The Holocaust Historiography Project

Letters To The 'New Statesman' (which were never published)


  • The following letters were mailed to the editor of the New Statesman, 10 Great Turnstile, London WC1V 7HJ, Great Britain, following the publication of an article attacking Revisionism on 2 November 1979, by Gitta Sereny.

18 November 1979

Dear Sir:

In general Gitta Sereny’s few substantive arguments (NS, 2 November) are answered in my book The Hoax of the Twentieth Century. Here I wish to focus on one point that, in view of her remarks, can be profitably developed: supposed “confessions” of German officials, either at trials or in imprisonment after trials.

The key point is that the objective served by such statements should be presumed to be personal interest rather than historical truth. At a “trial” some specific thing is to be tried, i.e. the court is supposed to start by treating that thing as an open question.

The “extermination” allegation has never been at question in any practical sense in any of the relevant trials, and in some it has not been open to question in a formal legal sense. The question was always only personal responsibility in a context in which the extermination allegation was unquestionable. Thus the “confessions” of Germans, which in all cases sought to deny or mitigate personal responsibility, were merely the only defenses they could present in their circumstances.

This is not exactly “plea-bargaining", where there is negotiation between prosecution and defense, but it is related. All it amounts to is presenting a story that it was possible for the court to accept. The logical dilemma is inescapable once the defendant resolves to take the “trial” seriously. To deny the legend was not the way to stay out of jail.

Moreover it is not true, as Sereny implicitly asserts, that this logical dilemma no longer holds when the defendant is serving a life sentence. If he is seeking pardon or parole, he would not try to overturn what has already been decided in court; that is not the way pardon or parole works. For example, at the Frankfurt “Auschwitz trial” of 1963-1965, so monstrous were the supposed deeds of Robert Mulka that many thought his sentence to 14 years at hard labor unduly light. Then, in a denouement that would amaze all who have not studied this subject closely, Mulka was quietly released less than four months later. However, if Mulka had claimed in any plea (as he could have truthfully), either at his trial or afterwards, that there were no exterminations at Auschwitz and that he was in a position to know, then he would have served a full life sentence in the former case and the full fourteen years in the latter, if he lived that long.

It is not widely known, but there have been many such instances — the subject is hard to investigate[1]. In no instance would it have made any sense, in terms of immediate self interest, to deny the exterminations. That was not the way to get out of jail.

A related point is that it can be quite perilous, to put it mildly, for any German to question the Extermination legend. For example Dr. Wilhelm Stglich, who was stationed near Auschwitz in 1944 in an anti-aircraft unit, has published such opinion, and has been subjected to legally formulated persecution ever since.[2] Even I, an American, have been the victim of the official repression in Germany.[3] There is also the considerable extra-legal repression that e.g. caused Axel Springer, West German “press czar” and supposedly a powerful man, to withdraw the first edition of Hellmut Diwald’s Geschichte der Deutschen, as Sereny mentioned.

We do not need “confessions” or “trials” to determine that the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, or the reprisals at Lidice following Heydrich’s assassination, really took place.

Now, the extermination legend does not claim a few instances of homicide, but alleges events continental in geographical scope, of three years in temporal scope, and of several million in scope of victims. How ludicrous, then, is the position of the bearers of the legend, who in the last analysis will attempt to “prove” such events on the basis of “confessions” delivered under the fabric of hysteria, censorship, intimidation, persecution and blatant illegality that has been shrouding this subject for 35 years.

I have enclosed photocopies of the referenced documentation for your examination.

Dr. Arthur R. Butz

  1. Los Angeles Herald Examiner, 2 September 1979, p. E2.
  2. Die Zeit, 25 May 1979, p. 5.
  3. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 16 June 1979, p. 23.

10 November 1979


I am grateful for Gitta Sereny’s contribution to Holocaust Revisionism, since her article (NS 2 November) did what I originally insisted to Messrs Ainzstein and Wheen had to be done, namely confront and debate this issue. It is therefore enormously significant that Miss Sereny now concedes that gassings in Germany were “a myth,” that those who died in camps in Germany “were not exterminated,” that Auschwitz “was not primarily an extermination camp” (completely contradicting the N¸rnberg judgment that it was “set aside for this main purpose"), that “mistakes have been made” which must be explained and corrected, and that some testimonies have been “partial or complete fakes.” This is real progress.

Essentially what Miss Sereny has been forced to do, under the impact of Revisionism, is to narrow down the alleged extermination program to only four camps at Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka; camps which no longer exist and for which documentary evidence of gassings is supplied only by the notorious Gerstein Statement. This document, which contradicts Miss Sereny’s own thesis by claiming that Auschwitz was the worst of the extermination camps, contains absurd and impossible nonsense such as that the Nazis gassed 25 million people and that 700-800 victims were crammed into gas chambers 25 meters square (in which case they would have died from suffocation first). It also describes a visit by Hitler to an extermination camp which even Reitlinger admits never took place.

This palpable fraud is the sole document attesting to gassings at the four camps mentioned by Miss Sereny, and presumably is also the source for her view that gas chamber exterminations at these camps “evolved” from the euthanasia program. Auschwitz, of course, would have to be excluded from this evolution, since the testimony of Hss (accepted as valid by Miss Sereny) gives a completely different account of the origin of the gassings. This curious break in the structure of the story does not appear to worry her.

Miss Sereny makes an unsuccessful effort to counter my claim that no order, invoice, plan or blueprint for a gas chamber exists. What I wanted was proof of construction. Is it not remarkable that, although there are thousands of documents relating to the construction of crematoria, including invoices accurate almost to the last Pfennig, one cannot find a single order for construction, or a plan or an invoice or a photograph of a gas chamber? Is it not amazing that we know nothing of these gas chambers, such prodigious weapons of murder, that testimony about them is so wildly contradictory, and that they have not been made the subject of the most scrupulous archaeological and scientific examination?

In the absence of such a document, Miss Sereny cites NO-365. This is a typed draft of a letter, and it has a very suspicious history. It is apparently initialled by Dr. Wetzel, a member of Roseberg’s Ministry. Wetzel is one of the many mysterious cases of minor officials whose initialled documents constituted trial evidence but who themselves became immune from prosecution. He was not arrested until 1961, but no trial ever materialized. He had lived undisturbed until that time because he had supplied Reitlinger with material which gave credence to the gas chamber thesis of his book The Final Solution. “In the opinion of the authorities Wetzel was indebted for his incognito, which lasted for years, to the British historian Gerald Reitlinger …” (Allguer Anzeigeblatt, 18 August 1961). In other words, we doubtless have here another fabrication after the event, like the Gerstein Statement.

I was not impressed by Miss Sereny’s attempt to dismiss the academic standing of Revisionists by stressing that Faurrison is a professor of French literature, Butz a professor of engineering and that Diwald, though a historian, is a mediaevalist. May I point out that none of the so-called experts on the Holocaust are historians. Reitlinger is an art expert and Hilberg is a sociologist.

Finally, I would like to ask Miss Sereny, in what precise way does the “mountain of evidence” proving that gas chambers were operated in Poland differ from the mountain of evidence presented at military tribunals to prove that there had been gas chambers in camps in Germany where it is now admitted there had been none?

Yours faithfully
Richard Verrall

30 November 1979

Dear Sir:

re: “The Men Who Whitewash Hitler", 2 November 1979

Noam Chomsky, the famous professor (of Jewish origin) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is aware of the research work I do on what Revisionist Historians term “the gas chamber and genocide hoax.” He informed me that Gitta Sereny had mentioned my name in the above article, and stated that I had been referred to “in an extraordinarily unfair way.”

I have just read the article in question, and it is an insult to all those who — without political motivation — devote themselves to the discovery of historical truth, by means of routine historical research. It is a special insult and outrage to the memory of my fellow countryman Paul Rassinier, himself a former concentration camp inmate who died in 1967. Rassinier sacrificed his life to the service of truth, and to the denunciation of an enormous historical lie.

“There is no proof whatsoever that Nero set fire to Rome.” The historian who first said that did not want to “whitewash” Nero; he was only concerned with the truth. in the same way, we do not try to “whitewash” Hitler when we say that there is not the slightest proof that he ordered the “extermination” of the Jews; or even that such “extermination” took place. Certainly persecution existed; but there was no “extermination,” “genocide” or “Holocaust.”

Gitta Sereny is unable to offer a single item of evidence to the contrary. She does mention N¸rnberg document NO-365, but this “document” is not even signed, and is therefore worthless as evidence. She mentions the “Commissar Order"; but clearly she has not read the document, for the meaning of it is not what she thinks. She ought to take a look at NOKW-1076. She goes on to mention the “Aktion Reinhardt,” but again, this does not imply any mass killing; it merely refers to the confiscation of the property of deported Jews.

She quotes a letter published in Die Zeit, written by Professor Broszat. Again, one wonders if she read this letter, for it is dated 19 August 1960, not 1962. It appears on page 16. This letter states quite clearly that there were no mass killings in “gas chambers” either in Dachau or anywhere else in the former Reich. May I remind you that up until 1960 we were supposed to have thousands of proofs, confessions, and eye-witness evidence, that there were mass killings at Dachau, Ravensbrück, Buchenwald, and so on. Therefore, we now have to acknowledge that the authors of such confessions (Suhren, Schwarzhuber, Dr. Treite … ) must have been subjected to “persuasive questioning” on the part of their French, British, and American jailers. This should give food for thought, at least as far as the “confessions” are concerned.

Rudolf Hss (not to be confused with Rudolf Hess, still imprisoned in Spandau) was one of the three successive commandants of Auschwitz. He is the only one to have left confessions.” These “confessions” are preposterous in the extreme. Besides the Treblinka and Belzec camps, he has invented a third camp at Wolzek — a place which cannot be found on any map of Poland! Hss was handed over to the Polish authorities by the British. After a travesty of justice masquerading as a trial, he was hanged. But while he was awaiting death, his communist jailers allowed him write his “confessions” in the best traditions of the Moscow showtrials.

To explain away the contradictions and the absurdities of his earlier declarations to the British interrogators, the communists allowed him to recall that he had been tortured by the British Field Security Police “with riding-whip and alcohol” and then tortured some more by a British major, who was also a magistrate, at Minden-on-Weser. Hss signed his affidavit (PS-3868) for the British on 5 April 1946 — an affidavit written in American-English, which there is no evidence he could understand. Ten days later, Hss appeared as a witness before the International Military Tribunal at N¸rnberg, and his “evidence” on Auschwitz astonished the entire world. In actual fact, this “evidence” was not uttered by Hss himself, but consisted of an American prosecutor reading to him selected passages from his affidavit, and Hss blankly answering “Yes.” According to many people, Hss was in a state of “schizophrenic apathy.”

Regarding the tortures systematically inflicted on the German soldiers and officers by the Allies, one should read Sir Reginald Paget’s book Manstein: His Campaign & His Trial (Collins, 1951). On page 109 one finds that the (U.S.) Simpson Inquiry Commission “reported among other things that of the 139 cases they had investigated, 137 had had their testicles permanently destroyed by kicks received from the American War Crimes Investigating Team.”

But torture is not the only way history can be distorted. Many journalists and other writers simply pretend that the accused has made statements which they never in fact made! To give one example, the general public believes that Sergeant Franz Gustav Wagner has cynically declared at Sao Paulo: “At Sobibor we used to gas thousands of people, and this did not disturb me in the least: it was my job.” However, a paper, like Le Monde, which is sometimes well-informed, has revealed that in fact Wagner had declared he had never taken part in any assassination of Jews or any other inmate, but that he was only doing his job. As you see, some journalists have decided that “his job” was killing people.

The journalists who do not care about truth are simply following the lead of the judges and magistrates in every country (particularly Western Germany) who, for the past 35 years, have taken it upon themselves to judge “war criminals” (a phrase thought up by the victors to apply only to the vanquished). The N¸rnberg International Tribunal itself has given us a model of this indifference to the truth. Here are some extracts from its statutes:

Article 19: “The Tribunal shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence ( … )”

Article 21: “The Tribunal shall not require proof of facts of common knowledge, but shall take judicial notice thereof ( … )”

The Institute for Historical Review, PO Box 1306, Torrance, California 90505, USA, has offered a reward of $50,000 to anyone who can bring definite proof that the Germans used “gas chambers” to kill Jews. Gitta Sereny might be interested.

Zyklon B is hydrocyanic acid; still used in France to disinfect ships. It adheres strongly to surfaces. To enter a place which has been disinfected with it, one has to wait nearly 24 hours for natural aeration (not ventilation). Now, here is my question: How could the members of the “Sonderkommando” enter the lethal “gas chamber” immediately after the death of the victims, and while eating and drinking; that is to say, if I understand correctly, without even a gas mask? How could they pull out with their bare hands the thousands of cyanided corpses drenched in an atmosphere of hydrocyanic acid? How could they cut hair, pull out teeth and so on, when in an American prison gas chamber there are 40 operations which need to be done (including partial neutralization of hydrocyanic acid by ammonia) before going into the cubicle with gas masks, rubber gloves, and apron, in order to carefully clean the corpse so that the doctor and his assistants should not be poisoned? If the Germans had not cared about the health of the “Sonderkommando” members, these men would have died on the spot, and so the “gas chamber” would never have received its next batches of victims.

The aerial photographs of Auschwitz recently published by the CIA show that everything is in complete contradiction with everything we have been told by the so-called eyewitnesses, about crowds of people waiting to be murdered, and the heavy smoke perpetually rising from the crematorium chimneys.

As for Sobibor and Treblinka, one should read Ms. Sereny’s own book Into That Darkness (AndrÈ Deutsch, 1974). In 70 hours of talks with Franz Stangl, Ms. Sereny did not ask one question about the technicalities of the “gas chambers.” What kind of gas? What mechanism for gassing? What chemical process? How many victims? How was it possible to enter right away? There is not even one shred of evidence, nor one item of proof, that even one “gas chamber” existed in either Sobibor or Treblinka. Ms. Sereny does not even give the real plans of the camps!

I am neither a former Nazi, nor a neo-Nazi. I hate fascism and any form of persecution. But because I have declared that the “gas chambers” and “genocide” are one and the same historical lie, I have been subjected to abuse, I have been assaulted, I cannot give lectures in my university (even though the behavior of my own students has been perfectly correct), I am prosecuted. My life has become most difficult, but it does have purpose, and I know that I shall go my own way. It is my duty.

Robert Faurisson

17 January 1980

Dear Sir:

I am writing to ask you why you have not published any of the letters you received from people whose views were deprecated and misrepresented in Gitta Sereny’s quite lengthy article of 2 November 1979.

Intellectual honesty, as well as ordinary decency, requires that you grant such people 6 right of reply. Refusal to grant that right constitutes dishonorable, or more specifically cowardly, journalism.

Dr. Arthur R. Butz

24 January 1980

Dear Butz,

Letters from Verrall and other sympathizers of yours were not published by the New Statesman because in my opinion they — like you — have some time ago excluded themselves from the decencies of intellectual debate. It would make no more sense to enter the intellectual debate with you than it would have done to do so with Goebbels.

Yours sincerely,
Bruce Page
New Statesman

Bibliographic information
Author: Butz, Arthur R.; Faurisson, Robert; Verrall, Richard
Title: Letters to the “New Statesman”
Source: The Journal for Historical Review
Date: Summer 1980
Issue: Volume 1 number 2
Location: Page 153
ISSN: 0195-6752
Attribution: “Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA.”
Please send a copy of all reprints to the Editor.