Torture is much in the news in these still-early years of the Twenty-First Century. U.S. President George W. Bush recently cancelled a visit to Switzerland because of the threat that human-rights groups active there would have him arrested on war-crimes charges based on the CIA’s well-known practices of water-boarding, solitary confinement, and rendition—all, of course, without benefit of the due-process guarantees of the U.S. Constitution.
We whose interest is attracted to the monstrous global edifice known as The Holocaust discover, on inquiry, that torture, truly understood, underpins the entire edifice, as indeed torture underpins many of the lesser edifices with which humankind has been fooled, misled, impoverished, deceived, incited, gulled, led into war, and sent to their destruction ever since a shaman claimed he could exorcise an evil spirit from a sick child.
A review of the role of torture in the establishment of the non-facts upon which the Holocaust Myth is founded might be instructive at this juncture in world events. It will be found, in one way and another, behind every word, every plea, every accusation, and every verdict of the counterfeit judgments that provide legitimacy to assertions of the myth.
First, a review of what constitutes torture, or what is sometimes more-gently presented as suasion. At its heart, the ability to inflict torture depends upon power and its handmaiden, control. In Europe immediately after World War II, when many former members of the Nazi apparatus remained not only alive, but in many cases at large, all power (military, economic, legal, what-have-you) rested in the hands of those national Allies who had among them just conquered most of the continent: in order, the United States, the Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of France. These national interests controlled the territory, the equipment, the housing, the fields, the roads, the people and everything else that moved or breathed in the defeated countries of Europe, in particular in those areas controlled by the USSR.
In this hothouse of military occupation and postbellum penury, then, scapegoats were vigorously sought in every borough, down every lane, in every house and garden shed still standing, through whom the victorious powers could not only celebrate the glorious victory they had won over the enemy they had taught their (surviving) populaces to hate, but further could justify the unspeakable atrocities they had for years prosecuted against the hapless populations of the defeated countries. Their agenda was urgent, and in the minds of many of their agents, just—or as nearly just as revenge can be.
A succession of show trials such as the world had never before seen was launched. The trials, in fact, continue to the present day, as John Demjanjuk is "tried" in Germany for "crimes" committed by someone he never can be shown to be.
Demjanjuk"s "trial," like the "trials" of the thousands who have gone before him, conspicuously fail even nominally to satisfy the notoriously failure-prone standards that prevail in the United States, Germany, Israel, or the most-nearly-just of the many other national heirs to the postwar new world order.
The demands of this unprecedented tsunami of retributive "justice" were gargantuan: not only was "evidence" required with which to convict each of the accused, evidence ultimately was required with which to convict an entire people of abetting, funding, approving, even ordering a continental program of enslavement, dispossession, and genocide such as had not been seen since the Biblical time of Joshua, when the Jews depopulated their Promised Land antecedent to occupying it.
Torture serves at least four purposes: (a) to punish persons who have done, or may have cooperated with others who did, things the torturers seek to avenge and/or discourage their victims from doing again; (b) to discourage others from doing, or appearing to do, things resembling the things that the victim(s) is said to have done; (c) to elicit confessions of guilt, to justify the torture being committed; and (d) to elicit information such as military secrets and, often, testimony to justify the depredations, both past and future, that the torturers have imposed upon, or wish to impose upon, other victims. Together, these constitute a powerful temptation. The call to torture is indeed a siren call, and few can resist it completely. Many fail to resist it at all.
Torture arises, obviously, not only from the infliction of pain or loss, but from credible threats to inflict pain or loss. Threats of this kind actually constitute torture, even though their application may leave no mark on the body of the victim, nor impose the slightest loss to his property.
Meantime, the value of torture for eliciting true information, particularly true information that could not be elicited by other means less demanding of torturer and tortured alike, is very doubtful. The value of torture for eliciting false information (or, again, information that may or may not be true), on the other hand, is incomparable, as has been demonstrated time and time again. Much of what today passes for history is greatly influenced by the negative incentives of actual or feared torture. The reigning account of Nazi dealings with the Jews of Europe (and, indeed, their dealings with most other things) stands today as perhaps the largest monument to the creative powers of torture ever erected. Its scale dwarfs that of any otherwise comparable enterprise known to history including, of late, Communism, which through the agency of the Soviet Union had perhaps the leading role in this project, in which it was ably, if less vigorously, joined by the United States, Britain, France, and cadres of ambitious, energetic, creative, and vengeful Jews drawn from the populations of all four of the victorious powers.
Power presents a slippery slope to torture to those who possess it, even when, as in the case of the victorious Allies, there are none of the imperatives that arise from threats to that power, which make torture virtually inevitable. No, the torture that the Allies engaged in vis-à-vis their newly acquired German thralls was comparatively gratuitous, or vengeful. And it served a powerful agenda of propaganda.
The thrust of that propaganda agenda was to paint the Germans as the Bad Guys of the recent unpleasantness of World War II, to "prove" forever and to all that everything bad or wrong that happened was the doing or the fault of the Germans, and in particular, the bad and wrong things that the Allies had done. Perhaps the most audacious of these projects was the Katyn Forest Massacre, in which an act that had been perpetrated by the Soviets was not merely blamed on the Germans, but the "smoking gun" of the actual performance of the act was placed in their hands by the Soviets, the true perpetrators. This agenda was ambitious, but the Allies possessed the manpower and control required for its service, and more than enough of the mendacity and ruthlessness that was needed to render that service.
The first stage of the project involved the recruitment and identification of victims, or stooges. Torture, broadly understood, served even this initial phase of the operation. Here, I propose the inclusion under the rubric of torture the power to convict and punish (often with death) persons against whom effectively no respectable evidence of guilt whatsoever can be adduced. This is a situation of absolute injustice which prevailed as well in the tribunals of the Western Allies as it did in those of the Soviets. Its capacity to motivate victims in the early phases of the roundup is not to be underestimated.
In any situation of violent, diametric "regime change," a certain element present in every population comes to the fore: those who seek opportunities to eliminate from their lives various inconvenient or distasteful fellow citizens. The victims might be creditors, landlords, former or rejecting lovers, suspected cuckolders, rivals, competitors—the list in any society is potentially endless. Malefactors willing and able to concoct serviceable tales about their victims are often offered direct bounties by their new overlords for turning in their targets, and many are urged to promptitude by the very real fear that their victims may beat them to the punch.
The process began with informing the first-round accuseds (they were never called defendants) of at least generalities of the charges against them. Then they were invited (and occasionally tricked, in sham "trials" that lacked even the empty legitimacy of the "real" proceedings that followed) to respond to the charges. Denial that the crimes with which they were charged had even been committed rapidly became known to all as the sure route to a speedy conviction, and was quickly abandoned by even those who felt they could, in any truly evidence-based proceeding, accomplish the formidable feat of "proving that something did not happen." Such, in fact, remains the fate typically meted out even today to anyone who, no matter how credibly or reasonably, dares to question any aspect of the approved scenario known as "The Holocaust." The factuality that the "crimes" had been committed was, in fact, explicitly declared as unchallengeable by the tribunal; thus, to deny them meant accusing the court of imposing a lie as the truth—hardly a tactic to be employed in hopes of gaining leniency.
Mere denial of guilt in the trumped-up offenses also rapidly became known as availing no benefit to the accused, and in fact the contrary. For those who sought immunity, or just a prison sentence more-lenient than the death sentences that all could see were being handed out like Communion wafers, there were only two alternatives: amplify and reinforce details of the as-yet-sketchily-described offenses, and/or identify alternative guilty parties who might, in the best of situations, be charged with crimes even greater than those of which the initial victim was trying to exonerate himself. This second alternative produced a flood of as many potential accuseds as the tribunal cared to pick out for its use.
Later developments of justice produced labels for these approaches to legal defense, "turning state’s evidence," coupled with "plea bargaining."
Finding and encouraging testimony from "victims" turned out to be just as easy and treacherous as identifying "perpetrators," even where the victims did not know and could not identify those against whom they testified. In this process, in fact, individual identities became virtually moot, as group associations overwhelmed the particulars of any dealings that may have transpired between or among individuals. Many who felt themselves victims in one way or another, particularly those whose tormentors were dead (perhaps even already executed) sought revenge against other members of the "same group" to further sate their retributive lust. In yet another mass prejudgment, the tribunal declared the SS (Schutzstaffel) a "criminal organization," membership in which was a punishable crime in and of itself. This came as quite a shock to its many members who had joined under circumstances of being assured that doing so was a service to National Socialism and the state.
Still another massive presumption of guilt arose from the tribunal’s declaration in its organizational phase that any person shown to have worked in, or for, Germany’s forced-labor- or deportation-transit-camp system was on that score alone guilty of and punishable for, war crimes. This means that even a nurse in a camp hospital or a cook in a camp galley was punishable for the crime of contributing to the welfare of inmates. Many altruistic souls whose every labor was exerted for the care and comfort—such as it was—of the inmates of a camp were sent to their deaths for their troubles, along, no doubt, with a few sadists who might in fact have deserved something like the punishments so abundantly meted out by the vengeful victors.
But entirely aside from the rewards of individual or group vengeance afforded by the tribunals, a motivation ultimately even more-potent beckoned the credible and creative to take up careers of testifying to atrocities and against people who seemed likely to have committed some. The times and places in which the tribunals conducted their show "trials" were penurious in the extreme: housing in defeated Germany, and Poland as well, had been extensively destroyed by the Allies’ bombers and artillery divisions, and the railroads by means of which to ship the meager crops to consumers who hadn’t grown their own were equally victims of the same process. Consumer goods, including clothing and heating fuel, were in desperately short supply, and the cities and countryside alike seethed with starving, murderous hordes of refugees of every sort imaginable. It was a bad time to be anything but a farmer living with his livestock and fields enclosed within an impregnable fortress.
Or, of course, to be in the care of the victorious occupiers, which witnesses for the tribunals in fact were. Admission to the exclusive society of witness/victims of Nazi war crimes was not only a bounteous meal ticket, it was a ticket also to warm clothing and shelter that sported something rarely found in the private homes that still stood in Germany: heat. Quite aside from their other agendas, articulate, imaginative people who could pass themselves off as former concentration-camp victims flocked to the doors of the tribunals and clamored for admission as witnesses. They literally competed with each other with tales of unspeakable atrocities and details that horrified not only those sitting on the tribunals, but even those accused of the atrocities, who had never seen nor even imagined such deeds as they were now being judged for having committed.
The starvation and exposure that awaited those who failed to engage prosecutors with their tales of bestiality and cruelty were not contrived for the purpose of motivating the witnesses, and so, they do not meet any literal test for constituting torture. Yet, for those who faced such threats to their lives and safety, they motivated testimony just as effectively as any rack or water-boarding inflicted by Torquemada or the CIA on a recalcitrant source.
The torture to which both accuseds and those witnesses who were or might become accuseds were subjected, as it turns out, greatly transcended the bounds of the accuseds’ bodies and possessions. They extended in most cases also to the accuseds’ families. Accuseds knew full well that the Allies were in absolute control of everything in, on, and around Germany, and that no sort of law or protection stood between the Allied authorities and the children, spouses, and other family members, and their captors knew that they knew this. Interrogators did not refrain from occasionally reminding the subjects of their inquisitions that their victims’ families were well and thoroughly within their grasp, and the threat was credible in the extreme. How many tales were told, and what lies invented, to gain safety or sustenance for the victims’ families cannot be estimated, but those tales may, without a doubt, be read at interminable length in the sacred (and public) records of the International Military Tribunal.
It is upon those gruesome records that the foundation of The Holocaust today rests. One dimension of gruesomeness is to be seen on the pages, in the form of the lurid tales of gassings and shootings, deportations and selections, burials and exhumations, cremations and forced marches, in sum far exceeding all dimensions of credibility and even physical possibility.
The other, underlying vast web of cruelty and fear, deception and prevarication, injustice and murder, is present only between the lines—in fact, between every pair of lines. These invisible lines constitute the blood-soaked cloth from which is cut the shapes from which the shroud of the Holocaust is sewn, to hang, like the reeking skein of lies and calumny it is, over the consciences of all men, the German people first among us.
All men, that is, except those scavengers who daily feast on the carrion sympathies it produces in the gullible, the better to commit against new and innocent victims, atrocities strikingly similar to the ones alleged against the hapless victims of the reign of torture that followed in the train of the "Good War" in Europe.