable documents on the individual fate of every person interned at Auschwitz; and in Moscow, where the authorities have thus far kept from public view the near entirety of the death registries (Totenbücher) maintained by the Germans at Auschwitz from 1940 to 1945 (the two or three registries not there are at the Auschwitz Museum and perhaps also in photocopy form at Arolsen, but there again consultation of them is prohibited).
My question is: Why have the Holocaust historians approved of this systematic concealment of documents, which has gone on now for decades? What are they waiting for before agreeing to publish the documents?
• Revelations (involuntary ones) on the birth of the myth
In 1985, David S. Wyman published The Abandonment of the Jews / America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945 (New York, Pantheon books, copyright 1984). This book is in the tradition of similar works in which Arthur Morse, Walter Laqueur and Martin Gilbert have explored what the Allies could have known about Auschwitz or other “extermination camps” during the war. Its author displays a credulity and even a silliness that Europeans tend to call “American.” The preface was written by false witness Elie Wiesel and the testimony with which the book opens comes from Hermann Gräbe, a well-known false witness (see Der Spiegel, 29 December 1965, p. 26-28). According to Wyman, the Allies should have believed what they heard about Auschwitz or about Treblinka, but they did not. Even in Moscow, in May 1945, the American newspaper reporters were apparently inattentive or sceptical. He writes:
Also, apparently, the American correspondents were unaware of or disbelieved earlier reports on Auschwitz [earlier than the famous one of May 6, 1945], including the much publicised one released by the WRB [War Refugee Board] the preceding November  (The Abandonment…, page 326 n. 1).
And the Allies were quite right in not believing  either the WRB Report of November 1944, which we owe mainly to Rudolf Vrba, or the official Soviet report about Auschwitz dated 6 May 1945, also known as Nuremberg document USSR-008: two of its four signatories were the biologist Lysenko and the Metropolitan Nikolaus or Nikolai; the former would be shown, after the war, to be a fraudster, while the latter dared to sign the false expert report of 24 January 1944, attributing the Katyn forest massacre to the Germans (document USSR-054). Page after page, David Wyman involuntarily helps show that the revisionists are right on two essential points:
1 – The alleged “news” about the extermination of the Jews consisted of nothing more than confused, vague, contradictory, absurd rumours;
2 – Jewish organisations, especially the World Jewish Congress, presided over by Rabbi Stephen Wise, constantly exerted pressure on governmental bodies and the media to present those rumours as news.
The word “pressure” comes up constantly in this book. The alleged indifference or inactivity of American Jewish organisations during “the Holocaust” is a myth. The truth of the matter is that, in spite of their incessant pressure, these organisations encountered great scepticism, which is quite normal when one considers the lack of substance to the alleged “news” about “the extermination of the Jews.” In any event, the book reveals, despite the author’s intention, how the myth of the Holocaust and the gas chambers began and developed during the war. Wyman could have saved himself a lot of work by reading Arthur Butz’s wonderful paper Context and Perspective in the ‘Holocaust Controversy, presented at the 1982 revisionist conference and included at the end of recent editions of The Hoax of the Twentieth Century (p. 335-369).
• Concessions by Pierre Vidal-Naquet
Pierre Vidal-Naquet has just republished his anti-revisionist writings. His book is called Les Assassins de la Mémoire (Paris, Editions de la Découverte, 1987). The author makes a certain number of concessions to the revisionists, the first one in criticising them (in his way of talking) not for killing history but for killing “memory.” He says they are right on all sorts of subjects, amongst which:
– the more than suspect character of the testimony attributed to SS man Pery Broad (page 45);
– the value of the “material gathered at Nuremberg” (page 47);
– the fact that Simone Veil (under her maiden name Jacob) had been counted as having been gassed (page 65; it should be noted in passing that the same thing happened with the Communist head of the largest French trade union, Henri Krasucki, and his mother, as well as with thousands of other less famous French Jews);
– the fact that the Jewish people have become sacrosanct thanks to Auschwitz, and that Israel and certain Jewish groups derive profit from this (page 125, 130, 162, 214 [notes 90 and 93], 223 [note 90]);
– the fact that the testimony of SS man Gerstein is “full of contradictions and things that are hard to believe” (page 154);
– the number of dead at Auschwitz: 4 million according to the Poles and the Soviets, “around three and a half million” for Lanzmann, but a million for Vidal-Naquet (personally, I believe that about 60,000 died, but no inquiry has yet been conducted and the death registries are still being kept hidden by the Allies);
– the “imaginary gas chambers” (page 219, n. 44).
The most interesting concession is one relating to Auschwitz-I: Vidal-Naquet no longer believes in the authenticity of the gas chamber there, which nonetheless is visited each year by hundreds of thousands of tourists to whom it is described as authentic (p. 131-132, n. 94 and page 214). I shall recall here that the first amongst historians of Jewish origin to say there was no gas chamber at Auschwitz-I was Olga Wormser-Migot, in 1968 (Le Système concentrationnaire nazi (1933-1945), Paris, Presses Universitaires de France). She wrote at the time: “Auschwitz-I […] without any gas chamber” (page 157).
Vidal-Naquet has acted as a public prosecutor against the revisionists. He went so far as to attack me in court in the Poliakov case (see “Revisionism on Trial; Developments in France, 1979-1983,” Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 6, n° 2 [Summer 1985], p. 155-160). In his opinion, “One must discuss the revisionists… but one does not discuss with revisionists” (Les Assassins de la Mémoire, page 10). To draw an analogy from sport, Vidal-Naquet considers that he is better than Faurisson at tennis and that, besides, Faurisson cheats at tennis. But if Faurisson suggests they have a match, before a referee and spectators, Vidal-Naquet answers that he indeed wants to play but on condition that there be no opponent to face. He asks the referee to declare him the winner in advance and the spectators need only confirm the decision.
Vidal-Naquet supports repression against those whom he calls “the assassins,” “the abject little band,” “excrements.” But, after witnessing repression in its legal form, Vidal-Naquet sees it as dangerous; in fact, the judges of France convict the revisionists, as they are asked to do, but not as severely as Vidal-Naquet and his friends were hoping. He writes:
Judicial punishment is a dangerous weapon and can be turned against those using it. The lawsuit brought against Faurisson in 1978 by several antiracist associations ended with a decision by the Paris Court of Appeal on April 26, 1983, which recognized the seriousness of Faurisson’s work – which is quite outrageous – and finally found him guilty only of having acted malevolently by summarizing his theses as slogans [from the English edition, The Assassins of Memory, New York, Columbia University Press, 1992 – editor’s note].
Here the exterminationists’ retreat is seen against the fact that they are finally forced to admit, four years after the fact, that the court of appeal in Paris recognised the seriousness of my work and in the end convicted me (with a severe sentence!) simply for having, in its opinion, acted malevolently in summing up my argument in slogans. It must not be forgotten that for four years, from 1983 to 1987, the exterminationists succeeded in covering up the content of the 26 April 1983 ruling, or else distorting it to the point of saying that I had been found guilty of falsifying history.
• Other Concessions
In France, certain Jewish authors no longer believe in the gas chambers, or advise people not to dwell too much on an examination of that prodigious weapon’s existence.
Such is the case with Joseph Gabel, who writes that it is “with real skill that Faurisson has been able to exploit the faults of his adversaries” and “to make the debate swerve towards the least solid positions of the ‘exterminationists’ (sic): the exact number of victims and the technical problems posed by the operation of the gas chambers.” He adds:
It was pointless and dangerous to enter into such a debate [on the technical problems posed by the operation of the gas chambers]. It is enough to say that mass gassing poses technical problems […] that it is not the job of the victims to solve these problems […] This discussion of the technical aspects of genocide, in the presence of a public with more prejudices than knowledge, has been unwise. Messrs Vidal-Naquet, Wellers and their colleagues have given battle on the field chosen by the opponent (Réflexions sur l’avenir des Juifs, Paris, Klincksieck, 1987, p. 135-136).
The periodical Article 31 even published a letter from Ida Zajdel and Marc Ascione (January-February 1987, page 22) building the argument that the gas chambers never existed; they were invented by the imagination of certain SS men who at that time slipped a “time bomb” against the Jews into some of their “confessions”.
A university-level journal of the calibre of the recently established Holocaust and Genocide Studies shows that even the officials of Yad Vashem are now aware that it is no longer possible for historians to write the history of the Holocaust with the contempt for truth that had hitherto been common. I advise revisionists to read this journal, edited by Yehuda Bauer and Harry James Cargas, attentively. For several years now I have paid close attention to the published writings of Yehuda Bauer. I have noted in Bauer a “revisionist” tendency to probe the National-Socialist policy regarding the Jews, as well as to take into account certain indications which suggest that throughout the entire war National Socialist Germany tried to maintain contacts with the Jews on an international plane in order to facilitate the emigration, and not an extermination, of the European Jews (the “Europa Plan,” the moderating role of Himmler, the Joel Brand affair, negotiations with the Czech, Swedish, Swiss and Hungarian Jews). Even on the question of the Einsatzgruppen one becomes aware that, with Bauer, nearly everything the exterminationists assert is to be looked at again, especially the number of executions (Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Vol. 2, n° 2. 1987, especially p. 234-235).
Only those quite new to revisionism can imagine that it will triumph over exterminationism as the day triumphs over the night. In reality, the lies of exterminationism will continue to be accepted by the general public for decades to come. In order to transcend the myths of one war, it seems necessary to have another war. If not for the last worldwide conflict (1939-1945), perhaps the fable of Belgian children having their hands cut off by the “Huns” in the First World War would still be very much alive in the public mind.
As Arthur R. Butz has shown (“The International ‘Holocaust’ Controversy”, Journal of Historical Review, April 1980, page 9), the legend of the Holocaust stands on feet of clay. The colossus may go on blocking our horizon for quite some time. The more revisionists whisper that its feet are made of clay, the more the Holocaust religionists will deafen us with their drumming. On the university level, they will hold more and more conferences or “colloquia” which in fact will only be “soliloquia”. There have already been announcements of another “Sorbonne Conference” (10-13 December 1987; not to be confused with the first “Sorbonne Conference,” held from 29 June to 2 July 1982) and, more important, the “Oxford Conference” (10-14 July 1988). The latter will take place under the auspices of Mrs Maxwell or, more exactly, of her husband Robert, the British press magnate and billionaire of Jewish origin. It intends to shame the Christians for their alleged indifference to the alleged Holocaust of the Jews.
I doubt that the exterminationist lobby will attain success on the university level, other than in its intimidation of historians. It is going to become more and more clear that this lobby adds nothing to the science of history: no new documents, no new ideas. Indeed, the exterminationist historians, if they evolve at all, can only evolve in the direction of revisionism. Thus have we witnessed the rise of “functionalism” in opposition to “intentionalism,” and so it is that in Germany, with Hillgruber, Nolte, Fest, et al., there has developed a new appreciation (and relativisation) of the so-called Holocaust that I, for my part, have immediately dubbed, in German, Ersatzrevisionismus (“synthetic revisionism”). On the borderline between this Ersatzrevisionismus and real revisionism, we see lurking, awaiting better days, worthy historians like Helmut Diwald, Alfred Schickel and David Irving [the last dramatically and forthrightly announced his acceptance of holocaust revisionism at the 1988 trial of Ernst Zündel – editor’s note]. Amongst the revisionists, a new generation is arising, at the forefront of which are Mark Weber (US), Carlo Mattogno (Italy), and Enrique Aynat Eknes (Spain). I know of other names which, for the sake of prudence, I prefer not to mention yet.
Shoah Business will continue to prosper. The Holocaust Museums are going to multiply and Holocaust propaganda will continue to invade secondary schools and universities. The concentration camps will become attractions comparable to Disneyland. It is enough to visit these camps today to realise that they will still be there two or three hundred years from now. Their touristic value is obvious. Poland scarcely attracts any tourists with hard currency except to visit Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, and some other camps. Tour operators are beginning to calculate the profit they can draw from these places, at which there is in reality nothing to see but where, consequently, they will fill the void with “symbols.” The less there is to see with your eyes, the more they will give you to see in your imagination. From that point of view, Treblinka is an ideal place. Everything there is symbolic: the entrance to the camp, its boundaries, the railway line, the access ramp, the path towards the gas chambers and towards the bonfires of corpses, the location of those chambers and those fires. At Treblinka the Polish authorities will create, therefore, a museum all the more gigantic since the camp area proper was in fact quite meagre (not even 200 x 50 m). In West Germany, East Germany and Austria there is probably no longer a single schoolchild, soldier or policeman who has not had to visit one or more concentration camps to grasp there the horrors of National Socialism and to convince himself, by comparison, of the virtues of the “democratic” regimes in power. One cannot imagine a government that would ever renounce such an easy to use form of ideological indoctrination.
There is no reason for Israel and the World Jewish Congress to weaken their demands and their efforts in promoting the Holocaust religion. Such multi-millionaires of Jewish origin as baron Rothschild in France, Robert Maxwell in Britain, Carlo de Benedetti in Italy, Rupert Murdoch in Australia, Armand Hammer in America and Moscow, and Edgar Bronfman in the United States and Canada are probably going to collect more and more money (since it is doubtful they will spend their own) to counter the effects of revisionist scepticism. The personal fortune of Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress and American liquor emperor, is estimated at $3.6 billion. The French revisionists are worth, so to speak, about half a crown. Therefore one had better not harbour illusions about the chances of success for revisionism with a general public whose press is controlled by those magnates.
People tell me a miracle is always possible. The world political situation could evolve in a direction favourable to revisionism. Who knows whether the Arabs, and the Moslems in general, will grow tired one day of reciting the lessons they have been taught on the Holocaust of the Jews? Who knows whether the Communist world, what with the abrupt changes in domestic and foreign policies now being made at the highest level, will decide the moment has come to “rectify” the official history of Katyn and of Auschwitz and to grant access, for example, to the Totenbücher of Auschwitz? Who knows whether the historians of the Third World, or of the former Third World, will someday try to write the history of the Second World War from their own point of view, without worrying overmuch about the taboos of the Western World?
For a long time to come it will be the lot of the revisionists to work in obscurity and danger. Their adventure is similar to that of the Renaissance, when a few minds, here and there throughout Europe, simultaneously and spontaneously took it upon themselves to struggle against obscurantism. Those Renaissance seekers of truth worked by returning to original texts, making critical analyses and material verifications. They preferred doubt to belief, and progressed from faith towards reason. It is in that same spirit that revisionism finds itself calling into question a whole system of beliefs peculiar to the Western world and a whole set of religious and political taboos. In this sense revisionism is, in the words of French barrister Pierre Pécastaing, “the great intellectual adventure of the end of this century.”
March 31, 1990
 Hilberg’s deposition is summarised in Barbara Kulaszka’s Did Six Million Really Die? Report of the Evidence in the Canadian “False News” Trial of Ernst Zündel – 1988, Toronto, Samiszdat Publishers, 1988 [editor’s note].
 These are some samples of the answers of R. Hilberg when cross examined by D. Christie on Gerstein:
– I would put Gerstein’s statement [PS-1553] as one that one must be most careful about. Parts are corroborated; others are pure nonsense (transcripts, page 904).
– Gerstein, apparently, was a very excitable person. He was capable of all kinds of statements which he, indeed, made not only in the affidavit but its context.
Question: He wasn’t totally sane?
Answer: I am not a judge of sanity, but I would be careful about what he said (page 905).
– He was capable, in his excitement, of adding imagination to fact. There is no question of that (page 906).
Question: And we know that [the statement that Hitler was there in Belzec] to be a totally false statement; right?
Answer: Exactly (page 907).
– Well, [in the reproduction of his statements] I eliminated anything that seemed not be plausible or credible, certainly (page 921).
– [About another statement] Well, parts of it are true, and other parts of it are sheer exaggeration, manifest and obvious exaggeration […] Rhetoric… (page 923).
– Gerstein was somewhat given to great excitability (page 924). I would not characterise him as totally rational… but that is of no value, because I am not the expert of rationality (page 925).
Question: A very strange mind prone to exaggeration?
Answer: Yes (page 928).
– A far-out statement (page 934).
– In the use of such affidavits, one must be extraordinarily careful (page 935).
It will be noted that all these admissions were wrenched from R. Hilberg before the publication of the works of Carlo Mattogno (Italy) and Henri Roques (France) about Gerstein.
 At Ernst Zündel’s house, in the rare moments of relaxation as a few dozen of us were seated round our tables, the conversation would turn to Hilberg and his theory of the “incredible meeting of minds.” We imagined how much better it would be to have a world in which the “incredible meeting of minds” would replace letters, telegrams, and the telephone, and in which, at the dinner table for example, there would be no need to ask someone to pass the salt or the water carafe since, by an “incredible meeting of the minds,” the persons who had those things would, practising “consensus-mind reading, in every case anticipate your unexpressed desires and would themselves offer the salt shaker or the carafe at just the right moment.
 Here again, at Zündel’s house, witness Vrba buoyed our spirits. We called him “the green duck.” For several days lawyer Doug Christie had fired shots at him, each of which caused the impostor to lose some feathers, but none of which dealt him a mortal blow. It was prosecuting attorney Griffiths who delivered the coup de grâce to his own witness. In a sense he had asked Christie to loan his double-barrelled shotgun for him and, with two shots, brought down the bird. We called Vrba a “green” duck because of the colour the witness turned when his story collapsed.
 See Shoah, reviewed by Robert Faurisson, The Journal of Historical Review, Spring 1988, p. 85-92.
 See The Christian News, July 1987, page 9; also the IHR Newsletter, n° 51, August 1987.
 After France changed its system for electing parliament from proportional representation to one of direct majority, the Front National’s number of seats sank to one.
 On pages 31-32 of the December 1987 issue of the US monthly Instauration, from which I have borrowed this translation, one can find an interesting discussion of the difficulty of translating the phrase “point de detail”. Instauration rendered it as “footnote.”
 Demjanjuk’s Israeli lawyer believed, and doubtless still believes today, that a “gas chamber” operated by only two men was used to kill nine hundred thousand persons in little over a year. See his account: Yoram Sheftel, The Demjanjuk Affair: the rise and fall of a show trial, London, V. Gollancz, 1994 [present reference: French edition, L’Affaire Demjanjuk, Paris, J.-C. Lattès, 1994, p. 170 and 366 – editor’s note].
 Enrique Aynat Eknes’s “Crematoriums II and III of Birkenau: A Critical Study” appeared in the Fall 1988 Journal of Historical Review (Vol. 8, n° 3).
 In fact Hilberg refused to testify at Zündel’s second trial in Toronto (1988).
 Here are the two paragraphs as they appear at the bottom of page 7 and the top of page 8 of the transcript. I have underlined the words that authors usually leave out or ignore:
Unter entsprechender Leitung sollen nun im Zuge der Endlösung die Juden in geeigneter Weise im Osten zum Arbeitseinsatz kommen. In grossen Arbeitskolonnen, unter Trennung der Geschlechter, werden die arbeitsfähigen Juden strassenbauend in diese Gebiete geführt, wobei zweifellos ein Grossteil durch natürliche Verminderung ausfallen wird. Der allfällig endlich verbleibende Restbestand wird, da es sich bei diesem zweifellos um den widerstandsfähigsten Teil handelt, entsprechend behandelt werden müssen, da dieser, eine natürliche Auslese darstellend, bei Freilassung als Keimzelle eines neuen jüdischen Aufbaues anzusprechen ist. (Siehe die Erfahrung der Geschichte).
(Under proper direction the Jews shall now, in the course of the final solution, be taken to the East and put to work in a suitable way. In big labour columns, with separation of the sexes, the Jews capable of work will be conducted to these areas, building roads, whereby undoubtedly a large part will be lost through natural decrease. The total remnant that finally in any case will remain – since this is undoubtedly the part with the strongest resistance – will have to be treated accordingly, since the latter, representing a natural selection is to be regarded, upon release, as nucleus of a new Jewish revival. (See the experience of history.)
 The “nod” theory makes no sense in itself and is not supported by the slightest documentation. It seems to have made its appearance with Browning in 1984, when he wrote:
… Himmler and Heydrich needed little more than a nod from Hitler to perceive that the time had come to extend the killing process to the European Jews. (“A Reply to Martin Broszat Regarding the Origins of the Final Solution,” The Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual, 1984, page 124).
In Fateful Months (New York, Holmes & Meier, 1985), Browning uses this theory on at least two occasions: first on page 22 and then on page 36, where he writes:
If a nod from Hitler could set Himmler and Heydrich in motion, others eagerly looked for similar signs.
In 1987 Browning stated:
… it required not more than a nod of the head from Hitler to give the “green light” indicating that the mass murder should now be extended to the European Jews. This was not so much an explicit order as an act of incitement. Hitler was soliciting a “feasibility study,” he was commissioning the drawing-up of a genocide plan. How this was communicated, we do not and never will know. (“Historians, Hitler and the Holocaust,” a paper presented at Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon, in March 1987, p. 24; obtained thanks to Dr Frankel of the Oregon Holocaust Resources Center).
We might point out to Browning that if we do not know and cannot know how “this” was communicated, it is impossible to say that “this” existed.
 I shall remind readers that Allied officials never mentioned the existence of gas chambers during the war. On the international stage, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill very nearly did so in their famous 1 November 1943 declaration on the German atrocities; they refrained from mentioning gas chambers – as we are told – at the British Government’s behest (Bernard Wasserstein, Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945, London, Institute of Jewish Affairs, 1979, p. 29). Several months before, the Americans had considered releasing a “Declaration of German Crimes in Poland,” suggesting to the British and the Soviets that they should all publish it together on the same day. This declaration contained the following paragraph:
These German measures are being carried out with the utmost brutality. Many of the victims are killed on the spot. The rest are segregated. Men from 14 to 50 are taken away to work for Germany. Some children are killed on the spot, others are separated from their parents and either sent to Germany to be brought up as Germans or sold to German settlers or dispatched with the women and old men to concentration camps, where they are now being systematically put to death in gas chambers.
Cordell Hull, US secretary of State, sent the declaration to the British. He informed his ambassador in Moscow by a telegram of August 27, 1943. Three days later, he warned the ambassador that there had been a mistake and, in a cable of August 30, he explained:
At the suggestion of the British Government which says there is insufficient evidence to justify the statement regarding execution in gas chambers, it has been agreed to eliminate the last phrase in paragraph 2 of the “Declaration on German Crimes in Poland” beginning “where” and ending “chambers” thus making the second paragraph end with “concentration camps.” Please inform the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the change in text. (Foreign Relations of the United States, Diplomatic Papers, 1943, vol. 1, p. 416-417).
It was in that form that the New York Times was to print the declaration, under the headline “U.S. and Britain Warn Nazi Killers” (30 August 1943, p. 3.).
In the end, the Allied officials showed themselves to be prudent and wise. Had they mentioned the alleged gas chambers in an official and worldwide declaration, the history of the world would have been changed: the German authorities could have vigorously exposed this vile and ridiculous war canard which, then, would have plummeted to the ground, since the Allies, once challenged to prove their allegation, would have been confounded before the entire world. See also Arthur R. Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, p. 356.
 Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi directs the Jewish and Israeli Studies Center at Columbia University in New York. He wrote in 1982:
The Holocaust has already engendered more historical research than any single event in Jewish history, but I have no doubt whatever that its image is being shaped, not at the historian’s anvil, but in the novelist’s crucible. Much has changed since the sixteenth century; one thing curiously remains. Now, as then, it would appear that even where Jews do not reject history out of hand, they are not prepared to confront it directly, but seem to await a new, meta-historical myth, for which the novel provides at least a temporary modern surrogate.” (Zakhor, Jewish History and Jewish Memory, Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1982, p. 98).
 At the time of my IHR paper in 1983 I paid tribute to the courage and wisdom of one of my legal counsel: Eric Delcroix. I wish to repeat that tribute here. From 1979 to today, Delcroix has defended revisionists in court and through his writings, and even by his physical presence in the face of danger.