Sunday, May 10, 2009

A discussion with Michael Santomauro and Thomas Dalton, Ph.D.

Almost three years after it was written, Sergey Romanov’s article Why the "diesel issue" is irrelevant was graced with the comment of an illustrious "Revisionist", Michael Santomauro.

Read more!

Mr. Santomauro is the publisher of a recent "Revisionist" book with the title Debating the Holocaust. A New Look at Both Sides, by one Thomas Dalton Ph.D., who in the Introduction to his book claims to be "a scholar and academic" who has "taught humanities at a prominent American university for several years now" and wishes to take "an impartial look" at the "clash of views" regarding the series of historical events commonly known as the Holocaust, between the people I call "Revisionists" (quote marks indicating that revisionists is not what I consider them to be) and those he refers to as "traditionalists". He claims that he is "not concerned with befriending either camp", that he is "not a revisionist", and that he does not "endorse their claims". I consider this claim of impartiality to be false and have expressed my view on the book in a review on Amazon; substantiation of my assessment and further analysis will follow in future blog articles.

If I’m not mistaken (and please correct me if I’m wrong) Mr. Santomauro also is or was the man in charge of the VHO "Revisionist" website in the absence of Germar Rudolf, who is currently serving a prison sentence for Holocaust denial in Germany (my opinion about laws allowing for such sentences is expressed in, among other statements, my Petition to the German Legislator, which disappointingly received much fewer signatures than I hoped it would – may that’s still going to change).

Such distinguished "Revisionist" attention to this modest blog (Mr. Dalton professes a low opinion of blogs and online sources in general, yet some articles by Sergey and me seem to have worried him enough to merit mention in his book) would by itself have been reason enough to warrant front page mention, but things got even more interesting as Jonathan Harrison and I responded to Mr. Santomauro’s comment about Sergey’s blog, whereupon Mr. Santomauro transmitted a answer from Thomas Dalton himself, to which I have in turn responded.

As said in a P.S. to my last response, I consider this conversation with Messrs. Dalton and Santomauro to be sufficiently interesting to our readers to deserve a blog of its own, rather than be confined to the comments section of another blog. Therefore I shall hereinafter copy the posts of Michael Santomauro, Jonathan Harrison, Thomas Dalton and myself under Sergey’s aforementioned article.

Michael Santomauro, Thursday, April 30, 2009 9:11:00 AM

In Debating the Holocaust Thomas Dalton states:

“The [diesel engine] topic is almost completely avoided by every anti-revisionist writer. […] This is a strong implicit admission that traditionalism has no reply to Berg and the revisionists. [...] Most recently the bloggers have attempted to address this issue. After admitting that ‘it is simply not feasible to use diesel engines for gassings… when one has acess to petrol engines’, Romanov20 claims that the diesel issue is ‘irrelevant’ because, in his view, anyone who claimed that the gassing engine was a diesel was simply mistaken. He argues that the ‘most knowledgeable’ witnesses mentioned gasoline, but he can cite only two: Fuchs (for Sobibor only), and Reder, who said the exhaust gas was sent into the open air!”21

Let me add that the argument of the ridiculous blogger S. Romanov (“The diesel issue is irrelevant”) reveals the queer mindset of this individual: There is neither documentary nor material evidence for the “Aktion Reinhardt” holocaust, and there are no trustworthy witnesses either (for what credit can be given to witnesses who “were simply mistaken” as the murder weapon?), but nonetheless the Aktion Reinhardt holocaust is a proven and indisputable fact! In other words: The pillars on which the edifice once rested are gone, but the edifice is still standing, or rather hovering in the air! A major miracle!


Jonathan Harrison, Friday, May 08, 2009 9:46:00 PM

Mr Santomauro, you quote Dalton as follows:

"[Romanov] argues that the ‘most knowledgeable’ witnesses mentioned gasoline, but he can cite only two"

This is a lie. As can clearly be seen in the above blog, Sergey also cites gasoline testimonies by Bauer, Hödl, Levinbuck, Burmeister, Piller and Jeckeln.

If this crude dishonesty is typical of Dalton's book, you won't be fooling anybody.


Roberto Muehlenkamp, Friday, May 08, 2009 10:43:00 PM, quotes in italics

Hi Mr. Santomauro,

You wrote:

«In Debating the Holocaust Thomas Dalton states:

“The [diesel engine] topic is almost completely avoided by every anti-revisionist writer. […] This is a strong implicit admission that traditionalism has no reply to Berg and the revisionists. [...] Most recently the bloggers have attempted to address this issue. After admitting that ‘it is simply not feasible to use diesel engines for gassings… when one has acess to petrol engines’, Romanov20 claims that the diesel issue is ‘irrelevant’ because, in his view, anyone who claimed that the gassing engine was a diesel was simply mistaken. He argues that the ‘most knowledgeable’ witnesses mentioned gasoline, but he can cite only two: Fuchs (for Sobibor only), and Reder, who said the exhaust gas was sent into the open air!”21»
If Mr. Dalton wrote this, he has either not read Sergey Romanov's article or not understood it. Or then he is simply a liar.

First, the claim that Sergey can "cite only two" eyewitnesses: Actually Sergey also mentions Erich Bauer and Franz Hödl for Sobibor, Levinbuck and Jeckeln for Einsatzgruppen gas vans, Burmeister and Piller for gas vans at Chelmno. And he could furthermore have mentioned, from among the witnesses referred to by Peter Witte, "the Polish electrician Kasimierz Czerniak, who helped to establishing the motor room [at Belzec] in 1942; he described a petrol motor of approximately 200 or more PS, from which exhaust fumes were led away over ground pipes (18 Nov 1945). Confusion with a diesel engine is out of the question because diesel fuel is called olej napedowy in Polish" , as well as some further witnesses listed in my collection of Testimonies about Engines used for Homicidal Gassing. Looking at that collection, it is easy to identify the following pattern:
1. Most eyewitnesses said nothing about the type of engine.
2. Those eyewitnesses who either operated the engine or were otherwise familiar with it, the people "in the know", spoke of a gasoline engine.
3. Some casual eyewitnesses, who neither operated the engine nor were otherwise familiar with it, mentioned a diesel engine (though there are also two Treblinka eyewitnesses, Oskar Strawczynski and Ivan Shevchenko, who mentioned a gasoline engine).
So the preponderance of testimony mentioning the type of engine, and especially of knowledgeable testimony, is clearly on diesel and not gasoline.

Second, if Mr. Dalton calls Sergey's statement «It also seems to me that it is simply not feasible to use diesel engines for gassings, even if they can kill, when one has access to petrol engines.» an admission of something, he is misrepresenting said statement on that account alone, apart from having conveniently omitted the "even if they can kill" part. For Sergey is not admitting anything, only reasoning that there would have been no point in using diesel engines when gasoline engines were available, and that this speaks for the use of gasoline rather than diesel engines.

I hope that Mr. Dalton at least provides a link to Sergey's article in his book, so that readers can check behind him and see how he misrepresented the source he is criticizing.

Now to your own additions:

«Let me add that the argument of the ridiculous blogger S. Romanov (“The diesel issue is irrelevant”) reveals the queer mindset of this individual: Letting fly with ad hominems in your very first post on this blog already, Mr. Santomauro? We must have badly rattled your cage, then, especially Sergey. I think you owe him an apology for these uncalled-for insults.

«There is neither documentary nor material evidence for the “Aktion Reinhardt” holocaust, If that is your conviction, you haven't been doing your homework, Mr. Santomauro. Should you be interested in doing something about your ignorance, I can point you to some articles on this blog and elsewhere in which documentary and/or "material" (I guess you mean "physical") evidence to the Aktion Reinhard(t) killings are discussed.

and there are no trustworthy witnesses either (for what credit can be given to witnesses who “were simply mistaken” as the murder weapon?)

Apart from the fact that a number of eyewitnesses mentioned gasoline engines, your remark is as false a false dilemma as I have ever seen. For it's not like the eyewitnesses who spoke of diesel engines were hanging around the gas chamber building all the time watching the people getting killed. None of them necessarily saw much of the gassing process let alone the gassing engine, and as there were also diesel engines for other purposes in both camps and the witnesses were not exactly trained mechanics, they can be forgiven for having confounded the gassing engine with another engine used for another purpose, especially if that engine was standing in the same engine room (the witnesses' lack of technical knowledge, by the way, is also the reason why it is stupid to make a fuss about their having not understood correctly how the gassing process worked, like when Mr. Dalton mocks Reder in your above quote). This does not in any way affect the credibility of the respective witness in other respects, especially insofar as there is corroboration by other testimonies independent of that witness's testimony. Your reasoning is simply fallacious, Mr. Santomauro.

, but nonetheless the Aktion Reinhardt holocaust is a proven and indisputable fact! In other words: The pillars on which the edifice once rested are gone, but the edifice is still standing, or rather hovering in the air! A major miracle! That's just hollow rhetoric, my dear Sir. It may impress fellow "Revisionists", but outside "Revisionist" cloud-cuckoo-land it just looks foolish.

Now, if you want to discuss Mr. Dalton's book with me and my fellow bloggers (Mr. Dalton, needless to say, is also cordially invited), I hereby kindly ask you to send me an MS Word file PDF copy of Mr. Dalton's book free of charge to my e-mail address, which you find under my profile. You see, I don't feel like paying the prohibitively high sum of $ 35 for such a book, also considering who I would be thereby financing, and it may still be a while before the book is available for free download on the VHO website. You shouldn't have a problem in sending me what you want to discuss with me and my fellow bloggers, unless of course you are aware that it is as full of holes as the sample you quoted suggests.

Best regards, also to Mr. Dalton,

Roberto Muehlenkamp


Michael Santomauro, Sunday, May 10, 2009 1:35:00 AM

Reply to Muehlenkamp, from Thomas Dalton:

Regarding the excerpt from my book, "Debating the Holocaust", Muehlenkamp is being disingenuous at best. First, the context is obviously relevant. The quote (p. 111 of my book) is from a chapter on the Reinhardt camps, and so witnesses for gas vans (Levinbruck, Jeckeln, Burmeister, and Piller) are irrelevant here.

Second, the mere mention of a name, or of a claim, by Romanov is valueless unless it is substantiated. Reference to Bauer and Hoedl comes from "German historian Peter Witte", who apparently is an amateur. We have no information on the source of the quote, other than from deathcamps.org, which likewise contains the unsourced quotation. (The authors of this web site are also unknown, incidentally.) Witte says that Bauer, Fuchs, and Hoedl "confirmed in court" that the engines were gasoline, but there is no reference to an original source, nor even a quotation. Furthermore, Romanov confuses the reader by not making clear that when Witte says "In this case...", he means, the case of Sobibor.

So, I think I can hardly be faulted for avoiding reference to Bauer and Hoedl, the only two further names vaguely applicable here. (Should someone find the original court transcripts, I will be happy to revise my text accordingly.)

Furthermore, the quote from my book continues: "Romanov ignores the entire producer-gas argument, which is much more effective even than gasoline. He ignores as well the 'blue corpse' claims, which argue against any CO poisoning scheme. [CO-gassed corpses would be red or pink, not blue.] ... Finally, if the case for gasoline is so compelling, why don't we hear this from the leading Holocaust researchers? Hilberg, Laqueur, Arad, Yad Vashem, USHMM et al have continued to speak of diesel engines." Lots of unanswered questions here.

And yes, I do indeed reference Romanov's web article in the bibliography, along with 2 of Muehlenkamp's. (He would know this if he actually read the book.)

Finally, I highly doubt that my book is "full of holes", but there may well be room for correction and improvement, and I am more than willing to do so. Unlike many in this debate, I am happy to present the best arguments on all sides. Let the best argument win.

TD.


Roberto Muehlenkamp, Sunday, May 10, 2009 2:44:00 PM (quotes in italics)

Reply to Muehlenkamp, from Thomas Dalton: I wonder why Thomas Dalton doesn’t come here himself to discuss his writings but sends a message through his publisher.

I hope the messenger doesn’t mind if I nevertheless address the author directly in the following.
(Well, I frankly couldn't care less if he does.)

Regarding the excerpt from my book, "Debating the Holocaust", Muehlenkamp is being disingenuous at best. First, the context is obviously relevant. The quote (p. 111 of my book) is from a chapter on the Reinhardt camps, and so witnesses for gas vans (Levinbruck, Jeckeln, Burmeister, and Piller) are irrelevant here. Sorry, Mr. Dalton, but I haven't read your book and don't intend to unless you or your publisher send it to me free of charge or it is made available for free download on a "Revisionist" website. That is why I only had your publisher's quote to go by, which in turn means that your accusation of my being disingenuous is inappropriate. If you think the context vindicates your statement, you should complain to your publisher for having quoted you out of context, instead of accusing me of having been disingenuous.

As to testimonies from mobile gas van operations and from Chelmno extermination camp being irrelevant in a discussion of gassing procedures at the Aktion Reinhardt camps, please allow me to take exception to this position of yours. For if the Nazis used gasoline engines in mobile gas van operations and at Chelmno, from which the fixed gas chambers of the Aktion Reinhardt camps were derived, there is no reason why they should have changed the procedure and the type of engine used for gassing, apart from there being evidence from Belzec, Sobibor and even Treblinka that they did not. So no, the argument that testimonies about the type of gassing engine used outside the Aktion Reinhardt camps are irrelevant to the latter is fallacious. And the very least thing you should have done is to state in your book that and why you consider the testimonies of Levinbruck, Jeckeln, Burmeister, and Piller irrelevant to determining the type of engine used at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. But you simply ignored those testimonies. That, Mr. Dalton, is what I would call disingenuous behavior.

Second, the mere mention of a name, or of a claim, by Romanov is valueless unless it is substantiated. Aha. And how does he fail to substantiate it?

Reference to Bauer and Hoedl comes from "German historian Peter Witte", who apparently is an amateur. Who told you so? I have seen references to several academic publications by Peter Witte, alone or together with renowned historians like Dieter Pohl from the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich (who I hope you have mentioned in your book, for having failed to do so wouldn’t bode well for the scholarship you apparently claim), so I presume he is a professional historian. He is the co-author, together with Stephen Tyas (who I also hope you haven't failed to mention), of the article "A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews during 'Einsatz Reinhard(t)'", Holocaust and Genocide Studies, V15 N3, Winter 2001, pp. 468-486, which I hope for you that you have discussed in your book, for omission of this essential source would be a devastating verdict against the scholarship you apparently claim. From footnote 15 to that article we learn that Witte is also the co-author of a critique to Robin O’Neill’s "reassessment" of the number of victims of Belzec extermination camp (Dieter Pohl and Peter Witte, "The Number of Victims of Belzec Extermination Camp. A Faulty Reassessment," EEJA 31 1 [2001] p. 19). According to footnote 42 of the same article, Witte is furthermore the co-author, together with Michael Wildt, Martina Voigt, Dieter Pohl, Peter Klein, Christian Gerlach, Christoph Diekmann and Andrej Angrick (I hope for you that you have at least mentioned Pohl, Gerlach and Angrick, all three authors of important studies about Nazi occupation and genocide policies), of an analysis of Heinrich Himmler's appointments calendar: Der Dienstkalender Heinrich Himmlers 1941/42 (Hamburg Christians, 1999), pp 233-34. So it seems that we are talking about someone who is not only a professional historian, but also one that has thoroughly researched aspects pertaining to the subject matter of this discussion. Calling such a person an "amateur" suggests at best the ignorance of someone who hasn’t done his homework.

And as we’re at it, please explain what exactly you mean by the word "amateur" in this context, what your definition is based on, why "Revisionist" writers like Germar Rudolf, Friedrich Paul Berg, Jürgen Graf and Carlo Mattogno would not qualify as "amateurs" in the light of this definition and how you see yourself according to the same. What are you, Mr. Dalton?

Ah, and on this occasion you might also tell us where you got that Ph.D. you seem to be so proud of that you even parade it on the cover of your book, and at what "prominent American university" you have "taught humanities", as you claim in the Introduction of your book. I’m definitely curious, Mr. Dalton. I want to know who you are to call whosoever (and especially someone like Peter Witte) an "amateur".

We have no information on the source of the quote, other than from deathcamps.org, which likewise contains the unsourced quotation.

(The authors of this web site are also unknown, incidentally.) The authors are known to me and include researchers of note, but that’s beside the point here. Proceed.

Witte says that Bauer, Fuchs, and Hoedl "confirmed in court" that the engines were gasoline, but there is no reference to an original source, nor even a quotation.

That may be so and is obviously related to the nature of the medium, but I submit that Peter Witte is enough of an authority on the matter for his writings to deserve consideration even without a "reference to an original source".

Furthermore, Romanov confuses the reader by not making clear that when Witte says "In this case...", he means, the case of Sobibor. To the extent that it matters which of the camps is being referred to, readers who haven’t inferred that from Sergey’s previous reference to Fuchs and the mention of Fuchs in the quote from Witte’s article only need to follow the link provided in Sergey’s article to discover that Sobibor is being referred to. You don’t seem very confident of your argument to include such a feeble objection therein.

So, I think I can hardly be faulted for avoiding reference to Bauer and Hoedl, the only two further names vaguely applicable here.

The very least you should have done, Mr. Dalton, is to point out that Sergey mentions further witnesses besides Fuchs and Reder but you are not satisfied with the substantiation of these mentions and therefore didn't take them into consideration. But your claiming that "he can cite only two: Fuchs (for Sobibor only), and Reder, who said the exhaust gas was sent into the open air!" leaves any reader who doesn’t bother to check your footnotes (and many people don’t do that) with the impression that Sergey based his theory on the testimonies of only two witnesses, one of whom you furthermore deride as dubious. That impression is clearly wrong, and your statement thus misleading.

(Should someone find the original court transcripts, I will be happy to revise my text accordingly.)

That should be possible, but your calling for primary sources raises two important questions:

First, according to what rules or standards of historiography do you proclaim that only primary sources, but no however reputable secondary sources, will satisfy you?

Second, do you live up to such standards yourself in your book? Are all your claims of fact supported by primary sources, or at least by reputable secondary sources identifying the primary source?

As you may understand, proclaiming standards that you don't comply with yourself is not exactly an honest researcher's behavior.

Furthermore, the quote from my book continues: "Romanov ignores the entire producer-gas argument, which is much more effective even than gasoline. He ignores as well the 'blue corpse' claims, which argue against any CO poisoning scheme. [CO-gassed corpses would be red or pink, not blue.] … Well, there we may have a case in point for my above questions. Given that you are so demanding as concerns sources, I would expect you to have relied on primary sources, or on reputable secondary sources, for your claim that producer-gas (which I've learned had some significant safety inconveniences from the user’s point of view, apart from the possibility of using producer gas being a moot issue where all evidence points to the use of engine exhaust, independently of that being or not the "best" solution) would have been "much more effective" than gasoline exhaust. I would also expect you to have a sufficiently large data base (not just one or two eyewitness testimonies) to support your apparent claim that the corpses were generally described as "blue", and that this data-base is derived from either primary sources or reputable secondary sources identifying the primary source. And I would expect a solid demonstration, again based on primary sources or reputable secondary sources identifying the primary source, whereby a) death from carbon monoxide poisoning always leads to "pink" discoloration and an alternative or concomitant "blue" discoloration must be ruled out and b) suffocation must be excluded as an alternative or concomitant cause of death in the gas chambers of the Aktion Reinhard(t) camps.

If you cannot demonstrate that you live up to the standards you expect critics of "Revisionism" to live up to, your hand-waving remarks about Sergey’s article must be considered hypocritical at best.

Finally, if the case for gasoline is so compelling, why don't we hear this from the leading Holocaust researchers? Hilberg, Laqueur, Arad, Yad Vashem, USHMM et al have continued to speak of diesel engines."

Let’s assume that the people you mentioned have continued to "speak of diesel engines"; I haven’t checked. What conclusions should one reasonably derive from this, other than their being either unaware of or indifferent to what "Revisionists" consider such a big problem? I wouldn’t blame historians for considering the detail of what type of engines were used a minor issue, for with all known evidence from different sources and of different categories pointing to mass murder, and no evidence whatsoever pointing to an alternative scenario, the alleged impracticability or inconveniency of using diesel exhaust for gassing would at worst mean that the eyewitnesses on whose testimonies this notion was based were mistaken about the nature and mechanics of the killing method or at least about the type of engine used. If diesel engines are out of the question, then they must have used something else, and as an engine figures in the related testimonies of all former SS supervisors, guards and inmates that I have read, that "something else" can only have been a gasoline engine. The whole issue is no big deal, Mr. Dalton. It takes the small, illogical minds of "Revisionist" hagglers to make a big deal out of it.

As to who you call the "leading Holocaust researchers", why am I missing such important names as Christopher Browning, Dieter Pohl, Peter Longerich, Christian Gerlach and Bogdan Musial in that list? Most of what I know about the Holocaust comes from these and other also unmentioned sources rather than from Hilberg, Laqueur, Arad, Yad Vashem and the USHMM. Could it be that your list of "leading Holocaust researchers" is a little, err, outdated?

Lots of unanswered questions here.

I can think of only one at this moment: Why do "Revisionists" make such a big deal about what is at worst an understandable observation and recollection mistake by casual eyewitnesses? Why don't they focus their attention and efforts on what could really help against their theses being looked upon as the ramblings of a lunatic fringe of ideologically motivated fanatics, which in the context of the Aktion Reinhardt camps would be producing evidence (evidence one can reasonably expect to be plentiful) whereby these camps were actually not extermination camps but what "Revisionists" claim them to have been, i.e. "transit camps" for Jews being resettled to the Nazi-occupied territories of the Soviet Union?

That's another question I would especially like you to answer, Mr. Dalton.

And yes, I do indeed reference Romanov's web article in the bibliography, along with 2 of Muehlenkamp's. (He would know this if he actually read the book.) So the reader has to look up the bibliography to find a link to Sergey’s article and 2 of mine (which of them, by the way, and why only these two?), or how am I supposed to understand the above remark?

As to my reading the book, I have already told your publisher what my position in this respect is: I do not intend to spend what I consider a prohibitively high sum for what my impressions so far show to be propagandistic nonsense, also considering that I would thereby finance an avowedly "Revisionist" publisher, and that I expect this book to be eventually available for free download on a "Revisionist" website like many of its predecessors. However, I’ll be glad to not only read but also analyze and dissect the book if you or your publisher were to send a word file or PDF copy thereof to my e-mail address, which is cortagravatas@yahoo.com . As an obvious critic of the book and someone who is referred to therein (presumably in the same unfavorable hand-waving manner as Sergey Romanov), I consider myself entitled to a free copy. And if you and your publisher are as confident of the quality of the book as you claim you are, you should have no problem whatsoever in making such copy available to me.

Finally, I highly doubt that my book is "full of holes", but there may well be room for correction and improvement, and I am more than willing to do so. Fine, then please send me your book free of charge so I can tell you what "correction and improvement" you should introduce. From what I have seen so far I expect the list to be a long one.

Unlike many in this debate, I am happy to present the best arguments on all sides. Let the best argument win. Having read the Introduction and Chapter 1 of your book, Mr. Dalton, I have to tell you that I consider you claim of impartiality to be false. As I shall further detail in future blog articles, the parts of your book you have made available online are sufficient to recognize a thinly disguised eulogy of "Revisionism" and putting down of what you call the "traditionalist" record of events, and an attempt to sell old "Revisionist" herrings and straw-men in a new package.

I don't know who you think you're fooling, Mr. Dalton, but you're certainly not fooling me.

I’m looking forward to your answering my above questions, and to finding that free copy of your book in my mailbox.

Best regards, also to your publisher,

Roberto Muehlenkamp


Roberto Muehlenkamp, Sunday, May 10, 2009 2:48:00 PM

P.S.

I consider this conversation with Messrs. Dalton and Santomauro to be sufficiently interesting to our readers to deserve a blog of its own, rather than be confined to the comments section of another blog.

I shall therefore open such blog and request the above mentioned and whoever else would like to comment to post their comments under that new blog.


The discussion should continue in the comments section of the present blog article. I especially expect replies from Mr. Santomauro and/or Mr. Dalton (and it would be good if the latter appeared here in person instead of sending messages through his publisher), but every reader is invited to join in as well.

I look forward to a lively and instructive debate.

37 comments:

Jonathan Harrison said...

On page 81 of his book, Dalton claims that the historiography of Chelmno states that the gas vans at Chelmno ran on diesel engines. Dalton cites no primary sources for this claim [I am grateful to Nick Terry for this information].

The witnesses cited in Sergey's article, which Dalton had read, clearly show that Dalton's claim is false, either through ignorance or deliberate omission. And, of course, Dalton is thereby exposed as a hypocrite for attacking Sergey and Witte for not quoting the Hoedl/Bauer testimonies.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Michael Santomauro posted the following under the blog Old Herrings in a New Can: Thomas Dalton’s Debating the Holocaust (1):

Prof. Thomas Dalton says:

Michael -- Pls post to the new blog "A Discussion w/ MS and TD". (Another response to the "Old Herrings" blog will follow soon, I think.)

START:

On the matter of Witte, coauthoring a few articles does not give one valid claim to authority. Publishing a detailed and well-researched book would be a start, as would earning a PhD (in ANY subject). I don't know if the leading revisionists have advanced degrees, but they have proven their ability to do detailed research and analysis, as well as publish quality works in the face of severe oppression and harassment. In any case, unless I know the book or article from which Witte is quoted, the passage is worthless to me.

Regarding sources, in my book I always strive to use primary or reputable secondary sources, which are always clearly identified. And I cite significantly more traditionalist sources than revisionist.

On the question of CO gassing: (a) there is no question that producer-gas systems put out high levels of carbon monoxide, since this is the fuel source for the engine; in a diesel, CO is an exhaust by-product. A producer-gas system could have put out 10 times the CO concentration of a heavily loaded diesel, and would clearly have been the gassing system of choice, had that been the intention.

(b) In my book (p. 108) I cite 5 witnesses claiming to have seen blue corpses: Gerstein, SS doctor Pfannenstiel, Schulch, Auerbach, and an unnamed Polish officer. I don't know if that counts as "large", but it's more than one or two.

(c) CO poisoning does not always lead to red/pink discoloration, but it is evident in the majority of cases. A recent article by Griffin et al ("Diesel fumes do kill", J Forensic Sci, Sept 2008) notes that only "30% of all [94] reviewed cases did not show classic cherry red discoloration" (p. 1208). So if some 70% of poisonings show red/pink discoloration, it could not have been missed by the witnesses. And yet not a single one is recorded as having seen pink or red corpses -- which argues against any form of CO gassing.

(d) If suffocation is now to be seriously considered as a murder technique, we have a lot of books that need to be rewritten.

(e) It's a "big deal" only if we care about knowing how, specifically, some 2.5 million people allegedly perished (Reinhardt camps plus gas vans). Personally I consider that a significant issue; perhaps Muehlenkamp does not.

Muehlenkamp's 'leading researchers' are of little help. Browning's only recent book of general value for the Holocaust debate is his "Origins of the Final Solution" (2004); his other works on witness stories are less useful. Pohl, Longerich, Gerlach, and Musial have published almost exclusively in German, and thus are no help to English language readers wishing to confirm citations. And we furthermore know that important foreign-language Holocaust books are quickly translated into English; the fact that none of Muehlenkamp's experts have any English books suggests that their work is not so significant after all.

As to the charge that my sources are "outdated", I rely extensively on Hilberg's 2003 version of his magnum opus ("Destruction of the European Jews") -- I don't know what Muehlenkamp's time horizon is, but that's sufficiently recent for me. And of course the online encyclopedias at USHMM and Yad Vashem are updatable instantaneously, so we would expect them to be continuously up to date. Granted, Arad's book on the Reinhardt camps is probably outdated, but no traditionalist has seen fit to reexamine those camps in a comprehensive manner -- perhaps Muehlenkamp is interested in the job?

Evidence for the Reinhardt camps as transit camps exists, but is not plentiful. But we do not need much evidence to undermine the traditional view, in which everyone sent to those 3 camps was exterminated. In fact, just a few examples would suffice. Here are a few, as cited by Graf: (1) Himmler's memo of July 5, 1943, referring to Sobibor as a "Durchgangslager" (transit camp), and his request to convert it into a concentration camp -- which would be meaningless if in fact Sobibor was an extermination camp. (2) The vast majority of deportees from the Warsaw ghetto went to Treblinka (arguably, all the deportees), wherein they were allegedly gassed. But we have record of several thousand Jews departing Warsaw and ending up in places like Minsk (1000), Smolensk (2000), and Brzesc and Malchowicze (4000); evidently, they passed through Treblinka. (3) In 1969, a Polish historian (Leszczynska) reported on 1700 Jews who left Belzec for Majdanek in October, 1942. (4) Two Jewish-Polish historians reported in 1966 that some deportees from Warsaw reached Majdanek by way of Treblinka; and in fact, the witness Samuel Zylbersztain recounted exactly this trip. (5) A more recent book, by survivor Julius Schelvis, recounts his deportation from Sobibor to Majdanek, and later to Auschwitz. He survived all three camps, ending up back in his native country of the Netherlands. Around 700 Dutch Jews followed a similar itinerary. (6) The survivor Minna Grossova was sent to Sobibor at age 68. Not gassed there, she was sent on to Auschwitz. Not gassed there either, she was registered at the camp but died of illness there in 1943.

It's a shame Muehlenkamp can't be bothered to actually read my book. (Sorry if the purchase price is over his reach; perhaps he can go in halfsies with Romanov.) And then to declare it "propagandistic nonsense" is downright dishonest. But I guess this is par for the course for him. Anyone having the gall to give an Amazon review rating of "one star", strictly on the basis of excerpts from the book website, has no integrity. This is a shame, because I think he could add something useful to the debate.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

I responded as follows (quotes in italics):

Prof. Thomas Dalton says:So now he's a professor? Congratulations on the quick promotion! Is that why he doesn't come here himself but send his replies through a messenger?

Michael -- Pls post to the new blog "A Discussion w/ MS and TD". (Another response to the "Old Herrings" blog will follow soon, I think.)You posted Mr. Dalton’s reply in the wrong place, Mr. Santomauro. But that's no problem. I'll post my reply and Dalton’s message under the proper blog as well.

Now if you excuse me, I’ll address Professor Dalton directly in the following.

START:

On the matter of Witte, coauthoring a few articles does not give one valid claim to authority. Publishing a detailed and well-researched book would be a start, as would earning a PhD (in ANY subject).
Says who, Professor Dalton?

This also leads us back to the question where Professor Dalton obtained his PhD and at what "prominent American university" he has been teaching humanities "for several years now".

Would you please enlighten us, Professor Dalton?

I don't know if the leading revisionists have advanced degrees, but they have proven their ability to do detailed research and analysis, as well as publish quality works in the face of severe oppression and harassment.Your double-standards are difficult to defend, aren't they, Professor Dalton?

As to what you call "quality works", I call them sometimes (not always) clever but (always) mendacious propaganda violating the most elementary precept of historical writing, which is to take all known evidence into consideration and follow it where it leads, piecing together the various elements of evidence into a coherent narrative of events. And whether or not your heroes work und "severe oppression and harassment" is irrelevant to the poor quality of "Revisionist" research and at best a lame excuse for it, apart from the fact that "Revisionists" brought such "oppression and harassment" onto themselves through a stance that offends basic notions of human decency.

In any case, unless I know the book or article from which Witte is quoted, the passage is worthless to me.And you are the measure of exactly what, Professor Dalton?

Regarding sources, in my book I always strive to use primary or reputable secondary sources, which are always clearly identified. And I cite significantly more traditionalist sources than revisionist.

Citing "Revisionist" propaganda as reputable secondary sources is bad enough, and you should do yourself the favor of leaving the "traditionalist" nonsense out of our discussion, for it makes you look silly.

On the question of CO gassing: (a) there is no question that producer-gas systems put out high levels of carbon monoxide, since this is the fuel source for the engine; in a diesel, CO is an exhaust by-product. A producer-gas system could have put out 10 times the CO concentration of a heavily loaded diesel, and would clearly have been the gassing system of choice, had that been the intention.

Actually there were several reasons speaking against the use of producer-gas systems instead of engine exhaust, the most important being safety considerations from the operators' perspective. As one of your writers of "serious dedicated works" (Berg) once pointed out, producer gas is not only highly toxic but also explosive, a fact that every operator had to be aware of as there was always a risk of leaks. Undue handling of these devices could easily have led the killers to poison themselves or blow themselves up. Another consideration speaking against the use of producer gas was that producer gas vehicles were needed to carry supplies on the Eastern Front, and taking any such vehicle out of frontline service and replacing it with an engine-driven vehicle would not have been a good choice as concerns fuel-saving. But what is more important, all these considerations about what would have worked better are a discussion about the sex of the angels in the face of evidence to what was actually used. Hindsight is always 20/20. People tend to make mistakes. Killers do not necessarily use the best method. So if the evidence shows that engine exhaust was used, the evidence is not faulty just because Professor Dalton or another "Revisionist" hindsight wisecracker thinks that he would have used producer gas instead.

Why diesel, by the way, when all knowledgeable eyewitnesses mentioned gasoline engines? Is that just because you don't know Peter Witte’s primary sources?

(b) In my book (p. 108) I cite 5 witnesses claiming to have seen blue corpses: Gerstein, SS doctor Pfannenstiel, Schulch, Auerbach, and an unnamed Polish officer. I don't know if that counts as "large", but it's more than one or two.

Gerstein was a witness prone to dramatization and exaggeration, so he doesn’t really count as concerns this and other details. Pfannenstiel, if I remember correctly, said nothing about "blue corpses"; what he said was that some of the corpses had a bluish tinge or puffiness about their face, which he attributed to their having died of suffocation. Schluch also didn’t describe "blue corpses"; IIRC he said that some corpses of the corpses had a bluish tinge on their noses and lips. Auerbach is probably Rachel Auerbach, a second-hand witnesses who derived her descriptions from interviews with eyewitnesses she may have misunderstood, or whose descriptions she may have dramatically oversimplified. The unnamed Polish officer I don't know about; what is your source? Anyway, what all these witnesses have in common is that they had a cursory look at the victims at best and did not examine them as a coroner would examine a possible victim of carbon monoxide poisoning.

(c) CO poisoning does not always lead to red/pink discoloration, but it is evident in the majority of cases. A recent article by Griffin et al ("Diesel fumes do kill", J Forensic Sci, Sept 2008) notes that only "30% of all [94] reviewed cases did not show classic cherry red discoloration" (p. 1208). So if some 70% of poisonings show red/pink discoloration, it could not have been missed by the witnesses. And yet not a single one is recorded as having seen pink or red corpses -- which argues against any form of CO gassing.

No, it only argues for the cause of death not having necessarily been CO poisoning and/or the victims having belonged in the 30 % non-discoloration category. The latter is quite plausible if you consider that Risser et al (quoted on Berg’s website) attribute the absence of red/pink discoloration in some cases to the victims having already had an impaired ability to oxygenate, due to some medical condition. An impaired ability to oxygenate is also a condition brought about by the effects of prolonged malnutrition, namely anemia. And prolonged malnutrition is what most of the people killed in the gas chambers of the AR camps had been suffering from in the Polish ghettos from which they were brought to these camps. So their physical condition may have indeed been more favorable to the exception than to the rule as concerns discoloration.

(d) If suffocation is now to be seriously considered as a murder technique, we have a lot of books that need to be rewritten.

That would be revisionism in the proper sense of the word, then. And it would only refer to the minor detail of whether the engine exhaust that was introduced into the gas vans or gas chambers killed its victims mainly through CO poisoning or through suffocation due to displacement of the little available oxygen.

(e) It's a "big deal" only if we care about knowing how, specifically, some 2.5 million people allegedly perished (Reinhardt camps plus gas vans).Whether the exact agent of death was primarily suffocation or carbon monoxide poisoning is of minor importance at most to the victims' suffering and the killers' criminal energy, and why 2.5 million? How did you add up "Reinhard(t) camps plus gas vans" to 2.5 million, Professor Dalton?

Personally I consider that a significant issue; perhaps Muehlenkamp does not.

Indeed I don't care whether the engine exhaust introduced into rooms packed full with naked people in death panic killed these people through suffocation or through carbon monoxide poisoning. Such small matters I leave small minds to worry about.

Muehlenkamp's 'leading researchers' are of little help.In establishing whether engine exhaust killed through suffocation or through carbon monoxide poisoning in the gas chambers and gas vans? I guess so, as these researchers deal with far more important issues.

Browning's only recent book of general value for the Holocaust debate is his "Origins of the Final Solution" (2004); his other works on witness stories are less useful.

So you mentioned Browning's "Origins of the Final Solution", I hope.

As to Browning’s other books, one of them ("Ordinary Men") is related to a crime complex (mass shootings) that I'm told you dedicated merely one or two paragraphs of your book to, even though this was how a large part of the Holocaust's victims perished (1.3 million according to Hilberg, whose estimate is rather too low) and there are detailed judgments by West German courts about mass shootings at numerous places in the former USSR and Poland. Do you confirm that this was how you handled this important subject, Professor Dalton? So much for your "scholarship" if you did.

Pohl, Longerich, Gerlach, and Musial have published almost exclusively in German, and thus are no help to English language readers wishing to confirm citations. And we furthermore know that important foreign-language Holocaust books are quickly translated into English; the fact that none of Muehlenkamp's experts have any English books suggests that their work is not so significant after all.

Whence do "we" know that "important foreign-language Holocaust books are quickly translated into English", Professor Dalton?

Whence do "we" know that the "importance" of a study (whatever you mean by that) determines whether and how quickly it is translated into English?

Outside your wishful thinking, the fact that works of Pohl, Longerich, Gerlach and Musial are mostly not available in English (and you have at least referred to those that are, haven’t you?) only suggests that publication in English is not the measure of what is or not significant in Holocaust research, and that who undertakes to produce a comprehensive overview of the research on "both sides" should either learn one or two foreign languages (especially German), or have someone who is familiar with such languages look through the respective publications, instead of comfortably restricting himself to English-language sources (of which Professor Dalton also seems to have left out quite a few).

As to the charge that my sources are "outdated", I rely extensively on Hilberg's 2003 version of his magnum opus ("Destruction of the European Jews") -- I don't know what Muehlenkamp's time horizon is, but that's sufficiently recent for me.

The issue is not when the last edition of a book first written in 1961 was published, but how much of the research that has been done since its first publication has been incorporated. I found little difference in the essential parts between Hilberg’s 1985 student edition of The Destruction of the European Jews and my German translation of his latest edition. How did you check whether and to what extent Hilberg incorporated the results of recent research by Pohl, Longerich, Gerlach and others, Professor Dalton?

And of course the online encyclopedias at USHMM and Yad Vashem are updatable instantaneously, so we would expect them to be continuously up to date.

So you rely on online encyclopedias instead of procuring the sources they are based on, Professor Dalton? That's interesting, insofar as it suggests that your criteria vary according to convenience.

Granted, Arad's book on the Reinhardt camps is probably outdated, but no traditionalist has seen fit to reexamine those camps in a comprehensive manner -- perhaps Muehlenkamp is interested in the job?

See why I said that you should learn German or employ the assistance of someone familiar with the German language, Mr. Dalton? You might have come upon some recent works about Aktion Reinhard(t) written or edited by Thomas Sandkühler, Dieter Pohl and Bogdan Musial.

As to producing an update of Arad’s comprehensive work, that might be an idea – except of course that I consider the "traditionalist" label another showpiece of "Revisionist" silliness.

Evidence for the Reinhardt camps as transit camps exists, but is not plentiful.

Actually no such evidence exists, even though it should be plentiful if resettlement to the Nazi-occupied Soviet territories via the Aktion Reinhard(t) camps had taken place. There is no reason whatsoever why there should not be a lot of documentation about transportation from the AR "transit camps" to the East if such transportation had taken place, not only in related railway records and other documentation pertaining to the organization and execution of the transports but also in the largely recovered files (ask Dr. Nick Terry) of the civilian and military administrations of the occupied eastern territories, who would have had to deal with these hundreds of thousands of resettled Jews. And while it is understandable that the Nazis would destroy incriminating documents related to a mass murder operation, there is no reason whatsoever why they should have destroyed documentation about resettlement via transit camps to the occupied eastern territories. On the contrary: not only would such documentation have been paraded as a means to counter wartime reports that the Nazis were massacring the Jews ("hey look here, we're not killing them but just deporting them to the Russian East"), but every official big and small who was involved in Aktion Reinhard(t) would have had a vital interest in preserving these documents in order to invoke them in his defense in case of being accused of war crimes. After Stalingrad at the latest the hypothesis of Germany losing the war had to be taken into consideration, and as early as February 1943, following the Casablanca Conference announcement of "punishment and retribution in full" upon Nazi Germany's "guilty, barbaric leaders", officials involved in measures against the Jews had to count on being held to account as war criminals. Later in the same year, the Moscow Conference's "Statement on Atrocities" made it clear beyond doubt what the Allies' policy regarding prosecution of and punishment for Nazi atrocities was, and that "all officers and men and members of the Nazi party" (not just the top leaders) would be held accountable for crimes they had been involved in. Under these conditions, the organizers and executors of Aktion Reinhard(t), from Himmler, Globocnik and Höfle down to the staff manning the supposed "transit camps", would have been suicidal masochists if they had destroyed documentation proving that they had been involved in mass deportation but not mass murder, documentation that was their life insurance. Yet no such documentation exists, and this alone should make "Revisionists" realize and admit how worthless all their theories and hypotheses are, if they had the common sense and intellectual honesty that should be expected from who calls himself a historian. They obviously have not.

But we do not need much evidence to undermine the traditional view, in which everyone sent to those 3 camps was exterminated.

That’s utter nonsense, Professor Dalton. If "Revisionists" want to refute the "traditionalist view" whereby at least over 1.3 million people were murdered at Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, they have to provide a plausible, evidence-backed demonstration that something other than mass murder was the fate of these at least over 1.3 million people. And if these at least over 1.3 million people had indeed been transported to the "Russian East" via Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, "Revisionists" would have a wealth of both documentary and eyewitness evidence to support this demonstration. They have nothing.

In fact, just a few examples would suffice. Here are a few, as cited by Graf: (1) Himmler's memo of July 5, 1943, referring to Sobibor as a "Durchgangslager" (transit camp), and his request to convert it into a concentration camp -- which would be meaningless if in fact Sobibor was an extermination camp. (2)

Actually the concentration camps managed by the Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt (WVHA) and the extermination camps not integrated in the WVHA organization were two different pairs of boots, which is why Himmmler’s request to convert the "transit camp" into a concentration camp meant that Sobibor was to be integrated in the system of the WVHA concentration camps and organized accordingly. Himmler’s request to convert Sobibor into a concentration camp was related to the intended installation of a processing plant for booty ammunition in that camp, and what is more interesting than Himmler's request, in that is shows that Sobibor was not a transit camp, is the reply he received from the WVHA, which together with the request is quoted in the judgment LG Hagen vom 20.12.1966, 11 Ks 1/64. My translation:

SS- Economic Administration Main Office Berlin, 15 July 1943
Lichterfelde-West
Dictation reference: Ch.Po/Fa. Unter den Eichen 126-135
Subject: Sobibor Transit Camp
Reference: Your letter of 5.7. RF/Bn 1674/43 Geh./RS
To the
Reichsführer
Berlin
Reichsführer!
According to your above instruction the Sobibor transit camp in the Lublin district is to be converted into a concentration camp. I have talked about this with SS-Gruppenführer Globocnik. We both suggest that you abandon the conversion into a concentration camp, as your objective, i.e. the installation of a processing station for booty ammunition, can be achieved without this conversion.
Everything else in the above instruction may remain as it is. I request your approval, which is of significance only for Gruppenführer Globocnik and me.
Heil Hitler!
signed Pohl
SS-Obergruppenführer and General of the Waffen SS.


A transit camp wouldn’t have had the structures and the inmate population required for the intended processing station for booty ammunition, but an extermination camp with hundreds of inmates working in the extermination process had both, and therefore the requested reorganization was considered unnecessary.

The vast majority of deportees from the Warsaw ghetto went to Treblinka (arguably, all the deportees), wherein they were allegedly gassed. But we have record of several thousand Jews departing Warsaw and ending up in places like Minsk (1000), Smolensk (2000), and Brzesc and Malchowicze (4000); evidently, they passed through Treblinka. (3)I don’t see how that is evident, for even if the trains went via Bialystok (did they?) there was no need of their going through the Treblinka camp, which IIRC was along a branch line leading away from the main railway line. What evidence of transports ending up in the occupied Soviet territories shows, on the other hand, is how easy is to come by such evidence even as concerns relatively small transports. Why on earth shouldn’t we be able to trace the route of at least over 1.3 million people to the occupied Soviet territories if we are able to trace the route of a couple of thousand?

The transport ending up at Minsk, incidentally, is a big shot in the foot for Mattogno & Graf, as pointed out by my fellow blogger Jonathan Harrison in his blog Mattogno and Graf Screwed By Their Own Source.

In 1969, a Polish historian (Leszczynska) reported on 1700 Jews who left Belzec for Majdanek in October, 1942. (4)

Majdanek was seen as part of the AR camp complex at the time, as we know from Höfle’s report to Heim of 11 January 1943 as analyzed by Witte and Tyas (which I hope you have mentioned in your book). So this report is about as irrelevant to your case as a transport from Belzec to Sobibor or from Sobibor to Treblinka would be.

Two Jewish-Polish historians reported in 1966 that some deportees from Warsaw reached Majdanek by way of Treblinka; and in fact, the witness Samuel Zylbersztain recounted exactly this trip. (5)Irrelevant for the same reason. What "reputable" secondary source are you referring to here, by the way? Mattogno & Graf’s Treblinka book?

A more recent book, by survivor Julius Schelvis, recounts his deportation from Sobibor to Majdanek, and later to Auschwitz. He survived all three camps, ending up back in his native country of the Netherlands. Around 700 Dutch Jews followed a similar itinerary. (6)Yep, a relatively small number of arrivals at Sobibor, including Schelvis, were sent to quite deadly labor camps in the surroundings. One wonders on what basis you accept this part of what Schelvis wrote about Sobibor but dismiss his reconstruction of the killing of about 160,000 Jews at Sobibor as false, Professor Dalton. Care to explain your criteria?

The survivor Minna Grossova was sent to Sobibor at age 68. Not gassed there, she was sent on to Auschwitz. Not gassed there either, she was registered at the camp but died of illness there in 1943.

If so, the lady must have been in exceptionally good shape and/or endowed with skills that made her valuable enough to exceptionally be kept alive. I don't understand how this and the labor camps described by Mr. Schelvis come even remotely close to an alternative explanation for the fate of about 160,000 deportees to Sobibor.

It's a shame Muehlenkamp can't be bothered to actually read my book. (Sorry if the purchase price is over his reach; perhaps he can go in halfsies with Romanov.)

The purchase is not over my reach, but I don’t intend to spend $ 35 dollars on "Revisionist" propaganda and thereby finance "Revisionism". I’ll be glad to read the book if it is made available to me for free, however – something I consider myself entitled to as a critic who is also mentioned in the book, and also something that, as I already wrote, Professor Dalton and/or his publisher should have no problem with if they are as confident of the book's quality as they profess to be.

And then to declare it "propagandistic nonsense" is downright dishonest.Actually it's a statement of opinion well substantiated by the book’s Introduction and Chapter 1 and by the example of Professor Dalton’s dishonesty in referring to Sergey Romanov’s article that Mr. Santomauro kindly brought to our knowledge. Very lame, Professor Dalton.

But I guess this is par for the course for him. Anyone having the gall to give an Amazon review rating of "one star", strictly on the basis of excerpts from the book website, has no integrity.Another "Revisionist" tried this mantra already in his rabid ramblings against my review, Professor Dalton. But he wasn't able to explain how on earth an opinion mainly based on an unfavorable impression of the book's introduction and first chapter, moreover by someone who knows enough of "Revisionist" falsehood to have a realistic expectation of what follows, is supposed to have anything to do with integrity. And I strongly doubt you will do any better. But I'll tell you what it is that betrays an utter lack of integrity, Mr. Dalton: it is claiming to be "impartial" "not concerned with befriending either camp", "not a revisionist" and not to "endorse their claims", while singing the praise of "Revisionism" and trying to sell old "Revisionist" herrings to a public presumed gullible enough to swallow them. If you had shed this transparent disguise and clearly stated that you admire "Revisionism" and promote "Revisionist" claims, I would have some respect for you (not much, but some). As it is, I have none.

This is a shame, because I think he could add something useful to the debate.

Actually that's what I write on this blog for, and I think I can claim some success. Whether you contribute anything to the debate is another matter, however. From what I've read of and about your book, it seems to be nothing other than a regurgitation of stuff peddled by Rudolf, Berg, Mattogno, Graf and other writers of "serious dedicated works". Old herrings in a new can, sold by someone who doesn’t even have the integrity to own up to his "Revisionist" bias.

And I'm still looking forward to your telling us where you got that PhD you claim and at what American university you’re teaching humanities, Professor Dalton. Someone who derides well-known scholars as "amateurs" should provide proof of his alleged superior qualifications.

michael santomauro said...

REPLY to MUEHLENKAMP, from T. Dalton.

[Please post to the "Discussion" blog, but I would kindly request that this comment begin a new posting, due to the length of the existing two.]

I am rather amazed at how many words Muehlenkamp can devote to merely an Introduction and a preliminary chapter -- material which is hardly controversial at all. God forbid he should get a copy of the book and tackle the really interesting stuff! Until he does, it is rather pointless to recap the arguments in the book, or respond to his many "did you mention this?" comments.

I suggest we cut to the chase. The real debate about the Holocaust begins with a very simple question: What are the numbers that add up to 6 million? I know this is an embarrassingly simple matter, but I beg Muehlenkamp's indulgence. By way of an answer I would expect to see only the highest-level categories, say, three to six in number. One of these categories would be the 6 death camps (combined). For example, I know all about Hilberg's three main categories (camps, shootings, and ghetto/privation), but not everyone accepts these, nor do they accept his total death figure of 5.1 million. So, a sum to 6 million, please.

Then, three basic follow-up questions: (1) Breakdown for each of the 6 death camps (overall totals for each). This should be the easiest, since we have devoted tremendous study to these camps, and Muehlenkamp has access to a bevy of experts. So I would like to know which numbers, specifically, they accept.

(2) In addition to the above figures from Muehlenkamp and friends, I would like to know of three or four respectable, mainstream sources (English books only, please) in which this sum to 6 million is provided -- again, clearly stated, in 3-6 categories. (Please cite book and page number). Perhaps I betray my own weaknesses, but I have been having a hard time finding such information. (Browning's "Origins of the Final Solution" fails this simple test, by the way. In 600+ pages he cannot find the space to give us the numbers that add up to 6 million, or whichever total he accepts. Worse than that, the one area that he examines in detail -- the Einsatzgruppen -- has no total figures, nor any breakdown by groups A, B, C, or D. Or perhaps I missed it.)

(3) My third follow-up question -- the hardest -- is to request details of the above figures by year. Let us say: pre-1941, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, and 1945. Again, Hilberg (bless his heart) gives us his view. But I would like to see Muehlenkamp et al's numbers. And as a bonus, kindly refer me to one or two other sources, besides Hilberg, that have done this. I won't demand absolute precision here; just a rough estimate, supported with some (any) rationale.

I do not think I am being overly-demanding here. These are very simple questions, and are the starting point for any serious understanding of the Holocaust. I look forward to Muehlenkamp's answers.

P. S. In reply to his incessant questions about my professional status, I was hoping to keep it a secret, but, oh, alright: I am a professor of economics at the Univ of Arizona. That stuff about teaching humanities was just a cover.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

“REPLY to MUEHLENKAMP, from T. Dalton.

[Please post to the "Discussion" blog, but I would kindly request that this comment begin a new posting, due to the length of the existing two.]”
Why the "Discussion" blog instead of the blog that this post is referring to, which is obviously the blog Old Herrings in a New Can: Thomas Dalton’s Debating the Holocaust (1)?

Never mind, I'll copy it over there when I'm finished.

“I am rather amazed at how many words Muehlenkamp can devote to merely an Introduction and a preliminary chapter -- material which is hardly controversial at all.”

Actually the Introduction and Chapter 1 are quite a large collection of "controversial" garbage already, and the amount of text I dedicated to them is by no means excessive.

”God forbid he should get a copy of the book and tackle the really interesting stuff!”Judging by the way you're already squirming about my comments to your Introduction and Chapter 1, I look forward to what will happen if and when I get to the "interesting" stuff.

Until he does, it is rather pointless to recap the arguments in the book, or respond to his many "did you mention this?" comments.

You have a marked tendency to avoid inconvenient questions with lame hand-waving remarks of the "read my book" – kind, Professor Dalton. I take your evasion as meaning that you addressed little if any of the evidence mentioned in my reply of Monday, May 18, 2009 11:59:00 PM to you post of Monday, May 18, 2009 5:54:00 PM in your book.

I suggest we cut to the chase.

Translation: "I have no arguments to counter my opponent’s arguments in his latest response and therefore choose to ignore them and change the subject.".

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

The real debate about the Holocaust begins with a very simple question: What are the numbers that add up to 6 million? I know this is an embarrassingly simple matter, but I beg Muehlenkamp's indulgence.

Err, why "six million"? There is no such thing as a "figure of 'six million'". There are various estimates, some of them rather detailed, that point to an order of magnitude somewhere between slightly over 5 and close to 6 million Jewish victims of Nazi persecution and genocide during World War II. "6 million" is but a handy expression for the higher range of estimates, which is more often referred to in various contexts due to "a very real human tendency to exaggerate", as pointed out in Matthew White’s Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century. Note the definition of the term "Holocaust" accepted in the Irving-Lipstadt lawsuit's judgment, which was already quoted in the "Old Herrings" blog (emphases mine):

Evans argued that the term is generally understood to denote "the attempt by Nazi Germany, led by Hitler, to exterminate the Jewish population in Europe, which attempt succeeded to the extent of murdering between 5 and 6 million Jews in a variety of ways, including mass gassings in camps built for the purpose".---

By way of an answer I would expect to see only the highest-level categories, say, three to six in number.

And why would you "expect" that, Professor Dalton?

Because somebody claimed that the "6 million figure" results from adding up various "categories" of death rather than from demographic estimates for the various countries affected by the Nazi genocide of the Jews?

Or because your need something to spin some rhetoric and cover up your running away from my questions and arguments?

One of these categories would be the 6 death camps (combined).And why are you asking for this kind of breakdown, Professor Dalton? Let me guess: It is because Hilberg’s study is the first and (as far as I know) the only to offer a breakdown of the death toll by country, by year and by cause of death, and Hilberg’s figures don’t add up to 6 million but to 5.1 million. Am I right?

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Hilberg's death toll estimates for the Nazi extermination camps have been largely confirmed by the results of criminal investigation and later historical research.

• The 150,000 figure for Chelmno corresponds to the minimum figure established, on the basis of German documentary evidence, by a West German court in 1963.

• The 1 million estimate for Auschwitz-Birkenau is confirmed by Franciszek Piper’s detailed documentary research outlined in the Van Pelt Report, which must be corrected downwards to ca. 900,000 in view of recent research finds of German historians Christian Gerlach and Götz Aly.

• The 550,000 figure for Belzec has been shown to be a little too high by a document that became available in the British Public Records Office in 2000, the intercepted and decoded 14-day-report about "Einsatz Reinhart" that was sent on 11 January 1943 by SS-Sturmbannführer Höfle in Lublin to SS-Obersturmbannführer Heim of the BdS office in Krakow (hereinafter referred to as the Höfle Report). According to this evidence, the number of Jews deported to Belzec in 1942 was "only" 434,508.

• The 200,000 figure for Sobibor is halfway between the 1947 Polish estimate of 250,000, mentioned in the Judgment LG Hagen vom 20.12.1966, 11 Ks 1/64 and the minimum figure of ca. 150,000 established by the Hagen court based on deportation evidence assessed by court expert Dr. Scheffler (see my article Meet Karl Frenzel (1)). Later historical research showed the Hagen court’s estimate to be too low indeed, the currently accepted range being 160,000 – 200,000 (Julian Shelvis, Sobibor. A History of a Nazi Death Camp, 2007 Berg Publishers Oxford New York, page 198; Dieter Pohl, Verfolgung und Massenmord in the NS-Zeit 1933-1945, 2. Auflage, 2008 Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt, page 95).

• The 750,000 figure for Treblinka must be regarded as conservative considering that, according to the Höfle Report, 713,555 Jews had been deported to Treblinka until 31 December 1942 alone. On the basis of the Höfle Report and additional data for 1943, Polish historian Jacek Andrzej Młynarczyk estimates the minimum death toll of Treblinka as 780,863.

• The 50,000 figure for Majdanek is also on the low side. 2005 research by the Head of Scientific Department at Majdanek Museum, historian Tomasz Kranz, indicates that there were 78,000 victims, 59,000 of whom were Jews.

• The 150,000 figure for "Camps with tolls in the low tens of thousands and or below" also seems too low, considering that at least 100,000 were killed in the Janowska forced labor camp in Lemberg and the Maly Trostinec camp claimed about 60,000 mostly Jewish lives according to the lowest available estimate, that of German historian Christian Gerlach.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

For example, I know all about Hilberg's three main categories (camps, shootings, and ghetto/privation), but not everyone accepts these, nor do they accept his total death figure of 5.1 million.

So you know all about Hilberg’s main categories, Professor Dalton? Quite a bold claim that is. Which of the sources I used to corroborate Hilberg’s estimates (see above), or what other sources referring to specific "categories", have you taken into consideration?

So, a sum to 6 million, please.

"So", Mr. Dalton? What’s that supposed to mean? Those who maintain that the death toll was closer to six than to five million may simply be wrong. So what?

I’m not aware of a breakdown by causes of death like Hilberg’s adding up to 6 million, or to any figure that would become 6 million if rounded up to the nearest million. But I know of several country-by-country breakdowns of figures in this order of magnitude, namely the following:

1. "Statistics on Jewish Casualties During Axis Domination", prepared by the Institute of Jewish Affairs in New York in June 1945. According to the table attached to this report, out of a total population of ca. 9,612,000 Jews living in the listed European countries (including the USSR) before Axis domination, between 3,825,000 and 3,889,000 were still alive, which meant a loss of 5,723,000 to 5,787,000 lives.

2. The estimated Jewish population in Europe at the end of World War II was also established by an Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry appointed in order to, among other tasks, "examine the position of the Jews in those countries in Europe where they have been the victims of Nazi and Fascist persecution …". In Appendix III to the committee’s report, which was completed in Lausanne/Switzerland in April 1946, the committee listed the Jewish population in 1939 and the current number of survivors, divided into the categories "Native" and "Refugee and displaced", for two groups of European countries, those that had been under Axis domination and those that had not or not wholly (the USSR) been occupied or otherwise dominated by the Axis. In the first group, the committee established a total of 6,015,700 Jewish inhabitants in 1939 vs. 1,153,106 remaining after the war, i.e. a loss of 4,862,594. In the second group, the corresponding subtotals were 3,930,600, 3,071,600 and 859,000. The totals for Europe were 9,946,300 Jews in 1939 and 4,224,706 after the war, the difference being 5,721,594.

3. The country-by-county figures of Lucy Dawidowicz, shown on the Wikipedia Holocaust page, add up to 5,933,900.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

4. These are the figures compiled by German historian Wolfgang Benz from the various chapters of the study Dimensionen des Völkermords:

German Reich: 160,000 to 165,000

Austria: 65,459

Luxembourg: 1,200

France ("including foreign nationals"): 76,134

Belgium ("including foreign nationals"): 28, 518

Netherlands: 102,000

Denmark: 116

Norway: 758

Italy: 6,513

Albania: 591 ("deportees")

Greece: 59,185

Bulgaria (deported from Bulgarian-occupied areas): 11,393

Yugoslavia: 60,000 to 65,000

Hungary: 550,000

Chechoslovakia ("Reich Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia" plus Slovakia): 143,000

Romania: 211,214

Poland: 2,700,000

Soviet Union: 2,100,000

Adding up these figures leads to a sum well over 6 million, but that would be too high because some country studies overlap – especially those for Romania and Hungary, both of which include the Jews from the Romanian territories annexed by Hungary in 1940.

Then, three basic follow-up questions: (1) Breakdown for each of the 6 death camps (overall totals for each). This should be the easiest, since we have devoted tremendous study to these camps, and Muehlenkamp has access to a bevy of experts.

Breakdown was provided above when discussing Hilberg. The most accurate figures currently on the table (rounded up or down to the nearest thousand) are the following:

Chelmno: 152,000
Belzec: 435,000
Sobibor: 160,000 – 200,000
Treblinka: 781,000
Auschwitz-Birkenau: 900,000
Majdanek: 59,000
Sum for these six camps: 2,487,000 – 2,527,000.

Not included in this list are two camps which, despite having no gas chambers, should also be considered death camps: the aforementioned camps Janowska and Maly Trostinec. Ever heard of these camps before, Mr. Dalton?

So I would like to know which numbers, specifically, they accept.

I don’t know who "they" are supposed to be, and I can speak only for myself. As concerns death camps, see above. As concerns the overall death toll including mobile killing operations, other camps and ghettos and privation outside camps and ghettos attributable to Nazi persecution, I like the country figures provided by Dr. Nick Terry on the reference thread Number of Victims of the Holocaust of the Axis History Forum, which add up to 5,364,492. Sergey Romanov’s criticism of the figure for the Russian SFSR is pertinent and should be taken into consideration.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

(2) In addition to the above figures from Muehlenkamp and friends, I would like to know of three or four respectable, mainstream sources (English books only, please) in which this sum to 6 million is provided -- again, clearly stated, in 3-6 categories. (Please cite book and page number).Two simple answers to a ... well, not exactly pertinent request:

First, I know of no sources, English or otherwise (Holocaust research is not reduced to English-language works, as Dalton doesn’t seem to have understood yet) that provide a breakdown of "6 million" by "categories".

Second, I don't think this means a thing, other than the "6 million" order of magnitude being borne out by demographic estimates alone.

Perhaps I betray my own weaknesses, but I have been having a hard time finding such information.

Your having spent time trying to find such information is due to your ignorant/dishonest obsession with the "six million figure" in the first place, Mr. Dalton. To my knowledge, only the lower range of estimates is substantiated by figures for "categories" of death, while the higher is substantiated only by demographic data. And I expect the disagreement between supporters of the higher and lower range to be less about how many died in extermination camps and mobile killing operations than about how many fell victim to Nazi-induced privation inside and outside camps and ghettos.

(Browning's "Origins of the Final Solution" fails this simple test, by the way. In 600+ pages he cannot find the space to give us the numbers that add up to 6 million, or whichever total he accepts. Worse than that, the one area that he examines in detail -- the Einsatzgruppen -- has no total figures, nor any breakdown by groups A, B, C, or D. Or perhaps I missed it.)

I wouldn’t expect to find any figures in a book obviously dedicated to the decision-making process rather than the implementation of decisions, and if you did you are thereby only showing how silly you are.

(3) My third follow-up question -- the hardest -- is to request details of the above figures by year. Let us say: pre-1941, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, and 1945. Again, Hilberg (bless his heart) gives us his view. But I would like to see Muehlenkamp et al's numbers. And as a bonus, kindly refer me to one or two other sources, besides Hilberg, that have done this. I won't demand absolute precision here; just a rough estimate, supported with some (any) rationale.Who are you to demand anything, Mr. Dalton? Rather than changing the subject and throwing around demands, you should have addressed the arguments in my response to your previous post.

As to "my" breakdown by years, Hilberg's is good enough for me, and it clearly shows that the bulk of the killing was done in 1942. This is also the conclusion of Hilberg's colleagues Christopher Browning and Dieter Pohl. The Korherr Report, as I showed in my article Richard "I didn’t know" Korherr, lists killings adding up to 2,413,152 deaths, of which 1.779.852 correspond to "evacuations" to extermination camps. Most of these occurred in 1942. Another document, the report submitted by Himmler to Hitler on 29 December 1942 (see Dr. Browning’s expert report Evidence for the Implementation of the Final Solution,section IV A) mentions 363,211 Jews killed in four months of 1942 in the areas "Russia South, Ukraine, Bialystok" alone. These two documents alone are evidence of over two million killings in 1942.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

I do not think I am being overly-demanding here. These are very simple questions, and are the starting point for any serious understanding of the Holocaust. I look forward to Muehlenkamp's answers.

First of all, serious understanding of the Holocaust has nothing to do with obsessing about the "six million figure", which is only a handy reference to a higher range of estimates supported by demographic data but not, unlike the lower range of estimates of about five million, by an addition of "categories".

Second, asking for such addition and proclaiming it to be "the starting point for any serious understanding of the Holocaust" is but a rhetorical subterfuge that fits either or both of the categories "red herring" and "straw-man", therefore a further demonstration of Professor Dalton’s dishonesty.

And third, once again: who are you to be demanding anything? My 'Old Herrings' article and my response to your previous post are about the ill-reasoning and falsehoods in your book's Introduction and Chapter 1 and what these make one expect of the rest, so you should be addressing what I wrote in this respect, instead of asking "very simple questions".

P. S. In reply to his incessant questions about my professional status, I was hoping to keep it a secret, but, oh, alright: I am a professor of economics at the Univ of Arizona. That stuff about teaching humanities was just a cover.

So this is you, Professor Dalton?

Well, then you lied to your readers when you presented yourself to them as follows in your Introduction:

My background is as a scholar and academic, having taught humanities at a prominent American university for several years now.Bravo, Professor Dalton! Just keep on showing what a fraud you are.

Eric said...

I, Michael Santomauro, forgot to relay this from Prof. Thomas Dalton when he e-mailed me about 40 hours ago from today: May 21.

Prof. Thomas Dalton says:


I accept the comments by Terry and Harrison. I will try to be more precise in my next edition. (In my own defense, these are minor corrections, and in each case my main point holds.)

TD.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

To paraphrase Mr. Dalton:

If he has lied about these issues, what else has he lied about?

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

An e-mail was sent to Professor Thomas Dalton of Eller College of Management, University of Arizona, asking him to confirm that he was the author of the book "Debating the Holocaust", as that author had claimed.

Professor Dalton responded stating that he was not the author of that book.

Professor Dalton's e-mail message is transcribed below (<> tags had to be removed for the HTML to be accepted).

Re: "Debating the Holocaust"
...
[Chat now] Thomas R. Dalton trdalton@eller.arizona.edu
...
AddThursday, May 21, 2009 4:19:40 PM
To:Guadalupe Salcedo cortagravatas@yahoo.com

Quoting Guadalupe Salcedo cortagravatas@yahoo.com:

> Hi Professor Dalton,
>
> My name is Roberto Muehlenkamp, and I'm writing to you in the context of a discussion under http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2009/05/discussion-with-michael-santomauro-and.html , where the author of the book Debating the Holocaust: A New Look At Both Sides
> has claimed to be you. I would like to confirm this claim.
>
> Are you the author of the aforementioned book, Professor Dalton?
>
> I look forward to your reply.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Roberto Muehlenkamp

No that person is not me.

T. Dalton

Andrew E. Mathis said...

Well, I see Mr. Santomauro likes to take e-mails sent to him directly and distribute them among the "like-minded," e.g. the coward "Giuseppe Furioso," who claims to work in the Obama administration. (Yeah, right...)

I'll be in New York in a few weeks, Mr. Santomauro, and your address is listed. Perhaps I'll stop by for a visit and we can discuss your terrible manners?

Or, you know, you can apologize — like RIGHT NOW — and tell people to whom you forwarded my message to you not to e-mail me from anonymous or pseudonymous accounts.

You've been warned.

a.m.

michael santomauro said...

June 9, 2009

Prof. Dalton replies:

The Hilberg quote was never claimed by anyone to come from "the book by Hilberg", meaning, presumably, "Destruction of the European Jews". If Mathis had bothered to read my book, he would find the quote in Chapter 5, referring to the source: New York Newsday, 2/23/83, Part II, p. 3. Any capable researcher with a PhD would have checked this in advance.

TD.

Andrew E. Mathis said...

Now you're just baiting me, Mikey.

Did I ever mention to you that the only time I ever struck another person was when I lived in NYC?

http://maps.google.com/maps?li=rwp&q=407+E+85th+St,+New+York,+NY+10028

And don't forget that I've met you -- I know what you look like.

I'll see you soon, Mikey.

Or you can fucking grow up and apologize.

Your choice.

a.m.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

How does "Prof. Dalton" justify his having falsely claimed to be Professor Thomas Dalton of Eller College of Management, University of Arizona, Mr. Santomauro?

And why doesn’t he come here himself instead of sending messages through his publisher?

Could it be that "Prof. Dalton" and his publisher are the same person?

Andrew E. Mathis said...

I wouldn't doubt it one bit.

ctnewsletteruk said...

Please can you respond to the comment by Roberto Muehlenkamp on Wednesday, June 10, 2009 12:41:00 AM.

Thank you.

kapoore said...

I guess I didn't read the whole blog, but just the beginning part where you admit that you haven't read Debating the Holocaust. I'm not sure how you can critique something you haven't read. But this Holocaust issue is driven by emotion not objectivity. I know well. I as the non-Jewish wife of a Jewish man have for thirty years been blamed for the Holocaust, even though in my American family virtually every male fought during WWII. I was guilty by simply being non-Jewish. I think some of the more insightful passages of Debating come at the end in the post script where the author mulls over the Holocaust fallout. Believe me, emotion rages on both sides. In the end, in my opinion, the "traditional" view of the Holocaust with the 6 million, the gas chambers, the extermination plans, etc. must be correct in every detail. Otherwise the revisionists win...And we as American citizens should not fund Holocaust museums, studies, or Israel. For some of us, the liberation comes from the revisionists.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Thanks for an insight into the reasoning of certain people who are impressed by "Dalton"'s ignorant and mendacious pamphlet.

And you can rest assured that I have read it in the meantime and seen no reason to change my opinion about the book or its author. On the contrary.

"Revisionists" may be right in that the Nazi genocide of the Jews is talked about way too much in the media, etc. But denying it or playing it down is the stupidest conceivable way of doing something about this situation. Don't expect dumb liars like "Dalton" to understand that, though.

michael santomauro said...

From: Fredrick Toben [mailto:toben@toben.biz]
Sent: Monday, 20 September 2010 12:36 PM

"A discussion with Michael Santomauro and Thomas Dalton, Ph.D."


In his comment Roberto Muehlenkamp offers no new aspect except that his comment reveals he is afflicted by a deeply authoritarian mindset that cannot tolerate another viewpoint.

He is great on personal abuse, and instead of asking the basic question, which is Faurisson's challenge: Show me or draw me the murder weapon, the homicidal gas chamber? - he avoids basic scientific research thinking.

To date Faurisson's challenge remains just that. Why?

Then, another basic question: Where is the written order that allegedly started the systematic extermination process? Any bureaucracy needs a written order before it begins physically to act. Don't tell me that all Germans involved in the alleged extermination process knew that Hitler hated the Jews and that to fulfill his hate-driven plan needed no written order.

The Holocaust is a miracle story that has no reality in space and time, only in memory.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Like Mr. "Dalton", his publisher can offer nothing better than old herrings in a new can.

Authoritarian mindset? Nonsense. I can accept any other viewpoint that is duly substantiated by evidence. Unfortunately "Revisionist" viewpoints are sorely lacking in this respect.

Faurisson's "basic question"? Apart from the fact that homicidal gas chambers are not the "basic murder weapon" (they accounted for little more than half of the Jewish victims of Nazi genocide and mass murder and a much lower percentage of all victims of Nazi crimes), it's not like the homicidal gas chambers cannot be reconstructed in their essential features on the basis of eyewitness testimonies - see for instance the CAD Reconstruction of the Gas Chambers in Treblinka. And even if eyewitness testimonies were not precise enough to allow for such reconstruction, they would still leave no room for reasonable doubt that these devices existed and were used for mass murder. No, they are no longer physically visible because the Nazis destroyed or dismantled them. But then, this also applies to just about all facilities of the Stalin's Gulag labor camps, to mention just one example. Faurisson's "challenge" is bereft of logic.

Basic scientific research thinking? No stranger to me, as it consists in testing a thesis against evidence and determining if and to what extent evidence supports this thesis. "Revisionists" are understandably unwilling to put their theses to that test.

A written order from the Führer? The quest for such order, which would have been almost certainly destroyed if it had been issued, reveals a laughable ignorance of how the Nazi state's decision-making progress functioned at high levels. The Führer hardly ever issued orders, not to mention written ones. He let his paladins know what his policy was and what programs and procedures he accordingly wished them to prepare, whereupon said paladins did what they thought the Führer wanted them to do and submitted it to his approval. Furthermore guys like Himmler and Heydrich were allowed and displayed a great degree of initiative. A book that might help Santomauro overcome his ignorance is Christopher Browning's The Origins of the Final Solution.

A miracle story that has no reality in space and time? That applies not to the amply documented Nazi genocide of the Jews, but to the cloud-cuckoo-land fantasies of Santomauro and his ilk about an all-powerful conspiracy that, among other utterly implausible achievements, is supposed to have induced millions of Jewish non-victims throughout the world into concealing their identity and origins and refrain from compensation claims. Or does Santomauro endorse the even more preposterous "fish tale" lunacy of Mr. "Dalton"?

"Revisionists" projecting their own fallacies onto their opponents is a spectacle well known to who is familiar with these people. Santomauro's rambling is just more of the same.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Oh, I see now that the rambling was authored by Mr. Toben.

I had forgotten that Mr. Santomauro likes to play the messenger for other enlightened spirits from "Revisionist" cloud-cuckoo-land ...

michael santomauro said...

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...
Oh, I see now that the rambling was authored by Mr. Toben.
I had forgotten that Mr. Santomauro likes to play the messenger for other enlightened spirits from "Revisionist" cloud-cuckoo-land ...
Monday, September 20, 2010 11:49:00 AM

Fredrick Töben responds: 22 September 2010

1. Roberto Muehlenkamp’s response is typical of those individuals who uncritically believe in the Holocaust narrative and who feel threatened by having to concede that a raging public discussion has been in progress since the late 1960s. Labelling Mr Santomauro as a ‘messenger’ merely reflects Mr Muehlenkamp’s own personal frustrations at not being in control of setting the Holocaust narrative parameters to his likings. Becoming abusive towards those who dissent from his own held beliefs about matters Holocaust indicates Muehlenkamp’s moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

2. Over these past 40 years the Holocaust narrative has changed in detail and re-fabricating itself as Revisionists sift through the rubbish. Revisionists do not deny anything because their task has been to evaluate the details of the official Holocaust narrative, which as stated above, keeps on changing. For example, it was through the Zündel Toronto trials of 1984-5 and 1988 that established the 4 million deaths figure at Auschwitz was a nonsense and the removal and replacement of the official 20 plaques with an inscribed figure of 1.0-1.5 million deaths confirmed this.

3. Then in 1996 the alleged homicidal gas chamber, Krema I, at Auschwitz Stammlager, was de-commissioned by van Pelt/Dwork with the claim that this re-construction was made to symbolically represent what happened at Auschwitz-Birkenau’s Krema II.

4. In 2002 non-Revisionist news magazine Der Spiegel editor, Fritjof Meyer, stated that there were no gassings at Auschwitz-Birkenau, something Gitta Sereny also stated in The Times on 29 August 2001. This effectively removes Auschwitz I-Stammlager and Auschwitz II-Birkenau as gassing/killing centres.

5. Mr David Brockschmidt wrote to the US Holocaust Museum asking about the gas chambers and on 21 April 1995 Michael Berenbaum responded. Among other things he stated: “1. We do have crematoria ovens in the Museums. We could not bring over gas chambers because there was no original that was available for us to bring to the United States. Instead we made a model of the crematoria and labelled it a model.” This statement speaks for itself.

6. If the ‘homicidal gas chambers are not the “basic murder weapon”…’, then why has Germar Rudolf’s The Rudolf Report, and its precedent, The Leuchter Report, been criminalized/banned in Germany, for example? Remember how the official 9/11 reports fiddled the scientific data to fit the official narrative, which is exactly what Soviet Union scientists had to do when they had to align their research with Marxist ideology. Of interest is the fact that Rudolf, as a true scientist, stated that his results are not absolute because there is always an element of error in any research. This was taken up by some critics as indicating Rudolf’s work is basically flawed when in fact any body of scientific research admits that results are not absolute. Note how those scientists, who are pushing climate change ideology, are absolute in their assertions, something that is quite un-scientific. In scientific research an element of error is always expected

7. Muehlenkamp’s mindset is an absolute mindset that cannot tolerate dissent because as new information comes along he would have to revise his views on things. How does he cope with the deaths reduction at Auschwitz – from 4 million to 1.-1.5 million? And yet the overarching six million was not reduced. Why not?

michael santomauro said...

8. This paragraph reveals Muehlenkamp’s mindset in full flourish:
“A written order from the Führer? The quest for such order, which would have been almost certainly destroyed if it had been issued, reveals a laughable ignorance of how the Nazi state's decision-making progress functioned at high levels. The Führer hardly ever issued orders, not to mention written ones. He let his paladins know what his policy was and what programs and procedures he accordingly wished them to prepare, whereupon said paladins did what they thought the Führer wanted them to do and submitted it to his approval. Furthermore guys like Himmler and Heydrich were allowed and displayed a great degree of initiative. A book that might help Santomauro overcome his ignorance is Christopher Browning's The Origins of the Final Solution.”
Raoul Hilberg in his The Destruction of European Jews stated there were two written Hitler orders that started the Final Solution process. Yet after he had left the witness stand in the Zündel Toronto trial, Hilberg had himself made history by having admitted there were no written orders. Muehlenkamp in this respect is either ignorant of the fact or a blatant liar. No bureaucracy operates without written orders when it entails massive actions such as the alleged extermination of European Jews. Muehlenkamp’s claim that to insist there be a written order: “…reveals a laughable ignorance of how the Nazi state's decision-making progress functioned at high levels.” is pure rubbish. The German war machine was meticulous in record keeping. In his own words, Muehlenkamp’s embrace of this massive conspiracy theory – that Germans exterminated Jews – is behaviour that is “…projecting their own fallacies onto their opponents [and] is a spectacle well known to who is familiar with these people”.

9. As an afterthought, I assume Muehlenkamp is aware of the fact that a whole legal fraternity exists that persecutes Revisionists in trials where the matters of fact of the Holocaust are never tested for truth content. This is done because not believing in the Holocaust scandalises certain societies! But he would know that, and hence it explains his abusive and defamatatory tone because through verbal abuse it makes it easier for him to deflect opening his mind to the fact that he has believed in nonsense for decades. No wonder he needs to project his hatred on anyone who demands clarity of thought and physical proof that during World War Two Germans systematically exterminated European Jews in homicidal gas chambers, in particular at Auschwitz concentration camp. That this belief is also pure German hatred need not be canvassed at this stage.


10. My brief response, however, is inadequate and hence I augment it with Professor Arthur Butz’s brief 12-point summary of what Revisionism is all about.

michael santomauro said...

A Short Introduction to the Study of Holocaust Revisionism
By Arthur R. Butz

1. I see three principal reasons for the widespread but erroneous belief in the legend of millions of Jews killed by the Germans during World War II: US and British troops found horrible piles of corpses in the west German camps they captured in 1945 (e.g. Dachau and Belsen), there are no longer large communities of Jews in Poland, and historians generally support the legend.

2. During both world wars Germany was forced to fight typhus, carried by lice in the constant traffic with the east. That is why all accounts of entry into the German concentration camps speak of shaving of hair and showering and other delousing procedures, such as treatment of quarters with the pesticide Zyklon. That was also the main reason for a high death rate in the camps, and the crematoria that existed in all.

3. When Germany collapsed in chaos then of course all such defenses ceased, and typhus and other diseases became rampant in the camps, which quartered mainly political prisoners, ordinary criminals, homosexuals, conscientious objectors, and Jews conscripted for labor. Hence the horrible scenes, which however had nothing to do with "extermination" or any deliberate policy. Moreover the west German camps involved were not the alleged "extermination camps", which were all in Poland (e.g. Auschwitz and Treblinka) and which were all evacuated or shut down before capture by the Soviets, who found no such scenes.

4. The "Final Solution" spoken of in the German documents was a program of evacuation, resettlement and deportation of Jews with the ultimate objective of expulsion from Europe. During the war Jews of various nationalities were being moved east, as one stage in this Final Solution. The legend claims that the motion was mainly for extermination purposes.

5. The great majority of the millions allegedly exterminated were east European, not German or west European, Jews. For that reason study of the problem via population statistics has been difficult to impossible, but it is a fact that there are no longer large communities of Jews in Poland. However the Germans were only one of several parties involved in moving Jews around. The Soviets deported virtually all of the Jews of eastern Poland to their interior in 1940. After the war, with Polish and other Jews pouring out of the east into occupied west Germany, the Zionists moved large numbers to Palestine, and the US and other countries absorbed many Jews, in most cases under conditions making impossible a numerical accounting. Moreover the Polish borders were changed drastically at the end of the war; the country was literally moved west.

michael santomauro said...

A Short Introduction to the Study of Holocaust Revisionism
By Arthur R. Butz

1. I see three principal reasons for the widespread but erroneous belief in the legend of millions of Jews killed by the Germans during World War II: US and British troops found horrible piles of corpses in the west German camps they captured in 1945 (e.g. Dachau and Belsen), there are no longer large communities of Jews in Poland, and historians generally support the legend.

2. During both world wars Germany was forced to fight typhus, carried by lice in the constant traffic with the east. That is why all accounts of entry into the German concentration camps speak of shaving of hair and showering and other delousing procedures, such as treatment of quarters with the pesticide Zyklon. That was also the main reason for a high death rate in the camps, and the crematoria that existed in all.

3. When Germany collapsed in chaos then of course all such defenses ceased, and typhus and other diseases became rampant in the camps, which quartered mainly political prisoners, ordinary criminals, homosexuals, conscientious objectors, and Jews conscripted for labor. Hence the horrible scenes, which however had nothing to do with "extermination" or any deliberate policy. Moreover the west German camps involved were not the alleged "extermination camps", which were all in Poland (e.g. Auschwitz and Treblinka) and which were all evacuated or shut down before capture by the Soviets, who found no such scenes.

4. The "Final Solution" spoken of in the German documents was a program of evacuation, resettlement and deportation of Jews with the ultimate objective of expulsion from Europe. During the war Jews of various nationalities were being moved east, as one stage in this Final Solution. The legend claims that the motion was mainly for extermination purposes.

michael santomauro said...

5. The great majority of the millions allegedly exterminated were east European, not German or west European, Jews. For that reason study of the problem via population statistics has been difficult to impossible, but it is a fact that there are no longer large communities of Jews in Poland. However the Germans were only one of several parties involved in moving Jews around. The Soviets deported virtually all of the Jews of eastern Poland to their interior in 1940. After the war, with Polish and other Jews pouring out of the east into occupied west Germany, the Zionists moved large numbers to Palestine, and the US and other countries absorbed many Jews, in most cases under conditions making impossible a numerical accounting. Moreover the Polish borders were changed drastically at the end of the war; the country was literally moved west.

6. Historians generally support the legend, but there are precedents for nearly incomprehensible blindness on the part of scholars. For example throughout the Middle Ages even the Pope's political enemies conceded his false claim that the 4th century Emperor Constantine had ceded rule of the west to the Pope, although all knew very well that Constantine had been succeeded by more emperors. Near unanimity among the academics is especially suspect when there exist great political pressures; in some countries Holocaust revisionists have been prosecuted.

7. It is easy to show that the extermination legend merits skepticism. Even the casual reader of the Holocaust literature knows that during the war virtually nobody acted as though it was happening. Thus it is common to berate the Vatican, the Red Cross and the Allies (especially the intelligence agencies) for their ignorance and inaction, and to explain that the Jews generally did not resist deportation because they did not know what was in store for them. If you add all this up you have the strange claim that for almost three years German trains, operating on a continental scale in densely civilized regions of Europe, were regularly and systematically moving millions of Jews to their deaths, and nobody noticed except for a few of our Jewish leaders who were making public "extermination" claims.

8. On closer examination even those few Jewish leaders were not acting as though it was happening. Ordinary communications between the occupied and neutral countries were open, and they were in contact with the Jews whom the Germans were deporting, who thus could not have been in ignorance of "extermination" if those claims had any validity.

michael santomauro said...

10. What we are offered in evidence was gathered after the war, in trials. The evidence is almost all oral testimony and "confessions". Without the evidence of these trials there would be no significant evidence of "extermination". One must pause and ponder this carefully. Were trials needed to determine that the Battle of Waterloo happened? The bombings of Hamburg, Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The slaughter in Cambodia? Yet this three year program, of continental scope, claiming millions of victims, requires trials to argue its reality. I am not arguing that the trials were illegal or unfair; I am arguing that such historical logic as the legend rests on must not be countenanced. Such events cannot happen without generating commensurate and contemporaneous evidence for their reality, just as a great forest fire cannot take place without producing smoke. One may as well believe that New York City was burned down, if confessions to the deed can be produced.

11. Detailed consideration of the specific evidence put forward in support of the legend has been a focus of the revisionist literature and cannot be undertaken here, but I shall mention one point. The claim of the legend is that there were no technical means provided for the specific task of extermination, and that means originally provided for other purposes did double duty in improvised arrangements. Thus the Jews were allegedly gassed with the pesticide Zyklon, and their corpses disappeared into the crematoria along with the deaths from "ordinary" causes (the ashes or other remains of millions of victims never having been found).

12. Surely any thoughtful person must be skeptical.

Arthur R. Butz is an associate professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University.
http://mccormick.northwestern.edu/directory/profiles/Arthur-Butz.html
This article was originally published in the Daily Northwestern of May 13, 1991, corrected May 14.
=========================================

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Wow, I see that my response caused poor Mr. Toben to freak out completely, judging by the amount of hysterical rubbish he sent my way via his diligent messenger, Mr. Santomauro.

Unfortunately Mr. Santomauro is not a very able messenger, or at least not very good at posting blog messages. So while I got Mr. Toben's spam-quote of his brother-in-spirit Arthur Butz’s "12-point summary of what Revisionism is all about" (except for point 9), items 1 to 7 of Toben’s "brief response" preceding that spam are missing.

I therefore kindly ask Mr. Santomauro to post items 1 to 7 of Toben’s "brief response" and point 9 of Butz’s "12 point summary".

When I have the whole of Mr. Toben's desperate bid for attention, I'll be glad to duly dissect it on the RODOH forum and/or on this blog spot – as time permits, considering that I have a daytime job and a life (apparently unlike Mr. Toben) and bigger "Revisionist" quarry than Mr. Toben in my sights.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

PS: I just found items 1 to 7 of Mr. Toben's rambling in my mailbox, though for some reason they didn't make it to the blog:

«Fredrick Töben responds: 22 September 2010

1. Roberto Muehlenkamp’s response is typical of those individuals who uncritically believe in the Holocaust narrative and who feel threatened by having to concede that a raging public discussion has been in progress since the late 1960s. Labelling Mr Santomauro as a ‘messenger’ merely reflects Mr Muehlenkamp’s own personal frustrations at not being in control of setting the Holocaust narrative parameters to his likings. Becoming abusive towards those who dissent from his own held beliefs about matters Holocaust indicates Muehlenkamp’s moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

2. Over these past 40 years the Holocaust narrative has changed in detail and re-fabricating itself as Revisionists sift through the rubbish. Revisionists do not deny anything because their task has been to evaluate the details of the official Holocaust narrative, which as stated above, keeps on changing. For example, it was through the Zündel Toronto trials of 1984-5 and 1988 that established the 4 million deaths figure at Auschwitz was a nonsense and the removal and replacement of the official 20 plaques with an inscribed figure of 1.0-1.5 million deaths confirmed this.

3. Then in 1996 the alleged homicidal gas chamber, Krema I, at Auschwitz Stammlager, was de-commissioned by van Pelt/Dwork with the claim that this re-construction was made to symbolically represent what happened at Auschwitz-Birkenau’s Krema II.

4. In 2002 non-Revisionist news magazine Der Spiegel editor, Fritjof Meyer, stated that there were no gassings at Auschwitz-Birkenau, something Gitta Sereny also stated in The Times on 29 August 2001. This effectively removes Auschwitz I-Stammlager and Auschwitz II-Birkenau as gassing/killing centres.

5. Mr David Brockschmidt wrote to the US Holocaust Museum asking about the gas chambers and on 21 April 1995 Michael Berenbaum responded. Among other things he stated: “1. We do have crematoria ovens in the Museums. We could not bring over gas chambers because there was no original that was available for us to bring to the United States. Instead we made a model of the crematoria and labelled it a model.” This statement speaks for itself.

6. If the ‘homicidal gas chambers are not the “basic murder weapon”…’, then why has Germar Rudolf’s The Rudolf Report, and its precedent, The Leuchter Report, been criminalized/banned in Germany, for example? Remember how the official 9/11 reports fiddled the scientific data to fit the official narrative, which is exactly what Soviet Union scientists had to do when they had to align their research with Marxist ideology. Of interest is the fact that Rudolf, as a true scientist, stated that his results are not absolute because there is always an element of error in any research. This was taken up by some critics as indicating Rudolf’s work is basically flawed when in fact any body of scientific research admits that results are not absolute. Note how those scientists, who are pushing climate change ideology, are absolute in their assertions, something that is quite un-scientific. In scientific research an element of error is always expected

7. Muehlenkamp’s mindset is an absolute mindset that cannot tolerate dissent because as new information comes along he would have to revise his views on things. How does he cope with the deaths reduction at Auschwitz – from 4 million to 1.-1.5 million? And yet the overarching six million was not reduced. Why not?»


So all the diligent messenger still has to provide is item 9 of Arthur Butz's "12 point summary".

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

PPS:

Diligent messenger just sent me the whole thing again by e-mail. The missing Butz "point" reads as follows:

«9. This incredible ignorance must also be attributed to Hans Oster's department in German military intelligence, correctly labeled "the veritable general staff of the opposition to Hitler" in a recent review.»

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Discussion continues here and here.

Charles said...

Lost in the minutia is the simple fact that millions of innocent Jewish men, women and children were systematically exterminated by Nazi Germany. Revisionists are caught up in a tiny detail here and a tiny detail there. But the facts, vetted by literally thousands of thesis and dissertations, reveal that millions of innocent Jews perished because of Nazi Germany.

Most reputable historians place the number of dead Jews at six million. Yet, even if it were half that number (and it is not), it would remain the most egregious genocide against a religious group in history. The second-worst genocide against a religious group remains the Spanish Inquisition (also against Jews), followed by the Crusades (against Jews and Muslims).

Those of us who prefer to view the big picture recognize that the Holocaust was the worst genocide in history. Even revisionists know this to be true. Not all of the victims were Jews. That much is certain. But, it remains the only assembly-line, industrial genocide in history able to exterminate millions of people of one religion. Therefore, why argue the minutia?

Millions of innocent Jews were annihilated. This is a fact. Can we accept this and move on? What purpose is served by arguing?

Karl Wolff III said...

Boy, you folks really are getting rather "heated," aren't you? But this all makes for a great read on a dismal topic. Just two short comments: first,it seems there is little to no coverage of the non-Jewish, including gays, Gypsies, "asocials," and a score of others. What about them? How might they affect "the numbers" or the Holocaust debate more broadly; second, when I was a graduate student in medieval History at the University of Chicago (Ph.D. 1983), my mentors and fellow students understood "revisionism" to be the application of new methods of study, the reading of new evidence, or asking new questions of the old evidence. What seems to be going on in the "Dalton debate" resembles veiled ideological invective far more than scholarly review. But then again, who could study this topic without becoming a bit emotional? Who would even want to? Hence, it is perhaps better to drop the issue and let a later generation come back to it, at least when it comes to attempts at dispassionate, "objective" study. To gain perspective means to gain distance -- hence, at Chicago, "modern European history" did not venture much past 1900. Now "Contemporary Studies," that was something else entirely. Good luck!