From The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 8, no. 1, p. 117-126.
Dr. Faurisson wrote the first part of this article as a challenge to the exterminationist scholars who participated in a symposium at the Sorbonne that took place from December 11 to December 13, 1987. The symposium had been summoned by Alain Devaquet, France’s former minister of research and higher education, in an attempt to counter the writings of Henri Roques, Robert Faurisson and other revisionists.
Needless to say, the symposium avoided answering Dr. Faurisson’s challenge; rather, the high-minded historian of classical antiquity, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, referred to Dr. Faurisson and his fellow revisionists as “excrements,” and Simone Veil spoke of “clowns.” In the courtyard of the Sorbonne, Dr. Faurisson and several of his comrades were attacked and beaten by Jewish thugs for having dared to appear and distribute this challenge. At Dr. Faurisson’s request, we have retained the future tense in publishing the text of his challenge to the Sorbonne symposium. Dr. Faurisson’s report on his conversation with the man who produced and certified the Müller document, Emil Lachout, follows, together with an attempt to minimise the document’s impact, issued under the auspices of the Austrian Ministry of Education, which only serves to confirm the document’s veracity.
At the instigation of Alain Devaquet, a symposium will take place at the Sorbonne from December 11 to 13, 1987, which will be devoted to: “The historical and methodological criticism of Revisionist writings about the Second World War” (Valeurs actuelles, October 26, 1987, p. 29).
The purpose of this symposium is to condemn historical revisionism and all those who, in France and elsewhere, contend above all that there were never any homicidal gas chambers in the German concentration camps.
Besides A. Devaquet the following persons will participate in the symposium: Alain Finkielkraut, Alfred Grosser, Claude Lanzmann, François Bedarida, François Furet, Léon Poliakov, Georges Wellers, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Yehuda Bauer (Israel), Marlis Steinert (Switzerland), Christopher Browning (USA), Michael Marrus (Canada), Hans Mommsen (West Germany), Kurt Pätzold (East Germany).
I wish to bring to the attention of the symposium’s participants a document dated October 1, 1948, which has just been revealed by a former Austrian commandant, Emil Lachout, now residing in Vienna. This is the Müller document.
The Müller Document
After the war, Austria was divided in four occupation zones, and Vienna itself in four sectors: American, British, French and Soviet. The four Allied military police forces, with the agreement of the Austrian Federal Government, supplemented their forces with uniformed Austrian auxiliaries. The Soviet military police and its auxiliaries were quartered at the Trost Barracks in Vienna. The Austrian auxiliary forces of the Soviets were under the command of a Major Müller (perhaps a veteran of the International Brigades in Spain). His second-in-command, from October 1, 1947, was Emil Lachout, a former medical officer in the Volkssturm. The Allied military police and their Austrian auxiliaries regularly received copies of the reports made out by the Allied Commissions of Inquiry on the concentration camps. Those reports were needed to conduct research on “war crimes.” On October 1, 1948, Commandant Müller and his second-in-command, Emil Lachout, sent the following circular letter from Vienna to all interested parties:
Military Police Service Copy
Circular Letter no. 31/48 Vienna,1 Oct 1948
1. The Allied Commissions of Inquiry have so far established that no people were killed by poison gas in the following concentration camps: Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Flossenbürg, Gross-Rosen, Mauthausen and its satellite camps, Natzweiler, Neuengamme, Niederhagen (Wewelsburg), Ravensbrück, Sachsenhausen, Stutthof, Theresienstadt
In those cases, it has been possible to prove that confessions had been extracted by tortures and that testimonies were false.
This must be taken into account when conducting investigations and interrogations with respect to war crimes.
The result of this investigation should be brought to the cognisance of former concentration camp inmates who at the time of the hearings testified on the murder of people, especially Jews, with poison gas in those concentration camps. Should they insist on their statements, charges are to be brought against them for making false statements.
2. In the C.L. [Circular Letter] 15/48, item 1 is to be deleted.
The Head of the MPS
Certified true copy:
Lachout, Second Lieutenant
L.S. [place of the seal]
C.tc.: I hereby confirm that on 1 October
1948, being a member of the Military
Vienna Guard Battalion Police Service at the Allied Military
Command Command, I certified the copy of this
dispatch of the circular letter to be a
[signature] true copy in pursuance of Art 18,
para. 4 AVG [General Code of
Vienna, 27 October 1987
[A copy of the Müller document appears on the following page.]
Eleven days earlier, on October 16, 1987, Emil Lachout had signed another certificate (signature certified by a district court in Vienna), in which he declared in particular:
- In many cases, which had been the object of complaints, confessions were obtained from German soldiers, in particular members of the SS, which, after investigation, turned out to have been obtained by torture or by brainwashing (also called menticide), if not false;
- The statements of numerous internees had proved to be erroneous or hardly worthy of faith, since they originated, for example, from common criminals depicting themselves as victims of political or racial persecution and inventing atrocity tales to avoid having to serve the rest of their sentences; they could also originate from nationals from the East Block countries who, having been in labor camps and not in concentration camps, feared being accused of collaboration with the Germans;
- The Allied authorities, after discovering those practices, took a whole series of measures for the control of the interrogations: in particular, they decided to involve the Austrian auxiliaries in that control, as well as doctors of the Austrian public health administration, charged with examining the charges of torture. When the doctors discovered such cases, they drew up a report. Those reports were translated into English, French and Russian, then submitted to the Allies [who in turn did their own examinations of the victims];
- In 1955, at the end of the Allied occupation, the Military Police Service was dissolved and the German military files were handed over to the Austrian Federal “Chargé d’Affaires” (Chancellory).
Questions About the Müller Document
If this document is genuine and if Emil Lachout is telling the truth, then one is entitled to raise a number of serious questions:
- Does this document not constitute a verification of a revelation made by one Stephen Pinter in 1959? After the war, this American lawyer had worked for 17 months in Germany for the U.S. War Department. In 1959, he confirmed to a national Catholic weekly that, in the position in which he had found himself, he could state that there had never been any homicidal gas chambers in Germany and in Austria and that, as regards Auschwitz, the Americans had not been able to carry out any investigation there, because the Soviets did not allow it (Our Sunday Visitor, June 14, 1959, p. 15);
- In 1960, Martin Broszat, a member of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, stated in a simple letter to the editor of Die Zeit (August 19, 1960, p. 16) that there had not been any homicidal gassings either in Dachau or, more generally, in any of the camps in the Old Reich (Germany within her frontiers of 1937), which means to say that there had not been any gassings in such camps as Neuengamme, Ravensbrück, Oranienburg- Sachsenhausen as well. He did not present any evidence to substantiate this statement. Would his proofs not have been those reports of the above-mentioned Allied Commissions of Inquiry?
- Assuming that the proofs, the testimonies, and the confessions concerning the 13 camps mentioned in the Müller document no longer are credible, why should the proofs, the testimonies and the confessions concerning Auschwitz retain all the credibility that has heretofore been attributed to them?
Les Chambres à gaz, secret d’Etat
(The Gas Chambers, State Secret)
In an attempt to give an answer to the revisionist arguments, twenty-four authors published in 1983 a book with the title NS-Massentotungen durch Giftgas [NS Mass Killings by Poison Gas] (Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt); it was published in French the following year with the title: Les Chambres à gaz, secret d’Etat (Editions de Minuit, Paris).
Three of its authors will participate in the Sorbonne symposium Willi Dressen, a prosecutor at Ludwigsburg, Anise Postel-Vinay, holder of a licenciate of letters, and Georges Wellers, of whom I have not succeeded in learning what university diplomas he has, and who usurps the title of “Professor of Physiology and Biochemistry at the Sorbonne” (p. 300).
The book is strange. Its title seems to mean “Readers, those gas chambers were the greatest of all possible secrets: state secrets. So, do not expect to find any proofs in the ordinary sense of the word, but rather elements of proofs (in Latin adminicula, i.e. ‘tiny proofs’, to be decoded according to a key which we will give you.” The body of the book teems with references, but indications of exact sources are rare. The authors take scarcely any notice at all of the revisionist arguments, which are essentially on the physical, chemical, topographical, architectural and documentary planes. On page 222 through 255, the authors claim to provide proofs, testimonies or confessions in support of the existence of homicidal gas chambers in the camp of Mauthausen and its satellite camps, as well as in Natzweiler-Struthof, in Neuengamme, Ravensbrück, Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg and Stutthof-Danzig. How can we reconcile these statements in any way with the revelations of the Müller document? What are we to think of the working methods adopted by these 24 authors? And to what extent do their proofs differ in any way from the system in the witch trials, where a quarter of a proof, plus a quarter of a proof, plus half a proof were supposed to equal one complete proof?
Michel de Boüard
In 1986 Michel de Boüard, former inmate at Mauthausen, honorary dean of the Faculty of Letters at the University of Caen, member of the Committee for the History of the Second World War, member of the Institut de France, said:
In the monograph on Mauthausen that I published in Revue d’Histoire de la [Deuxième] Guerre mondiale in 1954, I mentioned a gas chamber on two occasions. When the time of reflection had arrived, I said to myself: where did you arrive at the conviction that there was a gas chamber in Mauthausen? This cannot have been during my stay in this camp, for neither myself nor anybody else ever suspected that there was one there. This must therefore be a piece of ‘baggage’ that I picked up after the war; this was [an] admitted [fact] but I noticed that in my text – although I have the habit of supporting most of my affirmations by references-there was none referring to the gas chamber . . . (Ouest-France, August 2-3, 1986, p. 6).
In response to the journalist’s question:
You were president of the Calvados (Normandy) Association of Deportees, and you resigned in May, 1985; why?
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 comrades whom I deeply love, but who refuse to recognise the necessity of dealing with the deportation  as a historical fact in accordance with sound historical methods. I am haunted by the thought that in 100 years or even 50 years the historians will question themselves on the particular aspect of the Second World War which is the concentration camp system and what they will find out. The record is rotten to the core. On one hand a considerable amount of fantasies, inaccuracies, obstinately repeated (in particular concerning numbers), heterogeneous mixtures, generalisations and, on the other hand, very close critical studies that demonstrate the inanity of those exaggerations. I fear that those future historians might then say that the deportation, when all is said and done, must have been a myth There lies the danger. That haunts me. (Ibid).
What will be the response of the Sorbonne symposium to Michel de Boüard’s anxieties?
Will they, to start with, ask the French government to give free access to all archives pertaining to the alleged gas chamber at Struthof (Alsace) and will the Austrian Government do the same for Mauthausen (Austria)?
Supposing that the homicidal gas chambers never did exist, should we say so or should we hide it?
Further Information of the “Müller Document”
On December 5 and 7, 1987, in Vienna, I had an interview with Emil Lachout, who gave me some more information on the Müller document. Allow me to summarise this information as follows:
The Allied Commissions of Inquiry (to which Lachout himself never belonged, but whose reports he received on a regular basis) moved around in West Germany and East Germany, in France and in Austria. They examined in particular the former concentration camps as well as their archives, and they interrogated both former detainees and guards. They could not go to Poland, with one exception that of Danzig, to see the camp of Stutthof-Danzig.
The Poles initially opposed an inquiry in this camp, but the Allies drove it home to them that before the war Danzig had been a “free city”; consequently, nobody could foresee what the final postwar status of this city would be. So the Poles caved in.
These commissions used to systematically dispatch their reports to all Allied authorities (French, British, American, Soviet) who, among other activities, had to occupy themselves with war crimes or war criminals (complaints, inquiries, interrogations, etc.). The more reports these commissions issued, the smaller grew the number of camps which were supposedly equipped with homicidal gas chambers.
Circular letter no. 31 of 1948 lists as many as thirteen camps which did not have such gas chambers. Circular letter no. 15 of the same year of 1948 numbered under its first point fewer than thirteen such camps; and for this reason circular letter no. 31 specifies that “Item 1 is to be deleted.”
Emil Lachout states that he remembers Müller’s reaction when the latter, in his presence, took cognisance of the sentence in circular letter no. 31 which states that charges must be brought against those who insisted on mentioning the existence of criminal gassings in these thirteen camps. Turning toward Lachout, Müller asked him whether or not this last sentence was necessary at all. Lachout replied that in the absence of a specification of this kind, they, he and Müller, would be assailed with requests for information as to what disposition was to be taken by all the authorities charged to deal with complaints or testimonies made by former deportees. Things had to be clear for them. Therefore this decision was made, which was finally approved by Müller.
Lachout confided one copy of this Müller document to an Austrian extreme right-wing periodical which reprinted it in November 1987. One month later, the Ministry for Education (Bundesministerium fur Unterricht) disseminated a kind of warning for young Austrians. The text was signed by, most notably, Hermann Langbein, a leading personality of the International Auschwitz Committee. The authors of this text inadvertently confirm the veracity of the Müller document.
February 1, 1988
 [In France the term déportation connotes not only deportation, but the experience of internment in the camps as well – Ed.]