The Mel Mermelstein ("Best Witness") affair--Lying kike sued IHR over holohoax, successful at first w. corrupt judge, etc., but was then busted....

Apollonian

Guest Columnist
'Best Witness': Mel Mermelstein, Auschwitz and the IHR

By Theodore J. O'Keefe

Link: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v14/v14n1p25_Okeefe.html

Fourteen years ago, over Labor Day weekend in 1979, the Institute for Historical Review held its very first conference at Northrop University in Los Angeles. At that time, the Institute announced its offer of a reward of $50,000 to the first person to prove that Jews were gassed at Auschwitz.

A little over a year later, in the spring of 1981, Mel Mermelstein, a southern California businessman and self-described Holocaust survivor, claimed that reward, and then sued the Institute for $17 million.

On October 9, 1981, in response to a motion by Mermelstein, Judge Thomas Johnson of the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles declared:

Under Evidence Code Section 452(h), this court does take judicial notice of the fact that Jews were gassed to death at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland during the summer of 1944.... It is not reasonably subject to dispute, and it is capable of immediate and accurate determination by resort to sources of reasonably indisputable accuracy. It is simply a fact.
Because of the prejudicial effect of this action, the IHR decided not to proceed with the suit, and instead settled the matter by signing a formal letter of apology to Mermelstein on July 24, 1985, for the pain, anguish, and suffering he sustained relating to the $50,000 reward offer, and agreeing to pay him $90,000 to settle the case. (For more on this, see "About the IHR/Mermelstein Settlement," below.)

Encouraged by this success, Mermelstein later brought yet another suit for $11 million against the Institute charging malicious prosecution, defamation, conspiracy to inflict emotional distress, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Yet on Thursday, September 19, 1991, in the Superior Court at Los Angeles, Mermelstein voluntarily dismissed most of his complaints. (Earlier that day, Judge Stephen Lachs had dismissed Mermelstein's complaint of "malicious prosecution.") This victory not only saved the Institute for Historical Review, but also substantially overturned the negative effects of the both the 1981 judicial notice and the 1985 settlement. (For more on this sweeping legal victory, see the October 1991 IHR Newsletter.)

The First Case

To appreciate the ramifications of this stunning reversal of fortunes, one must review the convoluted connection between Mermelstein and the IHR.

In the first ("reward") case -- and despite absurdities in his reward claim obvious to any knowledgeable student of Auschwitz -- Mermelstein was able to mount an aggressive attack against the IHR in the courts. He was well armed with first-rate legal assistance, much of it donated, not to mention overwhelming approval and support from the political establishment, the mass media, and southern California's influential Jewish community.

Meanwhile, the Institute had difficulty getting any legal counsel whatsoever, let alone the kind of skilled, dedicated, and fearless attorneys needed to withstand Mermelstein's publicity juggernaut and his blitz in the courtrooms. Recall the hurricane of libel and slander from the press, coming at a time when what Alfred Lilienthal has called Holocaustomania was at high tide in America. In an atmosphere of constant smears against the IHR and Revisionism, every survivor hallucination ("Nazi 'smiled' as dog ate Jew," to cite one headline of the day) gained instant currency in a corrupt media willing to accept such stories unquestionably and spread them as gospel.

Then recall the constant physical attacks that the enemies of truth and freedom aimed at IHR, its staff, and its supporters. In addition to harassment, including telephone threats, there was vandalism of IHR staff cars and homes, a physical beating of IHR founder Willis Carto, and attacks by gunfire and Molotov cocktail against the IHR office. Three separate firebombings culminated in the arson of July 4, 1984, which resulted in the total destruction of the IHR's office and warehouse. Let us also not forget the role of local Zionist thugs in carrying out much of this intimidation: I refer to the goonwork of that gang led by the revolting Irving Rubin, the so-called national chairman of the Jewish Defense League -- but whom I prefer to regard as the Grand Wizard, or, better, the Grand Dullard, of the Kosher Ku Klux Klan.

Judicial Notice

And so, with the help of high-priced lawyers, a corrupt media, and Jewish terrorists, Mermelstein seemingly laid to rest the historical issue by obtaining Judge Johnson's ridiculous judicial notice. His lawyers went on to concoct a massive $17 million assault for breach of contract, conspiracy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and so forth, until IHR had virtually no choice but to capitulate by settling out of court in preference to losing a potentially ruinous trial.

The frustrating thing for all informed and conscientious Revisionists was that the IHR's researchers were aware from the beginning, thanks to the very affidavit Mermelstein presented to claim the $50,000 reward, that when he described watching his mother and sisters enter "gas chamber no. 5" through a tunnel, he was speaking of an impossibility, an absurdity that became even more absurd six months later, when, in sworn testimony, he said he'd seen them going down the stairs into the tunnel to the gas chamber. Why? Because even then it was well known to all students of Auschwitz that "gas chamber no. 5" -- in fact, Auschwitz Krematorium building V -- had no stairs descending from the outside, no tunnel, and no basement. It was entirely above ground!

As the IHR's staff and supporters gathered more evidence, in the months and years of the first trial, they learned more. In Mermelstein's own book, By Bread Alone, which offers a detailed account of the single night and day he spent at Birkenau (May 21-22, 1944), and which was published only two years before his sworn affidavit in application for the reward, Mermelstein wrote nothing of witnessing his mother and sisters enter any building at all, let alone any gas chamber -- whether down the stairs, up the ladder, through the window, or down the chimney.

During the course of the long discovery phase, that is, the period in which the opposing parties gather evidence to support their case, researchers for the IHR, led by Louis A. Rollins, were able to gather much more information about what Mermelstein had said (or hadn't said), and was still saying, about his experiences in wartime Europe.

Working from a mass of statements, either direct or reported, made by Mermelstein about his past life (paying particular attention to his time at Auschwitz and other camps), Rollins was able to compile a list of instances in which, it seemed to him, Mermelstein had either:
  • First, contradicted himself in his various statements on what he had seen or experienced during the Holocaust (for example, his several different accounts of how and where his father died), or;
  • Second, made absurd claims about what had happened to him and others during the Holocaust -- for example, witnessing a non-existent tunnel leading to the imaginary cellar of Krematorium 5, or being ordered to wash with soap made from dead Jews.
Contradictions and absurdities -- Lou Rollins compiled 33 of them on a list that ran to eleven pages. But because of the judicial notice, all of this research went to naught. How, then, did it prove important in the second case?

The IHR Fights Back

It happened like this: In 1984 an independent writer and journalist by the name of Bradley Smith approached the Institute seeking funding for a newsletter; Smith had decided to take on the thankless task of alerting America's journalists to the falsehood and fraud they were accepting and disseminating uncritically under the rubric of the Holocaust. Smith went on to publish some of the most flagrant instances of these claims in his newsletter Prima Facie, and not surprisingly, among the ripest contradictions and absurdities in the lore of the Holocaust were the testimony and statements of Mel Mermelstein, as researched by Lou Rollins and studied, with due diligence -- remember that phrase, due diligence -- by Bradley Smith.

Alas, Smith's trumpet calls in Prima Facie went unheeded by our nation's press corps. In July 1985 came the settlement and the triumph of Mermelstein, followed by his false gloating about how he had collected the reward, and his false claim, made during a radio broadcast from New York that August, that the IHR had signed the 1981 judicial notice, and thus accepted the "fact" of homicidal gassings of Jews at Auschwitz.

As had happened after the 1981 judicial notice, tributes and congratulations flowed in to the "survivor" from around the globe. How galling it was for Revisionists to see Mermelstein vaunt himself to the nation and the world as the man who proved the Holocaust, who had humbled IHR and the Revisionists!

Undaunted

In the wake of this bitter defeat, IHR had two tasks:
  • First, to explain the settlement to its subscribers and supporters around the world, to reassure them that IHR had accepted a compromise to avoid the expense and uncertainty of trial but -- and in spite of what Mel Mermelstein and our other enemies were saying -- had not abandoned its skepticism on the gas chambers, and had not accepted the judicial notice.
  • Second, to show the flag, to proclaim our defiance, to fight back.
In the September 1986 issue of the IHR Newsletter (then editor) Bradley Smith took direct aim, not at the so-called Holocaust, not at every one of its survivors, but at that minority he firmly believed, on the basis of a reasonably careful (or "duly diligent") study of the evidence, was actively engaged in spreading falsehoods about their experiences. Smith wrote of "the vainglorious prevaricators," "the false-tale spinners who claim to speak for the survivor community," and "such demonstrable frauds as Melvin Mermelstein and Elie Wiesel." Smith's good faith assertion that Mermelstein was a fraud was based on the previously mentioned list that Rollins had compiled for the first trial.

The sweet taste of victory had done nothing to mellow Mermelstein's disposition, and when he learned of Smith's short IHR Newsletter article, he sued for defamation.

The Second Case

After Mermelstein launched his second suit, the Institute, learning of his misrepresentation of the settlement of the reward case, filed a defamation suit of its own against Mermelstein in August 1986. The IHR never served this suit, and later voluntarily dismissed it. Thereupon Mermelstein sued the IHR for malicious prosecution, and with the help of his attorney, Jeffrey N. Mausner (formerly of the federal government's "Nazi-hunting" Office of Special Investigations), concocted an $11 million suit for four causes of action: libel, malicious prosecution, conspiracy to inflict emotional distress, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

This suit was brought against four defendants: the Legion for the Survival of Freedom, the non-profit corporation through which IHR functions; Liberty Lobby, the nationalist and populist institution based in Washington, DC; Willis Carto, founder of both IHR and the Liberty Lobby; and the southern California law firm of Robert Von Esch, Jr., which had defended Liberty Lobby in the reward case, and had filed the IHR's defamation suit against Mermelstein in 1986.

Pre-trial Shenanigans

The lead-up to trial was both protracted and eventful. After hearing of the defamation suit against him, Mermelstein demanded that the Hartford Insurance Company, where he had his homeowner's insurance, pay his legal costs. When Hartford refused, pointing out (reasonably enough) that Mermelstein had never been served, attorney Mausner represented the IHR's suit as a big threat to Mermelstein. Mausner was able to intimidate Hartford with his client's Holocaust-survivor status to the extent of securing $60 thousand for Mermelstein in a settlement, as well as obtaining very generous legal fees for himself. Apparently, Hartford was unaware that at this same time Mausner was maintaining in a California court that IHR's suit was entirely groundless and frivolous.

In February 1989, a process server seeking Willis Carto on behalf of Mermelstein mistook the IHR's former accountant, Robert Fenchel, for Carto at the Ninth Revisionist Conference at the Old World Shopping Center. That November, Judge John Zebrowski found that, in spite of the non-service, the IHR was delinquent in not notifying Mermelstein of his mistake: Zebrowski imposed sanctions of $3,000, which the Institute was obliged to pay before it could begin to defend itself.

This was followed by a number of unfavorable pretrial rulings: Mermelstein was allowed to add new legal theories to his libel suit, four years after it had been filed. The IHR was not allowed to make use of a California law which allows a newspaper to retract offending statements and thus avoid suit. The Institute's motion for summary judgment on whether the Institute had probable cause to sue Mermelstein for libel (and thus defeat his malicious prosecution complaint) was rejected. Finally, in January 1991 Mermelstein succeeded in obtaining a second judicial notice of gassing at Auschwitz.

Nevertheless, not everything went Mermelstein's way: two judges, both Jewish, who believed they might not be able to be impartial, did the decent thing and disqualified themselves.

The Best Defense

After nearly five years of pre-trial maneuvering and legal jousting, the trial at last loomed before us. The IHR was represented by William Hulsy of Irvine. Liberty Lobby's attorney was Mark Lane, an experienced trial lawyer, a long-time fighter for civil rights, noted critic of the Warren Report, bestselling author, movie scriptwriter, and anti-Zionist Jew. Lane served as the defendants' lead attorney, dealing primarily with the conspiracy complaint. Hulsy was responsible for combating the defamation charges, and for formulating the overall trial strategy.

They were assisted by Charles Purdy of San Diego, who also represented Liberty Lobby, and by Willis Carto, who defended himself. Finally, the Von Esches (primarily Mark Von Esch, son of Robert, Jr.) defended their firm, and were to concentrate on dealing with the malicious prosecution complaint.

William Hulsy had been recommended to us by John Schmitz, the former US Congressman and very good friend of Revisionism and IHR. A successful attorney with experience in more than 200 jury trials, Hulsy finally agreed to take our case in spite of warnings from friends and colleagues, and his own apprehensions about possible damage to his career.

Hulsy firmly believed that the case could be fought and won on its legal merits, and that to make the main issue the Holocaust -- as Mermelstein's attorneys were seeking to do -- might very well result in an annihilating defeat. He decided to oppose the libel complaint by convincingly demonstrating to a jury, if possible, that everything Smith had written about Mermelstein was true. Failing that, he would show that Mermelstein was "a public figure," who had thrust himself to the forefront of participation in a public controversy in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved (his constitutional privilege, according to the ruling of the Supreme Court under Earl Warren, in the famous New York Times vs. Sullivan ruling of 1964). Hulsy would also seek to show that the question of Mermelstein's credibility as an eyewitness to the gassings and the Holocaust was a matter of public concern; that Brad Smith had exercised "due diligence," not reckless disregard for the truth, in his research for the offending article; that Brad's description of Mel was not based on personal malice; and that the IHR's Newsletter was not (as Mermelstein sought to argue) disseminated to the public at large, but was instead a periodical circulated to a limited readership that shared a specific interest in Revisionism. Establishing any or all of these things might suffice to defeat the libel complaint; failing that, to minimize damages.

Thanks to the evidence carefully compiled by Lou Rollins and others, we could show that what had appeared in the IHR Newsletter about Mermelstein was true. This alone should have been enough to defeat the libel complaint, but Hulsy believed that it might not be enough to convince a Los Angeles jury.

My Assignment

My first assignment was to demonstrate to Bill Hulsy that the IHR and revisionists were not "neo-Nazis" or cranky flat-earthers, but responsible researchers with a different viewpoint on modern history. After winning his confidence, he set me to work gathering, compiling and evaluating evidence to defend against Mermelstein's libel complaint, based on Hulsy's research and understanding of the law. Again and again, Hulsy stressed that he wanted evidence to win the trial, not to disprove the Holocaust. But I must confess that I cheated: I sought every bit of evidence I could lay my hands on about Mermelstein's actual experiences during the Second World War, and what he'd said about them over the years.

Aided by numerous volunteers who worked not only in California but across the United States, and in Germany, Poland, and Israel, we searched for whatever we could find about Mermelstein and his family. This included evidence about his mental soundness (Mermelstein had admitted to being under the care of a psychiatrist); information as to his litigation with persons other than the IHR; newspaper reports quoting Mermelstein on his Auschwitz experiences; and, of course, wartime documents from Auschwitz and elsewhere that would disprove his claims about witnessing atrocities, above all the alleged gassing of his mother and sisters at Auschwitz in May 1944.

My first step was to nail down the existing evidence, much of it from the first trial: Mermelstein's sworn statements in the form of transcribed depositions (of which there were eleven, running to some twelve hundred pages of close interrogation by IHR and Liberty Lobby lawyers), written responses to interrogatories, and the like; Mermelstein's writings, above all his autobiographical account of his concentration camp experiences, By Bread Alone; and his public statements on his Holocaust years, reported in more than a hundred different newspaper and magazine articles, and on several recordings of presentations by Mermelstein at synagogues or seminars as well as on radio broadcasts.

Further evidence came from history and reference books, such as Jewish encyclopedias; public documents and records, including statements made by Mermelstein to authorities at the Auschwitz State Museum and the German consulate in Los Angeles; wartime documents from the German camps; and Mermelstein's US Army medical records.

As this mass of paper and audiotape accumulated, I had to read and re-read, to analyze and evaluate, to extract and collate and tabulate the evidence that would serve our defense against Mermelstein's complaint that he was libeled by the IHR's description of him as "a vainglorious prevaricator," "a false-tale spinner," and "a demonstrable fraud."

Contradictions and Absurdities

While Mermelstein was a rather difficult witness who had attempted (sometimes with success) to intimidate IHR attorneys during depositions by playing the Holocaust card, he was often boastful and extravagant, and provided many nuggets for analysis and comparison.

I began my compilation of contradictions and absurdities in Mermelstein's Holocaust claims with the list that Lou Rollins had put together. With much more evidence and a great deal more time than was available to Rollins, I compiled a new list, longer and more thorough than his original, but including many of the discrepancies and exaggerations that he had caught years earlier.

This listing had to be not only exhaustive, but reasonable and persuasive. Citing mere slips of the tongue, or mistakes attributable to sloppy journalists, would not only have been poor scholarship, it wouldn't have persuaded a jury.

Caught

In all, I discovered 30 absurdities, 22 contradictions, and a number of exaggerations. These examples went directly to the matter of Mermelstein as a "demonstrable fraud," a "vainglorious prevaricator," and a "false-tale spinner."

Among the absurdities were the nonexistent subterranean tunnel to the above-ground crematory, the soap made from Jewish bodies, a claim that Auschwitz camp "kapos" were rewarded for every prisoner they killed, and that there was a railroad track leading from the crematory to a pond for dumping ashes.

Contradictions

Since the summer of 1980, Mermelstein has repeatedly stated that he saw his mother and sisters go into a gas chamber, or into tunnel leading to it, from a distance of "a stone's throw away," a distance of "40, 50 feet," and that he watched the "gas chamber" building for "a couple of hours." Remarkably, though, Mermelstein made no mention of witnessing any of this in any account available prior to 1980, including his supposedly autobiographical book, By Bread Alone.

This is nothing compared to his varying versions of the fate that befell his father. In a declaration given in November 1969 at the German consulate in Los Angeles, Mermelstein said his father died during "evacuation marches to Blechhammer from other camps." According to the account given in By Bread Alone, though, Mermelstein's father died in bed after working himself to death, trading food for cigarettes. In a May 1981 deposition, his father had died of overwork and exhaustion, while in a June 1985 deposition, he died of "exhaustion, cruelty, starvation, and beatings." According to still other accounts given by Mel Mermelstein, his father was "gassed at Auschwitz."

Mermelstein has given similarly contradictory accounts of what he did while interned at Auschwitz (between approximately May 21 and July 1, 1944). In a statement given in November 1969 at the German consulate in Los Angeles, he had "no occupation." Similarly, in a May 1981 deposition, he declared that had done "practically nothing ... just some detail work" and "no physical work."

In February 1987, a dramatically different account of Mermelstein's time in Auschwitz appeared. Ed Koch (who was then mayor of New York City) told of a meeting with Mermelstein during a tour of Auschwitz. Koch reported in a newspaper article that Mermelstein had told him: "I was part of the special detail which hauled the bodies from the gas chamber and took them to the crematoria."

Exaggerations

In claiming that Auschwitz camp kapos would kill an inmate if "they didn't like the shape of your nose," Mermelstein seemed to suggest that his own nose was not unattractive. Survival could be just as cruel as death, Mel implied on another occasion, because the bread given to Auschwitz inmates (during the period when he claimed to have done "practically nothing") was intended not for nourishment, but to kill inmates "as fast as they expected us to die." At Buchenwald, Mermelstein would have us believe, he went swimming "in blood," even though he and others had been transported to Buchenwald "only for one purpose" -- to be disposed of in crematorium rather than "litter ... the beautiful towns and cities with our bodies."

Fortunately, Mermelstein and many others like him miraculously survived. One of these friends, Dr. Miklos Nyiszli (who wrote his own book about his stay entitled, Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account), was a truly exceptional survivor. In a 1981 deposition, Mermelstein claimed that Dr. Nyiszli, whom he supposedly knew personally, would testify on Mermelstein's behalf about the alleged crimes of Dr. Josef Mengele at Auschwitz. At that time, though, Nyiszli had been dead for more than 25 years.

The evidence we were able to collect about Mermelstein's credibility not only persuaded our attorneys that this was a very unreliable witness, to say the least; it also, I believe, gave them additional confidence to challenge Mermelstein directly.

New Evidence

In addition to all the evidence cited above, we obtained yet another piece of potentially explosive evidence: a document that indicates that Mermelstein's sisters may have been alive nearly five months after he insisted they were killed. This secret German document, dated October 12, 1944, lists 500 Jewish females who were being transported from Auschwitz to Altenburg (a sub-camp of Buchenwald). Among those listed are Edith and Magda Mermelstein, names identical to those of Mermelstein's two sisters. This document is dated almost five months after the day in May 1944 when Mermelstein swears he saw them gassed. While the birth dates of Edith and Magda as typed on this document do not tally precisely with those given by Mermelstein for his two sisters in By Bread Alone, there is good reason to believe that the two women on the list were, in fact, his sisters.

Forewarned and Forearmed

From the volume of evidence we acquired, we learned two important things:
  • First, that Mermelstein is simply not a credible witness to gassings at Auschwitz, or to very much else involving concentration camps and the Holocaust. The contradictions, exaggerations, and absurdities lovingly noted and recorded by the IHR's researchers amply demonstrate this, not merely to Revisionists and others skeptical of "survivor" testimony, but any knowledgeable, intelligent, and fair-minded person. Whether Mermelstein is fibbing, to others or to himself; whether he has forgotten; or whether whatever he did experience has so deranged his mind as to render him incapable of rationally recounting the facts, his testimony proves nothing about the existence of Nazi gas chambers or a policy to exterminate Jews. If anything, careful analysis of his statements indicates the opposite: that there were no Auschwitz gas chambers or German policy to exterminate the Jews.
  • Second, there is no evidence that Mermelstein ever claimed to have witnessed the gassing of his mother and sisters until after he learned of the IHR's reward offer. He apparently first claimed to have personally seen them enter a so-called gas chamber in letters attacking the IHR that appeared in newspapers in southern California and Israel in the summer of 1980.
Neither his book, By Bread Alone (published in 1979), nor a statement made for the Auschwitz State Museum in 1967 about his wartime experiences in the camp, nor a sworn affidavit given at the German consulate in Los Angeles in 1969 about crimes he had witnessed during his time at Auschwitz, contains a word about witnessing any gassing.

Similarly, there is no mention whatsoever of Mermelstein having witnessed the entry of his mother and sisters into a gas chamber, or anything like that, in any of the several detailed press accounts about his industrious activity as a lecturer, exhibitor of artifacts, and museum proprietor published prior to the 1979 reward offer.

The Trial

After several postponements in the first half of 1991, the trial was upon us. It followed a new Mermelstein media propaganda blitz, the centerpiece of which was the made-for-television movie Never Forget. This lurid and false account of the "reward case" was broadcast nationwide over the Turner cable television network in April 1991 (or just before the original trial date).

To make things more interesting, shortly before trial the Von Esches, on whose shoulders virtually our entire defense of the malicious prosecution complaint rested, threw in the towel and capitulated. After already enduring years of vituperation as agents of a worldwide Nazi cabal, they gave in to fear that their law practice would be ruined.

The Von Esches settled with a payment to Mermelstein of $100,000, and a craven -- I'm sorry to say -- apology agreeing that, yes, Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz, and that millions more had perished in Auschwitz and other camps at the hands of the Germans.

Then we got a break. We learned that the trial judge, Stephen Lachs, was Jewish, a member of the liberal American Civil Liberties Union, and the first avowed homosexual to serve as a judge in California history. As it happened, Lachs turned out to be a conscientious and impartial judge, despite the sensitive nature of the case and the blatant attempts by Mermelstein's attorneys to appeal to his Jewish background.

The combination of Mark Lane's trial savvy and Bill Hulsy's careful strategy brought about, against all expectations (ours as well as theirs), an annihilating victory for the forces of historical truth and freedom of inquiry. The 49 pretrial motions crafted by Hulsy to withstand and counter Mermelstein's case were like a mighty fortress protecting us and blocking the enemy's advance. Thus, even to get to a jury trial, Mermelstein's three lawyers -- lead attorney Lawrence Heller, Peter Bersin, and Jeff Mausner -- were forced to attack across legal mine fields, negotiate factual tank traps and concertina wire, dare procedural pill boxes and machine gun nests. The plaintiff's legal assault was contained at the outset, suffering heavy casualties during the close-in combat over the pre-trial motions. When Mermelstein's lawyers attempted a retreat it quickly turned into a rout. In the end, a downcast plaintiff and his (somewhat bedraggled) lawyers slunk from the courtroom, seemingly dazed by defeat.

Mermelstein Takes the Stand

This is not to say that Mel Mermelstein didn't have his day in court. He and his counsel had unwisely declined to stipulate that he was a "public figure," as we had tried to establish (mindful of the added protection against defamation suits by public figures provided by the Supreme Court in a landmark 1964 decision). He also contested our motion to sever the determination of that issue from the matters to be decided by the jury. (We had wanted Judge Lachs to rule on this.)

As a result, Mermelstein took the stand, allowing Mark Lane to examine him on the question of whether his activities qualified him as a public figure according to the standards of the court. Mermelstein attempted to argue that he was not a public figure, in spite of his admission on the stand that he is: a published author; the founder of the "Auschwitz Study Foundation"; the curator of a Holocaust museum (that was first a traveling Holocaust exhibition); the willing subject of scores of newspaper and magazine stories, radio and television interviews; an eager accumulator of plaudits and testimonials from state and local governments, and laurels from the likes of Israel's late Prime Minister Menachem Begin; and a lecturer who has spoken, over nearly two decades, at numerous colleges, high schools, synagogues, and so forth, across the United States.

Lane led him carefully through each of these damaging admissions. Evidently Mermelstein had believed that he could represent himself as someone who had been dragged unwillingly into the public arena by the IHR (even though most of his various public activities started before he'd ever heard of the Institute).

After establishing Mermelstein as an author, curator, founder of a non-profit educational organization, political honoree, and media star over the airwaves and in print, Lane zeroed on Mermelstein's activities as a lecturer. About how many lectures had he given on Auschwitz prior to 1985, Lane wanted to know. Here Mermelstein, uncommonly forthcoming so far, began to prevaricate. Despite ample testimony out of his own mouth and pen as to his numerous lectures over the years, testimony of which the defendants were very well aware, Mermelstein claimed that he had given only about as many talks as "the fingers on my hands."

Thereupon Lane flourished a typed list, signed by Mermelstein, of more than 30 lectures given by him in a period of just 18 months in 1981-1982. Mermelstein tried to be crafty: he allowed that he might have lectured more than once at the same place -- not the most effective answer, but one that later might defuse the issue for an inattentive jury.

At this point I recalled that in one of his depositions Mermelstein had estimated giving an average of 20 lectures a year on Auschwitz since 1967. I quickly found the statement in a deposition given in 1985. After a break for lunch, Mark Lane confronted Mermelstein with his own words, and then, using a pencil and pad to multiply 18 by 20 (a calculation equalling 360), Lane asked Mermelstein if he hadn't just told the court that he had only given as many lectures as there are fingers on his hands. A vexed Mermelstein then blurted out, "I meant the fingers of my hands and feet!"

At that point, Judge Lachs was seen to roll his eyes heavenward. A few minutes later, Bersin rose to concede his client's status as a public figure.

Judge Lachs Rules

Several days later, after carefully considering the text of Mermelstein's characterization of the IHR's 1985 settlement (which the plaintiff had made on a New York City radio broadcast shortly after that settlement), Judge Lachs declared that Mermelstein's claim that IHR had "signed" the 1981 judicial notice of gassing at Auschwitz could indeed be interpreted by a reasonable man as defamatory. This meant, he ruled, that IHR had had probable cause to sue Mermelstein in 1986, and that thus he had no alternative but to grant the IHR's motion for dismissal of Mermelstein's malicious prosecution complaint.

Soon afterwards, Mermelstein dismissed his libel and conspiracy complaints, and he and his attorneys trundled wearily out of the courtroom, haggling over who would pay for the transcript, a requirement in any appeal.

As reported elsewhere in this issue of the Journal, Mermelstein's appeal of Judge Lachs's dismissal of his malicious prosecution complaint was unanimously rejected by the California Court of Appeal on October 28, which should serve to end the second Mermelstein suit and, perhaps, the long and costly Mermelstein affair.

Best Isn't Good Enough

At one point in a deposition, Mel Mermelstein referred himself as his own "best witness." In spite of his evident failings as a credible eyewitness to the gas chambers and the Holocaust, I agree with this self-description. In a very real sense, Mermelstein is indeed the best witness to the gas chambers. He twice succeeded in getting judges in the state of California, a trendsetter in legal fashion as in so much else, to pronounce the Auschwitz gassings as indisputable fact.

While sharing with the Elie Wiesels, the Rudolf Vrbas, and the Filip Müllers the same knack for wild exaggerations, bizarre contradictions, and flat absurdities, Mermelstein is unlike them in having submitted his claims to careful scrutiny and relentless cross-examination. And so, while Mel Mermelstein is admittedly so far the best witness to the alleged gas chambers at Auschwitz, the best clearly isn't good enough.

If it were to end right here, this report on the great victory by the IHR and its co-defendants would be incomplete. This account -- delivered before this Institute's loyal supporters and contributors, and some of the many researchers who gathered evidence across America and around the world -- must appropriately conclude with an expression of our heartfelt thanks to them, and to all our subscribers and supporters. By contributing their time, their expertise, their money and their prayers, they have made this victory possible. With your loyal support, we pledge to carry on the fight for truth and freedom, for the honor of those who can no longer speak, for the enlightenment of those yet unborn, until the final victory.


From The Journal of Historical Review, Jan.-Feb. 1994 (Vol. 14, No. 1), pages 25 ff.
This item is slightly edited from a presentation at the Eleventh IHR Conference, October 1992.

About the Author

Theodore J. O'Keefe worked as an Institute for Historical Review editor from 1986 until 1994. He led the IHR's research effort during the second Mermelstein lawsuit, devoting hundreds of hours without pay to uncovering and organizing the evidence. He served as chief editor of the IHR’s Journal of Historical Review from 1988 until April 1992, and addressed several IHR Conferences. Educated at Harvard, he is the author of numerous published articles on historical and political subjects.


About the IHR/Mermelstein Settlement

The July 1985 agreement between the Institute for Historical Review (IHR) and Mel Mermelstein received considerable media attention. Because the terms of the agreement were widely misrepresented, IHR director Tom Marcellus issued this statement which was published in the IHR Newsletter.

With so many wild rumors still being circulated about the IHR/Mermelstein settlement, we want to remind our readers that, contrary to what has gone out through the press and media:

  • 1. The settlement agreement did not include any provision for a payment of any reward offer, and in fact was not such a payment.
  • 2. The IHR did not accept or in any way agree with Judge Johnson's ridiculous 1981 "judicial notice" that Jews were "in fact" exterminated in "gas chambers" at Auschwitz.
  • 3. The IHR has not retreated one inch from its well-known position that there is no credible evidence to support the theory that Germans allegedly used homicidal poison gas chambers to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
  • 4. The letter of apology addressed the "suffering" some Jews said they experienced around the $50,000 award offer. It did not apologize for revisionist theory or revisionist literature in any way.
Following is the complete text of the letter our lawyers signed:

“Each of the answering defendants do hereby officially and formally apologize to Mr. Mel Mermelstein, a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Buchenwald, and all other survivors of Auschwitz for the pain, anguish, and suffering he and all other Auschwitz survivors have sustained relating to the $50,000 reward offer for proof that 'Jews were gassed in gas chambers at Auschwitz'."

Any person or organization that claims our lawyers signed any apology other than these few lines is either mistaken or knowingly distributing false information.
 

Apollonian

Guest Columnist

“Wannsee: The Road to the Final Solution”​

A Book Review​

John Wear

Link: http://inconvenienthistory.com/14/2/8192

German historian Dr. Peter Longerich’s latest book Wannsee: The Road to the Final Solution documents the alleged importance of the Wannsee Conference held in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee on January 20, 1942. Longerich writes:[1]

“Today the minutes of the Wannsee Conference are seen as synonymous with the coldblooded, bureaucratically organized, and industrialized mass murder of the European Jews, as an almost unfathomable document capturing how the Nazi system’s ideologically driven impulse to destroy was translated on the orders of the regime’s highest authority into state action and mercilessly executed. […] The minutes are unique because, more than any other document, they demonstrate with total clarity the decision-making process that led to the murder of the European Jews.”
This article discusses whether these minutes actually document “with total clarity” the decision-making process that led to the so-called Holocaust.

Historical Background​

Originally the Holocaust story assumed that Germany had a plan or program for exterminating European Jewry. In the 1961 edition of his book The Destruction of European Jews, Raul Hilberg wrote that in 1941 Hitler issued two orders for the extermination of the Jews.[2] However, even though the Allies captured most of Germany’s government and concentration camp records intact, no order or plan has ever been found to exterminate European Jewry.

In the revised 1985 edition of Hilberg’s book, all references to such extermination orders from Hitler were removed. American historian Christopher Browning, in a review of the revised edition of The Destruction of European Jews, wrote:[3]

“In the new edition, all references in the text to a Hitler decision or Hitler order for the ‘Final Solution’ have been systematically excised. Buried at the bottom of a single footnote stands the solitary reference: ‘Chronology and circumstances point to a Hitler decision before the summer ended.’ In Hilberg’s new edition, decisions and orders from Hitler are not documented.”
When asked in 1983 how the extermination of European Jewry took place without an order, Hilberg replied:[4]

“What began in 1941 was a process of destruction not planned in advance, not organized centrally by any agency. There was no blueprint and there was no budget for destructive measures. They were taken step by step, one step at a time. Thus, came about not so much a plan being carried out, but an incredible meeting of minds, a consensus--mind reading by a far-flung bureaucracy.”
On January 16, 1985, under cross-examination at the first Ernst Zündel trial in Toronto, Raul Hilberg confirmed that he said these words.[5] Thus, Hilberg stated that the genocide of European Jewry was not carried out by a plan or order, but rather by an incredible mind reading among far-flung German bureaucrats.

Other historians have acknowledged that no document of a plan by Germany to exterminate European Jewry has ever been found. In his well-known book on the Holocaust, French-Jewish historian Leon Poliakov stated that “…the campaign to exterminate the Jews, as regards its conception as well as many other essential aspects, remains shrouded in darkness.” Poliakov added that no documents of a plan for exterminating the Jews have ever been found because “perhaps none ever existed.”[6] British historian Ian Kershaw states that when the Soviet archives were opened in the early 1990s:[7]

“Predictably, a written order by Hitler for the ‘Final Solution’ was not found. The presumption that a single, explicit written order had ever been given had long been dismissed by most historians.”
Many defenders of the Holocaust story claim that the Wannsee Conference was the start of a program to systematically exterminate Europe’s Jews. Especially since there is no explicit written order to exterminate European Jewry, the Wannsee Conference has become extremely important in the attempt by establishment historians to document a German program of genocide against Europe’s Jews.

However, even many Jewish historians acknowledge that this conference does not prove that an extermination program existed. Instead, the German policy was to evacuate the Jews to the East. For example, Israeli “Holocaust” historian Yehuda Bauer has declared:

“The public still repeats, time after time, the silly story that at Wannsee the extermination of the Jews was arrived at.”
Bauer further said that Wannsee was a meeting but “hardly a conference,” and “little of what was said there was executed in detail.”[8]

Likewise, Israeli “Holocaust” historian Leni Yahil has stated in regard to the Wannsee Conference:[9]

“It is often assumed that the decision to launch the Final Solution was taken on this occasion, but this is not so.”

The Wannsee Conference​

Reinhard Heydrich sent an invitation on November 29, 1941, to various German leaders to attend a meeting designed to make all necessary organizational, practical and material preparations for a total solution to the Jewish question in Europe. The meeting was originally intended to take place on December 9, 1941. However, events in the war forced Heydrich to postpone this meeting on short notice to January 20, 1942.[10]

The 15 men who attended the Wannsee Conference included 10 university graduates, nine of them qualified lawyers, eight of whom had a doctorate.[11] Longerich divides the participants in the Wannsee Conference into three categories: 1) representatives of the (mostly state) “central authorities” in the Reich; 2) representatives of the civil occupation authorities (General Government and Ministry for the East); and 3) SS functionaries representing either SS head offices or branch offices in the occupied territories.[12]

The members of this first group—the representatives of the “central authorities”—were mainly both highly qualified top civil servants and longstanding and active National Socialists.

This group included Martin Luther, the undersecretary and head of the Germany desk at the Foreign Ministry; State Secretary Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart, who represented the Ministry of the Interior; Erich Neumann, state secretary in the office for the Four-Year Plan; State Secretary Dr. Roland Freisler of the Justice Ministry; and Ministerial Director Friedrich Kritzinger of the Reich Chancellery.[13]

The second group of institutions represented at the Wannsee Conference consisted of representatives of the civil occupation authorities in Poland and the Soviet Union. The Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories under Alfred Rosenberg was responsible for the Soviet Union. It was represented at the conference by Rosenberg’s permanent deputy, Dr. Alfred Meyer, and by Dr. Georg Leibbrandt, head of the Main Department I (Political) in the Ministry for the East. State Secretary Dr. Josef Bühler represented the General Government of Poland at the conference.[14]

The third group at the Wannsee Conference consisted mostly of a series of high-ranking SS men. This group included Reinhard Heydrich, who had called the meeting and was head of the RSHA, which brought together the Gestapo, the Criminal Police, foreign espionage and the Security Service. Also included were Otto Hofmann, head of the Race and Settlement Main Office; Adolf Eichmann and Heinrich Müller as representatives of the RSHA; Dr. Karl Georg Eberhard Schöngarth, commander of the Security Police in the General Government; Dr. Rudolf Lange, commander of the Security Police and Security Service in Latvia, and Dr. Gerhard Klopher, State Secretary from the Party Chancellery.[15]

Heydrich informed Heinrich Himmler by telephone the day after the Wannsee Conference of the meeting’s most important outcomes. He also sent letters a few days later to various German officials emphasizing his commitment to carrying out the tasks assigned to him without further delay.[16]

The Minutes​

Adolf Eichmann allegedly took minutes of the meeting at the Wannsee Conference which were later approved by Reinhard Heydrich. Of the original 30 copies of these minutes, only copy number 16 has been found. This copy, which was discovered by the Allies in March 1947 during their search of German documents, was submitted into evidence at the so-called Wilhelmstrasse Trial. The minutes of this meeting consist of 15 pages summarizing what was said at the conference and, therefore, are not a transcript. According to Eichmann, the meeting lasted only an hour to an hour and a half.[17]

Longerich writes:

“We should base our reading of the ‘minutes’ on the assumption that they are not a direct reproduction of what was said but a document summarizing the main lines of discussion and decisions reached from the standpoint of the Reich Security Head Office (RSHA).”
He also states that it is unclear whether the underlinings visible in the typescript are the work of the recipient of the minutes, or were added after 1945.[18]

The minutes of the Wannsee Conference do not mention anything about an extermination program against Jews. Instead, the objective was to exclude Jews from a) every sphere of German life and b) from the German nation’s living space. The minutes state:[19]

“As the only feasible temporary measure to achieve these goals, Jewish emigration from the Reich territory was being further accelerated and pursued methodically.”
The German policy was to evacuate Jews to the East—not to exterminate them.

Nowhere in the Wannsee minutes is the genocide of Jews discussed or planned. There is no talk of establishing extermination camps or allocating financial resources and construction material to build the extermination camps. The Wannsee minutes never mention gas chambers, gas vans, shootings or any of the other similar genocidal claims made after the war. The Wannsee minutes also make allowance for specific exceptions to Jewish evacuation. These exceptions included severely disabled Jewish German World War I veterans, Jews with war decorations (Iron Cross First Class), and all Jews over the age of 65. These Jews were to be sent to Jewish old people’s ghettos such as Theresienstadt.[20]

British historian David Irving was asked by the prosecuting attorney at the 1988 Ernst Zündel trial if he thought the Wannsee Conference was a conference to discuss the extermination of European Jews. Irving testified:[21]

“There is no explicit reference to extermination of the Jews of Europe in the Wannsee Conference and more important, not in any of the other documents in that file. We cannot take documents out of context. […] In my opinion, it has been inflated to that importance by irresponsible historians who probably haven’t read the document.”
German judge Dr. Wilhelm Stäglich also questioned the authenticity of the minutes to the Wannsee Conference. Stäglich noted that these minutes bear no official imprint, no date, no signature, and were written with an ordinary typewriter on small sheets of paper. Stäglich wrote:[22]

“What strikes one first about the document, as reproduced there, is indeed that it does not bear the name of an agency, nor the serial number under which an official record of the proceedings would have been kept by the agency that initiated them. That is totally out of keeping with official usage, and is all the more incomprehensible because it is stamped ‘Geheime Reichssache’ (‘Top Secret’). One can only say that any ‘official record’ of governmental business without a file number or even administrative identification—especially a document classified ‘Top Secret’—must be regarded with the utmost skepticism…
While it remains to be seen whether the document is entirely a forgery, I am convinced that segments of certain paragraphs were either subsequently added, deleted, or altered to suit the purposes of the Nuremberg trials and the kind of ‘historiography’ that followed in their footsteps.”

Extermination Through Labor​

Longerich uses the following two paragraphs from the Wannsee minutes to attempt to prove a German program of extermination against European Jewry:[23]

“As part of the final solution the Jews are now to be deployed for labor in the East in an appropriate manner and under suitable supervision. Jews fit for work will be taken to these territories in large work gangs. Men and women will be segregated and made to construct roads, in the course of which the majority will doubtless succumb to natural wastage.
The remaining Jews who survive, doubtless the toughest among them, will have to be dealt with accordingly, for, being a natural selection, they would, if released, be the germ cell for a new Jewish regeneration (see the experience of history).”
Longerich writes that the term “natural wastage” in this passage means death on a massive scale as a result of inhumane working conditions. He writes that not only would those who survived forced labor be murdered in an unspecified manner, but the rest of the Jews not fit for work—in other words, the women and children—would not escape this mass murder. Longerich further states that the segregation of men and women was designed to prevent any future progeny.[24]

These are the only two ambivalent paragraphs in the Wannsee minutes, which orthodox historians such as Longerich cling to. Germar Rudolf writes about these two paragraphs:[25]

“But read it thoroughly once more: the remnant is the result of a ‘natural’ selection at the end of this forced-labor project during the course of this forced migration to the east. Nothing is said here about any murder during that process. Only when this project is over, and possibly after the end of the war, the question of some kind of ‘special treatment’ arises. How that would look is not dealt with in that Protocol, for that was obviously an issue of the distant future.”
Rudolf writes that it is not true that the National-Socialist regime was fundamentally opposed to a Jewish revival. In fact, prior to the outbreak of war with the Soviet Union, numerous projects existed in Germany which were designed to facilitate a new beginning for Jews after they had emigrated from the German sphere of influence. Documents also exist which indicate that it was planned after the war to get the Jews out of Europe for a new beginning. This makes sense only if the Jews who survived forced labor were still alive at war’s end.[26]

Dr. Wilhelm Stäglich questioned the authenticity of these two paragraphs in the Wannsee minutes. Stäglich wrote:[27]

“With the exception of the initial sentence of the first paragraph, these two paragraphs do not fit into the framework of the document, and that quite apart from the obscurity of the second paragraph, which for the record of such an important conference is unusual, to say the least. […]
[T]
here can be no mistaking the incompatibility of these two paragraphs with the rest of the document. Hence it is not at all surprising that they should be quoted out of context. Only by means of such devices can critical readers be deceived about the actual content of the ‘Wannsee Protocol.’ The need for them bespeaks great laxity on the part of the forgers. They simply were not careful enough to bring their forgeries in line with the rest of the text.”

Conclusion​

Peter Longerich writes that the surviving Wannsee minutes record that the aim of the conference was to discuss precisely who was to be targeted and how to deport a total of 11 million people, subject them to extremely harsh forced labor, and kill anyone who survived or was no longer capable of work by some other method.[28]In reality, the genocide of European Jewry was not discussed at the Wannsee Conference. Longerich’s book Wannsee: The Road to the Final Solution adds no new information concerning the Wannsee Conference, and fails to document a German program of genocide against European Jewry.


Endnotes​

[1]Longerich, Peter, Wannsee: The Road to the Final Solution, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2021, p. 2.
[2]Hilberg, Raul, The Destruction of European Jews, New York: Harper & Row, 1986.
[3]The Revised Hilberg, Simon Wiesenthal Annual, Vol. 3, 1986, p. 294.
[4]De Wan, George, “The Holocaust in Perspective,” Newsday: Long Island, N.Y., Feb. 23, 1983, Part II, p. 3.
[5]See trial transcript, pp. 846-848. Also, Kulaszka, Barbara, (ed.), Did Six Million Really Die: Report of Evidence in the Canadian “False News” Trial of Ernst Zündel, Toronto: Samisdat Publishers Ltd., 1992, p. 24.
[6]Poliakov, Leon, Harvest of Hate, New York: Holocaust Library, 1979, p. 108.
[7]Kershaw, Ian, Hitler, the Germans, and the Final Solution, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2008, p. 96.
[8]The Canadian Jewish News, Toronto, Jan. 30, 1992, p. 8. See also https://www.jta.org/archive/nazi-scheme-not-born-at-wannsee-israeli-holocaust-scholar-claims.
[9]Yahil, Leni, The Holocaust: The Fate of European Jewry, 1932-1945, Oxford University Press, 1990, p. 312.
[10]Longerich, Peter, Wannsee: The Road to the Final Solution, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2021, pp. 8-9, 35.
[11]Ibid., p. 2.
[12]Ibid., p. 39.
[13]Ibid., pp. 39-45.
[14]Ibid., pp. 48-51.
[15]Ibid., pp. 52-55, 103.
[16]Ibid., p. 85.
[17]Ibid., p. 59.
[18]Ibid., pp. 59, 61.
[19]Ibid., p. 62.
[20]Ibid., pp. 58-84.
[21]Kulaszka, Barbara, (ed.), Did Six Million Really Die: Report of Evidence in the Canadian “False News” Trial of Ernst Zündel, Toronto: Samisdat Publishers Ltd., 1992, p. 381.
[22]Stäglich, Wilhelm, Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence, Institute for Historical Review, 1990, pp. 33-34.
[23]Longerich, Peter, Wannsee: The Road to the Final Solution, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2021, pp. 70, 72.
[24]Ibid., p. 69.
[25]Rudolf, Germar, Lectures on the Holocaust: Controversial Issues Cross-Examined, Uckfield, UK: Castle Hill Publishers, 2017, p. 128.
[26]Ibid., p. 129.
[27]Stäglich, Wilhelm, Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence, Institute for Historical Review, 1990, pp. 36-37.
[28]Longerich, Peter, Wannsee: The Road to the Final Solution, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2021, p. 1.

Author(s):John Wear
Title:“Wannsee: The Road to the Final Solution”
Sources:Inconvenient History, 2022, Vol. 14, No. 2
Dates:published: 2022-05-06, first posted: 2022-05-06 08:24:33
 

Apollonian

Guest Columnist

Before and after the “Holocaust”: Jewish population numbers in 1933 and 1948​

by tts-admin | Jan 27, 2022 | 5 comments

Link: https://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=85432

Rebel of Oz — Nov 30, 2013

For over a century, the Jewish World Almanac has been widely regarded as the most authentic source for the world’s Jewish population numbers. Academics all over the world, including the editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica, used to rely on the accuracy of those numbers. Here is what the World Alamanacs of 1933 and 1948 had to say about the world population of Jews.

World Almanac 1933 [picture illustration--see site link, above, top]


World Almanac 1948


In other words, according to the World Almanac the world population of Jews increased (!) between 1933 and 1948 from 15,315,000 to 15,753,000. If the German government under Adolf Hitler had – as alleged – murdered six million Jews those losses should have been reflected in the Jewish population numbers quoted in the World Almanac.
The suspicions raised by above numbers concerning the veracity of the allegations made against the Hitler government are confirmed by the official three-volume report by the International Committee of the Red Cross, released 1948 in Geneva, according to which 272,000 concentration camp inmates died in German custody, about half of them Jews. The following article elaborates.

A Factual Appraisal Of The ‘Holocaust’ By The Red Cross

The Jews And The Concentration Camps: No Evidence Of Genocide​

There is one survey of the Jewish question in Europe during World War Two and the conditions of Germany’s concentration camps which is almost unique in its honesty and objectivity, the three-volume Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross on its Activities during the Second World War, Geneva, 1948.
This comprehensive account from an entirely neutral source incorporated and expanded the findings of two previous works: Documents sur l’activité du CICR en faveur des civils détenus dans les camps de concentration en Allemagne 1939-1945 (Geneva, 1946), and Inter Arma Caritas: the Work of the ICRC during the Second World War (Geneva, 1947). The team of authors, headed by Frédéric Siordet, explained in the opening pages of the Report that their object, in the tradition of the Red Cross, had been strict political neutrality, and herein lies its great value.
The ICRC successfully applied the 1929 Geneva military convention in order to gain access to civilian internees held in Central and Western Europe by the Germany authorities. By contrast, the ICRC was unable to gain any access to the Soviet Union, which had failed to ratify the Convention. The millions of civilian and military internees held in the USSR, whose conditions were known to be by far the worst, were completely cut off from any international contact or supervision.
The Red Cross Report is of value in that it first clarifies the legitimate circumstances under which Jews were detained in concentration camps, i.e. as enemy aliens. In describing the two categories of civilian internees, the Report distinguishes the second type as “Civilians deported on administrative grounds (in German, “Schutzhäftlinge”), who were arrested for political or racial motives because their presence was considered a danger to the State or the occupation forces” (Vol. 111, p. 73). These persons, it continues, “were placed on the same footing as persons arrested or imprisoned under common law for security reasons.” (P.74).
The Report admits that the Germans were at first reluctant to permit supervision by the Red Cross of people detained on grounds relating to security, but by the latter part of 1942, the ICRC obtained important concessions from Germany. They were permitted to distribute food parcels to major concentration camps in Germany from August 1942, and “from February 1943 onwards this concession was extended to all other camps and prisons” (Vol. 111, p. 78). The ICRC soon established contact with camp commandants and launched a food relief programme which continued to function until the last months of 1945, letters of thanks for which came pouring in from Jewish internees.

Red Cross Recipients Were Jews

The Report states that “As many as 9,000 parcels were packed daily. >From the autumn of 1943 until May 1945, about 1,112,000 parcels with a total weight of 4,500 tons were sent off to the concentration camps” (Vol. III, p. 80). In addition to food, these contained clothing and pharmaceutical supplies. “Parcels were sent to Dachau, Buchenwald, Sangerhausen, Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg, Flossenburg, Landsberg-am-Lech, Flöha, Ravensbrück, Hamburg-Neuengamme, Mauthausen, Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, to camps near Vienna and in Central and Southern Germany. The principal recipients were Belgians, Dutch, French, Greeks, Italians, Norwegians, Poles and stateless Jews” (Vol. III, p. 83).
In the course of the war, “The Committee was in a position to transfer and distribute in the form of relief supplies over twenty million Swiss francs collected by Jewish welfare organisations throughout the world, in particular by the American Joint Distribution Committee of New York” (Vol. I, p. 644). This latter organisation was permitted by the German Government to maintain offices in Berlin until the American entry into the war. The ICRC complained that obstruction of their vast relief operation for Jewish internees came not from the Germans but from the tight Allied blockade of Europe. Most of their purchases of relief food were made in Rumania, Hungary and Slovakia.
The ICRC had special praise for the liberal conditions which prevailed at Theresienstadt up to the time of their last visits there in April 1945. This camp, “where there were about 40,000 Jews deported from various countries was a relatively privileged ghetto” (Vol. III, p. 75). According to the Report, “‘The Committee’s delegates were able to visit the camp at Theresienstadt (Terezin) which was used exclusively for Jews and was governed by special conditions. From information gathered by the Committee, this camp had been started as an experiment by certain leaders of the Reich … These men wished to give the Jews the means of setting up a communal life in a town under their own administration and possessing almost complete autonomy. . . two delegates were able to visit the camp on April 6th, 1945. They confirmed the favourable impression gained on the first visit” (Vol. I, p . 642).
The ICRC also had praise for the regime of Ion Antonescu of Fascist Rumania where the Committee was able to extend special relief to 183,000 Rumanian Jews until the time of the Soviet occupation. The aid then ceased, and the ICRC complained bitterly that it never succeeded “in sending anything whatsoever to Russia” (Vol. II, p. 62). The same situation applied to many of the German camps after their “liberation” by the Russians. The ICRC received a voluminous flow of mail from Auschwitz until the period of the Soviet occupation, when many of the internees were evacuated westward. But the efforts of the Red Cross to send relief to internees remaining at Auschwitz under Soviet control were futile. However, food parcels continued to be sent to former Auschwitz inmates transferred west to such camps as Buchenwald and Oranienburg.

No Evidence Of Genocide

One of the most important aspects of the Red Cross Report is that it clarifies the true cause of those deaths that undoubtedly occurred in the camps toward the end of the war. Says the Report: “In the chaotic condition of Germany after the invasion during the final months of the war, the camps received no food supplies at all and starvation claimed an increasing number of victims. Itself alarmed by this situation, the German Government at last informed the ICRC on February 1st, 1945 … In March 1945, discussions between the President of the ICRC and General of the S.S. Kaltenbrunner gave even more decisive results. Relief could henceforth be distributed by the ICRC, and one delegate was authorised to stay in each camp …” (Vol. III, p. 83).
Clearly, the German authorities were at pains to relieve the dire situation as far as they were able. The Red Cross are quite explicit in stating that food supplies ceased at this time due to the Allied bombing of German transportation, and in the interests of interned Jews they had protested on March 15th, 1944 against “the barbarous aerial warfare of the Allies” (Inter Arma Caritas, p. 78). By October 2nd, 1944, the ICRC warned the German Foreign Office of the impending collapse of the German transportation system, declaring that starvation conditions for people throughout Germany were becoming inevitable.
In dealing with this comprehensive, three-volume Report, it is important to stress that the delegates of the International Red Cross found no evidence whatever at the camps in Axis occupied Europe of a deliberate policy to exterminate the Jews. In all its 1,600 pages the Report does not even mention such a thing as a gas chamber. It admits that Jews, like many other wartime nationalities, suffered rigours and privations, but its complete silence on the subject of planned extermination is ample refutation of the Six Million legend. Like the Vatican representatives with whom they worked, the Red Cross found itself unable to indulge in the irresponsible charges of genocide which had become the order of the day. So far as the genuine mortality rate is concerned, the Report points out that most of the Jewish doctors from the camps were being used to combat typhus on the eastern front, so that they were unavailable when the typhus epidemics of 1945 broke out in the camps (Vol. I, p. 204 ff) – Incidentally, it is frequently claimed that mass executions were carried out in gas chambers cunningly disguised as shower facilities. Again the Report makes nonsense of this allegation. “Not only the washing places, but installations for baths, showers and laundry were inspected by the delegates. They had often to take action to have fixtures made less primitive, and to get them repaired or enlarged” (Vol. III, p. 594).

Not All Were Interned

Volume III of the Red Cross Report, Chapter 3 (I. Jewish Civilian Population) deals with the “aid given to the Jewish section of the free population,” and this chapter makes it quite plain that by no means all of the European Jews were placed in internment camps, but remained, subject to certain restrictions, as part of the free civilian population. This conflicts directly with the “thoroughness” of the supposed “extermination programme”, and with the claim in the forged Höss memoirs that Eichmann was obsessed with seizing “every single Jew he could lay his hands on.”
In Slovakia, for example, where Eichmann’s assistant Dieter Wisliceny was in charge, the Report states that “A large proportion of the Jewish minority had permission to stay in the country, and at certain periods Slovakia was looked upon as a comparative haven of refuge for Jews, especially for those coming from Poland. Those who remained in Slovakia seem to have been in comparative safety until the end of August 1944, when a rising against the German forces took place. While it is true that the law of May 15th, 1942 had brought about the internment of several thousand Jews, these people were held in camps where the conditions of food and lodging were tolerable, and where the internees were allowed to do paid work on terms almost equal to those of the free labour market” (Vol. I, p. 646).
Not only did large numbers of the three million or so European Jews avoid internment altogether, but the emigration of Jews continued throughout the war, generally by way of Hungary, Rumania and Turkey. Ironically, post-war Jewish emigration from German-occupied territories was also facilitated by the Reich, as in the case of the Polish Jews who had escaped to France before its occupation. “The Jews from Poland who, whilst in France, had obtained entrance permits to the United States were held to be American citizens by the German occupying authorities, who further agreed to recognize the validity of about three thousand passports issued to Jews by the consulates of South American countries” (Vol. I, p. 645).
As future U.S. citizens, these Jews were held at the Vittel camp in southern France for American aliens. The emigration of European Jews from Hungary in particular proceeded during the war unhindered by the German authorities. “Until March 1944,” says the. Red Cross Report, “Jews who had the privilege of visas for Palestine were free to leave Hungary” (Vol. I, p. 648). Even after the replacement of the Horthy Government in 1944 (following its attempted armistice with the Soviet Union) with a government more dependent on German authority, the emigration of Jews continued.
The Committee secured the pledges of both Britain and the United States “to give support by every means to the emigration of Jews from Hungary,” and from the U.S. Government the ICRC received a message stating that “The Government of the United States … now specifically repeats its assurance that arrangements will be made by it for the care of all Jews who in the present circumstances are allowed to leave” (Vol. I, p . 649).
Biedermann agreed that in the nineteen instances that “Did Six Million Really Die?” quoted from the Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross on its Activities during the Second World War and Inter Arma Caritas (this includes the above material), it did so accurately.
A quote from Charles Biedermann (a delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Director of the Red Cross’ International Tracing Service) under oath at the Zündel Trial (February 9, 10, 11 and 12, 1988).
The above is chapter nine from the book “Did Six Million Really Die?”.
 
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