Eric Hunt (EH)'s original article ("The End of the Line") is here:
There is an archived copy here:
Where did they go?
Of course this [Arthur Butz's book] doesn’t explain Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor, where we know the names of entire Jewish communities shipped to these sites and never seen again...
Holocaust researcher Roberto Muehlenkamp’s offer of a financial reward for proof of one Jew transited to the “Russian East”, stopping at Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor is out there for anyone who can find even one Jew out of the approximately 1.5 million alleged “transited” through Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor that fits the proposed Revisionist “transit camp theory.” This potent challenge is proof of how strong the accepted history is and how phenomenally weak and untenable the Revisionist / denier “transit camp” theory is...
Where did those alleged sent to Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor and then to the “Russian East” go, (ignoring the proof of human remains at these sites as deniers do)? Revisionists / deniers can’t name one of their proposed “survivors”...
I too wanted to run this test, but soon ran into practical difficulties. To test the rival hypotheses, we need to know not just the names of communities sent to/through the AR camps, but (a) names of individual people sent to or through the camps and (b) names of individual people who survived the war and then compare them for matches. The extermination thesis implies that there will be no or hardly any matches, the transit camp hypothesis implies that there will be very many. However, I was informed on skepticsinternational forum by an academic authority that there were no names to back up the famous figure from the Richard Korherr report:
Sources:The following numbers were sifted
through the camps in the General
government ............. ........ 1 274 166 Jews
So there was no particular name of a person sent to or through the camp to begin a search. There are names of towns at the Treblinka memorial from which people are said to have been sent to Treblinka. So potentially it would be possible to identify Jewish residents of those towns/shtetls and use those - presuming gaps in the evidence could be filled in somehow. I am not aware of anyone (non-revisionist or revisionist) supplying this data. Does anyone disagree? Does this data exist anywhere? There are the Yad Vashem records of presumed holocaust victims, though they can be created by anyone and are not checked. Does anyone think those would be usable?
We would then have to locate records from after the war from places Jews are known to have traveled to. These potentially could include records from post war Displaced Persons Camps, Soviet or other wartime rehousing/billeting records, or post-war immigration records from Israel, countries on the route to Israel, the USA, Canada, Australia, Argentina, etc. There are numerous changes of name in the case of those who went via Ellis Island to the USA and in the case of those who went to Israel and adopted Hebrew names. I agree that this ought to be done, but where are the resources to do it? Do we even know where the relevant archives are and whether they are publicly accessible or digitized?
EH rightly draws attention to this as a problem, for example in the following paragraphs:
As of now, there is zero hard evidence to support the Revisionist “transit camp theory” and all evidence points to mass homicidal gassings and mass murder by shooting having occurred.
I propose logically, there are these three options :
The Revisionist transit camp theory is correct, and miraculous information / data definitively proving it will eventually turn up.
The Revisionist transit camp theory is correct, but information definitively proving it conclusively will never turn up. “Soviets destroyed the train records, etc.”
The Revisionist transit camp theory is not correct, and information proving it therefore cannot manifest. Jews unable to work and others were actually murdered via gas and bullets at the alleged sites.
There is a fourth alternative, namely that people were never sent there (or not in those numbers) and the Korherr report is factually mistaken. The Korherr report was never published or subject to public scrutiny. Otherwise, I agree with this. EH continues:
I have to cross option 1 off the list as 99.9% unlikely, for the same logical reason Roberto Muehlenkamp offered his reward. There should be some evidence somewhere of even one Jewish survivor passing through Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor, and arriving in the “Russian East” according to the Nazi code term used, highlighted in German demographer Richard Korherr’s report for Himmler. There should be reports of large camps for these Jews unable to work. There should be witnesses for any of this happening. There would have been documentation throughout German, Polish, and other countries’ systems and infrastructures, train records, etc., not only falling in Soviet hands to destroy.
In dismissing option 1, EH is simply predicting the result of a test that has not (as far as I know) been carried out. This is worthless. As for the existence of large camps, this assumes that Jews would be lodged in dedicated camps. However, many people fled the German advance, so it may have been possible to billet people in abandoned or existing property. There would have to have been records of this if it were to be carried out in an ordered way. Now Jews were deported to German administered regions further west with complaints made about the numbers being sent. Presumably then we know what kind of records might survive. There then needs to be extended by documentary/archival searches further East. The HC team say no such records have been found. Revisionists say that evidence of killing on such a scale is weak. To me this is stalemate.
If number 2 is true, this is not good enough to convince the majority, or critical mass, or any logical people of worth. It’s the “I don’t know where they went but they definitely survived!” answer. If approximately 2 million Jews or more were indeed sent to the “Russian East” all evidence points to them never being in contact with their families ever again. Whether they were (theoretically) later shipped off by Stalin to Siberia or starved after being thrown by the Germans into the area of the Pinsk marshes, or lived secret happy lives in Russia or Israel or elsewhere, for all intents and purposes without any proof of life Revisionists have to show, they are “as good as gassed.” They will forever be “as good as gassed” to the people “Revisionists” are trying to convince. These Jews were last seen in N.S. custody. The N.S. are responsible for their apparent murder / disappearance off the face of the earth. Even if the “missing” individual’s specific bone fragments are not identified at the extermination sites, murder convictions are often made without finding the specific bodies, yet are still just. But despite an attempt to hide the evidence, there still are many bone fragments, ashes, and human remains at the mass murder sites.
This moves slightly away from the main issue in confusing what people might believe from what the evidence shows. It sometimes happens - e.g. when a regiment disbands - that no evidence survives of what happened to people afterwards. The logical person of worth would conclude that they don't know what happened. Being "as good as gassed" is not the same thing as being gassed. Being responsible for an "apparent murder" is not the same as being responsible for a murder.
The comparison with a murder trial is useful common ground. Here we return to the usual questions of establishing death (not yet done), then proceeding to motive, opportunity, murder weapon and testimony. Here Eric's article is too short to add anything new.
The following section of EH's article is confused for our purposes, as he combines discussion of Auschwitz with the AR camps although the level of evidence is radically different. He says however:
No primary N.S. war crimes defendant, at the camps, with personal knowledge easily able to prove the extermination camps were merely transit camps ever gave that alternate explanation. Franzl Stangl, Franz Suchomel, Josef Oberhauser, and other primary defendants could have said, “We routinely transited these Jews here, here, and here, (maybe Lviv, Pinsk, and Vilnius) to the locations listed on the supposed “fake” railway signs, what are you talking about gassing?” This never happened. On the contrary, they accepted guilt and did nothing to protest, not even covertly slipping acquitting testimony to a confidant only to be published after their deaths.
There are answers to these points (duress, etc), but it is certainly a weakness of the revisionist case. EH says:
Along the way those rightfully skeptical of mainstream Holocaust falsehoods often find themselves in a community of Revisionists which proclaim an extreme form of mass murder denial. From Auschwitz to Treblinka to Babi Yar, these Revisionists, often called deniers, genuinely believe Jews were not gassed or shot by the hundreds of thousands.
At this time, I realize I was misled by the extreme “Holocaust deniers.” [...] I now oppose denial of these massacres as destructive and counter-productive to “Revisionism’s” own claimed aims. Which are supposedly to repeal anti-free speech laws, restore nationalism and a positive sense of identity to Germany and the West, and to end the Holocaust-guilt complex which has infected Europeans.
This approaches more general issues, so I will close here. I disagree that revisionism's task is to "repeal anti-free speech laws" or "restore nationalism". There are by-products and motivating factors for some but not all. Such considerations have to be kept separate from questions of truth and falsity on both sides.
My own view is that there is prima facie evidence of atrocities by Nazi Germany - though it is strongest for shootings on and behind the Eastern Front - on a par with those of the Soviets and Western Allies. If the transit camp hypothesis were refuted, it would be a significant condemnation of Nazi Germany. Hence, we ought to support further inquiry into it, once there is a book length revisionist treatment of the Einsatzgruppen, which is scheduled for the end of this year.
The Revisionist response to “Where did the Jews unable to work go, and alleged “transited to the Russian East” in accordance with German demographer Richard Korherr’s report for Himmler is “I don’t know.”
This is actually the central issue of “The Holocaust denial debate” version 2017.
I see nothing to disagree with there, save that the absence of work on the Einsatzgruppen is equally significant.
(Later in his article, EH presents a brief non-revisionist account of Treblinka, including the early Polish and Sturdy-Colls investigations, which I do not deal with here.)