First and foremost, there are testimonies, affidavits and depositions – by victims, witnesses and perpetrators – at numerous Holocaust-related trials (unfortunately, there was no “Holocaust Trial”).
More specifically, at the Einsatzgruppen trial (in 1947 in the American-occupied Nuremberg), the “Death Camps Trials” (Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor, Chelmno) in early 1960s in West Germany and the trials of individual war criminals (the most famous being obviously the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem in 1961).
Unlike at the “main” Nuremberg trial of Third Reich leaders in 1945-46 (which was a political endeavor, not legal), the prosecutors and judges at these trials went to great lengths to ensure that the proceedings meet the highest standards of criminal justice.
Consequently, there is no doubt whatsoever that the defendants (the perpetrators), the victims and the witnesses told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And this truth does fully and completely confirm the facts about The Holocaust listed above.
Second, there are numerous Nazi documents related to the design and construction of gas chambers (see for example an excellent work by Jean-Claude Pressac on Auschwitz gas chambers), deportations to death camps (Höffle Telegram, Korherr Report, etc.), the affidavit by Kurt Gerstein (on gassing of Jews in Belzec death camps), August Frank memorandum, etc. that prove beyond the reasonable doubt the existence and operation of death camps, gas chambers and gas vans.
Third, the documents and testimonies on the layout and structure of Chelmno, Sobibor, Treblinka and Belzec camps prove beyond the reasonable doubt that these facilities could be only death/extermination camps – and nothing else. Besides, the abovementioned Nazi documents (as well as many others) demonstrate – again beyond the reasonable doubt – that the “ticket” to any of these places was strictly one way.
In other words, while hundreds of thousands of Jews went in, just about no one got out (with the exception of a very small number of Jews transferred to slave labor camps).
Fourth, all commandants and key staff of the abovementioned camps came from the Aktion T4 euthanasia program. In other words, they all had extensive experience in mass murder of human beings (ultimately the project claimed over 70,000 lives in two years)… in stationary gas chambers. Which makes sense only if these camps were death camps where victims (i.e. Jews in this case) were to be murdered in gas chambers (using carbon monoxide).
Fifth, the Yad Vashem memorial (the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem) initiated and operates “The Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names” project.
This project has a highly ambitious (and IMHO unrealistic) objective – to compile a complete list of all victims of The Holocaust. Identifying every victim by name and putting an end to the debate about the total number of victims of the Shoah.
Being aware of the vicious efforts of all sorts of “Holocaust deniers”, the staff of this project makes sure that their efforts adhere to the highest professional standards of historic research and search for missing persons. Consequently, although their database is not exactly perfectly accurate (to put it mildly), it still contains sufficient information to prove the statements listed above beyond the reasonable doubt.
Sixth, the minutes of the Wannsee conference prove (again beyond the reasonable doubt) that one of the ways to implement the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” is so-called “extermination through labor” (in other words, literally work the able-bodied Jews to death).
These minutes also quite openly state that those Jews who survive, will be murdered so as not to create the core of “Jewish resistance”. Another proof that the Wannsee Conference was about extermination of Jews is who was present at the conference (SS Major Rudolf Lange). And who were not (Wehrmacht generals).
In November 1941 (roughly two months before the Wannsee Conference) Lange was responsible for planning and carrying out the murder of 24,000 Latvian Jews from the Riga ghetto which occurred on 30 November and 8 December 1941.
This monstrous crime has come to be known as the Rumbula massacre and became the biggest two-day Holocaust atrocity until the operation of the death camps. And though Wehrmacht generals generally supported murderous activities of Einsatzgruppen (including killing the Jews which the German military brass viewed as horrible but necessary component of “pacification” of occupied territories), a wholesale murder of ALL European Jews was a different matter entirely. Worthy of a military coup even.
Contrary to a (very) popular misconception, nothing that Adolf Hitler ever said proves beyond the reasonable doubt that he gave the order to murder all Jews of Europe. His commonly quoted statements on this issue can be easily dismissed as “all bark, no bite” (which is very common among charismatic dictators).
SS-Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler was a different character entirely. He was not a politician – he was a leader of an extremely powerful (almost omnipotent) police, security and paramilitary force in the Third Reich. Consequently, his statements carried a much more serious weight – as he meant what he said, walked what he talked and practiced what he preached.
In his now (in)famous Posen speech on October 4th, 1943 (at the end of Operation Reinhard) to about 100 SS generals, Himmler explicitly acknowledged the genocide of the Jews:
“I am now referring to the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish people… Most of you here know what it means when 100 corpses lie next to each other, when there are 500 or when there are 1,000. To have endured this and at the same time to have remained a decent person… has made us tough, and is a glorious chapter that has not and will not be spoken of…”
There is nothing wrong with this question per se as it is completely natural (prior to investigating a crime – especially such a serious one as genocide) to prove beyond the reasonable doubt that the crime in question really happen.
Probably the most fundamental deficiency of all “mainstream” (“orthodox”) books on The Holocaust is that none of their authors bothers to prove beyond the reasonable doubt that this monstrous crime has, indeed, been committed.
Immediately (right then and there) creating an opportunity for so-called “Holocaust deniers” to preach their “anti-Semitic sermon” (i.e. engaging in blatant Judeophobic and neo-Nazi propaganda). By claiming either that the magnitude of crime was nowhere near the one declared by the “orthodox” historians… or that n crime had been committed at all.
Which is a great same because in reality it is quite easy to prove beyond the reasonable doubt that The Holocaust did happen – and happened exactly the way the “mainstream” (“orthodox”) historians say it happened.
All they need to do is to demand that their opponents (i.e. “Holocaust deniers”) approach the issue in a professional way – as historians-detectives (or detective-historians). They are investigating a crime, after all.
A competent homicide detective (1) collects ALL information/knowledge related to the murder case in question; (2) carefully organizes/structures this information; (3) diligently and objectively studies it; and (4) delivers his or her verdict – whether the crime was, indeed, committed and who were the murderers.
In the case of The Holocaust the relevant information/knowledge is everything related to Nazi policies (i.e. practical decisions and actions) towards the Jews. Including physical evidence, documents, testimonies of witnesses, alleged victims and alleged perpetrators…in short, everything.
There are only two “ex ante” hypotheses on the Holocaust issue – either it did happen as the “orthodox” historians claim or it did not. In the latter case the whole thing is just one enormous, colossal, mammoth, gargantuan fabrication planned and executed by some individuals and organizations.
After carefully studying this “body of evidence” (“convergence”, “totality” and even “synergy” of evidence actually) any objective, impartial, honest and diligent scholar (and detective) will inevitably conclude that it fits only one “ex ante” hypothesis – that The Holocaust did happen and happened exactly the way the “mainstream” historians claim.
More specifically, that:
- The number of Holocaust victims was within the range between 5 to 6 million (my estimate is on the lower side)
- The Nazi leaders (more specifically, Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Göring aided and abetted by Reinhard Heydrich – the true Architect of the Holocaust) sometime in late summer – early fall of 1941 made the decision to physically exterminate all Jews of Europe (all 11 million of them) and assigned this murderous project to the SS
- The SS and RSHA leaders (i.e. Himmler and Heydrich) ordered the Einsatzgruppen operating on the Nazi-occupied territories of the Soviet Union to murder by shooting ultimately all Jews in the “responsibility areas” of the EG in question (ultimately about 1.3 million Jews were murdered)
- The SS created the “extermination infrastructure” by building four dedicated death camps (Chelmno, Belzec, Treblinka and Sobibor) and equipping two labor camps (Auschwitz-Birkenau and Majdanek) with extermination facilities (gas chambers) and crematoria and used it to murder about 2.5 million Jews from all over Europe (by gassing, shooting, working to death, etc.)
- Hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered by Nazi collaborators in occupied territories (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, etc.), puppet regimes (i.e. Croatia) and by Nazi allies (i.e. Romania)
Now let’s provide sufficient incontrovertible proof of “all of the above”
In order to properly investigate a crime, we must first (obviously) properly define it. The Holocaust (Shoah) was a premeditated, carefully planned and executed mass murder of millions of Jews (by blood, not by religious affiliation – so it was a genocide, not a religious massacre) by the Nazis (i.e., individuals and organizations of Nazi Germany), their puppet regimes (i.e., in Croatia) collaborators (i.e. in Latvia, Lithuania, etc.) and allies (i.e. in Romania) in 1939-45 (mostly n 1941-45)
With the ultimate objective of physically exterminating all Jews in Europe. All estimated eleven million Jewish people – from Lisbon to Vladivostok; from Norway to Sicily.
The victims of this genocide (killed not for what they did or for what they believed in) but for who they were by blood (i.e. by birth) include all Jews who perished during this murderous persecution – regardless of the cause of death.
In other words, not only those who were shot by members of Einsatzgruppen (or other murderers) or poisoned to death by carbon monoxide (or Zyklon-B) in stationary gas chambers in Auschwitz, Chelmno, Majdanek, Treblinka or Sobibor, but also those who died in ghettos or in campy of starvation or diseases (i.e., typhoid), those who died in transit (en route to ghettos, labor camps, death camps, etc.), those who were literally worked to death (exterminated through labor) in concentration camps, etc., etc. All of them are murder victims – for all practical (and legal) purposes.