Quotes from the Movie Mr. Death

"The Leuchter Report, about five hundred thousand circulate in Germany. There have been translations; a Leuchter edition appeared in Russian. In Latvia, in Hungary, in Spanish. The Leuchter Report is out there in dozens of languages, and I would dare say in millions of copies. We will not go down in history as being a nation of genocidal maniacs. We will not. We can, with historical truth, detoxify a poisoned planet."

Ernst Zundel

"Did Christ have a diploma in Christianity? Did Marx have a diploma in Marxism? Did Adolf Hitler have a diploma in National Socialism? No, they did not. But they knew one hell of a lot about their field."

Ernst Zundel

"He's been destroyed as a human being; he's had his marriage destroyed, he's had his life destroyed. I frankly am surprised he didn't go and commit suicide, jump under a train. He saw everything that he had built up in his own quiet, humble way, destroyed by these people he had never met, whom he had offended. All he did was take the bucket and the spade and go over to Auschwitz and come back with the samples, and that was an act of criminal simplicity. He had no idea of what he was blundering into. He wasn't putting his name on the line because he had no name. He came from nowhere and he went back to nowhere."

David Irving

"Of course I'm not an anti-Semite. I have a lot of friends that are Jewish. I've lost Jewish friends, too, because of what's happened. I bear no ill will to any Jews any place, whether they're in the United States or abroad. I bear a great deal of ill will to those people that have come after me, those people who have persecuted and prosecuted me, but that's got nothing to do with them being Jewish. That only has to do with the fact that they've been interfering with my right to live, think, breathe, and earn a living."

Fred Leuchter

"Have you ever thought that you might be wrong, or do you think that you could make a mistake?" Fred Leuchter: "No, I'm past that. When I attempted to turn those facilities into gas execution facilities and was unable to, I made a decision at that point that I wasn't wrong. And perhaps that's why I did it. At least it cleared my mind, so I know that I left no stone unturned. I did everything possible to substantiate and prove the existence of the gas chambers, and I was unable to."

Errol Morris

"What is the film about to you?"

Fred Leuchter

"It's a good question. What it is about is my curiosity--how you got yourself into this fix."

Errol Morris

"Isn't Fred a sweetie?"

Errol Morris

""It seemed that that audience had no place to stand outside Fred. They became trapped in his ego. They took him quite literally. And when the film was over there were people in the room who wondered whether the Holocaust had really happened."

Errol Morris

"Fred's story raises lots of interesting questions, such as: What happens if you really need to be loved and the only people who will love you are Nazis? And his version of what he saw in Auschwitz and what happened to him afterward seems to come right out of Nabokov--the clueless narrator, the narrator so far out of touch with what he's saying that it's totally absurd. But how clueless could he possibly be? That's the central mystery. Do we all have these self-invented fables? There's a deep mystery about why Fred's doing what he's doing, and for me it connects with the mystery of the Holocaust: the mystery not of whether it happened but of how it could happen. Is it happenstance that Fred, a person obsessed with death-not unlike me-ended up at Auschwitz? Somehow, he was drawn there, pulled to the center of twentieth-century death. And maybe it's pulling me, too. It's one of my predilections that people do not do evil knowingly. Evil is always construed as some form of doing good. We are always in some kind of delusional state about what our actions mean. I hope this movie becomes more effective if Fred emerges as more a person like you and me. If it's a movie that creates one more Manichaean illustration of good and evil, it becomes less interesting. If he becomes a person who makes us think about how the Holocaust came about, then it's useful."

Errol Morris

"Fred hasn't questioned anything we've asked him to do over the last five days. I haven't lied about anything. I haven't had to; he's too honest and decent a man, I look over all this, and I think he's just misguided. He got mixed up with the wrong group of people. There are people who think he's evil, but he's not. The movie, I think, is becoming a kind of odd danse macabre, with Leuchter as my brand of existential hero, or, if you like, existential antihero: the completely benighted human being who still deserves our sympathy."

Errol Morris

"Part of me has very little desire to get into a debate with Ernst Z¬łndel, David Irving, or even Leuchter. I have read a number of reviewers who have taken me to task for not declaring whether I believe Leuchter is a good person or evil person, that somehow I've been remiss in this regard. I beg to differ. The movie is absolutely clear that his ideas are pernicious and false. That is not up for discussion. What is up for discussion is that I wish to put the viewer in the same position for what I find myself in. It's not to give you on a platter a received view but to force you into the mystery of what is in fact very disturbing and peculiar behavior."

Errol Morris

"Very near the end of my work editing the movie, before it was to be shown publicly for the first time, I invited Fred into my studio to look at what I had done, to give him the opportunity at least to see what was going to be put in front of the public and to comment on it. He told me he liked the moive. He felt that the movie had treated his story fairly and responsibly. And then I presented him with my list of reasons why he's wrong, many of which are in the movie itself. The documents, these powerful documents that are in the Auchwitz archive. German documents. Not allied documents, not Jewish documents, NAZI documents. Nazi documents that make specific reference to all of these things Fred said were not there and could not possibly have been there. Fred's answer: I dunno where these documents came from. I can't vouch for their authenticity. I'll just keep my original position."

Errol Morris

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