Thursday, August 18, 2016

Mattogno and Father Patrick Desbois (5)

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 the previous blog of this series we had a look at Mattogno’s handling of evidence regarding mass killings and corpse incinerations that took place in areas around the city of Lviv, Ukraine (Lvov in Russian, Lemberg in German) during the Nazi occupation, especially the omissions or misrepresentations in Mattogno’s rendering of Leon Weliczker Wells’ account of the activities of a unit of forced laborers in charge of cremation within the scope of Operation 1005.

This blog will be mainly dedicated to examining Mattogno’s arguments regarding the eyewitness and archaeological evidence mentioned in Chapter XVII of Father Desbois’ book, about his research on the killings in the Ukrainian town of Busk[150].

Mattogno dedicates section 5 of his "devastating" article to the witnesses interviewed by Desbois at Busk. He refers to Desbois’ claim, in an interview by François Delpla on 4 June 2009[151], that direct witnesses interviewed by him had never been heard [before] and do not appear in any archive document. This claim is supposed to be contradicted by the following reference Desbois makes in his book to the "propagandistic" Soviet war crimes investigations[152]:
We found several names of other Ukrainian witnesses from Busk who had given evidence in 1944 to the town district attorney. […] In 1944, the district attorney of Busk had interrogated Ukrainian witnesses who lived in Chevtchenko Street, that long street that bordered the Jewish cemetery. Without realizing it, in 2006 we had knocked at the same doors as the district attorney did 62 years earlier.
The degree to which the testimonies dovetailed with each other was astounding, in terms of both form and content.

Even if the witnesses interviewed by Desbois at Busk had been exactly the same persons who had been interrogated by the district attorney of Busk 62 years earlier, these witnesses would just be an exception to the rule mentioned in the Delpla interview. However, the time elapsed alone (62 years) makes this extremely improbable, as the district attorney would have interrogated adults rather than children, and witnesses who were adults in 1944 were unlikely to still be alive in 2006. This reasoning is borne out by the names of the witnesses interrogated in 1944, which are different from those of Desbois’ witnesses, who were children at the time of the events in question. Either Mattogno failed to a) reason properly and b) read Desbois’ rendering of the Soviet era testimonies, or he failed to notice in his reading that the 1944 witnesses were not the ones interviewed by Desbois, or he is trying to take his readers for another of those rides that uncritical "Revisionists" would be more than willing to take.

The 1944 witnesses mentioned by Desbois are the following[153]:
• Yvan, the Jewish cemetery’s caretaker before 1944, who recalled the following: "The Ukrainian police and four to five Germans transported, for over a week, Jews in a truck to a pit that had already been dug. The naked Jews had to sit down in front of the pit, facing it, and they were killed with machine guns. They killed a lot of Jews; I don’t know how many. All the Jews are buried in 10 or more pits next to the Jewish cemetery in Busk. I know all these pits."
• A cleaning lady who worked for the Germans and heard them talking about the executions every evening.
• Her neighbor Stanislav, who remembered the name of the German officer who had taken charge of the executions: "During the German occupation, I worked as a desiatnik in Busk, in Chevtchenko Street. In May 1943, I don’t remember the exact date, German gendarmes came to my house on the orders of Lieutenant Ludwig Lehner who was head of the German gendarmerie, and also German commander of the town of Busk. These German gendarmes demanded, under threat of death, that I bring citizens to dig pits near the Jewish cemetery. Under that threat, I followed the orders and when the pits were ready, a German gendarme by the name of Maier and other German gendarmes and Ukrainian police transported the Jews from the ghetto to the pits where they were forced to undress completely. They had to put their things in a pile and, in groups of 10 or more people, they had to kneel before the pits. Then they were killed with machine guns. The executions lasted more than a week. More than a thousand Jews were killed before the eyes of the citizens, but we couldn’t approach the pits. Then the citizens and I, as desiatnik, were forced to bury the bodies in the pits . . . In total, in the Jewish cemetery there are almost 10 pits where the bodies of the Jews were buried. "
Of the witnesses interviewed by himself, Desbois mentions Anna Dychkant[154], Anton Davidovski[155], a woman named Polina[156], Eugenia Nazarenko[157], Stepan Davidovski[158] and a woman named Lydia[159]. Needless to say, Mattogno tries to dismiss all of these witnesses’ testimonies. His objections regarding Anna Dychkant and Eugenia Nazarenko have already been addressed in a previous blog of this series[160], so here we’ll look at what Mattogno has got to say regarding the other four witnesses.

Anton Davidovski is dismissed with characteristic "Revisionist" hand-waving as a "self-styled ‘little friend’" of Anna Dychkant, on account of his having recalled, when asked for Anna’s whereabouts and told about the object of Desbois’ investigation, that he had been with Anna in the barn on the day of the shooting described by Anna, along with three other children. Why Anton Davidovski is supposed to have lied (as the "self-styled" epithet implies), Mattogno does not explain. Nor does he mention that this witness "tried, with jerky, disordered gestures, to indicate to us that the Jews had fallen head first into the pit, and that the gunmen, the Ukrainian police, were standing with rifles beside German officers"[161], pointed out the site of the local mass graves, and recalled having seen numerous carts transporting Jews who died in the ghetto pass in front of his door: "They had already killed a lot of Jews in the ghetto of Busk. The Germans had requisitioned peasants with their carts to transport the Jews who had died in the ghetto to the pit. My cousin was one of them. Me, I saw everything!". The scene had visibly moved Anton Davidovski, for throughout his testimony, as Desbois mentions, he "continually repeated, like a moan or a haunted suffering: ‘You don’t treat people like that. One wouldn’t even treat wood like that. Their heads were dragging on the ground.’"[162]

Anton Davidovski also recalled that one of his neighbors had hidden a Jewish woman in her barn but then betrayed her, whereupon this woman had been killed by a German with a pistol shot to her head. Another detail he recalled was that the Germans "kept 30 or so very pretty Jewish women that they put to work in the offices of the Gestapo but whom they also used as ‘sex objects’ for the police and the Germans." These women, according to the witness, had been shot in a forest 5 kilometers away from Busk after they had become pregnant. [163] This detail, Desbois mentions, "was confirmed to us a year later, on August 30, 2006, when we meet Polina, a woman who lived in Chuchmani, a little hamlet six kilometers from Busk, not far from the forest where the Jewish girls were executed." Polina had been told by others that "the Jewish girls who worked for the Kommandantur, bringing food or cooking for them—I don’t know which—were killed in the forest where a pit had been dug." She added that she had known these girls because "at that time I taught at the supply center"[164]. This detail – Polina’s having known the murdered Jewish girls – is omitted by Mattogno, who tries to dismiss Polina (he mistakenly refers to her as "Anna") as a second hand witness whose confirmation of a "rumor" mentioned by Anton Davidovski he considers insufficient to qualify as independent corroboration. Mattogno might have a point but for the important detail he conveniently omits, and for the fact that there’s no indication of any contact between Anton Davidovski and Polina.

Stefan Davidovski, a witness pointed out by Desbois for his "acute perception" and his ability "to offer such a detailed account of the whole town’s history and geography, and of the ghetto under Nazi occupation"[165], is bluntly dismissed as an "indirect witness" by Mattogno, without further explanation. While it doesn’t become apparent from Desbois’ interview of Davidovski[166] what parts of his account are based on first hand observation and what parts are second-hand knowledge, Stefan Davidovski must have had a lot of the former, as he had during the war possessed an authorization to enter and move inside the ghetto.

Regarding Lydia, Mattogno objects that she "did not see the executions". That may be so, but what she saw is nevertheless important, as pointed out by Desbois[167]:
Every witness saw part of the genocide. None of them can recount the whole thing. That is the limit of visual memory. Lydia saw horse-drawn carts bearing the bodies of Jewish women killed in the ghetto. She believed that these women had been hiding or tried to escape. She remembered having run behind these carts full of bodies as a child, all the way to the door of the cemetery. She supposed that the Germans had killed a lot of people in the ghetto. She also saw trucks full of women and Jewish children, who were crying.

Lydia also pointed out the location of the mass graves, as mentioned by Desbois and conceded by Mattogno. Whence she derived her knowledge becomes apparent from the above-quoted excerpt, which Mattogno fails to mention.

Summing up, one can conclude that none of Mattogno’s objections against the witnesses interviewed by Desbois carries any weight. Mattogno ends this section of his article by making a splendid fool of himself with the following remark, which requires no further comment:
The above-alleged "concordance of testimony" later mentioned by Desbois, means, therefore, that the Soviet prosecutor had interrogated the children "sixty-two years before"!

Besides interrogating witnesses, Desbois organized an archaeological investigation under the supervision of a rabbi, which took place for three weeks in August 2006. The archaeologists identified and opened a number of mass graves near the Jewish cemetery of Busk[168], containing what Desbois described as follows[169]:
The bodies appeared one after the other. We were able to establish whether it was a man, a woman, or a child and above all the cause of death. The impact of the bullets and the position of the bodies showed that they had all been shot and buried alive. Many of the women’s bodies were found holding a baby, to protect it from the flow of sand. It was three weeks of macabre discoveries.

The scope of the investigation was limited by the requirement to respect Jewish religious principles as concerns the handling of buried remains[170]:
The Jewish law, the Halakha, specifies that bodies must not be moved under any circumstance, particularly the victims of the Holocaust. According to Orthodox Jewish tradition, these victims are resting in the fullness of God, and any movement of their bodies would disturb that peace. Hence the archaeologist could only uncover the first layer of bodies, taking care not to move any bones. In addition, the bodies had to be covered up again as soon as the archaeologist finished working.

However, the limitations imposed by this restriction were made up by the other evidence collected, according to Desbois[171]:
After three weeks, all the graves had been opened. It was impossible to carry out a typical scientific study because we had to respect Jewish and not move any of the bones. We could therefore only observe what appeared on the surface. The missing information, though, appears in the German and Soviet archives of 1944, which explicitly mention the execution of the Jews in the cemetery. These were also confirmed for us by our 10 witnesses, who identified the grave sites with precision.

Desbois puts the number of bodies inside these graves at "around 1,750", stating that these were "the last Jews of Busk" after a large part of the local Jewish community had been deported to Bełżec extermination camp, and adds that most were "women and children who had hidden after the German attacks on the ghetto" and "were found in cellars, imprisoned in the gendarmerie, and then shot". He gives no source for this number, which due to the aforementioned restrictions could not have been established on hand of the archaeological investigation performed. Mattogno, who in chapter 10 of his "devastating" proclaims that said restrictions render the investigation "valueless from the point of view of forensics"[172], surmises that Desbois sources are "the testimony of the witnesses and the investigation of the 1944-45 Soviet Commission regarding the massacre of the last 1,700 Jews". Such corroborating sources are "discredited in advance" in Mattogno’s book, but it’s not Mattogno who gets to make the rules of evidence whereby researchers establish historical facts, and Soviet investigation results, while requiring critical assessment and checking against non-Soviet evidence whenever possible, are not as worthless as Mattogno would like them to be[173]. Besides, Desbois mentions not only Soviet but also German archives, and the information about the Busk ghetto’s liquidation that Desbois provides[174]:
On May 21, 1943, the ghetto of Busk was liquidated by members of the Sipo-Außenstelle of Sokal, the Ukrainian police, and the Volksdeutsche. One thousand two hundred Jews were executed. Three hundred Jews who were fit to work were transferred to the Yanovska camp in Lviv.

is probably based on German sources, considering the identification of the Sipo (Sicherheitspolizei = Security Police) Außenstelle (branch office) at Sokal as one of the units that carried out the killing[175]. The mentioned number of victims in the Busk ghetto’s liquidation is below that claimed by the cleaning lady interrogated by Soviet investigators[176], but higher than the number claimed by the witness Stanislav, also interrogated by the Soviets, according to whom more than one thousand Jews were killed over the period of over a week in May 1943. Mattogno swiftly converts the witness’s number into "thousands of Jews", thus again showing his inability to read or his intellectual dishonesty. Then he argues that the duration of the killings recalled by this witness (more than one week) "is in flagrant contradiction with the Holocaust claim that the executions occurred on 21 May 1943". The "Holocaust claim" that Mattogno has in mind is French historian Edouard Husson’s reference in his blog to "the massacre that took place at Busk on May 21st, 1943", according to the article in a French literary journal addressed in the first part of this series[177]. But whatever it is that Husson wrote in his blog, the only thing known about the date 21 May 1943 in this context is that the liquidation of the Busk ghetto started on this date. The operation may well have lasted about a week (considering that the liquidation of the Sokal ghetto started only on 28 May 1943[178]), as Jews were dragged from hideouts to the place of execution, or then there were smaller executions over some period following a large-scale massacre as further Jews were discovered in hiding[179]. The presence of a number of smaller graves instead of one or two bigger ones suggests that the local killing of Busk’s Jews was rather protracted and the graves took in those who had died of privation in the ghetto or been killed during deportations, those killed during the May 1943 operation meant to make the town "free of Jews" (several pits were dug on that occasion by local citizens headed by the witness Stanislav[180]), and Jews found in hiding later on. Why the Germans chose to dig several pits for the May 1943 operation instead of a single one (as Mattogno claims they should have done) is not known. Possibly the killers considered that the killing of Jews in small groups could be handled more expediently with a number of smaller pits than with a single big pit.

As concerns the killing method described by the witness Stanislav (the victims had to "kneel before the pits" and "were killed with machine guns"), Mattogno produces this peculiar claim:
This method of execution is incompatible with the findings mentioned by Desbois, since it presupposes moving the dead bodies around, and arranging them along the entire surface area of the mass grave; for this reason, the "position of the bodies" in the grave" proves nothing, nor were any skeletons found "in the act of protecting their infants from the shovelfuls of sand."

Mattogno does not reveal whence he deducted that, contrary to Desbois’ description, no skeletons were found in positions suggesting that a woman had tried to protect her infant from shovelfuls of sand. As to the position of the bodies, Mattogno seems to be inferring that Desbois referred to where in a grave a body was placed, as opposed to the posture of that body, which might provide information about the impact of bullets on the body regardless of whether the same was left were it fell or moved around. Assuming that Desbois meant the latter (it does not become clear from his statement whether he does), it is not clear how this would mean a contradiction between Stanislav’s testimony and archaeological finds.

Besides this bickering, Mattogno complains that no "expert report" about the excavations at Busk has been published, contrary to a claim supposedly made by Desbois[181], and that the same applies to the results of an examination of the Busk finds on 3 October 2007 at Sorbonne university, mentioned by French historian Edouard Husson[182]. He contrasts this with the ubiquitous publication of reports produced by Nazi Germany about the Soviet massacres at Vinnitsa and Katyn, unaware that by holding up investigations of mass crimes to such standards he is unwittingly denying the overwhelming majority of the Stalinist regime’s crimes, which were never subject to any forensic or archeological investigation at all[183]. He laments that the covering up of the Busk graves to prevent robbery digging "guarantees that the graves will never again be opened to perform a forensicmedical expert examination intended to ascertain whom the skeletons belonged to, when they died, and the cause of death", and claims that the presence of Jewish victims of Nazi killings has not been proved by the archaeological investigation organized by Father Desbois and, what is more, that Desbois "has provided virtually no support for this particular conclusion".

The last two claims are notoriously dim-witted. German cartridges found inside the mass graves prove that the killing was done using German ammunition, and the skeletons discovered included those of women and children. These finds do not all by themselves identify the victims as Jews and the killers as the German occupiers and their auxiliaries, but considering the body of eyewitness testimony that dovetails with these archaeological finds as concerns their location, the perpetrators and the victims, who other than Jews murdered by the Nazis could be reasonably expected to lie in the Busk mass graves by the Jewish cemetery?

Mattogno feebly tries to suggest that the dead might also be victims of a Soviet crime, in three paragraphs that deserve being quoted in all their splendor:
On p. 188, a witness reports that "the Rada [Ukrainian Parliament] has recognized the genocide of the Ukrainian people during the famine of 1932 and 1933", the so-called Holodomor, "the terrible famine which struck the Ukraine in 1932 and 1933. This was the worst catastrophe which ever struck the Ukrainian nation in modern history, since it involved the deaths of several million people (estimates vary widely). According to various historians and the Ukrainian government itself, the famine was intentionally caused by the policies of Soviet Dictator Stalin, in such a way as to enable consideration of the famine a true and proper genocide."
What is certain is that the number of deaths caused by the genocidal famine was enormously greater than that of the “Shoah by bullets” and that women and children also died, both Ukrainians and Jews. On the other hand, the graves at Busk were discovered "in an old Jewish cemetery."
But then, without a forensic investigation, how can one state that the bones in question belonged to Jews shot by the Germans?

The answer to Mattogno’s question is simple: by comparing the archaeological finds with what becomes apparent from Soviet-era testimonies, testimonies made before West German criminal investigators and contemporary German documents about the liquidation of the Busk ghetto, and the post-Soviet testimonies collected by Father Desbois. All these sources of evidence, which are independent of each other, point to the conclusion that the Busk mass graves contain the skeletons of Jewish civilians, including women and children, murdered by Nazi mobile killing units and their auxiliaries. Mattogno apparently expects his readers to believe that the local witnesses were not able to distinguish between victims of the 1932/33 famine and victims of mass shootings that took place ten years later – and that even though his mention of the witness he refers to suggests that witnesses made a clear distinction between the two events. This impression is reinforced by reading the exact words of the witness Mattogno is referring to, Marfa Lichnitski from Novozlatopol, in her second joint testimony with her husband Ivan on December 30, 2006[184]:
People must know the truth. The Rada recognized the genocide of the Ukrainian people during the famine of 1932–1933. But the Jewish people also suffered a lot. If you read a book about Babi Yar, you can’t sleep for a week. All I saw was the Jews being arrested and taken away but when one knows how they were shot and thrown into the pits alive . . . It seems that when the spring arrived, people couldn’t breathe, the smell was so strong.

It’s also not like local witnesses would have been inclined to mix up shootings by the Soviet NKVD with the shooting of Jews by the Germans and their auxiliaries. Stepan Davidovski expressly mentioned the former[185]:
When the Germans arrived, the NKVD had already escaped. They had summarily shot 33 people in the prisons: doctors and engineers. Then they left. Their families could bury them when the Germans arrived, directly from Lviv.

Besides being bereft of all logic and reason, Mattogno’s suggestion that the Busk mass graves might as well contain victims of the Holodomor stands out for the conspicuous absence of any "skepticism" on the part of Mattogno when it comes to a historical event regarding which he has no axe to grind. Mattogno not only accepts the Holodomor as a historical fact without any reservations, but also emphasizes that "the number of deaths caused by the genocidal famine was enormously greater than that of the “Shoah by bullets”"[186]. It would be interesting to interrogate Mattogno on what objective criteria, if any, led him to accept as fact the former while disputing the latter.

With this I end my discussion of Mattogno’s objections regarding Father Desbois’ Busk investigations and turn the last subject of criticism worth addressing[187], the Bełżec thrashing machine. Desbois is accused of having gullibly fallen for the account of a Bełżec villager whereby his threshing machine had been used to sift the ashes of cremated Jews in search of gold fillings and teeth left therein. The account is supposed to be a tall tale because "according to the official historiography concerning Belzec" (which Mattogno thus tacitly professes to accept), "the gold teeth were extracted from the victims before burial (followed by subsequent disinterment and cremation)", something the "good priest" must have failed to notice.

What Mattogno failed to do here was to think a little (which might have led him to realize that the SS may have, not unreasonably, considered the possibility of some gold teeth having been overlooked during the hasty removal of the bodies from the gas chambers to the mass graves, not to mention valuables hidden in body cavities) and to read what he calls the "official historiography", namely the following text I translated from German:
After cremation the remains of the victims were searched once more for gold and the bones were broken into small pieces. This happened with the help of a flour mill that the Germans had confiscated from a local peasant as well as a somewhat larger mill that presumably came from the work camp at Janovska road in Lemberg. [188]


[150] Holocaust by Bullets, pp. 161-191. The chapter is transcribed under [link], except for the testimonies of Stefan Davidovski (pp. 179-184) and Eugenia Nazarenko (pp. 184-191), which are transcribed under [link].
[151] The interview is transcribed under [link].
[152] Holocaust by Bullets, p. 173.
[153] As above, pp. 173 – 175.
[154] As above, pp. 163 – 166 and interview on pp. 124-128. Mattogno apparently didn’t read the interview in which the lady’s full name is given, for he claims that the witness’s last name is not given.
[155] As above, pp. 166-68.
[156] As above, pp. 167-68.
[157] As above, pp. 167-69 and interview on pp. 184-191. Again, Mattogno seems to have missed the interview, for he claims that the witness’s last name is not indicated.
[158] As above, pp. 170-71 and interview on pp. 179-184.
[159] As above, pp. 172-73.
[160] "Mattogno and Father Patrick Desbois (3)" ([link]).
[161] Holocaust by Bullets, p. 166.
[162] As above, p. 166-67.
[163] As above, p. 167.
[164] As above, pp. 167-68.
[165] As above, pp. 171.
[166] As above, pp. 179-84.
[167] As above, p. 172.
[168] As above, pp. 176, 178.
[169] As above, p. 177. An aerial view of the Busk mass graves and images of skeletons uncovered and German cartridges found in these graves can be viewed in the documentary "Shoah Par Balles" ([link]), 3:48 to 4:32.
[170] As above, p. 176. Mattogno indulges in some brief mumbling about "this singular ban, halfway between superstition and ceremonial magic", as if religions were supposed to be logical and rational. Never one to mind contradicting himself, Mattogno also claims that in the Busk excavations Desbois had violated the opinions of Jewish religious scholars as concerns the handling of buried corpses, before mentioning that said excavations were carried out under the supervision of a rabbi – not to ensure "that the burials of the victims were conducted according to Jewish law" as Mattogno would have it, but "so that the excavations would not contravene Jewish law" (Holocaust by Bullets, p. 175).
[171] As above, p. 177.
[172] As Mattogno doesn’t reveal what rules of evidence or procedural rules governing any state’s forensic practices would consider the opening of mass graves "valueless" as evidence because it didn’t go beyond the first layer, and as one can reasonably dismiss such narrow-mindedness in the forensic practice of any democratic constitutional state, the conclusion is warranted that the "forensics" here referred to are just Mattogno’s own uninformed idea of "forensics".
[173] See the blog "Mattogno and Father Patrick Desbois (3)" ([link]).
[174] Holocaust by Bullets, note 9 on p. 227.
[175] At the end of May 1943 police detachments attacked the districts of Kamionka Strumilova and Zloczov in order to wipe out the few ghettos still existing there. In the Kamionka Strumilova district these were the ghettos in Busk and Sokal, which were attacked on, respectively, 21 May and 28 May 1943 (Pohl, Nationalsozialistische Judenverfolgung, p. 257 and note 278 on the same page. Pohl mentions that district commander Nehring on 7 June 1943 issued a poster at Katzmann’s order’s whereby the district was now "free of Jews". He refers to a source containing a copy of this poster and to Nehring’s deposition on 24.3.1965. On the "Busk" page of Yahad in Unum’s interactive map of investigated execution sites ([link]), the following testimony recorded in German archives is quoted: "As far as I remember there might have been a big action taken against the Jews on March 20 or 21 in 1943. Busk should have been made "judenfrei" or "judenrein" like we used to call it in those times."
[176] The aforementioned "Busk" page quotes the following testimony recorded in Soviet archives: "2,000 people were shot and buried in the pits situated next to the Jewish cemetery and in the cemetery. I was employed as a cleaning lady for the Ukrainian police and for the German gendarmery. I know who shot the Jews, because after the shooting they bragged and told each other how many Jew they had killed."
[177] See the blog "Mattogno and Father Patrick Desbois (1)" ([link]).
[178] Pohl, as note 175.
[179] The witness Stepan Davidovski, who unlike Stanislav dated the large massacre to mid-June 1943, and who unlike the other witnesses, who located the killings by the Jewish cemetery, claimed that the victims were taken "to the forest of Rabovi, I don’t know exactly where" and also "to the forest of Chuchmani, others to Sokal, and Rawa Ruska", recalled that the subsequent killing of small groups of Jews found in hiding "went on all summer" (Holocaust by Bullets, p. 182).
[180] Holocaust by Bullets, p. 175.
[181]The site of the exposition "Les Fussilades Massives des Juifs en Ukraine 1941-1944. La Shoah par Balles" ([link]) includes a thumbnail photo or the mass graves viewed from the air, with an explanatory text below including the following statements: "Une expertise commandée par le Mémorial de la Shoah en 2006 a démontré la présence de victimes juives tuées par des balles allemandes entre 1942 et 1943. © Guillaume Ribot A la demande du Mémorial de la Shoah une expertise a été réalisée en août 2006 sous la responsabilité de Yahad-in Unum, par les archéologues ukrainiens de l'Organisation civile Société de recherche des victimes de la guerre « Mémoire » sous la surveillance de l'association Zaka, garante du respect des corps des victimes selon la loi hébraïque." The text refers to an "expertise", i.e. an expert investigation, commissioned by the Mémorial de la Shoah in 2006 and carried out in August 2006 by Ukrainian archaeologists of an organization dedicated to research about war victims. No mention is made of an "expert report" having been drawn up.
[182] "Rapport sur la création et le développement du Centre de ressources pour la recherche et l’enseignement sur la Shoah à l’Est (Paris-Sorbonne/Yahad-In Unum). Remis par le Professeur Edouard Husson au Professeur Georges Molinié, Président de l'Université Paris-Sorbonne" ([link]).
[183] As already pointed out in the blog "Mattogno and Father Patrick Desbois (3)" ([link]).
[184] Holocaust by Bullets, pp. 140-143. The testimony is transcribed under [link]
[185] As above, pp. 179-80.
[186] In this Mattogno is not completely wrong, by the way. According to my calculations in the blog "Mattogno and Father Patrick Desbois (2)" ([link]), mobile killing operations accounted for about 1,130,000 out of 1,385,000 victims of the Nazi genocide of Ukraine’s Jews. The Holodomor claimed about 3.3 million victims, according to American historian Timothy Snyder (Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, 2010 Basic Books, New York, p. 412).
[187] Mattogno’s insinuation in section 13 that Desbois is out for "renewed financing and notoriety", followed by his sneering remark that Desbois should visit the Gaza Strip and "look for Israeli cartridge casings: "one cartridge casing= one dead Palestinian", will not be graced with a comment.
[188] Robert Kuwałek, Das Vernichtungslager Bełżec, 2013 Metropol Verlag Berlin, p. 133 and footnote 13 on the same page. The source for the floor mill is the deposition of Edward Łuczyński on 15.10.1945, which is contained in the Polish investigation file about crimes committed in Bełżec extermination camp.


  1. "Mattogno feebly tries to suggest that the dead might also be victims of a Soviet crime"

    Yes, this is there, but Mattogno's text does *not* suggest that the victims died in the 1932/33 Holodomor - the date and circumstances of their deaths is left entirely up in the air. Mattogno fails to present any evidence for a massacre in Busk on a different date, that might have involved a different set of perpetrators.

  2. Video of the excavation is here from 3:30:

    Full transcript of the source video is in my article:

  3. "but Mattogno's text does *not* suggest that the victims died in the 1932/33 Holodomor"

    Hence the expression "might".

    The Holodomor is out of the question also for another reason, by the way:

    "In the interwar period, Busk belonged to Kamionka Buska County, Tarnopol Voivodeship, until Soviet invasion of Poland (September 1939).",_Ukraine

  4. "In the interwar period, Busk belonged to Kamionka Buska County, Tarnopol Voivodeship, until Soviet invasion of Poland (September 1939)."

    Mattogno actually knows this fact because he mentions it in Treblinka, note 798:

    Mattogno also acknowledges in his IH piece, note 16, that Busk is in the Lvov region today.

    The most charitable interpretation of Mattogno's Holodomor passage is that it is a non-sequitur. More likely is that he wants his readers to make a false connection, but give himself deniability that he made the connection himself.

  5. So Mattogno accepts that there was a famine without any forensic evidence whatsoever? Sweet.

  6. Worse: he calls it a "genocidal famine" and cites the Ukrainian government as his source for the intentionality of the famine.

  7. I have a serious question for you gentlemen. Before you laugh and scoff please hear me out for I am actually dead serious. Do you think Mattogno is in the early stages of Senility? My jaw literally hit the floor when I read his nonsense on Busk and the Holodomar, I know off the top of my head that the Busk area (as you all have also pointed out) is located in territory that was part of Poland until 1939. The fact that he didn't know this or had forgot about it is telling.

    I am aware that Mattogno is a distorter of evidence who typically misinterprets or misunderstands primary sources, leans desperately unreliable information and ignores basic facts and common sense, but if this series on his Desbois article is any indication he has become, how should I say, Classically Stupid, as of late. Case in point: in an earlier installment in this series, Roberto pointed out a particularly feeble and half-assed comment by Mattogno on use of coding in Aktion 1005 communications, and then demonstrated how Mattogno was ignorant of publicly available evidence. The remark in question was something that I would expect from the likes of Hannover or one of the Rizoli Brothers, not the self-proclaimed "flagship" of denial.

    There is no question, IMO that he is a great deal more slow witted as of the past few years. Take what you will from it but that's just my theory.

  8. Mattogno's article about Desbois was originally written in November 2009, when he was under 60, so no, senility doesn't explain it. However, 2009 was a busy year for Charlie, and there are many examples of sloppiness to be found in his other books published that year, e.g. the Chelmno brochure. It helps to remember he writes first in Italian - the English versions can appear considerably later, they are rarely revised thoroughly for the translated edition, and they weren't very good to begin with.

  9. If one churns out books at the rate he does, they will inevitably be a sloppy mess.

  10. Ok, the bottom line is that his Desbois article is painfully awful and this series should be smacked around the ears of any denier who acts treats Mattogno like some kind of (false) god.

    As always I give my heartfelt thanks to Mr. Muehlenkampf for this series, I know he has a hectic professional life and sifting through mounds of neo-nazi sewage ain't fun. Same goes for all of you.

  11. *Muehlenkamp (sorry, I had a near miss on my way home from work and my hands were still shaking)


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