Graf Jürgen - A brief history of forensic examinations of Auschwitz


Author : Graf Jürgen
Title : A brief history of forensic examinations of Auschwitz
Year : *

Link download : Graf_Jurgen_-_A_brief_history_of_forensic_examinations_of_Auschwitz.zip

“Auschwitz” has come to symbolize the greatest crime in human history. The significance of the alleged murder of a million or more persons, most of them Jewish, by gassing at the German concentration camp of that name has elicited endless discussion among philosophers, theologians, and litterateurs as well as jurists and historians, and evoked numberless platitudes from journalists and politicians. The focus of this article, however, is on the following questions: 1. Should the alleged monstrous crime be subject to careful scrutiny by means of thorough forensic analysis? 2. What forensic examinations of the purported crimes scenes at Auschwitz have been conducted thus far, and with what findings? How are we to assess the results? The Moral Obligation of Forensic Examination In late spring 1993, the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart issued an internal memorandum informing its employees that a doctoral candidate there had been dismissed for research he had done on Auschwitz. The institute explained that in view of the horror of the National Socialists’ crimes against the Jews, it was morally repugnant to discuss the specific manner in which the victims had been killed, or to try to determine the precise number of the dead. That one of the world’s leading scientific research institutes stated to its personnel that to determine accurate quantities is not only unethical, but reprehensible, and cause for dismissal, is not without its own irony. Does it really matter just how many Jews lost their lives in the German sphere of influence during the Second World War? Is it so important, after so many years, to attempt painstakingly to investigate just how they died? After all, it is surely morally correct that even one victim is one too many; and nobody seriously denies that many Jews died. To affirm these things, however, is not to raise a valid objection — moral or otherwise — to the scientific investigation of a crime held to be unique and unparalleled in the history of mankind. Even a crime that is alleged to be uniquely reprehensible must be open to a procedure that is standard for any other crime: namely, that it can be — must be — subject to a detailed material investigation. Further: whoever postulates that a crime, alleged or actual, is unique must be prepared for a uniquely thorough investigation of the alleged crime before its uniqueness is accepted as fact. If, on the other hand, someone sought to shield so allegedly unparalleled a crime from investigation by erecting a taboo of moral outrage, the creators of that taboo would, at least morally, themselves commit a singular offense: imputing an unparalleled guilt, beyond any critique and defense, to an entire people, the Germans. To demonstrate just what kind of double standard is being applied to “the Holocaust” (the definition of which usually includes the purposeful annihilation of millions of Jews by the Third Reich), let us note the international reaction to several recent examples of “crimes against humanity.” After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, numerous mass graves, containing hundreds of thousands of victims of the Soviets, were discovered and investigated. Not only was the number of victims determined, but in many cases the specific cause of death as well. In the same regions where many of these mass graves were found, one million or more Jews are said to have been shot by the Einsatzgruppen: yet no such grave has ever been reported found, let alone dug up and investigated, in the more than half a century during which these areas have been controlled by the USSR and its successor states. ...

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