Cremating bodies on rails

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friedrichjansson
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Cremating bodies on rails

Postby friedrichjansson » 7 years 1 month ago (Sat May 25, 2013 2:42 pm)

At Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor, according to the official story, as many as 3,000 bodies were piled on rails and cremated. Would rails have had the strength to withstand this?

Nope.

Civil war reenactors bend rails:


Rail bending in the movies:


An experiment with an I-beam with Young's modulus similar to that of rails (relevant part starts at 2:15):

Note that the temperatures given in this video are air temperatures, not steel temperatures.

More info:
https://holocausthistorychannel.wordpre ... the-rails/

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Re: Cremating bodies on rails

Postby Kingfisher » 7 years 1 month ago (Mon May 27, 2013 5:12 am)

Is there not evidence, including photos, that bodies were burned on pyres using railway lines at Dresden?

Rather than get tied up in detail like this, with the danger of being proved wrong, the stronger line is to show that the Treblinka story is entirely impossible because no one can show where the fuel came from and/or was stored, or what happened to the ashes, and that the sky would have been filled with smoke for months on end, which no one has photographed from the ground or the air, or left any documentary evidence of seeing.

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Re: Cremating bodies on rails

Postby borjastick » 7 years 1 month ago (Mon May 27, 2013 5:28 am)

Good point, well made Kingfisher. Not only is the wood/fuel missing but there are photos taken, I believe, shortly after the war of the camp and environs showing little or no deforestation. Thus the thousands of tons of wood needed to burn 800,000+ bodies as claimed, would have been shipped, in and there is no record of that whatsoever.

Nevertheless I am inclined to believe the Treblinka stories because I am a gullible person who believes whatsoever I am told by my superiors.
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Re: Cremating bodies on rails

Postby friedrichjansson » 7 years 1 month ago (Mon May 27, 2013 12:13 pm)

Kingfisher wrote:Is there not evidence, including photos, that bodies were burned on pyres using railway lines at Dresden?

Rather than get tied up in detail like this, with the danger of being proved wrong, the stronger line is to show that the Treblinka story is entirely impossible because no one can show where the fuel came from and/or was stored, or what happened to the ashes, and that the sky would have been filled with smoke for months on end, which no one has photographed from the ground or the air, or left any documentary evidence of seeing.


Nonsense. The strength of steel at high temperatures is well understood. If you think I am in danger of being proven wrong, then find the errors in my analysis of the strength of rails at high temperatures. Different arguments are not mutually exclusive. It's foolish to say "this argument should not be made because a different one exists." Multiple arguments are not contradictory but complementary. I suggest you actually read the details of the analysis rather than rejecting it out of hand.

Concerning the Dresden pyres, (a) the photos show I-beams, not rails, (b) the total length of the facility was apparently 20 feet, while the most common description of Treblinka has three spans of 10 meters each, and the Sobibor cremation facility is described as having a single span, (c) if you look at the pictures carefully, (e.g this one) you'll notice that the beams in the Dresden pyres are regularly supported by beams running orthogonal to the main beams. The length of each span is perhaps 1 meter. (d) the amount of fuel under the beams is minimal; apparently additional fuel was placed between layers of bodies. The degree of destruction which was attained is uncertain, as are the temperatures, but it's clear that the beams would have underwent nowhere near the degree of heating that the rails on the alleged Reinhardt pyres would have.

Even if one assumes equal steel temperatures, the span length issue is decisive. Recall that assuming equal load per meter, deflection varies with the 4th power of the length of the span; thus the difference in deflections between a 1 meter span and a 10 meter span (with the same beams and equal load per meter) is a factor of 10,000 (under elastic conditions, at least).

In any event, physical laws continue to apply no matter what you think happened in Dresden.

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Re: Cremating bodies on rails

Postby Kingfisher » 7 years 1 month ago (Mon May 27, 2013 2:47 pm)

Friedrich

I simply asked a question about Dresden, which you have answered. You appear to know your subject and it has helped me better understand the issue, for which I thank you.

However, as soon as you get involved in technical detail it becomes easy for the opposition to muddy the waters with counter-claims which the ordinary people we want to convince do not understand, so they cannot judge between them and retain their current position. The arguments I raised do not depend on technical issues and are easily understood without specialist knowledge. I think they are therefore more likely to be successful with the general public. But studies such as yours are valuable to those like most of us here who have already dug a little deeper, and in debate at the academic level, assuming of course that such debate is ever allowed.

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Re: Cremating bodies on rails

Postby Haldan » 7 years 1 month ago (Mon May 27, 2013 4:39 pm)

Also, and do correct me if I'm wrong here, but with regard to Dresden, shouldn't one also take into account that the bodies were more or less already "roasted"? Would that not also be something to consider when comparing the alleged 'mass burning' of Jews on pyres at Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor?

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Re: Cremating bodies on rails

Postby hermod » 7 years 1 month ago (Mon May 27, 2013 5:37 pm)

Pyres made of wood an rails were found at Ohrdruf camp.

Image

Image

As it can be seen, the rails were lightly twisted because of high temperatures, but not enough to be inoperable.

It can also be seen that it seemed to be a pretty unefficient cremation method. Many corpses only partly cremated.
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Re: Cremating bodies on rails

Postby friedrichjansson » 7 years 1 month ago (Tue May 28, 2013 9:17 am)

Kingfisher wrote:Friedrich

I simply asked a question about Dresden, which you have answered. You appear to know your subject and it has helped me better understand the issue, for which I thank you.

However, as soon as you get involved in technical detail it becomes easy for the opposition to muddy the waters with counter-claims which the ordinary people we want to convince do not understand, so they cannot judge between them and retain their current position. The arguments I raised do not depend on technical issues and are easily understood without specialist knowledge. I think they are therefore more likely to be successful with the general public. But studies such as yours are valuable to those like most of us here who have already dug a little deeper, and in debate at the academic level, assuming of course that such debate is ever allowed.


I would say that both arguments can be made at both levels. The fuel issue is really powerful, yes, but it too depends on a technical issue, namely the fuel requirements for mass cremation. If they are very small, then the fuel argument wouldn't mean much. Fortunately it's easy to show with experiments that lots of fuel really is required, and that the stories told by Treblika witnesses about cremation are impossible. Similarly, it's easy to show with experiments that the cremation facilities as typically described by the witnesses would not have had the strength to hold up the thousands of bodies that they supposedly did while a cremation was going on. The problem in both cases is that you will end up facing the argument that the witness accounts aren't entirely accurate, but the events they refer to really did happen - see, for instance, Muehlenkamp's attempt to develop a account of fuel requirements at the Reinhardt camps. Analogously, while (for instance) the 20 yard span described by Rajchman is plainly impossible, anti-revisionists will no doubt say that Rajchman made a mistake, and it was really 10 two-yard spans. When faced with that style of reply, one either has to retreat to an argument about technical details, or just ignore it and focus on continuing to highlight the difference between the witness account and reality.

So, in short, the key to communicating effectively with a broad audience is to shortcut the detailed technical discussion by showing people experiments.

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Re: Cremating bodies on rails

Postby tyger » 7 years 1 month ago (Tue May 28, 2013 10:16 am)

Thanks to shows such as CSI the general public is very familiar with the concept of forensic science solving crimes via tiny traces of evidence. In fact Hollywood has been so successful in creating a CSI myth many law enforcement and prosecuting professionals despair at the widespread-held belief that every crime must be soluble.

Forget how much fuel would have been needed or the length of the railroad tracks. Concentrate on the forensic traces which must have been left after the cremation of hundreds of thousands of bodies. This way you avoid the danger of outright denial but rather you ask for the forensic corroboration that must surely disprove the revisionist point of view.

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Re: Cremating bodies on rails

Postby friedrichjansson » 7 years 1 month ago (Tue May 28, 2013 7:18 pm)

tyger wrote:Thanks to shows such as CSI the general public is very familiar with the concept of forensic science solving crimes via tiny traces of evidence. In fact Hollywood has been so successful in creating a CSI myth many law enforcement and prosecuting professionals despair at the widespread-held belief that every crime must be soluble.

Forget how much fuel would have been needed or the length of the railroad tracks. Concentrate on the forensic traces which must have been left after the cremation of hundreds of thousands of bodies. This way you avoid the danger of outright denial but rather you ask for the forensic corroboration that must surely disprove the revisionist point of view.


That's the point of this discussion of cremation remains:
https://holocausthistorychannel.wordpre ... rdt-camps/

Just to continue on that note, here are a few passages from the book Forensic Cremation Recovery and Analysis

p. 60
It is clear from the literature that it is impossible to completely eliminate all evidence of a body through the act of burning it.


p. 37
The layman is clearly under the mistaken impression that a body can be easily reduced down to ashes and thus not be recovered from a fire scene. On occasion, forensic anthropologists are asked to recover and analyze human remains from a fire scene. This concept of completely eliminating a body by fire has crept into everything from religious doctrine that refers to decomposition (i.e., “...ashes to ashes and dust to dust.”) to popular culture as evidenced by countless movie scripts and books where fire is used by a perpetrator to destroy evidence. Yet, it is clearly understood by any of us in the field that this is not the case.


p. 20
One of the main motivating factors for perpetrators selecting fire as a means of disposing of a body is so that as much evidence of the crime will be destroyed as possible. To that end, the attempt to consume a body using fire is actually an attempt to render the body to such a state that it is “burned beyond recognition.” It is not atypical in such cases that the perpetrators tend to be surprised by the resiliency of the body and the amount of time, not to mention fuel, it takes to render that body down to bone. Much to the disappointment of the perpetrator, the body is now a plainly visible skeleton that is still fully recognizable as being human. Granted, there are cracks to the bone, and the skull has likely undergone some heat-induced structural alteration; however, the bones are still in their relative anatomical position. To remedy this situation, perpetrators tend to begin actively crushing the bones and commingling the remains so that they are no longer in any sort of anatomical order (Fairgrieve and Molto, 1994).

It is true that fire does have a profound effect on the recognition of an individual’s body. However, one thing in favor of fire is that, while it is a means of destroying soft tissues, it is also a means of preserving some tissues, such as bone, albeit in an altered physical state. It is at this point in the analysis of cremated remains in which all of the issues that have been dealt with in arriving at an estimation of age at death, the sex of the individual, any antemortem injuries, stature, and even indicators of genetic heritage, all come together to provide an “osteobiography” (a life history as recorded in bone) (Saul and Saul, 1989, 1999) of the person. This biographical sketch of the person represented by the cremains is the first step in our process to arrive at a positive identification.


p. 7
A general survey of the forensic anthropology literature for reports concerning cremains in criminal contexts tend to speak of cases where a perpetrator attempted to dispose of remains so that they are not discovered (e.g., Fairgrieve and Molto, 1994). Hence, a missing person stays missing indefinitely. Yet, as noted above, the fact that, as Bass (1984) put it, one cannot completely eliminate a body by fire, attempts are still made by perpetrators to do just that. In my casework experience, I have found that the amount of work needed to render a human body to an “unrecognizable” state is clearly not appreciated by the perpetrator. This is particularly true when this is undertaken in an outdoor context.


p. 21
It is hoped that investigators are now clearly aware that the ubiquitous phrase, “burned beyond recognition,” is a thing of the past. Fire scenes, clandestine or otherwise, may yield not only human remains that can be identified by a variety of means, but in themselves are valuable sources of information concerning the scene itself. The context of cremains is just as important as the cremains.


p. 9
The quality of the cremains in the burial environment is typically very good. As most archaeologists have encountered, the carbonization of bone, and even plant materials, can act to preserve these materials for hundreds of years (e.g., Baby, 1954; Merbs, 1967; Gejvall, 1969).


One does have do be careful to point out that this is a quantitative question. It's to be expected that there are cremation remains at the Reinhardt camps, just as there are cremation remains at, for instance, Dachau. It's the quantity of cremation remains that's in question.


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