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History Behind Bars

On the Roads of Truth: Searching for Warwick Hester

Klaus Schwensen

1. Introduction

Between 1947 and 1957 a little monthly journal was published in Buenos Aires under the title Der Weg - El Sendero (The Way). Language and readers were German, and the journal is of some historical interest since it was able to publish things in Argentina that certainly would have caused problems in post-war Germany. In July 1954 Der Weg had published an article by a certain Guido Heimann which dealt critically with the 6-million number and the Jewish death toll in what since became known as “the Holocaust.”1 In response to Heimann´s article an American by the name of Dr. Warwick Hester wrote a letter to the editor2 in which he agreed with Heimann. The editor Eberhard Fritsch printed the letter (whose length was more that of an article) under the title "On the Roads of Truth" (Auf den Straßen der Wahrheit). The title refers to the letter writer Warwick Hester, who had in past years made many journeys in order to interview former German soldiers and SS men who lived now in exile and had testified on alleged German atrocities. Both Heimann and Warwick Hester appear in today’s context as early revisionists, and both articles were recently reproduced in the French language.3

2.  Who Was Warwick Hester?

The author´s name Warwick Hester is rather unusual. Warwick is a town in England, and there is also a Warwick in Rhode Island (U.S.A) and in Queensland (Australia). But Warwick is also a surname. Hester is a female Christian name (like Esther), but it can also be a surname. In the introduction to Warwick Hester´s article we read: "Aus einem Brief des bekannten Nordamerikaners", which means that the author was a man and Hester cannot be his Christian name. Thus, both Warwick and Hester could be surnames here, Warwick Hester a hyphenated name and we would not know his Christian name. On the other hand, the naming of children in the United States is rather permissive, and thus, the Christian name of "Dr. Hester" may have been "Warwick." In the ”Contents“ of the issue of Der Weg we read that his residence was Washington. All in all, "Dr. Warwick Hester" is obviously a pseudonym, and the location ”Washington“ may be given to protect his anonymity.

But the story goes on. An Internet search for "Warwick AND Hester" leads us into the world of dog breeders, especially to the friends of Great Danes (Celtic Danes). Here we find in the pedigree of some dogs two bitches that apparently originated from the breeding of a Mr. Warwick, since their names were ”Warwick´s Eunice“ and - ”Warwick´s Hester."4 Since the pedigree does not contain the life data of the dogs, we are not sure whether the noble creatures lived in 1954, but perhaps they had a grandmother called ”Warwick´s Hester”? It seems he was not without some humor - our Dr. Warwick Hester!

According to his article, Warwick Hester made "from 1946 until now" (1954) "journeys into the European countries", in order to form an opinion about the question of the German guilt and the genocide. He travelled in the three Western Occupation Zones of Germany, to Barcelona, even to Cairo and Rio de Janeiro. The latter cities he visited to interview former German soldiers who lived there in exile and who had testified on German war crimes. As Warwick Hester found out, their statements were mostly based on hearsay. As he writes further, he had numerous talks with former concentration camp inmates, that he had done research of his own and studied files and documents. Such an interest and competence in the field of war crimes was unusual for an American private person, not to mention the costs of the research and journeys. But it could well correspond to a lawyer, who travels in order to sound out former witnesses of the prosecution and thus help his clients. Finally, Warwick Hester mentions his own "collection of documents" - where might it have ended up?

According to its content and tendency Warwick Hester´s article could well fit one Stephen F. Pinter, a lawyer from St. Louis, Missouri, who after the war worked in the U.S. War Crimes Program, quit his post in 1948 and settled as a freelance lawyer in Salzburg (Austria). Warwick Hester started his travels in 1946 - like Pinter, who after his arrival in Dachau in mid-January 1946 began to visit many DP (Displaced Persons) camps. Although Pinter does not mention any travels to Barcelona, Cairo and Rio, he could have made such journeys during his "biographical lacuna" (1949-1953) where we have no information at all about his whereabouts.

An identification of ”Warwick Hester“ with Stephen Pinter is found first in Udo Walendy´s introduction to his reprint of the letter, which he calls "The Dr. Pinter Report."5 Walendy had relied on a source of information whose name he did not want to disclose. Obviously his informant was convinced that Warwick and Pinter were identical. Maybe the source knew some of Pinter´s texts and Warwick´s text, and had by combination or intuition concluded that both must be by the same author. If so, Walendy´s source should have reported his discovery - what he did not do. But there is another possibility: that there were some former correspondence partners of Pinter’s, who really knew who "Warwick Hester" was. Pinter had correspondence partners in Germany and maybe also in Austria. Thus, it was quite plausible that he sent copies of the "Warwick Hester letter" to his partners.

3. Origin of the Text and Aftermath

Shortly after its publication Warwick Hester’s article was quoted in a little paper Die Anklage, (Accusation) which, beginning in January 1955, brought out a series about the number of victims of National Socialism. 6 Die Anklage referred to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Warwick Hester. Obviously they knew only Warwick Hester’s article, but nothing about the author. The information about the article in Die Anklage was published by Wolfgang Benz7 , who apparently also knew nothing about Hester.

In 1990 the Warwick Hester article was reprinted almost completely by Udo Walendy. Only the two introductory passages were omitted and two others changed places. In his introduction Walendy brings out some personalia of Pinter, which probably originate from the authentic Pinter texts8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 . The other data are speculative or wrong. For example, Pinter was a Bachelor of Law and no Doctor (Ph. D.), and he was not a Jew. Warwick mentions that when talking with former Jewish prisoners of Majdanek camp, these took him "for one of them" - maybe from there the misunderstanding arose. Upon questioning, Mr. Walendy responded that he had received the text in 1990 together with a letter, and he sent from that letter the following passage13 :

"In a private letter to the editor of La Voce de la Plata, Buenos Aires, Wilfried [actually Wilfred] von Oven, Pinter described his experiences, which von Oven printed 1954 in Der Weg No. 8, pp. 572 ff. Pinter was often criticized for this and wrote newspaper articles like in Our Sunday Visitor. Concerning his person and competence he let a local notary of St. Louis testify and put it into the papers. Pinter’s reports for the U.S. War Department (heeresamtliche Berichte) have never been published… .

Pinter had been in office since 1920, and during the war he was drafted as an Attorney. 1945/46 he was prosecutor in Dachau and investigated thereafter all concentration and labor camps west of the Russian Occupation Zone."

The letter is quoted here only to demonstrate that it contains a lot of errors. Apparently Walendy’s source knew not only the Warwick Hester article but also some of the authentic Pinter texts. From this base he would have composed his story, a strange brew of data that was picked out of the authentic texts but mostly misunderstood. Thus, the writer of the letter seems to be the source of most of the misunderstandings, errors and speculations about Pinter. For example:

It is not plausible that Pinter was "often criticized" because of the Warwick Hester article, for the article was published in faraway Argentina - under a pseudonym. Then Walendy´s source mentions ”Pinter´s Army Reports" (heeresamtliche Berichte), which were never published - how does he know of their existence? And concerning Wilfred von Oven, the editor of La Voce de la Plata, the source seems to believe that von Oven had been the editor of Der Weg, but the founder and editor was Eberhard Fritsch. Herr von Oven, by then 90 years old, said that he at that time had no connection to Duerer House, although he had wished to work for Der Weg.14

In recent times the Warwick Hester article has been completely printed in French. The editor Jean Plantin seems like Walendy to accept the equation Warwick Hester = Stephen F. Pinter. But he did not rely on speculations but started his own research and published his preliminary results. This again was the encouragement for further research and the findings presented here.

4. Warwick’s Points

Warwick Hester’s text remains today, more than 50 years later, highly revelatory and his points and arguments are typical "revisionist":

-     The problem of witnesses

The author complains that evidence in the trials was almost exclusively based on the statements of witnesses, and that numerous statements were false. In this connection he mentions not only Jewish, but also German false statements, e.g. that of Dr. Wilhelm Höttl who had reported the 6-million-victims number, which he allegedly had heard from Eichmann.

-     The gas vans (Gaswagen), which nobody has ever seen.

-     The documentary film "The Death Mills" (Die Todesmühlen)

The author writes that this film was introduced as evidence in the Nuremberg main trial and that it later turned out to be extensively faked.

Here the writer is partly wrong: The film which was shown in the first week of the Nuremberg Main Trial was not "The Death Mills" but another, quite similar film entitled "Nazi Concentration Camps." The footage of these films was mostly authentic (although it was sometimes "enriched" by manipulations, e.g. half-burnt bodies in the crematory ovens were shown which were posed for the film). The propagandistic impact of these films was tremendous. It relied on the horrible pictures combined with a propagandistic, false interpretation. For example, hundreds of dead bodies were shown, all victims of typhus, i.e. victims of a pestilence, while the film comment insinuated that killing was the actual aim of German concentration camps.

-     The issue of gas chambers in certain camps.

-     The general treatment of prisoners in German concentration camps.

-     The issue of Jewish deaths (number of victims.

Here Warwick Hester mentions the increase of the Jewish world population by 3 million between 1933 and 1950, which of course is in contradiction to the 6 million murdered by the Nazis. In this connection he tells the following story :

"Recently when talking to a North American of Jewish origin whom I esteem very much I referred to that discrepancy [of Jewish population numbers]. I asked him whether he himself believed in earnest that the Nazis had killed 6 millions. He said:´Naturally not. For that they had neither the time nor the means. What they obviously had, was the intention. Here begins politics [i.e. the psychology of propaganda]. Given the imputed intention, you can make any number. We thought that 6 millions are not too much to appear plausible, but sufficient to make mankind shiver for one century. This chance Hitler has given to us, and we make the most of it, to good effect, as you see.´ I said he ought to consider that a political lie like this will, in light of subsequent investigation, disclose itself and turn against those who invented it. But this Jew, a psychologist, denied that. It [the propaganda] had penetrated too deep into the subconscious of the masses, so that it could never be dislodged. Humans in general are completely uncritical. What is anchored in the subconscious, even an individual with common sense almost never is able to expunge. As a proof he cited the fact that already now [1954!], after a relatively short propagandistic campaign, that item required no further discussion. ´We have no problem, since we have created a historical fact which from now on is in the history books of schools, like the date of a battle.´"

Why speculate at all about the author of an article that was published more than 50 years ago in an obscure journal on the Rio de la Plata? The reason is that this article is an early precursor of revisionism. The author was a man who had good knowledge of the war-crimes issue, who thought independently and was not misled by the Allied war-crimes propaganda. Furthermore, he had a sense of justice, some sympathy with the defeated Germans and he must have enjoyed financial independence. The contemporary witness ”Dr. Warwick Hester“ has only one drawback: we do not know who he really was. This is a pity since the value of his experiences and observations would increase if it did not originate from a "Mystery Man" but, say, from the U.S. War Department Attorney Colonel Stephen F. Pinter. There are many indications for it, but a real proof is still lacking.

Notes:

1 Guido Heimann, "Die Lüge von den sechs Millionen,“ in:  Der Weg, Heft 7 (Juli 1954), p. 479-487, Dürer Verlag, Buenos Aires 1954.

2 Dr. Warwick Hester, "Auf den Straßen der Wahrheit,“ in: "Der Weg“, Heft 8 (Aug. 1954), p. 572-578, Dürer Verlag, Buenos Aires 1954

3 Jean Plantin, editor "Anthologie chronologique des textes révisionistes des années quarante et cinquante“ ("Chronological Anthology of Revisionist Texts of the 1940s and 1950s“), in: Jean Plantin, editor Etudes révisionistes; Vol. 2, private printing through "Le Cercle antitotalitaire", France 2002.

4 Pedigree of the bitch ”Highland´s Shelby Girl“, www.celticdanes.com/pedigree/shelby.html, see also Kahn & Maxy Puppies www.sgdanes.com/kahnmaxypuppies.pdf

5 Udo Walendy, "Der Dr. Pinter-Bericht", HT Nr. 43, pp. 20-23, Verl. Volkstum u. Zeitgeschichte, Vlotho 1990

6 N.N., "Die gemeinste Geschichtsfälschung", in: Die Anklage, Verlag, Bad Wörishofen, Jan. 1955 ff.

7 Wolfgang Benz, Dimensions of the Holocaust, http://140.149.134.79/Journal/wbenz002.htm

8 S. F. Pinter, letter to the editor of Deutsche Wochenschrift, St. Louis, Missouri, dated November 20, 1958; printed in "Suchlicht", a supplement of Nation Europa, Heft 10 (Okt. 1959) (Text D)

9 Stephen F. Pinter, Letter to the Editor, in: Our Sunday Visitor (Huntington, Indiana), June 14, 1959, p. 15  (Text E)

10 Stephen F. Pinter, "Beeidigte Erklärung, St. Louis, Mo., vom 9. Februar 1960;“ in: Nation Eu­ropa, X. Jahrgang, H. 4 (April 1960), p. 68 (Text F)

11 S. F. Pinter, "Die Kollektivschuld,“ Nation Europa , Jahrg. X. H. 9 (Sept. 1960), p. 9-11 (Text G)

12 Stephen F. Pinter, letter to the editor of National- Zeitung, dated ?; partly quoted in: National-Zeitung Nr. 26, dated July 1, 1966, p. 1 and p. 11 (Text H)

13 Udo Walendy; letter dated September 6, 2002

The letter of Walendy´s source is in German. The passage quoted here has been translated into English.

14 Wilfred von Oven, letter dated October 4, 2001

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"The first casualty when war comes is TRUTH."

Senator Hiram Johnson, 1917