Wiesenthal Re-Confirms: 'No Extermination Camps on German Soil'

In a letter published in a January issue of The Stars and Stripes, a newspaper for US military service personnel, Simon Wiesenthal re-confirmed, in passing, that "there were no extermination camps on German soil" during the Second World War. He made the identical statement in a letter published in the April 1975 issue of the British periodical Books and Bookmen.

While the truth of Wiesenthal's words here has been known for years, this statement is significant, first of all, because it is made by an internationally renowned and supposedly knowledgeable and reputable figure, and, second, because it once again confirms a point that revisionists have been making for years. What Wiesenthal does not mention, and what is not
widely understood, is that he also implicitly confirms the drastic change that has taken place over the years
in the Holocaust extermination story.

What the "Nazi hunter" now says contrasts sharply with what was authoritatively claimed in the decades following the Second World War. At the great Nuremberg Tribunal of 1945-1946, for example, Allied government officials presented apparently conclusive evidence to prove that camps "on German soil" -- such as Dachau and Buchenwald -- were "extermination" centers. Sir Hartley Shawcross, chief British prosecutor at the main Nuremberg trial, accordingly declared in his closing address on July 26, 1946, that "murder [was] conducted like some mass production industry in the gas chambers and the ovens" of Buchenwald, Dachau, Oranienburg -- all "on German soil" -- as well as at other German-run camps.

'Evidence' of Gassings at Dachau Abundant "proof" that inmates were gassed at Dachau has been provided over the years, most notably at the main Nuremberg trial of 1945-1946. Former inmate Dr. Franz Blaha, for example, provided eyewitness
testimony at Nuremberg about gas chamber killings there of "many prisoners."

According to a May 1945 US government document, which was accepted as evidence by the Nuremberg Tribunal as
document L-159 (USA-222), "a distinguishing feature of the Dachau Camp was the gas chamber for the execution
of prisoners." The official report went on to describe the alleged gassing operation in some detail. (For more about such "evidence," see: R. Faurisson, The Journal of Historical Review, Fall 1990, pp. 296-307.)

'Evidence' of Extermination at Buchenwald Superficially impressive evidence has likewise been presented over the years to "prove" that the Buchenwald camp was an "extermination" center. For example, an April 1945 US Army report about Buchenwald prepared for the Supreme Allied Headquarters in Europe declared that the "mission of the camp" was "an
extermination factory."

The May 1945 US government report on the German camps (already cited), which was accepted as evidence by the
Nuremberg Tribunal as document L-159, similarly described Buchenwald as an "extermination factory." An official French government report accepted by the Tribunal as exhibit RF-301 (document 274-F) charged:

Everything had been provided for down to the smallest detail. In 1944, at Buchenwald, they had even lengthened a railway line so that the deportees might be led directly to the gas chamber. Certain [of the gas chambers] had a floor that tipped and immediately directed the bodies into the room with the crematory oven.

(For more on such "evidence," see: M. Weber, "Buchenwald: Legend and Reality," The Journal of Historical Review, Winter 1986-1987.)

Broszat's Acknowledgment

Such official claims of extermination and gassing at camps in Germany proper persisted until August 1960, when Dr. Martin Broszat of Germany's semi-official Institute for Contemporary History acknowledged in a letter published in the Hamburg weekly Die Zeit that such allegations were not true. In doing so, Broszat implicitly also conceded that the "evidence" presented
at Nuremberg and elsewhere for extermination and gassings in those camps is bogus. (The complete text of Broszat's letter is given in translation below.)

Nevertheless, some people still persist in affirming the now-discredited story of gassings at Dachau. It is precisely such ignorance that prompted Wiesenthal's recent statement.

In a letter published in the December 3, 1992, issue of The Stars and Stripes (European edition), J. Fulton-Scott, a veteran who had been "stationed at Dachau immediately after the war" told readers: "Everything [there] was still intact, including human ashes in the grates of the crematoriums and the blood-stained fingernail claw marks on the walls of the gas chambers." Similarly, in a letter in the January 11 issue, Ben Kerns told readers about his visit to the camp in 1945 as a sergeant with the US Third Army. He attested to having seen there "a gas chamber with the chilling sign 'Dusche' (shower) over the door."

The Stars and Stripes editors also seem to accept the view that there was a homicidal gas chamber at Dachau. Adjacent to Wiesenthal's letter in the January 24 issue appears a widely reproduced US Army photograph with the caption: "A 7th Army soldier examines the gas chamber at Dachau at the end of World War II." In fact -- and as all reputable specialists of the subject now readily concede -- this was a small non-homicidal delousing gas chamber that was never used to kill people.

The Wiesenthal Record While it is gratifying to note that, in his recent "Revisionist" letter, Wiesenthal implicitly "denies history" as "established" by the Nuremberg Tribunal, it must be pointed out that nearly everything else he says is untrue.

Dr. M. Broszat
Institute for Contemporary History Munich