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Responses to Revisionist Arguments
 
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Responses to Revisionist Arguments
The following questions are routinely posed by "Historical Revisionists" in their efforts to deny the existence of the Holocaust. The responses to these arguments were prepared by Center Researcher Aaron Breitbart

  1. The Holocaust was merely Allied propaganda.
  2. There is no proof that the Holocaust occurred.
  3. The estimates of Jewish losses during the Holocaust are greatly exaggerated. There were never even 6 million Jews in Germany.
  4. Didn't the International Committee for the Red Cross report that only 300,000 people had perished in the German concentration camps, not all of them Jews?
  5. Nazi policy towards the Jews was emigration, not extermination.
  6. Not a single document has been found with Hitler's signature ordering the extermination of the Jews.
  7. Zyklon B was a fumigant. It wasn't a practical agent for mass murder.
  8. If Zyklon B is so highly toxic, how could bodies have been removed from gas chambers only minutes after execution?
  9. Zyklon B is so highly flammable that a single spark from the ventilation system or the immense heat created by the nearby furnaces would have resulted in an explosion.
  10. There is no proof whatsoever that the Nazis ever murdered anyone in gas chambers.
  11. American engineer and execution 'expert', Fred Leuchter, proved that the 'so-called' gas chambers at Auschwitz could not have been used for their 'alleged' purpose.
  12. Didn't Simon Wiesenthal himself state that there were no extermination camps in Germany?
  13. For years, the death statistics at Auschwitz-Birkenau had been put at well over 3 million. Recently, however, a memorial plaque at the former death camp estimates Jewish losses closer to 1 million. Shouldn't the new figures imply that Jewish losses for the Holocaust are much lower than previously thought?

1. The Holocaust was merely Allied propaganda.

The Allies actually ignored reports filtering out of Europe about the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators. Even when convinced of their veracity, they tried to withhold the information from the public. On August 8, 1942, Dr. Gerhart Riegner, the representative of the World Jewish Congress in Geneva, Switzerland, asked the U.S. legation in Switzerland to relay information about Germany's plan to exterminate all European Jews under its control to American Jewish leader, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise. The information had been given to Riegner by a highly-placed German official. Instead of relaying the message, the U.S. State Department actually withheld it and ordered its Swiss legation not to relay any such reports in the future.

In the same year, a member of the Polish underground Jan Karski, had secretly been smuggled into a German concentration camp in Poland. Making his way out, he was sent to London by the Underground to deliver his report on the horrors he witnessed. Karski spoke with both Roosevelt and Churchill. History records, however, that Karski's pleas were largely dismissed.

One need only check the major newspapers of the period to realize how little attention was paid to Nazi atrocities. If the Holocaust were merely "propaganda," why did the Allies go to such lengths to downplay it?

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2. There is no proof that the Holocaust occurred.

No crime in history has been as well-documented as the Holocaust. Proof of the Holocaust is multi-faceted. It is demonstrated by a myriad of documents, the majority of them Nazi-authored, captured by Allied troops before the Germans had a chance to destroy them. Included are detailed reports of mass shootings and gassings. Some 3,000 documents on the destruction of Europe's Jewish community by the Nazis were, in fact, presented by the prosection before war crimes tribunals at Nuremberg.

The first-hand testimony of survivors who lived through the horrors of the death camps as well as the reports and confessions by the perpetrators leave little doubt as to the nature of Hitler's "Final Solution." Horrifying films and photos of killing operations and their aftermath can only begin to give us a picture of the extent of Nazi bestiality; as do the reports of Allied Generals and troops who were sickened by what they saw at sites of slaughter they had just liberated.

Interestingly enough, Nazi war crimes suspects who stood trial in the post war years for their misdeeds never claimed that the crimes of which they were accused were fictional. They instead argued that they were "only following orders."

The evidence is, in fact, so overwhelming that on October 9, 1981, Judge Thomas T. Johnson of the California Superior Court, took judicial notice of the Holocaust ruling that, "The Holocaust is not reasonably subject to dispute. It is capable of immediate and accurate determination by resort to resources of reasonable indisputable accuracy. It is simply a fact."

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3. The estimates of Jewish losses during the Holocaust are greatly exaggerated. There were never even 6 million Jews in Germany.

It is true that Germany had fewer than 600,000 Jews when Hitler came to power in 1933. The majority of Jews murdered by the Nazis, however, did not live in Germany. They resided in the countries which Germany invaded during the war, especially Poland and areas of the former Soviet Union, where millions of Jews once made their homes. In fact, the Protocol of the Wannsee Conference (Jan. 20, 1942) a German document outlining the Nazi plan to annihilate European Jewry, lists over 11 million Jews throughout the continent.

The 6 million figure can be demonstrated by comparing Europe's Jewish population before and after the war. Even after making allowances for those who fled Europe and others who could be expected to die due to natural causes, there are nearly 6,000,000 people who cannot be accounted for.

Authentic German documents confirm the slaughter of Jews in the millions. The famous "Korherr Report,"(named after Richard Korherr, chief statistician for the SS) puts the number of Jewish losses at more than 2,454,000 by the end of 1942 alone. The war in Europe would not end until May, 1945.

The Anglo-American Commission of Enquiry, meeting in April 1946, put the total Jewish Holocaust losses at 5,721,500. On the basis of wartime statistical reports on ghettos, concentration camps and mass murder operations carried out by the Nazis, historian and international jurist, Jacob Robinson, arrived at a figure of 5,820,960. German historian, Helmut Krausnick, put the number of Jewish losses nearer to seven million. While the exact figure will never be known, scholars of the Holocaust find the rounded-off figure of six million to be in line with all the evidence.

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4. Didn't the International Committee for the Red Cross report that only 300,000 people had perished in the German concentration camps, not all of them Jews?

The Red Cross never issued such a statistic, nor has it offered any estimate of the number of victims who perished in the camps. In its bulletin of February 1, 1978, the Red Cross declared that it had never compiled, much less published such statistics.

The 300,000 figure was actually taken from the Swiss paper, "Die Tat," in 1955. This estimate, however, was only a figure for the number of Germans who perished in the concentration camps. No mention of any Red Cross figures, however, was ever made by the paper.

Despite the obvious deception, Holocaust deniers, continue to peddle it, hoping that few people will actually check the sources.

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5. Nazi policy towards the Jews was emigration, not extermination.

From the beginning, the Nazis made no secret of their goal of creating a "Jew-free" Germany and Europe. One of the earliest methods was, indeed, forced emigration. But on November 10, 1941, precise instructions from Berlin to kill the Jews in his area were received by Higher SS and police leader, Friedrich Jeckeln from Berlin, stating, that pursuant to the Fuehrer's order, Jews would no longer be allowed "to emigrate", instead they would be "evacuated." In his October 4, 1943 speech to SS generals in Poznan, SS Chief, Heinrich Himmler, left no doubt as to the meaning of evacuation. "I am now referring to the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish people", he declared.

"Evacuation" had been a Nazi codeword for murder even earlier. In the Spring of 1940, 1,558 mental patients had been transferred from sanitoriums in Eastern Prussia for "evacuation" near the Soldau concentration camp. They were never heard from again. The Nazis attempted to hide their intentions by the use of codewords. "Resettlement" was commonly used to describe the deportation of Jews to the gas chambers, hence SS Major, Francke-Gricksch's 1943 report on Auschwitz in which he remarks that the camp's "resettlement furnaces" were capable of burning 10,000 bodies a day.

Despite the attempts at deception, Victor Brack, one of the chief architects of Hitler's "euthanasia" experiments testified to the war crimes tribunal at Nuremberg, that it was no secret among the Nazi hierarchy that "the Jews were to be exterminated."

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6. Not a single document has been found with Hitler's signature ordering the extermination of the Jews.

This is true. Hitler was not about to repeat the mistake he had made earlier when he initialed his "euthanasia order," condemning over 70,000 German mental patients to death at so-called "charitable care facilities" such as Hadamar and Grafineck. (Ironically, the first victims of Nazi gassings were actually non-Jewish Germans). Popular protest which threatened his popularity, eventually forced Hitler to abandon his euthanasia experiment, or at least take it underground. Never again would Hitler initial any document connecting himself to mass killings.

Nevertheless, historians have been able to establish with convincing certainty that the order to exterminate millions of Jews came directly from Hitler. On November 10, 1941, Higher SS and police leader, Friedrich Jeckeln, received orders to liquidate the Jewish population of Riga. He was informed by his superior, Hinrich Lohse, that it was "the Fuehrer's wish."

A few months earlier, Gestapo Chief, Heinrich Mueller, sent a message to the commanders of the 4 Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads active in Eastern Europe) advising them that "the Fuehrer was to be informed about the work of the Einsatzgruppen on a continual basis."

Discussing the liquidation of Jews in Eastern Europe, SS Chief, Heinrich Himmler, told SS Gruppenfuehrer, Gottlob Berger, "the occupied East will be freed of Jews. The Fuehrer has placed the execution of this difficult order on my shoulders."

Hitler's involvement in the "Final Solution" extended to gassing operations. On October 25, 1941 a directive addressed to Hinrich Lohse regarding the use of special "gassing vans," came by way of German judge, Dr. Erhard Wetzel. Wetzel had been summoned to the Chancellory and informed that the directive he was to prepare was, in fact, a "Fuehrer order."

On February 4, 1943, Hitler equated the extermination of the Jews with having "exterminated a bacterium." In his January 30 speech to the Reichstag 4 years earlier, Hitler warned that in the event of war, "the result will be...the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!"

Those who argue that Hitler did not order, approve, or even know about the wanton murder of millions of Jews and others during the Holocaust, do so in direct contradiction of all the evidence.

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7. Zyklon B was a fumigant. It wasn't a practical agent for mass murder.

Ordinarily, Zyklon B (a hydrogen cyanide preparation) was used as an insecticide. Hydrogen cyanide, however, is actually more dangerous to humans than insects. When the level of HCN reaches only 300 parts per million, it will kill a person within a few minutes. The amount of hydrogen cyanide required to kill a person of average weight is only 60 mg.

Because Zyklon was, in fact, so toxic, its manufacturers warned personnel not to reenter a room fumigated with the gas for 20 hours after airing. In addition, a compound was added to the preparation emitting a powerful, intolerable odor - a warning agent that the gas was present. When purchasing Zyklon B for the death camps, the SS ordered the manufacturer to remove the warning compound, a clear indication of its intended use.

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8. If Zyklon B is so highly toxic, how could bodies have been removed from gas chambers only minutes after execution?

The death chambers were outfitted with special ventilation systems to remove any remaining gas. In addition, those prisoners charged with removing the bodies (the sonderkommando) wore gas masks.

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9. Zyklon B is so highly flammable that a single spark from the ventilation system or the immense heat created by the nearby furnaces would have resulted in an explosion.

Zyklon B will explode - at 60,000 parts per million. It only takes a concentration of 300 parts per million to kill a person in just a few minutes. (Less than half that amount will kill in less than an hour.) Clearly, the concentration of Zyklon used in the gas chambers was far below flammability or explosion levels.

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10. There is no proof whatsoever that the Nazis ever murdered anyone in gas chambers.

The use of gas chambers by the Nazis is proven by a wide array of evidence. Testimony by the perpetrators themselves as well as the first-hand accounts of prisoners, especially members of the "Sonderkommando" (groups of inmates forced to remove the dead from the gas chambers and dispose of their bodies) constitute only a part of the evidence.

Documents including blueprints of the killing installations as well as orders for construction materials and Zyklon B (the deadly hydrogen cyanide preparation used for gassings at Auschwitz and Majdanek...carbon monoxide exhaust was used at other camps) survived the war as did some of the actual gassing facilities themselves. Photos clandestinely taken by prisoners of Auschwitz-Birkenau even show the disposal of corpses removed from the gas chamber. The manufacture, distribution and use of the deadly gas was clearly demonstrated at the "Zyklon B Trial" in March 1946, Hamburg, Germany. Two of the defendants, Bruno Tesch and Karl Weinbacher, the owner and a major executive of a company that manufactured the gas were sentenced to death after notes of their trips to Auschwitz disproved their contention that they were unaware that the poison was used to kill inmates.

Jean-Claude Pressac, a one-time skeptic of the gas chambers, had undertaken a careful study of Auschwitz in which he analyzed a wide variety of camp documents, photos, reports and blueprints. Pressac, who had at one time been intrigued by the Holocaust-denying theories of Robert Faurisson, concluded that his original skepticism could no longer be supported in the face of the evidence. In 1989, the Klarsfeld Foundation published his study, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, in which Pressac demonstrates the use of the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau in the murders of hundreds of thousands of people.

Incidentally, Jews were not the first people gassed by the Nazis. The first victims of Nazi gassings were German mental patients condemned by Hitler's "Euthanasia" order of 1939.

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11. American engineer and execution 'expert', Fred Leuchter, proved that the 'so-called' gas chambers at Auschwitz could not have been used for their 'alleged' purpose.

In 1988, Fred Leuchter of Malden, Massachusetts was contacted by Holocaust denier, Robert Faurisson and hired to prepare a report on the gas chambers of Auschwitz on behalf of Canadian neo-Nazi, Ernst Zundel. Zundel was on trial on charges stemming from the distribution of Holocaust revisionist literature. With his client footing the bill, Leuchter visited the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek death camps. Upon returning to the United States, he published a lengthy report which concluded that the facilities he examined "could not have then been...utilized or seriously considered to function as execution gas chambers."

During the Zundel trial, however, it became increasingly clear that something was terribly wrong with the "Leuchter Report." As it turned out, Mr. Leuchter had no credentials as an engineer, and in fact, held only a Bachelors Degree in history. Leuchter's bizarre explanation that anyone who went to college knew enough Mathematics and Science to be an engineer, raised even more eyebrows. Judge Ronald Thomas listened to excerpts from the "Leuchter Report," then castigated the author for his methodology which he labeled "preposterous," before ruling that "Leuchter has no expertise."

Leuchter's lack of credentials resulted in more than embarrassment at the Zundel trial. Leuchter, who had represented himself as an engineer and execution expert to various government agencies for years, was indicted by the state of Massachusetts for the imposture.

Faced with the possibility of jail time if convicted, Leuchter reached a pre-trial agreement with the Court in which he admitted that he "was not and had never been registered as a professional engineer," although he had represented himself as "an engineer able to consult in areas of engineering concerning execution technology." As part of the humbling agreement Leuchter also agreed to cease and desist from the distribution of anymore engineering reports during his probationary period.

An analysis of the "Leuchter Report" by Professor George Wellers in Paris concluded Leuchter's "calculations to be an absurdity... One can see in many ways to what degree this expert chemist (Wellers was unaware that Leuchter had no degree in any science) is operating outside the realities of the problem." Concluding the analysis, Wellers characterized Leuchter's interpretation as "false and absurd from start to end."

Despite his embarrassment from both academic as well as legal circles, Leuchter took his show to Germany. Arrested in October 1993 on charges of inciting racial hatred, he was released on bail and allowed to return to the U.S. pending trial. Leuchter, however, refused to return to Germany for trial. A warrant for his arrest is still outstanding.

Despite the exposure of the self-styled engineer and his report as fraudulent, both are still held in high esteem among Holocaust "revisionists."

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12. Didn't Simon Wiesenthal himself state that there were no extermination camps in Germany?

The Nazis classified their many hundreds of concentration camps on their basis of their primary function. In a very real sense, all were death camps because the death of the inmates, whether through overwork, starvation/disease, or outright murder, was ultimately expected.

Those sites, however, which functioned as extermination centers (Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Majdanek, Sobibor, Belzec, and Chelmno), were specially equipped for the gassing of hundreds of thousands of victims each (millions altogether). All of these camps were located in Poland, and for good reason. Poland had far more Jews than Germany and the rest of Western Europe combined. The Nazis also felt that the relative remoteness of Poland's rural areas would also minimize reports of mass murder taking place there.

13. For years, the death statistics at Auschwitz-Birkenau had been put at well over 3 million. Recently, however, a memorial plaque at the former death camp estimates Jewish losses closer to 1 million. Shouldn't the new figures imply that Jewish losses for the Holocaust are much lower than previously thought?

The figure of 3-4 million murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau was an invention of communist officials in Poland (and the former U.S.S.R.) which sought to blur the uniqueness of Jewish suffering at Auschwitz. To do this, they purposely overstated the number of non-Jewish casualties at Auschwitz-Birkenau by many times their true numbers. In a clever attempt to disguise the subterfuge, the figures for Jewish losses were inflated by nearly double, so that their losses would still be larger than those of non-Jewish victims, though now by a much smaller ratio. With the end of communism in Poland and the former Soviet Union, officials at the Auschwitz museum finally lowered the casualty figures in line with the estimates of historians who, for years, have insisted that between one and 1 1/2 million people perished at Auschwitz-Birkenau, 80 - 90% of them Jews.

The figure of 6 million Jewish losses during the Holocaust has always been in line with the lower Auschwitz figures.

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