(This article was first published in Hard Evidence, Vol. 11, No. 5, September-October 2011)
What was the Final Solution?
In Part One I quoted a passage from Goebbels’ diary which said the Final Solution involved deporting the Jews of Nazi-occupied Europe to the East. Both conventional historians and Holocaust revisionists agree on this. They disagree on what happened to the Jews when they got there. Conventional historians say most of them were killed. Revisionists say they were simply resettled in the East.
There are Nazi documents which talk about resettling the Jews in the East. For example, in Hitler’s War, the revisionist David Irving cited a September 18, 1941 letter from Himmler to Arthur Greisler, Gauleiter of the Warthegau,
“The Fuhrer wishes that the old Reich territory and the Protectorate [ of Bohemia-Moravia] to be cleansed and rid of Jews, from west to east as soon as possible . as a first step I am therefore endeavoring to transport – this year as far as possible – all the Jews in the old Reich and the Protectorate into the eastern territories annexed by the Reich in 1939 first of all; next spring they will then be deported further eastward [ into Russia].” (1)
This might sound like the Nazis were going to resettle these Jews. In spite of what they said on paper when they arrived, most of them were killed. David Irving described what happened to them,
“Meanwhile, from mid-November 1941 onward, the Reichsbahn sent trainloads of Jews – rounded up in Vienna, Brunn (Brno) . Bremen and Berlin – direct to Minsk, while others went to Warsaw, Kovno and Riga. At Kovno and Riga the Jews were shot soon after. At Minsk the Jews did not survive much longer, Richard Kube, Rosenberg’s general commissioner of White Ruthenia, would record on July 31, 1942, that 10,000 had been liquidated since the twenty-eighth, “of which 6,500 were Russian Jews, old folk, women and children, with the rest unemployable Jews sent to Minsk from Vienna, Brunn, Bremen, and Berlin in November last year on the Fuhrer’s orders.”” (2)
Jews were told they were going to be resettled. They were put on trains and transported eastwards, but when they arrived, most of them were killed. There is no evidence they actually were resettled. Revisionists, who say that the Jews were resettled, are using the same argument which the Nazis used to deceive their victims in the 1940s.
Revisionists acknowledge that there is documentary evidence that large numbers of Jews were deported to Chelmno and the Operation Reinhard camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka in Poland. For example, Theodor Ganzenmuller, the Nazi Secretary of State of the Ministry of Transport wrote in a letter, dated July 27, 1942, that 5000 Jews a day were being sent to Treblinka;
“Since July 22, a train load of 5,000 Jews has departed daily from Warsaw via Malkinia to Treblinka, and in addition a train load of 5,000 Jews has left Przemysl twice a week for Belzec.” (3)
Treblinka was a small camp and 5000 Jews could not fit in it, let alone adding another 5000 every day. In The Hoax of the Twentieth Century Arthur Butz claimed that the camps like Treblinka and Sobibor were transit camps (4). Jews were sent there but then, they were supposed to have been sent on further to the East. Butz said the Jews were resettled in the area of Riga, Minsk and the Ukraine, but he admitted he cannot find any documentary evidence for this and he did not know what happened to the Jews after the war (5). Nevertheless, other revisionists still use this explanation.
On March 23, 1943, Richard Korherr, Himmler’s Inspector for Statistics, prepared a report, The Final Solution of the Jewish Question in Europe. The Korherr Report said that by December 30, 1942, 1,786,356 Jews had been evacuated to the east. 1,274,166 had gone to the camps in the General Government (Nazi-occupied Poland), that is, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec and Majdenek. This number is confirmed by a 11 January 1943 radio message which was sent from Lublin to Cracow and was intercepted and decoded by British intelligence, again saying that 1,274,166 Jews had been sent to these camps (6).
The Korherr Report further states that on December 12, 1942, there were 434,486 Jews in ghettos and only 9127 Jews in concentration camps, including only 1412 Jews in Auschwitz (7). What had happened to all the other Jews who had already been sent there? Furthermore, where could the 1,786,356 Jews, who had been “evacuated”, have been if they were not in ghettos or concentration camps? If they really had been resettled, as revisionists claim, why didn’t the Korherr Report (or any other Nazi document) just say where?
The Korherr Report also states that another 633,000 Jews had been evacuated from occupied Russia and the Baltic (8). Another 1943 report Solution of the Jewish Problem in Galicia said that by June 27, 1943, another 434,329 Jews had been evacuated from Galicia
The Nazis were not just sending Jews from the west to the camps of Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec and then sent further east. They were also deporting Jews from the east, the Baltic and Galicia, westwards to these camps. Jews from east and west were deported to Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec. They were not sent elsewhere and resettled. They were killed there.
The Jews Deported to Auschwitz
In the documentary The Search for Truth in History David Irving suggested that the fact that so many Jews had survived Auschwitz shows that it could not have been an extermination camp,
“The very existence of so eyewitnesses, of course, begs the existence of an extermination program, and so I had to say rather tastelessly to people like the Mrs Altman that I mentioned before, I say, “Isn’t it rather extraordinary that there are so many thousands of Jewish survivors?……Tens of thousands of Jews survived Auschwitz, which we are told was an extermination camp where the Nazis were killing every Jew they could get their hands on.” (10)
This argument reveals an ignorance of the nature of the Final Solution. The Goebbels passage, which was quoted earlier, makes it clear that the Final Solution did not involve simply exterminating all the Jews as quickly as possible. The Jews, who were not able to work, were usually killed. The fitter Jews were kept alive, for a while at least, and used as slave labour.
Irving’s argument that there should not be thousands of survivors from an extermination camp inadvertently confirms that Chelmno and the Operation Reinhard camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka were extermination camps. There are not thousands of Jews who survived these camps. About two million Jews were sent to these four camps and about 110 survived the war (11). Over 99% of the Jews sent there were killed on arrival. Only a handful were kept alive for work, such as disposing of the corpse and sorting their possessions.
Some revisionists claim that the Auschwitz death books, which were released by the Russians in 1989, prove that only 73,137 Jews died in Auschwitz (12). Other revisionists know better. Arthur Butz has pointed that the death books record 45,575 deaths in 1942 and 39,960 in 1943. The death books for 1940, 1941, 1944 and 1945 are missing (13). Carlo Mattogno has written, “The Death Books record, for the very most part, the names of deceased male inmates, and only a small number of female inmates.” (14) It is not clear why the death books recorded only some female deaths.
Furthermore, the death books recorded only 2060 deaths from typhus (15) . The revisionists’ argument, that there were so many typhus deaths in Auschwitz that they had to build four crematoria, is clearly nonsense.
About 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz. 1.1 million of them were Jews. When the Jews arrived, they went through a selection process. Those, who were fit for work, went to the right, were registered and admitted to the camp where they were use as slave labour. The unsuitable Jews went to the left and were taken way and not registered. There were about 400,000 registered Auschwitz inmates, which would presumably include the 200,000 non-Jews. This means about 900,000 Jews were sent to Auschwitz but never made it to the registration office. About 200,000 inmates survived and were released or transferred to other camps (16). This means 200,000 registered inmates must have died but the death books record only 74,000 deaths. More importantly, they do not record the deaths of those who were deported to Auschwitz and were killed soon after arriving without being registered.
The eyewitness accounts of Jewish survivors of Auschwitz typically say that when they arrived, they were divided into two groups – those able to work and those unable to work – just like Goebbels wrote. The survivors were in the group, which was able to work, and they were admitted into the camp. The others, the unfit Jews, were taken away and gassed. Out of all the Jews, who have written about their experiences in the Holocaust, not one of them has said that they were among the 900,000 Jews who were deported to Auschwitz but they were not suitable for slave labour, so they were sent somewhere else. This is because they were not sent somewhere else, they were gassed in Auschwitz. If any revisionist wants to disagree, he should show us the documentary or eyewitness evidence to support his claims.
If we add the 900,000 unregistered Jews, who were gassed, and the 200,000 registered inmates, who never left and must have also died, we get 1.1 million deaths at Auschwitz.
The Hungarian Deportations to Auschwitz
The 1941 census revealed there were 725,005 Jews in Hungary. 324,026 of these were in territory which Hungary had annexed from Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia between 1938 and 1941. There were also about 100,000 converts to Christianity who were still classified as Jews. About 63,000 Jews had already been killed by March, 1944, so there were about 762,000 Jews in Hungary when Germany occupied their ally (17) . In April 1944 Hitler ordered the deportation of 100,000 Hungarian Jews for slave labour (18).
Revisionists claim that in 1942 to 1943 the Nazis had sent about two million Jews through the camps of Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka and resettled them somewhere in the eastern territories. If the Nazis now needed more Jews for slave labour, one wonders why they did not just bring back some of these supposedly resettled Jews. They could not because these Jews had not been resettled. They had been killed.
From May 15 to July 9, 1944, 437,402 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz, four times what Hitler originally said he needed. These deportations are well-documented (19). About 26,000 Hungarian Jews were admitted to Auschwitz as inmates (20). Others, who were also deemed fit for work, were transferred to other camps. Historians do not agree how many were transferred. Franciszek Piper, director of the Auschwitz State Museum, says that 25,000 were transferred, Jean Claude Pressac believed 118,000 were transferred (21). The rest of the Hungarian Jews, between 293,000 and 386,000 were killed in the Auschwitz gas chambers. This is what the eyewitnesses, both Jews and Germans, say happened.
The Labor Deployment Lists, which list the tasks assigned to the prisoners in Auschwitz, record that on July 28, 1944, there were 870 inmates working in the four Birkenau crematoria in two shifts. For example, there were 109 inmates working the day shift in Crematorium II and 104 working the night shift (22). There is no way an ordinary crematorium needs over 100 workers at one time, let alone three more serving a population of about 100,000. A few months later, on October 9, 1944, the Labor Deployment Lists record only 212 workers in the four crematoria. Crematorium II needed 27 workers for the day shift and 26 for the night shift (23). Why were almost four times as many workers needed to operate the crematoria in July than in October?
The reason is because that July 1944 was the time of the deportations of 430,000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz where over 300,000 were killed in the gas chambers in the Birkenau crematoria and so many workers were needed to drag out and cremate the bodies. In October, the Hungarian deportations had finished, fewer Jews were being gassed, and fewer inmates were needed to dispose of the bodies.
Again, if revisionists want to claim that the Hungarian Jews were not killed, they must show us what really happened to them, but they cannot. In The Hoax of the Twentieth Century Arthur Butz got around this problem by claiming that the Hungarian deportations never happened and all the documentary evidence was faked (24).
Butz is clearly wrong since many of the eyewitness accounts about Auschwitz were Hungarian Jews who were deported to Auschwitz in 1944. Another revisionist, Germar Rudolf, has admitted, “There is no way to get around the fact, however, that there are still Jews living today who really were deported to Auschwitz in spring 1944.” (25)
In an article “Transfers to the Reich” another revisionist Richard Widmann wrote that most of the Hungarian Jews were sent to other camps;
“We now know that while some of the Hungarian Jews were retained to work in Auschwitz itself, large numbers were dispersed to over 386 camps, the great majority of these in the concentration camp system within the German Reich.” (26)
Widmann’s source for this passage is an article “Hungarian Jews’ by Randolph Braham, published in Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp. Braham actually wrote,
“Of approximately 438,000 Hungarian Jews deported to Auschwitz from May 15 to July 9, 1944, about 10 percent were determined to be fit for labor. Some were retained to work in Auschwitz itself; the remainder were dispersed to 386 camps in the Nazi empire.” (27)
Widman is misrepresenting Braham, giving the impression that he said that most of the Hungarian Jews were transferred for Auschwitz to other camps, when he said that less than 10% were transferred and he actually believed that 90% of them had been killed in Auschwitz.
At the 2000 Institute for Historical Review Conference Jurgen Graf gave a speech called “What Happened to the Jews who were deported to Auschwitz but were not Registered There?” One would think with a title like that Graf was going to tell us what happened to the Jews who were deported to Auschwitz but were not registered there. He did not. Graf claimed the Jews, who were not suitable for work, were sent elsewhere but he had no evidence because the Allies destroyed it,
“One of the most crucial unsolved problems is the question as to where the work-restricted people were billeted. Birkenau could simply not accommodate all of them. We know no documents about a camp outside Birkenau where these people were housed. Should such documents have existed, they were certainly destroyed or safely hidden by the victors, as they were radically incompatibly with the legend of an end of Hungarian Jewry in the gas chambers (????) of Auschwitz-Birkenau.” (28)
Graf has also claimed that the Allies destroyed documents showing that the Operation Reinhard camps were really transit camps,
“We are convinced that in 1945, the victors undertook measures to cull out German documents which clearly contradict the extermination thesis and this is the reason such documents are only available in sparse numbers.
This in all probability is the reason why no documents are available concerning the so-called Eastern extermination camps of Treblinka, Sobibor and Belzec. All these three camps were almost certainly transit camps through which especially Polish, but also a certain number of Western Jews, were being relocated into the Eastern territories.” (29)
Graf has no proof that the Allies destroyed or hid these documents or that they even existed in the first place. He is making it up to explain why there is no evidence to support his groundless theory.
The real reason why there is no evidence that the Jews, who were sent to Auschwitz but were not suitable for work, were sent somewhere else, is not because the Allies destroyed the evidence, but because they were not sent to other camps. They were gassed in Auschwitz.
Holocaust revisionism’s fatal flaw
Revisionists claim about three million Jews were supposed to have been “resettled”, one million through Auschwitz and two million through Chelmno and the Operation Reinhard camps. (There were an additional two to three million Jews who were shot by the Einsatzgruppen behind the Eastern Front or died from starvation and exhaustion in the ghettos and concentration camps.) Birkenau could hold about 100,000 inmates. If these three million Jews were supposed to have been resettled in camps, that would require 30 camps the size of Birkenau. Where were these camps? What were their names? Are there any photos of what these camps look like today? What were the names of the camp commandants? What were the SS units which guarded them? About 4500 SS personnel were assigned to guard Auschwitz with its 100,000 inmates (30). To guard 3,000,000 Jews would require 135,000 SS personnel, the equivalent of seven Waffen-SS divisions. There were only 38 SS divisions. Historians know what they did during the war. Seven of them were not guarding Jews in the occupied East. Even if they were guarding Jews, why has a single one of them ever come forward and contacted a revisionist and told the truth? These Jews were supposed to have put to work, so what were the industries which were relocated to the East for the Jews to work in? There are records of trains of Jews going to Treblinka and Sobibor and coming back empty. Revisionists say they were transit camps, but where are the train records of where they were transported afterwards? Where are the records of food supplies, construction of the camps, salaries of the personnel? Is there a single document, a single scrap of paper relating to the actual resettlement of these Jews?
Of course, the answer is no. If there were any such evidence, revisionists would have already produced it. They would be shouting it from the rooftops. Instead, all we hear are attacks on the historical evidence, that the Jews were killed, and dogmatic claims that the Jews were resettled with no evidence to substantiate them.
Earlier, I compared Holocaust revisionists to defense lawyers. To use another legal analogy, suppose there is a murder trial; witnesses say the defendant killed the victim and disposed of the body. The defense strategy is not to argue that the defendant is not guilty, but that the crime never even happened. If you are on the jury, listening to this, sooner or later it is going to occur to you that if the murder did not happen and the victim was not killed, then he must still be alive, so where is he ? if the alleged victim were still alive, there should be some evidence, such as some witnesses who say they saw the victim after he was supposed to have been killed. Or best of all, they could bring in the supposed murder victim, alive and well, and the trial would be over very quickly. However if the defence produces no evidence that the victim is really still alive, but keeps dogmatically insisting that he is, then the jury will conclude that this is nothing but a desperate and groundless tactic by the defence who have no real evidence that their client is innocent.
This is the fatal flaw of Holocaust revisionism and why revisionists do not deserve to be taken seriously. They spend their time attacking the historical evidence because they do not like what it says happened. They make up claims about what “really” happened to the Jews or what the Auschwitz gas chambers “really” were, but they cannot produce any historical evidence to support their claims.
(1) David Irving, Hitler’s War, Focal Point, London, 1991,p 422
(2) Ibid., p 426
(3) Yitzhak Arad, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, The Operation Reinhard Death Camps, Indiana University Press, 1999, p 51
(4) Arthur Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, institute for Historical Review, California, 1992, p 212
(5) Ibid., p 219-220
(6) Peter Witte and Stephen Tyas, “A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews during “Einsatz Reinhardt””, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Vol. 15, No. 3, Winter 2001, p 468-486
(7) Serge Klarsfeld, The Holocaust and the Neo-Nazi Mythomania, Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, New York, 1978, p 184-185
(8) Ibid., p 185-186
(9) “Solution of the Jewish Problem in Galicia”, L-18, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1946, Vol. 7, p 763
(10) David Irving, “The Search for Truth in History”, http://www.fpp.co.uk/speeches/SearchforTruth1993/part4.html
(11) Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1985, p 287, 502
(12) Hebert Walters, Letter, Hard Evidence, Vol. 8, No. 6, November-December 2008, p 4
(13) Arthur Butz, “Some Thoughts on Pressac’s Opus”, Journal of Historical Review, May-June 1993, p 26
(14) Carlo Mattogno and Franco Deana, “The Crematoria Ovens of Auschwitz and Birkenau”, in Dissecting the Holocaust, op cit., p 400
(15) John Zimmerman, Holocaust Denial, University of America Press, Lanham, 2000, p 63
(16) Franciszek Piper, “The Number of Victims” in Yisrael Gutman and Michael Berenbaum (editors), Anatomy
of the Auschwitz Death Camp, Indiana University Press, 1998, p 68-72
(17) Randolph Braham, Politics of Genocide, Columbia University Press, New York, 1981, Vol. 2, p 1143
(18) Albert Speer, Infiltration, Macmillan, New York, 1981, p 289
(19) Randolph Braham, The Destruction of Hungarian Jewry, A Documentary Account, Pro Arte New York, 1963
(20) Holocaust Denial, op cit., p 45
(21) The Case for Auschwitz, op cit., p 113-116
(23) Danuta Czech, Auschwitz Chronicle, 1939-1945, Owl Books, New York, 1990, p 727-728
(24) The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, op cit., p 158, 171
(25) Germar Rudolf, “Holocaust Victims: A Statistical Analysis, W. Benz and W.N. Sanning – A Comparison” in Dissecting the Holocaust, op cit., p 193
(26) Richard Widmann, “Transfers to the Reich”, http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v20/v20n2p21_Widmann.html
(27) Randolph Braham, “Hungarian Jews” in Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp, op cit., p 466
(28) Jurgen Graf, “What Happened to the Jews Who Were Deported to Auschwitz But Were Not Registered There?”, http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v19/v19n4p-4.Graf.html
(30) Aleksander Lasik, “Postwar Prosecution of the Auschwitz SS” in Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp, op cit., p 589