The following is a letter I wrote on August 27, 2006, as a response to a question asked by Israel Shamir. I had received Shamir’s inquiry via a third person while sitting in a German prison for my peaceful historical views. If I remember correctly, Shamir had asked me, why I am so interested in WWII history and what compelled me to voice my opinions in spite of the government persecution which it triggered.
It is astounding that this my letter, which Shamir received and published online, made its way out of the German prison in the first place. Usually, letters from political prisoners with such highly charged, political content get confiscated by the prison censors, but since it was written in English, and because the German authorities are notoriously short of staff capable of reading foreign languages, my foreign language correspondence (English, French, Spanish) seems to have never been censored by anyone. So here we go:
I can not only understand Mr. Shamir’s disinterest in WWII as such, I actually share it. For some reason people think that WWII is a main focus of my intellectual interest because I got my life entangled in Holocaust studies.
The truth is that I never cared for the history of any war as such. I do have an interest in understanding how and why wars get to be, the intrigues, schemes, lies, and propaganda used by all sides to justify it, and of course how this propaganda is afterwards maintained by the victorious side. People keep sending me books on WWII history into prison, and after reading just one of them – a study of Patton’s campaigns, which was also the first book I ever read on battle history – I decided that this is quite enough. I didn’t touch any of the others that were sent my way and put the general message out to put a stop to that. I must admit that I do have a friend whose entire life centers around WWII, as he is a book dealer with the sole focus on WWII. Although he has thousands of titles on the topic and is quite an expert, we never talk about WWII when we meet, and I also never looked into – or received – a book of his collection, nor did I ever ask.
Holocaust propaganda is an ideological issue, not a historical one. I never focused on the actual aspects of persecution of minorities, Jewish or not, during WWII. It’s not a pleasant topic, nor is there a need to deal with it, as there are plenty of scholars worldwide who make a profitable business out of doing nothing else but this.
No, it’s propaganda – prewar, wartime, and postwar propaganda – I am interested in, and how to distinguish it from reality.
I could very briefly answer to the question what makes me tick by pointing to my respective essay I wrote back in 1995/96 and which I have added as an appendix to my expert report, which can be read online at (www.vho.org/GB/b/trr) in HTML format or as pdf at (www.vho.org/dl/ENG/trr.pdf)
But let me try to give a condensed version here. First, there is no single motive that got me to do what I have been doing during the past 16 years. Lots of it is personal history with all its imponderabilities and coincidences, and another huge factor is personality, my genetic make-up, if you wish.
Since I was a little boy I had the reputation of driving grown-ups crazy with my incessant questions, driven by insatiable curiosity. Add to that a greatly overdeveloped sense of justice, overextended as my mother claims, though I’d like to dispute that. All through my childhood my father has been brutalizing me to one degree or another, and my mother, in an attempt to prevent me from starting to hate myself, found excuses in my father’s own background, mainly his father’s bad treatment of his children as well as their family having been expelled from Silesia after WWII, tossing them into poverty. In other words, my mother used the Poles as lightning rods for my suffering and the resulting feeling of injustice.
That is, at age 18 (!), where my newly awakened interest in history started: The expulsion of 12 million Germans from East Germany and Eastern Europe. At age 18-23 I was a very patriotic German, still within the mainstream – I thought – yet at the right edge of it. This started to fade slowly later, for one thing due to stress during my university studies, but also because it became boring.
I never touched upon the Holocaust topic in any of those years. The usual claims about it seemed indubitable, undeniable to me, truth chiseled in stone, self-evident.
This changed in 1989 by pure accident, as I was handed a book written by Paul Rassinier, a former communist, partisan fighter against the German occupation in France during WWII, and eventually inmate in Buchenwald and Dora concentration camps. I probably would never have allowed any German to raise doubts within me about the prevailing view on the Holocaust, because I would have suspected him of bias and self-interest, but a Communist, Partisan-fighter, former inmate? He opened my eyes and allowed doubts.
Not more, just doubts. But that was enough to trigger a chain reaction, because I obviously had been raised in my German society to feel guilty if I doubt the truth in this regard. I actually did feel guilty for doubting, and that made me mad, because it contradicted everything I was taught: question authorities, don’t take paradigms at face value, criticism is noble, and all the other ideals of the enlightenment.
I realized that this society is hypocritical, and at once I knew – and a little research confirmed it – that any doubts and dissenter is relentlessly ostracized, persecuted, and even prosecuted with no chance of defense. So I said to myself: This is outrageous, unacceptable, against all norms and ideals of this society, and the fact that there is no other topic where dissent is more severely suppressed is evidence enough for me that it is also the most important topic. He who is sure of being truthful is relaxed; only liars call for earthly judges.
The injustice of all this persecution becomes more and more predominant in my driving forces, also the conviction, if we don’t stop the tyrants at the outset, they’ll destroy more and more of our freedoms to scrutinize their skeletons in their closets. Next, it’s just amusing with how little effort one can get entire governments to panic, an entire civilization to tremble, just because of a well-founded, fact-oriented, objectively written book.
“Give me a meaning in life!” I demanded in early years of my youth and adulthood. I’ve found it. When so many powerful people use so many criminal tools to stop a peaceful dissident, it must be because I’ve got something that can – and will! – rock the world. I’ll show them.
Now that they have destroyed my life, I’ll have no other way but to prove that I’m right, and the fact that more and more historians change sides – for now behind the scenes only, but that’ll change – and that these powers that be get increasingly frantic is proof enough for me that it’s working.
The postwar and the New World Order were erected on the Holocaust, and together with it, they’ll come down. But that’s not important, because it’ll come down anyway, if only because they ruin the planet and drive world economics against the wall.
For me it’s simple: I am sure I’m right, and unless one convinces me with rational, scientific arguments that I am wrong, I am not going to give in. If you like the comparison, I am kind of a human intellectual pit-bull terrier, and they made the mistake to provoke the blood out of me by persecuting me.
That’s it. No negotiations any more. It’s me or them now.
My father didn’t manage to break me with stick, whip, fists or by using me as a missile, and so they won’t break my will with violence either. It only gets stronger with every beating.
That’s my personality: a contrarian with enormous will power, stubbornness, if need be, when not reason is used to talk to me but brute force. Pressure causes counter pressure. In this way I am a simple physical principle. Here is my human right to doubt, research, scrutinize, disagree, dispute, refute, challenge, question. The only way to take this away from me is by killing me. Period.
And that is the strongest motivation: Anybody who punishes me for merely exercising my human right of being a human = a creature able to doubt and explore, will meet my utmost unbreakable resistance. I won’t allow anybody to reduce me to a submissive slave. Nobody.
Israel Shamir commented my letter as follows:
“In my view, Holocaust approval is an approval of Jewish superiority and exclusivity, while Holocaust denial is a rejection of this exclusivity claim, and thus a duty of non-racist and/or a Christian. Germar Rudolf is a scientist dissident who was recently torn from his young wife and baby in the United States and extradited to his native Germany to stand trial for a scientific investigation of Auschwitz, the best-selling Rudolf Report. Born in 1964, he is one of the youngest high-profile Revisionists who came out of the post-war generation – young folks as a rule brutally brain-washed with conventional Holocaust lore. Germar, as we know, is different.”