Editorial Dilemma

For the past 45 years the "Holocaust" and other alleged Nazi war crimes have been the subject of countless news reports, editorials, articles, radio programs, TV docudramas, movies, books and what have you.

So intense has been the media campaign that the alleged extermination of European Jewry and suffering of the (paradoxically plentiful) "survivors" have become, ex post facto, the perceived central issue of World War II, overshadowing all other aspects of the conflict, including even victory itself.

The claim that Six Million Jews had perished in Nazi Gas Ovens surfaced only after the war had ended but soon gained acceptance as historical fact. Though unproven and demographically implausible, the figure was cited often as the "most documented" statistic of the Second World War, if not of all time. Canadian school children all learned that Six Million Jews had died-but were told little about Canadian casualties or about Canada's role in the conflict.

Now comes the really startling news: it wasn't Six Million after all, or anything near it. Prof. Yehuda Bauer, the leading Israeli historian, as well as researchers from the Auschwitz Museum now say that Jewish deaths at Auschwitz were closer to 1 million than to 4 million, with Rabbi Bauer cautioning that exaggeration played into the hands of the Revisionists and could place the whole Holocaust story in jeopardy.

As fate would have it, the Russians recently made public the original Auschwitz camp records which show the number of deaths during the war years to be 74,000, not all of whom were Jews.

So, how does the Globe & Mail react to this iconoclastic recantation of the (journalistically) most important single feature of World War II and presumably happy reincarnation of 3 million Jews? With exactly 3 column inches buried discreetly on page 8, that's how. (G & M, July 24, 1990).

The mind boggles at the implications!


Ian Macdonald