Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mattogno’s Chełmno book

Chelmno book released, crows CODOH poster "Mkk", announcing the recent publication of Mattogno’s Chełmno book. The lady brags that "Once again Mattogno has demolished the propaganda surrounding this camp, just like all the other camps he has written books on". And CODOH moderator Jonnie "Hannover" Hargis joins in as follows: "Yet another nail in the 'holocaust' coffin. Thanks Mkk. I encourage everyone to watch the Jewish supremacist 'holocaust' Industry try to work their way out of this one."

Actually the only thing that Mattogno has again demolished is the credibility of "the world’s premier revisionist scholar", or what’s left of it in the eyes of those who, unlike followers of the "Revisionist" faith, look at Mattogno’s writings with a critical eye – and who, contrary to what "Hannover" would like to believe, tend to be private citizens with no connection to the "Industry" of his fantasies and are largely not even Jewish.



What makes the English-language version of Mattogno’s Chełmno book a particularly sorry achievement is that it comes out almost a year after I rebutted the original Italian version’s sections about the camp’s mass graves and corpse cremation at Chełmno in the blogs Mattogno on Chełmno Mass Graves (23.12.2010), Mattogno on Chełmno Cremation (Part 1) (31.12.2010), Mattogno on Chełmno Cremation (Part 2) (02.01.2011) and Mattogno on Chełmno Cremation (Part 3) (04.01.2011), without Mattogno having addressed any of my arguments or even having tried to improve his piece by taking my rebuttal into consideration.

To be sure, there are some changes from the Italian to the English version as concerns the sections I commented. But they are either indifferent or further reduce the pamphlet’s quality, which was already abysmal in the Italian original.

In the blog Mattogno on Chełmno Cremation (Part 1), I wrote that

Mattogno’s first target is the supposed contradiction between Blobel’s cremation activities at Chełmno within the context of Aktion 1005 on the one hand and hygienic considerations underlying the decision to cremate the corpses at Chełmno on the other. Why the two propositions are supposed to be mutually exclusive Mattogno doesn’t explain.


The English version contains a quote from Jens Hoffmann’s book "Das kann man nicht erzählen. ""Aktion 1005" – Wie die Nazis die Spuren ihrer Massenmorde in Osteuropa beseitigten. at the end of section 8.1 (page 74), which is supposed to show how "Jens Hoffmann tries to reconcile the two contradictory arguments". An explanation what makes the claimed contradiction a contradiction is still not offered.

The first paragraph of section 10.3 (page 100) was augmented by the following remark:

A thorough examination of these investigations will be possible only when a scientific study is published like that of Prof. Andrzej Kola on archeological investigations carried out in the former Bełżec camp (Kola 2000).


While this tells us that Mattogno acknowledges Prof. Andrzej Kola’s book about Bełżec as a scientific study, Mattogno doesn’t explain why Łucja Pawlicka-Nowak’s archaeological report (published in the book Chelmno Witnesses Speak and on the website of the Museum of the former Extermination Camp in Chełmno-on-Ner) does not qualify as a scientific study in the premier scholar’s erudite opinion.

Mattogno’s discussion of Pawlicka-Nowak’s archaeological finds is shorter in the English version than in the original Italian version. The text on pages 127 to 130 of the original version about the archaeologist’s finds regarding the camp's cremation sites (objects 2/03, 3/03, 4/03, 5/03, 20/03 and 21/03) has been reduced to two paragraphs at the end of section 10.3 (page 100) in the English version, with Mattogno’s considerations about the disputability of these objects' interpretation as cremation sites, discussed in the blog Mattogno on Chełmno Cremation (Part 1), now shrunk to the blunt claim that "for the findings 20/03 and 21/03 the function as a cremation site is only alleged".

As concerns cremation logistics, Mattogno had in the Italian version (section 9.2, pp. 114-15) calculated that the burning of 145,000 corpses would have required 21,750 tons of wood, assuming 150 kg of wood for a corpse with an average weight of 45 kg at the time of cremation (down from an assumed average life weight of 60 kg, as a part of the corpses had lain in mass graves some months before being burned).

My calculations, based on a life weight assumption closer to the reality of starving Polish ghettos than Mattogno’s flagrantly unrealistic 60 kg, on the weight loss due to dehydration of the corpses that had been buried prior to cremation, and on the wood-to-carcass weight ratios achieved in the animal carcass burning experiments by Dr. Lothes and Dr. Profé in the early 19th Century (which Mattogno ignored and continues ignoring in this context, even though it was his mention of these experiments in Combustion Experiments with Flesh and Animal Fat that brought them to my attention), point to a requirement of ca. 2,451 metric tons of dry wood or 4,657 tons of fresh wood for burning the corpses of the about 150,000 people killed in the first phase of extermination operations at Chełmno, between December 1941 and March 1943 (see the blog Mattogno on Chełmno Cremation (Part 2), figures in tables 2.11 and 2.12).

In the English version of his Chełmno book (section 9.2, p. 89), Mattogno further inflates his already overblown calculations of wood requirements by assuming, pursuant to considerations in the Sobibor book by Mattogno, Graf and Kues, that the corpses weighed 60 kg on average at the time they were cremated and that the wood used was fresh wood with a calorific value of only 2,000 kcal/kg. He thus arrives at a wood requirement of 53,000 metric tons for the cremation of 152,000 corpses (350 kg per corpse), more than ten times the amount I calculated for 150,000 corpses assuming the use of fresh wood. Instead of becoming more realistic, Mattogno’s figures have become even more unreasonable than they were before.

Having previously claimed that cremation of 145,000 corpses at Chełmno would have left 326 tons of human ashes occupying a volume of 652 cubic meters, Mattogno now claims (section 10.4, page 104) that the cremation of 152,000 corpses would have produced "at least 456 tons of human ashes, or approximately 940 cubic meters". Assuming a realistically calculated corpse mass for the 150,000 people killed in Chełmno’s 1st phase, 3,321,706 kg, the ash residue weight according to Mattogno’s calculation method in the Italian version would be 166.09 tons, the corresponding volume 332.18 cubic meters (see the blog Mattogno on Chełmno Cremation (Part 3)) – 8.11 % of the volume of the ash disposal pits that Pawlicka-Nowak called the "fifth grave" (estimated at 4,096 m³), 2.05 % of the volume of the four graves used for burying corpses before they were emptied and the corpses cremated (estimated at 16,179 m³), and 1.64 % of the volume of all Chełmno graves. Even the excessive volume claimed by Mattogno would occupy no more than 22.95 % of the volume of the "fifth grave" (in which, as Pawlicka-Nowak points out, the soil contains "a significant mixture of burn waste and crushed human bones"), 5.81% of the volume of the burial graves or 4.64% of the volume of all Chełmno graves, if all cremation remains had been returned to these graves (actually cremation remains were also found in the objects considered to be the camp’s cremation sites, and part of the cremation remains was scattered over forests, sent to Poznań to Fort VII or sent to German settlers as a fertilizer, as mentioned by Pawlicka-Nowak).

Obviously assuming that this confirms his pet theories, Mattogno makes a fool of himself also in the English version by gleefully mentioning at the end of section 10.1 (page 97) that the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the Poznań Medical Academy confirmed the presence of "a few percent" of residual bone matter in soil samples sent there for examination in late 1988. And like in the Italian version, he further disgraces himself by speculating at the end of section 10.4 (pp. 104-105) that the samples analyzed by the Institute of Forensic Medicine in 1988 must have come from one of the pits making up the "fifth grave", which had first been described by Judge Bednarz – even though it becomes clear from Pawlicka-Nowak’s report that these pits were not subjected to archaeological investigation before 2003/2004, which means that soil samples examined in 1988 are not likely to have come from there.

What is worse than these and other ongoing blunders (or falsehoods), as concerns Mattogno's scholarship, is that Mattogno continues peddling his claim that "the alleged activity of Blobel at Chełmno is not confirmed by any document, but only by a single testimony, that of Rudolf Höss, the commandant of Auschwitz (confirmed, long after the fact, by one of the architects of the Auschwitz crematoria, Walter Dejaco)" (section 8.2, page 76), conveniently omitting the testimonies of Fritz Ismer and Julius Bauer, which are mentioned in Hoffmann's book and in my blog Mattogno on Chełmno Cremation (Part 1).

The report of Heinrich May with its important information about the provenance of wood supplies for cremating the corpses, mentioned in the addendum to the blog Mattogno on Chełmno Cremation (Part 2) (and quoted in the recent blog A Great Lie) is also conspicuously absent from Mattogno's latest publication.

If this is what "the world’s premier revisionist scholar" has got to offer, what does that say about "Revisionism"?

10 comments:

becs55 said...

Dear Roberto,

First of all, congratulations for your quick response on this. I just read your articles that you linked in the introduction, they're really exhaustive debunking of Mattongo's claims.

However, these are covering mostly the technical aspects of cremation (and mass graves), while Mattogno's "conclusions" (as cited in CODOH) include many statements unrelated to this. (Although full of absurdities, which would surely fall the same way his claims did on closer examination in case of cremation.)

So the question is: do you have a short debunking of those (i.e. the 13 points) somewhere on your blog...?

Thank you in advance for your reply!

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

«So the question is: do you have a short debunking of those (i.e. the 13 points) somewhere on your blog...?»

Not yet, but that's a good idea. Thanks!

Tommi Kotonen said...

Mattogno's book seems indeed to be quite a sloppy work. Take for example his claims on murdering gypsies. He concludes:

"In Chapter 4 we have seen, however, that the “Szlamek” Report is totally unreliable. Not only that, but it does not justify the claim of the total extermination of the gypsies of Lódz. In fact it contains only two references to the gassing of gypsies: on 8 January 1942: 7 “vehicles” (that is “gas vans”), on 9 January 1942: 8 or 9 “vehicles.” [--] On the other hand, as we have seen above, according to Galinski the extermination of gypsies took place between 5 and 12 January 1942, but for the 5th, 6th and 7th “Szlamek” does not mention any gassings, and for the 10th, 11th and 12th it claims only two gassings of Jews from Klodawa (7 “vehicles” on the 10th and 9 on the 12th), followed by a day of “repose” (11 January)."

Szlamek was not even at Chelmno on 5th, on 6th he arrived but only in the afternoon and was nowhere near the Waldlager, and on 7th he writes, when describing how they opened the van: "A Group of Gypsies from Lodz had just been murdered". Also, according to Podchlebnik, Gypsies were killed day before first Jews from Lodz arrived. That would be 16th of January. Szlamek does not mention if they were Gypsies, but tells that on 16th "by one in the afternoon, we had buried four transports. All the victims came from Lodz".

Jonathan Harrison said...

Mattogno's Chelmno book finally gets around to discussing Greiser-Himmler NO-246 but unfortunately makes a total mess of it. Mattogno seriously believes that this was referring to resettlement in the East:

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2006/06/gauleiter-arthur-greiser.html

becs55 said...

"«So the question is: do you have a short debunking of those (i.e. the 13 points) somewhere on your blog...?»

Not yet, but that's a good idea. Thanks!"

Oh, quite to the contrary: I'd say thanks for a such debunking!

If your time permits, I'd really appreciate it (should be very useful if this "list" crops up during a debate...).

Jonathan Harrison said...

Some of the 13 points make no sense even on the basis of Mattogno's own discussion. For example:

"7) The camp’s claimed death toll number is not based on any documentation"

But the book itself states on page 109 that the Bonn court used Korherr's figure of 145,301 up to the end of 1942 then added the 7,000 deported in 1944 to give a figure of 152,000. Thus this is a documented figure.

Roberto Lucena said...

"Szlamek was not even at Chelmno on 5th, on 6th he arrived but only in the afternoon and was nowhere near the Waldlager, and on 7th he writes, when describing how they opened the van: "A Group of Gypsies from Lodz had just been murdered". Also, according to Podchlebnik, Gypsies were killed day before first Jews from Lodz arrived. That would be 16th of January. Szlamek does not mention if they were Gypsies, but tells that on 16th "by one in the afternoon, we had buried four transports. All the victims came from Lodz"."

Precisely, this is the content of the Szlamek report: link "Who will write our history?" by Samuel D. Kassow.

Szlamek also mentions the death of the Jews, not just the Gypsies' death.

Another 'Mattogno's book' with a "revisionist" Seal of Quality, and more distortions as always.

Tommi Kotonen said...

I wonder why Mattogno fails to comment document he presents that connect Blobel to Sonderkommando Kulmhof. See document 6a in his book.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

How do you explain Mieczys aw Sekiewicz's 1945 testimony on the cooking Jews alive with water and lime:

“Then – the witness continues – a truck appeared on the side of the road which stopped on the path at the edge of the clearing. I noticed that there was something on the truck, like tubs for washing. The Germans then started up a small engine, which was clearly a pump, and connected it via a tube to one of the tubs. Two Gestapo agents held the pipes and began to sprinkle the Jews herded into the pit with a liquid. I think it was water, as it appeared to be, but I cannot be sure. During the pumping operation they connected the tubes to each of the other tubs. People began to cook while still alive, and this was certainly due to the boiling fresh lime. […] This all went on for two hours.”

page 49.

licric

Sergey Romanov said...

> How do you explain Mieczys aw Sekiewicz's 1945 testimony on the cooking Jews alive with water and lime:

I would tend to doubt this particular description without further corroboration.