Saturday, July 23, 2016

German Footage of a Homicidal Gassing with Engine Exhaust. Part 5: Responsibility (III).

German Footage of a Homicidal Gassing with Engine Exhaust

Part 1: Provenance
Part 2: Location
Part 5: Responsibility (III)

The previous part proposed that the Mogilev gassing footage displays the experimental gassing carried out by the Einsatzgruppe B leader Arthur Nebe, Einsatzkommando 8 and Albrecht Widmann of the Criminal Technical Institute of the Security Police in September 1941. The following part will outline some conflicting evidence and evaluate alternative interpretations.

The KTI/RKPA Witnesses on the Gassing Footage

Although the gassing footage resembles the experimental gassing described by Widmann, Schmidt and Bauer, the three eyewitnesses from the RKPA and its Criminal Technical Institute denied towards West-German investigators that what is shown on the still images corresponds to how they remembered the test gassing in several details, e.g. wooden house or plastered building vs. red brick building (interrogation of Widmann of 8 April 1962, BArch, B 162 / 1604, p. 493;  interrogation of Schmidt of 4 May 1962, BArch, B162 / 1602, p. 497; interrogation of Bauer of 9 December 1961, BArch, B 162 / 4340, p. 27). The difference between footage and testimonies may result from misremembering, especially when considering the time passed by.

For instance, Widmann could have had the inside view in mind when he stated that the "bricked window looked terrible...next to the white plastered building wall" (interrogation of 8 April 1962, BArch, B 162 / 1604, p. 493; plastered brick walls can be seen in the scene where mentally ill are unloaded infront next to knee-high entrance walls of the building). The Einsatzgruppe B staff member Andreas von Amburger learnt from the group doctor Hans Battista that Widmann observed the gassing through slits in the door (interrogation of von Amburger of 27 December 1945, BArch B 162 / 21555, p. 1329).

Schmidt could not distinguish if the building was wooden or made of stone nor did he remember the 2nd hose and gas introduction port.

Still, the confident and seemingly independent testimony that the test gassing is not shown on the footage should urge to think about alternative interpretations, too. As a matter of fact, the gassing of mentally ill described by Widmann et al. was not only one with engine exhaust from vehicles that had taken place in Mogilev.

The Large Scale Gassing in Mogilev

In September to early October 1941, the Einsatzkommando 8 of Einsatzgruppe B killed the majority of inmates of the central asylum in Mogilev. The following account was given by the asylum's head physician Aleksandr Stepanov:
"In September 1941, Hauptmann Prip - member of the Gestapo - and several officers...came into the hospital and ordered to pick the medical records of the sick, who stayed longer than 3 years in the hospital, and to hand over a list of these sick. He said that the sick will be evacuated to the hinterland, because it is more easy there to feed them and take care of them.

After 2 to 3 days, Hauptmann Prip turned up again in the hospital with different officers and ordered us to show our rooms. After this inspection, he stayed in a small room of the medical department - the dressing room. They sent the Jewish workers to brick up the window and door to the corridor of the medical department. Two metal pipes were placed into the bricked up window.

About one day later, several cars with police - with Hauptmann Prip ahead - arrived, surrounded the hospital...The police men brought the sick in about 60 - 80 people to the gassing room and they were gassed there, which was probably coming through the hoses from the car. The Jewish workers carried the corpses out of the room, put them on the yard next to the sanitary department and afterwards they were transported on cars in the direction of the Minsk highway. During the day, about 600 mentally ill were barbarically euthanized.
(interrogation of A. Stepanov of 20 July 1944, in Istoriya mogilyovskogo evrejstva. Dokumenty i lyudi, book 2, part 2 (2nd. edn.), 2010, p. 194 & Grundmann, Georg Frentzel, p. 82f., my translation; the mentioned "Hauptmann Prip" is obviously the head interpreter of Einsatzkommando 8, Adolf Prieb)

His deputy Nikolaj Pugach, medical specialist for psychiatry, confirmed the incident and dated it "at the end of September 1941" (interrogation of N. Pugach of 13 July 1944, in Istoriya mogilyovskogo evrejstva. Dokumenty i lyudi, book 2, part 2 (2nd. edn.), 2010, p. 196 and Grundmann, Georg Frentzel, p. 84). The former nurse Valentina Moskina also testified on this gassing in course of the Soviet investigations in the late 40s/early 50s against the former Einsatzkommando 8 member (?)  Georg Medler (Friedman et al, Diskriminiert - vernichtet - vergessen. Behinderte in der Sowjetunion, unter nationalsozialistischer Besatzung und im Ostblock 1917 - 1991, p. 489).

In the early 70s, Georg Frentzel was put on trial in East-Germany for his actions as member of Einsatzkommando 8. Among other things, he also admitted his participation in the gassing of several hundreds of mentally ill in Mogilev:
"During the action in the months September/October 1941, mentally ill were poisoned in the Mogilev asylum by exhaust gases of vehicles. While I waited for Prieb in the car on the street, he was in the asylum for some time. I don't know and he did not tell me, what he did in the asylum. On the day of the action, we drove with 6-8 cars to the asylum site and were directed backwards to a building by Prieb. There were two pipe nipples connected with a hose. The hose was connected to two cars by Kelling or Schirrmeister. The engines were started at the order of Prieb and he decided upon hearing how to open the throttle, i.e. we regulated the hand throttle. The engine run on quite low rotations. The mentioned nipples led into the gas room...The sick were killed by the inflowing exhaust gases....approximately 20 to 30 minutes. The gas room was opened and the Jewish citizens brought by Einsatzkommando 8 had to load the corpses on trucks. The corpses were buried near Mogilev. This procedure was repeated until the late afternoon or evening....The corpses were partly only dressed with a shirt or coat and heavily emaciated, yes you can say only skin and bones...It had to be many hundreds. I accept the figure, which follows from the hospital records....At a time, two cars were were connected to the hoses of the nipples....As the engines of the cars were running almost idle, they were changed now and then to avoid them running hot."
(interrogation of Frentzel of 1970, in Grundmann, Georg Frentzel, p. 87f.; my translation)

The large scale mass killing is further corroborated by contemporary documents. On 3 September 1941, the asylum had an inmate strength of 910 persons, which dropped to 217 by 2 November 1941 according to its records (Winkler & Hohendorf, Die Ermordung der Psychiatriepatientinnen in Mogilew 1941/42, p. 97). The Einsatzgruppe B reported that  "863  mentally ill people were specially treated", i.e. killed, in Mogilev up to 9 October 1941 (Activity Report of the Einsatzgruppen no. 108, in Cüppers et al., Die Ereignismeldungen UdSSR 1941, p. 663). Note that the Operation and Situation Report no. 6 of the Einsatzgruppen states that these victims were actually "shot" (reproduced in Klein, Die Einsatzgruppen in der besetzten Sowjetunion 1941/42, p. 229) -  in the light of the above cited testimonies this was apparently meant to obfuscate the actual killing method.

The Russian doctors did not mention an experimental gassing prior the large scale killing. It is conceivable that both took place right after the other, i.e. the Einsatzkommando 8 men continued the action after the KTI/RKPA team left the scene. The killing of 600 - 700 mentally people in this single gas chamber in batches of 60 to 80 people on a single day sounds ambitious, but not impossible.

The remaining inmates of the asylum were shot in January 1942 and the facility was closed down on 22 January 1942 to be used as military hospital for the German army (letter A. Stepanov to N. Stepanov of 6 March 1942 & interrogation of A. Stepanov of 20 July 1944, in Istoriya mogilyovskogo evrejstva. Dokumenty i lyudi, book 2, part 2, 2nd. edn., 2010, p. 195 f.).

The Summer 1942 Action

Yet another gassing action of mentally ill people in a stationary gas chamber in Mogilev by Einsatzkommando 8 occurred in the Summer of 1942. Here's how the deputy of the commando leader, Hans Hasse, described what happened:
"In Summer 1942, I had to get 100 to 120 mentally ill Russians gassed at the order of Gruppenführer Naumann....Von dem Bach-Zelewksi wished that a mentally asylum not far from our office should be cleared. The Higher SS and Police leader intended to install a military hospital for Germans in this asylum occupied by Russian patients...As ordered by Naumann, the mentally were to be killed with the gas van...The next moring, I drove to the asylum together with Prieb. I'm sure the gas van driver was with us...Prieb explained to the Russians that the mentall ill people shall be gassed. He told them how the killing was to supposed to proceed. He informed them that the mentally ill should be brought into a room and that this room should be sealed. The asylum consisted of 2 - 3 one story stone buildings. As far as I remember there were two big rooms in each building. The mentally ill laid on the floor....Then we drove [again] to the asylum with the gas van  and one or two cars. Perhaps there were three cars. This second time we went to the asylum, the mentally ill people had already been brought to the room  and this room was sealed. A hose of about 5 m length as put through an opening in the wall or the door into the room. The gas hose was connected to the engine of the gas van."
(interrogation of Hasse of 10 January 1963, YVA TR10 1118 folder 5, p. 271)

In a later interrogation, he changed the gassing set-up from a gas van connected to the room to "one connection to the exhaust tube of a car and another connection to the exhaust of a truck". (interrogation of Hasse of 2 July 1963, YVA TR10 1118 volume 5, p. 435; the mind change occurred after the stills from the footage were shown to him again).

This gassing was also confirmed by Heinz Schlechte, Karl Strohhammer and Adolf Prieb (interrogation of Schlechte of 29 January 1963, YVA TR.10 File 1118 5, p. 551; interrogation of  Strohhammer of 10 August 1961, BArch B 162 / 3297, p. 169; interrogation of Prieb of 2 July 1962, BArch B 162 / 3298,  p. 253 f.). Schlechte agreed that it was tried to gas the mentally ill with engine exhaust in a room, but believed that the people were ultimately loaded on the gas van.

This gassing followed a similar scheme than those back in 1941. Could the Einsatzkommando 8 men have misdated a gassing in September/October 1941 to Summer 1942? The testimonies place the gassing under the group and commando leaders Erich Naumann and Heinz Richter, who had replaced their predecessors Arthur Nebe and Otto Bradfisch in November 1941 and March 1942, respectively. The gas van mentioned by Hasse and Schlechte reached Einsatzkommando 8 in February 1942. Hence, the dating to Summer 1942 neatly fits to the provided context.

Strohammer, Schlechte and Prieb were already members of Einsatzkommando 8 in September 1941 and so could have had been present at the 1941 gassings. In fact, Strohhammer himself vaguely testified on a prior gassing of mentally ill under Bradfisch in 1941 and Prieb has been identified by the asylum's doctors and Georg Frentzel on the spot. However, Hasse joined Einsatzkommando 8 only in November 1941. Thus, he could not have participated in the gassing earlier the year.

It is not known where exactly this Summer 1942 gassing took place in Mogilev. Probably, mentally ill people, who turned up in the Mogilev area between the closure of the central asylum in January and Summer 1942, were concentrated at some site and killed during this action.

Alternative Interpretations

If the test gassing by the KTI/RKPA team is not shown on the film sequences, the next nearest explanation would be that the footage shows the large scale gassing of the Mogilev asylum inmates described by Stepanov et al., so that both the test gassing by Widmann et al. and the large scale gassing in the asylum were necessarily two separate actions at different sites. The testimonies of the Russian witnesses and Frentzel do not include concrete evidence that Nebe's staff and the KTI/RKPA team had been at the site on the same day. The datings are also too vague (September vs. end of September) or even conflicting (3rd October according to Frentzel's trial vs. 15 September inferred from Widmann, Bauer and von dem Bach's diary entry) to rule out separate actions.

The possible change of the gas chamber between the experimental and the large scale gassing could have made sense if the test gas chamber was considered too small or if it was located in the colony complex some kilometres away from the main asylum or in yet another still unknown location with mentally ill people in Mogilev. If the test gassing was carried out in another site or the colony of the Mogilev asylum, then this raises the question why this was not reported by Stepanov at el. If it was done at another place near Mogilev, it leaves the open question where this was and where the mentally ill came from.

Another possible interpretation is that the footage shows the Summer 1942 action mentioned by Hasse et al. The main drawbacks of this explanation are that the most significant testimonies are either little robust or diverging on relevant details (Hasse, Schlechte) and that the asylum shown on the footage was closed down in January 1942. One would have to presume - without further evidence - that the site in question was only partially closed down or reopened for mentally ill people in Spring and Summer 1942. Nebe was not in charge of Einsatzgruppe B at the time either.

The following features five interpretations of might be shown on the footage and its relation to other gassings with its benefits and drawbacks compared to the others.

Interpretation A: the Mogilev gassing footage shows the test run by the KTI/RKPA team, Nebe's staff and Einsatzkommando 8 in the central asylum in Mogilev followed by the liquidation of the most of the mentally ill described by the asylum's doctors and Georg Frenzel.
  • benefits
    • Nebe's attested presence & the finding of the footage in his house
    • consistency to the asylum doctor's testimony 
    • most simple and straightforward 
  • drawback
    • contradicts testimony of Widmann, Bauer and Schmidt
Interpretation B: the Mogilev gassing footage shows the test run by the KTI/RKPA team, Nebe's staff and Einsatzkommando 8 in the central asylum in Mogilev. The liquidation of most of the mentally ill described by the asylum's doctors and Georg Frenzel was carried out days or weeks later.
  • benefits
    • Nebe's attested presence & the finding of the footage in his house
  • drawback
    • contradicts testimony of Widmann, Bauer and Schmidt
    • inconsistent to the asylum doctor's testimony 
Interpretation C: the Mogilev gassing footage shows the large scale gassing in the central Mogilev asylum and the test gassing was carried out in another building or the colony of the asylum.
  • benefits 
    • consistent to testimony of Widmann, Bauer and Schmidt

  • drawbacks
    • Nebe not present 
    • inconsistent to asylum doctor's testimony
    • lack of evidence that another room was used for gassing in the asylum complex
Interpretation D: the Mogilev gassing footage shows the large scale gassing in the central Mogilev asylum and the test gassing was performed in yet another unkown place near Mogilev.
  • benefits
    • consistent to testimony of Widmann, Bauer, Schmidt and the asylum's doctors

  • drawbacks
    • Nebe not present
    • lack of evidence for another asylum, where mentally ill were killed at the time

Interpretation E: the Mogilev gassing footage shows the Summer 1942 in Mogilev
  • benefits
    • police truck demonstrable operating in Mogilev (cf. testimony of Else)
  • drawbacks
    • Nebe not present and not in charge of Einsatzgruppe B anymore
    • asylum was (partially or entirely) used as Wehrmacht hospital
    • any of the additional drawbacks from explanation A - C used to sort out the gassings in 1941
As can be seen, interpretation B includes less of the benefits from A and only adds one more drawback, it is therefore less probable. Similiar so, interpretation E has to live with the drawbacks of the prior explanations, plus some of its own, and adds only a minor benefit. Hence, the footage is already unlikely to show the Summer 1942 gassing.

Interpretation A explains most, but is directly contradicted by some evidence, thus urging to make assumptions on the reliability of this evidence. Going from A to C and D solves the contradiction but only at the expense of another inconsistency and/or by adding bigger assumptions. 

Conclusion

Mentally ill people were killed with vehicle exhaust in stationary homicidal gas chambers in Mogilev on 2-3 occasions. The first was the experimental gassing in September 1941 by Einsatzgruppe B, Einsatzkommando 8 and the chemist Albert Widmann from the Criminal Technical Institute of the Security Police. If it took place in the central asylum in Mogilev, it was possibly immediatly followed by the large scale killing of most the inmates described by the asylum's doctors and Einsatzkommando 8 member Georg Frentzel. Alternatively, this was a second, separate action different in time and possibly place. In Summer 1942, Einsatzkommando 8 tried to kill another group of mentally ill people in Mogilev with a similar set-up.

One of those above is depicted on the gassing footage which was taken in the central asylum in Mogilev during an action of Einsatzkommando 8. Neither of the mentioned actions comes along without conflicting or lacking evidence in order to establish its identity to the film scenes beyond any reasonable doubt. However, depending on how the benefits and drawbacks of the explanations are weighted, some can be favoured over others.

Despite being denied by the three eyewitnesses, interpretation A, that the gassing footage shows the experimental gassing described by Widmann el al. detailed in part 4, seems to have the greatest explanatory power and makes the most simple additional assumptions to favour it as most plausible explanation.

61 comments:

Sergey Romanov said...

Amburger also confirmed that Nebe liked to film stuff, which also raises the probability of a gassing in which Nebe took place.

J Kelly said...

Thanks, excellent post.
So we have the film, witnesses and trial documents.

I am looking forward to the section on denial.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Where's the original film?

Dionysus said...

*Crickets*

Hans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hans said...

If we knew where the original is located, we would have stated so in the blog.

So how would knowing where the original film is located change your intepretation of the footage? Would the info, say that the original film is in the estate of Rudolf Goldschmidt make you suddently believe the footage shows a homicidal gassing setup? Obviously not - else you should calibrate how you're measuring evidence.

The evidence already establishes beyond reasonable doubt that the footage shows a German homicidal gassing setup. This includes its location in Mogilev, the proper license plates, correspondence on the finding of the footage in Nebe's home, abundant evidence that the Germans did carry out gassings like pictured on the footage, the lack of Allied knowledge on how the gassing were exactly carried out, the rather "friendly" atmosphere on the footage, which makes sense for a German Euthanasia propaganda clip but not for an Allied forgery, the lack of Soviet use of the footage despite that it would have been staged by them if the forgery hypothesis were true and the complete absence of any evidence that the footage is an Allied fabrication.

Examining the original film could possibly test the hypothesis if the footage was shot on a film produced before 1945. But a positive result would only be one more piece confirming what we know anyway. On the other hand, for a Holocaust denier this would only mean that the alleged forger used a pre-1945 film. Of course, if the original film included other footage from Nebe, Holocaust deniers would likewise simply claim these were staged too.

The only mind changing result would be that the footage was shot on film produced after 1945. But such outcome is not only entirely speculative, so it's nothing you can cite as evidence now, but also very unlikely given what we already have mentioned above. And not being able to test this hypothesis - because the location of the original film is not known, and even knowing its location does not necessarily give access to it - does not seriously challenge that the footage shows a German homicidal gassing setup.

In short, if asking for the "original film" is not meant as a genuine question out of curiousity but as an argument - which seems to be likely for the Lesser Bunny and is obvious for Dionysus - then this comes along as a transparent attempt to avoid addressing the evidence confirming and corroborating the authenticity of the Mogilev gassing footage shown in the Nuremberg trial film.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Hans Sortie: If we knew where the original is located, we would have stated so in the blog.

Therefore it was a conscious decision not to inform your readers that its whereabouts are unknown. Why did you opt to do that, did you think that the fact it's missing somehow reflects badly on your case for its authenticity?


Hans Sortie: So how would knowing where the original film is located change your intepretation of the footage?

Obviously just knowing its location wouldn't, but it would enable me to initiate steps to go and view it or at least seek to have its owners confirm that it's in their possession. I'd try to do what no one else has done, try and find out and make known what else is contained on the role of film that contains the only known footage of a nazi homicidal gassing. It's hard to believe that Nebe recorded only the c.30 seconds of footage used by Schulberg.


Hans Sortie: Would the info, say that the original film is in the estate of Rudolf Goldschmidt make you suddently believe the footage shows a homicidal gassing setup? Obviously not - else you should calibrate how you're measuring evidence.

Similar question to the previous one, but now featuring an insult with the essence of projection. Why would it be in the estate of Goldschmidt when he passed it onto Stuart Schulberg and there's no evidence of it being returned?

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Hans Sortie: The evidence already establishes beyond reasonable doubt that the footage shows a German homicidal gassing setup. [A] This includes its location in Mogilev [B], the proper license plates [C], correspondence on the finding of the footage in Nebe's home [D], abundant evidence that the Germans did carry out gassings like pictured on the footage [E], the lack of Allied knowledge on how the gassing were exactly carried out [F], the rather "friendly" atmosphere on the footage, which makes sense for a German Euthanasia propaganda clip but not for an Allied forgery [G], the lack of Soviet use of the footage despite that it would have been staged by them if the forgery hypothesis were true [H] and the complete absence of any evidence that the footage is an Allied fabrication. [I]

A. Indeed, but it's a Soviet reenactment of such.

B. Yes, it was certainly shot there, very likely in the exact position suggested by SR.

C. Can you please quote verbatim what Else said about this list of vehicles on the single page of his interrogation report you have cited? And is that the best evidence the Zentralstelle managed to compile about the vehicles; the say-so of two perps, one of whom appears to have mentioned in passing that he still had a list—somewhere, but the matter was left there?

D. During their search for the missing Nebe [which later became a massive manhunt for him and his collaborators], the Gestapo would have found the film in Nebe's small mid-terrace had it really been there. Goldschmidt received the footage from his Soviet contacts and he passed it onto Schulberg, who may well of acted in good faith in all this, although these correspondence show it was in his possession before it disappeared.

E. Indeed, and the Soviets knew this specifically about the Mogilev gassings several years before the film was "discovered" in Nebe's old house.

F. That's utter BS. I don't recall anywhere in you series on the Mogilev gassings you or SR even making acknowledgement of the October 1944 Soviet report on the gassings at Mogilev, which contain interrogations of at least three "direct witnesses": Pugatsch, Stepanov and Kazakova.

G. So now you're claiming Nebe was making a propaganda film. A really short one?

H. Even Soviet manipulators could be competent on occasion. Incidentally, your colleague failed to disclose that Rudolf "movie business" Goldschmidt had been working for the US Army distributing denaziafication movies for 2yrs already when he supposedly found Nebe's film in his house. Nor did he mention that the US Army was particularly impressed by Goldschmidt's close relations with his Russian movie-business counterparts. Goldschmidt was related to Schulberg's French-born colleague and later long-term film-making collaborator, Gilbert de Goldschmidt, who'd been working for the Marshall Plan Motion Picture Section since 1944. This is all discussed in SR's cited source: Chamberlin's Kultur auf Trümmern.

I. Mostly due to the fact that the film has conveniently disappeared.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Hans Sortie: In short, if asking for the "original film" is not meant as a genuine question out of curiousity but as an argument - which seems to be likely for the Lesser Bunny and is obvious for Dionysus - then this comes along as a transparent attempt to avoid addressing the evidence confirming and corroborating the authenticity of the Mogilev gassing footage shown in the Nuremberg trial film.

I liked Dionysus' comment, as did Stat Mech, who's been reusing it on Skeptic.

Your suspicions are right, my original question is an argument—a good one, and one that occurred to you before I asked it, which is obvious from your decision not to mention its absence in your original series. And then there's your failure to answer my question until Dionysus' posted his apt observation on your silence.

I'm not ignoring the other evidence you complied, which I do congratulate you for; you clearly did a lot or research for your contributions to the series, and SR did some nice googling for his parts. It's just a pity that it's presented in the typical mealy-mouthed HC manner, where nothing is quoted properly, probably due to a fear of giving too much away, like you—but not SR—did on with Grabner, and Auschwitz soap.

Finally, just to be clear, I'm not "denying" that homicidal gassings took place at Mogilev psychiatric hospital, I'm merely arguing that the film is a Soviet reenactment.

Sergey Romanov said...

We have already established the film's authenticity in the first two parts so all this is blah blah about nothing.

Nicholas Terry said...

BRoI: "I'm merely arguing that the film is a Soviet reenactment"

I think you need a little more than wishful thinking and hypothetical scenarios to prove this.

The Mogilev ChGK report was not used at IMT, nor was it published as one of the major communiques - nearly all the ChGK reports available to the Soviet delegation at Nuremberg had been communiques for the press, many were printed up for the trial (in Russian), and the fact that they'd been communiques meant they could recycle editions of Soviet War News for English translations. The Mogilev gassing was certainly discussed at the Minsk trial of January 1946 (see Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, Ch 10.4 note 75), but there was next to no coordination between the trials in the Soviet republics and the Soviet IMT delegation.

I'm surprised you haven't searched USHMM's catalogue for Mogilev and selected film, as there are several clips, eg here, which include the Mogilev footage
http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/fv4581

An earlier comment from me got somewhat confused due to the catalogue descriptions being a bit incomplete. The clips with the footage all come from 'Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today', various copies of which ended up in different film archives or private collections.

The Schulberg family website on the film makes it perfectly clear that this was first shown in late 1948 in occupied West Germany and was not shown in the US, in part because a Soviet-made film about Nuremberg beat OMGUS to the punch by over a year, and due to the Cold War (the Berlin Blockade began in 1948)
http://www.nurembergfilm.org/about_the_film.shtml

Earlier I mistakenly thought it might have been shown earlier, because the clip descriptions at USHMM did not consistently say when the film was made, and one description of a collection submitted by the family of LtCol Headon, an OMGUS information officer in Bremen, implied a much earlier acquisition, wrongly.

The clip above ends with credits as follows: "This film was produced by the Documentary Film Unit / Information Services Division / OMGUS Followed by 3 logos: AFIFA / ZEIT IM FILM / FILMSTUDIO TEMPELHOF"

So there are the obvious starting-points: NARA for OMGUS, maybe the Bundesarchiv if the footage was inherited from the Tempelhof studio. This is assuming that Goldschmidt's find was copied in a more substantive form and didn't revert back to him - the letter from 1947 mentions 'Filmverleih', loan of film. Researching this could make for a nice little project for a film historian. It'd probably be worth looking up the other film-makers involved in case their personal papers and film collections ended up somewhere else.

The whereabouts of the original are unimportant, as provenance has been cleared up as best as can be; this points squarely to west Berlin in 1947,

Allegations of Soviet involvement require evidence to be substantiated, so why don't you look in the various Russian archives to look for the piece of paper that is required for you to prove your conspiracy theory. Can't help you regarding which agencies might have been involved, don't assume automatically it was the NKGB/MGB.

Hans said...

The Black Rabbit of Inlé,

As you can guess, there will some more part(s) of this series covering what "Revisionists" say on the footage and I will address your package of arguments/claims/rantings and another of little character assassination attempt in this context.

I have a few questions to you:

1. Why does "you should calibrate how you're measuring evidence" does consist an "insult" (or if not, please explain which other statement was an insult and why)

2. You adopt Klaus Schwensen's explanation that the footage is a Soviet forgery. Could you please list your evidence for this claim. You can also just refer to Schwensen's article in Inconvinient History if you agree with his argument on this footage.

Hans said...

3. You assert that my postings are "presented in the typical mealy-mouthed HC manner, where nothing is quoted properly". Could you please explain what you consider as quoting properly.

Sergey Romanov said...

Anyone even considering the "Soviet" hypothesis half-seriously at this point must have some kind of a mental disorder, because for anyone with a functioning brain it doesn't make any sense from any angle (the purpose, the dating, the execution), even forgetting about the lack of any evidence of any Soviet involvement.

Hans said...

BroI needs to be patient for the next postings, where exactly these points will be discussed.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

NT: "I'm surprised you haven't searched USHMM's catalogue for Mogilev and selected film, as there are several clips, eg here, which include the Mogilev footage
http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/fv4581"


Way ahead of you, Nick. I have a copy of the restored version of Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today.

At 38:03 the film shows footage of Erwin von Lahousen giving testimony at the IMT on 30.11.45 about meetings and conversation that took place on 12.09.39 aboard Hitler's train. This testimony is found in IMT vol 2 p.447. At 38:19 the footage cuts to some of Hitler, Goering, Himmler and two others, presumably shot in a train carriage, over which the testimony of von Lahousen continues. At 38:22 the footage cuts again, this time to the alleged Nebe footage:

Scene 1: Panning shot of a wooden house with a thatched roof. Someone, possibly a child, is sat on a bench in front of the house. It's impossible to know that this shot is from the alleged Nebe film, but its inclusion in this segment suggests that it probably is. Shown at 38:22 to 38:26.

Scene 2: Panning shot of the 2 police vehicles with hoses from their exhausts connected to the building and the sinister shadow of the flared-hip breeches. Shown at 38:26 to 38:33.

Scene 3: Shot of moving horse drawn cart with 5 adult male patients sat upon it; 4 wearing pyjamas and 1 with a blanket wrapped around him. Shown at 38:33 to 38:37.

Scene 4: Shot of 1 male and 1 female nurse helping the patients from the cart. 4 patients are visible, 3 are naked [!], 2 appear female. Shown at 38:37 to 38:51.

Scene 5: Shot in the same position as no. 4. Male and female nurse and one naked female visible. Shown at 38:51 to 38:52.

Scene 2 shown again at 38:52 to 39:03. Von Lahousen's testimony ended at 38:52 and a recording of engine noise accompanies the scene this time, which is shown at reduce speed on this occasion. At 39.03 the footage cuts to von Lahousen at the IMT and picks up where the sound recording of his testimony left off at 38:52.

Scene 5 shown again at 1:13:13 to 1:13:17 whilst the narrator reads the individual judgment against Hans Frank. This is the only part of the alleged Nebe footage that appears on your link to the USHMM site [at 13:25 to 13:29].

It was based onthe restored edition that I made my earlier statement about there only being c.30 seconds of the alleged Nebe film in N:ILfT. Perhaps there's so little footage due the Soviets going completely overboard with the reenactment. Maybe that fantastically professional looking shot of the shadow cast by a nazi wearing freshly pressed flared-hip breeches that covers the pipes entering the wall of the gas chamber, slowly pans out out to show a Himmler look alike. Who knows, but there must be a reason why Schulberg used only seconds from a film which must be far longer, regardless of whether it was Nebe or the Soviets who shot it.



NT: "the letter from 1947 mentions 'Filmverleih', loan of film"

Sandra Schulberg sent you a copy! Any chance you're going to post it on the blog?

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

NT: "The whereabouts of the original are unimportant, as provenance has been cleared up as best as can be; this points squarely to west Berlin in 1947"

SR did a nice job using google to prove that Goldschimdt's claimed discovery was feasible, but instead of Movies Goldschimdt chancing across a roll of film the Gestapo missed, I'd suggest it more probable that Goldschimdt and his Russian movie-making colleagues were inspired to shoot the film because he'd taken up residency in Nebe's old gaff.

We've no idea if the October 1944 ESC report on Mogilev mentions Nebe, or even Einsatzgruppe B, but we do know that in the final months of 1945 the Allies had EG Report 108, and what would become a sensational piece of testimony by Bach-Zelewski, i.e. Himmler's instructions to Nebe to find a less consequential way of killing the mentally ill and the latter's idea to try explosives.

B-Z never mentioned this during his IMT testimony [07.01.46] and I can only find it mentioned in an undated handwritten statement he made at Nuremberg [interrogation file on fold3.com, p.36]. But we do know that a B-Z was quoted in a NY Jewish newspaper on 23 August 1946, although not from the version in his interrogation file; the Aufbau version mentions B-Z's suspicion that Nebe had used gas after failing with explosives.

How did Aufbau get this testimony? Is it possible B-Z gave an affidavit or testimony that was used at the Minsk trial and subsequently passed to a journalist? Only one B-Z affidavit was actually submitted to the IMT, dated 21.02.46 and used in H. Frank's defence [Vol. 12, p.132 and Vol 24, p.193], but on 22 Feb 1946 Soviet prosecutor Raginsky attempted read into testimony a section of a 28 January 1946 interrogation of B-Z conducted by the Public Prosecutor of the Polish Republic, M. Savitzky [Vol. 8, p.113].

In early 1946, the Allies knew everything about the September 1941 gassings at Mogilev [ESC report], they knew Einsatzgruppe B had conducted them [EG report 108], they knew Nebe was the then-chief of EG B, and they knew Himmler had charged Nebe with finding a more humane way of killing mentally ill patients in Belarus. They knew everything they needed to know to reenact a gassing for the cameras—if the fancy took them.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Hans: You adopt Klaus Schwensen's explanation that the footage is a Soviet forgery. Could you please list your evidence for this claim. You can also just refer to Schwensen's article in Inconvinient History if you agree with his argument on this footage.

I mention much of it in my recent response to NT, but, yes, I'm in agreement with KS's analysis on the film, even though his article needs some updating following fairly recent discoveries e.g.. D. Cole revealing the origin of the first picture KS discusses: the still from a Soviet-bloc movie that was passed off in the world's press, and a British documentary, as a photo of a German gas van! Hopefully SR will response to your series himself in due course.


Hans: You assert that my postings are "presented in the typical mealy-mouthed HC manner, where nothing is quoted properly". Could you please explain what you consider as quoting properly.

Your coverage of Else and Finger on the vehicles in part 3. That is absolutely crucial information, especially considering investigators with all the power of the state at their disposal hadn't been able to find record of these vehicles. You quoted precisely nothing from either of their interrogations; you just summarised what was said and cited single pages of the transcripts. Did the investigators really not ask/order Else to show them this crucial list he said he possessed?

As for quoting properly: Ideally, quote enough of the text so that the context can be understood without *setting the scene*, so to speak. Especially with archival sources that can very difficult to check.


Hans: BroI needs to be patient for the next postings, where exactly these points will be discussed.

I felt obliged to response to yours and NT's posts, but I'll now keep shtum until you published the concluding instalment.

Sergey Romanov said...

I thought the Rabbit reached the bottom with his Buchenwald atrocity, but he continues to reach new depths. Well, who are we to stop him.

Nicholas Terry said...

BRoI: "NT: "the letter from 1947 mentions 'Filmverleih', loan of film"

Sandra Schulberg sent you a copy! Any chance you're going to post it on the blog?"

Uh, no, I worked out that the letter from 1947 mentions Filmverleih because that's what the description on Sandra Schulberg's website says. I mentioned this to point to a possible explanation for why an original film might not be in NARA, the Bundesarchiv or other obvious first ports of call.

"It was based onthe restored edition that I made my earlier statement about there only being c.30 seconds of the alleged Nebe film in N:ILfT. Perhaps there's so little footage due the Soviets going completely overboard with the reenactment. Maybe that fantastically professional looking shot of the shadow cast by a nazi wearing freshly pressed flared-hip breeches that covers the pipes entering the wall of the gas chamber, slowly pans out out to show a Himmler look alike. Who knows, but there must be a reason why Schulberg used only seconds from a film which must be far longer, regardless of whether it was Nebe or the Soviets who shot it."

The obvious reason(s) - in the absence of any other evidence - would be that Schulberg received the film a few months before it was screened internally; the film was not used at Nuremberg and was not about something discussed overtly at Nuremberg; as your timestamping shows, Schulberg wove it in like a motif rather than running an extended sequence. Finally, the entire film is not significantly longer than a typical feature film, so adding even more footage would eventually start to impact on the cost of producing the movie, in time, celluloid and money. Schulberg evidently thought it significant enough to include, but he wasn't making a documentary about the Mogilev gassing, he was making a documentary about the main Nuremberg trial.

Your interpretation isn't evidence for a Soviet reenactment, sorry. You have no *evidence* for this at all. Distrusting Goldschmidt (without seeing what he wrote to Schulberg about the discovery of the film) is a bit useless when the concrete evidence for your version is a big fat zero.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

This was meant to be included in my reply to Hans:

Hans: Why does "you should calibrate how you're measuring evidence" does consist an "insult" (or if not, please explain which other statement was an insult and why)

Yes, that's what I was referring to. You suggest I need to calibrate how I'm comparing the respective evidence for the film's authenticity, with the obvious implication that how I'm currently doing it is wrong.



___________________________________________



Thanks for the....kind words....Sergey.

I'll get back to that Buchenwald thread eventually. Still need to sort through the smash and grab research haul I conducted on the Lest We Forget exhibition[s] a good few weeks ago.

btw, I know you're presently flip-flopping on the MM version, but you should know that he was well aware of the Toncman-present version prior to publishing a Toncman-absent version on his memoirs:
https://rodoh.info/forum/viewtopic.php?p=80453#p80453





Nicholas Terry said...

BRoI:

"I'd suggest it more probable that Goldschimdt and his Russian movie-making colleagues were inspired to shoot the film because he'd taken up residency in Nebe's old gaff."

No, it's absolutely not more probable.

"We've no idea if the October 1944 ESC report on Mogilev mentions Nebe, or even Einsatzgruppe B,"

I've an idea: it doesn't (NARB 845-1-9, p.8).



"In early 1946, the Allies knew everything about the September 1941 gassings at Mogilev [ESC report]"

No, the western Allies didn't, because the Mogilev ChGK report was not passed to them in the 1940s, nor were any other case file materials.

"they knew Einsatzgruppe B had conducted them [EG report 108],"

Not by early 1946. The full set of Ereignismeldungen were not discovered until spring 1947, and EM 108 wasn't, to my knowledge, one of the early examples. A number of denier authors like Tiedemann, and copying him also Graf, have attributed EM 106 (not 108) to R-102, but this is just the Taetigkeits- und Lagebericht Nr 6.

"they knew Nebe was the then-chief of EG B, and they knew Himmler had charged Nebe with finding a more humane way of killing mentally ill patients in Belarus. They knew everything they needed to know to reenact a gassing for the cameras—if the fancy took them."

So now it's a western Allied reenactment?

Jonathan Harrison said...

"I'd suggest it more probable that Goldschimdt and his Russian movie-making colleagues were inspired to shoot the film because he'd taken up residency in Nebe's old gaff."

The Soviets had already released their own film by mid-1947 (including US distribution) so any fake would have been made for and inserted into that one.

"They knew everything they needed to know to reenact a gassing for the cameras—if the fancy took them."

There's no evidence that Goldschimdt had that knowledge. The number of assumptions required by any conspiracy hypothesis that involves Goldschimdt is clearly in contravention of Occam's Razor, whereas the provenance established by the Schulberg letters is very clear and requires no added assumptions.

Sergey Romanov said...

You are very welcome to beclown yourself further, Bunny.

The only thing I had to flip-flop about with regard to the obviously retouched photo on the cover of MM's book is when I took your word for what was on the photo. Lesson learned.

Sergey Romanov said...

Bunny's new theory here is his Buchenwald idiocy on steroids. Something very wrong with that fellow.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

NT: "Uh, no, I worked out that the letter from 1947 mentions Filmverleih because that's what the description on Sandra Schulberg's website says."

In that case: you dun goofed. It says "To: Dr. Goldschmidt, Film-Verleih, Kleiststrasse".

"Film-Verleih" [Film distribution] refers to his organisation, and his business premises must obviously have been on Kleiststrasse in Berlin. He was head of distribution for the US Occupation Forces; his role is mentioned in several documents quoted in the book SR cited in part 1.


NT: "Finally, the entire film is not significantly longer than a typical feature film, so adding even more footage would eventually start to impact on the cost of producing the movie, in time, celluloid and money. Schulberg evidently thought it significant enough to include, but he wasn't making a documentary about the Mogilev gassing, he was making a documentary about the main Nuremberg trial."

Neither was he making a film about Dachau gassings, but still he featured 18 seconds of the Signal Corps' footage of Barrack X whilst the narrator read extracts of Hoess' testimony about gassings at Auschwitz! I was simply pointing out that the original footage must be considerably longer than 30 seconds. I was not criticising Schulberg for using so little of it. Although it's a shame he didn't, seeing that the original is now lost.


NT: "Distrusting Goldschmidt (without seeing what he wrote to Schulberg about the discovery of the film) is a bit useless when the concrete evidence for your version is a big fat zero.

What your evidence he wrote *anything* to Schulberg? All that's mentioned on his daughter's website is the 18 June 1947 memo by her father to Goldschimdt.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

BRoI: "We've no idea if the October 1944 ESC report on Mogilev mentions Nebe, or even Einsatzgruppe B,"
NT: "I've an idea: it doesn't (NARB 845-1-9, p.8)."

That would hardly be surprising.
From whom and what study have you lifted the archival ref.?


BRoI: "In early 1946, the Allies knew everything about the September 1941 gassings at Mogilev [ESC report]"
NT: "No, the western Allies didn't, because the Mogilev ChGK report was not passed to them in the 1940s, nor were any other case file materials."

The Soviets had the ESC Mogilev report; the Soviets were a contingent of "the Allies".


NT: "The full set of Ereignismeldungen were not discovered until spring 1947, and EM 108 wasn't, to my knowledge, one of the early examples."

Fair enough. The Americans had the full set of EM in their possession since September 3, 1945, but they weren't actually discovered amongst the haul from Gestapo HQ until late 1946/early 1947, and there's nothing I can see in the IMT transcript to suggest another copy of EM 108 was discovered earlier.

Even though EM 108 was discovered many months before "Nebe's film", the report isn't critical for the Soviets to have known EG B committed the Mogilev gassings. They were well aware that Nebe's EG B had been the unit responsible for Belarus in 1941.


NT: "So now it's a western Allied reenactment?"

No. Goldschimidt may have been a westerner working for a western ally [US Occupation Force] as head distributor of their films, but there's nothing to suggest that he wasn't acting under his own volition with his Soviet colleagues.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

JH: "The Soviets had already released their own film by mid-1947 (including US distribution) so any fake would have been made for and inserted into that one.

Not sure which film you mean; I seem to recall they made numerous Holocaust films from 1944 onwards. But your point is a non sequitur anyway. If Movies Goldschimdt and his Soviet movie-business friends devised a plan to film a reenactment of the gassings at Mogilev—which he'd then pass onto the Americans and claim he'd found it in his house—why then would the film necessarily appear in some Soviet film?


JH: "There's no evidence that Goldschimdt had that knowledge. The number of assumptions required by any conspiracy hypothesis that involves Goldschimdt is clearly in contravention of Occam's Razor, whereas the provenance established by the Schulberg letters is very clear and requires no added assumptions.

Goldschimdt lived in Nebe's old house. When mentioning that to friends and colleagues.I'm sure he would have been informed of a great many things about the evil deeds of the house's infamous former owner.

There's a *single* 1947 memo written by Schulberg cited by the website and mention that "the papers of Stuart Schulberg revealed that he added the sound effect of the car’s engine running."

So your evidence is documents you've never seen, and don't even have a single quoted line of text from! Great stuff guys!

The website even suggests that it was Stuart Schulberg who found it in Goldschimdt's house. Fancy that!
http://www.nurembergfilm.org/films_within_film.shtml

"In the summer of 1945, [John] Ford dispatched Stuart to Europe to hunt for Nazi films that could be used at the Nuremberg trial. His older brother Budd, of higher rank, followed and led what became a small team of editors and writers. During a frenzied 4-month period, the Schulberg brothers and their colleagues scoured the German-occupied territories for footage."
http://nurembergfilm.org/film_bio_stuart_schulberg.shtml

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Hans,

I'm hope you're going to address the "denialist" views of USHMM film specialist Raye Farr and her fellow experts in your "denial" instalment.


David Cole:

In 1996, Raye Farr (then-film archives director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum) wrote a letter to me in which she revealed that the “Mogilev footage” (the supposed footage of the first Nazi gassing) was widely considered to be a Soviet fake. Ten years later, she was still gushing publicly about the footage being authentic.
http://takimag.com/article/justifying_my_existence_david_cole/print#ixzz4IBCAhr31

In 1996, I discovered the 1948 documentary film Nuremberg. And by “discovered,” I mean that via a series of faxes, I helped Raye Farr of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum identify the catalog number of Nuremberg in the National Archives.
http://takimag.com/article/sublime_recapitulation_alfred_hitchcocks_new_holocaust_film_david_cole/print#ixzz4IBSs4RZT

He writes about it at length in his 2014 book [pp. 104-10; 154-155; 160].


Raye Farr, director of the Holocaust Museum's Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive, says that the Schulberg films have provided the basic material for generations of documentaries about the war. Scholars, she says, still pore over the films, still question what they find in them. Using documents in the possession of Sandra Schulberg, they now know that a scene showing a gassing in Belarus is one of the few authentic depictions of the Nazis' first experiments with this new form of murder.

"It's been in there all along but we didn't know what it was and we didn't know if it is authentic," she says. Now they do.

- Washington Post, 29 November 2005


According to Cole [p.155], back in 1996, Farr was promoting the film even thought she and her experts thought it then a Soviet fake.


I don't know who's suppose to have written the following, but they knew a lot, and claim Farr was involved in confirming the footage's authenticity!

"In 2003, Stuart Schulberg's children discovered numerous documents about the making of NUREMBERG and the controversy surrounding it in their mother's apartment, along with a print of the film. A year later, daughter Sandra Schulberg began to inventory the documents and invited two Holocaust scholars, Ronny Loewy and Raye Farr, to examine them. It became clear they were extremely important and previously unknown."
https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/nuremberg_2010/


Gets fishier.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

SR: The only thing I had to flip-flop about with regard to the obviously retouched photo on the cover of MM's book is when I took your word for what was on the photo. Lesson learned.

You're still going on about about that trivial slip I made when looking at a one inch version of it on my phone!

So, MM, did he do it?

Nicholas Terry said...

BRoI: NT: "In that case: you dun goofed. It says "To: Dr. Goldschmidt, Film-Verleih, Kleiststrasse"."Film-Verleih" [Film distribution] refers to his organisation, and his business premises must obviously have been on Kleiststrasse in Berlin. He was head of distribution for the US Occupation Forces; his role is mentioned in several documents quoted in the book SR cited in part 1."

Fair point about the company name, but given his business it would make considerable sense if Goldschmidt kept onto the film, after all he discovered it.

"Neither was he making a film about Dachau gassings, but still he featured 18 seconds of the Signal Corps' footage of Barrack X whilst the narrator read extracts of Hoess' testimony about gassings at Auschwitz! I was simply pointing out that the original footage must be considerably longer than 30 seconds. I was not criticising Schulberg for using so little of it. Although it's a shame he didn't, seeing that the original is now lost."

You've argued yourself out of your suspicion, it seems, so we can abandon this line of unreasoning.

Schulberg made a bunch of documentary-director cutting decisions that led to the inclusion of only a short part of the film. This leads us to believe there was more footage. The whereabouts of that footage is currently unknown. BFD.

"What your evidence he wrote *anything* to Schulberg? All that's mentioned on his daughter's website is the 18 June 1947 memo by her father to Goldschimdt."

So I flipped the authors around because in all honesty, I really don't care about this that much, since you've yet to present any evidence in support of your conspiracy theory.

Point still stands: Schulberg's letter would very likely give further pointers about the discovery of the film. Schulberg's papers and maybe whatever remained in OMGUS files would be recommended ports of call for anyone exploring this in a full-scale research project. Which I am not.

Sergey Romanov said...

> You're still going on about about that trivial slip I made when looking at a one inch version of it on my phone!

No, you're going about it. Either that, or imagining things.

Sergey Romanov said...

Bunny's method is simple: repeat the bullshit as many times as possible and hope it sticks.

Sergey Romanov said...

Case in point: the authenticity of the film has been demonstrated in the first two posts but Bunny trolls the comments with his insane and evidence-free conspiracy theory.

Nicholas Terry said...

BRoI: "NT: "I've an idea: it doesn't (NARB 845-1-9, p.8)."
That would hardly be surprising.
From whom and what study have you lifted the archival ref.?"

From one of my filing cabinets.

Document title, as typed:
Zakliuchenie
============
1944 goda, Oktiabria 3-go dnia. gor. Mogilev.

Section heading, 1/3 the way down the page: Po Mogilevskoi mezhoblastnoi psikholechebnitse
Opening: Ocen'iu 1941 goda po prikazaniiu ofitsera mogilevskogo gestapo...

Not typing out the rest. The 3 in the heading is rather unclear, it could almost be a 5.

"The Soviets had the ESC Mogilev report; the Soviets were a contingent of "the Allies"."

But we're discussing a film made by a department of OMGUS, the US occupation authorities. "The Allies" didn't just exchange everything willy-nilly.

The western Allies did not have the Mogilev ChGK report in the 1940s; they had very little to go on regarding this case, it was really opened up with the Ludwigsburg investigations of Widmann, Bradfisch and others in the late 1950s/1960s. That's the main focus of Hans's series.

"Fair enough. The Americans had the full set of EM in their possession since September 3, 1945, but they weren't actually discovered amongst the haul from Gestapo HQ until late 1946/early 1947, and there's nothing I can see in the IMT transcript to suggest another copy of EM 108 was discovered earlier. Even though EM 108 was discovered many months before "Nebe's film", the report isn't critical for the Soviets to have known EG B committed the Mogilev gassings. They were well aware that Nebe's EG B had been the unit responsible for Belarus in 1941."

How about you start specifying *which* "Soviets" you are talking about.

The Mogilev case was investigated in the Belorussian SSR and was discussed in the Minsk trial in January 1946. The Mogilev oblast ChGK file was copied to central ChGK in Moscow, central ChGK released the communiques but Mogilev's report wasn't one of them; so some time between late 1944 and March 1946, when central ChGK compiled statistics of losses by republic and oblast, the material was in Moscow. But ChGK was a separate entity to the MGB as it was renamed in early 1946.

All of these entities in Belorussia and Moscow likely possessed some as yet unspecified awareness of Nebe as commander of Einsatzgruppe B, but you've yet to show when this consciousness sunk in, or indeed if it did at all by mid-1947.

There are lots of hoops to jump through before you can construct even a hypothetical Soviet conspiracy scenario. MGB had the captured Nazi records including the RSHA files (now RGVA fond 500). They could probably learn a lot about Nebe from those records, but would they know the location of his flat from such sources? Would they care?

You have to get from republic to Moscow and then sideways to an agency or department that wants to actively influence western opinion using this alleged reenactment. But Moscow could do that by getting its own Nuremberg film Sud Narodov (Judgement of the People) shown in America in May 1947. This ironically ended up limiting the audience for Schulberg's documentary. Therefore any hypothetical under-the-counter transfer of the Mogilev footage ended up in failure.

Why would "the Soviets" waste time with this? And once again: which Soviets?

"Goldschimidt may have been a westerner working for a western ally [US Occupation Force] as head distributor of their films, but there's nothing to suggest that he wasn't acting under his own volition with his Soviet colleagues."

No, you need positive evidence - like an actual document - to support such a claim, not a double negative mere possibility. You have presented no evidence.

Jonathan Harrison said...

1) There's no evidence connecting Goldschmidt to a desire or intention to fake a gassing film

2) The Soviets never put a Mogilev gassing sequence is their own films, including Sud Narodov Judgment of the People The Nuremberg Trials (USHMM RG-60.0579, RG-60.0580)

3) Raye Farr may or may not have written what Cole reports in 1996, but there's no reason to doubt that she believed the footage was authentic in 2005 after seeing the Schulberg docs. Yet Cole's 2015 account omits Farr's change of mind after seeing the Schulberg docs. Cole dishonestly implies she was dissembling "ten years later" after 1996.

4) Timeline:

Feb 18, 1946 USSR film screened at Nuremberg. No Mogilev footage faked for this film.

May 24, 1947 Soviet Nuremberg film (as above) released in USA by Artkino Pictures

May 26, 1947 NYT Review of Soviet film

June 11, 1947 Article in Variety states that the Soviets have scooped the US on their Nuremberg film

June 18, 1947 Schulberg To: Dr. Goldschmidt, Memo, footage found in your house depicts gas chamber, vital evidence

November 21, 1948 Schulberg's film screened in Stuttgart

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Deniers at the IWM as well as the USHMM! I hope you'll address this, Hans.

The following was written by the former Project Director of the IWM permanent Holocaust exhibition, presently the Head of Research at Imperial War Museums:


Another rarely seen piece of film - distressing in the extreme - was shown to us during a research trip to the USHMM. The film purported to show an early gas van in operation. There was a certain amount of debate over this, and the questions were raised: 'was this a post-war reconstruction?'; 'what exactly was its provenance?'[1] Our caption made it clear that its provenance was uncertain, but it provided a unique visual record of the steps taken towards industrial killing.

1. The film is purported to have been shot in Mogilev, Belarus. One historian at the IWM who is suspicious as to the authenticity of the film suggests it may have been 'mocked up' or assembled after the war by the East German state-sponsored film company DEFA (Deutsche Film Aktiengesellschaft). DEFA was inaugurated in May 1946 in the former Ufa studios at Neubabelsberg, near Berlin, and thus operated in the Soviet Zone of Occupation.



Suzanne Bardgett, "Film and the making of the Imperial War Museum's Holocaust Exhibition" in Toby Haggith, Joanna Newman [eds], Holocaust and the Moving Image: Representations in Film and Television Since Representations in Film and Television Since 1933, London: Wallflower Press, 2005, p.22 & p.25.

Raye "I write not as a historian, which I am not" Farr also contributed an article to this book.

Sergey Romanov said...

We now know it was made where it was supposed to have been made (the Mogilev hospital) and we know the clear chain of provenance without any Soviet involvement -> the film is authentic, old doubts based on an incomplete information notwithstanding.

A researcher or two saying stupid shit some time ago does not excuse the Bunny's delusion today in the slightest.

Jonathan Harrison said...

Raye "I write not as a historian, which I am not"

Which rather weakens any citation of her as an authority on fakes in 1996.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

JH Which rather weakens any citation of her as an authority on fakes in 1996.

"In several faxes, Farr told me that the experts she spoke with believed the 'gassing' footage was a Soviet fake, staged to use against the Germans at the Nuremberg trial." - Cole, p.105. [Obvs. the IMT bit is clearly wrong, but I don't quote-mine]

She might not be a historian but she still held the position at the USHMM that she did, and Cole says she was just passing on the opinions of experts she'd consulted. The IWM's Bardgett mentions one of their historians having developed a theory on who might have faked it.

Farr was the non-historian, along with fellow non-historian Ronny Loewy, who in 2003 discovered the Schulberg to Goldschimdt memo that supposedly authenticates the footage. That was all missed by SR in his googling, er, research, for his parts to this series. Reading his contributions people are led to believe he was the first to notice the significance of the memo [which none of you have even seen nor can you quote a sentence from]!

Cole said Farr's experts thought it was fake; Bardgett talks about working with Farr in the late 90s and stated that it was considered a likely fake and that the nascent IWM Holo. Exh. made allowances for it being fake.

Maybe you lot can find other pre-SS memo discovery opinions yourselves, but so far you've got the USHMM & IWM believing it was probably fake, and the only one believing it authentic; that being the notorious Auschwitz denier David Cole then believed to be dead!


The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

NT: ... given his business it would make considerable sense if Goldschmidt kept onto the film, after all he discovered it.

Why, he worked in distribution not film-making? If he intended to profit from it he never did.

Why do you think the US prosecution never used it at the NMT EG trial, considering that was it started just 3 months after its allegedly discovery? We know for a fact EM 108 was submitted to the trial [NO-3156].



NT: You've argued yourself out of your suspicion, it seems, so we can abandon this line of unreasoning.

No, I was just responding in kind. The point stands; the exclusion of further Mogilev footage by SS suggests that it was unsuitable for inclusion, and it wasn't unsuitable because it was too disturbing, SS included plenty of footage of corpses in N:ILfT.


NT: The whereabouts of that footage is currently unknown. BFD.

You wish it was irrelevant! Its absence was certainly one of the contributing reasons to experts from the USHMM and IWM suspecting the footage to be a Soviet fraud.


NT: Point still stands: Schulberg's letter would very likely give further pointers about the discovery of the film. Schulberg's papers and maybe whatever remained in OMGUS files would be recommended ports of call for anyone exploring this in a full-scale research project. Which I am not.

I doubt it it would considering the USHMM has known of the SS to GS memo for 13 years already.

_____________________________


NT: Not typing out the rest. The 3 in the heading is rather unclear, it could almost be a 5.

You could just scan and post the whole thing, but thanks for the excerpts. Do you have the witnesses statements too? How do the descriptions of the gassings in them and the report match up with the footage? I see USSR-38 [Minsk] mentions that gas vans were hooked up to bathhouses to make jerry-rigged HGCs [IMT vol.7 p.575].


NT: But we're discussing a film made by a department of OMGUS, the US occupation authorities. "The Allies" didn't just exchange everything willy-nilly.

Never said or thought they did. Goldschimdt had Soviet contacts in the movie business, and his relation Gilbert de Goldschmidt was working for the Americans making films and later became the long-term collaborator of Stuart Shulberg. Rudolf Goldschimidt had all the contacts he needed to arrange for a reenactment to be filmed.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...


NT: The western Allies did not have the Mogilev ChGK report in the 1940s; they had very little to go on regarding this case, it was really opened up with the Ludwigsburg investigations of Widmann, Bradfisch and others in the late 1950s/1960s. That's the main focus of Hans's series.

The report wasn't critical for westerners in post-war Germany documenting nazi crimes to learn of the Mogilev gassings and then put 2 and 2 together to learn Nebe's EG B committed it. You told me about the gassings being mentioned at the Minsk trial in January 1946; Soviet film makers were there to record that [you can find footage on youtube], footage from the trial would have been shown in newsreels in German cinemas, certainly in the Soviet-zone.

Decades before Widmann's testimony about his and Nebe's experiments with explosives and gas became a compulsory feature in studies on NS gassings, a Jewish NY newspaper published the basics of the story as told by Bach-Zelewski, but we don't know how they got hold of it. B-Z was held at Nuremberg to at least October 1947 when he testified at the RuSHA trial, and he evidently gave off the record statements to someone.


NT: How about you start specifying *which* "Soviets" you are talking about.

Sure. But generally I'm either referring to the Soviets authorities in Belarus conducting the Minsk trial or Goldschimdt's contacts in Sovexportfilm.


NT: All of these entities in Belorussia and Moscow likely possessed some as yet unspecified awareness of Nebe as commander of Einsatzgruppe B, but you've yet to show when this consciousness sunk in, or indeed if it did at all by mid-1947.

You must have a wealth of proof in your filing cabinets, docs the Soviets captured in Belarus. But if you insist:

Pokrovsky: Was the Einsatzgruppe B. headed by Nebe, under your command?
Bach-Zelewski: No.
- IMT 7 January 1946, v.4, p.481


NT: There are lots of hoops to jump through before you can construct even a hypothetical Soviet conspiracy scenario. MGB had the captured Nazi records including the RSHA files (now RGVA fond 500). They could probably learn a lot about Nebe from those records, but would they know the location of his flat from such sources? Would they care?

I'm not constructing a Soviet conspiracy scenario. I doubt that even the local Belarussian-Soviet authorities were any further involved that granting permission for filming at the hospital, if they were even asked. Goldschimdt or perhaps S. Schulberg came up with the idea after the former moved into Nebe's old house. They could have known of the gassings from coverage or talk of the Minsk trial, and Nebe's experiments from the on and off the record testimony of B-Z. Goldschimdt just used his contacts with Sovexportfilm to get the filming done, probably greasing the wheels with bribes.


NT: No, you need positive evidence - like an actual document - to support such a claim, not a double negative mere possibility. You have presented no evidence.

The alleged evidence that the film is genuine wasn't discovered until 2003, and it seems that just 3 people have seen it, Loewy [dead], Farr [was a god send for her personally], and Sandra Schulberg.

Proving that RG did live in Nebe's old house isn't proof the film's genuine, it just proves that story of its discovery isn't impossible.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...


JH: There's no evidence connecting Goldschmidt to a desire or intention to fake a gassing film

Ditto for Hitler and building gas chambers.


JH: The Soviets never put a Mogilev gassing sequence is their own films, including Sud Narodov Judgment of the People The Nuremberg Trials (USHMM RG-60.0579, RG-60.0580)

Irrelevant.


JH: Raye Farr may or may not have written what Cole reports in 1996, but there's no reason to doubt that she believed the footage was authentic in 2005 after seeing the Schulberg docs. Yet Cole's 2015 account omits Farr's change of mind after seeing the Schulberg docs. Cole dishonestly implies she was dissembling "ten years later" after 1996.

Farr obviously did, considering Bardgett thought the same after working with her in the late '90s.

Cole cited [badly] the WP article in his book [but I managed to find it]. Be fair, the article isn't exactly packed with details of the docs that supposedly prove authenticity. He wasn't in possession of all the facts you've been handed.


JH: Timeline: [...]

And your uncited source for all that information:
http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/events/international_law/2012/08/section_of_internationallawattheabas2012annualmeeting/makingofnuremberg_itslessonfortoday.authcheckdam.pdf

None of that rules a forgery in or out.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

The man who sent Gerald Reitlinger stills of the footage, Joseph Zigman, was Shulberg's film editor on N:ILfT.

I've got the 1971 edition, but Reitlinger's "Acknowledgments (From the 1st edition, 1953)" is featured. "Mr. Joseph Zigman, Information Services Division, Office of the US High Commissioner, Germany, sent me stills from what is probably the only cinematographic record of a gas chamber."

_____________________________


BRoI [which none of you have even seen nor can you quote a sentence from]!

Okay, only half right. Sandra S. quotes from the memo in her article, p.21.

Strange SS didn't hand it over to the NMT considering he allegedly recognised its importance.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

The Einsatzgruppe B reported that "863 mentally ill people were specially treated", i.e. killed, in Mogilev up to 9 October 1941 (Activity Report of the Einsatzgruppen no. 108, in Cüppers et al., Die Ereignismeldungen UdSSR 1941, p. 663).

It's 836 in Arad et al., The EG. Reports, p.182.

Hans said...


BRoI:

"It's 836 in Arad et al., The EG. Reports, p.182."

Yes, my typo. Thanks.

Jonathan Harrison said...

How did Goldschmidt pay for the filming; how did he recruit the actors and crew; why did he not distribute the footage to a contact who had a better chance of getting the film made and shown? Why did Goldschmidt just abandon any hope of getting the footage widely known, leaving it to Zigman to send stills to Reitlinger, who did not publish until 1953?

Goldschmidt/Zigman/Russians go to all this effort and then just let the footage dangle in the wind before then apparently allowing the negative to disappear.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

"On the basis of a rough draft script, 58,000 feet of film were selected and shipped to Berlin, where the two-man unit, supplemented by German technicians, set up shop at the old UFA film studio in Tempelhof. The search for film was continued from Berlin although, strangely enough, only one strip suitable for inclusion—a 16-mm record of a mobile gas chamber—was uncovered here.

- Stuart Schulberg, Information Bulletin [OMGUS Weekly], June 28, 1949.

http://images.library.wisc.edu/History/EFacs/GerRecon/omg1949n164/reference/history.omg1949n164.schulbergdocumentary.pdf

Sergey Romanov said...

Yawn.

Bunny's droppings aside, the authenticity of the film has already been confirmed in the first two postings in the series, to which I refer the readers.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...


The American historian Erik Barnouw interviewed Stuart Schulberg for his study first published in 1974:

The advancing American, Russian, British, and French troops had special evidence-gathering units. In the American forces these were OSS (Office of Strategic Services) teams, usually consisting of a cameraman, a German interpreter, and an information specialist. Film evidence came to them from many sources, often in fragments. A house that had been occupied by a Nazi officer yielded some 8mm reels—"home movies" that, it turned out, included footage of a 1941 episode in Stuttgart in which a dozen or more Jews were pulled from their homes, beaten, stripped, and dragged by their hair through the street—a pogrom witnessed without interference by bystanders. The sequence lasted a minute and a half. By reproducing each frame, the action was slowed to make a three-minute sequence. In this form it was used at the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders. [2]

Allied research teams were astonished at the care with which Germans had documented their crimes and preserved the record. Outside Munich a tank unit found a villa that had been used by Heinrich Himmler; a 35mm projector was threaded and ready to show a reel of medical experiments carried on in prison camps. In the home of an eastern front veteran, searchers found a sequence apparently filmed as a demonstration of resourcefulness. Troopers were shown leading a man and a boy, half starved, into a small blockhouse. The camera then showed the troopers arranging a hose from an automobile exhaust to a small aperture in the wall, and starting the motor.


2. Interview, Stuart Schulberg.

- Erik Barnouw, Documentary: A History of the Non-fiction Film, Oxford University Press, 1993 [2nd revised edition; original 1974], p. 173 & 356.



The "Stuttgart" film is actually footage of the Lviv pogrom shot on c.1 July 1941. The footage is in N:ILfT and it was submitted to the IMT as 3052-PS on 13 December 1945 [Vol. 2, pp.536-537].

This makes it all the stranger that "Nebe's film" was never submitted as evidence at the EG trial.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Chief prosecutor Ferencz attempted to submit the Soviet film The Atrocities by the German Fascist Invaders in the U.S.S.R [USSR 81] as evidence at the beginning of the NMT EG trial, but it was refused by Judge Musmmano because it did not implicate any of the defendants individually or directly. [H. Earl, The Nuremberg SS-Einsatzgruppen Trial 1945-1958, p.240; Earl confused it for the US film 2430-PS in his footnote regarding reactions of the defendants at the IMT].

Ferencz would certainly have submitted footage found in the house of former EG B chief had he been aware of it. It depicts a crime mentioned in EM 108 [N0-3156], a document that Ferencz used specifically in the prosecution's case against Eugen Steimle for his role as chief of SK 7a [NMT vol.4, p.359].

Stuart Shulberg was a private citizen when "Nebe's film" was discovered, but he had been given a role in the N:ILfT by the War Department's chief of Film & Theatre Section. When the film was "discovered" in June '47, Schulberg and Zigman were in the process of lobbying the OMGUS to launch a new documentary section. The OMGUS agreed, and on August 20, 1947, Schulberg became head of the OMGUS Documentary Film Unit. [Tom Mascaro, Into the Fray, pp.10-11].

It seems impossible that a former OSS evidence collector, then employed by the OMGUS, would not have passed on Nebe's film to the Nuremberg prosecutors if it was genuine.

Sergey Romanov said...

Sigh, more desperate, irrelevant spam.

This is your regular reminder that the authenticity of the film has already been confirmed in the first two postings in this series, to which any curious readers are hereby referred.

Jonathan Harrison said...

BrOI: "[H. Earl, The Nuremberg SS-Einsatzgruppen Trial 1945-1958, p.240; Earl confused it for the US film 2430-PS in his footnote regarding reactions of the defendants at the IMT]."

Earl is a she.

Jonathan Harrison said...

Ferencz: "F: The prosecution rested its case after two days. We had all the proof, all their own reports."

http://www.benferencz.org/assets/prosecutorjudge.pdf

Nathan said...

BROI:Chief prosecutor Ferencz attempted to submit the Soviet film The Atrocities by the German Fascist Invaders in the U.S.S.R [USSR 81] as evidence at the beginning of the NMT EG trial, but it was refused by Judge Musmmano

Jews didn't control the US back then, just like now. Since they didn't control the US, they had no opportunity to "manufacture" the hoax. Therefore, the "hoax" never happened.

It's worth mentioning that this is the same prosecutor Ferencz who explicitly said that the US allowed former Einsatzgruppen to go free most of the time, and that the few instances of torture were exceptions rather than the rule. Ferencz's statements make it clear that "manufacturing" evidence - like the videos the rabbit bitches about- was not on the US's priorities. This significantly reduces the odds of any videos being "staged", and shows the rabbit to be ignorant of the broader US policy during the immediate postwar period.

Sergey Romanov said...

Note how Bunny can't make a coherent argument so is reduced to spamming trivia.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

>>> Earl is a she.

I hope she'll forgive the assumption.


>>> Ferencz: "F: The prosecution rested its case after two days."

That's literally accurate [NMT 4:369]. But if he had all the proof they needed, why did Ferencz attempt to submit the Soviet film USSR-81?

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Sandra Schulberg Interview
30 September 2010

"Well, actually the first person who came from Germany to have a look [at her father's papers] was Ronny Loewy, head of the cinematography of the Holocaust project at the Deutsches Filminstitut in Frankfurt.

I learnt from meeting him in Berlin in 2004, that the he is really an expert on the film. And it was very strange to meet someone who knew really much more about my father's film than I did.

Ronnie said he was coming to the United States and would it be possible for him to look at these papers and I said 'of course'.

When he came a few months later in I think it was the spring or early summer of 2004—by that time I had put a number of the papers into notebooks, and he began to look through the notebooks and he said that 'these are really important papers. I don't think that people know that... have seen these papers.'

And he urged me to contact Raye Farr who is the director of the Spielberg film and video archive at the Holocaust museum in Washington.

[footage cut]

The next thing I knew I got a phone call from her asking if she could come with one of her archivists and look at the same paper.

When Raye Farr came with her colleague Leslie Swift, they confirmed that there were documents in these myriad files that were of real historical interest.

And they were both particularly excited to find a letter about the Mogilev footage, which Ronny Loewy had actually tipped them off about. And that turned out to be quite a historic document."

[footage cut]

Nicholas Terry said...

BRoI: "I'm not constructing a Soviet conspiracy scenario. I doubt that even the local Belarussian-Soviet authorities were any further involved that granting permission for filming at the hospital, if they were even asked. Goldschimdt or perhaps S. Schulberg came up with the idea after the former moved into Nebe's old house. They could have known of the gassings from coverage or talk of the Minsk trial, and Nebe's experiments from the on and off the record testimony of B-Z. Goldschimdt just used his contacts with Sovexportfilm to get the filming done, probably greasing the wheels with bribes."

OK, so *that's* your scenario. Riiiigght. Hans is holding you to it for a forthcoming blog post about all the suspicions and forgery allegations. You still don't have any evidence to prove your CT, but we'll discuss that further when the new post appears.

Since there will be a new post in this series very shortly, this discussion thread is closed; further comments from anyone other than HC team members will not be approved.

Jonathan Harrison said...

I will just tidy up one point to close my contribution to this thread.

BROI: Chief prosecutor Ferencz attempted to submit the Soviet film The Atrocities by the German Fascist Invaders in the U.S.S.R [USSR 81] as evidence at the beginning of the NMT EG trial, but it was refused by Judge Musmmano.

But this refusal occurred while a witness was on the stand, not in earlier hearings about submissions of evidence, as this extract (p.113) makes clear:

* The prosecution offered a fllm into evidence aa Document NO. U. S. S. R.-81. Prosecution Exhibit 173. Counsel for the defendants Naumann and Seibert objected to the showing of the film. and pointed out that it was without probative value. After seeing the film, the Tribunal sustained defense counel's objection. (Tr. P. 257.)

https://www.phdn.org/archives/www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/genocide/Einsatz2.htm

It would therefore be possible, following BroI's scenario, that Ferencz had Schulberg's film up his sleeve for later in the trial but that this exchange pre-empted it. Or it could be that Ferencz already knew that Steimle would not deny GV use. Finally, as the Mogilev footage was of an experiment not an Einsatzgruppen action, its evidential value against the defendants could arguably only be indirect, and defence could object.

Sergey Romanov said...

Note that not in a single instance of his trivia spamming has Bunny made a single coherent argument. And he can't, since the authenticity of the film has been confirmed in the first 2 posts of this series.

The "Soviet" hypothesis doesn't really need any further scrutiny because it's absurd on its face in light of the new evidence, but it will, nevertheless, be debunked, too, in a forthcoming post.