Jean-Claude Pressac: A Revisionist?

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Dan Cullum
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Jean-Claude Pressac: A Revisionist?

Postby Dan Cullum » 1 decade 6 years ago (Wed Dec 17, 2003 7:36 pm)

Pressac had his own ideas regarding the Auschwitz death toll; this is where as an anti-Revisionist, he was atypical. In the German version of his second book, his conclusion was 630,000 to 710,000.

In an interview with Valerie Igounet, he gave the following numbers:

Chelmo: 80,000 to 85,000 instead of 150,000
Belzec: 100,000 to 150,000 instead of 550,000
Sobibor: 30,000 to 35,000 instead of 200,000
Treblinka: 200,000 to 250,000 instead of 750,000
Majdanek: fewer than 100,000 instead of 360,000

The five camps mentioned, in his lowest estimates, are approximately 510,000 instead of 2,010,000. Together with his Auschwitz revision from 1.5 million (1.1 million of them Jews), subtracting the relatively few non-Jewish causualities from the other five camps, Pressac differs by roughly 2,000,000 in his lowest estimates.

This is a dramatic decrease to 4,000,000 Jewish causualties according to the commonly held 6,000,000 figure, but if one subtracts from Raul Hilberg's 5.1 million, then the number dramatically decreases to 3.1 million. While these are rough estimates, I still believe that there is room to argue that Pressac may well not be what is referred to as an Exterminationist.

I am curious as to whether he has any absolute proselytes who accept all of his beliefs, including the abovementioned. A question that I have is whether or not anyone thinks Pressac is a Revisionist of some kind.

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Postby Hannover » 1 decade 6 years ago (Wed Dec 17, 2003 8:13 pm)

Pressac lowered his number for Auschwitz to between 630,000 - 710,000.
Still hopelessly absurd and unsupportable.

There are those who think he was playing the 'salami' Revisionist game...piece by piece the stupid story gets cut down. There was so much in his work that shot down the standard story that one has to wonder.

see additional info here:
http://vho.org/tr/2003/1/Faurisson17-23.html

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Postby Sailor » 1 decade 6 years ago (Wed Dec 17, 2003 11:22 pm)

Dan Cullum wrote: I am curious as to whether he has any absolute proselytes who accept all of his beliefs, including the abovementioned. A question that I have is whether or not anyone thinks Pressac is a Revisionist of some kind.

It looks like it.

I wonder where Pressac got those numbers from, I had the impression, that he was specializing more on Auschwitz/Birkenau.

In that interview with Valerie Igounet he allegedly said, according to her:

"Pfusch, Übertreibung, Auslassung und Lüge kennzeichnen die meisten Berichte jener Epoche. Es werden unvermeidlich neue Dokumente ans Licht kommen, welche die offizielle Gewißheit immer mehr erschüttern werden. Die scheinbar triumphierende, gegenwärtige Darstellung des Holocaust ist dem Untergang geweiht. Was wird man davon retten können? Recht wenig… Es ist zu spät!"

("Botched up jobs, exaggerations, omissions and lies characterize most reports from that time. It is unavoidable, that new documents will come to light, which will shake up the official certainty more and more. The apparent triumphant present description of the Holocaust is doomed to demise. What can be saved from it? Very little…It is too late!")

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Postby Hebden » 1 decade 6 years ago (Thu Dec 18, 2003 3:31 pm)

Dan Cullum wrote: In an interview with Valerie Igounet, he gave the following numbers:

Chelmo: 80,000 to 85,000 instead of 150,000
Belzec: 100,000 to 150,000 instead of 550,000
Sobibor: 30,000 to 35,000 instead of 200,000
Treblinka: 200,000 to 250,000 instead of 750,000
Majdanek: fewer than 100,000 instead of 360,000


Did you garner this information from the interview itself? If not, from where?

A question that I have is whether or not anyone thinks Pressac is a Revisionist of some kind.


Most of what we know about Mr. Pressac comes from the acidic pen of Mr. Faurisson. Here is his side of the story:

I shall forgo counting the number of times that Pressac attacks the Revisionists in general and me in particular. Mark Weber writes:

Pressac does not seem to be a psychologically sound person. For example, he confesses that he "nearly" killed himself in the Auschwitz main camp in October 1979 (p. 537). His relationship with Dr. Faurisson and French Revisionist publisher Pierre Guillaume -- to which he devotes several pages -- changed from a kind of admiration to bitter personal animosity. He cites nothing about Faurisson's treatment of him that would justify such visceral enmity, even granting the intensity of his disagreement about the Holocaust issue. The emotional and even vicious nature of Pressac's furious hostility towards Faurisson suggests an insecure and unstable personality ("Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers," The Journal of Historical Review, Summer 1990, p. 231-237).

Here I must provide an explanation. Pressac has a specific reason for not liking me: in the early 1980s, I was led to show him to the door of the home of Pierre Guillaume (where he had come to see us once more without announcing his arrival beforehand). That is the kind of humiliation which is not forgotten, especially by someone who, afflicted with a sense of inferiority, seeks approval, fishes for compliments, offers his services insistently and wishes to be taken seriously. Pressac ended up exhausting my patience. His obsequiousness, his mental confusion, his panicky fears, his horror of clarity and of unequivocal positions, his propensity to lie and to cheat made his visits more and more undesirable. He makes no allusion to that humiliating episode in his book; on the contrary, he states that in March or April 1981 he took the initiative and "broke completely with Faurisson" (p. 554). That is quite simply false. He was ushered to the door, and, I must say, in no uncertain terms.

Jean-Claude Pressac was an admirer of Hitler, of Degrelle and of militaria. He had a bust of Hitler in his home, in a place of honor, and, fearing our reaction at the time of a visit to his home, had forewarned Guillaume and myself about it, not without some apprehension. He had dreamt of writing a novel showing the victory of his hero and the triumph of National Socialism (see, in this regard, p. 541). He had been educated at the military academy of La Fleche and, according to Guillaume, himself a former student at that establishment, had in 1959 received a reprimand from the school's administration due to a sketch of Nazi inspiration that he had displayed at the time of a school celebration. He said that he was a supporter of Pierre Sidos, a French far-rightist. The extreme right, or what is called that, has, side by side with strong personalities (as in the case of Leon Degrelle), poor wretches who admire force since they are weak. Such was the fact with Pressac who, moreover, had certain medical problems which, I must say, increased my pity for him.
Guillaume devoted several pages to Pressac in his book Droit et histoire (La Vieille Taupe, 1986, p. 118-125). I recommend reading those pages, which are both lively and penetrating.

Before meeting us, Pressac believed in the gas chambers. I showed him my documentation. He was staggered by it, and recognized his error. Believing he knew how to read the plans that I had discovered in the archives of the Auschwitz Museum, he offered us his services. Half-serious, half-mocking, we took to calling him "Schliemann," from the name of the discoverer of the ruins of Troy. Pressac had a peculiar habit: at each encounter, his first words were: "I've blown it." He "blew it" -- he made a mistake -- repeatedly. Easily influenced, easily anguished, he perpetually changed his opinion on details and each time adopted the most peremptory tone in articulating his thesis of the day. Another of his eccentricities: as soon as the simplest question put him in a quandary (and his life was a perpetual quandary), he would answer: "Yes/No." Not: "Yes and no" but, in a single breath: "Yes/No." And it was impossible for him to clarify his answer, which served him as a refuge, as with a child caught being naughty. He had the irritating habit of pretending, from one minute to the next, that he hadn't said what he had just said. I invited him accordingly to record our conversations with a tape recorder to avoid misunderstandings. With childish fear, offering no explanation, he refused to be recorded.

But he no longer believed in the gas chambers. He began to feel called to be a Revisionist; wishing it is not enough, however. My life and that of Pierre Guillaume became more and more difficult. Pressac grew frantic. The cumulative effects of the trials and of the attacks of all sorts, the progressive deterioration of my physical health, our financial problems, a general atmosphere of doom (it should be recalled here what happened at the time of the blast on the "Rue Copernic," much worse than that of the "Carpentras cemetery" (13) left our neophyte more and more feverish and hesitant. He pleaded with me to give up so dangerous an enterprise. For his part, he began to take his distance from us. "Jewish friends" had made him understand that there were limits to skepticism which could not be transgressed (p. 548). Upon reading the plans of Auschwitz and Birkenau that I had furnished him in abundance, he saw well enough that the gassings were impossible. But, you never know, he began to say, perhaps there really did take place here and there a few small homicidal gassings, discreet, furtive, improvised: what he called "casual," or "itty-bitty," gassings.

Before his first departure for Auschwitz, following our meeting, he had asked me what research he could undertake there for me. I had told him that I was interested in the question of the cremations: the officially recorded number of the bodies incinerated; status of persons cremated (inmates/guards/German soldiers and officers and members of their families); number of employees assigned to cremation of corpses and to the incinerations in the rubbish ovens; the duration of the cremations; time cards, etc.). I thought, as a matter of fact, that those numbers alone would be enough to demonstrate the impossibility of the stupendous number of cremations that would have been required by the gassing of hundreds of thousands of victims, over and above the cremations necessitated by the ravages of the epidemics in the camp.

On his return from Auschwitz, Pressac told me with an air of embarrassment that he had not found the time to occupy himself with the question that interested me. He had had too much work to do, and then, he added, a young Polish girl had taken a great deal of his time: innocent boasting by the timid.

Before his second journey to Auschwitz, he asked me the same question and I gave him the same answer. Upon his return, he again stated that he had not had the time to undertake the necessary research. Let me note here parenthetically that in his large book Pressac continues to evade my questions (see, below, Appendix 2, "How Many Cremations a Day in Krema II?," p. 166-167).

Pressac wound up by telling us that he no longer wanted to take sides between the Revisionists and the Exterminationists. He said he wished to have relations with both camps and to content himself with purely technical work. I encouraged him in that path and, in a dedication the text of which he reports (p. 554) but the context of which he distorts, I urged him to seek, to discover, to be cold, impartial and materialistic. But that was too much to ask of him. Finding that he was unable to buckle down to methodical and austere work that would have let him put a bit of order into his thoughts, I sent him on his way. I had introduced him to the study of the supposed gas chamber at Struthof (Alsace). Later on, he published, under the auspices of Serge Klarsfeld, a small book in English - poor and confused - on the subject. I see that, in his large book, he treats the subject anew. But he takes care not to reveal a discovery I had made virtually in his presence when, at the Palace of Justice in Paris, together with Pierre Guillaume and Maitre Eric Delcroix, we examined the archives of the "Struthof trial," archives provided at LICRA's request by the headquarters, in Paris, of the Gendarmerie and Justice Militaire. In those archives I found a document revealing that in December 1945 Professor Rene Fabre, Dean of the faculty of pharmacy at the University of Paris, had signed an expert report of the greatest interest. The professor had successively examined the scrapings done around the chimney of the alleged homicidal gas chamber and, in the public hospital of Strasbourg, the well-preserved corpses of the persons supposedly gassed. His finding in both cases was negative: there was no trace of gassing.

In reality, that particular gas chamber, which was only relatively air-tight, had served chiefly for the training of German army recruits in the wearing of gas masks; in that case, the gas presented nowhere near the same danger as hydrocyanic acid (Zyklon B). Pressac had been happy to be able to demonstrate that for us. He had gone to take some photos of a training session in a French army gas chamber not far from Paris. I have a set of those photographs.

Three Little Secrets of Jean-Claude Pressac

A legend that is dear to the heart of Elie Wiesel, Filip Müller and Georges Wellers maintains that the Germans dug gigantic pits at Birkenau in which they burned thousands of bodies in the open air. I had drawn Pressac's attention to the fact that the Birkenau camp was located in an area of vast marshes alongside a tributary of the Vistula River and that despite their drainage work there, the water table continued of necessity to rise to just a short distance below ground level (14). It was difficult, therefore, to imagine such pits being dug, and I added that in any case it must have been complicated to burn corpses in pits due to the lack of oxygen. Then Pressac, whom I was always advising to get physical verification, dug a small hole in his garden and tried to incinerate the body of a rabbit. He never succeeded. When we visited the site of his "incineration ditch," he was full of quips about the myth of the "incineration ditches" at Birkenau, and the tale of the rabbit became for us a standing joke.

Visitors to Struthof can see, on the one hand, the Natzweiler camp itself, with its crematorium and, far from the camp, a small building containing the supposed homicidal gas chamber. Pressac pointed out to me that, IF THEY HAD DECIDED TO LIE ABOUT NATZWEILER AS THEY HAD LIED ABOUT AUSCHWITZ (sic), they could have made people believe there was a homicidal gas chamber in the crematorium. To prove it, he made up for me a sort of false plan of that building, based on the true plan that we had discovered in the archives of the Gendarmerie and the justice Militaire. I still have that false plan, drawn by Pressac and bearing his explanatory notes. He doesn't breathe a word of this little job in his large book.

I also have, by Pressac, a two-volume study which he entitled Auschwitz, architecture paisible (Auschwitz, Peaceful Architecture). It concerns Krema IV and V. It is extremely disordered and has never been published. My copy is marked No. 2. The dedication page is laughable: Pressac, offering his services to all comers, launches into flattery addressed to certain Exterminationists as well as certain Revisionists. I come in for my share of these compliments, which are laid on too thick to be sincere.

A Few Borrowings and A Few Lies

In his shorter studies, as in his big book, Pressac has plundered my work outrageously. He is indebted to me for a large part of the plans, documents and photographs that he has published; the reminder comprises, most of the time, plans, documents, and photographs from the same source or of an identical character. Only the photos from the Bauleitung Album, which is in the possession of the Israelis, are an original contribution.

The baseness of Pressac's attacks on me, his deceptions and lies in the presentation of certain facts, would oblige me to correct far too many of his allegations than I am able to here. I am described as a coward, too afraid, "of course," to appear at my trial (p. 554); but he knows I was seriously ill at the time. He says that one day, in 1982, he telephoned me and found me a "human wreck"; he writes: "I was shocked and disgusted to find [Faurisson] had reached rock bottom, dragging his family down with him" (p. 558). It is true that in 1981 and 1982 I believed I had reached the depths of physical, moral and financial distress, and that my wife and children shared that distress with me; I did not for all that speak of my "martyrdom" (Ibid.) and I do not see what is "shocking" and "disgusting" about my fighting as I did to the limit of my strength. I frightened Pressac. I had always frightened him by my fierceness in defending myself and by my refusal to bow my head.

He ventures to write:

Confronted with the new evidence, Faurisson and Guillaume had a moment of indecision, seeing the possibility of throwing in the sponge and officially declaring that it did appear that some homicidal gassings had taken place at Birkenau (p. 554).

Here, he lies and he knows that he lies, at least as regards me. He never presented me with the slightest proof of what he called the "casual gassings"; and I personally have never considered the possibility of a retraction of any kind. (15) Pressac knows that the trials that were forced on me and that brought me condemnations unprecedented in the contemporary history of France were nothing but stage productions, and that the documents with which they tried to crush me were valueless. He knows it and he says it, whether explicitly, as when he alludes to the role of Maitre Jouanneau, the LICRA lawyer, or implicitly, when he happens to analyze a "proof" used against "Faurisson" at the time of a trial and admits that said "proof" does not possess the value attributed to it in the slightest (p. 49, 554-556).

[...]

I know Revisionists who, confronting a thesis so disastrous for Exterminationism, wonder whether Pressac could be one of their own, and working undercover, have hoodwinked the Klarsfelds. I don't believe that in the least. Pressac is a neophyte, an autodidact, an innocent crossed with a fox. His personality is unstable; he is inconsistent, a weathercock that turns with every wind. He argues illogically and does not know how to express himself either in speech or writing - a deficiency that would be merely annoying in the exposition of a coherent thesis, but which here, with an incoherent and hybrid thesis, becomes absolutely catastrophic. Pressac isn't wearing any mask; it is his real face which we find disconcerting. For their part, the Klarsfelds lack discernment; they are even blind. They find it "normal" that, in certain cases, persons who displease the Jewish community should be killed or seriously injured (Radio J, 17 September 1989, Agence France Press, 1:36PM; La Lettre télégraphique Juive, 18 September, p. 1; Le Monde, 19 September, p. 14). The anguish of Serge and Beate Klarsfeld at the rise of Revisionism -- despite their awareness that it has access neither to money nor to the public forum -- is causing them to lose their judgement and their self-control. To the Klarsfelds, all means seem justified; every assistance is welcome; any media operation can serve. Pressac, driven away by Faurisson, dismissed by Wellers, went on to offer his services to the Klarsfelds. He was hired. This tedious tome must have cost them plenty. But, if friends of the Klarsfelds paid for it dearly in money, its results will cost them even more, which will be fatal for the Exterminationists and providential for the Revisionists




http://vho.org/aaargh/engl/FaurisArch/RF9103xx2.html

Regarding the Igounet interview, Mr. Faurisson has this to say:

Jean-Claude Pressac's contribution

The last forty pages of the book contain an "interview with Jean-Claude Pressac." I recommend this to the reader. Never has anyone in the exterminationist camp gone so far in what seems nearly a repudiation of the orthodox cause. Jean Pierre-Bloch is denounced for his "hysterical statements" about the revisionists (p. 623). At Auschwitz, at the start of his on-site investigation, J.-C. Pressac began "to obtain results which were at variance with the Communist history of the camp" (p. 625). He deplores "a farrago of testimonies, unusable because lacking in historical alertness" (p. 627). In regard to Serge Klarsfeld, he voices "reservations about his activity, reservations which were to become stronger and stronger over the years" (p. 634). In the anti-revisionist law of 1990, he sees a "reactionary Communist idiocy" (p. 638). He accuses Pierre Vidal-Naquet of being, on the subject of the number of Hungarian Jews deported during the war, among those "who know nothing about it" (p. 641). Danuta Czech, speaking for the Auschwitz State Museum, is found "guilty of historical fakery" (p .643). The accounts of Georges Wellers "are no longer worth anything, which does not stop the Poles from using [his] faulty results as a `serious' reference" (p. 644). P. Vidal-Naquet that man again behaves "hypocritically" and can at times be "lamentable and useless" (p. 646) ; he "may be compared to a hollow weather vane spinning in the wind of publications and current events because he himself has not undertaken any basic research upon which to support his peremptory and moralistic declarations" (p. 647). Moving along in stride, J.-C. Pressac reminds us that, contrary to so many alleged eyewitness accounts of the thick smoke of the crematoria, "the Topf incineration ovens gave off no smoke, and neither did those of the competing firms []. Certain photographs of the euthanasia centres under the control of the T4 action show them with a profusion of smoke rising into the sky and purportedly proving that the corpses of recently killed mental patients were being burned inside. These are crude photographic forgeries" (p. 648). In former times J.-C. Pressac used to set great store by the drawings of the alleged eyewitness David Olère ; it is worth seeing how he reveals to us here the secret of this "witness's" hoaxes (p. 649-650). The end of the Pressac interview is of plainly revisionist inspiration. Reading it one sees that, for him, the dossier on the concentration camp system is nothing less than "rotten" ("pourri"). The word is that of the late historian Michel de Boüard, a wartime deportee whose intercession in 1986 on behalf of the revisionist Henri Roques had caused something of a stir. J.-C. Pressac acknowledges his authorship of that remark and adds :

Can things be put right? It is too late. A general rectification is humanly and materially impossible []. New documents will inevitably emerge and disrupt the official certainties more and more. The present version of the camp world, though triumphant, is doomed. What will be salvaged? Little (p. 652).

In the opinion of J.-C. Pressac, we have before us an enormous lie, which, for his part, he imputes to the Communists. In this interview, he also attacks the revisionists, yet with them it is not very clear what, of any gravity, he can find fault; indeed it is for the upholders of the orthodox view that he keeps his sharpest gibes.

The closing words of the interview, which, as it happens, are also the closing words of V. Igounet's book, evoke the "wastebins of History". For whom or for what are these wastebins reserved? For the writings of the revisionists or, as is said here, the "negationists"? Not at all! They are reserved for the "rotten" dossier of concentration camp history in which, according to S. Klarsfeld's former recruit, more care has been taken to defend the lies than to establish the facts.


http://vho.org/aaargh/engl/FaurisArch/RF000505.html[/quote]

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Postby Dan Cullum » 1 decade 6 years ago (Thu Dec 18, 2003 4:01 pm)

Hebden writes:

Did you garner this information from the interview itself? If not, from where?


I apologize for neglegting to cite my source. No, I did not garner this information from the interview itself, but indirectly from the following article: Jean-Claude Pressac and Revisionism by Jurgen Graf (The Revisionist v. 1 #4)

I know Revisionists who, confronting a thesis so disastrous for Exterminationism, wonder whether Pressac could be one of their own, and working undercover, have hoodwinked the Klarsfelds. I don't believe that in the least.


I did not quite mean it in this context. Perhaps a better term would be Reductionist. My point is that he seems atypical of pure anti-Revisionists at times to the point of being possibly considered some kind of a Revisionist.


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