© Focal Point 2001 David Irving
Letters to David Irving on this Website
Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Edwardo of the United Kingdom, writes on Monday, September 24, 2001
Hitler and the Holocaust
Dear Mr. Irving,
I am currently studying Modern European History in my last year of High School and am focusing on the Holocaust debate as my major study.
- 1 Did Hitler give specific orders to carry out the "Final Solution"?
- 2 How many Jews died as a result of the Holocaust?
- 3 Did the Nazis have the capabilities to carry out an extermination of the estimated size?
David Irving answers:
- Nobody has ever found any specific order issued by Hitler to exterminate Europe's Jews. In 1977 I offered a $1,000 reward for any genuine wartime document showing that he was even aware of such a programme, and nobody has yet claimed it. The reward offer still stands.
- Nobody knows for sure. Various people have made various estimates, but these are coloured depending on whether the author of the figure is Jewish or non-Jewish, conformist or revisionist. There is no certain basis for making a calculation, as it depends on the existence of census figures taken at the same time in each country concerned, which don't exist; and on knowing for certain what is meant when we speak of Jews (even the Jews can't agree among themselves on who is technically a "Jew"). Certainly a lot of Jews were killed in many ways during world War II: by shooting squads on the eastern front, and millions died by other means -- including of course the same means that killed non Jews, like starvation, epidemic, bombing, execution, exhaustion, hypothermia, old age, -- i.e. most if not all the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
- Good question. The Nazis, who were good architects, built no state-of-the art execution facilities on slaughterhouse lines. The current version has the Nazis crudely adapting state of the art crematorium facilities, e.g. Crematorium II at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which had been very expensively built as such, into killing centres. But this raises logical questions: If the killing order was issued in the winter of the Wannsee conference, 1941/2, and the construction of Crematorium II did not commence until the following winter, 1942/3, why was it not designed and built as a purpose built killing centre, instead of (allegedly) being converted into one only then, in February 1943 (by knocking Zyklon-B insertion holes through the roof, and installing the famous gas tight door with peephole which convinced Mr Justice Gray, the post-war-generation British judge who had never seen an anti-gas air raid shelter in his life, that this was proof of a homicidal intent). As for the killing squads in the East, Field Marshal Erich von Manstein's defence counsel, R T Paget QC, pointed out at his British-zone war crimes trial in the late 1940s that the motor transport and other logistics available to the SS-Einsatzgruppen concerned would not have been nearly sufficient to conduct a killing campaign on the scale that was alleged (see R T Paget, Manstein, His Campaigns and Trial). So it seems likely that the figures are substantially less than the conformist historians now tout around.