The Holocaust Historiography Project

Arthur R. Butz archive

The Horrible Scenes of 1945

by Arthur R. Butz

A little book making clear what happened at Belsen, in the catastrophic typhus epidemic of 1945, was published by Derrick Sington, the British officer to whom the German commander surrendered the camp: Belsen Uncovered (Duckworth, London, 1946).

While Belsen was captured by the British, Dachau was captured by the Americans. The situation, overwhelmed by catastrophic typhus epidemics, was largely similar, as made clear by a 1948 publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. It was at Dachau that the famous train packed with dead bodies was found, the vestiges of a shipment of prisoners from camps further north who were transferred to Dachau in the late days of the war.[1]

Such observations are freely admitted by the orthodox Holocaust historians, who agree that there were certainly no exterminations via gas chamber or otherwise, in the camps in Germany. In an earlier controversy over Dachau, Martin Broszat of the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich wrote:[2]

The gas chamber in Dachau was never completed and put into operation … The mass extermination of Jews by gassing started in 1941/1942, and took place … with the aid of installations technically designed for this purpose, above all in occupied Polish territory (but nowhere in the Old Reich) …

Thus what I am saying on this page is not really an issue. The orthodox Holocaust historians concede the point, and may accuse revisionists who raise it of raising a phony issue or making a diversionary ploy, because the real point of contention is the allegation of mass exterminations of Jews in Poland.

That objection would be valid if it were not for the simple fact that even to this day the populace is presented with these scenes, in 1945 in defeated Germany, as some sort of proof of the Holocaust claim, which by general agreement is the claim that millions of Jews were killed by the Germans in an effort at extermination. There was much of this in the spring of 1995, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe.[3] Such propaganda, which puts a homicidal interpretation on what was found in the camps in Germany, seldom encounters protests from orthodox Holocaust historians. My observation has been that these scenes are, and when propagated are intended to be, the proof of the Holocaust on the mass propaganda level. When such exploitation stops, then revisionists will stop objecting to it.

For the typical person, the realization that these scenes do not have the interpretation hitherto presumed has deep implications, as the Holocaust claim is no longer obvious. Moreover, the realization ought to be enough to cause the hitherto trusting citizen to ask some more questions. Do the German documents support the extermination claim? Can the disappearance of millions of Jews be established on a demographic basis?


[1] John E. Gordon, Louse-Borne Typhus Fever in the European Theater of Operations, U.S. Army, 1945, in Forest Ray Moulton, ed., Rickettsial Diseases of Man, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Wash., DC, 1948, pp. 16-27.
[2] Die Zeit, 26 August 1960, p. 14. Die Zeit is a weekly that publishes several editions, and the Broszat letter may be found in the issue of 19 August 1960 in the archive the reader uses.
[3] An example is furnished by U.S.News & World Report, 3 April 1995. Press descriptions of Dachau as a Nazi death factory discovered in April 1945 are offered as proof of wartime claims of mass exterminations that had been largely ignored when made (pp. 61-63).

Last modification: 17 June 1996.

Back to home page.