Sunday, December 09, 2018

A new document mentioning "special cellars" (Sonderkeller) in the crematoria 2 and 3 at Birkenau.

Author: Sergey Romanov
Dr. Pavel Polian has kindly provided us with several documents from a collection residing in the Military-Medical Museum (Voyenno-Meditsinskiy Muzej) in Saint-Petersburg, Russia.
One of the documents is important for confirming the chronology of the decision to install gas chambers in the cellars of the Birkenau crematoria II and III.

We will provide a short historical introduction as well as an analysis of the Holocaust deniers' take on the issue

1. Introduction to the "special cellar" issue.

We know that the first two Birkenau crematoria (II and III) were initially planned as "normal" hygienic installations. Their morgues were began to be intended as gas chambers some time in 1942* and as undressing rooms some time in 1943.

In 1994 Jean-Claude Pressac and Robert Jan van Pelt posited that the idea to turn the cellars of the Birkenau crematoria 2 and 3 into gas chambers began to be considered only at the end of October of 1942 (J.-C. Pressac with J. van Pelt, "The machinery of mass murder in Auschwitz", in I. Gutman, M. Berenbaum (eds.), Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Camp, 1994, p. 223):
At the end of October 1942, the Zentralbauleitung began to consider transfer of the gassing from bunkers 1 and 2 to a room in crematorium.
It was decided to transform morgue 1 of crematorium II into a gas chamber. One indication that such a decision was taken is a "leak" - that is, any mention in a document (writing, blueprint, photograph) of an abnormal use of the crematoria that could not be explained except by the massive gassing of human beings - that occurred on November 27, when one of Bischoff's assistants, Wolter, called Topf to ask for a master metalworker to install the ventilation systems in the morgues of crematorium II. His colleague Janisch, who was formally in charge of the site, canceled the request. Wolter drew up a note to inform Bischoff what had happened. In this note he designated the corpse cellar in crematorium II as "special cellar" (Sonderkeller). That was not the only slip. Every document in a 120-item inventory of material needed for the completion of Birkenau, undertaken between December 10 and 18, was captioned "Re: Kriegsgefangenenlager Auschwitz (Durchführung der Sonderbehandlung)," or "Concerning: Prisoner-of-War Camp Auschwitz (Carrying Out of Special Treatment)," which referred to the killing operations.
Later Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt moved the "conversion" date to September (see Auschwitz, 1270 to the Present, 1996, p. 324).

That the designation "special cellar" was indeed a code word for a gas chamber was confirmed by the engineer Kurt Prüfer (designer of the Auschwitz ovens who worked for the firm Topf & Söhne that also took part in planning the ventilation systems in the gas chambers) during his interrogation by SMERSH on 13.03.1948 (copy in USHMM RG-06.025*08):
On the drawings of the crematoria and in the official correspondence between the SS construction office of the Auschwitz concentration camp and the firm Topf & Söhne the gas chambers bore the code designations "mortuaries", "special cellars", "baths for special purpose" etc.
This is the document mentioned by Pressac and van Pelt:

RGVA f. 502, op. 1, d. 313, l. 65.
In fact, however, that was not the first such "slip".

First of all, unbeknownst to Pressac and van Pelt, there is an even earlier RGVA document mentioning a "special cellar" in a crematorium - the 04.11.1942 construction report**.

RGVA f. 502, op. 1, d. 24, l. 86.
But, as it turns out, there is an even earlier document using this code word.

2. The new "special cellar" document and its meaning for the chronology of the gas chambers.

On 15.09.1942 a talk occurred between the armaments minister Albert Speer and the WVHA chief Oswald Pohl during which Speer approved the funding of the expansion of Birkenau on the order of 13,7 million RM (see Pohl to Himmler, 16.09.1942 in Die Verfolgung und Ermordung der europäischen Juden durch das nationalsozialistische Deutschland 1933-1945, Band 16: Das KZ Auschwitz 1942–1945 und die Zeit der Todesmärsche 1944/45, 2018, pp. 168-9).

A letter from Hans Kammler to the Plenipotentiary for the regulation of the construction industry from 15.09.1942 reports on the Speer-Pohl meeting and states that two documents are being attached:
1.) List of the necessary additional structures with corresponding construction volumes.
2.) List of necessary construction materials and barracks.
The letter itself is in GARF (the State Archive of the Russian Federation)

GARF f. 7021, op. 108, d. 32, l. 43.
The mentioned attachments however are not in the same file. It is these two lists (that reside in the VMM under the archival signature 0025407-OF, pp. 27-30; source: Dr. Polian) that we now have and are publishing for the first time.

The first list (necessary additional structures with corresponding construction volumes) is given for the context and can be compared to a later similar list from 28.10.1942 (published by F. Freund, B. Perz, K. Stuhlpfarrer, "Der Bau des Vernichtungslagers Auschwitz-Birkenau", Zeitgeschichte, iss. 5/6, p. 202). The sum of 13,76 million RM presented to Speer was the same but the cost of specific items is different. Interestingly, only 3 crematoria are mentioned.

The second document (list of necessary construction materials and barracks) is the key one. It begins thus:
For the carrying out of special treatment the following additional barracks are necessary.
The list of all the camp barracks follows.

Here a word of caution is necessary, so we will make a small detour. In the official RSHA jargon the word Sonderbehandlung (special treatment) meant exclusively executions (mostly extrajudicial ones), whether by gas, bullets, gallows or other means. However when the term seeped into the other agencies, like WVHA, it sometimes became "generalized". In this particular document it is clearly synonymous with the "Final Solution to the Jewish question", which at that point meant the eventual but not immediate extermination of all European Jews - the element of the Jewish slave labor (and thus temporary survival of a large portion of Jews fit for work - with most Jews permanently unfit for work immediately disposed of) was a very important part of this plan.

Hence this list includes all possible camp barracks, including the hospital barracks and the troops' barracks. Clearly, therefore, in this document the term was not meant to apply to immediate executions but rather to the whole long genocide process, similar to what was described in the Wannsee protocol.

Similar situation obtains for another related document - the cost estimate from 29.10.1942 (in Freund et al., op. cit., p. 207) which mentions two disinfestation installations - one for special treatment (Entwesungsanlage für Sonderbehandlung), the other for the troops. Since, as we know, the first disinfestation installation - later named the Central Sauna - was not intended to be used directly for mass executions (the separately listed crematoria were), clearly the "special treatment" here is meant in the same general sense, including the utilization of the Jewish slave labor and property in the camp. Thus whether the mention of "special treatment" in the series of documents  mentioned by Pressac and van Pelt constituted a massive "slip" is a matter of interpretation - and it is also not clear that both full meanings of the term (the more specific one and the more general one) would have always been readily understood by the people outside of the RSHA and WVHA, like Speer. (Previously we discussed the issue of terminology here and here.)

After the barracks list we see a list of what are called "massive provisional constructions". Among them we see:
- "crematorium I with a special cellar [Sonderkeller]";
- "crematorium II with a special cellar";
- "2 8-muffle incineration ovens".
Interestingly, the crematoria III and IV (IV and V according to the alternative numeration) do not appear explicitly, rather their ovens are summarized in one line. It may be that for whatever reason they were presented here  as one cremation complex (hence there were "3 crematoria" in the previous list). Indeed, the decision to move the 2 8-muffle ovens from Mogilev to Auschwitz had only been taken in the middle of August, and although there are documents confirming the August plans for crematoria IV and V, there might still have been uncertainties at this early stage.

Thus we see that in this document both crematoria I and II (II and III according to the alternative numeration) had one "special cellar" each. I.e. the gas chambers were being planned as early as September 14, 1942, thus moving back the date of the origin of these gas chambers as proposed by Pressac and van Pelt and confirming the dating adopted by Dwork and van Pelt.

3. "Special cellars" and Holocaust denial.

Let us now look at how the Holocaust denier Carlo Mattogno (the only denier to address the previously known Sonderkeller document at some length) interpreted the code word.

In Auschwitz: The End of a Legend (printed, among other places, in G. Rudolf (ed.), Auschwitz Plain Facts. A Response to Jean-Claude Pressac, 2016) he merely notes (ibid., p. 176):
The term “special basement” (Sonderkeller) applied to Morgue 1 (p. 60) matches other similar terms beginning with “special,” which are all linked to the fight against typhus.
In several other works Mattogno devotes whole small sections to the code word. Since he simply copy-pastes this section from book to book, we will work with the one printed in The Real Case for Auschwitz (2015), pp. 80ff.

First of all, Mattogno argues (by citing relevant documents) that albeit the heading of the 28.11.1942 document refers to "crematoria", the content can only refer to one crematorium - II - since only its cellar was at the construction stage advanced enough so that its ceiling would be ready in about a week's time. This is initially plausible.

From this he concludes that the plural "Sonderkeller" in the document must refer to the two mortuary cellars of crematorium II, thus negating the use of the word as a criminal trace:
On the other hand, the basements of Crematorium II for which a “de-aeration system” had been planned were two in number, “Leichenkeller 1” and “Leichenkeller 2.” The former also had a “Belüftungsanlage” (aeration system), the latter only an “Entlüftungsanlage” (deaeration system), which was installed between March 15 and 21, 1943. It is thus clear that the “Sonderkeller(s)” in Wolter’s memo were both “Leichenkeller(s)” of Crematorium II. These half-basement rooms were “Sonder-” precisely because, out of the six rooms which made up the half-basement, they were the only two morgues which had an artificial ventilation. 
However, this does not follow. We have to take the following into consideration: it was a notice about a phone call. This notice was not typed by Wolter himself but rather by someone named L. (this initial appears in the code), probably a secretary. We don't know who L. was, but we know that exactly the section of this document dealing with the special cellar contains a crude grammar mistake (accusative "über die Sonderkeller" instead of the dative "über den Sonderkellern"). (Was L. a native speaker at all?)

We have the following transmission chain: Prüfer and Wolter speak on the phone and then Wolter dictates the notice to L.

Did Wolter misunderstand some of the things Prüfer said? Did Prüfer use the term Sonderkeller properly (only to refer to morgue 1) but Wolter, perhaps not fully familiar with the jargon, indeed used it to refer to both cellars? Was Wolter erroneously thinking, despite Krema III not being ready, of both crematoria as indicated by the heading of the notice? Or did perhaps L. not fully understand what Wolters was telling him or her in regard to the cellar(s) (e.g. due to plural "crematoria" being mentioned in the heading)?

There are too many unknowns to accept Mattogno's interpretation.

Moreover, Mattogno's explanation doesn't make any sense: of course the underground morgues had to be mechanically ventilated. This did not make them in any way special. The ventilation was expected. Mattogno thus cannot plausibly account for the use of "Sonder-".

In any case, whatever interpretational ambiguity introduced by Mattogno's argument is destroyed by the document we have now published: crematoria II and III indeed had only one special cellar each.

That there was only one such cellar in crematorium II was already clear from the 04.11.1942 report Mattogno himself published (see our introduction above), so he tries to explain it away:
It is possible to argue that the “special cellar” was “Leichenkeller 1,” but was its “special” use a criminal one? [...] if the “special cellar” of Crematorium II had been destined to become a homicidal gas chamber modeled upon the alleged one of Crematorium I, ZBL would have planned to fit the openings for the introduction of Zyklon B in the ferroconcrete ceiling of “Leichenkeller 1” already at the stage when the ceiling was laid. However, the ceiling was realized without such openings. [126] Hence, ZBL, having decided to transform “Leichenkeller 1” into a homicidal gas chamber at a time when only the water-proof floor had been poured in this room, had covered it with a ceiling devoid of openings – essential elements for a homicidal gas chamber using Zyklon B – only to allegedly open up later, with hammer and chisel, four openings for Zyklon B in this concrete slab 18 cm thick! Unfortunately for Pressac, the ZBL engineers were not that stupid. [...] Hence, the term “Sonderkeller” (special cellar) can easily be explained by the fact that “Leichenkeller 1,” being equipped, as it was, with an aeration/de-aeration system, was probably planned – as Pressac himself hypothesizes – “to take corpses several days old, beginning to decompose,” and therefore the room had to be well ventilated".
[126] This can be seen on a photo of the “Kamann” series taken in January 1943 which shows the outside of “Leichenkeller 1” of Crematorium II. APMO, negative no. 20995/506. Cf. Pressac 1989, p. 335.
Mattogno relies on a photo from the Kamann series showing the snow-covered roof of the future gas chamber/morgue 1. He claims without any argument that it shows that the ceiling of the gas chamber was realized without the Zyklon-B introduction openings. 

It is not clear how he arrives at this conclusion. Only the absence of the introduction chimneys is clear from the photo, the photo tells us nothing about the openings (the angle does not allow for any conclusions about the presence or absence of any openings, and even a photo taken at another angle would not necessarily be conclusive one way or another, since the holes could have been covered by some material to reduce the snow accumulation inside the cellar).

We do know that the introduction holes were made during the construction of the ceiling (see D. Keren, J. McCarthy, H. Mazal, "The Ruins of the Gas Chambers: A Forensic Investigation of Crematoriums at Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau", Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 2004, vol. 18, issue 1, p. 75).
The roof's lower portion was a thick layer of concrete, over which was laid waterproofing tar paper, and which was finally topped with a thin upper layer of sand-concrete. For the middle layer, brushing tar over the tar paper was necessary to ensure waterproofing. Of the original concrete edge of the hole only a few centimeters of the intact lower layer remain, in one corner, but a careful examination of that location reveals two clear drip marks where tar was brushed over the edge (Figure 11b, right). This demonstrates that the hole in the concrete was already there during the waterproofing step, while the roof was still being constructed.

As a side note, Mattogno ignored this evidence in his attempted response to Keren et al.

Mattogno thus constructed a silly strawman argument and his argument crumbles with it.

And note how Mattogno's explanations opportunistically change from document to document. In one case he thinks all ventilated cellars could be named "special cellars", in the other case he wants only one type of a ventilated cellar (with exhaust and supply ventilation) to be designated as such. One wonders how, with such a plethora of alleged meanings, the Central Construction Office would have been able to recognize what cellar was being referred to.

Mattogno's attempt to claim that Sonderkeller was merely a reference to a cellar with supply and exhaust ventilation for heavily decomposed corpses is also not plausible: not only there had been a ready designation for this cellar (B-Keller) and thus no need for terms emphasizing the supposed "specialness", the emphasis on the "special cellars" in the otherwise brief newly published document*** is most plausibly explained by their new function as gas chambers (which is also confirmed by later documents).


* We will not seriously consider Michael Thad Allen's unconvincing thesis that the morgues of the crematoria II and III were planned as gas chambers from the very beginning (M. Allen, "The Devil in the Details: The Gas Chambers of Birkenau, October 1941", Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 2002, vol. 16, issue 2, pp, 189–216). It can't plausibly explain why the exhaust vents in the chambers were placed below if the gas chambers were planned in the morgues from the start - this is counterproductive to gassings (corpses in the chamber are likely to obstruct the vents; HCN is lighter than air and with mass gassings most of it would have been concentrated in the upper half of the chamber anyway - so the actual suboptimal arrangement of the vents - the supply air above, the exhaust air below, can only be plausibly explained by a last-minute change of plans from a normal morgue to a gas chamber with a minimal re-planning effort). Allen's attempt to argue by analogy with the Alt-Drewitz delousing installation (a poor argument on its own, since the "logic" of a delousing gas chamber is not automatically transferable to a homicidal gas chamber due to presence of the victims) fails due to a confusion of this hot-air delousing chamber with a Zyklon B one, which it was not; placement of the ducts in the walls doesn't establish any sort of a criminal trace, since the ducts could have been placed at any height in a homicidal gas chamber, far away from the reach of the victims, so the wall placement was not a necessity; it was however a natural solution for a semi-basement morgue (where cold foul air optimally has to be exhausted from below and the ducts obviously would not have been placed on the floor inside the morgue since they would have taken away valuable storage area and would have been easily damageable); Allen's thesis does not account for the progressive changes in the "homicidal" direction pointed out by Pressac and van Pelt; Allen appeals to some defensive testimonies of the perpetrators during trials but ignores the testimony of Rudolf Höß, who claimed that the crematoria plans were changed to include the gas chambers (protocol of interrogation from 01.04.1946, p. 27); the thesis is not supported by any documents and while one might find an ad hoc explanation for why the Nazis would have needed a huge gas chamber in Auschwitz in October 1941 (e.g. for POWs), the existence of this gas chamber isn't organically necessitated by any events or policies at the time.

** To our knowledge it was first cited by the Holocaust denier Carlo Mattogno.

*** Note that e.g. a storehouse with a "cellar" is also mentioned later in the list; had only the presence of a cellar played a role in the document, same would have been true for the crematoria; but it is only the special cellars are emphasized for the crematoria, and not the cellar areas as a whole.


The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

"As a side note, Mattogno ignored this evidence in his attempted response to Keren et al."

A footnote to your side note; Keren et al. omitted that photo of K2 from their study. The only close-up photo of the roof their paper is mostly devoted to was deliberately omitted from their supposedly authoritative study!

Van Pelt not only omitted the photo from his 1st report for Penguin/Lipstadt, he made, as JH puts it, "claims against better knowledge, otherwise known as lies", referring to the "little train photo" as the "one" photo that shows the back of K2.

"During the construction of the camp, the Central Construction office documented the progress of construction photographically. All these photos were assembled in the so-called Bauleitung Album, which survived the war. One of the photos shows the back of crematorium 2 shortly before its completion. Projecting outwards from the long side of the building one can see the basement space known in the plans as morgue 1. It is not yet covered with earth, and as a result one can easily see (just right of the smokestack of the locomotive in the foreground, the more or less cubical tops of three of the four wire-mesh Zyklon-B insertion columns made by Kula, drawn by Olère, and described by Tauber. Again, by itself the photograph would not be conclusive evidence, but in combination with eye-witness evidence its proves the existence of these columns beyond reasonable doubt."

Van Pelt subsequently made a complete tit of himself when Irving questioned him on the photo during the trial, being rebuked by the judge for refusing to comment upon a photo he admitted to having seen [Day 10: pp. 16-17]. The following day van Pelt apologised for having "slightly stupidly commented on it without having it in front of me" [his fault for omitting it from his report; Irving had a copy], and offered another theory [Day 11: pp.110-114].

Perhaps Keren et al. and van Pelt omitted mentioning the photo because they lacked the bullshitting skills to plausibly argue the holes are covered by imperceptibly thin sheets of wood, especially when the then-roofless L2 of K3 was photographed with such extensive temporary protective covering.

- Van Pelt repeatedly lied about David Olere's sketches in his report and during his testimony.

- Van Pelt and Rampton attempted to pass off a quote from the Kunzs' 1985 report as being from the 1942 Topf patent application for its continuous operation corpse incineration [Day 11, p.159-164]. Despite their lie being immediately rumbled by the judge it still features in the TV dramatisation "Holocaust on Trial" [2000]. Although minus the parts where the judge exposes their lie and van Pelt's apology for having tried it.

If the truth is really on van Pelt's side, one might wonder why the man felt the need to tell so many lies in his report, and especially whist he was under oath in the British High Court.

[Copy saved for re-posting elsewhere. Just in case admin decides to ape Hannover, again]

Sergey Romanov said...

Ok, I see that the liar BRoI was referring to an entirely different photo than the one referenced in the text he quoted. Not only is he an all-around nutjob, he can't even make proper references.

Sergey Romanov said...

Also, if the proven pathological liar BRoI thinks he will be able to troll the comment section here, he is wrong.

Hans Metzner said...

BRoI seems to refer to this photograph. It is relevant to date the construction of the concrete chimneys and should have been discussed in Mazal et al.'s article. But the photo does not rule out the presence of any gas introduction openings in the roof, because of the low angle on the roof and snow cover (saying this requires "bullshitting skills" does not explain why any openings had to be visible under these circumstances). The omission of the photograph is a flaw in the paper but it does not effect their argument on the existence of the gas introduction openings.

On the other hand, Mattogno has omitted arguments (their observation that there are tar drops and bent rebar embedded in concrete at the openings) that refute the claim that the openings had not been made when the roof was constructed. That's challenging his whole argument.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Yeah, the one SR included in this very blog post!

Sergey Romanov said...

It seems that the BRoI doesn't want to learn, but he will have to. Any insults and snide remarks towards the blog's owners will be deleted.

Sergey Romanov said...

JFYI, when I refer to the BRoI as a pathological liar, it's the literal truth. The dude literally lied his ass off at this very blog and elsewhere, see the link for details:

So his accusations of lying against others are mostly mere projections.

The liar accuses the researchers of not mentioning the photo with the snow-covered roof in their work. But since the photo is irrelevant to the question of the existence of openings, as explained above (and could only be relevant to the question of when the chimneys were installed, which was not the key issue) why would they have necessarily included it? Whether one thinks they should have or not, this has no bearing on their honesty. That's just the usual BRoI deception.

BRoI then makes a claim bizarre even by his standards:

"Van Pelt not only omitted the photo from his 1st report for Penguin/Lipstadt, he made, as JH puts it, "claims against better knowledge, otherwise known as lies", referring to the "little train photo" as the "one" photo that shows the back of K2. "

Van Pelt absolutely correctly wrote: "One of the photos shows the back of crematorium 2 shortly before its completion."

He didn't say only one photo shows this, and "shortly before the completion" is a matter of interpretation, van Pelt's point of reference is "early March ’43" (trial transcript), so the snow photo doesn't fit and the train one does. The BRoI lied about van Pelt lying.

What the temporary covering of LK2 has to do with openings in LK1, which visibly has no such covering, is only clear to the liar's tiny cerebral sac, but not to anyone sane.

The BRoI shows that van Pelt was mistaken about the Olere sketch but lies about this mistake being a lie.

The notion that van Pelt and Rampton in Irving's presence knowingly tried to "to pass off a quote from the Kunzs' 1985 report as being from the 1942 Topf patent application", knowing that he would seize on it, is laughable - the liar BRoI turns a normal temporary confusion into a feat of lying only because such behavior is normal for *him*.

The BRoI obviously doesn't care about the truth given the concentration of lies in his one comment.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

If anyone isn't convinced by Romanov's theory of Irving's omniscience and would instead prefer to read what happened and watch the dramatisation of this moment [minus the part where the judge noticed van Pelt was not quoting from the patent report as he and Rampton purported] see:

Day 11, p.159-164

From 45:52

Sergey Romanov said...

Using a "dramatization" as evidence is so you.

Obviously van Pelt and Rampton would have never created the confusion knowingly (just because the Bunny would have doesn't mean anything), and indeed we see that even the judge noted this obvious confusion.

Sometimes experts absent-mindedly expect others to understand the context and minute details of what they are talking about without further explicit clarifications, and that's what apparently happened here, with van Pelt and Rampton thinking it was clear what they were referring to, reading the interpretation of the patent to answer the judge's Q about what they were going to prove ("I am simply asking what case is sought to be made"), and then also talking about the patent, making the mistaken assumption that something that is so clearly separate in their minds might require a clarification for the audience.

As the judge noted in the end: "It probably does not affect the point."


The Bunny's scenario, on the other hand, with the ridiculous conspiracy between vP and R to pull a fast one on everyone (without suspecting that they can be exposed at any second during and after the trial, especially as such a lie would contradict van Pelt's own report where the origin of the quote is identified at length) is a product of a diseased mind.

The case could even be compared to what happened above, with the Bunny thinking that his reference to "this photograph" - after quoting the text that referred to a completely different photograph - would be clear at a first reading.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

"It seems that the BRoI doesn't want to learn, but he will have to. Any insults and snide remarks towards the blog's owners will be deleted."

Shouldn't do that and then call him "Bunny" and such. It's unfair.

Sergey Romanov said...

Disagree. There's no level playing field here, we didn't promise "open debate" or anything like that (unlike certain other forums), so there's no expectation of equal/fair treatment. This person is a known quantity and will be treated specially, in the context of his personal history.

If he doesn't like it, he can always open his own blog and set his own rules there.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Our comments policy includes the following:

Abusive, insulting, offensive, violent or threatening language, regardless of whether it is used by Holocaust deniers, critics of Holocaust denial or anyone else. The use of racist, misogynist, homophobic or otherwise disparaging slurs and insults, be it by Holocaust deniers or anyone else, or against Holocaust deniers or anyone else, will not be tolerated.

"Bunny" goes under insulting language (spoofing someone's name or alias). It should thus be avoided.

Sergey Romanov said...

Roberto, the policy is set by us for the commenters. We ourselves will deviate from it as we see fit, for example for the purpose of educating certain poisonous trolls.

It's not an equal relationship and has never been supposed to be. If an unruly child is given a stern talking to, it doesn't have a right of an equal reply.

Roberto Muehlenkamp said...

Talking sternly to trolls is fine, but calling them names is counterproductive.

It also doesn't befit the quality of our work.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

19 April 2000:
Die Zeit: What surprised everybody was that the defence showed its greatest weaknesses when it came to Auschwitz.
Cesarani: There were indeed some scary moments. When Robert Jan Van Pelt testified we were all mildly shocked that even such an outstanding expert as he was not in a position to establish clarity on such things as the disposal of the murdered Jews.

RJ Evans, Lying About Hitler:
On 29 April 2000, two and a half weeks after the verdict, [Britain's] Channel 4 broadcast a lengthy documentary [Holocaust on Trial], lasting almost two hours, at prime time, successfully juxtaposing well-chosen dramatized extracts from the trial transcripts with historical analyses and archive footage of the events to which they referred.

Cesarani features heavily in the documentary and is listed as "Programme Consultant" in the credits. His frank admission to Die Zeit and the recreation of Rampton and van Pelt's deception in the documentary — minus the part when it was exposed as a lie — shows clearly that it was not a mistake.

Sergey Romanov said...

His other lies having been exposed, the BRoI is reduced to spamming irrelevant quotes from secondary/tertiary sources having no bearing on the issue whatsoever. As has been shown above, it was just a natural confusion, so the BRoI is lying about it being a lie and is employing a non sequitur in defense of his lie (some documentary and some other historian don't show anything clearly).

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

"The case could even be compared to what happened above, with the Bunny thinking that his reference to "this photograph" - after quoting the text that referred to a completely different photograph - would be clear at a first reading."

I actually first refer to the omitted photo as "the photo" following the van Pelt quotation on the "little train photo".

I think the text is perfectly clear as to which of the photos is then being referred to. But to clear up any lingering confusion, I got the crayons out.

Sergey Romanov said...

No, the word "evidence" refers to the hole photo from the Keren et al. article.

The BRoI quoted this sentence and then immediately referred to "that photo", leading to obvious confusion, as if he were referring to the hole photo (without intending to do so). That the confusion clears up upon reading the next paragraphs closely is irrelevant, so the BRoI can stick the crayons back.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Oh, so that's what got you confused!

I merely quoted you stating:

"As a side note, Mattogno ignored this evidence in his attempted response to Keren et al."

For irony's sake, as I was about to prove Keren et al. and van Pelt "ignored" [deliberately omitted] the only close-up photo of L1 of K2 in existence, despite the room's prominence in each of their respective reports.

And because you "ignored" mentioning their omissions whilst lambasting Mattogno for ignoring something you think is specially significant.

Hans Metzner said...

I'm not sure where the problem is that Sergey or me - for that matter have - "ignored" mentioning the omission of the Janury 1943 photograph of the gas chamber by Keren et al. we regard as insignificant for the subject if there were gas introduction openings in the roofs (but not for the question when the chimneys were made) for reasons for instance explained by me already in 2012...

"Another photograph taken earlier in January 1943 shows the gassing basement of the crematorium without the chimneys, which demonstrates they were constructed between both photographs. But it is not possible to tell from the photograph whether the gas openings are in the roof or not, since a) the basement is covered by snow and b) there is almost no view on the actual roof surface from the perspective. However, the archeological evidence indicates the openings were made when the concrete was poured and therefore that they were already in place at the time this photo was taken."

...whilst lambasting Mattogno for ignoring something that we regard as very significant for the subject if there are gas introduction openings in the roof of the basement of crematorium 2 in a book not only exactly addressing this subject but also exactly addressing and supposedly refuting the article by Keren et al. where the argument has been advanced. Up to now I'm not aware of any "Revisionist" response to the argument and explanation why two of the openings identified by Keren et al. have not been made at the time the concrete was poured when there are tar drops and bent rebar embedded in concrete at those openings.

So from our founded point of view there is a big difference between Keren et al's and Mattogno's omission for the subject at hand, one is rather insignificant and the other is very significant (and you need something more to challenge this than claiming "bullshitting skills" and citing a photograph of K3 showing a completely different situation).

I will stand corrected if you show that the January 1943 photo of the basement is very significant to show that there had been no holes in the roof or if you can show that Keren at al's observation that tar drops and bent rebar embedded in concrete at two openings is not significant for the argument that these openings had been made when the concrete was poured.

But this is something that will have to be delivered first before there is a serious problem in our representation of the issue.

Sergey Romanov said...

See how oblivious the liar BRoI is to him himself causing confusion? But he demands perfect clarity from others and then projects his mendacious mindset onto them.

No wonder that until recently this weirdo believed in the "Jewish ritual murder".

I see that he also adds the deception about me having "ignored" something, even though I demonstrably ignored nothing. In order to ignore something this something has to exist. Since the photo, as explained, is irrelevant to the authors' thesis and they were not obligated to include it, there was nothing to "ignore" for me in their article.

But no wonder that the exposed liar ( ) BRoI would try to cast aspersions based on nothing but his projections.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

"Historians who are advancing a particular argument have to take all relevant documentary evidence into account, and where documents appear to go against their argument, they have to explain them; failing to mention them at all constitutes suppression of relevant evidence and is not acceptable in a reputable historian."
Sir Richard Evans [emphasis in original]

Neither of the two Bauleitung album photos that shows the roof is "irrelevant" to a discussion of that roof. Van Pelt and Keren et al. suppressed evidence in reports that were submitted to a British court [Van Pelt submitted Keren's paper when Irving was planning to appeal the original verdict].

Hans, what effect would the immense heat of the explosion that collapsed the roof of L1 have had on the "tar" that covered the roof?

Recently I watched for a few moments as roofers put a new cover on an old flat-roof extension to my house. They did it with one of these flame guns that melts the asphalt.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

"... bent rebar embedded in concrete at two openings ..."

Are these bends in rebar aligned the length or the width of L1?

L1 was 30m long I understand [p.47].

Were the rebars 30m long or were shorter strips laid end-to-end, overlapping for a few feet, and welded or tied together?

blake121666 said...

The rebar bends are described by Daniel Keren, Jamie McCarthy, and Harry W. Mazal here:

Sergey Romanov said...

It has already been shown above that the photo is irrelevant to the issue at hand, hence the Bunny has been caught lying again when he claims "suppression".

No wonder, this is the guy who is a pathological liar.

Indeed, he had to hide his whole blog of many years because there he was promoting lies like "Jewish Ritual Murder" among many other fabricated claims. It was a real lie factory.

PS: it also appears that the Bunny does not understand plain English language.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

"The ends of the rebar are hooked around perpendicular rebar to form a square aperture (Figure 16). This indicates creation of those holes when the concrete roof was originally poured in early 1943."

Their annotated bends, in "Hole 4", appear to be anchorage bends for splicing rebar. See page 9. This doesn't negate their claim of a hole, but it's certainly something they should have researched and mentioned.

"... Figure 8b shows both uncut rebar and rebar that has been cut and bent at the edge of a hole [no.1]."

That slightly bended bar bares no similarity to the others they feature. It is not, and could not, have been anchored to a perpendicular rebar that would have been needed on the edge of any hole. Why was it done differently on this hole?

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

I really wish I'd kept count of the times you've called me a liar. It's got to be several hundred by now.

You've called me a liar for stating things you effectively admit are entirely accurate very soon afterwards, whilst calling me a liar again!

You're a very clever guy, that's abundantly clear. I just can't even begin to comprehend how you're comfortable endlessly publishing patently false accusations.

Sergey Romanov said...

Very simply because you falsely ascribe motivations apparently usual for *you* to the others. Most of your accusations of dishonesty are based either on honest mistakes or false standards. This thread is no exception.

And you're not simply called a liar but proven to be such. As in the case with Mermelstein.

Sergey Romanov said...

By the way, the language comment referred to the policy regarding your comments as stated earlier: apparently my plain language regarding the comments which will be deleted is above your comprehension.

Oh, and in the deleted comment you outright lied once again: obviously, I fully faithfully represented Neander's views on the matter: "Evidence of the human origin of its shade, however, is weak. It is hearsay from hearsay."

You're a pathological case, Bunny.

Hans Metzner said...

"Hans, what effect would the immense heat of the explosion that collapsed the roof of L1 have had on the "tar" that covered the roof?"

Probably none.

The thermal energy released from conventional explosives is relatively low, 1 kg TNT is like burning 100 or 200 g of fat (It's the speed of energy release that is immense). The energy of the explosive is dissipated in all kind of directions. Whatever fraction reached the roof, met a thick layer of concrete, not a good thermal conductor (and steel-bars conducting in the wrong direction) but with a decent heat capacity and huge mass. Tar itself is a poor thermal conductor and needs its time to get warm. Unless there was a fire in the basement, as secondary effect following the detonation, and there is no evidence nor reason for this, the conditions do not seem anywhere near to get junks of tar on top of the roof getting warm and dropping into the ruin.

Secondly, the surface with the tar drops is remarkably straight. Other fractured surfaces of the roof show irregular surfaces, dimples and little stones or something embedded as obstacles for the cracks. Compared to this, the surface in question looks handmade and casted. Then we got some tar drops on this straight surface. Such drops most likely originate from when tar was brushed on the concrete to ensure water-proofing of the bitumen layer.

Taken together this is some strong evidence that this surface was part of an opening made when the roof was constructed.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

"the surface with the tar drops is remarkably straight."

Because the drops are on the end of a brick, a brick-end that is still partially covered in concrete and that part isn't anywhere near being "straight". Rubble was evidently thrown in during the pour to save on concrete. Same thing is evident in the ceiling of the Dachau "gas chamber."

Are you seriously claiming those tar drops survived the explosion when the concrete edges to the rest of the hole, starting 3-4 cms away, were completely and utterly mangled?

Four comments deleted now, some acknowledged, some not. Resembles a CODOH thread.

Sergey Romanov said...

We've never declared our comment section an Open Debate zone.

The policy regarding the deletion of the comments of the pathological liar BRoI is clearly stated above.

If he wants another clarification, here it is: the comments in which he is not being a flaming asshole towards the blog owners will generally remain.

Sergey Romanov said...

More comedy from our favorite clown:

> That doesn't appear in the drafts I have. But you may have a later ones.

Thanks for your admission that you hurl accusations of lying based on... nothing. Illustrates my point brilliantly.

Here is the passage in the 2017 draft I was relying on:

"But there is the testimony of former SS judge Konrad Morgen, who led the criminal investigations against Koch in 1943. In an affidavit given on December 28, 1945 before U.S. interrogators he stated that he had seen in Camp Commandant Pister’s office “the prepared head of a hanged murderer and a lamp shade made out of human skin,” a remnant from his predecessor, Karl Koch. Morgen said that he had heard about the human origin of the lampshade from Pister, who himself had heard this from Koch. On January 22, 1946 he added that the lamp had a stand made of wrought iron and that its shade bore no ornamentation.
Morgen’s testimony has to be taken with great reserve. It seems that he not only confused the study in Koch’s home with the commandant’s office, but also the head sculpture above the writing desk in Koch’s study with a skull seen somewhere else in the camp. This can be concluded from a photograph in the possession of the Buchenwald archives showing Koch’s study. The lamp that can be seen there on Koch’s desk would fit well Morgen’s description. Evidence of the human origin of its shade, however, is weak. It is hearsay from hearsay. It is not known what happened to this lamp after Morgen had seen it in the end of August 1943."

Neander and I said the same thing, yet I'm the only one the psycho accuses of "lying".

Sergey Romanov said...

I have now amended the phrasing (influenced by a reading of Neander's draft - my fault for relying on memory and not double-checking) and I note that the actual content obviously supports my skeptical POV much more than the previous formulation (for we don't even know Pister's alleged source), pointing to an honest confusion.

Now, had Bunny simply pointed out the mistake without accusations of dishonesty (always projecting), he would have even deserved a word of thanks for proofing; alas it was not to be, so he can continue stewing in his own bile.

Sergey Romanov said...

The apparently mentally ill bunny-dude posted another lie-filled rant about me which has been dealt with as per the policy above.

The Bunny has shown his true face again, by refusing to call Neander's honest mistake a lie but calling my honest mistake based on Neander's honest mistake a lie (though I have more of an excuse), despite the origin having been explained to him above - thus he knowingly falsely called my mistake a lie, thus the Bunny lied.

Not content with a mere lie he tries to wiggle out of this absolute proof of his pathological nature and even outright lies that I couldn't formulate his lie even though it's formulated right at the link:

"So you now accept something you have just a short time ago called a CT and clearly rejected, without even admitting you were wrong and pretending that it has been your intent all along. Ministry of Truth indeed. We have always been at war with Eastasia. ROTFL."

Either you were lying the whole time you were posting those low-IQ comments about Mermelstein. Or you lied that you "know that that print has been tampered with. I only brought him up on HC to see if you'd blame him".

Either/or, a third option is not given.

But I guess we can't be surprised that a guy who spread the "Jewish ritual murder" lies for years lied a bit more.