Foundational to Roberto Muehlenkamp’s misrepresentations of the realities concerning burial space at the Reinhardt camps is his claim that Polish Jews weighed an average of 34 kilograms (75 pounds). This claim is based on the assumptions that (1) one third of the Jews were children (meaning under the age of 15), that (2) the adults weighed an average of 43 kg, and that (3) the children weighed an average of 16 kg.
This post will show how worthless are Muehlenkamp’s claims, and how mendacious his analysis. The passage under discussion is from Muehlenkamp’s contribution to the holocaust controversies manifesto, pp. 416-418, especially pp. 417-418; the results of this vital passage exert themselves throughout the rest of Muehlenkamp’s discussion of both burial space and cremation.
First of all, what "misrepresentations" is Jansson talking about? I submit that he cannot demonstrate any misrepresentations (which imply claims against better knowledge), but he’s welcome to give it a try. The same goes for the "mendacious" claim in the second paragraph. If my assumptions and/or conclusions are untenable (which Jansson high-handedly announces he will demonstrate, at least that’s how I understand his "worthless" epithet), that doesn’t mean they were made against better knowledge. But then, "Revisionists" seem to be in the habit of accusing their opponents of mendacity, presumably because they are aware of the utter mendacity of their rampage against ideologically inconvenient historical facts and project that mendacity onto their opponents.
Second, Jansson didn’t carefully read the pertinent parts of the HC critique or my blog Mattogno, Graf & Kues on the Aktion Reinhard(t) Mass Graves (3), not to mention the more recent blog Friedrich Jansson responded …, if he considers my "claim that Polish Jews weighed an average of 34 kilograms" to be "vital" to all my subsequent arguments. Of course this weight figure, once established, was used in my subsequent arguments in chapters 7 and 8 of the critique, but this doesn’t mean that my deconstruction of MGK’s claims and arguments stands or falls depending on whether or not the figure is tenable, as Jansson would like to have it. As concerns burial space, the 34 kg figure is actually relevant only for my calculations regarding Bełżec extermination camp, and there only under the assumption that a) decomposition of the corpses, contrary to my further considerations, had no major impact on burial space availability, and b) the burial space available at Bełżec was not bigger than the 21.310 m³ estimated by Prof. Andrzej Kola for the 33 mass graves identified by an archaeological team under his direction in the former extermination camp’s area (which is not necessarily true, as Alex Bay makes a good case, based on air photo analysis, for the presence of further mass graves in the area of Bełżec extermination camp).
In my blog Friedrich Jansson responded …, I furthermore showed that I can also, by using eyewitness evidence previously not considered about the extent to which the mass graves were (over)filled, demonstrate the sufficiency of space in the 33 aforementioned Bełżec graves assuming an average weight of 37.8 kg (instead of 34 kg) and burial densities of 17.55 or 15.99 corpses per cubic meter (instead of the 19.51 corpses per cubic meter that I calculated on the basis of an average weight of 34 kg and my calculations, based on those of Mattogno and Alex Bay, whereby 663.40 kg of human body mass can fit into one cubic meter). Only in the latter case (15.99 corpses per cubic meter) does the fitting into these 33 graves of some of the 434,508 documented deportees to Bełżec (precisely 434,508 - 426,961 = 7,547) have to be accounted for by the stretching effects of decomposition and top-down burning (which need not be considerable given the low number of "excess" corpses), assuming that none of the deportees were cremated right after killing instead of being buried (though such cremation without prior burial may well have happened in the last month of the camp’s killing operations). So Jansson’s illusion that he is attacking a "vital" figure I cannot do without must be attributed to his propensity for wishful thinking.
That said, let’s now see if Jansson can prove this figure (the average weight of 34 kg for severely malnourished Jews from Polish ghettoes) to be untenable.
The average height of deportees
My assumptions regarding the average height of Polish ghetto Jews were the following:
The height of the average German adult in the 1940s can be safely assumed to have been no more than 1.68 meters. According to anthropological sources referred to by Charles Provan , the Jews of Poland were about three inches shorter than the average German. 1.68 meters equal 66 inches, so if the Jews of Poland were about three inches smaller than the average German, according to Provan's source Dr. von Verschuer, their average height was 63 inches or 1.60 meters.
What does Jansson offer as refutation of the above?
Well, first of all he repeats his embarrassing claim that I "lied" about Charles Provan’s experiment.
Then he complains about my not having made "any effort to check the sources" given by Provan – which makes me wonder what Jansson (whose personal opinion about the research efforts I should have undertaken is duly noted, also considering his own research efforts such as addressed here) thinks about the research of Carlo Mattogno, who postulated a hilariously unrealistic average weight of 70 kg for adult Jews in 1942 Polish ghettos, and whose "arguments" against my above-quoted considerations consisted of lamely mumbling about my having recurred "as usual to the paraphernalia of sophistic details" (MGK’s magnum opus, p. 1234).
Fortunately for "Revisionism" there is Friedrich Jansson, who is more thorough than the movement’s flagship and read the pertinent parts of John Baker’s Race (1974), Lothrop Stoddard’s Racial Realities in Europe (1924) and Baron Otmar von Verschuer’s article "Rassenbiologie der Juden" (1938), which appeared in a series with the telling title Forschungen zur Judenfrage ("Research on the Jewish Question") and was translated into English in 1983 by one Charles E. Weber. Jansson's reported finds from reading these sources are the following:
• Baker observed that Askenazi Jews have rather short legs and the total height is therefore moderate or rather short. He doesn’t refer to Polish Jews in particular and gives no numbers for the height of this population. Baker’s attribution of short legs to the Ashkenazi Jews, if accurate, would in Jansson’s opinion (for which he provides neither sources nor supporting calculations) lead to a higher BMI than that corresponding to my "belief" as concerns Polish Jews.
• Stoddard mentions a "dwarfish stature" of Jews in Poland, Russia and Romania, which he attributes to "Mongoloid traits so common among east-European Jews". Jansson asks whether I "endorse this analysis". The answer is that Stoddard’s attribution of what he calls a "dwarfish stature" to "Mongoloid traits" may be tenable or not without that impacting the accuracy of his observations on the comparatively small stature of the mentioned Jews itself.
• Otto von Verschuer was, big surprise (Jansson considers it possible that he’s breaking news to me here) what the title of his publication cited by Provan suggests, a racist concerned with the "Jewish question" and the supposed superiority of non-Jewish Germans over Jews. Given "a certain ideological pressure to find Jews to be inferior to Germans in height", it "would be no surprise" if he "did not consider all factors that could influence his comparison". Moreover "the source for the statements on the height of Jews is not indicated very clearly" while his height data for Germans "was fairly up-to-date at the time, at least if we can go by publication dates", but "without checking, who knows when the original studies were done". It seems to Jansson that "the data for Jews and for Germans may derive from different studies", which "raises the question of whether the data are really comparable, or whether (for example) the data for Jews might be older than that for Germans, which could account for some of the difference in height (given the increase in average human height over the relevant time period).".
Interesting observations and conjectures, but do they lead to the conclusion that my above-quoted assumptions regarding the average height of Polish ghetto Jews in 1942 (based on Provan’s rendering of his sources, which Jansson considers to have wrongly claimed that von Verschuer carried out the height studies himself) are off the mark? For this is what Jansson’ has to demonstrate if he wants to make a point on the subject, rather than just conclude that I have not, in his opinion, "done anywhere near the necessary research to make confident claims about this issue". Yet he expressly refrains from attempting such demonstration.
Meanwhile, one of the sources mentioned by Jansson, which "claims that at that time Jews were only moderately – say, one inch – shorter than the non-Jewish populations among which they lived" (and therefore does not necessarily impact comparisons between the height of non-Jewish Germans on the one hand and the height of Polish Jews on the other) is not without interest in this context, even though it dates from 1906. The article headed "Stature: Jews Compared with Non-Jews" of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia (which Jansson presumably learned about from one of Jonathan Harrison’s comments to my refutation of Jansson’s "lies about Provan" accusation) contains two figures that the authors consider representative of the height of the respective Jewish populations.
One is the average stature of male Jews in Galicia (then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, later incorporated into Poland, then annexed by the Soviet Union, and in 1942 part of Nazi Germany’s Generalgouvernement and the region where a high proportion of the deportees to Bełżec extermination camp lived, see the blogs Belzec Mass Graves and Archaeology: My Response to Carlo Mattogno (4,1) and Belzec Mass Graves and Archaeology: My Response to Carlo Mattogno (5,2)), given as 1,623 mm (1.623 meters) according to measurements in 954 individuals mentioned in Table I of the encyclopedia article, which earlier mentions that "in Galicia and Poland, where the indigenous Polish population is short of stature, measuring 162 to 163 cm. on the average, the shortest Jews are found". The other is the average stature of female Jews in Poland, given as 150.6 cm (1.506 meters). Table I also contains lower statures (1,610 and 1,613 mm) for male Jews in Poland, but I don’t consider these as the figures refer to recruits and the encyclopedia’s authos claim that "it has been shown that the ages of conscripts are usually twenty and twenty-one, and Jews at these ages have not yet reached their full growth". The average stature of a population equally made up of males and females (according to the Polish census of 1931, women comprised some fifty-two percent of the Polish Jewish community), in what was later Eastern Poland, would thus be ((1.623+1.506)÷2) = 1.5645 meters.
This was in 1906, for sure, and the stature of the population may have increased between 1906 and 1942. It is unlikely, however, that there was much increase if one considers that, as the encyclopedia article points out, "The deplorable hygienic, material, and social conditions of the eastern European ghettos may be considered a factor in reducing the average stature of the Jews.". These conditions would hardly have improved in a period marked by the First World War, postwar unrest including pogroms, and the world economic crisis starting in 1929 (the effects of which had lessened in Germany after 1933 but continued unabated in other countries including Poland).
The stature of non-Jewish populations also didn’t increase significantly in the same period. As mentioned in this footnote, the average body height of German army recruits in 1890 was 1.64 meters. Verschuer’s data for German males ("was fairly up-to-date at the time, at least if we can go by publication dates", according to Jansson) mention a range of German adult male stature from 1.66 to 1.73 meters. As a model for calculating the average stature of German males one can use the data in a 1954 study about "BODY-WEIGHT OF MEN RELATED TO STATURE, AGE, AND SOCIAL STATUS WEIGHT OF SCOTSMEN MEASURED IN 1941". Table III of this study mentions statures of 3,092 individuals in the following ranges (addition is mine): 57-58 inches, 7; 59-60 inches, 29; 61-62 inches, 167; 63-64 inches, 497; 65-66 inches, 887; 67-68 inches, 855; 69-70 inches, 465; 71-72 inches, 148; 73-74 inches, 36; 75-76 inches, 1. The weighted average stature of this sample is 66-67 inches, i.e. 1.6764 to 1.7018 meters. The number of individuals in a stature range roughly corresponding to that mentioned by Verschuer (65-66 inches or 1.651-1.6764 meters, 67-68 inches or 1.7018-1.7272 meters) is 1,742, and the weighted average stature of this partial sample is 66-67 inches, i.e. 1.6764 to 1.7018 meters.
If one takes the higher value (1.7018 meters) as representing the average stature of German males at the time of Verschuer’s writing (1938), and compares it with the average height of German army recruits in 1890, i.e. 1.64 meters (assuming that recruits had grown to their full stature, which according to the 1906 Jewish encyclopedia was not the case as concerns Jewish recruits in Poland, see above), this would mean an stature increase of about 4 % in the period between 1890 and 1938. Applied to both male and female statures of Galician Jews according to the 1906 Jewish encyclopedia, this increase factor yields 1.623 meters as the average height of Galician Jewish adults in 1938 – a rather unrealistic result as it would imply that, despite no change for the better in living conditions (rather the opposite), the male Jewish population increased its average stature from 1.623 to 1.684 meters and the female population from 1.506 to 1.563 meters. The same calculations based on the arithmetic average of the two values (1.6891 meters) yield 1.611 meters as the average height of Galician Jewish adults in 1938 – males 1.672 meters, females 1.551 meters. With the lower of the two values, 1.6764 meters, the same calculations yield 1.599 meters as the average height of Galician Jewish adults in 1938 – males 1.659 meters, females 1.539 meters. The last of these values is arguably the most realistic considering the aforementioned impact of events between 1906 and 1938 on an already impoverished population. If one further takes the predominance of females according to the 1931 census into consideration, the average height is further reduced to 1.597 meters.
So we can conclude that the average height of 1.60 meters I assumed for adult Jews in Polish ghettoes, despite having been based on insufficient research by Jansson’s proclaimed standards, is by no means off the mark but actually stands a good chance of being spot-on.
Before moving to the next section, I’ll briefly address a bit of Jansson’s wisecracking. As I had referred to "contemporary anthropological studies" In the blog Friedrich Jansson responded …, Jansson asks on what basis I consider von Verschuer’s article a contemporary study, considering that "the publication dates of the works which von Verschuer cites range from 1883 to 1938". Simple answer to a stupid question: Von Verschuer obviously considered the contents of the works he cited to be (still) applicable and pertinent in 1938, and 1938 is close enough to 1942 to be "contemporary" as I understand the term.
The average weight of Jewish adults
After informing his readers that the Body Mass Index (BMI) "is not particularly precise, and does not work well for all populations" (if Jansson can demonstrate that BMI doesn’t work well with Jewish populations and suggest a more precise tool for approximately determining a population’s average weight, I’ll be glad to consider his suggestion), Jansson disgraces himself with another of his "lie" accusations, which I’ll quote verbatim:
Muehlenkamp refers to a website (though he fails to give the url) for a claim that underweight individuals have a BMI between 15 and 18.8. Based on this, he gives the figures of 38 and 48 kg (corresponding to BMIs of 14.84 and 18.75 at a height of 1.60 meters), and takes their mean, 43 kg. This corresponds to a BMI of 16.8. Note that these numbers are pure inventions on Muehlenkamp’s part, and rest on no data whatsoever.So in Jansson’s fantasy world, if I understood him correctly, I’m supposed to have derived a range of weights from "invented" BMI values I nowhere mentioned (BMI values are calculated as body mass divided by the square of height, see the formula on this page), or "invented" said range of weights, invoking as source a website whose URL I didn’t provide because it doesn’t support my figures or doesn’t exist at all. This must have been the reason why Jansson called my analysis "mendacious".
Poor Jansson, why does he do this to himself? Does he enjoy looking like a fool?
Indeed the URL of the source "Gewichtstabelle nach BMI" in footnote 104 on page 417 is missing; the footnote being at the end of the page, it must have got lost in the final editing (which was not done by me, but of course I should have spotted the glitch in a final check). However, if Jansson had not got carried away by his urge to point an accusatory finger at his interlocutor, he might have spotted the link to the "Gewichtstabelle nach Brocca" in footnote 100 on the same page. The page opened by this link leads to further "Tabellen", and one of these is the "Gewichtstabelle nach BMI" ("Weight Table according to BMI") mentioned in footnote 104 on page 417, which lists ranges of mass in kg corresponding to Untergewicht (underweight) Normalgewicht (normal weight), Übergewicht (overweight) and Fettsucht (obesity) for body heights in meters (Körpergröβe in Meter) between 1.50 and 1.99 meters. The table's first page is reproduced below.
As can be seen in the table, the "underweight" range of 38-48 kg is printed black on white in the line for a body height of 1.60 meters. Instead of doing the mendacious calculations that Jansson accuses me of ("pure inventions", he writes), I simply read values from a table available on the web.
What is more, a link to the aforementioned BMI table was included in my blog Friedrich Jansson responded …, in the paragraph discussing Mattogno’s invocation in his favor of Leon Weliczker’s testimony. Jansson’s above-mentioned fuss about my having referred to "contemporary anthropological studies" suggests that he went through that blog with a fine toothcomb in search of something he could hold against me. So how could he possibly have missed that link? Hard to believe …
Anyway, I’m not a resentful fellow. Jansson’s humble apology for his misplaced accusation will be gladly accepted.
An epilogue to Jansson’s, let’s be nice and say, avoidable misunderstanding of how I arrived at the weight range I considered (for underweight Jews with a height of 1.60 meters) is the patronizing quoted hereafter, in which my characteristically abusive interlocutor plays the outraged math professor:
Without feeling the need to spell anything out, Muehlenkamp assumes that the mean weight of a population can be calculated as the weight of an individual whose height is the mean height of the population and whose BMI is the mean BMI of the population. That is, Muehlenkamp assumes the truth of the following proposition:The "quadratic function" presumably refers to the BMI being calculated by dividing mass through squared height. Yes, and so? Why is this supposed to mean that the weight of a modeled specimen with a population's average height, under certain conditions affecting that population (in this case malnutrition and underweight), is not roughly equal to that population's average weight under such conditions, i.e. the combined weight of all of that population's specimens divided through the number of specimens? Jansson will have to explain this more precisely, instead of ranting about my supposedly unworkable calculations (which I didn’t make in the manner surmised by Jansson, as explained above). He can do that in his reply to this blog, if he should chose to write one.
PROPOSITION (Muehlenkamp): Given a population P, the mean weight W_mean(P) of members of P can be calculated via the formula W_mean(P) = the weight of an individual with height h and BMI c, where c is the mean BMI of the members of P and h is the mean height of members of P.
In fact, the above proposition is false. The underlying reason that the proposition is false is that the function W_c (h) sending a height h to the weight of an individual with height h and given BMI c is not a linear function but a quadratic function. The details should be instantly obvious, and the error mortifyingly primitive, to anyone with the slightest business using numbers to analyse anything more complex than his household budget (a group of people which does not include Muehlenkamp).
The above implies that Muehlenkamp’s method for obtaining data on average weights given only data (or assumptions) on average height and data (or assumptions) on average BMI cannot work.
The BMI values corresponding to the underweight ranges in the Gewichtstabelle are 14.84 corresponding to 38 kg and 18.75 corresponding to 48 kg, the mean weight of 43 kg corresponding to a BMI of 16.8. The BMI 18.75 is higher than the BMI (18.5) considered by WHO to be the border between "normal weight" and "underweight", according to this page (which also mentions that "there is some debate about where on the BMI scale the dividing lines between categories should be placed"). The BMI 14.84 is slightly below what the WHO considers to be the border between "severely underweight" and "very severely underweight". The BMI 16.8, corresponding to the mean of both weights, is somewhere in the range of what the WHO considers "underweight", though closer to the lower than to the higher threshold.
Not content with lecturing me about mathematics I didn’t do in the manner assumed, Jansson argues that a BMI of 16.8 for a malnourished/starving Jewish ghetto population in 1942 Poland is unrealistic. In support of his argument, he uses present-day information that he should (considering what he wrote earlier about 1906 height data being "naturally unusable" to determine heights and corresponding weights in 1942, "given the general increase in height over time") dismiss as unusable for his purpose. But then, coherence of argument was never a strength of "Revisionists", and perhaps Jansson didn’t even notice the contradiction (at least that’s what I’ll assume in his favor).
Thus he points out, referring to 2012 study results that are rendered on this page, that "the country with the lowest average BMI is Eritrea, where the average BMI is 19.85". He adds that "In no country does the average BMI come anywhere near Muehlenkamp’s supposed Jewish BMI of 16.8, despite the fact that there are many countries where people are poorly fed and have body types decidedly more slight in torso and long in limb than those of Ashkenazi Jews."
The supposed impact of slight torsos and long limbs on BMI Jansson doesn’t explain any further, and as to there being no countries at present in which the population is somewhere in the underweight range on average (even Eritrea is in the "normal" range), this only means that, fortunately, the food situation throughout the world has improved to such an extent that even in very poor countries the population has a normal weight on average. For the purpose of our discussion about the food situation among a malnourished to starving population targeted for extermination in 1942, this is as irrelevant as Jansson’s "study" of burial spaces here and there are irrelevant for the feasible density of mass burial at the AR camps.
The same goes for WHO data invoked by Jansson whereby "the percentage in the <=17 BMI category is consistently fairly low, even in studies that examined only females (and even in worse-nourished sub-populations, such as uneducated females of low socioeconomic status, which were separated out)" and "in the worst-nourished regions of the world, disadvantaged females may have had a median (not mean, which is what we want; moreover one would expect the mean to exceed the median here) BMI of slightly under 18.5" - completely irrelevant, unless of course Jansson can demonstrate that these BMI’s correspond to situations of mass mortality from malnutrition and related diseases like those in the Warsaw and Łódź ghettos, described by Hilberg and photographed by Joe Heydecker, Heinz Joest and others (some of these photos are shown in the blogs Photographic documentation of Nazi crimes and Mass Graves and Dead Bodies), situations that (as far as I know) do not exist anywhere in today’s world.
Evidence of such situations in Jewish ghettos in 1942 Poland, to answer Jansson’s question what data support my "claim that Polish Jews of both sexes had an average BMI of 16.8", are the data supporting my assumption that the inhabitants of these ghettos had weights on average somewhere in the range of what the WHO considers "underweight", closer to the lower than to the upper range.
However, I can also can live with weights closer to or at the upper range of "underweight", see here.
The average weight of Jewish children
Jansson presents two charts, Data Table of Weight-for-age Charts and Height and Weight Chart for Children. On the basis of these charts, using the "3rd Percentile Weight" data for females in the former, Jansson calculates an average weight of 20.15 kg for children under the age of 15, which he considers "dramatically more than Muehlenkamp’s figure of 16 kg" (actually the difference is less than 4 kg, and the age group he considered is not the same, see below).
The 3rd percentile was presumably used by Jansson because it is below the 5th percentile, which is widely considered to be the threshold between healthy weight, corresponding to the 5th to 84th percentiles, and underweight, corresponding to the 1st to 4th percentiles (see for instance here and here). The difference between the 5th percentile and the 3rd percentile in this chart is not dramatic. In males it’s less than or 1 kg up to 138.5 months (ca. 11.54 years), then increasing above 1 kg up to 1.48825 kg in month 179.5 (ca. 14.96 years), and the average difference for the 157 months added is 0.71156 kg. In females the difference is less than 1 kg up to 130.5 months (10.875 years), then increasing above 1 kg up to 1,21430 kg in month 164.5 (ca. 13.71 years), then again decreasing down to 1.18215 kg in month 179.5 (ca. 14.96 years). The average difference for the 157 months added is 0.71290 kg.
The comparative smallness of these differences suggests that the 3rd percentile does not represent the lowest range of what is considered underweight in children, as do the aforementioned pages whereby there are four underweight percentiles (the 1st to 4th). See also this page ("As a general rule of thumb, a typical, healthy child’s growth measurements fall between the 3rd and 97th percentiles. A child may fall below the 3rd percentile if they are genetically small-statured or severely malnourished.") and this one ("It is desirable that the child’s growth measurements fall between the 3rd and 97th percentiles. If a child has both low weight-for-age and height-for-age, their weight-for-length should at least be proportional (between the 3rd and 97th percentiles)."). A PDF available under this link contains a book chapter ("Use of Percentiles and Z -Scores in Anthropometry", by Youfa Wang and Hsin-Jen Chen) featuring a table (Table 2.2) based on the 1995 WHO growth reference, whereby the anthropometric measure or cut point for conditions indicating "chronic malnutrition" and "acute malnutrition, current malnutrition" in infants and children below ten years and "chronic malnutrition" in adolescents is below the 3rd percentile. Another source mentioning "less than the third percentile" as a criterion for malnutrition in children is Robert Markowitz MD, John B. Watkins MD and Christopher Duggan, MD, MPH, "Failure to Thrive: Malnutrition in the Pediatric Outpatient Setting", in: Christopher Duggan (MD.),John B. Watkins, W. Allan Walker, Nutrition in Pediatrics: Basic Science, Clinical Applications, pp. 479 ff. (excerpt viewable here).
All this leads to the conclusion that the 3rd percentile may be considered underweight or the limit of acceptable weight, but it is obviously not considered a weight corresponding to chronic, acute, current or severe malnutrition.
Jansson considers using the 3rd percentile weight for females from this chart to be an assumption in my favor, but actually the difference in average weights for the ages considered (24 to 179.5 months) is minimal, 22.06185 kg for females vs. 22.35803 for males, the impact of this "generous" assumption being further reduced by the fact that a significant part of the children in a Jewish population (perhaps 50 % or more) were female anyway.
I also wonder why Jansson did his calculations up to the 15th year of age, while the weight I arrived at by dividing the assumed adult weight of Polish ghetto Jews through a factor by which the weight of adults exceeds that of children, according to Mattogno’s "other tables", refers to children up to the age of 14:
According to Mattogno's "other tables", the weight of an adult is 2.76 times that of a child up to 14. This relation would mean a weight of 43 ÷ 2.76 = 15.6 kg for ill-fed or starving children in Polish ghettos. Rounding up the latter value, a group of two adults and one child 14 years and younger from a Jewish ghetto in Poland would thus weigh (43+43+16)/3 = 34 kg on average, instead of the 55.1 kg calculated by Mattogno.Maybe Jansson should redo his calculations to establish the average weight up to month 167.5 or 168.5, to establish the weight of 3rd percentile kids up to 14.
But then, as the weight data used by Jansson are related to children’s height, doing any calculations based on present-day data is against the criteria set earlier by Jansson, whereby 1906 height data are "naturally unusable" to determine heights and corresponding weights in 1942, "given the general increase in height over time". I’ll again assume in Jansson’s favor that he didn’t notice the deviation from his own criteria.
Jansson ends this section by asking what evidence I have that the weight of Jewish ghetto children in 1942 was as low or even lower than the 3rd percentile weight of present-day children. Before I answer this question, I would like to call Jansson’s attention to something he tends to forget, which is that it is not my encumbrance to prove that events or circumstances proven by all available evidence were physically possible, but it is for him as the challenger of such evidence to prove that they were not physically possible (and therefore something must be wrong with the evidence). This, in turn, means that I need not prove the correctness of my assumptions in favor of the feasibility of what Jansson claims was unfeasible, but only have to provide sufficient evidence to render such assumptions plausible. Now, what evidence supports my weight assumptions? Part of the answer has been provided by Jansson himself, see previous paragraph. The other part is the already mentioned evidence to severe malnutrition in Polish ghettos and the resulting massive mortality. This evidence includes, without limitation, the hunger disease studies performed by Jewish physicians in the Warsaw Ghetto and images like the ones shown in the documentary Children in the Warsaw Ghetto and the graphic images below (photos from the archives of the Ghetto Fighters' House, included in the blog Mass Graves and Dead Bodies, and from the Yad Vashem Photo Archive).
The proportion of the population that were children
Jansson complains that I used Mattogno’s simplified one-third vs. two-thirds distribution based on 1931 demographic data whereby children "under age 15" (actually Mattogno referred to children aged 14 or under according to demographer Jakob Leszczynski, see quote here, which means that Jansson either cannot read or deliberately misrepresented the data) made up 29.6 % of the Jewish population of Poland in 1931, arguing that using Mattogno’s simplified distribution introduces a bias in my favor. He also spends a paragraph complaining that I didn’t take into account possible changes in the age distribution of Poland’s Jewish population that may have occurred after 1931 due to emigration and plummeting birth rates during the war.
I’ll address the last objection first. While it is possible that the proportion of children in the Jewish population of Poland was smaller in 1942 than it was in 1931, there are no data, as far as I know, that would allow for quantifying such change, meaning that any assumptions in this respect would be essentially speculative. If Jansson can find any information that would allow for establishing with some degree of accuracy the proportion of children among Poland’s Jewish population in 1942, I’ll be glad to look at them. Until then, 1931 demographic data are the best marker that I'm aware of as concerns Poland's Jewish population in general.
As to the first objection, doing the calculations the way Jansson thinks I should have done them yields an average weight of 35 kg instead of 34 kg, which is not exactly dramatic if one considers that my demonstration of mass grave space sufficiency at Bełżec also works with an average weight of 37.8 instead of 34 kg, and with a density borne out by Charles Provan’s experimental data (604.55 kg of human body mass per cubic meter) instead of the possible density I established mathematically (663.40 kg of human body mass per cubic meter, see the blog Friedrich Jansson responded …). And what Jansson doesn’t take into account is that this slight bias in my favor is compensated or even outweighed, at least as concerns Bełżec, by the fact that, as I mentioned here and demonstrated here, the proportion of children among deportees to Bełżec from Galicia (where a considerable portion if not the majority of deportees to Bełżec came from) was considerably higher than would correspond to the proportion of children among that region’s Jewish population.
Jansson claims that he demonstrated the following:
Muehlenkamp’s determination of the average weight of Polish Jews, which forms the foundation of his entire contribution to the manifesto, is worthless. It is based on an ignorance of his own sources, on unjustified and unjustifiable numerical assumptions, and on mathematical errors. As the results of this attempted determination are used throughout his analysis of both burial space and cremation, the errors and absurdities in Muehlenkamp’s determination of the average weight invalidate all the rest of his calculations.Let’s see:
"Ignorance of his own sources": my source was Provan, on whose rendering of his sources I relied, so I can hardly be accused of ignoring my source. Provan’s sources do not contradict the assumptions regarding average height that I made based on my source. On the contrary, one of these sources (Otto von Verschuer) even helped me to demonstrate that my height assumption was not unrealistic.
"Unjustified or unjustifiable numerical assumptions": the "underweight" range I considered for adults with a height of 1.60 meters follows directly from the BMI table that Jansson amazingly failed to spot, thus making a fool of himself with his "pure inventions" accusation. The assumption that the weight of Jewish ghetto adults was halfway between the upper and lower ranges of "underweight" according to this table is realistic considering evidence whereby the Jewish ghetto population in 1942 Poland was affected by severe food shortages leading to massive mortality from severe malnutrition or starvation and related diseases. If anything is unjustified, it is Jansson’s attempt to compare the situation of Polish ghetto Jews in 1942 with that of underfed populations according to present-day WHO data, contrary to his own proclaimed criteria and despite the fact that, for all I know, there are fortunately no humanitarian crises in the present world as severe as the mass dying of Polish ghetto Jews (e.g. in the Łódź ghetto about 45,000 out of 200,000 inhabitants succumbed to miserable life and food conditions, while the Warsaw ghetto "with around 470,000 inhabitants over the period from the end of 1941 to the end of the mass deportations in September 1942, buried 83,000 people", according to Hilberg).
"Mathematical errors": Jansson has demonstrated no such errors, unless his above-quoted abusive patronizing is supposed to qualify as such demonstration. He’ll have to do better.
"Invalidate all the rest of his calculations": illogical nonsense. Even if Jansson were right about the "errors and absurdities in Muehlenkamp’s determination of the average weight", this would only mean that my subsequent calculations need to be adapted to less erroneous and absurd average weight assumptions, but it wouldn’t meant that the subsequent calculations in themselves are mistaken let alone that my related arguments are invalid. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Jansson’s illusion that he is attacking a "vital" figure I cannot do without must be attributed to his propensity for wishful thinking.
So much for another of Jansson’s attempts to defend his articles of faith. The subsequent attempt, whose introductory abusive pep-talk suggests that Jansson is already trying to find a way out of our blog exchanges, I will address as time permits. Readers who have been following my blogs about Jansson’s arguments are encouraged to have a look at Jansson’s latest production in the meantime. There’s a chance that they will find at least some of it quite amusing.
PS: Jansson's rant regarding the blog "Muehlenkamp lies about Provan" … has been addressed in an update of that blog.
PPS: The blog Friedrich Jansson proudly presents … has also been updated, in response to Jansson's somewhat-less-than-honest comments.
1. A link was corrected and the table shown in the blog was centered and enlarged.
2. Jansson's responses to this blog have been addressed in the following blogs:
Just when I thought I had seen all of Jansson’s fits …
Jansson on 1942 births in Leningrad