Pope Pius XII & Holocaust; Last Posts; End of the Debate

Peter Myers, February 9, 2009; update May 1, 2009.

Correction March 12, 2021: Old links for Hitler's Table Talk are dead; replaced by new links and pdf page#s (because Hugh Trevor-Roper's introduction is included in the pdf).

My comments within quoted text are shown {thus}; write to me at contact.html.

You are at http://mailstar.net/holocaust-debate.html.

Please report broken links. Write to me at contact.html.

Back to the previous bulletin in the debate: holocaust-debate22.html.

{start of bulletin 23}

Pope Pius XII & Holocaust; Last Posts; End of the Debate

This debate has been running for three weeks now. It's been intense and tiring. The two sides have stated their positions and reasons, and have started reiterating the same and going over the same ground.

This will be the last email dedicated to this debate. If new material is sent which does not go over the same ground we have covered thus far, I will put it out.

If I do not reply to some of the Revisionist/Denial posts, or to particular points they make, it does not mean that I agree or could not reply. It means that I have already supplied lots of evidence, and that my policy is to sometimes let other people "get the last word".

(1) Pope Pius XII a "Holocaust Denier"? His June 25 "open" telegram to Admiral Horthy (2) HCN Ventilation (3) Finkelstein says Hilberg's mortality data reliable; Faurisson knows nothing (4) Raul Hilberg endorses Finkelstein's Holocaust Industry; deflates number of survivors (5) Finkelstein: excessive "Survivor" claims deflate the number of Victims - like Revisionists (6) Browning vs Goldhagen's Willing Executioners (7) Pressac's Proof - Revisionists say Room 1 of Krema 2 not a DELOUSING chamber, but a MORGUE (9) Denial a convenient cloak for the neo-Nazi movement (10) Debate between Patrick Henry & myself - question everything (11) Peter Wakefield Sault - I had adopted a fixed position before initiating this discussion (12) Joe Fallisi - Responsibility for WWII (13) Joe Fallisi - No possibility of a new nazism today (14) Neo-Nazis 'exploiting financial crisis' to recruit new members (15) Frederick Toben - Holocaust-Shoah has no reality in space and time, only in memory (16) & (17) Rudolf Kastner, leader of Hungarian Jewry, perjured himself to protect a known Jew-killing Nazi (18) Joe Fallisi - Vrba's "poetic licence" (19) & (20) Holocaust Trains (21) For Reference - Gulag Trains (22) For Reference - Soviet deportations from the Baltic States

(1) Pope Pius XII a "Holocaust Denier"? His June 25 "open" telegram to Admiral Horthy

From: reportersnotebook <msantom629@aol.com> Date: 27.02.2009 10:39 PM Subject: Pope Pius XII and Bishop Williamson vs. Elie Wiesel and the Holocaust Fundam


Reply (Peter M.):

Re the article Pope Pius XII and Bishop Williamson vs. Elie Wiesel and the Holocaust Fundamentalists: Whom Do You Believe?

Pope Pius XII received news of the fate that awaited the Hungarian Jews if they were sent to Auschwitz, and sent a telegram which helped pressure Admiral Horthy to stop the rail transports.

The Vrba-Wetzler report was sent to the Vatican by the Papal Nuncio in Bratislava, but did not arrive for some months. The Pope's telegram was sent after he received news (based on Vrba's report) from the US - probably New York Times report of June 20.

The author of the article claims that Pope Pius XII denied the existence of Gas Chambers. No evidence for this statement is supplied. What is the use of making the statement without supplying evidence? What sorts of people make much of this statement without evidence, when the Pope's telegram is evidence that he took the news of the Auschwitz extermination seriously ==


The Pope's Telegram

Referring to the plan to deport 800,000 Jews in Hungary, the Board expressed its hope "...that His Holiness may find it appropriate to express himself on this subject to the authorities and people of Hungary, great numbers of whom profess spiritual adherence to the Holy See, personally by radio, through the nuncio and clergy in Hungary, as well as through a representative of the Holy See who might be specially dispatched to Hungary."

Editor's Note: (In his book, While Six Million Died, Arthur D. Morse puts forth a quite spurious version of this note from the War Refugee Board, and also gives it a false date, putting it some weeks earlier. The Pope would wait a full month before sending his personal plea to Admiral Horthy, Morse writes. Actually, the Pope's note to Horthy is dated the day after receipt of the American appeal).

The flurry of Vatican correspondence in May and June culminated in the famous open telegram of June 25 sent by Pius XII to the Regent of Hungary, Admiral Horthy. It has long been supposed that the papal message was sent because of the "Auschwitz Protocol", which was transmitted in May by the charge' in Bratislava, the Nuncio Burzio. The relevant Vatican papers now demonstrate, however, that the memorandum containing the most authoritative and detailed description of the gas chambers at Auschwitz did not in fact reach the Vatican until late October, because Vatican couriers had been cut off since the Allied occupation of Rome.

The papal telegram to Horthy, according to the papers of the Secretariat of State of His Holiness, had already been drafted on June 12. Its preparation was the product of the incessant warnings and appeals from Rotta and the Jewish organizations. Most influential of all, perhaps, was Rotta's May 24 telegram suggesting a "passo diretto" by the Holy See.

Putting aside the War Refugee Board's suggestions that he make a personal radio appeal or send an envoy to Budapest, Pope Pius XII enacted his own plan, which proved successful. His June 25 "open" telegram to Admiral Horthy read as follows:

We are being beseeched in various quarters to do everything in our power in order that, in this noble and chivalrous nation, the sufferings, already so heavy, endured by a large number of unfortunate people, because of their nationality or race, may not be extended and aggravated. As our Father's heart cannot remain insensitive to these pressing supplications by virtue of our ministry of charity which embraces all men, we address Your Highness personally, appealing to your noble sentiments in full confidence that you will do everything in your power that so many unfortunate people may be spared other afflictions and other sorrows.

The combination of factors that caused Admiral Horthy to reassert his authority and order the suspension of the deportation is, of course, beyond the scope of this review of Volume 10 of the Actes. Among those factors, though, were a press campaign launched in Switzerland, followed by an outpouring of messages from world leaders and the July 5 announcement by British Foreign Minister Sir Anthony Eden that the British radio would be employed to warn the Hungarian leaders. The Pope's open telegram, however, was the first of such protests to be sent to Horthy.

The suspension of the deportations had many causes - including the bombing of Budapest - but the vigilance of the papal nuncio, Angelo Rotta, his repeated protests and finally, the papal telegram can be said to have been of no small importance in this denouement. The Jewish organizations and the War Refugee Board, as their messages published in the Actes demonstrate, readily acknowledged the salutary effect of the papal intervention. ==

The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the ... - Google Books Result by David G. Dalin - 2005 - Political Science - 209 pages On June 25, Pius XII sent an open telegram to the regent of Hungary, Admiral Miklos Horthy, urging him "to use all possible influence in order to cease the ... books.google.com.au/books?isbn=0895260344... ==


Auschwitz and passed details of what was happening inside the camps to officials in Slovakia. This document, known as the Vrba-Wetzler Report, was quickly translated into German and passed among Jewish groups and then to Allied officials. Details from the report were broadcast by the BBC on June 15 and printed in The New York Times on June 20.[25] World leaders, including Pope Pius XII (June 25), President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 26, and King Gustaf V of Sweden on June 30,[26] subsequently pleaded with Horthy to use his influence to stop the deportations. Roosevelt specifically threatened military retaliation if the transports were not ceased. On July 2, Allied bombers executed the heaviest bombings inflicted on Hungary during the war. Hungarian radio accused Jews of guiding the bombers to their targets with radio transmissions and light signals, but on July 7, Horthy at last ordered the transports halted.[27] By that time, 437,000 Jews had been sent to Auschwitz, most of them to their deaths.[25] Horthy was informed about the number of the deported Jews some days later: "approximately 400,000".[28] By many estimates, one of every three people murdered at Auschwitz was a Hungarian Jew killed between May and July 1944.[29]

(2) HCN Ventilation

From: Truth Seeker <wahrheitseeker@gmail.com> Date: 26.02.2009 04:03 AM Subject: Re: Responses on HCN etc; Kurt Gerstein

From: Joe Fallisi <flespa@tiscali.it> Date: 25.02.2009 04:20 AM Truth Seeker wrote in his last message to the list: "you do realize that 4 out of the 6 gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau had NO mechanical ventilation? This despite that mechanical ventilation was a requirement for delousing chambers using Zyklon-B. Had these been real gas-chambers, mechanical ventilation would exist (or at least be added) to all of them." Do are true, Peter, his assertions? As for I know they aren't.

I have a correction to make. The ratio was not 4 out 6, but instead was 5 out of 7 Auschwitz-Birkenau gas chambers which had NO mechanical ventilation. In my earlier count, I forgot to include Krema I. Indeed, Kremas II & III were the only homicidal gas chambers in the Nazis arsenal for the final solution which DID have mechanical ventilation. None of the gas chambers among the Reinhardt camps did, nor did Kremas I, IV, V, nor either of the bunkers. Doesn't speak so well for this supposed extermination-program, when considering that delousing units came standard with such ventilation capacity. This is all admitted by mainstream historians, including Van Pelt. One must simply read them. This is also why Dr. Green's analysis of the ventilation-issues fails. Best, W

(3) Finkelstein says Hilberg's mortality data reliable; Faurisson knows nothing

{Note by Peter M.: At the time I wrote to Finkelstein, below, I had not yet studied the topic and had not become a "Believer". I was "sitting on the fence", and quoted Faurisson on the reduced toll at Auschwitz; here is Finkelstein's reply.}

From: Norman Finkelstein <normangf@hotmail.com> Subject: RE: reduced toll at Auschwitz Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 08:19:22 -0400

See Appendix 2 to volume 3 of Raul Hilberg's The Destruction of the European Jews for a careful analysis of the mortality data.

From: Norman Finkelstein <normangf@hotmail.com> Subject: RE: reduced toll at Auschwitz Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 17:55:14 -0400

These are serious topics. They are not subject to google searches or quoting Faurisson, who knows nothing about the subject. If you are unwilling to do the research, there's no point in pursuing the correspondence.

(4) Raul Hilberg endorses Finkelstein's Holocaust Industry; deflates number of survivors


Raul Hilberg interviews on The Holocaust Industry & Finkelstein (2000/2001)

Editor's Note: Raul Hilberg is the most distinguished historian on the Nazi holocaust, best known for his classic three-volume study The Destruction of the European Jews, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

VALOR (Brazil), 4 August 2000

Raul Hilberg, author of the classic THE DESTRUCTION OF THE EUROPEAN JEWS, is the world's leading authority on the Nazi holocaust. A Brazilian journalist, Carlos Haag, questioned him about my new book. Below is Hilberg's reply:

Today he is rather unpopular and his book will certainly not become a best seller, but what it says is basically true even though incomplete. It is more a journalistic account than an in depth study on the topic, which would need to be much longer. To say that the Holocaust has been used in order to secure Palestine for the Jews is nothing new and we know how important it was in the creation of Israel. Nevertheless it will be a bitter yet necessary reminder to the community. He is also right when he argues that nobody talked about this topic in the USA: in 1968 a well known local encyclopedia asked me to write an article on the Holocaust and they only wanted me to talk about Dachau and Buchenwald because they were not interested in Auschwitz; these topics were censored. I agree with him that people overestimate the number of survivors and that the concept itself is ill-defined - it includes not only the victims of the camps - and it is true that there an exaggerated number of compensation requests are made. There is something radically wrong in this exploitation because it is an issue that should not be used to make money and I must confess that I found the whole affair with the Swiss banks disturbing. The Jewish-American community is very prosperous and there is no reason for them to ask the Swiss for money. That seems obscene to me.

(5) Finkelstein: excessive "Survivor" claims deflate the number of Victims - like Revisionists

[Note: This article originally appeared in the SUEDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG (11 August 2000).]

Will THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY Incite Anti-Semitism? By Norman G. Finkelstein


The main thesis of my new book is that The Holocaust has effectively become an industry. Jewish elites, acting in concert with the US government, exploit the horrific suffering of the millions of Jews exterminated during World War II and the few who managed to survive for power and profit. In its ruthless exploitation of Jewish suffering, the Holocaust industry has arguably become a fomenter of anti-Semitism and a purveyor of Holocaust denial. ...

In my last chapter I explore the material compensation issue. I contend that the Holocaust industry is guilty of a "double shakedown": it misappropriates monies from European governments as well as from the actual survivors of Nazi persecution. Even the official history of the Jewish Claims Conference acknowledges that the Conference made improper use of the monies originally earmarked by the German government for Holocaust victims. During the recent slave-labor negotiations, the Claims Conference put forth wildly inflated figures for still living former Jewish slave-laborers.

In doing so, the Conference forces a radical revision of our understanding of the Nazi holocaust: increasing the number of survivors means decreasing the number of victims. Indeed, the numbers used by the Claims Conference place it uncomfortably close to the arguments of Holocaust revisionists. "If everyone who claims to be a survivor actually is one," my mother (a concentration camp survivor) used to exclaim, "who did Hitler kill?"

(6) Browning vs Goldhagen's Willing Executioners

The "Willing Executioners"/"Ordinary Men" Debate

Daniel J. Goldhagen Christopher R. Browning Leon Wieseltier Introduction by Michael Berenbaum Selections from the Symposium April 8, 1996


Daniel Goldhagen's Willing Executioners

Christopher R. Browning

In the spring of 1990 a conference was held on the campus of UCLA that was devoted to the issue of "probing the limits of representation" in writing Holocaust history. At that time I noted in my discussion of the problematic sources used in writing a history of Reserve Police Battalion 101 that "different historians reading the same set of interrogations would not produce or agree upon an identical set of 'facts' - beyond an elementary minimum - out of which a narrative of events...could be created." I also identified the particular questions that shaped the construction of my narrative and concluded: "If other kinds of questions had been asked, other aspects of the testimony would have seemed more important and been selected instead; a different story would have been told."

I must confess that at the time I wrote these words, I did not imagine that a confirming example of an alternative history would be forthcoming either so quickly or so starkly in the form of Daniel Goldhagen's Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Final Solution.

On two issues we do not in fact disagree, namely the extensive participation of numerous ordinary Germans in the mass murder of Jews and the high degree of voluntarism they exhibited. These conclusions are not original with Daniel Goldhagen, the inflated claims of much recent promotional literature to the contrary notwithstanding. We do disagree, however, in our explanations of the motivation behind the participation and voluntarism of these Germans. What is at the crux of this divergence?

In acknowledging how little we know as yet about the motivations of non-German collaborators, especially the East European Schutzmänner, Daniel Goldhagen calls for a study of the "combination of cognitive and situational factors" that brought such perpetrators to contribute to the Holocaust.

This is a suggestion I would support. But Goldhagen does not employ such a combined approach for studying German perpetrators of the Holocaust. He writes emphatically, "with regard to the motivational cause of the Holocaust, for the vast majority of the perpetrators, a monocausal explanation does suffice." The "one explanation" that is "adequate" is "a demonological antisemitism" that "was the common structure of the perpetrators' cognition and of German society in general." Because Hitler and the Germans were "of one mind" about the Jews, he had merely to "unshackle" or "unleash" their "pre-existing, pent-up" antisemitism to perpetrate the Holocaust.

According to Daniel Goldhagen, therefore, one question historians like myself should not pose and need not answer is how ordinary Germans overcame reluctance and inhibition to become professional killers. There was no reluctance, aside from sheer squeamishness at the sight of too much blood and gore, because ordinary Germans "wanted to be genocidal executioners." Given the chance, the vast majority killed with "gusto"; they had "fun"; they enjoyed themselves; they "killed for pleasure." They did so "equipped with little more than the cultural notions current in Germany."

I have taken the wrong track and posed the wrong question, Goldhagen writes, because of at least two factors: 1) I have not been sufficiently rigorous in excluding mendacious, self-serving, and exculpatory postwar perpetrator testimony; and 2) I have naively studied these events through my own non-German cognitive lens rather than - like the anthropologist - discovering the very different cognitive world of the Germans that was so saturated with antisemitism as to make it part of the "common sense" of the day.

One way to test our differing views is to look at the rare testimony of Jewish survivors who worked among German reserve policemen over an extended period of time. Three comments can be made about such witnesses: 1) They were in a position to know the ambience and dynamics of such units; 2) they had no motive similar to that of the German police to distort and falsify their testimony; and 3) they should have been quite sensitive rather than blind to the pervasiveness and intensity of the policemen's antisemitism. Allow me to share a letter I received following the publication of Ordinary Men.

Your book deeply affected me, because I personally experienced the German Schutzpolizei, the good and the bad. As a 15 year old Jewish boy, I was sent by the Judenrat as a punishment to my father to do maintenance work in the headquarters of the German police. The town then called Auschwitz had no running water. I carried the water and polished their boots until March 1941 when the whole Jewish population had to leave. The whole police company came from the town of Waldenburg in Silesia. I came across men that in my opinion could not hurt a fly. Walter Stark, Max Maetzig, Walter Kraus, Joseph Grund, Polizeimeister Sebranke, his deputy Orlet, and so on. Two of them were willing to make out false papers and send me as a Pole to work in Germany, apparently knowing what was coming. ...As I mentioned before this whole company came from the town of Waldenburg. As faith wants it, in October 1944, I was taken to the KZ [Concentration Camp] Waldenburg. In January 1945 we were taken to dig so-called Panzergraben [anti-tank ditches] on the outskirts of town in the direction of Breslau. One evening going back to the camp a child was playing on the sidewalk. I recognized him as Horst Maetzig, who[m] I met with his parents in Auschwitz. His father Max Maetzig was one of the policemen. Of course, you know we were guarded by SS. I could not help it as we lined up with the boy, I exclaimed Horst. He took a look and ran away. The next day he was standing there with his mother Elisabeth, and [she] just nodded with her head. I appreciated that now very much. For the next two months, she and her boy stood there, it was a tremendous boost for my morale. I will never forget it. I wonder what happened to this police company, if they wound up to do what you describe in your book. Maybe you can find out for me, I would be grateful.

... Daniel Goldhagen has gone about constructing his history of Germans and the Holocaust. His background chapters on pre-Holocaust German antisemitism are an example of what I would call "key hole" history; he views events through a single narrow vantage point that blocks out context and perspective. Goldhagen's imperial Germany is one in which conservatives and Volkish nationalists form the vast majority, a tiny liberal elite is fighting a Kulturkampf against Jews rather than Catholics, and Socialists are invisible. Rather than a society beleaguered by social and ideological divisions, it is unified in its antisemitic consensus, albeit temporarily distracted by the Ôfalse consciousness' of a growing concern for foreign policy issues on the eve of World War I.

The key hole approach inexorably leads Goldhagen to the conclusion that antisemitism "more or less governed the ideational life of civil society" in pre-Nazi Germany.

One of the obvious situational factors that Goldhagen ignores consistently is the dictatorship itself. He pronounces the regime both dictatorical and consensual, but analyzes German behavior as if there was no dictatorship and all expression was spontaneous and free. One of the hallmarks of modern dictatorship is the epidemic of hypocrisy in virtually all public discourse and corruption of sincerity in public behavior that it engenders. In a dictatorship that strived to produce and orchestrate visible popular acclamation, silence did not mean support. The manipulative ritual, pageantry, and propaganda - such as "Jews not wanted here" signs at the edge of town - that aimed at creating the image of uniform German attitudes, should not, I think, be taken as evidence for the spontaneous expression of a pervasive antisemitism.

The ubiquitous bickering about prices and shortages and other minor dissatisfactions, even the successful protest against the removal of crucifixes from classrooms, ought not be taken as evidence that anything could be freely said, as Goldhagen implies.

Repression was real. Bishop Galen, by virtue of his visibility and status, barely survived his condemnation of euthanasia. But students of the White Rose, who passed out leaflets condemning the mass murders of the regime, were arrested, tortured, and beheaded. Members of the killing units could individually abstain from shooting, but those who encouraged others not to shoot were courtmartialed for defeatism and subversion of morale.

The Third Reich was not a benign dictatorship, and there were lines that could not be crossed. Goldhagen places emphasis on the horrendous and pervasive cruelty of the German perpetrators, arguing that "the quantity and quality of personalized brutality and cruelty that the Germans perpetrated upon Jews was also distinctive" and "unprecedented"; indeed, it "stood out" in the "long annals of human barbarism."

This singular German cruelty is again seen by Goldhagen as evidence of a singular, malevolent German antisemitism. I am not particularly comfortable in engaging in a competitive discussion of comparative cruelty, but since the issue has been put on the table, I would note that few historians familiar with the crimes of non-German collaborators, such as those that the Croatian Ustasha committed against both Jews and Serbs, would find German cruelty distinctive and unprecedented. Indeed, what state-sanctioned mass murder has not unleashed unimaginable cruelties, including those committed under the Khmer Rouge by Cambodians and during the Cultural Revolution by Chinese against their neighbors and countrymen that did not require a singular, centuries-old demonological cognitive model? Goldhagen's constant invocation of cruelty does not, I think, strengthen his case for an exclusive motivation of singular German antisemitism. The ubiquitous cruelty that accompanies mass murder points instead to the need for adding a wider perspective. Indeed, if ordinary Serbs, Croats, Hutus, Turks, Cambodians, and Chinese can be the perpetrators of mass murder and genocide, implemented with terrible cruelty, then we do indeed need to look at those universal aspects of human nature that transcend the cognition and culture of ordinary Germans.

Such an approach, no doubt, does lead to the "disjointed" and "strained patchwork" explanations that Daniel Goldhagen finds so wanting in comparison to his "single explanatory tract."

(7) Pressac's Proof - Revisionists say Room 1 of Krema 2 not a DELOUSING chamber, but a MORGUE

From: Ardeshir Mehta <ardeshir@mac.com> Date: 27.02.2009 12:42 AM

> The point is that shower-heads and gas-tight doors were listed on the same inventory for the same chamber.
> If the chamber were merely a Delousing chamber, why the shower-heads? That's what you have to answer, and have not. Neither has Faurisson.

It is NOT, repeat NOT claimed - even by Pressac - that these items were for a DELOUSING chamber, but for a MORGUE: a place where both air-tight doors and shower heads are commonly found. Note that the room for which the shower-heads and air-tight door were intended is called in the German document quoted by Pressac "Leichenkeller 1" - in English, a "corpse cellar" [or in better English, "morgue"] "No. 1" ...

Reply (Peter M.):

Yes, Revisionists say that room was a Morgue. But Morgues don't have Gas-tight doors, as we discussed before.

I rang a local Funeral Derictor in Hervey Bay; they said their morgue does not have gas-tight doors. They have one outward-opening door and one sliding door.

(8) Pressac's Proof - Showers and shelters

From: G Date: 27.02.2009 06:18 PM

given that the use of gas-tight doors is not confined to homicidal gas chambers and that there is no reason to believe that the 14 showers or shower heads were "dummies", their presence in the basement in question is unsuspicious.

"Samuel Crowell" has repeatedly commented upon all of Pressac's "criminal traces" at length, but of course you wouldn't want to read his texts, for example his essay "Wartime Germany's Anti-Gas Air Raid Shelters: A Refutation of Pressac's 'Criminal Traces'".

He writes here:

"Because German air raid shelters were routinely built to protect against possible poison gas attacks, they were often fitted with gas tight doors and other related fixtures. We should naturally expect to find many such shelters at Auschwitz and Birkenau, together with quite a few 'incriminating' gas tight doors and similar items."

And further on:

"There is no material basis for Pressac's assertion that these shower heads were fake. [...] Showers were a common feature of German wartime bomb shelters, forming part of the decontamination sequence." http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v18/v18n4p-7_Crowell.html

All of this is correct.

See, for example, Felicja Karay: Wir lebten zwischen Granaten und Gedichten: Das Frauenlager der Rüstungsfabrik Hasag im Dritten Reich, Cologne: Böhlau, 2001, p. 47: http://books.google.com/books?id=-DuxAAAAIAAJ&q=luftschutzr%C3%A4ume+duschen&dq=luftschutzr%C3%A4ume+duschen&num=50&pgis=1 "In den Kellern waren Vorratsräume, Luftschutzräume und zwei große Waschräume mit Wasserhähnen, Duschen mit warmem Wasser und fast normalen Toiletten [...]" ("In the basements there were storage rooms, air-raid shelters and two large bathrooms with water taps, warm-water showers and almost normal toilets")

Or Manfred Overesch: Bosch in Hildesheim 1937-1945. Freies Unternehmertum und nationalsozialistische Rüstungspolitik, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2008, p. 63: http://books.google.com/books?id=4H0EuE8uEuMC&pg=PA63&dq=luftschutzr%C3%A4ume+duschen&num=50#PPA64,M1 "[...] im Kellergeschoss die Umkleideräume mit gefliesten Duschen und Toiletten, die so angelegt waren, dass sie als Luftschutzräume genutzt werden konnten." ("in the basement the dressing rooms with tiled showers and toilets which were designed for possible use as air-raid shelters")

No homicidal gassing operations are alleged to have occured at either the Hasag or the Bosch factories.

Reply (Peter M.):

But Room 1 of Krema 2 was not an air-raid shelter.

You have stated your case, and I mine. This will be the end of this topic now.

(10) Debate between Patrick Henry & myself - question everything

From: jeff zervas <zervas@localnet.com> Date: 27.02.2009 12:07 PM

Patrick Henry and you I agree with both "Pat Henry's" excellent points and your equally fine responses. You hit a "zinger" when you commented that the leaders ( those responsible) should be punished. And I would add that the punishment should be limited to them, and that it does not mean killing them, no matter how heinous their actions or how solid the proof. All, yes all, of the wartime leaders need to be punished, or at a very minimum, held accountable because they are responsible for collective punishment, and that means the killing, maiming and suffering of innocents . Neither should, in any way, be tolerated in any supposedly civilized society. Unfortunately, every group has its extremists, and we must find a way to limit their negative activities so the rest of us can go about our business. Questioning some of the claims of the shoah is not denying it. The resistance the Holocaust Questioners face is strong evidence that there are answers that some would rather keep hidden. Some profit off of the myth. For example, in the U.S., those deemed holocaust victims and their heirs, get special tax treatment. Maintaining the victim image also has provided sympathy as well as financial support for the endless crimes being committed in Palestine. People are finally waking up to the virtually endless brutality under which the people of Palestine suffer. People now realize who is really the victim, and what happens when one or the other gets the upper hand. Most of us who question the holocaust realize that sometimes claims can be "embellished" for effect and we are tired of being manipulated and want some clues as to what's really going on. We suspect that agendas are being served that are somewhat less than obvious. We detect contradictions between the actions and the rhetoric and want answers. I, myself, have never been part of any "neo-Nazi" movement, and there is little danger that I ever will be. I simply do not believe in any form of socialism whether it is the right wing variety or the left wing. Why? Socialism is not compatible with freedom. It involves coercion, and coercion is not only immoral, but tends to feed on itself. It is a monster without restraint. All of us realize that we must question everything, because that is the only way we'll ever get close to the truth.

(11) Peter Wakefield Sault - I had adopted a fixed position before initiating this discussion

From: Peter Wakefield Sault <info@odeion.org> Date: 26.02.2009 09:58 PM

{quote} I now believe in the Gas Chambers, not from watching propaganda on TV - I haven't watched any TV shows on this topic for many years - but from reading Revisionist/Denier literature; from "Revising Revisionism" as Provan put it. And now those Gas Chambers are a much more vivid reality to me than they ever were before. I'm appalled. It doesn't matter what Jews did - nothing deserves that treatment. And I'm shocked that other people in this debate seem not to be appalled. {unquote}

It was apparent from the start that you had adopted a fixed position before initiating this discussion. It is now clear that it has achieved the status of religious faith (i.e. "I now believe..." and not "I have proved...") in your psyche. Despite repeated demonstrations of the spurious nature and/or falsity of the claims of 'Holocaust' fabricators you are still a declared 'card-carrying' believer and it is clear that no matter what anyone says that is what you will always be. You just repeat the same tired old mantras, taking all of us round and round an extended 'fruit loop'. In your own eyes you will 'win' in the end because, having observed you repeatedly denying, out of hand, valid objections to the fabricated 'Holocaust' narrative, eventually all those who have taken the time and effort to point out the errors in your thinking to you will conclude that it is all a complete waste of time and they may as well be addressing the Sanhedrin. On the other hand, we 'out here' have no idea how many people receive your mail-outs and are deeply influenced by your opinions. While you will never succeed in converting anyone who has examined the facts for themselves, I suspect that we free-thinkers have all just become tools whereby your silent followers will be convinced solely by the weight of the authority that you wield over them - by your 'say-so', in other words - that we have been given the opportunity to prove you wrong and have failed. You give the appearance of allowing all parties to have their say in order only to deceive the receive-only members of your mailing list. Has Mossad been coaching you?

Now, while I say this quite dispassionately (mainly because I really no longer care about its fate) that seems to make you just one more traitor to mankind. The Rothschildian gangsters must be splitting their sides all the way to Lombard Street (or is it now Grand Cayman?).

Reply (Peter M.):

Yes, I had reached a position, and declared it as follows:

{quote} Fatal Flaw in Holocaust Denial - Peter Myers, February 6, 2009

The fatal flaw of the Deniers concerns the "Final Solution" to the Jewish Problem. The Deniers say that, instead of this meaning Extermination, it meant Resettlement in the East. That is, east of Poland. Not in the Ukraine, because that was for German settlement (and colonisation of the natives as peasant farmers). The main candidate was Belarus (White Russia, Ruthenia, White Ruthenia).

The Deniers have written reams on Gas Chambers - denying them - but next to nothing of where those millions of Jews evacuated from the West, actually went to. ...

To move millions of people from West to East, for peaceful resettlement, would entail the building of new cities, consuming scarce resources during wartime.

The clincher is the case of Hungary's Jews, which were not sent to Auschwitz until mid 1944, when the Russians were closing in. ...

By mid 1944, there was no possibility of resettling Jews in Belarus (White Russia, Ruthenia, White Ruthenia). Yet this is when Hungary's Jews were sent to Auschwitz.

The Deniers have no answer to this. This is End-Game for Holocaust Denial.

Over the following 2 weeks, I will put out substantial material on this topic. I invite Deniers to reply ...

Does this mean that I'm becoming a stooge of the Zionists? No more than Norman Finkelstein - look at how they hate him. Less than Finkelstein, because I think that the Deniers have validly pointed out ways that Holocaust Orthodoxy has overstated its case, eg by not telling tourists at Auschwitz that Krema I is a Reconstruction, not Original.

So, the Deniers have performed a service. But it's wrong to make a religion out of Denial, just as it is to make a religion out of "The" Holocaust. ...

My new perspective enables me to better understand the "never again" siege mentality of Zionism. Yet, the Zionists are treating the Palestinians and Arabs in much the same way the Nazis treated Jews. {endquote}

(12) Joe Fallisi - Responsibility for WWII

From: Joe Fallisi <flespa@tiscali.it> Date: 26.02.2009 05:36 AM

> You're ignoring Hitler's plans for an Empire in the East in Mein Kampf and in Table Talk.

* No. I know about that plans and wishes, but I know at the same time that the pure start of the world war, the nazi invasion of Poland on November 1st 1939, was in many ways provoqued by the West (mostly by UK). On the other hand, following the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, Stalin profited of this invasion by immediately invading himself the same Poland and quickly swallowing Baltic countries and Finland. The history is not so simple as the winners would demand. Depicting Hitler only as a criminal and a mad and the Third Reich as the absolute, onthological evil not helps in anything the understanding of thruth. And, in any case, the absolute evil DON'T exist. The mankind is always able to break all (black) records.

(13) Joe Fallisi - No possibility of a new nazism today

From: Joe Fallisi <flespa@tiscali.it> Date: 26.02.2009 07:38 AM

I don't think that today there is ANY danger-possibility of a new nazism, so your own fear, Peter, is in my mind useless. No, today the worst and OPERATIVE racists and State criminals are indeed within the gouvernments of Northern and Western countries, first of all the ones (no matter if so calling "right" or "left") of the zionist entity and the USA. These gouvernments are more or less regularly elected and so democrat, and they are all ultracapitalist and "progressive" (the progression for Mother Eart and living beings to the morgue). Certainly the Industry - even religion - of "Holocaust" was (since 1967, as Finkelstein explains very well), and is still, a powerful weapon in the hand of them. But in my mind, JUST since we live in a spectral world of lies and manipulation, we need even more to search and to affirm the truth out and against any mafia. It's not impossible to establish what really happened during the 2nd World war, even as for the nazi persecutions of Jewish people and the gas chambers. And we must do it in a fair way, avoiding any absurdity and exaggeration of both parts. NEVER forgetting that the crazy rulers of the world today are not at all, in any case, the "fascists" or the "nazists" but just their winners.

Reply (Peter M.):

See item (14) below: Neo-Nazis 'exploiting financial crisis' to recruit new members

(14) Neo-Nazis 'exploiting financial crisis' to recruit new members

From: Josef Schwanzer <donauschwob@optusnet.com.au> Date: 27.02.2009 05:30 AM


Neo-Nazis 'exploiting financial crisis'

By staff writers and wires

February 27, 2009 03:18pm

NEO-NAZIS are using the global financial crisis to stir resentment against immigrants in Germany and recruit new members, a defector says.

Uwe Luthardt, a former senior member of Germany's neo-Nazi National Democratic Party, told Spiegel Online that the neo-Nazi group saw it as an opportune time to try and restore the policies of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich.

During the Nazis' reign in Germany from 1933 to 1945, some six million Jews were killed in death camps alongside hundreds of thousands of gypsies, homosexuals, political opponents and disabled people.

"The simple aim is the restoration of the Reich in which a new stormtrooper organisation takes revenge on anyone who disagrees with them," he said.

He said the NDP headquarters in Jena in eastern Germany had a room full of weapons and was decorated with pictures of the SS. "'The basic concept the NPD talks about is, "Let's kick out all the foreigners, then the Germans will have jobs again," he said.

"The dream is of the German Reich. They're totally convinced that they'll win an election one day and that things will really get going. Everyone can imagine what would happen then."

German unemployment rose this month as the country was gripped by its worst recession in six decades, and analysts say worse is to come despite another uptick in consumer confidence.

Figures released yesterday by the national labour agency put German unemployment at 8.5 percent of the workforce, with 63,000 more people looking for work than in January, the biggest monthly gain since 2005.

(15) Frederick Toben - Holocaust-Shoah has no reality in space and time, only in memory

From: Adelaide Institute <info@adelaideinstitute.org> Date: 26.02.2009 07:05 AM

Response to Peter's questions

Reply (Peter M.):


Q: You say it never happened. But that should be your conclusion, not your starting point.

A: After 15 years I have drawn the conclusion that the Holocaust-Shoah has no reality in space and time, only in memory. In 1997 I spoke with Rabbi Abraham Cooper and he stopped the interview when he asked me: 'Do you question the gassings?' That was enough for me to know that this was his 'holy grail' and no-one must ask that question.

Q: At least we agree about the barbarism. That appears to be the reason Hitler kept "the highly cultured German nation" from knowing what was happening.

A: This assumption of yours is silly and based on gossip and propaganda. People didn't know what was happening because NOTHING happened - full stop.

Q: Kurt Gerstein and various other SS officers have testified to the Gas Chambers - see item 14 below. Gerstein gave his evidence without any pressure; on the contrary, he went around trying to alert people to what was going on, at great risk to himself.

A: What rubbish you talk about what people said, Peter. Look at the technical aspects of the gassing story - read Carlo Mattogno the world leading Revisionist historian on Auschwitz. He can even detail you what screws were used to fix certain items in certain barracks at Auschwitz. What people said ! Mattogno researched physically - Gerstein just offered talk -

Q: What about the quotes from Hitler's Table Talk?

A: What about chatter like that? How do you link it to the physical examination of the allegations you make?

Q: e.g. {pdf 279} The Jew must clear out of Europe ... But if they refuse to go voluntarily, I see no other solution but extermination. {endquote}

A: Forced removal, dear Peter!- many Jews were enemies of the state because they were Communists, as you were at one time - amazing how so many intelligent people got sucked in by this Communism thing. And remember how many Jews served under Hitler in the forces - Brian Rigg's book exposes that.

Q: or {pdf 720}.. until Jewry, which is the bandits' Intelligence Service, is exterminated, we shall not have accomplished our task. ... Any and every nation which fails to exterminate the Jews in its midst will sooner or later finish by being itself devoured by them. {endquote}

A: I have no problem with that. if you have been following Mahler's expose of this same matter, it is the Jewish mindset that is the subject matter - not physical extermination but assimilation, etc.

Q: David Irving says of these notes of Hitler's conversations "They are genuine, in the first person, and highly reliable." http://www.fpp.co.uk/Letters/Hitler/Law200603.html "a particularly insightful work, as it related -- and in the first person too -- Hitler's private thoughts" http://www.fpp.co.uk/Hitler/Table_Talk/Irving_memoirs.html You can look them up at https://ia800203.us.archive.org/24/items/HitlerTableTalk/Hitler%20TableTalk.pdf

A: But, Peter, again this is chatter and it does not prove the physical extermination premise at all - it is now up to you as a believer in the homicidal gas chamber story to get busy and prove that it happened - physically. Revisionists cannot prove that which never happened. This basic fact makes the believers so angry because the onus of proof is on them that gassings happened. Revisionists have taken note of what believers have said about the gassings and that story is full of holes.

This basic dilemma has caused the believers to make mental twists and turns that inevitably manifest themselves in the legal perversions we see expressed in the various Revisionists trials - basic legal procedures are abandoned, as for example in Germany where no evidence is needed to convict a Revisionist. Mahler's six years prison, plus the extra four years from another action makes it about ten years - a legal monstrosity merely for havign and expressing an opinoion on an historical matter. And where is your support for this prisoner of conscience, Peter?

It is such reflections that cause me to muse on what motivates the Holocaust-Shoah believers - it is certainly not an embracing of the ideal of truth-telling and eliciting objective knowledge as proposed by Karl Popper. Science today seems to be understood as an absolutist venture when all we can dare to achieve is some close approximation to an ever increasing stock of world knowledge. Revisionists have done this by taking on the Holocaust-Shoah believers, running with their stories, then showing them what nonsense stories the believers offer the world. For example, the reduction of the 4 million killed at Auschwitz to 1.-1.5 million and its subsequent not reducing the overall 6 million figure is an attempt to continue to deceive the world. The communists did this when their theory was already proven to be a nonsense - they locked away its critics. You as a former Marxist believer should see the striking parallels between the GuLags phenomenon and the legal persecution of Revisionists.

But perhaps Schopenhauer will again prove to be right when he stated that truth emerges in three stages: First it is ridiculed - and Revisionists were laughed at and their work likened to flat earthers or those who believed the moonw as made of cheese; then it is violently opposed - it is in this phase that we find oruselves in because the frenzied legal actions of the Holocaust-Shoah believers is finally there for the world to see; and finally we'll have individuals who, when the Holocaust-Shoah religion/myth falls apart, will say: But I knew that all along.

We had that third phase beginning during the 1990s when Joel Hayward worte his MA thesis in 1993 and David Irving issued his video where he promised single-handedly to sink the Auschwitz. What had preceeded this was the 1988 Zundel Toronto trial where the sensational Leuchter Report was introduced, and where chemical - physical - analysis discredited so many of the memory stories offered in courts around the world. Also in 1993 Germar Rudolf improved on the Leuchter Report and the Greene response to the Rudolf Report does not destroy its credibility.

My offering the Hayward thesis to our Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission as evidence that the Revisionist viewpoint was academic, as opposed to Jeremy Jones stating no-where in the world is Revisionism a legitimate discipline, led to Hayward re-canting in 2000, and my losing the case and being found 'guilty' of having caused an offence by placing Revisionist material on our website. And Irving's attempt to win the battle 'single-handedly' thereby distancing himself from Revisionists, failed in 2000 when he took Lipstadt to court and the judge awarded him all those terms he wished to distance himself from: hater, Holocaust denier, antisemite, racist neo-Nazi, et al.

The legal attack on Revisionists became extremely vicious in 2003-05 with Zundel's deportation from the US to Canada, then to Germany; Rudolf's deportation from the USA to Germany; Verbeke's deportation from Holland to Germany; Honsik's deportation from Spain to Austria; Frohlich's imprisonment in Austria - and the subsequent trials that resembled nothing but pure Stalinist show trials/witch trials, with Sylvia Stolz being carried out of court, much like what D Felderer did in Sweden to protest in the only way they could - to refuse to participate in such trials at the basic level.

I know you consider yourself to be an intellectual, Peter, but that just reminds me how during the 1970s in philosophy there was a split and some called themselves theoretical philosphers and others practical philosophers. If we do not have the balance-harmony between our mind and hand, the physical and the mental, then we go off the deep end and often like to think in terms of master-servant/slave. This leads to control freaker and the construction of conceptual prisons. Currently the German people - and now also the Christians through the Bishop Williamson episode - are being locked into the conceptual prison called Holocaust-Shoah. Is it not our duty as free individuals to reject such mental prisons? Must we as human beings not see it as ou duty to oppose such conceptual oppression because it is against our very nature to be slaves but to be freedom-loving individuals where our thoughts are not criminalised?



Reply (Peter M.):

I'm not going to repeat all my arguments, but I notice that you have not given any explanation of what happened to the millions of Jews Hitler deported via the euphemism "resettlement in the east", in particular women, children and old people unfit to work. Especially the Hungarian Jews, when the Russians were closing in.

I do think the Nazis tried to exterminate Jews. Why deny it? The Zionists hold out a red flag called "the Holocaust", and Deniers like you run into it like bulls in a ring.

Why bother? It did happen. Rather than Deny it, you should Contextualise it.

Denial just makes people think you'd do it again if you got power.

The System needs to be changed, but if those wanting to change it declare themselves Deniers, then people will fear them (associating them with Hitler). This preserves the Inertia of the System.

That's why I say Denial is an Own Goal.

(16) Rudolf Kastner, leader of Hungarian Jewry, perjured himself to protect a known Jew-killing Nazi

From: Palestine Remembered <palestineremembered@googlemail.com> Date: 28.02.2009 04:34 PM

Rudolf Kastner, leader of Hungarian Jewry in 1944, was accused by a Holocaust survivor (also living in Israel by 1952) of at least three things:

1) Profiteering from several 100 Hungarian Jews saved from the gas-chambers. Kastner paid his Nazi buddy $1000 for each one, charging the Jews a lot more and pocketing the difference. In 1952, Kastner was a senior civil-servant so the new Israeli government backed him and sued his accuser (Malchiel Gruenwald, the Israeli hotel operator who'd lost 50 members of his family to the Holocaust) for libel. Kastner was also linked to Adolf Eichmann over what he'd done.

2) And of having deliberately allowed some 400,000 + Hungarian Jews to go to the gas-chambers in May/June/July 1944. With the Russians closing in, and the border not far away, many or most could have escaped were it not for Kastners false assurances. (The Nazis were forever desperate not to have another Warsaw like uprising - and by this time, individual Nazis were concerned only to line their pockets and save themselves from the revenge to come).

3) And that Kastner had testified to save his Jew-killing Nazi buddy, SS officer Kurt Becher, from the Nuremberg Tribunals.

The libel trial found all three charges true, but Kastner was then shot dead (by a known Israeli agent), then the appeal trial annouced that Kastner was only guilty of the "false-witness" charge. (The exact quotes even appear in Wikipedia, though you have to read right to the bottom of the articles to discover what really went on).

Kastner's wealthy descendants are still bringing out books defending this monster -but don't be fooled by them! It's not just Palestinian blood that drips from the hands of Zionists!

(17) Rudolf Kastner, leader of Hungarian Jewry, perjured himself to protect a known Jew-killing Nazi

From: Palestine Remembered <palestineremembered@googlemail.com> Date: 28.02.2009 04:51 PM

The Zionists want us to believe that Kastner (who, after all, was in a real bind when he first started negotiating to save his family) was cleared of the really cynical part of the collaboration he'd been accused of, saving his Jew-killing buddy, SS officer Becher from justice.

But even the Israeli courts accepted that that is what he'd done. After his death, he was "exonerated" of actually betraying 400,000 + Jews to the gas-chambers, and profiteering from a few 100 he saved.

(18) Joe Fallisi - Vrba's "poetic licence"

From: Joe Fallisi <flespa@tiscali.it> Date: 27.02.2009 06:45 AM

As for the "poetic licence", you're completely right Peter. Actually it's possible to read all Vrba's testimony within the revisionist huge website of AAARGH at the following six pages:


We find mention of that on the third one:

"A. Well, I don't need to go into the matter to explain this, because I remember it quite well. What happened is the following:

I described in the book the death of Erdelyi, and then, later, Erdelyi appears as a hanging as a witness; is that right?

Q. That is what I recall.

A. That's right. That was in the book. You are recording it quite right. This means that I described how my friend, Erdelyi from Banowce (ph), a friend of mine, from childhood, in approximately September or October 1942, but in later part of the book, until then, I haven't written anything about the procedures which are applied in Auschwitz for attempts to escape. And the first time when I saw such procedures was approximately in July 1942, in the first week when I was in Auschwitz. At that time Erdelyi lived. In other words, what I have used in this book is what is a general technique of many who write books on literature, that is a flashback.

Q. Yes. Okay. So it's a flashback, right?

A. Yes.

Q. Okay. Now, in the book you give narrative. You give words to people and you create situations.

A. Words to people who create situations?

Q. Yes.

A. No, I don't create situations. I describe situations.

Q. Can you tell us how, in this book, you describe the words uttered by people at the time?

A. I certainly didn't have a stenographist nearby to record the words exactly, neither did

p. 1447

I have a dictaphone to ---

Q. But I suggest you have a good imagination, so I suggest you created the words.

A. You can call it imagination or you can call it good memory.

Q. Yeah.

A. In other words, I have created the situation in an artistic way, if you allow me to count myself on account of this book as an artist or as an artistic attempt.

Q. I suggest, also, that you falsified to some extent as well, because throughout the book you referred to someone by the name of Rudolf Vrba, and you attribute the name Vrba to the conversations, and Rudi, meaning you, and in fact, there was nobody by that name in the camp, sir. Is that right?

A. That is perfectly so, but I would take a great objection against your word "falsify", because I would say, then, that the artist drawn my moustache in a different way has falsified something. This is not a document, but literature, and literature has been meant mainly for young people and it would be for young people a considerable confusion to explain to them all the methods of clandestine work and how it came that the names have to be changed.

Moreover, I would have to explain my real ground and reasons why I changed my German name to the name of my native language, and this would have transferred, perhaps, a national hatred to the reader, which I wanted to avoid, against the Germans.

In other words, I used my licence of

p. 1448

a poet, it is called licensia poetarium, to put in the book only those facts and events which will enable a young person to understand the general situation.

Q. Mm-hmmm. So for you it's poetic licence?

A. Poetic licence in this particular case.

Q. Yeah.

A. In other words, I am not bound to make of it a document, but re-creates the situation as close as possible to the truth without complicating it.

Q. Without complicating it. Without quoting from the book that you have, I am quoting from one that you acknowledge is attributed to you. Maybe we should check the foreword, the preface in the one you have.

A. Yes.

Q. See if it's the same preface.

A. Mm-hmmm.

Q. Will you agree with this statement about this writing: "There is no chip on his shoulder; and bitterness, where it exists, is controlled carefully by undeniable facts, not by fancies ...."

Do you agree?

A. Where bitterness ....

Q. No. ".... and bitterness, where it exists, is controlled carefully by undeniable facts, not by fancies." A. That is perfectly so. In the first line, as far as the bitterness, it is absolutely unimportant in this Court whether I am bitter or sweet. The fact is, whether I am right or wrong about the gas chamber"

and on the last one:


Q. Just a couple of things, Doctor.

A. Yes, please.

Q. You told Mr Christie several times in discussing your book, "I Cannot Forgive" that you used poetic licence in writing that book. Have you used poetic licence in your testimony?

A. No. This is not a book. This is under oath.

Q. And Mr Christie asked you, I believe, put to you several places where you did not appear to testify. He asked you if you appeared at Nuremberg. He asked you if you testified at the Eichmann trial

A. Mm-hmmm.

Q. Have you ever testified about these matters at other trials?

A. I have not been in Nuremberg and I have not been present at Eichmann's trial, but I have been present several times at the so-called Auschwitz trial in 1944 (1964) in Frankfurt where the criminals and murderers from Auschwitz were arrested by the West German authorities and put to trial.

p. 1637

THE COURT: Did you testify there, Doctor?

THE WITNESS: I did. Furthermore, I testified at the trial of a certain Dr Krumey and Hunsche, also in Frankfurt. Krumey was accused of having murdered the children after they were deported ---

MR CHRISTIE: Are we going to get into this?

Q. MR GRIFFITHS: My question was whether you testified, and you have answered that.

A. This was after ---

Q. It's all right. It's all right. Other than the trials of the Auschwitz trials and in Frankfurt and the trials of the two doctors, again in West Germany, are there any other trials or proceedings dealing with these matters where you have testified in public before?

A. Yes. I testified furthermore in Vienna when they sent me to the High Court of Justice in British Columbia. There is a picture of a hundred people asking me to identify if I know anyone.

THE COURT: No. Doctor, please. Just answer the question.

Q. MR GRIFFITHS: Did you testify in Vienna?

A. I testified against S.S. Unterschaffuhrer and I testified in their trial for crimes.

Q. All right. Anybody else?

A. No. To my knowledge, no.

Q. Can you tell us, Doctor, briefly how you arrived at the number of 1.765 million?

p. 1638

MR CHRISTIE: Your Honour, we went through this in-chief; I dealt with it in cross. It did not come first in cross.

MR GRIFFITHS: The figure did not, to my recollection, Your Honour -- it was not mentioned in-chief. It is obvious from -- could the jury be excused, Your Honour, please?

MR CHRISTIE: I will withdraw my objection.


Q. MR GRIFFITHS: Dr Vrba, could you tell us briefly how you arrived at your figure? You told us how you identified nationalities, and I wonder if you can tell us how you arrived at your account. Can you do that?

A. Yes.

Q. Please.

A. The first time when I was on the ramp, even before I went to the ramp, I had some idea about the numbers who are going to come, because the number of the people from the Kanada who were supposed to go to work, work on the ramp, depended on the number of arrivals which are coming.

Consequently we were woken up in the night. It was mainly night work. Mainly the transport came in the night not always. And an S.S. man came and said to the Kapo who was a German criminal, a green triangle, that we should go at once on the ramp, and told him the number of how many prisoners are coming in the cattle trucks in other words, how many deportees were coming. And on that ground the Kapo decided a fifty,

p. 1639

hundred, two hundred people should go to work on the ramp.

So I had a rough idea, and before I came to the ramp. Furthermore, the people -- when the wagons came, in a system which I explained here before, on opening of the wagons I could judge if this was a transport where they have put a hundred in per wagon or one of the better transport where they have put only sixty in in the wagon.

Furthermore, I could see a number of wagons that are counted, because I had to clean each one of them, going through the wagons so I could see exactly how many wagons arrive. So from this I could know the date of arrival, the number of people who arrived, and the number of people who were chosen to be marched into the camp in other words, roughly the percentage of people who were taken for slave labour. And I could make immediately my mind the picture how many are from that particular transport and from what nationality murdered.

Now, this information at the start represented only one figure, and the next day two figures, and the next day again two figures, or three figures, and I trained myself to remember those figures and developed a special mnemonical method for remembering each transport.

For instance, on the statistics, those transports are only numbers, but in reality they were not just numbers. The transports arrived either in the cold or in the hot. The transports either had a lot of dead or few dead. The transports came in a rich equipment, as for food, or poor equipment. During unloading of the transport it was raining or it was not raining. In other

p. 1640

words, I had a lot of coinciding circumstances, so that each transport for me was not a number but an event, a colourful event. And as the days went by I trained myself constantly and repeated in my mind constantly the statistics, and at the start, when I started, it was one page and then it was two pages that I had to remember, and then it was three pages I had to remember, and finally it was twenty pages I had to remember, and this was not at all very difficult with that mnemonical help to which I have myself trained. It is a general knowledge that people who are arrested write a poem of ten thousand stanzas over years, and are not allowed to write, and then they came out and faultlessly writes them down in two days. So this is a typical example Solzhenitsyn, without comparing myself to him; and this is not verses to memorize but people, transports, so it was not such a difficult task for me to memorize it. I was asked this question by the Chief Judge Hoffmann in Frankfurt, and I gave him, if you will allow me, another aspect of illustrating how human memory works.

Q. Well, I am going to stop.

A. Yes. There is an aspect to human memory which I can in addition to this explain, if necessary.

Q. Excuse me just a minute now. You have with you a report, the Vrba-Wetzler report.

A. Yes. I have here a copy which I received from the Office of Investigations, Criminal Division, Washington.

Q. There is something here I can put to you if I can find it about Himmler.

p. 1641

A. Yes.

Q. There is a reference to Himmler in here.

A. I will try to find it.

Q. We won't think out loud, but we will both look for it here.

A. Here is something on the 17th which is not about Himmler, but about something different. I can't find the reference to Himmler just now, but you might, perhaps, be able to.

I think that for the essential Vrba was a good and trustworthy witness.

(19) Holocaust Trains


Trains arrive full, depart empty...

"... Regular meetings were held in Berlin to coordinated the despatch of full trains and the return of empty trains. One of the railway documents which survives is dated Berlin, 13 January 1943. Signed by Dr. Jacobi of the General Management, Railway Directorate East, in Berlin, it took the form of a 'telegraphic letter' addressed to the General Directorate of East Railways in Cracow; the Prague Group of Railways, the General Traffic Directorate, Warsaw; the Traffic Directorate, Minsk; and the Railway Directorates in fourteen cities, including Breslau, Dresden, Königsberg, Linz, Mainz and Vienna. Copies were to be sent in addition to the General Management, Directorate South, in Munich, and to the General Management, Directorate West, in Essen; a total distribution of twenty copies. The subject was: 'Special trains for resettlers during the period from 20 January to 28 February 1943.'

"The table shows some of the details given for the first seven days of February 1943;

1 February Rumanians, train No 3 dep Gleiwit arr Czernowitz Jews, train No 109 dep Theresienstadt arr Auschwitz 2 February Jews, train No 15 dep Berlin arr Auschwitz 10.48 empty, train No 110 dep Auschwitz arr Myslowitz 3 February Poles, train No 65 dep Zamosc 11.00 arr Auschwitz 4 February empty, train No 4 dep Czernowitz arr Ratibor empty, train No 16 dep Auschwitz arr Theresienstadt empty, train No 66 dep Auschwitz arr Myslowitz 5 February Polish Jews, train No 107 dep Bialystok 9.00 arr Auschwitz 7.57 6 February Polish Jews, train No 109 dep Bialystok 9.00 arr Auschwitz 7.57 7 February Polish Jews, train No 111 dep Bialystok 9.00 arr Auschwitz 7.57 empty, train No 106 dep Auschwitz arr Bialystok

"Also under Dr. Jacobi's schedule, a deportation of Polish Jews, in train No 127, was despatched from Bialystok at 9 am, 9 February 1943, reaching the death camp at Treblinka at 12.10, and returning empty that same evening from Treblinka, as train No 128, leaving Treblinka at 9.18 pm and reaching Bialystok ninety minutes after midnight. The instructions of 13 January 1943 had referred specifically to the return of the empty trains. The last paragraph of the instructions read:

"Train formation is noted for each recirculation and attention is to be paid to these instructions. After each full trip, cars are to be well cleaned, if need be fumigated, and upon completion of the programme prepared for further use. Number and kinds of cars are to be determined upon dispatch of the last train and are to be reported to me by telephone with confirmation on service cards." (Gilbert, 67-68)

It is interesting, with respect to those deniers who claim that the camps were "transit camps," that trains departed empty after offloading thousands of passengers. They arrived full of passengers, and left empty. Perhaps some "revisionist scholar" will provide us with records of trains leaving Treblinka, for instance, carrying passengers to "the East?"

Work Cited

Gilbert, Martin. Final Journey: The Fate of the Jews in Nazi Germany. New York: Mayflower Books, 1979

(20) Holocaust trains


Holocaust train

... The most modern accurate numbers on the scale of the Final Solution still rely today partly on shipping records of the German railways.[3]

... The trains consisted of formations of either third class passenger carriages,[7] but mainly freight cars or cattle cars - the later were packed, according to SS regulations, with 50, but sometimes up to 150 occupants.[8] No food or water was provided, while the freight cars were only provided with a bucket latrine. A small barred window provided irregular ventilation, which sometimes resulted in deaths from either suffocation or the exposure to the elements.

Sometimes the Germans did not have enough cars to make it worth their while to do a major shipment of Jews to the camps, so the victims were stuck in a switching yard ­ "standing room only" ­ sometimes for days. At other times, the trains had to wait for more important military trains to pass.[8] An average transport took about four and a half days. The longest transport of the war, from Corfu, took 18 days. When the train got to the camps and the doors were opened, everyone was already dead.[1] The armed guards shot anyone trying to escape.

Due to cramped conditions, many deportees died in transit. ...

Powered mainly by efficient freight steam locomotives, the trains were kept to a maximum of 55 freight cars.

The standard accommodation was a 10 metre long cattle freight wagon, although third class passenger carriages were also used where the SS wanted to keep up the "resettlement to work in the East" myth, particularly in Holland and Belgium.

The standard SS manual covered such trains, suggesting a resultant loading ration per train of:

50 people in a freight car X 50 cars = 2,500 people in each train.

Since normally the trains were loaded to 150 to 200% capacity, this results in the following:

100 people in a freight car X 50 cars = 5,000 people in each train ...

In total, over 1,600 trains were organised by the German Transport Ministry, and logged mainly by the Polish state railway company due to the majority of death camps being located in Poland.[10] Between 1941 until December 1944, the official date of closing of the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, the transport/arrival timetable was of 1.5 trains per day:

50 freight cars X 50 prisoners per freight car X 1.5 trains/day X 1,066 days = 4,000,000 prisoners

On 20 January 1943, Himmler sent a letter to Reich Minister of Transport: "need your help and support. If I am to wind things up quickly, I MUST HAVE MORE TRAINS."[11]

[edit] Payment

Most of the Jews were forced to pay for their own transportation, particularly where passenger carriages were used. This payment came in the form of direct money paid to the SS, in light of the "resettlement to work in the East" myth. Charged in the ghettos for accommodation, the Jews paid for a full one-way ticket, while children under 10-12 years of age paid half price. Those who were running out of money in the ghetto were shipped to the East first, while those with some supplies of gold and cash were shipped last.

The SS also paid the German Transport Authority to pay the German Railways to transport Jews. The Reichsbahn was paid the equivalent of a third class train ticket for every prisoner transported to the final destination:

The Reichsbahn pocketed both this money and their share, after the SS fees, of the money paid by the transported.

[edit] Variations per country

The characteristics of organized concentration and transportation of victims of the Holocaust varied by country.

[edit] Belgium

... After implementation of the Final Solution in Belgium, between August 1942 and July 1944, 28 trains transported more than 25,000 Jewish deportees to Auschwitz via the concentration camp at Mechelen, chosen because it was the hub of the Belgian railway system.[14] ...


On 22 February 1943 the Bulgarian government agreed to allow the Germans to deport 11,000 Jews. Overcrowding conditions existed in the 20 trains that transported them over four days, requiring each train to stop daily to dump the bodies of those who died during the past day.[11]

[edit] Czech Republic

Jews were interned and shipped from Theresienstadt, mainly to Birkenau.

The last train left Theresienstadt for Birkenau on 28 October 1944 with 2,038 Jews, of which 1,589 were immediately gassed.[16] Birkenau closed its gas chambers on 7 November 1944.

[edit] France

served as the transport hub for the Paris area, where by February 3, 1944 the 67th train had left for Birkenau.[16] Vittel served the northeast. By 23 June 1943 50,000 Jews had been be deported from France, an apparently slow pace not to the satisfaction of the Germans.[21] The last train from France left Drancy on 31 July 1944 with over 300 children.[16]

[edit] Greece

After the German occupation, an internment camp was set up in Athens to transport Jews to another internment camp at Salonika, which served as the collection point for Jews from the Greek Islands.

In total, between March and August 1943, over 40,000 Jews were deported from Greece to Auschwitz-Birkenau.[14]

[edit] Hungary

Hungary resisted the deportation of Hungarian Jews to Germany, but did deport 100,000 Jews in former Romanian territory of Transylvania,[22] and Jews from occupied Yugoslavia.

After Hitler launched Operation Margarethe in March 1944, the discussions between him and Admiral Horthy came to a quick conclusion. On 29 April 1944 the first deportation to Birkenau took place, and the second on 30 April of 2,000 Jews. To allay fears of the remaining population estimated at 762,000, the SS has the deported write postcards to their family back home.[16]

On 25 May, German representative General Edmund Veesenmayer reported that 138,870 Jews had been deported in the past 10 days; on 31 May he reported that 60,000 more had been deported in the last six days, while the total for the past 16 days stood at 204,312.[16]

On 8 July 1944 due to international pressure by the Pope, King of Sweden and the Red Cross (all of whom had recently learned the extent of the Hungarian tragedy), the deportation of the Hungarian Jews stopped. In 70 days, 437,000 Hungarian Jews were deported - around 6,250 per day.[16]

In October 1944, following the coup detat that again put a fascist Government in control, 50,000 of the remaining Jews were forced on a death march to Germany, digging anti-tank ditches on the roads westwards. A further 25,000 were saved in an "international ghetto" under Swedish protection engineered by Charles Lutz and Raoul Wallenberg. When the Soviet Army liberated Budapest on 17 January 1945, only 120,000 of Hungarian Jews survived.[23]

[edit] Italy

Benito Mussolini resisted the deportation of Italian Jews to Germany. After the Allied landings on mainland Italy, and the 8 September 1943 Armistice with Italy, the Germans occupied northern Italy and shipped 8,000 Jews to Birkenau via mainly Austria, and also possibly via neutral Switzerland.

Between September 1943 and April 1944, at least 23,000 Italian soldiers were deported to work as slaves in German industry, while over 10,000 partisans were captured and deported during the same period to Birkenau. By 1944 there were over half a million Italians working for the Nazi war machine.[24]

[edit] Netherlands

In the Netherlands, Jews were concentrated in Amsterdam ghettos, before being moved for "re-settlement in the East" to Westerbork, a transit camp in the north-east of near the German border. Deportees from Amsterdam Muiderpoort station were unaware of their final destination or fate, as postcards were often thrown from moving trains.[25]

Between July 1942 and September 1944, almost every Tuesday a train left for the concentration camps Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibor, Bergen-Belsen and Theresienstadt. In the period from 1942 to 1945, a total of 107,000 people passed through the camp on a total of 93 outgoing trains: about 60,000 to Auschwitz and over 34,000 to Sobibor.[14]

Only 5,200 of the deportees survived, most of them in Theresienstadt or Bergen-Belsen, or liberated in Westerbork.[26] On 29 September 2005, Nederlandse Spoorwegen apologised for its role in the deportation of Jews.[27]

[edit] Poland

{image caption} The Höfle Telegram lists the number of arrivals to the Aktion Reinhard Camps through 1942 (1,274,166) {end}

Most of the Jews were transported by road to concentration camps, until the opening of the full five gas chambers at Auschwitz. The numerous train movements, both originating inside and outside occupied Poland and terminating at the various death camps, were tracked by the pre-war Polish railway company PKP, now in German possession, using IBM supplied card reading machines and railway software and made up 95% of IBM's business at the time.[10]

The Warsaw Ghetto was created by the German Nazis on 16 November 1940; eventually over 450,000 people cramped in an area meant for about 60,000. Shipments to the camps under Operation Reinhard were from the station at Umschlagplatz started on 22 July 1942 through to 12 September.[28]

The Nazi record of Operation Reinhard lists the total number of killed, most of whom were transported by train, as follows:

Location Number and notes Belzec 246,922 deportees from within the General Government area alone, and a total of 600,000. Deportations to Belzec ended in December, 1942 Majdanek 300,000 Sobibor 140,000 from Lublin, and 25,000 Jews from Lviv Treblinka 900,000

The Höfle Telegram lists the number of arrivals to the camps through 1942 as 1,274,166, while the total killed is estimated at 2 million.

On 18 August 1943, the last train ever to be sent to Treblinka camp left Bialystok ghetto - all survivors were sent to the gas chambers, after which the camp closed down.[21]

From 7 August 1944 the Nazis liquidated 68,000 Jews of the Lodz Ghetto, by then the largest remaining gathering of Jews in all of Europe. They were told by the SS that they were to be resettled; instead, over the next 23 days they were sent to Birkenau by train at the rate of 2,500 per day, with some of the crippled selected by Dr. Josef Mengele for his medical experiments.[16]

[edit] Romania

Romania had the third largest Jewish population in Europe after Russia and Poland, and antisemitic feelings ran high in pre-War Romania, based partly on Christian beliefs as well as modern politics stemming from King Carol II. When he was forced to resign, the Government headed by Ion Antonescu introduced draconian anti-Jewish legislation, which was openly inspired by the Nazi Nuremberg Laws. During 1941 and 1942, thirty-two antisemitic laws, thirty-one decree-laws, and seventeen government resolutions were passed and decreed. This resulted in many Jews leaving for Palestine by ship in Autumn 1940.[29]

As a result of Romania having to give up territories to the Soviet Union, Hungary and Bulgaria in summer 1940, Jews in the new border regions were rounded up in concentration camps for transportation to the interior regions. Jewish population was mainly concentrated to the east of the River Prut. 800,000 of them died in Transnistria; 206,958 in Bessarabia; and 69,144 in Bukovina.[30] These Jewish populations were shipped to both Auschwitz as well as Belzec, where in September, 1942 two trains from Kolomea in Galicia arrived: the first with 4,769 Jews in 50 freight wagons; the second with 8,205 Jews packed at a ratio of 167 people per car, with 2,000 on board all already dead.[31]

As a result of the Ia?i pogrom on 25 June 1941 in which 900 Jews were killed, train shipments were increased to C?l?ra?i in the south where estimated 420,000 Jews died, as well as to Auschwitz.[32] In addition, 26,000 Roma people were deported to Nazi death camps.[30] [22]

[edit] Scandinavia

In October 1942, 770 Norwegian Jews were deported by boat to Hamburg and onwards by train to Auschwitz. The Danish resistance, on hearing a similar measure was to be attempted by the SS in Denmark, assisted in a mass rescue of the Danish Jews to neutral Sweden.[14]

[edit] Slovakia

On 9 September 1941, the parliament of "independent" Slovakia - a Nazi puppet state - ratified the Jewish Codex, a series of laws and regulations that stripped Slovakia's 80,000 Jews of their civil rights and all means of economic survival. The fascist Slovak leadership was so impatient to get rid of Jews that it paid the Nazis DM 500 in exchange for each expelled Jew and a promise that the deportees would never return to Slovakia. The decision by Slovakia to initiate and pay for the expulsion was unprecedented among the satellite states of Nazi Germany. They paid 40 millions RM to the SS. ...

[edit] 1944 onwards

After the Soviet Army began making severe inroads into the Nazi land war gains in the East, and the Allies landed in Normandy in June, the number of trains and transported persons began to vary greatly.

By November 1944, with the closure of Birkenau and the advance of the Soviet Army, the death trains had ceased. Death Marches also had the advantage of being able to use the forced labor to build defences.

(21) For Reference - Gulag Trains


Stalin's GULag 1930-1940

The Journey

After arrest and having spent time in prison, prisoners were usually sentenced. If they were to spend time incarcerated in a forced labour camp, the journey to the camp usually began in a dark green, almost black chernyi voron ['Black Maria' - truck equipped to transport prisoners]. During the 1930s, they were camouflaged as vehicles delivering goods to shops. They were painted in bright colours and were designated 'bread' or 'meat' in Russian, English, German and French. [1]J. Rossi, The GULag Handbook, New York: Paragon House, 1989, pp.56-57 This mode of transport generally took prisoners to the railway station from where most long journeys began. However, prisoners were not loaded onto trains at the station in full public view; they were loaded at sidings down the track, away from public glare. It was done secretively, just as the process of arrest late at night was secret. Being loaded onto a goods train was the first real step to becoming a camp inmate. To follow was the horror of the journey in cramped unsanitary conditions and the induction into forced labour camp existence.

Freight cars were commonly used to transport the prisoners by rail to their first destination that was usually a transit camp situated en route to their final destination. Without the use of ladders, prisoners were loaded into the carriages. Inside the carriages, along two sides, were two rough, level bed boards and two closely barred windows just beneath the ceiling. Due to the large number of prisoners in each carriage, some were forced to sleep underneath the boards. It was usual for up to 60 or more to be crammed into each carriage. [2]MEMORIAL, fond 2, opis 1, file 7, p.3, 1937. Bazhanov, Ivan Nikolaevich, reports that 150 prisoners travelled in one goods wagon from Taganka prison to the Ivdel' camp area, a journey lasting 13 days. The prisoners could only wear the clothes in which they were arrested, even if the weather was severe during the journey. In the winter months the temperature inside the carriages was often no higher than that of outside. No bedding was available. During warmer weather, prisoners spent all day and night in their underwear because the heat in the carriage was so intense.

A narrow opening in the floor served as a latrine and an iron rim bordered it. This was to prevent prisoners enlarging the hole and dropping down onto the track. The hole was also sometimes used during stops for trade with escorts who acquired prisoner belongings in exchange for a piece of black bread or some tobacco. There were no washing facilities, although memoir literature mentions that sometimes the prisoner transports stopped at camps with bathhouses if the journey was very long. There was no illumination and rats and vermin abounded. [3]3. MEMORIAL, 2/1/5, 106. 1938 Antsis, Marianna Lazarevna

Spotlights were mounted on the leading carriages to illuminate the train at night. Furthermore, iron spikes were fastened underneath the carriages so that if anyone managed to escape through the floor and lie down between the tracks, they would be scooped up by the spikes. The contents of the carriages were usually designated with the words 'special equipment' marked in large letters on the side. This explained the presence of guards armed with machine guns or automatic weapons on the roofs of the cars. Prisoners were not detectable from the outside.

Prisoner freight trains usually stopped, in deserted areas, for inspection twice a day. All prisoners were herded to one end of a carriage and then counted as they moved back to the other end. Sometimes prisoners were struck, out of pure spite, on the back with a hammer normally used for testing the soundness of the walls, ceilings and floors.[4]4. Rossi, p.182. ...

Prisoners were also transported by rail in passenger cars, known as Stolypin carriages. These carriages were named after Stolypin, Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Internal Affairs for Nicholas II from 1906-1911, who introduced this method of transporting prisoners. They were dark green in colour with thick iron doors coming together in the middle of the cars and secured by immense iron bars. The carriages often contained ten or more wire enclosures, each measuring approximately three cubic metres. They were designed to hold either eight or 16 prisoners but it was actually possible to fit 25 people or more into one enclosure. There were usually three-tier sleeping shelves along the compartment bulkheads. The space separating the shelves was bridged to create three continuous platforms. Throughout the journey, all prisoners were forced to recline or semi recline on the platforms since the space between them was not large enough to straighten up. Sometimes prisoners were forced to sleep on the floor beneath the bottom platform. The cars had no windows and the only light came from the two tiny grated rectangles high up in the roof in the long narrow corridor. There was a latrine for the prisoners at the other end. They were accompanied there by guards who stood at the open door whilst waiting for them to finish.

Guards moved up and down the train at regular intervals beating on the walls of the cars with rifles to ensure that no planks were missing. The number of guards for each convoy varied but on most trains, there was one guard in each car and he generally sat on a small platform. On some transports, there was not a guard in every car but on others, there were two or more. Illness was rife and many prisoners did not make the whole journey that could last from 24 hours to several weeks. In theory, a doctor and medical orderlies were supposed to accompany each train but this did not always happen.

Rations for all prisoners transported by rail were very similar - bread every two or three days and salted herring that caused severe thirst. A dry ration was supplied once a day or less often if individual rations had been distributed before the transport began. Frequently the guards did not distribute any water and most prisoners were tormented by thirst throughout their entire journey. Water for washing was given out even more infrequently. As well as the basic rations, prisoners occasionally received a bucket of soup containing fish heads, bones, eyes or animal entrails. Sometimes they received no hot food at all. Only in rare cases was food adequate. Grosman states that prisoners in his transport lasting two months from Leningrad to Vladivostock transit camp received only 400 grams of bread every day and sometimes balanda [watery soup] or hot water. Hot water was rare since they stopped at a kitchen only infrequently. However, they all had plenty to eat because, prior to their transport, relatives in Leningrad had sent them parcels containing sausage and cheese, as well as money with which to buy supplies at the stations. [5]5. MEMORIAL, 2/1/50, 18. 1938. Grosman, Arkardii Grigor'evich

The level of terror of the journey depended largely upon the guards. Memoir literature, however, reports that some were friendlier than others. Kozhana reports that guards on the journey from Moscow to Potma, Temlag, gave them a mug every four days with their barrel of water. All the prisoners felt a despairing thirst because their rations generally comprised of a piece of vobly fish and 400 grams of stale bread.[6]6. MEMORIAL, 2/1/73, 10. 1938. Kozhana, Tsipora Moiseevna Glazov reports that in 1936 whilst travelling from Leningrad to Chib'yu, Ukhtpechlag, the guards allowed hawkers near the train to sell different produce and they sometimes even bought newspapers for their cargo. [7]7. MEMORIAL, Glazov, Nikolai Alekhandrovich, 34. 1936 Antsis states that rations in February 1938 on the way from Artemovsk in the Donbas region to Akmolinsk, Karlag, were received twice a day on the 25 day journey. The women collected their sugar ration to give to 24 babies and nursing mothers who were amongst them. The sugar was passed into the appropriate carriages by the guards. The women also gave the guards money to buy potatoes and flour for them. Furthermore, these were particularly friendly guards because they smuggled in a book for the women entitled 'Nasha rodina' ['Our Motherland'] in which there was a map marked with a red pencil indicating their final destination. [8]8. MEMORIAL, 2/1/5, 100-103. 1938. Antsis Usually the final destination was not disclosed.

Another common method of transport was by sea. Prisoners taken to Vladivostock transit camp to sail to Magadan, Kolyma could be held there for either a few days or six months or more whilst waiting for the navigation season to begin again. It depended on the time of year. At the end of the season in December, all communication by water to Kolyma was cut as the sea froze over. ...

(22) For Reference - Soviet deportations from the Baltic States


TRAIN No. 293

In one of his last acts as president, Lennart Meri marked the 60th year since he and thousands of other people across the Baltic states were deported by Soviet forces.

By Michael Tarm

... In the decade after the Red Army occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in 1940, more than 200,000 people seen by dictator Josef Stalin as potential enemies of the new regime were shipped to Siberia, more than 2,000 kilometers away. ...

Nearly 10,000 Estonians, including 4,000 children and infants, were arrested on June 14 alone; that was roughly 1 percent of the population. Some 15,000 people were deported from Latvia the same day, and nearly 20,000 from Lithuania. Two-thirds of those deported died in the harsh Siberian conditions - including extreme cold and food shortages - or were executed. ...

"It was minus 50 Celsius in Siberia," he explained. "Twenty minutes is enough to find your trousers and your snow boots. Finding them saved my life." ==


June 14, 2008 In Memory of Those Who Did Not Survive

Laima Veckalne's Story: A Tale of Forgotten Soviet Crimes

By Edgar B. Anderson FrontPageMagazine.com | 6/8/2001

IN 1940, the U.S.S.R. invaded and occupied Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. This month marks the sixtieth anniversary of the first mass deportations from the Baltic states, when the Soviets arrested more than 60,000 people in June 1941 and sent them to prisons and labor camps in Northern Russia and Siberia. What follows is the experience of one young woman.

Laima Veckalne, a beautiful and high-spirited teenager, treasured her life growing up surrounded by the love of family and friends in Riga, the capital of Latvia, in northeastern Europe. She had great hopes for the future, and her goal was to become a famous ballerina. Laima studied and practiced diligently, and she gave her first public dance performance in the Riga Opera House on a glorious day in May. It turned out to be her only performance.

The next month at about two o'clock on the morning of June 14, 1941, the NKVD, the Soviet secret police, broke into the Veckalns apartment and arrested Laima, her sister, and her parents. The agents gave them a few minutes to pack their belongings and then marched them at gunpoint into the dark street where they were loaded onto the back of an already crowded truck.

The NKVD delivered its human cargo to Riga's Skirotava Railroad Station. What awaited in the early dawn was a sight that the Latvian people could never have imagined. As far as the eye could see, there were men and women clutching suitcases and bundles of hastily gathered clothing, the elderly and disabled searching for places to sit, and mothers comforting their crying children, all of them surrounded by Red Army soldiers brandishing weapons. Similar scenes were taking place at other railroad stations in Riga and across Latvia, and also in the neighboring Baltic states of Estonia and Lithuania.

Laima's family huddled between the train tracks with the other families for many hours. They were required to be completely still and were not allowed to take even a step. Eventually the soldiers shoved the men, women, and children into filthy cattle wagons where they continued to wait without food or water. The people did not understand what was happening to them.

During the night the soldiers took out the men, including Laima's father and the teenage boys, and put them on separate trains. They lied by telling the families that their husbands and brothers would be sent ahead to prepare lodgings at an undisclosed location. Finally, by the third day, the doors of the cars were locked shut, and all the trains departed the station.

The transport containing Laima and her sister and mother and the other families moved slowly eastward across Russia during the summer heat. The people were given barely anything to eat or drink except for a little water and some inedible soup. There was scarcely any air to breathe since everyone was jammed together and the cars had only a few small windows covered with bars. A hole in the floor served for personal necessities. Some of the people, especially the infants, became sick immediately and died in the cattle wagons. Their bodies had to be left at the side of the tracks.

After several weeks the train reached Novosibirsk in Western Siberia. Scores of wagons were transferred onto enormous barges and sent up the River Ob and then to the Vasyugan. The cars were emptied at riverbank settlements populated by previously deported Russians and Ukrainians. Laima and her family were assigned to live in a bug-infested hut, and they slept on the ground alongside cattle and chickens.

The Soviets immediately put their prisoners to work. For three years, in the early Siberian mornings, they forced Laima to march into the forest where she had to climb up into trees and cut off branches. She was obliged to carry on her back heavy birch bark and pine wood, sometimes as much as her own bodyweight, and this eventually damaged her spine. She was required to work in the deepest snow, even as the temperature plunged to minus 45 degrees Celsius.

Since she was young and unusually fit from her dance training, Laima coped better than most with the brutal demands of the labor regimen. She was even able to ascend the tallest trees without getting dizzy. It was also helpful that her mother was ingenious and made boots for her from a blanket they had brought from Latvia and some dog skins. Many of the deportees did not fare as well, and they simply collapsed as the guards pushed them along to another day of work and were left for dead in the wilderness.

In exchange for their efforts, Laima and the others received a small amount of potatoes or hard bread. They had to share their meager rations with those who could not work ­ the very young, the old, and the infirm. Much of time the people had virtually nothing to eat, and everyone suffered from constant hunger. Their bodies were swollen and covered with boils caused by malnutrition. Their skin was inflamed by mosquito bites.

The youngest children were affected the most by the harsh conditions, and all of them were sick. In the evenings, Laima played with the little ones and told them stories while their mothers washed their clothing in the river. She would give them small spoonfuls of water in order to ease their distress, but nothing could be done for them. Laima held the one-year olds, Andris, Adrianis, and Guntis, and caressed their heads as all three died on the same night.

The elderly were the next to pass away. The young boys were resourceful, and they scavenged for boards that they used to build coffins in which to bury their loved ones. By the next year most of the boys themselves had died from starvation and disease, and there was hardly anyone left to make the coffins. Those who remained could only struggle to dig graves in the frozen earth.

Gradually the survivors tried to adjust to life in Siberia. Laima and her family were permitted to use a patch of ground on which to grow potatoes, and they lived as best they could as exiles. In the midst of all the misery and hardships, Laima met a young Estonian man, also a deportee. Beautiful feelings blossomed between the two of them. They fell in love and committed to each other in marriage.

In 1956, Soviet Premier Khrushchev decided that the Balts and other nationalities deported over the decades would be allowed to return to their native lands. After 17 years in Siberia, Laima and her family went home in 1958. Most of the Latvians who had shared the cattle wagons from Skirotava Station did not live to see that day.

And what about Laima's father? She never saw him again after he had been removed to another train back in Riga in June 1941. In 1992, she learned that he had been sent to Solikamsk Prison in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Andrejs Veckalns was a Social Democratic leader of the Parliament of free Latvia and Chairman of the Council of Labor Unions. He was also an opponent of Communism. As a result the Soviets condemned him to death on his sixty-fifth birthday, April 18, 1942, and they shot him a month later on May 18.

How did all this happen? Hitler and Stalin were allies pursuant to the Nazi-Soviet Pact they signed on August 23, 1939. The two dictators had secretly agreed to divide between them the defenseless regions of Eastern Europe ­ Poland, the Baltic states, Finland, Northern Bukovina, and Bessarabia. Eight days later, on September 1, 1939, Hitler attacked western Poland, and World War II began. Two weeks thereafter, Stalin collected his spoils by grabbing eastern Poland.

In 1940, the Soviets sent their tanks into Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, annexed the three small nations, and embarked on a brutal campaign to destroy all possible opposition to Stalinist rule. A year later, Hitler double-crossed his erstwhile partner and invaded the U.S.S.R. The Nazis quickly drove the Soviets out of the Baltic area and proceeded to spread their own brand of terror, particularly targeting the Jews. The Red Army took back Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia in 1944, and by 1945 the Nazis were defeated. However, the Baltic states did not regain their independence until the USSR disintegrated in 1991.

During their nearly five decades of occupation, the Soviets killed or deported an estimated one half million Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian men, women, and children. But these were only a fraction of the tens of millions of people in the U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe whom the Communists subjected to the midnight knock on the door, arrest, show trials, intentionally created famine, starvation, mass deportations, imprisonment, torture, slave labor, or execution.

Virtually no one has been called to account for what was done. No Communist Party bosses in Russia have ever been made to pay for their transgressions. Not one labor camp commandant has been forced to answer for his inhumanity. There is no talk of reparations. The ex-Soviets now in charge in Moscow object whenever anyone raises questions about the injustices of the past.

The West has chosen to forget these horrors. There is no grand museum on the Mall in Washington, D.C., dedicated to those whose lives were destroyed by the Communists. Hollywood has no interest in making movies about those who suffered at the hands of the Soviet Union. American high school students learn nothing about the Gulag.

The great crimes of Soviet Communism are mostly just remembered in the hearts and souls of the victims. Laima Veckalne is one of the few heroes still alive who can bear witness as she continues to honor the memory of her father and the countless others who perished.

June 14, 2008

{end of bulletin 23}

On to the "follow up" bulletin: holocaust-debate24.html.

Back to the Holocaust Denial Debate menu: holocaust-debate.html.

Write to me at contact.html.