BBC/SBS – The Cutting Edge David Brockschmidt
Wherever you are on this planet, if you need unbiased, objective information about what’s going on in our world and the universe you tuned in to ‘BBC World Service – Bush House, London’. Right? Wrong!
The terrible truth is that the good old British Broadcasting Corporation should be called the ‘British Bulldust Corporation’. The BBC does not inform but dis-informs us in regard to what has or is happening on this planet. We could even say it is totally off the planet, or to say it more directly: Today’s news and history gatherers at Bush House, London are lying their behinds off, admittedly in a sophisticated way, and not in a primitive and moronic way like their brothers and sisters at CNN – America!
Let me give you a good example here of our very own ‘BBC’ in Australia is doing likewise. I am talking about the terrible twins, the ABC and SBS. Here the ‘B’ in both instances should not stand for broadcasting but for ‘Bulldust’, like their Big Brother from Bush House, London.
What always fascinates me about the British is their brilliant humour, their politeness and their genius to put on a good act, as in the Yes, Minister TV series. This means it produces not only brilliant actors such as Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud or more contemporary ones such as Michael Caine, et al, but telling the world and their own people sophisticated lies – with stiff upper lip, of course!
The art of telling lies, the famed dissembling technique, of making the world believe these lies, has been lost by the British. Tony Blair and his kind is a prime example here. Thank God for honest British icons like David Attenborough and Michael Parkinson for example. So not everything is lost in the ‘Mother country’ and ‘down under’.
Now let’s turn on the Aussie idiot box and have a closer look at SBS’s Cutting Edge program of November 14, 2006, titled Lost Year in Iraq. The subtitle should have been ‘Lost opportunity telling the truth about Iraq’.
The introduction to this program is already a big fat lie because it reads as follows:“In the aftermath of the fall of Saddam Hussein a group of Americans led by Ambassador Paul Bremer III set off to Baghdad to ‘build a new nation’ and ‘establish democracy in the Arab Middle East’.
When I read this introduction I thought it must be a joke. I was wrong. The BBC/SBS was attempting to sell us here their unsophisticated lies as historical truths, and ‘our’ SBS had the ‘chutspah’ to put this faction-fiction nonsense on to the plate of its ‘sophisticated consumers’. I find this impossible to swallow. It shows us once more that the program makers of our ABC/SBS don’t care anymore about historical facts and truths. They must all believe we are strong in the heart and weak in the head with an IQ below room temperature. Back to the Iraq story.
Uncle Sam brings freedom and democracy to Iraq by toppling their own creation – Saddam Hussein – killing his sons, destroying the infrastructure, bridges, waterworks, power stations, hospitals, and so on. There is even the attempt to destroy their history by letting the mob loot and destroy the world famous Baghdad Museum and the Islamic Library, and by the coalition forces the general looting and destroying of historical sites all over Iraq. The only comment made by irresponsible Rumsfeld was: ‘Shit happens’. Then there is the killing, torturing and starving to death of approximately one and a half million people, half of them children.
The list of failures, committed war crimes, corruption, incompetence and plain arrogance and stupidity of Uncle Sam is endless. This is freedom and democracy made in USA – today – the Enron-Halliburton Way. This is not the spirit of America’s founding fathers, Franklin and Jefferson. This is the ugly face of predatory western capitalism, the ugly face of Cheney, Wolfowitz, This is Bush Senior’s and Junior’s New World Disorder, which will end in disaster for the world, if we are not able to stop these Christian Zionists ‘Shabbes Goys’ residing in the White House and their Neocon-Zionist masters. It is the sickness and handiwork of a failed state!
This was in Iraq is not about freedom and democracy in the Middle East. It is about oil out and Walmart into Iraq. It is about water from the Euphrates and Tigris for Israel. It is about the PetroEuro and the Credit Trap. It is about the survival of Israel and its enlargement and its political, economic and military influence in the Middle East – the US is already run by the ‘Kosher Nostra’! The Middle East is crying out: Uncle Sam, we don’t want your type of freedom and democracy. Go home and put your own house in order, have another ‘revolution’ back home, and perhaps try the Swiss model of democracy.
The days of our ABC/SBS, their BBC/CNN is counted, anyway. Nobody listens to and believes their lies anymore. The future of information is the world’s weapon of mass instruction, the mighty Internet. So SBS-Cutting Edge, cut out the ‘B’. Game over – truth will prevail.
Denying the Holocaust
Deborah Lipstadt discusses how misinformation and false claims are used to question the reality of the Nazis' attempt to exterminate Europe's Jews.
Published: 04-01-2005 http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/genocide/deniers_01.shtml
1. It never happened
Holocaust deniers are people who contend that the Holocaust - the attempt by Nazi Germany to annihilate European Jewry during World War Two - never happened. According to the deniers, the Nazis did not murder six million Jews, the notion of homicidal gas chambers is a myth, and any deaths of Jews that did occur under the Nazis were the result of wartime privations, not of systematic persecution and state-organised mass murder.
Deniers dismiss all assertions that the Holocaust took place as conscious fabrications, or as psychotic delusions. Some even claim that Hitler was the best friend the Jews had in Germany, and that he actively worked to protect them. According to deniers, Jews have perpetrated this hoax about the Holocaust on the world in order to gain political and financial advantage, and it was in fact Germany that was the true victim in World War Two.
2. Documented genocide
Holocaust denial is a form of anti-Semitism, positing that Jews have concocted a giant myth for their own ends. It persists despite the fact that the Holocaust is one of the best documented genocides in history, with a wide array of evidence documenting virtually every aspect of it.
For example, approximately a million Jews on the Eastern Front were shot during 1941-42, and buried in large pits. This is known partly because the Einsatzgruppen, the mobile killing units that coordinated these massacres, prepared detailed reports on the murders - reports that contained precise death tolls, broken down into men, women and children.
These reports were sent to high ranking officials in Berlin, and to army, police and SS officers, as well as diplomats and even prominent industrialists. This wide distribution suggests that the perpetrators felt no shame at what they did. Had these killings not been part of Berlin's policy, the reports would never have been so widely distributed.
Deniers argue that evidence such as this was forged, after the end of World War Two, by people working for world Jewry. They claim that forgers created these and other documents - complete with complex internal reference markings, on typewriters that perfectly matched those used by the various German units said to have written the documents - and then planted thousands of these perfect forgeries in numerous different archival collections (in exactly the right file and in precisely the right sequence) all over Europe.
Not only is such a scenario fantastically improbable, it fails to explain why these supposedly incredibly talented forgers did not succeed in producing the one piece of paper that deniers demand as 'proof' that genocide took place under the Third Reich - an order from Hitler authorising the destruction of the Jews.
Many perpetrators confessed to what they had done during the war, after it was over. For example, Otto Ohlendorf, commander of one of the Einsatzgruppen units, testified quite openly that between June 1941 and 1942 his Einsatzgruppe murdered 90,000 people.
Deniers dismiss confessions by German perpetrators that a 'Final Solution' to the 'Jewish question' was indeed a part of the Nazi programme - by saying the confessions were produced under torture. They say that those who confessed knew their admissions would result in a death sentence, so would not have confessed except under duress - and that their accounts of their wartime activities should thus be disregarded.
This, however, ignores the fact that some of the more detailed confessions were written after the perpetrators had been sentenced to death. It also ignores the fact that many of the perpetrators described - sometimes in great detail - what happened, but insisted that they either had nothing to do with it or were forced by their superiors to participate.
Thus this argument fails to take into account the statements of Nazis such as the Commandant of Birkenau concentration camp, Rudolf Höss, who described the mass murders that took place in his camp in a document written after he had been sentenced to death. It also fails to account for Adolf Eichmann who, in the memoir he wrote during his trial, spoke of the gassing of the Jews.
Some deniers explain away the confessions by positing that after the war these Germans were subjected to a barrage of propaganda, and themselves become victims of the hoax. One must marvel at the power of those supposed to be responsible for this hoax. Not only did they win the cooperation of the world's greatest military and political powers, forge thousands of documents in record time without being detected, and create physical evidence attesting to an annihilation programme, but they even convinced the very people said to be a part of the hoax that it had actually happened.
Some deniers posit that the Jews said to have been killed under the Nazi regime actually survived the war, and succeeded in avoiding detection by going to places such as the Soviet Union or the United States. In these countries, the deniers claim, there were already so many Jews that no one noticed a couple of million more.
Deniers such as Arthur Butz offer other equally fantastic explanations as to the supposed 'disappearance' of millions of Jews. Many of those who were reported killed in the war, he suggests, actually survived - but did not re-establish contact with their pre-war relatives because they were in bad marriages. After the war they found other partners, established better relationships, started a new life and failed to correct the record. This improbable explanation of why these people deserted their families would be hilarious, were the topic not so serious.
The real facts are much better documented. For example, it is known that Nazis used gas buses at one point to murder Jews (eventually they abandoned this system because it was not efficient enough). This is known partly because SS-Major General Dr Harald Turner, chief of the German Administration in Serbia, wrote to Karl Wolff, chief of Heinrich Himmler's personal staff, on 11 April 1942.
In the note Turner describes a 'delousing van' - the quotation marks around the word already suggest that it is a euphemism - then makes it quite clear what this means:
Already some months ago, I shot dead all the Jews I could get my hands on this area, concentrated all the Jewish women and children in a camp and with the help of the SD got my hands on a 'delousing van', that in about 14 days to 4 weeks will have brought about the definitive clearing out of the camp...
Additional details about these buses are to be found in a letter from Willy Just to SS Lieutenant Colonel Walter Rauff on 5 June 1942. In the letter, Just describes how a load of '97,000 have been processed'. He leaves little doubt about the nature of the load, when he writes about it pushing against the door as a result of 'fear aroused by the darkness'.
Just also offers Rauff a series of suggestions on how the vans might be improved. Since there was a problem of 'off-road manoeuvrability', he suggests that the cargo area be reduced. This would make the operation more efficient, because '... were the cargo area smaller, but fully occupied, the operation would take considerably less time, because there would be no empty space.'
Deniers find it impossible to 'explain away' these kinds of documents so they generally ignore them.
5. Denying Auschwitz
Most of all, deniers focus on the extermination camp run by the Nazis at Auschwitz. They claim - despite overwhelming documentary and physical evidence as well as eye-witness accounts by both perpetrators and victims - that it was not an extermination camp. They ignore or try to explain away evidence that leaves no doubt as to Auschwitz's nefarious purposes. A small sample of the many pieces of documentary evidence demonstrates the far-fetched nature of their claims.
Though the Germans made concerted attempts to avoid direct references to the gassings that took place in the camp, sometimes even those in the upper echelons slipped up. On 29 January 1943, for example, SS Captain Bischoff, head of the Auschwitz Central Construction Management, wrote to officials in Berlin regarding Crematorium 2, and in this letter he referred to a Vergasungskeller (gassing cellar).
In the Auschwitz archives one can inspect the architectural drawings for Crematoria 4 and 5. These call for 30 x 40cm windows, through which Zyklon B was to be thrown. In February 1943 the Auschwitz Construction Office issued a work order for the 'production of 12 gas-tight doors (window shutters) approximately 30/40cm'. In Auschwitz there remain a number of decrepit 30 x 40cm window shutters. The remnants of a gas-tight seal are still visible around their edges. The handle for closing the windows is on the outside, a decidedly impractical arrangement for any room, unless one wanted to ensure that those inside could not open them.
On 28 February, according to the civilian contractors' daily time-sheets, the gas-tight shutters were installed. A time-sheet dated 2 March 1943, and submitted by the contractor for work on Crematorium 4, mentions a 'concrete floor in gas chamber'. These documents indicate that by March 1943 workers officially designated a room in Crematorium 4 a 'gas chamber'.' The drawings, work order, time-sheets, and remaining windows constitute a simple but stunning example of the confluence of evidence concerning the gassing of prisoners at the camp.
Deniers also claim that the gas chambers were actually delousing chambers or morgues. But the documentary evidence proves this a bogus claim. In a letter dated 31 March, Bischoff refers to a 'gas [tight] door' for Crematorium 2, which was to be fitted with a rubberised sealing strip and a peephole for inspection. The deniers fail to explain why a door for a delousing chamber or morgue would need a peephole.
Another claim is that the gas chambers were air-raid shelters. This argument ignores the fact that these supposed shelters were too small to house the camp inmates, and were over a kilometer away from where the guards were quartered - a decidedly silly arrangement if these shelters were meant to protect them. Furthermore, the doors had a metal grille over the peephole on the inside of the door - to protect the glass from being broken from within - exactly the opposite of where it would be were it the door for an air-raid shelter. And indeed there were proper one- or two-person air-raid shelters for guards around the camp. They are still visible at the perimeter of Birkenau.
Most importantly, to support their position, deniers also have to ignore testimony given by perpetrators such as Hans Stark, a member of the Auschwitz 'Gestapo.' At his trial Stark described the killing process.
As early as autumn 1941 gassings were carried out in a room...[which] held 200 to 250 people, had a higher than average ceiling, no windows, only a specially insulated door with bolts like those of an airtight door [Luftschutzer]. The room had a flat roof, which allowed daylight in through the openings. It was through these openings that Zyklon B in granular form would be poured.
Stark told the court that, because the Zyklon B '... was in granular form, it trickled down over the people as it was being poured in. They then started to cry out terribly for they now knew what was happening to them.'
In February 1943 Auschwitz camp building authorities complained to Topf, the company that built the crematoria equipment, that they needed ventilation blowers 'most urgently'. Why the urgency, if it this was an air-raid shelter, morgue, or delousing chamber?
Deniers hypothesise that the urgency was a result of official fears that the camp would be hit with a typhus epidemic, which would cause a tremendous spike in the death toll. Without the proper ventilation system, the crematoria would not be able to operate.
Deniers try to bolster their argument about the typhus by pointing to documents which show that at this point in time the planned monthly incineration rate of Auschwitz had been boosted to 120,000 bodies. Deniers claim this was because of the typhus epidemic. However, the camp's projected population was 150,000. For the deniers' explanation to make sense, in one month an epidemic would have to kill four-fifths of Auschwitz's population and the Germans would have to repopulate the camp with 120,000 people. This claim exceeded the absolute worst case epidemiological scenario.
On 6 March 1943, one of the civilian employees working on the construction of Crematorium 2 referred to the air extraction system of 'Auskleidekeller [undressing cellar] 2'. No normal morgue could require an undressing room, particularly one that was 50 yards long. In that same month, there were at least four additional references to Auskleidekeller. It is telling that civilians who, according to the deniers, were in Birkenau to work on underground morgues, repeatedly referred not to morgues but to the ventilation of the 'undressing cellars'.
In the same letter the employee asked about preheating the areas that would be used as the gas chamber. If these were morgues they should be cooled, not preheated. Heating a gas chamber, on the other hand, would speed the gassing process by more quickly vaporising the gas from the Zyklon B.
A letter dated 31 March 1943, regarding Crematorium 3, spoke of it as having a Gastür, a gas door. Deniers argue that this could mean many things. But the inventory attached to the handover documents for the crematorium states that it had a Gasdichtetür, a 'gas-tight door'. One might argue about the meaning of Gastür, but it is hard to squabble over a gas-tight door.
Deniers have said for years that physical evidence is lacking because they have seen no holes in the roof of the Birkenau gas chamber where the Zyklon was poured in. (In some of the gas chambers the Zyklon B was poured in through the roof, while in others it was thrown in through the windows.) The roof was dynamited at war's end, and today lies broken in pieces, but three of the four original holes were positively identified in a recent paper. Their location in the concrete matches with eyewitness testimony, aerial photos from 1944, and a ground photo from 1943. The physical evidence shows unmistakably that the Zyklon holes were cast into the concrete when the building was constructed.
There is much additional evidence affirming Auschwitz/Birkenau's role as a killing centre. There is no reputable evidence that affirms the deniers' claims.
7. Diary of Anne Frank
Deniers have repeatedly attacked the authenticity of the famous Diary of Anne Frank, which tells of the young Jewish author's experiences as she and her family hid from Nazi persecution in Holland. It seems they believe that by creating doubts about this popular book, which is often a young person's first encounter with the literature of the Holocaust, they can generate broader doubts about the Holocaust itself. Their attacks on the diary became so widespread, that eventually the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, the archives to which Anne's father left the work, subjected the glue, paper and ink of the diary to extensive forensic tests. They found them all to be from the 1940s.
The investigators compared Anne's handwriting in the diary to other samples of her writing, including letters she wrote before going into hiding, and traditional student autograph books she signed before the war. The tests found the handwriting to be that of the same person. In fact, every test to which the diary was subjected proved that this was a genuine World War Two era work by a teenager.
Deniers also argue that there are multiple versions of the Diary of Anne Frank. This, they claim, proves it is a fraud. Actually, there are multiple versions of the diary, and Anne herself explains why this is so. In 1944, a Dutch government official, broadcasting from London, urged the population to save eyewitness accounts of their wartime experience, including memorabilia and diaries. Hearing this, Anne, decided to rewrite some of the entries. She also used her diary as a basis for a novel, The Annexe. Hence the different versions.
Deniers also make the claim that the diary is in green ballpoint pen, something that was not readily available during the war. And there are, in fact, some minor stylistic marginal notes in green ink. However, as the Dutch investigation demonstrated, the only ballpoint writing is on two scraps of paper included among the loose leaves, and these have no significance whatsoever in terms of content. Moreover, the handwriting on the scraps of paper differs markedly from those in the diary, indicating that they were written by someone else, an editor perhaps.
The final result of the Dutch investigation was a critical 712-page edition of the diary containing the original version, Anne's edited copy, and the published version as well as the experts' findings. While some may argue that the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation used an elephant to swat a fly, once again it becomes clear that the deniers glibly make claims that have no relationship to the most basic rules of truth and evidence.
All this evidence, and much else, demonstrates the nature of the deniers' claims. Much of this information was entered into the High Court of Justice in London as evidence when the author of this article was sued for libel by David Irving, a man who has written many books on World War Two, a number of which deny the Holocaust.
Irving sued for libel because he had been described as a Holocaust denier in one of the present author's books. He contended this was not true, because his claims about the Holocaust were correct. The judge in the case, Judge Gray, however, found Irving, who introduced virtually all of the standard denial arguments into his submission, to be indeed a Holocaust denier.
Dismissing Irving's claims that the gas chambers were an impossibility, the judge noted that that the 'cumulative effect of the documentary evidence for the genocidal operation of the gas chambers' was not only 'considerable' but 'mutually corroborative'.
Judge Gray, who found the eyewitness and documentary evidence to be 'striking[ly]... consistent', concluded that 'no objective, fair-minded historian would have serious cause to doubt' the existence of gas chambers at Auschwitz, which were used on a substantial scale to kill Jews. He found Irving's arguments - and by extension the claims of deniers in general - to be 'perverse and egregious'.
Furthermore, the judge said that Irving had 'significantly misrepresented what the evidence, objectively examined, reveals'. (For the complete judgement, the daily transcripts, and the expert witness reports see www.hdot.org - the link is given below.)
Holocaust denial is a form of virulent anti-Semitism. But it is not only that. It is also an attack on reasoned inquiry and inconvenient history. If this history can be denied any history can be denied.
Holocaust deniers have, thus far, been decidedly unsuccessful in convincing the broader public of their claims - although many people worry that after the last of the Holocaust survivors has died (most are now in their 80s) deniers will achieve greater success. However, historians, carefully relying on a broad array of documentary and material evidence, a small sample of which is mentioned in this article, can and already have demonstrated that Holocaust denial is a tissue of lies.
8. Find out more
Lying About Hitler by Richard Evans (Basic Books, 2001).
History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving by Deborah E Lipstadt (to be published in 2005).
The Case for Auschwitz: Evidence from the Irving Trial by Robert Jan van Pelt (Indiana University Press, 2002).
Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers by Jean-Claude Pressac (Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, c.1989).
Auschwitz: The Nazis and the 'Final Solution' by Laurence Rees (BBC Books, 2005).
Denying History: Who says the Holocaust never happened and why do they say it? by Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman (University of California Press, 2000).
www.hdot.org: This site contains the transcripts from David Irving v. Penguin, UK and Deborah Lipstadt, as well as the expert reports, various court submissions, and the judgement.
http://www.thhp.org: This site is an extensive archive of documents, photographs, recordings and essays regarding the Holocaust, including direct refutation of Holocaust-denial.
About the author
Deborah Lipstadt is director of the Rabbi Donald A Tam Institute for Jewish Studies, and Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies, at Emory University, Atlanta. Among her publications are Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory (Free Press/ Macmillan, 1993) and Beyond Belief: The American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust (Free Press/Macmillan, 1993). Her most recent book, History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving, is due to be published in 2005.
The Revisionist Response to the above list of books
Anyone who seriously is interested in finding out the truth of the various claims made by those who believe in the ‘Holocaust-Shoah’, as does Professor Lipstadt in the above BBC article, cannot, if they wish to retain their moral and intellectual integrity, avoid the series of books published by Germar Rudolf’s Thesis & Dissertations Press.
Since 2003 the following volumes in the HOLOCAUST Handbooks Series have been available to serious ‘Holocaust-Shoah’ scholars:
Vol 1: Germar Rudolf (ed.): Dissecting the Holocaust. The growing Critique of ‘Truth’ and ‘Memory’, 2003.
Vol 2: Germar Rudolf: The Rudolf Report. Expert Report on Chemical and Technical Aspects of the ‘Gas Chambers’ of Auschwitz, 2003.
Vol 3: Jürgen Graf: The Giant With Feet of Clay. Raul Hilberg and his Standard Work on the ‘Holocaust’, 2001.
Vol 4: Jürgen Graf, Carlo Mattogno: Concentration Camp Stutthof and its Function in Socialist Jewish Policy, 2004.
Vol 5: Jürgen Graf, Carlo Mattogno: Concentration Camp Majdanek. A Historical and Technical Study, 2003.
Vol 6: Don Heddesheimer: The First Holocaust. Jewish Fund Raising Campaigns With Holocaust Claims During And After World War One, 2005.
Vol 7: Arthur R Butz: The Hoax of the Twentieth Century. The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry, 3rd ed, 2003.
Vol 8: Carlo Mattogno, Jürgen Graf: Treblinka. Extermination Camp or Transit Camp?, 2004.
Vol 9: Carlo Mattogno: Belzec in Propaganda, testimonies, Archeological Research, and History, 2004.
Vol 10: Carlo Mattogno: Special Treatment in Auschwitz. Origin and Meaning of a Term, 2004.
Vol 11: Carlos Mattogno: The Bunkers of Auschwitz. Black Propaganda versus History, 2004.
Vol 12: Ingrid Weckert: Jewish Emigration from the Third Reich, 2004.
Vol 13: Carlo Mattogno: The Central Construction Office of the Waffen-SS and Police Auschwitz. Organization, Responsibilities, Activities, 2005.
Vol 14: Germar Rudolf (ed.): Auschwitz: Plain Facts. A Response to Jean-Claude Pressac. With Contributions by Robert Faurisson, Carlo Mattogno, Germar Rudolf and Serge Thion, 2005.
Vol 15: Germar Rudolf: Lectures on the Holocaust. Controversial Issues Cross Examined, 2005.
Vol 16: Fred A Leuchter, Robert Faurisson, Germar Rudolf: The Leuchter Report. Critical Edition, 2nd ed., 2005.
Vol 17: Carlo Mattogno: Auschwitz: Open Air Incinerations, 2005.
Vol 18: Carlo Mattogno, Germar Rudolf: Auschwitz Lies. Legends, Lies and Prejudices on the Holocaust, 2005.
Vol 20: Carlo Mattogno: Auschwitz: The First Gassing. Rumor and Reality, 2005.
Vol 21: Carlo Mattogno: Auschwitz: Crematorium I and the Alleged Homicidal Gassings, 2005.
The above list illustrates Germar Rudolf’s extraordinary Revisionist output until it was cut short by his US arrest on 19 October 2005, followed by his 14-15 November 2005 deportation to Germany. His trial at Mannheim is still in progress. All books are obtainable directly from:
United Kingdom: CHP, PO Box 62, Uckfield ,East Sussex TN22 1ZY, UK.
USA: TDP, PO Box 521, Monticello, Illinois 61856, USA.
The fight to keep Auschwitz alive – Camp of Horrors
Chris Johnson, Oswiecim, Poland
The Advertiser, February 3, 2007
●. The Auschwitz camp was set up in 1940 in what is now south-central Poland. Large numbers of Jews were deported there between 1942 and mid-1944.
●. The main camp was known as Auschwitz-Birkenau, or Auschwitz II, supposedly the main extermination center, while Monowitz, or Auschwitz III, was a large industrial site where gasoline was produced from coal.
●. 1.1 million people – most of them Jewish men, women and children – died during the four and a half years of Auschwitz’s existence.
●. More people dies in Auschwitz than the British and American losses of World War II combined.
●. The gas chambers of Birkenau were blown up by the SS in November, 1944, in an attempt to hide their crimes from the advancing Soviet troops.
●. On January 17, 1945, Nazi personnel started to evacuate the facility. Most of the prisoners were forced on a death march west. Those too weak or sick to walk were left behind.
●. About 7500 prisoners were liberated by the 322nd Infantry unit of the Red Army on January 27, 1945.
Auschwitz is disintegrating. More than 60 years of winter snow, summer drought and millions of visitors have taken a heavy toll on the former Nazi death camp.
Just as survivors visiting the camp dwindle each year, so time is bearing down on the prison buildings, the rusting barbed wire fenceing and the remnants of the gas chambers left when the Germans fled in January, 1945.
Mementos of the victims – hair, spectacles, children’s toys and other belongings – are also falling to pieces, eaten by insects and mildew, devouring the tangible evidence of the Holocaust’s atrocities.
Unless conservation is stepped up, there may soon be little left of the biggest graveyard in Europe, where more than a million men, women and children, mostly Jews, were slaughtered.
Now new management at the camp, covering 190ha on two sites near Oswiecim, in southern Poland, is accelerating work and hiring more staff to slow the deterioration and save the site as a lesson of future generations.
“If there is one place in the world that should be kept as a reminder of the consequences of racism and intolerance, it is this one,” says Piotr Cywinski, who took over as director of Auschwitz in September.
One of the many problems facing Mr Cywinski and his 260 staff at the site, now a museum, is that Auschwitz was not built to last.
Auschwitz I, a stone and brick-built Polish military base used by the Nazis to house Polish political prisoners, was hastily enlarged with forced labour and the cheapest materials after Germany invaded Poland in 1939.
Auschwitz II Birkenau, 3km away, was a specially built killing factory thrown up in 1943 for the mass murder of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and minorities.
Linked directly to Europe’s railway network by a special siding, it was used by the Nazis to expedite their final solution to “the Jewish problem”.
Parts of the Birkenau site are built from the remains of demolished Polish villages and stable blocks and these have survived. But many other buildings have already disappeared.
And the strongest of the buildings, the concrete gas chambers and crematoriums, were blown up before the guards retreated.
The area around the gas chambers is cordoned off with tape but still accessible to the public, some of whom clamber over the rubble, some even removing relics and artifacts.
The ash pits where the remains of many victims were dumped, lie open to the elements and the ground trampled by visitors around them is studded with what look like tiny white stones.
“Not stones – bones,” says Jarek Mensfelt, a linguist and senior guide at the museum.
“Tiny fragments of human bones. It is terrible that tourists can tread on human remains.”
Mr Cywinski is acutely aware of the deficiencies of the museum but is constrained by money and the physical limitations imposed by the scale of the site.
Smaller-scale enclosures to protect the buildings would be possible, but even these would be expensive and would have to be agreed by all the groups that protect the site.
“Tens of millions of dollars, more, would be needed to do all the work,” says Mr Cywinsli. But money is not the main problem: the Polish Government has provided large sums and there are international donors.
Time itself is the enemy, eroding the site and its contents.
“Conservationists are like doctors: we can extend the life but not for eternity,” says Mr Cywinski, who opposes any suggestion that decaying original artifacts should be replaced by copies.
Faded and frail, two tones of hair shorn from victims is piled up in one cell block: once-blonde plaits, black pony tails and auburn curls, it is gradually decaying and now looks like grey wire wool.
The museum has had more luck with its 80,000 shoes, mostly odd. Chief conservationist Rafal Pioro and his staff of 38 invited school children to help clean and polish some of them.
But there are so many, most still have to be stored in a warehouse without air-conditioning. Slowly, most are falling apart.
“The work is endless and painstaking and can be heart-rending,” says Mr Pioro. “When we were working on the children’s shoes, some of us were crying all the time.”
Workers at Auschwitz are struggling to slow the ageing of the camp and keep it, in the words of a plaque near the gas chambers, as “a cry of despair and a warning to humanity”.
Former Auschwitz prisoner Israel Gutman, now adviser to the Yad Vashem holocaust institute in israel, is determined the camp will be conserved as long as possible, whatever the cost.
“There are still people who claim the Holocaust never took place,” he says. “Auschwitz must be preserved for as long as possible because it gives those people a chance to go there, to see the real gas chambers.” - Reuters
Fredrick Töben reflects outside the Auschwitz-Birkenau entrance in April 1997
Some unanswered Questions…
Question: Is the Holocaust an historical event?
Answer: Yes, it is.
Q: Then, like any other historical event let us investigate it.
Q: Why not?
A: You are a hater, a Holocaust denier, an antisemite, a racist, a neo-Nazi and Hitler apologist!
Q: I want to know the TRUTH!
A: Hater, Holocaust denier, Antisemite, Racist, Nazi, Xenophobe, Terrorist!
Q: Do you realize you are defaming me and the Germans by propagating the Holocaust without permitting a rational discussion about it?
A: Call security, call the police, make a complaint against this person for inciting racial hatred against Jews!
Q: Are you threatening me with legal terrorism because I state that the Holocaust has no reality in space and time, only in memory?
A: It is clear that this man is firm in his criminal convictions – Überzeugungstäter – and deserves a prison sentence.
Q: So, I am not allowed to question and doubt anymore? I must accept the Holocaust as a new religious belief system?
A: Look at this man. He’s fanatical about the Holocaust. He says it didn’t happen. Everyone knows it happened!
Q: What about my free expression?
A: This is not a matter of free expression, this is about hate speech. About repugnant, demeaning, state-sponsored historical revisionism, and it’s just deeply offensive and should be condemned.
Austrian Dr Herbert Schaller, 85, defence counsel to numerous Revisionists, stated the following at Teheran on 12 December 2006–Newsletter No 310:
“First of all, I would like to thank the Institute for Political and International Studies for organizing this conference and in particular I would like to take the liberty of expressing my great respect for the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Mahmud Ahmadinejad. He was the first important statesman in the world to publicly raise three facts:
1. - the fact that the guilt of the Germans for the Holocaust has not yet been properly proven;
2. - the fact that anyone who wants to discuss the lack of proof will be persecuted by the Western media and sometimes be subjected to criminal prosecution; and
3. - the fact that in the West the freedom to express one’s opinion – at least in key matters - is a complete fraud.”
THINK ON THESE THINGS
1. From: ZioPedia Newsflash – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Monday, 5 February 2007
To: Adelaide Institute
An Open Word About Anti-Semitism-Part 3: The Ethics of Anti-Anti-Semitism
“Anti-Semitism is an unmistakable sign of solid mental health.” – Horst Mahler, lawyer and human rights activist.
1. Why is it that many Jews react so defensively when non-Jews say anything bad about another Jew?
2. Why is it okay to talk about the stranglehold of the Cosa Nostra over Italian society, but anti-Semitism to even mention the existence of a Jewish equivalent?
3. Why is it okay to talk about the killing of baby girls and embryos in China or the burning of married women in rural India, but not about ritual Passover sacrifices of abducted Christian children in the Middle-Ages?
4. Why is it okay to call the Pope a Nazi collaborator, the American president a child molester with a weakness for young boys, and the virgin Mary a whore, but racist to suggest that some Jews had either prior knowledge or were involved in 9/11, for example ‘lucky Larry’ Silverstein, who bought the WTC for US$124 million a few months before 9/11 and made a healthy profit of US$ 4 billion in insurance payment out of it?
5. Why is it okay to suggest that President Roosevelt deliberately set up the Pacific fleet in Pearl Harbour for the Japanese navy to shoot and destroy like a barrel of fish, shortly after cornering the Japanese government by a crippling oil embargo, but a crime deserving the most severe punishment to suggest that there might be something wrong with the mainstream narrative of the Jewish Holocaust?
6. What makes criticism of a Jew by a non-Jew the latter automatically a racist, regardless of the merits of his or her criticism?
2. From: Crikey – email@example.com
Sent: Monday, 5 February 2007
Degrees of denial: climate change, HIV and the Holocaust, Charles Richardson writes:
I wonder if I was the only one who noticed the interesting juxtaposition of stories on Saturday. First, an Australian Holocaust-denial group losing a lawsuit in the federal court and being ordered to remove material from their website. Second, a CSIRO scientist saying, in the wake of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, that "the global warming debate is over."
Now let's agree straight away that Greenhouse denial is not in the same league as Holocaust denial. There are still decent, honest and intelligent people - albeit a small and diminishing number - who are sceptical about the Greenhouse effect. There are none fitting that description among the Holocaust revisionists. Nonetheless, the difference between the two is fundamentally a matter of degree. Both raise questions about the limits of free speech, and indeed about just what free speech involves.
Greenhouse-deniers allege that their complaints are ignored or censored by the scientific establishment and the mainstream media. But of course anyone can make that claim. It just isn't possible for us to take everyone's beliefs with equal seriousness, no matter how off-beat, discredited or downright loopy they might be. If we try, we will end up having to admit Holocaust-deniers on an equal footing with genuine historians.
All that can be asked in the name of free speech is that the views of cranks should not be forcibly suppressed. On that score, the Greenhouse deniers have no cause for complaint.
But the Holocaust-deniers have. The attempt to criminalise their opinions is not only wrong in principle, but counter-productive. Few would ever have heard of the "Bible Believers" if the Executive Council of Australian Jewry had not chosen to take them on in court; now their hate-filled message will gain more attention, and some will suspect that their opponents must have something to hide.
Similarly, if in ten years' time Greenhouse denial has the same sort of intellectual standing that Holocaust denial has now, that will be no excuse for threatening to send its proponents to jail. As Thomas Jefferson said in a similar context, "let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it."
For a third example, somewhere between the two, consider HIV denial, currently at issue in a court case in South Australia. Free speech demands that HIV deniers be free to express their views. But the rest of us must also be free to decide that those views are beyond the range of respectable opinion. They can talk, but we don't have to listen.
3. West ‘duped’ by Holocaust-denial conference, says visiting expert
Jason Frenkel, Australian Jewish News, February 8, 2007
AUSTRALIA and other western countries were duped by the controversial Iranian conference on Holocaust denial, a visiting Holocaust expert has claimed. Professor Yehuda Bauer, one of the world’s leading scholars on the Shoah, said the Holocaust-denial forum held in Tehran late last year was part of an Iranian Government ploy to appeal to Sunni Muslims – and not a challenge to western concepts about the Holocaust.
“The perception in the West that the so-called conference had been directed to the West is mistaken,” Professor Bauer told the AJN this week. “The purpose of the conference was to arouse sympathy amongst Sunnis for the antisemitic and anti-western positions of the Iranian Government.
“And that was also the purpose for bringing in those tragic comic figures of so-called [Neturei Karta] Jews who identified with [Iranian president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. “We were totally misled, and many thought the conference was a challenge to western concepts about the Holocaust. It wasn’t – it was a means of reducing the heat of the Sunni-Shi’ite dispute, because in the Sunni world, denial of the Holocaust is very popular, so it was a good ploy from the Iranian point of view to do that.”
Launching his two-month speaking and teaching tour of Sydney and Melbourne last weekend, Professor Bauer, an academic adviser to Yad Vashem and the professor of Holocaust studies at Hebrew University, said the Iranian Government was pulling out all stops in its bid to appeal to Sunni Muslims. “One of the main purposes of the Iranian regime is to represent all of Islam, not only Shi’ite Islam, and in order to do that, they have to create links with the Sunnis. “It was no accident that a few days before the conference, the Palestinian leader, the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, who is of course a Sunni, visited Tehran and came back with a lot of money and support by the Iranian regime.”
4. In Germany the burning of the book The Diary of Anne Frank leads to court case.
On 26 February 2007 in Magdeburg’s District Court seven youths, from 24 to 27 years of age, face two charges: i. inciting to race-hate, and ii. defaming the memory of the dead. The charges relate to a 24 June 2006 incident in Pretzien, population 900, where a copy of the Anne Frank Diary and a US flag were thrown into the fire lit to celebrate a midsummer festival. Two of the accused made a written submission wherein they claim the whole incident rests on a misunderstanding. In the incitement, public prosecutor Arnold Murra claims two youths also used the expressions ‘German blood’ and ‘German youth’, and that the act of burning the book symbolically celebrated the Nazi book burning and therefore hurt the victims and the persecution of the Jews in the Third Reich. One accused is also to have stated that the book was full of lies.
Defence counsel for one youth, Lars K, 25, stated that the action rested on a misunderstanding because their action was designed to liberate themselves from a dark period of German history. Lars K informed presiding judge Eike Bruns that he did not anticipate his action could have been misunderstood because it was a spontaneous act. He also informed the judge that he considered his and his friends’ mindset to be ‘neutral to slightly right-wing’.
Thomas Heppner, director of the Anne Frank Centre, Berlin, said that for many Jews the burning of the book was >>reliving the Shoa<<. It is frightening to see how the attempt is made to turn this extreme right-wing action into a >>misunderstanding<<. It appears, he said, that the defence strategy is to hide the youths’ world view. “It is important that a conviction results so that a doubting of the authenticity of the Diary becomes a criminal offence. He also expressed the hope that the citizens of Pretziens, the shire of Schönebeck and the state of Sachsen-Anhalt, will openly discuss this matter so that they will realize what is happening in Germany.
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