Dr. Russell Barton
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[Dr. Russell Barton] The 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988 

Although the vast majority of the inmates were emaciated, some were quite plump and well-fed, and this puzzled Barton from the first day. (21-5159) He asked questions to determine the reason for this and was told that if there were a majority of Poles or French or Russians in one hut, that group would command all the food which was left outside the door of the hut. They would take what they wanted and leave the rest for distribution among the rest of the inmates. There was no overseeing by the camp staff and there hadn't been since before Christmas of 1944. Before that time, the food had been distributed reasonably and everybody was getting a fair share. "It was a terrible internal tyranny that...developed," said Barton. (21-5160) [Dr. Russell Barton] The 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988 

Barton was made an unofficial dietitian and found the camp had a kitchen set up with 450-kilo vats that were steam heated. (21-5160) There were four in one room and four in another. He also found record books listing the food that had been cooked and distributed going back to about 1942. Each of the different hut's larders listed the amount of food that had been sent in the big churns for distribution. He mentioned to his colleagues that if there had been a deliberate policy of extermination, why should there be this elaborate kitchen equipment? This, however, was not a popular view. [Dr. Russell Barton] The 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988 

Barton made inquiries with inmates, including Jewish doctors, who told him that Belsen had not been too bad until the autumn of 1944. Then, as the Russian armies were advancing, they said they had been given the choice of remaining in the camps about to be overrun by the Soviets or being repatriated back to Germany. Many chose to return to Germany. As a result, from the autumn of 1944 to early 1945, some 53,000 people were moved into Belsen, which had room for only 3,000 inmates. The overcrowding was gross and the staff at the camp resented it. Josef Kramer, the commandant of Belsen, felt he had a responsibility to his 3,000 inmates but was apparently angry about the 53,000 that were dumped into the camp. Dr. Klein, the medical doctor at the camp, didn't know what to do. (21-5162, 5163) [Dr. Russell Barton] The 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988 

It was a terrible outbreak of typhus and the death of, he thought, some 30,000 people.......He thought there were many causes, including typhus and tuberculosis at Belsen. He admitted that on the topic of whether or not there was an official policy of extermination he could not give evidence as it was not his area of expertise. He himself saw thousands die. (21-5203 to 5207).................He stated that people would not have gotten the typhus to the same extent if they had not been in the camp. It was the placing of people together with poor sanitary conditions which brought the lice. He testified there was a neutral area around the camp guarded by Hungarian soldiers, the idea being to contain the typhus from spreading all over Europe, possibly all over the world. The soldiers were not emaciated and Barton agreed that rations were probably issued on a scale of human worth. He didn't think the inmates were worthless to the Germans; they were a potential source of income. (21-5213, 5214) [Dr. Russell Barton] The 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988 

He agreed that all he could really tell the court about was Bergen-Belsen; that it was the camp where the Nazis kept the people that they wanted to trade; that before the influx of 1945, the people who were captive at Bergen-Belsen were viewed by the Nazis as a commodity; he agreed that they were hostages to be traded as a way of getting money, getting equipment to continue the war with; he agreed it made sense for the Nazis to keep people they were going to trade in relatively good condition; he agreed that could explain why the facilities in Bergen- Belsen were relatively good because if one was going to trade somebody, one had to keep them well-fed, although he thought, like everyone else when he was in Belsen, that they had been put there to be exterminated. (21-5192 to 5194) [Dr. Russell Barton] The 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988 

asked if the Holocaust was not the major indictment against Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime, Barton replied that the Holocaust was really something that developed in the late 1950s and 1960s. People didn't talk of the Holocaust in the 1940s and 1950s. [Dr. Russell Barton] The 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988 

Barton was asked to contribute the article to Purnell's. He wasn't "keen" to do it, but it didn't seem to be a very big magazine so he did what he thought was the correct thing: to write without fear or favour. Having experienced the results of writing as he did on the subject, however, Barton testified that he would not do it again for publication in his lifetime. (21-5167)
    He was dubbed "Belsen-Not-So-Bad Barton" by Scientology magazine, and this name continued to be quoted. The London Times used the inflammatory headline "Belsen Not So Bad, says Psychiatrist." (21-5168) There were letters to the Times criticising him. (21-5173) He wrote letters rebutting the more stupid and accusatory letters; there were television interrogations and other debates. The matter was "hot and furious." (21-5173, 5174)
    Years later, when he was on a talk show in America, speaking on Scientology, one of the ministers of the church charged: "This man killed 15,000 Jews." It was an attempt to discredit what Barton was saying but it nevertheless had repercussions. Even today, when he gave evidence in murder trials, the lawyer on the opposing side would often attack him collaterally by bringing up the Purnell article or alleging that: "He agrees he killed 15,000 Jews." (21-5169) He agreed that nothing he had ever said or written had caused him as much injury as had the Purnell article. (21-5170) [Dr. Russell Barton] The 'False News' Trial of Ernst Zündel -- 1988