Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

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Hans
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Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

Postby Hans » 9 years 10 months ago (Wed Dec 30, 2009 5:22 am)

Josef Erber aka Houstek was working between 1940 and 1945 in the concentration camp Auschwitz first as guard then in the Political Department in the registry and then in the intake of transports. He was sentenced to prison in the mid 60s for joint killing in 70 cases.

In 1977 he was interviewed by John M. Steiner and Günter Bierbrauer. The following extract from the interview is about the Auschwitz death toll. Erber, who dealt with the transports and was definitely in the position to make an educated guess, estimates that 500 to 750.000 people were gassed in Auschwitz at a time when most people believed at least 2 Million were killed in Auschwitz and when his guess would have been regarded as downplaying and minimising. Compared to modern studies such as Piper's with including corrections for Hungarian Jews it is remarkable accurate though.

Erber: I estimate that the number of gassed people is between 500.000 to 750.000, but I cannot be certain because I don't have the files anymore.

Bierbrauer: You've said more wasn't possible. What does that mean? More as a Million or...

Erber: We shouldn't forget it was war. Firstly, the transport capacities were lacking and secondly the extermination itself, that didn't work either. I've read in this thing, 20.000 deads per day. Without doubt impossible.

Bierbrauer: Why was it impossible?

Erber: Because it couldn't be carried out. It couldn't have been done.

Steiner: You mean technically?

Erber: Yes. [he says "nee" which means no, but depending on his accentuation he could have meant "ne", which has the sense of yes, which is more likely in this context]

Steiner: So you say about 750.000.

Erber: Up to 750, but that's the absolute maximum.

Steiner: But you don't include people who were shot...

Erber: Wait...

Steiner: ...or died otherwise?

Erber: [incomprehensible]....with the executions at the black wall, these were death sentences mostly, at the black wall and so on and then with the injections and so on, how they spoke about, I calculate 280.000

Steiner: So in total how many people perished in Auschwitz?

Erber: In Auschwitz almost a Million, but this is an estimate.

[...]

Bierbrauer: But Mr. Erber doesn't it make a big difference if it were 1 Million according to you estimation or say 2 Million according to others?

Erber: It couldn't be, see I was there from 40 to 45 and so many were not sent there.

Steiner: And you should know it as you were there.

Erber: See, If I knew, I would give the exact number, I don't gain anything from it.

Steiner: And you don't have anything to loose.

Erber: It doesn't help me either.

Steiner: Sure.

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Hektor
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Re: Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

Postby Hektor » 5 years 10 months ago (Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:39 am)

Erber: I estimate that the number of gassed people is between 500.000 to 750.000, but I cannot be certain because I don't have the files anymore.


So he says there were files on people gassed? Interesting, could Hans or anyone point us to scans of those files, please?!

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Re: Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

Postby Mkk » 5 years 10 months ago (Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:24 pm)

He says that 1 million died in total in Auschwitz, but only gives 500,000-750,000 total gassed. That means that up to 1/2 of deaths were not gassings, but these non-gassing deaths are missing from the death books. :?
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Re: Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

Postby Hegwood » 5 years 10 months ago (Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:12 pm)

The whole revisionist argument is that the crude alleged "gas chamber" would not work as claimed nor could hundreds of thousands of bodies have been disposed of in the existing crematory. The lack of cyanide compounds in the "gas chamber" walls is another strong argument,

The alleged exterminations at Auschwitz were impossible. Mr. Erber's testimony does not change these facts.

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Re: Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

Postby Dolma » 5 years 10 months ago (Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:42 pm)

Hegwood

The alleged exterminations at Auschwitz were impossible. Mr. Erber's testimony does not change these facts.


Exactly, even though what he said cannot even be called "testimony."

His "estimate" of the number of people gassed is as authoratative as my estimate of the number of Yeti's currently roaming earth.

Also, since Hans refuses to defend the garbage that he posts here, his posts should be ignored. (I believe trash like this is simply posted here as a diversionary tactic to get people off the subject of the myriad jews that were sent to the east.)
Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

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Re: Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

Postby Hektor » 5 years 4 months ago (Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:27 am)

Mkk wrote:He says that 1 million died in total in Auschwitz, but only gives 500,000-750,000 total gassed. That means that up to 1/2 of deaths were not gassings, but these non-gassing deaths are missing from the death books. :?

Indeed. One wonders why they give those "estimates" anyway. Erber was one of the few Auschwitz SS-men that could be considered cooperative to the mass gassing claims at the Frankfurt Auschwitz show trial. Kaduc, Klehr, Boeck are others. Partially they were already charged or imprisoned before. I see their testimony was published, while Erbers wasn't. At least I don't find it.

Other SS-men like Robert Mulka who was adjutant to Hoess disputed to have had any knowledge of homicidal gassings at the time. Especially in this case this would be impossible, would there have been an extermination program by gassings at the time. So we got testimony against testimony - in dubio pro reo, so we have to dismiss the accusation of such a program.

Add to that that the testimony about gassings is implausible and that there is no physical evidence corroborating the claims and all a rational person can do is to assume that it didn't happen, but a propaganda myth that got some life of it's own feeding on gullible Germans.

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Re: Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

Postby borjastick » 5 years 4 months ago (Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:47 am)

...and all a rational person can do is to assume that it didn't happen, but a propaganda myth that got some life of it's own feeding on gullible Germans.
- Hektor

I would agree with you but I am sure we have all seen many rational people when presented with the obvious and rational conclusion somehow lose their rational thought.

Last week we had some dear old friends come to stay for a few days. He is 65 and a very successful business man, a multi-millionaire. He has visited auschwitz and was quite happy to discuss my thoughts on the gassings and death toll there. He is a calm individual but even though he was presented with a reasonable and fair, detailed analysis he just couldn't bring himself to accept that there were no gassings and mass murder there.

People of a very balanced and solid mental and rational type sometimes find it difficult to accept that the holocaust as they have been brainwashed to believe simply didn't happen.
'Of the four million Jews under Nazi control in WW2, six million died and alas only five million survived.'

'We don't need evidence, we have survivors' - israeli politician

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Re: Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

Postby Hektor » 5 years 4 months ago (Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:08 am)

Borjastick, an otherwise rational individual can be irrational at times. I have listened to the other "cooperative witnesses" (Kaduc, Boeck), they come over as very emotional, simple minded susceptible people.

I wonder what were the arguments of your otherwise rational friend.

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Re: Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

Postby borjastick » 5 years 4 months ago (Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:09 pm)

Hektor, I guess his arguments could be best summarised into three groups.

A) That I was suggesting it was a 'nice' place to be sent to and I was ignoring the evidence that was clearly shown there. That they were all treated terribly and fed on starvation rations etc. I never suggested it was nice, or right, or acceptable.

B) That the gas chambers he was shown were indeed capable of mass gassing.

C) Where did they all go if they weren't killed or died of other reasons?

He did accept that if there are no mass graves, and no huge piles of ashes it is difficult to believe the ovens could have cremated all the 1m++ people as claimed.
'Of the four million Jews under Nazi control in WW2, six million died and alas only five million survived.'

'We don't need evidence, we have survivors' - israeli politician

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Re: Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

Postby Hektor » 5 years 4 months ago (Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:37 pm)

Borjastick, isn't that the common responses of laypeople? But then they should familiarize themselves with relevant background information:
A) His argument is a false dilemma fallacy. That the evidence shown there is often phony or suggestive and designed to get people into an emotional mode. That the treatment by SS-men followed certain rules and they were not allowed to practice cruelty to prisoners there, which doesn't mean that everybody abode to this and that usually Kapo's were responsible for brutal behavior there as is also stated by many of the (more credible) witnesses. Furthermore people were treated harsh, but hardly on starvation rations. Additionally there were medical and recreational facilities for the prisoners. And as for the legitimacy of detention of those people, for some that was certainly right, for the cases that are more dubious he should familiarize himself with the reasons and historical backgrounds for them. Not to forget that he should note that people of Japanese, German or Italian descent were interned (and maltreated) in Allied countries as well (That's for context, not for justification).
B) How does he know that, did he familiarize himself with the technology required and whether what is shown complies with it? And then the forensic traces, what about them?
C) Now that's and argument from incredulity fallacy. Where did all the Jews after WW2 come from (in Israel, US, Australia, South Africa etc. )? Does he know that people were transferred from the camps to other camps and places? But the separation and "vanishing" of people would have been conducive for "gassing" rumors. So would people dying, storage of corpses, presence and usage of gas etc. Just imagine you'd went to the morgue and see some corpses there, with one of the SS-men sitting there, gas mask on his table, Zyklon B can on the cupboard. Wouldn't that be ideal for sparking rumors? Especiall when announcement are made that Block 8 will undergo special treatment by being gassed?

Since he at least reconsiders some things like the issue with cremation & remains, you may however have started a thought process with him. And remember, it's a process people don't change their mind over night, especially on a topic they are conditioned to believe certain things about.
Last edited by Hektor on Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

Postby Zulu » 5 years 4 months ago (Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:47 pm)

Hans wrote:Josef Erber aka Houstek was working between 1940 and 1945 in the concentration camp Auschwitz first as guard then in the Political Department in the registry and then in the intake of transports. He was sentenced to prison in the mid 60s for joint killing in 70 cases.

In 1977 he was interviewed by John M. Steiner and Günter Bierbrauer. The following extract from the interview is about the Auschwitz death toll. Erber, who dealt with the transports and was definitely in the position to make an educated guess, estimates that 500 to 750.000 people were gassed in Auschwitz at a time when most people believed at least 2 Million were killed in Auschwitz and when his guess would have been regarded as downplaying and minimising. Compared to modern studies such as Piper's with including corrections for Hungarian Jews it is remarkable accurate though.

Without being cross-examined under oath, men like him could hardly be considered "eyewitnesses" in a legal sense.
Was he cross-examined during the Auschwitz trial?. Was he asked how "technically" were performed the alleged "massive gassings" he refered to? Have we here another Vrba who considers mere hearsay as "seen by his own eyes" and reports it under "poetical license" ?
He speaks about "files" he had in hands corresponding to exterminated people. That's new and interesting. It could be profitable to ask him if he would know where such precious documents could be as well as the documents certifying the purchase and delivery of the tens of thousands of tons of coke needed to cremate the number of "gassed people" numbered by himself.
Can we have his testimony at that Auschwitz trial?

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Re: Post-trial testimony of Josef Erber

Postby Hektor » 5 years 4 months ago (Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:41 pm)

Zulu wrote:....
Without being cross-examined under oath, men like him could hardly be considered "eyewitnesses" in a legal sense.
Was he cross-examined during the Auschwitz trial?. Was he asked how "technically" were performed the alleged "massive gassings" he refered to? Have we here another Vrba who considers mere hearsay as "seen by his own eyes" and reports it under "poetical license" ?
He speaks about "files" he had in hands corresponding to exterminated people. That's new and interesting. It could be profitable to ask him if he would know where such precious documents could be as well as the documents certifying the purchase and delivery of the tens of thousands of tons of coke needed to cremate the number of "gassed people" numbered by himself.
Can we have his testimony at that Auschwitz trial?

I listened to some of the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial tapes where the witnesses are questioned. That's usually done by the "president" there. After he is finished with the witnesses the prosecutor and the defense counsel are asking some questions, but that's it, hardly any details they go into. Only exception is the questioning of Mrs Bischoff, wife of Karl Bischoff who was head of the SS building office in Auschwitz. She was briefly questioned regarding her (non-existent) knowledge of homicidal gassings (she however heard the rumors), but the focus then falls on her denunciation of adjutant Robert Mulka at Pohl's office over something Mulka allegedly said about Joseph Goebbels. Bear in mind that most witnesses admit that they just knew about homicidal gassings from rumors and hearsay. It's however taken to be credible by the court, when some of the SS-men say it. Konrad Morgen is questioned, but why aren't his files from the time used?

Also, why didn't Hans tell us that Erber was imprisoned at the time, when he said those things?


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