Saturday, July 09, 2016

Mattogno and Father Patrick Desbois (1)

Mattogno and Father Patrick Desbois (1)
Mattogno and Father Patrick Desbois (2)
Mattogno and Father Patrick Desbois (3)
Mattogno and Father Patrick Desbois (4)
Mattogno and Father Patrick Desbois (5)

In chapter 13 of Mattogno, Graf and Kues’ magnum opus[1], with the self-descriptive title "Asinine, Judeophantic Arrogance", Mattogno (p. 1480) brags about his "devastating article “Patrick Desbois e le ‘fosse comuni’ di Ebrei in Ucraina” (Patrick Desbois and the ‘mass graves’ of Jews in Ukraine”)", suggesting that it was not cited in the HC critique of Mattogno, Graf and Kues[2] because the critique’s authors (who he refers to as the "plagiarist bloggers") "were probably unable to devise any deception in order to counter my essay and to sustain this shooting aspect of the Holocaust, whose significance rises in proportion to the constant and inescapable decrease of the historiographic weight of its gassing aspect".

In this blog series, I will show that the mentioned article is devastating indeed – for the credibility of its author. Or better, that it would be devastating for Mattogno’s credibility if he had any such left.

Mattogno’s 2009 article about Desbois slumbered in its original Italian version on "Revisionist" websites like the one referred to by Mattogno[3], until an English translation was published in "Volume 7, Number 3, Fall 2015" of "Inconvenient History", a "Revisionist" journal that counts Mattogno and other "Revisionist" celebrities among its "columnists"[4]. The translator is Carlos Porter, a "respected scholar" whose latest contribution to historical scholarship consisted in calling for the mass extermination of refugees entering Europe[5].

Mattogno starts out by referring to an article in a French literary journal[6] that mentions criticisms leveled against Desbois’ book Porteur de memoires[7] and its author, as well as Desbois’ response to such criticisms, namely the following:
• One of the journal’s authors, Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine, publicly distanced herself (in a broadcast in which Desbois refused to participate) from her earlier praise of Desbois’ book, and was thereupon excluded from a seminar sponsored by Sorbonne University with historian Edouard Husson and Father Desbois in the fall of 2008.
• Georges Bensoussan, chief editor of the Revue d'histoire de la Shoah, called Desbois’ expression "Shoah par balles" a form of "expression marketing" and a "stupidity" ("niaiserie"), on grounds that "there was not a Shoah by gas and a Shoah by bullets, but one single Shoah, carried out by countless killing methods, including killing people with blade weapons, throwing them into wells, immuring them alive, etc."[8].
• The book’s subtitle "A priest reveals the Shoah by bullets" ("Un prêtre révèle la Shoah par balles") presents Desbois as a pioneer who uncovered hitherto unknown facts, and there are no references in the book’s text to previous works about Nazi mobile killing operations in Eastern Europe, such as the large parts of Raul Hilberg’s The Destruction of the European Jews dedicated to this subject (referred to by Claude Lanzmann, the maker of the Shoah documentary, in a comment to Desbois book).
• Desbois invoked a misunderstanding and pointed out that he is not a historian, an argument seconded by Anne-Marie Revcolevschi, general director of the Fondation pour la mémoire de la Shoah, who argued that Desbois’ undertaking is that of a priest and he is entitled to have his own methodology, which differs from that of university professors.
• A photographer by the name of Guillaume Ribot pointed out to Desbois that there were numerous memorials around pits pertaining to Nazi killing sites, which belies the impression created by Desbois that the vast majority of pits had been hitherto ignored. While not calling into question the relevance of Desbois’ research, Ribot deplores what he calls the "small compromises with truth" ("petits arrangements avec la vérité") that, according to him, led Desbois to exaggerate the magnitude of his discoveries.
• Desbois on his part insisted that his research has the merit of showing that the existing memorials were not always erected at the place where the killing actually took place and of pointing out the secondary, hitherto unknown killing sites, demonstrating that the killing was far more dispersed than had been previously assumed.
• Whereas this endeavor was not criticized by anyone, some deplored that Desbois’ discoveries were accompanied by what they consider approximations. Such was the case with the massacre that took place at Busk on May 21st, 1943. On his blog historian Edouard Husson wrote that Father Desbois’ inquiry made it possible to establish that over 1,500 Jews were killed on site, thereby revising the previous notion that all Jews of Busk had been deported to Bełżec extermination camp. However, this on site killing has been known for sixty years, as pointed out by Alexander Kruglov in a book (The Losses Suffered by Ukrainian Jews, 1941-1944) published in 2005.
• Whereas researchers have increasingly become concerned with the precise role that local populations played in the mass killing of Jews, namely their degree of complicity with the Nazis and their auxiliaries, Desbois’ research completely ignored this issue, as pointed out by historians Christian Ingrao and Jean Solchany. It being known that Ukrainians provided the largest contingent of extermination camp guards, Claude Lanzmann considered this omission quite embarrassing. The aforementioned Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine claimed that she was warned against addressing this subject towards "our nice Ukrainian witnesses" ("nos braves témoins ukrainiens"), on grounds that she had no right to do so and might additionally scare them away. Desbois countered that the issue of complicity was not his priority, which lies in reconstructing the crimes scenes in order to find out where the dead are.
• Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine considered it a waste to spend so much many without asking "the essential questions", and doubted the scholarly value of interviews that she deemed to have been conducted in a climate of intimidation due to the presence of an armed bodyguard in a camouflage suit. The insinuation that the witnesses were somehow frightened led Desbois to lose his complacency, claim that he was a victim of calumny and point out that one could not on the one hand complain that he avoided questions which might upset the witnesses and on the other claim that he frightened them.

The article ends with the remark that doubts about the magnitude and interest of the finds made by Desbois’ team might be dissipated when Desbois’ archives would be easily accessible. So far this had not been the case as told to the journal by several researchers who claimed an evasive attitude on the part of Desbois, with meetings cancelled at the last minute and phone calls left unanswered. Desbois had promised to end this state of affairs and that his archives would be opened to researchers as of 15 October 2009.

Some of the aforementioned criticism comes across as over the top, namely Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine’s claim of witness intimidation, which – as Desbois correctly pointed out – contradicts her complaint that he avoided questions about complicity in the killings that might make the witnesses feel uneasy or anger them. Other criticism, namely that of Desbois’ self-promotion and his failing to duly credit the work of other researchers, is arguably pertinent and also expressed in a review of the German translation of his book[9].

However, what is not borne out by any of this criticism is the conclusion Mattogno derived, in his "devastating" article, from the parts of the Le Monde des Livres - article that he quoted or rendered because he thought they helped his argument – the conclusion that Desbois "has, for his research, adopted a methodology based, not on scholarly standards, but, rather, on religious faith".

Said conclusion, which carries a distinct element of self-projection (considering that all of Mattogno’s research is aimed at vindicating preconceived notions to which he clings with a quasi-religious fervor, and accordingly far away from living up to scholarly standards) is especially not supported, contrary to the impression Mattogno tries to create, by Anne-Marie Revcolevschi’s remark that Desbois’ undertaking is that of a priest and not that of a historian, and that he is entitled to have his own methodology, which differs from that of university professors. For the context of this remark shows that the difference in methodology Revcolevschi was referring to concerned not the methods used to establish or reconstruct historical events, but the academic practice of referring to previous works about the subject matter of one’s research, which Desbois’ had been accused of not following. Failure to credit previous researchers in the same field does not mean, however, that Desbois has a faith-based approach to the subject matter of his research. As we shall see in this series, Desbois’ approach consists in correlating information from various sources independent of each other so as to reach conclusions that are reasonably warranted by such correlation, which is essentially what historians also do – and what Mattogno does not.

Most of the next section of Mattogno’s article, headed "Aktion 1005 and "Negationism"", is dedicated to Mattogno’s complaining that "negationism" is "a term invented by the defenders of traditional Holocaust lore to discredit revisionism" and that "the only real negationism is that professed by those who, out of intolerance, deny other people's right to freedom of expression, denying, out of pseudo-religious obtuseness and bad faith, the very foundations of historiographical and scholarly methodology itself". The obvious self-projection in the accusation of "pseudo-religious obtuseness and bad faith" aside, Mattogno seems to be maintaining that only "Revisionists" like himself are entitled to freedom of expression, whereas someone’s calling the practice of Mattogno et al "negationism", or otherwise pointing out that it has little if anything to do with revisionism in the proper sense of the term, means denying those poor "Revisionists" that freedom. Apparently it hasn’t dawned on the "Revisionist" movement’s flagship that freedom of expression works both ways, entailing both the right of "Revisionists" to express their offensive falsehoods and the right of others to express what they think of such falsehoods.

As to "historiographical and scholarly methodology itself", the utterances that precede his complaints are further proof of how little Mattogno knows about this methodology, or how little it means to him, as he refers to the "so-called" Aktion 1005, an "alleged" code word for an operation intended to erase the physical traces of Nazi mass murder in occupied Europe. As readers of Sergey Romanov’s related blogs[10] may remember, Mattogno maintains that there is no documentary evidence to Aktion 1005 having been planned let alone undertaken, and has gone as far as claiming that the designation "1005" was invented by the Soviets. Meanwhile, researchers who take scholarly methodology seriously have, according to the latest of Sergey’s aforementioned blogs, identified 21 German wartime documents explicitly referring to the designation 1005, of which 7 have been published on this blog site. One of these published documents is of particular interest in the context of Mattogno’s "devastating" article, as we shall see below.

Mattogno returns to Aktion 1005 later in that article, producing one of his staple mantras in response to Desbois’ assertion that in this operation the Third Reich entrusted the destruction of the traces of its victims to "highly qualified, trained personnel":
This is a rather strange thing to say about Blobel, who had absolutely no competence in the field of cremation. As I have remarked above, at the time, according to Holocaust historiography, the Topf & Söhne company, the most important German builder of crematory ovens at the time, and its head engineer, Kurt Prüfer, an extremely highly qualified specialist in cremation, rendered their services at Auschwitz, concurrently with the extermination of the Jews. Notwithstanding this fact, the SS, for the huge task of cremating hundreds of thousands of bodies, instead of consulting real cremation specialists — particularly Prüfer himself or his colleague, Fritz Sander, certified engineer and designer, in October 1942, of a "Crematory furnace for bodies, capable of continuous functioning and intended for mass use" (Kontinuierlich arbeitender Leichen- Verbrennungsofen für Massenbetrieb),52 is said to have had recourse to a poor semi-drunken derelict, who, as Desbois himself remarks, had "never even studied architecture," as he later declared at Nuremberg during the Einsatzgruppen trial, but had simply attended a "state technical school at Barmen-Eberfeld, where he began a half-year [course of study], during the winter of 1913-1914, before joining the army."

The above showpiece of Mattognian ill-reasoning has been discussed in a recent blog of the "Mattogno’s Cremation Encyclopedia" series[11], where I pointed out the reasons why Blobel and not Prüfer and/or Sander had been put in charge of Operation 1005. First of all, Blobel was a member of the SS, whereas Prüfer and Sander were civilian engineers. Second, what Prüfer and Sander were specialized in was the building of cremation ovens, and it would hardly have been expedient, let alone cost-effective, to set up cremation ovens engineered by these "real cremation specialists" at the many sites where Aktion 1005 was meant to be carried out. When large numbers of corpses or carcasses have to be disposed of within a short time, makeshift open-air incineration methods (which can be set up on site rather quickly and using easy to procure materials) are to be preferred over specially built cremation ovens (at least when such don’t exist already but have to be ordered, engineered and built first), which is why, for instance, the former and not the latter were used to dispose of mass mortality during the 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease Epidemic in the UK. There’s no reason to assume that builders of cremation ovens would have come up with better open-air incineration methods than those that were eventually applied with success at a large number of places (including Dresden after the Allied bombing on 13/14 February 1945), and besides those builders had their hands full designing and building cremation ovens for concentration camps.

The Prüfer-Sander mantra is followed by what can be considered Mattogno’s crowning achievement (at least in his "devastating" attack on Father Patrick Desbois) regarding Operation 1005, as he delights his audience by stomping his feet as follows:
Desbois, incredibly, adds:
Aktion 1005 was kept secret, the SS communicated with Berlin in code: the number of clouds indicated that of the re-opened graves, and the quantity of rain indicated the number of bodies that had been burned (p. 201).

Where did Desbois ever get this poppycock? From some senile "eyewitness"? What rubbish!

Mattogno is familiar with the work of a German researcher by the name of Jens Hoffmann, in whose book about Aktion 1005 the use of meteorological code words is mentioned on several occasions[12]. Even if he were not, a little googling would have been sufficient to overcome his ignorance. A search on with the terms "Aktion 1005" and "Wolken" (German for clouds) turns up as first result a link to an article in Germany’s main weekly magazine[13] discussing trials against several former members of the SS or police who had been involved in Aktion 1005 and been charged with the murder of forced laborers involved in the cremation of the corpses: Max Krahner, Otto Goldapp, Otto Drews, Hans Sohns, Fritz Zietlow, Walter Ernst Helfsgott, Fritz Kirstein. Regarding Sohns, the article contains the following information:
Mit Pickeln und Schaufeln, aber auch mit Baggern ließ Sohns die Massengräber öffnen. ermittelte die Staatsanwaltschaft. Er selber kontrollierte gelegentlich den Fortgang der Arbeit an Ort und Stelle, er selber gab Befehl, die herbeigezwungenen Totengräber durch Genickschuß zu töten. Nur geschossen hat er selber nicht: jemals seine Versetzung oder Abberufung beantragt auch nicht.
Er war immer bei der Sache, meldete jeweils Vollzug unter Stichwort "Wolkenhöhe" aus den Niederungen der Menschenvernichtung.
Sohns had the mass graves opened with pickaxes and shovels, but also with excavators, according to the public prosecutor’s office’s investigations. He himself occasionally controlled the progress of the work on site, and he himself gave the order to kill the forced grave diggers by shots in the neck. He only didn’t shoot himself; he also never requested a transfer or relief from his post.
He always had things under control, and on each occasion reported accomplishment under the keyword "cloud height" from the hollows of human extermination.

(Emphases added.)

The trial against Sohns et al was held before the Stuttgart Court of Assizes (Landgericht Stuttgart) and ended with the court’s verdict on 13.03.1969, which is included as Verfahren Lfd.Nr.701 in the University of Amsterdam’s Justiz und NS-Verbrechen collection[14] and can be ordered from there. Regarding the use of the code word "Wolkenhöhe" ("cloud height"), the judgment contains the following findings:
Auf der gemeinsamen Grundsatzbesprechung teilte Blobel ferner mit, dass der Abteilung IV des RSHA täglich über die Zahl der beseitigten Leichen berichtet werden müsse. Er fragte die Anwesenden, ob jemand einen vernünftigen Vorschlag zur praktischen Handhabung der Berichtspflicht machen könne. Hierauf schlug Soh. vor, die täglichen Leistungsberichte als "Wettermeldung" zu tarnen. Als "Wolkenhöhe" verschlüsselt konnte die Leichenzahl über Funk oder von einer KdS-Dienststelle aus fernschriftlich unauffällig an den BdS gemeldet werden, der die bei ihm einlaufenden Berichte täglich an das RSHA weiterzuleiten hatte. In der Praxis oblag es später den Teilkommandoführem, also auch dem Angeklagten Zie., die täglichen "Wettermeldungen" abzugeben. Ob Soh. in der Praxis auch in das von ihm inspirierte Berichtswesen eingeschaltet war, ist ungeklärt. […]
Der Angeklagte hat ferner eingeräumt, schon vor Aufnahme der eigentlichen Arbeiten bei der gemeinsamen Grundsatzbesprechung auf entsprechende Frage Blobels vorgeschlagen zu haben, dass - wie das später dann in der Praxis tatsächlich weitgehend durchgeführt wurde - die vom RSHA geforderten täglichen Leistungsberichte als "Wettermeldung" verschlüsselt und die Zahl der verbrannten Leichen mit einer als "Wolkenhöhe" getarnten Zahl durchgegeben werden sollten.
At the joint principle meeting Blobel furthermore informed that Section IV of the RSHA had to be informed about the number of removed corpses on a daily basis. He asked those present if anyone could make a reasonable suggestion about the practical handling of this reporting duty. Thereupon Soh. suggested to mask the daily performance reports as "weather report". Coded as "cloud height", the number of corpses could inconspicuously be reported by radio or by a service of the Commander of Security Police and Security Service (Kommandeur der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD - KdS) per telex to the Head of the Security Police and Security Service (Befehlshaber der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD - BdS), who had to transmit the messages received to the RSHA on a daily basis. In practice the commanders of partial detachments, including the defendant Zie., later had the task of issuing the daily "weather reports". Whether Soh. was also involved in the practice of reporting he had inspired has not been clarified. […]
The defendant furthermore admitted that already before the works proper started he had at the joint principle meeting suggested, in response to a corresponding question by Blobel, that – as was later actually done in practice to a large extent – the daily performance reports required by the RSHA should be coded as "weather reports" and the number of burned corpses should be reported by a number masked as "cloud height".

So instead of the account of "some senile "eyewitness"" derisively suggested by Mattogno we have the deposition of a key participant in Operation 1005 at a trial before a West German court, held according to the defendant-friendly procedural rules of a democratic state, in which defendants were assisted by legal counsel and entitled to deny the charges brought against them and challenge the related evidence as they saw fit.

But it gets even better, for one of the documents quoted by Sergey[15] confirms Sohns’ deposition whereby meteorological code words were used to report the progress of Operation 1005, namely the sixth one[16]:
Einsatz der SK 1005 A und B, GrS-Auftrag RFSS an SS-Staf. Blobel im Raum BdS-Schwarzes Meer nicht möglich. Erfaßte Niederschlagsgebiete nur noch im Raum KdS-Krim. Einsatz dort bei Front- und Bandenlage zZt. untunlich. Transportraum für Gesamtkommando nicht vorhanden. Gerüchteweise verlautet, daß Räumung Krim bevorsteht. Schlage Auflösung beider Kommandos bzw. Einsatz in anderem Raume vor.
Source: excerpt from a secret 28.03.1944 radiogram from SS-Stubaf. Friedrich Hegenscheidt (KdS Schwarzes Meer) to Chef der Sipo und des SD and Einsatzgruppe C Lemberg, Abw. Stab; Barch, B 162/204 ARZ 419/62, Band 1, Bl. 146 as cited in ibid., S. 127. (Note that "Niederschläge" was a code word for buried bodies of the Nazi victims, cf. B 162/3537, Bl. 115.)

(Emphases added.)

"Niederschlag" translates as "rainfall", "Niederschlagsgebiete" translates as "rainfall areas", and the highlighted part of Sergey’s quote translates as "Recorded rainfall areas left only in the area of Commander of Security Police and Security Service Crimea", which in the context of Operation 1005 meant that only in this area there remained mass graves to removed. The report goes on to state that the operation could not be carried out at the time due to the situation at the front and partisan activity, that there were rumors whereby the Crimea was about to be evacuated, and that the dissolution of both detachments (SK 1005 A and B) or their use elsewhere was thus suggested.

The above-mentioned insider witness and documentary evidence makes Mattogno’s derisive remark about the source of Desbois’ reference to the coding of Operation 1005 reports look like the impertinent blather of a charlatan incapable or unwilling to do even the most basic research in the field of his "scholarly" activity, whereas Desbois comes across as someone who did his homework of consulting the available sources of evidence or at least the judgments and/or scholarly literature wherein such sources are mentioned.

But then, who in his right mind still believes that Mattogno’s "scholarship" amounts to anything other than poppycock?

That term also fits Mattogno’s subsequent question why cremations within the scope of Operation 1005 were concealed whereas the shootings had been done "in the light of day". If Mattogno had paused to think a little, it might have occurred to him that the shootings were mostly carried out in 1941/42, at a time when the Nazis hoped to win the war, whereas the exhumation and burning of the victims in Operation 1005 took place in 1943/44, at a time when German forces were in full retreat on the Eastern Front. Thus there was certain logic – to the extent that mass murder can be considered logical at all – in an endeavor to maintain secrecy regarding Operation 1005. However, as pointed out by Desbois[17], the idea that secrecy could be achieved was wishful thinking insofar as "Operation 1005 was doubtless the best known German operation in the immediate neighborhood of the cremation sites during the genocide of the Jews".

Mattogno quite pointlessly chides Desbois for having failed to express an opinion on the "fundamental question" of how many mass graves the Nazis had succeeded in eliminating the traces of, as if Desbois had undertaken to provide a scholarly study of Operation 1005 instead of just briefly narrating, in a chapter that occupies no more than seven pages of his book (which is an autobiographical account and not a work of historiography) [18], this Nazi operation and his encounter with related evidence.

The evidence presented by Desbois regarding Operation 1005, if one is to believe Mattogno, consists of no more than a photo showing "traces of the chicken coop in which the Soviet POWs employed in Aktion 1005 were burned". Mattogno conveniently omits eyewitness evidence to cremations within the scope of Operation 1005 that is presented in Desbois’ book, including the testimonies of two women from Voskresenskoye near Nikolayev, Olga Bitiouk and a woman identified only by her first name, Maria[19]. These two testimonies match in certain details and differ in others, as one would expect of testimonies provided independently of each other. Both witnesses mention the involvement of Soviet prisoners of war who were imprisoned in the local kolkhoze chicken farm, but differ in what concerns the work these prisoners were made to perform: whereas Maria only mentions their being tasked with burning the corpses, Olga holds that the prisoners were also forced to do or take part in the shooting of the Jews. As to the manner in which these prisoners were disposed of, Olga states that they were shot, whereas Maria vividly recalls that they were burned alive inside the chicken farm. While it is improbable that the POWs took part in the shooting as claimed by Olga (this would have implied their being part of collaborator formations like the extermination camps’ Trawniki guards, and be incompatible with the prisoners’ being locked up inside the chicken coop), the prisoners’ being shot and burned alive are not necessarily mutually exclusive propositions. It is possible, even likely, that (similarly to what happened during anti-partisan operations in which whole villages were wiped out together with their inhabitants[20]), the POWs were shot down inside the chicken coop which was then set on fire, and those among them who were merely wounded perished in the flames.

The circumstances surrounding the testimonies provided by Maria (it seems that there was one preceding the transcribed interview on 13 July 2006[21]) are quite interesting in that they belie several conjectures whereby Mattogno tries to discredit testimonies collected by Father Desbois:
How could I forget Maria’s story? She lived in the village of Voskresenskoye, not far from Nikolayev. I arrived in front of Maria’s house with Svetlana. Maria appeared, here plaited hair under a multi-colored scarf, her face covered with tears. Just mentioning what she lived through during the war was unbearable to her. Her husband, dressed in blue overalls, rushed into the courtyard, shouting "I’m going to call the Soviets. I am going to call the police – my wife won’t talk unless the Soviets agree to it."
I have rarely encountered such violence mixed with such suffering. I explained to him that it was only for history, memory, and the archives. Maria managed to contain her sobs: we set up the camera very quickly and she began talking. [22]

So where Mattogno claims that the testimonies were "clearly invalidated by the rumors circulating post war", we have a witness who, decades after the events she narrates, is still emotionally overwhelmed by what she recalls having seen and heard at the time. Where Mattogno claims that witnesses were "heavily influenced by propaganda", we have villagers so isolated from the outside world that in 2006, 15 years after the demise of the Soviet Union, Maria’s husband still believed that "the Soviets" were in charge. It’s unlikely that "propaganda" reached or had much influence on the people in boondocks like Voskresenskoye, whose uniform lives of hard work and poverty were briefly interrupted by the experience of Nazi occupation and atrocities and then resumed their dreary monotony and isolation. The circumstances surrounding Maria’s testimonies also show the absurdity of any insinuations that the witnesses had in any way felt coerced or intimidated. Instead Father Desbois gave Maria and others the opportunity to finally make a clear breast of horrible memories they had carried inside for decades, without anybody to talk to about them because nobody was interested. Where Mattogno, who apparently believes that it is he who sets the standards of evidence whereby historical facts are established, dismissively speaks of "mere" testimonies, what we actually have is historically relevant pieces of a puzzle that can be put together with other pieces independent of them, such as physical traces, documents, perpetrator testimonies and/or testimonies of other witnesses as isolated as Maria, into a consistent narrative of the Nazi genocide of Ukraine’s Jews as it happened in remote places like Voskresenskoye.


[1] The “Extermination Camps” of “Aktion Reinhardt” An Analysis and Refutation of Factitious “Evidence,” Deceptions and Flawed Argumentation of the “Holocaust Controversies” Bloggers, 2013 Castle Hill Publishers, UK, online under [link].
[2] Jonathan Harrison, Roberto Muehlenkamp, Jason Myers, Sergey Romanov, Nicholas Terry, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka. Holocaust Denial and Operation Reinhard. A Critique of the Falsehoods of Mattogno, Graf and Kues, A Holocaust Controversies White Paper, First Edition, December 2011, online i.a. under [link].
[3] See under [link].
[4] See under [link].
[5] See the blog "Holocaust Denier Carlos Porter Wants the Mass Extermination of Refugees" ([link]).
Porter’s original comment can be read under [link].
[6] Thomas Wieder, "Querelle autour du Père Desbois", in Le Monde des Livres, 18.06.2009, online under [link].
[7] Translated into English as The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest's Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
[8] ''Il n'y a pas eu, face à une ''Shoah par gaz'', une Shoah par balles''. Mais une seule Shoah, avec des méthodes de tueries innombrables: on a aussi tué des gens à l'arme blanche, on les a jetés dans des puits, emmurés vivants, etc."
[9] Jan Süselbeck, ''Kontinent der Vernichtung'', rezensionsforum, October 2009 ([link], translation under [link]). In fairness, it should be mentioned that while Desbois’ book is indeed missing a bibliography and references to previous or contemporary work on site by others, it contains very favorable mentions of historians Martin Dean, Édouard Husson and Dieter Pohl (Holocaust by Bullets, pp. 103f.). Husson and Pohl are members of the Scientific Committee of Yahad in Unum, see under [link].
[10] ''That's why it is denial, not revisionism. Part I: Deniers on Sonderkommando 1005'' ([link]); ''Once More, With Feeling: Deniers And Aktion 1005, 10 Years Later''; ([link]); "A short update on Mattogno and Aktion 1005" ([link]); ''Another 1005 mini-update'' ([link]).
[11] "Mattogno’s Cremation Encyclopedia (Part 1, Section 2a)" ([link]).
[12] Jens Hoffmann, "Das kann man nicht erzählen." »Aktion 1005« - Wie die Nazis die Spuren ihrer Massenmorde in Osteuropa beseitigten,, 2008 KKV konkret Hamburg, pp. 108, 127 and 157f.
[13] "Wolkenhöhe", in: Der Spiegel, 30.09.1968 ([link]).
[14] A list of all West German judgments in the collection, sorted by Lfd.Nr. (Case Nr.), is available under [link]. English version: [link]
[15] This document is quoted in Hoffmann, as note 12, p. 127. On page 108 Hoffmann refers to Sohns’ suggestion at the meeting with Blobel mentioned in the Stuttgart Court’s judgment. On page 158 he quotes at length from the deposition made on 24.9.1967 by Walter Meyer, who during the war had handled the radio station of Sonderkommando 7b. Meyer recalled having been upset about receiving numerous coded "weather reports" stating a "Wolkenhöhe" (cloud height) followed by a figure, which he had considered completely superfluous until someone informed him that the "weather reports" were actually reports about the digging up of mass graves.
[16] "Once More, With Feeling: Deniers And Aktion 1005, 10 Years Later" ([link]).
[17] Holocaust by Bullets, p. 154.
[18] As pointed out in Süselbeck’s review (note 9).
[19] Holocaust by Bullets, pp. 147-151 and 156-159. The testimonies are transcribed in the reference library thread "Father Patrick Desbois, "The Holocaust by Bullets"" ([link]).
[20] See Christian Gerlach, Kalkulierte Morde, pp. 914f., 964f., translations in the reference library thread "The Nazi struggle against Soviet partisans" ([link]).
[21] Holocaust by Bullets, pp. 156-159.
[22] As above, pp. 155-156. A picture of Maria as she recalls the burning of the POWs inside the chicken coop is included in the book’s photo section.


  1. > identified 21 German wartime documents explicitly referring to the designation 1005

    Already 22, please see the update at

  2. Re: Wolkenhöhe - *numerous* witnesses confirmed this, I have all the necessary references, which I will post in the future.

  3. I'm starting to think that Mattogno may have been making a good portion of this up off of the top of his head. Great job Roberto.

    And all the best with the game tomorrow.

  4. Thanks for the article, Mattogono shoots himself in the foot again.

  5. Jeff, your last comment was deleted. Please moderate your language.

  6. I guess I'm gonna have to start using words like "shucks" and "darnet" from here on out..........

  7. I know it's hard not to use harsh words to express the contempt that folks like Mattogno inspire, but please try to keep the language above their level.

  8. Mattogno deflects the finding of German bullet casings by saying that the sardine packing method used Russian bullets. However sardine packing is associated specifically with Jeckeln, and the testimony relied upon by Mattogno concerns Jeckeln in Latvia, whereas Desbois found the casings in the Lvivska region of Galicia, which was completely separate from Jeckeln and his methods, unless Mattogno can show otherwise. Moreover Mattogno usually says West Germany trials are weak evidence yet here he puts trials above physical evidence.

  9. The physical evidence Mattogno denies



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