Saturday, June 21, 2008

Another Denier Lie: Victor Cavendish-Bentinck

A favourite denier gambit is to claim that the British knew that gas chambers were a hoax, and played a key role in manufacturing that hoax. The claim was first made by David Irving during the period, circa 1988, when he had decided to "go for broke" on the Leuchter Report. Despite the claim being completely debunked at the Lipstadt libel trial in 2000, deniers continue to parrot the claim with their usual dishonesty.

Read more!

The origins of Irving's lie are revealed in detail in Richard Evans' submission on behalf of the Lipstadt defence team, and in The Van Pelt Report. Significantly, Irving admitted that the primary research on which his claim was based was carried out by another denier, "Paul Norris one of Zündel's men". Speaking in Toronto on 13th August 1988, Irving stated that:
In the British archives Paul Norris found documents which he showed me in photostat, showing quite clearly that British intelligence deliberately masterminded the gas chamber lie. I am not saying it was the same gas chamber lie that they masterminded, but it was a gas chamber lie. 1942, 1943, 1944 the Joint Intelligence Committee deliberated with the Psychological Warfare Executive which they ran in London, the propaganda agency in London,..on ways of blackening the German name, on ways of enraging allied soldiers so that they would fight even harder. And one of the methods that they hit on in the Psychological Warfare Executive, it's there in the documents, to say let us say that the Germans are using gas chambers to get rid of hundreds of thousands of Jews and other minority groups in Germany. And the minutes go to and fro...In one memorandum, Victor Cavendish-Bentinck, the Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, writes a handwritten minute to this effect: 'we have had a good run for our money with this gas chamber story we have been putting about, but don't we run the risk that eventually we are going to be found out and when we are found out the collapse of that lie is going to bring down the whole of our psychological warfare effort with it. So isn't it rather time now to let it drift off by itself and concentrate on other lines that we're running'. 'We had a good run for our money' he writes in 1944 and here we are 44 years later and that hare is still running, bigger and stronger than ever because nobody now dares to stand up and kill it. It has go out of control. The Auschwitz propaganda lie that was starting to run in 1944 is now out of control and it going to take he-men of the kind of stature of Ernst Zündel to kill that particular hare.
This is key to Irving's personal tragedy - his self-inflicted downfall as a historical researcher - because it shows that he was gambling with his personal reputation, not on the basis of his own primary research, but on the dirty diggings of someone working for a pro-Nazi. Irving thus "went for broke", not just on Leuchter [Irving wrote a foreword for the Leuchter Report, published in April 1989, that repeated the Cavendish-Bentinck canard], but on a platform of pro-Nazi distortions.

What was the distortion in this case? As Evans and Van Pelt make clear, Irving's lie was to present a totally false paraphrase of Cavendish-Bentinck's memo. At no point did Cavendish-Bentinck say that the murder of Jews in gas chambers was a lie. His memo referred purely to claims relating to the gassing of Poles, a fact which he emphasised by underlining the word 'Polish'. He also made it clear that he regarded those claims as "untrustworthy" and unsupported by known evidence, but at no point did he state that they were fabricated by the British or known to be a lie [rather than simply unfounded]:
In my opinion it is incorrect to describe Polish information regarding German atrocities as "trustworthy". The Poles, and to a far greater extent the Jews, tend to exaggerate German atrocities in order to stoke us up. They seem to have succeeded.
Mr. Allen and myself have both followed German atrocities quite closely. I do not believe that there is any evidence which would be accepted in a Law Court that Polish children have been killed on the spot by Germans when their parents were being deported to work in Germany, nor that Polish children have been sold to German settlers. As regards putting Poles to death in gas chambers, I do not believe there is any evidence that this has been done. There may have been stories to this effect, and we have played them up in P.W.E. rumours without believing that they had any foundation. At any rate there is far less evidence than exists for the mass murder of Polish officers by the Russians at Katyn.
Moreover, Cavendish-Bentinck went on to state that:
On the other hand we do know that the Germans are out to destroy the Jews of any age unless they are fit for manual labour.
Cavendish-Bentinck therefore, far from expressing the view that the systematic extermination of Jews was a lie, stated unequivocally that systematic extermination of Jews unfit for labour was taking place.

How have deniers responded to this exposure of Irving's lie? Typically, not only do they perpetuate it, but they falsely present Irving's paraphrase as a direct quotation of Cavendish-Bentinck's minutes. For example, see K0nsl's site here.

Such flagrant dishonesty requires no further comment, just contempt.

2 comments:

MarkT said...

RODOH's been a bit dead lately, so thought I'd have a look here. Nice to see that JH doesn't deviate from his usual frantic splashing around in anti-revisionist puddles, screaming 'liar' at everything and achieving nothing more than making a big mess.
What a fantastic example of addled thinking this post is.
Irving is not claiming the Bentnick memo is evidence that there was no extermination, you dolt. He's claiming it as evidence that the gas chambers were a propaganda myth. There is quite a big difference.
Irving has the entire memo-exchange on his website here...

http://www.fpp.co.uk/Auschwitz/docs/Cavendish/Bentinck.html

so we don't need to worry about the paraphrasing. Some selected snippets...

"It is true that there have been references to the use or gas chambers in other reports; but these references have usually, if not always, been equally vague, and since they have concerned the extermination of Jews, have usually emanated from Jewish sources."

"In my opinion it is incorrect to describe Polish Information regarding German atrocities as "trustworthy". The Poles, and to a far greater extent the Jews, tend to exaggerate German atrocities in order to stoke us up. They seem to have succeeded."

"As regards putting Poles to death in gas chambers, I do not believe that there is any evidence that this has been done. There have been many stories to this effect, and we have played them up in P.W.E. rumours without believing that they had any foundation."

And so on...

You are trying to put a slant on the series of documents that simply isn't there. As is so often the case with highly subjective and ideologically driven individuals, you achieve nothing more through this process than announcing your overt bias to the world.
I do hope this blog gets a lot of readers because you're really helping the revisionist cause.
Keep up the bad work, JH!

Jonathan Harrison said...

>>Irving is not claiming the Bentnick memo is evidence that there was no extermination, you dolt. He's claiming it as evidence that the gas chambers were a propaganda myth. There is quite a big difference.

There's no difference. Irving was focusing on Auschwitz because he believed that it would discredit the entire Holocaust narrative.

You ignore the whole point of the blog: that Irving made his claim by lying about the content of the memo.

Moreover, Irving doesn't just claim that the memo was 'evidence' of a hoax, he claimed it was proof of such a hoax, which again makes him a liar. For example, he gave this speech:

(iii) Moers - 9th March 1990

'where did this myth come from? And for me as an Englishman, that is the most interesting question: who invented the myth of the gas chambers? Representatives of the victorious powers. We did it. The English. We invented the lie about the gas chambers, just as we invented the lie about the Belgian children with their hands hacked off in the first World War. The department the committee of the British PWE cabinet, Political Warfare Executive, psychological warfare.'

http://tinyurl.com/5xzpxs