Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Carlo Mattogno on Belzec Archaeological Research - Part 2

Carlo Mattogno on Belzec Archaeological Research

1. Nature and Purpose of Kola’s Archaeological Investigation

2. Location and Form of the Mass Graves

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About the location and form of the mass graves established by Kola, Mattogno complains as follows (pages 75 f):

[…] In 1946 Rudolf Reder wrote a paper entitled “Belzec,” which was published in Krakow by the central Jewish historical commission. On p. 43 of this leaflet there is a map of the camp, drawn by J. Bau according to information from the witness.226 This drawing – which Kola publishes without comment227 – is upside down with respect to normal practice. It shows 26 graves along the northwestern border and 6 in the center. The official map of the camp was drawn by the investigative commission of the German crimes in Poland and appeared in the article “The Belzec extermination camp” by Eugeniusz Szrojt, a member of this group.228 There, the area of the graves is represented by a rectangle placed near the northeastern border of the camp.
In conclusion, we can see that the location given by Kola for the majority of the graves is in disagreement both with Rudolf Reder’s testimony and with the findings of the Polish investigative commission. Furthermore, an examination of the map of Belzec as published by Arad229 forces one to conclude that the quarters of the Ukrainian guards, the hygienic installations (barbers, infirmary, dentists for the SS and the Ukrainians), the kitchen for the Ukrainian guards, the garage, and the shoemakers’ and tailors’ workshops (shown on the map as numbers 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8) were located right next to mass graves or even on top of them!
These are not the only problems stemming from the location of the graves.
Kola’s and Robin O’Neil’s maps (documents 4 and 5 in the Appendix) show mass graves scattered at random all over the camp, without any particular orientation or order. It is not necessary here to invoke the proverbial German pedantry, which has been well discussed by Rudolf Reder. On his map, in fact, the mythical 30 mass graves all have the same shapes, dimensions, orientation, and are properly arranged in two parallel rows. This is simply a matter of common sense: An orderly arrangement of the graves would obviously have allowed more efficient use to be made of the limited space available within the camp, and a better hygienic protection of the camp personnel. It is no exaggeration to claim that, if the camp commander had had the mass graves dug in such an irregular fashion, he would have been shot for sabotage. Unless, of course, he had peculiar artistic inclinations. Many graves shown by Kola have, in fact, the oddest shapes! […]


If there is a contradiction in the location of the mass graves between the map made by J. Bau on the basis of the witness Reder’s description and the maps drawn by the investigative commission of the German crimes in Poland on the one hand and the results of Kola’s investigation on the other, as Mattogno claims, this may be explained by the fact that the area of the graves shown in the investigative commission’s maps corresponds to the graves Kola located in the eastern part of the camp, while in what concerns the drawing by J. Bau there exists the possibility of a misunderstanding of Reder’s description, which may also not have been very clear and/or exact in this respect.

These are the maps drawn by the investigative commission of the German crimes in Poland:

Kola Figures 2 & 3

This is the map drawn by J. Bau on hand of witness Reder’s description:

Kola Figure 4

Both are shown on page 7 of Kola’s book.

These are the maps drawn by Kola (pages 19 and 70):

Kola Figure 17

Kola Plan of Archaeological Probing Drills

As can be seen from Kola’s maps shown above, Mattogno is rather exaggerating when he claims that the graves are “scattered at random all over the camp, without any particular orientation or order”. The graves, as described by Kola, are concentrated in the western and north-western part of the camp area on the one hand and in the eastern part of the camp area on the other, the former lying close together whereas the latter are more scattered. It looks as if the camp administration at first had graves dug in the western and northwestern part of the camp and then further graves at other places, when in the original graves area there was no more space or digging more graves there seemed inconvenient for other reasons. In this respect it must also be taken into account that some of the smaller graves are mere ashes graves in Kola’s opinion, in which there had been no corpses buried before. It certainly has advantages to dig the graves in rows next to each other, insofar as this doen’t lead to grave walls too thin and thus subject to collapsing in sandy soil like that at Belzec. The results of Kola’s investigation suggest that in fact graves next to each other merged in some cases through the collapse of sides, which makes it more difficult to establish the original number, shape and size of the affected graves. Placing the graves too close together might also have made the removal of the soil taken out of the graves more difficult.

Mattogno’s sneering remark about some of the graves having “the oddest shapes” is also somewhat off the mark. In fact most of the graves, as becomes apparent from Kola’s descriptions thereof and the figures shown hereafter, have the form of squares or rectangles, and where there are irregular shapes, as especially in the case of grave no. 14, it is reasonable to assume that these resulted from changes to the original grave structure, due to the camp staff’s ash disposal and leveling work at the end of the camp’s operation or to postwar robbery digs. With his remark: « It is no exaggeration to claim that, if the camp commander had had the mass graves dug in such an irregular fashion, he would have been shot for sabotage. Unless, of course, he had peculiar artistic inclinations. Many graves shown by Kola have, in fact, the oddest shapes!», Mattogno furthermore not only displays a rather infantile cynicism, but also an ignorant notion of practices within the SS hierarchy. For all I know no case has been reported in which an SS-man was executed or otherwise punished for refusing an order to commit mass murder or showing incompetence in carrying it out. The first commander of Treblinka extermination camp, Dr. Eberl, seems to have been woefully incompetent, for instance. He was thus replaced by Franz Stangl, but apparently suffered no further disadvantages.

These are the figures showing the plans and sections of the mass graves, taken from pages 21 to 39 of Kola’s book:

Kola Figure 18 Grave # 1

Kola Figure 19 Grave # 2

Kola Figure 20 Grave # 3

Kola Figure 21 Grave # 4

Kola Figure 22 Grave # 5

Kola Figure 23 Grave # 6

Kola Figure 24 Grave # 7

Kola Figure 25 Grave # 8

Kola Figure 26 Grave # 9

Kola Figure 27 Grave # 10

Kola Figure 28 Grave # 11

Kola Figure 29 Grave # 12

Kola Figure 30 Grave # 13

Kola Figure 31 Grave # 14

Kola Figure 32 Grave # 15

Kola Figure 33 Grave # 16

Kola Figure 34 Grave # 17

Kola Figure 35 Grave # 18

Kola Figure 36 Grave # 19

Kola Figure 37 Grave # 20

Kola Figure 38 Grave # 21

Kola Figure 39 Grave # 22

Kola Figure 40 Grave # 23

Kola Figure 41 Grave # 24

Kola Figure 42 Grave # 25

Kola Figure 43 Grave # 26

Kola Figure 44 Grave # 27

Kola Figure 45 Grave # 28

Kola Figure 46 Grave # 29

Kola Figures 47 & 48 Graves #30 & # 31

Kola Figure 49 Grave # 32

Kola Figure 50 Grave # 33


Next part:
3. Corpses Found

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