Tuesday, January 16, 1979

"Right to Reply" letter published by "Le Monde"

Until 1960 I believed in the reality of those gigantic massacres in “gas chambers”. Then, upon reading Paul Rassinier, a wartimerésistant and deportee who had written Le Mensonge d’Ulysse, I began to have doubts. After fourteen years of personal reflection, then four years of sustained research, I became certain, as have twenty other revisionist authors, that I had before me a historical lie. I have visited and revisited Auschwitz and Birkenau where the authorities exhibit a "reconstituted gas chamber [1]” together with remains said to be those of "crematoria with gas chambers". At Struthof (Alsace) and at Majdanek (Poland), I have examined the buildings presented as "gas chambers in their original state". I have analysed thousands of documents, particularly at the Paris Centre de documentation juive contemporaine: archives, transcripts, photographs, written testimonies. I have tirelessly pursued specialists and historians with my questions. I have tried to find, but in vain, a single deportee who could prove to me that he had really seen, with his own eyes, a "gas chamber". I especially did not want an illusory abundance of evidence; I was willing to settle for one proof, one single proof. I have never found that proof. What I have found, on the contrary, is much false evidence, worthy of the witchcraft trials, dishonouring the judges who have admitted it. And then I have found silence, embarrassment, hostility, leading in the end to slander, insults, physical blows.

The retorts recently prompted by my brief piece on "The Rumour of Auschwitz" are those which I have read more than once in eighteen years of research. I do not call into question the sincerity of their authors, but I will say that they are teeming with errors long since pointed out by the likes of Rassinier, Scheidl and Butz.

For example, in the letter of January 29, 1943 (bearing the regular mention "Secret") that is quoted to me, Vergasung does not signify "gassing", but rather "carburetion". Vergasungskeller designates the room, below ground, in which the "gaseous" mixture that fed the crematory oven was prepared. This oven and others like it were supplied by the firm Topf und Söhne, of Erfurt (Doc. NO-4473).

Begasung designated the gassing of clothing in autoclaves. If the gas used was Zyklon B - "B [lausäure] preparation" that is, Prussic acid or hydrogen cyanide – then "blue gas chambers" were mentioned. Nothing to do with the purported "slaughterhouse-gas chambers"!

The Diary of physician Johann Paul Kremer must be cited correctly. It will thus be seen that, if he speaks of the horrors of Auschwitz, it is in allusion to the horrors of the typhus epidemic of September-October 1942. On October 3 he was to write: "At Auschwitz, whole streets have been annihilated by typhus." He himself would contract what is called "the Auschwitz disease". Germans died of it. The sorting of the sick and the well was the "selection", or one of the forms of "special action", carried out by doctors. This sorting was done either inside the buildings or outdoors. Never did Kremer write that Auschwitz was a Vernichtungslager, i.e. in the terminology invented by the Allies after the war, an "extermination camp" (by which is to be understood: a camp equipped with a "gas chamber"). In reality, he wrote: "It is not for nothing that Auschwitz is called the annihilation camp (das Lager der Vernichtung)." In the etymological sense of the word, typhus annihilates those whom it strikes. Another serious translation error: under the date of September 2, 1942, Kremer's manuscript reads: "At three a.m. today I was, for the first time, in attendance during a special action outdoors." Historians and judges traditionally suppress the word "outdoors" (draussen) to have Kremer appear to say that the action in question took place in a "gas chamber". Finally, the horrid scenes before the "last Bunker" (i.e. in the yard of Bunker 11) are executions of the condemned, executions the physician was obliged to attend. Among the condemned were to be found three women who had arrived in a convoy from Holland: they were shot [2].

The "Krema" buildings of Birkenau were perfectly visible [3] to all. A good number of plans and photographs prove this, and they prove as well the thorough material impossibility that these "Kremas" could have contained "gas chambers".

If, as regards Auschwitz, someone quotes to me, yet another time, confessions, memoirs, or miraculously unearthed manuscripts (with which I am already acquainted), I shall ask to be shown in what way the imprecise precision of their information differs from the imprecise precision of the information in all the documents that led the Allied military tribunals to rule that there were "gas chambers" where, in the end, it has since been acknowledged there were none: for example, in the whole of the former Reich!

In my article I cited the industrial documents NI-9098 and 9912. One should read these before countering what I say with the "testimonies" of Pery Broad and R. Höss or (why not?) the "confessions" made by J. P. Kremer after the war. These documents establish that Zyklon B was not in the category of gasses considered susceptible to ventilation; its makers had to agree that it was "difficult to remove by ventilation since it sticks to surfaces". For the carrying out of a chemical test proving the disappearance of the gas from its confines, a room infused with hydrogen cyanide by Zyklon B fumigation can be entered only by someone wearing a gas mask fitted with a "J" filter – the very strongest – and only twenty hours or so after the fumigation [4]. Mattresses and blankets must be beaten in the open air for between one and two hours. Nevertheless, Höss wrote [5]: "Half an hour after the start of gassing, the door was opened and the ventilation device turned on. Immediately [the team] began removing the bodies." Immediately (sofort)! And he goes on to add that this team, assigned to handle two thousand cyanide-infused corpses, entered the place (which was still full of gas, was it not?) and took them out "eating and smoking [as they went about it]", that is, if I understand rightly, without any gas masks. This is impossible. All the testimonies, as vague or conflicting as they may be about the rest [6], agree at least on this point: the squad opened the chamber, either immediately or "shortly following" the victims' demise. I say that this point, in itself, makes up the touchstone of the false testimony.

In Alsace, the Struthof camp's "gas chamber" is interesting to visit. The confession of Joseph Kramer can be read on the spot. It was through a "hole" (sic) that Kramer used to pour a “certain quantity of hydrogen cyanide salts", then, "a certain quantity of water", a mixture giving off a gas that killed in about a minute. The "hole" seen there today was made in so sloppy a manner, with a chisel, that four faience tiles were broken. Kramer used a "funnel with a tap". I see neither how he could keep the gas from spattering back out of this crude hole, nor how he could thus willingly allow that gas, leaving the structure’s chimney, to spread towards the windows of his own house. Moving on to an adjacent room, I should like to have an explanation of this business of the corpses preserved by Professor Hirt in "vats of formalin" which are, in fact, nothing other than vats for sauerkraut and potatoes, with simple, non-airtight wooden lids. 

The most commonplace weapon, if suspected of having killed or wounded someone, is subjected to forensic examination. It will be noted with some surprise that these prodigious criminal weapons that are the “gas chambers” have never been subjected to any official examination (whether legal, scientific or archaeological) on which a report may be read [7]

If, to the general misfortune, the Germans had won the war, I suppose that their concentration camps would have been presented to us as re-education camps. By contesting that presentation of the facts, I should doubtless have found myself accused of being an objective ally of “Judeo-Marxism”. I am neither objectively nor subjectively a Judeo-Marxist or a neo-Nazi. I feel admiration for those Frenchmen who courageously struggled against Nazism. They defended the right cause. If today I state that the “gas chambers” did not exist, it is because the difficult duty to be truthful obliges me to do so.

[In accordance with the law of July 29, 1881, we (Le Monde) hereby publish Mr Faurisson’s text above. Any response directed against him or his statements would in its turn offer him a new right of reply.

Nonetheless, we do not consider the case opened by Darquier de Pellepoix’s declarations to be closed.] *


* Louis Darquier de Pellepoix (1897-1980) was head of the Vichy government's Commissariat général des affaires juives ("General Office for Jewish Affairs") from May 1942 to February 1944. With the advent of "Liberation" and the subsequent Épuration (purge), he fled to Spain, where he lived until his death. In 1978, some French journalists, besieged with letters from Professor Faurisson and sensing that an "affaire Faurisson", which had been lying quiet like live coals since July 1974, threatened eventually to flare up, decided to make a firebreak. One Philippe Ganier-Raymond, a reporter and part-time swindler (previously held liable by a Paris court, with the aid of Faurisson, for literary fraud concerning a text written by Céline), got in on the act. In October of 1978, in the weekly L'Express, he published an alleged interview with Darquier de Pellepoix in which the latter was quoted as stating that at Auschwitz only lice had been gassed. Thanks to this subterfuge, Faurisson ended up seeming, a few weeks afterwards, like the twin of a wartime collaborator. [Translator’s note.]

[1] Presented to tourists as being in its original state.
[2] Auschwitz vu par les SS, Museum of Oswiecim edition, 1974, p. 238, n. 85 [the English edition, KL Auschwitz seen by the SS, had been published in 1972.]
[3]A football pitch "was located beside the Birkenau crematoria" (Tadeus Borowski, in the words of H. Langbein, Hommes et femmes à Auschwitz, Fayard, 1975, p. 129) [German edition: Menschen in Auschwitz, Vienna, Europa Verlag, 1972.]
[4] French regulations concerning the use of hydrogen cyanide are as draconian as the German: see the Ministry of Public Health decree no. 50-1290 of October 18, 1950.
[5] Kommandant in Auschwitz, Stuttgart, Deutsche Verlagsanstalt, 1958, p. 126 and 166
[6] Justiz und NS-Verbrechen, University Press Amsterdam, t. XIII (1975), p. 134-135.
[7] The general gullibility is easily satisfied: it is enough to show people a door fitted with a peephole and catch-bolted and there we have it: a “gas chamber”!