Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rassinier's Numbers Game (Part 2)

Another distortion by Rassinier concerns the work of Leon Poliakov. Rassinier claimed, falsely, that Poliakov supported the figure of four million for the number of Jews who died at Auschwitz:

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For example: about 4,000,000 Jews met their fate at Auschwitz, the rest in other extermination camps, or in the open at the hands of the Einsatzgruppen, we are told by Leon Poliakov, Olga Wormser, and Henri Michel, among others.
The real figure given by Poliakov was "in the neighborhood of two million", as cited in this link:
In his affidavits, Hoess spoke of two and a half million, 'a figure set officially,' he wrote, under the signature of [Eichmann], in a report to Himmler. This figure has been accepted by several authors, and it appears in the verdict at the trial of the major war criminals. However, there is no reason for accepting without question the statistics attributed to Eichmann, which may err on either side. Adding the number of victims to those deported from different countries gives a lower figure, although we have little data, for example, on the number of Polish Jews sent to Auschwitz. An approximate figure in the neighborhood of two million seems closer to the truth.
Furthermore, as Van Pelt has shown, Poliakov's estimate was not the lowest preferred by serious historians at the time that Rassinier was writing (early-mid-1960's). Hoess's memoirs were available, citing a figure of not more than 1.2 million, Reitlinger had estimated 840,800 (but was uncertain about Poland and the Baltic states) and Hilberg had published a figure of one million Jews. Rassinier had thus constructed Straw Men around the four million specified by the Soviet-controlled Extraordinary Commission, whilst omitting the fact that the Commission had referred to "no less than four million citizens of the USSR., Poland, France, Jugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Hungary, Holland, Belgium, and other countries," but had not specified a figure for Jews. He had then misrepresented the figures given by his Straw Men historians. Rassinier's example would later be emulated by other deniers such as Sanning.

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