Did the Nazis kill 20,000 Jews with an atomic bomb at Auschwitz?

Albert Speer during the Nuremberg Trial

Well, of course they didn’t, but some Holocaust revisionists say the Nazis were accused of using an atomic bomb on 20,000 Jews at the Nuremberg Trial.

In Auschwitz: Myths and Facts Mark Weber wrote, “At the Nuremberg Tribunal chief US prosecutor Robert Jackson charged that the Germans had used a “newly invented” device to instantaneously “vaporize” 20,000 Jews near Auschwitz “in such a way that here was no trace left of them”. “

In his book Lectures on the Holocaust Germar Rudolf lists several claims about the Holocaust which “the Germans have been forced to unquestioningly accept as “common knowledge” since the end of the war.” (Germar Rudolf, Lectures on the Holocaust, Theses and Dissertations Press,Illinois, 2005, p 435). These include, “Instant obliteration of 20,000 Jews near Silesia using atomic bombs; alleged at IMT” (p 438)

In the  1992 video “David Cole interviews Dr Franciszek Piper”, which I have discussed here,  Cole says, “In an almost inconceivable charge it was claimed that the Nazis exterminated Jews with an atomic bomb.” (43 mins)

Jurgen Graf writes “Thus at the Nuremberg trial, US prosecutor Robert Jackson falsely denounced the Germans to former German armaments minister Albert Speer for having blown up 20,000 Jews with an atom bomb at Auschwitz.”  This was “confirmed by ‘eye-witness reports’ and ‘perpetrator confessions’. ” (Jurgen Graf, The Giant with Feet of Clay, Theses and Dissertations Press, Alabama, 2001, p 50).

In an article “The Value of testimony and Confessions Concerning the Holocaust”, Manfred Kohler implies that eyewitnesses had said the Nazis killed 20,000 Jews with an atomic bombs (Ernst Gauss (editor), Dissecting the Holocaust, Theses and Dissertations Press, Alabama, 2001, p 129).

These revisionist claims are based on the 21 June 1946 session of the Nuremberg trial, which can be read here, when the Chief US Prosecutor Justice Robert  Jackson asked the defendant Albert Speer, Reich Minister for Armaments and War Production about Nazi atomic energy research,

“MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And certain experiments were also conducted and certain researches were conducted in atomic research, were they not?

SPEER: We had not got as far as that, unfortunately because the finest minds we had in atomic research had emigrated to America, and this had thrown us back  a great deal in our research, so that we still needed another year or two in order to achieve any results in the splitting of the atom.

 MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The policy of driving people out who didn’t agree with Germany hadn’t produced very good dividends, had it?

 SPEER: Especially in this sphere it was a great disadvantage to us.

 MR JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, I have certain information, which was placed in my hands, of an experiment which was carried out near Auschwitz and I would like to ask you if you heard about it or knew about it. The purpose of the experiment was to find a quick and complete way of destroying people without the delay and trouble of shooting and gassing and burning, as it had been carried out, and this is the experiment, as I am advised. A village, a small village was provisionally erected, with temporary structures, and in it approximately 20,000 Jews were put. By means of this newly invented weapon of destruction, these 20,000 people were eradicated almost instantaneously, and in such a way that there was no trace left of them; that it developed, the explosive developed, temperatures of from 4000 to 5000 [?]  [degrees] centigrade and destroyed them without leaving any trace at all.

Do you know about that experiment?

 SPEER: No, and I consider it utterly improbable. If we had had such a weapon under preparation, I should have known about it. But we did not have such a weapon. It is clear that in chemical warfare attempts were made on both sides to carry out  research on all the weapons one could think of, because on did not know which party would start chemical warfare first.

 MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The reports, then, of a new and secret weapon ere exaggerated for the purpose of keeping the German people in the war?

 SPEER: That was the case mostly during the last phase of the war. From August, or rather June or July 1944 on I very often went to the front. I visited about 40 front-line divisions in their sectors and could not help seeing the troops, just like the German people, were given hopes about a new weapon coming, new weapons and wonder-weapons which, without requiring the use of soldiers, without military forces, would guarantee victory. In this belief lies the secret why so many people in Germany offered their lives, although common sense told them the war was over. They believed that in the near future this new weapon would arrive. “ (Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, 1947, Vol. 16, p 529-530)

Jackson asked Speer if this report was true. Speer said no. It was probably only Nazi propaganda to encourage the troops. That is all. The subject was dropped and they moved on. There were no eyewitnesses who claimed the Nazis killed 20,000 Jews with an atomic bomb in Auschwitz. The Allies did not torture any Nazis into confessing they had blown up Jews with an atomic bomb, as revisionists have to claim they did to German witnesses to the gas chambers.Speer was free to say it did not happen. In fact, the weapon was not even referred to as an “atomic bomb”, although it sounds like one.The Germans have not been forced to unquestioningly accept it as common knowledge as Germar Rudolf alleges.

On the other hand, Germar Rudolf claims that the Nazis really did test “nuclear bombs” in March 1945 and several hundred people were killed, including some inmates from the Ohrdruf concentration camp (Lectures on the Holocaust, p 438). If the Nazis did have atomic bombs, one would have thought they would used them on the Russians who were about to overrun Berlin. I assume Rudolf believes this because it would make the Nazis look intelligent.


Mary Magdalene The Film Review

The 2018 film Mary Magdalene, which told the story of Jesus from Mary Magdalene’s perspective, was not a box office smash. It received a 47% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was arguably not close enough to the New Testament account to appeal to evangelical Christians, the most likely market for a film about Jesus. On the other hand, the art house crowd, for whom the film seems to be directed, would not be interested in the subject matter, no matter how “feminist” it is. 

Rooney Mara plays Mary Magdalene  while Jesus is played by her real life boyfriend Joaquin Phoenix. Peter, a Jew from Galilee, is played by Chiwetel Ejiofur. Huh?

A lot of traditions and myths, old and new, have developed around Mary Magdalene. She is supposed to have been a prostitute. She is equated with the woman caught in adultery and also with Lazarus’ sister Mary of Bethany. She is supposed to have had a sexual relationship with Jesus and ended up in southern France. There is none of this in this film. It is concerned with the “historical Mary Magdalene” from the fishing village of Magdala in Galilee.

At the beginning of the film Mary worked with the family fishing business. Her family plan to marry her off, but she does not want to go through with it. While we might see her as an individual who is following her heart, in the honour and shame society of the ancient world, in which conformity is valued, Mary’s actions are thought to be  bizarre, disgracing and shaming her family. They assume she must be demon-possessed and attempt to cast the demons out of here.

They had previously heard about the travelling healer Jesus who shows up. Instead of literally casting seven demons out of her  (Luke 8:2), Jesus heals her by affirming her. Jesus baptizes her and she joins the disciples.

It is not mentioned in the movie, but Jesus and Mary Magdalene would have something in common, in that Jesus may have also been an embarrassment to his family. As the oldest son, he was expected to take over the family business and become a carpenter, but he  became an itinerant preacher, said he was the Messiah and got crucified.

Mary’s travelling around with a bunch of men was also scandalous. The New Testament records that other women also travelled with Jesus and the disciples and that they supported them financially (Luke 8:1-3). The “historical Mary Magdalene” may have even more unusual  and controversial than the movie portrays her. She was unmarried and financially independent in a patriarchal society.

Having Mary with them gives Jesus  an opening to preach to other women, telling them they need to obey God, rather than husbands and fathers, and they need to forgive them for the way they have treated them. It’s not in the New Testament, but it is consistent with Jesus’ teaching and it could have happened. Later, it is women who first proclaim Jesus to be the Messiah.

Jesus is proclaiming the Kingdom of God, which the disciples interpret as meaning that Jesus is going to supernaturally overthrow the Romans and set up the kingdom. In the New Testament the disciples were still expecting Jesus  to do this after he rose from the dead (Acts 1:6). Judas hopes that the resurrection will take place and he will be reunited with his dead family.

When they enter Jerusalem, Judas is expecting Jesus to usher in the Kingdom. When he doesn’t, Judas decides to force Jesus’ hand by betraying him to the authorities, hoping he will act and overthrow them. Judas is portrayed more sympathetically and with good intentions than the New Testament does (John 6:70-71, 12:5-7).

Nevertheless, Judas and the other disciples made the same mistake which many Christians do today. They want Jesus to meet their expectations and do what they want, when the Kingdom of God is about God as King and His will being done, not ours.

At the Passover or Last Supper, Mary is seated on Jesus’ right where Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” placed John, resulting in a lot of confusion for Dan Brown. John is listed in the credits, but I couldn’t tell which one  he was.

When Jesus is crucified and Judas realizes he was wrong, Mary attempts to console him.

Mary Magdalene is the only one to see the risen Jesus although the New Testament says other women were present (Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1, John 20:2). As I have discussed here and here, women were not considered credible witnesses in the ancient world. If the early Christians were going to make up the story of the resurrection, they would not have said the first witnesses were women, so it must have happened that way.

Mary goes and tells the male disciples that Jesus has risen. There is no suggestion that the disciples also saw the risen Jesus as the New Testament describes. According to the movie, Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus is solely based on Mary Magdalene.

Mary and Peter have different ideas about what the kingdom means. Peter wants to establish the church and wait for Jesus to return and establish the kingdom. Mary explains that the kingdom is within them and they must love and serve others.

Instead of seeing these views in conflict, many theologians would say they are both true. The Kingdom of God has already begun, it is present now in the lives of Christians where Jesus is King and by grace and faith, they do His will, and in the future when Jesus returns, everything will be brought into the Kingdom of God.

Mary Magdalene is portrayed as having greater insight than the male disciples, being the only one who truly understands Jesus’ message. This final confrontation between Mary and Peter appears to be derived from the 2nd century Gnostic Gospel of Mary where they are in conflict over the meaning of Jesus’ teaching. It is not meant to be taken literally. Peter symbolizes the orthodox Christians, while Mary Magdalene symbolizes the Gnostics who claimed to have superior spiritual insight than the orthodox Christians.

The movie would disappoint those Christians who want a dramatisation of the Gospels. However, the movie’s portrayal of Jesus is fairly Biblical. He proclaims the coming Kingdom of God, heals people, raises Lazarus from the dead, has a sense of his impending death, is crucified and rises from the dead. People call him the Messiah and the Son of God. Jesus’ affirming Mary Magdalene and other women and not following the social conventions of the period is realistic, but there was more to Jesus. There is nothing about his death making the forgiveness and sins and eternal life possible. It does not say what happened to Jesus after his resurrection. A lot of the dialogue is original and not derived from the Gospels. The week before, I had finished watching the new television miniseries Waco, and Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of Jesus reminded me a bit of Taylor Kitsch’s David Koresh.

While Mary loves Jesus, unlike other revisionist portrayals such as The Last Temptation of Christ and The Da Vinci Code, there is no romantic relationship between them, unlike what was going on between the two actors at the. time.