Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Soviet Bombing of Auschwitz and Treblinka in 1942/1943

From 20 August to 14 September 1942, the Soviet Air Force flew several air raids deep into the Reich and its Allies. On 4 September 1942, the bombers were sent out for especially far and politically prestigious targets: Vienna and Budapest. In the night of 4 to 5 September, around 00:30 a.m., 12 bombs were dropped on the Kispest area and another 17 bombs on the areas Rózsadomb and Városmajor across the Danube. 11 people were killed and about 60 injured during the air raid in Budapest (see here and here). In Vienna, eight explosive bombs hit the Ostmärkische Mineralölwerke on the floodplain Lobau (BArch R 58/3580, p. 237).

The Allied press celebrated the Soviet coup to strike the (former) Austrian and Hungarian capitals together with the British bombing of Bremen (with at least 116 deaths). The German side commented that the Soviet bombings were "nuisance raids" with "slight damage and some casualities" and "one plane was shot down" (The Vancouver Sun, 5 September 1942). Another article reported that "Russian planes in difficult weather on Friday night started 33 fires in Budapest...Thirty raiders participated in the Budapest attack, and they dropped 17 heavy bombs in the centre of the city" (The Argus, Melbourne, 7 September 1942).

Figure 1: Newspaper report,The Vancouver Sun, 5 September 1942.
Along their flight paths in the Generalgouvernement, the Soviet bombers already let down some of their load on a number of sites. As the air-planes followed the railway line Kattowitz-Vienna as guidance, four explosive bombs were dropped over Auschwitz, hitting the so-called area of interest of the concentration camp Auschwitz.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Seriously Now, Where Did The Jews "Evacuated to The East" Go?

A simple question to corner any Holocaust denier:

Where did the Jews considered unfit for work by the Nazis and "evacuated to the East" go?

Figure 1: Map of Europe (google earth satellite image) with selected political-administrative areas of the Third Reich coloured; also shown: the number of "evacuated" Jews between June 1941 - April 1943, the number of Jews left as of 1943, partisan populated areas in the army rear and operation zone as well as the boundary of the operation zone and Eastern front line in mid-1942.

On 15 December 1942, Adolf Eichmann's RSHA department on Jewish matters, office IV B4, submitted as "Secret State Affair" an "operation and situation report on the Final Solution of the European Jewish Question" (not preserved). Himmler was discontent with the elaboration, which he considered "lacking professional accuracy" (image on the left, microfilm quality). Therefore, he ordered on 18 January 1943 his chief statistician Richard Korherr to take over and analyse the data collected at Eichmann's office (BArch NS 19/1577).

On 23 March 1943, Korherr provided a 16 pages long document "The Final Solution of the European Jewish Question" covering the period up to 31 December 1942 to Himmler. On 19 April 1943, he forwarded to Himmler's staff a shorter summary extending the period covered to 31 March 1943. This short version was meant to get incorporated into a larger (not preserved) report on the Final Solution for Adolf Hitler by the RSHA (BArch NS 19/1570, scans, text in German/English).

According to Korherr, about 2.6 Million European Jews had been "evacuated" eastwards by the Nazis. Taking into account double-counting, forced labour selections, and transports not destined to the extermination camps Auschwitz, Belzec, Kulmhof, Sobibor, and Treblinka, the figure of Jews "evacuated to the East" between June 1941 and April 1943 not accounted for by Holocaust deniers amounts to about 2.3 Million (see the appendix for details).

Even with combined forces, the Holocaust deniers Carlo Mattogno, Thomas Kues and Jürgen Graf were not able to tackle the issue. In their inverted comma orgy The "Extermination Camps" of "Aktion Reinhardt" [TECOAR], they waffle about Jews fit for work deported through Europe or direct transports to the East but did not explain the fate of the unfit Jews deported to the extermination camps. Graf eventually admits in the epilogue "that we are unable to produce German wartime documents about the destination and the fate of the deportees" (TECOAR, p. 1503).

It's easy to see why the claim that the Jews were not killed in the extermination camps but resettled further East is a lie: according to contemporary German documents, the mass of the "evacuated" Jews did not show up in the occupied Soviet areas under civilian administration, while the military governed areas were partisan populated/endangered and largely free of Jews (map in Figure 1 above).

Thursday, January 30, 2020

How Mattogno & Rudolf Invented A Crazy Journey of a Jewish Transport from Holland Through Upper Silesia

Almost unnoticed, an Italian researcher made a surprising discovery on the route of Jewish transports to Auschwitz.

On 16 October 1942, a Jewish transport with 1,710 departed from the Netherlands (Westerbork camp) to Auschwitz. But the train did not only halt at the station Cosel in Upper Silesia, where 570 Jews were taken out for forced labour, as it is well-known so far.

According to this Italian researcher, the transport was diverted from its route to Auschwitz after reaching Cosel. Instead of going eastwards to Auschwitz, the train headed North-West to Gogolin, where some Jews were unloaded and admitted to the camps St. Annaberg or Sakrau. At Gogolin, the transport was either going further North to Oppeln and then East to take a halt at Voßwalde. Here, some more people got off to go to the camp Malapane between Oppeln and Voßwalde. The journey continued South to Blechhammer, some 5 km East of Cosel, where the train had started its detour and where more people were again taken out for forced labour. The train headed straight to Königshütte near Kattowitz, where it let off more forced labourers for the Bismarckhütte. Finally, the transport arrived at the Auschwitz camp.

Alternatively, the deportees were sent back from Gogolin to Cosel via Kattowitz to Auschwitz. But the transport was not unloaded at the Auschwitz camp. Instead, some Jews were selected for forced labour for the camp Bobrek. The rest of the people was taken back to Blechhammer (5 km East of Cosel, where they had been earlier the day), then to Königshütte (which they pass now for the third time) to sent Jews to Bismarckhütte and finally to the Auschwitz camp.

How does that sound? Incredible? Unbelievable? Well, perhaps I should have mentioned that this Italian "researcher" is not doing historical research in the proper sense, but he is just watching out for any straw - how matter far-fetched and absurd - to deny the Holocaust.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Looking for the Katyn lighthouses.

We have already devoted a couple of posts to the neo-Stalinist apologetics, showing how it is qualitatively not different from Holocaust denial. In this one we will deal with an example showing how the denial methodology isn't much different from flatearthism.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Rebutting the "historical" appendix to David Cole's book "Republican Party Animal".

A post on David Stein/Cole's book Republican Party Animal, or rather on the historical appendix to it in which he explains his views on the Holocaust.

Short intro: Cole used to be a hardcore Holocaust denier in the early 1990s, shot a comical video about Auschwitz which became a hit among the deniers (the deceptions of this video are fully exposed here). He reinvented himself as a Republican event organizer in Hollywood and there was a moderately large scandal when his cover got blown up.

He tells about this event and many others in his "tell all" book. He moderated his historical views considerably, coming to the conclusion that extermination camps did exist. His shtick had always been being a Jewish denier. Now it's a drunken ex-denier who kinda saw the light, but is still an asshole towards both sides. He condemns total hardcore denial, but also claims that Auschwitz wasn't an extermination camp at least from 1943 on and the well-documented gas vans didn't exist.

In fact, Cole didn't find anything new or big about the Holocaust, he simply takes the extremely well-known documents like the Korherr report and interprets them with varying degrees of plausibility, while ignoring the documents that contradict his other positions. All banal, nothing notable. But for some reason some see his position as the "golden middle", or something. Nonsense. This deeply confused and superficial individual has nothing new or interesting to add to the Holocaust historiography.

In the appendix to his book Cole tries to lay out his views. Let's take a look at a couple of points.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Solving the mystery of the seventh gas chamber of Majdanek.

[Last updated: 22.01.2020]

For decades after the war the State Museum at Majdanek claimed that the camp's so-called new crematorium had a homicidal chamber. After the historian Tomasz Kranz became its new director, the official Museum death toll for the camp was revised downwards (to 78,000), but aside from that Kranz also reduced the number of the claimed homicidal gas chambers to 2, whereas the maximum claimed number used to be 7. One of the formerly alleged gas chambers which the current Museum no longer acknowledges is the concrete room in the crematorium.[1]

So far no scholarly publication has managed to explain why the room was claimed to have been a gas chamber and what function it actually served.

In this article we'll try to fill that void.

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

"Russian Insider" Lies about the Spread of Holocaust Denial in Hungary and Poland

"Only 17% of Hungarians Believe the 'Holocaust' Happened, 21% in Poland"

Would you believe this headline? I mean that Holocaust denial - one of the world's least appealing and alluring conspiracy theories - gained such a momentum in Hungary and Poland (two countries that saw a large part of its Jewish population systematically mass exterminated by the Nazis during the Second World War) that only a small minority still believe the Holocaust happened? Seriously?

Source of the claim: the antisemtic web site "Russian Insider". Enough said.

Friday, December 27, 2019

On fakes, misunderstandings and sensationalist headlines.

Update 11.01.20: thankfully, The Tablet has fixed this, the article was renamed to "Did a Supposedly Nazi Document Fool the Experts?".

A few days ago Tablet published an article by Mel Laytner entitled "How a Fake Nazi Document Fooled the Experts".

The article itself is a good piece of research. Laytner points out that many publications and exhibitions have used an alleged document in which the Nazis supposedly calculated the "profitability" of the averge inmate including the allowance for the costs of cremation and the use of ashes and bones. From the information gathered by Laytner it becomes clear that claims about the alleged document are based on the data published by the survivor and historian Eugen Kogon in 1946 and then republished by Reimund Schnabel in the book Macht ohne Moral and then mistaken by various authors as an actual document.

Unfortunately, the title of the article, chosen not by the author but rather by a Tablet editor (acc. to a personal communication from Mel Laytner) is absolutely misleading. There is no actual document involved, so there was no "fake Nazi document" to speak of, nobody forged an actual document in this case.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Still lying about Wiernik... and others.

In 2006, in the article Lying about Wiernik I exposed Mattogno and Graf's mendacity by showing that their accusations of plagiarism against Yankiel Wiernik were completely unfounded - they failed to prove that the map included in an early edition of his book was claimed to have been drawn by him (yet they still made the false claim of plagiarism) and they further falsely claimed that Wiernik claimed to have drawn his map in 1943 (he made no such claim) and by omitting the part where he explicitly says he drew it in 1944.

In a 2007 article If they're the best, what about the rest? I exposed Mattogno and Graf's dishonest omissions of eyewitness descriptions of openings on the roofs of the Treblinka gas chambers that would have been used to avoid overpressure in the chambers (even if some witnesses were unsure about their function). I pointed out that they ignored the cache of the 1944 Treblinka survivor statements given to the Soviets even while using some sketches from the same file. This alone tells everything one needs to know about their level of "research".

In the failed response (The "Extermination Camps" of "Aktion Reinhardt", 2013) to our debunking of denial on Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor Mattogno returns to the topics of these posts insofar as they were discussed in our critique.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Correction Corner #9: Höß on how long the crematoria could work continuously.

In his methodologically brilliant rebuttal of the Auschwitz Holocaust denial of the David Irving variety The Case for Auschwitz, 2002, Robert Jan van Pelt quotes an excerpt from Rudolf Höß' testimony during his Cracow trial (p. 262):
Even as we added another 1,000 additional inmates to the squads sorting the luggage, there was no way to speed up the action. We had not enough space to store all these things, and this is why we failed in our effort to faster send out of the camp all the clothing and belongings these people had brought to Auschwitz. No improvements could be made to the crematoria. After eight to ten hours of operation the crematoria were unfit for further use. It was impossible to operate them continuously. As Eichmann had mentioned that we should expect by the end of the year 1944 and in 1945 more transports, we planned a larger crematorium. It was to be a huge, circular brick furnace, to be built underground. Due to lack of time, it was never designed.”
This quote was seized upon by the semi-revisionist Fritjof Meyer, whose pretty pathetic 2002 article on the number of the victims of Auschwitz misused various sources to severely reduce the number of the Jewish Auschwitz victims. The quote was one of the cornerstones of Meyer's argument, signifying to him that the ovens couldn't be used 24/7 and thus the number of the victims had to be lower.

Meyer's overall thesis was soundly debunked, but when responding to this particular point, Meyer's opponents merely appealed to Höß' other statements indicating that the ovens could indeed be operated longer than the 8-10 hours in the quote. This was done by Albrecht Kolthoff, John Zimmerman and Franciszek Piper. While this response did its job, it is necessary to check the Polish transcript in question.