I just finished watching the mind-blowing video, called Holocaust, Hate Speech & Were the Germans so Stupid? produced by Anthony Lawson. This is a fantastic video, with a wealth of little-known information, which you can see here. There is almost too much in the video for the mind to process; I had to watch the whole thing twice to take it all in. I really enjoyed listening to Lawson’s beautiful voice and his perfect English.
Update July 30, 2013: The YouTube video is back up. I watched it here this morning.
Update March 29, 2011 7 a.m. I have just learned that You Tube has taken the video down, due to a copyright complaint. When I viewed the video, I noticed that two of the photos that I took are in the video. Since I approve of the video, I did not make a complaint, but this is something that Lawson should have anticipated. I get lots of e-mails from people who want to use one of my photos in a book or video. I am surprised that Lawson did not know that you need permission to use material that is not in the public domain. You can read all about the copyright controversy here.
Continue reading my original post:
I have some comments to add to what is told in the video.
The video starts off with the moral question of “telling lies.” Lawson says that Rudolf Hoess signed a confession in order to save the lives of his wife and children. I agree that Rudof Hoess undoubtedly signed a confession, written by the British, because he had been threatened with the prospect of his family being turned over to the Russians if he didn’t co-operate. The confession contains so many glaring errors that it is doubtful that Hoess wrote it himself. Yet this confession is still used today to prove the Holocaust. You can read more about Hoess and his confession here.
Then the video moves on to a long discussion about the unfair Nuremberg trial and the role that the Jews played in the trial. Finally, the video gets to the question: Were the Germans so stupid that they would leave it to Prison-camp commanders to devise their own methods for carrying out the greatest mass murder in history?
This part of the video is so compelling that, in my humble opinion, it should have been shown at the start. I think it would be better to start off with something that would really grab the attention of the viewer because young people today all have some degree of Attention Deficit and older people like myself have some degree of Holocaust Fatigue.
The answer to the question posed in the video is: Yes, the Germans were so stupid that they didn’t use their world-renowned engineers to design their gas chambers. They should have asked Werner von Braun to take time out from his work on the V2 rockets, for just one day, to design the world’s best gas chamber. Instead, it was left up to the Commandants of the camps to design the gas chambers.
Not mentioned in the video is that the Commandant of Sachsenhausen testified at his trial that he was the one who made the decision to use a gas chamber. Of course, there were virtually no Jews at Sachsenhausen at that time, but that didn’t matter; every concentration camp had to have a gas chamber.
Here is a quote from my own web site about the Berlin trial of the Commandant of Sachsenhausen, which you can read here:
Public Prosecutor: Was it your own decision?
Kaindl: Partially yes. Because the existing installations were too small and not sufficient for the exterminations, I decided to have a meeting with some SS officers, including the SS Chief Doctor Baumkötter. During this meeting, he told me that poisoning of prisoners by prussic acid in special chambers would cause an immediate death. After this meeting, I decided to install gas chambers in the camp for mass extermination because it was a more efficient and more humane way to exterminate prisoners.
Public Prosecutor: Who was responsible for the extermination?
Kaindl: The commandant of the camp.
Public Prosecutor: So, it was you?
Note that Anton Kaindl, the Commandant of Sachsenhausen, made the decision himself to build a gas chamber at Sachsenhausen. And you thought that the order came from Hitler! David Irving got into trouble for writing that Hitler didn’t know about the Holocaust until 1943. Maybe Irving was right. How was Hitler supposed to know what the Commandant of Sachsenhausen was doing on his own?
The photo above is shown in Lawson’s video with the caption that it is a re-enactment. This photo was taken by the Russians at the Majdanek “death cmap.” The photo is used on an official Holocaust history web site in an article which explains how the gas was poured into the 4 underground gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Here is a quote about the photo from the web site which you can read in full here:
A rare photograph of a similar introduction vent from Majdanek, not Auschwitz, has been preserved. Majdanek was also a camp where mass gassings were performed.
When the Red Army arrived in July 1944 the soldiers found huge warehouses spilling over with goods. They discovered dead bodies and further evidence of a full range of atrocities, which they publicized immediately to the world presses.
(Feig, Konnilyn, Hitler’s Death Camps, 1979, p. 330.)
A Soviet army man posed for this photograph, holding the device’s cover, standing next to the device itself. It was published in the London press in October 1944. It is unknown how similar this actually looked to the “little chimneys” of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Majdanek introduction vent
Source: The Illustrated London News, October 14, 1944, p. 442.
Note that this photo was published by the LONDON NEWS in October 1944 shortly after the Majdanek camp was liberated by Soviet soldiers in July 1944. When Soviet soldiers arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the gas chambers had allegedly been blown up already and no photo of the “little chimneys” could be taken.
The crematorium at the Majdanek camp had allegedly been burned down by the Germans, and it had to be reconstructed by the Soviets. The “little chimney” in the photo is a reconstruction. The problem is that the real gas chambers at Majdanek were not in the crematorium, but in another building at the other end of the camp. When the Soviets reconstructed the gas chamber in the crematorium, they made it look like a shower room and the hole in the roof was directly over the drain for the shower. The reconstruction was allegedly done from the original blueprints. If the Nazis had used real engineers to design their gas chambers, they wouldn’t have made a mistake like that.
I blogged about the lack of engineers being involved in the construction of the Mauthausen gas chamber in a previous post which you can read here.
Lawson’s video mainly talks about the gas chamber in the main Auschwitz camp, which is shown to tourists today. For years, the staff at Auschwitz claimed that this gas chamber was original, but now it is called a reconstruction. The “little chimneys” on the roof, where the gas pellets were poured in, are reconstructions.
I climbed up on the roof of the Auschwitz gas chamber in 1998 and took the photo above. There are four wooden chimneys with covers that are a reconstruction of the ones that were allegedly used to pour in the gas pellets. The three other chimneys were for something else. Today, there are millions of visitors to Auschwitz and no one is allowed to climb up onto the roof.
P.S. In case you didn’t get to see the video before it was taken down, I can assure you that it is perfectly innocuous. There is no “hate speech” unless you define hate speech as telling the truth. Lawson speaks in a neutral voice with no hatred. I did not notice any factual errors and I did not spot any misidentified photos, nor any use of photos to twist the facts. The video is very educational and could be used in history classes in America, that is, if telling the truth is ever allowed.
This video could be used to teach others how to make a proper video about history. I especially liked the fact that no background music is used, except for one dramatic chord at the very end. I find the music that is used in typical Holocaust videos to be very irritating and distracting. I hope that the video will be put on DVD and made available to everyone.