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Two Cutting-Edge Works of Holocaust Revisionism

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Reviewed by Arthur R. Butz

4 September 2011.

Samuel Crowell; The Gas Chamber of Sherlock Holmes, and Other Writings on the Holocaust, Revisionism, and Historical Understanding; Nine-Banded Books, PO Box 1862, Charleston, WV 25327 (; 2011, 401 pp.

Carlo Mattogno; Auschwitz: The Case for Sanity, two vols.; The Barnes Review, PO Box 15877, Washington, DC 20003 (, 1-877-773-9077 toll free; 2010, 756 pp. total

These two very recent books evidence the maturity of the field of Holocaust revisionism.

Carlo Mattogno, together with his long-time colleague Jürgen Graf and, more recently, Thomas Kues (familiar to readers of this newsletter) are among the most energetic and productive revisionists working today. They have accumulated a wealth of documentary material with long, presumably self-financed, trips to the various archives, especially in eastern Europe.

Mattogno has published a number of books and articles on Auschwitz, the core of the “Holocaust” legend, and this two-volume work is the most recent. Past readers of IHR’s Journal of Historical Review and Germar Rudolf’s The Revisionist may recall that I have occasionally clashed with Mattogno. I do have a problem with Mattogno’s writings and, partly because I have already read many of them, and partly for reasons I shall presently elucidate, I did not read these recent two volumes in their entirety.

A major reason I did not read all of Mattogno’s books is simply that I have great trouble following his arguments and, even after taking all that time and trouble, I can feel I have been left in the lurch.

Our most recent clash was on the subject of a document showing the Auschwitz construction department attempting to get cyanide gas detectors from the oven manufacturer Topf for use in a crematorium then under construction. Pressac and others had held this document up as proving the existence of gas chambers in the crematoria. Those wishing to revisit that exchange can see my original article[i], Mattogno’s original article[ii], and the Butz-Mattogno exchange.[iii] It suffices to say that Mattogno’s theory was that the document “was falsified by an ignorant forger”, while I speculated that the wish for cyanide gas detectors arose from a waste incinerator that shared ducts with the crematorium ovens. We agreed that Zyklon was not involved, as there was a special department at Auschwitz for that, which had all the cyanide detectors needed for that application.

It was therefore with great interest that I read his new discussion of the alleged gas detectors, which is admirable for its copious documentation. It takes 22 pages but, mainly because Mattogno’s trains of thought contrast so much with mine, I found the going rough. It seemed that Mattogno was coming around to my theory, with the change that a cyanide danger was seen in the cremations (I had never encountered an association of cyanide with cremation). I say it “seemed” because throughout the considerable labor of reading this section it was not clear where he was headed, but that’s okay if the matter is clarified in the end. Twice (pp 94, 107) he promised to “furnish an alternative explanation” to the interpretation of Pressac He did not consider the possible involvement of the waste incinerator.

I was to be disappointed as he suddenly, and without warning, concluded his analysis with this single paragraph (p. 114):

For all these reason [sic] the Topf letter of March 2, 1943, is at least suspicious. Although it seems formally authentic, its content is utterly untenable.

What does that mean? I don’t know. If anything, Mattogno appears to want to come back to his original claim of falsification, but perhaps understands that the evidence gives no support to such a conclusion, so he has left the matter in confusion. He did not “furnish an alternative explanation”.

Thus I warn that the fruits of the reader’s considerable labor may be more in learning the relevant documents than in formulating reliable conclusions. In knowledge of the documents, Mattogno seems to have no peer. You will come away from the section I have discussed knowing more about the application of Zyklon at Auschwitz than you ever needed to know.

Much of Samuel Crowell’s book is about Auschwitz, though his aim is to consider all the major features of Holocaust legend; in that respect his work is comparable to my 1976 The Hoax of the Twentieth Century. His book is copiously documented. I read the whole volume, and am much happier with both Crowell’s conclusions and his means of reaching them than I am with Mattogno’s, on those matters common to both works. I believe Crowell’s work is of basic and abiding importance in untangling what I have called the “Hoax”.

Crowell has an additional objective missing in Mattogno. He presents a genesis of the legend, even examining the early 20th century for cultural developments that could have given rise to fears of gas chambers. His main thrust appears to be (p. 151) “The gassing claim as a mass delusion . . . . as a cultural construct . . . . created by, and reinforced by, delusional pressures of social and cultural change as well as by censorship.” That is, the claim was created by society and history, or a natural evolution of society, rather than by intent of specific persons.

Here I shall, before coming to my main objection, criticize a major point in Crowell’s presentation, namely, his disdain for the “hoax” and “conspiracy” interpretations of the legend, though he gives limited approval to the hoax thesis (p 155):

It would probably be better to say that, if the claim is a hoax, then surely a hoax of limited participation, and we should emphasize the number of those deceived, rather than the small number of those deceiving.

Why? Everybody knows the number of those deceived, namely almost everybody, and the number of those deceiving is therefore necessarily small, and there remains only the questions who, how, and why, questions that this reviewer will further examine.

Earlier in the book Crowell advanced his theory with another concession (p. 42): “while we continue to maintain that most of the elements in the gassing story arose more or less spontaneously and were just as spontaneously believed, at Majdanek we are confronted with grim evidence of a deliberate Soviet hoax.” As for the claim of gas chambers at Auschwitz, he remarks (p. 133) “there is a strong likelihood of a Polish and Soviet communist hoax in developing this particular evidence.” The concession is most interesting in terms of who is missing as a perpetrator, whom I shall presently identify.

Later in the book he denigrates “conspiracy theory” much as our major media do (pp. 357ff):

. . . . the human mind will seek to create causal nexuses for events that seem arbitrary and capricious, especially when they are destructive on a grand scale. To this extent the human mind is always potentially schizophrenic: perceiving a world full of confusing and unpredictable action, yet understood by a mind that refuses to accept a lack of pattern or structure. When Einstein wrote to Max Born and declared that God “does not throw dice,” he was speaking not as a scientist but as Everyman.

I beg to differ: Einstein was speaking as a scientist to another scientist. His resistance as a scientist to much of modern physics, which his remark related to, is well known. Indeed finding “pattern or structure” in creating “causal nexuses for events that seem arbitrary and capricious”, though perceiving only “a world full of confusing and unpredictable action”, is called “science”.

As for definitions, that which is “confidential cooperation” to you may be “conspiracy” to me. That is, the notion of conspiracy depends on point of view. We may say my definition of conspiracy is “confidential cooperation Butz doesn’t like”.

We can agree with Crowell, for the sake of discussion, that “conspiracy theory”, as distinct from “conspiracy”, is a claim, not supported by evidence sufficient for proof, of the existence of some conspiracy. The lack of proof, of course, is the basis for the ridicule that our media heap on the dissident conspiracy theorists. Where I part with Crowell is on the value of conspiracy theory. While some conspiracy theories are of course ridiculous, the possibility of hypothesizing conspiracies is vital to arriving at truth.

Here is an example. A police inspector, trying to solve a crime, conjectures that two or more characters may have collaborated in that crime. How does he investigate the conjecture? An important feature of his conjecture would be a hypothesis on specifically how the two or more suspects collaborated to commit the crime, because that hypothesis would guide him in seeking evidence that would, if it is found, confirm the conjecture. Without the hypothesis, the investigation would be unguided. That hypothesis, of course, is a “conspiracy theory”. The police inspector has two luxuries: official investigative power and that he need not reveal his hypothesis until he has the proof.

Public debate on matters of general concern does not allow that; there is normally no way to test the theory other than by throwing it out into the public arena. Should those who suspected a conspiracy involving President Nixon, before the Watergate tapes were released, have kept their mouths shut? I don’t think so.

I argued in my Hoax book that the “Holocaust”, in its canonical “gas chamber” form, has Auschwitz as its center and the document I called the “WRB Report” (since it was first published by Henry Morgenthau’s War Refugee Board), at its foundation. I made it clear in Hoax, Ch. III, that the War Refugee Board was a Jewish operation designed to help Jews, despite the neutrality of its name.

A preliminary version of the WRB Report had been reported by the NY Times on 3 July 1944 and on 26 Nov. 1944 the Times reported publication of the Report by the WRB, more than two months before the Soviets captured Auschwitz.

The WRB Report is also sometimes referred to, today, as the “Auschwitz Protocol”. In the book and elsewhere I noted the strong presence of truth in the document, e.g. the transport lists, which well approximate those later published by the Auschwitz Museum and which, as I said at the end of my Ch. III,  “is not the sort of information escapees would carry out”. As for the rest of the WRB Report, it closely approximates the present orthodox presentation of the gas chamber yarn, according to which gas chambers employing Zyklon were integrated into the crematoria. The knowledgeable, and I stress “knowledgeable”, authors therefore gave us a hoax.

What does Crowell say about the WRB Report? Very little, but it is important. He considers the document USSR-8 presented by the Soviet Union at the big Nuremberg trial (the IMT), as the foundation of the legend (pp. 58ff), noting the WRB Report was not presented (p 62). However Crowell also remarks that the Soviet report was influenced by the WRB Report, and also by a 2 Feb. 1945 report by the Soviet journalist Boris Polevoi (p. 48). He does not note that Polevoi was a Jew on his mother’s side. The Soviet report, having been written a year after the WRB Report by the Soviets who had captured the camp and many of its documents, of course contained more detail, but the Soviets were well instructed beforehand on what they were supposed to find there.

Actually, one page of the WRB Report was put in evidence in the IMT trial[iv]. Moreover, the Höss testimony, given originally, and under duress, to Jewish interrogators while in British captivity, had far more impact in the trial and in the press, and well into the postwar years, than either the Soviet report or the WRB Report.[v] Crowell notes (p. 77) that Höss’ statements “speak with great authority to most historians”.

The relative inattention to the WRB Report at the IMT could have been due to a number of things, e.g. an impossibility of producing the authors, or a decision to let the Soviet Union star in this matter, or simply because Auschwitz was on territory conquered by the Soviet Union.

It may be asked, why must the happenings at the IMT settle this? A hoax need not be something presented in a trial, but I think Crowell is right to focus in this way on the IMT; it provided the basis for all future presentations of the legend. Indeed trials have always been crucial in advancing or supporting the legend, a situation that alone should arouse suspicion in reflective historians. A recent example is the Irving-Lipstadt trial (2000).

The WRB Report played a role in the Eichmann trial (1961). The names (Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler) later allegedly used by the two escapees were given there.[vi] Vrba was a cousin of Vera Atkins, who was to inspire the Miss Moneypenny character in the James Bond stories, but who was a British intelligence agent during the war, indeed one of Höss’ Jewish interrogators.[vii] Small world! Or perhaps we should say “All In the Family”. Vrba published his alleged memoirs in 1964 and testified at Ernst Zündel’s trial in Canada in 1985.[viii] It is the WRB Report that has had both a wartime and postwar life; the Soviet Union’s report has been forgotten. Interest in the WRB Report faded in the first three postwar decades but has risen in recent years. It is the foundation for what I called the Hoax and it is clear that it was created, and has been sustained, by the Jewish entity, especially in its Zionist manifestation, despite the many absurdities and contradictions in the accounts of Rudolf Vrba.

I have to add that I don’t know what individuals actually composed the WRB Report. What is clear is that it came from Jewish circles.

That brings us to my “main objection”: Crowell does not present the Jews as important actors in the genesis of the legend. Indeed they don’t do much more than get killed. There being no hoaxer identified in this book, it can be difficult to see a hoax.

Reconsider, as Crowell would have us, the Nuremberg trials. They were a Jewish festival, conducted under the auspices of the USA in the US zone of occupation in Germany. At the IMT, the Soviets, British and French were just guests in a US-staged show. President Franklin “Clear It With Sidney” Roosevelt[ix] was closely associated with the Jews. During the war he enlisted the support of the Jewish gangster Meyer Lansky via their mutual friend the Jew Walter Winchell, then the most influential columnist in the US.[x] Roosevelt’s secret emissary to the dictator-gangster Fulgencio Batista in Cuba was Lansky.[xi]

Roosevelt tasked his close Jewish associate Samuel Rosenman to lay the foundation of the “war crimes” trials, fighting off a British preference to just shoot the Nazi leaders unceremoniously, in favor of the show that was eventually staged in Nuremberg.[xii] What the Soviet Union did there, with its variation or embellishment of the basic materials of the WRB Report, was part of this Jewish festival. The star of the show was Rudolf Höss, acting out a script written for him by Jews. I said much about the Jewish involvement in the Nuremberg trials in my Hoax book, especially in Chs. I, III, V.

What is sorely missing in Crowell’s book is the Jew as actor or, in terms Crowell quotes, as exercising “deliberate agency” (p. 358) in creating and sustaining the hoax. This absence seems to be deliberate. In discussing the various statements made by or attributed to Höss (pp. 75-83), Crowell references (note 298 on p. 76) Robert Faurisson’s paper, cited above, on the interrogations of Höss while in British custody. I consider Faurisson’s paper the basic study of the Höss testimony problem, but Crowell remarks with obvious disapproval that Faurisson preferred “to stress the Jewish identity” of the interrogators. I say “obvious disapproval” because only the unusual reader alert to such footnotes could infer from Crowell’s section that Höss’ tormentors were Jews. From that I must infer that Crowell considers it irrelevant or at least unimportant that the Höss testimony was obtained under duress applied by Jews. Moreover to Crowell it seems (p. 81) Höss’ interrogators were “acting more or less in good faith”!

In summary both the Crowell book and the Mattogno volumes, and probably Mattogno’s earlier works, are indispensable additions to the revisionist library, but both must be read with care and reserve, as indeed all historical works should. I have had to criticize Crowell’s treatment of the genesis of the legend, because I think it very seriously flawed. That does not diminish my admiration for his analysis of the documents purporting to prove the existence of “gas chambers”. It’s the bad things the book reviewer has to give space to; the author gives space to the good things.

In concluding I want to express my great satisfaction with developments of the past 40 years, at the outset of which I wandered alone in the desert. We are not yet in the land of milk and honey, but we are in a land of plenty and these books prove it.



[i] My original Journal of  Historical Review article “Gas detectors in Auschwitz Crematory II.” September/October, 1997; vol.16, no. 5, pp. 24+ does not seem to be posted on the web but a version is posted at and .

[ii] Mattogno’s theory of falsification: .

[iii] Mattogno’s critique , My “Reply to Carlo Mattogno and the Editor on the Gas Detectors,” The Revisionist, vol. 2, no. 4, Dec. 2004, pp. 437ff and,

[iv] Document 022-L, pictured in my Hoax book.

[v] Mattogno (pp. 436fff) notes that Höss was tortured by, among others, Bernard Clarke. Faurisson identified Clarke as a Jew and discussed the process of torture (

[vi] The two Jews who escaped on 7 April 1944 were named Walter Rosenberg and Alfred Wetzler. I have a copy of the Gestapo telegram of 9 April, reporting the escape.

[vii] New York Times obituary, 27 June 2000. For the Atkins-Vrba connection, google Vera Atkins or consult ‪Spymistress: the life of Vera Atkins, by William Stevenson, 2011, p. 3. The surname of Atkins’ father was “Rosenberg”, a fact that associates Vrba with that name.

[viii] I commented much on Vrba in Chs. 3 and 5 of Hoax and in “Some Thoughts on Pressac’s Opus” ( and in a long footnote in “On the 1944 Deportations of Hungarian Jews” ( For an account of Vrba’s appearance in Ernst Zündel’s first trial in Canada, see Michael Hoffman’s The Great Holocaust Trial ( ).

[ix] Labor leader Sidney Hillman; Roosevelt’s remark was not in connection with war crimes trials.

[xi] Marvin Miller, The Breaking of a President 1974 – The Nixon Connection, Therapy Productions, 1975. Excerpted at[email protected]/msg11633.html . Also Catherine Wismer, Sweethearts, James Lorimer, Toronto,1980.

[xii] Samuel I. Rosenman, Working With Roosevelt, Harper, NY, 1952, pp. 518f, 542-545.

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