Respectful Insolence

Given my post yesterday about the strange things people like to stick up their nether regions, it makes perfect sense to revisit a man who has his head up his ass: David Irving. It’s pretty funny to see that his former comrades are none too happy with some of his recent statements:

A famed Holocaust denier is revising his revisionist thinking — and the move is opening up a rift among his fellow travelers.

David Irving, who was released from prison last December in Austria after being convicted of Holocaust denial, recently announced that he is rethinking his position on the fate of European Jews during World War II. Irving now concedes that a mass slaughter of Jews may have occurred.

In a series of interviews, including one with the Forward, Irving outlined his new beliefs. After his release, he said, he discovered in a volume of trivial Nazi communiqués a memo from SS major Hermann Höfle that refers to “S,” “B” and “T” — code, Irving claims, for the concentration camps Sobibor, Belzec and Treblinka. He said he is 80% sure that the document is genuine and that no other piece of Holocaust evidence has seemed as legitimate.

“This is the only one,” Irving said. “If [the document] is genuine, it refutes the view of the revisionists that nothing happened.”

The unmitigated arrogance of the man! He dismisses the mountains of German documents recording the Nazi policy to exterminate European Jewry as not being genuine. Only the single document that he claims to have found is genuine, and so he believes only that.

Of course, some of the harder core Holocaust deniers are none too pleased with his new admissions, even if Irving claims that “only” 2.4 million Jews were murdered. For example:

Among the unsympathetic is Michael Santomauro, who runs the revisionist Web site Reporters Notebook. “[Irving] is a flip-flopper on the Holocaust,” Santomauro said. “I think he’s positioning himself to sell more books.”

Mark Weber of the Institute for Historical Review is a bit more sympathetic:

One of Irving’s main allies in the United States is Mark Weber, director of the revisionist Institute for Historical Review. Weber countered the claim that Irving is simply engaged in a publicity stunt.

“Those people who are disappointed that Irving has switched [sides] shouldn’t be, because he’s always been ambivalent,” Weber said, adding that Irving’s current stance marks a return to the way he was thinking when he published “Hitler’s War” in 1976.

Irving agrees with this interpretation of his trajectory.

This makes perfect sense, actually, because Hitler’s War, published in the 1970s, was, as far as I know, the first time that Irving made the claim that Hitler never knew about the Holocaust, and that’s what he’s saying now.

It will be amusing to watch Irving’s fellow Holocaust deniers eat one of their own. It also seems to me that David Irving needs a visit from a skilled general surgeon desperately. Only such a surgeon might be capable of pulling his head out of his ass without killing him, although it would be a long shot.

Comments

  1. #1 NoAstronomer
    October 4, 2007

    Santomauro said. “I think he’s positioning himself to sell more books.”

    Interesting than one person can have the perception to be so right about David Irving and yet be so wrong about the Holocaust given the available evidence. I mean, it’s almost like he knows the Holocaust was real and he’s only denying it to try and advance his own agenda.

    You think?

  2. #2 Justin Moretti
    October 4, 2007

    Well, look at it this way – he may have his head firmly lodged up his arse still, but at least he’s backed away from actually rimming the ileo-caecal valve.

  3. #3 Heraldblog
    October 4, 2007

    Irving is much worse than that. In Hitler’s War, he blames England and France for provoking Germany and starting the war. They had it coming, I guess. David will probably find an obsure document next that will let him back off on that position as well.

  4. #4 Chemgeek
    October 4, 2007

    I refuse to believe that this blog exists.

  5. #5 Arakasi
    October 5, 2007

    Ah… A classic crainial-rectal inversion

  6. #6 wolfwalker
    October 5, 2007

    It will be amusing to watch Irving’s fellow Holocaust deniers eat one of their own.

    Definitely. One of the few things more amusing than watching right-thinkers slice up wackos is watching wackos slice up each other.

  7. #7 littlespacegirl
    October 5, 2007

    Right–and it’s only a family myth that my husband’s American half-brother was taken prisoner and shot in defiance of the Geneva Convention during a legendary dust-up called ‘The Battle of the Bulge”. How silly of my father-in-law to believe this happened, especially as he was himself on Home Guard watch for the enemy that never came…..

  8. #8 Laser Potato
    October 5, 2007

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=holocaust+revisionist

    This is pretty frustrating, guys.
    (thankfully, there are users like lokulotes and sobe104839 to fight this nonsense)

  9. #9 tim gueguen
    October 5, 2007

    Personally I suspect a lot of the Holocaust denial crowd don’t believe the Holocaust was faked. They merely take that position because they know what a millstone the Nazis engaging in mass murder is for “the movement’s” recruiting prospsects.

  10. #10 Anonymous
    October 6, 2007

    The unmitigated arrogance of the man! He dismisses the mountains of German documents recording the Nazi policy to exterminate European Jewry as not being genuine.

    The holocaust is not as well documented as many people believe. For example, the official death count for Auschwitz has varied wildly from 1 million to 4 million.

    I assert that a “systematic” Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no reliable way(s) of identifying Jews and non-Jews. This identification issue, which should be central to holocaust studies, has been almost completely ignored. A stupid book titled “IBM and Holocaust” claims to have solved the great mystery of how the Nazis identified Jews. The book absurdly claims that this identification was done by using primitive Hollerith card machines — which could read, sort, and merge only a few cards at a time (the card merging machine was especially prone to breakdowns) — to correlate data stored on billions of Hollerith cards. In many cases, the data for the cards was not even available. Then the Jews had to be found after they were identified — not an easy task in WW2 Europe.

  11. #11 Orac
    October 6, 2007

    The holocaust is not as well documented as many people believe. For example, the official death count for Auschwitz has varied wildly from 1 million to 4 million.

    Really, if you’re going to parrot Holocaust denier lies, at least pick ones that haven’t been debunked hundreds, if not thousands, of times before (such as the claim that the Holocaust wasn’t well documented).

    Oh, wait. They’ve pretty much all been debunked hundreds, if not thousands, of times before.

    For example the lie about the Auschwitz death toll is one of the oldest, stupidest, and easiest-to-debunk denier canards. See:

    http://www.nizkor.org/features/techniques-of-denial/four-million-01.html
    http://www.holocaust-history.org/questions/numbers.shtml

    In actuality, the Holocaust is the best-documented attempted genocide in history. Looks like I need to add you to the list of people with their heads up their asses.

  12. #12 Anonymous
    October 7, 2007

    For example the lie about the Auschwitz death toll is one of the oldest, stupidest, and easiest-to-debunk denier canards. See:

    Your links fail to refute the revisionist “lie.” For example, the first link does not even attempt to rebut the following statement:

    The Auschwitz State Museum has recently revised its half-century-old claim that 4 million humans were murdered there. The Museum now says maybe it was 1 million. But what proof does the Museum provide to document the 1 million figure? None! The communist propagandists who manage the museum have put on display piles of hair, boots and eyeglasses, etc. While such displays are effective propaganda devices, they are worthless as historical documentation for “gassings” or a program of “extermination.”

    Meanwhile, Revisionists want to know where those 3 million souls have been the last 45 years. Were they part of the fabled Six Million?

    And why did it take holocaust historians in the West decades or years to dispute the communists’ figure of 4 million?

  13. #13 khan
    October 7, 2007
  14. #14 Laser Potato
    October 8, 2007

    Gaaah. Yet ANOTHER troll who declares victory as he’s clearly losing the argument. If I had a dime for every time I encountered one of these I could retire to Maui and sip Chintai all day.

  15. #15 Anonymous
    October 8, 2007

    Khan,

    How do we know how many were Jews?

  16. #16 W. Kevin Vicklund
    October 8, 2007

    Larry asked:

    How do we know how many were Jews?

    In the case of the Ukrainian Jews, because the witnesses were close acquaintances of the victims and knew their identities.

    In the case of Auschwitz, the proof provided by the Auschwitz State Museum is that we have extensive lists of the number of people that entered and left the camp. These lists specifically identified the number of Jews being shifted (and also included nationality). When combined with the number of survivors, this gives the 1.1 million number given by the Museum. And contrary to Larry’s claim, the link does rebut the statement “Meanwhile, Revisionists want to know where those 3 million souls have been the last 45 years. Were they part of the fabled Six Million?”

    Again, this is false. Few (if any) historians ever believed the Museum’s four million figure, having arrived at their own estimates independently. The museum’s inflated figures were never part of the estimated five to six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, so there is no need to revise this figure.

    Jewish historians challenged the number very early on, in the late 40s, based on the total number of Jews who could have died. Any time historians made an estimate based on actual documents, the 4 million number was refuted. This happened in the 50s, the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, and even this millenium. The fact that historians continue to challenge the 4 million number is a reflection on the fact that historians continue to examine the Holocaust, not that they ignored data – as well as a reflection of the fact that the initial estimate made by non-historians was wrong.

  17. #17 W. Kevin Vicklund
    October 9, 2007

    I assert that a “systematic” Jewish holocaust was impossible because the Nazis had no reliable way(s) of identifying Jews and non-Jews.

    Did the Nazis attempt to define “Jew” in a systematic way? Yes. Did they attempt to identify, by various systematic means, Jews? Yes. Did they attempt to systematically label those Jews they did identify? Yes. Did they attempt to systematically persecute those labeled as Jews? Yes. Did they attempt to systematically escalate the attacks on the persecuted Jews, culminating in horrific mass executions? Yes.

    Thus, the Holocaust was systematic. It was not, however, perfectly executed, nor did it use perfect methods.

    This identification issue, which should be central to holocaust studies, has been almost completely ignored.

    This identification issue, which is central to holocaust studies, has been almost completely ignored by Larry because he refuses to actually read any of the literature, even when it is offered to him for free.

    A stupid book titled “IBM and Holocaust” claims to have solved the great mystery of how the Nazis identified Jews. The book absurdly claims that this identification was done by using primitive Hollerith card machines — which could read, sort, and merge only a few cards at a time (the card merging machine was especially prone to breakdowns) — to correlate data stored on billions of Hollerith cards.

    The book Larry has outright refused to read claims to have solved the mistery of how the lists used by Nazis to round up Jews were generated. It is not surprising that Larry didn’t understand a one paragraph excerpt from the book’s introduction, since he refuses to actually read the book itself. Larry also betrays his lack of knowledge of punch card machines, as these machines that could “read, sort, and merge only a few cards at a time” had speeds of well over 10,000 cards per hour. And that’s assuming 20-40% downtime due to breakdowns, servicing, and handling the input and output.

    In many cases, the data for the cards was not even available. Then the Jews had to be found after they were identified — not an easy task in WW2 Europe.

    This is simply bald assertion. In reality, in most cases the data for the cards was available – quite often it was even provided by the eventual victim. Larry does not even know what data was collected, as he refuses to read or even acknowledge the extensive literature that explains what data was collected. And if Larry bothered to actually study up on the proportion of deaths to pre-war population of the various nationalities, he’d discover that the later a territory was conquered, the better the Jewish population fared – in other words, his objection merely reflects the officially expected results. (Exception to German and Austrian Jews, as they were “encouraged” to leave the Reich before the war started).

  18. #18 Orac
    October 9, 2007

    “Anonymous” (most likely Larry) parrots some of the dumber of the Holocaust denier lies out there. He is actually sort of correct at one thing. The Nazis didn’t have any really good means of identifying Jew from non-Jew, but that sure didn’t stop them. Faced with the problem of determining who is and isn’t Jewish in the face of mixed background, they simply made up arbitrary criteria to define “Jewish” and codified these criteria into the Nuremberg Laws of 1935. In Germany, at least, they then systematically applied these criteria for determining who was “Jewish” and thus targeted for expulsion and then later exterminations.

    In the Nazi-occupied territories, the criteria were much less formalized, but the results were even more lethal to those classified as Jewish.

  19. #19 Anonymous
    October 10, 2007

    Kevin Vicklund said,

    How do we know how many were Jews?

    In the case of the Ukrainian Jews, because the witnesses were close acquaintances of the victims and knew their identities.

    Kevin Vicklund is always ready with an answer, even if he has to pull it out of thin air.

    The Nazis had no reason to trust these “informers.” All the Nazis saw was people pointing fingers at each other: “He’s a Jew” … “No, you are”. . . “No …” And there could not have been enough informers to account for more than a tiny fraction of the “Jewish” victims of the holocaust. How many Jews could you inform on, Kevin?

    In the case of Auschwitz, the proof provided by the Auschwitz State Museum is that we have extensive lists of the number of people that entered and left the camp.

    According to CODOH, the museum has on proof.

    This happened in the 50s, the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s, and even this millenium. The fact that historians continue to challenge the 4 million number is a reflection on the fact that historians continue to examine the Holocaust, not that they ignored data – as well as a reflection of the fact that the initial estimate made by non-historians was wrong.

    That’s what I mean — there has been no agreement — not even rough agreement — on the number of deaths at Auschwitz.

    Did the Nazis attempt to define “Jew” in a systematic way? Yes. Did they attempt to identify, by various systematic means, Jews? Yes. Did they attempt to systematically label those Jews they did identify? Yes. Did they attempt to systematically persecute those labeled as Jews? Yes. Did they attempt to systematically escalate the attacks on the persecuted Jews, culminating in horrific mass executions? Yes.

    This line of argument is known as “begging the question.”

    Larry also betrays his lack of knowledge of punch card machines, as these machines that could “read, sort, and merge only a few cards at a time” had speeds of well over 10,000 cards per hour.

    You ignoramus, 10,000 cards per hour is slow compared to billions of cards. And these billions of cards were supposedly scattered all over Europe. And speed is not the only factor — capability is also important. These Hollerith card machines could not store data or communicate with other Hollerith machines. They could work with only tiny pieces of information at a time. All they could do was just read, sort, and merge a few cards at a time. The chief historian at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC said that the machines were never used to identify individual Jews.

    And if Larry bothered to actually study up on the proportion of deaths to pre-war population of the various nationalities, he’d discover that the later a territory was conquered, the better the Jewish population fared – in other words, his objection merely reflects the officially expected results.

    WHAT?

    Orac said,

    “Anonymous” (most likely Larry) parrots some of the dumber of the Holocaust denier lies out there.

    It is very rude to speculate about the identity of an anonymous commenter.

    The Auschwitz issue is not dumb — it is one of the biggest arguments against official holocaust history. And the Jew identification issue that I have raised is AFAIK my original idea — I have not seen it discussed in mainstream holocaust revisionist literature.

    He is actually sort of correct at one thing. The Nazis didn’t have any really good means of identifying Jew from non-Jew, but that sure didn’t stop them.

    Aha! The truth is out.

    To have a “systematic” holocaust, it is necessary to have a reliable way of distinguishing Jews from non-Jews.

    Faced with the problem of determining who is and isn’t Jewish in the face of mixed background, they simply made up arbitrary criteria to define “Jewish” and codified these criteria into the Nuremberg Laws of 1935.

    It is one thing to define what a Jew is, and it is something else entirely to identify Jews and non-Jews.

    In Germany, at least,

    “At least” means that it was far more difficult to identify Jews and non-Jews in foreign countries.

  20. #20 Orac
    October 10, 2007

    To have a “systematic” holocaust, it is necessary to have a reliable way of distinguishing Jews from non-Jews.

    You’re definitely the dumbest denier I’ve had around here in a while. FYI, I do not show the “respectful” part of this blog’s name to Holocaust deniers, only the insolence. Holocaust deniers do not deserve my respect.

    In order to have a “systematic” Holocaust, it is necessary to have a system for distinguishing Jews from non-Jews, which the Nazis undeniably did, based on the Nuremberg Laws; a policy for extermination; and the actual bureaucratic and institutional machinery to carry it out. The Nazis had all of these and instituted a systematic Holocaust using their definition of who was and was not a Jew, as flawed as that definition may have been on any sort of scientific or biological basis.

    Identification of Jew from non-Jew was a huge issue, both in Germany and the territories. The Nazis went to great lengths figure out who was Jewish and then ultimately made them wear yellow stars, so that any “true Aryan” could distinguish them. In Poland and the east, they rounded them up systematically and put them in ghettos, to keep them under control and separate.

    As for the Auschwitz canard, only the most ignorant Holocaust deniers bring that one up with a straight face as if it were a serious argument against the commonly accepted Jewish death toll.. You say that there isn’t even a rough estimate of the death toll at Auschwitz. That’s a load of crap. Every since Raul Hilberg first made his estimate of approximately 1 million, historians have accepted estimates in the range of 900,000 at the low end to 1.5 million at the high end.

  21. #21 Anonymous
    October 11, 2007

    You’re definitely the dumbest denier I’ve had around here in a while.

    Wrong. I am asking questions that you cannot satisfactorily answer.

    The Nazis had all of these and instituted a systematic Holocaust using their definition of who was and was not a Jew, as flawed as that definition may have been on any sort of scientific or biological basis.

    You are now arguing for my side, saying that the Nazi definition of “Jew” may have been “flawed.” Of course it was “flawed” — it is not possible to make an objective, non-arbitrary definition of the word “Jew.” There are black Jews and blond-and-blue-eyed Jews. There are practicing Jews and non-practicing Jews. There are all kinds of Jews.

    And as I said, defining “Jew” is the easy part — finding Jews once you have defined them is the hard part. It is claimed that many “Jewish” victims of the holocaust did not even think of themselves as Jews. In many cases, the Nazis just rounded people up en masse without identifying them individually.

    Identification of Jew from non-Jew was a huge issue, both in Germany and the territories. The Nazis went to great lengths figure out who was Jewish and then ultimately made them wear yellow stars, so that any “true Aryan” could distinguish them.

    Yeah, the Nazis simply “figured out” who was Jewish and who was not Jewish and then followed the Jews around to make sure that they kept their yellow stars on. Why didn’t the Nazis immediately tattoo the “Jews” for permanent identification? And why haven’t we heard more complaints from people who felt that they were falsely identified as Jewish by the Nazis?

    Also, non-Jews would have been afraid of being mistaken for Jews. For example, Karol Wojtyla, the future Pope JP II, spent a lot of time around Jews — how come the Nazis did not mistake him for a Jew?

    Also, what about that book “IBM and the Holocaust”? Why did that book claim to have solved the big “mystery” of how the Nazis identified the Jews?

    You say that there isn’t even a rough estimate of the death toll at Auschwitz.

    I didn’t say that. There are a lot of rough estimates, and many of them are in wild disagreement with each other.

    Every since Raul Hilberg first made his estimate of approximately 1 million, historians have accepted estimates in the range of 900,000 at the low end to 1.5 million at the high end.

    Even that is a pretty wild variation — 900,000 to 1.5 million.

  22. #22 Orac
    October 11, 2007

    Tell me this, “anonymous.” What does any of your “objections” have to do with the historicity of the Holocaust?

    In no way does my discussion of the problems with the Nazi’s definition of who was and was not a Jew cast any doubt on the historicity of the Holocaust. You’re bringing up a red herring that is really irrelevant to whether to whether or not the Nazis systematically killed approximately six million Jews. You can claim otherwise, but you’re full of crap. That the Nazis argued over who was and was not a Jew and that their rounding up and that the killing of Jews was a messy process when actually implemented “in the field do not in any way cast doubt on the historicity of the Holocaust.

    As for Auschwitz estimates, I picked two extremes of the accepted range. Most modern scholarship points to estimates between 1 to 1.2 million. Given the vagaries of historical research, it is unlikely that we will ever have a more precise estimate than that. Indeed, estimates of the Jewish toll from the Holocaust tend to range from around 5.1 million to around 6.5 million, with “six million” being commonly used because most estimates cluster in a range just under that. Given the sheer magnitude of the death toll, it is not surprising that there is level of uncertainty between 10-20% in the figures. Indeed, it would be surprising if there were not. Again, the range in estimates in no way casts doubt on the historicity of the Holocaust; it’s to be expected in historical research about a topic as vast as World War II and the Holocaust.

    Basically, I’m tired of your red herrings. They reveal a level of ignorance and an intent to distract attention from the historical record that is typical of Holocaust deniers and for which I have no respect.

  23. #23 Tyler DiPietro
    October 11, 2007

    “You ignoramus, 10,000 cards per hour is slow compared to billions of cards.”

    24 hours a day, 7 days a week, over a multi-year long period.

    “These Hollerith card machines could not store data or communicate with other Hollerith machines.”

    I see your knowledge of computer science is about as extensive as your knowledge of history. Outputting sorted data onto any medium is data storage. For internal memory, IBM punchcard machines used output “bins” or “drums” (sorting is kind of impossible without internal memory). And machines are capable of sorting far more data than their internal memory can store at one time. Google “external sorting” (or better yet, get to the library and pick up a copy of “sorting and searching”, volume 3 of The Art of Computer Programming).

    It’s also interesting to note that the Hollerith card format was used to process U.S. census data. Do you also claim that this is impossible?

  24. #24 Anonymous
    October 11, 2007

    I see your knowledge of computer science is about as extensive as your knowledge of history.

    Thanks for the compliments.

    Here is a description of some of the Hollerith machines:

    The Sorter (082) (Left) sequenced cards at the rate of 150 per minute. The Sorter (083) (Middle) sequenced cards at 650 cards a minute. A sorting brush was moved to any of 80 columns to sort a single column. As each card moved into the sorter, it slid over a brass roller. If a punch was encountered, the brush made electrical contact with the roller, and the chute blade routed the card into the correct pocket. The Collator (Right) sequence-checked, merged, matched, and selected cards at 240 cards per minute. The collator was the most cursed EAM machine. Card jams were a mechanical nightmare requiring partial disassembly to extract mutilated cards. Read brushes were often ruined.

    – from http://www.pattonhq.com/ibm.html

    And yet the outrageous claim is made that these primitive machines were able to cross-correlate data stored on billions of cards scattered all over Europe. What poppycock.

    Google “external sorting” (or better yet, get to the library and pick up a copy of “sorting and searching”, volume 3 of The Art of Computer Programming).

    How in the hell can these primitive machines be compared to a modern computer?

    It’s also interesting to note that the Hollerith card format was used to process U.S. census data. Do you also claim that this is impossible?

    In the US census, the cards were just used for counting and tabulating. There is a big difference between that and skip-tracing people’s ancestries.

  25. #25 Tyler DiPietro
    October 11, 2007

    “Here is a description of some of the Hollerith machines”

    Thanks. Here, on the other hand, is a detailed technical manual describing the machines, their operation, and the sorting algorithms used in various instances. I doubt very much that you understand that nothing in that paragraph can be even vaguely construed to dispute the use of these machines in assimilating genealogical data.

    BTW, the number of cards sorted per minute (240) easily works out to Mr. Vicklund’s estimate of 10,000 cards per hour even when maintenance concerns are taken into account. And keep in mind that the Nazi’s had more than one of these machines.

    “How in the hell can these primitive machines be compared to a modern computer?”

    If you’d actually bother to pick up the book instead of shooting off into knee-jerk denialist reaction, you’d find out. It’s a little thing called “Turing equivalence”. The abstract MIX machine used by Knuth in TAOCP can easily simulate an IBM sorter.

    “In the US census, the cards were just used for counting and tabulating. There is a big difference between that and skip-tracing people’s ancestries.”

    No, not at all. In both cases you have a large amount of numerical data to be sorted. If you’d actually attempt to read and understand Vol. 3 of TAOCP, you’d see that the algorithms used to do such things are quite capable. Pay particular attention to the radix sort, an algorithm implemented frequently on IBM sorters.

  26. #26 Anonymous
    October 11, 2007

    Orac says,

    In no way does my discussion of the problems with the Nazi’s definition of who was and was not a Jew cast any doubt on the historicity of the Holocaust.

    You are begging the question, saying that we know that official holocaust history is true because we know that it is true.

    Discussing the issues of Jew definition and Jew identification gives insight into the motives of the Nazis. IMO the Nazis were bigoted and possibly insane, but I don’t think that they were stupid. They must have known that it is impossible to make any kind of objective, non-arbitrary definition of the word “Jew.” They must have known that it would be difficult — and in many cases impossible — to find the Jews. They must have known that many non-Jews would be mistakenly identified as Jews, and then many borderline Jews would be victims.

    As for Auschwitz estimates, I picked two extremes of the accepted range.

    This “accepted range” is awfully large for something that supposedly was “meticulously” documented.

  27. #27 Anonymous
    October 11, 2007

    Tyler DiPietro said,

    If you’d actually bother to pick up the book instead of shooting off into knee-jerk denialist reaction, you’d find out.

    I read the introduction of the book and several reviews and quickly saw that the book is absurd, so why should I read the whole thing?

    The machines were as slow as molasses at the South Pole in a midwinter cold snap. The billions of data cards that would have been required would have been scattered all over Europe. A lot of the data was not available. I presume that a lot of European countries did not use the Hollerith cards to keep records, and of those that did, some did not cooperate with the Nazis. A lot of people had the same names, causing confusion. The drastic changes in the map of Europe after WW1 certainly made finding records very difficult. People move around without leaving forwarding addresses and people change names. It was like trying to get to the moon by means of horse and buggy.

    And finally, the chief historian of the national holocaust museum in Washington DC said that there was no evidence that the machines were used to identify individual Jews — see http://hometown.aol.com/merryeee/ibmstory.htm

    Using high-falutin jargon like “Turing equivalence,” “abstract MIX machine,” and “radix sort” is just an attempt to confuse the issue.

  28. #28 Tyler DiPietro
    October 11, 2007

    “Using high-falutin jargon like “Turing equivalence,” “abstract MIX machine,” and “radix sort” is just an attempt to confuse the issue.”

    Translation: Don’t bring facts into the discussion, they’ll probably show my preconceived notions to be erroneous.

    About your link. Can you say, “cherry pick”?

    “Milton adds today, “We have no proof that the Hollerith was ever used to target individuals for deportation lists. It was a back-up system because it was too broad a system, providing aggregate counts of population groups,” she explains. “However, when they would check a deportation list against what is known as the number of Jews in a town, then the Hollerith list would provide the evidence that, ‘Yes, this figure is reasonable. We know we have X number of Jews, X number of Roma [Gypsies] registered’ in a town like Heidelberg, and therefore, we know that this might have been used as back-up material.”

    But Milton emphasizes, “Once you get into the concentration camps, then Hollerith tabulation was definitely used. It is definitely used to register prisoners.”"

  29. #29 Anonymous
    October 11, 2007

    But Milton emphasizes, “Once you get into the concentration camps, then Hollerith tabulation was definitely used. It is definitely used to register prisoners.”"

    That’s completely different — the book was talking about using the Hollerith machines to identify Jews in the general population. I didn’t cherry-pick anything.

  30. #30 Tyler DiPietro
    October 11, 2007

    “That’s completely different — the book was talking about using the Hollerith machines to identify Jews in the general population. I didn’t cherry-pick anything.”

    Sometimes there is just no point in arguing with people. You’ve spent this whole thread claiming the Nazi genocide could not have been implemented because what you describe above was impossible.

  31. #31 Tyler DiPietro
    October 11, 2007

    Sorry, should be “what was described above”. Meaning in the paragraph above what you quoted. That’s the very definition of a cherry pick.

  32. #32 Anonymous
    October 12, 2007

    You’ve spent this whole thread claiming the Nazi genocide could not have been implemented because what you describe above was impossible.

    I never said that using the Hollerith cards and machines to keep and process concentration camp records was impossible. I cited the following sentence:

    Milton adds today, “We have no proof that the Hollerith was ever used to target individuals for deportation lists.”

    That sentence was not taken out of context.