Friday, April 07, 2006

When deniers are right

Holocaust deniers are seldom right, even in the details. But, very rarely, their claims of falsified evidence do turn out to be correct. Such is the case with Laurence Rees' Auschwitz documentary.

The transcript of the part 6 contains the following text:
Oskar Gröning: "I see it as my task, now at my age, to face up to these things that I experienced and to oppose the Holocaust deniers who claim that Auschwitz never happened. And that's why I am here today. Because I want to tell those deniers: I have seen the gas chambers, I have seen the crematoria, I have seen the burning pits - and I want you to believe me that these atrocities happened. I was there."

I emphasized the critical part. Portuguese denier A S Marques wrote a letter to David Irving, in which he pointed out that the words "the gas chambers" were absent from Groening's speech in the documentary itself - both in the original German, and in the translation.

Upon checking, this claim turned out to be correct. Somebody has deliberately inserted the words "the gas chambers" into the transcript, and they've spread over the Web. This is the kind of thing that keeps deniers ticking.

Update: Mr. Rees has clarified the issue in the comments. Also see this posting. It's weird that the editor(s) chose to cut out these most important words.

11 comments:

Roman Werpachowski said...

I really don't understand why anyone would do it. Oscar Groening's testimony not powerful enough as it is? I've seen the documentary and was very moved.

Laurence Rees said...

Actually 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.

Nick Terry said...

Is there any chance of making the full, uncut video of this segment available online? Since as you now appreciate, deniers are twisting the wording.

Note that I don't see any difference with saying 'crematoria' only. That was the term in use, after all.

Laurence Rees said...

I do take your point. I know the BBC is looking at trying to make much more information available online. But I fear it won't silence the deniers as - in my view - they are like the flat earth society and simply deaf to reason. Meantime 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.

Nick Terry said...

Thankyou for pointing all this out. I'll post a follow-up on this.

Sergey Romanov said...

Nick: "Note that I don't see any difference with saying 'crematoria' only. That was the term in use, after all."

There is a difference, because not all gas chambers were in the crematoria, and seeing the crematoria themselves does not prove anything. Thus the words are important.

Anyway, the original complaint has been justified (even if mistaken) - sloppy editing practices like this cannot be expected a priori, thus I obviously assumed, when not hearing the word "gas chambers" in the middle of the sentence that Groening did not say those words.

Actually, I'm still not sure if they have been edited out (this makes no sense, frankly; does it make sense to you?) or whether Groening said the nearly identical phrase, omitting the words "gas chambers", and this was used in the final version.

If, however, it turns out that the words were excised from mid-sentence, the question is: what else was edited out?

john1313 said...

Funny it's still on Wikipedia and of course since it part of the Holo-christianity cult myth it will be repeated 60 years from now just like the lampshade and soap lies.... NOT!!!! Becauce the whole fable is falling apart and 60 years from now you will all be known to be the liars you are and Isreal will be a memory! Meanwhile I'll just file this stupid tale in between Misha of the Wolves and The Rosenblat "Love" story!

michael santomauro said...

FootNote 10: See LINK below:

10. The continued invocation of this myth borders on the absurd. As a case in point, consider the 2005 BBC series “Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution.” After five hours of airtime (and zero discussion of revisionist challenges), they insert, at the very end, a statement by former SS officer Oskar Gröning. As an elderly man, Gröning now sees it as his task “to oppose Holocaust deniers who claim that Auschwitz never happened.” He adds, “I have seen the crematoria. I have seen the burning pits. And I want you to believe me that these atrocities happened. I was there.” Of course, no revisionist in his right mind denies the existence of crematoria, pits, or the Auschwitz camp. Hence Gröning’s statement is meaningless—added for mere dramatic effect.

http://debatingtheholocaust.com/chapter_1

N Carter said...

You people are idiots. The zionist overlords have all the money in the world to hire and threaten people to make them do or say whatever they want.

The Zionists had to come up with something to motivate Americans and British public to fight for them. Nothing gets people hot like stories of racism and butchinging innocents.

You can see who the real facists were by taking a glance at the situation in Israel and what is being done the Palestinians.

The germans were reacting to social and economic warfare by a foreign invader, their reaction was perfectly natural. The masses died from dysentery and starvation, thanks to the firebombings tactics of the British, a policy reversal that was rumored to have been instigated by a jew. The gas chambers are a lie.

Wake up sheeple. It should be no surprise that the winners of war get to write history.

N Carter said...

You people are idiots. The zionist overlords have all the money in the world to hire and threaten people to make them do or say whatever they want.

The Zionists had to come up with something to motivate Americans and British public to fight for them. Nothing gets people hot like stories of racism and butchinging innocents.

You can see who the real facists were by taking a glance at the situation in Israel and what is being done the Palestinians.

The germans were reacting to social and economic warfare by a foreign invader, their reaction was perfectly natural. The masses died from dysentery and starvation, thanks to the firebombings tactics of the British, a policy reversal that was rumored to have been instigated by a jew. The gas chambers are a lie.

Wake up morons. It should be no surprise that the winners of war get to write history.

David Ashton said...

Serious researchers and decent people need the full story but without cuts, additions, alterations or embellishments. Anything less is an insult to the dead and a hostage to yet-again misfortune.

In the "Daily Mail" Guy Walters quotes Groening saying that he saw the Auschwitz "extermination chanbers" and on one occasion "heard the screams coming from within", adding that these murderous facilities were known as "cottages". I must have missed this designation when going through Holocaust literature. However, a previous press report said that the SS bookkeeper accompanied others in hunting for escapees, who were found hiding in a farm building which was then locked so that Zyklon-B could be poured through an opening in this --- cottage.

I also came across a statement by a British officer in liberated Belsen, who said a woman poked him in the back with a gun, and had a dog which ate babies in the camp. This was allegedly Irma Greise. Can this story be true, a false recollection, or a bad dream.

These tales keep the drama going among the credulous, but ultimately endanger the reality of Nazi Jew-hatred as shown simply by Hitler's own statements (e.g. to Horthy in 1943) or the vermin-propaganda of "Der ewige Jude" (which the "revisionists" tend to ignore).