Sunday, May 29, 2016

Update on Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans: The Rauff Letter to the Criminal Technical Institute

Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans
Part IX: The Just Memo

The letter of Rauff (RSHA office II) to the Criminal Technical Institute of the Security Police (RSHA office V) of 26 March 1942 speaking of "special vans" which can be replaced by "bottles with carbon monoxide" has been dismissed by the Holocaust denier Santiago Alvarez as forgery based on a supposedly "wrong" form. In Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans: The Rauff Letter to the Criminal Technical Institute I had argued that the "odd" form is explained by its being a carbon copy (with some further typed additions) and pointed out similar carbon copies (without typed additions, which were typical for memos and transcriptions in Rauff's department to further track and treat an issue) from the German Foreign Office files. Actually, there are also documents from the RSHA office V which show the same formal characteristic in the letterhead than in Rauff's letter further supporting its authenticity.

Recall that Rauff's letter to the Criminal Technical Institute of 26 March 1942 includes the following, at first sight, odd letterhead with lacking sender and incomplete date:
                                                                               26. March     2.

II D Rf/Hb
B. Nr. 167/42g

                   1.) Letter

                   To the
                   Crim. Tech. Institute
                   at the Reich Criminal Police Office



In the meantime, I found more than a dozen documents from the Criminal Technical Institute, mostly authored by Albert Widmann reporting the shipment of medicals, showing the same characteristic of lacking sender and date with void. For example:
                                                                                16. Nov.     4.

                      Chemistry 4      

Mr. medical councillor Dr. Sch.
State Mental Home
via Eltville, train station Hatenheim

(carbon copy of letter Widmann to Sch. of 16 November 1944, Bundesarchiv B 162 / 822, p. 51, my translation; addressee abbreviated for reasons of privacy protection)

Hence, it was clearly practised in the RSHA to keep carbon copies of letters typed on preprinted sheets of writing paper, which necessarily resulted in scrambled letterheads. The "odd" heading in Rauff's letter on homicidal gas vans is, therefore, no indication for a fake, but in contrary it is a formally authentic feature of a contemporary carbon copy.

Alvarez did not seriously bother trying to understand and research the document's form. He did not perform some brainstorming on how to explain the letterhead but only pulled the convenient forgery card fitting to his aim of denying gas vans. In other words, he did not do his job as a researcher; he did do well as a Holocaust denier, though.

He did not check out the Eichmann trial docs or RSHA files for comparison. Of course, you don't necessarily have to know these to write something on German homicidal gas vans. However, you do need to do such kind of research before drawing such grave conclusion as simply dismissing RSHA gas van documents. Alvarez went far beyond his competence specifically here, but also in general in the entire book as already shown and as will shown more in this series.


  1. Maybe it's just because I've dealt with intricacies of the Soviet bureaucracy in relation to the Katyn deniers' arguments, but the carbon copy solution was obvious to me.

    However it should have been the most simple explanation even for those who haven't had to go through piles of old paper - it just needs some common sense. Which Alvarez and Mattogno seem to lack along with most of grey matter.

  2. Thanks, Roberto!

    Sergey, in contrast to you, it wasn't obvious to me and I only "got it" after ANTPogo aka A'isha at the International Skeptics Forum pointed to a RSHA letter for comparison. However, unlike Alvarez, I would have never arrived to a forgery conclusion based on my limited knowledge and memory of German documents at the time.

    Most deniers simply lack the competence to draw any serious conclusion on their subject and they dramatically overestimate their abilities - or rather don't care because they just want to head to Holocaust denial.

  3. Publishing long screeds based on undercooked arguments, mostly in order to defend the Nazis, is, after all, what the HD is all about. So anything goes, scholarship and research be damned.

  4. It shows that when all else fails, deniers cry "forgery!!!"


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