The Holocaust Historiography Project


Less Than Slaves

  • LESS THAN SLAVES, Benjamin B. Ferencz, Harvard University Press, 250ss, hardback. $15.00. ISBN: 0-674-52525-6.

reviewed by Lewis Brandon (David McCalden)

The author of this latest Exterminationist tome will already be familiar to those Revisionists who have read Richard Harwood’s masterpiece of research Nuremberg a Other War Crimes Trials (available from IHR at $2. 50). Dealing with the American Military Trial number 10 — the Krupp trial — Harwood reveals how Ferencz was one of those “American” prosecutors who stayed on in Germany long after the dust had settled at the Nuremberg Court of “Justice.”

Ferencz’s task was to secure financial compensation for individual Jews around the world who felt that they had suffered some financial loss at the hands of the Nazis. But this did not prevent him vigorously lobbying against proposed clemency for the many hundreds of German “war criminals” languishing in prison; in part due to Ferencz’s efforts in court.

Ferencz’s latest book is based on his unique knowledge and experience; first as a prosecutor in the Krupp case, and later as director of the negotiations to secure compensation for Jewish survivors of labor camps. The remarkable thing about this book is that, although it deals almost totally with the Mill of Death itself — Auschwitz — there is hardly any mention at all of “gas chambers” or “Zyklon B” or even an “extermination program.” The only mentions are on page 15, where he quotes Nuremberg document NO-365, which is an unsigned letter; pages 16-21, which rely on the notorious forgery, the Höss confessions; and on a very few other pages, where the reference to “extermination” is cursory and unreferenced.

According to the author, Jews not fit for work in the Krupp and other plants at Auschwitz would be packed off to nearby Birkenau (Brzezinka) for gassing. The camps of Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka and Chelmno (Kulmhof-an-der-Neer) were the only camps purely for extermination. He also mentions yet another camp called Jungfernhof, near Riga in Latvia, where Jews were shipped from as far away as Austria for extermination. However, he does not attempt to explain why they were sent over 1000 miles for gassing, when they passed en route perfectly functional extermination camps such as Birkenau, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka, which were all reportedly in full operation, gassing Jews night and day, and belching forth smoke and ashes.

The “revised” Exterminationist view of Ferencz tallies rather closely with that of Gitta Sereny’s revision of Holocaust mythology in the New Statesman of 2 November 1979. They both place the exterminations at the four camps Chelmno, Sobibor, Treblinka and Belzec (although Ferencz adds Birkenau and the mysterious Latvian camp, Jungfernhop. Could it be that there is some collusion at work here, whereby the Exterminationist high priests have got together to get their stories straight? Perhaps they realize that the game is up, as far as Auschwitz and the Old Reich camps are concerned, and now they are trying to salvage whatever they can from the rapidly crumbling Holocaust house of cards? They have sought refuge in the only possible corner, which is to maintain that the exterminations took place at camps which have now been obliterated without trace, and that the function of Auschwitz and the western camps was to work people to death.

Regrettably, even this position is somewhat untenable, since this very book is about all those thousands upon thousands of Jews who survived the very “horrific working conditions” which were supposed to destroy people through work! One of the most useful appendices in this very professionally laid out book is a list of claims paid to such survivors. As of the end of 1973, nearly 15,000 claimants from 42 different countries had been paid 52 million Deutschmarks. Perhaps the author’s acknowledged origins in Transylvania have something to do with this vampirical campaign.

Ferencz now runs a prestigious law office in New York City which specializes in International Law. His book has already been favorably reviewed in the Communist Daily World (19 December 1979) and in the New York Times Book Review (9 December 1979); in the latter case by the discredited “historian” Martin Gilbert.

Bibliographic information
Author: Brandon, Lewis
Title: Less Than Slaves (review)
Source: The Journal for Historical Review
Date: Summer 1980
Issue: Volume 1 number 2
Location: Page 179
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.