The first target of Charlie's fury is his old obsession John Zimmerman, author of the articles Body Disposal at Auschwitz: The End of Holocaust Denial and My Response to Carlo Mattogno. Mattogno also takes issue with contributors of this blog, who he refers to as the "Zimmerman Aid Committee" (Il Comitato di Soccorso Zimmerman), starting with an outburst of hysterical foot-stomping and fish-wife-bitching that is translated hereafter (with the help of Yahoo Babel Fish) because it illustrates the maestro's current state of mind, which in its mixture of self-important petulance, wishful thinking and paranoia seems to be bordering on insanity, if it hasn't yet crossed the threshold:
My retort was disturbing not only for Zimmerman: all those like him who had self-confidently proclaimed the presumed End of Holocaust Denial were terribly mortified at seeing unmasked the fallacies of their master and, what is more, at seeing that the same remained indecorously silent. After some years of meditation, they constituted a committee of aid that has the purpose of rehabilitating Zimmerman by discrediting me with ulterior fallacies. They have passed through the sieve my writings (a small part of those translated into English and nearly always those published on the web, given the obvious intellectual and cultural limitations of these people), in search of the single page or the single phrase or the single error they could "refute".
As will be seen in this paragraph, the result of their immense effort, from the qualitative and quantitative point of view, is a little painful so to say. And it is painful to such a degree that these people, incapable of even writing an article against me, have chosen the tactic of the "historical" blog that, in their hands, becomes a simple collection of historical and logical sophistries, but also of deliberate bad faith. All under the inspiration of Zimmerman, who, not having the courage to expose himself any further, works hidden from behind the scenes.
At the head of said committee is a certain Sergey Romanov, seconded by a companion worthy of his, a certain Roberto Muehlenkamp, and supported by a disparaged group of similar vocational nullities.
The committee is constituted of paper critics who have never abandoned their writing desk, have never seen an original document, have never set foot in archives and neither in a library, have never visited a German concentration camp and have a partial, superficial and raccogliticcia acquaintance with the documentation, and who love to hide behind pseudonyms, not having even the courage of their own opinions.
Despite their supposed important revelations of supposed "Revisionist" lies, these people are held in no account by Holocaust historians and have published nothing in printed form – I shall explain the reason why.
I exceptionally address this source, which consists of a rich daily tide of uncalled-for words, just in order to show its true nature, its true scope and the methodology of these holo-bloggers to the reader devoid of prejudice who, not having the necessary knowledge, could become caught in their sophistry.
Until now these people have only created an urban legend on my account, diffused by various holo-believers, who advertise the same as "refutations" of my writings, without ever obviously mentioning my replies.
Whoever has read the blogs labeled "Mattogno" on this blog spot will easily realize to what extent Mattogno is projecting himself when he accuses his critics of sophistry, bad faith, superficial knowledge of documentation and "intellectual and cultural limitations", besides other niceties. And Mattogno keeps adding to his previous record when mouthing off about a little of what I wrote in my discussion of some of Mattogno’s claims regarding Bełżec extermination camp, as will be shown below. He also mouths off about writings of Sergey Romanov on RODOH threads whose links given by Mattogno (http://p067.ezboard.com/frodohforumfrm10.showMessage?topicID=490.topic – footnote 34; http://p067.ezboard.com/frodohforumfrm10.showMessage?topicID=489.topic – footnote 36; http://p067.ezboard.com/frodohforumfrm10.showMessage?topicID=483.topic – footnote 40; http://p067.ezboard.com/frodohforumfrm10.showMessage?topicID=486.topic – footnote 57; http://p067.ezboard.com/frodohforumfrm10.showMessage?topicID=491.topic – footnote 84; http://p067.ezboard.com/frodohforumfrm10.showMessageRange?topicID=92.topic&start=41&stop=56 – footnote 89; http://p067.ezboard.com/frodohforumfrm10.showMessageRange?topicID=569.topic&start=41&stop=54 – footnote 115) no longer work as they precede the RODOH forum's migration from Ezboard to Yuku, on the Axis History Forum thread Nazi gas chambers, in a message to Mattogno of 28 September 2003 and in the blogs Mattogno's special treatment of evidence, Carlo Mattogno and interrogations of Topf engineers, Carlo Mattogno, the failed Dragon-slayer, Correction Corner #4: Auschwitz Museum and the number of Gypsy victims, Why the "diesel issue" is irrelevant and Carlo Mattogno and crematoria Sonderkommandos , of HC guest blogger Joachim Neander on the thread joachim neander has names of 2 'gassed' of the "CODOH Revisionist Forum" and in the blog Dr. Joachim Neander responds to Carlo Mattogno regarding the September 1941 gassing in Block 11 of Auschwitz, and of RODOH poster and HC guest blogger "Hans" on the RODOH threads http://pub86.ezboard.com/frodohforumfrm10.showMessage?topicID=67.topic - footnote 69 and http://pub86.ezboard.com/frodohforumfrm10.showMessage?topicID=41.topic – footnote 75 (also outdated links), besides other critics like Axis History Forum moderator David Thompson.
As each of the critics attacked by Mattogno is able to and will probably want to speak out for himself (for which purpose Mattogno should at least show the courtesy having his rant translated into English, for not everyone has the patience required to wade through Mattogno’s tirades in a language that, hard though it may be for Mattogno to understand or accept this, is not exactly a world language), I shall in the following only address the few things Mattogno has to say about my Bełżec articles.
Before that, however, I take this opportunity to burst some of Mattogno’s bubbles (generously assuming that he believes in what he writes) as concerns the Holocaust Controversies blog spot and my own person.
The Holocaust Controversies (HC) blog spot was created by Andrew Mathis, PhD, Sergey Romanov and British historian Dr. Nick Terry, whose blog Intention and Explanation explains the purpose of HC and the intentions of its founders. Readers may decide for themselves whether and to what extent this statement of purpose supports Mattogno's fantasy whereby HC was created for the purpose of "rehabilitating Zimmerman". And while Mattogno as the "Revisionist" movement's arguably ablest propagandist has indeed become one of HC's main targets, it's not like HC is or ever was all about exposing Mattogno's fallacies and falsehoods, as readers of the blog spot's sorted collection of interesting posts may easily recognize.
I for my part joined HC about 2 ½ months after it was founded, my first contribution being an article in several blogs with the title Carlo Mattogno on Belzec Archaeological Research. This article, needless to say, was not written for the purpose of "rehabilitating Zimmerman", already because Zimmerman never addressed Mattogno's writings about Bełżec or any of the other camps of Aktion Reinhard(t), unless I missed something. As I pointed at the end of the article's last part, the article emerged from a discussion with former RODOH poster "Claudia Rothenbach", in which my opponent, a rather demented German denier who venerates Mattogno, spam-quoted a long slab of text from the German version of Mattogno’s Bełżec book (see the thread Belzec of the RODOH forum’s archived German language sub-forum). So if Mattogno wishes to hold someone responsible for having caught my attention, it's this lady(?) "Claudia Rothenbach" and not Mr. Zimmerman (who, incidentally, is not exactly one of my closer acquaintances - I remember having asked him a few questions by e-mail in 2002 or so, but not what the subject was or whether I got an answer). I also don't share the obsession of Mattogno and other "Revisionists" with Auschwitz-Birkenau, which is the subject of Zimmerman's articles mentioned at the beginning and the responses thereto that Mattogno makes so much of. I'm more interested in mobile killing operations (see for instance my blogs of the That's why it is denial, not revisionism. series), the Aktion Reinhard(t) camps (especially their mass graves, see for instance the blog Mass Graves at Nazi Extermination Camps) and Nazi crimes against non-Jews (a subject almost completely neglected by Jew-obsessed "Revisionists" and unfortunately also largely unknown to the general public), see the HC blogs labeled "non-Jewish victims".
Now a little about myself, in response to Mattogno's accusation that HC bloggers, among other bad things, tend to "hide behind pseudonyms" (something Mattogno obviously doesn't mind when it comes to "Revisionists"). Writing under a nym is a choice that I respect, provided that the nym is clearly recognizable as such, not linked to claims of academic qualifications and not used to hurl anonymous personal abuse at opponents. But it is not my choice. My name is Roberto Mühlenkamp (the "ü" can also be spelled "ue"), born on 22 July 1964 in Bogotá, Colombia, German citizen (both my parents were born in Essen, Germany), living in Lisbon, Portugal, holder of German passport nº 353857801 issued by the German Embassy in Lisbon on 25.02.2004 and valid until 24.02.2014. Mattogno is free to check this information with the issuing entity if he has any doubts about my identity. Or he may ask the Avis agency at the Warsaw airport who rented the Renault Clio Grand Tour Diesel with the registration number WW2973S that I drove during my trip to Sobibór from 14 to 16 October 2008. Mattogno can also have a digital copy of my passport if he wants – only by e-mail, of course, so that I know who to turn to if something funny should happen with the document. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
While I have been to Sobibór and also to Sachsenhausen, it is true that unlike my fellow bloggers Dr. Nick Terry (who is a professional historian) and Sergey Romanov (who has access to the Russian GARF archives) I haven't yet had the time and means to research original documents in an archive. But that's no surprise considering that I work for a living in a profession unrelated to history, moreover in a country where one shouldn't expect to find documents related to the subject matters of this blog spot, and my free time is also not wholly dedicated to doing research about Nazi crimes and writing articles like those that obviously worry Mattogno. However, Mattogno should think twice before bringing this up as a negative against me, because it looks all the worse on the coryphée of "Revisionism" to be exposed and refuted by a mere amateur who does this for sport. As Sergey Romanov pointed out in his post of Wednesday, October 18, 2006 3:15:00 PM under the blog That's why it is denial, not revisionism. Part VIII: The Simferopol Massacres, the intellectual smallness of "Revisionist" flagships like Mattogno and Graf is shown by the fact that "even" amateurs like Sergey and me, relying on publicly available sources, can make mincemeat out of them.
On to what little Mattogno has to say here about my writings regarding Bełżec and his claims related thereto. Readers may remember that Mattogno wrote a 73-page response to my aforementioned article. This response also appeared in English translation and was hailed an "important work" by Thomas Kues, Mattogno’s coreligionist and co-author of Mattogno, Graf & Kues' recent book about Sobibór. Mattogno’s response was rebutted in a series of blogs headed Belzec Mass Graves and Archaeology: My Response to Carlo Mattogno, the last of which was published on 31 July 2009. Mattogno responded to the first two installments of this series in two blogs, published on blond Franziska's blog spot and commented in my blogs Belzec Mass Graves and Archaeology – Continuation, Belzec Mass Graves and Archaeology - Continuation (1) and Belzec Mass Graves and Archaeology - Continuation (2). After that, silence. One might think that Mattogno discovered his now vehemently professed disdain for the blog medium (which he nevertheless abundantly uses or allows to be used himself) only after realizing his incapacity to respond to my latest Bełżec rebuttal (besides other refutations on HC that he hasn't addressed).
This only makes Mattogno's brief mention of my Bełżec writings in his latest blog look all the more embarrassing. Mattogno is now obviously trying to take the easy way out by pretending that his opponent makes arguments so unspeakably ridiculous as not to be worth further discussion. The example he picks is my having based my initial considerations about the capacity of the Bełżec mass graves on Kurt Gerstein's oh-so-ridiculously implausible claim, rejected by all historians, that 700 to 800 persons could fit into 25 square meters of gas chamber space. And it speaks volumes about Mattogno’s intellectual dishonesty that, while making a big fuss about how historians distanced themselves from Gerstein’s claim, he makes no mention whatsoever of the late Charles Provan's simple but ingenious experiment that proved Gerstein's estimate to be quite realistic under the circumstances (the deportees were malnourished people from ghettos of Eastern Poland, and most of them were children), even though this experiment was amply referred to in my blog Carlo Mattogno on Belzec Archaeological Research - Part 4 (1) (of which Mattogno doesn't provide either the title or the link in his footnotes).
What is more, Mattogno doesn’t mention that in his response he had argued that Provan's test group was not representative of the Bełżec gas chambers' and mass graves' population, mainly because it contained too high a proportion of small children, and that I rebutted this with arguments that render Mattogno’s considerations irrelevant, by taking his own somewhat unrealistic volume calculations (an adult Jew from a miserable ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland weighed 70 kg on average, according to Mattogno) and adapting them to the realities of the time and places in question.
And to put the icing on the cake, Mattogno supports his derision of my original argument by referring to the "miniature people" straw-man of no less an "authority" than "Thomas Dalton, PhD", the gentleman who, as has been shown or pointed out in several previous blogs, is little more than a parrot of Mattogno and other like-minded "scholars". In the blog Thomas Dalton responds to Roberto Muehlenkamp and Andrew Mathis (4), I addressed said straw-man as follows:
In the next paragraph of item (9), Mr. "Dalton" does me the favor of summarizing the somewhat-less-than-honest references to two of my articles in his book, thereby saving me the work of commenting those references one by one. Thank you, Mr. "Dalton"!
"Dalton" writes:Ricardo also holds to impossible figures like: average gas chamber densities of 28 persons per square meter (roughly, 3 feet by 3 feet!), and 15 corpses per cubic meter of grave space. Most ridiculously, in discussing the burning of corpses on a metal grid, with wood, that as little as a 1-to-1 ratio (wood to corpse mass) would suffice to burn the bodies down to pure ash. Imagine this: that a 100-pound corpse, partially decomposed and perhaps frozen, could be burned to pure ash—with 100 pounds of wood! In reality it would take perhaps 500-1000 pounds of wood, under ideal conditions, to approach this. And yet we are to believe that 1.7 million bodies were disposed of this way, in a matter of a few months. I think he loses all credibility with such claims.
Average gas chamber densities, Mr. "Dalton"?
If Mr. "Dalton" had read my blog Carlo Mattogno on Belzec Archaeological Research - Part 4 (1) with more attention (maybe he did and just couldn't kick a certain habit, but I'll give him the benefit of doubt), he would have realized that I nowhere claimed that the Belzec gas chambers took in 28 persons per square meter on average. It was completely immaterial to my argument how often the concentration described by Kurt Gerstein in his eyewitness account of a certain gassing at Belzec, considered plausible by Charles Provan pursuant to an experiment he made, was actually achieved at Belzec extermination camp. It was also immaterial to Charles Provan, whose objective was to test Gerstein’s reliability as an eyewitness regarding the concentration data in Gerstein's account of one specific gassing, and not to establish how many people per square meter had been in the Belzec gas chambers on average. The reason why I referred to Charles Provan’s experiment was not to make any statement about the average occupation of gas chambers at Belzec let alone any other of the Aktion Reinhard(t) camps, but to establish what Provan’s experimental results implied for what was physically possible as concerns the concentration of dead bodies in the Belzec mass graves under the circumstances to be considered, especially the age and sex composition of deportees to Belzec extermination camp. Using Provan’s experimental results, whereby 703 people could fit into an area of 5 x 5 meters (that’s 28 per square meter) and a space of 5 x 5 x 1.9 = 47.5 meters if the age, sex and size composition of these 703 people was that of Provan’s test group, I concluded that about 15 such people could fit into one cubic meter. My calculation was even "generous", as Mr. "Dalton" pointed out on page 124 of his book (emphasis added):In terms of volume density, Provan claims to have packed eight people into 0.42 cubic meters, equivalent to a density of 19 per cubic meter. Muehlenkamp generously uses only 15 per cubic meter in his subsequent calculations. (The reader is invited to build a 1 cubic meter box out of wood, find 15 of the skinniest people around, even children, and try to fit them all in.)
Provan just "claims", according to Mr. Dalton – as if Charles Provan had not thoroughly documented his experiment, including photographs thereof. Casting a baseless slur on Provan’s experiment, "Dalton" then invites his readers to sort of repeat the same. Readers are encouraged to do that indeed and report their results, with test groups as similar as possible to Charles Provan's test group.
The key question is: to what extent can Charles Provan’s test group be considered representative of the "population" of the Belzec mass graves? I argued that it was representative, based on two eyewitness testimonies whereby transports to Belzec consisted mainly of children, documentation whereby Belzec was a destination for unemployable Jews, and Provan’s observations (the former based on historical literature, the latter on a contemporary anthropomorphic study) that Jews killed at Belzec were emaciated due to the lack of food in the ghettoes in eastern Poland in 1942 and of comparatively small stature. In a classic straw-man exercise, Mr. "Dalton" mischaracterizes my argument as implying that the Jewish victims of Belzec were "miniature people". He is obviously playing to the average "Revisionist" here.
In his response to my original article about his assessment of Belzec archaeological research (original Italian version; English translation), the "Revisionist" movement's flagship Carlo Mattogno challenged my thesis that Provan’s test group was representative of the people buried in the Belzec mass graves by arguing that according to Holocaust historiography, Belzec was a camp of total extermination, without any distinction between those able and those unable to work, for which reason children couldn't have made up a larger proportion of the deportees than they do in the general population. In my rejoinder of the discussion with Mattogno, I demonstrated that this was only true for the second phase of the Aktion Reinhard(t) operations, starting in August 1942 (Belzec had been operating since 17 March of that year), and that even in this second phase, due to certain particularities of the area that most deportees to Belzec came from, the proportion of children among the deportees must have been higher than average.
Independently of this argument, I also examined Mattogno's proposition that the average composition of every three people among the deportees to Belzec was two adults weighing 70 kg each and one child weighing at least 25.4, which makes for an average weight of 55.1 kg and a burial density of 7.6 (rounded up to 8) corpses per cubic meter, according to Mattogno’s calculations. Based on body measurement index data, information about the average height of persons at the time and the fact that the Jews of eastern Poland – where most deportees to Belzec came from – can be assumed to have been "ill fed and even starving" (Provan) prior to their deportation, I argued that 43 kg for the two adults and 16 kg for the child was a more realistic weight composition than that proposed by Mattogno for each group of three people deported to Belzec. This leads to an average weight of (43+43+16)/3 = 34 kg and a possible concentration of corpses in mass graves, according to Mattogno's formula, of 420 ÷ 34 = 12.4.
Mattogno’s formula is based on the assumption that 6 people weighing 70 kg each could fit into one cubic meter of grave space (6 x 70 = 420). Based on Alex Bay's calculations of the number of persons with the measurements and proportions of Leonardo Da Vinci's "Vetruvian Man" that could fit into a mass grave, I argued that 10.7 human bodies with the measurements and weight of an ideal adult person 1.73 meters high would have a weight of 10.7 x 62 = 663.40 kg, instead of Mattogno's 420 kg. With the realistic weights for malnourished Polish ghetto Jews that I established above, the burial capacity would thus be 663.4 ÷ 34 = 19.51 corpses per cubic meter. The number of persons with this size and weight profile that could be buried at one time in Belzec grave space, estimated by archaeologist Prof. Andrzej Kola at 21,310 cubic meters, would thus be 19.51 x 21,310 = 415,796. I pointed out thatMattogno, incidentally, doesn't seem to be wholly disinclined to accept concentrations higher than the 8 per cubic meter he calculated based on "experimental" data. On page 147 of Mattogno & Graf's book about Treblinka the authors tell their readers that "3,000 bodies take up a volume of about (3,000×0.045 =) 135 m3". The concentration they are assuming here is 3,000 ÷ 135 = 22 bodies per cubic meter…
I hope for Mattogno that his attacks on my fellow bloggers and other critics of his (which I frankly have read only insofar as required to pick out the footnote references mentioned above, leaving the assessment of Mattogno's arguments to said critics) are less farcical and dishonest than his beaten rhetoric about oh-so-wrong Gerstein and "Dalton"'s "miniature people" – straw-man that he sent my way.
Before turning over the field to who else of Mattogno's critics might want to respond to his hollering, I'd like to point out that Mattogno’s claim whereby HC bloggers are "held in no account by Holocaust historians" is relevant only to the extent that "Revisionist" historians pay any attention to "Revisionist" propaganda. Unfortunately few historians besides HC blogger Dr. Nick Terry do that, and some of those few host the website Holocaust Denial on Trial. In some of that site’s Myth/Fact Sheets my ill-informed friend Charlie may find references to articles written on HC, namely such that address his claims and/or those of his filmmaker pal "denierbud".
As to the absence of printed HC publications, which Mattogno also invokes as an argument, it doesn’t seem to have dawned on the flagship of "Revisionism" that the key medium through which "Revisionist" propaganda is disseminated is the Web (which is also why "several complete revisionist texts are available free online", as "Dalton" approvingly notes). It is therefore only logical that the Web is essentially the place where key anti-"Revisionist" material can be found these days, as pointed out in the blog Old Herrings in a New Can: Thomas Dalton’s Debating the Holocaust (1). Besides, the self-servingly proclaimed notion that what is in print is generally better than what is on the internet has no basis. Both media are equally patient, which is why one finds abundant "Revisionist" rubbish in both.