Saturday, April 18, 2015

"Muehlenkamp lies about Provan" …

… yelled Friedrich Jansson in his latest production. My experience with "Revisionist" charlatans suggests that they accuse their opponents of "lying" when they know they are short of arguments, and Jansson seems to be no exception. Anyway, let’s see what he’s got.

In his ludicrous mis-analysis of burial space, Roberto Muelenkamp has made heavy use of an experiment of Charles Provan. Obviously, this use is quite absurd – if you want to study burial space in mass graves, is makes sense to study burial space in mass graves, rather than attempt to infer something from a small-scale experiment in which a few people, mostly children, and a doll attempted to squeeze into a small space.

Quite the opposite, actually. If you want to determine whether a concentration of corpses in mass graves suggested by documentary, eyewitness and archaeological evidence was physically possible, an experiment showing how much human body mass can be made to fit into a given space is a much better marker than a "study" of burial space in mass graves that (to put it politely) were not necessarily filled in the same manner, within the same time and with the corpses having the same mass and weight as the mass graves they are being compared to. But don’t expect Jansson to ever understand this.

Yet Muehlenkamp wasn’t satisfied with that level of absurdity, but felt the need to enhance his results with a vulgar lie.

Well, the "lie" accusation is certainly vulgar, like much else of what Jansson writes. And it is also quite silly, as we shall see.

Muehlenkamp writes (manifesto, p. 418):

Provan’s box had a volume of 21 x 21 x 60.5 = 26,680.50 cubic inches or 0.44 cubic meters, and he managed to squeeze 8 people (including the doll representing a baby) into that space – a concentration of 18.2 per cubic meter.

Muehlenkamp has recently repeated the same analysis (mainly just spamming his previous writings).

Provan does indeed give the height of 60.5 inches. However, it is entirely clear that this is the merely height of his box, not of the space his subjects fit into. In fact, he writes:

I had my woodworking friend construct a plywood box with a floor space of 21 inches by 21 inches, one glass side, one open side, and an open top.

It is completely evident from one of Provan’s photos that the people extended above the height of the box.

The photo in question is this one:

The heads of the male adults are above a lateral slab nailed to the box on its open side, and the head of one of the adults is a little above the top of the box, which looks like this:

On the following photo, one can see that the heads of the male adults standing upright are just a little above the top of the box:

One can also see that, by crouching a little or just lowering their heads, the standing male adults could get their heads below the top of the box, in such a way as to allow for the open top of the box to be covered.

So while the tops of the male adults’ heads were slightly outside the space of 26,680.50 cubic inches or 0.44 cubic meters (the height of the box was 60.5 inches = 1.5367 meters and the height of the tallest adult was 67 inches = 1.7018 meters, so if he was standing fully upright his head would have protruded a full 0,1651 centimeters above the top of the box, though the third picture shown above suggests that he was not standing fully upright and the distance was less), they could have easily fit inside that space.

Which, for the purpose of my density calculations, is the same as if the adults had crouched or bent a little more, or just lowered their heads, and thus been completely inside the aforementioned space.

Which, in turn, means that Jansson just made a splendid fool of himself.

And what is more, the last of the photos shown above suggests that another one or two children could have been stuffed inside the box if the test persons’ ability to breathe had been no concern, as would have been the case if the test persons had been dead.

I hope our readers enjoy the rest of Jansson’s musings about "yet another" of my "deliberate deceptions" (Jansson must have been gazing into a mirror, or projecting standard "Revisionist" practices) as much as I did.


Update, 25.04.2015

Understandably outraged about having made a fool of himself, Jansson let fly against this and another recent article. His rant regarding the present article will be addressed below.

1. Muehlenkamp doesn’t understand how to determine height from photos

Faced with the clear proof that the bodies did not stay below the height of the box, Muehlenkamp feebly attempts to distinguish between the “lateral slab nailed to the box on its open side” and the “top of the box”. In fact, both heights are the same, as this and this picture make clear. Furthermore, the above linked photo is taken from a vantage point below the height of the box, and will therefore tend to understate the extent to which the height of the people in the box exceeds the box’s height. (If this is not immediately apparent, then draw the line of sight from the camera position to the top of the box; observe that it rises above the box when it passes into the box’s interior. This could be illustrated with a diagram, but I’m not going to waste time making a diagram to explain something so self-evident.)
Short answer: I gained the impression that there was a lateral slab lower than the height of the box from the three pictures reproduced below.

If that impression was mistaken, tough luck, and if the mistake was due to a lack of knowledge and skill in observing or assessing un-sharp black-and-white photographs (which I didn't claim to be good at or know much about, unlike know-it-all Jansson), I have to improve my knowledge and skill in this field. However, my essential arguments against Jansson's accusation are not affected. See below.

Unbelievably, Muehlenkamp then argues that one should assess the height on the basis of a photo taken from approximately overhead. In reality, relative height is almost impossible to determine from an overhead picture. If you wanted to determine the relative height of trees, would you use an aerial photo from overhead (that showed no shadows)? Of course not. You would use a photo taken from a horizontal position, and not a vertical one. The photo from overhead would tell you very little about relative height. Likewise in the present example.
Thanks for the lesson, teach. I'll take it into account next time I have to assess height on the basis of a photo.

Moreover, Muehlenkamp deceitfully recommends a photo that can give a misleading impression of height; if for some bizarre reason he wanted to insist on using an overhead photo then this one would show the height more clearly. In any event, the horizontal photo is much better at showing this, and overhead photos should not form the basis for any discussion of relative height.
Again, the lesson is appreciated, and as to the "deceitful", Jansson will have to make up his mind between claiming that I don't understand how to determine height from photos (which I accept, not considering myself all-knowledgeable as Jansson obviously does) and claiming that I'm being deceitful (which implies that do understand how to determine height from photos). He can't have it both ways. As it doesn't matter much if anything to my argument how much the adults are protruding over the box's top, and as the photos are there for everyone to see (including Jansson, who I wouldn't want to give any arguments against me), the accusation of deceitfulness wouldn't make sense even if I were thus inclined, which I am not. If Jansson insists in making a fool of himself with such accusations, that's his problem.

The "deceitful" photo is shown below, followed by the one that Jansson refers to.

2. Muehlenkamp doesn’t know the difference between centimeters and meters

Muehlenkamp writes: “the height of the box was 60.5 inches = 1.5367 meters and the height of the tallest adult was 67 inches = 1.7018 meters, so if he was standing fully upright his head would have protruded a full 0,1651 centimeters above the top of the box”. That should 0.1651 meters, or 16.51 centimeters, not 0.1651 centimeters. But what’s a hundredfold error when it comes to holocaust work?
Classic Jansson. I mistakenly wrote "centimeters" because I was thinking in terms of centimeters at the moment (16.51 centimeters, to be precise) and comparing this length with that of other objects in centimeters. Big deal, especially as this is the one post regarding which Jansson' "very short timeframe" claim in the first paragraph of his reply, notwithstanding the nonsense that surrounds this claim, happens to be correct. If Jansson had made the same mistake, I would simply have said, "hey Jansson, I think you meant meters where your wrote centimeters". But then, I'm a level-headed person, quite unlike Jansson.

3. Muehlenkamp’s need to resort to speculation rather than actual experimental results reveals his intellectual bankruptcy
Boy, look who's talking about "intellectual bankruptcy". And as to "speculation", there are actual experimental results (namely Provan's) which don't fit Jansson's bubble, and related observations against which he has no arguments.

One can only laugh at Muehlenkamp’s offer to stuff a few more kids into Provan’s box, and shove down the men’s heads below its top.
"One can only laugh" is not an argument where I come from, though it apparently is one in Jansson's intellectual circles. Jansson can't demonstrate that the men couldn't have made themselves fit below the top of the box by crouching and/or bending their heads downwards (the photo referred to by Jansson suggests that at least one of them was standing full upright, contrary to what I assumed by looking at the "deceitful" photo). Nor can he demonstrate that it would have been impossible to fit another one or more dead kids into the box. Thus he is reduced to "one can only laugh" beer-hall quips.

As he has shown us yet again, Muehlenkamp’s silly claims rest not on experimental results, but on nothing more than his own speculation.
Not speculation, but experimental results and some complementary observation. Which can't be all that wrong, judging by Jansson's being reduced to a "one can only laugh" argument. As to who is being silly here, I'll let our readers decide that.

After having gone out of his way to argue that Provan's experiment doesn't support my "speculations" (which I would be entitled to make, unlike Jansson, as I don't have to prove that what becomes apparent from evidence was physically possible, but Jansson as the challenger of evidence has the burden of proving physical impossibility), Jansson apparently realized that he does have a problem with Provan's experiment after all, and thus continued as follows:

4. Provan’s measurements include manifest errors While we’re on the subject of Provan’s experiments, we should also mention another reason why the use of such a small-scale, unreplicated experiment is problematic, namely that Provan’s measurements clearly contain errors. Consider the example of “T.J.”, age 34, height 66″, weight 138 lbs, shoulders 49″, and waist 23″! Does Muehlenkamp really believe that Provan’s experimental subject had 49″ shoulders and a 23″ waist?
Is that all? Let's see. 49 inches is 1.2446 meters - seems too high. 23 inches is 0.5842 meters - don't know, but seems odd considering that the same width is given for one of the children. So yes, there are errors in the shoulder and waist width measurements. And so?

If not, then he concedes that Provan’s measurements are unreliable, which undermines his use of Provan even further.
Actually mistakes in stated shoulders and waist measurements doesn't affect the fact that Provan got the seven test persons plus the baby doll into his box horizontally (thus making the point he was trying to make), and could also have got them into that box vertically as the photos suggest. So notwithstanding Jansson's wishful thinking, Provan's experiment remains a useful reference.

There are of course other, more fundamental reasons why Provan’s experiment is not the right basis for studying burial density.For instance, he was dealing with living humans who were attempting to fit themselves into a certain space (and a doll, to which he assigned a weight arbitrarily). The element of volition is obviously lacking with the dead (but the element of rigor mortis will play an inconvenient role).
Living humans may be cooperative, but with dead humans one doesn't have to make sure that they can still breathe and can accordingly stuff them together more tightly. As to the "arbitrarily", if the doll had the size of a human baby and 7 kg is the weight of a baby, there's no arbitrariness there. As to rigor mortis, that's one of Mattogno's arguments, which has already been addressed here.

Of course, there is also the element of the size of the bodies – which Muehlenkamp distorted in order to make it close to Provan’s value – and the fact that real populations don’t contain one doll for every seven human members.
The baseless "distorted" claim is another accusation that Jansson made a fool of himself with, arguably revealing his own dishonesty along the way - see the blog Friedrich Jansson tries to help Mattogno …. As to the doll, what matters is the amount of human mass or human mass equivalent (as concerns space occupation) in the box. I don't know if whatever it is that Jansson calls "real populations" have one baby for every seven other persons, but I don't consider that improbable, especially among populations consisting of people deemed unable to work and thus superfluous by the Nazis.

Even if we accepted that the average weight were the same between Provan’s group and Polish Jews, there would remain the fact that an emaciated adult will take more burial space than a well-fed child of the same weight, due to the bony structure of the human body, and the fact that the greater concavity in the shape of an emaciated body causes the carcass mass to have higher porosity (emaciated bodies don’t squish together as efficiently as do plump bodies).
So Jansson thinks it's more difficult to pack emaciated adults into a given amount of grave space? Maybe it is, but then - as pointed out by David Cole - one shouldn't confuse difficult with impossible, as "Revisionists" are wont to do when it fits their argument. Who said that the average weight was the same "between Provan's group and Polish Jews", by the way? Even my lowest average weight figure is above the average weight of Provan's group (34 vs. 33.25 kg), and my burial space calculations also work with a higher average weight.

(Of course there’s also the layers of dirt which, according to the testimonies, covered each load of corpses – but which Muehlenkamp excludes from his calculations.)
Not unreasonably so considering the evidence whereby these were thin layers, whereas Mattogno amusingly tried to fill one third or half of the graves with sand. Discussed here.

Of course, not every mass grave is filled to capacity, which is why one should look at a considerable number of mass graves to see what kind of burial densities are realistic and attainable, and where possible one should look for information on the density of the carcass mass itself.
Well, the mass graves at Bełżec were filled not only to capacity but above the rim according to Reder, as mentioned here. For the same reason that the graves at the Cimetière des Innocents in Paris were filled above the rim, namely that burial space was a rare commodity. Which is why Jansson's looking at a considerable number of graves is pointless unless he can find graves that were filled in the same manner and subject to the same space constraints.

Muehlenkamp, however, is terrified to touch even the most dense cases of burial, such as Birkshaw forest, of even the cases where the corpse-density of the carcass mass itself is given, because such real data destroys the house of cards he’s created in his writings.
For someone who never managed to demonstrate the physical impossibility of my "house of cards", Jansson is talking way too big. And he must be terrified of a great many things (besides historical facts incompatible with his articles of faith) to infer that his opponent is "terrified" of his burial space exercises, which his opponent merely considers irrelevant (as he has been telling Jansson ever since the first related discussion).

In short, it’s best to study mass graves by studying mass graves, and mass cremation by studying mass cremation, rather than by attempting some creative extrapolation from a different set of circumstances.
Creative extrapolations from a set of circumstances not comparable to those at the AR camps are what Jansson's "study" amounts to, actually. And such "study" is supposed to be better for what exactly? For providing the proof of physical impossibility that Jansson needs to provide in order to successfully challenge the evidence that is at odds with his ideological beliefs? He'll never get there, especially the way he's trying. Talk about cremation, when is Jansson going to answer my open question about the Dresden pyres?

Nevertheless, one can expect that Muehlenkamp will refuse to admit this evident truth, as his entire position is dependent on its incomprehension.
The pot is clearly calling the kettle black here. The only evident truth in this context is that Jansson won't admit that his "study" of mass burial here and there is an exercise in futility, and that he would do his religion a bigger favor if he managed to, say, refute Cole’s arguments based on the Korherr Report. Or provide the name of at least one Jew he can prove to have been transited" to the occupied territories of the Soviet Union via Bełżec, Sobibór or Treblinka.


Update, 26.04.2015
I made some changes in the paragraphs "If that impression was mistaken ..." and "Classic Jansson. I mistakenly wrote ..." of yesterday's update.


  1. Provan even writes that he chose humans because he needed the subjects to have movable body parts, given that in an earlier study:

    "This experiment was hampered by the fact that I couldn't position the dummies so as to minimize space, the dummies being stiff with non-moving appendages."

    Jansson seems to think the bodies in a mass grave have fixed positions and postures.

  2. In Poland, as of 1906, the average height of a male Jewish adult was measured at 161cm and female adult was 150.6cm:

    Based on these averages, a Polish Jewish female would be unlikely to be significantly taller than Provan's box, and a male would only need to crouch 4 inches or so.

    Bear in mind that those deported to Treblinka were often the unfit, and had been subjected to starvation, overcrowding and extremely poor sanitation by the Germans, so average height would be considerably shorter than those of the general population.

  3. Surely all this argument over numbers of bodies fitting into graves can be solved by just digging a large hole, inviting some friends over and getting them to jump in and lie down.
    I know this may prove difficult for revisionists to conduct, due to the bit about 'inviting friends' , but surely one of them could get their hands on some show-room dummies to use instead. ( I mean, such items are usually found in abundance on revisionist debating forums)


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