The Holocaust Historiography Project

The Holocaust (Part B)

One of the most telling cases of "survivor fantasy" is that of Kitty Hart, whose experiences as an inmate were described in the Yorkshire Television program Kitty: Return to Auschwitz shown on British television in November 1979, and on American PBS stations a year later. The TV dialog with her son at the remains of Auschwitz went like this:

"Kitty: 'If you didn't have your bowl, you didn't have your soup. If you didn't have your bowl, you didn't have your toilet, because your bowl was your toilet! You understand?'

"Son: 'How did you wash the bowl out …'

"Kitty: 'You didn't!'

"Son: '… before you ate?'

"Kitty: 'I mean you didn't! You didn't! You didn't wash it out. That was … that was your life … your BOWL. MY BOWL. It was red."

Later:

"Now, I know, David you're seeing grass but I don't see any grass. I see mud. A SEA of MUD and, believe me, if there was one blade of grass, you know what would have happened? You'd have eaten it!"

Then, just a little while later we find Kitty lying on a complete lawn of grass, this time seemingly resisting the impulse to start grazing:

"It was a glorious summer … so during the day … I sat here, on this lawn, sunbathing … we were laughing and joking … I was lying here and I was watching the crematoria over there. You saw the SS men, the extermination squad that did the actual killing, you know, the actual gassing. So, somewhere there was a ladder. You could see it when you were lying here … and this SS man climbed up the ladder with a tin of gas which he had in his hand and through the skylight he just dropped in … uh … this tin and then he came down and off he went. And then a few seconds later you heard a sort of muffled sound, and those were people actually suffocating. And then, all of a sudden, it was very quiet and then, soon after that, you lay here and you could actually see smoke coming out of the chimney and those were the VERY people that were burning! And do you think I could believe that there were people actually burning in there? I couldn't believe it. Can YOU believe it? NO! But people were burning there and you could HEAR them SCREAMING … but you still couldn't believe it … people were being sent in one end and there were ashes at the other end ten minutes later."

Kitty also reveals that she was one of those odd folk in Auschwitz who washed in her own urine. Throughout the film she continually returns to urine, mud, and bread. She is either bathing in urine, eating from her excrement-encrusted bowl, swimming in a sea of mud, eating mud, or eating mouthfuls of bread. We know right away that something is wrong. Asphyxiated, stone dead people do not scream when they are cremated. Bodies cannot be reduced to ashes in ten minutes (a more reasonable time would be 2-3 hours). And there are just too many self-contradictions in her story to make it the slightest bit plausible. If she would munch on one blade of grass in a sea of mud, how come she could sunbathe on an entire lawn? Kitty is sorely in need of some good counseling to determine the underlying causes of her fixations on anal functions. Perhaps her childhood toilet-training was too strict, and she subconsciously feels that opening her bowels without permission will lead to dire punishments like asphyxiation and burning.

Another "survivor" whose attic is full of junk is one Fania Fenelon, the subject of an American TV docudrama, Playing for Time. The TV production caused a storm of controversy because the anti-Zionist actress Vanessa Redgrave was cast in the lead role. In the case of Ms. Fenelon's book of the same title, we are only on page one of her narrative before she is telling us that:

"A trick I'd found to cool myself was to wash in my own urine. Keeping myself clean was essential to me, and there is nothing unclean about urine. I could drink it if I was thirsty — and I had done so."

With inmates going around drinking their own urine and using their soup dishes as toilets it would hardly be surprising that Auschwitz suffered from epidemics of disease. But it is rather more likely that these "narratives" are largely based on fantasy.

Many of these survivors' accounts have appeared on the pulp paper-back market over the years. In the early 1950s there was a vogue for such material, but this had largely died out by the 1970s. However, the increased use of the "Holocaust" as justification for Israeli imperialism and exemption from normal moral criteria brought about a revival in the market. The showing of the television docu-drama Holocaust did much to heighten interest, and of course the Zionists were quick to use the opportunity to draw attention to the alleged correlation between the Nazi Holocaust and the existence of a Jewish theocratic colony in the mid-East. Many survivors sought to jump on the bandwagon and by 1980 there were scores of "personal testimonies" flooding the bookstores. None of these were of an academic nature, and some of them were downright fiction from beginning to end. But still one could detect the same symbols and the same neuroses exhibiting themselves. One particularly trashy novel of the era was Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers by Filip Müller. Müller's book is full of low-budget horror-movie material that would be laughed out of court in any test of authenticity. He claims that SS doctors would examine victims while they they were still alive, and once they were gassed, would slice off bits of flesh for experiments; the flesh jumping around in buckets. He claims to have waded through pits of decomposing corpses, which oozed up out of the ground one hot summer. On one page, a female gassee does a striptease to distract attention. During the mayhem, Müller gets locked into the gas chamber, but "miraculously" escapes. On a later page, the chief gasser Moll gets sexually turned on — as does his dog — with the killing of another beautiful young gassee. Müller gets transferred again to the pits for burning excess corpses. Here he defies science by burning corpses without oxygen getting to them underneath, and by basting them in their melted fat.

It is not therefore surprising that some of the more respectable peddlers of the Holocaust cult, known generally as Exterminationists have attempted to save face by condemning certain of the more extreme and outlandish claims. In The Final Solution, Gerald Reitlinger advises that:

"A certain degree of reserve is necessary in handling all of this material, and particularly this applies to the last section (survivor narratives)… The Eastern European Jew is a natural rhetorician, speaking in flowery similes … who use numerals as oratorical adjectives and whose very names are creations of fantasy."

In her book Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt reports that the prosecution:

"… had been under considerable pressure from Israeli survivors, who constitute about 20% of the present population of the country. They had flocked spontaneously to the trial authorities … to offer themselves as witnesses. The worst cases of 'strong imagination', people who had 'seen Eichmann at various places where he had never been', were weeded out, but 56 'sufferings-of-the-Jewish-people witnesses', as the trial authorities called them, were finally put on the stand, instead of some 15 or 20 'background witnesses' as originally planned.

"If Eichmann's name was mentioned at all, it obviously was hearsay evidence, 'rumors testified to,' hence without legal validity. The testimony of all witnesses who had 'seen him with their own eyes' collapsed the moment a question was addressed to them."

In a remarkable climb-down in the British New Statesman of 2 November 1979, Exterminationist scholar Gitta Sereny admits:

"It is true that, along with many authentic works, there have been books or films which were only partly true, or even were partly faked. And unfortunately, even reputable historians often fail in their care… By quoting supposed 'eyewitnesses' who are in fact repeating hearsay, (Martin) Gilbert perpetuates errors which — because they are so easily disproved — provide Revisionists' opportunities…

"This is an area in which commercially motivated rubbish can have terrible long-term consequences. The problem with books like this is that they are 'ghosted' by professional wordsmiths … who have neither interest in nor capacity for conveying truth with restraint.

"Worse again are the partial or complete fakes such as Jean Francis Steiner's Treblinka or Martin Gray's For Those I Loved. Steiner's book on the surface even seems right: he is a man of talent and conviction, and it is hard to know how he could go so wrong. But what he finally produced was a hodgepodge of truth and falsehood, libeling both the dead and the living. The original French book had to be withdrawn and reissued with all the names changed. But it retains its format of imagined conversations and reactions — i.e. pure fiction — incredibly remaining nonetheless, in serious bibliographies.

Gray's For Those I Loved was the work of Max Gallo the ghost-writer … I myself told Gray … that he had manifestly never been to, nor escaped from, Treblinka. He finally asked, despairingly: 'But does it matter? Wasn't the only thing that Treblinka did happen, that it should be written about, and that some Jews should be shown to have been heroic?'"

In the same article, Ms. Sereny admits that:

"Auschwitz, despite its emblematic name, was not primarily an extermination camp for Jews, and is not the central case through which to study extermination policy."

In a lengthy letter to the Los Angeles Times of 16 May 1981, Professor Deborah Lipstadt of UCLA History Department writes:

"The fact is that the Nazis never used the bodies of Jews, or for that matter anyone else, for the production of soap. The soap rumor was prevalent both during and after the war. It may have had its origin in the cadaver factory atrocity story that came out of World War I. The letters 'RJF' probably stood for the name of the factory that produced soap. The soap rumor was thoroughly investigated after the war and proved to be untrue."

In an article in Judaism of October 1981, the same professor condemns the increased "commercialization" of the Holocaust. She warns that the separation of the Holocaust from the Jewish "historical continuum" is dangerous. She charges that Jewish leaders not only draw on the "articulated sense of guilt that afflicts many of those who survived" but that they even try to create more guilt in order to make their flock "more pliable and responsive."

However, all of this clutching at reality is beyond the intellectual ability of Elie Wiesel, Chairman of the President's Commission (now Council) on the Holocaust. In his 1980 Report to the President he described in much detail his neuroses:

"Why then cling to unbearable memories that may for ever rob us of our sleep? Why not forget, turn the page, and proclaim: let it remain buried deep beneath the dark nightmares of our subconscious. Why not spare our children the weight of our collective burden and allow them to start their lives free of nocturnal obsessions and complexes, free of Auschwitz and its shadows?"

Naturally, he immediately goes on to explain why we should suffer eternal insomnia: According to Wiesel, the survivors, "… willingness to share their knowledge, their pain, their anguish, even their agony, is motivated solely by their conviction that their survival was for a purpose. A survivor sees himself as a messenger and guardian of secrets entrusted by the dead."

Yet again, the one crime that has visited and revisited Jewish children with monotonous regularity over the eons is described:

"… in order to cut expenses and save gas, cost-accountant considerations led to an order to place living children directly into the ovens, or throw them into open burning pits."

And yet again, the "Holocaust kingdom" is described in terms of "charred souls … darkness … flames of darkness … fire … ashes … and torture… "

And, right near the end of his Report, a double-double whammy:

"Little did we know that Jewish children would again be murdered, in cold blood, by killers in Israel."

Yet another survivor in the same mold, who obviously has not been keeping up with all the revisions that are being made to Holocaust theory by the leading Exterminationists themselves, is one Mel Mermelstein, author of By Bread Alone. Mermelstein is the "survivor" who in 1981 sued the Institute for Historical Review for their $50,000 reward for proof of "gas chambers". Yet again, burnt offerings are sent to the heavens:

"I turned my head trying to dismiss the picture of the smoking chimneys and the fires below them, but the vision did not leave. It became worse inside me when I realized that at the very moment my mother, Etu, Magda, Angel, and my playmate Karen, might be in there, consumed by the flames. I looked up. I could barely see the sky. The picture became real. I screamed."

Later:

"Suddenly the road burst upon the scene — a scene right out of Dante's Inferno. Ahead were three huge pits dug deep into the ground. In each a fire was raging. Around the flaming pits, naked men were running in an endless circle. All around I could see SS guards and prison kapos swinging their leather whips and driving the prisoners from behind into the pits.. I kept pushing myself away from the pit but something kept drawing me back. I was torn between two worlds, the living and the dead. I pushed my way closer to the edge of the pit. My God, I could see humans on fire, writhing and moaning."

Again, there is no evidence whatsoever that the Germans engaged in any practice of immolating living persons. No documents. No photographs. No evidence that would stand up in court. All we have are the alleged eye-witness reports of people like Mermelstein. And we have seen in the Eichmann case, and in a multitude of other "war crimes" trials, that eyewitness testimony in such cases is grossly unreliable. Every witness wants to be a star witness, regardless of the truth. At least we ought to be grateful that Mermelstein spares us the lurid details of sexual and toiletry nightmares.

Last but not least, we come to the present day turmoil in Israeli occupied Palestine. Here again, we find exactly the same symbolism in play. A report in the Los Angeles Times dated 26 August 1979 describes the trial in Israel of two PLO members, who allegedly attacked a civilian bus. According to the report, the two Arabs "showed signs of having been beaten. One's arm was in a cast, the other's face was cut and had a black eye. Mrs. Tsemel (defense counsel) said prison guards had beaten them."

The defense lawyer was harangued by both the prosecution witnesses and by the spectators. "You sold out your country, you bitch, for PLO money" screamed one. Yet again, the witnesses drew on the usual imagery:

"When the girl terrorist grabbed a baby and threw it into a burning seat, he started to clap. Then I saw him shoot the boy and a man with glasses who said one word to him in Arabic."

More abuse was heaped on the defense lawyers:

"One of the male survivors of the massacre shouted at Mrs. Tsemel, with whom he had gone to school. 'Your day will come too, Leah. Your children should burn as others did.' "

Yes indeed. Your children should burn as others did. What is it about the sacred rite of child sacrifice through immolation that purges the Jewish soul? Are the Jews ridding themselves of some hereditary hang-up, or are they providing themselves with a rationale to feel guilty for the rest of their lives? Or might it not be that when his children are sacrificed as a burnt offering unto God, the Jew is vicariously destroying part of himself? Are the Jews so self-hating that they seek the destruction of their own progeny?