Saturday, October 19, 2013

Viewer's Guide to "Auschwitz - The Surprising Hidden Truth" (Minutes 22 - 38)

Capacity of the Crematoria in Auschwitz-Birkenau

[22 min] Cremation - most people don't know how long it takes. It is a key issue because while a wall of 15 ovens seems like a lot it's not even close to being able to handle the 2000 bodies downstairs. To illustrate, let's think of the process in terms of time. Let's say everyone undressing and then going into the gas chamber takes a half hour.

[23 min] Now we jump to the gas chamber and let's say the time to kill everyone with poison gas also takes half an hour. So now we are one hour into the killing operation. In hour number two, 15 bodies are taken upstairs to the 15 ovens and cremated. Each body is put on a stretcher and placed in the oven. On average it takes an hour to cremate a body. So in hour number one, two thousand Jews are killed. In hour number two, 15 Jews are cremated with 1,985 left to go. In hour number three, 15 more are cremated with 1,970 left to go.

[24 min] And at this snail's pace, at hour number 133, or 5 days later, you cremate 15 bodies and have only 5 left to go. You cannot do another gassing until the sixth day, cause there is nowhere to put the bodies. The point is, the Germans would have never had a system with a ration like this, where the cremation holds up the killing for almost a week. Another way to look at it. The 15 ovens take about a row of bodies in one hour. But look how many rows you have left. How does Dario Gabbai make it work?

Gabbai: "And then, we went upstairs into the second floor and but them on stretchers. And put them in the oven. And just from the body fat, they didn't have to do anything, they started the ovens but afterwards the body fat of each person was given the flames."

[25 min] He makes it working by focusing on the fat content of the body ignoring the water content.

Gabbai: "And actually they had to put outside the women and inside the men because the women have more fat and could burn the bodies."

The bigger issue is that both bodies are around 60% water, evaporating this water takes the first half of the cremation time. And after that the female body has more fat and will burn faster. But only 3% faster in total time, a negligible difference. How else does he make it work?

Interviewer: "So, after taking the bodies out of the gas chamber and putting them on these elevators, then what would happen?"

Gabbai: "You put them in the ovens."

[26 min] Interviewer: "Who would put them in the ovens?"

Gabbai: "Two ??? people, you know, put them on stretchers, three four of them on stretchers and put them in the oven."

He makes it work by putting three or four bodies in each opening.

Interviewer: "How many people were you actually able to put inside each oven?"

Gabbai: "?? put about four."

How else does he make it work?

Interviewer: "And how long again would it take to burn..."

Gabbai: "20 to 30 minutes."  

By not having it take very long.

Interviewer: "Did they give you any kind of instructions of how to do things or give you tools to work with?"
Gabbai: "They give you all the tools, you know, every 20 minutes you have to turn them around, takes 30 - 40 minutes to burn them."

He makes it work by having 3-4 bodies take 30-40 minutes, which averages to 10 min per body. Whereas we said the average is one hour for one body. With an average of 10 minutes per body you can clear out the gas chamber a lot faster than six days.

[27 min] So what do the cremation experts say? Does it take an hour an body or could you put three to four bodies in an opening and have it to take 30 to 40 min?...We look for cremation information on tube and find Elisa Krcilek. Elisa is a funeral director who works for the Cremation Society of Illinois as their Vice president.

Interviewer: "And could you tell us something about the cremation process itself?"

This video was never meant to support the Auschwitz gas chamber being a myth, but under fair use we can use it as that. Because cremation of one body at the same time is illegal, we can think of three to four bodies as an equivalent to a 300 to 400 pounds person.   

Interviewer: "And could you tell us something about the cremation process itself?"

[28 min] Krcilek: "Certainly, the cremation process on the average takes about two to three hours. There is a lot of variations that would, um, cause a cremation to take more time or less time, um, size of an individual is a big factor in that." 

The number is high, but she is probably including heating the oven and cooling the remains which aren't factors for us. So it does take time to cool the remains. Patrick O'Neal is a funeral director featured on a National Geographic TV program about the cremation. Neither he nor National Geographic ever intended their information to be used in this context either. 

Narrator: "What are the unique features of this funeral home is the inclusion of a crematorium on site.

O'Neal: "This is where I like to show off what I do for the living. These machines are actualy 38,000 pounds, cost around 100,000 Dollars a piece."

[29 min] Narrator: "Process. He estimates the time it takes to time cremate a body is an hour for 45 kg."

45 kg is about 100 pounds. So that's one hour for an 100 pounds person which is the number we used. The National Geographic video shows a cremation oven manufacturing plant.

Narrator: "In steel retorts the monitoring of the combustion process is automated. Temperature sensors are installed in the chamber. These sensors are wired to the control panel and they provide the data to regulate the fuel and air flow for the cremation."

Putting four bodies in an oven might be equivalent to one large body and this company says that it takes extra requirements. 

Narrator: "Currently B&L makes six different types of cremation retorts. Some of these models are for very large bodies up to 385 kilos.

[30 min] It takes 5 months to make ones of these large sized models and 18 workers can be involved in the process. Two months longer than a regular model. A mammoth crane is needed to lift anyone of these machines for transport. They weight 18 tons."

We go to the website and find the Phoenix II oven. It gives a cremation rate of 150 pounds per hour. In hour calculation we used a hundred pounds an hour. For ovens built 70 years earlier. With the average person weighting 100 pounds based on data in the book Auschwitz: The Case for Sanity...

Gabbai: "It put about four...takes 30, 30- 40 minutes to burn them"

...That would take more like four hours. He lies about the cremation rate to obscure the fact that 15 ovens isn't enough to handle 2000 bodies.

[30 min] And when that's established, the overall number of 1/2 a million can't be true either.

[31 min] Because Holocaust historians tells us that crematorium 2 wasn't in operation until spring 1943 and ending in November 1944. It was only supposedly in operation for a year and a half. They tell us that 500,000 were killed in this building. But because of the slow cremation rate, that's not enough time to kill that many people. 15 ovens would not have been enough even if there had been these computerized ovens. This is Carlo Mattogno. In his book Auschwitz: Case for Sanity he shows that four bodies would not even fit in that opening and that the vapourizing water, 96 gallons for 12 bodies would overwhelm the oven bringing the temperature down to much for to work properly. A muffle is the opening in the oven.

[32 min]
For instance, here the middle muffle opened faster than the left. Now the right muffle is opening up. Mattogno tells us can't go in lenghtwise because the depth of the muffle 6 feet 11 inches. You can't do two stretcher boats either, because here we look at the underside of the stretcher. There are the rollers. Mattogno tells us that if you drop one body in and than load the stretcher with three more, this part of the stretcher would hit the body and block the stretcher. You thus have to put four bodies here and use the stretcher to slide them into this opening, which wouldn't fit. At Mauthausen, Carlo Mattogno found the type of muffle they had in crematorium 2 at Auschwitz. There is the stretcher, some flowers and a red candle have been placed in the back. This candle is this candel right here.

[33 min] We look at this muffle. Someone has placed some flowers and green cellophane right there. If a body was put in, and the stretcher pulled out, the body would come up to here. The second body would come up to here. There is little room after that. These ovens are at Buchenwald, there you see the rollers. But it's the same muffle that they had in Auschwitz. These are liberated prisoners in 1945 demonstrating for the Americans. Lawrence Rees is the world's most well known Auschwitz historian.

Rees: "The normal experience of going to this place was to die."

He wrote and produced a six part series on Auschwitz for the BBC. 

Narrator: "This is the site of the largest mass murder in history in the history of the world - Auschwitz."

[34 min] And he wrote this companion book to the BBC series which won the book of the year in Britain in 2006. How would he solve the slow cremation rate problem? "On the ground floor was a large crematorium with three mufflers capable of burning five corpses each." Mufflers is a misprint for muffles, but the main point is he says they put five corpses in each opening. Or on another page: "The ovens...each capable of holding several bodies." The reader is getting the emotional impression of urban barbarity. But never questioning if it's even possible.

The issue of cremation capacity of the crematoria in Auschwitz is one of the most favourite playing fields of Holocaust denier. The almost classic argument is to cite modern-day crematoria operators, as denierbud did in this episode too. But the comparison between civilian cremations and the industrial-military incinerations performed in Auschwitz is moot:

  1. Civilian crematoria ovens are operated to cremate the corpses until full calcination of the bones is achieved, but which is mainly an aesthetic aspect.
  2. Civilian crematoria have to separate the remains of the individual corpses, whereas in Auschwitz the practice of multiple cremations was possible.

To illustrate the point: In 1942, some ovens from the company Ignis Hüttenbau were erected in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. According to the preserved records, a male corpse was cremated in 36.5 minutes on average. Thus, these ovens back in 1942 had a ≥ 60% higher cremation rate than those modern, computer-controlled cremation systems built some 70 years later featured in the video clip. The lesson learned here is that cremation rates from civilian crematoria cannot be simply transferred one-to-one on paramilitary cremation techniques.

The above-cited information on the Ignis Hüttenbau ovens in Terezin was taken from Carlo Mattogno, Auschwitz: The Case for Sanity (ATCFS), p. 390. That's precisely the publication denierbud is referring to throughout the documentary. In fact, exactly this page and even the paragraph is cited at 25:40 minutes, apparently without bothering him to think about its implication that it is debunking his lengthy argument. 

A lot has been said about cremation capacity and rates of the crematoria in Auschwitz, which allows screening the testimonies for corroborating and converging features. Carlo Mattogno has compiled a list of 17 accounts in ATCFS, p. 319. Following the former Jewish Sonderkommando and SS men, the cremation capacity of all 4 crematoria in Birkenau was 4,000 - 10,000 corpses per day, which was achieved by loading each muffle opening with 2 - 5 bodies every 15 to 30 minutes.

Two principal arguments have been brought forward by denierbud (from Mattogno) against this operation technique of the ovens as reported by the eyewitnesses: that it was spatially not possible to load multiple corpses into the muffle and that it was thermochemically not possible to dehydrate multiple bodies in the muffle.

The inner dimensions of the muffle were reportedly 70 cm wide and 80 cm high at the maximum (the top formed an arch), the size of the opening was 60 cm wide and high at the maximum (ATCFS, p. 377). Two average adults would have certainly fit on top of each other on the stretcher through the opening, also if two dehydrated, shrunken and somewhat displaced corpses were already in the inside. Note that the use of rollers to slide in the stretcher is not a criterion necessary to consider as the stretcher could have also been introduced by using a solid bar hold in front of the muffle by two prisoners as shown on a 1945 drawing by Sonderkommando prisoner David Olere.

Three corpses directly on top seem spatially impossible. But if alternations of the feet-head direction as well as lengthways and transverse displacements of the bodies on the stretcher are taking into account, the height of the batch is reduced, and three adult corpses might have fitted on the stretcher and through the muffle opening. Higher figures seem only conceivable if very emaciated, small adults or children are considered.

Carlo Mattogno has provided some energy balance of the presumed simultaneous cremation of 4 corpses in each opening of the triple-muffle furnaces in ATCFS, p. 386 ff (it should be pointed out that the figure of 4 bodies taken from Sonderkommando prisoner Tauber is not the lower limit of what it is reported). According to this, 474,500 kcal is needed to evaporate the water of the 12 corpses, while only 116,200 kcal are supplied by the coke combustion. He elaborates that the energy difference would have led to a drop in the muffle temperature resulting in "mere carbonization of the corpses instead of a cremation" (p. 286).

The argument is a straw man, simply speaking. The difference between the straw man scenario assumed by Mattogno and what was actually the case in Auschwitz is that an additional source of energy was inside the muffles in the latter case: the previous batch of already shrunken and dehydrated corpses. Mattogno neglects, ignores, denies - take your choice - this aspect, but it makes a difference.

While the dehydration of a fresh corpse is consuming energy in the form of heat, the combustion of a dehydrated body is releasing energy. The simultaneous cremation of a new and an already dehydrated corpse yields a more even heat balance than either individual process and is stabilizing the temperature in the muffle (apart from the temperature drop when opening the main door of the muffle). It is apparently because of this more balanced heat release and absorption upon overlapping the cremation cycles that enabled the crematoria ovens in Auschwitz to dehydrate multiple fresh corpses at once per opening as consistently reported by numerous eyewitnesses and that led to the comparable low coke consumption per body.

So both denierbud's arguments against the high throughput incinerations in Auschwitz are flawed. There is a neither any reason why multiple corpses should not have fitted into the muffles nor why their dehydration was thermochemically not possible with the heat supply from the coke combustion AND from the previous batch of already dehydrated corpses.

This is at least true for the lower loading figures of 2 - 3 corpses at the same time. For higher loadings, it is getting increasingly difficult to imagine how they were introduced in addition to the dehydrated batch already inside. At some point, fresh air supply and exhaust gas removal could become a further problem. But it is beyond the scope of this rebuttal to establish what the maximum achievable cremation capacity in Auschwitz was. Here it is sufficient to note that the lower eyewitness' estimations seem feasible and that these were already sufficient for the mass murder carried out in the crematoria.

The capacity of the crematoria in Auschwitz-Birkenau is also addressed by three contemporary German documents. 

 "As a result of the sizeable occupants (125,000 prisoners), a Crematorium is being constructed. It contains 5 [crematory] muffel ovens each [oven] with 3 muffles for 2 men, so that in one hour 60 men could be cremated."

~ Explanatory report of 30 October 1941, cited from Carlo Mattogno, The Auschwitz Central Construction Headquarters Letter dated 28 June 1943: An Alternative Interpretation 

"I told him that at this time 3 double-muffle ovens are in operation, with a capacity of 250 per day.  Further, currently under construction are 5 triple muffle ovens with a daily capacity of 800.  Today and in the next few days, 2 eight-muffle ovens, each with a daily capacity of 800, will come on consignment, redirected from Mogilew."

~ Memo from Kurt Prüfer of 8 September 1942 

 "Performance of the now available crematoria at 24 hours of operation time:

1.) old crematorium I 3 x 2 muffle ovens 340 persons

2.) new crematorium in the POW camp II 5 x 3 muffle ovens 1440 persons

3.) new crematorium III 5 x 3 muffle ovens 1440 persons

4.) new crematorium IV 8 muffle ovens 768 persons

5.) new crematorium V 8 muffle ovens 768 persons"

 ~ Letter draft of Karl Bischoff to Hans Kammler of 28 June 1943 (draft), my translation, reproduced in Schüle, Industrie und Holocaust, p. 460.

The first two documents are predicting cremation capacities for Birkenau. Also, there must be a typo/mistake in the second document as the 5 three-muffle ovens could not have had the same capacity as the eight-muffles ovens.

The third document was set up after the crematoria were already in operation. But since it is using as the basis for the cremation capacities of the crematoria in Birkenau precisely the same figure as already in the first document, this raises the suspicion that the draft was meant to confirm what was ordered rather than accurately reporting what was practically obtained. On the other side, it can be argued that members of the central construction office would unlikely set up a document exactly confirming what was ordered if it was not at least in the range of what could have been achieved.

What is important to note is that the documents explicitly (1st) and implicitly (2nd, 3rd) corroborate the technique of multiple cremations (i.e. multiple loadings and/or overlapping cremation cycles) for Auschwitz-Birkenau as already established by testimonial evidence.

The 2nd and 3rd documents also provide figures from the Topf engineer Kurt Prüfer and from the central construction office for the crematorium 1 in the Auschwitz main camp. The number of 250/340 corpses per day for six muffle openings yield a cremation rate of 35/25 min per corpse (assuming that Prüfer was referring to a 24 h operation, but which is not necessarily the case).

Since the dehydration and combustion of an individual corpse is unlikely achieved within such short time at the operation temperature of 700 - 800°C, the figures imply multiple cremations in the form of overlapping of cremation cycles (multiple cremations without overlapping cremation cycles is discarded as it seems like a thermochemically unfavourable procedure for the Topf ovens).

Moreover, multiple cremations are reported in a letter of the Topf engineer Fritz Sanders to the Topf management of 14 September 1942:

"So they help themselves by numerous ovens/muffles and by stuffing the individual muffle full with several corpses."
(my translation)

Sanders remark that they "help stuffing the individual muffle full with several corpses" not only confirms multiple cremations but also that multiple cremations did have a significant beneficial impact on the cremation capacity.

Bones Outside the Crematorium

And he devotes four pages to Dario Gabbai. Gabbai has never told his story to anyone until the 1990s. What was he doing before that? He had a brief and minor skit as an actor in the Hollywood movie called the glory brigade. He went from the worst profession in the world to the most glamorous one.
[35 min] 18 years after his supposed job in Auschwitz. And we even didn't get into the crazier stuff he said.

Gabbai: "You know, when we came in the crematorium all the streets in the crematorium outside were all from the bones."

It is unclear from the short extract what exactly Dario Gabbai means here, but he is possibly referring to the cremation remains deposited outside in the crematorium yard, or the use of cremation remains as grit for roads in Winter.

The former Auschwitz prisoner Yehuda Bacon testified at the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial he was employed with the latter work:
"One of the duties was to take the ash from crematorium 3 and spread in on the frozen paths in what was the women camp BIIc at the time."
~ Yehuda Bacon, testimony of 30 October 1964, Frankfurt Auschwitz trial, taken from the Auschwitz trial DVD, my translation.

Gas Chamber and Oven Loading

We said that 2000 people wouldn't have gone into a room of that size and we say that four bodies wouldn't fit in that opening, could it all be possible in Auschwitz because everybody was so thin? We go to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website and read: Of the new arrivals in auschwitz the majority were sent immeadiately to the gas chambers. The point being, they wouldn't have had time to get thin.

[36 min] Now we learn where most came from.

Narrator: "The vast majority of those who were murdered in Auschwitz in 1944 came from one place: Hungary. In March 1944 the German troops entered Budapest, for the Nazis Hungary was a rich country right for plounder. although were already allied with Nazis, the Hungarians were unreliable partners as far as Hitler was concerned. At least in their refusal to deport the 760,000 Hungarian Jews."

So they came from a rich country and have been free up to now. Lawrence Rees' documentary shows pictures of Hungarian deportees and they don't look thin. The starvation happened more in the last few months of the war and Auschwitz was closed by that.

[37 min] Narrator: "On average, 75% of the people of each transport from Hungary was selected to be murdered immeadiately."

In Hungary, Jews have been hearing Nazi extermination rumors for most of the war and yet when packed like this in an unfamiliar underground 2000 person shower room when other Jews told them to - not believable. And where they thin from hunger like many would assume? No.

The argument from personal incredulity vs concrete evidence and already addressed previously.

2000 persons in the underground gas chamber does not necessarily has to assume emaciated people as pointed out previously. 4 corpses in the muffle openings does not necessarily has to assume starved people either if children are considered as victims.

Corpse Cellar vs Gassing Cellar

[37 min] Here is crematorium 2 from the air, so what was this building if it wasn't a gas chamber facility? The answer is on the blueprints of the Auschwitz archives. The text is small, but it says Leichenkeller 1, Keller means cellar as in wine cellar, Leichen means dead bodies. A cold underground place for storing dead bodies. And the other side was never an undressing room. It's labeled as Leichenkeller 2 corpse cellar number 2 cold to keep the bodies from spoiling until they can be cremated. 

Denierbud claims that the crematorium 2 basement "wasn't a gas chamber facility...was never an undressing room".

But the so called corpse cellar 1 was referred to as "gassing cellar" by the head of the SS central construction office in Auschwitz and as "gas cellar" by the Topf engineer Fritz Sanders. It was equipped with a "gas door...with double 8 mm glass and peephole". The so called corpse cellar 2 was labelled as "undressing room/cellar" by the head of the SS central construction office as well as by a Topf engineer.

"wasn't a gas chamber facility...was never an undressing room" (denierbud on the crematorium basements)

"gassing cellar...undressing room" (contemporary German documents on the crematorium basements)

These supposed corpse cellars were clearly converted into undressing and gassing sites by the SS according to contemporary German files, which is seriously corroborating the eyewitness accounts on the homicidal gassings in the crematorium.

At the very end of the video clip, denierbud is showing a text slide (number 10) actually citing the "gassing cellar" document and trying to explain it away with Carlo Mattogno's flawed and historically unfounded delousing chamber hypothesis. Whether this slide was denierbud's own idea or whether he was asked to include it by say Mattogno is unclear. But the grave deception "it wasn't a gas chamber facility...was never an undressing room" directly refuted by German documents remained in the main part of the video.

The Underground Gas Chamber

[38 min] Underground never makes sense for a gas chamber.

Argument from personal incredulity vs. concrete evidence and already addressed previously.


  1. The idea that "if the ovens couldn't cope with the death toll, gas chambers never happened" is a total non sequitur. The UV is ignoring the fact that when The ovens couldn't cope, open air cremations were used to dispose of the rest. Something that's confirmed by photographic evidence.

    From what you've shown, the UV likes to repeat himself a lot. Probably to convince those stupid enough to fall for his nonsense, and himself.

    Thanks for the great read, Hans.

  2. Dommergue:

    " You know it as well as I do. It is all the more so as we know that 6.000.000 is gross exaggeration and that the Zyclon-B gas chambers are a technical impossibility..... In fact 150,000 or 200,000 Jews died in the German camps of typhus or starvation"

  3. Lol spam.

    Someone should read the Korherr report. Available right here on this blog. Here's a hint- not all Jews died in concentration camps. Why, if the lemming had scrolled down before spamming, they would have read an article saying so.

    Pathetic little lemming can't even think for themselves.

  4. If the purpose was not cremation but disease reduction a pile of bones (instead of ash) at the end of the process would be acceptable. Thus greatly reduced time in the oven.

  5. Here is a possible solution to the capacities you bring up in these documents:

    41-10-30 5 triple-muffle - 60 corpses/hour (average of 4 corpses/hr per muffle)

    Whoever came up with this number thought that 2 corpses per muffle would be cremated at a time and that the cremation rate would be halved by doing this.

    42-09-08 Stated by Pruefer himself (of Topf):

    5 triple-muffle - 800 corpses per day - stated by Pruefer himself (of Topf)
    2 double-4-muffle - 800 corpses per day

    Pruefer's estimate here is based on ONE corpse per muffle for the triple muffle ovens and TWO corpses per muffle for each of the double-4s.

    Pruefer is told that this would not be good enough - they needed more capacity than this. So what does he do? He does 2 things. He doubles the 5 triple-muffle ovens to 10 triple-muffle ovens; but he ALSO increases each one's muffles to accommodate TWO corpses per muffle. If you look at comparison pictures of the Birkenau triple-muffle ovens and Buchenwald's triple-muffle ovens you notice that the muffle door is twice the distance up from the ground. The muffle is twice the height!

    So after these changes, the estimate is the original estimate desired (60 corpses/hr per muffle).

    And the final capacities are then as listed in your 43-06-28 letter.

    But it should be understood that these estimates as written can be misleading because they are actually referring to AVERAGE cremation rates - not incineration rates. The average cremation rate merely becomes the stoking rate for a large number of corpses. The incineration rate of those corpses does not change significantly (1100C temperature will incinerate only so much in an hour). What you have is that corpses are dwindling in size and the muffle is being stoked with new corpses. The actual incineration rate is about the same; but now you are cremating more corpses in the space available.

    This is how I see these issues you discuss here.


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