The Holocaust Historiography Project

Rudolf Höss' May 14, 1946, Handwritten Confession

The April 1993 US Holocaust Memorial Museum Newsletter, page eight, published a facsimile of the handwritten confession by Auschwitz Commandant Rudolf Höss' (shown below). The USHMM presents this document with these words:

Handwritten Statement by Rudolf Höss Conceding War Crimes Now Part of Museum Archives

Hoess confession
I declare herewith under oath that in the years 1941 to 1943, during my tenure in office as commandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp, 2 million Jews were put to death by gassing and a ½ million by other means. May 14, 1946 [signed] Rudolf Höss

Rudolf Höss scribbled this frank acknowledgment of the mass murder in Auschwitz on a piece of notepaper during the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. Now, nearly 46 years later, his handwritten testimony — stark evidence of the magnitude of the killing operation — has become a part of the Museum Archives. The Höss document will be incorporated into the Museum's permanent exhibition.

Höss penciled this statement in the presence of Joseph Maier, chief of the Analysis Section within the Interrogation Division under the U.S. Counsel, who was gathering evidence from Nazi war criminals and witnesses in preparation for the prosecution at the Nuremberg trials. At the bottom of the document Prof. Maier hand wrote: "The above was written and signed before me at Nuremberg, Germany on May 14, 1946 [signed] Joseph Maier, Chief, Analysis Section, Interrogation Division, Office of U.S. Chief of Counsel". This authentication further heightens the documentary value of the note.

[…]

Commentary from the Webmaster

The USHMM presents this note without once pointing out that current estimates of the total number of deaths at Auschwitz are just over 1 million, with Jews comprising 90 percent of the victims.

The USHMM also fails to note that it is widely claimed that in 1944 Höss returned to Auschwitz to oversee the murder of 400,000 Hungarian Jews. To this 400,000, must be added the 2.5 million Jewish murders confessed by Höss in this note, as well as the number of Jewish deaths between December 1943 (when Höss left Auschwitz) and May 1944 (when he returned briefly), and the Jewish deaths between the time Höss left Auschwitz the second time and the end of 1944, when the camp was essentially dismantled in the face of approaching Soviet troops.

These alleged additional Jewish deaths would thus add up to more than twice the currently claimed number of total deaths at Auschwitz.

Instead of being honest about this document, which would mean informing readers that this statement is clearly a lie, the USHMM presents it as "stark evidence of the magnitude of the killing operation." Thus, this "evidence" from the USHMM is of such low value that not even the USHMM itself believes it, or else it too would claim that there were millions of Jewish deaths at Auschwitz. Of course, acknowledging the lower figure for deaths at Auschwitz would mean lowering the mythical "six million" figure, which is virtually never done.

If, as we are often told, the Holocaust is the best documented event in history, then one must ask why anti-revisionists insist on presenting documents such as this statement by Höss, instead of providing documents that mean what they say and say what they mean. Only persons with strong ideological motivations for maintaining the status quo of the Holocaust extermination story can look at the facts and still put forth documents such as this as "proof of the Holocaust."

For more information on how anti-revisionists have twisted statements by Höss, read, Rudolf Höss: Pillar of the Holocaust extermination thesis.