Thursday, November 05, 2009

Carlo Mattogno and crematoria Sonderkommandos

Carlo Mattogno likes to make statements to the effect that he has researched a topic, did not find evidence of something, and therefore that something is not true. Even though it is true.

For example, he claimed that Sonderkommando 1005 was not mentioned in any German war-time documents, and yet it was. He claimed that Vladimir Davydov was the only "alleged" surviving member of Babiy Yar Sonderkommando, and he wasn't the only one. Mattogno claimed that the Soviet Treblinka investigator Jurovskij based his drawings of gas chambers in large part on his speculations. Except he didn't. In all these cases the contrary evidence was readily available.

In this posting we will see one more example of this approach.

In Special treatment in Auschwitz [PDF] Mattogno writes:

Based on the documents, the reality is entirely different. First of all, the expression ‘special unit’ does not appear in a single document referring to the crematoria. In its ‘magnum opus’ the Auschwitz museum attempted to prove, on the basis of two documents, that this term was used for the crematoria personnel. The first document is a duty roster for July 18, 1944, the second order no. 8/43 of April 20, 1943 from the Commandant’s Headquarters. But the first document merely mentions the term ‘special unit’ in connection with a gate control, and the second speaks simply of the pursuit of two Jews “who were on the run from the special unit.” Therefore, the assumption, based on the above two occurrences of the term, is that there was in Auschwitz a single ‘special unit,’ which consisted of the crematoria staff!

However, in the documents, which explicitly mention the crematorium staff, its designation is simply “staff of crematorium” or it is identified by number – “206-B boiler, Crematorium I and II, 207-B boiler, Crematorium II and IV.”

In the second place, there were numerous ‘special units’ in Auschwitz, of which not a single one had anything whatsoever to do with the crematoria. I list those below, for which I have found documentary evidence:

– Installation by special unit – Birkenau BW 20 POW camp: unit of electricians serving in the power plant of Birkenau (BW 20).
– pest control special unit (made up of women).
– special unit Reinhardt: women’s unit assigned to the sorting of clothing.
– special unit Zeppelin: outside unit based in Breslau.
– special unit I: unit for the warehousing of the personal effects of the Jews deported to Auschwitz.
– special unit II: no information with regard to its function.
– construction depot special unit (S.K.): unit employed in the store of the construction depot.
– Dwory special unit (S.K.): unit working in Dwory – a village about 10 km east of the town of Auschwitz.
– Buna special unit (S.K.): unit working in Monowitz.
– clothing workshops special unit: unit in the workshops producing clothing.
– DAW special unit: unit employed in the German Equipment Works.
– Sonderkommando, occupied at the “Sola-Hütte.”

One may comb the orthodox historical publications, beginning with those of the Auschwitz Museum, for even a scant reference to the above ‘special units’ – but, alas, in vain!

So why are these claims problematic?

First of all, as RODOH poster Hans pointed out, these two statements are incompatible:

1. "In the second place, there were numerous ‘special units’ in Auschwitz, of which not a single one had anything whatsoever to do with the crematoria."

2. "special unit II: no information with regard to its function."

For if there is no information with regard to the function of Sonderkommando II, how can Mattogno claim that it had nothing to do with the crematoria? How would he know, if there is no information?

Second, there certainly are mentions of some of the listed Sonderkommandos in the mainstream literature. Take Czech's Kalendarium, for example. Obviously it mentions at least Sonderkommando Zeppelin. Was it so hard to check before making such an idiotic pronouncement?

And the last (but not the least), Mattogno should have dug deeper. For there is a document which uses the term "Sonderkommando" in the context of the crematoria.

This is the report of a local Oswiecim police station about the famous revolt of Sonderkommandos in Auschwitz. It is now available at the Auschwitz Museum site.

The document reads (thanks to Nick for transcription):

Gegen 1400 Uhr, ist heute aus dem K.L. Auschwitz II vom Sonderkommando (Krematorium) eine grössere Anzahl Häftlinge ausgebrochen meist Juden.

[Today around 14:00 in concentration camp Auschwitz II a large number of prisoners, mostly Jews, escaped from Sonderkommando (crematorium).]

Die Häftlinge wurden bereits zum Teil bei der sofort aufgenommenen Verfolgung erschossen.

Die Suchaktion wird fortgesetzt.

Kennzeichen: geschoren, auf dem l[inken] Unterarm eintatöwierte No, Kleidung teils Zivil mit rotem Streifen. Weitere Fahndungsmassnahmen m. Verständigung der untergeordneten Stellen bitte ich sofort durchzuführen.

Es sind nur noch 4 Häftlinge flüchtig.

Are any comments necessary? Mattogno has so much egg on his face he could sell it for a decent sum of money. Way to go, Carlo!


  1. "Es sind [unreadable] 4 Häftlinge flüchtig."

    Also unreadable: "nur noch" (еще только; "В бегах остаются еще только 4 узника.")


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