BOTH pictures are well known. I have no
comment on the above photo, perhaps other
website experts will write.
"gas chamber" sketch -- which is now oddly
reminiscent of the famous picture of US soldier
Ms. Lyndie England dragging an Iraqi prisoner on
a leash -- was done in 1946 (i.e. postwar,
allegedly "from memory") by French artist
(For further Olère pictures, see my
book for the Lipstadt Trial, and pages 60 et
seq of the pdf
I am not sure whether this particular drawing
featured in the gallery of such
semi-pornographic sketches produced by
Lipstadt's defence witness Professor Robert
Jan Van Pelt as irrefutable evidence for
the disputed existence of the Nazi
mass-factories of death (my trial records were
seized by the British authorities along with all
my other possessions in May 2002).
Those who followed the Lipstadt trial will
recall with what fervor the defence expert Van
Pelt introduced half a dozen of the Olère
sketches, and with what relish they were seized
on by the Court.
We are however entitled to inquire whether
Olère was ever in fact at Auschwitz.
Among this series of sketches, which he
evidently produced for a lucrative and prurient
market in France and Israel in the first years
after the war, were several sketches allegedly
showing the inside of a gas chamber (the
cross-hatching shaded in the background of one
was interpreted by Pelt as being one of the
"wire mesh" column through which the SS guards
dropped their cyanide pellets -- an allegation
which ran up hard against the familiar
"concrete-evidence" problem: the necessary
in the roof described by the "eye witnesses"
do not exist).
Another Olère sketch showed the
exterior of an Auschwitz gas chamber, with
rolling hills in the middle distance; but if
Olère had ever actually been in the camp,
he would have known that the camp was sited on
an alluvial plain between two rivers, and was in
a region of Silesia flatter than Florida, and
flatter even than Calista Flockhart.
As we pointed out to the court at the time,
it was no coincidence that the Olère
sketches featured nubile young females in their
twenties or thirties, obligingly facing the
artist frontally as they passed by, guarded by
SS men with whips, cudgels, and guns and all the
other ritual items of boulevard pornography.
In short, the answer is: Make of the
Olère sketches what you will. I made one
thing, and the highly
paid expert witness Van Pelt and Mr
Justice Gray willingly made another. "So be
it," as Their Lordships have a habit of saying
in their summing up to a jury.