Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Jansson is at it again …

… after he had, in one of his previous posts (commented in the updates mentioned here), announced with his customary big mouth that he would not waste his time in "point by point" responses to my responses to his posts, claiming (rather mendaciously in my opinion, but I’ll let our readers decide) that my responses were "disorganized meanderings", which "fail to engage with the full argument being made, are characteristically thoughtless, being written in a very short timeframe and without even the slightest effort at coherence".

Apparently Jansson doesn’t believe his own abusive rhetoric. Or then some of my arguments are giving him nightmares and/or sleepless nights. Or then it’s both, a distinct possibility considering that a number of my arguments remain unaddressed and a few questions I asked him directly (one of them at least twice) remain unanswered.

Anyway, here we have the latest of Jansson’s "Muehlenkamp this, Muehlenkamp that" productions, with the inevitable baseless accusations of dishonesty ("imposture", "misleading rhetoric", "fundamental lack of regard for the truth") that I attribute to Jansson’s self-projection and/or to the intellectual dishonesty he has been displaying himself throughout our discussions, most prominently in the writings commented in my update of the blog Friedrich Jansson proudly presents …. So let’s see what he’s got this time.



Update, 30.04.2015

Update, 13.05.2015

Update, 22.05.2015

The target of Jansson’s latest attack is what I wrote in relation to an experiment performed by Bruce V. Ettling, the results of which were published under the title "Consumption of an Animal Carcass in a Fire", in: The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science, Vol. 60, No. 1 (Mar., 1969), pp. 131-132. I wrote about this experiment on p. 468 of the HC critique, in the blog Mattogno, Graf & Kues on Aktion Reinhard(t) Cremation (2) and in the recent blogs Friedrich Jansson changes the subject and Friedrich Jansson freaked out ….

Jansson’s arguments are the following:

a) The ewe weighing 170 pounds (ca. 77 kg) that was reduced to a post-fire weight of 50 pounds or ca. 23 kg (a mass/weight loss of ca. 71%, more than the mass/weight loss of the swine carcass burned by DeHaan and Nurbakhsh in the experiment mentioned here, which was 60 %) "may well have had 30 kilograms of body fat" and was thus comparable to an obese person as concerns fat content.
b) External fuel (11 quarts of gasoline plus the interiors of the car in which the ewe was burned) also contributed to the ewe’s loss of mass/volume.
c) Despite the fat and the external fuel, the ewe was not completely consumed by fire.
d) The weight of the remains was only estimated by Ettling, who "did not bother to actually weigh" them.

Argument d) is not only silly (unless Jansson can provide a reason why Ettling should not have been able to make a realistic estimate) but also works both ways, in that Ettling might have either under- or overestimated the weight of the remains, with the latter possibility not favoring Jansson’s argument.

Arguments a), b) and c) are supposed to refute my "idea of self-sustaining cremations", especially as I maintain that "Polish Jews weighed an average of 34 kilograms, thus being highly emaciated".

However, my supposed "idea" exists essentially in Jansson’s misrepresentations of what I wrote, which may be deliberate or due to reading comprehension (I’ll give him the benefit of assuming the latter). Already on page 468 of the critique and in the blog Mattogno, Graf & Kues on Aktion Reinhard(t) Cremation (2), I had written (emphasis added) that Ettling’s experiment illustrated the «importance of bringing the grid into the "right position", one that provided for good air circulation and in which the corpses burned largely on their own combustible substances because they were suspended over a fire fed by body fat». "Largely" means "to a significant extent", but it doesn’t mean "wholly" or even "mostly". So I reckoned on the importance of external fuel as a combustion agent. In this blog I additionally wrote the following:
The Jews of Poland were certainly not obese, but then
a) Jansson’s text suggests that "spontaneous human combustion" has also been observed in non-obese individuals;
b) the carcass used in Ettling’s experiment (see the blog Friedrich Jansson changes the subject) was not obese either (or was it, Mr. Jansson?);
c) that carcass was "mostly consumed by the fire", the pig carcass used by DeHaan et al (mentioned in the same blog) was destroyed more than 60 % by weight, including "reduction of large bones to a fragile, ashen state";
d) the corpses on the AR pyres were not or not always burned completely, some body parts preserving their original shape, and large bones sometimes having to be burned a second time because the first burning had not rendered them friable enough for crushing; and
d) I don’t consider the amount of external fuel contributing to combustion on the AR pyres to have been as small in relation to the corpse weight combusted as in the experiments described by DeHaan et al and Ettling.

These factors considered, a parallel between the mentioned experiments and the AR pyres can be drawn (and actually was expressly drawn by Ettling, well outside the context of any "Revisionist" discussion).

Note that the first "d)" in the above quote addresses Jansson’s argument c) mentioned above, while the second "d)" (which should have been an "e)") addresses Jansson’s argument b) mentioned above – and that the ever-honest Jansson failed to mention either.

In Ettling’s experiments, the external fuel didn’t contribute significantly to the cremation of his animals, as shown by the fact that the 150-pound ewe lost only 20% of its mass/weight to the fire. The main combustion agent in the 170-pound ewe’s 71% reduction in mass/volume was thus the ewe’s own fat, in which the carcass burned due to the particular position (not intended by Ettling) in which it happened to be suspended over a fire that was fed by the fat dripping from this ewe.

The relatively insignificant contribution of the external fuel was probably due to the experiment’s arrangement. If the ewe had been placed on a grate over a pit like in the carcass-burning experiments performed by Dr. Lothes and Dr. Profé, and if an amount of external flammable substances similar to that used by Ettling had been ignited below and on the ewe, the contribution of external flammables to the cremation (as suggested by the success of Lothes and Profé’s experiments, with cattle and horse carcasses having a lower fat content than Ettling’s ewes) would have been more significant, and the 170-pound ewe’s carcass would probably have been consumed completely. The ewe’s fat might have largely contributed to the cremation if the phenomenon observed by Ettling (fat rendered from the carcass suspended on the car springs "dripped onto the char which acted like a candle wick and kept the fat burning") had occurred (which would probably have happened), but a carcass with a relatively much lower fat content is likely to have also been mostly or wholly consumed by the fire (again, as suggested by Lothes and Profé’s successful experiments burning cattle or horses).

This leads us to the fat content of the Jewish bodies on the pyres of Treblinka, which Ettling (who had read about these pyres in Jean-François Steiner’s Treblinka book) obviously considered a parallel to his observations regarding the second ewe, as he wrote the following:

Some related information was found in an article concerning a Nazi extermination camp and its trouble destroying the corpses (3). Burning gasoline on piles of corpses on the ground did not consume the corpses. Eventually an "expert" was brought in who arranged the bodies on a rack with the corpses that appeared to contain some fat being placed on the bottom of the pile. A good fire beneath the rack caused fat to drip down and burn. The corpses which were thus over the fire instead of on the ground were reduced to ashes.

Contrary to what Jansson claims, the average weight of 34 kg that I assumed for Polish ghetto Jews is not the weight of "highly emaciated" persons. The weight I assumed for adults (43 kg) is between the lowest and the highest range of Untergewicht (underweight) for persons with a stature of 1.60 meters, according to the Gewichtstabelle nach BMI. The BMI of these people (length divided by squared height) would be 16.8, which according to the WHO’s categorization mentioned on this page would be "underweight" but not yet "severely underweight" let alone "very severely underweight". The weight figure being an average, it is possible that some of the people burned on the pyres were "severely underweight" or even "very severely underweight", while the weight of others was still in the normal range, and among the latter "corpses that appeared to contain some fat" (Ettling) would be found.

In another recent blog, I calculated that, in a Jewish population of Eastern Poland with an average height of 1.599 meters, the average height of males would be 1.659 meters and that of females 1.539 meters. The corresponding underweight ranges according to the aforementioned table would be 41-52 kg for males (median: 46.50 kg) and 36-45 kg for females (median: 40.50 kg). According to a review of the book Famine: A Short History by Cormac Ó Gráda, women are more likely to survive famines than men as they have higher fat reserves; an eyewitness to the siege of Leningrad (one of Nazi Germany’s largest crimes, by the way, which claimed about a million victims – more than even Treblinka extermination camp) recalled that "on the whole men collapsed more easily than women, and at first the death-rate was highest among men". The greater resistance of women to situations of malnourishment and famine suggests the possibility that in Polish ghettos Jewish women maintained a higher weight in relation to their height than males.

Additionally, whereas all deportees to Bełżec had been in ghettos before deportation, Sobibór and Treblinka (especially the former) also received direct transports of sufficiently nourished deportees from outside the Generalgouvernement, which mostly arrived after burning had replaced burial as the body disposal method (see the blog Mattogno, Graf & Kues on Aktion Reinhard(t) Cremation (2) for details).

It is unlikely, for sure, that any deportees to the AR camps had a fat content comparable to that of Ettling’s 170-pound ewe, but the resulting lesser contribution of body fat to combustion would be compensated (or overcompensated) by a comparatively higher amount of external flammables and by these flammables being arranged in relation to the corpses in a manner resembling the experiments of Lothes and Profé rather than those of Ettling. Still, as mentioned in the first "d)" of the above quote from this blog, the corpses on the AR pyres were not or not always burned completely, some body parts preserving their original shape, and large bones sometimes having to be burned a second time because the first burning had not rendered them friable enough for crushing.

So much for Jansson’s arguments in his latest production, which add little if anything to his earlier arguments besides the demonstration that Ettling’s 170-pound ewe must have had much fat – an aspect that by itself doesn’t get Jansson anywhere.

In an earlier blog also commented here, Jansson argued that Ettling’s experiment (contrary to the opinion of Ettling himself, as suggested by the above quote from his article) "has no bearing whatsoever on the fuel requirements of practical mass cremation", whereupon I asked him the following question:
So, what’s the essential difference between the observation in Ettling’s experiment (which seems to have been incidental) and the Treblinka pyres supposed to be (other than scale, of course)? The seat springs would be the grates made of railway rails on which the bodies were placed, the wick the char and ash from the fire used to ignite the bodies. The fire would have to be strong enough for the bodies’ skin to char and split, which was certainly the case according to eyewitness descriptions whereby the wood sprayed with liquid fuel underneath the bodies (who were also sprayed with liquid fuel themselves, at least when they were "fresh" bodies) burned with a very strong and hot flame. In this manner it would have been possible to cremate the bodies of the people murdered in the gas chambers with comparatively little external fuel (i.e. a weight ratio between wood and wood equivalent on the one hand and corpse mass on the other that was equal to or lower than in Lothes & Profé’s experiments), even though the results of cremation were not complete, as mentioned before.
To answer this question, Jansson will have to do better than point out the fat content of Ettling’s 170-pound ewe, the presence of external flammables in Ettling’s experiment (what, really?) and the low average weight of Polish Jews.

Last but not least, as Jansson again projected his own presumable fear of many things with his childish babbling about my "fear of the actual literature concerning mass cremation" (never mind that I abundantly referred to such literature and pointed it out to Mattogno, who originally thought he could establish mass cremation fuel requirements on the basis of his backyard beef burning-experiments), I would like to remind him again of a smaller-scale parallel to the AR pyres that he seems to be afraid of addressing, namely the pyres on the Dresden Altmarkt after the bombing attack on 13/14 February 1945. The following question, first asked here, then repeated here and again referred to here, is still standing:
So please tell me, Mr. Jansson, how much gasoline do you think they used to cremate 6,865 corpses (or 10 times that many, if you choose to fall for the doctored version of TB 47) on the Dresden Altmarkt after the bombing of 13/14 February 1945?

Do you accept my calculation whereby it was about 68,000 liters (more than twice the daily consumption of a Panzer division, at a time when Nazi Germany was fighting for survival and its armed forces were running woefully short of fuel)?

Do you think 68,000 liters is too high, as one might think Mattogno does?

Or do you think the amount was twice or three times or four times as high (implying a Panzer division immobilized for lack of fuel not two but four, six or eight days)?

Let’s have your take on this, Mr. Jansson. I’m definitely curious.


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Update, 30.04.2015

At the beginning of the blog here commented, and presumably in order to make his contributions to "Revisionism" look more important in the eyes of his coreligionists, Jansson mumbles something about me being "the only person currently attempting the technical feasibility of holocaust burial and cremation claims".

I don’t know if that is really so, and I don’t care.

What I would like to point out again is something that Jansson tends to forget: it is not for me, or for anyone else who accepts the historical evidence as essentially accurate, to demonstrate the technical feasibility of what becomes apparent from that evidence and has been accepted as fact by criminal justice authorities and historians on the basis of such evidence. It is for folks like Jansson, on a rampage against facts inconvenient to their articles of faith, to demonstrate the technical unfeasibility of what becomes apparent from the historical evidence.

If they manage to provide such demonstration (which Jansson is far away from), they can argue that something must be wrong with the evidence and/or the conclusions that criminal justice authorities and/or historians have drawn on the basis of the evidence, as concerns certain aspects of what happened at the AR camps.

However, even that won’t get them very far as long as they cannot, say, provide even a single name of a Jew "transited" to the Nazi-occupied territories of the Soviet Union via the supposed "transit camps" Bełżec, Sobibór and Treblinka.

In his post headed "My Unintentionally Negative Impact on Holocaust Revisionism", David Cole expressed his opinion of endeavors like Jansson’s in the following terms:
The “impossibility” argument is the last filthy hiding place of denier cockroaches.
_______________________________________________________________________

Update, 13.05.2015

Jansson has responded to this blog in a blog with the uncharacteristically sober title Further remarks on Ettling and car fires.

More characteristic of Jansson is the bluster that graces his first paragraph, in which he baselessly accuses me of having taken on "a disorganized caricature of of the argument which I advanced" and of "repetitive spamming of the same defective arguments while ignoring the actual thrust of his opponents’ reasoning".

The "defective arguments" humbug, needless to say, is just another of Jansson’s increasingly repetitive excuses for dodging arguments he prefers to avoid because he has little if anything to offer against them. As to the accusation of my having attacked a "caricature" of his argument or an argument he didn’t actually make, Jansson is obviously projecting one of his own tricks, exemplified in paper-dragon-slaying exercise discussed in the first update of this blog.

That said, let’s have a look at Jansson’s "further remarks" about Ettling’s experiments.

Jansson:
The one point in Muehlenkamp’s meanderings that deserves a reply is that of whether the external combustibles in Ettling’s experiments played a significant role in the partial cremation, or whether – as Muehlenkamp suggests – the different results of Ettling’s two experiments show the dramatic influence of “bringing the grid in the right position.”

Muehlankamp states that “in Ettling’s experiments, the external fuel didn’t contribute significantly to the cremation of his animals, as shown by the fact that the 150-pound ewe lost only 20% of its mass/weight to the fire.” This argument reveals that Muehlenkamp doesn’t know the contents of Ettling’s paper, although he’s been citing it for years, and it’s barely over a page long. With the 150 pound ewe experimental conditions were completely different – different model of car, smaller amount of gasoline, the car windows and doors were shut and the fire left to smoulder until the heat broke a window, allowing for increased oxygen supply, and finally the fire was extinguished rather than being allowed to burn itself out. In light of these dramatic differences, it’s evident that Muehlenkamp’s argument in favor of the claim that the external fuel didn’t contribute significantly is unfounded.

Actually the claim that external fuel didn’t contribute significantly to the cremation of the 170-pound ewe in the Plymouth is in line with Ettling’s own observations and conclusions. The observations I’m referring to were the following (emphasis added):
After about thirty minutes everything in the car that could burn was consumed except for the carcass. As the rest of the car became cold a modest fire continued around the carcass for more than three hours. The fire was not coming from the carcass itself but from underneath it. The carcass was still suspended on the seat springs with a lot of char and ash underneath. The fat being rendered from the carcass dripped onto the char which acted like a candle wick and kept the fat burning. This burning rendered more fat.
So when the car fire went out after half an hour, the carcass had not yet been consumed by fire. The burning that destroyed most of the carcass did not occur during this half hour, but during the subsequent three hours, and it was fed by fat dripping from the carcass.

The conclusions I’m referring to were the following (emphasis added):
The findings showed that for a ewe, and presumably for a human also, the body can be rather thoroughly consumed by fire from its own fat. A necessary condition is that the body be suspended in such a way that it is over the fire which is fed from the body fat. Some related information was found in an article concerning a Nazi extermination camp and its trouble destroying the corpses (3). Burning gasoline on piles of corpses on the ground did not consume the corpses. Eventually an "expert" was brought in who arranged the bodies on a rack with the corpses that appeared to contain some fat being placed on the bottom of the pile. A good fire beneath the rack caused fat to drip down and burn. The corpses which were thus over the fire instead of on the ground were reduced to ashes.

Thus, it is evident that the bodies found in the car in Idaho could have been consumed by their own fire without someone else adding fuel.

Thus, it is evident that Ettling considered the external fuel to have made but a small or negligible contribution to the carcass’s being mostly destroyed by fire. The essential contribution, as Ettling concluded, was made by a fire fed by the carcass’s own fat. The differences highlighted by Jansson obviously did not make the 170-pound carcass in the Plymouth burn better than the 150-pound carcass in the Nash. What made the difference was a circumstance (the first carcass’s being suspended on the seat springs over a fire fed by its own fat) that was not brought about intentionally.

Jansson:
Muehlenkamp has even argued that Ettling’s experiments demonstrate the “importance of bringing the grid into the right position” – yet the positioning of the body was identical in both of Ettling’s experiments, namely on its back on the front seat. Thus, Ettling carried out two experiments with different results. Factors A, B, C, and D were altered between the experiments, while factor E was left constant. From these data, Muehlenkamp deduces that factor E (namely the “positioning of the grid”) is responsible for the difference between the results. Is there really any need to explain why this is wrong?
"This" is not wrong at all, for while the initial positioning of the animal in each car may have been the same, the position in which the 170-pound ewe ended up when the car fire went out – suspended on the seat springs over a small fire fed by its own fat – is likely to have been different from the position in which the 150-pound ewe ended up when the car fire was extinguished. It is also possible that, if the fire of the car containing the 150-pound ewe had not been extinguished, that ewe as well would have ended up suspended on the seat springs over a fire fed by its own fat, and been mostly destroyed by that fire. However, regardless of whether the lack of a fire under the 150-pound ewe or its different position at the end of the car’s combustion led to that ewe remaining mostly intact, the fact remains that the position of the 170-pound ewe over a fire fed by its own fat was essential to its combustion.

Jansson:
How much fuel is involved in a car fire?
A lot. I don’t bother to check Jansson’s calculations of the amount of fuel, for they are irrelevant. When the burning of a carcass is not properly arranged (and setting a car on fire with the carcass inside is obviously not a proper arrangement, except if unintended circumstances like in the case of the 170-pound carcass occur), one can use up enormous amounts of fuel without achieving the desired results. I’m sure that Jansson’s SS-heroes at Treblinka poured huge amounts of gasoline over the corpses in their initial cremation attempts, only to find that the corpses didn’t burn well because an essential element, later provided by a grate structure on which the corpses were placed to allow for the necessary air circulation, was missing in these attempts. If the burning is correctly arranged, on the other hand, satisfactory results can be achieved with relatively little amounts of fuel. I already pointed out this essential factor earlier in the present blog, when contrasting Ettling’s arrangement with that of German veterinarians Dr. Lothes and Dr. Profé in their successful carcass-burning experiments in the early 20th Century. Jansson, however, chose to ignore this point and instead waste his time on pointless fuel amount calculations.

Jansson:
Nevertheless, Ettling’s experiments fell far short of attaining complete cremation. It is the height of hypocrisy for Roberto Muehlenkamp, who believes that the ewes in Ettling’s experiments should have been able to cremate themselves completely without the use of any external fuel beyond that needed for initial ignition, to rely on Ettling’s experiments in making his case for the ease with which mass cremation can be carried out.

Where did I say that the ewes in Ettling’s experiments should have been able to cremate themselves completely without the use of any external fuel beyond that needed for initial ignition? I’ll assume in Jansson’s benefit that he didn’t read or failed to understand the following argument in the present  blog:
It is unlikely, for sure, that any deportees to the AR camps had a fat content comparable to that of Ettling’s 170-pound ewe, but the resulting lesser contribution of body fat to combustion would be compensated (or overcompensated) by a comparatively higher amount of external flammables and by these flammables being arranged in relation to the corpses in a manner resembling the experiments of Lothes and Profé rather than those of Ettling. Still, as mentioned in the first "d)" of the above quote from this blog, the corpses on the AR pyres were not or not always burned completely, some body parts preserving their original shape, and large bones sometimes having to be burned a second time because the first burning had not rendered them friable enough for crushing.
When he has read and understood it, he is invited to tackle the two questions I asked in the present  blog before the update. Especially the last of these questions, which he has been running away from in a rather flagrant manner.

Update, 22.05.2015

See link 6.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

excellent work always Mr. Muehlenkamp.

Jansson seems to be quite the cherry picker when it comes to situations such as the experiments involved above, to the degree that he misses out more important details.