Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"I have seen the gas chambers, I have seen the crematoria"

We've received clarification of our post about the widely circulated Oskar Groening interview for the BBC Auschwitz series.

Though we pointed up a discrepancy between the English transcript and German audiotrack of Groening's interview, it turns out, according to director Laurence Rees, that

the transcript correctly represents what Mr Groening said in his interview. He did say he had seen the gas chambers. But these words were not used in the final edited sequence of the film. Much fuller versions of Mr Groening's testimony are already available in published form in the book of the series which I wrote. On page 373 of the British paperback edition, for example, you can read a more complete section of his interview where he talks about seeing the gas chambers. It was this section which was edited down for inclusion in programme six of the series. Elsewhere, on page 207 he describes seeing the Zyklon B inserted into a gas chamber.

Unlike deniers, at least we publish corrections.

19 comments:

Sergey Romanov said...

The good thing is that this has been cleared up. :-)

I will update my posting.

marsattacks said...

Is there a full transcript of the Hans Munch interview for Swedish television on-line somewhere?

Nick Terry said...

Don't know, sorry. Try the usual...

marsattacks said...

IIRC the tape was digitized and put on Kazaa or eMule some time ago. And yes, I know the text on Nizkor.

ASMarques said...

Don't you find it strange that Groening can be heard both before and after the supposed words "I've seen the gas chambers"?

Why would they have edited out of the soundtrack precisely those words, leaving the next words "I've seen the crematoria" and so on, with the list of what he had seen except for the gas chambers?

And if the words are not there and were in fact subreptitiously added to the transcript in order to be featured in the foreign dubbed versions, how come Groening would have forgotten the main Auschwitz "attraction" precisely when he was describing what he had personally seen with his own eyes, i.e. the most outlandish unbelievable items of all?

The BBC producer Laurence Rees says Groening mentions "gas chambers" elsewhere on his footage. Not true. Not once in the whole final product of Rees's efforts. He can only be referring to unreleased footage, but if so why would he have edited the relevant part out of his final version, only to add the words later, in a different place where Groening doesn't pronounce them at all and actually talks about something else?!

Unbelievably idiotic negligence on Rees's part, or simply another lie, underlining the lack of convincing explicit footage due no doubt to a very understandable sense of shamed hesitation on Groening's part?

Very odd indeed. Here is my take on the subject:

The words were not there, in the original soundtrack, because Groening is just another poor guy who was fetched and blackmailed into activity against his best wishes, in order to "keep the memory alive". He was half-heartedly doing what was expected of him, while nevertheless managing to avoid going all the way and confirming the "gas chambers".

Do I have to remind you of Hoess's working-hands going into the same gas chambers, "smoking cigarettes and eating sandwiches"?

Now, why would Hoess tell us such idiocies instead of simply "hey, folks, I'm actually being forced to tell you a pack of lies"?...

I leave the answer to your imagination. Not much is required.

Back to the 21st century and the latest Jack-in-the-Holocaust-box, Oskar Groening.

So they simply edited the words into poor Groening's mouth in the official distributed text, as Rees now seems to be confessing in his correspondence with your blog here. That same text, of course, was the one used for the foreign dubbings, and that's that. Anything goes in the happy-go-free world of serious "Holocaust" publishing & broadcasting...

Unfortunately for Rees, in the original English version both the superposed English comment and the German words that can be heard beneath it (if you rewind and pay close attention) give the game away: the "gas chambers" words are definitely not there.

Now, Rees didn't get away with it, and therefore, neither did Groening for long. He probably is singing the right tune now and will do all that is required of him, but the question remains: since both Groening's voice and the superposed English comment agree in the soundtrack and leave the gas chambers out, what do you call the transcript deemed to have miraculously created those words backwards in time?...

Don't be afraid of the words: it's called a FALSIFICATION.

And here is the wondrous Holocaust world in a nutshell, friends:

David Irving, the historian; Germar Rudolf, the scientist; Ernst Zündel, the pacifist: all under arrest.

Laurence Rees, the shoa-bizz falsifier: free as a bird and making lots of money.

Nick Terry said...

Does this edit actually make any significant difference to the thrust of what Groening said? I put it to you that it does not.

More importantly, hat does AS Marques have to say about Groening's other videoed interviews for the BBC series? So far he has been utterly, utterly silent on them

Here is an excerpt from Rees' book which gives a quote from Groening that rather suggests the opposite of his conclusions based on a splice


And then there was the other “positive” side of life at Auschwitz for Oskar Groening—his comrades: “I have to say that many who worked there weren’t dull, they were intelligent.” When he eventually left the camp in 1944, he went with some regrets:

“I’d left a circle of friends who I’d got familiar with, I’d got fond of, and that was very difficult. Apart from the fact that there are pigs who fulfil their personal drives—there are such people---the special situation at Auschwitz led to friendships which, I still say today, I think back on with joy”.

But one night, toward the end of 1942, Groening’s comfortable life at Auschwitz was disrupted by a sudden glimpse into the nightmare of the actual killing operation. Asleep in his barracks in the SS camp on the perimeter of Birkenau, he and his comrades were woken by the sound of an alarm. They were told that a number of Jews who were being marched to the gas chambers had escaped and run to the nearby woods. “We were told to take our pistols and go through the forest,” says Groening. “We found no one.” Then he and his comrades spread out and moved up towards the extermination area of the camp.

“We went in star formation up towards this farmhouse—it was lit from outside in diffused light, and out in the front were seven or eight bodies. These were the ones who had probably tried to escape and they’d been caught and shot. In front of the door of the farmhouse were some SS men who told us, “It’s finished, you can go home.”

Overcome by curiosity, Groening and his comrades decided not to “go home” but to hang about in the shadows instead. They watched as an SS man put on a mask and placed Zyklon B pellets through a hatch in the side of the cottage wall. There had been a humming noise coming from inside the cottage that now “turned to screaming” for a minute—followed by silence. “Then one man—I don’t know whether he was an officer—stood and came to the door where there was a peep-hole, looked in and checked whether everything was OK and the people were dead.” Groening describes his feelings at this moment, when the crude mechanics of murder were placed in front of him, “as if you see two lorries crashing on the motorway. And you ask yourself, ‘Must it be that way? Is this necessary?’ And of course it’s influenced by the fact that you said before, ‘Yes, well, it’s war,’ and we said, ‘They were our enemies.”’.

Auschwitz: A New History
Laurence Rees
Public Affairs, member of the Perseus Books Group
2005
p. 157-158

ASMarques said...

Nick Terry: "More importantly, (w)hat does AS Marques have to say about Groening's other videoed interviews for the BBC series?"

Let me quote from your excerpts: "Overcome by curiosity, Groening and his comrades decided not to “go home” but to hang about in the shadows instead. They watched as an SS man put on a mask and placed Zyklon B pellets through a hatch in the side of the cottage wall."

So for Groening it was "a cottage" rather than this...

Why is it that everybody "hangs about in the shadows" in order to see what goes on in full daylight with hardly a problem (namely the smooth and continuous daily gassings of thousands upon thousands of victims)?

Notice what I wrote: "Now, Rees didn't get away with it, and therefore, neither did Groening for long. He probably is singing the right tune now and will do all that is required of him [...]"

There you have my reply. You were honest enough to ask Rees and he confirmed what he obviously couldn't deny.

I don't know you, but your associate Mathis has at least a sense of humor. That usually comes with a degree of intelligence.

Now think hard on what your mind's eye has just seen with the help of the modest display on the Auschwitz Museum. Then picture Groening's "cottage with side hatches".

Well, is this nice small cottage what he is supposing to be referring to when Rees puts words in his mouth?

Tell me IYP what you think of Rees getting caught in such a flagrant act of falsification.

Is that all right with you?

Nick Terry said...

You're a clear ignoramus of Auschwitz history if you are confusing Krema II with the White House or the Red House, Bunkers 1 and 2, converted cottages. The quote clearly states 'towards the end of 1942'. Kremas II-V were not operational until March 1943. So actually, Groening is yet another witness to the first phase of the Auschwitz gas chambers (along with Kremer, and other SS and prisoner witnesses).

As for you wondering why the SS guards 'hung around in the shadows', well, doh! the description clearly places it at night-time.

So that's two apples versus two oranges, about par for the course when dealing with deniers.

Yes, the editing bothers me, because it allows people like you to twist what is clearly stated elsewhere in the series and book.

Now scurry back and hide between Hannover's legs at the Cesspit.

ASMarques said...

[Nick Terry in bold] You're a clear ignoramus of Auschwitz history if you are confusing Krema II with the White House or the Red House, Bunkers 1 and 2, converted cottages.

I don't think you got my point. The BBC films clearly imply that Groening was a witness to the selections on the train platform (he actually mentions this, while cleverly managing not to mention any gas chambers). Those, of course, were supposed to be the prelude to the industrial gassing in the crematories supposedly functioning as gas chambers.

Now here comes Rees with his little book and what does he tell us? Oh, Groening did see a little gassing in the cottage and that's that. Well, why the "selections" talk and so on if all he is going to bear witness to is such an improvised amateurish gassing in "the cottage"?

Do you get my point now? Let me tell you what this reminds me of.

It reminds me of the false showerheads in Dachau. They are still there. So what was their use if all the gas chambers of the fifties vintage migrated into the Polish camps during the sixties? Oh wait, there were actually a few "experimental" gassings in Dachau but then they gave up. So why didn't they dismount the false showerheads? Oh, they simply forgot. They forgot them for years!...

And so on and so forth. See my point? It's the same with the "experimental" soap factories (the mad prof. Spanner in the Stutthof, Dirlewanger in the ruins of Warsaw: take your pick...).

Finally here comes Laurence Rees's star witness and what did he see? Oh, he saw the arriving folks being selected on the platform by the thousands (presumably for the giant slaughterhouses that belched smoke day and night) and -- er -- he saw a few folks being killed under cover of the night, in some cottage, in a sort of improvised off-the-cuff gassing in the experimental days...

Nice job.

BTW, you didn't tell me whether you really believed or not in the astonishing scene that I showed you. You know, the little dolls in the Museum. Is that supposed to be a portrayal of a real scene or is it just a bad joke?

As for you wondering why the SS guards 'hung around in the shadows', well, doh! the description clearly places it at night-time.

Calm down, read carefully, think a little, and you'll get the nuance that escaped you. You see, the passage implies that Groening was hiding from view. This is a classic tale. Apparently every SS man needed to be in hiding to have a peak at what was supposedly everyday's business in clear view of everybody in the proverbial "factory of death" of Auschwitz. It's the same with the two only witnesses of the Frankfurt trial and both got away with very light condemnations. How come? Think about it and then draw your own conclusions on the value of this so-called "testimony"...

So that's two apples versus two oranges, about par for the course when dealing with deniers.

Why don't you think in terms of dealing with ideas and facts, rather than horrrible demons?

Yes, the editing bothers me, because it allows people like you to twist what is clearly stated elsewhere in the series and book.

Doesn't it call for a little thought too? I mean, since when is the adding of words where there were none, in the transcript of a recorded interview, called "editing"?

Now scurry back and hide between Hannover's legs at the Cesspit.

Come on. You sound like a relatively clever guy, otherwise you wouldn't be associating with old Mathis (he certainly got me with his wonderful Palestinian impersonation!). So, why not giving an extra thought to what you think you know?

Get a second look at the little dolls. Do a pause. Think about what you just saw instead of blindly putting your trust in others.

Why is it that not a single photo of a mass gassing exists?

Six industrial death centers functioning for years in the same places, 24-365, millions of victims, and not a single image of the action. Think about it. How come?

See you.

Nick Terry said...

Having worked in the media, I know exactly what happens in cutting-room studios and in magazines when interviews are edited; and splicing together is not unknown when it works from an editorial view.

Yet in this case, the subject matter is too sensitive for such an approach - it should have been verbatim.

All you have, AS Marques, is a whine about clumsy editing. Given it's a complaint we (Sergey and I) both have, we'll see whether we can extract a full transcript of the interviews from Mr Rees and make them available.

I'd expect, though, that Oskar Groening testified to many things in his interview; including witnessing a gassing by night at Bunker 1 or 2, and witnessing a selection at the main ramp - the two events are hardly contradictory, given that Groening served as a guard at the camp.

Your analogy with the Dachau gas chamber is false. Your analogy with the Danzig soap factory is also false. Nobody was ever convicted of either.

What's the real comparison? With the much larger corpus of testimony from members of the SS who served at Auschwitz, half of which has barely been used by historians, never mind the prisoner witnesses. Never mind the documentary indicators.

Never mind the utter lack of explanation for the missing unregistered hundreds of thousands of people sent to the camp.

Y'see, these aren't my demons, but my bread and butter as a historian. Contrary to your projection, I deal in ideas and facts every day, on a wide range of subjects, not just this one. But the facts in this case are very simple: 800,000 missing people, thousands of statements from those who were selected for labour or did the selecting, and in total several hundreds from eyewitnesses to the gas chambers themselves. Against.... zip. Nada. Not a dicky-bird of evidence of an alternative explanation where, just to take one example, tens of thousands of Ladino-speaking Jews from Salonika vanished to.

Believe me, I've looked.

Let me ask you a question: have you, or anyone else you know at CODOH, actually ever set foot in an archive and confronted the files face-to-face? On *any* subject? You might just stumble across some of the answers to the questions you think are so vital.

Sergey Romanov said...

"Do I have to remind you of Hoess's working-hands going into the same gas chambers, "smoking cigarettes and eating sandwiches"?"

Aren't you guys tired of repeating this lie?

"David Irving, the historian; Germar Rudolf, the scientist; Ernst Zündel, the pacifist: all under arrest."

But neither of the three is what you called them.

"So for Groening it was "a cottage" rather than this..."

"I don't think you got my point."

I think the point was quite clear. And you'te clearly an ignoramus.

Nick Terry said...

Given AS Marques' (censored) spat with Bradley Smith at his blog and falling out with CODOH, I apologise for telling him to run away and hide between Hannover's legs. Not for the rest, though.

sparkle said...

The memoirs of Rudo-lph Hoess are part of a large body of testimony about the gas chambers. The memoirs were not forced, and were not an attempt to avoid the gallows. He knew from the get go he was going to die. His memoirs admit in excess of a milliopn executions at Auschwitz. This was in contrast to allied figures at the time. If the memoirs were forced he likely would have adopted the allied estimates. He also hangs on to his antisemitism in hsi memoirs, and writes about being neated by the British. If the British were encouraging this confession on paper, they would have had him exclude that detail. The gassings were conducted in great secrecy, but a number of SS guards have attested to them, in addition to witnesses of other categories. SS guards were required to sign an oath of secrecy. Oskar Groening in the BBC interview still sounds like an antisemite and isn't ashamed of his work at Auschwitz. He is a very credible witness.

Jay said...

I think that Groning should have been sentenced to death. in fact, I believe ANYONE who participated in ANY aspect of the Holocaust should be sentenced to death. To make any excuses for them is insane and ridiculous. With the amount of atrocities being committed, the only innocent Nazis, would have been those who risked their lives to escape the camp and defied all orders put upon them.

An innocent person would have rather died at the hands of their own leadership, than participate in any way, shape, or form.

Sergey Romanov said...

"I believe ANYONE who participated in ANY aspect of the Holocaust should be sentenced to death"

Wow! Even Jewish Sonderkommandos, forced by the Nazis to burn the bodies in Auschwitz, Babiy Yar and elsewhere?

Navin Kallolli said...

why would BBC cut only the part where he talk about gas chambers?

Anonymous said...

"Holocaust Storytellers will doubtless try and claim that this “farmhouse in the forest” was one of the so-called “provisional gas chambers,” also known in Holocaust legend as the “red” and “blue” houses, or “bunker 1” and “bunker 2.” -http://peterwinterwriting.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/oskar-groening-and-erect-penises-of.html

Anonymous said...

This whole error is making people, that otherwise wouldnt care, ask questions: http://nikarevleshy.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/did-oskar-groning-say-i-saw-gas.html

Anonymous said...

Did you get the interview in full? I bet not. This doesn't mean the Holocaust didn't happen. But, I bet Oskar didn't say this on film, the BBC and Rees have lied. All they need to do is show this damning evidence, these 5 words on film from that interview, and poof. But alas this won't happen, Rees won't help either. They lied, simple.