Pierre Vidal-Naquet: Assassins of Memory (Notes)

  1. Thucydides, IV, 80, 1-4; the episode is told again, following Thucydides, by Plutarch in his Life of Lycurgus, 28, 6 but with a variant clearly due to an error: it was the Spartans who proceeded directly to sorting out the population and (by way of Diodorus of Sicily, XII, 67, 2) with a precision to which I shall return.
  2. See A. Momigliano, "George Grote and the Study of Greek History," in Studies in Historiography (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1966), pp. 56-74.
  3. I quote from the History of Greece (Paris, 1862), 1X:103.
  4. See P. Vidal-Naquet, The Black Hunter, translated by A. Szegedy- Maszak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 168188.
  5. Xenophon, Hellenics, III, 3, 5.
  6. Myron of Priena, quoted by Atheneus, Banquet of the Sophists, XIV, 657d (Jacoby, 106 F2); I am indebted for several ideas here to J. Ducat's excellent study, "Le mépris des Hilotes," Annales ESC 6 (1974):14511464, quotation on p. 1454. J. Ducat has just completed a manuscript on the Helots which he has authorized me to consult and from which I have profited.
  7. See Grote, History of Greece, 1X:103, who opts for a more recent date (425 B.C.) and who indicates, n. 2, the contrary position of his predecessor C. Thirlwall; Diodorus (see n. 1 supra) placed the episode in 424 B.C.
  8. Cf. P. Oliva, Sparta and her Social Problems (Prague: Academia, 1971), p. 166; "There can be no doubt as to the authenticity of the episode"; G. Devereux, "Psychanalyse et Histoire: une application à l'histoire de Sparte," Annales ESC 1965 (1):18-44, has made rather singular use of Freudianism to account for the episode, but he does not treat it as a phantasm.
  9. Nevertheless, Diodorus affirms, unlike Thucydides, that each man was killed in his own house.
  10. Herodotus, IX, 29; this figure has obviously provoked much discussion.
  11. See Max Weber, Ancient Judaism (Glencoe, I11.: Free Press, 1952) and General Economic History (Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1950); the concept has been taken up by Hannah Arendt, The Jew as Pariah, edited by R. H. Feldman (New York: Grove Press, 1979). For a discussion, cf. A. Momigliano, "Le judaïsme comme 'religion-paria' chez Max Weber," in Mélanges Léon Poliakov, edited by M. Olender (Brussels: Complexe, 1981), pp. 201-207.
  12. An expression borrowed from a manuscript on the genocide by Arno J. Mayer, which has since appeared as Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? I owe a good deal to Arno J. Mayer and extend to him my warm gratitude.
  13. See M. R. Marrus and R. O. Paxton, Vichy et les Juifs (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1981), whose conclusions may be inflected by the documentation amassed by S. Klarsfeld, Vichy-Auschwitz, I and II (Paris: Fayard, 1983 - 1986).
  14. I have already mentioned, p. 124, n.82, S. Friedländer's study; we now possess M. R. Marrus's admirably informed article, "The History of the Holocaust: A Survey of Recent Literature," Journal of Modern History 59(1) (March 1987):114-160.
  15. It is a historiography in which French researchers, whether from the University or the CNRS, cut a rather modest figure, despite the pioneering role of Léon Poliakov.
  16. See, for example, in M. I. Finley's last book, Ancient History: Evidence and Models (London: Chatto and Windus, 1985) the chapter devoted to Ranke, the nineteenth-century founder of "positivist" history, pp. 47-66.
  17. For a cumulative chronicle of Hitler's genocide, see Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy (London: Collins, 1986), which is burdened by testimony and documents that are described but not criticized, and without explanatory investigation: see Marrus's judgment, "The History of the Holocaust," pp. 159-160.
  18. I have already sketched an analysis of this debate in my "Theses on Revisionism," supra, p. 85; it is described with some precision in the article cited above by M. R. Marrus; see as well the luminous study, with its rich biography --which I was able to read, thanks to J.-P. Rioux, before its publication-- by P. Burrin, "Maître ou serviteur: Hitler dans le Troisième Reich. Martin Broszat et l'interprétation fonctionnaliste du régime nazi ," XXe siècle: revue d'histoire, October- December 1987.
  19. This is the title of a major work by L. Dawidowicz.
  20. I translate here the title of a famous article by Martin Broszat, mentioned supra, "Theses on Revisionism," n. 31. It has been republished in English in a collection edited by H. W. Koch, Aspects of the Third Reich (London: MacMillan, 1986), pp. 390 - 429, and in German in M. Broszat's collection (edited by H. Graml and K. D. Henke), Nach Hitler: Der schwierige Umgang mit unserer Geschichte (Munich: R. Oldenberg Verlag, 1987), pp. 187-229.
  21. F. Neumann, Behemoth, mentioned supra, "A Paper Eichmann," (n. 15), p. 513.
  22. Arno Mayer does not fail to mention all these interventions in his unpublished manuscript (which has since appeared as Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?; see as well E. Ben Elissar, La Diplomatie du IIIe Reich et les Juifs (Paris: Julliard, 1939), p. 473; concerning Hitler's confusion, on four occasions, between this speech and that of September 1, 1939, the day on which the invasion of Poland began, and in which he had not spoken of the Jews, cf. L. Dawidowicz, The Holocaust, pp. 183-184.
  23. The Twisted Road to Auschwitz: Nazi Policy Toward German Jews, 1933-1939 (Urbane: University of Illinois Press, 1970); a summary of this work may be found in Unanswered Questions, pp. 54-70.
  24. The Twisted Road to Auschwitz, pp. 214-254: "1938: A Road is Open."
  25. I have already objected to this tragic conception of history in my introduction to the French translation of M. R. Marrus's book, Les Juifs de France à l'époque de l'affaire Dreyfus (1972); see Les Juifs, la mémoire, et le présent, p. 88. In this last case, the tragedy would have begun at the end of the nineteenth century.
  26. My admiration for this film history, which is immense, need not conceal disagreements on details, on certain silences, for example, concerning the Gypsies, the attitude of American Jews, and above all, over the cruel manner in which the director questions Polish peasants, who inhabit a space of inherently impoverished discourse.
  27. See E. Kogon, H. Langhein, and A. Rückerl, Les Chambres à gaz, secret d'Etat, 2d ed. (Paris: Seuil, 1987), pp. 184-185, where the principal testimony, including that of Hoess, may be found.
  28. Ibid., pp. 24-71; Hitler's letter is quoted on page 28.
  29. Here too I owe it to Arno J. Mayer to have thought of this dimension of the problem.
  30. The essential book on the subject is G. Sereny, Into That Darkness: From Mercy Killing to Mass Murder (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974).
  31. On this point as well Arno J. Mayer's analysis is decisive.
  32. L. Trotsky's article, "Le procès de Dantzig contre les 'troskystes"' was published in Lutte ouvrière on August 27, 1937; it is reprinted as an appendix to F. Jakubowsky's book, Les Superstructures idéologiques dans la conception matérialiste de l'histoire, translated by J. M. Brohm (Paris: EDI, 1976), pp. 207-212; this document was brought to my attention by Boris Fraenkel.
  33. Cf. supra, "A Paper Eichmann," p. 30; one of the best syntheses on the subject known to me is C. Browning's "The Decision Concerning the Final Solution," in Unanswered Questions, pp. 96-118; Arno J. Mayer argues vigorously in terms of a response to failure: unable to take Moscow and Leningrad, Hitler at least had to destroy the demonized enemy.
  34. Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?, chapter X.
  35. Wirtschafts Verwaltung Hauptamt; for a rather detailed sketch of its evolution, see Wormser-Migot, Le Système concentrationnaire nazi, pp. 294-402.
  36. Cf. "A Paper Eichmann," supra, p. 41.
  37. See François Hartog, The Mirror of Herodotus: The Representation of the Other in the Writing of History, translated by J. Lloyd (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988).
  38. Michel de Certeau, L'Ecriture de l'histoire (Paris: Gallimard, 1975).
  39. Hayden White, Metahistory: The Historicial Imagination in Nineteenth Century Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973); see also, concerning genocide, his lecture-article "The Politics of Historical Interpretation: Discipline and De-sublimation," Critical Inquiry 9 (September 1982).
  40. In support of this affirmation, I would have to cite the complete intellectual output of Pierre Sorlin or, in a different genre, the films of Marc Ferro.
  41. "Claude Lanzmann thus works like an anthropologist recording the 'living memory of a people.' In this respect his film is a great ethnological film about Jewish storytellers," writes P. Guillaume (Droit et Histoire [Paris: La Vieille Taupe, 1986], p. 57). And no doubt also about Nazi and Polish "storytellers." R. Faurisson's reaction to the film was two years in coming: "Ouvrez vos yeux, cassez la télé," Supplement no. 2 to Annales d'histoire révisionniste, a tract distributed in June 1987. It is extremely "vague," to use one of the author's preferred terms.
  42. I have written a review of this lamentable work of fiction, whose effect was immense, in "Le naves et le spectacle," Esprit, April 1979, pp. 119-121.
  43. An experience I had in May 1987 via television.
  44. Concerning the existence of small gas chambers in the western camps, see E. Kogon, H. Langbein, and A. Rückerl, Les Chambres à gaz, secret d'Etat, pp. 222-255; the affirmation, to be found in all revisionists writings, according to which the German historian M. Broszat would have written in Die Zeit of August 19, 1980 that there were no gas chambers in the camps of the former Reich is a lie which has been effectively dismantled by G. Wellers, Les Chambres à gaz ont existé (Paris: Gallimard, 1981), pp. 141-143. M. Broszat spoke only of installations specialized in the annihilation of the Jews. The lie is nonetheless repeated in all the sect's tracts. That much being established, there were imaginary gas chambers and G. Wellers was wrong to glide over the subject a bit hastily (pp. 161-162).
  45. See H. I. Marrou, De la connaissance historique, 7th ed. (Paris: Seuil, 1975), pp. 132-133.
  46. "Comment s'en débarrasser?," Le Monde, June 18, 1987.
  47. The expressions in quotation marks are borrowed from W. Stäglich, Le Mythe d'Auschwitz, p. 28.
  48. I have given above, in "A Paper Eichmann," section VIII, the references to this document and the polemics it elicited.
  49. This grotesque affirmation figures on the back cover of R. Faurisson, Mémoire en défense.
  50. Robert Bonnaud drew my attention to this sentence.
  51. A drolly sinister detail: Faurisson glosses this entry of September 3, 1942 --"colic, diarrhea" (Mémoire en défense, p. 131).
  52. In his article in Le Monde, January 16, 1978, and reprinted in S. Thion, Vérité, and in his book Mémoire en défense.
  53. Above, p. 50.
  54. Réponse à Pierre Vidal-Naquet, p. 55.
  55. His detailed argument is to be found in a text printed at his own expense: Mon analyse du 'Journal de Kremer,' médecin SS à Auschwitz (Saint-Nazaire, 1981), and in L'Antimythe, no. 25, Draveil, 1981; a fragment of this last text was reprinted in the collection Intolérable intolérance, pp. 11 - 29.
  56. Mémoire en défense, p. 35; I have replaced "my tenth" by "the tenth," which is more literal.
  57. Concerning this interpretation, see above, p. 65.
  58. Reference to this work is supplied above, chapter 1, n. 51. The thesis itself was annulled by Alain Devaquet on July 2,1986, for administrative irregularities, after a press campaign. The measure, which shared the mediocrity of all administrative decisions, ignored the responsibility of the academics who were underwriting this hoax. An excellent clarification of the affair is to be found in the article by Michèle Cointet and Rainer Riemschneider, "Histoire, déontologie, médias: A propos de l'affaire Roques," Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine, January-March 1987, pp. 174-184.
  59. I cite here an unpublished document, a tape recording of the Nantes defence. Concerning the friendship of Céline and Albert Paraz, an extreme right-wing writer who was the prefacer and friend of Paul Rassinier, cf. F. Gibault, Céline, III, 1944-1961: Cavalier de l'Apocalypse (Paris: Mercure de France, 1986), passim.
  60. See the material assembled by G. Wellers, Le Monde juif 121 (January-March 1986):1-18; discussion of this affair continued in subsequent issues of the periodical, with an intervention by Henri Roques, who attempted in vain to explain his omission of this testimony.
  61. J.-P. Allard, a professor at Lyon-III, has explained his position in this affair in various declarations, particularly in a letter of December 4, 1986, to his fellow Germanists which I have before me and which testifies above all to his cowardice.
  62. Two volumes have been published through the efforts of Jean-Paul Dumont and Paul-Ursin Dumont, Le Cercle amoureux d'Henry Legrand (Paris: Gallimard, 1979); H. Legrand, Adèle, Adèle, Adèle (Paris: Christian Bourgois, 1979).
  63. One should read the few literally insane pages P. Guillaume published in the first issue of Annales d'histoire révisionniste (Spring 1987), particularly pp. 178-180, an issue which was regrettably banned from public sale: in informing a Swedish diplomat of what was happening at Belzec, Gerstein was acting, according to Guillaume, on behalf of the Nazis. It was a matter of obtaining various advantages from the Nazis "in exchange for the improvement of the fate of the Jews."
  64. The typography of the word Annales in the review I have just mentioned is borrowed from Annales: Economies-Sociétés-Civilisations. The circumstance speaks volumes as to the revisionists' will to respectability and appearances.
  65. See above "A Paper Eichmann," section Vl.
  66. Much of what I know of La Vieille Taupe is borrowed from a megalomaniacal but fascinating article published in La Banquise 2 (1983):3-60, "Le roman de nos Origines." La Banquise is a dissidence of this dissidence, which broke with La Vieille Taupe over a number of issues, including that of Faurissonianism. It nonetheless retains a discreetly revisionist attitude, as evidenced by the book of one of its members, S. Quadruppani's Catalogue du prêt-à-penser français depuis 1968 (Paris: Balland, 1983). Others broke clearly and definitively with the group over the Faurisson affair, and most particularly Jacques Baynac.
  67. To my knowledge, no history of Socialisme ou Barbarie exists, even if projects of this sort have been formulated (particularly by the Danish professor Jules Lund), but the principal writings of the leaders of the group have been published: nine volumes in the Collection 10/18, from 1974 to 1979, edited by C. Castoriadis under the general title Socialisme ou Barbarie, and, by Claude Lefort, Eléments pour une critique de la bureaucratie (Geneva: Droz, 1971; revised and republished, Paris: Gallimard, 1979); see as well the collection of articles from the journal Arguments, edited by E. Morin, La Bureaucratie (Paris: 10/18, 1976). Finally, detailed interviews with C. Castoriadis, H. Simon, and C. Lefort were published in 1975 in the series L'Antimythe. So that matters may be clear, I shall state here that I discovered the journal in 1958, and that without ever being a member, I subscribed to the journal and to the dissident organ Pouvoir ouvrier from 1958 until their disappearance. It was at my initiative that the first group publication outside the journal appeared: Daniel Mothé's Journal d'un ouvrier (Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1959). I also collaborated with La Vieille Taupe in 1973-1974 in the effort to save the Spanish anarchist Puig-Antich.
  68. I am paraphrasing and quoting P. Bourdieu, "Genèse et structure du champ religieux," Revue française de sociologie 12 (1971) :295334 (quotation on p. 321).
  69. A savvy detail: P. Guillaume and his friends were accused of succumbing to antifascism and a desire for publicity at the time of their collaboration with me during the Puig-Antich affair; cf. La Banquise 2:32-33, and those same critics, after their break and before the publication of La Banquise, in turn came to see me.
  70. I am thinking of Miguel Abensour and the admirable collection "Critique de la politique" (Payot), which has translated works of the Frankfurt School.
  71. I underscored this role in my introduction to A. Schnapp and P. Vidal-Naquet, The French Student Uprising, translated by Maria Jolas (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971). The founders of Socialisme ou Barbarie, and E. Morin with them, have expressed their views in La Brèche (Paris: Fayard, 1968).
  72. See above, "A Paper Eichmann," p. 111.
  73. Testimony of Miguel Abensour.
  74. See in Mémoire en défense, p. 270, the incredible letter of a Belgian Catholic fundamentalist publishing house, refusing to distribute Thion's book, a copy of which had been sent to it, because of the book's atheism. An alliance with such circles had thus been attempted.
  75. Such a policy is rather singularly conducted on the international level, either with German neo-Nazis (see above, "Theses on Revisionism," p. 90) or with W. Carto's Liberty Lobby in the United States. Carto finances the Journal of Historical Review, of which Faurisson is a member of the advisory committee, and he has links with the Ku Klux Klan. There is much documentation concerning this group: see the American review Facts, the organ of the Anti-Defamation League, 26(2) (1980) and Ludi Boekel's film The Other Face of Terror, broadcast on Antenne 2 in 1984. In France, one should indicate the journal Le Militant, directed by a historian, A. Delaporte, and which voices a sensibility at once Catholic-fundamentalist and Nazi. Concerning these various tendencies, one may read (but with a critical eye) the works of P. A. Taguieff and J. Tarnero, for example in the anthology prefaced by R. Badinter, Vous avez dit Fascismes? (Paris: Arthaud-Montalba, 1984).
  76. See the previously mentioned contribution to the collection Intolérable intolérance. V. Monteil was the distributor of the video cassette produced by R. Faurisson.
  77. For instance, the Paris Iraqi magazine Kol Al Arab published an interview with Faurisson in April 1983. Other Arab (and particularly Palestinian) organs have had a quite different attitude --for example, La Revue des études palestiniennes. The generalizations in which B. Lewis indulges in Semites and Anti-Semites strike me as excessive. Having said that, I should state that it is a matter of some notoriety that Arab money, particularly from Saudi Arabia, financially supports the dissemination of anti-Semitic and revisionist texts. It has just been as certained (Le Canard enchaîné, August 5, 1987) that the famous Monsieur Gordji of the Iranian embassy helped underwrite the publishing distributing house Ogmios, which distributes Henri Roques's thesis and works published by La Vieille Taupe.
    In the first issue of Annales d'histoire révisionniste, pp. 110-115, S. Thion has published a study entitled "Histoire européenne et monde arabe." It is a preface to an aborted Arab edition of his book on the Faurisson affair, and in my opinion it is the sole text in these Annales which does not totally disgrace its author. That being granted, it should be stated that not for an instant does S. Thion ponder what effect the thesis of the "hoax of Auschwitz" might have on an Arab world at war.
  78. Both were published by Editions de la Différence with prefaces by P. Guillaume in 1982 and 1983. In Esprit (June 1982), I had drawn attention to the dishonesty of the first republication.
  79. These quotations are excerpted from a Vieille Taupe circular signed by P. Guillaume in 1986 and preceding the publication of W. Stäglich's book. Myth is not the only thing to have "died"; P. Guillaume's adversaries, who manifestly know him rather well, published his obituary in L'Exagéré, May 1,1987: "The corpse of this revisionist-sic has been brought home to Paris to be at last given over to the gnawing critique of the scourers." The obituary goes on to stipulate that P. Guillaume passed away "at the residence of an officer of the Swiss army, Mme Mariette Paschoud." An officer and a teacher in Lausanne, Mme. Paschoud represents the Vaudois branch of revisionism.
  80. Which has not prevented him from speaking, for years, about lies and hoaxes.
  81. Mémoire en défense, p. 271.
  82. A tract entitled "Le mythe de ['extermination des Juifs," signed by Faurisson and communicated to me by my Besançon colleague M. M. Mactoux.
  83. Tract entitled "Info-intox ... Histoire-intox... ça suffit! Chambres-à-gaz Bidon" (May 1987). The tract is signed by a Lycée Collective which, if I am not mistaken, had surfaced at the time of the Roques affair. It is accompanied by a drawing by the artist Konk (formerly with Le Monde and L'Evénement du jeudi, subsequently with Minute), taken from his album, Aux voleurs (Paris: Albin Michel, 1986). It was also distributed in Lyon, on April 27,1987, in the context of the Barbie trial.
  84. For France, see, in the beautiful series "Les lieux de la mémoire," published since 1984 at Gallimard by P. Nora, vol. II(1) (1986), La Nation, pp. 189-429, which goes back to the thirteenth century the better to underscore, in the nineteenth century, "the great cycle of the nation affirming its sovereignty" (p. 186).
  85. See P. Nora's two studies, "Lavisse instituteur national," "Les Lieux de mémoire," La République 1:247-289, and "L'Histoire de France de Lavisse," ibid., II(1): 317-375.
  86. See J. Chesneaux, Du passé faisons table rase? (Paris: Maspero, 1976). There are, moreover, many correct observations in this book, but its general thesis strikes me as open to criticism. Concerning national practices, see Marc Ferro, Comment on raconte l'histoire aux enfants (Paris: Payot, 1981).
  87. I return here to what I wrote at the beginning of the volume of the "Peoples' Permanent Tribunal," Le Crime du silence: le génocide des Arméniens, p. 15. Concerning offficial Turkish historiography, see in that same volume the chapter entitled "Les Thèses turques," pp. 203256. It is regrettable that this volume is introduced and concluded by François Rigaux, one of those who have denied the "crimes against humanity" committed in Cambodia under the reign of Pol Pot. For a far more detailed presentation of the Turkish conception of Armenian history, see Kamuran Gurun, Le Dossier arménien (Triangle, 1983).
  88. All of this did not take place in a single day, and I hope that S. Friedländer will soon publish the presentation I heard him deliver on the subject in Haifa in January 1987 and which was replete with interesting details.
  89. Occasionally, but not always, there appear works in the Diaspora which are far more "orthodox" and less critical than what is being produced in Israel. M. Gilbert's book Holocaust is an example.
  90. In another Jerusalem neighborhood, on Mount Zion in the Old City, the "Holocaust cave" is a site intended to provoke fear of the return of the Shoah and not a place for meditation.
  91. Le Monde, February 3, 1983; the article had the effect of shocking S. Quadruppani, Catalogue du pret-à-penser français depuis 1968, n. 66, pp. 344-346.
  92. K. Jaspers, The Question of German Guilt, translated by E. B. Ashton (New York: Dial Press, 1948).
  93. See B. Cohen and L. Rosenzweig, Le Mystère Waldheim (Paris: Gallimard, 1986).
  94. Cf. supra, "Theses on Revisionism," p. 94.
  95. See J. P. Bier, Auschwitz et les nouvelles littératures allemandes (Brussels: Editions de l'université de Bruxelles, 1979); as an individual case and because of its honesty and sincerity, mention should be made of L. Baier, Un Allemand né de la dernière guerre, essai à l'usage des Français (Brussels: Complexe, 1985).
  96. See M. H. Kater's essential work, Das 'Ahnerbe' der SS, 19351945: Ein Beitrag zur Kulturpolitik der Dritten Reichs (Stuttgart: DVA, 1974).
  97. Phrase used by A. Besançon, La Confusion des langues (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1978), p. 94.
  98. And not the New Right alone: all those who derive from the work of G. Dumézil the idea, or rather the retrospective utopia, that, in the last analysis, European humanity embarked on the wrong ship when it became Christian (that is, Jewish). A fine example: J. L. Tristani, "La théologie comme science du XXe siècle," Critique, 1977, pp. 1085-1097. The case of Tristani, who is one of the collaborators of Intolérable intolérance and of P. Guillaume's book Droit et Histoire, is, from an intellectual point of view, particularly appalling.
  99. One can get an idea of what such propaganda was like, with all that was true and occasionally imprecise in it, in the Thomas Mann volume translated into French as Appels aux Allemands, 1940-1945 (Paris: Balland & Martin Flinker, 1985).
  100. W. Stäglich, Le Mythe d'Auschwitz, chapter 4, n. 26, pp. 11, 12, 16.
  101. Cf. supra, "Theses on Revisionism," p. 90.
  102. Cf. Erich Kern, Von Versailles nach Nürnberg: Der Opfergang des Deutschen Volkes, 3d ed. (Göttingen: Schütz, 1971).
  103. In France it has been the subject of a massive amount of documentation, and I shall therefore be brief. See S. Friedländer, "Sur le nazisme," Le Débat 43 (January-March 1987):184-187, which gives the principal references; by the same author, "Quelques réflexions sur l'historisation du National-Socialisme," XXe siècle, revue d'histoire (October-December 1987); under the title "Interrogations allemandes," Le Débat also assembled material by H. Bruhns, C. Meier, H. Mommsen, H. G. Haupt, and R. von Thadden, no. 45 (May-September 1987), pp. 140-169 --this is the most complete assemblage of material in French; see also J.-J. Guinchard, "Passé nazi, passé allemand?," Le Monde diplomatique, July 1987; E. François, "Allemagne: la révision du nazisme," L'Histoire 98 (March 1987):79-83; a good analysis with translated texts is to be found in Katharina von Bülow, "L'Histoire, une idole en faveur du finalisme politique," Cosmopolitiques 3 (May 1987):87-106. Finally a collection has just appeared --Historiker-"Streit": Die Dokumentation der Kontroverse und die Einzigartigkeit der national-sozialistischen Judenvernichtung (Munich: Piper Verlag, 1987)-- which regroups all the essential texts. My thanks to P. Nora, Denis Vidal-Naquet, H. Bruhns, Arno J. Mayer, and J.-P. Rioux for the assistance they have given me.
  104. "Vergangenheit die nicht vergehen will": I shall refer for the most part to "Between Myth and Revisionism?: The Third Reich in the Perspective of the Eighties" in H. W. Koch, ea., Apects of the Third Reich, pp. 17 - 38. The Nolte article, in German, is not the first to have appeared in a newspaper, but it was the one which served as a point of reference and, often, of counter-reference in the "Quarrel."
  105. A. Hillgruber, Zweierlei Untergang: Die Zerschlagung der Deutschen Reiches und das Ende des europaïschen Judentums (Berlin: Corso bei Siedler, 1986).
  106. Martin Broszat, "Plädoyer für eine Historisierung des Nationalsozialismus," Merkur, May 1985, pp. 373-385.
  107. "Eine Art Schaudensabwicklung: die apologetishen Tendenzen in der deutschen Zeitgeschichtsschreibung," Die Zeit, July 11, 1986; J. Habermas was to return to the subject and attempt, in vain, to conclude in a second article published in Die Zeit, November 7, 1986, "Vom Offentlichen Gebrauch der Historie [On the public use of history]"; among the participants in the debate, mention should be made above all of the historian E. Jäckel, "Die elende Praxis der Untersteller [The miserable practice of the insinuators]," Die Zeit, September 12, 1986, who took the side of Habermas, and of the historian J. Fest, editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, who published in that newspaper (August 29, 1986) "Die geschuldete Erinnerung [Indebted memory]" and took that of Nolte. On April 25, 1986, the same daily had published an article of the same tendency by the historian M. Stürmer, "Geschichte in geschichtlosem Land [History in a land without history]."
  108. Quoted by K. von Bülow, "L'Histoire, une idole en faveur du finalisme politique," p. 103.
  109. Thucydides, I, 23, 6.
  110. H. Mommsen gives a gripping example of it in his study of the behavior of the Nazi leaders after the Reichstag fire, "The Reichstag Fire and its Political Consequences" in H. W. Koch, ea., Aspects of the Third Reich, n. 104, pp. 62-95.
  111. E. Nolte, "A Past That Will Not Pass Away," p. 27. For the literally industrial exploitation by revisionists of T. Kaufmann's booklet-- which is from 1941, not 1940, and which calmly looked forward to the sterilization of the Germans --see, for example, P. Rassinier, Le Véritable Procès Eichmann (supra, chapter 1, n. 66), pp. 109 and 239-243, or H. Härtle, Freispruch für Deutschland (supra, chapter 4, n. 34), pp. 255-256, or E. Kern, Von Versailles nach Nürnberg (supra, n. 102), p. 456; concerning Weizmann and the use to which he is put by Faurisson and several others, see my clarification in "A Paper Eichmann," section VII.
  112. H. Mommsen discusses in this context (Le Débat 45:145-146) the projected Museum of German History, presently being planned in Bonn and Berlin, which runs the risk of freezing that history into an insipid state-inspired version. More than history books, museums function as the expression of national ideologies. One need only travel in Israel and in Poland; cf. "Des musées et des hommes" in Les Juifs, la mémoire, et le présent, I: 110-125.
  113. Samuel 1,15: 1-3.
  114. An example among many others: G. E. M. de Ste-Croix, The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World (London: Duckworth, 1981), pp. 331-332, and see the entry "genocide" in the index.
  115. From the translation by E. Renan, Histoire du peuple d'lsraël in Oeuvres complètes, VI (Paris: Calmann-Lévy, 1953), p. 501.
  116. See La Torture dans la République (Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1972; reed. Maspero, 1975); Les Crimes de l'armée française (Paris: Maspero, 1975).
  117. Bulletin municipal officiel de Paris, Session of October 27, 1961. M. Moscovitch was to repeat on January 15: "I have indeed regretted that the enemies of France were not exterminated . . . and I still regret it." (Le Monde, January 17,1962).
  118. The title of a brochure he published in 1961 with Maspero.
  119. J. Vergès, "Lettre au docteur Servatius sur la défense de Robert Lacoste," Les Temps modernes, November 1961, pp. 563-565.
  120. An allusion to the repression which followed the demonstration of May 1945, particularly in Sétif. The figure of 45,000 victims is an exaggeration, but the repression was atrocious. That article by Vergès should be read in conjunction with the one he wrote on "the crime of colonialism" in Les Temps modernes, March 1962, pp. 1283-1295. The 1945 date is an allusion to the Nuremberg trial at which Dr. Servatius had been a lawyer.
  121. Le Monde, March 22,1972.
  122. A demonstration of this had been given by Maxime Rodinson in his classic article, "Israël, fait colonial?" in Les Temps modernes, special issue (1967) and reprinted in his collection, Peuple juif ou problème juif (Paris: Maspero, 1981).
  123. Annie Kriegel, Israël est-il coupable? (Paris: Robert Laffont, 1982), pp. 149-180.
  124. See H. Noguères, La Vérité aura le dernier mot (Paris: Seuil, 1985), whose demonstration strikes me as irrefutable.
  125. Actualité de l'émigration, October 15, 1986; I myself had collaborated (along with Didier Daenincks and Jean-Luc Einaudi) in this issue and our protest was published on October 29 together with a discouraging commentary.
  126. See Le Monde of May 24-25,1987 (article by F. Fritscher).
  127. More than reading the book of this title [Le Cas Vergès] by Jacques Givet (Paris: Lieu commun, 1986), in order to become acquainted with the individual, one would do well to consult the astonishing self-portrait he published, with the assistance of J.-P. Chabrol, in VSD (May 21-27, 1987); the partial disavowal in the following issue will not convince anyone.
  128. I have attempted to delineate several of these contradictions in Le Monde of June 16,1987 ("Les degrés dans le crime").
  129. See Libération, July 3, 1987 (article by Véronique Brossard): "Cette jeune génération montante d'intellectuels qui faurissonnent sur le colonialisme."
  130. Cf. J.-M. Tholleyre in Le Monde of July 5-6,1987.
  131. Excerpts from and summary of a manifesto signed May 8, 1987, and published in Le Nouvel observateur, July 10,1987.
  132. The one cited above, n. 83.
  133. Concerning this affair the most precise treatment is the one published in Le Matin of June 1,1987.
  134. Concerning this legislation, see E. Stein, "History Against Free Speech: The New German Law Against the 'Auschwitz' --and Other- 'Lies,"' Michigan Law Review 85(2) (November 1986):277-323.
  135. Cf. ibid., p. 281 and supra, n. 40.
  136. Cf. Lyotard, Le Différend, p. 16, quotation on p. 38.
  137. Excerpt from a tango by the Argentine poet Enrique Santos Discépolo, which the reader will find below.
  138. I am thinking of the work undertaken by J.-C. Pressac, a former revisionist who, at Auschwitz, was overwhelmed by the evidence he had denied. See his Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers (New York: Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1989). I am thinking as well, of course, of all that Georges Wellers has contributed.
  139. I recall, following J. Baynac and N. Fresco (Le Monde of June 18, 1987), that this was the conclusion reached by R. Hilberg in The Destruction of the European Jews, published in French translation by Editions Fayard in 1988.
  140. Preface to Filip Müller, Trois ans dans une chambre à gaz d'Auschwitz (supra, chapter 1, n. 43), p. 12.
  141. Ibid., p. 17.


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