Saturday, August 11, 2018

Panagiotis Heliotis - The New Star Shining in the Revisionist Coffin?

Author: Hans Metzner
The Holocaust denier journal "Inconvenient History" gets increasingly spammed with articles by some Greek denier Panagiotis Heliotis mainly pasting together full quotes with his feeble-minded outpourings strictly following the style and fallacies of "Revisionist" orthodoxy. In fact, Heliotis sounds a bit like a cloned Carlo Mattogno (just minus rudimentary knowledge of sources, but plus even more pointless nitpicking).

For example, his article on the book Μαρσέλ Νατζαρή (Marcel Nadjari), Χειρόγραφα 1944-1947: Από τη Θεσσαλονίκη στο Ζόντερκομάντο του Άουσβιτς (Manuscripts 1944-1947 - From Thessaloniki to the Auschwitz Sonderkommando) consists to 2/3 of nothing but full quotes. Heliotis cannot even be credited for providing a translation from Greek of the contemporary war-time manuscript of the Sonderkommando prisoner Marcel Nadjari, since already in the last year the German and English translations of the manuscript were published in the scientific journal Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte and this blog, respectively.

If just the remaining 1/3 of the article actually written by him were of any value and advancing the issue. Instead, Heliotis leaves his couple of readers with his own helplessness on interpretating and explanining this source:
"Nadjari's [contemporary and post-war] manuscripts contradict both themselves and the official storyline, and even make it hard to determine whether he actually worked in a crematorium. What is certain is that they contain obviously false statements that any historian would pretend were never there."
Mattogno could not have said it any worse, congrats! So Heliotis ends up not knowing and not explaining anything - other than that Manolis was "the real first name of Nadjari" (thanks mate, but even this might be false as Manolis Lazaridis is mentioned as his nom de guerre, see Pavel Polian, Das Ungelesene lesen). 

Marcel Nadjari was a member of the Jewish prisoner's Sonderkommando in Auschwitz Birkenau. His manuscript is sufficiently detailed with insider knowledge to conclude it originated from first hand experience. Elsewhere I have demonstrated the poor knowledge on mass extermination among prisoners without access to the extermination sites for comparison. 

The "critique" - in sneer quotes, because Ancient Greek κριτική (kritikē), meaning "the faculty of judgment", which Heliotis is pretty much lacking - claims "serious inaccuracies" in Nadjari's description of the extermination site, like "he speaks of one large building with 15 furnaces where there were two" and that "the chambers were not underneath a garden as there was no garden" - except that Nadjari did not exclude there was another such building and except that there was a big garden in the yard of crematorium 2 and vegetation, possibly garden-like, in the yard of crematorium 3 as well. That the basements were actually next to the garden is a simplification in the description, certainly not a serious inaccuracy. Either Heliotis has no idea about the garden at the extermination complex or if he knows about it, cannot connect it to the description in the manuscript, which is pretty bad for a researcher in either case, if you think about. 

Absurd, but illustrating Holocaust denial's desperate grasping for arguments, even Nadjari's "two large underground vast chambers" is attacked because "the chambers were not completely underground, as their roof was one meter above ground" and "they were large but certainly not 'vast'". Yet, the semi-basements can be described as underground rooms or cellars (and have been so in the past also by deniers), as most of it was below ground with stairs leading down from the ground, and as "endless" given their elongated structure (besides that's subjective depending on what is taken as reference). If this description were really inaccurate, only in a completely irrelevant way on his credibility.

As usual for any orthodox denier, moaning on gas chamber capacity and cremation are not missed out:

On Nadjari's 3000 people in the gas chamber, Heliotis argues that with "a maximum possible packing density...that would amount to 2,100 people. But that would require military-style discipline to achieve!"  Uhm, no, but where have heard this one before? Viewer's Guide to "Auschwitz - The Surprising Hidden Truth" (Minutes 16 - 22), which discusses and refutes this assertion.  

Other than false, the whole point is also irrelevant for that Nadjari allegedly told "serious inaccuracies". It is obvious that such a mass of people passing into the crematorium over some hours cannot be estimated from direct observation and a large inaccuracy is to be expected in this case. Now, the fact that Nadjari's figure is in the actual range of the gas chamber loading (2000, perhaps 2500-3000) suggests that he learnt about this from superior and more reliable sources than his own observation of the people. In fact, the figure of 3000 people also appears in the extermination list of the Sonderkommando chronologist Salmen Lewenthal, so apparently it was some sort of generic knowledge on the gas chamber loading shared among the Sonderkommando prisoners. Hence, the figure provided by Nadjari does not only fail to challenge that he was working in the crematoria, but in contrary the knowledge supports his Sonderkommando affiliation.

Another argument close to imbecility: "the ashes would have amounted to some 3 kg, not just 640 grams" as given by Nadjari, as if he could have weighted the ash of corpses with a balance in the crematorium. Note that he was not estimating a figure of exact 640 g of ash, but half an oka, which is approx. the same weight but given with less accuracy. His point was to illustrate to the reader that of a living person only a small fraction was left after processed in the crematorium.

In another article on Nadjari, Heliotis gets likewise hopelessly lost in discussing cremation capacity (debunked here).

etc. pp.


Unknown said...

Good morning.
Would you write debunk Harwood's book "Did Six Million Really Die?"?

HC Guest Blogger said...

Maybe in the future, but his key points are debunked at the blog, use the search feature