The Holocaust Historiography Project

From the Editor

Ted O'Keefe

This issue continues, and completes, the JHR's exploitation of that marvelous godsend from the Klarsfelds and their monied supporters, Jean-Claude Pressac's Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers. Pressac's massive study is the first attempt by Exterminationists to come to grips with the revisionists' technical arguments against mass murder at the Auschwitz crematoria. As three previous treatments (by Mark Weber, Carlo Mattogno, and Robert Faurisson) have demonstrated, however, Pressac's lucubrations have if anything made the Revisionist case against homicidal gassing at Auschwitz more powerful than ever.

In Part II of his review of the Pressac book, Dr. Robert Faurisson concludes his masterful dissection of Pressac's attempts to shore up the gas-chamber thesis. More than just a demolition of Pressac's errors and a harvest of the windfall of the new evidence for Revisionism that the French pharmacist has unwittingly provided, Faurisson's study, which first appeared in the French Revisionist journal Revue d'Histoire

Révisionniste (no. 3, November-December 1990-January 1991; address: B.P. 122, 92704 Colombes Cedex, France) bristles with new evidence from Faurisson as to what really happened at Auschwitz during the Second World War.

Then Enrique Aynat, who, like Dr. Faurisson, is a frequent contributor to the JHR as well as a member of its Editorial Advisory Committee, comes at the Pressac book from a slightly different direction, meticulously analyzing Pressac's evidence documentary, technical, and testimonial at each of the seven Auschwitz sites claimed by Pressac and other Exterminationists to have served as homicidal gas chambers. Aynat's study is a concise, state-of-the-art debunking of not merely Pressac, but every Exterminationist who contends that the famous crematoria and the elusive "bunkers" of Auschwitz were used for murder by gas.

As noted above, The Journal plans no further studies of Pressac's Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers for the near future. With this issue we shall have devoted more than 160 pages to this book, which was hailed by its publishers (and in the pages of the New York Times) as definitive, technical proof at last of the exterminationist gas chamber thesis. So far as we have been able to determine, the JHR's coverage alone currently exceeds the total space given Pressac's important study in other scholarly journals combined: an indication not merely of the import of Pressac's book for Revisionism but of the reluctance, if not inability, of Exterminationist scholarship to grapple with the physical and technical properties of the Auschwitz crematoria and their alleged gas chambers.

Further evidence of the implacable advance of Holocaust Revisionism is provided by a translation into English -- the first to be published in America -- of a forensic report on the purported Auschwitz gas chambers, undertaken by the Institute of Forensic Research in Krakow, Poland, at the request of the authorities of the Auschwitz State Museum. This translation, the result of the efforts of several technical experts with native fluency in Polish, whose efforts were coordinated and checked by JHR Associate Editor Mark Weber, gives implicit corroboration to the findings of gas-chamber expert Fred Leuchter in 1989, as presented in the Leuchter Report, the first expert, quantitative study of the alleged gas chambers at Auschwitz. Furthermore, as the director of Krakow institute, Professor Dr. Jan Markiewicz, confirms in a letter to the Institute for Historical Review which appears immediately following the translation of the report, the Polish investigation was undertakenin response to the famous Leuchter Report. The IHR and The Journal welcome Prof. Dr. Markiewicz's cordial response to our inquiry, and hope that it augurs a determination on the part of honest scholars in Poland and elsewhere in the former Soviet bloc to cooperate with Revisionists in working to bring history into accord with the facts in a spirit of civility, tolerance and objectivity sadly lacking in academic circles in the West.

Next, Mark Weber has delved again into the Second World War's tawdry soap story, the lie that the Germans made soap from human remains, chiefly those of Jews. As Weber shows in this study, to our knowledge the most thorough yet of the soap canard, its obvious derivation from similar propaganda lies of the First World War did not prevent Jewish organizations, and then Allied governments, from giving it the seal of authenticity in the press and at Nuremberg. Of particular value is Weber's demonstration of the bad faith underlying recent attempts by historians who subscribe to the orthodox version of the Holocaust to distance themselves from the soap lie by representing it as nothing more than a "rumor," rather than the "established fact" (by the International Military Tribunal) that it, most embarrassingly for them, has been since 1946. Revisionists themselves often make as well as revise, history . Making history has mostly been the province of such active researchers and combatants as, for instance, Robert Faurisson, Ernst Zündel, and Fred Leuchter, but every once in a while it falls to someone at the Institute itself to play a role, as did IHR Director J. Marcellus in the first Mermelstein suit. Since the recent docudrama, Never Forget, Ted Turner s TNT distortion of the suit and its settlement, gave Director Marcellus (among IHR staffers) the lions share of attention in the production, it's only fitting that he be allowed to set the legal and historical record straight, as he does in his punchy review.

As even J-C Pressac, for all his exploitation of blueprints, sketches, and other technical documents on the so-called gas chambers, is constrained to admit, eyewitness testimony remains the sine qua non of the Holocaust myth That is why the starting point for Revisionist inquiry, from Paul Rassinier on, has been the careful examination of the claims and accusations of self-proclaimed eyewitnesses to gassing. John Cobden offers a careful review of a book by one of America's leading experts on the frailities and inconsistencies of human memory, psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, who has many times given expert court testimony on memory, psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, who has many times given expert court testimony on memory's limitations. Cobden draws the full implications from Dr. Loftus's awareness of the frailty of the "eyewitness" testimony against John Demjanjuk her recognition of clear evidence that eyewitness identification of Demjanjuk was fabricated with the help of Israeli authorities, and her frank admission that her disheartening refusal to aid the Demjanjuk defense was based on tribal loyalties at the expense of justice and truth.

Professor Arthur Butz, whose brilliant Hoax of the Twentieth Century has defined the shape of Holocaust Revisionism since its appearance in 1976 returns to the pages of the JHR with a succinct restatement of his book's thesis. Butz's article first appeared in the Daily Northwestern a student newspaper of the university at which he is a tenured professor.

This issue of The Journal concludes with Robert Faurisson's call for additional information on the first known precursor of the gas extermination accusation of the Second World War, the Allied claim that the Austrians and Bulgarians had gassed some 700,000 Serbs as of March 1916. Study of this little-known, and scarcely studied atrocity story may open an important new front against its evident successor articularly since it is known that all sides in the Serbian campaign took strenuous measures to contain an epidemic that broke out in Serbia in 1915.

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Last issue we promised in this space to have The Journal back on schedule with this issue. Regrettably we have not succeeded, and have even lost another week or two.

Although we shall redouble our efforts to bring you the next issue of the JHR in a timely fashion, we cannot promise that it will be back on schedule: the exigencies of the Mermelstein trial, which is scheduled to begin August 9, and which will demand full attention from the staff of the IHR, will make that impossible. Look for the Winter issue of the JHR, which, barring the necessity of an appeal, will contain a comprehensive report on the trial, to be in your hands, on schedule once again, around Christmas or New Year's Day.


Source: Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 132, 176, 249, 250.