On the subject of the Nazi gas chambers, Jean-Marie Le Pen recently stated: “If you take a thousand-page book on the Second World War, the concentration camps occupy two pages and the gas chambers ten or fifteen lines, and that's called a detail.”
He might have brought up some even harder hitting and more precise arguments, and referred to Eisenhower, Churchill, de Gaulle, Elie Wiesel, René Rémond, Daniel Goldhagen, and even the text of the Nuremberg Tribunal judgment.
Three of the best known works on the Second World War are General Eisenhower's Crusade in Europe (New York: Doubleday [Country Life Press], 1948), Winston Churchill's The Second World War (London: Cassell, 6 vols., 1948-1954), and the Mémoires de guerre of General de Gaulle (Paris: Plon, 3 vols., 1954-1959). In these three works not the least mention of Nazi gas chambers is to be found.
Eisenhower's Crusade in Europe is a book of 559 pages; the six volumes of Churchill's Second World War total 4,448 pages; and de Gaulle's three-volume Mémoires de guerre is 2,054 pages. In this mass of writing, which altogether totals 7,061 pages (not including the introductory parts), published from 1948 to 1959, one will find no mention either of Nazi “gas chambers,” a “genocide” of the Jews, or of “six million” Jewish victims of the war.
The same goes for the autobiographical account, Night (New York: Hill and Wang, 1960), in which Elie Wiesel relates his experience of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Moreover, in the first volume of his memoirs, All Rivers Run to the Sea (New York: Random House/Knopf, 1995, p. 74), he writes, “Let the gas chambers remain closed to prying eyes, and to imagination.”
In the third volume of his Introduction à l'histoire de notre temps ("Introduction to the History of Our Times"), René Rémond, who was then president of the commission on the history of the deportation within the Comité d'histoire de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale (Committee on the History of the Second World War), made no mention whatsoever of these gas chambers (Le XXe siècle de 1914 à nos jours ["The 20th Century from 1914 to the Present"], Le Seuil, 1974). Fourteen years later, when he had become president of the Institut d'histoire du temps présent (Institute of Contemporary History), once again he made no mention of them in a 1,013-page work entitled Notre Siècle de 1918 à 1988 ("Our Century from 1916 to 1988,” Paris: Fayard, 1988).
Since March 1996, the Jewish-American historian Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has been treated as the darling of the media the world over, thanks to his book Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (New York: Knopf, 1996, xiv-634 pp.). While he does mention Nazi gas chambers, it is for little more than to note that “their efficiency has been greatly overstated” (p. 10), and that they have always been, and wrongly, “the overwhelming focus of popular and even scholarly attention” (p. 165). Goldhagen goes as far as to declare that “gassing was really epiphenomenal to the Germans' slaughter of the Jews” (p. 533, n. 81) and that “the imbalance of attention devoted to the gas chambers needs to be corrected” (p. 535).
France's Fabius-Gayssot law of 1990 specifically forbids the “challenging” or “contesting” of the portions of the judgment of the International Military Tribunal of Nuremberg (September 30 and October 1, 1946) relating to “crimes against humanity,” including the use of execution gas chambers. But it is noteworthy that, of the 84,000 words of the judgment's text (in the French version), only 520, extremely vague, are devoted to gas chambers. This is 1/160th of the entire text, or 0.62 percent. In other words, 99.38 percent of the judgment does not deal with these gas chambers.
Why were Eisenhower, Churchill, de Gaulle, Elie Wiesel, René Rémond, Daniel Goldhagen, and the Nuremberg Tribunal so reserved on the subject of the Nazi gas chambers? Of course, revisionists have explanations for this reticence that, however, the Fabius-Gayssot law forbids us to make public in France.
My own explanations, which cannot be published in France without committing a crime, would include the following:
Robert Faurisson is Europe's leading Holocaust revisionist scholar. He was educated at the Paris Sorbonne, and served as a professor at the University of Lyon in France from 1974 until 1990. His writings on the Holocaust issue have appeared in two books and numerous scholarly articles, many of which have been published in this Journal. This essay, less the final section headed “Why Such Reticence?,” was published in the New Year's Day, 1998, editions of the French periodicals Rivarol ("Avez-vous des textes?” p. 2), and, with some slight modifications, in National Hebdo ("Précisions sur le détail,” p. 15).
|Source:||The Journal for Historical Review|
|Issue:||Volume 17 number 2|
|Attribution:||“Reprinted from The Journal of Historical Review, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA.”|
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