The term originates from the Latin word propagare, to propagate, and did not initially have any nefarious connotation. It simply meant the dissemination of information, with no implication that this information may be inaccurate or untrue. The shift in the term’s meaning is a result of spreading disinformation through mass media with the intention of swaying public opinion, which became prevalent during the age of the World Wars and the subsequent Cold War, when radio and TV as well as mass-printed tabloids and booklets became widely consumed.
The only major power using disinforming propaganda during the First World War was the United Kingdom. Considering the success this propaganda had in stirring up public opinion in the Entente countries against Germany, and thus stabilizing their crumbling war efforts since 1915, all major countries subsequently created departments for psychological warfare aiming at winning support among their own population for their political efforts, while at once trying to subvert the unity and resistance of perceived enemy populations.
Accusations of planned or perpetrated mass atrocities have always been the main weapon of wartime propaganda, as they stir up one’s own population against a portrayed enemy, and “justify” extreme measures against him. This type of propaganda dehumanizes the enemy in the eyes of your own soldiers, which are thus emotionally prepared to commit their own mass atrocities against the enemy – ironically in an attempt to prevent or avenge the enemy’s (alleged) mass atrocities. Hence, it is fair to say that, to a large degree, mass-atrocity propaganda is geared toward creating mass atrocities.
Since World War Two was the most atrocious war ever fought in the history of mankind, it is safe to assume that mass-atrocity propaganda was also used by all sides to a degree never seen before or since. Anything else would be naïve to assume. The claimed events making up the Holocaust are among the most prominent mass-atrocities claimed to have occurred during World War Two. Therefore, investigating the role of propaganda in shaping the initial, as well as the current, narrative is a worthwhile endeavor. In fact, ignoring propaganda’s role would be an inexcusable omission. Nevertheless, orthodox Holocaust historians systematically ignore or downplay the pivotal role which propaganda has played in our current understanding of this event.
The following sections will explore, in alphabetical order, each major country’s propaganda efforts in the creation of the Holocaust narrative, with an additional section on Jewish contributions to it, as well as – and in contrast to all this – a section on Germany’s involvement in mass-atrocity propaganda.
During the Second World War, neither the “Protectorate” (occupied Czechia) nor Slovakia were locations of any major mass-murder events within the Holocaust. As such, there is no reason to include this country in this entry. However, one court case tried in communist Czechoslovakia in 1962 sheds a revealing light on the coercive methods used in Eastern Bloc countries to force witnesses to testify as the prosecution expected them to.
In 1962, Czechoslovakia’s judiciary sentenced Ladislav Niznansky in absentia to death for allegedly having murdered 164 people in Slovakia during World War II. But Niznansky had fled to West Germany after the war, and that country refused to extradite him or recognize Communist kangaroo trials as legitimate proceedings. In 2001, the German judiciary changed its mind, reopened the case, and launched a criminal investigation against Niznansky. However, the witnesses who had testified in 1962 against Niznansky, had lost their fear of their country’s judiciary, and revealed the methods used in 1962 to extract false testimonies from them. Here is the report by Germany’s mainstream newsmagazine Focus (9 February 2004):
“One of the witnesses involved in the 1962 case stated that he was threatened by an investigator ‘with a pistol.’ A second witness testified that he had incriminated Niznansky ‘under psychological and physical duress.’ Jan Holbus, another witness for the prosecution back in 1962, declared during his interrogation in 2001 that he was threatened that he ‘will leave the room with his feet first,’ if he does not testify as the prosecution expects him to.”
This is the only known case where an Eastern Bloc court case about alleged German war crimes was reopened after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. It stands to reason that the methods used by Soviet and Polish investigators in the immediate postwar years were at least as bad as this. It is also likely that similar methods were used by Eastern-Bloc authorities to coach witnesses slated to testify during West-German court proceedings (see the section on Poland). This would explain the astounding “convergence of evidence” of so many witness testimonies in so many lies, such as consistently exaggerated death toll figures, inflated cremation capacities (see the entry on cremation propaganda), and the repetition of proven lies, such as large-scale open-air incinerations at Auschwitz in the summer of 1944.
Since France was an occupied country until mid-/late 1944, she could not contribute to Allied propaganda efforts. The area of Germany which was eventually assigned as France’s occupation zone in the southwest of Germany did not contain any major camp of notorious repute. Furthermore, the invading U.S. troops did not find anything in the labor camps they occupied which would have lent itself to any atrocity propaganda. Therefore, there was little of any substance onto which any Holocaust propaganda could be based.
The one minor exception was the small camp near the Alsatian village of Natzweiler. However, even in this regard, French involvement was minor. The camp’s long-standing commandant Josef Kramer was captured by the British at Bergen-Belsen. After the British had softened him up with their customary torture, some French investigator helped extract a “confession” about one minor and truly unique alleged homicidal gassing. However, evidently not in the loop as to how such a gassing was supposed to have been carried out, the French had Kramer made up a story which is so outlandish that it threatens to undermine the entire homicidal gassing narrative. This is true in particular for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where Kramer was commandant in 1944 at a time of alleged large-scale mass gassings. If gassings happened there in the way the orthodoxy claims, Kramer would have known how to tell a credible tale. But he was evidently just as oblivious as the French interrogators.
Considering the French’s negligible contribution to Germany’s defeat, they might have suffered from an inferiority complex, which they tried to compensate for by outdoing the other Allies with their own atrocity tales. An indicator for this is an official French government report on German concentration camps, of which they had almost no first-hand knowledge. While the Soviets had claimed four million victims for the Auschwitz Camp they conquered, the French doubled this number in their report (eight million; Aroneanu 1945, pp. 7, 196), and they claimed a total of 26 million victims of all National-Socialist means of mass murder and persecution (ibid., p. 197).
The other noteworthy propaganda contribution to the orthodox Holocaust narrative consists of the various statements by Kurt Gerstein, which he supposedly made voluntarily to the French occupational powers at his hometown. His statements were in fact “voluntary” to such a degree that he eventually committed suicide. Whether the preposterous nonsense exuded by Gerstein was the fruit of his own (sick) mind, or foisted upon him by the French’s interrogation methods, must unfortunately remain an open question.
Gerstein’s texts are the basis upon which the tall tale of the Belzec extermination camp was erected. This tale, in turn, formed the pattern used to create similar narratives for the Treblinka and Sobibór camps. While Gerstein’s narrative was supported and believed by orthodox historians for many decades, they have mostly abandoned him by now as an untrustworthy witness. The basic features of his tales, however, have developed a life of their own, hanging in mid-air without any support. They are propped up only by the fanaticism of the believers, and by threats of social persecution and penal prosecution against the rest of us.
During the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal, the French not only introduced one of Gerstein’s texts (1553-PS, IMT, Vol. 6, pp. 332-364), but also other propaganda claims, some of which are patently recognizable as preposterous lies, such as the claim that at “Auschwitz the most beautiful women were set apart, artificially inseminated, and then gassed.” The French chief prosecutor followed this up with claims that at the Natzweiler Camp, “women were gassed while German doctors observed their reactions through a peephole,” and execution happened there also by gas vans (IMT, Vol. 5, pp. 403f.). Today, none of it is taken seriously anymore, even by orthodox historians.
The first country during the Second World War to engage in mass-atrocity propaganda was Hitler’s Germany. As German troops advanced into Poland in early September 1939, the Polish military and Polish civilians started pogroms against the German minority in northwestern Poland (the “Corridor”). While these massacres were real, the death toll later published by Goebbels’s propaganda ministry were inflated in an attempt to make the German invasion look like a rescue operation.
Ironically, Goebbels’s position as minister of propaganda did not mean that he could not be trusted; in fact, precisely the opposite: he understood that propaganda cannot be effective unless it is, by and large, true. This was acknowledged decades ago by prominent French scholar Jacques Ellul in his monumental work Propaganda (1962), and specifically with respect to Goebbels. Ellul refers to “Goebbels’s insistence that facts to be disseminated must be accurate” (p. 53), adding that Goebbels “wore the title of Big Liar […] and yet he never stopped battling for propaganda to be as accurate as possible. He preferred being cynical and brutal to being caught in a lie.” Ellul continues:
“He was always the first to announce disastrous events or difficult situations, without hiding anything. The result was a general belief, between 1939 and 1942, that German communiqués not only were more concise, clearer, and less cluttered, but were more truthful than Allied communiqués – and furthermore, that the Germans published all the news two or three days before the Allies. All this is so true that pinning the title of Big Liar on Goebbels must be considered quite a propaganda success.”
The only other major German propaganda campaign involving mass atrocities revolved around their discoveries of the mass slaughter of dissidents and other prisoners in the Soviet Union, as they advanced into Soviet Russia in June 1941. Before the Soviets retreated from their western cities, they systematically killed all the inmates in all prisons, which to a large degree contained dissidents, hence people who would potentially collaborate with the Germans. However, none of the German reports about these events were invented, and not much of it, if anything, was exaggerated either.
This German anti-Bolshevist campaign really took off only in early 1943 with the discovery of the mass graves near Katyn, where more than 4,000 Polish officers had been shot and buried by the Soviets. However, the death-toll figure spread in that context (and later also about similar mass graves near Vinnitsa) was established by an independent, international group of forensic experts, and it was very accurate. In fact, the Germans never found all the mass graves of Stalin’s Polish victims, which numbered more than 20,000. Therefore, the German atrocity propaganda revolving around Katyn and Vinnitsa actually understated the true dimension of this Soviet massacre.
After the war, both East and West Germany became part of the general Holocaust propaganda machine. East Germany followed the general Eastern-Bloc pattern of staging show trials that were unconvincing even for most orthodox historians. West Germany, however, went on a much more sophisticated and ultimately very successful path of harnessing its judiciary to rig the historical record.
At the beginning there was starvation and poverty in devastated postwar West Germany. Germany’s destroyed economy had trouble getting off the ground in the late 1940s and early 1950s. It was encountering fierce opposition, mainly by Jewish pressure groups and Israel itself, to conclude trade deals and financial agreements on the international market. Hence, Germany struck a deal with Israel in 1952: Germany pays reparations for “the Holocaust,” implying that its historical veracity is officially recognized, and Israel and World Jewry will refrain from impeding Germany’s rise from the ashes. (For more on this, see the entry on compensation.)
From there on, Germany’s government, in unison with many foreign and domestic pressure groups, pushed for the prosecution of suspects presumably involved in the perpetration of “Holocaust” crimes:
- Unwilling investigators, who realized the phony nature of the accusations, were ordered to initiate prosecutions anyway (see the entry on Adolf Rögner).
- Juries were cajoled into agreeing to guilty verdicts, even though they wanted to acquit (see the entry on Karl Wolff).
- Trials that had already been settled by the Allies after the war, or by Israel, and which had ended in amnesties or acquittals, were reopened and brought to merciless guilty verdicts (see the entries on Ilse Koch and John Demjanjuk.)
- An institution was set up whose sole purpose was to prepare prosecutions of suspects of “Holocaust” crimes: The Zentrale Stelle. This office systematically manipulated witnesses in order to make sure that the orthodox Holocaust narrative got cast in stone within German case law (see the entry on the Zentrale Stelle).
- The statute of limitations allowing the prosecution of murder was repeatedly extended, only to be completely lifted eventually, for the sole reason of allowing the continued prosecution of suspected Third-Reich murders. (See Rudolf 2019, pp. 118f.)
- Until 1994, anyone contesting the orthodox narrative was threatened with prosecution for insulting the witnesses, disparaging the commemoration of dead victims, and stirring up racial hatred against Jews. In 1994, dissent as such was made a crime of “denial,” no matter its style or form, and courts were allowed to ban defense lawyers from speaking a single word in court, if they recalcitrantly tried to argue in favor of a defendant’s historical claims. In 1998, it was even declared a crime to file motions during a trial aiming at introducing evidence which contests the orthodox narrative. (See Rudolf 2019, pp. pp. 20-29.)
- After 70 years of case law to the contrary, Germany’s supreme court decided in 2016 that anyone can be prosecuted for accessory to murder who in any way contributed to the operation of any Third-Reich organization or facility allegedly involved in murder. This allowed for the prosecution of any German involved in anything official and/or military in nature during the Third Reich (see the entry on John Demjanjuk).
Ethnic conflicts rarely existed in Europe prior to the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. Citizenship, passports, border controls, official languages, ethnic or national allegiances were all but unknown. If there were wars, they were usually due to religious conflicts, or because some king or duke tried to extend their realm, always at the cost of the local populace.
The situation was drastically different after the Napoleonic Wars. Europe became increasingly defined by ethnicities and nation states. The Polish people were largely dominated by Russia, and to a minor degree by Prussia. During that time, the Poles developed a historic myth of national martyrdom, in which their ancestral homelands in the West were conquered by Germans in violent wars. The resident Polish population was either forcefully Germanized, ethnically cleansed or simply murdered. None of it is true, though. The only area which was conquered in wars by German knights with subsequent subjugation of the local nobility was West and East Prussia – plus later the area today covered by the Baltic countries. Affected by this were mostly not Slavs, but the Baltic tribes of the Prussians, Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians. Neither of them was forcefully Germanized, ethnically cleansed or killed. This happened in the 12th and 13th century, and the nobleman who had asked for the German knights to help him subjugate the indomitable Prussian heathens was none other than the Polish king of that time. Over the next centuries, the Prussian population Germanized itself, without any pressure from anyone. In contrast to this, the German settlement activities in Silesia and Pomerania over the centuries have been completely peaceful. The newly arriving Germans simply were economically more adept and outbred the Poles.
After the First World War, Polish hyper-nationalism took over and tried to gain back the allegedly unjustly lost territories in the West by forcefully Polonizing, ethnically cleansing or outright murdering the century-old German population in West Prussia and East Upper Silesia. The inevitable conflict between Germans and Poles resulted in the outbreak of World War II.
Once Poland was defeated, the Polish underground developed a new myth of Polish martyrdom. This time it was based on real acts of persecution and terror by the occupational powers, although not all stories reported were true. In fact, much was highly exaggerated, because it aimed at stirring up Poland’s Western allies, in particular London, whence the Polish Government in Exile had fled.
Initial reports on alleged atrocities committed at Auschwitz claimed Polish and Soviet-Russian victims. Once it had become clear that Polish minorities in the UK and USA had little political sway, hence the suffering of Poles attracted little attention there, tactics changed by putting Jewish victims in the center of attention. Wartime reports by the Polish underground about massacres presumably committed in the various concentration and alleged extermination camps on Polish prewar soil are the core around which all later narratives crystalized. Their importance can hardly be overestimated.
Towards and after the end of the war, re-established Polish authorities collaborated closely with Soviet military authorities in forming investigative commissions. Based on the rigged findings of these Stalinist commissions, Polish authorities subsequently conducted numerous show trials against various German defendants. Among the most prominent are:
- The Lublin trial against six former guards of the Majdanek Camp (27 November to 2 December 1944). At that trial, the absurdly high death toll of 1.7 million victims was claimed.
- The Warsaw trial against former commandant of the Auschwitz Camp Rudolf Höss (11 to 29 March 1947). At that trial, the absurdly high death toll of four million victims was claimed, three million of them Poles.
- The Krakow trial against 40 former staff members of the Auschwitz Camp, where all the absurdities of the Höss Trial were repeated (24 November to 22 December 1947).
The findings presented during these and similar trials formed the basis upon which each camp’s narrative was erected. In the case of Auschwitz, this was the starting point for the creation of the world’s most visited and psychologically most powerful museum. (See the entry on the Auschwitz Museum.)
While the Warsaw and Krakow Trials were getting prepared, the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal took place. Although no Polish official took part in the trial, several documents prepared by Polish authorities got submitted. Among them was a lengthy report on the Treblinka Camp, according to which mass murder there was committed with hot-steam chambers. (See Document 3311-PS, IMT, Vol. 32, pp. 153-158). Another Polish document claimed that murder at Treblinka happened in “gas chambers, by steam and electric current” (USSR-93; see Mattogno/Graf 2023, pp. 50-62, esp. p. 62). These self-evident and preposterous propaganda claims of steam and electric murder at Treblinka have haunted orthodox historians ever since, who usually prefer to hide this from their readers.
Concurrent with these proceedings between late 1944 and late 1947, Poland was expelling, mass-murdering and force-Polonizing millions of Germans in southern East Prussia, West Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia. This was the largest ethnic cleansing of recorded history. These territories had been “given” to the Poles by the victorious Allies, with a blank check to do whatever they wanted with the hapless Germans. The Poles wasted no time to make their wildest dreams of reconquest of “their” lost western territories come true. But how could this genocide be justified?
With the Holocaust, of course. Any claim of German atrocities was welcomed to bolster Polish claims to rightful compensation by vast territories. In order to secure these spoils of war, Germany needed to be made to swallow completely the Polish narrative. This initiated stage two of the Polish propaganda campaign: make the German judiciary come to similar conclusions as the Polish judiciary, despite the terrible, Stalinist reputation of those Polish trials. Here is the way it was implemented:
- The International Auschwitz Committee, a communist propaganda organization headquartered in Krakow, Poland, lobbied to open criminal investigations in West Germany against Wilhelm Boger, a former employee at the Political Department of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
- Former inmates in contact with the International Auschwitz Committee were encouraged to file criminal complaints against former Auschwitz staff members.
- Parallel to this, the Auschwitz State Museum wrote a day-by-day account of what the Polish-communist authorities wanted the world to believe happened in the Auschwitz Camp. This chronicle was based to a large degree on the findings “established” by the aforementioned show trials.
- This streamlined account was immediately also published in a German translation, although there was only one possible reader for it: the German judiciary.
- Furthermore, the chronicle created by the Auschwitz Museum was then used to “instruct” Polish witnesses before traveling to the big German Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial. This ensured that all witnesses delivered a coherent story in line with the official narrative.
- The witnesses were accompanied to West Germany and monitored at all times by Polish secret-service officials, even inside the court room while testifying.
- Under massive pressure by the world’s media, the German judiciary completely swallowed everything they were fed by Warsaw.
It was the continuation of the war by means of psychological warfare. It was what the Germans call “Raubsicherungspolitik” – literally Robbery-Securing Policy, a policy designed to secure the spoils of history’s greatest robbery ever, the annexation of East Germany by Poland, and the ethnic cleansing of its German population.
Unfortunately, it worked. The Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial was a watershed event in German history. After it, a deluge of similar trials followed, continuing well into the 21st Century, held against 80, 90 and 100-year-old geriatrics.
Branded with a perpetual guilt complex, the once-proud German nation has turned into a featureless mass of pathetic, self-flagellating individuals who agree that all that was done to them during and after the war – carpet bombing, mass murder of “disarmed enemy forces,” mass deportations to Siberia, ethnic cleansing, starvation policies, dismantling of Germany’s industrial equipment, robbery of its patents – was a just punishment for all the crimes allegedly committed during the war, in particular during the so-called Holocaust.
The Semlin Camp (also called Sajmište Camp) was the only location of significance in Serbia within the framework of the Holocaust. Some 7,000 Jews are said to have been killed there in early 1942 using gas vans. Their bodies were later allegedly exhumed and tracelessly burned within the framework of Aktion 1005. Hence, there is not only no trace of that crime, but also no trace that the crime’s traces were eradicated. (See the entry on Semlin for more details.)
After all Jews had been murdered (or transferred elsewhere), the camp was converted to a detention and labor camp for political prisoners and partisans.
At the turn of 1944/45, the communist Yugoslav government, dominated by Serbs, formed a war-crimes commission. Among other things, they exhumed two mass graves near the Semlin Camp, where victims of the detention camp were supposedly buried, who are said to have died mainly due to starvation, diseases and exhaustion.
Original documents of the commission indicate that some 11,000 bodies were exhumed. However, in its report, the commission wrote that the mass graves contained 40,000 bodies. While the camp records show that exactly 23,637 inmates were ever detained there, the commission claimed that some 80,000 inmates had been incarcerated. These numbers were evidently inflated for propaganda reasons, because the commission’s main purpose was to create evidence in order, “to justify Yugoslavia’s claim for reparations,” as orthodox historian Jovan Byford put it (Byford 2010, p. 25). Unfortunately, this shows the untrustworthiness of any of the commission’s documents. Even the claimed number of 11,000 bodies found, which today’s orthodox historians take at face value, may be dubious.
If the Germans really went to great lengths in order to destroy the remains of some 7,000 Jewish victims, why did they leave behind the other 11,000 victims? After all, these 11,000 bodies were a much bigger indictment of their crimes, quantitatively speaking, than the 7,000 Jewish victims.
The issue gets compounded by witness claims of gas-van murders at the Banjica Camp in Serbia, where exclusively non-Jewish Serbs were held (mostly dissidents and partisans). Orthodox historians reject those claims as based on rumors, hearsay and overzealous propaganda, presumably recognizable by the witness statements’ inconsistencies and disparate nature. Yet the same is true for witness statements about gas vans allegedly deployed elsewhere (and any other execution-chamber mass-murder claim, for that matter). The only difference between the Banjica gas-van claims and all the others is that the claimed victims were Gentiles. This is the deeper cause why they get rejected by the orthodoxy. Preserving the Jewish exclusivity to their martyrdom demands the rejection of testimony claiming exclusively non-Jewish victims.
(For more details on this, see Alvarez 2023, pp. 22f.; 249-257.)
The most blatant propaganda efforts, easily recognizable as such and thus also the least effective in the long run, were made by the Soviet Union. Orthodox historians recognize the systematic nature of torture by the Soviet judiciary, and the grotesque show-trial nature of trials during Stalin’s reign. However, this has never stopped them from using and taking seriously the multitude of claims made by the Soviets. While the dimensions of the crimes claimed may have been inflated, the core of the claim is still true, they assert.
Soviet propaganda started right after the Soviets had won the battle of Stalingrad in early 1943, with the Germans for the first time retreating – in this case from the Caucasus region to avoid getting cut off after the fall of Stalingrad. Krasnodar is the largest city near the Caucasus mountains. The Germans retreated hastily, leaving it largely intact. This city thus became the stage of the first Soviet show trial focusing on alleged German mass atrocities.
The Soviet indictments written in February 1943 against eleven Soviet citizens accused them of having collaborated with the Germans. However, during the trial itself, the alleged German atrocities were on center stage, rather than the defendant’s own alleged misdeeds. The German invaders were accused of mass hangings, shootings and asphyxiations in so-called “murder vans.” Here, the legend of the “gas vans” was born, an execution weapon invented by the Soviet NKVD before the war, but then blamed in 1943 on the Germans. (See the entry on the gas vans.)
The resulting show trial in July 1943 was turned into a media spectacle by the Soviets, who used this show primarily to send a clear message to their own populace: Collaborate with the Germans, and you will be killed! The show trial was also used to spread counter-propaganda against the German exploitation of their discovery of the Katyn mass graves containing some 4,000 bodies. Hence, the Soviets topped this by claiming 7,000 victims of German atrocities.
After the Germans lost their last offensive battle in the East at Kursk in late August 1943, the Germans retreated steadily. The Ukrainian city of Kharkov was reconquered by the Soviets in late August. The next major propaganda show was staged here in December of 1943, this time with one Soviet collaborator and three captured German soldiers in the dock. Softened up with torture, they all enthusiastically embraced and confirmed the prosecution’s atrocity claims. Among them was the charge that the German occupiers had killed some 30,000 Soviet citizens in and around Kharkov, many of them again in gas vans. Here as during the Krasnodar Trial, it was repeatedly asserted that these gas vans were equipped with Diesel engines – whose exhaust gases, however, were unable to kill as claimed. (For more details, see the entries on Krasnodar and Kharkov, on gas vans, as well as Alvarez 2023, pp. 111-129.)
When the Soviets conquered the first major German concentration camp in July 1944 – Majdanek – the Soviet propaganda machinery went in overdrive, inflating the camp’s death toll by a factor of almost 50, and conjuring up homicidal gas chambers in every corner of the camp. (See the entry on Majdanek for more details.) Those propaganda lies later backfired when the orthodoxy had to make major admissions as to the mendacity of these Soviet claims, thus undermining the credibility of the entire orthodox Holocaust narrative.
Two months after conquering Majdanek, the Soviets captured the Klooga Camp in Estonia. After the huge Majdanek propaganda success, achieved to no small degree with gruesome photos of skeletons in front of a furnace, the Klooga “liberators” evidently felt under pressure to produce some similar visual material in support of yet another claimed German massacre. Hence, they staged photos showing piled-up tree trunks with people on and in between them. Unfortunately for them, these photos clearly demonstrate that these people were living actors used to stage an invented scene that could be used, and subsequently was used, for propaganda purposes. (See the entry on the Klooga Camp for more details.)
Throughout the war, Soviet domestic newspapers were publishing plenty of war propaganda depicting the Germans as bestial monsters who deserve to be slain wherever they are found. Some of these items were also published in the English-language newspaper Soviet War News. One of the most prominent and inflammatory contributors was Ilya Ehrenburg. In a contribution of the edition of 22 December 1944, Ehrenburg announced that the Germans had annihilated six million Jews. This was six months before the end of the war. (See Hoffmann 2001, pp. 189, 402f.)
A month later, on 27 January 1945, the Soviets conquered their ultimate propaganda prize: the Auschwitz Camp. Their subsequent absurd propaganda campaign about four million victims – killed by asphyxiation and electrocution, then transported via conveyor belts to a shaft furnace half a kilometer long – is described in the entry on Birkenau. After interrogating numerous camp inmates, the Soviets formed a combined Polish-Soviet investigative commission which wrote a fake report on the cremation capacity of the Auschwitz crematoria. It was rigged in such a way that the preordained result of four million victims was “confirmed” at that propaganda end as well. (For details on this, see Mattogno 2003d; Mattogno/Deana, Part 1, pp. 337-339.) After that, the Soviets handed over the Auschwitz Camp to the Poles, who continued this type of Auschwitz propaganda along similar lines.
During the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, the Soviet chief prosecutor Smirnov outdid all other Allies with a long rampage of preposterous atrocity claims. The entire Volume 7 of the proceedings is full of them. Here are some examples (all page numbers refer to IMT, Vol. 7):
- bashing people’s brains in with a pedal-triggered brain-bashing machine while listening to the radio (pp. 376f.);
- gassing Soviet PoWs in a quarry (p. 388);
- killing PoWs during frost by turning them into ice statues (p. 433);
- Jewish children used by Hitler-Youth for target practice (pp. 447f.);
- mass murder with hot steam and electrocutions at Treblinka (Nuremberg Document USSR-93; Smirnov left out that passage when quoting from the document, pp. 477f.; see the section on Poland in this entry);
- an SS father skeet shooting babies thrown into the air while his 9-year old daughter applauds and shrieks: “Papa, do it again; do it again, Papa!” (p. 451);
- filling the mouths of victims with cement to prevent them from singing patriotic or communist songs (p. 475);
- forcing prisoners to lick stairs clean, and collect garbage with their lips (p. 491);
- killing people with poisoned soft drinks (p. 570);
- electrocution at Belzec (pp. 576f., Belzec misspelled as Belsen);
- mass murder by tree cutting: forcing people to climb trees, then cutting the trees down (p. 582);
- killing 840,000 Soviet PoWs at Sachsenhausen, and burning the bodies in four portable furnaces (p. 586);
- soap production from human fat (USSR-393, pp. 597-600);
- For more details on the USSR’s role in spreading Holocaust propaganda via the IMT, see Carlos Porter’s book Made in Russia: The Holocaust.
Right in the middle of the IMT, the Soviet Union conducted yet another show trial, this time in Leningrad from 28 December 1945 until 4 January 1946. Seven German officers were accused, convicted and executed (= murdered) by the Soviets for allegedly having participated in the Katyn Massacre of more than 4,000 Polish officers. This crime, committed by Soviets on Stalin’s order, was “proven” to have been committed by the Germans instead by way of a Soviet forensic commission headed by Nikolai Burdenko. The Soviets had the gall to introduce this report as evidence during the IMT (USSR-054; IMT, Vol. 39, pp. 290-332). This shows the almost unfathomable magnitude of mendacity that was driving the Soviets.
Burdenko was involved in many more forensic investigations of mass graves in the Soviet Union allegedly containing the victims of German mass atrocities. The trustworthiness of these reports is just as low as that of Burdenko’s Katyn Report, as none of them were ever verified by independent experts. (See the entry on Aktion 1005 for details.) It is quite possible that the Soviet Union took this opportunity to pin numerous mass graves, containing some of the 20+ million victims of decades of Lenin’s and Stalin’s terror on the Germans, just as Burdenko tried with Katyn – although here he ultimately failed. The forensic report by independent researchers organized by Germany in 1943 prevailed.
When the Nuremberg show trials were over, the world entered a new war, the Cold War. Rather than keeping alleged German atrocities on center stage, each side wanted to win “their” Germans as potential cannon fodder in a future hot war of NATO against the Warsaw Pact. In addition, the Soviets always deemphasized that the victims were Jews, speaking simply of Soviet citizens instead. With the violent birth of the State of Israel, the Soviet Union took sides against the Jews and with the Arabs. Moreover, Stalin planned to turn against the Jews with a planned show trial, which was to lead to a mass deportation of people who happened to be Jews. Only Stalin’s death prevented it.
As a consequence of this development, much material collected against the Germans was not published for quite a while. For example, the big propaganda tome The Black Book by Ilya Ehrenburg and Vasily Grossman, announced with big fanfare in late 1944 and containing many more absurd and exaggerated atrocity claims against the Third Reich, was shelved, and so was the pile of expert reports on exhumed mass graves throughout the Soviet Union, authored by Burdenko and his ilk.
These old materials were pulled out the drawer, however, when the United States established a special department within the FBI in 1979. This Office of Special Investigations (OSI) was tasked with collecting evidence against European immigrants accused of having been involved in claimed German atrocities. Once such an individual was found, the O.S.I. litigated to have his citizenship revoked, and if successful, have him deported to other countries for further prosecution. (See the entry on the OSI for details.)
The Soviet Union took advantage of this invitation to meddle in internal U.S. affairs by submitting to the OSI incriminating material, much of it based on false witness testimonies and forged documents. The Soviet Union targeted with this primarily immigrants in the U.S. with a Ukrainian background. The goal was to damage the reputation of nationalist Ukrainian groups and individuals by bringing them into context of National-Socialist atrocities. This was to undermine the legitimacy of the Ukrainian independence movement.
Hence, Ehrenburg’s Black Book was finally published in 1981. A collection of “expert reports” by Burdenko and his ilk about alleged Nazi Crimes in the Ukraine(!) saw the light of day in 1987 (Denisov/Changuli). It is no accident that this happened right around the time of the showdown in Israel of the OSI’s most infamous witch-hunt victim, the Ukrainian John Demjanjuk.
The United Kingdom was the country with the most experience in atrocity propaganda, as they were the only ones who had institutionalized this already during the First World War. Their approach to this during the Second World War was no different. The department in charge of psychological warfare was called the Political Warfare Executive. They devised lies spread through numerous channels which aimed at undermining the enemy’s morale, boosting the morale of Allied forces, and increasing animosities of occupied civilian populations against the Axis powers.
Most of the claimed mass-murder events are said to have occurred on Polish soil, and as such, reports by the Polish underground were crucial to understand what was going on in that country. Since the Polish Government in Exile was located in London, and almost all support for the Polish underground was organized by London, the British government was at all times familiar with reports going in and coming out of Poland, speaking of mass gassings and other mass murder activities.
In contrast to all other Allied governments, the Brits were in the enviable situation of having cracked the SS’s radio encryption code between January 1942 and January 1943. Hence, the British managed to intercept and decipher all radio traffic between German concentration camps and their Oranienburg headquarters (see the entry on British Radio Intercepts). Therefore, they knew that there was no trace of any extermination policy in these intercepts, no trace of any homicidal gassing, and that the Poles were exaggerating the numbers of deported, incarcerated, perished and murdered victims.
To hide that they knew better, and also because it served their purpose of vilifying the Germans, the British nevertheless spread this type of Polish propaganda through their media channels. However, when it came to official communications, they inevitably revealed a bit of the truth.
In August 1943, Poland’s government-in-exile lobbied the British and American governments to issue a public statement condemning “German terror in Poland.” A draft for such a statement included references to mass execution in gas chambers. That is where Britain’s psychological warfare experts stepped on the brake, vetoing this with clear words, and succeeded in getting all these references removed. Victor Cavendish-Bentinck, the Chairman of the Allied Joint Intelligence Committee, stated in this regard:
“In my opinion it is incorrect to describe Polish information regarding German atrocities as ‘trustworthy’. The Poles, and to a far greater extent the Jews, tend to exaggerate German atrocities in order to stoke us up. They seem to have succeeded.
Mr Allen and myself have both followed German atrocities quite closely. [This is the hint at radio intercepts.] I do not believe that there is any evidence which would be accepted in a Law Court that Polish children have been killed on the spot by Germans when their parents were being deported to work in Germany, nor that Polish children have been sold to German settlers.
As regards putting Poles to death in gas chambers, I do not believe that there is any evidence that this has been done. There have been many stories to this effect, and we have played them up in PWE rumours without believing that they had any foundation. At any rate there is far less evidence than exists for the mass murder of Polish ofﬁcers by the Russians at Katyn. On the other hand, we do know that the Germans are out to destroy Jews of any age unless they are fit for manual labour.
I think that we weaken our case against the Germans by publicly giving credence to atrocity stories for which we have no evidence. These mass executions in gas chambers remind me of the stories of employment of human corpses during the last war for the manufacture of fat, which was a grotesque lie and led to the true stories of German atrocities being brushed aside as being mere propaganda.”
(For details on this, see Ritchie 2017.)
As described in the Section on British contributions to the propaganda history of the Birkenau Camp, this knowledge of gas-chamber claims being atrocity lies did not stop the British from spreading these false claims wherever they saw fit.
When the Red Army was about to enter Central Europe, mass atrocities were expected by everyone. In order to distract from them and to make these expected excesses “understandable,” the British government upped the ante in early 1944. On 29 February 1944, the British Ministry of “Information” – Goebbels was at least honest and called his department the Propaganda Ministry – circulated a memo to the British Clergy and to the BBC stating (Rozek 1958, pp. 209f.):
“We know how the Red Army behaved in Poland in 1920 and in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Galicia and Bessarabia only recently.
We must, therefore, take into account how the Red Army will certainly behave when it overruns Central Europe. […]
Experience has shown that the best distraction is atrocity propaganda directed against the enemy. Unfortunately the public is no longer so susceptible as in the days of the ‘Corpse Factory,’ and the ‘Mutilated Belgian Babies,’ and the ‘Crucified Canadians.’ [On this, see Ponsonby 1971]
Your cooperation is therefore earnestly sought to distract public attention from the doings of the Red Army by your wholehearted support of various charges against the Germans and Japanese which have been and will be put into circulation by the Ministry.”
The British became serious about Holocaust propaganda only after the war, when they extracted “confessions” from many former SS men with bestial torture (see the section on the UK in the entry on torture, as well as the entries on Bad Nenndorf, Hans Aumeier, Josef Kramer, Oswald Pohl and Rudolf Höss). They furthermore collected mendacious and vengeful “survivor” testimonies in preparation for their Bergen-Belsen Trial about events that allegedly unfolded at the Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Natzweiler Camps, their show trial against leading staff members of the Zyklon-B company Tesch & Stabenow, and finally their show trial about the Neuengamme Camp. (For more details, see the respective entries, as well as the section on British propaganda to the propaganda history of the Birkenau Camp.)
British files on the radio intercepts and on the systematic torture of German captives after the war were released only around the year 2000. Other files are reportedly still kept under lock and key. It stands to reason that they contain secrets which are even more devastating for orthodox historiography.
Initially, U.S.-American contributions to Holocaust propaganda seem to have been largely limited to propagating the claims that came from London, both from the Polish government in exile, and from the common campaigns coordinated by the Allied Joint Intelligence Committee. (See the sections on Poland and the UK.) Still in the summer of 1943, on advice by their better-informed British allies, the U.S. government abstained from making gas-chamber claims in official statements.
This policy was definitely abandoned after the Vrba–Wetzler Report had gained considerable attention. This report in English translation and the writings by three other authors were then combined by the U.S. War Refugee Board into one report. This was published on 25 November 1944. (For more details, see the entry on the War Refugee Board Report.)
As U.S. troops entered Germany, Eisenhower’s Psychological Warfare Division (PWD) came with a plan. As U.S. troops entered the Buchenwald Camp, they swiftly set up a table with ghoulish specimens claimed to have been made of murdered camp inmates, such as soap, a table lamp, two shrunken heads, tattooed skin etc. Townspeople were forced to file by this exhibit, while PWD actors gave mendacious explanations about these altogether fake items. The scene was recorded on film, and is shown to this day as “evidence” for National-Socialist atrocities. (See Irebodd 2009, and the entries on soap, shrunken heads and lampshades, of human skin, for more details.)
When U.S. troops entered any of the hundreds of cities their bomber fleets had destroyed, no cameras were ever rolling, and if anything was recorded, it vanished into some archives. The devastation the Allies’ genocidal air warfare had wreaked, and the heaps of corpses they had produced, needed to be hidden from the world. However, when they entered German Camps, which inevitably fared even worse than the civilian population living around them, cameras were rolling in expectation of gruesome scenes. So did U.S. troops when entering Dachau. Every dead person they found, so they claimed, was a victim of German bestial atrocities, when in fact they all were victims of the end of a war in which the greatest butchers won.
Two propaganda movies were produced by the U.S. Psychological Warfare Division using film footage taken in liberated camps. One titled The Nazi Concentration Camps shows falsely labelled scenes from the camps at Bergen-Belsen, Nordhausen and Dachau, among others. It was used to manipulate the defendants and the judges during the International Military Tribunal (IMT, Vol. 2, pp. 431-434; transcript in Vol. 30, pp. 462-472; see the entries on the camps mentioned).
The other, titled Todesmühlen (Death Mills), shows similar scenes with misleading or outright mendacious narrations. This film was shown to the German civilian population in an attempt at “re-education” by means of psychological shock-and-awe exposure to alleged National-Socialist atrocities.
The biggest impact of U.S. psychological warfare against a prostrate Germany was achieved by organizing the International Military Tribunal (IMT), run by the four victorious Allied powers, albeit with U.S. staff at the helm, and the subsequent Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT), run only by the U.S. Especially the IMT was a huge propaganda success because it looked respectable on its façade, yet had been firmly rigged beforehand with various measures to ensure the desired outcome. With the accused Germans not having any fair chance at mounting an effective defense, this Tribunal went down as a precedent in the history of international law holding leaders accountable for their acts in international courts – although only the leaders of the vanquished nations. (See the entries on the IMT and the NMT for details.)
One of the various measures taken to ensure the IMT’s and NMT’s success was the IMT’s obligation, by its statute, to blindly accept as true any report or court decision made by any of the Allied nations. Running up to the IMT, all nations had created court decisions by conducting show trials of a despicable nature. The U.S. was no exception to this. They held a series of show trials at Dachau, which were characterized by serial torture of German defendants (see the entry on torture), and a hysterical courtroom atmosphere where witnesses levied any imaginable accusations against any and all defendants. (See the entry on the Dachau Trials.)
News of these travesties of justice eventually reached the U.S., and investigations were launched to look into this (see the entry on Edward van Roden). This, together with the first fits of the nascent Cold War, led to an about-face of the U.S. government in the late 1940s. They lost all interest in Holocaust propaganda, and amnestied many of the German convicts they hadn’t killed (yet).
Another about-face occurred in 1979, after the “Holocaust” had become a pseudo-religious fetish before which every Western politician has to kneel. That year, the U.S. government created a special branch of the FBI tasked with hunting alleged World-War-II war criminals of the former Axis powers living in the U.S., with the aim to deport them. (Allied war criminals were never prosecuted.) Among other cases, this office also created the Demjanjuk Case, which turned into the biggest Holocaust propaganda campaign since the Eichmann Trial, although it eventually backfired. (For more details, see the entries on the Office of Special Investigations and John Demjanjuk.)
Pre-war anti-National-Socialist atrocity propaganda was almost exclusively Jewish in nature. It started already in early 1933, with Jewish organizations and media (such as the Jewish-owned New York Times) spreading invented reports about Jews being massacred in Germany, when in fact no such thing was happening at all. To this day, some fanatical Jews take this mendacious propaganda of their own ancestors at face value. (See for example Lipstadt 1986.)
During and after the war, Jews as the primary targets of National-Socialist persecution inevitably played a major role as witnesses to any crimes said to have occurred, and their lobby organizations and media outlets played a major role in disseminating these accounts.
While Stalin drastically reduced the number of influential Jews in the Soviet Union in the 1930s, that influence grew again after the outbreak of the German-Soviet war for obvious reasons. Ilya Ehrenburg and Vasily Grossman, two of the most influential Soviet anti-German propagandists, are two prominent examples for this.
While Jews inexorably played a major role as witnesses during Polish investigations and trials, they were not major contributors in conducting the investigations, staging the subsequent show trials, and exploiting the results in decades to come by writing propagandistic accounts of the various former German wartime camps located in Poland. Polish – and also Czech and Serbian – hyper-nationalism searching for justifications of ethnically cleansing millions of Germans from their century-old homeland needed no Jewish helping hand to find enough motivation in order to distort and forge the historical record.
There is some evidence showing that several of the interrogating and torturing staff members of the British occupational forces in Germany were German-speaking Jews, often recent immigrants to the UK who had fled from the Third Reich. (For example, some of Rudolf Höss’s tormentors, and an interrogator for the Tesch Trial.)
The U.S.’s War Refugee Board was Henry Morgenthau’s brainchild, and it was this organization which started official U.S. gas-chamber propaganda.
When it comes to the staff that controlled the U.S. postwar trials in Germany – whether in Dachau or later in Nuremberg – it is best to quote one of the leading U.S. prosecutors during the International Military Tribunal, Thomas Dodd. In a private letter to his wife on 20 September 1945, he wrote about the composition of the legal staff running the IMT behind the scenes (Dodd 2007, p. 135):
“You know I have despised anti-Semitism. You know how strongly I feel toward those who preach intolerance of any kind. With that knowledge, you will understand when I tell you that this staff is about seventy-five percent Jewish.
Now, my point is that the Jews should stay away from this trial – for their own sake. For – mark this well – the charge of a war for the Jews is still being made, and in the post-war years it will be made again and again.
The too large percentage of Jewish men and women here will be cited as proof of this charge. Sometimes it seems that the Jews will never learn about these things. They seem intent on bringing new difficulties down on their own heads.”
Julius Streicher reportedly cried out moments before being hanged at Nuremberg: “Purimfest!” Whatever else he might have gotten wrong, he got this right.
One of the most-important watershed events in Holocaust propaganda was the show trial against Adolf Eichmann – held and organized by the Jewish state of Israel.
Many of the most-prominent orthodox historians and promotors of the orthodox Holocaust narrative are Jewish:
- Jean Ancel
- Claude Lanzmann
- Yitzak Arad
- Walter Laqueur
- Hannah Arendt
- Deborah Lipstadt
- Yehuda Bauer
- Arno J. Mayer
- Michael Berenbaum
- Fritjof Meyer
- Randolph Braham
- Peter Novick
- Richard Breitman
- Robert van Pelt
- Lucy Dawidowicz
- Léon Poliakov
- Alexander Donat
- Gerald Reitlinger
- Gerald Fleming
- Robert Rozett
- Martin Gilbert
- Jules Schelvis
- Daniel J. Goldhagen
- Julius H. Schoeps
- Richard G. Green
- Shmuel Spector
- Alex Grobman
- Pierre Vidal-Naquet
- Israel Gutman
- Georges Wellers
- Raul Hilberg
- Elie Wiesel
- Serge Klarsfeld
- Simon Wiesenthal
- Shmuel Krakowski
- Efraim Zuroff
One may add to this most of the 208 contributors to Gutman’s 1990 Encyclopedia of the Holocaust, many of whom have not been listed here, to round off this image.
An important part of propaganda is also the suppression of any dissident voice. While governments ultimately pass censorship laws, it is primarily Jewish pressure groups who have been pushing hardest for the censorship and punishment of all those who disagree with the orthodox Holocaust narrative.