The Holocaust Historiography Project

Letter to 'The Nation'


1 October 1962

Dear Editor:

I would like to make a few comments about the book review by Ernest Zaugg (The Nation, 14 July 1962) dealing with my three books about the German concentration camps, the responsibility for World War II and the Eichmann trial (The Lie of Ulysses, Ulysses Betrayed by his Fellows, and The Real Eichmann Trial).


Until Eichmann’s arrest it was a sacred dogma of journalists to believe there were orders to exterminate the Jews issued by the top Nazis of the Third Reich. Nobody has ever produced such an order, but this has not prevented the theory that such orders were given from being stubbornly maintained. Then came the Eichmann trial. It was deemed necessary to prove that he was responsible for the exterminatons and had acted without orders. Hence, finally, the lack of evidence of such orders from the top Nazis was admitted. Dr. Kubovy, Directer of the Tel Aviv Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation, wrote (La Terre Retrouvée, 15 December 1960):

No document signed by Hitler, Himmler or Heydrich exists which speaks of the extermination of the Jews. The word “Extermination” does not appear in Göring’s letter to Heydrich about the final solution of the Jewish problem.

This is what I have been saying since 1948. It disposes of the theory of “deliberate genocide” in which Mr. Zaugg seems to believe.

Methods of Genocide

The official thesis is that 6 million Jews were exterminated, without orders naturally, as is now admitted. To exterminate such a number an extraordinary method was needed-to wit, gas chambers.

In this matter European public opinion has changed greatly since the first Nuremberg trials (1945-6). After a lecture tour I made in Germany covering a dozen cities, the Institute for Contemporary History (Institut für Zeitgeschichte) of Muenchen, a democratic institute, of course, was obliged on 19 August 1962 to state officially that “there were no gas chambers in any of the concentration camps in the territory called by the Nazis 'Greater Germany,' “none in Dachau, none in Bergen Belsen, Mauthausen, Ravensbrück, etc. One concludes that the witnesses in the 13 Nuremberg trials and in the Eichmann trial who stated under oath that there were gas chambers in these camps were no more than vulgar false witnesses.

Mr. Zaugg accuses me of whitewashing the Nazis and giving aid and comfort to the neo-Nazis. My answer to this charge is that the best way to give aid and comfort to the neo-Nazis, if such there be, is to accuse the Germans of crimes which were never committed. It is astonishing that after 17 years of false accusations more damage has not been done in this respect.


The question of the Auschwitz gas chambers has not been fully cleared up. They are the only ones which are still a problem. Thanks, in part, to my research we know the following:

a) On 8 April 1942 the economic section of the RSHA (Reichssicherheitshauptamt) ordered from Topf and Sons, Erfurt, crematoriums (not gas chambers) equipped with showers (Badeanstalten) and morgues (Leichenkeller). These showerbaths and morgues have been presented to the world as gas chambers. The official version is that these gas chambers were destroyed by the Germans on 17 October 1944 and rebuilt by the Russians after the war-just as the “gas chambers” of Dachau were built after the war by the Americans. Now scholars are wondering whether the Russian-built gas chambers of Auschwitz are not perhaps “Potemkin villages,” as are those built by the Americans in Dachau.

b) All witnesses at Nuremberg were agreed that these installations at Auschwitz which became “gas chambers” were constructed “in the heart of winter 1942-3,” which means at the earliest the end of January or the beginning of February.

c) If these installations were gas chambers, they were at least not used as such “from autumn 1943 to May 1944” (Kastner Report, which, when printed by Kindler in Germany, was edited to suppress this passage). The only question that now remains is whether they were used as gas chambers from February until autumn, 1943, and after May, 1944.

We hope this will be cleared up in the trial of Richard Baer, camp commander at Auschwitz from 10 November 1943 to 25 January 1944. It is very doubtful that the gas chambers were used in the Baer period, which is perhaps the reason that since his arrest in October, 1960, his trial has been postponed five times. He was to be tried last November, but now the trial has again been postponed until spring! When and if this trial takes place the matter of the Auschwitz “gas chambers” will, we hope, be definitely cleared up.

There are only eleven doubtful months in which perhaps people were gassed in Auschwitz. How many people could have been gassed in these eleven months, if any were gassed?

The Six Million

It has been accepted as gospel truth that the Nazis murdered six million Jews. First question: where did they find these six million Jews, since the prewar Jewish statistics (Arthur Ruppin) prove without doubt that in the territories occupied by Hitler there never were six million Jews.

Furthermore, a booklet published July, 1961, by the Institute for Jewish Affairs of the World Jewish Congress, page 18, states that 900,000 of the six million “perished” in Auschwitz. Second question: where did the other 5.1 million “perish"? Not in the gas chambers of “Greater Germany,” since the official Institute for Contemporary History of Muenchen has stated that they never existed.

Perhaps at Chelmno, Belzec, Majdanek, Sobibor or Treblinka, all situated in Poland? The only document which speaks of gas chambers in these camps is the Gerstein document. It states there were “gas chambers of 25 square meters in which 750 to 800 persons were exterminated at one time.” Gerstein, however, according to the official version, hanged himself in his prison in Paris on 4 July 1945. The document he allegedly wrote was so obviously phony that it was rejected as evidence at Nuremberg on 30 January 1946, and not permitted to be read before the court.

Jewish statistics of the prewar period, compared with those of after the war, show that the number of Jews who died during the war in the camps or elsewhere was about 1 million, a large enough figure. To explain it, it is not necessary to resort either to “deliberate genocide” or to “gas chambers,” since anyone who has experienced the concentration camps knows that conditions there were bad enough to account for a large number of deaths. Many were killed in the guerrilla warfare on the Eastern front and in the saturation bombings.

Everything else which Mr. Zaugg says against my books shows that his imagination is without limits and that he has great talents, not for historical investigations, but for “Wild West” tales. This is a general weakness of American journalists. They do not realize that public opinion in Europe has evolved since 1945 as more and more light has been cast on wartime events. Most of the exaggerations about the concentration camps, the neo-Nazis and the revival of German militarism are fabrications invented by the manipulators of Bolshevism to isolate Germany from its neighbors and prevent the birth of the great nation, Europe.

By believing these legends the American press played the game of the Reds and helped lead the Slavs to the gates of Hamburg — the Slavs whom Charlemagne threw back to the banks of the Vistula 1,100 years ago. Do these irresponsible publicists want the Cossack horses drinking from the Rhine and the Russian tanks parading in the Sahara? If so, they have but to continue to support the “historical verities” of the Communists.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Paul Rassinier
Professor Emeritus

* This letter was never published by The Nation.

Bibliographic information
Author: Paul Rassinier
Title: Letter to 'The Nation'
Source: The Journal for Historical Review
Date: Winter 1981
Issue: Volume 2 number 4
Location: Page 305
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.