The Holocaust Historiography Project

Chapter X — The truth at last The work of Paul Rassinier

Without doubt the most important contribution to a truthful study of the extermination question has been the work of French academic Paul Rassinier. The pre-eminent value of this work lies firstly in the fact that Rassinier actually experienced life in the German concentration camps and also that, as a Socialist intellectual and anti-Nazi, nobody could be less inclined to defend Hitler and National Socialism. Yet, for the sake of justice and historical truth, Rassinier spent the remainder of his post war years until his death in 1966 pursuing research which utterly refuted the Myth of the Six Million and the legend of Nazi diabolism.

From 1933 until 1943, Rassinier was a teacher of history in the College d’Enseignement General at Belfort, Academie de Besancon. During the war he engaged in resistance activity until he was arrested by the Gestapo on October 30, 1943, and as a result was confined in the German concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dora until 1945. At Buchenwald, towards the end of the war, he contracted typhus, which so damaged his health that he could not resume his teaching. After the war, Rassinier was awarded the Medaille de la Resistance and the Reconnaisance Francaise, and was elected to the French Chamber of Deputies, from which he was ousted by the Communists in November 1946.

Rassinier then embarked on his great work, a systematic analysis of alleged German war atrocities, in particular the supposed “extermination” of the Jews. Not surprisingly, his writings are little known; they have rarely been translated from the French, although some of his writings appeared in English in 1978. His most important works are: Le Mensonge d’ Ulysse (The Lies of Ulysses, Paris, 1949), an investigation of concentration camp conditions based on his own experiences of them; and Ulysse trahi par les Siens (1960), a sequel which further refuted the impostures of propagandists concerning German concentration camps. His monumental task was completed with two final volumes, Le Véritable Proces Eichmann (1962) and Le Drame des Juifs européen (1964), in which Rassinier exposes the dishonest and reckless distortions concerning the fate of the Jews by a careful statistical analysis. The last work also examines the political and financial significance of the extermination legend and its exploitation by Israel and the Communist powers.

One of the many merits of Rassinier’s work is exploding the myth of unique German “wickedness” and he reveals with devastating force how historical truth has been obliterated in an impenetrable fog of partisan propaganda. His researches demonstrate conclusively that the fate of the Jews during World War Two, once freed from distortion and reduced to proper propertions; loses its much vaunted “enormity” and is seen to be only one act in a greater and much wider tragedy. In an extensive lecture tour in West Germany in the spring of 1960, Rassinier emphasised to his German audiences that it was high time for a rebirth of the truth regarding the extermination legend, and that the Germans themselves should begin it since the allegation remained a wholly unjustifiable blot on Germany in the eyes of the world.


Rassinier entitled his first book The Lies of Ulysses in commemoration of the fact that travellers always return bearing tall stories, and until his death he investigated all the stories of extermination literature and attempted to trace their authors. He made short work of the extravagant claims about gas chambers at Buchenwald in David Rousset’s The Other Kingdom (New York, 1947); himself an inmate of Buchenwald, Rassinier proved that no such things ever existed there (Le Mensonge d’Ullysse, p. 209 ff). Rassinier also traced Abbe Jean-Paul Renard and asked him how he could possibly have testified in his book Chaines et Lumieres that gas chambers were in operation at Buchenwald. Renard replied that others had told him of their existence and hence he had been willing to pose as a witness of things that he had never seen (ibid, p. 209ff).

Rassinier also investigated Denise Dufournier’s Ravensbruck: The Women’s Camp of Death (London, 1948) and again found that the authoress had no other evidence for gas chambers there than the vague “rumours” which Charlotte Bormann stated were deliberately spread by communist political prisoners. Similar investigations were made of such books as Philip Friedman’s This was Auschwitz: The Story of a Murder Camp (N.Y., 1946) and Eugen Kogon’s The Theory and Practice of Hell (N.Y., 1950), and he found that none of these authors could produce an authentic eye witness of a gas chamber at Auschwitz, nor had they themselves actually seen one.

Rassinier mentions Kogon’s claim that a deceased former inmate, Janda Weiss, had said to Kogon alone that he had witnessed gas chambers at Auschwitz but of course, since this person was untraceable, Rassinier was unable to investigate the claim. He was able to interview Benedikt Kautsky, author of Teufel und Verdammte (‘Devil and the Damned’) who had alleged that millions of Jews were exterminated at Auschwitz. However, Kautsky only confirmed to Rassinier the confession in his book, namely that never at any time had he seen a gas chamber, and that he based his information on what others had “told him.”

The palm for extermination literature is awarded by Rassinier to Miklos Nyiszli’s Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eye-Witness Account, in which the falsification of facts, the evident contradictions and shameless lies show that the author is speaking of places which it is obvious he has never seen (Le Drame des Juifs européen, p. 52). When Rassinier attempted to discover the identity of this strange “eyewitness” he was told that “he had died some time before the publication of the book.” Rassinier is convinced that he was never anything but a mythical figure.

Until his death in 1967, Rassinier regularly toured Europe in search of somebody who was an actual eyewitness of gas chamber exterminations in German concentration camps during World War Two, but he has never found even one such person. He discovered that not one of the authors of the many books charging that the Germans had exterminated millions of Jews had even seen a gas chamber built for such purposes, much less seen one in operation, nor could any of these authors produce a living authentic witness who had done so. Invariably, former prisoners such as Renard, Kautsky and Kogon based their statements not upon what they had actually seen, but upon what they “heard”, always from “reliable” sources, who by some chance are almost always dead and thus not in a position to confirm or deny their statements.

Certainly the most important fact to emerge from Rassinier’s studies, and of which there is now no doubt at all, is the utter imposture of “gas chambers.” Investigations carried out in the sites themselves have revealed that, contrary to the declarations of the surviving “witnesses” examined above, no gas chambers whatever existed in the German camps at Buchenwald, Bergen- Belsen, Ravensbruck, Dachau and Dora, or Mauthausen in Ausuia. This fact, which we noted earlier was attested to by Stephen Pinter of the U.S. War Office, has now been recognised and admitted officially by the Institute of Contemporary History at Munich. However, Rassinier points out that in spite of this, “witnesses” again declared at the Eichmann trial that they had seen prisoners at Bergen-Belsen setting out for the gas chambers.

So far as the eastern camps of Poland are concerned, Rassinier shows that the main evidence attesting to the existence of gas chambers at Treblinka, Chelmno, Belzec, Maidanek and Sobibor are the discredited memoranda of Kurt Gerstein referred to above. His original claim, it will be recalled, was that an absurd 40 million people had been exterminated during the war, while in his first signed memorandum he reduced the number to 25 million. Further reductions were made in his second memorandum. These documents continue to circulate in three different versions, one in German (distributed in schools) and two in French, none of which agree with each other. The German version featured as “evidence” at the Eichmann Trial in 1961. The Gerstein ‘Statement’ is reproduced in full as an Appendix to the most scholarly work to appear on this subject to date, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century by Dr A.R. Butz (Brighton, 1976).

Finally, Rassinier draws attention to an important admission by Dr. Kubovy, director of the World Centre of Contemporary Jewish Documentation at Tel-Aviv, made in La Terre Retrouvée, December 15th, 1960. Dr. Kubovy acknowledged that not a single order for extermination exists from Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich or Goering (Le Drame des Juifs européen, p. 31, 39).


As for the fearful propaganda figure of the Six Million, Rassinier rejects it on the basis of a very detailed statistical analysis. He shows that the number has been falsely established, on the one hand through inflation of the pre-war Jewish population by ignoring all emigration and evacuation, and on the other by a corresponding deflation of the number of survivors after 1945. This was the method used by the World Jewish Congress. Rassinier also rejects any written or oral testimony to the Six Million given by the kind of “witnesses” cited above, since they are full of contradictions, exaggerations and falsehoods.

He gives the example of Dachau casualties, noting that in 1946, Pastor Niemoller reiterated Auerbach’s fraudulent “238,000” deaths there, while in 1962 Bishop Neuhgusseler of Munich stated in a speech at Dachau that only 30,000 people died “of the 200,000 persons from thirty-eight nations who were interned there” (Le Dramme des Juifs Europ’een, p. 12). Today, the estimate has been reduced by several more thousands, and so it goes on. Rassinier concludes, too, that testimony in support of the Six Million given by accused men such as Hoess, Hoenl, Wisliceny and Hoellriegel, who were faced with the prospect of being condemned to death or with the hope of obtaining a reprieve, and who were frequently tortured during their detention, is completely untrustworthy.

Rassinier finds it very significant that the figure of Six Million was not mentioned in court during the Eichmann trial. “The prosecution at the Jerusalem trial was considerably weakened by its central motif, the six million European Jews alleged to have been exterminated in gas chambers. It was an argument that easily won conviction the day after the war ended, amidst the general state of spiritual and material chaos. Today, many documents have been published which were not available at the time of the Nuremberg trials, and which tend to prove that if the Jewish nationals were wronged and persecuted by the Hitler regime, there could not possibly have been six million victims” (ibid, p. 125).

With the help of one hundred pages of cross-checked statistics, Professor Rassinier concludes in Le Drame des Juifs Europ’een that the number of Jewish casualties during the Second World War could not have exceeded 1,200,000. However, he regards such a figure as a maximum limit.


Rassinier is emphatic in stating that the German Government never had any policy other than the emigration of Jews overseas. He shows that after the promulgation of the Nuremberg Race Laws in September 1935, the Germans negotiated with the British for the transfer of German Jews to Palestine on the basis of the Balfour Declaration. When this failed, they asked other countries to take charge of them, but they refused (ibid, p. 20).

The Palestine project was revived in 1938 but broke down because Germany could not negotiate their departure on the basis of 3,000,000 marks, as demanded by Britain, without some agreement for compensation. Despite these difficulties Germany did manage to secure the emigration of the majority of their Jews, mostly to the United States. Rassinier also refers to the French refusal of Germany’s Madagascar plan at the end of 1940. “In a report of the 21st August, 1942, the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Third Reich, Luther, decided that it would be possible to negotiate with France in this direction and described conversations which had taken place between July and December 1940, and which were brought to a halt following the interview with Montoire on 13th December 1940 by Pierre Etienne Flandin, Laval’s successor. During the whole of 1941 the Germans hoped that they would be able to re-open these negotiations and bring them to a happy conclusion” (ibid, p. 108).

After the outbreak of war the Jews, who, as Rassinier reminds us, had declared economic and financial war on Germany as early as 1933, were interned in concentration camps, “which is the way countries all over the world treat enemy aliens in time of war. It was decided to regroup them and put them to work in one immense ghetto which, after the successful invasion of Russia, was situated, towards the end of 1941, in the so-called Eastern territories near the former frontier between Russia and Poland; at Auschwitz, Chelmno, Belzec, Maidanek, Treblinka etc... There they were to wait until the end of the war for the re-opening of international discussions which would decide their future” (Le Veritable Proces Eichmann, p. 20). The order for this concentration in the eastern ghetto was given by Goering to Heydrich, as noted earlier, and it was regarded as a prelude to “the desired final solution,” their emigration overseas after the war had ended.


Of great concern to Rassinier was the way in which the extermination legend was deliberately exploited for political and financial advantage, and in this he found Israel and the Soviet Union to be in concert. He noted how, after 1950, an avalanche of fabricated extermination literature appeared under the stamp of two organisations, so remarkably synchronised in their activities that one might well believe them to have been contrived in partnership. One was the ‘Committee for the Investigation of War Crimes and Criminals’ established under Communist auspices at Warsaw, and the other, the ‘World Centre of Contemporary Jewish Documentation’ at Paris and Tel-Aviv.

Their publications seemed to appear at favourable moments in the political climate, and for the Soviet Union their purpose was simply to maintain the threat of Nazism as a maneuver to divert attention from their own activities. As for Israel, Rassinier sees the myth of the Six Million as inspired by a purely material problem. In Le Drame des Juifs Européen (p. 31, 39) he writes: “It is simply a question of justifying by a proportionate number of corpses the enormous subsidies which Germany has been paying annually since the end of the war to the State of Israel by way of reparation for injuries which moreover she cannot be held to have caused her either morally or legally, since there was no State of Israel at the time the alleged deeds took place; thus it is a purely and contemptibly material problem.

Perhaps I may be allowed to recall here that the State of Israel was only founded in May 1948 and that the Jews were nationals of all states with the exception of Israel, in order to underline the dimensions of a fraud which defies description in any language; on the one hand Germany pays to Israel sums which are calculated on six million dead, and on the other, since at least four-fifths of these six million were decidedly alive at the end of the war, she is paying substantial sums by way of reparation to the victims of Hitler’s Germany to those who are still alive in countries all over the world other than Israel and to the rightful claimants of those who have since deceased, which means that for the former (i.e. the six million), or in other words, for the vast majority, she is paying twice.