Holocaust Skepticism (Revisionism)

Hermann Göring was the first person to express skepticism about the Holocaust narrative imposed upon the world by the prosecution during the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal (see the entry on him). The next person to voice his skepticism was the Frenchman Paul Rassinier. He had been incarcerated at the Buchenwald and Dora Camps due to his activities within the French resistance. Yet when he read the distortions and lies spread after the war by some of his former co-inmates, he tried setting the record straight – first only about Buchenwald and Dora (see Rassinier 2022), but later also on a much broader scale regarding the Holocaust in general. Since Rassinier did not have the means to access primary sources in various archives, however, his later works were necessarily somewhat superficial.

Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, the writings of Holocaust skeptics were more anecdotal and journalistic in nature, lacking academic stringency. That changed between 1975 and 1983 with the well-researched and -argued writings of Arthur Butz, Robert Faurisson, Wilhelm Stäglich and Walter Sanning. With this, Holocaust skepticism matured to a historical school that soon exceeded most orthodox studies in mastery of source material and stringency of argumentation. (See Mattogno 1988 for an overview of early revisionist works.)

Works of profound source criticism followed, which sent shockwaves through the orthodox establishment, as they undermined the very basis on which their narrative was based: Henri Roques’s PhD thesis on Kurt Gerstein (Roques 1989) and Carlo Mattogno’s papers on the first gassing of Auschwitz (Mattogno 1989) as well as on the testimonies of Miklós Nyiszli (1988a), Ada Bimko and Charles S. Bendel (1990), Filip Müller (1990a), and last but not least Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler (1990b). As a result, the orthodoxy did not review their own work to consider whether they made any mistakes, but rather demanded that the iconoclastic skeptics be censored and punished. Roques, for example, lost his PhD title as a result of the ensuing witch hunt.

The Second Zündel Trial in 1988 made it fashionable to apply common forensic methods to the claimed murders within the Holocaust. In addition, the collapse of the Soviet Union suddenly made vast archival resources in Eastern Europe accessible, which allowed deep insights into the documented history of many camps. Both trends resulted in a swiftly growing list of thorough forensic and archival studies about many alleged crime scenes of the Holo­caust, which coalesced in the series Holocaust Handbooks. As of 2023, this series contains 51 monographs of mostly extremely thorough and detailed studies of various aspects of the Holocaust, putting orthodox studies on the same topics to shame.

The orthodoxy’s reaction to this development was the introduction of laws in most European countries as well as Israel, Canada and Australia that mandate the writing of history by penal law, thereby threatening any dissidents with prison terms of up to twenty years (this in Austria). This dictatorial approach to academic questions on such a broad, international scale has not been seen in the world since the Catholic Church’s Holy Inquisition. The supposedly “free” West is not so free after all. (See the entry on censorship.)

One typical strategy used by the orthodoxy is to refuse to cite, or even mention, any of the major skeptical or revisionist scholars. If pressed, they will cite 40- or 50-year-old publications, or mention only marginal, inactive or deceased revisionists. But they will assiduously avoid mention of the most-recent sources and the most-important revisionist scholars.

A litmus test for any work on the Holocaust is whether or not it mentions any of the more than 50 pertinent monographs and papers by Carlo Mattogno. This Italian historian is so dangerous to the establishment that they don’t even dare to say or write his name. The same holds, to only a slightly lesser extent, regarding such men as Jürgen Graf, Thomas Kues, Germar Rudolf, Thomas Dalton, Nick Kollerstrom and others who present a solid, academic case for Holocaust skepticism.

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