Wednesday, April 05, 2006

That's why it is denial, not revisionism. Part I: Deniers on Sonderkommando 1005

In the book Treblinka. Extermination Camp or Transit Camp? Holocaust deniers Carlo Mattogno and Juergen Graf show blatant disregard for truth, by denying events for "reasons", which turn out to be bogus when the minimal amount of research is performed.

Let's start with the simplest case - that of Aktion/Sonderkommando 1005.

The gist of what Aktion 1005 was about you can glean at
Under the code name "Aktion 1005" the Germans tried to cover all tracks of Nazi extermination policy in the east, by opening mass graves and cremating hundreds of thousands of bodies.
Here's what Mattogno and Graf have to say about it:
The decision to allow this operation to start up is supposed to have been made in Berlin at the beginning of 1942. A letter of February 20, 1942, from the Chief of the Gestapo, Heinrich Müller, to Martin Luther of the Foreign Office, in which the subject of the unsatisfactory burial of corpses is raised and which is supposed to have been written after Müller "had received an anonymous letter complaining about the corpses flooding the Warthegau area," is cited as proof. This letter bears the file designation "IV B 4 43/42 gRs (1005)," and the alleged 'Operation 1005' is supposed to have gotten its name from this document!

But Alfred Streim, who cites the relevant letter based on first-hand knowledge, writes:

"On November 20, 1942, Himmler ordered SS-Gruppenführer Müller, Chief of Department IV in the RSHA, in writing (Zst. Dok. Slg. Ordner 3, Bl. 583): '...You must give me a guarantee that the bodies of these deceased Jews will either be burned or buried in every location, and that nowhere can anything else of any kind happen with these bodies..."

He does not say that this letter bore the heading "IV B 4 43/42 gRs (1005)," does not assign to it the designation '1005,' and confines himself to the following comment:

"The undertaking received - in accord with a nomenclature procedure of the RSHA - the designation '1005.'"

Thus, the letter concerned dates from November 20, 1942, and not from February 20. This would mean that the designation '1005' for the operation would have been assigned a full five months after its start! On the other hand, in the letter the Jews are referred to as "dead," not 'shot' or 'killed.' Moreover, the disposal of the bodies could take place by cremation or burial, which means that the Himmler letter need have no connection with the excavation and cremation of corpses of Jews who had been shot, and what we are dealing with here is a primitive hoax.


Now, if one considers that according to the most comprehensive studies on this subject that exist, the Einsatzgruppen alone are supposed to have shot 2,200,000 people (Jews and non-Jews), that Wehrmacht, SS, and police units are also accused of hundreds of thousands of murders, and that - as already emphasized - neither the Soviets nor the Poles have found any mass-graves with even only a few thousand bodies, the 'Sonderkommandos 1005' must have exhumed and burned between one-and-a-half and three million bodies. This means that within a period of 13 months they had to have emptied thousands of graves at hundreds of locations, which were scattered over an enormous area - all of this without leaving behind any material or documentary traces!

Without having thousands of maps, on which the graves were marked, it would quite obviously have been impossible to locate those thousands of mass graves in a territory of more than 1.2 million square kilometers, but neither are such maps mentioned in even a single Einsatzgruppe report or any other document, nor have such maps ever been found among the German documents captured by the victors of World War II. And if - as the witnesses report - thousands of pyres were burning during the night despite blackout regulations, no Soviet reconnaissance plane discovered and photographed them - for otherwise the photographs would have been exploited at once for propaganda purposes.

Thomas Sandkühler plays this down:

"Due to the extreme secrecy of the 'Operation 1005,' written sources on this are very rare."

In other words, there are none! Sandkühler 's statement reflects the total embarrassment, which orthodox historians feel in the face of this outrage, while simultaneously serving up the customary stale explanation: the documents do not exist "due to the strict secrecy"! This hypothesis stands in glaring contrast to a fact, which Gerald Reitlinger describes:

"The original series [of Einsatzgruppen reports] consisted of nearly two hundred reports with a circulation list of sixty to a hundred copies each. [...]

It is not easy to see why the murderers left such an abundant testimony behind them, [...]"

The Event Reports USSR comprise a total of "over 2,900 typewritten pages," and each of them was distributed with a minimum circulation of 30 copies. The Germans are therefore supposed to have distributed tens of thousands of pages of documents concerning the mass shootings committed by the Einsatzgruppen, then quite suddenly have grasped the necessity of exhuming and burning the bodies, but have forgotten to destroy the incriminating documents!

The fact is, the story of 'Operation 1005' is based upon some few completely unreliable witness statements.


The designation 'Sonderkommando 1005' was invented by the Soviets.

I emphasized several key claims made by the authors.

Now, what someone researching these matters, and especially someone who is "skeptical" about these matters, should have done in the first place? (S)he should have consulted authoritative studies of other scholars on this topic, working from them, rebutting or adding information along the way.

Currently, the definitive scholarly study of Aktion 1005 is Shmuel Spector's article "Aktion 1005 - Effacing The Murder of Millions" (Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 1990, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 157-173).

Graf and Mattogno never mention this article. Indeed, they're obviously unaware of it, because it completely debunks their "analysis", quoted above.

1) First of all, the article makes clear that there was an inscription "IV B 4 43/42 gRs (1005)" in the upper left corner of the letter sent by Mueller to Luther on February 28, 1942 (not February 20, as the authors state). "IV B 4" was a designation of Eichmann's department of Jewish affairs. "43/42" was the number and year of the letter. "gRs" is "Geheime Reichsache", "secret Reich matter". Finally, 1005, whatever it was initially, would later become the code name of the operation to erase traces of mass murder.

The second document the authors mention as quoted by Streim (Spector quotes it too) is the letter not from Mueller to Luther, but from Himmler to Mueller, written not on February 28, but on November 20. From this the authors should have guessed that they were dealing with different letters. Duuuuh! So they reach the height of idiocy when they write:
But Alfred Streim, who cites the relevant letter based on first-hand knowledge...
Thus, the letter concerned dates from November 20, 1942, and not from February 20. This would mean that the designation '1005' for the operation would have been assigned a full five months after its start!
To reiterate: it is so freakin' obvious that these are the different letters. What kind of idiots are we dealing with here?

Also, I haven't seen any historian claiming that it was Himmler's November letter that started the whole operation. In his letter Himmler did not order to start Aktion 1005 - he was merely reacting to the rumors that the Nazis had been making soap from Jewish bodies, and was making sure that nothing of that kind would really happen.

2) The point about locating the mass graves is mostly a straw-man. Nobody argues that SK1005 cleared all the graves. In fact, Spector states:
The Nazis were not succesful in removing the signs of the murder because of the vast numbers, the wide distribution of the mass graves, and because of the swift advance of the Soviet army.
The graves themselves could be located by questioning the local population and those who took part in the killings, thus there was no need in extensive maps, etc. Historians indeed point out that surviving Sonderkommando 1005/Aktion 1005 documentation is scarce, but they never say that it is non-existent, contrary to what M&G deceptively state. In fact, in his article Spector quotes April 1944 intelligence report of the army activities in Pinsk area (by no means it should be assumed that this is the only such document):
By special order of the Reichsfuehrer SS, Sonderkommando 1005 arrived, to execute special duties in the area of the army.
Thus, contrary to M&G, Sonderkommando 1005 was not a Soviet invention.

Now think about it: how much embarrassment Mattogno and Graf would avoid if they would simply read Spector's article? Such is the best "revisionist" research.

And that's only the first example. More to follow.

Update: Also see PRO decodes about SK1005.

Next >> Part II: Deniers and the graves of Marijampole

1 comment:

Please read our Comments Policy