Breker wrote:Mr. flimflam tells us:So, in 1949 Orwell did believe the gas vans hoax.
But "so what"?
The point remains that Orwell rejected the preposterous "gas chambers" which allegedly killed about 4,000,000 Jews and X,000,000 others.
Not to mention the even higher numbers that were being claimed.
While, at that time, he accepted the equally preposterous "gas vans" which are said to have killed perhaps 500,000 total.
We rather think his rejection of so many millions of falsely claimed murders is quite a revisionist position for the post war 1940s.
I understand it more as insisting on people question the news they are fed. Not necessarily taking a stance on whether something occurred or not.
Also, I think that context matters:
One has no way of verifying the facts, one is not even fully certain that they have happened, and one is always presented with totally different interpretations from different sources. What were the rights and wrongs of the Warsaw rising of August 1944? Is it true about the German gas ovens in Poland? Who was really to blame for the Bengal famine? Probably the truth is discoverable, but the facts will be so dishonestly set forth in almost any newspaper that the ordinary reader can be forgiven either for swallowing lies or failing to form an opinion. The general uncertainty as to what is really happening makes it easier to cling to lunatic beliefs. Since nothing is ever quite proved or disproved, the most unmistakable fact can be impudently denied.
https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/o/orwell ... tionalism/
George Orwell was disillusioned by Communism/Socialism over their totalitarian tendency. What his knowledge about psychological warfare was, I do not know. But he certainly doubted propaganda stemming from governments and disseminated via the press or radio at that time.