Arno Mayer - Revisionist

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Guptalicious
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Arno Mayer - Revisionist

Postby Guptalicious » 1 decade 5 years ago (Tue Dec 02, 2003 3:09 pm)

One argument against revisionists is that "nobody" is a revisionist except for the "nobodies" who are revisionists.

Not so.

In an earlier post today, I pointed to several German historians who have supported revisionists and or revisionist views, and I also happened to mention Arno Mayer, professor emeritus of history at Princeton.

Checking the logs, I see he has been mentioned previously. Here are some quotes for Mayer's "Why Did the Heavens Not Darken" (1988)

"Most of what is known [on homicidal gassings] is based on the depositions of Nazi officials and executioners at postwar trials and on the memory of survivors and bystanders. This testimony must be screened carefully, since it can be influenced by subjective factors of great complexity."

In other words, it is all unreliable.

"... From 1942 to 1945, certainly at Auschwitz, but probably overall, more Jews were killed by so-called 'natural' causes than by 'unnatural' ones."

This flies into the face of Holocaust history, and is clearly revisionist in nature. If more died from natural than unnatural causes, that is, hunger or disease or whatever rather than being killed, and if according to Hilberg, only about 1.7 million died outside of shooting and gas chambers, then we are looking at an almost 50% reduction in the six million right there.

"Sources for the study of the gas chambers are at once rare and unreliable"

Exactly what revisionists have said.

"There is no denying the many contradictions, ambiguities, and errors in the existing sources."

Exactly what revisionists have said.

The "refutation" of Mayer's status as a revisionist is that he goes on to say that he doesn't know when the order to build the gas chambers was given, and therefore he believes in them. Well, fine. But he doesn't say how much he believes in either, except by the inferences of the above quotations.

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Postby trtsk » 1 decade 5 years ago (Tue Dec 02, 2003 11:18 pm)

Unlike many people on both sides of the Holocaust aisle I actually own Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? If you could provide page numbers I might actually be able to contextualize these quotes.

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Postby Guptalicious » 1 decade 5 years ago (Tue Dec 02, 2003 11:34 pm)

All of these quotes come from about page 360 plus.

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Postby trtsk » 1 decade 5 years ago (Tue Dec 02, 2003 11:51 pm)

I'll look into them. Thanks.

Tom

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Postby Guptalicious » 1 decade 5 years ago (Wed Dec 03, 2003 12:01 am)

All of the Mayer quotes come from pages 362-265, in this entire section Mayer gives a muted version of the standard story while at the same time constantly stressing how much remains unknown.

He wrote his book in 1988, and none of the things he suggested - open Soviet archives, forensic tests at camp sites - has definitively answered any of the many questions he raises.

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Postby Sailor » 1 decade 5 years ago (Wed Dec 03, 2003 10:09 am)

Why do I get the odd feeling, that it is Mr. trtsk who does not own Mayer's book?
:D

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Postby Dan Cullum » 1 decade 5 years ago (Wed Dec 03, 2003 2:30 pm)

Tom,
Arno Mayer being Jewish, how do you feel about his statement that more Jews died of natural causes than unnatural?

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Postby trtsk » 1 decade 5 years ago (Wed Dec 03, 2003 7:43 pm)

Sailor wrote:Why do I get the odd feeling, that it is Mr. trtsk who does not own Mayer's book?


You are accusing me of lying. Do not do that again. The book is less than a yard away from me. On page 480 the fourth full reference on the page is by Meir Korzen. It is an article from Yad Vashem Studies.

Moderator, please be sure that Sailor does not accuse me of lying again.

Tom

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Postby trtsk » 1 decade 5 years ago (Wed Dec 03, 2003 8:11 pm)

Dan Cullum wrote:Tom,
Arno Mayer being Jewish, how do you feel about his statement that more Jews died of natural causes than unnatural?


I'm not sure why his being Jewish is an issue but I'll answer.

What I'm seeing in leafing through his book and trying to understand what he considers to be a natural cause is that this is a standard functionalist version of the Holocaust. No harm in that.

I'm gathering that Mayer means by natural causes deaths from causes other than gunshot, hanging, gas chamber or being injected with phenol and that's how he begins the section on page 365.

What I can't figure is how Mayer comes to the conclusion that more Jews died from other causes than from murder. He mentions the Hungarian deportations in 1944. That would account for roughly a quarter or a third of all the dead at Auschwitz according to the standard historians.

So I'm still working it out in my head.

Here's a good quote from Mayer

Both radical skepticism and rigid dogmatism about the exact processes of extermination and the exact number of victims are the bane of sound historical interpretation.


Something to think about.

Tom

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Postby Dan Cullum » 1 decade 5 years ago (Wed Dec 03, 2003 8:18 pm)

As far as his being Jewish is concerned, I believed when I first read this quote that it seemed to have more credibility. In other words, my impression was that his words in context of this were compelling reason to investigate his claim. It was reading about Jewish revisions of Auschwitz figures, Joseph Burg, Arno Mayer, and David Cole (who has since recanted) that caused me to be interested in Revisionism.

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Postby Sailor » 1 decade 5 years ago (Wed Dec 03, 2003 9:28 pm)

You are accusing me of lying. Do not do that again. The book is less than a yard away from me. On page 480 the fourth full reference on the page is by Meir Korzen. It is an article from Yad Vashem Studies.

Moderator, please be sure that Sailor does not accuse me of lying again.

Tom

Well, in that case you should have no problem to check out the quotations.

Do they?

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Postby trtsk » 1 decade 5 years ago (Thu Dec 04, 2003 1:44 pm)

Do they appear in the book? Yes. They make up fewer than four pages in a 465 page book.

I mentioned that Mayer's argument was functionalist and I was attacked. I already proved by citing something that only ownership of the book would be able to prove and still I'm attacked.

Mayer has long section on the Reinhard camps which he says were specifically designed for killing. Somehow no one ever mentions that.

Tom

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Postby Sailor » 1 decade 5 years ago (Thu Dec 04, 2003 3:22 pm)

I don't own the book but plan to purchase a copy. I am also very much interested in the Reinhard camps.

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Postby Guptalicious » 1 decade 5 years ago (Thu Dec 04, 2003 7:53 pm)

Tom, I agree about the quote you provided.

Radical skepticism and rigid dogmatism are both to be avoided.

It's true that to the extent revisionists claim their findings are set in stone, they are being radical skeptics. Yet the other side of the coin is that the establishment is terribly rigid, and can't even allow itself for an instant to entertain that some of its cherished beliefs are untrue.

For example, the recent Piper article contained a comment to the effect that one million people died at Auschwitz, and this number isn't going to change. This is a ridiculous thing for someone to say who claims to be a historian.

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Postby Hannover » 1 decade 5 years ago (Thu Dec 04, 2003 8:11 pm)

trtsk says:
Mayer has long section on the Reinhard camps which he says were specifically designed for killing. Somehow no one ever mentions that.


Then let me mention this:

The problem here is that neither Mayer or trtsk can substantiate the claims about the Reinhard Camps. Revisionists are all over that topic, as usual.

I challenge trtsk to start a new thread on the topic or post to an existing one.

- Hannover
If it can't happen as alleged, then it didn't.


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