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Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

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Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby friedrichjansson » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:01 pm

Robert Bartec [=Bob] has written an interesting article disputing Mattogno's identification of smoke from one of the crematorium chimneys in one of the Auschwitz aerial photos, and thereby calling into question the argument that the absence of visible smoke from krema chimneys is evidence of their inactivity.

I am currently uncertain who is correct on this point, but I want to offer some remarks that may set off useful discussion.

Bob offers four arguments against the claim that the aerial photo shows smoke coming from the chimney:

1. The direction of the apparent smoke as it leaves the chimney differs from the direction of the smoke from an open air fire elsewhere in the photo.
bartec-5-1.jpg
bartec-5-1.jpg (156.69 KiB) Viewed 1789 times


I think this argument is not very strong in itself. From experience, I can say that the direction smoke from wood stoves drifts can vary considerably between nearby homes; winds can swirl and change direction, etc. Here is an image of a steel mill with smoke from different chimneys travelling in different directions (click to enlarge).
Indiana1.jpeg


2. The apparent smoke from the chimney tapers off as one moves away from its source; Bob asserts that smoke rising from a chimney always produces a conical shape expanding with increasing distance from the source.
bartec-4-cone-1.gif
bartec-4-cone-1.gif (91.2 KiB) Viewed 1789 times


I agree that a profusely smoking chimney will often (in the presence of a steady wind) produce the pattern of smoke which Bob describes, but I am not sure that that applies in this circumstance. Again, in the case of smoke from wood stoves it is certainly possible that the smoke can attenuate to the point of invisibility within a fairly short distance from the chimney, producing the appearance of a cone which tapers down as seen in the disputed aerial photo. I don't know of any examples of aerial photos showing this pattern of smoke, but I have seen such an appearance from the ground. I have no idea whether it would happen in the case of the Auschwitz crematoria. I would suggest that neither the example of the open air fire nor the example of smoke from a steel mill is particularly predictive of the shape of smoke from Auschwitz crematorium chimneys.

Here are some other examples of chimney smoke for consideration:

smoke from a German wartime crematorium (atypical emission? Note also the difference between the design of civilian crematoria and the design of the crematoria in the camps.):
http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_ph.php?MediaId=3320
http://www.memorialmuseums.org/eng/stae ... te-Hadamar [a different version of the same image. click to enlarge.]

smoke from crematoria:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6856929 ... goes-wrong
http://www.3news.co.nz/Crematorium-smok ... fault.aspx (see the video)
http://www.123rf.com/photo_9682193_chim ... e-top.html
http://www.photos.com/royalty-free-imag ... /155252854

other pictures of smoke showing something like the pattern I was describing, and contradicting the idea that chimney smoke always forms an expanding cone:
http://www.123rf.com/photo_15429934_pip ... ssion.html
http://us.cdn3.123rf.com/168nwm/eyematr ... -smoke.jpg

3. The brightest part of the smoke appears only some distance from the chimney. However, the shift in tone roughly corresponds to the change in roof coloration due to shadow. There may also be a role played by photo artifacts (see next point).

4. There appear to be scratches on the image running in the same direction as the smoke; these scratches are the probable cause of the apparent smoke.
bartec-3-scratchanim-1b.gif
bartec-3-scratchanim-1b.gif (95.41 KiB) Viewed 1789 times


This I think is the strongest argument against identifying the apparent smoke as real smoke. There are certainly artifacts on the photo, and they make interpreting fine features difficult. I would like to see the best version of the image possible to try to evaluate the artifacts more carefully; the only version I have is this one:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... 306005.jpg

There are a few other things I has to say, but I think this post is long enough.
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby Bob » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:16 am

I think this argument is not very strong in itself. From experience, I can say that the direction smoke from wood stoves drifts can vary considerably between nearby homes; winds can swirl and change direction, etc. Here is an image of a steel mill with smoke from different chimneys travelling in different directions (click to enlarge).


Yes, that is why this point is only secondary/ supplementary.

I agree that a profusely smoking chimney will often (in the presence of a steady wind) produce the pattern of smoke which Bob describes, but I am not sure that that applies in this circumstance. Again, in the case of smoke from wood stoves it is certainly possible that the smoke can attenuate to the point of invisibility within a fairly short distance from the chimney, producing the appearance of a cone which tapers down as seen in the disputed aerial photo. I don't know of any examples of aerial photos showing this pattern of smoke, but I have seen such an appearance from the ground. I have no idea whether it would happen in the case of the Auschwitz crematoria. I would suggest that neither the example of the open air fire nor the example of smoke from a steel mill is particularly predictive of the shape of smoke from Auschwitz crematorium chimneys.


Not sure if I understood to your point correctly, but your photos shows the same effect, wider cone/smoke with the increased distance from the source, plainly speaking, I never saw smoke which narrows with the increased distance from the source. Particles expand, your examples show the same effect.

I must add that were are talking about alleged smoke which does not show typical cone shape/expanding particles even after some 30 meters from the position of the chimney, not only this, we actually see the reverse shape, i.e. alleged smoke cluster together and produces narrower shape even after some 30 meters from the chimney! I call this impossible.

3. The brightest part of the smoke appears only some distance from the chimney. However, the shift in tone roughly corresponds to the change in roof coloration due to shadow. There may also be a role played by photo artifacts (see next point).


Smoke is the most dense and visible at the source, only in the extreme case of some very rapid fire is smoke produced some distance from the source but only a short distance. In our case, we are talking about several meters and not rapid fire, this is not problem of tone or something like that since the alleged smoke far from the chimney is very bright, but not the actual chimney(source of the alleged smoke).

This I think is the strongest argument against identifying the apparent smoke as real smoke. There are certainly artifacts on the photo, and they make interpreting fine features difficult. I would like to see the best version of the image possible to try to evaluate the artifacts more carefully; the only version I have is this one:


Maybe this will help you to better see how much and how clearly is the photo crossed by these lines, there is also a second line several meters below the one in question which is too across the roof and partly crosses also Leichenkeller 1. That the alleged smoke has the same direction and shape like all the line artifacts is not a miraculous coincidence - the alleged smoke is the same type of artifact.

Image

Thank you for your points!

Robert Bartec [=Bob] has written an interesting article disputing Mattogno's identification of smoke from one of the crematorium chimneys in one of the Auschwitz aerial photos, and thereby calling into question the argument that the absence of visible smoke from krema chimneys is evidence of their inactivity.


This isn´t in question, check other photos for visible soot on the top of the chimneys or statement of Kurt Prüfer here. You also provided other photos which support this.

p.s. - Robert Bartec is a pseudonym.

(I edited comment and added a few points)
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby friedrichjansson » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:40 am

Not sure if I understood to your point correctly, but your photos shows the same effect, wider cone/smoke with the increased distance from the source, plainly speaking, I never saw smoke which narrows with the increased distance from the source. Particles expand, your examples show the same effect.


Clouds of particles expand, yes. Smoke diffuses, sure. But as smoke diffuses it can become invisible (or merely haze). This is particularly true if the amount of smoke is rather small; one can often see (in the example of domestic stoves and fireplaces, for instance) that smoke is visible at the source, but attenuates with growing distance from the source and disappears entirely some distance away. It's still there, but it's not visible.

The shape of the smoke will also depend heavily on air movement; it is not the case that it will always blow in a clearly defined direction. For example, it can build up around the chimney, and then appear to move off in a narrow column higher up, as air patterns shift; it can even do this and then appear to coalesce in a second cloud further off, giving a sort of dumbbell appearance.

In short: the dynamics of apparent smoke shape depend on a lot of factors and can't totally be predicted. This unpredictability goes away (mostly) when the amount of smoke becomes very large, and when the distance from the ground becomes high.

Smoke is the most dense and visible at the source, only in the extreme case of some very rapid fire is smoke produced some distance from the source but only a short distance. In our case, we are talking about several meters and not rapid fire, this is not problem of tone or something like that since the alleged smoke far from the chimney is very bright, but not the actual chimney(source of the alleged smoke).


But in this case should the densest smoke be brightest? It might well be the darkest.

I suggested that the bright spot in the apparent smoke might relate to the darker, shadowed portion of the roof over which it appears; however the edge of the bright patch does not quite extend to the roofline (where the edge of the shadow is), which weakens that idea. Here's another suggestion. There were two additional chimneys in that portion of the roof:

Screenshot7.png


Does anyone know the function of those chimneys? Might emissions from one or both of them be contributing to this effect?

Robert Bartec [=Bob] has written an interesting article disputing Mattogno's identification of smoke from one of the crematorium chimneys in one of the Auschwitz aerial photos, and thereby calling into question the argument that the absence of visible smoke from krema chimneys is evidence of their inactivity.


This isn´t in question, check other photos for visible soot on the top of the chimneys or statement of Kurt Prüfer here. You also provided other photos which support this.


I think there may be a misunderstanding. I was not saying it called into question the fact that the chimneys produced smoke; I said it called into question the idea that the smoke would be visible on the aerial photographs. (I tend to think it would, but only on the sharper ones; however if there is no example where the aerial photos show smoke from a chimney it becomes uncertain whether aerial photography was able to detect the amount of smoke which the kremas produced.)

Another point worth mentioning: the next image in the sequence does not appear to show the smoke, at least not clearly.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... 306006.jpg
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby borjastick » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:30 am

That there were chimneys in use in the crematoria is in no doubt. The doubt occurs when configuring the claims of the amount of bodies cremated and the 24/7 claim of usage of the ovens. This is then overlaid with the aerial pictures taken during the period by allied aircraft that strongly appeared to show a lack of the amount of smoke one would expect for the use claimed.

Then one needs to look at the coke deliveries records for the period of high use in I believe 42 into 43 and it certainly wasn't enough for the numbers claimed. Unless of course one subscribes to the theory of 2-3 bodies per oven which in turn requires 3kgs coke because they burn very hot and efficiently...

I think the smoke theory is interesting but would add a couple of other dimensions;

Firstly if the chimney aperture is wide the upper part of the chimney will be cooler and the smoke becomes more visible. Likewise if the air temperature above the chimney is cooler the smoke is whiter and more visible. I know this from my own experience where I live. I have a wood burning stove and a steel tube chimney liner all the way up. The heat is thus contained and you will rarely see smoke above my house. My neighbour though has an older house, taller chimney which has a larger diameter and is not lined. His chimney smokes all day long whereas mine only smokes first thing before it gets up to temperature. We both burn a mixture of oak and chestnut.

My point is that in the colder periods a tall chimney, like those on the cremas of 1940s build, will be unlined and wide, thus should show more smoke more often.

Conclusion; no smoke = little use. Lack of coke = little burning capacity.
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby Hannover » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:18 pm

While striving for exactitude is always admirable, and it is important that Revisionists not be shy in scrutinizing other Revisionists when warranted, we must keep in mind what the storyline alleges vs. known fact.

alleged:
Image
alleged:
Image
more:
'Testimonies on flames from Auschwitz crematorium chimneys'
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7538

Those depictions cannot be demonstrated to be truthful in any aerial photo. Whether there was an occasional little puff of smoke seems irrelevant and does not conform to the marketed religious storyline. In the grand scheme of things it becomes just another 'how many angels can dance on the head of a pin' argument. In summary, I side with Bob in that the claimed puff of smoke appears to be nonexistent, but on the whole is much ado about nothing.

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If it can't happen as alleged, then it didn't.
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby Bob » Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:30 pm

Clouds of particles expand, yes. Smoke diffuses, sure. But as smoke diffuses it can become invisible (or merely haze). This is particularly true if the amount of smoke is rather small; one can often see (in the example of domestic stoves and fireplaces, for instance) that smoke is visible at the source, but attenuates with growing distance from the source and disappears entirely some distance away. It's still there, but it's not visible.

Yes, this is clear, I agree, smoke becomes invisible with the increasing distance, but if this is your position, then the photo does not show smoke according to you since the smudge above the roof is very visible and not affected by this.

The shape of the smoke will also depend heavily on air movement; it is not the case that it will always blow in a clearly defined direction. For example, it can build up around the chimney, and then appear to move off in a narrow column higher up, as air patterns shift; it can even do this and then appear to coalesce in a second cloud further off, giving a sort of dumbbell appearance.

In short: the dynamics of apparent smoke shape depend on a lot of factors and can't totally be predicted. This unpredictability goes away (mostly) when the amount of smoke becomes very large, and when the distance from the ground becomes high.


Yes, I agree, smoke movement and shape also depends on the air movement/wind and etc., this is clear, but we are dealing with the distance of about 30 meters and the fact that this alleged smoke is straight and narrower with increasing distance, I call this behavior and shape of the smoke impossible. If you have some practical example, feel free to post it here, I never saw it. Also you can try it yourself to produce such smoke.

But in this case should the densest smoke be brightest? It might well be the darkest.


In the case of dark smoke, there would be dark smudges visible on the bright background, in the case of bright smoke - bright smudges would be visible on the dark background, so it actually does not matter if the smoke is dark or bright sicne there are still dark and bright areas around/on the chimney.

I suggested that the bright spot in the apparent smoke might relate to the darker, shadowed portion of the roof over which it appears; however the edge of the bright patch does not quite extend to the roofline (where the edge of the shadow is), which weakens that idea. Here's another suggestion. There were two additional chimneys in that portion of the roof:


Idea is weakened by the fact that this is an error on the photograph which is the best visible in the GIF comparison, another "smoke" is visible below this one and again over the roof and in the same direction, but there is no second chimney. There are lots of lines across the photo and all in the same direction and shape, the two across the Krema III.

Does anyone know the function of those chimneys? Might emissions from one or both of them be contributing to this effect?


Chimneys/openings for Leichenkeller 1 ventilation intake, Leichenkeller 2 outlet, Dissecting /Washroom/Laying-out room outlet, Leichenkeller 1 outlet, Oven room outlet. These chimneys are related only to ventilation.

I think there may be a misunderstanding. I was not saying it called into question the fact that the chimneys produced smoke; I said it called into question the idea that the smoke would be visible on the aerial photographs. (I tend to think it would, but only on the sharper ones; however if there is no example where the aerial photos show smoke from a chimney it becomes uncertain whether aerial photography was able to detect the amount of smoke which the kremas produced.)


Ok, I understand, but then what you call "apparent smoke" cannot be smoke according to you if you dispute smoke visibility on aerial photos.

Aerial photo is able to clearly detect chimney opening and chimney edge, the opening is dark, the edge is bright, this would have meant that smoke (bright or dark) is invisible also at the source, impossible I think. The amount of soot on the chimneys suggest that smoke was not "invisible" at all.

I think we have two topics here, you think that this error is a smoke and visibility of smoke on the aerial photos. I think we need to solve the first, so I must ask, this photo shows a smoke or not?
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby friedrichjansson » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:51 pm

Let me reiterate my position.

1. There are indeed artifacts on the photo which could be the cause of the apparent smoke. The fact that these artifacts tend to run in roughly parallel lines whose direction coincides with the direction of the apparent smoke gives strong support for this explanation.
2. The differing directions of smoke between the apparent chimney smoke and the smoke from the open fire shows nothing.
3. The shape of visible outline of chimney smoke can be quite unpredictable, particularly close to the ground and with small amounts of smoke; I am hesitant to declare that which appears in the image impossible. The low quality of the image and the image artifacts also raise questions on just what the outline of the smoke (if it is smoke) is.
4. As i stated at the beginning I am unsure, but were I forced to take a position I would say that the apparent smoke is indeed an image artifact.
5. If what appears on the image is indeed not smoke, then we must re-examine the claim that absence of visible smoke in aerial photos is evidence of crematorium inactivity.
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby Bob » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:39 pm

I addressed these points and I have nothing new to add.

Ok, this is not smoke.

5. If what appears on the image is indeed not smoke, then we must re-examine the claim that absence of visible smoke in aerial photos is evidence of crematorium inactivity.


I does not follow I think, I described and backed why smoke is visible when Krematorium is active and why aerial photo would be able to detect it and we'd be able to see it . I must say one interesting thing, that people had no problem with this, but when I firstly pointed out Mattogno´s mistake about this photo, people began to question that smoke can be visible or detected by aerial photo.
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby friedrichjansson » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:27 pm

It's natural to question whether the smoke would be visible on an aerial photo. Previously one believed that the aerial photos could detect the smoke because one had an example where it was visible. Giving up on that example means justifying the no smoke --> no cremation argument on non-empirical (or at least not directly empirical) grounds.

Emissions are sometimes analysed in terms of opacity [the percentage of light passing through the smoke that is blocked]. What would be the lowest opacity for which a smoke cloud would be visible on the sharpest aerial photos? On the fuzzier ones? Is there any way of estimating the opacity of the smoke from the Auschwitz crematoria?

Aerial photo is able to clearly detect chimney opening and chimney edge, the opening is dark, the edge is bright, this would have meant that smoke (bright or dark) is invisible also at the source, impossible I think.


How many of the Auschwitz aerial photographs show this degree of detail? Looking at one example, I see two bright edges, but the back edges on the lip of the chimney are only barely visible. Many of the photos are much fuzzier than this.

The question is not whether any aerial photo can see the smoke. Obviously a sufficiently good one could. The question is which of the actual Auschwitz aerial photos is good enough that it can confidently be expected to see the smoke that the kremas produced. I'm not sure of the answer, but as I said before my guess is that the sharper ones can and the others cannot - but I'd be hard pressed to offer any conclusive evidence for that guess.

The amount of soot on the chimneys suggest that smoke was not "invisible" at all.


Is there a rule for extrapolating from soot accumulation on a chimney to smoke visibility on aerial photos? I have no idea how to do so in any kind of precise way.

(Incidentally, the soot accumulation on the outside of the chimney indicates that the smoke often accumulated around the chimney - in particular not rising and forming an expanding cone.)

If anyone has some patience, looking around google earth for interesting examples of smoke from chimneys might provide some interesting information. Right now we have very little data on the visibility of different kinds of smoke on aerial photos. There are a lot of ww2 aerial photos from non-holocaust sites. Looking through some of those for smoke could also help.
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby Zulu » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:57 pm

friedrichjansson wrote:
The amount of soot on the chimneys suggest that smoke was not "invisible" at all.


Is there a rule for extrapolating from soot accumulation on a chimney to smoke visibility on aerial photos? I have no idea how to do so in any kind of precise way.

(Incidentally, the soot accumulation on the outside of the chimney indicates that the smoke often accumulated around the chimney - in particular not rising and forming an expanding cone.)

The presence of soot on the chimney was also an interrogation for me. However I have an hypothesis which could explains such apparition.
The ovens of Topf had an optimum range of cremation temperature comprised between 800º C and 1100 ºC.[1]
That means that it exists during the heating a phase between residual temperature of the ovens after a pause and 800 ºC that could generate some smoke until reaching the optimum range. I think that it is during these phases that the smoke can produce soot.

Regarding other sources for smoke, there is at least the coal fired incinerators of Krema II and III which could produce smoke of all sorts even in summer.[2] However I am not sure about where were their chimneys. Probably near the main chimney I suppose.
At Krema IV and V there were several coal fired stoves which probably produced smoke during the large period of cold weather in the region.[3]
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
1. Pressac ATO p 136, Document G2b, [PMO File BW 11/1, page 3] OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS FOR COKE-FIRED TOPF DOUBLE-MUFFLE INCINERATION FURNACE
Once the cremation chamber (muffle) has been brought to a good red heat (approximately 800°C), the corpses can be introduced one after the other in the cremation chambers.
[...]
After each incineration, the temperature rises in the furnace. For this reason, care must be taken that the internal temperature does not rise above 1100°C (white heat). http://www.holocaust-history.org/auschw ... 0136.shtml

2. Pressac ATO p 488
Facing the entrance gate to the crematorium grounds, in the center of the building, was a wing [27] in which rubbish was burnt in an incinerator [U]. It was called “Millverbrennung[sofen]” (waste incinerator). It was separate, reached by going down a stairway [28, still visible in the ruins]. It was surrounded by an iron platform and was coal fired.
http://www.holocaust-history.org/auschw ... 0488.shtml
Document 21, Ground floor plan of Krematorium II, [PMO neg. no. 20957]
Krema II Incinerator Pres-0491.jpg

http://www.holocaust-history.org/auschw ... s-0491.jpe

3. Pressac ATO p398
A striking feature of Drawing 2036(p) is that four of the rooms are not labelled: the two westernmost rooms and their corridor (with a total floor area of 240 m²) and the large room (245 m²) in the centet of the building. The stove for heating this room, present on Drawing 1678, has disappeared, but each of the two westernmost rooms has a stove, the hearths being fired from the corridor, outside the rooms (using coal from the store next to the doctor’s room).
http://www.holocaust-history.org/auschw ... 0398.shtml
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby Bob » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:58 pm

It's natural to question whether the smoke would be visible on an aerial photo. Previously one believed that the aerial photos could detect the smoke because one had an example where it was visible. Giving up on that example means justifying the no smoke --> no cremation argument on non-empirical (or at least not directly empirical) grounds.


In the case of smoking chimneys the aerial photographs would be able to detect it since we have high quality examples capable of this (+ ground photos), and a few low quality photos cannot change it or they cannot back up argument that photos were not able to detect it. We have these hq photos, we see the level of detail, thus I have no problem with this and I didn´t start to doubt it because of this one dropped photo allegedly showing smoke.

Emissions are sometimes analysed in terms of opacity [the percentage of light passing through the smoke that is blocked]. What would be the lowest opacity for which a smoke cloud would be visible on the sharpest aerial photos? On the fuzzier ones? Is there any way of estimating the opacity of the smoke from the Auschwitz crematoria?


I think that the answer is no unless some wants to build a replica of Auschwitz crematorium. Another way is a computer model of cremation in theAuschwitz crematorium.

How many of the Auschwitz aerial photographs show this degree of detail? Looking at one example, I see two bright edges, but the back edges on the lip of the chimney are only barely visible. Many of the photos are much fuzzier than this.

The question is not whether any aerial photo can see the smoke. Obviously a sufficiently good one could. The question is which of the actual Auschwitz aerial photos is good enough that it can confidently be expected to see the smoke that the kremas produced. I'm not sure of the answer, but as I said before my guess is that the sharper ones can and the others cannot - but I'd be hard pressed to offer any conclusive evidence for that guess.


Firstly, we cannot ignore ground photographs, there are at least seven from the period of their operation as far as I know, six of them with clearly visible crematorium/a chimneys[1], some of them taken in the short period of time if I am not mistaken, during the deportations in May 1944. None of these photographs shows smoke. Does it mean that you question also the detection of smoke from the ground?

The best aerial photos are these three.[2], none of them shows smoking chimney. August 20 is good too, but a little bit blurry and with the artifacts across the photo. May 31 1944 is worse, but still sufficient I think. December 1944 photo is worse and probably irrelevant I think as the crematoria were in the state of dismantling except for K-V. June 26, July 8, I never saw some good versions, only low resolution versions.

If I count correctly, we have some 9 high quality photos, (aerial + ground) covering period of Summer 1943, May, August, September 1944. We have only three low quality photos and one (August 20) which stands in the middle I guess. Nine photos against three, i think that this is not a problem of detection or quality - crematoria are not active.

Is there a rule for extrapolating from soot accumulation on a chimney to smoke visibility on aerial photos? I have no idea how to do so in any kind of precise way.

(Incidentally, the soot accumulation on the outside of the chimney indicates that the smoke often accumulated around the chimney - in particular not rising and forming an expanding cone.)


See note 1, we can assume that smoke was not at all thin or invisible since this soot deposit was made during a few months, such deposit cannot be caused by invisible or hardly detectable smoke I think.

Maybe we are not going to reach some bullet proof conclusion, but this is my opinion and backed up I think. But is good that we reached conclusion regarding the August 20, 1944 photo.

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Notes
[1]Jean-Claude Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, New York 1989, p. 341, online; The Auschwitz Album, Peter Hellman, Lili Meier, Beate Klarsfeld, 1981, p. 4 online, p. 14 online, p. 15 online, p. 19 online, online, p. 20 (only rough contours are visible), p. 21 online.; With the one exception (color/sepia photo), I toned down brightness.
[2]August 23 1944 online, August 25 1944 online, September 13 1944 online.
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby Bob » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:54 am

friedrichjansson wrote:Is there a rule for extrapolating from soot accumulation on a chimney to smoke visibility on aerial photos? I have no idea how to do so in any kind of precise way.

(Incidentally, the soot accumulation on the outside of the chimney indicates that the smoke often accumulated around the chimney - in particular not rising and forming an expanding cone.)


Regarding the accumulation, this is not correct, for example a photo of Krematorium IV taken in mid-April 1943[1], some three weeks after it was handed over to the camp administration and we can see that chimney is already heavily covered by black soot and especially on the south part of the chimney, thus smoke raised from the north to the south. This image also proves that smoke must have been really very visible and not at all thin or invisible when we know that this Krematorium was in operation only for a short period of time.
Image

Krematorium II and similar situation, but soot is accumulated mostly on the south side of the chimney and such a layer of soot is not visible on the other sides (see my previous comment, note 2)
Image

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Notes

[1]Jean-Claude Pressac, Auschwitz: Technique and Operation of the Gas Chambers, The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, New York, 1989, p. 418, online
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby friedrichjansson » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:34 pm

Bob wrote:Regarding the accumulation, this is not correct


What precisely is not correct? I did not assert that the smoke accumulated uniformly around the chimneys. I was making the following observations:

1. Smoke that rises does not leave a residue on the outside of a chimney. The residue comes only from smoke that does not rise.
2. Smoke that blows away does not leave a residue on the outside of a chimney. The residue comes only from smoke that accumulates around the chimney for a time.

for example a photo of Krematorium IV taken in mid-April 1943[1], some three weeks after it was handed over to the camp administration and we can see that chimney is already heavily covered by black soot and especially on the south part of the chimney, thus smoke raised from the north to the south. This image also proves that smoke must have been really very visible and not at all thin or invisible when we know that this Krematorium was in operation only for a short period of time.
Image


Yes, I know the image, and I agree that it suggests that the smoke was quite visible, but I would be hesitant with words like "proves." I would like to see the opinion of someone with professional expertise with soot accumulation on chimneys, either in an industrial setting, or as a chimney sweep. I would also protest against the unqualified (and rhetorical) use of the word "invisible" - the entire question is, visible TO WHAT? To the naked eye - from where? To aerial photos - of what quality? and so on.

Krematorium II and similar situation, but soot is accumulated mostly on the south side of the chimney and such a layer of soot is not visible on the other sides (see my previous comment, note 2)
Image


It is unclear the degree to which this is true. The soot appears to be much more prominent in that image because it is of higher quality. Compare the height of the soot accumulation to the width of the chimney - in both that image and in the images from the Auschwitz album, it appears to be slightly less than half the width of the chimney - somewhat more from the south than from the east, perhaps, but not too dramatically so. It appears larger in that image because most of the height of the chimney is occluded by the building, so the soot covers a higher percentage of the visible height of the chimney.

Pressac asserts that prevailing winds at Auschwitz were from north to south, precisely because of these images. Wind data does not seem to back that up - see http://www.windfinder.com/windstats/win ... towice.htm The behavior of the smoke from the open air fires on the aerial photos (including the one you analyzed) also does not seem to support the idea that smoke consistently rose in a southerly direction. But as I remarked previously, it is unclear that we should even expect a direct connection between the direction of the prevailing winds and the pattern of soot accumulation.

We shouldn't discount the possibility that the staining comes not from smoke, but from soot penetrating from the interior. While such stains certainly do form on chimneys, I doubt that this is the case here - but I would like to see a professional's opinion.
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby Bob » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:51 pm

friedrichjansson wrote:What precisely is not correct? I did not assert that the smoke accumulated uniformly around the chimneys. I was making the following observations:

1. Smoke that rises does not leave a residue on the outside of a chimney. The residue comes only from smoke that does not rise.
2. Smoke that blows away does not leave a residue on the outside of a chimney. The residue comes only from smoke that accumulates around the chimney for a time.


1. Generally, smoke raises, you can debate about how much and at which stage of his journey, but that´s probably all.

2. Amount of soot left by smoke decreases with increasing distance from the chimney. Longer distance = more soot will be dispersed into the atmosphere + surroundings and not accumulated on the top of the chimney, most of the soot is of course accumulated on the chimney when smoke leaves the chimney, at this stage soot have the best chance to be left on the chimney, smoke can easily touch the chimney on the one side like here and that is why there is more soot especially when the smoke moves in the same direction most of the time. Because of this, soot does not have sharp edges, but gradually cover the top of the chimney with more on top.

Can you explain to me phenomena which causes smoke to accumulate around the chimney for a time? Feel free to back it up with photos or videos, because now I see something like a smoke donut around the chimney.

Please, answer at least this question missed by you: "Does it mean that you question also the detection of smoke from the ground?"

The residue comes only from smoke that accumulates around the chimney for a time.


This is refuted by the photos which clearly show that west side of the chimneys of Krematorium IV is almost clean, and in the case of May 1944 and Krematoria II and III, east sides shows much less soot than the north side o Krematorium II in the summer of 1943, thus not around the chimney, but mainly on some sides.

friedrichjansson wrote:Yes, I know the image, and I agree that it suggests that the smoke was quite visible, but I would be hesitant with words like "proves." I would like to see the opinion of someone with professional expertise with soot accumulation on chimneys, either in an industrial setting, or as a chimney sweep. I would also protest against the unqualified (and rhetorical) use of the word "invisible" - the entire question is, visible TO WHAT? To the naked eye - from where? To aerial photos - of what quality? and so on.


If anyone disagree then feel free refute my points and photos. We are discussing visibility on the air photos so "invisible" is clearly related to the aerial photos and planes. Regarding the argument about quality, see above, I addressed it.

Regarding your protest, I can point out that you have introduced that smoke can become invisible.

Regarding expertise, since crematoria do not emit smoke for a long time as far as I know, since the Auschwitz crematoria were different than the civilian ones, I doubt you will be able to find some "Auschwitz crematoria soot expert."

friedrichjansson wrote:It is unclear the degree to which this is true. The soot appears to be much more prominent in that image because it is of higher quality. Compare the height of the soot accumulation to the width of the chimney - in both that image and in the images from the Auschwitz album, it appears to be slightly less than half the width of the chimney - somewhat more from the south than from the east, perhaps, but not too dramatically so. It appears larger in that image because most of the height of the chimney is occluded by the building, so the soot covers a higher percentage of the visible height of the chimney.


The Album photos are of lower quality, but such degree of soot is not present on the sides of the chimneys and this is visible. Regarding "occluded by the building" we can simply compare the height of the soot with the height of the chimney (some 15,46 m or 15 m as generally used) in pictures used for comparison. Photo from summer of 1943 have soot layer between 1,6-1,7 m. Photo from the page 15 of the Auschwitz Album - layer of soot of Krematorium II is some 60-70 cm, Krematorium III has layer of some 60-70cm as well. Thus as I said above, much more soot is accumulated on the north side.

friedrichjansson wrote:Pressac asserts that prevailing winds at Auschwitz were from north to south, precisely because of these images. Wind data does not seem to back that up - see http://www.windfinder.com/windstats/win ... towice.htm The behavior of the smoke from the open air fires on the aerial photos (including the one you analyzed) also does not seem to support the idea that smoke consistently rose in a southerly direction. But as I remarked previously, it is unclear that we should even expect a direct connection between the direction of the prevailing winds and the pattern of soot accumulation.


Is wrong to base a wind direction at Auschwitz on these photos since Auschwitz is large complex, but we are dealing with chimneys, and I actually do not care about wind at Auschwitz, I care about direction of smoke (and soot), and if wind played one of the major role, no problem, why not, sounds logical. Is also wrong from you to base your point on the photos with open air smoking areas since there are various directions to which the smoke moves, thus one cannot draw conclusions from a few photos of open-air smoke which shows different wind directions, but soot layer is a proof reflecting a long period of time no matter if we have one or two photos.

Other factor which supports that smoke moved mostly away from the camp in particular directions are locations chosen for the new crematoria so smoke do not move to the camp, but from the camp.

friedrichjansson wrote:We shouldn't discount the possibility that the staining comes not from smoke, but from soot penetrating from the interior. While such stains certainly do form on chimneys, I doubt that this is the case here - but I would like to see a professional's opinion.


As shown by photos, the west side of Krematorium IV is almost clean on both chimneys (some 16 m), but south side is very dirty, again - some 1,6 - 1,7 m, it looks like that smoke really behaved very similarly since the level of soot is practically the same like in the case of Krematorium II. Some soot have accumulated on the sides till summer of 1944 because of longer period of use of these crematoria, that is why there is visible layer of soot on the sides, but much smaller.

I am afraid that alleged penetrating ability of soot is fictional and the correct explanation is again simpler - smoke.

I suggest to use Occam´s razor, because you are using not plausible and complicated theories for things which can be explained by quite a simple and evidenced explanation.
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Re: Smoke from crematorium chimneys in aerial photos

Postby friedrichjansson » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:19 pm

For some reason, perhaps because of linguistic difficulties, you seem to have difficulty understanding what I have been saying. It is necessary to specify precisely what is being claimed.

Where does our disagreement lie? The main issue is the validity of the argument "this aerial photo shows no smoke from the crematorium chimney, therefore the krema was not in operation at the time the photo it was taken." My position has been that the argument is probably valid for the sharper aerial photos, but there are some uncertainties surrounding it that I would like to have cleared up; at present I am only comfortable asserting that it is probable. Note that I have NOT asserted that the smoke could not be detected or was "invisible" - attacking my statements as though I had is futile and inaccurate.

Bob wrote:
friedrichjansson wrote:What precisely is not correct? I did not assert that the smoke accumulated uniformly around the chimneys. I was making the following observations:

1. Smoke that rises does not leave a residue on the outside of a chimney. The residue comes only from smoke that does not rise.
2. Smoke that blows away does not leave a residue on the outside of a chimney. The residue comes only from smoke that accumulates around the chimney for a time.


1. Generally, smoke raises, you can debate about how much and at which stage of his journey, but that´s probably all.

2. Amount of soot left by smoke decreases with increasing distance from the chimney. Longer distance = more soot will be dispersed into the atmosphere + surroundings and not accumulated on the top of the chimney, most of the soot is of course accumulated when smoke leaves the chimney, at this stage soot have the best chance to be left on the chimney, smoke can easily touch the chimney on the one side likehere and that is why there is more soot especially when the smoke moves in the same direction most of the time. Because of this, soot does not have sharp edges, but gradually cover the top of the chimney with more on top.

Can you explain to me phenomena which causes smoke to accumulate around the chimney for a time? Feel free to back it up with photos or videos, because now I see something like a smoke donut around the chimney.


What we have here is a failure to communicate. I see nothing in this but complete misunderstanding of everything I said; I see no use in pursuing the matter further.

Please, answer at least this question missed by you: "Does it mean that you question also the detection of smoke from the ground?"


1. There is no necessary connection between the ability of a specific aerial photo to detect certain smoke and the ability of a specific ground photo to do so. The question is, strictly speaking, irrelevant.
2. The question is meaningless. "Question the detection of smoke from the ground" - under what conditions? On which photos?
3. Certain photos show a heavily washed out sky, against which even the chimneys of the crematoria appear quite faintly. On such photos, there does appear to be the possibility that the crematoria might be in operation without the photo being able to discern smoke. One could not say for certain whether this is possible without having a more precise picture of how much smoke the kremas produced, the degree to which smoke output varied, the opacity of the smoke, etc.

The residue comes only from smoke that accumulates around the chimney for a time.


This is refuted by the photos which clearly show that west side of the chimneys of Krematorium IV is almost clean, and in the case of May 1944 and Krematoria II and III, east sides shows much less soot than the north side o Krematorium II in the summer of 1943, thus not around the chimney, but mainly on some sides.


Again we have a total failure of communication. Let me repeat myself: I did not assert that the smoke accumulated uniformly around the chimneys.

friedrichjansson wrote:Yes, I know the image, and I agree that it suggests that the smoke was quite visible, but I would be hesitant with words like "proves." I would like to see the opinion of someone with professional expertise with soot accumulation on chimneys, either in an industrial setting, or as a chimney sweep. I would also protest against the unqualified (and rhetorical) use of the word "invisible" - the entire question is, visible TO WHAT? To the naked eye - from where? To aerial photos - of what quality? and so on.


If anyone disagree then feel free refute my points and photos. We are discussing visibility on the air photos so "invisible" is clearly related to the aerial photos and planes. Regarding the argument about quality, see above, I addressed it.


For which aerial photos do you believe that the argument, "this aerial photo does not show any smoke from this crematorium chimney, therefore this crematorium was not in operation at the time the photo was taken" is certainly correct, and why? That is what the "question concerning quality" asks.

Regarding your arguments, recall that I never claimed to have proven that the smoke emitted by the kremas was invisible to any aerial photos, much less all aerial photos. I asked questions and pointed to uncertainties. That is all. The arguments you have made are perfectly familiar to me, and I have repeatedly stated I believe their conclusion is probably accurate with respect to the sharper aerial photos, but they are not proof, and are susceptible to attack on various grounds, some of which I have indicated. None of this says that their conclusion is false, merely that there remain some uncertainties. That is all I have claimed. I do not see why there is so much difficulty on this simple point.

Regarding your protest, I can point out that you have introduced that smoke can become invisible.


This is utterly silly. My statement was made in a completely different context. Please, if you are really having such difficulty comprehending what I am saying, do not engage in such bickering, but ask for clarification.

Regarding expertise, since crematoria do not emit smoke for a long time as far as I know, since the Auschwitz crematoria were different than the civilian ones, I doubt you will be able to find some "Auschwitz crematoria soot expert."


Certainly not, but I never mentioned such a thing. What I had in mind was someone with experience with soot formation on chimneys in general, who might have some information on what might be inferred about smoke production from information on the speed and extent of soot formation.

friedrichjansson wrote:It is unclear the degree to which this is true. The soot appears to be much more prominent in that image because it is of higher quality. Compare the height of the soot accumulation to the width of the chimney - in both that image and in the images from the Auschwitz album, it appears to be slightly less than half the width of the chimney - somewhat more from the south than from the east, perhaps, but not too dramatically so. It appears larger in that image because most of the height of the chimney is occluded by the building, so the soot covers a higher percentage of the visible height of the chimney.


The Album photos are of lower quality, but such degree of soot is not present one the sides of the chimneys and this is visible. Regarding "occluded by the building" we can simply compare the height of the soot with the height of the chimney (some 15,46 m or 15 m as generally used) in pictures used for comparison. Photo from summer of 1943 have soot layer between 1,6-1,7 m. Photo from the page 15 of the Auschwitz Album - layer of soot of Krematorium II is some 60-70 cm, Krematorium III has layer of some 60-70cm as well. Thus as I said above, much more soot is accumulated on the north side.


When you say the north side, do you mean the south side? Recall that I was responding the statement that "such a layer of soot is not visible on the other sides" which suggested a qualitative difference rather than merely a modest difference in extent. Regarding measurements, I would give somewhat different figures, but I don't think this is very important. Let me repeat myself again: I did not assert that the smoke accumulated uniformly around the chimneys.

A further uncertainty: one cannot even be certain that the chimneys were never cleaned. The prospect seems unlikely, but over the course of a year, not impossible. If repairs were being done, a cleaning might have been done as well.

I here omit some remarks in which we again seem to be talking past one another to no purpose.

friedrichjansson wrote:We shouldn't discount the possibility that the staining comes not from smoke, but from soot penetrating from the interior. While such stains certainly do form on chimneys, I doubt that this is the case here - but I would like to see a professional's opinion.


[...]

I am afraid that alleged penetrating ability of soot is fictional and the correct explanation is again simpler - smoke.


I am afraid your knowledge of chimneys is rather less complete than you imagine. Soot does not penetrate a properly functioning chimney, but can penetrate poorly constructed chimneys or chimneys that have sustained damage. Under these circumstances, soot can indeed stain the outside of a chimney by penetrating from the interior, and this can (and often does) happen hear the top of the chimney. Such staining need not be uniform, and can form predominantly on one side. There is certainly plenty of evidence that the Auschwitz crematorium chimneys did sustain damage of various types - is it impossible that there might have been damage also near the top? As I said before, I think it is unlikely that this is the cause (or even one of the causes, which is another possibility) of the staining on the Auschwitz crematorium chimneys, but would like to hear what people with lots of professional experience with chimneys would have to say upon looking at the available images.


I suggest to use Occam´s razor, because you are using not plausible and complicated theories for things which can be explained by quite a simple and evidenced explanation.


I am afraid that you have misunderstand either what I have been saying or Occam's razor, if not both. Occam's razor is totally unsuited for answering the kinds of questions I have raised. It never provides certain proof. It is really quite absurd to invoke Occam's razor against the fact that I raise questions calling into doubt something I myself believe is probably true.
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