The Holocaust Historiography Project

Dr. Russell Barton

[Dr. Russell Barton was the third witness called by the defence. He testified on Wednesday, March 9, 1988.]

Dr. Russell Barton testified that he was the same Russell Barton referred to in Did Six Million Really Die? and confirmed that the quotes from his article in Purnell's History of the Second World War (vol. 7, no. 15) dealing with his experiences as a medical student at Belsen camp after its liberation were correct and consistent with his recollections of the event. (21-5137 to 5141)

Barton testified that he arrived at Belsen concentration camp on May 2, 1945. He had the view of most people at the time regarding Belsen; that it was a camp in which people had been ruthlessly exterminated and deliberately starved to death. (21 5153) The impression of the camp he first gained was one of "horror"; some inmates were dead and piled up outside the huts, others were in various stages of dying, disease and dehydration. In one hut, the inmates were in relatively good condition, they could get up and walk. (21-5154) In other huts, there was the pervasive smell of feces, vomit and decay. People were crying for doctors. Many could not feed themselves. (21-5155)

The death rate when Barton first came was about 300 to 500 people a day. The inmates pushed dead people out of the huts because the lice which carried typhus left dead bodies and went to the living. Everybody was terrified of getting typhus, including the British. The bodies were in a state of severe malnutrition, and very few were clothed. A fire burned constantly at Belsen, upon which the clothes of the dead were thrown to burn the lice. Other garbage was also thrown into the fire, as there was no garbage collection. A dreadful smell permeated the camp which could be smelt about three miles away. (21-5156, 5157, 5158)

Barton testified that typhus was a febrile disease which was caused by the bite of the human louse. The louse bite the skin, which itched. When the individual then scratched the itch, he scratched into the spot the feces which the louse had defecated onto the area where it had bitten. It was like a bacteria, but not quite a bacteria. It then spread throughout the body. It was essentially a disease of the blood vessels. The bacteria ate away within the lining of the blood vessels, thereby causing symptoms. For example, they often hit the blood vessels in the brain, causing a very severe headache. It sometimes caused pneumonia and often, gangrene. Victims of typhus lost weight very rapidly because of nausea. The individual felt terribly tired and exhausted. Other symptoms were pneumonia and skin falling off. In 1945, there was no cure for typhus. Today, there was; chloramphenicol was fairly specific. (21 5171, 5172)

Typhoid was a different disease. It was caused by salmonella, an organism which affected the guts and the gall bladder, causing diarrhea, dysentery, and so forth, but it didn't interfere with the blood vessels in the way typhus did. (21-5172)

Many of the inmates died because the British soldiers gave them food and their stomachs burst; the medical students were giving them a mixture of glucose and flour and milk powder which made the inmates vomit. When they vomited, they often inhaled and died because they were so weak. (21-5158) Later they fed them a powdered milk gruel. (21-5159)

Although the vast majority of the inmates were emaciated, some were quite plump and well-fed, and this puzzled Barton from the first day. (21-5159) He asked questions to determine the reason for this and was told that if there were a majority of Poles or French or Russians in one hut, that group would command all the food which was left outside the door of the hut. They would take what they wanted and leave the rest for distribution among the rest of the inmates. There was no overseeing by the camp staff and there hadn't been since before Christmas of 1944. Before that time, the food had been distributed reasonably and everybody was getting a fair share. "It was a terrible internal tyranny that…developed," said Barton. (21-5160)

He got the impression that at least 50 percent of the inmates were Jewish because of the prayers and religious exercises they carried out. (21-5173)

Barton was made an unofficial dietitian and found the camp had a kitchen set up with 450-kilo vats that were steam heated. (21-5160) There were four in one room and four in another. He also found record books listing the food that had been cooked and distributed going back to about 1942. Each of the different hut's larders listed the amount of food that had been sent in the big churns for distribution. He mentioned to his colleagues that if there had been a deliberate policy of extermination, why should there be this elaborate kitchen equipment? This, however, was not a popular view. (21-5161)

Barton made inquiries with inmates, including Jewish doctors, who told him that Belsen had not been too bad until the autumn of 1944. Then, as the Russian armies were advancing, they said they had been given the choice of remaining in the camps about to be overrun by the Soviets or being repatriated back to Germany. Many chose to return to Germany. As a result, from the autumn of 1944 to early 1945, some 53,000 people were moved into Belsen, which had room for only 3,000 inmates. The overcrowding was gross and the staff at the camp resented it. Josef Kramer, the commandant of Belsen, felt he had a responsibility to his 3,000 inmates but was apparently angry about the 53,000 that were dumped into the camp. Dr. Klein, the medical doctor at the camp, didn't know what to do. (21-5162, 5163)

Barton spoke to his superior, Dr. Meiklejohn, about the way the camp had been run. Meiklejohn felt it was best not to look into these things too deeply, that in the time of "fervour and distress" Barton's views would not make him very popular. This proved to be correct. (21- 5163, 5164)

Barton testified that on May 21st, it was decided to burn the camp down and to have the scene filmed for the purpose of showing the British to be "white knights" coming in to clear up the dreadful situation. Everything was arranged; work stopped for the whole of that morning. The flame throwers were ready in the tanks but the film makers hadn't got their cameras rolling yet. Suddenly, one of the tank commanders, in apparent enthusiasm, blew a flame into the hut that was to be burned, resulting in "tremendous consternation." They had to rush and put the flames out and start over again. That was but one example of what went on; there was the arranging of scenes that were pictured. (21-5164, 5165) Barton felt such artificial filming of the camp was the presentation of something which had no real purpose because the facts spoke for themselves; what worried him more, as he got towards the end of his stay at Belsen on June 1st, was the lack of integrity in dealing with the situation as it really was. (21-5165, 5166)

He believed the old view that Belsen was an "extermination camp" was now largely corrected, but it depended to whom one spoke. A.J.P Taylor, the English historian, realized it when Barton talked to him after the furor came with the Purnell article. (21-5167)

Barton was asked to contribute the article to Purnell's. He wasn't "keen" to do it, but it didn't seem to be a very big magazine so he did what he thought was the correct thing: to write without fear or favour. Having experienced the results of writing as he did on the subject, however, Barton testified that he would not do it again for publication in his lifetime. (21-5167)

He was dubbed "Belsen-Not-So-Bad Barton" by Scientology magazine, and this name continued to be quoted. The London Times used the inflammatory headline "Belsen Not So Bad, says Psychiatrist." (21-5168) There were letters to the Times criticising him. (21-5173) He wrote letters rebutting the more stupid and accusatory letters; there were television interrogations and other debates. The matter was "hot and furious." (21-5173, 5174)

Years later, when he was on a talk show in America, speaking on Scientology, one of the ministers of the church charged: "This man killed 15,000 Jews." It was an attempt to discredit what Barton was saying but it nevertheless had repercussions. Even today, when he gave evidence in murder trials, the lawyer on the opposing side would often attack him collaterally by bringing up the Purnell article or alleging that: "He agrees he killed 15,000 Jews." (21-5169) He agreed that nothing he had ever said or written had caused him as much injury as had the Purnell article. (21-5170)

His objective in writing the article was simply to give his evidence, not about the whole of Germany or people in Germany, not about all concentration camps, but about what he had actually seen and the conclusions he thought a reasonable person might come to. It was a terrible outbreak of typhus and the death of, he thought, some 30,000 people. He didn't think that it was going to be a public issue. (21-5179, 5180)

Barton was also qualified as an expert in the field of psychiatry, specifically brainwashing and mass hysteria. There was such a psychiatric phenomenon as brainwashing, said Barton; usually it was used for political purposes. He described the brainwashing process of small groups (21-5174) but stated that brainwashing could affect whole societies. He never thought the whole of Nazi Germany was brainwashed, although he thought some were brainwashed thoroughly such as the poor, maladjusted people who hadn't got jobs and hadn't much prospect of getting jobs. These were brought into meetings characterized by songs and music and torch light parades and were rewarded by being given places to live; usually places taken from previous owners. That's why people were pushed into concentration camps, so that their houses could be given to people who really wouldn't have lived at that standard. There was the brainwashing that there was the Aryan race that was superior to all others and that the other races were of no consequence. He thought this was the minority of German people, although he really hadn't any idea, but he thought a "tremendous number" of Germans hated Hitler and the loss of their freedoms. (21-5176, 5177)

Barton believed he wasn't that suggestible, but noted that in the business of life one didn't really sit back and think. If a person was confronted with a convenient story in the newspaper, the tendency was to believe it. People only began to look into things when they themselves were threatened or when something seemed so grossly unfair and dreadful that the common decency of most people said: "This is wrong." Barton testified that this was what happened to him during the month he was at Belsen. (21 5177, 5178)

When he was in Germany, the fashionable belief among the British was that all Germans were bad people who bombed helpless civilians in cities and who exaggerated their personal problems into the most terrible crusades of murder and extermination of people they thought were inferior. This belief system affected their willingness to accept what Barton had said. When a dogma had been accepted, it was a rare man who would challenge it. (21-5180, 5181)

He stated that confessions could be obtained which were false by means of coercive measures and thought that the German people that were being examined after the war had to follow the new current line of thought. Barton believed that this was a tragedy for the German people. (21-5179) He thought the Germans were brainwashed after the war with respect to their guilt. The "pressures on them were tremendous." (21-5179)

On cross-examination, Barton testified that probably a substantial majority of people could resort to barbaric activities if the circumstances were right. He agreed it had nothing to do with nationality.

He believed the leaders of Nazi Germany, such as Adolf Hitler and Goebbels, were masters at propaganda and agreed that they elevated it to a new science. He agreed that part of the propaganda message was that the Jews were the cause of Germany's problems, that they used a variety of techniques to convince the populace that that was the case, that they used very graphic and insulting publications like Der Stürmer which parodied the archetypal Jew and had cartoons of Jewish people. He thought it was not parody, but an attempt to increase the hatred against one group by giving them qualities they didn't have, such as race. It was destruction of reputation, which in his opinion, was entirely unwarranted. It was easy to satisfy it in the minds of less intelligent people, the less critical people, because intelligence and criticism weren't in the same dimension. (21-5182, 5183, 5184)

Barton agreed that techniques of propagandists and politicians included the "Big Lie" that a group of people, because of nationality or race, all had an identifiable characteristic, such as greed. He agreed that prior to the Second World War in Germany popular newspapers painted a distorted picture of the Jews, followed by the preventing of Jews from following their professional callings such as medicine or law, and pushing them out of the civil service; he agreed that legislation was then passed confiscating their property and that such property was given to the party faithful. (21-5184, 5185)

Christie objected at this point in the cross-examination on the grounds that Barton had not been qualified as a historian, and asked whether Crown counsel was going to prove the allegations of fact made in his hypothetical questions. Judge Thomas overruled the objection: "This man served his country at the time of the Second World War. He experienced it. He lived it. He was involved in it. There are no hypothetical questions being asked here. The questions that are being asked are questions that this man indicates he has knowledge of, personal knowledge of. Proceed." (21-5186)

Barton was shown Exhibit 91, the cartoon published by Ditlieb Felderer, and agreed that the cartoon had the characteristics of the Nazi version of what a Jew looked like and attempted, by implication, to undermine his credibility. It was making fun of a great tragedy, he agreed. (21- 5187) He further agreed that this was the type of cartoon published in Der Stürmer to identify Jews as an inferior people without rights. (21-5187) He agreed that if people were conditioned to view people as sub human, it would give them an excuse not to treat them like humans, and that this technique worked with quite a number of people. (21-5188)

He agreed that the goal of the Nazi regime was to force the Jews out of Germany; that when the war began, Hitler was initially successful militarily; that the Nazi empire expanded at a great rate; that the number of Jews who fell under Nazi domination increased significantly; that while the Nazis were successful on land, militarily, the British navy still controlled the seas; that this prevented the shipment of Jews to Madagascar; that the Jews were then rounded up and put in concentration camps along with other races and nationalities; that Nazi racial theory wasn't concerned only with Jews; that the Slavs and Poles were considered sub-human by the Nazis along with anybody else that had any property they wanted, including Whites; that the Jews occupied the bottom rung, however, and were the main scapegoat at one time (although Barton pointed out, there were Jews such as Einstein who were exceptions); that the Jewish community in Germany, prior to 1943, was a very vibrant community; that it made great contributions to German culture; that it resulted in there being many people whom the Nazis needed who were Jews; and while the Nazis had a racial theory that placed the Jews on the bottom rung, they were quite prepared to use the genius of the Jewish race when it suited them; that these people were used by the Nazis (Barton added that some died rather than be used); that Jewish doctors, while they didn't like working for the Nazis, felt they had a professional obligation to stay even though in their hearts they may have wanted to leave; that there were German doctors who stayed and wanted to help the dying and the sick. (21-5188 to 5192)

He agreed that all he could really tell the court about was Bergen-Belsen; that it was the camp where the Nazis kept the people that they wanted to trade; that before the influx of 1945, the people who were captive at Bergen-Belsen were viewed by the Nazis as a commodity; he agreed that they were hostages to be traded as a way of getting money, getting equipment to continue the war with; he agreed it made sense for the Nazis to keep people they were going to trade in relatively good condition; he agreed that could explain why the facilities in Bergen- Belsen were relatively good because if one was going to trade somebody, one had to keep them well-fed, although he thought, like everyone else when he was in Belsen, that they had been put there to be exterminated. (21-5192 to 5194)

He agreed that if these people were to be traded and they had arrived in the United States in an emaciated condition, it would have looked bad for the Nazis; he agreed that it was entirely in the interests of the Nazi regime to keep these people they were trading in good condition; he agreed that 53,000 people who had arrived in Belsen in 1945 came from the east as a result of evacuations of the Polish camps; he agreed the trip for these people from the eastern camps to Bergen-Belsen was horrendous and had been told that thousands died; he agreed these were, in effect, death marches, but he had never seen any of them arriving; the evacuations ended by the very beginning of 1945. Some marched, some were in cattle trucks that were sent out to the Eastern front. (21-5194 to 5196)

He stated that the inmates had told him they wanted to come west rather than be "liberated" by the Soviets. Most people were very worried about the way the Russian soldiers were behaving. He had no direct knowledge of what happened in the eastern camps such as Auschwitz, although he heard horror stories from the former inmates. (21-5196 to 5198)

Barton agreed that one of the functions of propaganda in the Nazi regime was to incite racial hatred; he agreed that a certain percentage of the population of any country would be susceptible to that type of propaganda; he agreed that many factors could have a bearing on the impact of such propaganda; he agreed that people who were not susceptible during good economic times could become susceptible during bad economic times; he agreed that the group picked as a target for propaganda would also affect how successful the propaganda was; that a group different from the mean would improve the chances of the propaganda succeeding; differences including colour, religion. (21-5198 to 5200)

He agreed that people under psychiatric care would not admit that they had a problem; that some people who underwent psychiatric care viewed the psychiatrist as being part of a conspiracy against them (although Barton added that sometimes such a view was justified.) He agreed that they would often point to external things as being the reason why they were in psychiatric care, such as the "Zionist conspiracy," through the use of projection, the attributing to other people of things that were denied in themselves. (21-5200 to 5202)

Barton had never read Did Six Million Really Die? right through, but he believed 6 million Jews did die. Nevertheless, he did not think it was pursuant to a policy of extermination. He thought there were many causes, including typhus and tuberculosis at Belsen. He admitted that on the topic of whether or not there was an official policy of extermination he could not give evidence as it was not his area of expertise. He himself saw thousands die. (21-5203 to 5207)

He did not know that his work was going to be published in Did Six Million Really Die?. Asked if it was misleading for the author to include Barton's observations in a booklet whose thesis was that millions of Jews didn't die, Barton replied that it was if "we're just discussing did they die or not." He believed each person was valuable, that the figure might have been 6 million or 5 million or 8 million; he didn't think anybody really knew the number and that there never would be any way of knowing. (21-5207, 5208)

He did not know enough to say whether the Holocaust was an invention to extort moneys from Germany. He accepted the figure of 6 million but did not know whether or not it was a deliberate policy. He knew it wasn't a deliberate policy of the German people. He didn't think he was brainwashed about the 6 million figure. He agreed that it was the generally accepted view that millions of Jews died during the Second World War under Nazi control and agreed he was not suggesting that everyone had been brainwashed into believing it. (21-5208, 5209)

He agreed that former inmates of Nazi concentration camps might well be outraged by Did Six Million Really Die?. He agreed it was possible that someone might conclude, from the inclusion of Barton's material in Did Six Million Really Die?, that he supported its thesis. When asked if it was unfortunate for him that Harwood chose to use his observations in his booklet, Barton replied that it was "unfortunate for me. It's brought me here again, but… I think what I said is honest, and I stand by it. That's why I'm appearing here." (21-5209, 5210)

Asked again if he thought it was misleading for Harwood to use his observations, Barton replied: "Well, it is misleading because I believe they did die. I believe 6 million, give or take, did die, but I don't necessarily connect in the causal chain of events that there was a policy of extermination. I don't know that all Germans were bad. I don't know. I don't think they were, and so on and so forth. So I have reservations, but when one makes a statement, I think one has to have it used against one." (21-5211)

He stated that if his observations were being used in Did Six Million Really Die? to make people take a second look at whether or not there was a deliberate policy of extermination by all German people, then it was a "good thing" it had gone in. He agreed he would have preferred if his views as expressed in the court had gone in instead and that it would have been less misleading. (21-5211, 5212)

He stated that people would not have gotten the typhus to the same extent if they had not been in the camp. It was the placing of people together with poor sanitary conditions which brought the lice. He testified there was a neutral area around the camp guarded by Hungarian soldiers, the idea being to contain the typhus from spreading all over Europe, possibly all over the world. The soldiers were not emaciated and Barton agreed that rations were probably issued on a scale of human worth. He didn't think the inmates were worthless to the Germans; they were a potential source of income. (21-5213, 5214)

Asked if the Holocaust was not the major indictment against Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime, Barton replied that the Holocaust was really something that developed in the late 1950s and 1960s. People didn't talk of the Holocaust in the 1940s and 1950s. He thought it had become trivialized and sensationalized, that a dogma had developed, which was unfortunate since it did not get to the real cause of why one group could suddenly behave so viciously and thoughtlessly to another. (21-5215)

Barton was asked if it was fair to say that A.J.P. Taylor, the eminent British historian, believed that historical study required that one look very objectively at events and attempt to denude them of nationalistic overtones; to look at history as objectively as possible. Barton replied that what Taylor stated was: Don't try and fit the facts into a preconceived hypothesis but try and look at the facts and from them abstract the cause or hypothesis. Asked if he would ever suggest that A.J.P. Taylor would falsify history, Barton replied that he wouldn't suggest it, but would never trust anybody 100 percent either. Said Barton: "Judicious distrust and benign skepticism are the sinews of understanding." Barton felt that unless we doubt we begin the slippery slopes of getting lost. (21-5216, 5217)

He agreed that the researcher must be honest with the facts and approach matters objectively with no hidden agenda. He pointed out, however, that it was usually the victors who wrote history and the vanquished who had to accept whatever views the victors put across. He therefore liked the attempt of revisionism to look at historical events from all sides. Asked if none of that involved falsifying history or denying the facts, Barton replied that he had to say yes and no, that people reinterpret facts, and when they play down one fact and play up another they were making their thesis rather than dealing with what had actually happened. To some extent, one always had to be suspicious if facts were being falsified to put a point of view across. (21- 5214, 5217, 5218)

Barton testified he didn't think Hitler was right but didn't know if he exterminated millions of Jews either. It happened but was it Hitler? Was it the thugs in the SS? Was it Himmler, a man who was a beast of the first order? How in the name of God could it ever happen?, asked Barton. Who decided that large masses of people could be shoved into concentration camps and neglected or abandoned? Who would allow the beastly bullying of the sort of little man, the lower man in the immediate day-to-day contact with the prisoners? Who would allow that to go on without disciplining them and so forth? He didn't know where it started. (21-5218, 5219)

He agreed that this was the stuff of historical debate; he stated that it was not only what happened and how it happened, but most importantly, could we stop it again? (21-5220)

The idea of the Aryan elite, the superior people, was the primary racism of Germany; the idea that Germany had a special role in the world and the rest of the people were peasants and peons to be controlled and used for their glory. The anti semitic business was not their primary purpose but a very convenient way of getting scapegoats and uniting hundreds of people, thousands of people, who had lost their savings, who didn't have jobs. It was a dreadful use of the destruction of reputation. (21-5220, 5221)

Barton was shown a sentence in Did Six Million Really Die? under the heading "The Race Problem Suppressed." It read:

€ Thus any rational discussion of the problems of Race and the effort to preserve racial integrity is effectively discouraged.

Asked if the proposition being put forward in the booklet was that the deaths of millions of Jews effectively discouraged discussions of race, Barton disagreed. He couldn't see that it did discourage it and thought that the very fact that this could happen was a reason to look at the problem of race and ask: why? Superficial concepts of race had to be looked at much more closely, and he did not know that this statement in Did Six Million Really Die? was valid. (21-5221, 5222)

He agreed that there was a great lesson to be learned from the deaths of millions of Jews during the Second World War, and agreed further that the lesson was that people should not adopt racist attitudes. Nevertheless, Barton felt it was no good denying racism. The fact had to be faced that many people felt a kinship with others which was irrational and very damaging and destructive, if not to themselves, to another group whom they thought was different from them. It was only by understanding that "there is this basic beastliness to be with people like one and to disparage and to dislike those who don't fit in within the pattern" that people would be able to come out of this morass, this mess, this emotional miasma. If one said that the baser instincts were not there and that everybody was really nice and happy together, then this was not facing reality. The goal was to acknowledge the instincts that one had in oneself against someone of another country, and so on, and to regard such instincts as one would regard all misleading passions that sweep the human mind, and say, 'Well, I feel this way, but it is not right to act on it.' (21-5223 to 5225)

Barton turned at this point to Judge Thomas and apologized for appearing to lecture. Thomas replied: "No, no. I'm grateful for the manner in which you are answering. Thank you." (21-5225)

Asked if it wasn't true that one of the greatest lessons of the Second World War was that, under the leadership of a "particular regime," the things talked about by Barton were not recognized, Barton agreed and stated they were not only denied but were promoted. "Tolerance was almost a dirty word, as I understand it." (21 5225)

On re-examination, Barton agreed that not only the Nazis were good at propaganda but the British also. He testified that a dogma seemed to be established concerning the "Holocaust" for the purpose of establishing a general belief. Asked what happened to anyone who denied the general belief he answered: "Mr. Christie, it is very difficult to remain on either side. You make enemies on both sides and few friends on either." (21-5226)

The best antidote to brainwashing was the reaffirmation of the basic principles that were necessary in the affairs of human beings, namely, fair play and compassion. (21-5228) The "Holocaust" should be looked at under light, rather than heat. When people's feelings began to run high, then the light was gone and people became enlisted into one course of action or one group or one camp. The most important faculty human beings had was the ability to doubt and not to be enlisted. (21-5228, 5229)

Barton derived his knowledge of Nazi racial theory from readings done for an article on the subject by the National Association of Mental Health. (21-5229)

Barton had never read Der Stürmer, although he had seen copies of it. He couldn't read German but he had seen that type of cartoon in publications of the Nazi period. (21-5229, 5230)

Barton based his opinion that millions of Jews died on population studies of the various countries before the war and the estimates of the numbers of people in the camps from whatever records were left. He admitted such records were not that good and that he had never looked at them himself. He nevertheless felt that people had looked into this matter very carefully and made an estimate. It was certainly not a 100 million; it was certainly not a 100,000, but there were different strands of evidence suggesting that it was in the neighbourhood of 5, 6 or 7 million. (21- 5230, 5231)

Barton agreed that he never at any time had any objections to being quoted by anybody. (21-5232)

He testified that there had to be dissent on all issues apart from the need for dissent. Unless people could subject their beliefs to reason, and to adversarial procedures which were designed to get at the truth and not score personal points, people would begin to accept dogmas and be led down the pathways chosen for them by charismatic leaders. (21-5233)

He did not believe the court process was satisfactory for the resolution of historical issues. In history, one was not dealing with facts which could be delineated or defined. The courts on the other hand were to a large extent set up to deal with concrete facts. It was more satisfactory for people with well-tuned minds to discuss historical issues and to avoid the temptation to exaggerate their own personal problems into crusades, taking sides, either side. People had to learn to stand aside and be independent but in the busy practical affairs of mankind people took a lot of things for granted and made a lot of decisions that they hadn't really looked into. (21-5234, 5235)

Barton admitted he did not know very much about the reparations paid by Germany to Israel. (21-5235)

He stated that people who had been brainwashed usually didn't know it. He knew of no other historical event or figure that was more frequently discussed than the "Holocaust" and the "6 million." The discussion concerning this event had increased with time. (21-5235, 5236)

He personally was not enraged by Did Six Million Really Die?. He thought the discussion contained in it was necessary. He himself did not believe the Holocaust was a hoax to get money out of people but if it was a point of view that was genuinely held by someone, it could not be dismissed out of hand. One had to look at the evidence, weigh it up and then dismiss it. He did not believe he could dismiss what someone else thought peremptorily, without at least according them some intelligence, some inductive reasoning, some ability to arrive at solutions and conclusions as they saw it, and he did not think one could ever deprive or want to deprive another person of this ability. When people arrived at wrong conclusions, one could say to them: "I'm holding the mirror up to you. These are the choices you've made. These are the conclusions you've reached. These are the attitudes that seem to be overriding. Is that how you want to go on?" He did not think one could go much further than that. One could not coerce people into thinking or believing. (21-5236, 5237)

Other people were enraged by his own writings but that was not a reason not to publish. He did not think his critics were looking at his writings objectively. He believed A.J.P. Taylor would not want to silence those who took views contrary to his. (21-5238, 5239)

The way to deal with racial problems was not suppression but ventilation. Issues had to be brought out and discussed. Things could not be suppressed for long and inevitably there would be protests leading to countermeasures and so on. The better way was the more reasoning way. (21-5240)

After his experiences at Belsen, he did not think it possible for an objectively truthful history of events to emerge. Nevertheless, he thought that did not relieve people of the obligation to try and arrive objectively at true belief. Truth required courage in the first place and "we are not always courageous." (21-5240)


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