The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/b/buchanan.pat//column.0390.002

From: (Jamie R. McCarthy)
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 1995 18:06:04 GMT

In his New York Post column of March 17, 1990, Patrick Buchanan wrote:

   Since the war, 1,600 medical papers have been written on "The
   Psychological and Medical Effects of the Concentration Camps on
   Holocaust Survivors."
   This so-called "Holocaust Survivor Syndrome" involves "group
   fantasies of martyrdom and heroics."  Reportedly, half the 20,000
   survivor testimonies in Jerusalem are considered "unreliable," not
   to be used in trials.
   Finally, the death engine.  During the war, the underground
   government of the Warsaw Ghetto reported to London that the Jews of
   Treblinka were being electrocuted and steamed to death.
   The Israeli court, however, concluded the murder weapon for 850,000
   was the diesel engine from a Soviet tank which drove its exhaust
   into the death chamber.  All died in 20 minutes, Finkelstein swore
   in 1945.
   The problem is:  Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide
   to kill anybody.  In 1988, 97 kids, trapped 400 feet underground in
   a Washington, D.C., tunnel while two locomotives spewed diesel
   exhaust into the car, emerged unharmed after 45 minutes.
   Demjanjuk's weapon of mass murder cannot kill.

This is, of course, a preposterous conclusion.  If the operator of the
diesel engine races it up to high RPM and then restricts the air intake,
the engine can be made to run arbitrarily rich, producing
nearly-arbitrarily low levels of oxygen.  The victims at the Reinhard
camps were suffocated to death, not killed with carbon monoxide,
because, although an intentionally-mistuned diesel produces enough
carbon monoxide to kill you, the lack of oxygen will kill you first.

A properly-tuned diesel engine running at idle cannot kill, this is
true.  But unlike the locomotive engineer in Buchanan's example, the
Nazis had no qualms about flooring the throttle, or tweaking the
fuel/air ratio.

The question is, where did Buchanan get his information for the above
column?  Who told him that the deaths of 850,000 people (in fact,
between 1.5 and 2.0 million people) were imaginary?

According to Jacob Weisberg, in his article "The Heresies of Pat
Buchanan" in the October 22, 1990 issue of The New Republic, "Buchanan
stands by his bizarre claim about the diesel engines, but refuses to
discuss it on the record.  Suffice it to say that he embraces a bolder
debunking claim than he is yet willing to endorse in print.  ...  Where
did he get the anecdote [about the children in the tunnel]?  'Somebody
sent it to me.'"

Who that "somebody" is will probably never be known.  But the "it" that
was allegedly "sent" to Mr. Buchanan is known.  Mr. Buchanan's source
was almost certainly the July 1988 issue of a small (six-page)
pamphlet: the G.I.E.A. Newsletter of the German American Information
and Education Association (P.O. Box 23169, Washington D.C., 20026).
The agenda of this newsletter becomes clear on page two:

   The May Newsletter which discusses the Holocaust Museum continues to
   generate the greatest response.  Approximately 95% of the response
   has been favorable;  5% negative.  Evidently, that museum has a lot
   of people stirred up.  It is obvious that the issue that sticks in
   the craw of so many is the hypocrisy blatantly displayed and
   practiced by the American Jewish community.
   It is very clear that if enough people would write their senators
   and congressman [sic], and demand that rooms be set aside for other
   holocausts, something could be accomplished.  Write them and point
   out that the German people were "holocausted" after WW II,
   especially by the Bolshevics, originally a Jewish/Zionist movement.
   The Palestinians daily suffer terrible persecution with their civil
   and human rights being trampled upon by the State of Israel. Even
   the United Methodist Church condemned "Israel's current iron-fist
   policy ... is totally unacceptable as civilized behavior." The
   Church's reproach against Israel... [etc.]

On page five is a photocopy of a Washington Post article on May 13,
1988: "5th Graders' Trip Turns to Terror in Train Tunnel."  (Why do
newspapers always insist on such stupid alliteration in headlines?)
Above the article is typed "For the inevitable victory of decency,
free speech, and historical truth!"  Below it is written (and I've
reproduced the typos and other errors exactly):

   Nothing surprising about this, we would say, since it has been long
   known that the exhaust from Diesel engines is, though malodorous,
   not especially toxic.  But why ist this of relevance to a
   German-American organization?  And why this mailing?
   Because _our_ children _are_ still being _poisoned_ by the
   loathsome Zionist "Holocaust" story, and:
   * Because, despite the of hundreds movies, books, TV docu-dramas,
   "eyewitness-testimonies" and warcrimes trial "evidence" -
   1. No one any longer claims "gassing" in the camps inside the
   German Reich (Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Mauthausen,
   Ravensbrueck, etc.).  In fact,a recently brought forward allied
   investigatory document reveals the authorities knew the stories
   were false as early as _1948_.
   2. The Auschwitz/Birkenau (and related Majdanek) "gas chamber"
   story, the very _cornerstone_ of the entire "Holocaust" legend
   (though long discounted by the sophisticated), has just been dealt
   the final death blow.  In Toronto on April 20th, 1988, Mr. Fred
   Leuchter, an American engineer with over 25 years of experience in
   the design and construction of gas chamber for execution of

At this point it's obvious where the article is going.  The remainder of
page five and all of page six is devoted to Holocaust-denial.  One
assumes that one particular section would have caught Mr. Buchanan's
eye, considering that his cause at the time was exonerating Nazi SS
member John Demjanjuk:

   ...that the ruthlessly efficient, evil Germans Exterminated Millions
   of Jews at three tiny (and long since virtually vanished) transit
   camps near the Polish Eastern border (Belzec, Sobibor, and
   Treblinka) - - and did so (though some early versions referred to
   "steam" or "suffocation") by means of _DIESEL EXHAUST_ "from a
   Russian T-34 tank".  (One assumes the tank was operated by John
   Demjanjuk, who no doubt clubbed the "950,000" victims of Treblinka
   into the "gas chamber", and then sprinted around the back, lept
   into his tank, and started 'er up!)

In short, it looks suspiciously like Mr. Buchanan received a
Holocaust-denial newsletter in the mail and, accepting its claims as
true, reprinted them in his nationally-syndicated column.

His column should sound very familiar to anyone who's familiar with
Holocaust-denial literature of the last decade or two:  "group
fantasies" of Holocaust survirors;  "half the 20,000 survivor
testimonies are considered 'unreliable'";  "electrocuted or steamed to
death...The Israeli court, however, concluded";  and, finally, of
course, "Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon dioxide to kill
anybody."  The chances are good that, if I looked hard enough, I could
find those exact quotes in literature published by such organizations at
the Institute for Historical Review.

Whether Patrick Buchanan is a revisionist, or merely a journalist who
let his biases convince him to pass on frothing-at-the-mouth
anti-Semitism as truth, is left as an exercise to the reader.  But
remember Jacob Weisberg's cryptic comment, presumably based on comments
made off the record, that "he embraces a bolder debunking claim than
he is yet willing to endorse in print."  And note that the only letter
to the New Republic protesting Weisbers article was written by Mona
Charen;  her letter was entirely rhetorical and contested none of
the facts.

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.