Saturday, May 16, 2009

Old Herrings in a New Can: Thomas Dalton’s Debating the Holocaust (1)

They say one shouldn't judge a book by its cover, and I agree with that.

Experience also tells me that one shouldn't praise a book after reading its introduction and the first one or two chapters, for what comes later may fall short of what the beginning makes you hope for.

But does one go wrong in dismissing a book as thinly disguised propaganda, written by an author with an obvious un-confessed agenda, when its introduction and first chapter strongly point in this direction already?



I don’t think so.

The book Debating the Holocaust: A New Look At Both Sides, by someone who calls himself Thomas Dalton, Ph.D. (the author apparently thinks much of the academic title he claims and/or the impression it may make on the book’s readers) is one such case. The Introduction and Chapter 1, which are available online, are enough to tell me what I can expect to find in the book, and it's nothing that would make me feel like spending money to acquire it.

In the Introduction the author, purportedly an academic who has "taught humanities at a prominent American university for several years now", claims 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".

This is obviously false, to put it plainly.

First of all, the claim of being or trying to be impartial in a discussion of this nature is bound to be hypocritical, at least if one understands impartiality as not taking sides and conceding that both parties have equally valid arguments and positions. For it is impossible, ethical considerations aside, to reasonably hold such an attitude once one has taken a closer look at the arguments for and against the essential accuracy of the historical record in question, and realized that there is an abysmal difference between historiography and "Revisionism" as concerns both the quantity and the quality of evidence and arguments supporting them, a difference that makes "Revisionism" compare to historiography like creationism compares to the theory of evolution or the flat earth theory compares to established geography. One can either reasonably conclude that the historical record is essentially accurate and adequately considers and explains all evidence whereas "Revisionist" theses do not, or one can block out this reasonable conclusion in support of preconceived notions and/or the perceived glamour of being "politically incorrect", a "renegade" or a "rebel" or a supporter of such characters, and thus convince oneself that there is something to "Revisionism".

I have done the former and in this sense I am not impartial, though I can claim to be impartial in that I base my conclusions on evidence and common sense alone. Dalton, notwithstanding his express protestations to the contrary, has done the latter. The Introduction and Chapter I of his book can be roughly characterized as a eulogy to "Revisionism", which despite some alibi criticism is on the whole shown in a most favorable light, whereas the "traditional, orthodox view" is, despite some feeble alibi praise, presented as problematic at best, influential yet insecure, and accordingly both reluctant and repressive – a "story" with dubious rationale and justification, protected for the benefit of "political and economic power structures" by "the coercive abilities of the State". The following excerpts from the Introduction shall illustrate this assessment; emphases are mine:

[…]Traditional historians have thousands of surviving witnesses and the weight of history on their side. On the other hand there is a small, renegade band of writers and researchers who refuse to accept large parts of this story. These "revisionists," as they call themselves, present counter-evidence and ask tough questions.[…] It [the debate] is about history, of course, but it also speaks to fundamental issues of our time: freedom of speech and press, the operation of mass media, manipulation of public opinion, political and economic power structures, and the coercive abilities of the State.[…] Everyone knows that "six million Jews were killed by the Nazis," and that gas chambers were used in the killing. But few have any idea about the origins of this story, its rationale, and its justification. Fewer still know that serious questions have been raised against the traditional view; if they have heard of such questions, it is in the context of "a few right-wing neo-Nazi anti-Semites" who are trying to attack the Jews by questioning the Holocaust. And not more than a handful of people know about the serious issues raised by the revisionists, and the attempts by certain traditionalists to respond.[…] Revisionists challenge not only orthodoxy; they challenge the power of the State. Advocates for the conventional view are in positions of great influence. They are wealthy. They have many supporters, and virtually unlimited resources. They are able to turn the power of the State, and public opinion, against revisionism. The revisionists, few in number and poor in means, have only ideas. But, as the masked man once said, ideas are bulletproof. They have a power of their own, unmatched by money, military, or government. Ideas can penetrate to the heart of truth. This is the promise of revisionism. Whether it succeeds, time shall tell.[…] Revisionists have strong arguments in their favor, and, despite book burnings and jail terms, they are not going away. Traditionalists seem of late to have lost their momentum. Perhaps they have no more counterarguments. Perhaps they have tired of defending the conflicting stories of survivors and witnesses. Perhaps they have reached the limit of their ability to fashion a comprehensible picture of those tragic events of sixty years ago.


The message could not be clearer: on one side, we have the immensely influential and wealthy "advocates of the conventional view", with many supporters and access to "virtually unlimited resources" (is that supposed to include the contributors of this blog, Mr. Dalton?), who despite all their manipulative and repressive power are losing their grip. On the other side, there are the heroic "Revisionist" underdogs, who are armed with nothing but their "ideas" and who, undaunted by "book burnings and jail terms", are nevertheless winning the day. Apart from revealing that he has a very mistaken idea of (or is lying about) who the opposition to "Revisionism" largely consists of – modest private citizens like this writer, who have no connection to any "political and economic power structures", who have never seen a cent in exchange for what they are doing, and who are motivated by nothing other than their aversion to what they reasonably see as ideologically motivated hate propaganda – Dalton’s juxtaposition of the repressive "traditionalist" giant with feet of clay and the courageous and nimble "Revisionist" leaves no room for doubt that the author is either a "Revisionist" himself or a fervent admirer of "Revisionism", who under the transparent guise of "impartiality" tries to enlist sympathy and support for "Revisionism" with his "Robin Hood vs. Prince John & the Sheriff of Nottingham" – rhetoric.

Dalton’s objective is not only to enlist sympathy and support for "Revisionism", but also to promote its "teachings", which is what he starts doing in Chapter 1.

The introduction to this chapter is quite revealing as to where the author stands and comes from, for he refers to World War II as one "greater Holocaust" with "many lesser" holocausts in it, the latter, as his list suggests, having been perpetrated by the Allies on German or Japanese civilians or prisoners of war except for the "Jewish Holocaust of Nazi Germany". Apparently the author hasn't heard of the holocausts perpetrated by Nazi Germany against non-Jews, which are addressed in my articles One might think that … and 5 million non-Jewish victims? (Part 2). Or then he is denying these as well. The criminal siege of Leningrad alone, for example, killed more civilians than the area bombardment of German cities during World War II.

Dalton then quotes and briefly discusses some "widely accepted" definitions of "this Holocaust", and lists seven "challenging and troubling claims" made by "Revisionists", which supposedly "threaten to overturn many aspects" of the Holocaust "story". These "challenging and troubling claims", which someone who has debated "Revisionists" for a while knows to be nothing other than classic "Revisionist" straw-men and red herrings, I skip for now because they will be discussed one by one in future blogs of this series, in which the "merits" of the theses presented by Dalton as the "core of revisionism" will also be addressed.

I also skip Dalton’s complaint about there being no cordial communication between "Revisionists" and those he calls "traditionalists" – he might as well complain about there being no cordial communication between creationists and those who accept the theory of evolution, between flat earth theorists and geographers, or between moon hoaxers or 911 truthers and their respective opponents in the real world – and move on to the classic and inevitable "there is no such thing as denial" – mantra.

Dalton rhetorically asks how much of the "conventional view" one has to "reject" to be considered a "denier", ignoring that what matters to the concept of denial is not only what one "rejects" but also what such rejection is based on, how it is expressed and what it is motivated by. Consider, for instance, the definitions of the terms "Holocaust" and "Holocaust denial" that were accepted in the Irving-Lipstadt lawsuit's judgment. Emphases in the following quote are 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". It follows that a "Holocaust denier" is someone who, for one reason or another or for a combination of reasons, repudiates the notion that the above definition of the Holocaust is apt to describe what was sought to be done to the European Jews by the Nazis during World War 2. Evans testified that a characteristic of Holocaust denial is that it involves a politically motivated falsification of history.


The falsification of history through manipulative use or omission of evidence was pointed out as a key characteristic of denial, in fact as the reason why the phenomenon must be called denial and not revisionism, in a series of articles on this blog headed That's why it is denial, not revisionism.

Intellectual dishonesty and falsehood as a key characteristic of denial also show in the "Revisionist" claim that they are not denying the Holocaust or claiming that it never happened because, after all, they accept that Jews suffered a lot and as many as 500,000 (according to Dalton's characterization of what he calls the "core" of "Revisionism") may have died. To realize that this is but a feeble alibi meant to avoid the indictment of denial, one only has to look at how "Revisionists" substantiate their "version" of events. What evidence do they present as proof that the Nazis "only" meant to forcibly resettle the Jews, and that the death toll was the one they are prepared to "accept"? Even the "Revisionist" who tries more than others to explain away incriminating evidence rather than simply ignore it, Carlo Mattogno, is notably vague when it comes to presenting a "Revisionist" narrative of events. The reasons for this are obvious: putting together such narrative requires picking out some parts of the body of evidence and ignoring most others. It requires, for instance, cherry-picking evidence on which the "accepted" half-a-million death toll can be based, and this will immediately lead to the question how this "accepted" evidence differs from the evidence that is not "accepted", on what basis other than convenience certain statistics, reports or testimonies are considered reliable and others not. As they would be in no conditions to answer this question about their selection criteria, "Revisionists" avoid specifying what evidence they "accept" and essentially limit themselves to haggling about the evidence they "reject", when they do not ignore it altogether.

This unscholarly, unscientific and dishonest approach – making a big fuss about what they claim the Nazis did not do while avoiding any precise, substantiated narrative of what they claim the Nazis actually did – is what I consider the essence of what the term "denial" refers to. It is also one of the reasons why there can be no cordial and equitable debate between "Revisionists" and who accepts established historiography, any more than there can be such debate betweeen creationists and who accepts the theory of evolution, or between flat earth theorists and who goes by geography.

The political motivation underlying Holocaust denial, which is also mentioned in the above quote from the Irving-Lipstadt judgment, takes us to the laws against Holocaust denial that are enforced in a number of countries, an issue to which Dalton dedicates five paragraphs of Chapter 1.

While such laws should in my opinion be avoided, or revoked where they are in place – also because they give "Revisionists" a pretext for claiming persecution and hinting that they are subject to such because they convey an inconvenient truth, as Dalton does – the fuss that Dalton makes about these laws is further evidence to where he comes from, as he clamors about a "flamboyant publisher and promoter of right-wing literature in Canada" (Ernst Zündel), a "one-time doctoral student in chemistry in Germany" (Germar Rudolf) and a "noted British writer and historian" (David Irving) having been subject to legal procedures that he refers to, in what concerns the alleged burning of Rudolf's books, as "a throwback to the Middle Ages". Here we have again the same idealizing image of the heroic "Revisionist" individual against the repressive "traditionalist" establishment that pervades the Introduction, as was demonstrated above.

More significant, however, is Dalton’s insinuation that the reasons he claims are invoked to justify such legislation ("The presumption is that revisionist writings or speeches will inflame violent extremists, or will 'corrupt the youth' (Germany), or will somehow bring unacceptable pain to Jewish people or others sympathetic to their suffering.") are window-dressing meant to cover up un-confessed ulterior motives ("Why are they able to draw the attention of national legislators? Whom do they threaten? And perhaps most important—Are they on to something? Do they in fact have a case to make, that the Holocaust story is fundamentally deficient? The State does not attack those who argue for a flat Earth, or warn against some imminent alien invasion. Those who are irrational, or cannot make a coherent case, pose no threat, and thus are left alone. Apparently the "deniers" are not in this category.").

The evidence and arguments that Dalton offers in support of this insinuation are meager at best. He doesn't even try explaining what's supposed to be wrong with the notion that denying genocide is highly offensive to and painful for members of a people that suffered such genocide, and he also doesn't seem to have realized that its offensive, defaming nature is what distinguishes "Revisionism" from innocuous fringe lunacies like the flat earth theory or alien invasion fantasies, and thus the obvious reason why the latter are "left alone" but the former is not. And his argument against the notion that "Revisionist" writings or speeches may inflame violent extremists is limited to the lame remark that he knows of no "anti-Semitic violence" that "Revisionism" can be shown to have contributed to, as if that were the specific concern of legislators like the German, who bans Holocaust denial as a form of "Agitation of the People" in the context of the Criminal Code's provisions about Crimes Against Public Order.

The German legislator's concern is not so much that skinheads may brutalize Jewish citizens or devastate a Jewish cemetery after reading a book by Rudolf or Mattogno or listening to a speech by David Irving, but rather that "Revisionism" is part of the ideological foundation of potentially violent racist and/or xenophobic groups, and that the ideological backing such groups receive through "Revisionism" may augment not only their resentful preconceived notions but also their belief in being "right" and their self-confidence as well as their unity, thus making them a more influential and thus more threatening risk to the public order. The German state sees Holocaust denial as the binding kit between extremist groups, and in this sense considers it's banning a means of confronting political extremism. The following quote is my translation from the article MIT DEM STRAFRECHT GEGEN DIE „AUSCHWITZ-LÜGE”: Ein halbes Jahrhundert § 130 Strafgesetzbuch „Volksverhetzung“, written by our guest blogger, German historian Dr. Joachim Neander. Emphases in the translation are mine:

When taking a look into the German Criminal Code, the impartial observer notices that the range of penalties for Holocaust denial – imprisonment up to five years or a fine – lies in the upper area of the illegal acts defined as "misdemeanors".22 For a multitude of other offenses, which are considered criminal acts also by juridical laymen, the law foresees a similar range of penalties, for instance for falsification of election papers (§ 107a), bribery of members of parliament (§ 108e), sexual abuse of youths (§ 182), bodily injury (§ 223), theft (§ 242), receiving stolen property (§ 259) or endangering road traffic (§ 315c). Obviously the legislator considered Holocaust denial a threat to social life comparable to these offenses. For Holocaust denial is generally considered the smallest common denominator – and thus an integrating factor – for all right-wing radical, racist and anti-Semitic movements, which otherwise fiercely compete with each other.23 Fighting Holocaust denial, in the opinion of all political parties represented in the Bundestag, thus plays a key role in the offensive confrontation with political right-wing extremism.


Dr. Neander’s analysis suggests that the German state indeed sees Holocaust denial as a threat – but not because it thinks that there’s "something to it". The threat is rather seen in its potential for unifying and thus making more dangerous various otherwise disparaged extremist groups in the political spectrum.

It follows from the above that, whatever one may think of the appropriateness of confronting Holocaust denial by means of criminal legislation, there’s no basis for claiming or insinuating that such legislation points to "Revisionists" being "on to something". That insinuation belongs to the realm of "Revisionist" wishful thinking at best.

Following his presentation of what he considers the current "core of revisionism", Dalton proceeds to debunking four actual or supposed myths.

The first myth, he tells us, is that Revisionists believe that the Holocaust "never happened." . He claims that there is no "functional definition" of the term "Holocaust" and that because of this, and because "No serious revisionist doubts" that "extensive killing of Jews occurred, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, at least", one cannot say that "Revisionists" claim the Holocaust "never happened", and who so does is being "disingenuous at best".

Actually the one who is being disingenuous here is Mr. Dalton, or then he is just unable to see the forest because of the many trees (a German saying). For if there is one thing that all common definitions of the Holocaust coincide in, it is that the Holocaust was a genocidal undertaking, a series of systematic killings aimed at wiping out the Jewish population of Europe. And whatever it is of the historical record that "Revisionists" profess to accept, there is not one (at least to my knowledge) who acknowledges that the Nazis intended to wipe out the Jewish population of Europe. The "core of revisionism", as presented by Mr, Dalton, portrays Nazi anti-Jewish measures as brutal ethnic cleansing, not as genocide. And Dalton even spells this out when he writes that the Nazis' primary goal, according to "Revisionists", was "ethnic cleansing, not genocide" (italics are Dalton's). One wonders how Dalton could have failed to notice how blatantly this characterization contradicts his subsequent claim that "Revisionists" don’t believe the Holocaust never happened.

The second supposed myth is that "Photographs of corpses prove the Holocaust happened". They do not, Dalton explains, because it is not known if "the gruesome pictures of bodies stacked up outside some crematorium, or unceremoniously dumped into pits" show Jews, or Polish internees, or Russian POWs, or German inmates, and nobody tried to "actually identify, or autopsy, any of those bodies" (why Dalton thinks an autopsy would have revealed whether or not the bodies were Jewish he doesn’t tell). They also do not because they were taken not at extermination camps but at "the camps liberated by the British and Americans—primarily Bergen-Belsen", and at these camps "there were rampant outbreaks of typhus and other diseases that claimed thousands of lives", so if it is "implied" that the bodies photographed were of gassing victims, this is false. From the extermination camps, Dalton tells us, there are "no corpse photos at all", which alone "should give us reason to consider whether certain aspects of the traditional story might be suspect". Last but not least, he adds, "the photos show at most several hundred corpses", which is "so far from ‘six million’ that the vaunted photos are almost meaningless as proof of the Holocaust".

It's quite a feat to pack into one paragraph as much nonsense and falsehood as Dalton does into the one dedicated to "Myth # 2".

First of all, no historian or criminal investigator in his right mind has to my knowledge claimed that the gruesome photos taken by the British and Americans in liberated Nazi concentration camps at the end of the war "prove the Holocaust happened". This because photographs alone don't usually prove anything – they are just part of the mosaic of various elements of evidence that historians laboriously piece together into a factual narrative of events, the only thing that sets them apart from other evidence being their capacity to visualize, illustrate and thus make it easier for the observer to get a mental picture of what becomes apparent from eyewitness accounts and documentary evidence. The photographs in question are presented by historians as what they are, part of the evidence to the abysmal conditions in German concentration camps in the last months of the war as they were overcrowded with evacuated inmates from camps further east that had been overrun by the Red Army and this overcrowding, together with a lack of food and sanitation that those who ordered the evacuations to camps like Bergen Belsen knew about and the camp administrators on site were indifferent to, led to epidemics from which the weakened inmates died like flies. These conditions were not the Holocaust and are neither presented as such; as concerns the Jewish evacuees from eastern camps – who were by no means the only ones to perish in large numbers in the camps liberated by the Western Allies – they can at most be considered a final consequence of the genocidal program, which had been stopped in late 1944, as testified before the IMT by Ohlendorf ("The third period was the so called "final solution" of the Jewish question, that is, the planned extermination and destruction of the Jewish race; this period lasted until October 1944, when Himmler gave the order to stop their destruction.") and Wisliceny ("This order was in force until October 1944. At that time Himmler gave a counter order which forbade the annihilation of the Jews."). Who the victims of these liberated camps were and where they came from is largely known from documentary evidence and testimonies of survivors. Thus the Belsen Memorial Site has, after intensive archival research, published a Memorial Book containing the names of about 50,000 of the camp’s inmates.

Second, who is supposed to have "implied" that the dead bodies photographed at Belsen and other liberated concentration camps were of gassing victims? There may be one or the other popular account, or one or the other emotional website of dubious reliability, where pictures of Belsen are presented in a text about Auschwitz-Birkenau in a manner suggesting that the pictures show Auschwitz gassing victims. But such accounts and websites do not represent historiography, and I don’t think that Mr. Dalton could, if required, show a single work of serious historical scholarship in which photos from Belsen and other concentration camps are stated to be anything other than what they are, photos of inmates who succumbed to starvation and disease mainly due to a criminal indifference to their fate on the part of those responsible for them. Dalton is obviously dishing up another straw-man here.

Third, while it is not quite true that there are no corpse photos from the extermination camps – there is at least one Treblinka photo from camp times showing an open mass grave (the stated source is Bundesarchiv No. 183-F0918-0201-011; the Bundesarchiv is the German Federal Archive in Koblenz, Germany), and there are several post-liberation photos of human remains on the sites of the Treblinka and Belzec camps, which are included in my collection of Photographic documentation of Nazi crimes – the scarcity of such photos and of other photos of these camps (like the excavator photos taken by Treblinka's second-in-command Kurt Franz) is due to two facts conveniently omitted by Dalton: the lengths to which the SS went to destroy the corpses and other evidence of the extermination camps, which they were able to do at their leisure long before the Red Army got close to the respective areas, and an express prohibition to take photographs included in a secrecy undertaking that every SS-man detached to one of the Einsatz Reinhard(t) camps had to sign ("I have been thoroughly informed and instructed by SS Hauptstuermfuhrer Hoefle, as Commander of the main division of 'Einsatz Reinhard' of the SS and Police Leader in the District of Lublin: ... that there is an absolute prohibition on photography in the camps of 'Einsatz Reinhard'"). Kurt Franz may have violated this undertaking, but the contents of his private album apprehended when Franz was arrested (some of the photos had been torn out and their captions erased, see Manfred Blank, "Zum Beispiel: Die Ermordung der Juden im 'Generalgouvernement' Polen", in: Adalbert Rückerl, NS-Prozesse. Nach 25 Jahren Strafverfolgung: Möglichkeiten – Grenzen – Ergebnisse, 1971 Verlag C.F. Müller, Karlsruhe, pages 46/47) suggest that he avoided taking photos that clearly showed the nature of the Treblinka extermination camp, perhaps in order to avoid getting into too much trouble in case his illicit activities were discovered. So we can see that there's no reason to consider that anything might be suspect here, except perhaps Mr. Dalton’s qualities as a researcher and/or his intellectual honesty.

Last but not least, Dalton's arguing that the photos taken in liberated concentration camps show "at most several hundred" corpses is easily the silliest thing he wrote in all of Chapter 1, and I hope for him that he produced no worse howlers later in his book. Due to the very nature of the medium, photos of mass catastrophes like that encountered by the British at Bergen-Belsen tend to show only a few relatively small parts of such catastrophes, as a ten-year-old should be able to understand. If the British had photographed and published photos of all of the thousands of bodies they found on the camp site plus the thousands who died after liberation, these photos alone would probably fill one or more thick books, and nobody obviously saw a point in filling thick books with photographs of mangled dead bodies, which is why only as many photos as deemed necessary to visualize and illustrate the conditions found at Belsen were taken. I submit that, if one were to put together all known World War II photos showing dead bodies, the number of dead bodies shown on these photos would add up to several thousand at most – so far from the roughly 50 to 60 million worldwide deaths of the conflict, mentioned by Dalton as an indisputable fact at the start of this chapter, that the vaunted "impartial" analyst of "both sides" comes across as either a mentally challenged person or a charlatan who expects his readers to be mentally challenged.

Dalton shows a little more sense, at least at the beginning, as he proceeds to debunking "Myth # 3", the notion that the historical record of the Holocaust is the result of a monumental hoax, a massive, immensely powerful and influential conspiracy of evidence manipulation. He points out that "Revisionists risk looking foolish" by claiming massive fraud without a "solid basis" of "hard evidence" to support this claim – the utter improbability and lack of precedent for the massive fraud in question doesn’t seem to bother him. But the brief moment of lucidity soon ends, as Dalton offers an alternative scenario to the "hoax" that is at least as improbable and unsupported by evidence as the "hoax" theory: the hypothesis that the historical record of the Holocaust resulted from "something like a fish tale, in which one catches a trout but claims it was a shark". Dalton claims that one can "well imagine" how this fish tale kept being repeated and growing until it became "the basis for trials, billions of dollars in reparations, even death sentences" in a step-by-step process "over the course of sixty years".

If Dalton can indeed imagine

• thousands of survivor eyewitnesses to numerous massacres, deportations and other unpleasantness at several thousand places throughout Europe making up "fish tales" independently of each other,
• such "fish tales" being corroborated by documents, by physical evidence and/or by the depositions of accused perpetrators at hundreds of trials before German courts, where the supposed tellers of "fish tales" were subject to hostile cross-examination by the defendant’s attorneys,
• such "fish tales" being uncritically accepted by administrative authorities eager to waste billions of Deutschmarks of taxpayer's money, and
• millions of former European Jews throughout the world or their descendants concealing their origin and their identity in order not to spoil the game of all those telepathic fish tale tellers,

among other necessary ingredients of his "fish tale" theory, then I must wonder if he lives in this world or in some lunatic cloud-cuckoo-land even further removed from reality than that of "Revisionists" who postulate a gigantic, all-encompassing conspiracy of evidence manipulation. Better don’t lecture your coreligionists and let them stick with the "hoax" theory, Mr. Dalton. It’s not quite as fantastic as what you are proposing.

How is the "fish tale" supposed to have developed "over the course of sixty years", by the way? Essential aspects of the Nazi genocide of the Jews – the extermination plan, the mass shootings by Einsatzgruppen and other mobile formations, the extermination camps – were already described in the sub-section Persecution of the Jews of the section War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity of the International Military Tribunal’s Judgment at the Nuremberg Trial of the Major War Criminals. What historical research (largely by German scholars) and criminal investigation (mostly by the German Federal Republic’s criminal justice authorities) have done since is to further detail and expand historical knowledge about a genocide that was known in its essential aspects back in 1945/46 already, by finding and assessing a wealth of documents and eyewitness testimonies that were not yet available at that time, and correcting some mistaken initial conclusions in the process (e.g. the number of Jewish deaths in Nazi concentration and extermination camps, which was closer to three than to four million, and the notion that "in some instances attempts were made to utilise the fat from the bodies of the victims in the commercial manufacture of soap").

Unlike the "fish tale" howler, what Dalton writes as concerns "Myth # 4: Revisionists are right-wing neo-Nazi anti-Semites" is not an expression of a fantasy-prone mind, but another collection of falsehoods.

It is true that "Revisionists" do not necessarily adhere to the ideology of Nazi Germany, and it is also a fact that "Revisionists" do not necessarily harbor the obsessive scorn/hatred and/or fear of and/or contempt for Jews that is known as anti-Semitism. My experience with "Revisionism" tells me that "Revisionists" can be broadly divided into the following categories:

1. "Revisionists" who are anti-Semites and also adhere to Nazi ideology or idealize Nazi Germany;
2. "Revisionists" who are anti-Semites but indifferent to or even critical of Nazi ideology or Nazi Germany;
3. "Revisionists" who adhere to Nazi ideology or idealize Nazi Germany, but have no animus against Jews;
4. "Revisionists" who have neither anti-Semitic nor Nazi leanings but refuse to accept that "the Germans" did something so awful and/or think that it is cool to be "politically incorrect" or against the "establishment".

Most "Revisionists" I have met belong to one of the first three categories, whereas "Revisionists" in the fourth category are a minority.

So I agree that it is an undue generalization to say that "Revisionists" are generally "right-wing neo-Nazi anti-Semites". But it an equally undue generalization to claim that "Revisionism" is not related to and strongly influenced by idealization of Nazi Germany and by anti-Semitism, which is obviously the idea that Dalton is trying to sell.

As concerns idealization of Nazi Germany, it is irrelevant in this respect whether or not any of the major "Revisionist" writers "openly admits to being a National Socialist", or whether or not Mr. Dalton thinks that they are concerned with "burnishing Hitler’s image". And that’s not only because "Revisionists" rarely if ever own up to their actual motives, but also and mainly because the general stance of "Revisionist" writings inevitably includes an "it wasn’t all that bad" – apology and whitewashing of Nazi Germany. It is hardly a coincidence that the events that "Revisionists" focus their denial efforts on are those that have contributed most to discrediting Nazi Germany and its ideology as a political alternative – crimes of Nazi Germany that are less well known than the genocide of the Jews, even though they claimed a higher number of victims in total, do not get an even remotely comparable attention, if any at all.

It is also no coincidence that "Revisionism" focuses on one specific group of Nazi victims and largely ignores other groups. While this can be partially attributed to the fact that the genocide of the Jews was Nazi Germany’s biggest and best known single crime, and that it is widely held to be "unique" and not to be compared with other mass crimes in history (a notion I personally disagree with), there is no denying an obvious connection to the anti-Jewish prejudices of some of the "major writers" and a large part of their public.

While it is evidently in the interest of "Revisionist" authors to be discrete about their agenda and bias in their books or other written or verbal communications, they at least sometimes cannot help being themselves and allow their own words to reveal what makes them tick. The following, for example, are statements made by two of the "Revisionists" eulogized by Dalton as writers of "serious, dedicated works":

Friedrich Berg:

As to the Jews, they condemn themselves with their hideous lies–and vindicate those who tried unsuccessfully to expel them from Europe forever. The enormous success Jews continue to have with their spectacular hoax proves that the fears HITLER, and many others, had regarding Jewish domination of the world's media was, and still is, entirely justified. Let us hope that as the current Mideast disaster worsens and spreads, the human race will finally revolt against the Jews. That revolt should include a revolution against Christianity as well. They are all outgrowths of the same primitive, racist lunacy–and should not dominate a world where science and technology have given us unlimited power to advance, and evolve–but also, to destroy everything.


(From Berg's website)

Jürgen Graf:

Israel doesn't have a right to exist. What to do with those Jews? We're cultured people, we can't exterminate them. What to do with them?.. I don't know.


(Sergey Romanov, Juergen Graf doesn't want to kill Jews)

Readers may judge for themselves in which of my four categories these utterances place the "serious" writers quoted above.

Dalton is right about only one thing, in this context: pointing out the somewhat-less-than-recommendable background and motivations of "Revisionist" writers is no substitute for debunking their claims and arguments. That's why the latter has been and will continue to be the priority of this blogspot.

As concerns the "traditionalist" side, Dalton lists Reitlinger, Hilberg, Dawidowicz, Arad, Gutman, Laqueur, Yad Vashem and the USHMM as the "leading architects of the orthodox view" (compare this terminology with the "careful, scientific examination of the circumstances of the Holocaust", "high-quality articles and books on their critiques" and "serious, dedicated works" that he credits "academic revisionists" with), then points out that "All of the above individuals and organizations are Jewish" and that "this Jewish predominance is a matter of concern" because (among other things) it "indicates a large potential for biased and self-interested reporting". In other words, Jews are likely to lie about the whole thing.

As on previous occasions, the liar here is Dalton himself – unless he is such a sloppy researcher as not to have noticed that Holocaust research is currently done largely by non-Jews, many of whom are Poles researching the Nazi death camps (Franciszek Piper, Tomasz Kranz, Robert Kuwalek, Andrzej Strzelecki, Henryk Swiebocki, Piotr Setkiewicz, Janina Kielbon) or Germans (Andrej Angrick, Götz Aly, Christian Gerlach, Peter Longerich, Dieter Pohl, Thomas Sandkühler and others that Dalton doesn’t seem to have heard of; also worth mentioning are Jacek Mlynarczyk and Bodgan Musial, two Polish scholars who studied in Germany and have done research about Aktion Reinhard(t)). Dalton may be forgiven for not knowing the Polish scholars other than Franciszek Piper (whose study about the number of victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau has been translated into English and is summarized in the Van Pelt Report), but the most prominent among the German scholars he should have heard of, and at the very least he should know Peter Longerich’s expert reports about Hitler's Role in the Persuection of the Jews by the Nazi Regime and The Systematic Character of the National Socialist Policy for the Extermination of the Jews, submitted for the defense at the Irving-Lipstadt trial (which, incidentally, ended with a detailed and devastating judgment about the fallacies of "Revisionism" that Dalton only mentions in passing as he refers to Robert van Pelt and Deborah Lipstadt – I hope for Dalton that there’s more about that trial later in his book). For who limits his research efforts to English-language scholarship, there are Tim Cole, Martin Dean, Donald Bloxham, Michael Thad Allen, Rebecca Wittmann, Robert Gellately as non-Jewish scholars specialized on Holocaust matters, besides historians like Ian Kershaw, Richard Evans, Richard Overy and Adam Tooze who have written on the Holocaust as part of their work on the Third Reich. And if someone who pretends to have looked up and assessed the writings of "both sides" omits Christopher Browning (author of the expert report Evidence for the Implementation of the Final Solution submitted at the Irving-Lipstadt trial, and of the books The Origins of the Final Solution: The Evolution of Nazi Jewish Policy September 1939-March 1942 and Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland, among others) in his list of leading Holocaust scholars, that someone has at best failed to do his homework.

Robert van Pelt (author of a "hefty 2002 book"), John Zimmerman ("the first to seriously address, in detail, the revisionist arguments" and "an accountant at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas"), Deborah Lipstadt ("very little" of whose book Denying the Holocaust "addresses the actual arguments"), Pierre Vidal-Naquet ("An arrogant and polemical response to revisionism") and Jean-Claude Pressac (whose "very detailed study" of the Auschwitz gas chambers "raised as many questions as it answered", and who "died in 2003, having fallen out of favor with the traditionalist establishment") are five of the "traditionalist writers" listed by Dalton as having "taken it upon themselves to directly challenge" the "Revisionist" view. The list reads like a litany of failures, the best credits going to the "accountant" Zimmerman (who is actually an associate professor at the University of Nevada). And what is worse, anti-revisionist forces have been "notably quiet since 2002", no "new anti-revisionist books" having appeared, "and only a handful of journal articles" (this "handful", incidentally, includes the report on The Ruins of the Gas Chambers: A Forensic Investigation of Crematoriums at Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau, by Daniel Keren, Jamie McCarthy, and Harry W. Mazal), in "marked contrast" with "the outpouring of books by revisionists in that same period—nearly a dozen in total".

I haven't heard of anti-"Revisionist" books since the works of Zimmerman and van Pelt indeed, and it's not surprising, given his apparent tendency for wishful thinking, that Dalton sees this as an indication that "traditionalists" are on the ropes (as he suggests in the Introduction, see above).

Outside the world of "Revisionist" wishful thinking, one possible reason for there having been no books specifically targeting "Revisionism" in the last years is that the potential authors of such books consider the job of debunking "Revisionism" to have been accomplished with the works of Zimmerman and van Pelt and the judgment at the Irving-Lipstadt trial, besides the many works of "traditionalist" historians whose supposed refusal to "take on the revisionist challenge" (solid research is one way of doing just that, whether or not it is meant for this purpose) Dalton eagerly chides as avoiding "a battle that you may well lose".

But the main reason, as I see it, is one that Dalton doesn’t mention, although a statement in his Introduction ("Much controversial material can be published only on the Web, and this point must be noted") suggests that he is well aware of it: the key medium through which "Revisionist" propaganda is disseminated is the Web (which is also why "several complete revisionist texts are available free online", as Dalton approvingly notes). It is therefore only logical that the Web, and not the book market, is the essential arena on which "Revisionism" is confronted, and that it is essentially on the Web that key anti-"Revisionist" material can be found.

Dalton lamely tries to avoid having to tackle Web opposition to "Revisionism" by giving a speech in the Introduction about the supposed general unreliability of Web sources (actually the Web's offer of information ranges from highly reliable to abysmally unreliable, just like the book market's) and playing down this blogspot and The Holocaust History Project as sites of "some minor Web-based activity" in footnote 16 to Chapter 1.

However, this "minor Web-based activity", as I already noted in my Amazon review of Dalton's book, seems to have worried him enough dedicate it some dishonest hand-waving remarks, of which Dalton’s publisher, Michael Santomauro, kindly provided an instructive example.

This worry is likely to grow as further parts of Dalton’s "new look at both sides" are dissected on this blogspot.


Thanks to my fellow blogger, Dr. Nick Terry, for information provided and especially for his constructive criticism.

29 comments:

michael santomauro said...

http://www.amazon.com/Debating-Holocaust-Look-Both-Sides/dp/1591480051/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242547983&sr=8-1

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, some clear thinking., April 6, 2009

By Kenneth A. Morgan "Playwright" (Milwaukee, WI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)

As a skeptic of both sides of the Holocaust debate - was there or wasn't there, and if there wasn't, then what? - I've long hoped for a book that would shed light where there was only heat. DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST comes as close as I can hope for, and it is a remarkable accomplishment.

Rather than writing a review longer than the book itself, I'll just first note that with Thomas Dalton's book, the biggest single problem has finally been addressed, That It Has Been Impossible To Grasp The Big Picture Of The Holocaust Because Of The Incoherence Of The Story. The goals of Nazi policy, the means by which it was ordered and carried out, major events and where they happened (nobody really knows where the burial and cremation grounds of Chelmno are), the technical challenges that would come with a mass extermination effort, even something as basic as the death totals; nothing about the Holocaust story is consistent from one source to another. Over the decades figures, testimonies and documents have been exaggerated, reduced, misrepresented, changed or even disappeared, and in many cases with the obvious goal of keeping certain details a mystery so that awkward questions don't come up (Saul Friedländer - I'm talking to you!). When Dalton writes that he found "...a Holocaust story in tatters..." he simply states the truth, and it is easy to see why two important historians, Michel De Bouard and Jean-Claude Pressac, remarked that the historical record of the Holocaust is "rotten".

To deal with this, Dalton introduces a remarkable (and easy!) analytic tool which he calls the death matrix, a technique that combines various tables into a single analytic field that clearly demonstrates the properties of any account of the six alleged extermination camps. It can be done by anybody who has a spreadsheet option on their computer. Not unique to Dalton, it's a common tool in several technical fields, and you have to wonder why anti-revisionist John Zimmerman, who is a professor of accounting and has to use similar tools in transaction analysis, never used it in his various refutations.

For the reader, this means a book where you have to take pen to paper and do some homework of your own, but that is a refreshing change to Holocaust books which don't just ask but demand that you swallow whatever they say without question. Dalton's results when he applies his death matrix are clear, transparent and easily understood, but Dalton clearly states that certain data rests on questionable assumptions and that his use of the tool is preliminary and needs refinement (I could already suggest a revision where Dalton credits Krema II at Auschwitz with cremating 11,000 bodies at a time when it was out of service, the six weeks from the beginning of May through June 12 of 1943). It's a terrific tool, something that becomes clear when the tables reveal that the combined work of exhumations and cremations at Belzec had no choice but to run at a rate of 92,000 per month. That's better than 3,000 per day, 125 per hour, a corpse dug out of the ground and thawed and burned to fragments and ground to powder every 30 seconds; and on wooden pyres in the dead of a Polish winter when weather conditions would have frozen the ground rock-solid and rendered many days impossible for work. That account is ridiculous; whatever the truth is, it's something else. Why didn't somebody think of this technique before?

Avoiding the dreary name-calling, Dalton divides the two camps into "traditionalists" and "revisionists", and then divides the revisionists into the "agitators" and "academics". Another good idea where ideas are sorely needed; when it comes to the revisionists Dalton intelligently ignores the "agitators" and concentrates on the solid arguments of the academics. Revisionists who have made it some sort of holy crusade to challenge the Holocaust will not be happy with this book. Dalton clearly states that the Holocaust cannot be dismissed as a hoax, a fraud or a conspiracy (the financial exploitation of it and the loathsome criminalization of challenging it are another matter). Something awful happened, but exactly what it was, and how it fits into the even bigger picture of the Second World War is impossible to determine with the history that we have.

As accessible as a book that addresses technical issues can be, DEBATING THE HOLOCAUST would make an excellent high school textbook, teaching young people about the story while challenging them to accept nothing until they've applied their own brains to it. Certainly a better choice than THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, a book which has nothing in it about the Holocaust but nevertheless is required (forced?) reading on the subject.

While my review lists five stars, I'm actually giving it four and a half, with half a star taken off for listing a large percentage of the deaths at Majdanek as "natural causes" in one of the tables. This is insensitive to say the least. In their 2003 book on the camp (one of only two studies ever made!) revisionists Carlo Mattogno and Jurgen Graf, no defenders of the Holocaust, are themselves aghast at the way some 40,000 people died slow deaths of exposure standing in the open, sewage soaked fields. These are not "natural causes". As a police worker I know that "Official Indifference" is a crime that American police, fire and rescue workers can be charged with, so even if the Nazi's didn't intend to kill these people they are responsible, at the very least, for mass manslaughter.

With that unfortunate beauty mark addressed, I can finish with a preview of Dalton's epilogue, which is depressing. Dalton points out that there is an appreciable amount of common ground between traditionalists and revisionists; no academic revisionist has ever denied that tragic atrocities happened, and the best (and bravest) traditionalists have themselves noted that there is something terribly wrong with the history, which suggests that a combined effort between the two camps holds an excellent possibility of finally bringing to light a clear and coherent picture of what the events of the 1940's really were.

But it ain't gonna happen. As B'nai Brith director Ian Kadegan ominously crows, "The memory of the Holocaust is central to The New World Order" , and goes on to obscenely call it "...Western Civilization's greatest failure" (that would actually be the Congo Corvée, something that only die-hard Mark Twain fans have heard about). The traditional story of the Holocaust is a multi-billion dollar cash cow that enriches some of the most corrupt institutions on Earth, and has truly become an idolatrous religion that too many people are staked in. If the traditional story falls, not only reputations and livelihoods but power will be lost, for the traditional Holocaust story is used as a club to dictate what morality is by people who have no authority to do so, and to intimidate them not to question that authority.

Which means reading this book is may actually qualify as a revolutionary act. The enemies of free speech can exact a price, but they can't stop you. That's why the right is called unalienable. Not even God can take it away. Thanks for the book Thomas.

http://www.amazon.com/Debating-Holocaust-Look-Both-Sides/dp/1591480051/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242547983&sr=8-1

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

So, what's the point in posting the full text of Kenneth A. Morgan's review, Mr. Santomauro?

Are you so desperately short of arguments that copying and pasting a favorable review is the best you can manage in response to my blog?

I also mentioned Mr. Morgan's review in my own, by the way. Just in case you didn't notice:

I have read the book's Introduction and Chapter 1, which are available online (link: http://www.debatingtheholocaust.com/cover ), and I don't agree with Leucippe's invoking criminal laws against denial as an argument against the book, for I'm in favor of unrestricted free speech.

However, Leucippe's warning that Mr. Dalton's book is an attempt to sell ideologically motivated propaganda to an unwary readership seems highly pertinent to me after what I have seen of the book, also through its previous favorable reviews and an ill-reflected message posted by the publisher, Mr. Santomauro (who amusingly also wrote one of the reviews - the "next best" thing to Mr. Dalton himself telling readers how great his book is) under Sergey Romanov's article "Why the diesel issue is irrelevant" (link: http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2006/06/why-diesel-issue-is-irrelevant.html ) on the "Holocaust Controversies" blog (http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/ ) - a site of "minor Web-based activity", according to Dalton's Chapter 1, which nevertheless seems to have Dalton and his publisher sufficiently worried to dedicate it some dishonest hand-waving remarks, of which Mr. Santomauro kindly provided an instructive example.

The presentation may be new, and Kenneth A. Morgan's review (which also points to a lack of basic humanity on the part of Mr. Dalton) suggests that Mr. Dalton employs some new tricks (namely the "death matrix" that Mr. Morgan is so enthusiastic about) to pull the wool over his readers' ears. But there seems to be nothing new in the content (except maybe for some lame "correction" attempts like the hilarious theory, proclaimed in Chapter 1, that the Holocaust is not a "hoax" but "a fish tale, in which one catches a trout but claims it was a shark"), which comes across as essentially nothing more than a regurgitation of well-known "Revisionist" rhetoric and falsehoods, produced at a time when "Revisionism" has run out of new straw-men and red herrings and is therefore reduced to selling the old ones in a new can. "Old Herrings in a New Can" is accordingly the title of this review, and also of a series of articles that is being prepared on the Holocaust Controversies blog, which I suggest reading before deciding to buy the book. I for my part don't intend to spend money on it, not only because it seems prohibitively expensive in view of the expectable contents and I don't feel like financing "Revisionism", but also because I'm confident that I will find it available for free download on a "Revisionist" website sooner or later.

The rating is one star because that's the minimum required by the rating software, which unfortunately doesn't allow for a less favorable rating.

A final note to the five-star-reviewers of this book, who might be wont to suspect B'nai Brith or some other Jewish organization behind this review: I am a non-Jewish German citizen, proud of my German heritage and of my German relatives who lived through World War II, including an uncle who was killed fighting on the Eastern Front. I don't receive any sort of financial or other compensation for my anti-denial activities, and I neither coordinate them with anyone other than my fellow HC bloggers (three of whom are non-Jews as well), and that only on certain occasions. What I do is motivated by nothing other than my aversion to what I consider to be not only offensive hate speech, but also as far removed from serious historiography as creationism is from the theory of evolution, or the flat earth theory from established geography.

michael santomauro said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nick Terry said...

Mr Santomauro, the comments are for comments, not reproducing IHR leaflet spam. Save that for your forays onto other websites.

Feel free to discuss Roberto's blog post, or invite 'Thomas Dalton' over again. We all enjoyed his visit by the way.

michael santomauro said...

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...

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...

Prof. Dalton says:

Reply to "Old Herrings":

Muehlenkamp's "review" of my Introduction and Chapter 1 merits only a few comments. First, he clearly thinks it impossible to take a neutral stance here, and to objectively evaluate the arguments on both sides. But he seems to forget that everyone is a newcomer to this issue at some point, and deserves to hear all arguments. Unless Muehlenkamp was born with some miraculous knowledge of the truth, or granted insight by God, he too must, at some point, have come upon this issue with an open mind. The alternative is that he just swallowed the traditional propaganda without ever thinking about it all. I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt -- in which case I ask, what was his thinking process? And how did he come to such certain knowledge of the truth?

Once we clear away all the hyperbole and smoke, his critique seems to focus on four points: (1) distortion of evidence, (2) omission of critical facts, (3) creating straw-men arguments, and (4) the use of red herrings. All valid points, if true. Let me take these in turn:

(a) If revisionists are distorting or manipulating evidence, I expect to hear clear and specific charges, including citation of the offending passage(s), and evidence to show that distortion or manipulation was involved. (As opposed to, say, unintentional error.) I don't doubt that some such offence has occurred somewhere in revisionist literature, but I have attempted to avoid all such distortions in my recounting of the arguments. If some have slipped through, I want to know about it. (And of course, if traditionalists -- including the witnesses -- are guilty of this same sin, and Muehlenkamp is aware of it, I would expect him to bring this to our attention.)

(b) Regarding omissions: any concise account of any historical event has to make decisions regarding what is most important and relevant. I have tried to offer the most critical pieces of evidence on both sides. If my depiction of the traditional view has left out key facts, again, I want to know this. Ultimately it comes down to a judgment call regarding what counts as important, and since it's my book, it's my call. But I welcome all input. In his review Muehlenkamp has offered no specifics along this line, so I have no response to this charge.

(c) Since Muehlenkamp seems a bit confused, a 'straw man argument' involves attributing a bogus and fallible argument to an opponent, shooting it down, and then using this to undermine the opponent's position in general. Since I have no 'opponent' in my book -- I merely attempt to offer the best arguments on each side -- the charge against me personally carries no weight. Perhaps individual revisionists attempt this, but if so, I would have excluded it from consideration. Again, if something has slipped through, please enlighten me.

(d) A 'red herring' is an attempt to distract the reader from the real question at hand, by chasing down irrelevant or merely tangential issues. This again is a judgment call. Obviously I don't want to waste time on tangential or misleading topics, but it is very easy for the defenders of the status quo to dismiss troublesome issues as "irrelevant", "incidental", or -- "red herrings". In the context of my book, I'll decide what is important, and, in the end, the reader will either concur or disagree.

I'm glad to hear Muehlenkamp would like anti-revisionist laws avoided or revoked. Perhaps he does respect the right to free speech after all.

My discussion of the four myths causes problems for Muehlenkamp. On #1, if he wants to define 'Holocaust' as 'attempted genocide of European Jews', or more standardly, as 'the actual killing of 6 million Jews via an intentional program of mass murder that involved, among other things, the use of homicidal gas chambers', then indeed it would be correct to say (from the revisionist viewpoint) that this 'Holocaust' never happened. But in the language of traditionalism, 'never happened' quickly morphs into 'nothing happened' -- when in fact revisionists hold that hundreds of thousands (at least) of Jews died, by a variety of causes, under horrible conditions of imprisonment and persecution. So it's a meaningless caricature of the revisionist stance to accuse them of saying the Holocaust 'never happened'. Better to stick with the actual arguments, and with what, specifically, they argue did or did not happen.

Myth #2, on the corpse photos, merits no discussion since Muehlenkamp essentially agrees with me -- the photos prove nothing.

As to myth #3, he also agrees with my assertion that there was no hoax. He doesn't like my 'fish tale' comparison, and misleadingly suggests that the story was rock-solid from the time of Nuremberg. In suggesting that only minor corrections have occurred (Jewish death camp figures were "closer to 3 than to 4 million"), he is being almost humorous. In fact death statistics have varied by a factor of 10 or more, and still to this day lack much consensus. Erroneous maps and diagrams circulated, as did fantastic tales of killing in vats of water, on electrified plates, or with steam. Appendix B in my book lists dozens of outrageous claims by leading witnesses -- he would know this, if he read it.

And he agrees with my myth #4.

On his laughable claim that "Holocaust research is currently done largely by non-Jews": The Poles, as fellow victims, have a stake in sustaining the traditional view, so it is not surprising that a number of non-Jews conduct such research. My focus is English language works, however, and here Muehlenkamp struggles to find 10 names of non-Jewish writers (I'm not convinced that they are in fact not Jewish, but I let that pass). Compare this to the 46,000 (!) works on the Holocaust in library databases -- if even 1 percent (460) of these authors are non-Jewish, I would be surprised.

Lastly, I'm a bit surprised at his claim that anti-revisionist work has been more or less "accomplished", reaching its culmination in the books of Zimmerman and Van Pelt. The reading public will have to decide if their counterarguments are truly sufficient or not. If that's the best reply to revisionism that can be mounted, traditionalism is in worse shape than I thought.

Thomas Dalton.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Prof. Dalton says:

Reply to "Old Herrings":

Muehlenkamp's "review" of my Introduction and Chapter 1 merits only a few comments.
Translation: "I'm hiding under a veil of disdain from arguments I'd rather not address".

Well, Professor Dalton, your response merits no comments at all, but as you seem to be becoming increasingly edgy, I’ll have some more fun with you.

First, he clearly thinks it impossible to take a neutral stance here, and to objectively evaluate the arguments on both sides.First sentence, first misrepresentation. My argument is that objectively evaluating the arguments on both sides precludes a neutral stance, for you either use your brain to realize that "Revisionist" theses have no merit, or you switch it off in order to convince yourself that there’s something to such theses.

But he seems to forget that everyone is a newcomer to this issue at some point, and deserves to hear all arguments.That's what I did when I started looking at "Revisionism" and accordingly becoming interested in the Holocaust, a subject that I knew little and cared less about before. And guess what the conclusion was.

Unless Muehlenkamp was born with some miraculous knowledge of the truth, or granted insight by God, he too must, at some point, have come upon this issue with an open mind. The alternative is that he just swallowed the traditional propaganda without ever thinking about it all.No, I don't swallow propaganda. If I did I might have become a "Revisionist".

I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt -- in which case I ask, what was his thinking process?My reasoning was and is that the theory that takes all known evidence into account and requires no or the fewest additional assumptions unsupported by evidence is the one closest to the truth. The established historical record of events qualifies, the "Revisionist" theory of ethnic cleansing but no genocide does not.

And how did he come to such certain knowledge of the truth?Through the reasoning described above.

Once we clear away all the hyperbole and smoke,

It's interesting how Professor Dalton dodges arguments he'd rather not address, isn’t it?

his critique seems to focus on four points: (1) distortion of evidence, (2) omission of critical facts, (3) creating straw-men arguments, and (4) the use of red herrings.

All valid points, if true.


Add sloppy research and faulty reasoning, and you have "Revisionism" in a nutshell.

Let me take these in turn:

(a) If revisionists are distorting or manipulating evidence, I expect to hear clear and specific charges, including citation of the offending passage(s), and evidence to show that distortion or manipulation was involved. (As opposed to, say, unintentional error.) I don't doubt that some such offence has occurred somewhere in revisionist literature, but I have attempted to avoid all such distortions in my recounting of the arguments. If some have slipped through, I want to know about it.
The first part of my series was about the context and rhetorical frame of "Revisionism" rather than specific "Revisionist" claims and fallacies, and it's quite instructive how Professor Dalton avoids discussing most of what I wrote and focuses on what I only mentioned briefly – I’d call that changing the subject.

We’ll get to specific distortions and manipulations as I address the "challenging and troubling claims" that Professor Dalton seems to think so much of. For now Professor Dalton is invited to look up some examples of "Revisionist" distortion/manipulation that have been discussed on this blog, and tell us where he has addressed or whether and how he has avoided them in his book. The list of blogs in which such distortions/manipulations are discussed is exemplificative and not exhaustive.

1. Carlo Mattogno and interrogations of Topf engineers

2. Mattogno's special treatment of evidence

3. Jürgen Graf is a Liar

4. He sure is.

5. More Misrepresentations from Graf: Lithuania

6. Mattogno's Abuse of History

7. Jürgen Graf on Criminal Justice and Nazi Crimes

8. Weckert on Chelmno

9. That's why it is denial, not revisionism. Part I: Deniers on Sonderkommando 1005

10. Carlo Mattogno on Belzec Archaeological Research - Introduction and Part 1

There are further "clear and specific charges", but these ten should do for now.

(And of course, if traditionalists -- including the witnesses -- are guilty of this same sin, and Muehlenkamp is aware of it, I would expect him to bring this to our attention.)Bringing witnesses into this is a further demonstration of Professor Dalton's dishonesty. Witnesses are a source of evidence, there are more and less reliable witnesses, and it's the job of historians to sift the wheat from the chaff. The juxtaposition here is historians vs. "Revisionist" propagandists, I must say that I haven’t come across writers of serious historical monographs who indulged in distortion and manipulation of evidence (in which I would also include omitting evidence that should have been considered) the way "Revisionists" do. But I'm open to Mr. Dalton showing me anything that compares to, say, the examples addressed in the above-mentioned blogs.

(b) Regarding omissions: any concise account of any historical event has to make decisions regarding what is most important and relevant. I have tried to offer the most critical pieces of evidence on both sides. If my depiction of the traditional view has left out key facts, again, I want to know this. Ultimately it comes down to a judgment call regarding what counts as important, and since it's my book, it's my call. But I welcome all input. In his review Muehlenkamp has offered no specifics along this line, so I have no response to this charge.I have not offered "specifics" because I haven’t yet started discussing "specifics", as Professor Dalton should have realized. But as he already wants to know what evidence he has left out, let's see how much of the following he mentioned in his book (again, the list is exemplificative, not exhaustive):

1. In his expert report Evidence for the Implementation of the Final Solution, submitted for the defense during the Irving-Lipstadt lawsuit, Christopher Browning presented and assessed the documentary and eyewitness evidence for, among other crime complexes, the Aktion Reinhard(t) camps Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka. He divided the eyewitness to the mass killing and body disposal at these camps into five categories: German visitors, Germans stationed at the camps in supervisory positions, camp guards, Poles in the villages around these camps and Jewish survivors. Which of these eyewitnesses have you mentioned/discussed in your book, Professor Dalton?

2. In the same report, Browning also mentioned documentary evidence, including but not limited to the documents referred to in my blog Carlo Mattogno on Belzec Archaeological Research - Part 5 and Conclusion. Which of these documents have you addressed in your book, Professor Dalton?

3. A document not yet considered in Browning’s report, as it was discovered only after that report was written, is Höfle’s radio message to Heim of 11 January 1943, which is discussed in the article A New Document on the Deportation and Murder of Jews during "Einsatz Reinhardt" 1942, by Peter Witte and Stephen Tyas. Have you addressed this document in your book, Professor Dalton?

4. A document closely related to the one mentioned under 3 is the Korherr Report, discussed in my blog Richard "I didn’t know" Korherr. Have you addressed this document in your book, Professor Dalton?

5. The first report detailing Jewish population losses in Europe, "Statistics on Jewish Casualties During Axis Domination", was prepared by the Institute of Jewish Affairs in New York in June 1945. Have you addressed this report in your book, Professor Dalton?

6. The estimated Jewish population in Europe at the end of World War II was also established by an Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry. In Appendix III to the committee’s report, the committee listed the Jewish population in 1939 and the current number of survivors. Have you addressed this document anywhere in your book, Professor Dalton?

7. An important collection of documents about mass shootings of Jews in the occupied Soviet territories, the "Operational Situation Reports USSR" of the Einsatzgruppen, is discussed in the articles An Introduction to the Einsatzgruppen, by Yale F. Edeiken, and The Einsatzgruppen Reports (Ereignismeldungen), by my fellow blogger Dr. Nick Terry, an English historian. These reports are also addressed in several blogs of the That's why it is denial, not revisionism series. Have you addressed these documents in your book, Professor Dalton? If so, what have you written about them?

Following your answer to the above seven questions, I’ll ask you about further evidence I think you should have considered.

(c) Since Muehlenkamp seems a bit confused, a 'straw man argument' involves attributing a bogus and fallible argument to an opponent, shooting it down, and then using this to undermine the opponent's position in general. Since I have no 'opponent' in my book -- I merely attempt to offer the best arguments on each side -- the charge against me personally carries no weight. Perhaps individual revisionists attempt this, but if so, I would have excluded it from consideration. Again, if something has slipped through, please enlighten me.

We’ll get there in future blogs, as I said, but I have provided at least one example of Professor Dalton doing just what he so accurately described above, as he "shoots down" the supposed claim that "Photographs of corpses prove the Holocaust happened". See the article for details.

(d) A 'red herring' is an attempt to distract the reader from the real question at hand, by chasing down irrelevant or merely tangential issues. This again is a judgment call. Obviously I don't want to waste time on tangential or misleading topics, but it is very easy for the defenders of the status quo to dismiss troublesome issues as "irrelevant", "incidental", or -- "red herrings". In the context of my book, I'll decide what is important, and, in the end, the reader will either concur or disagree.

As I said before (and as I announced in the article), we’ll get to the red herrings as I discuss the "challenging and troubling claims" mentioned by Professor Dalton. The diesel mantra and the stuff about the six million figure that "traces back decades before" look like promising candidates in the light of the above definition.

I'm glad to hear Muehlenkamp would like anti-revisionist laws avoided or revoked. Perhaps he does respect the right to free speech after all.

Any indication that I don't, or what is this supposed to mean? Free speech means the right to speak, not the right to respect for what you speak. If means Professor Dalton's right to spout "Revisionist" propaganda as it does my right to tell him what I think of that propaganda.

My discussion of the four myths causes problems for Muehlenkamp. On #1, if he wants to define 'Holocaust' as 'attempted genocide of European Jews', or more standardly, as 'the actual killing of 6 million Jews via an intentional program of mass murder that involved, among other things, the use of homicidal gas chambers', then indeed it would be correct to say (from the revisionist viewpoint) that this 'Holocaust' never happened. But in the language of traditionalism, 'never happened' quickly morphs into 'nothing happened' -- when in fact revisionists hold that hundreds of thousands (at least) of Jews died, by a variety of causes, under horrible conditions of imprisonment and persecution. So it's a meaningless caricature of the revisionist stance to accuse them of saying the Holocaust 'never happened'.

You think so, Professor Dalton? Then I would expect you to

a) provide some examples of the "Revisionist" stance being "morphed" into "nothing happened" by those you idiotically call "traditionalists", and

b) identify the evidence on the basis of which "revisionists hold that hundreds of thousands (at least) of Jews died, by a variety of causes, under horrible conditions of imprisonment and persecution", for without a clear statement by "Revisionists" as to what evidence they accept and why and what evidence they do not accept and why, whatever "traditionalists" you can show us to "morph" the "Revisionist" stance into "nothing happened" are not wholly mistaken.

Better to stick with the actual arguments, and with what, specifically, they argue did or did not happen.It’s precisely those specifics that I’m interested in, Professor Dalton. Specifically, what was it that, according to "Revisionists" did happen to Europe’s Jews, what were the Nazis’ policies and how were they carried out in the "Revisionist" book, and most important, on what evidence do "Revisionists" base their conclusions about what they claim to be the accurate historical record, and why do they "accept" this evidence but "reject" all evidence pointing to genocide.

Myth #2, on the corpse photos, merits no discussion since Muehlenkamp essentially agrees with me -- the photos prove nothing.

As Professor Dalton well knows, my point was not about whether or not photographs prove anything by themselves. It was about the straw-man Professor Dalton set up by claiming that there was a "myth" whereby "Photographs of corpses prove the Holocaust happened", and then gleefully "shooting down" that "myth". Slaying paper dragons is a "Revisionist" specialty that Professor Dalton also seems to be fond of.

As to myth #3, he also agrees with my assertion that there was no hoax. He doesn't like my 'fish tale' comparison, and misleadingly suggests that the story was rock-solid from the time of Nuremberg.

Actually what I wrote was the following:

Essential aspects of the Nazi genocide of the Jews – the extermination plan, the mass shootings by Einsatzgruppen and other mobile formations, the extermination camps – were already described in the sub-section Persecution of the Jews of the section War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity of the International Military Tribunal’s Judgment at the Nuremberg Trial of the Major War Criminals.And that was in response to Professor Dalton's contention that the "fish tale" had gradually developed over a period of sixty years, following demonstration of the absurdity of the "fish tale" conjecture. Though I later wrote that what was known at Nuremberg was largely confirmed by later criminal investigation and historical research, my point was not about whether and to what extent the record set down in the Nuremberg judgment was "rock solid". It was about the silliness of claiming that a record established in its essential aspects in 1945/46, which Professor Dalton considers a "fish tale", developed gradually over a period of sixty years. In other words, Professor Dalton is misrepresenting the context of my statement.

In suggesting that only minor corrections have occurred (Jewish death camp figures were "closer to 3 than to 4 million"), he is being almost humorous. In fact death statistics have varied by a factor of 10 or more, and still to this day lack much consensus.

Oh, have they? Then how come there are no such variations in either the Nuremberg judgment or any historical study (at least on this side of the Iron Curtain) that I have seen? Making a fuss about claims paraded by popular media or other sources of dubious value is what I would call a classic straw-man argument. As to there being no consensus to this day, I hope that Professor Dalton can tell me about any catastrophe of similar nature and magnitude in the history of mankind regarding which there is an absolute consensus as concerns the death toll of the catastrophe as a whole or certain parts of it. I look forward to a long list of examples.

Erroneous maps and diagrams circulated, as did fantastic tales of killing in vats of water, on electrified plates, or with steam. Appendix B in my book lists dozens of outrageous claims by leading witnesses -- he would know this, if he read it.

Didn't Professor Dalton claim above that he avoided straw-man arguments? Yet here he is describing what seems to be a whole parade of such arguments, the good old "Revisionist" fuss about inaccurate observations and rumors such as accompany any event and are as irrelevant to the historical facts established on the basis of more reliable evidence as the existence of thousands of phony Vietnam veterans telling Rambo tales in bars on a Saturday night is to the facts of the US war in Vietnam.

How come Professor Dalton failed to notice this contradiction?

And he agrees with my myth #4.Actually what I wrote was the following:

So I agree that it is an undue generalization to say that "Revisionists" are generally "right-wing neo-Nazi anti-Semites". But it an equally undue generalization to claim that "Revisionism" is not related to and strongly influenced by idealization of Nazi Germany and by anti-Semitism, which is obviously the idea that Dalton is trying to sell.Either his wishful thinking kept Professor Dalton from correctly reading what I wrote, or then he’s simply lying.

On his laughable claim that "Holocaust research is currently done largely by non-Jews": The Poles, as fellow victims, have a stake in sustaining the traditional view, so it is not surprising that a number of non-Jews conduct such research.

So postulates Professor Dalton based on nothing other than his preconceived notions, and his objection is perfectly irrelevant to the fact that his claim, whereby Holocaust scholarship is in the hands of Jews, is a false claim. I also duly note his having omitted the German scholars I mentioned. Apparently he had no lame excuse at hand to dismiss them with.

My focus is English language works, however, and here Muehlenkamp struggles to find 10 names of non-Jewish writers (I'm not convinced that they are in fact not Jewish, but I let that pass).

Actually I didn't have to struggle at all, just refer to works I have either read or heard about. The claim that Professor Dalton’s focus is "English language works" is an attestation of sloppy research, for Holocaust scholarship does not by any means consist of English language works alone. And even in the Anglo-Saxon language domain, as I pointed out, there are numerous non-Jews specialized in Holocaust research. As to the "I’m not convinced that they are in fact not Jewish", I’d say that tells us something about the deplorable mindset of Mr. Dalton but little else.

Compare this to the 46,000 (!) works on the Holocaust in library databases -- if even 1 percent (460) of these authors are non-Jewish, I would be surprised.

I wonder where Professor Dalton got this figure from, and how many of those 46,000 works are scholarly studies (after all that’s what we’re talking about here) as opposed to memoirs and other non-scholarly works. If even 1 percent of those 46,000 works are scholarly studies like those of Reitlinger and Hilberg, I’d be mighty surprised – and even more so if those scholars were primarily Jews.

Lastly, I'm a bit surprised at his claim that anti-revisionist work has been more or less "accomplished", reaching its culmination in the books of Zimmerman and Van Pelt. The reading public will have to decide if their counterarguments are truly sufficient or not. If that's the best reply to revisionism that can be mounted, traditionalism is in worse shape than I thought.

Actually what I wrote was the following (emphases added):

Outside the world of "Revisionist" wishful thinking, one possible reason for there having been no books specifically targeting "Revisionism" in the last years is that the potential authors of such books consider the job of debunking "Revisionism" to have been accomplished with the works of Zimmerman and van Pelt and the judgment at the Irving-Lipstadt trial, besides the many works of "traditionalist" historians whose supposed refusal to "take on the revisionist challenge" (solid research is one way of doing just that, whether or not it is meant for this purpose) Dalton eagerly chides as avoiding "a battle that you may well lose".

But the main reason, as I see it, is one that Dalton doesn’t mention, although a statement in his Introduction ("Much controversial material can be published only on the Web, and this point must be noted") suggests that he is well aware of it: the key medium through which "Revisionist" propaganda is disseminated is the Web (which is also why "several complete revisionist texts are available free online", as Dalton approvingly notes). It is therefore only logical that the Web, and not the book market, is the essential arena on which "Revisionism" is confronted, and that it is essentially on the Web that key anti-"Revisionist" material can be found.
As we can see, I did not claim that "anti-revisionist work has been more or less 'accomplished', reaching its culmination in the books of Zimmerman and Van Pelt", but reasoned that this might be the notion held by people who might otherwise write books against "Revisionism". And as we can also see, my principal explanation for an absence of recent anti-"Revisionist" books (which Dalton completely ignored) is that dissemination and confrontation of "Revisionist" propaganda occurs chiefly on the web.

Our readers may decide what they wish to call someone who, like Professor Dalton has done here, misrepresents an opponent's secondary argument while ignoring that opponent's main argument.

I call such a person a liar and a charlatan.

Thomas DaltonAh, before I forget it: the question about your qualifications is still standing, Professor Dalton. I'll bold them so you don’t gloss over them again:

Where did you get your PhD?At what American university have you been teaching humanities?Two questions you should have no problem answering, Professor Dalton. Unless, of course, you are the phony that your dishonest argumentation suggests you to be.

Nick Terry said...

Thomas Dalton: "On his laughable claim that "Holocaust research is currently done largely by non-Jews": The Poles, as fellow victims, have a stake in sustaining the traditional view, so it is not surprising that a number of non-Jews conduct such research. My focus is English language works, however, and here Muehlenkamp struggles to find 10 names of non-Jewish writers (I'm not convinced that they are in fact not Jewish, but I let that pass). Compare this to the 46,000 (!) works on the Holocaust in library databases -- if even 1 percent (460) of these authors are non-Jewish, I would be surprised."

Roberto: "Actually I didn't have to struggle at all, just refer to works I have either read or heard about. The claim that Professor Dalton’s focus is "English language works" is an attestation of sloppy research, for Holocaust scholarship does not by any means consist of English language works alone. And even in the Anglo-Saxon language domain, as I pointed out, there are numerous non-Jews specialized in Holocaust research. As to the "I’m not convinced that they are in fact not Jewish", I’d say that tells us something about the deplorable mindset of Mr. Dalton but little else.
"I wonder where Professor Dalton got this figure from, and how many of those 46,000 works are scholarly studies (after all that’s what we’re talking about here) as opposed to memoirs and other non-scholarly works. If even 1 percent of those 46,000 works are scholarly studies like those of Reitlinger and Hilberg, I’d be mighty surprised – and even more so if those scholars were primarily Jews."

Thomas Dalton's claim of 46,000 books comes from a simple WorldCat search he did, as he spells out on p.219 of his book. Unfortunately what Dalton omits to mention is that these are not 46,000 individual titles but editions of titles, including translations.

The fact that his comment above refers to "1% of authors = 460" suggests that he doesn't understand what he read on WorldCat.

So how do these '46,000' books break down? Roberto is correct to say that many are memoirs and there are even substantial numbers of novels, but he is incorrect to say that only 1% are scholarly. It is considerably higher.

Just going on the keyword 'Holocaust' search, we find of the 44,624 editions currently listed:

Biography (10092)
Fiction (2284)
Non-Fiction (42340)
Thesis/dissertation (2215)

The category non-fiction obviously including biography and thesis/dissertation.

Closer scrutiny suggests that autobiographies and memoirs are included under 'biography'.

To reiterate: these are editions, so there are 51 editions credited to Anne Frank, who only wrote one diary and one novel sometimes published separately.

The sum total of editions thus partially indicates how frequently books are republished or translated as much as written from scratch.

It also indicates, and this is really funny, hardbacks and paperback editions.

Thus, the top 20 authors listed have between them 1,220 entries out of the 44,000.

The kicker, and this was not mentioned by Dalton on p.219 of his book, is that of the 44,624 editions only 18,918 are in English. The remaining 25,716 editions are in foreign languages with 907 classified as 'undetermined'.

One of the reasons that the Holocaust has produced so many books is because it happened across what are now 25 separate nation-states, and involved nearly a dozen more as bystanders. And this is reflected not only in the very high level of foreign language original publications, but in the substantial, though far from comprehensive, number of translations from foreign languages to English, and from English into foreign languages.

Yet 1000s of books remain untranslated, for the simple reason that translations are expensive, and often of lower priority than new titles. Hans Safrian's Die Eichmann-Maenner has been 'in translation' almost ever since it was published in German in 1993, and has still not appeared.

To say that one is only interested in English-language books is of course the height of disingenuousness and dishonesty when one is speaking about the scholarship of an event in European history. Dalton clearly cannot be very familar with the scholarship of any field if he thinks he could get away with such obvious rubbish.

And while he is forgiven for not reading Italian and Chinese editions of Primo Levi, there is no excuse for his evident lack of familiarity with the scholarly literature on the Holocaust not only in foreign languages (and he is not fooling anyone with his dismissal of German scholarship), but in English.

Dalton's bibliography contains, once duplicate editions are eliminated, just 95 "mainstream" books, articles and blog posts. Some of my students reached half of that number just writing a 5,000 word project essay.

One wonders how he can criticise the production of '46,000 books' with a straight face while sampling less than 100 of them. And his citations of some of these mainstream works make me question whether he has actually read some of them, and didn't simply lift the citation from a revisionist text.

And despite his gambit here, Dalton manages to cite a few works in German and even Polish, so having opened Pandora's box, he is to be condemned for ignoring anything in a language he claims to understand, unless he wants to be condemned for citing works in languages he doesn't actually understand.

Unlike Thomas Dalton, I have actually seen the world of academic research on the Holocaust from the inside, and contrary to his fantasy, that world is populated by a very substantial number of non-Jewish scholars of all nationalities, as well as by diaspora Jewish and Israeli historians.

It is precisely because the field is international, just like any other scholarly field, that its collective output cannot selectively dismissed because it is 'Jewish' or because it is 'not written in English'.

Dalton in his book on p.219 tries to pass off the outpouring of Holocaust literature in English as a 'monopoly of ideas'.

One has to query whether Dalton has recently stepped into a university library or a bookstore since even with the undoubted popular interest in the subject, the Holocaust remains only one of many, many ongoing popular themes.

There are, after all, about 233,000editions under the subject classification 'World War, 1939-1945', of which half are in English and half are in foreign languages.

In fact, 'World War, 1939-1945, United States' earns 33,357 editions, versus 31,505 for the comparable subject heading of 'Holocaust, 1939-1945. 11,998 of these are in English and 19,507 are in foreign languages, thus we can easily see that over time, America's involvement in WWII has produced three times the amount of subject-classified literature in English than the Holocaust, and still substantially more for the simple keyword classification.

The First World War yields 116,331 editions, 64,139 in English.

It's much the same when older events are considered. There are 65,708editions of books relating to the American Civil War, ('United States History Civil War 1861-1865).

From 2000 to 2007, an average of 938.5 editions appeared on the theme of the Civil War. The overwhelming majority were in English: on average 917.65 editions appeared every year in English on this theme.

That is exactly the same number of editions of books on the Holocaust published in English from 2000-2007as Dalton found and cited on p.219

In the same time period, an average of 1,392 editions a year appeared in English that triggered the keyword 'Soviet', 729 editions/year under the subject rubric of 'world war, 1914-1918', and 431 editions/year on 'Vietnam war, 1961-1975'.

The appetite for destruction among English-speaking readers is seemingly inexhaustible.

Jonathan Harrison said...

Dalton claims that:

"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."

If Dalton has actually read Schelvis, this passage is an outright lie, because Schelvis actually writes that:

"Of the approximately 700 Dutch men who, upon arrival, were immediately transferred to labour camp Dorohucza to dig peat, only two survived the war. In the rest of the Lublin district, only thirteen women and one man were liberated - though not at Dorohucza or Lublin - after spending time at numerous other camps, relentlessly torn between misery, death and hope." (p.191)

Could Dalton explain this gross misrepresentation of the source?

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

For further discussion of this blog see the discussion section of the blog A discussion with Michael Santomauro and Thomas Dalton, Ph.D. (Santomauro/Dalton's post of Wednesday, May 20, 2009 11:19:00 PM and my posts of Thursday, May 21, 2009 2:30:00 PM, Thursday, May 21, 2009 2:31:00 PM, Thursday, May 21, 2009 2:33:00 PM, Thursday, May 21, 2009 2:34:00 PM, Thursday, May 21, 2009 2:35:00 PM, Thursday, May 21, 2009 2:36:00 PM and Thursday, May 21, 2009 2:37:00 PM).

Paul said...

Hi, I can post links to this Holocaust denial also:
-------------------
Michael Santomauro
Editorial Director
Call: 917-974-6367
ReporterNotebook@Gmail.com

----------------
Adolfthegreat@gmail.com
Mr. John Clarke

---------------

http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler

---------------


http://de.altermedia.info/general/ursula-haverbeck-was-ist-der-holocaust-211107_11973.html
---------------
http://abbc.net/islam/svenska/fildok/bilderen.htm
---------------------

http://www.fpp.co.uk/search/

Nathaniel said...

Santomauro/Dalton's still at it:

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/11/combatting_holocaust_denial_ur_doing_it.php#more

-Talk about beating a dead horse.

James M said...

It's now official - there's been no actual shortage of Holocaust survivors:

'The Israeli Prime Minister's office recently put the number of "living Holocaust survivors" at nearly a million' (extract from The Holocaust Industry by Norman G. Finkelstein of the City University of New York, published by Verso, London and New York, 2000, p.83).

[Googling "holocaust survivor" supplies 1,710,000 items]

And see Wikipedia article: List of Holocaust survivors
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Holocaust_survivors - quote:

"There are many famous Holocaust survivors who survived the Nazi genocides in Europe and went on to achievements of great fame and notability. Those listed here were, at the very least, residents of the parts of Europe occupied by the Axis powers during World War II who survived until the end of the Holocaust (and the war). The majority of these people survived incarceration in the Nazi concentration camps, but that is not strictly necessary for the purposes of this list..."


I've checked out the six volumes of Churchill's Second World War and the statement is quite correct - not a single mention of Nazi 'gas chambers,' a 'genocide' of the Jews, or of 'six million' Jewish victims of the war.

Eisenhower's Crusade in Europe is a book of 559 pages; Churchill's Second World War totals 4,448 pages; and De Gaulle's three-volume Mémoires de guerre is 2,054 pages.

In this mass of writing, which altogether totals 7,061 pages (not including the introductory parts), published from 1948 to 1959, one will find no mention either of Nazi 'gas chambers,' a 'genocide' of the Jews, or of 'six million' Jewish victims of the war.

James M said...

Really Interesting Arithmetic:

Have a look at a typical account by one of the seemingly endless number of survivors: Olga Lengyel’s Five Chimneys: a woman survivor’s true story of Auschwitz (Granada/ Ziff-Davis, 1947, 1972).


The blurb on the cover of the book quotes the New York Herald-Tribune: "Passionate, tormenting". Albert Einstein, the promoter of the US construction of the bombs used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is quoted as offering "You have done a real service by letting the ones who are now silent and most forgotten (sic) speak."

Lengyel says

‘After June, 1943, the gas chamber was reserved exclusively for Jews and Gypsies.. Three hundred and sixty corpses every half-hour, which was all the time it took to reduce human flesh to ashes, made 720 per hour, or 17,280 corpses per twenty-four hour shift. And the ovens, with murderous efficiency, functioned day and night. However, one must also reckon the death pits, which could destroy another 8,000 cadavers a day. In round numbers, about 24,000 corpses were handled each day. An admirable production record, one that speaks well for German industry.’ (Paperback edition, pp80-81). [No trace of any remains of or in ‘death pits’ has been found.]

This implies almost 100,000 corpses per four working days, or a million in 40 days, or six million in 240 days (eight months).

Could this claim be a misprint?

Kitty Hart, in spite of her name a Jewish survivor born in Poland, fully confirms these figures:

‘Working around the clock, the four units together could dispose of about 18,000 bodies every twenty-four hours, while the open pits coped with a further 8,000 in the same period.’ (p 118; Return to Auschwitz - paperback edition by Granada (1981, 1983).

According to the cover blurb, ‘The subject of the award-winning Yorkshire television documentary of the same name.’ ‘Both engaging and harrowing…an important addition to the growing holocaust literature, very little of which conveys so courageously both the daily torment and the will to survive’ – Martin Gilbert, The Times.

Martin Gilbert, indefatigable Jewish campaigner on behalf of the ‘Holocaust’ and biographer of Winston Churchill, adds to the rich flavour and makes his own numerical claims, certainly not without chutzpah:

In his book Auschwitz and the Allies (1981) he states

‘The deliberate attempt to destroy systematically all of Europe’s Jews was unsuspected in the spring and early summer of 1942: the very period during which it was at its most intense, and during which hundreds of thousands of Jews were being gassed every day at Belzec, Chelmo, Sobibor and Treblinka.’ (p.26).

If we assume a minimum figure of 200,000 per day, this amounts to say a million a five-day working week, or 6 million in six weeks, and this does not include the truly awe-inspiring claims for Auschwitz put forward by Hart and Lengyel with Gilbert’s blessing.

Sergey Romanov said...

Um, what's your point, James M? Do you even understand how ridiculous your "argument" is? Some people allegedly did not write about the Holocaust, therefore there was no Holocaust? Are you really that dumb? And if Churchill did not mention Auschwitz, does it mean that there was no Auschwitz? Is this the best you denier lemmings can do?

James M said...

Elie Wiesel vs Encyclopaedia Britannica

Wiesel has been one of the most prominent spokesman for the very sizeable group of people known as Holocaust survivors. [According to Norman Finkelstein of the City University of New York in his book The Holocaust Industry published in the year 2000, ‘The Israeli Prime Minister’s office recently put the number of "living Holocaust survivors" at nearly a million’ (p.83)]. Wiesel has chaired the US Holocaust Memorial Council and has been the recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal and Nobel Peace Prize...
Time Magazine, March 18 1985:

‘How had he survived two of the most notorious killing fields [Auschwitz and Buchenwald] of the century? "I will never know" he says. "I was always weak. I never ate. The slightest wind would turn me over. In Buchenwald they sent 10,000 to their deaths every day. I was always in the last hundred near the gate. They stopped. Why?"

Compare this with Encyclopaedia Britannica (1993), under ‘Buchenwald’:

"In World War II it held about 20,000 prisoners.. Although there were no gas chambers, hundreds perished monthly through disease, malnutrition, exhaustion, beatings and executions."

Sergey Romanov said...

Um. Lengyel never claimed to have been an eyewitness to these cremations. Neither did Hart. Their numbers have never been used by any historians. So what's your point again, denier lemming?

Sergey Romanov said...

Stop spamming, denier lemming.

Sergey Romanov said...

What part of "Stop spamming, denier lemming" does the denier turd not understand?

Sergey Romanov said...

Spammin' lemming is a total idiot, BTW. Look, for example, at his last comment. It's obvious that Wiesel is talking about the evacuation transports. It's an oral interview, so he is not exactly precise, but if you've read his book, you should know that he is talking about the last few days. About 12-15000 died in the evacuation transports.

Look it up, zombie.

Nathaniel said...

???

I can't help noticing that all of Mr. Santomauro's comments disappeared. Did you pull them out, or did Mr. Santomauro?

It's a shame, really. Said quotes would've really helped take down "ngoodgame" over at the "showpieces of "revisionist" stupidity/mendacity" article. Oh well, it's not as though "Dalton's" article isn't enough of a shot to the foot.

Paul said...

"In Buchenwald they sent 10,000 to their deaths every day. I was always in the last hundred near the gate. They stopped. Why?"

I think it's clear this is merely a slipup. It is obvious that he meant Auschwitz/Birkenau/Monowitz.

Classici Proibiti said...

"What evidence do they present as proof that the Nazis "only" meant to forcibly resettle the Jews, and that the death toll was the one they are prepared to "accept""?

First, the Wannsee Protocol, which clearly speaks about expulsion and forced resettlement (an horrible thing, anyway). Second, contacts and relationships between Nazism and Zionism (even Hannah Arend speaks about them). Goebbels' review published several articles in praise of Zionism.

Senor Paolo said...

The 'resettlement' of the Jews was a euphemism, as other documents prove. The fact that the Nazis filmed and wrote about the Lithuanian and Latvian participation in the Holocaust in the summer of 1941 is something the Holocaust deniers carefully avoid discussing.

The techniques of genocide were tried out first in the war on the disabled, or "Euthanasia," which Hitler approved of. I've tried to assemble some documentation at:

paolosilv.wordpress.com

Classici Proibiti said...

"The 'resettlement' of the Jews was an euphemism, as other documents prove".

Which documents?

Senor Paolo said...

Dr William Hagen (October 26, 1893 in Augsburg, † 29 March 1982 in Bonn)

In this role, Hagen was Determined in separate medical care for tuberculosis patients Poles and Germans, but sat unsuccessfully for a Significantly better treatment of the Poles. [7] He wrote to the Reich Health Leader Leonardo Conti, etc. in a Letter Which He denounced the inconsistency of policies in the General Government, as others the denial of adequate medical care from Poland and “full use of their workforce” would contradict each other. [8] He also denounced the violence and atrocities against Poland and asked to be released as a medical officer from his post [6] turned Finally, Hagen in December 1942, even writing to Adolf Hitler:

“When a government meeting on TB control, we were told by the head of the Department of Population and Welfare Weirauch as Top Secret, be it intentional or was being considered, in the resettlement of 200 000 Poles in the east of the General Government for the purpose of settling German armed farmers with one-third of Poland – moved to 70 000 old people and children under 10 years as with the Jews, that is to kill them. “

William Hagen in a letter dated 7th December 1942, Adolf Hitler. [9]

Senor Paolo said...

The source for that is de.wikipedia, William Hagen, translated from German, by Google translation.

Nathan said...

- First, the Wannsee Protocol, which clearly speaks about expulsion and forced resettlement (an horrible thing, anyway).-

You mean, this Wannsee Protocol?

Under proper guidance, in the course of the final solution the Jews are to be allocated for appropriate labor in the East. Able-bodied Jews, separated according to sex, will be taken in large work columns to these areas for work on roads, in the course of which action doubtless a large portion will be eliminated by natural causes.

The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly consist of the most resistant portion, have to be treated accordingly, because it is the product of natural selection and would, if released, act as a the seed of a new Jewish revival (see the experience of
history.)

http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/wannsee2.htm



- Second, contacts and relationships between Nazism and Zionism (even Hannah Arend speaks about them). -

Even during the Height of the War, when Palestine was no longer accessible to the Third Reich because of the war with England?

- Goebbels' review published several articles in praise of Zionism.-

Here's some of what Goebbels actually said during the height of the war:

The Jews are now being pushed out of the General Government, beginning near Lublin, to the East. A pretty barbaric procedure is being applied here, and it is not to be described in any more detail, and not much is left of the Jews themselves. In general one may conclude that 60% of them must be liquidated, while only 40% can be put to work.

The rest of the illuminating quote can be found here:
http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2010/04/goebbels-on-liquidation.html