Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Father Patrick Desbois - Part 2: The Requisitioned

Eyewitness testimony from requisitioned civilians broadens our knowledge of Nazi killing methods. This blog discusses one example. Desbois found that, in shootings that deployed the Jeckeln method ('Sardinenpackung'), young girls were often used as 'pressers' to level off the graves by packing the bodies and pouring sand on to each layer for the next batch of Jews to lie upon.

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The Jeckeln method is described by Holman as follows:
During the course of his work, Jeckeln had designed a highly efficient methodology for mass execution called the 'Jeckeln method' or 'Sardinenpackung' - sardine-packing. This involved marching the people to be killed to the killing site where pre-dug grave pits awaited them. They were forced to undress and lie face-down in the graves in layers, whereupon they were shot in the back of the head. Then a new layer of victims was forced to lie on top of the just killed lower layer and shot, with the process being continued until the grave was full.
Our previous knowledge of this method, as referenced by Ezergailis [accessed by clicking the 'Chapter 8' hyperlink shown on this page], came from the "Aråjs Trial Records, Deposition of Degenhart in the Aråjs files, Hamburg pp. 11952-61." It is inconceivable that a Ukrainian non-academic would have read these records. Yet Desbois interviews a witness, Petrivna (pp.83-86), who describes how she performed the pressing role in the massacre at Ternivka. Hence we have a convergence of independent testimony about a killing method used by the senior SS and Police commander in Ukraine.

How do deniers respond to this evidence? Their only possible response is the logical fallacy known as the Argument from Personal Incedulity. This is all that Faurisson offers here, along with his usual selective quoting method. According to Faurisson, there was nothing in Jewish religious law to prevent Desbois excavating each grave in full and counting the bodies. Not only is this false, but it ignores Desbois' insistence that he only wishes to ascertain the correct locations of the graves. Faurisson feigns incredulity that a girl with bare feet could pack bodies that have been shot. He ignores the fact that the bodies were laid face down on sand and that shots were fired to the head, not the torso. Even by Faurisson's standards, it is a feeble response, showing that deniers are in a quandary about Desbois.

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