Said post, which is currently available on the CODOH thread Mattogno on me and Erber, is reproduced hereafter.
Recently an article by Carlo Mattogno was posted here dealing with some critiques posted at RODOH forum and Holocaust Controversies blog. Unfortunately, so far the article is only offered in the world language Italian, so I refer here to its rough babelfish translation into english. There is already a comment on the article from Roberto Muehlenkamp available here.
His chapter "d) “MENZOGNE SU ERBER” is sought to address a posting I made at RODOH on 10 July 2003, which can be found here. The chapter is recycled from his book 2005 book "Olocausto: dilettanti nel web". The posting deals with an aspect in Mattogno's article "No holes, no gas-chamber(s). An historical-technical study of the holes for introducing Zyklon B in the roof of the Leichenkeller 1 of Krema II at Birkenau" published in 2001.
I noted in the original posting that Josef Erber's description of two Zyklon-B introduction devices per gassing room would be consistent with the fact that they were actually four devices in the gassing cellar of crematorium 2, if it assumed that he was refering to the gassing basement of crematorium 2 which was divided into two seperate gassing rooms. Further, I pointed out that in the same article, Mattogno cites two witnesses (Tauber and Bendel) who actually claim the subdivision of the basement. I concluded that Mattogno was acting dishonest that he critices Erber's testimony for that he merely mentions two devices, even though he was well aware of the testimonial evidence for a subdivision of the basement.
Mattogno begins his reply with the ad hominem claim that I "cover [myself] bravely behind anonymity". Of course, the validity of my arguments is not bothered by the fact that my real name remains unkown. Vice versa one may ask if my arguments would appear stronger if I supplied my real name? Not really. Also my extent of bravity - for which the fact that I'm posting under a pseudonym in Holocaust denial discussion forums is hardly a reliable criteria anyway - is irrelevant for the actual topic.
Mattogno then accuses me of having dishonestly omitted the sentence "Auf jeder war ein Einschütte Eisendeckel angebracht" from my translation of Erber's comment in his letter to Fleming. But the reason I did not quoted this sentence is simply because it is irrelevant to the point I was discussing, the number of introduction devices. There was no reason for me quote this sentence in this context. Also there is no real reason to omit the statement dishonestly, since it represents no serious problem for the existence of homicidal gas-chambers in Auschwitz anyway. There may have been both types of covers - concrete and iron - used in course of the existence of the homicidal gassing basements. Or it may be that the covers were iron-concrete composites, whereas the iron part was only observable by the SS men operating the gas introduction. In any case, it doesn't invalidate Erber's account.
Further, Mattogno points out that Fleming has identified that Erber was speaking about both crematoria 2 and 3, and alleges that he should know it best after Erber himself. While it is possible that Fleming knew it better than we do from the extract which crematorium/crematoria Erber was writing about, this is not necessary the case - and this is the crucial point. For all we know, he might have just concluded it from Erber's use of plural and would be thus based on the assumption there was only a single gas-chamber in the basement of crematorium 2. Accordingly, without further information how he arrived to his identification, it cannot be taken for granted.
Mattogno did take it for granted. But there is no compelling reason to do so, and in fact as I already pointed in 2003 it is pretty obvious he only accepts Flemings comment because it nicely fits into his attempt to invalidate Erber's description.
Then Mattogno provides another miscronstruction. He asserts that with my claim I would have simply demonstrated the dishonesty of Fleming. But if Fleming has misinterpreted Erber's remark and falsely attributed it to both crematoria, it is possible (in fact, likely) that this would be a honest mistake in good faith due to lack of knowledge about this specific detail rather than dishonesty.
In the second part of his reply, Mattogno notes that there is no documentary basis for the division of the gas-chamber of crematorium 2. This is true of course, but doesn't refute a possible subdivision. It is not like the documents are allowing to monitor what was going on in Birkenau at any time. If anybody disagrees with this view, I request from him to show the material order for the horse stable barrack erected in the yard of crematorium 2 as well as the related time sheets by the construction workers.
He also claims that the subdivision is denied by Nyiszli, Paisikovic and Müller. I'm not aware that any of these have explicitely denied that the basement was subdivided at some point of its existence. One may argue that they have done implicitly by not mentioning this detail, but this assumes they were very well informed about the details in this basement during its entire existence (the emphasis is on "entire"). If they weren't, this detail may have escaped their mind. The existence of the subdivision of the basement is no established fact. But it's a possibility mentioned by two witnesses, which cannot be ruled out so far. Suppose there were sufficient evidence to reject the idea of a subdivision of the basement, Erber's number of gas introduction devices would be false of course. But since this is just a matter of numbers and Erber wrote about it many years after event, this would lower his reliability but certainly not invalidate his account completely.
So in conclusion, Mattogno failed to succesfully challenge the main point of my posting, which of course still stands. Also he was unable to offer a reasonable explanation why he didn't discuss Erber's description in the context of Tauber's and Bendel's cited in exactly the same article.
And last but not least, I'm not even a big guy, but just one of those "dilettanti nel web"! Guess how it would look like if a trained specialist would look into Mattogno's writings.
Meanwhile, on another thread of the "CODOH Revisionist Forum", an amusing chimp show is taking place. The show is being monitored starting here.
Readers may have noticed that the CODOH thread on which Hans posted his response to Mattogno has been removed, while the contents of the thread referred to in this article's last paragraph have been replaced by the following note from "Moderator 3":
The language of the initial post and many of the replies were well beyond the guidelines, contents of this thread have been deleted, the thread locked. Too bad, there were some worthwhile comments. We wish people would learn.
Language was hardly the problem in Hans' above-quoted post, and it also didn't violate even the guidelines of the CODOH forum, which are not exactly meant to promote discussion (as opposed to mutual backslapping among people of the same mind).
So much for open debate on the forum of the "Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust".