MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

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MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby derekp78 » 1 month 4 weeks ago (Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:41 am)

Hoffman's The Great Holocaust Trial is a fantastic work on the Ernst Zündel trials. Those were among the few occasions where eyewitnesses to the gas chambers were subject to real cross-examination.

However, I think I may have found a mistake in the book that would be worth correcting in a later edition.

When Hoffman is describing Raul Hilberg's testimony, he states that the infamous Kurt Gerstein affidavit was the main source for Hilberg's Auschwitz gassing narrative in The Destruction of the European Jews.

I researched this in 3 different versions of Hilberg's book (1961, 1985, and 2003). Gerstein is cited regarding Auschwitz, but there are several citations to other sources, and Gerstein isn't even the main one. Revisionist Thomas Dalton (Debating the Holocaust: A New Look at Both Sides) actually praises Hilberg for avoiding Gerstein where others relied on him:

– Gerstein’s estimate of total deaths at Belzec and Treblinka is ridiculous: “At Belcek [sic] and Treblinka nobody bothered to take anything approaching an exact count of the persons killed. … Actually, about 25,000,000 persons were killed…” (in Butz 2015: 328; this claim deleted by Arad). Compare to my assumed total for the two camps of 1.4 million.

Arad (pp. 102f.) makes passing reference to Gerstein’s “exaggerations,” but still deems him “reliable”—until he ignores him altogether three years later. Mainstream historian Michael Tregenza, an expert on Belzec, has likewise abandoned him:

"Based on the current state of our research, we must also designate Gerstein’s material on Belzec as questionable, even belonging to the realm of fantasy in some places. … [his account, along with Reder’s], regarding the Belzec camp must be considered to be unreliable." (2000; cited in Rudolf 2011: 372)

To his credit, Hilberg has essentially ignored Gerstein’s statement from the start. From the 1961 first edition of his book through 2003, he allots only one brief paragraph to it.


This is important because Hilberg was forced to admit on the stand that Gerstein's affidavit was unreliable. Someone reading Hoffman's book without access to Hilberg's work may come away with a mistaken impression that the entire gas chamber narrative at Auschwitz was refuted by cross-examining a single witness. The truth is a bit more nuanced. Hilberg's testimony certainly damaged the narrative, but the real bombshells came when all of the eyewitnesses for the prosecution were picked apart by Zündel's team, and countered by defense eyewitnesses who told a very different story about what took place during their captivity.

I know Hoffman is a member of this forum but I can't seem to get the PM system to send him a message, so I would like to hear his thoughts on this.

I still highly recommend his outstanding book. It really opened my eyes to the importance of what took place in those trials.



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Re: MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby Breker » 1 month 4 weeks ago (Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:07 pm)

derekp posted:
This is important because Hilberg was forced to admit on the stand that Gerstein's affidavit was unreliable. Someone reading Hoffman's book without access to Hilberg's work may come away with a mistaken impression that the entire gas chamber narrative at Auschwitz was refuted by cross-examining a single witness. The truth is a bit more nuanced. Hilberg's testimony certainly damaged the narrative, but the real bombshells came when all of the eyewitnesses for the prosecution were picked apart by Zündel's team, and countered by defense eyewitnesses who told a very different story about what took place during their captivity.

I know Hoffman is a member of this forum but I can't seem to get the PM system to send him a message, so I would like to hear his thoughts on this.

We see that you said something similar at http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda ... /#comments , number 2121.
I will echo the response to that comment. Please give us some quotes from Hoffman's book to support your claims.
Thank you.
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Re: MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby derekp78 » 1 month 4 weeks ago (Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:25 pm)

We see that you said something similar at http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda ... /#comments , number 2121.


Eh?

Anyway, here is the quote. Page 50 from The Great Holocaust Trial

Hilberg testified that his principle concentration was on documents. The principle document upon which Hilber's Extermination theory is based, is the "confession" of SS Obersturmbanfuehrer Kurt Gerstein.... Hilber cites from this document at length (ten times), in his history of the "Holocaust." It is important to note that Hilberg quotes no other "eyewitness" in his book to back up the homicidal gassing claims other than Gerstein. (Gerstein died under mysterious circumstances while awaiting a war crimes trial). Gerstein was the key source for Hilberg's entire thesis.


In my view, all three of the bolded sentences above are problematic, based on my research of three different versions of Hilberg's book, including the original from 1961.

The subchapter "Killing Center Operations" is about 10 pages in the 1961 version. Other sources cited by Hilberg as eyewitnesses to the gassings at Auschwitz are Lengyel's Five Chimneys, Sehn's Oswiecim, Perl's I Was a Doctor at Auschwitz, and Lingens-Reiner's Prisoners of Fear. Nyiszli and others are is cited as well, especially on p. 627.

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Re: MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby Breker » 1 month 4 weeks ago (Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:08 pm)

Hoffman:
Hilberg testified that his principle concentration was on documents. The principle document upon which Hilber's Extermination theory is based, is the "confession" of SS Obersturmbanfuehrer Kurt Gerstein.... Hilber cites from this document at length (ten times), in his history of the "Holocaust." It is important to note that Hilberg quotes no other "eyewitness" in his book to back up the homicidal gassing claims other than Gerstein. (Gerstein died under mysterious circumstances while awaiting a war crimes trial). Gerstein was the key source for Hilberg's entire thesis.

derekp:
In my view, all three of the bolded sentences above are problematic, based on my research of three different versions of Hilberg's book, including the original from 1961.
The subchapter "Killing Center Operations" is about 10 pages in the 1961 version. Other sources cited by Hilberg as eyewitnesses to the gassings at Auschwitz are Lengyel's Five Chimneys, Sehn's Oswiecim, Perl's I Was a Doctor at Auschwitz, and Lingens-Reiner's Prisoners of Fear. Nyiszli and others are is cited as well, especially on p. 627.

But does Hilberg cite those sources "at length, ten times" like Gerstein?
Does Hilberg "quote" those other "eyewitnesses" like he does Gerstein, or does he merely cite them. Not quite the same, actually.
Please clarify. Your assertions in your OP and follow up are not adding up.
It rather looks like "Gerstein was the key source for Hilberg's entire thesis."

Nonetheless, the matter is small potatoes actually. If I may, why does it matter to you?
Thank you.
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Re: MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby Carto's Cutlass Supreme » 1 month 4 weeks ago (Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:50 am)

Maybe there was some mix up by one of the authors regarding who Hilberg cited on the witness stand and who he cited in his book.
Hilber (sic) cites from this document at length (ten times), in his history of the "Holocaust."

Maybe Hilberg gave a history of the holocaust on the witness stand, and cited Gerstein.

Derek: you might find Juergen Graf's book "Giant With a Feet of Clay" interesting. It's a critique of Hilberg's book by a holocaust denier. I'm sure Graf discusses Hilberg's sources regarding the alleged Auschwitz gas chambers.

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Re: MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby Moderator » 1 month 4 weeks ago (Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:13 am)

Carto's Cutlass Supreme wrote:Maybe there was some mix up by one of the authors regarding who Hilberg cited on the witness stand and who he cited in his book.
Hilber (sic) cites from this document at length (ten times), in his history of the "Holocaust."

Maybe Hilberg gave a history of the holocaust on the witness stand, and cited Gerstein.

Derek: you might find Juergen Graf's book "The Giant With Feet of Clay" interesting. It's a critique of Hilberg's book by a holocaust denier. I'm sure Graf discusses Hilberg's sources regarding the alleged Auschwitz gas chambers.

The Giant With Feet of Clay free .pdf:
http://holocausthandbooks.com/dl/03-tgwfoc.pdf
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Re: MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby derekp78 » 1 month 4 weeks ago (Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:20 am)

For those viewing this thread, it's important to note we are only talking about:
1. Eyewitnesses to 2. homicidal gassing operations 3. at Auschwitz.

(That note is mostly for my own recollection when I re-read this thread in the future.)

Getting back to the discussion, I was asked some good questions:

But does Hilberg cite those sources "at length, ten times" like Gerstein?

Lengyel is cited as heavily as Gerstein on this point. The same is true with Nyiszli and Höss (although I'm familiar with the problems with Höss). Sehn is also cited quite a bit, but looking deeper, I now see that Sehn was not an eyewitness, but an investigator who produced his work after the war.

I suppose I could post the relevant pages from Hilberg's book on here, but I wouldn't want to give some eager lawyer a chance to initiate legal process.

Does Hilberg "quote" those other "eyewitnesses" like he does Gerstein, or does he merely cite them. Not quite the same, actually.

Subtle! In the '61 version, most of the citations are in the form of paraphrasing the source's account, including most of Gerstein's. I only see two direct quotes regarding gassings at Auschwitz in the sub-chapter "The Killing Operations", and they're both from Gerstein. One is describing how the Zyklon was ordered, and the second describes bodies being removed from the gas chambers. So you may be technically correct on this point.

But we still have this item:
Gerstein was the key source for Hilberg's entire thesis.


In the context of that paragraph, Hoffman appeared to be referring to the text of the book, not Hilberg's testimony. It seems to me that Gerstein isn't really the key source, because Lengyel is cited at least as often. Also, despite his problems, Höss does appear to be telling a similar story.

Nonetheless, the matter is small potatoes actually. If I may, why does it matter to you?
Thank you.
B.

Hoffman wrote a great historical book, and if there is a way it could be made even better, that would be a good thing in my view.

Derek: you might find Juergen Graf's book "Giant With a Feet of Clay" interesting. It's a critique of Hilberg's book by a holocaust denier. I'm sure Graf discusses Hilberg's sources regarding the alleged Auschwitz gas chambers.

Thank you, I'm actually about half way through it. I'm looking forward to seeing the author address Hilberg's eyewitnesses.

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Re: MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby Pia Kahn » 1 month 4 weeks ago (Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:50 am)

derekp78 wrote:......

In the context of that paragraph, Hoffman appeared to be referring to the text of the book, not Hilberg's testimony. It seems to me that Gerstein isn't really the key source, because Lengyel is cited at least as often. Also, despite his problems, Höss does appear to be telling a similar story.

...

Derek: you might find Juergen Graf's book "Giant With a Feet of Clay" interesting. It's a critique of Hilberg's book by a holocaust denier. I'm sure Graf discusses Hilberg's sources regarding the alleged Auschwitz gas chambers.

Thank you, I'm actually about half way through it. I'm looking forward to seeing the author address Hilberg's eyewitnesses.


Graf wrote a whole book addressing eye witnesses of homicidal gassings in Auschwitz.

http://holocausthandbuecher.com/index.php?page_id=36

The book is highly recommended. It is currently being translated into English and you will have quite a comprehensive critique of eye witness testimony.

Both Hoess and Lengyel are dealt with in this book. Gerstein isn't because he was not an eye witness of Auschwitz. I don't remember whether "The Giant with feet of clay" deals extensively with eye witness testimony.
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Re: MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby Carto's Cutlass Supreme » 1 month 4 weeks ago (Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:27 pm)

It's good to be interested in accuracy and point out inaccuracies, and you can learn alot yourself in the process. But because these authors don't have university funding or perhaps much of any funding, it's often amazing any book came out at all. Not likely there will be a reprint with an error fixed. I'm aware of some errors in my video "One Third of the Holocaust." which I'd like to fix, but not likely to happen anytime soon due to money and time.

Perhaps you see these other sources, like Lengyel and Nyiszli, and wonder "maybe these are credible?" but all I can say is wait till you look at those. The one I remember Hilberg also citing is Filip Müller, and of course when you look into it, his testimony is ridiculous. This forum has a lot on Lengyel and Nyiszli.

What I vaguely remember from my 1961 and 1980's editions of Hilberg is the description of the Auschwitz gas chambers process was not changed. And Hilberg's description of the process was merely page and a half long, where he mentioned a Red Cross vehicle coming with the Zyklon B. The implication that the guards (or the sonderkommando) were using the vehicle for disguise.

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Re: MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby derekp78 » 1 month 4 weeks ago (Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:30 pm)

Carto's Cutlass Supreme wrote:It's good to be interested in accuracy and point out inaccuracies, and you can learn alot yourself in the process. But because these authors don't have university funding or perhaps much of any funding, it's often amazing any book came out at all. Not likely there will be a reprint with an error fixed. I'm aware of some errors in my video "One Third of the Holocaust." which I'd like to fix, but not likely to happen anytime soon due to money and time.

I get that. And after reading the chapter yet again, and comparing it to what Hoffman wrote, I now see how I may have misinterpreted this statement in his book:

Gerstein was the key source for Hilberg's entire thesis.

Perhaps at this point Hoffman was talking about Gerstein being the key source for the gassing narrative at all camps, not just Auschwitz. This would make more sense, because Hilberg's biggest cite to Gerstein is when he is discussing why the Germans supposedly switched to Zyklon after trying carbon monoxide at the other camps.

If that's the case, I made a mistake when limiting Hoffman's words to only describe Auschwitz, where Gerstein isn't a major source. I think I got confused because Dalton was only talking about Auschwitz, whereas Hoffman was describing gass killings in general.

So it looks like I've learned something here. Thank to all of you for helping me step through this, and apologies to Mr. Hoffman if I was premature in my critique.

Perhaps you see these other sources, like Lengyel and Nyiszli, and wonder "maybe these are credible?" but all I can say is wait till you look at those. The one I remember Hilberg also citing is Filip Müller, and of course when you look into it, his testimony is ridiculous. This forum has a lot on Lengyel and Nyiszli.

I just finished the chapter in The Giant with the Feet of Clay that deals with these eyewitnesses. I also have some of their own books so I can check for myself. But based on what I just read in Graf's book, it looks like they've made some pretty impossible statements.

What I vaguely remember from my 1961 and 1980's editions of Hilberg is the description of the Auschwitz gas chambers process was not changed. And Hilberg's description of the process was merely page and a half long, where he mentioned a Red Cross vehicle coming with the Zyklon B. The implication that the guards (or the sonderkommando) were using the vehicle for disguise.

Hilberg skips around a lot between the different camps in the Killing Center Operations chapter, so it's not easy to follow. You're correct about the Red Cross vehicle though.

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Re: MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby Carto's Cutlass Supreme » 1 month 4 weeks ago (Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:31 pm)

Interesting. Glad you're researching all this. Regarding Gerstein being the source for the switch to Zyklon B. That's also Hoess in his Nuremberg testimony, something about he visited the Reinhard camps and found CO was not very efficient or something.

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Re: MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby Horhug » 1 month 1 week ago (Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:35 am)

Michael Hoffman's book, The Great Holocaust Trial is available to read for free at Sribd

Michael A. Hoffman II: The Great Holocaust Trial

Uploaded by adavielchiù

The Inside Story of Ernst Zundel Who Was Prosecuted in Two Criminal Trials, Gagged, Jailed and Assaulted for Publishing a Politically Incorrect History Book.

https://www.scribd.com/document/1374996 ... aust-trial

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Re: MIchael Hoffman vs. Thomas Dalton on Hilberg

Postby Carto's Cutlass Supreme » 1 month 1 week ago (Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:56 pm)

The Inside Story of Ernst Zundel Who Was Prosecuted in Two Criminal Trials, Gagged, Jailed and Assaulted for Publishing a Politically Incorrect History Book.


What a tagline. What was done to that hero and pioneer, was so wrong.


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