|A Survivor Speaks Out|
I read the article in The Washington Post, concerning your book. Although I am not a historian, my experiences in Auschwitz (Prisoner A-9867) and other concentration/labor camps qualify me to comment about the controversy. (See http://www.hpn.org/pazpax/pazholocaust.html.)
The bombing of Auschwitz would not have prevented the Holocaust of the Hungarian Jews. First of all, Auschwitz was a camp for working prisoners (including me), many of them Jews, who would have been killed without stopping the killings that took place in Birkenau. In 1944 precision bombing, needed to destroy the gas chambers and the crematoriums, did not exist. It would have been possible to destroy the railroad tracks that led to Birkenau. But the genocide machinery could have functioned even without the gas chambers and crematoriums.
Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, in his book " Auschwitz" describes the primitive, but still efficient methods of mass murdering. The trains carrying the Hungarian Jews passed through the mountainous terrain of Slovakia. At locations selected for this purpose, the trains would have been unloaded. The victims would have been led by the Sonderkommando to be undressed, and then pushed between the SS troops waiting. The SS soldiers would then shoot their bullets into the necks of the unfortunates, instantly killing them. The murdered victims would be hurled into the flames of huge pyres, fed by the wood harvested from the trees readily available. The cooperation of the nearby Slovak peasants for collecting and delivering the wood needed could have been obtained. The victims' possessions, left in the the box cars of the trains, could have been traded for the wood delivered.
The above described process was actually used in Birkenau, when the large number of victims exceeded the capacity of the gas chambers and crematoriums (see pages 69-71 of Dr. Nyiszli's book).
The controversy you created with your book shows that emotions can interfere with logical reasoning. The fifty-five historians criticizing you should spend more time doing research about how the Holocaust could have been initiated and conducted by Germany, supposedly one of the centers of European "civilization." I have done this -- see http://www.hpn.org/publications/holocaust.html
Peter A. Zuckerman
Human Progress Network ( http://www.hpn.org)
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