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Thursday, September 20, 2012

On the Avoidability of World War One

On the Avoidability of World War One

Nicholas Kollerstrom

On August 1, 1914, as dreadful war was breaking out in Europe, the German ambassador Prince Lichnowsky paid a visit to Britain’s Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey.  Dr Rudolf Steiner commented as follows upon this meeting – in a 1916 lecture which he gave in Switzerland:
‘A single sentence and the war in the West would not have taken place.’
At that meeting, he averred that, with just one sentence, ‘this war could have been averted.’[1]
To examine that outrageous-sounding claim, we delve into what is a bit of a mystery, that of the first conflict between Germany and Britain for a thousand years: two nations bound by the same royal family, with every statesman in Europe loudly proclaiming that peace is desired, that war must at all costs be avoided; and then the bloodbath takes place, terminating the great hopes for European civilization and extinguishing its bright optimism, as what were set up as defensive alliances mysteriously flipped over and became offensive war-plans.
The ghastly ‘Schlieffen plan’ became activated, as the master-plan of Germany’s self-defense, which as it were contained the need for the dreadful speed with which catastrophe was precipitated.  France and Russia had formed a mutual defense agreement (everyone claimed their military alliances were defensive). While Bismarck the wise statesman who founded Germany had lived, this was avoided, such an alliance being his darkest nightmare. But Kaiser Wilhelm did not manage to avoid this, and so Germany’s neighbors to East and West formed a mutual military alliance. The Schlieffen plan was based on the premise that Germany could not fight a war on two fronts but might be able to beat France quickly; so in the event of war looming against Russia in the East, its troops had to move westwards, crashing though Belgium as a route into France. It all had to happen quickly because Germany’s army was smaller than that of Russia.
The timing over those crucial days shows its awful speed: Russia mobilized its army on July 29th, in response to hostilities breaking out between Austro-Hungary and Serbia; two desperate cables were sent by the Kaiser to the Tsar on the 29th and 31st, imploring him not to proceed with full mobilisation of his army because that meant war; the French government ‘irreversibly decided’ to support Russia in the war on the evening of 31st, cabling this decision to the Russian foreign minister at 1 am on August 1st [1]; then, on the afternoon of that same day Germany proceeded to mobilise and declared war on Russia, and two days later went into Belgium. Britain’s House of Commons voted unanimously for war on 5th August, viewing Germany as the belligerent warmonger.

Kaiser Wilhelm’s Nemesis
The Kaiser had enjoyed the reputation of a peacemaker:
Now ... he is acclaimed everywhere as the greatest factor for peace that our time can show. It was he, we hear, who again and again threw the weight of his dominating personality, backed by the greatest military organisation in the world – an organisation built up by himself – into the balance for peace wherever war clouds gathered over Europe. ‘(‘William II, King of Prussia and German Emperor, Kaiser 25 years a ruler, hailed as chief peacemaker,’ New York Times, 8 June, 1913. [1])
A former US President, William Howard Taft, said of him: ‘The truth of history requires the verdict that, considering the critically important part which has been his among the nations, he has been, for the last quarter of a century, the single greatest force in the practical maintenance of peace in the world.’ ([1],[1]). That is some tribute! In 1960 a BBC centenary tribute to the Kaiser was permitted to say: ‘Emphasis was placed on his love of England and his deep attachment to Queen Victoria,’ his grandmother.
A lover of peace .... skilled diplomat ... deep attachment to Queen Victoria .. so remind me what the Great War was for, that took nine million lives?
Kaiser Wilhelm II of GermanyKaiser Wilhelm II enjoyed a reputation as a peace maker. Shown in a photo from 1890. 
Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-R28302 / CC-BY-SA [CC-BY-SA-3.0-de (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons
Might the war have been averted if the Kaiser had, perhaps, focussed a bit more on the art of war – how to refrain from marching into Belgium? There was no ‘plan B’! In later days the Kaiser used to say, he had been swept away by the military timetable. Who wanted the war which locked Europe into such dreadful conflict? Did a mere sequence of interlocking treaties bring it on?
On the night of 30-31st of July, feeling entrapped by a seemingly inevitable march of events, Kaiser Wilhelm mused to himself doomily:
Frivolity and weakness are going to plunge the world into the most frightful war of which the ultimate object is the overthrow of Germany. For I no longer have any doubt that England, Russia and France have agreed among themselves – knowing that our treaty obligations compel us to support Austria – to use the Austro-Serb conflict as a pretext for waging a war of annihilation against us... In this way the stupidity and clumsiness of our ally [Austria] is turned into a noose. So the celebrated encirclement of Germany has finally become an accepted fact... The net has suddenly been closed over our heads, and the purely anti-German policy which England has been scornfully pursuing all over the world has won the most spectacular victory which we have proved ourselves powerless to prevent while they, having got us despite our struggles all alone into the net through our loyalty to Austria, proceed to throttle our political and economic existence. A magnificent achievement, which even those for whom it means disaster are bound to admire.’ [1]
‘Those dreadful fields of senseless carnage’
Did hundreds of thousands of young men, the flower of England, want to go out to muddy fields, to fight and die? Shells, bayonets, gas, machine guns - what was the point? In no way were they defending their country or its Empire – for no-one was threatening it. No European nation benefitted: it spelt ruin for all of them. Do we need to fear the imbecility of the poet’s words:
If I should die, think only this of me
There is some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England’?                                            (Rupert Brooke)
A leading British pacifist, E.D. Morel, was widely vilified for the views expressed in his book Truth and the War (1916), and had his health wrecked (as Bertrand Russell described) by being put into Pentonville jail. In haunting words of insight, his book described how: ‘Those dreadful fields of senseless carnage’ had been brought about by ‘futile and wicked Statecraft’ - by ‘an autocratic and secret foreign policy’ carried out by those ‘who by secret plots and counter-plots ... hound the peoples to mutual destruction.’ Of the war’s outbreak, Morel wrote:  ‘It came therefore to this. While negative assurances had been given to the House of Commons, positive acts diametrically opposed to these assurances had been concerted by the War Office and the Admiralty with the authority of the Foreign Office. All the obligations of an alliance had been incurred, but incurred by the  most dangerous and subtle methods; incurred in such a way as to leave the Cabinet free to deny the existence of any formal parchment recording them, and free to represent its policy at home and abroad as one of contractual detachment from the rival Continental groups.’ [1] A total analogy exists here with Blair taking Britain into the Iraq war, making a deal with Bush while continually denying back home that any such deal existed. Two Cabinet members resigned in August 1914, once the central importance of this concealed contract became evident: Viscount Morley and John Burns.
A more orthodox, deterministic view was given by Winston Churchill: ‘the invasion of Belgium brought the British Empire united to the field. Nothing in human power could break the fatal chain, once it had begun to unroll. A situation had been created where hundreds of officials had only to do their prescribed duty to their respective countries to wreck the world. They did their duty’. [1]  That necessary chain leading to ruin began only after the crucial discussion alluded to by Dr Steiner, we observe.
Considering that Germany went into Belgium on the 3rd of August, whereas Churchill and Mountbatten, the First and Second Sea Lords, had ordered the mobilising of the British fleet over July 26 -30th, so that by days before the 3rd much of the world’s biggest navy was up north of Scotland all ready to pounce on Germany – his words may appear as some kind of extreme limit of hypocrisy. The mobilising of the British fleet was a massive event which greatly pre-empted political discussion, a week before Britain declared war. [1]10 [1]

A Secret Alliance
Britain was obliged by no necessity to enter a European war, having no alliance with France that the people of Britain or its parliament knew about, and having a long indeed normal policy of avoiding embroilment in European conflicts.  However, ministers especially Grey the Foreign Minister had covertly made a deal with France. To quote from Bertrand Russell’s autobiography: ‘I had noticed during previous years how carefully Sir Edward Grey lied in order to prevent the public from knowing the methods by which he was committing us to the support of France in the event of war.’ 11 [1] Would Britain be dragged into a European war on the coat-tails of France – for centuries, its traditional enemy - given that France had signed a treaty obligation to enter war in consequence of a German-Russian conflict? France was keen to avenge past grievances over the French-German border, aware of the superiority of troops which it and Russia combined had against Germany – and convinced that it could drag Britain into the fray.
On 24 March 1913, the Prime Minister had been asked about the circumstances under which British troops might land on the Continent. He replied, ‘As has been repeatedly stated, this country is not under any obligation not public and known to parliament which compels it to take part in any war’ - a double negative which concealed a hidden but then-existing accord!

Last Hope of Peace
We turn now to the question put, on August 1st by Germany’s ambassador to Britain’s Foreign Secretary, normally omitted from history books on the subject. If war and peace did indeed hinge upon it - as Dr Steiner averred - it may be worth quoting a few judgements about it. Here is Grey’s own letter, written that day:
Grey’s letter to the British ambassador in Berlin: 1 August, concerning his meeting with Prince Lichnowsky :
‘He asked me whether, if Germany gave a promise not to violate Belgian neutrality we would engage to remain neutral. I replied that I could not say that: our hands were still free, and we were considering what our attitude should be....I did not think that we could give a promise on that condition alone. The ambassador pressed me as to whether I could formulate conditions on which we would remain neutral. He even suggested that the integrity of France and her colonies might be guaranteed. I said that I felt obliged to refuse definitely any promise to remain neutral on similar terms, and I could only say that we must keep our hands free.’ 12 [1],13 [1]
Swiss author George Brandes summarised this meeting:
'Now Prince Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador in London, asked whether England would agree to remain neutral if Germany refrained from violating Belgium’s neutrality. Sir Edward Grey refused. Britain wanted to retain ‘a free hand’ (‘I did not think we could give a promise of neutrality on that condition alone’). Would he agree if Germany were to guarantee the integrity of both France and her colonies? No.’ 14 [1]
The US historian Harry Elmer Barnes: ‘The only way whereby Grey could have prevented war, if at all, in 1914 would have been by declaring that England would remain neutral if Germany did not invade Belgium...,’ but Grey ‘refused to do’ this: ‘After Grey had refused to promise the German Ambassador that England would remain neutral in the event of Germany’s agreeing not to invade Belgium, the German ambassador asked Grey to formulate the conditions according to which England would remain neutral, but Grey refused point-blank to do so, though he afterwards falsely informed the Commons that he had stated these conditions’. 15 [1] Barnes commended the editorial of the Manchester Guardian July 30th - opposing the pro-war jingoism of The Times – which declared: ‘not only are we neutral now, but we are and ought to remain neutral throughout the whole course of the war.’
The British judge and lawyer Robert Reid was the Earl of Loreburn as well as the Lord Chancellor of England from 1905 to 1912, so he should know what was going on. His book ‘How the War Came’ described how it was the secret deal with France which wrecked everything:
The final mistake was that when, on the actual crisis arising, a decision one way or the other might and, so far as can be judged, would have averted the Continental war altogether ... The mischief is that Sir Edward Grey slipped into a new policy, but without either Army, or treaty, or warrant of Parliamentary approval ... This country has a right to know its own obligations and prepare to meet them and to decide its own destinies. When the most momentous decision of our whole history had to be taken we were not free to decide. We entered a war to which we had been committed beforehand in the dark, and Parliament found itself at two hours’ notice unable, had it desired, to extricate us from this fearful predicament... If the government thought that either our honour or our safety did require us to intervene on behalf of France, then they ought to have said so unequivocally before the angry Powers on the Continent committed themselves to irrevocable steps in the belief that we should remain neutral. Instead of saying either, they kept on saying in the despatches that their hands were perfectly free, and told the Commons the same thing. The documents show conclusively that till after Germany declared war our Ministers had not made up their minds on either of the two questions, whether or not they would fight for France, and whether or not they would fight for Belgium. Of course Belgium was merely a corridor into France, and unless France was attacked Belgium was in no danger. 16 [1]
After it was over, US President Woodrow Wilson in March of 1919 summed up its avoidability: ‘We know for a certainty that if Germany had thought for a moment that Great Britain would go in with France and Russia, she would never have undertaken the enterprise.’ (p.18, Lorenburn). That was the sense in which Britain precipitated the dreadful conflict. Clear words of truth could have avoided it – had that been desired.
We remind ourselves of Dr Steiner’s comparison: that the British Empire then covered one-quarter of the Earth’s land-surface; Russia one-seventh; France and her colonies one-thirteenth; and Germany, one thirty-third. (Karma,p.11)
Upon receiving a telegram from Prince Lichnowsky earlier in the day of August 1, the Kaiser ordered a bottle of champagne to celebrate, as if there might be hope of reaching a deal with Britain. Even though he was just that afternoon signing the order for mobilisation of the German army, he could in some degree have recalled it ... but, it was a false hope, and a telegram from King Edward later that day explained to him that there had been a ‘misunderstanding’ between Britain’s Foreign Secretary and the German ambassador. 17 [1]

Grey’s Duplicity
On the 26th or 27th, Grey told the Cabinet that he would have to resign, if it did not support his initiative to take Britain into war in support of ‘our ally,’ France. He would not be able to go along with British neutrality. Over these days up until the 1st, or 2nd, when the war was just starting, all the Cabinet of Britain’s Liberal Party government except for Churchill and Grey favoured British neutrality. It was those two who dragged Britain into war. Grey did not yet know whether the Belgian government would say ‘no’ to the German request to be allowed to pass through. To get his war, Grey had to swing it on the ‘poor little Belgium’ angle. Once Belgium had said ‘No’ and yet Germany still went in – as its only way to enter France - a cabinet majority would then became assured.
On August 2nd, Grey gave to the French ambassador what amounted to British assurance of war-support. On August 3rd, Grey gave the Commons an impassioned plea in favour of British intervention on behalf of France - making no mention of the German peace-offer. The MP Phillip Morrell spoke afterwards in the sole anti-war speech that day, and pointed out that a guarantee by Germany not to invade France had been offered, on condition of British neutrality, and spurned.  As to why Grey did not mention the German offer, the view was later contrived that the German ambassador had merely been speaking in a private capacity! 18 [1]
The supposed neutrality of Belgium was a sham, as ministers of that country had secretly drawn up detailed anti-German war-plans with Britain and France. No wonder the Kaiser had a sense of being ‘encircled’ by enemies, because ‘“neutral” Belgium had in reality become an active member of the coalition concluded against Germany’19 [1] – i.e. it had plotted against a friendly nation. Quoting the commendably insightful George Bernard Shaw, ‘The violation of Belgian neutrality by the Germans was the mainstay of our righteousness; and we played it off on America for much more than it was worth. I guessed that when the German account of our dealings with Belgium reached the United states, backed with an array of facsimiles of secret diplomatic documents discovered by them in Brussels, it would be found that our own treatment of Belgium was as little compatible with neutrality as the German invasion.’ 20 [1]

Steiner’s View
Rudolf Steiner’s judgement in his December 1916 lecture (during which Britain was declining a peace offer from Germany) was:
‘Let me merely remark, that certain things happened from which the only sensible conclusion to be drawn later turned out to be the correct one, namely that behind those who were in a way the puppets there stood in England a powerful and influential group of people who pushed matters doggedly towards a war with Germany and through whom the way was paved for the world war that had always been prophesied. For of course the way can be paved for what it is intended should happen. ..it is impossible to avoid realising how powerful was the group who like an outpost of mighty impulses, stood behind the puppets in the foreground. These latter are of course, perfectly honest people, yet they are puppets, and now they will vanish into obscurity …. 21 [1]
Grey and Churchill were the two consistently pro-war cabinet ministers. The Conservative Party was solidly pro-war, and Churchill was ready to offer them a deal if perchance too many of the Liberal-party cabinet were going to resign rather than go to war.  Steiner here remarked:
‘Anyone [in England] voicing the real reasons [for war] would have been swept  away by public opinion. Something quite different was needed – a reason which the English people could accept, and that was the violation of Belgian neutrality. But this first had to be brought about. It is really true that Sir Edward Grey could have prevented it with a single sentence. History will one day show that the neutrality of Belgium would never have been violated if Sir Edward Grey had made the declaration which it would have been quite easy for him to make, if he had been in a position to follow his own inclination. But since he was unable to follow his own inclination but had to obey an impulse which came from another side, he had to make the declaration which made it necessary for the neutrality of Belgium to be violated. Georg Brandes pointed to this. By this act England was presented with a plausible reason. That had been the whole point of the exercise: to present England with a plausible reason! To the people who mattered, nothing would have been more uncomfortable than the non-violation of Belgian territory!’ 22 [1]
Could powers behind Grey have wanted war, and steered events towards that end? Steiner argued against the widespread view of an inevitable slide into war: ‘You have no idea how excessively irresponsible it is to seek a simple continuity in these events, thus believing that without more ado the Great World War came about, or had to come about, as a result of Austria’s ultimatum to Serbia. (p.82)
We are here reminded of Morel’s account, of how secret plotting had paralysed debate:
‘The nemesis of their own secret acts gripped our ministers by the throat. It paralysed their sincere and desperate efforts to maintain peace. It cast dissention amongst them...They could not afford to be honest neither to the British people nor to the world. They could not hold in check the elements making for war in Germany by a timely declaration of solidarity with France and Russia, although morally committed to France.. In vain the Russians and the French implored them to make a pronouncement of British policy while there was still time.’ 23 [1]
On August 4th, Britain declared war, and that same night cut through the transatlantic undersea telephone cables coming out of Germany, 24 [1] enabling British atrocity propaganda to work largely unchallenged. Quoting a recent work on the subject, ‘The hallmark of Britain’s successful propaganda efforts were alleged German atrocities of gigantic proportions that strongly influenced naive Americans yearning for a chivalrous war from afar’. 25 [1] Such consistent, intentional mendacity was fairly innovative, which was why it worked so well: ‘In that war, hatred propaganda was for the first time given something like organised attention’. 26 [1] Thus, a nemesis of what Morel described as ‘futile and wicked statecraft’ here appeared, in that British soldiers were motivated to fight, by a nonstop torrent of lies - from their own government. 27 [1]
In conclusion, can we agree with Dr Steiner? Quoting Barnes, ‘It is thus apparent that the responsibility for the fatal Russian mobilisation which produced the war must be shared jointly, and probably about equally, by France and Russia.’ This was because of the French cabinet’s general encouragement, then its final decision to embark upon war on the 29th July, of which Barnes remarked: ‘The secret conference of Poincaré, Viviani and Messimy, in consultation with Izvolski, on the night of 29th of July, marks the moment when the horrors of war were specifically unchained in Europe.’ (pp.328, 242) This had to be the time, it was the only opportunity, because these war-plotters would have known of the mobilisation of the world’s biggest navy, that of Great Britain, over these fateful days, all ready for war. The Russian generals browbeat the Tzar into signing the documents giving his assent - for a war he didn’t want 28 [1]. On the 31st one more desperate telegram arrived from the Kaiser about how ‘The peace of Europe may still be maintained’ if only Russia would stop its mobilisation, but the Tzar no longer had that ability. Germany placed itself at a military disadvantage by refraining from declaring war or taking steps to mobilise until the afternoon of August 1st, much later than any of the other great powers involved. Had a deal been reached in London on that afternoon, a conflict in Eastern Europe would presumably still have taken place, but it would have been limited and diplomats could have dealt with it: yes, a world war could have been averted.
...................
Essential texts:  Alexander Fuehr, The Neutrality of Belgium, NY 1915 * E.D. Morel, Truth and the War, 1916 * The Earl Lorenburn, How the War Came, 1919 * Harry Elmer Barnes, The Genesis of the World War  an Introduction to the Problem of War Guilt, 1926 * British documents on the origins of the war 1898-1914, Vol XI, HMSO 1926. * Memorandum on Resignation by John Viscount, Morley, 1928, 39pp. * Alfred von Wegerer, A Refutation of the Versailles War Guilt Thesis, 1930 * Winston Churchill, The Great War Vol. 1, 1933 * Captain Russell Grenfell, Unconditional Hatred, German War Guilt and the Future of Europe (mainly about WW2) NY, 1954 * M. Balfour, The Kaiser and His Times, 1964 * Stewart Halsey Ross, Propaganda for War, How the United States Was Conditioned to Fight the Great War of 1914-18, 2009.

Notes:
  1. Rudolf Steiner, The Karma of Untruthfulness Vol. 1 (13 lectures at Dornach, Switzerland, 4-31st  December 1916), 1988, p.19. NB it’s available online as a Google-book, with the same pagination as here used. The new 2005 edition (subtitled Secret Societies, the Media, and Preparations for the Great War) has a fine Introduction by Terry Boardman.
  2. Barnes 1926, pp.284-8.
  3. Balfour, 1964, p.351.
  4. Ross, 2009, p.9. For a letter by US diplomat and presidential advisor Colonel E.House, concerning the pacific philosophy of the Kaiser, after a visit he paid in July 1914, see Barnes, p.523. For the ex-Kaiser’s view on ‘proof of Germany’s peaceful intentions’ i.e. how Germany had not prepared for war or expected it, see: My Memoirs, 1878-1918 by Ex-Kaiser William II, 1992, Ch.10 ‘The Outbreak of War.’
  5. Morel, p.122: Germany had ‘for forty and four years kept the peace when war broke out in August ... No other Great Power can boast such a record.’ (Morel’s book may be viewed online)
  6. Balfour, 1964, p.354
  7. Morel, 1916, pp.6, 8, 13 and 42.
  8. Churchill, 1933, Vol. 1, p.107.
  9. Churchill, ibid., has the British fleet secretly mobilised over the night of 29-30th July. Hugh Martin, inBattle, the Life-story of the Rt Hon. Winston Churchill, 1937: ‘Churchill, upon his own responsibility and against the express decision of the Cabinet, ordered the mobilisation of the Naval Reserve’ On the 27th, ‘the fleet [was] sent North to prevent the possibility of it being bottled up,’ p.105. A ‘Test Mobilisation’ of the entire Royal Navy paraded before the King on July 26th, at Spitalhead, after which the Navy was held full battle-readiness (The Life and Times of Lord Mountbatten, John Terrence 1968, p11-14); then, ‘On July 29th Churchill secretly ordered the core of the fleet to move north to its protected wartime base .. riding at top speed and with its lights out, it tore through the night up the North sea.’ (To End All Wars, How WW1 Divided Britain, 2011, Adam Hochschild, p.85).
  10. The first indication for  the Kaiser of war-imminence, was when he learned that the English fleet ‘had not dispersed after the review at Spitalhead but had remained concentrated.’ (My Memoirs, p.241).
  11. Bertrand Russell, Autobiography, Vol. 1, 1967, p.239. H.G. Wells judged that: ‘I think he (Gray) wanted the war and I think he wanted it to come when it did ... The charge is, that he did not definitely warn Germany, that we should certainly come into the war, that he was sufficiently ambiguous to let her take a risk and attack, and that he did this deliberately. I think that this charge is sound.’ (Experiment in an Autobiography, II, 1934, p.770)
  12. Edward Grey letter Aug 1st: Britain’s ‘Blue Book,’ HMSO, 1926, p.261. See also Morley 1928, p.38-9.
  13. The noncommittal attitude expressed by Grey on August 1st  to the German ambassador had been endorsed by the Cabinet and Prime Minister: Roy Jenkins, Asquith 1964, p.363.
  14. Steiner, Karma, p.18: Georg Brandes, Farbenblinde Neutralität, Zurich 1916 (Brandes was Danish). Steiner quotes extensively from it, Karma, pp. 14-23.
  15. Barnes, 1926, p.497.
  16. Loreburn, 1919, pp.15-19.
  17. Annika Mombauer, Helmuth von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War 2001 CUP p.219-223: Lichinowsky’s telegram misunderstood (NB I’m not endorsing her thesis of German war-guilt).
  18. Grey told cabinet about talk with Lichinowsky on 3rd, with a claim that the latter’s views were ‘merely personal and unauthorised.’ (Morley, pp.13-14) If so, why was the conversation recorded and published in Britain’s ‘White Book’ of key wartime documents? How could a German Ambassador make a merely personal proposal? Other such ‘White Book’ documents were recorded as personal, but not this one. As Morel pointed out (pp.26-7), the UK’s ‘Blue Book’ published its account of this interview with no hint that the Ambassador was merely acting privately - and Lichinowsky’s telegram to his Government dated 8.30 pm, August 1, indicated that he had been acting on ‘instructions.’ His offer was generally concordant with telegrams then being sent by the Kaiser and German Minister of Foreign Affairs. (Morel, p.26)
  19. Fuehr, 1915, pp.90, 117. (For comments on Fuehr see Ross 2009, pp.116-7: Fuehr’s account was ‘certainly biased’ but ‘well-documented.’) For the incriminating documents, see Ross p.300, note 55. The Kaiser recalled how piles of British army-coats and maps of Belgium were found concealed around the Belgian border, in anticipation of the war: My Memoirs, p.251-2.
  20. Ross, 2009, p.42.
  21. Steiner, Karma, pp.84-5.
  22. Ibid, p.86.
  23. Morel 1916, p.297.
  24. Ross, 2009, pp.15, 27.
  25. Ibid, p.3.
  26. Grenfell, 1954, p.125.
  27. Likewise from the French government: Barnes, ...For a general comment see Georges Thiel, Heresy: ‘One grows dizzy at the listing of all those lies [against Germany] which, afterwards, were demolished one after the other.’ Historical Review Press, 2006, p.31.
  28. For the Ex-Kaiser’s account of how, as he later learned, his telegrams considerably affected Tzar Nicholas in those crucial days, see: My Memoirs, Ch.10.

Reexamining the “Gas Chamber” of Dachau

Reexamining the “Gas Chamber” of Dachau

Thomas Dalton

Of the Dachau crematorium called “Barrack X,” one can read the following on the Web site of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum: “There is no credible evidence that the gas chamber in Barrack X was used to murder human beings.”[1] A strange situation indeed, given that the facility, built in late 1942 and completed by May 1943,[1]allegedly contained a dedicated homicidal gas chamber of substantial size—about 39 square meters (425 square feet), sufficient to gas nearly 400 people at a time, on the traditional view. Why would the Germans build such a dedicated facility, and then never use it?—not a single mass gassing, in nearly two years?[1] Is there perhaps another story here? And what can we learn from examining the facility today?
The following study is the result of my personal visit to Dachau over a period of three days in mid-2011. All photos included below are my own. Photo 1 shows the exterior of the crematorium building, with the external wall of the gas chamber on the left (behind the water downspout). Photo 2 is the current floor plan.
Dachau Crematorium exterior
Photo 1: Crematorium exterior (gas chamber area at left).
Dachau Crematorium floor plan
Photo 2: Crematorium floor plan (room 5 = gas chamber).
In the immediate aftermath of the war, no doubt was expressed or entertained that the crematorium contained a homicidal chamber. An official US Army report, issued within days of takeover of the camp, was unequivocal. In Dachau the Germans conducted a “systematic policy of extermination” (Perry 2000: 14-15)—though today we know that no such thing ever occurred or was even planned. There were “a total of five gas chambers” (p. 44), the largest disguised as a shower. In it, 15 fake shower heads were installed, “from which gas was then released” (p. 52).
The Nuremberg Tribunal proceedings contain two important references, the first in the so-called Chavez Report, dated 7 May 1945:
"The new [crematorium] building had a gas chamber for executions… The gas chamber was labeled ‘shower room’ over the entrance and was a large room with airtight doors and double-glassed lights, sealed and gas proof. The ceiling was studded with dummy shower heads. A small observation peephole, double-glassed and hermetically sealed, was used to observe the conditions of the victims. There were grates in the floor. Hydrogen cyanide was mixed in the room below, and rose into the gas chamber and out the top vents."
Now, the showerheads no longer supply the deadly gas, but it emanates from the floor. There is indeed a cellar room below the gas chamber, but we have no evidence at all that it was a ‘Zyklon mixing room,’ or that such gas entered the room from below. Today there are six floor vents in the room, and by all accounts they are, and have always been, actual water drains (photo 3). This is logical, because the room was likely built from the start as an ordinary inmate shower facility.
Dachau gas chamber floor
Photo 3: Gas chamber floor.
American newspapers were quick to report the gruesome news. A visit by some prominent journalists on May 2, arranged by General Eisenhower, was reported in the New York Times:
"One of the worst death traps seen by the party was a gas chamber at Dachau disguised as a bathhouse. Mr. [Gideon] Seymour described it as a room about 30 by 20 feet square, with 25 rows of perforated pipes overhead. There were no water connections to the showers, but instead the pipes were supplied from the same gas pipes that led to the cremation chambers. … In the chamber walls, Mr. Seymour said, were small glass ‘peepholes’ through which the German guards could observe the dying agonies of the condemned." (9 May 1945, p. 17)
Here we see an immediate contradiction with the first two reports: no gas from showerheads, no gassing through floor vents, but rather rows of overhead perforated pipes. Also, the alleged connection with the ductwork of the cremation chamber (room #8 in Photo 2) is absurd; there is no conceivable reason to run Zyklon gas, which is flammable, into a furnace room. And the reported floor area of roughly 600 square feet—versus today’s figure of 425—is a significant overestimate.
Further confusion would come soon after the Chavez report, when, in an American investigation report of May 15, it was stated that “The supply of gas into the chamber was controlled by means of two valves on one of the outer walls… The gas was let into the chamber through pipes terminating in perforated brass fixtures set into the ceiling.”[1] No gas from the floor, no rows of perforated pipes, but now “perforated brass fixtures.” Today, incidentally, there is no evidence whatsoever of brass fixtures. Significantly, the May 15 report also stated that “the ceiling was some 10 feet in height.” Today it is about 2.15 meters, or 6 feet 10 inches. This is a huge discrepancy, and not attributable to misjudgment; clearly the ceiling was lowered, after takeover by the Americans.
The second Nuremberg reference came in testimony by Dr. Franz Blaha, a Czech prisoner and four-year inmate. He stated:
"Many executions by gas or shootings or injections took place right in the camp. The gas chamber was completed in 1944, and I was called by Dr. Rascher to examine the first victims. Of the eight or nine persons in the chamber there were three still alive… Many prisoners were later killed in this way."
A puzzle: Blaha claims the chamber was completed only in 1944, but experts today insist that it was part of the original construction that began in 1942. The NYT reported on Blaha’s testimony in November 1945, dramatically stating that he was “assigned to work in the death chamber of the hospital”—meaning, of course, the mortuary. Blaha told of decapitations and the creation of shrunken heads, and of skin made into “gloves, lampshades, riding breeches, house-slippers, handbags” and other items (all such claims have since been completely discredited, putting Blaha’s credibility into serious doubt). He also recalled “the wholesale execution of Russian prisoners in a gas chamber… He declared that a quick death in the gas chamber had been meted out to the sick prisoners transferred to Dachau from other camps” (Nov. 17, p. 7).
Meanwhile the NYT continued to report on the alleged gassing atrocities. For example, it reported statements by one Colonel Jaworski that “Jews had been ‘ruthlessly wiped out’ by hanging and firing squad and gas chambers at Dachau. Frequently they were paraded into a gas chamber, told to strip for shower and then left to die when the gas was turned on” (21 October, p. 11)—as if the gas chamber were like some household oven.
As one can imagine, questions eventually arose regarding the veracity of these gas chamber reports.[1] The first challenges appeared in 1950, with Paul Rassinier’s book Le mensonge d’Ulysse, and Maurice Bardèche’sNuremberg, both in French. In 1954, the German Ludwig Paulin published an article, “The lie of the 238,000: What happened in camp Dachau?,” in which he disputed the existence of a gas chamber.[1] Two months later, another article appeared in the same journal, pseudonymously written by American military attorney Stephen Pinter. Pinter claimed to have visited all the western camps, including Dachau, without finding any credible evidence for homicidal gas chambers.[1]
In 1958, Louis Marschalko published the book The World Conquerors. He argues that, upon takeover by the Americans, captive Germans “were ordered subsequently to build various additional buildings with the greatest possible speed” (p. 155). They constructed “blood-pits” and a “hanging tree,” and destroyed gardens and flowerbeds that might detract from the ‘death camp’ image. Marschalko adds, “The shower-baths, dressing rooms, and reception halls had to be rebuilt so that they should appear like gas-chambers” (p. 156).
In June of 1959, Pinter spoke out again, publishing the follow statement in a letter to a Catholic periodical:
"I was in Dachau for 17 months after the war, as a U.S. War Department Attorney, and can state that there was no gas chamber at Dachau. What was shown to visitors and sightseers there and erroneously described as a gas chamber was a crematory. Nor was there a gas chamber in any of the other concentration camps in Germany." (Our Sunday Visitor, June 14, p. 15)
Former inmate and Catholic bishop Johannes Neuhäusler claimed, in 1960, that no gas chamber had ever been put into use at the camp.[1] Two months later, orthodox German historian Martin Broszat issued a letter confirming that “Neither in Dachau nor in Bergen-Belsen nor in Buchenwald were Jews or other prisoners gassed.”[1]
Admission of no gassing at the camp was an important milestone, but the much more serious charge of deliberate deception continued to appear. In 1961, the journal of the British National Party, Combat, published an article titled “Jewish Deceit at Dachau”:
"When Dachau fell into Western hands in 1945, it had to look the part, so…it was transformed into a showplace of horrors. … The camp had to have a gas chamber, so, since one did not exist, it was decided to pretend that the shower bath had been one. Previously it had flagstones to a height of about four feet [on the walls]. Similar flagstones were taken [from the adjacent room] and put above those in the shower bath, and a new lower ceiling was created at the top of this second row of flagstones, with iron funnels in it (the [fake] inlets for the gas)." (Combat, Jan/Feb 1961, issue #10, p. 4).
Indeed, the gas chamber ceiling today is 2.15 meters high, but the adjacent room height is 2.9 meters—a full 75 cm (30 inch) differential.
Whoever lowered the ceiling and installed the ‘fake showerheads’ did a remarkably crude job. Today it appears as a poured concrete ceiling, smooth and white, into which someone roughly chiseled several funnel-shaped holes. Of the 15 such holes, 13 have an open metal funnel, one is complete with perforated head, and the last is fully exposed—see Photos 4, 5, 6.
Dachau fake shower heads
Photo 4: “Fake shower heads.”
Dachau shower head
Photo 5: Sole remaining intact head.
Dachau missing funnel
Photo 6: Missing funnel.
In most cases one can see, faintly, evidence of rework to the ceiling after the ‘shower heads’ were installed—see Photo 7.
Dachau rework to ceiling
Photo 7: Rework to ceiling around shower head.
By the 1960s, talk of mass killings in a “Dachau gas chamber” subsided significantly. Raul Hilberg’s magnum opus, Destruction of the European Jews, contains virtually no mention of such a gas chamber—either in his first (1961) edition or in his massive, 3-volume 2003 edition. Paul Berben’s Dachau 1933-1945: The Official Historystates flatly that “the Dachau gas-chamber was never operated” (1975: 8).10 [1] Laqueur (2001: 240) briefly discusses the Blaha testimony and his claim that “several executions were carried out in the Dachau gas chamber.” Laqueur concludes that, because of the “mantle of secrecy” that surrounded Barrack X (the crematorium) and the fact that we have “only one unequivocal testimony”—that of Blaha—that therefore “it is difficult to corroborate Blaha’s statements and say with certainty whether the Dachau gas chamber was ever used for its designed purpose.”
The most definitive recent study is Harold Marcuse’s Legacies of Dachau (2001). This 590-page book contains numerous details on the camp construction and history, and yet has scarcely a mention of the infamous gas chamber. He claims, without evidence, that “only trial gassings” were conducted at the camp.11 [1] He cites a 1960 exhibit in the crematorium that included a sign with a striking admission: “This room would have been used as an undressing and waiting room if the gas chamber had worked” (p. 254). Marcuse dismisses this claim, stating, again without evidence, that it was in fact used “on at least two groups of prisoners.” He quickly adds that “it was indeed never used for systematic gassings…”
Other recent works seem to completely overlook Dachau, as if it played no role whatsoever in the Holocaust. Longerich’s authoritative Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews (2010), for example, has only passing mention of the camp on three or four scattered pages (out of 645 total), and no reference to a gas chamber there at all.
Even as late as 2003, there was an official sign there stating: “GAS CHAMBER: disguised as a ‘shower room’—never used as a gas chamber.” Today there is one wall sign that says, “This was the center of potential (!) mass murder.” Another sign states that the chamber “was not used for mass murder. Survivors have testified that the SS did, however, murder individual prisoners and small groups here using poison gas.”12 [1] Evidently the story of a ‘homicidal gas chamber’ must be maintained at all costs.
* * * * *
There are other reasons to be suspicious, and other indications that something is not quite right with the official history. Let’s return to the room itself. Photo 8 shows the interior entrance door and the infamous “Brausebad” (‘shower’) sign, looking on through to the exterior exit door.
Dachau entrance to gas chamber
Photo 8: Entrance to gas chamber.
Both entrance and exit have similar, heavy, vault-like metal doors. The entrance door is wedged in place against the floor and cannot move, but the exit door swings freely. The problem is that it does not close. The following two photos (9 and 10) show that this door hits on the locking pin; it cannot close and cannot seal ‘gas tight’. In fact the door is roughly half an inch too wide for the pin. This is no minor adjustment. The doorway was significantly altered since its original construction. But we do not know when, or for what purpose. It may have been as part of covert American alterations immediately after the war, or it could have simply reflected the general conversion of the camp to a 'memorial' and tourist destination in the early 1960s—it clearly would not do to have tourists locking each other in the room. (But of course, with one door wedged open, this could not happen…another strange fact.)
Dachau exit door obstruction
Photo 9: Exit door obstruction.
Dachau exit door obstruction
Photo 10: Exit door obstruction.
During my visit I came prepared to do a unique bit of analysis: I brought along a hand-held wall metal detector.13[1] I cannot claim any astounding new discoveries, but I did a fairly careful scan of all four interior walls and the ceiling. The walls had virtually no metal at all, at least to the scanning depth of three inches. The ceiling, by contrast, showed extensive metal content, almost throughout the entire extent. There was no evident pattern, just a more or less continuous positive reading. This would suggest some kind of heavy wire mesh, perhaps associated with the poured concrete.14 [1] It was not possible to detect the presence or absence of individual pipes in the ceiling.
Another feature of interest is the pair of “Zyklon gassing ports.” In the (one) exterior wall we find two large (70 x 40 cm) openings, with a heavy metal grating on the interior—see Photos 11 and 12. Allegedly, the Zyklon pellets were dumped into a chute on the exterior of the building (Photo 13) and then either were trapped by the grill, or spilled through onto the floor. The grill was there to prevent the victims from interfering with this process.
Dachau Zyklon ports
Photo 11: Two Zyklon ports.
Dachau Zyklon port and grill
Photo 12: Zyklon port and grill.
Dachau Zyklon chutes
Photo 13: Two Zyklon chutes.
There are several problems with this set-up. First, the chutes are welded open, so that no one can verify the closure, air-tight seal, etc. Second, the process is very crude—hardly better than just tossing an open Zyklon can into the room as the door is being slammed shut. Third, the first few dead bodies could have easily blocked the grates, putting a quick end to the gassing process. Then there is the problem of cleanup: How were the operators supposed to collect up those deadly Zyklon pellets, which would continue to emit gas for two hours or more, long after the victims were dead? To this we have no answer.
Furthermore, it is a very inefficient scheme at best; the poison gas would only slowly and unevenly diffuse into the room. Better to employ some kind of heated, forced-air system that would quickly circulate the deadly gas. And in fact, the Germans had precisely such a system—and only three rooms away. Room #1 (see Photo 2) contains four actual Zyklon disinfesting chambers, with sophisticated dispensing systems. Photo 14 shows the exterior of these chambers, and Photo 15 the machine for opening and retaining the pellets, and forcing hot air through them. These rooms were very effective at delousing linens, clothing, and personal items, and thus preventing the spread of the deadly typhus disease.15 [1] Evidently the Germans wanted to spare lives in the camp, not end them.
Dachau Delousing chamber
Photo 14: Delousing chamber. 
Dachau hot-air fumigation device
Photo 15: Hot-air fumigation device.
And one further oddity: The Zyklon chutes show clear signs of being installed after the original building construction. In close-up views of the chutes, we can see that the concrete mortar is clearly different than that used for the remainder of the wall—finer quality, more viscous, and of different composition. See Photos 16 (left chute), 17 (right chute), and the detail in Photo 18.
Dachau left Zyklon chute
Photo 16: Left Zyklon chute.
Dachau right Zyklon chute
Photo 17: Right Zyklon chute.
Dachau mortor variation in right chute
Photo 18: Mortar variation in right chute.
There would not be such a discrepancy in the construction material if the gas chamber and chutes were installed at the time of construction, as the experts insist to this day. Evidently someone broke into the completed brick wall at a later date to install the chutes—perhaps at the direction of the occupying Americans.
While they were at it, someone, at some later date, significantly altered the crematorium chimney. Compare the following Photo 19, from the summer of 1944, with Photo 1, which I explicitly took from the same perspective.
Dachau Crematorium in summer 1944
Photo 19: Crematorium in summer 1944. 
The new chimney is significantly shorter, and thus, at the very least, someone removed the top 10 or 20 feet. They also added some sort of white banding strips at two points. There is no obvious explanation for this reconstruction. Well-built brick chimneys survive for literally hundreds of years. More riddles.
Finally there is a huge question mark around the piping and ductwork that runs above and behind the room. Various drawings and studies over the years indicate numerous changes, alterations, additions, and reconstructions—to the point where the present system is nonsensical. A properly-designed chamber would be clear and simple: a single air duct connected at opposite ends of the room (to recirculate the poison gas), an in-line air heater (to improve gasification), a remote (attic or backroom) Zyklon introduction device, and a simple pair of inlet/outlet chimneys for cleansing the chamber of the deadly gas. Instead we find, by all indications, an absurd, jury-rigged system of pipes, valves, and condensers, one that bears all the marks of a series of postwar constructions. In all likelihood the room was designed and built as an actual shower, which was then reconstructed, with the lower ceiling, to meet American expectations of what a ‘gas chamber’ should look like.
One can imagine what visitors learn of all this when they see the camp today. Entrance is free and there are no official guides, so various groups pass through with various self-appointed ‘expert’ guides. However, when it comes to the crematorium (Barrack X), there seems to be a set routine. The group gathers outside the building as the guide briefly explains the ‘assembly-line process’ of undressing, gassing, cremating, etc. He then sends them in at one end, and they pass through the several rooms of the building (see again the floor plan in Photo 2), emerging from the furnace room, where the guide is dutifully waiting. No guide accompanies the groups inside—all the better to avoid any pointed and difficult questions that may arise. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but in the several hours that I was in the chamber and building, not one guide entered the gas chamber.
Traditional historians would undoubtedly like to see the infamous Dachau gas chamber simply fade away. Playing no role in the Holocaust, it serves no real purpose. The many problems and inconsistencies make it more of an embarrassment than asset to the orthodox view. And in truth it is more than an embarrassment; such deception threatens to undermine major aspects of the entire Holocaust story. A purpose-built gas chamber, right on German soil, sitting for two years…but ‘never used’? So maybe all those other gas chambers in Poland were likewise ‘never used’? All those indications of reconstruction, alteration, fraud…perhaps recurring in places like Auschwitz and Majdanek?16 [1] A complicit mass media, directed by the Sulzbergers, Pulitzers, Goldwyns, Cohns, and Selznicks of the world, happy to play along, unwilling to ask tough questions or conduct an impartial investigation…could that happen today? And a situation rife with American lies to justify Allied war crimes and defend a tragic story of Jewish suffering…what shall we make of that? Best not to ask too many questions.
Sources
  • Berben, P. 1975. Dachau 1933-1945: The Official History. London: Norfolk Press.
  • Dalton, T. 2009. Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at Both Sides. Theses and Dissertations Press.
  • Hilberg, R. 2003. The Destruction of the European Jews (3 vols.). Yale University Press.
  • Kues, T. 2010. “A Chronicle of Holocaust Revisionism, Parts 2 [2] and [3].” Inconvenient History, vol. 1 and 2.
  • Laqueur, W. (ed.) 2001. Holocaust Encyclopedia. Yale University Press.
  • Longerich, P. 2010. Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews. Oxford University Press.
  • Marcuse, H. 2001. Legacies of Dachau. Cambridge University Press.
  • Marschalko, L. 1958/1968. The World Conquerors: The Real War Criminals. (A. Suranyi, trans.). Christian Book Club.
  • Mazal, H. Undated. “The Dachau Gas Chambers.” www.holocaust-history.org [4].
  • Perry, M. (ed.) 2000. Dachau Liberated: The Official Report by the U. S. Seventh Army. Originally prepared by the CIC Detachment, under the title “Dachau, Concentration Camp.” Seattle: Inkling.
Notes:
  1. http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005214 [5] accessed 26 Oct 2011.
  2. Laqueur (2001: 240) claims that “The Germans built a gas chamber in the second crematorium building of Dachau…in March 1942.”
  3. The camp was occupied by the Americans on 29 April 1945.
  4. IMT document L-159, vol. 37, p. 621.
  5. The following sources are detailed by Thomas Kues (2010).
  6. Der Weg, vol 8, no 5-6.
  7. Der Weg, vol 8, no 8. Under byline “Warwick Hester.”
  8. Deutschen Wochenzeitung, 18 June 1960, as reported by Kues (2010).
  9. Letter to Die Zeit, 19 August 1960.
  10. The point is reiterated later in the book: “As is well-known, the crematorium was enlarged by a gas-chamber, however this was never put into operation.” (p. 176)
  11. Page 46. He adds that “death by other causes supplied enough raw human material for the ovens”—as if the Germans needed dead bodies for fuel!
  12. To gas individual persons, in a room of 425 square feet, is ludicrous.
  13. Zircon “Videoscanner” 5.5.
  14. The block wall construction would not require supporting wire mesh, and thus the negative reading is not surprising.
  15. Traditionalist writer Harry Mazal counters that delousing requires high air concentrations of Zyklon gas, whereas the gassing of people requires a much lower concentration to be fatal. This, he claims, accounts for the dispensing machines for delousing but not for murder. However, the Germans would clearly have wanted to kill everyone in a crowded room, in short order, and this would necessitate a high-concentration, forced-air system, just like in the delousing chambers. Mazal’s claim that the chutes made it “simpler and less expensive” to kill people, rather than using the “costly” dispensing machines, is ridiculous. (“The Dachau gas chambers,” www.holocaust-history.org)
  16. For more on the story of those camps and their gas chambers, see my book Debating the Holocaust (2009).

The Palestinians as an "Invented People"

The Palestinians as an "Invented People"

Rich Siegel

The name “Palestine” has been around for a long time. “Peleset”, transliterated from Egyptian hieroglyphics as “P-l-s-t”, is found in numerous Egyptian documents referring to a neighboring people or land starting from around 1150 BC. The “Philistine” States existed concurrently with the ancient Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, making up the coastal plain below Jaffa and south to Gaza. In the 5th Century BC Herodutus wrote of a “district of Syria, called Palestine”. About a century later, Aristotle described the Dead Sea in Meteorology and located it in Palestine:
"Again if, as is fabled, there is a lake in Palestine, such that if you bind a man or beast and throw it in it floats and does not sink, this would bear out what we have said. They say that this lake is so bitter and salty that no fish live in it and that if you soak clothes in it and shake them it cleans them."
This writer has had the misfortunate of frequently engaging in debates with Zionists (a bad habit I need to kick!) who often tend to seize on small ideas. “When did the Palestinians ever have their own country?” In order to win such an argument one would have to reduce oneself to their terms, and produce a map that shows a country and borders: “Palestinian Kingdom, 1587- 1702”, and then let them present their map of ancient Israel and Judea, and then get into a wrestling match the winner of which would claim the territory for their own. Or perhaps the issue would be better settled the way the New York colony won Staten Island from New Jersey: with a boat race. If the goal is exclusivity, as it always has been with Zionism, then the only criterion in achieving it is winning, whether a war or a race.
There was no 17th century Palestinian Kingdom, or 18th or 19th. There were, prior to Allied victory in World War One and the League of Nations “mandates” which granted European powers control of the region, various provinces in a larger Ottoman empire, ruled from Istanbul (previously known as Constantinople, and before that, Byzantium), much as there are today various American states governed from Washington. Objectors will cry “Foul!”, as Americans are governed by Americans in Washington, whereas Arabs were governed by Turks, a different ethnic group with a different language. Fine. So I modify my comparison to the Spanish speaking Puerto Ricans governed from Washington, or the French speaking Quebecois governed from Ottawa. Neither the Puerto Ricans nor the French Canadians are being ethnically cleansed.
Palestinians in Coffee house"A Coffee-house in Palestine." Scanned from a period stereoscope card. Printed by Keystone View Company, Manufacturers and Publishers, Meadville Pennsylvania & St. Louis Missouri. Copyright 1900 by B. L. Singley.
Photo is in the Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Prior to Zionism, there was no need for the Arabs of Palestine to focus on Palestinian identity. They were citizens of the Ottoman Empire. When, during the mandate years the British made contradictory promises to the Zionists and the Arabs, and the Arabs expected, and had the right to expect, eventual self-rule, it was certainly not a foregone conclusion that there was going to be an independent Palestine. Palestinians might well have been a part of a larger South Syria, or of a Greater Syria, and happily so. They certainly would not have been ethnically cleansed under those circumstances. The Arabs of Palestine have always had their own distinct Arabic dialect, and various other cultural attributes that set them apart from other regional Arab cultures, but that was never particularly relevant. Many various subcultures existed within the Ottoman Empire, and continued to exist within British and French mandates.
Interestingly, during the years of the Yishuv, the pre-Israeli-statehood Zionist community in Palestine, Jewish-Zionist settlers called themselves “Palestinians”. In this way, the Zionists ironically affirmed the thing that many of them wish now to deny: Palestinian identity. In 1948, amid the massacres and military forced mass expulsions of the “nakba” (Arabic for catastrophe, the name commonly given to the events of 1948), when the state of “Israel” was declared, all of the Jews who had been calling themselves Palestinians became “Israelis”, and when the dust cleared, the Arabs who remained within the green line became “Arab Israelis”, like it or not. (It was not known until the state of “Israel” was declared, what it was to be named. “Zion” was considered as a possibility, but rejected, as the result would have necessitated referring to “Arab Israelis”, the Arab citizens of Israel, as “Arab Zionists”.)
The designation “Palestinian” was more actively embraced beginning in 1964, with the forming of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), this out of necessity, because a people who had been ethnically cleansed, who were in a state of shock and humiliation, and who were desperate to recover and regain what was rightfully theirs, found it useful to rally around symbols representing themselves: A name and a flag are two of the basics.
Golda Meir famously said in 1969, during her tenure as Israeli prime minister;
“There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War, and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.”
Golda is actually right on this point and that point. I would not have been able to show her a map that says “Kingdom of Palestine” or “Grand Duchy of Palestine” or any of dozens of designations that might have satisfied her. But this I can say for sure: There were human beings on that land, and they had been there all their lives, and their families for many generations before them down through the centuries. And many of them were actually descended from ancient Jews who later converted to Christianity and Islam, while our ancestors, Golda’s and mine- the Ashkenazi Jews, were converting to Judaism in the Khazar Kingdom on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
Golda actually knew when making this statement, the information which has become available to the general public in the decades since: We Jews did come and throw them out and take their country away from them. It’s been thoroughly documented. It wasn’t when she made this statement in 1969.  She was able to get away with it then. But since then an entire generation of Jewish-Israeli scholars, (and many others, but we Jews need to hear it from Jews first!) has carefully documented the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and presented the history that she personally knew, but actively hid and denied. She and her colleagues concealed the truth from Jewish supporters of Israel all over the world including my family, who taught me lies quite innocently, because they didn’t know any better.
In 1984 a book written by Joan Peters, entitled From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict over Palestine, was released to the world. The book claimed that the Palestinians were not resident in Palestine long-term, but were recent arrivals, having come to take advantage of economic opportunities in Palestine which were largely the result of Zionist Jewish settlement. What a perfect way for us Zionist Jews to massage ourselves (I was one at the time!) and drive a wedge between ourselves and the growing awareness about Palestine in the world around us! So it really was a “land without people for a people without a land”! Those Arabs were all immigrants! And how ungrateful that they hate us after all the opportunity we gave them! A wave of related claims surfaced among the Zionist community. An essay by Mark Twain describing his touring of a sparsely populated 19th century Palestine, was offered up into the mix of “Palestinian-denier” evidence. Twain, whose writing was full of humorous and ironic opposition to human bullshit, was no doubt rolling in his grave over this. And claims were often heard that prominent Palestinians, from Edward Said to Yassir Arafat, were “not really Palestinian”.
Enter another book, in 2003, The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz. In case 19 intervening years had given anyone a memory lapse since the publication of Peters's book, Dershowitz borrowed heavily from same, giving the same statistics and making the same conclusions.
Enter yet another book, but this one very different: In Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, published in 2005, Norman G. Finkelstein exposed Peters's statistics as fraudulent, and with that revelation both her argument and that of Dershowitz, collapsed. However, the damage is done among those who wish to ignore Finkelstein, and there are many! “Isn’t he a holocaust denier?”, I’ve been asked. I respond: “No. His parents were holocaust survivors.” Zionists have long used a familiar tactic against those who challenge their propaganda: Defamation. And so the lies persist. This writer still has people putting From Time Immemorial in his face to prove their argument. They refuse to be embarrassed.
At the time of this writing (January 2012), the American public is being treated to an entertainment we get every four years: the run up to our presidential election. As the Democratic candidate will obviously be the incumbent, we are witnessing the Republican candidates claw at each other in their striving to win support for the Republican nomination. Enter a billionaire Jewish American Zionist named Sheldon Adelson, casino magnate and the 8th wealthiest American alive, who along with his wife has donated $10 million to candidate Newt Gingrich. Adelson, whose holdings include the Israeli newspaper Israel HaYom (Israel Today) made some interesting statements while in Israel at an Israel Media Watch event in 2010:
“I am not Israeli. The uniform that I wore in the military, unfortunately, was not an Israeli uniform. It was an American uniform, although my wife was in the IDF and one of my daughters was in the IDF … our two little boys, one of whom will be bar mitzvahed tomorrow, hopefully he’ll come back– his hobby is shooting – and he’ll come back and be a sniper for the IDF.”
 And:
“All we (the Adelson family) care about is being good Zionists, being good citizens of Israel, because even though I am not Israeli born, Israel is in my heart.
Does it sound like this guy has “divided loyalties?” Maybe like the Jewish neocons in the Bush administration who got us to fight a proxy war for Israel in Iraq? No- you can’t say that! It would be “anti-Semitic”!
So is it any wonder that Newt Gingrich has made the utterly incorrect and profoundly idiotic statement that he has made about the Palestinians being an “invented” people? It has nothing to do with any education on the subject of the history, or any awareness of the current situation. It’s simply a question of wanting to win, and of reiterating nonsense he has heard in conversations with a very rich and generous supporter, nonsense which jives with the general impressions that Americans get from our Zionist-controlled media, and that no doubt circulate in Gingrich’s Republican circles. Does anyone think Gingrich has read Finkelstein? I doubt it! And if he did, would he turn down $10 million in favor of truth and justice?
The people native to the land of Palestine were not “invented”. It is indeed unfortunate that someone who is supposedly educated, and who has achieved position in life where he is poised to potentially become the next president of the United States, is putting forth such foolishness.

Germar Rudolf-Resistance Is Obligatory

Resistance Is Obligatory

Germar Rudolf

He who argues that peaceful dissidents on historical issues should be deprived of their civil rights for their diverging views, that is: incarcerated, is – if given the power to im-plement his intentions – nothing else but a tyrant (if enacting laws to support his oppres-sive deeds) or a terrorist (if acting outside the law).
I. A Peaceful Dissident’s Ordeal
Imagine that you are a scientist who has summarized the results of fifteen years of research in a book – and that shortly after publishing this book you are arrested and thrown into prison exactly for this. Imagine further that you are aware with incontrovertible certainty that in the scheduled trial you and your defense attorneys will be forbidden, under threat of prosecution, to prove any factual claims made in that book; that all other motions to introduce supporting evidence will be rejected as well; that all the courts up to the highest appellate will support such conduct; that only a very few of your research colleagues will dare to confirm the legitimacy and quality of your book because they fear similar persecution; but that the efforts of these few colleagues will be in vain as well; and finally that the news media, the so-called “guardians of freedom of speech,” will join the prosecution in demanding your merciless punishment. In such a situation as this, how would you “defend” yourself in court?
This is precisely the Kafkaesque situation in which I found myself at the end of 2005 after having been abruptly and violently separated from my wife and child by U.S. Immigration authorities in Chicago,[1] deported to Germany and immediately thrown into jail to await trial, on account of my book Lectures on the Holocaust, which I had published in the summer of 2005, and for Web pages promoting this and other similar books. This was no plot against me personally, though, because this is the same situation everyone faces who clashes with Germany’s law penalizing the “denial of the Holocaust.” The situation is similar in many other nations, most of them in Europe.
Various defense attorneys unanimously assured me that all defense was doomed in principle and that I would have to reckon with a prison sentence close to the maximum term (five years). Other attorneys advised me to recant my political views and feign remorse and contrition, which might gain me the clemency of the Court.
Renouncing my scientific convictions was not an acceptable option for me, though. A defense based on the facts of the case was impossible, and if attempted regardless, it merely would have exacerbated my situation, because in trying to prove that my views are correct I would have repeated once more the very crime of violating state dogma for which I was on trial in the first place.
But even if such an approach had been possible, I still would have rejected it, because I am firmly convinced that no court has the right to pass binding judgment on matters of scientific controversy. It is therefore an impermissible concession to allow a court of law to pass judgment on the correctness of scientific theses – here about history – in the first place. Every such motion to introduce evidence is already a crime against science, because it undermines its independence from the judiciary.
Thus I decided quite early to treat the upcoming trial as an opportunity to document the Kafkaesque legal conditions now prevailing in the Federal Republic of Germany in order to write a book about it after the trial was over. For this reason I wanted to make a thorough statement about the governing legal situation at the beginning of the main proceedings. After a biographical introduction, I explained the actual nature of science as such and its significance for human society. This was followed by a depiction of the Kafkaesque situation prevailing in German court trials today, whose mission is to suppress opinions that are a thorn in the side of the power elite. After analyzing today’s practice, which violates all our human and constitutional rights, I posed the explosive question of the extent to which I as a citizen of this State have the right and even the duty to resist such injustice.
Subsequently my seven-day presentation in court turned itself into a Lecture, this time on the principles of science and on the destruction of freedom of opinion in Germany.
At the end I did receive a prison sentence of 30 months, which is only half of what had been augured by the lawyers, and that in spite of publicly re-affirming my right to express my revisionist views and in spite of calling for resistance against the German authorities.
Here I would like to give a condensed excerpt of my courtroom lectures, a complete version of which with ample documentation is forthcoming.[2] In section VIII, I will add a few observations on my experiences in prison, which are not included in said upcoming book.

II.      Defense Strategy
I began my courtroom lectures with a few general remarks about my defense strategy, which, in a way, were a declaration of war to the German authorities. I stated:
1.  During my defense, statements about historical subjects will be made by me only in order     a.  to explain and illustrate my personal development;
    b.  to illustrate by examples the criteria of the nature of science;
    c.  to place the District Attorney’s charges regarding my statements in a larger context.
2.  These Statements are not made in order to buttress my historical opinions with facts.
3.  I will not file motions asking the Court to consider my historical theses – for the following reasons:
    a.  Political: German courts are forbidden by orders from higher up to accept such motions to introduce evidence, as is stated in Article 97 of the German Basic Law: 3 [3] “Judges are independent and subject only to the Law.” Please pardon my sarcasm.
    b.  Opportunistic: Item a) above does not prohibit me from submitting motions to introduce evidence. However, since they would all be rejected, it would all be an effort in futility. We should all spare ourselves this waste of time and energy.
    c.  Reciprocal: Since present law denies me the right to defend myself historically and factually, I in turn am denying my accusers the right to charge me historically and factually on the basis of the maxim of equality and reciprocity. Thus I consider the prosecution’s historical allegations to be non-existent.
    d.  Juridical: In 1543, Nicolaus Copernicus 4 [4]
“If perchance there should be foolish speakers who, together with those ignorant of all mathematics, will take it upon themselves to decide concerning these things, and because of some place in the Scriptures wickedly distorted to their purpose, should dare to assail this my work, they are of no importance to me, to such an extent do I despise their judgment as rash.”
CopernicusNicolaus Copernicus (19 February 1473 – 24 May 1543) was a Renaissance astronomer and the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe.
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
No court in the world has the right or the competence to authoritatively decide scientific questions. No parliament in the world has the right to use penal law to dogmatically prescribe answers to scientific questions. Thus it would be absurd for me as a science publisher to ask a court of law to determine the validity of the works I have published. Only the scientific community is competent and entitled to do this.

III. Dignity
One hideous feature of German legal standards is that, when it comes to “the Holocaust,” it pits human dignity against the right to search for the truth. According to this “logic,” the human dignity of all Jews – those who suffered back then and those who live today – depends on everyone accepting the orthodox Holocaust narrative. And since the protection of human dignity is the first and most important article in the German constitution, this has priority over everything else.
What I pointed out first in court was the fact that denying us the search for the truth is an even more serious violation of human dignity than denying the Jews a certain narrative of a detail of their history. After all: what sets us humans apart from bacteria and insects? Isn’t it the capacity to doubt our senses and to systematically search for the reality behind the mere semblance? To bolster my case, I quoted several famous personalities of western culture, such as Socrates, who observed:[5]
“The unexamined life is not worth living.
Aristotle was expressing the same thought when he observed:[6]
“All men by nature desire to know.”
 “[…] for men, therefore, the life according to reason is best and pleasantest, since reason more than anything else is men.”[7]
Konrad Lorenz described human curiosity, that is, the will to learn the truth, with these words:[8]
“There exist inborn behavioral systems that are equivalent to human rights whose suppression can lead to serious mental disturbances.”
The philosopher Karl R. Popper described the difference between us humans and the animals as follows:[9]
“the main difference between Einstein and an amoeba […] is that Einstein consciously seeks for error elimination. He tries to kill his theories: he is consciously critical of his theories which, for this reason, he tries to formulate sharply rather than vaguely. But the amoeba cannot be critical because it cannotface its hypotheses: they are part of it. (Only objective knowledge is criticizable. Subjective knowledge becomes criticizable when we say what we think; and even more so when we write it down, or print it.)”
Skepticism and curiosity, doubting one’s senses and theories and looking deeper in search for the truth, is therefore what brought us down from the trees and out of the caves. They are what made us what we are and what sets us apart from animals. Hence the rights to doubt and to search for the truth are not negotiable. It is therefore perfidious when the State pits freedom of science against human dignity, when in fact they are inseparable. We all are entitled by nature to seek the truth and announce what we think we have found. We do not need any official permission for this.

IV.    Enlightenment
When it comes to the Holocaust, the most important values of western civilization are turned upside down. To prove this, I quoted philosopher Immanuel Kant’s classic definition of enlightenment:10 [10]
“Enlightenment is man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity. Immaturity is the incapacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another. Such immaturity is self-caused, if it is not caused by lack of intelligence, but by lack of determination and courage to use one’s intelligence without being guided by another. Sapere Aude! [dare to know] Have the courage to use your own intelligence! is therefore the motto of the enlightenment.”
Yet when it comes to the “Holocaust,” most governments discourage us from using our own intelligence. Some of them even threaten us with prosecution, and they insist that we follow the guidance of others. Karl Popper characterized a society where the authorities enforce a “state belief” and impose taboos as a closed, dogmatic, archaic society. 11 [11] The modern, open society, in contrast, encourages criticism of traditional dogmas. In fact, this is its foremost hallmark.12 [12]
Hence, dogma and criticism stand opposed to each other as antipodes. In our case, this is the State opposed to revisionism; or in other words the Enemies of Science on one hand versus Science on the other:
  • Dogma vs. Critique
  • State vs. Revisionism
  • Enemies of Science vs. Science
For the scientist, however, dogmas and taboos are strictly unacceptable.

V. Science

The two non-negotiable main pillars of any scientific endeavor are:
1.  Freedom of Hypothesis: At the beginning of the quest for creating knowledge any question may be asked. Doubt as the intellectual basis of all humans can be expressed as a simple question: “Is this really true?” Thus curiosity is nothing other than reason posing questions in search of answers.
2.  Undetermined Outcome: The answers to research questions can be determined exclusively by verifiable evidence. They cannot be determined by taboos or official guidelines laid down by scientific, societal, religious, political, judicial or other authorities.
If answers to scientific questions are prescribed, then posing questions is degraded to a mere rhetorical farce, and science becomes impossible. This is therefore not just an undermining of the essential nature of science, but its complete abolition.
I therefore told the German court:
“As a scientist and science publisher, it is my duty to actively combat the gutting of the pillars of science by promoting such doubt, skepticism, and critiques, and by providing them a venue.”
Next I presented a thorough discussion about the nature of science and how to determine whether a paper or book is scholarly/scientific in nature, reyling mainly on the works by my favorite philosopher and epistemologist Karl. R. Popper.13 [13] I will spare the reader the details of this discussion and will merely reproduce the summary here:

What Is Science?
* There are no (final) judgments, but rather always only more or less reliable (preliminary) pre-judgments.
* The reasons, that is to say the evidence, for our pre-judgments must be testable/verifiable as well as possible.
* We must both actively and passively test and criticize:
  • Test and criticize pre-judgments and reasons of others.
  • Invite others to test and criticize our pre-judgments and welcome this activity. This includes the duty to publish one’s findings in order to enable others to critique them.
  • We must address the tests and critiques of others and test and criticize them in turn. This also means that one should not back down too fast in the face of criticism.
* We have to avoid immunizing our pre-judgments:
  • Avoid creating auxiliary theories designed to prop up an untenable or awkward main hypothesis.
  • Select data only according to objective criteria, using the technique of source criticism.
  • Use exact, consistent and constant definitions of terms.
  • Avoid attacks on persons as substitute for factual arguments.
The motivation of my lengthy elaborations to define the nature of science is that the mainstream disparages revisionist works as merely “pseudo-scientific,” i.e., false science. After having defined the formal characteristics of scientific works, I then juxtaposed several cases of orthodox scholarship clearly bearing the hallmarks of “pseudo-science” with revisionist works which meet the definition of scientific works much better.
I restrict myself here to summarizing only one case presented to the court, which deals with the arbitrary selection and elimination of data. It concerns a Polish attempt14 [14] at refuting revisionist claims based on the results of chemical analyses of wall samples taken at Auschwitz by Fred Leuchter15 [15] and by myself.16 [16] The problem the Poles had to overcome was that the analytical results as such were undeniably true and reproducible. What they subsequently did amounted to a scientific fraud: They chose a different analytical method which simply eliminated all the unwanted data – with the “reason” given that they didn’t understand the issues at hand. If that was really the case, however, then they should not have gotten involved in the first place and should have left the field to those who do understand what they are doing.17 [17]

VI. The Law
It was Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, who once stated – and I quoted him in court as well for a good reason:18 [18]
“A legal council which exercises injustices is more dangerous and worse than a gang of thieves; one can protect oneself against those, but nobody can protect himself against rogues who use the robes of justice to carry out their vicious passions; they are worse than the biggest scoundrels in the world and deserve double punishment.”
I will not stretch the Anglo-Saxon reader’s patience by reiterating my elaborations on the German justice system’s perversions to persecute peaceful dissidents. I will merely restrict myself to a summary of a comparison with which I introduced my legal observations in court. It is a juxtaposition of the conditions of the current German judicial system in general and when dealing with revisionists in particular with that of another country, whose identity I revealed only at the very end of this comparison: The Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. This comparison is based on the one hand on Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s trilogy The Gulag Archipelago, in which he describes his own experiences and those of others as political prisoners in Stalin’s Soviet Union.19 [19] It is based on the other hand on my experiences with, and insights into, the German judicial system.
The first parallel concerns the existence of special government units serving the prosecution of politically motivated “crimes,” which mostly refer to undesirable expressions of opinion. Stalin had his NKVD. In today’s Germany this role is fulfilled by the Police Department for State Protection (Dezernat Staatsschutz), whose main focus is, statistically seen, on the prosecution of usually peaceful “thought crimes” committed by persons harboring right-wing views.
Another astonishing parallel between Stalin’s judiciary and the current German system was described by Solzhenitsyn as follows:
“Another very important thing about the courts today: there is no tape recorder, no stenographer, just a thick-fingered secretary with the leisurely penmanship of an eighteenth-century schoolgirl, laboriously recording some part of the proceedings in the transcript. This record is not read out during the session, and no one is allowed to see it until the judge has looked it over and approved it. Only what the judge confirms will remain on record, will have happened in court. While things that we have heard with our own ears vanish like smoke – they never happened at all!” (vol. 3, p. 521)
In today’s Germany the situation is even worse, since in proceedings before District Courts, which handle “serious” offenses, no protocol is kept at all about who says what and when. Needless to say this opens the floodgates to error and arbitrariness. And here is the perverted reason given by the German authorities why protocols are allegedly obsolete: Since one cannot appeal the decisions handed down by a District Court on matters of fact anyway, a protocol laying out the facts of the case is unnecessary. So here you have the core of the German judiciary: no appeal possible, hence no protocol. It has its internal logic and consistency, but doesn’t that sound more like a totalitarian banana republic?
Another parallel is that defending yourself in front of such a court by trying to argue that you are right will merely exacerbate your situation, as Solzhenitsyn wrote:
“Even if you were to speak in your own defense with the eloquence of Demosthenes [20 [20]…] it would not help you in the slightest. All you could do would be to increase your sentence […].” (vol. 1, p. 294)
That’s what happened to Ernst Zündel in Germany, whose lawyers ferociously defended his right to speak his mind, as a result of which Zündel got the maximum sentence for being recalcitrant. Plus his lawyers got indicted too, which is another parallel to Uncle Joe’s Soviet paradise, as Solzhenitsyn reported:
 “The tribunal roared out a threat to arrest […] the principal defense lawyer […]” (vol. 1, p. 350)
As if prosecuting defense lawyers for their perfectly legitimate defense activities weren’t bad enough, here is how to top it off: threaten witnesses with prosecution, too, who dare to speak out for defendants on trial for “thought crimes,” or as Solzhenitsyn put it (ibid.):
“And right then and there the tribunal actually ordered the imprisonment of a witness, Professor Yegorov, […]”
That happened to me in 1994, when I was summoned by a defense lawyer in order to testify as an expert witness. When the Presiding Judge heard to what effect the defense wanted me to testified, he warned me succinctly that I would be liable to prosecution if testifying along the lines of the lawyer’s motion. Of course it never came to this, because, as Solzhenitsyn correctly observed:
“Defense witnesses were not permitted to testify.” (vol. 1, p. 351)
In Germany they are never allowed to testify, when it comes to revisionists on trial. And worse still: not only witnesses supporting the views of a revisionist defendant are rejected, but all kinds of evidence: witnesses, documents, experts. Germany’s judiciary claims that everything about the Holocaust is “self-evident,” thus requiring no proof at all. In fact, they go so far as to indict anyone who merely dares to file a motion to introduce such evidence, be he a defendant or a defense lawyer. Yes, Germany has made it illegal to move for the introduction of exonerating evidence! Not even Stalin had such an ingenious tool in his repertoire of repression! This way the German judiciary manages to eliminate all unwanted data from the record – not that there is much of a record to begin with…
Although there are more parallels I quoted during my courtroom lectures, I will leave it at that here, as the message I want to convey is probably clear.
It goes without saying that there are also important differences between the Soviet and the current German systems of justice: torture does not exist in German prisons, and I am very grateful for that – although it is quite ironic to read in Solzhenitsyn’s work that a Soviet prosecutor once stated:
“For us [Soviets…] the concept of torture inheres in the very fact of holding political prisoners in prison…” (vol. 1, p. 331)
With that he referred to the methods of the Tzarist regime, not to his own system’s abuses, just as Germany criticizes the offenses against justice of others (like Iran or China), yet ignores the trampling of justice in its own courts.
When I revealed at the end of this comparison with which system I had compared the German system, the judges were visibly shaken. Maybe they realized that something about the system they are a part of is indeed fishy?
I continued my presentation with a definition of a political prisoner and the subsequent proof that we revisionists are a perfect match. Here are the ten criteria I listed, and I explained and proffered evidence that all these points are seen in the cases of prominent revisionists:
  1. We are dealing with peaceful dissent, peacefully presented; with “peaceful” I mean that no justification or advocation of violations of the civil rights of others occurs.
  2. The prosecuted offense is not punishable in the vast majority of nations.
  3. The dissident is supported by civil rights organizations.
  4. The dissident receives statements of solidarity from strangers (correspondence, visits, interventions at authorities, demonstrations).
  5. The government attempts to suppress such statements of solidarity.
  6. Prominent individuals make statements of solidarity.
  7. Statements of solidarity or criticism against prosecution are published by media & politicians, especially abroad.
  8. The dissident’s rights to a defense are restricted.
  9. The persecuting nation refuses to recognize political prisoners as such despite the above features.
  10. Dissidents receive worse treatment than regular inmates.
The last point results from the fact that the prison authorities expect that we revisionists recant and cease all contacts with like-minded persons. Since most of us refuse to do this, the consequences are harsh: no early release on parole, no reliefs in our prison regimen. Needless to say that the same authorities do not expect a drug dealer, for example, to recant his views on drugs and to cease any contact with his pals and clients. Views, opinions and social contacts are simply not of any interest when it comes to “normal” criminals. Hence dissidents in Germany are subjected to a special treatment. This is not only meant to mentally “heal” the thought criminal, but also to deter others from dissenting. In legalese, deterring the general populace from committing a crime is called “general ­prevention.” According to Solzhenitsyn, imprisoning dissidents in the late Soviet Union was a measure of “social prophylaxis” (vol. 1, p. 42), which probably amounts to the same thing.
Ironically I had committed the “thought crimes” for which I was imprisoned in Germany in countries where these acts had been and still are perfectly legal: the U.S. and the UK. Germany simply claims the right to prosecute dissent anywhere in the world, if their dissenting voices violate German law and could he heard or read in Germany. In the Internet era, this basically amounts to prosecuting anybody, anywhere, at any time, if only the German authorities can get their hands on the dissident.
For anyone not residing in Germany or any other persecuting nation, the question is: what law should one abide by to stay out of trouble? I don’t think there is a satisfactory answer to this question. I’ve therefore decided to abide by a higher, uncodified law, which was summarized succinctly by Immanuel Kant in his Categorical Imperative:21[21]
“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.”
If we apply this to the present case, we will see immediately that the legal concepts of “stirring up the people” and “endangering the public peace,” as listed in the German law used to prosecute revisionists, are untenable, as they do not describe acts of a perpetrator but rather the effects it has on others.
If an act justifies or advocates the violation of the civil rights of others, then this itself is the act that one might consider prosecutable. Whether this act has any other consequences, like disturbance of the public peace, should be an aggravating circumstance at worst. In fact, many scenarios can be imagined where a perfectly peaceful opinion could wreak havoc in a society which considers such an opinion to be heretical or blasphemous. The history of mankind is full of innocent, peaceful individuals who were persecuted because they upset certain, usually powerful, parts of the populace: Socrates, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther, Galileo Galilei, Mahatma Gandhi. Or take the founding fathers of the U.S. constitution: Did they not disturb the public peace, stir up the populace, and commit sedition?
In all these cases it was not the dissident causing havoc, but it was the mindset of the people in their environment and the way they reacted to the dissent. Luther neither advocated the Church to be split in two nor did he ask for the Peasants’ War or the Thirty Years War, yet they all ensued as a repercussion. Was Luther responsible for all this? No he was not. The social, political and economic injustices of the time were the cause.
So where and how do we draw the line when it comes to punishing disturbers of the “public peace”?
Let me give one more example to make even the most hardcore anti-fascist agree that concepts like “disturbing the public peace” belong in the dustbin of history: During the Third Reich the German Catholic priest Rubert Mayer was publicly indicted because with his sermons he had “repeatedly made public, inciting statements” and because he had discussed matters of the state “in a way capable of endangering public peace.”22 [22] He was subsequently imprisoned at Sachsenhausen concentration camp for seven months. Compare this with the multi-year prison terms revisionists get nowadays in “democratic” Germany!
Although I argued during my defense lecture that the German law I was prosecuted under was unconstitutional, this is of little relevance for people acting within other legal frameworks. What is more important is a universal, holistic approach to the issue of how to react to authorities persecuting peaceful dissidents, no matter what legal trappings they wrap around it.

VII. Resistance

Karl R. Popper wrote in his classic work The Open Society and Its Enemies:23 [23]
“those who are not prepared to fight for their freedom will lose it.”
The tragedy is that the enemy threatening our freedom is the very entity – the State – whose “fundamental purpose [is…] the protection of that freedom which does not harm other citizens.”24 [24]
So what are we to do as generally law-abiding citizens, when the law itself has become fundamentally unjust? The answer was given some 160 years ago by Henry David Thoreau in his classic essay “Civil Dis­obedience”:25 [25]
“Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a [democratic] government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? […] Why does it always crucify Christ, and excommunicate Copernicus and Luther, and pronounce Washington and Franklin rebels? […]
A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; […] but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose. […]
Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison.”
So if you are a true fighter for freedom of speech and haven’t been in prison yet, you’ve done something wrong! Or you were just plain lucky.
This essay by Thoreau inspired Mahatma Gandhi, from whose writings I quote some pivotal sentences which, in turn, were an inspiration for me during my time in prison:26 [26]
“So long as the superstition that men should obey unjust laws exists, so long will their slavery exist.”
“Democracy is not a state in which people act like sheep. Under democracy individual liberty of opinion and action is jealously guarded.”27 [27]
“In other words, the true democrat is he who with purely non-violent means defends his liberty and therefore his country’s and ultimately that of the whole of mankind.”28 [28]
“I wish I could persuade everybody that civil disobedience is the inherent right of a citizen. He dare not give it up without ceasing to be a man. […] But to put down civil disobedience is to attempt to imprison conscience. […] Civil disobedience, therefore, becomes a sacred duty when the State has become lawless, or which is the same thing, corrupt. […] It is a birthright that cannot be surrendered without surrender of one’s self-respect.”29 [29]
But when exactly and how is a minority in a constitutional democracy under the (claimed) rule of law allowed to resist its government? In my defense speech I elaborated on this by quoting numerous experts, most German, on the topic. In summary, most experts agree that civil disobedience against a government, that is to say peaceful disregard of the law, is permissible only if the government’s violation against which the protest is directed affects valid constitutional principles or general principles of human rights. This also means that the protesters may ignore or violate only those laws against which the protest is directed. In other words, the protesters may not set their private views as absolute, and they are not allowed to violate other laws, which are generally accepted even by them. Hence violent protests are unacceptable.
This is what we revisionists should insist upon: The right to doubt and to peacefully dissent on any topic is an integral, inalienable part of our human condition, and thus of our human rights, whether it is enshrined in our country’s constitution or not. Any government enacting laws or regulations infringing on that right must be resisted with peaceful means by consciously and deliberately violating the law which violates our human dignity.
And that is exactly what I told the German court in 2007.
Curiously enough, the German constitution even grants all German citizens the right to resist their government. In article 20, paragraph 4, of the German Basic Law it says:
“All Germans have the right to resist against everyone who endeavors to remove this [constitutional democratic] order, if no other remedy is possible.”
The question is, of course, at what point it is permitted to invoke this right? Do we have to wait until the government has turned into an outright tyranny, or should we be allowed to put our foot down at the outset of government excesses? Since it is always easier to resist the onset of governmental abuse rather than to wait until resistance has become mortally dangerous for the resister, the wise answer to that question ought to be obvious.
Let me quote Germany’s highest authority on this question: Prof. Dr. Roman Herzog, former President of the German Federal Constitutional High Court and later President of the Federal Republic of Germany. He stated repeatedly that “from time immemorial there has been a right to resist by those violated and a right to emergency relief for all citizens” in case of encroachments on human dignity and on the human rights.30 [30] According to Herzog, each article in Germany’s constitution – the statutory civil rights also among them – is,
“viewed by daylight,… nothing else but the specific elaboration on a fundamental principle of the constitutional nature of the state, so that assaults on almost any individual article at once touch upon the principles of art. 20 of the Basic Law [the right to resist].” 31 [31]
Since it is the primary obligation of the State to protect the dignity of its subjects, it is in turn also the primary right of all human beings to resist encroachments of the State on human dignity.32 [32]
This closes the circle of my argumentation, at the beginning of which I demonstrated that the right to doubt, to search for the truth, and to communicate the results of this activity is simply constitutional for being human, hence for human dignity as such.
Hence, resistance is obligatory!

VIII. Prison

Between the years 1993 and 2011 I had, in a certain way, a Jewish experience: I was persecuted by my own government, saw my career chances destroyed, fled from one country to another in an attempt to avoid incarceration, but eventually I was caught and deported. I subsequently spent many years in a number of detention facilities: Rottenburg, Stuttgart, Heidelberg, Mannheim, and again Rottenburg. In those prisons I had to do work in order to pay for the costs I was causing the German prison system (forced labor, anyone?). After being released, I eventually, after an agonizingly long legal struggle, managed to emigrate for good from the country of my birth.
However, I am also very fortunate that in many ways my experience was much more benign than what many Jews had to experience during World War II: the detention conditions were rather favorable, my family was left unharmed, my health uncompromised, my spirit unbroken, and my property untouched (except maybe for a quarter million dollars in lawyer bills that accumulated over these 18 years).
“So, what is it like in prison?” people ask me once in a while. On the one hand I recommend that you better not find out. But then again, maybe you should. Although not a nice one, it still is a part of the human condition.
Being arrested and thrown into jail is traumatic. The first weeks and months are the worst. But humans are creatures of habit, and so you adjust to your life’s circumstances even in such a dismal environment. You find a way to organize your day, to focus on some activities which you enjoy and which make time pass: you write letters, draw pictures, sing songs (Karaoke-style, for the most time…), and you join many of the recreational activities offered: volleyball, working out, Bible studies, discussion groups, church choir, prison band (yes, we had jailhouse rock, and it rocked!). And, needless to say, you play games with fellow inmates and also work out in your cell: push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups at the toilet curtain rail, and other exercises with self-made “weights” (I had ten one-liter milk cartons placed in an undershirt knotted shut at the bottom; worked nicely).
You even make friends, sort of. Not the kind you keep once you are out, but every prison is a tiny world with all the social dynamics you have outside as well. So, even though you initially thought you could never adjust to it, eventually you settle in. You have your time well organized and even feel kind of comfy in your little nook that you’ve carved out for yourself.
It comes to the point where, after having been out of your cell for a number of hours partaking in some activities, you mumble to yourself: “I’m tired, I want to go home” – by which you mean your cell… Makes you worry, doesn’t it? Yet making yourself feel at home even in such a gloomy place is the art of living, is the way to limit emotional damage.
And then, for whatever reason, you are transferred to another jail. That’s bad news. You can read it frequently in survivor testimonies: You get ripped out of your routine. You lose all the informal priviliges you’ve won, all the friends you’ve made. You get to a place where you know nobody. You need to start from scratch organizing yourself and your daily routine: how to get the food you prefer, how to join the recreational groups you like, and so on. Hence every transfer is a new traumatic experience.
I therefore understand today why prisoners who had been at Auschwitz for a while and had managed to carve out a little niche for themselves feared being transferred to anther camp – provided of course there was no extermination going on at Auschwitz.
But all the adjusting notwithstanding, make no mistake: I stood for many hours behind those iron bars in my various prison cells longing to be able to finally go home, and during our courtyard time my eyes followed many an airplane in the sky flying west craving that Scotty might beam me up there…
Which brings up another astounding fact of life: In Germany every prisoner has the right to spend one hour a day in the courtyard, and I assume that the law is similar in most countries. Since that’s the only time the inmates can get out of their cells (apart from going to work and recreational activities), most of them make the most of it. The result is that during summer time most inmates get quite a tan, which led my mother to ask me one day whether we have a tanning studio in prison. Well, no, but count the hours which you, as a free person, spend outside each day, and you will realize that a free person on average spends considerably less than an hour outside. So, statistically speaking, prison inmates are more often “out and about” than free people. Amazing, isn’t it? Well, I admit, maybe they are out, but not about…
Nothing is worse than the feeling of losing a sizeable part of your lifetime being locked up. So you look for something which helps you feel that you’ve used your time for something constructive and of use in your later life. Hence I obtained a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, learned Spanish, and extended my English vocabulary by learning the words in Roget’s Thesaurus (one hour of word learning every day, religiously). I read as I’ve never read in my entire life. I subscribed to the weekly Science magazine and read it for three years from cover to cover, thus broadening my scientific knowledge in numerous fields considerably. I also read the works of classic and philosophical literature which I had never managed to look into while free: the ones I like (Aristotle, Kant, Popper, Tolstoy, Dickens, Schopenhauer, to name the most impressive) and the ones I learned to dislike (Dostoyevsky, Hegel, Hemingway).
Now my wife calls me a walking thesaurus. Speaking of whom… she is a psychologist specializing in helping people who have been traumatized by their life’s experiences. So she announced toward the end of my incarceration that she would take good care of me and help me to efface my emotional scars. But after my release she quickly realized that these 45 months of incarceration had passed by me without leaving any apparent trace. I was still the same man she had lost back then, and so she fell in love with me all over again…
Even though the authorities treated me worse than other inmates because I did not recant my views and showed no signs of remorse – they rebuked me repeatedly for spreading my views among the inmates – my lot was far better than that of the other inmates from a psychological point of view: being incarcerated did not tarnish my reputation, quite to the contrary. I wear it like a badge of honor, or as the German historian Prof. Dr. Ernst Nolte wrote to me in a letter after my release, I can now count myself among the men of honor who have gone to prison for reasons of conscience. Whereas most inmates lose most of their friends and often even the support of their families, my friends and family have stood firmly by me. Whereas most prisoners struggle financially and get in deep debt during their incarceration, as they lose their jobs and subsequently often also their homes and property, I was very fortunate to find so many generous supporters that not only my legal expenses were covered, but also the support for my children. There were even some funds left over which I could use after my release to restart my life.
Most important and in contrast to most inmates, political prisoners don’t lose their feeling of meaning; they feel neither guilty nor ashamed of what they have done. Or as David Cole expressed it once: We are loud, we are proud, and the best of all: we are right!
This attitude, more than anything else, makes you wing even the toughest of times, and it keeps you going afterwards as well, as the New York Times correctly observed in an article entitled “Why Freed Dissidents Pick Path of Most Resistance.” This article, which was fittingly published five weeks prior to my release from prison, describes how Arab dissidents who were incarcerated for their peaceful political views went right back to their acts of civil disobedience once released from prison.33 [33] As one of them expressed it:
“It is a matter not only of dignity, it is the sense of your life. It’s your choice of life, and if you give up, you will lose your sense of your life.”
He said he had no choice but to go right back to where he had left off.
Just like us revisionists!
Resistance is Obligatory may be purchased in the USA through The Barnes Review [34].
Notes:
[35] I will not dwell on my trials and tribulations with U.S. immigration authorities. My case is thoroughly documented online at www.germarrudolf.com [36].
[37]  G. Rudolf, Resistance Is Obligatory published privately, forthcoming.
[38]  Germany’s Basic Law, which was negotiated between German politicians and primarily the U.S. occupational forces right after WWII, is considered to be its constitution, although it has never been approved by a referendum of the German people, hence lacks formal legitimacy.
[39]  Nikolaus Kopernikus, Über die Kreisbewegungen der Weltkörper, Thorn 1879, p. 7; Engl.: Nicolaus Copernicus, On the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres, Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY, 1995; here quoted from Dorothy Stimson, The Gradual Acceptance of the Copernican Theory of the Universe, Hanover, NH, 1917, p. 115; original: De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, 1543; from 1616 to 1822 this book was “suspended” by the Catholic Church, which means that, when quoting the book, it had to be emphasized that the heliocentric system is merely a mathematical model.
[40] Socrates, Apologia, Sec. 38.
[41]  Aristotle, Metaphysics, book 1, chapter 1, first sentence; Richard Keon (ed.), The Basic Works of Aristotle, Random House, New York, 1941, p. 689.
[42]  Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics book X, chapter 7; ibid., p. 1105.
[43]  Konrad Lorenz, Der Abbau des Menschlichen, Piper, Munich 1983, p. 1; The Waning of Humaneness, Little, Brown & Co., Boston 1987, p. 186.
[44]  Karl Popper, Objective Knowledge, 4th ed., Clarendon Press, Oxford 1979, pp. 24f.
10 [45] Immanuel Kant, “Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?,” Berlinische Monatsschrift, December 1784, pp. 481-494; see http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Immanuel_Kant [46].
11 [47] Karl R. Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies, Routledge & Paul, London 1962, vol. 1, p. 202.
12 [48] Karl Popper, Objective Knowledgeop. cit. (note 9), pp. 347f.
13 [49] Based mainly on his works The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Hutchinson & Co., London 1968, andObjective Knowledgeop. cit. (note 9).
14 [50] J. Markiewicz, W. Gubala, J. Labedz, “A Study of the Cyanide Compounds Content in the Walls of the Gas Chambers in the Former  Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps,” Z Zagadnien Nauk Sadowych, Vol. XXX (1994) pp. 17-27.
15 [51] F. Leuchter, R. Faurisson, G. Rudolf, The Leuchter Reports, 3rd ed., The Barnes Review, Washington, DC, 2012, pp. 44-46, 59.
16 [52] Originally presented in: Ernst Gauss (=Germar Rudolf), Vorlesungen über Zeitgeschichte, Grabert, Tübingen 1993; Engl. see G. Rudolf, The Rudolf Report, 2nd ed., The Barnes Review, Washington, DC, 2011, pp. 230-278.
17 [53] For details see Germar Rudolf, Carlo Mattogno, Auschwitz Lies, 2nd ed., The Barnes Review, Washington, DC, 2011, pp. 45-67.
18 [54] Bruno Frank, Friedrich der Große als Mensch im Spiegel seiner Briefe, Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft, Berlin 1926, p. 99.
19 [55] Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The GULag Archipelago, Collins & Harvill, London 1974-1978.
20 [56] Leading Greek orator and leading statesman of Athens (384-322 B.C.).
21 [57] Immanuel Kant, Kritik der praktischen Vernunft, Riga 1788, p. 54 (§ 7 “Grundgesetz der reinen praktischen Vernunft”; new: Meiner, Hamburg 2003, p. 41); Engl.: Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, 3rd ed., Hackett, Indianapolis 1981, p. 30.
22 [58] Otto Grit­schneder (ed.), Ich predige weiter. Pater Rupert Mayer und das Dritte Reich, Rosenheimer Verlag, Rosenheim 1987, p. 89.
23 [59] Karl Popper, The Open…op. cit. (note 11), vol. 2, p. 287.
24 [60] Ibid., vol. 1, p. 110.
25 [61] Henry David Thoreau, Walden and Other Writings, Bantam, Toronto 1981, pp. 92, 94.
26 [62] Shriman Narayan (ed.), The Selected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, vol. 4, Navajivan Publishing House, Ahmedabad 1969, p. 174.
27 [63] Young India, 2 March1922; Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India (ed.), The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (Electronic Book), Publications Division Government of India, New Delhi 1999, 98 volumes (www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/cwmg.html [64]), subsequently CWMG, here vol. 26, p. 246.
28 [65] Harijan, 15 April 1939, CWMG, vol. 75, p. 249.
29 [66] Young India, 5 Jan. 1922; CWMG, vol. 25, pp. 391f.
30 [67] Roman Herzog, “Das positive Widerstandsrecht” in: Festschrift für A. MerkelMunich 1970, p. 102; quoted acc. to Klaus Peters, Widerstandsrecht und humanitäre InterventionOsnabrücker Rechtswissenschaftliche Abhandlungen, vol. 61, Carl Heymanns Verlag, Cologne 2005, p. 184 (Dissertation at Univ. Osnabrück 2004/2005).
31 [68] R. Herzog, ibid., p. 100; K. Peters, ibid., p. 188.
32 [69] R. Herzog, in: Theodor Maunz, Günter Dürig, Grundgesetz Kommentar, 41st Supplement (Ergänzungslieferung), Munich 2002, Art. 20, para. 4, Rn. 17-19: acc. to K. Peters, ibid.
33 [70] Published online at www.nytimes.com/2009/05/27/world/middleeast/27egypt.html [71] on 26 May 2009. A version of this article appeared in print on 27 May 2009, on page A6 of the New York edition under the headline “Once Freed from Prison, Dissidents Often Continue to Resist.”