Friday, September 21, 2007

“The Stroop Report is a Forgery” (Part 3)

[Continued from The Stroop Report is a Forgery” (Part 2)]

“The Stroop Report is a Forgery” (Part 3)

Discussion of denierbud’s “Ten Other Points to Consider” will be divided into two parts, of which one deals with “points” 1, 9 and 10 because these three contain similar claims (staging of photographs contained in the Stroop Report). “Points” 2 to 6 and 8 will be the subject of the other part, while “point” 7 was already addressed in Part 1 of this commentary.

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5. “An unlikely photo for a commemorative book” (item 1 of the section “Ten Other Points to Consider”)

With regard to one of the photos attached to the Stroop Report, which can be viewed online here and is captioned “Mit Gewalt aus Bunkern hervorgeholt” (“Forcibly pulled out of dug-outs”) denierbud mouths off as follows:

1) The most famous photo of the holocaust comes from the Stroop Report. It is the photo of the little boy with his hands raised up, with a soldier behind him holding a gun. Would a German general choose to include such an un-chivalric photo in a commemorative book? Any person in any culture is going to be turned off by the "bully" implication of the photo: a nice little boy scared into putting his hands up by a grown man with a gun. Who, below, is more likely to put this into a photo album:

A) A Jew trying to vilify the Nazis

B) A Nazi General

As a means to grasp the absurdity, try to imagine General Patton sending General Eisenhower a commemorative photo of an American soldier herding 5 year old Japanese children at gunpoint into some enclosure.

In the last paragraph of the above quote, American citizen denierbud reveals his ignorance of his own country’s history by placing US generals George S. Patton and Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Pacific, fighting the Japanese, instead of the European Theater of Operations.

He further reveals his ignorance of the nature and tasks of commanders like SS-Brigadefuehrer and Major General of Police Stroop by comparing him to military commanders conducting engagements between military forces. Patton and Eisenhower would probably have resented this comparison, and so, as already mentioned in Part 2, would Colonel-General Alfred Jodl, who made a clear distinction between a campaign “fought by soldiers against a well-armed army” and what he contemptuously called Stroop’s “little murder expedition”. Stroop may have liked to see himself as a soldier, but his operation against the Warsaw ghetto was but a large-scale police operation, directed against a population group that, as a whole, was deemed to be a threat to public security and to the “Aryan” population. This view was expressed by Stroop himself in the summary account part of the report, namely in the following statements:

Page I:
These restrictions were imposed with the intention of protecting the aryan population against the Jews.

Page 2:
The experiences in the district of Lowicz after Ghettos had been installed, showed that this method is the only one suitable for dispelling the dangers which emanate repeatedly from the Jews.
At that time the Department for Hygiene urged the speedy erection of a Ghetto in the interest of preserving the health of the German Forces and of the native population as well.

Page 3:
It soon became clear, however, that not all dangers had been removed by this confining the Jews to one place. Security considerations required removing the Jews from the city of Warsaw altogether.

Jews were seen by Stroop as a threat to public health and security, as a pest to be segregated and removed. And they were also seen as despicable creatures, contemptuously referred to as rabble and sub-humanity and portrayed as the dregs of humanity, abominable not only physically but also character-wise, like these Jewish traitors being scrutinized by a smart-looking German officer. This was a view that Stroop shared with his superiors, including Himmler, who in a later speech would refer to the Jews as “this disintegrating plague in our body popular”, which he had undertaken to wipe out for the good of Germany.

Such being their views and attitudes, neither Stroop nor Himmler would realize the “bully” implication of this photo that denierbud talks about. The “nice little boy” would be a filthy, crooked-legged, sickly showpiece of the Jewish “rabble and sub-humanity” that threatened the strong and healthy German people, the “grown man with a gun” a worthy SS-man helping to carry out a task that was, in Himmler’s words, “the most difficult we had so far”. The “grown man vs. boy” – situation made no difference to this assessment, and neither did the fact that the SS-man was heavily armed and the Jewish boy obviously defenseless, for what made the Jews dangerous in the Nazis eyes’ was not any physical power but their supposed “disintegrating” influence. A part of this “disintegrating” influence, according to Nazi ideology, was the notion of conscience and of compassion for the weak and helpless underlying the chivalric custom of sparing them. Among the statements attributed to Hitler there are the following:

"Only when the time comes when the race is no longer overshadowed by the consciousness of its own guilt, then it will find internal peace and external energy to cut down regardlessly and brutally the wild shoots, and to pull up the weeds."

"Conscience is a Jewish invention. It is a blemish like circumcision."

"I am freeing men from the restraints of an intelligence that has taken charge; from the dirty and degrading modifications of a chimera called conscience and morality"

In his book Mein Kampf, Volume II, Chapter I, Hitler had proclaimed that what he called an “ethical ideal” had to step aside if it endangered “the existence of a race that is the standard-bearer of a higher ethical ideal”:

The völkisch belief holds that humanity must have its ideals, because ideals are a necessary condition of human existence itself. But, on the other hand, it denies that an ethical ideal has the right to prevail if it endangers the existence of a race that is the standard-bearer of a higher ethical ideal. For in a world which would be composed of mongrels and negroids all ideals of human beauty and nobility and all hopes of an idealized future for our humanity would be lost forever.

Thus there was no room for ethical considerations, such as keep the stronger from killing, harming or brutalizing the weaker, within the scope of what Goebbels, in his diary entry of 27 March 1942, called “a life-and-death struggle between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus”. On the contrary, acting with utmost ruthlessness even against defenseless women and children carrying that “bacillus” was the dictate of a “higher ethical ideal” borne by the superior “Aryan” race, a sacrifice made for the German people by men who loved it, a supreme virtue. In his speech on 6 October 1943, Himmler expressed this idea in the following terms (my translation):

I ask you that what I tell you in this circle you will really only hear and never talk about it. The question came up to us: What do to with the women and children? – I decided to find a very clear solution also in this respect. This because I didn’t consider myself entitled to exterminate the men – that is, to kill them or to have them killed – and to let the children grow up as avengers against our sons and grandsons. The difficult decision had to be taken to make this people disappear from the earth. For the organization that had to carry out the task if was the most difficult we had so far. It has been carried out without – as I consider myself entitled to say – our men and our leaders having taken harm to their spirit and soul. The path between the possibilities existing here, to either become crude and heartless and no longer to respect human life or to become weak and collapse to the point of nervous breakdowns the path between this Scylla and Charybdis is horrendously narrow.

Abhorrent though it may appear to normal human feeling, the situation portrayed on this photo is thus perfectly compatible with how Himmler and his subordinates saw themselves – as men willing to make the sacrifice of acting ruthlessly against the perceived carriers of what Himmler called “this disintegrating plague”, for the benefit of Germany – and those they were fighting against. The answer to denierbud’s rhetorical question whether a “Nazi General” would be likely to include this photograph in a photo report meant for Himmler is: yes, definitely so. On 23 April 1943 Himmler had ordered “to complete the combing out of the Warsaw Ghetto with the greatest severity and relentless tenacity”. Photos like the one under discussion showed that Stroop had complied with this order.

Against the reality of Nazi ideology stands the fantasy of denierbud’s manipulation scenario, which would have his female Jewish forger directing a large team of actors and photographers, some dressed up as SS-men and others as poor Jews, elaborately staging more than four dozen photographs against a background of burning buildings and/or urban ruins chosen or created for that sinister purpose, all of that at a time when Warsaw and all of Poland was under Nazi control, and furthermore without leaving any evidence to this large outdoor photo session (which even included a shot of the C.O. of the large-scale action himself) other than the “bully” effect discussed above and the claim of one Tsvi Nussbaum that he was the boy with his hands in the air, and that the photo had been taken not inside but outside the Warsaw ghetto and on a date after the completion of the Stroop Report.

For Nussbaum’s account denierbud refers his readers to this page, which he apparently did not read very carefully. If he had, he would have noticed that his source features excerpts from Richard Raskin’s A Child at Gunpoint, in which it is ruled out that Nussbaum and the boy on the picture are identical. Emphases in the following quote are mine.

If the boy in the photo is Tsvi Nussbaum, then the picture would have to have been taken at the Hotel Polski, and not within the Warsaw Ghetto, where all of the photos from the "Stroop Report" are generally thought to have been taken.
Dr. Lucjan Dobroszycki was quoted in a New York Times article, expressing doubts about whether Tsvi Nussbaum is the boy in the photo, for the reasons set out below:
"The scene," he noted, "is on a street, not in the courtyard in which the Hotel Polski roundup took place. Some of the Jews are wearing armbands that they surely would have shed while in the Aryan quarter of Warsaw. The German soldiers would not have needed combat uniforms at the hotel. The heavy clothing worn by most of the Jews suggests that the photograph was taken in May – the date General Stroop put on the report – rather than July. Moreover every other photograph in the "Stroop Report" was taken in the Warsaw Ghetto."

Tsvi Nussbaum commented:
"I am not claiming anything – there’s no reward. I didn’t ask for this honour. I think it’s me, but I can’t honestly swear to it. A million and a half Jewish children were told to raise their hands."

Finally, with the help of someone trained in photo-comparison, Dr. K.R. Burns, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Georgia, compared the famous photo, with a passport photo of Tsvi Nussbaum taken in 1945, and stated the following:
"Having examined the two photographs, although the mouth, nose and cheek are consistent, there is one important disparity; the ear lobes on the 1943 boy appear to be attached, whereas the earlobes of the 1945 boy are not attached. This generic trait cannot change with age and the difference indicates the pictures are not of the same boy. "

So the child at gunpoint is clearly not Mr. Nussbaum. And while other attempts to identify this little boy have failed as well, four of the Jews shown on this photograph have been identified by relatives, and the man holding the gun identified himself. Raschke, as quoted by denierbud’s source:

The one person in the photograph whose identity has been established beyond any doubt is the SD soldier aiming his sub-machine gun in the direction of the little boy.

He was SS-Rottenführer Josef Blösche, a most feared predator, who was often teamed up with SS-Untersturmführer Karl–Georg Brandt, and SS-Oberscharführer Heinrich Klaustermeyer, to terrorize the occupants of the ghetto on hunting expeditions, randomly killing whomever they chose.

Blösche was born in Friedland (former "Sudetenland") in 1912, and after joining the SS, saw service in Platerow as a guard patrolling the River Bug. In May 1941 he was transferred to the SS post at Siedlce. Following service in an Einsatzgruppen unit in Baranowitchi, he was transferred to the Warsaw Security Police, where he took part in the suppression of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in April 1943 and the Polish national uprising in August 1944.

So there is little if any room for doubt that this is a photo taken during the Warsaw Uprising, and that it shows what it is captioned as showing.

Denierbud should learn to read his own sources before invoking them. And then, perhaps he read this one but expected his readers to take his word for it and not check behind him. The line between ignorance, sloppiness and stupidity on the one hand and dishonesty on the other is hard to draw when it comes to “Revisionism”.

6. “A Picture of acute scoliosis” (item 9 of the section “Ten Other Points to Consider”)

Denierbud can be an amusing fellow, especially when in this “point” he tells his readers that this picture “looks more like a medical photo” and that “Nazi philosophy had a racial component to be sure, but it didn't involve running to the hospital of conquered cities and taking photos of people with rare medical problems in order to point out their inferior characteristics.”

First of all, what is supposed to make this picture look like a medical photo? Is it because in denierbud’s imagination medical photos are usually taken on the outside of buildings with bullet marks in them, which is what the two men in this photo seem to be facing? Because he figures that axes (we see one by the man on the left) are not only a useful tool when it comes to breaking open doors in a round-up, but also standard medical equipment? Or just because the men in the photo have no clothes on? The latter is the only feature that might point to a medical background, except that there’s a likelier reason that becomes apparent from the Stroop Report, namely the teletype message of 3 May 1943, where the following is written:

Since we discovered several times today, that Jewesses had pistols concealed in their bloomers, every Jew and bandit will be ordered from today on, to strip completely for the search.

So the men on the photo obviously had to strip in order to make sure that they had no concealed weapons on them. Medical photo my ass.

As to denierbud’s objection regarding Nazi “philosophy”, denierbud has revealed enough ignorance of the subject matter of his productions to warrant the question on what basis he presumes knowledge of what the Nazis would or would not do. Nazi racist and pseudo – anthropological madness went so far that, on one occasion, over 100 prisoners were killed at Natzweiler concentration camp, with Himmler’s blessing, in order to put together a collection of skeletons from Judeo-Bolshevik sub-humans at the Anatomic Institute of Strasburg University. The well-documented execution of this project is described in detail on pages 271 ff of the study Nationalsozialistische Massentötungen durch Giftgas, edited by Kogon, Langbein and others. It was also the subject of a criminal trial before a West German court. Taking photographs of hospital patients with deformities in order to point out their inferiority would have been just a less harmful manifestation of the same lunacy.

However, denierbud further objects, the deformity of the man on the right also existed among Germans and would thus not have been suitable for demonstrating Jewish inferiority. To be sure, there were also non-Jewish Germans with all sorts of physical and/or mental handicaps, but arguing that this would have kept the Nazis from deriding Jews with shots of physical deformities is like arguing that club-footed little Goebbels and other members of the government, who were not exactly models of “Aryan” perfection, kept the Nazis from juxtaposing “Aryan” beauty and Jewish ugliness in charming publications like this one. What is more, denierbud apparently doesn’t know – or “forgot” to tell his readers – that the Nazis saw also otherwise worthy German Volksgenossen as inferior and a burden to society if they suffered from physical or mental handicaps, to the point of instituting a program for the killing of disabled children and adult disabled patients living in institutional settings. As early as 1936, the Nazis had portrayed handicapped people as dregs of humanity living at the expense of the healthy body popular, like in this propaganda poster.

Within the scope of such “philosophy”, to use denierbud’s terminology, a physically or mentally handicapped person who furthermore was a member of the despised Jewish race, or a stinking Jew who on top of that was physically deformed, was the epitome of all that National Socialism fought against and stood for, an illustration of Hitler’s “higher ethical ideal” that called for ruthlessly defending “human beauty and nobility” against the “mongrels and negroids” who might otherwise destroy “all hopes of an idealized future for our humanity” (see above quotes from Mein Kampf), and of the “most difficult” task of eliminating “this disintegrating plague in our body popular”, which Himmler would refer to in his speech on 6 October 1943. In this sense, the man with acute scoliosis on the right of the photo, being physically deformed and obviously a Jew, was a carrier of two perceived evils that the Nazis sought to erase, and thus an excellent motive for a photo that would warm the heart of a Nazi race ideologist.

On the other hand, and probably in order to make clear that a Jew was trash whether or not he bore a physical anomaly, there was the man on the right, apparently of normal build and externally showing his “inferiority” only through his low stature, weak complexion, sagging shoulders and ugly big ears. Denierbud apparently failed to notice that this man was labeled a “dreg of humanity” just like the one suffering from scoliosis, and that the photo’s message in the context of Nazi ideology, while emphasized by the latter man’s handicap, was not dependent thereon. Two Jews looking like the man on the left would have been “dregs of humanity” as well.

7. “Photo of Man Falling In Mid-Air” (item 10 of the section “Ten Other Points to Consider”)

Regarding this photo from the Stroop Report, denierbud treats his readers to the following showpiece of wisdom:

In a combat situation, it must be pretty hard to get that mid-air photo of a man jumping out of a 4 story building. Particularly since there might be someone else in the building who refuses to be taken alive and has a gun and might shoot at soldiers below. Setting up the camera and being ready to click at just that right moment might be tough. However for a faked photo to be used for propaganda, you'd want just that: you'd want the man caught mid-air. When I've looked at old black and white photos I've noticed that their resolution is incredible, and German cameras were considered the best, like the Leicas. Old photos circa WWII rarely have blotches on them either, so it's odd that this photo has a blotch right on that crucial spot: on the man's face so we can't see if perhaps it's a dummy. We see smoke coming out of an apartment. Not the apartment he's jumping out of though. The rest of the apartments don't have smoke and many have curtains which haven't gone up in flames. These things point to this photo being staged. The caption is "These bandits are avoiding arrest by jumping down."

Before examining the above, let us briefly assume, just for the sake of argument, that denierbud is right about the photo having been staged. Would this necessarily mean that the staging was organized by someone forging the Stroop Report? No. It might just as well be that Stroop himself or the photo crew attached to his forces organized the staging of one of the scenes that Stroop described so vividly in his report, for the simple reason that it was easier than capturing such a scene “live”. Such scenario would at least be less far-fetched than denierbud's scenario of elaborate Jewish or Polish outdoor photo sessions using German uniforms and hardware in German-occupied Warsaw in mid-1943.

So, even if denierbud were right about the staging, this wouldn’t help his case.

But let us nevertheless look at what he’s got to back up his claim with.

Denierbud figures that taking such a photograph in a “combat situation” would be “tough”, but he does little to explain what exactly would be so “tough” about the taking of this picture (which was obviously shot from a certain distance, as it shows almost all of the building’s façade, and by someone standing in a somewhat diagonal direction from the building rather than squarely in front of it), and what particular photographic talents would be required to set up the camera and be “ready to click just at the right moment” after realizing that there was a man in the building on the verge of jumping, probably with the expectable hesitation that precedes such a move. The possibility of being shot at from the building? Bud seems to think that German Propaganda Kompanie (PK) photographers were bunglers and/or pussies, when actually such photographers covered combat situations much tougher than the one portrayed on this picture, where the probability that the building’s residents might be armed with long-range weapons constituting a risk for the photographer (like a rifle) was not very high, considering the reduced number of Jewish combatants and the little armament they had (see Part 2 of this article).

As to denierbud’s sermon about the quality of World War II photos (especially if taken with German cameras), I wonder just how many such photos denierbud has seen to support his claim that they generally have an “incredible” resolution (whatever he means by that) and “rarely have blotches on them either”. I don’t expect someone who has American generals Patton and Eisenhower fighting against the Japanese rather than the Germans, and who considers the staff of Nazi extermination camps to have been members of “the elite forces of the German army”, to be a World War II buff looking at World War II pictures very often.

Denierbud claims that there is a suspicious “blotch” obscuring the face of the man leaping from the building, which would otherwise allow for telling whether or not it is a human being or a dummy. I don’t think that’s much of an argument, insofar as I expect dummies – at least such dummies, assuming they existed at the time, that are built close enough to nature to have their right arm pointing upwards and the left one pointing downwards when falling from a multi-story building, like the leaping man on the picture – to also have a face that may be mistaken for a real human face from the distance from which this photo was taken, especially on a black-and-white photograph. There is also nothing suspicious about the man’s face being unrecognizable, which seems to be due to the very bright background of the jumping figure. This background looks like either flames engulfing the figure or a part of the building’s façade from which the paint has fallen off, revealing some bright construction material underneath that creates a very bright tone on the picture. Another factor leading to the “blotch” may be the man’s position as he is leaping: he seems to have his left side and back turned towards the camera, his right side towards the building, and his front side and face towards the balcony a little below him. He further may have his head bent downwards, like someone who has just taken a leap towards mattresses and other upholstered articles he has previously thrown into the street and wants to land on, or like this person falling from one of the WTC towers on 11 September 2001, the main difference being that the man in the Stroop Report photo is probably hoping to survive the fall. Last but not least, I don't expect decades of lying in an archive to have done our Stroop Report photo's quality any good. To cut a long story short, there are several possible explanations for the “blotch” that require no speculations about some sinister manipulator.

Now to the alleged absence of smoke coming from the apartment from which the man is jumping. To be sure, it is difficult to see any on the picture featured by denierbud, where the arrow above the text “Face is obscurred[sic!]” covers the relevant part of the window behind the man:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

But if you look at the picture without this arrow, and especially if you amplify the relevant part:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

you see something coming out of the right side of the window (from the photo viewer’s perspective) that looks like a plume of smoke to me.

So, contrary to what denierbud tries to make believe, the jumping man obviously had fire in the room from which he was jumping, and was escaping from that fire. The plume of smoke shows exactly where denierbud placed the arrow in his commented edition of the picture, which makes it hard to believe that he failed to see it.

So what is denierbud left with to support his claim that this photo was staged?

Just his baseless and vague subjective notion of what “you” would want for a “faked photo to be used for propaganda”, which by itself is meaningless. A man jumping from a multi-story building looks “good” on any photo.



“The Stroop Report is a Forgery” (Part 4)

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