Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Soviets went over the top in their lies …

... when making a film documentary about Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

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Or so Mr. Ugly Voice tells us in episode 19 [YouTube version] of his video filth, after claiming that the Soviets could never produce any documentation like the German investigation reports on the Soviet NKVD’s massacres at Katyn and Vinnitsya (see my article Shooting Mattogno in the foot … for the discussion of this claim and other trash contained in said episode 19).

His example of “over the top” Soviet “lies” about Auschwitz is a clip from a film documentary about the 1961 Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, showing the projection of a “a film of Auschwitz taken by the Soviet Union”, in which the Soviets supposedly went “over the top in their lies, with tattoos that look like they are drawn on rice paper rather than on human skin, but also, because here in the film is a bucket of human heads, with people in some kind of pillory thing over here, as if the Germans would just leave this when they evacuated”.

Actually it is unlikely – to say the least – that any of what Mr. Ugly Voice makes a fuss about was actually stated in the film to be a scene from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp.

The artifacts stated to be tattooed samples of human skin were features not of Auschwitz, but of Buchenwald concentration camp, which was liberated by the Americans, not by the Soviets. Together with other exhibits, these skin samples were shown by the Americans to German civilians after the liberation of Buchenwald, and they were also the subject of the trial of Ilse Koch before an American military tribunal, during which a forensic report, prepared about three tattooed pieces of skin exhibited in the courtroom, stated the conclusion that these were indeed pieces of human skin. Documentary evidence related to the Nazi administration of Buchenwald concentration camp, namely this letter of 7 May 1942 sent by the SS local physician in Weimar to the director of pathology of Buchenwald concentration camp, prohibiting the further manufacture of “so called gift articles (shrunken heads, etc.)” and this instruction from SS headquarters in Oranienburg to the SS local physician of Weimar – Buchenwald to hand over 142 pieces of tattoos existing at Buchenwald, further corroborates the notion that such macabre “gift articles” were indeed manufactured at Buchenwald concentration camp, which in turn means that the exhibits looking “like they are drawn on rice paper” to Mr. Ugly Voice were not a lie let alone a Soviet lie related to Auschwitz.

As to the decapitated human bodies and the heads lying in a bucket beside them, similarity with some rather graphic photos of corpses lying in containers, which are shown here, suggests that the film image in question is related to the Soviet allegations of experiments in the manufacture of soap from human corpses conducted at the Danzig Anatomical Institute, which had been presented at the Nuremberg Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal and supported by, among other evidence, the affidavits of Britsh POWs Neely and Witton. It is also possible, considering similarity with these very graphic images from a French investigation of crimes committed at Struthof/Natzweiler concentration camp in Alsace, that the image in question is related to a singularly macabre endeavor that Eichmann was accused of having been involved in, the making of an “anthropological” skeleton collection suggested to Himmler by SS-Hauptsturmführer Dr. August Hirt, head of the Anatomical Institute at Strasbourg University, for which the bodies of people killed at Natzweiler concentration camp in Alsace were used. If this should be the case, the Soviets had nothing whatsoever to do with the investigation of the events in question. The evidence to the Natzweiler killings – especially the documents and eyewitness testimonies referred to on pages 271 to 277 of Kogon/Langbein/Rückerl et al, Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas – is also solid enough to leave no room for reasonable doubt that these killings actually took place.

If, on the other hand, the film image showing the bodies in a “pillory thing” and the heads in a bucket should be related to the experiments at the Danzig Anatomical Institute, the mentioned affidavits from British POWs may or not be conclusive in what concerns there having been an attempt to manufacture human soap rather than the mere use of maceration fat for cleaning purposes, but they are certainly conclusive in what concerns the presence and use of a considerable number of corpses at that institute, and therefore exclude dismissing the image of the decapitated bodies and the heads as a “Soviet lie”. It stands to any reason other than “Revisionist” coulda-shoulda-woulda thinking that a hasty flight of the Danzig Anatomical Institute’s staff before the Soviet troops, leaving behind some of the corpses in the institute, was not exactly out of the question – also considering that Danzig was not evacuated by the Germans, but captured after bitter street fighting by the Soviet army.

There is also no indication in the transcripts of the court sessions at the Eichmann Trial – where the screening of films was a major issue, requiring a court decision on the admissibility of these films as a means to illustrate the evidence and involving objections against the showing in court of certain parts of the films by Eichmann’s defense attorney Dr. Servatius, to whom the films had been shown before – that the scenes commented by Mr. Ugly Voice were related to Auschwitz or filmed by the Soviets. The following are excerpts from the trial records related to the description of the films’ contents and their screening; emphases are mine.

Session 54:

Attorney General: With the Court's permission, may I be permitted briefly to interrupt the submission of evidence on the question of Hungary, and to request the directives and the guidance of the Court in a matter which is to take place next week?
It is our intention to exhibit in Court a number of documentary films in order to illustrate certain events about which evidence had already been led, and other events on which evidence will be produced next week. Naturally we will ensure suitable authentication of the incidents contained in these films. We shall produce witnesses who will be asked to testify under oath that this is how matters looked in fact.
It seems to me that we have the right to present these films, but in view of the fact that it is not a daily or normal occurrence for films to be shown in a court-room, I thought it would be proper to ask the Court's guidance in this matter.
Presiding Judge: Is there a precedence for that?
Attorney General: Yes, Your Honour. Films were also exhibited at Nuremberg on several occasions. This was also the case in the Bergen-Belsen trial. These are two instances which I can recall at the moment, concerning this type of evidence. We sometimes make use of a film for another purpose, in order to identify a place, and so on. But this is not our purpose. Here the intention is to illustrate the events.
Presiding Judge: Were decisions given there - or was the matter simply taken for granted?
Attorney General: I believe that there was some objection, and it was decided that it had probative value and, on several occasions, the showing of films was allowed.
Presiding Judge: Perhaps you could show us where this appears in the reports.
Attorney General: Certainly. I think that it appears already in the early volumes.
Judge Halevi: What do the films contain?
Attorney General: One film is about Auschwitz after the liberation - showing the appearance of the survivors. One film which we will also show if we can manage to convert it from 35 mm to 16 mm, concerns the Warsaw Ghetto. I say "if we can manage" for there is a technical problem in bringing a 35 mm projector to the Court. If we cannot manage, we shall be obliged to forego the film because of this difficulty. There is one film dealing with the transport of Jews to Ravensbrueck. There is another one showing scenes of the Mauthausen camp.
Judge Halevi: Was the film of Mauthausen taken after the liberation or before?
Attorney General: There are scenes which were photographed at the time of the event. There is one scene, really apocalyptic, of thousands of people standing at a roll-call, naked, which was certainly shot at the precise moment when it took place. And there will be a witness who will testify that this is indeed what it looked like.
Judge Halevi: Where do these films come from?
Attorney General: From various sources. There are documentary films which were made by various institutions, immediately after the War. The film on Auschwitz has a Czech commentary. We will remove the sound - we do not need the Czech commentaries, but apparently this film is of Czech origin. There are films which were filmed jointly by Eastern and Western bodies, French and Polish, but these were private organizations, not official bodies. These films were taken immediately after the War. […]
Presiding Judge: Are there amongst these films such as have already been shown in those trials?
Attorney General: This, too, is not clear to us. According to the record of proceedings at Nuremberg, there was some authentication on behalf of the Allied military authorities at the beginning of the film. This authentication does not appear in the films in our possession, and hence we shall require a different method of authentication. There is also a film which the German television prepared towards this trial. It was shown in Germany and called "In the steps of the Hangman." It was featured on West German television on the occasion of the opening of this trial.
It is a film which we do not propose showing to the Court in its entirety, because it adopts a moralizing tone in order to arrive at certain conclusions and clearly it would not be proper for us to ask the Court to view all of it.
But it contains sections on the operations of the Einsatzgruppen, which were apparently filmed at the time they were taking place, and these, too, will be verified by witnesses. We shall extract this portion only and show it to the Court.

Session 68:

Presiding Judge: I declare the sixty-eighth Session of the trial open.
Decision No. 72
We confirm the request of the Attorney General and will permit the exhibition of films to illustrate the evidence of the Prosecution witnesses, on condition that the films will be sufficiently authenticated.
For reasons of security, because of the blacking-out of the hall during the screening, the public, with the exception of journalists, will not be permitted to be in the Courtroom at the time of the screening.

Session 70:

Attorney General: With the Court's permission, last night we screened the films - which the Court will now see - in the presence of representatives of the Prosecution, and in the presence of Dr. Servatius and nine identification witnesses. They are: Mrs. Salzberger, Mr. Hoch, Mr. Aviel, Mr. Melkman, Mr. Ben-Zvi, Mr. Bakon, Mrs. Kagan, Mr. Chen and Mr. Aharon Hoter-Yishai. As a result of the screening, Defence Counsel agreed that, indeed, each of the witnesses identified a portion of the pictures, and hence, in this way, the entire screening was authenticated. I understand that Defence Counsel does not insist that the oath be administered to these identifying witnesses, but they are present here, at the Court's disposal, should the Court desire further authentication from them or to put additional questions to them.
Presiding Judge: That means there will be no testimony...
Attorney General: There will be no evidence running with the screening. I shall announce before the screening of each section what is being shown. I have a record of proceedings here signed by Mr. Ya'akov Bar-Or, on the identification that took place yesterday. I am ready to submit it to the Court. Defence Counsel has received a copy of it.
Presiding Judge: Dr. Servatius, what do you have to observe on this?
Dr. Servatius: I have no comments in regard to the witnesses. The Attorney General will explain what the contents are. These contents have been summarized for me, and I have no objection - but I have some points which I ask the Court to note, and on which my reservations are based. Do I have permission to present them now?
Presiding Judge: First of all, you do not have any objection to the submission of the record of proceedings?
Dr. Servatius: No, I have no objection to the submission of this record of proceedings.
Presiding Judge: I am marking the record of proceedings with my initials, and the letter "A". You spoke about reservations - what kind of reservations will you have at a later stage? I should like to understand the meaning of this word "reservation".
Dr. Servatius: Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, I am referring to a possible reservation which I shall present, and the Court will understand it only if it is submitted in advance.
Presiding Judge: That means that the reservation is against the present screening itself, or how am I to understand it?
Dr. Servatius: No, the reservation will not be against the actual screening, but in respect of certain scenes and of the text.
Presiding Judge: Please continue.
Dr. Servatius: Firstly, we see the actions of an operational group - to that I have no objection. But, immediately thereafter, comes a scene of a pile of corpses, a burning pile. I have the feeling that this scene was prepared after the event, and, in this respect, the scene should have been examined. There is also a view there of a wooden wall marked with lines. What their significance is one cannot see, but it has been said here that these are the numbers of the victims who were killed by this unit. I would, therefore, request that the text be examined.
Presiding Judge: With regard to the first scene, are you arguing that the scene has been staged, that it is not a genuine one?
Dr. Servatius: No, it is a genuine scene, but I have the feeling that it was filmed after the liberation, when they continued the process of burning bodies. Subsequently, there is a scene showing decapitated bodies, and the heads in a separate receptacle. I assume that both the scenes of the corpses and those of the heads are genuine. But I have the impression that it was put together for the purpose of reports that were made. Thereafter, we are shown some rectangular objects, and it is said that this was soap made from these bodies. I request that, in this instance, too, the text be examined.
As far as the furnace is concerned, I do not know whether it was found in this condition, when there was still fire in it, or whether the fire was kindled in order to show how it looked when the fire was burning. I cannot give any explanation for it. At any rate, this furnace was identified.
Presiding Judge: Identified? Where was it?
Attorney General: In Auschwitz. Concerning the burying of the bodies, evidence will be brought on the subject, and we shall submit material which, in our opinion, will implicate the Accused in the matter of the skeletons in Strasbourg. We shall submit evidence proving the link between the Accused and that affair, and the pictures which were shown at Nuremberg on the same matter. The scenes that you will see here is needed only to substantiate the material evidence which you will receive tomorrow. If we do not succeed in submitting this material, I shall ask you to disregard these scenes. Incidentally, it is only a brief part of the film, and also not an important one.
[The film is shown]
Attorney General: So far, we have had the first section of the films. The second section consists of a number of fragments. Firstly, the train from Westerbork to Auschwitz. The surroundings have been identified as those of Westerbork. The commander of the camp has been identified.
The other scenes appearing in the rest of the film are: a view of Auschwitz, the plan of the camp, the installations, the women's living quarters, the stores, the stores for teeth, hair, women's articles, and items of clothing; a medical committee examining the victims of the experiments. The Court will also observe the barbed wire fences, the watch towers, and the electrified fences.
[The film is shown]
Attorney General: [giving explanations during the screening]
[A view of an SS officer amongst a group of people] This man in the centre has been identified as Gemecke, commander of the camp.
[A scene of a barrel being brought into a freight car from a cart full of barrels] This barrel was given to the prisoners for the purpose of relieving themselves en route.
[A scene of people seated in a large hall, mainly women and children] These pictures were taken immediately after the liberation.
These two below are "Stehbunker" (standing-up cells).
[A scene of people eating, two eating from one plate] These are pictures from the time of arrest.
These are toilets.
This is a wall for executing people in the notorious Block 11.
[People lying in bed] This is a hospital.
[A scene of a room in the clinic and various instruments]
Presiding Judge: What do you know about that?
Attorney General: These are the instruments for medical experiments. These are the interiors of cells. This is the burning of the bodies in the open, when the crematorium could not cope.
[A view of the camp covered in snow, people walking with haversacks and personal possessions] This is after the liberation by the Soviet army.
[A group of people in prisoner's garb pointing to an installation containing a door which opens downwards] This is Block 10, the punishment block.

[Heaps of spectacles, shoes, hair, and the like] This is what was discovered in the stores of Auschwitz after the liberation, false teeth, spectacles and other items.
[Bundles of coarse cloth]

Presiding Judge: What is that?
Attorney General: This is cloth made from hair, but we have no evidence as to its use - that is what the producer of the film surmised.
[An examination of people by a group of doctors] This is the examination of survivors by a medical team.

Attorney General: The next film will show various camps. First of all, the I.G. Farben camp and a visit there by Himmler.
Presiding Judge: The I.G. Farben camp - where?
Attorney General: In Buna, one of the sections of Auschwitz. As a consequence of the Defence Counsel's remarks, I understand that this item has been removed because some comment was made about it. The next scene will be Birkenau. Next, Mauthausen, and after that Strasbourg. This is how people were killed on the electrified barbed wire fences. This is the roll-call in Mauthausen. The people are standing there, naked.
Presiding Judge: Did you say that the last section was filmed in Strasbourg? Attorney General: There was the matter of the supply of one hundred and fifty skeletons to the Institute for Ancestral Research "Ahnenerbe". We shall prove the link with the Accused. Instead of supplying skeletons, he supplied living people whose skeletons served the institute.
Presiding Judge: Do you have evidence that this was filmed at Strasbourg?
Attorney General: There are pictures closely resembling those which were shown at Nuremberg. The next section deals with the camps in the American sector. It will show the United States forces entering the camps, General Eisenhower visiting the camps, the surviving remnants of all kinds. Presiding Judge: At what place was that taken?
Attorney General: At various places. There were scores of these. These are the huts that were set on fire at the time of the German retreat.
These are figures of Muselmenn about whom the Court has already heard. The German citizens were ordered to visit the camps and to see the atrocities with their own eyes. The next film is about Bergen-Belsen.[…]
I regret that it was necessary to subject the Court to such a harrowing experience. That is the end of the screening.

The above quotes, and especially the highlighted passages, show or at least suggest the following:

• The features of Auschwitz shown in the films screened in Session 70 did not include the scenes that Mr. Ugly Voice attributes to “a film of Auschwitz taken by the Soviet Union”;

• The samples of tattooed skin correspond to General Eisenhower’s visit to the camps liberated by the US Army and/or to forced viewings by German civilians of evidence to the atrocities committed at those camps;

• The dead bodies in the “pillory thing” are either from the Danzig Anatomical Institute or related to the killings at Natzweiler concentration camp for the purpose of Prof. Hirt’s skeleton collection at the Strasbourg University’s Anatomical Institute.

Add to this the above-mentioned evidence according to which it is very likely – to say the least – that the film sequences in question actually show what they purport to show, and nothing is left of Mr. Ugly Voice’s claim that the Soviets went “over the top in their lies” in a film they made about Auschwitz. The scenes that Mr. Ugly Voice makes a fuss about do not refer to Auschwitz, they are at least rather unlikely to be lies, the tattooed skin samples were obviously not filmed by the Soviets, and even the decapitated bodies and the heads in the bucket were not necessarily filmed by the Soviets either.

What we have here at best, therefore, is an erroneous description of the provenance and content of these film sequences by the narrator of the respective documentary about the Eichmann trial, whose statements Mr. Ugly Voice didn’t bother to check because i) he knows as much about Auschwitz and the other Nazi concentration camps as a pig does about Sunday and ii) they nicely served the fuss he intended to make about the Soviets having gone “over the top in their lies”.

I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if viewing said Eichmann trial documentary I were to find out that the link between Auschwitz and the film sequences in question was simply invented by Mr. Ugly Voice, which would mean that the only “over the top” lie in this context is his own.

Mr. Ugly Voice’s rambling about the film shown at the Eichmann trial ends on a funny note, which is worth mentioning for what it reveals about the inanity of “Revisionist” reasoning: our friend tells his viewers

Here’s Eichmann watching, knowing it’s a fraud.

What made Mr. Ugly Voice conclude that Eichmann “knew” the film to be a “fraud”?

Mr. Ugly Voice doesn’t refer to any statements of Eichmann's in this sense, and it’s also unlikely that there were any – after all the only objection by Eichmann’s defense attorney, see above quote from the transcripts of Session 70 of the Eichmann Trial, was that the decapitated bodies and the heads in the bucket beside them had been arranged in this manner by who discovered the bodies and reported about them (which is not improbable).

So I see two possibilities:

a) Mr. Ugly Voice thought he read this “knowledge” on Eichmann’s face;

b) Mr. Ugly Voice thought he managed to read Eichmann’s mind.

Our readers may decide which of the two better fits this loony.

Thanks a lot to Sergey for his valuable input to this article.

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