Respectful Insolence

Orac attracts a Holocaust denier

i-e7a12c3d2598161273c9ed31d61fe694-ClassicInsolence.jpgVacation time! While Orac is off in London recharging his circuits and contemplating the linguistic tricks of limericks and jokes or the glory of black holes, he’s rerunning some old stuff from his original Blogspot blog. This particular post first appeared on February 2, 2006. Enjoy!

It had to happen sooner or later. I’m only surprised that it’s taken so long.

What is it?

Well, finally, Orac has attracted a Holoaust denier in the comments of his last post on David Irving, Holocaust denier extraordinaire (spelling errors not corrected):

There is much that can be said about Irving, I certainly agree his statement “more people were killed in the back seat of Edward Kennedy’s car in Chappaquiddick than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz” is somewhat insensitive. However it does not reflect his work, there is much in his research findings that is correct.

May I just remind everyone here that in his libel trial, that he lost, Lippstadt’s expert team assessed the number of victims in Auschwitz at 350-500 thousand, that is about half of the official number. Their experts also had the gassings taking place in more remote farm houses.

There was a trial in Poland after the war that assessed the number of victims of Auschwitz at 330000, not mentioning any killing in gas chambers.

The Allies wrongly claimed gas chambers in Dachau and elsewhere, they even built one there after the war. If you don’t believe, just write to the museum in Dachau and confirm this information.

Besides what actually happened in the holocaust, a term hat is never defined anyway, it is used as a propaganda machine for ethnic cleansing in Palastine and elsewhere.

It is a propaganda to justify the war of USA, UK and Israel, a war that is about taking land, natural resources and hegemonialism.

My family was expelled from their homelands in what was Eastern Germany before the war, some were even killed by a Polish mob. We were not even ethnic german but slavic, living their long time before the so called Polish partitions. Yet Poles living their now in our house believe they are “victims” and we ar e supposed to be guilty.

This ethnical cleansing was already planned and commenced by Poland in the 1920’s, with the support of the Allies, have a look at the history of Danzig, ask yourself why the files are still classified by the UK. Expulsion of Jews also happened in Poland during the 1920’s and 30’s, until the early 1930’s they settled in Germany, yet the Allies supported Poland unconditionally nut we only here about anti-“semitism” in connection with Germany.

Palastineans are ethnical cleansed every day by so called Jews, in the name of the holocaust that is a state church enforced in the west.

Compare this with Salman Rushdie, he was condemned in the Islamic world for provocations in connection with sexual taboos. Take David Irving, he dared to make public facts about the holocaust and gets arrested.

All this controversy is actually in the context of the imperialism of USA, UK and Israel and their double standards. It is not about the holocaust or the remembrance of the victims, it is about the ideological tools they need to stay in powerand justify war and unjustice.

First off, no one disputes that David Irving can be a prodigious researcher. The problems are his selective use of data, in which he ignores data that contradicts his conclusions, and his inability to evaluate the sources objectively, not his ability to dig up information out of archives and various other sources.

I can handle most of the fallacies in the above comment save one. So I e-mailed Professor Deborah Lipstadt herself about the claim that Lipstadt’s team had produced an estimate of the dead at Auschwitz of 350-500 thousand. Her response? That the above is completely incorrect. As she put it:

We never touched the number of dead.

I had thought as much. One can also try to search the website, Holocaust Denial on Trial to see that this particular denier’s claim is without basis. The complete transcripts of the trial are there.

As for his claims about the Auschwitz death toll, this is a long-debunked denier canard known as the Auschwitz Four Million Gambit:

Holocaust deniers would have people believe that the Auschwitz State Museum’s death toll of four million was a widely accepted idea, and that any revisions in this number should also lower the total dead from the Holocaust. Deniers often claim that this revision is largely due to the efforts of “revisionist scholars”, and then use this as evidence that the stories of mass murder at Auschwitz are a hoax.

Deniers also claim that anyone who dared to question the four million figure was “labeled an Anti-Semite, neo-nazi skinhead (at the very least).” By accusing their opponents of slander, deniers can simultaneously tarnish the reputations of real historians, and also invoke a “conspiracy” thatsuppresses “the truth.” Conspiracy theorizing is another common denier approach, and they use it to explain why their “startling facts” have been ignored for so long. Deniers almost always overstate the “Four Million Variant,”as they would like to portray Holocaust historians as a repressive, Jewish dominated cadre that rigidly enforces the “dogma” of four million dead at Auschwitz.

As is often the case, our “revisionist scholars” have things more than a little askew. “The Four Million Variant” is the fallacious notion that a change in the Auschwitz Museum’s figure pokes a major hole in mainstream Holocaust history. Taking each aspect of the “Four Million Variant” individually shows just how wrongheaded this notion is:

“The four million figure at Auschwitz was a widely held notion.”

This is clearly false. In a quick survey of nineteen historical references (see appendix) only two listed the total Auschwitz dead at four million. One of these, Friedman’s “This Was Oswiecim: The Story of a Murder Camp,” was published in 1946, well before morereliable estimates were available. Most list figures from 1 to 2.5 million, and they arrived at these figures in a variety of methods .

Some quoted Kommandant Höss’s testimony (2.5 million) and others attempted to piece together how many people arrived at Auschwitz, minus any survivors, while still others used available pre- and post war census data. In fact, to find many sources that do list four million dead, one has to find books published behind the iron curtain (see appendix).

Other authors derided the Tribunal’s four million figure as an absurd example of Soviet propaganda. For example, Gerald Reitlinger’s The Final Solution discussed the source of the State Museum’s figure and why he found it ludicrous:

…The Red Army did not arrive [at Auschwitz] till January 26th. They found 2,819 invalids in the three camps, whom they spared no pains to nurse back to health. In due course a Soviet State Commission arrived and on May 12th the world was presented with its findings.

However, using rectified coefficients for the part time employment of the crematorium ovens and for the periods when they stood empty, the technical expert.commission has ascertained that during the time that the Auschwitz camp existed, the German butchers [sic] exterminated in this camp not less than four million citizens of the U.S.S.R., Poland, France, Jugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Hungary, Holland, Belgium, and other countries.’

The world has grown mistrustful of ‘rectified coefficients’ and the figure of four million has become ridiculous. Unfortunately, Russian arithmetic has blurred the stark and inescapable fact that 800,000 to 900,000 human beings perished in Auschwitz, its gas chambers and its camps. There are probably too many incalculable factors to make a closer estimate of the number of Auschwitz victims possible…

Reitlinger’s book was published in 1968, well before the deniers claim the figure fell into disfavor, and twenty years before “revisionist scholars” began challenging the figure.

The bottom line is that the famous estimate of four million killed at Auschwitz was mainly a product of early postwar Soviet propaganda and was never a component of serious historians’ estimates of the now commonly accepted total Jewish death toll during the Holocaust of approximately 6 million.

As for this deniers’ claim about gas chambers in Dachau, there is an excellent essay at the Holocaust History Project that takes this denier canard on. The short version is that there were indeed gas chambers at Dachau, but it is unclear whether they were ever used on inmates. Even if they were not, it would be completely irrelevant to the massive amounts of evidence that support the historicity of the Holocaust. Dachau was not an extermination camp; it was a concentration camp. Many did die there of overwork, disease, starvation, and execution for trivial infractions against the rules, but Dachau’s primary purpose was not extermination–unlike Sobibor, Treblinka, Belzec, and Chelmno, for example, which were primarily extermination camps. Dachau was meant primarily as a concentration camp for political opponents, Jews, and then, during parts of the war, Russian P.O. W.’s.

Finally, the anti-Semitism prevalant in Poland in the prewar period that led to a number of actions against Jews does not excuse or justify the eliminationist anti-Semitism of the Nazi regime that led to the deaths of approximately six million Jews during the Holocaust. For one thing, the Poles did not try to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Similarly, whatever Israeli excesses or brutality in treating Palestinians may have occurred, they are orders of magnitude less than what the Nazis did. Trying to equate the two is a transparent dodge and, when taken to the extreme, is an example of the Hitler Zombie in action. The anti-Semitism of the person making these comments is obvious, particularly his referring to “so-called Jews.”

What else would he call them I wonder?

In actuality, I’m a bit disappointed. Here I’ve been blogging about Holocaust denial for over a year now, and I haven’t yet pissed off any Holocaust deniers enough to post long tirades in my comments section until now? I take that as measure that I’m either not as effective as I should be or that I remain completely unknown. Back in the day, they used to come after me hot and heavy on alt.revisionism.

Clearly I’m not doing my job well enough. I vow to do better in the future.