Claude Lanzmann, the director of the 9 and a half hour Holocaust documentary Shoah, recently said that the proof of the Holocaust is not the corpses; the proof is the “absence of corpses.” You can read Lanzmann’s full quote here and more comments on his film here.
Lanzmann went to Iran recently and the Iranian Holocaust deniers wanted him to prove to them that the Holocaust happened: They wanted to see the corpses.
This was Lanzmann’s answer:
“I told them there’s not a single corpse in Shoah. The people who arrived at Treblinka, Belzec or Sobibor were killed within two or three hours and their corpses burned. The proof is not the corpses; the proof is the absence of corpses. There were special details who gathered the dust and threw it into the wind or into the rivers. Nothing of them remained.”
One of the Jews, whose job it was to dispose of the remains at the Chelmno death camp, was Simon Srebnik. I’ve never seen Lanzmann’s documentary, but according to Lanzmann, in the opening scene of Shoah, “we see Srebnik being rowed along the Narew river. As the boat eases through calm waters, Srebnik sings, his lovely voice mingling with the sound of the breeze in the summer trees.”
Since Chelmno was the first extermination center where the Jews were gassed, this was the logical place for Lanzmann to start his documentary on the Holocaust. (more…)