Shermer & Grobman on smokeless chimneys

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Kobus
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Shermer & Grobman on smokeless chimneys

Postby Kobus » 1 decade 5 years ago (Sun Aug 08, 2004 7:51 pm)

Denying History”(2000) is a strange book. On the one hand, it is edited by an academic publishing house (University of California Press), and it is coauthored by a prominent skeptic (Michael Shermer). On the other hand, the book seems to be infested with illogical and impossible statements.

Here is one such oddity. The authors write:

In the two months of May and June 1944, one-third of the total number killed in the entire history of Auschwitz were exterminated” (p.151).

The theoretical capacity of the four crematoria at Birkenau is said to be 4,736 corpses per 24 hours (p.150). So according to the authors, these crematoria were able to process a maximum of 288,896 corpses during May and June 1944. This is less than one third of the total number supposed to be killed in the entire history of Auschwitz (1,1 million, according to the Auschwitz museum). Even when the crematoria were working around the clock during these two months, a very large number of corpses would thus have to be burned in open pits.

A great number of witnesses have declared that the chimneys of the crematoria produced smoke when operating, and this statement is fully accepted by Shermer and Grobman. Pictures of the chimneys, taken at random during May and June 1944, should therefore show smoke in most cases. We have indeed a certain number of photographs showing the chimneys of one or more crematoria. There are aerial photographs taken on May 31 and June 26, and there are also a number of photographs from the so-called ‘Auschwitz album’ (june 1944; one of these album photographs is reproduced in the book of Shermer and Grobman, at p.146). Together, there are at least 5 pics showing chimneys. Surprisingly, none of these pictures is showing fire or smoke.

Shermer and Grobman don’t mention the photographs of the Auschwitz album in this context, but concerning the aerial pics they write:

It was highly unlikely that an Allied plane would have flown over at the same time as smoke was coming out of the chimneys or from an open-pit burning. Indeed, it would be an extraordinary coincidence if we had such a photograph.” (p.151).

Let us check the implications of this statement. Suppose that there are five pictures of chimneys, all of them smokeless.

Say: x = rate of inactivity = (time of inactivity / total time)

x will be some number between 0 and 1.

For instance, let us accept as a null hypothesis that the rate of inactivity during May and June 1944 was .2
What is the chance that none of the five pictures, taken randomly during these two months, would show smoke? The answer is simple: (.2)exp5 = .00032 or about one chance in 3125 This is an extremely small value, and scientists would accept such a low figure as evidence justifying the rejection of the null hypothesis.

In scientific practice, a probability<.05 is often required for rejecting a null hypothesis.
In order to have at least a 5% chance of getting five randomly taken chimney pics without smoke, the rate of inactivity would have to be:

.05 = x (exp.5) => x = .05 (exp.1/5) = .55

This means that the rate of inactivity of the crematoria has to be 55% at least, in order to explain the smokeless pics.

But Shermer and Grobman even state, that it was “...highly unlikely that an Allied plane would have flown over at the same time as smoke was coming out of the chimneys or from an open-pit burning”.
In statistical terms, ‘highly unlikely’ can fairly be quantified as ‘a less than 5% chance’. It is then easy to calculate the rate of inactivity implied by this statement:

.95 (exp.1/5) = .99

So Shermer and Grobman seem to imply, that the crematoria were active during about 1% of the time in the months of May and June 1944. That is less than one day! One wonders why the Germans have built these crematoria in the first place, if they made so little use of them.

Shermer and Grobman refer to the “Auschwitz Chronicle” of Danuta Czech in order to check whether people were killed and cremated on May 31 and June 26 (days when aerial photographs of Auschwitz-Birkenau were made). According to that chronicle, no people were gassed on June 26. But the chronicle states that a large number of Jews entered the camp on May 31, some of them being registered, the others being gassed. Shermer and Grobman suppose that the gassing and cremation of these people could have occured, not on May 31, but later on. Thereby the smokeless pics on both dates are ‘explained’.

But if they allow for this possibility of delayed killing for May 31, they should also consider the possibility that people entering the camp in the days before May 31 and June 26, were killed and cremated on these two days when aerial photographs were taken. Shermer and Grobman do nothing of the sort. When they are no victims entering the camp at June 26, they consider that a good explanation for a lack of cremation activity (and of smoking chimneys) on that day. Only when victims are entering the camp on May 31, they suddenly consider the escape route of delayed killing. If they accept the possibility of delayed killing for May 31, they should also consider the possibility of delayed killing for victims entering the camp on May 29 and May 30, or June 24 and June 25, and so on. The authors did nothing of the sort, thereby showing their biased viewpoint.

kk
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Postby kk » 1 decade 5 years ago (Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:14 pm)

The real problem is false "scientific evaluation" for specific purposes,
covering hidden agendas or preconceptions.
I am not to accuse Dr Shermer on the first count, because he is an aknowledged skeptic,
but he also a jew and this is propably going to put him in the second category.

We have enough paradigms in the history of sciense of great minds
going "nutty" after delivering big chunks of truth to the scientific knowledge of humanity as we now know it:
Sir Isaac Newton spend much of his life trying to answer questions asked
by astrology, alchemie and theology.
The greatest mathematician of the last century died (or rather commited
suicide) half mad. He also tried to build a theorem that would logicaly
prove beyond doubt the existance of god.
I don't think Dr Shermer can be judged along these giants, :) however
his misconceptions are well up to.

The Holocau$t is an historical question, that should normaly require only
knowledge of the historical facts and simple reason. Statistical facts are
surely needed, as well as higher knowledge of chemistry at one crucial
point. But... why should we be drawn into such 'red herring "scientific" arguments'
just like the one mentioned above? I smell a rat.

Kudos to Kobus for debunking this fraud.

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Postby Temporary on hold » 1 decade 5 years ago (Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:22 pm)

Kobus: Your technical formulas need not be so complicated. All you have to do is compare the crematoria capacity and the claimed murder rate of the Hungarian Jews who allegedly arrived in large numbers prior to those photos. I forget the exact number - something like 800,000 Hungarian Jews claimed to have arrived and been gassed in a genocidal campaign at Birkenau during that period.

The point is, with the crematoria capacity claimed those Hungarian Jews would have required round-the-clock burning to get rid of the corpses. Both photos showed smokeless chimneys from this time.

If they burned the extra numbers in open pits those pits would have been photographed.

When confronted with this holocaust supporters claimed the allies used filters to remove the smoke for better analysis. Experts said no, if they had done that shadows of the smoke plumes would still have been visible on the ground next to the shadows of the chimneys on the sunny day.

They also claimed burning pyres were raised off the ground leaving no pits.

Hence you have the notorious Auschwitz crematoria smokestacks that belched fire and black smoke vs the cold and smokeless chimneys of the allied air photos...

kk
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Postby kk » 1 decade 5 years ago (Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:32 pm)

I disagree:

“It was highly unlikely that an Allied plane would have flown over at the same time as smoke was coming out of the chimneys or from an open-pit burning. Indeed, it would be an extraordinary coincidence if we had such a photograph.” (p.151).


This one surely deserved a direct answer on propabilities.

However, I also think we should concentrate on the obvious.

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Postby freethinker » 1 decade 5 years ago (Thu Aug 12, 2004 9:40 am)

Actually, all of this is not just about history and truth. It also concerns, by its very nature, Jewish myths and traditions. Why HOLOCAUST? Genocide would be a more secular term. Why burning or cremating? Simply because it is in keeping with ancient Jewish religious practices, not at all that Jewish, as they were practiced by numerous other ancient religions (now just "myths"). Was it in order to fulfill the prophecies in order to gain rule over the "heathen"? As recently as 2002, a Reb stated that we are entering the Jewish millennium. A sort of a IV Reich...


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