Veritas Team Second Response (8/6/04)

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Veritas Team Second Response (8/6/04)

Post by Roberto »

VERITAS TEAM Response to

"NEGATIONIST TEAM 2nd Response 6/22/2004"

featured under

A. Introduction

Once again, the Veritas Team finds itself wondering what point there even is to continue. Roughly three weeks after our last submittal, to be found on the thread our esteemed opponents of the Negationist Team put together something which they call a "Response" to our submittal.

Whether and to what degree their writings deserve being called a "response" depends on whether and how they have addressed the arguments and evidence presented by us. In particular, we call attention to the charge we put to them at the end of our exposition:
We invite them, then, to provide the first piece of direct substantiating evidence - beyond mere assertion - in support of any of the following claims/assumptions made in their response on which their argument rests:

1. That the WRB Report represents the starting point of the "Auschwitz story" and that all (or, for that matter, any) other evidence was manipulated to conform to it.

2. That Rudoph Vrba, or any other witness cited by the Veritas team, lied about what they claim to have seen at Auschwitz

3. That Dr. Bruno Tesch and 44 others in the post-war British military tribunals were "framed".

4. That Joseph Kramer, Rudolf Hoess, or any other SS perpetrator was induced to tell his captors a false story because that was "what they wanted to hear"

5. That it is technically unfeasible for the gas chambers to have been constructed and used in the way that the Veritas team - and the many witnesseses and experts quoted by the Veritas team - described in their Opening Statement.

6. That it is technically impossible for the bodies to have been cremated using the equipment available as per the Veritas team's opening statement

7. That a typhus epidemic accounts for the majority of victims at Auschwitz
All we were really asking them to do was to even begin to substantiate any the claims made in their earlier response. In reading both the Negationist Team's latest submittal and our ensuing analysis thereof, our audience is invited to examine which of the above 7 challenges have been adequately addressed by the NT, where they have addressed them at all. On the other hand, if they have indeed backed away from any of these vital assertions, in favour of a whole new set of unsupported claims, is the Veritas Team not well within its rights to ask ourselves whether we even have a debating partner here?

Indeed, it appears that if the Negationist team has proven anything through this exercise, it is that the reason why "revisionism" has not hitherto been a subject of scholarly debate is not, contrary to their claims, because of any supposed fear surrounding it "controversial" conclusions, but simply because it offers nothing worthy of serious discussion. If politically motivated rhetoric, supported only by fallacies and half-truths, is the best the Negationist team do in representing the revisionist position, they have shown only that there is nothing that needs revision.

Having now produced their third offering to this debate, the Negationist Team still hasn't come up with any alternative explanation as to what took place at Auschwitz, nor an alternative methodology for finding out. They have presented no evidence substantiating an alternative scenario of their own, nor even suggested an alternative scenario that takes the evidence currently on the table into account. They have not even tried to challenge the basis of the Veritas team's model as to how the various pieces and types of evidence fit together forming an overall picture. As we anticipated in our OS, they can only come up with individual post hoc rationalizations for isolated items of evidence, ripped from their context, but see no need to offer a supported alternative explanation for the sum total of the evidence, as well as the scope of the evidence and the pattern which it forms. All they can do in their voluminous response is to pick at the edges of our argument - or, as is often the case, at the edges of arguments we never even made, but that they wish we did - in the hopes that they will score a few points if they can at least appear to be right about something.

Perhaps the most telling example of this tactic of straw-man building can be found at the very outset of their section on eyewitness testimony:
The Veritas Team has pinned all its hopes for the Homicidal Gas-Chambers (HGCs) of Auschwitz-Birkenau upon eyewitness testimony.
We have? That's news to us.

What could the NT be referring to here? Perhaps to the parts of our opening statement where we said,
we grant that witnesses may be affected by human error and bias, which is why their statements must ultimately be tested against whatever physical evidence is available
regardless of the depth and breadth of eyewitness corroboration, we feel it necessary... to test the eyewitness evidence against the available documentary and physical evidence
Perhaps they're referring to items such as Bischoff's memo, the aerial and ground photos showing cremations, the traces of the murder weapon HCN on artifacts taken from one of the murder sites and duly examined by forensic chemists, and the presence of human remains in the area which we brought into the discussion and which support the eyewitness testimonies in much the same way as comparable evidence would be expected to do in a court of law.

The silliness of the "hopes" remark aside (hope being for those who consider their case to be shaky, we presume that our opponents simply projected their own attitudes onto us) the statement suggests that our opponents are either very inattentive readers or singularly dishonest obfuscators. For in our Opening Statement, which can be read on the thread we presented or referred to 101 independent yet mutually corroborative items of evidence, including the depositions of 69 SS perpetrators and 18 surviving inmates as well as multiple items of documentary and physical evidence confirming the witnesses' descriptions of the occurrences in question. Contrary to the NT's characterization, then, we fail to see how we have relied on eyewitness testimony in any way that differs from how it is used towards establishing the facts of any other historical event.

Sadly, the experience of this debate has not improved the Negationist inadequate understanding of the way in which history is studied. No one, in attempting to piece together an historical event, "pins their hopes" exclusively on one category of evidence to the exclusion of all others. As we explained on our OS,
Any historical event must be taken as a puzzle, a tapestry, whereby different sources are weaved together - the strengths of one source addressing the weaknesses of another - to produce an overall picture.
If the NT finds this simple principle unsound, they have not explained why. If they feel we have not honoured it, they have not explained how.

But what gradually becomes clear as one continues to read the NT's argument relating to eyewitness evidence is that in saying that the Veritas team has "pinned its hopes" on such evidence they are not, in fact, criticizing us for relying exclusively or even uncritically on such evidence (which, as has been shown, we clearly did not do). Rather they are criticizing us for using eyewitness evidence at all. By suggesting that the reader should make "very little" of our use of eyewitness testimony, they are inviting the reader to assume that eyewitness evidence to this event in particular must be considered unreliable as a category, and hence that its use is, itself, a sign of the weakness of our case.

What could possibly cause the N-team to take such an unprecedented approach towards an entire category of evidence that is otherwise considered a valuable source of information towards reconstructing any other historical event?

What is so special about Holocaust eyewitnesses in particular that would cause the Negationists to claim that this manner of evidence has been rendered effectively useless towards establishing facts?

Brace yourselves, dear readers, for the truly exceptional aspect of Holocaust eyewitness testimony that the Negationist Team has so diligently exposed:

Eyewitness testimonies often contain inaccuracies, and the testimonies of multiple eyewitnesses are not always 100% coincident in every detail!

No sh:t, Sherlock.

It is axiomatic that no two witnesses to, say, a car accident will tell exactly the same story as to what happened in every detail. Indeed, given the fallibility of human memory and perception, it would be cause for suspicion if they did. Yet no one would argue that this makes the perspectives of witnesses worthless towards piecing together what actually happened to an investigator who approaches this evidence with these problems in mind. Yet the NT would have us believe that such minor discrepancies or inaccuracies between witness testimonies are sufficient not only to discard all eyewitness testimony to a given event as a useful source of evidence, but, in fact, to conclude that the event never happened at all - that it must have been a hoax designed to serve nefarious ends and that the witness must all have intentionally lied in its interests.

Drawing any such conclusions from the mere fact of human fallibility is not only absurd, but also quite counterproductive to any serious investigation of the facts.

Contrary to the one-dimensional approach taken by our esteemed opponents, categories of evidence do not exist in a hierarchy, whereby one type trumps another in all cases over all issues. The Veritas Team openly acknowledged in its OS that human memory can be affected by bias and uncertainty, and that physical evidence and contemporary documentation is undoubtedly more reliable in that respect. It is for this reason that we have tested witness accounts against documentary and physical evidence wherever such evidence was available, and even considered certain kinds of details provided by eyewitnesses as questionable or inconclusive where it was not. However, each individual item of documentary and physical evidence can only serve to reliably prove a limited number of points. Taken out of context, each item can be subject to any number of alternate interpretations. Train records can only show that a certain number of people were transported to a given place, they cannot tell us what happened to them once they got there; human remains can only tell us that people were cremated and buried, they cannot tell us who they were or how they died; aerial photos of smoke can tell us only that something was being burned in that location, it cannot tell us what; traces of HCN on walls can only tell us that HCN was used in those rooms, it cannot tell us for what. And while all of these independent items of physical and documentary evidence - plus others - taken together might be suggestive, witnesses serve a vital role in enabling us to tie these isolated items of reliable data together into a coherent story, especially when multiple witness corroborate one another.

To put it very clearly: as far as establishing accurate technical details is concerned, the Veritas Team will always turn to physical and documentary evidence, where available, over the testimonies of eyewitnesses. The value of eyewitness testimony, as we said, lies in its ability to place these accurate details into an overall context. Where documentary and physical evidence cannot be reached, on the other hand - criminal justice authorities prosecuting the perpetrators of National Socialist crimes were often faced with this problem when it came to establishing the criminal actions of individual defendants - this doesn't mean that criminal justice and historiography come to a standstill, murderers are allowed to go scot-free and the recollection of crimes past is thrown into the memory hole for the benefit of ideologically motivated apologists of a regime built on hatred and intolerance and as a final insult to the innocent victims. It only means that researchers of history, and even more so criminal investigators, prosecutors and judges, have to be particularly demanding when assessing the credibility of eyewitnesses and cross-checking the testimony of each against those of other eyewitnesses, especially where the testimonies incriminate an individual standing trial for a crime he is accused of having committed - a requirement that West German criminal justice authorities, for instance, have often been accused of overfulfilling to the benefit of defendants, as we shall see further on.

Whatever the opinions of Mr. "Manfred Koehler", we think this approach to the various categories of evidence reflects a common sense comprehensible to anyone. Yet the Negationist Team takes pride in applying the exact opposite of this approach, faulting eyewitnesses for their failure to accurately provide intricate details, faulting items of physical/documentary evidence for their failure to provide a context for the details that they do substantiate, and using both of these "faults" as justification for rejecting the utility of either categories of evidence. This dysfunctional approach to historiography will become evident as we examine the N-Team's assessment of evidence in detail.

Take away any one of these categories of evidence, and you make the truth impossible to discern. There is quite simply no such thing as a single item of documentary or physical evidence that can conclusively prove the whole of any historical case without the intervention of eyewitness accounts to put it into context. One might well conclude that this is, indeed, the Negationist Team's purpose, seeing as they have offered no alternative methodology as to how the truth can be discerned from the available evidence. The intense effort they put towards justifying their claim that eyewitness evidence must be discarded as a category in the case of the Holocaust can well be explained by the fact that, lacking any alternative theory that takes the evidence into account, their only recourse is to try to impose a methodology that makes any case, including ours and - needless to say - their own, axiomatically impossible to prove - i.e. if you know you can't win, go for a draw in the hopes that once all of the evidence has been discarded you can justifiably portray your baseless speculations as no better or worse than anyone else's. Indeed, at times they quite explicitly acknowledge this as their approach, such as when they characterize our observation that they had presented no evidence supporting the assumptions on which their previous argument rested as an "appeal to ignorance", ie. the fact that they hadn't bothered to support it doesn't mean it is not true.
We have merely shown alternative explanations for what the Exterminationists see as a self-evident hypothesis.
they tell us.

Taking aside the fact that 109 converging items of evidence hardly makes for "self-evidence", the Veritas Team takes this line as an abdication speech on the part of the Negationists. These curious and probing historical rebels are essentially declaring here that they are, in fact, not the least bit interested in finding out and proving what actually happened at Auschwitz, and thus consider themselves under no obligation to present evidence of their own. Their only concern is to use whatever means necessary to avoid the conclusion that the evidence thusfar presented converges to, even if they have to deconstruct the entire historical process in so doing.

Further along, the Negationist Team quotes Carl Sagan to the effect that one must
Always ask whether the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified.
exhorting us and "Exterminationists" (whoever that is supposed to be) to do so, thereby inviting the assumption that we have not or that our theory cannot be. Again, in absence of any logical argument as to how our hypothesis is not falsifiable, we can only consider this an example of projection on their part. There is no question that our hypothesis can, in principle, be falsified. If the Negationists were to provide evidence of the conspiracy of fabrication that would neutralize the direct evidence we have presented, our theory would fall. If they were to prove that our case, as we have presented it, is physically impossible or contradicted by available evidence, we would be sunk. If they could support an alternative explanation that takes the available evidence into account, our hypothesis would be severely threatened. If they were to substantiate any of the 7 claims cited above on which their earlier argument relied, we would, at the very least, have something to contend with.

In response, then, we call on them to apply the same principle to their argument. They insist that they would be willing to concede the existence of homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz if "scientific-technical" evidence could be provided proving it. We put it to them, then - catch phrases aside:

Exactly what sort of "scientific-technical" proof, beyond what has already been presented, would they expect to exist under the known historical circumstances that could conclusively prove the existence and use of these gas chambers to their satisfaction without support from any human eyewitnesses?

If they cannot offer a plausible answer to the question, their counter-hypothesis (whatever it might be) is shown to be unfalsifiable, and therefore unscientific, dependant on a faulty methodology aimed at supporting a foreordained conclusion.
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).
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Re: Veritas Team Second Response (8/6/04)

Post by Roberto »

B. "The Self-Confessed Liar, Dr. Rudolf Vrba" - Part I of "NEGATIONIST TEAM 2nd Response 6/22/2004"

The desperate need the Negationist Team feels towards neutralizing eyewitness evidence is evident in the pride of place they give to their discussion of their favourite witness, Dr. Rudolf Vrba - at the very start of their argument, under the heading "The Self-Confessed Liar, Dr. Rudolf Vrba". The implication, once again, seems to be that if Vrba is not completely reliable in all things at all times, it follows that he must be considered completely unreliable, ergo a liar, ergo the mere fact that he is mentioned in our discourse at all calls our entire argument into doubt. Leaving aside the glaring illogic of this line of argument, we would nonetheless expect the noteworthy obsession of the opposing team's captain with Jews in general and this witness in particular to have finally resulted in some compelling evidence that Vrba made statements against better knowledge about what he witnessed and learned at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Let us see, then, if our expectations are met...
NT: Rudolf Vrba's perjury during the 1985 Zuendel Trial in Toronto--the first trial--when he was under oath and had told the Court about the homicidal gassing chambers, even drawing a rather careful sketch of them and detailing the process for the systematic gassing of Jews at Birkenau's Krema II, is such a glaring piece of self-condemnation that only the most gullible of "True Believers" in the homicidal gas-chambers (HGCs) would take him seriously.

This same Vrba insisted to the Court that he was a meticulous, even fanatical, writer when it came to facts, with this characteristic being upheld by his co-writer, Alan Bestic, but yet, when Zuendel's attorney led the cross examination of Vrba, Vrba finally admitted to having engaged in "licentia poetarum" (poetic license). This to me is better translated as "a Jewish license to lie about the German camp."
Here's rather the problem with both the Negationist Team in particular and with "Revisionism" in general: they place greater stock in what something means to them, than on what it actually says. There is nothing inconsistent between the use of poetic license in a personal memoir and meticulousness in regard to points of fact. An author can express himself in an evocative way and still be rigorous over the factual aspects of his account. Indeed, the only people who find anything even remotely surprising about Vrba's "admission" to the use of poetic license in his memoir are those who perversely translate this concept as "a Jewish license to lie about the German camp" (and why necessarily a Jewish license, pray tell?).

The remainder of the Negationist Team's comment on Vrba amounts, in effect, to a repetitive taunt of "liar, liar, pants on fire" without a shred of supporting evidence. We appreciate their providing a link to a transcript of Vrba's deposition, though the fact that it is the same link we used when comparing the NT's claims with the actual court proceedings (and, in so doing, showing the extent to which they were compelled to distort both the content and context of Vrba's comments in order to create the appearance of his being a "perjurer" - evidently they have nothing to say for themselves on that score either) again calls to mind the question of whether they even bothered to read our last response.

Dr. Countess, speaking in his own voice, concludes this vacuous comment on Vrba with the following:
As Captain of the NT, I urge the VT to retract any reliance on Vrba and even make a statement that confesses his perjury as a fact to be found in the authentic Court transcripts of 1985!
So he "urges" us, does he. Or what?

He'll yell "liar, liar..." at us, too?

He'll hold his breath until he turns purple?

The Veritas team considers it neither appropriate nor honorable to refer to someone as a liar or a perjurer in absence of any evidence that they, in fact, lied or perjured themselves. Nor are we in the habit of giving away freebies. If the NT wishes for us to concede a point, they will have to prove or at least argue said point. It is not sufficient for them to simply demand that we do so while calling us and our witnesses names, and if Dr. Countess were serious about "scientific historiography" or about scholarly debate, he would be presenting us with evidence for us to contend with rather than simply demanding a priori that we "confess" and "retract".

Where are we, a medieval Inquisition? Is this foot-stomping the best argument the N-Team's resident Ph.D. can muster?

The Negationist Team has not, as yet, offered any reason for us or this forum to conclude that Dr. Rudolf Vrba is a perjurer, let alone a "self-confessed" one, and neither we, nor the readers of this debate, should be expected to accept this characterization as proven based on nothing more than the NT's fanciful understanding of the term "poetic license" and their distorted interpretation of the proceedings of the Zundel trial. We fail to see how a reluctance to uncritically accept the NT's unsupported claims relating to the credibility of items of evidence inconvenient to their case stands to hurt ours.

After providing us with some nifty pictures of Rudolf Vrba and Alfred Wetzler (maybe they think these people simply look like liars) the NT declares, in bold type, that
The 1944 Vrba-Wetzler Report formed the basis for the U.S. Government's War Refugee Board Report, which hatched the HOAX of the Homicidal Gaschambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
As one can hardly argue with a declaration of faith - particularly when it is expressed in caps - we will leave this comment aside, as its factual inaccuracy has already been neatly addressed in our earlier response. This being the first of their 7 claims we requested our opponents to provide evidence for (see our above Introduction) we would have expected to see a little more from them than just a blunt repetition of their claim.
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).
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Re: Veritas Team Second Response (8/6/04)

Post by Roberto »

C. "The Eyewitnesses" - Part II of "NEGATIONIST TEAM 2nd Response 6/22/2004"

In the next part of their exposition, our opponents try to discredit a few of the dozens of eyewitnesses we mentioned in our Opening Statement and in our first response.

Do they succeed in doing so, which would still leave them with 1) all eyewitnesses they did not address and, 2) the other evidence we adduced (documentary and physical) evidence to deal with?

Or do they only succeed in further discrediting themselves?

Let us see.

The NT start out by trying to guide their readers' thinking with a rhetorical subterfuge, quoting the "Jewish author Josef G. Ginsburg", who is supposed to have said or written the following:
These [German] war crime trials will not be a blessing for the German people. The hanging of those tried and sentenced to death by the International Military Tribunal should have made an end to this sad chapter. The victors were shortsighted and very poorly advised when they subjected the Bundesrepublik to this cruel spectacle, because the continuation of these so called war crime trials was dictated to the Bundesrepublik in the "General Treaty" with Germany. Germans were to sit in judgment against Germans in this vile form. This is no search for justice but a proven anti-German policy.
Gee... we thought this debate was about the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

With all due respect for Mr. Ginsburg and his right to utter his personal opinion - if correctly rendered by our opponents - this author seems to have been woefully misinformed about two things:

1. That it was "the victors" who "subjected the Bundesrepublik to this cruel spectacle, because the continuation of these so called war crime trials was dictated to the Bundesrepublik in the 'General Treaty' with Germany";

2. That the trials conducted by West German criminal judgment made "Germans ... sit in judgment against Germans" in a "vile form", pursuing "a proven anti-German policy" rather than searching for justice.

Regarding item 1, it should be pointed out that according to the provisions of the German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch), which first came into force on 15 May 1871, German criminal law applies to crimes committed against or by German citizens. In other words, what Ginsburg believes the "victors" to have "subjected" the Bundesrepublik to results from German legal provisions that were in force long before there were any "victors" to subject Germans to anything, and started being gradually applied by West German criminal justice authorities as West Germany regained her sovereignty. The development of the prosecution of Nazi crimes by West German criminal justice is explained on the Justiz und NS Verbrechen website of the University of Amsterdam, under the link ... mepage.htm in an article which we highly recommend to read.

It becomes clear from this article that

i) during the years 1945 to 1952, the victors, far from forcing German to try Germans as Ginsburg would have it, limited the jurisdiction of German courts, which together with a lack of interest by German criminal justice authorities in crimes committed against foreigners led to prosecution being mostly focused on crimes committed by and against Germans on German soil;

ii) during the ensuing six years, 1953 to 1959, West German criminal justice, while restored to full sovereignty, lost interest in prosecuting Nazi crimes and limited its activities to a few "chance hits" or "leftovers" from the previous period, which furthermore resulted mostly in acquittals or stayed cases;

iii) The "reorientation" of the judiciary regarding the prosecution of Nazi crimes during the ensuing period resulted not from any foreign imposition, but from a "change in generations and spiritual climate" inside Germany;

iv) Prosecution of Nazi crimes was hampered by the West German legislative, which issued or changed legislation in such a way as to make most Nazi crimes fall under the statute of limitations when they could have been prosecuted;

v) The number of defendants whose trial ended without punishment was always considerable - roughly 50 per cent - and considerably higher than the number of defendants who were given a life sentence, even though the German criminal code mandates this sentence in case of murder.

The last of these characteristics leads us to item 2 of Ginsburg's assumptions. Aside from the West German law of criminal procedure (Strafprozessordnung) corresponding to the defendant-friendly principles of a constitutional state, the way in which both the procedural law and the material criminal law have been applied regarding Nazi crimes has been considered benevolent beyond the demands of law even by historians who expressly praise the achievements of German criminal justice, like Martin Broszat.
[...]Often reprimanded for its careful judgments, pleading for the accused or for facts not being provable in case of doubt, the judiciary of the German Federal Republic, with its voluminous investigation apparatus working over many years, has especially in the area of the extermination camps often contributed more to the clarification of this National Socialist crime complex than would have been possible to historians.[...]
The above is our translation from: Ino Arndt/Wolfgang Scheffler, "Organisierter Massenmord in Nationalsozialistischen Vernichtungslagern". Vorbemerkung von Martin Broszat. In: Peter Maerthesheimer / Ivo Frenzel, Im Kreuzfeuer: Der Fernsehfilm Holocaust. Eine Nation ist betroffen, 1979 Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag Frankfurt am Main, page 174.

Other historians and legal scholars are less gentle in their assessment of West German justice:
[...]If criminal trials nevertheless took place, the courts could not close their eyes before the enormous crimes that were exhibited before them, but they didn't want to make anyone responsible for these crimes. The judges' shyness to even call anyone a "murderer" flourished in a noteworthy manner. The Hannover County Court, for instance, sentenced an NS-perpetrator, who had committed a number of murders with his own hands, as "accomplice to murder", i.e. as a mere assistant of the murderer proper. And his superior, who had given him the corresponding orders, the court convicted merely as an "inciter". As there was no further actor between the two, the murders were factually "deeds without a perpetrator".
Against the actually convicted NS-criminals the courts often issued sentences which, according to the former Hessian General Public Prosecutor Fritz Bauer, came "rather close to mocking the victims". In the early 1960s, the German coordination council of the Christian-Jewish Society observed "since some time and with increasing concern, that the sworn courts [Schwurgerichte] of the German Federal Republic are treating mass murders and violent crimes from the National Socialist era (concentration camps, ghettoes, Einsatzgruppen etc. ... differently from other murders", that the Nazi criminals were given "minimum sentences for >complicity in murder< which, in the eyes of the general public, reduced the participation in mass murder to a crime in the order of magnitude of, say, heavy theft or professional receiving of stolen goods". One or two days imprisonment for every proven murder were not a rarity at these trials, and this was by no means only due to the astronomically high numbers of victims.[...]
The above is our translation from: Ingo Mueller, Furchtbare Juristen, 1987 Kindler Verlag GmbH, Munich, pages 250 and 257/258.

A cruel spectacle, Mr. Ginsburg? Certainly so - for the survivors of the mass murders testifying in court.

The pursuit of a "proven anti-German policy", Mr. Ginsburg? Nonsense.

The emotional Mr. Ginsburg obviously didn't know what he was talking about. And it speaks volumes for the quality of the NT's "research" that, instead of looking for scholarly assessments of the handling of Nazi crimes by West German criminal justice, they preferred to make an uninformed writer - accurate rendering of Mr. Ginsburg's utterances provided - into the "key witness" of their case against a criminal justice which, if anything, can only be accused of having applied the defendant-friendly procedural rules of a constitutional state in an exceedingly cautious and benevolent manner in favor of the defendants when it came to Nazi crimes.

Following this instructive introduction, the NT invoke their next authority, who lectures their readers about "The Value of Testimony and Confessions Concerning the Holocaust". The authority is a certain Manfred Koehler.

Who is this gentleman?

Perchance a renowned legal scholar, with experience in the handling of criminal trials?

Cold, very cold, dear readers. Manfred Koehler is one of the many pseudonyms used by "Revisionist" grand dragon Germar Rudolf, who is also known as Ernst Gauss, Dr. Werner Kretschmer, Dr. Christian Konrad, Dr. Dr. Rainer Scholz, Jakob Sprenger, Lennard Rose, etc. Which would be his legitimate prerogative if he made it clear that and when he is using any of these pseudonyms. Alas, he doesn't. We translate what our fellow researcher Juergen Langowski tells his readers on his website under
[...]Germar Rudolf is one of the most productive authors of the "revisionist" quoting cartel. Under at least half a dozen pseudonyms he writes and quotes - preferably himself. This becomes especially bizarre when Ernst Gauss (Germar Rudolf) edits a book with a contribution by Manfred Koehler (Germar Rudolf), who in turn dutifully thanks Ernst Gauss (Germar Rudolf) for material made available and a few footnotes later refers to Germar Rudolf (Germar Rudolf).[...]
Even more instructive is Rudolf's own explanation for the showpiece of intellectual dishonesty that this network of false academic "authorities" constitutes:
My conclusions were that one obviously had to be at the same time an engineer, a chemist, a toxicologist, a historian and a perhaps even an barrister to be accepted as an expert witness at a German court. The legal process being so perverted in Germany, we decided to mock it by inventing a person with all these features, but then we realized that this would be a bit unrealistic, so we split that person into many. [Source: as above]
It is this source of obviously unimpeachable integrity that our esteemed opponents cite as their sole authority on the proper use of evidence.

Germar Rudolf aka "Manfred Koehler", as translated by our opponents, writes the following:
In academia as well as in the justice system of a state under the rule of law, there is a hierarchy of evidence reflecting the evidential value. In this hierarchy, material and documentary evidence is always superior to eyewitness testimony.[4]
[4] Cf. E. Schneider, Beweis und Beweiswuerdigung, 4th ed., F. Vahlen, Munich 1987, pp. 188 and 304; additional forms of evidence are "Augenscheinnahme" [visual assessment of evidence by the Court], and "Parteieinvernahme" [the questioning of disputing parties, i.e., prosecution and defense], a particularly unreliable form of testimony.
It would be interesting to know what the scholar invoked by Rudolf, whose book we unfortunately do not (yet) have at our disposal, actually wrote. For while it seems reasonable to assume that material and documentary evidence tend to be less error-prone than eyewitness testimony, and while legal doctrine and practice accordingly consider eyewitness testimony as a source of evidence to be handled and assessed with caution, neither the German Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung nor the German Code of Criminal Procedure (Strafprozessordnung) establish a "hierarchy of evidence reflecting the evidential value". On the contrary. Article 261 of the German Code of Criminal Procedure reads as follows:
Ueber das Ergebnis der Beweisaufnahme entscheidet das Gericht nach seiner freien, aus dem Inbegriff der Verhandlung geschoepften Ueberzeugung.
Our translation:
About the result of the taking of evidence the court decides according to its free conviction derived from the trial as a whole.
As Prof. Dr. Bernd Heinrich explains in a lecture of 16 March 2004, published online under ... digung.doc this means, among other things, that the judge must exhaustively evaluate all evidence taken at the trial and is not entitled to limit his assessment to given sources of evidence. It also means that the judge is not bound to fixed rules of evidence, and that it is his exclusive task and prerogative - subject, of course, to control by the higher instances of the judicial hierarchy - to decide whether or not the defendant or the witnesses are to be believed.

Thus it would seem that postulating a "hierarchy of evidence reflecting the evidential value", as Rudolf does, is a theoretical approach that the legislator of the German Code of Criminal Procedure refrained from adopting, presumably because, just like other legislators on the one hand and historians on the other, he recognized that the sources of evidence our opponents claim to value so highly - material and documentary evidence - cannot on their own provide a complete picture of events and that, whatever its shortcomings, the witness is and always will be the primary unit of evidence in the practice of any criminal trial.

This also seems to have been the view of the legal professionals and jurors of the Frankfurt County Court (Landgericht Frankfurt) at the Auschwitz Trial between 1963 and 1965, from whose judgment we translated the following passages:
[...]Another difference lay in that the witnesses - understandably so - could only rarely make exact statements about the place and time of certain events. Although it often seemed an impertinence [Zumutung] and an overburdening of the witnesses to ask them about concrete details of their experiences, about the looks of the SS-men taking part in certain occurrences and about the place and time or events, and to ask them to provide an exact description of the sites, the sworn court, in order to clarify the severe accusations leveled against the accused, nevertheless considered such procedures necessary to exclude the risk of mistaken identifications and counterfactual claims. For the court was lacking almost all the means of recognition available in a normal murder trial to make itself a true picture of the factual occurrences at the time of murder. The corpses of the victims were missing, as were autopsy protocols, expert reports about the cause and hour of death, the traces of the perpetrators, murder weapons etc. Only in rare cases was it possible to check the witnesses' depositions.[...]
The above suggests that what our opponents' authority would like to be sources of evidence ranking higher in the "hierarchy of evidence reflecting the evidential value" is seen by legal professionals as a means of checking the principal source of evidence at criminal trials, eyewitness testimony. What does a court do where such means of checking are not at its disposal? Does it pronounce the eyewitness testimony to be unusable and let mass murderers like Baretzki, Bednarek, Boger, Hofmann, Kaduk and Klehr (the defendants sentenced to lifetime imprisonment at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial) go scot-free? Of course not, as this would in many cases bring criminal justice to a standstill. We again translate from the Frankfurt County Court's judgment:
[...]The credibility of the witnesses therefore had to be examined with especial care. Where there were the slightest doubts or the possibility of a mistaken identification could not be excluded with certainty the court did not use such witness depositions.[...]
As we do not expect the legal scholar invoked by our opponents' authority to have been so ignorant of the rules and practice of (German) criminal procedure, we must thus assume that Rudolf, deliberately or not, misread the message that this scholar was intending to convey.

This suspicion is reinforced by Rudolf's ensuing "achievement".
Thus, academia as well as the justice system regard eyewitness testimony as the least reliable form of evidence, since human memory is imperfect and easily manipulated.[5]
[5] E.g., cf. §373, German Code of Civil Procedure.
What is funny about the above is not so much the statement itself - every historian and legal scholar or professional knows that eyewitness testimony, while a key source of both historical and forensic evidence, is also one to be handled with caution - as the source referred to. For "§373, German Code of Civil Procedure" reads as follows:
Der Zeugenbeweis wird durch die Benennung der Zeugen und die Bezeichnung der Tatsachen, ueber welche die Vernehmung der Zeugen stattfinden soll, angetreten.
Our translation:
Proof through witnesses is offered by naming the witness and designating the facts about which the interrogation of the witness is to take place.
What the hell does this provision say about the German legislator's views on the reliability of eyewitness testimony, Mr. Rudolf?

Can we expect your reading of Mr. Rolf Bender, the German expert on the evaluation of evidence who you claim to have uttered the radical pretension, contrary to all judicial doctrine and practice we know of, that
[...]its unreliable nature renders eyewitness testimony merely circumstantial evidence, in other words, not direct evidence.[6]
[6] R. Bender, S. Roeder, A. Nack, Tatsachenfeststellung vor Gericht, 2 vols., Beck, Munich 1981, vol 1, p. 173.
to have been equally guided by fantasy and wishful thinking?

The following part of Rudolf's lecture
What standards must be met for eyewitness testimony to be usable in court? [7]
[7] Cf. also the detailed accounts of E. Schneider, op. cit. (note 4), p. 200-229, and R. Bender, S. Roeder, A. Nack, op. cit. (note 6), v. 1 part 1.

1. The witness must be credible.

While making no claims to completeness, the following lists a few criteria for determining credibility:

a. Emotional involvement. If witnesses are emotionally too involved in the cases under investigation, this may distort the testimony in one direction or the other, without this necessarily being a conscious process.

b. Veracity. If it turns out that a witness is not overly concerned about truthfulness, this casts doubts upon his further credibility.

c. Testimony under coercion. The frankness of testimony may be limited if a witness is subjected to direct or indirect pressure that makes him deem it advisable to configure his testimony accordingly.

d. Third-party influence. A person's memory is easy to manipulate. Events reported by acquaintances or in the media can easily become assimilated as 'personal experience'. Thus, if a witness has been exposed intensively to one-sided accounts of the trial substance prior to testifying, this can very well affect his testimony to reflect these impressions.

e. Temporal distance from the events to be attested to. It is generally known that the reliability of eyewitness testimony diminishes greatly after only a few days, and after several months has been so severely influenced and altered by the replacement of forgotten details with subsequent impressions that it retains hardly any value as evidence.[8] Cf. esp. R. Bender, S. Roeder, A. Nack, ibid., pp. 45ff.
seems to contain a less distorted rendering of the works of Messrs. Schneider, Bender, Roeder and Nack, except for

i) The reference to testimony being "usable in court". According to the German Code of Criminal Procedure, a court is only barred from using eyewitness testimony where a witness had the right of refusing to testify or the testimony was obtained through illegal methods, especially coercion. The other criteria for determining credibility adduced by Rudolf, while important aspects to be considered for a judge's decision whether and to what extent he will believe the witness, are not a question of whether the judge is legally entitled to use the testimony as evidence.

ii) The statement under item e., which we would like to see in the words of Messrs. Bender, Roeder and Nack themselves. The basis for our suspicion that these sources are being misrepresented is a very simple consideration: if it were "generally known" that several months temporal distance from the events to be attested render eyewitness testimony virtually worthless as a source of evidence, the overwhelming majority of criminal convictions in any country, under any legal system, would be largely, mostly or even exclusively based on virtually worthless evidence. While temporal distance certainly has an influence on the accuracy of eyewitness testimony, that influence varies from individual to individual and depends on a number of circumstances to be taken into consideration in each individual case. If Mr. Bender were the author of the categorical generalization that Rudolf attributes to him and other legal scholars, which would invalidate one of the most important sources of evidence in both civil and criminal justice, we would be mighty disappointed in what concerns Mr. Bender's recognized expertise in the field, all the more so taking into account the general considerations of his professional colleagues from the Frankfurt County Court about the handling of temporary distance from the events testified to at a criminal trial. Our translation from the judgment at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial:
[...]If already according to general experience a witness is not always a safe element of proof, this applied all the more at the present trial, because the witnesses had to testify about events lying 20 years in the past.[our emphasis] In addition there were hardly any witnesses who had experienced the events at Auschwitz concentration camps as neutral observers. The witnesses who had been former members of the Waffen-SS at Auschwitz concentration camp were almost without exception involved in the events of the time. This led them to show a noticeable reservation in their depositions, feign memory gaps and be shy to incriminate the accused, obviously in the assumption that after incriminating statements they could themselves be incriminated by the accused. But for a few exceptions, the depositions of these witnesses therefore mostly yielded little results.

With a number of these witnesses it was even obvious that they were telling untruths.

For finding out the truth the court was thus essentially dependent on the depositions of the former inmates. Although a great number of these witnesses made a serious effort to search their memory and tell the pure truth, the court had to take into consideration that many possible sources of error could put in question the value and the truthfulness of these witness testimonies. Almost all witnesses made their observations in a state of unspeakable suffering, tormented by hunger and in constant fear for their own life. The names of the SS-members were often not known to them. In the camp at that time there was much talk about the general occurrences and about the SS-members involved in individual events. Rumors spread fast among the inmates. They often roughened and falsified certain occurrences. The names of participating SS-men were confounded.

For the witnesses it was thus extraordinarily difficult to distinguish between what they had personally experienced themselves and what had been told to them by others, be it in the camp or only later after liberation. There is no question that there was the risk of witnesses in good faith representing events as their own experience which had actually been described to them by others, or which they had read of in the numerous books and magazines about the events at Auschwitz that are available to the public. Furthermore it had to be taken into consideration that after 20 years there might appear memory gaps which the witnesses unconsciously filled in. Especially there was the risk that the witnesses in good faith projected events which they themselves had experienced at Auschwitz concentration camp onto other persons, especially the SS-members accused at this trial. The sworn court never lost sight of this risk, and in regard to all witness depositions containing concrete incriminations of a given defendant carefully examined whether there was not the possibility of a mistaken identification.[our emphasis][...]

So the Frankfurt County Court not only considered eyewitness testimony its principal source of evidence, but also held that even after 20 years such evidence, while problematic and to be handled with great caution, retained a considerable evidentiary value. The court's judgment was confirmed by the German Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) on 20.02.1969.

Should we believe that German legal scholars Bender, Roeder and Nack pronounced the jurisdiction of the Frankfurt County Court and the German Supreme Court to have been dead wrong in this respect (something we would have triumphantly pointed out if we were in Rudolf's place)?

Or are we on the safer side if we assume that what Rudolf tells his readers about the opinions of Bender, Roeder and Nack doesn't have much to do with what these scholars actually wrote?

Legal expert Rudolf goes on to falsely postulate the following further criteria for assessing the credibility of a witness's testimonial as "standards" that "must be met for eyewitness testimony to be usable in court":
2. Testimony must be plausible.

a. Internal consistency. Testimony must be free of contradictions and in accordance with the rules of logic.

b. Correctness of historical context. Testimony must fit into the historical context established conclusively by higher forms of evidence (documents, material evidence).

c. Technical and scientific reality. Testimony must report such matters as can be reconciled with the laws of nature and with what was technically possible at the time in question.

Like the criteria "emotional involvement", "veracity", "third party influence" and "temporal distance", the above three are important aspects to be considered for a judge's decision whether and to what extent he will believe the witness, but not a question of whether the judge is legally entitled to use the testimony as evidence.

As to criterion b., it must again be pointed out that "higher forms of evidence" exist in Rudolf's mind rather than in law and judicial practice. When mentioning "correctness of historical context", however, Rudolf involuntarily addressed one of the most important methods of assessing the reliability of eyewitness testimony, applied by both historians and criminal justice authorities: comparing the testimony with other testimony independent thereof and/or with other independent sources of evidence. As Prof. John C. Zimmerman writes in his online article How Reliable are the Hoess Memoirs, ... s-memoirs/:
[...]How then can the reliability of such testimony be evaluated? One method is to compare it to other testimony on the subject. Is the testimony consistent overall when compared to other testimony on the same event? Another method is to compare the testimony to other corroborative evidence. Is there some documentary evidence that supports the testimony?[our emphasis] For example, Miklos Nyiszli was a Jewish doctor who was part of the Hungarian transports deported to Auschwitz from May to July 1944. His memoirs were written in March 1946 and published in Budapest in 1947. A copy of the original Hungarian is at the UCLA main library. They were translated into English in 1960. Nyiszli served as a prisoner doctor to the notorious Joseph Mengele. He witnessed the bodies of dead gassing victims and the burnings of bodies in the Crematoriums. He also witnessed the burning pits dug by the Auschwitz authorities to dispose of the murdered victims. How can his testimony be evaluated? His testimony can be classified as victim testimony, the essentials of which have been verified by other victims. Perpetrators have also verified the essential aspects of his testimony. 6 But there is other evidence by which the veracity of his testimony can be evaluated.[our emphasis] Nyiszli wrote that while he was at Auschwitz there were 860 special commando prisoners assigned to the four crematoriums to dispose of the murdered victims. 7 This is a very large number and is consistent with what the camp authorities would need to dispose of victims who were being murdered en masse. A camp labor deployment list dated August 29, 1944 shows 874 special workers assigned to the four crematoria. They are evenly divided among those installations and divided again into day and night shifts. 8 Thus, Nyiszli is a very credible witness based on this independent corroboration. [our emphasis][...]
Back to Rudolf's criteria for the plausibility of testimony. Regarding item c., it should be pointed out that Article 261 of the German Criminal Procedure Code:
About the result of the taking of evidence the court decides according to its free conviction derived from the trial as a whole.
would not be complied with if a judge were to "throw out" an eyewitness testimony as a whole because one or the other detail contained therein contradicts the laws of nature and the contemporary state of technology, without having

i) ruled out the possibility that the witness incurred in an understandable error of observation regarding a scientifically and technically reconcilable feature or circumstance; and

ii) compared all of the contents of the witness's testimony with other independent eyewitness testimony and/or independent sources of evidence, and concluded on significant contradictions between the former and the latter.

So much for Mr. Rudolf's somewhat-less-than-sound considerations about the rules, principles and reasoning guiding judicial assessment of evidence. How have our esteemed opponents applied this inadequate tool of theirs to the particular case at issue?

In our opening statement, we wrote the following:
Eight former members of the SS admitted to having seen the Birkenau gas chambers in operation with their own eyes: Richard Boeck, Gerhard Hess, Karl Hoelblinger, Dr. Johann Kremer, Dr. Konrad Morgen, Henry Storch, Franz Hofmann and Dr. Gerhard Wiebeck, seven of then as witnesses, Hofmann as defendant. The Birkenau bunkers were often mentioned in the course of the Frankfurt Trial, especially by former inmates Franciszek Gulba, Henryk Porebski, Milton Buki, Dov Paisikovic.
The NT claims that
This is simply not true!
and that
Facsimiles of the protocol can be viewed here:
It seems that our opponents don't even read their own sources attentively enough. Otherwise they might have noticed that what is shown in facsimile in Germar Rudolf's article under
is an excerpt from the record of a deposition made by witness Richard Boeck. Far from showing our statement that this and other witnesses from the ranks of the SS admitted to having seen the Birkenau gas chambers in operation with their own eyes to be mistaken, Boeck's deposition proves this statement to be accurate at least in regard to Richard Boeck himself. We take the liberty to translate what we consider to be the key parts of the record of this witness's testimony, from the excerpts kindly provided by Mr. Rudolf:
[...]One day, it was in the winter of 1942/43, H[oelblinger] asked me if I felt like going with him to a gassing action. He would present me as his co-driver in the ambulance van, because otherwise it was strictly forbidden for me to be present there. I thereupon went with him to the garage, we sat in the ambulance van and drove directly to Birkenau. The Birkenau camp we didn't touch during this drive. I also cannot say that I saw something of the camp on this occasion.
The transportation train which had arrived stood on the open line between Auschwitz and Birkenau, and the inmates were just being unloaded. It was about 21.00 hours. Broad stairs had been stood against the backs of the trucks with which the inmates were transported. Over these stairs the people climbed onto the trucks. All vehicles were crammed full until they could take no more. The people stood on the vehicles. I didn't watch any SS-doctor or any other SS-member picking people out. They were all loaded up and driven to a former farm house, which was about 1.5 km away from the place of unloading. The crematoria of Birkenau at any rate I did not see, and I am of the opinion that at this time they were not yet in operation. I at any rate also drove in the ambulance, together with H., to this farm house. We were driving behind the trucks. When we arrived, the people had already been unloaded and had to undress in several barracks standing near the former farm house. When they came naked out of the barracks, they were told to go into the building on which there hung a sign reading "disinfections". This building was the former farm house, which at that time had been converted into a gassing room. As far as I can remember it was well clad in concrete all around and had doors on both sides, which in my opinion were made of wood. H. had already told me before that in this room the arriving transports were gassed. Furthermore these gassing actions were generally known among us.
I can still remember that this was a transport of Dutch Jews - men, women and children - who were all well-dressed and gave the appearance of being wealthy people.
I must correct something here. The converted farm house had only one door, which had two wings. Also the sign "disinfections" did not hang on the building but was placed like a signpost a few meters in front of it. This sign had been placed to keep the people believing that here they would be disinfected.
After the whole transport - it must have been about 1,000 people - was inside the building, the door was closed. Thereafter an SS-man, I think it was a Rottenfuehrer (corporal), came to our ambulance van and took out a gas can. With this can he went to a ladder, which seen from the door stood on the right side of the building. I saw that he wore a gas mark when climbing up the ladder. When he had arrived at the end of the ladder, he opened a circular sheet metal cap and poured the can's contents into the opening. I clearly heard the can's clattering against the wall when he hit it while pouring. At the same time I saw a brownish dust coming up from the wall opening. Whether this was gas I cannot say. At any rate I saw that he poured in only one can. When he had again closed the lid, a screaming that cannot be described set in inside the room. I simply cannot describe how these people screamed. This lasted for about 8 to 10 minutes, then everything was silent. A short time later the door was opened by inmates, and one could still see a bluish fog floating above an enormous ball of corpses. The corpses were so entangled into each other that one could not recognize to whom the individual extremities and body parts belonged. I saw, for instance, that one of the gassed had his indicator finger stuck several centimeters into the eye socket of another. From this one could measure how horrible beyond description the death struggle of these people had been. One cannot describe this image with words. I became so sick when I saw this that I almost vomited.
I was surprised, however, that the inmate detachment meant to remove the corpses entered the room without gas masks, although this blue haze, of which I assumed that it was gas, still floated above the corpses. The corpses were loaded onto peasant carts (ladder cards) and pushed away by the inmates. Where the corpses went I did not see. I also didn't notice anything of a crematorium.
At this gassing action SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer (captain) Dr. Entress was present as a physician. Furthermore Hauptscharfuehrer (sergeant) Moll was present at this action. On the whole I hardly saw more than four SS-men as participants.[...]
A meticulously detailed and harrowing testimony, revealing both the witness's deep shock at what he saw and his effort to describe the events he was testifying about as exactly as his memory permitted.

How can one assess the reliability of this eyewitness testimony?

If one is not concerned with finding the facts, one can do it the simple and sloppy "Revisionist" way: mutilate the record of the testimony, highlight the statements that at first sight appear to be odd, make a big bloody fuss about the supposed oh-so-flagrant oddness of these statements, call the witness a liar and high-handedly dismiss his testimony. This is what our NT opponents did with the testimony of former SS-man Richard Boeck (who, under the ignorant heading "Confessions from former SS-men during the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, Germany" - Boeck testified only as a witness, never as a defendant - and in an instructive and self-defeating display of their intellectual dishonesty, they call our "star witness", even though we mentioned him only very briefly in two sentences of our Opening Statement and not at all in our first response).

If one is interested in establishing the facts of the matter, on the other hand, one should take the approach favored by historians and criminal investigators: examine in detail whether and to what extent the testimony is consistent in itself and free of contradictions, fits into the context of the events it refers to and is corroborated by other testimonies independent thereof and/or other sources of evidence.

Let us see, then, to what extent Boeck's testimony is corroborated by other evidence independent thereof.

a) Boeck's testimony described a gassing at the Birkenau "bunker" during the initial phase of mass extermination at Auschwitz, before the four Birkenau crematorium buildings with their incorporated gas chambers were erected. Boeck correctly pointed out that the crematoria of Birkenau were not yet in operation at the time he witnessed the gassing.

b) Boeck stated that gassing took place in the winter of 1942/43, and that the Jews gassed came from Holland. According to the list on pages 162 and following of the 1991 study Dimensionen des Voelkermords by Wolfgang Benz et al, based on documentary evidence collected and evaluated in the Netherlands, there were the following transports from Holland to Auschwitz in the months December 1942 to February 1943:
Date of Transport; Transit Camp; Number of Deportees
04.12.1942; Westerbork; 812
08.12.1942; Westerbork; 927 (thereof 60 disembarked at Kosel)
12.12.1942; Westerbork; 757
11.01.1943; Westerbork; 750
18.01.1943; Westerbork; 748
22.01.1943; Apeldoorn; 921
23.01.1943; Westerbork; 516
29.01.1943; Westerbork; 659
02.02.1943; Westerbork; 890
09.02.1943; Westerbork; 1,184
16.02.1943; Westerbork; 1,108
23.02.1943; Westerbork; 1,101

c) Boeck stated that the number of people on the transport was about 1,000. As can be seen in the above list, several transports at the end of 1942 were close to 1,000 strong, and the last three transports in February 1943 carried well over 1,000 deportees.

d) Boeck stated that the gassing took place at night. One of the witnesses quoted in our Opening Statement, Dr. Johann Paul Kremer, mentioned several nighttime "special actions" in his wartime diary, the relevant excerpts from which are quoted in the judgment of the Muenster County Court against Dr. Johann Paul Kremer, 29.11.1960, transcribed under ... Kremer.htm

What follows is our translation of the key entries of Kremer's diary referring to "special actions", which also suggest that Kremer felt the same horror as Boeck when witnessing these actions and their results:
2.Septb. 1942.
At 3 in the morning for the first time at a special action. Compared to this Dante's Inferno almost seems a comedy. It is not for nothing that they call Auschwitz the camp of annihilation!
5.Septb. 1942.
Today at noon at a special action from the F.K.L. ["Frauenkonzentrationslager" = women's concentration camp, translator's note] (Muselmaenner [literally "Moslems", camp jargon for prisoners worn out by malnourishment and disease, translator's note]): the horror of horrors. Hauptscharfuehrer Thilo - army doctor - was right when today he told me that here we were at the anus mundi. In the evening around 8 hours again at a special action from Holland. Due to the special provisions granted, consisting of one-fifth liter of booze, 5 cigarettes, 100 grams of sausage and bread, the men are eager to take part in such actions.[...]
6.Septb. 1942.
In the evening at 8 hours out for a special action again.
9.Septb. 1942.[...]
Present at a special action in the evening (4th time).
10.Septb. 1942.
Present at a special action in the morning (5th time).
23.Septb. 1942.
This night at the 6th and 7th special actions.[...]
28.Septb. 1942.
This night present at the 8th special action.[...]
7.Oct. 1942.
Present at the 9th special action (outsiders and Muselweiber [female "Moslems", see above, translator's note].[...]
12.Oct. 1942.
2nd inoculation against typhus; thereafter strong general reaction (fever) in the evening. Nevertheless present during the night at a special action from Holland (1600 persons). Gruesome scene in front of the last bunker! (Hoessler!) This was the 10th special action.
18.Oct. 1942.
In wet and cold weather present today, Sunday morning, at the 11th special action (Netherlanders). Grisly scenes with three women who begged merely to have their lives spared.
8.November 1942.
Present tonight at 2 special actions, in rainy and dusky autumn weather (12. und 13.)[...]Another special action in the afternoon, i.e. the 14th I have participated in so far.[...]
e) Boeck stated that he drove to the gas chambers in an ambulance van with his comrade Karl Hoelblinger, who at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial confirmed having been the driver of that ambulance van. A similar ride with Hoelblinger was also described by Kremer during his trial in Krakow, quoted in our Opening Statement:
[...]Already at three o'clock in the morning on 2 September I was ordered to take part in a gassing of human beings. This mass murder was carried out in small houses located in the forest outside Birkenau camp. These houses the SS-men called "bunkers" in their jargon.[...] My participation as a physician at these gassings, which were called "special actions", consisted in standing at ready at a place near the bunker. To this place I was taken with a car, where I sat next to the chauffeur while an SS medical orderly sat in the back with an oxygen device for saving the SS men in charge of the gassing in case one of them should suffer poisoning.[...] I rode behind such a transport up to bunker. There the prisoners were first driven with cars to the barracks where the victims undressed, and then they went already naked into the gas chambers. Most of the time all this happened quietly, as the SS-men calmed down the people by telling them that they were going to be bathed and deloused. After all had been pushed inside a gas chamber the door war locked and an SS-man with a gas mask threw the contents of a Zyklon - can through an opening in the side wall. Through this opening the screams and lamentations of the victims came out of the gas chamber, one heard these people in their death struggle. The screams were only heard for a short time, however. I designate this time as a few minutes, but I cannot indicate it exactly.[...]
f) Boeck states that an SS-doctor was present at the gassing site. From Kremer's above-quoted statement it becomes apparent that and why gassings at the Birkenau bunker were always attended by an SS-physician.

g) Although completely independent from Kremer's deposition, Boeck's testimony describes the location of the "bunker" (outside Birkenau camp), the transportation of the victims to the bunker, the undressing, the introduction of the gas and what followed in coincidence with Kremer, and also with Auschwitz camp commandant Rudolf Hoess, who in his memoirs, quoted in our Opening Statement, wrote the following:

[...]In the spring of 1942 the first transports of Jews, all earmarked for extermination, arrived from Upper Silesia.
They were taken from the detraining platform to the 'Cottage' - to Bunker I - across the meadows where later Building Site II was located. The transport was conducted by Aumeier and Palitzsch and some of the block leaders. They talked with the Jews about general topics, inquired about their qualifications and trades, with a view to misleading them. On arrival at the 'Cottage', they were told to undress. At first they went calmly into the rooms where they were supposed to be disinfected. But some of them showed signs of alarm, and spoke of death by suffocation and of annihilation. A sort of panic set in at once. Immediately all the Jews still outside were pushed into the chambers, and the doors were screwed shut.
During the spring of 1942 hundreds of vigorous men and women walked all unsuspecting to their death in the gas chambers, under the blossom-laden fruit trees of the 'Cottage' orchard. This picture of death in the midst of life remains with me to this day.[...]

The reasonable conclusion to be drawn from all this coincidence between independent elements of evidence is that it is no mere coincidence, that Boeck, Hoelblinger, Kremer and Hoess witnessed the same events or events of the same kind independently of each other and described them independently of each other, each in his own personal way. Far from being "voellig unglaubhaft" ("completely untrustworthy"), as Germar Rudolf and our esteemed opponents proclaim it to be, Boeck's testimony is thus to be considered highly reliable in what concerns the details mentioned above.

There are details, for sure, in which Boeck's testimony differs from those of other witnesses. He stated that the doors of the bunker were opened a "short time" after the gassing. Rudolf Hoess, in his depositions in Polish captivity recorded in the document "The final solution of the Jewish question in Auschwitz concentration camp", mentioned in our Opening Statement, stated that the doors were opened half an hour after the gassing - which, considering subjective differences in the perception of time, may, of course, have been what another witness considered a "short time". Boeck mentioned that - to his surprise - the men of the special detachment taking out the bodies wore no gas masks. Former special detachment member Szlama Dragon, in his deposition before the examining judge in Cracow quoted on page 231 of the study Nationalsozialistische Massentoetungen durch Giftgas, expressly stated that all members of the body disposal squad received gas masks before entering the cottage. Boeck also mentioned a "blue haze" above the bodies, which he thought to be gas and which, to our knowledge, is mentioned by no other witness.

Do these at first sight odd features, which our opponents take as a pretext to call Boeck a liar or a lunatic, shatter the credibility of who independent corroboration has shown to be quite reliable in what concerns other features of his testimony?

Hardly so. Boeck may have been mistaken about the "blue haze" and the absence of gas masks, but this doesn't warrant the suspicion that he lied, on the contrary: if he had been out to sell a story, he would probably have taken care to avoid details that his interlocutors would regard as odd, instead of - as he did - expressly pointing out the perceived oddity of such details.

How, then, can these two apparently odd features of Boeck's testimony - the absence of gas masks in the body disposal squad and the "blue haze" - be explained?

The first of these features leads us to an old "Revisionist" herring, which is dealt with as follows in Nizkor's commentary to the Leuchter Report:

The claim is often heard that it takes 20 hours to air a room which was disinfected with Zyklon-B, and therefore the eyewitness accounts giving a time of 20-30 minutes from when the gassing started to when the bodies where carried out is impossible, because the people carrying out the bodies would perish.
It is true that if one disinfects a building in ordinary commercial use, it should not be reentered within 20 hours. That figure, however, has no meaning relative to the extermination chambers, which were forcibly ventilated. Fifteen minutes was ample time to replace the air after a gassing. When ventilation was not used, the Sonderkommando (prisoners used as forced labor) who removed the bodies wore gas masks. The Germans had plenty of experience with gas, especially HCN, which was widely used for delousing. They knew how to work with it safely. It is absurd to use the 20 hour figure in this context, as it does not assume forced ventilation and takes a huge safety factor into account. The SS didn't care much for the safety of the Sonderkommando who had to enter the gas chambers to take the corpses out in any event. In some cases, these people did suffer from the remaining gas (see, for instance, Pressac, p. 473). [our emphasis]
Furthermore, what makes ventilation difficult and lengthy is the presence of rugs, furniture, curtains, etc. Needless to say, these were not present in the gas chambers - there was just bare concrete, making ventilation very fast and efficient.
If the "20 hours ventilation period" above was true, this would mean that the corpses of people executed using cyanide gas in US prisons would remain tied to the chair 20 hours after they were killed...clearly nonsense, as Fred Leuchter, who claims expertise in gas chamber operation, knows full well.
"Cyanide (HCN gas) is notorious as a poison (Gee, 1987) but also is ideal as a chemical weapon. It kills rapidly, dissipates quickly, and leaves no toxic residue."(Somani, Satu M. "Chemical Warfare Agents," Department of Pharmacology, Southern Illinois University, School of Medicine. Academic Press 1992, p. 211)
Source: ... aq-06.html
The above suggests that Boeck, who described a gassing at an installation without forcible ventilation, was mistaken about the absence of gas masks in the body disposal squad, that occasion having presumably become mixed up in his memory with what he later witnessed at or heard about the body disposal procedure at the forcibly-ventilated gas chambers of the Birkenau crematoria. There is also another possibility, however. In his expert report submitted at the Irving - Lipstadt libel trial, one of the documents transcribed on the site ... fense.html, Robert Jan van Pelt wrote:
[...]Likewise Faurisson misrepresented the Zyklon B instruction manual.The rule for spaces to be aired for 20 hours applies to rooms without any special ventilation system. After 20 hours of natural ventilation, and another hour with closed windows and doors, the room should be available for all activities except sleeping: this should wait another day. The situation in the gas chambers was different. With its powerful ventilation system, and with the fact that most of the hydrogen cyanide was absorbed by the victims' bodies [our emphasis], the time could be reduced to 20 minutes.[...]
Forcibly ventilated or not, the gas chambers were always filled to bursting with naked, scared, screaming, fast-breathing people, whose lungs would accordingly take up so much of the poison - of which, as we already pointed out, one mg per kg of body weight is enough to kill a human being - that the amount left might be so low as to render gas mask protection for the body disposal squad unnecessary, at least under certain favorable circumstances - one might think, for instance, of a strong outside wind aiding the airing of the chamber after a gassing. The above-mentioned quick dissipation of cyanide once released into the atmosphere might also have been a factor:
If the gas chambers were ventilated, the gas would kill people outside.
Nonsense; it is all a question of concentration. Once the gas is released into the atmosphere, its concentration drops and it is no longer dangerous. Also, HCN dissipates quickly. The execution gas chambers in US prisons are also ventilated directly into the atmosphere. Furthermore, if this argument would hold for the extermination chambers, it would hold for the delousing chambers as well, and one would have to conclude that no delousing chambers existed either.
Source: ... aq-12.html
So there remains the "bluish fog" or "blue haze" described by Boeck as floating above the bodies after the gassing, which he thought was gas. What could that have been? We remember that the gassing described by Boeck took place at night on a cold winter day, and that Boeck was badly shaken by what he saw. It doesn't seem improbable, therefore, that the haze resulted simply from the difference between the temperature of the dead bodies and the victims' last breath on the one hand and the outside air on the other, and that it was the artificial light necessarily illuminating this night scene which made the haze appear "bluish" or "blue" to Boeck's shocked mind.

Our conclusion therefore is that the snippets quoted out of context by our opponents in order to shatter the credibility of witness Boeck can well be considered understandable mistakes of observation, which enhance rather than diminish the credibility of a witness who, as we have seen, provided a testimony mostly consistent with corroborative evidence independent thereof.
Our opponents apparently were not confident that the "blue haze" and the special detachment without gas masks would be sufficient to wipe Richard Boeck from the long list of incriminating witnesses, so they reinforced their observations in this respect with the following fuss:
Said Boeck:
"In any case, during the entire time of my presence in Auschwitz I could observe that inmate corpses were cremated in the old crematorium. This decreased somewhat only toward the end of 1944. I could see every day how the flames shot two meters high out of the chimney. It also smelled intensively like burned flesh."
The old crematorium in the main camp was taken out of operation after the new crematoria in Birkenau went into operation in spring 1943. In early 1944, the old crematorium was converted into an air raid shelter. Thus, Boeck cannot possibly have witnessed cremations at the main camp until the end of 1944.
If so, Boeck may have mistaken the end of 1943 for the end of 1944 in the above-quoted passage. Mistakes regarding the time or duration of an event, as any legal professional dealing with the subject knows, are frequent in eyewitness testimonial, without this being a reason to assume that the witness's account is inaccurate in every other respect as well.
NT: For technical reasons, no flames can come shooting out of a crematorium chimney. Either Boeck lied, hallucinated, or he talked himself into believing things he had heard from elsewhere.
The latter of these possibilities, with Boeck's having "talked himself into believing things" an unconscious rather than a conscious process, may be a contender indeed, as in the case of one of David Olere's drawings discussed at the Irving-Lipstadt libel trial, from the judgment of which we quote:
[...]7.110 [...]Van Pelt agreed that no flame would have been visible since the chimney was 90 feet tall. Irving suggested that Olere's drawings may have been based on post-war reports, adding the gratuitous comment that he appears to have taken a prurient interest in naked women.[...]
Rather than "post-war reports", a confusion in the witness's memory with the open-air pyres of the Birkenau forest in 1942, described by Hoess and Pery Broad as quoted in Part II of our Opening Statement under seems to be a more likely possibility, however. Yet another possibility, which is the most likely, is that Boeck actually did witness flames coming out of the chimney. As "Revisionist" guru Carlo Mattogno informed his readers in an article that we will have a closer look at in a later section of the present response, flames may in fact be occasionally seen shooting out of a crematorium chimney as a result of thick layers of soot, deposited on the walls of the smoke ducts, igniting during cremation.

But even assuming that Boeck did not observe such a phenomenon and was dead wrong about the flames, should we conclude from this and his above-mentioned timing mistake that Boeck never saw the crematorium of the Auschwitz I main camp in operation, or that he did not see it in operation on a regular basis?

Do these mistakes affect the accuracy of his above-mentioned, independently corroborated observations about the gassing of a transport from the Netherlands at one of the converted Birkenau cottages in the winter of 1942/43 ?

We leave it to our readers to decide this for themselves.

When trying to "eliminate" witnesses from the record of inconvenient evidence by nitpicking about mistakes of observation or inaccuracies in their description, "Revisionists" indulge in a fallacy that Prof. Zimmerman mentioned in his above-mentioned online article about the reliability of Hoess's memoirs:
[...]One of the issues that has arisen in connection with the Holocaust is the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Holocaust deniers are forever attacking eyewitnesses as liars or people prone to exaggeration. There can be no doubt that not all eyewitness testimony is reliable. Also, it is true that some witnesses lie or exaggerate.

The main problem with such testimony, however, is that there will often be inconsistencies with regard to details. This is not unusual. Any prosecuting attorney knows that there are differences in the way witnesses view an event. But even though witnesses may differ as to the details of an event, they are seldom wrong as to the event itself.[our emphasis] Thus, witnesses to the number of people who could be gassed in the gas chamber of Crematorium I at Auschwitz gave such varying amounts as 600, 700, 900, and 1000. 1 Holocaust deniers exploit the differences in this type of testimony by claiming that if there are differences as to the number of people who could be gassed, then there must be doubt as to whether the event occurred.[...] ... s-memoirs/
The nonsensical nature of such reasoning is illustrated in Prof. Zimmerman's book Holocaust Denial, page 69, on hand of a classic example:
[...] Anybody familiar with the John F. Kennedy assassination is acutely aware of the problems which surround eyewitness testimony. There were 178 eyewitnesses who gave testimony to the Warren Commission about what they saw and heard in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. Forty-nine heard shots from the Book Depository, 21 from the now well known Grassy Knoll, 30 heard shots from other sources, while 78 did not know where the shots came from. Only four witnesses heard shots from more than one direction.

By applying the techniques of Holocaust denial to the Kennedy assassination it could be argued that since there was so much contradiction as to the source of the shots, President Kennedy was not really shot at all. The important thing to keep in mind is that while witnesses may make errors as to certain factual occurrences of an event, they are often correct as to the occurrence of the event itself. Thus, even though there was a wide divergence of opinion among the witnesses as to the source of the shots, nobody would seriously claim that they did not see Kennedy being shot.[...][our emphasis]
As the above makes clear, a witness - any witness - can be right about certain details of an event and dead wrong about other details, without the latter errors of observation affecting the correctness of the witness's overall notion of the event he or she witnessed.

Thus, whoever tries to dismiss a witness on account of certain mistakes in the witness's testimony, rather than evaluate the testimony as a whole, is likely to be interested in getting rid of evidence inconvenient to a certain pre-conceived notion rather than finding the facts of the event in question.

When nitpicking about real or alleged inaccuracies in eyewitness testimonies does not seem sufficient to such people, they may take recourse to complementing their "plausibility" considerations with misrepresentations of the contents of such testimonies. It should become clear from the depositions quoted above that the series of "humorous" cartoons offered by our esteemed opponents in this section of their "response", regarding what "virtually all the witnesses" are supposed to have said "concerning the ventilation of Zyklon B", is a classic example of such misrepresentation. We therefore see no need to comment further on their claims, written next to drawings which we consider a brilliant demonstration of what a bunch of sick puppies - to put it plainly - our opponents' "Revisionist" gurus are.

However, before we turn to our opponent's "assessment" of the testimonies of other SS-witnesses at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, we would like to take note of this amusing source reference:
Source: Staatsanwaltschaft beim LG Frankfurt (Main), Strafsache beim Schwurgericht Frankfurt (Main) gegen Baer und Andere wegen Mordes, ref. 4 Js 444/59; vol. 3, pp. 325-494, vol. 29, pp. 6677-6903. Lanbein ommitted this in his Auschwitz book.
If - as the source reference suggests - one of our opponent's gurus was granted access to the archives of the Public Prosecutor's Office at the Frankfurt County Court to look up the files of the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, what does this tell us about the recurring "Revisionist" claims - apparently pioneered by good old Wilhelm Staeglich - that "Revisionist researchers" are barred access to archives where the "Bundesestablishment" fears they might find their "inconvenient truth"?

As to the accusation of Hermann Langbein, author of the two-volume, ca. 1,000 - page long documentation Der Auschwitz-Prozess, first edited in 1965, having purposefully "omitted" a part of Boeck's testimony, this is a rather silly finger-pointing exercise, revealing of the fantasy world full of conspiratorial (Jewish, "Leftist", "Democracy-Capitalist", whatever) scoundrels that our esteemed opponents live in. First of all because, as Langbein points out in the introduction to the second edition (1995) of his book, the sheer volume of the records of depositions at the trial in question - where the depositions of 409 witnesses were made before the court or (exceptionally) read from previous records, and the interrogation of a witness often lasted hours - would have filled many books of the size of Langbein's documentation if the author had wished to include them all. And secondly because, whereas the record of Boeck's deposition digitalized on Rudolf's website apparently comes from a pre-trial interrogation of the witness, Langbein's book only includes statements that were made during the sessions of the trial. In what concerns Boeck, we translated the following passages from pages 74 and following of Langbein's book, which contain further particulars - about the trucks used to drive the deportees to the Birkenau "bunkers" and the luxuries, such as booze, that SS-men taking part in "special actions" were entitled to - that are independently confirmed by other witnesses:
Substitute Judge Hummerich: Were you once present at a gassing action?
Boeck: Yes, it was on one evening, when I went there with the driver Hoelblinger. A transport from Holland had arrived, the inmates had to jump down from the wagons. They were better Jews, women with Persian robes were among them. They arrived in express train cars. Trucks were already standing at ready, a wooden stair in front of them, and the people climbed up. In the area where the town of Birkenau had been there was now a long peasant cottage, with four or five huge barracks next to it. Inside the people were standing on pieces of clothing piled high on the floor. Block leaders and a sergeant (Unterscharfuehrer) with a stick were there. Hoelblinger told me: "Let's go over there." There stood a signpost: To disinfections. He said: "Now they also bring the children." Then they opened the door, threw in the children and closed the door again. A terrible screaming could be heard. An SS-man climbed onto the roof. The people screamed for ten minutes. Then inmates opened the doors. It was all entangled and cramped. It came out very hot. The corpses were loaded onto ladder carts and taken to a ditch. The next were already undressing in the barracks. At that time I wasn't able to look at my wife for four weeks.
Public Prosecutor Kuegler: When were those six trucks acquired?
Boeck: That was about in the spring of 1942, when this gassing thing really started. They were heavy trucks, five to six tons. The fellows who took part in these actions had ten to twelve bottles of booze in their closet.[emphases ours]
We remember that the luxuries granted to SS-men taking part in "special actions" are also mentioned in the diary of Dr. Johann Paul Kremer, who, as we shall see, again confirmed this detail when testifying before the Frankfurt court. As to what Boeck calls "this gassing thing" ("das mit dem Vergasen") having "really started" in the spring of 1942, the witness coincides with camp commandant Rudolf Hoess, who in his above quoted memoirs wrote that
[...]In the spring of 1942 the first transports of Jews, all earmarked for extermination, arrived from Upper Silesia.[...]
In what concerns the number of trucks taking the deportees from the train to the gassing cottages, Boeck's testimony coincides with the testimony of SS-Rottenfuehrer Karl Hoelblinger at the same trial, regarding which our opponents tell us the following:
NT: This SS-man was driver of an ambulance car and claimed to have witnessed the gassing in a bunker. He observed a medic who climbed up a ladder and emptied a can of Zyklon B into the chamber.

Q: How long did the gassing last?

A: About one minute. After the gas was poured in a horrible scream was heard. One minute later everything was quiet. The SDG brought the gas in tins.
So, what is this rendering of and excerpt from Karl Hoelblinger's testimony at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial supposed to tell us?

That Hoelblinger confirmed the depositions of Boeck and Kremer, both of whom described how they drove to one of the Birkenau "bunkers" in Hoelblinger's ambulance van and witnessed a homicidal gassing there?

That his observation of the killing coincided with those of Kremer and Boeck regarding the screaming that started inside the chamber after the gas was poured in?

That his description differed from Boeck's as to how long that screaming lasted (which difference may be attributable to the fact that on the occasions described by Hoelblinger the gas killed faster than on the occasion described by Boeck, due to circumstances like e.g. the external temperature being higher, or simply to differences in the subjective perception of time by each individual)?

We don't see how any reasonable conclusion to be drawn from comparing Hoelblinger's testimony with those of other witnesses to the same or similar events could possibly help our opponents' argument. It seems to us that, like so often, they have shot themselves in the foot.

What follows is our translation of the rendering of Hoelblinger's pertinent statements on page 73 of Langbein's Der Auschwitz-Prozess:
Hoelblinger: I was in the driving service and drove the ambulance van that was meant for inmate transports.
Presiding Judge: Did you also drive at night?
Hoelblinger: Yes, when Jew transports arrived at the ramp in Birkenau. Then I had to drive the medical orderlies and the physicians to the ramp. Then we also drove on to the gas chambers. The orderlies there climbed upon a ladder, they had a gas mask on and emptied the cans. The inmates I could see while undressing; it was always quite peaceful and unsuspecting. It happened very fast.
Presiding Judge: How long did the gassing last?
Hoelblinger: About one minute. When the gas came in one heard a scream of horror. After one minute all was quiet. The gas was brought by the medical orderlies in sheet metal cans.
Presiding Judge: How were the victims taken to the gas chambers?
Hoelblinger:The Jews unable to work were taken to the gas chamber with trucks. Five or six trucks were used, which then made several trips.
Presiding Judge: Were the bunkers illuminated with vehicle search lights?
Hoelblinger: Yes.
Public Prosecutor Kuegler: Was the defendant Klehr the chief of the medical orderlies?
Hoelblinger:I don't know. We only called them the gassing dudes (Vergaserfritzen).[...]
Our opponent's next intended victim is SS-Hauptscharfuehrer Gerhard Hess.
NT: He observed dead "gassed" bodies in the morgue of Krema I. How did he know that these bodies were gassed? Said Hess: "This was in Auschwitz an open secret."

Why didn't our esteemed opponents quote the deposition of Mr. Hess, which they state to have at their disposal? Are they afraid that the wording of the testimony might be found not to coincide with the rendering thereof they are trying to sell?

We, on the other hand, have no problem with giving our readers as much information as our sources permit, so that they may judge for themselves. The brief rendering of Hess' testimony regarding the "old crematorium" in the Auschwitz main camp, on page 86 of Langbein's book, we translate as follows:
Presiding Judge: Were you in the crematorium once?
Hess: Yes, I was in the old crematorium. Once when I was walking by, the wooden door to the anteroom was opened, and I saw people moving inside. An Oberscharfuehrer [SS-sergeant first class] came and asked me if I had already been inside once, he would show me the crematorium. In a room to the right there lay gassed people, ovens could be seen, and a room with lorries leading directly to the ovens could also be seen. I went back outside immediately. That gassings went on there was an open secret in Auschwitz.
Quick to jump to the conclusions fitting their preconceived notions, our opponents seem to have a rather strange idea of what "hearsay" is and when its use in court is problematic.
hearsay rule
n. the basic rule that testimony or documents which quote persons not in court are not admissible. Because the person who supposedly knew the facts is not in court to state his/her exact words, the trier of fact cannot judge the demeanor and credibility of the alleged first-hand witness, and the other party's lawyer cannot cross-examine (ask questions of) him or her. [...]
Hess was not incriminating a particular defendant, so there was no need to ponder over the application of the above-mentioned hearsay rule in the first place. He was also not merely recalling what a third person had told him, but describing a circumstance he had personally witnessed and explaining on what basis he had drawn which conclusions about the nature and origin of what he had witnessed. Whether his explanation was sufficient to conclude on the accuracy of his conclusions about what he had seen was for the judge to evaluate, within the scope of his attributions according to the above-quoted Article 261 of the German Criminal Procedure Code.

Let us now see what our opponents made of the depositions of SS-Untersturmfuehrer Henry Storch:
NT: He saw through the open door in the morgue of a crematorium hundreds of naked dead bodies and that they were "gassed". He did not explain how he knew that they were gassed.

At another occasion he was requested to test chemically a room for rest HCN gas. He found in the room many dead people which were dressed. There was no trace of HCN.
and compare this with the rendering of what Stoch, then the first SS-pharmacist at Auschwitz, actually stated about what he had seen on occasion of the first experimental gassing at Auschwitz, on pages 71 and following of Langbein's book:
Presiding Judge: What do you know about gassings?
Storch: Once I learned about them on duty. The gassing took place in basements in the camp.
Presiding Judge:What do you know about it?
Storch: The next morning the site physician Dr. Popiersch sent for me. I should establish that there were no longer any traces of gas in the rooms.
Presiding Judge:Did the gas have an irritant agent?
Storch: This I don't know.
Presiding Judge:How, then, were you to establish whether there was still gas in the room?
Storch: Dr. Popiersch said that it was a prussic acid preparation which smelled of bitter almonds. I went into the cellar. The dead were lying on the floor. I remember individual rooms with door frames, the doors themselves were unhinged. The corpses were lying about. They were dressed, all of them in grey-brown, I think, but I cannot say what uniform it was. They were only men. There no longer was any smell. All windows were opened. My task had been accomplished. The action ran as "Secret Reich Matter" - at the time they still complied with this.
Presiding Judge: Did you notice something of the gassings on any other occasion?
Storch: In the crematorium a small pathological section had been installed. I supplied it with alcohol and phenol and had to inspect it. When I was there once the door to the corpse room stood open. I saw that gassing had been done there. Unclad corpses were lying in the room, very many of them, the room was full to bursting.
Presiding Judge: Did you notice anything on the corpses?
Storch: I didn't look at them. I went by. I am no scientist, and the sight was much too unpleasant for me. I don't like dead people.
Incidental Action Representative Ormond: About how large was the number of the gassed?
Storch: The iron doors were standing open, the dead presumably fell out. There were very many, maybe a hundred.
The above raises the question, first of all, where our opponents got their rendering of Storch's deposition from. Langbein's book it can't have been, even though they so claim.

What, now, did they make of the testimony of Dr. Johann Paul Kremer?
NT: Kremer confessed having witnessed the gassing in old farm houses which were remodelled into bunkers. They were provided with a sliding door and the gas was introduced into the building through a hatch above by an SS-man who climbed up a ladder and had a gasmask on.

Kremer gives no further details!
Why, how frightfully shocking!

Assuming Kremer gave no details beyond those he had already given in his previous depositions quoted in our Opening Statement, why should he have?

And why should the court have insisted in such details, unless - which we would like our opponents to show us - they were essential to establishing the presence of one of the defendants or a particular action of that defendant at the site of the killing?

The pertinent statements of Dr. Johann Paul Kremer at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, as rendered on page 72 of Langbein's book, our translation:
Presiding Judge: Where did the gassings take place back then?
Kremer: Old peasant houses had been converted as bunkers and outfitted with a firmly lockable sliding door. On top there was a hatch. The people were taken in unclad. They went in quite harmless, only a few resisted, these were taken aside and shot. The gas was thrown in by an SS-man detached for this purpose. He climbed upon a ladder to do this.
Presiding Judge: On previous occasions you said that screams were heard.
Kremer: Yes, that was the survival panic [Lebensangst. They kicked against the door. I was sitting in the car.
Presiding Judge: Were there special rations for those who took part in such an action?
Kremer: Yes, this was common, a little brandy and cigarettes. They were all after that. Coupons were issued for this. I also received such coupons - quite automatically.
Incidental Action Representative Ormond: You wrote in your diary that the SS-men were eager for duty at the ramp.
Kremer: But this is quite understandable from a human point of view. There was a war, and cigarettes and booze were rare. If one is addicted to cigarettes ... The coupons one collected and then one went to the canteen with the bottle.
The coincidences between the above statements of Kremer and those of Boeck, Hoelblinger and camp commandant Hoess quoted above are so obvious that we don't see the need to expressly point them out.

So we turn to our opponents' rendering and "analysis" of the statements of one of the defendants at the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, Schutzhaftlagerfuehrer Franz Hofmann
NT: Hofman confessed that he was present at a homicidal gassing:

"The Jewish commandos drove the inmates with beatings and thrashings into the gas chambers which were camouflaged as shower rooms. The commando was afterwards also gassed. It was always a big mess, and I had to pay attention that the working inmates were also gassed. Yes, and sometimes we helped pushing. But what could we do? We were ordered to do this!"

This is all what the accused Hofmann could say about "gassings" and "gas chambers". It is not much and should have challenged the court for further detail questions.

Where was the gas chamber? How large was it? How was the gas introduced? How long did the gassing last? How was the chamber ventilated? Did the "Sonderkommando" wear protective suits and/or gasmasks while dragging out the corpses?
Assuming the court did not feel "challenged" to ask such "detail questions", why should it have?

What would the answers to such questions have contributed to establishing what the trial was about in this respect - Hofmann's individual actions and guilt?

Contrary to what our opponents seem to believe, the purpose of a murder trial is not to satisfy anyone's morbid curiosity about the details of a killing mechanism, but to determine what each individual defendant did at the site of the crime.

The NT adds that
When attorney Kuegler asked for more details, Hofman answered:

"I cannot give any further information."
To which the defendant was entitled according to German law of criminal procedure. Presumably a legal counselor advised the defendant to shut up. What we wonder about is where our opponents got this statement of Hoffmann's from, for in Langbein's book - at least the edition we have at our disposal - it is not mentioned in connection with Hoffmann's account of his participation in gassings on pages 240/241, and neither is a question by Public Prosecutor Kuegler. The prosecutor is quoted on page 228 as having asked Hofmann whether a Schutzhaftlagerfuehrer - commander of the protective custody camp, Hofmann's rank and function at Auschwitz - could on his own, without the participation of a physician, carry out selections to send inmates or arriving deportees to their deaths. Hofmann replied as follows (our translation):
A Rapportfuehrer and also a Schutzhaftlagerfuehrer could not on their own carry out selections. Selections only took place under the supervision of a doctor. Afterwards those chosen were gassed.[...]
From the record of his depositions on pages 231 to 247 of Langbein's book, Hofmann - who at the time he stood on trial at Frankfurt had already been convicted at Dachau concentration camp and was later also prosecuted on account of his activity at Natzweiler concentration camp - comes across as a self-pitying whiner seeking understanding and condescension. Even our opponents seem to have noticed this, for they pointed out that
NT: According to Langbein Der Auschwitz-Prozess, Hofman allegedly said "loud and shouting" the following:
"If I have to do it again, I would say nothing. I am going through trial after trial. If I would have known then what lay before me, I would not say anything. Everywhere they scream for Hofman: this is Hofman and that is not Hofman, everyone shouts that Hofman is guilty. I don't even know what they want from me."
Unfortunately the NT forgot (?) to quote the ensuing two sentences of the record, which in our opinion contain the key to establishing the reason for Hofmann's "loud and indignant" (laut und aufbrausend) response to the Presiding Judge's remark - which our opponents also left out - about the insufficiency of what the defendant had told him so far:
[...]I almost have the feeling that always I and I alone had been the driving force. Eight procedures there have been against me, three of which have been stopped.[...]
In response to a previous question why he had done nothing to ease the lot of the inmates of the Gypsy camp (despite a ruling from Berlin to handle inmates with more care because they were a valuable labor force), Hoffman had - with visible commotion, wiping off his tears, according to Langbein - stated the following:
Yes, that's right. But what were rulings good for? Who knew Hoess, who knew Aumeier and Schwarz, knows what was going on. Those were the people who brought us here. Those you could tell nothing. What a shame that they are no longer here. This had to be said once!
So this was Hofmann's problem: not that he felt innocent let alone pressed to admit to deeds he had not committed, as our opponents are probably insinuating, but that he, a small cog in the big machine rather than the "driving force" behind all the horror, was going through the ordeal of trial after trial, instead of those who had ordered him "to do this".

Assessing the meaning of the statements they quote in the context in which they were made is too demanding for our esteemed opponents, of course. They are much too eager to jump to their spectacular conclusion, which reads as follows:
NT: The insignificance of his "confessions" as a contemporary historical source can hardly be more unambiguously emphasized.
Our opponents try to impress by bolding their nonsense, but bolded nonsense is still nonsense. For what did they show to support their claim that Hofmann's statements are insignificant or the quote marks around the word "confessions" are justified? Nothing, we would say. The image they managed to convey is that Hofmann tried to extract himself from the noose by playing down his own role and refusing to provide further details about it.

What follows is our partial translation of what the Frankfurt County Court wrote about Hofmann in their judgment:
[...] II. Findings of Fact

1. The defendant Hoffman's participation in the mass killing of Jewish people at Auschwitz (Inauguration Order Item 1)

As third Protective Custody Commander of the Main Camp and as first Protective Custody Commander of the Birkenau camp, the defendant Hofman took part in the massive killing of the so-called RSHA-Jews (see above 2. Section VII.5.; 3. Section A.II.).

He was repeatedly ordered to duty at the ramp as "duty leader". In this function he repeatedly went to the ramp for handling the RSHA transports. There he commanded and supervised the division of the Jewish people getting off the railway cars and the transportation of the people meant for gassing to the gassing rooms. He himself also went to the gas chambers on several occasions. As duty leader he there supervised the extermination action. When taking the people into the gas chamber he helped when there were stagnations, by "shoving" the people into the gassing room together with other SS-men. He furthermore watched the pouring of the Zyklon B. After conclusion of the actions he issued the coupons for additional food and luxuries to the SS-men participating therein.

It could not be established how often the defendant Hoffman was on ramp duty. It is certain, however, that he was active in the manner described of at least three RSHA transports. In each of these three cases at least 750 Jewish people were killed by gas.

The defendant Hofmann knew that the extermination actions were being carried out under observance of strictest secrecy provisions and under use of camouflage designations, and that the Jewish people were being deceived until the last about their imminent fate in the manner described above under A.II. It was also known to him - as to all other SS-men - that the Jewish people were being killed only on account of their descent. The death struggle of the victims locked in the gas chamber after the pouring in of the Zyklon B he noticed himself when he went to the gas chamber and supervised activities there.[...]

2. Regarding II.1.

The findings under no. II.1. are based on the defendant Hofmann's confession. After initial denial, the defendant admitted that as duly leader he had carried out ramp service in the manner mentioned and also driven to the gas chamber, where he carried out supervising functions and also helped to "shove" inmates into the gassing room. He himself no longer knew, however, how often he had taken part in such extermination actions. He admitted, however, that he had participated in at least three such actions. The witnesses who had seen the defendant Hofmann at such actions also could give no numbers. The court therefore could use only the minimum number stated by Hofmann himself, although it must be assumed that he was ordered to ramp duty much more often. For findings of fact cannot be based on uncertain estimates.

As during the activity of the accused not only huge transports arrived, but also smaller ones with a strength between 1,000 and 3,000 persons, the court assumed that in the three cases the transports were only 1,000 people strong. Of these the ones "able to work", who were taken into the camp, must be deducted. The resulting finding therefore is that of every transport at least 750 people were killed.

The findings about the inner part of the deeds result from the fact that the defendant Hofmann, like all other SS-members, had been informed about the secrecy provisions and furthermore experienced the whole of the extermination actions from beginning to end and saw all that happened. Like all other SS-members, he was also informed that the Jewish people were being killed only on account of their descent.[...]
The above shows that:

a) Hofmann stated a lot more about the mass exterminations by gassing he took part in and his activities related thereto than is rendered on pages 240/241 of Langbein's book;
b) Hofmann initially denied his deeds but was eventually moved to confessing them, presumably after having been confronted with eyewitnesses who saw him doing what he did;
c) The court took care to base all its conclusions only on evidence taken at the trial and never on assumptions not supported by the evidence, and where the evidence allowed for several possible conclusions, it always took the conclusion most favorable to the defendant.

On page 82, Langbein summarizes further statements of Hofmann's as follows, our translation:
Hofmannn testified that the physicians had been instructed by the commander and the labor service about how many people able to work were to be selected at the ramp. Some trains went wholly into the gas, he can report. And the Protective Custody Camp Commander should know.
On page 137, Hofmann is quoted testifying about the special rations granted to staff members doing service at the ramp, also mentioned by Boeck and Kremer.

On page 144, Hofmann is mentioned by Langbein as having made himself recognized as the SS-officer who, according to the deposition of Dr. Konrad Morgen (our translation):
[...]led me through the whole camp and also explained the death machinery to me in all its details.[...]
Yet the NT would have us believe that the statements of Hofmann about his activity at the gas chambers, which they generously translated, were
NT: [...]all what the accused Hofmann could say about "gassings" and "gas chambers".[...]
Our readers may decide for themselves what this reveals about the accuracy and reliability of our opponents' rendering and assessment of evidence.

Now to the next SS-witness our opponents make a fuss about, SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Konrad Morgen. This witness, according to the NT, had already been discredited by a grievous fallacy when testifying at the Frankfurt Trial:
NT: We remember that he testified during the IMT trial that Monowitz was the "extermination camp." In the meantime he evidently adjusted his memory to the current version, which of course did not cause the court to question the man's believability.
Or so our conspiracy-minded opponents - who are kindly invited to show us that there ever was a "current version" in historiography or criminal investigation with Monowitz as the extermination camp - would like to believe and/or have their readers believe. As becomes clear from the IMT's judgment, the parts of which relevant to this subject are transcribed under the link, the tribunal's findings about gassings at the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex were based on the depositions of camp commandant Rudolf Hoess, the record of whose testimony before the IMT on 15.04.1946 is transcribed under

Hoess stated the following:
[...]The Auschwitz camp as such was about 3 kilometers away from the town. About 20,000 acres of the surrounding country had been cleared of all former inhabitants, and the entire area could be entered only by SS men or civilian employees who had special passes. The actual compound called "Birkenau," where later on the extermination camp was constructed, was situated 2 kilometers from the Auschwitz camp.[our emphasis][...]
Which means that our opponents - once again - made royal fools out of themselves with their high-handed "current version" nonsense.

What, now, did outsider witness Dr. Konrad Morgen, a judge who during the war had investigated cases of corruption at various concentration camps, state before to IMT to make the credibility of his deposition at the Frankfurt trial, almost twenty years later, seem doubtful?

Morgen's deposition at the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, 8 August 1946 is transcribed under

from where we quote the following excerpts:
[...]THE PRESIDENT: Which is the witness talking about when he talks about extermination camps? Which are you talking about? Which do you call extermination camps?
HERR PELCKMANN: Please answer the question, Witness.
MORGEN: By extermination camps I mean those which were established exclusively for the extermination of human beings with the use of technical means, such as gas.
THE PRESIDENT: Which were they?
MORGEN: Yesterday I described the four camps of the Kriminalkommissar Wirth and referred to the Camp Auschwitz. By "Extermination Camp Auschwitz" I did not mean the concentration camp. It did not exist there. I meant a separate extermination camp near Auschwitz, called "Monowitz."[our emphasis]
HERR PELCKMANN: Then you were in Auschwitz proper?
MORGEN: Yes, I went to Auschwitz, and before I started with the investigation itself ...
THE PRESIDENT: When did you go there?
MORGEN: I cannot give the date exactly, but it must have been the end of 1943 or the beginning of 1944.
HERR PELCKMANN: The method of extermination there was probably similar to the one you described yesterday?
MORGEN: I thoroughly investigated the entire stretch of territory and studied the layout and installations. The prisoners arrived on a side track in closed transport cars and were unloaded there by Jewish prisoners. Then they were segregated into* able-bodied and disabled, and here already the methods of Hoess and Wirth differ. The separation of the disabled was done in a fairly simple way. Next to the place of the unloading there were several trucks and the doctor gave the arrivals the choice to use these trucks. He said that only sick, old persons and women with children, were allowed to use them. Thereupon these persons swarmed toward the transportation prepared for their use, and then he needed only to hold back the prisoners that he did not want to send to. destruction. These trucks drove off, but they did not drive to the Concentration Camp Auschwitz, but in another direction to the Extermination Camp Monowitz, which was a few kilometers away. This extermination camp consisted of a number of crematories which were not recognizable as such from the outside. They could have been taken for large bathing establishments, and that is what they told the prisoners. These crematories were surrounded by a barbed wire fence and were guarded from the inside by the Jewish labor details which I have already mentioned. The new arrivals were led into a large dressing room and told to take their clothing off. When this was done ... [our emphasis]
HERR PELCKMANN: Is that not what you described yesterday?
MORGEN: Of course,
8 Aug. 46
HERR PELCKMANN: What precautions were taken to keep these things absolutely secret?
MORGEN: The prisoners who marched off to the concentration camp had no inkling of where the other prisoners were taken. The Extermination Camp Monowitz lay far away from the concentration camp. It was situated on an extensive industrial site and was not recognizable as such and everywhere on the horizon there were smoking chimneys. [our emphasis] The camp itself was guarded on the outside by special troops of men from the Baltic, Estonians, Lithuanians, Latvians, and also Ukrainians. The entire technical arrangement was almost exclusively in the hands of the prisoners who were assigned for this job and they were only supervised each time by an Unterfuehrer. The actual killing was done by another Unterfuehrer who let the gas into this room. Thus the number of those who knew about *these things was extremely limited. This circle had to take a special oath...
The above-quoted excerpts from Morgen's deposition clearly show that, contrary to what our opponents would like to believe and/or have their readers believe, Morgen did not accommodate to an interrogator's suggestion when speaking of the "Extermination Camp Monowitz". The coincidence of Morgen's description of the process of selection upon arrival and transportation of those meant to die to the crematoria with the descriptions of numerous other witnesses independent thereof also shows that Morgen's description is accurate, except that he - apparently an unforgivable mistake even for an outsider witness by "Revisionist" standards, an understandable and hardly relevant error, in the context in which Morgen's deposition was made, by the standards of historiography and criminal investigation - he confounded the Monowitz and the Birkenau sections of the Auschwitz complex and thought that the mass exterminations took place in the former when actually they occurred in the latter. The fuss our opponents make about this mistake of Morgen's doesn't make a dent in the witness's essential credibility, but is again quite revealing in what concerns our opponents and their handling of evidence.

Let us now look at Dr. Morgen's oh-so-outrageous statement at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, as rendered and commented by our opponents:
NT: [...]Testified "Everything was mirror like clean in this huge crematorium. Nothing indicated, that in the night before thousands of people were gassed and cremated. Nothing was left of them, not even a particle of dust on the oven hardware."
Morgen's testimony is clearly a lie. It is clearly impossible to destroy thousands of people in one night with leaving a trace, without a particle of dust.
Oh boy. How enthusiastic our esteemed opponents are to pin the label "lie" on the statement of a witness inconvenient to their pre-conceived notions, quoted out of context!

Could it be that a propensity for untruths of their own is the reason for their seeing or suspecting lies everywhere?

Is that tendency so strong that they didn't even bother, as a judge or historian would have, to consider the possibility that Dr. Konrad Morgen might have i) been mistaken about the numbers involved, as witnesses often are, and ii) used hyperbole to more vividly transmit the impression conveyed by the relative cleanliness of the crematorium during a break in its activity following a night of body disposal?

Are we to conclude, despite the above-mentioned coincidence of Morgen's observations with those of other witnesses in other respects, that this hyperbole necessarily means he didn't see what he stated to have seen, a crematorium on the day after?

Wouldn't a lying Dr. Morgen have avoided such a simplified-hyperbolic rendering of his impressions, to make his description seem more plausible?

What follows is our translation of Dr. Morgen's description of what took him to Auschwitz and his impressions of the killing machinery he saw there, as transcribed on pages 143 and following of Langbein's book:
Dr. Morgen: The investigation against SS-men of Auschwitz concentration camp was unleashed by a field mail package. It was confiscated due to its unusually great weight and contained three lumps of gold, one the size of two fists and two smaller ones. It was high karat tooth gold, which a medical orderly on duty at Auschwitz was sending to his wife. According to my estimates this amount of gold corresponded to about 100,000 corpses, if one takes into account that not all people carry gold fillings. The incomprehensible thing was that the perpetrator had managed to put aside such amounts unnoticed. It was clear to me: I must take a look at Auschwitz.
I reported to Commandant Hoess and told him that I had to carry out an investigation. He was not very talkative and merely said that many of his SS-men did not have enough character to match the difficult task.
An SS officer (later the defendant Hofmann makes himself recognizable as having been the one [Langbein's note]) led me through the whole camp and also explained the death machinery to me in all its details. The crematoria did not make themselves greatly noticed, the ground was diagonally deepened, and an outsider could only notice that the cars disappeared in a hollow in the ground. A huge door led to the so-called undressing rooms. There were numbered places there and also clothes' keeping marks. Arrows on the wall pointed to the shower rooms. Inscriptions there were in six or seven languages. In the gigantic crematorium everything was mirror-clean. Nothing there indicated that even the night before thousands of people had been gassed and burned there. Nothing was left of them, not even a particle of dust on the oven hardware.[...]
Why didn't our opponents quote the whole of Morgen's description of what the witness called the "death machinery", as it was shown to him by the defendant Hofmann? Were they afraid that readers might notice coincidences between Morgen's description of the undressing room and the description thereof by other witnesses, like camp commandant Hoess himself? Why didn't they mention the not unimportant detail that Hofmann eventually admitted to having been the SS officer who took Dr. Morgen on a tour of the camp? Why do they allow their readers to see only what they consider oh-so-outrageously-implausible about the witness's statements, and then high-handedly dismiss the whole testimony as a "lie", instead of letting their readers look at as much of it as their source - which in this case is the same as ours, or so they tell us - permits? Why this self-serving selectiveness, this withholding of information and selective rendering of evidence, on the part of individuals who claim to be students of history out to establish historical facts?

We leave it to each of our readers to find his or her own answer to these questions.

Last but not least on our opponents' list, we have the passage of Dr. Gerhard Wiebeck's testimony and interrogation that they obviously considered most suitable to make a fuss about:
NT: Q: Were you once together with Dr. Morgen in a gas chamber?

A: Yes, Dr. Morgen took me once to a crematorium and showed me a gas chamber. A SS-Unterfuhrer asked us: "What will happen to us when the war is over?" Dr. Morgen used this during the trial against Grabner. He called this statement as tragic.


Q: Did you investigate those who were responsible for the gassings?

A.: This did not interest us at that time. These were acts outside of the jurisdiction.
Unfortunately our opponents chose to leave out some interesting parts from the rendering of Dr. Wiebeck's statements on page 337 of Langbein's book (as usual, we had to roam through the source in search of the passages our opponents, who never bothered to mention a single page number, were referring to). We thus consider it our duty to our readers to again provide our own translation, in which we will highlight the parts the NT preferred to hide behind dot marks in square brackets:
Presiding Judge: Were you in a gas chamber once with Dr. Morgen?
Dr. Wiebeck: Yes, Dr. Morgen once took me to a burning installation (Verbrennungsanlage) and showed me a gas chamber. An SS-Unterfuhrer approached us and asked: "What will happen with us when the war is over?" This case Dr. Morgen reported at the trial against Grabner. He called this statement a tragic one.
Public Prosecutor Kuegler: Did you see the undressing room there?
Dr. Wiebeck: Yes, I saw the undressing room with the clothes' hooks.
Kuegler: Did you see the burning rooms (Verbrennungsraume) for the corpses and the ovens?
Dr. Wiebeck: I saw the installation, but it was not in operation. At that time the burning was done outside. A whitish-yellow cloud hung over the whole camp, and a penetrating smell spread over the place.

Kuegler: Did you investigate the competence (Zustaendigkeit) of those who were responsible for the gassing?
Dr. Wiebeck: At that time this did not interest us. These were acts of state authority (Hoheitsakte) outside judicial control.
Why, we must ask, did our opponents leave out the passage highlighted above, especially Dr. Wiebeck's statement about the whitish-yellow cloud and the penetrating smell?

And why didn't they tell us what sinister conspiratorial conclusions we are supposed to draw from the incomplete - and not very ably translated - excerpt they dished up?

Instead of they jumped right to their audacious, bolded final conclusion of this section:
NT: To sum up it can be said that not a single accused or witness during the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, Germany could confirm believably the existence of "gas chambers" in this camp.
We don't see how the excerpts from depositions loosely thrown around by our opponents supported this conclusion, even before our exposition of what is to be thought of our opponents' lame attempts to defuse inconvenient evidence. What is furthermore amusing about the above statement is our opponents' claim to have demonstrated that "not a single accused or witness during the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, Germany" could "believably" (whatever that is supposed to mean) confirm the occurrence of mass killings in gas chambers, even though they addressed neither the depositions they referred to as a whole nor all or even the most important eyewitness depositions on which the court based its conclusions about the mass extermination procedure at Auschwitz Birkenau. Perhaps our opponents should have read the judgment - available online on the IDGR website[site no longer exists; a transcription of the judgment can be found on the THHP site – RM] under ... teil.shtml before triumphantly revealing the woeful shortcomings of their "analysis". They might have stumbled on the passages our translation of which is transcribed hereafter, and thus avoided further damage to their badly depleted credibility.
[...]IV. Assessment of Evidence
1. General Preliminary Remark about the Assessment of Evidence
When establishing the defendants' individual participation in the murders committed at Auschwitz concentration camp, be it mass murders of individual killings, the sworn court saw itself placed before extraordinarily difficult tasks. The defendants themselves only contributed very little to clarification. Insofar as they admitted to participation, they played down the same, represented it in a distorted manner or had a number of excuses at hand.
The few available documents essentially served only for clarifying general issues, but could hardly provide information about the defendants' individual guilt.
For clarifying the crimes committed by the defendants, the court therefore depended almost exclusively on witness depositions. [...] [The translation of the court's ensuing general considerations about the reliability of eyewitness testimony and the impact of temporal distance was transcribed above, translator's note.]
The defendants' attorneys again and again pointed out that the witnesses had conspired against certain defendants and agreed to unjustly incriminate them. They further claimed that the witnesses had in a non-permissible manner been influenced to make incriminating depositions against certain defendants. This the sworn court also had to keep in mind. There were no indications, however, that such conspiracies and influences had occurred. Insofar as individual witnesses made the impression that due to a certain eagerness for importance or another character feature they tended to tell fantastic tales, or that for reasons which could not be clarified they seemed to unjustly incriminate certain defendants with concrete events, the court did not use the depositions as a whole.
2. Sources and Assessment of Proof regarding the General Findings about the Handling of the so-called RSHA - transports
The general findings about the arrival and handling of RSHA transports at the old ramp and later at the new ramp of Birkenau camp, the tasks and activities of the various SS-members in charge of ramp service, the deceit of the people destined to die about their imminent fate, the details about their killing at the various gas chambers and crematoria, the build and inner outfitting of the gas chambers and crematoria, the removal of the corpses, the tasks and activities of the SS - special detachment at the four crematoria and finally the work of the Jewish special detachment, are based on the depositions of the defendants Boger, St., Dylewski, Broad, Hofmann, Kaduk, Baretzki, Dr. L., Dr. Frank, Dr. Sc., Dr. Capesius and Klehr, insofar as they could be taken at face value, and the credible testimonies of the witnesses O., Wal., Wil., N., Schl., Hu., Dr. M., To., Lei., H., Dr. Kremer, Ch. (who had all been former SS - members at Auschwitz concentration camp) as well as the credible testimonies of the witnesses Ka., Cou., Ja., van V., Vr., K. Erich, Pa., Sw., Bac., Buk., Boe., furthermore on the handwritten notes of the first camp commandant Hoess about the "final solution of the Jewish question" and the so-called Broad report.
The defendants do not dispute that countless Jewish people were brought in RSHA - transports to Auschwitz in the years 1941-1944 for extermination, that there they were subject to the described selection procedure at the ramp and, insofar as they were not selected as able to work and taken into the camp, killed in the gas chambers in the manner described. They also do not dispute that SS - members of various units participated in this. The defendants who are charged with having participated in the extermination of these RSHA - transports only dispute - as will be described in the assessment of their deeds - that they had anything to do with the killing of these Jewish people (like for instance the defendant Mulka) or took part especially in the selection of those able to work at the ramp.[...]
So, what were the sources of the court's general findings related to the mass extermination of the Jews arriving at Auschwitz on RSHA transports (as opposed to their specific findings regarding the individual actions and guilt of every individual defendant)?

The sources were:

a) The depositions of the defendants Boger(1), St.(2), Dylewski(3), Broad(4), Hofmann(5), Kaduk(6), Baretzki(7), Dr. L.(8), Dr. Frank(9), Dr. Sc.(10), Dr. Capesius(11) and Klehr(12);

b) The testimonies of the witnesses O.(13), Wal.(14), Wil.(15), N.(16), Schl.(17), Hu.(18), Dr. M.(19), To.(20), Lei.(21), H.(22), Dr. Kremer(23), Ch.(24) (who had all been former SS - members at Auschwitz concentration camp);

c) The testimonies of witnesses Ka.(25), Cou.(26), Ja.(27), van V.(28), Vr.(29), K. Erich (30), Pa.(31), Sw.(32), Bac.(33), Buk.(34), Boe.(35);

d) Furthermore on the handwritten notes of the first camp commandant Hoess about the "final solution of the Jewish question" (36) and the so-called Broad report (37).

37 elements of evidence, thereof 35 defendants or witnesses who made depositions directly before the court.

Having rather unconvincingly rambled about selected excerpts from 8 depositions of former SS-men - which, as the court expressly pointed out, were not the principal source of the court's findings - our esteemed opponents think they can high-handedly claim that "not a single accused or witness during the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, Germany could confirm believably the existence of "gas chambers" in this camp."

That's what our opponents call "Revisionist research".

That's what we call sloppy charlatanism and wishful thinking - to put it mildly.
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).
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Re: Veritas Team Second Response (8/6/04)

Post by Roberto »

D. Conspiracy Theory 101 (or "Argumentum ad Ignorantiam") - Part III of "NEGATIONIST TEAM 2nd Response 6/22/2004"

This section of our opponents' last submission was written in angry reaction to Part II of our response of 28.05.2004, DID SOMEONE SAY "CONSPIRACY"?, to be found under the link We encourage our readers to look up this section of our earlier response, so that they may judge which of our objections to the NT's articles of faith our opponents have managed to refute in the statements on which we will now comment.
NT: The Exterminationist [...]
Apparently our opponents can't kick the habit of pinning silly labels onto their adversaries. Bad for them.
NT: [...] appeal to ignorance:
Then there is the lack of evidence supporting the assertions that make up this conspiracy theory, as we shall see hereafter.
Obviously we are appealing not to ignorance, but to lack of evidence in support of our opponents' claims. Are we wrong? Do they know something we don't? Can they offer evidence?
NT: We have merely shown alternative explanations for what the Exterminationists see as a self-evident hypothesis.
Apparently not. Instead they backpedal to meekly claiming that, with the heavy-handed accusations in their previous contribution, e.g.
NT: The Allied Peace rested upon a shaky wartime coalition with Communist allies. It was necessary for the self-proclaimed "United Nations" to forever discredit the hated enemy and therefore legitimate the unhappy quid-pro-quo patchwork of Allied rule. The War Refugee Board Report came out in late-1944, beginning to skeletate the standard story.
they "have merely shown alternative explanations" for the origin of an accepted historical record.

What these "alternative explanations" amount to, other than the unsubstantiated conspiracy theories they now deny having proclaimed, remains our opponents' mystery.

The blatantly dishonest accusation of our seeing as "self-evident" what we demonstrated to be the only hypothesis that takes all evidence into account and requires no additional and unsubstantiated assumptions doesn't exactly make their stance look any better.

Our opponents' ensuing statements:
NT: We assert that these simplicities are neither logical nor probable given the unusual circumstances of the world war and the postwar period. The Holocaust is not a simple problem in either historiography or criminology.
are hollow, meaningless platitudes not even deserving a comment, while this statement:
NT: Furthermore, we have no interest in deviating far afield from the subject of this Scholarly Debate: the homicidal gas-chambers (HGCs) of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The reader should focus on that.
is rather amusing, considering the amount of hyperspace our opponents devoted in their last contribution to off-topic trash about Germany being "blackmailed", a supposed German "foreign minister" (who never held that position) being brutally threatened by the president of the World Jewish Congress, etc.

After this preliminary beating about the bush, the NT finally deign themselves to address our arguments they claimed to be responding to:
NT: The Veritas Team is quick to label us sloppy but they themselves are indeed ignorant, even of the subject matter they claim to have read better than we have.
Why? Where did we go so terribly wrong? Did we misread Lawrence's article, did he indeed write something about poison gas coming out of the shower heads instead of water?

No, none of that. Lawrence wrote the following:
[...]As we entered the camp the first place at which we stopped was obviously the reception center, and it was near here that one entered the bath house. Here Poles, Russians and in fact representatives of a total of twenty-two nationalities entered and removed their clothing, after which they bathed at seventy-two showers and disinfectants were applied.
Sometimes they went directly into the next room, which was hermetically sealed with apertures in the roof, down which the Germans threw opened cans of "Zyklon B", a poison gas consisting of prussic acid crystals, which were a light blue chalky substance. This produced death quickly. Other prisoners were kept for long periods; the average; we were told, was about six weeks.
Near the shower house were two other death chambers fitted for either Zyklon B gas or carbon monoxide. One of them was seventeen meters square and there, we were told, the Germans executed 100 to 110 persons at once. Around the floor of the room ran a steel pipe with an opening for carbon monoxide to escape at every twenty-five centimeters.
We were told that the victims always received a bath in advance of execution because the hot water opened the pores and generally improved the speed with which the poison gas took effect. There were glass-covered openings in these gas chambers so the Germans could watch the effect on their victims and determine when the time had come to remove the bodies. We saw opened and unopened cans of Zyklon gas that bore German labels.[...][emphases ours]
Our unforgivable sin, when we wrote
Nothing there about Henry Ford or poison gas coming out of the shower heads instead of water, as we can see. The NT apparently didn't bother to read its own exhibit.
was that we failed to link the term "River Rouge", which appears at the beginning of Lawrence's article, to automobile manufacturer Henry Ford and his famous assembly line, as Americans in the 1940s would have - or so our opponents claim:
NT: Lawrence makes reference to "River Rouge" in his article, which is online at RODOH here: "Nazi Mass Killing Laid Bare in Camp."

Lawrence does so in reference to the famous River Rouge assembly-line of Henry Ford. This was clear to readers of the New York Times in 1944 and should have been clear to the Veritas Team, some of whose members are Americans. We apologize for any misunderstanding and suggest that the Veritas Team indulge in a smidgeon of Google search on the term" River Rouge." Fuer1uns2gibts3heute4nur5Treblinka


"By the mid-1920's," wrote historian David L. Lewis, "the Rouge was easily the greatest industrial domain in the world" and was "without parallel in sheer mechanical efficiency."
Interesting, but where is that supposed to lead us? We presume that our opponents would like to have detected a reference to the "sheer mechanical efficiency" of the Nazi killing machine, which they think will enable them to make a big bloody fuss about that machine not having been as high tech as they postulate it "should have been". Again, they might have benefited from a more attentive reading of Lawrence's article, which starts with the following words:
I have just seen the most terrible place on the face of the earth - the German concentration camp at Maidanek, which was a veritable River Rouge for the production of death, in which it is estimated by Soviet and Polish authorities that as many as 1,500,000 persons from nearly every country in Europe were killed in the last three years.[...]
If Lawrence here transmitted the image of an assembly line of death, he obviously did so to convey not an impression of "sheer mechanical efficiency", but the sheer horror of what he had witnessed - a place were people were systematically done to death on an enormous scale like cars are manufactured in a huge factory, where murder was carried out as a normal and common task like the production of industrial goods. Horror, and not wonder at the "sheer mechanical efficiency" of the whole thing, is what the readers of the New York Times in 1944 were intended to feel and probably felt.

The NT's lecture goes on:
We also suggest that the Veritas Team indulge in some basic research on the ritual of delousing and the "totalitarian" efforts made by governments to control infectious disease in the first half of the 20th century.
This is supposed to be a satisfactory reply to our request, as legitimate as any request for backup is in a debate, that the NT
[...]provide a description of one of "the experiences of millions who actually had been deloused by wartime German authorities" (preferably one that Allied journalists and governments could have been familiar with, to give some substance to the NT's allegation that "alarm bells" should have rung), to show our audience what "suspicious" similarity there was.
Question: What do charlatans - such as our esteemed opponents - do when they cannot substantiate their claims upon request?

Answer: Feigning superior knowledge and arrogance, they send their opponents to the library.

Sorry folks, this is a debate. We are obliged to back up our statements if requested to do so, and so are you. Our above-quoted request is still standing. And we hope for you that you can offer something better than
NT: Simply put, the propagandists have confabulated assembly-line control of infectious disease with mass-murder. It is quite simple and yet sublime, as propaganda should be.

and similar blunt proclamations of your articles of faith.

Or amusingly helpless assertions like this one:
NT: Sorry, but our original analysis stands. Lawrence was spreading Soviet propaganda.
Sorry to ask, but what "analysis"?

Where have our opponents demonstrated that Lawrence's account - the details of which, as we pointed out in our last response, are largely corroborated by the subsequent research of historians and the findings of West German courts at murder trials related to that camp - was mere "Soviet propaganda"?

Is yelling "propaganda" at any evidence they don't like supposed to be an analysis?
NT: Whether he did so naively, as most Westerners of the time did,
Like the BBC and the New York Herald Tribune, right?

We suggest that our opponents re-read Part II our response of 28.05.2004, transcribed under

Maybe this time they will discover our quote of what British war correspondent Alexander Werth wrote about the skepticism of western media regarding his reports about Majdanek, and the BBC's refusal to use it.
NT: or deliberately--as in the recent revision of the propaganda journalism of the Pulitzer prize-winner Walter Duranty, who whitewashed the Ukraine Famine in the 1930s-
For those of our readers not familiar with the character, Walter Duranty was a New York Times journalist who his colleague Malcolm Muggeridge, of the Manchester Guardian, called the most dishonest journalist he had ever met. In November 1932 Duranty wrote that "there is no lack of food, nor hunger, nor anything like it" in the Soviet Union. In August of the following year, when millions of people had died, he informed the readers of the Times that "the news about famine in Russia were mere exaggeration or hostile propaganda". If anything, there was "food rationing". Duranty, who won the Pulitzer price for his "objective and independent reporting", knew very well what was going on, to the point that, in a private conversation with the British commercial attaché in Moscow, he informed him that it was "very probable" that famine had already claimed more than ten million victims.

A "Revisionist" of the Stalinist regime, so to say. Walter Duranty was to Josef Stalin what our opponents and their gurus are to Adolf Hitler. Our opponents' mention of Mr. Duranty would thus be something to laugh about, if their unsubstantiated hint that Mr. Lawrence might have been a similar disgrace to the journalistic profession didn't come close to what is known as libel.
NT: it matters little to the Negationist Team and the subject matter here of the HGCs at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Actually it matters nothing at all to the Negationist Team whether Lawrence or any other journalist really spread Soviet propaganda at all. For the depth of what they call their "analysis" shows that "Soviet propaganda" is just another of their synonyms for "inconvenient evidence we would like to get rid off".

There follows a showpiece of wishful thinking, bolded in the vain expectation of impressing suckers:
As has been shown, however, the notion of assembly-line "factories of death," i.e., the homicidal gas-chambers of the Nazis, have their origin in Allied propaganda from the 1942-1944 time period.
Contrary to their bold pretensions, our opponents have shown nothing at all.

All they did was to pick a term from a newspaper article they thought could be made to fit one of their straw-men - the supposed "notion of assembly-line "factories of death,” - and lamely try to make believe that this term, employed by a journalist to convey his sensation of horror, was the essence of "Allied propaganda from the 1942-1944 time period" and the origin "the homicidal gas chamber story".

A sorrier performance is hard to imagine, and our opponents seem to be conscious of this. For if their statement ending this section:
We trust that in the future the Veritas Team will focus their arguments more on the debate topic itself and less on the motivations and mendacity of their opponents. The easy resort to rhetoric and clichés are their own.
is not to be seen as provocative dishonesty that should be slapped around our opponents' ears, it must be considered a deliberate self-parody. We generously give our opponents the benefit of doubt in the latter sense.
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).
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Re: Veritas Team Second Response (8/6/04)

Post by Roberto »

E. Believers and Deceivers - Part IV of "NEGATIONIST TEAM 2nd Response 6/22/2004"

This display of "Revisionist" wisdom our opponents declare to be a response to Part IV, "REVISIONIST SCIENCE 1 (Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda)" of our response of 28.05.2004, posted under

Again, we encourage our readers to look up this section of our earlier response, so that they may judge which of our objections to the NT's articles of faith our opponents have managed to refute in the statements on which we will now comment.

With reference to our Introduction to the present response, we further suggest that our readers keep an eye on whether, in what they now produced, our opponents have begun to demonstrate, as we challenged them to do, that it is technically unfeasible for the gas chambers to have been constructed and used in the way that the Veritas team - and the many witnesses and experts quoted by the Veritas team - described in their Opening Statement.

We would be surprised if they had done so, of course.

We would not be surprised if, instead of even addressing the technical feasibility of mass gassing, they had just warmed up their exhaustingly silly "coulda, shoulda, woulda" considerations.

The "coulda, shoulda, woulda" - argument goes more or less like this:

"The Nazis could have employed technically more sophisticated methods for mass killing, so they should have employed them, and as they (all of them, from aircraft designers and rocket builders down to concentration camp commanders) were technically smart folks always at the highest level of applicable technology, they would have employed them if their goal had been systematic mass killing. As the procedure described by witnesses and confirmed by other evidence seems comparatively "simple" and "amateurish", all that evidence must be the product of a great big sinister conspiratorial hoax, regardless of how terrifyingly efficient those "simple" and "amateurish" killing methods, supposedly devoid of the "process engineering" that "one would expect", were in actual practice as it becomes apparent from the evidence."

Yes, dear readers. That's the kind of reasoning our opponents expect you to adhere to, believe it or not.

Let's see, then, how the NT conveys that reasoning.

We wrote:
VT: Contrary to what the NT try to make believe with their silly "heresy" and "Exterminationists" straw men, critics and opponents of "Revisionism" have no problem at all with technical arguments, which may be relevant where it is necessary to establish whether an event or procedure described by a witness was physically possible and technically feasible, and whether or to what extent the witness's description can therefore be considered accurate.

NT reply:
In spite of the studied refusal of Veritas to get the point, the facts are that the historiography and the criminology are virtually nonexistent on technical matters relating to the Homicidal Gas Chambers. Prior to Revisionist objections there was zilch. And the Holocausters have little cause to be pleased with efforts by some Exterminationists like Jean Claude Pressac to address these issues. There must be no unholy Doubt.
The dishonest accusations ("studied refusal ... to get to the point"), silly name-calling ("Exterminationists", "Holocausters") and equally silly rhetoric ("no unholy Doubt") we contemptuously ignore, for if our opponents are not able to realize the self-damaging nature of such foul mouthing, that's all the worse for them.

As to their material contentions, they are i) untrue and ii) irrelevant. Whatever "technical matters relating to the Homicidal Gas Chambers" - such as traces of the deadly poison Zyklon B on artifacts found in these chambers or the procedure for leading the people into these rooms, introducing the poison, dissipating it after the killing and extracting the bodies - are relevant to understanding the nature of these events from a historical point of view (as far as historiography is concerned) or insofar as they provide information about the identity of the killers or their individual actions and attitudes towards such actions (in what concerns criminal justice), were studied by both disciplines independently of what fuss "Revisionists" made, on hand of documentary and physical evidence, some of which was mentioned in our Opening Statement ( as well as the descriptions of these devices by numerous eyewitnesses. Why on earth should historians, criminal investigators and criminologists have been interested in whether the killing devices were the "best" the killers could have used from a technical point of view, or whether or not they revealed a zeal for technological sophistication and perfection that some members of the organizations involved are supposed to have had? Our opponents are unable to substantiate this contention of theirs, as they are unable to demonstrate any significant shortcomings in the research on the history of these devices by Jean-Claude Pressac, a former "Revisionist" who became reasonable and thus is (or was, for he recently died) a particularly painful thorn in their side.

Our opponents quote from Professor Michael Thad Allen's article "The Devil in the Details: The Gas Chambers of Birkenau, October 1941". To what avail, considering that Prof. Allen's writings are rather unfavorable to "Revisionist" nonsense and the scholar makes clear what he thinks of it?

It seems they do it just to "show" that
NT: So it would seem that Degesch technology has relevance to mass-murder after all, at least according to one Exterminationist historian.
as if we or "Exterminationists" had ever disputed the relevance of technology (under the aspect of feasibility, of course, as opposed to academic discussions about what killing method would have been the "best").

Sometimes we wonder what is more damaging to our opponent's stance, our arguments or their own.

Further examples of this are their next contentions:
NT: The "eyewitnesses" are not to be believed because their stories are improbable, ungrounded in the laws of nature and the expectations of science, and technically not merely inelegant but simply absurd.
We agree that eyewitness testimony would be problematic to the extent it contradicts the laws of nature, which we don't remember our opponents having demonstrated in a single case. We also have no problem with accepting that descriptions utterly improbable according to logic and the experience of life should make a historian or criminal investigator doubt the accuracy of a witness's account. But what exactly are the "expectations of science" supposed to be, when it comes to mass murder? Is mass murder supposed to be a normal, everyday human endeavor, regarding which a "state of the art" can be expected to have developed as in regard to, say, the manufacture of motor vehicles? And while one may well speak of technical "inelegance" or "absurdity" when it comes to productive industrial endeavors, who sets the standards of what is technically "elegant" or "sound" when it comes to killing people? Our esteemed opponents, perchance?
NT: Furthermore, this alleged scheme to exterminate the Jews was supposedly one of the top priorities of the Third Reich, if not its raison d'etre if the Exterminationist howlers are to be believed, and yet here the Nazi engineers did nothing. This cannot be a coincidence.
Their counterproductive foul mouthing aside, our opponents seem to labor under the strange conviction that mass killing requires "engineering". Which is hogwash, of course. The act of killing unarmed, helpless people is a remarkably easy one. No "engineering" whatsoever is necessary to bring it about; handguns or bush knives in the hand of dedicated killers will do the job as quickly and efficiently as poison gas in dedicated chambers. The difficult part in mass killing, which requires a sophisticated organization and recourse to technical means, is the identification of the victims and - unless the killing squads do the job at the victims' domiciles - their transportation to secluded places of murder. In the Rwandan genocide of 1994, for instance, computer technology was employed to identify and track down the members of the Hutu minority at every location in the country, while the killing was mostly done with plain machetes. Why should Nazi engineers have developed killing devices more "elegant" and less "absurd" than rifles, machine guns and engine exhaust or lethally poisonous insecticide introduced through openings in a building where people were packed together like sardines in a can?
VT: Let us first look at the "one would expect" argument in general.

According to this approach, the conclusion on whether or not a historical event occurred would depend not on how conclusive the evidence is, but on what "one would expect" to have occurred. The necessarily subjective "one", not any evidence, would thus establish what is history and what is not, and this would vary according to what any given individual "would expect".

NT: No, it is a matter of probabilities and practicalities.
As so often throughout our opponents' stance, hollow, meaningless platitudes take the place of arguments. Please explain what exactly the above one is supposed to mean, dear opponents. We don't feel like guessing what you may have wanted to tell us.
NT: As outlined in Professor Allen's The Business of Genocide (NC: 2002), the Nazi engineers were very professionally invested with their pet projects and one of these was making Auschwitz a model camp in the service of Germany in wartime. The SS technocrats worked hard to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear with the same utopian and folkish idealism that had driven them before the war, that which had gone into the planning and development of model German communities. The SS engineers were not driven by the usual motives of "the businessman's point of view" but lived and breathed a folkish anti-Capitalist idealism. It just happened that exploiting the labor of Germany's enemies during the war was their present assignment, which they took seriously, and no one can deny that they applied zeal to it.

The SS even built a costly delousing facility using a Siemens microwave oven in order to save the costs of insecticide, also used in the fumigation of buildings.
All very interesting, if accurate. But what exactly is the above supposed to contribute to the discussion at hand?
NT: It is simply not plausible to suggest that they would not have employed any engineering principles to the execution of Himmler's and Hitler's presumed orders to kill Jews with poison gas.
Assuming no "engineering principles" (whatever that is supposed to mean) were employed, why on earth would that make the evidence to mass killing in gas chambers "simply not plausible"? Did that mass killing not function to the killers' satisfaction, the way it was done? Were there any bottlenecks in the killing process that would have been removed by our opponents' fabled "engineering principles"? In other words: why should the killers have done it the "sophisticated" way when they could do it the simple way? Were they manufacturing industrial products requiring compliance with certain quality standards? Or were they just killing people?
NT: Where is all this engineering expertise that developed V-weapons and microwave ovens to sterilize clothing?
What is that supposed to mean? Are our opponents trying to argue that the SS should have dispatched their victims with guided missiles, or built giant microwave ovens to grill them in? Or are they just hanging on to their belief that killing people is as technically complex and demanding an endeavor as building military "miracle" weapons or disease-prevention through pest control?
NT: Professor Allen thinks it is there, hidden somewhere; it must be.
Does he? Where exactly, dear opponents? We didn't find anything supporting your statement in your quote from Prof. Allen's article.
NT: That anybody from the Auschwitz concentration camp administration at all executed the Final Solution without the engineering expertise of Kammler and Bischoff is laughable, and they were not amateurs besides.
What the NT consider "laughable" is about as irrelevant to the discussion at hand as the question why Kammler's and Bischoff's "engineering expertise" was not used would be, assuming that i) it would have improved the efficiency of the killing process and ii) these gentlemen were actually not involved in the design, procurement and construction of the killing and body disposal installations at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Actually they were, as is shown by documentary evidence such as Bischoff's letter to Kammler of 29 January 1943, mentioned in our Opening Statement and so far not addressed by our opponents:
[...]On 29 January 1943, the already mentioned Karl Bischoff reported the following to his superior in Berlin, SS-Brigadefuehrer (Brigadier-General) Kammler:

[...]Crematorium II has been completed but for minor details, using all available forces working day and night despite enormous difficulties and frost weather. The furnaces have been lit in the area of Head Engineer Pruefer from the executing company Topf u. Soehne, Erfurt, and work impeccably. Because of frost, it has not yet been possible to remove the formwork from the ceiling of the corpse cellar. This is of no consequence, however, as the gassing cellar (Vergasungskeller) can be used to this end.[...]

While on the surviving plans of Crematorium II the two major rooms located in the basement are referred to as "Corpse Cellar (Leichenkeller) 1" and "Corpse Cellar 2", this letter expressly mentions one "corpse cellar" and one "gassing cellar", i.e. a cellar where gassing is to take place. In a report by the mentioned Head Engineer Pruefer of the same date, on the other hand, the following is stated: "Crematorium II - This building complex had been completed but for minor details (formwork from the ceiling of Corpse Cellar 2 cannot be removed due to frost)..."

This communication, on which Bischoff's letter was obviously based, makes clear that what is called "Corpse Cellar 1" in the construction drawings is the very room Bischoff referred to as the "gassing cellar".[...]
NT: Instead we are told that non-experts, incredibly, even someone ignorant in the art of fumigation like Eichmann, worked on this problem until Hoess and Fritzsch on their own initiative had some corporals knock holes in the roof of the crematoria in order to dump in cans of insecticide already kicking about the camp
Why exactly is what "we are told" - a "Revisionist" catch-phrase as old as it is silly - supposed to be so "incredible"?

Because our opponents, in their all-encompassing wisdom, postulate - without any substantiation other than their articles of faith - that Eichmann should have and thus would have put technical whiz-kids Bischoff and Kammler in charge of the problem, who - so our opponents believe - would have come up with whatever our opponents claim would have been a state-of-the-art engineering solution rather than the simple but efficient solution found by Auschwitz camp commandant Rudolf Hoess.

Even though:

- Bischoff and Kammler did not belong to the organizational entity in charge of the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question", the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Main Security Office) but to the SS - Wirtschaftsverwaltungshauptamt, the SS Economic Administration Office, which was involved only when, as we pointed out in our Opening Statement, the construction of the Birkenau crematoria commissioned in 1943 could not be done by the camp staff itself but required the involvement of specialized companies outside the camp and thus an investment to be managed and controlled by the entity in charge of economic administration. (What our opponents apparently imagine to have been a linear process carried out by one single, hierarchically organized administrative entity with all resources at it disposal was actually a complex administrative and organizational process involving the - sometimes contrary - interests and requiring the cooperation among various administrative entities, the bringing about of which can be expected to have been a gradual bureaucratic process often calling for high-level intervention with one or the other entity.)

- Kammler and Bischoff themselves, once they were put in charge of supervising the construction of the Birkenau crematoria, improved on but did not modify in its essence the procedure first implemented by Hoess. Apparently these technical whiz-kids also didn't see the need of "engineering principles" beyond those related to the civil construction, mechanical and electrical devices required to introduce poisonous gas into a closed space, seal that space airtight and ventilate it after the killing. And our opponents' empty rhetoric fails to explain why they should have.
NT: So Krema I was converted to execute Soviet POWs with Zyklon gas.

Can the VT explain how the poison gas was removed from the morgue in Krema I, which had no windows and doors to the outside and no fan-driven exhaust system?
Who said the morgue in Krema I - which after each sporadic gassing of Soviet prisoners of war could be aired for as long as was necessary - had no air extraction system?

Are we asked to believe that French researcher Georges Wellers sucked out of his thumbs - rather than the testimonies of Kula, Broad and Jankowski - the following passage, which we translated from page 205 of Kogon/Langbein/Rueckerl et al?
[...]Soon thereafter a room belonging to the crematorium, designated as "corpse cellar", was prepared as a gas chamber. In this room the doors were made gas tight, and at the roof openings for throwing in the Zyklon B and an airing device were installed. This room was 16.8 meters long and 4.6 meters wide, thus measuring 77.28 square meters. This was the first installed gas chamber.[...]
NT: Incredibly, we are asked to believe that all the SS engineers had to do to mass-murder over a million was to put some holes in the roof of the morgue of the high-tech crematories II and III?
This would be incredible if there were reasons to assume that the very simple solution of just pouring a few spare cans of a lethal standard insecticide into a closed room through shafts ending in holes at the top of the room would not have worked or been exceedingly cumbersome rather than highly practical, neither of which our opponents have demonstrated. Are we asked to believe - and this despite conclusive evidence to the contrary - that SS engineers were not practical people favoring simple but effective solutions over sophisticated and not necessarily more effective ones, especially when war economy compelled them to watch the resources at their disposal and they also had other work than building gas chambers on their hands?
NT: Sorry, but even Henry Ford had to engineer his assembly line using basic time-and-motion studies.
If we remember correctly, Henry Ford was building automobiles, sophisticated technical products subject to strict functional and quality requirements. He was not just killing people. Not that it matters, but our opponents may entertain us with an explanation of what "basic time-and-motion studies" would have contributed to implementing the homicidal gassing procedure at Auschwitz-Birkenau, or how they could have improved it.

Put simply, Ford's goal was to build better cars faster. We're still waiting for the Negationists to explain to us how "time and motion studies", "process engineering", air recirculation, and the various other "coulda woulda shoulda" canards they go on about would have served the goal of making the victims of Auschwitz more dead.
NT: We have the process-engineering for delousing but not mass-murder--unless one believes, as Professor Allen does, that the two are synonymous.
Not that it matters, but is fighting disease through regular pest control as easy and unregulated a task as killing helpless people in huge numbers? And what exactly do our opponents mean to tell us when they claim there was no "process-engineering" behind the construction of crematorium buildings with underground undressing and gassing rooms, the latter with gas introduction shafts, gas-tight doors and air extractors, corridors, dissecting rooms and elevators to take the bodies to the cremation ovens on the upper floor? What exactly, beyond construction drawings, specifications for suppliers and other technical documents, which to a large extent survived the war and can be viewed in various archives, would our opponents like that "process-engineering" to have consisted of?
VT: Needless to say, this notion - that history is what every person is prepared to accept and believe - is the utter negation of the art and science of historiography. What "Revisionists" seek to impose, then, would replace history with a belief system built around what "one would expect" according to certain pre-conceived ideas.

NT: No, on the contrary, mythologies must be amenable to natural principles and scientific analysis to be believed, i.e., ascribed as more probable by historiographers.
The instructive imbecility of calling evidence "mythologies" aside, have our opponents demonstrated that any of the evidence we have shown is not "amenable to natural principles and scientific analysis"? Have they shown that homicidal gassing at Auschwitz-Birkenau, as described by witnesses and mentioned in contemporary documents, was not technically feasible? Have they offered anything beside a vague fuss about "engineering principles" without i) explaining why they consider such "principles" not to have been applied and ii) what their application would have contributed to making the killing more efficient?
VT: It's counter-historical nature aside, is the NT's "one would expect" approach even consistent in itself?

Would organized and systematic mass killing necessarily imply a quest for the "best" technical means of execution, with "the input from toxicologists, the fumigation manufacturers, chemists, the medical profession, and the input from an architect/engineering team consisting of all three major disciplines for the detail design/modification of the morgues"?

NT: We are talking about the systematic murder of millions with poison gas directed by the State in accordance with a program of the highest wartime priority, considered equivalent to frontline service according to historian Gerald Fleming.
Let's have a quote of what Fleming wrote, please. Not that it matters, but we're just curious whether he referred to systematic murder "with poison gas", to systematic murder independently of the method or to duty at a concentration/extermination camp in general.
NT: You're darn right it does depend on technical verisimilitude and much more!
Again, what makes our opponents think that "technical verisimilitude" implies a quest for the best solution from a technical point of view and is not satisfied with a solution that works and is effective, regardless of whether or not it corresponds to whatever "engineering principles" our opponents would have liked to see applied? And what gave them the idea that heads of state dictating or approving overall policies, including but not limited to the ones in question, would bother with the means of killing those targeted by such policies, instead of leaving such details for underlings to work out?
VT: No, it would not. It may, but it need not. The procedure and technical requirements for gassing with Zyklon B couldn't have been simpler. It only required a large room easily made gas tight with the addition of gas tight doors, a method to introduce the Zyklon B, and a means of ventilation. A killing machinery doesn't have to be the best technical solution possible. It doesn't have to be state of the art according to the technical knowledge and developments of its time. It doesn't even have to be the most intelligent of possible applications of the resources at hand. It just has to do the job, which in the case under discussion it did. As a matter of fact, efficient mass murder requires no technology, engineering or science at all. In the hands of a sufficiently high number of dedicated killers, rifles, automatic weapons, or even machetes can be just as murderous as the most sophisticated of technical killing devices, see the massacres of the Nazi Einsatzgruppen in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union during World War II or the killing fields of Rwanda in 1994, to mention but two out of many possible examples.

NT: We are not niggling over what worked better to kill numbers of people, poisonous gases from engine exhaust or insecticide. Our professor of the history of technology Allen points out that the inelegant technologies are sometimes the better solutions to specific problems; for example, a high-tech kiln installed by the SS at great capital cost at Sachsenhausen was unsuited for the low quality clay pits and the unskilled prison labor, while simpler but less elegant machines like the ring-kiln or sewing machines were much more suited to the job. This is not our point at all.
Why, are our esteemed opponents having a sudden flicker of common sense?
NT: You see, it is not particularly difficult to barbecue a hamburger on a grill; millions do it every day. But does one expect to serve millions by simply scaling up? No. As I said, the art and science of process-engineering is a complicated problem. It is not a matter of knocking holes in the roofs of basements. The Germans were quite versed in the mechanics of processing millions of people through delousing installations, some 25 million were deloused during the war, a figure mentioned by sanitation expert Gerstein in his alleged confession, only this time applying to Nazi mass-murder through poison gas. But the figure also appears in the 1944 paper by engineer Emil Wustinger (Appendix I of F.P. Berg). It is simply laughable that the Germans put no further thought into killing millions than they would have to execute a company of Soviet POWs.
If they had, it obviously didn't last long. Sorry, dear opponents, but unless you can demonstrate why exactly killing up to several thousand people a day over a period of ca. two years in the dedicated installations described by witnesses, by simply pouring pellets issuing lethal gas through shafts into a closed room full of naked and frightened people, would not have been an effective and practical means of killing hundreds of thousands of people within the period in question, your postulations are just a load of hollow humbug. Better get used to the idea.
NT: As part of the debate topic Veritas must show not ad hoc mass-murder but the systematic mass-murder of thousands.
Which requires no more than applying ad-hoc solutions, expanded and improved to the extent required by the intended scale, on a continuous basis. We suggest that our opponents cut their losses by thinking over trash like the above before they write it down.
NT: So far Veritas has shown no methodology here beyond the mythology which describes fooling the victims into thinking that they were heading into delousing showers.
And, as we're at it, we suggest that they read our Opening Statement, especially the detailed descriptions of the killing process by Hoess and Tauber in Part II, which can be read under the link

Stuff like calling evidence "mythology" they should also avoid. It only reinforces the impression that they are true believers dogmatically clinging to pre-conceived notions.

In our last response, we again quoted Hoess's description, in his autobiography, of the first gassings he witnessed/supervised, in order to make clear that it wasn't even considerations of greater efficiency which led the Nazis to implement technical methods in alternative to mass shooting as the means to carrying out the genocide. The key statement of Hoess in this respect is the following:
[...]The killing of Russian prisoners-of-war did not cause me much concern at the time. The order had been given, and I had to carry it out. I must even admit that this gassing set my mind at rest, for the mass extermination of the Jews was to start soon and at that time neither Eichmann nor I was certain how these mass killings were to be carried out. It would be by gas, but we did not know which gas or how it was to be used. Now we had the gas, and we had established a procedure. I always shuddered at the prospect of carrying out exterminations by shooting, when I thought of the vast numbers concerned, and of the women and children. The shooting of hostages, and the group executions ordered by the Reichsfuehrer SS or by the Reich Security Head Office had been enough for me. I was therefore relieved to think that we were to be spared all these blood baths, and that the victims too would be spared suffering until their last moment came. It was precisely this which had caused me the greatest concern when I had heard Eichmann's description of Jews being mown down by the Special Squads armed with machine-guns and machine pistols. Many gruesome scenes are said to have taken place, people running away after being shot, the finishing off of the wounded and particularly of the women and children. Many members of the Einsatzkommandos, unable to endure wading through blood any longer, had committed suicide. Some had even gone mad. Most of the members of these Kommandos had to rely on alcohol when carrying out their horrible work. According to Hoefle's description, the men employed at Globocnik's extermination centers consumed amazing quantities of alcohol. [...][emphasis ours][...]
The statement of Hoess on the considerations leading to poison gas being adopted as an alternative to the - certainly no less effective - practice of mass shooting is confirmed by other evidence independent of Hoess, which our opponents are as unable to explain away as they are unable to explain away what Hoess voluntarily wrote in his autobiography. Yet our omniscient opponents think they can nevertheless claim that
NT: The story is not believable from the standpoint of state-policy.
Oh boy, this is so silly that it hurts. What do our opponents know of state policy in general and Nazi state policy in particular? What evidence do they have to substantiate their ideas of what Nazi state policy should have (and accordingly would have) consisted of?
NT: Hoess claims (above) that doctors told him such and such about types of gases. But the methods discussed as though they were gossip are amazingly amateurish.
Was the use for mass killing of your standard insecticide, which you needed to have a permanent stock of anyway, an "amateurish" solution? If so, it was a rather clever one, reminiscent of the saying "Professionals are predictable. It's the amateurs that are dangerous."
NT: Any engineer could have told one that the Monowitz chemical plant a few miles away produced tons of carbon monoxide; and the notion that CO poison, the silent killer, in fact the greatest killer of any kind of poisoning even today, is any less &quot;humane" or ruthless than hydrogen cyanide is merely sophistry. The victims were not exposed immediately to high concentrations that would cause instant unconsciousness anyway but merely had insecticide poured into a crowded room--where it took time to release its active ingredient, hydrogen cyanide.
Who said anything about carbon monoxide being more or less "humane" or ruthless than hydrogen cyanide? Perhaps our opponents, fond as they are of sophisticated technical solutions, can explain to us by what means and devices the carbon monoxide from the Monowitz chemical plant would have been led into the gas chambers of Birkenau, and why that would have been a more effective, less cumbersome and less expensive procedure than using a product that was on stock at the camp anyway.
NT: This valuable insecticide cost the SS great sums of money and was in demand by all the armed forces and even neighboring countries such as Norway for pest control. As noted by Doctor of Chemistry William Lindsey in his paper on the Tesch Zyklon B trial, for every kilogram of hydrogen cyanide produced, the active ingredient of Zyklon B, the Germans gave up several kilograms of other chemicals forming the raw materials for synthetic rubber production. It took 1 kilogram of Zyklon to fumigate 200 uniforms once.
All very interesting, if accurate. But with such great quantities of this oh-so-expensive product (how about showing us a table indicating the cost per unit of the product to the Auschwitz camp administration in comparison to other alternatives, dear opponents?) in use everywhere, there is no reason to assume that the SS administration of Auschwitz would not have benefited from the quantity discounts a supplier grants to regular buyers of huge quantities, when acquiring whatever amounts of Zyklon B they needed for homicidal gassing in addition to those they needed to have on stock anyway for regular delousing. This should have made Zyklon B for homicidal gassing comparatively cheap, especially when it was supplied without the warning irritant used in delousing to prevent accidental intoxication by the lethal gas that has no indicative irritant effect itself. So why on earth try something new, requiring a specific manufacture or procurement process?
NT: Carbon monoxide was, however, cheap and available to the SS engineers at Auschwitz.
Was that so, dear opponents? Then let us see evidence supporting your claim, please. For what our sources (e.g. Josef Bailer, Die "Revisionisten" und die Chemie, in: Bailer-Galanda /Benz / Neugebauer, Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996) tell us is that pure carbon monoxide in pressured gas bottles - which we presume to be the solution our opponents have in mind, unless they are thinking of something like connecting the chimneys of the Monowitz plant to the Birkenau gas chambers - has hardly an industrial application and thus (unlike Zyklon B) was difficult to obtain and very expensive. This was probably the reason why this method, initially applied in homicidal gas vans, was abandoned in favor of leading the van's own exhaust into the van's cargo room full of people to be gassed.

If, on the other hand, our opponents were not thinking of a solution modeled on killing methods applied before, but fantasizing about one involving the production of carbon monoxide on the spot from woodchips or coal with gas-generators, they are invited to demonstrate, on hands of facts and figures, why this would have been a solution more cost-efficient, practical and safe for the users (the latter despite the fact that, as one of their gurus pointed out in an article quoted under ... -available producer-gas carried apparently carried a considerable risk of the killers poisoning themselves or blowing themselves up). If they should manage such demonstration, they will still not have answered the elementary question why any poison-producing process requiring additional arrangements, however more compatible with the supposed methods of "a competent engineer", should have been procured when an ideal substance was at hand already, the lethal standard insecticide of which a stock always had to be available all the time anyway. Let alone invalidated the conclusive evidence that, whatever our opponents believe "a competent engineer" would have done differently, mass killing at Auschwitz-Birkenau was performed by a method as simple as it was efficient, by gassing with Zyklon B.
NT: Trains full of passengers marked for death could have been wheeled into fumigation barns, gassed with CO, and then driven to any location for disposal.
Boy, how spectacularly practical, especially the ensuing process of opening railway car after railway car and dragging the bodies out of the fumigation barn to wherever they would have been incinerated, undressing them (damn that rigor mortis!) then cleaning the cars of blood and excrement before sending the train out again to fetch the next batch, while somebody launders the severely soiled clothes.

And we thought that our opponents expected their "engineering principles" or "process engineering" to make mass killing and looting more effective...

Not to mention the cost. If applying that process (carbon monoxide gas out of a bottle) in homicidal gas vans was already considered too expensive, go figure what our opponents' "process engineers" from the WVHA would have said about doing it with a train, which would presumably have required as many bottles of CO as the train had cars.

Oh, we've almost forgot: it would be hard to make a selection in such circumstances. No selections, no labor force, which Nazis sorely needed. Oops!
NT: The delousing and cremation installations at Birkenau would not have been up to the task and the SS engineers and administrators would have known this.
Yep, that's why they did the gassing first in the converted farmhouses known as the Birkenau "bunkers" and then in the gas chambers of the four Birkenau crematoria commissioned in 1943. Didn't you read our Opening Statement, dear opponents?
NT: Eichmann, who was involved in the deportations, certainly had heard of railway delousing protocols.
And what exactly should he have made of it? Please correct us if we're wrong (with evidence, of course), but wasn't railway delousing done with Zyklon B?

Our opponents insist that:
NT: Zyklon B would have been well-suited for mass-murder--albeit not the cheapest gas, which would be CO generated on-site or in the course of the chemical industry nearby-
This is wrong, see above.
NT: but the SS engineers certainly would have engineered according to the proven methods of the fumigation technology at their disposal.
Not that it matters, but how exactly would they have done that? And what improvements would "the proven methods of the fumigation technology at their disposal" have represented, in terms of efficacy, in relation to the method that was actually applied?
NT: They would not have dismissed such an important problem to "corporals with chisels" or any other laymen.
Not that we consider our opponents "would not have" - crap to have any relevance, but who said that the SS put "corporals with chisels" in charge of "such an important problem"? The Birkenau crematoria with their gas chambers were built by specialized construction companies contracted by the SS-Bauleitung, if we remember correctly.
NT: And that is exactly what we are asked to believe has happened and is readily confirmed by studying the crematoria blueprints, as we shall expound upon again later.
We are curious to see how our opponents will show us that Huta, DAW and other specialized contractors who erected and supplied equipment for the Birkenau crematoria were a bunch of "corporals with chisels".

In response to our opponents' conclusion:
NT: Contrary to the opinion of some Revisionists, Zyklon B is in fact well-suited to homicide, but not if extrapolated on an ad hoc basis to an assembly line of mass-murder without the engineering stipulations that the Negationist Team and the Revisionists have pointed out.
we must again ask: why not?

What have our opponents shown to substantiate their claim that the mass killing of hundreds of thousands of people in gas chambers would have required anything more than the application of an expanded and improved ad-hoc solution on a continuous basis?


They have just bored the hell out of us - and presumably our audience as well - by throwing around their blah-blah about "engineering principles" (for mass killing, remember!) ad nauseam.
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).
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Joined: 28 Aug 2012, 14:45

Re: Veritas Team Second Response (8/6/04)

Post by Roberto »

F. "The Ventilation System of Kremas II and III" - Part V of "NEGATIONIST TEAM 2nd Response 6/22/2004"

"Revisionist" pseudo-science for everyone, fun for the whole family. We'll try to address it as dryly as our opponents' straw-men permit - which unfortunately is not easy, considering the emotional finger-pointing rhetoric they decorate their falsities with. Here we go:
NT: One of best examples of falsification, manipulation and "holocaust science" given by VT is available in this curious statement, which in itself proves the mental confusion of the pompous "Veritas" (sic!) state of mind:
What is this heavy-handed accusation of "falsification, manipulation and 'holocaust science'" based on?

First of all, we would like to address the way our opponents take issue with the following statement in our response of 28.05.2004:
VT: Certainly not any powerful extraction system"? The Negationists simply declare this to be so, and, offering no explanation as to why this would have been inadequate, expect us to take their expertise on the ventilation of gas chambers on faith. But an aeration/deaeration system with a throughput of 8000 m3/hr for a room with a volume of about 500 m3 means that all of the air in L-keller 1 could be circulated by this air extraction system within 4 minutes. According to the witnesses already cited, the SS ran the ventilation system for about 20 minutes before opening the doors to begin extracting the bodies. In other words, all of the air in the room would have been exchanged already five times.
Our opponents eagerly jumped on this statement, yelling that
NT: It seems to us that our Veritas Team "engineers" don't have the foggiest idea what "air exchanges per hour" means. Their thinking is: at 16 exchanges per hour it takes 60 minutes/16 = 4 minutes to clear the room of the lethal gas.

Now, that's Hilarious!

As chemist Germar Rudolf explains,
All data and propositions given are erroneous and the purest of manipulations by the VT.[emphasis NT]
Not surprisingly, our opponents' derisive laughter and indignant accusations address not a statement we actually made, but what they self-servingly read into a statement of ours.

Did we write that at an average of 16 exchanges per hour all of the air in L-keller 1 could be circulated by this air extraction system within 4 minutes?

Yes, we did.

Did we write that this means that the room could be completely cleared of lethal gas within 4 minutes, as our opponents would like us to have done?

No, this we did not mean to say, as our opponents would have discovered if they had bothered to read just a little further, to the following excerpt from Dr. Richard Green's article Chemistry is not the Science, online under ... e-science/, which we hereafter quote again with the same highlights we made in our response of 28.05.2004:

The Sonderkommando were slave laborers: to their SS slavemasters they were expendable. The SS certainly did not have to obey OSHA regulations. They would not be averse to exposing the Sonderkommando to concentrations of approximately 40 ppmv ("slight symptoms after several hours"). Even if the full concentration of 4500 to 18,100 ppmv had released from the Zyklon into the gas chambers, it would only be necessary to reduce that concentration by a factor of 100-500 times to reach this tolerable level.

It is not the case that the full concentration of Zyklon was present. At the largest Auschwitz crematoria (II and III), the Zyklon was removed after a lethal quantity of gas was given off, using the same devices which inserted it. At these buildings, where the large majority of gassings took place, essentially any absolute rate of outgassing could be achieved, at any temperature and humidity, by pouring in sufficient Zyklon. Once the victims were dead, the remaining carrier material could be lifted out by SS men wearing gas masks, to continue outgassing harmlessly into the open air until spent.

Inspection of Irmscher's paper shows (assuming the Erco carrier) that the concentration that would be present after 30 minutes, for example, would have been 20 to 40% of the total, i.e., 900-7200 ppmv. So it was only necessary to reduce the concentration in the gas chambers by a factor of 20-200 times in order for the Sonderkommando to enter even without gas masks. The remainder of the Zyklon could outgas safely in the outside atmosphere - without, needless to say, "poisoning the entire camp."

The gas chambers were 30 m long by 7 m wide: 210 sq m. They were 2.4 m high, for a volume of 504 cu m. [39] Those same chambers had a ventilation system with both intake and exhaust fans, capable of cycling 8000 cu m through the room each hour. [40] This is commonly referred to as 8000 / 504 = 15.8 "air exchanges per hour."

Note that the Holocaust-denier Carlo Mattogno has misrepresented these figures in his essay, "Auschwitz: The End of a Legend." [41]

It is impossible, of course, to get an exact figure for how long it actually took to clear the air in the gas chamber. But we can obtain approximations through mathematical modeling. The equation used is a simple one: the concentration in the gas chamber is cut to 1/e, or about 37%, for each room replacement of air. Where C(t) is the concentration of HCN at time t in hours,

C(t) = C(0) (1/e)15.8t

This equation supposes that the fresh air mixes with the air in the chamber immediately and completely. In reality it does not do so. Ventilation systems are designed to have an air flow such that the expelled air has a higher concentration of poison, so this equation might seem conservative. In addition, the victims' corpses take up space which has not been figured into any of the below calculations; this would reduce the volume and increase the replacement rate, again indicating that this figure is conservative. But blockages caused by the same corpses, and the possibility of laminar airflow, might work in the other direction. All in all, this estimate will suffice.

Using this equation, if C(0) = 900 ppmv, the concentration is less than 20 ppmv after just 15 minutes.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists produces an Industrial Hygiene Calculator program for the Windows operating system. [42] When the size and ventilation rates of the gas chamber are converted to cubic feet and minutes, it returns identical results to the above equation.

It should also be pointed out that, halfway through their period of use, the size of these gas chambers was cut in half: [43]

Leichenkeller I proved in the end to be too large for a gas chamber. At the end of 1943, in order to "regularize" the operation of crematoria II and III, the camp administration divided their gas chambers in two, allowing no more than 100 sq m for the killing of 1,000 new arrivals (unfit for work) in 24 hours.

If one makes the logical assumption that the intake and exhaust vents were also blocked off in the unused portion of the gas chambers, this modification doubled the ventilation rate of the remaining portion. However, we will continue to use the figures from 1943; if a gassing from 1944 is referenced, ventilation times would be cut in half.

We return to the question of how long it would take to ventilate the gas chamber from the level used in killing to a level which the Sonderkommando could safely tolerate without a gas mask. We have seen that this took place in less than 15 minutes from an initial concentration of 900 ppmv.

If the initial concentration were more than seven times higher (7200 ppmv), owing to the nature of exponential math, the same concentration of under 20 ppmv would be reached in less than 23 minutes. Even if the residual Zyklon had not been removed and the chambers had the full concentration of 18,100 ppmv, the concentration would be less than 20 ppmv in 26 minutes.

In fact, since OSHA guidelines (above) give specifications not for maximum exposure but for mean exposure over fifteen minutes, we can use these values to understand what the Sonderkommando would experience. In the graph below, an initial concentration of 900 ppmv is assumed for the solid lines. The concentration is plotted in red. In blue is plotted the mean exposure over fifteen minutes for someone entering the gas chamber at the specified time. The dashed lines show the same information assuming an initial concentration of 7,200 ppmv: [44]


After ten minutes, in the former case, the ambient concentration was about 65 ppmv, and someone who entered the room at that point would receive a mean exposure to HCN, from t=10 minutes to t=25 minutes, of about 17 ppmv. Recall that 20 ppmv is the low end of Du Pont's symptom category: "slight symptoms after several hours."

It is thus safe to say that, with these assumptions, the Sonderkommando could enter the gas chamber ten minutes after ventilation began, wearing no gas masks, and experience no significant effects from the HCN.

If we instead assume the highest estimated initial concentration of 7,200 ppmv, the dashed lines would apply. Thus, the Sonderkommando could enter after eighteen minutes with no serious effects.

This conservative estimate fits with Pressac's conclusion that the doors were typically opened after twenty minutes of ventilation.
[....][emphases ours][...]
It becomes clear from our above quote of Dr. Green's considerations and calculations, which are everything other than the inappropriately linear arithmetic our opponents accuse us of, that we never claimed that the gas chamber could be ventilated completely free of gas within 4 minutes. Our statement regarding the time after which the Sonderkommando folks could enter the gas chamber without being seriously affected by the gas is 10 to 18 minutes, well within the range of the twenty minutes of ventilation after gassing reported by witnesses and concluded on by Pressac.

So what did our opponents achieve by hysterically accusing us of "the purest of manipulations"?

They exposed their own intellectual dishonesty and dealt themselves yet another royal shot in the foot.

Now to our opponents' contention preceding the one commented on above:
NT: The VT claims "the enhancements made to the designs of the ventilation system of L-keller 1 in the spring of 1942" as one of their 100+ "proofs" of the existence of homicidal gas chambers in Birkenau.

From where the data provided by the VT has been taken isn't clear. No references to German contemporaneous documents or secondary sources are indicated: only vague statements for an initial construction plan "for deaeration of L-keller 1" of Krematorium II and Krematorium III, allegedly modified "in the spring of 1942 within weeks of the periods in which historians of Auschwitz generally agree the decision was made to use Birkenau as a site of mass murder" to support this claim.
In fact we wrote, at the end of our response of 28.05.2004, that the enhancements made to the designs of the ventilation system of L-keller 1 in the spring of 1942 constituted one (# 106) of the 109 exhibits of evidence on which our arguments are based. Which means that, if our opponents manage to demonstrate that these enhancements did not take place, or that they were not or not necessarily implemented having homicidal gassing in mind, they have tackled one of our 109 elements of evidence and be able to proudly yell: "1 done, 108 to go".

While undertaking to do this, using French researcher Jean Claude Pressac as their authority, our opponents rather incomprehensibly take issue with our assertion that Leichenkeller 1 of both crematoria was the only room in the building with both an aeration system (blowing ventilator) and a de-aeration system, even though their own sources confirms our assertion already in regard to "the initial planned system of Krematorium II":
NT: (cf. Les Crematoires d'Auschwitz, CNRS Editions, Paris, p.30 and n.13: ACM [=TCDIK] 502-1-327 letter from Topf firm dated 4 November 1941).

- A blowing ventilator (No. 450) for the B-Keller ( volume of 483 m3: the future Leichenkeller 1) with a capacity of 4,800 cu m/h;

- An aspirating ventilator (drawing air out) (No. 450) for the B-Keller (483m3); with a capacity of 4,800 cu m/h;

- An aspirating ventilator (No. 550) for the L-Keller (966m3: the future Leichenkeller 2) with a capacity of 10,000 cu m/h;

- An aspirating ventilator (No. 550) for the oven room (1.031m3) with a capacity of 10,000 cu m/h;

- An aspirating ventilator (No. 375) with a capacity of 3,000 (300m3) cu /h for the autopsy room.

Therefore, given the volume of the respective rooms, it is possible to calculate the number of air exchanges per hour estimated:

4,800 : 483 = 9.93 exchanges for the B-Keller;
10,000 : 966 = 10.35 exchanges for the L-Keller;
10,000 : 1,031 = 9.69 exchanges for the oven room;
3,000 : 300 = 10 exchanges for the autopsy room.

Continuing from Pressac:

Schultze [Topf engineer] assigned an hourly extraction capacity of 10 cubic meters for each cubic meter in each room to be ventilated. To achieve this, he proposed for the 483 cubic meter B. Keller, which was to be both aerated and deaerated, a double system run by two 2-hp blowers, which could bring 4,800 cubic meters of fresh air into the room each hour and extract 4,000 cubic meters from the room.

Jean-Claude Pressac, with Robert-Jan Van Pelt. "The Machinery of Mass Murder at Auschwitz," in Gutman-Berenbaum Anatomy of Auschwitz Death Camp. (Indianapolis: 1994), p. 201.[...][emphases ours]
So, where did we go wrong when stating that only the "B-Keller", the later "Leichenkeller 1" aka homicidal gas chamber, differed from the other rooms in the building in that it had both an aeration system (blowing ventilator) and a de-aeration system (aspirating ventilator)? What is supposed to be so "ridiculous" about this statement?

If we should have misunderstood our opponents and their issue should only have been that we placed the commencement of planning for a de-aeration + aeration system in LK 1 in the spring of 1942 - i.e. at the time when, as we shall see below, the manufacturers proposed an increase of the capacity of the ventilation systems - rather than in November 1941, then we in turn must take issue with their having expressed themselves in a misleadingly unclear manner, by calling "ridiculous" our accurate description of the process, and of having made a misleadingly big fuss out of what can at most be considered an error regarding a secondary chronological detail.

Our opponents' essential argument regarding ventilation seems to be that Pressac's data on the capacity of the crematoria's ventilators, as increased in April 1942:
[...]Pumping ventilator for the B-Keller: 8,000 m3/h (=16.56 air exchanges per hour); aspirating ventilator for the B-Keller: 8,000 m3/h (= 16.56 air exchanges per hour); aspirating ventilator for the L-Keller: 13,000 m3/h (=13.45 air exchanges per hour); aspirating ventilator for the oven room: 12,000 m3/h (= 11.64 air exchanges per hour); aspirating ventilator for the autopsy room: 4,000 m3/h (= 13.33 air exchanges per hour).[...]
not certified by any document, so it is only a speculative assertion, without any technical basis and dismissed-as will be shown below-by documentary evidence.
The first part of the assertion we have a problem with, because nowhere in their submission our opponents explain why Pressac's data, which he derived from the D59366 Topf plan of 10 March 1942, should be considered "erroneous", as our opponents claim them to be. On page 69 of our Portuguese translation of Pressac's Les Crematoires d'Auschwitz. Le Machinerie du Meurt de Masse, Paris 1993, Pressac writes the following about the plans and offers for the enhancement of the Birkenau crematoria's ventilation capacity in the spring of 1942 (our translation):
[...]Around the middle of March [1942], the Central Construction Office (Zentralbauleitung = ZBL] received a new plan from Topf, of the ventilations of the future crematorium, prepared on 10 March and still based on the first studies by Dejaco. Schultze had clearly increased the power of the electrical motors, of both airing and air extraction, but without changing the type of turbines. The new power values were the following (figs. 26, 27 and 28:

- airing of the B. Keller [=Beluefteter Keller] (aired cellar): 3.5 hp supplying 8,000 m3/h (instead of 4,800 m3/h);
- air extraction of the B. Keller (aired cellar): 3.5 hp aspirating 8,000 m3/h (instead of 4,800 m3/h);
- air extraction of the L. Keller [=Leichenkeller] (corpse cellar): 7.5 hp aspirating ca. 13,000 m3/h (instead of 10,000 m3/h);
- air extraction of the O. Raum [=Ofenraum] (furnace foom): 4.5 hp aspirating ca. 12.000 m3/h (instead of 10,000 m3/h);
- air extraction of the S.Raum [=Sezierraum] (autopsy room) W.Raum [=Waschraum] (washing room) and A.Raum [=Aufbahrungsraum] (exposure room): 1.5 hp aspirating ca. 4,000 m3/h (instead of 3,000 m3/h)

On 2 April, the Central Construction Office accepted the new power values, but requested Topf to adapt his plan to those recently drawn for the 900 series and to substitute the ventilation ducts in metal sheet by masonry chimneys. [Footnote: Moscow Central Archives, 502-1-312, Bauleitung letter of 2 April 1942, and Auschwitz State Museum, BW 11/1, page 12]. For Topf, the B.Keller became L.Keller 1 and the L.Keller the L.Keller 2. The Topf plan, modified in accordance with the ZBL's desiderata, was sent on 8 May 1942.[Footnote: Moscow Central Archives, 502-1-313, Versandanzeige (dispatch note) by Topf of 16 April 1942.[...]
No documentary certification of the date provided by Pressac? Our opponents must be kidding. No technical basis? Even if there is no document expressly mentioning the airing/extraction capacity of the new ventilation devices in m3/h, Pressac certainly didn't suck the figures out of his thumb, but calculated them on the basis of turbine diameter and motor output. The turbines for the "B.Keller" airing and extraction devices according to Topf's earlier offer of 4 November 1941 had been no. 450 turbines with a 2 hp electrical motor. The turbine number, as Pressac explains when mentioning this earlier offer, defines the diameter in milimeters of the duct of incoming air that the turbine can receive; thus a no. 450 turbine was linked to a tube with a diameter of 450 mm or 45 cm. The amount of air the turbine could blow in depended on the power output of the motor. If a no. 450 turbine with a 2 hp motor had an airing or extraction capacity of 4,800 m3/hour, then it is not unreasonable to assume that a no. 450 turbine with a 3.5 hp motor could blow in or extract about 8,000 cubic meters in one hour. That these data - no. 450 turbine, 3.5 hp motor - corresponded to the ventillation system offered by Topf in March 1942 Pressac derived from the Topf drawings of 10 March 1942; in figure 26 on page 70 of the Portuguese - language edition, for instance, you read the following data of the ventilation device: "Geblaese Nr. 450, N = 3,5 PS" ("blowing turbine no. 450, nominal output = 3.5 hp).

So, were these larger airing/extraction devices eventually installed in "L. Keller 1" ("Corpse Cellar 1", the later homicidal gas chamber both Birkenau crematoria II and III? Or did the SS in the end install the smaller devices originally offered, as is suggested by the Topf invoice our opponents make so much of?

Regarding this invoice - Topf invoice No. 729 dated 27 May (not March) 1943, mentioning a ventilator with a capacity of 4,800 m3/h for the B-Raum - we cannot quite understand our opponents' puerile euphoria when they spout that
NT: Consequently, for the supposed homicidal gas chamber, the SS had foreseen 4,800: 506 = 9.48 air exchanges per hour, while the supposed changing room 10,000: 902.7 = 11 air exchanges per hour.

The exactness of these data is also acknowledged by two "heroes" of the VT: Dr. Richard J. Green and Prof. John C. Zimmerman:

Dr. R.J. Green, "Report of Richard Green, Ph.D. submitted in Irving/Lipstadt/Penguin Books appeal," p.7. ... affweb.pdf
Take it easy, folks. Don't make a big deal out what neither of our fellow researchers, Dr. Green and Prof. Zimmerman, make a big deal of. In his a.m. report - which, as it seems, caused David Irving to withdraw Germar Rudolf's affidavit as evidence at before the Court of Appeal at the Irving-Lipstadt trial, - Dr. Green wrote the following:
[...]Rudolf quotes Mr. Justice Gray's judgement:
7.62 The drawings further provide for the ventilation of the supposed gas chamber in crematorium 2. Van Pelt infers that the purpose of the system for extracting was to extract poisonous air and so speed up removal of the corpses to the incinerators.
Rudolf criticizes this statement as follows:
The performance of the ventilation systems of the Crematoria II and III reveals that morgue 1, the alleged 'gas chamber', was never intended to be used as a homicidal 'gas chamber': [emphasis Rudolf's]
Rudolf attempts to support this startling claim with three arguments, all of which fail to support his assertion or undermine van Pelt's inference. I address each in turn.
1. All morgues in Birkenau had ventilation systems with some ten air exchanges per hour, which was to be expected, as it this [sic] was required by the German war-time law for underground morgues (5-10 air exchanges per hour). [Rudolf's footnote 22]
In support of this assertion, Rudolf cites sources identified by Holocaust denier Carlo Mattogno. Mattogno's research was published in 1994. As Rudolf has not provided his sources, I cannot comment on the historical accuracy of the claim itself. I point out, however, that even if true, this assertion does not demonstrate that the gas chamber was "never intended to be used as a homicidal" gas chamber. The fact that there are non-sinister uses of ventilation systems does not demonstrate that this one was not intended for sinister purposes. There is nothing inherently sinister about a ventilation system on a morgue that can accomplish 5-10 air exchanges an hour. That may well be the case, but the fact that there are conceivable non-criminal uses of a ventilation system does not reveal lack of intent as Rudolf claims. Robert Jan van Pelt has pointed to other evidence such as the existence of a peephole, the use of the term "undressing room" etc. that when considered together do indeed reveal intent.
Rudolf continues:
2. A comparison between the performance of the alleged 'gas chamber' and that of the alleged victim's undressing room reveals that there is nothing sinister about the ventilation of morgue 1 ('gas chamber'), as its performance is even lower than that of the undressing room:
morgue 1 ('gas chamber'): 9.94 exchanges per hour
morgue 2 ('undressing cellar'): 10.35 exchanges per hour
Again, this claim does not reveal lack of intent to use morgue 1 as a gas chamber. It does, however, point to the possibility of other intents, for example using the rooms as morgues at times, or using morgue 2 as a gas chamber. Even according to Rudolf the two morgues had nearly equal ventilation capacities. It is not surprising that they should not be exactly equal as the rooms were different sizes. Morgue 1 was 30 m long by 7 m wide: 210 sq m. It was 2.4 m high, for a volume of 504 cu m. According to Pressac those same chambers had a ventilation system with both intake and exhaust fans, capable of cycling 8000 cu m through the room each hour. This is commonly referred to as 8000 / 504 = 15.8 air exchanges per hour. Holocaust-denier Carlo Mattogno claims in his essay, "Auschwitz: The End of a Legend" that the ventilation capacity is 4,800 / 506 = 9.48 air exchanges per hour based upon what the SS planned to use originally. Pressac claims that although the SS planned for only 4,800 cu m/hour, they eventually installed ventilation capable of 8000 cu m/hour. John Zimmerman has recently researched, 502-1-327, a Topf bill dated May 27, 1943, which may refer to crematorium II (however, the first page in his copy is missing so he cannot yet be sure); it may indicate that the 4800 cu m/hour figure is correct.[...][emphases ours]
So, who is right, Pressac or Mattogno? Contrary to what our opponents would like to believe, Dr. Green did not make a definite statement in either direction. His caution in jumping to conclusions is quite appropriate, for while Topf invoice no. 729 of 27.05.1943 (as well as another invoice scanned in on Germar Rudolf's website, no. 171 of 22.02.1943) clearly mention a device with a 4,800 m3/h capacity, they contain no information on what building the device belonged to. Even more so, there is conclusive documentary evidence that the ventilation system installed at the "Corpse Cellar 1" rooms of Birkenau crematoria II and III was actually the one with the larger 3.5 hp motor capable of circulating 8,000 hp per hour.

This becomes apparent from a Bauleitung drawing on a scale 1:200, no. 2197 of 19 March 1943 prepared for the transfer of Crematorium II on 31 March 1943 (Moscow Central Archives, dossier 502-2-54), shown on pages 138/139 of our Portuguese translation of Pressac's Crematoria. The inscriptions near the symbols of the ventilation motors for the airing and extraction of Corpse Cellar 1 read "2.6 kW" - the equivalent of 3.5 hp.

Further evidence that the larger system was installed in the symmetrical crematoria II and III of Birkenau is contained in a page of the inventory attached to the transfer deed of Crematorium III, scanned in under ... entory.jpg and containing the mention of two 2.6 kW = 3.5 hp motors.

Even much more explicit is a letter written by SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Bischoff, head of the ZBL, to Topf & Soehne on 11 February 1943, a facsimile of which can be viewed under ... lation.jpg

Bischoff was visibly pissed off because his contractor was badly behind schedule with his equipment for Crematorium III, and he minced no words in expressing his dissatisfaction. We translated the following passages from the letter:
[...]The Central Construction Office expects that by keeping the deadline in regard to this installation you will make up for the unpleasantness caused by the non-fulfillment of promises and several counterfactual letters regarding the supply of the ovens for the concentration camp's Crematorium II. Thus you wrote on 21.01.1943 that all the materials for the airing and extraction installation would be shipped on 22.01.1943. When the wagon arrived, however, these parts were missing, so that your fitter Messing could not continue. On the phone your Mr. Pruefer said that all materials had been sent. When we claimed again another gentleman told us that the remaining materials were not yet ready. At the end the finished materials had allegedly been kept in store. Now we receive a freight letter with shipment notification of 06.02.1943. After checking the same and talking to your fitter we find out that one ventilator no. 450 with 3.5 hp motor is again missing, of all things the ventilator for the Corpse Cellar 1, which is the one needed the most urgently Furthermore 1 motor 7.5 hp for the extraction system no. 550 for Corpse Cellar II.

For this reason we again sent you a telegram: "Send immediately equipment not mentioned in shipment notification of 06.02.43, namely ventilator 450 with 3.5 hp motor for Corpse Cellar I and motor 7.5 hp for the extraction device no. 550 of Corpse Cellar II, for otherwise installation cannot be commissioned. Answer by wire."
Due to this negligence on your part the Central Construction Office is having the greatest difficulties. You are therefore requested to immediately send the missing materials by express freight, so that the installation can finally be concluded. [all emphases are ours, all underlinings are Bischoff's; in Nizkor's reproduction of the document the sentence about the Corpse Cellar II is underlined - it was underlined by Pressac, as he himself writes on the same page ("passage souligné en rouge"); in the original it is not underlined (see van Pelt, "The Case for Auschwitz", pp. 450, 451)]
We think this letter is worth adding to our list of exhibits as # 110.

The ZBL had obviously ordered, and Bischoff insisted in receiving, the turbine no. 450 with a 3.5 hp motor and an air circulation capacity of 8,000 m3/hour. He considered this equipment, which was needed for Corpse Cellar I, to be of the utmost urgency.

Why such urgency, dear opponents? What crucial things could have been going on that required the immediate arrival of a ventilation turbine no. 450 with a 3.5 hp motor?

Why was Bischoff so particular about the output of the motor?

And last but not least, is it reasonable to expect that Topf & Soehne dared not to give him what he wanted?

Of course not. In a letter scanned in under ... lation.jpg the proxies of Topf & Soehne meekly replied, stating that they had dispatched on no. 450 turbine on 08.11.42 and another no. 450 turbine, a wooden turbine (why wooden, dear opponents?) on 25.01.1943. It also becomes apparent from the reply that Topf & Soehne had problems with the manufacture of the motors ordered by the ZBL, for they stated that they couldn't immediately ship the 7.5 hp motor for the ventilation of Corpse Cellar 2 and would provisionally send a 10 hp motor instead.

So, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that, whatever is stated in the invoices our opponents make so much of - assuming they refer to the Birkenau crematoria -, Pressac was right in concluding that the "Corpse Cellar 1" rooms of Crematoria II and III, i.e. the homicidal gas chambers, received an airing/extraction device with a turbine no. 450 and a 3.5 bhp motor, capable of circulating 8,000 cubic meters per hour?

Why, now, would the above-mentioned invoices then mention not these larger devices, but their smaller predecessors?

Several possible explanations come to mind, especially when one has done business as a public works contractor.

One is that Topf & Soehne couldn't overcome their difficulties with the manufacture of the specific motors requested and the ZBL eventually clenched their teeth and accepted what they could get.

Another is that the invoices referred to the equipment ordered pursuant to the original quotation of 04.11.1941, whereas "upgradings" ordered after - the only difference between the ventilation system circulating 8,000 m3/hour and the one circulating 4,800 m3/hour was the motor, 3.5 hp instead of 2 hp, as the turbine remained the same - were billed in separate invoices.

Yet another possibility is that the ZBL, angry as it was at the delays in equipment delivery, penalized the supplier by requiring him to charge only the price of lesser equipment for the better one he had eventually delivered, and that the company put the former equipment's description in the invoice in order to avoid further complications (like being accused of hiding taxable revenues due to the equipment being invoiced below its market price) or because engineer Pruefer wanted to avoid being @#%$-canned by his superiors.

Both invoices actually contain some features, which can be interpreted as pointing to either of the latter two possibilities. In both of these exactly identical invoices, for instance, the equipment for item "B.", which has the same designation as item "A." ("extraction device for the B-room") is described in much less detail than the latter. While invoice no. 171 refers to Topf's budget offer of 04.11.1941, mentioned by Pressac, invoice no. 729 of 27.5.43 refers to a budget offer of 04.12.42 - exactly one year after the other budget offer, a strange coincidence. This invoice also mentions "your letter of 12.10.42 regarding your order of 5.10.42", even though the budget offer is stated to have been made on 04.11.1942. An order before receipt of a budget offer?

In summary, it can be said that, while the above-mentioned invoices pose a mystery inviting speculation in either direction, there are good reasons to assume, on the basis of more explicit documentary evidence, that not the equipment mentioned in these invoices, but the higher-performance equipment mentioned in documents attached to the transfer deed and angrily claimed by Bischoff was installed in the "Corpse Cellar 1" rooms of Birkenau Creamtoria II and III. Bischoff's letter to Topf of 11 February 1943 speaks volumes. While it doesn't support the notion that the enhancement of ventilation capacity was guided by homicidal intent from the very start, it shows that this enhancement, together with the fact that "Corpse Cellar I" alone had both an airing and an extraction device, led the SS to prefer this room over "Corpse Cellar 2" or an alternate use of both cellars when they prepared the buildings for homicidal gassing, and was seen by them as an essential factor (Bischoff: "of all things the ventilator for the Corpse Cellar 1, which is the one needed most urgently") to ensure the success of this endeavor.

With 8,000 m3/hour in Corpse Cellar 1 and 13,000 m3/hour in Corpse Cellar 2, Mattogno's calculations look at follows:

"Corpse Cellar 1" (the gas chamber) 8,000 ./. 506 = 15.8 exchanges per hour
"Corpses Cellar 2" (the undressing room) 13,000 ./. 902.7 = 14.4 exchanges per hour

What conclusion would our opponents, who see the alleged lower ventilation capacity of Corpse Cellar 1 as a sure sign that no gassings took place there, have to draw on the basis of these figures, if they applied their reasoning coherently?

Before we address this line of thinking, we would like to say a few words about the following silly statement in our opponents' submission:
Now, it is important to note that contrary to arbitrary and historically unfounded statements of the Veritas Team, these modifications, refer to a period in which the crematory was being planned exclusively for hygienic purposes!
The above is amusing in that, by pointing out that the modifications in question "refer to a period in which the crematory was being planned exclusively for hygienic purposes", our opponents implicitly concede that there was also a period in which the crematory was not being "planned exclusively for hygienic purposes".

A Freudian slip? :mrgreen

Now, what could our opponents claim if Rudolf's and Mattogno's considerations regarding a lesser ventilation capacity in "Corpse Cellar 1" than in "Corpse Cellar 2" were accurate?
That the SS carried out no homicidal gassings because they should have done it differently than they did not, a favorite "Revisionist" pseudo-argument?

As long as the installed ventilation system was sufficient to provide for an effective extraction of toxic air (containing whatever amounts of Zyklon B had not been absorbed by the victims' fast-breathing lungs) and the replacement thereof with "clean" air, why on earth should the SS spend additional time and money on a more powerful ventilation system?

Unless our opponents can demonstrate an insufficiency of the ventilation system of the "corpse cellars" when these rooms were used as homicidal gas chambers, their argument, in bold letter and with exclamation marks:
NT: In other words, the Germans have used a gas chamber less ventilated than the changing room! This simple remark constitutes the proof that the Leichenkeller 1 wasn't transformed into a gas chamber.
is just another of those silly, irrelevant "coulda, woulda, shoulda" - contentions, as stupid as any we have dealt with in the previous section of our opponents' response. No, dear folks, the killers where not striving for the ultimate solution in terms of "process engineering", regardless of additional cost. They were working under conditions of war economy, with a budget tightly controlled by the SS Economic Administration Office. The gas chamber ventilation system did not have to be more efficient than that of the undressing room, it just had to efficient enough to enable commencement of the body disposal process within a relatively short period after the gas had killed the victims.

Now, was it efficient enough?

In his expert report submitted at the Irving-Lipstadt trial, which can be found online under ... affweb.pdf Dr. Richard Green is very definite about this:
[...]The implication that the a ventilation system that is as powerful as he claims, 9.94 air exchanges per hour, would not be adequate, however, is worth examining. If Rudolf is correct in his statement that gas chamber had this ventilation capacity, it is not inconsistent with the conventional history of the Final Solution.
Rudolf asserts but does not demonstrate that "This recommended standard must be expected for 'professional' homicidal' gas chambers' as well." Rudolf admits that it is possible to delouse without such a powerful ventilation system and then asserts that it is "obvious" that a gas chamber "working uninterruptedly for many months could not operate on such a makeshift basis." He has it almost backwards here as homicidal gassings occurred intermittently for short periods as compared to delousings which occurred much more frequently and for longer periods of time for each delousing. Rudolf goes on to claim that the ventilation system needs to remove even "minimal traces" of the HCN. This assertion is counter to fact. I assume that he knows better.
It should be noted emphatically, that small concentrations of HCN are entirely tolerable. According to Dupont the following thresholds apply:
2-5 ppm Odor threshold
4-7 ppm OSHA exposure limit, 15 minute time weighted average
20-40 ppm Slight symptoms after several hours
45-54 ppm Tolerated for 1/2 to 1 hour without significant immediate or delayed effects
100-200 ppm Fatal within 1/2 to 1 hour
300 ppm Rapidly fatal (if no treatment)
The SS employed slave laborers and did not need to maintain OSHA standards. Residual concentrations in the gas chamber could have been as higher than 50 ppm or so without preventing the removal of bodies by slave laborers without gas masks, and in fact, the slave laborers had gas masks available. Even so, the ventilation capacity cited by Rudolf would have been adequate to make the chambers comply with OSHA standards within a reasonable time frame. Rudolf claims:
After a close inspection of the documented facts it is clear that Prof. Van Pelt's "powerful ventilation system" is nothing but a fiction.
On the contrary, even if we accept Rudolf's and Mattogno's claims about the gas chamber's ventilation system as accurate, it was adequately powerful. In an article available on the Internet since at least as early as 1997, Rudolf made a similar argument. In that argument, he claimed that the gas chamber in Crematorium II had a capacity of only 6-8 air exchanges per hour. In the present affidavit, Rudolf claims 9.94 exchanges per hour. In a response to his earlier claim, Jamie McCarthy and I demonstrated that even were his claim of 6-8 air exchanges per hour correct, that a slave laborer could enter the gas chamber safely after 20-40 minutes of ventilation without a gas mask. [...][emphases ours]
Our opponents seem to be aware of the fragility of their argument, judging but how they try to bolster it up with additional herrings:
NT: The ventilation system of the supposed gas chamber was in reality appropriate for a mortuary that needed to be aired out in order to eliminate the bad odor produced by the decomposition of the corpses. But as Pressac acknowledges, the system was not the most appropriate for ventilating a gas chamber.

The ventilation system of Leichenkeller 1 had initially been designed for a morgue, with the fresh air entering near the ceiling and the cold unhealthy air being drawn out near the floor. Its use as a gas chamber really required the reverse situation, with the fresh air coming in near the floor and warm air saturated with hydrocyanic acid being drawn out near the ceiling.

Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, op cit, p.224.

Now, the air entered through the upper orifices, then was extracted through the lower ones, so the poison gas had to exit through holes located just above the floor, which led to a "ventilation conduit" (Entlueftungskanal).

But this system is absolutely inconsistent with a large-scale gassing.
If NT thinks that the intake/outflow positioning matters, it should quantify this. The NT asserts that there would have been a "ventilation conduit" which is usually called "laminar flow" in the terms of the trade, as we recall. We invite them to prove this would happen and to quantify what effect it would have on the exchange rate.

As for Pressac, unless he drew completely different conclusions in Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers than in The Crematoria of Auschwitz, he didn't consider an initial disposition of the ventilation system for serving a morgue to have been a significant hindrance to large-scale gassing affecting the suitability of "Corpse Cellar 1" for this purpose from the point of view of the SS. On the contrary, the presence of both de-aeration and aeration in this room made it seem particularly suitable for gassing, more so than "Corpse Cellar 2", and the performance of the ventilation system of "Corpse Cellar 1" seems to have made up for whatever disadvantages resulted from the initial "morgue-like" disposition of this system. From the Portuguese translation of The Crematoria of Auschwitz, our translation from Portuguese:
[page 111] [...]When in November 1942 the SS of the Bauleitung resolved to equip the crematoria with homicidal gas chambers, they penetrated in an unknown domain, where they would have to make experiences, first alone and then helped by Topf, before finding adequate solutions. The hesitations that marked this research translated into various phases of successive arrangements, the fugacious validity of which sometimes makes it difficult to separate them. The SS had to overcome the operational scheme of Bunkers 1 and 2:

Undress victims at the stable-barracks > Gassing (in Bunker 1 and 2) > Placing in pits (at Birkenwald)

in the crematoria:

Undress the victims (in external stable-barracks or in a morgue) > Gassing (in a ventilated morgue) > Incineration (at the furnaces)

They saw themselves confronted with issues of disposition and compatibility. For the crematoria II and III, the choice of L.Keller 1 (with both extractors and ventilators) as a gas chamber was obvious. The SS also considered using the two morgues as gas chambers, erroneously thinking that the foreseen high performance of the five three-muffle ovens would allow for an alternated functioning. In this configuration, an exterior undressing room was indispensable, leading directly to the service stairs, which served the two rooms through the central vestibule. Besides, this imposed improvement of the ventilation of L.Keller 2 (which only had extractors) by adding ventilators. After the furnaces were tested and their performance better estimated, this solution was rejected, because it led to producing piles of bodies in the basement which the furnaces at ground level would have taken too long to incinerate. Finally L.Keller 2 was chosen as undressing room, but in this case the air extraction was no longer good for anything, except to ventilate the victims' body odors, which could also be done by a natural air current. The search for a better solution was continued even after commencement of operation. Thus in the end of 1943, in order to "regulate" the running of crematoria II and III, the concentration camp's administration divided their gas chambers into two, dedicating only 100 m3 to gassing, in order to kill and incinerate 500 to 700 new arrivals unable to work (including many children) within twenty-four hours.[...][emphases ours]

[pages 120 and following]

[...]From the moment in which Messing's mounting work (fig. 45) was sufficiently advanced, the Bauleitung addressed to Topf, on 26 February, a telegram about the immediate shipment of ten gas detectors, already ordered, for the site office & store 30 (crematorium II). The SS wanted to check if the ventilation performance of L.Keller 1 would make up for its original disposition, high airing and low air extraction foreseen for a morgue, which should have been inverted for a gas chamber, requiring low airing and high air extraction. Sander and Pruefer responded in this manner on 2 March [1943](figure 2):

Erfurt, 2-3-43

Subject: Crematorium [II] Gas Detectors

We confirm receipt of your telegram reading: "Immediately send ten gas detectors as agreed. Budget to be submitted later."
About this subject we inform that, since two weeks ago, we have inquired at five different companies the device your require, indicating traces of hydrogen cyanide [Pressac's italics] (Anzeigegeraete fuer Blausaeure-Reste). From three companies we received negative answers, and we still await responses from the other two.
When we receive information about this matter, we will let you know immediately so that you may contact the company manufacturing this equipment.

Heil Hitler!

As proxy As proxy's delegate
Sander Pruefer

The Bauleitung received this letter on 5 March. This document constitutes definite proof of the existence of a homicidal gas chamber in crematorium II. [emphases ours][...]
We thank our opponents for giving us the opportunity of adding an additional element of evidence (# 111, the letter from Topf & Soehne of 2 March 1943 quoted by Pressac] to our list of exhibits.

As to the gas detectors, it is not known if they were eventually delivered or the issue was even pursued further. The lack of further correspondence on this matter suggests that it wasn't, which in turn indicates that, once they started operating the gas chambers of Crematorium II, the SS satisfied themselves that the airing/air extraction performance made up for whatever disadvantages resulted from the "morgue-like" disposition of the ventilation system (assuming that our opponents are correct about it).

Professor Michael Thad Allen, whom our esteemed opponents like to quote, is of the opinion that the gas chamber in LK1 was planned from October 1941, and thus disagrees with Pressac that it was converted to the gas chamber from morgue. He argues that the prototype of the gas chamber in LK1 was the delousing chamber. He comments on this particular argument about the placement of the vents thus:
The design is consistent in one regard, however. Underground ducts were part of existing Zyklon-B fumigation chambers, as can be seen in the ZBL-Lublin diagrams of the installation at Alt-Drewitz. Since cool air sinks, we might expect a "normal" morgue to pump fresh air in through the top and exhaust foul air from below. Pressac in particular takes this arrangement as evidence that the SS never, at least at first, designed Morgue 1 with any extraordinary purpose in mind. Yet this assumes that such an arrangement was abnormal for Zyklon-B fumigation chambers in the first place, which it was not; it conformed to drawings of working buildings that the SS had gathered in various construction bureaus over the course of 1941. Further, the massively built masonry and concrete ductwork for Morgue 1 would seem to have only one explanation: the SS did not want to take any chances that its victims, in the throes of death and gasping for air, would kick in or pull down fragile tin ducts. (Michael Thad Allen, "The Devil in the Details: The Gas Chambers of Birkenau, October 1941", Holocaust and Genocide Studies, vol. 16 no. 2, Fall 2002, pp. 201)
If Prof. Allen is correct, then we have another explanation of this particular placement.

The NT's next herring:
After the gassing of a large number of people, the corpses, heaped one on top of another, would have blocked most-if not all-of the air-extraction orifices. With a room full of lethal cyanide gas, the members of the Sonderkommando, in an eventual attempt to clear the orifices, and also wearing gas masks, would have been immediately killed. This signifies that the rate of exchanges per hour must be multiplied at least two or three times.

This problem could easily have been avoided had the Germans merely reversed the intake and exhaust airflow when they converted the morgue into a gas chamber. No change was performed!
is not substantiated, let alone quantified. First of all, what makes our opponents think that gas masks would not have protected the members of the Sonderkommando, assuming there was even a significant amount of gas left in the room when they entered it? And second, on what evidence about the gassing process do our opponents base their assumption that the bodies "would have blocked most-if not all-of the air-extraction orifices"? The victims' bodies usually - and quite understandably - concentrated near the door, where they piled up in heaps because in their death-panic the people tried to climb away from the rising gas on top of each other, after realizing that they could not break out. Was this also where the air extraction orifices were located, dear opponents? If you think so, please show us the corresponding evidence. We are also keen to see on what calculations this "at least two or three times" fudge factor of yours is based. If our opponents are claiming that the overwhelming evidence proving mass gassing is false, they should demonstrate a logical, evidenced, scientific contradiction. Throwing blunt assertions and wild numbers around is a manifestly insufficient argument.
NT: Furthermore, since the air intake and outlet at the same wall of the morgue were very close together (2 meters), contrary to those at the opposite wall (7.3 meters), this would have led to an aerial short circuit, drastically reducing the performance of the ventilation system!
Aerial short circuit is also laminar flow, see above. We again request the NT needs to quantify this assertion. As to the "very close together" stuff:
[...]He [Germar Rudolf] then writes:
Due to the poor system configuration (inlet right above outlet) and the overcrowding of the room with bodies, half an hour would never have sufficed to achieve harmless levels of hydrocyanic acid following a gassing, even if there had been no Zyklon B still releasing gas for hours on end.
His next sentence reveals the purpose of this line of argumentation: to try to prove that the eyewitness testimony is contradictory.
The eyewitness testimony claiming adequate ventilation after 20 to 30 minutes in Mortuaries I of crematoria II and III are thus not credible.
He gives no citation for his claim that the inlets are "right above" the outlets. If we understand his English, this is not exactly true: fresh air entered at ceiling level, toxic air exited at floor level. [46] Perhaps he means to consider the placement of the outside vents. If so, he would need to show that they were separated by less than 1.8 m and that such placement was quantitatively incompatible with reported ventilation times.It should be noted that a separation of only 1.8 m would suffice to prevent cross contamination. [47]
Reardon, J.T., C.Y. Shaw and G.A. Chown, "Ventilation Strategies for Small Buildings," paper presented at Building Science Insight '90: Small buildings: Technology in Transition. Available on the web at ... 0-4_E.html :
Figure 9 indicates the required separations and clearances for intake and exhaust vent openings. Vents should be at least 1 m from any corner of the building to minimize wind effects. Intakes should be at least 450 mm and exhaust vents at least 200 mm above the ground to avoid snow blockage and contamination by ground care products such as herbicides. Intakes and exhaust vents should be separated vertically or horizontally by at least 1800 mm to minimize the potential for cross contamination. [...][emphases ours]
Richard J. Green, Chemistry is not the Science, ... e-science/
So, what's the deal?

We move on to meet an "old friend" of ours - the beaten trash about Zyklon B evaporating slowly, the temperature being too low, etc.
NT: Another factor which would have influenced significantly the ideal times is given by the low temperature in the room. There was no heating available in this morgue, and considering that the boiling point of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is 26 degrees Celsius (or 78 degrees Fahrenheit) the process of release of poison gas was very slow and had to separate from its carrier material. That is, HCN vaporizes, or changes from liquid to gas, at this temperature; but if the temperature is below vaporization, there will thus be more condensation-much of the HCN will change from gas to liquid. Zyklon B consists of pure hydrocyanic acid in liquid form, chemically stabilized and absorbed into a porous and inert base, generally in the form of gypsum granules, diatomaceous clay, paper or wooden disks, or small cubes of wood pulp.

Zyklon B was invented to release its hydrogen cyanide only very slowly, about 10% in the first 10 min. This made it ideal for fumigation purposes.

R. Irmscher, "Nochmals: 'Die Einsatzfaehigkeit der Blausaeure bei tiefen Temperaturen'," Zeitschrift fur hygienische Zoologie und Schaedlingsbekaempfung, 1942, p. 35f.
It seems that our opponents didn't read Irmscher's paper they are quoting. Transcribed and translated on the THHP site under ... tro000.htm it contains data that is not exactly advantageous to our opponents' argument:
[...]Results of the experiments.
The resulting values are set out in the following tables and the diagrams further below:

Table 1
Release of prussic acid from absorption in cardboard disks.

| Duration | -18 to -19°C | -6°C | 0°C | +15°C |
| after 1 hour | 32.5% | 50.0% | 62.6% | 77.0% |
| " 2 " | 45.0% | 84.1% | 90.7% | 96.8% |
| " 3 " | 60.5% | 95.7% | 98.0% | 100.0% |
| " 4 " | 72.0% | 100.0% | 100.0% | - |
| " 5 " | 84.0% | - | - | - |

Table 2
Release of prussic acid from absorption in erco cubes.

| Duration | -18 to -19°C | -6°C | 0°C | +15°C |
| after 1 hour | 31.5% | 45.0% | 55.0% | 57.0% |
| " 2 " | 45.5% | 73.0% | 85.7% | 96.4% |
| " 3 " | 58.5% | 95.2% | 99.0% | 100.0% |
| " 4 " | 72.0% | 100.0% | 100.0% | - |
| " 5 " | 82.0% | - | - | - |

[...] ... m/p036.htm

Also disadvantageous to the NT's argument is a paper written by Peters and Rasch in 1941. Transcribed and translated on the THHP site under ... tro000.htm It contains the following information:

[...]The experiments, carried out in both directions yielded the unequivocal corroboration of the opinion grounded in practical observation over many years, that the efficiency of prussic acid and the suitability of the Zyklon procedure encompasses a temperature range that with certainty reaches at least 10° below zero.

Examination of practical fumigation tasks.

After numerous fumigation objects had already resulted in certainty from practical observation about the 100 percent mortification success even at room temperatures to -10°C, the above questions were thoroughly tested in specially designed barracks buildings. Some of the test results are summarized below:

Speed of prussic acid from Zyklon.

1. Barracks building A, area 39,183 cubic meters
Zyklon consumption 396.8 kg CN = 10 g/cbm
Gas applied 17 January 1941 morning 11:30
External temperature: -12°C
Room temperature at the gas measurement locations: -6 to -8°C
Measured gas concentrations

| | 1st measurement | 2nd measurement |
| | location | location |
| after 1 hour | 4,48 g HCN | 9,80 g HCN |
| " 2 hours | 6,36 g " | 8,00 g " |
| " 3 " | 5,77 g " | 6,80 g " |
| " 4 " | 4,86 g " | 5,40 g " |
| " 5 " | 3,78 g " | 4,30 g " |
| " 6 " | 3,30 g " | 3,70 g " |
| " 7 " | 2,80 g " | 3,10 g " |
| " 8 " | 2,50 g " | 2,60 g " |
| " 10 " | 2,00 g " | 2,00 g " |
| " 24 " | 0,70 g " | 0,60 g " |
| " 48 " | 0,15 g " | 0,15 g " |

2. Barracks building B (economics building), area 4311 cbm
Zyklon consumption 43.2 kg CN = 10 g/cbm
Gas applied 20 January 1941, morning 10:15
External temperature +6 to +9°C
Room temperature at the gas measurement locations: -4°C (cellar), -5°C (upper ground floor)
Measured gas concentrations

| | 1st measurement | 2nd measurement |
| | location | location |
| after 1 hour | 2,32 g HCN | 4,59 g HCN |
| " 2 hours | 3,56 g " | 5,24 g " |
| " 3 " | 4,21 g " | 5,35 g " |
| " 4 " | 4,32 g " | 5,29 g " |
| " 5 " | 4,37 g " | 5,24 g " |
| " 6 " | 4,21 g " | 5,02 g " |
| " 7 " | 4,00 g " | 4,75 g " |
| " 8 " | 3,82 g " | 4,60 g " |
| " 24 " | 1,51 g " | 1,51 g " |

From these analytical values, the following can be derived:
1. In all cases, the essential part of the disengagement of the gas is complete after one or at most two hours. (A control of the residues at the applicable times confirmed their complete degassing.) The evaporation of the prussic acid was therefore not significantly delayed by the low temperature.

2. The obtained concentrations of gas did not distinguish themselves considerably from those achieved in buildings of a similar nature and measured on earlier occasions.[...]
In his online article Chemistry is not the Science ... e-science/ - Dr. Green explains the implication of Irmscher's experiments for the topic under discussion as follows:
[...]We now examine the question of how fast a lethal concentration can be built up. In the discussion above we cited sources that put the amount of Zyklon used in the gas chambers at between 5 and 20 g/m3. These values correspond to 4500 and 18,100 ppmv respectively. Inspection of illustration 1 of the Irmscher paper shows that about 10% of the Zyklon evaporates within a period of about 5 to 15 minutes even at the coldest temperatures he studied. Irmscher did his studies at temperatures ranging from -18°C and 15°C. The gas chambers are likely to have been much warmer than the warmest temperature he studied. Human body temperature, for example, is 37°C. Even at the cold temperatures studied by Irmscher, lethal concentrations would have been reached in a few minutes (450-1810 ppmv)! [...][emphases ours]
Clear enough, isn't it?

Our opponents' blunt repetition of "Revisionist" herrings regarding the properties of Zyklon B make us wonder why they didn't at least read what we had written, in response to basically identical previous assertions of theirs, in our response of 28.05.2004:
VT: [...]The contention is that the fumigant Zyklon B released its deadly hydrocyanic acid "slowly". But as we recall from the "Instructions" document, quoted above, "The liquid evaporates easily." To quote further from the same document:

VIII. Preparation for fumigation
8. Open the cans and pour out their contents. The contents are to be spread thinly so that the Zyklon can evaporate quickly and the necessary density of the gas can be achieved as soon as possible.[...][emphases ours]
This suggests that Zyklon B evaporates easily and quickly and that the necessary density for fumigation can be achieved within a short time. This is not surprising. The toxic agent in Zyklon B was hydrogen cyanide (HCN), also known as hydrocyanic acid, prussic acid or Blausaure, in German. In his online article The Chemistry of Auschwitz, Dr. Richard Green describes the properties of this substance as follows:
[...]HCN is a high vapor pressure liquid; the Merck index lists its boiling point as 25.6 degrees Celsius (78.8 degrees Fahrenheit), significantly less than human body temperature. 15 At room temperature (25 d C, 77 d F) the equilibrium vapor pressure of HCN is 750 Torr (760 Torr= 1 atmosphere), corresponding to 987,000 ppm. At 0 C (32 F) it is 260 Torr corresponding to 342,000 ppm. 16 The Merck index warns, "Exposure to 150 ppm for 1/2 to 1 hr may endanger life. Death may result from a few min exposure to 300 ppm"17 Clearly, it is not necessary to reach equilibrium vapor pressure in order for the fumes of the liquid to be quite deadly.
The boiling point of a liquid is the temperature at which its equilibrium vapor pressure is equal to the pressure of the atmosphere. Below the boiling point the vapor pressure of a liquid can be quite large. HCN has an extremely high vapor pressure even at very cold temperatures. Anyone who doubts this fact should obtain some diethyl ether, open a small amount, and observe it evaporating. Ether boils at 34.6 Celsius; in other words its boiling point is greater than HCN. 68
This discussion is worthwhile because it shows how the deniers play on the public's relative ignorance on such technical details. The argument, however, is moot because Gerhard Peters, who was the general director of Degesch, the company that sold Zyklon B has written a book on the topic, in which he gives the evaporation times of Zyklon B. 69 Ulrich Roessler translates:

The development of the gas from the Zyklon sets in with great vehemence immediately following the pouring out of it. The thinner the layer of the disseminated support material the faster will be the development of the gas. Depending on the species of the pests to be controlled, and on the characteristic of the rooms to be gassed, one may choose to reach the maximum of the gas concentration to arise very quickly or more slowly by the thickness of the disseminated layer. Usually, the material will be disseminated in a layer of 1/2 to 1cm thickness, then the greatest part [der grosste Teil] of the HCN will have developed already after half an hour at normal temperature. [i.e. 20 degree C] .70

Roessler comments further:

Now, der groste Teil der Blausaure is by no means only 50% - it means rather nearly all of the HCN.71

Even at -10 C Peters states that the evaporation is essentially complete in 1 hour with an upper bound for complete evaporation of 2 hours. 72[....] ... e-science/ [emphases ours]

The above clearly shows that:

a) With a boiling point of slightly above 25 degrees centigrade, Zyklon B would boil and thus evaporate immediately at that temperature, which corresponds to amenable room temperature.

b) Even when not reaching the boiling point, i.e. at lower temperatures, Zyklon B would evaporate rather quickly to the point of killing within a few minutes (at 300 ppm, way below equilibrium vapor pressure, see above).

c) Even at a temperature slightly below its boiling point (20 degrees centigrade, according to Peters) it would have almost wholly developed after half an hour.

The NT's canard about the deadly hydro-cyanic acid being released "slowly" by Zyklon B has thus been shown for what it is.[...]
If our opponents think there's anything wrong with our arguments and the evidence supporting them, they should try to explain what that is supposed to be. Simply ignoring our arguments and repeating their articles of faith is not likely to convince.

One more thing about the allegedly too low temperature (which according to Irmscher's studies, see above, would have been no problem): how could the temperature have been low with hundreds of people stuffed into the room like sardines, giving off their body heat?

Hasn't it occurred to our opponents that, even at low outside temperatures, the temperature in the gas chamber - as testified by several witnesses including the SS-man Richard Boeck quoted in an earlier section of this response ("It was all entangled and cramped. It came out very hot.") - must have been rather like in a sauna?

While this made provisions for heating the "morgue" (!) unnecessary, it is not without interest to mention that such provisions were at least taken into consideration.

There is this interesting document, for instance – ... ations.jpg - which starts with a sentence that R.J. van Pelt translated as follows:
[...] In accordance with your proposal, the department agrees that morgue 1 will be preheated with the air coming from the rooms with the 3 installations to generate the forced-draught.[...]
Boy, and we thought morgues were places that had to be kept cool. Why on earth would this one have to be "pre-heated", dear opponents?

While you think about an answer, we will add this document to our list of exhibits as # 112.

Next bold assertion:
NT: There is no testimony indicating that the Zyklon was removed by any means prior to the emptying of the gassed corpses in the chamber.
Yawn. Our opponents again failed to read our last response, as it seems:
VT: [...]Furthermore there was a procedure for extracting the granules after they had released enough deadly HCN into the gas chamber, described as follows by Jamie McCarthy and Mark Van Alstine in their online article, Zyklon Introduction Columns, ... o-columns/:

[...] At Auschwitz-Birkenau, in the gas chambers of crematoria II and III, Zyklon-B was poured in through holes in the roof. After early experiments with this poison, the camp staff had learned that it was important to allow the pellets of Zyklon to be removed after the victims' death, and also to spread them to increase the speed of outgassing.

The solution to these problems was a wire mesh column, which ran from the floor up through the roof. An SS man, wearing a gas mask and standing on the roof, would pour the pellets into the top of the column and place a wooden cover over it. The pellets fell into an inner wire mesh basket, which held them as they released their poison into the gas chamber.

After the mass murder was complete, the cover was opened, the basket was pulled up, and the Zyklon expelled the remainder of its poison harmlessly into the open air. Meanwhile, the ventilation of the gas chamber and the cremation of the corpses could begin.[...]
The article linked to in the above refers to several eyewitness testimonies corroborated by each other and by documentary evidence, describing the very procedure to which our opponents claim there was no testimony. We trust that our opponents, as usual, would like to believe that the witnesses lied for and the documents were forged by the Jewish World Conspiracy or some other sinister conspiratorial entity. But then we would at least have expected them to try to substantiate their articles of faith, instead of bluntly proclaiming that the evidence in question does not exist.
Do our opponents have no imagination to produce any more entertaining herrings?
NT: The text of a "special order" (Sonderbefehl) dated August 12, 1942 and signed by Obersturmbannfuehrer und Kommandant of Auschwitz Rudolf Hoess and distributed in 40 copies throughout the camp of Auschwitz proves the dangers of each fumigation operation with Zyklon B.


"Eine heute mit leichten Vergiftungserscheinungen durch Blausaure aufgetretener Krankheitsfall gibt Veranlassung, allen an Vergasungen Beteiligten und allen uebrigen SS.

"Angehoerigen bekanntzugeben, dass insbosondere beim Oeffnen der vergasten Raeume von SS-Angehoerigen ohne Maske wenigstens 5 Stunden hindurch ein Abstand von 15 Metern von der Kammer gewahrt werden muss. Hierbei ist besonders auf die Windrichtung zu achten.

"Die jetzt verwendete Gas enthaelt weniger beigesetzte Geruchstoffe und ist daher besorders gefaehrlich.

"Der SS-Standortarzt Auschwitz lehnt die Verantwortung fur eintretende Unglueckfaelle in den Faellen ab, bei denen von SS-Angehoerigen diese Richtlinfen nicht eingehalten werden."


Today there was a case of illness due to slight symptoms of poisoning with Prussic acid [i.e., Zyklon B,].

This makes it necessary to warn all those involved with gassings, as well as all other SS personnel, that especially when opening gassed rooms, SS personnel not wearing gas masks must wait at least five hours and keep a distance of 15 meters from the chamber. In this regard, particular attention should be paid to the wind direction.

The gas now being used contains less odor additive, and is therefore especially dangerous.

The SS garrison physician refuses to accept responsibility for accidents that may occur in cases where SS personnel do not obey these guidelines.
First of all, how do our opponents know that Obersturmbannfuehrer und Kommandant of Auschwitz Rudolf Hoess was talking about fumigation?

Second, what are our opponents trying to tell us? That using Zyklon B for fumigation was not without risk to the users? Thanks, we know that; this is why using gas masks was standard procedure in gas chambers without forced ventilation and even sometimes in forcibly ventilated chambers, according to eyewitness testimony. Whatever the risks were, the SS knew how to handle them, and fumigation with Zyklon B was a common, everyday process. If our opponents are trying to tell us that the SS would have refrained from homicidal gassing with Zyklon B because it was not 100 % safe for the users, will they also argue that for the same reason there was no such thing as fumigation?

Our opponents' quote brought up an interesting question, however: why did the gas have less odor? The odor/lachrymal additive was an irritant and a warning. The Zyklon B at Auschwitz may have been a special kind of Zyklon without it -- which we would expect to have been problematic under the aspect of patent-related bureaucracy -- to spare the Jews suffering in the last moments of their lives. It is also possible, in our opinion, that so much gassing was happening that the smell was starting to penetrate the walls of the gas chamber, so that new groups of Jews walking in might suspect something was going on. But maybe our esteemed opponents have a more plausible explanation?

Last but not least in this section, we have grand dragon Rudolf's funny graph ("Revisionists" like to give themselves an air of science with colorful graphs meant to fool suckers).
NT: Thus, as shown by Germar Rudolf, the first exchange of air could have occurred only after 1hour and maybe even later.


The result is shown in the following graph with different b-values, where b-values higher than 6 min mean: the time required to reach a poison gas level equal to that when assuming a perfect ventilation without obstacles, i.e. no.1 after 6 min.

1. One air exchange in 6 minutes (lowest line): perfect mixing of fresh air with loaded air, no objects in the room, no air short circuit. One air exchange means: on time the air volume equal to that of the morgue (minus the volume of 2.000 corpses) replaced.

2. One air exchange equivalent in 12 minutes (2nd line from bottom): less perfect mixing of fresh air with loaded air, some objects in the room, only little air short circuit allowed.

3. One air exchange equivalent in 24 minutes (3rd line from bottom): medium perfect mixing of fresh air with loaded air, many objects in the room, and/or air short circuit.

4. One air exchange equivalent in 96 minutes (4th line from bottom): bad mixing of fresh air with loaded air, extremely many objects in the room, air short circuit.

Germar Rudolf, "Critique of Claims Made by Robert Jan Van Pelt, in the case of David John Cawdell Irving, Plaintiff." (Jan-Apr, 2000); part C, par. 5.

[the graph]

As a means of comparison, seventy-two air exchanges per hour were foreseen for the disinfestation gas chambers with the Kreislauf system. The warm-air circulation disinfestation chambers constructed by DEGESCH (DEGESCH-Kreislauf-Anlage fuer Entlausung mit Zyklon-Blausaeure) had in effect a ventilator with a capacity of 12 m3 of air per minute, corresponding to 72 exchanges of air per hour.

G. Peters, E. Wuestiger, "Sach-Entlausung in Blausaeure-Kammern", Zeitschrift fuer hygienische Zoologie und Schaedlingsbekaempfung, Heft 10/11, 1940, p. 195; P. Puntigam, H. Breymesser, E. Bernfus, "Blausaeurekammern zur Fleckfieberabwehr." Sonderveroeffentlichung des Reicharbeitsblattes, Berlin, 1943, p. 50.

Under these circumstances, the Negationist Team does not see how one inadequate and surely not "powerful" system of ventilation could remove the HCN from the presumed gas chamber in twenty minutes in order to permit the entrance of the members of Sonderkommando.

The actual practice of such an operation would certainly have ended disastrously, with the death of all people in and around of the gas chamber.
The graph and related humbug have been demolished long ago in Dr. Green's article, Chemistry is not the Science ... e-science/

Rudolf's graph assumes that the Zyklon is left in the gas chamber and allowed to outgas -- in the case of the red line, it continues outgassing for at least 30 minutes, apparently more, maybe the whole time? That's completely wrong in the case of LK1 at Krema II and III. The Zyklon was removed, probably after 15 minutes or so, so it was NOT dumping more poison into the atmosphere. Rudolf's graph shows a concentration of HCN of 10 grams per cubic meter after just 10 minutes, whereas the maximum total concentration of HCN dumped into the room was 12-20 g/m3 at most (Pressac, as cited in Dr. Green's above-mentioned article). And, as the NT just got through arguing, it would NOT all outgas at once. Certainly not up to 10 g/m3 within 10 minutes! The concentration of HCN that is deadly to humans in about 5 minutes is about 300 parts per million, which is 0.33 g/m3. Find that number on Rudolf's graph, it's about five pixels above the zero line.

The Negationist Team can't keep its arguments straight.

What this graph assumes is that the SS dumped many, many kilograms of Zyklon in the gas chamber so that the victims would die in about 30 seconds (our guess). Then it assumes they left all that Zyklon in there to keep out-gassing while they switched the ventilation system on, even though they had built wire devices to take it out. How stupid - to borrow one of their favorite lines of argumentation - do our opponents think the SS were? In the above-quoted article, it is assumed that enough Zyklon was used so that if all of the HCN were released at once, it would produce a gas phase concentration between 5 and 20 g/m3. The wire-mesh insertion devices were how it was poured in, through those four holes in the roof, and then the SS pulled the Zyklon out after everyone was dead, up through the roof holes, the same way as they went in.

As to the amount of HCN underlying Rudolf's calculations, its seems exaggerated beyond all reason. Is he mistakenly using figures for bug killing? If so, the lines on this graph seem high even for that. There is no reason the HCN concentration in the room had to exceed 0.33 g/m3 to kill everyone. Rudolf shows it zooming over 1, 2, 3, up to 10 g/m3 before the ventilation system is switched on, and when that doesn't get him to the desired results, he has to fudge the numbers to get the blue, green, and red lines -- but those are based on nothing at all, he just pulled those fudge factors out of the air. He has shown NO quantification for the higher lines. For details on how Rudolf bends and stretches evidence and science to fit 'Revisionist" articles of faith, see the chapter "Ventilation" of Dr. Green's article under ... e-science/

Just like their previous stuff about the temperature inside the gas chamber being too low for "proper" evaporation of Zyklon B, our opponents' implication that a room FULL of human beings screaming and trying to get out would be "without circulation" of air makes us wonder if "Revisionists" really live on this earth. It should be obvious to anyone who paused to imagine this horrific scene that one human being scrambling around, panting and screaming and vainly trying to get away from the gas, provides for some air circulation, and hundreds of such desperate creatures circulate the air somewhat more than a single one.

Our opponents contentions in this section having thus been analyzed and not one of them found to hold water, we move on to the next section of their "response".
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).
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Re: Veritas Team Second Response (8/6/04)

Post by Roberto »

G. "The Church of Kreislauf" - Part VI of "NEGATIONIST TEAM 2nd Response 6/22/2004"

This one we will make brief. We might limit ourselves to requiring our opponents to provide evidence in support of their assertions, which they haven't. Our idea of politenenss in debate, however, compels us to make just a few more comments.
NT: In Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II there was:

1) NO provision to heat the air,
As has been shown in the previous part of our response, it was not exactly critical or even necessary to have this provison. But there was a plan to preheat the morgues with the help of 3 forced draft installations, as March 6, 1943 letter from Karl Bischoff to Topf and Sons indicates (as quoted in R.J. van Pelt's report submitted at the Irving-Lipstadt libel trial):
In accordance with your proposal, the department agrees that morgue 1 will be preheated with the air coming from the rooms with the 3 installations to generate the forced-draught. The supply and installation of the necessary ductwork and ventilators must follow as soon as possible. As you indicate in your letter, the work should begin this week. The supply and installation of the necessary ductwork and ventilators must follow as soon as possible. As you indicate in your letter, the work should begin this week.
These installations were soon out of order in crematorium II. But note the word "preheated", which indicates not simply the heating, but heating before a certain operation. Normal morgues may or may not need heating, but they don't need to be "preheated".

Ironically, our opponents allude to this document the sentence before their denial of the LK1 heating:
To Summarize from the work of Jean-Claude Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers (NY:1989), the basement "Leichenkeller 1" of Krema II had a ventilation fan which drew air from vents in the attic of the building and discharged it into the subterranean room below from the triangular ducts in the upper ceiling corners.

The air exited the room through ventilation openings built into the brickwork of the wall at the bottom and discharged it from the attic vents in the upper building.

The reason that air was not drawn directly from the outside but was pre-heated slightly from the long feeder piping is quite obvious in that a morgue cannot be allowed to freeze. In addition, it must be kept cool--which is why it was built underground in the first place.
Thus, they destroy their own case without even noticing it. Readers should also note that our opponents would like to have their cake and eat it too. They argue that Leichenkeller 1 was simply a morgue and that it wasn't heated and that morgues should be heated. We think that they should make up their minds. They may also try to explain why the forced draft installations in crematorium II were (apparently) not restored for the use of LK1 as a morgue, why the question of the preheating of the morgue was raised so late and why it was raised not by architects but by the firm Topf and Sons. But let's get back to the heating issue.

R. J. van Pelt quotes judge Jan Sehn, who investigated Auschwitz soon after the war:
[...]After undressing they were driven through a corridor to the actual gas chamber (Leichenkeller 1), which had previously been heated with the aid of portable coke braziers. This heating was necessary for the better evaporation of the hydrogen cyanide.
Jan Sehn, "Concentration and Extermination Camp at Oswiecim (Auschwitz-Birkenau),' in Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, German Crimes in Poland, 2 vols. (Warsaw: Central Commission for Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, 1946-7)[...]
This statement is most probably based on eyewitness testimonies and it shows that the chambers were preheated, one way or another. And we didn't even take the heat generated by hundreds and thousands of bodies in a closed space into account!
NT: 2) NO provision to blow air through the pile of Zyklon pellets supposedly lowered into the chamber from a can, or otherwise dumped into wire-mesh introduction columns from holes in the roof, according to the "eyewitnesses," and

3) NO provision to recirculate the air in a closed-loop during the presumed gassing phase, as one would expect from a real gaschamber.

The Negationist Team insists that the point of our argument is not lost upon the reader: the supposed gaschamber LK-1 had no means of recirculating the air and gas mixture, nor heating the Zyklon pellets!
These points were covered in the previous section of our present response. In short, while these "points" may not be lost on the reader, what remains extremely difficult for any sane reader to locate is their relevance to the basic issue of the debate. Has the Negationist team shown that events could not have transpired the way that the Veritas team contends without these elements? No.

Van Pelt sums it up nicely in his report:
[...]It is undoubtedly true that packing the gas chamber with people did not aid the rapid circulation of the hydrogen cyanide. Yet the design of the hollow, perforated columns did help to allow the gas to reach the higher reaches of the gas chamber, where the air was not displaced by the bodies, and where the heavy panting of panicking 2,000 people, or less, would-so one would assume-cause some circulation.[...]
If our esteemed opponents feel that this would not be enough to successfully gas people, we will let them present the numerical calculations proving the improbability of such gassings. Quoting the articles about fumigation procedures and showing nifty graphs of uncertain relevance won't be taken as a substitute.

One final note. Our opponents seem prone to repeating the old and debunked arguments, made by "Revisionist" gurus like Faurisson. They write:
... expendable Sonderkommando can go inside without gasmasks, by some accounts, and while eating and smoking in others ...
They would not repeat this nonsense if they would only read some basic texts, like, for example, van Pelt's report:
Yet, at the same time, Faurisson was prepared to subject Hoess's language to a most detailed exegesis whenever it suited him. For example, he juxtaposed the following two of Hoess's statements.

"The door was opened a half an hour after the gas was thrown in and the ventilation system was turned on. Work was immediately started to remove the corpses."

Closely reading this passage, Faurisson noted the adverb "immediately." In other words, work began immediately when the ventilation began, that means when the room was still highly toxic. This was very dangerous. It was evident, Faurisson argued, that the Sonderkommando only could have entered the space equipped with gas masks.32 The second statement by Hoess seemed, however, to preclude this.

"They dragged the bodies from the gas chambers, removed the gold teeth, cut off the hair, then dragged the bodies to the pits or to the ovens. On top of that, they had to maintain the fires in the pits, pour off the accumulated fat, and poke holes into the burning mountain of bodies, so that more oxygen could enter. All these jobs they performed with an indifferent coolness, just as if this was an everyday affair. While dragging the bodies, they ate or smoked. Even the gruesome job of burning the bodies dug up after being in mass graves for a long time did not prevent them from eating."

Faurisson observed that Hoess saw the Sonderkommando dragging bodies while eating and smoking, they were obviously not wearing gas masks-probably because of their "indifferent coolness." In short, there was an inexplicable contradiction between the extreme toxicity of the gas chamber and the behavior of the Sonderkommandos. Adding to the collection the official instruction manual of Zyklon B, which stipulated that spaces that had been fumigated with the agent should air out for at least 20 hours, Faurisson came to the conclusion that Hoess obviously did not know what he was writing about, and that his testimony was worthless.34 Yet on examination, it is clear that his "Ajax Method" did not do the texts justice. The second quotation taken from Hoess occurs in the middle of a paragraph that deals with the "strange" behavior of the Sonderkommando. It did not discuss the extermination procedure in any logical order. When Hoess mentions that the Sonderkommando ate or smoked while dragging bodies, he did not say "while dragging bodies from the gas chambers." In fact, there was a lot of body-dragging in Auschwitz: in crematoria 2 and 3 bodies were dragged within the incineration halls from the elevator doors to the ovens, in crematoria 4 and 5, bodies were dragged not only from the gas chambers to the morgue, but also from the morgue to the incineration room, and in the case of the open air burning of the buried corpses in the late summer and fall of 1942, bodies were dragged from the opened mass graves to the incineration pits. At no time did the Sonderkommando need a gas mask for this awful job. Likewise Faurisson misrepresented the Zyklon B instruction manual. The rule for spaces to be aired for 20 hours applies to rooms without any special ventilation system. After 20 hours of natural ventilation, and another hour with closed windows and doors, the room should be available for all activities except sleeping: this should wait another day. The situation in the gas chambers was different. With its powerful ventilation system, and with the fact that most of the hydrogen cyanide was absorbed by the victims' bodies, the time could be reduced to 20 minutes.
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).
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Joined: 28 Aug 2012, 14:45

Re: Veritas Team Second Response (8/6/04)

Post by Roberto »

H. "The Alleged Gas Chamber in Krema I" - Part X of "NEGATIONIST TEAM 2nd Response 6/22/2004"

In order to deal with the whole complex of the killing process before moving on to issues related to body disposal, we now have a look at Part X of our esteemed opponents' response.

This section, headed "The Alleged Gas Chamber in Krema I" is a notably big-mouthed rambling exercise on a topic that, while comparatively unimportant - as we shall see below - within the context of organized mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, was obviously regarded as particularly suited for making a noisy "Revisionist" fuss about oh-how-stupid and "unscientific" a bunch of gullible "believers" professional historians are in relying on eyewitnesses who, of course, were all "lying".

Accordingly this part of our opponents' contribution is particularly loaded with the well-known rhetorical paraphernalia of "Revisionism": abundant use of bold characters and exclamation marks to hammer postulations into a reluctant reader's head, the equally abundant use of catchwords like "believing friends", "court historians", "guardians of the shrine" and similar imbecilities, puerile laughter that is obviously meant to be derisive, etc. In order not to bore our readers, we will as much as possible avoid addressing this blah-blah in our ensuing commentary, in which we hope to demonstrate, once again, that the fallacies these self-proclaimed geniuses attribute to scholarly historiography (what they call "court historians") are actually to be found in their own movement.

Our opponents' bolded conclusion:

We must conclude that there were no homicidal gassings in Krema I as alleged and that these three witnesses were lying with respect to the homicidal gas chamber in Krema I.

is based on a number of considerations which, while otherwise of little value, are instructive in what concerns our opponents' mentality and methodology. Let us see:
NT: The Veritas team does not base the alleged homicidal gassings in Krema I of the Auschwitz main camp on material- and/or on documentary evidence, but rather on the testimonies of three "eyewitnesses," namely: Rudolf Hoess, Pery Broad and Stanislaw Jankowski.
Yep, that's the evidence we mentioned so far, and regarding the homicidal gassings in Krema I, which did not - unlike the Birkenau crematoria - require the involvement of entities external to the camp's staff to build the killing facilities, the conclusions of historians are actually based mostly if not wholly on the descriptions of these events by eyewitnesses. As we have explained in a previous section of the present response, eyewitness testimony is not a "lower" category of evidence, as our opponents would like it to be, but actually the primary unit of evidence in both historiography and criminal investigation, for only a witness's personal recollections can, alone or together with other types of evidence corroborating them, provide an overall picture of events. Historians researching events more distant than those under discussion often have much less than direct eyewitness testimony to work with and would be out of business if our opponents' standards were to apply. For instance, historians researching the life, times, campaigns and other feats of Roman general and politician Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (ca. 138 BC - 78 BC) are likely to depend mostly or wholly on what their contemporary colleagues ("court historians"?) wrote about this character. But we digress ...
NT: These people describe the alleged homicidal gassings inside the morgue of Krema I, a room which has no windows and doors to the outside, with two to six insertion holes in the roof depending on which "eyewitness" to believe, a room which is not equipped with a forced ventilation system.
Regarding the alleged absence of a forced ventilation system, see below. What is more interesting is that our opponents here tell us that there are other eyewitnesses besides Hoess, Broad and Jankowski who, apparently without any of them knowing any of the others' statements, described a room in Crematorium I at the Auschwitz main camp where gas was introduced through openings in the roof for homicidal purposes. While our opponents unreasonably use discrepancies in counting the number of such openings, which are no surprise to whoever is familiar with the fallibility of human memory (if you have a hundred people describe a building, you'll probably get just as many different descriptions), as a pretext to claim that no such room existed, historians are prone to drawing the reasonable, logical conclusion that the essential feature in which all eyewitness testimonies, whatever their differences, coincide - the existence of a room in Crematorium I at the Auschwitz main camp where gas was introduced through openings in the roof for homicidal purposes - is a fact. For it is the only explanation which - applying the principle of Occam's Razor, which we mentioned in our Opening Statement under - takes all the evidence into account and requires no additional assumptions.
NT: The death of the victims occurred allegedly within a few minutes according to Broad.
The duration of an event is usually one of those features where eyewitness testimonies differ greatly. Which is no surprise to anyone other than our opponents and their "Revisionist" gurus, of course. Eyewitnesses seldom carry stopwatches, and the perception of time varies from individual to individual.
NT: The "Sonderkommando," wearing no gasmasks,
How would our opponents know that? Did Broad expressly write that they carried no masks, or did he just fail to mention a detail which he didn't consider essential to his description of the events he witnessed?
NT: then start to drag the dead bodies into the oven room for cremation after only 30 minutes,
And whence did our opponents derive this timing? Maybe they should have read the following excerpt from the autobiography of "alleged eyewitness" Rudolf Hoess in our Opening Statement:
[...]When the powder was thrown in, there were cries of 'Gas!', then a great bellowing, and the trapped prisoners hurled themselves against both the doors. But the doors held. They were opened several hours later [our emphasis], so that the place might be aired. It was then that I saw, for the first time, gassed bodies in the mass.[...]
NT: while the Zyklon B is still discharging poisonous HCN for more than 2 hours into the whole building.
Assuming you accept our opponents' postulations about the time in which Zyklon B releases its lethal gas, that is. See below and previous sections F. and G.
Furthermore, considering that Krema I is located adjacent to the SS Hospital at Auschwitz, the patients would be at risk of poisoning by the HCN gas, as the floor drains are connected to the main sewer of the camp, thus potentially allowing gas into every building at the facility.
The above sounds like our opponents haven't yet moved beyond a hilariously fallacious pamphlet called the "Leuchter Report", from which we presume they took the above. R.J. van Pelt took this argument to shreds in his expert report submitted at the Irving-Lipstadt libel trial:
[...]"Krema I is adjacent to the S.S.Hospital at Auschwitz," Leuchter observed, and he continued to assert that it "has floor drains connected to the main sewer of the camp -which would allow gas into every building at the facility." He is right in observing a floor drain in the former gas 291 chamber of crematorium 1. Yet there is no way in which he could positively determine if first of all this drain was "connected " to the main sewer of the camp, and second of all if the war-time camp possessed a "main sewer" at all: the main survey of the Polish military base that was to become the Stammlager drawn up in December 1939,indicates that the water supply was by means of outside pumps while outside latrines had to serve the soldiers 'needs...16 Projecting expectations about the usual infrastructure of American military installations to Polish military barracks in the1930s does not show much historic sense. But even if the drain was connected to a main sewer, it would have been very unlikely that the hydrogen cyanide would have been able to travel from the gas chamber to other buildings. Hydrogen cyanide is very soluble in water. The water would dilute the hydrogen cyanide to such a degree that it would become a harmless solution to be dumped in the Sola river. Once dissolved in the water, the hydrogen cyanide would not evaporate again to (possibly)penetrate into other buildings.[...]
Our opponents'

"Detailed Response"

starts with the following outburst of silliness:
NT: The Veritas team referred in their opening statement to the first alleged homicidal gassing experiences in Krema I in the Auschwitz main camp. Our esteemed believing friends based this on "eyewitness" statements made by Auschwitz commandant Hoess, by SS-man Pery Broad, and Stanislaw Jankowski (alias Alter Feinsilber, alias Kaskowiak, alias Alter Szmul Fajnzylberg). That guy has more aliases than a dog has flees! He also changed his age a few times!
"Kaskowiak" was the assumed name under which Feinsilber stayed in a French penal camp. "Stanislaw Jankowski" was the name which Feinsilber assumed while in France in order to keep his real name from the Germans. Under this name he lived in Birkenau, and it became his preferred name after the war. (Jadwiga Bezwinska and Danuta Czech, eds., "Amidst A Nightmare of Crime" (NY, Fertig, 1992, pp. 31, 33, 67.)

In other words, our esteemed opponents wrote something like this:

"Samuel Langhorne Clemens (alias Mark Twain, alias Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass). What a vile person this Twain guy must have been to have these aliases! We would sure love to cross-examine the fellow. And what should we make of this lying Portuguese lyricist Fernando Pessoa, who wrote poetry not only under his own name, but also under the aliases Alberto Caeiro, Alvaro de Campos, Ricardo Reis and Bernardo Soares?"

Or even better (Fernando Pessoa, Samuel Clemens and Alter Feinsilber may forgive us for naming them together with so despicable a character):

"Ernst Gauss aka Germar Rudolf, Dr. Werner Kretschmer, Dr. Christian Konrad, Dr. Dr. Rainer Scholz, Jakob Sprenger, Lennard Rose, Manfred Koehler, etc. This guy has more aliases than a dog has flees!"

And, we may add, he adopted them not to help him cope with dangerous situations (like Alter Feinsilber) or for artistic purposes (like Clemens and Pessoa), but in order to cheat his readers about the academic standing of his publications by referring to fake "authorities", including such with phony academic titles, in what are supposed to be works of historical scholarship!

We hope for our opponents that they didn't make this shot into their own foot by even worse by using this Rudolf fellow, who they copiously referred to in earlier parts of their response, after having themselves made clear what, by their own standards, is to be thought about Rudolf's use of pseudonyms and what that tells us about the grand dragon's credibility.

The NT's ensuing statement is no less hilarious:
NT: Of course, as is to be expected, any material- or documentary evidence was not included in their voluminous opening statement about Krema I. Because there aren't any. Because Krema I was never used as a homicidal gas chamber!
Actually there is some material evidence to gassings in the morgue of Krema I, and there seems to be some documentary evidence as well. But assuming there were none, what would this mean, unless we were faced with a situation where events should have left behind recognizable physical and/or documentary traces (like the transportation of the victims of Auschwitz and other places of extermination to the "Russian East" or other destinations of "Revisionist" fancy, but let's not digress)? Considering the circumstances under which the gassings at Krema I are reported to have taken place - as a makeshift solution applied by the SS camp staff themselves, using installations already in existence without the involvement of entities external to the camp, on a still comparatively small scale and for a comparatively short time, in a building later converted into an air raid shelter, then destroyed, then reconstructed for the benefit of visitors - would physical and documentary evidence be something to be reasonably expected to exist, or would the serious researcher coming upon such exhibits look at them as an improbable treasure he was exceptionally fortunate to find? Only in the former case would our opponents' "Because Krema I was never used as a homicidal gas chamber" conclusion, derived from the postulated absence of sources of evidence other than eyewitness testimony, stand a chance of holding water. It is, once again, an affirmative assertion based solely on negative evidence - fallacious to the core.

On we move to some vociferous nitpicking about a presumed inaccuracy in the autobiographic writings of Rudolf Hoess:
NT: They quote "eyewitness" Hoess:

While the transport was detraining, holes were pierced in the earth and concrete ceiling of the mortuary. The Russians were ordered to undress in an anteroom; they then quietly entered the mortuary, for they had been told they were to be deloused. The whole transport exactly filled the mortuary to capacity. The doors were then sealed and the gas shaken down through the holes in the roof. I do not know how long this killing took.

The transport consisted of 900 men, and our gullible friends from the other side actually believe, and attempt to make us and others believe also, that while the Russian soldiers were disembarking, someone shoveled the earth free and quickly chiseled a couple of holes into the steel reinforced concrete ceiling which has an estimated thickness of 10 inches.


Rudolf Hoess could never have used a hammer and chisel in his life if he makes such a dumb statement as to cut a hole in a 10 inch reinforced concrete ceiling on the fly.
which provides a good example of the fallacy we addressed as follows in the Introduction to our present response:
VT: What is so special about Holocaust eyewitnesses in particular to cause the Negationists to claim that this manner of evidence has been rendered effectively useless towards establishing facts?

Brace yourselves, dear readers, for the truly exceptional aspect of Holocaust eyewitness testimony that the Negationist Team has so diligently exposed:

Eyewitness testimonies often contain inaccuracies, and the testimonies of several eyewitnesses are usually not 100% coincident in every detail!

No sh:t, Sherlock.

It is axiomatic that no two witnesses to, say, a car accident will tell exactly the same story as to what happened in every detail. Indeed, given the fallibility of human memory and perception, it would be cause for suspicion if they did. Yet no one would argue that this makes the perspectives of witnesses worthless towards piecing together what actually happened, for an investigator who approaches this evidence with these problems in mind. Yet the NT would have us believe that such minor discrepancies or inaccuracies between witness testimonies are sufficient not only to discard all eyewitness testimony to a given event as a useful source of evidence, but, in fact, to conclude that the event never happened at all - that it must have been a hoax designed to serve nefarious ends and that the witness must all have intentionally lied in its interests.

Drawing any such conclusions from the mere fact of human fallibility is not only absurd, but also quite counterproductive to any serious investigation of the facts.
Not that it matters, but we would like to see our opponents substantiating the assertions underlying their instructively puerile derisive laughter, namely the "steel reinforced concrete ceiling" and the "estimated thickness of 10 inches" (roughly 25 centimeters) it would have been oh-so-hard to pierce "on the run". Whether and in what time this could be done depends on the available tools and manpower, and what is more improbable about the description of Hoess than such "feat", in our opinion, is the assumption that - unless they were taken by surprise by an unannounced transport - the SS should not have prepared the crematorium for gassings before any transports arrived. That they so did is suggested, for instance, by the already mentioned passage translated from page 205 of Kogon/Langbein/Rueckerl et al, Nationalsozialistische Massentoetungen durch Giftgas:
[...]Soon thereafter a room belonging to the crematorium, designated as "corpse cellar", was prepared as a gas chamber. In this room the doors were made gas tight, and at the roof openings for throwing in the Zyklon B and an airing device were installed. [our emphasis] This room was 16.8 meters long and 4.6 meters wide, thus measuring 77.28 square meters. This was the first installed gas chamber.[...]
This would mean that Hoess's observation about the openings being made "on the run" prior to their first use, rather than installed a certain time before, is in fact inaccurate, like so many other observations in so many other eyewitness testimonies.

What conclusion, now, should we draw from this inaccuracy?

Should we call Hoess a "liar" - on account of what, as even our opponents seem to have recognized, can at most be demonstrated to be a "dumb" error of observation - and dismiss his testimony as a whole?

Or shall we do what historians do, i.e. sift the wheat from the chaff, applying common sense to the question of what a given witness can and cannot reasonably be expected to know, examining in detail whether and to what extent the testimony is consistent in itself and free of contradictions, fits into the context of the events it refers to and is corroborated by other testimonies independent thereof and/or other sources of evidence, use the testimony as evidence only insofar as it complies with these requirements and dismiss it otherwise?

As we predicted in our Opening Statement already, our opponents take the former approach, as self-serving and comfortable as it is unconvincing.

We, on the other hand, consider the latter to be what corresponds to a serious investigation of the facts.

Now to our opponents' handling of the research of the late Jean-Claude Pressac - as we mentioned before, a former "Revisionist" who became reasonable and thus a particularly painful thorn in the "Revisionist" side:
NT: Even the Holocaust guru and pharmacist by profession, J.-C. Pressac characterized the witness accounts about the alleged homicidal gassings in Krema I as being full of contradictions, technical impossibilities and of general incredibility. He observed about Krema I a "general tendency to exaggerate" and explains the gross errors and technical impossibilities in the eyewitness accounts and writings of camp commandant Hoess by stating:

"He [Hoess] was present, without seeing."

Let us take a look at the plan of Krema I:

Ground plan of crematorium I in Auschwitz I (main camp) in its original condition. The morgue was later alleged to have been used as a "gas chamber."

1: Vestibule; 2: Laying-out room; 3: Wash room; 4: Morgue;
5: Oven room; 6: Coke; 7: Urns

Source: Jean-Claude Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers. (NY: 1989).

After the Zyklon-B pellets were dropped through the alleged holes onto the heads of the unfortunate 900 guys who stood like sardines in a can inside the morgue, and after they were all dead, how on earth was the gas removed?

No documents exist concerning the installation of an electrical motor-driven forced ventilation system for this morgue. According to Mattogno a de-aeration pipe existed between the left underground flue of cremation oven No.2 leading to the stack and the morgue, which caused some air suction from the morgue.
First of all, we would like to thank our opponents for the stuff about "contradictions, technical impossibilities and of general incredibility" as well as a "general tendency to exaggerate" that allegedly characterize witness accounts about gassings at Krema I according to Pressac, and the "gross errors and technical impossibilities in the eyewitness accounts and writings of camp commandant Hoess" that Pressac supposedly explains by stating that Hoess "was present, without seeing". For it gives us a splendid chance to demonstrate how "Revisionists" manipulate for their own purposes a scholar's statements, which, quoted comprehensively and in context, are not exactly favorable to "Revisionist" articles of faith.

What did Pressac actually write?

On page 129 of Auschwitz: Technique and operation of the gas chambers, as quoted in Brigitte Bailer-Galanda's article Leuchter und seine Epigonen on page 122 of Bailer-Galanda / Benz / Neugebauer, Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin, 1996, he wrote the following:
[...]Hoess participated in the 'special actions' strictly in accordance with his obligations and occupied his mind with the almost insurmountable task imposed by the exponential growth of his camp, thus not allowing his conscience to dwell on moral questions. He was present without seeing. In the author's [Pressac's] opinion, this attitude explains the involuntary errors found throughout his autobiography....][emphases ours]
Pressac obviously meant his observation "He was present without seeing" in a different sense than our opponents would like him to, and he spoke of "involuntary errors found throughout his autobiography" where our opponents would have liked to seem him denouncing the "gross errors and technical impossibilities in the eyewitness accounts and writings of camp commandant Hoess".

Never rely on a "Revisionist" rendering of a source, dear readers. Check behind these folks whenever you have the chance to do so.

The need for this becomes even more clear when you have a look at Pressac's alleged statements about "contradictions, technical impossibilities and of general incredibility", a "general tendency to exaggerate" in eyewitness testimonies about Krema I gassings and the supposed absence of documents "concerning the installation of an electrical motor-driven forced ventilation system for this morgue". From the Portuguese translation of Pressac's Les Crematoires d' Auschwitz. Le Machinerie du Meurt de Masse, Paris 1993, we have translated the passages in which Pressac describes the history of the forced air ventilation system of Crematorium I at Auschwitz, which covered the furnace hall, the autopsy room (later removed to install a two-muffle oven in addition to the two in existence) and the morgue. Captions of drawings and footnotes have been translated as well where considered essential to the understanding of the text or otherwise of particular interest. Emphases, except where otherwise stated, are ours:
[pages 33-39] [...]The Auschwitz Bauleitung, which at the time of its creation consisted of six members including its chief, on 1 September received, as adjutant to SS-sergeant Schlachter, Walter Urbanczyk, of Hungarian origin, SS reserve sergeant coming from Buchenwald concentration camp. The fact of Urbanczyk having resided in Thuringia could only favor the relations between him and Pruefer. It is possible that the two men got to know each other at the Buchenwald. As of October [1940], and during one year, the "crematory" issues of Auschwitz would depend on Urbanczyk, for had just been promoted to SS adjutant.
There having been ordered a second two-muffle oven for Auschwitz, Topf made a proposal for the same price as the first one, i.e. 7753 RM, but without forced draught, thinking that the one installed would be enough for the two ovens. On 19 November, Pruefer was on site studying the location in the Bunker. The installation was at that time organized in this manner:

[Figure 13, drawing of Crematorium I showing the same rooms as in the drawing provided by our opponents (except that there was no room for urns in the upper right corner of the morgue at that time, and that there were only two ovens and an autopsy room instead of the later three ovens), plus the crematorium's smoke chimney and its forced draught (Saugzug and an air chimney as well as a turbine no. 450 with an extraction capacity of 6000 m3/h and a 1.5 hp motor; caption: "Organization of crematorium I and supposed implantation of its first air extraction, studied by Karl Schulze on 9 December 1940 on the basis of Topf drawing D. 57 999 of 30 November 1940"].

The second oven would be placed in parallel at the side of the first. The building having no ventilation, Pruefer proposed to Urbanczyk the services of one of his colleagues of Topf, a specialist in this field, engineer Karl Schultze. At the beginning of December a budget for de-aeration (i.e. extraction of air) from the autopsy room and the morgue, with respectively ten and twenty air drafts, linked to a turbine no. 450 (with an opening of 45 cm in diameter) and a motor of 1.5 hp sucking 6000 m3/h, coupled with a masonry wall 10 meters high, was submitted to the Bauleitung for the price of 1784 RM. The two pieces having a volume of 350 m3, Schultze attributed them an average coefficient of 17m3/h per cubic meter to be extracted. The design was rejected by the Bauleitung, because they wanted to create an urns deposit in one corner of the morgue, where the turbines and their motor would have been installed, and also wanted to extract the air from the furnace room. Modifications were imposed.[...]As Topf didn't send the modified design for the extraction of air from the crematorium, Schlachter seems to have turned to the company Friedrich Boos of Bickendorf (near Cologne), which was about to put in place the central heating at the lodging of the SS guards, so that they would mount a provisional air extraction while the final one from Topf was being awaited. Boos was then the only civil company working in the camp who had the technology and the material required for an installation of this type, which was mounted between 23 February and 1 March 1941 [Moscow Central Archives 502-1-214, weekly report of SS-man Schlachter of 1 March 1941]. Its characteristics are unknown, but SS-corporal Pery Broad, of the Political Section, described its exterior aspect: "[...]one thick curved tube coming up from the roof [of the crematorium], from which there came a monotonous noise [...] was a ventilator-draught meant to purify the air in the incineration room [and in the morgue] [...] at the roof of the latter [the morgue, there was] the ventilator." Besides, a Bauleitung plan confirms the assertions of Broad. (fig. 15) [Figure 15 is a facsimile of the Bauleitung's drawing no. 1434 dated 3 August 1942 of Crematorium I in the main camp, showing its first chimney with a height of 10 meters above the roof, its second chimney and the curved air evacuation tube (furnace room and morgue), installed by the company Friedrich Boos of Cologne-Bickendorf (dossier 502-I-312).][...] On 3 February, Schultze issued his second design. The autopsy room and the morgue still had their air extracted together, but through aspiration tubes protected by mesh falling from the collector pipes (one per room) along one angle of the roof and leading to a 6000 m3/h turbine coupled with the evacuation chimney, for the price of 1727 RM (the difference of 54 RM in relation to the first budget derives from the lesser length of the tubes due to the modifications introduced by Schultze. The furnace room (320 m3) had its air extracted separately by a tube in height with four openings protected by mesh (two per oven), leading to a turbine no. 300 with a motor of 0.75 hp and 3000 m3/h, also coupled to the evacuation chimney and for the price of 757 RM. For the hot air Schultze only retained a coefficient of 10 m3/h per cubic meter of air to extract. [...] On 15 February, the Bauleitung again rejected this design, requesting that the aspirated air should not pass through a separate chimney, but through the chimney for evacuation of the ovens' fumes. On 24 February a third design was drawn. The air extraction of the morgue didn't change, with five vertical aspiration hoses fixed to a horizontal collector tube which extended until the chimney of the ovens. The autopsy room's extraction was replaced by two air draft grids. A tube with four openings ran above the ovens. The three collector tubes joined at the oven room and their fluxes would flow off in a turbine no. 550 with a 3 hp motor and 8300 m3/h, discharging in the chimney of the ovens. The material cost 1884 RM and its mounting 596 RM. This design was accepted on 15 March [1941] by Urbanczyk, who requested Topf to manufacture and deliver it within the shortest time, which the company foresaw as being six months, i.e. for 15 August.[...]
A drawing of this "final solution" (for the time being) regarding the forced ventilation of the morgue, the autopsy room and the furnace room of Crematorium I is shown in figure 16 beside the above text, captioned as follows: "Organization of air extraction of crematorium I. Third study by Schultze dated 24 February 1941, according to Topf drawing D. 58 052".
[pages 43-46] [...]For SS - sub-lieutenant Maximilian Grabner, head of the Political Section, the crematorium was his property because it was his working tool. In the morgue, Grabner and his men executed with a shot in the neck those who had been sentenced to death by the Gestapo summary procedure tribunal, which convened once or twice a month at the Auschwitz camp. However, since June 1941, "working" at the morgue ceased to be as pleasant as before. When the two ovens were in operation, which was almost daily, the heat released was so intensive that the functioning of the exhaust fans sent the hot air from the furnace room to the morgue, which was the opposite of the desired effect. In order to avoid this, it was necessary to close the air extraction valve of the morgue, which was left without ventilation. In addition to this there was the heat of summer, making it difficult to stay there, the atmosphere being deleterious and the flies, carriers of disease, making their appearance. Grabner denounced this "scandal" to the Bauleitung and asked them, "in the general interest", that the morgue be equipped with two ventilators, one blowing in air (airing) and the other aspirating it (air extraction), and that the aspirated flow be directed to the chimney of the ovens (a solution that had already been procured). [Moscow Central Archives, 502-1-312, letter of SS-man Grabner dated 7 June 1941]. This sordid episode is of extreme importance. It shows that Grabner, using his standing as an officer and the fear that his service inspired in the sub-officers of the Bauleitung, intervened in the matters of the first crematorium. It [unclear whether the Portuguese term "ele" refers to "him" = Grabner or to "it" = the episode, translator's note] confirms that, as the air of this morgue was being mechanically extracted, homicidal gassings with a gaseous toxic substance could be carried out. It reveals that, for the first time, it was tried to air (belueften) and extract the air from entlueften a morgue.

[...]On 16 September [1941], Urbanczyk phoned Pruefer telling him that the installation of a third two-muffle oven in the Auschwitz crematorium was imperative. The confirmation telegram specified that it should have air extraction and required Pruefer to come immediately. This appeal delighted the engineer, because his oven refused at Gusen would be installed at Auschwitz. But his colleague Schultze was less enthusiastic. For the fourth time he would now have to rectify the ventilation of the crematorium, because this third oven was to be implanted in the autopsy room, which would disappear. Pruefer went or telephoned to Auschwitz on 24 [September] and the confirmation of the order was issued by Urbanczyk, who for the price of 7332 RM ordered a third two-muffle oven, equipped with coke-fired furnaces more consequent than the preceding ovens, which novelty was pointed out by Topf.
Probable organization of the final air extraction of crematorium 1. Fourth study by Schultze, at the end of September 1941, according to Topf drawings D. 58 052 of 24 February and D. 59 042 of 25 September 1941. [The drawing thus captioned, figure 17, shows the rooms visible on the drawing presented by our opponents, plus the 3 hp motor and the Turbine no. 550 with an extraction capacity of 8300 m3/h, to the right and linked to the smoke chimney, visible in the center on the upper side of the drawing. From the turbine, three extraction tubes lead inside the building in figure 17, one to the new Oven 3 on the upper left side, another to Ovens 1 and 2 in the center of the upper part and the third and longest one reaching the morgue via rooms 6 and 7 and covering all of the morgue's length.][...]
To sum it up, it becomes very clear from Pressac's writings and the accompanying drawings that, contrary to what our opponents try to make believe,

i) Auschwitz crematorium 1 did have an electrical motor-driven forced ventilation system, with a 3 hp motor and a Turbine no. 550 with an extraction capacity of 8300 m3/h,

ii) The morgue was one of the rooms directly linked to this forced ventilation system;

iii) Besides the descriptions of the features of this device or its provisional predecessors by witnesses, there are drawings showing this device or its immediate predecessors, and there is correspondence referring thereto, which means that what our opponents tell us about the lack of documentary evidence is hogwash.

So the only thing left to check regarding the woefully misrepresented Mr. Pressac is what he, according to our opponents, wrote about eyewitness testimonies regarding the gassings at Crematorium 1 being "full of contradictions, technical impossibilities and of general incredibility" and showing a "general tendency to exaggerate". Here we go, translating from the noble language of Camões and Amado what Pressac wrote about these gassings (page 64 of the Portuguese translation of Les Crematoires d'Auschwitz). Emphases, again, are ours where not stated otherwise.
[...]It having turned out to be uncomfortable to gas in the caves of Block 11 for lack of ventilation, it was decided to use a place better adapted for this operation: the morgue of the crematorium. Thus it was avoided to transport the dead, and the evacuation of the poison after use was facilitated given that the crematorium had a mechanical exhaust fan, sufficiently efficient under condition of being used only to ventilate the morgue. Three square openings in the roof of the morgue were made and arranged [Central Commission for the Investigation of German Crimes in Poland, photograph of the Stanislaw Luczko series, sign. 5149], in order to allow for the introduction of the Zyklon B, which was thrown directly into the room, the doors of which had been made airtight. The sound of a truck's motor at full throttle by the side of the crematorium stifled the screams of the victims in agony. The SS could gas there only from January 1942 until the date on which the mounting of the third oven was continued in May, i.e. during four months. It is currently thought that very few gassings took place in this crematorium, but that these were amplified because they impressed the direct and indirect witnesses. In fact there were no precedents of killing hundreds of men at once by gas in a closed space, and the secrecy which surrounded the operation further stimulated the imagination of those not participating, be it SS-men or inmates, who had been formally forbidden to watch the procedure. As a gassing imposed the total isolation of the crematorium area, which disturbed the camp's activities, and as it was impracticable while the works were going on, it would be decided, at the end of April, to transfer this kind of activity to Birkenau.[...]
Needless to say, the above also has little to do with what our opponents tried to convey. We will generously give them the benefit of doubt, assuming that they didn't read what Pressac wrote themselves but relied blindly on their "Revisionist" gurus who, as our opponents will hopefully now realize, took shameless advantage of their gullibility.

The same we suspect in regard to the following:
The head of the Auschwitz Museum, Franciszek Piper has the opinion that:


"In the case of Krema I there were no ventilators. The doors were opened and the gas was allowed to ventilate by convection."

Source: D.D. Desjardin, "My Visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau, May 30-31, 1996," Interview with F. Piper.
The statement Mr. Desjardin attributes to Piper is less absurd than our opponents would like it to be, considering that HCN dissipates quickly and the execution gas chambers in US prisons are actually ventilated directly into the atmosphere.

However, considering the above-mentioned evidence to the existence of forced air ventilation at Krema I and its use to ventilate or help the ventilation of the crematorium's morgue after a gassing, we need not discuss this issue here. If Piper really said to Desjardin what the latter claims to have heard, then Piper was wrong, period.

Neither is it necessary to address our opponents ensuing sermon against ""guardians of the shrine" and similar types" (another case of projection, dear friends?). In what concerns that passage starting with " What doors?" and ending with "They cannot have been assured that the lethal gas would necessarily rise.", we thus cheerfully let our opponents wallow in their own bile, and move on to the next card they pull out of their sleeve:
NT: And what happened to the alleged insertion holes when Krema I was modified into an air raid shelter?

A very detailed description of this work was in a letter from the Auschwitz Air Raid Warden:

"Herstellung der fuer die Beheitzungsoefen, sowie fuer die Ent- und Belueftung erforderlichen Mauerdurchbrueche und Schlaeuche."

(Construction of the wall openings and ducts for the heating furnaces and air intake and outlet.)

Source: Letter from the Auschwitz Air Raid Warden, Aug. 26, 1944, TCIDK 502-1-401

There is no mention of any filling-in of any old existing holes pierced in the roof but rather of the incorporation of gas-tight windows and doors as well as the piercing of new holes:


Installation of gas-tight doors, window shutters, and windows, provision of the openings in the masonry necessary for the heating ovens, as well as for the ventilation outlets and intakes and pipes.

This is a strong indication that before this time there were neither gas-tight doors and windows nor any other openings for ventilation installations or for any other purpose like Zyklon introduction holes; otherwise such old openings would have been used for this purpose, or their filling would have been mentioned.
As a hopefully still active member of the Negationist Team likes to say, absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence.

To which we would add that, in the presence of concrete documentary and eyewitness evidence to the existence of

i) openings for ventilation installations and

ii) Zyklon B introduction holes

it is rather moot to speculate why the Auschwitz Air Raid Warden, in his "very detailed" description (from which our opponents' guru quoted a full two paragraphs) of works on necessary wall openings and ducts for the requirements not of a morgue or a homicidal gas chamber, but of a room meant to keep people alive during an emergency situation, mentioned no filling-in of old existing holes (is there a good reason to assume, as our opponents do, that these holes would have sufficed as ventilation outlets and intakes for the purpose of an air raid shelter, which would have made them worth mentioning?) but referred to the installation of (additional) gas tight doors (the only previously existing gas-tight door would have been that of the morgue, which according to Pressac, see above, seems to have been a common morgue door made airtight through a makeshift sealing procedure rather than a specially manufactured gas-tight door of the sort the air raid warden was obviously referring to).

So we can add this "problem" to the list of "Revisionist" phantoms and move on to our opponents "arguments", right out of the "Revisionist" textbook, against the reliability of SS-witness Pery Broad:
Let us see now what SS-man Pery Broad, the second "eyewitness" of our esteemed defenders of the established legend, had to say about Krema I:

Broad had a problem with a report which he prepared while working for the British shortly after the war. This report was transcribed and submitted to the court during the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt. This transcribed "Broad Report" is available from the Auschwitz Museum. The original report seems to be lost.

A witness with the name of Winter testified during the Frankfurt trial that the submitted transcribed report agreed word for word with the original, as he remembered after 15 years! The one submitted during the Frankfurt trial however seems to be doctored up by the Poles. According to Broad it contained information which he could not have known. Pressac states that this former SS-man according to this report comes across rather like a Polish patriot! (Broad described in this report Poles who were condemned to death as "patriots" and "martyrs" and the SS-men as "brutish SS-beasts.") And Dr. Staeglich feels that the German in the report is extremely poor and that the submitted report was probably written by a foreigner. Broad was considered "intelligent," with an excellent education, who even studied at the technical University in Berlin. He would not have committed such linguistic errors.
First the last sentence of the above: who gives anything about what "Revisionist" guru Staeglich feels would or would not have been errors a native speaker of the German language would not have committed? Such assertions draw particular hilariousness on the part of our team members who are German native speakers themselves and know that, common mistakes made by native speakers of the language independently of education and other factors aside, Germany is a country with a rich variety of regional dialects, all with their own particular and abundant deviations from what a linguist would consider "correct" German and so different from each other that e.g. a Saxonian and a Bavarian, each speaking in their own regional dialect, would probably require an interpreter to understand each other. Juergen Langowski once brought to the point the silliness of this "Revisionist" reasoning, also applied by Staeglich's colleague Ingrid Weckert:
[...]Holocaust denier Ingrid Weckert has claimed that this document is a forgery. The Gas Vans: A Critical Assessment of the Evidence pp 24-29, discussed in note 13 herein. She offers three "proofs". The document contains the word "einzigste". Weckert notes that this form of the word "einzig" not exist in German, thereby suggesting the forger did not really know German. Mr. Juergen Langowski, a native German speaker who lives in Germany, has had his name in 100 books because he is a professional translator. He informed me that the word is a common oral and written mistake made by many Germans. He writes in a communication to me dated April 1, 1999: "...Weckert assumes that German officials always and under all circumstances produced absolutely flawless documents. This is ludicrous. Ingrid Weckert has published a few books and articles, and since there is no book without mistakes, I'm prepared to prove that Ingrid Weckert herself is a forgery and doesn't exist."[emphasis ours][...]
Source of quote: John C. Zimmermann, Holocaust Denial, footnote 15 on pages 358-359
As to what Broad said at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial about his report - which could hardly have been "doctored by the Poles" already for the reason that the Poles never had access to either the report or Broad himself (our opponents presumably pulled the wrong drawer and took out one of their staple claims against the depositions of Rudolf Hoess in Polish captivity)
- the study Nationalsozialistsiche Massentoetungen durch Giftgas, edited by Kogon, Langbein, Rueckerl et al, informs us on page 197 that (our translation and emphases)
[...]In the course of this trial [the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial] Broad was confronted with his memorandum of 1945. He admitted to being its author but was visibly embarrassed, because in his memorandum he had completely omitted his own role but accused his former colleagues and present co-defendants instead.[...]
So who is wrong, French scientist and researcher Georges Wellers - the author of the above-quoted passage - or our esteemed opponents?

According to Prof. van Pelt, Broad only could not recognize some numbers, for whatever reason. However, he did accept that the rest of the report was his: ... e/van.html
[...]A second document, the testimony of SS-Unterscharfuehrer Pery Broad, proved rather more informative. Broad, who served in the Political Department (the "camp Gestapo") at Auschwitz, wrote it shortly after the German capitulation while in British captivity. By all accounts he wrote the report voluntarily while working in the camp as a translator for the British counter-intelligence unit. In 1964, during the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial, Broad's British superior Cornelis van het Kaar testified that in the beginning of June, 1945, Broad approached him, and told him the history of Auschwitz.

Van het Kaar: "It seemed so important to me, that I immediately took him out of the camp, and gave him an English uniform. I told him: "Write everything down, especially write about the daily life there." Broad lived in the same house as we, and wrote everything down in two or three days. Later Broad went to the Muensterlager camp and began to help us with weeding our war criminals from the camps.
Representative of Adjunct-Prosecutor [Henry ] Ormond: "Did other people cooperate with the writing of the report? Did that possibility even exist?"
Van het Kaar: "No. Broad has written the report by himself. He came voluntarily to us. We did not search him. He came to us around 15 June. It was a kind of confession. He wanted to unload his heart."

Broad created six copies of his report. One of them was given to van het Kaar's superior Hermann Rothmann, who provided it to the Frankfurt court for Broad's trial. Examined during the trial under oath, Rothmann declared that Broad had written it by himself, and that the report roughly covered what Broad had told him in person. Broad admitted, after some hesitation, that the report was his.

Presiding Judge: "Accused Broad, what do you say about the document that has just been read."
Broad: "Without hesitation I recognize some parts as my own notes, but not the whole document."
Presiding Judge: "You had in Auschwitz much knowledge about what happened there."
Broad: "Yes, I had much knowledge."
Presiding Judge: "You expressed at the time, that it concerned a crime."
Broad: "That is also my conviction today. Every act in Auschwitz aided and abetted that. I believe there are more versions of this report. It seems to me there is much unfamiliar knowledge in this report."
Presiding Judge: "The report is written in one style and it is homogeneous in character. Does it not seem that it was written by one man, that means by you?"
Broad: "Yes,that is right. I only do not know the source of the numbers mentioned. That I could not know."
[...][emphases ours]
Looks like our opponents messed up once again.

And the beat goes on ...

It says a lot about our opponents that they considered this trash worth bolding:
NT: Broad mentioned an unrealistic time of two minutes gassing time until most of the victims became unconscious, and a further two minutes until they died.
Oh, how frightfully shocking!

First of all, whether the time Broad mentioned, according to our opponents, is really "unrealistic", depends on a number of factors that may have been present during some gassings and not present during others.

Second, if Broad's observation of the timing were in fact "unrealistic" under all circumstances, this would tell us nothing other than what we know already: that human perception of details such as the duration of an event is fallible and varies from individual to individual. Yet no historian or criminal justice authority would think of dismissing a witness as evidence on account of such inaccuracies, or making a fuss about the same. Such attitudes are the prerogative of who is not trying to establish facts but desperately fishing for arguments to support a pre-conceived notion of events.
NT: He also mentioned exhaust ventilators.
He sure did, see above.
NT: These, however, cannot be proven with documents.
That's dead wrong, as has already been shown. Even if it weren't, does the NT expect people to conclude that something must be presumed false simply if it isn't corroborated?
NT: Nor are they mentioned by Pressac and Piper.
At least in what concerns Pressac, that's are wrong as can be. What is more, the French researcher goes into so much detail regarding the exhaust ventilators of Crematorium I, see the above quotes from his book on the crematoria, that our opponents' claim strongly warrants the suspicion of a deliberate untruth on their part or - to give our opponents the benefit of doubt - on the part of their "Revisionist" sources.
NT: He also does not mention the time interval between the end of the gassing and the clearing of the chamber.
And so, dear opponents? What reasonable conclusion are we to draw from this, other than this detail not having impressed Broad enough for retaining it in his memory and writing about it?
NT: Nor whether the "Sonderkommando" were wearing gasmasks.
Same as above. However badly our opponents would wish Broad to have stated "no gasmasks" in order to make a fuss, the witness obviously said nothing either way in this respect. Our opponents will have to do better, if they wish to get anywhere.
NT: Now to Jankowski, the man with many names and different ages,
See our above considerations regarding Mark Twain, Fernando Pessoa and "Many Names" Rudolf.
who said that:

- The morgue in Krema I had no windows, but two flaps in the ceiling, electric lights, an entrance door from the hall and a second from the oven room.

- The morgue served to store dead bodies, and for the shooting of inmates.

- There were three ovens, each with two openings. Each opening could hold up to 12 dead bodies, but there were never more than 5 used at a time. They would burn faster that way.

- He states that there was still no gassing by the end of 1942 in Auschwitz and that he observed only one gassing in November or December 1942. He was locked together with the other Jews in the coke room, observed a bunch of 400 Jews approaching. After 30 minutes it was their job to drag the dead bodies to the adjacent oven room.
Did he?

We did some checking and found the following in Bezwinska & Czech:
[page 45] I state that there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz towards the end of 1942. The only gassing I knew about had taken place in November or December 1942
Since he did testify about that gassing, he obviously meant that there were (almost) no gassings at a certain facility during a certain period, towards the end of 1942. By this time gassings in Krema I were rare. And Jankowski was detailed to work in Krema I in November 1942 (p. 40). The gas chambers were in two "bunkers" near Birkenau, as Jankowski clearly states:
[page 46] At Birkenau people were at first killed with gas in bunkers and the corpses were cremated in pits. These bunkers were camouflaged to look like ordinary, harmless peasant cottages. Bunker No. 1 was situated in a field to the right of Birkenau and bunker No. 2 to the left.
About the gassing Jankowski stated the following:
[page 46] We, Jews, were told to leave the mortuary and to go to the yard after some time, we found the corpses. After writing down the camp numbers of the gassed prisoners we had to carry corpses to the cremators. We were busy at that job for two days.
We did not find anything about "30 minutes" or the absence of gas masks. As we don't think our source misrepresented Jankowski's testimony but wouldn't put it beyond our opponents or their gurus to do so, we hereby request that our opponents provide comprehensive verbatim quotes or translations of the man's statements they alluded to. Failure to do so will be considered admission of dishonest misrepresentation.
NT: How is it possible, that the "Sonderkommando" could enter the morgue after 30 minutes while the Zyklon-B was still discharging the poison gas for another 2? hours, without wearing gas masks?
Assuming Jankowski described them as having done so (see above) and that our opponents' assumptions about the out-gassing time of Zyklon B are accurate, the question might have some pertinence and lead us to the conclusion that - how frightfully shocking - Jankowski was wrong about this particular detail.
NT: The man Stanislaw Jankowski--alias Alter Feinsilber, alias Kaskowiak, alias Alter Szmul Fajnzylberg-
See above.
NT: is obviously lying!
It's all so obvious and easy for our "truth-seeking opponents, isn't it? A lie is a statement against better knowledge, a deliberate untruth, whereas the experience of criminal justice and historiography tells us that witnesses, while mostly correct about the occurrence of a given event, do often in good faith go dead wrong about certain details or features thereof. To yell that the witness is "lying" on account of such mistakes only shows the self-serving puerility of our opponents' reasoning, just as their claims regarding, say, the research of Jean Claude Pressac (see above) lay bare their intellectual dishonesty or - to give them the benefit of doubt - the dishonesty of the "Revisionist" gurus they piously and uncritically rely on.

For everything, including the chemistry of Zyklon B
Veritas Team:
One of its [the HCN poison gas] characteristics was that is was much more toxic for warm-blooded animals than for insects and could kill the former in much lesser quantities and time than the latter.

NT: A gas density of 3000 to 4000 ppm released instantly was used during US gas executions with HCN. The condemned lost consciousness within two minutes and died after 10 to 15 minutes.
Source, please, dear opponents. Haven't we been there before?
NT: Zyklon-B discharges its HCN content only gradually over a period of about 3 hours. Without any air circulation equipment it becomes obvious that considerably more Zyklon-B is required to kill people than lice. It is estimated about 10 times as much.
If so, some figures about how much it takes to kill lice would be appreciated in order to establish what exactly "10 times as much" is supposed to mean. According to the contemporary "Directives for the Use of Prussic Acid (Zyklon) for the Destruction of Vermin (Disinfestation)", issued by the Health Institution of the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia in Prague and quoted in our Opening Statement under the particularly resistant clothes-moths require 16 g per cbm and 24 hours to take effect at temperatures above 10 degrees centigrade. The morgue of Crematorium 1, see above, had an area of 77,28 square meters. Let's assume that it was 2.5 meters high, and we have a volume of 193.20 cubic meters. Wiping out clothes moths in that room would require 193,20 * 16 = 3,091.20 grams or roughly 3 kilograms of Zyklon B. As according to the aforementioned "Directives" exposure to 1 mg (= 0,001 grams) of hydrogen cyanide per kilogram of body weight is enough to kill a human being, this amount, assuming an average body weight of 70 kg, would be enough to kill 44,160 people, i.e. more than 44 times the number of people that, according to the highest of estimates provided by eyewitnesses, fit into the morgue of Crematorium 1. Yet our opponents expect us to believe that, in order to "quickly" kill 1,000 people in the morgue of Crematorium 1, the SS would have had to use roughly 30 kilograms of Zyklon B, an amount sufficient to kill 441,600 people or almost 442 times the actual number of victims! Something must be wrong about their reasoning, and indeed something is. As Dr. Richard Green explains in his online article, Chemistry is not the Science ( ... e-science/)
[...]300 ppmv [18] of HCN is rapidly lethal to humans (see the discussion on toxicity below), whereas Degesch recommends a concentration of 8-16 g/m3 (7240-14,480 ppmv) for delousing. [19] 300 ppmv is 0.33 g/m3.[...]
In other words: the amounts recommended by Degesh for delousing would have made for 24 to 48 times the gas density which, according to Dr. Green, is rapidly lethal to humans. US gas executions with HCN, according to our opponents, make do with 10 to 13 times this amount. Did anyone say something about a big overdose?

Incidentally, our opponents may have unwillingly helped explaining why some witnesses mentioned rather short times for the victims to die, when they wrote that in US executions the condemned "lost consciousness within two minutes": Needless to say, witnesses observing a homicidal gassing at Auschwitz from the outside can hardly be blamed for not being able to tell clinical death from the unconsciousness that preceded it.

As to our opponents' contention that Zyklon B discharges its HCN content only gradually over a longer period of time, that's a load of cattle manure already addressed and taken apart in our response of 28.05.2004, to be found under the link

Our opponents have tried to back up their nonsense with the writings of a "Revisionist" guru. We see no need to address the excerpt they quoted, as this would amount to a mere repetition of what we wrote above and in our response of 28.05.2004. We consider it highly amusing, however, that after their silly fuss about the aliases of witness Alter Feinsilber / Stanislaw Jankowski, our friends should, of all available gurus, have chosen to pick none other than the grand dragon, Mr. "Many Names" Rudolf aka Ernst Gauss, Dr. Werner Kretschmer, Dr. Christian Konrad, Dr. Dr. Rainer Scholz, Jakob Sprenger, Lennard Rose, etc. We would have expected a little more consistency, even from "Revisionists".

The data provided by our opponents at the end of this section, however, somewhat improve our opinion of them. For here our opponents have, for once, performed something closer to scholarship, by copying or collecting from scholarly work the names of the eyewitnesses who testified to homicidal gassings at Crematorium 1, even with an indication of the details in regard to which the depositions differ. As explained earlier in this section and throughout the present response, such discrepancies, attributable to the differences in individual perception and the fallibility of human memory that every criminal investigator and historian is familiar with, are an indication against any interdependency or even conspiracy among the witnesses and thus do not reduce their credibility, but enhance it. This last part of our opponents' considerations in this section, "Data from some Eyewitness Testimonies" we will therefore gratefully include in the evidentiary backup of our own argumentation, as soon as we have done the recommended checking of the accuracy of our opponents' rendering of their sources.

In the meantime we will list some major flaws that we have found so far:

a) As Messrs' Keren, McCarthy and Mazal's article indicates, Adam Zlobnicki's testimony concerns the restoration of the four holes. Can our opponents show that Zlobnicki testified that there never were more than 4 holes?
b) Pressac's claim about the three holes is based on Stanislaw Luczko's photo, the same photo used by Keren et. al. in their article. Thus it is simply the case of mistaken interpretation. Do our opponents really feel that minor mistakes by researchers invalidate anything in the standard history?
c) The whole section B is laughable. The estimates are simply ambiguous. Did witensses give the maximum numbers? Or did they give the numbers they usually witnessed, not necessarily maximum ones? NT does not even attempt to ask these questions.
d) The same flaw is found in the section C. For example, did Grabowski say that only Polish POWs were gassed in the morgue of crematorium I? Or he told only about what he had witnessed?
e) In the section D they repeat their mistake of presenting differing interpretations by historians as "difficulties". Danuta Czech was only giving her opinion about the start of gassings in crematorium I, as she explicitly indicated on p. 90. And Pressac did not even give any arguments for his dates (Pressac's dating here is influenced by his dating of the first gassing, which, he thinks, happened in December 1941, which, in our opinion, is clearly incorrect). Thus, again, our opponents see difficulties where there are none.

Anyway, we thank NT for mentioning the article by Messrs. Keren, McCarthy and Mazal, who succesfully establish the existence of the holes in the roofs of crematoria I and II. This adds two more pieces of evidence for our case.
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).
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Re: Veritas Team Second Response (8/6/04)

Post by Roberto »

I. "On Typhus" - Part VII of "NEGATIONIST TEAM 2nd Response 6/22/2004"

This part of our friends' "response" is supposed to answer our exposition, "The importance of typhus as a cause of death at Auschwitz-Birkenau", see our post of 5/28/04 2:04 am on the thread which we also recommend our audience to read and compare with our opponents' reaction, on which we will now comment. We hope for our opponents that they have undertaken to demonstrate, as we charged them to, that a typhus epidemic accounts for the majority of victims at Auschwitz, and not just that typhus was, is and can be very bad. That typhus is a disease none of us would like to catch we know already.

As so often before, our opponents started off on the wrong foot - with self-damagingly silly rhetoric that sounds like a preacher's Sunday sermon in church.
VT: One of the tactics used by "Revisionists" in discussions about the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp is to extol the threat posed and mortality caused by typhus. This argument serves three purposes. The first is to explain away a large part of the camp's mortality, where the evidence is such that denying it is not a promising approach, as having resulted from a communicable disease, a natural catastrophe against which the camp administration, despite all efforts to rein in the epidemic, was powerless.

NT: The prevalence of wartime disease and the herculean efforts to combat it cannot be easily dismissed away by the Exterminationists. This is an inconvenient truth and we shalt NOT let them forget it!
Yeah, sure.

The ensuing display of their infantile character does nothing to help them either:
VT: The second is to exclusively relate the use of high quantities of the lethal fumigation agent Zyklon B to an intensive effort to get rid of typhus-spreading lice, thus making what was also an agent of mass murder look like a life-saving device.

NT: Zyklon-Blausaure, used for fumigation of buildings and delousing of clothing and other articles, was so widespread in wartime Europe that an attempt to argue that it had no significant legitimate purpose or a downright malevolent presence at concentration camps is simply absurd. In fact, if the Germans had been able to procure more for the camps it would have saved many more lives. Most of the insecticide was used for legitimate purposes and even Exterminationists like Pressac concede this. Veritas is barking up the wrong tree here.

Woof, Woof.
It seems that our woofing opponents didn't understand our argument. We don't dispute that Zyklon B was also used for pest control and insofar had the effect of a life-saving device. What we have a big problem with is our opponents' article of faith that it was exclusively used for this purpose.

What's next?
VT: The third, finally, is to explain away the camp's enormous cremation capacity, which far exceeded that of any other German concentration camp, as having exclusively or mainly resulted from a concern about high mortality due to typhus.

NT: Epidemics of typhus and most other communicable diseases can be contained with cremation of infected cadavers; this has been known since the times of the Black Plague in the 14th century without necessarily knowing exactly why and what precise vectors were involved in the spread of the disease. Once thought to be foul odors, the chief culprits are rats, lice, fleas, ticks, etc., which carry the disease germs between human hosts and victims.
Yeah, we know that. And so?
NT: With a deathrate of 200 - 300 per day in 1942 during the worst of the typhus epidemics at Auschwitz, the crematoria capacity allowed for by architect Dejaco seems rather UNDER-designed, actually, for its planned expansion of 200 thousand Soviet POWs. The British had to deal with a deathrate of 500 - 600 per day at Belsen after liberation and the crematoria capacity of Birkenau would have had difficulty dealing with this if the ovens had all been in working order and available for service at that location.
The second sentence is completely wrong. As we already showed in our last response, it would have been a piece of cake to dispose of 500-600 corpses a day at Belsen after liberation if that camp had possessed anything like the cremation capacity installed at Birkenau when the four new crematoria with their 46 ovens were concluded in 1943.

As to the first, our opponents seem to be crashing into open doors. We have no problem at all with the notion that the camp's inmate mortality in 1942 and a planned expansion of its population called for additional cremation capacity. What we have a big problem with is the claim that it required 46 additional ovens. Far less would have done the job even in the worst inmate mortality scenario. As Prof. John Zimmerman writes in his already quoted article under ... -disposal/ :
[...] Although it was shown that typhus was responsible for very few deaths, it is still possible to test the necessity of the building based on the amount of deaths of registered prisoners had they died of typhus. In other words, assuming that all of the deaths of registered prisoners were due to typhus, was it necessary to build four new crematoria and 46 ovens to handle these deaths? [our emphasis] The only way to test the necessity is to compare it to deaths in other concentration camps and the cremation capacity of those camps. While such comparisons are difficult because they depend on knowing the amount of deaths and cremation capacity of other camps, there is one camp that affords us the information needed to make the comparison.

Gusen was a camp in the Mauthausen concentration camp complex. Mauthausen and Gusen are located in Austria. Gusen was comprised of three camps. In February 1941, Gusen had a Topf double muffle furnace, two ovens, installed in order to handle the deaths there. No additional ovens were added during the remainder of Gusen's existence. [66] Prior to March 1943, Auschwitz had three Topf double muffle ovens, or three times the cremation capacity of Gusen. [our emphasis] In 1942 there were 7410 deaths in Gusen. [67] In 1942 there were 44,000 deaths of registered prisoners and an additional 1100 Soviet POWs recorded in the morgue registries. These deaths are not in dispute. [68] Non-registered prisoners who were killed upon arrival are not included in these numbers Therefore, in 1942 there were six times as many deaths in Auschwitz as Gusen and three times the cremation capacity. [our emphasis] Also revealing is an examination of the highest three consecutive months of deaths in both camps. The highest three months of deaths of registered prisoners in Auschwitz was 21,900 for the period from August through October 1942. The highest three month period for Gusen was from December 1942 through February 1943 when 3851 prisoners died. Thus, in the highest three month period Auschwitz death totals for registered prisoners were six times the Gusen amount.[our emphasis]

A comparison of these death statistics suggests that Auschwitz could have accommodated the excess death rate over that of Gusen by doubling its cremation capacity from 6 to 12 ovens. If Auschwitz really needed 46 additional ovens, a nearly ninefold expansion of its existing capacity, then Gusen needed to expand to at least 12 ovens. Yet, no such expansion was ever undertaken.[our emphasis][...]
To sum it up: Even if all deaths of registered prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau had been due to typhus, 6 additional ovens for a total of 12 would have been sufficient to handle it. Yet they got themselves an additional 46 ovens for a total of 52.

The above considerations make any further discussion about the relation between typhus mortality/planned camp expansion on the one hand and the building of the Birkenau crematoria on the other superfluous.

Apparently for no other purpose than that of kicking up a little dust and venting their holy anger at those oh-so-bad "Exterminationists", our opponents now stray off the topic by quoting the understandably self-apologetic deposition on trial of the Birkenau Lagerfuehrer, Josef Kramer:
NT: There were between 350 and 500 deaths a week. The death rate was higher among the men, the reason being that the influx from the working camp consisted mainly of sick people. When I speak of the death rate in Auschwitz, I mean that all these people died of natural causes, that is to say either from illness or old age. The death rate was slightly above normal, due to the fact that I had a camp with sick people who came from other parts of the camp. The only reason I can see for the higher death rate, not only at Auschwitz but at all concentration camps in comparison with civil prisons, was that prisoners had to work, whereas in civil prisons they had not to work.
Some work that must have been, Mr. Kramer. Our readers may want to compare Kramer's somewhat-less-than-honest statements with what witnesses Wieslaw Kielar, Ella Lingens Reiner, Pery Broad and Jenny Schnauer, quoted in Zimmerman's above-mentioned article, wrote about the actual causes of death of registered prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Our (main) concern in this discussion being the hundreds of thousands of deportees killed in the gas chambers upon arrival without ever having been recorded in the camp's registers, we don't think the issues addressed by Kramer have much relevance for our topic.

The same goes, even more so, for our friends' ensuing rambling:
NT: Even in 1944, this is not an insignificant deathrate, especially considering that not all the crematories remained operational and repairs were very difficult to accomplish. Kommandant Hoess notes in his memoirs that SS-engineers Kammler and Bischoff often exceeded their authority and illegally made materials available for Auschwitz that was intended for other industries. In fact, in terms of todays dollars there was a billion dollars' worth of sewage, drainage, dispensary, and cremation infrastructure at Auschwitz-Birkenau designed to *prevent* the spread of endemic disease. Even with the understanding that forced-labor was itself brutal and inhumane, how can this be compatible with an "extermination through work" thesis?

Of course, some Exterminationists will argue that the sewage and drainage programs *themselves* were part of "extermination through work" rather than for disease-control. Everywhere one looks the Exterminationist will always see Genocide!
To which our reply is: we know that our opponents are emotional and resentful people, but they would do well to just cut out the bratwurst bullshit. For "extermination through work", which we will be glad to discuss with them on another occasion, is not the topic of this debate, and neither we nor anyone we know of disputes that the Auschwitz camp extermination invested lots of time and money into sewage and drainage programs. If our opponents paused to think, they might even realize that extolling this effort damages their argument, for it helps explain how the Auschwitz camp administration managed to keep typhus incidence and mortality at what all available evidence suggests to have been a rather low level.

After our opponents' next statement:
NT: More sober analysis is required to see a picture of the truth, however.
we had to pause for a while to roll on the floor laughing, considering who it comes from.

Following this refreshing comic relief, our opponents try to rescue the monster typhus from the ignominy to which they claim we relegated it.

They start with some pointless blah-blah about the Dr. Ludwik Gross, the medical scientist whose astronomic figures about typhus mortality in Eastern Europe after World War I (between 20 and 30 million deaths) we showed to be way too high, being of "unimpeachable credentials". Yawn. Dr. Gross may have unimpeachable credentials in his field of expertise - something none of our opponents' gurus can claim for himself - but his figures are still shown by both logical reasoning and other sources to be way above the mark.

To our objection that
VT: Considering the wide public attention accorded to the post-World War I influenza epidemic, which killed about 20 million people worldwide, it seems odd that a mortality of similar magnitude caused by typhus in Eastern Europe alone should have gone virtually unnoticed.
our opponents respond as follows:
NT: Not necessarily.

The influenza pandemic was a factor in the West, and it may have killed from 20 - 50 million people, according to Michael B.A. Oldstone in Viruses, Plagues, and History (Oxford: 2000), whereas typhus was a problem in Eastern Europe and the "underdeveloped" world; that alone suffices to accord it less interest than influenza in the "civilized" world. Even the influenza pandemic itself is a little-known footnote in history that is dwarfed by World War One and mostly goes unrecognized as a significant contributor to the German defeat in 1918. Diseases are not as interesting as battles and atrocity-propaganda.
Which makes us wonder why, instead of boring us with more of their trashy rhetoric about diseases (such as the medieval "Black Death", we presume) being "not as interesting as battles and atrocity-propaganda", our opponents didn't bother to look up the source invoked by themselves, which might have told them that, just like in the case of typhus, the overwhelming majority of deaths from the influenza pandemic occurred in regions "underdeveloped" - much more so than Eastern Europe, which our opponents consider so unimportant.
[...]Americans, better fed and healthier than most other people on earth, are relatively lucky. The virus does most of its killing in poor and populous countries.

October, 1918

No country seems safe from the virus.
Russia, which avoided the first outbreak, is hit when infected Allied troops invade Archangel to support White Russians fighting the communists. The epidemic decimates Russia but does its greatest damage in China and India, populous countries of poorly fed and impoverished people. Accurate numbers are impossible to find, but some estimates of the dead in India reach 10 million. Even distant Australia, which establishes a strict quarantine, is not spared - the flu eventually hits in 1919.
And then, as suddenly as it appeared, the Spanish Flu disappears. In its savage wake: 30 million dead.[...]
Source: [emphases ours]
The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI), at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as "Spanish Flu" or "La Grippe" the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster.
Most of humanity felt the effects of this strain of the influenza virus. It spread following the path of its human carriers, along trade routes and shipping lines. Outbreaks swept through North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Brazil and the South Pacific (Taubenberger). In India the mortality rate was extremely high at around 50 deaths from influenza per 1,000 people (Brown). [...]
Source: [emphases ours]
However, we accept our opponents' argument that the so-called Spanish Influenza, just like AIDS in more recent times, owed its "popularity" largely to its being a factor also in comparatively prosperous and mediatic Western Europe and North America. Perhaps the only pertinent argument our opponents produced throughout their "response", it still doesn't get them any closer to showing that Dr. Gross' 20-30 million typhus deaths in Eastern Europe after World War I are a realistic figure.

In our last response, we quoted three sources on typhus mortality in Eastern Europe.

One writes that
[...]In the aftermath of World War I and during the civil war between the White (Royalist) and Red (Communist) armies that followed the Bolshevik Revolution, typhus killed three million in a devastated and anarchic Soviet Union[our emphasis]. It came closer to toppling Lenin than the White Army ever did[...]
In the other you may read that
[...]During World War I the disease caused three million deaths[our emphasis] in Russia and more in Poland and Romania.[...]
The third - the translation, by "Revisionist" author Friedrich Paul Berg, of the 1942 article Zur Epidemiologie des Fleckfiebers im Generalgouvernement by German hygienist Dr. E. Zimmermann (not to be confounded with Prof. John C. Zimmerman of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, author of, among other contributions addressing "Revisionist" nonsense, the online article Body Disposal at Auschwitz: The End of Holocaust Denial ... -disposal/ )

- contains information about typhus incidence and mortality in Poland that is as interesting as it is inconvenient to our opponents' stance:
[...]Table 1. Typhus occurrences per year in the present-day Generalgouvernement.
1919 44,000 1930 320
1920 34,000 1931 420
1921 10,000 1932 500
1922 8,500 1933 680
1923 2,200 1934 1,000
1924 1,500 1935 800
1925 800 1936 740
1926 700 1937 680
1927 600 1938 700
1928 500 1939 ?
1929 400 1940 7,900
The mortality of the disease in all these years seems to be surprisingly low. For the years following the world war, the rate was 7%_9% with the exception of 13.4% for 1920. Thereafter, the mortality rate decreased to 5.2% in 1938 and in 1940 to 5.6%. However, many mild cases may not have been reported so that the hazards of the illness might, in fact, be even less.[...][emphases ours]
And our opponents' commentary:
NT: Professor E. Zimmermann is describing the successes used by the Polish and German governments in combating typhus, not to dismiss the threat of it, nor the wartime and postwar conditions that spread it.
doesn't exactly make things better for them, considering that

i) Dr. E. Zimmermann expressly addressed "the hazards of the illness" and

ii) if the Polish and, during Nazi occupation, the German government of Poland were so successful in combating typhus in Poland, what does this suggest regarding the incidence of mortality from this disease in places under tight German sanitation control, like the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, for whose "sewage and drainage programs" and other measures "designed to *prevent* the spread of endemic disease" our opponents are full of praise?

Against our conclusion in our last response:
[...]Especially the last source quoted - the translation of German hygienist Dr. E. Zimmermann's 1942 article Zur Epidemiologie des Fleckfiebers im Generalgouvernemtent by "Revisionist" author Friedrich Paul Berg - suggests that Ludwik Gross's figures on typhus mortality in Eastern Europe after World War I are way too high. [...]

Considering the above-quoted sources on deaths by typhus in Soviet Russia after World War I (ca. 3 million) and the comparatively negligible figures for Poland according to Zimmermann's article, this would mean that, for Gross's figure to be accurate, the overwhelming majority of the 20 to 30 million typhus deaths in Eastern Europe he mentioned - 17 out of 20 or 27 out of 30 million, respectively 85 % and 90 % - need to have occurred not in the two most typhus-ridden countries of Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and Poland, but in other countries like Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania and Czechoslovakia. This seems to be rather improbable.[...]
our opponents come up with Dr. John E. Gordon, who "elaborates on these conditions and the inexact reporting methodologies". We don't see how exactly Gordon's writings are supposed to help our opponents' argument. On the contrary, his statements
[...]Thus in Russia during the period 1919 to 1922 the estimated number of cases was 10,000,000, with 3,000,000 deaths, in a population of 120,000,000. These are stupendous figures. Their scale can be realized to some extent by recalling that in the much-described typhus epidemic in London in 1856 only 1,062 cases were recorded as treated in the London Fever Hospital out of a population of 3,000,000 whereas in Russia in the year 1921 alone there were 4,000,000 cases in a population of 120,000,000. These figures can, of course, only be approximate, as many cases diagnosed as typhus were in reality instances of relapsing fever; on the other hand a vast number of cases of typhus were never admitted to hospital and so remained unrecorded. Of the cases admitted to hospital very many were never notified by the Russian medical officers owing to pressure of work. [...]
confirm rather than contradict our above-mentioned sources, for the figures coincide with those given by our sources and the error factors mentioned by Gordon lead both to a reduction ("many" cases of relapsing fever wrongly diagnosed as typhus) and an increase (presumably lighter case of typhus that received no hospital treatment, as well as cases not reported by overworked medical staff) of the recorded numbers, a balance between the former and the latter thus being possible.

The NT then treat us to the unsupported and hardly relevant statement that
Throughout history, epidemics of louse-borne typhus have caused more deaths than all the wars combined.
after which they inform us that
The figure of three-million deaths from Russia
... which we never disputed (one the contrary: we were the ones who brought it up!)
is also supported by Hans Zinsser in his 1935 classic Rats, Lice, and History, which does not include Eastern Europe or the Balkans and may not include the Ukraine:
Assuming Zinsser's figure of three million deaths for "European Russia alone" does not include Ukraine, are we to assume that a substantial part of the 17 out of 20 or 27 out of 30 million typhus deaths in Eastern Europe, according to the unimpeachably credentialed medical scientist Dr. Gross, occurred in Ukraine, a region/country with ca. 40 million inhabitants whose history contains no records that we know of about an epidemic which wiped out at least a third of the population?

Our opponents' guru F.P. Berg, cited from, informs his readers that
[...] Without Zyklon-B carrying on in the role it had established for itself in the early years of the war, the horrible scenes in isolated places such as Bergen-Belsen in the spring of 1945 would have certainly been repeated on a far more spectacular scale. What actually happened was bad enough.
apparently unaware of what this says about his beloved Nazis' crime of incarcerating people in places where epidemic disease would have further increased an already enormous mortality due to malnutrition, overwork and brutal treatment had it not been for Zyklon B as a delousing agent. Our opponents, in turn, seem to be unaware of the damage Berg's extolling the success of Zyklon B's struggle against typhus does to their Auschwitz-Birkenau typhus monster.

Berg's "conclusions" from Zinsser's writings, on the other hand:
The losses in the Ukraine, the Balkans and Poland were probably comparable to those suffered in Russia but the historians have forgotten.
are contradicted, in what concerns Poland, by Berg's other source, Dr. E. Zimmermann. As this source recorded but a few tens of thousands of cases per year and a mortality of 13.4 % at most in the part of German-occupied Poland which included the most typhus-infested areas, during the period of highest incidence (1919-1920), Berg would have to find almost all of the additional three million typhus dead be postulates in Ukraine and "the Balkans" alone - assuming that the former, contrary to what our sources and Dr. Gordon suggest, was not included in Zinsser's three million figure for "European Russia" already.

So, what have our opponents shown so far to improve their argument regarding typhus?


Their preliminary conclusion:
NT: What matters is that the death rate from typhus and related illnesses was in the MILLIONS, and this is supported from numerous sources.
sounds as lame as can be, especially as we never disputed but even provided the mortality figures which - apparently having recognized the exaggeration of Dr. Gross' claim and in order not to admit that they messed up by relying on this source - our opponents now try to make the most of.

After this pitiable smokescreen exercise, how do our opponents now address Prof. John Zimmerman's research about what typhus was like at the specific place we are talking about, the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp?

In our response of 28.05.2004, we wrote:
VT: Independently of overall data about deaths from typhus in Eastern Europe over a given period, however, what matters to the "Revisionist" argument is the incidence and mortality rate from the disease at the specific place and time in question, i.e. at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp between 1941 and 1944. In this respect, however, the camp's death books and other evidence show that, while typhus was a problem and a concern to the camp's administration, it was not one they were unable to handle let alone a catastrophe against which they were powerless. In his online article, Body Disposal at Auschwitz: The End of Holocaust Denial – ... -disposal/ - John C. Zimmerman writes:

"[...]In 1989, the Auschwitz Archives in Moscow were opened for the first time since the Soviets liberated the camp in January 1945. These archives contain thousands of documents which survived destruction by the camp authorities when they fled the advancing Soviet forces. Among the items discovered were the Auschwitz Death Books. These books contain the death certificates of registered prisoners only. Nonregistered prisoners who were killed upon arrival did not receive a death certificate. The death books are incomplete. They contain the certificates of 68,864 registered prisoners who died from August 1941 to December 1943.There are no books for 1944 or periods prior to August 1941.They are either missing or were destroyed. Also, there are a number of missing books for the period August 1941 to December 1943. However, each book contains between 1400 and 1500 entries. [29] By interpolating 1500 entries into each missing death book we can arrive at approximately 80,000 deaths of registered prisoners for 1942 and 1943. [30] Dr. Tadeusz Paczula, a former Auschwitz inmate, was in the camp from 1940. He also kept the death registries for registered inmates. He later testified that for the two years following the summer of 1942, about 130,000 names were entered into the death registries. [31]

"Nevertheless, the nearly 69,000 death certificates available afford researchers the opportunity to see exactly what was killing registered prisoners. It is now known on the basis of these certificates that very few prisoners died from typhus. [32] They show that only 2060 of the 68,864 deaths were from typhus. While typhus can be lethal, it need not necessarily be so. Lucie Adelsberger, a Jewish prisoner and camp doctor, got typhus, was quarantined, and resumed her duties after recovery. [33] Similarly, Ella Lingens Reiner, a German doctor, who was also a prisoner, contracted typhus and survived. [34] One of the early Auschwitz memoirs, written in 1947, recounts an episode with camp doctor Josef Mengele, later to become known as the "Angel of Death" for his medical experiments. Mengele was disturbed about the typhus epidemic. The former prisoner wrote: "Alas, typhus epidemics did rage in the camp, but at this time we had comparatively few victims. The same day he [Mengele] sent us a large quantity of serum and directed mass vaccinations." [35] Petro Mirchuk, a Ukranian prisoner, wrote that a delousing in August 1942, the worst month of the epidemic, "eliminated the epidemic and the billions of fleas and lice ceased to exist. [36]

"Thus, it can be seen that people could recover from typhus and that the authorities did have means of combating the disease.[...]" [emphases ours]

Thus Prof. [John] Zimmerman appropriately headed this section of his article "The Typhus Myth". That myth having been debunked (to borrow a term "Revisionists" like to throw around on every inappropriate occasion), let us move on to the next set of canards.
Our opponents' comment:
NT: It is very important for the Exterminationists to argue that typhus was a MYTH!

But let's look at some FACTS about typhus:
Boy, that sucks!

What exactly are our opponents claiming here?

That Prof. Zimmerman's conclusions about typhus mortality at Auschwitz-Birkenau, based on the camp's records and the testimonies of former inmates and SS-men, are not in accordance with the facts?

Are they projecting their own fallacies onto Prof. Zimmerman, claiming that he ignored or manipulated evidence so as to support an argument based on pre-conceived notions?

And this

i) even though they cannot provide any evidence out of Auschwitz-Birkenau that would cast doubt on the accuracy of this scholar's conclusions, and

ii) despite their having themselves, in this very section, extolled or quoted their gurus extolling "sewage and drainage programs" and other measures "designed to *prevent* the spread of endemic disease", the "successes used by the Polish and German governments in combating typhus" in general, and that delousing with Zyklon B managed to keep "the horrible scenes in isolated places such as Bergen-Belsen in the spring of 1945" from occurring at Auschwitz-Birkenau and other concentration camps?

We would like to express our gratitude to our esteemed opponents for having provided us with such classic example of how "Revisionists"

i) are quick to level vile and unsubstantiated accusations against serious researchers;

ii) destroy their own arguments by arguing on both sides of their mouth.

Congratulations, Negationist Team!

Let's see what FACTS about typhus they will now dish up.

We would, of course, expect such FACTS to relate to the time, place and circumstances in question, i.e. the early 1940s, Eastern Europe in general and German-occupied Poland in particular, and the sanitation and delousing measures taken by administrations in general and the camp administration of Auschwitz-Birkenau in particular to check the spread of the disease.

However, our opponents seem to have - not unreasonably - concluded that they won't find much there to support their arguments. Which is why they treat us to a lengthy excerpt from the article "Outbreak of epidemic typhus associated with trench fever in Burundi," by D. Raoult, J.B. Ndihokubwayo, H. Tissot-Dupont, V. Roux, B. Faugere, R. Abegbinni, R.J. Birtles. LANCET, vol 352; August 1, 1998; pp. 353-358, to convey the message that
NT: The above article illustrates the difficulties in diagnosing and treating typhus and related disease.
Great. And so?
NT: The Germans in WWII did not have antibiotics like doxycycline, and the Weigl vaccine for typhus was expensive, in great demand for the vaccination of fighting troops, and only marginally effective.
Yep, that's why mortality among people who fell ill with typhus can be expected to have been about as high during World War II as among untreated cases in Burundi in the late 1990s. German hygienist Dr. E. Zimmermann gives more precise information regarding Poland, see above:
[...]The mortality of the disease in all these years seems to be surprisingly low. For the years following the world war, the rate was 7%_9% with the exception of 13.4% for 1920. Thereafter, the mortality rate decreased to 5.2% in 1938 and in 1940 to 5.6%. However, many mild cases may not have been reported so that the hazards of the illness might, in fact, be even less.[...][emphasis ours][...]
NT: The Germans made herculean efforts to control disease by improving camp sanitation, fumigation and delousing protocols, and they were largely successful un these efforts until the administration and logistical situation completely broke down at the end of the war. The efforts of the Germans to cordon and quarantine disease in Poland was of critical importance to the war-effort, and the concentration camps played no small part in this.
Thanks again, dear opponents, for explaining the reasons behind the Auschwitz camp administration's success in keeping typhus incidence and resulting mortality at a comparatively low level. Herculean and successful sanitation efforts. Exactly.
[...]The typhus epidemic of 1941-42 itself is attributed to the massive intakes of infected Soviet prisoners-of-war. The invasion of the Soviet Union is one factor of significant change during the war not described in 1940 by Professor E. Zimmermann in his paper on the epidemiology of typhus in the Generalgouvernement. Through diplomatic channels the French were able to get their POWs held by the Germans innoculated with the Weigl vaccine, thus mitigating the effects of the epidemic. There was no similar relief effort for Soviet prisoners or Jews.

Hubert Duboc, "La mission Lemierre et Sohier dans les camps de prisonniers de guerre en Allemagne en janvier 1942." Histoire des Sciences Medicales. Tome 28:1 (1994); pp. 33-39.[...]
Why, didn't our friends just tell us that - as is corroborated by their success in checking the typhus epidemic at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942, according to Prof. John Zimmerman's sources - the Germans managed to keep up these "herculean" and "largely successful" efforts until the end of the war at the concentration camps? At Soviet prisoner of war camps they didn't make such efforts, for sure. Yet this didn't make typhus the main killer of Soviet POWs. Our translation from Christian Streit, Keine Kameraden. Die Wehrmacht und die sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen 1941-1945, 1997 edition, page 180:
[...]How many victims the typhus epidemic in 1941/42 claimed among the Soviet prisoners of war cannot be established. It is certain, however, that this epidemic determined the extent of the mass dying to a much lesser degree than was later claimed with apologetic intent. According to a list prepared by the Leading Sanitation Officer at the Military Commander in the General Government, until 10 February 1942 there had been 2,242 deaths from typhus [our emphasis] among the prisoners "since the beginning of the epidemic", which was less than one percent of the 270,000 prisoners who had until then perished in the GG [our emphasis]. Possibly this report does not include all deaths, but it leaves no doubt that in the General Government typhus claimed comparatively few victims. For the other areas there are no figures, but it must be assumed that, given the similarity of conditions, the number of victims was also relatively low.[...]
Tough luck, dear opponents. Your claim about "massive intakes of infected Soviet prisoners of war" doesn't get you any further. You are free, of course, to argue that it may be "very important" for renowned German historian Christian Streit "to argue that typhus was a MYTH!"
NT: It is clear that while typhus may indeed by "easy and inexpensive" to treat by today's standards, to argue, as the Exterminationists do, that typhus is a MYTH is of profound historical ignorance.
How about crapping in the proper place, dear opponents? Nobody is arguing that "typhus is a MYTH". The argument is that the notion that deaths at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp were mostly caused by typhus, and that typhus mortality was one of the key considerations underlying the expansion of the camp's cremation capacity to levels far above those of any other concentration camp, is a rather feeble and transparent myth. We trust that even "Revisionists" can appreciate the difference. Clearly, they would not be misrepresenting our position with this absurd straw-man if they were capable of arguing their point by sticking to the topic - which, as they keep reminding us, is supposedly Auschwitz-Birkenau.
NT: Well, in spite of Professor [John] Zimmerman trying to argue that typhus is a myth,
There we go again. It would seem that our opponents are trying to cure someone's insomnia ...
NT: that the mortality is not that high, we have cited two articles above which say that without an antibiotic administered the typhus mortality in a Burundi jail was 15 percent. Other sources give typhus mortality rates as high as 20 - 40 percent if untreated.
German hygienist Dr. E. Zimmermann, see above, established a mortality rate in Poland between 5.2 % in 1938 and 13.4 % in 1920, the latter figure coming close to mortality from untreated typhus in a Burundi jail. Mortality from the untreated disease would of course depend solely on incidence, so if mortality figures were rather low according to the Auschwitz records examined by Zimmerman, this suggests that, through the "herculean" sanitation efforts our opponents make so much of, the camp administration succeeded in keeping the incidence of typhus at a comparatively low level.

Our opponents quote various other sources on typhus morbidity/mortality, which mostly point to mortality rates close to Zimmermann's highest figures (Poland, 1920) and the 15% figure for Burundi jails mentioned by our opponents. We do not dispute these sources, but we are rather amused with our opponents' display of what is commonly known as "much ado about nothing". For - as we have shown already but don't mind showing again - even the highest mortality rate mentioned in their sources wouldn't get our opponents anywhere.

One of the sources however - German hygienist Dr. E. Zimmermann' 1942 study on typhus in the General Government - we would like to devote a little more attention to, as our opponents quote the following footnotes from that source:

(1) The epidemiological circumstances of typhus in the Generalgouvernement in the year 1940 were examined thoroughly. (2) The results showed that the highest number of cases occurred within the age groups of 16-20, and that the percentage of Jews affected by typhus was on the average 70-80%, in some communities even 95-97%. (3) The mortality rate generally grew with increasing age. It was no less for Jews than for non-Jews.
Our opponents seem to have read footnote (2) in the sense that between 70-80 % and 95-97 % of the Jewish population of the General Government fell ill with typhus. That this reading is dead wrong is shown by the following passage of the same source:
[...]Although it was in the nature of earlier population figures and epidemiological statistics in Poland that there are no exact numbers available, nonetheless the Jewish share [(Anteil der Juden) -- emphasized as in the original] in the typhus phenomenon has obviously always been rather high. Normally it seems to have been about 70%-80%, but in 1940 the Jewish share in some communities was 95% or even more of all typhus cases. We personally had the opportunity to study an outbreak of the epidemic in greatest possible detail in one town with approximately 30,000 inhabitants of whom about 11,000 were Jews. Of the 303 cases of the illness, 295 were among Jews, i.e., 97% among Jews and only 3% among Poles. [...][emphases ours]
Zimmermann is clearly referring not to what portion of the Jewish population contracted typhus, but to what portion of a given number of people ill with typhus were Jews as opposed to non-Jews. His "Table 2" shows that the highest rate of incidence he established in the Jewish population was among the age group 16-20, with 20.9 %. This percentage, and not 75 % as our opponents would have it, is the maximum that could be reasonably applied for their calculation we will look at hereafter.
NT: If we apply this morbidity rate of about 75 percent to the 200 thousand inmates planned for Birkenau in 1941-42, we get about 150 thousand cases per year, certainly not an unrealistic figure considering that the sick were collected at "Krankenlagern" like Birkenau.
Birkenau a "Krankenlager"? Source, please.

As mentioned above, we should be speaking of 20.9 % at most rather than 75 % (our opponents apparently didn't bother to wonder how a concentration camp with 3 out of 4 inmates sick with typhus would have been supposed to function at all). Let us generously put the rate of incidence to be considered at 25 %. This would mean about 50,000 expectable cases annually, according to our opponents' calculation. If we then use a nominal mortality rate of 15 percent, again not unreasonable (though somewhat on the high side if compared to the a.m. figures of German hygienist Zimmermann) this would amount to 7,500 annual deaths from typhus or 21 per day on average. The camp's population never reached 200,000, however. According to Prof. John Zimmerman's article under ... -disposal/ the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex held 74,000 prisoners on 31 August 1943. Assuming the population was that strong throughout the camp's existence - actually it was much lower in 1942 - the above-mentioned typhus incidence and mortality rates would lead to 18,500 cases and 2,775 deaths a year (8 per day) or roughly 8,300 over a three-year-period - about 6.4 % of the 130,000 deaths among registered inmates that our opponents are generously prepared to concede.

As we have shown before, however, even our opponents' calculations based on their much higher figures for the expected number of corpses due to typhus ("over 20 thousand deaths from typhus alone each year, about 55 per day on average, or in line with what Kramer said for the year 1944.") would have been nothing that could not have been comfortably handled by giving Auschwitz-Birkenau a cremation capacity as much in excess of the six ovens they had at the outset as their mortality exceeded the mortality of Gusen concentration camp - 6 additional ovens for a total of 12, instead of 46 additional ovens for a total of 52. Our opponents' considerations about seasonal peaks:
NT: If we assume that the outbreaks will occur seasonally, custered mostly over three months of the year, then we can easily see a figure of 200 deaths per day (on average) is possible, about what was claimed during the epidemic of 1942 when the whole camp was shut down. The crematorias therefore had to be designed adequately to meet such peak loads.
do not change the picture, for if two ovens at Gusen could handle 7,410 deaths in 1942, roughly 21 a day, the most it would have taken to handle a daily number of deaths ten times higher would have been ten times the number of ovens - an additional 14 for a total of 20, not an additional 46 for a total of 52. Assuming, that is, a use of the Gusen crematoria to full capacity in order to cremate 21 bodies a day. Actually, as Prof. John Zimmerman (as above) points out,
The highest three months of deaths of registered prisoners in Auschwitz was 21,900 for the period from August through October 1942.
The highest three month period for Gusen was from December 1942 through February 1943 when 3851 prisoners died.
3,851 deaths within 90 days = 43 bodies a day. 2 ovens were sufficient to cremate this number.

21,900 deaths within 90 days = 243 bodies a day, roughly 6 times as many as at Gusen. So six times as many ovens as at Gusen, a total of 12, would have been sufficient to give Auschwitz-Birkenau an installed cremation capacity as efficient as that of Gusen concentration camp.

These considerations are also sufficient to make the NT's ensuing claim:
All the crematoria at Auschwitz-Birkenau would not have been able to cope with the epidemic at Belsen in 1945, which involved 500 - 600 dead per day in a camp population of only 60 - 80 thousand.
look ridiculous. 600 bodies a day would have been 14 times the daily average of Gusen between December 1942 and February 1943, and thus required 14 times the cremation capacity installed at Gusen - an additional 22 ovens for a total of 28. Yet Auschwitz-Birkenau acquired 46 additional ovens for a total of 52. And we haven't even yet addressed the fact that, according to the lower of two contemporary estimates, coming from a reasonably cautious manufacturer and prior to any operation experience - Pruefer's letter to the Bauleitung dated 8 September 1942, mentioned in our response of 28.05.2004 – a total of 2,400 corpses per day could be cremated in the four Birkenau crematoria commissioned in 1943.

Towards the end of this section, our opponents tell us something about cholera and malaria at Auschwitz-Birkenau, decorated with pointless humbug about medical journals and "ideologized" infectious disease. We wonder what sources gave them the idea that cholera and malaria abounded at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

As to their final conclusion, we think that we have sufficiently shown how baseless it is.
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).
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Re: Veritas Team Second Response (8/6/04)

Post by Roberto »

J. "On Cremation" - Part VIII of "NEGATIONIST TEAM 2nd Response 6/22/2004"

"Revisionists" are generally preoccupied with the cremation capacities of Auschwitz ovens. They think that their arguments somehow disprove the historical record on this camp. Is this approach justified? We'll see.

Our opponents start off with responding to some points made by us in our previous response:
NT: But why did the Germans build crematoria except for homicide?

First of all, the Germans built crematoria ovens and not industrial incinerators such as might be used to dispose of the carcasses of diseased cattle.

VT: So what? Does this answer the question just put?

NT: Crematories are designed so that the fuel is not mixed with the ashes and bones of the corpses--so that the "cremains" of one body are kept separate from the next.

VT: This is how they can be designed and are designed for civilian cremation practice, not how they must necessarily be designed. Keeping apart the cremation remains of the victims of mass gassing was the last thing the killers were concerned with.

NT (latest): Again, there was nothing special about the crematories at Birkenau. Kremas II and III were in fact the same Topf & Sons design used at Buchenwald.

As we noted, these were not industrial incinerators; the fuel was separate from the cremains and the combustion process was not necessarily the fastest nor the most fuel-efficient process possible as a result.

Cremation in crematoria ovens is not a matter of "spontaneous human combustion" using the corpses like cordwood but instead a highly technical process designed by civilian standards for the disposal of the dead, and not merely the expedient disposal of biological waste in wartime.
They fail to grasp our point, which is that Auschwitz crematoria indeed differed from civilian ones. It is irrelevant that the incinerators were not installed since their use would be more efficient even if Auschwitz wasn't an extermination camp. If it was just a labor camp, but a very large one, why didn't Germans install the incinerators? We guess that disproves the whole "Auschwitz" story - there was no camp, according to the "Revisionist" logic! Ethical considerations about co-mingling of the ashes are simply irrelevant in the case of Auschwitz.

Indeed, the Topf manual, a translation of which can be found under ... 0136.shtml explicitly states:
As soon as the remains of the corpses have fallen from the chamotte grid to the ash collection channel below, they should be pulled forward towards the ash removal door, using the scraper. Here they can be left for a further 20 minutes to be fully consumed, then the ashes should be placed in the container and set aside to cool.

In the meantime, further corpses can be introduced one after the other into the chambers. The two coke furnaces must be fed with fuel from time to time.
Our esteemed opponents seem to be unaware of this document. So if other crematoria were designed so "that the "cremains" of one body are kept separate from the next", Auschwitz crematoria were designed differently, indeed!

Next, Negationists take some shots at Henryk Tauber's testimony:
NT: Short of fantastic stories about cremating multiple bodies at a time--Sonderkommando Henryk Tauber claimed that five were loaded into each muffle with each charge--there is no basis whatever for fantastic cremation capacity at Birkenau.
Here are Tauber's exact words:
"Each muffle [the receptacles of the ovens] could in principle hold four to five corpses. Up to eight muselmen could fit inside."

Deposition of Sonderkommando Member Henryk Tauber, 24th May 1945, in W.Dlugoborski-F. Piper, Auschwitz 1940-1945. Central Issues in the History of the Camp. Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum (2002); Vol.III, p.255. The full deposition is here pp. 244-269.
First of all, Tauber stated that they burned 4 or 5 corpses only when they needed a pause:
In principle he [Ober Capo August] did not let us put more than three corpses in one muffle. Because with that quantity we were obliged to work without interruption, for as soon as the last muffle was charged, the contents of the first had been consumed. In order to be able to take a pause during the work, we would charge 4 or 5 corpses in each muffle. The incineration of such a charge took longer, and after charging the last muffle, we had a few minutes' break until the first one was again available.
(in van Pelt, "The Case for Auschwitz", pp. 196-197).
There is nothing problematic in this statement if some of the corpses were those of children or people of small complexion. Charles Provan demonstrated that 8 persons (2 men, 1 woman, 5 children of different ages) can fit into the box with the base area of 21"X21". Auschwitz muffles were considerably larger.

Ken Englade in his book "A Family Business" (NY, St. Martin's, 1992) writes about multiple cremations at Pasadena Crematorium:
The crematorium routine was amazingly easy to learn. David had one commandment: cram as many bodies as possible into the retorts, each of which was only three and a half feet tall, four feet wide, and eight feet long - about the size of the interior of an American sedan. The workers, carefully picked by David, made a game of it, holding a running contest to see who could jam in the most. Normally, Pollerana learned, it was only about nine bodies per retort, but much depended on the sizes of the cadavers. Once, with effort, he got fifteen bodies inside one of the ovens. (p. 49)[emphases ours]
According to Englade, David had a tremendous success in cremation business with this method (pp. 51, 52, 85).
NT: In addition to any problems caused by lack of the necessary skills to operate the complicated cremation process itself, the firebrick of the muffles was sensitive to heat and not made of the highest quality materials, which caused breakdowns from continuous and excessive use. The walls of the muffles could not come into contact with the material being reduced inside without becoming damaged, as Topf engineer Kurt Pruefer himself noted while in Soviet captivity.
NT's point is unclear. Though NT does not quote Pruefer or specify the scale of the alleged damage done to muffle walls by the contact with the "material being reduced", it is a well-known fact that Auschwitz ovens did indeed experience many problems because of the enormous strain applied to them. Kurt Pruefer told about it during the interrogation on March 5, 1946:
Question: Please do truthfully explain, why in the chimneys of the crematoria in Auschwitz camp the inner brick lining (Schamottverkleidung) crumbled so often!
Answer: The inner brick lining of the crematory chimneys in Auschwitz already started crumbling after half a year due to the colossal strain to which these crematoria were subject at the concentration camp.

(Source: Verhoerprotokolle Kurt Pruefers (Interrogation protocols of Kurt Pruefer), transcribed underüfer.html. The above, like all further quotes from these protocols, as well as the protocols of the interrogations of the other engineers of crematorium manufacturer Topf & Soehne, is our English translation of the German translation from Russian transcribed on Germar Rudolf's website. Emphases in these quotes, where not stated otherwise, are ours.)

Lots of repair work has been done on these ovens during their lifetime. Then our opponents write:
NT: It remains to be shown how five corpses could be cremated in each muffle at once. This was certainly not part of the design, and we are extremely skeptical of the purported Bischoff document (cited by Veritas) claiming that the four crematorias at Birkenau could dispose of 4,416 corpses per day altogether.
They add a silly remark:
NT: This is Holocaust math at its finest!
What math? Are they talking to themselves again?

If Negationists know of any reasons why 5 corpses could not be cremated at once, we urge NT to list them. Whether it was part of design or not is simply irrelevant. Concerning Bischoff's letter, Negationists later state:
NT: For even in the unlikely event that experience showed that each of Kremas II or III could dispose of 1,440 corpses in a twenty-four hour time period, according to Bischoff, it would be a mistake to extrapolate such figures--here amounting to four corpses per muffle per hour around the clock. It is probably a postwar falsification of an actual document.
First of all, it is certainly an authentic document and no one has yet shown otherwise. If it was forged by anyone, it was forged by the Soviets. But Soviets would attribute a capacity of 10,000 corpses per day or more to Auschwitz crematoria. The authenticity of the document was decisively established by Robert Jan van Pelt:
The final reason that made me decide that I had been right to trust the letter was the fact that in Moscow file 314, in which it was preserved, it is followed by a translation made by a certain Wolynskaja. This translation is dated April 28, 1945. Remarkably enough, the translator Wolynskaja did pick up the mistake in Kammler's title. She (partly) corrected it in the translation, where she identifies Kammler as "SS-Brigadefuehrer and General Major SS." We saw that Irving had paid specific attention to the fact that there was a mistake in the title of Hans Kammler. Irving was right that such a mistake is unusual, but it was not completely impossible because the letter was drafted by Rudolf Jaehrling, a civilian heating engineer employed in the technical department of the Zentralbauleitung. What is interesting, however, is that translator Wolynskaja picked up the mistake and partially corrected it. Because the mistake was recognized in April 1945, it is unlikely that if the document was a forgery it would have been allowed to sit with a mistake. This closed the case for me.
("The Case for Auschwitz", p. 484).
Are the numbers in the document plausible? If only the corpses of adults were meant, then the estimate is probably exaggerated. If smaller than average corpses (e. g. those of the children) were accounted for, then the estimate might be closer to reality. However, the value of this document lies largely not in the precise numbers, but in that it indicates the enormous capacity which was officially expected from crematoria. This can be clearly seen by comparing Auschwitz to "normal" concentration camps. As van Pelt notes, Dachau and Buchenwald could incinerate their populations in three months. In these three months Auschwitz, theoretically (according to Bischoff), could dispose not only of its anticipated population, but of 190,000 additional corpses (see van Pelt's calculations in "The Case for Auschwitz", pp. 350-352).

Our esteemed opponents engage in a long and tedious discussion of how it should not be assumed that maximum capacity would be used every day, that engineers were concerned about peaks, hence the large theoretical incineration capacity etc. They never take time to see if other camps were equipped to handle "peaks" in the same manner as Auschwitz. (Also see our comments about the number of muffles in Auschwitz compared to that of Gusen.)

NT's discussion contains a weird and unsubstantiated implied assumption that the figure given by Pruefer in Soviet captivity is the "manufacturer's recommendation":
In Soviet captivity Pruefer told his interrogators that each muffle could only reduce one corpse per hour of operation.

From the interrogation of Engineer Kurt Pruefer by Soviet officers of "SMERSH" of the 8th Army, Captain Schatanwoski and Major Moruschenko on March 5, 1946:

Frage: Welche Anzahl von Leichen konnte in Auschwitz pro Stunde in einem Krematorium verbrannt werden?

Antwort: In einem Krematorium, das fuenf Oefen oder fuenfzehn Oeffnungen (Muffeln) aufwies, verbrannte man in einer Stunde fuenfzehn Leichen.


"Question: How many bodies could be cremated in Auschwitz per hour?

"Answer: In a crematorium with five ovens or fifteen muffles they cremated in one hour fifteen corpses."

Source: Verhoerprotokolle Kurt Pruefers (Interrogation protocol of Kurt Pruefer)üfer.html

Using Pruefer's interrogation figures of 1 corpse per muffle per hour and a working day of 20 hours with a four-hour pause for maintenance, with Birkenau's 46 muffles we have a maximum daily disposal rate of 920.
Actually, according to Negationists themselves the maximum, peak capacity would be the one in Pruefer's letter to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Construction Office of 8 September 1942 (at least they agree to proceed on that assumption for the sake of the argument). Of course, anything Topf engineers said in Soviet captivity which minimized the capacity of the crematoria should be treated with suspicion. Using this strategy they might have been trying to minimize their guilt.

Protocols of the interrogations of Topf engineers by SMERSH constitute more evidence for the gassings and deserve to be quoted at length. On February 11, 1948, Pruefer stated that he did not know about gassings until he visited the camp in 1943:
[...]Question: Was it personally known to you for what purpose the company built crematoria and gas chambers in the concentration camps?

Answer: Until 1943 I was not informed about the actual purpose and destination of the crematoria erected in the concentration camps; this only became known to me when I visited Auschwitz concentration camp. Before this the representatives of the SS construction offices, who conducted the negotiations with the company Topf, told me that the crematoria in the concentration camps were built for burning the corpses of inmates who due to disease had died a natural death. About the existence of gas chambers in Auschwitz concentration camp I also only learned when I visited this camp in 1943. Before that I had known nothing about their existence and purpose. [emphasis ours] I would also like to point out that the gas chambers in the concentration camps were not built by the company Topf. I only know that the company Topf mounted the ventilation installations for the gas chambers in Auschwitz concentration camp.

Question: What exactly came to your knowledge about the true purpose of the crematoria and gas chambers being erected at this camp at the time of your visit in 1943?

Answer: During my visit at Auschwitz concentration camp in 1943 it became known to me that in this camp a mass extermination of prisoners was going on, including women, children and elder people, who the Hitlerites sent to Auschwitz in whole transports from the German-occupied countries of Europe. The inmates arriving at Auschwitz concentration camps were sent by the SS-men to the gas chambers, where they were murdered, and thereafter their corpses were burned in the crematoria as well as on special incineration pyres.

Question: Thus, when you took part in building the ovens for the crematorium at Auschwitz concentration camp, you know that these were meant for the destruction of wholly innocent people?

Answer: Yes, I knew this.

Question: What made you actively concern yourself with these works, then?

Answer: After the actual purpose of the crematoria at Auschwitz concentration camp had become known to me, I decided to refrain from taking part in their construction, and hereof informed the head of the company, Ludwig Topf.
In reply Topf told me that the building of the crematoria in the concentration camps was being carried out by the company on behalf of the Reich Office of the SS, and that if I refused to take part in these works I could be arrested as a saboteur and imprisoned in a concentration camp. For fear of losing my job and being exposed to reprisals I therefore abandoned my original intention and continued to fulfill all of the company's orders for building crematoria in the concentration camps. Other motivations I did not have.

Question: Did the fact that you belonged to the Nazi party since 1933 not influence your decision?

Answer: Of course my membership in the Nazi party, whose ideas I shared, obliged me to loyally support all measures taken by the government organs of Germany - including the SS Reich Office - and to forcefully contribute to the execution of these measures. But in the present case I took the decision to continue with the works of constructing and building the crematoria out of fear of reprisals and for no other reasons. Otherwise I would not have requested Ludwig Topf to release me from these tasks.[...]
Later, on March 4, he corrected himself:

[...]Question: When and in what manner did it become known to you that at the first crematorium in Auschwitz there was a gas chamber?

Answer: I learned of this by chance in 1942 under the following circumstances:
In the spring of 1942, at the request of the Auschwitz camp's SS-Construction Office, I went to Auschwitz to verify the project for the planned building of a new crematorium in the Auschwitz camp sector, present my conclusions and also have a look at the site where this crematorium was to be built.
The foreseen construction site I visited in the company of an SS-man.
When we passed the first crematorium, I saw through a half-open door that in one of the rooms of the crematorium building there were human corpses lying on the floor in various positions. There were more than ten. When I approached this room, someone quickly slammed the door shut from the inside. As the purpose of this room in Crematorium Nr. 1 wasn't known to me, I asked the SS-man accompanying me about it. He replied that in this room a gas chamber had been installed and that inmates were poisoned with gas therein.
To my following question, in which way this gas chamber worked, the SS-man answered elusively that he didn't know exactly, but he told me that it was known to him that there were gas chambers in the city of Lodz, where the SS-men killed inmates with the exhaust gases of cars; thereafter, however, they had made improvements to speed up the killing process and started to use some kind of gas.
As the SS-man declared, the killing process had as a result of the use of gasses in the gas chambers been shortened from 10 to 15 to two minutes in the gas chambers of Lodz.
The killing process in the gas chambers of the city of Lodz, in the words of the SS-man, went as follows: the inmates were chased into the gas chambers, the doors were hermetically closed and opened bottles with gas were thrown through special openings.
On hand of this account I concluded that the inmates were also being murdered in the same way by SS-men in the gas chamber installed by the SS-men in Crematorium No. 1.

Question: This means that since the spring of 1942 you were informed about the existence of gas chambers at the crematoria of the Auschwitz camp?

Answer: Completely right. As I already said before, I first learned in the spring of 1942 that in Crematorium No. 1 at Auschwitz concentration camp there was a gas chamber and that there inmates were being violently murdered by the SS-men.

Question: Why did you declare at the previous interrogations that you had first come to know in 1943 about the true purpose of the crematoria and gas chambers located in Auschwitz concentration camp?

Answer: In my depositions during the previous interrogations I was simply mistaken about the date. In actual fact this became known to me in the spring of 1942, as I said.[...]

Pruefer's testimony about gassings is corroborated by those of Sander and Schultze. On March 4, 1946, Karl Schultze stated:

[...] Question: When did you personally go to the Auschwitz camp to equip the crematoria and the gas chambers?

Answer: At Auschwitz concentration camp I was twice. Once in connection with a calculation error regarding the ventilation - this was in the spring o 1943 - and the second time about two months later, to commission the ventilation in a newly built crematorium.

Question: What did your notice at the time of your stay in Auschwitz concentration camp, while you were in the immediate surroundings of the crematorium and the gas chambers?

Answer: When I was at Auschwitz concentration camp, I personally saw, twenty steps away from me, how SS-men from the camp chased up to three hundred people before them - men, women and children. Of which nationality they were I could hardly determine, but according to their outside appearance they had no idea where they were being led. They chased them all into a huge wooden barracks without windows, which was electrically lighted inside.
From the outside this barracks was connected with the gas chamber through a closed corridor, where I installed the ventilation.
This I watched at around 16 hours. On the following day I was in the crematorium and saw sixty corpses of men, women and children of different age lying there. They lay on the floor without clothes, to be introduced into the crematorium oven. According to their aspect they had been murdered in the gas chamber.

Question: Tell us about the interior installation of the gas chamber!

Answer: This building was eight meters wide and 30 meters long. Inside it was completely empty. The height of this building inside was 2.6 meters. On the roof there were four square openings of 25 x 25 centimeters each.
The ventilation installation provided for a ten-times air exchange; it served to suck out the gas that had collected and pump in fresh air. The pipes of the ventilation, which I personally constructed for the gas chamber, were immured in the walls of the chamber.

Question: With whom did you talk about the constructed and built crematoria and gas chambers serving for the murder of wholly innocent people?

Answer: I wish to explain this clearly. On the service trip to Auschwitz the constructor of the crematorium ovens, Pruefer, was with me. When he arrived in the morning, he also saw the sixty corpses of men, women and children lying on the floor.
I told him what had happened: how they had taken these people here, chased them into the gas chambers and killed them, and how they now burned their corpses in the crematorium. Pruefer didn't answer.

Question: After you personally and Pruefer had witnessed the murder of innocent people, how many crematoria and gas chambers for the concentration camps did you still build?

Answer: After I had watched at Auschwitz concentration camp how they destroyed innocent people in the gas chambers and crematoria I still installed five crematorium ovens there together with Pruefer and equipped one gas chamber with a ventilation device.

Question: What led you to spend seven days at Auschwitz during this service trip?

Answer: I stayed there five days because there was no transport with people meant for destruction, while I had to check the function of the crematorium oven in practice. This checking I could only do when the afore-mentioned up to three hundred people arrived, who were then murdered in the gas chambers.[...]

Schultze repeated this on March 14. Fritz Sander said on March 7, 1946:

[...]Question: Tell us about your invention of the crematorium for mass incineration!

Answer: As leading engineer of the company Topf I led the crematorium building, whose chief was Pruefer. The latter told me in 1942, the exact time I no longer remember, during a conversation about the capacity of the crematoria which had been erected at Auschwitz concentration camp, that these could not manage the number of bodies to be burned. He gave as an example that they introduced two or three corpses into the introduction openings, but the crematorium could nevertheless not take care of the workload accruing in concentration camps.
Thereupon I, as a specialist in the area of heating, decided on my own initiative to build a crematorium which had a higher capacity for burning corpses.
In November 1942 I was finished with my project of a crematorium for the mass burning of corpses and submitted this project to the state patent office in Berlin.
The crematorium for mass incineration should be developed after the principle of the assembly line, and into the oven corpses should be incessantly introduced for cremation by mechanical means.
The corpses should get into the oven under the load of their own weight, falling by themselves upon the grid on a fireproof surface with an inclination of 40 degrees and burning under the effect of the fire. The corpses themselves were to serve as an additional source of fuel.
This patent could not be officially registered at the state patent office because due to the war it had a confidential character, but my invention was applied in practice, and the number [of the patent] was communicated to me.

Question: Who developed and authorized the building of the crematoria for the concentration camps Auschwitz and Buchenwald?

Answer: The development and building of crematoria was the task of Pruefer, the ventilation installations for the crematoria were Schultze's job. I checked the projects, and after I had done this they were authorized by the company Topf.

Question: What was the capacity of the crematorium for mass incineration of corpses you intended to achieve?

Answer: My idea in constructing the crematorium for the mass incineration of corpses consisted in the bodies getting into the oven uninterruptedly. The number of corpses that can be burned in one hour is much higher in the crematorium I developed than that which was burned in a [conventional] crematorium oven.

Question: What did Pruefer and Schultze tell you after their business trip to Auschwitz concentration camp?

Answer: In the summer of 1942 Pruefer and Schultze told me that in the concentration camps of Auschwitz they destroyed many people in gas chambers and burned their corpses in the crematoria, the burden on the crematoria being so huge that they put three corpses into an oven opening [at the same time].

Question: Does this mean you knew that in the concentration camps at Auschwitz they destroyed completely innocent people?

Answer: Yes, since the summer of 1942 I knew that in the concentration camp at Auschwitz wholly innocent people were destroyed there, whereupon their bodies were burned in the crematoria. Pruefer told me about colossal transports of people being taken from Poland, Greece and other countries to the concentration camps Auschwitz and destroyed there.

Question: How was it that, although you knew that the crematoria in the concentration camps served for the destruction of innocent people, you nevertheless on your own initiative started designing a crematorium for an even greater mass extermination?

Answer: I as German engineer and employee of the company Topf, considered it my duty as a German engineer and employee of the company Topf to use my whole knowledge to contribute to the victory of Hitler Germany, exactly as any given aircraft construction engineer does, even when this means the destruction of people.

He reconfirmed his knowledge of gassings on March 13 and 21. Thus we have three Topf engineers confirming gassings at Auschwitz. Our opponents will likely point out, that we shouldn't trust Soviet interrogations (even though they already use them). We believe, however, that Topf engineers' statements are inconsistent with coercion by SMERSH. Indeed, if they were tortured or otherwise forced to make confessions, Topf engineers would talk about how they designed miraculous crematoria, which could incinerate 10,000 or more corpses per day. They stated exactly the opposite! Thus, we add three more important pieces of evidence to our list.

But let's return to crematoria capacities. As we stated above, it could be, that Topf engineers were minimizing the actual capacities for their own purposes. But it could also be that what they stated was more or less true (at least for some ovens, see below) - maybe normally certain Auschwitz ovens should have been incinerating one corpse per muffle per hour. That would be "manufacturer's recommendation", then. But would Nazis or Sonderkommandos necessarily follow this recommendation? We rather think not, if that would interfere with their aims. For example, Pruefer himself affirmed that multiple cremation method was used and that it indeed worked, during March 19 1946 interrogation:

Question: Were the crematoria tested during your stay at Auschwitz concentration camp?

Answer: Of the six times on which I visited Auschwitz concentration camp only once, at the beginning of 1943, the testing of two of the five new ovens installed in the crematorium which had been built by myself, was carried out. In all of them six corpses of men of various ages were burnt, and there in the crematorium also lay the corpses of women and children, who had been murdered in the gas chamber and were to be burned in the crematorium. The total number of corpses was about sixty.

Question: How did you participate in the killing of murdered, innocent victims?

Answer: I checked if the ovens in the crematorium installed by myself functioned.

Question: What conclusions did you draw?

Answer: I drew the conclusion that the ovens built by myself in the crematorium worked well and without failures.

That is, two corpses per muffle were successfully incinerated in new crematoria. "Revisionists" usually like to quote Pruefer to the effect that he witnessed the failed multiple cremations. Let's see what Pruefer said on the same date:

Question: Since when was it known to you that in the concentration camps innocent people were destroyed and burned?

Answer: Of this I learned in the spring of 1943, when in my presence, during the testing of the ovens in the crematorium, the corpses of people murdered in the gas chamber of Auschwitz concentration camp were burned.

Question: When you came back from the business trip to Auschwitz concentration camp in the spring of 1943 to the company Topf, to whom did there did you talk about your stay at Auschwitz?

Answer: When I came back from the business trip to Auschwitz concentration camp in the spring of 1943, I talked to the head of the company, Ludwig Topf, and to leading engineer Sander.

Question: What did you report to Sander about your trip to Auschwitz?

Answer: I reported to Sander that I had been present at the testing of the ovens in the crematorium of Auschwitz concentration camp and reached the conclusion that the crematories could not cope with such a number of corpses as had to be burned there, because the ovens of the crematoria did not have a high enough performance. I mentioned to Sander as an example that in my presence two-three corpses had been introduced into a muffle instead of a single one, and that the ovens of the crematorium would then not cope with that load because very many corpses had to be burned. At that time I also told Sander that the corpses I had seen were of people who had been previously murdered in the gas chambers.

Question: Did you start developing new, improved crematoria for the concentration camps after the conversation with Sander?

Answer: No, we continued building crematoria of the same type. I know, however, that Sander personally concerned himself with the draft of a new, improved type of crematorium, but I can say nothing in concrete about this project.

But Pruefer, as we remember, was wrong about the year - it was the spring of 1942. Sander confirmed this in March 7, 1946 interrogation:

As leading engineer of the company Topf I led the crematorium building, whose chief was Pruefer. The latter told me in 1942, the exact time I no longer remember, during a conversation about the capacity of the crematoria which had been erected at Auschwitz concentration camp, that these could not manage the number of bodies to be burned. He gave as an example that they introduced two or three corpses into the introduction openings, but the crematorium could nevertheless not take care of the workload accruing in concentration camps.

Thus, when Pruefer was talking about low-performance ovens, he was talking about crematorium I furnaces. We wouldn't be surprised if, contrary to what Pruefer claimed, Topf & Soehne didn't supply the same, allegedly insufficiently performing concentration camp version of cremation ovens for the Birkenau crematoria. The Birkenau ovens are likely to have been an intermediate solution between the standard ovens for concentration camps and the super-crematorium that Sander had developed, incorporating some elements of the latter. If Pruefer was concerned about more than one body being introduced in each muffle when he witnessed cremations in the spring of 1942, it is to be expected that some improvements were introduced in the Birkenau crematoria to make such use of the product less abusive. When Pruefer watched the test of one of the Birkenau crematoria in the spring of 1943, together with Schultze, some improvement had been achieved. Although six bodies were burned in each three-muffle oven, i.e. two per muffle, Pruefer could draw the conclusion that "the ovens built by myself in the crematorium worked well and without failures" (see Pruefer's deposition of March 19, 1946).

Thus, it can be stated that Topf engineers' statements in Soviet captivity hardly present any serious problems to the historical record. They do, however, present a big problem for "Revisionists".

Negationists end this part with poor slogans and incomprehensible phrases, as usual:

NT: If the Nazis had planned mass-murder they would have built industrial incinerators not scaled up civilian cremation ovens.

Let's see Tauber's "five corpses per muffle" in experimental scientific context with a crematoria designed for civilian use--as the Topf ovens were, the same model as used at Buchenwald--and then perhaps we can reconcile the actual cremation capacity at Birkenau with the Holocaust math! Until then the Negationist Team regards the exhaustive cremation studies by Carlo Mattogno as definitive (previously cited in our last response).

Sonderkommando stories make good novels but literary nonsense cannot substitute for science.

Negationists say that they consider Mattogno's studies as definitive. Perhaps then they shouldn't have been as dogmatic, as they were in their earlier response, when they stated:

NT: A good ballpark figure for the cremation of a cadaver is about an hour, and a daily operation of 20 hours with 4 hours for cleaning and maintenance should be considered a theoretical maximum.

After all, Mattogno maintains that in Gusen on November 7, 1941 94 bodies could not be burned in double-muffle furnace just in 20 hours, according to him it would take much more time. Will our opponents try to refute their guru? But we digress.

Why are the Revisionists preoccupied with cremation capacities of Auschwitz ovens? We see two possible reasons. They try to prove that:
1) it wasn't possible to cremate "so many people" in Auschwitz;
2) Sonderkommando testimonies are unreliable.

Both theses are unconvincing.

1) The question is: how many? Nobody knows how many were incinerated in ovens, and how many on pyres/in pits. Prof. Zimmerman's guess is that about 500,000 were incinerated in open-air cremations. The figure might be greater, of course, and the number of corpses incinerated in ovens might be lower.

Mattogno provides a "hostile" estimate of the number of "normal" bodies which could have been burned in Birkenau, based on cremation capacity of 1 body per muffle per hour (without considerations about coke consumption, oven durability, etc., which we don't find convincing; see ; e.g. Mattogno refers to Rudolf Jakobskoetter's study to the effect that one muffle could withstand maximum of 3,000 cremations, but he does not define what is one "cremation" and does not explain whether Jakobskoetter's data is applicable to continuous and multiple cremations or only to single cremations in civilian crematoria): 312,700 bodies. Mattogno assumed 12 hours work time. If we assume 20 hours, we get 521,240 "normal" bodies (i.e. those of an average adult). If we allow for corpses of children, then the figure is even higher. Thus even with the "hostile" estimate (reasonably modified) we get the number of bodies which could have been cremated in Birkenau, which is fully consistent with the historical record of Auschwitz.

Not that we should accept Mattogno's other assumptions. For example, he states that "the average duration of the main process of a single cremation in a coke-fired muffle was not shorter than 55 minutes". He based this conclusion on the experiments of engineer Richard Kessler, conducted in 1927. But, assuming that Mattogno interpreted Kessler's data correctly, wouldn't ovens constructed in 1940s be much more effective? Our opponents might object that it's the absolute thermo-physical barrier, not dependent on the construction of the ovens. But this is not so. We have already cited L. G. A. Leonard of TABO Cremators, who said in 1975:

After about half an hour, whether the furnace has gotten up to a temperature of 1100°C or whether it is 900°C, there is a rapid fall away, and I think the investigations should be concerned with the last twenty minutes or so of the cremation cycle. At that time you have in the cremator a very small quantity of body material...roughly the size of a rugby football, about twenty minutes from the end of the cremation, and this is the thing which is most difficult to remove
(quoted in J. Zimmerman, "Body Disposal at Auschwitz").

Therefore it is reasonable to assume that the main process of a single cremation of an adult body in an oven constructed in 1940s would take considerably less time than 55 minutes. This is confirmed by Pruefer's estimate.

2) We agree that some Sonderkommandos gave exaggerated estimates of furnace capacities. But that is what we would expect - they didn't have stopwatches and could only give their subjective estimates, possibly affected by the hellish atmosphere in which they lived and worked. But what do our opponents make of Topf engineers' testimonies? They certainly did not exaggerate the cremation capacities (if anything, they minimized them). Does NT find them credible? If not, why not?
Denial of generally known historical facts should not be punishable. For those who maintain, for instance, that Germany did not take part in World War I or that Adenauer fought at Issus in 333, their own stupidity is punishment enough. The same should apply to the denial of the horrors and crimes of the recent German past.
~ A German jurist by the name of Baumann in the German juridical magazine NJW, quoted in: Bailer-Galanda/Benz/Neugebauer (ed.), Die Auschwitzleugner, Berlin 1996, page 261 (my translation).