Over the last two months, Roberto Muehlenkamp has been posting installments claiming to refute the last two chapters of TECOAR written by Mattogno. Let's jump in.http://holocaustcontroversies.blogspot.com/2016/03/mattognos-cremation-encyclopedia.html
Mattogno reiterates his attack against Dr. Pfannenstiel’s accounts of early cremation attempts at Bełżec, adding two arguments to his previous ones. The first argument (p. 1297) is that "the key witness Reder never mentions cremations as having taken place at Bełżec during his stay in the camp (17 August to the end of November 1942)". Interestingly there is no qualification to the term "key witness", suggesting that Mattogno considers Reder to have indeed been a key witness to mass extermination at this camp. Otherwise the argument is without interest as witnesses tend to recall and recollect what impressed them and thus stuck in their memory, and what that is varies from person to person. So if early corpse cremation attempts were not mentioned by Reder, this may simply be because he didn’t take an interest in such attempts, unlike the hygienist Dr. Pfannenstiel and the policeman interviewed by Wehrmacht officer Wilhelm Cornides.
 H. Rothfels "Zur ‘Umsiedlung’ der Juden im Generalgouvernement", Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte, 1959, Heft 3, pp.333-6. Cornides himself noticed an acrid burning odor when passing the camp by train.
Here is what Muehlenkamp leaves out.
Reder in fact mentioned it only as rumors heard from the local population – after his escape from the camp – when
he returned there after the arrival of the Red Army: 2861
“Soon I went there. I spoke with the people living in the area. They told me that in 1943 there had been fewer and fewer transports and that the center for exterminating Jews had shifted to the Auschwitz gas chambers. In 1944 the pits were dug up, gasoline was poured over the corpses and they were burned”
(see point 4)
But Muehlenkamp chimes in.
Mattogno takes issue with my having considered the possibility that this cremation, which according to eyewitness testimonies started in November of 1942, extended beyond March 1943.
Since Reder was gone by 1942, it's no wonder he did not mention cremations if cremations were not taking place until November 1942.
One of the sources I had invoked in support of this possibility was Gerald Reitlinger’s The Final Solution, where it is mentioned that a witness noticed the stench of exhumed corpses as late as April 1943. In an endeavor to (quite pointlessly, as I had written nothing to the contrary) highlight the fact that said witness had not mentioned cremation, Mattogno provides a comprehensive quote of the witness’s account, which he had earlier presented as "horrifying propaganda stories" – including the following information, matching Cornides’ account, about what it was like to pass by the place that Mattogno claims was a mere transit camp:
Travelers on the railway line Zawada-Rawa Ruska close the windows, for this awful stench penetrates into the compartments and causes the people to vomit. I myself had to travel along this line on several occasions and have thus been able to convince myself of this state of affairs. As late as April 10, 1943, I passed through there one last time. The Christian population of Belzec has left this place for the only reason of this stench.
The other source, which Mattogno keeps silent about, is local inhabitant Eustachy Ukraiński, who stated that cremation at Bełżec lasted throughout the spring of 1943. Another local inhabitant, Jan Gląb, recalled after the war that the burning of the corpses had ended in April 1943.
Deposition before examining judge Godziszewski in Zamość on 11.10.1945, BAL B162/208 AR-Z 252/59, Bd. VI, f. 1117-20, referred to in critique, note 5 on p. 441.
Deposition of Jan Gląb on 16.10.1945, quoted in Robert Kuwałek, Das Vernichtungslager Bełżec, p. 235.
Mattogno's point in TECOAR was that a witness quoted in Retlinger to a stench in April does not prove cremations. However Muehlenkamp appears to have tracked down two testimonies that specifically mention cremation. But he does not bother to quote them directly to prove his point. So we are forced to wonder if he just found two more testimonies about stinky corpses and just PRETENDS they specifically mention cremation. Roberto continues:
Regarding the device used at Bełżec to crush the victims’ bones after cremation, Mattogno amusingly accuses me of having omitted "the fact that Reder is not an eyewitness to the use of this machine", after quoting at length the footnote on pp. 442f. of the critique, in which I mentioned a Hungarian Jew named Szpilke, or Szpilka, "who told Belzec survivor Rudolf Reder about having set up and operated this machine, as mentioned by Reder in his report about Belzec". It should be clear to everyone other than Mattogno that if Reder learned about the device from this Szpilke, or Szpilka, this means that Reder did not witness the device himself. Referring to earlier depositions of Reder’s that mention neither this acquaintance nor the information he provided to Reder, Mattogno argues that "the tale of the grinder of Bełżec is not only without any proof, but also evolved rather late". Yes, the "tale" presumably "evolved" after Reder met the man he referred to as "an acquaintance, the technician Scharf-Szpilka, who assembled the grinder for grinding the bones", but this means not that the "tale" is without any proof, but that the proof consists of or includes Reder’s second-hand testimony
Mattogno was right to do so. I guess now your 'clarification' is that you have to admit he is not a direct eyewitness, but that he spoke to someone who was allegedly involved with setting up this bone grinding machine.
Commenting on a photo I showed on p. 443 of the critique ("Heinrich Chamaides, David Manuschewitz and Moische Korn (f.l.t.r.) on the platform of the bone mill in the Janowska camp in Lwow"), Mattogno mentions that such machine "was found in Lwów and was the object of a Soviet technical report dated 29 September 1944", concedes the possibility that "this machine was also used to grind burned human bones", but then hastens to add that "there is no documentary evidence of it, and neither is there any documentary proof that this machine was ever transferred to Bełżec". That may be so, but it’s not Mattogno who gets to set the rules of evidence, and in historiography and criminal investigation proof may also be provided by oral testimony. As concerns a bone grinding machine from Janowska, Reder’s reference to Scharf-Szpilka may be the only evidence, but local inhabitant Edward Łuczyński mentioned an additional device, a grain mill that had been confiscated from local peasants.
Deposition of Edward Łuczyński, referred to in Kuwałek, Bełżec, p. 233. At Bełżec Father Patrick Desbois met the son of a man who "had seen the ash mills operating in the camp, old agricultural machines that were used to sort wheat from other grains. The Nazis used them to ventilate the ashes from the bodies, and to find dental gold." (Father Patrick Desbois, The Holocaust by Bullets, p. 24).
That famous bone machine nonsense was Soviet propaganda. It was exposed in a recent article from inconvenienthistory.http://inconvenienthistory.com/archive/ ... emberg.php
Pay special attention to the section Do the photographs reveal where the mill was used?
and read on from there.
Furthermore, who is the son of some man who saw ash mills operating in the camp? Anything, Roberto, or are you just throwing out references without any type of elucidation and exegesis to simply pad your essay? Moving on.
Mattogno’s attempt to present the choice of Sobibór as "idiotic" on account of the leachate problem that eventually materialized, which Mattogno harks back to here for the sake of cheap ad hominem ("Accordingly, one must believe that the SS, being completely unable to foresee a more than obvious danger of groundwater poisoning due to leachate, were as inept as Muehlenkamp."), has already been addressed
See the blog ""Alleged" Mass Graves and other Mattogno Fantasies (Part 5, Section 1)" ([link])
We go there and I find this.
Mattogno produces the following blatant falsehood as he explains what he considers to be "the essence" (p. 1266):
The important data is that groundwater was located at a depth of 3.60 m from the surface. What importance does it have that Kola continued to dig in a shaft until he reached a depth of 5.10 m? This means that he merely found (5.1 – 3.6 =) 1.5 m of groundwater. And then? The problem Muehlenkamp dodges is in fact this: How could Kola drill up to 5.80 meters without running into water in an area where the groundwater level was 3.6 meters?
I don’t know how one can remove 1.50 meters of water by shoveling (especially after having reached the water table), but Mattogno apparently believes that this is possible, or then expects his readers to accept this possibility. Worse than that, Mattogno is rather unintelligently returning to the original claim that he and his co-authors had had enough sense to abandon in their Sobibór book, namely that the groundwater level (i.e. the "underground surface below which the ground is wholly saturated with water") in the area of Prof. Kola’s excavation was 3.60 meters. Actually at that depth, according to Prof. Kola, only traces of ground water "started appearing". Only at a depth of 5 to 5.10 meters, according to Kola’s description, did the ground become wholly saturated with water (Kola wrote about a "sudden leak of ground waters"), making further digging impossible. So the groundwater level or water table in this area was 5 to 5.10 meters, not 3.60 meters.
Let's regain some clarity.
During the penetration of the camp (basing on information taken from the locals) another well, made of concrete rollers was located north-eastern from memorial. After it was partially uncovered, the upper side of its highest roller was found at the depth of around 2.20 m to the existing surface. It’s measuring 180 cm in its external diameter, with the roller height of 0.80m and wall thickness up to 18cm. It was completely filled with sand. In the drill done around it, water was found at the depth of 5m. Well with similar parameters is still used near the existing building, house of the former commander, in the area of former camp 1.http://holocaustcontroversies.yuku.com/ ... dzDJJdmp7F
This is from a section about "Grave no.4". So they are talking about Lager III in this quote.
Now we are finding water at 3.6 m, and even 5m. The last sentence talks about how a well like it with similar parameters exists in Lager I.
(Hectare XXV, acre 35. Dig 3/01)
In the depth of around 40-45 cm below the asphalt, where the cement well was located, there was started an archaeological dig, measuring horizontally 2.3 x 2.1 m. The dig was being excavated until the depth of 95 – 100 m, uncovering – at the depth of 50 m – the upper part of the first remaining cement CEMBROWINA of the well. It was noticed that while building the well, only the sand from its interior was taken out. Hence the following exploration was taken only in its interior not in the area of the dig. The depth of 5.00 – 5.10 m was reached. The exploration had to be stopped here because of the sudden leak of ground waters, of which traces started appearing at the depth of around 3, 60 m. They didn’t make it till the end of the well then. 7 cement spherical parts of well were revealed measuring 110 cm on the outside, 90 cm in the inside and with its height of 70 cm. In the construction of the well, the first, surface part was missing. The well was covered with sandy structures, probably at the times of memorial works in the 60s, and then covered with asphalt layer in the 80s. Until now, it is the only known well with water in the area of camp III.http://holocaustcontroversies.yuku.com/ ... dzDJJdmp7F
So they found traces of groundwater at 3.6m but stopped at 5 meters. So maybe the water started seeping in more severely at say 4.25 meters or even 4.5 meters. And maybe they kept going because despite water leaking in, it was not too obstructive. Only at 5 meters did it get so bad they had to stop. So when Roberto says, " I don’t know how one can remove 1.50 meters of water by shoveling (especially after having reached the water table), but Mattogno apparently believes that this is possible, or then expects his readers to accept this possibility," he is playing dumb. No one is arguing that one removes 1.5 meters of water. Not Mattogno. What Mattogno is saying is that groundwater was starting to leak in and was definitely present at 4 meters. And that would be enough water to be contaminated by the corpses. Which would not make sense from a logistical point of view of you are intelligent nazis skilled at assembly line killing who want to do away with Jews in the safest way for Germans.
To jump back a bit:
Regarding Sobibór, Mattogno (p. 1302) takes issue with my statement (p. 443) that Sobibór "was the first of the three camps of Aktion Reinhard to change its body disposal procedure from burial to cremation, the main reason being probably a concern that the camp’s water supply might be polluted by leachate from the graves due to the camp area’s relatively high groundwater level." This is supposed to be irreconcilable with an earlier statement whereby the SS "could hope that groundwater pollution by leachate from the corpses would not occur at the site of the graves because underground currents carried such leachate away". Mattogno’s reading problems obviously kept him from realizing that the earlier statement referred to the time when Sobibór was chosen as an extermination site, while the later one referred to developments after the camp had already been conducting killing operations for several months.
Even if Roberto can erase this contradiction, it doesn't matter given what I just wrote. The groundwater was close enough to the surface that it would have posed a problem. Secondly, the nazis knew it was in a swampy area and would pose a danger. From witness Leon Feldhendler:
The crematorium was fenced in. 50 Jews were working there [...]. In the first period there was not yet a crematorium. After the gassing the persons were put into the graves in layers, the graves were still open, chlorine was poured over the corpses. But the soil exuded gases, blood started to squirt, nasty odors spread over the whole camp, they permeated everything. During this entire time the water in Sobibór was putrid. The Germans ordered their well to be purified. In wintertime they let some naked inmates inside the well to clean it.
Looks like the water in the well in Lager III was ruined by the corpse burials after all. Oh but that's right. The nazis never intended to dis-inter the bodies until they figured they would lose the war and get caught. Sure, Roberto. I guess the nazis would just go to the well in Lager I to get all the water they needed. Surely that wouldn't be contaminated?
Remember many nazis lived in that camp and had their own quarters. They need food and water like anyone else to survive. What are they gonna do if they poison the wells? Ship water in by train? Plane?
Next, we see Roberto in his typical dishonest that Mattogno often accuses him of engaging in.
My next statement regarding Sobibór:
The corpses of the victims killed after the camp resumed operation in October 1942 following a two-month interruption were taken directly from the gas chambers to places of cremation, while the corpses of the victims killed and buried until the end of July/early August 1942 were disinterred with a mechanical excavator for this purpose.
also gets prominent attention from Mattogno, who refers to a statement by Jakób Biskubicz whereby the excavator (which extracted previously buried bodies from the mass graves for burial) arrived at Sobibór (only) in December 1942. As I said nothing about when the burning of the interred corpses (as opposed to that of newly killed arrivals, which started in October 1942) commenced, Mattogno’s objection is quite pointless, and his subsequent criticism ("Muehlenkamp does not explain why the camp SS did not take advantage of these two months of respite in order to start the cremations, which were supposedly begun only later in connection with the resumption of the deportations.") must be dismissed as a showpiece of Mattognian silliness as its author does not explain what relevance the missing explanation is supposed to have.
Clearly the Germans who were evil and smart enough to come up with assembly line killing and disposal methods would not have pissed away an opportunity to get ahead of schedule.
As for Muehlenkamp wondering why Mattogno thinks there is a contradiction between Shelvis and Feldhendler describing the pits, observe:
Leon Feldhendler: "The crematorium did not have a chimney. It consisted of a big pit, and above it some grids were put and above those rail tracks. The persons were thrown on the rail tracks and the bones fell to the grid. The fire was ignited in the pit, the corpses were doused with petroleum. The bones were crushed to ash with hammers.”
Schelvis wrote: A pit was excavated, but it was smaller and more shallow than the other two. Once it was finished, rails were criss-crossed over the top, forming a rudimentary grid. The grabber was then used to excavate the decomposing bodies from the two existing graves and to haul them over to the new pit.
Mattogno then claims that the Hagen Court’s verdict on Sobibór"refers to the installation of a single cremation structure", though the quote and translation he provides clearly mention several grates:
The already decomposed corpses were lifted out of the pits with the help of the excavator and burned on large grates in an already dug but as yet empty pit. The grates consisted of old railway rails which had been placed over concrete foundations.
I considered this description to have been confirmed by archaeological research, on grounds that graves nos. 1 and 2 had been described as body-burning graves by Prof. Kola in his report about his 2001 survey of the camp. In chapter 11 (p. 1256), Mattogno argued that Prof. Kola’s term "grób ciałopalny", which my translator had rendered as "body burning grave", is more correctly translated as "grave accommodating remains of cremation". If so, this means that Prof. Kola didn’t consider these graves to have been places where bodies were burned, but merely dumping sites for cremation remains. It doesn’t, however, rule out that cremation took place at these sites
Mattogno can read Polish, you can't. We have already established that, Roberto. And your pathetic attempt to now save your ass since you have egg on your face is a non sequitor ad hoc. "Well it could have happened." Yeah we already know Kola said that. So what? viewtopic.php?p=62081#p62081
In the cremation chapter, Mattogno additionally argues (p. 1306) that the areas of mass graves 1 and 2 are far too large for cremation grates, quite pointlessly so as I had not claimed that the area of the graves had been equal to the area of the grates (I had merely written that the graves were large enough for grates of considerable size to fit into them, p. 444).
So Muehlenkamp makes his next move...
Were the cremation grates set up above a pit as assumed by Schelvis and described by Feldhendler (see above), were they set up inside such a pit as per the Hagen court’s findings of fact, or were both methods used at one or the other time? In support of the second of these possibilities, considering my reading of Prof. Kola’s archaeological investigation results, I had referred to several witnesses (p. 444, footnote 18): former SS-man Erich Bauer, who mentioned that the corpses were burned in pits on grids made of railway rails ("In den Gruben wurden die Leichen auf Rosten, die aus Eisenbahnschienen hergestellt waren, verbrannt."); inmate Chaim Engel, who mentioned a deep pit containing burning grids; inmate Kurt Thomas, who in various depositions had mentioned a "Krematoriumsschacht" (crematorium shaft), a "Verbrennungsschacht" (burning shaft) and a "Kremationsgrube" (cremation pit); Jan Piwonski, turnout setter at Sobibor train station, who learned about the burning of corpses in a pit from a non-German camp guard. It speaks volumes of Mattogno’s methodology that he addresses only the last of these witnesses, who provided quite a detailed description (quoted by Mattogno, pp. 1310f.) of what he had been told about the cremation method by a guard named Waska:
The guard told me that in the vicinity of the mass graves a pit around two meter deep was dug, that in this pit a kind of grate was constructed from railway tracks, and that on this grate the root stumps previously doused with some liquid were put. When this [fire] burned well, the excavator is said to have put the corpses on top of it.
Mattogno remarks that according to this second-hand witness the cremation is stated to have taken place in one single pit (no problem with that) on one single grate (which doesn’t preclude the setting up of one or more further grates at a later stage). Deliberately conflating the time when Sobibór changed its body disposal procedure from burial to cremation (October 1942) and the time when cremation was extended to the previously interred corpses (which happened in the second half of November or in early December 1942, according to Piwonski),
the two month gap Mattogno noted earlier...
Mattogno further remarks that "According to the witness, the cremations commenced in December 1942, not in October as stated by Muehlenkamp" (who, as we have seen, didn’t state that cremation of exhumed corpses, as opposed to corpses of freshly killed deportees, started in October 1942).
It is claimed that in October 1942, the method changed directly to gassing-cremation and no longer involved burials, and then two months later, only in December did old corpses start getting extracted to also be cremated. Fine. Does Roberto also want to tell us when the transition from grates/rails above the pits turned into grates/rails inside pits? Or does he wish to explain why the Germans would employ different methods instead of just being consistent?
Freiberg is quoted at length by Mattogno so he can make a fuss about my having omitted this witness's "nonsense" about the corpses having fallen through the gas chamber floor after the gassing, as if this obviously inaccurate description (or, for that matter, the subsequent, equally inaccurate description of the burning process) ruled out the possibility that the witness was right about the cremation pyres having been doused with gasoline.
Cremation of corpses for health reasons does not equal gas chambers.
Mattogno obviously hasn’t understood yet that a witness, especially one that, like any surviving Sobibór inmate, didn’t witness the killing and body disposal process first hand, may be dead wrong about certain details but right about others, and that a witness who is either right or wrong about everything he recalls is a rarity in real life. His rambling against Freiberg’s "nonsense", on the other hand, doesn’t keep Mattogno from using Freiberg’s testimony to his advantage, as he points out that the cremation system described by this witness "is in total contradiction to the one evoked by Muehlenkamp" (which is irrelevant as I didn’t refer to the witness as concerns the cremation system).
There were a whole host of people who claimed there were gas chamber trap doors.http://winstonsmithministryoftruth.blog ... 68008c06ea
Perhaps the most embarrassing one is Biskowitz.
Q. You came to this conclusion from the nature of the structure?
A. Not from the nature of the structure – I saw it from afar even while I was running away quickly, although I cannot describe it exactly, after nineteen years.
Q. Please understand me. You are somewhat familiar with these matters. Did you see the floor when it had opened up?
A. I did not see that – I merely saw that underneath the gas chamber, there was a hollow which already contained bodies.
At this exact point, the presiding judge hurriedly declaimed that Biskubicz had concluded his testimony, enigmatically adding:I know you have not told us everything. But there was no alternative.
Small wonder the judge wanted Biskubicz to step down from the witness stand – his gas chamber building with collapsible floor is completely anathema to the death chamber dogma which was in place already by the time Biskubicz took the oath in Jerusalem.
It cannot be succesfully argued that Biskubicz did not see the inside of the building, or that he did not actually see a collapsible floor. Let us recapitulate what Biskubicz tells us of his observation per se (emphases mine):I saw the pit and the hollow and the small train that carried the dead bodies ... I saw it from afar even while I was running away quickly... I only saw, from the outside, that there was a very prominent roof, and that the floor opened and the bodies fell below... I merely saw that underneath the gas chamber, there was a hollow which already contained bodies.
It is evident from this that Biskubicz maintained that he had seen corpses lying beneath a collapsible gas chamber floor – a sight irreconcilable with what the official narrative has to tell us of the alleged gas chambers at that camp and their construction.http://codoh.com/library/document/647/
I will deal with his take on Treblinka later.