Holocaust convergence of evidence
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A claimed Holocaust convergence of evidence is often argued to support the politically correct view on the Holocaust. Holocaust revisionists have argued that this is a euphemism for cherry picking and very selective citations which ignores contradictory and/or absurd statements, even by the same individual, and even in the same source. They have also made various other criticisms.
In his judgement in the Irving-Lipstadt trial the judge Gray wrote: "What is the evidence for mass extermination of Jews at those camps? The consequence of the absence of any overt documentary evidence of gas chambers at these camps, coupled with the lack of archeological evidence, means that reliance has to be placed on eye witness and circumstantial evidence [...] The case for the Defendants, summarised above, is that there exists what Van Pelt described as a “convergence” of evidence".
The revisionist Carlo Mattogno has written on "a magical formula: “convergence of evidence,” allegedly adopted by Holocaust historians and allegedly neglected by revisionist historians. That formula was invented by Robert J. van Pelt in his expert opinion as part of the Irving-Lipstadt trial and known as The Pelt Report. As no evidence exists of extermination of Jews in homicidal gas chambers, van Pelt collected all the available “indications” (including those by J.-C. Pressac), illicitly promoted them to “evidence” and then invented a “convergence of evidence,” which is nothing but scientific imposture."
For example, eyewitness testimonies are claimed to have a “solid nucleus” converging toward the reality of homicidal gassings. Revisionist historians, on the other hand, allegedly attack “smaller discrepancies” and “any detail” in order to demolish the entire testimony. Mattogno argues that it is the very opposite that is true and that "most Holocaust historians, ignore the complete texts of these eyewitness testimonies and only present anthologies by carefully selecting passages of the testimonies in order to create an illusory “convergence,” while purging all the absurdities and contradictions that they contain."
Mattogno also discussed the trial and van Pelt's alleged "convergence of evidence" in the book The Real Case for Auschwitz—Robert van Pelt’s Evidence from the Irving Trial Critically Reviewed. See the "External links" section.
The revisionist Paul Grubach has written that "The following example will illustrate to the reader how questionable “convergence of evidence” proofs for the traditional view of the Holocaust really are. In their article on the Treblinka concentration camp, historian Mark Weber and attorney Andrew Allen collected six pieces of evidence that point to the conclusion that Jews and others were murdered in steam chambers at the site. Let us note each of them: [...]
Here we have a convergence of evidence from six sources. The eyewitness testimony is substantiated by the onsite, hands-on investigation of the Polish authorities. This convergence of evidence is even better than the one that Judge Gray heard because it has an onsite, expert study of the murder weapon itself that “conclusively proves” the existence of the steam chambers. Therefore, the Germans must have murdered people in steam chambers at Treblinka. Lo and behold, the pitfalls of such a conclusion!
Historians now tell us there were no steam chambers at Treblinka. The convergence of evidence that “proves” their existence is entirely false. Over the years, the story changed and today it is alleged that Jews and others were murdered with carbon monoxide gas, generated from captured Soviet diesel tank engines. Neither Judge Gray or Lipstadt and company’s team of world renowned Holocaust experts have ever explained why the convergence of evidence for Treblinka steam chambers points to a false conclusion and the convergence of evidence for the Auschwitz gas chambers allegedly points to a true conclusion."
The revisionist Samuel Crowell has written that "With respect to the immediate postwar trials it can be shown that witnesses and confessors were strongly influenced by what I call “The Canonical Holocaust,” a handful of official reports issued by the Soviet, Polish and American governments. These reports, comprising Soviet reports on Auschwitz and Majdanek, Polish reports on Treblinka, Auschwitz, and other camps, and the U.S. War Refugee Board report on Auschwitz-Birkenau, were the basic source of all “official” knowledge about the camps in the immediate postwar period. There are two problems with these reports. First, they have not been subjected to serious text criticism or empirical corroboration. Second, they contain many errors of fact.
If a witness or a confessor makes statements that corroborate statements in an official and widely publicized report, that witness or confessor “may” be viewed as independently verifying the truth. But when the witness or confessor corroborates statements in these reports and the statements are false, then one can presume that the witness and confessor statements were simply derivative of the reports. To put it another way, several testimonies may converge on a truth, but several testimonies cannot converge on a falsehood: in such a case one is most likely dealing with statements derived from a common erroneous source. [...]
'All of these individuals provide a convergence of evidence: not to the truth, however, but to the decisive influence of the erroneous Soviet report. Testimonies and confessions that lead back to a common source are of little value. At the same time we can see how such testimony and affidavits could be sincerely generated by survivors and Allied interrogators. Every survivor would no doubt consult the Soviet report to get a bird’s eye view of what had really happened in the camps. And every interrogator of an SS guard would peruse the report so as to know whether or not the prisoner was lying."
The revisionist Jürgen Graf has written that "For instance, in Belzec, where 600,000 Jews were allegedly killed, witnesses describe no less than eight different killing methods, starting with a metal plate in an underground water reservoir, in which Jews were allegedly killed with electricity; to trains where Jews were locked in and then doused with hot lime which slowly chewed the flesh from their bones, up to killings with diesel exhaust in a shack. [...]
In the early war years, contradictory stories about killing methods in Auschwitz were also told. In those tales prepared by the Polish resistance as war propaganda, Zyklon-B was never mentioned; instead, witnesses talked about poison gas, electric bathrooms, or a pneumatic hammer when describing the murder weapon. Six days after the liberation of the camp, on February 2, 1945, the Jewish reporter Boris Polevoi, wrote in Pravda that in Auschwitz hundreds of prisoners were simultaneously electrocuted on a conveyor belt. Pravda also found gas chambers in Auschwitz, although in the wrong place; not in the western part of the Birkenau camp, but in the east. Soon, the electrical conveyor belt and the gas chambers in the eastern part disappeared forever into the historical dust bin and in the following reports a radically new variation emerged: [...]
Since February 1945, witnesses are in agreement that in Auschwitz, Zyklon-B was used as the murder weapon, even though they contradicted each other on many other issues. When looking closely at those accounts, one soon realizes that they contain many technical and scientific impossibilities which deprives them of any credibility. [...]
Soon after the liberation of the camp, testimony of the former inmates was co-ordinated by the Soviets, which can easily be verified. From the 14th of February to March 8, 1945, a Soviet commission recorded all the atrocities committed in Auschwitz. In that report, the commission assert that no less than 4 million people were killed in Auschwitz. The Auschwitz museum adhered to this absurd figure until the early 1990's. Today they speak of 1.5 million victims, which is still ten times too high. Reading eye-witness testimony from 1945, one is constantly confronted with the 4 million figure, which forces one to conclude that the commission instructed the first witnesses as to what figure to quote, and then the rest of them simply copied this figure. [...]
This explains many of the impossibilities which appear in witness testimonies--for example the impossibility of low burning and gassing times. If 4 million persons were murdered in Auschwitz and their corpses cremated without leaving even a trace, then gas chambers and crematories must have been in operation all the time and at a record pace!".
More on the use of the 4 million killed at Auschwitz: "In 1946, the Counsel for the defense, Dr. Otto Zippel, in a British court case against Dr. Bruno Tesch and Karl Weinbacher, was perhaps the first attorney who dared to ask some Jewish witnesses a few critical questions. Tesch and Weinheimer were representatives of the German Association for Pest Control, which produced Zyklon-B, that same insecticide which saved the lives of tens of thousands of inmates in Auschwitz by killing typhus spreading lice. At the court case, the Romanian Jew, Charles Sigismund Bendel, witness for the prosecution, testified that 4 million people were killed in Auschwitz with Zyklon-B. In Crematory IV, 1,000 people were alleged to have been crowded into a room measuring 10 meters long, 4 meters wide and 1.6 meters high, and then homicidally gassed. When Dr. Zippel asked how it is possible to place 1,000 people into a room of 64 cubic meters, Bendel answered: "It could only be achieved by German methods." Zippel pursued: "You earnestly believe, 10 people can be put into ½ a cubic meter?" Bendel's answer: "The 4 million gassed in Auschwitz are testimony to it." Thus, the "Cross Examination" was over. Dr. Tesch and Weinbacher, accused of contributing to the killing of 4 million people, were found guilty and hanged based on Bendel's testimony."
Argued absurd and contradictory claims
See for example Holocaust testimonial evidence: Argued absurd Holocaust claims regarding many argued absurd and contradictory Holocaust claims.
Such argued absurd and contradictory statements are not limited to claims by some minor "witnesses" and "confessors" but are argued to often be present also in claims made by the most important and frequently cited "witnesses" and "confessors".
Possible reasons for argued similarity of some "testimonies" and "confessions"
Despite the many argued absurd and contradictory testimonies and confessions, non-revisionists have as noted earlier pointed to alleged similarities between selected testimonies and confessions (or rather, revisionists argue, between cherry picked parts of cherry picked testimonies and confessions) as supporting the existence of the standardized politically correct version. Revisionists have argued that this seeming similarity may be due to several different factors:
- Common experiences such as witnessing others disappearing from camps after being taken to buildings with showers and "gas chambers". Revisionists argue that showering of individuals and delousing of items such as clothing in "gas chambers" before being deported away from the camp was for hygienic purposes such as stopping the spread of the typhus epidemics.
- Creation and spread of similar propaganda and rumors by often communist influenced resistance groups in the camps and the Allies. Such propaganda and rumors may have reached even many German officials. Even those who did not believe the claims learned what supposedly had occurred which may have influence later (forced) confessions/testimonies. See also Allied psychological warfare
- As noted earlier several official reports such as the 1944 War Refugee Board report were well-known and may have provided Holocaust story outline(s) for witnesses, confessors, and interrogators.
- Some witnesses and confessors are argued to have repeated and even embellished the accounts of other witnesses and confessors with the consequence that a common corpus of false history was built up.
- The politically correct version is argued to have become gradually more standardized as various trials, commissions, and official organizations established "officially" what had occurred.
- Convergence of Evidence, Reflections on the Irving/Lipstadt Affair
- Holocaust Narrative as a Species of Imaginative Literature
- “Denying History”? – Denying Evidence! The Phony “Convergence of Evidence” to “Prove” the “Holocaust.” A Review
- Convergence or Divergence? On Recent Evidence for Zyklon Induction Holes at Auschwitz-Birkenau Crematory II
- The Real Case for Auschwitz—Robert van Pelt’s Evidence from the Irving Trial Critically Reviewed - for example, "Part Five: The Origin of the “Convergence of Independent Accounts"
- ↑ The Judgment handed down in the British High Court action by David Irving against Penguin Books Ltd and Deborah Lipstadt. http://www.fpp.co.uk/trial/judgment/
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 “Denying History”? – Denying Evidence! The Phony “Convergence of Evidence” to “Prove” the “Holocaust.” A Review http://codoh.com/library/document/1756/
- ↑ Convergence of Evidence, Reflections on the Irving/Lipstadt Affair http://codoh.com/library/document/372/
- ↑ Holocaust Narrative as a Species of Imaginative Literature http://codoh.com/library/document/3686/
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Eye Witness Testimony of Homicidal Gassings in German Concentration Camps During World War II https://codoh.com/library/document/969/
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Germar Rudolf. Lectures on the Holocaust—Controversial Issues Cross Examined 2nd, revised and corrected edition. Holocaust Handbooks. http://holocausthandbooks.com/index.php?page_id=15
- ↑ Robert Faurisson. How the British Obtained the Confessions of Rudolf Höss. http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v07/v07p389_Faurisson.html
- ↑ Wilhelm Stäglich. Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence: Chapter Two: Contemporaneous Documents: Speeches and Other Public Statements by Political Leaders of the Third Reich: Heinrich Himmler http://codoh.com/library/document/230/