The ditches sloped down, so that, as they burned, the bodies discharged a flow of human fat down the ditch to a corner where a sort of basin had been formed to collect it. When it looked as if the fire might go out, the men had to take some of that liquid fat from the basin, and throw it onto the fire to revive the flames. I saw this only in ditches of Bunker 2.
I recommend a look at this work by Carlo Mattogno which makes mincemeat of this 'Shlomo Venezia', and as usual, Roberto Muehlenkamp.
Historical Considerations relating to Shlomo Venezia's "Unique Testimony"
By Carlo Mattogno
I've copied the conclusion & contents below, see link for full text.
It's just not that difficult.
The book Sonderkommando Auschwitz is presented as "The Truth about the Gas Chambers" and "A Unique Testimony". These reports are completely unfounded, even from the point of view of the historiography of the Holocaust.
The book supplies in fact no "truth" which was previously unknown and only repeats in a confused and vague manner some "truths" which were already known. It provides no major contribution, or even anything new, to our knowledge of Auschwitz, on the contrary, it systematically evades all historically relevant questions.
The chronology is practically non-existent. After the date of arrival at Auschwitz, on 11 April 1944, the next date to appear in the book is the beginning of October 1944, so that the story of almost five months of activity of the "Sonderkommando" of Crematorium III takes place in a sort of "time outside time". Venezia provides no historically useful information on this "Sonderkommando": how many prisoners it consisted of, how they were allocated to the various crematoria, what their specific tasks were, etc. Even with regard to the final revolt of the "Sonderkommando"he offers no important details, not even the date. He speaks of Crematorium III in an extremely vague manner: he never describes the exterior, almost nothing about the layout of the interior, no description of the garret (known as the Dachgeschoss), where he lived.
The process of extermination, in Venezia's book, also remains lost in a fog.
There is no description of "Bunker 2"; or of the supposed "cremation pits", of which Venezia does not even indicate the number.
As regards Crematorium III, the description of the undressing room is almost non-existent, that of the gas chamber, non-existent. Historical problems essential to confuting "negationism", such as those of the Zyklon B introduction devices, vanish in an embarrassing silence; from the book, one learns neither the dimensions of the gas chamber, nor how it was designed, or equipped or how the apertures of the induction and exhaust system were arranged, nor how one accessed the gas chamber from the undressing room. No description of the reinforced concrete lid on the Leichenkeller1 in the north courtyard of the crematorium, whether it was on ground level or above ground, no description of the "chimney", and possibly how many there were or how they were arranged.
The same fog wafts over the narration of the cremation: here as well, everything escapes us and remains indistinct. Venezia tells us nothing about the crematory ovens: their construction system, their functioning, their coke consumption, not even how many there were. On their cremation capacity, by contrast, he provides very precise, but technically absurd details which contradict each other.
In the context of the Holocaust, therefore, this testimony may be referred to as "unique" only for its inconsistency, its impalpability, its evanescence, its total and extraordinary lack of concreteness and precision.
The historians who cooperated with Venezia in this publishing project show all the shortcomings of an atavistic ineptitude. Their most obvious contribution, in the text, is limited to a mere terminological revision and to the introduction of the technical terminology which was formerly absent, but not without a few blunders, such as in the case of the " Leichenkeller" or the term "Stücke". The presentation of the explanatory notes is wretched and sloppy. But it is not only a question of ineptitude. In the essay "The Shoah, Auschwitz and the Sonderkommando", the Auschwitz "specialist" Marcello Pezzetti, in the bibliography, mentions the book by Gideon Greif "Wir weinten tränenlos... Augenzeugenberichte der jüdischen "Sonderkommandos" in Auschwitz" which I have cited several times. The idea of the iconography Sonderkommando Auschwitz is clearly taken from this work: it contains in fact all the images which appear there. Notwithstanding that, M. Pezzetti has not informed the reader of the very important fact that the work by G. Greif compiles the testimony of four supposed companions from the "Sonderkommando" of Venezia, among them the cousin Yakob Gabbai. This serious oversight becomes crucial in view of the incredible contradictions which such testimony presents in comparison to that of Venezia. We must therefore suspect rather an intentional and covert silence.
No less serious is the fact that M. Pezzetti and his colleagues have covered up all the contradictions—which I have noted above—between Venezia's narrative compared to the canons of Holocaust historiography, all the chronological and architectural inconsistencies.
From a revisionist point of view, the judgment of Venezia's book is even more adverse.
In 1998, Valentina Pisanty, in a work on so-called "negationists", allowed a few devastating analyses to escape her concerning these Holocaust testimonies:
"The writers often interweave their own direct observations with fragments of hearsay which was to be heard everywhere in the camp. The majority of the inexactitudes to be found in these texts are attributable to the confusion of the witnesses between what they have seen with their own eyes and what they have heard, during the period of their internment. With the passing of the years, then, to the memory of events they have experienced is added the reading of other works on the topic, with the result that the autobiographies in more recent times lose the immediacy of memory in favor of a more consistent and complete vision of the extermination process"\.
This is a perfect description of the witness Venezia. In his book there is a very obvious imprint of having "read other works on the topic", particularly—of fundamental importance—the album by David Olère, but also of the testimonies of Miklos Nyiszli and Filip Müller, to which it is necessary to add the meetings with other self-proclaimed ex-members of the "Sonderkommando" and historians. The photograph which appeared in 2002 in "Il Giornale", and later in "Gente" as well, is revealing: in fact, it shows Venezia holding D. Olère's album in his hands, open to the page showing the drawing reproduced on p. 92 of Sonderkommando Auschwitz. At this point, Venezia refers to Olère several times by name, and even claims to have met him:
"I didn't see any Frenchmen; otherwise I would have attempted to talk to them. David Olère, for example, I did not know that he had been deported from France; to me, he was a Pole who spoke Yiddish"\.
Venezia's narrative relating to the supposed extermination process is, in fact, essentially a disquisition on D. Olère's drawings, often mistakenly misinterpreted. The decision to publish many of these drawings in the volume, undoubtedly at the suggestion of his editors, is only apparently prudent, since it is intended to provide confirmation of Venezia's truthfulness; in reality, it was a blunder, because it makes it only too obvious that the narrative is simply based on the drawings. This is confirmed by the fact that the drawings show things which are obviously mistaken and which Venezia is incapable of correcting.
In his drawings, D. Olère, far from representing reality, has simply illustrated the propagandistic themes created by the Auschwitz resistance movement which circulated in the camp, including the most absurd legends, such as the flaming chimneys, which I discussed above, or that of the blue coloration of hydrocyanic acid!
In one of his color drawings, undated, depicting a gassing scene, a can of Zyklon B is in fact shown issuing blue vapors!.
This legend has been repeated, among others, by Venezia's cousin, Yakob Gabbai, who declared:
"When he [an SS man] introduced the gas from above, the gas diffused [with vapors] that were blue in color. The material itself was in the form of blue cubes which melted in contact with the air and issued gas, which caused immediate suffocation"\.
Like all other ignorant people, they believed that "Blausäure" (hydrocyanic acid, literally, in German, blue acid) was blue or released blue vapors, while it is very well known that it is a colorless liquid; the porous wick impregnated with hydrocyanic acid to produce Zyklon-B, on the other hand, was well known to have consisted of white granules of diatomaceous earth.
Venezia openly brags of his quality as the "eye" witness:
"Birkenau was a true hell, no one can understand or enter into the logic of the camp. That's why I want to tell what I can, entrusting myself only to my memories of what I am certain to have seen and nothing more"\.
But he cannot have seen unreal scenes, like fictitious picket fences, illusory Jewish transports, flaming chimneys, the imaginary recovery of human fat, non-existent rooms, fantastic cremations, etc.; nor can he have experienced implausible events, such as that of his "salvation".
In conclusion, getting back to the analysis of V. Pisanty, it may be said that Venezia’s testimony is the fruit of a confabulation in Venezia’s mind between that which he actually saw, that which he heard about during his internment, and that which later came to be added, in his memory, to events he actually experienced, after reading other works on the subject, with the result that “the immediacy of memory has disappeared, in favor of a more consistent and complete vision of the supposed extermination process”, which is transformed into a historical romance.
But precisely for this reason, the historians who present him as "The Truth about the Gas Chambers" and "A Unique Testimony" can have no excuse and no justification - not even their atavistic ineptitude.
"The Truth About the Gas Chambers"?
Historical Considerations relating to Shlomo Venezia's "Unique Testimony"
By Carlo Mattogno
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Last minute witness
The Title of the book
The reasons for the silence
The deportation to Auschwitz
BIIa quarantine camp
The first day in the "Sonderkommando"
The first working day at the "Bunker" according to Venezia's companions in misfortune
The "cremation pits" in the vicinity of "Bunker 2"
*** The recovery of human fat in the "cremation pits"
The gas chamber in Crematorium III
The transport of the bodies to the ovens of Crematorium III
Crematory ovens and cremation
The flaming chimneys
The revolt of the "Sonderkommando"