Thursday, July 23, 2009

"A stirrer"? Or, rather, "a searcher who finds what wasn’t supposed to be found"?

To a brother-in-law who suspects me of being, with my revisionism, just “a stirrer”, I have recently sent a letter that ended as follows:

[…] About that little talk of ours over a drink, I recall how you, alluding to my revisionist struggle, told me, kindly and with a smile, that I was a “stirrer” (sic), and how there instantly there came to my lips a question that in the end, what with Michel A. being present, I preferred to hold back. That question was: “Like Galileo…?”.

The scientist you are must know that, if science has gone forward, it’s thanks to a plethora of “stirrers” who have “denied the obvious”, “tried to see from closer up”, “wanted to go over it again”, all at the risk of annoying wife, children, family, in-laws, distant relations, the lecturers in morality and others still, along with the real clever ones who know there’s nothing like honours, cosiness, a good reputation.

I do hope that one day, at my funeral or soon afterwards, you’ll be telling people: “I knew Robert Faurisson. He was my brother-in-law. His misfortune can be summed up in a few words: he was a searcher; better – or worse – he was a searcher who found; even better – or even worse – he found what wasn’t supposed to be found.” So be it! – All the best. RF

In that end of my letter, the comparison I made of my own case with that of Galileo bothers me a bit and reminds me of Céline’s first words in Bagatelles pour un massacre: “I am, after all, a little troubled by my refinement… What will people say? Assert?... Insinuate?...”. In my defence, I’ll invoke the customary practice, in this type of comparison, of turning to stereotyped examples and historical figures.

As for giving an example of what was above all not supposed be found, I would cite, among a good many other discoveries, the one that on March 19, 1976 allowed me access, in the archives of the Auschwitz State Museum, to the plans of the Auschwitz and Birkenau crematoria. The official historians had steered well clear of reproducing them in their works. And for good reason! The said plans revealed that the crematoria possessed, in the way of “homicidal gas chambers”, only some quite ordinary depositories (“Leichenhalle” or “Leichenkeller”), or else other rooms just as banal as might be found in any cremation building; consequently, those plans also proved that the mass murder imputed to the Germans was technically impossible. After that it took me three years of struggle to get the first of the drawings published: this happened in a Spanish weekly that felt obliged to headline its article “Robert Faurrisson, el abogado póstumo de Hitler, ‘Las cámaras de gas son mentira’” (Robert Faurrisson, Hitler’s posthumous defender: ‘The gas chambers are a lie’, Interviu, February 22-28, 1979, p. 64-66). The reply that, at the time, was to come from thirty-four recognised historians, beginning with Fernand Braudel, is known: “It must not be asked how, technically, such mass murder was possible. It was technically possible, since it happened (Le Monde, February 21, 1979, p. 23). Since that academic asininity, which goes back thirty years, I have, as of today, received no other answer worthy of the name, either from a Jean-Claude Pressac, a Robert Jan van Pelt or anyone else.

July 23, 2009