Monday, April 10, 2006

That's why it is denial, not revisionism. Part IV: Deniers and Babiy Yar massacre (2)

A well-known denier gambit concerns the witnesses statements about blood appearing in the places of mass executions. Most famous is perhaps Bradley Smith's accusation against Elie Wiesel:
EW claims that after Jews were executed at Babi Yar in the Ukraine, "geysers of blood" spurted from their grave for "months" afterward (See Paroles d'etranger, 1982, p. 86). Impossible? Yes, it is. Do the professors believe it matters?
First of all, as John Silber points out, this cannot be but hearsay, so Smith's point is weak.
Nevertheless, Wiesel's account is partially corroborated by a contemporary diary of Irina Khoroshunova, who on 14.10.1941 wrote:
We know, we already know for certain, that the blood from Babiy Yar flowed and was flowing at a distance of kilometers from the cemetery.
(Source: E. Wiehn, Die Schoah von Babiy Yar, Konstanz, Hartung-Gorre, 1991, p. 304; presumably, Lukjanovskoje cemetery is meant.)

Of course, deniers will say that it is impossible. Now, I am not a specialist, but here's an extract from the report made after Kurenyovka tragedy (which also destroyed the ravine itself) entitled "Geological characteristic of the emergency strip in Babiy Yar region" (1961; emphasis mine):
The strip on which on March 13, 1961 catastrophic movement of earth masses happened is confined to upper and middle part of Babiy Yar, which was 35-40 m deep. The ravine cuts through the aquifers, which is the reason why the bottom part of slopes and the bottom itself are partially waterlogged.

The permanent waterway at the bottom usually has the flow rate of 8-10 lit/sec. Together with the broadly developed system of upper branches, Babiy Yar is a large catchment area and that's why when it rains the flow rate suddenly increases.
(Source: Babij Jar: chelovek, vlast', istorija, vol. 1, compiled by T. Yevstafjeva, Vitalij Nakhmanovich; Kiev, Vneshtorgizdat Ukrainy, 2004.)

Given that the ravine cut through aquifers, presumably it wouldn't be surprising that liquids from the corpses would appear elsewhere.

But would they spurt like geysers above the graves? Well, "geyser" is probably a wrong word to use here. But consider this report, "1,500 sheep to be dug up as body fluid leaks" (emphasis mine):
THE carcasses of 1,500 sheep slaughtered five weeks ago because they were infected with foot and mouth are to be dug up and burned by Maff after blood was found bubbling up from the ground.


It follows the discovery a week ago that 15,000 sheep buried on the Army firing ranges at Epynt, mid-Wales, were leaking body fluids into the water table and would have to be dug up and burned. Richard Tutton, who farms at Buttington Hall, said: "They were buried five weeks ago. The pit was very tidy, efficient and deep.

"We have had horrendous rain since then. Water has got in beneath and it was sort of bubbling up. It has not reached the river or anything. They are catching it before anything happens."
That's 1500 sheep. Now imagine what would happen with 34,000 corpses in the Indian summer of 1941.

Previous << Part III: Deniers and Babiy Yar massacre (1)

Next >> Part V: Deniers and Babiy Yar massacre (3)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

SS-Sturmbannführer Albert Hartl told similar observations: We were driving past a long ravine. I noticed strange movements of the earth. Clumps of earth rose inte the air as if by their own propulsion - and there was smoke: it was like a low-toned vulcano; as if there was burning lava just beneath the earth. Blobel laughed and said: "Here lie my thirty thousand Jews."
(Sereny's bok about Speer, p262)