Saturday, May 19, 2007

Rudolf's Goofs

Back before last Christmas, Michael Santomauro the following challenge around the net:
In Celebration of the early Release of David Irving from prison for his 'THOUGHT CRIME' a $25,000.00 reward (will be paid by to any person to prove that any topic in the book published by Germar Rudolf who is currently in prison and on trial in Germany for writing this book titled: "The Lectures on the Holocaust" where the essence of it's content by chapter or topic is not academically acceptable.
The chances of Santomauro, not only the proprietor of Reporter's Notebook but also the man handling Rudolf's business while he serves out his sentences in the Fatherland, paying up are about zero, since there is absolutely nothing that is academically acceptable about 'Lectures on the Holocaust', starting with its absurd Q&A format with an imaginary interlocutor asking naive questions of the Wise Young Jedi, Germar, proceeding on to its remarkably chaotic and disorganised structure which leaps from topic to topic even inside clearly marked sub-sections, not to mention the total ignorance of 99% of the literature or sources on the Holocaust displayed by the chemist-turned-pseudohistorian.

When this challenge got circulated, we toyed with the idea of debunking the book piece by piece but decided we had better things to do with our time than deal with such a farrago of nonsense. However, while searching through the aforementioned tome looking to see how Rudolf dealt with demographics, that weakest of revisionist gambits, I came across a howler so egregious that it warrants highlighting.

First the wisdom of the Young Jedi, a point so eminently sensible I had to pinch myself to remember who it was whose book I was reading:
You have to be very careful when you do that. Encyclopedias and other such works cannot really be called reliable sources in the strict scientific sense of the word…That also goes for items from newspapers or magazines. After all, journalists have never been famous for a penetrating knowledge of the topics they discuss.”
- Germar Rudolf, Lectures on the Holocaust, pp.44-45
And then the unwisdom of the same Young Jedi:
Precisely. The actual figure could have been much higher. For example, a British- American committee of investigation into the problem of the Jewish situation in Europe announced at a press conference in February 1946, according to United Press, that there were still 800,000 Jews in post-war Poland who all sought to emigrate.
Note 55: Keesings Archiv der Gegenwart, vol. 16/17, Rheinisch-westfälischesVerlagskontor, Essen 1948, p. 651,Item B of Feb. 15, 1946
- Germar Rudolf, Lectures on the Holocaust, p.35
If that wasn't bad enough, we find in the relevant portion of the Anglo-American Committee report, which is conveniently available online, the following:
It is impossible to secure accurate statistics in Poland today but it is estimated that only 80,000 of the former Jewish population of 3,351,000 are now there. In our view, based on information obtained from a number of widely different sources, the vast majority of this number now want to leave Poland, and will, if they can.
So, either the journalist or Rudolf added a zero, probably the journalist, though given Rudolf's tenuous relationship with the truth, anything is possible. Either way, the irony is surely piquant, given Rudolf's repeated strictures against supposed pseudo-science as well as this spectacular example of what Werner Cohn once called the Method of the Crucial Source:
Faurisson is a practitioner of what might be called the Method of Crucial Source, a favorite among cranks. The Method consists of seizing upon a phrase or sentence or sometimes a longer passage from no matter where, without regard to its provenance or reliability, to "prove" a whole novel theory of history or the universe. More often than not the Source in question is a newspaper item ­­ after all, what cannot be found in some newspaper somewhere, at some time.
The moral of the story is: always check your sources before someone else does it for you. That is, unless you want to be mistaken for a crank.

1 comment:

  1. He he:


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