If you like this blog

Don't miss Kevin Barrett's radio shows! And visit TruthJihad.com for more...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Thomas Dalton responds to Roberto Muehlenkamp and Andrew Mathis

Thomas Dalton, Saturday's first hour guest, responds to the second hour guests, Roberto Muehlenkamp and Andrew Mathis:

Hi Kevin -- Just wanted to say thanks again for the show.  I thought it was well-executed and balanced.  Here are my comments in reply to Ricardo and Andrew:

*********************************

(1)   First, I was happy to hear them say that they oppose anti-Holocaust denial laws, and that they support open and public debate.  This position is rare amongst traditionalists.  Nearly all prefer to stifle debate, harass revisionism, and use the law as a weapon.  This, of course, only furthers the suspicion that the orthodox view is weak and unsustainable.

(2)   Roberto admits that he is not a “main guy” when it comes to the standard Holocaust view.  This raises 2 questions:  since he has not published any work (other than blogs) on the topic, nor proven his ability to conduct serious research, why should accept his responses?  And furthermore, where are the real “main guys,” and why are they hiding from debate?

(3)   On the Korherr report, it is true that I do not address it in my book Debating the Holocaust.  This is because it is, in my estimation, an insignificant and inconclusive matter in the overall debate.  The report was not secret, and nothing in it points to mass killing of Jews.  It does, however, talk about mass evacuations, which were indeed occurring at that time (early 1943).  And there are internal contradictions, in that the conclusions do not follow from the statistics, which suggests either significant error or ulterior motives of some kind.  Finally, Korherr himself stated in 1977 that the “special treatment” cited in the report referred to “Jews who were to be resettled,” not killed.

(4)   Andrew said that the two dozen or so references to “6 million” suffering Jews, in the years prior to WWII, was a result of “cherry-picking”.  Of course, there are other references to fewer than 6 million, since different portions of that number were suffering in different places and times.  But the peak figure is almost always 6 million (occasionally, 5 million).  So he has a case only if there are many references to more than 6 million, i.e. 7 million, 8 million, 9 million, etc.  I doubt that they exist, but perhaps they do.  I suggest he undertake that research, in the New York Times, for the years 1900-1945, and let us know the results.  If they prove to be more numerous, then the ‘6 million’ would carry no special significance, and I would be happy to modify my text accordingly.

(5)   Of course, this would not affect the other main problem with the ‘6 million,’ namely, that we find no breakdown of this figure in any conventional source.  This strongly suggests that no one really understands this number, which is so vital to the entire story.  Hilberg is the only one to provide details for the 3 main categories—ghettos, shootings, and camps—but he finds only 5.1 million deaths, and even these are unsubstantiated.  Here is my proposal for the traditionalists:  ghettos 1.0 million, shootings 1.7 million, camps 3.3 million.  Do Roberto and Andrew wish to defend these numbers?  Or do they have others?  Once they decide, then we can begin a serious analysis.

(6)   Roberto says that Hilberg is too low on his Einsatzgruppen shootings number (1.4 million).  Andrew cites the recent Desbois book, Holocaust by Bullets, which claims 1.5 million.  What neither of them mentioned is that we have not nearly enough forensic evidence to support such numbers.  Desbois found (allegedly) 800 “mass graves” in the East, but have absolutely no useful data on these graves:  size, area, location, corpse count, ash quantity—nothing.  The Nazi reports that Roberto relies on add up to only about 450,000 (so where are the other 1 million?), but we can be sure there is significant error and exaggeration even in these, if only because have, again, no evidence of any such mass killings. 

(7)   On the lack of a Hitler order, it is rather amazing to believe that Hitler’s policy was, as Roberto says, that underlings should simply “feel free” to kill Jews at will.  Can anyone really believe that 6 million persons could be killed, and their remains made to vanish, by such an informal policy?  Isn’t it far more likely that no such policy was ever intended, or implemented?  And that perhaps the total number killed was far less than 6 million?

(8)   On the Goebbels diary, both guests make much of the March 27, 1942 entry in which 60% of the General Government Jews were to be “liquidated.”  Let me say, first off, that it does their case no good to bring up Goebbels!  I have analyzed the diaries in detail—all 29 volumes, available only in German—and found virtually no evidence of mass murder.  I would refer the reader to my article “Goebbels and the Jews” (www.inconvenienthistory.com – Part 1 posted now, Part 2 to follow in May).  Of 123 relevant entries on the Jews, I found only repeated reference to evacuation and deportation—no mass killing, no gas chambers, no genocide.  The usual reply by traditionalists is that Goebbels used euphemisms and a ‘code language’, but this makes absolutely no sense in a personal and private diary!  -- and for more than a decade, during which time Nazi policy was allegedly “evolving”  toward mass murder.

Specifically regarding “liquidation”, Goebbels used that word 8 times with respect to Jews, and at least 2 of these, without question, do not mean ‘killing’ (“liquidating the Jewish danger”, and “liquidating Jewish marriages”).  The literal meaning of liquidation is, of course, ‘to make fluid.’  And this was exactly Nazi policy:  to “make fluid” the entrenched Jewish population, and to cause them to flow out of the Reich.  This is not nit-picking!  I cite a newspaper of that time, which describes liquidation as either killing (based on then-current rumors) or “transportation eastward in cattle trucks to an unknown destination.”  And Auschwitz survivor Thomas Buergenthal describes his ghetto as being “liquidated”—meaning dissolved and evacuated.

Perhaps most striking is that Goebbels uses, only once, an explicit term for killing Jews—and not German Jews, but Allied Jews!  This was in a late entry (March 14, 1945), and only after 5 major Allied fire-bombings killed more than 125,000 German civilians.  He had no compunction about calling for Jewish deaths, when it was warranted.  I can only suggest that the reader check out my article, read the entries in full, in context, and then decide for himself.

(9)   Finally, an important point that did not come up is the alleged gassing and body disposal at the 3 Reinhardt camps (Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka).  This is a huge problem for traditionalism, and Roberto, in particular, has gone to outrageous lengths to construct explanations.  For example, he says that the carbon monoxide source was gasoline engines, not diesels (to get around the troubling fact that all experts today mention diesels, despite the fact that they produce far too little carbon monoxide gas!).  But this fails because (a) the leading witness for gasoline, Reder, explicitly stated that the exhaust gas was “evacuated…directly into the open air, not the gas chamber”!, (b) the Nazis would certainly have tried to use ‘producer gas’ systems, which are not engines at all, but rather small furnace units that produce high amounts of CO—but not a single witness mentions this, and (c) numerous witnesses describe the victims as ‘blue’, but CO poisoning results in a distinctive red or pink coloration, not blue;  it could not have been missed.

Roberto also holds to impossible figures like: average gas chamber densities of 28 persons per square meter (roughly, 3 feet by 3 feet!), and 15 corpses per cubic meter of grave space.  Most ridiculously, in discussing the burning of corpses on a metal grid, with wood, that as little as a 1-to-1 ratio (wood to corpse mass) would suffice to burn the bodies down to pure ash.  Imagine this:  that a 100-pound corpse, partially decomposed and perhaps frozen, could be burned to pure ash—with 100 pounds of wood!  In reality it would take perhaps 500-1000 pounds of wood, under ideal conditions, to approach this.  And yet we are to believe that 1.7 million bodies were disposed of this way, in a matter of a few months.  I think he loses all credibility with such claims.

Lastly, I find it extremely odd that many of the bloggers ‘solutions’ to revisionist challenges do not appear in published, authoritative sources on the Holocaust.  It is as if their fellow traditionalists are completely unconvinced.  There will soon be published the newest ‘authoritative’ book, The Holocaust, by Peter Longerich.  I am anxious to see how many, if any, of these issues he addresses.

*******************************

20 comments:

  1. > Here is my proposal for the traditionalists: ghettos 1.0 million, shootings 1.7 million, camps 3.3 million.

    One small complaint on that. You should be prepared to allow some individual variations rather than insisting on single numbers which add up to 6 million. Suppose for the sake of argument that we decide to agree that general demographic information is reliable enough to let us conclude that between 5 and 6 million Jews died abnormally in the years 1939-45. Now when we attempt to determine the numbers dying in specific locations, it is still possible that a higher degree of uncertainty will come into force. Suppose now that someone decides that the number dying in ghettos was between 0.5 and 1.5 million; the number shot was between 1.2 and 2.2 mullion; and the number dying in camps between 2.3 and 3.3 million. These numbers might seem to suggest that the person is asserting that total deaths were between 4 and 7 million. But they might still be confident of the 5-6 million range. They simply are not fully certain of how to distribute, and some measure of uncertainty could be legitimate.

    Not that I wish to imply that such numbers are really correct. But you've kind of overdone by insisting that numbers should be given which clearly add up to six million. It's not that unusual after a major war that there may be a higher certainty about the overall cost in lives of the war as a whole than about the regional distributions of deaths. You should make some partial allowance for this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very weak response in comparison to Roberto's letter (not yet published by Barret, but available on Holocaust Conroversies).

    ReplyDelete
  3. 1. "First, I was happy to hear them say that they oppose anti-Holocaust denial laws, and that they support open and public debate. This position is rare amongst traditionalists."

    Dalton is fantasizing, as he is wont to. He has no statistics proving this.

    2. "since he has not published any work (other than blogs) on the topic, nor proven his ability to conduct serious research, why should accept his responses"

    What a doofus. By the same standard all "revisionist" works go out of the window since they're not academic works. Oh they're "published" all right, but anyone can "publish".

    "And furthermore, where are the real “main guys,” and why are they hiding from debate?"

    Because debating know-nothings like Dalton is not what most academicians are interested in? Presumably they have better things to do.

    3. "On the Korherr report, it is true that I do not address it in my book Debating the Holocaust. This is because it is, in my estimation, an insignificant and inconclusive matter in the overall debate."

    Oh yeah, therefore it is not worth addressing? Dalton is a pure fraud.

    4. "Andrew said that the two dozen or so references to “6 million” suffering Jews, in the years prior to WWII, was a result of “cherry-picking”."

    Not only it is cherry-picking, the whole issue is irrelevant as it proves nothing in the first place.

    "I suggest he undertake that research, in the New York Times, for the years 1900-1945, and let us know the results."

    No, you will do the research, lazy git.

    5. "Of course, this would not affect the other main problem with the ‘6 million,’ namely, that we find no breakdown of this figure in any conventional source."

    Which is simply a lie.

    6. "The Nazi reports that Roberto relies on add up to only about 450,000 (so where are the other 1 million?), but we can be sure there is significant error and exaggeration even in these, if only because have, again, no evidence of any such mass killings."

    I don't know if Roberto claimed 1.4 EG deaths. He probably meant 1.4 million deaths by shooting which is not the same. EG executions do amount to about half a million. But there were numerous shootings done by other mobile units.

    7. "On the lack of a Hitler order, it is rather amazing to believe that Hitler’s policy was, as Roberto says, that underlings should simply “feel free” to kill Jews at will. Can anyone really believe that 6 million persons could be killed, and their remains made to vanish, by such an informal policy?"

    Basically Hitler's word was the law. Whether it was an "order", an "authorization" or a "basic decision" the details of which were to be worked out by the underlings, it was enough to _start_ things rolling. The "formal" details would be worked out by Heydrich, Himmler et al. Thus the Wannsee conference, etc.

    "Isn’t it far more likely that no such policy was ever intended, or implemented?"

    Um, not, we can't apply "likely
    " or "not likely" to events that have already happened.

    "And that perhaps the total number killed was far less than 6 million?"

    Dalton has a very curious hang up on the 6 million number. Is 5 million "far less" than 6 million?

    ReplyDelete
  4. 8. "Let me say, first off, that it does their case no good to bring up Goebbels! I have analyzed the diaries in detail—all 29 volumes, available only in German—and found virtually no evidence of mass murder."

    It does no good to bring up Goebbels because some know-nothing can't read? Now that's news.

    "Of 123 relevant entries on the Jews, I found only repeated reference to evacuation and deportation—no mass killing, no gas chambers, no genocide."

    Well, that's bullshit, as Goebbels explicitly refers to murder in the very 27.3.42 entry. So there.

    "Specifically regarding “liquidation”, Goebbels used that word 8 times with respect to Jews, and at least 2 of these, without question, do not mean ‘killing’ (“liquidating the Jewish danger”, and “liquidating Jewish marriages”)."

    Except in these cases they also do not apply to humans or groups of humans. But a nice try!

    "The literal meaning of liquidation is, of course, ‘to make fluid.’"

    Sorry, but how someone who does not even know English language can make linguistic arguments? In fact "liquidation" does not have _any_ meaning which says "to make fluid", much less the primary one.

    Here's from the Cambridge dictionary:

    Definition

    liquidate verb (
    KILL )
    /ˈlɪk.wɪ.deɪt/
    [T] to kill someone who threatens a government or political organization
    liquidation noun
    /ˌlɪk.wɪˈdeɪ.ʃən/ [C or U]

    Definition

    liquidate verb (
    CLOSE )
    /ˈlɪk.wɪ.deɪt/
    [I or T] to cause a business to close, so that its assets can be sold to pay its debts
    liquidation noun
    /ˌlɪk.wɪˈdeɪ.ʃən/ [C or U]

    See the word "fluid" here? Me neither.

    And the only of the two definitions applying to human beings is the first one.

    If Dalton can't get such utter basics straight...

    "And Auschwitz survivor Thomas Buergenthal describes his ghetto as being “liquidated”—meaning dissolved and evacuated."

    Yeah, except a ghetto is not a human being or an (exclusively) a group of human beings. It is also a legal entity, a set of buildings, etc. Thus a ghetto can be liquidated without actually killing anyone.

    When "they" (i.e. Jews) are liquidates, this has the only meaning: they're to be murdered.

    Here's my advice to Dalton: don't beclown yourself further, read Juergen Graf's response. He admits
    that you deniers cannot satisfactorily explain this passage.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 9. "For example, he says that the carbon monoxide source was gasoline engines, not diesels (to get around the troubling fact that all experts today mention diesels, despite the fact that they produce far too little carbon monoxide gas!"

    Except Dalton lies when he says that _all_ experts mention only diesels in all camps (e.g. Hilberg mentions gasoline engine at Sobibor), and this is just a trick to get away from the examination of the underlying evidence. Experts can be wrong to, especially if they did not have any reason to dig deep in to a particular issue. The issue of engine types is irrelevant to most historians. Thus those of them who saw some witnesses (probably mistakenly) identifying the engines as diesels sometimes simply accepted this identification.

    Of course, when the evidence is examined, we see that such identifications are not "iron clad" and there are quite a few mentions of gasoline engines (e.g. Fuchs testified about installing the petrol engine in Sobibor; Reder testified about petrol engine in Belzec; Ivan Shevchenko and Oskar Strawczynski told about petrol engine in Treblinka).

    "But this fails because (a) the leading witness for gasoline, Reder, explicitly stated that the exhaust gas was “evacuated…directly into the open air, not the gas chamber”!"

    Ah, Dalton is in his know-nothing mode again. Actually there is a possible explanation of Reder's description, but I will save it for a formal blog article. Dalton makes it seem as if Reder is the "main" and - by mentioning only him - the only witness to such engines. Which is simply not true. Thus even if Reder were to "fail", "this", i.e. the argument, does not fail. Moreover, we don't actually need the positive identifications of engines as petrol engines (although we do have those). We simply need to show the possibility of them being such (mistaken identification etc.). And we did just that. The diesel issue is irrelevant.

    10. "Roberto also holds to impossible figures like: average gas chamber densities of 28 persons per square meter (roughly, 3 feet by 3 feet!)"

    Dalton, feet-stomping and hand-waving will not help you.

    Address this, you clown:

    http://holocaust.skeptik.net/documents/provan_gerstein.html

    "Most ridiculously, in discussing the burning of corpses on a metal grid, with wood, that as little as a 1-to-1 ratio (wood to corpse mass) would suffice to burn the bodies down to pure ash."

    Actually in his blog articles Roberto relies on some pretty hard sources, including the experiments by Lothes and Profe on which even one of Mattogno's main sources relied. So address those sources and results of experiments, then whine.

    And don't forget to _prove_ your own figures. All you did now was to take some numbers out of thin air.

    11. "Lastly, I find it extremely odd that many of the bloggers ‘solutions’ to revisionist challenges do not appear in published, authoritative sources on the Holocaust."

    I don't find it odd that such an odd fellow as Dalton finds it odd. Oh well. Here's it again: historians have better things to do than calculate the amounts of wood for incineration, etc.

    Also, this is an ad hominem argument. Address our arguments or STFU. It's that simple.

    You're not taken seriously by any scholar, so who are you, deniers, to complain?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Also: "Here are my comments in reply to Ricardo and Andrew"

    "Ricardo"? What a putz this Dalton fellow is.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow. Is Sergey real, or just a type pad caricature of the spittle-shooting "6-million" dogmatist? It's just the sort of bluster I'd expect Goebbels to dream up for a Hitler speech. I kinda feel like saying, "Hey thanks, Sergey. I didn't realize until just now that this pop hit was on the B-Side of that old Nazi favorite."

    Anyway, I'll mention one difficulty I had with Dalton's response: In his bit about Goebbels' use of the word "liquidation," Dalton sites the phrase "liquidation of Jewish marriages" as a definitive instance where "liquidation" did not mean "murder/execution." It's not at all clear to me HOW Dalton arrived at this view. It is my understanding-- admittedly based on poorly footnoted reading--that one aspect of the Nazi "racial purification" fetish involved forcing "mixed-race" couples to choose between divorce and execution. If this is true--and I'm in no position to say if it is--then it's perfectly clear to me that Goebbels' phrase, "liquidation of Jewish marriages" had a deliberate double meaning: DISSOLUTION of mixed-race marriage, and EXECUTION of those who wouldn't abide by the Nazis' Aryanization policy.

    I'd appreciate it if Dalton would either back up his claim with some proper explanation, or acknowledge that he has promoted semantic speculation to "certainty" and discard the ruse.

    Don't get me wrong. I generally applaud Dalton's work. I just don't want scholarship on either side of the debate to be debased by hyperbole.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sergey, please leave something of Mr. "Dalton" for me.:-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Very weak response in comparison to Roberto's letter (not yet published by Barret, but available on Holocaust Conroversies).

    A copy of the letter I sent to Kevin is available in the blog Interviews on American Freedom Radio. My rejoinder is almost finished, I'll start posting it tomorrow. Poor Mr. "Dalton", why did he have to do this to himself?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow. Is Sergey real, or just a type pad caricature of the spittle-shooting "6-million" dogmatist?

    Actually he's no dogmatist at all (the dogmatists are rather to be found on the "Revisionist" side) and open to any revision of accepted historical notions that is borne out by solid evidence (which rules out "Revisionist" propaganda). He's just a bit rough.

    Don't get me wrong. I generally applaud Dalton's work. I just don't want scholarship on either side of the debate to be debased by hyperbole.

    If you think that scholarship on the "Revisionist" side of the debate is worth the name, you should visit our collection of selected articles, to which my response to Mr. "Dalton" will soon be added.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Here is Part II:

    Thomas Dalton responds to Roberto Muehlenkamp and Andrew Mathis (2)

    Parts III follows tomorrow. So will Part IV, unless I decide to drag out the fun until the end of the month.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Andrew Mathis writes:

    Hello, Kevin,

    Well, you have a Ph.D., so I assume you've done a literature search. I did one just now. Took all of five minutes.

    So "Dalton" asked me to check the New York Times and find references to six million Jews vs. references to other sums of millions. He suggested a date range from 1900 to 1945. I thought it more wise to end my search on August 31, 1939 -- one day before World War II began.

    These are standard Boolean searches and can be replicated on the ProQuest NYT Historic databse. Here are the results:

    5 documents found for: ("6 million Jews") OR ("six million Jews") AND PDN(>1/1/1900) AND PDN(<8/31/1939)

    220 documents found for: ("million Jews") OR ("millions of Jews") AND PDN(>1/1/1900) AND PDN(<8/31/1939) AND NOT ("six million Jews") AND NOT ("6 million Jews")

    Not to put too fine a point on it, this is five references in the Times to six million Jews before the war began vs. 220 references to other sums in the millions. I.e., there are over forty times as many references to other figures.

    I think I made my point. Please publish this to the Web site. Roberto, you may do the same.

    -Andrew

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ben Hecht was a Zionist propagandist in an Irgun cell run out of Wash DC during the war by a Palestinian named Hillel Kook who went by the name Peter Bergson. http://www.syracuseuniversitypress.syr.edu/fall-2005-catalog/bergson-boys.html
    Andrew Mathis failed to mention that Hecht's job in Bergson's group was to use his cache as a popular journalist and Hollywood screenwriter to churn out disinformation about the plight of the Jews in German occupied Europe. Besides being a 276 page insult to the professed faith of 99.9% of the soldiers killed in WWII fighting to liberate these traditional ingrates from the camps they were put in Hecht's book A Guide for the Bedevilled is a lachrymose tissue of lies.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yeah, I didn't mention any of that because it isn't relevant.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dalton's rhetoric amounts to nothing more than short, useless quips. Complaining that
    bigwig scholars don't pay him any attention
    is like a gerbil carping that he can't find
    a tiger interested in setting up a bout.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Muhlenkamp is a classic horses ass. The Jews in Russia had already been evacuated into the interior of the Soviet Union ahead of the German advance. Second, the Germans were fighting a war, not looking for Jews to exterminate. Three, all the numbers were from the doctored Einzatsgruppen records in Berlin; the field reports have ever so conveniently disappeared. Four, the diaries of Heinrich Himmler have been withheld ever since the war by the Israelis. I think I know why (Muehlenkamp is too stupid to figure it out). Five, where did all the Jewish commissars in Eastern Europe come from if the Germans exterminated them?

    ReplyDelete