The Robert Faurisson Critique of
KL Majdanek: Eine historische
und technische Studie

Edited and Copyrighted © MM by Russ Granata. All rights reserved.
[email protected]
POB 2145 PVP CA 90274 USA

Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas
[Plato is dear to me but truth is dearer still]


This article was to have been published in the September 1999 issue of Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung along with the "offener Brief" [open letter] by co-author Jürgen Graf responding to the Robert Faurisson critique of our book, [1] but when it was not possible to include my response at that time due to space limitations, my response was postponed. For a while I decided to forego my response so as not to add further fuel to the polemics, and I held back until I saw the Faurisson reply to the Graf letter. [2] That is what convinced me that I too must present my point of view on this, and felt this was especially necessary since the critique by Robert Faurisson refers so much to parts of our book which I wrote; therefore it would not be proper that Jürgen Graf assume all the responsibility.

An Emotional Critique

The June 1999 VffG article by R. Faurisson titled Eine Rivionistische Monographie über Majdanek (pp. 209-212) was supposed to be a critical review of KL Majdanek. Eine historische und technische Studie (Castle Hill Publisher, Hastings 1998), a book I wrote in collaboration with Jürgen Graf, but that Faurisson critique is imbued with emotional factors which have nothing to do with a sound scientific criticism whereby the author mixes up the argumentative plain with that of the personal, resulting in a belittling malevolent review of our work which is clearly based upon a superficial and incomplete reading.

The Only Revisionist Work Without Merit

For Robert Faurisson our book has practically no historical merit.
  • The fact that we have made accessible the wealth of Polish literature concerning Majdanek;
  • The fact that the problem of the number of the deceased has for the first time been scientifically confronted;
  • The fact that for the first time we were able to reconstruct the history of the crematories;
  • The fact that the problem of the gas chambers was for the first time scientifically studied based upon mainly heretofore unpublished documentation as well as upon an accurate analysis of the installations;
  • The fact that for the first time the origin of the story of the homicidal gassings has been delineated;
  • The fact that for the first time (in Western historiography) there has been presented an exhaustive study concerning the supplying of Zyklon B to KL Majdanek (which corrects the results of the only Polish study dedicated to this topic);
  • The fact that for the first time there exists a report on a historical-technical critique of the Erntefest;
  • The fact that for the first time a general account of the Majdanek trials is presented - all of this is of no importance for him.
In the 319 pages of our work, Faurisson found only "ein paar sehr interessanten Seiten" [a few interesting pages] in the chapter dedicated to the Erntefest, but he then hastens to declare his dissatisfaction because the conclusion of that chapter is introduced by an unsatisfactory "sehr wahrscheinlich" [most probably], obviously due to lack of documents. This reproach is amazing: what does Faurisson expect - that I make up some documents in order to render conclusions more "satisfactory"? As to the rest - well, for example if someone who was critiquing the Faurisson thesis regarding the radical impossibility of homicidal gas chambers were to question just where those unregistered Jews ended up who were deported to Auschwitz, would not Faurisson also be constrained to respond that "sehr wahrscheinlich" they were transferred elsewhere? And if that conclusion doesn't make Faurisson's conclusion regarding the Auschwitz gas chambers unsatisfactory, then why on earth would he make mine unsatisfactory regarding the Erntefest?

A False Problem

Faurisson puts forth five arguments (which we shall examine) to show that no official historian has regarded KL Majdanek as a "Vernichtungslager" [extermination camp] as though we had asserted that all official historians had considered it as such! In reality we stated the following:
    "Der offiziellen westlichen Geschichtsschreibung zufolge diente Majdanek zugleich als Arbeits- und Vernichtungslager" (p.14).

    [According to official Western historiography, Majdanek was used as a work - as well as an extermination camp].
Because Faurisson creates a false problem, his rebukes are unfounded right from the start; he misconstrues our intentions since the purpose of our book, as explicitly stated on page 18, is to fill a historiographic gap; a valid endeavor since at that time no scientific study of Majdanek had as yet existed. In order to explain the situation, we concisely set out in our introduction, positions of both Western and Polish holocaust historiography - according to which, Majdanek was both a concentration and an extermination camp, or only an extermination camp - as well as that of a revisionist position.

Although we took into consideration the most authoritative works, whether in book form or articles, it was not our intention, nor was there any reason whatsoever, to draw up a boring list of every author who had ever written a few lines about Majdanek. Regarding this, Faurisson rebukes us for not indicating to the reader the "völlige Verwirrung" [total confusion] which also reigns among official historians who attribute to KL Majdanek, the function of a "Vernichtungslager" - a confusion which manifests itself concretely in the "Schwankungen in der vorgegebenen Zahlen der Opfer" (p. 209) [Variations in the claimed number of victims]. Actually, we devoted a whole paragraph to this question: ("Die Zahlen der westlichen Historiker") [the Western historians' figures] on pages 88-89.

The True Problem

The essential problem discussed in our book is not whether Majdanek was a "Vernichtungslager", but whether the still existing gas chambers were or were not used for homicidal purposes. Faurisson on the other hand, not only creates a false "Vernichtungslager" problem, but attempts to sustain his thesis by turning to inconsistent arguments. It is true that at the Nuremberg trial (argument 1, page 209) KL Majdanek received practically no emphasis, but in documents URSS-29 and URSS-93, it was presented by the Soviets as an 'extermination camp' equipped with homicidal gas chambers. L. Poliakov (argument 2, page 209) wrote that, yes, Majdanek «n'était pas un camp d'extermination immédiate» [was not a camp for immediate extermination], but then added that «c'était un camp de travail, c'est-à-dire un camp d'extermination différée» [it was a labor camp, which is to say a camp of deferred extermination] [citation 1] and, following the Polish Commission of Inquiry, Poliakov attributed 200,000 victims to Madjanek for the years 1943 and 1944.[3] In 1963, Poliakov published an account of the Eichmann trial at Jerusalem in which he reported on the sentence [against Eichmann] in entire passages, and in point 126, referring to KL Majdanek, we read:

    «Le camp de Majdanek, un grand camp près de Lublin, servait également de lieu d'extermination de Juifs. Ils y étaient tués par fusillades et par les gaz. [...]. Des chambres à gaz furent egalement installées à Majdanek»

    [Camp Majdanek, a large camp near Lublin, served also as a center for extermination of Jews. They were killed there by firing squads and by gas. [...]. Gas chambers were also installed at Majdanek] [4] [citation 2].
As far as I am aware, Poliakov never contested this part of the verdict. G. Reitlinger (argument 3, page 209) emphasized that at Majdanek "crystals of Zyklon B were used although on a reduced scale" [5] and he is certainly not referring to disinfection chambers. M. Broszat [argument 4, page 209] in his famous letter to Die Zeit of 19 August 1960 simply omitted the Majdanek camp from the list of camps in which, in his own words, there was "die Massenvernichtung durch Vergasung" [mass extermination by gassing]. [6] Nonetheless, in 1976 Broszat added the Majdanek camp also to the list (mentioned above in the "Preliminary Note") in the article "Organisierter Massenmord an Juden in nazionalsozialistischen Vernichtungslagern" [organized mass murder of Jews in National Socialist extermination camps] by Ino Arndt and Wolfgang Scheffler. [7]

The citation (three words!) dealing with the 08 May 1950 sentence by a Berlin Tribunal (argument 5, page 209) refers to the Sobibor trial. So for Faurisson, three words written by some Berlin judges giving their verdict on Sobibor, and who had no expertise regarding Majdanek, have the same weight as conclusions drawn by Jerusalem judges who dedicated part of Session Number 63 of 02 June 1961 to this camp with the support of witness Yisrael Gutman, and apparently were as weighty as those more important conclusions of the Dusseldorf judges of whose judgement concerned exclusively Majdanek! With the same logic, Faurisson then places authors who have written a few lines or who have simply mentioned Madjanek , on the same level as those who have devoted books and articles to it. In this regard he passes over in silence our citation on page 14 of the authoritative Enzyklopädie des Holocaust, which attributes to Majdanek either a homicidal gas chamber or the character of a Vernichtungslager (p. 14).

An Insignificant Concentration Camp?

Faurisson asserts that in (Western) literature on the Holocaust, Majdanek has a totally secondary value or even an insignificant one, and that "die beiden Verfasser dieses Buches hätten den Leser darauf aufmerksam machen müssen (p. 209) [the authors of this book should have made the reader aware of this]. This rebuke reveals a divulging perspective antithetical to the scientific character of our work. If Faurisson is in the habit of writing for those who are not familiar with what is significant about concentration camps, then that's one of his personal choices which I respect, however he cannot claim to impose this upon us; our book is directed to the specialist essentially, and not to revisionists only.

Faurisson takes as a personal rebuke our simple contention (which we made without the least intention of being polemic) that there had been no revisionist scientific work on Majdanek, and he feels the need to justify himself by adducing "Bedeutungslosigkeit" [insignificance] for this camp in the holocaust literature. The Faurisson take on this is the following: Official historians attribute hardly any importance to Majdanek, ergo neither should revisionists busy themselves with it! This implies a rather narrow historiographic viewpoint. It is as if the task of revisionism were to exclusively and uniquely negate that which official historians have affirmed! In this way, adversaries are shown to be right when they define revisionism as negationism. The bottom line of the Faurisson rebuke is that our book is absolutely useless after all because the essential conclusions concerning Majdanek have already been announced by himself, so that "jetzt haben J. Graf und C. Mattogno sie lediglich bestätigt" (p. 209) [Jürgen Graf and Carlo Mattogno merely confirm this now]. Faurisson then lists his declarations on Majdanek, starting with 1975 when he discovered "dass es in Majdanek keine Gaskammern zur Menschentötung gab oder gegeben haben kann" [that in Majdanek there were not and could not have been gas chambers for killing people], and then Faurisson rebukes us for not writing of his declarations as well as those of D. Felderer ( p. 210).

And the pretense of that argument of his about the "Bedeutungslosigkeit" [insignificance] of KL Majdanek is transparent, because if Majdanek really had no significant historiographic weight, then why was Fred Leuchter sent to demonstrate that the presumed gas chambers were not [homicidal] by Ernst Zündel - in fact, upon the very suggestion of Robert Faurisson himself !

Unjustified Claims

Faurisson maintains that revisionist historians had already resolved the Majdanek gas chamber problem before Jürgen Graf and I wrote this book. That passage deserves to be quoted in full:
    "Wenn nämlich ein Thema als nur zweitrangig oder als zu vernachlässigen angesehen wird, dann vernachlässigt man schon mal, sich ernsthaft damit zu befassen; und so ist es geschehen. Die Exterminationisten haben nicht auf Majdanek beharrt. Wenn sich die beiden Verfasser des Buches zudem nur die Mühe gemacht hätten, gewissenhaft alles anzuführen, was Revisionisten, angefangen mit D. Felderer, R. Faurisson und F. Leuchter, hier und da über diese Thema geschrieben haben, dann hätten sie darüber hinaus schon den Beweis dafür in Händen gehabt, dass diese Historiker der revisionistischen Schule mit ihren schlagkräftigen Beweisen und ihrer rein sachlichen Forschungsarbeit das 'Problem der Gaskammern von Majdanek' ziemlich schnell gelöst hatten" (p. 212).

    [If a topic is judged to be merely of secondary importance or insignificant, then one fails to deal with it earnestly and this is what has happened. The exterminationists did not insist on Majdanek. If the authors of this book had carefully read everything that the revisionists, starting with D. Felderer, R. Faurisson, and Fred Leuchter had occasionally written on this topic, they would have already had the evidence that these revisionist historians, with their irrefutable proofs and their purely material research had rather quickly solved the problem of the Majdanek gas chambers].
Let us recapitulate: Faurisson first asserts that Majdanek was not significant - neither for official, nor for revisionist historians; that nobody from either side occupied himself "seriously" with it; and then, in contradiction, he claims that certain above- mentioned revisionists have not only busied themselves with it "seriously", but even scientifically! But actually, Majdanek has had quite a central position ever since Faurisson's first important public debate. It was in response to the Faurisson article "Le problème des chambres à gaz"où "La rumeur d'Auschwitz" [The Problem of the Gas Chambers, or The Rumor of Auschwitz] which appeared in Le Monde, 29 December 1978, that G.Wellers, on the same page, stated:

    "Il faut savoir que les chambres à gaz dans les camps où étaient exterminés les Juifs et les Tziganes (Auschwitz, Belzec, Majdanek, Sobibor, Treblinka) ont été détruites par les Allemands avant la fin de la guerre, à la seule exception de Majdanek." [8]

    [It must be noted that the gas chambers in the camps where the Jews and Gypsies were exterminated (Auschwitz, Belzec, Majdanek, Sobibor, Treblinka) were all destroyed by the Germans before the end of the war, with the sole exception of Majdanek].
Now how can one believe that Robert Faurisson, after launching a challenge for public debate on the problem of the gas chambers, would consider insignificant the one camp where - according to his adversaries - there were still homicidal gas chambers in existence? As a matter of fact, within a few months Faurisson confirmed the importance of the Majdanek camp when he stated in his interview with Storia illustrata published in August 1979 that: "A Majdanek, en revanche, ils [les Allemands] ont laissé intactes des installations qu'après la guerre on a baptisées du nom de 'chambres à gaz' " [9]

[At Majdanek, however, they (the Germans) left intact installations which after the war were given the name 'gas chambers'].

Therefore, since Robert Faurisson launched the problem of the gas chambers which he considered to be radically impossible [10] and opposed the contention that uniquely homicidal gas chambers were to be still found in existence at Majdanek, the logic of the matter required that the key to the problem of the gas chambers was precisely at Majdanek, and in order to ascertain whether the installations which were still in existence were or were not gas chambers; were or were not homicidal gas chambers; whether their function for homicidal purposes was or was not radically impossible, the discussion could not but start from this camp - could not but be centered on this camp.

If then Faurisson eluded this discussion by diverting it to Auschwitz, that was certainly not because of the "Bedeutungslosigkeit" of Majdanek!

This pointing out of the problem of the gas chambers (which goes back to the 1970's) - was lacking, inasmuch as Faurisson neglected the gas chamber of Stutthof which would have merited an equally prominent position in the discussion of the possibility of homicidal gassings; and if the discussion had begun with this camp, it would have floundered irremediably, since the disinfestation chamber at Stutthof which used hydrocyanic acid - [that particular disinfestation chamber] is the unique alleged homicidal gas chamber of the German concentration camps which would have been able in a technically unexceptional way to also have worked for homicidal purposes. [11]

Let us now turn to Faurisson's "schlagkräftige Beweise" [irrefutable proofs] concerning Majdanek.

The fact that in our work there is no hint of Felderer nor of Faurisson is a consequence of a well thought-out choice. Contrary to what Faurisson thinks, we have in fact examined very "gewissenhaft" [conscientiously] what he himself and Felderer have written "hier und da" [here and there] on the subject, and it is just because of this - precisely because of the vacuity of their statements - that we decided not to mention them at all in our book. On the other hand, in the general economy of our book, there was no need to place Felderer and Faurisson in a bad light by showing- up publicly the vacuity of their claims, as Faurisson now compels me to do. If we have done that now - yes, we have given proof of true "Böswilligkeit" [malevolence] by his comparisons. But actually, just where are the "schlagkräftige Beweise", where is the "rein sachlichen Forschungsarbeit"[purely material research work] of which Faurisson speaks? We weighed up the weak deposition concerning Majdanek which Felderer made at the 1988 Zündel trial.[12] There the witness spoke of the "gas chamber" - always in the singular, from which one can deduce just to what degree his inspection of the installations was accurate. The one and only argument appearing there which was in opposition to the allegation of homicidal gassings, is the following: "The gas was allegedly discharged through openings into the gas chamber by an SS man from an attic above the chamber. Felderer examined the attic in which he found it extremely difficult to maneuver because of the proximity of the roof and the number of nails". In fact, the present roof of that installation, which makes it effectively difficult to move in the "attic" which is formed from the roof and the attic of the gas chambers, was constructed after the war by the Poles. The original Flugdach [roof] which covered the installation had a height of 5.5 m, so it was elevated 3.05 m above the level of the attic of the gas chambers, and upon which a man could therefore walk comfortably in an upright position. Hence Felderer's argument doesn't have any demonstrative value.

Regarding Faurisson, we certainly know that he has affirmed already for decades that the gas chambers of Majdanek were a disinfestation installation without any homicidal function - but in his writings we found no proof: not documental, architectural, chemical, or of any other kind except simple affirmations, which therefore revisionists have had to accept entirely by virtue of the authority principle ipse dixit.

In "Vérité historic où vérité politique" [Historical Truth, or Political Truth] which appeared in 1980, Faurisson wrote:
    "Pour ce qui est de Majdanek, la visite des lieux des lieux s'impose. Elle est, s'il se peut, encore plus concluante que celle du Stutthof. Je publierai un dossier sur la question" (p. 871).

    [As for Majdanek, that place must be visited. A visit there, if it can be made, is even more conclusive than one at Stutthof. I shall publish a dossier on that.]
Well, we've been waiting since 1980 for the appearance of this dossier; but in any case, the Faurisson affirmations according to which the gas chambers of Majdanek were disinfestation chambers, are misleading - above all because he has never touched upon the essential problem of the alleged homicidal system using carbon monoxide which is said to have worked with two stainless-steel cylinders filled with this gas. Before my discovery that they bear the inscription CO2 (carbon dioxide), these cylinders were alleged to be carbon monoxide cylinders: Now how might Faurisson reconcile a gassing using carbon monoxide (which is neither an insecticide nor a germicide) with a disinfestation gassing? And consequently, how could Faurisson affirm that the two localities equipped with such a system were simply disinfestation chambers? Secondly, he has never explained why the disinfestation chamber - which has remained in its original condition - could never have been used for homicidal purposes using hydrogen cyanide.

Therefore the Faurisson claims to priority in argument or even to proof regarding the gas chambers of Majdanek are completely unjustified; concerning Majdanek, Faurisson has not demonstrated anything.

The Leuchter Report

In my chapter on the "gas chambers" of Majdanek, the Leuchter Report could not be passed over in silence. The balance sheet of my critical analysis of the Leuchter Report is decisively negative. Again muddling the personal level with that of the argumental, Faurisson accuses me of having displayed "leichtfertige persönliche Angriffe auf einen Gegner [...], der sich nicht einmal wehren kann" (p. 212). [careless personal attacks on an opponent who is not able to defend himself].

Well, just to what degree Mattogno is Leuchter's "enemy" can be judged from the fact that every time the opportunity has arisen, I have defended Leuchter against unfounded criticism by true adversaries. For example, in my Olocausto: Dilettanti allo sbaraglio [Holocaust: Dilettanti into the Fray], (Edizioni di Ar, 1996), I dedicated an entire chapter in the defense of Leuchter (Rapporto Leuchter: La parola agli "esperti") [The Leuchter Report: What the "experts" say], against, inter alia, the unfounded accusations of Pressac!

Now, however difficult it might be to understand the distinction, I have not made "persönliche Angriffe" on Leuchter but have presented a documented critique of his unfounded argumentations, and as to what degree my critique is "leichtfertige" can be measured by the fact that Faurisson does not discuss even one of them. In this case as well, the reader has to be satisfied with an ipse dixit. As to the reproach that I have critiqued someone who cannot defend himself, even if that were true, that is ingenious, since according to that logic, nobody in whatever field, could critique authors of the past, who, being deceased, can no longer defend themselves!! To cite an example more in tune with our theme, no revisionist could critique the writings of Georges Wellers who died in 1991 and cannot defend himself any longer, and no "exterminationist" would be allowed to critique the works of Rassinier! It is obvious that in most cases someone who cannot defend himself - for whatever reason - could have supporting defenders.

Now since Faurisson had a conspicuous part in the planning, and presumably the editing of The Leuchter Report - who should be more capable than he to refute eventual "leichtfertige" criticisms which are raised? What better opportunities therefore to demonstrate the "Böswilligkeit" [malevolence] of Mattogno? But instead, Faurisson dodges this correct exercise with the excuse that my criticism "bezieht sich auf ganz geringfügige Punkte" (p. 210) [is about totally insignificant issues], betraying his inability to respond to my critique on a debate level - hence the strictly personal and emotional character of his accusation.

Now let us examine one of these "ganz geringfügige Punkte" in its context. Leuchter writes:
  1. "The walls in chamber # 1 [locality III according to our numeration] have the characteristic blue ferric-ferro-cyanide staining". [13]

  2. "The existence of blue stains in this room [= locality IV] is consistent with the blue stains found in the Birkenau delousing facility". [14]

  3. "The larger chamber [= locality III] was not designed for HCN". [15]

  4. Although chamber # 1 is operational for carbon monoxide, it is poorly vented and non-operational for HCN". [16]

  5. "Although at first glance these facilities appear properly designed, they fail to meet all the required criteria for an execution gas chamber or delousing facility".[17]
Recapitulating, Leuchter observed in Chamber III stains of ferric-ferro cyanide similar to those in BW 5a and 5b of Birkenau, which are therefore due to the use of hydrocyanic acid, but maintains that this chamber not only was not designed for hydrocyanic acid, and not only was it non-operational for hydrocyanic acid, but it could not even have been a disinfestation chamber! Well then - if you please: how could the stains of ferric-ferro cyanide have formed on its walls? How can one define the conclusion of Leuchter except as a deliberate deception? Does not this deception alone justify the hard tone of my criticism?

In this objective criticism of Leuchter, Faurisson sees only the presumed fact that "in der Geschichtsschreibung der Revision des 'Holocaust' Revisionisten mit einer Böswilligkeit sondergleichen in aller Öffentlichkeit andere Revisionisten bekämpfen" (p. 212). [that in the historical writings revising the 'holocaust', revisionists are attacking other revisionists with utmost malevolence].

Evidently here two antithetical conceptions of revisionism confront each other: That of Faurissonism as a sectarian ideology, and ours, as a critical methodology. Only a dogmatic and sectarian historiography can consider scientific criticism as gratuitous "Böswilligkeit". [malevolence].

In addition, Faurisson accuses me of methodological unfairness; that is, from the fact "dass C. Mattogno nicht einmal F. Leuchters Beweisführung darlegt " [that Mattogno does not even present Leuchter's proof], to have referred to the arguments of Leuchter through his declared enemy, Pressac; in short, for having cited "nur winzige Bruchstücke seines Gutachtens" (p. 210) [only tiny fragments of his report].

In a "NB" ("Note Well") he states that "nur wenige Revisionisten kennen den Leuchter-Bericht über Auschwitz, Birkenau und Majdanek in seinem ganzen Umfang" (p. 212) [only a few revisionists know the Leuchter Report on Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek in its full scope].

This is a reproach aimed at me, since the citations of the Leuchter Report which appear in our book are drawn from the abbreviated translation by U.Walendy. Rest assured, Faurisson: I am one of the few who possesses the integral American edition of the Leuchter Report. The analysis of Leuchter's arguments on Majdanek used the original text, but for obvious reasons the Editor preferred to refer to the German translation already in existence as the "official" version, so to speak.

The fact that I had cited the "enemy" Pressac's judgement of the part of the Leuchter Report which refers to Majdanek, and that I agreed with this judgement, can scandalize only those who attribute to Pressac the demonic character of the absolute lie, the ontological incapacity to grasp the truth, which up to now his most virulent adversaries have attributed to Faurisson himself! In any case, it is false that I made reference to Leuchter's arguments through Pressac, as well as that I had exhibited "nicht einmal" the "Beweisführung" [not even the proof] of Leuchter; in reality, my critique is based upon the integral reading of Leuchter in the original American edition from which I cited the salient passages, i.e. those indicated in notes 426 and 430-439 (pp. 154-156) of our book. The accusation that these citations are "nur winzige Brüchstücke" [only tiny pieces] of the Leuchter Report - which openly contradicts the accusation that "C. Mattogno nicht einmal F. Leuchters Beweisführung darlegt [C.Mattogno does not even demonstrate Leuchter's proof] - certainly does not depend upon my malevolent lack of goodwill, but rather on the fact - which everyone who has an original copy of the Leuchter Report knows - that Leuchter has written only a little regarding the gas chambers of Majdanek - to wit - a little less than three pages (points 12.001-12.006 and 17.00-17.008), of which one and a half pages: i.e. points 17.000-17.004 contain no arguments, but only a description of the installations. The arguments are displayed in a little over one page covering points 12.002-12.006 and 17.005; those worth discussing do not cover more than eight points! But the Leuchter Report in translation is accessible to everyone in various languages, each of which carries the full text of the expert report - first of all - the French translation which was made by Faurisson himself [18] so anyone may verify my citations in their context.

Jean-Claude Pressac

Then Faurisson reprimands me for having presented in Chapter VI "ein unvollständiges Portrait von J.C. Pressac" [an incomplete portrayal of J.C. Pressac] - as if I were his biographer! - and for having quoted "lobrednerisch" [praisingly] from his article "Les carences et incohérences du rapport Leuchter" [the shortcomings and inconsistencies of the Leuchter Report]. Faurisson adds:
    "Leider sagt er uns nichts über die Schwächen dieser Studie, und vor allem macht er nicht auf die ganze Reichweite von J.C. Pressacs Kritik an den aufmerksam, was man die Lügen der Behörden des Majdanek-Museums nennen muss".

    [Unfortunately he tells us nothing about the shortcomings of this study and most of all he does not make us aware of the significance of the J.C. Pressac critique which exposes what one must call the lies of the Majdanek museum officials].
However, I should have pointed out to the reader the 1989 article where Faurisson had already arrived at the firm belief "dass Pressac nicht an das Verhandensein von Gaskammern zur Menschentötung in diesem Lager glaubt" (p. 211).
[that Pressac didn't believe the gas chambers in this camp were for killing people].

It is clear that either Faurisson has not understood or has not wanted to understand the analytical structure of Chapter VI of our book. There I used the at times perceptive thoughts of Pressac on the gas chambers of Majdanek solely as a point of departure for a further, deeper study transcending these thoughts, and often correcting and refuting them based upon new documentation, and on a more careful inspection of the locations: that is all. Since from this perspective, I was only interested in the arguments pertaining to the gas chambers, there was no reason for discussing the "Schwächen" [weaknesses] of the article in question. But on the other hand - to which "Schwächen" does Faurisson refer?

The 1989 article entitled "Pressac devant le rapport Leuchter" [19] [Pressac faced with the Leuchter Report] is Faurisson's only response [20] to Pressac's study "Les carences et incohérences du rapport Leuchter"; so that should have contained a proof of the "Schwächen". In reality it proves nothing - being as vague as it is superficial: It suffices to say that it claims to demolish the Pressac Auschwitz arguments in five lines! As for Majdanek, Faurisson cites the passages in which Pressac expresses serious reservations regarding the use of hydrocyanic acid for homicidal purposes in the gas chambers, but he passes over in silence the fact that, for Pressac, "il ne peut exister le moindre doute sur la criminalite" [there cannot exist the slightest doubt as to the criminal nature] of the alleged system using carbon monoxide, and that Pressac thinks that the Majdanek gas chambers originally constructed as disinfestation chambers, were transformed into gas chambers operating with carbon monoxide.[21] And it is only due to this omission that Faurisson can write:
    "Sur Majdanek, je ne crois pas exagéré de dire que Pressac ne croit pas à l'existence de chambres à gaz homicides dans ce camp". [22]

    [Concerning Majdanek, I think it is not an exaggeration to say that Pressac does not believe in the existence of homicidal gas chambers in that camp].
Well, in fact, it's not an exaggeration [to say that] - it's false [to say that].

Regarding Pressac's criticism of the "Lügen der Behörden des Majdanek-Museums" [the lies of the Majdanek Museum staff], it concerns a few brief hints of the first stories concerning homicidal gas chambers, a subject to which we have devoted an entire chapter! [23] For my part, the impression I have of the present authorities of the Majdanek Museum - beginning with the Director - is that they are deserving of respect.

Faurisson attributes to Pressac an evolution in a revisionist direction regarding his ideas on the Majdanek gas chambers, and consequently rebukes me for not mentioning the publications in which this evolution is supposed to have appeared.

These are: The article , "Les camps de la mort" [Death Camps] (Historia, n.34/1995) where according to Faurisson, Pressac presented a "vernichtend" [devastating] treatment of the Majdanek gas chambers and, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers (1989), where Pressac "anerkannte, dass die sinnbildliche Gaskammer von Majdanek, die immer wieder als zur Menschentötung bestimmt präsentiert wird, in Wirklichkeit eine Entwesungskammer war". Natürlich, "C. Mattogno übergeht das mit Stillschweigen"

[acknowledged that the symbolic gas chamber, constantly presented as one where humans where killed, was indeed used as a delousing chamber]. [Naturally, C. Mattogno passes over this in silence].

Well, even if this were true, I don't see why I had to mention this presumed evolution: the object of Chapter VI of our book is the gas chambers of Majdanek, not the history of Pressac's thoughts on the gas chambers of Majdanek. Actually, in both cases, Pressac reaffirmed what he had written in the 1988 article, "Les carences et incohérences du rapport Leuchter".

As to Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, Faurisson refers to page 557 where in the caption to a photograph, Pressac does in fact write of "disinfestation gas chambers", but Faurisson passes over in silence what Pressac writes on page 555: "I am not saying that it was never used to kill people, for that is still possible", and also his reference to "the Majdanek homicidal and/or delousing gas chambers".

In the article which appeared six years later in Historia, which should have shown even more clearly the presumed evolution of Pressac, the latter wrote:
    "Puis, le bloc d'épouillage subit une dernière modification, ne visant plus à améliorer la destruction des poux mais à asphyxier les Juifs inaptes au travail. Le toxique retenu fut le monoxyde de carbone en bouteille métallique, estimé moins dangereux à manipuler que le Zyklon-B. Une des pièces fut divisée en deux. Ne furent équipées de tuyaux de diffusion du gaz carbonique qu'une grande pièce de 34 mètres carrés et une des deux petites de 17 mères carrés, ce qui permettait de tuer respectivement 170 et 85 personnes à la fois" .[24] [citation 8].

    [Then, the delousing barracks underwent one last change, which did not aim at improving the elimination of lice but at asphyxiating the Jews unfit to work. The poison chosen was carbon monoxide [contained] in metal cylinders, considered less dangerous to handle than Zyklon B. One of the rooms was partitioned in two. Only the one big room (34 sq. meters) and one of the two smaller rooms (17 sq. meters) were fitted with pipes to diffuse the gas; thus it was possible to kill 170 and 85 persons respectively at a time.]
And this is supposed to be a "vernichtend" [devastating] treatment of the homicidal gas chambers of Majdanek?

So Pressac has never changed his ideas on the homicidal gas chambers of Majdanek, and Faurisson is also in error about this.

Erudition and Crematoria

In addition, Faurisson accuses me of excessive erudition! Well, since he himself has always cited every possible source imaginable, and has displayed excellent erudition, this rebuke is indeed quite surprising - however his observations concerning the capacity of the crematory ovens in the concentration camps are of a naïve superficiality. Faurisson asserts (as an example of my poor mastery of this subject) that if one wishes to demonstrate that the cremation capacity cited by the official historians is exaggerated, "dann braucht man keine hochtechnischen Betrachtungen über die Bauweise der Verbrennungsöfen und deren Betriebsweise; man wird sich statt dessen im wesentlichen damit begnügen, uns zu sagen, was heute, nach einem halben Jahrhundert, die Verbrennungsleistung irgendeines Krematoriums unserer Städte ist. Die Zahlen sprechen für sich selbst".

[one doesn't need a highly technical elaboration about the construction methods of the crematory and the way they functioned; instead, it would suffice to tell us today, half a century later, what the capability of any one of the crematoriums of our cities would be; the figures would speak for themselves].

Well, Faurisson shows that he has no idea of the problems associated with cremations. Evidently he doesn't know that the construction of a crematory oven and its conduction system are fundamental factors regarding cremation capacity. As to crematory capacities of ovens which were built in the 1940s, simple comparison with the output of present-day crematory ovens is fallacious criterion for judgement, which inevitably leads to false conclusions - to give one example: From the cremation registration list at Terezin which I possess [25] - it emerges that the average duration of a cremation was 36 minutes, with daily through-puts of even less than this. For example: On 11 October 1943 in oven number IV, between the hours of 06:00 and 19:30, twenty-five cremations were carried out giving an average of approximately 32 minutes per cremation. Now what present-day crematory can boast of such a similar performance? For an authoritative source, Faurisson then appeals to the statements made at the Zündel trial by Ivan Lagacé , the director of the Calgary crematorium, on the basis of which Leuchter made his calculations on the cremation capacities of the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek crematory ovens. Barbara Kulaszka summarizes what Lagacé stated regarding the cremation capacity of his crematory ovens: "Factory recommendation for normal operation was a maximum of three cases per day in a normal eight hour work day". [26] A crematory oven of the crematorium at Terezin cremated within eight hours normally 13 to 15 corpses - that is four or five times as many! And this shows even more clearly how fallacious are the comparative methods invoked by Faurisson. Naturally it would be just as fallacious to abstractly attribute the cremation capacity of the Terezin crematory ovens to those of Auschwitz because the building construction, and above all the conduction system of the respective facilities were totally different. In other words, in order to form a judgement based upon cremation capacities, "hochtechnischen Betrachtungen über die Bauweise der Verbrennugsöfen und deren Betriebsweise"
[highly technical considerations concerning the construction of the crematory ovens and their operating systems] are literally quite necessary.

Some Hardly Veiled Advice To Our Contributors

With regard to our travels and our supporters, Faurisson writes:
    "Haben die beiden Verfasser wirklich geglaubt, sie könnten sich mit der Herausgabe dieses Buches bei denen ins rechte Licht setzen, die ihre Expedition in Ostpolen, in den baltischen Staaten und Russland finanziert haben - ein Unternehmen, das übrigens keineswegs ihren grossen Hoffnungen und unseren Erwartugen entsprach? Dies fragte ich mich" (p. 212).

    [Did the authors really believe that by publishing this book, they could make themselves look good in the eyes of those who financed their trip to Eastern Poland, the Baltic states and Russia - an endeavor which never fulfilled our hopes and expectations? This is what I ask myself.]
Now this is a clear exhortation to our contributors to not help in the financing of our continuing research - and regarding this, Faurisson has no right so to speak. He has neither the right nor the competence to judge the results of our travels; he does not have the right since he does not figure among our contributors, and he does not have the competence because he does not know the full import of the results of our research of which Majdanek is only one example - another example is my study La Zentralbauleitung der Waffen-SS und Polizei Auschwitz which was published by Edizioni di Ar - another example is the study by Jürgen Graf and myself, entitled Das Konzentrationslager Stutthof und seine Funktion in der nationalsozialistischen Judenpolitik, published by Castle Hill Publishers; included within the ambit of results are also to some degree my current work: the two-volume research concerning the crematory ovens of Auschwitz which I have finally finished. This work is being published and there are forthcoming works being projected. If the realization of certain projects require more time than is foreseen, that has been due to the fact that in the interim I have been diverted from certain work and have felt the obligation to write two books comprising some 500 pages; to defend among others, Faurisson himself and Leuchter against unjust attacks from adversaries: (Olocausto: Dilettanti allo sbaraglio, and L'"irritante questione" delle camere a gas ovvero da Cappuccetto Rosso ad Auschwitz. Risposta a Valentina Pisanty) [Holocaust: Dilettanti into the Fray. The Irritating Question of the Gas Chamber, to Wit: of the Little Red Riding Hood at Auschwitz. Reply to Valentina Pisanty].

A Lesson in Style

In conclusion, that critique by Robert Faurisson does not have the characteristics of rational argumentation, but is purely emotional.

What is true is that Faurisson has been completely silent about our "attack" on the theses of Germar Rudolf, displayed in the same paragraph as our "attack" on the Leuchter theses. This shows that Faurisson is not interested in the "attacks" of revisionists versus revisionists, but rather he is interested in the "attacks" of revisionists versus Faurisson-Leuchter. And if being "attacked", refers to other revisionists such as Germar Rudolf - well, that doesn't deserve even one word of mention! But, Germar Rudolf has rightly given everyone a good lesson in style: having endured severe criticism on a par with Leuchter, not only has Rudolf willingly accepted it, but he has even published the book in which it is set out! Now that is healthy revisionism.


None with good sense can deny the merits of Robert Faurisson in the development of revisionism from its limited form under Rassinier to its present scientific form, and I myself have been one of Faurisson's earliest supporters since 1979; but this does not mean that Faurisson is the sole custodian of a revisionist truth which would be merely dogmatic - nor that he is the only historiographic measure of all things by which every new contribution to revisionism must be judged. This attitude, which may be called Faurissonism, is extremely damaging for the future development of scientific revisionism because it tends to minimize, to disqualify, to denigrate at will; and so to discourage any new contribution which does not assume Faurissonism as its central core. As opposed to a total view, it can only appear as futile repetition of what has already been said, or worse - as worthless confirmations of others' observations. One purpose of this article is to put on guard those who are open to criticism against the dangers of this personalized distortion of scientific revisionism which threatens to hold back its vital impulse, turning it into a dogmatic and dispirited fossil.

                                                                      Carlo Mattogno

Russ Granata note:
Just to recap the sequence as I understand it:
  1. First - Carlo Mattogno and Jürgen Graf published their German language book on KL Majdanek based upon their research.
  2. Robert Faurisson critiqued that book.
  3. Jürgen Graf answered the Faurisson critique.
  4. Faurisson responded to Graf.
  5. Bringing us to this Mattogno response to Faurisson.


  1. Jürgen Graf, Offener Brief an Prof Robert Faurisson,
    in VffG, 3.Jg., Heft 3, September 1999, pp. 327-330.

  2. Robert Faurisson, Antwort an Jürgen Graf,
    in VffG, 3.Jg., Heft 3, September 1999, pp. 330-332.

  3. L. Poliakov, Brévaire de la haine, Calmann-Levy 1979, p. 219.

  4. L. Poliakov, Le procès de Jérusalem. Judgement-Documents,
    Paris 1963, p. 228.

  5. Gerald Reitlinger, La soluzione finale. Il Saggiatore, Milano 1965, p. 177.

  6. Die Zeit, 19 August 1960, p. 16.

  7. Vierteljaheshefte für Zeitgeschichte, Heft 2, 1976, p. 109.

  8. G. Wellers, Abondance de preuves, "Le Monde" 29 December 1978,
    in: S. Thion, Vérité historic où vérité politique?, Paris 1980, p. 106.

  9. Ibidem, p. 178.

  10. Ibidem, p. 174.

  11. See Jürgen Graf and Carlo Mattogno, Das Konzentrationslager Stutthof
    und seine Funktion in der nationalsozialistischen Judenpolitik,
    Castle Hill Publisher 1999, pp. 66-69.

  12. Testimony reported in: B. Kulaszka, "Did Six Million Really Die"?,
    Toronto 1992, pp. 164-165.

  13. The Leuchter Report, original American edition, point 17.004.

  14. Idem, point 12.003.

  15. Idem, point 12.005.

  16. Ibidem, point 17.005.

  17. Ibidem.

  18. In "Annales d'Histoire Révisionniste", n.5, 1988, pp. 51-102.

  19. Revue d'Histoire Révisionniste, n.3, 1990-91, pp. 145-146.

  20. In the Faurisson Opus magnum, Ecrits Révisionnistes (1999), concerning this topic there exists only the identical article mentioned in the preceding note (vol. III, pp. 1240-1241).

  21. J.C. Pressac, "Les carences et incohérences du rapport Leuchter",
    "Jour J", December 1988, p. VIII.

  22. See note 6, p. 145.

  23. This is taken up in Chapter VII. The "criticism" by Pressac to the woman vice director at Majdanek concerning the gas chamber of the new crematory was instead reported by us in all of its context on p. 153.

  24. J.C. Pressac, Les camps de la mort, "Historia", mars-avril 1995, pp. 122-123.

  25. These lists, together with others of the crematory of Westerbork and that of Gusen, are analyzed in my study of the Auschwitz crematory ovens.

  26. See note 10, p. 269.