Howard Professor Carolyn Byerly writes that since visiting Dachau as a young lady she has always understood that the atrocities she saw signs of there have left a deep scar on our humanity. I reply, in so many words, that the Dachau "atrocities" she saw signs of -- she does not tell us what these were -- were largely a snow-job perpetrated by the U.S. military.
First, I am not a narrow feminist scholar -- I do international research on race and gender in media, as well as a number of other things; my focus for some time has been on media policy. My grasp of historical events is also broad.
Second, in my personal life, I am a Quaker, so I agree with you on many points about the wrongness of war and killing. I am a pacifist, and deeply opposed to many of the policies and practices of my own government.
Third, as a child who lived in occupied Germany for a number of years, I visited the Dachau camp when it was still mostly intact. As an eye-witness to that facility, I have always understood the Nazi atrocities as a deep scar on all of our humanity.
Fourth, please do pursue truth of this awful situation that you seem so ready to deny. The Germans under Hitler were meticulous record keepers, and there are voluminous records of who was killed at which camps, what kind of property was confiscated, and so forth. It's all available, and it's very chilling. The Holocaust Museums around the world (several of which I have visited) contain records of various kinds to answer your questions.
This will be my only response to you, and I ask that we end our dialogue, both having spoken.
Regards, Carolyn Byerly
Dear Professor Byerly:
Apologies for expressing myself so clumsily, apparently. I did not mean to imply that you are a “narrow” feminist scholar or suggest that your grasp of historical events is not “broad.”
You note that you visited the Dachau camp when it was still mostly intact, and as an “eye-witness” to that facility you have always understood the Nazi atrocities as a deep scar on all of our humanity. What atrocities? You do not say what you saw there.
It appears from these brief comments that you are not aware that the “atrocities” once claimed to have been routine at Dachau are now known to be largely false, and the killings-in-gas-chambers charge is now known to be a simple fraud. Not a complicated fraud, but a simple one. There is no proof that one person was killed in a gas chamber at Dachau, despite the claims of the U.S. military and others.
Example: in the January, 1947 issue of National Geographic Magazine, you can read: “At Dachau where the Nazis cremated more than a quarter of a million civilian victims (a false charge if not an outright lie) …. I met a colonel commanding the Air Forces reinforcement depot at Fuestenfeldbruck, not far away, who was transporting all recruits fresh from the States to this infamous place so that they might visualize what the Allied armies had fought.” National Geographic used the word “cremation.” What was understood by this is that the “cremated” were victims of “gassing” in a homicidal gas chamber which, in fact, did not exist.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies; Martin Broszat, director of the Institute for Contemporary History, Munich; Simon Wiesenthal;
Raul Hilberg in his The Destruction of the European Jews; and many other orthodox scholars are all agreed. There were no gas chambers at Dachau. I wrote about this years ago, when I was still a young man, in my Confessions.
Knowing this, it is an interesting experience to visualize hundreds of thousands of United States soldiers, as well as an endless stream of innocent civilian visitors, as it appears you were, being shown the Dachau “gas chamber” on orders of their superior officers year in and year out. Following that, it is also interesting to visualize those young men and women carrying the Dachau-lie all over the Western World, spreading it like a plague until ….”
Of course, you may have seen evidence of “other” atrocities at Dachau. I don’t know, as you do not say.
When you write “there are voluminous records of who were killed at which camps” I suppose you would include Auschwitz as one of those camps. If not, why not? Since this charge of mass murder in the German camps, using weapons of mass destruction (gas chambers) is made with such self assurance by so many, I believe it is only fair – and we can be “fair” to Germans, can we not? -- to ask that one American academic name one person, with proof, who was killed in a gas chamber at Auschwitz – or Dachau if you will.
I understand that you do not want to go on about this. I will honor your wish.