WW2Truth Note: The following article was first published in the Journal of Historical Review in 1993, and it was written by a Missouri Synod Lutheran Pastor, Hermann Otten. Pastor Otten is of German ancestery and argues that belief in the Holocaust promotes hate against Germans and is irresponsible from a Christian standpoint, because as Otten argues, as a Christian, you have a moral obligation to tell the truth. The portion below is excerpted from his lengthy address at the Ninth IHR Conference (1989). The complete text is published in the Fall 1989 Journal under the title, “Christianity, Truth and Fantasy: The Holocaust, Historical Revisionism and Christians Today.”
While most revisionists appear to be opposed to the construction of the [U.S. government] Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, right next to some of our nations’s most cherished monuments, I say: Let it be built! One day it will serve as a monument to the stupidity of modern man, who can still accept a hoax as a fact. Hopefully it will then serve as a reminder to study all the facts and evidence, and repudiate all hoaxes.
The day is surely coming when all the evidence showing that the Germans never exterminated six million Jews can no longer be suppressed. Truth is not determined by majority vote. I learned this lesson in high school, and since then have repeatedly discovered how the majority of scholars, even within our churches, can be in error. That our presidents, senators and congressmen are all supposed to be convinced that the Germans killed six million Jews, that almost all of our nation’s professors and churchmen are said to maintain that the Holocaust is a fact, doesn’t make it a fact.
There is no dispute over the fact that large numbers of Jews were deported to concentration camps and ghettos, or that many Jews died or were killed during World War II. Revisionist scholars have presented evidence, which “exterminationists” have not been able to refute, showing that there was no German program to exterminate Europe’s Jews, and that the estimate of six million Jewish wartime dead is an irresponsible exaggeration.
The Holocaust — the alleged extermination of some six million Jews (most of them by gassing) — is a hoax and should be recognized as such by Christians and all informed, honest and truthful men everywhere.
Here are the reasons that have impressed me as particularly persuasive in coming to my own conclusion that the Revisionist view of the Holocaust story is the correct one:
- There is no convincing or substantial evidence for the allegation of mass killings in gas chambers in the wartime German camps. Careful investigation — in particular that carried out by American engineer Fred Leuchter — has thoroughly discredited the “gas chamber” extermination claims.
- The most reliable statistics available cannot be reconciled with the legendary “six million” figure. The best evidence indicates that no more than a million, or perhaps a million and a half, European Jews perished from all causes during the war years.
- Neither the major Jewish organizations in the United States, nor the wartime Allied governments, nor the International Red Cross, nor the Vatican acted as if they seriously believed the wartime extermination propaganda.
- Although the German government kept extensive and detailed records of its wartime Jewish policy, not a single document has ever been found which substantiates or even refers to an extermination program or policy. Instead, the voluminous German records confiscated by the Allies at the end of the war clearly show that the German “final solution” program was one of emigration and deportation, not extermination.
- Even prominent Jewish “exterminationist” historians now acknowledge that the stories of gassings and extermination in camps in Germany proper are not true, in spite of the fact that such claims were once seriously made, particularly at the great Nuremberg Trial of 1945-1946.
- The Holocaust story now centers on just six former camps in Poland. The so-called “evidence” presented to prove mass exterminations in these camps is qualitatively no better than the now discredited “evidence” once cited for extermination in the camps in Germany proper.
- Much of the co-called “evidence” presented by “exterminationists” over the years has already been thoroughly discredited. For example, the well-known horrific photographs of piles of corpses taken in camps in western Germany at the end of the war are now acknowledged to be photos of victims of disease and malnutrition who perished as indirect victims of the war in the final weeks and months of the conflict. Also, so-called “confessions” — such as those of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Häss — have been shown to be untruthful and extracted by torture. Many of the official reports and testimonies presented as “evidence” by the prosecution in the Nuremberg trials have since been shown to be lies.
- The fact that so many Jews “survived” German rule during the war — many of them even in so-called “extermination” centers such as Auschwitz-Birkenau — is enough to show that there was no German program or policy to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
The Holocaust is a hoax. The time has come for Christian scholars and pastors to recognize this, and to stop perpetrating a hoax as the truth. A Christian is not free to believe and promote a lie about any person or nation. True Christian scholars should at least read what the Revisionists write.
Many have said to us: “What difference does it make? The truth of the Holocaust is of no concern to Christians.” Nonsense! A Christian is not free to believe and promote a lie about any person or nation. A Christian is guided by truth and facts, not emotions and majority opinion.
If Christians can accept as historical fact the Holocaust, despite all the powerful evidence that it is a hoax, what does that say about their ability to evaluate evidence? What about their scholarship? Is it any wonder that some Revisionists, who have made a careful study of the Holocaust, question the scholarship of Christians, so many of whom swallow as absolute truth what is clearly a hoax?
I have been told numerous times, even by theologians who claim to be orthodox: “I don’t care whether it was six million or one Jew, even one is too many.” Such an attitude shows contempt for the truth. A Christian is to show true love, and the Apostle Paul tells us that love is “happy with the truth.” (1 Cor. 13:6) The writing of Proverbs tells us: “Speak out for those who can’t speak, for the rights of those who are doomed. Talk up, render fair decisions, and defend the rights of the poor and needy people.” (Proverbs 31:9)
A Christian bases his faith upon facts and absolute truth, not feelings and emotion. A Christian recognizes that only God is all-knowing. A Christian is willing to listen to evidence and evaluate various viewpoints. He doesn’t close his mind to the facts and evidence. He doesn’t start out with the assumption that the Jew is right and the German is wrong, or that the Jew is wrong and the German is right. He looks at the evidence. Those who say they don’t care if it was six million or one are showing a despicable attitude toward truth. They are saying: “We don’t care about the truth.” Such an attitude is sinful and worldly. Is it any wonder that so many then go on to act as it they don’t care about another man’s wife or property? The truthfulness of the Holocaust is a moral issue. Those who maintain that the Germans exterminated some six million Jews, most of them by gassing, are seeing to it that the Christian Church can no longer avoid speaking out. Churches are being pushed, as never before, to have special services commemorating the Holocaust.
A Christian is ready to change his opinion if the evidence shows he is wrong. Numerous times we have invited “exterminationists” to refute the Revisionists.
Some tell us that we have not shown love to the Jews, and that we are being racists and anti-Semitic when we publish articles by Revisionists questioning the Holocaust, and when we insist that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven.
We have repeatedly emphasized in many editorials that the Bible teaches that there is no special chosen race. All those — regardless of color, race, nationality, sex, wealth, et cetera — who trust in the merits of Jesus Christ alone for their salvation are God’s chosen people and will go to heaven. Those who tell Jews, Muslims, and any other non-Christian that they worship the true God, and can get to heaven without Christ, are not showing true love to the Jews and other non-Christians.
The so-called “fact” of the Holocaust is being used to deport innocent men from this country who, as teenagers, served with the German armed forces. In some cases they have been sent back to certain death in Communist lands. The [US government’s] Office of Special Investigation is using the Holocaust as an excuse to force from the United States even such a reputable person as the scientist Arthur Rudolph.
Israel is using the “fact” of the Holocaust as an excuse to execute John Demjanjuk, an innocent Ukrainian-American. “The Jewish people have a long score to settle with the Ukrainian people” says Dov Ben-Meir, a deputy speaker of Israel’s Knesset [parliament]. According to this top Israeli official, “unaccounted numbers” of Ukrainians “collaborated with the Nazi regime, especially in the annihilation of hundreds of thousands of Jews.”
The “fact” of the Holocaust is being used by some to deny that Christianity is the only true religion, or that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
Israel is using the “fact” of the Holocaust as an excuse to kill Palestinians in Israel. This slaughter, together with the anti-scriptural notions of the Israel-first Millennialists, almost all of whom believe in the Holocaust, could lead to another bloody war.
The Holocaust is not some innocent hoax, such as children’s fairy tales that entertain and have no evil consequences.
The “chosen people” and “Holocaust” myths make mission work among non-Christians far more difficult. Arabs, who are told that the Bible teaches that their land belongs to the Jews, find it more difficult to believe what the Bible says about Christ.