The Holocaust Historiography Project

The Holocaust: Let’s hear both sides

by Mark Weber

Nearly everyone has heard that the Germans killed some six million Jews in Europe during the Second World War. American television, motion pictures, newspapers and magazines hammer away on this theme. In Washington, DC, an enormous official Holocaust Museum has been built.

Scholars Challenge Holocaust Story

During the past decade, though, more and more "revisionist" historians, including respected scholars such as Dr. Arthur Butz of Northwestern University, Prof. Robert Faurisson of the University of Lyon in France and best-selling British historian David Irving, have been challenging the widely-accepted extermination story.

They do not dispute the fact that large numbers of Jews were deported to concentration camps and ghettos, or that many Jews died or were killed during the Second World War. Revisionist scholars have, however, presented considerable evidence to show that there was no German program to exterminate Europe's Jews, that numerous claims of mass killings in "gas chambers" are false, and that the estimate of six million Jewish wartime dead is an irresponsible exaggeration.

Many Holocaust Claims Abandoned

Revisionists point out that the Holocaust story has changed quite a lot over the years. Many extermination claims that were once widely accepted have been quietly dropped in recent years.

At one time it was alleged that the Germans gassed Jews at Dachau, Buchenwald and other concentration camps in Germany proper. That part of the extermination story proved so untenable that it was abandoned more than 20 years ago.

No serious historian now supports the once supposedly proven story of "extermination camps" in the territory of the old German Reich. Even famed "Nazi hunter" Simon Wiesenthal has acknowledged that "there were no extermination camps on German soil." (note 1)

Prominent Holocaust historians now claim that masses of Jews were gassed at just six camps in what is now Poland: Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, Sobibor, Chelmno and Belzec. However, the "evidence" presented for "gassings" at these six camps is not qualitatively different than the "evidence" for alleged "gassings" at the camps in Germany proper.

At the great Nuremberg trial of 1945-1946 and during the decades following the end of the Second World War, Auschwitz (especially Auschwitz-Birkenau) and Majdanek (Lublin) were generally regarded as the most important "death camps." For example, the Allies alleged at Nuremberg that the Germans killed four million at Auschwitz and another 1.5 million at Majdanek. Today, no reputable historian accepts these fantastic figures.

In addition, more and more striking evidence has been presented in recent years that simply cannot be reconciled with the allegations of mass exterminations at these camps. For example, detailed aerial reconnaissance photographs taken of Auschwitz-Birkenau on several random days in 1944 (during the height of the alleged extermination period there) were made public by the CIA in 1979. They show no trace of the piles of corpses, smoking chimneys and masses of Jews awaiting death, all of which have been alleged and would have been clearly visible if Auschwitz had indeed been an extermination center.

We now also know that the postwar "confession" of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss, which is a crucial part of the Holocaust extermination story, is a false statement that was obtained by torture. (note 2)

Other Absurd Holocaust Claims

At one time it was also seriously claimed that the Germans exterminated Jews with electricity and steam, and that they manufactured soap from Jewish corpses. For example, at Nuremberg the United States charged that the Germans killed Jews at Treblinka, not in gas chambers, as is now claimed, but by steaming them to death in "steam chambers." (note 3)

Such bizarre stories have also been quietly abandoned in recent years.

Disease Claimed Many Inmates

The Holocaust extermination story is superficially plausible. Everyone has seen the horrific photos of dead and dying inmates taken at Bergen-Belsen, Nordhausen and other concentration camps when they were liberated by British and American forces in the final weeks of the war in Europe. These unfortunate people were victims, not of an extermination program, but of disease and malnutrition brought on by the complete collapse of Germany in the final months of the war. Indeed, if there had been an extermination program, the Jews found by Allied forces at the end of the war would have long since been killed.

In the face of the advancing Soviet forces, large numbers of Jews were evacuated during the final months of the war from eastern camps and ghettos to the remaining camps in western Germany. These camps quickly became terribly overcrowded, which severely hampered efforts to prevent the spread of epidemics. Furthermore, the breakdown of the German transportation system made it impossible to supply adequate food and medicine to the camps.

Captured German Documents

At the end of the Second World War, the Allies confiscated a tremendous quantity of German documents dealing with Germany's wartime Jewish policy, which was sometimes officially referred to as the "final solution." But not a single German document has ever been found which even refers to an extermination program. To the contrary, the documents clearly show that the German "final solution" policy was one of emigration and deportation, not extermination.

Consider, for example, the confidential German Foreign Office memorandum of August 21, 1942. (note 4) "The present war gives Germany the opportunity and also the duty of solving the Jewish problem in Europe," the memorandum notes. The policy "to promote the evacuation of the Jews [from Europe] in closest cooperation with the agencies of the Reichsfuehrer SS [Himmler] is still in force." The memo noted that "the number of Jews deported in this way to the East did not suffice to cover the labor needs."

The document quotes German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop as saying that "at the end of this war, all Jews would have to leave Europe. This was an unalterable decision of the Fuehrer [Hitler] and also the only way to master this problem, as only a global and comprehensive solution could be applied and individual measures would not help very much."

The memorandum concludes by stating that the "deportations [of Jews to the East] are a further step on the way of the total solution … The deportation to the [Polish] General Government is a temporary measure. The Jews will be moved on further to the occupied [Soviet] eastern territories as soon as the technical conditions for it are given."

This unambiguous document, and others like it, are routinely suppressed or ignored by those who uphold the Holocaust extermination story.

Unreliable Testimony

Holocaust historians rely heavily on so-called "survivor testimony" to support the extermination story. But such "evidence" is notoriously unreliable. As one Jewish historian has pointed out, "most of the memoirs and reports [of "Holocaust survivors"] are full of preposterous verbosity, graphomanic exaggeration, dramatic effects, overestimated self-inflation, dilettante philosophizing, would-be lyricism, unchecked rumors, bias, partisan attacks and apologies." (note 5)

Hitler and the 'Final Solution'

There is no documentary evidence that Adolf Hitler ever gave an order to exterminate the Jews, or that he knew of any extermination program. Instead, the record shows that the German leader wanted the Jews to leave Europe, by emigration if possible and by deportation if necessary.

A document found after the war in the files of the Reich Ministry of Justice records his thinking on the Jews. In the spring of 1942, State Secretary Schlegelberger noted in a memorandum that Hitler's Chief of Chancellery, Dr. Hans Lammers, had informed him: "The Fhrer has repeatedly declared to him [Lammers] that he wants to see the solution of the Jewish problem postponed until after the war is over." (note 6)

And on July 24, 1942, Hitler emphasized his determination to remove all Jews from Europe after the war: "The Jews are interested in Europe for economic reasons, but Europe must reject them, if only out of self-interest, because the Jews are racially tougher. After this war is over, I will rigorously hold to the view … that the Jews will have to leave and emigrate to Madagascar or some other Jewish national state." (note 7)

Himmler's SS and the Camps

Jews were an important part of Germany's wartime labor force, and it was in Germany's interest to keep them alive.

The head of the SS camp administration office sent a directive dated Dec. 28, 1942, to every concentration camp, including Auschwitz. It sharply criticized the high death rate of inmates due to disease, and ordered that "camp physicians must use all means at their disposal to significantly reduce the death rate in the various camps." Furthermore, it ordered: "The camp doctors must supervise more often than in the past the nutrition of the prisoners and, in cooperation with the administration, submit improvement recommendations to the camp commandants … The camp doctors are to see to it that the working conditions at the various labor places are improved as much as possible."

Finally, the directive stressed that "The Reichsfhrer SS [Himmler] has ordered that the death rate absolutely must be reduced." (note 8)

The head of the SS department that supervised the concentration camps, Richard Gluecks, sent a circular letter to each camp commandant dated January 20, 1943. In it he ordered: "As I have already pointed out, every means must be used to lower the death rate in the camp." (note 9)

Six Million?

There is no real evidence for the incessantly repeated claim that the Germans exterminated six million Jews. It is clear, though, that millions of Jews "survived" German rule during the Second World War, including many who were interned in Auschwitz and other so-called "extermination camps." This fact alone should raise serious doubts about the extermination story.

A leading newspaper of neutral Switzerland, the daily Baseler Nachrichten, carefully estimated in June 1946 that no more than 1.5 million European Jews could have perished under German rule during the war. (note 10)

One-Sided 'Holocaustomania'

Even after more than 40 years, the stream of Holocaust films and books shows no sign of diminishing.

This relentless media campaign, which Jewish historian Alfred Lilienthal calls "Holocaustomania," portrays the fate of the Jews during the Second World War as the central event of history. There is no end to the heavy-handed motion pictures, the simplistic television specials, the vindictive hunt for "Nazi war criminals," the one-sided "educational courses," and the self-righteous appearances by politicians and celebrities at Holocaust "memorial services."

Britain's chief rabbi, Immanuel Jakobovits, has accurately described the Holocaust campaign as "an entire industry, with handsome profits for writers, researchers, film-makers, monument builders, muse-um planners and even politicians." He added that some rabbis and theologians are "partners in this big business." (note 11)

Non-Jewish victims just don't merit the same concern. For example, there are no American memorials, "study centers," or annual observances for Stalin's victims, who vastly outnumber Hitler's.

Who Benefits?

The perpetual Holocaust media blitz is routinely used to justify enormous American support for Israel and to excuse otherwise inexcusable Israeli policies, even when they conflict with American interests.

The sophisticated and well-financed Holocaust media campaign is crucially important to the interests of Israel, which owes its existence to massive annual subsidies from American taxpayers. As Prof. W.D. Rubinstein of Australia has candidly acknowledged: "If the Holocaust can be shown to be a ÔZionist myth,' the strongest of all weapons in Israel's propaganda armory collapses." (note 12)

Jewish history teacher Paula Hyman of Columbia University has observed: "With regard to Israel, the Holocaust may be used to forestall political criticism and suppress debate; it reinforces the sense of Jews as an eternally beleaguered people who can rely for their defense only upon themselves. The invocation of the suffering endured by the Jews under the Nazis often takes the place of rational argument, and is expected to convince doubters of the legitimacy of current Israeli government policy." (note 13)

One major reason that the Holocaust story has proven so durable is that the governments of the major powers also have a vested interest in maintaining it. The victorious powers of the Second World War — the United States, Soviet Russia and Britain — have a stake in portraying the defeated Hitler regime as negatively as possible. The more evil and satanic the Hitler regime appears, the more noble and justified seems the Allied cause.

For many Jews, the Holocaust has become both a flourishing business and a kind of new religion, as noted Jewish author and newspaper publisher Jacobo Timerman points out in his book, The Longest War. He reports that many Israelis, using the word Shoah, which is Hebrew for Holocaust, joke that "There's no business like Shoah business." (note 14)

The Holocaust media campaign portrays Jews as totally innocent victims, and non-Jews as morally retarded and unreliable beings who can easily turn into murderous Nazis under the right circumstances. This self-serving but distorted portrayal is meant to strengthen Jewish group solidarity and self-awareness.

A key lesson of the Holocaust story for Jews is that non-Jews are never completely trustworthy. If a people as cultured and as educated as the Germans could turn against the Jews, so the thinking goes, than surely no non-Jewish nation can ever be completely trusted. The Holocaust message is thus one of contempt for humanity.

Holocaust Hatemongering

The Holocaust story is sometimes used to promote hatred and hostility, particularly against the German people as a whole, eastern Europeans and the leadership of the Roman Catholic church.

The well-known Jewish writer, Elie Wiesel, is a former Auschwitz inmate who served as chairman of the official U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. He received the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize. This dedicated Zionist wrote in his book, Legends of Our Time: "Every Jew, somewhere in his being, should set apart a zone of hate — healthy, virile hate — for what the German personifies and for what persists in the German." (note 15)

Let Both Sides Be Heard

As even defenders of the orthodox extermination story concede, skepticism about the Holocaust story has grown dramatically in recent years.

Responding to this trend, officials in some countries — including France and Israel — have made it a crime to challenge the Holocaust story. Revisionists in France and Germany have been heavily fined for their views. Teachers in the United States and elsewhere have been summarily dismissed from their positions for daring to doubt the Holocaust story. Criminal thugs have brutally attacked prominent Holocaust revisionists; one was even killed for his views.

In spite of desperate restrictions on free speech, frantic media attacks against those who "deny the Holocaust," a seemingly perpetual Holocaust media campaign, and even physical attacks, considerable headway is being made. More and more thoughtful people in the United States and around the world are willing to express doubts about at least some of the more sensational Holocaust claims.


The Holocaust extermination story is breaking down as suppressed evidence becomes better known, and as more people become aware of the facts about what is certainly the most hyped and politicized chapter of modern history.

Artificially maintaining the hatreds and passions of the past prevents genuine reconciliation and lasting peace.

Revisionism promotes historical awareness and international understanding. That's why the work of the Institute for Historical Review is so important and deserves your support.


  1. Books and Bookmen, London, April 1975, p. 5, and in Stars and Stripes (Europe), Jan. 24, 1993, p. 14.
  2. Ruper Butler, Legions of Death (England: 1983), pp. 235-237, and R. Faurisson, Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1986-87, pp. 389-403.
  3. Nuremberg document PS-3311 (USA-293). IMT blue series, Vol. 32, pp. 153-158; IMT, Vol. 3, pp. 566- 568.; NMT green series, Vol. 5, pp. 1133, 1134.
  4. Nuremberg document NG-2586-J. NMT green series, Vol. 13, pp. 243-249.
  5. Samuel Gringauz in Jewish Social Studies (New York), January 1950, Vol. 12, p. 65.
  6. Nuremberg document PS-4025. D. Irving, G°ring: A Biography (New York: 1989), p. 349.
  7. H. Picker, Hitlers Tischgesprche im Fuehrerhaupt quartier (Stuttgart: 1976), p. 456.
  8. Nuremberg document PS-2171, Annex 2; NC and A red series, Vol. 4, pp. 833-834.
  9. Nuremberg document NO-1523; NMT green series, Vol. 5, pp. 372-373.
  10. Baseler Nachrichten, June 13, 1946, p. 2.
  11. H. Shapiro, "Jakobovits," Jerusalem Post (Israel), Nov. 26, 1987, p. 1.
  12. Quadrant (Australia), Sept. 1979, p. 27.
  13. New York Times Magazine, Sept. 14, 1980, p. 79.
  14. The Longest War (New York: Vintage, 1982), p. 15.
  15. Legends of Our Time (New York: Schocken Books, 1982), chap. 12, p. 142.