Arthur R. Butz is an associate professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern University.
1. A Short Introduction to the Study of Holocaust Revisionism
1. I see three principal reasons for the widespread but erroneous belief in the legend of millions of Jews killed by the Germans during World War II: US and British troops found horrible piles of corpses in the west German camps they captured in 1945 (e.g. Dachau and Belsen), there are no longer large communities of Jews in Poland, and historians generally support the legend.
2. During both world wars Germany was forced to fight typhus, carried by lice in the constant traffic with the east. That is why all accounts of entry into the German concentration camps speak of shaving of hair and showering and other delousing procedures, such as treatment of quarters with the pesticide Zyklon. That was also the main reason for a high death rate in the camps, and the crematoria that existed in all.
3. When Germany collapsed in chaos then of course all such defenses ceased, and typhus and other diseases became rampant in the camps, which quartered mainly political prisoners, ordinary criminals, homosexuals, conscientious objectors, and Jews conscripted for labor. Hence the horrible scenes, which however had nothing to do with "extermination" or any deliberate policy. Moreover the west German camps involved were not the alleged "extermination camps", which were all in Poland (e.g. Auschwitz and Treblinka) and which were all evacuated or shut down before capture by the Soviets, who found no such scenes.
4. The "Final Solution" spoken of in the German documents was a program of evacuation, resettlement and deportation of Jews with the ultimate objective of expulsion from Europe. During the war Jews of various nationalities were being moved east, as one stage in this Final Solution. The legend claims that the motion was mainly for extermination purposes.
5. The great majority of the millions allegedly exterminated were east European, not German or west European, Jews. For that reason study of the problem via population statistics has been difficult to impossible, but it is a fact that there are no longer large communities of Jews in Poland. However the Germans were only one of several parties involved in moving Jews around. The Soviets deported virtually all of the Jews of eastern Poland to their interior in 1940. After the war, with Polish and other Jews pouring out of the east into occupied west Germany, the Zionists moved large numbers to Palestine, and the US and other countries absorbed many Jews, in most cases under conditions making impossible a numerical accounting. Moreover the Polish borders were changed drastically at the end of the war; the country was literally moved west.
6. Historians generally support the legend, but there are precedents for nearly incomprehensible blindness on the part of scholars. For example throughout the Middle Ages even the Pope's political enemies conceded his false claim that the 4th century Emperor Constantine had ceded rule of the west to the Pope, although all knew very well that Constantine had been succeeded by more emperors. Near unanimity among the academics is especially suspect when there exist great political pressures; in some countries Holocaust revisionists have been prosecuted.
7. It is easy to show that the extermination legend merits skepticism. Even the casual reader of the Holocaust literature knows that during the war virtually nobody acted as though it was happening. Thus it is common to berate the Vatican, the Red Cross and the Allies (especially the intelligence agencies) for their ignorance and inaction, and to explain that the Jews generally did not resist deportation because they did not know what was in store for them. If you add all this up you have the strange claim that for almost three years German trains, operating on a continental scale in densely civilized regions of Europe, were regularly and systematically moving millions of Jews to their deaths, and nobody noticed except for a few of our Jewish leaders who were making public "extermination" claims.
8. On closer examination even those few Jewish leaders were not acting as though it was happening. Ordinary communications between the occupied and neutral countries were open, and they were in contact with the Jews whom the Germans were deporting, who thus could not have been in ignorance of "extermination" if those claims had any validity.
9. This incredible ignorance must also be attributed to Hans Oster's department in German military intelligence, correctly labeled "the veritable general staff of the opposition to Hitler" in a recent review.
10. What we are offered in evidence was gathered after the war, in trials. The evidence is almost all oral testimony and "confessions". Without the evidence of these trials there would be no significant evidence of "extermination". One must pause and ponder this carefully. Were trials needed to determine that the Battle of Waterloo happened? The bombings of Hamburg, Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The slaughter in Cambodia? Yet this three year program, of continental scope, claiming millions of victims, requires trials to argue its reality. I am not arguing that the trials were illegal or unfair; I am arguing that such historical logic as the legend rests on must not be countenanced. Such events cannot happen without generating commensurate and contemporaneous evidence for their reality, just as a great forest fire cannot take place without producing smoke. One may as well believe that New York City was burned down, if confessions to the deed can be produced.
11. Detailed consideration of the specific evidence put forward in support of the legend has been a focus of the revisionist literature and cannot be undertaken here, but I shall mention one point. The claim of the legend is that there were no technical means provided for the specific task of extermination, and that means originally provided for other purposes did double duty in improvised arrangements. Thus the Jews were allegedly gassed with the pesticide Zyklon, and their corpses disappeared into the crematoria along with the deaths from "ordinary" causes (the ashes or other remains of millions of victims never having been found).
12. Surely any thoughtful person must be skeptical.
This article was originally published in the Daily Northwestern of May 13, 1991, corrected May 14.
Institute’s Newsletter, No 434,
“Serious revisionists promote revisionism
because it is historically correct, not because it's bad for Israel“.
suspect that Mark Weber's new article "How Relevant is Holocaust
Revisionism?" was Weber's way of responding
to the pressures being brought by Faurisson.
those of us who have been concerned with this problem since this past summer,
the new article reveals perhaps only one new thing that I shall explain below.
To others, it reveals that Mark Weber is not a revisionist. Only because the
title of the new article is provocative is it now widely recognized by the
revisionist community that Mark Weber is not one of us.
fact that Weber is not a revisionist is important, and its treatment here
required only a few words. Mark Weber's thoughts on the question that the
title of his new article raises are less important but require more words. I
shall comment on those thoughts anyway.
title commits a common sin, namely, challenging or asserting the relevance of
something without specifying what the relevance is supposed to apply to. It is
obvious nonsense to ask "When will the train reach?" It has to be
something like "When will the train reach Detroit?" Therefore I
shall try to determine what Mark Weber thinks revisionism is irrelevant to,
and frankly the answer is unimportant. If revisionism's central claims are
wrong then it ought to be abandoned. Why wonder about its relevance to
anything? For example, I concede that revisionism is irrelevant to baking
pies, but that doesn't make me a non-revisionist. What, then, does Mark Weber
think revisionism is irrelevant to?
half-way through his paper he seems to answer the question begged by his
title, by making a curious assumption. He writes "But despite a
discouraging record of achievement, some revisionists insist that their work
is vitally important because success in exposing the Holocaust as a hoax will
deliver a shattering blow to Israel and Jewish-Zionist power."
relevance, then, would appear to be in terms of fighting Israel. I doubt that
I know even one revisionist whose revisionism is so motivated. On the other
hand, we tend to note that implication as an observation. I suppose all of us
agree that the success of revisionism would be bad for Israel, and we
understand that much of the persecution we suffer is based on that fact. We do
not wish Israel well.
wrote many years ago, in the Foreword to my book The Hoax of the
Twentieth Century, http://www.vho.org/GB/Books/thottc/that my historical investigations were motivated by my
"Noting the obvious ways in which this legend is exploited in
contemporary politics, notably in connection with the completely illogical
support that the U.S. extends to Israel". That political judgment of mine
didn't make me a revisionist; the investigations that were thereby motivated
made me a revisionist. I found rubbish.
Serious revisionists promote revisionism
because it is historically correct, not because it's bad for Israel. I would be a revisionist even if it were good for
Israel. I suppose one could find people who think we help Israel in some
devious or backhanded way.
Weber's presumption, that we should be motivated to harm Israel, says more
about his motivations than ours, and something about his concept of IHR's
that is not the worst of it. After seeming to have explained, mid-way through
the article, what revisionism is allegedly not relevant to, Weber upsets the
whole cart. He notes that in recent years "the Holocaust assumed an
important role in the social-cultural life of America and western
Europe," but he also claims that in today's political context the
"Holocaust imagery [is] less relevant."
is difficult for me to deal with these less important aspects of Mark Weber's
recent article because of this confusion regarding what revisionism is
supposedly irrelevant to and the nature of the current political-cultural
scene. The last is, we are asked to believe, characterized by both Holocaust
obsession and an irrelevance of the Holocaust legend to contemporary problems.
is confusing, but unimportant. I think the Holocaust obsession is a
contemporary problem, and a big one that sheds light on many other problems.
may wish to parse Mark Weber's thoughts more carefully, but I have no patience
for that. It is a waste of time. As I noted earlier, I would be a revisionist
even if it were helpful to Israel. Mark Weber is not a revisionist, evidently
because he no longer sees revisionism as an effective weapon against Israel.
That suggests that in the past his adherence to revisionism was to gain a
propaganda tool against Israel. That evaluation of him is new, at least for
August 2010 – Fredrick Töben comments:
I share Professor Butz’s view that Revisionism is an heuristic method used
by any thinking person to acquire and evaluate new information in order to
develop a deeper understanding of whatever is under consideration, and which
transcends any vested interest categories.
Remember, my thoughts on this is summed up thus: "Don't blame the Jews! Blame those that bend to their pressure." Why do I say this? Because if anyone runs around blaming Jews for the world's troubles, then that is mere scapegoating, a human frailty certainly but one we need to overcome if we wish to retain our moral and intellectual integrity where truth is a defence and where the quest for beauty, justice and truth make up our ideal world. Otherwise we may as well embrace the mindset of the Holocaust believers who scapegoat the Germans-Nazis, et al for their own personal corruption and personal inadequacies without ever realizing that in order to quest for freedom you have to ask: freedom from what and freedom for what? The ultimate is being autark, self-sufficient in one's thinking and thereby being at one with God-creation-life-nature, embracing and merging into the pulsations of the universe - for a while at least...
Fredrick Töben responds to Robert Muehlenkamp's blusterings:
1. I'm just passing by because I'm placing stuff on my website www.toben.biz, especially the 12-point Butz item, and the AIDS matter, which reminds me of how that fraud established itself into a Ponzi scheme, as did the Holocaust-Shoah decades ago.
2. I like the way Robbie Muehlenkamp huffs-and-puffs-and-bluffs his way through responses without realizing that he has to prove his case while Revisionists do not have to prove anything.
3. Unfortunately his sneering at and slandering anyone who disagrees with his opinions reduces his blog to a shouting match - most uncivilized, and I understand why Revisionists will not waste their time in engaging with this kind of uncivilized exchange.
4. It still amazes me how so many Germans went from national Socialism to national masochism, and blindly embraced this rubbish contained in the 'Holocaust-Shoah' narrative.
5. Now Robbo, mate, let me see your response to Butz's 12 points. Should be interesting. And, just for clarification purposes, could you please send me a photo of the homicidal gas chamber at Auschwitz?
Fredrick - and here's more on the exchange