Convergence of Evidence

The “convergence of evidence” is a paradigm based on the observation that seemingly independent pieces of evidence all, or at least in their majority, point in the same general direction of an event or a perpetrator, even if they disagree on particulars. Historically, this paradigm was first applied by the judiciary during medieval witch trials. During those trials, it became quite evident that there was a total lack of physical evidence, and many witness assertions were often contradictory in nature, riddled with implausibilities about the existence of the devil and his claimed interaction with people. However, the courts overcame this obstacle by observing that the vast majority of witness statements all pointed in the same direction: the devil exists, and he interacts with malfeasant individuals (witches, wizards, sorcerers, warlocks etc.). In this way, convictions were obtained.

With regard to the Holocaust, this concept was revived by the Polish judiciary when investigating claims about German wartime camps on Polish soil. During the investigations by Polish investigative judges such as Jan Sehn (Auschwitz), Zdzisław Łukaszkiewicz (Majdanek, Sobibór, Treblinka) and Władysław Bednarz (Chełmno), many witnesses claimed that some kind of mass murder had happened. However, similar to the medieval witch trials, there was a distinct lack of physical and documental evidence to support these claims, and certain witness assertions about mass-murder claims were often contradictory in nature and riddled with implausibilities.

The Polish judiciary overcame this problem by highlighting the witnesses’ common general extermination claims, picking the version that seemed most plausible, and sweeping all contradictions and implausibilities under the rug. In particular for the cases of Majdanek and Auschwitz, this was then propped up with cherry-picked documents ripped out of their proper context. This permitted their import to be distorted, often turning their meaning upside down. Such misrepresented documents were then presented as circumstantial evidence allegedly “converging” on the same conclusion: mass murder did occur. (See in this regard the judges and camps mentioned, as well as the entry on criminal traces.)

French historian Jean-Claude Pressac revived this mendacious method in his works of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and Jewish-Dutch cultural historian Robert van Pelt invented the term “convergence of evidence” for this method of fake historio­graphy in his 1999 “expert report” as introduced during the 1999/2000 libel suit of British historian David Irving against Jewish-American theologian Deborah Lipstadt.

(For more details, see Mattogno 2019, pp. 389-440; Rudolf/Mattogno 2017, pp. 203-280.)

List of entries dealing with forced or real “convergence of evidence” – in truth or lies:
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