The gas chambers: Truth or lie?Question:*
Monsieur Faurisson, for some time now in France — and not only in France — you have found yourself at the center of a bitter controversy resulting from certain things which you have asserted on the subject of what is still one of the most somber pages in the history of the Second World War. We refer to the extermination of the Jews on the part of the Nazis. In particular, one of your assertions appears as dogmatic as it is incredible. Is it true that you deny that the gas chambers ever existed?Answer:
I assert, in fact, that these famous alleged homicidal “gas chambers” are nothing but a tall story of wartime. This invention of wartime propaganda is comparable to the widespread legends of the First World War about “Teutonic barbarism.” The Germans were accused (in the First World War) of completely imaginary crimes; of Belgian children with hands cut off; crucified Canadians; corpses turned into soap. The Germans, I suppose, said similar things about the French.
German concentration camps did really exist but the whole world knows that they were not original or unique to the Germans. Crematory ovens have also existed in certain of these camps, but incineration is no more offensive or criminal than burial. The crematory ovens even constitute progress from the sanitary point of view where there is a risk of epidemics. Typhus ravaged the whole of wartime Europe. The majority of corpses which are shown to us in photos are clearly the corpses of typhus victims. These photos illustrate the fact that the internees — and sometimes the guards — died of typhus. They prove nothing other than this. To exploit the fact that the Germans at times used crematory ovens is not very honest. In asserting this one counts on the repulsion or feeling of unease and disquiet felt by people accustomed to burial and not to incineration. Imagine an oceanic population accustomed to burning its dead. Tell such a people that you bury your own and you will appear a kind of savage. Perhaps they would even suspect that in Europe persons “more or less alive” are placed in the earth! One displays one’s complete dishonesty when, in the same way, one presents as homicidal “gas chambers” the fumigation chambers (autoclaves) which were in reality used for the disinfecting of garments by gas. This never clearly formulated accusation has now been almost totally abandoned, but in certain museums or in certain books we are still confronted with a photo of one of these autoclaves, located at Dachau, with an American soldier in front, about to decipher the time-table for gassing.
Another form of gassing really existed in the German camps: this is the fumigation of buildings by gas to exterminate vermin. For this purpose the renowned Zyklon B was used, around which a fantastic legend has been built up. Zyklon B, whose license goes back to 1922, is still used today, notably for the disinfecting of furniture, of barracks, of silos, of ships, but also for the destruction of fox burrows or of pests of all kinds. It is very dangerous to handle for it is “Blausäure” ("blue” acid or prussic acid or hydrocyanic acid).
But let us turn to the alleged homicidal “gas chambers.” Until the year 1960 I still believed in the reality of these human slaughterhouses where, using industrial methods, the Germans would have killed internees in industrial quantities. Then I learned that certain authors regarded the reality of these “gas chambers” as contestable; among them Paul Rassinier, who had been deported to Buchenwald and then to Dora. These authors ended up by forming a group of historians describing themselves as Revisionists. I studied their arguments; of course, I also studied the arguments of the official historians. The latter believed in the reality of extermination in the “gas chambers." They are, if one wishes to so describe them, the “Exterminationists.” For many years I minutely examined the arguments of one and another. I went to Auschwitz, to Majdanek, and to Struthof. I have searched, in vain, for a single person capable of telling me: “I have been interned in such a camp and I have seen there, with my own eyes, a building which was undoubtedly a gas chamber.” I have read many books and documents. For many years, I have studied the archives of the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine (CDJC) at Paris. Obviously, I took a special interest in the so-called “war crimes” cases.
I have devoted very special attention to what has been presented to me as being “admissions” on the part of the SS or of Germans generally. I am not going to enumerate for you the names of all the specialists whom I have consulted. Strangely enough, it only took a few minutes conversation before these “specialists” in question would declare to me: “Now, you must know, I am not a specialist on gas chambers.” And an even more curious thing: there does not exist to this day any book, nor even any article from the Exterminationist school on the subject of the “gas chambers.” I know that certain titles can be quoted to me, but these titles are deceptive. In reality, in the formidable mountain of writings devoted to the German camps, there exists nothing which concerns their sine qua non: the “gas chambers!” No Exterminationist has written on the “gas chambers.” The most one can say is that Georges Wellers, of the CDJC, attempted to address this subject in pleading for partial acceptance of the veracity of the Gerstein document, about the Belzec “gas chambers.”
On the other hand, the Revisionists have written quite a lot about the “gas chambers” to say that their existence was dubious, or to affirm frankly that their existence was impossible. My personal opinion is joined to the latter. The existence of the “gas chambers” is completely impossible. My reasons are primarily those that the Revisionists have accumulated in their publications. Next, there are those proofs that I have discovered myself.
I have thought it necessary to start at the beginning. You know that in general it takes a long time to perceive that one actually ought to have begun at the beginning. I realized that all of us would talk of the “'gas chambers” as if we knew the meaning of these words.Question:
How can you assert this after all that has been said and written during the past 35 years? After all that the survivors of the camps have recounted? After the cases brought against war criminals? After Nuremberg? Upon what proofs and upon what documents do you base your assertions?Answer:
Many historical errors have lasted more than 35 years. What certain “'survivors” have recounted does indeed constitute evidence, but it is evidence among others. Testimony evidence alone is not proof. In particular, the “evidence” presented at the “war crimes” trials ought to be examined with special caution. Unless I am mistaken, not one witness in 35 years has been prosecuted for perjury; which amounts to giving a water-tight guarantee to everyone desirous of providing evidence of “war crimes.” Furthermore, this also explains the fact that earlier tribunals have “established,” the existence of “gas chambers” in parts of Germany where it has now been finally and firmly established that there were none (for example, throughout the entire territory of the Old Reich).
The judgments pronounced at Nuremberg have only a relative value. The vanquished were judged by their victors. There was not the least possibility of appeal. Articles 19 and 21 of the Statutes of this political tribunal cynically gave it the right of not having to have solid proof; they then validated hearsay evidence. All the other trials for “war crimes” have, as a result, been inspired by the legislation at Nuremberg. The trials of witches and sorcerers through the centuries used to proceed in such a manner.
There have existed, at least at first glance, “proofs” and “witnesses” of gassings at Oranienburg, at Buchenwald, at Bergen-Belsen, at Dachau, at Ravensbrück, and at Mauthausen. Professors, priests, Catholics, Jews, Communists, have all attested to the existence of “gas chambers” in these camps, and of their use for killing internees. To take only one example: Mgr. Piguet, Bishop of Clermont-Ferrand, has written that Polish priests passed through the “gas chambers” of Dachau. But since 1960 it has been officially recognized that no one was ever gassed at Dachau.
But even more outrageous: there have been many cases where those in charge in certain camps have confessed to the existence and the functioning of homicidal “gas chambers” where it has since been revealed by investigation that none ever existed. As far as Ravensbrück is concerned, the commandant of the camp (Suhren), his deputy (Schwarzhuber), and the camp doctor (Dr. Treite), have all admitted to the existence of a “gas chamber” and have even described, in a vague fashion, its operation. They were executed or they committed suicide.
The same scenario existed for the commandant Ziereis at Mauthausen who, in 1945, on his death bed, is reported to have also made such confessions.
One should not immediately assume that the admissions of the Ravensbrück administrators were extorted from them by the Russians or by the Poles. It was actually the judicial apparatus of Britain and of France which obtained these confessions. An even more disturbing factor is that the “confessions” were extracted several years after the war’s end. The necessary pressure continued to be applied to such unfortunates right up until as late as 1950, when a man such as Schwarzhuber collaborated with his interrogators, or his judges, or his bench magistrates.
No serious historian pretends any longer that people were gassed in any camp anywhere in the Old Reich. Today, allegations are only made about certain camps situated in Poland. 19 August 1960 constituted an important date in the history of the myth of the “gas chambers.” On this day, the newspaper Die Zeit published a letter which was entitled, “No gassing at Dachau." From the content of the letter, a better title would have been “No gassing anywhere in the Old Reich” (Germany’s 1937 frontiers). This letter emanated from Dr. Martin Broszat, director since 1972 of the Institute of Contemporary History at Munich. This Dr. Broszat is a convinced anti-Nazi. He belongs to the group of Exterminationist historians. He believes in the authenticity of the “confessions” of Rudolf Höss, which he published in 1958 (but with serious cuts of the text in the passages where Höss had exaggerated “a little too much” — probably obeying the suggestions of his Polish jailers). In brief, Dr. Broszat admitted on 19 August 1960 that gassing had never existed in the whole of the Old Reich. He added, using a confused expression, that there had been gassing “above all” (?) at some chosen points in Poland, for instance Auschwitz. All the official historians, as far as I know, have concluded by agreeing with Dr. Broszat. I deplore the fact that Dr. Broszat has contented himself with only a letter. A scientific paper was necessary, and detailed explanations were indispensable. It was necessary to explain to us why the proof, the evidence, and the confessions — all of which were considered unimpeachable up to that point — had suddenly lost all of their value. We are still waiting for the explanations of Dr. Broszat after nearly 20 years. They would be valuable to us in determining if the proof, the evidence, and the confessions which we possess on the gassings at Auschwitz or Treblinka are more valuable than the proof, evidence, and confessions which we possess on the faked gassings of Buchenwald or of Ravensbrück. In the meantime, it is extremely curious that the evidence collected (mainly) by the French, British and American tribunals should suddenly lose all its value in this way, while the evidence collected by the Polish and Soviet tribunals should preserve its value on the same subject!
In 1968, it was the turn of the “gas chamber” at Mauthausen (in Austria) to be declared mythical by an Exterminationist historian: Olga Wormser-Migot, in her thesis on The Nazi Concentration Camp System, in particular the section titled “The problem of the gas chambers." Let us retain this heading; for according to the admissions of the Exterminationist historians themselves, there does exist a “problem of the gas chambers!”
In regard to the false confessions, I one day asked the Exterminationist historian Joseph Billig (attached to the CDJC) how he could, for his part, explain them. Here is his reply: they were, so he said, “'psychotic phenomena!” For my part, I have an explanation to offer about these alleged “psychotic phenomena” as well as about the “schizoid apathy” of Höss on the day of his depositions before the Nuremberg Tribunal. Höss had been tortured by his British jailers. He had been “interrogated with a riding whip and primed with alcohol.” Likewise at the Dachau trial, the Americans — as revealed in particular by the Van Roden Commission of inquiry — had abominably tortured other accused Germans.
But torture more often than not is useless. The procedures of intimidation are numerous. The massive universal condemnation which was brought to bear on the accused Nazis still retains its potency today. When “Anathema resounds with a religious unanimity as dignified as in the great medieval communions” there is nothing one can do against it, especially if the lawyers come into play, and impress upon the defendants that concessions are necessary. I well remember my own hatred of the Germans during the war, and just after its end. It was an incandescent hatred which I believed was voluntary. But with the passing of time, I perceived that it was not in fact mine but had been breathed into me. My hatred stemmed from the British radio, from the propaganda of Hollywood, and from the Stalinist press. I myself would have been merciless toward any German who should have told me that he had been a guard at some camp, and that he had not seen any of the massacres which the entire world talked about. If I had been his judge, then I would have considered it my duty to force him to “confess.”
For 35 years this scenario involving German defendants has been comparable to that against witches and sorcerers in the 16 th and 17 th centuries. Let us consider for a moment the incredible courage that would be needed for one of these accused witches to dare to say to her tribunal: “The best proof that I have not had dealings with the Devil is simply that the Devil does not exist.” Most of the time, those so-called witches could not believe the facts they were blamed for, but they would go along with, or pretend to go along with, their accusing-judges' belief in the Devil. (Accusing-judges during the French Revolution were at one and the same time judge and prosecutor.) In the same way, Dr. Dürrfeld, who had been an engineer at Auschwitz, initially told his judges that he personally had never suspected the existence of “gas chambers” in the camp; then later, joining the fashionable belief, he declared to the tribunal his indignation at “this brand of infamy for the German People."
The witch would use deceit with her judges, just as the Germans, even today during the “Majdanek” trial in Düsseldorf, deceive their judges too. For example, the witch might admit that the Devil had been there on such and such a day, but that he was at the top of a hill while she herself had remained at the foot of the hill. Likewise, a German defendant endeavors to demonstrate that he himself had nothing to do with the “gas chambers.” Sometimes, he even goes so far as to say that he assisted in pushing people into the “gas chamber,” or even that he was ordered to pour a product through a trap in the ceiling under threat of execution if he disobeyed. Thus, he often gives the impression of sidestepping the issue. His accusers think: “Here again is one who seeks to get out of his predicament. They are extraordinary, these Germans! They almost never saw or heard anything!” The truth, however, is that they neither saw nor knew anything concerning what it was wished they should see in the matter of gassing. Any reproach should be directed at the accusers, not at the defendants who are caught up in the only defense strategy left open to them. The lawyers have a grave responsibility for the adoption of this strategy. I do not speak of those lawyers who believe, as does nearly everyone, that the “gas chambers” existed. I speak of those who know or suspect that they are confronted with an enormous lie. They prefer not to raise this question, either in their own interests or in their clients' interests. Eichmann’s lawyer did not believe in the existence of the “gas chambers” but that did not prevent him from deliberately avoiding opening this can of worms at the trial in Jerusalem. Perhaps one cannot reproach him for this. I understand that the statute of this tribunal allowed for the dismissal of the defense lawyer if he should present any argument which fitted the term “intolerable” or a term approximating this.
An old resort of lawyers, a resort necessitated on occasion by the needs of the defense, is to plead the seeming truth rather than the actual truth. The truth is sometimes too difficult to gain acceptance into the judges' minds. One has to be contented with pragmatism. An example admirably demonstrates this. It is recounted by Albert Naud, the lawyer representing Lucien Léger, whom the entire French press regarded as the perpetrator of an abominable crime. L. Léger protested his innocence. He chose A. Naud as his lawyer. The lawyer went to see him in prison. He said to him: “Léger, be serious! If you want me to be your lawyer, we are going to plead guilty.” A bargain was struck. Léger saved his head. Some years later, A. Naud became convinced that Léger was innocent. He developed an enormous complex because he had forced Léger to plead guilty. He summoned all of his powers to obtain a retrial. Too late. Naud died. And Léger, if he is innocent, will probably pay until the end of his days for the abominable attitude of the press and the blindness of his lawyer.
A tribunal has no capacity for determining historical truth. Even historians have very often the utmost trouble in distinguishing the factual truth on a point of history. The independence of the judges is necessarily very relative. Judges read newspapers just like everyone else. They keep informed, at least in part, through the radio or television. Reviews and books present to them, as to all of us, “documents” or “photographs” of Nazi atrocities. Unless they are especially skilled in the critical appraisal of this kind of document or photos, they tend to fell into the more blatant traps of the media-orchestrated propaganda. Simultaneously, the judges must bring about respect for public order, public morality, certain norms, usages and beliefs, even, of public life. All of this, without counting the anxiety of ever seeing their name vilified in the press, can only be conducive to judgments in matters of “war crimes” that the historian himself is not obliged to accept as his own.
Justice has been itself judged. At no time during this kind of trial has justice considered asking for an expert report about the weapon of the crime. When they are suspected of being instruments of a crime, items such as a knife, a rope, or a revolver, are all subject to expert forensic appraisal. Yet, those objects have nothing mysterious about them. But in the case of the “gas chambers” there has not been a single forensic appraisal in 35 years! There is certainly talk of an appraisal supposedly made by the Soviets, but in every case the text of it seems to have remained secret.
For one and a half years, at the Frankfurt trial of 1963-65, a German tribunal conducted the affair called “the Auschwitz guards trial” without ordering any expert forensic appraisal of the actual device used for the crime. The same happened at the Majdanek trial at Düsseldorf. This absence of forensic expertise is even less excusable when one considers that not one judge, not one prosecutor, not one lawyer, possessed any experience on the nature and the functioning of these extraordinary “human abattoirs.” At Majdanek these “chambers” are, however, represented as being an original fixture: therefore it would suffice to examine the “instrument of the crime” on the spot.
At Auschwitz things are less clear. At the principal camp (Auschwitz I) tourists are led to believe that the “gas chamber” is authentic, but when the museum authorities are pressed with questions, they beat a retreat and talk of a “replica” (which is nothing other than downright deceit, easily proved as such from certain archive documents). At the Birkenau annex (Auschwitz II) one is only shown the ruins of the “gas chambers.” But even there forensic examination is perfectly possible. To an archaeologist even a few meager indices sometimes suffice in order to reveal the nature and the purpose of an encampment inhabited for several centuries. To give you some idea of the complacent attitude taken by the lawyers at the trial in Frankfurt, even to the extent of agreeing with the accusations in advance (!), I would tell you that one of these lawyers even had his photograph taken by the press in the process of lifting a trap door (sic) of the pretended “gas chamber” at the principal camp at Auschwitz. Ten years after the trial I asked this lawyer what had caused him to consider the building in question a “gas chamber.” His written reply was more than evasive. It resembled the reply made to me by the authorities of the Dachau Museum. I asked the Dachau people in writing upon what documents did they base their confirmation that a certain piece of camp equipment was an unfinished “gas chamber.” In effect, I was surprised to learn that it could be determined that an unfinished structure was destined to become, once completed, a thing that no one had ever seen. One day I will publish my correspondence with these authorities as well as with the officials of the International Dachau Committee at Brussels.
You ask me upon what proofs and upon what documents I base my declaration that the “gas chambers” never existed. I believe that I have already largely replied to this question. I would add that a good part of these proofs and documents are those of the accusers. It suffices to reread through the texts of the prosecution in order to perceive that the accusation bordered on the opposite of the result which it wanted to establish. The basic texts are the 42 volumes of the International Military Tribunal (IMT), the 15 volumes of the Nuremberg Military Tribunal (NMT), the 19 volumes published by the University of Amsterdam, the stenographic transcripts of the Eichmann trial, various verbal proceedings relating to interrogations, the works of Hilberg, of Reitlinger, of Adler, of Langbein, of Olga Wormser-Migot, the Encyclopedia Judaica, the Memorial by Klarsfeld (very interesting for the list of fake gassings), the publications of different institutes. I have, above all, worked a great deal at the CDJC of Paris. But I was hounded at the beginning of 1978, on the initiative, in particular, of Georges Wellers, because it was known at what conclusions I had already arrived in regard to the “gas chambers” and “genocide.” The CDJC is a semipublic body. It receives public money. Nonetheless, it arrogates to itself the right to hound those who do not think as it requires. And it says so!Question:
You have gone so far as to deny any deliberate intention on the part of Hitler to exterminate the Jews. And lastly, in the course of a debate on Swiss-Italian television, you have said: “Hitler never had a single person killed because he was Jewish.” What exactly do you mean to say with that phrase?Answer:
I mean to say exactly this: “Hitler never ordered nor admitted that anyone should be killed on account of his race or his religion.”
This phrase is perhaps shocking to certain people, but I truly believe it. Hitler was anti-Jewish and racist. His racism was, moreover, not opposed to fostering admiration for the Arabs and Hindus. He was hostile to colonialism. On 7 February 1945 he declared to his entourage: “The Whites have carried to these [colonial] people the worst that they could carry: the plagues of the world; materialism, fanaticism, alcoholism, and syphilis. Moreover, since what these people possessed on their own was superior to anything we could give them, they have remained themselves … The sole result of the activity of the Colonizers is: they have everywhere aroused hatred.
He became hostile to the Jews rather late. Before saying and repeating that the Jews are “the grand masters of the lie," he had been rather favorable toward them. He writes in Mein Kampf, “They were persecuted (on account of their beliefs) as I believed, often making my dislike of unfavorable assertions about them almost reach the point of repugnance.”
Personally, I know Hitler rather poorly, and he interests me no more than Napoléon Bonaparte. If he raved, then I do not see why we ourselves should rave about him. Let us make efforts to speak of Hitler with the same sang-froid with which one used to speak of Amenophis Akhenaton. Between Hitler and the Jews there was an inexpiable war. It is evident that each holds the other responsible for this conflict. In the person of Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Jewish Congress (and future president of the state of Israel), the international Jewish community declared war on Germany on 5 September 1939. Hitherto, as early as 1934, the hostility of the international Jewish community had been manifested by the exigencies of the economic boycott against Nazi Germany. Obviously it had been motivated by retaliation against the measures taken by Hitler against the German Jews. This deadly chain of events, on the part of both sides, was to lead to the world war. Hitler said: “The Jews and the Allies wish for our annihilation, but it is they who will be destroyed or exterminated,” while the Allies and the Jews said: “Hitler and the Nazis and their allies wish for our annihilation, but it is they who will be destroyed or exterminated.” The two hostile camps during the whole course of the war thus intoxicated themselves in belligerent and fanatical proclamations. The enemy became a beast to be slaughtered. Think, in the same fashion, of the words of the Marseillaise: Qu'un sang impur abreuve nos sillons! ("Let our soil be drenched by their impure blood!")
Moreover, the Allies waged a pitiless war against the Nazis, and 35 years after the war’s end, still pursue a kind of “Nazi hunt.” But in the same way as the Allies never actually decreed that a civilian National Socialist, whether he be a man, woman or child, should be killed solely on a basis of their National Socialism, in the same way it must also be said that Hitler — in spite of all the antipathy he had toward the Jews — never decreed that all Jews, or even one Jew, should be killed on the sole and unique basis of their Jewishness. Although, in the case of reprisals against “partisans” or “'terrorists” when the Germans selected their hostages for execution, it was better to be neither a Jew, nor a Communist, nor a common-law criminal, but in that particular case it was a familiar aspect of hostage-taking (to kill the more expendable hostages) just as had been practiced everywhere throughout the ages.
Hitler had a proportion of the European Jews interned, but in no way does internment mean “extermination.” There has been neither “genocide” nor “Holocaust.” Every concentration camp is a pitiful sight and a horror, irrespective of whether it is a German, Russian, British, French, American, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese or Cuban camp. There are of course degrees in this pity or this horror, and it is certain that in times of war, of famine, of epidemics, a concentration camp becomes even more horrible. But nothing in the case that concerns us here permits us to say that there were camps of deliberate extermination, i.e. camps where people would have been placed to be killed.
The Exterminationists pretend that in the summer of 1941, Hitler gave the order to exterminate the Jews. But no one has ever seen this order. Additionally, there exist neither specific conversations of Hitler nor measures taken by his armies, which would imply that such an order could have been given. On 24 July 1942, in a restricted gathering, Hitler recalled that the Jews had declared war on him through the intermediary of Chaim Weizmann, and said that after the war he would close the towns to the Jews, one after the other. His precise words were: “… if the Jewish dregs did not decamp and if they do not emigrate to Madagascar or to some other national Jewish homeland." For my own part, I would like to know just how one can reconcile this talk in a circle of confidants with any “definitive order of extermination” supposedly given one year previously (summer 1941).
Even in July 1944, on the eastern front where the German soldiers were engaged in a ferocious war against the partisans (Jews or non-Jews, Russians or Communists, Ukrainians, etc.) the army gave the most draconian orders that no German soldier should participate in any excesses against the civilian population (Jews included), otherwise, they would be court-martialed. Such excesses were to be absolutely suppressed. Hitler called for a merciless struggle in the fight, especially against the partisans, including, if it were necessary, against women and children mingling with the partisans or who were apparent accomplices of the partisans. He had evidently not rejected the practice of taking hostages (neither had the Allies, of course). But he did not go beyond that measure. The day our media decide to break with certain taboos and devote to the war crimes of the Allies even one thousandth of the time which they devote to the war crimes of the vanquished, on that day there will be astonishment among the naive public. The “crimes” of Hitler will then take on their correct proportions in a proper historical perspective. There is indeed little talk about Dresden and Katyn. But I say that Dresden and Katyn are small matters when compared to the deportations the Allies inflicted on the German minorities in the eastern territories. It is true that officially it was not a matter of “deportations” but of “displacement” (e.g. “displaced persons"). And I wonder if the champions of all the “war criminals” have not been the English with their delivery to the Soviets of their Russian internees?Question:
What is your conception and what is your definition of genocide?Answer:
I describe “genocide” as the act of killing a man on account of his race. Hitler no more committed “genocide” than Napoleon, Stalin, Churchill, or Mao. Roosevelt interned American citizens of Japanese extraction in concentration camps. That was not “genocide.”
Hitler treated the civilian Jews as the representatives of a belligerent enemy minority. It is regrettably common to treat this type of civilian as dangerous, or potentially dangerous. In fact, with good war logic, Hitler would have been led to intern all the Jews who had fallen into his hands. He is very far from having done this, and without doubt this was not on account of any humanitarian motives, but for reasons of practicality. In certain parts of Europe he made his enemies wear a distinctive sign: the Star of David (beginning September 1941 in Germany, and June 1942 in the northern zone of France). The wearers of the star were not free to move about, except during certain hours. They were similar to prisoners of war on supervised parole. Hitler preoccupied himself perhaps less with the Jewish question than with ensuring the security of the German soldier. The average German trooper would have been incapable of distinguishing Jews from non-Jews. The Star of David identified them.
The Jews were suspected of passing information (many of them spoke German), of engaging in espionage, of trafficking in arms, of terrorism, and of black-marketeering. It was necessary to avoid all contact between the Jews and the German soldier. For example, on the Paris metro Jews wearing the Star of David were only allowed to ride in the last of the five cars, and a German soldier himself had no right to enter this car. I am not a specialist on these questions but I believe that this kind of measure was dictated by reasons of military security as much as by reasons of deliberate humiliation. In places where there were large concentrations of Jews it was virtually impossible to keep them under surveillance (except through the intermediary of the Jewish ghetto police), and the Germans feared an insurrection similar to that which took place in the Warsaw ghetto, where a strategically dangerous uprising took place in April 1943. With stupefaction, the Germans discovered then that the Jews had constructed 700 blockhouses. They suppressed the insurrection and transferred the survivors to transit camps, work camps, and concentration camps. The Jews experienced tragedy there.
I know that it is sometimes argued that children of 6 to 15 years of age could not constitute a danger, and should not have been subjected to the restrictive measures. But to convince us of the contrary there exist today sufficient accounts and memoirs by Jews telling us of their childhood when they committed all sorts of illicit activities or resistance to the Germans.
It is necessary to distinguish between what is real and what is fantasy in the representation which is made that the Jews allowed themselves to be slaughtered like sheep. Did the non-Jews resist as much as it is said? Did the Jews resist as little as it is said? The factor which increases the problem is that too many of our judgments are based on a false premise: that of the “genocide” against the Jews. Obviously, if this “genocide” had existed, then one would perhaps regard the Jews as cowards; this is apparently the reproach that young Israelis make against their fathers. But if, as the Revisionists claim, “genocide” is nothing other than a legend, then the reproach of cowardice no longer has a foundation.Question:
If there had not been a deliberate intention on the part of Hitler to carry out genocide, then why Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec, and the other extermination camps? They existed; they have been a reality. Not only Jews have been imprisoned and died there, but also “politicals,” gypsies, Slavs, homosexuals; that is to say, all those “deviants” whom Nazi racism condemned. Why were these camps organized? To what ultimate purpose?Answer:
A camp can only be qualified as an “extermination” camp if people are exterminated there. It is so true, that, according to the nomenclature created by the official historians, only those camps where (it is pretended) there existed “gas chambers” can be termed “extermination” camps. These camps have never existed. The horrible epidemic of typhus at Bergen-Belsen did not transform this camp (for a great part without barbed-wire) into an extermination camp. Those dead are not the result of a crime except the crime of war itself, and of human folly. The Allies share with the Germans a grave responsibility for the frightful chaos in which Europe, its towns, its refugee camps, and its internee camps, were found at the end of the war. The Allies have distributed a large number photographs showing the mass graves of Bergen-Belsen. However, hundreds of the internees died of typhus after the entry of the British into Bergen-Belsen. At the time the British did not succeed any more than the Germans before them, in ending this terrible epidemic. Would it have been more honest to treat the British as criminals?
The first Nazi concentration camps were conceived for internment and for reeducation (!) of the political opponents to Hitler. Propaganda asserted that these camps, open to numerous visits, constituted an advance on prisons where common-law criminals stagnated. Jews were interned there only in so far as they were Communists, Social Democrats, etc. The Jews were placed in the concentration camps only during the war, above all from 1942 onward. Those Jews who had been interned in 1938 as a reprisal for the assassination of vom Rath by a Jew had been for the most part set free after only a few months.
Before the war, Hitler had attempted — with a certain amount of success — to promote the exodus of the Jews. The idea was the creation of a Jewish national homeland outside Europe. The “Madagascar project” was conceived as a Jewish homeland under German protection. The initial plans provided, as a matter of priority, drainage works, banking systems, etc. But the war prevented the realization of this project. It would have required too many ships. Little Germany — from the aspect of the map of the world — was engaged with Japan and a few allies in a formidable struggle against giants. The principal concern for Germany was to win the war. A secondary aim was to find a solution to the Jewish problem, a definitive solution; a “final” solution, a “total” solution, to a problem which, in a certain manner, was as old as the Jewish people themselves. This provisional solution, because of the war, was largely going to consist of “driving back toward the East” the Jews in the camps.
Auschwitz was first and foremost a very important complex in Upper Silesia composed of three main camps and 39 sub-camps scattered over the whole of one region. The mining, industrial, agricultural operations, and research there were considerable: coal mines (some with French capital), petrochemicals, armaments, explosives, synthetics, artificial rubber, cattle-breeding, fish farms, etc. At Auschwitz there were free laborers as well as internees, and prisoners condemned to life imprisonment as well as prisoners interned for a shorter time. In Auschwitz II or Birkenau camp, there was the distressing spectacle of numerous persons unskilled for any work and stagnating on the spot. Among them were the gypsies, who with few exceptions were not put to work. Numerous gypsy children were born at Auschwitz. It seems that only the nomadic gypsies were interned. This does not seem to have been done for racial reasons, but on account of their nomadism and possible “delinquency.” I recall that in France even the Resistance had come to regard the gypsies with suspicion, and had suspected them of espionage, of collecting secret information, and of black market activities. It would be interesting to determine how many gypsy troupes continued to wander around Europe during the war.
As for the homosexuals — classified as delinquents — they were, like many other “delinquents,” removed from prison and sent directly to the camps to work there. German legislation, like much other legislation of that epoch, repressed specific forms of homosexuality. As for the Slavs, those who were in the camps were not there because they were Slavs, but as political internees, prisoners of war, etc., as well as other Europeans. At Auschwitz there were even British POW taken prisoner at Tobruk.
The essential preoccupation of the Germans at the end of 1942 was to put to work all these internees (with the exception of those unable to work, and, it seems, the gypsies) to win the war. At Auschwitz there even existed courses of professional training for the young from 12 to 15 years old, in masonry, for example. The Germans responsible for the deportation of foreigners to the camps insisted upon obtaining the largest possible number of those “capable of work.” The foreign governments, for their part, insisted that families should not be separated and that the old and the children should join the convoys. Neither the Jews nor anyone else had any knowledge whatever of leaving for an “extermination” camp, if one is to believe testimonies such as those of Georges Wellers in L'Etoile Jaune à l'heure de Vichy. They had good reason. This “systematic massacre” was happily nothing but a propaganda invention of the war. Besides, it is difficult to conceive that Germany, dramatically short of locomotives, of wagons, of coal, of qualified personnel, and of soldiers, could have laid on such a system of convoys to the “abattoirs.” These convoys, I recall, seemed to have had a priority even over the convoys of war materiel. Production, above all skilled production, was what preoccupied the Germans more than anything in this matter.Question:
You have specialized in the literary criticism of texts and documents, but you have made this particular problem your preferred terrain of historical research. Why? What do you wish to say when you continue to assert that there has been a conspiracy of silence concerning the problem of the gas chambers and the extermination of the Jews? Why should a conspiracy of silence exist, and organized by whom?Answer:
For me, the critical appraisal of texts and documents aims at establishing the degree of authenticity and veracity of what one reads. One searches therein to distinguish between the true and the false, sense and nonsense, and so on. I suppose that this awareness was destined to guide me to the detection of certain historical fakes, and, in particular, to the detection of what in a few years will appear to every historian as a monumental forgery.
The result of this conspiracy of silence surrounding the Revisionist works is that these works are for the most part samizdat (underground literature). In regard to the authors who do succeed in breaking the wall of silence, they are treated as Nazis, which in turn ostracizes them to an intellectual ghetto. The procedures utilized against the nonconformist historians or individuals range from pure criminality to judicial prosecutions, without forgetting the disgusting conduct of the police. All sorts of lobbies are active in attempting to establish a dominant atmosphere of terror. I am aware of that personally. I can no longer teach at the university. My life has become difficult. I am up against enormous power-blocs. Some young people support me. The light will eventually shine through. Some Jews are on my side; they themselves wish to denounce deception and persecution.
I believe rather less in conspiracies and more in the force of conformity. The victors of the last war needed to make us believe in the intrinsic evil of the vanquished. Soviets and Westerners, whatever their differences, had found common ground of agreement there. Hollywood and the apparatus of Stalinist propaganda have conjugated their efforts. What a fracas of propaganda! The principal beneficiaries have been the state of Israel and international Zionism. The principal victims have been the German people — but not its leaders — and the Palestinian people as a whole. But today there is dissension in the air. Zionists and Poles already present us with a divergent version of Auschwitz.Question:
You dispute a very large part of the methods that the official historians have applied in this historical research. In your opinion, this chapter in 20th Century history has not been written the right way. Why, then? And why would those historians have done so?Answer:
The official historians have been lacking in their obligations. They have not observed in this matter the routine methods of historical criticism. They have followed the general current, i.e. that which is sponsored by the media. They have allowed themselves to be absorbed into the system. An official historian such as Professor Helmut Diwald saw the terrible vexation confronting him when he risked simply writing a phrase saying that the “genocide,” in spite of the abundant literature dedicated to it, is an affair which essentially “is not yet well elucidated.” Under the pressure of the German Jewish organizations, the second edition of his History of the Germans was issued as “re-cast and improved” (sic) where it was necessary. The courage of Paul Rassinier consisted in having precisely applied the routine methods of historical criticism. In a way he has said to his accusers: “Show me your proof.” “Does your document offer guarantees of authenticity?” “Are you sure that this expression, that this phrase, has in fact the meaning which you attribute?” “Where do your figures come from?” “How have you reached these statistics?” “Where does the caption of this photo come from?” “Who says to me that this old woman and this child in this picture are really 'on the road to the gas chambers'?” “Does this pile of shoes signify that people were gassed in this camp or that many of those detained were in fact employed in making shoes?” “Where is the manuscript of this extraordinary testimony which ought to have only one form and which is published in many contradictory forms, even by one and the same historian?” And so on, and so on.
P. Rassinier, modest professor of history and geography, has given a remarkable lesson of clairvoyance and of probity to his eminent colleagues of the university. A genuine revolutionary, a genuine member of the Resistance, a genuine deportee, this man loved the truth in the manner it is necessary to love it; fiercely and above everything else. He has denounced what he calls “the lie of Ulysses.” Ulysses, as we know, experienced a hundred trials during exile but, returning home, he recounted a thousand. We know that man finds it difficult not to make up yarns. He is often fond of stories of hunting, fishing, love, and wealth. But above all he is fascinated by stories of atrocities.
Dr. Butz has written The Hoax of the Twentieth Century. This book provokes disarray among the Exterminationists. The demonstration is unavoidable. The German edition has been placed on the list of “works dangerous to young people,” and steps are now being taken to have it banned altogether in West Germany. The German Wilhelm Stäglich has published Der Auschwitz Mythos ("The Auschwitz Myth"). The Swedish group Jewish Information has published Auschwitz Exit. A Jew has written Revisionist works: J.G. Burg in Germany. In very recent times, the extreme left review La Guerre Sociale ("The Class War") has published a study entitled “From exploitation in the camps to the exploitation of the camps." In Britain, in the United States, in Germany (in this particular country the persecution of Revisionists is merciless), in Australia, in Belgium, in Spain, in France, almost in every part of the world, voices are raised demanding that this absurd war propaganda be finally renounced.
I even know — although I cannot give here their names — of official historians who have awakened from this nightmare. Perhaps they wish to decide to renounce the delights which the Revisionist historian David Irving calls “incest among historians.” This figurative expression illustrates the practice which consists of delighting in reassessing what other historians have affirmed and of not reviving the subject except by subtle outbidding. It is instructive to participate in a congress of historians dealing with Nazism. What strange communion in respect of a taboo! Misfortune to those who wish to disturb the expiatory ceremony by the expression of a nonofficial theme: derision and censure.Question:
Are you an anti-Semite? What is your assessment of Nazism?Answer:
I am not anti-Semitic. One must avoid imagining anti-Semites everywhere. Those Jews who denounce the imposture of “genocide” are like Catholics who say Fatima is an imposture (where thousands of witnesses are supposed to have seen the sun dance). The truth, or its research, cannot be anti-Semitic. In fact Nazism was the dictatorship of a Führer. It died with the Führer on 30 April 1945. My enemy is vanquished. Do not count on me to spit on his corpse. As long as I am a man, I will not accept that the German people should be defamed by attributing to them crimes which are without precedent in human history. And above all, I will not accept that the German people are so thoroughly “reeducated” that they are the first to believe in these crimes, and deprecate themselves even more than their leaders require of them. In my capacity as an historian, I merely state that Adenauer, Brandt, and Schmidt repeat the lessons taught them by their conquerors from the East. It is realpolitik, I suppose.Question:
You deny that the number of victims — six million — is credible. But even if the number of victims had been less, does this change anything in the fact that there was genocide? And would the number of victims matter, in fact?Answer:
The six million is equivalent to the population of a country such as Switzerland. No one at the Nuremberg trial had the tiniest scrap of evidence capable of backing up such a figure. It was on the morning of 14 December 1945 that the American prosecutor Walsh attempted to insinuate the acceptance of this figure by means of presenting an affidavit by witness Wilhelm Höttl. That very afternoon he was forced to beat a retreat by the intervention of the lawyer Kauffmann, who decisively demanded the appearance of this witness so that he could be cross-examined in regard to this figure. The sad fact is that the press and the historians have retained this figure as if the tribunal had sincerely believed it.
My estimation is as follows: First, the number of Jews exterminated by the Nazis (or: “victims of genocide") is happily equivalent to zero. Second, the number of Europeans killed by acts of war (often atrocious acts of war) could be in the order of 40 millions; among them the proportion of European Jews could be somewhere in the order of one million, but more likely several hundred thousands if one does not count those Jews fighting in the uniforms of military allies. I insist on the fact that, as far as I am concerned, it is an estimate without proper scientific character. Moreover, I have a good enough reason to think that the figure of the dead at Auschwitz (Jews and non-Jews) amounts to around 50,000 and not 4 million, as has been pretended for a long time. (This was before the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich decided to content themselves with one million as the accepted figure.)
As to the number of dead in all the concentration camps from 1933 to 1945, I think that it ought to be 200,000 or, at the most, 360,000. One day I will cite my sources, but today I assert that, if one employs computers, one can without doubt quickly establish the real number of dead. The deportees were indexed in files by many authorities. They left behind much evidence.Question:
Do you realize that you can contribute this toward a “rehabilitation” of Nazism?Answer:
Is it rehabilitation of a Nero if it is said that we do not possess any proof that he set Rome on fire? What one must concern oneself with rehabilitating or reestablishing is the truth! (Or at least, whenever it is possible). The historian ought not to preoccupy himself with how Peter or Paul is going to react. What is important for me is to make my contribution to a truthful history of the Second World War. If an old Nazi happened to say to me that the pretended “gas chambers” and the pretended “genocide” of the Jews constitute one and the same unique historical lie, I would agree with him as much as if he had told me that two and two make four. I would not go further, and I would leave him to his political ideas.
Neo-Nazism is to a large extent an invention of the media who even sell a kind of Hollywood sex-shop Nazism. This is also the case with the imaginary “Odessa File” or the Nazi colonies in South America. Or the fairy-tale reappearances of Hitler or Bormann. A lot of money is made through these inventions. In Germany, I believe that those whom their political adversaries classify as “neo-Nazi” form 0.7 percent of the electorate. We live in a phantasmagoria, in a sort of Nazism without Nazis. About this subject, I would refer to the pertinent analyses of Gilbert Comte which appeared in Le Monde (29/30 May 1979). Because nothing happens by accident in this world, it is plain that an examination of this “media hype” reveals a complex play of interests, passions, and conflicts all on a planetary scale. The state of Israel has a vital interest in the maintenance of this phantasmagoria, which contributed so much to its creation in 1948. Even a state such as the French republic has an interest in masking the reality of all this, thanks to upholding in everyone’s mind a vigilance against the worst enemy who ever existed: the well-known vile beast of Nazism, a beast which died 35 years ago and against which it is permitted to let off steam. Consequently you have those perpetual expiatory ceremonies, those condemnations to eternal flames, this necessity of vengeance, of chastisement, of denunciation without any limit of time, of place, of person.Question:
Don’t you think that to treat the problem of Jewish genocide in such a manner is a way to discredit the memories upon which the widespread conviction is principally based that anti-Semitism is the worst of all racism practiced in the 20 th Century? Memories which are discredited in fact serve nothing.Answer:
Anti-Semitism is not the worst kind of racism, but a good way of making us believe that it is, is to convince us that “genocide” was practiced against the Jews. However, the Zionists have gone too far. They should have listened to those who counselled against the principle of “financial reparations” imposed on Germany in the name, particularly, of “genocide.” Unfortunately, Ben Gurion, for the state of Israel, and Nahum Goldmann, acting at the same time for Israel and the Diaspora, wished to draw a gigantic financial profit from the whole affair. Adenauer was a party to it. That gives the imposture of “genocide” an even more outrageous coloration. Read the stupefying review in number 624 of Nouvel Observateur (25-29 October 1979). One has rarely seen a man so elated and happy at having succeeded in a splendid financial-political operation.Question:
In the course of your dispute with all those who contest this thesis, you have also asserted that a good part of what the public knows is only a legend and that this legend has been rendered possible thanks to the indiscriminate use of the mass media. What exactly do you wish to say by this?Answer:
This point is grave and fascinating. The responsibility of the media in all this is overwhelming. For 35 years, on five continents, this legend of “genocide” and “gas chambers” has been presented to us as truth. Countless millions of people have been abused in this way. It makes one dizzy. What a lesson for those who believe in the quality of diverse and contradictory information! It has needed the heroic struggle of some individuals, of some nonconformist spirits to make a rupture in “official” truth. I could write a long study about the methods used by the French newspapers and television in order to stifle information. The courts help them in this, and also the public authorities as a whole. Journalists are afraid that in the near future a data bank of information will be installed. This information would result in a classification of news items, which they would scarcely have means to control. But I have some advice for them. If they wish to know what a risk they are running of being deceived, let them look to the past, and — for some of them — at their own past. If they wish to know how lies may look in the future, let them study the way in which the most remarkable lie of all time has been jealously guarded. When Louis XIV lied, his lies scarcely reached beyond a few provinces. Today, lies can take on veritable Hollywoodian dimensions. A “docu-drama” such as Holocaust is the crowning of an edifice. It was not conceivable in the years that followed the war, and which were indeed full of hatred. It has needed thirty years of intoxication. A drug as strong as Holocaust cannot be administered except to patients already long impregnated with other drugs of the same kind and who require even more virulent drugs. But the overdose has produced some salutary effects through the spectacle of our addiction. Some sane reactions have been noticed. I am thinking in particular of the quite remarkable reactions by the “liberated Jew” Michel Rachline in an issue of Le Figaro (3 March 1979).
The nonexistence of the “gas chambers” and of “genocide” is good news. Man, although still capable of many horrors, did not bring about these. And even better: millions of men who have been presented to us as accomplices in a monstrous crime or as cowards or as liars have in fact been decent individuals. I have already said that the Jews accused by their children of being driven like sheep into the abattoirs by the Germans do not in fact merit the accusation. I would add that the defendants at Nuremberg and at a thousand other trials were actually telling the truth when they declared to their accusing judges that they did not know of these terrifying massacres. The Vatican and the Red Cross told the truth when they humbly confessed the same ignorance. The Americans, the British, the Swiss, the Swedes, and all those peoples or governments whom the extremist Jews accused of “having done nothing” no longer have any need to show sinful repentance. The most unfortunate result of this gigantic imposture has been, and will still remain for some time to come, the bad conscience that the extremist Jews created among the western peoples, and in particular among the German people. Above all, I do not wish to give the impression that I am in the least making an apology for Nazism. I would even argue that I am capable of presenting a caustically critical analysis of this type of ideology. But I shall not present this analysis so long as the Exterminationists continue to wear us to death with this fake Nazism that continues to be denounced by the majority of official historians. These people, in attacking a Nazism that never existed, give us the impression that they are incapable of attacking the reality of Nazism. They make me think of those people who imagine evil as a Devil with his tenterhooks, his pales, and his ovens. In reality, evil, as we well know, is inherent in the life-styles that man has created. So long as we take on mythical forms of evil, genuine evil will continue to be fighting fit. Our society is disconcerted. The medieval Devil has been reinvented right in the middle of the twentieth century. People are combatting an imaginary enemy. They have better things to do. An effort at analysis is necessary. We should open our eyes and recognize what the mass media have made us into. We should unmask that which lobbies, powers, and governments seek to mask everywhere.