Saturday, September 16, 2017

Short debunking of Steven Anderson's video "The Holocaust Hoax Exposed".

Author: Sergey Romanov
This video by a nutty religious fanatic is popular enough to merit some attention, so here it goes.

Needless to say, the man is a total hack who is ignorant about the very trivial basics of the Holocaust. Like, its definition.

1:32: "The issue is: whether or not 6 million Jews died in gas chambers and were subsequently cremated".
3:27: "The question is: were 6 million Jews gassed and then cremated?"

Since nobody serious has ever claimed that 6 million Jews died in gas chambers, Anderson shows that he has not even bothered to look up what the Holocaust is supposed to be before barging in to "debunk" it!

It's like trying to "debunk" quantum physics while thinking that Newton's laws are paragraphs of the British penal code.

There, I could end this review right now. No one who's uttered something this stupid deserves to be taken seriously.

But just for the fun of it let's see what else he has to say.

3:50 Auschwitz plaque meme:

See: Revision of the Auschwitz plaque.

Obviously Anderson sucks at basic arithmetic.

5:40 First Holocaust/foreordained 6 million figure meme:

See The First Holocaust canard.

Obviously Anderson sucks at basic logic.

7:40 Auschwitz cremation capacities:

Anderson does not justify his claim that the efficient cremation rates were not possible. He claims that it takes 2 to 2,5 hours to "cremate" someone. He is speaking from a position of ignorance here, for modern civil cremation practices are not comparable to the Nazi ones. Yes, obviously the physical processes did not change, but the overall cremation time depends on the procedure and end goal. The goal of the civil cremation is to have a nice pile of white (or as light as possible) ashes to present to the relatives at the end. That means: no mingling of ashes is allowed; a single body per oven; cremation lasts as long as it takes to whiten the bones and then to reduce the whole to a nice-looking pile of ashes.

That was obviously not the goal in the Nazi camps where no one cared about sanctity of the corpses nor about how the ashes looked like. Compared to the civil cremation procedures the camp incineration consisted of stuffing several corpses into one muffle, burning the corpses as continuously as possible (only with some downtime for oven maintenance) and not waiting until the larger bones were reduced to ashes. The remaining brittle but hard-to-burn bones were actually broken down afterwards by a special team using special wooden mallets/logs. This is described by numerous Sonderkommando members, and David Olere, one such member, even left an illustration of the process:

That alone reduced the time considerably. Then there were the multiple cremations. At this point deniers always object: if you load more bodies into the oven, it takes so much longer to burn them all! No shit, Sherlock. Obviously it would take longer than for 1 body. But it's still a win over introducing 3 bodies one after each other.

Here is where the difference lies:

a) Every opening of the muffle door means heat losses. If you stuff several bodies at once, obviously they take longer to burn than a single body, but you reduce the downtimes/heat losses needed to stuff the other bodies into the oven.

b) According to one of the participants of a British cremation conference in 1975 most of the corpse is incinerated away in the first 30 minutes:
After about half an hour, whether the furnace has gotten up to a temperature of 1100°C or whether it is 900°C, there is a rapid fall away, and I think the investigations should be concerned with the last twenty minutes or so of the cremation cycle. At that time you have in the cremator a very small quantity of body material...roughly the size of a rugby football, about twenty minutes from the end of the cremation, and this is the thing which is most difficult to remove.
So with a single cremation you have merely a rugby-ball sized piece in the oven in 30 minutes. Imagine how much heat is lost that could have been used to incinerate additional matter. In a civil crematorium you're not allowed to push in an additional body into the oven at this point, whereas the Nazi had no such compunctions.

Then there's the issue of continuous cremations. Continuous does not mean 24/7 - some downtime (a couple of hours or so) was necessary each day for oven maintenance (cleaning out of the slag etc.). But these cremations were continuous compared to the civil ones, where you have certain cycles: oven is heated up; the body is cremated; oven is cooled down.

To heat up an oven you need additional time and additional fuel. So in the respect the Nazi camp procedure was much more efficient than the civil one exactly due to its barbaric nature: new bodies were introduced as the rest of the last batch was being cremated, no additional time/fuel for cooling down or heating up.

Finally, even the leading deniers like Carlo Mattogno put the cremation rates of the Auschwitz ovens at 1 hour per body:
Since the Auschwitz-Birkenau ovens lacked draft intake installations (p. 81), the average time for a cremation (principal combustion in the chamber) was one hour.
He even conceded that it could take much less than that:
The shortest time required for a cremation resulting from experimental data referred to in this chapter is that of the Ignis-Hüttenbau oven in Terezín: 35-36 min.
Which fully negates Anderson's 2-2,5 body/hr figure and shows he's nothing but an ignorant clown.

Now, both Anderson's and Mattogno's amateur musings are trumped by the actual experience in the camps as are evident from an overwhelming number of the wartime Nazi documents:
On 14 July 1941, the Topf engineer Paul Erdmann provided the construction office Mauthausen with a cremation rate of 33 to 40 min per corpse “without overloading” the two-muffle oven. On 30 October 1941, the SS construction office Auschwitz noted that the planned crematorium 2 will have a cremation rate of 15 min per corpse.

On 10 July 1942, the SS construction office Auschwitz informed the SS construction office Stutthof on the three-muffle oven that “an incineration takes about ½ hour according to the Topf company”.

On 8 September 1942, the Topf engineer Kurt Prüfer noted nominal cremation rates of 30 min for the double-muffle oven, 22 min for the triple-muffle oven and 12 min for the 8-muffle oven (note that there is probably a typo/mistake in one of the last two figures, since there is no technical reason (or any other evidence) why each muffle of the 8-muffle oven should out-perform that of a three-muffle oven by a factor of almost two).

On 24 September 1942, the Topf engineer Fritz Sander wrote to the Topf management that the concentration camps “help themselves with a large number of ovens/muffles and by stuffing several corpses in the individual muffles”.

In a report of SS-Hauptsturmführer Krone from the WVHA of 20 January 1943, it reads that “two oil-fueled cremation furnaces...can dispose of some 100 bodies in a 12-hour period” in the concentration camp Majdanek, i.e. 15 min per corpse.

For 28 June 1943, a draft was prepared in the construction office Auschwitz according to which the cremation rate of the Topf two-muffle oven was 26 min per corpse and that of the three- and eight muffle oven 15 min per corpse.

List of cremations from Theresienstadt between 3 October to 15 November 1943 according to which the cremation time was less than 35 min in 72% cases.

On 4 February 1944, oven builder Hans Kori wrote to the Majdanek concentration camp that the cremation time of his ovens can be halved to 30 min per corpse by employing multiple cremations.
Note that 15 min/body refers to a mathematical average; this basically corresponds to 2 bodies per 30 minutes in real life.

(Click here for full sources.)

Basically Anderson is not up to date not only on the modern scholarship but even on the more advanced denier "research". Pretty pathetic.

10:22 Anderson tries to explain why they had 52 muffles. And fails. There is no good explanation for why, when Obersturmführer Krone learned that the Auschwitz cremation capacity exceeded 2000 for one day, he still was not satisfied and thought the capacity "is not yet sufficient". (And no, the analogy with Phoenix, AZ, is not clever considering everything above).

11:16 Anderson falsely claims that only 1 body at a time could be introduced into 1 muffle, without providing any support for his claim, which is directly refuted by the documentary evidence. The Topf engineer Fritz Sander wrote about the experiences in the concentration camps on 14.09.1942 that in the camps one tries to overcome the deficiency of the muffle system by "fully stuffing individual muffles with several corpses". He noted that "it is a hard and unpleasant work to introduce the corpses lengthwise into the muffle, namely when always several corpses must be packed simultaneously into the muffle".

He calls the gas chamber in Krema 2 "supposed" without ever addressing the documents that call it a "gassing basement" (Vergasungskeller) and "gas basement" (Gaskeller).

He complains about the elevator thing without ever bothering to put it into the historical context.

It was established long ago that Kremas 2 and 3, unlike 4 and 5, were not planned as homicidal from the start, this change occurred quite late in the planning. So some of the features are indeed less than efficient, since the design at first presupposed those were normal morgues. Some details were changed to accommodate the new homicidal function (like the direction of the doors opening), some, like the morgues being semi-basements, were already too late to change. So yes, the logistics in these two individual Kremas was not as efficient as it could have been, but this is simply explained by the historical circumstances.

The important thing to understand is that the elevators were not the bottleneck. The cremation ovens were. The Nazis knew this very well.

One elevator (in Krema 3) had a minimum payload of 750 kg, the other (in Krema 2) maybe 300 kg - it is not known if it wasn't upgraded later, as it was temporary, and it was a minimum payload as specified in the construction order, it is quite possible that a more powerful temporary elevator was actually produced. The documentation is fragmentary, so we can't tell.

But let's assume the worst case of 300 kg for one crema. That's 6-7 corpses per one time on average. You have to load 15 muffles in the ovens above, let's say with 2.5 corpses on average, that is you want to have about 40 corpses available for the start of the operation (and again, the 5 3-muffle ovens worked separately, so not 40 corpses at once). But with 6-7 corpses per trip (and it's a worse-case assumption) you get to 40 just in a few minutes. And before this batch is incinerated and the next corpses are introduced, you've got quite a lot more time.

But again, nothing speaks against this temporary elevator having been upgraded. And this is an “issue” only with Krema 2.

Oh, one more point. Obviously the ovens of a single Krema did not have to dispose of 2000 bodies daily. First of all, the groups would be divided among different crematoria. And second, not every day 2000 people would arrive to be gassed. It was not a 24/7 operation.

13:11 "At that rate" you're never get to 1 million figure.

Say what? Nobody claims that the 1 million Auschwitz victims were disposed of solely in the crematoria. The incineration pits were dug out in Auschwitz exactly because at times the crematoria could not cope. While it is hard to say how many people were cremated in the ovens and how many in the open, let's go with the ballpark of 50/50. Anderson never mentions the open-air incinerations. There are two possible explanations for that: he doesn't know about them and is thus so ignorant as to render anything he says useless; or he knows about them and suppresses this important fact, i.e. lies.

14:57 Claims that Treblinka victims were dug up by hand. Whereas actually an excavator was used.

How ignorant can one get? Here are photos of the excavators at Treblinka (from Kurt Franz's album):



15:13 Impossible to cremate someone on a BBQ grill.

Well, obviously no one has claimed they were cremated on "barbeque grills". Here's what actually happened.

15:20 Why is one supposed to believe that? Well, for one thing, these 700k+ people are simply missing. They were supposed to have been deported to the "Russian East" but we know they never arrived there. Their last stop was Treblinka. So what happened to them? Anderson can't explain. The only evidence (documentary, testimonial, physical) that exists points to them having been murdered there.

18:25 Claims that Treblinka and other camps were forced labor camps, thus contradicting the usual denier excuse that these were transit camps. Treblinka II, Belzec, Sobibor and Chelmno were obviously not labor camps of any sort, were never claimed to be such and were too small to be such. So Anderson not only shows his utter ignorance once again, he shows that he cannot account for the basic function of these camps. If Treblinka was not an execution camp, for example, why did Stroop deport 7000 Warsaw Jews there for a liquidation? If Chelmno was a forced labor camp, how come 100,000 Jews were liquidated there with gas vans up to summer of 1942?

Sure, Auschwitz, for one, was a huge complex which served many functions and consisted of many subcamps (3 main ones and ~50 smaller ones). Extermination was only one of the functions. It was also a labor camp.

Question: why did the Nazis transport the Jews unable to work to Auschwitz? What happened to these Jews after they were "selected"? Surely small children, the disabled, the old people were useless for the Nazi war effort. They were certainly not transported "to the Russian East". What happened to them? What happened to the 320,000 Hungarian Jews unable to work (out of 437,000) deported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944?

All the evidence, including the documentary, points to them having been killed there. Notably no credible alternative explanation has been offered by any denier.

19:15 Why would one register Jews in the camps and shave them to prevent lice?

Well duh, because the Jews able to work were to be used as slave labor force for the Nazi war effort. Nobody has ever claimed that the Nazi policy was killing every Jew immediately.

So, what happened to the Jews unable to work?

Then Anderson shows some camp currency he claims comes from Auschwitz but it's actually from the model "propaganda camp" Theresienstadt.

Indeed, at 19:44 you can clearly see the label "Lagergeld Theresienstadt".

Such a poor liar, that Anderson.

21:59 The tired Haavara meme.

It actually has nothing to do directly with the Holocaust, but as a general historical note it should be noted that creation of a Jewish state in Palestine was officially contrary to the Nazi policy.

After Hagen and Eichmann's trip to Palestine and Egypt in 1937 Hagen wrote in his report:
To further promote the emigration of Jews from Germany, the Jew Polkes proposed to make possible the emigration of 50,000 Jews per year with 1,000 Sterling per head, by means of an increase in the transfer of goods through Paltreu (Palaestina Treuhandstelle der Juden in Deutschland) and "Nemico" (Near and Middle East Corporation). The goods would be sold in Palestine, Iraq, Turkey and in Peria. Immigration to Palestine would in this case be possible without the special consent of the English Mandatory government since Jews with 1,000 Sterling are considered as so-called capitalists.

Opinion: This plan must be rejected by us for two reasons: (a) It is not our aim to have Jewish capital transferred, but rather, in the first place, to induce Jews without means to emigrate. Second, the aforementioned emigration of 50,000 Jews annually would in the main strengthen Judaism in Palestine, and considering that according to the policy of the Reich the establishment of an independent state of the Jews in Palestine should be prevented, this plan cannot be a subject for discussion.
27:05 He goes on about some unreliable witnesses.

See: Fake, unreliable or mistaken witnesses.

31:35 Alleged motive for lying about the Holocaust: foundation of Israel.

But was the Holocaust a significant factor in the birth of Israel in the first place?

So in the end in this video we have a guy with a stupid face waving his hands around while blurting out incoherent, unsourced claims, some of which are contrary even to the "best" denier "research", not to mention proven history. That's a video that is popular among the internet deniers. Which should tell you something about the state of the denial movement.


Reactionary said...


Maybe you could do a debunking of this video? "The Chemistry of Auschwitz", by Germar Rudolf?:

blake121666 said...

Some things off the top of my head:

1. I, unlike almost all others, do not think that downtime would be needed for the ovens. The gasifier slag can be cleaned while the oven is hot and running. I see very little reason for downtime. And any downtime would stress the oven.

2. You object to calling the numbers of muffles "ovens". Each muffle is a fully-functioning independent oven unto itself. A 3-muffle unit has 3 gasifiers, 3 chambers, ... etc. You should not object to the word "oven" for this. I myself have a "double oven" in my kitchen with which I cook. It literally has a lower "oven" and an upper "oven". This is not an incorrect usage of the term "oven".

3. You claim "It was not a 24/7 operation". It certainly was. If you have 2000 corpses to cremate, you would run the ovens continuously to keep from stressing them and for best efficiency. I can't see such a thing NOT being "a 24/7 operation".

4. How do you handle the estimated up to 15,000/day rate of the the Hungarian Jews allegedly disposed of from May to July 9 1944?

Nicholas Terry said...

Blake, the SS reactivated open-air cremation pits during the Hungarian action, indeed one of the four crematoria failed so there were pits in two locations, along with reactivating one of the 'Bunkers', so there were five gas chambers, two sets of open-air cremation pits, and 38 muffles.

The overload also wasn't quite as big as might be assumed, since 110,000 of 420,000 Hungarian Jews were selected for labour (15,000 were sent direct to Austria of the 437,000 deported during the action). A few days saw multiple transports arrive to the point where five figure numbers might have been reached, but the daily average over the Hungarian action would have been more like 6,000/day, over 52 days. So 1,200 per crematoria or the bunker site a day.

A good overview of the transports and sources that can allow us to estimate numbers can be found here. The most obvious peak day is June 1st 1944, with over 11,000 possible victims, if assumptions are correct, because sourcing is incomplete - we are lucky to have accurate figures for male deportees selected for work, but no comparable precision is possible for female deportees.

Peak times like this didn't really occur from March 1943-mid-May 1944, the only time they did was in early August 1943 when open-air cremation pits were also reactivated (since various crematoria had broken down and there was an overload). The "normal" practice during winter 1943-44 was to alternate Kremas II and III, and the flow of transports meant there were no real issues.

So: 1) most of the time in 1943-1944 Birkenau was indeed not a 24/7 operation, so cleaning time was probably easy to enforce, 2) during the peak time of the Hungarian action, with very few exceptions the capacity was stretched but not overloaded, 3) undoubtedly when there was a genuine overload, it might well have happened that crematoria were operated longer than 21 or 24 hours, but the number of times that was *necessary* was likely extremely low.

Note that the alternative of removing unfit deportees somewhere else not only has no evidence for it, but runs up against logistical issues, such as where unfit deportees were stashed on-site before outgoing trains arrived, since multiple camp sectors such as BIII Mexico were demonstrably used for warehousing *able bodied* deportees who sometimes waited weeks or months before being registered or moved on.

Sergey Romanov said...

> do not think that downtime would be needed for the ovens.

Aside from it being mentioned in the manuals, it was also explicitly mentioned by Henryk Tauber.

> It certainly was

Not with the downtime.

> You claim "It was not a 24/7 operation". It certainly was. If you have 2000 corpses to cremate, you would run the ovens continuously to keep from stressing them and for best efficiency. I can't see such a thing NOT being "a 24/7 operation".

You don't need a week (7) to cremate 2000 corpses.

And while there were some periods where the ovens had to run as continuously as possible for weeks, it wasn't always so.

> How do you handle the estimated up to 15,000/day rate of the the Hungarian Jews allegedly disposed of from May to July 9 1944?

It's a strawman number.

blake121666 said...

Incineration would be done continuously until there were no more to be done. That is what I (and any sensible person reading this in context) meant by 24/7.

Can Sergey Romanov show me the manuals and Tauber's statements about there being some sort of imposed downtime in the middle of cremations? What does Romanov mean by "downtime". Any significant thermal fluctuations would stress an oven and lead to breakages - as Mattogno claims (in the wrong context, though, by my figuring).

Sergey Romanov said...

> Incineration would be done continuously until there were no more to be done. That is what I (and any sensible person reading this in context) meant by 24/7.

Well, first of all I'm obviously a sensible person and I don't find this an obvious default interpretation.

Certainly not in the denier context. Where it means that they were running each day for months, years. Because witnesses allegedly said so.

> Can Sergey Romanov show me the manuals

Upon some searching I concede I probably misremembered. The manual I found only called for removal of slag but without the exact time. Probably conflated it with the other documents cited by Mattogno referring to the 20-hr operation (which are good evidence on their own). Pressac also mentions 3hr maintenance in his Anatomy essay.

> and Tauber's statements

"In crematoria 2 and 3 incineration of corpses in the ovens was done the whole day except for interruptions for slag cleaning, but no less than 21 hours".

GARF, 7021-108-13, p. 10.