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The Giant With Feet of Clay : Raul Hilberg and his Standard Work on the Holocaust (Holocaust Handbooks) Paperback – April 25, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


Raul Hilberg's reputation as the leading scholar of the Holocaust will not likley suffer as a result of this book because it is censored out of the mainstream distribution networks and libraries but it should be read by anyone with a serious interest in the subject. I sets forth disturbing arguments about Hilberg's failures to do acceptable research to back up his claims about the destruction of the European Jews by the Nazis. The subject is untouchable in our culture (see some of the comments in other reviews) but revisionists like Graf deserve to be heard on the merits of the arguments, not dismissed with quips and ad hominem slurs. --Albert Doyle

Raul Hilbergs monumental work "The Destruction of the European Jews" is generally considered the "definitive" version of events pertaining to the putative Jewish Holocaust. Yet it takes Jurgen Graf only 128 pages to show with blinding clarity that Hilberg's "definitive" work should truly be considered one of the great works of fiction of the 20th Century. In order to prove this extraordinary crime, the murder of the population of a city with a population nearly twice that of Berlin, one would expect an extraordinary investigation. As his contribution to that extraordinary effort Raul Hilberg relies almost exclusively on the one form of evidence which is generally considered in courts of law as the weakest and which, without any corroborating documentary or physical evidence, is considered worthless: eyewitness testimony. In many cases the witnesses and participants are unnamed. Often these eyewitnesses fatally contradict each other. And Raul Hilberg uncritically swallows, as Graf puts it, toad after toad; some of the more nasty-tasting are pointed out by Graf who subsequently, using actual documentary evidence in the form of letters and orders issued by Himmler and other top Nazis, shows that the concentration camps were crucial to the German war effort and that the Nazi high command went to great lengths to improve the living conditions of prisoners. No-one is suggesting, or has ever suggested, that no Jews were badly treated during World War 2. However, there is a whole world of difference between forced labour and ghetto-isation, and deliberate extermination; there is lots and lots of evidence of the former, and almost zero for the latter. This despite the fact that large amounts of records fell intact into Soviet hands as they over-ran eastern Europe in 1945. Those who support the extermination thesis of the Holocaust are often embarrassed at the total lack of documentary evidence for any orders, budget or organisation for the Nazi "death industry" and have resorted to a hedge whereby they basically read into any document exactly what they wish it to say, thus entirely innocuous conversations are twisted around to say things they clearly did not say at all. And whilst there is a total lack of documentation supporting the extermination thesis there IS authentic documentation aplenty which demonstrate clearly the truth, that is, the concentration camps suffered large numbers of casualties, in total probably around 350,000, mostly due to epidemics such as Typhus; a large number of these, maybe as many as 1/3, died in the last 4 months of the war as the German infrastructure crumbled and the Allies gallantly guarded the prisons whilst the starving, diseased prisoners died like flies. On 26th October 1943, at a time when Hilberg tells us 4.3 million Jews had already been exterminated and the extermination of 800,000 more was yet to come, Oswald Pohl sent a general notice to the commanders of 19 concentration camps as the culmination of a long discussion among high-ranking Nazis, fully documented by Graf, in which he stated: "In the framework of German armaments production, thanks to the improvement efforts that have been undertaken in the past 2 years, the concentration camps have become of decisive importance in the war. From nothing we have built armaments works that are second to none. We now have to redouble our efforts to make sure that the production levels so far achieved are not only maintained, but further improved. That will be possible, as long as the works and factories remain intact, only by maintaining and even improving the labour capacity of the prisoners. --SmokeNMirrors

The Giant with Feet of Clay is Raul Hillberg, the acknowledged authority on the Holocaust, and his three volume series, The Destruction of the European Jews, which is often called the "standard work" on the subject. Graf's book is an analysis of that work that especially concentrates on the portion that deals with the evidence for the industrial scale killing by gas, which is at the core of the holocaust myth. After forthrightly stating that Hillberg's description of the persecution and deportations of the Jews during World War II is generally accepted, historically accurate and based on reliable sources, Graf energetically, and even with unseemly enthusiasm, tears apart the evidence he cites for the mass killings. One surprising observation that he makes is that out of three volumes of 1351 pages, only 19 deal with the central fixture of the legend, the killings in gas chambers. I found the portion of the book that deals with each of the eyewitnesses cited by Hillberg to be particularly persuasive. He describes what each witness claimed according to Hillberg, and compared it to what else they claimed, not cited by Hillberg, thus utterly destroying their credibility. His general argument against the reliability of eyewitness accounts, is common sense, but usually ignored in matters of theology. Graf's destruction of Hillberg's treatment of the census data, statistics and demographics is also very persuasive and shows to any reader with even a modicum of discernment that Hillberg is an amateurish mountebank who works backwards from the desired answer to guesses and unreasonable assumptions. This book is one that Hillberg and other tradesmen will never refute in any way. They cannot afford to bring any attention to it. --A Customer

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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Product Details

  • Series: Holocaust Handbooks (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Theses & Dissertations Press; 1 edition (April 25, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0967985641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0967985640
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,039,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By HolocaustHistory channel on March 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
Jürgen Graf highlights the inadequacies of Raul Hilberg's scholarship in a highly readable fashion. His book is not perfect - there are places where I wish he adopted a less aggressive tone, and at a couple of points I thought his interpretation of Hilberg was unfair. But taken as a whole Graf's book makes such a clear case against Hilberg that these occasions are almost beside the point.

Readers interested in further critique of Hilberg's work will want to look for Carlo Mattogno's book "Raul Hilberg e i «Centri di Sterminio» Nazionalsocialisti," which unfortunately has not yet been translated into English but is available on the web.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andre Vielwahr on September 12, 2015
Format: Paperback
Almost 6 millions Jews were murdered by the Nazis, there are numerous pictures of the death camps full of corpses, a great number of eye witnesses, tons of documents written by the Nazis murderers themselves about the final solution . All of the above is ignored by Jurgen Graf. He is certainly not a giant but he does have feet of clay.
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38 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A reader on March 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book represents a milestone. It documents the first time a so-called holocaust expert has been critically questioned and his claims and documentation thoroughly examined instead of being accepted and believed in unquestioningly which, more often than not, is usually the case.

Witness, for example, the fiasco of the ridiculous 'memoirs' of a French 'survivor' who claimed, with a straight face, that she had been raised and sheltered by, incredibly enough, wolves, only to have her story exposed for the fairytale it was but not before a multi-million dollar book and movie deal.

It is the same, over and over. An 'expert' or an 'eyewitness' comes forth with a book of dubious and poorly documented claims which, as a rule, are always treated as 'truth' beyond question and read with an almost religious reverence. Elie Wiesel is another eloquent example. Critical evaluation of his work, however, reveals much - his claims about witnessing, for example, Jews being thrown, via some sort of strange conveyer belt, into a pit of fire being almost laughable, yet this imposter has received, unbelievably, the Nobel Peace Prize, is treated with nauseating deference on shows like 'Oprah Winfrey' and gets away with his ludicrous (and lucrative) charades year after year.

Raul Hilberg engaged in similar shenanagins.....until now, that is.

Painstakingly, Jurgen Graf picks apart Hilberg's 'research', examines carefully his performance under cross-examination at the Toronto trial of Ernst Zundel and exposes this charlatan for what he is.....a falsifier of history and a liar.

Hilberg obviously learned his lesson, for he refused to return as a prosecution witness at Zundel's re-trial three years later. And not only that!
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52 of 87 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read this book carefully several times, as well as other works by this author (Graf) and his target (Hilberg). Graf's critique is enlightening and devastating: Raul Hilberg set out to write a history of HOW the Nazis killed people in gas chambers without stopping to think about WHETHER they did it. Hilberg is on solid ground for most of his work - the persecution and deportation of European Jewry - but fails at the crucial point, the gas chambers. He has no reliable witnesses to mass gassing, no documents, no evidence. He has never done research in the camps themselves, never examined the remains of the "gas chambers", never allowed himself to doubt their existence. He relies instead on hearsay, speculation, and a parade of transparently bogus "witnesses" like Philip Mueller and Kurt Gerstein. Graf is able to refute every one of Hilberg's "witnesses". I have taken the time to read many of their "eyewitness" accounts myself (including those cited by the first reviewer above), and they are as Graf says, totally unreliable when not demonstrably false. Interestingly, Hilberg's autobiography does not even MENTION Graf's work. He has never rebutted the critiques Graf raises! The Giant (Hilberg) does indeed stand on feet of clay (phony evidence).
I will briefly point out that Graf's tone is, in my opinion, needlessly personal and polemical at times. However, the book is a "must read" for anyone interested in the Holocaust controversy.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Saxon Patriot on October 14, 2015
Format: Paperback
When I was at school, I showed my teacher a copy of Richard Harwood's "Did Six Million Really Die?" He was really annoyed and told me that I should read something more factual and less biased. He showed me the school copy of "The Destruction of the European Jews" by Raul Hilberg, which went into three volumes and had over 1,000 pages. Talk about long!

Well, one thing that the book does is it gives Raul Hilberg's estimation of the numbers of Europe's Jews who died in the Holocaust. Apparently his estimate was 5.1 million, nearly a million less than the officially arrived at figure.

When I saw this book, I thought that this was his achilles heel. His inability to count to up to 6 million proved that he had feet of clay and here was a book that explains the faults in his methodology.

Well I have now read this book. On the positive side it is only 128 pages long and with my short attention span, I was able to finish the book. It turns out that his achilles heel wasn't that he had underestamated the numbers of deaths but that he had massively OVERestimated the numbers. This book shows that there were plenty of faults in his methods.

I am so glad that I didn't read Raul Hilberg's opus which I now realise is a load of junk.
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