Saturday, April 28, 2018

Debunking the YouTube denial.

This post will be updated from time to time with short debunkings of the more or less popular denier videos from YouTube.

For standalone posts debunking the denier videos see:

Debunking Denierbud's One Third of the Holocaust series.

Debunking Denierbud's "Auschwitz - The Surprising Hidden Truth"

Also, this post, while not directly addressing Denierbud's Buchenwald series, directly debunks his core thesis: Nazi shrunken heads, human skin lampshades, human soap, textiles from human hair? Sorting out the truth from the legends.

Debunking David Cole's Auschwitz video

With one exception, Eric Hunt's videos won't be bothered with since Eric has since abandoned and denounced denial in no uncertain terms: Eric Hunt is No Longer a Holocaust Denier. And obviously, if his own videos no longer convince him, there's no need to waste time. But here's Caroline Sturdy Colls' response.

Short debunking of Steven Anderson's video "The Holocaust Hoax Exposed"

The French denier Vincent Reynouard and his clownish denial innovations

Is The French Holocaust Denier Thierry Gosselin As Dense As a Black Hole?

1. Debunking of the video "Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story Never Told."
2. Debunking of the video "Jewish Holocaust lies exposed"
3. Debunking of the video "10 Hard Facts About the Holocaust"
4. Debunking of the video "Holocaust Myths"
5. Debunking of the video "Europa The Last Battle Holocaust Segment #8"
6. Debunking of the video "The greatest lie ever told - The Holocaust."
7. Debunking of the video "#ProvenAtNuremberg - True Holocaust Remembrance"
8. Debunking of the video "Jews tell the truth about the Holocaust" (an excerpt from Eric Hunt's film)

1. Debunking of the video "Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story Never Told."

We treat only the Holocaust denial part here, if it is not credible, the rest falls apart on its own. (If you want to see the other points treated, look here.)

The Nuremberg Danzig soap has never been debunked. It was not mass-produced but some human soap was indeed made. It was obviously not the "Jewish soap", which is a myth. This claim is fully treated here.

The shrunken heads are supported by documentary evidence, as elucidated here.

So are the tattoos, which were gathered from corpses for research on criminality, as explained here.

The existence of the extermination decision is documented in Goebbels' diary entry describing Hitler's speech in a small circle of high-ranking officials on 12.12.41:
"Regarding the Jewish question, the Führer is determined to clear the table. He warned the Jews that if they were to cause another world war, it would lead to their own destruction.
Those were not empty words. Now the world war has come. The destruction of the Jews must be its necessary consequence. We cannot be sentimental about it. It is not for us to feel sympathy for the Jews. We should have sympathy rather with our own German people. If the German people have to sacrifice 160,000 victims in yet another campaign in the east, then those responsible for this bloody conflict will have to pay for it with their lives."
See here for more documents on the extermination intent.

The author then raises a strawman as well as a false dichotomy. First he implies that the only evidence that should count is autopsy reports, photos or footage.

He then "forgets" about the documentary evidence e.g.:
Contemporary German Documents on Homicidal Gas Vans
Rebuttal of Mattogno on Auschwitz, Part 5: Construction Documents, G: Gas Chambers

Then he implies that the only gassing witnesses that count testified at Nuremberg (and yes, Nuremberg witnesses could be cross-examined).

The fact is that there were many dozens of trials having to do specifically with gassings, and hundreds about the Holocaust in general (which is not reducible to gassings). Of them many took place in West Germany, so the "Soviets" part was just another strawman.

The "Auschwitz had lots of non-extermination stuff" idiocy is debunked here. Also this.

David Cole now admits that Nazis gassed and shot Jews on a massive scale which debunks the film right there and then. Some of Cole's nitpicks about the small Auschwitz gas chamber are treated here and here.

Also see Debunking David Cole's Auschwitz video.

All Cole debunked were misconceptions about the small gas chamber (which was not in the extermination camp Birkenau in the first place and in which only a few gassings happened).

Sure, the Soviets tried to reconstruct the small gas chamber (after the crematorium morgue had been converted into an air-raid shelter) and partially botched the job, big deal. This doesn't refute the small gas chamber in the slightest, nor, of course, the big gas chambers at Birkenau.

He is of course wrong about there being only witness evidence:

Index of Published Evidence on Mass Extermination in Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau
"Separate accommodation" in Auschwitz: a code word for extrajudicial executions
The Kinna Report - German Document on the Killing of Unfit Jews in Auschwitz

Aerial photos do show smoke.

The cyanide residue has been found, Leuchter has been exposed as a fraud.

The alleged photo fakery is dealt with here.

The "300,000 dead" argument is a lie, only registered inmates were meant in that footage, very obviously (the "official" figure was 4,000,000 after all).

The plaque argument is debunked here.

The First Holocaust nonsense is debunked here.

There are laws against denying the Communist crimes, the Armenian genocide and the law in Turkey that bans the assertion of the Armenian genocide, so the claim about the Holocaust being the only such event is another lie.

Of course, the author never ever deals with the extensive documentary evidence for the Holocaust, he's totally silent about the massacres of Jews like Babiy Yar  or other mobile killing units massacres.

Here is just a very small sample of documentary evidence:

Contemporary German Documents on Homicidal Gas Vans
Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents - The Extermination of 100,000 Jews
The Kinna Report - German Document on the Killing of Unfit Jews in Auschwitz
Index of Published Evidence on Mass Extermination in Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau
Evidence on the Babi Yar Massacre 29 & 30 September 1941: Contemporary Sources
The Jäger Report
Rebuttal of Mattogno on Auschwitz, Part 5: Construction Documents, G: Gas Chambers
More Than 100 Nazi Extermination Remarks, 1939-1944
More Nazi Mass Murder Statements

This "chapter" of the film fell apart like a cheap suit, this means the rest of it is just as deceptive and not credible.

2. Debunking of the video "Jewish Holocaust lies exposed"

This 6:54 long video has since been blocked. It's a typical "video list" Gish gallop.

World Almanac claim debunked here.

Pre-Holocaust Holocaust debunked here.

Claim about Weissmandl and "6 million":

1. It is somewhat ironic how the obviously anti-Zionist author of the video quotes the anti-Zionist Weissmandel as a hoaxer.

2. Tom Segev expresses doubts about Weissmandl's claims in The Seventh Million, p. 92:
"Later he published a terrible indictment of the Zionist movement. The Zionists have abandoned him and his people because they were ultraorthodox non-Zionists, he charged, as if Gisi Fleischmann had not been his partner. He based his arguments on letters he quoted from memory; they are unavailable in any archives. They may have been lost or spirited away, or they may never have been written."
3. Indeed, this letter purports to have been written on May 15, 1944 "in a cave near Lublin", and presents the Hungarian deportations as if they're in full swing. And yet May 15 was the day the first Hungarian transports left Hungary. They arrived in Auschwitz only on May 16. Clearly the text as quoted cannot be authentic.

4. Let's assume for the sake of the argument that the alleged letter is genuine. Then it's just another example of cherrypicking - among a large set of letters of course you can find any number. It only becomes "meaningful" if you ignore all the other numbers you omitted.

Ehrenburg's quote is from December 1944, late enough to make such an estimate as the absolute bulk of the Holocaust victims have been dead by then.

Auschwitz plaque nonsense debunked here.

Listed estimated death tolls come from random mostly unauthoritative sources and mean exactly nothing for the evidence-based historiography. You can find extremely diverging estimates of Stalin's victims, does that mean Stalin wasn't a criminal? Also see here.

The list is topped off with the lie about what the Red Cross allegedly claims, debunked here.

So just another useless YouTube video full of denier lies.

3. Debunking of the video "10 Hard Facts About the Holocaust"

6 minutes.

Claim #1: refuted here.

Claim #2: refuted here.

Claim #3: refuted here.

Claim #4: addressed here and here.

Claim #5: refuted here.

Claim #6: refuted here.

Claim #7: the truth does not fear an honest investigation; Holocaust deniers are, en masse, not honest and engage in pure propaganda. And propaganda can destroy the truth. Hence the anti-HD laws (which I don't support). Also, to take another example, Turkey has a law against the affirmation of the Armenian genocide, while several countries have laws against the denial of the Armenian genocide. None of this is relevant to whether the Armenian genocide happened. Same applies to the laws against denial of Communist crimes - do they mean there were no Communist crimes?

Claim #8: refuted here.

Claim #9: the claims were mere rumors without any serious support, except the one about shrunken heads  those were indeed made in Buchenwald (not from Jews).

I didn't quite get what the claim #10 was. Was it about the Holocaust being a dogma? But if so, why do most deniers whom I send these links which lead to sourced, informative articles refuse to tackle the arguments in them and instead engage in character assassination, ad hominems and insults?

4. Debunking of the video "Holocaust Myths"

21 minutes, apparently by Jim Rizoli.

Claim about revised Auschwitz death toll debunked here. (Note that finding some random book that took it seriously does not prove anything.)

Claim about no German records of a homicidal gas chamber program: obvious lie debunked at
Contemporary German Documents on Homicidal Gas Vans
Rebuttal of Mattogno on Auschwitz, Part 5: Construction Documents, G: Gas Chambers
Index of Published Evidence on Mass Extermination in Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau

Claim about Auschwitz gastight doors: the doors for the homicidal gas chambers were the same doors used for Zyklon B delousing gas chambers, so they obviously were gastight by definition. Less cyanide is used for short-period homicidal gassings than for multi-hour delousings.

Krema I is not in its original state so the claims about its doors are meaningless.

The claim about "combined strength" of thousands of people pushing on the doors is a macabre absurdity. Thousands of people were never near the door. Maybe a few naked, confused people at the door, and they're dead pretty soon. Addressed in detail here.

See more here.

None of the experts who have honestly studied Auschwitz have ever denied the gassings. Only the dishonest ignoramuses like Lindsey made such claims. Why is Lindsey dishonest?

1. He claimed that the underground were "cool", not mentioning that they were preheated before gassings, and that the heat of hundreds or thousands of bodies would generate enormous amounts of heat too (he was forced to admit it later). He also did not mention the Nazi wartime studies showing that HCN evaporates readily even at cold temperatures.

2. He used the dishonest flimsy doors argument mentioned above.

3. The "skin absorption" argument has been debunked even by a denier star Fritz Berg:
"Faurisson has repeatedly overstated the danger of HCN absorption through the skin. Although skin certainly does absorb HCN, it does so rather slowly. According to a source which Faurisson has himself used, 10 minutes are required to overcome a man with a gas mask whose skin is exposed to a concentration of 2% HCN in air."

“It should also be remembered that a man may be overcome by the absorption of hydrocyanic acid gas through the skin; a concentration of 2 percent hydrocyanic acid being sufficient to thus overcome a man in about 10 minutes. Therefore, even if one wears a gas mask, exposure to concentrations of hydrocyanic acid gas of 1 percent by volume or greater should be made only in case of necessity and then for a period not longer than 1 minute at a time. In general, places containing this gas should be well ventilated with fresh air before the wearer of the mask enters, thus reducing the concentration of hydrocyanic acid gas to low fractional percentages.” (See: The Gas Mask, Technical Manual No. 3-205, War Department, Washington, October 9, 1941, p. 144, NA RG 407, Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917 TM 3-205.)
The typical lethal concentration for an execution chamber and for delousing is only 0.1% HCN in air, in other words, the lethal gas need only be one-twentieth as strong as the gas discussed in Faurisson's reference. If one applies a rule of thumb or reciprocity known sometimes as Henderson's Rule, one would need twenty times as long to cause the same toxic effect. In other words, approximately 200 minutes or three hours of exposure to 0.1% HCN would be needed to overcome a worker wearing a gas mask but whose skin is exposed. It is almost inconceivable, however, that workers removing corpses would be exposed to anything near these concentrations after the doors were opened."
The letter from some Roubeix guy doesn't cite any arguments and can be instantly dismissed.

Fred Leuchter has been thoroughly debunked.

Now to the issues of ventilation. Note that the gas chambers were not planned as such from the beginning. It has been shown by Pressac that they were at first planned as morgues and converted into gas chambers pretty late in the planning. Hence the things that might seem incongruous, like undressing room having more air exchanges per hour than the gas chamber.

The problem for the deniers is that we do know that a gas chamber existed there, in Leichenkeller 1. It was described as a "gas cellar" (Gaskeller) and a "gassing cellar" (Vergasungskeller):

The denier explanations have been pretty varied - some claim, without any evidence, that it was an air-raid shelter but this cannot be since no such air-raid shelter would be described as a Vergasungskeller (it would be Gasschutzkeller or something similar).

Another explanation, promoted by Mattogno among others, is that they tried to install a delousing chamber in Leichenkeller 1. But if so, then the deniers admit that the ventilation system in the morgue was sufficient for handling of Zyklon B, and moreover the undressing room still had a slightly more powerful ventilation as the delousing chamber in this case too. So it's hardly an issue only for the homicidal chamber.

(More on the "delousing chamber" argument why it is wrong see here.)

Long story short: ventilation existed, it was sufficient.

And it was not a delousing chamber since Auschwitz had dedicated delousing chambers elsewhere, and the facilities were not on the list of the delousing installations.

Skin color of corpses has been dealt with here.

The denier then distorts a witnesses quote about faces. He was obviously using metaphoric language to describe people becoming a mound of dead flesh. Obvious from the context. So the denier is simply dishonest.

The denier then distorts yet another witnesses' quote, claiming he claimed skin turned into glue. He of course claimed no such thing. Rather he referred to difficulty of detaching corpses from one another - which would be an obvious effect of rigor mortis, among other things.

The denier then jumps to crematoria capacities but, of course, compares apples and oranges - modern crematoria, or more specifically the modern cremation procedures prescribed by law cannot be compared to the procedures employed in the wartime Nazi camps. This is explained at length here.

Due to the differences in procedure the Nazis were able to achieve the average capacities that were much larger than the modern crematoria as numerous documents attest.

I'm afraid I'll take the word of the Nazi cremation specialists over that of some amateur deniers who lie about other matters as well. But even Mattogno had to concede that in Gusen cremations took much shorter than than 1 hour.

As for coke in Gusen, this has no bearing on Auschwitz at all. A Nazi engineer calculated the needed amounts of coke for the ovens as they were used in Auschwitz for a 12-hour period, based on the information from the oven manufacturer. He noted that through continuous use (bei Dauerbetrieb) the amounts of coke needed are significantly smaller. Indeed, the continuous cremation differs starkly from many individual cremations (with their heating down and heating up cycles).

For example the magistrate of Wiesbaden wrote to the firm Topf & Söhne (who had constructed the Auschwitz ovens) on 19.12.1949 (ThHStAW, Bestand Topf u. Söhne, 231, Bl. 35):
"It is hereby confirmed that Mr. chief engineer Klettner carried out the planned conversion of the cremation furnace in 2 1/2 weeks, taking into account improvements according to your latest experiences.
Mr. Klettner demonstrated the furnace in operation and handed it over after three days of trial operation with a total of 16 cremations to our complete satisfaction today.
The performance of the oven, especially in terms of fuel consumption, exceeded all expectations. On the third day after the commissioning, cremation times of 40 minutes were already being achieved without any fuel consumption except for the required heating up [of the oven].
You are free to show the oven to the interested parties after a prior notification.
Publication of the above letter without prior permission on this side is not permitted."
Chimney fires are of course possible and have nothing whatsoever to do with coke but rather with the soot accumulating in the chimneys (the more, the more actively the ovens are used). Duh.

As for the photos, the first question is whether the smoke from chimneys would be observable on the aerial photos at all. Second issue is whether the crematoria smoked continuously during the operation or only in certain periods (that they did smoke we know from photos showing soot on chimneys).

Third issue is whether they were taken in the periods of crematoria inactivity (which could be on a particular day without any transports, on the days where crematoria were inactive because of repairs; and possibly every day for a few hours for the oven maintenance) or when the open-air incineration pits were used instead (clearly visible on the photos). Merely throwing out "peak extermination activity" doesn't mean anything. One has to go through the photos day by day and see what happened on those days. One will find that on several of those dates there is no evidence of transports, and on three dates the corpses were burned in the incineration pits, the smoke being clearly visible.  On May 31 one chimney can seen to be "glowing" from the inside.

This issue is further examined here.

The refractory brick stuff is an old canard. A German researcher found that refractory bricks fail after a certain number of cremation cycles. That makes sense. But this only refers to individual cremations in civil crematoria with heating and cooling cycles, obviously not to continuous multiple cremations as practiced in Auschwitz, where one cremation cycle meant hundreds of bodies, not 1. More about that here.

Conclusion: the author is an ignorant liar repeating debunked claims.

5. Debunking of the video "Europa The Last Battle Holocaust Segment #8"

This video is peak Gish gallop. I did not bother to go through each frame.

The author begins by outright lying that the majority of partisans were Jews and that Jews were shot as partisans and not Jews. After this everything else he says can be ignored.

Just for the fun of it I skimmed through the rest. He lies about Jews declaring war on Germany (they didn't; a tabloid "fake news" headline is not evidence of an actual war declaration) and this allegedly giving a legal right to Germany to put Jews into camps (it didn't and the Nazis never used it as an argument for the camps).

People in labor camps were dying in great numbers due to systemic mistreatment (that is, even ignoring the extermination for a sec) long before the end of the war and the bombing of the infrastructure (see e.g. Wachsmann's KL).

The video gathers random internet memes without factchecking them.

E.g. the Zündel trial memes handled here and here.

He outright lies about no documents referring to policy of extermination - see here, here, here just for starters.

He outright lies about the Red Cross, which was not able to visit all camps and certainly not any extermination camps. He fabricates the alleged Red Cross quote about the alleged interrogations of detainees about the gas chambers.

He repeats the ignorant "flimsy door" non-argument.

He relies on the fraud Leuchter and on the dishonest Lüftl.

He relies on an outright and long-ago debunked fake "Lachout document".

He relied on Cole, who has been totally debunked.

He repeats the Buchenwald photo nonsense.

And uses some random online photo fakes.

He distorts Bruno Baum's claim.

He relies on the fraud Krege who made lots of claims about GPR tests at Treblinka but has failed to publish his results in 2 decades now. Leading deniers reject his hoax contention that the soil was not disturbed at all - after all, they claim that there was a transit camp there (with at least several of thousands of Jews buried). I.e. Krege is an outright liar. For more see here.

He brings up the braindead Larson canard.

From the existence of the Prussian Blue in the delousing chambers does not follow the necessity of such in the homicidal chambers - completely different modes of operation.

He lies about a court's decision about the Anne Frank diary - never happened; he lied about significant portions of the diary being written in ballpoint pen or about BKA concluding so; he lied about the handwriting not matching; on the contrary, the diary was fully forensically tested and found genuine.

He repeats the usual nonsensical "leisure stuff means no extermination" idiocy.

He lies about the non-existent Red Cross death stats - Red Cross never gave any such numbers.

He repeats the zombie argument about the Auschwitz plaque and the total Holocaust death toll, showing that he has not mastered the basic arithmetic.

He repeats the decrypts nonsense.

He repeats the "pre-Holocaust 6m" non sequitur that makes zero sense.

He carps on some fake witnesses as if it proved anything.

He repeats the debunked "Wiesel-impostor" nonsense.

As well as the "witnesses that saw no gas chambers" nonsense.

Since I was just skimming, I've probably missed a lot of stuff and could probably double the above list.

It is clear that the author of the video is nothing but a fabricator and/or a mindless regurgitator of other denier lies who has merely amassed as many internet memes (debunked here) as possible but has never done any real research.

6. Debunking of the video "The greatest lie ever told - The Holocaust."

Attributed to "Eleanor Wittakers" (the narrator is male).

2:29: the author shows her absolute ignorance by stating that the Holocaust is defined as murder of 6 million Jews in concentration camps. In fact, no serious source states this, any basic credible source will mention the millions killed outside of any camps - due to the mass shootings, gassings in gas vans, starvation etc. - as well as the fact that most extermination camps (like Treblinka) were not even concentration camps.

That's it. We can end it here. The author has zero idea about the definition of the term "Holocaust", which renders anything else she says on the topic not credible.

Around minute 13: the author does not actually cite any credible sources on the alleged systematic torture in Nuremberg - McCarthy's lack of credibility is well known (including in relation to the Malmedy massacre trials, the investigation of which showed McCarthy's key claims lacking credibility). And the Malmedy trials didn't have to do with Nuremberg in the first place.

15:21: the repetition of the ignorant statement "that 6,000,000 Jews were systematically murdered by Germans in concentration camps", see above. Once again, this is enough to dismiss the whole video.

15:38: the credible estimates of the Holocaust death toll vary from 5 to 6 million, they are based on a country-by-country analysis of the Jewish population, on the Nazis' deportation and camp records and so on. They are certainly not based on any one testimony. Here is one such scholarly study that documents that between 5 and 6 million Jews died.

18:16: the author repeats the "Red Cross document" lie debunked here.

21:00: the author tries to calculate the rate at which the Jews had to have been killed and comes to the figure of "2.281 Jews killed in a minute". The author however forgets to make an argument. Is this number supposed to speak for itself? Well, obviously no - there's nothing meaningful or useful about this purely abstract rate. Such "rates" can be concocted for any mass murder. And?

21:40: Actually Auschwitz had a gas chamber since late 1941 (in the main camp crematorium) and Auschwitz-Birkenau had two buildings with gas chambers already in 1942, so the author shows her absolute ignorance again. Oh, and the majority of the Holocaust killings obviously did not happen in Auschwitz.

22:00: the author repeats the debunked "World Almanac" canard, in fact outright lying, since at least one of her post-war numbers explicitly refers to 1939 in the Almanac.

24:24: the juggling of the Holocaust survivor numbers is irrelevant - it depends solely on the "wider" definition of a survivor, to wit:
The two researchers reached radically different conclusions. On Ukeles' count, there are 687,900 Holocaust survivors in the world today. DellaPergola's estimate is much larger: 1,092,000 survivors.
Both demographers relied on the same standard in terms of defining a Holocaust survivor: Any Jew who lived for any period of time in a country that was ruled by the Nazis or their allies is called a Holocaust survivor (by DellaPergola) or a Nazi victim (by Ukeles).
The gap in the results derives mainly from DellaPergola's decision to count as a survivor Jews who lived in the Holocaust period in North African countries (excluding Egypt), Syria and Lebanon. On his estimate, out of the 600,000 Jews who lived in these countries during the Holocaust period, about a quarter million are alive today, and about 150,000 of them live in Israel. "When I examined reports formulated in the past by Ukeles and other researchers, I found that they simply `forgot' to include these Jews in their lists," says DellaPergola.
TL;DR: these definitions are not limited to people who were in camps or even in Europe.

29:00: the huge densities were more of an exception and were achieved during truly massive actions, like the Hungarian operation, where all gas chambers had to be used at once. For most of the history of the camp the densities were lower than 2000 people per chamber. The matters of foreknowledge, chamber loading, doors and elevators are all discussed in detail here and here.

33:30: the author comically confuses the Auschwitz commandant Hoess with the unrelated Hoettl. This once again perfectly characterizes the author's level of knowledge and "scholarship". The phrases about the 2,5m are from Hoess, his disavowal of the number is from his essay on the Final Solution in Auschwitz.

34:56: on the cremation process and capacities see here, here and here.

39:52: on the swimming pool etc. etc. see here.

41:35: the Larson canard.

43:00: of course Zyklon B was used for delousings. It was also used to kill people in a massive scale, as the documents (documenting the gas chambers in the crematoria - which were not found on the list of delousing installations) and witnesses (including Nazis during the West German trials in the 1960s, where there was not even a whiff of any torture or coercion) agree.

7. Debunking of the video "#ProvenAtNuremberg - True Holocaust Remembrance"

The whole video is based on a fallacy: just because some claims were made during the Nuremberg trial(s) isn't equal to them having been proven at Nuremberg.

The prosecution usually makes all kinds of claims, of varying credibility; the defense then makes its case and the court decides, the court's decision is reflected in the judgment. Needless to say, the Nuremberg judgment doesn't repeat many of the claims made during the trial.

Historians are not dependent on the Nuremberg trials for writing history and critique specific aspects of the trials all the time.

Around 0:50: "but what I have found is that generally recognized to be mainstream Holocaust historians have been denying key aspects of the Holocaust to the degree that they're"

No "key" aspects of the Holocaust have been denied by the mainstream historians.

"facts about the Holocaust that had been denied by mainstream historians things like mobile crematoria"

Mobile cremation ovens are a fact not denied by anyone credible.

Even Holocaust deniers like Mattogno and Graf accept their existence:
All important concentration camps - Dachau, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Flossenbürg, Neuengamme, Groß-Rosen, Niederhagen, Ravensbrück - were equipped with stationary or mobile crematorium furnaces.
They describe these mobile crematoria at length:
The structure and function of the mobile oil-fueled Kori cremation furnace are well explained in a diagram which the Institute for Heat and Fuel Technology of the Cracow Mining Academy drew of the furnace at Trzebionka, a satellite camp of Auschwitz, which it no doubt based on original documents from Kori. Furnaces of this type were installed in Sachsenhausen, Stutthof, Groß-Rosen and Ravensbrück, among others. The two furnaces in the first crematorium of Majdanek were of this type.
The furnace, which is shaped like a muffle, is lined with sheet iron on the outside. At the front we find the standard double door for loading the bodies. Beneath is the door to the ash pit, on whose sides two air valves are affixed to admit the air necessary for combustion. The incineration system is the same as that for the coke-fueled furnace.
[lots of technical detail skipped]
The system for drawing off the flue gases consists of an opening on the muffle vault towards the front of the furnace, and a short smoke channel leading from the furnace into a small pipe. The latter is square and of cast-iron; a regular chimney is installed on top of it, in the form of a cast-iron pipe. The bodies were loaded via a castered trestle, just as for the coke-fueled furnaces.
And even provide a photo of one ("Mobile oil-fueled Kori cremation furnace."):

Elsewhere the denier Mattogno even cites a document by the firm Topf mentioning such mobile ovens:
Mobile, petrol-fired two-muffle oven, later converted into a stationary coke-fired oven. This type of oven was installed in Gusen (a subcamp of Mauthausen) and Dachau. The first one was ordered by the SS-Neubauleitung of the Mauthausen camp on March 21, 1940, as a mobile, petrol-fired oven ("fahrbarer Ofen mit Ölbeheizung"), but on October 9, 1940, it was decided to convert it into a coke-fired oven.
Yet elsewhere we effortlessly find further German documents about these mobile cremation ovens:
Dass nicht erneut die Firma Kori, sondern nun Topf & Söhne Auftragnehmerin wurde, könnte Folge einer Entscheidung des SS-Hauptamtes Haushalt und Bauten (SS-HHB) gewesen sein, eine zu nächst für das KZ Flossenbürg vorgesehene mobile Verbrennungsanlage in Gusen aufzustellen.22
22) Vgl. Schreiben Neubauleitung KL Mauthausen an Topf & Söhne, 5.7.1940, betr. fahrbare Verbrennungsanlage, Bundesarchiv Berlin (fortan BAB) NS 4 Ma/54. 
Quite obviously, there's nothing miraculous about mobile crematoria (and why would there be?).

But we already see how much research the dumbo has conducted before making his video. Hint: none.

"or the pedal power brain bashing machines"

While this is the claim that appeared in a single testimony at Nuremberg, it had nothing to do with the Holocaust (the claim was about the murder of the Soviet POWs) and it has never become a part of the historical consensus. Obviously, historians don't just accept any claim by any witness.

"the use of diesel engines to execute prisoners"

We know that all gassing engines ran on gasoline. That some people got it wrong doesn't negate the fact that people were gassed with engine exhaust; a correction of a secondary aspect doesn't negate the key aspect.

Further reading:

The Gassing Engine: Diesel or Gasoline?

Rebuttal of Alvarez on Gas Vans: Why the Diesel Issue is Still Irrelevant

Why the "diesel issue" is irrelevant

"the use of steam chambers, electric plates to execute people all of which was well documented and proven at Nuremberg"

A lie: this was neither documented (no Nazi document about steam chambers or electric plates) nor proven (no other credible evidence proving specifically steam or electricity) at Nuremberg, and nothing like that appears in the Nuremberg judgment.

That some claims during the trial were made doesn't make the claims themselves documented or proven.

Around 2:30: Dachau gas chamber.

The chamber itself existed. It is not known if anyone was gassed in it. That a claim of mass gassing was made in a film without a reference to any source doesn't make this claim "proven at Nuremberg".

Around 5:30: "look when we say extensive documentation for the Holocaust this is what we're talking about: documentation at Nuremberg from the OSS, proven in a court of law"

Another lie. Prosecution presenting an exhibit does not amount to this exhibit being automatically proven in a court of law. Moreover, nothing cited by the creator of the video so far has been in the form of the original Nazi documents. An OSS document is not a wartime Nazi document. The Holocaust is documented by the Nazi documents (among other sources), not by random OSS reports.

Around 6:00: "in addition men were sentenced to death for their role in the mass extermination programs at Dachau, by denying the extermination program at Dachau you're calling into question the Nuremberg tribunals overall and calling into a question the death camps in the East"

Another lie. The extermination camps cannot be called into question by questioning Nuremberg, since the bulk of the evidence for them is not based on Nuremberg. Calling into question claims made during the trial doesn't call into question the trial overall. And here is the only mention of Dachau in the judgment:
Beating, starvation, torture, and killing were general. The inmates were subjected to cruel experiments at Dachau in August, 1942, victims were immersed in cold water until their body temperature was reduced to 28 degrees Centigrade, when they died immediately.
(A description of further experiments follows without necessarily tying them to Dachau, but these experiments are documented in any case.)

Mass gassings in Dachau did not enter the judgment and thus cannot be claimed to have been "proven at Nuremberg".

6:30: The Ziereis statement. While the gas chambers existed both in Mauthausen and in Hartheim (their existence being indepedent from the veracity of the Ziereis statement), the numerical estimates in the statement are obvious exaggerations but they entered neither the judgment (thus not "proven at Nuremberg"), nor the mainstream historiography. Moreover, the estimates in the statement could not have served as the basis for any historian since they would be private estimates by a person not in the position to make such estimates (Ziereis was responsible neither for Hartheim, nor for the Warsaw-Kovno-Riga-Libau area). So of course nobody has ever been obliged to take such private speculations seriously.

Around 9:30: "Why revise the numbers downward because when you do you call into question the validity of the charge in its first instance like if someone was attacked by a dragon then someone else says to them that's impossible dragons don't exist but then the person goes oh well I was attacked by a bear okay now we're supposed to believe that he was attacked by a bear just because he changed his story from the impossible to something possible no stop denying. Homicidal gas chambers at Mauthausen, 1.5 million people killed there. Done".

Ignorant nonsense by a low-IQ dudebro. First of all, he confused Hartheim with Mauthausen (1.5 million was claimed in the statement for Hartheim). Second, nobody has "revised" the 16 million number downward, it has never been accepted in the first place (see above). Third, the claims for the gas chambers at Mauthausen and Hartheim and the death toll estimates for these two sites are not based on the Ziereis statement (it is sometimes mentioned, but it's not a necessary source) - throw it away and nothing changes. The claims are based on the totality of evidence, including, for example, the West-German investigations in the 1950s-1960s during which numerous witnesses, including the SS men, were interrogated. Good historians don't simply accept a random claim without trying to corroborate it and without analyzing the totality of evidence. On the actual sources on the Mauthausen gas chambers see B. Perz, F. Freund, "Tötungen durch Giftgas im Konzentrationslager Mauthausen" in G. Morsch, B. Perz (Hrsg.), Neue Studien zu nationalsozialistischen Massentötungen durch Giftgas. Historische Bedeutung, technische Entwicklung, revisionistische Leugnung, 2012 (2. Aufl.), S. 244ff.; F. Freund, "Tötungen durch Giftgas in Mauthausen und Gusen" in B. Bailer, W. Benz, W. Neugebauer (Hrsg.), Wahrheit und "Auschwitzlüge". Zur Bekämpfung "revisionistischer" Propaganda, 1995, S. 119ff.

Around 10:10: "Take Treblinka for example: we have sworn affidavits proving the use of steam chambers and electrified floors for mass killing"

And then he goes on to quote a document that is not a sworn affidavit by a witness. How more deceptive can one get?

He is citing a summary Polish government report (charges against Hans Frank) that was based on a variety of sources, not all of them equal. In this case, in the underlying report - the Nov. 1942 Polish resistance report to the Polish government-in-exile, itself a jumble of various sources - steam chambers were indeed mentioned - but not by anyone who would demonstrably be able to judge what substance was actually used for killing.

What might an outside witness observing from their hiding place see during a gassing? First of all, the exhaust escaping through the hatches in the roof (mentioned by witnesses and necessary against overpressure in the chambers); second, upon opening the gas chamber doors, possibly that same exhaust (smoke) and, on a colder autumn day, some actual mist rising from the still hot bodies (yes, it was very hot inside the gas chambers for obvious reasons). The assumption that the method of murder was steam wasn't that far-fetched from such observations.

And it was integrated into the resistance report - and yes, that means the compiler of the report was not critical enough, but this has no consequences whatsoever for the Holocaust historiography, because we don't base our historical judgments on such summary reports. It will suffice to say that not a single SS witness and not a single direct witness of the gassing equipment ever claimed that steam was used. The same applies to the electric extermination at Belzec, the claim that was based purely on rumors but not repeated by a single actual eyewitness. The author obviously has zero idea about how history-writing works.

And what does the actual Nuremberg IMT judgment say about Treblinka?
All who were fit to work were used as slave labourers in the concentration camps; all who were not fit to work were destroyed in gas chambers and their bodies burnt. Certain concentration camps such as Treblinka and Auschwitz were set aside for this main purpose.
Further reading: The Revisionist Fabrication of the Myth of an Original Treblinka "Steam Narrative"

Around 12:40: "'I can ask members of the tribunal to refer to page six of the album of documents relative to the Lvov camp, one of them is a picture of a trench in the valley of death the ground is soaked with human blood to a depth of one and a half meters', literal rivers of blood, why will you deny this ghoulish imagery? Why sterilize the Holocaust?"

And who exactly denies it? The Janowska camp is a well-established place of mass murder, see for example W. Beorn, "Last Stop in Lwów: Janowska as a Hybrid Camp", Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 2018, vol. 32, issue 3, pp. 445–471.

Around 12:50: Alleged memory-holing of the Nazi atomic bombs vaporizing 20,000 Jews. However, no such such accusation was officially made by the prosecution. Jackson asked a question without making a claim, least of all a charge. Jackson only made the claim that certain information was placed in his hands - but he did not take any stance on the veracity of this information. No Nuremberg exhibit (e.g. an affidavit) exists in which the claim is made. The matter was not followed-up. Nothing "proven at Nuremberg" here, the prosecution did not even make the claim in the first place. Deception by the author.

Around 15:00: Sawing the trees. Who denies this? The author does not cite any historians that agree that this claim is not true.

The occurence was simply not massive enough to have earned any special place in the historiography (how many did they kill this way - 5, 10, 20?).

Around 15:30: As we have seen, the mobile crematoria ovens are acknowledged even by the leading Holocaust deniers. The author is incompetent even in his denial.

The bone-grinding mills are documented:

Sonderkommando Kulmhof in German Documents - Body Disposal. Bone Crushing

Cremation Devices, Methods and Times

There is no lack of remains:

Mass Graves and Dead Bodies

They are still being found:

Uncovering Nazi massacre of Jews on Belarus building site  

Around 17:20: The Waldmann testimony is obviously unreliable, but neither Waldmann, nor his claims figure in the Nuremberg judgment. So again, nothing here that is "proven at Nuremberg". The mainstream historiography dismisses Waldmann's testimony as it is not beholden to something merely introduced at Nuremberg.

Around 19:30: The testimony about the Sonderkommando 1005 training at the Janowska camp is not denied by the historians. Sonderkommando 1005 existed specifically to incinerate the bodies of the Nazi victims and obviously they had to know how to do it, hence the training courses. The bone-crushing machine from Janowska, of which a photo exists, is dealt with at the "Cremation Devices, Methods and Times" link given above.

Around 21:30: "That's right from the tip of Narva to the Black Sea after killing all these people the special action groups then dug up and destroyed the evidence of 1.35 million dead bodies and all of this was done by 3,000 men"

It is obviously not being claimed that all the shootings victims' graves were destroyed, Sonderkommando 1005 simply did not have sufficient time for this, which is why so many graves were found after the war and are still being found. Another strawman by the dishonest author.

Neither did the SK 1005 men dig up the graves and burn the bodies themselves, rather they forced teams of the still surviving male Jews taken from ghettos or work camps to do the actual work. The bodies were incinerated on pyres (a more efficient method than mobile crematoria, where you would have just one muffle - you would have to have a whole fleet of those with you to make a noticeable dent), the brittle bones were crushed by the Jews themselves. The use of the bone-crushing machines and mobile crematoria was an exception. The SK 1005 had no need of them to be sufficiently efficient.

Around 22:15: Katyn. It should be noted that today there are numerous Katyn deniers in Russia and some even in the West, who are using the exact same dishonest tricks the author uses: searching for marginal wild claims (of which there is no lack with Katyn, including e. g. a wholly fake Katyn witness during the Madden Committee hearings or the claims of many of the officers having been drowned in the barges in the White Sea - the untrue rumors, that are analogous to the steam/electricity rumors mentioned above, that were nevertheless taken seriously at the time; the German exaggerations of the number of corpses (12,000 instead of about 4,400); the German fake news about the identity of the perpetrators (a list of alleged Jewish NKVD executioners, which we now know to be totally fake now, since we have the names of the actual executioners); then there is the wholly fake Tartakov report claiming the Soviet guilt - and it was even published by the Holocaust-denying IHR), taking things out of context, outright lying in some cases, claiming that all the evidence that does not suit them is fake (including documents and exhumations). Using the very same "methodology" one can just as easily "disprove" that Katyn is the Soviet deed, so the use of Katyn by the Western Holocaust deniers is an ironic double standard.

The author outright lies that the German Katyn guilt was proven at Nuremberg. It never appears in the judgment. Prosecution's claim does not equal judgment and does not equal "proven at Nuremberg".

The Soviets wanted to push Katyn through without the accused being able to contradict their evidence, but the Western judges would have none of it. During the judges' conference the Soviet judge Nikitchenko represented the Soviet line which is now also accepted by the deniers, namely that the Article 21 meant that the official reports are irrefutable. He was shot down first by Lawrence, who pointed out that nothing in Art. 21 says the evidence is irrefutable; then by Biddle, who added that the article only speaks of the way of introducing the evidence, nothing about its irrefutability. And finally by de Vabres, who pointed out that even well-known facts in general can turn out to be wrong.

Since here we also deal with a long-standing denier misconception about the trial rules, let me quote a long excerpt from the article "The export of terror—on the impact of the Stalinist culture of terror on Soviet foreign policy during and after World War II" by Claudia Weber, Journal of Genocide Research, 2009, vol. 11, issue 2-3, pp. 285-306:
In this situation, the tribunal judges and their deputies met on March 12, 1946 behind closed doors to consult on the petition. Aware of the unease that the representatives of the Western powers felt, Moscow was convinced that an agreement would be reached to reject the petition. Yuri Pokrovsky began by explaining why the Soviet prosecutors wanted the petition denied. Then Judge Nikitchenko spoke and, rather than discussing the crime itself or the identity of the perpetrators, posed a different question, namely, “whether it is permissible to subject to examination documents that the Tribunal must officially take judicial notice of without evidence according to Article 21 of the Statutes.” If, he asserted, the tribunal were to permit such an examination, then the “deliberations on the case pending and the charges raised therein” would be relegated to the background and instead the court would question the veracity of the duly-recognized governmental investigation reports. In order to prevent this from happening, Nikitchenko advocated “that a fundamental decision be reached, namely, that the petition be denied on the basis of Article 21.” This was the point at which Moscow’s unique opportunity to “dispose of” Katyn on the basis of Article 21 backfired. Both Geoffrey Lawrence, president of the tribunal and a British citizen, and his American colleague Francis Biddle were not willing to take up Nikitchenko’s suggestion and accept his interpretation of Article 21 without objecting. “By all due respect for the General,” Lawrence responded, “I cannot subscribe to his interpretation of Article 21. Article 21 stipulates that judicial notice shall be taken of such documents without provision of evidence but that does not mean that they cannot be refuted by counter-evidence.” Each side adhered to a different interpretation of Article 21: whereas the Soviets maintained that the veracity of official governmental reports was not to be questioned, Lawrence and Biddle were of the opinion that, in principle, such documents could be challenged. The conflict over the legal reading of the article highlighted the clash between two contradictory cultures and legal systems. For representatives of the Soviet Union like Rudenko, Pokrovsky, or Nikitchenko, who had been educated politically in the Stalinist system, challenging official state declarations was unthinkable. Biddle and Lawrence as well as French Judge de Vabres, in contrast, could declare that “even generally known facts that are taken notice of judicially without further evidence can be untrue and so challenging them cannot be prohibited.” When British Judge John Parker made the shrewd remark that “the indictment [did not have to] include the issue of the executions in Katyn Forest. It was based on this issue, and its reasoning referred to it. [. . .] If we refuse to allow the accused to call witnesses in their defence, then we deny their right to defend themselves.” Pokrovsky and Nikitchenko faced a fiasco. At this point, at the very latest, both must have realized that they were confronted with the resistance of all their colleagues and that all further efforts to steer the debate in the direction they desired were bound to fail. The only course of action that remained for the Soviet representatives was to abstain when, subsequently, a vote was taken. Stahmer’s petition was accepted with the votes of Lawrence, Biddle, and de Vabres.
While the increasingly nervous members of the Vyshinsky Commission began preparing their witnesses, Francis Biddle was also anything but idle. He assigned Herbert Wechsler, an assistant attorney general in charge of the US War Division, the task of writing an expert opinion that presented convincing legal arguments to support the Western interpretation of Article 21 as well as the decision reached on March 12. Biddle’s action underlined the fact that, in spring 1946, the American delegation was determined to not only quash the Soviet scheme but also to win the dispute over the interpretation of Article 21 and the Nuremberg statutes. In the course of the controversy, it became apparent that the discussion of legal issues was becoming a political power struggle. When the Tribunal judges met on April 6 for the decisive deliberations on Rudenko’s petition, the conflict appeared about to escalate. Francis Biddle presented Herbert Wechsler’s expert opinion and rejected Rudenko’s petition, charging that it was defamatory and presumptuous. Moreover, Biddle further raised the ire of the Soviets by declaring that, in the USA, the author of such a scandalous and vile product would be prosecuted for contempt of court and that Rudenko should be “sent to prison immediately.” That Biddle’s suggestion that Wechsler’s text might be read during a public session before arresting Rudenko was an obvious provocation addressed to the Soviets, in case they refused to give up their resistance to the Tribunal’s decision.
It is hardly likely that Francis Biddle was mostly motivated in this conflict by a desire to ascertain the truth about Katyn. The acerbic conflict that had been triggered by Stahmer’s petition and the debate over the interpretation of Article 21 developed into a proxy war, behind which loomed the contours of the Cold War. What is more, the way in which the conflict was ultimately resolved presaged future strategies of dealing with crises in the Cold War. On the brink of further escalation, a deal was negotiated that allowed both sides to save face. On the one hand, Rudenko’s petition was denied without any explanation of the reasons for the decision and without a discussion of the petition’s content in a public session. On the other hand, it was agreed that Herbert Wechsler’s expert opinion would enter the record of the Tribunal and not be made public. Nikitchenko declared that the Soviet side would no longer discuss Article 21 but that he would personally vote against the Tribunal’s decision.
In the end, the Soviet demands were denied, each side got the right to present 3 witnesses (which they did), and the Katyn case, so prominent during the trial, never entered the judgment - the Western judges obviously did not believe in the Soviet version.

The depths of the denier author's deception should have become clear by now.

Around 25:40: "... 100 witnesses, medical experts all confirm that it was the Germans who did this a mountain of documentation and witnesses all attesting that the Germans did this; how is it possible if the Germans didn't actually do it, were all the witnesses lying, were all these witnesses lying in unison, all 100 of them, and also for mainstream historians who deny this Nazi atrocity and instead blame the Soviets for it, do you deny the countless witnesses to the homicidal gas chambers of Dachau and Mauthausen - all attesting to the same thing, I guess they're all lying in unison"

First of all, the Soviets did not claim that all 100 witnesses claimed to have observed the Germans performing the Katyn massacre or its cover-up. 100 witnesses were interrogated, some of them - about 1/3, if we judge by the ones listed in the Soviet Katyn report - claimed to have been eyewitnesses of some aspect of the case or its cover-up which could not have been true. For example, seeing the Polish POWs on the roads in 1941. Notably, most of those are not some lengthy statements describing the details of the massacre, the fabricated parts sometimes take one sentence (so even when lying, it was not "in unison", as in, repeating the same identical sufficiently lengthy story). Many of the 100 testimonies are of the "I saw the graves during the 1943 excursions and thought the bodies were too fresh" variety, which would fall under the point 4 of the Soviet report's conclusion and which didn't even need much of nudging.

So what we have are some witnesses indeed lying, coerced by the NKGB and NKVD to lie in this particular case, since this was the case of the Soviets having been caught basically red-handed in their own crime and having no choice but to blame it on the Germans. This makes this case special and not analogous to the Holocaust or most other crimes. There is simply no evidence of numerous Soviet large-scale fabrications analogous to Katyn.

Even if it could be argued that the Soviet practices tainted their witness evidence in general to a certain degree (although this absolutely wouldn't allow us to dismiss the Soviet witness evidence altogether - it's always the case by case basis; numerous Soviet Holocaust witnesses left the USSR or lived long enough for it to fall - and did not claim coercion), there is zero evidence of e. g. the West-German authorities coercing any SS men to testify about the extermination of the Jews, so even if you throw away the Soviet Holocaust witnesses, you still prove everything without a hitch.

Second, the gas chambers both in Dachau and in Mauthausen are acknowledged by the actual historians.

Third, there are no "countless witnesses" to the Dachau gas chambers (there are just a couple, and that is, frankly, depending on how one defines "witness"), much less to mass gassings there (there is just one known person, Blaha, who claimed to have actually seen the result of a small trial gassing).

Moreover, those are not even Soviet witnesses, so the analogy would have broken down here if it existed in the first place.

Around 31:00: The author claims that the mainstream Holocaust historians now deny the Danzig human soap - and of course outright lies again, since they do no such thing.

Moreover, the Danzig human soap has little to do with the Holocaust since the soap (the making of which is a fact freely and without any coercion acknowledged by the soap-maker Dr. Spanner himself) is not claimed to have been made from Jewish corpses in the first place.

For more on this see the in-depth study Nazi shrunken heads, human skin lampshades, human soap, textiles from human hair? Sorting out the truth from the legends.

Around 32:00: The Krupp lockers used for torture: the author claims the mainstream historians deny this but doesn't quote any such historian or doesn't give any reason why such torture method is implausible and should be doubted. Not to mention that this has zero to do with the Holocaust.

Around 33:30: The personal estimates. The author shows his ignorant, low-IQ nature throughout this video but this must be the peak. He seriously accuses Raul Hilberg of not accepting another historian's exaggerated Auschwitz death toll while relying on him in other matters. Seriously? Once you cite a historian on one point you automatically agree to everything he says in the same book? What kind of imbecile thinks like that? A neo-Nazi brainlet, that's who.

More or less the same principle applies to Gerstein. Proper historians look at what the witnesses know themselves, what they observed as eyewitnesses, and what they repeat from other sources or speculate about. Gerstein's account is both valuable (we know he was in Belzec due to Dr. Pfannenstiel traveling with him and also testifying after the war and also due to him telling everything to his Dutch friend Ubbink during the war) and problematic due to his penchant for exaggeration and his volatile mental state. So some of what he says as an eyewitness will be useful to the historians, but lots will not be, and this includes his death toll estimates (no matter how convinced he himself was of them).

He was, very simply, not in a position to make such estimates reliably, which is why his estimates are not taken seriously by the historians. "All or nothing" is not an approach of the historians, it's the approach of dumb fanatics, like the author of this video.

Same applies to Bendel. He was not in a position to know the actual death toll of Auschwitz - despite the fact that he obviously was absolutely convinced it was 4 million. Witnesses' beliefs are not useful to the historians. What witnesses claim to have personally experienced is of interest. (But thanks for quoting the grilling Bendel took, which would not have happened during a show-trial.)

Around 40:40: The author does not quote any historian claiming that the Wannsee conference does not lay out an extermination plan. Because obviously it does.

That the extermination decision-in-principle was not taken at the Wannsee (but earlier) is of course known by the historians, and that's what Bauer, quoted by the author, is talking about, but that's beside the point.

Indeed, Bauer writes in his book Rethinking the Holocaust, 2002, p. 176:
The Wannsee conference of January 20, 1942, dealt with some of the administrative aspects of mass murder, and its protocol reflects some of the internal discussions among the Nazi leaders.
The author of the video, being of low intelligence, could not distinguish between the conference being about the genocide and mass murder and it not being the event where the genocidal decision was taken. The author's subsequent babbling on the "lack of documentation" is rendered obsolete.

Around 44:00: The author lies about the lack of evidence, of which there is plenty. For starters, see:

Evidence for the Implementation of the Final Solution by Christopher R. Browning 

Hitler’s Role in the Persecution of the Jews by the Nazi Regime by Heinz Peter Longerich 

The Systematic Character of the National Socialist Policy for the Extermination of the Jews by Heinz Peter Longerich

Also, for a quick illustration, see Hitler's extermination announcement and a couple of Nazi court decisions.

Around 44:50: Hilberg's mind-reading quote. First of all, if Hilberg had ever been a go-to expert on the Nazi Holocaust decision-making, this hasn't been so for many decades, and whatever opinions he has held on the matter, even if once relevant, are long obsolete. There's been a slew of in-depth research by Browning, Gerlach and many others who, unlike the generalist Hilberg, focused specifically on the decision-making aspect. This is to make a point that quoting in 2020 something Hilberg said on the issue in 1983 is about as serious as quoting Rutherford's views on quantum mechanics - maybe slightly interesting but utterly irrelevant.

That said, Hilberg meant the the Holocaust did not start out as a monolith, with a single decision (and it obviously did not, there was a complicated many-part decision-making route; the Holocaust is how we choose to name the associated series of events) with the local authorities often "working towards the Führer", offering their own extermination initiatives (like Greiser did with Kulmhof). And since there was no monolithic operation, there was no monolithic budget either. But just because there was no single "Holocaust budget" doesn't mean there weren't many budgets for specific operations, e. g. the budget of the Aktion Reinhard was covered by the Jewish property robbed during this extermination and plunder Aktion.

Let me further quote the historian Nick Terry on Hilberg's significance:
I'm finding the discussion of 'genocide by telepathy' amusing on two levels.
Firstly, the fact that deniers still repeat this makes them look really, really dated. The Hilberg article from Newsday is literally 35 years old now, since the article appeared on 23 February 1983. True, he repeated similar ideas or the exact same quote through the 1980s, but this quote has extremely Big Hair from ozone-unfriendly CFC-containing hairspray. Deniers need new material.
Secondly, Hilberg may have been a pioneering researcher and synthesiser, but in the debate over the origins of the Final Solution and decision-making, he has been more or less irrelevant for decades. The structure of the original edition (1961) of The Destruction of European Jews, which was retained in the 1985 and 2003 editions, meant that Hilberg largely slid past the issue of the timing of decision-making; the edits for the 1985 edition doubly ensured this. University students do not cite Hilberg when considering the origins of the Final Solution; they might cite him for the overviews of different countries or some other topics covered in his magnum opus, but not on this issue.
Ever since Browning's extended review in SWC Annual, few commentators on the origins of the Final Solution have really engaged with Hilberg on issues of timing or decision-making processes. Hilberg's exact wording was too loose to really be quotable. If one tried to apply it narrowly to the Wannsee conference, for example, then it simply doesn't work as an interpretation of the protocol or its surrounding paper trail. There were too many conflicts at Wannsee, especially over definitional issues, which continue to be reflected in further memos and letters, e.g. from Stuckart.
The broader point, however, is widely accepted, but it's a rather subtle and nuanced one. Few historians would disagree that Nazi decision-making involved many initiatives from below or from the 'periphery', designed to fulfil aims that were stated more vaguely from the centre, i.e. by Hitler. This is why Ian Kershaw evolved his concept of 'working towards the Fuehrer' in the 1990s, and why other historians such as Wendy Lower have tried out similar concepts such as 'anticipatory obedience'. Understanding how permissions, initiatives and orders coexisted is what understanding 1941-2 is all about. Failing to understand this complexity leads to a variety of dead-end interpretations that aren't accurate - including the interpretations proffered by Faurisson, Mattogno and other deniers, who lived through the era of debating the origins of the Final Solution but who clearly never lived it.
Essentially no historian would now accept the classic top-down totalitarian dictatorship model when applied to the Third Reich or the decision-making for the Final Solution. But this model persists in the popular understanding of Hitler and the Third Reich, so deniers think they can play on this ignorance and try LOLing when historians grope towards alternative models of understanding a more complex regime structure. The joke is on them, as the term 'polycracy' is apparently entirely absent from the entire revisionist oeuvre - it certainly isn't used in a single page, article or book chapter on when I have checked this.
Around 46:50: That the Nazis used code-words is a given because such code-words - like "special treatment" - do appear in the documents. It is clear from the documents what the code-words meant, for just one example see "Separate accommodation" in Auschwitz: a code word for extrajudicial executions.

Of course, there were also documents without any code-words, see e.g. the very explicit Jäger report.

One prominent example of using the code-words would be in the SS statistician Korherr's report on the Final Solution, where it was claimed that so and so many Jews were resettled "to the Russian East". Since these Jews actually went to Treblinka, Belzec, Sobibor (cf. the Höfle telegram) and Kulmhof to be never seen again and never arrived to the "Russian East", it was, of necessity, a code-word.

All the deniers have to do to refute this conclusion is to show where the Jews went instead: Seriously Now, Where Did The Jews "Evacuated to The East" Go?

We even have a standing challenge with 1000$ for name of a single one such deported Jew, no takers so far: Challenge to Supporters of the Revisionist Transit Camp Theory

To add to this, we also know that this deportation to the Russian East was a code-word from the following Himmler's order to Korherr:
The Reichsführer SS has received your statistical report about "The Final Solution of the European Jewish Question". He wishes that in no place a "special treatment of the Jews" is referred to. On page 9, item 4, the wording must be the following:
" Transportation of Jews from the
eastern provinces to the Russian
East: ............................
The following numbers were sifted
through the camps in the General
Government .............
through the camps in the Warthegau....."
Another wording may not be used.
I send back the copy of the report already signed by the Reichsführer SS with the request to change this page 9 accordingly and to send it back.
So Korherr initially used the code-word "special treatment (Sonderbehandlung) of the Jews" to refer to the Jewish stats supplied to him by the RSHA but was ordered to replace it with another code-word (note: in one place he forgot to remove the word, so it still appears in his report). And in the RSHA jargon "Sonderbehandlung" meant exclusively executions. In all these decades the deniers have been unable to find a single RSHA document that uses this word in a non-lethal sense.

Around 50:00: "don't let the millions killed in the gas chambers at Dachau, Mauthausen and Bergen Belsen be forgotten either, hundreds of witnesses and documents presented at the international military tribunals proving this"

Obviously there were no documents for such claims presented at such tribunals, so the author lies again. The "extermination camps on the Soviet-occupied territory" canard, which could only be repeated by an intellectually deficient individual, is dealt with here.

And of course, as we have seen, the mobile cremation ovens, accepted even by the leading deniers, existed; the evidence for the gas chamber in Dachau exists, but the evidence for gassings in it is weak and is not by any stretch of imagination comparable to the mountain of evidence we have for Auschwitz, including documents about the gas chambers and extermination of Jews.  So the author capped off his litany of lies with another big one.

PS: more debunkings of the silly denier memes can be found here.

Update 1: apparently the author has responded. He begins with a lie:

8. Debunking of the video "Jews tell the truth about the Holocaust" (an excerpt from Eric Hunt's film)

It's a part of Eric Hunt's video "The Last Days of the Big Lie". Most of the video is about Irene Zisblatt, whose testimony was analyzed at our blog at length.

Notably, Eric Hunt renounced denial due to the deniers' inability to find the missing Jews (indicating that none of the claims in his film actually debunk the Holocaust), but the deniers still misuse his misuse of the cherrypicked fragments of the survivors' testimonies.

The matter of recreational activities was actually dealt with at length here, which posting should serve as an intro to this debunking.

Interestingly, Hunt never specifies the names of the survivors. I had to search for them myself. It's as if his presentation is designed to make checking his sources more difficult. Hmm.

Hunt begins with the survivor Horst Cahn's mention of an Auschwitz orchestra, whose existence is known to anyone even minimally interested in the camp history (see the intro link). It is unclear what Hunt wants to prove here or how this is supposed to contradict the Holocaust.

Then Hunt presents Renee Duering's testimony about her time in Block 10 (later moved, as a whole block, to Block 1), the block where women were experimented on by Dr. Clauberg and others and sterilized. Duering tells about certain the end-of-the war events when the women of the block were allowed to take part in the Nazis' entertainment activities. Hunt of course omits the whole experiments and sterilization parts.

Here is what Duering had to say in her 23.04.1992 interview (a different, but analogous one) about this:


There is of course more. It is in this context that she was asked about lightheartedness in the experimental block:

Note that Hunt had to go through all the descriptions of human experiments to carefully cut out an "innocent" part in order to present it to the public, and simply conceal the rest.

He then moves to the Buchenwald and Auschwitz survivor Rudy Friedenthal, who talks about a time in Buchenwald where they could get books or newspapers from the library, where a prisoner violin quartet could play in some barracks and where they could watch German movies in the evenings sometimes.

Buchenwald was a concentration, not an extermination camp, with its usual system of incentives for the workers. The cinema barrack at Buchenwald is so mundane it is even mentioned in short descriptions of the camp such as this one:
After the pogrom night in November 1938, the SS assigned almost 10,000 Jews to Buchenwald concentration camp. Living conditions in the "Jewish camp" located within the protective custody camp were particularly bad. As early as 1941, the gassing of prisoners from the camp began in the "Healing and Care Institutions" Sonnenstein and Bernburg. In 1942, the already existing crematorium was expanded. In addition, "medical" experiments claimed further victims. In autumn 1942, most of the Jewish prisoners were deported to Auschwitz. About 8,000 Soviet prisoners of war were murdered by shot in the neck in the same year. Between 1941 and 1943, a so-called cinema barrack existed in which prisoners could hold cultural events to be approved by the SS. From 1943 there was a camp brothel for prisoners as an incentive for higher work performance. The women forced into prostitution were mostly prisoners from the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Outside the fenced-in camp was the SS area with the camp administration, commandant's office and SS barracks. In the middle of this SS area was the special camp "Fichtenhain" with its isolation barracks for prominent inmates. After 20 July 1944, members of the resistance involved in the assassination attempt and their families were also imprisoned here.
I mean, duh. Read a book some time. Of course, it was not the only camp with a cinema barrack. Here is Mittelbau-Dora:
The barrack had been set up as a cinema in autumn 1944. As part of a bonus system created by the SS, it was intended to improve performance in the work commandos. Privileged prisoners who were in possession of camp money could watch weekly changing entertainment and propaganda films in it.
About libraries in the concentration camps there is a whole study mentioned at the intro link.

Here is a study of theatrical activities in the Nazi concentration camps, for a good measure.

Hunt continues with Friedenthal, now jumping to his Auschwitz experience: he is talking about having been able to write and receive postcards while in the so-called main camp. That the heavily censored correspondence (among others, the goal was to assure the outside world that everything was ok in the camps) was allowed (also as a part of a disinformation campaign) is again not a secret.

From the official history of Auschwitz by the Auschwitz Museum (I omit footnotes; Auschwitz, 1940-1945, vol. 1 (The establishment and organization of the camp), 2000, pp. 168-169) [link]:
Aside from the means of communicating by wire or radio, each concentration camp also had its own postal station. The station postmaster (Leiter der Poststelle) who was responsible for enforcing the postal regulations. In the event that he discovered any irregularities, particularly in regard to mail sent to or by prisoners, the postmaster was required immediately to inform the adjutant to the commandant and Department II. In cases where Department II suspected illicit contacts between prisoners and the outside world, it launched investigations against the senders. Prisoners, aside from Jews, Soviet POWs, and those deported to Auschwitz under SS and and Gestapo special programs (like "Nacht und Nebel," "Meerschaum" and "Frühlingswind") were allowed to send or receive a letter every two weeks. Some prisoners were punished by being denied the right of correspondence. Prisoners on their second or subsequent stints in camp were allowed to receive or send letters only once a month. Prisoners were required to specify at registration the address with which they would correspond, and were forbidden to change this address without the permission of the Lagerführer. This principle was also applied to "reeducation prisoners" (Erziehungshäftlinge), who were sentenced to a set term of incarceration in the camp.

Prisoners other than those included in the categories noted above also had the right to obtain "camp scrip" (Lagergeld) in exchange for the money that they had deposited in the office that handled prisoners' property. This scrip could next be used to purchase standardized correspondence forms and postage stamps in the camp commissary. The letter had to be written legibly in German. It went first to the director of Department III. Once its contents, linguistic accuracy and legibility were approved, the letter went to the correspondence censorship room (Postzensurstelle). Once it had been approved by the correspondence censor (Postprüfer) and registered, the letter was dispatched to its addressee by the postal station. The same procedure was followed in reverse for letters addressed to prisoners.

In cases where prisoners had to send official correspondence to their families or to state institutions, they had to apply to the Lagerführer for permission. This sort of correspondence was delivered to prisoners' families in cases where its contents were not questioned by the Lagerführer and after prior notification of the camp postal station. Letters written by prisoners under special supervision and therefore subject to censorship by SS-WVHA Office Group D were sent there by the camp postal station, along with cover letters from the commandant's office. Food parcels addressed to prisoners were handled in a way similar to letters. 
And then there is the detailed article by T. Iwaszko, which I attach as an appendix to this rebuttal.

With the same survivor Hunt then jumps to discussing the "camp cantina", as he calls it. [link] Except, of course, a cantina is a bar, and what Hunt means is a canteen ("Kantine" in German), actually a commissary (it was not a cafeteria). But whatever.

Camp commissaries, "canteens", were a known method of extracting even more from the inmates. Here is a description of such a "canteen" in Buchenwald:
The inmates' canteen was officially a store where inmates could supposedly buy everything they needed. In fact, it was actually a means for the SS to squeeze additional money out of the inmates and their families.

The canteen was opened in 1941. Instead of urgently needed basic foodstuffs, the SS sold products here at high prices, which the inmates had previously produced themselves in the camp. Selected inmates were allowed to purchase what were usually low-quality products. This is how the SS skimmed off for themselves the tiny amounts of money that they paid to some inmates.
From an article discussing the Auschwitz "canteens" (commissaries) in the context of food rationing in the camp (Auschwitz, 1940-1945, vol. 2 (The prisoners, their life and work), 2000, pp. 60-63):
As everywhere in the Nazi concentration camp system, prisoner functionaries handled the food. They took kettles of soup, "coffee," "tea" and other foodstuffs from the kitchens or storehouses, and then doled them out to the prisoners. The corrupt functionaries, especially in the early part of the camp's history, when they were recruited from the German criminal element, took care of themselves and their friends first. They lessened the allotted portions with impunity, especially when it came to the more valuable foodstuffs like bread, sugar, sausage and margarine, arrogating to themselves what they stole from the prisoners. Thus, instead of 1,700 calories for those performing non-strenuous labor and the 2,150 calories for those at hard labor as provided for in the regulations, the respective caloric values actually received by Auschwitz prisoners were approximately 1,300 calories and 1,700 calories. 

All that the prisoners received in the morning was a half liter of "coffee" (boiled water with a coffee substitute) or a herbal brew called "tea." These liquids were seldom sweetened. 

As indicated by accounts of former prisoners and surviving menus, soup "with meat" was served at dinner (the mid-day meal) four times a week and "vegetable" soup three times a week. It should be noted that the "fresh vegetables" specified in the camp nutritional norms were rutabaga and potatoes. The basic ingredient of the soup was thus potatoes or rutabaga with a small amount of added hulled barley, millet, buckwheat, rye flour or a food extract called "Awo." From 1942 on, various products found in the baggage of the Jews killed in the gas chamber were also added to the soup. The portion of soup, about three-fourths of a liter, provided 350-400 calories. It was foul-tasting and watery; new arrivals frequently gagged on it. Its nutritional and gustatory qualities diminished when it was consumed cold, as it often had to be when prisoners returned from work in the evening or at night (this was particularly true for those employed in the IG Farbenindustrie construction projects). 

For supper (the evening meal), the prisoners received about 300 grams of bread accompanied by 25 grams of sausage or margarine, or a tablespoon of marmalade or cheese. These foodstuffs were often moldy or spoiled. Supper supplied 900-1000 calories. The bread then served was intended to be eaten in the morning as well but, with the prevailing hunger, few prisoners managed to divide their portion and save part of it for breakfast. The majority consumed their bread immediately, desiring to quiet their hunger at least for a moment.

Those at hard labor received special supplements (Schwerarbeiterzulage) of bread, margarine and sausage according to set norms; the full amount was not served.

After several weeks on such starvation rations, the majority of prisoners began to display the symptoms of physiological depletion that subsequently led to "musulmanization." Miserable and emaciated to extremes, thousands of "musulman" prisoners tried at every opportunity to obtain something to eat. They could hardly restrain themselves from rooting in the scraps discarded in the garbage cans outside. Rather than dulling the pangs of hunger, the consumption of raw peelings or rotten rutabagas and potatoes caused the tragedy of hunger diarrhea.

As in other Nazi concentration camps, there were camp "commissaries" in certain parts of Auschwitz. Prisoners could make purchases there on strictly designated days, provided that they had Reichsmarks (RM) on account, either deposited at registration or sent by their families in the form of postal money orders. In fact, the range of goods sold there meant that the commissaries played practically no positive role. It was possible to purchase pickled beets, salted snails and mineral water there on occasion, as well as shaving articles, toothbrushes and toothpaste, camp stationery for writing letters, postage stamps, and other trifles of little use to the prisoners. An excerpt from the camp regulations, printed on the camp stationery, stated that food parcels to prisoners were not permitted "since prisoners can buy anything in camp." This was a cynical attempt to deceive the outside world and conceal the fact that prisoners were starving. It was only the deteriorating situation on the front lines and the need to derive the maximum benefit from prisoner labor that led the SS authorities to suspend the ban on sending food parcels to those in the camps, through a directive of October 29, 1942. This concession benefitted only those prisoners whose families could afford to send them parcels. Soviet POWs, Jewish prisoners and those whose families were in territories  liberated from German occupation were barred from receiving parcels.

No limitations were placed on the number of food parcels that could be sent to Auschwitz after the autumn of 1942. This food saved a part of the prisoner population from starvation, but it was of no help to many, particularly the Jews. 

Aside from the parcels sent by relatives, parcels from the International Red Cross began arriving at Auschwitz in 1943. These were addressed by name to individual prisoners, each of whom had to confirm receipt on a special form returned to the sender. While it had important psychological consequences, this operation meant little in reality, since the IRC had insufficient information. The regulations stipulated that every package bear the name and serial number of the prisoner to  whom it was addressed, as well as the name of the camp where he or she was held. Nevertheless, the arrival of the first IRC packages  showed that the prisoners at Auschwitz were not as isolated as the SS would have wished. Irritated by this fact, the camp authorities launched an investigation in an effort to determine how the prisoners' addresses had been sent abroad (some of them had been smuggled out of camp by the prisoners' resistance organization).   The matter must also have drawn the attention of SS headquarters, since a directive of August 1, 1944 authorized concentration camp commandants to confiscate all parcels sent from abroad or by the Red Cross. The contents of the parcels were to be turned over to the prisoners' kitchens. The intention was probably to prevent prisoners from signing the receipts, which constituted proof that a given prisoner was in a concentration camp. This did not prevent the Auschwitz commandant from assuring an IRC delegate (who visited the camp once, in the autumn of 1944) that the parcels were still being distributed individually and that the distribution among the prisoners of collective shipments was being handled in the camp by "prisoner delegates" and the Judenälteste. This is a patent lie, since there were never any "prisoner delegates" in Auschwitz and the parcels sent by the International Red Cross ended up in the SS warehouses rather than the prisoners' kitchens. 

The starving prisoners resorted to various means of acquiring additional food to satisfy their hunger. The commonest practice was "organizing," or acquiring food at work - for instance, while farming vegetable plots or delivering food products to the SS warehouses. The most highly desired items were fresh vegetables and fruit, which were totally lacking from the camp menu. Despite the harsh punishment of prisoners caught "organizing," the practice spread not only at Auschwitz but at all concentration camps. The food thus gained went onto the camp "black market," as did various items "organized" in the warehouses that held the belongings of the people killed in the gas chambers.
Some results of buying food in such canteens are described by some former inmates:
... we ate whatever we laid our hands on, even stones and carrion, we sucked or chewed whatever we could, we bit off pieces of our fingernails and ate plaster ripped off the walls, anything to cheat our stomachs. The Germans in the camp’s canteen used to sell a salad but unfortunately you could not eat it because it was bad for you. If you ate it, you got swellings all over your body. (Antoni Kubica)

The following incident which I witnessed some time around mid-1942 [in Auschwitz] may serve to show what hunger could do to prisoners and how far it could make them change their behaviour. One day in the toilets of Block 15, next to one of the toilet bowls a prisoner vomited the salad he had just purchased in the canteen. A few minutes later, another prisoner who had completely turned into a Muselmann came in, collected up the mess from the floor and ate it. (Stefan Kępa)
Note how Hunt omits all this.

After this Hunt jumps to the well-known camp "currency", that is, camp scrip. Detailed descriptions of these "currency" systems exist in the literature. It is once again a great secret of the universe as to how this is supposed to call the Holocaust into question.

Then comes the soccer section. We hear a description of Horst Cahn's and Jan Dudzinski's football activities interspliced with the irrelevant Nazi propaganda footage from Theresienstadt.

The phenomenon of sports in concentration camps has been studied for decades. E. g. we read in the intro to the researcher Z. Ryn's and the Polish Auschwitz survivor and researcher S. Kłodziński's 1974 article "Pathology of sport at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp", which was based on the statements of 62 survivors (the article means Auschwitz 1 and 2 when it talks about the "Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp") [link]:
Looking at the history of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, it is possible to conclude that sport in this camp in its various forms existed from its foundation, developed, and at times was subdued, but sometimes fulfilled an important role in the lives of the prisoners.  Camp sport at Auschwitz-Birkenau obviously did not fit into any of the camp's regulations; it arose from the spontaneous needs of the prisoners, and was in principle forbidden and sometimes only tolerated by the SS. Only the so-called  "quasi-sport" as a form of cruel repression, willingly used by the SS crew and some functionary prisoners, was included in the general structure of the camp, serving as a means of extermination or ad hoc punishment of prisoners. Although the sporting trend was a negligible margin in the lives of the camp's inmates, which is understandable in the context of the tragedy of the general camp conditions, it deserves a separate study because of the diverse forms in which it manifested itself, the role it played in the survival of the camp, and its peculiarities under camp conditions.  It was undertaken on the basis of statements by living former prisoners.
The authors then describe the typology of the camp sports (pseudosports used as punishment, medical sports and competitive sports) and the details of the particular sports activities, among which were: football, boxing, water sports (in the firefighting reservoir which also served as a swimming pool in 1944), volleyball and basketball, chess and cards, athletic and acrobatic activities.

Let me translate some parts, including important conclusions (which one has to read after the excerpts about sports to get the big picture).

This sports discipline, as in normal life, was undoubtedly the most popular form of sport practiced in the camp. Not only did this sport gain the greatest number of fans and observers from both prisoners and SS men, but also the greatest number of prisoners actively played it. After the still timid beginnings in 1942, when the first incomplete games were played next to block 11 in Auschwitz I, almost regular football tournaments took place in 1943-1944. The best, and most spacious, place was the square between blocks 15 and 16, but matches were also sometimes played between blocks 16 and 17, and in Birkenau, next to buildings В II-F, on the site of the present blocks 4-7 and 15-18. In Auschwitz I, some matches took place on the roll-call square itself, on the grounds of the former military barracks, on the square of the former riding school, but they were also played in a limited space, such as between blocks 27 and 28, where the window boxes were removed from the barracks for safety reasons. Football was even played in the crematorium!

The games were mainly played on Sundays, sometimes also during the week. The teams usually consisted of nine players: a goalie, two defenders, three midfielders and three forwards. Games were also played with seven players. Most often, matches were played between the individual teams. Under this "guise", matches were in fact played between teams of different nationalities. This was also the way in which matches were played between camp and kapos, camp and "Krankenbau", DAW against TWL, youth against oldboys, etc. Polish footballers usually played matches of an "international" nature against teams from Austria, France, Germany, the Soviet Union and Jewish teams. Teams often consisted of functionaries, blockmen and kapos. Some of the more important matches were also watched by SS men.

The first matches took place in the autumn of 1940 on several Sunday afternoons. In addition to the rank-and-file prisoners, who found some strength to play, well-known European-class football players took part in these matches. Individual memoirs speak of similar matches in 1942, but between 1943 and 1944, football was played much more frequently and many important international matches, still remembered today, fell into this period.

Among the outstanding players were Poles at all times, along with French, Yugoslav, German and Austrian players. A permanent Polish football team was organised at the camp, which included, among others, well-known pre-war Polish players such as [...]

Some of them did not survive the camp and others suffered death in various concentration camps. 

On some Sundays, so-called pre-matches were arranged, which sometimes brought a lot of humour and entertainment. For example, there were pre-matches pitting dwarfs and giants against each other, fat people weighing over 120 kg against skinny people, kapos against block leaders, and so on. These matches in particular brought moments of true oblivion and relaxation. Football was also played by underage prisoners brought to the В II D camp, among others from the Zamość region after the Warsaw Uprising. The game of so-called 'rag ball', which they played in their spare time, was regarded as a form of keeping fit.

It was surprising that sometimes football matches took place immediately after mass executions, on a square where the traces of blood had barely been cleaned up. On one side a goal was set up from... a portable gallows, on the other a wall of death under which the mass executions had taken place. "We played at times despite the stench from the crematorium ".
After football, boxing was the second popular sport that was played in the camp at certain times. One of the respondents to the questionnaire rightly writes in his memoirs that to a reader who had not been in the camp, it may seem strange that in a place where there was a ruthless struggle for life, real sports competitions, including boxing, were organised at the same time. However, boxing practised in the Auschwitz camp had different faces and the criteria of equality of strength of the opponents fighting each other were not always met. Also in some prisons, detainees served the Nazis as "punching bags" for boxing fights. Prisoners were hung for this purpose on a "turnstile by their arms or legs" and completely defenceless were boxed to develop a strong and effective punch.

The first boxing matches were conducted in very primitive conditions, without the knowledge of the functionaries. Between 1941 and 1942, such fights took place in block 2 in the bathhouse and in the square next to the kitchen. The fights were mainly between Polish fist fighters who were in the camp at the time. Later, the fights were organised just as in the case of a legitimate fistfighting match. A special podium and an original boxing ring with ropes were made for this purpose. The fights were conducted by referees familiar with the discipline, in accordance with the rules. In 1942, boxing fights were organised almost every Sunday in different blocks. Of course, they were fought in accordance with the rules, i.e. individual prisoners were allowed to fight according to their weight. Boxing fights were also popular in 1943. They usually took place after the afternoon roll call in a specially prepared ring in front of the kitchen between blocks 15 and 16. SS men were often among the spectators at this time.

If there were boxing fights in which Germans took part, it was usually to circumvent the boxing rules. Above all, the Germans were well fed, in better shape and sometimes outweighed their prisoner opponents by several weights. Most of these fights were fought for sadistic reasons, as it was often known in advance that the fight would have to end in the defeat of the opponent or even in his disability. It is therefore not without exaggeration that several respondents wrote that these fights were "to the death" for the prisoners. In spite of this degeneration, some Polish fighters, thanks to their high technical skills and great will to fight, performed almost miracles, winning against much stronger opponents. This was the case, for example, in the fights of the former Polish representative, Kolczyński, popularly known as "Kolka". He made up for the difference of several weights with his impeccable fighting technique. Sometimes his fights resembled the biblical meetings of David and Goliath - a powerful and strongly muscled German on the one hand and a petite but agile Pole on the other. "Kolka" had many opportunities to deliver a powerful punch, but did not do so, fearing to enrage his opponent. He showed off with great evasions and literally "swam" under the threatening arms of the strong boxer. It was the same with other Polish boxers, who, however, even in these uneven fighting conditions, defeated their dangerous opponents, causing moments of joy and even enthusiasm among their fellow prisoners.
In the summer of 1944, construction of fire reservoirs began on the camp grounds. Among other things, such a tank was built next to the birch alley at the level of blocks 3 and 4 and at the back of blocks 7 and 8. Such a reservoir was 8 m wide and 25 m long. Suitably deep, it was perfect for swimming and even jumping into the water. A special springboard was even built. For a while, almost every day after evening roll call on warm days, it was possible to watch a makeshift swimming competition, a water ball game and even water jumping. The latter competition featured prominent specialists from various European countries who were in the camp at the time. Due to the thinness of this 'object', only the best were allowed to compete. In fact, this type of sport was only practiced for one season. The following year, the camp was evacuated.

Among the Polish players who played and practiced there were Kazimierz Japołł and Kazimierz Szelest.

Unfortunately, the fire tanks were also a place where the Germans used one of their most dangerous 'sports'. Prisoners who were found to have lice during an inspection were thrown into such a pool regardless of whether they could swim or not. "Mostly it was a fight for life, because even those who knew how to swim died under the water due to overcrowding and panicky fear of death." This repression was applied regardless of the time of day or year, even on freezing days.
This was not a sport practised on a mass scale, but various competitions of this nature were organised within the camp. Most often these were races over various distances. Based on the example of cross-country running, a 3 km run was organised in the camp on 3 May 1944. It was won by a prisoner from the TWL kommando. Not surprisingly, as this was the kommando with relatively the best nutrition. Sprint runs of about 100 m were also held several times. These were organized on the main camp road. Prisoner Hulanicki was unbeatable in this competition.

Between blocks 20 and 21 a 4x6 m pit was dug. It was filled with sand and later served as a jumping hill for distance high jumps. However, these disciplines were not popular and found no followers among the prisoners. The same was true of the ball push.


On many occasions in the camp, prisoners were also seen competing in weightlifting. There were, of course, no real barbells or weights. They lifted stone boulders or iron bars. These competitions were usually preceded by a bet on portions of bread, cigarettes or other camp rarities.

In 1942-1943, wrestling matches were sometimes held near the camp kitchen. These attracted only prisoners with a strong constitution and uncommon strength. Among them were also Poles, among them Jan Przybył from Poznań and competitor Lucjan Sobieraj, who was employed in the camp kitchen. Often the judge's verdict deliberately ruled the fight a draw. This gave the possibility of a so-called "extra time", and then the SS men would fund an additional prize, which the fighters shared in solidarity not only with each other, but also with others and the prisoners.
Other ball games:
After football, volleyball and basketball became popular among team sports during a certain period. Volleyball courts could be set up in virtually every block. Most often, matches were played between the inmates of individual blocks. Usually on Sundays, so-called representative matches were held between the various kommandos. The level of the volleyball matches was quite high. From 1944 onwards, when living conditions in the camp improved somewhat and the prisoners were better fed, these matches gained even more momentum. It can be said that volleyball at this time was the most mass sport in the camp. Playing as a team allowed the prisoners to forget about the real world, at least for a short time.

Basketball was played most willingly on the hospital grounds. There was a regular team there for some time, and the players wore special sports clothes with the inscription "HKB" [Häftlingskrankenbau - SR] on the chest. This team included, among others, nurses and doctors. Among the names mentioned were: Młynarski, Czesław Duzel, Czesław Sowuł, Adam Dembowski, Dr Wójcik, Zygmunt Pociecha, Zenon Zawadzki, and later Marian Batkowski, Jerzy Żarnowiecki, Marian Toliński, Wiesław Kielar and others joined the team.
Acrobatic and circus acts:
This type of entertainment, bordering on sport and circus performances, generated great interest among the prisoners every time. Performances of this nature were organised most frequently in the summer of 1944. They took place either in a boxing ring or on doubled-up trolley platforms. The camp carpenters even prepared a special podium for such displays, as these were the most spectacular sporting events in the camp. They included various tests of physical strength and dexterity, such as acrobatics, bending and breaking iron bars, scrambling up a soaped pole to win a prize suspended there, parodies of the chimney sweep's work, parodies of boxing fights and wrestling, and so on. Illusionists also showed off with simple props. The best clowns and circus performers were German and Czech prisoners. Alaks-Kuba Zych, of German-Czech origin, athletic and tall, excelled at wrestling and breaking iron bars. Circus clown performances sometimes took place during breaks in boxing matches.

It was not uncommon for the clowns' displays of dexterity and performances to be more entertaining than sporting. Parodying the shooting of an apple placed on the other clown's head, for example, was amusing. Out of sorrow for the apple that was about to be smashed with a bullet, the clown ate it greedily and hid the rest in his pocket, exposing his own head as the "target". These situations often provoked hurricane laughter not only from the prisoners but also from the kapos.

Czesław Sowul excelled in parodying boxing fights, showing innate talent in this area. His partner in these "jolly" fights was a prisoner called Jeran, who had considerable comic and parodic talents. In some cases, a dwarf and a giant were chosen to take part in these sham fights, which made them even more grotesque.

Well-known circus acts included parodying the work of a chimney sweep. While walking on the roof and briskly cleaning the chimney, for example, a tasty meal was suddenly pulled out of the chimney, of course prepared in advance. This was one of the most amusing and enjoyable circus acts, especially as the meal was immediately consumed.

These amusing and humorous episodes are among the few situations in the camp where it was possible to observe larger groups of prisoners smiling.
The authors close the discussion of the specific sports with this quote from a former prisoner:
"It was interesting to see the reaction of the prisoners observing the sports encounters (...) We were interested both in the technique of the individual players, which was very important in conditions where training was not possible (...) Playing sports in the camp was not aimed at discharging excess energy, especially in young people, as happened in freedom. I trust that these people were driven by psychological reasons. It was the thought of freedom, which did not leave us during our entire time in the camp. The thought of becoming normal and human again, seeking entertainment and relaxation after the hard daily work. This belief in regaining our freedom, in returning to humanity, allowed us to forget the hunger, the cold, the hard work and the discomforts (...).

...I have sometimes wondered who initiated these sports events. The answer will not be difficult to find if one considers that the SS crew was practically deprived of entertainment. Observation of the sporting events taking place in the camp made it possible to make up for this lack and, more importantly, most observed these events while on duty. The second factor in favor of officially allowing these events was the desire to get the prisoners away from any underground work...".
Among the authors' conclusions:
First of all, it can be said that sports in the camp in various forms were practiced only by a small group of prisoners, at only certain times during the camp and in certain places. If one assumes on the basis of the analyzed material that about 1- 3% of the prisoner community practiced some form of sport in the camp, it should be considered a marginal phenomenon, and many camp inmates may not have encountered its manifestations at all.


Competitive sports were practiced more often individually than in groups. It was proof that some prisoners retained their psycho-physical resilience, allowing extra effort by those few who had not yet been broken by the devastating labor, starvation feeding, murder and terror. The ability to join in the athletic effort was, for some prisoners, a testament to themselves, proof of the resilience they possessed and an incentive to survive the camp.

The manifestations of sports were a phenomenon carried over from freedom and testified to the natural need to practice it even in the most difficult conditions of life, in the face of mortal danger. All manifestations of sports activity fulfilled, both for its participants and for observers, an integrating role for the prison community. Sport in any form allowed one to move, at least for a short time, into an atmosphere free from the reality of the camp, gave rest and mental relaxation.

The vast majority of prisoners did not practice sports, nor did they watch them in the camp. This is because the typical prisoner quickly reached a state of "musulmanization" in which there could be no question of either playing sports or even watching them. These prisoners died en masse in a state of psycho-physical collapse and complete indifference.
That sport was possible in concentration camps is hardly a wonder. It was, after all, often available in prisons and POW camps, and not only in the West. The Soviet GULAG camps also allowed the prisoners to play sports (even encouraged it). In "Gulag Football: Competitive and Recreational Sport in Stalin's System of Forced Labor" we see an explanation of why individual prisoners might have wanted to participate that closely mirrors the one given above:
Football in the Gulag, then, could be a light in the dark, a taste of freedom that could help players survive the hell in which they found themselves.
We thus see that the often atrocious conditions that the GULAG camps are notorious for did not prevent the proliferation of sports there.

That a few Nazi concentration camps also had an extermination function (like the Auschwitz complex) certainly added a layer of complexity that was probably very clear to most inmates, taking part in such activities. As Tadeusz Borowski wrote:
Between two throw-ins in a soccer game, right behind my back, three thousand people had been put to death.
So, in conclusion, only a small minority of inmate participated in the camp sports, which fact is emphasized by the survivors and is usually deemphasized by the deniers. The well-known testimony of the biologist from the University of Strasbourg Marc Klein about the swimming pool in Auschwitz 1 (not an extermination camp at the time Klein was there), that is often misused by the deniers, looks like this (quoting more parts for context) [link]:
The daily work schedule was modified on Sundays and public holidays, when most kommandos were idle. At these times, roll call took place around midday, and the evenings devoted to rest could be used according to individual tastes. Soccer, basketball and water polo matches (in an open-air swimming pool built by the inmates inside the compound) attracted crowds of curious onlookers. It should be noted that only well-fed inmates, exempt from hard labor, could indulge in these sports, which drew rapturous applause from the mass of other inmates. Concerts were held, performed by an orchestra of the highest repute. The S.S. administration even authorized cabaret performances and film screenings, not only on Sunday afternoons, but also on certain evenings in winter when the workday ended at five o'clock. Here again, the S.S. administration didn't care about the mass elimination of inmates; it provided entertainment for those who survived. And it doesn't take much for a human being to escape the anguish of the surrounding world, however cruel it may be!

For those who had no affinity for this kind of show, meetings of small groups of friends allowed for discreet discussion of general problems. We had to avoid any political conversation, any transparent allusion to events in the camp, any quotation of names that had appeared in recent communiqués. Nevertheless, we managed to understand each other, especially as, given the number of snitches, we could only meet between a few very reliable friends. Sometimes we could find a hiding place to read either a newspaper abandoned by the prominents, or a book circulating under cover. There was a library at Auschwitz I, but it was only accessible to a very few people. 
His remark about "only well-fed inmates" is particularly important, as earlier he gives an overview of the food conditions in this relatively milder section of the camp complex
What mattered in a prisoner's chances of survival was not only the work he had to do, but also his ability to cover his daily food requirements. As far as food was concerned, Auschwitz inmates fell into two distinct categories: a minority who had the right to correspond and who received regular parcels, and the vast majority who were cut off from any contact with the outside world and whose only daily ration was camp food. This consisted of three meals. In the morning, a hot liquid, coffee or herbal tea, was distributed, which theoretically had to be sweetened three times a week. Lunch was the main course: a liter of soup, a gruel made from a wide variety of ingredients. The base was always cabbage, with the addition of flour, seeds, vegetables, potatoes and meat scraps. In no camp did I ever eat soup as bad as at Auschwitz I. No comparison can be drawn between this more or less liquid purée, smelling uniformly of sour cabbage, and the soups I later ate in Buchenwald. The mediocrity was due to the inherent dishonesty of the Polish and Russian kitchen staff, who, in collusion with the SS supervisors, diverted large quantities of the most essential foodstuffs - margarine, potatoes, semolina and meat - and sold them separately within the camp, where a veritable trade in these products took place between the "prominents". Some of the products even left the camp for the SS and civilian populations living in the surrounding area and working in the factories. Absolute bans and severe penalties were introduced to prevent this shameful trade, which, like all black markets, never ceased to flourish. Spaced-out inspections by the S.S. authorities and soup checks at the Raisko laboratory led to fleeting improvements in rations, before the soup returned to its daily mediocrity.

The evening meal included a hot liquid, the daily bread ration and the "portion". The bread ration was 375g, to which was added twice a week an extra 550g for workers (Zulage). The portion consisted of a slice of sausage, or a piece of margarine, marmalade or cheese. Twice a week, there was also an extra "portion". The bread and the "portion" ended up in the inmate's mouth, more or less trimmed, depending on the dishonesty of the kitchen and, above all, of the intermediate staff in charge of distribution. I estimate that the calorific value of the daily food was theoretically between 1,500 and 1,800 calories. It was therefore clearly insufficient to quantitatively cover the needs of 1 human body, particularly during the cold season and even more so for hard laborers (remember that according to physiological treatises, the average needs of a man in peacetime are 3,000 calories per day). Given the uniformity of this diet, composed almost exclusively of carbohydrates, the long cooking time of soup and the absence of raw vegetables, the camp's food ration was clearly deficient in terms of quality, with an almost total lack of protein, fats and vitamins. To survive, therefore, it was essential to find a daily supplement, and this obligation was a major and constant concern for all prisoners who did not receive parcels. Privileged prisoners who received parcels from outside the camp were often able to use their entire daily camp ration, which they then used to pay for the more or less important services rendered by their less privileged comrades. Conversely, the latter could find a daily supplement by doing work for the privileged and the prominents, and in particular chores that added to their daily workload. For my part, I always found this extra supplement unthinkable, firstly thanks to the unselfishness of devoted friends, then by doing extra chores, such as Kesselkommando (transporting soup from the kitchen to the block), cleaning up, or giving clandestine lessons in French, English and even biology. It often happened that I had food, even sweets or tobacco in surplus; the imperative duty in this case was to help other less fortunate comrades without compensation, and more particularly those who were convalescing in hospital, and for whom the sick diet was notoriously insufficient to regain a weight compatible with health and resumption of work. At one point, we were given to understand that impersonal Red Cross parcels would be distributed; these never arrived, and the International Red Cross was never able to reach, voluntarily or involuntarily, the anonymous inmates of the Upper Silesian extermination camps. Innumerable comrades, less well placed than me by the fortunes of camp life, were never able to supplement their food, quickly went bankrupt, became "musulmans", ending up in hospital and selections.
Needless to say, Klein has more to say about the horrible conditions in the so-called main camp as well as the mass extermination (albeit that of course second-hand, as he was never in the extermination section).

Hunt inserts a photo of a POW football team from "Auschwitz":

But as pointed out here, "the so-called Auschwitz soccer team pictured on the photo was actually none of the sort. Its members were not Auschwitz inmates. They were British POWs from the camp E715, which was administered not by KL Auschwitz but by Stalag VIII-B in Lamsdorf. Very different rules applied to these POWs who, to repeat, were not Auschwitz inmates".

Hunt then jumps to the testimony of Dina Gottliebova-Babbitt. He names this section thus:

This is, of course, completely mendacious, as Gottliebova testified about a day care in the so-called "family camp", in which several thousand (eventually about 17 thousand) Jews from the propaganda camp Theresienstadt had a completely exceptional situation for Birkenau (probably for the same reason they resided in Theresienstadt - for inspections by the outside world, e. g. a Red Cross inspection, which, however, never came): they arrived in this camp section together with their children, without  selections, could wear their normal civilian clothes instead of striped uniforms and let their hair grow out. The presence of many children led to the (permitted) self-organization of a children's block with a kindergarten and a school.

Later, when their potential usefulness proved minimal, most inmates of this "family camp" were gassed (some were selected for work). Only about 1 thousand survived the war.

Far from being hidden, the part about painting Disney characters in Auschwitz is prominently featured on the day 39 of the Shoah Foundation's "70 Days of Testimony: Leading up to the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz".

Hunt's presentation of a well-known exception as a general case is extremely deceptive. This also applies to this whole video about the camps. Needless to say, nothing in the cherrypicked excerpts calls any aspect of the Holocaust into question.

Appendix: T. Iwaszko about the inmates' correspondence (Auschwitz, 1940-1945, vol. 2 (The prisoners, their life and work), 2000, pp. 419-426) [link]:

In their desire to isolate prisoners from the outside world as fully as possible, the SS limited contacts between the people imprisoned in Auschwitz and their families to strictly censored correspondence that followed regulations and methods tried in Nazi concentration camps set up before Auschwitz.

Prisoners held for longer periods in Gestapo jails or torture chambers were generally not permitted to correspond with their families. This was especially true of members of the resistance movement, who sometimes spent many months under interrogation. The lack of contact with their families and fears about the fate of their loved ones had a negative effect. It is therefore hardly surprising that, once they arrived in Auschwitz and learned about the possibility of correspondence, prisoners who had been held by the Gestapo tried as quickly as possible to take advantage of this one permitted means of informing their families that they were alive and in the camp.

It is important to stress that no Auschwitz prisoner had access to the text of the camp regulations or any other printed instructions that contained information about or rules concerning correspondence. Information on this subject was usually supplied by prisoner functionaries (block supervisors, block scribes, or room supervisors) or by fellow-prisoners living in the same block.

The biggest problem facing newly registered prisoners who wanted to write their first letters was obtaining a letter form and a postage stamp.

Prisoners on the first transports that arrived in Auschwitz in mid-1940 had to wait several weeks for an opportunity to send their first letters. The camp was still being set up and outfitted, and there were as of yet none of the required forms. The first letters from the camp (probably mailed in July, 1940) are therefore written on various sorts of plain paper with no official insignia. Only the envelopes had the name of the camp printed on them and bore the censor's stamp. Within a few weeks, Auschwitz had its own letter forms and envelopes, which could be purchased for marks in the camp commissary. The necessity to make this purchase with the legal tender of the Third Reich was one of the first obstacles facing prisoners who wanted to correspond with their families. It is obvious, of course, that prisoners who had gone through the registration procedure had been relieved of all their possessions and could not have any money, even if they came from Germany and had been carrying cash upon arrest.

In such circumstances, letter forms and stamps could only be acquired on the camp market in exchange for food rations. There may have been rare cases in which new arrivals found friends among the prisoners already there who could give them these materials as gifts. In later years, some veteran prisoners "organized" forms and stamps for new arrivals, since the sooner new prisoners informed their families of where they were, the sooner they could hope to receive food parcels (in the periods when this was permitted), which increased the general chances of survival. It was never certain, however, that such parcels would come.

The letter forms used in Auschwitz were modelled on the forms from Dachau. This was before the adaptation of universal forms in all the concentration camps; each camp could use whatever forms, of any size and printed on any sort of paper it desired.

After the fall of 1940, prisoners could use only the officially printed forms and envelopes or lettergrams. Most prisoners chose to use the lined, four-page letter form. The first page was printed with the name of the camp and a seven-point set of instructions for replying to prisoners' letters, along with spaces where the prisoners filled in such basic personal data as name, date of birth, and camp serial number. Although there was no space for this, most prisoners also wrote in the number of the block where they were quartered. The envelope had rubrics for the same information and a space for the recipient's address.

Correspondence could be written only in German and, until mid-1942, only in ink. On the days when letter-writing was permitted (usually Sundays), block supervisors reminded their charges, on orders from the SS authorities, that each letter had to contain the obligatory formula "Ich bin gesund und fühle mich gut” (I am healthy and feel well), whatever the prisoner's actual state of health. Even extremely exhausted or terminally ill prisoners had to use this sentence. SS censors cut out any sentences that seemed suspect. When they had finished, families sometimes received only bits of the letter, from which no information could be derived. Letters regarded by the SS censor as especially dangerous were confiscated in their entirety. The writers of such letters risked being summoned to the Politische Abteilung and interrogated. The block supervisors therefore checked the letters written by their charges and, if need be, gave the dangerous ones back to the prisoners who had written them. Such actions often saved reckless prisoners from tragic consequences.

The requirement that letters be written only in German drastically reduced the opportunities for expression available to prisoners who were not fluent in that language. As a result, most prisoners' letters contained stereotypical, oft-repeated phrases. Only German prisoners or German speakers could give full vent to their feelings and write letters that exhibit any variety.

Prisoners with a good command of German were usually surrounded on letter-writing days by droves of other inmates desirous of their help. They did not always offer their services as intermediaries free of charge. The price for a translation was sometimes as high as a daily ration of bread.

The block supervisor was responsible for seeing that letters were written properly and free of crossings-out and blots. The number of letters sent and received was noted in the records of each block.

On letter-writing days, block supervisors had to take prisoners' letters to the camp secretariat (Häftlingschreibstube), where they were sorted according to the order of the prisoners' serial numbers. Once arranged in order, they were carried to the block where the SS censors had their office. After checking, the censor stamped one page and the envelope (if there was one), for instance, "Geprüft 5 KL Auschwitz." The number identified the censor. The SS censors kept their own records of the number of letters sent and received by each prisoner. When all these tasks were completed, the letters were taken en masse to the Auschwitz post office at the train station and posted as regular mail (which was also the only category of mail that prisoners could receive).

Letters from camp could be sent only to one address, as supplied by the prisoner during registration. This was usually the address of the prisoner's parents, spouse or next of kin. Once he had given this address, a prisoner could not change it without the prior agreement of the Lagerführer. The list of correspondence kept by the censor was used to enforce the Postsperre penalty (ban on correspondence), which could be applied against prisoners. Categories of prisoners forbidden to send or receive correspondence included Soviet POWs, political prisoners, and those with the "Nacht und Nebel" (Night and Fog) annotation in their files.

The Gestapo office that had sent a prisoner to camp could also issue a ban on correspondence. In such cases, an appropriate notification from the arresting office was added to the prisoner's file. The camp authorities could also issue such a ban as one of the regulation punishments. During such a ban, all correspondence addressed to the prisoner was placed in his or her file. Such a punishment was used because of its obvious painful effect on prisoners and their families.

During the first years of the operation of Auschwitz, all correspondence passed through the main camp. Later, when the camp was divided, prisoners in Auschwitz II-Birkenau and Auschwitz III-Monowitz used those addresses, and censorship was conducted locally, as reflected by the censor's stamp. In May 1943, the camp staff was informed that a separate censorship facility had been set up for women prisoners in Birkenau.

Regulations allowed prisoners to send and receive two letters per month. This rule was not followed at Auschwitz and there were periods when only one letter per month was allowed. The archival materials do not reveal the causes of such limitations, which occurred at different times and may have been due to the censor's inability to keep up with the volume of correspondence.

The destruction of camp records by the SS makes it impossible to specify the amount of correspondence received by prisoners at various times. It is to be assumed that such a figure was connected with the number of prisoners allowed to receive correspondence. Because of the large numbers of Polish prisoners in Auschwitz, up to 20,000 pieces of mail had to be censored each month. It seems unlikely that each letter was analyzed scrupulously. Much also depended on the intelligence and experience of the individual SS censors.

The fact that the letters would be censored did not stop prisoners from trying to slip important news through. Some referred to themselves through nicknames or pseudonyms known only to their loved ones. This enabled them to send information about, for instance, their health. It must be remembered, however, that the censor had only to suspect, and not to decipher, a hidden message - mere suspicion was enough for a report to be filled, which put the prisoner at risk of interrogation and punishment. Former Auschwitz prisoner Ryszard Kordek recalls how, referring to news that his mother had been hospitalized, he wrote to his father in late 1943 that "the sun will shine again someday". The censor caught that ambiguous statement, reported me, and I was flogged, 25 lashes," recalls Kordek. "I was sentenced in absentia, and the flogging was to be carried out in the main camp," although Kordek was then being held in Birkenau.

The growing amount of correspondence and problems with the supply of paper for letter forms and envelopes led to the introduction of new forms. The lettergram known as the sekretnik, which used no envelope, was introduced at Auschwitz and other concentration camps in mid-1942. It provided four pages for the letter, and when folded had room on its back for the address, stamp, instructions on replying, and data identifying the sender.

With the introduction of the "sekretnik," prisoners were instructed to write only in pencil, since it was now impossible to censor by cutting out the offending passage. Instead, the censor used an eraser. The "sekretnik" was the same size as the envelopes it replaced.

Next, a two-page lettergram (for number KL/75/4.43) was introduced by the SS as part of a continuing effort to standardize all forms used in the camps [note: the original Polish text of the article also calls this form a sekretnik - SR]. Half the size of its predecessor, it no longer had the name of the individual concentration camp printed on it. The prisoner addressed and put the stamp on the averse, and filled in his personal data and the name of the camp on the reverse of the folded lettergram. Here, again, an ordinary pencil had to be used.

Throughout the history of Auschwitz, postcards [without illustrations, of course - trans.] were also in use. The brief message went on one side and the address, name of the sender and the stamp on the other.

Prisoners could also send additional information in their correspondence with their families, such as word that they had been granted one-time permission to receive parcels containing holiday food or warmer clothing (with the type of garments precisely specified). This information could be contained in the text of the letter, or the prisoner could enclose a separate printed notification. Permission was also sometimes granted for prisoners to receive eyeglasses or musical instruments.

Using standard forms, unable to give any information about their current condition, and required to insert obligatory formulae, the prisoners usually ended up sending stereotyped letters. Some tried to add an individual touch by decorating the free space with ink or chalk drawing or watercolors. Only a few prisoners, such as those employed in the camp offices, had access to such materials. The most common decorations, landscapes, flowers, or scenes from fairy tales, were added to correspondence sent to mark holidays, birthdays, name days, and so on. Some prisoners asked camp artists to decorate their correspondence, while others did their own decorations. Such cards, representing only a tiny proportion of the correspondence, showed that the feeling of beauty and the desire to express it had not died in the nightmare of Auschwitz. It is worth adding that these decorated cards did not arouse the vigilance of the censors, and were allowed to reach their destinations.

Letters from family members to the prisoners were also censored. Relatives knew from the letters they received that they could send only two letters per month to camp inmates. Initially, there were no limitations on these incoming letters. After 1942, relatives were informed that the letters they sent to prisoners could contain no more than fifteen lines of text per page (although the format of the page was not defined). The letters had to be written legibly in German, in ink, and sent in a regular envelope. Five postage stamps worth 12 pfennings each could be sent in each letter. Photographs could not be sent; nor could they be used as postcards. All of these regulations were a hardship for families that did not know German, and therefore had to employ a translator both to receive and send correspondence.

The letters received in camp went through the same procedure as outgoing correspondence, but in reverse. Block supervisors or their subordinates passed out letters to the prisoners. Camp conditions made it impossible to save old letters; officially, prisoners were forbidden to possess even the last letter they had received.

Some families decided to send photographs in spite of the regulations. There were cases in Auschwitz of such pictures being first shown to the prisoner, and then placed on deposit with his or her personal effects. Sometimes, prisoners who worked in the Effektenkammer were asked by friends to smuggle out such pictures. Doing so involved considerable risk, however. A prisoner who was found in possession of a photograph was subject to "means of intensified interrogation" at the hands of the Gestapo, who would try to determine the full circumstances of such violations. In such cases, not only the prisoners caught with photographs, but also those who had supplied the photographs, were at risk.

Neither the camp regulations nor the information printed on the correspondence forms defined which groups of prisoners were forbidden to send and receive mail. Rulings in such matters were issued by individual SS offices. Unfortunately, the extant Auschwitz documents contain no mention of the correspondence rights of categories of prisoners. We know, however, that prisoners whose families lived in territories liberated by the Allies were forbidden to correspond with them, as were prisoners with the "Night and Fog" designation in their files, and Soviet POWs.

A regulation issued on March 30, 1942, limited Jewish prisoners and prisoners from the Eastern territories (Ostvölker) to sending and receiving one letter every to month. Prisoners from the East had to use special return-reply forms (Karten mit Rückantwort), and Jewish prisoners had to use special lettergrams marked "Postkarte," which did not bear the name of the camp. These lettergrams had spaces for the name of the sender (Absender), a street address (Strasse) and a locality (Ort). Jewish prisoners were allowed only to use the name of some obscure locality, perhaps with an annotation that indicated that they were in a labor camp : for instance, "Birkenau Arbeitslager, Birkenau OS, Stabgebäude, Birkenau b. Neu-Berun.” A stamp informed the recipient that further correspondence could be conducted exclusively through the German Association of Jews (Reichsverreinigung der Juden in Deutschland, Berlin-Charlottenburg 2, Kantstrasse 158). Lacunae in the documentation make it impossible to ascertain whether these lettergrams were introduced in 1942 or 1943. It is known, however, that the Jewish women deported to Auschwitz from Slovakia in the first half of 1942 could not send any correspondence until autumn. Nor is it known whether Jewish prisoners from other occupied territories were allowed to correspond in 1942, or only those from Slovakia. We do know that notices were seen in Auschwitz blocks reading "Letter-writing today except for Jews and Russians" (Heute Schreibtag, ausser den Juden und Russen).

In mid-1943, a message smuggled out of camp by the resistance movement reported that Jewish prisoners (except those from Poland and Greece) had been ordered to write to their families asking for food parcels to be sent. They had been told to write only that they were healthy and felt well, and had to use the return address "Arbeitslager Birkenau, Postamt Neu-Berun." Lack of further information makes it impossible to state whether this was a one-time operation, and how many prisoners from which countries sent and received how many items of correspondence. It is known, however, that such letters were indeed sent to Bohemia and Slovakia.

Jewish prisoners in Birkenau Sector BIIb were allowed correspondence rights after 1943. The Czech historian M. Kárný has established that they sent only letters bearing the dates September 8 and 17 and December 15, 1943, and January 8/9, March 25, April 15, and June 20, 1944. These dates are based on extant lettergrams seen by Kárný. It is possible that the letter-writing operation was confined to prisoners in that one sector. All the addressees resided in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia or Slovakia. The letters contained requests for food parcels. Such an operation enabled the SS to counteract rumors about what was happening at Auschwitz, while obtaining supplies at the cost of their victims' friends and relatives.

The fact that correspondence by Jewish prisoners was used to camouflage the true nature of Auschwitz is confirmed by the Briefaktion (letter-writing campaign) of March, 1944. This operation was confined to the prisoners brought to Birkenau Sector BIIb from Theresienstadt. On March 5, the prisoners in this sector were given lettergrams. They were told to post-date them from March 25 to March 27, and to fill them with reassurances to their friends and relatives. On March 9, these prisoners were murdered in the gas chambers. However, their families would afterwards receive consoling messages that their loved ones were alive and working in the Birkenau bei Neu-Berun "labor camp."


  1. Hello there.
    I really like this website, and I appreciate your rigour, but I can't help but feel like you're sort of preaching to the choir at this point. I think alt-right figureheads know they can't really deny the Holocaust openly without losing a lot of respect, though many continue to do it furtively.

    I feel like the narrative that they are promoting is slowly changing, and many are instead choosing to not deny Hitler's actions, but justify them. Take the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and Poland for example; a lot of revisionists will refer to the persecution of ethnic Germans in these countries. Ergo, the invasion of these countries were justified for those as well as other reasons.

    I'm also seeing a lot of revisionists portray the Axis forces as distinctly virtuous, at least compared with the actions of the allied forces, especially the soviets. While I can't deny that the soviets did some heinous shit, as well as the commonwealth and american forces, I feel like this is just some equivocation tactic to try and garner sympathy for the Nazi cause. Is there any evidence to suggest that officers/soldiers of the Nazi armed forces were any more "benevolent" and principled than those of the "barbaric" red army?

  2. There is no evidence whereby Nazi Germany would compare favorably to the USSR in terms of criminal record. You may read about the former's here and the latter's here.

    The Soviets murdered German prisoners of war. The Nazis murdered Soviet prisoners of war in larger numbers, and with more intentionality at top level. German troops also bumped off a great many Soviet soldiers right after they had surrendered.

    Soviet civilians were also killed out of hand in large numbers by German forces including such of the Wehrmacht. Besides the genocide of Jews and Gypsies there was the Nazi struggle against Soviet partisans, with atrocities such as those mentioned here (lock men, women, and children into barns and to set fire to them) and portrayed in the 1985 Soviet film Come and See, which I think is the best war movie ever made (you can watch it on YouTube with subtitles, Part 1 and Part 2.) There was also the kind of violence referred to by Antony Beevor as quoted here:

    A German officer described how shocked he and his soldiers had been when Russian civilians had cheerfully stripped the corpses of their fellow countrymen. Yet German soldiers were taking clothes and boots from living civilians for themselves, then forcing them out into the freezing wastes, in most cases to die of cold and starvation. Senior officers complained that their soldiers looked like Russian peasants, but no sympathy was spared for the victims robbed of their only hope of survival in such conditions. A bullet might have been less cruel.

    On the other side there were the crimes on German soil committed by Red Army soldiers. Horrible stuff, though the most terrifying stories, like the Leonora Geier tale, only happened in the sick minds of extreme-right propagandists. Massive rape is supposed to have been the main behavioral difference between Soviet and German troops, but recent research has revealed that sexual violence by German soldiers was far more common than previously thought.

  3. One thing that applies to both the Red Army and the Wehrmacht is that a minority of soldiers were responsible for a majority of the crimes. About 120,000 German civilians were killed by Soviet troops in the area east of Oder and Neisse, but the Vistula–Oder Offensive alone involved over two million men on the Soviet side. As concerns the Wehrmacht, German historians like Rolf-Dieter Müller estimate that less than 5 % of the troops on the Eastern Front were involved in war crimes.

    Stalin’s Soviet Union, unlike Nazi Germany, did not commit genocide. Otherwise there wasn’t much to choose from between the two.


    You may have a point in that downright denial of Nazi crimes, as opposed to relativizing them, is becoming less fashionable. The latter, as practiced for instance by Australian semi-denier Michael Mills (well known to me and some of my fellow blog authors), tends to be more sophisticated and less monotonous than the primitive no-one-was-ever-gassed blather, and may therefore be more effective in the long run.

  4. Great post, but you know what could be even better? A "Holocaust Controversies" youtube channel!

  5. I have uploaded some videos/slide shows on YouTube:

    Mass Graves at Sobibór

    Nazi Crimes in the USSR (Graphic images!)

    The Atrocities committed by German-Fascists in the USSR (1)

    The Atrocities committed by German Fascists in the USSR (2)

    The Atrocities committed by German Fascists in the USSR (3)

    There is this 3D animation about Treblinka:

    Vernichtungslager Treblinka
    (I only found a reproduction with subtitles in Portuguese).

    Does anybody know any of the video's makers (see credits at the end)?

  6. @Gabi: Ever since the popular youtuber Logan Paul filming a dead body in the Japanese suicide forest incident that occurred around the beginning of this year, Youtube is really cracking down on new uploads with that blasted algorithm of theirs. Videos get flagged or downright removed and channels get community strikes. It makes running anti-denial channels on YT really hard because the algorithm thinks youre spreading denial. Recently I have been running a small youtube channel called "Holocaust Documents" and have had to deal with this BS lately. But older denier videos uploaded years ago on YT, in many instances, are still there with views in the five digits and sometimes even in the six digits.

  7. Found another one called "The greatest lie ever told - The Holocaust - 2015 Documentary HD":

    Props to you if you can sit through that computer voice for close to 80 minutes.

  8. @Roberto

    "Stalin’s Soviet Union, unlike Nazi Germany, did not commit genocide. Otherwise there wasn’t much to choose from between the two."

    Nonsense. The USSR engaged in multiple acts of genocide. Ukrainians were starved, as were Kazakhs, and countless ethnic minorities (Crimean Tatars, Poles, Chechens, Ingush, etc.) were deported from their homelands and died as a result. So yes, the USSR under Stalin did commit genocide, and it did so multiple times against multiple groups of people. Do not make the mistake of trivializing the crimes of the Soviets because the Holocaust was more brutal.

  9. The UN definition of genocide requires an "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such". While some hypothesize such intent on Stalin's part, it is pretty hard to actually document. Unlike with the Holocaust.

  10. Thank you for your effort to refute all those videos. They are all over YouTube and they need some proper refutation. The people who make these "holohoax" videos have absolutely zero idea about what they are talking about.

    On the other hand, the comments are entertaining to read, so I guess there is a plus after all. :)

  11. If you have time, can you rip apart this pseudo-documentary called "Judea Declares War on Germany" made by Frederick Toban. He basically goes to one of the camps and tries to "debunk" the Holocaust. Would be nice if you can provide even a short rebuttal to that crap.

  12. I guess it would be useful indeed, I've seen it thrown around on Twitter.

  13. Someone made a response to your conspiratorial ramblings about this rube goldberg machine genocide you believe in:

  14. Thanks for the link, Junk. I will respond, but I will note that he begins with an obvious lie: "He says I say mobile crematoria didn't exist, that's false".

    Of course he denies them over, and over, and over again.

    "facts about the Holocaust that had been
    denied by mainstream historians things
    like mobile crematoria"

    "the mainstream Holocaust historians are
    denying the well-established mobile
    killing machines that the Nazis used the
    Nazis not only had mobile gas chambers
    but also mobile crematoria ovens"

    "they weren't explicitly told anywhere to
    design and build mobile crematorium and
    then destroy any trace of their design
    and manufacture but that's what they did"

    "the evidence that proves
    mobile crematoria is the same kind of
    evidence that proves homicidal gassings
    at Dachau is the same kind of evidence
    that proves mass extermination in the
    camps that the Soviets ended up

    Someone who lies about the very thing they chose to emphasize? Both pathetic and pathological. Rest later.

    1. You might want to respond to the full quote which is:

      "He says I say mobile crematoria didn't exist, that's false, in the video I actually had a picture of one with a caption saying it's a mobile crematoria, the claim is that these things were being trundled around in Russia, along with mobile gas chambers and bone-grinding mills, in order to remove evidence of genocide."

      Which is a bit different to the angle you're going for.

    2. Not really, since the denial of the mobile crematoria as such is clear, and this denial is then deceptively denied. The rest will be responded to too, of course.

      Oh, one more denial quote:

      "oh good we have eyewitness testimony from the SS itself to confirm mobile cremation units I mean what more powerful evidence than a confession from a defeated enemy after a war he was one of the participants in"

      Oh, and as to "in the video I actually had a picture of one with a caption saying it's a mobile crematoria" - care to specify where? Because somehow, surprise surprise, I can find it neither in the version I have saved, nor in the version that is currently up on YouTube.

      Care to point out the exact time at which the alleged picture appears?

    3. "Not really"
      Yeah, really.
      Look, I get that you're really, REALLY into the subject, but trying to mischaractarize a point does not lend to your argument, it diminishes it.

      "Mobile cremation units"
      The keyword there would be units, i.e, SS units trawling around the Russian front disposing of the evidence.
      Which is what the quote is talking about, when the guy then pulls out direct quotes from trial itself discussing the matter about 10 seconds afterwards.

      "Can you show me where"
      Nope, I don't want to trawl through a 50 minute video looking for a picture to win an argument on the internet, he should've included a timestamp.

    4. Nah, sorry, 'Unknown', if someone at IMT had claimed mobile crematoria operating in the occupied USSR then revisionists would have been all over that. But they (Mattogno, Rudolf etc) haven't mentioned this. Instead we have Carlos Porter touting the Waldmann affidavit (USSR-52) several times i Made in Russia: The Holocaust, which is likely the video-maker's source. The video-maker garbled and seems to have misunderstood Waldmann's affidavit re the murder of Soviet POWs at Sachsenhausen, which is outside Berlin. Just because the victims were Soviet POWs doesn't imply they were being killed or cremated in the occupied USSR. Waldmann's statement mentions mobile crematoria, which absolutely existed and were used in the concentration camps in Germany, as well as in the euthanasia centres. Kori made them.

      The open-air cremations by Aktion 1005 at some (not all) killing sites in the occupied Soviet Union were carried out using pyres, some of which were built on grates of railway ties. Sometimes in Russian-language reports these are referred to as pech', plural pechi (печь, печи) which translates multiply as fire, furnace, oven - it's an all-purpose word whose precise meaning depends on context. It's used in the reports to describe pyres as well as crematoria. From time to time, the pyre sense of pech' gets mistranslated as crematorium. (The Russian language also has the loan-word krematorii (крематорий) for crematorium.) But I don't see any discussion of mobile furnaces, grates or crematoria in Smirnov's presentation at IMT when he discusses Aktion 1005 at Janowska (Yanov in Russian).

    5. > Look, I get that you're really, REALLY into the subject, but trying to mischaractarize a point does not lend to your argument, it diminishes it.

      Note sure why you would lie about me trying to mischarachterize a point whereas I have mischaracterized none. He got caught lying, red-handed. He explicitly (within the inversion framework) denies the existence of the mobile crematoria as such. I have shown this with numerous quotes, of which you have addressed only one.

      > The keyword there would be units, i.e, SS units trawling around the Russian front disposing of the evidence.

      Not sure why you are trying to lie right now, even though I have already pointed out in my second response:

      "No such claim has been made anywhere; the Waldmann testimony is specifically about Sachsenhausen, and the Janowska camp claim is specifically about that camp, not about Einsatzgruppen killings. No claim of mobile crematoria for the Einsatzgruppen victims is known."

      (And you might object you haven't read my response yet, but the primary source - the Waldmann testimony - is also readily available, and you could have checked *it*.)

      > Which is what the quote is talking about, when the guy then pulls out direct quotes from trial itself discussing the matter about 10 seconds afterwards.

      The "units" part characterizes the Waldmann testimony which was not about Einsatzgruppen but rather about Sachsenhausen.

      > Nope, I don't want to trawl through a 50 minute video looking for a picture to win an argument on the internet, he should've included a timestamp.

      Ah, but you see, his pictures with quotes and cabinets and whatnot last more than 1 sec, you can see them with the preview feature at youtube. Can you find any mobile crematorium picture this way?

    6. "I didn't mischaracterize it"
      Welp, that's all I needed to hear.

    7. I'm very glad you have no objections to the following facts: he denied the existence of the mobile crematoria, I pointed out that he denied it (so there was no mischaracterization), then he denied his denial.

    8. I honestly don't get the point about the IMT allegedly using "Bad Evidence".

      It's a court's job to review all the evidence presented and sift the wheat from the chaff. And it's the defense and Prosecution's job to do EVERYTHING they can to prove their case.

      Complaining about IMT because "soap" or "lampshades" got reviewed is like claiming that OJ Simpson was convicted of killing Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. So what if the LA court actually acquitted him? The prosecution provided evidence that he did it, so they must have found him guilty.

    9. It seemed like he was accepting the existence of Mobile Gas Chambers to me. I like Ryan, but he should read up more on this stuff. What he's into is Race Realism, but maybe he'll get back onto this again.

  15. Ryan, you are terrible at this.
    "You know more holocaust factoids than me, because it's all you do. Congratulations." - what sort of anti-intellectual garbage is this? are you gonna call him a book-reading nerd next?
    I'll give you credit for one thing - your genius "dragon and bear" logic finally made me realize the Dresden bombing never happened at all.

    1. Yes, the infamous Dresden bombing, with the claimed 1,000,000 victims, the fake TB 47 document, the melting bodies (bodies are not made of ice, they don't melt!) and turning into puddles of melted flesh, bodies turning into jelly, bodies shriveling in a second to the size of a child (because skeletons work like that!), bodies glowing bright orange and blue and then either disintegrating into ciders or melting into a thick liquid, often three or four feet deep in spots, bodies burned on impossible pyres and vanishing without a trace (no physical evidence!), the alleged bombing allegedly committed without any military purpose (would the Allies have done that in wartime?!). But was there any bombing at all? I have been to Dresden and it was fine. I haven't seen any signs of the bombing. No physical evidence. We need the Truth!

    2. FSF nailed it. You need to do something else. This was horrible.

  16. Saving for posterity this copy of pond life discussing the rebuttal to the Faulk video and getting everything wrong:

    Neo-Nazi brainlets can't read LOL (writing "Jewish soap is a myth" = you believe in Jewish soap in their world). But even more tragically, many of them don't even get Faulk's sarcasm.

  17. This is a minor, pedantic point, but in the article around discussing the 21:30 talking point, you say, and I quote

    " The bodies were incinerated on pyres (a more efficient method than mobile crematoria, where you would have just one muffle - you would have to have a whole fleet of those with you to make a noticeable dent), the brittle bones were crushed by the Jews themselves."

    Given the rather foolish mania for deniers to talk about fuel efficiency, and how open air pyres are not particularly fuel efficient compared to even a mobile crematorium, I might suggest you edit it to something like "A more time efficient method", to avoid potential de-railing by deniers who won't want to deal with the main point.

    1. I won't change the article since it has been responded to, and it should be clear from the context that I'm talking about efficiency towards a particular goal. Moreover, with pyres the huge part of the fuel is wood (procured locally), so in the end you end up with less of "your own" fuel that you have to actually transport and waste.

  18. I was going to ask if you were on twitter, and I was also going to suggest you debunk mike enochs frequent denials as he's one of the biggest deniers online, blocks anyone competent who refutes him, and would probably get you much exposure

    1. Banned on Twitter; I've already tackled Peinovich in a recent article.

  19. Do you have a place where you have written down exactly what you have studied had happened and all the facts and figures relating to it? I've only ever read very abstract things relating to the holocaust.

    Said differently, I want to read your holocaust with your proof accompanying it.

    1. "Do you have a place where you have written down exactly what you have studied had happened and all the facts and figures relating to it?"

      Yes, it's called this blog.

      See the quick links on the top left and right for some examples, eg the 2011 white paper on Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka; documents and evidence on gas vans, and the index of evidence re Auschwitz.

  20. Just FYI "proven at nuremberg" was made by Ryan Faulk, aka Alt Hype.

  21. Lavoro notevole. Bisognerebbe dare piu´ visibilita´a siti come questi, purtroppo c´e´ gente molto ignorante tra di noi..

  22. Sergey, you must make a youtube channel. It would bring more attention to these lying holocaust deniers and further help both this website and general knowledge. There is something really infuriating seeing these people just straight up lie to their audience and get away with it, don't let them continue this BS!


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