January 2009

From Michael Santomauro:
( I am not the author of this )
ReporterNotebook@gmail.com

By Prof. Anonymous

Like Faurisson, I too am dismayed at Mark Weber's evident retreat from Holocaust revisionism, which has always seemed to me to be central to the IHR mission.  But Faurisson overstates his case, and in doing so hurts not only his reputation but revisionism generally.

Faurisson's central claim is that "the (homicidal) Nazi gas chambers never existed."  In support of this, he points to the fact that the experts "are unable to show them to us." ("show me or draw me...").  But what does he mean by these statements?

Consider first that Zyklon delousing chambers did in fact exist, and that these could be as small as a couple cubic meters or as large as a freight train hangar--and anywhere in between.  Any delousing chamber larger than a few cubic meters could, in fact, have been used to kill people.  Now it is true that we have no direct evidence of this, other than the many tales of gassings.  But it must be allowed that these tales could conceivably have a small grain of truth to them.  With all the delousing actions going on, including the possible delousing of corpses, it clearly was possible that some small number of Jews were deliberately gassed.  Faurisson cannot know that this did not happen, and therefore he is unjustified in saying, categorically, that it did not.

So what he must mean, then, is (a) none of the chambers were built and designed from the start as homicidal facilities, (b) no rapid killing of large groups of Jews ever took place--such as claims of killing 2,000 in 5 minutes, and therefore (c) it was impossible to accumulate large death totals, such as the 900,000 claimed to have been gassed at Auschwitz.  If all this is wrapped up in his little phrase "gas chamber never existed", well, then, that's a bit too much shorthand, even for revisionists let alone the general public.

Secondly, his 'show me, draw me' claim has apparently been refuted by, for example, Van Pelt, who has drawn pictures of the notorious wire-mesh columns leading down from the Zyklon hatches.  Such a scheme could, in principle, be used to kill people, even if the room in question was not originally designed for this purpose.  As to the room itself, almost any room with a window (openable from the outside) and a door (moderately sealable and lockable) could have been used for sporadic, small-scale gassings.  So here he must mean, "Show me a complete, blueprint for a purpose-built Zyklon gassing facility that could only have been used on large numbers of human beings, to kill them all within minutes."  Again, too much for his simple phrase.  And furthermore, even if the experts cannot produce a document like this, it does not thereby justify his overall claim; it only leaves the question undecided.  Absence of evidence is neither proof nor disproof for either side.

Faurisson likens his case to Saddam's famously missing WMD.  But of course Saddam did have 'weapons of destruction', and used them against his own people.  The whole point of contention is 'weapons of MASS destruction'--and what is 'mass'?  To the Kurds, a few hundred probably was sufficient.  Bush and company were implying thousands, or hundreds of thousands, and this clearly did not exist.  And so, perhaps, with the chambers--if some renegade camp guard decided to shove 40 or 50 Jews into a delousing room, then, we have a 'gas chamber'.  But of course this is not mass gassing, on an industrial scale.

It does not fatally harm the revisionist cause to accept the possibility that isolated, small gassings occurred in delousing chambers.  Jews seem to have been killed almost every other way--why not by being shoved into a delousing room now and then?  But we know from what is physically possible that long-term, mass-gassing is out of the question, and hence the orthodox view must be changed.

If Weber has a point, it is that he is correct to avoid making categorical statements about that which he cannot know.  In fact it is irrational to do so, and this is something that Faurisson has not grasped.

Faurisson is rather like a religious fundamentalist--proclaiming certain knowledge about that which is unknowable.  He would be better off 'conceding' the possibility of points which do not hurt his cause (and hence are not really concessions after all), and in speaking in terms of 'likelihood' and 'probability' --fuzzier terms, to be sure, but rationally more defensible.  And he needs to carefully unpack his catch phrases, lest they misinterpreted and thus used against revisionism.


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