Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mattogno's Bunker 5 Follies.

"Bunker 5" was a name given in 1944 to the gas chamber complex earlier known as "Bunker 2". One plausible hypothesis states that "5" in the name meant the 5th extermination complex after the 4 Birkenau crematoria (that, according to one of the two numbering systems in use, were numbered from 1 to 4).

In The Bunkers of Auschwitz (2004) Carlo Mattogno claims following about the origin of the designation "Bunker 5":
(p. 109:) Paisikovic’s only contribution to the propaganda story is one of terminology: “Bunker V,” the alleged new designation of ‘Bunker 2’ in 1944, was coined by R. Höß but had remained totally unnoticed.374 This designation, later picked up by Filip Müller, was used after that only by Jean-Claude Pressac, who coined the new term “Bunker 2/V.”
374 The designation “Bunker V” is unknown even to Franciszek Piper. Cf. his paper “Bunkry – prowizoryczne komory gazowe,” in: various authors, Auschwitz 1940-1945…, op. cit. (note 2), vol. III, Zaglada, pp. 113-122. 
(p. 143:) The most curious aspect of this deposition is the designation “Bunker 5”. As I have indicated above, this designation was invented by Rudolf Höß, who wrote that Bunker 2 was “later” – that is in 1944 – called “Bunker V.” This is the genesis of the story (initially concocted by D. Paisikovic) of the redesignation of the alleged gassing installation as “Bunker 5” when it was reactivated in 1944 (if we interpret R. Höß’ adverb “später” (later) in this way).
Mußfeldt was of course aware of the charges against him and hence of the main testimonies assembled by Jan Sehn in the preceding years. However, Mußfeldt misunderstood this point when he asserted that ‘Bunker 2’ was called “Bunker 5” as early as February of 1943. Such a change, for 1943, is even more mysterious than for 1944.

(p. 175): 585 As I have already mentioned, Piper was unaware of the designation “Bunker V” invented by R. Höß and picked up by D. Paisikovic and F. Müller, and of “Bunker 2/V” as coined by Pressac. 
First let's deal with a minor matter: no, there's nothing "curious" or "mysterious" about Mußfeldt calling Bunker 2 "Bunker 5" (a designation that Bunker 2 received only in 1944). It would only have been curious  had Mußfeldt later not served in Auschwitz. More precisely, he supervised the crematoria Sonderkommandos in 1944 and thus was obviously more familiar with the extermination installations as they were in 1944. From his experience he knew Bunker 2 mainly (or even exclusively) as Bunker 5. Hence him calling Bunker 2 "Bunker 5" when describing events of 1943, while slightly inaccurate, is nevertheless completely normal and even expected. Carping on this should be below even Mattogno.

More interesting is Mattogno's claim that it was Höß who invented the designation. What evidence is there that he did? Mattogno does not cite any. He merely assumes that a) the Bunker itself is an invention; b) the term did not appear in any sources earlier than Höß' testimonies. Obviously, he failed to demonstrate both points, so the claim was basically concocted out of thin air.

But it gets better: Mattogno, that alleged "revisionist" "expert" on Auschwitz, was apparently unaware of the contents of the Broad report of 13.07.1945, namely of this sentence:
Also one of the white farmhouses was reactivated. It was named "Bunker 5" and Moll did his bloody deeds there.
Broad's report is a famous and widely available source. It is also much earlier than Höß' report cited by Mattogno. How come Mattogno failed to mention it? Just another example of his ignorance.

There is no doubt that if Mattogno knew about the Broad report's mention of the designation, he would have simply claimed that it was Broad who invented it.

In which case he would have been wrong again, since there is an even earlier, if also more obscure, source mentioning the name. It's the document NO-1949, a 18.06.1945 report written in the Hague by the Dutch Marine and Auschwitz survivor A.F. van Velsen and confidentially circulated on 14.09.1945 by the OSS mission to the Netherlands:
When in 1944, the Russian offensive in Transylvania threatened the Hungarian state, it was decided to take the Jews from Hungary, who until this moment had escaped annihilation, to Auschwitz at an accelerated tempo. For this purpose an old farmhouse, which stood in the neighborhood of the camp, was made gastight and was named "Gasbunker 5".
Van Velsen was a barrack leader in the so-called Gypsy Camp, where he also got acquainted with Broad. Later he testified at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial where Broad was one of the accused.

There is no evidence to suggest that Broad knew about van Velsen's report in July of 1945 (or required it to write his own, or would have taken such small details - the ones that were later "totally unnoticed" according to Mattogno himself - from it, had he, improbably, had an access to it), so the two pre-Höß mentions of Bunker 5 can be safely assumed to be independent. That Broad and van Velsen knew each other in the camp indicates a certain affinity of experience and thus of knowledge.

From Höß', Mußfeldt's, Broad's, Paisikovic's, van Velsen's testimonies a reasonable person can draw a conclusion that "Bunker 5" was indeed a real designation. Since this goes against Mattogno's religious dogma, he will claim that it was van Velsen who coined the term. This claim will carry no more weight than his initial claim that Höß invented it.

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