Monday, June 13, 2016

Mattogno’s Cremation Encyclopedia (Part 3, Section 1)

Introduction and Part 1, Section 1
Part 1, Section 2a
Part 1, Section 2b
Part 2, Section 1
Part 2, Section 2
Part 2, Section 3
Part 2, Section 4
Part 2, Section 5
Part 3, Section 1
Part 3, Section 2
Part 4

Duration of Cremations (1)

Mattogno commences this section on p. 1416, insisting that in his statement whereby an excavator could dig up 3,000 corpses "at one time", survivor eyewitness Jankiel Wiernik[237] had indeed meant "at one time" and thus "uttered a monstrous nonsense"

Actually it’s a monstrous nonsense to understand Wiernik’s statement literally instead of logically interpreting it as meaning "in one day" or "in one shift", but what’s more interesting is the point that Mattogno is trying to obfuscate, which I derived from his own remark that 3,000 bodies take up a volume of about (3,000×0.045 =) 135 m³. 135 m³ would be the volume occupied by a pile of bodies stacked on a 90 m² grate at a height of (135 ÷ 90) = 1.5 meters – 5 layers of bodies with an average height of 0.3 m per layer as considered by Mattogno & Graf[238], each layer consisting of (3,000 ÷ 5 =) 600 bodies. Assuming the area of 66 m² estimated by the author, the height of the pile would be ca. 2 meters (135 ÷ 66), corresponding to about 7 layers, each layer consisting of ca. 429 bodies (3,000 ÷ 7).

In response to my objection that an area of 1.75 m × 0.50 m occupied by each body on the grate (including "the necessary intervening space for the passage of the products of combustion") was excessive as an adult person with the corresponding measurements would be a rare exception among deportees to Treblinka (and moreover most of the bodies had been lying in mass graves prior to cremation and lost a significant part of their volume), Mattogno quite pointlessly responds that the surface area calculated in M&G’s book corresponds to the measurements of the "ideal man" (an individual 67.2 inches = 170.7 cm tall and 17.7 inches = 44.95 cm wide) [239]"adding a mere 0.105 m² of space between a corpse and the other".

Based on the volume displacement of the "ideal man" (0.093 m³), a lower volume displacement I calculated for Polish Jews of low stature and with narrow shoulders (0.045 m³) and the grate areas assumed by M&G (90 m²) and by myself (66 m²), I had on p. 492 of the critique presented four scenarios for the height of and number of layers in a pyre containing 3,500 corpses (the number that had to be burned on each of two pyres every day to dispose of about 860,000 bodies within 122 days, according to M&G[240]), each way below the 29 layers 8.7 meters high that had been claimed by M&G[241]. Mattogno objects that I treat the corpses "as if they were bricks which can be perfectly arranged without losing even one cubic centimeter of space, which is absurd". However, he does not produce an alternative calculation in stacked cubic meters "with gaps" that would substantially change my results, so his objection is pointless.

Mattogno then argues that such a compact pile of corpses as I considered "would not have allowed even a minimal circulation of combustion air between the individual corpses" and been the equivalent of "cremating the corpse of a blue whale". A more proper comparison would be the cremation of the corpses on the Dresden Altmarkt pyres, which were also stacked compactly as can be seen on Walter Hahn’s photographs. But then, Dresden is a subject that Mattogno prefers to avoid in this context, as we shall see.

After some pointless musing about the scarcity of detail in eyewitness descriptions as concerns the procedure of stacking the corpses onto the pyre, the technique of cremation and the aspect of the corpses, a reference to the exaggerated amounts of sand that result from Mattogno’s aforementioned sand-filling trick (and not, as he claims, from "Muehlenkamp’s assumptions and from the testimonies"), and further considerations about the need to use ladders if the pyre exceeded a certain height and the result being "a cluster even more chaotic than the one created after the Dresden bombings", Mattogno refuses to have a look at the critique’s Table 8.25, which is based on his own calculations regarding "the amount of wood burned per square meter in one hour", on grounds that the demand of wood assumed by me is wrong. As we have seen, Mattogno doesn’t believe himself in the exorbitant amounts of wood he claims, so a revision of Table 8.25 based on my currently calculated wood demand should be of interest to him.

Table 3.1 – Revision of Table 8.25 (critique, p. 494).

Next we see Mattogno running away from a comparison with the Dresden Altmarkt pyres, on grounds that "we don’t have any certain data about this, neither for their surface, nor on the effective number of corpses put on them, nor about the actual time period for the cremations, nor regarding the type and amount of combustibles used, nor about the result of the cremations".

First of all, since when does Mattogno need "certain data"? His "transit camp" theory is based on fragmentary data taken out of context plus the wildest of baseless speculations at best.

Second, as demonstrated in Part 2, the result of the cremations can be established quite precisely on hand of at least one of Walter Hahn’s photographs and two contemporary documents, the Schlußmeldung über die vier Luftangriffe auf den LS-Ort Dresden am 13., 14. und 15. Februar 1945 and the document StAD, Marstall- und Bestattungsamt, Nachtrag I - Schreiben, 4.3.1945 referred to and partially quoted by Dresden historian Matthias Neutzner. The result was cremation remains small enough to be called "ash" in both documents, to be loaded into boxes and sacks and transported to the cemetery despite a lack of suitable vehicles for corpse transportation mentioned in the Schlußmeldung.

Third, the type of combustibles used can be established on the basis of Walter Hahn’s photographs, which show wood placed underneath the grates, and of Theodor Ellgering’s postwar report quoted in Part 2, which mentions that the corpses were burned with gasoline.

Fourth, as to the amount of combustibles used, Mattogno himself has set a maximum: wood or wood equivalent corresponding to 68,004 liters of gasoline (corresponding to 357,914 kg of fresh wood or 188,376 kg of dry wood).

Fifth, the effective number of corpses put on a pyre is also known: about 500 according to the aforementioned Theodor Ellgering and to British historian Frederick Taylor, who informs that the cremations took place from 21 February to 5 March 1945 and that one pyre was burned every day during these 13 days. [242] As to the dimensions of a Dresden pyre, its length was estimated at "over 20 feet" (ca. 6.1 meters) by David Irving[243]. To take account of the "over", I’ll make that 23 feet or 7 meters for good measure. A look at images 2.8 and 2.9 in Part 2, Section 1 suggests that this estimate is accurate. The width of a pyre can also be estimated on the basis of Image 2.9 and another of Hahn’s photos shown in an earlier blog[244]:

Image 3.1 – Dresden pyre

On this image 5 steel carriers can be clearly seen, and there seems to be a sixth carrier on the left side. The distance between the first four carriers seems to be about 20-30 cm, so let’s take the average and say it is 25 centimeters. The distance between the fourth and the fifth carrier looks larger, say 40 centimeters. Between the fifth and the sixth carrier the distance again seems to be in the order of 25 centimeters. So the space between carriers would add up to 1.40 meters, and if each carrier was 10 cm wide at the base (which seems high compared to the assumed distance between carriers) we would have a width of roughly 2 meters, and a pyre area of about 7 x 2 = 14 square meters. If this pyre area was sufficient to burn 500 corpses at a time, then burning 3,500 corpses required a pyre area 7 times larger, i.e. 98 square meters. The area considered by M&G, 90 square meters, would be sufficient to burn about 3,214 corpses, while the area I estimated, 66 m², would be sufficient to burn about 2,357 corpses at the Dresden pace.

The only thing that cannot be established on the basis of available data is how long each of the Dresden pyres burned. We know that one pyre was burned every day, but a significant part of the day would have been spent bringing the corpses to the Altmarkt, trying to identify them and building the pyre. If these activities lasted half of a 24-hour period, then each pyre burned for about 12 hours.

About the number of corpses burned at one time on a Treblinka pyre eyewitnesses provided varying information, the lowest number being that given by Ukrainian guard Leleko[245], who stated that about 1,000 bodies were burned simultaneously and the burning process lasted up to five hours. Against my mention of Leleko’s testimony, Mattogno knows no better than to baselessly accuse me of "childish gullibility" and of treating this testimony "like unquestionable experimental data" (which of course is nonsense – I treat a testimony as such and thus as a source of evidence) [246].

In Part 1 of this series[247] I considered the possibility that each of the "furnaces covered on the top with four rows of rails" described by Leleko was a grate consisting of four rails, and that the witness recalled several such grates placed next to each other. If so, his description coincides with other testimonies mentioning several cremation grates. Mattogno & Graf mention two of them: Henryk Reichmann, who stated that "five to six grates were built, each of which was able to accommodate 2,500 bodies at a time", and Szyja Warszawski, who "specified that each grate measured 10 m × 4 m"[248]. Mattogno now (p. 1420) tries to get rid of Warszawski’s testimony, by arguing that it cannot be "reconciled with the ones published in the verdict of the Düsseldorf Jury Court (Schwurgericht) of 3 September 1965 and with the dimensions of 25 m × 2.625 m as calculated by Muehlenkamp based on them". While Mattogno again behaves like the brat who throws the puzzle out of the window, the Düsseldorf Jury Court presumably based its findings of fact as concerns the length of the pyre on a preponderance of testimonies mentioning rails "about 25 to 30 meters long", assuming that Warszawski – if he testified before the court or his earlier testimony was read at the main proceedings – underestimated the length of the grate. As to the width estimated by Warszawski, it seems too high if a grate had five to six railway rails, as it would imply a distance of more than 50 cm between rails. On the other hand Chil Rajchman’s description[249] seems to understate the width of the grate (1 ½ meters), as it would mean that the rails alone occupied 6 x 12.5[250] =) 75 cm and the space between two rails would be just 15 cm. Notwithstanding these differences, both witnesses coincided in that there were five to six grates (Warszawski) or six grates (Rachjman) [251], and there is no reason to dismiss the testimonies on this mutually corroborated detail.

Except for inconvenience to Mattogno’s argument, that is. Mattogno would like "one grid or at maximum two" to have operated at Treblinka, and he appeals to Jankiel Wiernik and Franz Stangl in support of this notion. In note 203 on p. 493 of the critique I had, after pointing out M&G’s omission of a passage from Wiernik’s "A Year in Treblinka" that doesn’t fit their bubble (see below) written that M&G had "referred to a plan of the camp drawn by Wiernik that was presented at "the trial in Düsseldorf" to claim that there were just two cremation facilities because two are drawn on said plan". In a typical attempt to conceal his own dishonest omission by accusing his opponent of having omitted important information, Mattogno hollers that he and his co-author had also referred "the plan of Jankiel Wiernik from the year 1945", which in Mattogno’s book represents "a fundamental document for orthodox holocaustology". Whatever that is supposed to mean, my argument was that the plan presented at the Düsseldorf trial was not meant to convey a statement about the number of grids and was neither understood in this sense by the court (which concluded that the number of cremation roasters could not be established exactly in the main proceedings), so there was no reason for me to mention the 1945 plan that is oh-so-important to Mattogno.

To my argument that the Düsseldorf plan was a sketch not drawn to scale obviously meant to give a rough idea of the location of the grids rather than make a statement as to their number, Mattogno responds with the straw-man argument that this would be tantamount to "the statement that, in drawing two gassing facilities, the witness did not mean to say that there were actually two such facilities, but that he intended only “to give a rough idea of their location."". Mattogno’s dishonesty is rather flagrant, as he is obviously familiar with Wiernik’s A Year in Treblinka[252], where Wiernik wrote the following:
The cremation of the corpses proved an unqualified success. Because they were in a hurry, the Germans built additional fire grates and augmented the crews serving them, so that from 10,000 to 12,000 corpses were cremated at one time. The result was one huge inferno, which from the distance looked like a volcano breaking through the earth's crust to belch forth fire and lava.

While Wiernik didn’t state the number grates, the reference to "additional fire grates", the number of corpses claimed to be cremated on them and the description of the "huge inferno" clearly show that Wiernik can impossibly have claimed that there were only two grates at Treblinka, and that his drawings on maps can therefore not be understood as a statement about the number of grates. Mattogno is clearly arguing against better knowledge here.

Not content with this showpiece of bad faith (something he routinely accuses his opponent of on rather flimsy pretexts), Mattogno adds the feeble argument that, in a map shown to camp commandant Stangl and confirmed by him to be "absolutely correct", only one grid is drawn. Considering that there are at least three testimonies pointing to a multitude of grids (Warszawski’s, Rachjman’s and Wiernik’s), the symbol representing a grid on the map in question can only be understood as meaning to illustrate where the grids, about whose number Stangl need not have cared (and which he need not even have known, as he left the running of the camp to Kurt Franz), were located.

A laughably feeble argument of Mattogno’s in this context is that "several" such facilities in the upper camp according to the Düsseldorf Court is not in contrast with "two". If the Düsseldorf Court had concluded on just two burning grids pursuant to Wiernik’s map, it would have stated that number in its findings of fact, instead of concluding that the number of burning grids could not be ascertained.

Sara Berger concluded on the basis of various eyewitness testimonies[253] that there were four to six roasters up to 30 meters long and 1 ½ to 2 meters wide[254], on which over 5,000 corpses were burned every day, so that the burning of the corpses – which she assumed to have started at the end of February 1943[255] – approached its end in August 1943. The total area of the roasters thus was between 4 x 45 m² = 180 m² and 6 x 60 m² = 360 m² - about 13 to 26 times the area of the Dresden pyres and thus capable of burning (13 x 500 =) 6,500 to (26 x 500 =) 13,000 corpses every day, so that the number assumed by Berger (5,000 corpses per day) is entirely plausible. At this rate, (180 x 5,000 =) 900,000 corpses could have been burned in the six months between the end of February and the end of August 1943. This renders unnecessary my speculations, based on several statements of Arad[256], whereby cremation and crushing of bones may have lasted way beyond August 1943.

Omitting the passages of Arad’s book on which I had based this theory, Mattogno (p. 1419) rants about my "miserable trickery to expand the time period of the cremations", before indulging in some trickery of his own to make that period as short as possible. Arad, he states, explicitly gives a period of 4 months from April to July (two months short, according to more recent research). According to Wiernik, "the cremations started after the German announcement of their discovery of the mass graves in Katyn (13 April 1943)" - obviously a misdating, as at that time the "Artist" had been in Treblinka for about three months, according to Rachjman[257]. The witness Stanisław Kon declared that at the time of the revolt (2 August) the cremation of the corpses was "substantially already terminated" - "substantially" doesn’t mean wholly, and the last transports arrived more than two weeks after the revolt. The Düsseldorf Jury Court dated the beginning of cremations to the spring of 1943 and stated that "after widely differing incineration experiments had been performed for this purpose, a large cremation facility was finally built" - actually the "widely differing incineration experiments", in what I call the 2nd phase of cremations at Treblinka, had been going on since November or December 1942[258]. So try as he might, Mattogno cannot refute the conclusion that the 3rd phase of cremation at Treblinka started some time after the arrival of the "Artist" in January 1943, latest at the end of February 1943 as assumed by Sara Berger, and didn’t end before the end of August 1943. However often he brings up "the 122 days which we considered in our Treblinka study", the period of wholesale and successful cremations at Treblinka was about 180 days.

The number of corpses cremated during the 3rd phase does not include those cremated during the 2nd phase and those cremated at the "Lazarett" throughout the camp’s operation. As concerns the latter, the Düsseldorf Jury Court at the 1st Treblinka trial (Kurt Franz et al) attributed thousands of deportees besides several hundred working Jews to the defendant Mentz, hundreds if not thousands to the defendant Miete. In the last months of 1942 a transport consisting of old Jews from Germany in passenger cars arrived at Treblinka; all occupants were killed by Mentz and Miete at the "Lazarett". Sara Berger[259] mentions a transport of 883 Jews from Darmstadt and Mainz that arrived in late September or early October 1942. She also mentions a transport of old and sick people that arrived from Mława in the Zichenau district on 11.11.1942; it stands to reason that the occupants of this train were also murdered at the "Lazarett". Altogether the number of people killed at the "Lazarett" can be estimated at a minimum of 5,000, but it was probably much higher.

Then there was the 2nd phase of cremations at Treblinka, which started in November or December 1942 and went on for at least two months before the "Artist" got an efficient system going. The maximum daily number burned during this phase was one thousand according to Rachjman[260]. If we assume that the daily average was half that much, then within a period of two months about 30,000 Jews were burned.

That leaves 789,000 – 5,000 – 30,000 = 754,000 corpses to be burned in the 3rd phase of cremations at Treblinka, which is assumed to have lasted from late February to late August 1943.

Besides the Dresden pyres, I also referred to a pyre for mass burning of cattle and the pyres used by Lothes & Profé as parameters of comparison. I referred to an online source[261] about the burning at High Bishopton Farm, Whithorn, Scotland, of 511 cattle, 90 sheep and 3 pigs over a period of three days on two separate pyres, each of which was 50 meters long and 1.5 meters wide. Assuming average carcass weights of 500 kg for cattle, 100 kg for pigs and 50 kg for sheep, the total weight of carcass mass burned was (511x500)+(90x50)+(3x100) = 260,300 kg. The area of the pyres was 2 × (50x1.5=) 75 m² = 150 m². Assuming a total cremation time of 72 hours, the carcass weight cremated per hour and square meter of pyre was 260,300÷(72x150) = 24.1 kg. At this rate the pyres of Treblinka could burn a minimum of (180 x 24.1 =) 4,338 kg, corresponding to (4,338 ÷ 24.03[262] =) ca. 181 corpses per hour and a maximum of (360 x 24.1 =) 8,676 kg, corresponding to (8,676 ÷ 24.03 =) ca. 361 corpses per hour. Burning 754,000 corpses would thus take 4,166 or 2,089 hours, corresponding to 174 or 87 days.

Mattogno argues that the pyres’ total length of 100 meters, according to directives prescribing 3 ft (≈ 1 m) of length for each adult bovine carcass[263], could only burn 110 carcasses at a time. According to another source, the burning of 840 bovine-equivalent carcasses, placing two swine or two sheep on top of each bovine carcass, requires ca. 585 meters of pyre length. According to that source’s formulae (1,000 swine = 200 bovine-equivalent carcasses, 700 sheep = 140 bovine-equivalent carcasses) the Whithorn pyre burned about 530 bovine-equivalent carcasses. These could not be incinerated on 100 m of grid, lest each carcass would have only 20 cm of the grid’s length available to it. Mattogno considers the following possibilities (p. 1432):
a) either the numbers mentioned are erroneous – the real ones being only ca. 1/5, for example there were only 111 instead of 511 bovines –, b) or the carcasses were put on the pyre not simultaneously but in succession –, c) or finally the data given for the grid were erroneous, the correct ones being much bigger.

Possibility b) seems to be the likeliest to me and was considered in the critique (footnote 207 on p. 494). If the pyres burned for 72 hours, this would mean that they were loaded about five times during this period and each set of 100-odd bovine-equivalent carcasses burned for about 14 hours.

Possibility c) has been addressed by Mattogno’s acolyte Friedrich Jansson, who has claimed[264] that the "Report To Dumfries and Galloway Council Air Monitoring of Carcass Pyre At Whithorn" mistakenly gave the pyres’ width at 1.5 meters, because "The narrowest width of pyres used during the 2001 UK FMD outbreak was determined by the length of a railroad tie (as railroad ties were placed crosswise along the pyres), which is approximately 2.5 meters.". The only evidence he offered in support of this claim is a photograph captioned "Piles of animal carcasses await disposal in Cumbria", but let’s assume the claim is accurate. What would this imply? It would imply that the carcass weight cremated per hour and square meter of pyre was (260,300÷(72x250) =) 14.46 kg. At this rate, it would require the higher range of total pyre area at Treblinka (360 m²) 145 days to cremate the aforementioned 754,000 corpses.

Yet this calculation doesn’t take into consideration two important factors, the degree of combustion required and achieved (which can be assumed to have been much higher in the Whithorn pyres than at Treblinka) and the amount of flammable material used. The Whithorn pyres required 72 hours not just to burn 260,300 kg of carcass mass, but also the wood and other flammable material used to burn the carcasses. And this amount must have been much higher in relation to the amount of carcass mass than at Treblinka. If we assume a ratio of 2:1 between wood or wood equivalent weight and carcass weight[265], then what burned on an area of 250 m² within 72 hours was 780,900 kg of carcass plus wood or wood equivalent, at a rate of 43.38 kg per hour. The Treblinka pyres, assuming the use of dry wood for comparison, would have to burn (754,000 x 24.03) = 18,118,620 kg of corpse mass plus (754,000 x 14.83[266]=) 11,181,820 kg of dry wood, or 29,300,440 kg of corpse mass plus wood in total. Burning this amount of carcass and wood would require 3,752 hours = 156 days with 180 m² of pyre area and 78 days with 360 m² of pyre.

If we consider only the wood, as Mattogno did in his books about Treblinka and Bełżec[267], we get the following times:

Table 3.2 – Burning times for wood required to burn corpses at Treblinka

Mattogno posits (p. 1433) that the starting point for calculating duration of cremations must be the fact that, according to one of his sources[268], "fourteen sq ft (≈1.3 m²) of surface area should be allowed for an adult bovine carcass.". However, this information refers not to burning carcasses on pyres, but to burying carcasses in pits (p. 8). According to the same source (p. 13), 840 bovine-equivalent carcasses (500 cattle, 1000 swine and 700 sheep) can be accommodated on a pyre 585 meters long. The width of the pyre is not stated, but according to Figure 1 on page 11 (reproduced by Mattogno as Illustration 12.27, see below) the fire bed is about as wide as a bovine carcass’s body length from head to hind quarters. The table below shows the average weights and body lengths of cows from nine breeds of cattle[269].

Image 3.2 – Construction of a fire bed for burning carcasses, from: National Animal Health Emergency Management System Guidelines U.S. Department of Agriculture. April 2005. Operational Guidelines: Disposal, in: Operational Guidelines: Disposal, in:

Table 3.3 – Average weights and lengths for cows from nine breeds of cattle.

Based on the average length from Table 3.3, the pyre’s area can be calculated as 585 x 1.41 = ca. 825 m². As concerns the weights of the animals I shall consider the same as regarding the Whithorn pyres, i.e. 500 kg for cattle, 100 kg for pigs and 50 kg for sheep. The total weight of carcasses burned on this pyre would thus be (500x500+1,000x100+700x50 =) 385,000 kg, or ca. 467 kg per square meter of pyre.

According to the same source (p. 11), the bulk of the carcasses "should burn within 48 hours" if weather conditions are favorable. The throughput of this pyre would thus be 9.73 kg of carcass per hour and m² of pyre, instead of 8 kg as calculated by Mattogno.

Again, 48 hours is the time required to burn not the carcasses alone, but the carcasses and the flammable materials of the fire bed, the quantity of which is calculated so as to bring about a complete reduction of the carcass to ashes (whereas at the AR camps and at Dresden such thorough reduction was neither the intended nor the achieved result). Assuming a wood or wood equivalent weight to carcass weight ratio of 2:1 like in regard to the Whithorn pyres, what burns within 48 hours are 1,155,000 kg of carcasses and wood, which means a throughput of 29.17 kg of carcass and wood per hour and m² of pyre. Even at this low burning rate, which is way below that of the Whithorn pyres even assuming that their area was not 150 m² but 250 m² as claimed by Jansson, Treblinka could have burned the 29,300,440 kg of wood and corpses calculated above within 116 days if it had a total grate area of 360 m². If we consider Mattogno’s rate for FMD pyres (2.82:1), the time is shortened to 91 days. To the extent that wood was replaced by rags and liquid fuel, the time would be accordingly shorter.

In Table 8.26 on p. 495 of the critique, I calculated the carcass weight combusted per hour and square meter of grate in Lothes & Profés experiments I to VI, assuming a grate area of 2 m² in each case. Mattogno predictably tries to enlarge the grate area.

Thus he argues (p. 1426) that "as results from the Illustration 12.19, the pit is 2.50 m long (its length is subdivided into four sections of 600, 650, 650 and 600 mm = 2500 mm), and therefore its surface is of 2.5 m²". He’s referring to the inner pit in Lothes & Profé’s experiments IV to V, and the illustration is rather irrelevant in this context given Lothes & Profé’s description of the pit’s arrangement[270]:
From the bottom of a pit 2 meters long, 2 meters wide and 0.75 meters deep there was made a second pit also 2 meters long and 0.75 meters deep, but only 1 meter wide, so that the upper pit's bottom simultaneously formed the side edges of the lower pit, 0.5 meters wide each. Onto these edges were lain the 2 meter long T-carriers transversally to the pit's longitudinal direction.

So the outer pit’s area was 2x2 = 4 m² whereas the inner pit’s area was 2x1 = 2m², which I considered to be the area of the grate, assuming that the carriers were placed as far away from each other as the length of the pit permitted and the width of the carriers plus the space between them would thus be 2 meters, while of the carriers’ length 0.5 meters on each side rested on the inner pit’s borders.

As concerns experiments I to III Lothes & Profé provide no measurements. Based on his Illustration 12.19 (which did not refer to Lothes & Profé’s experiments, judging by the difference between the measurements in the drawing and those given in the veterinarians’ article), Mattogno claims that the grid measured 2 x 2.5 meters, i.e. that it’s area was equal to the area of the pit according to the illustration. This is rather unlikely, however. For if the carriers in experiments I to III were 2 meters long like in experiments IV to VI (and there’s no indication that they were longer), the pit cannot have been 2 meters long by 2 meters wide as the outer pit in experiments IV to VI, otherwise the carriers could not have been lain across the pit but would have fallen inside the pit. As it would make sense to place the carriers across the pit in the same manner as in experiments IV to VI – that is, with 0.5 meters of the carriers’ length resting on each side of the pit –, I therefore assume that the pit in experiments I to III was 2 meters long as in experiments IV to VI, but only 1 meter wide. The area of the grid, again assuming that the carriers were placed as far away from each other as the length of the pit permitted, would thus again be 2x1 = 2m².

Besides trying to reduce the grate area in Lothes & Profé’s experiments, Mattogno (p. 1427) argues that the speed of cremation was related to the fat content of the carcasses, which he calculates as 229.6 kg out of 1,750 kg for the carcasses in experiments I to III and 200 kg out of 1,525 kg for the carcasses in experiments IV to VI (ca. 13.1 % of the body mass in each case). In my calculations the fat content of freshly killed deportees makes up (8.06÷57 =) 14.14 % of the body mass in deportees from outside the General Government and (3.85÷38 =) 10.13% of the body mass in ghetto deportees (see Table 2.20 in Part 2, Section 4), while the fat content of decomposing deportees makes up (8.06÷33.64 =) 23.96% of the body mass in deportees from outside the GG and (3.85÷22.23 =) 17.32% of the body mass in ghetto deportees (see Table 2.24 in Part 2, Section 4). Considering that there were more decomposing ghetto deportees than freshly killed ghetto deportees in all four camps (see Tables 2.25, 2.26, 2.27 and 2.28), I would expect the average fat content in percentage of body mass to be at least as high in cremated deportees as in the carcasses burned in Lothes & Profé’s experiments.

That said, and instead of addressing Mattogno’s irrelevant calculations based on his futile attempts to reduce the grate area in Lothes & Profé’s experiments, I provide below an updated version of the critique’s Table 8.26, in which I consider not only the weight of the carcasses, but also the weight of the solid flammables employed (i.e. excluding the tar or resin used as accelerants). Besides Lothes & Profés experiments, the table also includes the Whithorn pyres (assuming an area of 250 m² instead of 150 m², according to Jansson) and the model pyre from the USDA/NAHEM’s "Operational Guidelines: Disposal" as calculated above (assuming a wood or wood equivalent weight to carcass weight ratio of 2:1 in each of these two cases).

Table 3.4 – Weight combusted per hour and square meter of grate/pyre in various carcass cremation scenarios.

The next table applies the throughput values in Table 3.4 to the 29,300,440 kg of wood and corpses calculated above, assuming 180 m² and 360 m² of total grate area at Treblinka.

Table 3.5 – Times required to burn calculated corpse and wood mass at Treblinka with the throughput values from Table 3.4.

Table 3.5 shows that, except if they managed a throughput like was achieved in Lothes & Profé’s experiments IV to V, 4 grates à 45 m² wouldn’t have been sufficient to burn the aforementioned mass of body and wood within the assumed period of 6 months, whereas with 6 grates à 60 m² this would have been no problem. If, like at Dresden, the main external combustion agent was liquid fuel, the amount of wood to be burned would have been much reduced. As mentioned above, even the lower total grate area of 180 m² would have been about 13 times larger than the pyre area available on the Dresden Altmarkt, where corpses were burned at a rate of 500 per day.

This allows us to ignore Mattogno’s absurd calculations of exorbitant cremation times at Treblinka and move on to Bełżec.


[237] Jankiel Wiernik, "One Year in Treblinka", in: The Death Camp Treblinka. A Documentary, edited by Alexander Donat, New York 1979, pages 147 to 188. Transcribed in the HC online library under [link].
[238]M&G, Treblinka, p.148.
[239]Alex Bay, The Reconstruction of Treblinka, "Appendix D - Ash Disposal and Burial Pits (Continued)" ([link]).
[240] M&G, Treblinka, p.147.
[241]M&G, Treblinka, p.148.
[242]Taylor, Frederick, Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945. New York: HarperCollins, 2004, pp. 350f, quoted on p. 177 of the critique.
[243]David Irving, Apocalypse 1945. The Destruction of Dresden, Focal Point, 2007, p.278f., quoted on p. 486 of the critique.
[244]"Jansson finally answered my Dresden Altmarkt question …" ([link]). The photo used to be available on the German Historical Museum’s web pages about the bombing of Dresden ([link]).
[245]As note 28.
[246]While having a low opinion of eyewitness testimony as a source of evidence (except of course when it suits his arguments), Mattogno seems to think wonders of what he calls "experimental data". Actually "experimental data" can be pretty worthless, namely if the experiments are performed by charlatans like Mattogno, and even if performed by serious researchers they are conveyed via the written or oral testimony of such researchers, which means that the source of evidence as concerns "experimental data" is someone’s testimony about experiments he performed and the results thereof.
[247]See the blog "Mattogno’s Cremation Encyclopedia (Introduction and Part 1, Section 1)" ([link]).
[248]M&G, Treblinka, p. 148.
[249]The Last Jew, p. 85: "He [the specialist who Rajchmann called "the Artist"] lays down ordinary long, thick iron rails to a length of 30 meters. Several low walls or poured cement are built to a height of 50 centimeters. The width of the oven is a meter and a half. Six rails are laid down, no more."
[250]Regarding the width of rails at the base see the blog "Incinerating corpses on a grid is a rather inefficient method …" ([link]).
[251]The Last Jew, p. 87.
[252]As note 237.
[253]Listed in footnote 117 on p. 550: Münzberger, 22.10.1964, deposition at main proceedings; Szyja Warszawski, 9.10.1945; Henryk Reichman, 12.10.1945 and 14.1.1965; Abraham Lindwasser, 17.12.1964 (testimony at main proceedings); Abraham G6oldfarb, 14.12.1964 (testimony at main proceedings); Matthes, 15.10.1964 (testimony at main proceedings); Elias Rosenberg, 24.12.1947; Horn, 8.7.1970 (deposition at main proceedings); Hirtreiter, 9.11.1950; Münzberger, 14.5.1964; Rachjman’s and Wiernik’s memoirs.
[254]Experten der Vernichtung, p. 212 (as note 33).
[255]As above, p. 211.
[256]See the blog "If they did it the simple way, they didn’t do it!" ([link]): "The cremation of the corpses in the death camps of Operation Reinhard continued until the last days of activity there." (Belzec, Sobibór, Treblinka, p. 177; about one quarter of the corpses still lay in the graves in the second half of July 1943, p. 280; last transports arrived on 18 and 19 August 1943, p. 372; "At the end of November, the last Jewish workers at Treblinka were shot and burned before Kurt Franz and his men left Treblinka", p. 373.
[257]The Last Jew, pp. 85-88.
[258]See the blog "Mattogno on early cremation at Treblinka" ([link]).
[259]Experten der Vernichtung, p. 428.
[260]The Last Jew, p. 84, quoted in the blog mentioned in note 258 above.
[261]Report to Dumfries and Galloway Council about Air Monitoring of Carcass Pyre at Whithorn’, by Dr. C. MacDonald Glasgow Scientific Services, 3.10.2001, Pyre data are on page 6.
[262]Average weight of deportees cremated at Treblinka, see Table 2.27 in Part 2.
[263]National Animal Health Emergency Management System Guidelines U.S. Department of Agriculture. April 2005. Operational Guidelines: Disposal, in: Operational Guidelines: Disposal, in: htdocs/images/nahems_disposal.pdf
[264]See the blog "Memo for the controversial bloggers, part Vd: Dresden pyres, gasoline as a fuel for cremation, and High Bishopton farm" ([link]), commented in the blog "On "Revisionist" error nitpicking (7)" ([link]).
[265]According to the Ausvetplan (see note 126); Mattogno’s ratio would be 2.82:1.
[266]See Part 2, Section 4, Table 2.27.
[267]M&G, Treblinka, p.149. The same calculation was presented in Mattogno, Bełżec, p.86.
[268]National Animal Health Emergency Management System Guidelines U.S. Department of Agriculture. April 2005. Operational Guidelines: Disposal, in: Operational Guidelines: Disposal, in:
[269]The table is based on tables 2 and 3 of the article "Comparison of body measurements of beef cows of different breeds", by Szabolcs Bene, Barnabás Nagy, Lajos Nagy, Balázs Kiss, J Peter Polgar and Ferenc Szabo, Arch. Tierz., Dummerstorf 50 (2007) 4, 363-373, online under [link]
[270]As note 112.

1 comment:

  1. Re. Dresden Altmarkt pyre I wonder:
    1. FWIW I count 7 distinct H-steelgirders visible beneath the pile of corpses.
    Girder (from right to left) no 5 is out of exact paralellity which makes it nearly hidden by girder no 4, nonetheless its top (T-)section clearly visible, girder no 6 is where the scarf-covered womans head rests on
    (at the same time by using that human head as comparative measurement at the same time- we can deduce that the girders are at least 220 mm in height, thus in the range of that eras DIN norm 22 N.-P-to 30 N.P- see and thus 98 to 113 mm wide.)
    2. The gravity (width-) centre of the pyre - also visible by the visible lower half of a person in long apron standing exactly on it directly above and far better on the further distant taking picture of same pyre pile in former Jansson blog reply- seems to lie between girders no 5 and no 4 (or the dangling bare leg and the upside down face hanging between girders no 3 and no 4), thus there must be an equal number ( =4) of girders from the point to either side, their total amount being either 8 or 9, if following your suggestion of 25cm spacing: 8x25 cm plus 8x 10 cm = 2.8 m, or have I missed something?
    Also I wonder -what height you would ascribe to the pile and which sloping (either sides and both ends) necessary to hold it up?

    Re.: mass cattle pyres-
    "The width of the pyre is not stated, but according to Figure 1 on page 11 (reproduced by Mattogno as Illustration 12.27, see below) the fire bed is about as wide as a bovine carcass’s body length from head to hind quarters. The table below shows the average weights and body lengths of cows from nine breeds of cattle."
    -I wonder if there has been a misunderstanding- while the drawing and wording refer to the cattle body length "head to hindquarters" (or did you use it as to mean excluding the entire head and neck?), the table given (3.3) of course refers to the pure torso length from front to hind shoulders/knees (which are the only parameters really of interest in agricultural reports- for all they are about are the overall mass/growth weights/rates of the animal thus indirectly deduced).
    Noone (hopefully) who has actually ever had any real life experience with bovines of course would in ernest claim that the length of a grown Holstein Frisian is supposed to be 140 cm, right ?
    That is unless you chop off head and neck of course...if not the real length is of course actually 235-250 cm.
    See/check either nearest neighbors cows IRL or :
    Anyone who has ever had the unfortunate experience of actually stacking livestock carcasses, especially big ones also knows how difficult it is purely mechanically, the round voluminous belly-shapes being a nightmare to stack, everything tending to glide of and around if one does not have a bit of margin in width of any pile/pyre, so I am really wondering how this is supposed to be possible or even recommended having a pyre width less than the real head to hind length of around 240 cm?
    If all heads are supposed to just losely dangle off either sides egdes, they will inevitably instead of cremating fully fall off and one be left with hundreds of those unfortunates rolling/remaining around needing to be seperately collected and thrown on again, at least according to my - less than fun- experience....
    Or did I misunderstand something?


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