Saturday, April 24, 2010

Climategate: Googlegate?

What is going on at Google? I only ask because last night when I typed “Global Warming” into Google News the top item was Christopher Booker’s superb analysis of the Climategate scandal.

It’s still the most-read article of the Telegraph’s entire online operation – 430 comments and counting – yet mysteriously when you try the same search now it doesn’t even feature. Instead, the top-featured item is a blogger pushing Al Gore’s AGW agenda. Perhaps there’s nothing sinister in this. Perhaps some Google-savvy reader can enlighten me…..

UPDATE: Richard North has some interesting thoughts on this. He too suspects some sort of skullduggery.

Broadway Bank to Close: Chicago Mob Linked Bank to Shut ABC Reports; Obama's Side Kick Could be Affected in Senate Race

After 30 years in business Broadway Bank's employees are telling customers it's the end of the line.

"They said it would no longer be Broadway Bank on Monday but our funds are safe under the FDIC," said Bob Kitsos, Broadway Bank customer.

The bank's imminent failure is undercutting the campaign of Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias. His father founded the bank, Alexi was a senior loan officer and cited his experience here as his chief credential in his campaign for his current job: state treasuer.

"Doesn't fairness suggest that if there's been any wrongdoing at the bank it should be heaped on his shoulders just because he has the same last name as his brothers who are running it?" said Sen. Dick Durbin, (D) Illinois.
In honor of the Chicago Mob linked bank closing : here's a flashback to Obama's glowing endorsement of Chicago Mob linked Alexi Giannoulias.

Minimum Wage Cruelty

Which allows an American Samoan worker to have a higher standard of living: being employed at $3.26 per hour or unemployed at a wage scheduled to annually increase by 50 cents until it reaches federally mandated wages at $7.25? You say, "Williams, that's a stupid question. Who would support people being unemployed at $7.25 an hour over being employed at $3.26 an hour?" That's precisely the outcome of Congress' 2007 increases in the minimum wage. Chicken of the Sea International moved its operation from Samoa to a highly automated cannery plant in Lyon, Georgia. That resulted in roughly 2,000 jobs lost in Samoa and a gain of 200 jobs in Georgia.

Given Samoa's low cost of living, $3.26 provided Samoan workers a higher standard of living than some of their neighbors on other islands. Now these workers are unemployed. What's worse is that Starkist, Chicken of the Sea's competitor, might leave the island as well. If that happens, increases in the minimum wage will have cost more than 8,000 jobs in Samoa's canneries and related industries; that's nearly half of its labor force. Samoan standard of living will be further reduced by the increased cost of goods it imports. Ships delivering goods from the U.S. and elsewhere to Samoa will not have as much cargo on their return trips, making shipping a costlier proposition.

Cannery jobs flourished in Samoa because of its location and it was one of the few American territories exempted from the minimum wage. Even the proposed 2007 increases in the minimum wage exempted Samoa. Since Del Monte, Starkist's parent company, is headquartered in Speaker Pelosi's San Francisco district and Chicken of the Sea is based in Southern California, Republicans had a field day suggesting that Pelosi's calling for Samoa to be exempted from the increases in the minimum wage reflected political payoffs and a conflict of interest. I thought that as well, as suggested in my May 9, 2007 column, but exempting American Samoa from minimum wage increases would have been the most compassionate act, short of minimum wage repeal.

The unemployment effect of minimum wages isn't restricted to American Samoa but to the mainland U.S. as well. Overall teenage unemployment stands at a record 25 percent while adult unemployment hovers around 10 percent. Also at a record high is the 50 percent unemployment rate among black teenage males. One might ask why teen unemployment, particularly that among black teens, is so much higher than adult unemployment. The answer is simple. One effect of a minimum wage law is that of discrimination against the employment of less-preferred workers. Within the category of less-preferred workers are those with low skills. Teens are disproportionately represented among such workers and are therefore more adversely affected by minimum wages. Black teens are disproportionately represented among teens with low skills and therefore share a greater burden of minimum wages.

One of the more insidious effects of minimum wages is that it lowers the cost of racial discrimination; in fact, minimum wage laws are one of the most effective tools in the arsenals of racists everywhere, as demonstrated by just a couple of examples. During South Africa's apartheid era, its racist unions were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. South Africa's Wage Board said, "The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would likely be employed." In the U.S., in the aftermath of a strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, when the arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages, the white unionists expressed their delight saying, "If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain."

Tragically, minimum wages have the unquestioned support of good-hearted, well-meaning people with little understanding who become the useful idiots of charlatans, quacks and racists.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


Eyewitness Accounts of Martial law Build Up!

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Keiser Report №36: Markets! Finance! Scandal!

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Truth Does Not Fear Investigation

A Brief History of Forensic Examinations of Auschwitz
Germar Rudolf
Source: Archives, Institute for Historical Review

“Auschwitz” has come to symbolize the greatest crime in human history. The significance of the alleged murder of a million or more persons, most of them Jewish, by gassing at the German concentration camp of that name has elicited endless discussion among philosophers, theologians, and litterateurs as well as jurists and historians, and evoked numberless platitudes from journalists and politicians. The focus of this article, however, is on the following questions:

1. Should the alleged monstrous crime be subject to careful scrutiny by means of thorough forensic analysis?
2. What forensic examinations of the purported crimes scenes at Auschwitz have been conducted thus far, and with what findings? How are we to assess the results?

The Moral Obligation of Forensic Examination

In late spring 1993, the Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart issued an internal memorandum informing its employees that a doctoral candidate there had been dismissed for research he had done on Auschwitz. The institute explained that in view of the horror of the National Socialists’ crimes against the Jews, it was morally repugnant to discuss the specific manner in which the victims had been killed, or to try to determine the precise number of the dead. That one of the world’s leading scientific research institutes stated to its personnel that to determine accurate quantities is not only unethical, but reprehensible, and cause for dismissal, is not without its own irony.

Does it really matter just how many Jews lost their lives in the German sphere of influence during the Second World War? Is it so important, after so many years, to attempt painstakingly to investigate just how they died? After all, it is surely morally correct that even one victim is one too many; and nobody seriously denies that many Jews died.

To affirm these things, however, is not to raise a valid objection — moral or otherwise — to the scientific investigation of a crime held to be unique and unparalleled in the history of mankind. Even a crime that is alleged to be uniquely reprehensible must be open to a procedure that is standard for any other crime: namely, that it can be — must be — subject to a detailed material investigation. Further: whoever postulates that a crime, alleged or actual, is unique must be prepared for a uniquely thorough investigation of the alleged crime before its uniqueness is accepted as fact.

If, on the other hand, someone sought to shield so allegedly unparalleled a crime from investigation by erecting a taboo of moral outrage, the creators of that taboo would, at least morally, themselves commit a singular offense: imputing an unparalleled guilt, beyond any critique and defense, to an entire people, the Germans. To demonstrate just what kind of double standard is being applied to “the Holocaust” (the definition of which usually includes the purposeful annihilation of millions of Jews by the Third Reich), let us note the international reaction to several recent examples of “crimes against humanity.” After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, numerous mass graves, containing hundreds of thousands of victims of the Soviets, were discovered and investigated. Not only was the number of victims determined, but in many cases the specific cause of death as well. In the same regions where many of these mass graves were found, one million or more Jews are said to have been shot by the Einsatzgruppen: yet no such grave has ever been reported found, let alone dug up and investigated, in the more than half a century during which these areas have been controlled by the USSR and its successor states.

During the conflict in Kosovo in 1999, rumors about mass killings by Serbs spread around the world. After the fighting was over, an international forensic commission arrived in Kosovo, searching, excavating, and forensically investigating mass graves. These graves proved to be not only fewer than the Serbs’ Albanian opponents had alleged, but to contain small fractions of the numbers of victims claimed.

Did the Allies attempt, during the war and in the years immediately following, to find and to investigate mass graves of persons said to have been victims of the Germans? So far as is known, only once: at Katyn. But the findings of the Soviet forensic commission, which blamed the mass murder of several thousand Polish officers buried there on the Germans, are today generally considered a fabrication. The report of the international forensic commission invited by the Germans in 1943, on the other hand, which found that the Soviets had carried out this mass murder, is today considered accurate even by the Russian government.
A Definition of Forensic Science

Forensic science is generally seen as a supporting science of criminology. Its aim is to collect and to identify physical remnants of a crime, and from these to draw conclusions about the victim(s), the perpetrator(s), the weapon(s), and the time and location of the crime, as well as how it was committed, if at all. This science is relatively new, and entered the courtrooms only in 1902, when fingerprint evidence was accepted, in an English court, for the first time. The 1998 CD-ROM Encyclopaedia Britannica writes of forensic science:

A broad range of scientific techniques is available to law enforcement agencies attempting to identify suspects or to establish beyond doubt the connection between a suspect and the crime in question. Examples include the analysis of bloodstains and traces of other body fluids (such as semen or spittle) that may indicate some of the characteristics of the offender. Fibres can be analyzed by microscopy or chemical analysis to show, for instance, that fibres found on the victim or at the scene of the crime are similar to those in the clothing of the suspect. Hair samples, and particularly skin cells attached to hair roots, can be compared chemically and genetically to those of the suspect. Many inorganic substances, such as glass, paper, and paint, can yield considerable information under microscopic or chemical analysis. Examination of a document in question may reveal it to be a forgery, on the evidence that the paper on which it is written was manufactured by a technique not available at the time to which it allegedly dates. The refractive index of even small particles of glass may be measured to show that a given item or fragment of glass was part of a particular batch manufactured at a particular time and place.

Hence, forensic research is exactly what revisionists, starting with Robert Faurisson, have called the search for material evidence. The revisionists’ demand for such material evidence is entirely consistent with the normal practice of modern law enforcement. And, as is generally acknowledged, forensic evidence is more conclusive than eyewitness testimony or documentary evidence.
Forensic Science and Auschwitz
The 1946 Krakow Auschwitz Trial

In 1945, the Krakow Institute for Forensic Research (Instytut Ekspertyz Sadowych) prepared a report on a forensic investigation of Auschwitz that was submitted in evidence in the 1946 Auschwitz trial in Krakow, Poland.[see note] This expert report should be treated with caution, because forensic examinations and judicial procedures under the Communists have been anything but trustworthy, and Poland was in 1945 a Stalinist satellite. One need only point to the example of Katyn, the Soviet account of which was fully endorsed by Poland’s Communist regime.[see note]

The Krakow forensic investigators took hair, presumably cut from inmates, and hair clasps from bags found by the Soviets in Auschwitz. Tested for cyanide residues, both hair and clasps showed positive results. Additionally, a zinc-plated metal cover was tested for cyanide and found to have a positive result as well. The Krakow Institute claims that this metal cover once shielded the exhaust duct of a supposed homicidal “gas chamber” at Birkenau.

The tests conducted by the institute were qualitative, not quantitative, analyses. In other words, they could only determine whether or not cyanide was present, not how much of it was there.

As to whether or not homicidal gassing with hydrogen cyanide took place in Auschwitz, these analyses are worthless, for three reasons:

1. There is no way of determining the origin and history of the hair and hair clasps obtained from bags in Auschwitz. Assuming that the analytic results are correct, from a chemical point of view the following can be noted: A positive test for cyanide in human hair proves only that the hair has been exposed to HCN (hydrogen cyanide). But that result does not suffice to establish that the persons from whom the hair came were killed by cyanide. It is a good deal more likely that the hair had already been cut when it was exposed to the gas: in German as well as Allied camps, it was standard to cut off prisoners’ hair for hygienic reasons. When hair over a certain length was later recycled,[see note] it had to be deloused beforehand (often with Zyklon B, the active ingredient of which is hydrogen cyanide). Hence, positive cyanide results from loose hair do not prove human gassings.
2. We face a similar problem with the zinc-plated covers allegedly used to cover the ventilation ducts of the supposed “gas chambers”: their exact origin and history is unknown. It would have been much preferable for the Krakow Institute to have analyzed samples from the walls of the alleged “gas chambers” instead of obtaining samples from pieces of metal:
1. Whereas the origin and history of these metal covers was uncertain, the origin and (at least partly) the history of the walls of the morgues allegedly used as “gas chambers” was known.
2. In contrast to cement and concrete, zinc-plated metal covers prevent the formation of stable iron cyanide compounds.[see note] The developing zinc cyanide compounds are relatively unstable and must be expected to vanish in a short period of time.[see note]
3. The tendency of porous wall material in moist underground rooms to accumulate and to bind hydrogen cyanide, physically as well as chemically, is hundreds of times higher than that of sheet metal.
4. As a matter of fact, the letter accompanying the samples sent to the Krakow Institute actually mentions that a mortar sample allegedly taken from a so-called “gas chamber” is enclosed as well and should also be tested for cyanide. However, for unknown reasons, the Krakow Institute did not mention this mortar sample in its report, perhaps because it did not show any positive result.
3. There is no evidence that either analysis has been successfully reproduced.

The 1964-1966 Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial

Several expert reports were prepared during the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, the best known being those of the Munich Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Institute for Contemporary History).[see note] However, none of these reports was forensic in nature. They addressed legal, historical, or psychological topics. Throughout this mammoth trial, neither the court, nor the prosecution,[see note]. nor the defense[see note] ever suggested that material traces of the alleged crime be secured and investigated. The prosecution had at its disposal numerous statements by eyewitnesses and confessions by perpetrators, and it considered this material entirely sufficient to establish beyond doubt the existence of a program to exterminate Jews in Auschwitz and elsewhere during the Third Reich.[see note] The abundance of such evidence has since been used to argue that the lack of documentary and material evidence was irrelevant.[see note] That no material evidence was presented during the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial was freely conceded by the court in its ruling:

The court lacked almost all possibilities of discovery available in a normal murder trial to create a true picture of the actual event at the time of the murder. It lacked the bodies of the victims, autopsy records, expert reports on the cause of death and the time of death; it lacked any trace of the murderers, murder weapons, etc. An examination of the eyewitness testimony was only possible in rare cases. Where the slightest doubt existed or the possibility of confusion could not be excluded with certainty, the court did not evaluate the testimony of witnesses[.]
The 1972 Vienna Auschwitz Trial

Between January 18 and March 10, 1972, two architects responsible for the design and construction of the crematoria in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Walter Dejaco and Fritz Ertl, were put on trial in Vienna, Austria.[see note] During the trial, an expert report on the possible interpretation of the blueprints of the alleged gas chambers of the Auschwitz and Birkenau crematoria was presented to the court. The report concluded that the rooms in question could not have been gas chambers, nor could they have been converted into gas chambers.[see note] Thanks to this first methodologically sound expert report on Auschwitz, the defendants were acquitted.
In Search of Mass Graves

In 1966 the Auschwitz State Museum commissioned the Polish company Hydrokop to drill into the soil of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp and to analyze the samples. It is not known whether this research was done in the context of the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial. The results, however, vanished into the museum’s archives: they have never been released, which by itself is revealing enough. Years later, however, several pages from this report were photocopied and sent to the German revisionist publisher Udo Walendy, who published them with commentary in an issue of his periodical.[see note] Traces of bones and hair allegedly found at several places might indicate mass graves. The few pages published by Walendy, however, do not reveal whether these findings led to an excavation or a subsequent forensic study of the traces. It is not even evident whether the bone and hair samples collected are human or animal remains.
Faurisson Pulls the Trigger

It took a professor of French literature to inform the world that determining whether mass murder took place at Auschwitz is a matter for forensic evidence. Robert Faurisson, professor of French, and an analyst of documents, texts, and witness statements at the University of Lyon 2, began to doubt the standard historical version of the Holocaust after much critical study of the eyewitness testimony and intensive scrutiny of documents said to support the claim of mass murder. Faurisson first asserted the thesis that “there was not a single gas chamber under Adolf Hitler” in 1978.[see note] Thereafter he buttressed his position with numerous physical, chemical, topographic, architectonic, documentary, and historical arguments. He described the existence of the homicidal gas chambers as “radically impossible.”[see note] At the end of 1978 Le Monde, the leading French newspaper, afforded Professor Faurisson the opportunity to present his thesis in an article.[see note]

It took almost a decade, however, for the first expert to accept Faurisson’s challenge and to prepare the first forensic report on the alleged homicidal “gas chambers” in Auschwitz: Fred Leuchter’s now famous report of 1988.[see note] The background and history of the Leuchter Report are well known to readers of the Journal of Historical Review and need not be repeated here.[see note] Suffice it to say that the Leuchter Report was a pioneer work that initiated a series of publications, the scope of which broadened more and more into various fields of forensic science[see note] and soon encompassed many interdisciplinary studies of material and documentary evidence.[see note]
Reaction of the Jan Sehn Institute

The reaction of the Krakow Institute which had carried out the faulty 1945 investigation — by 1988 named after the Communist judge who presided during the Polish Auschwitz and Rudolf Höss trials — to the Leuchter Report has caused much confusion in revisionist circles. To this day, many believe that in 1990 four investigators from this institute corroborated the Leuchter Report,[see note] but this is quite incorrect. Clearing up the misunderstanding requires that the post-Leuchter findings of the Krakow Institute be treated in some detail.
A Short Chemical Introduction

To expose the errors of the Krakow investigators requires presenting a little basic chemistry — so basic that equations have been omitted. First of all, until 1979, Zyklon B was the German trademark for a pesticide based on hydrogen cyanide (HCN). As every student of chemistry knows, hydrogen cyanide forms salts, often simply referred to as cyanides. Like hydrogen cyanide itself, these salts are usually highly poisonous. There is one group of cyanides, however, which are not poisonous at all. The best known representatives of this group are the iron cyanides, especially so-called Prussian blue, a pigment discovered in Prussia a few centuries ago. Every college student of chemistry knows Prussian blue, for one of the more important things a chemist must learn is how to dispose of poisonous cyanide salts without endangering life (including one’s own). One simply makes Prussian blue out of it by adding certain iron compounds. Then it can be poured down the sink in good conscience, for Prussian blue is extremely stable and releases no cyanide into the environment.

Understanding the controversy surrounding the Leuchter Report is much easier if one keeps in mind that when hydrogen cyanide and certain iron compounds come together, they form Prussian blue. That is exactly the phenomenon that one can observe when entering the Zyklon B delousing facilities that were used across Europe during the Third Reich. A few of them, for example in the Auschwitz, Birkenau, Majdanek, and Stutthof concentration camps, are still intact today. All these facilities have one thing in common: their walls are permeated with Prussian blue. Not just the inner surfaces, but the mortar between the bricks, and even the outside walls of these delousing chambers abound in iron cyanides, exhibiting a patchy blue coloration. Nothing of the sort can be observed in the alleged homicidal “gas chambers” of Auschwitz and Birkenau.[see note]

The iron compounds needed to form Prussian blue are an integral part of all building materials: bricks, sand, and cement always contain a certain amount of rust (iron oxide, usually between 1 and 4 percent). That is what gives bricks their red, or ocher, color and what makes most sands ocher, too.

Now, let’s examine the way in which the investigators from the Jan Sehn Institute approached the problem of analyzing and interpreting samples from Auschwitz.
A Lack of Understanding

The team from the forensic institute, Jan Markiewicz, Wojciech Gubala, and Jerzy Labedz, claims not to have understood how it was possible for Prussian blue to have formed in walls as a result of their being exposed to hydrogen cyanide gas: “It is difficult to imagine the chemical reactions and physicochemical processes that could have led to the formation of Prussian blue in that place.”[see note]

There is no shame in not understanding. Actually, this is the beginning of every science: the cognition of not understanding. In pre-scientific ages, humans tended to find mystical or religious answers to unsolved questions; modern scientists approach problems they don’t understand, and sometimes can scarcely imagine, as challenges to investigate, in order to understand. This quest for knowledge is the chief driving force of modern humanity. Should we not expect, then, that the Krakow researchers would next have attempted to learn whether Prussian blue can be formed in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide and, if so, how?
More Lack of Understanding

In 1991 Dr. Markiewicz wrote, via a mutual acquaintance, that he was unable to understand how Prussian blue could possibly form in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide. He thought that quite unlikely, and suggested that its presence might stem from a different source, for example from Prussian blue wall paint used to give the interior walls of the delousing chambers a fanciful, patchy blue coloration. (What for?, one is tempted to ask.[see note]) I suggested that he look at the outer surfaces of the walls, which are exposed to environmental influences, and which were partly patchy blue as well. Their color cannot be explained by paint, but only by cyanide compounds spreading to the outside walls over the years, and being converted to Prussian blue. He replied that these blue patches were hard to explain, and first it had to be established that they were indeed Prussian blue.[see note] So there were even more questions to be answered before these scientists could conduct their analysis.
Disregard of Key Questions

At length, the Polish investigators published an article on their findings, in 1994.[see note] Surprisingly, perusing their article reveals that they did nothing to establish whether or not Prussian blue can form in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide. Nothing indicates that they did basic research on the behavior of cyanide compounds under conditions similar to those in brickwork. Nor did they do anything to establish whether or not the blue patches on the external walls of the delousing chambers were caused by Prussian blue. Should you wonder why, just be patient: it gets even worse.
Ignoring Peer Opinions

Had the researchers found a scientific source which stated in a reliable way that Prussian blue cannot develop in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide, that would have made things easy for them, by rendering any new research obsolete. On the other hand, if they had discovered literature claiming in a scientific way that the formation of Prussian blue in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide was possible, the scientific method would have compelled them to do either of two things: to abandon their position that Prussian blue cannot form thus, or to refute the opposing position by proving that it cannot form. That is what the scientific process is all about: verification or refutation of theses postulated by peers. Ignoring peer opinions is a strong indicator of unscientific behavior.

In fact, the Krakow researchers quoted one book that deals intensively with the question of Prussian blue formation.[see note] On consulting it, however, one quickly realizes that it proves the exact opposite of Markiewicz’s thesis. The work demonstrates in detail how, and under which circumstances, walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide can indeed form Prussian blue, and that this was not only possible but very likely, at least in the Auschwitz delousing chambers.

Do the Krakow researchers claim that this book shows the opposite? Not at all. In fact, they cite it not to refer the reader to its chemical arguments, but, instead, merely as an example of scientific studies these authors from the Jan Sehn Institute intend to combat with their report. All arguments advanced in the book are simply ignored, while the work is stigmatized as an example of “undesirable science.” Let it be recalled that Dr. Markiewicz is a professor, meaning: he professes to adhere to the ideals of science and the scientific method!
Excluding the Unwanted

The authors of the Krakow study ignored all arguments proving them wrong, although they were certainly aware of them, as they quoted them. They made no attempt to prove or to disprove their own claims. They did nothing to understand what they claimed not to have understood.

Was there a reason for their strange conduct?

The answer is very simple: The researchers wanted to exclude Prussian blue and similar iron cyanide compounds from their analyses. Excluding these compounds can only be justified on the assumption that Prussian blue in the walls of the delousing chambers must have a different origin, e.g. from paint. As the Krakow investigators wrote in their 1994 article:

We decided therefore to determine the cyanide ions using a method that does not induce the breakdown of the composed ferrum cyanide complex (this is the blue under discussion) [.]

What does this mean?

In fact, the exclusion of Prussian blue from analytical detection must result in much lower cyanide traces for the delousing chambers, as non-iron cyanide compounds are not very stable and would therefore hardly be present after fifty years. The same is true for every room ever exposed to hydrogen cyanide. In fact, values close to the detection level must be expected. These are generally so unreliable that a proper interpretation is close to impossible. It can therefore be expected that the analysis of samples tested with such a method would deliver similar results for nearly every sampling of material that is many years old. Such an analysis would make it practically impossible to distinguish between rooms massively exposed to hydrogen cyanide and those which were not: all would have a cyanide residue of close to zero.

Comparison of the order of magnitude of analyses results of different samples.

I believe that is exactly what the researchers from the Jan Sehn Institute wanted to achieve: values for both the delousing chambers and the alleged homicidal “gas chambers” with similar levels of cyanide residues. This would allow them to state: “The same amount of cyanides, hence the same amount of gassing activity: thus, humans were gassed in the crematoria cellars. Thus, Leuchter is refuted.”

The analyses results of the Krakow report showed just that, and its authors drew the requisite conclusions.

If we examine the analyses results of samples taken by different people, and obtained with different methods of analysis, it is evident that Markiewicz and his co-workers fudged their results by adjusting their method to deliver what they wanted.

If that doesn’t smell like scientific fraud, well … we aren’t through with the Krakow report yet.
Suppressing Unwanted Results

In 1991, a document leaked out of the Jan Sehn Institute in Krakow into the hands of the revisionists, and was eventually published in their periodicals.[see note] It showed that Dr. Markiewicz and his co-workers had prepared a first report as early as 1990. This report was never published. Its results were discomfiting: although the researchers were already employing their deceptive analytical method, only one of the five samples taken from alleged homicidal gas chambers resulted in an extremely small amount of cyanide (0.024 mg/kg); the rest had no detectable cyanide. On the other hand, samples taken from a delousing chamber showed values up to 20 times higher (0.036-0.588 mg/kg). These results seemed to confirm Leuchter’s findings. Hence, in their 1994 paper, the Krakow investigators suppressed any information about their initial results. Normally, researchers guilty of such unethical conduct are expelled from the scientific community.

Today, most revisionists are aware of the findings revealed in 1991, but not of the later ones published in 1994 that seem to refute Leuchter.
Krakow Guidelines: Not Scientific Truth, but a Political Agenda

In a subsequent correspondence with the Krakow researchers, I asked for a scientific explanation of their method of analysis. I gave them irrefutable proof that Prussian blue can be formed in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide gas, citing a recent case documented in expert literature.[see note] The authors of the Krakow report were unable to give a scientific reason for their deliberate failure to test for Prussian blue and refused to admit that they had made a mistake.[see note]

Finally, in their article as well as in a letter to me, the Krakow researchers stated that the purpose of their paper was to refute the “Holocaust deniers” and to prevent the whitewashing of Hitler and National Socialism. In other words, their purpose was not the search for truth, but to serve a political end.

To summarize the extremely unscientific and politically biased approach of Markiewicz and his co-workers:

1. The most important task of a scientist is to try to understand what hasn’t been understood. The investigators from the Jan Sehn Institute for Forensic Research in Krakow did just the opposite: they chose to ignore and to exclude what they didn’t understand (the formation of Prussian blue in walls exposed to hydrogen cyanide).
2. The next important task of a scientist is to discuss other scientists’ attempts to understand something. The Krakow team did just the opposite: they chose to ignore and to exclude from discussion all that might let them (and others) understand how Prussian blue can be formed.
3. These choices allowed them to employ methods that would produce the results desired.
4. They suppressed whichever results didn’t fit their purposes.
5. Finally, they admitted that the purpose of their research was not to seek truth, but to contribute to the continued disrepute of the long defunct Adolf Hitler.

Therefore, I publicly called, and continue to call, these researchers scientific frauds. There is only one place for their research findings: the garbage. Neither Markiewicz nor his co-workers have ever responded to my accusations. Dr. Markiewicz, who was an expert in technical testing, not a chemist, died in 1997; the remaining two authors have continued to remain silent.
A German Corroboration of Leuchter

In early 1990, a few months after beginning work on my Ph.D. at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany, I started investigations to verify the chemical claims made in the Leuchter Report: namely, that long-term stable cyanide compounds were still to be expected in the alleged homicidal gas chambers, if the mass gassings with Zyklon B took place in them as claimed by witnesses. Initially I was interested only in finding out whether the resulting compound — iron blue or Prussian blue — is stable enough to survive forty-five years of exposure to harsh environmental conditions. After this was confirmed, I mailed the results to some twenty people I thought might be interested in these results. Subsequently I got in contact with several engineers and lawyers, the former willing to help me in doing forensic research, and the latter primarily interested in using the results for their clients. I made two trips to Auschwitz and did eighteen months of further research until, in January 1992, the first, 72-page long version of the so-called Rudolf Report was distributed to opinion leaders in Germany. Briefly summarized, it corroborates Leuchter’s claim that, for several technical and chemical reasons, the mass gassing attested to by witnesses could not have occurred. My report was subsequently updated and enhanced, and finally published in July 1993 as a 120-page paperback booklet.[see note] Dutch and French versions appeared in 1995 and 1996, but an English version has never been printed. (A short 16-page summary published in summer 1993 is often mistakenly assumed to be a full version of my report.) An updated and enhanced version is currently in preparation; publication is planned for later this year.[see note]

Because I can’t be the judge of my own work, I will not discuss my own research here. Scientific discussion of my report began with a German book, consisting mainly of unfounded attacks, in 1995.[see note] The first serious critique to date, unfortunately riddled with ad hominem attacks, has appeared only on the Internet.[see note] Its author, Richard Green, is, like me, a chemist with a Ph.D. thesis in physical chemistry. He has made some far-reaching concessions in his critique:

1. In order to kill humans as quickly as attested to by the witnesses, hydrogen cyanide in concentrations similar to those used for delousing procedures is required. Leuchter was frequently attacked by his opponents on the basis that much less poison would have been required to kill humans than to kill lice. Although this is generally true, it does not apply to a scenario in which many hundreds of humans are supposed to have died from this poison within a few minutes.
2. Iron blue (Prussian blue) can indeed be the result of exposing walls to hydrogen cyanide, and, when found in the delousing facilities in Auschwitz and elsewhere, HCN is most likely the cause.

The latter concession obviously destroys the reputation of the Krakow researchers (and their supporters), who summarily declared that the vast amount of iron blue in the walls of delousing facilities must have a different origin, which in turn “allowed” them to exclude it from analysis. Green, however, is undisturbed by this, and still claims that their results ought to be taken as standard by everybody. To my question of why the Krakow investigators had not responded to my inquiries as to their obviously unscientific behavior, Green responded as follows:

Rudolf complains that Markiewicz et al. have not responded to his queries. Why should they do so? What credibility does Rudolf have, that demands they answer his every objection no matter how ill-founded?

Other Forensic Approaches

Chemistry is obviously not the only science to be consulted when it comes to solving the mysteries of Auschwitz. Engineers, architects, physicians, geologists, and other experts can contribute to this, too. Nor does their work stop with trying to decipher the hidden messages of material traces on site. Original wartime documents on the facilities and events in Auschwitz require the expertise of engineers, architects, physicians, and geologists as well. When it comes to reconstructing the infrastructure of the camp, down to the function and purpose of every building and every room, the technical modes of operation and capacities of its installations, the extent and modernity of the treatment in its hospitals, the effect of the water table of the swamps, most of which can be determined by analyzing the tens of thousands of documents that have been found or released during the last decade, the historian alone simply cannot do the job, nor can I as a chemist.
‘No Holes? No “Holocau$t”‘!

Ditlieb Felderer was the first to deal intensively with the question of whether or not there were holes in the roof of the alleged homicidal “gas chambers,” although he seems not to have published anything about it. Leuchter touched on this topic only superficially in his report. It was this question, rather than whether or not there were still any chemical residues of the poison gas allegedly used, which made me most curious to go to Auschwitz, to search for these holes by myself. On August 16, 1991, while standing on the collapsed roof of the alleged “gas chamber” of crematorium II in Birkenau, I lost my faith in the “Holocaust,” because I could find no holes that deserved the name. This I described in detail in my report. In 1994, Robert Faurisson made the famous quip that subtitles this section. Yet it was not until 2000, during David Irving’s libel case against Deborah Lipstadt, that the world took notice of the revisionist allegation that no holes can be found in this roof.

Charles Provan has since written an Internet article in which he claims to have refuted this revisionist finding. He did, indeed, find holes in the roof of the morgue of crematorium II.[see note] But are they the same holes used fifty-five years ago to introduce Zyklon B into the “gas chamber,” as claimed by the witnesses? Or are they merely results of the collapsing roof being pierced by the concrete supporting pillars? I am convinced that the latter is the case. My conviction doesn’t matter, however. What matters are facts. But how are we to establish facts in such a case?

According to Robert Van Pelt:

In the twenty-five hundred square feet of this one room more people lost their lives than in any other place on this planet. Five hundred thousand people were killed. If you would draw a map of human suffering, if you create a geography of atrocities, this would be the absolute centre.[see note]

Now, let us consider a somewhat different, but still tragic case. We all know what happens after an airplane crash: hundreds of experts swarm out to retrieve the debris of the accident, in order to assemble it all like a gigantic, three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. The purpose is to determine the cause of the accident in order to prevent it from happening again. No expense is spared.

Would it not be appropriate to do the same with the morgues of crematoriums II and III in Birkenau? To assemble a staff of hundreds of historians, engineers, architects, and archaeologists to exactingly retrieve all the debris of these rooms and to reassemble them, like piecing together a huge puzzle, in order to determine what they really looked like fifty-five years ago? Would it not be logical to attempt to determine what vestiges we have to expect when looking for holes, before ecstatically jumping to conclusions at the mere sight of a crack in the concrete?

During the last few years, I have heard, to my horror, of people walking up to these rooms and breaking off reinforcement bars protruding from cracks or holes,[see note] or taking shovels and clearing the roof of debris in order to look for holes.[see note] What would a paleontologist say of someone who wanted to use a shovel to excavate the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex? Sometimes one has cause to wonder: Where have all the homo sapiens gone? When will people begin to think and act about the Holocaust like wise human beings?

The question of whether or not there were holes in the roof of crematorium II is not a trivial one. If there were none, then it would have been impossible to introduce Zyklon B into the alleged “gas chamber” in the manner claimed by the witnesses — discrediting all those witnesses. Because eyewitness accounts are the sole pillar on which the Holocaust rests, this would sooner or later lead to the collapse of the entire Holocaust story. This, in turn, is no trivial matter. The international order established by the victorious powers after the Second World War rests mainly on the “given” of the Holocaust. The Holocaust is used to control Germany (and hence Europe), to suppress national movements, and to maintain American dominance — to say nothing of the power leftist and internationalist movements derive from it, and the use to which Jewish and Zionist groups put it.

Who, then, wants to know the truth? Wouldn’t it be easier to blow up the Auschwitz crematoria and remove the debris once and for all, and be content with the witness accounts?

If revisionist researchers don’t do the work of establishing what really took place in Auschwitz, nobody will. Considering our limited means and the legal restrictions placed on us, it might be only realistic to conclude that nobody ever will. Thus all we can do right now is to meticulously map and document the material remains as they are today, from top to bottom, and hope that eventually reason will prevail.
Criminal Traces?

The discovery in German wartime documents of ambivalent words for which a sinister meaning can be interpreted is quite common in mainstream historiography on the Holocaust. Jean-Claude Pressac is not the first to have done so, but he is perhaps the most determined, taking it well beyond the bizarre.[see note] The revisionist responses have been thorough and, for the exterminationists, devastating.[see note] Revisionist interpretations have been based, on the one hand, on thorough knowledge of the documents dealing with Auschwitz — including Allied air photos — as well as their context, and on expert knowledge in various fields of engineering and architecture on the other.
Exculpatory Traces!

That approach, applied to a great number of documents on Auschwitz, has yielded another, even more important result that sheds revealing light on the history of the Auschwitz camp system. Samuel Crowell has unearthed material on air raid shelters built by the SS to protect inmates from Allied air raids. Hans Lamker and Hans Nowak have shown in detail how the SS installed modern (and highly) expensive microwave delousing facilities to protect the lives of inmates.[see note] Together with Michael Gärtner and Werner Rademacher, they are currently working on a comprehensive history of the Auschwitz camp, equipped with all means necessary to ensure the survival of tens of thousands of prisoners: hospitals, dentists, kitchens, laundries, butchers, as well as recreation facilities like sport fields and gardens. Together with the fact that the overall costs of erecting this camp complex were on the order of magnitude of some five hundred million dollars, these facilities clearly contradict an intention by the German authorities to use this camp as an extermination center. There are cheaper ways of killing humans than to spend 500 dollars per capita.[see note]
The Future of Auschwitz Forensics

Since the dawn of science, scientists have sought the perpetuum mobile. They seem never to have noticed that they had found it at the beginning of their search: science itself. So it can be expected that forensic research about Auschwitz will never cease, especially if one considers the controversial and highly ideological implications of any potential findings. The direction and methods of research, however, are clearly being set by the pioneers in this field, the revisionists, who lack neither the imagination nor the curiosity to discover whether the mass gassing claims of the Holocaust are true, whatever their use for political or financial purposes. The Auschwitz camp system will, as before, be at the very focus of it all.

To name one recent instance, in early 2000 the Australian engineer Richard Krege employed ground penetrating radar in order to locate (or not to locate) mass graves in the vicinity of alleged German extermination camps. A preliminary study was published in my German language revisionist quarterly in early 2000.[see note] Krege has promised more thorough investigations, together with a proper introduction into this geological method of determining disturbances in the soil beneath our feet. His work is going to break new ground, as Leuchter’s work did thirteen years ago. No doubt he will not be the last pioneer to challenge reigning dogmas and taboos.

As they do for all alleged crimes in the historical past, the forensic sciences hold the key to the riddles of Auschwitz. No group with the power to conduct, or else to demand, forensic research on the necessary scale seems willing to do so: on the contrary. Those in power have no stake in changing our view of Auschwitz, and consequently of the Holocaust, and forensic research is liable to do exactly that. Instead, authorities the world over persecute and prosecute those who advocate or attempt such research. This may slow us down, but it will not stop us.

When revisionist researchers achieve a sudden breakthrough through forensic research, they are countered not merely with slander and persecution, but also with academic forgery and professorial deceit, of which the Krakow forensic report is so evident an example. How desperate must they be, the keepers of the flame of the Holocaust legend, to resort to such methods? By guarding the purported graves and “gas chamber” ruins of Auschwitz from scientific inquiry, they risk the burial of their own reputations, and the ruin of the Auschwitz myth.

1. Published in German by the Dokumentationszentrum des Österreichischen Widerstandes (Documentation Center of the Austrian Resistance) and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education and Culture, in Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit (Vienna, 1991), pp. 36-40; the original is in the Auschwitz State Museum.
2. See F. Kadell, Die Katyn Lüge (Münich: Herbig, 1991).
3. Letter from the SS Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungs- hauptamt, Oranienburg, to concentration camp commanders, August 6,1942, IMT Document 511-USSR, cited in: Der Prozess gegen die Hauptkriegsverbrecher vor dem Internationalen Militärgerichtshof (Nuremberg, 1949), pp. 553f. The letter ordered the recycling of prisoners’ hair twenty centimeters or more in length.
4. Zinc prevents the formation of rust, which is required to form long-term stable iron cyanides.
5. Like earth alkaline cyanides, zinc cyanides are slowly decomposed by humidity.
6. H. Buchheim et al., Anatomie des SS-Staates (Freiburg: Walter, 1964).
7. Throughout his writings, Adalbert Rückerl, one of the most prominent German prosecutors in “Holocaust cases,” dispenses with any mention of material evidence. Instead, he declares documentary evidence the best and most important form of evidence, even in the absence of material evidence for the authenticity and correctness of the documents themselves (in J. Weber, P. Steinbach, eds., Vergangenheitsbewältigung durch Strafverfahren? [Munich: Olzog,1984] p. 77). Rückerl reports that it is practically impossible to find a suspect guilty solely on documentary evidence, so that, especially given the increasing time span separating alleged crimes from trial, it is almost always necessary to fall back on eyewitness testimony, even though its unreliability is clear, particularly in trials of so-called “National Socialist violent crimes” (A. Rückerl, NS-Verbrechen vor Gericht [Heidelberg: C. F. Müller, 1984], p. 249; Rückerl, Nationalsozialistische Vernichtungslager im Spiegel deutscher Strafprozesse [Munich: dtv, 1978], p. 34; Rückerl, NS-Prozesse [Karlsruhe: C. F. Müller, 1972], pp. 27, 29, 31.).
8. Such total naiveté, combined with legal incompetence, on behalf of the defense is best exemplified in Hans Laternser, Die andere Seite im Auschwitzprozess 1963/65 (Stuttgart: Seewald,1966).
9. The most prominent advocate of this thesis is Professor Nolte, in his book Streitpunkte (Berlin: Propyläen, 1993), pp. 290, 293, 297.
10. For example, the verdict of the Schwurgericht (jury court) of Frankfurt am Main stated that there was no evidence as to the crime, its victims, the murder weapon, nor even the perpetrators themselves; Ref. 50/4 Ks 2/63; cf. I. Sagel-Grande, H. H. Fuchs, C. F. Rüter, eds., Justiz und NS-Verbrechen, vol. 21 (Amsterdam: University Press,1979), p. 434.
11. Ref. 20 Vr 6575/72 (Hv56/72); this reference number is different from the one Robert Van Pelt quotes in his report: The Pelt Report, Irving vs. Lipstadt (Queen’s Bench Division, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, David John Cawdell Irving ./. [1] Penguin Books Limited, [2] Deborah E. Lipstadt, Ref. 1996 I. No. 113; p. 135 n. 59: 20 Vr 3806/64 and 27 C Vr 3806/64).
12. Personal communication from the expert, who must, for the time being, remain anonymous. See Michael Gärtner, “Vor 25 Jahren: Ein anderer Auschwitzprozess,” Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung (VffG)1, no. 1(1997), pp. 24f. (
13. Udo Walendy, Historische Tatsachen 60 (Vlotho: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1993), pp. 7-10.
14. Cf. Mémoire en défense (Paris: La Vieille Taupe, 1980); Serge Thion, ed., Vérité historique ou vérité politique? (Paris: La Vieille Taupe, 1980) (online:; R. Faurisson, Écrits révisionnistes, 4 vols., published by author,Vichy,1999; see also Faurisson, Es gab keine Gaskammern (Witten: Deutscher Arbeitskreis Witten, 1978).
15. R. Faurisson, “Le camere a gas non sono mai esistite,” Storia illustrata 261 (1979), pp. 15-35 (online:; cf. Faurisson, “The Mechanics of Gassing,” The Journal of Historical Review (JHR) 1, no. 1 (spring 1980), pp. 23ff. (online:; Faurisson, “The Gas Chambers of Auschwitz Appear to Be Physically Inconceivable,” JHR 2, no. 4 (winter 1981), pp. 311ff. (online:
16. “‘Le problème des chambres à gaz’ ou ‘la rumeur d’Auschwitz,’” Le Monde, December 29, 1978, p. 8; see also “The ‘problem of the gas chambers,” JHR 1, no. 2 (summer 1980), pp. 103-114 (online:
17. F. A. Leuchter, An Engineering Report on the Alleged Execution Gas Chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek, Poland, Samisdat Publishers Ltd., Toronto 1988 (
18. For Leuchter’s own statement, cf. “Witch Hunt in Boston,” JHR 10, no. 4 (winter 1990), pp. 453-460; “The Leuchter Report: The How and the Why,” JHR 9, no. 2 (summer 1988), pp. 133-139.
19. To name only a few of the more prominent early publications: J.-C. Pressac, Jour J, December 12, 1988, i-x; Pressac in: S. Shapiro, ed., Truth Prevails: Demolishing Holocaust Denial: The End of the Leuchter Report, (NY: Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1990); W. Schuster, “Technische Unmöglichkeiten bei Pressac,” Deutschland in Geschichte und Gegenwart (DGG) 39, no. 2 (1991), pp. 9-13 (; Paul Grubach, “The Leuchter Report Vindicated: A Response to Jean-Claude Pressac’s Critique,” JHR 12, no. 2 (summer 1992), pp. 248ff. (; Helmut Auerbach, Institut für Zeitgeschichte, letter to Bundesprüfstelle, München, Oct. 10, 1989; Auerbach, November 1989, both published in U. Walendy, Historische Tatsache 42 (Vlotho: Verlag für Volkstum und Zeitgeschichtsforschung, 1990), pp. 32 and 34; see my technical appraisal of Auerbach’s writings in Henri Roques, Günter Annthon, Der Fall Günter Deckert (Weinheim: DAGD/Germania Verlag, 1995), pp. 431-435 (; W. Wegner, “Keine Massenvergasungen in Auschwitz? Zur Kritik des Leuchter-Gutachtens,” in U. Backes, E. Jesse, R. Zitelmann, eds., Die Schatten der Vergangenheit (Frankfurt: Propyläen, 1990), pp. 450-476 (, with interpolated critique by the present writer); on this cf. W. Häberle, “Zu Wegners Kritik am Leuchter-Gutachten,” DGG 39, no. 2 (1991), pp. 13-17 (online:; J. Bailer, “Der Leuchter-Bericht aus der Sicht eines Chemikers,” in Amoklauf gegen die Wirklichkeit, pp. 47-52; cf. E. Gauss (alias G. Rudolf), Vorlesungen über Zeitgeschichte (Tübingen: Grabert, 1993), pp. 290-293; Gauss, “Chemische Wissenschaft zur Gaskammerfrage,” DGG 41, no. 2 (1993), pp. 16-24 (online:; J. Bailer, in B. Bailer-Galanda, W. Benz, W. Neugebauer, eds., Wahrheit und Auschwitzlüge (Vienna: Deuticke, 1995), pp. 112-118; cf. my critique “Zur Kritik an ‘Wahrheit und Auschwitzlüge,’” in Herbert Verbeke, ed., Kardinalfragen zur Zeitgeschichte (Berchem: Vrij Historisch Onderzoek, 1996), pp. 91-108 (; English: “Critique of ‘Truth and the Auschwitz-Lie’” (online:; G. Wellers, “Der Leuchter-Bericht über die Gaskammern von Auschwitz,” Dachauer Hefte 7, no. 7 (November 1991), pp. 230-241.
20. Most notably the works of the Italian historian Carlo Mattogno, the American historian Samuel Crowell, and a group of South German engineers and architects comprising Michael Gärtner, Hans Lamker, Hans Jürgen Nowak, Werner Rademacher, Gottfried Sänger. For a comprehensive list of their works, enter their names in the search tool of the revisionist online database at
21. J. Markiewicz, W. Gubala, J. Labedz, B. Trzcinska, Prof. Dr. Jan Sehn Institute for Forensic Research, Department for Forensic Toxicology, Krakow, September 24, 1990; partly published in DGG 39, no. 2 (1991), pp. 18f. (; English: “An Official Polish Report on the Auschwitz ‘Gas Chambers,’” JHR 11, no. 2 (summer 1991), pp. 207-216 ( IHR207-216.html).
22. It is a bit different in Majdanek and Stutthof, where rooms that unquestionably served as delousing facilities are claimed to have served as homicidal gas chambers as well. Thus we cannot make the same observation for them as for Auschwitz. However, because the prevailing opinion generally claims that high iron cyanide residues cannot be the results of homicidal gassings — for fallacious reasons unable to be discussed here — it is generally accepted by all sides in this controversy that the blue staining generally originates in the use of these rooms as delousing facilities.
23. Jan Markiewicz, Wojciech Gubala, Jerzy Labedz, “A Study of the Cyanide Compounds Content in the Walls of the Gas Chambers in the Former Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps,” Z Zagadnien Nauk Sadowych / Problems of Forensic Science 30 (1994), pp. 17-27 (online:
24. There are no wall paints that contain Prussian blue, because Prussian blue decomposes on fresh plaster (it is unstable in alkaline environments). Thus, nobody could have painted these walls with Prussian blue.
25. Prof. Dr. Jan Sehn Institute for Forensic Research, Dept. for Forensic Toxicology, Krakow, letter to W. Wegner, undated (winter 1991/92), signature illegible, but probably Dr. Markiewicz himself, unpublished, partly quoted in: Rüdiger Kammerer, Armin Solms, eds., Das Rudolf Gutachten: Gutachten über die Bildung und Nachweisbarkeit von Cyanidverbindungen in den “Gaskammern” von Auschwitz (London: Cromwell Press, 1993) (
26. E. Gauss (alias G. Rudolf), Vorlesungen über Zeitgeschichte (Tübingen: Grabert, 1993); on the chemistry involved here, cf. pp. 163ff., 290-294 ( and ~/v5.html#v5_5).
27. G. Rudolf, Das Rudolf Gutachten, 2nd ed. (Hastings, Eng.: Castle Hill Publishers, 2001).
28. A construction damage case occurred in 1976 in Bavaria (Meeder-Wiesenfeld), when a recently plastered church was fumigated with Zyklon B. After several months the plaster was covered with blue patches formed by Prussian blue. See Günter Zimmermann, ed., Bauschäden Sammlung, vol. 4 (Stuttgart: Forum-Verlag, 1981), pp. 120f.; reprint in Ernst Gauss (alias G. Rudolf), ed., Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte (Tübingen: Grabert, 1994, pp. 401ff.; (; English: Furthermore, every one of the delousing facilities of the former concentration camps in eastern Europe that is still standing today has developed enormous amounts of Prussian blue throughout the walls, cf. my report, note 25 above ( and following pages); Jürgen Graf, Carlo Mattogno, KL Majdanek: Eine historische und technische Studie (Hastings, Eng: Castle Hill Publishers, 1998) (; Jürgen Graf, Carlo Mattogno, Das Konzentrationslager Stutthof und seine Funktion in der nationalsozialistischen Judenpolitik (Hastings, Eng: Castle Hill Publishers, 1999) (
29. G. Rudolf, “Leuchter-Gegengutachten: Ein Wissenschaftlicher Betrug?,” DGG 43, no. 1 (1995), pp. 22-26 (; Engl.:; G. Rudolf and J. Markiewicz, W. Gubala, J. Labedz, “Briefwechsel,” Sleipnir 1, no. 3 (1995), pp. 29-33; reprinted in Verbeke, ed., Kardinalfragen zur Zeitgeschichte, pp. 86-90 (online: as above).
30. Kammerer, Solms, eds., Das Rudolf Gutachten ( For background, history, and consequences of my report, see W. Schlesiger, Der Fall Rudolf (London: Cromwell, 1994) (online:; English: The Rudolf Case (; and Verbeke, ed., Kardinalfragen zur Zeitgeschichte (; English: Cardinal Questions about Contemporary History (; cf. “Hunting Germar Rudolf,”
31. This large-format, 350 pp. hardcover book may be ordered for $ or by writing to Theses & Dissertations Press, PO Box 64, Capshaw, AL 35742.
32. J. Bailer, in B. Bailer-Galanda, W. Benz, W. Neugebauer, eds., op. cit. (see note 19 above); see my answer to this, “Zur Kritik an ‘Wahrheit und Auschwitzlüge’”/”Critique of Truth and the Auschwitz-Lie,” in Herbert Verbeke, ed., Kardinalfragen zur Zeitgeschichte. Even less sophisticated: B. Clair, “Revisionistische Gutachten,” VffG 1, no. 2 (1997), pp. 102-104 (; my answer: “Zur Kritik am Rudolf Gutachten,” ibid., pp. 104-108 (; further, La Vieille Taupe/Pierre Guillaume, “Rudolf Gutachten: ‘Psychopathologisch und Gefährlich’: Über die Psychopathologie einer Erklärung,” VffG 1, no. 4 (1997), pp. 224f. ( Robert Van Pelt did not discuss my report, but preferred to repeat and aggravate Pressac’s errors: op. cit. (see note 11 above); cf. G. Rudolf, “Gutachter und Urteilsschelte,” VffG 4, no. 1 (2000), pp. 33-50 (; more exhaustively, in English, and …/CritiqueGray.html.
33. Richard J. Green, “The Chemistry of Auschwitz,” May 10, 1998,, und “Leuchter, Rudolf and the Iron Blues,” March 25, 1998,, with considerable proselytizing “anti-fascist” bias. A detailed description of the deficiencies of the paper appeared in “Das Rudolf Gutachten in der Kritik, Teil 2,” VffG 3, no. 1 (1999), pp. 77-82 (; English.: “Some Considerations about the ‘Gas Chambers’ of Auschwitz and Birkenau,”; for the response see: Richard J. Green, Jamie McCarthy, “Chemistry is Not the Science,” May 2,1999, About 50 percent of the article consists of political accusations and vilification. For a response, see G. Rudolf, “Character Assassin,” online:
34. Charles D. Provan, “No Holes? No Holocaust?: A Study of the Holes in the Roof of Leichenkeller I of Krematorium 2 at Birkenau” (
35. Van Pelt’s testimony in Errol Morris’s documentary film Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
36. As did at least one revisionist, in spring 1996, on the roof of morgue 1 of crematorium II.
37. As did an engineer named Barford; his colleagues are assisting in the conservation and restoration of the camp for the Auschwitz Museum administration. He informed David Irving of this.
38. Jean-Claude Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers (NY: Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1989); Les Crématoires d’Auschwitz: la Machinerie du meurtre de masse (Paris: CNRS, 1993).
39. For criticisms of Pressac’s first book, see R. Faurisson, JHR 11, no. 1 (spring 1991), p. 25ff.; JHR 11, no. 2 (1991), p. 133ff. (French:; F. A. Leuchter, The Fourth Leuchter Report (Toronto: Samisdat, 1991) (; for a criticism of Pressac’s second book see: Herbert Verbeke, ed., Auschwitz: Nackte Fakten (Berchem: VHO, 1995), pp. 101-162 (online:; English: Auschwitz: Plain Facts,; for a criticism of the principles underlying Pressac’s methodology, see G. Rudolf, “Gutachten über die Frage der Wissenschaftlichkeit der Bücher Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers und Les Crématoires d’Auschwitz. la Machinerie du meurtre de masse von Jean-Claude Pressac,” in Schlesiger, Der Fall Rudolf (; English: see; see also Pierre Guillaume’s criticism, De la misère intellectuelle en milieu universitaire, B.p. 9805, 75224 Paris cedex 05, 1995 ( See also S. Crowell’s various writings and Mattogno’s responses to them, referenced at, as well as the upcoming English version of my report, which will include a summary of this topic.
40. H. Nowak, “Kurzwellen-Entlausungsanlagen in Auschwitz,” VffG 2, no. 2 (1998), pp. 87-105; English version in Gauss, ed., Dissecting the Holocaust (Capshaw, AL: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2000), pp. 311-324; H. Lamker, “Die Kurzwellen-Entlausungsanlagen in Auschwitz, Teil 2,” VffG 2, no. 4 (1998), pp. 261-273; see also Mark Weber, “High Frequency Delousing Facilities at Auschwitz,” JHR 18, no. 3 (May-June 1999), pp. 4-12.
41. W. Rademacher, M. Gärtner, “Berichte zum KL Auschwitz,” VffG 4, no. 3-4 (2000), pp. 330-344.
42. R. Krege, “Vernichtungslager Treblinka — archäologisch betrachtet,” VffG 4, no. 1 (2000), pp. 62-64.

About the author

Germar Rudolf had completed his doctoral dissertation in chemistry while working at the renowned Max Planck Institute in Stuttgart, when publication of his forensic study of the alleged gas chambers of Auschwitz caused university authorities to forbid him from completing the doctorate. In 1995 Rudolf was sentenced to fourteen months in jail for authoring the Rudolf Report; in the same year all available copies of Grundlagen zur Zeitgeschichte, a collection of up-to-date research on the Holocaust problem, were seized and destroyed by court order (the English-language version, Dissecting the Holocaust, can be purchased from IHR). Rudolf edits the revisionist quarterly Vierteljahreshefte für freie Geschichtsforschung, and is currently seeking political asylum in the United States. He has submitted a lengthy affidavit in support of David Irving’s appeal of the adverse ruling in the Lipstadt trial.

Happy Earth Day - NYPD trashes hundreds of bikes for Obama visit.

Bikes destroyed by nypd
Citing security concerns that bikes might be secret pipe bombs, NYPD officers clipped the locks of hundreds of bikes along Houston Street this morning in preparation for President Obama's speech at Cooper Union. The bikes were unceremoniously put in the back of the truck. There was no prior notification of the bikes needing to be cleared along the route by NYPD and onlookers were not given information as to what would become of the bikes. Happy Earth Day! (Updating this story as more information comes available.)

It seems that the President is no longer your new bicycle, but NYPD's overzealous response to his visit is your reason for needing to get one.

(Photo by Anthony Rebholz.)

A History of Labor Unions from Colonial Times to 2009

Labor unions have been defined as "private combinations of workingmen" that try to increase wages and improve working conditions for members. But how? What means do labor unions use? As Henry George suggests, trade unionists are hardly known for their kindness to strangers and genteel ways.

From colonial times, trade unionists found the going difficult in North America. There was no prevailing ideology of "working-class solidarity," and unions were far from respectable; in fact, they had a well-earned reputation for being antisocial, even criminal. Some unions were secret societies with secret oaths, and unionists engaged in intimidation, threats, vandalism, and violence, especially against uncooperative workers denounced as subhuman "scabs" and "blacklegs." Private property, freedom of contract, competition, and freedom of movement across occupations (slavery and indentured servitude aside) were celebrated concepts, while government-granted monopolies and cartels were not popular at the founding of the American Republic.

Courts of law were not fond of union methods either, and employers, consumers, and workers often resisted "militant" unions. Competition from imported goods made life difficult too. Some workers were intensely anti-union, not just employers. America was an open society, a frontier society, farm-dominated, sprawling, and free, and wages often were double those paid in England because labor was so scarce here. Although no reliable statistics are available, union membership probably remained below one percent of the work force most years from colonial times to the 1870s.

If a union declared and lost a strike, it usually collapsed and disappeared. Most unions failed during business downturns as jobs, union membership, and revenue declined. While wage rates fell elsewhere in response to depressed business conditions, unions stubbornly insisted on maintaining wage rates ("wage rigidity"), intensifying their own failure. As nonunion labor became less expensive (more "affordable") and induced more hiring, production costs fell, thereby reducing unemployment. Such wage-price flexibility shortened business downturns by expanding output and employment, thereby acting as "shock absorbers" in the economy.

In the vast sweep of the early American economy, unions were a curiosity rather than a prominent feature, confined largely to skilled trades in big cities and on the railroads. Not until the late 1870s and prosperous 1880s, when political philosophy began to shift toward collectivism and the "progressive era," did national trade unions gain a real foothold.

Colonial Times

In the early modern era, the European guild system consisted of tightly regulated local occupational and product monopolies, which never really took hold in North America. A few guilds with apprenticeships existed in the major cities during the 18th century (carpenters, printing, shoemaking, tailoring, hat making), and journeymen from these guilds plus workers' "benevolent societies" formed the core of early-19th-century trade unions. Most labor protests, however, were spontaneous actions like that reported in 1763, when, according to the Charleston Gazette, Negro chimney sweeps "had the insolence, by a combination among themselves, to raise the usual prices, and to refuse doing their work."

Before 1800, printers and shoemakers organized in Philadelphia and New York. Philadelphia printers conducted the first recorded strike for higher wages in 1786, opposing a wage cut and demanding a minimum wage of $6 per week.[2] Employers quickly acquiesced, confirming the generalization in industrial relations that unions win short strikes and lose long ones. Because the average daily wage rate for laborers was $0.53 and $1.00 for artisans in the Philadelphia area, it is not clear that the strike boosted wages for a majority of printers, but a cut was thwarted.[3]

City of Brotherly Love?

Philadelphia was a city of labor-union firsts: the first recorded labor strike, first labor newspaper, first city central body of unions, and first labor-union political activity.

Union Tactics

Trade unions in the early Republic sought monopoly control over the local supply of labor with the "closed shop," an arrangement requiring employers to hire union members only. Selective admission to apprenticeships restricted membership, thereby artificially limiting the supply of skilled labor for hire and placing upward pressure on wage rates.

As in England, threats and violence accompanied strikes. The typical strike aimed to force employers to pay more than necessary for labor available on the open market. The silent corollary was that everyone — union member or no — must "strike" too, that is, withhold his or her labor, willing or not, and refuse employment at pay less than that demanded by strikers. Alternatively, the employer had to be intimidated and decisively discouraged from hiring replacement workers ("strikebreakers"). A union warning from the 1830s suggests how unions discouraged interlopers: "We would caution all strangers and others who profess the art of horseshoeing, that if they go work for any employer under the above prices, they must abide by the consequences."[4]

The stronger a union is, the more it acts like a private state, secure in its power and with little overt need to use violence. Local culture and ideology play a large role because the response of local police, courts, and politicians to union aggression is pivotal. By 1810, union tactics were fully formed: bargain "collectively," demand fixed minimum pay rates, enforce closed shops, stage strikes with picket lines, scab lists, strike funds, and traveling cards, and promote unity among skilled and unskilled workers and solidarity among locals of the same trade.

But how could threatened collective violence and actual violence by adversarial-style unions square with the right of each person to seek his or her best opportunity, free of interference? To strike a bargain for lawful employment, a right firmly entrenched in custom and law? It could not be. Union coercion is incompatible with individual freedom of contract, an ugly truth ignored by most labor writers. But, as Mises wrote, "Actually labor union violence is tolerated within broad limits…the authorities, with the approval of public opinion, condone such acts."[5]

The Law

The courts struggled with the legal status of labor unions from the beginning: were such combinations or labor cartels lawful or not? According to some legal doctrines, unions were "criminal conspiracies in restraint of trade" and illegal combinations to fix prices (for labor services).

These issues were tested in the state courts from 1806 through 1842. In the famous 1806 criminal prosecution of the Philadelphia cordwainers (shoemakers), Commonwealth v. Pullis, a three-day trial led the jury to convict the accused unionists of a criminal conspiracy to fix prices, and eight defendants were each fined $8, slightly more than a week's wages. Only 18 unionists were convicted on conspiracy charges when this doctrine was at its peak.[6] In 1842, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw, in the influential decision of Commonwealth v. Hunt, ruled the bootmakers' union a lawful association with a lawful right to organize and collectively withhold labor ("strike"). The courts did not go so far as to authorize threats and violence by unions as legitimate "weapons of labor" during strikes, but, as Mises pointed out, law enforcement was and is lax in many labor disputes. The state thereby fails in its alleged basic purpose, to protect life, property, and individual liberty against (private) aggression.


Nearly everything was tried in some form or other during this era: socialism, syndicalism, anarchism, cooperatives, political unionism, and, the most seductive idea of all, the welding of everybody (barring bartenders and bankers!) into one gigantic union. Some were secret societies with names like the Knights of St. Crispin, the Molly Maguires, and the Knights of Labor. Yet the main adhesive of British and European unions — easily aroused class antagonisms — was absent in America, and Marxist-style sentiments about the plight of the working class never became the dominant mood, contrary to some historical accounts. More often, American pubic opinion was horrified and disgusted by outbreaks of labor violence and union disruption of production, especially if the outbursts had revolutionary overtones.

Eventually, one form of unionism emerged as a survivor in this unfavorable environment. Experiments with political radicalism gave way to so-called "business unionism," the notion that unions must pursue immediate, material gain for members within the free-enterprise system. The underlying idea was to accept the capitalist wage, price, and political system and achieve marginal gains for members within it. Consequently, the ambitions of social visionaries and leftist radicals who saw unions as a vehicle for radical change gradually fell by the wayside.

The tradition of 20th-century US unionism was largely the work of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and its leader, Samuel Gompers. Founded in 1881, it was a federation of national trade unions, each composed of members of a particular craft such as locomotive engineers or carpenters. Union membership in the early 1890s was barely 200,000, but as the economy expanded after the Panic of 1893 unions found more effective methods of organization, and membership hit 447,000 in 1897. Given the formula for national craft unionism, unions grew to a modest share of the labor force without enormous government intervention, aside from laxity toward union threats and the actual use of violence.

At the end of the century, union membership in the United States was only 500,000, or less than 2% of the labor force. Only a dozen unions claimed more than 10,000 members. The largest union was the Locomotive Engineers with 30,000 members; the Cigarmakers were second with 28,300. Samuel Gompers, the most famous president of the AFL, for example, came from the Cigarmakers, which disappeared in a merger with the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union in the 1970s. While unions existed in many trades at the close of the century, they did organize a substantial share of employment in few instances, mainly construction, railroads, printing, and the postal service.

Only the railroad and postal unions were direct beneficiaries of pro-union federal legislation. Although 17 state legislatures passed laws during the 1880s and 1890s prohibiting employers from firing employees for belonging to or joining unions, reflecting an emerging pro-union political climate during this period, a prelude to the "Progressive Era."

20th Century

In the early 20th century, union membership rose to 6% of the labor force. There were 2.7 million members by 1913, and the share stayed around 6–7% until 1917. This was the "Progressive Era" of 1900 through 1918 which

fastened a welfare-warfare state on America which has set the mold for the rest of the twentieth century…because a unique set of conditions had destroyed the Democrats as a laissez-faire party and left a power vacuum for the triumph of the new ideology of compulsory cartelization through a partnership of big government, business, unions, technocrats, and intellectuals. [7]

World War I

Prior to World War I, unionists were still on a relatively short leash. From 1842 onward, unions had the clear legal right to exist, and workers could join such "self-help" organizations, but employers were under no obligation to "bargain" with these unions. The courts also tended (ultimately) to restrict union tactics such as threats of violence, violence itself, mob action, and interference with voluntary trade. Further, the courts tended to make little distinction between business and union "restraints on competition." They ruled, for example, that union actions in a boycott organized by the United Hatters of Danbury, CT, against the products of D. E. Loewe and Company (1908) were in restraint of trade under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890, and fined individual union members responsible for the union's acts (unions never incorporated lest they be held liable as an organization for damages they caused). Unionists therefore prominently demanded governmental privilege and mounted persistent and intensive campaigns for favorable legislation.

In 1912, Congress supplied new assistance with the Lloyd-LaFollette Act to compel collective bargaining by the US Post Office and encourage postal-union membership. In 1914, Congress passed the Clayton Act with provisions to exempt unions from the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act, restrict the use of court injunctions in labor disputes and declare picketing and similar union tactics as not unlawful. Samuel Gompers hailed the Clayton Act as labor's Magna Carta, but subsequent court interpretations neutered the prounion provisions.

The "national emergency" of US entry into World War I provided much of the experience and precedent for subsequent intervention on behalf of unionism, as well as for other cartel-like policies. Historian William E. Leuchtenburg, for instance, points out, "The panoply of procedures developed by the War Labor Board and the War Labor Policies Board provided the basis in later years for a series of enactments culminating in the Wagner National Labor Relations Act of 1935."[8] Under pressure of World War I and the government's interventions, union membership skyrocketed, hitting 12% of the labor force.

The War Labor Board and the War Labor Policies Board, the latter led by Felix Frankfurter and modeled on a directive by Franklin D. Roosevelt who represented the United States Navy on the board, proclaimed governmental support of unions and enforced pro-union measures on industry. The boards, for instance, ordered establishment of "work councils" composed of employee representatives and seized defiant enterprises.

The government even created a union, the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen, and forced lumbermen to join in its battle against the radical leftist Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, known as the "Wobblies"). The Loyal Legion collapsed after the war despite government efforts to keep it alive, while others became so-called company or independent unions, subsequently banned by the 1935 Wagner Act.

Just as the War Industries Board led by Bernard M. Baruch and Army General Hugh S. Johnson was the forerunner for the 1933935 cartelization under the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) administered by Johnson, the War Labor Boards were forerunners to the federal labor boards used to administer Section 7(a) of NIRA and the subsequent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) created by the National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act of 1935.


The end of the war ended prounion interventions. By 1924, the union share of the labor force had slipped to 8%, and by 1933 had eroded to the same 6% as thirty years before.

But peacetime help was not far off. The first durable help for "private-sector" unionism was the Railway Labor Act of 1926. The labor disputes that erupted periodically on the railroads were highly visible, violent, unpopular, and politically embarrassing. Although the interstate commerce clause of the United States Constitution, as interpreted then, restricted the ability of the national government to intervene in most economic affairs, Congress had the unchallenged power to regulate interstate commerce. A sequence of federal laws beginning in 1888 regulated railway labor matters, and Congress passed the 1926 law in almost the identical form agreed on by the major railroads and unions. The act, amended in 1934, essentially dictated collective bargaining for all interstate railroads and set up machinery for governmental intervention in labor disputes.

This was an obvious example of monopoly intervention on behalf of an industry. The already unionized railroads found it comfortable to impose compulsory collective bargaining on all interstate railroads, some of which had resisted union pressure better than others. The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), in turn, fixed freight rates for railroads based on "costs," which were higher because of unions. Thus railroad wage and price determination was transferred from the marketplace to the political arena.


During the Great Depression, Congress delivered an amazing sequence of six major pieces of labor legislation favored by unionists, virtually revolutionizing labor markets: Davis-Bacon (1931), Norris-LaGuardia (1932), National Industrial Recovery Act (1933), Wagner National Labor Relations Act (1935), Walsh-Healey (1936), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938), popularly known as the minimum wage law. This avalanche of legislation to entrench unions was hastened by the prevailing doctrine of 1920s business leaders, that "high and rising wages were necessary to a full flow of purchasing power and, therefore, to good business," which was followed by its corollary, that "'reducing the income of labor is not a remedy for business depression, it is a direct and contributory cause.'"[9] This ignorant blather reverses the true line of causation: high wages are an effect of high productivity and prosperity, not a cause of them. If it were otherwise, rather than producing themselves rich, nations could simply declare all good things cheap and all wages high, and thus abolish poverty with pious hopes.

Davis-Bacon: This bill passed in 1931 following a sharp decline in construction activity at the beginning of the Great Depression. Construction expenditures went from $11 billion annually to $3 billion, with over half of the reduced activity financed by government. Competition for contracts and jobs was fierce and mobile contractors using migrant labor entered the market to underbid some local contractors. Many contractors and building trade unions welcomed the law to protect themselves from the competition of what one congressman called "carpetbagging sharpie contractors."[10]

The law requires that workers on federally financed construction be paid wages at "local prevailing rates" for comparable construction work. The clearly stated intent was to protect local workers and contractors from the competition of outsiders. The ambiguity of prevailing wages gave the United States Department of Labor scope to set minimum wage rates at union wages in about half of its wage determinations. This has cost taxpayers at least a billion dollars per year in higher construction and administrative costs.

Since 1931, Congress has extended the prevailing wage provision to include most federally assisted construction, whether state, local, or national government is the direct purchaser. Additional amendments in 1964 added fringe benefits to prevailing wage calculations. The effect of the Labor Department's administration of the law is not to protect local contractors from competitors but to dish out government work to high-cost contractors and the building-trades unions. Davis-Bacon regulates about 20% of all construction. Construction workers are among the highest paid in America, earning twice the hourly rate of employees in retail trade. Most states passed "little Davis-Bacon" Acts to further unionize the construction industry and "build expensive."

Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act: Signed by President Herbert Hoover on March 23, 1932, this bill passed the House 363-13 and the Senate 75-5. It was the culmination of a 50-year union campaign against "government by injunction."

The threefold purpose of the act was to

  1. declare nonunion employment agreements ("yellow-dog contracts") unenforceable in federal courts (section 3);
  2. grant labor organizations immunity from liability for wrongful acts under antitrust law (sections 4 and 5); and
  3. give unions immunity from private damage suits and nullify the equity powers (injunctive relief) of federal courts in labor disputes (sections 7–12).

The overriding object of the act was to free organized labor from the constraints that bind businessmen and others, allowing unions more scope to use their aggressive and violent tactics. The number of strikes suddenly doubled between 1932 and 1933 to 1,695 and then continued climbing to a 1930s peak of 4,740 in 1937. This outburst of strikes occurred during a period of deep depression and massive unemployment, while previous business downturns had always diminished strike activity and caused many unions to disappear. As Hayek summed it up, "We have now reached a state where [unions] have become uniquely privileged institutions to which the general rules of law do not apply."[11]

NIRA: The National Industrial Recovery Act was among the many Roosevelt interventions to boost prices and wage rates on the mistaken theory that falling wages and prices were causing the depression rather than being market-driven adjustments to re-coordinate the economy and restore production and employment. The NIRA — the New Deal fascist system of codes to cartelize both industry and labor markets and push up prices throughout the economy — was struck down by the Supreme Court in the famous Schechter Poultry case of 1935 on the grounds that the act delegated virtually unlimited legislative power to the president. Section 7(a) of the NIRA promoted unions and the practices of collective bargaining. Congress then re-packaged similar labor regulations and new interventions piece by piece in surviving legislation like the Wagner, Walsh-Healey, and Fair Labor Standards Acts.

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA): Otherwise known as the Wagner Act, the NLRA was a rewrite of the NIRA's section 7a. The act passed the Senate 63-12 and an unrecorded voice vote in the House, and Roosevelt signed it July 5, 1935.

The NLRA remains the overall labor framework in the United States to this day. It declares that the labor policy of the federal government is encouragement of the practice and procedure of collective bargaining, as well as protection of worker designation of representatives to negotiate terms and conditions of employment. It uses federal coercion to make it easier to unionize enterprises and employees in the private sector who otherwise would not participate in unionization and collective bargaining. The main regulatory features of the act were as follows.

  1. The creation of a politically appointed board, the National Labor Relations Board, to enforce the act, thereby escaping the too-frequent apolitical ("anti-union") rulings from courts of law.

  2. The specification of multiple "unfair labor practices" by enterprises to hamper their resistance to organized labor.

  3. NLRB enforcement of majority elections for union representation.

  4. NLRB determination of eligibility to vote.

  5. NLRB enforcement of exclusive (monopoly) bargaining for all employees in a bargaining "unit" by NLRB-certified unionists only.

  6. NLRB enforcement of union pay rates for all employees represented, whether union members or not.

In April 1937, contrary to the expectations of many in the Congress who had hoped the Supreme Court would overturn their handiwork as unconstitutional, as it had the NIRA, the court declared the Wagner Act constitutional by a 5-4 vote in the midst of Roosevelt's famous threat to pack the court. It is no exaggeration to state that the Wagner decision marked the judiciary's general abandonment of constitutional protection against federal encroachment on economic rights and due process.

Years later, public disgust with adversarial unionism and underworld corruption produced federal legislation to modify the Wagner Act — principally the Labor-Management Relations (Taft-Hartley) Act in 1947 and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure (Landrum-Griffin) Act in 1959 — that has been less favorable to unions, though this can be exaggerated. Neither law tampered with the basic privileges and immunities previously granted to organized labor. As legal scholar Richard Epstein says, Taft-Hartley was a partial union victory because it maintained the original structure of the statutes, making it more difficult to return to common law.[12]

My favorite section (602A) in Landrum-Griffin, although intended to rein in union officials' abuse of members' rights, highlights the immunities the state grants to unions:

It shall be unlawful to carry on picketing on or about the premises of any employer for the purpose of, or as part of any conspiracy or in furtherance of any plan or purpose for, the personal profit or enrichment of any individual (except a bona fide increase in wages or other employee benefits) by taking or obtaining any money or other thing of value from such employer against his will or without his consent. [Emphasis added.]

The exclusion in parentheses is quite astounding. Such open exceptions (privileges and immunities) for labor unions are necessary in legislation if the object of national labor law since the 1930s is to be promoted and achieved. Namely, this involves an organized labor movement freed from the regular constraints of civilization to extract money from employers against their will with the proviso that the loot be mostly paid to union members in wages and benefits.

Public Contract (Walsh-Healey) Act: Passed in 1936, this act tried to accomplish for unions more generally what Davis-Bacon did for the building-trades unions, but it turned out to be relatively ineffective. Walsh-Healey targeted bureaucratic administration of employment conditions for all government contracts over $10,000. The law allowed the Secretary of Labor to fix minimum wage scales among nearly all businesses contracting with the government. "Responsible" businesses — that is, unionized employers — generally urged that standards be imposed in order to discipline "unscrupulous" (low-cost, nonunion) competitors, yet the Department of Labor never could settle on a consistent method of determining the "prevailing wage" for such a bewildering array of jobs, individual skills, and pay systems. Evidence that Walsh-Healey is dead for wage- and hour-fixing purposes can be seen in the fact that the act no longer excites controversy in the business community while Davis-Bacon still does.

The Fair Labor Standards Act: Passed in Congress in 1938, this act set a national minimum wage rate of 25 cents per hour. It applied to an estimated 43% of employees in private, nonagricultural work and gradually grew to cover nearly 90%. State minimum wage laws cover most remaining employees. Effective July 24, 2008, the federal minimum was $6.55 per hour and becomes $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009, a 29-fold increase over the first minimum wage in 1938.[13] A 90-day beginners' minimum of $4.25 per hour applies to workers under age 20. Covered "nonexempt" employees must be paid overtime rates of one-and-a-half times the regular pay rate for any hours over 40 in a seven-day period. Generally, the minimum wage has fluctuated between 35 and 50% of the average hourly wage in manufacturing.

How does the minimum wage help unions? Less than 10% of all wage and salary employees have wage rates low enough to be directly impacted by the minimum wage. Essentially, unions benefit by pricing competitors and potential nonunion entrants out of business. Many young people, women older people, and members of minority groups such as inner-city blacks find it more difficult to find beginners' jobs because minimum-wage and union wage rates price them out of the market. Yet accepting a low-paying job for its on-the-job training is no different in principle from paying to go to school. Economic studies show that about half of the training in the US economy occurs on the job rather than in school.[14] Shrunken work opportunities caused by the minimum-wage law have ruined uncounted careers, most visibly black teens in the ongoing tragedy of our inner cities. Milton Friedman called the minimum wage law the most antiblack law on the books.[15] Some antipoverty device!

World War II

In 1940, Congress passed the first peacetime draft compelling conscripts to serve in the military, a prelude to the command economy of World War II.[16] Of the 16 million who served in the armed forces during the war, 10 million were draftees, and a depression labor glut turned into a wartime shortage. Government policy shifted from promoting artificially high prices for labor services to keeping prices artificially low during wartime. A series of makeshift commissions and boards were charged with planning and coordinating economic mobilization by fixing prices and wages at below-market-clearing levels, among countless other interventions. Wartime socialism, in other words.

In January 1942, Roosevelt created the National War Labor Board, patterned after the War Labor Board of World War I, to resolve labor disputes by mediation or arbitration. The board could and did seize plants in accord with the draft act of 1940. Also in early 1942, the president created the War Manpower Commission, and by late in the war tried to make it into a powerful "work-or-fight" agency of compulsion, though Congress never approved an economy-wide national service law.

If labor rates had been allowed to clear labor markets by rising rapidly, price-controlled businesses would have been caught in a cost-price squeeze and failed financially, so in October 1942 Roosevelt got open-ended authority over all prices and wages. The War Labor Board appeased unions with security arrangements, administrative slack in its wage controls, and other privileges but gained little "labor peace" from unions in return, despite pledges to the contrary, as work stoppages rose to their worst year in 1943.

Post — World War II

Labor-Management Relations (Taft-Hartley) Act: This act was passed by a Republican-majority Congress over President Truman's veto in 1947. More Democrats joined Republicans to vote for the bill and the override than voted against. Rather than outright repeal of the prounion Wagner Act, Taft-Hartley unfortunately added a list of prohibited union actions, or "unfair labor practices," to "balance" the NLRA, which had previously only banned "unfair" labor practices for employers. The Taft-Hartley Act outlawed union practices such as jurisdictional strikes, wildcat strikes, political ("solidarity") strikes, secondary boycotts, "common situs" picketing, closed shops, and money donations by unions to federal political campaigns. In the land of the once-free, it also required union officers to sign noncommunist affidavits with the government. Union shops, which compel union membership and/or dues payments as a condition to retain a job, were restricted and states were allowed to pass "right-to-work" laws that outlawed union shops. There are 22 states, all in the south and west, with right-to-work laws. Finally, the executive branch of the federal government could obtain injunctions in the federal courts if an impending or current strike "imperiled the national health or safety," a test that has been interpreted generously by the courts.[17] President George W. Bush invoked the law most recently in connection with the employer lockout of the International Longshoremen's and Warehouse Union during negotiations with west-coast shipping and stevedoring companies in 2002.

Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (or LMRDA): Also known as the Landrum-Griffin Act for its sponsors Democrat Phil Landrum and Republican Robert P. Griffin, the LMRDA regulates labor unions' internal affairs and unions officials' relationships with employers. Enacted in 1959 after well-publicized revelations of corruption and undemocratic practices in the Teamsters, Longshoremen's Association and United Mine Workers, the act requires unions to hold secret elections for local union offices on a regular basis and authorizes review by the Department of Labor of union members' claims of improper election activity.

Other provisions:

  • Required unions to submit annual financial reports to the Department of Labor.

  • Declared that every union officer must act as a fiduciary in handling the assets and conducting the affairs of the union.

  • Limited the power of unions to put subordinate bodies in trusteeship, a temporary suspension of democratic processes within a union.

  • Specified minimum standards before a union may expel or take other disciplinary action against a member of the union.

  • Barred members of the Communist Party and convicted felons from holding union office.[18]

More on Union Membership

With withdrawal of WWI federal intervention, dues-paying union membership fell throughout the 1920s from a reported peak of 5 million in 1920 to fewer than 3 million by 1933. According to NBER figures, membership then turned around to more than double to 7.2 million by 1940, doubled again to a staggering 13.2 million by 1945, and increased more slowly to 14.8 million by 1950. There was no such postwar slump in membership after World War I because the pro-union legal framework empowering unions remained in place.

Wartime proved prosperous for unions. WWII government labor boards operated, on net, to advance unionization, cementing in place the union gains originally created by the WWI and New Deal interventions. Between 1933 and 1945 the unionized fraction of the civilian labor force rose fourfold from 5.7% to 22.4%. That proportion eroded but remained above 20% during the 1950s.

Since 1960, however, a sharp decline in union density has set in all Western countries. According to OECD data, estimated union density in the United States was 30.9% in 1960, 22.3% in 1980, 12.8% in 2000 and 11.6% in 2007. While the overall rate of decline has recently slowed, the decline in private sector union membership has been partially concealed by union growth in the public sector.

Between 2000 and 2008, for example, BLS data show a decline in unionization among privately employed wage and salary workers from 9.2 million to 8.3 million, and an erosion in union density from 9.0% to 7.6%. Private-sector membership peaked at 17 million in 1970, so in total membership has fallen by over half since 1970. Membership among government-employed wage and salary workers grew modestly from 7.1 million to 7.8 million since 2000, with a stable density of 36.9% in 2000 and 36.8% in 2008.

Union density in the private sector now is not much higher than it was in the early 1900s despite massive federal intervention on behalf of unionism since World War I. The wage-boosting success of private-sector unions has gone hand in hand with their decline in membership (nothing fails like success), as the silent, steady forces of the competitive marketplace continually undermine government-sanctioned labor cartels.

Public-Sector Unions

Public-sector unions are on pace to claim an absolute majority of union members in a traditionally private-sector-dominated labor movement within a few years. Government jobs constitute the "healthy" part of organized labor where external competition provides little or no discipline against union inefficiency, costs, and privilege. From 900,000 union members in 1960, government membership rocketed to 4 million by 1970, nearly 6 million by 1976, and 7 million by 1993, with a growth slowdown to 7.8 million by 2008.

The explanation for the sudden burst of government unionization is another intervention, namely, President John F. Kennedy's Executive Order 10988 promoting unionism in the federal bureaucracy, which he signed in January 1962. Kennedy had received considerable campaign support from unions and his executive order declared that "the efficient administration of the government and the well-being of employees requires that orderly and constructive relationships be maintained between employee organizations and management." The language does not say "orderly relationships between employees and managers" but "between employee organizations and management." The order set up procedures for determination of collective bargaining units and recognition of unions, compelled agency heads to bargain in good faith, and specified unfair labor practices for unions and management. The order was less generous than the NLRA to unions as it prohibited strikes and established no separate NLRB-type bureaucracy — but it was a beginning.

The order triggered collective-bargaining laws in states such as Michigan, New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, all of which had substantial private-sector unionism. Only a half-dozen states in the south and west are completely free of such laws promoting public-sector unionism. The National Education Association (NEA), headquartered in Washington, DC (an unsurprising location), is the largest public-sector labor union in the United States with 3.2 million members, although it is not part of the AFL-CIO federation of unions.[19]

Employer or Employee Opposition?

Unions bitterly complain that uniquely American management resistance, legal as well as illegal, has thwarted employees' desire to unionize. If true, stronger government controls to hamper business opposition and allow open expression of employees' desire to unionize might reverse the decline of private-sector unionism. That is the rationale for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) backed by the AFL-CIO and the Obama administration this year.[20] The bill would amend the National Labor Relations Act to require the NLRB to certify a union as the exclusive (monopoly) bargaining agent for all employees in a "unit appropriate for bargaining" upon a finding that a majority had signed valid authorizations designating a labor organization as their agent. This procedure, often called "card check" recognition, would short-circuit employer (and employee!) resistance to unionization of the business and its employees. A secret-ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, which unions often lose, would no longer be required for NLRB certification, and an employer would be compelled to bargain "in good faith" with the exclusive bargaining agent even though it had failed to win a majority in a secret-ballot election. How far the "industrial democracy" movement has come!

An EFCA law would hardly turn things around for unions, however. They are a relic of the past, subject to competition in the marketplace. Shifts from goods toward services and from the Northeast and upper Midwest to the South and West, a trend toward smaller companies, higher-tech products, and more professional and technical personnel continue to erode the demand for private-union membership. Further, American workers, like the general public, have a low opinion of unions and union leaders, and surveys consistently show that only one in three US employees would vote for union representation in a secret-ballot election. Organizing drives and dramatic confrontations play a small numerical role compared to quiet reductions in the number and size of union establishments and growth in number and size of nonunion establishments.[21]

An Economic Conclusion

While the basic facts of labor history are well known to industrial relations specialists and labor historians, their proper interpretation is not. Most labor historians believe that what is good for unions is good for all labor. This belief underlies prounion statist interventions in markets for labor but is entirely false, as economic reasoning and evidence prove beyond reasonable doubt.

First, when labor combinations or cartels capture monopoly control over whom employers can hire and impose higher wage rates, the number of jobs available in these companies and industries declines. This is the simple result of the law of demand: when unions raise the price of labor, employers purchase less of it. While an increase in labor productivity can partially offset higher labor cost, labor productivity cannot be raised cheaply or it would have been done already. Unions are clearly an anticompetitive force in labor markets.

Second, workers priced out of work by unions remain unemployed or obtain jobs at nonunion companies. A larger labor supply depresses wage rates there, so union wage rates come partially at the expense of lower nonunion wages.

Third, cartels flourish only where rewards are high and organizational costs low. Historically, highly paid craft workers (known as the "aristocrats of labor") organized instead of "downtrodden," low-wage workers because they met two conditions:

  1. Union wage rates often decreased employment relatively little because demand for skilled workers was "inelastic," that is, employment levels were relatively "insensitive" to changes in wage rates, at least in the short run.

  2. Craft workers also could organize at low cost because they were few in number, had a common mindset, low turnover, and few or geographically concentrated employers.

Many early economists who sympathized with unions knew unionization could succeed only if restricted to a minority of workers, but they endorsed unions as a device to benefit a visible group and ignored the consequences for everybody else, especially wage earners outside the unions. These economists probably wanted to gain a hearing rather than being dismissed as "mean-spirited." That left the field to a handful of truth-tellers like W. H. Hutt and Sylvester Petro. Mises set the standard for advocating the blunt truth with no bow toward labor mythology: "No one has ever succeeded in the effort to demonstrate that unionism could improve the conditions and raise the standard of living of all those eager to earn wages."[22]

Perhaps the most astounding feature revealed by this history of American unionism is that US labor markets continue to work as well as they do. Despite all the union privileges and immunities granted and a never-ending stream of federal labor interventions, the famous flexibility of US labor markets remains — a truly remarkable fact. And the vast majority of American workers remain stubbornly nonunion despite the best efforts of labor unions, the federal government, its court intellectuals, and the mass media.

Additional References:

Foner, Philip S. History of the Labor Movement, Volume I From Colonial Times to the Founding of the American Federation of Labor. New York: International, 1947.

Reynolds, Morgan O. Power and Privilege: Labor Unions in America. New York: Universe, 1984.

— — . Making America Poorer: The Cost of Labor Law. Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute, 1987.

— — . "Labor Unions." The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics.

A Labor Union Chronology
New York City government suspends and discharges striking truck men
Savannah carpenters strike
Negro chimney sweeps in Charleston, South Carolina, institute a work stoppage to get higher prices.
New York coopers convicted of conspiracy in restraint of trade by striking for higher rates
Sailors strike for higher wages in Philadelphia; troops used and some strikers jailed
New York City shoemakers strike for three weeks
Philadelphia printers strike successfully for a minimum wage of $6/week
Labor "mutual aid" and benevolent societies formed
Philadelphia carpenters fail in strike for 10-hour day and overtime pay
Shoemakers form first permanent labor union in Philadelphia
First strike by a permanent union — Philadelphia shoemakers — in opposition to a wage cut, fails after 10 weeks
In Commonwealth v. Pullis, jury convicts eight cordwainers of criminal conspiracy to raise rates, fines levied, union disbands
Financial Panic, most unions pass out of existence
New York City hatters convicted of conspiracy
United Tailoresses of New York City conduct first all-female strike
Workingmen's Party of New York formed
Attempts to form local unions into national unions fail
First attempt at a national federation, the National Trades Union, formed in New York City
Factory Girls' Association at Lowell, Massachusetts, strikes
Panic ends National Trades Union and most unions
10-hour day without reduction in pay for federal government employees
Massachusetts Supreme Court rules bootmakers' union and its threatened strike are not unlawful
Connecticut and Massachusetts pass laws prohibiting children from working over 10-hour days
First teachers' association formed in Massachusetts
New Hampshire first state to pass a 10-hour workday
Delegates from 43 unions attend workingmen's convention in New York City
Depression, many unions fail
Typographical Union ("printers") founded, become the oldest surviving trade union at its dissolution in 1986
Successful strike of estimated 20,000 shoemakers in New England; Abraham Lincoln comments, "Thank God we have a system of labor where there can be a strike"
Civil War, unions expand from 79 to 300
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers founded
Many local trade unions ally into dozen national unions
Knights of St. Crispin founded as union open to all factory workers in shoe industry
8-hour day for blue-collar federal employees
First state labor bureau founded in Massachusetts
Formation of Knights of Labor, ultimately superseded by American Federation of Labor (AFL), formed in 1881
Strikes defeated in textiles and mines
Panic of 1873; during postwar deflation national unions resist wage cuts and shrink from 30 to fewer than 10; three-quarters of membership lost
Molly Maguires, a secret Irish terrorist group, scorn conventional unions and commit wave of murders; bosses come to work armed
Union label first used by Cigar Makers International Union, tells customers product made by white hands
Forerunner of Socialist Labor party organized
Four Molly Maguires convicted and hung in Pennsylvania for murder
First nationwide strike on railroads ("Great Railroad Strike of 1877") in opposition to wage cuts, freight trains obstructed, some state militias side with strikers, federal troops used for first time
Forerunner of American Federation of Labor (AFL) formed in Pittsburgh
First Labor Day celebrated in New York City
Chinese Exclusion Act prohibited citizenship for Chinese immigrants, supported by union leaders, immigration controls reinforced by acts passed in 1884, 1886 and 1888
Federal Bureau of Labor established within Department of the Interior
Foran (Alien Contract Labor) Act bans employers from recruiting and paying passage for foreign workers; unions endorse limiting supply of labor, some employed as strikebreakers
Chicago Haymarket Square riot (May 4), 8 police officers killed and an unknown number of civilians, five convicted and executed, inspires May Day observances for workers
First federal labor-relations law applied to railroads
United Mine Workers of America formed
Homestead strike (Carnegie Steel) in Pennsylvania results in pitched battle between Pinkertons and strikers, 7 die, 2 dozen wounded; Pinkertons lose battle but union loses in long run as Carnegie/US Steel stays nonunion for 45 years
Business panic and depression eliminates many unions again
Strike against Pullman Car company led by Eugene Debs spreads to railroads, injunction defied, federal troops called out on grounds of striker interference with mail delivery, 13 strikers killed, widespread property damage
Erdman Act provides mediation and arbitration for rail disputes, succeeds 1888 law
US Steel defeats steel union again after 3-month strike
United Textile Workers founded
Coal miners agree to arbitration by presidential committee to end 5-month strike
US Department of Commerce and Labor established
Mother Jones (Mary Harris Jones) leads "March of the Mill Children" to President Theodore Roosevelt's home in New York
Industrial Workers of the World ("Wobblies") formed in Chicago
In Lochner v. New York Supreme Court declares a New York maximum-hours law unconstitutional
Typographical Union successfully strikes for 8-hour day
Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle exposing sanitary and safety problems in Chicago meat packing
In Muller v. Oregon Supreme Court rules female maximum-hours laws constitutional due to a woman's "physical structure and…maternal functions"
United States v. Adair decision declares so-called yellow dog contracts (employment agreement to not join a union) constitutional on interstate railroads, overturning the Erdman Act
In the "crime of the century," the downtown plant of the Los Angeles Times is bombed, killing 21; the newspaper is a powerful opponent of organized labor, leaders of the Iron Workers Union are convicted of the crime; the union had conducted a nationwide bombing campaign since 1905
Gompers v. Bucks Stove and Range ruling orders AFL to cease an unlawful boycott
Massachusetts enacts first minimum-wage law for women and minors
US Department of Labor established, secretary of labor has power to "act as a mediator and to appoint commissioners of conciliation in labor disputes"
Clayton Act limits labor injunctions and endorses picketing and related union tactics but court nullifies in 1921
In Ludlow Massacre in Colorado, day-long battle between strikers and National Guard culminates in Guard attack on tent colony of 1,200 strikers and their families, death toll is 20 including 11 children
LaFollette Seamen's Act regulates seamens' working conditions
Adamson Act imposes 8-hour day on railroads to avert rail strike
Federal child-labor law later declared unconstitutional
Wartime mediation commission headed by labor secretary
Federal government seizes railroads
President Wilson establishes National War Labor Board
Unions lose nationwide "Great Steel Strike"
Labor leaders recommend labor clauses to create International Labor Organization in Versailles Treaty
First police strike occurred in Boston but broken by then-governor Coolidge, bringing him national fame
Women's suffrage amendment ratified
Supreme Court nullifies pro-union features of Clayton Act
In Truax v. Corrigan Supreme Court strikes down Arizona law forbidding labor injunctions and permitting picketing
Emergency Quota Act restricts southern- and eastern-European immigration
In "Herrin Massacre" coal strikers in southern Illinois murder 19 strikebreakers and two union members
Immigration (Johnson-Reed) Act limits number of immigrants to 2% of number of people from that country already living in United States in 1890, aimed especially at limiting Japanese immigration
William Green succeeds Samuel Gompers as AFL president
Railway Labor Act enacted as drafted by interstate railroads and unions
Hayes-Cooper Act restricts interstate shipment of goods produced by prison labor
October stock market crash "begins" Great Depression
Supreme Court upholds Railway Labor Act in Texas and NOR v. Brotherhood of Railway Clerks
President Hoover effectively bans immigration by decree
Davis-Bacon Act
Norris-LaGuardia Act
Wisconsin passes first unemployment insurance program
NIRA section 7(a) promotes unions and collective bargaining
Francis Perkins appointed secretary of labor, first female cabinet officer
Wagner-Peyser establishes US Employment Service at Department of Labor
Southern mill workers walk off job in "Great Uprising of '34"
United States joins ILO
Supreme Court strikes down NIRA in Schechter Poultry v. United States
Wagner Act (NLRA) passes
Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) formed within AFL to promote industrial-style unions
Social Security Act effectively coerces states into adopting unemployment-benefits programs
United Rubber Workers (CIO) use first large "sit-down strike" to win recognition at Goodyear Tire
United Automobile Workers use sit-down strike at GM plant
Byrnes Act prohibits interstate transport of strikebreakers
Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act
Railway Labor Act amended to cover airline employees
NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel, Supreme Court finds NLRA (Wagner) Act constitutional
GM and US Steel recognize unions as exclusive bargaining agents
In "Memorial Day Massacre," smaller steel producers refuse to unionize, union protesters in Chicago take to the streets, police block their path and fire on the crowd, killing 10
AFL expels CIO for "dual unionism"
Fair Labor Standards Act
Federal Maritime Labor Board established
CIO changes name to Congress of Industrial Organizations, John L. Lewis made president
In NLRB v. Mackay Radio & Telegraph Supreme Court rules striking employees remain "employees"
In Apex Hosiery v. Leader Supreme Court rules sit-down strike — actually a plant seizure by unionists few of whom were employed at the plant — was not an illegal restraint of trade in interstate commerce
Ford Motor Co. recognizes the UAW, signs a union-shop agreement
United States enters WWII (December 8), long sought by FDR, and AFL and CIO announce no-strike pledges and then freely violate them
Executive Order 8802 or Fair Employment Act prohibits racial discrimination in defense industry
National War Labor Board established, Stabilization Act gives Roosevelt the authority to "stabilize" wages
Roosevelt issues executive order establishing Committee on Fair Employment Practices to eliminate "employment discrimination" in war industries
Smith Connally (War Labor Disputes) Act authorizes plant seizures to "avoid interference with the war effort"[23]
WWII ends
Largest wave of strikes as wartime controls relaxed
Taft-Hartley Act (LMRA)
United States v. John L. Lewis holds that Norris-LaGuardia prohibition against labor injunctions does not apply to the federal government
GM and UAW agree on first wage-escalator clause based on Consumer Price Index
United States v. CIO holds that union advocacy that members vote for particular congressional candidates does not violate Federal Corrupt Practices Act as amended
FSLA amendment directly prohibits child labor
CIO begins expelling communist-controlled unions
GM and UAW agree on 5-year deal with pension plan, automatic cost-of-living wage escalators, and quasi-union-shop
President Harry Truman seizes steel industry after it rejects Wage Stabilization Board recommendations, 8-week strike follows after Supreme Court declares Truman's action unconstitutional
George Meany (aptly named) becomes president of AFL and Walter Reuther becomes president of CIO
AFL and CIO reunite with Meany as president
Ford Motor Co. and UAW agree to a supplementary unemployment compensation financed by the company
AFL-CIO expels Teamsters, Bakery Workers, and Laundry Workers for corruption
Landrum-Griffin Act (LMRDA)
President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order 10988 to promote unionism and collective bargaining in federal employment
Equal Pay Act prohibits wages differences based on sex
Civil Rights Act Title VII bans employment discrimination
Immigrant Act eliminates national origin quotas in favor of new criteria of control
Age Discrimination in Employment Act makes it illegal to hire and fire persons age 40–65 based on age
UAW leaves AFL-CIO to join Teamsters in new Alliance for Labor Action (ALA)
Department of Labor intervenes on behalf of minority employment in Philadelphia construction industry
First nationwide postal strike
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
Washington first state government to allow union shop for state employees (compulsory membership)
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulates and subsidizes bankrupt pension plans
AFL establishes public-employee department
President Reagan fires striking air-traffic controllers for illegal strike
Immigration and Control Act
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers with 100+ employees to provide 60-day notice of plant closings and mass layoffs
Immigration Act
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is viewed as a civil-rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability, defined as a "physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity"
Civil Rights Act attempts to overturn Supreme Court restrictions on employees' job "rights" under federal labor law
Federal Family and Medical Leave Act
California voters approve Proposition 187 to deny illegal immigrants access to government-subsidized schooling, social services, and medical care; a federal court strikes it down as unconstitutional
Ludlow Massacre site (ghost town 12 miles northwest of Trinidad, Colorado), owned by United Mine Workers of America, dedicated as a National Historic Landmark (June 28)
Federal minimum wage increases from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour (July 24)
Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) gathers political momentum, would substitute union "card checks" for NLRB secret-ballot elections for a union to obtain NLRB certification as exclusive bargaining agent

[1] Henry George, "The Condition of Labor: An Open Letter to Pope Leo XIII," The Land Question (New York, NY: Rbt Schalkenbach Foundation, 1982 [1891]), p. 77.

[2] "Strikes in the United States," The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Columbia University Press.

[3] United States Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970, Part 1, p. 163.

[4] Quoted by Howard Dickman, Industrial Democracy in America, (LaSalle, IL: Open Court, 1987), p. 362.

[5] Ludwig von Mises, Human Action (New Haven: Yale, 1949), p. 772.

[6] Morgan Reynolds, Power and Privilege: Unions in America, (New York, NY: Universe, 1984), p. 101.

[7] Murray Rothbard, A History of Money and Banking in the United States, (Auburn, AL: Mises, 2002), p. 179.

[8] Wm. E. Leuchtenburg, "The New Deal and the Analogue of War," in John Braeman, Robert H. Bremmer, and Everett Walters, eds., Change and Continuity in Twentieth Century in America, (Columbus OH: Ohio State University Press, 1964), p. 87.

[9] Murray Rothbard, America's Great Depression, (Auburn AL: Mises Institute, 2000), p. 267. [Punctuation flaw is Rothbard's.]

[10] Robert W. Merry, "This Year's Hot Labor Issue," The Wall Street Journal, 24 May 1979, p. 20.

[11] Friedrich A. von Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty, (Chicago IL: University of Chicago Press, 1960), p. 260.

[12] Richard A. Epstein, "A Common Law for Labor Relations: A Critique of the New Deal Labor Legislation," Yale Law Journal 92 (July 1983): 1386.

[13] "History of Federal Minimum Wage Rates Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 1938–2007," United States Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration.

[14] Jacob Mincer, "On-the-Job Training: Costs, Returns, and Some Implications," Journal of Political Economy, 70 (Part 2, Supplement, October 1962), pp. 50-73; Mincer, "Human capital and the labor market: A review of recent research," Educational Researcher 18 (4): 27-34.

[15] Milton Friedman, An Economist's Protest, Sun Lakes AZ: Horton and Daughters, 1972; for more on the consequences of the minimum wage law cf. Morgan Reynolds, Economics of Labor, (Cincinnati OH: Southwestern, 1995), pp. 86-95.

[16] The 13th amendment to the United States Constitution states, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction," yet organized labor had no problem with a military draft; instead it hysterically declared the Taft-Hartley Act a "slave-labor bill."

[17] "Taft-Hartley Act," Wikipedia.

[18] "Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act," Wikipedia.

[19] "National Education Association," Wikipedia.

[20] "H.R. 1409," Government Printing Office.

[21] S.G. Bronars and D.R. Deere, "Union representation elections and firm profitability," Industrial Relations, 29 (Winter): 15-37.

[22] Ludwig von Mises, Human Action (New Haven: Yale, 1949), pp. 764-5.

[23] "A Curriculum of United States Labor History for Teachers," Illinois Labor History Society.