Monday, May 22, 2000

My Revisionist Method

[This essay is adapted from my address of May 29, 2000, at the 13th IHR Conference, Irvine, California. Published in The Journal of Historical Review, Volume 21, Number 2 (March-April 2002, p. 7-14]



   I’m not accustomed to receiving compliments and congratulations in my country, douce France. [1] Only a few days ago, in Le Figaro [May 26, 2000], one Gérard Slama wrote that I was “the past master at the art of blackmailing scientific truth.” Recently, on the front page of Le Monde des lettres [March 24, 2000], I read the following characterization of me by Pierre Vidal-Naquet: [2] “In the presence of the lie, of which Faurisson is the purest expression, one feels a kind of peculiarly philosophical giddiness.” I hope that you will not feel giddy.
Yet there is also good news from France, in particular, the publication of a book by a young lady named Valérie Igounet. Her Histoire du négationnisme en France [3] (Paris: Le Seuil, 2000), which is seven hundred pages long, grew out of a doctoral thesis. It is totally against us revisionists — but we are quoted so often that one could say the book is a good introduction for a layman who would like to know what revisionists have to say. Perhaps she should be prosecuted for that.   
The book ends with an astonishing interview with Holocaust researcher Jean-Claude Pressac. As you know, he is the darling of the Klarsfelds, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, and their like. But what is he saying here? Surprisingly enough, he seems to be more or less abandoning exterminationism. Pressac states that the exterminationist position is “rotten” [in French, pourri]. “There are too many lies” — not Jewish lies, according to Pressac, but Communist lies. He asks, “Can things be put right?,” and answers: “It is too late.” Pressac declares that there is no longer any future for the “official certainties.”

Perhaps we have converted Pressac. If so, perhaps it’s because in May 1995 I asked the court to order Pressac to testify at one of my many trials. Foolishly enough, he came. I was barred from questioning him, so I coached my attorney. I wanted to simplify things for him, so I told him: “You need to ask him only two questions.” The first: “You recently published a book called Les Crématoires d’Auschwitz: La Machinerie du Meurtre de Masse [4] that contained sixty illustrations: photos, drawings, etc. Can you show us a photo or a drawing of a gas chamber?” Pressac of course could not. Then he was asked, “What is a gas chamber? Please describe one.” Pressac, as usual, talked at length about ventilation and ventilators. He so lost his way that the presiding judge, a lady, tried to help him out, observing, “But, Mr. Pressac, a ventilator is supposed to ventilate.” I can tell you because I had a good seat (under the circumstances). I could see that Pressac was about to cry. He said to the three judges, “You must understand that I have only one life. You must understand that I am alone in my battle.” So, you see, some things are changing. Now, directly to my lecture.   
I know that those of you who have attended previous IHR conferences would be disappointed if a Faurisson lecture were not in three parts. This one will be in three parts. The first part will be on my revisionist method in literature, for I was a revisionist in literature before I was a historical revisionist. Perhaps you will be a little bewildered, especially those of you who don’t know French literature. Have no fear: I’ll make it easy. Second, my revisionist method in history — and not only on “the Holocaust.” In the third part, I’ll suggest several new investigations, investigations I can no longer undertake, but which might be carried out by a new generation of revisionists. I will suggest new types and methods of research into, first, the Anne Frank diary; second, the Einsatzgruppen problem; next, the fate of children in Auschwitz; fourth, the “brown Jews,” as we in France refer to those Jews who collaborated with the Germans during the war; and fifth, the writing and publication of a counter-guide to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
My Revisionist Method
Revisionism is not an ideology. It is a method of working. It is the process of checking, and double-checking, views which are generally accepted. One may revise in any field, in physics, in history, wherever, but there are different ways of practicing the revisionist method. Your revisionist method depends on you, your character, and your education. I won’t tell you that mine is the best possible method, but I shall try to describe my method, for which I had special training, and a special education.
I have searched for adjectives to describe this method. Here is what I have found: it is a method that is classical, direct, bold, daring, and severe — very severe. It is matter of fact. Sometimes I use the expression “nuts and bolts revisionism.” My method rejects big words. Be simple, which is so difficult. Go directly to the center of the center of the question, and try first to bring me the pudding. I don’t want words. I’m going to taste the pudding, but first, bring me the pudding — meaning no intellectual pretensions and no pedantry.
You may have noticed that I have used the word “method.” I didn’t say “methodology.” In December 1998 I testified in Toronto at the trial of my dearest friend, Ernst Zündel. A Jewish lawyer asked me, “The professor who testified on Ernst Zündel and his writings explained his methodology to us. What is your methodology, Mr. Faurisson?” My answer was, “I have none.” You should have seen the lawyer’s smile. He was so pleased. Here we had a professor — but he had no methodology! I said, “I have only a method. I believe I have noticed that, very often, people use the word ‘methodology’ as a pretentious substitute for method.” When I returned to France, I opened my cherished American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. I looked up “methodology,” and there I found, in a usage note: “Increasingly used as a pretentious substitute for method.” I sent a photocopy to the lawyer, and to both the judges (an odd trial that has two judges!).
My method is difficult, and risky — sometimes even physically — for it requires that sometimes I must enter places where I am unwelcome, and ask some hard questions. Employing my revisionist method may earn you a slap in the face or a trip to jail. But you can’t be bashful when investigating historical problems. You can’t limit yourself to paper and archives — something which is very easy to do.
At times you have to confront people face to face, as I did Anne Frank’s father in his home, or Michael Berenbaum in his office at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Berenbaum has recently written the foreword to a very weighty book, a copy of which a friend of Ernst Zündel has given me. I’m holding it up for the camera: The Holocaust Chronicle. [5] Listen: the sound of emptiness.
Berenbaum’s problem is that he’s writing books which are thicker and thicker — and while they demand more and more muscles, they require less and less brains. Try to find a gas chamber in here! There are hundreds of photos. Here is one, you will observe, that shows two walls. It is the Dachau gas chamber, “never used” (as has been admitted since1960 and is stated on a placard at the Dachau museum) except that, elsewhere in the book (on page 609), we are told that it was used, just a little bit (“… relatively few of the inmates of Dachau were gassed”). Here’s another one, another photo, of the Belzec gas chamber. But … oops! It’s really a picture of the gas chamber in Auschwitz I, which, as we now know, is a fake.
My Revisionist Method in Literature
I began to study Latin in 1939, when I was ten years old. When I was twelve, I began the study of Greek. I think that it was then that I began to be a revisionist. I’ll tell you why. I loved Latin and Greek, but mastering them was very demanding. To translate Latin into French or English is difficult; translating Greek into French or English is more so; but most difficult of all is to translate French or English into either Latin or Greek.
Translating French into Latin and Greek taught me a painful truth: we are unable to read even our own languages carefully. We think that we can, yet we cannot. It is only when one is forced to translate his own language into another that he realizes that he has not been reading with care. Reading carefully is something that is very difficult to do. I believe that if you really want to understand something, you should put it into a language that is quite different from your own: Latin, or Greek, or Hebrew, or Chinese. Thanks to my study of Latin and Greek, I had much practice at this.
When I began teaching French literature, I had difficulty at first. In France, the practice is to assign one’s students a short text to explain and to comment on. Instructors are required to provide several questions to aid the students in understanding the text. I, too, did this, at the beginning. I obeyed. One day it dawned on me that the questions were distracting my students from concentrating on the careful reading of the text itself, and I decided that I would no longer assign them the questions. I would ask them only to explain the text, and tell them not to comment on it.
My method of teaching literature was not without its perils for my students. I would tell them: “When you study a text, strive to understand its meaning. Read carefully. And now I will tell you something difficult: to accept at the start that there is either one meaning, or there is no meaning. Do not confuse meaning with commentary.” I taught them a kind of technique. I would say “You must read the text, and forget the author. The author of every text will be auctor ignotus” [author unknown]. This way, you will have no preconceptions. Beware the title: the author uses it to influence you. It is just as if the author said, “This is pure orange juice,” and you tested it, and it wasn’t pure orange juice. And I told my classes to treat poetry exactly as if it were prose, which is almost a crime in France.
In France, as you know, we have a very sophisticated intelligentsia. They have devised all manner of theories, one of which is this: When it comes to poetry which is complex, like that of Gérard de Nerval, Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Lautréamont, Apollinaire, and Paul Valéry, one must not try to understand it. Given my nature, however, I wanted to understand their poetry, line by line, word by word. I would sometimes spend (or waste) weeks on a short text — a difficult text — by Gérard de Nerval. Perhaps my method was good, because I often got results.
In the 1960s I made a name for myself in French literature. I had a wonderful life. I once wrote that my life was in four parts: The first one was my family — my wife, my three children — and the pleasures of life. The second was my profession, teaching. The third was my research in literature. The fourth part, as you can imagine, was my historical research. Perhaps I should have stopped at the third part, and not ventured into this troublesome fourth part, but I became a revisionist in history, as well.
My Revisionist Method in History
I shall discuss my method in history at more length. I began by using a very precise method of interrogation to investigate the “Bloody Summer” of 1944, which in France we call the “Big Purge” (“L’Épuration”). As with my approach to poetry, I tried to concentrate my efforts, focusing on a small area of France. I sought to study the question of the executions carried out by the maquis (or French resistance). It was difficult and dangerous work. I had to find and question men who had been on the firing squads, and ask them, “Why did you take part? How were you able to?” It is a very trying way of working. You need to go see the sites where the executions took place. You have to get the names of the firing squad right. At that time, in the sixties, people were very afraid, especially of the Communists. But I investigated executions by the resistance, and I wrote about my findings. [6] You must remember that we are told that during the war there were “résistants” in France. We hear of “résistants” and “collaborators.” I say that there were two kinds of résistants during the war: résistants to the German occupation, and résistants to Communist terror.
I now come to the “Holocaust.” How did I proceed? I had heard people say that there were gas chambers. Others said, even back then, that there had been no gas chambers. What method of revising history was in accord with my nature, myself? It was to say: “Very well, I see that people are arguing over whether the gas chambers existed, but, a simple question, please: ‘What is a Nazi gas chamber? I need to see one.’”
So I went to Paris, to the Centre de Documentation Juive Contemporaine. I remember the archivist asking me what I wanted. I told him, “A photo of a Nazi gas chamber.” The man said “We have many books.” I said, “A photo.” He continued, “We have many testimonies.” I said, “A photo.” “We have many documents.” I said, “A photo.” Then he summoned Mrs. Imbert (I remember her name): “Come in. This gentleman wants a photo of a Nazi gas chamber.” I swear to you she said, “We have many testimonies.” The archivist, exasperated, told her, “But this gentleman wants a photo.” I was told to sit down. I sat there for sixty minutes. That poor woman rifled the shelves, opening book after book without success. At last she brought me a photo known to everybody, of the helmeted American soldier standing in front of the disinfestation gas chambers in Dachau, and similar pictures. I thought to myself, “There’s a problem here.”
My method’s directness lies in going to the center of the center: even a Jewish documentation center. The so-called Jewish Documentation Center in Paris had a file called “Extermination Gassings.” I said, “I’m in luck! The most substantial of the accusations against Germany must be in here. I’ll start with the strongest ones.” Well, I went through the strongest accusations of gassing, and I found precisely nothing.
I decided to visit the places said to have had gas chambers. First I visited Struthof-Natzweiler, near Strasbourg, and I discovered that the “gas chamber” there was not a gas chamber at all, despite prominent signs that read: “Gas Chamber.” No sooner had I published the results of my inquiry than the “gas chamber” was closed to the public. Try and visit it! The “Gas Chamber” signs are still up, but visitors are told, “We cannot let you see it because there have been instances of vandalism,” which is untrue (and in any case hardly an acceptable explanation).
When I visited Majdanek, I headed immediately to the site where the gas chamber is supposed to have been. This building still bears a prominent sign, put up by the German authorities who ran the camp, which reads: “Bad und Desinfektion [bath and disinfection].” I thought to myself, “Inside this building I will either find ‘Bad und Desinfektion,’ period, or ‘Bad und Desinfektion’ and something else suspicious.” What I found was nothing more than “Bad und Desinfektion,” including something quite characteristic: a little stove, close to the so-called “gas chamber,” for disinfection (for heating the air to speed the delousing process) and, in the middle of the door, a place for a thermometer. As you see, my method is not too dissimilar from the way the police investigate a crime.
I visited Auschwitz, Treblinka, and similar places. In each of them I found a disappearing gas chamber. No sooner than I drew near, the gas chamber would vanish. I would never put questions to the guides. As we all know, these poor people are reciting a lesson. Each time I visited a camp, I would ask to speak to an expert, from whom I would then request an explanation of the missing gas chamber. I never received one.
As a result I published an article in the newspaper Le Monde on December 29, 1978, and a letter there on January 16, 1979. I asked simple questions (always be simple): How was it possible to enter a gas chamber to collect the bodies, because that would have been like entering an ocean of hydrocyanic acid? How could the workers have handled the bodies, because touching even the skin could poison them? What about the physical exertion in removing the bodies — we know that one must not strain even to open a window in a place that has just been disinfected with hydrocyanic acid, because breathing faster will increase the chance of being poisoned?” All I asked was: “How could that be done? Tell me. Give me an explanation that makes sense technically.” Do you know how Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Léon Poliakov, and thirty-two other historians answered my questions? They had a marvelous response, which they published in Le Monde on February 21, 1979. They wrote, “One must not ask how, technically, such a mass murder was possible. It was possible technically because it took place.”
Perhaps I should have left off, should have said: “Very well, they can’t answer me. I’ll just wait for their answer.” I don’t know why I kept on battling and battling. I was the first to publish the plans of the alleged gas chambers. It was the other side that should have published them.
On January 19, 1995, I had the shock of my life — and I’ve had many. When I opened the weekly magazine L’Express, I found a long article by Eric Conan, a historian who is totally against us. It was titled “Auschwitz: La Mémoire du Mal” [“Auschwitz: The Memory of Evil”]. There, on page 68, I read these words on the gas chamber in Auschwitz I: “Everything in it is false.” Conan wrote in the same article about what he himself calls “falsifications”: “It was easy for Faurisson to say that, all the more so because the authorities of the museum balked at responding to him.” So, there it was. All along it was I who was supposed to have been the falsifier. The exterminationists were supposed to be telling the truth. Then, in 1995, an orthodox historian declares: “Faurisson was right,” but adds, in effect: “So what?”
Visiting a site can yield another effective argument, one that, surprisingly, not even Fred Leuchter advanced. If you wish to show that the output claimed for the German ovens was impossible technically, you can do something simple. You don’t need to write two hundred pages. Just go and see a crematory. Find out the output of today’s crematory ovens, and compare that output with those alleged for Auschwitz, nearly sixty years ago. You can do the same thing to investigate a gas chamber. Go and visit an American gas chamber. Why not do it, you Americans? You would see how complicated it is to gas just one person. Now, of course, we know that certain aspects of a formal execution are something of a luxury. Just imagine how it was in 1924, when, for the first time, an execution by gas was carried out in the United States. You will see how awfully complicated a gassing needs to be, even today. You need only juxtapose an actual gas chamber at an American penitentiary, on the one hand, with a so-called Nazi gas chamber, on the other. You’ll see that conducting a gassing in the alleged gas chambers of the Nazis would have been impossible.
Confrontation
Not only do you need to inspect the sites, you have to talk to people. Just as I did, you’ve got to go where the danger is. In 1994 I dropped in on Michael Berenbaum, at that time research director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. After I had toured the exhibit with two American friends, I phoned Michael Berenbaum from the lobby. I told him over the phone, “My name is Robert Faurisson. I would like to visit you.” Berenbaum answered unhesitatingly: “It’s a quarter to four. That means that at a quarter past four you will be in my office.” It was as if he had been waiting all year for me!
As I entered his office, I saw not only Berenbaum, but two gentlemen on a sofa. They were the directors of the museum. I was flanked left and right by my own witnesses. Berenbaum asked, “So, what are your questions?” I told him, “Downstairs, in the guest book, I wrote ‘I have visited this place on August 30, 1994. [I love dates.] I have not found an answer to my challenge: ‘Show me or draw me a Nazi gas chamber.’” (Although I knew there was a mock-up of a gas chamber in the museum, I wanted to hear Berenbaum tell me that it was a good mock-up. I knew he wouldn’t.) He asked me, “Why should I answer your questions? Whom do you have on your side? Ernst Zündel. Bradley Smith. You should know that in the past year we have had two million visitors. So, who are you?” I said “You must answer my question in the guest book.” He replied, “I don’t see why.” Suddenly I had an inspiration. I told him, “Yes, you are obliged to answer, because you are making an accusation against the Germans.” For the first time in his life, I think, Berenbaum realized that he was accusing Germany simply by saying that the gas chambers had existed. I thought he was going to slap me in the face. Berenbaum became enraged, and for a minute I thought he would call security. I seem to recall that he stopped the tape recorder — and for the next hour I tortured the poor man.
A revisionist needs to be just a little bit sadistic. He must come back and say “Is this the tooth that hurts you?” “Yes.” “Really? This one?” That’s the way I’ve tried to conduct all my investigations.
Keep It Simple …
When I was revising in literature, my model was Jean-François Champollion, the man who in 1822 deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics. Champollion didn’t rely on big words or grand theories. He simply tried, word by word, to understand. Do you know that before Champollion’s success, there were many professors able to talk about those texts that they didn’t understand? Of course, their explanations were always sublime. This text was an “invocation to the gods,” that one to “the souls of whomever or whatever,” and the like. After Champollion had deciphered the ancient Egyptian writing system, such texts would often turn out to be in reality lists of so many cows, so many goats, so many sheep. That’s the way intellectuals come to work: always big ideas, always philosophy. I hate philosophy. I hate it because in fact I do not understand it.
My model for revisionism in history would be Sherlock Holmes. Like him, one must be courageous. And like Holmes, one must be very brief and to the point. That is how I came up with my saying, “No holes, no holocaust,” of which you have heard. Surprisingly, perhaps, I first stated that at our 1994 conference. I remember that nobody reacted at the time. No one seemed to understand, perhaps because of my poor English. Then, two or three years later, revisionists such as Dr. Robert Countess began pointing out, “But we have to be careful. Your formulation is very short.” I can understand that objection. When something is very short, maybe it’s too short. Complicated things, it seems, cannot be put in few words. I can well understand why people are careful and standoffish, but sometimes brevity is a good thing.
I think “No holes, no holocaust” was a good saying. Here’s how I explain it. When you have a very big problem, you know that you cannot grasp the whole of it. That would be impossible. It’s just too big. What must you do, then? You must go, courageously, to the center of the center of the core of it. The center of the “Holocaust” is Auschwitz. Auschwitz is its capital. Thus, we have a big circle which is “H,” “Holocaust,” then, inside it, a smaller circle: “A,” as in “Auschwitz.” Now, what is the center of Auschwitz? It is “C,” the crematoria, each supposed to have contained a gas chamber to kill people. What is the center of “C”? It can only be the one crematorium that is claimed to be relatively intact, without being a “reconstruction.” Today that is crematorium number two, at Auschwitz-Birkenau.To be sure, it was dynamited by the Germans (or possibly the Russians — it doesn’t matter). Our opponents say: “This is the place.” We have to travel, then, to crematorium II, and, once there, we must seek the very epicenter of the “Holocaust”: the holes in the roof of the alleged gas chamber in crematorium II. For it is these holes through which the SS men are supposed to have dropped the Zyklon B pellets. Go to crematorium II. Search for those holes. You will not find a single one.
Yesterday Charles Provan gave me this pamphlet. [7] He’s revising my revisionism, which is quite a good thing. Now I’m going to revise his revising of my revisionism. I’m sorry, but I haven’t finished reading it, so I must be careful. But I’m going to give you my first impressions. I told Mr. Provan that I would say something about it.
I think that it’s a good work. First, it is short. Unlike Berenbaum’s books, it doesn’t require strong muscles to hold it. So far as I can tell, it’s well done. It is precise. Clearly some hard work went into it. Yet there is a bad mistake in the method of this study. To put it simply, you mustn’t mix up the testimony with what you find on the site, that is, the physical evidence.
You began, Mr. Provan, with the testimony. But instead of separating the physical evidence for the supposed holes from the testimony, in your evaluation of the testimony you talk about what we are supposed to find at the location. That’s mixing things up. To make a comparison, instead of bringing oil, then vinegar, to make vinaigrette, you first brought the vinaigrette, and here you are working very hard to try to distinguish oil from vinegar, which is too difficult, you see? More on that later. But Charles Provan has done real work, and we have to take it seriously.
Revisionist Methods for the Future
Now, on the revisionist method for a new generation. I must say that I was quite moved, when I arrived here, to see Germar Rudolf and Jürgen Graf working very hard together. This is the new generation. One of them, Germar Rudolf, is in exile. What a shame, far from his homeland, far from his career, his wife, and his two children! Jürgen Graf, from Switzerland, has been sentenced to jail for fifteen months. Isn’t that a shame? But you should have seen the two of them. They were working joyfully, and working very hard. It is to people like this that I shall now speak, and outline several ideas for future investigations.
Let me begin with the Anne Frank diary. Perhaps you will remember that I visited Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, in Basel, Switzerland in the 1970s. Like all conmen, he was quite charming, very charming indeed. Sometimes you’ll hear people say, “But he was so charming. How could he have been a conman?” Conmen are always charming!
So I went to see Otto Frank. I like to look people in the eye. I told him that I had serious doubts about the authenticity of the Anne Frank diary. He said “That’s quite all right. I am ready to answer your questions.” I was fortunate that his (second) wife was present. (As you will see, she is important to the story.) Frank had said that he was prepared for my questions, but he was a bit like Michael Shermer, who interviewed me in 1994. Perhaps Otto Frank thought, as did Shermer, “Ah, a French intellectual. It’s going to be very intellectual, with considerations on the psychology of a young girl, on the interaction among eight people living hidden in the same place, on political opinions about the Jews at that time, and so on.”
Well, here I came, with my nuts and bolts revisionism. I said “Mr. Frank, you couldn’t make any noise, even during the night. If you had to cough, you took codeine. There were eight of you in those tiny rooms, surrounded by other rooms occupied by ‘enemies,’ in Amsterdam for two years. ‘Enemies’ were listening.” “Yes,” he agreed. “How is it, then, that sometimes the young man, Peter, is splitting wood in the attic to show off his strength to Anne? Can you imagine the noise? Peter even makes furniture, and every morning the alarm clock rings. There’s the radio, the screams as the dentist [one of the eight] works on his patients, and so forth. How do you explain all that?” He had no explanation.
Next I asked him, “What about the garbage?” Listen to the French intellectual! “What about the garbage? You say that it was burned in the stove.” “Yes.” “But you moved in on June 12. You say you lit the stove for the first time on, I think, the twelfth or the fifteenth of October. So, during the summer, what about the garbage, and later what about the smoke? You were living in a place that was supposed to be unoccupied. But smoke, especially at night, means that someone is there. Take a look at smoke during the night.” Otto Frank had no answer.
I asked the poor man many such questions. His wife would say, “Amazing! Yes, how did you manage?” Or, “How can that have been?” Suddenly, he told her, in German, “Maul zu [Shut up]!” I continued, and all at once Otto Frank had a stroke of genius. He told me “Mr. Faurisson, I agree with you a hundred percent. Scientifically, theoretically, it is impossible, but so it happened.”
I told him, “Mr. Frank, you’re making things difficult for me. If you’ll agree with me that a door cannot be both open and shut at the same time, then we have no need for ‘theoretically,’ ‘scientifically,’ but if you go on to tell me that you have seen such a door with your own eyes, I’m going to have trouble with that. Please answer my questions.” Of course, there was no answer.
The next day he brought me to a bank. It was the first time I had ever been in the vault of a Swiss bank, or of any bank. I saw the impressive safe deposit boxes, in which one can store money, jewelry, manuscripts. Otto Frank took out the manuscripts. He said, “See, here they are.” We went back to his house to look at them. I said “Mr. Frank, I am not a handwriting specialist. I’m not interested in the manuscripts. What I want is for you to explain the story to me so that it holds up — but you can’t.” When I returned home from Basel, I drafted a report on the question of the diary, and made it available to a German friend who was having difficulties with the German courts for having expressed doubts about the authenticity of the diary.
A German judge ordered an analysis of the handwriting of the “Anne Frank” manuscripts. Here we revisionists must be careful. I often hear people say, “They discovered handwriting with a ball-point pen.” Be careful! The report was totally inadequate. It concluded that everything in the manuscripts was written by the same hand. Remember that. The report stated that there was handwriting in ink from a ball-point pen, but it gave no specifics. We can’t tell how much of it, in how many places, and so on. Therefore, be cautious about that German report.
Otto Heinrich Frank died in 1980. In 1986 a “critical edition” of the supposed diaries of Anne Frank was published in Amsterdam. [8] Over the next six years a German edition, a French edition, and an English edition appeared. Each of the four was nearly as thick as The Holocaust Chronicle (with Berenbaum’s foreword), which I’ve showed you. People thought “Ah, this is the answer to Faurisson.” The book even says so: “This is the answer to Faurisson.”
Well, you should read what the editors say about Otto Frank. They all but call him a liar. I was right! At the end of this “critical edition” they write that Otto Frank ought never to have claimed that what he published was the actual diary of Anne Frank. Nevertheless, this “scholarly edition” is just a big bluff. They show you handwriting throughout, and they say “You see, it’s the same.” I don’t see that it’s the same, but I’m not a specialist, so I have to be careful. But my question wasn’t about the handwriting. My question was: “Can you explain all the problems I have with the story?” Instead of answering me, at the beginning of the book one of the editors summarized his version of what I had written. It was obviously a caricature. Had I said stupid things, of course, they would have reported my exact words.
I advise you to be careful. The question of the handwriting of Anne Frank is what you call a “red herring.” I would like someone who is able, and who is familiar with Dutch and German, to make a comparison by computer between the Anne Frank diary as it was published — the popular edition — and the new popular edition, edited by a woman named Mirjam Pressler. I myself had discovered two or three different Anne Franks. Now, if one were to make this kind of comparison today, I think we would be up to eight or ten Anne Franks.
Now, regarding the Einsatzgruppen: I think that this is the most important of my suggestions for future research. I would like to see work done on the specific topic of those Germans who were executed by the German army for killing Jews. Yes, in Marinka, a place in Russia, the mayor of the city killed one Jewish woman. He was court-martialed by the German army, condemned to death, and executed. I have many such examples.
Field Marshals List, von Kuechler, von Manstein; General Otto Dessloch; Field Marshall von Kleist; General Kittel: each of these men ordered the execution of a German soldier, officer, or civil servant who had killed one or more Jews. How was that possible if there was a policy to exterminate physically the Jews? In my opinion, they should plant trees for von Manstein, List, von Kuechler, von Kleist, and Kittel on the Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles in Jerusalem. And why not one for Adolf Hitler? Hitler ordered the execution of persons who had killed Jews. This is the type of question that we revisionists should be researching.
I have no time to talk about the “brown Jews,” the Jewish children at Auschwitz, and what I would call the “Counter Guide to the Holocaust Memorial Museum,” a revisionist guided tour of the Museum.
Perhaps you have heard of my pessimism. I want to say a few words about that. For reasons I have no time to get into, I am rather pessimistic. Let me explain. On my first visit to this country, in 1979, my friend Gene Brugger greeted me at Kennedy Airport. Yesterday he reminded me that I was carrying a copy of Arthur Butz’s Hoax and a tennis racquet. Gene, who is of German extraction, had a question for me. He said, “You are French. Why are you doing this for the Germans?” He tells me I answered, “It’s not on behalf of the Germans. A bird sings. It can’t help but sing, because that is in its nature. The bird can’t help it. So, even a pessimistic bird must sing.”
The other day, as I was leaving France, I received a phone call from Adrien, one of my grandchildren. He said “So, you are going away.” I answered yes. “Where are you going?” “To the United States.” “Why?” “I have work to do.” He is very gentle with me, my grandson. He told me, “Now, grandfather, you should stop. You work day and night. You are very old. Very soon, you are going to die.”
As you can see, I am still alive and well. And, although I am an old bird, I think that I am going to continue to sing.
May 29, 2000

Notes
[1] “Douce” meaning gentle, or clement, from France’s post-revolutionary traditions of openness to dissent and affording refuge for other countries’ political and intellectual dissidents. [Ed.]
[2] Professor Vidal-Naquet is a noted historian of ancient Greece, and one of France’s most vociferous defenders of the Holocaust claim. [Ed.]
[3] Valérie Igounet, Histoire du négationnisme en France [History of Denialism in France] (Paris: Le Seuil, 2000).
[4] Jean-Claude Pressac, Les Crématoires d’Auschwitz: La Machinerie du meurtre de masse [The Crematoria of Auschwitz: The Machinery of Mass Murder] (Paris: CNRS éditions, 1993).
[5] Michael Berenbaum, introduction to The Holocaust Chronicle: A History in Words and Pictures, ed. David Aretha, pub. Louis Weber (Lincolnwood, Ill.: Publications International, 2000).
[6] See Robert Faurisson’s “A Dry Chronicle of the Purge: Summary Executions in Certain Communes of Charente Limousine,” in The Journal of Historical Review 12, no. 1 (Spring 1992), pp. 5-30. [Ed.]
[7] Charles D. Provan, No Holes? No Holocaust? A Study of the Holes in the Roof of Leichenkeller 1 of Krematorium 2 at Birkenau (Monongahela, Penn.: n.p., 2000). Also on-line at: http://www.revisingrevisionism.com/
[8] The Diary of Anne Frank: The Critical Edition, prepared by the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation, edited by David Barnouw and Gerrold van der Stromm, translated by Arnold J. Pomerans and B. M. Mooyart (New York: Doubleday), 1989.

Monday, May 8, 2000

Three Letters from Professor Faurisson to "Le Monde" (1978-1979)

Presentation of May 8, 2000



In the very last days of the year 1978 the Faurisson affair exploded in France, an affair that, it may be said, had been smouldering since 1974 with the first attacks on Robert Faurisson in the French press for his revisionist views. The spark that set off this explosion on December 29, 1978 was the appearance in the national daily Le Monde of a text by the Professor entitled “Le 'problème des chambres à gaz' ou la rumeur d'Auschwitz. In the same issue, that piece was accompanied by a set of antirevisionist articles amounting to a veritable barrage fire. Since the law provides for a right of reply, the Professor was able to answer that assault publicly by a letter printed in the Monde of January 16, 1979. Several weeks later, on February 21, his opponents were offered the opportunity by the same paper to publish other pieces, among which a solemn historians' declaration bearing thirty-four signatures. That text was drafted by Léon Poliakov and Pierre Vidal-Naquet. Its conclusion was disturbing. In reply to R. Faurisson, who had asked how the homicidal gassings imputed to the Germans of the Third Reich had been possible on the concrete, technical level (especially considering, on the one hand, the nature of Zyklon B ­— which is a pesticide —, the difficulties of ventilation when using hydrogen cyanide gas and the layout of the rooms presumed to have served as chemical slaughterhouses, and, on the other hand, the draconian safety measures that must be taken by the personnel of American penitentiaries for the execution of a single convict by means of the same gas), the thirty-four historians had this to say:

One must not ask oneself how, technically, such a mass-murder was possible. It was technically possible, since it happened. That is the requisite starting point of any historical inquiry into the subject. It is incumbent upon us to state this truth simply: there is not, there cannot be any debate on the existence of the gas chambers.



Did such a conclusion not amount to surrender on the part of L. Poliakov, P. Vidal-Naquet and the other signatories?


Still, Faurisson, once again, on February 23, finding himself under fierce attack in the columns of the Monde, sent another right of reply piece to the daily which we entitle below: One proof… one single proof. Le Monde, doubtless alarmed at the size to which the affair was growing, refused to publish this text while at the same time inviting the Professor's adversaries to carry on with their own offensive.


These three pieces are a landmark in the history of revisionism. Yet, although their existence is, assuredly, known of abroad, they seem not to have been published in any language besides French, except for some partial and flawed English and German translations.

Over the twenty-odd years that separate us from these short writings of 1978-1979, Faurisson has been impelled to broaden his historical publication in assorted works, studies and articles published in several languages. It goes without saying that, on such or such a point, he may have had occasion to revise some phrases in the three texts offered here in English. For example, in the German word Vergasungskeller, he would today see rather a gassing cellar, that is, a basement room housing the equipment for disinfecting fumigation (even though, as he points out, this question of meaning can still not be decided with certainty, and will go unresolved for as long as researchers remain in the dark about what part of crematorium II of Auschwitz-Birkenau that precise enclosure actually matches).

But, apart from these minor points, the body of the three texts has retained its full worth and, reread more than twenty years on, it presents itself as the summing up, in extremely compact form, of what Faurisson and other revisionists in his wake have been able to publish on the problem of the gas chambers and on certain essential aspects of the alleged Holocaust of the Jews.


Finally, it may be said in passing, those who are well acquainted with the revisionism dossier will have noticed that there were, unhappily, instances in the 1990s where purported discoveries were trumpeted by other revisionists, but which were in fact things already to be found in these three pieces by Robert Faurisson from 1978-1979. In this regard the case of a discovery allegedly made by the young Jewish-American revisionist David Cole comes especially to mind. In 1992, Cole was to make quite some fuss over the fact that a young female Polish guide, while showing tourists the Auschwitz I gas chamber, declared it to be “in its original state whereas, for his part, a museum official stated that the room visited was very similar to the original one. Yet, in his letter published on January 16, 1979 and, afterwards, distributed in English by a friend of Cole's, Faurisson had already pointed out that contradiction (see the text's first paragraph and first footnote). Let us add, moreover, that the room was not at all very similar to an original gas chamber: its exposition as such amounted to an outright hoax, as a certain number of persons in authority were eventually to admit, among whom, in 1994, the assistant director of the museum (see the article by Eric Conan, Auschwitz : la mémoire du mal, L'Express, January 19, 1995, p. 68).

It is thus with a certain sense of satisfaction that we at last make available in a legitimate English version these three letters from the late 70s whose content is essential to a sound understanding of the present-day Holocaust revisionist adventure.

***

Robert FAURISSON

Three Letters to Le Monde (1978 - 1979)


- I -
Le Monde, December 29, 1978, p. 8

The Problem of the Gas Chambers [1]

or The Rumour of Auschwitz

No one questions the use of crematoria in certain German camps. The mere frequency of epidemics throughout Europe at war demanded the cremation, for example, of the bodies of typhus victims (see photographs).
It is the existence of gas chambers, veritable slaughterhouses for humans, that is called into question. Since 1945, the questioning has been growing. The mass media are aware of this fact.
In 1945, the official historiography affirmed that the gas chambers had been used in the former (pre-1938) Reich as well as in Austria, in Alsace as well as in Poland. Fifteen years later, in 1960, it revised its judgment: gas chambers had operated, first and foremost (?), only in Poland [2]. This drastic revision of 1960 reduced to naught a thousand testimonies, a thousand proofs of alleged gassings at Oranienburg, at Buchenwald, at Bergen-Belsen, at Dachau, at Ravensbrück, at Mauthausen. Appearing before British or French judicial bodies, the heads of Ravensbrück camp (Suhren, Schwarzhuber, Dr Treite) had admitted the existence of a gas chamber whose functioning they had even, in a vague manner, described. A comparable scenario had been acted out by Ziereis, of Mauthausen, or by Kramer, of Struthof. After the deaths of those condemned men it was discovered that those gassings had never taken place. Flimsiness of testimonies and confessions!
The gas chambers of Poland — as will surely be admitted in time — had no more reality about them. It is to the Polish and Soviet judicial bodies that we owe most of our information on them (see, for instance, the horrifying confession of R. Höss: Commandant of Auschwitz).
Today's visitor to Auschwitz or Majdanek discovers, in the way of “gas chambers, facilities in which any gassings would have spelt catastrophe for the gassers and their entourage. A collective execution by gas, supposing that it were practicable, could not at all be likened either to a suicidal or to an accidental gassing. In order to gas a single convict at a time, with his wrists and ankles shackled, the Americans employ a special gas [hydrogen cyanide] within a small space, from which, after its use, it is extracted and subsequently neutralised. So then, how could two thousand people (and even three thousand) be held in an enclosure of 210 square metres (!), at Auschwitz, for example, to have a common and powerful insecticide called Zyklon B poured onto them (!); finally, just after the victims' death, how could a team be sent, without gas masks, into that place saturated with hydrogen cyanide in order to remove the cyanide-infused corpses? Some too little-known documents [3] show, moreover: 1) That the structure in question, which the Germans are said to have blown up shortly before their departure, was nothing but a typical morgue (Leichenkeller), built underground (to protect it from the warmth of the air) and fitted with a single small door for entry and exit; 2) That the Zyklon B could not be evacuated by a rapid ventilation and that it needed at least twenty-one hours to evaporate. Whereas thousands of documents on the Auschwitz crematoria (including invoices precise to the last Pfennig) are in our possession, neither a directive to build, nor a study, nor an order for building materials, nor a blueprint, nor a bill, nor any photograph is attested as regards the gas chambers, which, we are told, adjoined those crematoria. At a hundred trials (Jerusalem, Frankfurt, etc.), no evidence has been produced.
I was at Auschwitz. There were no 'gas chambers' there. Those who dare bear witness on behalf of the accused by pronouncing that sentence are hardly listened to. They are prosecuted. Still in 1978, anyone in Germany who speaks out in favour of Thies Christophersen, author of Die Auschwitz-Lüge (The Auschwitz Lie), risks a conviction for offending the memory of the dead.
After the war, the International Red Cross (which had investigated “The rumour of Auschwitz) [4], the Vatican (which had been quite well informed about Poland), the Nazis, the collabos, all declared, along with many others: “The 'gas chambers'? We did not know. But how can anyone know of things that have not existed?
Nazism is dead and gone, together with its Führer. There remains today the truth. Let us dare to tell it publicly. The non-existence of the gas chambers is good news for humanity. Good news that it would be wrong to keep hidden any longer [5].

Notes:

[1] The phrase is that of Olga Wormser-Migot (Le Système concentrationnaire nazi, thesis published by the Presses Universitaires de France, 1968).
[2] “Keine Vergassung in Dachau”, by Dr Martin Broszat, director of the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich (Die Zeit, August 19, 1960, p. 16).
[3] On the one hand, photos from the Auschwitz Museum (negatives 519 and 6228), and, on the other hand, papers from the Nuremberg trial (NI-9098 and NI-9912).
[4] See The Work of the ICRC for Civilian Detainees in German Concentration Camps from 1939-1945, International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva, 1975 [French edition 1946] reproducing in part (I have a copy of the full confidential text) document No. 9925: “Visit by an ICRC delegate to the Commandant of Auschwitz Camp (September 1944)”, p. 76-77 [French edition, p. 91-92]. A crucial sentence of this document was deftly truncated of three words in the book by Marc Hillel, Les Archives de l'espoir (The Archives of Hope), Fayard, 1977, p. 257, and the most important sentence (“The inmates themselves said nothing [about a gas chamber]”) was simply left out.
[5] Among the score of authors who refute the existence of the gas chambers, I shall cite Paul Rassinier, wartime deportee (Le Véritable Procès Eichmann, les Sept Couleurs, 1962, distributed by Maurice Bardèche, 5, rue Rataud, 75005 Paris) and, especially, the American A. R. Butz for his remarkable book on The Hoax of the 20th Century, 1976, distributed by the Historical Review Press [4th corrected and expanded paperback edition, 530 pages, illustrated, index, bibliography (Feb. 2015) – ISBN: 978-1-59148-079-2].


***


- II -

Le Monde, January 16, 1979, p. 13

A letter from Mr Faurisson

Until 1960, I believed in the reality of those gigantic massacres in “gas chambers”. Then, upon reading Paul Rassinier, a wartime résistant and deportee who had written Le Mensonge d’Ulysse, I began to have doubts. After fourteen years of personal reflection, then four years of sustained research, I became certain, as have twenty other revisionist authors, that I had before me a historical lie. I have visited and revisited Auschwitz and Birkenau where the authorities exhibit a reconstituted gas chamber [1]” together with remains said to be those of "crematoria with gas chambers". At Struthof (Alsace) and at Majdanek (Poland), I have examined the buildings presented as "gas chambers in their original state". I have analysed thousands of documents, particularly at the Paris Centre de documentation juive contemporaine: archives, transcripts, photographs, written testimonies. I have tirelessly pursued specialists and historians with my questions. I have tried to find, but in vain, a single deportee who could prove to me that he had really seen, with his own eyes, a "gas chamber". I especially did not want an illusory abundance of evidence; I was willing to settle for one proof, one single proof. I have never found that proof. What I have found, on the contrary, is much false evidence, worthy of the witchcraft trials, dishonouring the judges who have admitted it. And then I have found silence, embarrassment, hostility, leading in the end to slander, insults, physical blows.
The retorts recently prompted by my brief piece on "The Rumour of Auschwitz" are those which I have read more than once in eighteen years of research. I do not call into question the sincerity of their authors, but I will say that they are teeming with errors long since pointed out by the likes of Rassinier, Scheidl and Butz.
For example, in the letter of January 29, 1943 (bearing the regular mention "Secret") that is quoted to me, Vergasung does not signify "gassing", but rather "carburetion". Vergasungskeller designates the room, below ground, in which the "gaseous" mixture that fed the crematory oven was prepared. This oven and others like it were supplied by the firm Topf und Söhne, of Erfurt (Doc. NO-4473).
Begasung designated the gassing of clothing in autoclaves. If the gas used was Zyklon B - "B [lausäure] preparation" that is, Prussic acid or hydrogen cyanide – then "blue gas chambers" were mentioned. Nothing to do with the purported "slaughterhouse-gas chambers"!
The Diary of physician Johann Paul Kremer must be cited correctly. It will thus be seen that, if he speaks of the horrors of Auschwitz, it is in allusion to the horrors of the typhus epidemic of September-October 1942. On October 3 he was to write: "At Auschwitz, whole streets have been annihilated by typhus." He himself would contract what is called "the Auschwitz disease". Germans died of it. The sorting of the sick and the well was the "selection", or one of the forms of "special action", carried out by doctors. This sorting was done either inside the buildings or outdoors. Never did Kremer write that Auschwitz was a Vernichtungslager, i.e. in the terminology invented by the Allies after the war, an "extermination camp" (by which is to be understood: a camp equipped with a "gas chamber"). In reality, he wrote: "It is not for nothing that Auschwitz is called the annihilation camp (das Lager der Vernichtung)." In the etymological sense of the word, typhus annihilates those whom it strikes. Another serious translation error: under the date of September 2, 1942, Kremer's manuscript reads: "At three a.m. today I was, for the first time, in attendance during a special action outdoors." Historians and judges traditionally suppress the word "outdoors" (draussen) to have Kremer appear to say that the action in question took place in a "gas chamber". Finally, the horrid scenes before the "last Bunker" (i.e. in the yard of Bunker 11) are executions of the condemned, executions the physician was obliged to attend. Among the condemned were to be found three women who had arrived in a convoy from Holland: they were shot [2].
The "Krema" buildings of Birkenau were perfectly visible [3] to all. A good number of plans and photographs prove this, and they prove as well the thorough material impossibility that these "Kremas" could have contained "gas chambers".
If, as regards Auschwitz, someone quotes to me, yet another time, confessions, memoirs, or miraculously unearthed manuscripts (with which I am already acquainted), I shall ask to be shown in what way the imprecise precision of their information differs from the imprecise precision of the information in all the documents that led the Allied military tribunals to rule that there were "gas chambers" where, in the end, it has since been acknowledged there were none: for example, in the whole of the former Reich!
In my article I cited the industrial documents NI-9098 and 9912. One should read these before countering what I say with the "testimonies" of Pery Broad and R. Höss or (why not?) the "confessions" made by J. P. Kremer after the war. These documents establish that Zyklon B was not in the category of gasses considered susceptible to ventilation; its makers had to agree that it was "difficult to remove by ventilation since it sticks to surfaces". For the carrying out of a chemical test proving the disappearance of the gas from its confines, a room infused with hydrogen cyanide by Zyklon B fumigation can be entered only by someone wearing a gas mask fitted with a "J" filter – the very strongest – and only twenty hours or so after the fumigation [4]. Mattresses and blankets must be beaten in the open air for between one and two hours. Nevertheless, Höss wrote [5]: "Half an hour after the start of gassing, the door was opened and the ventilation device turned on. Immediately [the team] began removing the bodies." Immediately (sofort)! And he goes on to add that this team, assigned to handle two thousand cyanide-infused corpses, entered the place (which was still full of gas, was it not?) and took them out "eating and smoking [as they went about it]", that is, if I understand rightly, without any gas masks. This is impossible. All the testimonies, as vague or conflicting as they may be about the rest [6], agree at least on this point: the squad opened the chamber, either immediately or "shortly following" the victims' demise. I say that this point, in itself, makes up the touchstone of the false testimony.
In Alsace, the Struthof camp's "gas chamber" is interesting to visit. The confession of Joseph Kramer can be read on the spot. It was through a "hole" (sic) that Kramer used to pour a “certain quantity of hydrogen cyanide salts", then, "a certain quantity of water", a mixture giving off a gas that killed in about a minute. The "hole" seen there today was made in so sloppy a manner, with a chisel, that four faience tiles were broken. Kramer used a "funnel with a tap". I see neither how he could keep the gas from spattering back out of this crude hole, nor how he could thus willingly allow that gas, leaving the structure’s chimney, to spread towards the windows of his own house. Moving on to an adjacent room, I should like to have an explanation of this business of the corpses preserved by Professor Hirt in "vats of formalin" which are, in fact, nothing other than vats for sauerkraut and potatoes, with simple, non-airtight wooden lids.
The most commonplace weapon, if suspected of having killed or wounded someone, is subjected to forensic examination. It will be noted with some surprise that these prodigious criminal weapons that are the “gas chambers” have never been subjected to any official examination (whether legal, scientific or archaeological) on which a report may be read [7].
If, to the general misfortune, the Germans had won the war, I suppose that their concentration camps would have been presented to us as re-education camps. By contesting that presentation of the facts, I should doubtless have found myself accused of being an objective ally of “Judeo-Marxism”. I am neither objectively nor subjectively a Judeo-Marxist or a neo-Nazi. I feel admiration for those Frenchmen who courageously struggled against Nazism. They defended the right cause. If today I state that the “gas chambers” did not exist, it is because the difficult duty to be truthful obliges me to do so.

[In accordance with the law of July 29, 1881, we (Le Monde) hereby publish Mr Faurisson’s text above. Any response directed against him or his statements would in its turn offer him a new right of reply.

Nonetheless, we do not consider the case opened by Darquier de Pellepoix’s declarations to be closed.] *

Notes:

* Louis Darquier de Pellepoix (1897-1980) was head of the Vichy government's Commissariat général des affaires juives ("General Office for Jewish Affairs") from May 1942 to February 1944. With the advent of "Liberation" and the subsequent Épuration (purge), he fled to Spain, where he lived until his death. In 1978, some French journalists, besieged with letters from Professor Faurisson and sensing that an "affaire Faurisson", which had been lying quiet like live coals since July 1974, threatened eventually to flare up, decided to make a firebreak. One Philippe Ganier-Raymond, a reporter and part-time swindler (previously held liable by a Paris court, with the aid of Faurisson, for literary fraud concerning a text written by Céline), got in on the act. In October of 1978, in the weekly L'Express, he published an alleged interview with Darquier de Pellepoix in which the latter was quoted as stating that at Auschwitz only lice had been gassed. Thanks to this subterfuge, Faurisson ended up seeming, a few weeks afterwards, like the twin of a wartime collaborator. [Translator’s note.]

1 Presented to tourists as being in its original state.
2 Auschwitz vu par les SS, Museum of Oswiecim edition, 1974, p. 238, n. 85 [the English edition, KL Auschwitz seen by the SS, had been published in 1972.]
3 A football pitch "was located beside the Birkenau crematoria" (Tadeus Borowski, in the words of H. Langbein, Hommes et femmes à Auschwitz, Fayard, 1975, p. 129) [German edition: Menschen in Auschwitz, Vienna, Europa Verlag, 1972.]
4 French regulations concerning the use of hydrogen cyanide are as draconian as the German: see the Ministry of Public Health decree no. 50-1290 of October 18, 1950.
5 Kommandant in Auschwitz, Stuttgart, Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, 1958, p. 126 and 166
6 Justiz und NS-Verbrechen, University Press Amsterdam, t. XIII (1975), p. 134-135.
7 The general gullibility is easily satisfied: it is enough to show people a door fitted with a peephole and catch-bolted and there we have it: a “gas chamber”!



***

- III -

“Right to Reply” letter of February 26, 1979, refused publication by Le Monde, regarding pieces appearing in its editions of February 21, 1979 (p. 23) and February 23, 1979 (p. 40).

One proof… one single proof

In a long declaration, thirty-four French historians have recently let us know that it is of course “natural to ask oneself all sorts of questions about the Second World War, but that, nonetheless, “there is not, there cannot be, any debate on the existence of the gas chambers.
For my part, I remark that there is a debate on the existence or the non-existence of the “gas chambers, and believe that this debate is a legitimate one. It has for a long time pitted a few specialists of the school of revisionist historians against a few specialists of the official history. This debate opened, in a way, in 1960 when Dr Martin Broszat, representing the very official Institute for Contemporary History in Munich, had to make a huge concession to the revisionist Paul Rassinier: he was obliged to acknowledge that in spite of an alleged over-abundance of evidence, documents, testimonies and confessions (all of them reliable), there had never existed a single “gas chamber in any of the concentration camps in the former Reich. In 1968, the discussion was revived, on the official side, by Olga Wormser-Migot who, in the face of a veritable storm of protest, dared to speak, in her thesis, of what she then termed “the problem of the gas chambers. Since 1974, this debate has little by little become a public one in Western Europe, and also in the English-speaking world at large (including, just recently, Australia!). The French press can no longer ignore this, lest it practise a form of censorship.
This debate is already richly instructive. An attentive reader of Le Monde will have learned much just from a perusal of the February 21, 1979 issue, where a whole page was exclusively devoted to a rendering of the official history's arguments. To begin, the reader will have learned that, in certain camps, fake “gas chambers are presented to “pilgrims and tourists (the only pity being that the reader is not told the names of those camps). Then, he will have learned that the figure for Auschwitz of three million dead is “surely an exaggeration, news that will have come as a surprise if he recalls that the official figure is four million. He will have noted that, in places where the German archives are declared to be “silent [1], there is a tendency to interpret them. He will have seen that, in places where Third Reich documents are “apparently innocuous, they are interpreted to the point, for example, of appearing to say that “to treat accordingly signifies… “to gas. He will have noted that the orders of Himmler either to build or to destroy the “gas chambers" are not in the least precise, the fact being that such orders apparently never existed. He will have learned that the “document of the SS engineer Gerstein is deemed “unquestionable, not in its entirety but “for the most part. With still a bit of attention, he will have noted that, according to the passages of the document that those in charge care to quote, there were from 700 to 800 persons in a “gas chamber whose area was about 25 square metres, with a ceiling of 1.8 metres, which gives us from 28 to 32 persons standing in the space of each square metre! In the list of the thirty-four historians, he will perhaps have noticed that there is but a single specialist of the history of the camps. In the bibliography list, he will have twice come across the name of Olga Wormser-Migot for secondary works but not for her thesis, doubtless considered dangerous; and he will not have found any book or article devoted to the “gas chambers, for the good reason that, on the official side, there are none, either in French or in any foreign language (in this regard, beware of certain deceptive titles!).
The Le Monde reader is told of an account of the “final solution to the Jewish problem dated January 20, 1942. One may well wonder why the text of this account is not called by its name, as is normally the case: “Wannsee Protocol. I observe that, for some time, it has been realised that these strange minutes (for the word “Protocol is a misnomer) are full of oddities and that they lack any guarantee of genuineness. They were typed on ordinary paper, with no indication of place or date of issue, no indication of point of origin, no official letterhead, no reference, no signature. That said, I think that the meeting of January 20, 1942 did take place and that it dealt with “the solution, at last, of the Jewish problem, which is to say that, as their emigration to Madagascar had been made impossible by the war, it was decided to expel the Jewish populations to the East of Europe.
Whoever bases any accusation at all on the Gerstein document (PS-1553) shows, by so doing, proof of an inability to find a solid argument in favour of the gas chambers' existence. Not even the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal cared to exploit this text that had emerged from its archives. Other tribunals, it is true, have been content to use it. The confession by R. Höss is worth no more. I shall not go back over the matter of this admission drafted under the surveillance of his Polish and Soviet jailers. The least effort of analysis shows its fabricated nature; on this point I refer the reader to the works of Paul Rassinier and, in particular, to his study of the Eichmann trial (Le Véritable Procès Eichmann). As for Kremer's diary, written during the war, it is genuine, but certain meanings are abusively coaxed out of some passages, or indeed the text is twisted in order to have us think that Kremer is speaking of the horrors of the gas chambers where, in reality, he describes the horrors of a typhus epidemic. After the war Kremer, indeed, did confess what he was led to confess, in accordance with all the stereotypes of the confession specialists. I am rebuked for having hidden this confession. I have not hidden it. I have expressly mentioned the existence of these admissions. I have not analysed the text because, quite simply, my opponents have felicitously refrained from presenting it to me as evidence of the existence of gas chambers" at Auschwitz! When Kremer speaks of three women being shot, I am willing to believe him. It could happen, I think, that a convoy of 1,710 persons contain three who were to be shot on arrival, at Auschwitz. But when Kremer, after the war, tells us that the incident involved women who had refused to enter the “gas chamber, I believe none of it. I need only go back to what he claimed to have seen of an alleged gassing operation, observed from his car. Kremer is among those people according to whom the reopening of the “gas chamber was carried out “a moment after the victims' death [2]. I have already shown that this is a material impossibility. And then, I note that, in an attempt to explain a confession, Kremer's, another confession is relied upon, that (as chance would have it) of Höss. The disturbing point is that these two confessions, both obtained by Polish military justice, contradict one another much more than they uphold one another. One should take a close look at their respective descriptions both of the victims and the surroundings, and of the executioners and the mode of execution.
I do not understand the reply made in regard to Zyklon B. Used in a “gas chamber, it would have stuck to the ceiling, to the floor, to the four walls and would have perfused the victims’ bodies and their mucous for at least twenty hours. The members of the Sonderkommando (in fact, the crematorium team) charged with the task, it is said, of taking the bodies out of the “gas chamber” half an hour after the pouring in (?) of the Zyklon B, would have been instantly asphyxiated. And the Germans could hardly have scoffed at that, for the job would thus not have been done and no new batch of victims could have been brought to the spot.   
One must not confuse a suicidal or accidental asphyxiation with an execution by gassing. In the latter case, those carrying out the job must avoid the least risk. Thus, the Americans, in order to gas a single prisoner at a time, use a complicated procedure in a small and hermetically sealed space. All movements are begun on the outside. The condemned man has his wrists and ankles bound and his head immobilised. After his death, the gas is extracted from the chamber and neutralised, and the guards must wait more than an hour before entering. A “gas chamber” is not a bedroom.
For four years I have expressed the wish to debate publicly, with anyone whom the other side may care to name, “the problem of the gas chambers”. I am answered with court writs. But the witchcraft trials, like the witch-hunts, never proved anything. I know of a way to move the debate forward. Instead of repeating ad nauseam that there exists an overabundance of evidence to prove the existence of the gas chambers (let us be reminded of what this supposed overabundance was worth for the former Reich's — mythical — “gas chambers), I suggest, in order to begin at the beginning, that my adversaries provide me with a proof, one single clear-cut proof of the actual existence of a “gas chamber", of a single “gas chamber. Then we shall examine that “proof" together, in public.
R. Faurisson

Notes:

1 The fact that some deportees were not registered at Auschwitz, as could well be expected, does not signify that those deportees disappeared or that they were “gassed”. For more details on this point, see S. Klarsfeld, Le Mémorial de la déportation des Juifs de France , Paris, 1978, p. 10 and 12.
2 Justiz und NS-Verbrechen, University Press Amsterdam, tome XVII (1977), p. 20.