Fredrick Töben, PhD, climbing out of the hole into which gas was reportedly piped as a means of exterminating humans at Auschwitz
by Mary W Maxwell, PhD, LLB
Upfront disclosure: Fredrick Töben is a friend of mine. We recently dined at the Public Schools Club in Adelaide. Be that as it may, I won’t ‘recuse myself’ from criticizing Monday’s ruling by NSW Justice Lucy McCallum. She plainly got it wrong. (And she knows it, of course.)
Per today’s Australian:
“Notorious historian Fredrick Töben wanted to use a defamation case against The Australian as a platform to argue the Holocaust never happened and to air his anti-Semitic views, the NSW Supreme Court ruled yesterday as it dismissed his legal action as an abuse of process.”
Dr Töben had sued The Australian and other parties for defaming him. It goes without saying that one cannot win in court against Rupert Murdoch. For some years now there has been no country maintaining the Rule of Law. All courts are political. Rupert himself runs US, UK, and – the land of his birth — Oz.
Fredrick Töben’s Bio
Actually you can’t win against Fredrick Töben either. Sure, you may order him to prison, as an Australian federal judge did; you may take away his house and savings as the courts did; you may prevent him from litigating a legitimate plaint, as Judge McCallum did this week, but Fredrick is pretty irrepressible.
He was born in Germany and raised on a farm in Victoria.
He got his PhD from Stuttgart in Philosophy, as such. I do not enjoy arguing fine points of epistemology with him, as I think life is too short and we must get on with it. Still, he patrols the Dewey Decimal 110-190 section of the library, and I imagine he is competent there.
He is definitely competent in studies involving the concentration camp in Poland, well known to my generation in America, mainly through Hollywood, as Auschwitz. I presume he knows that people suffered terribly there.
Even if Auschwitz was a labor camp, not a death camp, who wants to live in a labor camp? Who even wants to be away from one’s home?
Töben himself has been imprisoned in a labor camp. It’s in Cadell, South Australia. His job was painting fences. The only problem was that being 65 years old, he came ‘home’ from ‘work’ at 4pm so exhausted as to need to sleep, and thus missed the evening meal every day. He was as thin as a rail upon liberation.
We’re talking Adelaide here, folks. Going to prison for thought crime! Can’t have this. It is an extremely serious matter. The only lucky thing is that we can still talk about it. One day soon we won’t be able to. Think about it, please!
A Word about the Figure “Six Million”
Fredrick Töben many years ago came across such leading lights of Revisionist History as Ernst Zundel (don’t get me started on what my native land did to him, OK?) and Robert Faurisson. It is easy to see how a German-born person would be fascinated to discover that the history of the Holocaust has never been ‘done’ as history.
That was admitted to by Raul Hilberg, the very man who gave the world the figure of “6 million dead.” Hilberg (1926-2007) admitted back in 1986, that the concentration camps had never been studied. I personally can’t rally to the support of the famous 6 million figure, if in fact it was not arrived at in the way we expect statistics to be arrived at.
Also, about ten years ago, I was startled to read in a book published in the 1920s that “six million Jews” had died. Sort of prescient, eh? But now I see, from dear old Youtube, that many publications prior to 1942 mentioned that figure.
So I am going to chalk it up to being metaphorical. Like, in my Catholic religion, nine choirs of angels. Not eight, not ten, but nine. And don’t forget: we’re infallible.
A Word about One Concentration Camp
Dr Töben undertook to go to Auschwitz and make a physical examination of the camp there. No, I should be more precise: he studied one building. I have never discussed this with him. (I’ve seen him describing his investigation on Youtube).
To my knowledge, Fredrick has no quarrel with any of the camps save Auschwitz, and no quarrel with any of the buildings at Auschwitz, save the one that is displayed to tourists as having been the place where many people (both Jews and Gentiles) were gassed.
I take it from my interactions with Töben that he is an honest man (trust me, he is annoyingly honest). Perforce, if he tells me – via Youtube – that he checked something out, I will believe him. Anyway, I judge from my own behavior that honesty is related to the desire to keep up one’s reputation.
So, let’s venture to guess that if he examined the room and found that it did have the possibility of being a gas chamber, he would not be so stupid as to broadcast a lecture to the opposite effect. (Would you?)
How Töben Got the Law on His Back
I do not know the history of Töben’s time in a Mannheim prison. It may be related to Robert Faurrison’s publications on Auschwitz. Nor do I know much about Töben’s 2-month stay in a London jail.
He was hauled off a plane at Heathrow, but it was only a holding while a decision was made about extradition. The decision was to not extradite.
I do however know his legal adventures in South Australia. When I first attended Fredrick’s case, I didn’t know him from a bar of soap. Being a law student, I assumed that hordes of university people would show up to throw some ballast into this free-speech travesty. Boy, was I wrong.
Here is the gist. Töben created a thingie called The Adelaide Institute. (No breach of law there, folks.) He set up a website, AdelaideInstitute.org. I found it disgraceful and a real turn-off. It seemed to me that Töben mocked Jews every chance he got — sometimes deservedly but often gratuitously.
Be that as it may, he is entitled to say whatever he likes. The right to freedom of speech is basic to the political power of the citizen. Perhaps it is the most basic right.
After all, if a powerful person, not mentioning the name of Rupert Murdoch, or Genghis Kahn, or anyone else, wants to harm you, your only comeback may be to say what you need to say, and hope others will hear you and form an alliance. Free speech, hooray!
The “Human Rights” Commission
In 1986, Australia set up a Human Rights Commission to which anyone can bring a grievance. The commission can make a recommendation for the resolution of the case. A man named Jeremy, claiming to represent “the Jews,” filed a complaint about the aforementioned disgusting website.
Had I been the judge (actually a Commissioner is not quite a judge), I’d have said “Look, Jeremy, it may be best to let Fred stew in his own juices.” I would also have said “Fred, ol’ fellow, here in Oz we try to be civil. How about you stop posting insulting anti-Jew cartoons on the website.” I’d probably say “Go on, you two, kiss and make up.”
Instead, an order was made for Adelaide Institute to stop publishing certain things re the Holocaust and whatnot. As Töben did not approve of the order, he disobeyed it. (He did a Tom Paine, so to speak.)
Jeremy then took him to court (I think it was over noncompliance with the HRC’s order), whereupon a judge made a similar order to desist with the website.
When you-know-whom disobeyed, he was in contempt of Court. He was not given the chance to say that the offending stuff about the Holocaust was provably true. Hmm.
In any case, he had to sell his house to pay the $75,000 in costs. Later, someone bequeathed around $60k to Töben, but he also had to hand this in. And he had to do labor (painting fences) for 3 months.
My Views on Holocaust Denial
I have published many articles expressing my disapproval of any law, in any country, that tells people they must refrain from doing research. Censorship is out-and-out oppression.
More than that, there is a movement, worldwide, to punish anyone who treads on the particular sacred ground known as the Holocaust. It is causing all sorts of problems, especially in Europe.
An example is the case of 87-year-old Ursula Haverbeck who says “Don’t tell me to shut up. I have done all the right things by asking the Jewish community to explain to me where the 6 million bodies are buried” – that sort of thing. “Stop intimidating me.”
The Fredrick Töbens of this world, and the Ursulas and Ernsts, etc, probably think “the Jews” are causing these laws to be made. In 1985, Germany added Section 130 to its criminal code, making Holocaust denial and even Holocaust ‘minimization’ a crime. The crime involves “inciting to hatred” — something none of our Western leaders would do against Muslims, of course (not mentioning the name ‘Tsarnaev’).
Note: I don’t even accept as decent law the part of Section 130 that has nothing to do with religion: “(4) Whosoever publicly or in a meeting disturbs the public peace in a manner that violates the dignity of the victims by approving of, glorifying, or justifying National Socialist rule of arbitrary force shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding three years or a fine.”
But I differ from the rest as to who the real target is. To me it looks almost certain that this Holocaust denial thing is a big set-up, scheduled mainly to harm Jewish people. Honest, I can smell it. In Germany today there is much agitation. I sure do hope Jews will come out and discuss the whole matter.
So there you have it. My interest in the matter today has to do with protecting my Jewish comrades. Furthermore, we need the famous Jewish drive for justice, which seems somehow stuck in a quagmire. (Perhaps owing to the outrageous bombing of Gaza?) Contact me if you care to discuss!
Töben’s New Case, re Defamation
About a year ago, The Australian labeled Fredrick Töben “a Holocaust denier and an anti-Semite.” He sued for defamation. He does not “deny the Holocaust” (as mentioned, he has a specific quarrel with a gas chamber). As for the term “anti-Semite,” let him go to court. The person accused of defaming Töben can say “Yep, I’ve got the proof and here ’tis.”
This is normal in a defamation case. Each party risks money. The defamed could win damages, but if he loses he is faced with court costs. The accused defamer (G’day, Rupe!) should have no choice about going to court. “These things happen.”
Of course a judge should have an eye out for someone taking a person to court for the purpose of harassment! I have never seen a judge act properly in such a matter. They even let SLAPP suits proceed against environmental groups, when everybody knows that the aim is to impoverish activists.
In the instant case, Justice Lucy McCallum dismissed the case, at the request of Rupe, on the grounds that Töben was “abusing process.” She divined that Töben was planning to use her courtroom to perform a stunt. The stunt would be – see if you can guess – to air the matter of the alleged gas chambers.
If I know Töben, Justice Lucy is exactly right. I think Töben even relished his German and Australian prison sentences as they somehow “prove a point.” This seems reasonable to me. The whole matter is intellectual, scientific. It has to do with books, with ideas, with measuring devices. “Airing” is essential.
Fredrick would be in his element in the witness box, explaining why he is, or is not, a Holocaust denier. He is also dying to hear (and I am dying to hear) the other side — the case against him, the argument for the presence of a gas chamber in that building.
Perhaps even some backing for the 6-million figure. Why not? Isn’t it normal in any defamation case to bring out the truth?
Case Dismissed, Costs Yet Undecided
I say the Court ruled wrongly on November 30, 2015. Every citizen has a right to bring a case of defamation. To dismiss the Töben case is not a ‘neutral’ thing. It does not, as claimed, protect the sacred legal process from a marauder. It protects Rupe, pure and simple.
If I am right (and you know Mother is always right; and you know I have done my homework on this one), the party that will be most hurt, long-term, by the dismissal of Fredrick’s case is: Jewry.
— Mary W Maxwell’s latest book is “Fraud Upon the Court.”
She and her co-author Dee McLachlan are hoping to make a killing any day now with their book