The Holocaust Historiography Project

The Razor and the Ring

John Weir

“Plurality is not to be assumed without necessity.” William of Ockham

The fourteenth century Franciscan theologian, William of Ockham, is credited with using a method to trim logical absurdities out of arguments that came to be named for him. This method, today known as Occam’s Razor, or “Entities are not to be multiplied without necessity,” was developed to show that the realm of theology was separate from that of science; scientific proof for the existence of God, he concluded, was not possible. Therefore science and theology, being different, required different methods for their advancement.

This division of science from theology allowed modernism to take hold in the West. Scientific investigation could now go forward unfettered by religious dogma, which men relegated to the world of metaphysics. Scientific knowledge thereby became restricted to that which could be observed and tested. Theology, on the other hand, advanced through thoughtful speculation and faith.

The basis of the razor is simplicity. A model based on the simplest explanation of the data available is usually the best. Scientists and mathematicians, therefore, strive for simplicity and elegance in their theories describing the physical reality that surrounds them.

Consequently, a basic question that needs answering is whether history is to be described using scientific principles, since the events of history occur in the physical world, or whether it is part of theology, since historical events are used in the making of myths that support a particular world view and popular basic philosophical truths.

Recently, several documents have been “discovered” in archives. A few of them have only recently been declassified, and they purportedly shed light on certain details of the Jewish Holocaust that were not known before. These recent revelations are an illustration of the taffy pull of history that is going on now between the scientific Occam’s Razor and Holocaust theology’s magic decoder ring.

For Zionists, the Holocaust is more than an historical event. It is the embodiment of their view of the world. The Shoah verifies that Jews can never trust Gentiles, but must control their own destiny. Otherwise, only death — at the hand of the Gentiles — awaits them. The Holocaust is proof of that and reinforces the need for a Jewish state to safeguard their survival. The theological dogma to this must only be supported — not undercut — by historical events. Therefore, events and documents dealing with the fate of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis must be interpreted only in a way that supports this Holocaust theology and Zionist view of reality.

The first of the documents is a Chilean diplomatic report dated November 24, 1941, and was in the hands of the American Office of Strategic Services [the chief U.S. intelligence agency during the war — ed.] by March 1942. This report has been quoted in the press to read in part “The Jewish problem is being partially solved in the Protectorate [Reich Protectorate of Bohemia], as it has been decided to eradicate all the Jews and send some to Poland and others to the town of Terezin, whilst looking for a more remote place.” The press articles somehow concluded from this that the OSS, and therefore the American government, knew the Germans planned to kill all of the Jews of Europe by March of 1942 and that the Germans had planned this by the previous November. Yet that is clearly not what the Chilean diplomat’s report says, or means.

Next, in January of 1942, the famous Wannsee Conference was held to finalize the details of the extermination of the Jews, or so it has been said. Yet this is not what the minutes of the meeting actually say. They read, in part, in translation to English as follows: “Under proper direction the Jews should now in the course of the Final Solution be brought to the East in a suitable way for the use as labor… The evacuated Jews are to be bought first group by group into the so-called transit ghettos, in order to be transported from there farther to the East.” This is consistent with the Chilean document: Jews were to be deported to the East.

The third document was very recently discovered and published. Its publication was treated by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) in an article posted on their Web site on Wednesday, January 16, 2002. (See:

This document is a translation of an intercepted German encoded message, dated January 11, 1943, that summarized the activity at the so-called transit ghettoes, described in the Wannsee Protocol, for the year 1942.

The JTA’s correspondent, Toby Axelrod, states that this intercept “indicates” the number of Jews killed at these “extermination camps” during 1942. Enter the decoder ring, here not the cereal box premium once prized by aspiring boy “G-men,” but rather a mighty decipherer of hidden meanings in Holocaust texts. The document doesn’t say the Jews were killed, it only indicates the number for each camp: 434,508 at Belzec, 101,370 at Sobibor, and 713,555 at Treblinka. The document also provides a total of 24,733 for Lublin (Majdanek), but since Lublin is not considered by the keepers of the Holocaust to be an extermination camp, that is omitted from the article.

If this document doesn’t in fact describe mass exterminations, what does it reveal about the fate of the Jews at these camps? The encoded wireless telegraph message marked “State secret!” describes these numbers as “recorded arrivals.” In the document the same terminology is used for Lublin as is used for the imagined “extermination camps,” but the wielders of the decoder ring can tell the difference: When the Nazis used the term “arrival” for three of the four camps, that “indicated” the Jews were killed on arrival, but — for one out of the four — it did not.

The total recorded arrivals for the four camps for the year 1942 was 1,274,166. It was this number that stimulated the interest of researchers Stephan Tyas and Peter Witte, the discoverers of the intercept, because it matches a number which appears in an April 1943 secret statistical report by a Nazi statistician, Richard Korherr, on “The Final Solution of the European Jewish Problem.” (See David Irving’s website, at

This report was assembled by Korherr on the order of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. The purpose of the report was to estimate the change in the number of Jews in Nazi-controlled territory from 1933 to the end of 1942. Korherr subdivided his statistics into several categories: Deaths over Births, Emigration, Evacuation, and Other. There was no listing for “Killed in Death Camps” or anything like it. The number that appeared in the intercept and also in Korherr’s report is listed under the heading “Transport of Jews from the Eastern Provinces to the Russian East: Processed through the Camps in the Government-General,” which falls under the “evacuation” category.

Because the number of deaths for Jews at Lublin, as of the end of 1942, is recorded separately in Korherr’s report as 14,348, it is obvious that “arrivals” means something other than “murdered” in the context of the January, 1943 intercept, because the figure in it is over ten thousand higher than the number listed as dead for Lublin (Majdanek) by Korherr in his report. In light of the Korherr report, therefore, the decoder ring “solution” of the January 11, 1943, is an arrant fraud.

Though it is clear from the context of his report that Korherr didn’t consider “evacuated” to mean “killed,” today’s guardians of “Truth and Memory” reject the obvious. Korherr’s report was a secret document created for Himmler, who certainly would have known what the report was about, because he had commissioned it. Yet we are told that it contains code words to hide the fact the Jews were being murdered en masse — despite the report’s explicit statement that the evacuated Jews were to be considered a reduction in the population of Europe’s Jews for purposes of the report only.

Like the word “arrival,” the terms “transported east,” “evacuated,” “resettled,” and “sent to Poland” are all phrases which mean “killed,” according to the Holocaust cryptographers. This principle, applied to Nazi documents dealing with the Jews, can make just about any word mean “murdered.” All you need is the Holocaust document decoder ring. Those who wield this wondrous ring can discover new meaning even in documents that have already been decrypted and translated. Even better, with this magical device one can find any meaning desired.

The decoder ring is the theological opposite of the scientific razor. It allows one to add a layer of complexity so that evidence can be manipulated to fit the theory. No longer does a document have to mean what it says. For dogmatists, this makes the decoder ring much more useful than the razor, for Occam’s Razor enjoins inflexible simplicity, while the ring promises infinite possibilities and complexity.

The conclusion to this conundrum is rather simple: since there are two choices of how to interpret Holocaust documents, which to select depends on one’s philosophical outlook.

If the answer has already decided upon, apply the ring: then “arrival” means murdered; and “evacuated” means murdered; “resettled” means murdered as well, as does “transported.” This is convenient when restating dogmas known a priori.

Conversely, if the answer has yet to be determined, apply the razor. The documents mean what they say: The Jews were assembled and transported east by the Nazis where the Jews were put into ghettoes deep inside occupied Soviet territory.

Which to use is a matter of taste. Revisionist historians employ Occam’s razor; the defenders of “Truth and Memory” use their Holocaust decoder rings, which allow the evidence to “converge” wherever, and however, their dogmas desire.

About the author

John Weir is a computer programer/analyst who lives with his wife and three children in a suburb of Kansas City. Born in Missouri in 1958, he received a B. S. degree in computer science and technology from the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

Bibliographic information
Author: John Weir
Title: The Razor and the Ring
Source: The Journal for Historical Review
Date: January/February 2002
Issue: Volume 21 number 1
Location: page 7
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.