Classic Essays

Thies Christopherson Speaks

National Vanguard Editor’s Note: This interview, first published in Liberty Bell magazine for October, 1979, is with courageous writer and activist Thies Christopherson (1918-1997). His biography on revisionists.com states:

In a memoir first published in Germany in 1973, he related his wartime experiences as a German army officer in the Auschwitz camp complex. “During the time I was in Auschwitz, I did not notice the slightest evidence of mass gassings,” he wrote in Die Auschwitz-Lüge (“The Auschwitz Lie”). As one of the first important works squarely to confront the Auschwitz extermination legend, Christophersen’s first-hand account was a major factor in the growth and development of Holocaust revisionism.

“The Auschwitz Lie” caused an immediate sensation in Germany, where it was soon banned. This did not stop publication of German-language editions in Switzerland and Denmark, however, and before long editions appeared in all the major European languages, including several in English. Christophersen predictably came under hostile and mendacious media attack.

Until the outbreak of war in Europe, he worked as a farmer in Schleswig, northern Germany. Called to military service, he was badly wounded in 1940 while serving in the western campaign. After recuperating and undergoing some specialized agricultural training, he was assigned to a research center in German-occupied Ukraine that experimentally cultivated a variety of dandelion (kok saghyz) as an alternative source of natural rubber derived from the plant’s latex.

In the face of Soviet military advances, the center was transferred to the labor camp of Raisko, a satellite of Auschwitz. During the period he lived and worked there — January to December 1944 — Christophersen was responsible for the daily work of inmate laborers. The young second lieutenant supervised about 300 workers, many of them Jewish, of whom 200 were women from the Raisko camp, and 100 were men from the nearby Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. On a number of occasions he visited Birkenau where, it is alleged, hundreds of thousands of Jews were systematically gassed to death in May-July 1944. Although he knew of Birkenau’s crematories, it wasn’t until after the war that he first heard anything of “gas chamber” killings or mass exterminations.

After the war he returned to farming. An ardent and life-long defender of the interests of German farmers, he also turned his considerable talents as a writer to this cause. For years he edited and published the quarterly magazine Die Bauernschaft (“The Farming Community”), which served as a forum for his straight-forward reporting and forthright and often witty commentary on cultural, historical and current social-political issues. He also ran the Nordwind book service, which distributed a range of works, including revisionist titles.

In March 1988 he testified in the “Holocaust trial” in Toronto of German-Canadian Ernst Zündel. Under oath, he detailed his wartime experiences at Auschwitz, and answered numerous pointed questions by the prosecuting attorney.

Although he was never prosecuted for his “Auschwitz Lie” booklet, he was charged for other outspoken writings. In the 1980s he served a year in prison on charges of “insulting the state” and “insulting the memory of the dead.”

Driven from his homeland, he was forced to live in exile in Denmark, Belgium and Switzerland. While Danish police stood by, hundreds of “anti-fascist” thugs attacked his modest home in the small town of Kollund, pelting it with stones and defacing it with spray paint. They also severely damaged his book warehouse and, using corrosive acid, ravaged his car and expensive copy equipment. After months of such abuse, in 1995 Christophersen was forced to leave Denmark. Ill with cancer, he sought treatment in Switzerland, but in December 1995 was forced to leave that country. He next found temporary refuge in Spain. Meanwhile, the German printer of his Bauernschaft magazine was fined 50,000 marks.

During his final months, German officials treated him as a virtual “enemy of the state.” His bank account in Germany was closed down, and in early 1996 a German court rejected his application to return to his homeland for a brief visit to attend the burial of a son who had died in a car crash. On the grounds that he had no permanent place of residence, in 1996 German authorities cancelled his state medical insurance coverage and stopped payment of his modest state retirement pension (into which he had paid for 45 years), as well as his military service pension.

Christophersen was arrested for the last time a few weeks before his death. A German judge declared him too ill to be jailed, and he was released to a son’s custody. He died a few days later, on February 13, 1997.

Editorial comments within brackets are, in this article, those of George Dietz, the editor of Liberty Bell magazine.

* * *

TOURING THE UNITED STATES and Canada during the month of September, Mr Thies Clmstophersen of Mohrkirch/West Germany had the opportunity to speak before several groups of American and German/American patriots in key cities of these two countries. Mr Christophersen is the fearless author of his eye-witness report, Auschwitz, which we published in full in the September issue of The Liberty Bell. Mr Christophersen also publishes two German-language magazines. Die Bauernschaft and Kritik, both of which we highly recommend to our German-speaking friends and supporters.

Thies Christophersen

Since Mr Christophersen is not fluent in English, a question and answer sheet was prepared for a meeting in Washington, D.C. which we are happy to present herewith:

“When I was born we still had a Kaiser in Germany. I still celebrate his birthday because mine is on the same day, and I also celebrate the 20th of April [Adolf Hitler’s birthday] because on that day I got married. I am a farmer from Schleswig-Holstein [the northern most part of Germany]. My homeland is Anglia, the land of the Angles. The Vikings once ventured forth from this land and conquered a world. They were here in America before Columbus. The English also came from Anglia and for many years were the rulers of the world. They would still be, if it had not been for Prime Minister Churchill. My farm is 40 hectares [approx. 100 US acres] large, with 20 milk cows and 100 hogs. In 1969 I turned over the farm to my son and became an agricultural journalist.”

What induced you to become an agricultural journalist?

The injustice against the farmers. The socialist minister Mansholt wanted to turn the farms of Europe into collective farms. Some farmers would disappear and that is why we went on the barricades. We hoisted the black farmers’ flag that has remained our symbol to this day.

Did you organize the resistance?

Yes. We founded the “Emergency League of German Farmers”. The League was founded in opposition against the “German Farmers Union” which was affiliated with the constitutional Christian Democratic Union [CDU — a legal German party].

Does this Emergency League still exist?

No. It became superfluous when Mansholt gave up his plan and the Christian Democratic Union itself became an opposition party.

Were you among the leaders of the Emergency League?

Yes. I was the secretary and later published the newspaper Deutscher Bauer — German Farmer. In 1968 the newspaper was sold to Dr. Frey, the publisher of the National Zeitung in Munich. I remained the editor for one year after that, and then I founded a new magazine, Die Bauernschaft, which I still publish.

What kind of magazine is it? Is it a periodical for farmers?

I deal with agriculture in its context as a part of the social order. I do not really discuss planting or breeding of animals. However, I do treat agriculture and nutrition from a biological and ecological perspective. Very often, I have to give up articles about planned topics in order to make room for the many letters from readers which I am glad to publish and comment upon.

How has the magazine’s circulation developed?

In 1973 it had a circulation of only 200 copies. The circulation has almost doubled every year since then. (If it continues like that, I will bypass the Axel Springer publishing empire in ten years.) Today we have a circulation of 5,000 copies of which about 1,000 are sent outside of Germany.

Why have you become so well known?

Certainly through my writings. But also through several actions that got publicity. In 1967 we stopped forced auction of a farm by occupying the district courthouse in Friedrichstadt, and in February 1978 we held a farmers’ tribunal in Bad Oldesloe. This demonstration made headlines. In 1971 I met the attorney Manfred Roeder. In protest against the organized degeneracy in art we hauled a load of manure past an exhibition of degenerate art in Kassel [the hometown of yours truly]. That got us the laughter of the whole world on our side.

Did you work together with Manfred Roeder?

Yes, but I did not give up my magazine, Die Bauernschaft. I have learned a great deal from him. He openly and courageously acknowledged his loyalty to National Socialism and Adolf Hitler. That impressed me. Since then we have both been given jail sentences, although my sentence once again has been suspended. Manfred Roeder had to emigrate.

Why were you given a jail sentence?

Because of “distribution of propaganda material of an anti-constitutional organization,” because of “display of symbols of anti-constitutional organizations,” because of “defamation of the federal government,” and because of “popular incitement.”

What did you actually do?

Together with Manfred Roeder I published a first-person report from my time at the Auschwitz concentration camp and attempted to prove that there had been no mass gassings in the German concentration camps. Furthermore, on the front cover of my brochure, I displayed a picture of Hitler.

How can that be against the law?

In Germany that is considered offensive to Jews, who enjoy special rights. If a person does not believe their tales of suffering or attempts to deny them, he will be portrayed as a liar. That is an offense.

Can you prove your Auschwitz report?

My Auschwitz report is a first-person account that corresponds with the facts. A person can make the accusation that I did not see everything or know everything that happened. I wanted to show why it was that I did not know about what allegedly took place. This account has now reached a circulation of over 100,000 copies and has been translated in all the major languages. I do not write under a pseudonym, I make public my full address complete with telephone number, and as a result I receive thousands of letters from around the world. Many have confirmed my account, but there are a few who claim to know something about gassings. I have written all of these people and asked them for details, and I received from them one unbelievable story after another. Many told me tales about Auschwitz which they had heard from a third person. When I asked for the address of this third person, I was always told “unfortunately, he is dead.” There are no eye-witnesses who are able to confirm the alleged atrocities of Auschwitz. The burden to prove guilt lies not with the accused, but with the accuser. To this day we are still waiting for this proof. The “Holocaust” film is no proof.

Is there other evidence which confirms your account?

Yes, quite a lot. At first, foreign historians were the only ones who dealt with this topic. A French professor, Rassinier, started it all, followed by Richard Harwood in England and Professor Butz in the United States. In Germany, Emil Aretz was the first to take up this theme. I am an eye-witness, not a historian. Still, my account has been very useful to historians. Recently the judge, Dr. Wilhelm Staeglich, examined the NS war crimes trials thoroughly from a legal perspective and came to the same conclusion as had Manfred Roeder before him. The NS war crimes trials have been carried out with the use of perjured witnesses and falsified documents. Many witnesses testified under duress.

Is your account, The Auschwitz Lie, still available?

In Germany the booklet was confiscated and prohibited. However, I authorized reprints of the brochure before this action was taken A new expanded and illustrated edition is now being circulated from Switzerland by Courrier du Continent.

Does freedom of the press exist in Germany?

No, before I publish anything I submit it first to an attorney in order to avoid being sentenced again. This is a form of voluntary self-censorship.

Do the police keep you under surveillance?

Certainly. The house searches have continued without letup. Three Criminal Police officials came back in May and searched through the editorial offices. They found exactly nine copies of the forbidden Auschwitz Lie brochure with which to bring charges against me. That broke the conditions for my suspended sentence. In the fall, there will be a trial. The retired judge, Dr. Wilhelm Staeglich, has also been charged, because he wrote a foreword to the new edition of The Auschwitz Lie.

Do you fill mail orders for the banned brochures?

No, every order is sent back with the notice that this brochure must be ordered from Switzerland. Often, however, I receive banned literature in the mail. The Juedische Allgemeine Wochenzeitung (Jewish General Weekly Journal) over and over demands that I be convicted. A few days after I received incriminating material in the mail the Criminal Police, anonymously, paid me a visit. An accident? I do not believe it.

Are you a National Socialist?

That is actually two questions. Are you “nationalist” and are you “social”? I try to be both of those things. If anyone says about himself, “I am national,” or “I am social”; “I am a liberal,” or “I am Christian” — that sounds to me like self-praise. If someone ascribes these virtues to me, I consider it a compliment. Should I praise myself?

Were you a member of the National Socialist Party?

That was hardly possible because I was only fifteen years old in 1938. In 1930, I joined the Hitler Youth. I will never forget that time in my life. It was a time of joy and enthusiasm such as the world had never known. I am not ashamed to have been a part of it. [Nor is yours truly for having been a member from 1938 until 1945!] I think happily back on my youth.

Were you a soldier?

I took part in the war from the first to the last day. During the campaign in France in 1940 I was wounded with a head injury and had to spend a long time in a military hospital. That is why I only advanced to the rank of corporal. In 1943 I was sent as a special officer (lieutenant) to Russia and in 1944 I was assigned as scientific assistant to Auschwitz where I worked on the cultivation of plants for synthetic rubber. I worked there together with interned Jews. In December 1944 I left Auschwitz, and on the 13th of February 1945 I lived through the terrifying bombing raid against Dresden.

Were concentration camps necessary at all?

These were detention camps in which people of enemy nationality were interned. The Jews had declared war against us and were therefore detained. As long as there is war, there will be detention camps. Only when we have eliminated war can we do away with detention camps. The Allies, of course, even maintained detention camps after the war and there, the detainees were not as well handled as in Auschwitz. There are many accounts verifying this.

Why don’t you say much more about the atrocities of the Allies?

That is exactly what I do not want. If other people do it, that is their business. Atrocity stories do not serve to bring about understanding between peoples. I want to accentuate the positive and influence things for the best. “He who wants peace must prepare for war,” a Roman statesman once said. (I don’t remember anymore who it was.) He who wants war must so hate. Atrocity stories encourage feelings of hate. That has been demonstrated once again with the broadcast of the film Holocaust. The same sort of thing was true of the film Jud Suess. I will not excuse myself by pointing out that others are guilty. I want to prove our innocence! If the Christians pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” then they should act accordingly. I want to forgive and forget. If I were to reckon out the atrocities committed by all sides during the war, that would perhaps add up well for us. Should we therefore kill a few thousand more Jews and then call it quits? I want justice, not revenge. Revenge means an eye for an eye — a tooth for a tooth. This Jewish law has no validity for me. The charge of “popular incitement” does not apply to me.

Even the German television recently broadcast a program about Allied atrocities. What do you say to that?

I don’t like it; I don’t like German television in general.

Why not?

It presents too little German culture. We have a culture and a proud history.

What do you think about the Jews?

What do you mean, “the Jews”? Do you mean the Jewish people? I have nothing against them. Do you mean the Jews as a race? They are different from us. Not merely externally, but also in their mentality. Do you mean the Jewish religion? That is something I do not understand. If you ask me if I have something against people then you must give me names. That is something I can give an answer to. Simon Wiesenthal, Nathan Kaufmann, Henry Morgenthau, and so on, do not get very good marks from me. I am not an enemy of the Jews. But the Jews are hostile to me. They have slandered me. But I make a point of not replying to slander. Or would it be better if I called them names back? Certainly they wait for me to do that in order to bring me before a court once again on a charge of “popular incitement.”

Are you a racist?

I would use the term “racialist.” I do not deny the existence of races nor do I deny the differences between human beings. The law of race is a law of Nature — a law of God. The races should be preserved. The instinct of self-preservation is also a law of Nature. Naturally, there are also highly developed races which one should not measure only in terms of intelligence. There are also other features which are racially determined. Races have their areas of settlement which they should be able to keep. Every race defends its own territory even if that was won through conquest.

Couldn’t we overcome racial differences through racial mixing?

Why should we overcome racial differences and eliminate them? There are those who demand just that. But why? These people want to make themselves rulers of the world. They preserve their own racial group and consider themselves the chosen people.

Do you mean the Jews?

You said it!

Are you a democrat?

If the system which is offered to us today is supposed to be democracy, then I am certainly no democrat. There is no such thing as rule of the people. A people must be led. Systems of authority have only lasted when they have the trust of the people. A chosen leader of the people is hardly a dictator. (Except in the case of war, when exceptional circumstances are valid.) The Third Reich was no democracy; however, Adolf Hitler allowed all great decisions to be confirmed by the people. (Remilitarization, withdrawal from the League of Nations, reunification with Austria, and so forth.) We voted five times during the six years of peace under Adolf Hitler. Never in world history has there been a time when a people stood so solidly behind its leadership. Today we vote for parties which receive no or only a bare majority of the votes. Before the elections we are unclear about the intentions and goals. Great decisions (nuclear power plants, membership in the United Nations, recognition of the Oder-Neisse border) were made without any consultation with the people. Under Adolf Hitler we had more democracy than this.

Do you vote?

No, not anymore. I do not know who or what I am supposed to vote for, with the exception of the local elections in our community. There I know the people and party politics hardly plays a role.

What do you have against party politics?

Parties are interest groups. Policies should be made in the interests of the entire nation. Not majorities, but common sense should be decisive.

How do you intend to forward your interests if you have no majority supporting you?

No one, including me, should be able to push through his own private interests.

What do you think of labor unions?

I do not support interest groups at all and I do not think they should exist. There is only one solution and that is called the “Labor Front” — that is, a neutral alliance of employers and employees.

What do you think about the right to strike?

Strikes would be superfluous and unnecessary if there were set prices and set wages.

Do you support government price supervision?

Yes, absolutely.

How do you think you can regulate the market when supply and demand determine price?

After the example of the Reichsnaehrstand/National Food Commission: whereby imports would be based upon actual need and surpluses would go to purchasing and supply centers.

Which institutions from the National Socialist era do you consider especially good?

The Hitler Youth, the National Labor Service, the Reichsnaehrstand/National Food Commission, and the German Labor Front.

Looking back at the National Socialist era, what would you criticize?

A certain bureaucracy that has always existed and always will exist. There were too many careerists in the Party who scrambled for posts and positions. In part these are the same people who once again hold leading positions. I do not just make this criticism today — I did the same back then as well.

Was that permitted?

In the National Socialist era criticism was important and very much desired. There were official agencies subordinate to the SS Security Office that regularly conducted public opinion polls to determine the mood among the people in much the same way that private public opinion agencies do today.

What are your thoughts on the Roehm Putsch?

Roehm wanted to merge the Army into the Stormtroops (SA). Adolf Hitler, however, decided for the Army. They did not thank him for that, as the 20th of July 1944 proved. Instead of being merged into the Stormtroops (SA), the Army should have been merged into the SS. Then we would have won the war, and the world today would be quite a bit different. Those who try to overthrow a government by force have always and everywhere been shot. However, they should have been brought before a court.

The conspirators of the 20th of July who tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler claimed that because of the Roehm Putsch he was a mass murderer. What is your opinion?

It is precisely the men of the 20th of July who had demanded the head of SA Chief of Staff Roehm. Hitler delivered it to them. Their thanks was the assassination attempt. The people who portray Adolf Hitler as a murderer were themselves murderers. The conspirators are co-responsible for the outbreak of war. Otherwise, they would have tried to overthrow the government in 1934. They would have been shot like Ernst Roehm and the world would have been spared much suffering.

Are you for the death penalty?

I can neither pronounce nor carry out such a sentence. What I can not do I do not demand of others. Punishment is a poor means of education.

Are you a Christian?

That is not what I would call myself. My love for my fellow man has limits. I am not a church member.

Do you believe in God?

I do not discuss my belief in God.

In your opinion, who is responsible for the last war?

First Churchill, second, Roosevelt, third, Stalin.

Can you explain that?

There are historians, such as Udo Walendy, who can do a better job of that than I can. I agree with his interpretations.

What does Adolf Hitler mean to you?

For me, Adolf Hitler has always been and still is the greatest personality whom history has brought forth in the last 2,000 years, and not only for the Germans. Christ preached love of one’s neighbor. He was perhaps a predecessor of Adolf Hitler. The people cried “Hosanna” and then cried “Crucify him” when the end came. What remains of this teaching to love thy neighbor? Adolf Hitler preached the “folk community.” He revived and realized the old teaching. Never in history has there been a people who so enthusiastically rejoiced in its leader. For me, Adolf Hitler is a savior. His world view is my religion. The high point of my life came in 1937 when I was able to hold a lengthy conversation with the Fuehrer. Adolf Hitler performed wonders. He was a model in every respect.

The time will come
When people, especially in Catholic areas
Will put up a bust of Adolf Hitler
Next to the portrait of the Mother Mary
And they will no longer say “Heil Hitler”,
But “Saint Hitler.”
— Adrian Arcand

The people have already stopped believing the lies about Adolf Hitler and Germany. The truth will be victorious, even if today we are persecuted like the first Christians once were under Nero!

* * *

Source: Liberty Bell magazine, October 1979

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