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Dachau Blues:
Applying History to Science & Science to History

BreakingtheSpell [1]3,124 words

Nicholas Kollerstrom
Breaking the Spell
Uckfield, UK: Castle Hill Publishers, 2014

Dachau blues those poor jews
Dachau blues those poor jews
Down in Dachau blues, down in Dachau blues
Still cryin’ ’bout the burnin’ back in world war two’s
One mad man six million lose.

— Captain Beefheart, “Dachau Blues” [1] 

Blue has always been the colour with which I identify. It’s the sea, the density of a mood, solitude, the colour evoked by Marc Almond’s voice; it’s a French poem and a concentrated head of cornflowers bunching in a white vase. Blue is the color that stretches like a cat in one’s mind.

— Jeremy Reed[2]

Blue, blue, electric blue/That’s the colour of my room
Where I will live/Blue, blue

Pale blinds drawn all day/Nothing to do, nothing to say
Blue, blue

— David Bowie, “Sound and Vision”

Just as Nietzsche, at the end of his sanity, only wanted to be a professor in Basel,[3] or, perhaps more modestly, just as George Costanza always wanted to be — or at least pretend to be — an architect,[4] I always wanted to have attended (note the past perfect tense) the London School of Economics [2], graduating with a M.Sc. in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method.[5]

Just as Harvard was classier than MIT,[6] and Oxford classier than Harvard, the LSE topped them all by combining both class and a sleek, technocratic edge; more EU mandarin than Big Bang nerd. And, of course, philosophical study in the midst of science would cut down significantly on the bullshit factor.[7]

But although my scholastic fantasy may have been purely subjective,[8] the hard edge I imagined philosophy having there (unlike the difficult but superficial academic twaddle of “analytic” philosophy stateside) resulted in some pretty significant work being done there, by the likes of Sir Karl Popper, Imre Lakatos, and, ultimately (and admittedly to their despair)[9] the “anarchist epistemology” of ex-Luftwaffe pilot Paul K. Feyerabend.[10]

Briefly,[11] Feyerabend insisted that the study of the history of science revealed that actual scientific progress requires a multiplicity of rival theories to generate the data that empiricism requires to test theories;[12] conversely, science stagnates during periods of theoretical conformity (such as mediaeval scholasticism, or Kuhn’s “normal science”).

Such theoretical conformity results in what Lakatos called “degenerating research programs,” which fail to make new, confirmed predictions, and handle disconfirmations through ad hoc “auxillary hypotheses;” for example, the epicycles of Ptolemaic astronomy.[13]

So imagine my delight to find this former University of London academic (close enough and we’ll look at that “former” business) employing the radical philosophy of science of Feyerabend and his mentors, Popper and Lakatos to one of my favorite areas of post-war culture distortion . . . . [T]he [H]olocaust.

Kollerstrom, a now former professor of the history of science, had the novel idea, as explicated by James Fetzer in his Foreword (The Holocaust Narrative: Politics Trumps Science), to apply the Official Methods of Science to the claims of the Holocaust.

Specifically, he applied the following simple experimental test to the core of The Holocaust Hypothesis:

Hypothesis: Six million Jews were exterminated by the National Socialists.

The method used to exterminate many if not most Jews was Zyklon B in human gas chambers.

If Zyklon B was used, the corpses would have been a bright pink, and the walls of the chambers blue.

There is no photographic, eye-witness, or current physical evidence of either effect.[14]

Therefore, the Holocaust Hypothesis is false.

Surprisingly, the reaction to his little contribution to scientific debate was rather not as he had anticipated:

Naively, I did not apprehend that what I reckoned or hoped to be a scientific question was apparently more like a deeply religious one.

The fastest way to get expelled from a British university is by saying you are looking at chemical evidence for how Zyklon was used in World War II . . . This is considered absolutely forbidden. How strange is that?

Searching for answers to this further puzzle, Kollerstrom discovers he’s stumbled into an area that can only be called a Public Religion, heresy from which is subject to social exclusion, or worse. As Andrew Hamilton wrote in another context:

Reason and empiricism have been banished, outlawed by governments or suppressed by dominant cultural elites and institutions in a manner essentially replicative of Communism. Bizarre fantasies and cult beliefs of the most primitive sort reign in their stead.

In particular, the history of Germany, 1933–1945, has been subsumed to the needs of a bizarre new religious cult. Its elaborate mythology . . . was constructed and imposed during the lifetimes of people who actually lived through the historical events, proving the supremacy of collective social constructions, even false ones, over the limited personal experiences of individuals. Surprised National Socialists formally accused of genocide universally responded with half-belief: “This is the first I’ve heard of it!”[15]

In all this, Prof. Kollerstrom resembles those 9/11 skeptics who have eschewed black ops and reptiles to focus on questions of purely scientific plausibility.[16] Reflecting on how so many bodies could have been disposed of, he muses, like an engineer confronting the Towers’ collapse, that the official narrative is:

a bizarre explanation of how they were all burned, which tends to violate known laws of physics.

Which is pretty ironic, since while it’s no surprise that he’s a UK 9/11 sceptic, it turns out even the UK skeptics turfed him out at the first sign of “Holocaust Denial.”

Sure, empty radar-guided planes and missiles striking the Pentagon, that’s just good solid investigative work and speaking truth to power, but ask whether the walls of the “gas chambers” show evidence of, like, actual use of cyanide gas, you know, and everyone loses their minds [3]![17]

For all this, we have to ask: cui bono?

Kollerstrom’s answer is: having genocidally destroyed Germany,[18] the Allies looked around and at each other and said: Well, we can’t take the fall for this.[19]

So, by various means, including the use of torture,[20] a Holocaust Hypothesis was concocted and leveraged onto wartime propaganda to shift the blame for “the destruction of a people” to the defeated National Socialist regime.

Now, what lifts this from a mere historical footnote is that this Hypothesis has become an all-purpose excuse for intervention everywhere to “prevent another Shoah” or “head off [literally] the next Hitler.”

At Nuremberg the foundation was laid for a civilization based upon Horror and Untruth: horror because we were asked to believe that six million Jews were gassed for no reason whatsoever, and untruth because it never happened.[21]

And that’s what terrifies the Powers That Be:

People who don’t have the common sense and curiosity to ferret out the truth end up as nothing more than compliant, subservient, slaves. This is as the Ruling Class and big money special interests want it. The biggest threat to a corrupt regime is when truth moves away from the “conspiracy theory” fringes and into the mainstream.[22]

Speaking of “moving into the mainstream,” the reader will have noted that I’m taken with this blue business. It brings to mind, at least to my mind, an appropriately Aryan archeofuturist angle to Kollerstrom’s project:

The permanence of the ferrocyanide bond carries with memory of what happened seventy years ago. We here seek to remember what happened then.

As the cyanide percolated through those walls, sixty years ago, our truth percolates through the solid walls of establishment Denial.

Two can play the “never forget” game.[23] As Kollerstrom sums up the situation:

What is here going on is a Clash between Science, which represents the human capacity of rational thought, and religion, whereby a high priesthood decrees what the people have to believe and threaten and “excommunicate” those who will not bow down.

All of which connects up with another of Feyerabend’s themes: since Science will use the State to enforce orthodoxy, and the State will have its own reasons to do so,

The separation of state and church must be complemented by the separation of state and science, that most recent, most aggressive, and most dogmatic religious institution.[24]

Thus, Feyerabend supported the right of American parents in the ’80s to exempt their children from being taught dogmatic Darwinism in the name of “science,” since all theories, even ones as apparently “stupid” as Creationism, are capable of producing the data needed for rigorous testing of even — or especially — the most accepted hypotheses.

If you don’t like standing alongside creationists, and for more modern instances, consider IQ:

If neo-Stalinism wins the battle by shutting down research on the genetics of IQ — and especially the science of race differences in IQ, that will represent the victory of politics over science, of language over legitimate research.[25]

Or, perhaps, childhood vaccination raises your Federalist or Distributist hackles:

No less a champion of government in your face than Hillary Clinton jumped into this debate with a whacky Tweet that argued that because the Earth is round and the sky is blue and science is right, all kids should be vaccinated. What she was really saying is that in her progressive worldview, the coercive power of the federal government can be used to enforce a scientific orthodoxy upon those states and individuals who intellectually reject it.[26]

Four Appendices discuss the “Hoefle Telegram,” the “Tall Tales” of Elie Wiesel and others, a dryly humorous recitation of the all the crimes attributed to NS Germany (from a “pedal-driven brain-bashing machine” to head-shrinking and compulsory violin-playing), and a compendium of EU and UN laws relating to Holocaust speech.

The Bibliography presents a guide to the Essential Books (there’s only seven, so feel free to master the literature!) as well as Carlo Mattogno’s “technical studies” of the various camps, British Intelligence decrypts, the three volume report compiled by the International Red Cross (before the appearance of the Holocaust story), and even a guide to searching of the online transcript of the Nuremberg proceedings.

Kollerstrom suggests, perhaps facetiously, that readers might consider putting a brown paper cover on the book (which actually would draw more attention, I would think) or else using the Kindle. Those taking the latter course will appreciate that the kindle is well-formatted, including the all-important linking of text to endnotes. There is also an index, apparently based on the print edition, which, the entries not being linked, does not really supplant the use of the “search” function.

Trying to suggest where Coleman Francis had gone wrong in filming his brilliant notion of combining aviation and adultery, The Skydivers, one critic suggested that “Instead of having the actors do their own skydiving, he had the skydivers do their own acting.” In the same spirit, I could say that as a science writer, Kollerstrom’s talents lie on the science end of the spectrum. Despite a superficial appearance of organization, the actual text is often vague and meandering, leaving the reader unsure of the significance or of where this is going. He also tends to overuse common metaphors, like “breaking the spell,” as if he were proud of having discovered them.[27]

But these are superficial criticisms, in the face of the amount, and importance, of the factual information offered here. Literary flaws don’t really matter since Kollerstrom isn’t doing literary writing, or even, in the end, science writing. To avert back to the spell breaking metaphor,[28] he’s conducting a counter-spell, turning the Elite’s magic — science — back on themselves. As Williams S. Burroughs wrote, in the voice of Hassan i-Sabbah:

Boards Syndicates Governments of the earth Pay – Pay back the Color you stole –

Pay Blue – Pay back the blue you stole and bottled and doled out in eye droppers of junk – Pay back the blue you stole for your police uniforms – Pay that blue back to sea and sky and eyes of the earth –

Not the ovens . . .[29]

This book would make an excellent start for someone new to the “revisionist” idea, since it introduces a new, simple, entirely scientific argument against the official story, while also providing a guide to further research. And purchase, of course, will be a show of solidarity with another martyr to Liberal Orthodoxy.

Notes

[1]  “Dachau Blues,” Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, Trout Mask Replica (Straight/Reprise, 1969).

[2] Bitter Blue: Tranquilizers, Creativity, Breakdown (London: Peter Owen, 1995), p. 14.

[3] “In the end, I would much rather be a Basel professor than God.” Letter of January 6, 1889 to his mentor at the University of Basel, Jacob Burckhardt.

[4] “George: Why couldn’t you have made me an architect? You know I always wanted to pretend that I was an architect.” – Seinfeld, “The Marine Biologist” (1994).

[5] Despite its name, even in its extended form (London School of Economics and Political Science), the LSE like most fancy schools, offers a degree program in Philosophy, Politics and Economics ( or some variation on the phrase — PPE, PEP, etc., like the variations on “Peace on Earth/Purity of Essence” (POE, EOP, etc.) that Capt. Mandrake tries out to find the recall code in Dr. Strangelove.

[6] In terms of The Big Bang Theory, Wolowitz is uncool not because he has “only” an M. Eng., but because it’s from MIT.

[7] Above the gate of Plato’s academy, a sign read “Let no one enter who doesn’t know geometry.” Oxbridge and Harvard did the same thing by requiring that philosophy be studied in the context of classical languages (which of course Plato had taken for granted; barbarians (those non-Greeks whose speech was just “bar, bar” need not apply). Cf.: “Mathematical studies were scarcely ever “supervised” ideologically in the Soviet Union, as even the omniscient high priests of Marxism did not pretend to understand them; consequently, standards were upheld and Russian mathematical science was saved from temporary destruction. (Leszek Kołakowski, Main Currents of Marxism: Vol. III, The Breakdown [Oxford,1978]; “Marxism as the ideology of the Soviet state,” p. 102 )

[8] “He imagined himself doing picturesque things in a picturesque manner” says a classmate, mocking Fr. Rolfe/Baron Corvo’s claim to have had a vocation to the priesthood. See A. J. A. Symons, The Quest for Corvo: An Experiment in Biography (1935; London: Folio Society, 1992) and my “E-Caviar for the Masses!” here [4].

[9] “I heard what you were saying. You — you know nothing of my work. You mean my whole fallacy [sic] is wrong. How you ever got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing.”– Marshall McLuhan, Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977); for my meditation on McLuhan’s odd wording see my blog post “You Mean My Whole Fallacy Is Wrong!” here [5].

[10] Paul Feyerabend, Against Method (London: Verso, 1975). 4th ed., with introduction by Ian Hacking, New York: Verso Books, 2010.

[11] James Fetzer gives an excellent concise account in his Foreword.

[12] Since all so-called “data” are actually determined by theories (“theory-laden”) only rival theories can produce rival data.

[13] To anticipate, “Holocaust Studies” is such a degenerating research program; for example, the “dean” of such “scholars,” Raul Hilberg, has explained the absence of any documentary or eye-witness evidence for an extermination plan by invoking the otherwise unknown idea of “bureaucratic telepathy.” Indeed, the very core of the theory of the Holocaust is a textbook example of an ad hoc hypothesis, described by Kollerstrom as, “An especial and unique weapon of mass destruction was used: one which did not exist before the war, nor after the war, but only during it.”

[14] Apparently, as no one had thought of this test being used, no one thought to manufacture evidence of the expected result. Similar embarrassing lacuna occur in the early Holocaust narratives, such as the use of electrocution, geysers of blood, etc. As a side note, the walls of the delousing chambers are bright blue.

[15] Andrew Hamilton, “Alfred Rosenberg in Translation,” here [6]. That the total lack of awareness, apparently genuine surprise, not merely obstinate denial, of every defendant at Nuremberg, to say nothing of the complete lack of any documentary proof — orders, manifests, what have you — could be accounted for by postulating “denial” or “cover-up” is a paradigm example of an ad hoc hypothesis in defense of a degenerating research program.

[16] Such as, obviously, Physicists and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

[17] “In a ‘free’ society we can’t suppress dangerous truths altogether. So we have to be immunized against them. That’s why Hollywood lets dangerous truths appear on screen, but only in the mouths of monsters: Derek Vinyard in American History X, Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York [7], Ra’s al Ghul in Batman Begins, the Joker in The Dark Knight, etc.” — Trevor Lynch reviews The Dark Knight, here [8] and in Trevor Lynch’s White Nationalist Guide to the Movies (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012).

[18] The real Holocaust (which of course means, as Kollerman points out, massive buring, not gassing) happened to the German people. Hellstorm by Tom Goodrich, details all their appalling torture, enslavement and mass murder at the end and after the Second World War. See J. A. Sexton’s review here [9].

[19] Neocons and Iraq, anyone?

[20] Is it any surprise that today’s JudeoCons are the leading cheerleaders for torture, both for “national security” here and to fabricate “evidence” for interventions abroad? See “Senate report finds CIA torture produced ‘fabricated’ intel and thwarted no plots; After waterboarding, 9/11 mastermind told interrogators what ‘he thought they wanted to hear’” by Michael Isikoff (December 9, 2014) here [10]; and for the case of Alan Dershowitz, Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History by Norman Finkelstein (University of California, 2005).

[21] Literally as I write these words, O’Reilly is ranting about Nazis, and last Tuesday Bibi Netanyahoo has demanded that his pocket politicians (“our” legislators) listen to his harangue on the topic of Iran delenda est.

[22] “Gallup CEO: America’s Unemployment Rate is One Big Lie,” here [11].

[23] See my review of Timur Vermes’ Look Who’s Back, here [12].

[24] Feyerabend, op. cit., p.295.

[25] “The Sharks of Marx: Science vs Censorship;” February 4, 2015 by Tobias Langdon http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2015/02/the-sharks-of-marx-science-vs-censorship/ [13].

[26] “To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate? [14] Judge Joseph Napolitano, Town Hall, February 05, 2015. Remember, as Trevor Lynch said, “In a “free” society we can’t suppress dangerous truths altogether. So we have to be immunized against them.”

[27] “Award-winning” translator Joachim Neugroschel suggest that one difference between American and British prose style is that American’s eschew what they perceive as “clichés” while Brits welcome them as “idioms,” reliable, tried and true; see his Introduction to Mann’s Death in Venice and other Tales (London: Penguin, 1999).

[28] Ever notice how obsessed filmmakers are with the whole “breaking the German code” trope, which rivals, or rather, supplements, the Holocaust obsession? Projection, much? Or mis-direction: these are the codes you should be looking at. . . .”

[29] Nova Express. You can listen to his last words in multiple languages here [15]. For more on Burroughs, magic, and counter-spells, see my review of The Magical World of William S. Burroughs, here [16].