- My booklet, The Auschwitz Lie, has become
an under-the-counter bestseller. It has appeared in French, Spanish, Dutch,
Danish and even Hungarian, as well as in several English language editions.
Actually, there's nothing very remarkable about The Auschwitz Lie except
that it was written by someone who was in Auschwitz and~who recorded his
experiences and recollections. People generally prefer to read sensational
reports, and my booklet is certainly not that.
- In the spirit of Martin Luther, I try
to speak positively and influence things for the best. But I was accused
of "popular incitement" (Volksverhetzung) for doing that. I spent
a year in prison, even though the charge of popular incitement was eventually
dropped. However, the charges of "contempt against the state"
and defamation of the Jews, who now enjoy special protection in this regard,
were not dropped. I was also accused of defaming the memory of the dead.
- In this regard, the son of Count Schenk
von Stauffenberg appeared as a co-plaintiff against me because I had called
his father a traitor. Well, I wouldn't like it either if my own father
had been insulted, and so I wasn't offended when Stauffenberg junior sought
to rehabilitate his father's reputation. All the same, there wasn't any
need for a criminal indictment. If he had sent me a letter justifying his
father's actions, I certainly would have published the complete text of
it in my magazine. Of course, I would also have commented on it, as I always
do with critical letters from readers.
- I'd like to describe my experiences and
observations since the publication of my first-person report about Auschwitz.
When I wrote my report, I was criticized on the grounds that, although
I was in the camp and saw nothing of mass gassings, that fact did not necessarily
mean that there were none. All the same, I can say with certainty that
there were no mass gassings at Auschwitz.
- I don't write under a pen name. I even
gave my address and telephone number. I have received thousands of letters
and calls. Many of those who contacted me can confirm my statements, but
are afraid to do so publicly. Some of those are SS men who were brutally
mistreated and even tortured in Allied captivity.
- I also immediately contacted those who
claimed to know more about mass gassings. My experiences were precisely
the same as those of French professor Paul Rassinier. I have not found
any eyewitnesses. Instead, people would tell me that they knew someone
who knew someone else, who talked about it. In most cases the alleged eyewitnesses
had died. Other supposed eyewitnesses would quickly begin to stammer and
stutter when I asked a few precise questions. Even Simon Wiesenthal had
to finally admit before a Frankfurt district court that he was actually
never in Auschwitz. All of the reports I have heard about are contradictory.
- Everyone seemed to tell a different story
about the gas chambers. They couldn't even agree about where they were
supposed to have been located.,This is also true of the so-called scholarly
literature, which is full of contradictions.
- I want to try to explain how such stories
get started. When I tell fairy tales to my grandchildren, I often speak
as if I am there in the story myself, so that the children will believe
them. Many people also have a tendency to embellish what they say. Some
enjoy getting others to believe their false tales. And then there are the
so-called "bull stories" (Latrinenparolen). Every veteran knows
about these. Those interned in prison camps particularly like to invent
and spread such stories.
- So, I have an explanation for how the
story got started that corpses were burned in open fires at Auschwitz.
There were also "bull stories" at Auschwitz. My maid, Olga, once
told my mother, who was visiting me at Auschwitz, about a fire in which
people were being burned. I asked Olga about that. She didn't know anything
for sure, but she said that a fire could always be seen in the direction
of Bielitz. I drove in that direction but found only a large industrial
plant where inmates were also working. I looked over the entire camp and
inspected all the fires and smoking chimneys. But I didn't find anything
suspicious. I asked my colleagues, but they answered merely by shrugging
their shoulders and saying that I shouldn't believe "bull stories."
- There was indeed a crematory at Auschwitz.
After all, 200,000 people lived there and every city has a crematory. Of
course, people died there as well - and not just inmates. The wife of SS
Lt. Col. Caesar, for example, died there of typhus. I was satisfied with
those answers at the time.
- Today, I know much more about this matter.
At first, those who died at Auschwitz were buried, but because of the high
ground water level (one meter) in this area between the Vistula and Sola
rivers, that practice couldn't be continued. A labor team headed by SS
Staff Sergeant Moll (who had been in charge of the agricultural nursery
at Raisko) was assigned to dig up the buried corpses and burn them. This
was done on an open fire. The most unbelievable stories were told about
this procedure. West German television even broadcast a film of this which
was supposedly made in secret by an SS man.
- There's another factor which has played
a role in all this. The defense attorneys for the so-called German war
criminals were not entirely blameless. Every defense attorney wants freedom
for his client and, as a result, the attorneys often argued that persons
who were already dead were guilty of the alleged crimes. SS Sergeant Moll
was killed in action in the final days of the war.
- During this period I also received a
report from the brother-inlaw of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss.
He lives in Flensburg, not far from my home. His report generally confirmed
my own statements. Death sentences were certainly carried out and hostages
were also shot. I pointed this out in my booklet. But these executions
were not carried out in the camp itself. Otherwise they would have been
- I can't understand why Auschwitz is called
a concentration camp. I consider it an internment camp. It's well known
that enemy aliens are normally interned during wartime. In order to keep
them from fighting against their host country, they are normally not expelled.
- Of course, one can argue about whether
the Jews should have been considered members of an enemy nation. After
all, the state of Israel wasn't founded until after the war. Nevertheless,
the Jews had already declared war against us in 1933, as the London Daily
Express reported on 24 March of that year. On that basis, internment would
have been justified even then. But the Jews weren't interned until after
the outbreak of war in September 1939, and even then not all at once.
- I am thus one of the few who can report
on the actual situation in the Auschwitz camp, and I have done so. What
has it brought me? Two years of living in exile and one year in prison.
Even though, prudently enough, there wasn't anything about it in my verdict,
I would never have been imprisoned if I had not written The Auschwitz Lie.
The charge of "contempt against the state" was only a pretense.
There's no parallel for such a charge in any other country of the western
world, not even in those that are still monarchies.
- Author: Christophersen, Thies
- Title: Reflections on Auschwitz and
West German Justice
- Source: The Journal for Historical Review
- Date: Spring 1986
- Issue: Volume 6 number 1
- Location: Page 117
- ISSN: 0195-6752
- Attribution: "Reprinted from The
Journal of Historical Review, PO Box 2739, Newport Beach, CA 92659, USA.
Domestic subscriptions $40 per year; foreign subscriptions $60 per year."