1. Roberto, kindly proceed to add to your blogroll a link to the Holocaust History Channel
as per our agreement.
2. Roberto seems to be arguing "well, the rails might not have bent if the descriptions of the cremation facilities given by the Jewish witnesses, the postwar investigative commissions, the models (all of them), and the maps endorsed by holocaustic authorities are all wrong." Well, sure. But if we're going to allow that all these people were wrong, we might as well become revisionists. Indeed, Roberto's descriptions of pyres - when it comes to rail temperature - are totally disconnected even from his own description of the cremation facility in the cut-and-paste manifesto. Likewise, his discussion of the degree to which the pillars might protect the bodies from heat is based on disregarding the Treblinka witness statements completely and basing his description on a photo from Dresden.
3. Roberto is still hanging on to his cremation-with-only-a-very-short-period-of-intense-burning fantasy. These pictures
should give him an idea of how that might (not) work. Let him find one reference - just one - in the literature on open air cremations to a cremation that took place in the manner he is suggesting. Cases of human autocombustion (after external ignition) are not cremations. If Roberto wants any further response on this point let him find the courage to compose his thoughts (such as they are) and post them on his blog, while giving a link to what I have said about the matter and to any reply I might have.
4. Taylor's book on Dresden
friedrichjansson wrote: Roberto wrote:
I don't think that Taylor sucked this kind of detail:
Afterward, when the fire cooled down, it was estimated that between eight and ten cubic meters of ash covered the cobbled surface of the medieval square. The SS in charge of the burning had intended to transport the ashes out to the Heath Cemetery in boxes and sacks and bury them containers and all, but municipal parsimony triumphed. In the end the ashes were simply emptied out of their containers and into the prepared pits, thus enabling the valuable sacks and boxes to be reused.
out of his fingers. The sources, which I will try to find out more about, must have been documents kept in the Dresden city archives and/or interviews with contemporary eyewitnesses.
These are Taylor's sources.
The only pertinent ones are "huge grill racks" and "former staff from... Treblinka." The passage you quote goes unsourced, as it happens.
Except that Taylor continues as follows on the same page:
That same week the police chief’s office started to put together a lengthy, meticulous (if inevitably temporary) report on the air attack on Dresden and the damage and the death it had caused. The secret 'Final Report of the Higher Police and SS-Führer for the Elbe' originated within the first two weeks of March and was submitted to the Reich commander of Order Police in Berlin on March 15, 1945.
The next footnote refers to this "lengthy, meticulous report", so the "unsourced" passage is obviously based on this report. Nice try, FJ. And thanks for showing that the "unsourced" passage is inconvenient to your argument.
It is not at all obvious - quite the contrary - from Taylor's text and references that that reference has anything to do with the passage Roberto quoted. In fact, the document in question can be found, unfortunately with omissions, here
. Due to the omissions it's impossible to be certain, but the part reproduced on those websites does contain a mention of the cremations, which however lacks any detailed description of how the cremations worked. The reference to the cremations is at the end of the document, and is not followed by any omission, so most likely the online versions linked above do contain all cremation-related information in the document in question. The text is the following:
Bergung der Gefallenen, auch soweit nicht verschüttet, mußte durch Kräfte des örtlichen LS-Leiters erfolgen, ebenso die Überführung nach den Friedhöfen. Mit Rücksicht auf die schnell fortschreitende Verwesung und bestehende außerordentliche Schwierigkeiten bei der Bergung, sowie Mangel an geeigneten Fahrzeugen zur Überführung auf Friedhöfe mit Zustimmung des Gauleiters und der Stadtverwaltung auf dem Altmarkt insgesamt 6865 Gefallene eingeäschert. Die Asche der Gefallenen wurde auf einen Friedhof überführt.
This fits entirely with what I have stated: there is no detailed documentation on the technique and execution of the Dresden cremations.
Furthermore, Dresden is simply beside the point. One does not look to Dresden to determine how Treblinka (or Sobibor, or Belzec) cremations supposedly worked.