These are Mr. Berg's follow-up questions:
1. A simple question for Mr. Muehlenkamp: Is it possible that the fuel used in the homicidal “gasoline” engines might have been more toxic than the exhaust?
2. During WW2, gasoline in German-occupied Europe was extremely expensive and strictly rationed—if it was even available. A follow-up question for Mr. Muehlenkamp: Why would the Nazis have used gasoline to make carbon monoxide when they could have far more easily used wood chips and wood scraps which were dirt cheap and readily available—even in the remotest areas of Poland?
3. How should one translate the German word "Gaswagen" -- and why?
4. A question pertaining to Zyklon-B and American executions is: If America performed gas executions by simply dropping Zyklon-B granules into its gas chambers, how long would it take to kill a prisoner?
These are my answers:
Answer to question # 1. Berg seems to be asking whether gasoline in its unburned liquid state is more toxic than the exhaust of gasoline that is burned when running a motor. I don't know, and I don't care to find out because the question seems to be completely irrelevant. Does Berg want to argue that his heroes should have killed their victims by making them drink gasoline rather than by exposing them to gasoline exhaust introduced into gas chambers? Please clarify, Mr. Berg.
Answer to question # 2. I could give the answer that was given by a commentator on my previous blog:
Oh, god, why am I listening to this? Is this Berg mentally retarded? No, I mean really, why is it, that of all conspiracy whack jobs holocaust deniers seem to be the dumbest.
"This didn't happen, because I would have done it better." Yeah, congratulations, you are a total moron. Please kill yourself with your special fuel.
But I'll be more polite than this commentator. My answer is the following:
It is not known why the SS chose to gas their victims in gas vans, at Chełmno and at the Aktion Reinhard(t) camps, with engine exhaust rather than with producer gas.
It is also completely irrelevant because all known evidence - especially the testimonies of witnesses who operated or serviced gassing engines or were otherwise familiar with them - points to the use of engine exhaust for gassing. If producer gas had been a better and/or more economic method for gassing, as Mr. Berg claims, this would only mean that Berg's SS heroes were not the most practical people (and didn't have Friedrich Paul Berg, the hindsight genius, to advise them on more efficient and/or more economic murder methods). Nothing more, nothing less, as I pointed out more than once in yesterday's debate. Berg's argument is about as silly as saying that a murder didn't occur because the murderer could have used a murder weapon more efficient and/or more economic than he did use.
It may be that in German-occupied Europe gasoline was extremely expensive and strictly rationed, as Mr. Berg claims. However, as Mr. Berg explained, that was so because the Germans wanted to have as much gasoline as possible available for the war effort and thus understandably curtailed the use of gasoline for civilian/private purposes. They were not alone in that - even the US at least urged their citizens to save gasoline. However, I'm not aware that US armed forces were ever short of gasoline (though getting it to the front via extended supply lines was sometimes a problem), and neither were the German armed forces as long as a) their plants for producing synthetic gasoline were not subject to air attack (which happened only in 1944, IIRC) and b) they had the oilfiels of occupied or allied countries, especially those of Romania and Hungary, at their disposal. Therefore, and as I pointed out in the blog Mattogno, Graf & Kues on Aktion Reinhard(t) Cremation (2), there was no reason why, when Globocnik requested a special fuel quota exclusively for Operation Reinhard in order to handle "larger shipments from abroad" (shipments of what, and why was a special fuel quota requested to handle them?), the RSHA should have told him to try producer gas vans instead. Moreover, gasoline could be used for a dual purpose: for gassing and to help burn the bodies, already in the camps' early phases when bodies were partially burned inside the graves for hygienic purposes, and especially when cremation replaced burial as a method for body disposal and the corpses that had first been buried in mass graves were disinterred and also burned. Producer gas generators could hardly serve that dual function.
The handling of producer gas generators also seems to have been more risky for the users than that of engines. Berg himself pointed out the following (emphasis added):
Those generators were extremely dangerous--everyone had to know that because gas leaks were not only toxic but also highly explosive! When the engines were shutoff, the generators would keep on generating until the internal fire could be extinguished.
Using producer gas generators for homicidal gassing would thus have required certain precautions lest the killers were to gas themselves or blow themselves up. It may be that such precautions could have been taken by personnel qualified to handle producer gas generators, but why bother when gasoline was available in sufficient quantities, the use of gasoline engines was comparatively risk-free for the users, and gasoline had a dual application for gassing and for burning corpses? Why involve drivers or technicians familiar with the use of producer gas in a top secret operation when it could be avoided? Why take the risk that one of those undisciplined Trawniki guards might light a cigarette at the wrong place and time and blow himself up together with the gassing device and who knows what else?
Last but not least, and as I also pointed out in yesterday's debate, using producer gas generators for homicidal gassing would not necessarily have resulted in less gasoline being spent. If, say, a truck running on producer gas that carried supplies to the front had been detached for homicidal gassing duty, it would have had to be replaced by another truck, and if the replacement truck had been a truck running on gasoline because no replacement producer gas truck was available, gasoline saving in the overall balance would at best have been nil (I figure that a truck carrying supplies over those lousy roads in the Soviet Union would spend more gasoline every day than a gassing engine running in idle mode for about half an hour three or four times per day).
So we can conclude that Berg's main argument against the evidence to gassing with engine exhaust is a no-brainer whichever way you look at it. The commentator quoted at the beginning of this answer may have been somewhat impolite, but he aptly characterized the utter stupidity of Berg's argument in a few words.
Answer to question # 3. The Leo translator suggests that the correct translation of "Gaswagen" would be "gas car", "gas automobile" or "gas wagon". The German term might mean a) an automobile/car/wagon running on gas or b) an automobile/car/wagon used for gassing, though for the latter the more appropriate term would be Vergasungswagen, i.e. gassing automobile/car/wagon. The term "Gaswagen" is a somewhat simplified version of what would have been the correct designation of the automobiles/cars/wagons used by the Nazis to gas people, which probably came into use among those who used these devices and/or among postwar investigators and researchers. The English translation "gas van", while not quite correct, is probably due to knowledge that these vehicles were vans according to the witnesses who described them.
Now, what's the point of this linguistic exercise? Were Berg's beloved producer gas trucks/vans referred to as "Gaswagen"? If so, how would that affect the solid documentary evidence whereby custom-built vans were used by the SS to gas people in the loading room?
In documents referring to these vehicles they were not called "Gaswagen", by the way. In Rauff's letter to the Criminal Technical Institute dated 26 March 1942, they were called "Sonderwagen", i.e. special cars/automobiles/wagons/vans (what was so "special" about them, Mr. Berg?). In the letter dd. 11 April 1942 from SS-Major General Dr. Harald Turner, privy-councilor and chief of the German Administration in Serbia, to Karl Wolff, chief of Himmler's personal staff, Turner spoke of a "delousing van" ("Entlausungswagen"), his quote marks and the context of the letter showing that the van was used not for delousing but for killing human beings. Just's letter to Rauff dd. 5 June 1942 referred to them as "special vans" (Spezialwagen). Becker's letter to Rauff dd. 16 May 1942, transcribed here and translated here, simply spoke of "vans" (Wagen). I wonder how Berg will explain the contents of these documents. Hopefully he'll point me to the recent "forgery" mumbo-jumbo of one "Santiago Alvarez", which gave me quite a few laughs when I read some of it yesterday.
Answer to question # 4. The amount of time to kill a prisoner would depend on the concentration of hydrogen cyanide per cubic meter and the time required for that concentration to build up. In a 2004 text transcribed in the blog Reconstructing "A message to Jonnie Hannover Hargis ..."(1) (post # 7 transcribed in that blog) I presented a calculation whereby 6 kilograms of Zyklon B, used on 13 March 1943 to wipe out 1,492 women, children, and old people, selected from a convoy of 2,000 Jews from the Krakow ghetto, in the gas chamber of Auschwitz-Birkenau crematorium # II, would, after 5 minutes, have led to a gas concentration of 3.31 g/m3 or 3,88 g/m3, i.e. 10 to almost 12 times the lethal concentration of hydrogen cyanide. Feel free to check my calculations, Mr. Berg.
Berg' follow-up questions thus answered, I would also like to ask him 4 follow-up questions, which I hope he will try to answer as thoroughly as I answered his questions.
Question # 1:
Yesterday you mentioned the demographic studies of Sergio Della Pergola and Jacob Ukeles, which are briefly summarized here. You argued that if 1,092,000 Holocaust survivors were alive in 2003 (Della Pergola, who applied the broadest definition of "Holocaust survivor", even including as survivors Jews who lived in Arab countries - Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Algeria - that passed anti -Jewish law) or 688,000 Holocaust survivors were alive in 2000 (Ukeles, who included only Jews that had lived for any period of time in a country that was ruled by the Nazis or their allies, but not Jews living in the aforementioned Arab countries), there must have been "millions" of survivors in 1945. Not what I would call a pertinent argument after I had at the beginning of the debate spoken of about 3.5 million Jews left in Europe at the end of World War II, but maybe you can convince me otherwise. In the blog Thomas Dalton responds to Roberto Muehlenkamp and Andrew Mathis (2) I mentioned demographic studies made shortly after the war. One of them concluded that between 3,825,000 and 3,889,000 Jews, out of a prewar population of 9,612,000 Jews, were still alive in Europe at the end of World War II. The other counted 9,946,300 Jews in Europe in 1939 and 4,224,7600 after the war. The Jews left after the war, or at least the overwhelming majority of them (take away the native Jews of the UK, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland) would be considered Holocaust survivors according to Ukele's criteria. Can you demonstrate that the number of Holocaust survivors after the war according to either or both of these demographic studies is incompatible with 688,000 remaining survivors in 2000, as counted by Ukeles? If you think you can make this demonstration, please fire away. If not, kindly admit that you are not able to demonstrate any incompatibility.
Question # 2:
According to the documentary evidence mentioned in my blog Challenge to Supporters of the Revisionist Transit Camp Theory, 1,274,166 Jews were supposedly transited to the "Russian East" through "the camps in the General Government" (mainly Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka, as we know now from the Höfle telegram). Can you provide the name of one single Jew that you can prove to have been transited through Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka to the Nazi-occupied territories of the Soviet Union, i.e. the areas of what was then known as the Reichskommissariat Ostland, the Reichskommissariat Ukraine or the Soviet territories under German military administration, in the years 1942 or 1943? By transited I mean that the person in question must have undergone the procedure that Jews are supposed to have undergone according to "Revisionist" claims: taken to the respective camp, bathed and deloused and perhaps (but not necessarily) given a hot meal or drink there, then shipped to a certain destination in the Nazi-occupied territories of the Soviet Union as defined above, e.g. to Minsk, Riga, Kovno or Kiev.
Yes or no, Mr. Berg?
If the answer should be "no", what do you think this tells us about the "Revisionist" transit camp theory, and why?
Question # 3:
In my previous blog following our radio debate, I pointed out a video clip showing, among other things, the excavations conducted by Father Desbois at Busk in Ukraine. I also pointed to an excerpt from Father Desbois' book describing the excavations and explaining what further evidence led him to conclude that the corpses of men, women and children found in the Busk mass graves were of Jews murdered by Nazi killing squads. Can you provide any evidence that might suggest another context of these killings, namely perpetrators other than your Nazi heroes? Yes or no? If the answer should be "no", do you admit that these skeletons found at Busk are of Jews murdered by Nazi killing squads?
Question # 4
Yesterday, towards the end of the debate, you claimed that Soviet investigators had described the corpses of gassing victims examined in the Kharkov area after the German occupation as "cherry red", and attributed this to the fact that the Soviets had themselves used homicidal gas vans to kill people. You are requested to provide
a) the source according to which Soviet investigators described the aforementioned corpses as "cherry red", together with a comprehensive quote from that source;
b) the evidence that led you to conclude that the Soviets killed people by gassing in vans prepared for that purpose, and
c) an explanation of why you consider the evidence to these supposed Soviet gas van killings to be conclusive but do not accept as conclusive the evidence to Nazi mass killings involving the use of gassing vans.
I look forward to your answers, Mr. Berg.
Now, before I finish this blog and turn to more pleasant activities (like watching today's Euro Football Cup match between Spain and France, guess who I'll cheer for), I'd like to address this blatant nonsense you produced in your website's latest feature:
Contrary to the blatant lies Muehlenkamp packed into the last two paragraphs of his “Gassing Engine” essay (he actually accuses me and others of “hypocrisy” and “dogmatism”), I certainly did deal with the fact that exterminationists seemed to be switching from diesels to gasoline engines as the source of carbon monoxide, already in 1984.
You are obviously referring to the last three paragraphs of this "essay", so please tell me:
Where in these three paragraphs are you, Friedrich Paul Berg, accused of "hypocrisy" and "dogmatism"? Not that the accusation would be unjustified, but where in these three paragraphs is it specifically directed against your person?
This chapter of the HC book, by the way, was not written by me. It was written by my co-author Jason Myers, as you would know if you had read as far as the book's page 34. Of course I reviewed it and am therefore also responsible for any eventual errors in this chapter. But please keep in mind that I'm not the only source of your headaches.
So long, Fredo. Nice talking to you yesterday. I hope we can continue our conversation soon. How about this thread of the Skeptics Society Forum? I'd prefer your CODOH thread, but it's unlikely that Jonnie "Hannover" Hargis will overcome his fear of me and let me back in. So consider yourself invited to the SSF.
On the Skeptics Society Forum, see posts # 135 and # 136 of the thread A Radio Challenge.