Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Robert Fisk on my June 23 talk

On June 23, at the Fourteenth Conference of our Institute for Historical Review, held in Irvine, California, I gave a talk on: “Punishment of Germans, by Third Reich Authorities, for Mistreatment of Jews (1939-1945)”.

On July 9 in The Independent (London), Robert Fisk published a piece entitled “A strange kind of freedom”, where, in passing, he mentioned “a deeply unpleasant organisation” that he called the “Institute for Historical Research” (instead of “Review”). He wrote: “These are the Holocaust deniers whose annual conference last month included a lecture on ‘death sentences imposed by German authorities against German soldiers…for killing or even mistreating Jews’”. He added: “Too much of this and you’d have to join the American Israel Public Affairs Committee – AIPAC– to restore your sanity”.

My apologies to Robert Fisk but, in my talk, I presented many occurrences of punishments, including death sentences, of German soldiers, officers, civil servants, meted out by court martial or military tribunals in Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, France,… I gave all the necessary sources or, in some cases, only references. I especially commented on the case, in 1942, of the mayor of Marinka (north of Rostov), a Volksdeutsch, along with the case, in 1944, of a sub-lieutenant in Budapest. Each had killed a Jewess. Both were sentenced to death and executed.

I showed that this was a general policy of the German Army (without any distinction between Wehrmacht and SS).

Of course, those who believe that Hitler or anyone else in the Third Reich had ordered the killing of the Jews would have some difficulty in believing what I said. But precisely, there was no such order for the killing of the Jews, and no plan or budget, and, at Wannsee (January 20, 1942), it was specified that the Jews would be released (Freilassung) after the war and that they would have their national home somewhere outside Europe. This was the TERRITORIAL FINAL SOLUTION of the Jewish Question (territoriale Endlösung der Judenfrage). Too often the word “TERRITORIAL” is omitted.

Already in 1979, I had mentioned those “punishments”. In my recent talk, I tried to answer two questions: 1° How is it that orthodox authors, like Raul Hilberg, have never dealt with that issue; 2° How is it that the revisionist authors have not dealt with it either, although they have probably known that I had mentioned the matter in my writings as early as 1979. It seems that only “half revisionists” like Reginald Paget and Alfred de Zayas have mentioned some of those FACTS.

I hope my presentation will be published in the January-February 2003 issue of The Journal of Historical Review.

PS (July 11): Already in 1979, alluding to those punishments, I said : “Never did Hitler order OR PERMIT the killing of anyone for reasons of race or religion” (See, for instance, Serge Thion, Vérité historique ou vérité politique ? / Le dossier de l’affaire Faurisson / La question des chambres à gaz, Paris, La Vieille Taupe, 1980, p. 91).

    Note: Unhappily, The Journal of Historical Review ceased publication shortly after this piece was written and the January-February 2003 issue never appeared. As a result neither it nor the notes for the presentation of June 23, 2002 have ever been published. 

July 10, 2002