Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dr. Joachim Neander responds to Carlo Mattogno regarding the September 1941 gassing in Block 11 of Auschwitz

Response to Carlo Mattogno
by Joachim Neander, PhD

On February 8, 2010, Carlo Mattogno took the floor at the Revisionist Inconvenient History blog,[1] promising to “rebut” a modest remark I had made, on January 31, 2010, at the CODOH Revisionist forum[2] in an attempt to answer to a demand frequently made by Revisionists: “Show me one name, one single name, with proof that a person was gassed at Auschwitz.” I presented two names, Fritz Renner and Bruno Grosmann, both from Breslau, (at that time) Germany, and gave evidence that both prisoners died on September 5, 1941, by gassing in the basement of Block 11 (at that time, Block 13). I expected - and received - furious criticism from the lower ranks of the Bewegung. But that the flagship of Holocaust Revisionism, Carlo Mattogno, personally looked after the matter makes me feel that I touched a raw nerve.

Mattogno begins his “rebuttal” by lecturing about methodology in writing history. He brings into play a paper from anti-Revisionist historian and writer Jacques Baynac, in which the author reflects about the importance of documents and testimonies in historiography. Baynac juxtaposes two - idealized - extremes: an approach that relies solely on testimonies, which he calls ascientifique, un-scientific, and its opposite, which relies solely on documents and which he calls scientifique, scientific. Mattogno quotes as Baynac’s alleged opinion (“the French historian Jacques Baynac has written . . .”): “The postulate of historical science thus is, to put it bluntly: no document(s), no verified fact,”[3] and concludes: “A testimony, if not supported by a document, is worthless from the historical point of view, regardless of the notion of ‘converging testimonies’.”

With this attitude to testimony, Mattogno would have failed even the bachelor’s exam in history at any German university, and I hope for Italy, at any Italian, too. What is more, Mattogno’s translation is erroneous: the French expression histoire scientifique must be translated as “scientific (or “scholarly”) history” - traduttore-traditore! - which Baynac sees as one possible approach to write history, as is evident from the context of the quote, and which he by far neither equates with “historical science” as such, nor with which he identifies personally, as is suggested by Mattogno. Quite the contrary: in the following, Baynac concludes that both extremes lead to nowhere.

Particularly with respect to homicidal gassings he advises the deniers (les négationnistes) to accept the fact of their existence on the strength of the witnesses’ testimonies and of scholarly work by historians: “The gas chambers did exist, and they killed masses of people: homosexuals, Jews, sick people, Gypsies, Slavs. The certainty of this rests on two pillars: the testimonies of the survivors and the work of historians.”[4] Baynac is by no means suited for promoting Holocaust Revisionism. What is more, taking a quote out of its context and turning its meaning into the opposite, if need be by a slight mistranslation, is characteristic for wartime propaganda,[5] but anathema in serious scholarship. With this quote-mining, Mattogno shot himself in the foot.

In his “rebuttal,” Mattogno refers to his book Auschwitz: The First Gassing. Rumor and Reality.[6] For writing it, he studied a wealth of material, mostly testimonies from former prisoners and SS personnel, with the result that, in his eyes, “the testimonies are not only not supported by any documents, but all are moreover contradictory on all essential points,”[7] from which he concludes: “[T]here is no evidence that the Bunker of Block 11 in Auschwitz was ever used for a homicidal gassing.”[8] Under this assumption it would not make sense to ask whether there was a gassing in the Bunker on September 5, 1941, or whether the two Germans died in this event.

But things are not so simple. Mattogno’s method of research is highly flawed. First, he is willing to accept as “documents” only those from German authorities, within the camp or outside, and there his search yielded (foreseeably) a negative result. Second, he is not able to gauge testimonies according to the standards of evaluation of witness testimony used at court or in mainstream historiography. Had I applied Mattogno’s way of reasoning, I would never have been able to write the history of the liquidation and evacuation of the Mittelbau camps in April 1945.[9] Not a single “document” from the camp authorities or those in Berlin and Oranienburg in this matter has come down to us. All sources are testimonies, given after the war by survivors, accompanying SS personnel, and persons from the population who witnessed the passing evacuation transports. They all are “contradictory on all essential points,” and in the spirit of Mattogno, I would have had to conclude that the Mittelbau camps were neither liquidated nor evacuated at all.

So let us go back to Auschwitz (at that time one camp, the later “Auschwitz I”) in the autumn of 1941. One day something happened there that was unprecedented and so extraordinary that it made a deep and lasting impression on all who witnessed it, be it as participants, be it as spectators. To avoid fruitless discussions about names, I will call the event in question with a word the Germans liked to use: an Aktion. The Aktion took place in the middle of the camp and lasted for several days, from the first preparations until the final clean-up. Several dozens of prisoners were involved in it as participants, and hundreds saw, at least partially observed, what was going on.

Who seriously would not expect that, even a short time after, every witness remembered the Aktion differently? Take a car accident and five eyewitnesses - every one will tell another story of how it happened. Even if they are “contradictory on essential points” - who, by the way, decides what is “essential” and what not? - and it is, therefore, not possible to establish who was “guilty”: does that mean that there was no car crash? Or in our case, that the Aktion did not take place? Nobody outside the cloud-cuckoo-land of Holocaust Revisionism would run the risk to be considered a fool by saying so.

The way professional historians deal with such sets of testimonies is like that of a sonar officer in a submarine, who receives a lot of conflicting signals on his screen and decides, by looking for clusters of near coincidence and using his experience, if he has a target worth to launch a torpedo at it and if so, where it is located. An example in our case is the work the former Auschwitz political prisoner Stanisław Kłodziński presented in the scholarly journal Przegłąd Lekarski, no. 1/1972, under the title Pierwsze zagazowanie więźniów i jeńców w obozie oświęcimskim[10] on pages 80-94. He wrote in 1969 to 250 former Polish prisoners across Poland, who in the autumn of 1941 had been in Auschwitz and survived the camp, and who could have been witnesses or participants of the Aktion, and asked them about it. He received 108 positive responses. They tallied to a degree of 90 per cent with regard to basic information,[11] from which I compiled the following approximate time-line:
  • 1st day: All the bunks from Block 11 are carried to the garret. The prisoners who are billeted in Block 11, i.e. the “quarantine” and penal companies, and all inmates of the Bunker[12] cells (the whole basement of Block 11) are transferred to another block. Material for sealing doors and windows inside the bunker and soil for filling up the windows from outside is brought to Block 11.
  • 2nd day: The doors of the cells are sealed, also the windows from inside. A prisoner work detail fills up the windows of the basement of Block 11 (outside) with soil. The plumber work detail checks the function of the central heating in the Bunker. In the camp hospital, pre-selections are carried out among the sick.

  • 3rd day: Beginning in the morning, SS doctors select a rather large group of sick prisoners from the hospital blocks. Immediately after the evening roll call, Lagersperre is ordered.[13] Exempt from it is a work detail of prisoner orderlies, who carry and lead the selected sick comrades to Block 11 and cram them into a part of the Bunker cells. Shortly thereafter, several hundred Soviet POWs, who arrived by trucks, are herded into the remaining cells. Then one or more SS officers with gas masks enter Block 11.

  • 4th day: In the night, the prisoners in the adjacent blocks hear terrible cries from the Bunker. In the morning, an SS officer with a gas mask enters Block 11 again for a short time. The camp commandant orders that the premises be aired out for two days. Again Lagersperre is ordered after evening roll call. Exempt is a prisoner work detail that begins to remove the soil from the Bunker windows. The windows and the doors of the bunker are opened for airing.

  • 5th day: During Lagersperre, ordered again after evening roll call, a working squad is formed from about a dozen prisoner orderlies. They and the “corpse carrier” working squad (Kommando Leichenträger) are summoned to Block 11. They enter the Bunker and find all prisoners there dead. They pull out the corpses from the cells, undress them, and carry them away for burning or burial. The complicated labyrinth of corridors and cells in the Bunker makes the work last until early in the morning.

  • 6th day: A cleaning squad, probably from the penal company, removes the remnants of the sealing and cleans walls and floors. The state of Block 11 is restored as it was before the Aktion. Its inmates return to their rooms. The Bunker is ready for new intakes.
I deliberately left out from this time-line everything the prisoners could not have witnessed personally, e.g. what the SS men with gas masks did in the basement of Block 11. It is also obvious that not every witness could have witnessed the whole Aktion. But from the set of information, by clustering and eliminating testimony that is off and by combining the parts of the puzzle, every honest and professionally working historian would have derived a similar picture of the Aktion.

As I previously said, the prisoners could not see what the SS men did in the Bunker late in the evening of the 3rd day and on the 4th day in the morning. They could see, however, that the SS men who entered the building wore gas masks, they could witness that the Bunker was aired for quite a period of time, during which nobody entered the building, and they saw, on the 5th day, that all those were dead who had been alive in the Bunker still in the evening of the 3rd day. They also knew that, on the 2nd day of the Aktion, doors and windows were sealed. It does not take much imagination to conclude from this that the prisoners in the Bunker had died from poisoning by some gas that was introduced by the SS on the evening of the 3rd day.

Though there cannot be the slightest doubt that the Aktion took place, there remains the question of when it took place. The great majority of witness testimonies set the Aktion in the month of September 1941. Here a “hard” document is helpful: the Bunker ledger (Bunkerbuch), which was smuggled out by the camp resistance and survived the war.[14] It shows only one “window” into which the previously established time-line fits: September 3 to 8. This means that the gassing (3rd day) took place on September 5, 1941, in accordance with the early reports from the Polish camp resistance. Former Auschwitz Chief Archivist Danuta Czech, however, rejected the date September 5 in favor of September 3,[15] with the argument that the admission of three prisoners on September 5, documented in the Bunker ledger,[16] means that the Aktion was already finished on that day.[17] She did, however, not take into account that one day (or one and a half) was not sufficient for airing out the Bunker, removing the corpses, cleaning the premises and restoring Block 11 to its former state.

Auschwitz historians today, though still reluctant to dismiss their colleague’s work, tend to accept the date September 5 for the gassing in the course of the Aktion.[18] It is first mentioned in the Situation report for 15.VIII – 15.XI.1941 of the Polish Government-in-Exile’s Home delegation, a contemporary source: “The camp was the scene of a perfidious crime when, on the night of September 5, about 600 Soviet prisoners including army political indoctrination officers and about 200 Poles were crowded into a ‘bunker.’ After the ‘bunker’ was sealed, they were poisoned with gas and their bodies taken to the crematorium and burned.”[19]

There remains, however, a remarkable fact: the Bunker ledger mentions for September 5, 1941, not only the intake, but also the death of three prisoners, two Germans and a Pole (as well as the death of a Polish civilian,[20] who had been taken in before September 5). Mattogno thinks that this somehow presents a problem, as it contradicts Czech’s dating. But it is actually a confirmation of the Aktion, since we here have the documented fact that all those who were registered in the Bunker ledger and who were in the Bunker on that day - the aforementioned three concentration camp prisoners and the Polish civilian - suddenly died on one and the same day. Moreover, the date of September 5 is again confirmed, because the killing in the Bunker could not have started earlier than the admission of the three prisoners on that day. We so do not have only one, but even four names of persons who were gassed at Auschwitz, and even the date of their death. If the Aktion in which they died was the “first” gassing or a later one, is of little importance. At any rate, it was the first that drew the attention of nearly the whole camp on itself.

Theoretically, the four could have been taken out before the sick prisoners and the Soviet POWs were crowded into the Bunker, and could have been shot at the Wall of Death, as was the routine procedure for Bunker inmates condemned to death. But here enters the Rögner report, which states that two German prisoners were not taken out in the course of the Aktion and died together with the others.[21] Sure, Rögner is not the most precise witness, and he does neither give the names of the prisoners nor an exact date of the Aktion. But that does not make his testimony worthless, as Mattogno claims. As Kapo of the electricians’ work detail Rögner got around all over the camp, and as a German he observed and remembered many things concerning German prisoners, in which the Polish majority was not much interested. That two German prisoners were in the Bunker during the Aktion was something extraordinary, worth remembering for a German Kapo. And who else could they have been than Renner and Grosmann, registered in the Bunker ledger on that very day?

With his “rebuttal,” Carlo Mattogno only showed that he does not master the “tools of the trade” of an historian. In the face of a wealth of testimonies to an event in history that irrefutably did happen, he reacts like a child that stands before a heap of puzzle parts, decides after a brief glance that nothing fits together, angrily throws the whole stuff out of the window and tells Mommy, who asks for the puzzle, that there had never been one.

Dr. phil. Joachim Neander, Independent Scholar, Kraków, Poland

In the following quoted as Rebuttal.


[3] Le postulat de l’histoire scientifique, c’est, pourrait-on dire en forçant à peine le trait: pas de papier(s), pas de fait avéré. ( Translation taken from Rebuttal; emphasis added.

[4] Les chambres a gaz ont existé et elles ont tué énormément de gens, homosexuels, juifs, malades, Tsiganes, Slaves. Cette certitude repose sur deux piliers : les témoignages des survivants et les travaux des historiens.

[5] See e.g. the British “Corpse Factory” hoax of World War I. Arthur Ponsonby, Falsehood in War-Time. Containing an Assortment of Lies Circulated Throughout the Nations During the Great War. New York (E. P. Dutton & Co.) 1928, pp. 102 ff.


[7] Rebuttal. Emphasis in the original.

[8] Ibid. Italics in the original.

[9] Joachim Neander, Das Konzentrationslager Mittelbau in der Endphase der NS-Diktatur unter besonderer Berücksichtigung seiner Auflösungsphase, Clausthal-Zellerfeld (Papierflieger) 1997, 3rd ed. 2000.

[10] The first gassing of [concentration camp] prisoners and POWs in the Auschwitz camp.

[11] Loc. cit., p. 82.

[12] Bunker in military parlance means “prison.” The Bunker at Auschwitz was a prison within a prison. Its official name was Kommandanturarrest. Not every inmate in the Kommandaturarrest was registered in the Bunkerbuch. E.g. women prisoners, prisoners who were sentenced to Stehzelle or Dunkelzelle, Polizeihäftlinge, Russians (at first), arrested Sonderkommando Zeppelin members and SS members (male and female), persons who were brought to Block 11 for immediate execution by shooting, civilian workers (with exception of L.Maślak) were not registered in the Bunkerbuch (Zeszyty Oświęcimskie 1/1957, p. 14).
In addition, Block 11 was also the block of the penal company (before it was transferred to Birkenau) and the block for those who were in "quarantine".

[13] Lagersperre means that no prisoner is allowed to leave his block.

[14] Published in facsimile in Zeszyty Oświęcimskie 1/1957.

[15] Danuta Czech, Kalendarz wydarzeń w KL Auschwitz, Oświęcim (Wydawnictwo Państwowego Muzeum w Oświęcimiu-Brzezince) 1992, p. 84. In the following quoted as Kalendarz.

[16] Zeszyty Oświęcimskie 1/1957, p. 52.

[17] Kalendarz, p. 85.

[18] Franciszek Piper, „Mass Murder,“ in: Długoborski, Wacław, and Franciszek Piper (eds.) Auschwitz 1940-1945. Central Issues in the History of the Camp vol. III, Oświęcim (Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum) 2000, pp. 118-121

[19] “Obóz był widownią ohydnej zbrodni, gdy w nocy z 5. na 6.IX wtłoczono do bunkra ok. 600 więźniów sowieckich “politruków” z armii, oraz ok. 200 Polaków – i po uszczelnieniu bunkra wytruto ich gazem, a ciała wywieziono do krematorium i spalono.” Zakład Historii Partii przy KC PZPR przy Współpracy Państwowego Muzeum w Oświęcimiu (eds.), “Obóz koncentracyjny Oświęcim w świetle akt Delegatury Rządu RP na Kraj”,  Zeszyty Oświęcimskie 1968, special issue no. I, p. 14. A report in “Informacja bieżąca” (no.21, November 17, 1941) mentions the same date: “in the night from September 5 to 6, 1941.” Ibid., p. 14.

[20] Ladislaus Maślak, registered in the Bunker ledger as taken in on August “10” (read: 30, certainly a spelling mistake, as the strict chronology of intakes is nowhere else violated in both volumes of the Bunker ledger). Interestingly, Czech sees him as killed by gassing, too. Ibid., p. 87.

[21] Adolf Rögner, Tatsachenbericht aus dem Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager Auschwitz I, II und III, Archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, RG-06.0005.07 M – US Case Files – Auschwitz Concentration Camp 1943-1947, pp. 60-63.

Postscript by Sergey Romanov

I would like to add some observations of my own to Dr. Neander's response to Carlo Mattogno.

1. Mattogno writes:
A testimony, if not supported by a document, is worthless from the historical point of view, regardless of the notion of “converging testimonies”, as is shown by the example of the “converging” testimonal evidence for the Auschwitz 4 million victim figure.
The first part has been addressed by Dr. Neander. I would like to address the part about the 4 million canard. Apparently Mattogno does not understand that not all the repeating information constitutes convergence of evidence for a claim. The "4 million" figure is indeed repeated in many testimonies (along with other estimates, both higher and lower), as well as in the Soviet calculations, which obviously took the testimonies into account. This convergence proves that many inmates believed that so many people were killed in Auschwitz. It does not mean that we necessarily have to take this belief as evidence that so many people were indeed killed there. We would need to know the origin of these estimates before accepting them as credible. At least one source of the estimates have been the Sonderkommando prisoners, who privately estimated the number of victims. But given the nature of their work, the Sonderkommando prisoners could only do very rough calculations with many extrapolations, so their overall estimates cannot be taken seriously.

Thus, the 4 million estimates in testimonies do constitute convergence of evidence for the existence of belief in such an estimate (whether before or after the liberation), not for the true death toll. Whereas the numerous testimonies of eyewitnesses who saw some aspects of the Aktion constitute convergence of evidence for the Aktion itself. There is no contradiction.

2. Mattogno tries to show the divergence of evidence regarding the date of the Aktion:
He [Neander] arbitrarily chooses the date September 5, 1941 among the various contradictory dates given by the self-styled “eyewitnesses”:

- Michał Kula: 14-15 August 1941
- Zbigniew Baranowski: 15 August 1941
- Walter Petzold: 9 October 1941;

Others – Henry Storch: spring of 1941; Maximilian Grabner: beginning of 1941; Hans Aumeier: November or December 1942.
As Dr. Neander discussed his dating methodology above, there is no reason to go into lengthy explanations here beyond "it's absurd to say that the later testimonies are of the exactly same value as very early ones on this issue" and "witnesses indeed often get the dates wrong" (the last one doesn't apply to Aumeier though, who hadn't even been in Auschwitz in 1941 and probably simply moved the gassing dates as a defensive strategy). But the above quote shows the extreme sloppiness of Carlo Mattogno as a researcher.

a) In the Soviet testimony of Zbigniew Baranowski we indeed see the date "15 August" as the date of both the gassing and the witnesses' arrival to the camp (the events are tied in the testimony). However we know that Zbigniew Baranowski, later also known as Jiri Beranovsky (camp no. 20904) arrived in the camp on September 15 (cf. Kalendarium; he was also a witness at the Clauberg, Frankfurt Auschwitz and Ertl-Dejaco trials; information on p. 50n133 of ATFG is incorrect). Thus the date given was a mistake, which highlights the uncertainty of dates in witnesses' testimonies (after all, it cannot be argued that Baranowski never arrived in the camp). Ironically, if Mattogno knew about this, he could have even used Baranowski as an example of a "lying witness" (Baranowski apparently claimed to the Soviets to have personally seen the transfer of 400 POWs and more than 1000 TB patients to block 11, which could have been the result of his misinterpretation of some other events in light of what he had been told by several of his comrades who worked on unloading the corpses from block 11), though to me he seems to be a confused "outlier witness".

b) Walter Petzold, on the other hand, is a clear example of a lying witness, as has been established during the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial. We read in the Judgment (as quoted in RODOH Auschwitz debate, "Veritas Team Third Response" on 26.12.2004):
... The witness' claim that he had watched the occurrences on the yard between Block 10 and Block 11 from the gable window of Block 27 cannot correspond to the truth. For from the gable window of Block 27 the yard between Blocks 10 and 11 could not be seen at all. The site inspection carried out by the mandated judge on the former area of Auschwitz concentration camp turned out that, due to the wall before the yard between Block 10 and Block 11, the yard cannot be looked into from any of the windows of Block 27. The cellar windows and the stairs leading to the middle entrance of Block 11 can also not be seen from Block 27. At most one can see the upper rim of the windows of the ground-level floor of Block 11 from the inside of Block 27. The site inspection furthermore turned out that Block 27 does not even have a gable window. The witness Sm., who was an inmate at the Stammlager himself, testified that there was never a gable window in Block 27. He furthermore stated that the wall before the yard between Block 10 and Block 11 never changed, it always remained equally high. The height of Block 21 is of no relevance. For, as the site inspection also turned up, one looks past Block 21 when looking from Block 27 in the direction of Block 11. Nevertheless it is not possible to look over the wall before the yard between Blocks 10 and 11. The witness Petz. must therefore have invented the description of the alleged events on the yard between Blocks 10 and 11. No findings of fact could therefore be based on his deposition...
It is scandalous that Mattogno uses his testimony as if it has not already been rejected in the most forceful terms by the Frankfurt trial judges. The obvious response - "but but but that is an example of a lie-witness!" doesn't cut it. The witness has been rejected by the mainstream but Mattogno does not mention this fact. That's the point.

c) Henry Storch indicated some uncertainty regarding the date in his testimony as quoted by Mattogno himself (ATFG, p.66):
I think it was in the spring of 1941 that I learned...
Yet in his response Mattogno does not convey this uncertainty. What is more important, Mattogno does not tell his readers about Storch's answer regarding the date during the trial itself (13.07.1964; DVD Der Auschwitz-Prozess. Tonbandmitschnitte, Protokolle und Dokumente, Directmedia Verlag, 2004):
Prosecutor: Do you remember when that gassing was carried out in the basement of Block 11?
Storch: [Pause] Maybe in August.
Prosecutor: According to the testimonies, which were previously heard here, it was in the autumn.
Storch: Yes.
Prosecutor: So a few months later.
Storch [interrupting]: I have just said, maybe.
Prosecutor: Yes.
Storch: It was 25 years ago. I know that this happened, but...
Prosecutor [interrupting]: Yes, that is a memory-, a memory aid is the fact that you went away in November 41, several weeks...
Storch [interrupting]: In November 41.
Prosecutor: 41.
Storch: Yes.
Prosecutor: And a few weeks before there had been this gassing.
Storch: Yes, I have just said, in - what was I saying?
Prosecutor: August.
Storch: August. Yes, August, September, I don't want to tie myself [to a definite date].
Prosecutor [interrupting]: You meant earlier in the interrogation that it was already in the spring. Then you were also not so sure.
Storch: No, I do not think so. I think it ... I don't want to say "late in the year", but around August, September. Maybe I'm wrong here. For I saw so much during the war years that I can not vouch for the fact that this has now been estimated accurately to the month.
Seems like Storch knew more about psychology of witnessing than Mattogno does.

d) Finally, Grabner indicated the beginning of 1942, not 1941, as the period when the gassings started (see ATFG, p.71).

Again, the expected response to all of the above - "but but but the dates are still over the place" - doesn't cut it - I have already addressed this issue above. Mattogno's own sloppiness is, however, demonstrated.

3. Mattogno writes that Dr. Neander falsely accuses him of not mentioning this or that. I can't say this is worth fussing about - after all Dr. Neander's words were published in a mere posting at an Internet forum, not in a scholarly treatise in a peer-reviewed journal (it is surprising that Mattogno chose to respond at all; he could take more time to respond to our postings). Nobody is perfect, perhaps Dr. Neander forgot about some of the content of Mattogno's book, so what? In fact, Dr. Neander wrote that "Carlo Mattogno does [not] take into consideration" several things, like the Bunkerbuch and testimonies of Polish witnesses. Mattogno certainly discusses all of the above, but he doesn't say much about the crucial page in the Bunkerbuch before dismissing it as non-evidence (though yes, he surely quotes it), and he quotes some of Klodzinski's witnesses, though by no means all, and dismisses some of them with flawed arguments. So in the end it cannot be said that Mattogno took the Bunkerbuch and Klodzinski's 108 witnesses into serious consideration.

4. This exchange brings us back to Mattogno's early "study" of the gassing action in question, "The First Gassing at Auschwitz: Genesis of a Myth" (JHR, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 193ff.). In his old study Mattogno characterized it as "the myth ... concocted ... ready to be served to the Exterminationist historians, who are easily satisfied and favorably disposed to swallow, in an uncritical way, all that is offered them in the Kalendarium of Auschwitz, which is celebrated as the quintessence of factuality on that concentration camp!". Yet somehow he never mentioned Klodzinski's absolutely essential article (published in 1972), which fact alone shows the "value" that should be ascribed to his "studies" - he is prone to reaching conclusions based on woefully incomplete research (and that he mentioned it in ATFG doesn't change this conclusion). This is also confirmed by his argument regarding the Bunkerbuch:
Finally, the historical absurdity of the first gassing in Block 11 is indirectly confirmed by three researchers of the Auschwitz Museum, in their long study devoted to the register of the Bunker of Block 11, which appeared in Number one of the Hefte von Auschwitz (1959). This register, the Bunkerbuch, contains the names of all of the inmates imprisoned in the Bunker between January 9, 1941 and February 1, 1944. It is clear that if the first gassing had actually happened, the register should have preserved some trace of it. Now, these three scholars limit themselves to a fleeting two-line allusion to the alleged gassing (p.10), and, while publishing fifty-one pages from the Bunkerbuch, on pages 46-68, they in fact refrain from reproducing the page regarding the records of the beginning of September. This fact demonstrates that that page -- requested in vain from the Auschwitz Museum by this writer -- either contains no trace of the first gassing, or even contains elements that contradict it, such as, for instance, records of admissions of inmates to the Bunker between September 3 and September 7, that is, between the beginning of the gassing and the end of the ventilation of the Bunker.
Well, that page didn't quite help Mattogno in the end, that's for sure. But surely the fact that instead of acquiring the missing page somehow (and it's really nobody's problem but Mattogno's if he couldn't, especially as it was published in Zeszyty Oświęcimskie, 1/1957, p.52 (Bunkerbuch vol.I, p.24) and thus had been available to the public since at least 1957) he was satisfied with this half-baked conspirological conclusion.

5. Dr. Neander has already demonstrated the absurdity and falseness of Mattogno's historical methodology and of his use of Baynac. I would like just to ask Mattogno: should we, therefore, reject a large part of the ancient history, for which not that many original documents survive, with lots of sources on which the historians rely being nothing but copies of copies of ancient historians and people who purported to be witnesses? Should we, for example, utterly reject Thucydides' account of the Peloponnesian War because it is not an "original document", but "merely" a set of observations (not always objective) of a historian and witness? Should we reject the Peloponnesian war itself, because we know about it (or at least about most of the details of this war) mostly not from original contemporary documents, but from flawed sources such as Thucydides' history (the original of which we also lack, and which may even contain some fabricated materials)? Does not Mattogno's view lead to a simplistic historical nihilism?


Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Joachim Neander wrote:
With his "rebuttal," Carlo Mattogno only showed that he does not master the "tools of the trade" of an historian. In the face of a wealth of testimonies to an event in history that irrefutably did happen, he reacts like a child that stands before a heap of puzzle parts, decides after a brief glance that nothing fits together, angrily throws the whole stuff out of the window and tells Mommy, who asks for the puzzle, that there had never been one.

That's our friend Charlie in a nutshell. I'd love to see his face when he reads this.

Meanwhile, the lower ranks of the movement continue fuming on the CODOH thread joachim neander has names of 2 gassed, where the particularly hysterical "grenadier" (who I'm told is identical with occasional RODOH poster "Luca31") makes a fuss about my manners (which, by the way, is a tactic that "Revisionists" often resort to when they have no arguments, as pointed out here).

Sure, sure, but you DO very much associate with people who amply resort to ad hominem attacks, including latrine name-calling and ridiculous attempts at intimidation, such as threats. After all, Joachim is a pal of Roberto's, a regular "contributor" to the nutjob blog where Joachim has been posting. Do you strongly disaprove of Robertos behaviour then, Mr.Neander?

My infuriated critic must have had his fellow true believer Greg Gerdes in mind when referring to "latrine name-calling", and I have no idea what "threats" he is talking about, unless he's referring to my occasional requests that an opponent who got too personal duly identify himself. To be sure, I sometimes can't help telling the likes of "Luca31" what I think of them. And I'll remind the fellow of his hypocritical whining the next time he goes spitting and yelling on RODOH.

Wahrheit said...

Lecturing others about "latrine name-calling" is the HEIGHT of hypocrisy for Luca/grenadier.

As for RODOH, he abandoned real debate long ago, and now prefers to stay in the comfy zone where no one can challenge his BS.

Giordan said...

This is a bad joke. Testimonies gathered in 1969 do not prove anything. What's more, they do not even mention the names of the two individuals Neander says were gassed in September 1941.

Nathan said...

-Testimonies gathered in 1969 do not prove anything.-

- What's more, they do not even mention the names of the two individuals Neander says were gassed in September 1941.-

As if all those Witnesses had the time or the opportunity to even learn the names of the three people Dr. Neander stated were gassed.