Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Mattogno, his Einsatzgruppen book and the Gas Vans. Part I: A Dilettante at Work

Author: Hans Metzner
 Mattogno, his Einsatzgruppen book and the Gas Vans

Some Holocaust deniers might have had high expectations that Carlo Mattogno would address his critics in the English translation of his Einsatzgruppen book, after Germar Rudolf's earlier comment that "we have submitted a long list of open issues -- including remarks made by the HC Blog -- to the author for his review". But deniers who had crossed their fingers that Mattogno would show a fierce reaction would have to be deeply disappointed. Rudolf's foreword tried to excuse Mattogno's decision not to consider internet critiques, lest it should force him to postpone publishing the book; a rather questionable strategy for Holocaust deniers to willfully ignoring the HC blog, given that anyone searching in the internet on the book would likely end up here and learn more about his dilettante treatment of the subject.

They would learn about his total failure on Sonderkommando Lange: placing its headquarters to Soldau in East-Prussia, when it was in Posen in the Warthegau, as any relevant monograph published in the 90s and 2000s or even a document quoted by himself explain (see Figure 1).

The headquarters-in-Soldau claim was scrapped from the English edition, yet he keeps arguing with the false premise that SK Lange was stationed in Soldau in 1941 (p.295), so the deletion does not make much difference. Was this a last minute attempt by somebody to polish the English edition, which just failed because the underlying argument was not touched?

Figure 1

Or that he did not realize that Sonderkommando Lange was a killing commando according to contemporary German documents well known in the literature and published on this blog more than one and half years ago in May 2017. The documented nature of SK Lange as mass murder unit is an existential threat to Mattogno's Holocaust denial, as the commando operated Kulmhof extermination camp liquidating about 150,000 Jews in 1941-1944, a point emphasized again when Mattogno was supposed to review the blog's critique (and which were enough to pull the emergency cord and to postpone the publication until the evidence has been explained away with the usual methods of denial).

On the intended dispatch of Sonderkommando Lange to Novgorod according to German radio signals intercepted by the British, Mattogno shouts to his readers on p. 295 that "There is no mention of Sonderkommando Lange, or gas vans, or Novgorod, or mental patients to be killed!" (because he was confused by an incomplete reference in Longerich, Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews) - however, twice on this blog, in January 2016 and then again in May 2017 the relevant decode was published, which indeed requested "Sonderkommando Lange with suitable [apparatus] for the clearing of three of their asylums near Novgorod".

There are more curious differences between the Italian and the English edition of Mattogno's Einsatzgruppen book. In the former, he wrote that "it is worth noting that the only character mentioned in Becker's letter to Rauff, SS-Untersturmfuhrer Ernst, is completely unknown. He is never mentioned either in the Ereignismeldungen, nor in the Meldungen, or in other known documents" (Mattogno, Gli Einsatzgruppen nei territori orientali occupati, Parte I, p. 341; my translation). It was of course ignorant to ask why some SS-Untersturmführer is not mentioned in the Ereignismeldungen UdSSR and the Meldungen aus den besetzten Ostgebieten, as those set of documents do not mention most of the Einsatzgruppen personnel, or in stray documents on Einsatzgruppe C, if he knows any at all.

The paragraph disappeared from the English translation (Figure 2). Did he find out about SS-Untersturmführer Ernst himself? Certainly not, because apart from that he would have needed to perform some archival research, which he clearly did not, it would have been something to report in this section.

Did he realize the point was not really bright? Such critical self reflection is not likely as we know him and he did keep a similar argument in the book. On p. 430, he writes on a British decode on a Sonderkommando Spacil that "no 'Sonderkommando Spacil' has ever been known to exist, and the name of the person involved is completely unknown". In fact, he found the argument so brilliant that he repeated it again on p. 683 "there was no known 'Sonderkommando Spacil,' and the name of the person is quite unknown" (an indication that Mattogno has passed his peak long time ago: he copies himself in the very same book and cannot search the Wikipedia entry of a Third Reich figure). Given that there is no indication for a sudden brainwave, perhaps the paragraph on SS-Untersturmführer Ernst was merely lost in translation.

Figure 2
Who was SS-Untersturmführer Ernst, then? As expected, since he was mentioned in an authentic contemporary German document on homidical gas vans, he is a true historical person; an RSHA car mechanic and head of garage workshop commanded to the East from mid 1941 to mid 1942 according to his SS files (BArch R 9361-III/523333 & 40094). As with Spacil above or SS-Obersturmführer Huhn in Auschwitz, it is meaningless that SS-Untersturmführer Ernst "is completely unknown" to Mattogno, since this is based on his very limited research on the matter (Major Friedrich "not a Major in any way" Pradel can tell you a thing or two about it, too).

By the way, it is pathetic how in Figure 2 Mattogno addresses this HC-posting without mentioning Holocaust Controversies ("Some writers have therefore theorized...") on the post-war mentioning of "SS-Hauptsturmführer Rühl" by the gas van inspector August Becker. We should take it as a compliment that we made it on his list of forbidden references (in the English edition, Mattogno - perhaps only at the pressure of the editor, if not submitted by the editor himself - added a citation to the HC reference section on p. 653, but notably still not to the blog).

Back to "SS-Hauptsturmführer Rühl" - apparently Mattogno considers it okay to address something published in the internet if he just thinks it does not do him any harm. Indeed, the issue who was meant by Becker requires another explanation than proposed in this blog posting. Most likely, Becker had SS-Hauptsturmführer Heinz Trühe from the Commander of the Security Police and Service in Riga in mind with the person he talked to in Riga and who he told to request further gas vans from the motor pool department of the Security Police at the RSHA in Berlin, because this is precisely what Trühe did in June 1942 (Becker falsely associated him as the "head of the extermination camp at Minsk").

On the killing of mentally ill people in Mogilev and Minsk by members of Einsatzgruppe B and the Criminal Technical Institute at the RSHA, Mattogno discusses Albert Widmann as single witness - citing an archival file he has certainly never checked out and with a reference plagariazed from the book Archives of the Holocaust, volume 22 - but numerous more sources on this event have been featured on this blog in May - July 2016 and in September 2017.

In summer 1944, the Secret Field Police in Mogilev (GFP 570) operated a self-made Ford gas van. Mattogno dismisses its historical reality by mumbling something incomprehensible about the RSHA-Gaubschat correspondence (p. 339), but he does not discuss the actual evidence cited in December 2015 and June 2016 on this blog.

The most comical part is how Mattogno's insinuates on the acquittal of one of the perpetrators in 1974 (he misspells as 1947) that "[i]t is also conceivable that the judges did not take the story of the home-made 'gas vans' too seriously" instead of doing what any researcher or just any person truly interested would have done: simply reading the published judgement. Predictably, the insinuation turns out as unsubstantiated, the judgement concludes that "at least two months ...before end of June 1944 the accused had converted a Russian truck of the make Ford with gasoline engine into a gas van" (Justiz und NS-Verbrechen, Bd.39, Nr. 809).

Just few years ago, Mattogno argued on the Einsatzgruppe B report mentioning Saurer "gas vans" that "all Saurer trucks had diesel engines, the exhaust gases of which were totally unsuitable for murder" (Mattogno, Inside the Gas Chambers, 2014, p. 113). He kept the same statement in the 2nd edition dated October 2016.

Also in October 2016, he published his Einsatzgruppen book in Italian and largely repeated his discussion of the Einsatzgruppe B report from Inside the Gas Chambers, except for the difference that the Diesel issue is now missing, as it is also throughout the whole book (same for the English translation, Figure 3).

Figure 3
Just why did Mattogno radically drop an argument he considered powerful not long ago? Why did he not explain what's wrong with a claim, which was presented as a smoking gun against gas vans previously?

The answer, as to why he dismissed between 2014 and 2016 that "all Saurer trucks had diesel engines", lies most probable in a HC-blog posting from late 2015, which showed that the assertion is patently false and that the Nazi homicidal gas van were running on gasoline engines. But Mattogno did not dare to admit that Holocaust Controversies had refuted him and the choir of Holocaust deniers (with Santiago Alvarez probably holding the record in troublesome Diesel claims, on every 24th text page of his gas van book, statistically) on such a vital point (considered by them) and so he silently dropped the whole issue without correcting himself and other deniers and like elsewhere without acknowledging and taking responsibility for his error.

Mattogno claims that the term "Gaswagen" (gas van) "in the sense of 'mobile homicidal gas chamber,' was coined only after the end of the Second World War" (p. 324), but in September 2016 we posted a report from an SD insider to the Swiss intelligence of February 1944 calling the mobile gas chambers precisely "Gaswagen" (plus multiple perpetrator testimonies confirming that the term was used at the time). The posting also debunks Mattogno's hypothesis that the "gas vans" in the motor pool of Einsatzgruppe B were "in all probability just Generatorgaswagen" (p. 326).

A fundamental limitation in Mattogno's chapter on the gas vans is that the testimonial evidence studied by him is not mere than a tiny drop from the pool of those actually known. He looks at some 10 perpetrator testimonies (I've counted 8), when I have obtained more than 400 testimonies, mostly eyewitnesses from West-German investigations, from members of the military and paramilitary forces - without having examined all potentially relevant files yet and without considering those on Kulmhof extermination camp (illustrated in Figure 4). Some of these testimonies have been quoted and cited in gas van postings at this blog (it's planned to publish the full list in the future).

Figure 4

At such order of magnitude difference - Mattogno leaves out numerous detailed accounts of gas van drivers and people involved in the actions -, he could not have studied the technique and operation of the Nazi homicidal gas vans in any other than a dilettante way. It's a subject barely studied by him, certainly not good and deep enough to feature it as a chapter and to draw any founded major conclusion on something big as "The Genesis of the 'Gas Vans' and Their Use by the Einsatzgruppen".

25 comments:

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

"On the intended dispatch of Sonderkommando Lange to Novgorod according to German radio signals intercepted by the British, Mattogno shouts to his readers on p. 295 that "There is no mention of Sonderkommando Lange, or gas vans, or Novgorod, or mental patients to be killed!" (because he was confused by an incomplete reference in Longerich, Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews) - however, twice on this blog, in January 2016 and then again in May 2017 the relevant decode was published, which indeed requested "Sonderkommando Lange with suitable [apparatus] for the clearing of three of their asylums near Novgorod"."

As you know, but didn't mention, Mattogno did address HC claims on this incident in his lengthy response to the White Paper.
p.284f:
http://holocausthandbooks.com/dl/28-tecoar.pdf

A far stronger criticism of Mattogno's handling of the 3 messages in his recent work is the fact that he ignored that Breitman wrote about them [and provided complete citations for all 3] in Official Secrets [1998], even though Mattogno repeatedly criticises the same Breitman study over interpretations of further decodes found within the very same file[!]; a file which he obviously has access to, considering the number of quotes he provides from it.

Mattogno must've known of the 3 messages, and he had access to the original documents, yet he dismisses the bigger picture by only addressing their coverage in a single secondary source, one in which they're not accurately described, and are poorly referenced.

But I suppose you have to be consistent with this type of criticism. No point berating Mattogno for ignoring evidence in his sources when you're never going to acknowledge, and will even outright deny, that van Pelt did the same thing.

Hans Metzner said...

Well, it's one thing to have all three decodes, but it's another thing to realize them, even with a source at hand citing all (sloppiness?). At the moment, I cannot imagine Mattogno would be not only so massively dishonest but also foolish to write on the decodes what he did when knowing all the three messages (even after the stuff in part II).

I will comment on Van Pelt at the other posting within the next days.

Hans Metzner said...

Okay, I put the comment here, since it is somewhat relevant for Mattogno, too.

Yes, van Pelt has omitted or ignored a photograph of the gassing basement of crematorium 2 in Auschwitz-Birkenau. I have no problem to acknowledge this.

Van Pelt had to write a manuscript on Auschwitz in a given time frame (probably a tight one). Given the vast amount of sources and complexity of the issue, this is only possible with limiting research, filtering out sources, setting priorities. It's the art of a historian to do this properly. He likely saw the early gas chamber photograph at some point, but obviously it dropped through his filter, so to say. You may say that the filter was too coarse, others may argue it was right, the photograph does not has the relevance on the holes issue for its limited view on the roof to make it in the report. I think the photograph should be addressed in a complete and comprehensive rebuttal of Holocaust denial and it should be used to date the construction of the little chimnies. If none of this was Van Pelt's priority, I cannot complain much about his filtering.

On day 10 of the Irving vs. Lipstadt trial, he was forced to comment on the photograph he did not remember anymore. He constructed an explanation based on the information available to him (probably under considerable stress). He would have been wise to decline commenting on something faded from his memory. On the next day, he acknowledged his mistake ("I actually kind of slightly stupidly commented on it without having it in front of me") and provided a decent explanation for the photograph.

I think you need to consider that some omissions are different than others, one always needs to look at the context.

First question, why was something omitted: dishonesty, slopiness, priorities, because of lack of relevance in the author's view.

Second question, what's the frequency of omissions from dishonesty and slopiness? Ranges from rare exception to it's the rule.

Third question, what's the impact of the omission? The range is from nothing whatsoever to complete destruction of one's work of a life time.

Sergey Romanov said...

IOW the BRoI, who himself has a habit of omitting actually relevant facts in order to dishonestly smear his opponents (like he did with me when he chose not to mention that my Lampshades posting has the "last updated" comment with the revision date; that I refuted his false claim about Morgen having been "punished by US interrogators for initially refusing to sign the 28.12.45 affidavit" at AHF; that I proved Morgen's double hearsay in the revised passage in my article; though at least he did mention that I read the relevant affidavits "five months" before writing the passage in question - as opposed to Neander, who presumably read them right before writing his mistaken passage - on which my mistake was based on the first place - though the BRoI's cerebral sac apparently can't process the fact that having read them once upon a time doesn't mean that every detail is forever etched in one's brain - and he still hasn't called Neander's mistake a lie, even though by his very logic it was) as well as a proven liar, has accused an honest historian of lies based on his own projections.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

>>>> "Van Pelt had to write a manuscript on Auschwitz in a given time frame (probably a tight one)."

He says in his "manuscript", he had 15 months. And he'd been working professionally on Auschwitz for years.

>>>> "... provided a decent explanation for the photograph."

Hardly.

Keren et al.:
"when the tar waterproofing was spread atop the concrete slab, it ran over the edge"
"where tar was brushed over the edge"

So, supposedly, the roofing was laid around the holes, just like a cowboy decorator will wallpaper around light-switches!

No curb, no flashing, and no upstand.

You claim elsewhere on the blog that sources state the chimneys were made of brick, and you suggest they were concrete. What sources are you referring to?

Hans Metzner said...

In 15 months, Mattogno would write you three books, six articles and perform cremation science in his garden.

Chris Webb would publish two books each on any extermination camp of your choice.

But a comprehensive and detailed study on something big as Auschwitz and denial without clearly limiting the scope and depth of research and sources - not in this short time.

If you want to make an argument with the photograph, you need to show that any realistic cover (and also the lack of any cover on openings) were visible on the photograph. What minimum elevation along the length and position of the gas openings can be still detected on the photograph?

Brick as material of the little chimneys was argued in an article at nizkor (probably Mark Van Alstine), but apparently I did not find confirmation for this in the evidence.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

>>> "But a comprehensive and detailed study on something big as Auschwitz and denial without clearly limiting the scope and depth of research and sources - not in this short time."


As of June 1999 van Pelt had authored/co-authored: an award-winning academic book on Auschwitz, an academic book on the "historiographical implications of the history of Auschwitz", chapters in three separate academic books which dealt with Auschwitz, five non-referred articles on Auschwitz; had given presentations on Auschwitz at 20 academic conferences and more than 50 institutes of higher learning; his work had been the subject of a BBC documentary on Auschwitz. Finally, van Pelt had featured in the movie Dr. Death about Fred Leuchter — who, ironically, was a complete novice to the subject and had two months to write his report for the 1st Zuendel trial. Rudolf would only have had a few months to write his response to van Pelt's 1st report. Did van Pelt cut Rudolf or Leuchter any slack for the genuinely short time-frame they had? Did he hell. Van Pelt was thoroughly conversant in this subject when he was approached to write a report, and he had an enormous amount of time to write it.

What's your excuse for Keren et al. omitting the same hard-to-explain-photo, and van Pelt again omitting it from his 2nd Report, and from his book, The Case for Auschwitz, despite having the photo brought so memorably to his attention in court? Pushed for time, every time?

So, there's no evidence whatsoever to support your claim that the chimneys were built of brick/concrete. If you acknowledge this, and concede that the chimneys were actually just part of the "Kula" columns as implied in the sources used by van Pelt, then I can speculate as to what coverings we should expect to see in the photos.

"The fresh air intake chimney for Leichenkeller 1 is completed..."
https://phdn.org/archives/holocaust-history.org/auschwitz/pressac/technique-and-operation/pressac0335.shtml

Is that visible on the photo?

Hans Metzner said...

Again, the photo is not hard to explain. It's straightforward. Its evidential value is neutral on the existence of gas introduction openings in the roof. It is negative on the existence of little chimnies around the openings at the time the photograph was taken. This does not bother as the building is still under construction and since the chimnies are visible on a later photograph.

The photograph cannot be hard to explain since you have still not shown that any realistic temporary cover or the lack of any cover would be visible on the photograph. It is beyond me and incomprehensible why you advance such a claim without supporting it. It might be your feeling and guess, but if anything this is rather evidence of your drive to find something sinister than that there is actually something wrong.

The image available on the internet has a resolution limit of about 1 cm, i.e. any difference of less than 1 cm cannot be detected with the resolution of the picture. You would not see any elevation from a cover < 1 cm. From this angle with virtually no view on the surface, you would also likely not see if the openings were not covered at all on top but, say only by the bitumen between concrete and top layer cut out later.

Since the photograph is easy to explain and since there is no apparent reason why anybody - other than Holocaust deniers and people with a huge drive to find something sinister in Holocaust literature, but from time to time overlook to support their guesswork - would arrive to a different conclusion, there is no reason and need for any sinister explanation of the "omission" of the photograph by people writing on the holes.

I can imagine that it was "omitted" because of its neutral evidential value on the holes. As I already said, I think the photo should have been discussed in Mazal et al.'s paper. This flaw (or also their misinterpretation of the gas chamber's outline on the 31 May aerial photograph, which I had pointed out at the original RODOH forum) does not weigh too much compared to their ground-breaking finding on the openings and interpretation of the little train photograph.

BRoI: "So, there's no evidence whatsoever to support your claim that the chimneys were built of brick/concrete. If you acknowledge this, and concede that the chimneys were actually just part of the "Kula" columns as implied in the sources used by van Pelt, then I can speculate as to what coverings we should expect to see in the photos."

I cannot "acknowledge" something that I have already explained on the blog anyway:

"Chimneys are certainly a reasonable feature to provide protection against water and to allow burying the basement under earth. It is usually assumed that the chimnies were made of brick, which seems the most reasonable choice, but so far I could not find direct confirmation for this in the eyewitness accounts. So it cannot be ruled out that the chimney were of a different material like concrete."

http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2012/05/review-of-discussion-on-gas-openings-at.html

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

>>> "Again, the photo is not hard to explain. It's straightforward. Its evidential value is neutral on the existence of gas introduction openings in the roof."

That's not true. It's strong evidence that there are no holes in the roof. Hence why Keren et al. and van Pelt omitted it, *it*, incidentally, being the best photo of the roof in existence.

>>> "The photograph cannot be hard to explain since you have still not shown that any realistic temporary cover or the lack of any cover would be visible on the photograph. It is beyond me and incomprehensible why you advance such a claim without supporting it."

I'm waiting on you to go on record and state that van Pelt and his witnesses are wrong when they implied that the chimneys were part of the "Kula" columns, therefore made of metal, and were in fact made of concrete/brick, which was poured/laid on top of the asphalt roofing.

If the chimneys were made of brick/concrete, the builders would have built curbs around the holes so upstands could be created when the roofing was laid.
https://www.eosrooflights.co.uk/what-is-a-timber-upstand-how-can-i-build-one/
https://www.ikopolymeric.com/upstand-requirements-flat-roof-design/

They would be visible in the photo if they had really existed.

Nicholas Terry said...

BRoI:"What's your excuse for Keren et al. omitting the same hard-to-explain-photo, and van Pelt again omitting it from his 2nd Report, and from his book, The Case for Auschwitz, despite having the photo brought so memorably to his attention in court? Pushed for time, every time?"

A better question is whether Holocaust deniers had as of the time of writing of van Pelt's report or the Keren et al article foregrounded the photo in their arguments. More specifically, whether the Holocaust deniers that van Pelt presumed Irving was influenced by or would rely on had done so. I can't remember whether this photo was in the early 'no holes' denier arguments or not, the point is simply that the issue must be reconstructed historiographically.

Pelt's report foregrounded Crowell, for example, because Irving had posted Crowell's essay on his website and it seemed to echo arguments made by Irving in his speeches (remembering that Irving hadn't actually written up anything substantive on Auschwitz at all). His report conspicuously neglected Mattogno's work up to 1999 because frankly he wasn't a clear influence on Irving at that time; the report wasn't intended as a comprehensive survey of every single denier argument on Auschwitz but was much more illustrative. Also, Mattogno had published much less by 1999, and relatively little in English - the report neglected pretty much every piece in German-language denial that hadn't been translated, and the 1990s were still a time when there was some active output from German deniers. So clearly the report omitted enormous numbers of negationist arguments, not just this one photo.

Keren et al's article was exactly that - an article. It was long enough as it was, and had quite a lot of photos, so who knows whether they were given a limit on the number of photos/diagrams they could include, or a space limit, or simply didn't think the photo was crucial to their argument.

Pelt's book summarised many days of trial cross-examination in a few pages in the final chapter, referring to Keren et al's report but not reproducing its points in full. The rest of the book is clearly a restructured version of the report with few additions. So the omission of the photo, even if it came up in the trial (and lots of other things surely came up in the trial), is not exactly a surprise, especially if Keren et al also left it out.

Since the Pelt report/book and Keren et al, deniers, i.e. Mattogno, have pointed to the photo and incorporated it clearly into their arguments, therefore the photo is definitely now part of denier historiography and would as Hans has said be dealt with in any new anti-denier discussion of the Auschwitz crematoria.

Hans: ""But a comprehensive and detailed study on something big as Auschwitz and denial without clearly limiting the scope and depth of research and sources - not in this short time"

Agreed - it's fairly obvious that van Pelt did not recapitulate every ZBL document that was in play thanks to Pressac's work or his own work (together with Pressac and Dwork) in the report.

Sergey Romanov said...

> It's strong evidence that there are no holes in the roof.

Since the photo has no relation to the existence of the holes, only of the chimneys, you are being deceptive again.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

>>> "A better question is ..."

An obvious dodge. And your question is irrelevant. In that section van Pelt wasn't addressing rev claims, but presenting the evidence for GCs in the crematoria.

Irving was under the assumption the story was that the holes were knocked thru the roof. I don't have time to check what other revs were saying then, but if memory serves, others did think the same. I guess they were basing their assumption on JCP's "The chimneys through which the Zyklon-B was poured were installed later ..." I don't think he said anymore on how the holes were created. As I mention above, the witnesses imply that the chimneys were part of the Kola columns, none of them mention brick/concrete/wood chimneys enclosing the part of the columns which protruded through the holes.

Whilst neither acknowledges it, van Pelt and Keren et al. must have been aware that revs thought the holes were supposed to have been created after the roof was poured.

Over 88,000 pages of ZBL docs - majority not mentioned by van Pelt
Two photos of the roof of L1 - 50% omitted by van Pelt

>>> "Keren et al's article was exactly that - an article."

It was submitted to the British High Court before it was published in H&GS. It's unlikely the latter would have imposed a image limit that forced the authors to drop that particular photo. And the British High Court doesn't have a limit on the no. of images they'll accept in expert reports submitted to them, AFAIK [implied sarcasm].

Are you going to address van Pelt's *mistakes* about Olere's sketches anytime soon?


The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

>>> "Since the photo has no relation to the existence of the holes, only of the chimneys, you are being deceptive again."

You're claiming there are holes in the roof. Therefore it can not be irrelevant.

So, chimneys. Were they?

A. Made of metal [the upper part of the Kola columns only]
B. Made of bricks and mortar, laid on asphalt?
C. Made of concrete, poured on asphalt?
D. Delete comment?

Nicholas Terry said...

BROI: "An obvious dodge. And your question is irrelevant. In that section van Pelt wasn't addressing rev claims, but presenting the evidence for GCs in the crematoria."

You should be less quick with the accusations, I was 'dodging' nothing, but chiming in on a discussion between Hans and you, which was largely complete anyway. As it turns out... you confirmed my point.

"Irving was under the assumption the story was that the holes were knocked thru the roof. I don't have time to check what other revs were saying then, but if memory serves, others did think the same......"

So your memory and my quick check of VffG for 1998-1999 and memory of what appeared when confirms that the photo under discussion wasn't really foregrounded in 'revisionism' during the 1990s. Mattogno's Auschwitz End of a Legend only has someone quoted saying 'holes', there's no discusson of 'holes' at all. His main article on the holes dates from 2004, although IIRC there was something in draft form earlier, but after the Irving-Lipstadt trial.

There's a pretty strong consensus among non-deniers that the photo under discussion, showing the exposed morgue cellar roof with no chimneys, unlike the 'little train' photo which does show chimneys, was shot at an angle which makes it impossible to say whether the roof had holes in at the time or not. You might want to bear that in mind.

"Whilst neither acknowledges it, van Pelt and Keren et al. must have been aware that revs thought the holes were supposed to have been created after the roof was poured."

As far as I can remember, either in court or in the report, Van Pelt also assumed that the holes were created after the roof was poured. He didn't change his opinion on this until after the Keren et al report. He did of course also famously argue that the holes had been filled in, which looked very silly when within a year, this was shown not to be true.

"Over 88,000 pages of ZBL docs - majority not mentioned by van Pelt
Two photos of the roof of L1 - 50% omitted by van Pelt"

But included in Pressac 1989, which was pretty much part of the exhibits for the trial and part of the wider set of evidence that could be debated. Except it wasn't, until the trial, and really only fussed about dramatically a year after The Case for Auschwitz was published, when Mattogno put out articles on the 'holes'.

I'm really strongly coming around to the idea that this whole thing (pun not intended at the time of writing) is a retrospective whine from deniers, who spotted a hole (pun intended this time) in Keren et al's argument.

"It was submitted to the British High Court before it was published in H&GS. It's unlikely the latter would have imposed a image limit that forced the authors to drop that particular photo. And the British High Court doesn't have a limit on the no. of images they'll accept in expert reports submitted to them, AFAIK [implied sarcasm]."

Can you link to the THHP report attached to Van Pelt's appeal stage affidavit, i.e. the 2001 version? I can't actually find it on THHP's archive on phdn.org. You are right that the report for a court would be unlimited in length, but it doesn't look like we can see straight away what was and what wasn't in that report - the version on THHP is the journal article version from HGS 2004.

"Are you going to address van Pelt's *mistakes* about Olere's sketches anytime soon?"

You do realise you're asking this in the comments thread of a blog post series by Hans about Mattogno's Einsatzgruppen book's chapter on gas vans?

Sergey Romanov said...

> A. Made of metal [the upper part of the Kola columns only]
> B. Made of bricks and mortar, laid on asphalt?
> C. Made of concrete, poured on asphalt?
> D. Delete comment?

Made of some material later.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

>>> Can you link to the THHP report attached to Van Pelt's appeal stage affidavit, i.e. the 2001 version?

"Last modified: July 27, 2002"
https://phdn.org/archives/holocaust-history.org/irving-david/vanpelt/



>>> As far as I can remember, either in court or in the report, Van Pelt also assumed that the holes were created after the roof was poured.

In his testimony he insists they were created when the roof was poured.
Day 9: page 184-185
https://www.hdot.org/day09/#


In his report he doesn't mention their creation. Lacking the energy to check his 2nd report and book right now, but presumably he says something about them being created with forms when the roof was poured in at least the latter; Keren et al. say so, of course


>>> There's a pretty strong consensus among non-deniers that the photo under discussion, showing the exposed morgue cellar roof with no chimneys, unlike the 'little train' photo which does show chimneys, was shot at an angle which makes it impossible to say whether the roof had holes in at the time or not. You might want to bear that in mind


Well, I don't see why anyone should give any weight to the opinions of men who clearly have wives that have to ask their fathers to pop over when a shelf needs putting up.

Hans and Keren et al. display an obvious unfamiliarity with construction matters, i.a. can't tell difference between formed concrete and a brick-edge, and that uplifts are imperative to waterproof asphalt roofing.

Whether the chimneys were just the columns or b/c/w constructions enclosing them, the builders would have installed a curb around the holes for uplifting the asphalt roofing.

As I showed earlier, they would be visible in the photo, if they existed.

Nicholas Terry said...

BROI ">>> Can you link to the THHP report attached to Van Pelt's appeal stage affidavit, i.e. the 2001 version?

"Last modified: July 27, 2002"
https://phdn.org/archives/holocaust-history.org/irving-david/vanpelt/"

Yeah, no. Section H refers to Keren-Mazal-McCarthy's report which was supposed to be attached, but the attachment isn't present on this table of contents, or linked further elsewhere that I've seen *so far*.

The original 2001 report/attachment may well have been on the old THHP site, but maybe its submission and publication in Holocaust and Genocide Studies prevented the straight reproduction of the original report for overlapping copyright reasons, until THHP got permission to reproduce the HGS article wholesale.

Adam Harris said...

For the avoidance of doubt the case of David Irving v Penguin Books and another was raised in the ENGLISH High Court (at the date of writing this there is no such institution as the British High Court). The initial action and subsequent appeal were under the jurisdiction of the English legal system.
Scotland has its own legal system.There is no British legal system.
I'm afraid this sort of carelessness just serves to irritate us Scots (whether pro independence or not).

Sergey Romanov said...

> As I showed earlier

You haven't actually shown anything.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Hans >>> "He likely saw the early gas chamber photograph at some point, but obviously it dropped through his filter, so to say."

The photo was featured in the BBC's 1994 "60 minute documentary made by Isabelle Rosin and Mike Rossiter about my research on Auschwitz ... Awarded the award of 'Best Documentary' at the European Television Festival, 1995, Lyons, France; nominated for an Emmy Award for 'Best Historical Programing', New York, 1996." From 27:30.

He published the photo in his and Dworks' multi-award winning 1996 book Auschwitz 1270 to the Present.

24.02.98 - Asked to write a report during a meeting at Penguin's solicitors' London office
09.06.98 - Penguin's solicitors asked him in writing to write a report
21.08.98 - Signed a contact to write a report
02.06.99 - Report completed

"Dropped through his filter", so you say!

There's no explicit mention of when the holes were created in either, but the book implies they must have been knocked thru, at least in K2. The documentary uses the photo when the narrator is saying pretty much what the D&vP wrote on the linked page.

The little train photo doesn't feature in either, btw.

Sergey Romanov said...

Since the photo is largely irrelevant, your obsession with it is weird.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

"[Note: The physical structure of Leichenkeller 1 is quite visible in the picture. It appears to be underground except for a small part of the walls and the flat roof. Although, as Pressac mentions, there are no apertures in the roof at this time, this picture, along with those on page 261, help tighten the evidence. -- HWM]"
- Harry W. Mazal, on or shortly before, 20 Feb 1999

Harry Mazal said there were no holes in the roof when the photo was taken.

Little over two years later, he co-authored a report [for use at a legal proceeding] that claimed the holes "were installed in the roof of the building during the course of construction" [quoting Paul Zucchi], whilst suppressing the photo he had admitted to proving such an assertion to be false!

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

>>> "A better question is whether Holocaust deniers had as of the time of writing of van Pelt's report or the Keren et al article foregrounded the photo in their arguments."

Keren et al. published in the spring of 2004. In this version it's stated that Harry Mazal [accompanied by various others] made three trips to Auschwitz during his research for the paper: June 1998, June-July 2000, and October 2000.

"Provan distributed this spiral-bound, photocopied brochure for the first time in June 2000 during the 13th IHR conference in Irvine, California, and has posted it subsequently on the Internet..." - Mattogno

Provan's "No Holes? No Holocaust?" has been on the web since at least 2 March 2001. He wrote of the photo:

"The roof is covered with snow, and no vents for Zyklon B are visible. Since the picture is dated from January 20 - 22, 1943, we can deduce that any holes for Zyklon B insertion must have been put in after that date."

And argues the holes were knocked thru.

Whilst it was too late for the court-submitted draft, it's hard to imagine his article escaped the attention Keren at al. for the 3yrs it was online prior to their article being published.

The Black Rabbit of Inlé said...

Pressac published the photo in Les crématoires d'Auschwitz [1993] accompanied by a caption stating that L1 wasn't then equipped with "openings" for introducing Zyklon B.

"Document 27 (page précédente en bas) : Photo de la façade sud du crématoire II à Birkenau avec la cheminée collective des ventilations en construction. Au premier plan, sa cave à cadavres 1 (future chambre à gaz) semi-enterrée non encore équipée des ouvertures de versement du Zykion-B. Les fours sont chauffés comme le montre la partie centrale du toit sans neige (APMO. nég. n° 20 995/506)." [p.73]

1994 German translation:

"Dokument 27: Foto der Südansicht von Krematorium II in Birkenau mit dem Sammelkamin der Lüftungen im Bau. Im Vordergrund, halb unter der Erde, der Leichenkeller 1 (die spätere Gaskammer), der noch nicht mit den Öffnungen für das Einstreuen von Zyklon B ausgestattet ist. Die Öfen sind in Betrieb, wie am Mittelteil des Daches, auf dem kein Schnee liegt, zu erkennen ist." [p.100]

Sergey Romanov said...

> whilst suppressing the photo he had admitted to proving such an assertion to be false!

Since the photo proves no such thing, is irrelevant to the existence of the holes and can be rightly ignored, what are you babbling about?