Monday, December 26, 2011

Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard. Chapter 4: So Where Did They Go? “Resettlement” to the East (1). The Excruciatingly Slow Evolution of the Revisionist “Resettlement” Thesis.

So Where Did They Go? “Resettlement” to the East

The Excruciatingly Slow Evolution of the Revisionist “Resettlement” Thesis  

As with their fixation on physical evidence (graves and gas chambers), the denier “hypothesis” of Nazi resettlement of Jews through transit camps is a relatively recently phenomenon as it underwent an excruciatingly slow evolution through Revisionist writings. Arthur Butz was the first Revisionist to detail such an argument, writing in 1976 that instead of an extermination program, “the German policy was to evacuate the Jews to the East.”[1] Butz primarily drew this conclusion from the minutes of the Wannsee Conference[2], a few wartime newspaper articles[3], and the 1943 document referencing Sobibor as a transit camp.[4] In sketching out this supposed resettlement policy, Butz speculates that the destinations of the deportees (whom he counts one million non-Polish Jews) were stretched along a connected line in the occupied Soviet territories, including areas such as Riga, Minsk, Ukraine, and the Sea of Azov.[5] The ultimate fate of these deportees varied, according to Butz, but his work suggests that the majority were either assimilated into the Soviet Union, or emigrated to the United States and Israel.[6] 
While Butz’s work proved to be popular among deniers, the particular argument on resettlement appears to not have been well received, judging by its omission from other Revisionist works during the 1970s and 1980s. Indeed, the major denier work to explain the fate of European Jews during the war was by German-American Walter Sanning, who wrote The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry in 1983. Even in 2002, Mattogno wrote that Sanning’s work was “the most comprehensive” Revisionist study regarding Jewish population losses during the war.[7] Sanning is also recommended as a source in Sobibór.[8] In contrast to a supposed Nazi resettlement policy (which was ignored completely in his work), Sanning used demographic arguments in order to state that Nazi Germany never ruled enough Jews in order to kill six million. The chief target of his analysis was Polish Jews, who were the primary victims of the death camps, and hence, also the majority of the deportees in a resettlement hypothesis. Sanning’s feeble attempts to arbitrarily lower the number of Polish Jews under Nazi rule have already been refuted, so no extra comments on his work are necessary.[9] Such an effort by Sanning to reduce the number of Jews living in Nazi occupied Europe is also reminiscent of similar efforts by Paul Rassinier, whose work The Drama of European Jews originally appeared in 1964 and similarly ignored a “resettlement” hypothesis.[10] Still, the arguments by Sanning, particularly his claim that only some 757,000 Polish Jews lived in the General Government[11], clash with MGK’s belief that more than twice that number of Polish Jews was resettled.
During the late 1980s, 1990s, and even the 2000s, the Revisionist scene showed clear variations regarding the issue of resettlement, perhaps set back by the strictly demographic argument of Rassinier and Sanning. This manifested itself through levels of ambivalence and confusion in Revisionist works. Some efforts during this time period reflect Sanning-type arguments to show that Jewish populations remained in Europe, or were unharmed. Such was the case with Rudolf and Graf’s reliance upon a February 1946 news report which mistakenly added a zero to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry’s total of Jews living in postwar Poland.[12] Indeed, Sanning was held up in tandem with propositions of resettlement by both Rudolf and Graf.[13] For some Revisionists that accepted Jewish deportations to the occupied Eastern territories, the issue of what actually happened to them following their alleged arrival in the East was entirely elided, despite Butz’s suggestions. One such example can be found in Mattogno’s two part essay on ‘The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews’ in the late 1980s, where deportations are briefly discussed, largely based on the Korherr report, but nothing is stated over the deportees’ eventual fate.[14]
Confusion over the fate of the deported Jews remained even after more detailed arguments for “resettlement” appeared. In 1990, Steffen Werner published a book theorizing that the Third Reich had deported millions of Jews (a set figure is not clear in the work) into Belorussia, and that those Jews were still held captive by the Soviet government at the time of his writing.[15] As Werner makes clear, his argument is entirely based upon “circumstantial evidence,” and very weakly at that.[16] In 1993, although Graf wrote that Werner’s book had to be used “with caution,” overall he supported the thesis of Jews being transported and left in the occupied Soviet territories, simply noting that numerous unanswered questions about the fate of the missing Jews existed.[17] Werner’s thesis has not been officially supported by leading Revisionist writers, but instead has been used as a “first step” of research into the subject of resettlement.
In the early 1990s, some arguments of resettlement were focused directly upon the Aktion Reinhard camps, specifically Treblinka (which was also included by Werner).[18] In 1990 Udo Walendy published an article arguing that a transit camp (Malkinia) existed just a few miles north of the Treblinka death camp, and that deportees actually arrived in the Malkinia transit camp to be deported to the East (not Treblinka).[19] Over time Walendy’s Malkinia gambit has been picked up by some deniers,[20] including Mattogno and Graf,[21] but not all (such as Kues).[22] Another article from the same period (1992) by Mark Weber and Andrew Allen utilized some of Walendy’s arguments to support their view that Treblinka was a “transit camp.”[23] Weber and Allen used “mainstream” sources (historians and court judgments) to show that some Jews deported to Treblinka were selected and transferred to other concentration camps. The duo also cited letters and postcards from Jews deported from the Warsaw ghetto to settlements in the occupied Soviet territories (presumably transported through Treblinka, according to Weber and Allen).[24]
More detailed argumentation was offered for the resettlement “hypothesis” in the early/mid 1990s by Enrique Aynat and Jean-Marie Boisdefeu.[25] Both authors largely relied upon wartime news reports in order to support their notions that Jews were transported en masse to the East through the extermination camps. Boisdefeu plainly admitted that documents were severely lacking to support such a resettlement program (hence he declares it a “hypothesis”) and recognized that news reports were all that was available.[26] Many of the contemporary and clandestine sources of evidence that these deniers used were later employed by MGK in their works (both with and without proper reference), as directly admitted in the praise for the two “undaunted revisionist researchers” offered in Sobibór.[27] Aynat and Boisdefeu both found areas of eastern Poland and the western USSR (particularly Belarus, Ukraine, and the Baltic) to be the likely resettlement destinations. Boisdefeu also theorized that western Jews were forcefully deported by the Soviets after the war into Siberia for labor.[28]
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, no doubt inspired by a sense of optimism from the work of Aynat and Boisdefeu, there was a resurgence of interest among Revisionists in the fate of Jews deported to the Nazi extermination camps. In 1999, Jürgen Graf published a piece on the fate of unregistered Hungarian Jews who were deported to Auschwitz in 1944.[29] After citing, from Boisdefeu and Aynat, several of the wartime news reports referencing European Jews in the occupied Soviet territories (which Graf calls “all the same” as wartime German documents in support of a resettlement thesis), a documented May 1944 transport of French Jews to the Baltic containing children, as well as falsely interpreting a handful of German documents,[30] Graf proclaims that “almost certainly” Auschwitz and the Reinhard camps served as transit camps to deport Jews into the occupied Eastern territories. Graf also used the argument of Weber and Allen, citing the transfer of a few hundred laborers from Treblinka to concentration camps (i.e., Majdanek) as proof of its transit purpose. To explain the ultimate fate of these deportees, Graf suggests that Polish Jews voluntarily stayed in the Soviet Union and approvingly references Werner and Boisdefeu’s speculation that Jews from Western Europe were rounded up and deported to Siberian labor camps by the Soviets after the war. Graf recognized though that without proper documentation, such a far-fetched scenario would only remain a “thesis.”
Graf’s brief summary of the Revisionist arguments for resettlement would set the tone for the works he co-authored on the Reinhard camps during the 2000s with Carlo Mattogno and Thomas Kues, wherein most of the points offered in support of an alternative function to the camps were unoriginal in Revisionist literature. While some Revisionists still quibble with addressing the resettlement issue and the ultimate fate of Jews under Nazi occupation,[31] the important step that MGK have taken in their books and articles is to spend substantial time addressing such issues in connection with more negationist-type arguments.[32] Such efforts can be viewed as a part of Mattogno’s push for a new “affirmationist” Revisionism.[33] Of course, the fact that MGK have given the issue more prominence than others should not be taken to mean that their arguments are valid or truthful, as the reader shall quickly see.



[1] Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, p.260. 
[2] See Chapter 2, section The Europe-Wide Final Solution.
[3] Most of the ones Butz cites (p.260 n.371) are dated from 1941 and early 1942, no doubt related to the deportation of German Jews.
[4] Himmler an Pohl, 5.7.43, NO-482. As was noted in Chapter 2, this is an irrelevancy because, for example, Soldau had previously been referred to as a “transit camp” but was also a gassing site.
[5] Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, p.267. Butz is unclear on the total figure of Jewish deportees for his resettlement program, excluding Polish Jews from his count due to their alleged similarity with Soviet Jews, as well as pre-1941 deportations and evacuations.
[6] Ibid., pp.271-276.
[7] M&G, Treblinka, p.295 n.916.
[8] MGK, Sobibór, p.58 n.1063.
[9] Cf. the blog series by Jonathan Harrison, ‘The Crazy World of Walter Sanning,’ Holocaust Controversies, http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2006/04/quick-links.html#sanning.
[10] Rassinier, Drame des juifs européens.
[11] Walter N. Sanning, The Dissolution of Eastern European Jewry, Costa Mesa: Institute for Historical Review, 1990, p.44.
[12] The Committee’s report reported 80,000 Jews left in Poland. Graf and Rudolf cite the news article’s figure of 800,000. ‘Appendix II: European Jewry-Position in Various Countries,’ Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry: Report to the United States Government and His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom, 1946; Graf, Giant, p. 110; Germar Rudolf (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust, 2nd revised edition, Chicago: Theses & Dissertations, 2003, ‘Holocaust Victims: A Statistical Analysis: W. Benz and W.N. Sanning’, p.195.
[13] Rudolf, Dissecting the Holocaust, pp.207-208; Jürgen Graf, Der Holocaust auf dem Prüfstand. Augenzeugenberichte versus Naturgesetze. Basel: Guideon-Burg-Verl., 1993, pp.61-62.
[14] Carlo Mattogno, ‘The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews: Part I’; Carlo Mattogno, ‘The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews: Part II,’ Journal of Historical Review, 8/3, 1988, pp.261-302.
[15] Steffen Werner, The Second Babylonian Captivity: The Fate of the Jews in Eastern Europe Since 1941, Pfullingen, 1990, p.5.
[16] Ibid., 180. Not even MGK support Werner’s thesis, Sobibór, p.359.
[17] Graf, Der Holocaust auf dem Prüfstand, p 62.
[18] Werner, The Second Babylonian Captivity, pp.70-71, p.171.
[19] Udo Walendy, ‘Der Fall Treblinka,’ Historische Tatsachen, 44, 1990.
[20] Cf. Arnulf Neumaier, ‘The Treblinka Holocaust,’ Dissecting the Holocaust, 2nd revised edition, Chicago: Theses & Dissertations, 2003, pp.477, 500.
[21] See their section title ‘Deportations from the ghetto of Bialystok and the Transit Camp Malkinia,’ on p.288 of Treblinka.
[22] As previously mentioned, CODOH poster ‘Laurentz Dahl’ is revisionist writer Thomas Kues. http://www.codoh.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4715&start=0 .
[23] Mark Weber and Andrew Allen, ‘Treblinka,’ Journal of Historical Review, Vol. 12, No. 2 (1992), pp.133-158.
[24] These postcards are also discussed by Kues in ‘Evidence for the Presence of “Gassed” Jews in the Occupied Eastern Territories: Part II’, Inconvenient History, 2/4, 2010. In both cases, the deniers show gullibility and excessive credulity towards the provenance of a dubious source that suits their arguments.
[25] Enrique Aynat, ‘Considérations sur la déportation des juifs de France et de Belgique à l'est de l'Europe en 1942,’ Akribeia, http://www.vho.org/F/j/Akribeia/2/Aynat5-59.html; Jean-Marie Boisdefeu, ‘La Controverse Sur L’Extermination des Juifs par les Allemands,’ 1996 VHO lecture, http://www.vho.org/aaargh/fran/bsdf/jmb21.html.
[26] Aynat, ‘Considérations sur la déportation des juifs de France et de Belgique à l'est de l'Europe en 1942,’ sect.6.
[27] MGK, Sobibór, p.364.
[28] Boisdefeu, ‘La Controverse Sur L’Extermination Des Juifs Pas Les Allemands,’ pp.88-90.
[29] Jürgen Graf, ‘Insights on the 1944 Deportations of Hungarian Jews: What Happened to the Jews Who Were Deported to Auschwitz But Were Not Registered There?’ Journal of Historical Review, 19/4, 2000:
[30] Graf’s reliance on the few documents also comes as he feels “convinced” that the Allies destroyed Nazi documents related to resettlement.
[31] Wilfried Heink, ‘Well, where are they then?’ Inconvenient History Blog, May 31, 2010, http://www.revblog.codoh.com/2010/05/well-where-are-they-then/. Thomas Kues also justified such hesitancy over the issue, stating that revisionists are not under a “moral obligation” to address such an issue. See his first section in his ‘Evidence for the Presence of “Gassed” Jews in the Occupied Eastern Territories’: Part 1, Inconvenient History, 2/2, Part 2 Inconvenient History, 2/4, 2010.
[32] See M&G, Treblinka, pp.275-299; MGK, Sobibór, pp.347-374; And see Kues, ‘Evidence’, Parts 1 & 2.
[33] Mattogno uses such a term to describe his recent works on the Auschwitz camp. Of course, serious history (as opposed to pseudohistory) needs no such designation, as detailing actual events already forms the basis of it.

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